Thursday, December 30, 2010

Flames of War Objectives



In Flames of War, the majority of the battles are fought for the control of objectives. The exact nature of those objectives are left up to imaginations of the players. The only real rule applied to objectives simply states that they must measure 2 1/2 inches by 2 inches.

For my American Rifle Company (members of the 9th ID and Italian veterans) I imagined that one of the most important assets to the company would be their fraternal bond, forged over the hardships of many Gustav Line battles. With that in mind, I further supposed that such a tight-knit unit would do almost anything to extract one of their fallen.

Private Smith was new to the 9th. A replacement for one of the many men lost in Italy, Smith had been shipped to France to meet his new unit while they resupplied for the coming invasion. He didn't fit in well with the rest of Dog Company, being green and untested in battle. Many times he was left to himself. His squad would move out, like a well oiled machine, and he would just be expected to follow.

Normandy could be unpredictable. Smith found this out the hard way. Stopping to relieve himself in the bushes, Private Smith shouldered his weapon. The grove of trees cast a dark gloom ahead, and it unnerved him. Quickly finishing his business, he began to run to catch up when he heard a sound that made his heart stop. Listening carefully, he could make out voices speaking in hushed tones. Smith had spent enough time in France to realize that, though foreign, the voices were definitely not French...


It took a little while before Smith's squad realized his absence. Inquiries into other units reavealed there had just been an ambush to the rear, right where they had passed earlier, and the Krauts had taken POWs. Reporting this to their Captain, the men were surprised when he ordered the company to turn around. When asked about his decision, he simply stated "In Dog Company, we don't leave our own to the mercy of those Kraut...

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Wife is a German



Hello all, Foxphoenix here.

My wife is a Nazi-supporter. Not in real life, for pete's sake! Where in the world would you get that idea?!

In Flames of War, she picked a half-track riding Panzergrenadier company as the counterpart to play against my Americans. This is in large part to the inclusion of two StuG G assault guns in the Open Fire! boxed set.

I helped her paint these, but the majority of the work was done by her. Not too shabby, eh?


We both are building mechanized companies. We'll be basing our campaigns on northern Africa and Italy at first, and moving into later war periods later. Should be fun!

Until next time,
--FP135

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Flames of War: the Do-Over


Sometimes you gotta do something else for a while.

For me, I picked up a Flames of War starter kit on clearance while in the hobby shop buying ballast to use for basing. Mini rulebook was missing, though, as I found out when I arrived home. Since Anchorage is a two-hour drive each way, I was less than thrilled. I called the store and got the manager, who said the box was a display model and thus the mini rulebook got forgotten in the store window. Crap.

To make it worth my while, he offered to give me the hardback copy of the rulebook in addition to the mini one if I could come pick them up...

Living in Alaska is awesome, but there are times it really sucks...

Here's to another four-hour round trip.

--Fp135

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DK of Kremlin: First photo op!



First Veteran Squad... Enjoy!

Growing Pains

Yup, the blog is growing again.

Octo, one of our new authors, has spent the last week or so perfecting a new terrain supplement for friendly games of 40k. I will give him a prod and see if it's ready for posting!

The real reason of this post, however, is to announce that I am adding even more authors. I've asked my friends (and frequent adversaries) Brandon and John to become contributors to this blog. Both these guys really love the game, so hopefully they will complement my modeling posts with some good tactica!

Look for their posts in the future.

Until next time,
--Fp135

Progress Report: 12/15/2010



I finished the first of three Chimeras to tabletop standard, as well as the remaining troops in the Veteran squad. Total painting tally for the month to date: 1 Vendetta, 1 Chimera, 10 Infantry! That would be 30 points if using the old painting scoring system!

For this chimera, I was experimenting with rust effects. By my logic, I could always paint over it if I wasn't satisfied. To my surprise, however, I found it quite pleasing to the eye! It breaks up the monotony of the model quite well. Highlights would help a bit, but I didn't want my tanks being overly light in comparison to my Vendetta (which I blacklined with washes rather than highlighted).

So one squad down, 3 to go! Also, I have Penal Legionnaires to look forward to, as well as two Leman Russes and possibly a Basilisk.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Progress Report: 12/14/2010



I received a few of the tanks I traded for, two LRBTs and one of three Chimeras. I immediately began refurbishing them, starting by stripping the paint from the LRBTs, and did a quick repaint of the Chimera. I still have the details to pick out, but I just wanted to get a head start on the transport to take a break from painting infantry. On the plus side: painted infantry is up to 5 out of 30 veterans! I'd better finish the other five in that squad, so I can finish basing them.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Progress Report: 12/12/2010



I've been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend, but I didn't let that stop me from getting the lead out on these models! I assembled and based all three squads, and spent today fiddling with paint schemes. I finally settled on this one. Takes a little bit more work than I usually would deem acceptable for my rank-and-file troops, but it should be worth it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Progress Report 12/10/2010




Yesterday, my PigIron heads finally arrived. I was eager to start popping them on the infantry, so I dug up a bottle of superglue and... nothing! Hard as a rock, that tube was. Argh!

So today I finally got more superglue. Started applying the new heads and they look awesome. That's as far as I got tonight. I'll have to finish up tomorrow. Once I'm done with the heads, I can get to the fun part: painting!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Need input: DK of Kremlin List Revised 1750


Ok, I am finally cobbling enough models together to form the semblance of an effective list. I've dropped a lot of the "static" models in favor of a more elite and highly maneuverable list that more closely reflects the fluff I wanted of a specialist "spetznaz" type regiment. What are some changes I should shoot for in the future? Give me your input!

HQ: Company Command Squad (6#, 150 pts)
4 Company Command Squad @ 150 pts (Camo Cloak; Carapace Armour; Sniper Rifle x4; Master of Ordnance)
1 General Vanivar aka Company Commander (Camo Cloak; Carapace Armour; Power Weapon)
1 Master of Ordnance (Camo Cloak; Carapace Armour)

HQ: Lord Commissar (1#, 95 pts)
1 Lord Commissar @ 95 pts (Carapace Armour; Power Fist)

Elite: Guardsman Marbo (1#, 65 pts)
1 Komrade Yuri @ 65 pts

Troops: Penal Legion Squad (10#, 80 pts)
9 Penal Legion Squad @ 80 pts
1 Penal Custodian

: Ministorum Priest (1#, 45 pts)
1 Ministorum Priest @ 45 pts

Troops: Veteran Squad (11#, 225 pts)
9 Veteran Squad @ 225 pts (Carapace Armour; Demolition Charge; Melta Bombs; Grenade Launcher x1; Meltagun x2; Demolitions; Grenadiers)
1 Veteran Sergeant (Carapace Armour; Melta Bombs)
1 Chimera (Extra Armor)

Troops: Veteran Squad (11#, 225 pts)
9 Veteran Squad @ 225 pts (Carapace Armour; Demolition Charge; Melta Bombs; Grenade Launcher x1; Meltagun x2; Demolitions; Grenadiers)
1 Veteran Sergeant (Carapace Armour; Melta Bombs)
1 Chimera (Extra Armor)

Troops: Veteran Squad (11#, 310 pts)
7 Veteran Squad @ 310 pts (Carapace Armour; Demolition Charge; Melta Bombs; Grenade Launcher x1; Plasmagun x2; Sergeant Bastonne; Demolitions; Grenadiers)
1 Veteran Heavy Weapon Team (Missile Launcher; Carapace Armour (Based on Squad); Carapace Armour (Based on Squad))
1 Sergeant Bastonne (Carapace Armour; Melta Bombs)
1 Chimera (Extra Armor)

Fast Attack: Vendetta Gunship Squadron (1#, 130 pts)
1 Vendetta Gunship Squadron @ 130 pts
1 Vendetta

Heavy Support: Ordnance Battery (1#, 125 pts)
1 Ordnance Battery @ 125 pts
1 Basilisk (Heavy Flamer)

Heavy Support: Leman Russ Squadron (1#, 150 pts)
1 Leman Russ Squadron @ 150 pts
1 Leman Russ Battle Tank

Heavy Support: Leman Russ Squadron (1#, 150 pts)
1 Leman Russ Squadron @ 150 pts
1 Leman Russ Battle Tank

Validation Report:
d-1. Formatting: Competition Output, for AB 3.2; c-1. File Version: 1.10a For Bug Reports/www.ab40k.org; 1. Guard Regiments: 5th Edition Codex; b-1. Roster Options: Special Characters; a-1. Scenario: Normal Mission
Roster satisfies all enforced validation rules

Total Roster Cost: 1750

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vendetta Recolor Pt 2





Finally done with all that Vendetta painting. I'm actually quite happy with my theme, as it looks very Soviet-esque. Tell me what you think!

