Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spotlight: Master of the Forge

Been awhile since I last featured a Spotlight on Imperial Life. Time to fix that up with a look at the work of Lamenter. I stumbled across his amazing True Scale marines over on The Bolter and Chainsword the only decent forum on the interwebz. Not only does it post his content on the BnC he also has his own blog, Master of the Forge.

After the jump you will be hit by some really stunning conversions and green stuff work...

Dark Eldar Round Table - Rules

The final instalment from the Round Table discussion with Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin. Take note what Mr Goodwin has to say about the miniature range...
In the final video in this series, Adam talks to Phil and Jes about something dear to his heart - the rules, and the process behind codex creation.

Remember to check the other videos in this series, and that you can advance order your Dark Eldar products right now:

Thanks to everyone who provided positive feedback on this series, and be sure to watch this space for upcoming videos.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dark Eldar Round Table - Miniatures

Another video from the designers of the new Dark Eldar...
In this video, Adam Troke talks to Jes Goodwin and Phil Kelly about the new Dark Eldar miniatures range and the design process behind them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dark Eldar Round Table - Background (Part 3)

Not as interesting as Part 2 but still worth looking at...
Adam Troke once more delves into the background of the Dark Eldar, with Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin, this time talking about the structure of the Kabals.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dark Eldar Round Table - Background (Part 2)

The next instalment of the Dark Eldar Round Table. This was far more interesting than the last one and I find myself looking forward to the next instalment...

Adam Troke continues his interview with designers, Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin, about the background of the Dark Eldar.
- Games Workshop Studio
Next time your down at your local Games Workshop or gaming store make sure to take a look at November's issue of White Dwarf. Especially look at pages 98 and 99, with all the individual pieces for the Kabalite Warrior and Wyche's box sets.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dark Eldar Round Table - Background (Part 1)

Came across this Youtube video over on Big Jim's blog Galaxy in Flames. Looking forward to the next instalments as well as hoping this becomes a common feature of codex releases...

In this video Adam Troke questions designers, Phil Kelly and Jes Goodwin, about the upcoming Dark Eldar release. This video focusses on the background of the Dark Eldar.
- Games Workshop Studio

Monday, October 25, 2010


Stumbled across this post yesterday while looking through the blogs that I follow. Odd thing is I've visited diceRolla several times while Papa JJ has had the competition running without noticing it. But sure am glad that I found out. Because soon enough I will have my own little collection of resin crack to join my plastic and lead crack *happyface*.

On a completely different note. The blog will be very quiet next few weeks with my exams coming in hard and fast. Fingers cross my last minute study can save me. *cough* he has more than a week till exams start*cough*

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Baa Baa Doo Baa Baa

After reading this post by Lauby from Laubersheimer Industries I felt this post was appropriate no idea how a Christian children song popped into my head...

Those guys are singing one of Colin Buchannan's songs to a bunch of children...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Incoming: Skaven

Games Workshop sent out a newsletter the other day announcing that there will be some new releases for Skaven. I actually suspected that this would be something similar to what the High Elves got following the release of the Island of Blood. Turns out I was wrong...

When I first saw the Skaven Teaser Video I found myself thinking WTF that is all. However, after thinking about it this may be a better marketing approach. Rather than finding everything out on BoLS or Warseer we are getting our information from Games Workshop...

Reap the Whirlwind

This is Stelek's latest Chaos Space Marine list using the failtastic 4th Edition Codex. His comments are below along with my own thoughts in the usual purple italics...

Here we go, first up--Chaos Space Marines.

Outdated, outmoded, and sad panda faces all around.

Right? Wrong. Wrong?

Chaos has a few gems within it's dessicated husk still, you just have to discover them. ;)

Now does it need to be revolutionary? No, it need only be evolutionary.

What are some of the main issues Chaos has?

Well, they lack fire support.

Troops that fail for various reasons.

Having to sacrifice troops to destroy Rhinos. The joys of not enough mid- and long-range fire power. Even Orks have better mid- and long-range fire power...

Lack of anti-infantry or anti-tank at range. I r smrt... I typed the above without reading that.

Decent CC units they can throw away but hide until it's time to send them out.

So, good armies have lots of heavy fire support, sufficient melta (or something similar), enough anti-infantry in shooting and assault phases...and often as not, lots of vehicles.

So let's talk turkey. Let's talk about the title of the army. After the list.

2000 Pts - Chaos Marines Roster - Reap the Whirlwind

Notes: Here we go. ;)

There are also two Cavalry, while more expensive than I'd like and vulnerable to heavy weapons fire despite how Chaos SHOULD be--their entire role is to draw fire, just like Demon Princes do. Unlike Demon Princes, they can hide when needed. For the curious I plan on collecting this army with the focus on a Slaanesh cult with the Black Legion and Iron Warriors as support. So the two 'Lords' would use these for 'legs' with the appropriate torso. An alternative to the boobies would be use the lower portion of Raveners which would work out cheaper.

With the numerous other targets to deal with, your low number of troops is backed up by 3 melta units, 3 preds that can pop tanks or fire at infantry, and you have a lot of blast templates. The Chosen and Predators would be Iron Warriors and Black Legion...

Thirteen blast templates of them. 4 are dedicated to killing infantry, the Rhino Havocs for the NM. Think of them as mini-whirlwinds.

The Predators are primarily anti-tank, but when you face least they can put down a S5 blast too. Since I plan on having Iron Warriors I will also convert some Obliterators from Terminators for those days I wanna be SUPER CHEESY and run the Dual Lash and Obliterators combo.

The Sorcerors should sit with the Noise Marines, and then advance to join the single Chosen unit without a Rhino, which should be infiltrated forward. That single squad would be the Black Legion portion.

Why? To distract people. And give them a springboard forward for your 2nd turn, anyone sitting in midfield won't like dual Warptime Sorceror Cavalry waiting to pounce. Don't forget to use Warptime every single turn you are even remotely in CC range. Nobody likes 6 WS5 S4 I6 attacks with re-rolls to hit and to wound. 5 when not charging.

The infiltrated Chosen unit is designed to give you a melta attack wherever you tank shock it.

