Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Blog!

This blog is being permanently moved over to http://maddeningwords.wordpress.com please feel free to update your links and tell your friends.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas and Capes

Since I haven't posted much in several months I have decided to give my followers a little Christmas present.  I present, for your reading pleasure, a sort of prelude to Task Force Valkyrie, newly updated and refurbished.  This story is the very first time the characters of Task Force Valkyrie ever appeared in print, from a collection of stories I wrote called "Hero's Club".  I hope you enjoy it.


Hero's Club
Christmas and Capes

The tree was not officially a Christmas Tree, but rather a bit of Holiday Flora thanks to a few dissenting views with some of the club's senior membership. It did not detract from its beauty however, and despite the seven foot menorah glowing proudly in one corner of the massive hall, it was the massive pine that filled the gathered men and women with awe. Its needles were shining titanium, glistening with silver tinsel. Globes of every size and color hung from its branches, some simple plastic while others housed entire universes within their spheres. Each hero in the club had the right to add their own decoration to the tree, and every one of them had, despite religious barriers. The Valiant Hammer had placed a large anvil near the bottom of the tree, sprinkled with the flaking snow caused by the gentle storm that The Magician had summoned high in the dome. The Manhattan Project had an old paper gingerbread man that her daughter had made years ago sitting amongst a circle of multicolored dancing electrons that Snazzy Girl had used to light the tree this season. At the highest peak, above the snowstorm, was the pinnacle of the tree. A majestic bright star had been placed there by 1, the world's greatest hero, and was visible even through the snowing clouds. It shone its light down upon the gathered crowd of costumed people at its base, and enveloped all gathered in its brilliance.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Help Help Help!

This is the end, my only friends, the end...

Or something to that effect, at least.  After the release of the White Dwarf codex of Sisters of Battle I completely and utterly lost all interest in Warhammer 40k as a gaming platform.  I know that sounds kind of whiny, but I honestly didn't mean for it to happen, it just did.

I played in the 3++ Ladder before the codex came out and managed an amazing 0 Wins, 3 Ties and 1 Loss.  I never really claimed to be a tournament level player, and this event really proved it for me.  Halfway through the ladder tournament players were allowed to restructure their armies and, since a new codex had come out for me, I had to use that one.  The end result of this was me staring at the codex for a while, then just decided not to continue competing.  I felt like I'd been abandoned, and I really didn't feel like trying to fight tooth and nail for draws anymore, especially with an update that would require me to completely relearn army tactics.

I liked the idea of switching over to Warmachine, as the aesthetics for Khador really made me giggle with glee, but a lack of local players and a lack of time and money to invest has put me off of it.  I would love to be reinvigorated with Warhammer 40k, but I just can't think of anything I want out of the war game anymore.  I still enjoy the setting, and the RPGs, but the actual game itself leaves me feeling apathetic.

So, I present here a chance for anyone still reading this to help me find that lost magic again!  Comments are open to advice!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Secret Project REVEALED!

Finally the secret project I have been ambiguous about is revealed after months and months (personal issues of the artist) not to mention all the other bits of quiet I am going through right now.  The artist has been in a state of desperation about getting an American visa and moving, which has caused a lot of delays and hiatuses from her.  My own issues, employment being the number one, have been affecting my ability to work closely with her as well.  But anyway, enough excuses, let's hear about this secret project that's had me all tied up in knots.

Myself and Raylene, my good personal friend, have collaborated together to create something that I have wanted to do for a long time, a comic book.  That up there is the working draft (unfinished) of the cover for "Task Force: Valkyrie" a superhero comic about an all female team of heroes sent out to scout and recruit newfound powers into the superhero community.  I have, since I was a kid, been a comics nut.  I started on the teeth gritting ambiguously fingered Rob Liefield work of the nineties with all the various X books and have moved on from them into the awe inspiring Gail Simone books, the beauty in the face of ruin tales of Warren Ellis and the eldritch screams of Alan Moore as he summons the snake god onto the comic page.  They were my very first love (besides Henry James) and I still hold them close to my heart, as anyone who follows War Dolls can attest to.

