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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Just Completed- Realm of Battle: Sector Imperialis

Hey there denizens of the warp (which I guess is another name for the Aethernet-- get it?). Old Man Chaos is here with another exciting article- try not to fall asleep, OK? So- without further ado, I bring you--- Games Workshop's Realm of Battle: Sector Imperialis!


First, a little background. My friend Pete and I have always been interested in gaming tables. He's got the construction know-how, I've got the imagination. Pete's first table was a Martian red desert table (and the terrain he built for it was equally awesome). Later, he built a lava table- which he was initially unhappy with. I told him he'd be crazy to throw it out- I explained how the table had so much potential with resin lava- we both worked on it and made a gorgeous table- one of the best I've ever seen and played on.


In 2005 we went to Games Day in Baltimore. We saw large Gale Force Nine buildings (which I later ordered from them) and city themed tables. This became my mission: to build a city fight table! An urban warzone that fit my imagination! A city reduced to rubble by the weapons of the 41st millennium... that's where my games of 40K should be! After Baltimore we planned and built that table (with a bunch of friends also helping). The results were great- and I loved playing on that. The gaming memories from that table were astounding.


But, of course, times change. I got married, needed more room in my basement, and well- no more gaming table. I gave it to my friend Joe, who is planning to make a frozen warzone from it (eventually). I meanwhile, still wanting a battlefield of some kind, made a temporary table from large wooden boards- which I have used since then (say the boards are about two or three years old by now I think...).


Anyways, for Christmas my wife decided to give me a big surprise. She got me the Realm of Battle: Sector Imperialis!! As she says, she doesn't mind the hobby, as she knows where I usually am at night- painting away at my work station. She got the boards because they are easily storable in their own bag, and she knows how I've missed my previous gaming table. I am very lucky to have a wife so understanding, willing to put up with the plastic crack that is 40K.


I must admit, I have never painted anything quite like this before- there is a ton of detail on the boards, and they are big and broad pieces to boot. My only quibble is that there are only two types of board surface, I wish there was just one more.


Because there are only two board types, I decided that I would need to paint in a bit of variety to differentiate the boards. At first, I generally stuck to the painting video GW has online. In particular, the usage of Skavenblight Dinge for much of the surfaces, like roads and sidewalks. I also adhered to using Dawnstone on the sidewalks, followed by highlights of Ubshanti Bone and Nuln Oil for the cracks, etc. The roads I then washed with either Nuln, Earthshade, or Cammoshade. Once dried, I dry-brushed Administratum Grey.


To keep the boards similar, I made the metal walkway planks all Leadbelcher with Nuln wash. So the roads, sidewalks, and metal walkways were all the same. However, I got creative with painting the building footprints and those areas. Some industrial areas were done with Leadblecher and washed with other colors, such as Sepia. Some of the set pieces (like the Aquilla) I did in various ways, some metal, some stone, some brass, some gold. I used various greys (Russ, Mechanicum), and some greens (Castellan) as well. Finally, I did two factory areas red, to match my factory pieces.


In the gutters I did plenty of Typhus Corrosion and some Nurgle slime. I also used Blood for the Blood god fairly liberally on some boards- this is a warzone damn it. People are getting shredded out there!


So, in this photo spread I have only shown the boards. I will be playing on these tables VERY soon (next week), so I will then show terrain, models, etc. As it stands, I love the boards and how they came out.


 They have similarities that time them together, with some differences to make them unique, yet not garish or overwhelming. The boards are certainly in urban colors, and will work well with my terrain. My Khorne Bezerkers and Plague Marines will look really good on the board. And I must say GWs video was very helpful to me, giving me focus and tips on how to make the board come alive.


I told you I was working on something BIG- this is one of the biggest paint projects I have worked on, that's for sure. I cannot wait to use the Sector Imperialis for my campaign!


 Until next time... stay thirsty, my friends. 




Friday, January 16, 2015

2 for 1 Book Review!

Hi everybody! Greetings and salutations from the Eye of Terror. Old Man Chaos is here with a pair of book reviews- Ahriman: Sorcerer and Kharn: Eater of Worlds. Don't worry, I'm still painting and such, but I'm not ready to show it off (yet). I will be having some stuff done soon though. So, let us away...

