Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Foodhammer 40k Update - New Prizes!

Hi all,

I have some super exciting news regarding our Foodhammer Tournament on December 17th. We are very happy to announce that Gamers Sanctuary has provided us with some awesome new prizes. In addition to their normal tournament support, Chad has graciously offered up a number of new prizes.

First up, we have the set of Imperial Armour 9 and 10, which cover the entirety of the Badab War. These are amazing books with some awesome new rules and enough fluff to keep you entertained for a very long time. Anyone who is even remotely interested in Marines or 40k fluff in general should not miss out on a chance at these! I own both and can honestly say they are an amazing value. There are even rules for running a Badab War campaign, which incidentally we will be doing at Gamers Sanctuary in the spring.

Next, we have not one, but two Megaforce Boxes as prizes! As you can see below, these are fantastic deals and an amazing way to start a new army, or bolster your current one.

First up, we have the Space Marine megaforce. Quoting GW's description: "The Space Marine Megaforce is the best way to start a new Space Marine army. This huge boxed set contains 35 plastic miniatures, including: 20 Tactical Marines, 5 Space Marine Scouts, a 5-man Command Squad, a Space Marine Commander, a Venerable Dreadnought, a Land Speeder Storm, a Drop Pod and a Land Raider Crusader." What a ridiculously cool assortment of models!

And finally, we also have the Dark Eldar megaforce. Again quoting GW's description: "This huge boxed set contains 47 plastic miniatures, including: 10 Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors, 20 Dark Eldar Wyches, 9 Reaver Jetbikes, 5 Scourges, a Venom, a Raider and a Ravager gunship." What a great way to get hold of many of the amazing new Dark Eldar sculpts.

I am seriously in awe of the fantastic prize support Gamers Sanctuary is providing. We here at FC40k can't thank them enough!

So how can you win these prizes? Simply show up, and donate to a good cause! Every ticket you buy and use in game gets you an entry into a raffle. At the end of the tournament, we'll draw names for the winners. It's that simple! And of course we will still offer prizes to best overall general, best sportsman, etc. There's all sorts of prizes to be had, so don't miss out! More info and rules can be found at this link.

January 21st, 2012 - The Big Game

Fresh Coast 40k will be co-hosting an apocalypse game with MI40k at BC Comix on January 21st, 2012. This will be part of The Big Game, a nationwide Apocalypse game on that day that attempts to break point records and put the most boots on the ground!

We will certainly have more on this in the near future. If you're interested in attending, email me at muggins AT We will have a few guidelines to make sure everyone has fun, and we need to know how many will be attending.

More info to follow!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Feelin' Dreadful - Honored Brother Natian, Pride of the Chapter

I was feeling dreadful today so I stayed home sick and finished up my Contemptor (battle damaged) and Ironclad dreads. I put a Maelstrom Warder logo on each one (the Maelstrom Warders were the group of marines on the bad side of the Badab war, basically).

Natian is the contemptor dreadnought. This dread's stats are available in the new IA Apocalypse 1.5 and in the Badab War books. They are extremely old and rare so Geneguard suggested I weather him up a bit and add battle damage. I love the model, and it was really fun to paint. I was inspired to paint him this weekend by DFG's post. Also check out Cvinton's sweet SW contemptor there too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tau Tiger Shark Project Started

I started on my Forge World Tau Tiger Shark AX-1-0 super heavy flier. I decided to play my Tau for the upcoming "Eden" campaign starting this week at Gamer's Sanctuary. The campaign will be running for some time, but I wanted to get started on this project now so it is available to use in the apocalypse finale.

Like most Forgeworld kits, there is a lot of preparation work to do. I spent the time today just cutting off the excess resin and filing the surfaces down. I wore a mask just to be safe, but this kit is pretty good and there really wasn't a lot of sanding.

I washed the parts with water with a bit of bleach added to get the resin dust off. Next up, I need to figure out what kind of flight stand to construct. I made a simple single stand for my Barracuda. However, I think this larger bomber will need two, maybe three stands. I have seen a few articles online on the different stands people have come up with. Stay tuned for more updates!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Salamander Overload

I am definitely back on the Salamanders!

