EPIC28

Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Frustrating lack of progress.

OK. I got four revel BMP2s. So the 13th Mech can now mech up. I got three of the LRMBT accessory sprues - these include the hull (not much of an accessory, more of a neccessity, IMO). I've got plasticard for the sides, so these will be wolverines as soon as I can find 24 suitable wheels from somewhere. And another ten cadians (who will doubtless become Bloodcoats).

Somewhere north of here I have Valks and more LRMBT to pick up. So my plastic crack mountain is just getting bigger. As you can tell by the mere fact that I am posting, my laptop is better. And the IT guys saved Army Builder for me - hurrah for the IT guys.

I've attracted another follower - welcome. I really hope that I'll be able to post some form of WIP before you die of boredom waiting for me to do something.

I've been in the garage this morning - I was going to do a bit of scenery (twigs and picture wire barricades on hard board basing) but it is too damn cold in there. I'm looking forward to finally firing up the airbrush I bought myself for my birthday. It's raining quite hard, so that's another thing to have to wait until it's both drier and warmer.

Once I've got the senior dog back from the vet this afternoon I may do a little painting. I can do that at least whilst she-who-believes-she-is-in-charge is out.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Devos IV map

I do have maps, honest I do ! I've even found them. On my (own) laptop. But they are in campaign cartographer and blogger doesn't want to load them.

I'll work on that. I should be seeing AD and CNJ over Christmas. If they can't make it work...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Whether the weather be hot, or whether the weather be cold.

Well, the snow in the Eastern USA has made the news. The family I stayed with in Kent during the summer have been snowed in twice in a week. Here the merest dusting of snow mostly went and then it rained at dusk and then froze over night. Not a nice Sunday morning.

The grand Christmas raffle has been drawn at my employer's client's offices (half an hour from where I live). Tommorrow (Tue 22 Dec 09) or Wednesday I'll take my company's winnings to our offices (two hours plus north of where I live). I'm not expecting an easy journey. I might buy a shovel on the way home.

As well as delivering the winnings of the raffle, I hope to pick up my fixed/cured/rebuilt work laptop. I copied everything for work off of it on to a little red USB stick which I now appear to have misplaced. And also, my only copy of Army Builder (with all the attendant files to prove that I have bought and paid for it) is on that computer. So I'm hoping that when I get it back, Army Builder is still on it. Although it does depend what the IT service provider's brief is. I hope to find out in the next few days.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ravenor and the consequences of contemplation on the Devos IV campaign.

I did wonder about my =I= list. WH without battle sisters. I was thinking that IST were more fluffy, despite the fact that the Adpeta Sororitas were more capable. I was quite happy building my list around a Lady Inquistrix and another Inquistrix (ie her interrogatrix) and their respective retinues. Certainly not the sort of thing to win a competitive battle, but characterful and multi talented enough to be worth fielding in a themed game against some heretics and a bunch of witches.

And of course there are the repentia, death cult assassins and zealots. All good stuff.

Having now read Mr Abnett's Ravenor omnibus I am if anything more content with my =I= list. It fits the Devos IV campaign well. Lady Josephine will be the glue that holds the Imperial forces together. Without her firm direction, I'm sure the DKK would be tempted to make no discrimination between the Loyal (to the emperor) 2nd PDF Regt and the Loyal (to their homeworld) 13th Mech Regt and 99th PDF Regt.

That could provide an interesting possibility. Perhaps the Imperial side has to spend points on having either the Lady Inquisitrix or her Interrogatrix in their force - to keep them in the campaign. If the rebels kill or capture both of them, then the Imperial side is gripped with interia as the commanders of the various forces disagree. I like this idea, but it is a little un military. I'm quite sure that the Departmento Munitorium would make sure that there was a definate command structure in place before even launching their planning phase. I might be able to weave it in as a one game idea somewhere:

There would be a composite force made up of elements of most if not all of the IG/PDF consituant units. And the Interrogatrix would be the glue holding them all together. If the rebel player somehow nutralises the Interrogatrix, the IG player must make an immediate moral check for each force element to represent the units prediliction to follow its own agenda once the imperative of the =I= is removed.

All of a sudden I can see snipers becoming important. Snipers to hunt independant characters and snipers to hunt the other side's snipers (at the minute the Cadian 144th have two special weapon squads of snipers. The 13th Mech have two individuals). I can see that an increase in snipers is on the cards.

So back to Dan Abnett's work - I might be tempted to try Eisenhorn and/or the Gaunt's Ghosts books. I've been through Gunheads, Ice guard, Eldar prophecy and Dark Millenium. All OK. And Sandy Michell's Cain is a hoot. I liked that so much I bought a copy for a chrimbo prezzie for someone.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Dan Abnett owes me four hours of sleep

I picked this of off my bookshelf at the weekend. Last night I lost four hours when I'd normally be asleep. Today I have a mild headache and huge dark rings around my eyes. Curse you, Dan Abnett !

OBTW, the book is excellent.

Friday, 11 December 2009

From WD 232

The key strategic point in the Leighrid sector is the world of Berrima Prime. A staging point for trans sector commerce and the main arms manufacturer for the sectors forces. It's fall to a massed raiding fleet struck a devistating blow to imperial operations in the area. The imperial response, led by the Blood Angels Commander Dante, arrived to find Chaos and Dark Eldar forces fighting over the spoils. Seizing the moment, he led two full companies of Blood Angels to spearhead the reclaimation campaign.

Sounds interesting, as everyone knows that the Adeptus Astartes would attack at some randomly selected point with overwhelming force, alerting the Chaos and Dark Eldar, drawing their reinforcements to the region. At which point the Astartes Commander would dust himself off, declare his work done and remove his 7' tall powerarmoured rainbow warriors back to their galactic love nest. So the IG could 'mop up' more of the enemy than were there when the Astartes arrived in the first place.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pick a side (or not)

FW Death Spinner. Template weapons for the Eldar !

Ok then, this is obviously going to proceed in an escalation campaign manner. We now have (in the previous two posts) games specifically to advance the story line.


The battle for the Promethium refinary will see if the PLA get the resources they need to take on the Imperial Guard.


There will be a 'running the gauntlet' type senario to see if the Iggies get the resources they need to take on the PLA.


There will be two points for a win, one for a draw and none for a loose. These might well translate into extra strategy points (allowing that side to seize the initative more easily) or apocalypse stategy card thingies (Apocalypse strategic assets ?).


So, scoring the armies wins, draws and defeats seems straight forward enough.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Imancipation of Taple

Dracite Taple was captured by the Tigers. Her capture by Capt Choo and his reporting of Maj Gen Firth's whereabouts is what got him promoted.

The Kabal of the Broken Teaspoon want Dacite Taple back. If the Kabal of the Broken Teaspoon liberate their unhinged and bloodthirsty Dacite, then for them it is a return to business as normal. The Kabal will persist in harassing anyone who takes their fancy, indulging their predilection for hit and run raids, getting in people’s way and upsetting their carefully laid plans.

The Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee begin anywhere that is more than 12" away from any table edge. The DE come on from any table edge, after the Heretics and/or renegades have set up.

It is night fighting for 1D6 turns.

Dacite Taple must remain in base to base contact with one of the Heretic/renegade HQ choice models. It does not matter which one and it can change from turn to turn. (Dacite Taple is Shackled [which she likes] and can only move as her leash holder moves and may not shoot, assault or use fancy wargear). If the DE player can get a figure (ie an infantry model, rather than a vehicle) in base to base contact with Dacite Taple then she is freed and the DE player has won an idealogical victory. ie the DE have won, even if Dacite Taple is subsequently killed by the mon-keigh, at least snuffed it as a free evil space elf, not as a prisoner. If the DE player gets a figure in base to base contact with Dacite Taple, then she re-enters play under the control of the DE player and may move and shoot normally.

If the Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee keep their prisoner for the entire game, then they have won and the demoralised kabal will have to return to Commorrragh without their favourite Dacite, to face the ridicule and good natured jibes of their fellow evil space elves. Perhaps....

If the Army of Chaux Na M’rrsee manage to retain her, then Chaux Na herself will possibly persuade Dacite Taple that their interests lie together. Which could well see Kabal assets pouncing on the rearward formations of the IG – they were likely to do this anyway, but such an alliance would make this a certainty and remove the possibility of balancing raids being carried out on the Heretic and Renegade forces of Chaux Na M’rrsee.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Senario for the campaign

The Imperium of Man needs Maj Gen Marcus Firth III, the former planetary governor, as head of state once the rebellion is quashed. He is their best chance for a success with a government of unity and hence a return to normal production of the vital foodstuffs for industrial worlds elsewhere in this sector. If the Imperial forces commit him to battle then his local knowledge, combined with his professional knowledge as a former IG general, could spell disaster for the rebellion.

2nd Regt player begins within 6" of one short table edge. Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee sets up anywhere further than 18" away from a 2nd Regt unit. If Maj Gen Marcus Firth III makes it to the other short table edge, the Imperial player wins.