Vendetta Recolor pt 1



I began work on recoloring my Vendetta in the DK of Kremlin colors. Got the basic colors done, working on highlighting now.

Some more progress on DK Kremlin



Finished recoloring an Officer today, started work on the Vendetta. It's gonna look awesome...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marbo Repaint: Meet "Komrade Yuri", give me your input!



Here is my recent repainting of my original Marbo scratchbuild. He is one of the few models left from my sale of the Alascadian Guard, but I felt he needed a facelift to bring him in line with the planned scheme for my Death Korps of Kremlin.

Compare it to the original scheme and you'll see what I mean:




But I am still undecided as to whether I want to try and replicate some form of Russian camouflage, or keep the uniforms a plain olive drab. What do you guys think? Let's get your input.

If possible, give links to pictures of examples!

Until next time,
--FP135

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Death Korps of Kremlin Order of Battle (1750)



Here is the first list I have created for normal games to use the Death Korps of Kremlin as a normal IG list. This has no units that would need "Opponent's Permission" aside from being non-GW models. I still plan to model them all WYSIWYG though, so everything should be hunky-dory. Ok, enough hemmin' and hawin', here's the (incredibly non-effective and fluffy) list I've drawn up:

- 5th Edition IG Roster - Death Korps of Kremlin 1750

HQ: Lord Commissar (1#, 95 pts)
1 "Lord-General Vanivar" @ 95 pts (Carapace Armour; Power Fist)

HQ: Company Command Squad (8#, 305 pts)
2 Company Command Squad @ 305 pts (Carapace Armour; Krak Grenades; Medi-pack; Vox Caster; Lord Castellan Creed; Astropath; Master of Ordnance; Officer of the Fleet)
1 Veteran Heavy Weapon Team (Missile Launcher; Carapace Armour (Based on Squad); Krak Grenades)
1 "Lt. General Borishkin" (Creed)
1 Astropath (Carapace Armour; Krak Grenades)
1 Master of Ordnance (Carapace Armour; Krak Grenades)
1 Officer of the Fleet (Carapace Armour; Krak Grenades)

: Techpriest Enginseer (3#, 135 pts)
1 Magos Biologis @ 135 pts (Servitor Unit)
2 "Cyclops" servitors (Multi-Melta x2)

: Ministorum Priest (1#, 45 pts)
1 Ministorum Priest @ 45 pts

Elite: Guardsman Marbo (1#, 65 pts)
1 Comrade Yuri @ 65 pts

Elite: Ratling Squad (3#, 30 pts)
3 Recon Snipers @ 30 pts

Elite: Storm Trooper Squad (5#, 85 pts)
4 Storm Trooper Squad @ 85 pts
1 Storm Trooper Sergeant

Troops: Veteran Squad (10#, 220 pts)
9 Veteran Squad @ 220 pts (Carapace Armour; Demolition Charge; Melta Bombs; Meltagun x3; Sergeant Bastonne; Demolitions; Grenadiers)
1 Sergeant "Boryenka" (Carapace Armour; Melta Bombs)

Troops: Infantry Platoon (49#, 495 pts)
1 Infantry Platoon @ 495 pts
4 Platoon Command Squad (Krak Grenades; Vox Caster; Flamer x3; Commander Chenkov)
1 Commander Chenkovski
9 Infantry Squad (Krak Grenades; Vox Caster; Grenade Launcher x1; Commissar)
1 Commissar (Krak Grenades)
1 Sergeant (Krak Grenades)
9 Infantry Squad (Krak Grenades; Grenade Launcher x1)
1 Sergeant (Krak Grenades)
3 Heavy Weapons Squad (Mortar x3; Krak Grenades)
20 Conscripts Squad (Send in the Next Wave)

Fast Attack: Vendetta Gunship Squadron (1#, 140 pts)
1 Vendetta Gunship Squadron @ 140 pts
1 "3-Year Gambit" (Heavy Bolter Sponsons x2)

Heavy Support: Ordnance Battery (1#, 135 pts)
1 Ordnance Battery @ 135 pts
1 Medusa (Heavy Flamer)

Total Roster Cost: 1750

Created with Army Builder® - Try it for free at http://www.wolflair.com






So... any opinions on this list? I do realize it is going to suck big time, but it should be fun and fluffy to use. I love the idea of putting Chenkov in charge of a bunch of conscripts, repeatedly breaking them upon enemy positions. True-to-form human wave strategies sounds exactly how I would imagine that the Kommunist Party wages war. Sgt. Bastonne with his squad of elite troopers should be fun... they'll probably ride in the Vendetta. It'll be a high priority target, so if I put them in it and turbo-boost for the enemy lines they should get close enough to melta tanks as they crash-land... sounds like a good time. The single Medusa is all the artillery I could manage to scratchbuild, as the basilisk-chassis weapon I'm making looks more like a direct-fire weapon than an Earthshaker.

I have TONS of opportunities for orders with this army, between Creed, Bastone, and Chenkov. Hopefully fusillades of "First rank fire, second rank fire" will work as well as I hope they will. I know, I know... more heavy weapons. I'll be adding those in when I increase my army to 2000 points, but for now this will have to work until I can come up with a way to get some of those heavy weapon squads.

Looks like a good fun time. Hopefully by posting this list I have not enabled some of my regular opponents to take advantage and list-tailor! If you guys are reading this, List Tailoring Sucks!!!

Until next time,
--FP135

Friday, December 3, 2010

End of an era...

'Tis true. I got my first warning from a forum mod on Dakka Dakka forums. I had been a resident of those forums for nearly two years now, and after 2700+ posts, I finally get the ominous warning about being polite.

Is this the end of my internet innocence? Or is it simply that as I get older, I don't give a damn about peoples feelings as much as I used to?

Side project: Basilisk Scratchbuild



I started a side project while I had the templates out: a Basilisk artillery piece. For the record, hot glue sucks! It is very hard to maintain control of. I'll have to fill in the gaps with putty or greenstuff and smoothe it out.

Also, I recolored my ghillie snipers to match my intended paint scheme.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Brief History of the Death Korps of Kremlin



Planet: Kremlin

Population: approximately 3 billion

Average Temperature (equatorial): 25 C

Average Temperature (Polar Regions): 0.5 C

Geographical Features: Primarily forested with hardy evergreen trees. Low (but not excessively so) average temperatures coupled with abundant moisture indicate a lengthy winter season, which is perpetuated with snowfall. Arctic regions consist of plains of vegetation akin to tundra growth, with little arboreal growth.

Populace: The populace of the planet is divided into two major factions, called "Parties". The Kommunist party is a collection of impoverished citizens, working for a delegated share of the party's resources. To most citizens, it sounds like a utopia- where if you do your share you can live peacefully. In reality, it is quite the opposite. The Kommunist party's military gets special treatment, with most high-ranking officers reaping benefits and luxuries that common citizens can scarcely dream of. It is in this way the Kommunist party ensures that military enlistment remains high. In addition to this, the Kommunist party also utilizes conscription to gain large quantities of expendable troops, causing quite a wide range of aptitude and ability of its military personnel. The Universalist party has since been diminished since General Vanivar's campaign, but live in the Universalist party was much the same. Now the Universalists are adept guerrilla fighters, staging supply raids and disruptive attacks from their bases in Kremlin's polar regions.