Ahriman: Sorcerer


I read the first book in the series, Ahriman: Exile by John French (see review HERE). I really enjoyed the book quite a bit. Not the best BL offering, but a fun book with some twists and turns and great characterization. I was quite looking forward to the next one, Ahriman: Sorcerer. It turns out to be more of the same (which isn't bad)- a solid and fun story, though not the upper echelon of BL.

The plot is straightforward on the surface: Ahriman wants to acquire the one of the "Books of Magnus", known as the Athenaeum of Kallimakus. It is just part of the raw knowledge that Magnus has learned over the years. Ahriman wants to use the book to learn where his rubric went wrong. Unfortunately, the "book" is in the hands of the Inquisition, hidden on a small and well protected outpost. So, Ahriman and his motley band of Thousand Sons and some renegade Chaos warlords have to find its location, and then steal it. This will be no easy task, as the Grey Knights are guarding it, meanwhile the Space Wolves pursuing Ahriman have left the warp to track him down and kill him once and for all.

Now that's the general plot. It is, naturally, more complicated than that. There are many good scenes and sequences in the book- I don't want to give spoilers, so I'll be general. Ahriman's strategic use of Rubric Marines was very cool. Ahriman's psychic contest of wills with an Inquisitor was also a thrilling bit. The fate of the pursuing Space Wolves was also fun (from a Chaos fanatics view, of course). The characterization is also quite good again. Ahriman still seems to be the man on a certain paved road that leads to hell. He has good intentions, but he will do ANYTHING to attain them- genocide amongst them. He is also somewhat callus in his treatment of his allies (Astraeos in particular). Speaking of, one of his fellow Thousand Sons, Senakhet, is an interesting character in his own right- he has an agenda, though he seems the least likely to follow it through- his manner and motives are compelling. And Astraeos- poor Astraeos. I felt bad for what Ahriman put him through. Read and you'll see.

I am also interested in Tzeentch and "time". I hesitate to use the phrase "Time-Travel" with 40K- they have never explicitly set up a story around it (yes, Ravenor does a bit, but it is very brief). The evidence is damn clear here though- past and present and future all seem to be bound together, almost blurring together. I'm not sure if it is Tzeentch, Magnus, or a future version of Ahriman who is pulling the strings, but--- time is certainly fluid for the Tzeentch- inclined.

The story is solid, if not spectacular. It moves, but doesn't have the propulsive energy of say Betrayer or Eisenhorn. As a middle story of a trilogy, it certainly feels unfinished and somewhat unsatisfying- as many middle parts do. However, it was a good read, and if you already read Ahriman: Exile, you may as well read this too. Like the previous book, I give this 3 out of 4 Marks of Chaos.



Kharn: Eater of Worlds


This story, by Anthony Reynolds, came out as part of GWs advent calendar on Christmas Day (yes, I did download it Christmas morning). I haven't read much of Reynold's stuff- I read his first Word Bearer book but- meh. Except for the mechanicum forces shown in the book (first time I encountered Skitarii), I didn't care much one way or the other.What could I expect here with Kharn?

Well, the book was a blast from start to finish. It takes place toward the end of The Scouring, when the traitors have fled to the Eye of Terror after the failed assault on Terra. The World Eaters are safe, but they are beginning to break down. The Butcher's Nails are driving them crazy- they are even fighting and killing one another. Angron has left them, and they are without direction. Their only hope is... Kharn. Oh- and he was dead.

Dreaghar is leading one of the World Eaters contingents. He and another such leader, Argus Brond, are two of the few who still have their wits, and they are desperate to restore the legion and stave off the madness that is engulfing the 12th legion. Brond is ready to give up on the other ships- he would strike out on his own in order to see that at least SOME World Eaters survive. Dreaghar refuses, believing that Kharn can heal the legion. Kharn was killed in the fighting at the Emperor's Palace, but somehow- life returned to him. Since then, he has been comatose, but Dreagher believes Kharn was spared for a reason- to save the legion and bring it back to glory.