Any other result means that the Army of Chaux Na M'rrsee has captured the Planetary Govenor. If the Army of Chaux Na M’rrsee capture the General, then they could use him as some sort of sacrifice to their thirsting god, as a puppet leader for their own government, just remove him from the equation altogether or as a bait to lure the expeditionary force into a trap.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

White Dwarf


There was a time, when GW was snugly ensconced in Sumbeam Rd, that WD was a good buy. Critical Mass, the book review by (I think) Dave Langford, was always good; even then I used to wonder how he read so many books in a month ('cause he did it full time - doh !). We had Treasure Chest and the Fiend Factory to feed our D&D addiction. There were regular features for RuneQuest and Traveller. Heavy Metal reviewed ALL of the miniatures available on the market* There articles about Carwars, Judge Dredd, Star Trek, Paranoia and a host of others. I don't remember seeing one for 'Toons' but that's by the by.


WD's letters page (a function now superseeded by the internet) was a useful gauge of opinion and forum for debate. And unlike the interweb, was edited down to provide the reader with the salient points. Moreover, WD itself was not above critical criticism of GW games, at least at first.


Even when the first accusations of becoming a 'house magazine' appeared on the letters page, the content was still largely relevant and worth the money. But the readership did not appear to want to loose the editorial independance that WD had previously enjoyed. It wasn't that change was not accepted, but that WD had been a platform of editorial independance since it began and so the creeping 'house magazine' maisma that began after the purchase of Citadel Miniatures and the relocation to Nottingham left a gap. The RPG players had lost their voice. I stopped buying it at about WD 130ish.


"Returning to the hobby" a couple of years ago and WD had changed out of all recognition. There is no coverage of non-GW stuff and GW itself appears to support only WH,WH40K and LotR in its comic. They still do Space Marine (now called 'Epic'. A much better name - they should have called it epic in the first place), Necromundia, Mordhiem, and the 40K space fleet thingy as well as something called WH Historical. They have ceased to cover any of what they now call 'specialist games' in the pages of WD. Fair enough, most of the material can cross over easily, given the imagination of the players. It appears to be the players of these games that are keeping them alive, without their constant pressure and input, I'm quite sure that GW would let them slip into the darkness along with the JDRPG, Rouge Trooper board game and that one about saving New York in 60 minutes (why bother ?), Dark Future and all the rest.


I know that I'm harking back to an age when the incredible plethora of games that GW produced were better than frogger and pac man and that games these days are played on 'puters, not on boards. I know that GW is no longer run by a 'hey, what if...' attitude, but according to a business plan - to stay in the market and feed its employees. Fair enough, we've all got to eat. The world has changed a little bit since the Falklands War. But. And I think it's a valid but - I've just handed over the thick end of £5 for something that is mostly adverts. There are pages and pages of DPS that are either use nor ornament, being mostly 'buy me !' pages of unashamed advertising aimed at kids who are going to badger their parents with it.


GW, your monthly house mag is not worth the money to me. And is likely to either bankrupt parents or break some kid's heart on Christmas day when he gets what they could afford.


*and in a good way, not just the "he's wearing a hat and waving a sword in his left hand with his other hand down his trousers" type descriptions that some hobby magazines feel the need to produce.


NB Dragon always was a house mag. No quarter - house mag. If WD hadn't started out as it did, perhaps I wouldn't feel quite so cheesed off. But those first ten years of AD&D, Traveller and RM. Pure magic, at times - thank you. I'm not heartbroken that WD is what it is today. But I am dissappointed, it could be better. It could have a bit of depth, it could look beyond its self imposed horizon, stick it's neck out a bit and so on - Jervis writes thousands of words on that very theme nearly every month and then they fill it up with adverts !

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

escalation tactics

Just in case you are paying attention; The three posts of escalation army lists, whilst thrown together based on the available models and what I hope to be able to finish before the weather turns nice again, are built around some tactical principals based on their fluff.

Share and enjoy -

The Bloodcoats list is two firebases; one of nine mortars and one of nine auto cannons. This force is designed to sit still and ensure that by the time their opponent reaches their lines, there is nothing left of them. Additionally, there are enough infantry squads to provide both blubblewrap for the heavy weapons and also a manoeuvre force. The rouge (primaries) psyker is just a bit of fun.

Set the mortar teams up near your own table edge behind cover. Set the auto cannon up somewhere in your own deployment zone with clear fields of fire. The bubble wrap squads (and perhaps one platoon command squad) need to be near to the heavy weapons to get in the way of infiltrators or other assault troops. The majority of the infantry squads, led by their commanders should set off for any distant objectives and hope for the best.

The Tigers have gone for manoeuvre assets; there are two tanks and full squadron of sentinels. If the multilaser sentinel can keep other threats away from the sentinels for long enough, then they should be able to get into flamer range. There are scoring infantry there, but not a huge amount. One idea might be to move the tanks slowly down the middle of the board, with the sentinels hiding behind them as a counter attacking or sudden blow type force.

The Disciples of (Xyphon) Chaux Na Mrr’see infiltrate to near as they can get to an objective. The tanks advance up in support, with the rest of the force making best use of cover (including the tanks themselves) to protect their advance.

The Emperor’s Children, if they get painted in time, can dominate the centre of the board; the lash prince can feed enemy units to the defiler. The Predators and noise marines have enough firepower to keep the daemon price and the defiler safe.

If they do well enough the defiler and daemon prince can just rampage through the enemy lines whilst the predators stand off in support.

The 2nd Regt force is peppered with enough anti tank to take on a mechanised enemy. Their line up also includes a laser destroyer. They are led by a Lord Commissar to make sure that no one runs away (or that anyone who does so does not get very far) and a pskyer battle squad.

Each platoon has a healthy fire base and just enough squads to provide bubble wrap. With the laser destroyer as chief bullet catcher, they should be able to hold a line.

The Kado (Valhallan) force is based around well equipped platoons, one with an anti tank detachment from the Armageddon Steel Legion and the force as a whole is supported by a Legion armoured anti tank sentinel detachment.

Their strength is in platoons of four squads. Possibly enough to press home an assault against the right foe; certainly a lot of firepower at rapid firing range.

The Inquistorial force contains a number of reasonable Close Combat units, a light infantry platoon and of course the inquitrix’s team itself. Witches beware.

The Inquisitorial Storm Troopers could be deployed either to buff up the infantry platoon or to provide a little ranged capability to the Inquisitorial squads. The infantry platoon’s sniper detachment needs to pin enemy assets prior to assault by either the death cult assassins or the Sisters Repentia.

The Bel Tain Sacred Guard force should be deployed as a fire base of reapers and rangers. The rest come on from reserve in a bunch and charge up one flank. As reserves are rolled for one unit at a time they will have to wait until there enough of them are there to make it worth advancing. Get the wraithlords on the table, in cover and start shooting. When the assault force is there, the Avengers are there to shoot anything before the seer council and wraithlords hit it.

The Elui strike force is designed to fly about in their tanks, 24” for the 4+ cover save and deliver the hard hitting contents to bring max pressure to bear on one enemy flank. The scorpions should precede the armour by attacking from their infiltrated position. The whole force should hit one side of the enemy line, leaving the rangers to cover them from a distance.

The Kabal’s HQ Raider is equipped with a torture amp to enable it to tank shock into the enemy. The Dracon, Incubi master and incubi should then be able to tie down one flank on their own. The ravager must stand off and shoot at opposing armour. The other raiders shoot tanks with their dark lances and then deposit 30 DE warriors 5 ½ “ away from the opposition. Shoot and charge.

Monday, 30 November 2009

From the Warp

So, I put myself up as a pundit for the FtW blogger group. Strange thing to do for someone who doesn't play pick up games and doesn't actually play that much at all. But hey ho, I'm not usually short of an opinion. So here it is:

The Space Wolf codex represents the latest and greatest in 40k Codex books from GW.The Tyranids codex is right around the corner and Blood Angels shortly after that.What do you think of the direction GW is taking with the new Codex books?

Somewhat understandably, SM are the largest selling faction in 40K. They (SM) are the best of the best and have the best tank, the best wargear, best basic troop profile and so on and so on. All designed to hook the 14year old boy and allow him to have the coolest army. Even the structure of the army in terms of FOC is easier to grasp (and therefore build a legal if not usable army) to enable the less experienced player to get started with their super army. And Termies are deliberately engineered by GW to be the pinnacle infantry of the entire game. Fair enough.

So that’s where any discussion like this begins. The SM have to have the shiniest and newest of everything all the time. Any respite in the release of SM stuff can only happen if the void is filled by their spiky brethren; who, let’s face it, are just another flavour of SM.

So a lot of people who want to play an interesting or challenging game or exercise their tactical acumen will use a different army (there are a few to choose from). But either through misty eyed nostalgia or just the desire to use everything they have (I still have my RTB 01 Blood Angels) there is a need for SM with a bit of character.

This has led to the SM Chapter specific codices. Some may see these as an attempt to make humanity’s finest power armoured super men even tougher but let’s say that the game designers know what they are doing and these codices are balanced. In this case, the Chapter codices become an attempt to provide some depth and character to what is otherwise simply an army composed of all of the very best stuff that the 40K universe can produce.

The “new and shiney” phenomenon is hardly unique to 40K. Some years ago games companies began issuing updating existing games instead of just launching new ones. So, just as there is the scramble to have the newest in 40k, so it is for new cars and computers and so on. Does your wife ever stop buying shoes ? It’s a thing we have to live with. I do get the impression that E-bay is full of yesterday’s must have armies.