Brief History:
The world Kremlin has been separated from the Imperium for the last two centuries, but the recent discovery of the Jericho Reach Warp Gate has led to it's re-induction into the Imperial fold. During it's isolation, a brutal civil war had begun between various factions vying for planetary control, called "Parties" by the locals. This war was still ongoing over two hundred years later, when the Crusade fleet arrived in-system. In the path of the Archeros Salient, the Crusading fleet made contact with the Kommunists Party Leader, Lord-General Alexi "The Butcher" Vanivar. In exchange for equipment and aid (and the promise of supreme and undisputed rule of the planet), General Vanivar agreed to the Imperial terms of surrender and brokered the deal. However, while negotiations were underway to install General Vanivar as the supreme planetary governor, a rebellious uprising from the Universalist Party (the primary opponent of the Kommunist Party) attempted to enact a bloody coup. Luckily, with the additional military presence of the Crusaders, this rebellion was quickly quelled. Seeing the Universalists as a threat to Imperial interests, the ambassadors declared the Universalist Party as Renegade and Heretical, calling for their immediate eradication. General Vanivar shrewdly volunteered his party's considerable military assets for the job, in exchange for the latest in imperial equipment and technology. With the full backing of the Adeptus Administratum, Lord-General Alexi Vanivar led his army to war. The opposing Party was quickly crushed. However, General Vanivar had many political adversaries... even within his own party. In the guise as a reward for his swift action and deft handling of the Heretical rebels, he was appointed to be the foremost Commanding Officer in one of the first tithe of soldiers for a new regiment, due in large part to the political maneuverings of his adversaries. Unable to refuse, he formed a Regiment comprised of his closest advisers and allies, vowing to one day return to the planet that was taken from him and claim his right to rule.

The 49th Death Korps of Kremlin Regiment "the 49th Spetznaz":
Lord-General Vanivar's regiment is the cream of the crop, the veterans of generations of civil war. Skilled in close-fighting tactics, the Death Korps of Kremlin 49th Regiment is known as the "49th Spetznaz" due to their skilled efficiency. Trench Warfare was common during the Polar Campaign, in which the Kommunist party eradicated the bulk of the Universalist party. Armed with their new equipment and weapons, the Kommunist Party utilized heavy artillery to pound the enemy entrenchments and positions before launching devastating assaults. Also, the Kommunist party being the wealthier of the two major parties, they developed experimental weaponry and methods of warfare. Most famously, a member of the Magos Biologis that had remained on the planet during its isolation had been working on genetic manipulation. His "servitors" are abhuman monstrosities, created from the POWs of the party and lobotomized into complete compliance. They incorporate a chemical beam weapon into their head, creating the illusion of a single massive cyclopean eye. Utilizing this chemical beam technology, he also developed a type of siege weapon similar to the Krieg's Hades Breaching Drill, making use of the intense heat generated by the beam to open holes in defensive positions. Unable to procure newer equipment due to the regiment being relatively new, the 49th has to make do with older-pattern war machines such as the Macharius. Transport options are still limited, regulating the bulk of the regiment to line duty en masse.

Making the Malcador, part 1



Today I started scratchbuilding something that wasn't initially on my list: a Malcador heavy tank for use with my Death Korps. Also, I decided that the Pig Iron heads I had on hand add more of a German look, so instead of using those I will be ordering the winter headgear equipped heads instead. Check out this link:

http://shar.es/XWarK

So I'll be posting updates on my heavy tank as I go along.

Until next time,
--FP135

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A New Korps for the Motherland!


I had a new flash of inspiration the other day, while looking at a box of Shock Troopers I had originally purchased to supplement my Vor Neo-Soviet army. It occurred to me that I might be able to scratch-build myself the vehicles I need, as long as I could provide the infantry for the army. Digging around in my bits box, I found a large cache of Pig Iron Kolony Militia heads, and the sparks flew.

Reading about the Death Korps of Krieg, I decided to do a similar force. Wargames Factory's Shock Troopers look the part, but I wanted to add my own twist. The Death Korps of Kremlin will be arriving soon!

Coupled with my Neo-Soviet models from Vor, this will be a communist-soviet twist on the traditional DKoK army. I plan to hybrid the army between the Imperial Armor version and the standard IG codex, reserving the bulk of this army for Apocalypse gaming or opponent's permission games. But lets face it: I only get out for big Apoc games or opponent's permission games anyway.

I have a mountain of scratchbuilding to do though. I have barely 1500 points, and that's stretching it by loading the infantry with upgrades. So, I am making a list:

Scratchbuild List:
2 Hades Breaching Drills (I can make these work easily enough)
3 Medusa/Basilisk Guns on Carriages (whatever I can make work, I don't really care at this point)
3 Trojans to tow the Guns (I bet these will be the hardest)
3 Heavy Mortars (Shouldn't take too much work, I hope)
3 Centaurs to tow the Mortars (Might tie for hardest scratchbuild)
3 Bombard Mortars (Might require a bit of PVC pipe)

Maybe I'm being too ambitious. Or not ambitious ENOUGH.... *rubs chin*

That's it for me, be on the lookout for our newest blog author Robert! He has ran some ideas past me on his first post, which include spicing up your normal 40k games with added planetary effects!

So until next time,
--FP135

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Carnage for Charity 40k Apocalypse Event




Yesterday was the big day: a 3500 point Apocalypse event organized by my good friend Robert and graciously hosted by the propietor of Kingdom Wargames, Alex. All the proceeds from this miniature Apoc tournament went to paying off the debt accrued by my wife's unfortunate car accident which occured at the beginning of this month. Before I get any further, let me just say how much my wife and I appreciate the kindness and generosity exhibited by these fine fellows and all the others who participated in this event! Words don't describe it.

That being said, it was likely one of the most professionally organized and run Apocalypse events I have ever had the pleasure of taking part in. We started with four players, myself included, in a free-for-all style game on a regular-sized gaming table. I took 3500 points of Blood Angels, having sold my IG army a while prior, and consisting of primarily Terminators.

The players present aside from myself were John, Colton, and Brandon (who had to duck out immediately after deployment, unfortunately). John was playing IG, Colton was playing Black Templars, and Brandon was playing a combination of Dark Angels and Raven Guard. It was interesting having every variation of the Marine codex on the same table! After Brandon departed, Robert threw in a random Thunderhawk to keep that table quarter from being completely bare. The game was set up so that there were twelve objectives, as well as six extra markers we did not know the purpose of. We each were allowed a stratagem, and for players under the point limit were allowed extras. I maximized my list, so I only chose Flank March since about half of my army was in reserve.

After we deployed, Robert asked us a cryptic question: "Every full turn, or every player turn?" The votes were tallied and it was determined to be every player turn. He then informed us that the mysterious markers were locator beacons for artillery barrages. Every player turn, he would roll 2d6. Each marker was numbered, so the two that corresponded to the dice results would have a S10 AP1 blast land within scatter distance of the marker. It was a great effect, and was great for thinning the table of models.

Instead of a turn-by-turn account, I'll hit the highlights:
Colton used nearly every artillery barrage he had on Johns exposed IG, killing swathes of them (and likely leading to Johns downfall). The few blasts he centered on my lines killed a few regular marines, but left the bulk of my force (mainly Terminators) relatively unscathed.

After a round of us unloading on the Thunderhawk, it went nova right in between John and I. It took out my only Land Raider, filled with Death Company, as well as a huge portion of John's gunlines. .

Unfortunately, it was parked right in front of a minefield and the closest enemy unit was directly across it. Marbo appeared a turn later, throwing a demo charge into the hapless Death Company. The last surviving two then had to run back across the mines to engage the Sly One.

Mephiston leaped into combat with a trio of sentinels, failing to dispatch the walkers for 3 whole turns due to failing two out of thee psychic power tests for Sanguine Sword. A squad of Thunderhammer Terminators finally had to help him dispatch them. Afterward, though, he did manage to kill the wounded Lord Commissar with a Plasma pistol shot.

The BT special characters Grimaldis and the High Marshal form in unstoppable force, rolling through two assault squads and killing a charging terminator squad. Finally, after being preemptively struckby cyclone launchers and stormbolters, they fall to a Red Thirst empowered Terminator charge.

A unit of Scouts with Shotguns flank marched, appearing right behind a unit of Ratling snipers. They then proceed to fail miserably in an assault against the hobbit-sized creatures for the next two turns, earning them a place in my immortalized Hall of Shame.

A squad of assault troops arrive via reserves. Colton's revealed disruption beacons relocate the drop point, falling millimeters short of a building. They still managed to hit the rear armor of the Leman Russ they dropped behind, getting an explosion. They then got wiped out.




Anyway, it was a good game. It was too bad that Brandon had to leave, but he was able to come back and get the lowdown:

End Results-
Colton 6 objectives
Me- 5 objectives, one contested
John- one contested

So we raised a bit of dough, rolled some dice, and had a blast. Colton won himself a battleforce of his choosing, courtesy of our sponsor Alex of Kingdom Wargames, and even John took a few models from my personal collection as a doorprize. Thanks again to all that participated, I had a grand time, and you helped ease my stress immeasurably!

