Wednesday, January 20, 2016

On the Table: Skitrarii Ironstrider Cavaliers

The surprise hits of my Skitarii force. When I first saw these guys all I could think was how poor an AV 11 walker would have to be. But at 45 points a piece with a 5+ cover save all the time they are more survivable than you would think. They are easy kill points if the enemy wants to kill one. But with some much scarier and much tougher units on the table (read Imperial Knight and Ongar walkers) these guys actually tend to hang around and get some work done. The formation also helps as they don't start on the table but do get to roll for coming on turn 1. The rest of the formations benefits are meh at best. Re-rolling wounds against a single unit is decent but doesn't come up often. The army has few units so I ran two of the formation with minimum squad sizes. We played maelstrom missions so being able to get all over the place was best. As you can see I used the second style of painting up taser goads, using my airbrush, on all these models. It came out really well. A little heat weathering on the laser cannons and exhausts on the walkers also worked well. 

These second unit is pretty much the same but I changed up the decals on the hull plating to help distinguish the two formations from each other so I could play them correctly. Being able to shoot thru the formation at no penalty (no cover save to the target) for example would not work from formation to formation. I was able to do some magnetization but only with every other model due to the parts. So with that in mind I opted to magnetize only the ballistic ones as I felt they are the worse of the two options. As such all the hooded drivers are able to field the melee weapons, lascannons, or autocannons. In all my games these units did a lot of work. Against my round two opponent who fielded a Space Marine battle company complete with many free transports they performed magic. Not typically able to smash targets on their own they made nearly half his army have to turn around and face these models rather than come down my throat. Better yet, they mauled the half that came to deal with them, killing almost everything but a couple of the unit and holding them off for most the game and leaving the survivors way out of position. This let me overwhelm targets on the other end of the table (we played hammer and anvil and these guys came in on my opponents deployment area). For 290 points these 6 units did a great job harassing the opponent. In other games they helped to shore up assaults in progress or harass backfield units. Really if they where not so expensive $$ wise I would definitely field 12 or more of these guys. They just work to well for the points.

Friday, January 8, 2016

On the Table: Skitarii Rustalkers and Infiltrators

Today we have the Skitarii Rustalkers and Infiltrators. I never ended up using the Rustalkers in the Standish Standoff, as a unit of five I just could not get them to work as an assault threat. They just didn't get to survive to round two to be able to use the AP 2 on the weapons. Between being shot up  and thumped on in assault they just tended to charge and die. They where however a great model and I loved painting them up. The pose on them with the clawed hand is just great, plus I did a great job on the blades the sonic effect looked great. Turns out it looked great enough to win me my first ever painting award. I got second place for painted squad. I used similar dark red painting and highlighting with the carapace and cloak, and some black with grey highlights for the body suit. The bright blue for the eye lenses helped to bring nice focus on the model. 

I've found that for most armies a limited pallet actually helps improve the scheme of the army, as it keeps all the elements tied in together nicely. It can also help you really roll out the units as you get more and more skilled laying out similar paint to similar item as you go. The next two units are a pair of five man Infiltrator units. I ended up painting the Taser goads on them differently as I painted the two units at different ends of the project. The first unit (seen here) was painted at the start of the project when I thought I would be running a Mechanicus War Convocation. Much like the Vanguard sergeant the tasers on this squad are hand painted with transitions. This gives a decent look at table top level but had some starker changes in color than I cared for.  That said the color transition on them from start to finish was far more stark than my first attempt (the Vanguard). Also with this unit the Infiltrator Princepts had a great performance during my test tournament at my local FLG back in July. In one game he was responsible for finishing off a Baneblade, surviving a D hit, killing two Grey Knight terminators and some guardsmen, then challenged Commissar Yarrick and defeated him as well. After that performance I had to promote him to Warlord of the army and give him some extra badges (decals) to mark the occasion. As such he got two extra decals, one on the inside cloak of crossed swords over a yellow triangle to mark the superior performance. The skull on his helm is to represent the Relic upgrade of The Omniscient Mask. Described as a skull of the Omnissia watching over the model and its unit. It also made the unit visually distinct from the tabletop view of top down to pick out my warlord easily. My second painting award came from this Princepts as I won first prize for painting int he 40mm/50mm single model category. Was really cool to win a first prize in painting at this event. So far in four Standoff's I have one Best General once and now best painted in one category along with second in another. 

The second squad of infiltrators was painted at the back end of the project once I changed up my list to drop the Rustalkers that just didn't work for me. Unlike them however I found the Infiltrators did some heavy lifting my army needed with the ability to handle mixed targets. Strength 6 on the Taser goads meant they could wound Infantry with ease, and Taser meant that they tended to put on more wounds than they had attacks in most cases. They could also easily handle most tanks able to attack rear armor or glance AV 12, again the Taser effect meant they put out more glances/pens than you would think. I changed up how I painted the Taser goads with this unit and the Dragoons (future post). This time I used my airbrush to get a nice blend and transition effect from the base to tip going from a dark dark blue to white. The effect came out really nice and gave the models that little extra to push them over the edge I think. They just look really great on the table. The leaders all got the gear decal-ling along the cloak trim. Turns out this was the worst idea as far as work goes. I had to cut and turn the decal about 8 times on each model to get the decal to follow the base of the cloak. On the flip side it came out looking great. As always you can click on the images to get a full size version and see more detail. Have a great one!