So the new Space Wolf and Blood Angel codices do serve a purpose. However, what GW give us is as close to makes no difference a SM codex in between every other codex. Since I returned to the table top we’ve had SM, CSM and SW on the one hand and Orks and IG on the other, with Nid’s in the new year.

If this is what keeps GW afloat than so be it. But it would be much less frustrating for people who play 2nd and 3rd edition armies if their codices were revisited, even if only to revise the points cost (downwards !) perhaps in the form of an errata sheet. It is quite easy to develop the feeling that if you don’t play SM, then GW don’t care about you. Blaster and Shredder armed DE warriors, for instance, no longer appear to be available on the GW web site, denying the DE a troop slot template weapon. Not exactly helpful for DE players.

There are lots of threads out there in all the usual places (dakka, warseer et al) pointing out that points costs are coming down and that this means that to build the army you want you will spend more money on toy soldiers because you can afford it in terms of points. No brainer for GW.

So SM will continue to be constantly refreshed whilst the rest of us languish in some GW pending tray until they feel like a little capital investment. And we will be tempted to increase the size of our armies as time passes. These will happen, like death and taxes, no point in complaining.

One possible result of all this, once more of the codices have been revisited and their unit points costs reduced, might be that the points totals for pick up games tend to fall. Perhaps individuals who do not have the resources (cash for youngsters and students and/or building/painting time for us oldies) will just run smaller armies.

Another way it might change could be bigger tables to play on. Perhaps a 6’ by 6’ table will become more common, just to give players the space to play on. We’ve all seen the publicity pictures of Apoc tables; it does a certain appeal. And 40k is a fun game, not a simulation. But if the playing area is too small for your and your opponent’s armies then it’s not going to be much fun. If you’ve carefully crafted an army list that relies on a certain amount of manoeuvre space (Fritz), and you loose half of your capability in the first turn, not to the other guy’s brilliantly executed alpha strike, but to having no space on 6’ by 4’ table for the two enormous armies, then it’ll kill that day’s game for someone who was looking forward to exercising his tactical acumen.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Diseny's Incredible Journey

An e-mither from my wife; from Oct 09

Meet the wiliest of all coyotes:
Hit by a car at 75mph, embedded in the fender, rode for 600 miles and SURVIVED!
When a brother and sister struck a coyote at 75mph they assumed they had killed the animal and drove on.
They didn't realize this was the toughest creature ever to survive a hit-and-run.
Eight hours, two fuel stops, and 600 miles later they found the wild animal embedded in their front fender - and very much alive.
Daniel and Tevyn East were driving at night along Interstate 80 near the Nevada-Utah border when they noticed a pack of coyotes near the roadside (on October 12, 2009).
When one of the animals ran in front of the car, the impact sounded fatal so the siblings thought there no point in stopping.
'Right off the bat, we knew it was bad,' Daniel explained. 'We thought the story was over.'
After the incident around 1am, they continued their 600 mile drive to North San Juan - even stopping for fuel at least twice.
But it was only when they finally reached their destination at 9am did they take time to examine what damage they may have sustained.
At first it looked as though it was going to be quite gruesome.
'Daniel saw fur and the body inside the grill,'
Tevyn East said. 'I was trying to keep some distance.
Our assumption was it was part of the coyote - it didn't register it was the whole animal.'
Daniel East got a broom to try and pry the remains out of the bumper and got the shock of his life.
'It flinched,' Tevyn East said. 'It was a huge surprise - he got a little freaked out.'
'We knew it was bad': Tevyn East, who was in the car when it hit the coyote, bends down to take a look at the fur poking through the fender






Fur Pete's sake: What Mr. East spotted as he bent down to inspect the damage to his car - the body of the coyote poking out through the radiator
Wily coyote: The animal's head can be seen as rescuers took apart the front fender to save it after it was struck by the car at 75mph
As the animal struggled, wildlife protection officials put a loop around its neck to prevent it from further injuring itself
The front of the car is completely taken apart as the coyote begins to wriggle free
And voila! Tricky the toughest coyote ever rests in a cage after its ordeal - which it survived with just some scrapes to its paw

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Link of the Day.

Deployment:

http://www.yesthetruthhurts.com/2009/11/discussion-deployment-101.html

Some nice ideas here. As the campaign escalates in 1000 point chunks, I suspect that these ideas (and reserves) will become more important.

FRPG - The tomb of Ankha Rattalla

w/e 23/24 Jan 10. Jake's House.

The rear party have things to contend with, this will be mostly written up before the game, as it requires only a policy desicion or two from your HedgeLord. But it might involve a change of scenery....

The action team have their mission; to secure the artifact before the baddies get it. I suspect that even if you write this in three foot high letters on a lorry and park it outside the window, you won't be able to remain focussed on the mission objective. You're all rubbish.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Escalation Pointy Eared Interlopers

Strike Force Elui reconnaissance in force (Craftworld Eldar) 1003 points

Farseer doom, fortune, mindwar
5 warlocks enhance, conceal, 3x destructor
Wave Serpent tank, skimmer, TL scatter lasers, TL catapults

Dire Avengers (9)
Dire Avengers Exarch power weapon, shimmer shield
Wave Serpent tank skimmer, TL scatter lasers, TL catapults

Rangers (5) infiltrate, move through cover, stealth

Striking Scorpions (8)
Striking Scorpion Exarch shadow strike, stalker

Sacred Guard detachment (Craftworld Eldar) 1007 points

Farseer doom, fortune, guide
4 warlocks 4 spiritseers, conceal, enhance, 2x destructor

Dire Avengers (6)
Dire Avengers Exarch blade storm, twin catapults

Rangers (5) infiltrate, move through cover, stealth

Dark Reapers (4)
Dark Reaper Exarch fast shot, tempest launcher

Wraithlord flamers, wraithsword, scatter laser

Wraithlord flamers, missile launcher

Kabal of the Broken Teaspoon (Dark Eldar) 976 points

Dracon Agoniser, Poisoned blades, Hell mask, Shadow field, Haywire grenades
Incubi (8 & Incubi master)
Raider Dark Lance, torture amp.

Warriors (8 & Sybarite)
Raider Dark Lance
Warriors (8 & Sybarite)
Raider Dark Lance
Warriors (8 & Sybarite)
Raider Dark Lance
Ravager Dark lance & 2x Disintegrators

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Progress

Base coated the remaining personnel for the Tigers (too many flamers !). Did more work on the DE Wytches.

When Mrs Z goes climbing in the week, that'll give me a clear evening with Radcliffe and Macaroonie to get a bit further. Always assuming that it isn't the one night of the week that I'm in Kent.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Escalation Forces of the Imperium

Ordo Hereticus Expeditionary Force (Witch Hunters) 1000 points

Lady Inquisitrix Hammer of the witches, Word of the Emperor, Bionics, Carapace armour, Liber heresies, Psychic hood, Purity seals, Plasma pistols, Power stake.
Acolyte
Warrior (Guardsman Grenade launcher)
Warrior (Crusader Power sword, Suppression shield)
Chirurgeon
Familiar

Inquisitor Scourging, Carapace armour, Hexagrammic wards, Psychic hood, Inferno pistol, Power stake.
Warrior (Guardsman Flamer)
Warrior (Crusader Power sword, Suppression shield)
Sage
Chirurgeon

Death Cult Assassins (2) fearless, infiltrate, power weapon

Sisters Repentia (9) Eviscerator
Repentia Mistress Neural whips

Inquisitorial Storm Troopers (5) 3x Hellgun, melta, plasma

Imperial Guard Platoon

2lt Hammer Bolt pistol, power weapon
Platoon Cmd Squad 3x Grenade launchers, platoon standard

Squad Alpha (Sgt & 9) flamer

Squad Beta (Sgt & 9) plasma

Special Weapon Squad Gamma (6) 3x Sniper rifle

2nd Line Regt Devos IV PDF (5ed IG) 1000 points

Primaris Psyker
Lord Commissar

Psyker Battle Squad (4 & Overseer)

Design Platoon
Platoon Cmd Squad Platoon Standard, Missile Launcher
2lt Foche Power fist

1st Squad (Sgt & 9)
2nd Squad (Sgt & 9)
3rd Squad (3x Las cannon)
4th Squad (3x Heavy Bolter)

Accident Platoon
Platoon Cmd Squad Platoon Standard, Missile Launcher
2lt Ney Power fist

1st Squad (Sgt & 9)
2nd Squad (Sgt & 9) 10 bolters
3rd Squad (3x Las cannon)

Destroyer tank hunter tank, Laser destroyer, pintle storm bolter

Kursk Coy, 2nd Bn, Kado 540th Advance Party (5ed IG) 1001 points

Coy Cmd Squad Regtl Standard, plasma
Maj Chekov Refractor field, plasma pistol, power sword

3rd Platoon Cmd Squad 2x flamer
Lt Lenin

1st Squad (Sgt & 9) melta
2nd Squad (Sgt & 9) flamer
3rd Squad (Sgt & 9) melta
4th Squad (Sgt & 9) flamer
A-T Support Squad (att 333rd ASL) 3x Las cannon

