Tuesday, 30 April 2013

2nd Ed. Shokk Attack Gun

Some 2nd Ed. Orks again, freshly painted.
The Shokk Attack Gun is maybe one of my favourite weapons of all times. It's full of that absurd black humour that Warhammer 40K used to have. The easy explanation for those not into the game would be something like this:
The base of the social Greenskin pyramid consists of these tiny creatures called Snotlings. Just cannon fodder, more even than Gretchins. Poor guys, always bullied and abused by their bigger cousins. The best example of this is the Shokk Attack Gun.






This weird weapon is able to open a fracture in reality itself into the Warp. Nobody knows how the hell Orks have managed to develop this, but as long as they believe it works, it will work. This portal to the Warp dimension allows short travels through space (more or less just as spaceships, but in a lesser way).
Poor Snotlings are pushed into this crack in realspace and the gunner Ork opens the other side of the portal at will (more or less...), so the effect is sort of a 'shot' of infuriated, scared to death little green beasts, which suddenly emerge from nowhere onto the enemy, babbling, screaming, biting and scratching anything, traumatised as they are after the horrendous experience of travelling unprotected through the Warp.

Yeah, I know, if you are not into Warhammer, now you should be kinda stunned, mumbling something like 'WTF is this...' Sorry, WH40K is a rough universe and old gamers are used to make fun of that. Our fault.

Now let me introduce our lovely cannon fodder (literally!)


As you can see, they are wonderful hilarious sculpts, very Oldschool, full of tiny details everywhere.

And the final shot:


Smile, little cousins, smile now that you can...
Rules for this weapon in 2nd Ed were great (as all Ork weapons by then), absolutey random and as dangerous for the enemy as for the gunner. Shamefully they changed with later editions of the game. Now you can't use these herds of Snotlings. A pity.
Seeing these, don't you think they deserve something better?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Alpha Legion Lord on palanquin

Yeah, you read it right.

This was a crazy idea I had some years ago, before the 'Legion' novel was released and all the fluff about tha Alpha Legion became so damn cool. When I first thought about this project, the Alpha Legion was just a Chaos Space Marine Legion making an extensive use of Dark Gods cultists. Little thing else. I thought of a core of a few Marines with hordes of various different cultists.

I had this ooold Lord Macragge mini which I wasn't using at all. I had quite a gamer mentality then, so I used everything I had for gaming purposes, rather than exposition. I needed no further reason, my idea seemed cool enough at the moment. Ah, irresponsible youth...

The eyesore in all its glory
Darker armour and paler skin than the original
When I had almost finished painting the golden trimming pattern, I thought I should have painted a labyrinth instead, it would have fitted the deceptive nature of the Legion. But it was too late, let it be that way.

The bodyguard belonged to the original set and the carriers are original Space Marine Scouts. They look like vicious cultists. Well, close enough.

The Bodyguard. No, not Kevin Costner, just other guy
Hydra tatoos. Those make them look badass
Honour badges? Lodge identification? You never know with the Alpha Legion...
The banner pole is removable, in order to make storage easier:

Easy solutions to complex problems, that's my motto
When the Alpha Legion background was changed it was for good, no doubt. It was a flexible organization with no identificable leaders, each Marine being highly independent and self-sufficient. The apparent lack of a clear chain of command made the enemies confused, and the Legion strong and totally adaptable to every situation.
But unfortunately, the new background also made this display kinda obsolete. The idea of a great Lord being carried by human servants didn't fit right in this new concept. Well, of course I can still think of some plausible explanations: the idea of the Lord is what the enemy expects, maybe the real boss is the bodyguard; maybe one of the carriers... You can never be sure of anything when you talk about this Legion...

Maybe the boss isn't even here
Nevertheless, I finally ended dismantling the palanquin. The collector mind got control over me, so hopefully sometime I can show you the Lord Macragge vignette in its original colours as it was supposed to be.

