The 11th Company 40K Podcast

Welcome to the 11th Company BLOG. The 11th Company is a Warhammer 40K podcast dedicated to players, strategies, and tactics.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thanks to Everyone at NoVA

Once again I would like to thank everyone involved in NoVA 2015
  • Thanks to Mike Brandt & Dewey Haines and all the volunteers for their efforts making the event smooth and organized
  • Thanks to Neil for being the TO for the 40k events and still have time to hang out with me
  • Thanks to all the fans you stopped by. All of your kind words mean a lot.
    • And yes, we are still on hiatus for the foreseeable future
  • Thanks to all who attended my seminars. I hope learned as much from me as I learned from you this year.
  • Thanks to all the players who gave me feedback on the Mechanicus board.
    • it was overwheliming positive but I found a few area for improvement for next time
Hope to see you all next year

Tactical Terrain Eric

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Nova Open is one month away!

Hello Allan here, Nova Open is one month away an this is the state of my army:

Lots of work to get done!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Blue Tape Special

I wanted to do something different for my Dark Eldar. Not content with the gloomy purple & black, I wanted to embrace a Neo Toyko look with wild Japanese motorcycle striping.

After reviewing several airbrush tutorials, one stuck out that demonstrated some of the best airbrushed models were not done because of the airbrush, but by how well you use an knife.

After base coating the models with Wild Rider Orange, I spent weeks finding the right design. I ran the design through a scanner and took a picture of the jetbike so I knew the size & fit for the final stencil. I cut out a prototype out of frisket, but this was too rigid to bend to the shape of the jetbike. So I traced the frisket stencil onto painter's blue tape & applied the tape as shown above.

And repeat. A lot. Why did I think 24 Jetbikes was a good idea?

I used both the cut out the outer edges of the stencil to add variation to the same theme. Astute readers will see the frisket in the background as well future design plans

I airbrushed the jetbikes with tape in place. Started with black in the middle of the jetbike then painted a gradient of grays so the brightest grey to the edges of the jetbike.

Certainly not 50 shades of gray, but mixed them on the fly by adding white to the starting black in small increments

Moment of truth, remove the tape slowly

A rare moment when a jetbike is not jinking

Comparison of the postive & negative stencils side by side. Still a cohesive look for the army. I will have to differentiate special bikes by painting the riders different colors

I plan to do the same technique on the my 1001 venoms and raiders. I will also attempt something similar on the infantry. More updates to come!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Right to Rules Canon

Had this notion come up several times in rules conversations over the past few days, and it has inspired me for a quick BLOG post and likely a little conversation on the next podcast.

There exists a fantastic list of canons which you not only can but absolutely should use when trying to make correct rules decisions for 40K.  The reason why you have to have a set of canons rather than a singular principle/canon (principle such as:  Read as Written, a principle which fails at face value and is easy to show why) is because the rule set, as we all very well know, lacks clarity, structure, and technical writing which is otherwise required.

In the presence of rules (laws) which lack clarity, if you want to arrive at correct conclusions when trying to rules arbitrate, you must apply an entire set of canons, one of which is Read as Written.  Another, and far more important in the land of rules arbitration, is the Right to Rules canon.

Right to Rules -  When making a rules decision, rule in favor of a model/unit having a right to use the rules it was given.

Sounds stupidly obvious, right?  A model or unit has a basic right to use the rules that it was given.  Derp?

Well, this issue comes up quite a bit when someone is trying to over-apply the Read as Written canon to rules arbitration.

I'm not going to use any of the specific examples that have come up (three in just two days) recently as I don't want anyone to feel like I'm picking on them.  Ineed, none of these issues were actually arguments anyways, just points of fact.  So, instead, here's a funny one that comes up regarding everyone's favorite Pylon Star.

Technically, in the rule book, you can only apply wounds from the wound pool to the target of a shooting attack.  However, as many tournaments have ruled that Death Rays (old death rays mind you) do not target models, thus conveniently ignoring Jink rules (another RAW application for another time), then according to the rules, the Death Ray cannot actually apply wounds to anything.

So, Read as Written, the Death Ray simply doesn't work at all.  Case closed!

And this is why Right to Rules is important and a more powerful canon than Read as Written.  Read as Written, the game actually can't be played at all due to above cases.  So, you must apply Right to Rules when making a rules arbitration that no interpretation of the Rules should end up in a model or unit not having the ability to use the rules it was granted.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Demon Terrain

Every year I make a featured board for the 11th Company GT (being held November 8th & 9th in Myrtle Beach, SC) and this year was no execption. Earlier in the year, you guys voted overwhelmingly for a Demon style board.