4th Platoon Cmd Squad melta
Lt Marx

1st Squad (Sgt & 9) melta
2nd Squad (Sgt & 9) flamer
3rd Squad (Sgt & 9) melta
4th Squad (Sgt & 9) flamer

333rd Armageddon Steel Legion Armoured Sentinel Det (1x Plasma cannon, 2x Las cannon)

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Escalation People's Libertine Army

Bloodcoats (5ed IG) 1080 points

Primaris Psyker


1st Platoon Command Squad melta,plasma,grenade launcher,flamer
Squad (sgt & 9) flamer
Squad (sgt & 9) grenade launcher
Squad (sgt & 9) melta
Squad (sgt & 9) plasma
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) mortars
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) mortars
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) mortars


2nd Platoon Command Squad grenade launcher,flamer
Squad (sgt & 9) flamer
Squad (sgt & 9) grenade launcher
Squad (sgt & 9) melta
Squad (sgt & 9) plasma
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) auto cannon
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) auto cannon
Heavy Wpn Squad (3) auto cannon

Tigers (Servants of Slaughter IA6) 1083 points

Exalted Champion (Maj Choo) bionics, melta bombs, shotgun, power weapon, refractor field
Veteran melta bombs, plasma pistol
Command Squad plasma

3rd Platoon Command Squad melta
(Lt Dolce) Bolter, Carapace Frag & Krak
Squad (Veteran & 9) flamer, plasma
Squad (10) flamer

4th Platoon Command Squad krak
(Lt Gabanna) Power weapon (daemon sword)
Squad (Veteran & 9) flamer

Sentinel Squadron
2x flamer, 1x multi laser

Disciples Squad (Champion & 8) Frag & Krak, infiltrate

Leman Russ MBT Battle cannon, track guards, hull mounted las cannon, HB Sponsons

Leman Russ MBT Battle cannon, track guards, hull mounted las cannon, HB Sponsons

Emperor’s Children (CSM) 1000 points

Daemon Prince mark of Slannesh, Lash of Submission

Squad Boyzone
8 noisemarines 2x sonic blaster, 1x blastmaster, 5 bolters fearless, powered armour
1 noise marine champion power fist

Squad JLS
7 noise marines 3 sonic blasters, 4 bolters, fearless, powered armour
1 noise marine champion power weapon (daemon sword)

Predator exterminator tank, auto cannon, HB sponsons, searchlight, smoke

Predator exterminator tank, auto cannon, HB sponsons, searchlight, smoke

Defiler (walker) Battle cannon, 2 dreadnought CCW, TL auto cannon, TL heavy flamer daemonic possession

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Revising history

CNJ, MCH, KK;

I've learnted more rools.

Specifically things like when a unit comes off worse in close combat it has to make a morale check or break. And then the victor gets to make a 'Sweeping Advance' to inflict further damage on the routing unit.

If we had included these then the Eldar (dark & vanilla) would have been much better matched against the PLA, almost certainly getting further with each assault.

And the AP of a weapon is matched against their armour save; if the AP is equal or less than the value of the armour save then the victim does not get the save, they just snuff it. So that would have done for another half dozen of CNJ's guard.

C'est la vie. Or not, as the case may be.

Escalation army lists.

A lot of this (fortunately) is already painted. There are bits that are not - including the entire Emperor's Children list. So they'll wait until last - I'd want the others finished rather than jeopardising a list because I'd been painting the CSMs.

I'll post up three sets of lists over the coming days; the PLA, the Eldar interlopers and the forces of the Imperium. Just to whet the appetites of dos generales.

There will also be a few themed games. The capture (or not) of Maj Gen Marcus Firth III by the PLA. The rescue of Dracite Taple by the Kabal. And the stuggle for the Frabovoki Promethium terminal. Frabovoki is a single industry town (unsurprisingly). It's also the nexus of communication routes between Xyphonica and the western coast. So success here may well see either the forces of the Imperium fighting to retain their hold on Benq or the PLA beaten back across the plains to Xyphonica.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Opening Skirmishes (the Eldar arrive)

Alerted by the commotion, Farseer Dowllzie of Bel Tain, with a tiny seer council and honour guard of Avengers has come to Devos IV to assess the extent of the Great Enemy’s involvement. His three warlocks and five Avengers are being led by a team of five rangers through one of Xyphonica’s outlying districts to have a closer look.

Dacite Taple with her retinue of five incubi, accompanied by two half strength warrior squads is also probing Xyphonica’s suburbs, looking for opportunities, ready to just fly by.

Unfortunately for the Eldar (both flavours). They run into Capt Choo who is on his way back to report his sighting of Gen Firth. He has just linked up with a detachment of 99th Devos IV PDF Regt (“The Bloodcoats”) (the Varksian renegade list from IA5).

The Bloodcoat detachment is led by Capt Champion Raymondo and his Cmd squad, which includes a support squad of three heavy stubbers. He also has a rifle platoon of Cmd Squad and two rifle squads as well as band of concerned citizens (worker’s rabble). Now I’ve just discovered a huge disparity, for which I must apologise to CNJ (who did have a copy of the army list in his hand) but I put the squads together with a flamer. They were supposed to have auto cannons as well. Sorry.

So it was a gamma table CoD with spearhead deployment and a firesweep mission. The Eldar begin in the SW building and PLA begin in the NE building. There is monument in the SE corner (this is where the rangers have infiladed) and a larger ruin in the centre. 21:00 on Sat 14 Nov to 01:00 on Sun 15 Nov 09. MCH again played the Tigers, CNJ turned traitor to play the Bloodcoats. KK played the Eldar and I ran the Cabal of the Broken Teaspoon.

As the rangers see the vast number of PLA troops the Sacred Guard and Cabal of the Broken Teaspoon realise that they have to fight together to get away. Dacite Taple peels off to the north, shoots a sentinel with her raider’s Dark Lance (looses it’s flamer and just wanders around for the rest of the game) and ploughs straight into Capt Choo’s Tigers.

The other two squads in their raiders fly east, using the buildings as cover. The Farseer, council and honour guard also go east, using the buildings and raiders as cover. The rangers are already in the east and begin shooting at the Bloodcoat heavy stubber position on the second and third floors of the old generator building. The shoot one gunner and pin that team.

The heavy stubbers return fire, mowing down three rangers. The workers rabble surge forwards. The raiders dark lance the other sentinel.

On turn two Dacite Taple and her incubi charge a Tiger’s rifle squad and kill six of them in a gruesome and horrible fashion. The raiders and the Eldar sheltering behind them continue to travel East. The Tigers (including the mutant horde) all assault the Dacite. She and the Incubi shrug the whole thing off. The Bloodcoats mobile elements continue to advance in a westerly direction, bar one squad who are going for the monument to wrestle it from the rangers.

The incubi and Dacite, whilst never making their points back, nonetheless continue to tie up almost the entire Tiger’s army for the rest of the game. It takes them another three turns to take them down, loosing a fair portion of their strength in the process.

The Bloodcoats, with a stunning combination of flamer and heavy stubber fire, bring down a Raider, killing two of the warriors. The others disembark ready to shoot and then assault the Bloodcoat Cmd squad in front of them. The other raider squad shoot and then assault the rear of the team who are trying to sneak around the monument. Six die straight away and yet make their morale check.

The workers rabble dodge around the raiders and catch sight of the small unit of Avengers and charge. They make it into combat but don’t make much of an impact on the Fortuned aspect warriors.

The three warlocks counter charge. Destructor takes out three of the rabble and the witchblades take out another six. A Bloodcoat rifle squad reach where the surviving rangers were, only to find that the last one left has already run away.

During the last two turns the Tigers finally do for the DE HQ. The Bloodcoat command teams in the central ruin stunningly out perform the three surviving DE warriors, the last of which flees the battle field. The Avengers and seers do for all bar one of the workers rabble. They in turn loose numbers to the blood coats. The Dacites raider gets behind the generator building, survives everything thrown at it and fails to kill anything.

The game ends with the Bloodcoats planting the flag in two locations, contesting the monument and just about to march a spare command squad into the Eldar’s base location. So the pointy eared folk lost that one, then. We were amazed at just how resilient the incubi actually were. With a few more numbers, they really are something to be avoided by IG types. The heavy stubbers, as a squad, appeared to be much more effective than the heavy bolters were split out amongst squads. The game really did illustrate that even if each of the Eldar and DE units had just one more model in each, the result could have been radically different.

And the big lesson is not to rely on DE Raiders to screen your small elite army from a vast tar pit unit who are 5” away and looking for you.

So Capt Shoo now has Dacite Taple hog tied. He can report to Chaux Na M’rrsee that he has found Maj Gen Firth and also hand over a DE Dacite at the same time. Should be Maj Choo by teatime. Farseer Dowllsie will run for it. But once back in the webway, he is likely to gather together Bel Tain’s Sacred Guard and call on his friend Eldrad; whose Strike Force Elui is never too far from readiness.

Opening Skirmishes (very first one)

This is the western end of the table, the Tigers are flaming the 2nd regt squad. These then fell back, allowing the HB at the bottom of the picture and a lot of rapid fire to wipe out the rest of them.