The others are designed to either infiltrate forward, or outflank. Personally I'd just infiltrate them unless someone has deployed really poorly and is vulnerable to an outflank. Assuming you infiltrate them, park their empty Rhinos in the back. You can always mount them up if you want and drive them forward instead, but once the Sorcerors arrive only dedicated CC units are going to step forward to say hello to your Chosen. Vehicles and infantry aren't safe around them, and with good CC units backing them up you can push non-troops into midfield and use your range to your advantage. If you face a infantry horde, you should probably mount the 2 Chosen units so you can run up and flame the shit out of somebody. ;)

Again, mini-whirlwinds is the key here. Having 6 of them, which also gives you tank shock, movement blocking, and Predator/Sorceror screening capability, is a good thing.

The Noise Marines will probably start the game disembarked and firing at enemy transports, but they can start in their Rhinos if you want.

What this army has is plenty of melta, plenty of anti-tank and anti-infantry fire, lots of vehicles, and a much stronger mid-to-late game than Chaos normally has.

Deny area with the Chosen. Bombard the enemy with templates and direct fire.

It's not a huge amount of firepower on the face of it, but what you do have is very survivable--those Predators should always have cover, generally 3+. The Noise Marines too, giving you 4 hits on 4+ cover or 5 bodies to torrent before the Blastmaster falls.

And last, with all the blasts--especially the Blastmaster ones, which can hit a vehicle and people standing next to it and pierce Marine armor, you can really shock people with how many wounds you put out on disembarked troops.

Having a range of 48" on everything in the army really helps you stand off, as well, you really need to lol.
This army 'feels' like my Black Templars in many ways with the mini/max squads and the 6+ Rhino chassis... it just plays very differently due to the long-range fire power.
Well, that's that. Enjoy.
- Stelek in Chaos Space Marines: Rebuilt [Reap The Whirlwind] from 13th of September, 2010 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday - Who Wants to Live Forever

This song by the gods of British Rock will forever be associated with Sanguinary Guard...

Golden Demon Germany 2010

Another Golden Demons has passed for this year and the pictures I've seen are stunning. If I come across images from the Italian Games Day then I'll make sure to add them as well. Below are those taken by Corvus with some of my thoughts...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Daemon versus Demon

Curis from Ninjabread gives a lesson on Daemonology or is that Demonology...
The Changeling was sculpted several years back, and was only released this Summer with the plastic Wave 2 Daemons for marketing reasons. However, he did feature in both the Daemon books for Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000 - released way way back in the May of 2008, and has been a playable character for some twenty-seven months with no official model. However, as he could adopt any form a lot of players used any other model they saw fit - a lot like back in 1996 when Warhammer 40K's second edition Chaos Codex said Daemon Princes could take any form. Cue scores of players claiming their coke can, Homer Simpson toy or polystyrene offcut was a Daemon Prince.

Wish I could teach this history in schools.

On a tangent, have you ever wondered what the difference is between "Daemon" and "Demon"? Both spellings crop up in Games Workshop lore - why? Well my good friend Shiny Happy Turpin put this question to our Lord and Saviour Jervus at Games Day. He gave a three-sentence answer, which I've elaborated into a small essay using my bookshelf full of Latin reference books . (I suspect this is how his Standard Bearer column is written too.)

The Greeks believed in divine supernatural being called δαίμονες - which transliterates straight into the English alphabet as daimones. Oops, that gives us neither spelling. Well, the term δαίμον was imported into Latin as daemon, and only really crops up with real frequency in later Latin authors like the Venerable Bede and T. Maccius Plautus (though Pliny the Elder used it once). I digress...

Δαίμον becomes daemon in Latin because the αί characters are what we linguists call a diphthong, or gliding vowel - formed by two adjacent vowels. The sound αί made in Greek was identical to ae in Latin - both cases it's two letter representing one sound. So in time ae, being one sound, became represented with just one letter - æ. With this we develop English words like dæmon, mediæval and archæology.

Wind forward the clock some more, and printing presses and typewriters come along and this super-rare æ character causes problems. It's fairly uncommon (unless you published lots of articles on mediæval dæmon archæology) and so it finds itself dropped, and sometimes it switches back to the component a and e (like archaeology), and sometimes just the e (medieval). Generally people prefer just the e as it's simpler, and the more modern a language gets the simpler it gets. But people use ae when they want to conjure up an olde worlde atmosphere. Both are equally valid spelling and pronounced the same.

So this brings us to the modern day, where a fledgling young Games Workshop in its formative years sometimes use the modern spelling demon in some places, and daemon in others. It's a time when the left hand of the company doesn't really know what the right hand is doing, and parts of it are licensing their artwork to hair metal bands, and others are painting minotaurs with replicas of Mona Lisa. Only as time goes on and the Games Workshop setting and mythos crystallises they decide to stick to what things were called in the past. So the Golden Demon is spelt one way, and Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos the other. It's just a case of tradition.

Here endeth the Ninjabread lesson.

- Curis from Ninjabread in Project Change XXX - The Changeling

Friday, October 15, 2010


I don't get how what is being said here has anything to do with what happened here... Mifepristone (RU 486) has some adverse side effects, including fallopian tube rupturing in ectopic pregnancies, which means a qualified physician has to prescribe the drug.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black Templar Background

At the moment I am attempting to archive as much of the content of the Games Workshop website onto the blog. This particular article about the Black Templar background is so interesting because it clearly spells out that the Eternal Crusade is indeed an attempt to prove their loyalty to the Emperor...

The history of the Black Templars can be traced back to the Imperial Fists' defense of the Emperor's Palace during the Horus Heresy. After the Traitor Legions had been defeated, it was decided that the loyal Space Marines should be split into smaller Chapters. Rogal Dorn - Primarch of the Imperial Fists - agreed reluctantly, and the Black Templars were created. Since that time thousands of years ago, the Black Templars have been on the greatest and longest crusade the Imperium has ever known to prove their loyalty to the Emperor.

