Saturday, 31 December 2011

Sons of Sanguinius: Blood Angels Progress

As promised I have some shots of the (almost) completed first assault squad. The final member has been built and is now waiting to be primed. I think I will prime him in black to match the rest of his squad just incase the red has subtle differences.

Having looked over the photos and then cross referenced them with the actual models I have notices one or two niggling little details. The most obvious being the which highlighting on the melta gunners helmet not being as smooth or thin as it should be! These will all get ironed out as the army gets completed.

Anyway, over to the pictures:

The sergeant with a thunder hammer!

 I like to think of this guy as leaping out of the razorback, ready to rend the enemy!
I just could not get a decent picture of this guy despite taking loads of photos! The white spot in his right eye is in fact black, it's just I couldn't remove the flash. I think I need some more practice with faces anyhow, more research needed for the next one I think.

I really like the wild look in this guys eyes...he seems to be bordering on the red thirst as he carves up the foe!

 And finally the obligatory melta gunner! Never leave home without one.

Right, well that's it for now. As I mentioned in my last post I went to forgeworld yesterday and picked up a big box of goodies. Now I have all the parts I will need to make all the vehicles WYSIWYG and of course, beautiful! 
In the meantime I still have the second squad to paint! Back to the bloody layers and washes I guess.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Sons of Sanguinius: Blood Angels Progress

Hi folks,

I'm back in beautiful Leicester after spending Christmas with my family. So just to keep you ticking over until Saturday here are a few pictures of assault squad two. I have used army painter red primer for this squad rather than the standard black. Hopefully it will come out similar to the first squad in terms of red tone and it should cut the painting time down considerably!

Again pictures have been taken on my android in very poor light, but you get the idea...

These guys have been inked with baal red in preparation. The next wash will be with devlan mud.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Sons of Sanguinius: Blood Angels Progress

I know, I know, these pictures are about 2 weeks old. So the Squad is now actually finished (bar the 6th man which I haven't built yet) and the second squad has been primed and now sits ready for painting.

Anywho, enjoy the pictures (taken on my android, hence quality)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Student Nationals: Blood Angels List

It seems that I will be going to the student nationals this year for the first time! It's all very exciting, especially as it's in Cardiff this year, which means its much easier than previous years for me to get to. All the excitment aside, I find myself without a 40k army to use?! Strange huh? Well, I only actually own two armies and they are both designed to fit a 1750pt limit. The student nationals have stated a 1500pt limit, so that can only mean I need a new army!

'Wait a minute there Smurf. Why can't you just take 250pts out of either one of your other two lists.' Well I've tried that and they just don't play the way I like. They aren't especially bad?! They just don't feel right...almost like there's 250pts missing....strange! So I have decided to pick up a new army instead. Here's my first go at what I think is a valid blood angels list. Please criticise it and provide me with your thoughts:

Blood Angels: 1499pts


Reclusiarch:                                                                                                     130pts


Assault Terminators x5: Thunder Hammers, Storm Shields                           225pts


Assault Squad x6: 1x Melta Gun, Bolt Pistols, CCW’s                                 158pts
Assault Squad Sergeant: Bolt Pistol, Thunder Hammer
Razorback: Las-cannon and Twin-linked Plasma Guns, Extra Armour,        75pts
Dozer Blade

Assault Squad x6: 1x Melta Gun, Bolt Pistols, CCW’s                                 153pts
Assault Squad Sergeant: Bolt Pistol, Power Fist
Razorback: Las-cannon and Twin-linked Plasma Guns, Extra Armour,        75pts
Dozer Blade

Assault Squad x6: 1x Melta Gun, Bolt Pistols, CCW’s                                 153pts
Assault Squad Sergeant: Bolt Pistol, Power Fist
Razorback: Heavy Bolters, Extra Armour, Dozer Blade                                45pts


Baal Predator: Assault Cannons, Extra Armour, Dozer Blade                       135pts

Baal Predator: Assault Cannons, Extra Armour, Dozer Blade                       135pts


Storm Raven: Twin-linked Multi-melta, Extra Armour                                  215pts

Friday, 18 November 2011

Smurf Like Musings: Finding Geek Love?!