From the east, looking west. The 2nd regt has HB teams and two rifle squads holding the ruins but the mutant horde has already reached the wall. The rest of the Tigers (at the top of this picture) are poised to follow on.
The PLA (People’s Libertine Army – the army of Chaux Na M’rrsee) are liberating the continent of Benq. The Imperial Governor, Maj Gen Marcus Firth III, is in retreat. Leading elements of the renegade PDF unit the 13th Devos IV Mech Regt (“The Tigers”) are closing with the rearguard of the PDF 2nd Regt, who are the Govenor’s household troops.

We played our first every 40K game (supposed to 40/40 !) despite being only 400 points a side, and referred, it lasted from 17:00 to 20:00. We learned that: Lascannon punch through sentinels like they are paper. And that sentinels and HW teams are bullet magnets. And that Rapid Fire and FRFSRF make an immediate and obvious difference.

The 2nd Regt’s rear guard comprised of Coy Cmd w/ lascannon, 3rd Pl Cmd w/ lascannon. 2 rifle squads with HB. 4th Pl Cmd with Lascannon and 2 rifle squads. The Coy Cmdr was MIA and so this stage of the withdrawl was actually being supervised by Maj Gen Firth himself.

The Tiger’s advance guard was led by Capt Choo and his Cmd Squad. He had at his disposal Lt Skol and his Cmd Squad with two rifle squads and two flamer scout sentinels. They were accompanied by a mutant horde who had joined for revenge after years of persecution by the ‘norms’.

The set up was DoW and the game was annihilation. 2nd Regt took control of the cover/buildings at the half way point and opened with a lascannon ambush of the sentinels. Capt Choo sent the mutants against the 2nd Regt’s position in a zulu like wave; this was held for three rounds by A/Sgt Hicks and his bullet magnet HB team. There was plenty of tit for tat on the extreme flank with Capt Choo hanging back, keeping his team as a reserve and the General kept another rifle squad back in cover as a reserve.

There were four or five hard fought rounds where the 2nd and the Tigers tried their darndest to get into a good position to do for each other. Eventually I woke up to the fact that MCH and CNJ would just fight each other to a stand still and so explained KPs and declared the last round.

Eventually the horde did force their way over the wall; but at the cost of almost all of them. A/Sgt Hicks’ squad became the last kill point.

The meta result was a draw (2 KPs each). The campaign result is that Capt Shoo knows that Maj Gen Firth is within striking distance.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Seconds out.

There are six armies. Three of us. So there'll be a chance to use each one, or to concentrate on using one or two. We'll make it up on the day.

Imperium of Man:
2nd regt infantry force with fire support
Valhallans - pure infantry

Interlopers:
Bel Tain - shooty Eldar scouting force
Dark Eldar - hover skif mounted raiding force with close combat HQ element

Rebels:
99th regt (Bloodcoats) infantry force with a modicum of fire support and workers rabble
13th regt (Tigers) infantry force with two sentinals and a mutant rabble

These are only 400 point armies (about 50 bodies) and really we're just doing this to learn the rules. There isn't much room for tactical shenanigans beyond the obvious.

Odd.

I've just caught a thread on YTTH http://www.yesthetruthhurts.com/2009/11/politically-correct-bad-for-hobby.html

Now Stelek is always the devils advocate and so on but the arguement here hinges on a subjective scoring element in competitions in the Antipodes. The gist of it is that if you bring a Stelek-esque killer army list and manage to crush everyone else in the tournament, then that is bad sportsmanship.

The rulebook and restrictions in the codecies are there to provide the balance and framework within which the game can be played. So if the Stelek-esque list is BRB and Codex 'legal' then bring it is simply that player maximising their chances of success in a competition.

It is a competition. If the tournament organiser feels the need to impose a different set of force organisation charts then that is still fair cop. If everyone has to build on 2HQ, 2 different Elite choices, 2 Troops, 2 Fast Attack and 2 different Heavy Support then that is still a level playing field. It is objective in that it is not open to interpreation by opinion; its all already in black and white and does not hinge on being a chum of the organiser or having a face that fits.

Penalising someone for a Stelek-esque or min/max or spam list has to be subjective. It is entirely within the opinion of the person charged with the responsibility to decide if someone's list is 'fair' this is not following the BRB or Codecies. No matter how fair minded and well intentioned, those whose own view of 'fourtykay is closest to that of the 'judge' will score the best.

A sportsmanship score should be given on the performance of the player at the table (and in the bar/shop/lounge). Patience, politeness, reasonableness and a whole host of other ness-es is what should make up someones 'sportsmanship' score; if such a thing were to be scored at all. And these should be in the view of their peers. This might include the organisers/referees but primarily is down to the other players.

Army composition has sod all to do with sportsmanship in an open, competitive, environment.
Now I know that I've been reading YTTH too much.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

And...... Box !

Mrs Zzzzzz is going out 'later' (it's a hen do). So no start expected before Z14 10:00 Nov09.

Also, part of the fee is that she gets picked up from central Oxford. Which means that someone has to remain sober. So that'll be me then.

MCA will be busy (it's Alison's birthday). AD will be in and out, as dictated by her flighty and whimsical nature.

So the three of us, CNJ, MCH and Z will either be reffin' or playing the whole time (unless we can pursuade AD to 'have a go').

We'll quite probably have had enough by the time Mrs Zzzzz gets home; and there's no activity planned for Sunday.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Wotsit all about (Alfie ?)

OK: The whole Devos IV idea was for the four of us ol' drinking buddies to have a huge apoc fight. We all thought it would be fun and light releif from the FRPG.

However, I, as the supplier of the armies and so on, have found it a huge task and its taken over a year to get to where I (we) now are.

So what this means is that this weekend coming we have a series of patrol clashes. Six 400 point armies. So that's thirty games before we even have to fight someone we've fought before. Only two of these armies have vehciles (DE Raiders and the Tigers[Devos 13th] have a pair of scout sentinals).

Admiral Drax's blog today includes a link to here: http://goingoncampaign.blogspot.com/ which provoked the following random thoughts which had been coalsecing somewhere out there and have now made it to cogniscense.

The games, assuming we continue, will have to follow an escalation pattern as I manage to paint up more of each army. So it's sort of evolving already into a campaign. These patrol clashes will just be patrol clashes at the onset of hostilities on Devos IV. The next set of games, somewhere between 1000 and 1500 points, hopefully, will feature things like the Shrine of St Joesphine and the Pormethium refinary (seize the ground), an ambush of the IG supply column (running the gauntlet) and so on. Hopefully this will generate enough buy-in from the participants to lead to the next round (or two) of the escalation campaign; even if its only grudge matches.

Eventually we will get the apoc game when the IG try to liberate Marcus Firth and the Eldar go after Chaux Na.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

114 Mech Coy (reprise)

For the third time of trying: The photo above is 114 Coy (-) with the armour added in. It looks untidy, there are obviously Chimera missing etc. Not good. Might not have enough unmade Grenadiers to actually fill out the third platoon. I think I've only got three unmade Chimera and three eagle doors; so if I include a Coy 2iC then that would leave me one short.

The oldest two Chimera actually wobble; I'd managed to put them together on the wonk, even with elastic bands, so my aspiration had been to do without those ones.

So to the next picture:

This shows the platoons reduced to a total of five squads, ie command squad and four squads. Now the 5ed codex doesn't allow for full strength command squads, however, there is enough space in a Chimera for a six body command squad and a special weapon squad as well. Which is going to be the way I go with these.

I really must get to grips with the airbrush. Soon.

Cadian 44th Light Recce Regt

These are the Cadian's Recce sleds. They are HALO 'warthog' toys with Cadians in them. The guys in the seats have sentinal pilot bodies cut off just below the knee. The sheilds on the MWIK bit are original; the HALO rotary cannon was hacked off and spare sentinal autocannons added.

There are three of them at the minute. I suspect that competitvely priced (in points) they might be quite good; mobile (fast) heavy weapon installations. Like a Vyper. But different.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

This has been project HQ since April

This has been my workspace for all those months. This is it after tidying and moving most it home. The door to the cabin is just out of shot to the right and is open. Also a lot of leaves have fallen off of the trees and this shot was taken at about mid day. So it all looks quite light.

For most of the year, the leaf cover was very thick and due to the long hours on the pipeline project, I didn't get in here until about 20:00. You can see the mezzanine floor at the top of the picture. The main light for the cabin is near the apex of the roof; so between the tree cover, late hour and cabin lighting, the workspace was not light enough to work in, hence me bringing two lights from home.

So in the company of http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/shows/the-radcliffe-and-maconie-show/ for eight hours a week for six months I've been gluing and painting. I have really enjoyed being in the cabin and must thank Alasdair and Maggie for their horse brutality.

This is it from the outside, showing the bathroom extension. It looks very low here, but the floor is at ground level and not at the raised floor level of the rest of the cabin, so there is enough headroom.

It is quite a wonderful place, in the spring the woodland floor is blue with bluebells (there are also wood anemonies here as well as dogs mercury and lords and ladies deeper into the wood). It'd be a wonderful place to grow up.
Anyway. I'm moving my last possessions out today.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Potentially icky. PE Spoiler

OK. So during the 'Lost Temple of Demogorgon', Tud received a broken hip and femur. With no real medical care to speak of, with a long (well over a week) cross country journey through the mountains in atrocious weather, he should have died. Even once back in the Agadir, the amount of marrow in his bloodstream would have killed him. Two deaths. Dead twice. A PC bites the dust.