I made a kit-bashed Vulkan well before his model came out, but I still bought the GW version. I'm honestly not much of a fan. The spear throwing pose on his arm is terrible and awkward, I don't care for his helmet, and this is an example of GW model style run amok- way too much tiny, annoying detail leading to an overly busy model that will be hard to paint. But, it's a Salamander so I'll still do it...

Also pictured is the FW exclusive boarding marine. I'm not crazy about the pose, but it should be fun to paint.

Last is the simply awesome Salamanders Venerable Dreadnought. Forgeworld kindly designed it and the dreadfire CCW arms such that together they perfectly represent the Salamanders character dreadnought, Brey'arth Ashmantle. Dreadnoughts are one of my favorite things about the game, so I'm excited for this one. Assembly was pretty easy, and the model itself had little flash or miscasting. The banner pole was bent at a pretty severe angle, though. I fixed it with some hot water but fiddled with it a bit too much. The pole snapped and the bottom half flew away who knows where. Luckily some plasticard tube I had fit perfectly as a replacement. Bonus, it should be much more sturdy than the original pole, and almost indistinguishable once it's painted.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Where's geneguard been?

My posting around here has definitely slowed down lately, but I'm back with a vengeance tonight! Admittedly, I've been a bit burnt out on 40k and doing a lot of Necromunda and Warmahordes. Most of my free time I've been working on cranking out this army:

I painted these guys as part of the Journeyman League at Gamers Sanctuary. This is a complete 35pt army, plus an extra light warbeast that I had to take during most of the league. My actual army will be this one minus the second Impaler. Painting these guys in the span of ~5 weeks has me super stoked, as I'm generally a super slow painter. But I think I've gotten to a great balance of speed and quality with these guys. Props to PaintVagrant, dudes on SomethingAwful, and of course the local nerd crew for suggestions and support.

The list, for anyone who cares, is:

Army Name: pMadrak Champ Brick
35+6 points, 18 models

Madrak Ironhide, Thornwood Chieftain +6 points
* Dire Troll Mauler 9 points
* Troll Axer 6 points
* Troll Impaler 5 points

Fell Caller Hero 3 points
6 Krielstone Bearer & Stone Scribes 4 points
* Stone Scribe Elder 1 point
Trollkin Champion Hero 3 points
5 Trollkin Champions 10 points

It's a low model count army, but Trolls are tough to hurt and tougher to kill, especially with all the synergistic buffs they have. Fun to paint and fun to play. I am definitely a Trollblood fan now.

That being said, now that these guys are done, I'm jumping back to my Salamanders for a bit. Up first- the Forgeworld exclusive boarding marine and one of my two different Vulkan models I have sitting around. Looking forward to them!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mantis Warrior Librarian and GS Tourney

I've been working most of the week on my second Mantis Warrior model - my librarian. The Black Library stories that involve Mantis Warriors usually star a librarian, so I figured my army should be led by one. There is also a pretty awesome character in the Badab War books that is a librarian.

I bought an Emperor's Champion model and cut off his head, one arm, and one hand. I had a "marine standard" arm that I cut the flag off of and just had a bare shaft. I cut off two blades from a rhino dozer thingy and glued them on the ends (the Mantis Warrior librarians use a special force weapon that has blades at either end). Then I glued a bolt pistol arm on his other side (man I wish they could take a storm shield without terminator armor).

I printed off decals from Bolter and Chainsword and printed them on water slide transfer paper. Using Micro Set made it a lot easier to put the decals on. I had to Dullcote them but the decals turned out really well. The above picture doesn't really show the shoulderpad one very well.

I painted the librarian Mordian Blue because I wanted a really dark blue. The hood, loin cloth and kneepads were painted green. His shoulderpad was painted yellow. I tried to wet blend his force weapon - it looks pretty cool in person. I'm not very artistic so a lot of those kinds of techniques are way out of my territory. I'm lucky I can highlight anything.