However, I hope you enjoy this crazy idea :)

Monday, 22 April 2013

Strider, Ranger of the North

A change for today :)
Back to Knightmodels and their awesome LoTR range.
The sculpt of Aragorn is amazing, as always. The first thing that caught my attention is that he has no beard, not even a trace:

I shaved this morning before coming here
So the sculptor took the production photos as a reference, those at the beginning of the shooting, when Viggo Mortensen indeed didn't wear a beard yet. The head of the mini is a perfect portrait of him.

I painted the shadow of a beard, as he looks in the early stages of the movies, and begun to set up the mini.


Aaaaa! My arms, my arms!
As usual, the sculpt is superb, I wish I could make justice to it, but I'm afraid this is all I can achieve with brushes.

Ahh, now I feel better


What am I supposed to be looking at?
The miniature is full of tiny details that make it come to life. Now that I see the (awful despicable) pics, I think I should add some heavy weathering. My problem with taking photos still remains though, the mini looks much better in the flesh.
You can notice that he is wearing the leather bracers which belonged to Boromir, so you can set the timeline of this mini at some moment during 'The Two Towers'.
Well, I planned setting some kind of full vignette when all the Fellowship was released, but now I know it will have some incoherence, displaying characters at different moments. Hmm, it currently seems to bother only me, so I'm sure you will forgive my obsession with details ;)

Hope you like it!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Playing Rogue Trader: Retrieval!

RT battle again!
New scenario designed by the brain under this campaign's best moments, Rodrigo, the author of the previous battle. He really surpassed himself this time!
If you are a fan of 'Fringe' you will specially enjoy this one. Rodrigo just got inmersed back in the RT spirits and took inspiration from the series of the moment, 'Fringe', just as things were done back in time. So, be aware to expect anything! :P

This scenario is just pure genius, so let me tell you all and please play it by yourselves!

The previous settings:

Thirty years ago, the genius Mekboy Waaagh'tek Bigshokk postulated a revolutionay theory: all the young Orklings have a latent unlimited mental and psychic power, which vanishes though years, due to Ork Kulture pressions, in order to stimulate the individual to assume a determined role in the Tribe and society: Mekboy, Painboy, etc.
He administered a certain Squig derivate essence called 'Kortaxifan' to the younglings, which should force their brains to develop their whole potential and to adquire amazing powers.
At least that was the theory.
After some rounds of experiments with Orklings, Waaagh'tek had some success. Nine out of ten Orks grew up to become Madboyz, but the tenth one became an unparalleled geniuz, also developing psychic abilities which in fact showed even greater when close to other 'gifted' Orks. This were how the 'Kortaxifan Boyz' were born...

Da Doctor is in.

This morning Waagh'tek and his Gretchin assistant Aztrig dissapeared in a lightning explosion. It's been reported than he has somehow teleported inside the sieged city of New Rynn. A bold group of Kortaxifan Boys quickly assembles to retrieve them in a secret operation behind enemy lines...

SPECIAL RULES

Da Kortaxifan Boyz:
Pick up ten Orks, the most badass looking ones and in the heaviest armour you have. They have the gear the mini is equipped with, besides frag and krak grenades.
The Squad has Psychic Mastery 4 and Psionic level 40. Each casualty taken reduces the psi-level in 4 points.
They have the following psi abilities (RT Rulebook page 50):
-Wind Blast (level 1)
-Steal Mind (level 1)
-Telepathy (level 1)
-Ectoplasmic mist (level 2)
-Jinx (level 2)
-Aura of reclcitrance (level 3)
-Cause confusion (level 3)
-Change allegiance (level 4)
-Temporal distort (level 4)
-Stasis (level 4)
Each casualty taken also forces the player to discard a random skill (roll 1D10). Da Kortaxifan Boyz are highly motivated and love Waaagh'tek as their own father. They will automatically pass any leadership test.