But Tud had previously spent some time looting corpses and stuffing what he had already been told (and could probably tell for himself by their creepiness) were demon tainted bits and peices down his underpants.

So then. Anyone wanna guess why Tud is still alive ?

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Home at last

So here's 114 Mech Coy without their vehicles: Along the front (L to R) are the Coy Cmd squad (somehow shrunk to 4 ! wtf ?) The fire support squad at the Coy Cdr's disposal, the two commissars, the QM and the Engr det. Now behind them are two platoons of five squads (six including the Platoon Cmd Sqaud). I suspect that my fuck up might be that in terms of Chimera, each platoon has five. Which means I'm bodies over, rather than bodies short. hurrah.
Of course that still does not explain the shrinkage in the Coy Cmd Squad. The rear formation (on the R in the picture below) is the Grenadier Platoon. I have more Grenadiers to add - another squad, another HF team and two more lots of Melta and Stubber. So that lot spread out should make up enough for the five squads in that platoon.
The fact that I am in fact a few bodies up means that I'll be able to find the missing watchmasters (squad leaders/sergeants) who are obviously AWOL in the picture above. I've got the shoulder plates from the command squad upgrade pack kicking around somewhere as well, so I'll be able to beef up the poor Coy Cdr's squad. I also want another platoon command squad (will come off Army Builder as another Coy Cmd Squad) to act as 2iC.
114 Coy has three Fuchs; one for the QM, one for the Fire Support team and one for the Enginseer. The Engr Det will hitch a ride with the Enginseer.
The Engr Det will consist of:
Enginseer (or two) with two servitors (each), one tech and one HB. The DKK Engr squad, the Hellhound troop (three). If I get a Demolisher, this will also (obviously to anyone familiar with any AVRE) be an Engr asset.
So between the three Mech Platoons, three Panther Vanquishers and Engr Det, my DKK force is happily into apoc territory.
'Tis a pity that none of it is painted.

Friday, 30 October 2009

This is it. For the time being

All modelling and painting stuff boxed. 95% of remaining stuff (models, clothes etc) bagged. Some of it is already in the car.

There's still the two lamps (angle poise and table) and the old computer desk (makes a passable hobby table) to go, but they'll have to wait until next week.

I suspect that it'll be a week or two before I'm back doin' stuff once all the kit is in the garage. One of the first jobs will be getting to grips with the airbrush.

Aiming to leave in good time to beat the traffic (A21 -> M25 clockwise -> M40, all quite joyous on a Friday).

Thursday, 29 October 2009

final peices of work in Kent (my project, not the job) ?

Last night I based (PVA and sand/gravel mix) 64 infantry, 8 Ogryn and 14 Heavy Weapon Teams. Hurrah ! That's nearly everyone based.

All of the Painting and Modelling kit is now tidied up. So only the newpaper on the desk (with all the good little bits for the basing material pot) left to tidy up. All the bits that I don't have a real figure cases for a secured (as they can be) in Chimera and Serpent boxes.

Just my clothes and bathroom stuff to go.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Other Stuff

This is one of the emplacements. The sandbags are a propietry resin product from someone somewhere. I'm trying to mount all of the bits and peices on hardboard. I like the idea of mounting all of the COD stuff on 12"x12" boards. 'Tis a pity that I didn't come across that idea earlier.
The earthy embankment is, in this case, sawdust mixed with PVA. (On the extreme outside of chance, 'elmers'). This makes for a comparatively heavy terrain peice. The blue bits are aquarium gravel that I bought on a whim 'cause someone said it was good for scenery.
Now; the advantages of aquarium gravel are that it is only gravel; unlike real gravel which includes all manner of natural and man made detritus. And it is regularly sized as well. So all good so far. The disadvantage is that the blue colour leeches in PVA and poster paint (which would seem to indicate that its water soluble colouring on aquarium gravel....) This is not really a problem, as I just paint over it again. But it makes me worry for the fish.

Panzer conversion - all old pictures.

These are Tamyia 1/35 Panthers (Panzer Vs). They were £8 each from http://www.modelsforsale.com/ I think the ridiculously low price was to do with the non-motorisation. Anyway, the observant amongst the audience will notice that the scale 75mm main gun has been replaced:

Another picture showing slightly more clearly the FW Vanquisher main armourment. And the little searchlight as well. These have now been base coated black pending my getting to grips with the airbrush.
My plan for these is the late WW2 Wehrmacht dark yellow with stripes in either a mid olive drab type green or perhaps a more sea green in thinner stripes.
Markings will be from here http://www.archertransfers.com/AR35038R.html these I already have.
All of the Chimera will be done in the same idiom. Which reminds me, I still have three rear turret Chimera to do (two with FW eagle doors).

Monday again already

A senior citizen drove his brand new Corvette convertible out of the dealership. Taking off down the road, he floored it to 80 mph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left. 'Amazing,' he thought as he flew down I-95, pushing the pedal even more.. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a state trooper behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring. He floored it to 100 mph, then 110, then 120. Suddenly he thought, “What am I doing? I'm too old for this,” and pulled over to await the trooper's arrival.

Pulling in behind him, the trooper walked up to the Corvette, looked at his watch and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 30 minutes. Today is Friday. If you can give me a reason for speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

The old gentleman paused. Then said, "Years ago, my wife ran off with a State Trooper. I thought you were bringing her back." "'Have a good day, sir,"' replied the trooper.

Friday, 23 October 2009

End of the line for F2H Pipeline contstruction.

So I'm no longer a resident of Kent from November onwards. There are things I'll miss, but I do get to resume my 'normal' homelife.

The big bag of little men and the three boxes of made tanks are loaded up and ready to go home tonight, along with the unmade bits I listed earlier this week. This is all good, as I scale down my hobby base in Kent (ie the cabin) and make it a little more tidy and habitable.

I've found some assorted root vegetable crisps that I bought for Paul Clark but which have now gone out of date. So I'll eat them next week.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

and I just like this picture.


114 Mech Coy (during the project)


Ulthwe & Bel Tain. Before this project began
















Packing up

I boxed up more unmade stuff last night. Three Chimera, Three 'Prisms, two Nightspinners, two Mk2 Falcons, the LAV25 and the airbrush. Along with a few other bits and peices.

All off home this weekend.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Devos IV project

Still no idea when we're out of Kent. No one is telling anybody anything. This is usually because nobody knows anything. The man with the money has not yet made the desicion to de-populate the project office.

There is still stuff to do. But that which is paperwork I could do from home. My wife is quite impatient to know when exactly I'll be living at home again as my continued absence places her under enormous strain as she works long hours and has to deal with our friends as well. Vicky the dog walker is heavily pregnant and increasingly unable to fulfil her dog walking role. Its not very good for her. So I'm really chaffing to be home again. I really enjoy my job and being here is financially comfortable, but I think we've both had enough.

Back to the project:

So 95% of the little men are packed away and all of the vehicles that I have space for. There is not that much more to pack up before the whole lot can be loaded into the car and taken home to wait in the garage for the first Devos IV battles.

The first Devos IV battles are timed for Sat 14 Nov 09. There are six 400 point armies and potentially three or four of us. None has played 5th ed before and I'm the only one who has played 40K at all for twenty years. We'll swap the armies around and try and have a go with each one. By the time we've got the hang of it the beer and pizza should have kicked in. Long sufferring wife is out on a Hen do but I expect she'll stagger in about midnight.

Tud the Very Ilin

His entire focus is on gaining the personal skills to be faster, more cunning, more deadly and more resilient in both melee and campaign warfare. While Kamilata is in managing the defence of the static lyrond (a good ex-jalee role), Tud is out arranging the irregular distributed warfare defences of his lyo's lands (a good ilin role). Despite carrying really quite serious injuries. When other ilin are about he will be training them in the terrain, in ambush points, routes, places to shelter, caches, the vegetation, the landscape, the people, the threats, and so on. If/when he takes them out into the wilds he will drive them hard, and they will come back weeks later hairy, filthy and exhausted.

He's probably (Thranduil included?) the most infamously deadly all-round warrior amongst the characters, especially given he won't run out of power points. And despite a rather unlucky recent injury, which his lyo is oddly letting fester... Given his history - he has after all walked amongst the gods, across worlds, used magic, is well versed in advanced steam technology, had an arm turned into the sword of a god, amongst other things - an eye for shiny things, trophies and a rather cavalier attitude to supernatural 'taints' are not bad going. And all his shiny things go towards developing his ability to be really /really/ ilin; apart from a brief stint in the Iron Kingdoms when the ilin structure collapsed, there's no /personal /power or 'wealth' developed; Kamilata and his established position as regent-in-lyo-absence is much more 'dangerous' if you go that paranoid route. Unlike most ilin Tud appreciates the value of money in order to get things to happen outside the normal illin/empire structures, but it all goes into the job.

Tud's rather single minded focus on his job includes a binding loyalty to his lyio, but bear in mind that he's had other lyio that are 'properly' respected so he can obviously compare her behaviour to theirs. And all the older characters have a long history with her as a relatively junior member of the party, which includes behaviour (eg as undead in the Iron Kingdoms) that would normally be fairly fine grounds for ilin loyal to the empire to not just abandon her but try for a mercy killing.