I thought I would sit down and write something a bit different for once. I appreciate that I haven't been the most productive over the last couple of months. Life as a proper student is somewhat different to what I was expecting and leaves very little time for hobby. So to fill a gap I thought I would revisit the more personal/thought provoking side to my blog.

Before I begin, I would like to state that as a single straight male I have written this article from that perspective. As a result, this article maybe of more interest to other males. That is not to say that I would not welcome a female perspective on any of my questions, indeed I would actively encourage you to contribute. All am saying is that this is a personal issue to me and has been written from that point of view.

The big topic today is probably as big as it gets...finding love. So 'what on Earth does this have to do with wargaming' I hear you cry. Well I thought it might be interesting to explore how compatible wargaming is with finding love since wargaming tends to take up a strong role in our lives. Just how much does the hobby matter when it comes to forming relationships?

I wrote an article some months back now where I addressed the level of commitment we make to wargaming as a hobby and how this can sometimes displace 'real life'. Well love is a big part of 'real life' and in my experience this can sometimes impact upon the way we go about forming relationships. Let me explain....

Types of Women:

Wargaming is definitely participated in by an increasingly diverse audience of men. What I mean by this is that the stereotypical 'nerd' type no-longer monopolizes the hobby. I'm sure those of you that regularly attend tournaments or a local club will agree that male wargamers come from all walks of life, participate in all sorts of jobs and have many other diverse hobbies outside wargaming. In fact, on the whole, many of these men could be described as 'genuine' and 'normal' the latter being a word not traditionally associated with wargaming.

So what types of women are we looking for? Those of you that are married or in relationships will definitely be able to contribute on this front if it's not to personal of course. The answer to this question I suspect is not that simple. Women are just as diverse as men when it comes to traits, hobbies and personality. Nor is wargaming an exclusively male hobby as is evident in the blogging community as well as my local wargaming club.

So is it important that she likes wargaming? Or is it more important that she tolerates it? In your experience is it important to you that your partner is interested in wargaming or other associated 'geek culture'. For instance, would you want to take your partner to your local club or to a tournament. How about sharing painting tips or having quiet nights in playing boardgames or watching the latest episode of 'insert relevant geek culture here'? I guess what I am trying to do is get you to question how important the hobby is to you and whether it is an aspect that you would want to share with a partner?

Personally, a positive attitude towards geek culture is more important than active participation. It may seem obvious to state but I could never get on well with someone who openly despised my hobby or at best was disinterested. This is because it does play a big role in my social life. Many of my friends are wargamers, I enjoy spending time and money on the hobby and I enjoy talking about the game. If my partner just wasn't interested in getting involved at a social level with my friends or me then it just wouldn't work. She doesn't have to play or paint herself, or even like wargaming. All I ask is that she makes an effort to get involved when appropriate and doesn't ridicule me or anyone else for playing wargames.  So for me, wargaming it's self is not that important to me as a trait in women. I look more for a tolerance and an general interest in wargaming as 'my hobby'. I am not interested if she doesn't want to come to club or tournaments etc... In fact my personal time is very important to me and I would prefer to keep my solid hobby time and relationship time separate. All partners in a relationship need their own space, I'm sure many of you will agree with that. Therefore, wargaming is often my escape.

Where to Meet Women:

This is a really tricky one because it's hard enough normally. I'm sure many of you will agree that although many great women play wargames, in proportion to men they are rare indeed! So relying on meeting Mrs Right at your local wargames club or a tournament is surely doomed to fail in most cases.

So where do we find wargamer friendly women? Well it may seem hard to believe, but actually most women already are! One of the hardest things I can admit to doing is dropping the 'I like wargaming' line into a conversation with a woman on a date. It's such a difficult thing to judge. Up until that point she may have no idea about your 'shameful' secrets, will it ruin it if I tell her? How late in the dating process to I leave it? Do I not mention it at all and invite her back...upon where she will notice the library of codecies and the boxes upon boxes of toy soldiers in my flat? Or do I invite her back knowing that I have hidden all of that beforehand and slowly but surely leave models lying around on subsequent visits? Or is honesty the best course and just tell her on the first date?

