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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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Secret Project Update

Due to some production delays the secret project as been slightly delayed in being revealed. It's nothing huge (the artist's desk is currently hidden under piles of her roommate's moving out boxes) and if anything it should only be a short delay.

Along with the minor delay comes a change in art style. After seeing the preliminary proofs I had the artist make a few changes. I felt art nouveau didn't properly capture the feeling I was trying to get across and so we switched to a slightly more modern style with hints of art deco to enhance the overall feel. We also went a bit bolder with the colors to create a more dynamic style.

This is feeling less like a secret project right now than a baby whose due date is rapidly approaching and I haven't told anyone the gender yet.
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Sunday, June 26, 2011

A numbers game

I told you quitting wasn't going to last long. Sundays are slow at work so I decided to run a numbers game as seen here: (excuse the lack of formatting I'm posting this on my phone while having lunch). This is basically a numerical measurement of my army's potential against a MEQ army in terms of being dead killy. I only ran the numbers for my standard 2k ork composition, but let's see how I did!

Marines shot per game: 84
Marines chopped per game: 208.35
Rhinos destroyed per game: 18.85
Land Raiders destroyed per game: 5.15

Now this is only the pure potential of my army and does not reflect an actual game, but its a good judge of raw firepower. Now let's compare it to the orks that won third at Nova.

Marines shot per game: 94.5
Marines chopped per game: 228.75
Rhinos destroyed per game: 80
Land Raiders destroyed per game: 31.04

Holy crap! I got owned! And I might be mistaken, but isn't Nova an 1850 tournament? Obviously my list is very far from optimised. Maybe I should rethink its structure... Nah. I'm pretty far from a competitive player, and I don't plan on entering any tournaments any time soon. Still, interesting to know how far behind I am in competitive list building.

PS: I have been informed my secret project will be ready to be revealed within the week!
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Saturday, June 25, 2011

That is not dead which can eternal procrastinate.

Fear not my fine feathered friends, I'm not dead or in the hospital again or anything.  I'm working on my secret project and also trying to come up with both a new design for this blog and also finishing up my work on the Adeptus Mechanicus codex.  That last one is going kind of slow, with me being pulled in every direction and not really having time to flesh out a good idea for my last bit of the project.  So very sorry Lantz, I promise I'm working on it.

In the mean time, my secret project looks like it aught to be revealed pretty soon as progress on that is going so much more swimmingly than everything else.  Work is taking up a whole lot of my time, which is severely cutting into my writing and thinking time, and as many of you know I'm not exactly pleased with Games Workshop and officially "quit" 40k.  This is mostly a tantrum and is quite likely to pass as I am not exactly known for holding grudges against people I never dated (or anyone who doesn't play for the Detroit Redwings).  Still, it's taken a bit of the drive out of me.  Radical is still going to continue, I promise.

One thing I have been looking at getting into is Warmachine.  I played a little bitty battlebox game of it on Vassal the other day with Mistress of Minis, and had a lot of fun with it.  What does everyone else think?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Format change and other quandries

First off, I apologize for the lack of posting recently, I have been currently working on another project which I'm not quite ready to reveal to the world yet.  It is something I have been looking forward to for years, and a dear friend is helping me out with it.  I haven't wanted to say anything until it was almost ready to be revealed, which it is.  Look here first for the big day!

Secondly, the format of my blog is going to change from a 40K blog to a more generalized format to meet with a new direction that will incorporate my new project along with some old ones I have been fiddling with.  The new format will be a Fiction in Nerddom style, rather than focusing purely on 40K or even war gaming in general.

And finally, I am going to be hanging up my power armor spurs.  As of this moment Commissar Carrie, delighted friend and happy lady in general, will no longer be a proud participator in Warhammer 40K.  Shock and awe, I know!  I have, very recently, been feeling rather lackluster about the game, and a recent announcement has pushed me over the edge.  I am not a particular fan of the current metagame and gaming atmosphere of 40K, and with a wash of new releases for all of the third edition codexes coming out (GK, Necrons, DE) I feel slighted.  Rather than whine and bitch (I am trying to get that all out of my system in this paragraph) I've just decided to move on from the game.  I still thoroughly enjoy the universe and setting of the grim dark future, but the game itself I am quietly putting on the shelf along with my small horde of much loved and thoroughly unpainted models.  Radical will still continue, but once it has finished that'll probably be done for me.  Behold, I am become emo, destroyer of fun.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Creating Characters: Viewpoint

While this is, nominally, a 40K blog, since I have been getting the most attention for my writing rather than my gaming, I thought this might be a good chance to go ahead and throw some good old fashioned advice column in here.

Now, as a tabletop gamer I know that creating a character is one of the most vital parts of the entire endeavor, and one that many people struggle with, whether they know it or not.  This same struggle comes up when creating characters for fictional universes, whether they be in stories or games.  Many gamers enjoy creating characters for their 40K armies, naming their Space Marine captains or Farseers or Crisis Commanders.  This is colloquially known as fluff.  But what makes good fluff characters and bad fluff characters?  The same thing that makes good literary characters and bad literary characters.

Up above you see one of my favorite characters of all time, one Homer J Simpson.  Homer is, to me, a wonderful example of a character.  He exhibits all of the characteristics required to create an engaging and memorable character.  He is multifaceted,relatable, goal oriented and, above all, terrifically human.  Originally, The Simpsons focused on the antics of Bart, but as the series matured the focus moved on towards Homer as he was less one dimensional than his mischievous son and provided more options for storylines.  His mixture of below average intelligence, determination to solve problems and general lack of foresight came together to create a character that is both alien and all too familiar.  We, as humans, do not want to hear stories about the everyday lives of ourselves, we want to hear stories about the adventures of our exceptional neighbors.

Not every character has to be Homer Simpson.  In fact, one of the reasons that Homer is so memorable is the fact that he has cast a unique mold for himself in our psyches, one which other shows in the same genre have tried to emulate with varying degrees of success.  The key to a good character though is not in the external challenges or the superficial characteristics, but in the viewpoint of the character itself.  Homer is constantly flabbergasted, bewildered and in over his head; his stories reflect this by making everything seem larger and more difficult than it is.  Peter Griffin of Family Guy, however, is possessed more of a supreme and mislaid self confidence mixed with dramatic hyperactivity.  This results in stories about relatively similar character archetypes, the dim witted husband and father, having entirely different styles and themes thanks entirely to the character's viewpoint.

