I recently completed painting my first “complete” 40k unit in quite some time – years, probably. These three Myphitic Blight Haulers will be reinforcements for my large Death Guard army, the Maggot Magnates.
They’re cute and fearsome models that epitomize the current Death Guard model lineup. I’ve always admired them, and so when I found a good price on a trio of these models (they can be fielded in a group of three, known as a “tri-lobe”) I knew the time for reinforcements had arrived.
I decided to try out a speedpainting technique on these models – specifically, this nifty tutorial that uses a simple sponge painting technique to quickly knock out the main armor colors.
The technique starts with a black basecoat, followed by a rough sponging on of a basic brown color – I used a couple shades for some variety. The sponging continued with rusty orange, followed by olive drab green and various metallics to create a rough, textured armor appearance that is perfect for these Nurgle-blessed murder tricycles.
This was a speedpaint, so I tackled the swollen, oozing fleshy bits with a mixture of washes and drybrushing. I’d probably spend more time if these were display quality pieces, but faster technique gave decent results in relatively short order. A key mantra for Comrade’s Wargames is “more toys on the table” and I tried to keep that in mind when working on these models.
The final highlights were kept to a minimum … just the most high-impact details were picked out, the stuff that would catch your eye from 3 feet away on the tabletop.
All in all, I was impressed at the overall effect that this quick sponge painting tutorial provided. It was certainly fast! Once I got the armor done, I probably spent the equivalent of a few evenings adding in the final details and highlights. I also hauled them to work with me and painted a bit on my lunch breaks over the course of a week or two. Much of the time was spent waiting for the various washes to dry!
Definitely give this technique a try if you’ve got some small vehicle-sized models that could benefit from a rusty, dirty painting technique. Don’t be like me, though, and forget to paint the rims on your bases! I know what I’m doing tonight after dinner!
We got in a game earlier this month to help baptize Daniel’s new game room. He recently moved into a home with a basement, and he wasted no time in converting it into a dedicated game space! I expect we will be getting plenty of gaming done in this new clubhouse.
We opted for Grimdark Future, because Daniel has been painting up a bunch of cool new Ultramarines for his 40k army, and I have recently completed some new units for my long-festering Death Guard army.
Daniel set up a spearpoint assault scenario, whereby we both deployed in wedge-shaped deployment areas – meaning we could, if we wanted, deploy right at the “tip of the spear,” about 24 inches away from the enemy!
The game was a great seesaw of action, starting with a plodding advance by my Death Guard (Havoc Brother Disciples, in the parlance of Grimdark Future) in the face of withering firepower from the Ultramarines.
Before too long, our units were within charging distance, and we had to make the decision: charge in, or hang back and launch missiles?
Daniel opted to charge in, and for good reason: his Ultramarines appeared to outgun my Death Guard guys (on paper at least) when it came to melee combat.
There were several close combats going on simultaneously on the battlefield, and they were absolute grindfests! Both of our units had the highest defense in the game (2+ on a d6) which meant our guys had to really dismember each other to do any damage.
But slowly, very slowly, the thin blue line of Ultramarines was pushed back. A key play for me was when I sent my squad of Plague Marines, escorted by a Myphitic Blight Hauler, rumbling through a large ruined area in the center of the table.
We had designated the central ruined area as “dangerous terrain,” which meant there was significant risk of casualties for anyone who ventured in. I tossed caution to the wind and pushed my forces forward. The resulting pressure opened up the flank for my Foetid Bloat Drone to charge Daniel’s force commander, slaughtering him outright and paving the way for a general advance on the Ultramarines’ objective.
At this point, Daniel didn’t have a lot of units left to oppose me. He fell back to secure his objective, but it was only a matter of time until my advancing units caught him in a grisly, ichor-spattered pincer, as you can see in the photo below. Very drippy and oozy!
As always, Grimdark Future gave us a great game. We agreed that the best part of this game (aside from the beautifully painted armies) was the fact that we actually finished the game! We all have stories about slogging through 2 or 3 turns of 40k, only to realize you’ve spent the better part of a day hunched over the game table, or the countless hours spent flipping through rulebooks to solve a tense rules disagreement.
Grimdark Future has none of that, which makes it perfect for weeknights, or weekends when you don’t want to spend the entire day gaming. If you’re on the fence, give it a shot!
I’m trying to ease back into posting more frequently, starting with a simple update of some recently completed items from my workbench.
First up is this gnarly minotaur warrior from Zealot Miniatures. I acquired this guy and another one (a standard bearer) secondhand from Mindtaker Miniatures.