On a side note, I asked Robert to become an author on the blog. He has some amazing ideas for turning gaming events into fundraisers (as seen by this success) and is even contemplating taking those ideas even further! What's better than gamers helping gamers, huh?

So until next time,
--Fp135 via iPhone

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Campaign Journal: Another Path to Plunder 01


This is the start of a new campaign journal for my newest Rogue Trader campaign group that I am Game Mastering for. Continuing the tradition of my previous campaign journal (sorry I didn't keep up with that, but that's because that session ended in all the character's deaths!) I will be writing it in a story-like format. But first off: the Cast-

Rogue Trader Lexi Brannon
(as played by Mrs. FoxPhoenix)
Arch-Militant Regias Patronius (as played by friend Dan)
Explorator Metalus Varnius (NPC, my "guide character" for the pair when they ran out of ideas)

So without further ado, the story begins...


Lexi was born the daughter of a Battlefleet Calixis Navy Admiral, and her mother was a Magos Biologis that conducted research on the Lathe worlds. Her father might not have even known of her birth, for he was off fighting the Eldar in some distant quadrant of the sector at the time. Lexi never met him. Her mother, the Magos, was so engrossed in her research that she scarcely bothered with the child either. Most of her childhood consisted of various mentors and supervisors, none of which invested any emotional interest into the child. So, as soon as Lexi was old enough to set out on her own, she was converted into the Ecclesiarchy by a mission on the Forge World, giving herself wholly to their teachings. They offered her a chance to belong to a real family, something she had always yearned for.

It was then that her calling came to her, and she discovered her gift of persuasion, as she used her talents to convert more followers to the Church. Many came to the sermons at her requests, coerced into the long hymns and devotionals. It was during an Ecclesiarchy mission to a void-faring vessel that she saw the familial bond shared by the members of the Navy that served aboard a vessel. Although the Ecclesiarchy offered her more comraderie than her previous home life had, she desired more. She yearned for the closeness exhibited by the Imperial Navy crew she had seen. Soon after, she left to serve the Throne by enlisting the Imperial Navy, securing her first command aboard a small transport vessel.

During her time aboard the trading vessel, Lexi was tasked with transporting an important piece of Archeotechnology back to her superiors for study. The object fascinated her, and incited a thirst for knowledge about technology that had long since been forgotten. It awoke her heritage from the Lathe world she hailed from, so she discovered that she had never truly forgotten the teachings of her mentors from the Forge World and the excitement of finding forgotten technologies.

She left the Imperial Navy on one such quest for the arcane technology, eventually leading to the discovery of her (now signature) seal: the Ancestral Seal of House Yorke. A potent and widely respected symbol, this discovery vaulted her into the limelight of the Administratum's attention. The House Yorke nobles were particularly influential, and eventually were to become a major benefactor for the young Brannon, vouching for her to the Administratum in order to have her become their official represenative in the Calixis sector, finally rising her family status to nobility. However, many other noble houses were quite disappointed in the Yorke's increase of influence that was derived from the reclamation of the Ancestral Seal. They openly slandered the Brannon family name and openly criticized the decision to make Lexi's family members of the Nobility. Lexi petitioned against the slander and, against all odds, was granted a Warrant of Trade in which to seek out new Archeotechnologies for the Imperium. With the substantial backing of the prominent House Yorke, the now Rogue Trader Lexi Brannon was awarded her first independent ship, the Sword-class frigate known as the Dark Trident, still in the drydocks of Port Wanderer.

* * * * * * * *


Regias Patronius was a relatively new name, one the Deathworlder was not entirely familiar with yet. Hailing from a nearly-forgotten world in the expanse, Regias had spent his early childhood fighting for survival with his kinsmen in the harsh Arctic environs of his planet. There, gigantic mammals roamed, and men were not of high stature on the local food chain. Rapier-tooth beasts, Land-Krakens, Horned-Growlerbeasts, and other such natural predators made everyday survival a difficult prospect. Early in life he and his family made a living by hunting the local fauna and selling the pelts to any traders that would chance the dangerous world, gaining firearms and ammunition essential to their survival.

During one such trader's stopover on the planet, the young Regias (then named only "boy" by his tribesmen) was sold to the trader as an indentured servant. Recognizing the boy's potential for hunting, the trader employed the deathworlder as his tracker. The trader gave him a name, Regias Patronius, and brought him on many hunts for bounty targets. Eventually, Regias became proficient and trusted enough to go on these hunts himself. He gained a reputation for being a dogged pursuer, unwilling to give up or accept defeat.

During one such hunt, Regias was pursuing his target through the seedier districts of Port Wander. Without his trader there to vouch for his ownership, a local crew of press-gangers cornered him and knocked him unconscious. He awoke in servitude to a pirate crew, pressed into service against his will. It took many months, but his captors finally broke him, working him often to the breaking point of exhaustion. Eventually he finally made his escape when the ship stopped on Footfall for resupply, slipping away after killing a few armed guards. Eventually, a member of House Yorke found him and offered him a position as an armsman aboard his vessel. Regias happily agreed, serving the noble House for many years afterword. Eventually, when a recovered hulk was brought into Port Wander for refit, Regias petitioned to be appointed as the vessel's head of security.

One-upping him, his Yorke benefactor appointed him as the vessel's First Officer, much to the chagrin of many who had the unfortunate duty of serving under him...

He met his new Lord-Captain for the first time when she was given an awarding ceremony for the new vessel. As a new Rogue Trader, she was unused to the attention and pomp of ceremony. Regias was simply unused to human interaction. They made quite an unlikely pair, but eventually the Lord-Captain began to rely on Regias' ability to ward off conversationalists with his gruff demeanor. After discovering his aptitude for combat, she appointed him to not only her First Officer, but her personal bodyguard and close adviser as well.

They christened their new ship The Dark Trident and made preparations for their departure.

++++++Excerpt from Lord-Captains Records++++++

Today we made a final tour of the Dark Trident, making notes for the final needs of the vessel before we can leave Port Wander. First Officer Regias and the new Explorator granted by the Mechanicus also accompanied me, the Explorator recording the log with the aid of his servo-skull familiar. That thing is a bit too strange for my liking, as I have not become yet accustomed to its presence, but Metalus assures me it can do no harm.

I decided to go and view the Port while the vessel's final departure preperations were made, knowing full well that this would be my last chance to get my feet off the deckplating of the Dark Trident for quite some time. My loyal (albeit a bit lacking in social graces) First Officer Regias insisted on accompanying me on my trip, much to my chagrin, but I was reluctant to refuse. Based on the reputation I have gathered on the Port, having a militant like Regias along could be wise. Metalus Varnius the Explorator also volunteered to accompany me, stating that he wished to learn more of the local Port's populace. He brought his familiar, which irked me, but later turned out to be useful. I dressed in my most comfortable finery, fully expecting to be greeted by various envoys and emissaries, as seems to happen every time my foot falls outside the ship's hatches. However, Regias is a useful tool at keeping them at bay. His gruff exterior and reputation for violence has preceded him, allowing me to travel unaccounted by the supplicants on a few occasions. Today was not one such occasion, however. Minor nobles, traders, and other such wishful thinkers surrounded us shortly after departing the vessel, and even Regias's threats failed to disperse them. I gave in and made brief salutations and comments to some, and as they failed to find any fruitful negotiations with me, they began to slowly drift away until we were left relatively alone in the Court of the Dead, the commoner's marketplace district of Port Wander.


During our sojourn into the crowded Court, we were propositioned by a unclean-appearing man calling himself Orbest Dray. Recognizing my Brannon familial seal pinned to my lapel, the grimy man nearly was shot by the easily-provoked Regias until he declared he was a regent of my Great-Grandfather, on my father's side. Part of a long line of Imperial Navy Admiralty, my great grandfather had allied with a Rogue Trader in the pursuit of a long-lost vessel known as the Righteous Path. The name was unfamiliar to me or my companions, so Orbest Dray relayed the legend to me, informing me that the vessel was basically a forgotten ship of plunder, containing the cumulative treasure of an entire planet of a wealthy populace. This failed to intrigue me, however. He continued, sensing my reluctance to commit to anything, telling me he had been waiting for someone of the Brannon family line to come to the port. He had been left with the map, safeguarding its return for my great-grandfather, who was lost and never returned. He then reached into his coat pocket (earning himself a brief moment of tension with Regias, until he assured the deathworlder that he was not reaching for a weapon) and pulled out a gene-locked stasis casket about the size of my palm and handed it to me. When I took it, it felt warm, and then hot, as it sampled my genetic code. Apparently I was close enough of a match, because it chimed and opened with a hiss to reveal a smooth black stone.

