Friday, July 30, 2010

Why play Spearhead?

(Image used without permission from, 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?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vor Goodies

I was a good boy, so my wife decided to reward me with a little find she dug up on ebay. This guy was unloading a lot of primo Ral Partha models at awesome prices, and she snagged a bunch of this stuff on the cheap.

I got some different stuff that rounded out multiple Vor forces:

1 Razorback Chieftain
1 Razorback Momma

2 Chemsprayers (to make a full squad of 3)
1 extra Mutant Handler
1 Pack of 2 Rad Hounds

2 Ambients
2 Primes

2 Death Priests
1 Noble
1 Recycler (which will probably be proxied as a Soul Reaver or something)
4 Ascassii

2 Full squads from the boxed set, some primed but otherwise untouched.
1 Rott. MG blister

Looks like I got some assembling to do. Now all I need is another squad of Concussors and I'm set!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vor Scenario Type: Operators

This is an adaptation of a WIP expansion by Gurth ( His fan-created expansion ruleset is still under development, and thus unavailable for release, but it is likely to be an awesome creation when playtested and completed.


For my adaptation, it simplifies the expansion while maintaining some of the central themes. In Operators, forces are chosen in a way to simulate a hand-picked selection of troopers, sent to accomplish difficult or clandestine tasks.

Force Selection:
Forces are chosen as normal, but with the following exceptions-

Forces are limited at 250 PV. Minimum restrictions for squads(I.e. 2 Standard Infantry Squads for 1 Armored Assault Squad) are to be ignored, but restrictions for Independent units still apply. No Vehicles are allowed at this points value, unless mutually agreed upon by the players.

Gameplay is as normal, but with the following exceptions-

Models are activated individually, rather than by squads, even if they are not Independent models. Treat them as Independent models for the duration of the game. For embedded independent models (such as Union Sergeants) that have benefits to their squad, instead only benefit models within 6".

Since all models are treated as Independent models, ignore coherency rules for the duration of the game. Also, all models have independent Activations, so only one model is activated at a time.

Scenario Objectives:

Players can either decide to play the game like a normal Confrontation scenario, or they may choose to play a game that holds closer to the original concept behind Operators.

These sorts of teams are normally sent to achieve a specific objective, such as capturing/rescuing a hostage, destroying a key structure, or even assassinating the enemy's leader.

Players may mutually agree on one of the following 3 scenarios-

Smash and Grab-
These operations are very risky. There isn't always time to complete a rescue operation before reinforcements for the defenders come pouring in, so high-speed-low-drag units are sometimes employed to perform these dangerous operations as a last-ditch effort.

Players randomly decide or mutually agree who is the attacker. Next, they roll a D10 to see how long the game lasts:
1-2 = 5 Turns, 3-8 = 6 Turns, 9-10 = 7 Turns

The other player is then the defender. Set up the table as outlined in the above diagram. 12" from the defending player's edge is where his deployment zone starts. The defender then places in that deployment zone a building, fenced enclosure, or other suitable terrain feature to act as the holding area for POWs. The attacking player places 1D5 random models not being used in his force, from his collection for that race, in the holding area to act as prisoners. They are just markers, and have no stats for the duration of this battle (they are weak with exhaustion from the torturous imprisonment).

The attacker's goal for the scenario is to release the prisoners and escort them back to his or her table edge. The prisoners will move once released by a friendly model (by the friendly model entering the holding area) towards the attacker's table edge at a rate of 8 MP per turn, unless an enemy model is within 12" of the prisoner. They move at the end of all regular activations made by both players during the turn, and the distance check for enemy model proximity is made just before they move (or don't move, if there is a model within the 12"). The Attacker moves the models and chooses their exact path, but at least half their MP must be moving directly towards the Attacker's table edge.

The Attacker wins a Solid Victory if he can escort at least half (round up) of the prisoners off the board by the end of the game. The Defender wins a Solid Victory if he or she can prevent this. If the Attacker manages to rescue all the prisoners (or if there is only one prisoner for the scenario), the Attacker will win a Major Victory if he or she can escort that prisoner off his or her table edge before the game ends.

Sometimes, groups of operators need to capture an enemy VIP. This can be for a myriad of reasons, but usually the VIP has intel the operators need or might simply be the leader of the opposition. Operators are perfect for these sorts of missions, as they usually are quite clandestine.

Before deploying, randomly determine who will be the attacker, and who will be the defender. After this is done, the attacker chooses one model from the defender's force to be the Hostage, and one model from his own force to be the Hostage Taker. Place these two models in base-to-base contact in the center area, labeled the Hostage Capture Point. NO OTHER MODELS MAY DEPLOY IN THIS ZONE. It is for the Hostage Taker and his Hostage only. (PLEASE NOTE: Growlers will never be hostages. They are too savage for that, so Growler players will always be attackers in this scenario.) Before the game starts, roll a D10 to determine the number of turns the game will last:
1-2 = 6 Turns, 3-8 = 7 Turns, 9-10 = 8 Turns

The Attacker is attempting to get the hostage from the center to one of his board edges (the short edges). To move his hostage, the Hostage Taker may move both models as a single activation, but may only use 1/2 (round up) his MP for the activation. They must remain in base-to-base contact the entire game. The Hostage may make no actions, nor make any activations, for the duration of this game. Please note that firing on the Hostage-Taker counts as firing into melee (and thus suffers all penalties that apply), for both friendly and hostile models. The Union may ignore the restriction for firing into Melee for this situation only, and may fire on the Hostage Taker.

