In painting these I decided not to spray them (I'm not good with Army Painter sprays or my GW spray gun). If I were doing this again I'd change that decision, painting them by brush wasn't very entertaining and took up precious painting time. If I do another Marine army I'll look into buying a proper airbrush. I am also wondering just how bad an idea it was to glue the weapons on at this stage, it made them useable for a game but looks to make painting the detail on their chests and the backs of their guns pretty awkward.
FIRST BATTLE...Last week I was lucky enough to get a game in against a Chaos army, playing at 1850 points. My list was (roughly):
- Techmarine with Power field generator
- Company Command Squad (Banner of Devastation)
- 3 x Tactical Squad
- 1 x Assault Squad
- 1 x Devastator Squad
- Dreadnought (Lascannon, Missile Launcher)
- Land Raider Crusader
- Defence Line + Quad Gun
They faced (from memory):
- Daemon Prince with wings
- 2 x Chaos Space Marine Squads (Lascannon)
- 1 Thousand Sons unit
- Chaos Cultist Squad
- 3 Chaos Spawn
- 2 Obliterators
We rolled The Emperor’s Will as the scenario and Vanguard Strike for the set up. The terrain ended up being pretty sparse with lots of buildings in each of our deployment zones and a fairly intimidating stretch of empty space standing between the two armies. With the bulk of the two armies facing hunkering down in their own deployment zones, the first turn saw the Chaos Space Marines send a fast-moving flanking force down the left side (Daemon Prince, Maulerfiend and 3 Spawn), the Thousand Suns down the right, while the rest hung back. Some decent shooting took out the Dark Angel dreadnought giving the Chaos army a victory point for First Blood and removing the lynchpin of the left flank making it extremely likely that they’d get to their target intact. In return the Marines shot down the Maulerfiend and Ezekiel, tried to buff the Tactical Squad that was about to get mashed (he succeeded with Prescience to allow them to reroll 1s in shooting but failed to get Foreboding going (which, had it worked would have meant they’d have 40 BS4 overwatch shots at the charging unit). Curses!
Turn two saw the Heldrake appear, I’d heard they were good but wasn’t prepared (mentally or tactically) for the reality which was that it’d remove five marines a turn until it died. This turn it took off my Devastator squad and Marine-morale skydived - with my two shootiest units gone this wasn’t good! As predicted the Daemon Prince and the Spawn annihilated the Tactical Unit, it looked like the Marine’s left flank was gone… In desperation (and sensing the end had already come), I sent Ezekiel and five Assault Marines over to the Daemon Prince planning a three-spell combo that might (just) give him a chance to fight the DP on equal terms: Mindworm to bring the DP’s initiative down to his level, Prescience to allow him to reroll to hit rolls, and, hopefully, once in combat a final Warp Power point would be left to activate his force weapon for Instant Death! Mindworm failed, it wasn’t looking good! Nonetheless the Marines charged in. Acting rather out of character, the Khornate Daemon Prince decided not to challenge Ezekiel and took out the five Assault Marines leaving the Master Librarian free to strike back. Ezekiel caused one wound, activated his force sword and sent the Daemon back to the warp! With that the Marines were back in the game. To make matters worse for the Chaos Marines, the death of the Daemon Prince gave the Dark Angels two victory points (Kill the Warlord and another for Ezekiel’s warlord trait ‘The Hunt’). As Paul remarked, it was a fair punishment for the uncharacteristic cowardice of the Daemon Prince that lost the Chaos Marines a game that was all but in the bag – if he’d challenged the Librarian things would have been very different indeed!
The remainder of the game saw the Dark Angels slowly whittled down by the superior firepower of the Chaos army but there wasn’t anything in the Chaos army bold, fast, or tough enough to make it across the battlefield to contest the Marine objective. This was largely thanks to the Land Raider which, although immobilized from turn two, displayed a remarkable ability to ignore being shot at, and which was capable of laying down a ludicrous number of bolter shots thanks to the Banner of Devastation. The Heldrake would take out another unit of marines off before being punched to death by Assault Marines and, despite a last-minute dash across the table by the Company Command Squad (who finally abandoned the Land Raider) neither objective changed hands by the end of the game. The result, a great game and a 5-4 win to the Marines.
I'm pretty impressed with the list which proved to be very good fun to play. The Banner of Devastation worked well and I was amazed by the survivability of a Land Raider with a Techmarine aboard, on the other hand I'm conscious of the lack of firepower here to help deal with enemy armour and fliers (though I had a Quad Gun in the list). Noting this deficiency my canny opponent took out the dreadnought in the first turn and the devastators in turn two. To remedy this I'm calling in some reinforcements in the form of another unit of Assault Marines, this time toting a power fist and a pair of melta guns. Before I can do that I'll need to get hold of some more Assault Squad shoulder pads, which brings me on to...
SHOULDER PADSYou can't see it in the picture above, but I used GW's Dark Angel Shoulder pads on the Assault Marines. I'm not entirely convinced by the quality of these, as you can see from the picture below they're a fair bit smaller than the plastic shoulder pads so combining them looks a bit off (though this squad has metal pads on each side so it's harder to tell. The sculpting is a bit basic too (not up to the level of the current plastics for detail and the chapter symbol is a little off centre). Here's a size-comparison picture:
LAND RAIDER ASSEMBLYFinally, the Land Raider is getting built up but I decided to do it in sections to make painting a bit easier. Here's a picture of the sub-assemblies. I could easily have done this in more pieces (leaving the tracks off might have been sensible) but as it is the model is useable on the table and that's important to me given the speed at which I paint (or, more accurately, the time I've got for painting). Here are the bits:
I'm loosely basing this on Garfy's 'How To' post on Tale of Painters.