Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Week 4, month 1, Dark Eldar Blogwars 9 project

Hi all,
hope you all had a really good break over Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year with the same sort of enthusiasm I am (the New Year that is, not the New Year's Eve party!)

I've been busy with family related things so haven't managed to get much hobby related stuff done. As for month 1 of my project, the razorwing has moved on a little since last week, but not significantly enough to call it finished or to show you a picture. The good lady wife is going out with friends tomorrow night though for food and a few drinks to natter over how awful their in-laws have been over Christmas so I'm hoping to get it finished then. I have made some substantial progress elsewhere though.

Blogwars (and bear in mind I speak with no personal experience) sounds like one of those tournaments that does things just a little differently. Meant to be fun rather than just purely competitive, it seems to aim to do tournaments the 'right' way without pushing the boundaries of list building to find the dirtiest combination, with prizes awarded not just to the winners (in fact some of the random raffle prizes seem to have much greater value than the prize for first place).

One of the elements that led me to want to take part in the tournament in the first place (aside from the cost!) is the idea that all armies must include a special character. Now i know special characters divide opinion, with some disliking the way they often become an 'auto-include' in a competitive army. I however, believe they add a nice narrative and thematic element to the 40k universe. I did actually, not that long ago, read a post on a website from someone bemoaning the fact that they couldn't recreate a special character's abilities by just using available wargear. Well, surely that's the point - these characters are unique, and they should be the only way to do what they do, despite the infinite variety available to the 40k universe. Otherwise they become a pointless, flavourless way of simply showing players an example of what can be achieved through combinations of wargear.

But I digress. I decided to enter Blogwars 9 using my Dark Eldar (incidentally, the Kabal of the Burning Eye was the project that originally inspired me to start a blog in the first place), and have been chronicling my progress over the last 4 weeks in re-painting my entire collection after a spray varnish disaster of annoying proportions.

So, having blathered on for long enough about some not so important stuff, here's the point. I finally got round to painting the special character I've chosen for the tournament. Now most of us will know that in the last codex the Dark Eldar army was weighed down by an enormity of special characters, most of whom were without models, and when the latest iteration of the codex hit, they lost Baron Sathonyx, Lady Malys, Duke Sliscus, Kheradruakh the Decapitator and, last but not least, Asdrubael Vect, the Lord of all Commorragh. That left the Dark Eldar with a mere three specials, one of which has an ancient model. Lelith Hesperax, the Queen of the Wyches, Drazhar the Master of Blades, and Urien Rakarth, the Arch-Torturer himself.

Now when it came down to my selection, Drazhar was instantly ruled out - he can only join units of incubi, and I wasn't planning on taking any.

That left Lelith and Urien. Now Lelith is an awesome combatant, particularly in challenges, but as a potential warlord she's still remarkably fragile, having only T3. I'd be taking a second HQ choice anyway, and having playtested it a few times, I've discovered that the combination of Urien Rakarth and a combat built Archon with shadowfield is remarkably durable (think of it as a 2-man unit, with majority WS7, T5, 2++ until it fails, 4++ once it has and Feel no Pain 4+, and 6 wounds). That sold me, particularly when the pair of them took down one of the new Tyranid Toxicrene's on their own.

So without any further ado from me, here's the man himself, probably about 60-65% finished. The cape is not a trick of the light, it's gloss varnished so that it looks like some kind of torturer's leather apron.

That's all for now - look out for a post later this week on my thoughts for the upcoming hobby year - including battle records vs my main opponents and a review of how I did this year (painting, gaming and blogging!).

I'm looking to make some hobby resolutions too so let's see what they are and how they turn out.

Finally, next week look out for month 1's completed picture of everything I've painted so far for the Blogwars project - I'm broadly speaking ahead of schedule so far, so might look to slip in some work either on another project (could be Blood Angels, or maybe my Dark Eldar coven units) or get myself ahead on vehicles for the Kabal of the Burning Eye.