Let's look at another example:

The Cross Counter: Dramatis Extremus
Everyone knows the man on the right, Superman, but his not quite as popular counterpart there is Captain Marvel. On the outside they are remarkably alike.  Tall, muscular men with shining black hair, they are both impossibly strong, impossibly tough and impossibly fast.  They can fly, they fight badguys, they're both in the same superhero organization, how are they different?  While one could argue powers forever, the differences in the characters themselves is a matter of viewpoint.  Superman is an alien, forever alone on the planet, the Last Son of Krypton, protecting his adopted home because he feels that it is right and just.  He is a fully grown man with staunch convictions and experience who knows how to use his strength to achieve his goals.  Captain Marvel, on the other hand, is a young boy with the power to become "Superman".  He has not had time to grow into his convictions, but instead simply apes what he believes to be honest and true.  He moves through life with the innocence of a child and the strength of a man.  He does what is right not because of decisions he has made, but because of a childlike naivete that right is right and wrong is wrong.  While Superman's actions are guided by reason, Captain Marvel's are guided by emotion.  This results in characters with vastly different viewpoints and thus vastly different stories.

To bring this back around into 40K I'd like to contrast two more characters, one bad, one good.

There can be only one!

Why is one good and one bad?  Because one is a person with a viewpoint and the other one is testosterone with weapons.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Edmund Filo, Brigand and Rogue

Part the First
Edmund vs The Gladiators

Edmund Filo was not a man to be taken lightly. He had, in his time, been a liar, a thief, a cut-purse, an assassin, a naval commander and, once, a gourmet chef. It was this vast experience that made him such a success both in his chosen career, and his everyday life. Several years before he entered the gladitorial arena on Cumsaka V, Edmund had gotten into a tarot game with an Inquisitor, a Rogue Trader and a High Lord of Terra. How a man of his meager means had managed to gain entrance into such prestigious company would have remained a mystery of the ages had not subsequent investigations revealed that he had drugged all of the wine with hallucinogens and seduced the Inquisitor's mistress.

The result of this historic card game became legend as a man with no political standing whatsoever came away from the table with a Warrant of Trade, an Inquisitorial commission and a three legged dog named Vexillarius. Recordings of the game reveal that Edmund cheated unabashedly and poorly and touched none of the wine. For three years Sir Inquisitor Lord Captain Filo, as he liked to call himself when the actual Inquisition wasn't chasing him, robbed, pillaged and generally made a nuisance of himself throughout the Davoth Subsector in the cruiser he had won along with the Warrant of Trade.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Liscensed Vulgarity

Today's topic is one that I hold close to my heart, the use of the English language.  English is a horrible bastardization of German, French, Latin and a half dozen other dialects that results in a wildly popular pidgin mess of beautiful chaos.  We've got words that mean twelve things, we've got words that mean nothing (Deceptively is deceptively deceptive!) and we've got words we're absolutely positively no matter what not allowed to say in public otherwise our mothers will wash our mouths out with lye soap.  But let's hold back for a moment and think about that.  There are words we have been told all of our lives not to say, and so we don't say them.  Is there anything wrong with that?  I believe that it's a personal choice on whether or not you cuss like a sailor or have a tongue as pure as a virgin nun's wet dripping snowcone.  Now the problem here is when whether or not you spout off like a woman giving birth is some elses' choice and not your own.

I'm talking, mainly, about Licensed Media, with Games Workshop's Black Library publications coming immediately to mind.  No matter what else may happen in the story, not a single daemon or chaos cultist, rugged adventurer or dying space marine will ever mutter a four letter word.  Why?  Should I even have to ask?  Honestly, it's obvious, isn't it?

For God's sake, Carrie, children read these books!  You can't put vulgarity in there where children can read!  Of course, how could I be so stupid?  Obviously we wouldn't want the children reading these books to repeat language they read in a book written about a game.  So absolutely no curse words.  None.  Instead include another scene where the protagonist skins a small child alive and hangs his body from a lamp post.  Now that's a great idea!

Sarcasm much?  I know, I know.  I just find it weird that in a setting that exalts ultraviolence and genocide there can't be any naughty words, and any kind of sex better just be alluded to.  Now it's true, some books might be a little bit more sexually oriented than others, but there's never anything explicit.  Now while I'm not saying that there should be graphic sex in every novel, I do find it a little bit odd that death, murder and mayhem is more socially acceptable than tits.

So, I want to go back to that metaphor I left hanging in the air back in the first chapter.  You say a curse word, and your mommy washes your mouth out with soap.  Now, what would your mommy do if you showed everyone your private bits?  She'd probably get very embarrassed and lock you up in your room while she sat in the kitchen drinking her life away and wondering where she went wrong.  But what would she do if you tortured a man to death so brutally that his dying screams summoned an army of the damned from a thousand light years away?  (That's Lord of Night again, I get a lot of mileage out of that one).  Well, if she didn't pat you on the back and hand you a cookie with a friendly, "Good job, kid" then she's not Games Workshop.

It's a common thing in media that while graphic violence is ok, sex and cursing is not.  Well, unless you're on Starz.  And why is that?  I think the answer is obvious.

PS: Up there where it says snowcone it should say cunt.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Radical: Reunion

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

In the decade between the Invasion of Ulric and my next meeting with Isimbard Kane I had achieved some modicum of glory. I was recognized as a survivor of the fight with the daemon, an event which took the lives of several Grey Knights and an Imperial Inquisitor, along with my own sisters. I had been retained as a bodyguard for the Inquisitor Gibbius Vecht of the Ordo Hereticus, along with the remainder of the Cleansing Fire Commandery. During this service I fought in the purge of Scarran, I participated the destruction of a chaos cult on MacCragge itself, and I found myself alongside guardsmen once more when Inquisitor Vecht was called to assist in a particularly dangerous hunt for the rogue psyker Dasar. I was promoted from Battle Sister to Sister Superior. But my career, as prestigious as it might have been, was nothing compared to that of Isimbard Kane.

Kane gained fame for his defeat of the daemon on Ulric and was adopted into the Ordo Xenos as an Interrogator. While an Interrogator Kane personally put an end to a genestealer cult on the eastern rim and assassinated a Tau leader. Upon being promoted to Inquisitor, Kane halted an Ork Waaagh in the Davoth subsector by using Navigators and Astropaths to create a storm in the warp large enough to wipe out the entire greenskin fleet. Then he led an assault on an Eldar Craftworld, driving the foul race from it with flame, fire and a Deathwatch company. In the ten short years since he had come to the galaxy's attention he had become the stuff of legends. He never tried to hide his identity, instead preferring to operate in high profile conflicts, unerringly following an innate instinct which allowed him to emerge victorious from every conflict with the foul xeno.

