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GrandMaster Raziel
I live in Scotland but I'm originally from Texas. I've been an avid gamer since the early '80s and have played just about every game out there. I have a lovely wife and 5 children, so getting the life / gaming balance is always important.
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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy.... oh you know the rest....

Hi Folks

It has been way too long since my last post! What a great time of year to make a resolution to motivate myself and others (hopefully) through what I post.  On my list of projects currently is....

- Complete my OOP Dark Reapers, these guys have waited many long years for some TLC and they need it bad.

- I am planning to scratchbuild 2 waveserpent turrets, so I will be posting some tutorials into the process....

- One project that has derailed my train of thought lately was the converting of 9 jetbikers into a seer-council (Will post pics soon).  I will post pics of my scultping and conversion work and then painting of the council.

- And hopefully to get in some more games before Conflict Scotland and report back....

And in not the to distant future, I am looking at securing my first Titan!  It will be for my Saim Hann of course and I haven't yet decieded on the pulsars or sonic lances, so feedback would be much appreciated....

Plus in the next few days I'll be making an announcement that has someone close to me very VERY happy, more soon!

Cheers, Merry Christmas, and a safe and Happy New Year!!!
Friday, 19 November 2010

1K Eldar Tournament List Vs 'Nids Batrep

 Okay, I got in a game last night vs some 'nids and with a tweak to my list did very well indeed.  Instead of taking scatter lasers, I dropped them in favor of shuriken cannons and that freed up enough points to increase the size of each jetbike sqd by 1 and gave the farseer "guide"

This is the list I ran with....
Farseer Seer Council
   1 Farseer - TL Shuriken Catapults; Ghosthelm; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade
         Farseer spells - Doom, Fortune, Guide 
  4 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade          Warlock spells - Embolden, Enhance, 2 x Destructor

Guardian Jetbike Squadron 1
    5 Guardian Jetbikes - TL Shuriken Catapults; Eldar Jetbike
    2 Guardian Jetbikes - Shuriken Cannon; Eldar Jetbike
    1 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade
Guardian Jetbike Squadron 2
    5 Guardian Jetbikes - TL Shuriken Catapults; Eldar Jetbike
    2 Guardian Jetbikes - Shuriken Cannon; Eldar Jetbike
    1 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade    War Walker Squadron
   3 War Walkers - Spirit Stones;
Shuriken Cannon , Shuriken Cannon 
My Eldar set up as far forward as possible

Here are some of the 'nids.  The list included...
1 broodlord and 11 genesteelers, 2 lictors, 1 Tyranid Prime and 5 Warriors, and 2 groups of 20 Hormoguants.  I think the list came up to 1075 or so.

Now the mission was annialation and the set-up was pitched battle.  I won the toss and elected to go first.  My aim was to do an alpha strike and mop up gameI started my war walkers as far forward as possible and used their scout move to get into a good firing position.  I ensured that my farseer was within 6" of at least 1 walker as on the first turn I guided up the walkers and fortuned the council.

I moved jetbike sqd 1 into a covering possition to keep the walkers from getting over-run and I set the 2nd jetbike sqd out to do a flanking run by turbo boosting them to the other side of the board near the burnt trees,  I was now that I figured I had to get rid of his tyranid prime and so the walkers concentrated on it and the warriors.  My rolls were amazing and at the end of my 1st turn (with an assist from the jetbikes) the warriors and tyranid prime were mauled with only 3 warriors remaining and the prime each on 1 wound.  

When the nids got their first turn, the prime and warriors sat back to let the guants through and that proved fatal.  Since he had no shooting and access routes across the board covered, he was walking into a killing zone.  

My turn 2 saw my farseer fortune up the council and guide the walkers again.  This time the walkers were able to mop up the Tyranid prime and his buddies on their own leaving the jetbikes to decimate the gaunts leaving only 4 standing.  The second jetbike squad in the meantime got inot firing position behind the 2nd group of homoguants and killed 2 with long range cannon shots.  This left my council to finish off the 4 guants in close combat, I took 2 wounds but easily saved.

Well 'Nids turn 2 brought in the lictors and 'Steelers from the opposite side of the board (my starting corner) and seeing the threat of the hormoguants waining I turned my jetbikers and council to meet them leaving the walkers to finish off the last of the 'guants.  With a combo of long range cannon shots and good positioning of my council, over the last 2 turns I first killed of the lictors and then the steelers having my council close in on the last steeler to finish him off in style.

