DZ Day Report – Orks and ‘Squigs’ vs Space Marines


At the start of the month I took my Orks to October’s DZ Day over at Table Top Events in Belper. My understanding is that this now monthly event came from the mind of Winters – he was apparently going to be organising the games at this one but was running fashionably late so some hasty planning saw Da Vipers teaming up with some sneaky Blood Axe Boyz (commanded by Kris B) and an army of weird Squigs (actually Tyranids led by Russell). The mostly green xenos forces were up against Adeptus Astartes of three chapters; The Black Templars (marshalled by Josh), The Emerald Knights (Dark Angel rules, led by Rik) and the Space Wolves (run by Sam who I’m not sure is on Instagram, but his awesome Thunderhawk was painted by March of War.) 
It was decided that the Orks would definitely be fighting to loot the giant gun, so we took this table, and I immediately claimed it with my squiggy mascot. The game would be around 5000 points per side including super heavies, fought over six objectives placed around the gun itself, scored at the end of the battle round. Whoever controlled the most got a point, and got to fire the giant gun towards one of the other tables, creating a huge blast of mortal wounds (I assume it was firing on low power or it would probably just obliterate the whole table).

Deployment saw my forces bunched up to go for a pair of nearby objectives, while the Blood Axes went up the middle and the squigs would swarm over the sparser left flank. The Imperials provided a block of transports to rush onto objectives and a hard centre of dreadnoughts to march in behind. There were a lot of elite units loaded up into the various vehicles. The Marines got first turn, which was going to hurt, but at least it would give us the option to steal objectives at the end of the round.

Sure enough, turn one the wall of green raced towards me, and so did the Thunderhawk, unloading it’s full payload into Nipper the Gargantuan Squiggoth. Nipper is a tough old boy though, and weathered the storm of fire. The Black Templars zoomed up the centre, but left the far flank pretty undefended.

In our turn the squigs made their way out of cover towards objectives, while the Blood Axe jet and big flappy squig (Harridan) zoomed around to harass the Templars. As one might expect for Ork shooting, there were not too many significant casualties, but we did hold enough objectives to draw the first round.

Turn two saw a whole load of killy elite Marine boys disembark across the line. The Thunderhawk dropped off a whole load of Wolf Guard and some characters, including the warlords for both the Space Wolves and the Emerald Knights. Shooting poured in but both Squiggoths managed to hold on until melee, when a blob of Space Wolves only just managed to bring down Nipper Jr, and Nipper himself was killed by Black Templar Blade Guard, after he ate two of them!

I was taking the brunt of the damage, but the Blood Axes were still holding strong and the Squigs were still swarming – the Thunderhawk targeting the Harridan but failing to down it.

Our turn two and time to respond with violence! Beast Snagga Boyz, Tankbustas, the remaining Squighog Boy and Redtoof himself picked targets for their charges…

The big flappy squig flew over to engage the Thunderhawk, surviving overwatch but sadly rolling poorly for it’s attacks.

Snikrot and his Red Skull Kommandos turned up from the shadows to harass the rear of the Marine advance, crippling the Wolves Leviathan and drawing some attention backwards.

A mixed charge phase for us – I believe the Blood Axes did some good damage, but the Beast Snaggas bounced off storm shields and were battered by the Wolf Guard. However the Squighog slammed into the rear of a Rune Priest and skewered him with a rokkit powered stikka, and Redtoof himself slew the Emerald Knight’s Captain in single combat! WAAAGH!!! After that we were once again equal on objectives.

Turn three saw the Thunderhawk fly into our lines to cause havoc with the Blood Axe armour, and give my Big Mek a bit of a fright! One of the Black Templars then took down the injured Harridan the T-hawk left behind with a pistol shot!
In my corner of the board, the cowardly lapdogs of the Emperor formed a firing squad to execute Redtoof, rather than face him in honourable combat, though he did take a lot of dakka to remove. I was almost out of the game at this point, down to only the Mek and some Gretchin.

However as mentioned all the attention on me had left the far flank pretty open for the squigs to swarm in. The Imperials managed to hold the gun at the end of three though to go into the lead.

Turn four featured the Marines consolidating my corner to try and remove the Kommandos – they had to send in extra Dreadnoughts and Razorbacks to make sure. This left my cheeky Mek with a golden opportunity – targetting the only Razorback holding an objective on the other side of the gun (maybe just about visible on the top and to the right of this image). Filling it full of angry snotlings, the tank exploded, and the blast restroyed a second, damaged Razorback nearby! Two tanks with one gun! Between that and swarming squigs – who seemed to keep coming out of the large egg-squigs, the Ork side managed to hold more at the end and square everything up going into the last turn! We used the big gun to fire onto a table where an Imperium civil war was happening – Ultramarines vs Sisters of Battle, nearly, but not quite killing the immovable Canoness Smashypants.