Now as many of you who listen to our podcast are aware, our fearless leader relocated midway through the year and the idea having this year's GT was in jeopardy. I took the time to book some additional terrain projects & of course ran several seminars at NoVA.

So when it was annouced the GT was back on, I was super excited as this this an excellent event. Then I realized: I have 3 weeks to create a Demon world!

The early concept was simple: do a NoVA style terrain layout (since the 11th Company GT, November 8th & 9th, in Myrtle Beach SC is a NoVA style event). That means two hills, two ruins, two center blockers, and two difficult terrain pieces.

With the hills & ruins being in oppositye corners, the thought was to to have each of these pieces themed after on of the 4 chaos gods. At center, there would be large towers similar to the opening pages of the codex, with mouths for doors and windows. Lastly, the difficult terrain would be a cross between a volacnic eruption and the earth spewing chaos energies from below.

This the layout as it would appear on a 4 x 6 table. Did I mention I like my center LoS blcokers to be tall? I scrapped the mouth & face like doors as the holes were too big and did no blcok line of sight, which defeated the purpose of these pieces.

On my last project, I had good success adding propaganda posters to the ruins to give a more war torn look & added some color to the drab grey ruins. I thought I would try again here, this time using a warning to all mortals would approach. First, I printed out my "banner" using MS Publisher using a stock parchment background, Chiller font, and some of my favorite lyircs. Bonus points for who can identify artist & title (post your answer during our next Philippe segment)

I cut wave patterns and jagged edges to give a worn look. I then went over the edges with a thinned black with the airbrush. I then glued it to the tower using a decopage technique. The flame patterns on the sides were done using the dame method I used to paint my heldrake (see Hellturkey Cordon Blue in this BLOG for details)
The Tzeetch hill was the one piece that, no suprise, kept changing in concept. Originally was going to do the floating hill thing, which I though was predictable and I hate seeing those rods holding the up a floating hill. Then I saw the Blue scribes and thought "Library of the Damned" but after making a dozen 28mm books I scrapped that idea

Instead I went with the stairway to nowhere motif, with the glow done the same way as above. The river flowing underneath added some depth but if I had to do it again I would have made the colors brighter or used not such a dark color with the water effects. This is one piece I am worried about arriving in one piece as all of the stairs are floating
Skulls for the Skull Throne! Start with a simple Khorne icon carved out of foam. Paint red, the use a skull stencil and an airbrush. Super simple but time consuming. The temple walls are removable for easy storage.

My original plan was to add more blood & skull loose pieces, but my shipment of skulls did arrive in time.

The Temple of Excess. In stark contrast to the Khorne piece, this was all about foam cutting. The pattern was rather intricate but it paid off. Like the Khorne temple, each of the walls are removable for shipping & storage

Paint job was pretty simple. With more time I would have added more layers of color

Rotting Hill. Nurgle be praised, as this hill is actually the fly styled Nurgle Icon if look at it from above. I cut the basic hill shape out of pink foam. The rotten areas are spray foam. To get those cool pock marks, I sprayed the spray foam with water from a spray bottle before it had hardened. Mountain areas were paint a drab green called Jungle Trail from Home Depot, then dry brushed grey. The rot sections started Jungle Trail, then highlighted with a light tan, then airbrushed with orange to get that sickly look. Lastly, I added water effects to a few of the pool areas like the one on top

I wanted this to flat but still have character. I painted the board red, then made a 8 pointed star stencil and painted the black sections. With the stencil still in place, I flocked with black ballast. Finally, I removed the stencil and added orange highlights to the red sections with the airbrush. Next time I will experiment with clear gloss medium to give more depth to my layers of lava

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Eldar Bastion

One of my pet peeves is the lack of Xenos terrain. Xenos fortications are currently lacking as well. Creatively, they can be asset to battlefield both in protection units from withering fire and a great looking display on the table
One the hardest to duplicate is Eldar signature design. The Imperial Bastion is a big block of human might, while the Eldar are all about wispy compound curves. So when Alan asked to make him an Eldar Bastion in 10 days, I knew I was in for a challenge
Step 1: I found one of many Eldar templates and with some late night inguinity realized I can use it back to back to simulate an Eldar tower support. Notice I use "x" to remind myself where to cut out areas

