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.

You can download our episodes at the website, from ITunes, several podcast sites, or connect directly to the RSS Feed. We try to release a new Episode every Monday Night. Check it out!




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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Save a codex, bash a TO

I find it interesting that are giving TO's a hard time about what they ban/allow/FAQ's etc, especially on the internet. I am going to pick on Carl from the IC's, mainly because i know him fairly well and i know he won't get his panties in a wad. I am picking on him not for his comment, but as an example of an average poster. Here is a gentleman who lives on the West Coast, commenting on a small RTT/GT which he probably has no intent of attending ever, because of distance and size. 

I also happen to know the type of player Carl is, because of his show, he loves his toys, the excellent products that FW comes out with, the skill/love/care it takes to assemble/paint them. Then again, he is not a regular tournament player, and does not routinely play games to develop lists to take to a tournament or regularly play 'meta' games.

TO's have a thankless job:
-you deal with fronting the cost (although they clearly make money hand-over-fist :)  )
-player's bad behavior
-depending on the crowd, clean up (i came in on Sunday at 6:30am to clean of half empty booze bottles and abandoned spit-cups (that's you John))
-outrage when you don't rule a ruling right (and internet ridicule afterwards)
-and anything else wrong they can lay at your feet instead of taking personal responsibility for their failings in the game/character/personal life/whatever...

TO's get a lot of local pressure and feedback. Neil entertained the notion of Forge World briefly, because some registered attendees asked. He put out a poll on email. We received no positive feedback for inclusion of FW, yet numerous 'I-will-take-my-ball-and-go-the-@#$%-home' emails, some rather negative and nasty. We tend to ignore forum and other internet feedback, since you can't tell if it is from a stakeholder or not.

Most TO's make decisions based on their knowledge of their previous and local attendees. Why? Because they invest time and money into running an event, rarely at a profit. If people fail to show, it costs money. At a local store, it might cost them the prized time slot and space. Why run a barely attended 40K event, if the store owner can just add another magic/heroclix/insert-other-game-that-pays-the-bills? Every failed event has a cost of some type to the community.

People fear change, period. Lets give the new stuff a while to feather out, just like the release of a new codex. Leave local tournament decisions to locals and give it some time. Let people play how they play. Who am I to judge a local group for having specific house rules? Why should i care that Reecius includes Forge World in his tournaments? Especially since i hate flying and will probably never get to the West Coast to attend one of his excellent events. Who am I to complain about Nova/BAO/Adepticon/insert-other-event missions? if i don't intend to play at such an event. People don't like others dictating how they should play. Why do that to someone else?

Some people will complain, "but my local TO uses @#$% missions at our local events". Have that discussion locally. Get involved with the process, offer your help. Maybe rotate with the sole guy who runs events all the time at your local store/group/hangout. I am sure that individual would like to play in an event once in a while. RTT TO's will adopt larger event FAQ's/Missions/whatever because it is less work than making this up by yourself and they may not have the time, especially if they are a one-man-show.

The larger events usually have large groups getting together to determine what is best for their event, taking all kinds of feedback. They usually have the larger tournament crowd in mind, not the top 10% of the tournament. Events like nova can not survive by only catering to the 40 or so 'internet famous' players. They need the other few hundred attendees to have a great experience so they keep coming back. That said, every community tends to have a 'tournament player' in the group that helps people to become motivated to go, helps design their lists, helps them become better prepared players. There is a fine balance between keeping happy the hyper competitive players (think Neil) and the people wanting to play some awesome 40K in a large crowd (me).

As a player you have some options. Get involved in your local community, help make it better. Don't allow your local TO to get trampled by the vocal minority and internet pundits with no stack in your local community and events. Ultimately, if an event is not responsive, it will fail because players will not show up. So if you feel your feedback is not heard, vote with your feet and don't attend, go elsewhere. When you read blogs like Faeit or Bols, listen to a podcast like 40KUK or even us, think about what stake we have in your local area. Who are you going to trust to run a good event for you, your TO or someone like me who may never have set a foot in your local meta.

I have a long list of TO's who i trust to run an excellent event for me. It includes people like Mike Brandt, Reecius and local TO's like Brock. I can't name them all of the top of my head, and i apologize for not mentioning anyone else, i am horrible with names. Ignore the internet screamers, work in your local community to make it better. Be active in fixing/protecting the gaming experience you like and love, don't let GW steal your xmas and the content of your wallet. Look at what is offered, use what fits in your group.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Eldar Tournament Board Update

So last time I presented the concept, time to create some prototypes. The hardest part will be to match the look of the iconic Eldar and make the size and proportions make sense on a 28mm battlefield.