There was also a tourney at GS today. I think the Sunday time was bad for people because unfortunately only 5 people showed up. All 5 armies looked super sweet, though. I took some pics:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Things We're Thankful For

It is a super cold Friday afternoon here in Lansing. I was looking out the window, thinking about next week, and realized I could preempt the 40k blogoverse with a post about what we're thankful for!

This year has been huge for me and our local area in 40k and other games. First and foremost I'm thankful we've developed such a great community in the Flint area. We have a group of like-minded, professional, adult individuals getting together and talking hobby and playing without fear of wasting a night with a jerk.

We have the premiere store in the Midwest to play in with an owner who cares about our hobby. It is well-lit, non-smelly, and stock is actually on the shelves. The store employs dudes who care about the hobbies and are engaged in all of the events going on.

That group has led to the creation of this blog. I realized how much cool stuff we were doing in our area that wasn't really being reported on and decided to create this blog. I'm definitely thankful for all who have helped and publicized the things we do.

I'm thankful that Space Marine did well, critically and from what I've heard, sales-wise. It is a great game that I think takes a step to legitimize our hobby more from painting space dollies to something more mainstream. People know what a space marine is now.

Pulp City looks like it is going to be more fun than a barrel full of monkeys!
I'm thankful that we've been able to get our interests going on things outside of 40k. We've become much more interested in Warmachine and played in the Journeyman League and a few tournaments. We've run a Necromunda mini-campaign and a Battletech mini-campaign. We ran a Deathwatch mini-campaign. I feel like if you let yourself just play one game you've got blinders on. In the future we'll be getting into Pulp City and Shadowrun to be sure.

The last thing I'm thankful for today is the ability to do all of this. I have a good job with a great wife who sometimes brings me back to Terra when I have visions of grandeur.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Necromunda: Campaign End and Other Notes

This sums up pretty well the arena game we had last night
Last night we ended our campaign for Necromunda. It was a short trip into the Underhive that allowed us to get our minis painted and get the newbies to grasp the rules. Some of our gangs advanced to over 2,000 points!

Our final event was "Lord of the Spire". This was a scenario from the Outlanders book that was straight out of an 80's sci-fi movie (a lot of the tropes in Necromunda are from 80's sci-fi). Each team was thrust into an arena to fight in front of thousands of underhivers.

They had to protect their base from attackers first and foremost - the other gangs can shoot at your base, hit a marker, and one of your gangers drops down a chute into a sump pit. Anytime a ganger was taken out of action they'd be replaced by another ganger who came up through a hole in the floor. Tag!

Delaques prepare to run to the tower!
The other objective was to reach a big red button at the top of a tower that ends the arena match and declares the victor. This was TOUGH. The tower was right in the middle and provided pretty clear line of sight all around. I think I counted 4 or 5 gangers who managed to make it to the top before the big red button was pressed (you had to survive an entire round up there).

A Van Saar heavy covers the tower

This was a super-fun old school event. I don't think I've laughed as much during a wargame in a year as I did last night. It wasn't super competitive serious business; it was a narrative event that allowed us to show off our cool painted minis and have some fun.

Scalies approach the tower!
Overall the campaign was a lot of fun and a great way to get some RPG-like gaming in on a small scale. Most games went pretty quick as well - 40k can often take some time to play, especially with horde armies. I would recommend this game to anyone - it truly is GW's best game.

Dave was put down by an autogun shot at the top of the tower. He almost survived and stood up to get the loot. It was so close. This was one of a number of epic happenings during the game! Geneguard's leader even died after the game!

In other happenings, the Gamers Sanctuary winter campaign is starting, put on by Scott. This is the 4th campaign being run at GS in the last year or so - they're pretty much down to a science now! He is going in a different direction with this one from previous campaigns so it should be fun and new. I'm planning on bringing my Mantis Warriors to this campaign in order to compel me to paint them for the Badab War campaign next spring.