His current lyio has shown little or no loyalty to the empire, to the ilin codes, no responsibility for the lands she is supposedly responsible for, or indeed her ilin. She has the command, but is yet to earn any /respect/. So Tud's loyalty to Forgeillil is to the letter and based on his strong ilin values. But she has yet to take on the role of lyio as well as the mantle - say, by collaborating on a set of defence strategies and tactics, training a reserve local militia force since most of the effective force is usually absent, or pretty much anything beyond her naked ambition and venality (heh). Otherwise, in the meantime, Tud will continue to exercise his ilin skills to the full and for his lyio with little regard to /who/ holds the position of his lyio; given past experience (!) he expects to die in service to her.

If that service includes tattoos or piercings or anything to improve his performance in the field (say, to increase range, stamina, strength, health, sneakiness) then he'll not only go for it but encourage very strongly the junior ilin to do so as well, and that will hold some weight. Obviously if Forgeillil bans things he will follow her instructions, but (especially) if it's given as some arbitrary imperious edict he will do his best to reduce the effects they have on getting his job done to the best of his ability and those around him. The older characters are used to working that way anyway.

Tattoos, for example, might be 'just not ilin' but it's only the soft, safe, court ilin who can afford to ignore such tools. Though many might not take up strange things for traditional cultural reasons, frontline ilin like Tud have a job to do, and /his/ culture has been broadened a /lot/. Treat it like, perhaps, eating dog in our culture; we might frown on it or even think it horribly disgusting, but anyone as focussed and hairy as Tud who has lived amongst dog eaters is not going to be put off by such nancy provincial attitudes, and he won't have much patience for them either. Anyone who tries a jeer or a spit is likely to get a warning clout through both ears.

Some interesting and valid points. My two immediate observations are that all ilin expect to die in service to their Lyio. And that Tattoos are in this context not 'a tool' but more of an identifying mark of a long standing enemy. I'd love to know what the other PCs think.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Body Art

The body painting thing is a cultural more of the Galadhrim, not the Pernostir (ilin classes). Whilst we know that Tud is up for almost anything, he is trying to be a better ilin and tattooing and even non-permanent body art is just not ilin. So Tud might well think twice about agreeing.

Just to re-iterate that point - the Wood Elves do temporary body paint. No other cultural group within the empire indulges in body art of any sort.

Nym should ask Valarwen, who has probably been painted hundreds (literally - she's seen a lot of action) of times before and for whom temporary body art is normal, even expected. FG and TL may also be slightly interested; FG likes magic (and Nae thingy Scillico is magic) and TL likes cultrually important things. Which this is.

Tattooing is entirely associated with the Aerdy. High class Aerdy women tattoo their live's stories on their bodies - it's part of their identity (ie it makes it impossible to keep them as slaves without it being obvious who they are). Tyralandi would almost certainly be interested in having hers updated and Erlini, having been awoken to her cultural heritage by Tyralandi, might well be interested as well. Aerdy menfolk are also covered in tattoos - and the Imperial experience of Aerdy men is not nice. Piercings are also a widespread Aerdy affectation.

Please bear in mind that the cultural gap between the Empire's peoples and the Aerdy is much much greater than it is between the disparate people of the Empire. Certainly the human population of the Empire are not used to seeing Elves amongst them, but they do have a shared history of mutual sufferring, military inter-dependance and eventual liberation. The Aerdy are quite often the bogeymen in the childhood stories of a lot the Empire. In Ulria and Perrenland, when the common people see Tyrlandi and Erlini (or anyone with a tattoo or inexplicable monkey's tail) they stop and point. In urban areas they jeer and spit. If the ilin were not there they may well get stoned or lynched.

In a world of 'them' and 'us' the Aerdy are 'them'. And peircing and tattoos are Aerdy.

The Nae Larach Scillico list is cultural artefact, not a utility spell list.

Bad Monday


This is Richard the AA man. Loading my jam jar up to take it to the Saab dealer at Stoney Stratford to get a nice new shiney alternator.
Gemma at County Saab noticed that the warranty only expired a month or so ago and so is asking Saab HQ if they'll not charge full price as an act of good will. So aside from not getting to work and potentially looking at the thick end of £600 (upgrading the AA cover to include home start [or in this case, home not start] and over £500 for the alternator), it's just another Monday.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Debonaire

Such a good word. I must use it more.

Pah ! We laugh in the face of Inscrutable Yaks

FRPG on Saturday night; first for six months, alledgedly. A fine time was had by all and the PC party is back on track with the campaign arc. I say back on track, but more honestly perhaps they are just on track (at last).

Somehow, I let the PC party get away with defeating three beholders without sufferring any long term casualties. Oruro got turned to stone and Anar's magic items were temporarily nerf'd but that was about it.

Once again, a series of stun results on their foes allowed the galant PCs to bludgeon a poor innocent evil abhoration in the face of nature into messy oblivion.

I think it's time the "monsters" began to anticipate the PCs tactics and adopt an alternative strategy....

Friday, 16 October 2009

Gaming as a hobby

OK. I enjoy a fairly narrow range of extra curricular activities. The FRPG. One game at a time. I'm much less bothered these days about the rules system. 3.5 looks to have the flexibility for which we abandoned AD&D for MERP. RM is, I now recognise, a little over complicated. Like Space Opera. One of my players, an auditor by profession and inclination spends a lot of time trying to fix it. Now, I see the ruleset as a vehicle for telling a story, so am quite happy to break the rules to further the narrative. So I'm happy with our broken RM and might well be satisified with 3.5 in the future. But then I'll be a player, not the DM, so my viewpoint will be slightly different. Perhaps.

As I have noted before, Fortykay can handle kill team missions and Apocalypse battles. It is extremely flexible. It can also do Stelek esque competitive games and the beer and pizza games that we will one day get around to.

Rules are OK, but I think that the rules one uses have to be suited to the activity one undertakes. If the rules don't suit the style of play one desires, then get new rules.

The Dread Pagoda of the Inscruitable Ones

This w/e is (hopefully) the concluding installment of the a/m adventure. Dragon subscribers (from when it was a real magazine and not just an interweb thing) might recognise it.

The Perran Empire campaign is a home brew RM adventure. It has its roots in AD&D (that's "1st edition") when our PCs carved an empire out of the central Flanaess. As you do when you are 14. Then GW launched MERP. So the PC moved to Middle Earth. Then the rules system morphed into ICE's RM. Then there was a bit of a hiatus. I launched a new campaign, back in the Penguin Empire that has been running for about four years.

Due to us all being grown ups with jobs and families we havn't played for six months (and of course, me being in Kent all week hasn't helped). So this little side adventure was never intended to be on the 'critical path' of the camapign arc. And it's never good to end a gaming session in the middle of a combat.

So I'm faced now with a consitricted timescale where I, as DM, have to sort out the combat and get the campaign back on track. There are about four or five adventures left in this campaign arc. The last one is an epic that will probably take three or more sessions.

The campaign is supposed to end in a grand finale. Whether the PCs dissapear in to the darkness and their moment of greatness takes place in the bowels of the earth or there is a giant showdown with a cast of fousundz is up to them of course. But hopefully it will be memorable enough. Even if I do have to actually stop leaving clues and just the PCs what is going on and what their motivation is in this scene (shesh !).

So, if you're one of the PE adventurers reading this, there'll be a new campaign, possibly in 2011. This time I get to be a player. The pathfinder or shackled city adventures can be downloaded from Pazio, so its possibly time for 3.5. I know that's me weakening and that if I had any integrity as a gamer then I wouldn't be suggesting moving away from RM. But if it makes it easier and quicker to play then I don't have a problem with it.

So to cut back to the dread pagoda. It was never meant to be important.

Phase 1 of MY project is complete(ish)

This co-incides with the likely end in the foreseeable future with my premanent residence in Kent. So last night I did a little Dark Angel Green overbrushing/dryrushing on the incubi and then sorted out and tidied up the workspace.

For the last six months or so I have spend about ten hours a week (my thanks to Radcliff and McConie for the company) gluing and painting zillions of little men and vehicles together. There is still a lot of painting and final trim type stuff to do, however at least now I have the six 400 point armies.

I've packed a huge box half full of chaos tank and vehicle accessory sprues, IG vehicle sprues, sentinal, land speeder and tank track sprues. All of these have been plundered once but still have enough on to be worth keeping. Then filled the rest of the box up with unmade models. A load of DKK Grenadiers, half a dozen of the new little boxes of Cadians and the FW bits to make them into veterans/renegades. And a load of metal minis that I havn't done yet either.

So I put all of the Chimera fleet together in one crate and the DE vehicles in another. I have about half a dozen Chimera boxes with heavy weapons teams in them and over tall models like Ogryn and standard bearers.

I put the paints in the paint box and the tools in the tool box. I still have left over a load of Eldar Vehicles and handfull of IG ones, including the Inquisition's 1/35th Stryker, another Ravager and a few more DE bits. So there'll be another big box of stuff to be packed next week to go back to the garage at home.

