Playing EPIC in 28mm.

Friday 22 February 2013

The Pawns of Chaos

Long planted agents of the ruinous powers are awakening their sleeper agents on Devos IV.  Somewhat ironically, most of them are on the continent of Benq, where the major Imperial shrines and Planetary Capital are.

The populist revolution is being led the followers of Chaux Na Mrr’see.  These are most definitely Slanneshi aligned; artistic freedom, free speech, unfettered press, delicious food, adequate heating in the winter, all round soft and comfortable living for party members are their hallmarks.  

But there are more zealous elements to the rebellion; the Word Bearers, led by their Apostles, are fighting the long war by awakening the hidden sleeper cells.  Around the capitol, Xyphonica, the cultists are making themselves known to each other and are arming up.  As the Cawdoresque workers of Acer become more vocal and strident, so the Pawns of Chaos begin to openly organise themselves into armed bands “to protect their communities”.   Legally allowed to own and bear military weapons due to some historical quirk, they are poised to bring anarchy and destruction to those very communities they espouse to protect. 

With an eye to their location, the word bearers long ago set their recognition symbol to be the star of chaos undivided, hidden in plain sight as a throwing star pendant, as sold by countless gift shops on the pilgrimage routes from the Spaceport to Xyphonica, an ecclesiastically sanctioned memento of the fabled assassin cults in their hidden temples across the planet (somewhere).  

Additionally, to avoid causing alarm amongst the Slanneshi leaders of the revolution, the cultists wear a lobster somewhere on their person, as an embroidered badge, a tattoo or painted on.  How this satisfies the cursory scrutiny of Chaux Na Mrr’see’s inner circle is unknown, but it does.  

Of course the truth is that the Dark Apostles are merely using these cultists.

Excellent paint by Mr Lee.

Friday 15 February 2013

Collaborators !

IA1 (at least my copy, I don't know about the new edition) contains an Orbat for the DKK 19 Armd Regt.  Which is nice.  It's also why the Engr support for my iggy army (902 Div of 16 Korps of 72 Army Group) is the 11th Saranean Engineer Regiment (or part thereof).

Anyway, as a part of the mass collaboration project where I cunningly get other people to build and paint command squads for me*, I entered into a mutual support treaty (I was going to write 'pact' but that didn't seem right for the Imperial Guard....) with Courtney from Cadian 127th.

He found a 1:56 Warrior which is a stunningly good model.  And the castings are good too.  And it's not too expensive.  But it is a bit smaller than a GW Chimera and so rules lawyers might whine if you wanted to use it in a pick up game.

I took what I consider to be a couple of brave choices with this, firstly, by mutual consent the true scale 30mm cannon got replaced with a Chimera Multi Laser.  It didn't look too bad and hopefully will look even better painted.  Then snipped off the true scale smoke dischargers and replaced them with a set from the SM vehcile accessory sprue - they look a little more high tech than the iggy ones and make the whole vehicle look like a compact WH40K vehicle, rather than something dropped in from another planet.

The armoured sides add a little bulk to the model.  And another set of hooks at the back add a little.  The turret is raised (to allow adequate clearance for the ML equipped turret to traverse) by a washer and I'm going to find a bigger bit and provide a brass rod as a locating pin.  If Courtney wants the turret a little lower then he can chisel the washer off and have a look - he could always stick back on again.

The shelf is to mount the HK Missile - again the SM one, as ties into the look of the vehicle.  I did toy with grinding off and plasticarding the roof of the turret, in order to fit a WH40K hatch and so on.  However, I'm hoping that it looks better left as it is.

The Command Squad are built to reflect their role as Combat Engineers.  Hence the double chainsword and double melta gun.  Not exactly netlist, but rather to reflect their pre-occupation with clearing obstacles.

The heads are the decent ones from the Wargames Factory Greatcoat Stormtroopers set, to tie these felllas in with the Saranian Light Infantry painted by PVP.  The sights and underslung GLs are from Anvil Industries and their backpacks are from Defiance Games UAMC Marines, which are an excellent kit and arrived promptly, unlike their German kit.  The backpacks look techie enough for engineers, down to the little ariel detail.  The also all have an entrenching tool (with bayonet) from the DKK set, after all, they need something to dig with and they don't have a JCB.

This post is scheduled waaaaay in advance and hopefully by the time you read this, these guys will have made it through the warp to the Cadian 127th, to add their support in the emperor's wars.  I plan on a painted up post with the actual fluff I wrote for these men in the future.

*Having them done in the colours and idiom of other IG armies out there I thought was important.  Half a dozen command squads of random regimental schemes drempt up by me is just not as flufftastic as drawing these squads from the armies of other guard players out there.  It gives 16 Korps Headquarters a feel of authenticity, perhaps (?).  And Lord Zhufor a more interesting selection of skulls to collect, perhaps.  Another thank you to those who participated.  There is a place for you at the Devos IV gaming table, subject to the approval of the High Lord of Terror.

