Monday, July 28, 2008

Eisenhorn Review

One thing that can be said about the Black Library's novels is that they are of varying quality. Some of their authors are excellent, while others are just so-so. But Dan Abnett is one of GW's best authors, if not the best, so I thought I'd give him a chance and see what he could say about the Inquisition.

I was a little leery of picking up the Eisenhorn omnibus, mainly because of the background of the Inquisition that I have seen thus far. I was not interested in a novel about some hardliner Inquisitor who is surrounded by servo-skulls and cherubim and fanatical followers, doing nothing but screaming "Purge the heretic!" and "Exterminatus!" with spittle flying from his mouth, smacking down the plebian of the Imperium with his overblown self-righteouness. Fortunately, Abnett gives us nothing of the kind. Inquisitor Eisenhorn, while a devoted servant of the Emperor, comes off as a pragmatic detective, fully aware that while his badge of office can call down the might of the Imperium on his enemies, he still has some limitations and can get killed if he's not careful. He knows that he could just storm the bad guy's hideout with troops, but is savvy enough to know that the subtler approach is frequently more productive.

Eisenhorn's character matures as the story progresses. While the three novels are definitely linked adventure stories, they also form a detailed character study of Eisenhorn himself, and how he changes, in some ways drastically, throughout his career.

The story is fast paced and exciting, and never lost my interest. In fact, I would say without hesitation that Eisenhorn is by far the best Black Library novel I've read to date.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Raven Guard Army

I was very much attracted to the background of the Raven Guard. They weren't litany spouting fanatics like the Black Templars, and they specialized in special operations type raids, while still being capable of taking the enemy head on if necessary. They encourage initiative and independent thinking in their commanders. (If only I could live up to their example...) Since the Raven Guard are described as having limited resources with respect to heavy equipment, and having access to the older suits of armor (especially Mk 6 Corvus Armor), I thought they were the perfect marines to be represented by my oldest miniatures, including the first plastic space marines ever released, back in 1989 (I think).

This army was most recently featured in the Silex Campaign, a series of four battle reports.

Elements of the Raven Guard 4th Company and supporting units

Captain Shrike, or in my incarnation, Captain Aidenn of the 4th Company

Command Squad with Lightning Claws

Techmarine Passerion


Tactical Squad 1 with transport

Tactical Squad 2

Tactical Squad 3

Tactical Squad 4

Assault Squad 7 (without jump packs)

Assault Squad 8-Alpha

Devastator Squad 9

Devastator Squad 10

Predator Destructor

Land Speeder Typhoon


Army List
Captain Aidenn (counts as Captain Shrike) - 175pts
Aidenn's Wing (counts as Shrike's Wing) - 306pts

Terminator Squad (Assault Cannon, Heavy Flamer, Sgt. with Power Sword) - 230pts
Techmarine - 65pts

Tactical Squad (Plasma Gun, Missile Launcher, Sgt. with Terminator Honors, Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol) with Rhino (Smoke Launchers) - 248pts
Tactical Squad (Flamer, Missile Launcher) - 166pts
Tactical Squad (Flamer, Sgt. with Terminator Honors, Power Weapon, Bolt Pistol) - 181pts
Tactical Squad (Flamer, Missile Launcher) - 166pts
Scout Squad (Heavy Bolter, 6 sniper rifles) - 139pts

Fast Attack
Assault Squad (w/out jump packs, 2 Flamers, Sgt. with Terminator Honors, Power Fist & CCW) - 192pts
Assault Squad (w/jump packs, Sgt. with Terminator Honors, Power Fist & Plasma Pistol) - 150pts
Land Speeder Typhoon (Multimelta) - 85pts

Heavy Support
Devastator Squad (4 Heavy Bolters) - 195pts
Devastator Squad (4 Missile Launchers) - 170pts
Predator Destructor (Sponson Heavy Bolters, pintle Storm Bolter)

Total: 2468 points

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tyranid Swarm

Here is a gallery of my Tyranid Swarm. It contains some of the oldest miniatures in my collection, some Genestealers and Tyranid Warriors from the early 90s. The paint scheme has slowly evolved with time, as has the army composition as well. I don't think that the swarm will ever be truly "completed" as there is always room for more bugs!
The whole Tyranid swarm

The first Hive Tyrant, armed with Venom Cannon and Scything Talons.

The second Hive Tyrant, this one I modeled to look like he's swinging around the rocks, ready to pounce.

And my third Hive Tyrant, this one from Forgeworld.

My deathspitter warriors, which came with the old game Advanced Space Crusade, way back in the old days.

The new Lictor, one of the more recent additions.

The old special character "The Red Terror", but in this Hive Fleet, it's the "Purple Terror"

The Broodlord, one of the most recent additions to the swarm.

Army List
Winged Hive Tyrant with Scything Talons x2, Toxin Sacs, and Warp Field - 178pts
Winged Hive Tyrant with Scything Talons, Rending Claws, and Toxin Sacs - 139pts
Hive Tyrant with Venom Cannon, Scything Talons, Extended Carapace, Enhanced Senses, Toxin Sacs, and The Shadow in the Warp - 170pts
3 Tyrant Guard with Rending Claws and Lashwhips - 90pts
Broodlord with Extended Carapace, Toxin Sacs, and 6 Genestealers - 186pts

3 Tyranid Warriors with Enhanced Senses, Deathspitters, and Rending Claws - 90pts
3 Tyranid Warriors with Scything Talons and Rending Claws, Leaping, and Toxin Sacs - 105pts
3 Tyranid Warriors, one with Devourer and Scything Talons, one with Venom Cannon and Scything Talons, one with Rending Claws and Scything Talons - 80pts
3 Lictors - 240pts

12 Genestealers - 192pts
10 Genestealers - 160pts
10 Genestealers - 160pts
32 Hormagaunts with Toxin Sacs - 384pts
32 Termagants with Fleshborer - 192pts
6 Ripper Swarms - 60pts

Fast Attack
3 Raveners with Devourer and Scything Talons x2 - 144pts
10 Gargoyles - 120pts

Heavy Support
3 Zoanthropes with Psychic Scream - 135pts
2 Carnifexes with Barbed Strangler, Scything Talons, Toxin Sacs and Enhanced Senses - 254pts
2 Biovores with Bio-acid Mines - 110pts

Total: 3234pts