Friday, October 29, 2010

Commutatus: Vostroyan Rough Riders Part 2

The first two mounted Vostroyans are fully modeled and awaiting primer.

The rough rider models are a near perfect fit on these Dee Zee Cave Bears. With the addition of a green stuff saddle, the rough riders are a natural match for these models.

Exemplum: Guard Commissars

My three commissars. On the left is a conversion using Catachan legs, the coat torso from WFB Empire Militia, and the tank drivers head from the IG vehicle accessory sprue. I like the conversion except the head required me to cut off the vox mike so he looks a bit like the elephant man now.

The other two are seriously OOP with my favorite of the two being the one in the middle. He's got a big book and he's not afraid to use it!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Commutatus: Leman Russ Turret Conversions

Just a couple of quick and dirty turret conversions. I had a couple of the old style Russ turrets lying around and, after recently being stomped by the wolves, decided to convert them to something differently useful from the traditional battlecannon. Notice I did not say 'more' useful, as I consider the LRBT to be a strong option, especially as a backup tank in a squadron. However, having thunderwolf cavalry in my lines by turn two forced me to (re)consider putting some strength 10 big guns in my list.
First up is an Executioner conversion. Although not strength 10, this bad boy adds some much needed high strength, high rate of fire. I have been using a badly converted LRBT turret already as an Executioner, so this simply replaces that model with something a bit more recognizable.

Next up is a Demolisher conversion. This is something that has been lacking in my Vossie list and will add that much desired T5 insta-gib aspect to the game. The muzzle is pvc pipe and the outer ring is the end of a pipe coupler sawed off and filed down. The mount is a standard battlecannon sawed off at the last "knuckle" and two cylindrical sprue pieces added for additional recoil support. I may add more detail to the cannon itself in the form of aquilas, skulls, etc.

Both turrets are from old style Russ tanks, with the addition of three layers of plasti-card to reinforce the bulky look of the guns. Each side of the turret has the same armor plating rather than the hatch box. I also went with inverse rivets (1/8" drill bit). These were both quick conversions that I may add more detail to before painting.

The last one is not a conversion so much as an illustration of the compatibility between older GW kits. In this case, the whirlwind turret happens to fit perfectly in the turret ring on the old-style Leman Russ. I am going to repaint the whirlwind turret to match the tank color scheme and run this as a Manticore. I will remove the lascannon and replace it with a heavy flamer to complete the conversion. That way once the missiles are gone, the tank becomes a hellhound-lite.

From a background perspective, the Vostroyans are well known for their tanks works, and have decided that the Russ chassis would make for a better platform for Storm Eagle rockets than the flimsier Chimera chassis.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Exemplum: Vostroyan Veteran Squad

Here are a few examples from one of my Vostroyan veteran squads. Consisting of three meltaguns, a sergeant with a power fist, and shotguns, these guys are obviously anti-armor focused. The power fist sarge model is straight out of the blister with no conversions. I had considered giving him a matchlock pistol to count as a shotgun, but decided that I didn't want to change the look of the model at all.

Next up is a meltagun toting vet. This was the basic flamer to meltagun conversion that has become the mainstay of any Vostroyan army.

Finally, we have a Vostroyan vet carrying a blunderbuss. The blunderbuss counts as a shotgun and was a simple (but effective) conversion. I had a number of blunderbuss arms left over from the WFB Empire Militia sprues that I used for my Necromundan 23rd. The hardest part was using a jewelry saw to gently remove the lasgun tips to leave a flush surface for mounting the blunderbuss muzzle. My wife commented that the blunderbuss actually looks more authentic given the period garb worn by the Vostroyans.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Commutatus: Vostroyan Rough Riders

Inspired by Santa Cruz Warhammer, I recently picked up a bunch of Rough Riders off ebay for cheap in order to convert them into Vostroyans. The conversion is fairly straightforward, with the hardest part being trimming off the fuzzy sombreros. I hadn't really liked the Rough Rider models, but without the hats they are actually not terrible models.

But of course they are crazy cossacks in the far flung future so normal mounts would not do. Inspired by Sonobovich over at Dakka, these Vostroyans will be riding cave bears! 'bovich used rough rider legs with Valhallan torsos on cave bears from Trent Miniatures. Unfortunately, these guys are no longer available in the US of A so I have an order for ten of these guys en route.

More to come...

Advocatus: Modified Kill Points

I played a really good game recently where we used a modified version of the NOVA format by replacing victory points with kill points as a victory condition.  However, the kill points were actually selected by each opponent and were limited to five. Mike Brandt, over at Whiskey & 40k, introduced me to this system and I have to say I really like it!

The basic concept is that, before the games starts, you and your opponent each pick 5 units from the others army list that will be worth a kill point. You can put limitations on this, like no more than 2 dedicated transports or a unit with a dedicated transport must always be taken together as 2 kill points, etc. There are also different ways to allow selection of these kill point units (i.e. before/after deployment, secretly before game starts, secretly until game ends, etc.).

Using kill points in this way required a different set of tactics, as now you had priority targets to take out and your own kill points to protect. The game itself was great and I lost in turn 5 because one of my kill point units broke and refused to rally by the end of turn 6.

For the next game, I will have each player secretly choose their opponents kill points before deployment. Then, once both sides are fully deployed, each player reveals the kill points chosen to their opponent. This way, there is no advantage gained either by a) knowing what your own kill points are and deploying them accordingly (holding everything in reserve, bunkering them in transports, etc.) or b) knowing how your opponent is deployed then selecting the most vulnerable units as kill points.

The cool thing about this system is the simplified creation of new scenarios based on mixing up the kill point selection. Here are a few mission examples:

  • Taking Scalps: Both players fully deploy. Each player marks a copy of their opponent's list with 5 kill points. At least 2 of these must be non-vehicle units. Lists are folded over and set aside so that kill point selection remains a secret throughout the game.
  • Assassinate: Both players fully deploy. Each player openly selects 3 kill points from their opponents list. The other 2 kill points are assigned to the highest leadership independent character or, if no ICs are available, an HQ unit selection with the highest leadership (Ex. guard company command squad). If their are 2 (or more) ICs or HQ units with the same leadership, randomly determine the target AFTER both sides have deployed.
  • Priority Targets: Before deployment, each player secretly marks their opponent's list with 5 kill points (no more than 3 may be dedicated transports). After both sides have deployed, the kill point selections are revealed.

There are many more possibilities that a 5 kill point system opens up. The mechanic is fairly simple, but the permutations should keep the game fresh without encumbering players with oddball victory conditions (that I usually manage to forget).