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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...


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.


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.


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. 


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...