Now this was the best result I could of gotten, no losses and everything dead.  I am sure alot of it came down to some great rolling on my part early in the game and good use of the terrain (It is a very hard board to play on if your on foot ;) )

I am hoing to get a few more games in soon so I will keep you posted...

Thursday, 4 November 2010

1k Saim Hann Tournament List

Hi Folks,

Tonight my local club is meeting and I am going with the following list for testing.  I have been trying out several variations to mixed results.  All this is prep work for Conflict Scotland in the new year (I am starting early so I both know what models to paint first and I get few chances to play lately).  I know that by the time the tourney rolls around the Dark Eldar spam lists will be floating about as well as the current marine armies and as a newish Eldar player (first time taking my Eldar to tournament) it will be a real challenge to pull off a win.   

Farseer Seer Council
   1 Farseer - TL Shuriken Catapults; Ghosthelm; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade
         Farseer spells - Doom, Fortune 

  4 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade
         Warlock spells - Embolden, Enhance, 2 x Destructor

Guardian Jetbike Squadron 1
    4 Guardian Jetbikes - TL Shuriken Catapults; Eldar Jetbike
    2 Guardian Jetbikes - Shuriken Cannon; Eldar Jetbike

    1 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade

Guardian Jetbike Squadron 2
    4 Guardian Jetbikes - TL Shuriken Catapults; Eldar Jetbike
    2 Guardian Jetbikes - Shuriken Cannon; Eldar Jetbike

    1 Warlock - TL Shuriken Catapults; Rune Armour; Eldar Jetbike; Shuriken Pistol; Witchblade
War Walker Squadron
   3 War Walkers - Spirit Stones; Scatter Laser; Scatter Laser

Now the list is at the 1k level because the tournament is a Doubles tourney of 2 500pt armies to make up a combined 1000pts.  To further challenge myself, my partner is none other that my own daughter, Jessica, and she is a novice player and will be in charge of the Jetbike troops while I handle the Seer council and war walkers.
Now local players currently play a mix of IG, Space Marine, Tau, and Chaos Daemons and Marines.  Getting a chance to play against other armies will be difficult.  So any orks or other races not mentioned feel free to comment on my list.
I will post a batrep tonight and hopefully have some good news to report :)

Cheers and Happy Hunting

Total Points - 1004
Thursday, 21 October 2010

Coming out of the closet....

Hi there folks,

I was recently reminded of some boardgames I had lurking in a closet.  My kids had found them and, by all accounts, had a smashing time.  After they had gone( I dare not show them all my games) I had a look at the collection and came across some real gems.  There was the 2nd ed. Spacehulk along side the newer version.  Also there was Car Wars, by Steve Jackson Games with the original pocket ruleset.  The hours I spent playing some of these games I guess is about the same kids today spend on their mobile phones, PSP's or DS's.  But I wonder which (if either) is better.  I know I spent alot of time playing old board games, even to the point of spending an entire summer recreating the battle of the bulge in Squad Leader!

So I have to think to myself, do I have to accept my kids attraction to the latest techno-gizmo console since I was also given to playing any number of games.  Or is it right to steer them clear of a path of wasted afternoons and fresh air.  After all, I imagine had I been born in these times I too would have much better thumb response times and not been so pasty when I was younger...

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Going 'ol school for this one...

Hiya Folks

Here are the 10 Dark Reapers I am working on next.  They are all old models so the detail will be harder to get to (the newer models are easier to paint imo).

I hope to have these done in a few days, hopefully all will go to plan ;)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Banshees' have landed

So here are a couple pics of my Banshees finally finished!

Next is.....

Dark Reapers!!!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Keeping up momentum...

Hello Folks

Having just finished my wraithlords, I figured I would also work on finishing some howling banshees that I've been neglecting for too long.  Here's a (bad) pic...

The pic is a bit blurry sorry for that, but I'll get better finished pics.

I had started them months ago, but one thing led to another and they got shelved.  So far I've only done a base coat and 1st color.  I'm keen to get into the detailing of them to make them look truly menacing.

I'll keep you posted :)


Completed Wraithlords

Hiya Folks

Well, I've had 3 days off work (Almost unheard of) and I managed to complete my wraithlords.  Sorry about the pic quality, but I need batteries for my good camera.   Here are the pics :)

As usual, comments and critiques most welcomed :)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Good luck and thanks for all the fish....

Hello everyone,

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish my son, Philip (pictured next to me in my profile pic with a maniacal grin) all the best of luck on his job interview tomorrow.  I only mention this because the job he is going for is the Games Workshop Management Program and he is heading down to Nottingham, England tonight by train. So far, the GW people have been very impressed with his knowledge and dedication to the hobby and it's now down to him and 2 others.