Step 2: Just like the Center LoS Blocker I did for the 11th Company GT (which is Nov 8-9 at the Murriels Inlet Mall in Myrtle Beach, SC this year) I chose to carve a slot down the middle & create an X pattern to provide structure, strength, and frame to work with

Step 3: If you are looking at this and saying to yourself, "That looks really tall" you would be right. This thing towered of the Imperial Bastion. Since this would be used for Tournament play, I made some changes to keep it as close to the Imperial Bastion dimensions to avoid any modeling for advantage rants

Step 4: I knew I need a way to clearly demonstrate Fire Points, Entry Points, and where the heavy bolters are.I found these foam eggs at the local chain craft store. They were a pain to cut & sand, but they added the necessary girth to my spindly tower without losing the Eldar look. I varied the number I put on each side to reflect the correct number of Fire Points

Step 5: Adding a battlement. Where did I get that cool texture foam? Grcoery store. I asked the meat packing department if I can have one before raw meat touches it. Sometimes saying please is all you need

Step 6: Adding the wall around the battlement started with a block of foam that I cut to the size of floor. I then used a plunge tool to cut out the middle section.

Not bad, just a little too pink

Step 7: Base coat with Behr Airy, closest I can find to Bleached Bone

Step 8: Airbrushed Mournfang brown into the recesses, and Menoth highlight on all the corners. still not sure if I want to add a base put deadline is looming. (Behind the scenes trivia: that is same desk where I record with the guys every week for our podcast)

As always, comments and suggestion are always welcome.

Some suggestions I would add:
  • lots of Eldar players like the ruined look, so adding vines and ivy is great way to inject some color into this.
  • I didn't have the bits, but 4 Shurkien Catapults would have been great to say "Heavy Bolters"
  • If I were to add a base,was would extend the entry point in the back to make a warp gate like look using water effects and transparency film

Thursday, September 18, 2014

40K across the USA part #1. How do you build an army for 8 GTs?

Hello every one! Allan here with a question for do you go about building an army for 7-8 GTs?

I plan on attending these tournaments in the next couple of months:

Brawl in the Fall (Fresno Ca) Oct 4th-5th
Feast of Blades (Denver Co) Oct 10th-12th
Adepticon Primer (Milwaukee WI) Oct 18th
Mechanicon (Philadelphia PA) Oct 24th-25th
Anything on the East Coast Nov 1st and 2nd?
11th Co GT (Myrtle Beach SC) Nov 8th-9th
Da Boyz GT (Rochester NY) Nov 15-16th
Renegade GT (Minneapolis MN) Nov 22nd-23rd

So here are some things that you have to take into account when building your army:

They will have have very different missions from BAO format, to Nova Missions, to the new Adepticon missions, book missions, and new made up missions.

First off they are not all being run at the same points limit. Brawl in the Fall is 1750 points and the Feast of Blades is 1500. After the first two tournaments, everything east of the Mississippi River is 1850 points which makes it easier.

Some are not allowing Come the Apocalypse allies.

DetachmentsCADs and formations are all a mess. Each one is all over the map as to what you can take, and in what numbers. Some allow double CAD, some are 2 sources only, some are allowing you to self ally, etc.

Forge world

Some are allowing it, and some are dipping there toes in with limits, and some are still banning it.

Some are restricting what units you can take, and some are opening Pandora's box. Feast of Blades and Mechanicon are going full escalation (Hello Transcendent C'Tan!).

So how does one build an army to compete with all of those rules and restrictions?

The answer is:
#1. You don't
#2. You can't
#3. It is way too much work

So what you have to do is use the KISS principle and keep it simple.

Instead of doing a ton of research breaking down every mission (which i never do anyways), and read thought all of the different army construction guidelines to figure out what the optimal build is for each tournament, I will just have to build an army around the most restrictive rules for all of them and just have some fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Imperial Bridge Display Board

A lot of my customers have a clear idea what they want. Other give me an idea and we work together to come up with a completed idea. This is one of those collaborations. What started as "something Imperial" turned out to be something really cool for Texas Games Con. The basic idea was an Imperial City overlooking a large bridge, where the army would parade across the bridge. I apologize in advance I do not have as many "in progress" pictures as I was on a tight deadline to get this done.
For large projects like this, save come cash by using the cheaper foam for support and use the good stuff for visible areas
I put the bridge on a steep angle so to maximize usable space for the models, since all the wood area would be water