I didn’t immediately know the origin of this figure, but my buddy Lawrence took one look and said “Oh, you backed their Kickstarter?” No, I did not, but it was nice to figure out this cool model’s backstory.
I really like this model (and the other one, the as-yet-unpainted banner bearer). That’s a 50mm base, so this is a big model. Both of them are brutal and savage, without any obvious iconography that would place them into a specific setting. They will mesh perfectly with my large chaos fantasy army!
Up next is Commander Ze, a print file offered by Reptilian Overlords as a fundraiser to support humanitarian relief for Ukraine. The model is available as a pay-what-you-want download, and I urge you to stop on by and throw them a few bucks for a good cause.
The figure itself is obviously modeled on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – a leader who has transcended politics and secured his place in history due to his incredible leadership over the last two months during Russia’s heinous invasion of Ukraine. (Sidenote: it has been utterly fascinating to watch Zelenskyy being forged into a modern-day folk hero in real time. He met the moment in a way that few leaders have in the 21st century. I wish him long life and a boring, uneventful retirement surrounded by his loving family.)
The model was fun to paint up, and I was pleased to support this worthy cause, but I sincerely hope we never have to see Zelenskyy striking this pose in real life – holding an assault rifle astride the ruins of his glorious capital city. Cool model, in any case!
The last model in today’s roundup is a Blightlord Terminator conversion. I knocked this guy together when I uncovered an unused Forgeworld Nurgle Terminator torso + arms in by bits box. All I needed were some legs! I found an extra monopose Stormcast Eternal and snipped off the upper bits, leaving a fairly serviceable set of lower legs + base.
There was a large, awkward gap after I fitted the pieces together, but I was able to cover it up convincingly with an interesting tentacled armor plate that I found in my bits box. I also dug up a bunch of trophy heads and skulls to cover up all the goody-goody Stormcast iconography. You can see the result in the photo above. Looks OK, right?
I finished up the base right after I took this photo. Don’t judge me too harshly on that! I think the robes came out a bit too bright – this is Nurgle after all – but otherwise I’m generally pleased with the result. It’ll be a welcome addition to my Death Guard army, which has received some reinforcements recently, and more is on the way. Stay tuned!
I really like picking cheap job lots of miniatures on swap forums like Reddit and Facebook and various second-hand retailers like Mindtaker. I appreciate the challenge of picking up where someone else left off (or else just picking up the pieces) and trying something new. It doesn’t hurt that this stuff is usually priced to sell!
With that in mind, I got ahold of some rather fun and zany Plague Marine conversions a few weeks ago and decided to put some energy into finishing them off proper.
The guy had started by splicing them together with the lower torsos of plastic Plaguebearers, setting the stage for some gruesome half Marine/half daemon conversions.
I jumped right in and started finishing up the paint jobs. I had some fun by using contrast paints to create a pink/yellow gradient on the legs, plus some additional blood and gore details to make them really pop.
These models had already been augmented with all sorts of nifty extras bits from various plastic kits – I spotted some Putrid Blightkings bits in there, as well as some 30k paraphernalia.
I also played around with some simple gore effects using hot glue pulled with a toothpick, then painted with gloss red to make it suitably goopy. Nothing special, but fun to go over the top on some already ridiculous models.
So that was a simple rescue of a job lot that made its way to my workbench recently. Look for these guys on the table in our next game of Grimdark Future!
Earlier this month we gathered for a game that really pushed the limits of our table space and our comfort level with the Age of Fantasy rules. We planned a 2-on-2 team game, wherein Vincent and I joined forces with our two mighty dwarven armies to oppose John and Daniel, who were fielding an unlikely alliance of humans (John) and vampiric undead (Daniel).
After dabbling in a few introductory games of Age of Fantasy, we felt ready to tackle a larger game, so each player brought 1,000 points to the table, for a raucous game totaling 4,000 points among the four of us.
We set this game in Realmlight, the “new world” lost continent that is being rediscovered after several failed colonial expeditions in our Uthdyn fantasy setting. The mysterious ruins on this battlefield may offer hints as to the fate of the explorators who came before … whoever controls the battlefield at the end of the day can plumb this forbidden knowledge to their heart’s content!
Behold these epic photos of our deployment zones, teeming with stout warriors, grim spearmen, and cackling skeletons!
First up: rank upon rank of stalwart dwarf warriors, ready to plant a flag in Realmlight and defend their new homeland against all invaders.
