Monday, 18 August 2014

Unleash Hell

A tough act to follow.
 So my last post proved very popular indeed: not just the most viewed post on my blog since i started it but more views than the second and third most viewed posts put together.  A mass of likes on Facebook and even a share to a distant gaming societies wall.  For someone who considers himself a crap painter it's high praise indeed.

Somehow I must struggle on, even though I know deep down nothing I can post afterwards can go down as well.  It's like second album syndrome for nerds.  This must be how the Happy Mondays felt.

Anyway, as much as I'd like a functioning Chaos Dwarf army we're going to stick with terrain for now and with something I'm working on for my next apocalypse game in the middle of September.

The start of my first Apocalypse game with Dave.

 I've played Apocalypse twice now - once a 7000 point offering with just me and Dave, the other a 9000 point a side offering with 3 vs 4 teams.  These games were fun but did involve moving huge columns of troops without many of the "fancy" things that define Apocalypse for others - Super-Heavy Tanks, Warhound Titans, Thunderhawk Gunships, Predator Squadrons and the like.

Rory's ace scratch-built Stompa from the Aporkalypse game.

Our second game had a few more of the fancy things on the Ork side - they could pool their troops into the formations easier, plus one of them scratch built a wicked Stompa.  But for my poor Chaos chaps it was just a swarm of regular guys and, as fun as getting everyone on the table is, it doesn't feel truly "big" to just fire twenty five Sonic Blasters or Thirty Bolt Pistols - I want something really bonkers

"If this is really what you want... the code is 'Midnight Sun'"
What caught my eye flicking through Apocalypse wasn't the Chaos toys but the Aquila Strongpoint, a mega bunker which can be outfitted with a silo of seven Vortex Missiles.  A giant base to fight from can just be terrain in a smaller battle or a fully operational location of death in a bigger one.  Vortex weapons were a bigger part of earlier edition so they make the grognard in my happy.

There's just one teeny tiny problem which becomes apparent when you look up the item on GW's web site.

Seventy notes, people!

It costs seventy quid - that's a big ask for something you won't get to use in many games.  Alas this is the problem with many Apocalypse items - you need to spend a lot of money for the large tanks/walkers/flyers/monsters/etc but then you'll only drop them on the table periodically.  Seventy quid on the core of an army is a solid investment - seventy quid on a fringe item less so.

(It's also, according to people who own it, not a hugely pretty kit for the cost involved.)

So, there goes that plan, right? 

Same title, different contents - the 2003 copy on the left, the 1996 copy on the right
Well, not quite.  I've had books on scratchbuilding warhammer terrain almost as long as I've had Warhammer - I got the old red "How To Make Wargames Terrain" book back when it first came out in 1996 and I also own the 2003 copy.  I've made various hills, rock-spires, boulders and even a few buildings for my 40K table - and I feel pretty confident that, while I can't make anything as pretty as the official Aquila Strongpoint, I can make something recognisable as it for a fraction of the cost.  Like all wargaming nerds I hang on to all manner off cardboard, plastic and polystyrene odds and ends which I'm sure I can repurpose to the task in hand!

So first up is the body.  We need something large and octagonal, which would be odd..... were it not for a purchase I made a year or so ago.

Not exactly the same but close enough.
For Valentines Day I got Ailsa a gift box from Lush, a company who specialise in bath bombs and other cosmetics.  This lovely octagonal box is something I hung on to - I turned the lid into the start of a Skyshield Landing Pad, and I had intended to turn the body into a temple or similar large building.  While it isn't exactly the same size - it's only about 21cm or 22cm across versus the official Aquila Strongpoint clocking in at about 27cm across - it's about right to give the clear nature of the model and saves me mucking about trying to build an even octagonal shape myself.

Of course such a building needs detail built onto it including the barricades which surround the top.  But once again I have a solution for that....

Something classier than most Glasweigans get in a ten pound bag.
 From my local gaming shop I got myself a Sci-Fi Defence Line kit from Mantic.  For just £10 you get all the bits to make a defence line for your troops complete with communications satellite and defence laser - roughly half the price of GW's own Aegis Defence Line.  It isn't quite as chunky as GW's kit but has more pieces and is more multi-purpose as it combines with the walls & floor sections of the rest of the Mantic Battlezones kits to let you cover a whole table, then potentially pop it all back into pieces and store it flat.

Each £10 kit comes with six standard length barricades, plus two short and two long.  I reckon ten standard and one long ought to do me to do the barricades for my Aquila - eight regular around the top, two regular for front and diagonal of the side building and one large for the last edge of the side building.  That's two kits, or one kit cloned a few times - and adds some vital texture to the cardboard building.

I'll be using a fair bit of this as well.

As I write this cardboard is getting chopped, Milliput is getting rolled and measurements are being taken.  While I do want to get back to the Chaos Dwarfs, I also want to give my opponents a bit of a fright at the next Apocalypse game when I start shooting Vortex Missiles at them from across the table.  So.... I think this will be my project for the next wee bit!

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