Well in my recent experience with dating, I have found that most nice genuine women don't care a jot. In fact they often say stuff like 'wow, I don't have the talent to paint stuff like that' or other such bollocks. In fact it becomes a conversation in it's own right. It's all part of the give and take of relationships, I mean we have just had to sit and patiently listen to her talk about her interests, which you might not necessarily share. But often it's not as bad as that and she genuinely is interested in that hobby side to you, just as she is in your musical tastes or sport.

I will go even further and make an unsubstantiated claim that not only is geek culture acceptable but also attractive! Now that is a claim ehh. Geeks attractive? What is the world coming to? Well just look at the Hollywood block busters of the last 10 years. Most of them have been superhero movies. Geek culture is becoming openly accepted in normal, everyday, popular society. Look at fashion, something I can never claim to know anything about, but geek chic took off. Batman logos on tee-shirts from River Island, storm troopers, superman, the list goes on. Suddenly society says that the quiet, sensitive geeky looking man is what you want and the confident sports enthusiast is an insensitive jerk and should be avoided. You have to love popular social stereotypes. Peter Parker is the new romantic modern man, fuck you James Bond!

So where do we meet women? Well in the same places everybody else does I guess. Pubs, clubs, the supermarket or in the house next door. The truth is, really nice women are everywhere, you just have to have the courage to ask. That's more of a personal failing rather than a warhammer based problem. 

Concluding Thoughts:

I wanted to write this article for two reasons. First I wanted to question your priorities when looking for that perfect woman and what role wargaming plays in making that decision. Secondly, I wanted to share some of my personal insights and experiences in the hope that it might shed some light on a subject that doesn't tend to be discussed in the wargaming community.

I would really welcome any personal insights you may have of your own, be you married, taken or single. I would be really interested to see what your personal answers would be to some of the questions I have proposed. It's also a bit of fun. There must be some warhammer based 'love stories floating around out there somewhere. 'We touched hands while both going to pick up the same dice' or 'I dropped a model on the floor and she picked it up for me' or 'she beat me so badly in a game that as a consolation prize she gave me her number!' God I would love to hear of any real stories like that! Wonderful!

Anyway, I'd like to leave you all with a quote from an online dating add I made as part of a personal social experiment titled 'Do women really like bastards?', enjoy.

Smurf: 'I have been told by women that I have puppy dog eyes. Although this is true, I would like to point out that the puppy was dead when I found it.'

Saturday, 15 October 2011

On the Smurf Bench: Looted Boom Wagon pt4

Just a quick update to prove that this project has not been forgotten. It's just hard finding time for hobby at the moment. Anyway, you can't see it in the pictures because the flash washes out all the white detail, but I have added the first armour layer to the whole hull. I have also added the wheel suspension and begun construction of the generator/engine.

I bought a pot of the new liquid greenstuff today, so I shall be having a go at gap filling soon.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

On the Smurf Bench: Looted Boom Wagon pt3

I managed to get the bits I needed yesterday from a friend at club, which has allowed me to mount the gun. I did consider building it separate from the main hull and having it fixed with magnets for easy of storage and transport. But I felt that this might hinder the excessive wiring I intend to do with that gun and the as yet to be made generators which power it. So all one piece it is. I guess I'll just have to be careful. Enjoy

Saturday, 17 September 2011

On the Smurf Bench: Looted Boom Wagon pt2

Well progress has been slow on the wagon this week because I'm still waiting on some parts from a friend (who forgot them this club). I was able to pick up some cool 'generator' looking ships from my local hobby shop from the firestorm armada range. When the weapons mounted to the tank I can start building all the generators and wiring everything up!

In the meantime, I began painting my lootaz again. I'm hoping to use them in my current list in place of the deff koptaz. So that means actually painting them. Trouble is there are just too many details, something I have found in the past. In which case it takes an age to paint one! Here's my progress so far:

Friday, 9 September 2011

On the Smurf Bench: Looted Boom Wagon

A great many moons ago I won a caption competition over at sonoftaurus' blog. The prize I chose was a large scale Walker bulldog tank, so what have I done with it?

Well I have begun turning it into a scratch boom wagon. Every now and then I get the plasticard itch and now is one of those times, so lets see how long it takes me to finish it.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

At um Like Blutcher!