The book is so good- it moves at a fiery quick pace, with both action and intrigue in equal measure. I love how the book shows how SOME are worshiping the Blood God, while others are more doubtful (at least, at the moment). Reynold's is telling a story that everyone KNOWS the end to, but he has a ton of fun with bringing us to the brink of that end. Yes, the book ends as the World Eaters descend of Skalathrax. But Kharn seems to be quite in control of his faculties- so perhaps there is more to the Skalathrax story than we know? Certainly- hence the book.

Kharn himself is still a great character. Reynold's wisely builds on how Kharn was portrayed in Betrayer- he is ruthless but cunning. A warrior but also a thinker- not a mindless nut. So how does he fall to that? The book leaves some clues- but I ended the book wanting a sequel immediately, and I hope there will be. Reynold's really got the tragedy of the World Eaters very well, and his treatment of their disintegration (and possible redemption lol) is just great reading. Reynold's also does some justice to the Emperor's Children- they too are corrupted, though they have not yet spiraled out of control (unlike the World Eaters who are barely hanging on).

I could go on- the book was fantastic. I finished it very quickly (a bit shorter than some other BL books, but not a short story either). I am hoping that Reynold's will do the next installment VERY quickly- I may even give his Word Bearer books a second look... I give Kharn:Eater of Worlds 4 out of 4 Marks of Chaos.



Until next time...



Senekhet

Monday, January 5, 2015

Some Newly Completed Dark Eldar Stuff

Welcome back to yet another kinda exciting edition of Chaos Corner. Old Man Chaos hopes that you had a good holiday and New Years. I have been steadily working on several projects at once- certainly enough to keep me busy! I finished some Dark Eldar stuff, so I figured I'd show a few pics...


With the publication of the new Dark Eldar codex, I got the bug to do more DE. Unfortunately, I have not had good luck with my DE yet- the games I have played with them so far have not gone too well. However, I refuse to give up on them, and I'm continuing to work on them.

Raider:


First up is my newly completed Raider. It is basically the same as my other two, nothing fancy here. I did the same Khorne Red edge work for the armor (both the vehicle and the DE on board). It fits in with my other DE well enough. Like I said, no crazy conversion work. The DE on board are Kabalite, though, so it'll probably be a transport for the Kabals or Trueborn.



Reaver Jetbikes:


Here are three more Reaver Jetbikes that I have completed, so that means I now have 6 of these bad boys- at least, they were bad boys till 7th- now they aren't AS good, but they are still a solid choice. The one thing I have been doing to the Reavers is to have them all helmeted- no bare heads at all for them (as we all know, DE are nothing if not safety conscious ;-) .


I put the brass rod holding them up (the clear plastic ALWAYS break so easily on me). The rod was placed at odd angles, to make them look as if they are banking or swooping or something. Just being a little bit dynamic.



Hellions:


And now, some Hellions. Once again, they are much weaker in 7th. So I have like 15 of them or so by now. I have some that I can use as beastmasters if I want though, so if I take those out I have 10 or 11.


Again, same as my previous DE stuff. Khorne Red edge work, pale flesh colors, blue hair (the blue hair is weird, but it adds a bit of color to otherwise dark models. Again, I used brass rod to hold them up again. 



Venoms:



Last up, I have completed not one, but two Venoms. Now, I was never one for Venom spam at all. Until recently, I only had one Venom (I made it for my Kabalite Archon to ride in).  I received two more Venoms as gifts in the past, but I never quite got around to putting them together. Once the new book came out, it got me into a Dark Eldar kick, so I decided to work on them.


I created a Venom for my Succubus to ride into battle with some Bloodbrides. So, all the riders were made to be Wyches. I made it look very much like the other Venom, so there's not too much to brag about or explain regarding this one. Its a fully functional Venom that goes with my other DE vehicles.


The second Venom is a little different though. I decided to do a dedicated Haemonculus Venom with the bits from the new Wrack box. I really like the idea of being able to customize your Raiders/Venoms with the new Wracks. I was really inspired after looking at the Haemonculus Covens supplement. Now, I will never play an all Wrack/Haemonculus army, but the book has some great fluff and it was visually inspiring.