Even with the assistance of the Thunderhawk, the Black Templars were unable to clear their lines and stop the Squigs holding an objective. They also left a single Impulsor on their objective, which Blood Axe Tankbustas were able to remove. This left us dead even on objectives, but for a charge from some Blood Axe Nobs into what was the Snakebite corner to rest control of one from the Emerald Knight veterans. Amazingly this huge game ended up going right down to the wire, decided by the final action, and ending in an Ork (and Squig) victory! WAAAAGH!!!
Hope you enjoyed the read, and thanks to everyone involved. Big games like this can sometimes be a bit of a drag, especially if you are all but knocked out early, but that big shot from the Shokk Attack gun was well worth sticking around, and it ended remarkably close! Thanks for checking this out, and stay safe!

Redtoof’s 40K

Review: Warhammer Underworlds Harrowdeep

Games Workshop have kindly sent me an early release copy of Harrowdeep for review purposes. This set goes up for preorder on the 16th October 2021 and is available to buy in store and online from the 23rd October 2021. There is a price increase this year. Its predecessor Dire Chasm was £50 and Harrowdeep is £65.

I played a lot of Shadespire and Nightvault, so I’m excited to dive back into the depths with Harrowdeep. In this post I’ll share my thoughts on the minis and my experience playing the new game with my wife Jo and her experience as an absolute beginner.


  • 9 Citadel miniuatres
  • 114 Tokens
  • 52 Page rulebook
  • 2 Double sided game boards
  • 9 Fighter cards
  • 32 Truthseeker cards
  • 32 Da Kunnin’ Krew cards
  • 48 universal power and objective cards
  • 36 Grand Alliance power and objective cards
  • 11 Harrowdeep dice

This new Underworlds game is set under the seas of Ulgu in labyrinthine mazes. The game boards do a great job of capturing the feel of dark, dank areas of the shadowsea. The models aren’t heavily nautical in appearance which is a missed opportunity. There are subtle nods though, including Mannok’s head cage which is diving bell-like, Shank is armed with a net and probably the most seafaring visual cue of all is Stormrider’s “parrot”, ok it’s an Aetherwing but it still counts. Mannok da Kunnin actually has a bird on his shoulder in true pirate fashion.

I’ve assembled all the push fit models in around 90 mins. The sculpts are really nice. Xandiers’ Truth Seekers are wearing the new Thunderstrike armour with the addition of hooded capes. The models go together really nicely with a lot of join lines hidden. Some areas like Taros’ belly and Xandire’s shoulders will need some greenstuff to fix gaps but it’s minimal.

As with all Underworlds miniatures they are dripping with character. I love the Hobgrot with all his bags of treasure and the shoulder pads of the Stormcast each feature animals. Xandire and Stormrider have birds whilst Dhoraz has a Warthog. These are going to be great miniatures to paint.

Fun factor

To see how fun the game is, I challenged my wife Jo to a game once our little one had to gone to bed. The box estimates the game should take 30 minutes to play but it took us double that due to checking rules. After a few more games I think we could get it down to 45 minutes. 30 minutes seems a bit of a stretch.

Set up

We started the game by working through the rulebook, deciding who would place the game board first, dealt objectives, set up models etc. I haven’t played Underwords since Night Vault and my wife has only ever played once before. So we were both going into this as complete novices.

End of turn 1

The first turn saw the Kruleboyz attempt to sneak into the Stormcast territory but poor Gikkit was smashed to a pulp by Dhoraz’s massive hammer. Torka Tuffskul and his leader Mannok sought revenge and dispatched Dhoraz by tag teaming and getting those all important supporting attacks. It took a few activations to send Dhoraz back to Azyr and during which he was left with a single wound and became Vunverable scoring glory with Stubborn Yet objective. With Dhoraz gone his companions become inspired and score the Stalwart Few objective. The Kruleboyz score Born Survivors for having 1 friendly fighter out of action on turn 1.

End of turn 2

Turn 2 saw the warbands meet in the middle with the Xandire’s Truthseekers showing how tough they are by suffering lots of damage but not falling in return they focussed their efforts on Mannok and gave him 4 damage leaving him with one left. The Kruleboyz Boyz start to take the lead with 6 Glory to the Stormcasts’ 5 Glory.