If the Hostage Taker is killed before reaching a short edge, the Hostage is freed, and the attackers suffer a Solid Defeat. If the Hostage Taker can successfully reach a board edge before the game ends, the attacker gains a Solid Victory. If the Hostage is successfully freed (by killing the Hostage Taker before he reaches one of the board edges) then the defenders gain a Solid Victory. If they let the Hostage Taker escape with his prize, they suffer a Solid Defeat.

These additional scenarios are still undergoing playtesting. If you find anything wrong, please feel free to contact me. Please also feel free to distribute these freely! Anything that gets people playing Vor again is a good thing, in my book.

Until next time,

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Vor Campaign Game 2: Ambush

Private Kane awoke with a start. He was lying on a cot, the folds of the tent above him swaying restlessly with the cold Alaskan night's breeze. He tried to sit up, but a stabbing pain in his back forced him to lay back down. He craned his neck and looked around, and saw several cots arranged around some medical equipment. A corpsman looked up from his station, seeing Kane attempting to sit up, and came to his side.

"Easy there, Private. Your back was injured in the fighting. It'll be a couple days before you're back to fighting form. Just try to take it easy for a few days," the corpsman said, in a soothing voice.

Kane was confused. "How did I get here?" he asked the corpsman, "Where's the rest of my squad?"

The corpsman's eyes dropped to the floor, and he said softly "I'm afraid they didn't make it, son. You're the last one they pulled out from the field. You should thank Captain Cole, as he picked you up with his Heavy Assault Suit and carried you out of the firefight after you got hit."

"Captain Cole?" he asked, trailing off in thought as he tried to replay the events of the battle in his head...

He remembered never feeling the same height of adrenaline before in his life. He was so scared, it was hard to breathe. It was hard to think, hard to act, hard to do anything at all.

He remembered seeing the monstrosities that were either half alive, or half dead, depending on the way you looked at them. Shambling along in their awe-inspiring gold armor, the half-dead creatures unleashed bolts of plasma at the soldiers that took cover wherever they could find it.

Feeling the hot wave roll over him when a plasma blast missed closely was enough to make him sick, but his Sergeant had pushed him behind a ruined wall. From that point, Kane's memory only consisted of vague images: The corporal that had jested with him on the APC, half his torso disintegrated from an alien weapon, reanimated by some dark energy. The Captain, who must have known about the aliens beforehand, cutting loose a salvo of rockets from the shoulder-mounted pod on his Ares.

The worst one... The golden visage of one of the creatures wearing some sort of death mask, as it picked up Kane and tossed him like a ragdoll... then nothing but darkness and pain.

When he blinked away the recollections, the corpsman was looking down at him compassionately. "It could have been much worse, son. You'll notice that not many beds get filled here anymore. Those... creatures, they don't shoot to incapacitate. They shoot to kill. Whatever they kill, though, doesn't stay dead for long. That's the crux of my problem."

Kane winced at the memory of the Corporal, the wild look on his dead face, darkness filling his eyes as he fired at his squad mates. It was definitely something out of a nightmare.

"You get some rest now, young man. I'm sure you'll be hitting the front lines soon enough. Make sure you pack light; with that back strain you need to take it easy for a few days."

Kane nodded slowly, settling back down on the cot. The corpsman injected something into a catheter in the IV that Kane didn't even notice he had, and Kane drifted off.

- - -

Something was happening. Men were running around the bivouac, trying to stay quiet but failing to hide their excitement.

Kane pulled back the flap to the medical tent, one hand on his back. A sergeant noticed him, and strode up to him. The sergeant's nameplate read, "HURT", and Kane thought that a very fitting name for an NCO.

"Get your gear, Kane. You've been assigned to my squad, and I'll bet you are itching to get out of here. How long have you been in the med-tent?"

"About six days, as far as I can tell Sergeant," he replied.

"Then get your ass in gear, son. I don't have all day," the sergeant growled.

Kane hurried off to secure his gear. The sergeant was right, he didn't want to just sit here in the bivouac while other soldiers were out there doing something.

When he returned, the sergeant merely nodded and gestured for Kane to follow. They set off to the Operations Briefing room, a mobile pre-fab set up with briefing equipment and monitors. Soldiers were seating themselves at chairs and desks, settling in for the briefing. Kane hung by the sergeant at the rear of the room, and waited while the commanding officer for this mission arrived.

Kane was pleased to see Captain Cole walk in, assisted by a couple adjutants. He had never properly thanked the man for carrying him to safety, but he hadn't come in contact with the hardened officer since the ordeal.

The Captain was all business as he walked in. "I need volunteers," he stated pointedly. "This is a high-risk, high profile operation. You all have had your share of combat lately, so I only want those who are willing to go on this mission."