I painted the vehicle the same way as I did my other vehicles: I didn't want it to look too starkly different. So, its the same Khorne Red  edge highlight that the others are. The only thing I did to set it apart was the flag and symbols- I ditched the usual red flag and decided to go white instead (I loved the look in the supplement, as I said).When I was thinking of the symbol, I had no idea- as you can tell, I'm not great at drawing symbols, writing, etc. So, I stole the Triforce. Yes, I know... but it could be a weird pentagram or something... Look, it works, OK? Don't give me a hard time (in case you can't tell, I'm not thrilled with it, but it's done now- I am pretty good at knowing when to call a paint job a day, otherwise I'd still be painting my first Plague Marine in my search for perfection).


The absolute DUMB thing about the new codex is that Wracks come in squads of 5. That means that a Haemonculus can't take a bodyguard of 4 plus him in the Venom- ugh. Why did they do that? It is so damn annoying. So either I put the Haemonculus with 4 Trueborn/Bloodbrides- oh wait. THey come in 5s as well, so I guess that's out too... Ugh. GW- what were you thinking?!


Well, at any rate, that's all for now. I'm putting the finishing touches on a few more things, and I'm starting a whole bunch of other projects too- indeed, my wife got me something VERY big for Christmas, and I can't wait to finish it and show it off here! It's going to take a while to do, but when it's done... whew!!

Until next time...


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Movie Review: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

Hey there Chaos fans and fanatics! We here at the Eye of Terror hope that you all had a great holiday and that you got plenty of Chaos-goodies in your stockings or under your tree or whatever. I know I sure did- my wonderful (and understanding) wife got me the Sector Imperialis battleboard! Wow! This thing is huge and very nicely detailed. I'm so excited that I have already started to paint them! My wife is the best (or an enabler, depends on how one views the plastic crack habit that is 40K). In addition to that, I have been working on several projects, some of which I will show on this site later this week.

At any rate, my wife and I saw Hobbit 3 just over a week ago, so I decided I'd do a small-ish review. So, without further ado:

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


As my long time readers may remember, I love the original Lord of the Rings movies. Each of those films are both personal and epic, filled with action, emotion, and character. These three movies elevated "fantasy" films to an art form. The LoTR trilogy is without peer. I suppose, one day, I should review them on this site--- if only I had the time!

As my long time readers will also remember, I have been less than satisfied with The Hobbit films. I thought that Unexpected Journey was just awful (see review HERE). Total lack of characterization, tension, respect, filled with stupid CGI battle scenes- yikes. Though it had some good points, UJ was a letdown in nearly every respect. I have very rarely emerged from a movie so completely disappointed. A year later, Desolation of Smaug hit theaters (see my review HERE). While still not as good as LoTR, it was light years ahead of UJ- it felt much closer to the feel of LoTR, and Smaug himself was a fantastic creation, a worthy addition to the entire Middle Earth Saga. The movie had a bigger theme, had some good character beats, and felt like a more fulfilling experience. I left the theater excited for the 3rd part. Would Five Armies manage to keep up the momentum built up by
DoS?


Well, the answer is sadly mixed. Five Armies starts out promisingly enough- Smaug takes his frustration out on Laketown, with only Bard standing in his way. It is a fantastic scene, and Bard come across as both brave and desperate to stop the murderous dragon. The confrontation makes for a thrilling start to the film, but the movie never builds on it, unfortunately. Nothing that follows is quite as exciting or well done as the incineration of Laketown, which hurts the remaining two hours of film time. The remaining film is entertaining, but never rises to such heights as DoS or the rest of LoTR.


While the movie moves much faster than UJ, it has similar problems. Bilbo is pretty much a side character, which seems to defeat the entire purpose of the series. Martin Freedman does the best he can, but the focus is placed on others, and thus Peter Jackson himself seems to forget it was the 4 Hobbits which made LoTR, not the action scenes or special effects. Gandalf is similarly relegated to the sidelines, though his rescue from the Necromancer is thrilling (the only part that comes close to the battle with Smaug)- its great to see the White Council in action, and Jackson is smart enough to barely hint at Saruman's eventual fall rather than telegraphing it (sadly, Jackson poorly telegraphs everything else that will lead to LoTR).