I will be honest, I felt nervous as I waited for him to arrive. He'd contacted Vecht about rumors he had heard of a xenos cult on the backwater world of Ondine. The planet, a lush place of verdant green fields and thick forests, had been colonized only a few years before. Some xeno race must have attacked the colonists, or Kane never would have involved himself. Vecht, smelling glory in the air, had invited Kane onto our ship, Nolo Contende, and offered him the use of our forces in his mission. Our forces, at the time, consisted of Vecht himself and fifteen of us sisters, cut down from the original twenty-seven who had survived on Ulric by the previous decade's conflicts. While it was true that he could have mustered a few hundred men from the ship's security detail, Vecht generally considered his group of veteran Sororitas bodyguard to be enough to handle any conflict, and so far he'd been right. If only he had been this time as well.

Radical: Table of Contents

In the effort to make an easier browsing experience for readers, I hereby institute the Radical Table of Contents.  This means no one has to go sneaking around through my blog in terror, avoiding the foul xeno on the way to their goal.  Ain't I nice? (And a bit overdue?)

The Invasion of Ulric
1) Hell
2) Healing
3) Heretics
4) Hymn
5) Hero

Inquisitor Null's Intermission Report

The Ondine Expedition
6) Reunion
7) Rain
8) Resurrection
9) Rest
10) Remembrancer

Radical: Rest

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

We fled through the jungle for hours, Kane ranging ahead to clear a path while Kora pulled me along on my injured leg. I don't think any of us actually knew where we were going except away from that clearing. We had no idea what had happened to the rest of the group, or even if they'd survived. All we could do was pray that Vecht had gotten them out of there and was on his way to the shuttle, otherwise we were stuck in this Emperor forsaken jungle for the rest of what were about to be our very short lives.

During the battle I hadn't had time to pull that Necrontyr claw out of my leg, but at some point it had come loose, and now my boot was filling with blood. Somehow, I didn't think about bleeding to death, but rather about getting some kind of fungal infection from having wet feet. I'm sure that meant that I was already in pretty bad shape. Eventually Kora shouted ahead at Kane, calling for a stop so that she could see about doing something for my leg. Reluctantly, the Inquisitor came back to us and pointed out a sheltered hollow under a fallen tree that we could take shelter in. As we settled in, Kane kept a close eye on the jungle around us. “I don't hear anything.”

“It's impossible to hear anything with all of this rain,” Kora said, and she was right. The constant downpour had turned into an all out storm now, and the heavy drops hitting the canopy above us produced a deafening din that drowned out the ambient noises of the jungle. I propped my back up against the roots of the fallen tree and began unfastening my boot and greave. Kora helped me, and gasped as at least a liter of blood sloshed out of my boot onto the ground. “By the Emperor Regina, how are you still walking?” I just shrugged and laid my head back, glad for the rest.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Radical: Resurrection

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

They couldn't be alive. They had no organs, no muscles, no minds. The metal men were just that, metal formed into the vague shape of men. There were no engines powering them or motors making them move. The metal men were simply impossible. But they still came on, knife fingers snipping towards us, long, expressionless faces gazing at us with glowing green eyes. Janine hit them with the flamer again, but they ignored it, and why wouldn't they? There was no flesh to burn, no nerves to feel pain, just heartless metal intent on death. I dropped the clip out of my bolter and fumbled a new one into place, then fired. The explosive shells impacted into the oncoming mass. Here one would fall, there another would stumble, but they didn't slow down. To my horror the injured ones picked themselves back up, their bodies reforming right before my eyes. I think that, by then, I was screaming.

Kora saved us. She came out of nowhere, her stormbolter blazing, and the two creatures in the lead fell into twitching piles. “Regina, where's the Inquisitor?”

“Here!” Kane shouted, his power sword cleaving through the neck of a metal man who had come up behind Kora. Two more nimble flicks of his wrist sent the thing to the ground in several pieces. His bolt pistol barked twice, then empty, he threw it at one of the things with a growl. “Necrontyr,” he said, holding his sword in a low guard. “This was the last thing I was expecting. How could I be so stupid?”

Monday, May 16, 2011

Upon being flabbergastingly drunk.

This this is my blog and I can rant about what I want to, allow me to just say that I am rip roaringly flabbergastingly drunk and I appreciate each and everyone one of you fine fellows and ladies who read my blog.  It is for you that I continue, and it is in your interests that I try to produce the highest quality material which I can.  (Though it is true that I was spoiled by MS Word 07 a while back and now that I don't have it the lack of autocorrect is blatantly obvious sometimes.)  While it is true that I am entirely and hugely drunk on many many shots of whiskey, I think that it is important to let all of you know how much I appreciate your continued patronage.

Without your support I could not continue, and I want nothing more than to make your experience here the absolute best it can be.  I can speak candidly about this because my good friend Jackie D. is telling me it's okay.  Because of this, I encourage each and every one of you to share your comments and opinions.  They make my day.  And in the event of emergency please break glass, fasten seat belts, move in an orderly fashion towards the nearest exits and tell your loved ones how much you love them (otherwise they would not be loved ones!).

I, again, thank everyone who showed concern for me during my time in the hospital and throughout my recovery, which is now officially over, thus the celebratory alcoholism.  If there is anything I can do to make your visits here more enjoyable please let me know.  Also tell your friends.  I do so love an audience (Leo, ya know?).

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Radical: Rain

 This is Radical part VII.  For more check the table of contents here.
The rain never stopped, on Ondine. The entire planet was covered in perpetual cloud cover that made the equatorial forests a bog of mud and mists. Inquisitor Vecht had taken one look at the weather outside and begun a tirade that was still going on the third day of our expedition. We couldn't search for these ruins of Kane's from the air with the jungle canopy being so thick, and we had no vehicles that could make their way through the terrain without getting stuck or disabled. I would have given over my bolter for a squad of Catachan veterans. Instead what we had were all fifteen of we sisters, the two Inquisitors and a trio of Deathwatch marines which were considerably more impressive aboard the shuttle than they were here in the muck. Their large bodies and heavy armor proved to be more detriment than help in the jungle, and ore than once we had to haul one of them out of a swamp where he'd become completely stuck. This is not to besmirch the Astartes by any means, but they were not made for jungle fighting.

Our power armor kept us safe from the biting insects and barbed plants as we moved, Analyn having made it absolutely clear that we were all to wear our helmets on this trip. Still, the going was rough and unpleasant for all of us except Angelica, who seemed to take great relish in clearing the way for us with wild swings of her eviscerator. The great two handed chainsword made quick work of any vines and undergrowth in our way, not to mention several trees and one feline predator which had thought to ambush us. I don't exaggerate when I say that night we had our best meal of the trip. Field rations are no fit substitute for red meat on a forced march. It was on this third day of the expedition, when Vecht's eloquent rant cut short, that we finally found something.