His gaze swept the room as a few hands went up. A few soldiers stood and were dismissed. Kane remained, watching the proceedings. Cole's gaze settled on him. "You there, you volunteering soldier?" he said, his eyes piercing into Kane's.

"Yessir," replied Kane, "I owe you that much, sir."

Cole nodded briefly, and turned to a projector. He had an adjutant display some maps on a large sheet of white paper. "I apologize for the lack of equipment, but that'll come later if this blows out of proportions," he addressed the room.

"Here's what we know: Hostiles have bombarded and beseiged Nois Aistrus. We don't know why yet. It appears that they are commencing an excavation on the south end of the city, using our civilians as slaves. Most of you already know that these hostiles aren't human. That makes them dangerous and unpredictable.

"However, we aim to figure out what they are here for so we can figure out what they'll do next. So we have arranged to ambush the excavation site. That means I'll need a skilled group to infiltrate close enough to do so. Out of those here, I don't recognize seeing many of you in the last few battles. That means you need to listen to privates like this one," with that, he gestured towards Kane, "who have seen them up close and know what they are capable of."

Uncapping a marker, be drew out a route on the paper the map projected on. "We are to circumvent the main landing force by taking this route. I'll be leading the mission personally, but I think this time I'll leave the Ares at home," he said wryly, getting a few chuckles. "Staff Sergeant Hurt will by my ranking NCO on the field. An order from him is an order from me, so don't think to question it." He glared sternly at a few privates in the front row, who shifted nervously in their seats.

The briefing lasted for another hour or two, outlining what they had learned in their battles with the Pharon so far. When they were dismissed, Sergeant Hurt brought Kane to the squad's bunking.

As Kane settled in, to catch a few hours sleep before they moved out, he couldn't help but feel as if he might be making a mistake by volunteering for this mission.

- - -

They had been watching the creatures for just under an hour when Peterson slipped. He didn't mean to, he was doing alright in one of the ruined buildings nearby keeping surveillance, but the sight of the Pharon emerging from the excavation startled him. He stumbled, sending a chunk of concrete skipping across the floor. It sounded deafening to him, though in reality it was probably much quieter than he feared.

No such luck. The leader's head whipped around, and he gestured angrily to some minions at his back.


The squad's Bulldog rifleman and Rottweiler Machinegunner scrambled with another pair of soldiers and darted from the building, heading for the safety of cover from a pile of rubble on a nearby overlook. The ground was slick with mud, the Alaskan fall season always being a wet one, so the soldiers slipped and skid to cover.

Private Kane threw himself against the ruined wall and peeked around it, seeing a group of shambling Pharon footsoldiers emerging around the corner of a distant building ruin. He sighted down the irons of his Pitbull rifle, and let loose a couple of single shots, compensating for the slight recoil as he had been taught.

The rounds skipped off the mud under the creatures, but one solidly connected with a creature. To Kane's consternation, the round failed to penetrate the golden armor wreathing the abomination. The creature barely reacted at all, but to bring up its own weapon and return fire.

Kane saw the plasma weapon spooling to fire, and shouted a warning to his squad mates. They threw themselves down as a torrent of plasma fire impacted the concrete structure around them, sending slivers and shrapnel flying.

By that point, the special weapons team had reached a firing position. Overlooking the rest of the squad's position, they spotted a shambling group of creatures approaching.

Peterson brought up his Rottweiler, its weight heavy and reassuring in his arms. Bracing himself, he sighted down the barrel just before he lost his nerve. Those creatures... they weren't more Pharon...

They used to be humans.

Shambling dead, reanimated by some dark science or sorcery known only to the Pharon, the horde fought for traction on the muddy terrain. Slowly but surely, they made their advance.

Peterson fought to gain his nerve. He brought the machine gun back up again, braced, and let loose a stream of heavy projectiles at the mob of undead.

The heavy-jacketed rounds were of such high velocity that they tore through the reanimated slaves, cutting down a swath of them. The two other privates joined in the shooting, picking their targets carefully, but to little effect.

Then, to Peterson's horror, a group of Pharons emerged from behind a ruin immediately to the front and left of him. There was no time to react.

Peterson took a plasma blast to his stomach, melting through his protective armor. The force of the blast picked him up and launched him through the air, dumping him in an unceremonious pile of raining gore a few feet away. As his innards fell around him, Peterson didn't even have time to feel pain before he passed into darkness.

In the darkness, he could hear chanting. It was an alien toungue, but he felt like it was somehow familiar, like he had heard it before. Then the voice started pulling him, binding him to the body he had just left behind, shackling him in service to the voice. "NO!" he cried in the dark, desperate for an end that would not come.

- - -

Kane didn't even register the deaths of the other fire-team, as he was busy. Plasma bursts tore the air around the ruin, making the air hot and blistering.

Captain Cole crouched down at the other corner behind a wall half-destroyed, tapping commands into what looked like a PDA or a cell phone. Before long, a keening whine distinctive of Anti-Grav engines could be heard over the din of the fight. A Mule Drone, laden with extra ammo, hovered over the building before settling down amongst the beleaguered soldiers. Cheers rose from the men as they redoubled their efforts, no longer concerned with ammo expenditure.