The stone work in the arches is all done with an etching tool. The Gothic look of buttresses helps with constructing the back building. Each of the those walls is a slot the slides together so the whole back building is collapsible for travel. I noticed the floor was still crooked and could not support even plastic models so I added supports underneath. For scale, that is Deathwing Terminator Model on the bridge

Here is your big tip: see all those fancy pillars between the arches & the railings? That is all molding from Home Depot. Instant detail at low prices. Base coat everything with Behr Deep Space, even the bottom of the bridge arches. I then dry brush with a lighter grey color. The foam has enough texture to simulate stone. 

Add some weathering

Time to add the water. If I use the usual water effects, I would need to wall off the entire board. No Thank You. Instead, I used Gloss Medium, a crappy brush, and applied using a stippling technique (ie dabbing up and down perpendicular to the board instead of wide strokes). This creates these cool waves. I used a grey gravel to create a beach to show a barrier between the building & the water. Dries in about 24 hours!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ork Junkyard Display Board

It would only be appropriate to do something ork-related with the new codex release. Here is a display board I did for Texas Games Con using a Mek Junkyard theme
To get a the ork look, I needed some reference material. I found a technical drawing of an Ork Kroozer, which I blew up and printed out to use as floor for our riser

Getting this design onto the foam is not as tricky as it seems. First I position the template on the foam. I then use a ball point pen and trace each and every line.

This leaves a light indentation
I then use an etching tool on each of the lines to give the detail needed to stand out

Assembling the parts: I used an electrical junction box for the taller shed. The black lower shed is packing from a Fried Chicken dinner at WalMart. The ramp is a roller attachment found at Home Depot. Pipes on the right are submerged into the foam to serve as a guardrail to keep models from falling off

Base Coats

Weathering and flocking. To create the scrap piles in the corners, I used a mixture of chopped up sprues and a rust colored gravel

Add Backdrop and we are complete! Waaaagh!

Swamp Display Board

It is not often I dabble in the Warhammer Fantasy Battles, I haven't played since 6th edition and have sold by Lizardmen, Dark Elves, & mishmash of Chaos and Beastmen. That said I have always had a soft spot for Skaven, which I use as my Hrud infantry (counts as Kroot). I have also been itching to take another shot a swamp terrain after doing a segment on a swampy Zone Mortalis boards. So when I had a request to do a Skaven Swamp themed display board. I was ready to go.
The riser section was cut from 1/2" insulation. I cut out a series puddles to add to the swamp feel

The lower section was a challenge. If I used foam again, it would be too deep, but I need some edge to show that this area is raised above the water. I found cork board sold in large sheets which worked great. In hindsight, I would have cut them up into several small pieces as large pieces like this curl when painted

Skaven armies tend to be large in model count. Whenever 2' by 2' if not enough for your army, adding a second level to a display board is both practical and cinematic way to get more space. To keep in theme of our swamp, I used insulation again to make a worn down boardwalk that would go over the swamp. I used an etching tool to simulate wood planks & nail holes 

Base coats done with Behr Deep Space

Time to add some green. First I did the actually board.It was real easy to practice wet blending when you 4 square feet to work with. Then repeated the technique on the foam & cork. Foam unsanded has a fair amount of texture, so don't be afraid to dry brush for effect. Lastly I painted the middle of each puddle darker to give the illusion of depth once we add the water effects later

Rotten wood is often grey with black & green mold. I should know from staining my deck for 14 years. I later added green flock for a more texture look to the decaying wood. The holes were cut with my plunge tool. This is a great trick. It gives a place to put my fingers during assembly. The holes are small enough so a figure won't fall through, but big enough so people can see the models underneath

Using some scraps of foam I constructed the pillar for the boardwalk. The key was to get the height correct so models could easily fit underneath but still have a enough support to hold models (even metal ones) on top

This may come as a shock: I am not a fan of the water effects. The old school mixing of two resins was always messy. The newer solutions still require a flat, level surface and to dam the areas to prevent overflow. With the small lip in the foreground, this was a recipe for disaster. Instead I used Glossy Medium that you apply with a brush. It worked great except for one thing: swamp water doesn't have waves. So I used a spackling knife to create flat water. Later I added my favorite Dead Fall Flock to make our swamp a little less neat.

Added a swampy backdrop and we are complete