My Mantis Warrior Librarian I've been working on creating this week:

I used a Dark Angel head to create a psychic hood. In the Mantis Warrior stories in Warrior Brood by C.S. Goto and the Legends of the Space Marines stories it talks about MW librarians being hooded like this.
They also use force weapons that are bladed on both ends. I used a rhino front-spiky thing to create these. I put him on a 'hive' base because they've been fighting Tyranids for a long time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FC40k's First Annual Foodhammer Charity Tournament

Hey everyone! Keep your calendars clear on Saturday, December 17th, because Freshcoast40k is proud to announce we will be hosting our first ever charity 40k tournament! This tournament is shaping up to be super fun. The rules will follow standard Gamers Sanctuary format: 1850 pts, standard FOC, etc. But we will be adding in a slew of in-game bonuses you can purchase with donations of either cash or non-perishable food items. We've got some great ideas in mind I'm sure everyone will like. The bonuses will add a whole new layer of strategy, and the best part is it's all for a good cause!

Speaking of, the recipient of all tourney proceeds will be the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, a great organization that can use our help right around the holidays. I'd like to note here that while food donations are gratefully accepted, cash donations will go much further for them. We're told they can buy food to the rate of about ten cents to the dollar, so your cash donations will go quite a ways.

The normal prize structure will be in place, courtesy of Gamers Sanctuary, AND there will be additional prizes courtesy of Freshcoast 40k. And on top of all that, free food for all tourney participants. Wow, how awesome is all that? So please, make it out that day and throw down for a great cause.

Stay tuned here and at the Gamers Sanctuary forums for more details!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Author Interview - Juliet E. McKenna - Fear the Alien

Image created by Jeff Porter
First I'd like to say how excited I am to be writing this blog post. I've been searching for good Tyranid Black Library writing for a while now; it seems like I've not been able to connect with any until I read Fear The Alien which had quite a few stories with a great deal of Tyranid material.

My favorite story from the novel was Fear Itself by Juliet E. McKenna. In this story an Imperial Guard outfit is tasked with defending an outpost from an overwhelming Tyranid attack. I won't spoil the story for you but it is a must-read. If you play a Xenos army at all I'd definitely recommend the book - it is much different from your typical power armored gods striding around killing dozens of enemies with a single swipe.

I enjoyed the story so much that I looked up the author, Juliet E. McKenna, and found her website. She is very accessible and was gracious enough to answer some questions!

How did you get started writing for Black Library?

When the Solaris imprint was first set up, it was a Games Workshop subsidiary and staff from BL were working on both lists so I got to know them well. Though as it happened, I was already familiar with Black Library since my sons are WH40K fans and avid readers of the books.

What kind of background research did you do to start writing 40k fiction?

I needed to get to grips with the world, so I read through the rule books and Tyranid and Imperial Guard codexes, where my own gaming background was invaluable. Then I read some of the novels, starting with Gaunt’s Ghosts, to get a flavour of the ways in which the facts of the gaming world both informed and constrained the fiction and to see how and where a writer’s creativity could have a freer rein.

The 40k setting can be very grim. How did this affect your writing style? Is this a setting type
you're used to writing in?

Grim has its place in all good fiction; you can’t have light without shade. If there isn’t some kind of peril or the threat of loss, then where’s the success, the growth, the forward movement for the character? If it doesn’t count, then it doesn’t matter and then why bother reading the story? That’s as true for chick-lit (yes, honestly) as it is for 40K. (Okay the body count is lower in chick-lit, merely one reason why I rarely read it.)

Granted, any story with a military setting will have Grim in a much more literal fashion. Since I am well used to writing battle scenes in my own epic fantasies though, turning that same focus on clarity of description combined with engagement with the emotions of characters in the thick of combat wasn’t too much of a stretch for me.

I’ve also read a great deal of military fiction and non-fiction over the years as well as watching endless war films as a teenager when there was nothing else on telly on Saturday and Sunday afternoons except sport, back in the Dark Ages of only three channels here in the UK and not even VHS cassettes to fall back on. I was surprised how useful those recollections were when it came to finding the right mindset and style, as well as more recent reading and viewing, like Band of Brothers.