Well, I'm completely caught in the web of Dystopian Wars at the moment. It's such a refreshing change of pace to 40k. Anyway, I dug my camera out today (had a really big sort out) and decided to take some pictures of the big guy in the fleet. The Blutcher Dreadnought is a real threat in the field. Boasting 2 shield generators and 4 turrets, it's pretty hard to put damage on this guy. Truly a king of the waves.

Anywho, enjoy the pics

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Concerned Musings: Warning, for Smurfs aged 18 and over!

Well, it's been troubling reading with regards to the 'new' sisters of battle 'codex' hasn't it?! Troubling reading indeed.

Now I'm no sisters of battle player (would love to be if the money was available) but Jesus, sometimes you just have to fuck them gently! Not hard and fast like GW, that's just plain rude sometimes. I mean yea sure, theres a time and a place for a good short, sharp, dirty, hard fucking! Don't get me wrong. But the sisters deserve a little better. A little more patience, tact...grace. They deserve to be held carefully in a gentle embrace, before telling them some bollocks like 'I love you' or 'your special'. They deserve respect and time and an opportunity to be listened to.

But boy oh boy have GW gone at them like a sewing machine in power surge! Imagine the mess, all those broken sisters, tired, feeling used, feeling unappreciated, wondering when the clinic opens in the morning! Looks like the sort of scene you see on a bubblegum machine or Dave in the morning doesn't it. So upsetting, such a waste.

If only there was something we could do to stop it. I mean if you had the chance to go back in time, you would stop Indiana Jones 4 from being made wouldn't you! This is surely another one of life's true crimes! Damn you Cruddace, one day it will come around to haunt you! Wargammers never forget!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I'm Ready To Go Again?!

I'm finally back on the web! After nearly two months of BT messing me about, virgin were able to do what they could not and ta da, as if by magic I can watch porn again fill out my next blog entry.

So whats been happening? Well its all change in my life at the moment. My PhD has started and I'm really getting into the spirit of it. Ran my first PCR yesterday and it came out perfect!

I'm in a new flat, which is great but sadly empty due to an acute furniture shortage. Although it is in a really good area and I haven't had any problems yet.

I've met some great people here already including all those involved in the University warhammer club. Its a big club with lots of terrain and everyone is really enthusiastic about lots of different games (including DW which is good times!).

So lifes settling in pretty well I feel.

In terms of wargaming, Not too much progress has been made. I was able to get a dreadnought and some destroyers for my Prussian fleet, which I can take some photos of soon. The dreadnought is especially awesome, such a good value for money piece.

I really need to crack on with painting the ork lootas I finished converting ages ago, but socialising and beer keeps getting in the way. Maybe when I run out of money, I'll get the paints out again?! 

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Smurf in Transtit

Dear viewers,

I, the smurf, am sorry to announce that there will be a delay in getting new material up onto this blog over the next month or so. I am currently smurfing my new life in the foreign land of England which, despite being born there, is new and exciting all the same.

As a result, details of my smurfing around will not likely be made public until such a time as I can be arsed to sit down and actually contribute. Fear not dear readers this should not be too long.

Best wishes,


Monday, 20 June 2011

Smurf Like Musings: Finally Some Good News!

Yes, yes, yes! After a volley of disappointing rumors surrounding the sisters of battle codex, Blood of kittens finally has some good news to share!

I'm not going to re-paste it all here as I'm sure you all have access to the news anyway. Instead, lets add my initial musings.

The Really Really Good News!

Chaos mother fudging legions! In your face anonymous, made-up, previously unknown, reject, traitor marines. You can take your lame fluff, characterless options and generic demons and geeeet out! We don't take kindly to lame reject traitor spacemarine chapters round here!

How long has this been coming?! I mean Mr Jervis did confirm this to me at games day last year but still its nice to hear it again. Jervis said he wanted to see an age when chaos had as many codecies as the spacemarines. A generic legions one, a renagades one and then one for each god all of which would be special character led. Well this is close enough for me as a start! Good times. I can get my Deathguard out again and start dishing out pain. Or I can do another legion. Oh oh I know, Nightlords, no Iron Warriors! Aww I just can't decide. Remember Smurf....Skyrim first then warhammer, your getting over excited!