The weakness is again the Dwarves. None have been developed well at all. Balin (my favorite from the other two, acting as the conscience of Thorin) barely gets any time. Killi is still in love with Tauriel (absurdly, in my opinion, and the resolution to that tries to be dramatic but just feels unearned). The other Dwarves are still just bodies. They add nothing to the proceedings. Ironically, a new Dwarf King, Dain, introduced in the midst of the "Battle", has more verve and character than the Dwarves we have been with since the start, and that must tell you something.

The only Dwarf developed at all is Thorin, and here is where the film truly goes awry. DoS built up the theme of greed as a corrupting influence. Now that Thorin has reclaimed his kingdom, what will he do next? The answer is that he suddenly becomes a greedy, selfish, and paranoid nutjob. And why? No, its not a moral failing- its only "Dragon-Sickness". Ugh. So suddenly Thorin isn't responsible for his own actions, and he just as suddenly recovers from his "Dragon-Sickness" just in time to save the day. Cartoonish and convenient, exactly the opposite of his development in UJ and DoS. Thus, when his heroic moment and sacrifice comes, it again feels odd and unearned. I think it would have been better to tone down his "Dragon-sickness" and instead build up his fears of losing his Kingdom again- walking a fine line between legitimate concern and selfishness.

Legolas and Tauriel do fine here, and Legolas' arc seems to be what I thought earlier- he awakens to the needs of all Middle Earth, not just his kingdom and his father. Thranduil fares worse though. His selfishness hits new heights (which is fine), but toward the end he suddenly reverses himself and becomes nice, even sending Legolas on a mission to find Aragorn (talk about telegraphing- not only did I groan, but it makes no plot or character sense to have Thranduil change so suddenly and without good enough reason).


Bard and the people of Laketown get the shaft as well. After defeating the dragon, Bard becomes the leader of Laketown's survivors. Luke Evans does well: he's a family man put in a tough situation. Where can his people go? How will they survive? Don't the Dwarves owe all the people some help? Bard becomes a reluctant warrior, willing to fight to keep his people safe. He is a welcome addition to the story, even if there are shades of Aragorn in his character. Sadly, once the "Battle" is finished, the movie suddenly forgets Bard and his people- what happens to them now? Do the Dwarves, Elves, and Men make an accord? Who knows? Once the "Battle" ends, Jackson decides to run back to the Shire as quickly as possible, seemingly afraid of having too many endings...


Which brings me to the end. Once Azog is killed the battle comes to a sudden end (almost inexplicably abrupt, the more I think of it). The movie swiftly concludes with Gandalf and Bilbo going back to the Shire. Their relationship, which was so warm in LoTR, is virtually non-existent here. Again, Jackson telegraphs the influence of the ring too much, and Gandalf seems VERY suspicious. Huh? Then why the hell does he wait DECADES to do something about it? The worst of it is, though, the film ends with LoTR Bilbo (Ian Holm) greeting Gandalf just before the birthday party in Fellowship. But because Gandalf and Bilbo had little to no relationship develop in the Hobbit trilogy, this ending just feels hollow and reminds you that LoTR are such better films.

Despite my many complaints, there are certainly things to recommend the film. The movie moves quickly, with very little drag, which makes it better than UJ immediately. The actors do their best, even the sidelined Martin Freedman (seriously, it is not his fault). The action pieces are fairly well done. While there is a ton of CGI, you expect it in the larger battles, and it works, with the action not being cartoonish (as it was in UJ)- plus the "Battle" has some stakes, which helps. Watching a Dwarf army go to war is interesting and unexpected in its execution- and I loved it when Daine's dwarves formed a phalanx against the charging Orcs! The single combat between Thorin and Azog is good (though it reminded me of Batman Begins. Seriously- watch and you'll see the resemblance, trust me).

Overall, "Battle" was a fun time at the theater, but as part of the Middle Earth saga, I expect more than that. Way more. So, since I liked it more than Unexpected Journey but less than Desolation of Smaug, I'll give it 2 1/2 Marks of Chaos out of 4.


So, The Hobbit trilogy is now closed, and it was a decidedly mixed bag, at best. It's too bad, because I love LoTR so much that I'd love to spend more time in Middle Earth. Unfortunately, The Hobbit trilogy ultimately forgot so much of what made LoTR so good: the big and the small, the grandiose and the subtle, the personal and the historic- those in combinations made LoTR shine, and the Hobbit lacked so much of it.