Orbest began to tell us what the object was, when a flash of metal and black feathers snatched it from my surprised fingers. Catching us off guard, the psyber-raven made off over the crowd with our prize clutched in its talons. We were too slow to react, until several armed thugs burst from their hiding positions and began to fire projectile weapons at us through the crowded thoroughfare. Most of the rounds flew around us, shredding the simple bar we had taken seats at, or impacting on the unfortunate civilians that were slow to flee.

Metalus was quick to shake off his surprise, hefting his Adeptus Mechanicus Symbol, and leaping away from the bar and into the crowd. Regias was fast on his heels, pulling the strap of his Hellgun from his shoulder. I was the slowest to react, still trying to decipher what exactly was happening, but I managed to shake my surprise enough to pull my plasma pistol from its holster. I noticed the psyber-raven was having trouble carrying the black stone, and it slipped from its grasp and landed in the crowd about 20 meters ahead of us. People were still frantically trying to remove themselves from the situation, but there will still an unfortunate few who intersected bullets that were meant for me or my companions. With his weapon in hand, Regias was faster to react than before. Sighting in on one of the armsmen through the crowd, he let loose a few controlled shots from his Lucius-pattern Hellgun. He timed his shots poorly, however, and one more disparate victim fell to a shot not meant for them. One shot was timed and aimed properly, however, impacting the thug in his leg, piercing through armor. The thug staggered a bit, but shook off the shot. Metalus charged into the closest armsmen, swinging low with his power-field enhanced weapon. The man failed to dance back far enough, jostled by fleeing civilians, and caught the blade in the leg, the power field deftly cutting through armor and flesh alike. The gaping wound looked painful, but the armed man appeared to weather it enough to drop his pistol and don a glove that sparked with electricity. I sighted in on the man Regias had wounded, and squeezed off a round from the plasma pistol. A wave of heat washed over me as the weapon discharged. My aim had been off, however, and a merchant's open-air shanty ignited in flames behind the target. I noticed the farthest armsmen stoop to pick up the black stone from the street, and take off running for a back alley. Regias spotted this as well, and after ducking a poorly aimed attack, squeezed a few rounds carefully at the fleeing thug, hitting him square in the back as he fled. The multiple rounds seared through the man's carapace armor, dropping the man. Meanwhile, Metalus took another swing at the previously wounded man, shouldering aside a fleeing civilian. The powerful weapon connected with the thug's midsection, disemboweling him in the middle of the thoroughfare. I took another shot at my previous target, but simply grazed him and only causing superficial damage. The last thug fired back at us ineffectually, his aim thrown off by the wounds they'd sustained, peppering the bar behind me. Regias dispatched the last man with another well-placed burst of Hellgun fire, easily aimed now that the Court had cleared of bystanders. A short pause fell over us, still shaking the effects of adrenaline off, Until the Adeptus Arbites arrived. Regias quickly scooped up the black stone from the dead thug as the authorities began their sweep.

A dozen or so of the officers went around, asking questions of the surviving bystanders, and attending to the wounded. A mountain of a man, their apparent leader, marched up to us and introduced himself. He asked us what happened, and Metalus replayed his servoskull's video logs for the Arbites to view on his dataslate. After seeing that we were obviously not the instigators, and the deaths of the civilians were unavoidable, the Arbites' demeanor changed when I introduced myself formally. He went from righteous indignation to sullen dourness, and he made a show of formally requesting that we accompany him to his precinct's office to make a statement to his superior. I agreed, with a sour look from Regias, and we set off to the Precinct office. When we arrived, we were shown to an office. Behind a desk sat a woman introduced to us as the Precepts-Martial, who seemed exasperated. She listened to introductions, and then bitterly complained about how often this sort of thing was occurring. She then went on to identify our attackers as members of the Fel Dynasty, loyal to the Rogue Trader Hadarak Fel. Unfortunately, she could not provide evidence that they were working on his behalf or under his orders, so there was little we could legally do against the Rogue Trader. She dismissed us with a warning:
"You're free to go, thank you for your cooperation. However, if any more hostilities were to arise, they'd be met with quick and lethal justice," she said, allowing a cold steel to enter her voice toward the end of her warning. She obviously didn't want a Rogue Trader war going on in the Port.

Now that we were done with that unpleasantness, we were free to pursue our venture. Orbest Dray, who had taken it upon himself to accompany us after the firefight, told us it was an astropathic device. Since we had no psychically inclined individuals with us, we took it to our ship's Navigator for deciphering. After he touched the object, he informed us it was more a mental vision than anything, depicting a system with a dying star, a frozen halo, and a dead world with a great artifact upon it. This was the system in which the Righteous Path had made its final resting place. However, there was no way of knowing where this system was. He suggested we find someone with knowledge of the Expanse, who would know of a system matching this description.

Metalus came out of his taciturn silence, suggesting that there two ways he could think of to obtain this information: ask around the port for someone who may have stumbled across this system, or find a cartographer that would have knowledge of a system matching the description. Regias, in a moment of unusual clarity, suggested that we attempt the cartographer first. He reasoned that if we went around asking voidsmen of the system, they would want to know why we needed the information, and this was the kind of venture where discretion was key. I agreed, and I delegated Metalus to find us a list of known map-makers on the Port. He found one that showed promise, a man by the name of Journ, and we went to see him immediately. The trip was uneventful, and we arrived safely. When we arrived, we outlined our proposition, and he listened carefully. He then agreed to do it, but to be discretionary about he he named a condition. I declared that I was a lady, and would not perform sexual favors for him. He laughed at my misguided interpretation of him, and told us what his plan actually was. He wanted us to transport some texts that while not heretical, the Ecclesiarchy would not look kindly upon. He would feel better if a "safer" trader transported them, and he felt that I fit the description. He needed them delivered to a contact on Footfall, on the other side of the Koronus Passage. I agreed, feeling relieved that my ploy to loosen the tension had worked as I had planned and not backfired.

With our new map in hand, we made our way back to the ship and prepared to cast off. We wanted to leave immediately once we were informed that the vessel belonging to our assailant Rogue Trader Hadarak Fel had already departed. With new haste we made our own departure.

END PART 1

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vor: Coming along Nicely!



Now we're getting somewhere! The project is already at 4k, and we still got almost 2 months left! Another 21k, and we're set! Please donate if you haven't already, as every dollar gets us closer to a Vor 2.0 rulebook!

Go here: http://kck.st/d6OfKw

Monday, November 15, 2010

DROP EVERYTHING! Vor might still be alive!


Or at least in a re-animate-able condition... if that's a word...

Anyway, check this out:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bioplazm/the-vor-20-project?ref=search


This is a kickstarter project for the next edition great sci-fi tabletop game called Vor: The Maelstrom. For those of you who don't know what Vor is, click on the Vor label for this post and I have a pretty good summary on the game.

Quick and dirty of the legal background, as it is relevant: the company that previously held the rights sold to another company (FASA sold to Wizkids) back when Vor was barely started, maybe 2 or 3 years into its release. The rights went back to the original IP creator, Mike "Skuzzy" Neilson (sp?), who vowed to return with a new version of the game. That was almost 10 years ago. Now, this little website called Kickstarter comes around.

Kickstarter allows you to either post a project that needs funding, or pledge to such a posting. The pledgers get incentives for doing so by the posters. Kinda like investing-lite. If the poster receives the full funding that was requested, its a go. If the funding is short, then no money changes hands. This means its all or nothing here.

We've got 60 days if we want a 2nd edition to come out. I suggest we pull together, and make this game get off the ground! You won't regret it, it really was (and is!) a great game!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting Back On The Horse


Well, now that things are settling down after the Great Car Wreck of November 2010, I'm taking the time to sit down and read the comments you guys left on my last post. First off, let me say a heartfelt "Thank you" to all those who showed concern and left me a comment. My wife is doing fine (albeit she has some spotty memory sometimes, but I think she was like that before the bump to the head!), and my Dad helped us out a lot by buying us a "Beater with a Heater" that can seat all four of us. It even has 4WD, which is great for the price he bought it at. He then bought us studded snow tires for it, and had it put in the shop to get it totally mechanically sound. I'm into him now for around 2600 dollars now, for all that he loaned us. I don't know what we'd have done without him.