The Black Templars have continued in the style of their founder, Sigismund, in that they prefer close combat to ranged warfare. Face-to-face with his enemy, a Space Marine can earn honor and respect and be sure that his foe is truly vanquished. This inclination for close combat is further emphasized by the fanaticism of Black Templars battle brothers, whose righteous anger makes them impatient and headstrong. Black Templars will drive towards the foe relentlessly, their own casualties only serving to spur them on faster, hungry for vengeance against the slayers of their brethren. As part of their dedication to the Emperor, the Black Templars swear fell oaths of faith and protection. Before a battle, it is customary to renew one of these vows to the Emperor - the type of vow made focuses the thoughts of the Initiates on a particular aspect of their duties and encourages them to extreme bravery, ruthlessness, or sacred revulsion against the foe.

Disclaimer - All content taken from the Games Workshop website without permission and will be removed if requested.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Empire Buildings

Below are two very different Empire builings. One sterotypical of the imagery of a hybrid fortified tower. While the other reminds me more of a Rohan building from Lord of the Rings. Original commentary by Andy who, as of a few days ago, now works for Black Library is below with my own thoughts in purple italics...

After yesterday's influx of emails and pictures of hobby from around the globe, I began to wonder about what hobby gems might be lurking closer to hand. A handful of quick phone calls to the Games Workshop Hobby Centre's within driving distance, and I'd uncovered a whole bunch of promising stuff. So last night Rob and I took to the road in search of great hobby. We photographed all the miniatures we found and best of all we also found a whole bunch of other great conversions and painted miniatures stashed away in stock rooms, cabinets and figure cases that we hadn't expected to. Over the next few weeks I'll show you a selection of what we photographed, for today here's a look at what Games Workshop Derby has to offer.

I spotted this converted building while poking around the store's stock room. James Hawke is working on this as a change from painting miniatures and has used parts from the Fortress Tower, Watchtower kits and Chapel kits. Notice the effect James has achieved on the smooth wall areas by stippling Dheneb Stone over Khemri Brown.

Do you see what I mean? The staff wanted this Chapel to have a more rustic feel to it, reasoning that with it being sat on the edge of some woods it would be more likely to have a thatched roof. They made the roof by gluing a piece of teddy bear fur (it's less gruesome than it sounds - coming in sheets and not requiring the maiming of anything fluffy) over the original roof. Once it was firmly fixed in place they painted several coats of watered-down PVA over the fur to create the thatched effect. This reminds me of a tutorial in a old White Dwarf issue where they make some Rohan buildings.

Disclaimer - Images taken from the Games Workshop website. They will be removed if requested.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Space Marine Daily Rituals

Some time ago the Games Workshop website had an article that looked at the daily riturals of a Space Marine. This was lost to the Warp when the Games Workshop website was updated. It may have also been in the 3rd Edition of Codex: Space Marines. After some time exploring the depths of ancient catacombs I was able to come across a source that contained the information...
The physical, psychological and religious training that a Space Marine must undergo in order to remain an effective fighting member of the Adeptus Astartes is strict and relentless. Here is the daily regime that the Codex Astartes requires of any battle brother during times of peace.

0400 Morning Prayer
Day is begun with morning prayer and contemplation within the Company Chapel, led by the Company Chaplain. The Company standard and relics are displayed and the brethren repeat their oaths of loyalty to the Chapter and the Emperor. At this juncture the Captain may choose to address the brethren, issue orders, make any appropriate announcements (such as awards and promotions) and dispense summary punishments as deemed necessary.

0500 Morning Firing Rites
After prayer is complete the brethren undertake the first firing rites of the day. A variety of weaponry is used but the emphasis is placed on practice with the Space Marine's personal weaponry. Awards are made for consistently good marksmanship and punishments are inflicted for poor weapon discipline and accuracy. The firing rites may be undertaken in the ranges located in the armoury or outside the fortress.

0700 Battle Practice
The first battle practice of the day is generally geared towards hand-to-hand combat and close quarter fighting. The exact procedures followed vary immensely but often include numerous live-firing exercises and simulated battle conditions in a number of lethal or non-lethal environments. For this reason (and for reasons of defence) most of the Space Marine fortress-monasteries are often situated in extremely inhospitable areas be they arctic, volcanic, corrosive, swamp, carnivorous jungle or a combination thereof.

1200 Midday Prayer
The brethren are gathered once more to give praise to the Emperor and their Primarch. During extended battle practice such prayer may be undertaken in the field, potentially while live-firing exercises continue. At this time any brethren severely injured in the morning battle practice are transported to the Apothecarion.

1300 Midday Meal
The Space Marines partake of their first sustenance of the day at this juncture. Frequently this will be a substance inedible to ordinary humans or a local life form which is hunted and slain during the morning battle practice.

1315 Tactical Indoctrination
Hypnotherapy and psychoconditioning are used to rapidly assimilate the Chapter tactical doctrines on a number of subjects. New battle languages are learned, alien weaponry, troops and vehicles are studied. Squad and company tactics are reviewed and lessons learned from the morning battle practice are examined.

1500 Battle Practice
Afternoon battle practice usually revolves around squad and company level tactics and reinforcement of the tactical indoctrination segment. Specialist squads such as Devastors and assault troops will often use this opportunity to hone their particular skills while the tactical brethren practice close support with Dreadnoughts, armour and personnel carriers.

2000 Evening prayer
Evening prayer is viewed as a time for contemplation and giving thanks for the day's lessons learned. Once more praise is rendered to the Emperor and the Chapter's Primarch for the inception and existence of the Chapter. Gene-seed sampling may be undertaken at this time as it has by now been stimulated by the day's activities.

2100 Evening Meal
The evening meal is a more sedate affair than that at midday, with a substantial repast provided by the Chapter's serfs under the watchful eye of the Lord of the Household. Substantial quantities of protein rich food are made available, particularly to the younger brethren. Indulgent Chapter Masters may even permit the brethren to partake of alcoholic beverages at this time if the day's activities have been expertly done.

2130 Night Fighting Exercises
Chapters based on worlds where there is no perceptible night segment, or on ships in the void use this opportunity to practice combat underwater, in zero gravity, through dense fog or smoke or in other exotic conditions.