Ah well. I think I'll fire up the LoTR blu rays to make me feel better. Now THERE'S a saga well told...

"I wish none of this had happened".

"So do all who see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we can decide is what to do with the time that is given to us". 

Until next time!

  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Random Stuff

Hey there Chaos worshipers of all shapes and sizes! Old Man Chaos has just returned from the Eye of Terror (in actuality I finished moving, unpacking, and setting up my new place- whew!). I have a few things I thought I'd update you guys on, if you are interested:

Dark Eldar

I had my first two games with Dark Eldar about a week ago against Iron Hands with Grey Knights allies. My friend Pete can smile now (see that game HERE)- my Dark Eldar got their asses handed to them- not once but twice. In the first game I held a lot in reserve, which enabled my opponent to table me by the start of turn 2. Yikes. We then played a rematch where I held less in reserve- and I was pretty much undone by the end of turn 2 again, so I gave up.

It was just brutal. My rolling wasn't even that bad- but my opponent had plenty of tanks and guns- my Dark Eldar just couldn't catch a break at all. I was absolutely despondent at the end of the games. I barely put up a fight at all. I don't mind losing- I get upset when it wasn't even a contest, like why did I even bother putting my minis down? I no sooner put them down and I had to scoop them all up. My opponent was gracious both times to be sure. Still- I was shamed, to say the least.

So what happens now? No, I will not put the DE back on the shelf for another edition. I will find a way to make the army work. I just think in this edition of overwatch and Imperial Knights that the new DE book as it is now just isn't enough (they took Haywire Grenades from Wyches- WTF?). The supplement (Covens) is hardly much better (though a couple of the formations are interesting). I am at a loss on what to do here. And you know I love my Dark Eldar army...

Campaign for Trovana Prime Update

 I played another battle against my friend Brian in our campaign last week. As you may be aware, I have been running a few articles about the Judgement of Trovana Prime (look HERE and THERE for the most recent posts). I have been enjoying the campaign, but I haven't won a game yet, which is odd for me. Not that the games haven't been competitive (some have been blowouts, most have been really close). The best "victory" I got was that I destroyed his Imperial Knight (meaning he can't use it again for the rest of the campaign).


So this week we played a Maelstrom of War mission (Cloak and Shadows). This mission has the deployment at the short edges- a long way to trek to get to the other side. I played very well, plenty of killing on both sides. However, the tactical objective cards just wouldn't come to me- I kept getting cards for objectives that were on my opponents side; while he kept getting cards for objectives that were ON his side. As a result, the final score was 10 to 1... BUT in terms of kills and objectives held it was much much closer.


Brian remarked that while he loves the card missions for variety, he also feels that it may be too random- he acknowledged that the game was much, much closer than the lopsided victory points would suggest. Nevertheless, he repelled my advance into his territory, and the campaign goes on.

I did learn a few things though-

1) Plague Marines should use plasma- I had always equipped them with Meltas, but I have since discovered that it is tough to get them close enough for Meltas to make the difference. Plasma Guns have the better range and are still S 7 AP 2, which still gives you a chance to explode a vehicle.


2) Obliterators- I have always been reluctant about using them- they are a bit pricey compared to havocs, but their versatility is key. They got in some great shots until Brian's Centurions grav gunned 'em down like bitches (did I mention how much I hate these guys?).

3) Daemon Princes- they are a bit funky, especially with grounding tests, and they can't charge ground units if they were in the air the previous turn, which is annoying. However, I used the Prince to harass the ground troops with Smite, and he did charge and destroy a Storm Talon. Not too shabby.

4) Plague Drones- they are great, bringing some speed to Nurgle. However, they don't work well against Terminators, let's put it that way. Next time I'll try to have them go after regular marines or vehicles instead.

Well, that's all I have for now. I am slowly but surely painting stuff, which I'll be sure to post when it is all finished. Until next time...


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Campaigning in 40K Part 4- The Progress So Far

Hey there Chaos followers one and all! Old Man Chaos is back from a trip to the seventh circle of the Eye of Terror, so to speak. I recently moved, which was a "slight" ordeal. It has been a couple of weeks since I put paintbrush to model (nor have I been able to post), which is disappointing; but life goes on! I should be back to painting in no time at all, once I get my new digs set up.