It's time to begin shipping all this stuff home again. I'll keep some in the cabin whilst I'm on this borrowed time, but really need to get the volume down to a level where it will all fit in one medium sized box - because I suspect that when I am not required full time down here, there won't be much notice, and I want to be able to seamlessly move my hobby stuff from the cabin to the garage with no fuss (they are 118 miles apart).

Hurrah ! Friday at last.

Honestly some folk will take offence at anything, I met a bloke with no legs this morning while at the bus stop, all I asked was "how are you getting on?"

Paddy was in the delivery room 20 when the midwife handed him a black baby "Is this yours?" she asked "probably" said Paddy "she burns everything else"

A gypsy girl sent an email to an agony Aunt "I am 12 years old and haven't had sex yet, do you think my brother is queer ?"

My missus has just gone into hospital with 2 black eyes and a broken jaw! It seems we were on different wavelengths when she said she wanted decking on the patio

Sex therapists claim that the most effective way to arouse your man is to spend 10 minutes licking his ears!! Personally I think its bollocks!!

They reckon that Beer contains female hormones and I think they are right. After 8 pints I talk shit and can't drive!

Vicar booking into a hotel asks the receptionist "Is the Porn channel in my room disabled" "No" she replies "it’s just regular porn you sick bastard"

A mate of mine has just told me he's shagging his girlfriend and her twin, I said how can you tell them apart?, he said "her brother's got a moustache!"

A biker goes to the Doctor with hearing problems "Can you describe the symptoms to me" "Yes.....Homer is a fat yellow lazy bastard and Marge is a skinny bird with big blue hair!!"

Thursday, 15 October 2009

really nearly ready

OK; All the DE warriors, Incubi and the Dracon are ready for the table top. I've done the crews on two Raiders and one Ravager, so that's half of their vehcile fleet crews as well.

So that's everyone at minimum requirement for the patrol clash games.

I also now have thinners for the vallejo air, so might have a go at a tank sometime soon, just for variety.

Hurrah ! Now what to do about the table...

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Yet closer to the immediate goal of six patrol armies

The Sacred Guard's DAs are now fit for the table. By no means finshed at all, but good enough.

And all of the DE footsloggers now have their overbrush of either GW tentacle pink or Tamyia pink (which is a slightly more salmon like shade - I suspect that it can be blended with creams and browns to provide flesh tones).

So that is real progress. Hurrah.

As an aside, my car is being MOT'd. And I've found out that my mobile is still set to 'French' which is why it cannot recognise most of the words I've tried to text for the last few days.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hurrah ! Progress.

The Tigers 400 point patrol det is ready for the table top. They actually need colour on their equipment, bandanas and some of their marauder spiky bits. And their flesh needs another coat and the metal (currently boltgun metal) needs a mithril silver highlight. But that can wait. I keep forgetting about the twenty 'person' mutie squad (which actually only has fifteen persons at the moment). I will have to give them some attention fairly soon.

The Bel Tain Sacred guard 400 point patrol det needs a little more work on the DAs and Warlocks, but the DRs and Rangers are good to go. (MCH - DA = Dire Avenger, DR = Dark Reaper).

The Valhallans are good to go. There should be some detail work on the character figures, but again, that can wait.

The Devos IV boys are OK to go. The HB teams really need more work and the whole lot of them could do with a touch up, but they're OK for the time being.

The Bloodcoats are good to go. They could all do with a little more TLC but are OK for now.

The DE are basecoated only. Better get on their case tout suite.

Rolemaster Magic System.

CNJ Wrote "This has been mostly done for ages. (And I started it quite a while ago – if you remember talking about it in the car park at GW in Nottingham).

Anyway, with the prospect of actually playing next weekend, I remembered that I had always intend to send you the new rules before we played. So you could look over them to see what you thought. I’ve tidied up a few loose ends and this is now the ‘Beta’ version. Obviously it seriously needs a play-test, but for us that really means in Bog’s World.

Personally, I’m quite pleased so far, and would really love to see how it will play.

Radically changing the spell system at this stage in the campaign may seem a bit much, but as I have argued before no one apart from me (vaguely) (and this is including you I feel) actually understands the current system anyway! Which is kind of the point. No one understands the system now because it is illogical, and doesn’t match the background. (It doesn’t even match the rest of Rolemaster actually, let alone anything more story-driven!).

If nothing else, it will allow wizardly characters the option to actually become really good at spell casting. (Which amazingly enough, they cannot in standard RM – go figure.). And if FG is supposed to be (or to become…perhaps an important distinction) the zivorn of the spell-casting goddess. It seems fitting that there is a skill that covers this (i.e. spell casting rather than just magical power).

The attached documents include:
- New Base Spells Table – replacing the ‘Base Spells Table’ in RM (+spell casting skill (‘OB’) –‘Resistance’ of target (‘DB’); +/- range and other mods : basically just like Arms Law)
- Casting Effects Table – results of the Base Spells Table are given as F, PS, NS, etc, which is ‘Failure’, ‘Partial Success’, ‘Near Success’, and so on. This table interprets what these actually mean for different types of spell (the type of spell, which is in basic RM already, becomes more important in this system).
o 66 and 00 results. I’ve included ‘special effects’ from rolling natural 00 and 66. Because I see magic as being rather unpredictable (not to say quirky) and wanted to include more ‘something weird happens’ type results. I had intended to think of more. But this is as far as I had got.
o About the results generally: I wanted to make this more interesting and exciting (certainly more than the numeric ‘he rolls high enough to resist your spell’ which is all the previous system could do. But the need to make it generic overruled that. In theory, we could write a table for EACH SPELL (or at least each list). But I thought we’d see how it works out first!
- Spell Types and Resistance – an overview explaining what the spell types mean and how they interact with the concepts of Passive and Active Resistance. (This will be a bit new to people, but hopefully will become second nature soon enough.)
- Changes to PCs – summarised as lines to ‘drop into’ character sheet spreadsheets, although no doubt a bit of sorting out will be required (cos it always is). There is are quite a few new subtle rules included here (and one or two assumptions/’guesses’ that are subject to change on discussion with you). But these are pretty much how the skills work out in this new system, and I don’t want to bombard you with detailed rules just yet. Since I don’t have any copies of character sheet for Tyra, Val or Nym, I haven’t been able to do theirs yet. But it shouldn’t be a very big job. I have done calculations for some PCs of Resistance as well (a key attribute in this system: replacing the ‘Resistance Roll’ modifiers in the character sheet. But I haven’t collected these in one place.
o List bonuses – some spell lists are easier to cast than others, and this summarises that for each of the PCs’ lists. This info that could be recorded on the ‘character sheet’, and is equivalent to ‘using a +10 sword’ say on combat skills
o Mods to level bonuses – the current level bonuses have to be changed for this system, and this is my suggestion for what they should be (this is one of the ‘underlying rules’ but I have shown this because it is something you could easily alter that might change PCs final skills more than some others).
- Spell Casting Modifiers (part 1) – this is an existing table with various situational mods to Base Spells skill (preparation, use of hands, encumbrance). I include this just for completeness and reference as all these still apply just as before. Part 2 of this table will include all the additional mods to Base Spells (range) and to Resistance (from armour). These are worked out, but not yet written up, because I’m not sure how to divide up these into a ‘handy reference’. I am thinking putting strictly ‘situational’ factors on one sheet, and factors that could ‘go on character sheet’ (be previously worked out) on another. I think they won’t both fit on one sheet! But what would work best for you?

My intention is to print out the various tables and ‘Handy Reference sheets’ a few times (on card if possible??) so everyone can have a copy (or at least, there are lots of copies going around – a bit like the way the Arms Law books etc. do)

I recommend concentrating on the Casting Effects Table, although you might need to read the Spell Types and Resistance doc first so that the column headings make sense. Then look at the Base Spells Table, in conjunction with the Changes to PCs and Spell Casting Modifiers, to see what sort of results PCs will tend to get. I’ll leave it to you whether or not you want to work out some scenarios for PCs (e.g. FG rolling a 90 with no prep…)!

Obviously, I’m very keen to try this out for real – and probably tinker a bit with it in play (ref’s discretion as always is required on what the actual result of any spell is, but consistent over-ruling the tables may mean the tables are wrong!). My aim has been to emulate the basic pattern of RM’s results, and where an exact match wasn’t possible, to change things in favour of what I thought would make a more interesting game. But you might find, even if I have matched existing RM closely, that you don’t like the results it gives and want magic to be made harder, or easier, or less predictable, or something. My aim has been to make it more transparent to everyone (you and players) when a spell is easy, hard, unpredictable, etc. And allow PCs and NPCs to change their actions and tactics accordingly."

I will have a look at the tables and we may use this at the weekend.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Contractor competence questionaire today.

Nearly finished the stripes on the remaining Tigers and their multi-laser armed sentinal. Put the ice blue base colour on the Bel Tain weapons.

Not a lot going on there really, but did a bit of detail work on them all.

A bigger problem is that my credit card company appears not to have taken their money for Oct and also my landlady in Kent did not present last month's cheque either. So the vast sum of money in my account that I've alluded to in previous posts should in fact all have gone out of my account over four weeks ago. So I have in fact got about £2K less than is still in my account. Not happy. Ho hum.