What did you use as background to begin writing about tyranids?

The Codex first and foremost, then recollecting the best of the ‘creature feature’ SF/horror movies I’ve seen over the years. I’m not a horror fan as such but I do like a good monster (in the unremitting, unrelenting evil sense of ‘good’, clearly).

The story was pretty gory in parts - is this something you've done with previous writing, or
was this new for you? How did the specific setting and characters influence your writing?

A convincing degree of realism is vital if readers are going to engage with a story. Once again, I’m well used to grounding my epic fantasies with fact and information, not necessarily with so much blood and guts unless I am writing a battle episode but by focusing on the telling details of a given time and place and the characters involved. Writing a short war story like this though, the gore does tend to predominate.

Setting and the individuals within it always influence my writing, in whatever I’m doing. Here I was focusing on the claustrophobic atmosphere of the besieged fortification, not just in terms of the tactical situation on the ground but as far as it affected the men trapped there too. Given the anthology’s theme, I really wanted to look at different types of heroism and the different ways in which soldiers react to fear and the shock of battle, especially when there seems little or no hope of a way out. Since I find the Tyranids the scariest foes in the 40K Universe, they were the obvious choice for the enemy.

Many 40k players are of the opinion that it would be impossible to write from a tyranid point
of view. Any thoughts or opinions on that?

I’d pretty much agree. What makes the Tyranids such an appalling enemy is their mindless, animal nature and their lack of any individuality. They’re driven by instinct, not any kind of rational thought, so there’s no hope of reasoning or negotiating with them. I certainly can’t see how I could write from their point of view, though it’s always possible some other writer will find a way.

The back of the Codex does say they are the most rapidly evolving race, so I suppose future developments might include some individual sense of self... but even then, could readers identify and engage with Tyranid characters still driven by those overriding imperatives to hunt, kill and eat? Those are hardly sympathetic traits in a point of view character.

What did you like best when writing about imperial guard and tyranids?

I really enjoyed creating the camaraderie between the soldiers and detailing the background of the Stone Bears Imperial Guard. Finding new words and ideas to expand on the role of the Officio Medicae was also great fun.

What did you like least when writing about them? Any challenges compared to other fiction
you've written?

Writing the specific detail of a Tyranid attack wasn’t exactly pleasant but it was a test of my skill as a writer and I always relish those. I knew I was doing my job right if I felt a bit queasy after describing what really happens when a Lictor gets hold of a Guardsman...

The main challenges of writing this story were making sure I had all the fine detail correct when it’s not a world I’ve created and when there is so much material to assimilate. Fortunately I have my own walking WH40K wiki in my elder son, so quite a few times I would just shout out a question to him rather than try looking up some specifics.

Then, as with doing any licensed fiction, there’s the challenge of finding the creative room for a writer’s individual voice while staying true to the overall atmosphere and culture of the wider shared imaginative realm.

Are you going to be doing any more Black Library work in the near future?

There’s nothing in the pipeline at the moment because I’m fully committed elsewhere. But when I see the other BL authors and the editorial chaps at conventions, we have chatted about how much fun it would be for me to do something more. I do find myself wondering what Field Surgeon Catmos and his medicae support squad are up to these days.

What have you been working on recently? (Is there a website you'd like to mention? A book
on Amazon?)

I’ve just finished writing the second book of my current epic fantasy trilogy; that’s called Darkening Skies and follows on from Dangerous Waters which was published earlier this year in the UK and the US. This is a series exploring what happens when someone decides to break the Archmage’s Edict that wizard’s don’t get involved in warfare...

Dangerous Waters (The Hadrumal Crisis) UK

The Hadrumal Crisis: Dangerous Waters USA

There’s more on all my books and my other fiction at my website:

Anything else you'd like to mention?