Using the old charge plastic counters to show attacks on the map
So, for this article I'm going to summarize my Trovana Prime campaign as it went these past few months. If you have been following my series, you know that I have longed to do a big campaign. I have only ever done one (which was a lot of fun but collapsed under its own weight- the rules were a bit too much). After years of fiddling and streamlining, I came up with a new campaign ruleset- the Judgement of Trovana Prime.

My zombie list wrecked havoc- but the Imperials still won!
So, we began the campaign in earnest this summer- I kept it small- it was my brother, my friend (and newly converted 40K fanatic) Brian and myself. I set up the campaign narrative as such that all three factions- Space Marines, Imperial Guard, and Chaos could reasonably all fight each other. I was excited- it would be time to see if my new rules panned out as well as I hoped.

Brian learned to fear Defilers and Soul Grinders
Thankfully, I can report that the campaign rules have functioned much better than our last iteration. The map phase is cleaner, the environmental tables work well, and the "Plot Threads" have added some spice to the proceedings so far (more on that in a second).  The game has been fast paced with lots of battles happening.

However, it was not without hiccups. After a few battles, my brother said he was done with the campaign- he just didn't want to commit the time needed for such a lengthy game. That was quite frustrating- but I wrote it into the plot, saying law and order has almost broken down, and while some guard are active, the Adeptus Astartes are in charge now. It made narrative sense, thankfully.

The campaign has been a ride, that is for sure. Ironically, I have only won a few games, while newcomer Brian has used his Ultramarines/Grey Knights to wipe the floor with my Chaos forces. I am in no way sore about it- I just can't believe that after all this time of wanting a campaign I am performing so poorly! I suppose that war has its fortunes, good and bad. It has certainly pushed me to experiment with other lists/ideas...
If I'm using Noise Marines the situation MUST be desperate
Yet, all is not lost. At our most recent game, Brian decided to bring forth his Imperial Knight for the second time. If you recall from my "Plot Threads" posting, the Imperial Knight, Baneblade, and Lord of Skulls all count as Lords of War for their faction. If they are destroyed, they cannot be used for the rest of the campaign. Brian had previously used the Imperial Knight in one of our earlier games; the Knight was brutal; the Knight was simply vicious.I barely scratched him.

Veritas of House Dilabor marches against the forces of Chaos
So, Brian boasted that he was bringing the Knight in for our most recent battle. I decided, rather than go for victory, I would instead go for his Knight. I created a list of Traitor Guardsmen, using the Astra Millitarum book. Thus I had a ton of lascannons, tanks, and more. I took tons of shots at him in the first turn doing significant damage in the process (his ion shields blocked some, sadly). However, he was still alive and kicking.

This tank crew was assigned the task of destroying the Imperial Knight
 In his first turn, he retaliated, blowing up scores of guardsmen and stomping two tanks as if they were paper- I really thought my gambit was going to fail. But, at the start of the second turn, my remaining Traitor Guard lascannon teams whittled away the remaining  hull points, and the Knight was destroyed (and what a roll!). This is exactly the result I wanted- now he cannot use the damnable thing any more, giving me an opening in future games to use the Lord of Skulls with a bit more safety.

The Lascannon crew that destroyed Veritas
The game did go as expected afterwards- once I killed the Knight the Space Marines and Grey Knights sought revenge, and it was ugly. They just cut through my remaining guardsmen like a scythe, and there was little I could do to stop them. The Imperial Knight had done so much damage in a single turn that I could not regroup enough. I conceded the game, but Brian knew victory had cost him dearly. The loss of Veritas of House Dilabor could alter the entire campaign. I have never been so happy about losing a game!

The die roll that spelled the doom of Veritas, Knight of House Dilabor
We have not been able to play the campaign for the past few weeks due to my moving. Now that I am (kind of) settled, I intend to strike back ever harder at my worthy opponent. I will let you know the progress of the campaign, as well as the modelling I will be able to accomplish once I set up my new hobby area- did I hear someone say Voidraven Bomber? Lol

Until next time...