2315 Maintenance Rituals
Each Space Marine is expected to maintain and repair his own armour and weaponry according to standard rituals. Seriously damaged or defective gear is surrendered to the Master of the Forge for inspection and repair. Every effort is made to ensure that a Space Marine keeps the same set of equipment after their investiture so that they develop a close bond and understanding of the Machine Spirits they will rely on in battle.

2345 Free Time
Some Chapter Masters view this period of free time as an unwarranted luxury at best and a dangerous distraction at worst. It is maintained in most Chapters out of reverence for the Codex Astartes and Roboute Guilliman's words. "Consider (the) magnitude of your duty at your leisure, but act without hesitation when (action) is required." In honour of this Space Marines are permitted a short period of leisure each day to consider the magnitude of their duty to the Emperor.

0000 Rest Period Begins
Space Marines do not truly need sleep thanks to the Catalepsean Node -- an implant in their brain that enables them to rest half of their brain at a time whilst still maintaining awareness with the other half. However extended interference with the circadian rhythms of sleep has been shown to impair efficiency and induce personality disorders. To prevent this Space Marines enter a dreamless fugue state for four hours per day when not on campaign. The longest recorded incident of a Space Marine unit going without sleep was during the Ryan's World incident (Ref. 061.24/A) when the Crimson Fists remnants led by Master Kantor remained operational for a period of 328.7 standard hours.

Complied from information supplied by the Black Consuls, Salamanders, Fleshtearers, Ultramarines and Silver Skulls Chapters. Additional notes are culled from the Codex Astartes (M38.transcription) and personal commentary by Captain Alhaus of the Black Templars.

Many Chapter Masters and Company Captains favour changing times and details of the daily ritual to keep their brethren alert and able to quickly assimilate new orders or situations. Interruption of the rest period is frequent and the elimination of meals and the shortening of prayer times commonplace.

All Chapters have high days or feast days which usually celebrate the ascendance of the Emperor to the Golden Throne and the birth and death of their own Primarch (the actual dates observed for these practices vary immensely). On such special days all members of the Chapter who are present at the fortress will gather in the Assimularum for prayers led by the Chapter Master followed by a day long celebration which traditionally includes contests of skill and strength. This is also the traditional time for the acceptance of Neophytes, the elevation of Neophytes to Initiates, and the elevation of Initiates to full brethren. When there are worthy candidates, brethren may also be accepted into the Veteran company on a feast day. In all cases trials by ordeal are common, and in some cases fatal.

Typically brethren with special skills are permitted to work in the forges or the Apothecarion between the evening meal and rest period at the discretion of the Company Captain. There they are taught by the Techmarines or Apothecaries in their arcane crafts. Exceptional artisans and chirurgeons will be elevated to apprentice Techmarines or Apothecaries after a suitable period spent in vigil within the Solitorium.

The honour of guarding the Chapter fortress is generally rotated between the 1st through 5th Companies according to which are present at the time. The 6th through 9th (reserve) Companies train more regularly as they bear the majority of the Chapter's most recently inducted brethren.

Brethren undertake penitence and purgation if they fail in their duties. This is usually self-imposed as a mark of dedication to the Emperor. Gross breaches of Chapter law may be met with death or exile of a permanent or temporary nature (temporary exile is usually linked to the achievement of a specified goal).

Disclaimer - Content taken from the Project - Alien Emotion website without permission and will be removed if requested. Additional information can be found on Lexicanum here.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's the 10th of October 2010...

Nothing overly special about today expect that it is the 10th of the 10th 2010 or in 24 hours time for those on the other side of the world. This means there is only 2 more times our calenders will align in a similar fashion till 1st of January 2101. Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

ThunderCats Trailer

The show was a few years before my time. But this is too funny...

Friday, October 08, 2010

Lennon, Bowie & Duke Sliscus

The interwebz have been in the throes of a nerdgasmic climax for the past few weeks with the upcoming Dark Eldar release. And unless you have been living under a rock you already know all that because everybody has mentioned them. Like here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here... you get the point. But what does the release of possibly the sexiest miniatures by Games Workshop have to do with the title?

Today marks the 70th Anniversary of John Lennon's Brithday. First a tribute...

... Back in the mid 70's Lennon and Bowie got together and worked on a song. The product of their collective genius or insanity resulted in the song Fame...

And where is this leading us? Here. If those rumours are true then David Bowie is being immortalised as a Dark Eldar character. That is right boys and girls. This guy may be coming to a table top near you...

Hall of Honour - Centrati Crusade

The Purging of Centrati's Eye -

Above the recently colonized and settled planet of Centrati, the massive defense station nicknamed "Centrati's Eye" was struck and overtaken by a group of Dark Eldar raiders in a lightning raid. All of the station's personnel were locked in chains and sent off in slave arks to the darkest reaches of space, never to be seen again. Not satisfied with this victory, the twisted aliens took to turning the energies of the station upon on the planet below, vaporizing thousands of colonists and years worth of effort instantly.

Unknown to the Dark Eldar, a Black Templar Battlebarge lie in orbit on the opposite side of the planet. The Chapter had been dispatched earlier that week to remove an unwanted alien species from the world to help speed the colonization process. Upon receiving the distress voxes emanating from the defense platform, along with the massive energy discharge directed at the planet, the Dark Eldar threat was realized. Thunderhawks scrambled to pick up the ground forces and rendezvous with the Battlebarge. Within an hour of the devastating blast from Centrati's Eye, the Black Templars were on their way to drive out the Dark Eldar and exact vengeance.

Upon reaching Centrati's Eye, the chapter was faced with not one but two enemies. Eldar forces had arrived out of nowhere and were busy fighting their twisted cousins. Needless to say, the Black Templars took to their duties with impunity, utterly crushing both forces over the coming months. Centrati's Eye was retaken and the alien taint removed from both the surface of the planet and the space surrounding it.

Order of the Black Cross
This award is often seen among Black Templars fighting in Crusades across the galaxy. The Order of the Black Cross is awarded to individuals who sustain crippling injuries yet continue their duties as if nothing ever happened. Brother Hectarius actually has no arms or legs made of flesh or bone -- they are all bionic. A golden left knee pad with the Chapter symbol designates this award.

