Sunday, 16 July 2017

Power from Paint: A Murder of Crows

Welcome back to the Vault once again. With Critical Engagement now a week behind me, my hobby focus has turned back again to 40K, 8th edition and my lovely lovely Dark Eldar.  The new edition has of course brought about some changes to the pecking order of the usefulness of different units and that's an excuse to build some new kits!

My local games store (Warhammer Kingston) is participating in the summer global campaign entitled "The Fate of Konor", and I've signed up to take part, hoping to get a few games in and as a focus for the next push on modelling and painting.

The Konor System; rated 5 Stars on RaidAdviser
It has become readily apparent that AP modifiers are golden in this edition to enable you to deal with both heavy infantry and tanks effectively.
  • Cover adding as a buff to Infantry armour is an utter pain in the arse when you are using splinter weaponry.
  • Vehicles get armour saves now; just stacking on wounds with high strength shots (as you could do with scatter laser spam last edition) isn't good enough anymore.
So I want to add some more of these weapons into my forces and for Dark Eldar we are looking in the main at: 
  • Dark Lances: The work horse for Anti Tank (High Str, Good AP, Good Damage)
  • Blasters: In bit of a funny place with the same Str and AP as Dark Lances, but reduced damage and range. These fill a hole dealing with Heavy Infantry and taking the odd wound here and there off vehicles
  • Disintegrators. Amazing against heavy infantry (really good rate of fire, and the constant D2 means they are great against Termies, Primaris marines and so on.  Only available as vehicle mounted weapons.
  • Heat Lances: Lowish strength potentially mitigates their effectiveness against vehicles, but they have godly AP and good damage (really good at close range with re-rolls). 
  • Haywire Blasters. Really really odd weapons. They have the potential to cause mortal wounds on vehicles but have a low rate of fire. May be useful for pinging the last wound or two off tanks. May be.
As an aside there are also Blast Pistols which are essentially Blasters but with a very limited range, and Shredders, which seem very underwhelming to me (short range, moderate strength but no AP and limited damage); they are definitely anti infantry weapons in my mind.  These two weapons do provide the canny Archon with another resource however; kit bash time!

Extra Blaster!
We can take the Shredder body and combine it with the muzzle of the Blast Pistol to create a very convincing blaster. Two blasters out of each Kabalite box then!    

I really wanted to work on a Disintegrator Ravager this weekend as they look amazing on paper and I have a game next weekend. Alas Hobby Dave informed me they are Direct Only when I visited the store, and they are out of stock on the Web Store! Seems every Archon has come to the same conclusion as me.

I have a bunch of Disintegrators left in the bits box from previous builds so I experimented with a cut/drill/pin to see if I can get both a disintegrator and a lance on the same weapon mount. I think it's possibly with a thin enough pin, but I clutzed the drilling and ending up damaging the dark lance weapon mount I was working on. Doh!

I have mounted a spare Disintegrator in the turret so my raider can at least go to war armed properly:

Saved from disaster
Let's continue the digression for a second. The visit to the store has also given the opportunity to watch Zach play his Ynnari and Harlequin forces. They are really strong in 8th.  One of the units which piqued my interest was Zach's use of Shining Spear Jet Bikes, which get good Str, AP and Damage in both shooting and assault. 

Now I happen to have a small unit of the old Eldar jet bikes, and a fairly extensive bitz box. So with a bit of judicious searching, then snipping and sticking we have a unit of Shining Axes:


...and Shooty
Pretty gnarly looking, but they will do they job and no doubt a decent paint job will help. I'm thinking an Incubi-type colour scheme as the Axe pieces are left over from the WFB Executioners I'm using for the bulk of my Incubi.  One of the nice changes about 8th edition is I can fit these guys into my Dark Eldar list without paying a Troop or HQ tax using the Aeldari Faction keyword.

I've got another "aside" project, but I'll save that for the end of the article. On with the main event now.

There comes a point in every serious army build project when you decide the one Heavy Weapon which comes in the standard troop box is Not Enough and you go scrabbling for the Devestators or Sternguard equivalent boxes. To my thinking for Dark Eldar this is the Scourges box set. The pain is you only get one of each weapon in the box. Double Doh! So sucker I am, I have gone nuts and bought 4 boxes! Squillions of shooty weapons for my expanding forces.

Experimenting with a new model kit is one of my favourite aspects of the hobby, and the Scourges kit is absolutely gorgeous. The models exude an alien, avian vibe, with an air of fragility you might expect of Dark Eldar. First up I've built a squad armed with Heat Lances, led by a Solarite with a Shard Carbine:

Fiery shooty death

Poisony shooty death
These guys job will be likely deep strike duty to go find characters skulking at the back of forces and take their heads, hence the title of this article; a Murder of Crows!

I've started the next unit build, likely arming the foul crebain with Dark Lances or Blasters, but these are still on the work bench for the time being.

The final "aside" project I mentioned is another WFB/Dark Eldar mash up! I will have plenty of spare heavy weapons and shard carbines from the scourge sets, so I decided to have a go at making a blinged up Kabalite Trueborn squad (which can take multiple heavy and special weapons) based on Black Ark Corsairs:

Wearing a cloak made from the hide of the dreaded Sand Vipers!
 Looks pretty good, using a spare Kabalite warrior head, the scourge shard carbine, and everything else as is from the corsair sprue.

So a really fun and productive few hours of hobby, and it has got the little grey cells thinking about some other possible hobby projects. I'm enjoying mashing Fantasy and Sci Fi bits, and I quite like the idea of Dark Aspect Warriors, using Dark Eldar bits to represent other Eldar units; a Scourge would be the ideal basis for a Dark Autarch with Swooping Hawk wings. Hmmm, lots to ponder.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.

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