Friday 8 February 2013

Crusade Product Review

There is a new product out there that doesn't seem to have been reviewed to death.  So I thought 'Why not ?  I'm sure the blogosphere is waiting for some innane waffle'.

A fortykay campaign book, as a concept, would seem to be what the bloggers (that I read) want.  The IA books being a little on the pricy side, this would seem to be an easy win for GW.  However, comma, that is a hitch in itself.  GW doesn't really want to be seen to be undermining FW.  On the other side, the people who buy FW stuff will continue to do so no matter what the wider GW does, so perhaps its not such a big concern.

So then, Crusade of Fire itself is in the same glossy, d20 (AD&D 3.5), format as the kaos kodex.  If the Dark Angle Codex is different, I will be extremely surprised.  There are colour spreads of the armies that the studio used to play the campaign before it was released to us.  Which is nice.

Those armies pander directly to GWs target demographic and we should not be surprised by this.  They are very nice to look at, showcase a variety of ways and colours that Spaze Muhreen armies could be put together by people with skill and imagination.  But there are still, Phil Kelly's DE aside, eleven pages (out of 96) of Spaze Muhreen armies.

From GWs perspective; getting their target demographic to further explore the possibilities for armies they already have started, its a no-brainer.  From the POV of someone wanting campaining material, it's ~10% wastage.

The setting is OK.  The Corvus subsector appears to be one star system (really ?  it must a pretty empty area of space then) with a number of nicely detailed planets with nice reasons to fight over them.  As the book concentrates on the 40K battles, there is no mention of travel from one planet to another, nor of the 100 IG regiments mentioned in the introduction.  It deals with such distractions by ignoring them and allowing players to get on with fighting the good (or evil) fight.

The things you might want; names of IG Regiments, the way the Departmento would organise an army of 100 IG Regiments; sample TO&E, the navy committment required to move it all about, the lines of supply and communication and so on are not here.  Yet again the hard to do stuff, which some might say has no place in a table top wargame, is ommitted.  But here it is ommitted because it does not belong with the rest of this product, rather than any other reason.  
There are rules for dogfighting and for mano a mano showdowns in the arenas of Commorragh; all good, but the dog fighting rules still ignore some fundamental points of air superiority combat.  The bits about fighting on a Deamon World may well get used if I ever get to a climatic battle for Devos IV. 

Fortunately there is another hardback campaign book to peg it against, also published by GW (well, Black Library, anyway)

This book is possibly enough for someone who is prepared to be creative themselves, to be able to fight any of the specific missions that form a part of Slaydo's or Macaroth's plans,  Comparing the two, I get the feeling that where detail is ommitted from the Sabbat Worlds source book, it's because any players are going to have to fill in the detail from their own mini collections etc.  Where as the detail from CoF is ommitted because it's not aimed at people who want to know about the Navy's disposition and the fragility or roobustness of any lines of supply or communication.
There is also the "Codex: Eye of Terror".  Which deserves a mention.  That was it.

CoF is available from interweb retailers for £21.25.
SWC is occasionally available on the web for about £70.

Is either of them worth the money ?  As I struggle to play very often (and therefore will not actually get to use the material in either of them), no.  If you play regularly against a number of opponents, then CoF might be worth a punt, but I'd borrow someone else's first, or obtain it collectively, as you may find that you don't really need a copy each.

(Yeah, I know it says Dark Angle - you can draw their Chapter badge with an etch a sketch.) 

Friday 1 February 2013

Dark Apostle

72 Army Group HQ.

The Lady Inquistrix produced a data slate and passed it to four star General Zhukov:

"This man, this space marine, is who Brian Redmaw's Great Hunt are seeking.  Briredy Antub has the ability to fill the minds of those who listen with the very stuff of Chaos.  His seemingly banal and harmless chatter just fills space.  Like his Word Bearer master, Readle Merich, those exposed to his evil don't realise just how purvasive and wrong his words are. An unshielded mind listening to these snake tounged warp blasted sorcerors will quickly turn to wallpaper paste.

With the right backing, Word Bearer Apostle's like him can raise armies of fanatical brain washed drones to topple governments and eventually weaken the fabric of the universe and allow the denizens of the warp into the worlds we know.  I wish the Sons of Russ luck in catching their prey.  And hope that they do so before the Word Bearers summon any deamons from the warp. 

And it should now be obvious why I do not hope to see the Space Wolves transit into the Devos system.  And even if they did, they would not be coming to aid 72 Army Group directly, they would be chasing something far worse than that which you face already."

The Lady Inquisitrix stood up and conspicuously smoothed the front of her regal attire.  Without a further word, she turned and left.  72 Army Group would get no comfort from any distant Space Wolf hunter fleet.  Nor apparently, from the Ordo Hereticus. 

General Zhukov fumed inwardly.  He would take this slight out on his staff; their discomfort would exceed his embaressment.  He calmly placed the data slate on his desk, drew his side arm and casually put a bolt designed to kill a space marine into the data slate.

He breathed deeply, holstered his side arm and proceeded with the rest of his tantrum. 

Paint my Mr Lee