“This Emperor forsaken mudpit of a planet has exterminatus written all over it. When I get back to the ship I am wiping this place out of the sky. And if another of these thrice cursed warpspawn insects bites me I am burning this entire forest to the ground. Do you hear me Sister Janine? You keep that flamer re- What in the nine daemonic realms of heretic cursed excrement is that?”

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Current Projects

Hey kids, it's me, your ever loving friend and compatriot Commissar Carrie here to give you the lowdown on what's coming up from me in the near future.

First off is the next section/chapter/storyline/event in Radical.  I really gotta figure out what to call these things other than parts...  Anyway, yes, Radical is continuing, though the War on Ulric is over.  It's going to shoot into the future about a decade, but it's still following Regina Winterfield's record of the fate of Isimbard Kane.  Look forward to Necrons and surprises soon!

Second is my Waaagh Walka, which has been sitting unfinished on my desk for several weeks.  I'll get pictures when I finally bother putting on the damn CCW.  Pinning stuff is such a hassle.

Finally, I'm working on writing the fluff pieces for the Adeptus Mechanicus Fan Codex's newest iteration.  I don't think I'm supposed to share them on my blog here, but I highly recommend checking it out once the whole thing is finished.  You can download the current (Non-Carrified*) version here.

There are still going to be sporadic battle reports and a few other more gameplay oriented posts here and there, but that's the stuff currently in the pipeline. If there's anything anyone would like to see let me know in the comments section below.  I'll see what I can do.

*Carrified: (adv)  To have been altered or influenced by Commissar Carrie.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Radical: Intermission Report

For more check the table of contents here.

While this ends Regina Winterfield's report of the Ulric Invasion, it is not, by any means, the end of the war.  Official reports have the end of major conflicts at the time of Inquisitor Argus Fane's death, but sporadic contact with pockets of heretic resistance remained for years, and the planet was not cleansed of chaos taint for another decade when it was consecrated as holy ground by the Ecclesiarch Donald Horbradis as a shrine world.  Even so the Selenium 472 Imperial Guard regiment has been stationed there ever since in lieu of a PDF.

It is unknown when or how the Chaos Space Marines arrived on Ulric, but reports from the battles indicate that at least 200 traitor marines were present on the world at the time of the conflict.  Units from the Word Bearers and Night Lord legions are confirmed to have participated in the fighting.  After the defeat of the daemon Daethlugh, which reports from the surviving Grey Knights indicate was a bloodthirster, the Chaos Marines disappeared from the planet.  The corrupted techpriests apparently were wiped out by Inquisitor Fane and his retinue as no trace of them was ever found after that encounter.

The Cleansing Fire Commandery, originally consisting of over 200 Adepta Sororitas was all but wiped out by the conflict on Ulric.  Less than thirty sisters survived, in total, the vast majority of which were undergoing medical care during the assault on the servitor manufactorum and were unable to join the Inquisitor on the mission.  The survivors of the mission included Palatine Analyn LaFollet, who survived her injures and had much of her body replaced with bionics; Sister Superior Kora Halquin, whose injuries at the hands of the daemon were minimal except for a shattered vertebrae which required a ceramite replacement; Seraphim Angelica Cross, who escaped the conflict without injury and recorded a dozen kills of which half, she claims, were traitor marines; and Sister Regina Winterfield, who was treated for a compound fracture in her leg which apparently went unnoticed for most of the battle due to her power armor acting as a splint.

It took nearly a decade for the commandery to return to full strength, during which time the survivors of Ulric were seconded to Inquisitor Gibbius Vecht of the Ordo Hereticus as his personal bodyguard.  The Cleansing Fire Commandery, even after being reestablished by The Order of Our Martyred Lady, it's parent order, remained stationed on Vecht's ship, Nolo Contende, as his own personal army.

Isimbard Kane, after the events on Ulric, was promoted from simple acolyte to Interrogator in my own service.  Argus Fane had been a personal friend, and I suppressed much of his actions on Ulric until now, believing that while his methods were reprehensible, his goal was pure and guided by The Emperor's light.  I took on his only surviving student willingly, and rapidly recommended him for promotion to full Inquisitor after being thoroughly impressed by his prodigious abilities.  It is only now, with the sins of the son so apparent, that I have begun to see the sins of the father.  Whatever taint led Argus Fane to his destruction was passed down to his student, Isimbard Kane, radical, heretic and traitor.

-Inquisitor Seren Null, Ordo Xenos.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Radical: Hero

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

I remember praying. As the denizens of the warp bore down upon us, teeth flashing and blades gleaming, I dropped to my knees and prayed. The words are lost in my memory. In fact, I'm not even sure if there were any words. I cast my faith into the heavens, full of desperation, and listened for an answer. Around me my sisters, defiant to the end, fired upon the daemon horde, refusing to fall until their duty was done. Amidst them all I was there, a tiny young thing, covered in the blood of my friends, armor dented and weapon empty, my eyes full of tears, begging for salvation. I believe that it is during our darkest moments, when the shadows of our enemies fall over us, that our light burns brightest. The sound that finally drowned out my sobs was like nothing I had ever heard before.

It was a staccato beat, a wordless prayer to The Emperor in the form He loves best. Dozens of stormbolters had raised their voices in response to the roar of the daemon and silenced it. I felt the flying shells whip past me, pulling my hair back from my face, and I looked up at my salvation. They stood well over two meters high, clad in plain, unpainted ceramite power armor. Each of them had their left hand raised, spitting fire into the daemons from stormbolters mounted on their wrists, and in their right hands they held burning swords. I don't know how long I watched them, dazed and staring as more and more of they grey figures appeared before that cogwheel door, appearing in flashes of light that left an ozone smell in the air. It was Sister Superior Halquin who snapped me out of my reverie, shouting, “Grey Knights! Fall back behind them!”

A hand grabbed me by the shoulder and hauled me to my feet, drawing me into the midst of the figures as they moved forward in perfect unison, their boots shaking the ground with every step. The daemons fell back before them, shrieking in pain as the sanctified bolts hit them. In droves they exploded, only to disappear in a howling mass as they were driven back into the warp, one at a time. When the Knights reached them, their swords clove through the daemons. I could see more of the Knights now, appearing on walkways above us, firing down from above into the daemon, securing their flanks and setting up firing lanes. One of the Knights turned back to us, “Where is the Inquisitor?”