Anyway, enough of that depressing stuff, and on to the crux of my post: To help deal with the stress of our monetary situation, my wife dedicated Friday and maybe Saturday nights to be my "Game Nights", in which we would both try to sit down and play some sort of game with each other. Kids will be put to bed, TV turned off, Iphones silenced, and we'll get in a few hours of quality time together on the weekend nights. I wasn't going to argue with that!

So, all day I've been writing up a scenario to run her through using the Deathwatch RPG system. I've decided to give her a whole team, as opposed to the normal single character, since I don't have any friends in the area who can come all the way out here for a game session. At any rate, it should be interesting, to say the least.

Tonight's mission: Reconnoiter a Lunar-Class Cruiser named "The Glorious Truth" that had been running behind schedule, and reappeared in the Archeros Salient without responding to hails. It appears to be derelict. The team is supposed to find out if the ship is salvageable, or scuttle it if the vessel isn't. Should be fun. I drew up some basic descriptions for locations the team can go inside the vessel, and even plan to use narrative travel times inside the ship (a Lunar cruiser is approximately 5 Km long!). Let's just say it won't take the team long to find out what happened to the crew...

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Productive Sunday



I had quite a productive Sunday, managing to finish my 2nd CSM squad along with the predator I finished earlier. This brings my painting point total to 20 points in a single day! I haven't had such a productive day since the days of my IG speed-painting marathons...

Granted, these. CSM are also speedpainted, as health issues limit the amount of time I can stand to paint, but they still look pretty good from tabletop distance. The gold and black theme is very pleasing to me, and catches my eyes well without lots of red paint for a change!

Stay tuned for more status updates in the coming days...
--FP135 via IPhone

Chaos Predator "Eyesore of Horus"



Over a thousand years ago, a Space Marine Strike Cruiser went astray in the roiling turbulence of the warp. No one knows the vessel's former parent Chapter, as that information was lost along with the damned crew. Hundreds of years later, the ship reappeared, filled with Black Legion Chaos Space Marines. All the former vehicles of the traitorous marines appeared with them, repainted black and bearing heretical symbols and profane emblems.

One such vehicle was the Predator tank, renamed "Eyesore of Horus" by a particularly-flippant traitor. It now has been seen on the battlefield driving of it's own accord, apparently possessed by some fashion of daemonic entity. It fills the air with rumbling laughter as it bores into enemy armor assets with it's twin-linked Lascannons.

--FP135 via IPhone

Setting My Goal



This is what my new workstation currently looks like. With a single CSM Battleforce boxed set, I have been busily constucting a rough-shod Black Legion 1500 point list just in case I can make it to a 40k tournaments in the near future. As you may already know, I auctioned off my IG army on EBay to raise some emergency money to pay some bills. Now that PFDs came, and we're in the clear, I needed a replacement 40k force to use instead of my dearly departed 907th Alascadians.

So here is the basics of my cobbled-together list:
Chaos Sorceror w/ MoS and Lash
Chaos Lord w/ wings
2 ten-man squads of CSM, both have 1 missile launcher, one has a plasmagun, one has a meltagun
2 rhinos
8 khorne beserkers
1 land raider
1 predator with TL lascannons and possession
5 possessed

By using some loyalist parts I was able to expand the size of my starter CSM force considerably. Now I am trying to get it painted! Once I do, I'll look at optimizing my list and expanding my model collection.

Progress pics coming soon!

--FP135 via IPhone

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finally! We Have Photos Again!



All hail the mighty Iphone 4, which now serves as my all-in-one, mobile-and-on-the-go, so-awesome-it-needs-many-hyphenated-words device of choice. Since it has an integrated camera, I don't need to buy a new one! Though not as good as my hand-selected camera of yesterday, it does the job better than a webcamera...



These are my recent projects lately. Since my wife and I have been playing Deathwatch a lot recently (and might be joined by a few friends of mine), I decided to put my modeling skills to the test and build us some snazzy Deathwatch figures. Above you see the result of my attempt at freehanding, which for my first-ever attempt turned out better than I dared hope for! Thanks to Ron at FTW for the tutorial, it helped a lot!

Below is my attempt at meshing my painting skill with my meager skill at Greenstuff sculpting. Nothing too flashy, just a simple application of hair and fur covering this Space Wolf's pauldron (also getting me out of having to freehand another chapter symbol, especially one as complex as the Space Wolves symbol). I posed him as dynamically as I could, pulling out all the stops on my assembly skills. So far, he's my favorite (even though he is already dead in our Final Sanction campaign).




Here's to finally being able to post something worthwhile again! Thanks for sticking it out, loyal readers! You're the best.

--FP135

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Deathwatch: Psychic Abilities Reference Cards



Hello again, I've been dedicated to finishing a set of reference cards, so here is my first PDF version of the Core Psychic Abilities in Deathwatch. Simply print these cards out on cardstock (100% size if able) and cut them out, then they'll be ready for use. Keep them out in front of you while you play, or put them in a card protector sheet with your character sheet.

http://www.filefactory.com/file/b3d002e/n/DW_Core_Powers.pdf

I'll be finishing the chapter-specific abilities in a few days.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Deathwatch: Final Sanction Adversary Cards



Here you go, free reference cards made with a program called Magic Set Editor, made for creating Magic cards... but adapted for my own use! These are the primary adversaries and combat-related NPCs. I'm trying to figure out how to put all the cards into a single PDF that can be printed out... but until I do you are stuck with these. Enjoy!

--FP135

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Post 250: Deathwatch RPG Campaign Journal 1- Final Sanction


We've made it to 250 posts! I admit my post count has dropped dramatically since putting away all my gaming materials, but I recently built a new workstation so I can at least get my paints out of the attic!

Deathwatch: the 40k RPG is the new craze. Jumping in on the bandwagon, my wife and I had a go at it. To my surprise, she actually enjoys this one (not so much with Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader)!

For the enjoyment of all, I turned our "group's" session into a book format for storytelling purposes. Please enjoy the storybook version of our campaign journal! Please forgive any mistakes in the fluffy parts, as I am not quite as up-to-speed as I used to be.

-Matt



2 Hours before:

"Give me a data report," ordered Captain Galrite Haltreme, commander of the Sword-class frigate Valiant. A brawny man, he sported a closely-trimmed goatee that revealed his age by showing quite a bit of silver hairs. He wrung his hands on the bridge's railing anxiously.


"Sir, we just entered the Avalos system," said a helmsman. "Scans show nothing but dust and silence, Cap'n." The helmsman fidgeted nervously before adding, "I can't even find sign of normal system traffic."


"Aye, Ensign. I sense something is afoot. Make best speed for Avalos, but do so cautiously. Keep the sensors active."

"Aye aye, sir. Making for Avalos."

***

Brother Octavius was putting the finishing touches on an Oath of the Moment, writing the vows in sweeping calligraphy on a roll of parchment. It was not easy to do in the armored gauntlets of his armor, but he was used to it. He had written many before. He recited the last words of the Oath silently to himself, mouthing the words:

"...and Protect thy Battle Brother,
For we are cut of different thread,
Hailing from a chapter of another,
But we are of the same kindred."

With that, he affixed the parchment to his left shoulder with hot wax, displaying it for all to see. He stepped away from the pedestal, and Brother Skold stepped up to the platform to write his own. Octavius tried not to sneer when he saw the sloppy penmanship of the Space Wolf, messily scrawling an Oath on an identical parchment to the one the Ultramarine had just affixed to his armor.

"I didn't know Space Wolves took Oaths of Moment, Brother Skold?" Octavius inquired, genuinely surprised to see the unshaven warrior mouthing words to a familiar Oath.

"Aye, Son of Guilliman, we take oaths much like you do," the gregarious wolf said, smiling slightly. "Though we be nought but barbarians in your eyes, our roots stretch back as far! We were there during the Great Crusades too, ye know..." There was no malice in Skold's voice and a twinkle in his ice-blue eyes, and Octavius was again surprised by the dark-haired Son of Russ.

"I meant no offense, Brother Skold," Octavius began to say, but Skold put up a halting hand and clapped Octavius on the shoulder before saying, "Make no worry of it, Brother. I just prefer to save my fury for the battlefield. It is wasted amongst Astartes." With that, the Space Wolf turned and moved to his storage unit and began to service his Boltgun, leaving Octavius to his thoughts.