New Addition 40k:

There are some cool bits a pieces in that list. Some changes are simply massive and I'm sure many other authors will take the opportunity to think about each one in detail. I'm more interested in seeing just how different the game will be. I love the strategy points idea with bidding for the first turn. I also like the changes to shooting as well. It just feels like they are making the game more grown up. I personally really like 5th ed. I certainly like it over 4th. But despite its easy to play attitude, there are still things in it that just so simple they don't make sense. Hopefully making the game more complex won't confuse it. I guess that's why they are aiming for a more complex structure but streamlined. I hope it works.

It will be nice to play a totally different game as well. It's a bit like a breath of fresh air isn't it. I mean, I have been playing 40k in this similar form for 13 years now. It does, and has, gotten old. However, what I have read today does genuinely excite me.   

Concerned Musings:

The main thing that concerns me about these rumors is the nature of the starter set. Its stated as being in 2 parts. One set includes the Dark Angels and the other half contains the Black Legion. I'm worried that these will not be the same value for money as previous sets. Blackreach was especially good value at £40 on first release, amazing! But this means that you cannot go in halves for £20-30 with a friend and try it. Instead they are likely to charge a minimum of £50 for each set and if your just starting out, your going to need a friend that really wants to start too. I'm not sure this is a good move to make. Personally I will probably buy one, as the models ARE going to be top notch quality. I just think from a beginners point of view, it's not value. I guess it all depends on the contents and price at the end of the day, none of which is known.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Smurf Tactica: The Prussian Fleet

(This picture has been borrowed from Spartan Games. Used without permission)

I have recently been playing a lot of Spartan Games' Dystopian Wars and since I get quite a bit of traffic from people looking for game reviews, I thought I would cover a few basic tactics I have picked up using the Prussian fleet. I will not be using terminology or stats lines from the game because I know many people that read this blog will not know what I'm talking about. Also, this sort of advice can be easily obtained from the Spartan Games forum. Instead, I just want to review each of the units that I have been using and provide a few tips on deploying and using the fleet.

For a review of the game mechanics and the products please click here!

For a demonstration of my painted fleet click here.

The General Rule:

The Prussians are generally all about speed and boarding. Boarding is by far the best way to knock a ship out quickly but only if you are good at it! Prussians are the best! Prussian ships don't tend to have much offensive gunnery power and so the strategy is generally to damage enemy vessels (which reduces their ack ack rating) and then assault them with boarders when you're ready. The speed of the Prussian ships always high and so this makes getting into a suitable boarding position much easier.

A secondary benefit of this tactic is that occupied vessels are worth double victory points! So winning is not really about the number of ships you sink but the number you own.

Ship Classes:

There are currently 4 classes of ships and 2 air variants available to buy from Spartan. I have personally only been using the contents of the starter box and the carrier. So all tips I provide will be based on that. Other build will of course play differently.

The Skyfortress!:

The Prussian Skyfortress is truly a beauty to behold! Basically a resin rugby ball, it dominates the sky with its awesome ack ack stats and elite boarding crew. Because it is a flying model, the skyfortress can make obscured movement, which means that attacks made against it can only ever hit on a 6+. This is essential, because it only has a movement of 6'' and so it can slowely advance without taking too much damage.

I tend to deploy mine in the middle of the board with a aerial accompaniment of 5 fighter planes. It then advances obscured to the middle of the board and provides anti flyer support. Its main strength is in its ability to board other ships. I has a complement of 9 boarders that kill on a role of 3+. This makes taking a relatively large ship (like a battleship) a possibility so it is very dangerous when it gets close!

The Battleship:

The Prussian battleship is a strange beast. It is the fastest of all the battleships from other nations but not be so much as it makes a true difference. Its not the most offensive either in terms of gunnery sporting 3 turrets (or 2 turrets and a generator), a mild broadside and teslas (which are rubbish). It's not the king of boarding either despite having 10 boarders as the Japanese also has 10 and the American ship has 9.  

The Prussian battleship is, however, a great all rounder. I use mine to smash enemy cruisers and do damage to other battleships before launching the all important boarding assault! Remember the trick is to capture the ships and not necessarily sink them. The Prussian battleship is not that good at sinking ships but it is good at damaging them (reducing their ack ack) and then boarding them next round! Being the fastest battleship, its also pretty maneuverable and so you can get it into a favorable position for boarding a little easier.

I tend to deploy mine near to the skyfortress with an accompaniment of 5 fighters. this allows it to respond to either side of the battle field as and when required.