The next few days are going to be slow ones indeed and as I have taught him everything he knows (wink) I'm sure he'll do well.

Plus it would be really cool to know someone on the inside ;)

Cheers and Happy Hunting!
Saturday, 2 October 2010

Awesome gaming board for less than £100!

Hello folks

I thought I would share my method for creating a cheap, expandable, and most important fun gaming board.  I made mine after searching the net and getting some ideas that way.  But in my case, time was very limited and the budget was almost non-existant.

So with that in mind, I'll start by showing you what you need to start off.  The great thing about this is I borrowed alot of materials from my wife's misdirected DIY of our house.
You'll need:

2'x2' plywood  (I went with 9mm thickness as its not to heavy and only £4 a piece)
White Paint  (I used cheap wall emulsion left over from room decoration)
Colored Paint  (I went to ASDA and bought the £2 bottle of childrens water based paint, you get a full litre)
Foam Core  (The most expensive part, I spent £27 for a 11'x8'x2" sheet, but it makes alot as you will see)
Matt black spray paint  (£3 a can at a local discount store)
White PVA glue (£1 a bottle at a national UK discount chain, don't skimp here get a few extra bottles)

Thats it. With all that bought, borrowed, or found (I did use some foam core found on the side of the road!) you can get to the fun part of putting it together.

Now the first step is to prime the wood white.  I used white emulsion because in these quantities, it goes a long way and makes any colors you add more vibrant.

Okay this is where you have to decide on the theme of your board.  For this tutorial, I am doing a lava-themed board as I have based my Deathwing to match it.  But you can do anything really, another simple color change could make it an ice-themed board or you could do trenches, or lots of various combinations.

I now take the primed board and add the lava coloring (roughly mixing red and yellow together to get the right effect)on the board

So thats the board finished and now you can turn your attention to the detail.  I have here a chunk of foam core salvaged from the side of the road, but if you get a whole section from your local builders merchant you can do more elaborate features.

Now I figured with the shape of this piece it says "roads" to me.  I sectioned it up into road segments and gave it a basic coat of the good 'ol matt black spray paint.  It doesn't have to be the £6 a can GW stuff as the cheap stuff covers just as well.

But you can also use your good foarm core to make designs for the board itself and then the scrap pieces for terrain.

With a simple drybrush the white emulsion you can achive very dramatic results.  One key thing to remember when making a board of this nature is to make sure when glueing the foam core to the board that you make sure you take into consideration flexability of placement.  You wouldn't want to end up with sections that could only be used in certain places like the corners, all pieces should be useable anywhere.

As shown above, it allows for many different layouts and with the excess foamcore I had left over I've make over 40 pieces of terrain like these...

I currently have 9 such tiles completed, I am working toward 12 for a truly apocalypse friendly board.  Hope this has enlightened, inspired some of you to go out and give it a go.  Feel free to share your creations!

Cheers and Happy Hunting
Thursday, 30 September 2010

My Falcons and Wave Serpent

Originally uploaded by 40k vs Life
Hi There Folks

Here is a pic of my latests additions to my painted army, my vehicles. I am posting this to keep myself motivated as much as anything else so suggestions and comments most welcome.

Many thanks
Monday, 27 September 2010

World of Conversions

One of the cool things I like about 40k is the opportunity to make your own models (or conversions).  There is a thriving business that caters to the bits and pieces needed to construct custom units and even create new ones like titans and flyers!
The way I see it, the more you get into the game, the more of a statement you want to make.  At first it starts with a unique leader or vehicle.  But soon it grows into whole units and squadrons of vehicles.  This is what makes this game more challenging in many respects to other games of this genre.  The thought and effort put into each piece brings a new level of enjoyment to the whole experience. 

My DA Company Champion , I don't use him much but when I do he does stand out...

Another conversion, wanted to make a squad of these guys but parts are dear...

So what are your favorite or most effective conversions to date?

Cheers and Happy Hunting

Multiple Armies vs Specialization

Hi Again Folks

I recently went to my local gaming club for a quick game and something came to my attention.  I noticed there were some new faces there and 1 guy had brought 3 armies to play.  Now they were not Apocalypse ready being only around 1k each but I asked around and was surprised to find a number of players had more than 3 armies.