Dagger Protectiva
Only the most decorated and ferocious Initiates were awarded the Dagger Protectiva during the Centrati Crusade. As such, only the best-of-the-best got the chance to display this honor. Furthermore, all of the Initiates who received this honor during the Crusade were later inducted into to Sword Brethren. However, the golden dagger affixed to the right shoulder pad is more than just a decoration of honor. In fact, it incorporates a minor refractor field that protects the bearer.

Hexagrammic Wards
Sergeants and exceptional Initiates were occasionally issued Hexagrammic Wards to protect wearers from the evil Magiks used by the Eldar Witches. Often, the Wards took the form of a golden Templar cross worn on a chain around the neck coupled with a deep red robe infused with charms and woven with litanies.

Bolter Modification: Witch-Bolts
Modifications are not difficult to apply to the versatile bolter, though they are reserved for special circumstances for the most part. When faced with battle against possible Eldar Warlocks and the horrors of Dark Eldar Warp manipulation, the Templars responded in kind. Witch-bolt ammo feeds were issued to three Initiates per Crusader Squad for just such instances. The specially treated ammo is designed to disrupt deviants who rely upon the Warp for strength.

Centrati Crusade Badge
As is the case in nearly every Crusade, a unique badge is designated to signal that a particular Initiate is involved in its operations. The Centrati Crusade was no different. The badge is a simple white shield with a large red dot in the center and a tiny red dot just above it. This iconography represents the planet of Centrati and the Defense Platform orbiting it. These badges often help to identify who's who when diplomatic or other duties call a warrior from the battlezone.

Disclaimer - All content taken from the Games Workshop website without permission and will be removed if requested.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ultimate Hobby Table

This just looks awesome...

More information can be found on Big Lee's blog here.

Hall of Honour - The Geonide Crusade

The Geonide Crusade -

Geonide is a planet worthy of note due to the scientific research being conducted within the mile-high laboratory facilities that dot the planet's surface. Brilliant Adeptus Mechanicus minds work feverishly upon such important projects as new propulsion drives for the Imperial Navy and the latest laser technologies. Then there are the classified projects involving artefacts and relics of bygone eras. Whatever the work, all is done with the interest of furthering the cause of the Emperor. However, underlying all this approved research is the possibility that someone might dig into heretical subjects outside the boundaries set by the Imperium.

Open rebellion in Geonide's major cities erupted without warning, taking a heavy toll on the populace and priceless research facilities. Before long, the true cancer behind the unrest was revealed to be a newly formed coven of latent psykers tainted by the lies of Chaos. These rogue scientists had been used as puppets to unleash the unholy energies of ancient warp drives to open a rift in reality.

Within a year, 75% of the population had fallen to the warping influence of Chaos and an army of twisted humanity marched alongside cavorting Daemons and creatures most-foul. After exhausting all methods to reclaim the world, Exterminatus was finally called for and carried out by the Inquisition elements ever-present during the campaign. However, they stayed their hand while brave the Black Templars successfully retrieved invaluable artefacts, research documents, and important Imperial personnel from being swallowed up by the ruinous powers forever.

Crusade Veteran
Veteran status was difficult to earn during the course of the Geonide Crusade as it was only given out to a select few within each company. Generally, the ranks were awarded only to warriors who were part of Inquisitor-led raids with the aim of slaying Greater Daemons in a rather up-close and personal manner. A black "X" on a white background located on the left knee pad indicated such individuals.

Crusader Seals
Crusader Seals were quite prevalent during the Geonide Crusade. It was rare to find a Templar on the battlefield with less than five affixed to his armor, weaponry, backpacks, or other wargear. In addition to Crusader Seals, Purity Seals were administered by the Inquisition and Chaplains on a near weekly basis in an effort to preserve the sanctity and uphold the resolve of those Astartes involved.

Blessed Censors
Within Crusader Squads during the Crusade, three to five Initiates were almost guaranteed to have these Blessed Censors swinging from rear of their right shoulder pads. Filling the air with purified incense, these censors were believed to drive off lesser creatures of the Warp and affect the performance of those warp entities caught within the choking fumes.

Geonide Crusade Badge
As is the case in nearly every Crusade, a unique badge is designated to signal that a particular Initiate is involved in its operations. Here it is worn on the inner corner of the right shoulder pad as opposed to the standard leg application. The reason for this break in tradition is unknown. These badges often help to identify who's who when diplomatic or other duties call a warrior from the battlezone.

Disclaimer - All images and content taken from the Games Workshop website and will be removed if requested.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Kirby was saying gloating in this post how he only had 7 emails in his inbox. And then went on to say predict he will now receive 20 emails...
P.S. I only have 7 e-mails in my inbox to get through! SEVEN dating back to October 3rd. This is like...a record since I've started having a backlog. *cue 20 e-mails coming in*
- The Pinktastic Kirby in this post  
Since I am such a nice person procrastinating from studying I helped him fulfil his prophecy. Of course he was ungrateful and sent me an email saying how much he hated me and all sorts of mean and horrible words. Below are ALL twenty questions from the twenty emails that I took the time to send plus his answers which probably took a minute. I am sure his authors agree that he is ungrateful for the sacrifices others make for him.
  1. Where do babies come from? Not you I hope. See how mean and horrible he is? He owied my feelings.
  2. Why is the sky blue? 'Sky' particles refract light and the longer wavelengths (red) go straight through whilst shorter wavelengths (blue) and reflected. I think. Gogo year 7 science lol
  3. When do you want the beakies? ASAP
  4. Have we reached the 20 yet? No
  5. Are we there yet? This was the 5th email but Kirby made it the 7th. To the above, yes. 20, no. 
  6. Will you answer my questions on the blog? Self-evident
  7. Has hotmail put all my emails in the Junkbox? That was a gmail account which has a spam folder. I'm guessing it lumped some of my emails together... but look below...
  8. Is Junkbox a real word? In no uncertain terms. Kirby mixed up the order of emails 7 and 8.
  9. Why do you play with little toy soldiers? Compensating
  10. When did you start playing with war dollies? '97
  11. Is it 20 emails yet? No
  12. How about now? No
  13. Surely now?
  14. Why isn't the world flat? We don't live on a two-dimensional plane and gravity. 
  15. How did you get into competitive gaming? I was allowed to shoot anyone anymore. He mixed up the order of emails 15 and 16.
  16. Why do you blog? Boobie pics
  17. If you could have a super power, what would it be? I have one. I absorb other people's super powers. But I'd prefer one where I can just randomly pick a power whenever I want. Combining powers rocks though. 
  18. Are we there yet? No
  19. How about now? No
  20. You thought I lost count didn't you? I'm going to assume you re-counted. ^^
To prove that I sent twenty emails...