Their jubilation was short lived, however, when Peterson staggered in, his intestines trailing behind him.

"What the hell..." Sergeant Hurt had time to exclaim just before the undead machine gunner cut down a private next to him.

Hurt spat an obscenity as he pulled his Pug pistol from its holster, thumbing off the safety in the same motion. Double tapping the former-private's chest, he hesitated before putting one in the head of the undead soldier as well.

The hefty pistol's round tore through the undead's armor, but doing no effect to his already-mangled body. The round through the head pitched him off his feet backwards through the opening, landing in the mud outside.

An explosion rocked the sergeant out of his reverie, and he dimly noticed the Captain discarding the pin from the grenade. Looking out, the sergeant saw a smoking crater lined with human limbs; remnants of the horde of undead slaves.

Kane shook him. "Sergeant, I think we need to pull out! It's too hot!" He shouted over the din.

The Captain shouted, "Agreed, private! Sergeant, we're pulling out! Fall back! I'll buy you some time!" Bracing himself on the wall, he aimed carefully at his targets. The rounds from his Pitbull found purchase, but the Pharon acted as if they didn't even notice. They just kept up their inexorable advance, firing their weapons as they came.

"C'mon, Sarge!" Kane exclaimed, grabbing the NCO and guiding him out the back of the ruined structure, snagging a few magazines for their rifles along the way.

As they burst into the open, a couple of undead slaves formerly of the platoon raised their rifles slowly. The blood already clotting in their veins, they looked grotesque and emotionless as they began to fire on their former comrades.

"Shit!" Kane spat, and the Sergeant brought up his pistol again. The heavy calibre sidearm barked in quick succession, and the two slaves went down hard. The pair then darted off, heading back the route they came by. The mud was no easier to navigate now than before, and they slipped and fell several times before the sounds of battle began to fade behind them.

"When is Captain Cole coming, Sarge?" Kane panted, as they continued.

"He may not be, Private," the Sergeant huffed dourly, an expression of regret on his weathered face.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Vor Campaign Game 1: Nois Aistrus

In the Union Response Command Center, a tech blearily eyed a console monitor. Several different spectrum of detection gear, from radar, to thermal, and even infrared, overlaid into a single data upload on his screen, to provide the conglomerated detection net. It was his lucky duty to be watching it at three in the morning.

In his fatigue, he almost missed it. There, a blip that could be something.... but probably was just another chunk of space debris being hurled at them through the Maelstrom. Better get the XO to take a look at it anyway... he thought.

- - -

In the South-Eastern Panhandle of Alaska, not too much had remained of the town Nois Aistrus. After the earlier clear-cutting of the natural forested regions, little towns like this had sprung up as families had moved in the Black Rushes of the early 2050's, when overseas oil supplies began to cut off the supply to the United States and cause fuel shortages. During those days, droves of citizens flocked to the relatively uninhabited regions of Alaska, intent on joining the lucrative drilling crews being commissioned to drill new oil wells in the Alaskan tundra.

Many of these families were in fact not hired on the selective crews, and were forced to find residence closer to the few urban centers located in the South-Central regions of the state. These towns degenerated into little more than ghettos and projects, home to dozens of families that had sacrificed everything they had on a failed chance.

On this particular night, few remained in Nois Aistrus. The nights were already beginning to feel the bite of the approaching winter; the one thing that remained the same through the Change being the ferocity of Alaskan winter conditions. In the shanties and dilapidated buildings of the Black Rush town, few could afford to heat their buildings, and many had taken advantage of the Union Population Consolidation programs that allowed them to move to more hospitable locales. If they hadn't, this particular night could have been far more disastrous.

A twinkling of light, which could have easily been mistaken for the Aurora Borealis before the Change, moved quickly though the night sky. One homeless man, trying to warm himself by a burning barrel, noticed it in his drunken stupor. Thinking himself to be hallucinating, he rubbed his eyes with his free hand, and took another swig from his bottle... just to warm his insides, of course.

He looked back up into the startlingly-clear night sky, and froze. Now there were TWO twinkles, one moving faster than the other...

He put his bottle down and rubbed his eyes again, turning his back to the fire so he could see better. Oddly, he could see the town more clearly now, as if the sun was rising early. When he looked up again, the second, faster twinkle was now bigger, and coming faster. With dread, he realized it was coming towards him.

That was the last thing he had time to think before the energy blast detonated in the air, sending a rippling wave of force over the town that pulverized buildings and set the larger buildings ablaze with their own heating fuels.

- - -

The Union technician almost spit his coffee over his monitor as his instruments registered the blast. What the hell...?

His XO was by his terminal before he could recover, demanding a status report.

"Corporal, you had better tell me what in the hell that was, and I mean NOW," the Lieutenant ordered, leaning in to study the monitors for himself.

"Sir, there was some sort of explosion..." the corporal started, before the XO cut in.

"No shit son, but where and how? Find out!" he gruffly barked, and the corporal began feverishly hammering at his console.

