Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Showcase: Stormguard

Okay, by now you're probably sick of all of the showcases, so the good news is that today's will be the last for a while... or at least until I finish painting what models are on my painting table.  Today I will showcase my two units of Stormguard!  What's great about taking pictures of my models is that I become hyper aware of what kind of damage they have taken in the time since I finished painting them.  Last night I made sure to go through and fix all of the little chips, dings, and minor paint spills.  I'm not the neatest painter, but I wanted them to look at least a bit better for you all.  Let's see how they turned out!

The first thing you'll likely notice is that I have two minimum units, and I have to have some way to keep track of them since their paintjobs are all mostly identical.  So, I decided that different butt-cloth colors would do the trick, since that's usually the angle I end up seeing most as a player anyway, and it's a great way to keep track of units.  I decided to go with a dirty normal beige color on one, and a yellow on the other.  Again, I'm not a great painter, I just go for what maximizes looks for the amount of time I spend on the models.

Here are two shots of one of the leaders.  Again, the models are painted identically except for their butt-cloth, so I decided to only show you one.  Unfortunately, it's hard to see the last white highlight on the blade because of my white unpainted display board (yes, that's what it is).  Still, you can see that I tried to make this guy look good without spending a ton of time on him.  I'm pleased with how he turned out.

Here's a close-up of one of the Stormguard grunts.  I do want to say that these guys are really obnoxious to paint.  It's not that there's a lot of detail, per se, but that there are a lot of different textures and surfaces (which is great model design!) but they are in such close proximity that my fumbling hand usually spills over.  I'm not good at "painting in the lines" as it were.

I was having difficulty having my phone
camera focus on the blade but you can see
the white highlight a bit better here

Now, Stormguard are not the most popular of Cygnar infantry, likely due to their high cost (6/9), especially considering that their Stormblade cousins are capable of packing quite the punch with a ranged and melee attack to use, and they also synergize better with a Stormclad, giving it a free focus if nearby.  However, I find that the Stormguard are very useful because of Reach on their weapons, combined with electro-leap, allowing them to clear out infantry rather well.  The trick is making sure that they are the ones getting the charge, and at SPD 5 with DEF 12 ARM 15, even with set defense, they are usually dying pretty easily.  In order to make the most of them, I will be trying a new formation:

This formation should allow them to stay more survivable against other melee threats (spread out a bit more if the enemy has reach).  Thanks to reach, this means that enemy models will have a difficult time engaging everyone without risking a free strike from one of the frontmost models.  This means that I'm likely to only lose a couple of guys from a charge (especially with set defense) and it means that some will be left behind to counter-charge.  We'll see how it works out, but I think this will be the best formation, and it's great that it actually makes sense!
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