White Dwarf 370 October 2010 - High Elves

Inside this month's issue:
New Releases - Bunch of High Elf and Moria stuff. After the 1st of October things will go up by a few cents/dollars for everyone in New Zealand. Seems like they are getting a rise in GST... and it isn't whole dollars. My OCD senses are tingling.
The Armies of Ulthuan - Adam Troke delves into the military life of the citizen-soldiers of the High Elves, taking a look at how Ulthuan musters for war. Was an interesting read while I drank some coffee and waited for my shift to start. On my way home from work my mind was racing with ideas on how I could create an Elven force using the newer metal and plastic range. Figured that I could combine some High Elf and Wood Elf miniatures...
Battle For The Island of Blood - This month we've pulled out all the stops to refight the climatic battle for the Island of Blood in this huge battle report. Can Prince Althran stop Ratchitt getting his hands on the Pheonix Stone before it's too late? This wasn't as exciting as it could have been... although if I was 12 again it would of looked awesome with loads of High Elves killing buckets of Skaven.
War in The Misty Mountains - Alan Perry, Michael Perrey and Mat Ward sit down with Adam to talk aboue the wars waged beneath the Misty Mountains, as the Dwarfs battle the Goblins in Moria. I have come up with an idea of how to paint all the Moria Goblins that I own... test figures but with a fun twist.

Warhammer Tactica: Monstrous Mounts - Mat Ward saddles up and rides to war, discussing the many breeds of mount available to your characters. My inexperience with the Fantasy rules makes this sound like it is written with a code...
'Eavy Metal: Prince Althran versus Spinetail - Darren Latham and Joe Tomaszewski join forces for this month's Painting Masterclass, as Darren paints Princes Althran on foot and Joe paints Warlord Spinetail.
Army Masters: Battalion Challenge - To celebrate the launch of Warhammer, the whole studio got involved in the Battalion Challenge. In this Army Masters special we take a look at the best armies and miniatures to emerge from the competition. 
Dan Abnett - This month sees the release of the first anthology of short stories set within the Sabbat Worlds, so who better than their creator, Dan Abnett, to introduce? 
Army Workshop: Word Bearers - Duncan Rhodes has been busy building a new Chaos Space Marine army - we follow his progress. The army list comes to 1606 points... 
Modelling Workshop: Chaos Planetstrike - To accompany Duncan's army, Chad Mierzwa has defiled a set of Planetstrike scenery. We show you how. It actually looked cool. Especially what Chad did with the Razor Wire and the Space Marine statue.

Standard Bearer - Jervis talks about how to win games. It only took up two pages of this issue. And I wouldn't have minded if it went for longer. Below is a quote that is just as true for players of both game systems:
"...a single powerful unit can no longer dominate the battlefield, which makes it important to have a solid battleline." 
You'll also find full details of all the latest releases and news, a directory featuring all of the hobby activities in your local area.
Disclaimer - Images take from the Games Workshop website.

Hall of Honour - Thetus Crusade

The Cleansing of Hive Thetus - Black Templars were called upon to aid in the extermination of a small-but-dangerous heretical cult on the planet Nevaria II. This menace was investigated by an agent of the Ordo Hereticus working within the overpopulated levels of Hive Thetus. Soon, this agent discovered the towering spyres of Thetus held a more sinister secret than anyone first suspected. A powerful and malevolent influence was behind the cult. Further investigation, along with a very costly covert strike by Deathwatch Space Marines, uncovered a powerful Broodlord at work.

The creature had somehow managed to infiltrate and infect the minds of a large portion of Hive Thetus without anyone knowing. Years of crossbreeding the population had produced both physical and psychic abominations to mankind. It became obvious that Hive Thetus was becoming a staging ground for a dreaded Tyranid vanguard force. It had to be purged. The Black Templars stepped up to the challenge of returning the Emperor's Light to Hive Thetus with righteous zeal.

The Broodlord and its foul kin managed to anchor themselves deep within the Hive's blackened depths. The removal of this taint would take some considerable time and effort. The labyrinth of tunnels, accessways, ducts, and forgotten cities proved to be a deadly and unique battlefield. It was here that the Black Templars fought terrifying battles in cramped corridors against the Tyranid menace. Slowly and at great cost, each sector was cleared from the bottom up. Hive Thetus, and the entire world of Nevaria II with it, was made safe (relatively) due to the efforts of the Black Templars.

Distinguished Service and Bravery Medals
Heroic actions and deeds worthy of note were honored in the form of round coins that were spot welded onto the wearer's power armor. Brother Zatliev has earned two such medals during the fighting underneath Hive Thetus. The uppermost medallion is for exemplar performance during the fierce battles fought for possession of Zeta Hall. The other was awarded for pulling two injured battle brothers to safety while driving off a Lictor.

Neophyte Assignment
When assigned to train and tutor a Neophyte, it is not out of character for the Initiate to mark his armor in a display of pride. During The Cleansing of Hive Thetus, a simple white Templar cross painted on the right knee was used to show such status within the mixed Crusader Squads.

Crusade Veteran
Veteran status during the Thetus Crusade was given to a Battle Brother who had successfully taken part in three major operations. This service was indicated by a red left knee pad bisected by a black-and-gold lined stripe. The three dots represent the three operations. Further successful actions by the veteran would be indicated by more white dots painted within the black band.

Thetus Crusade Badge
As is the case in nearly every Crusade, a unique badge is designated to signal that a particular Initiate is involved in its operations. On Navaria II, it was worn on the outer part of the right leg. A black dot within a shield icon represented the cancer that had to be rooted out and destroyed. These badges often help to identify who's who when diplomatic or other duties call a warrior from the battlezone.