"North-west of us, sir... Looks like somewhere in the South-Eastern Alaska Panhandle... I'm trying to get a fix. Energy readings are weird, not anything I've seen before," the technician reported as he scrolled through several different data streams.

"I have," the Lieutenant said grimly, eyes fixated on the read-outs. Without another word, he turned on his heel and strode away from the bewildered corporal's station.

- - -

Strapped into his squad's Titan, Pvt. John Kane grimaced as the anti-grav transport bucked; its servos desperately trying to compensate for the horrid Pacific waves.

"Hey new guy, easy up," grinned his squadmate. The Corporal obviously enjoyed Pvt. Kane's discomfort, and was mocking him for it. "These Titans are tough as hell... I suspect it'd take somethin' a bit bigger than a wave to topple this monster." For added emphasis, he pounded a gloved fist on the metal bulkhead.

"Sure thing, whatever you say," said Kane through clenched teeth. What the hell were they doing out here anyhow? What was going on in Alaska that pulled them from their sunny California staging base? That place was a soldier's dream come true... If you didn't mind the nuclear fallout from the ruins of Seattle, that was.

"It could be worse, kid. You could be getting Orbitally Deployed, like the Captain in his Shoot Suit."

That came from the Sergeant, referring to Captain David Cole, who would be getting a trip to the surface in his Ares Heavy Assault Suit.

"I'll just be happier when we get on solid ground, Sar'nt," Kane replied, closing his eyes.

A few hours later, he got his wish. Boots to ground, Kane's small squad deployed on the outskirts of the town Nois Aistrus. The smell of burnt structures stung his nostrils, and even with his IR visor lowered the smoke stung his eyes.

"By the book, soldiers," growled the Sergeant as they deployed out of their APC. They ran bounded for cover, pairs of soldiers covering each other as they moved up. They stopped at a ruined wall, rivulets of molten metal still cooling in the night air.

"Image feed from TacNet," stated the corporal, "Uploading into your visors."

The image was green, as Infrared images tended to be, and it was hard to pick out details. So much debris... how could this used to be a town? Ruins and rubble chocked every street, making the whole town a total mess. Craters from sympathetic explosions pockmarked the debris, chunks of the natural-gas tanks that caused them still sticking up from the earth.

"Looks like the Glory Boys beat us here," huffed the Corporal, jerking his thumb at a nearby building ruin. On the second floor, a section of the wall had collapsed. Kane didn't notice it at first, but as he peered at it he noticed a hand waving arrogantly.

"Who is that?" Kane asked.

"Just the SF team that Command dispatched to reconnoiter... forget them. We need to do a sweep," the Sergeant ordered.

The Maw began to peak up over the mountains, its first rays caressing the tops of the ruined buildings. "Switch off IR," ordered the Sergeant, switching off his own visor's enhancement. His squad followed suit.

The morning light did little to remove the dour mood of the ruined town. Fires still burned here and there, sending acrid smoke into the chilled air.

After they had adjusted their visors, they started their sweep. The Corporal took point, glancing at his wrist-mounted motion sensor periodically. As they cleared the ruins of former apartment buildings, bloated remains of squatters could be seen in the rubble, and it turned Kane's stomach. He tried to put it from his mind, and finish the sweep.

After an hour into the sweep, the Sergeant declared their sector clear. Another private relayed the information to the Command, and they were instructed to stay in position until further notice.

Before long, a roaring crescendo could be heard over the crackling of the still-burning fires. Descending on a plume of smoke, a single Ares Heavy Assault Suit burned down a disposable Descent Pack strapped to the frame. The pack was doing well at controlling the descent, but Kane guessed that it was more due to the skill of the Captain controlling the suit than by design.

After touching down, the external visor to the Ares raised to reveal the visage of the Captain, the twin vertical bars distinctly painted onto the forehead of the visored pilot's helmet.

The Commanding Officer wasted no time in getting the squad to work, fortifying a couple positions with sandbags. Kane wondered what the point was, but he knew better than to ask. In the military, it was wise never to ask the question "Why," because that question always preceded consequences.

- - -

Before long they heard it. A keening moan, like a bass siren, reverberated throughout their bodies.

"What the hell?" the Corporal was first to comment, earning him a stern glare from the Sergeant.

"Places, people, now." the Sergeant ordered firmly, but quietly. He motioned for a nearby ruined wall, and the squad quickly dove behind it, guns braced in the direction of the noise.

"I've got eyes on... something..." trailed off one of the SF troopers over the comm-link. "It looks like... Jesus, a egyptian mummy or something! It's got some sort of weapon... Captain, am I cleared to engage?" the trooper anxiously asked.

"Engage at will," stated Captain Cole curtly, pushing his Ares forward at a slow and lumbering gait.

With that, the Union engaged the Pharon.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Great VOR Restoration Project: Ares Assault Suit Conversion Part 2

Arrogant. Cocky. Worn. Veteran.

These are some good adjectives to describe the conversion I was going for with the project. With his new pose, it is obvious that this fella has already seen some of what the Maelstrom has to throw at him.