Brother Skold would take some getting used to.

After Brother Skold stepped away from the pedestal, the massive Brother Sepheran moved up and began writing on his own roll of parchment. A Blood Angel, the massive Astartes was uncannily artistic with the calligraphy pen, capturing the attention of Brother Octavius. Though Octavius' penmanship was of textbook quality, the Blood Angel marine made the Ultramarine's Oath look like a child's writing. The Son of Sanguinius embellished the Oath with small but intricate illustrations as he wrote and appeared to exert little effort in the miniature masterpieces he sketched alongside the words. Octavius had heard of the legendary artistry of the Blood Angels, but to see one in action was a special treat. He stood enraptured by the large Astartes for a moment before moving off to prepare his gear.

As they attended to their equipment and finished donning their armor in the Armory, Octavius mentally reviewed the information they had been provided for the mission:

Avalos was primarily an agricultural world designated to provide food for many planets across the sub-sector. Not long ago, a drifting space hulk appeared on the edge of the system. Known habitations to genestealer infestations, the hulk presented a unique threat to the system. Then the disappearances began to happen in the major urban centers on the planet. Immediately a request was sent out for the Inquisition to do an investigation, and since it was suspected to be a genestealer infestation, the Ordos Xenos received the call.

Inquisitor Kalistradi had been dispatched to the planet nearly six months ago now. After spending a few months of secret investigation, she uncovered signs that warranted a Deathwatch response. The exact details were unknown, but she suspected that the main urban center of Lordsholm was infiltrated by the genestealer breed. After receiving her encoded Astropathic message, the Watch-Captain had immediately ordered Octavius and his newly-formed Kill-Team to make utmost speed to Avalos.

This was a serious problem. Octavius had heard rumors and speculation, mainly from the Tyrannic War veterans in his own chapter, about the correlation between a genestealer infestation and imminent Tyranid invasion. It was suspected that genestealers would find a suitable planet, and then call nearby Tyranid fleets to them somehow. If the genestealers were on Avalos, they would need to be dealt with quickly.

When they were all properly prepared, the three Astartes made their way to the bridge of the Valiant. The crew stared at them in awe when they passed, obviously unused to seeing not only one but three of the legendary warriors. When the trio reached the bridge the Captain quickly moved to address them.
"My lords, we attempted to raise Avalos on the Vox-caster naught but a few minutes ago, but received no response. Things may be worse on the surface than we initially thought."

Octavius glanced at his companions. Skold shrugged, and the calculating Sepheran looked as if he had expected as much.

"Captain Haltreme, do you know where the Inquisitor Kalistradi was last located on-planet?" he inquired.

The captain strode to a display screen and pulled up a recent surface scan of the planet before replying, "Not precisely, my lord, but we have her general whereabouts. It seems that she was somewhere in the main urban center of Lordsholm last we know of. I'd look there first before..." he trailed off as a helmsman shouted in alarm.

"Captain! Sensor contacts, bearing on us fast! They read oddly, I think they are organic!"

"Where did they come from?" Haltreme bellowed, striding to the main view screen. The helmsmen tapped some controls and peered into his terminal, before finally stating "I think they came from behind Avalos' Moon, Cap'n. Estimate time to contact as... five minutes or less. They appear to be gaining speed! At least frigate size!"

"Bring up a visual!" The Captain snapped. The helmsman complied, displaying a number of void-born creatures that looked like sea monsters of myth.

"Emperor's blood! Look at the size of those... TEETH!" Captain Haltreme exclaimed, the color draining from his face.

"Captain," Octavius began, placing a reassuring hand on the Captain's shoulder, "We need to get to the surface now. Is a Drop Pod prepped for launch?"
The massive hand broke the Captain's shock. He tore his eyes away from the viewscreen, that was rapidly filling with the terrifying images of the bio-terrors.

"Yes, my lord. I had one prepped after we received no word from the planet... but you had better make haste to the launch bay! I'll try to hold them off long enough for the drop..." The captain trailed off, but a calm resolve began to show in his demeanor. He straightened upright, and turned to his crew and began barking orders.

"Let us go, Brothers," Octavius beckoned, and the Astartes turned and pounded off the bridge, running to reach the launch bay.
"May the Emperor protect you!" the captain shouted at their diminishing forms.



Alarm klaxons began to sound, and the ship began to shudder as it discharged weapons fire from its main batteries. The Astartes shouldered crewman out of the way in the narrow confines of the vessel's corridors as they hastened to their waiting Drop Pod.

In the Launch Bay, technicians were finishing their pre-launch checklists as the trio vaulted the loading ramp. Sepheran was last, lugging the huge bulk of his Heavy Bolter. Stowing their weapons, the three Kill-team members sealed their helmets and buckled into the pod, and the technicians sealed up the doors from the outside.

Octavius switched his vox channel to the Valiant's frequency and informed the Captain they were ready for launch. The trio braced themselves as the countdown commenced.

With a loud rumbling, the pod's engine system engaged, sending them screaming towards the planet's surface below. Captain Haltreme began to scream over the vox as the Tyranid Kraken closed its jaws around the ship, tearing the vessel asunder. His screams echoed in their micro-beads as the deafening rumbling jarred all semblance of sense from them while the pod descended on a pillar of heat and flame.

***

Octavius staggered from the Drop Pod, his enhanced physique the sole reason he survived the trip. His armor was dented, but had suffered no major damage to its vital systems. He pulled his bolter free and peered around in the gloom to locate his teammates. His helmet's autosenses quickly detected the armored form of Sepheran, hoisting his support weapon out of the wreckage.

Brother Skold clapped an armored hand onto Octavius' back as he climbed out of the wreckage himself. Pulling his helmet off, he looked up through the hole in the roof with his enhanced vision. It appeared that they were in an Imperial Chapel. The wreckage of pews and altars littered the wreckage around the smoldering Drop Pod. Water poured from the obliterated remains of the roof, dripping onto their armored forms, as a storm raged in the night.

"Listen..." Brother Skold said. They all listened, and the crackle of gunfire and the rumble of explosions could be heard over the rain.

"Sounds like a battle, but who are the combatants?" Brother Sepheran questioned, raising an eyebrow quizzically.

"Perhaps the infestation is at a stage more advanced than we had predicted," Octavius stated, before navigating through the wreckage and debris towards the chapel's massive doors. The rest of the team fell in behind him, no order needed.

Outside the chapel, a frightened contingent of PDF troopers cowered behind makeshift barricades built from the masonry of the building, burnt out vehicles, and other detritus. They formed a makeshift battleline around the chapel. Beyond the line, a killing ground extended a couple dozen meters, before ending at another line of makshift barriers. Beyond these piles of rubble, a howling mass of humanity seethed. Furious citizens, armed with whatever weapons they could scrounge, scurried in a murderous rage. Shouting obscenities and vulgarities, they would periodically mount an assault on the PDF lines across the killing fields.

Brother Octavius saw an opportunity to instill courage into the frightened PDF troopers. Slapping a fresh magazine into his bolter and readying the mechanism with a loud crack, he strode up behind the demoralized conscripts.

"Do not be fearful, loyal warriors. The Deathwatch has come to aid you!" he bellowed through his helmet's loudspeakers, startling several troopers nearby.

Either too far gone, or perhaps shocked even more greatly by the sudden appearance of a legendary Astartes, the troopers cowered even lower, as if they were trying to disappear into the mud. Fury at their cowardice bubbled up in Octavius, and both he and Brother Skold jumped forward as a group of rebellious citizens began a new assault. Sepheran cut to the side behind them, dashing for a position where his fire support weapon would have a wide field of fire.

Rushing citizens fired simple projectile weapons as they charged, and the rounds bounced harmlessly off the Astartes armor as they met the charge. Planting their feet, both Octavius and Skold flipped their fire selectors to "Full-Auto" and raked the oncoming crowd with explosive projectiles. The rain turned red as the bolt shells ripped through the front ranks of the oncoming horde.

Sepheran braced himself, setting up his heavy bolter on a prefabricated barricade. A scared PDF conscript scrambled to make room for the massive Blood Angel. Sepheran shot him a disdainful look that was obscured by his armor's helmet before cutting loose a roaring fusillade of bolt shells on the remaining survivors of the charge. Amputated limbs and ruined bodies were all that remained when the red mist cleared, and rivulets of blood joined the rainwater in the mud.