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Radical: Hymn

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

The Manufactorum of the Adeptus Mechanicus reminded me of our cathedrals. Great vaulted ceilings rose above us so high that the guttering luminators interspersed around the hallways couldn't reach, and their peaks were shrouded in darkness. Sometimes skittering movement could be heard above us, up in the deep shadows, but there was nothing we could do about it, so we moved on. Moving through the facility took much longer than we had expected, with its twisting corridors and blind turns we had to move slowly, ever on the watch for an ambush.

At what seemed to be regular intervals we'd see signs of battle in the hallways, impacts of bolter shells in the masonry, gashes from chain weapons on the walls, splashes of blood on a luminator giving the entire area an eerie glow. We never found any bodies though, a fact which gave me some kind of odd hope, but which seemed to make Halquin even more nervous and dour. When I asked her about it she said, “Reclamation.” After that she refused to talk about it.

Once, we heard the distinct sound of battle ahead, and we charged forward to meet it, hoping to find our remaining sisters, but the echoes in the maze-like structure proved deceiving. While the battle sounded just around the next corner, we did not find its evidence for quite some time. Once again, there were no bodies, but here the blood still dripped, and warm chunks of ceramite lay scattered in the hallway, warm chunks of power armor blown apart by bolt shells. We were getting close. Halquin called out, “Regina, come here. What does this look like to you?”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Straight Dope

So, since I'm home now and don't have to type on my phone I can give you guys a proper story on exactly where I've been for the past week.  So, here's how it happened.

I was at the local university doing some paperwork, and was just on my way back to my car to go pick up some lunch when I started getting some really bad chest pains.  I thought it was just some heartburn or maybe an anxiety attack or something, but I was sure it would pass.  As I rode up the elevator to the top floor of the parking garage, which was where I had parked, the pain got steadily worse.  Outside, on the roof of the garage I fell down and decided I should probably rest for a second until this whole thing passed.  It did not, in fact, get better.  A nice lady and a nice man found me leaned against a parking barrier trying to catch my breath and managed to convince me to go see a doctor, but not until I'd gotten back up and fallen over again in a grim defiance that is so typical of me.

The nice man took me to the university clinic, where I was thrown into a room, put on an EKG, poked prodded and told, under no uncertain terms, they had no idea what was wrong with me and wanted me the hell out of there since I was a liability and they weren't equipped to deal with emergencies.  They called an ambulance for me, I waved goodbye to the nice man and I was transported VERY SLOWLY to the hospital by a pair of very nice EMTs who told me it sounded like I had some really bad chest cramps.

In the emergency room I was again poked prodded and hooked up to an EKG machine, then eventually I was x-rayed (they had to call the guys twice).  by then my fabulous roommates were there holding my hand and telling me everything way okay and taking bets on what was wrong with me.  One had "Anxiety Attack" the other had "Chest cramps".  Then the doctor came in and said, "Well, you've got a collapsed lung."  Oh the laughs that were had.

I had gotten a spontaneous pneumothorax, which apparently happens when you get a tiny hole in your lung, and your chest cavity fills with air, which forces your lung to collapse due to the pressure.  If you ever saw Three Kings then you'll remember the guy who got shot and had to keep venting his chest, or he'd die.  Well it was basically the same thing, except I didn't get shot, it happened for literally no discernible reason whatsoever.  They kicked my roommates out of the room, and then a very terse surgeon rolled me onto my side, cut an incision between my ribs and rammed 12 inches of rubber tubing into my chest.  He didn't even buy me dinner first.

I have since spent the last week in the hospital draining goop and air from my chest cavity and watching a weeklong NCIS marathon (I wanna be Ziva when I grow up!) while slowly recuperating.  My roommates took shifts staying with me, and then my mom flew 1500 miles to come see me and stayed with me all week.  I have recuperated fine and finally managed to make it home Monday evening, a bit sore, but very glad to be home.

In the week I was in the hospital my pageviews doubled, I got 5 new followers and I received tons of support from the gaming community when I managed to post on my phone in my horribly misspelled and uncapitalized posts uploaded from my phone.  I want to especially thank Porky for pimping my Radical story on his blog and Mike (Who I don't have a link for because I am a terrible person) and my very good friend Camsy Wamsy for all the worry and concern she's been throwing at me for this week.

The Radical story will continue shortly (For anyone who wants to know how I got the last one up while sick, I borrowed a laptop and was up till 3:40 am that night writing it up) and I hope that everyone enjoys it.  Thank you all again for being super awesome, and if there's any word of advice that I can give after my experiences this past week, it's this.

HEAVY FLAMER!  It solves all problems.

PS (Just for C'nor): Radical actually takes place several decades before The Defense of Kornaria City and is something of a background piece on the Cleansing Fire Commandery and Inquisitor Isimbard Kane.  This is before Kora Halquin developed her allergy and was just a Sister Superior in the commandery rather than one of its commanding officers.  You'll notice that in the latest update everyone's favorite Cannoness (or at least mine) Angelica is still a Seraphim, though that doesn't seem to have improved her mood overly much.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Healthiest Update

my lung is reinflated, the tube in my chest is gone and i will be home soon.  everyone congratulate me and wish me well.  i will be back home and making the world of grimdarkness a little brighter.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Radical: Heretics

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

My power armor had not been completely repaired by the time we were on our way, and I spent most of the trip shifting uncomfortably in the suit.  The dents from the heavy bolter rounds that had hit me couldn’t be removed without a more extensive repair facility, so the warped ceramite dug into my ribs with every bump our transport hit.  To go along with this, the knee joints that had been cut through were fixed in a rush job, leaving the articulating musculature inside the armor’s legs twitchy and unreliable.  I walked with a limp, sometimes having to drag my left leg along behind me.  Still, it was better to have malfunctioning armor than none at all, and though I would have gone into battle nude if I’d had to, the Adepta Sororitas are as much a symbol as a fighting force, and the power armor I wore served more purpose than simply bullet stopper and strength enhancer.

The Imperial Guard began shelling the enemy’s flank while we were on route, mostly to keep their heads down as we approached.  From there Dominion squads would serve as spotters for the guard’s guns, lining up more accurate shots on the Mechanicus Facility’s defenses.  Celestians were to get to the manufacotrium themselves and set the melta charges that would bring down the servitor production facility while the rest of the Commandery set up a defensive perimeter inside the facility to cover the Celestians.  From there it was a simple evacuation plan of loading back up into the transports and heading home.  Some of the Harbingers’ thunderhawks were to provide air cover and emergency extraction if necessary.  This mission was expected to have very high casualties, but we were Sisters of Battle.  If anyone was prepared for martyrdom, it was us.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ytet another health update

the medicae really needs to leanr some bedside manner, or to at least come to my bedside at somepoint.  xrays show that i am getting worse, not better, and that is all i know sineno one will freaking talk to me.  more news later.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Even more health update.

my current duty to the emperor has me performing breathing excercises specifically designed to shoot blood pud and who knows what out of my chest cavity and into a bucket.  luckily the omnissiah in his great wisdom saw fit to connect a tube from my torso to the bucket or there would be a frightful mess.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Health Update

to those who are wondering where i am right now, sorry cam, i had a spontaneous pneumothorax, which is doctor talk for my lung collapsed for no reason and left me collapsed in a parking garage.  im currently in the hospital with a tube soved between my ribs draining the air from my chest cavity so my lung can reinflate.  ill be out for a few days to a week, and am updating this from my phone, thus no capital letters.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Radical: Healing

Radical, part II.  For more check the table of contents here.