The cut and re-position went well. The only issue I had was getting the chaingun on due to the torso's direction and the newly positioned leg getting in the way of the ammo chain. It all worked out though, and now I have a decent conversion to show for it.

Sorry for the quality of the pictures, but I'll have to get some better pictures during the sober light of day.

Until next time,

The Great VOR Restoration Project: Ares Assault Suit Conversion

Pictured above is the stock pose for a Ares-Class Heavy Assault Suit for the North American Union. The pose is physically intimidating, with the large size and clenched fists, but I wanted to spice it up a bit.

In the old Vor Union Forcebook, there was a guide to do a conversion by positioning the Ares' foot on a rock while turning the torso slightly, to give it a more dynamic look. I am attempting to do that with this project.

Above is the proposed cut to the leg joints. It should be a relatively easy conversion, since the legs are designed to have a ribbed rubber-looking material covering the joints. A little bit of greenstuff and I should be good to go.

... So, I began cutting up my extra suit. Here, you can see that I successfully cut free the thigh and knee, and am working on positioning the pieces before I can secure them for the greenstuff application. I'll post updates as I get more accomplished.

But for now... dinner.


Monday, July 5, 2010

The Search for a Slayer Sculptor

I'm in the market for a miniature sculptor.

I was lucky enough to have a guy send me some of the original concept art for the Slayer suit, one of the miniatures that never got produced due to Fasa selling their company. I've been talking with Ron at From the Warp (link at top-right), and he's been helping me to find somebody with enough sculpting skill to make a Slayer suit for me.

As you can see from the artwork, this model is just plain cool. A mummy in super-power armor? Rad!

If you know anybody or anything that might help, send me a line at

It's a long shot, but I'll throw this out here too: I'm also trying to secure funding for commissioning the project. If you want to see one of these models made, you could email me and let me know if you want to make a monetary donation to help this commission happen. I plan to get the production rights, so I can cast some by hand from my home. I'd be more than willing to give a shot at casting one depending on the size of the donation, but that can be discussed more in detail when we actually find a sculptor to commission the project from.

Something to think about.

Until next time,

The Great Vor Restoration: Datafiles for The Forge, Pt 2

At last! After several hours of tapping in my laptop and squinting at a force book, I have completed the Forge datafile for the Pharon! You can find it at my Vor fansite.

Next up: the Growler Forcebook. Expect it to be done in a week or so, because I am going to work on painting up some models to give my aching carpals a break before I develop a tunnel syndrome for them.

Until next time,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Great Vor Restoration: Datafiles for The Forge

Just letting some of you Vor players know, I've finished the Shard datafile for the Digital Foundry's program: The Forge (kinda like AB but free, and with less capability).

You can get it here:
My Fansite

It includes errata from the Vor FAQ 3.0, as well as the special units and upgrades from the 2nd Conflict Book, which never reached production. Skuzzy (the game's creator) was nice enough to post it on his forums for the old-school fans to copy, so I went ahead and included the extra stuff.

You can also find a link to the Digital Foundry (so you can download The Forge) on my website too, if you don't have it already.

Next datafile I'm working on: The Pharon. I'll again be including all Conflict Book 2 and current Errata material. I should be done in a week or so.

Until next time,

The great VOR restoration project

As you can tell, I've been playing a bit of Vor lately ( for you who have no clue what I'm going on about), so I was taking a good hard look at my miniatures. As you can see from pictures like this one-

- that they were in dire need of an updated paint scheme. A lot of these miniatures have not had a different paint job since I bought them in 99 or 2000.

Luckily I knew of a solution. I had got advice from DakkaDakka that Castrol's Super Clean (Big purple jug) was safe for plastic, so I had used it on plastic minis in the past and it worked wonders. So again, I got out the tub and the Super Clean and put the old minis in the soak for 24 hours.

After the time was up, a simple scrub with a toothbrush yielded decent results, and they came out looking something like this:

At that point I was able to pick out the leftovers with toothpicks, and repaint them.

So far, it's going well. I've finished half a Union squad's painting, and am working on basing them:

So, I have my work cut out for me. Back to the painting table!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Vor Battle Report: Shard vs. Pharon Hold Ground

Welcome to my second Bat Rep in the Vor series. In this game, I break out my old-school Shard miniatures for a go at the shambling undead hordes at my wife's beck and call.

We picked a Capture and Hold game, to see how Vor matches up to other game systems when it comes to capturing objectives. In Capture and hold, you choose one large objective (a building or terrain feature at least 12" wide or long) and place it near the center of the table, arraying the other terrain around it in a mutually agreeable fashion. Naturally, I chose my ruined building (measuring 16"x20") as the objective, and lay some terrain around it. To capture a building, you have have infantry models within 6" of the objective building by the end of the game (which is a pre-determined random number of turns). If your opponent also has infantry within 6" of the building, play continues until one of you don't have infantry within range of the objective. I kind of like this over 40k's method, since it doesn't allow for ties, but I think it could be problematic in a tournament setting due to time constraints.

Here is the picture of pre-game setup:

-Leona won the roll for deployment, and decided to pick the side and go first. She also won the initiative roll, and force me to go first. (Don't need to twist my arm!)