This was the original concept. It failed miserably as dice kept getting caught in the all of the grooves
Here is the template I made for the iconic Webway Gate. As you can see, it is simply a series of ovals stacked on top of each other. 
Plan B - I start drafting a new plan for the board creating a mock up that fits on a normal sheet of paper
Once I was happy with a design, I create a full 6' by 4' copy of the design to make templates. Notice I allocated a space to place the terrain pieces later

Cut out each of the templates and trace onto the foamcore
Cut out the shape
Shape is ready for placement
Repeat until all pieces are attached to the six 2' by 2' foam tiles 
Here I am sizing the hill to make sure it still fits
The Hills were cut from a three templates, the bottom, the next to bottom, and the top which was used three times to form the spiral staircase. The key to making this look "Eldar" was using a magic weapon known as sandpaper. Insulation foam is easy to cut & sand which is essential for these curves. Notice the the unsanded (left) vs the sanded (right)
The Center Blocker was made from a template I drew on a napkin and ran through a copier to expand it to it final size of 18" across. I knew shipping this and assembly by someone else would force my design. I chose the Ikea route using a simple groove so the pieces slide together, but can ship perfectly flat 
Meanwhile I use my gateway screw ups to create the bottom of the platform
Slide all the pieces into place
Time for a base coat of paint. To capture wraithbone look is used a Behr paint appropriately named Airy.
Now drybrush all the edges with Caliente Brown
The Warpgates as ruins were a nightmare. As cool as they looked, the do not block Line of Sight at all. After experimenting with adding walls, I went with simply carving a hole to create a crater for cover. To aid with shipping & assembly, I cut grooves in the base so the gates would slide in with no glue required. 
Final look at the hill. The trick to this was painting first, then assemble to get each of those nooks and crannies covered with paint. Nothing worse then pink foam showing through
The final product. The cracks in the wraithbone to make the difficult terrain were simple cuts done with my plunge tool. The key was to have an infantry model handy to make sure the holes were not too big so a model falls through to the floor
Hope you enjoyed this and look forward to your comments.
Listen to my additional commentary during the 11th Company Podcast during the Tactical Terrain segment

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Helturkey Cordon Bleu

First Step - Primer Model Black
Second Step - using a stencil, I airbrush my flame pattern using Opaque White so it will pop against the black

Third Step - Using the airbrush, I apply Translucent Blue. The color is not strong enough to color the black but the white areas scream blue. Think of it as the airbrush version of glazing
Repeat steps Two & Three. The lower layers of flames will be darker since they have more of the blue painted on while the upper layers will be more white since they have fewer coats of the blue. I did three layers, but you can easily do more.

Fourth Step - I used whatever the new Boltgun metal is via brush on all the edges

Super simple. Try it with other ideas like screaming skulls, or make your own stencil using GW transfer sheets as a starting point. There also some great alien skin texture stencils for you Tyranid and Demon Players. For you Tau players, check out the hexagon camo patterns

Hope you enjoyed and please a comment below

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dissecting Codex: Space Marines First Big GT Winning List

Hey all, Kevin here to talk about Codex Space Marines. We all know by now that they have won the FOB: Open (and I believe another smaller GT earlier this month but I cannot remember which one). Now we can debate over whether it was a good first true test of the codex since it was the Open and not the Invitational. Yet as a player at the event I can say that most of the Marine White Scars lists were in the Open and not the Invitational and a player did win the third bracket, no small feat saying that players like Alan Bajramovic were all the way down in the 6th bracket as well as everyone else being technically a tournament winner. I can say that through my time in the Invi. and in the 5th bracket I did not play a Space Marine player at all. There were only 9 SM players in the Invitational total of the 110 players.

Although none of the names we are use to reading were in the Open, it is no small feat to come to the top of a GT. I have played a few of the Open players before and they are not push overs. It also saw quite a few Eldar and Tau players bringing the "Top Lists". Also although the terrain did vary, in some cases was better that the Invitational IMHO, the missions were still all Book Missions. So we know the list can do well when we are playing straight out of the book.

Before going any further lets look at the winning list....Beating out 49 other players to win the Open is....