Quite special Boyz
 Game settings:
- The battle takes place inside New Rynn's City, a highly populated area. Set lots of urban scenery, with as much cover as you can. At about 12" from one of the short sides of the board there will be the City Walls.
- Imperial forces are stationed in the biggest building, the Massive Dynamics Corporation. They consist of an Imperial Guard tactical squad (acting as corporate security guards).
- After Imperial deployment, the Ork player leaves the room. The Imperial player marks three points to the Game Master. Those will be Massive Dynamics alarms. If the Orks come into 4" of them, the alarm will sound. We will see of that later.
- The Ork player comes back and deploys his forces next to the City Walls (in the inner side!)
- Game Master information only! Deploy Waaagh'tek Bigshokk and Aztrig in a building more or less equidistant from the Walls and the Massive Dynamics building. Don't reveal this information to the players (However he will soon be moving...).
- As long as Waaagh'tek is alive, his Junktools will jam any communications. Any commands will have to be given speaking! The maximum distance a command can be given to a split squad is 2" (unless you use alternate methods, as signals or telepathy....)
- Alarms effects (not for the Ork player eyes!):
If the Ork player activates an alarm device, the Imperial player rolls 1D6:
   - 1-2: Deploy first Tactical Space Marine Squad
   - 3-4: Deploy second Tactical Space Marine Squad
   - 5: Deploy Captain Cortez
   - 6: Deploy the Deadnought
If the unit has already been deployed, then deploy the next one in the list. Roll another D6 to determine the deployment area:
   - 1-2: Long side of the board nearest to Massive Dynamics building
   - 3-4: Long side of the board farthest from Massive Dynamics building
   - 5-6: Short side of the board farthest from City Walls

Waaagh'tek Bigshokk (for GM eyes only):
- The Mekboy is a little... unstable. He is constantly fiddling with his new invention, 'da teleporta field'. Each turn move him in the most logical way and then roll a Scatter Die. If you roll the crosshair, let them where they are. If you roll an arrow, move them in that direction according to a D6 roll:
   - 1-4: Half of the lenght of the long side of the board
   - 5-6: The lenght of the short side of the board
Important: The distance moved being accurate is irrelevant, just move the mini (or note down where it is if no one can see the Mekboy) in an approximate way. If you measure the distance, the players will know what's happening. But seeing you rolling dice will totally baffle them!
The teleportation movement will make a lightning clearly visible by all the troops (it's midnight!), and the teleporting device will be active until a Boy deactivates it.
- Aztrig: Aztrig is a devoted assistant, who would give the life for Waaagh'tek. The first impact that would hve normally killed Waaagh'tek will be assigned to Aztrig, dying instead the Mekboy. Waaagh'tek will try to hide it, but will shed a tear for his assistant Aztro... Azteroid... Azztree.. What was the name again?
- Retrieving Waaagh'tek: Once a Boy gets next to the Mekboy, will argue a little with him and will finally deactivate da teleporta field. From that moment now, Waaagh'tek (and Aztrig if still alive) will be a member of the squad and will be played by the Ork player. He will not teleport again and the jamming will be over.
- Once the Boyz get Waaagh'tek, one of them will say just a word on the kommunicator: 'Retrieval!'
At the beginning of the next turn, a Battlewagon will come into the board from one of the long sides (randomly determined, you know the drill), moving 24" and stopping. The Orks objective will be reaching the vehicle. Once Waaagh'tek is aboard, the objective will be achieved.

Enough text. Let's go!


The guards were vigilant...
But these Orks are sneaky!
 The guards begun to spread up, trying to force the Orks to move on to the alarms.

Did you hear something?
But they moved stealthy!
Nobody expects da Ork expedition!
Waaagh'tek was randomly pressing buttons or something, so he teleported himself and Aztrig to the top of a tower. No one really saw them, but the flash was quite revealing. The cunning Orks (??) quickly suspected something...
Do ya have a Squig milkshake, Aztro?
So did the guards, aware that something was happening. They split up the Squad into two.
 
You sure this is safe, man?
In the middle of the dark things can happen... The Orks felt the presence of the humans and used their psichyc powers. They threw the powerful 'Change allegiance' power over one of the demi-squads... and succeeded! They begun to control five men!
 