Now I have 3 myself, my original army the Deathwing, and it's support army the Ravenwing.  And my recent addition of my Eldar army rounds out my collection.  I guess what I am trying to get to here is with all the recent (last 12 months) releases and the forthcoming offerings of Dark Eldar, Necron, etc. has it gotten more common for everyone to collect many small armies or a few large ones.
                                           An insane amount of Dark Angels

I know what side of the fence I fall on but would be very interested to see where everyone else is at.  I get the impression of folks buying the lastest army box set to get the niftiest new rules and units, while all the time sticks in the mud like myself patiently plod on with outdated codexs in the hope of a brighter future release all the time increasing the size of the army beyond what is possible to ever play.

Any thoughts or observations are most welcome!

Friday, 24 September 2010

My Next WIP

 Well, I have just finished my Falcons and will be starting on my wraithlords now, below are pics of one so far not much more to do but tidy up the paint job and do some detailing.

The is my converted wraithlord, note the base, I used one of my sons Iron Warriors as basing material ;)

I'll post finished pics soon, till then

Happy Hunting

Well, I've had 3 days off work (Almost unheard of) and I managed to complete my wraithlords.  Sorry about the pic quality, but I need batteries for my good camera.   Here are the pics :)

Both Wraithlords

Weapons and torso magnatized

Strike a pose!

Well, hopefully you can see some of the detail and blending I've done.  The base of my main WL is my fav bit as it has one of my sons' old Iron Warrior models as basing material :)  Any questions, just ask!


Thursday, 23 September 2010

The Kindness of Others...

editorialI am constantly bewildered by the generous nature of many people in this hobby.  Just the other day I posted some wish lists on a couple of forums and was happy when I had a couple of replies.  I needed those waterslide decals for my Saim Hann army that I am working on and offered to trade space marine sheets and other bits as well.

Well today I recieved 2 letter sized envelops with more than enough transfers for me.  I wish to thank Rev from Warseer and IMCDonnel over on Dakka Dakka for their quick response and I have, in their spirit of giving, decided to give the remaining sheets of Eldar transfers to whomever responds to me.  Email me, leave a comment, I'll pop them in the post (I've got dibs on the Saim Hann ones, but there are loads left) and hopefully these acts of kindness will contiue :)

Again thanks guys and keep the faith!

40k vs Life

Hi Folks

Just a quick question here, how does everyone manage real-life with an active life in the gaming community?

I have had troubles in the past with striking the right balance and think we could benefit from some good tips.  I would say that keeping everyone informed (partners, wives, work) is helpful.

Any thoughts from anyone?

Cheers and Happy Hunting

Our Love of Leaders...

Hello Everyone

I was going over some models I need to paint and noticed that I've nearly completed all of my HQ units yet other elements of the army have lagged behind.  This got me to thinking about why have I clearly put alot more effort into finishing these guys over the rest.

Now I am the first person to try and save time, money, and effort when it comes to painting yet I have went over the top on some of my top models, here's a pic to show this
My Deathwing centerpiece
I commissoned this model from Scibors Monsterous Creatures and had my friend Hypodermic over on The Underground to paint it up (my attempt was woeful at best).  I could of got a medium sized army for the costs but I am so happy to have done it.  And I've seen other armies online and at local events where people clearly lavish alot more time and love on these units. 

GM Raziel outside his residence

I remember years ago using figures in role-playing games and taking alot of time getting them just right.  Is this just an extension of that or is there something more.  How many gamers out there see these units as an extension of there own persona?  Does their value as a combat unit take seconds to the emotional attachment to the unit (As a die hard Dark Angel player, the lack of uber-HQ units means I tend to go with the latter view)

Let me know your thoughts and share those pics of your key HQ's!
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

A view of my main army....

I thought I might as well start by showing a short video of my main army, The Deathwing.  I have been collecting the 1st company since first edition and have had a heck of a roller coaster ride with it.  I look forward to a new 5th ed. compatable codex to address the issues that most everyone knows about.  But till then I stubbornly march out with pride!

Here's the linky -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEl67n5jZ_M&feature=channel

My Goals and Motivations

Hello Everyone

Let me start by welcoming you to my little slice of internet goodness that is this blog.  I hope to both share my 20+ years experience in wargaming and learn more myself.  Like alot of folks out there, I love gaming but life often scuppers my best laid plans.  Hopefully by maintaining this blog, I can keep focused and motivated to complete my armies and improve my skills.

I shall start filling up this blog with pics of my armies, techniques I've learned and one's I am hoping to, and include the occasional battle report for everyone to comment on.

So in closing, thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your next visit :)