I’m a rocket man

With this latest Wu Ming, I’m finally hopping on the bandwagon.

Not as heavily as I had hoped mind you, but I’ll make do with what I can.

If you’re confused, I’m talking about Rocket Launchers, more specifically the unbelievable destruction Heavy Rocket Launchers (HRL) are causing on gaming tables in my local area and presumably the world. Hopefully this Light Rocket Launcher can match them for menace.

So, why are HRLs so damn good?

The impact template is a big part of it. It is generally accepted that as the rules are written, impact templates ignore the partial cover bonus to ARM rolls. This means that against anything less than ARM 6 in cover, the impact template is going to be a better choice than even AP for reducing saves, even without other enemies to share the pain. The requirement for models to physically be touching a scenery element to claim partial cover from it tends to ensure that targets remain nice and bunched up for the HRL harvest.

Then there’s the fire damage, the gift that keeps on giving. This is especially handy, as I found out to my distress, against ARM 0 remotes whose two levels of unconsciousness usually make them a time and order intensive chore to remove.

Then there’s the Burst of 2, which is quite generous for a circular template weapon, especially with it’s range bands (more on that later). Add to that an abundance of good link options, like Phoenix, Gweilos, Sekban Haris and Hassassin Muyibs, meaning that burst is normally 3, with a two shot ARO that has, to date, written off more units of mine than any other weapon, in any other phase.

Range bands, as I alluded to earlier, are generous, with a 16 inch sweet spot from 16-32 inches. Negative range bands of -3 extend 16 inches beyond that, and also for the first 8 inches. It gets scary when you factor in the fact that a HRL is bundled with an X-visor quite often, at least for Muyibs, Raidens and Gweilos off the top of my head. This means 32 inches of no modifiers, and 16 inches of +3.

Finally there is the cost;

  • Phoenix is 35 points, ODD linkable HRL.
  • Gweilo is 23 points, for a nanoscreened, linkable  HRL with X-visor.
  • Muyib is 23 points, for a dogged, linkable  HRL with X-visor.

These things are cheap, cheaper than a MULTI Sniper Rifle. Using the Raiden as a guide, we can see that the points cost of a HRL + X-visor is equal to the points cost of an MSR. As stated above, against most units in cover, the impact template is more effective than AP, ARM by a flat 3. Fire damage is comparable to double action ammo, and actually exceeds it in terms of damage potential in that it is possible, although not probable, to inflict the 5 wounds necessary to completely wipe out a remote presence TAG with one hit. Furthermore it has (or had, I guess) extra utility against Tohaa. The only edge the MSR has is extreme range shooting, which I will confess, has significantly impacted games in the past.

Well, you know what they say: If you can’t beat them, join them!

Does anyone else have any experience with these weapons of mass destruction?


War Criminals

DSC01948 So there goes another week without painting anything. It’s lucky that last time I had a go I got a bunch of guys done in tandem that I can gradually feed out into the blog. It doesn’t make for great posts but at least it’s something, right?

DSC01943 The Wu Ming with boarding shotgun, probably the most useful model amongst the Wu Ming. Hell he might be one of the most useful models in the whole Imperial Service with his Forward Observer profile. Linkable specialist, great stats, no thrills, at a price that can’t be beat. And I have to say, the boarding shotgun is really doing it’s best to be my favourite weapon. Maybe I am just lacking finesse, but the guys packing these babies tend to be responsible for the lion’s share of violence when I’m on a roll.

DSC01942 In addition to his forward observer profile, this model can also represent a profile equipped with a Tinbot. Whilst I like the idea of running one, as long as there is only one sculpt wielding the boarding shotgun and specialist rules are as they are, I will not be able to pass over the Forward Observer. Maybe one day they will shift the Tinbot to the guy with the combi rifle + emitter. Then he’d see table for sure.

DSC01944 So that’s three down, enough to use as a fireteam -bring on the pain! But it’s a big points investment that doesn’t leave a lot of points for dealing with the enemy’s tricks, so I’m still trying to find the balance. Let you guys know when I do.


Service updates.