End of turn 3

Turn 3 was brutal (and not kunnin) for the Kruleboyz with Xandire dispatching Mannok and Stormrider busting into enemy territory with Taros to score We Suffice. Shank is also dispatched and without those supporting dice Torka Tuffskul just could not land a blow on Xandire. The Stormcast claim many of their objective cards giving them 11 glory whilst the Kruleboyz do the walk of shame back to the swamps with 7 Glory.

But was it fun? Yes in parts. The thing that wasn’t fun was the terminology. We felt like lawyers at times looking up the definitions. That kind of sucked the fun out of the first game having to stop to work out how to score a glory after two subsequent reactions have been played in the same phase. I swear it use to be clearer in Shadespire and just say score a glory point for playing two ploy cards. By the end of our first game some of the terminology was starting to sink in like Vulnerable meaning a fighter left with 1 wound. Jo commented on the game saying “it’s not a good game for beginners, it’s too confusing” and I would agree with her. If you are a beginner I recommend you start reading the rulebook at the back with the Glossary first. All the keywords, terminology and jargon is there. Read this first to familiarise yourself with the language, it’ll help you decipher the rules easier.


Value is an interesting one. When Shadespire came out it was £35 and the Warbands were £17.50. Harrowdeep is £65 and the current Warbands released during Direchasm as £25. It makes me wonder if the Harrowdeep season of Warbands price will increase to £30+. Suffice to say the price feels a bit high which matches the higher level gameplay. Shadespire felt entry level and open to everyone. Harrowdeep has leaned into its title of “The Ultimate Competitive Miniatures Game” and is aimed at tournament players. Newbies are in for a steep learning curve to get started and would probably be better off buying the £40 Warhammer Underworlds Starter Set first with it’s stripped back rules.

As an investment this game is heavily supported with expansions and a new season every year. It’s easy to find tournaments and people to play. It’s not a 5 minute wonder, it’ll have you hooked collecting the warbands and cards as you seek to build the ultimate deck.

Check out this tutorial for painting Hobgrots, it’s perfect for Krookgrin…
…and here’s a tutorial that’ll work great for Xandire’s Truthseekers.

Do you like our tutorials and reviews? Here is what you can do to support us: Check out the websites of our sponsors, place your next orders at Wayland Games by clicking here or at Element Games by clicking hereThank you very much, we appreciate any help to keep us going.

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Tutorial: How to paint Black Templars Crusader Squads

In this post, I’ll show you how to paint a Crusader from the Black Templars from the Black Templar Army Set. I painted this model in 24 easy to follow steps. You’ll learn how I paint black armour, cream tabards, bright yellows and more. This tutorial is perfect for any black armoured space marines like Raven Guard and Death Company. Find out how in this tutorial.

This tutorial assumes you have a good understanding of how to paint Warhammer miniatures. With each picture is the corresponding instruction. Each step shows the Citadel paint(s) I used. You’ll find a list of all the paints used in this tutorial at the end of the post.

How to paint a Black Templar Crusader

Undercoat your model with black undercoat spray. I used the Army Painter one.

Basecoat the entire model with Corvus Black. You can brush it on in a couple of thin coats. I use an airbrush to speed things up

Thin some Dark Reaper paint with water on a mixing palette (old white tile is perfect) and apply really wide highlights to the armour.Repeat this a second time to increase the intensity of the colour of these translucent coats.

Paint a wide highlight to the edge of the armour using Thunderhawk Blue.

Create a mix of 50:50 Basilicanum Grey and Contrast Medium and cover the whole model. This will blend the previous layers and shade the Corvus Black layer with a darker shade.

Thin edge highlight the armour with Russ Grey. Thin with a touch of water to help flow the paint from the bristles. You don’t want to dragging the paint off the brush tip as it’s hard to be accurate.

Corax White can be a pain to use and sometimes has the consistency of cottage cheese but if you get some out of the pot and mix some water with it on a mixing palette its good to go. Paint the shoulder pads, chainsword, eyes and tabard with it. You can leave the shoulder pads off the model and spray those with a white undercoat spray if you want to save time.

Paint the tabard and oath parchment (purity seals) with Screaming Skull.

Create a mix of 50:50 Skeleton Horde and Contrast Medium and carefully paint it into the folds and creases of the tabard and parchment. A light coat is perfect, don’t overwork it when it’s wet. Once dry, repeat to increase the intensity in the deepest folds.

Highlight the edges and raised areas of the tabard and parchment with Wraithbone. hin with a touch of water to help flow the paint from the bristles.

Paint the chest Aquilla with a couple of coats of thinned Liberator Gold.

Wash the chest Aquilla with Contrast Aggaros Dunes.

Basecoat the belts and pouches with Mournfang Brown.

Apply a wash of Contrast Cygor Brown to the belts and pouches.

Apply edge highlights of Skrag Brown to the pouches and belts.

Paint the eyes and chainsword with Yriel Yellow. This might take a couple of thin coats to get a nice coverage.

Carefully paint in a single stroke of some Contrast Iyanden Yellow down the middle of the chainsword blade’s flat surfaces. A single stroke is best, if you dab it or over work it you can get weird tidemarks. I start at the top of the blade and work down to the hilt. Once dry then repeat to increase intensity. Run some Contrast Iyanden Yellow into the eye socket.

Edge highlight the chainsword blade with Dorn Yellow. Add a dot of Dorn Yellow at the corner of the eye (nearest nose).

Basecoat all the metal parts with Leadbelcher.

Create a mix of 50:50 Basilicanum Grey and Contrast Medium and apply a heavy wash over the metal areas.

Edge highlight the metals and golds with Runefang Steel. Also paint the rivets with Runefang Steel.

Paint the wax seal with Screamer Pink.

Wash the wax seal with Screamer Pink.

Edge highlight the wax seal with Emperor’s Children.

The base rim is Steel Legion Drab. The sand is painted with Deathclaw Brown, dry brushed with Bestigor Flesh and then Screaming Skull. The rocks are painted with Zandri Dust and dry brushed with Morghast Bone and finally dry brushed with Screaming Skull.

Paints you will need for this tutorial:

  • Black undercoat
  • Corvus Black (Base)
  • Dark Reaper (Layer)
  • Thunderhawk blue (Layer)
  • Basilicanum Grey (Contrast)
  • Russ Grey (Layer)
  • Corax White (Base)
  • Screaming Skull (Layer)
  • Skelton Horde (Contrast)
  • Wraithbone (Base) 
  • Liberator Gold (Layer)
  • Aggaros Dunes (Contrast)
  • Mournfang Brown (Base)
  • Cygor Brown (Contrast)
  • Skrag Brown (Layer)
  • Yriel Yellow (Layer)
  • Iyanden Yellow (Contrast)
  • Dorn Yellow (Layer)
  • Leadbelcher (Base)
  • Contrast Medium (Technical)
  • Runefang Steel (Layer)
  • Screamer Pink (Base)
  • Druchii Violet (Shade)
  • Emperor’s Children (Layer)

Paints you’ll need for the base:

  • Deathclaw Brown (Layer)
  • Bestigor Flesh (Layer)
  • Zandri Dust (Base)
  • Morghast Bone (Base)
  • Screaming Skull (Layer)

If you need to expand your paint collection to follow the tutorial, check out our partner stores Wayland Games and Element Games, which offer an amazing range of paints at a discount.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, leave a comment or reaction below, and if you got any questions, leave them here so I can answer them for you.

If you want to support me personally, please consider buying one of my products from ebay shop. Thank you.

The post Tutorial: How to paint Black Templars Crusader Squads appeared first on Tale of Painters.

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Video Showcase: Space Marine Heroes Series 1

I thought celebrating 10 years of Tale of Painters would be the perfect occasion to finally make one of the announcements from my 2021 hobby resolutions come true and launch my YouTube channel with my first ever video: an epic showcase for my Space Marine Heroes collection. Feast your eyes on this.

I always wanted to make my own videos and looked enviously at Garfy’s video editing skills. In my job, I’ve supervised a few video and TV commercial projects, but I’ve never done the production myself. Encouraged by Garfy, during the pandemic I finally found the time to learn video editing myself.

And here is the result. A showcase video for my Space Marine Heroes collection, of course inspired by all the trailers from Games Workshop. I would be very happy about your likes and subscriptions!

I hope to provide you with more and more video content in the future, and soon have video tutorials and reviews up and running. If you want to support me, so I can invest in better video equipment and do this more regularly, then check out my Patreon, and in the meantime have a look at Garfy’s channel, which has already a lot of great hobby videos including a mind-blowing trick to clean the lids of stuck Citadel paint pots.

Now on YouTube: Space Marine Heroes Series 1 Showcase

I hope you like my first video, leave me a comment, and until then, happy hobbying!

The post Video Showcase: Space Marine Heroes Series 1 appeared first on Tale of Painters.

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Adeptus Titanicus Battle Report – Mortis vs Astorum


More Titanicus! And this time, it’s a blog crossover episode, as I teamed up with Heretic Deb to run a pair of Mortis maniples into the forces of Legio Astorum, commanded by Dave. (Dave and Deb are the couple behind Forsters Foundry who 3D printed the cool Lunar Auxilia minis I painted a little while back.) As usual, AdTit games are a bit of a blur of back and forth decision making, so I’m leaving out a whole load of details!
We (perhaps optimistically, given we were all pretty rusty) played a 2000 point game, using the Titanicus Open War cards, which are rather cool. Having previously discussed after my last game how the standard objective cards are a bit lacking, it was a nice change. We also went for a couple of stratagem points each, and team Mortis decided on the orbital lance strike, primarily because it was cool.
The Mortis team consisted of a minimum Axiom maniple (Warhound, Reaver, Warlord) for Deb and a Venator Light Maniple (Reaver, three Warhounds) for me. We had an assortment of weapons with most loaded up for shield stripping, while the Warlord and my Reaver were rocking heavy duty weapons, Volcano cannons, plasma and melta between them. I also had one of my Warhounds with the always fun flamer and plasma.
The Astorum force had a full Precept maniple, which allows for a chosen order at the start of the turn to be passed on a 2+ by everyone in it. The maniple consists of a Warlord, Warbringer, Reaver and two Warhounds. They also brought along a big banner of six Questoris Knights, which are a right pain!
We ended up with smallish deployment zones that were each half a table edge, in opposite corners, with a mission to just kill everything. Our secondary mission was to hold table quarters, while the Warp Runners had to hold a building in their deployment zone.

We deployed with a Warhound gang in the middle to charge through the city ruins, and the bigger Titans taking some cover, the Warlord on the flank to swing round and secure the near quarter.

Astorum forces formed up with good firing lines down into the city and the Warlord (with a power fist!) at the head. Obviously the Death’s Heads had dropped in unexpectedly since these loyalists had not had their liveries applied yet!

Turn one featured a lot of Full Stride orders and Titans moving into position. Notably the Warbringer stepped back to make the Mortis Warhound gang a target, combining with the Reaver to strip some shields and leave some of them looking vulnerable.
Into turn two, we used the Dominant Strategist Princeps Senioris trait to take priority in order to get the unshielded Warhounds out of sight of the big guns. We also started things off with the lance strike on the knights, bunched up and cowering behind a building, but it was a bit of a whiff.

Speaking of those Knights – this Warhound may have dodged heavy firepower but it was about to be torn apart by the banner! They chopped away and took it down to critical.

The other movement saw another vulnerable Warhound make a break for it, while our two Reavers lined up to target the Knights or the Warlord.

 My undamaged Warhound (the fun one with flame and plasma) ran up to stand right next to an enemy one and blast it under the shields and hopefully discourage the melta cannon from the nearby Reaver! It didn’t, but it got away with it, surviving with shields intact and dealing some heavy damage to the Astorum Warhound’s head!

Elsewhere the unshielded Warhounds were not as lucky, both falling. The one fighting the Knights got taken out embarrassingly by the Warlord’s defence laser, and sadly did not explode, instead wild firing backwards at my Reaver! This did leave the Knights open to the Reaver battery, and when the smoke cleared there was only one left. Note – Knights do not like Melta cannons!

Going into turn three and some interesting duels and shootouts were developing. The Mortis Warlord finally cleared the buildings to start firing, blasting away at it’s counterpart – though in spite of everything the shields held. The Axiom Warhound went and got in the way to dutifully receive a powerfist to the face for it’s master.
Our Reavers were being harassed by the enemy Warhounds, eventually killing one of them but allowing Deb’s one to be lit up by the Warbringer and take serious damage all over. The last Knight got caught by a blast template and removed, while my last Warhound zipped around to get beside the Warbringer and within range of the Astorum’s protected building.

Turn four saw some shuffling, including the damaged Reaver shuffling off to cover. Mine started to take some heavy damage as well, but the Warbringer took some from the Warhound as well, and the enemy Warlord did eventually lose it’s shields, but the Mortis one was shedding it’s shields like they were going out of style!

Sadly at that point it was time to call the game and pack up. At that stage we had killed a Warhound and six Knights to two Warhounds for Dave, and some critical damage here and there. He also partially controlled his building, while we didn’t hold enough quarters to score, giving him a narrow victory. We talked through a few options for what might have happened in turn five, but there would be too many variables to really call a result so I think we settled on a draw. 
In any case, a very close, fun game with cool hosts! There was some talk of perhaps running a campaign in the future, and possibly the option of a get together with multiple AdTit people (I know The Claw has been thinking of something like that as well) – so watch this space! Whatever happens, I’m sure there will be more Titanicus on the blog in future. Hope you enjoyed reading, and stay safe.

Redtoof’s 40K