It was three days before I could return to the front line. The Sisters Hospitaler had reattached the tendons in my legs so that I could walk again, and I was returned to my squad as quickly as they could make me able. Our front line had been secured a few hours after I was pulled from the field by Inquisitor Fane's acolytes when the Harbingers arrived. Never in my life have I seen a sight as magnificent as the rain of steel that fell from the heavens that day. Space Marine drop pods are a marvel of technology whose secret resides rightfully only with the Astartes. Should radicals ever get their hands on them our forces would be hard pressed indeed to repel their attacks. The Harbingers emerged from their fallen pods, bolters screaming, tearing down the foul machines that had torn the Imperial guard to pieces. I believe that we owed our lives to the Astartes that day. Without their fearless presence holding the line we would have surely fallen.

Sister Superior Halquin welcomed me back to the squad with open arms and a warm smile. She was a pretty woman, with light red hair, and when not in combat she wore a pair of pince nez glasses. She'd told me once that she'd never intended to join the Order Militant of the Adpeta Sororitas, but wished instead to be a simple librarian of holy texts in one of our convents. I feel that while a library may have missed a fine tender in Kora Halquin, the Cleansing Fire commandery gained an irreplaceable warrior. Our squad had lost two sisters during the fighting, Sister Candice and Sister Delilah, two faces whom I still miss.

We were held off of the front lines for now while our rhino was being repaired and our armor tended to. My armor in particular needed great care from the enginseers, damaged as it was from the heavy bolter fire I had taken. While we rested and waited in the landing zone where the resupply ships touched down and unloaded with regularity, bringing new arms and equipment into the fight, we were asked by several of the reserve Guard units to give blessings over their platoons, a service we were happy to provide.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Radical: Hell

It's the screaming that I'll never forget.  The Imperial Guard were not prepared for this kind of mission, and The Hammer of the Emperor, blessed be their mission, failed in their duty before we had even landed on that cursed rock the Cult Mechanicus had named Ulric.  The guardsmen in the drop-ship were shouting blasphemies the second we breached the atmosphere, and despite the shaking and sudden lurches in all directions that the ship was taking, the platoon's priest and commissar were making the rounds with prayers and laspistol, attending to the lost.

This was my very first mission.  I was still a novice in the order and had never fired my bolter in anger before.  I can imagine how I must have looked then, too thin neck sticking out of my power armor, trembling as I watched each gibbering soldier cut down, reciting my prayers with a stammering voice as Sister Superior Halquin led us in benediction against the foul creatures we were about to face.  I think I might have pissed myself, I'm not completely sure.

We'd been briefed by Inquisitor Argus Fane, may the Emperor keep his soul, on what we faced upon this blighted world.  Apparently the Mechanicus had been running a research facility here and performed some heresy or other in one of their experiments.  Within a week the facility had gone rogue, corrupted by the warp energies they had released, and within a month there was a full blown daemon incursion on the world.  To this day I don't know why Fane didn't simply call exterminatus on the world and whatever reasons he had for mounting this assault died with him on Ulric.  He'd called upon every resource he could muster to attack Ulric, and they were considerable.  Three companies of Imperial Guard, the fourth and first companies of the Harbingers Astartes chapter and our own Cleansing Fire commandery landed on Ulric, and directly into hell.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cleansing Fire Commandery: Force Organization

Commander: Canoness Angelica Cross

Executive Officer: Palatine Kora Halquin

Inquisition Liasons: Inquisitor Lord Gibbius Vecht, Ordo Hereticus; Inquisitor Seren Null, Ordo Xenos

Elite Units:
20 Sisters Celestian led by Celestian Superior Andromeda Gray

2 Callidus Assassins

1 Eversor Assassin

80 Battle Sisters

20 Inquisition Stormtroopers

Fast Attack Units:
15 Seraphim led by Seraphim Superior Gina White

15 Sisters Dominion led by Sister Superior Loraine Teal

Heavy Support Units:
7 Sisters Retributor led by Sister Superior Vera Brown

3 Immolator Flame Tanks (Twin Heavy Flamers Variant)

2 Excorcist Artillery Tanks

Ship: Inquisitorial Cruiser Nolo Contende.

Important Note: The Cleansing Fire Commandery includes no support staff of any kind due to Canoness Cross's insistence that she never wants to see or hear anyone who hasn't personally killed a heretic with their bare hands.  As such all Enginseers, Sisters Hospitaler and other necessary but non-combat personnel are under the direct command of Inquisitor Null and are not technically part of the Cleansing Fire Commandery.  This has kept friendly fire losses in the vicinity of the Canoness at a minimum.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Battle Report: Cleansing Machismo

Report: The Cleansing of Taphyre Hive
Date: 128.M42
Logger: Palatine Kora Halquin, Order of Our Martyred Lady, Cleansing Fire Commandery
Location: Taphyre Hive, Golsorath, Davoth Subsector, Eastern Rim

To my dying day I shall never understand why the Grey Knights are such absolute tossers.  Both the Cleansing Fire Commandery and a force of Grey Knights were to support Inquisitor Vecht of the Ordo Hereticus and Inquisitor Paulo of the Ordo Malleus with the cleansing of a chaos cult in the hive city of Taphrye on the planet Golsorath.  Everything seemed to be going just fine until the leader of the Grey Knights, one Mordrak, started having fits and summoning ghosts and claiming heresy and diabolism in our general direction.  After loudly professing the faith of the Cleansing Fire Commandery, Celestian Superior Michelle Gray voxed our mobile command center that something terrible was up.  Canoness Cross suggested  shooting Mordrak in the face to see if that would get him to stop.  It did not.