This post is mostly about playing catchup with a few models that I painted recently but never wrote an article for. I also played a pair of games yesterday that happened to use all of these models, but more on that later. DSC01887 First up is the Sniper half of the Celestial Guard special weapons blister, who I painted simultaneously with the Wu Ming from last post. I’ve already had a few chances to discuss Celestial Guard, so there isn’t much left to say. She’s a cool model, to me she has the feel of part of a fireteam in an urban environment, reacting to movement in an upper story window or roof top. As far as colour goes, the only thing that is really unique about her is her hair. DSC01886 My original instinct was to forgo purple for something more identifiably oriental, but in the end my inner Weeaboo won out. I painted it by highlighting the black undercoat with Skull White, before putting a slightly wetter Liche purple over the top. I’m happy with the result, and will probably replicate it if I ever manifest the courage to take a brush to Miranda Ashcroft. I fielded the sniper as part of a fireteam in the second game I played, (annihilation) although she personally never fired a shot. Instead her partner with the Spitfire took point in an absolutely tense fire fight with a Shasvastii Gweilo link team over two turns, eventually prevailing over three of them after many exchanges. This reversed a very poor start and the momentum carried me through to a welcome win. DSC01884 In anticipation for the games, I quickly whipped up the second Wu Ming the night before. As I found a method I was happy with on the guy with the Combi Rifle+E/mitter, I went straight for the HMG, who I anticipate will see the most table. I painted him exactly the same as his predecessor. Painting the numbers on his head is quite hard! His number is meant to be 三十五 / sān shí wǔ, the characters for 3, 10 and 5 (meaning 35) respectively. Won’t get too bogged down in numbers for the time being; I think I might do a whole post on numbers to celebrate finishing the fifth Wu Ming, so look forward to it. DSC01882 I deployed the Wu Ming with HMG in the first game (The Armoury), on a fairly quiet flank. Because of a chronic shortage of orders on my second turn, he never got activated. Why were my orders in short supply? Well, I had this wonderful idea of using a Rui Shi to suppress the objective room from one of the doorways with assisted fire from the Celestial Guard hacker. On the way to the room however, a crafty Noctifier came out of hidden deployment on a distant rooftop. As the remote broke cover on his second short move skill (I thought it was safe, my first mistake), the Noctifier had a beautiful normal roll against it and disabled it. Thanks to my tunnel vision, I spent a lot of orders getting a Sophotect up to fix it, which meant I finished my turn bunched up around the doorway where I wanted to set up the Rui Shi (Second big mistake, although I didn’t know it at the time). My friend did notice my mistake however, and wasted no time notifying me by way of Shasvastii Seed Soldier with light grenade launcher, who unloaded speculative shots at the mass of troops until one hit. With the objective room under his control, he let his Sphinx off the chain to keep me busy while he plundered the armoury with impunity. Sphinxes are awesome by the way. I did eventually put it down, but it took enough effort that I did not have the orders or the manpower to make a push on the armoury. Total defeat. There is a silver lining though. When I first presented my Crane on the blog, I said I’d wait till he bagged a Shasvastii before I painted the dead one on his base… DSC01880 That damned Noctifier who set about the chain of events leading to my loss of the armoury? The Crane braved his AROs long enough to take a shot with Triangulated Fire. What should have been a -12 modifier despite the X-Visor for the combination of long range, cover and TO camo was taken up to a comfy -3, and the xenos was purged with shock ammo. Tactically irrelevant but it sure made me feel good. I also took the opportunity to  get started with the freehand detail on the inside of his cloak. I think it needs some bleached bone but happy with the result so far. DSC01875

Assault Corpse


No that’s not a typo. With the addition of troops from this infamous penal regiment, the dead men walking scene my Imperial Service is starting to get pretty crowded. Accordingly, I created this flow chart to help understand Yu Jing’s deployment of suicide troops.

Suicide troops

Originally low on my “to get” list due to lack of interest in their background, I eventually caved in to their tabletop potential. They bring staying power that my current IS builds were sorely lacking. As I still have no faith in my ability to not ruin models in the attempt to get them table ready, I started by painting the model least likely to see play, harsh as that is. In this case it’s the guy armed with the combi rifle + E/mitter. He’s not the cheapest option, he’s not a specialist and he’s not the most destructive option, only reaching his full potential as part of a coordinated order or fire team. It’s a shame too, because I love how he turned out. Hopefully he’ll see table when I finish the next two.

SAMSUNGUpon reviewing the studio paint scheme, I was somewhat surprised to find out how much of their armour was grey rather than Imperial Service Orange. I was also surprised to see that they also wore a significant amount of ballistic vest rather than metal plates.


Accordingly, painting him was quite simple. There are only 6 distinct colour fields after all: Grey armour, grey equipment, orange armour, blue artificial muscle, blue lights and green fabric. The grey armour was simply done with Codex Grey, washed with Abaddon Black and then highlighted with Fortress Grey. The blue lights and artificial muscle where both Hawk Turquoise with Skull White gradually added. The orange armour was done with Orange Brown washed with Cavalry Brown, highlighted with Bleached Bone. The fabric was a mix of Castellan Green and Bubonic Brown.


So lets look at the name of those without a name.

Wú Míng is written with the characters 无名, which together mean “nameless” or “obscure”.

Wu Ming

We briefly came across the first character, 无/Wú, when we looked at the Zúyŏng Invincible. 无/wú means none or without, and often works as a prefix.  To say it, start with the word “tool”, take away the ‘l’, then turn the ‘t’ into an ‘w’.

The second character, 名/Míng refers to given names. This is in contrast to 姓/Xìng which means family name. ‘Míng’ rhymes with ‘ping’ and ‘thing’.

Wu Ming Logo

There are also three characters atop the logo that haven’t turned up anywhere else yet (The bottom two are Yù jīng/玉京). They are 冲锋队/ chōng fēng duì. Together this means assault corps. The first character, 冲/chōng ,stands for rushing, striking, charging  etc, and can function, amongst other things, as an adjective or verb. The second character, 锋/fēng is a noun denoting the point of a sharp tool, the edge of a sword or also the vanguard of a military formation. Combining these two gives you the equivalent of “charge”, which can be a noun or verb in the same way. The final character, 队/duì denotes a team or corps.