Flash again. The Mek suddenly appeared near the Ork-controlled human patrol, at the end of the alley.
 
Ooops, wrong button, Astrynge!
The subdued humans tried to get back to the alley to defend the Mek. In the meanwhile, danger was in the air.

Definitely I heard something, bro
Things were going plainly too well for the Orks, so the Game Master decided to add some emotion and declared an extra alarm, as if the Boyz had activated one. Reenforcements were on their way!
 
Looks like a work for us, brothers!
Waaagh'tek might be a little unstable, but he was no fool, so he inmediately went out from the street.

Hurry, Anstream!
The guards begun a firefight... with the other guards! But the Ork-controlled got the worst part.

I can't control my acts and I get shot by my friends... I don't get paid enough for this, man.
They got three casualties and the two remaining guards just fell back. The Orks decided not to face the arriving Space Marines, so the run into a building, trying to get closer to their objective.

Kinda near to da plan, oi!
But the Mekaniak suddenly appeared... in front of the Marines!

Oztrich, where are we?
They shot on Waaagh'tek and Aztrig, but harmlessly. The Kortaxifan Boyz inmediately begun to run towards their 'father'. They used the 'Cause confusion' psi-power on the Marines, which got them... well confused!

Com' on, Boyz!

The Boyz run to put themselves between Waaagh'tek and the Marines, but they had activated another alarm in the building! A Dreadnought came to the rescue!
You thought I was dead from last battle? Ehm... No!

In fact the Dreadnought fired on Waaagh'tek... and killed Aztrig, who bravely intercepted the shot!

Hastreeeg! Noooo!

The Boyz unawarely activated a new alarm and Captain Cortez himself came to assist his men. But for the moment they finally reunited with their 'father'

Please, Waaagh'tek, gimme that and stay quiet!
While the 'confused' Marines gunned down some guards (Oh man! Everybody shoots us tonight!), the Dreadnought reached the Boyz and Cortez advanced towards them.

Ooops, dis is problem, guyz!
A lot of things happened suddenly: the last Marine reenforcements (a tactical squad) appeared, the Dreadnought charged, the Orks resisted the charge shooting and inflicting the armoured bulk a wound...

Things going wild...
The Boyz fell back with Waaagh'tek, losing a member (and a random psi-power!)

Dis was goin' too easy to be true!
Then the Battlewagon made its shiny appearance, smashing walls and buildings.


Vrooom, vroom, smash, crush!!

Running over six Marines! And making the rest flee!
But the Dreadnought got in the way to the Battlewagon! The Orks would have to come around some buildings to reach their salvation.


Some dead Orks more...
The following turns were a series of hits and runs -sort of literally! The Orks run, but the Dreadnought got to them each turn, causing more casualties.


'The Benny Hill' theme music could be on now

Captain Cortez patiently awaits next to the Battlewagon

You're humming 'Benny Hill' now, don't deny it
Cortez and the Dreadnought both charged the Orks, in a two pronged attack.

Go get them, brother!
At that moment, only two Boyz and Waaagh'tek were remaining. They run as fast as they could towards the Battlewagon.


Run, you fools!
Everything is in the air, nothing is yet decided. If the Orks stay alive one more turn, they will reach the Battlewagon...
The Dreadnought opens fire. Kills two Orks! Only Waaagh'tek resists. Captain Cortez aims his weapon. Everything is in his hands. Slow motion in the film, epic soundtrack... Cortez pulls the trigger and...

...

He kills the Mekboy!

So close yet so far...

Imperial victory! By the skin of their teeth, but victory. Phew!

The most fun exhilarating battle to the moment, I can say. There was a lot of intrigue during the game, as only the Game Master knew what was really going on, both players were just wondering what the hell was happening here. Big random effects added so much fun, and the presence of a GM was essential to the game. Once you play like this, you never want to play otherwise.

What do you think? Did you like the battle report? Do you see yourselves playing it? I encourage you to do so!