The Grey Knights, who numbered 15 Terminators, 5 Paladins, 2 Dreadknights, a Librarian and the thrice damned Mordrak himself chose to attack us before Superior Gray could even get within bolter range.  The foul witch marines must have known what was coming and opened fire first!  Proving to be as absolutely useless as their namesake (White Knights are valorous heroes and Black Knights are bilious villains, so I must assume Grey Knights just stand about feeling conflicted) they failed to do so much as rattle a single one of our sisters.  But then the Dreadknights appeared.

One appeared directly in front of our main force, ripping into reality atop a burning furnace.  The machine was like nothing our sisters had ever seen.  It towered over them, carrying massive weapons, protected by arcane technologies.  It was the pinnacle of Grey Knight power.  Then one of our Excorcists shot it and it blew apart quite nicely with no fuss.  The other Dreadknight fared better, appearing on our left flnank and attacking a group of Retributors who rightly ran from its fearful weapons.  This Dreadknight took a few more Excorcist rockets head on, then charged, tripped over the remains of the Retributors' Immolator and crushed its pilot.  The Emperor Protects.

Our Dominions bravely gave their lives ending the vile lives of Terminators and the Grey Knights' Librarian, but eventually fell to nemesis Force Weapons and ghosts.  How terrible is it that the Grey Knights must rely upon their dead to fight, as if the living aren't quite good enough.  Still, after killing ten of our brave Sisters, Mordrak and his squad of Terminators (Of which only five remained, including Mordrak himself) found themselves suddenly face to face with 35 angry Sororitas and no cover.  He wisely surrendered.

Our Cannoness was quite upset that the battle ended before she could arrive with her honor guard of Seraphim, and Inquisitor Vecht was forced to appease her by giving her full command over the Grey Knights for the rest of the cleansing of the Hive.  It is my understanding that they were forced to sweep the sewers for mutant rats while our Commandery finished cleansing the Hive.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Coming Soon: The Waaaaagh Walka!

I haven't actually done any conversions in a while (not since the infamous flying weirdboy) so I went to my gaming store with no plans in mind and decided to just loot the shit out of something, anything.  So, coming soon, a Looted Eldar War Walker.  Still have no actual plans for what exactly I'm gonna do with it yet except it's gonna count as a Killa Kan.  Please leave suggestions in the box below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sisters of Battle Wargear Part 1: The Guns

This is this first part of an overview of Sisters of Battle wargear, and so focuses on the guns since that's the most important part of a Sisters of Battle army.  One thing to point out is that these weapons are scored subjectively based on being used by Sisters of Battle, rather than other armies that might be able to take them.  So while a Multimelta is damned good for Space Marines, it's only an average choice for Sisters, who don't have the luxury of standing still within 24" of the enemy.

Bolter 2/5: It's a bolter.  Bolt shit.

Bolt Pistol 1/5: Only Seraphim ever need bolt pistols.  The only advantage they have over bolters is the extra attack in close combat, and the only units you have that should ever be in close combat can take inferno pistols.

Storm Bolter 2(3)/5: Flamers are better, meltas are much better.  Why take it?  This is your psycannon bolt platform.  Given to an Inquisitor, this gun kills Eldar of either type dead, and does a good job against most other things as well.  It also gives your Blessed Weapon/Eviscerator Heroine something to shoot with their BS5 too.

Heavy Bolter 3/5: Good for retributor squads. which is good since they're the only infantry that can take it.  Sisters have problems with infantry at range, and this is their only answer.  Putting it on an Immolator, which is the only other platform for it, is a waste.

Melta Gun 5/5: Your bread and butter anti-tank.  Take them.  Take them lots.  They are especially good in dominion squads.  Almost all special weapons in your army should be melta guns.

Multi-melta 2/5: How can a bigger, better melta be worse?  Because it's heavy.  Not good on Immolators, where it's a 20 point upgrade, unless you feel like fielding six Multi-melta Immos (don't).  Sisters rely on mobility more than most other armies, so should never be given heavy weapons unless they have a lot of range.

Inferno Pistol 3/5: This gun depends on who is using it.  NEVER GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WITHOUT A JUMP PACK.  6" range with a 3" Melta is unforgiving.  Seraphim make good use of them, since they're twin linked in Seraphim squads, Not bad on heroines, but if you're taking an eviscerator it's a bit moot, and you don't get the extra pistol attack.

Flamer 3/5: OMG Flamer.  Sisters' propensity for for mobile war loves the flamer.  On dominion squads in an immolator it turns infantry of almost any type to mush.  It's less effective against MEQ, but still okay.

Heavy Flamer 5/5 (6/5 on Immo!): Everything a flamer does, but better.  Wounds most infantry on 2s or 3s, ignores cover and most armor (stupid beakies), and it's an assault weapon for your heavy weapons slot, essential for that mobile fire sisters need.  On an Immolator it becomes the very deadliest gun in the army since it rerolls wounds and can be given Blessed Promethium.

Plasma Pistol 3/5: Not bad on a Seraphim Superior, a decent choice for your Heroine or Inquisitor.  I usually ignore it in favor of something that's not gonna kill me.

Combi Weapons 2/5: Good for that one extra shot of Flame or Melta, but since only sister superiors can take them, not really worth it.  The Combi-Stake Crossbow, however, is worth note for its ability to tear Hive Tyrants to pieces.

Hellgun 1/5: Only for Inquisitorial Stormtroopers and Warrior Retinue, and that's about the same as saying not good at all.

Laspistol 0/5: If your priest doesn't have an eviscerator he'll have this, as will most of your Inquisitor's retinue.  Damn shame, really.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Why Play Sisters of Battle?

In the current metagame, Sisters of Battle hold a rather low point in the competitive ladder of armies, it being generally accepted that they have only one competitive list.  This, along with their old codex and expensive metal models, makes them an underplayed and rare army, but somehow their popularity persists anyway.  Everyone knows Sisters of Battle, and whether they make fun of them for being outdated or respect them for their unique playstyle, everyone has an opinion on them.  That's all well and good, but just being popular doesn't mean that Sisters get played.  So, why should you play Sisters of Battle?

#1: They're Unique
While there are any number of Marine Equivalent armies out there (Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Templars, Smurfs...), and Sisters at first look like an MEQ army, there's a distinct difference between the deadly Sororitas and the mighty Astartes.  The first, and most obvious at a casual glance, is their statline.  According to the stats, Sisters of Battle are simply Imperial Guard Veterans in Power Armor, with Bolters instead of lasguns.  They fit somewhere in the middle of Guard and Marine, but stand out distinctly from both thanks to Faith.

Most people will agree that the shining point of a Sisters army are Acts of Faith.  Whether they're making them stronger, faster, more durable or more deadly, Battle Sisters have a wide variety of options open to every squad (with the purchase of a veteran superior!) which allows a Sisters force to adapt and change as the needs of the battlefield demand, something not many other armies can boast.  And who doesn't love 3++ saves and AP1 Bolter shots?  Acts of Faith add an entire new dimension to the game.