"Task Force: Valkyrie" is the tale of four superheroic women of different backgrounds coming together to mutually dislike each other and be the absolute worst PR team in history.  The team leader, Snazzy Girl, pictured front, is a no nonsense pretentious alpha bitch who comes off as more passive aggressive than actually effective.  To the left is Bruiser, a smiling moron who gets by solely on the fact that she can punch a hole in a bank vault and walk through hails of gunfire without any apparent ill effects.  In the back is The Canopener, an angsty, anti-social teenager with severe self-image issues and a bad temper and finally, in the glasses, is Ultimate Girl, a tabloid super heroine who shows up on more red carpets than crime scenes.

I don't want to give too much away at the moment since this comic is going to show up in full color on this very blog soon enough, but the first plotline involves the team trying to recruit a powerful alien being to the side of good while a menacing evil presence works from behind the scenes to make sure that the alien destroys the team instead.  Please look forward to it.  It's far from completion, but I will update here with different sketches and page concepts as the comic moves forward until everything is set for a full public release.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Radical: Remembrancer

This is Radical part X.  For more check the table of contents here.

I had never before laid eyes upon the Eldar, and immediately I could see how so many had fallen under their sway over the millenia. They stood before us in that clearing, tall and graceful, their armor all smooth lines and slow curves. There was something dreamlike about them. As their leader approached, Kane turned back to us, raising his hand. “Sisters, lay your weapons down. We have no quarrel with the Eldar today.”

He spoke in a manner I had never heard him use before. Usually Kane was a bit gruff and to the point with his speech, but in the presence of these xenos he seemed to have, for the first time, taken on a more respectful tone. I could understand that. There was something in the essence of the Eldar that seemed to command respect and awe. I think if I had been anyone other that a daughter of the Emperor himself I might have fallen into that trap myself. Instead I kept my bolter trained on the nearest of the Eldar, ready. Kora seemed conflicted for a moment, but knelt and laid her stormbolter down into the mud, though her eyes never left the Eldar themselves.

Kane smiled at her and turned to the Eldar. He opened his mouth to speak, but one of the xenos moved with a speed I had never seen before, and the butt of its rifle cracked across Kane's face and brought him staggering down to one knee. He gagged as he tried to rise, finding the barrel of the Eldar rifle shoved so far into his mouth that he gagged, bile spilling over his lips. Kora's reaction was instantaneous. She leapt forward to the inquisitor's aid, but faster than the eyes could see another of the Eldar brought her down. It crouched over her prone form, holding a knife to her throat. I could do nothing, the remaining three xenos had their rifles trained on me and I had no doubt that their reflexes would see me dead before I could even twitch my finger on the trigger of my bolter. Still, we are an order founded my martyrs and I was prepared to do my duty when a new voice broke into the clearing.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More updates on crap you have yet to see results for

So, since I am once again unemployed, my last position being temporary, I have tons of free time once again and am cranking up my production to match the level of boredom I have sitting around the house playing video games all damned day.  A girl can only play so much Fallout before she needs to actually accomplish things again.  So, without further ado, here we go.

Project 1: The Adeptus Mechanicus FanDex COMPLETED
 I've finally finished all of the writing I've been doing for it, and the actual book should be published pretty soon.  According to inside sources they're doing some final playtesting tweaks, then the newest edition of the book will be released soon afterwards.  The book will feature some original art and tons of original stories from myself and other amazing writers, so look forward to it.  (I hear the rules kick a little ass too.)

Project 2: The War Dolls IN PROGRESS
Me and three other wonderful gaming bloggers are creating a girl gamers blog.  You can see the chatbox for it just down there where the old 3++ one used to be. (Forgive me Kirby!)  We're looking at kicking this thing off by either doing a gigantic 4 player Armageddon style stomp fest with our favorite armies or a 40k ladder where we all play each other.  Either way, expect a series of battle reports and awesome from that.  You can find the blog, which is currently blank, here.