Skold let out an approving laugh at the carnage, and cycled another magazine into his bolter.

A second wave was approaching. Octavius and Skold readied themselves, but before they opened fire on the fresh wave, the mass of rebels parted to reveal a solitary figure.

Around seven feet tall and rippling with muscle, the leader of the assault was an exceptional specimen... for a human. He revved a chainsword and stepped forward, staring down the Ultramarine leader of the killteam while the rebel horde jeered their encouragement.

"At least one of them has honor..." Octavius mentioned, stowing his bolter and pulling out his razor-sharp combat knife. Easily the size of a short sword to a non-Astartes, he hoped the formidable blade would be a match for the chainsword the rebel leader wielded.

The two combatants strode towards each other, as the agitated horde looked on with enthusiasm. Skold stowed his bolter as well, wiping water from his face with a smirk. Hopefully the Son of Guilliman wouldn't foul this one up.

Octavius stood in a ready stance, and beckoned the rebel with a single hand gesture. Infuriated, the rebel leader let out a growl and charged, the whirring blades of the chainsword flinging rainwater from the blade. Octavius easily parried the sloppy swing, knocking away the chainsword with a flick of his blade. He countered with a quick jab of the knife, but the rebel was astonishly quick, twisting away nimbly from the strike. The rebel's second swing was more successful, biting into the think shoulder armor on Octavius' right side. Shreds of wet parchment from his Oath of Moment fell to the mud as he again knocked the blade away.

"Enough playing," Brother Skold scoffed, leaping into the fray. Pushing back the Ultramarine, the Son of Russ buried the point of his own combat knife up to the hilt in the chest of the startled rebel. With a blood-choked hiss, the muscular rebel slid to the ground at the feet of the Space Wolf warrior. Octavius shot the Space Wolf an annoyed look that was only just barely concealed by his helmet.

Sepheran broke the stunned silence with a thunderous barrage from his weapon, sending the rebels scattering. The PDF then regained their nerve, firing their las-weapons at the retreating forms of the rebels. As the rebels faded away into the night, their will broken, a PDF infantry Captain approached the trio. Octavius decided to suppress his annoyance as the Captain addressed them.

"Lords, my name is Captain Ascote. Please follow me to the chapel where we may converse privately." With that, he abruptly turned and marched up the chapel steps, expecting the trio to follow.

"A bit insolent, isn't he?" Skold commented.

"I suppose you would know about that, wouldn't you, Son of Russ?" Octavius couldn't help but quip while ascending the stairs after the captain.

The Captain led them inside the chapel and shut the doors behind them. Once out of sight of the rest of the troopers, a ripple ran down the length of his body. His form distorted and shimmered, taking the form of a lithe female, clearly a member of the Callidus Assassin Temple. Both Octavius and Sepheran were lucky in that their helmets hid their shock, but Skold merely raised an eyebrow and said, "I thought he smelled a bit unusual..."

"My lords, blessed be the Emperor you are not too late, it seems my mistress's faith in the Deathwatch was well placed," the assassin began, "Would that she were here to greet you herself, but I fear the xenos have her somewhere in the city, and for several days I have wore the guise of a PDF commander simply to hold these men together so that there might be a place for you to land. My name is Syndalla, at least that is what Kalistradi called me, other than this I will not waste words with pleasantries or formalities, for this city is about to fall..."


END PART 1

Monday, September 20, 2010

Camera Woes


You're probably wondering why I have been posting horribly erratically lately. Well, that can be summed up in a few short paragraphs:

1) I began playing Magic The Gathering. I know, I know... it is like an act of treason for a seasoned miniatures vet like myself, but my wife and I can play it regularly (meaning I don't have to depend on friends being available for a game of 40k).

2) My camera broke. It's kind of hard to do new tutorials, show off my painting or recent modeling projects, etc with a busted camera. The SD card no longer works in it properly, so I'll have to replace it.

3) I put away all my gaming stuff (except for cards) into the loft. That includes my painting and modeling supplies. Thus, I haven't been getting much done lately.

However, do not fear. I have recently gotten my grubby fingers on some new BFG ships.

Also, just today in fact, I got my hands on a Hasslefree miniature by the name of Sadie, which is a very classy and tasteful female model (for my wife to use in an upcoming zombie apocalypse campaign I'm building for GURPS). I will be retrieving some of my painting supplies to give this model a go.



With Christmas coming up, maybe I'll get a new camera, if I'm lucky. Until then, I'll try to take some pictures with the webcam or something.

Until next time,
--FP135

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cleaning Up Some Stuff


I noticed that for BFG - Specific posts, my labels were not really in-sync. So, I went back and re-labeled all the BFG posts. Now you can find them easier! I still love this post, as it was my first video post ever:

http://foxphoenix40k.blogspot.com/2010/03/200th-post-celebration-video-tutorials.html

I've been trying to re-acquire some Chaos ships (the old ones I sold to get some money to pay the bills, see them above) to use for BFG, since the Gothicomp has rekindled my interest in the Specialist Game. I have played at least 3 games in the past week, and am enjoying it, but I realize my collection has been lacking. I have some beautiful Chaos ships, but they are only Grand Cruiser and larger, so I've used some money I earned selling stuff on ebay to acquire some more Chaos Cruisers so that I may one day field a Chaos Fleet again.

I have packed all my hobby/painting supplies in the attic, but when the new ships arrive I will certainly pull all of them down to do these ships justice.

Soon I will be making a poll- I have to choose a color scheme for this fleet. I plan on using mostly Nurgle-esqe marks and such for these ships, but I also think I should leave myself open for other marks of chaos.

So, the question being; Should I paint them Nurgle, Black Legion, or other CSM undivided/undeclared?

Until next time,
--FP135

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vote for Pedro (Or for Me)!


A while back, some of you may remember a scratch-built BFG ship I made: the Tyranid Hive Ship that can be seen Here.


Well, after months of waiting, the GothiComp Painting and Modeling competition has kicked off. It is done on their forums, where you can see the "heats" of contestants and vote for them via the forum's polling system. My entry is in Heat 5, so if you would like to see this model win then go to the link below and register on the forum so you can vote! I appreciate any support my followers can give!


http://www.tacticalwargames.net/taccmd/viewforum.php?f=38

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adrift

Ever have one of those months where nothing goes how you expected?

Recently, my local gaming store has been going through a lot of changes. Players I came to look forward to gaming with have left for real-life reasons; some leaving state, getting jobs, etc. I myself don't play 40k as much (read: at all) due to time restraints and cost issues.

To make matters worse, some investment problems mean that the "local" store is moving locations for a second time. The last time they moved, it was nearly a whole month before they were open and operational again, and I have less hope for them this time around. Even if they do reopen, it is quite a drive to Palmer from my house, and since my children are getting older (but not old enough to be in school) I have less free time to do those sorts of things. Since they are having investor problems, it is also likely they will raise the cover price for entrance (it was previously 1 dollar for all-day access to game tables). If that happens, I really will not be able to go there anymore due to its cost.

While I'm on a rant: the last few times I went, I had trouble finding games. People in the area have been on a Magic TGC fad lately, meaning that nobody is lugging in their armies for 40k. When I drive for an hour to the store with the intent of playing a game of 40k, it is pretty disappointing to sit on the sidelines of a Magic event planned for the day.

So if you can't beat them, join them, right? Wrong. I picked up Magic hoping to get in a game of SOMETHING for my trouble of driving all the way over there. After a few games, it seems like I am on the tail end of the fad on its way out. Now, everybody asks me "Wanna play 40k?" when all I brought were cards.

Sometimes you just can't win.

So, I've been playing a lot of Xbox live, and staying at home instead. I've packed away my painting supplies, and all my gaming supplies as well. My house is too small, and my young toddlers too active, to justify keeping all that stuff out anymore.







Ever have anything happen that just killed the hobby for you? How did you revive your interest in it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Why play Spearhead?


(Image used without permission from www.games-workshop.com, please see disclaimer below.)

As the title asks, why would anybody play 40k using Spearhead rules? From what I read in my white-dwarf (specially purchased just for the rules... GW con men....) it seems horribly broken. Basically it does away with force-org as long as you have enough to create the spearheads. Does this seem like "Apoc Lite" to you?

Since I cannot wrap my head around this mystery by myself, I wanted to get your opinions on the matter.

So, what say you?
--FP135

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