The Cruisers:

The Prussian cruiser is my least favourite of the ship classes and its the varient that I have the most trouble defining. There have been many games where they have been completely unimportant and there have been games where they alone have won it for me. What makes them so awkward is that they aren't that offensive gunnery wise and they are also very vulnerable to damage.

Their main strengths lie in their speed and their boarding ability. Each cruiser can move 10'' and unleash 6 boarders upon the enemy. With an intact squadron that's a total of 18 boarders at one ship! They also have enough boarders each to reliably take an enemy frigate on their own, so that's a whole squadron of enemy frigates captured in 1 turn...nice!   

When linking fire, a squadron of cruisers can put out some serious offensive damage but because they are so vulnerable to damage themselves there is rarely a situation when the squadron can put out its best! If nothing else, the cruisers can act as a great fire magnet, drawing fire away from your most important ships (the frigates!) 

I tend to deploy my cruisers in a position to attack the enemy frigates. So it depends entirely on what the enemy deployment is. Never deploy them away from the bulk of your force. If you do they will be easily picked off.

The Frigates:

These are in my opinion by far the most important ships in the force and have been instrumental in winning me most of my games. What makes them so good is that they tick all 3 boxes when it comes to what you need in a small ship; they are fast, they have a very offensive turret and they have a good complement of boarders!

Because they are a small ship they are harder to hit by the larger ships, which allows them to rush right up to a battleship or a cruiser and smash it with a nice big combined gunnery attack! They also have 3 boarders each and so can easily take an enemy cruiser or even weardown a battleship when combined (9 boarders total with 3 frigates to a squadron).

I always group 3 squadrons of 3 together on one flank. This allows me to rush the enemy flank enmasse and cause all sorts of trouble. The primary objective of my frigates initially is to knock out the enemy frigates. One this has been done they move on to harassing the large ships up close. Launching a boarding assault on a battleship that's doomed to fail can be a good idea with frigates as they are essentially expendable. However, you will kill some of the guys on the enemy ship an make it easier to take with a more dedicated boarding unit like the skyfortress. Using these sorts of harassment tactics on enemy vessels will soon make your opponent rue the day he ignored them!  They are the work force for the whole fleet and should be looked after. If you lose your frigates, you have almost certainly lost the game (unless your opponent is in a similar mess of course).

Medium Bombers:

The Prussian Geiger class bomber is the most offensive unit that I have been using. It is not a good boarder and can only be useful in boarding actions in very special circumstances. It does, however, have a lot more gunnery than the other nations equivalents including a forward and rear facing tesla and bombs. Like the skyfortress it can fly obscured and so they can advance upon the enemy and then drop down and unload a rear tesla and bombs upon a medium/large ship! There is a downside to having so much gunnery and that is attracting enemy ack ack. Each squadron you taken can fire ack ack back so long as its in range. this makes getting in close and shooting a target in front and one in the rear a risky strategy as two targets worth of ack ack will come back at you before you make your attack rolls. Therefore great care should be taken when planning your attack.

I deploy mine on the opposite flank to the frigates and use them to pick off any isolated squadrons. I always move them obscured to protect them from harm and only attack when the situation is perfect for bomb dropping. I do sometimes use them to hunt enemy frigates as their ack ack is generally low and bombers have no trouble hitting them with gunnery.


The Prussians are a great fleet to use if you are patient and good at planning ahead. They are not about sinking other ships with systematic fire. Instead it takes a little more finesse and a great deal of careful forward planning to get all the ships into position in order to board effectively. It also takes patients and prioritisation skills in order to plan a multi-layered attack. The Prussians cannot take everything on at once as each ship generally tend to be quite fragile. Position and timing is everything.

I hope both players and lurkers alike find this article helpful when using the Prussian fleet. As I use new ship classes (like the new medium airships!) and play around with the force composition I'll learn new tricks and post them up here. Until then enjoy!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Ebay Sale: Bretonnian Army

Hello guys and gals,

Unfortunately due to space issues and my imminent move I am selling off my beloved Bretonnain Army. It has represented my only foray into square bashing and I must say it has been a really fun army to use, even in 8th ED!

The auction can be found here.

Alas she must go but first, here are the pictures: