Archive for February, 2010

Tyranid Update

Here’s a color scheme that works. Black and charcoal for the carapace and red for the skin. It gives them quite a hellish appearance.

After playing four games (yeah, I know a lot), my impression of the Tyranid book is that it depends on synergy. The units are interdependent and must be used as such to have their greatest effect. In other words, to survive. Imperial Guard firepower is nothing to cough at. As I found out in my game against R&C, even lowly guardsmen, if they are in cover, are really hard to uproot, and if you’re caught with a Vendetta (heaven forbid two) at long range picking away at the large creatures, it’s going to be a turkey shoot.

But the Hive Mind learned something from that. Cover is good.

Scores of Hormagaunts, swarming across the field is a pressing threat. They can take down all but die hard elites. But their real service is bullet eaters. But how to keep them alive? That’s where the Venomthropes come in. Tervigons can give Catalyst. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to keep her alive.

So, I’m looking at mid-sized creatures because they can claim cover saves from the smaller gribblies. And it’s got to be fast. It’s got to be a second-turn charge.

I’m looking at good ole Tyranid Warriors and Tyranid Primes. Will that do it? Or Raveners for shock troops. That’s a second turn charge as well.

I am really like Mycetic Spores. They are monstrous creatures so they block line of sight, a meat shield for the advancing other creatures. And most things in the list can have them. What happens when the whole army shows up on Turn 03? As I have it, Tyranid Primes can ride with their crew in one. Is that right?

It also occurred to me that as more of them show up in the same area, their chance of scattering is reduced as they crowd a particular section, creating a wall of spore pod meat. A Deathleaper helps here.

So, the list I’m thinking of looks like this:

1x Deathleaper
2x Prime with Warriors in Pods (these can be nasty– up to nine Warriors)
10x Ymgarls
1x Something else Elite and Nasty in Pod
3x twenty strong Hormagaunts in Pods (this is a double layer of defense for the warriors)
And various trouble-shooters: Harpies, Tyrannofexes about 700 pts worth.

The trouble here is that whatever starts on the board will be subject to attention while the rest shows up. I’m liking Tyrannofexes because they can take a beating against long-range stuff (and maybe not even that if placed correctly) and still nail the big guys with 48″ range Assault Rupture cannons at S10. Not sure I like that many points in one sink since the theme here is a disruptive force where nothing is on the board until it starts raining crap from the sky.

What about Trygon Prime? That fits. No need to hang out for turn 1 and/or 2. But the Trygon in my last games has just got blown up every time. But then again the board will be dotted with mycetic pods. How many? Oh, just five.

Tyrannofex. Kills Valks Dead.

I’ve got a pile of Hormagaunts staring me down this weekend…

Posted on February 28th, 2010 at 2:38am by Shawn

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Comments: 5 comments

Tervigon Gamma

We now have three different types of Tervigon to choose from:
Tervigon Alpha (that’s the Hive Queen style from the Mesa Nids)
Tervigon Beta
Tervigon Gamma (this is now the standard thing)

Cost for a Tervigon (any type) is $95 (two for $180). That includes the cost of model and assembly (but not painting, that’s $90, two for $170). Price may vary check with me at if this post is more than 2 months old.

Harpy (unpainted) is $79.

Note: we are nowadays doing Assembly-only projects and we can do Tyranid special creatures for you.

We are still working on standardized forms for:
Parasite of Mortrex
Doom of Malan’tai

Posted on February 27th, 2010 at 9:04pm by Shawn

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Comments: 4 comments


I have noticed something. It’s pervasive.

A conservative President is called a hypocrite because he praises firemen and police while at the same time wishing to reduce the size of the federal government and the power of the unions.

Glenn Beck (conservative) was criticized by Rachel Maddow (liberal) for decrying federal programs (eg healthcare as a socialized service) while at the same time adulating his local public library (a social service). Oooh, how can he do that?

Michael Moore did the same thing in one of his books (can’t recall the name at the time), arguing “Well, you have the fire department which is a socialized system, then why don’t you want socialized healthcare?” It’s because the former is done at the city level and the latter at the federal level. One is easily managed and tailored to the needs of the populace, and the other is a distant power that cannot manage local peculiarities.

When you hear these types of things, please bear in mind where a service is funded. Does it come from:


taxes? Usually, the more useful services, that are of most benefit, come from the more local regions (eg schools, police, firemen). The city fills the pot-holes. The county keeps a jail and a court-house.

I love local government. They require the least and give the most. It is also easier to overthrow a local corruption than a distant and centralized one. The same power that acts benevolently can quickly be turned into a War Machine.

De-centralization is good. It puts the power closer to the people. Even a State government can be purged if it grows too onerous.

I suggest to you kindly reader, that you think carefully on where public services come from and how they are funded.

As far as I can tell it goes something like this.

The city wants a quarter.
The state wants two dollars.
The feds want ten dollars.

Why do they need so much? It should be the other way around, and about half that amount.

A Congressman that tries to get money back from the Federal Government for his district AND who speaks out against wasteful “pork barrel” spending is acting without hypocrisy. He wishes the money did not get sent to Washington to begin with. But while it is, he will try and get back as much as possible.

We send a pie, which is pecked over by the vultures, then get back a single slice with bird tracks all over it. It has to end.

Then again, I am biased because I live in a voluntaristic society of do-it-yourselfers (Mormons) who have a whole society running smoothly with just 600 people involved (a Ward– you can be in one too!). Most problems can be solved at that level.

Posted on February 27th, 2010 at 2:41am by Shawn

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Comments: 5 comments

Two Tons

Based on a rough estimate of now over 3,300 project completed, Blue Table Painting has now completed over two tons of figures.

Posted on February 27th, 2010 at 1:58am by Shawn

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Comments: 2 comments

Testimonial- Boatload of Praise


I just realized I haven’t given a single pat on the back in the last few
projects. That is a travesty as I’ve been extremely happy with
everything that’s you and the crew have produced. Sarah continues to do
a fantastic job packing. Not a single ork casualty in the latest box of

Krieg Tank Project: Man these things look awsome! I was blown away with
how everything turned out. The basing on the Sentinels and the Valkyries
is awesome! I think they’ve turned my luck around as I’ve been placing
higher in the tournaments now that everything is painted.

Wood Elves Expansion: The dragon is stunning. Fits in perfectly with
the rest of the army. The dryads and the Warhawk Riders are as high
quality as ever. Thank you for turning them around so quick (2 weeks)!

Ork Expansion: I just got these guys yesterday and folks who don’t even
know what a Space Ork are think they are the coolest looking models ever.
The Battlewagons came out exactly as I had envisoned, particularly the
HtH one.

In summation you guys continue to produce a quality product at a great
price and you will continue to have business from me for as long as your
painting. Obviously, please pass this onto the crew and have a blast at


Posted on February 26th, 2010 at 6:37pm by Shawn

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Comments: 6 comments


This (a bit from a GW FAQ recently released) is insane. That makes the Deff Rolla an absolute must. It can grind a Land Raider into dust!

Q. Can you use the Deffrolla when Ramming
vehicles or does it only work when Tank
Shocking non-vehicle units?

A. The death rolla does indeed inflict D6 S10 hits
against vehicles, as Ramming is just a type of
Tank Shock.

Posted on February 26th, 2010 at 2:45pm by Shawn

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 4 comments

Checking In

If you have a project with BTP, and you have a deadline or a time limit, I strongly urge you to email me with the specific date.

Same thing if it has been four weeks or more since you sent your deposit. It is likely that everything is on track. However, I would like to generally make sure everything is on track and this will help.

I don’t want to miss anything.

Posted on February 26th, 2010 at 4:22am by Shawn

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Comments: 11 comments

Off the Beaten Track

Today it all came together. I am composing a vid of it. There were three games going on all at once in the main room. It was great. Productivity is in the toilet. But the games had to be played.

First off, I got Julie and Tasha behind the wheel of the studio Imperial Fists army (didn’t know about that one did you?) and they took me to the cleaners. Of course, I was playing against myself since I was heavily advising them. I am truly a … Formidable Opponent.

More on that later.

I took my two sons out this morning to get a few of their favorite type of toys just for kicks, then for pancakes at a local restaurant. It was a moment of magic with lots of leftovers. Unfortunately, I forgot the boxes on the top of the van and drove off, so there are blueberry pancakes all over the street somewhere.

I also headed to Toys R Us for raw materials for the starport. I got a bunch of stuff for that. The plan is to have the equipment that might be needed at a starport, like unloading equipment, fueling tanks, generators, defense towers and so forth. We’ll see how it turns out.

But all that has to go on hold, even unfortunately the terrain-making. I am dedicating the next two days to catching up on work and emails.

About the studio Imperial Fists army. This is a decent-looking force I picked up on eBay, refurbished, and added some units to round it up to 2000+ pts.

1x Crusader
1x Predator
1x unit cc Termies
20x Tactical Marines
10x Sternguard
1x Lysander
1x Terminator Hero
1x Chaplain
5x Assault Marines
1x Ironclad Dreadnought

Posted on February 26th, 2010 at 3:28am by Shawn

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 9 comments

Tyranid Musings

The Mesa Nids are not the brightest gaunts in the swarm. They deploy badly. They spawn the wrong creatures. But they are learning…

In the Tyranid book there are three types of creatures: small, medium and large. The monstrous creatures cannot get cover saves from the others generally, so they are in a class apart. The medium creatures can get cover saves from the smaller gribblies.

Parasite of Mortrex

The Parasite is jump infantry, not necessarily even on a 40mm base. I’m thinking more of a jump-packer-sized thing.

Synapse Creatures
Anything in HQ
Tyranid Warriors
Trygon Prime

These two things have to match up. The Parasite can run with Hormagaunts and keep up with them, which is a nice feature. I’m going to try this once and let you know how it goes. Actually, you will probably see it in a video batrep.

I am currently a huge fan of Hormagaunts. They are the same cost as Gargoyles. I’m not trying to say one is better than the other. I just think they serve the role of shock troops better. On the net, their total movement is only about 1-2″ less. They can move through terrain better, getting cover saves. The big drawback of Gargoyles is that they have to take difficult terrain tests, or be out in the open. After all, who is going to screen them.

I see Gargoyles as being more of a troubleshooter unit. I plan on trying out a unit of 10 and seeing if they can cause some damage. That’s only 60 points after all. They can do something that Hormagaunts cannot: get up to higher levels of terrain easily. I see them more as a unit to lurk around the edges and pounce on pesky units.

An interesting list to try out would be all Mycetic Spores. I wonder how a conga line of those things would affect the battlefield. If you’ve seen the models I’m using for these, we can create a painted one for you for $110 (or two for $180) or you can just get the model for $50 (four for $180).

The trick with Tyranids has to be the synergy of units. How do two units work together. Example: Parasite of Mortrex can run with Hormagaunts, giving it protection while the gaunts get some extra hitting power. But the Parasite is pretty spendy for it’s relatively tame hitting power, that is a problem. I mean, it costs as much as a Carnifex for pity’s sake.

Speaking of Carnifexes, I’m just not seeing it. I do plan on running a pod to see how they do. I would really like to (just once) run nine of those boys across the table. Strength 9 is their big item. And bio-plasma, don’t forget they can turn into a close range plasma cannon.

Back to synergy. Small and medium creatures are the two great tastes that taste great together. The gribblies give cover saves while the large creatures add hitting power. I see Shrikes working well here as they can hop about out of sight (the best defense against shooting is to simply be unseen completely). They have the enormous downside (Gargoyles too) of dangerous terrain tests. There is a ton of difficult terrain on the typical 40K board. But I don’t see that as a big downside.

Starting to love the Shrikes. Want to try them out. I’m thinking a brood of five. Or maybe just three to keep their profile slim while still keeping spread out.

Three medium creatures on 40mm bases, spaced 2″ apart can only have one member of the brood hit by a large blast template at a time. That ain’t bad.

I’m really worried about the trenchworks board. That thing is a deathtrap for Tyranids: gribblies forced into a tight pack down in the trenches means the cover save is not so useful. A pair of flamers and it’s roasty time.

The thing I love about the Tyranid codex is that it is full of mono-purpose creatures which means that they can handle almost any situation. If the swarm is large enough.

Posted on February 25th, 2010 at 11:20am by Shawn

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Comments: 8 comments


If you are interested in a board like this of your own (it’s exquisite), please inquire at Cost is likely in the $1500-2000 range depending on various factors. Plus actual shipping costs.

Posted on February 25th, 2010 at 12:40am by Shawn

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments: 6 comments

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