Disclaimer - All images and content taken from the Games Workshop website. They will be removed if requested.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Scratch Built Hamlet

Recently I stumbled across some simple terrain pieces on Big Lee's blog. Below are the pictures with the original commentary with any of my own thoughts in italic purple.

My gaming group, the Dagenham Dungeon Delvers, are a talented bunch. This week I discovered more evidence of this when one member of the group Derek posted pictures of a modelling project he has been working on in secret for some time. All the buildings pictured here are scratch built using a variety of recycled materials and novel techniques that I thought would be of interest to other gamers and model builders.

The initial inspiration for these models came from an article that Derek saw in an old copy of White Dwarf magazine (issue 143 to be precise). The article gave plans and suggestions for building a Coaching Inn suitable for 28mm scale models. Once he had completed this project he then took what he had learned and applied his new skills to building several more buildings in a similar style.

Incidentally there were a series of articles in White Dwarf around the same time showing how to build other buildings like a cottage and a town house. If you can get your hands on one of these old issues (there always seem to be copies sold on Ebay at one time or another) they are well worth a look and give plenty of ideas for further construction projects.

All the buildings are based on Foam Board for rigidity and use beams of Balsa Wood form the main framework of the structures. Last year Derek went around collecting the sticks from used fireworks after Guy Fawkes Night. We all thought he was a little mad but it seems there was method in his madness and these sticks also found their way into the models. As he puts it himself... "People often think I've flipped when I sit looking at odd things and wondering what I could make from it - hence the reason for finally revealing some model photos."

Another clever bit of recycling came from the use of the wooden stirrer sticks you get in coffee shops. These were ideal for wooden cladding, door panels and shutters. I have used these myself for making wooden floor model bases and as tools in model making (stirring glue, supporting armatures while they dry etc.)

Derek insists that all the sticks he uses have stirred coffee in a previous life, making this barn 100% recycled. Who says our hobby can't be eco friendly? The Eco-Nazis...

The thatched roof was made from fake fur taken from an old hat. Cut into strips it was stuck to the roof of the cottage and then heavily painted with Games Workshop paint to make it ridged.  For the buildings with roof tiles the shingles were simply cut from strips of card then painted in red and then dry-brushed.

"I try to take pictures of olde worlde type buildings when I'm on holiday and any nice scenic calendars that come my way help to give inspiration. Other than that what I make depends on what sort of setting I need."

The white plaster walls were made from... plaster. The ready mixed varieties are easy to apply and if applied roughly look very effective. I've used this material myself and found that some experimentation is needed to find a brand that works best. Some makes are flexible, fast setting and smooth grained but ultimately its down to personal preference and cost factors.

Derek also used modelling putty on occasion, particularly for detailing like the stone chimneys.

Most of the buildings are free standing because they have been built with gaming in mind however the Mill/Water wheel house has a larger base with some landscaping. Standard materials and regular acrylic paints were used throughout the construction process. According to Big Lee in the discussion the water wheel was made from a coffee jar lid.

I asked Derek how he worked out the scale for those buildings he didn't have a plan for and it was mostly " eye". He used some of his regular 28mm models as a guide to door height and worked everything else from that point. The resulting lack of conformity I think works very well for a small hamlet and these models would look good on any games table.

I hope you find some inspiration from these pictures. I certainly find myself quite humbled in the presence of such skill and creativity. Derek describes the creative process as starting "...with a basic design, but quite often these things develop a life of their own during construction".

Disclaimer - All content taken from BigLee's Miniature Adventures and will be removed if requested.

Hall of Honour - The Declates Crusade

The Declate Crusade has been a big source of inspiration for my own Black Templar crusade. So in an attempt to save the information on the off chance the GW article disappears off their website like lots of other great resources in the past I will be copy'n'pasting it here. I actually had to type this out since their website was c-blocking every attempt I made to copy the content...

When the Declates System got in the way of Waaagh! Gitzmott, entire worlds fell overnight. The Crimson Fists were dispatched quickly to stem the bleeding and deal with the Ork threat. Upon arrival, the venerable Chapter at first scored victory upon victory with hit-and-run attacks. However, the Crimson Fists began to lose ground as the immense Ork invasion brought its full weight to bear. It became apparent that help was needed, and fast. The massive Ork incursion was definitely heading in-system towards the valuable Forgeworld Declates IV and the densely populated hives of Declates V. The Imperium could not let these centers fall.

Nearby Black Templars heeded the call to arms, and soon the campaign was brought back to a sort of balance. It was on Declates VII that the fate of the system was determined. Gitzmott was located and slain on the barren plains of the planet by an Emperor's Champion. Leaderless, Gitzmott's forces lost focus and abandoned the field of battle. From there, it was a simple matter of mopping up the scattered alien forces. Hideous losses were incurred by both Chapters as the numbers were often 5 to 1. Despite these difficulties, both Chapters earned battlefield renown and are forever heroes of the Declates System.

Symbolic Crimson Fist
As a symbol of solidarity against what seemed to be an innumerable foe, Astartes from both Chapters "exchanged" iconography and often fought in mixed squads. Black Templars painted their left hands red, and Crimson fists painted a Templar cross onto their right knee. This unusual gesture of unity helped establish a tight bond that steeled the resolve of the brave warriors involved.

Crusade Veteran
Brother Atheon is a seasoned veteran of the Declates Crusade. He participated in several major operations geared to halt the greenskin menace. During this Crusade, right knee pads were reserved for Veteran designation. A plain white pad denoted 6 months service, with a red stripe added after the 1st complete year of service in the Crusade. Each 6 month period beyond a year would be represented with yet another red stripe.

Squad Designation (Knee)
Though it is slightly unusual for Black Templars to use numerical squad markings, this practice became necessary in this Crusade. Once heavy losses began piling up, ad-hoc squads became the norm, often with Chapters mixing together out of need. A quick number designation on the left knee helped commanders keep track of squad movements on the battlefield.

Chapter Unity Symbol
Another instance of Battle Brothers cementing their unity in the face of almost certain death was that of the red-and-black Templar cross. Adding a red sliver to each of the four spokes of the Chapter symbol visually conveyed this bond. Shown here, Sergeant Atheon was awarded a special Crusader Squad decoration for surviving injuries he received during the Eteron Push.

