Reinforcements! My very latest and greatest creations have arrived/been painted. Faithful followers may recall a few tank related articles from the past, with a few shots of my completed steel behemoths and a couple of teasers, as well as my finished Vanquisher. Well, now I can reveal all three in their glory:
Left to right (in battle formation), Demolisher, Vanquisher, Demolisher. The squadron formation stems from a very successful combination I use on Dawn of War, Dawn of Steel (a quite excellent DoW mod available here). The Vanquisher can comfortably deal with any long range armour business that needs dealing with, and the double-death-dealing-Demolisher combo should more than comfortably be able to wipe out any squad arrayed against it with a combined salvo. As I say, it seems to work very well on DoW, so I'll be interested to see how they play out in the games. To continue with gaming/tactics musings, this is a good time to bring up the thorny issue of sponsons. Many people disagree with my all heavy-bolter loadout for the Vanquisher especially, opting instead for the traditional Lascannon. Myself, I don't favour giving a LC to a unit that's already the best tank hunter in the game, and the withering firepower of 9 HB shots is too much for me to resist.
But it depends on your army. Me, I've got lots of LC batteries in infantry squads that do the majority of my AT work, as well as lots of krak grenades to stop anyone getting too close. The vanquisher is more of an aesthetic bonus. But, if you're relying on the Vanquisher as your only AT (not a bad choice, I do it myself from time to time), one unlucky miss on that AT shell can conceivably loose you a battle. For these people, a backup lascannon can be a lifesaver. For me, most enemies try to swamp the shiny anti-tank Vanquisher with deep-strike infantry, hence the need for heavy bolters to defend it. For some reason, heavy weapons teams tend to get left alone.
(I'm very considerate of the 'psychological warfare' factor, noting how anything that's big and shiny tends to attract a hugely disproportionate amount of firepower. I remember succumbing to the disease myself when I wasted an entire round of shooting on a single, newly-released Land Raider. Note to self: follow up article, with equations dividing total points on shiny object p, by sum of enemy shooty models s, to give a 'psych-out' factor f ... )
Anyway, back to the real world ... For the Demolishers, I generally followed the same formula except for a couple of heavy flamers. I cannot overemphasise how underused these heavyweight light assault weapons are; perfect for targeting horde opponents who would normally laugh at your HB's three shots, charging it with a unit of a billion termagants (with the Endless Bloody Horde, or Will These Damn Aliens Never Stop special rule or whatever it is, I might add ... )
To talk about the models, I'm not much of a tank painter, I struggle to get to grips with painting large areas, and so for that reason I'll soon be experimenting with aerosol sprays (not doing so up to now for consistency). The only other major detraction from the painting guide on the back of the box is the addition of builder's filler mud (WW1 photos provide great references for this, by the way) and Death Korps transfers from the Forgeworld website. Expensive, at £9 (ish) but the sheet is A4 and will last you a long time, being a lot better than the rubbishy Cadian ones you get. (Note to self: make the psych-out factor x or q, to make it cooler)
So, there you have it! Tanks, advance! I've yet to try these bad boys out in battle, so be sure to expect an update on that soon, but until then, am eagerly awaiting a latest order with some non-human models in it ... (that's called a teaser, apparently). Expect an update around the end of the week on that!