I keep getting asked when my backlist will be available as ebooks. I am working on that at the moment with some talented and dedicated fans, so it won’t be too much longer, all being well.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Warhammer Fantasy Tournament at GS

Tau4eva's 2500 point Dark Elves "The Crimson Hydra Clan"

I played in my first ever Warhammer Fantasy tournament this past weekend at Gamer's Sanctuary. There was a good turnout with 10 players. I still am very new to WHFB, and just started really building my up my army this year. I thought there would be a surge of new players wanting to play the latest edition of the game, but it has been hard to find other newbies like me. There's a small group of players at GS, but everyone there has played previous editions.

I was not sure what to expect at a Fantasy tournament. I went in with the expectations of learning a lot by losing to experienced players. Much to my surprise, I had some success and actually ended up with two wins and one loss. More importantly, I had a lot of fun! A group of veteran players came up, including the famous (infamous?) Rhellion. I have followed Rhellion's blog and know how good a Fantasy tournament player he is.

Game 1 : Dark Elves versus Tomb Kings
Dawn Battle (Random setup Pitched Battle)
Victory Points

My first game was against a Tomb Kings player who car pooled up with Rhellion. He told me he was a prior Dark Elves player, so he knew my army better than me. This was my second game ever against Tomb Kings, so I was at least somewhat familiar with them. He won the roll to go first.

I was fortunate in the setup that I rolled the option to place many of my units, where he was forced into some poor match ups. I tried to hang back and shoot/cast spells and get ready for a counter charge. However, my opponent had good charge rolls and next thing I knew a big unit of chariots hit my lines hitting two units which included my sorceress and dread lord general. I had some bad rolling and my sorceress and her unit of spear men fled off the board, failing to rally!

I was having some success on the right flank where my witch elves poisoned to death his giant sphinx monster. I got really lucky this game with some good late turn dice rolling. My dread lord held up his chariot unit the whole game, while I was able to maneuver and pick my battles with the rest of my army. My opponent was a great player and a good sport. I figured I had beginner's luck and was ready for a beat down in the next round.

Game 2 : Dark Elves versus Ogre Kingdoms
Pitched Battle
Victory Points

I was paired up with a local player Dennis and his new Ogre Kingdom army. I have played against Dennis in 40k and WM, but this was the first time we have faced each other in WHFB. So I noticed his ogre army was low in model count compared to my dark elves, so figured they would be tough to kill. What I wasn't expecting was how fast Ogres were. The big guys take long strides and Dennis was able to get several charges off against me.

I took the first few hits and setup counter charges the best I could. This was a bloody battle! My heroes this game was definitely my dread lord and the hydras. We ended the game on turn six, I had my sorceress left with a small group of spear men, and two crossbowmen units. Dennis had one wounded cannon left on the board and I barely won victory points thanks to keeping my high point sorceress alive. It was a fun game and could have gone either way down to the last turn.

Game 3 : Dark Elves versus Skaven
Pitched Battle
Victory Points

So with my two wins, I went to the top table to face Rhellion and his Skaven. Based on how he handily won his first two games, I wondered if I was going to get rolled. I had played against Skaven once before, and it went poorly for my Dark Elves. Anyway, I won the roll to go first and positioned my army for turn two charges. On his turn, he got two spells off that really hammered my army.

The first spell caused a plague on the unit hit where each model had to take a toughness test to survive. After that was resolved, the spell had a chance to jump to another unit and it did. Two more units where hit and next thing I knew, one spell crippled three units to below 50 percent. His next spell turned my dread lord general into a rat (LOL). So I was pretty demoralized, but on my next turn my hydras charged forward. We had a big melee battle in the center.

Fortunately, I had some hex and buffing spells that turned the battles in my favour. Next thing I knew, I had a small comeback going and his units started dropping like flies, er rats. I think I had a chance towards the end, even after the first turn beating I took. I definitely took some pride in doing the most damage to his army that day. In the end, the loss dropped me to fourth place out of the ten players. Not bad for my first tournament considering how little I have played. Now for the hard part, getting my stuff painted for the next one!