The growing season is winding down, and the farm's first year is almost behind me. It was an interesting year, but you don't really care much about that. The great news is that I now have a little bit of free time to myself to work on 40K. Granted, it's not an immense amount of time. Just a half hour or so each weekday while my son is at school, but that's a lot when compared to the last year or so. I'm specifically setting that half hour block aside each morning after the farm animals are fed, but before I work on other farm projects. Expect to see more frequent "small bite" blog posts from me. I'm hoping to take at least one picture every other day, excluding weekends. This may all fall to pieces, but it's good to have dreams.
So with all that being said, what are my immediate plans? Well, I've had a six-man Raven Guard Assault Squad in the works for what feels like ages (and probably is). Two flamers and a sergeant with a lightning claw in the squad, backed up by a trio of pistol/chainsword Marines. I know six is an unusual number for a squad, but I was working on burning up the remainder of my old Assault Marine bits. I had six torsos and legs, so I built six Marines.
Here's a shot of them as they sit right now:
Black-armored Marines don't photograph well. I think I may need to print up a colored gradient sheet to put behind them from now on.
I've named the unit "Assault Squad Cyrax." Sergeant Aron Cyrax is a veteran of numerous campaigns against the Greenskin filth. Yes, the name is from Mortal Kombat 3. Everyone loves robot ninja assassins! Maybe I'll have a Sektor and Smoke unit?
Once these guys are done, I'll be turning my sights to the annual Standish Standoff in November, the FLGS's annual autumn event. It's 1750 points this year, max of two Factions per army. I'll be taking my Raven Guard, and have been drafting up various lists. I've got a couple ideas kicking around revolving around a Talon Strike Force built on the back of a Battle Demi Company. The struggle I'm having is that the Battle Demi and Pinion Demi (Raven Guard version of the generic Demi Company) require a bunch of Tactical Marines. I'd need to paint fifteen, plus another HQ. I'd be paring almost every unit down to bare bones in order to fit in the rest of my RG models, because my Leviathan Siege Dreadnought is NOT sitting on the sidelines. I want to play with units I like. The formation benefits are great, but there are just so many rules!
I'm seriously thinking about going back to basics and running my Raven Guard as a CAD. ObSec on the Troops and that's it to worry about. Let the army run on the merits of its component units, not on janky and sometimes downright confusing bonuses (played against Tau formations recently?). It might help me out as a player to run my units "pure" before I try to run them "special." Is anyone else sick of the millions of special rules coming about from Formations and overarching Detachments?
Also of note is that I split the Death Masque box with another player at the FLGS...I took the Harlequin half. Yes, that's right, I own fancy schmancy Space Elves. Perhaps the fanciest and schmanciest of the bunch! I wanted something other than black power armor to paint every now and then. I put aside my anti-elf bias that dates back to my D&D days long enough to see how interesting and challenging these models will be. I will likely be assembling them as six-model troupes and then painting them in pairs or trios in between all the Raven Guard models. I've not picked a color palette yet, but I'm hoping to avoid blue and black due to the history of my Marine armies (Ultramarines and Raven Guard). I quite like the look of the Shattered Mirage (teal and white with red/white checking). I also have to think about how to base models like that. I believe many of the models have integral wraithbone base bits in order to make them stand up on a base at all.
I'm hoping to capitalize on my half-hour-a-day blocks and paint up a whole bunch of my existing Space Marine kits. I'd really like to have half my stash painted by the New Year. In fact, I think I'll do a full inventory soon, post the list here on the blog, and do a little self-imposed challenge to get half the stuff done by January. Sprinkling Harlequins in there should help break up the monotony.
Here's to having a plan and at least a little time to implement it!