- First I flew my Axion into some cover. I felt he needed to get closer, but not at the expense of his safety.
- Leona moved up with the Fist of Anubis squad on the right side of the table.
- I decided to get my Prime with the matrix cannon to some higher ground as well. I got him as close to the ruins as I could.
- Leona countered by moving up with her second squad of Fists. (Exciting, huh?)
- I countered by running to cover with my Concussors (The game is really getting exciting now!)
- She runs with her Warlord (Oh stop, my heart can't take it!)
- So I run with my jagged.
- She runs with her Hierophant.
- I die from boredom.
- Finally, I unfolded my Eradicator from its encased mode, and had to look up to see if you could fire the same turn you entered battle mode. Finding nothing preventing it in either the Shard Forcebook or the FAQ, we rule that it must be legal and allow it. The war machine fires a Heavy Beam laser at a Fist of Anubis, but fails to wound it.

On to turn 2:

After this turn, I got bad at remembering pictures. That's what usually happens when I try to play games late at night, so sorry!

- I win the initiative, and activate my Eradicator first. I move forward and fire off a salvo from my Fracture Cannon, killing 4/5 of the Fists of Anubis on the right side! Pretty lucky for me.
- Her lone surviving Fist and its Noble failed their Morale test, so they are pushed back to their DZ.
- I dashed with my jagged around the back side of the objective building, hugging cover where they could.
- Leona brings her Warlord around the far corner of the building, and looses a Reaver Cannon at the advancing Jagged. They pass their armor saves, however, and the one that did fail she failed to wound due to a bad roll.
- My Prime takes flight again, this time to the 2nd floor of the building.
- Her Fists of Anubis on the left open up on the Axion, but due to his hard cover they fail to hit significantly. The Noble, however, shoots his Fist of Osiris at the axion, killing 2 concussors nearby in the resulting blast. The two that remained were paralyzed with fear.
- My axion fires an Energy Burst, killing 3/5 fists on the left side of the table.
- The Hierophant summons his dark power and throws down a Purging spell, but only was able to kill a single concussor with it. The extra shielding I gave the axion paid for itself here!

I forgot to take start-of-turn pictures for the rest of the game, so sorry!

- I won the initiative, and flew the Prime up to the roof.
- Leona moved up with the previously-pushed-back Fist squad (or rather the lone survivor and his noble) and fired at the noble for lack of better targets. The Eradicator saves on the Fist's weapon, but the Noble's Fist of Osiris sphere penetrates and immobilized it! Too bad I didn't take repair orbs.
- The Eradicator lashes back with its full fury, but only manages to kill the one Fist of Anubis that remained.
- The Warlord of Anubis spools up his Reaver Cannon... and totally whiffs. Due to the cover, she needed to roll an 8 or below due to the range, and she rolls a 9... it scatters into the wind and misses completely.
- My axion flies up to join the prime in the building, on the 2nd floor beneath it.
- The Fists and their Noble on the left side that remain fire at the Prime perched atop the building, and they take it down to 1 LIF left.
- The Lone Concussor, survivor of a Purging and a Carrion Sphere, runs for cover and snipes a Fist of Anubis on the way with a critical hit!
- The Hierophant again tries to Purge in a suicidal gambit... and fails. He shrivels and dies without effect.
- The Jagged charge the Warlord, but only one reaches CC with enough MP to attack so I stop the others short so they can charge next turn. The one in base-to-base attacks with his Impaler Spur, penetrating his armor for 2 damage.

The Eradicator and the Noble face off-

- I won the initiative again, and the Prime strides up to the edge of the roof and looks down at the noble, a crystalline smirk etched into his features. He begins spooling his power, pumping up the Core Matrix housed in his chest, and prepares to unleash a Mighty Blast of.... nothing. He whiffs hard, crit-missing. Luckily, I had only pumped 7 MP into the attack so he was in no danger of Core Syphoning.
- The Noble decides discretion is the better part of valor... and quits the field. He high-tails it away from the Eradicator giving him the death-glare, and instead shoots at the Prime on the roof to no effect.
- My Jagged continue their stabbing party, turning the Warlord into a pin-cushion with their sharp appendages. Whew, that could have been ugly!
- The Fist and Noble on the left fire at the Concussor in cover, and due to his cover they fail to inflict a hit.
- The Concussor fires back, missing twice.
- The Axion fires his Energy Focus, taking a wound off the already-wounded Noble.

- I finally lost the initiative, and Leona moved her Noble. He fired a sphere, but it failed to damage my prime. The Fist with him misses the prime as well.
- My prime pumps 7 MP into his Matrix, and fires! This time, he failed to do any damage due to the noble's higher Armor stat.
- The Jagged engage the unwounded noble and his fist, locking him in CC, but are out of MP for an attack.
- My concussor moves to a window on the bottom floor, ready to take a shot if needed.
- The Axion is finally in range to Devolve, and turns the noble into a puddle of goo.