Squad Designation (Shoulder)
Shoulder pads were enumerated in the same fashion as the left knee pad to help keep squads straight. However, this number denotes the squad from which the Initiate originally came. In this case, Sergeant Atheon part of the 7th Crusader Squad and is consequently the only surviving member.

Ork Boss Kill Count
It is not uncommon for troopers to keep unofficial track of their kills or major accomplishments. This is seen as a good motivational tool by higher-ups, as Initiates seek to outdo one another on the field of battle. In this case, each white checker represents a particularly large or important Ork slain during the crusade.

Distinguished Combat Service
Sergeant Atheon displays not one, but two awards for Distinguished Combat Service. A golden elbow plate coupled with the Templar cross signifies that this is one Black Templar to heed when he speaks. Sword Brethren status can't be very far off for this devout servant of the Emperor.

Declates Crusade Badge
As is the case in nearly every Crusade, a unique badge is designated to signal in what actions a particular Initiate is currently involved. This badge helps identify who's who when diplomatic or other duties call a warrior from the battlezone. In this case, a thick red stripe through a white shield icon on the right leg signifies Atheon is currently involved in the Declates Crusade.

Previous Crusade Badge
The scraped remnants of a previous Crusade badge (possibly The Burning of Hemoria IV) decorate the inside of Atheon's left leg. It's not uncommon for warriors to continue to display earlier Crusade badges on their armor, though these old badges are normally shown with smaller markings elsewhere on the armor so as to avoid confusion on the current battlefield.

Disclaimer - All content taken from the Games Workshop website without permission and will be removed if requested.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Summary

The last part of the wall-of-text...
Summary Part: Good Lord, Wasn't That Enough Text?

Please understand that, despite all of this, I do not think Orks are a terrible army for most people. They are pretty much strictly better than Necrons and any kind of pure Daemonhunters force. They scale better than Dark Eldar and they bring a reasonably unique playstyle to the table that some opponents may not be ready for. And, as discussed far back in the misty depths when this article began, they can do quite well at low- and mid-tier play. For casual players and beginners, for hobbyists and converters, for those who like goofy backstory and great visuals, Orks are a fantastic army. For the competitive player who wants to excel at the game and make the most out of a powerful and flexible army, however, they are a very poor choice, and they are not "broken," "overpowered," "cheesy/beardy," or any of the other adjectives the internet ascribes to their allegedly-strong lists. They are an army with major limitations and one that suffers greatly because of this. I do not doubt that many of you have played nail-bitingly close games against Orks: this does not change the fact that they are a poor army. A good general can make a sub-par force perform at surprising levels, so if you are winning with Orks, please do not take this article as an insult to your favored army or your opponents, but rather as a compliment.

Comments, criticism, and cross-linked counterpoints (as well as any other alliteration anyone aroundabouts adamantly advises) are quite welcome. If you believe you have created a good, take-all-comers Ork army that sidesteps the problems outlined above, I would be interested to see it. Please note that "I win with it" is an insufficient support of your thesis, as explained in the above paragraph.

And to see just how much you enjoy making yourself suffer here is an equally long post by Abuse Puppy in reply to Neil from 11th Company.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Why Orks Are Bad: Part IV

Almost finished the wall-of-text...
Part the Fourth: Specific Rules and Meta

Now we will look at some other, more specific ways that Orks suffer in the 5E metagame. There are many changes that were brought on by the new ruleset, and not all of them were good. In fact, some of them were downright crippling to Orks, while others are merely a hindrance.

Changes to weapon usabilities mean that both Melta and flamer weapons are much, much more common than they were before. Melta we have already covered in the vehicles discussion above, but flamers are also worth specifically picking out. They are- and always have been- a very good weapon against Orks, who are among their most stereotypical targets. However, with the advent of 5E, they became effective enough against other targets to warrant inclusion in most people's take-all-comers lists, rather than being a specialist weapon that was more rarely used. For Orks, this means they had to expect that most types of armies would bring much more effective firepower against them, and that crossing that final ~12" gap would be a real difficulty.

Another big strike were the changes to the No Retreat! rule and combat resolution in general. Although it sometimes helps them (forcing the enemy to make impossible Ld checks due to casualties), it is not uncommon for Orks to lose a combat against a competent enemy force- at which point the tide begins to turn very quickly indeed, as the end-of-combat wounds quickly stack up and chew away at the Orks only advantage, numbers. Other armies (like Tyranids) also have to deal with this, but generally have ways of mitigating it or working around it (Catalyst, leaving Synapse, etc.) Orks are stuck with it, and it is a tool easily used against them by smart opponents.

Several of the recent army releases have put Orks in a bad position as well- Imperial Guard can bring vehicles in large numbers and tend to wield pie plates and flamers with impunity, as noted earlier. Tyranids have greatly superior combat ability on nearly all fronts and can often muster superior shooting as well, as their guns can't be shut down with a damage roll. Blood Angels and Space Wolves are both CC-focused MEQ forces that have many of the advantages expected of Marines, but also have the melee strength to chew up mobs of Orks once they have been softened up a bit- or sometimes simply dive straight in for the kill. With all of these armies being popular "new" choices (used loosely, as some are half a year or more old at this point), they are a common sight at tournaments and ones that makes most Ork armies worry about their prospects.

Overrun Empire Outpost

It's a new month today and I've got some more scenery from an old What's New Today post. Below you can see some pictures of Gareth Williams' an Empire outpost that has been overrun by Orks. The original commentary is below and if I have any thoughts they will be in purple italics...

Gareth wanted his piece to represent a small Empire outpost that had been overrun by a tribe of Orcs. He's made the tower by adding an Ork glyph made from balsa wood to a Watchtower, and the larger building by combining two Chapel kits.

To give the building a burned-out look, Gareth cut away a section of the roof with a set of Plastic Cutters. He then mixed some Chaos Black paint with some sand and painted it on to create the effect of burnt wood and ash. It is always the simple things that produce such nice results.

Disclaimer - Images taken from the Games Workshop website. The thematic terrain piece was created by Gareth Williams and will be removed if requested.