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.


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:

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:

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


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