- I again lost the Initiative. The Fist and the Noble whiff in CC though.
- That opens them up to counterattack from my Jagged, who kill the fist and wound the noble.
- The Prime flies down and charges, hoping to end the battle early, but he whiffs.
- My axion and my Concussor shift uneasily. The eradicator is essentially out of the battle, as he has no LOS to anything at this point. Even if he did, they would likely be tied up in CC.

- I win the initiative.
-My Jagged triumphantly raise an Impaler for the killing blow, bringing it down with a sharp jerk. The battle is over, the last infantry lies dead, and my Shard hold the building in victory!

Units Controlling the Building:
1 Concussor
1 Axion
4 Jagged
1 Prime

3 Concussors KIA, both Prime and Eradicator damaged.

Confirmed Kills:
10 Fists of Anubis
2 Nobles
1 Hierophant
1 Warlord of Anubis

Hope you guys liked the writeup, and what few pictures I remembered to snap! Hopefully more games to come.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vor Game Report: Union vs. Pharon Skirmish

So, here is the write-up of my first Vor game in well over a year! I was a bit rusty with the rules, but it comes back to me quickly. Luckily I haven't been away long enough to get brainwashed by 40k rules! However, I do find myself comparing the two frequently.

So, my opponent was my willing wife Leona! Here's her "game face":

For the game type, we picked Skirmish at 750 points. Points in Vor and 40k are fairly similar, being anywhere from 5-40 points for most basic infantry, 200 for a tank, or especially powerful special characters. The difference is the length of time: since Vor is more tactical than 40k, a 750 PV game takes roughly the same amount of time to play as a 1500 pt. 40k game. A skirmish helped cut down on the time needed to play, because the game ends immediately when one of the players is reduced to below 50% force value in models left on the board. We expected it to last for somewhere around 5-7 turns.

This is what our deployment looked like:

Those wedges are her Pharon, the lines to the south behind the buildings are my Union. In the bottom right corner you can see my Ares Assault Suit.

- Leona won the initiative and went first. She activated the unit of Fists of Anubis and their Noble, on the left, and moved them their full MP.
- I moved my Armored Assault Squad (bottom left in picture) and fired x2, killing 1/5 Fists of Anubis from the left squad.
- Leona next activated her Warlord of Anubis, firing its Reaver Cannon, blowing up 2 of the AAS.
- 1st Squad (on left) used the "Move it! Move it! Move it!" order to dash from the back of the rear building to the back of the center building.
- The Fists of Anubis squad on the right moved their full MP, without shooting.
- 2nd Squad (on right) used the "Move it!Move it!Move it!" order to dash to 1st Squad's position, also taking cover behind the large building.
- Leona's Hierophant cast its Soul Web, succeeding, then moved.
- The Ares Assault Suit fired its Quad missile launcher, killing 4/5 Fists of Anubis from the right squad in the apocalyptic blast. The last surviving Fist was pitched to the ground. The Ares APE failed to do any damage. Miraculously, the squad passed the GUT check, due to the Noble's special rule allowing the squad to use his GUT statistic.

On to turn 2:

- I won the initiative roll for the turn. My first activation was the Armored Assault Squad, who moved to the cover of the ruin, and shot on the way. They failed to inflict any damage though.
- The Fists of Anubis on the left continued their lumbering run towards the building, deciding shooting wouldn't yield results.
- 1st Squad popped out from around the corner of the large building, and killed 3/4 of the Fists of Anubis on the right! Good shooting! The lone survivor passed his GUT check (again thanks to the noble).
- The Warlord shot his Reaver at 1st Squad now that they were in LOS, but the shot missed due to the cover and scattered away harmlessly.
- 2nd Squad shot and killed the last remaining Fist of Anubis on the right, but failed to wound the mighty Noble. His armor was just too strong!
- The noble moved closer and shot his Fist of Osiris at the 2nd squad, but the low-powered explosives failed to inflict any casualties.
- The Ares misses with his Quad missile launcher, scattering far out of the way. He did, however, mow down the Noble with his APE, rolling one critical hit and two regular. The critical hit did damage, as did one of the regular rolls.
- Leona's Hierophant summons the courage to cast "The Purging", blasting 1 grunt and 1 LIF from the Sgt. The dead trooper rises as a slave due to soul web, and after a brief consultation to the rules and the FAQ we can't find anything preventing the raised model from activating the same turn. So, she the undead trooper as her next activation. It guns down the next trooper up the line, and he was risen with Soul Web too! He in turn guns down the Sgt., who also Rises! What is going on here? The Sgt. fails to kill anybody though, ending the chain.

MMM.... BRAINS!!! The units with the masking tape on them had been raised.

On to turn 3:

- I again won the initiative for the turn. I activated my Ares first, and let loose with all I had on the Hierophant to end the Soul Web (although I later realized the web would still have been in effect even if the Hierophant was killed). My devestating salvo of rockets and APE rounds ended the undead enchanter's unnatural life, immediately ending the game in a Solid Victory for the Union! The Pharon suffer a Solid Defeat!

Total Casualties:
Union: 2 AAS, 2 Std. Troopers, 1 Sgt. for a total of 139 PV
Pharon: 10 Fists of Anubis, 1 Noble, and 1 Hierophant, for a total of 490 PV


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