Dan May's White Scars/Dark Angels

Khan on Moondrakkan 
Chapter Master on Bike, Artificer Armor, PF, Shield Eternal
Command Squad on Bikes w/ Apothacary
4 bikes w/ 1 Attack Bike w/ MM, 2 Gravguns, 1 Combi Grav 
4 bikes w/ 1 Attack Bike w/ MM, 2 Gravguns, 1 Combi Grav
4 bikes w/ 1 Attack Bike w/ MM, 2 Gravguns, 1 Combi Grav
4 bikes w/ 1 Attack Bike w/ MM, 2 Gravguns, 1 Combi Grav
5 bikes w/ 2 Flamers
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer Missiles  
Stormtalon w/ Skyhammer Missiles
Thunderfire Cannon
Thunderfire Cannon

Librarian lvl 1 on bike, Power Axe 
5 Scouts, Snipers, Missile Launcher, Camo Cloaks

Now we do know how good Khan and gang is a good list concept, but how did it do well?

Well it has 6 scoring options that can move 24" in a turn. It is made up of bodies that have T5, 3+/4+C, hit and run, etc. It is boasting gravy and melta. so it can deal with any tank or tough unit.

It also has two Talons to deal with flyers as well as thunderfire canons because.....they are just thunderfire cannons and are auto takes right now.

Other than that it is quite simple. One factor it also has is the Biker command squad, a unit many know I am a fanboy of. It hides in it the ideal Chapter Master set up as well a a prescience libby. This unit, in my opinion, is one of the best deathstars in the game right now. Alone that Chapter Master is a beast yet FNP on him is ever so sweet. I personally like to load out the squad a bit more myself. Yes its a points sink but is very underestimated by anyone I have played against with it.

He did use Dark Angels for the Token Prescience libby, but hey at least now we can say Dark Angels helped win a GT.......I still like a Space Wolf Rune Priest on bike with runic armor better to help out with the last real psychic denial marine option.

Overall this is a simple and effective list I believe can win a number of GT's right now. Although we still need it to win one of the bigger GT's competitive track tournaments signs are looking good right now. It has excellent awnsers to both Eldar and Tau as well as Daemons. So only more time and more GT's can tell if this is the Meta breaker army we want. I kow I will be dropping my Eldar to play this army here on out.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Kevin's Display Board

My latest project is to build a display board for our resident Dr. Who fanatic. Leaving the grim, dark, 41st millennium behind, this board will based on Galiweg, Dr. Who's home world.

Unlike my previous board, the 24" by 24" dimensions will not work. This board needs to be dissembled to allow for travel. Here is what we have so far before we pour the paint and foam.

Start with two halves, each 15" by 15" with a support beam that is glued in place with Liquid Nails

Here two 24" supports with drilled holes goes over both halves

Add the first top of the display board. Yup, you will have two drawers to store books & templates

Both halves attached, giving you a mighty 15" by 30" board

A simple screw with a wing nut makes set up easy with no need for tools

Ultramarines Display Board Tutorial

Over the past few episodes you may have heard me refer to "The Client" and his display board. The project is finally done and he has received his board just in time for Feast of Blades. This week I peel back the curtain to show how it was made.

Whenever some ask me to make something "I saw in White Dwarf" I know I am in for a challenge. In this case, the goal was to recreate the Ultramarines Judgment Hall from the White Dwarf.... I can't remember which number. It has the new Dark Angels on the cover. Additionally, he wanted the rest of the board to reflect the rocky, arctic conditions of Macragge, the Ultramarines home world.

Start with a 24"  by 24" piece of Pineboard
Ribs provide the board with strength so the board doesn't bend
Plus it makes a great drawer for your books
First idea of the stepped risers
Display boards need steps to allow the back figures to be seen
Before construction, use stand ins to visualize the concept
First layer of texture wallpaper is applied
Both layers now textured

Construction complete!

The structure is primed black, then layered with Vallejo Air Metallic Blue

Gold is added. The Gold areas are washed with Brown Ink

The base of the Tower was wood due to the weight.
Screws make the base easy to remove for travel
Junction Boxes frame out the sides of the board
Thin pieces of wood make a crisp realistic steps

The entire board is painted with Behr Downpour Grey
Board is dry brushed with White
The board was then airbrushed with blue to give the arctic look
Close Up the texture after the airbrushed blue

Final highlights done with white

Close up of the texture with the final highlights of white

Time to add some snow.

This ordinary joint compound that will dry white

Next, use clear caulking to create icicles from overhangs

Notice the Top Secret weapon to create the effect

Final product

Hope you guys enjoyed this. Comments always welcome.