Project 3: Radical IN PROGRESS
It's not dead!  I have just been so busy at work that I haven't had time to throw down with Regina, Kora and the rest recently.  In the meantime I have plotted out the rest of the story, made some editing choices and gotten everything all worked out.  The newest chapter "Remembrancer" is being written as we speak and will be up and posted within the week.

Project 4: The Legend of Truslug IN PROGRESS
This is a story series I am writing specifically for War DollsThis series will tell the story of Slug, an Ork Boy, and his rise through the ranks of his Waaagh.  There aren't a lot of Ork point of view stories being published, and I always thought that was a shame, since Orks are so full of personality and possibility.  Fans of my narrative battle reports about Orks should really look forward to The Legend of Truslug.

Much ado about this thing, I know, but I promise it's there and all will be revealed the second my artist finishes up her work.  I really love the idea of a big reveal with flashy color and everything, so I am still keeping a lid on this one, at least until some part of it is ready to be shown off in its completeness.  We're right now working on adjusting the art just slightly and fixing some minor editing problems.  It's under production right now though, and I promise it's gonna be fun.

Project 6: Edmund Filo Floating in the Aether
That old Edmund FIlo story that randomly appeared up here one late night was the result of whiskey and insomnia.  I like the idea, and I enjoy the character a bunch, and I had a ton of fun writing it, but it's not a huge priority right now.  This doesn't mean I won't get back to it, it just means that I have a ton of other stuff on my plate and this guy is definitely on the back burner.  Popular opinion might change that though.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

On the tactical and practical uses of explosions

In honor of July 4th, Independence Day (America Fuck Yeah Day for my international audience) I have decided to talk about one of my very favorite American traditions, blowing shit up!

Whether explosions come in the form of blast templates, AoE markers, carefully measured pieces of string, counted out movement tiles or the ever popular Michael Bay style giant fireball, explosions exist for the specific reason of doing fucktons of damage to a large area, generally in the hopes of killing as many dudes as possible. In wargaming they hold a very important crowd control roll in many armies. One of the best ways to handle an IG blob or Ork Mob is to start dropping blast templates on it. Shrapnel saves lives, namely the lives of the people giving it away (Free gifts for everyone!).

I am notorious for my love of high explosives and things that go boom boom boom. There's a rule in my tabletop group that Carrie is not allowed to have anything explosive or flamable at any time. You see I've always been of the opinion that there's no kill like overkill and it's impossible to dodge a mushroom cloud. The fact that me or my allies might also be in the blast radius is usually a secondary concern. Just ask my poor Orks when the Boomgun and Shokk Attack Gun start going off. So obviously I am not the most efficient user of explosions there's ever been, but that's okay. I have fun. And fun is the whole point of explosions, look at the opening boxoffice for Transformers 3. People love things that go boom, and also possibly Shia LeBouef.

So, that being said, when is the best time to "give him the explodey?". Well, if you ask me, always, but we'll pretend I'm a rational person for now and look at what explosions do for you, the consumer. First, explosions kill dudes ded. When you need thirty goblins gone in a single turn, it's fireball time, ask any DnD player. Nothing kills large crowds like a good kaboom. Second, explosions and loud and bright. Want someone looking the other way? Blow up something and I promise all eyes will be on the giant ball of fire. If you start dropping bombs on the left, you've got a good chance of sneaking your guys on the left. Michael Bay's explosions are so good at distraction all that terrible acting and horrendous script goes almost unnoticed. Third, explosions knock stuff down. Not so great in a lot of wargames, where terrain is inviolate and sacred, but in RPGs somes and RPG is just what you need for getting through that pesky locked door (according to my DM having a high lockpick does not give me a bonus to demolitions. Nazi.)

Explosions are the swiss army knife of the gaming world. With proper and judicious use of explosives there is no problem that can't be solved, or at least turned into a different problem. So rejoice my friends, and let the booms out to play.
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