Vincent and I talked over our army composition before the gsame. I volunteered to bring the “big guns” – a battalion of artillery – and he filled out his roster with heavy infantry. It was the classic “hammer and anvil” approach. Did it pay off? Read on and judge for yourself!
We didn’t quite figure out the fluff behind why John’s humans would ally with Daniel’s undead warriors, but there had to be a good reason, right?
John’s humans were supported by two units of cavalry: chivalrous knights and the fearsome pegasus riders! These two hard-hitting units affected the game even before they hit the table, as they forced Vincent and I to constantly second-guess our deployment choices.
Daniel’s undead army consisted of several blocks of infantry backed up by a fearsome vampire lord, a terrifying skeletal dragon, and a ghastly unit of undead cavalry.
With so much cavalry on the opposing side of the battlefield, it appeared at the outset that the stout dwarves were likely going to get outflanked and run down amid thundering hooves and flashing lances! Let’s see how things developed…
As with our previous game of Age of Fantasy, we opted once again to go with the “Ebb and Flow” rules for the turn sequence, wherein we drew colored poker chits from a sack for activation. As before, this prompted some incredibly exciting and unpredictable moments!
On the first turn, John’s 20-man unit of spearmen had a tasty prize in sight: this ancient monument to the conquerors of old. He sent his troop of soldiers atop the stone platform to seize the objective and reinforce it with a wall of spears.
On the other flank, the dwarves smiled grimly and hefted their axes, preparing to meet the teeming undead hordes in a narrow bottleneck created by a ruined wall and a crumbling stone tower.
Between the two of us, Vincent and I had not two, but three units of Iron Warriors. These heavily armored dwarves boast the most potent defensive statistics in the whole game. In fact, none of us really knew how powerful their defense would be…these units would prove to be incredibly troublesome for the opposing undead legions.
And of course, in the backfield watching all of this unfold were the dwarf artillery units, ready to engage in a long-range black powder duel to the death.
In truth, 3 of my 5 artillery units didn’t do a whole heckuva lot this game. The bombard, which could shoot over intervening terrain and deal fearsome blast damage, didn’t hit anything the entire game! But the multi-barrel organ guns made their kinsmen proud by delivering fearsome volleys of fire turn after turn.
Things got interesting on turn 2, when (after a full turn of tiptoeing and tap-dancing to stay out of range of my artillery) John committed his horse-mounted knights to a wily skirmish action. His bold maneuver prompted an immediate response from Vincent and me – we had to deal with this threat; we couldn’t just let him go prancing around in our backfield.
Sidenote: the Ebb and Flow activation rules really encouraged all manner of bold, kinetic activity on both sides of the board.
And that wasn’t all. The pegasus knights swooped in at an opportune moment and absolutely shut down my entire artillery brigade. Granted, they got peppered with hot lead the next turn, but still … mission accomplished.
So the dwarves pivoted to deal with the cavalry that was thundering across the field, and in doing so that allowed the undead to advance several units and take up positions to oppose the dwarves.
It was really shaping up to be a big mess … we had strong infantry units angling for the best charge lane, vampires lurking, ghouls flailing, and a big ol’ skeletal dragon spewing death and destruction.
Here’s a look through the ruins at the ranks of advancing dwarves as they edged closer to the undead lines. Looks like something out of a Warhammer rulebook, circa 1989!
This glorious set-piece arrangement quickly devolved into a howling melee as the dwarves charged into the massed spears of the skeleton horde. Daniel sent his two leaders – the vampire lord and the ghoul king – wading into the scrum to support the undead infantry.
Both of these guys proved to be absolute beasts in combat and single-handedly chewed up their way through some units. But the dwarves were not falling fast enough, and the game was speeding toward its conclusion.
Even the mighty pegasus knights, their hooves drenched in the blood of the dwarven artillery crew, found themselves in an improbable situation when they were charged – and routed off the table – by the dwarven runemaster. (In game terms, they were “wavering,” which meant that any subsequent attack or charge would finish them off.)
Ultimately the dwarves held on long enough to prevail in this game. The undead horde had failed to slay enough of them in the killing fields near the stone tower, leaving the survivors able to reform and contest the central objective.
All in all, Age of Fantasy gave us another fun game full of memorable moments and photo-worthy finishes. For now at least, all of the One Page Rules games seem to scratch our itch for generic 28mm fantasy battles as well as grimdark sci-fi games.
And while the published army lists and units are satisfactory, there’s also some interest in tinkering with the list builder and creating some custom units. Thankfully, the raw points calculator is scheduled to be released later this year through the OPR Patreon. Until then, let’s roll some dice!