#2: They're Aggressive
Sisters are, without a doubt, a shooting army.  Their Strength, Toughness, Initiative and number of Attacks does not lead to assault at all, and yet, unlike other shooting mostly armies, the Sisters of Battle demand an aggressive style of play that would cause Tau to falter and collapse.  This is because Sisters of Battle, almost regardless of squad, have a sweet spot in which they are extremely deadly.

Within 12" Sisters of Battle are one of the most dangerous armies in the entire game.  Double Tapping Bolters, Meltaguns and Flamers of all sizes fill their ranks, and with their Acts of Faith all of these weapons can be treated as AP1 on To Wound rolls of 6.  Marines cower, even Terminators shiver when a Rhino full of Battle Sisters pulls up in front of them at point blank range.  Sisters of Battle reward aggressive movement and careful positioning, and their best anti-infantry weapons ignore the cover saves so prevalent in 5th edition, removing the safety of ruins or forests for most armies.

#3: They Look Cool
When you think of Marines, what do you see?  Boxes with guns and tank treads and lots of aluminum cans with bolters, all identical, moving across the battlefield.  Some armies manage to individualize troops a little (I'm looking at you Space Wolves) but generally speaking, appearancewise, A Marine is a Marine is a Marine.  Sisters of Battle, however, have a very striking and unique appearance.  Clothed in holy vestments with windblown hair, or wielding impossibly large eviscerators, Sisters of Battle stand out from every other army in their high gothic style.

Even their vehicles look different, despite being based on the same Rhino chassis as the Space Marines.  Immolators have their huge bubble turrets and the mighty Excorcist is instantly recognizable thanks to the wrought iron pipe organ protruding from its back.  Just look at a Penitent Engine or a Seraphim and compare it to a Dreanought or an Assault Marine and the difference becomes clear.

#4: Their Theme
Holy warriors beating face on the enemy with the power of their faith.  That's the Sisters of Battle in a nutshell.  They are an army that cleanses and purifies, bringing the holy light of the Emperor to all heretics and nonbelievers (that means everyone).  Whether you think that idea's amazing or just wanna smash their faces in, everybody has a reaction to a holy crusade of Bolter Bitches rumbling through town lighting everything on fire in the name of God.  It's just human nature.

So, in conclusion, I'd like to say that I personally love Sisters of Battle (Obviously) and while they may not be considered competitive right now, they're definitely fun to play.  there's no standing around, there's no prolonged combats that go nowhere.  It's brutal, it's in your face, and most importantly it's ON FIRE.  Say it with me now, kids.  Heavy Flamer.  Love it.  Cherish it.  Bring it home to meet your parents.  Use it to burn them as Hereticus Extremus.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Luckeez Wurlies

It was the feel of the wind on his face that really made everything worthwhile for Luckee, ace pilot of the Inquisitorks.  The blades of his kustom built Dethkopta whipped overhead with the sound of rattling metal and parts ready to fly off and explode from the immense torque provided by the terribly over sized jet engines located behind his head.  It sounded like an Ork vehicle.  It sounded fast.

Now any old Git could tell you that Luckee was the best pilot to ever put his teeth on the steering column of a Kopta.  Any old git that wasn't part of the Roar of Mork, that other skwardon of Koptas  that thought they was better than Luckees Wurlies, but those gits were off their rockers.  Everybody knew Luckee's Wurlies flew faster, lower and more explodey than them Roar boyz could even dream of.  Heck, Luckee had even made sure all of the boyz in his skwadron had extra large fuel tanks so that when they hit stuff the fireball was bigger.  Yes sir, Luckee was the cream of the crop.  The biggest squig in the pile.  The top notch of all notches.  heck, the only reason he wasn't a nob by now was because he couldn't fit in his chair if he got any bigger.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The New GK Codex and Codex Creep

Looks like the new GK Codex is gonna be the go-to Inquisition codex, which means the Sisters codex rumored to be coming along the pipeline probably won't be.  Lately it seems like GW has been avoiding crossover between codexes (the notable exception being Harlequins in the new DE) so it makes me wonder if the Sisters codex is going to be an Ecclesiarchy codex rather than an Inquisition one.  This would provide opportunity for new unit types like confessors or missionaries, and new unit types means new models, and new models means $chaching$.

That's not really what I'm looking into here though, but rather the obvious concept of Codex CreepCodex Creep is the name used to describe how each newly released codex is slightly more powerful than the last.  Sometimes this can be very subtle or minimal, take for example Blood Angels and Space Wolves.  And sometimes it's really really not.  Example: Daemons and Imperial Guard.  This exists as a way to draw interest into the new armies and as a way to slowly progress the metagame.  Right now I want to look at a prime example of Codex creep by examining some identical units from Codex Witch Hunters and Codex Grey Knights.

Both of these are current codexes (GK isn't actually current, but enough of the leaked test codex has been passed around it's as good as for casual play) and both contain examples of the same units.  For instance let's look at Inquisitor Lord Fyodor Karamazov.

Witch Hunters:
205 pts WS4 BS5 S6 T5 W4 I5 A3 Ld10 Sv2+/4++
He's got the ability to give all units within 2d6" of him +1 attack for a turn, can choose to pass or fail any morale check, all friendly units within 12" of him can re-roll failed morale checks, and he's a Monstrous Creature.  He's got a Multi-melta that can fire even if he moves, and a master crafted power sword.

Grey Knights:
200 pts WS4 BS4 S5 T5 W4 I4 A3 Ld10 Sv2+
He loses the attack bonus power, and in its place is an Orbital Strike like a SM Chapter Master, except he can choose to center the blast marker on one of his own army's models, and if so, the blast doesn't scatter.  He can still choose to pass or fail morale, and his buddies still get the morale rerolls.  Instead of a Monstrous Creature he's now an IC, so can join a squad, though he can't embark in a vehicle.  His Multimelta has become Master Crafted, and he's got Relentless now, and he's got every grenade type known to man, plus some.  He's also still got his master crafted power sword.

So, let's look at the differences.  He loses a point of BS, but his only gun is now Master Crafted.  So he went from an 83% chance to hit to an... What's this?  83% chance to hit.  Same result.  Even Score.

His Strength has lowered by one, and he's no longer a monstrous creature, so his CC attacks are less effective against vehicles, but he now has Krak grenades to help make up for it, and Frag grenades to keep him in the game when he assaults units in cover.  His initiative is lower now, but we'll call the addition of Frag grenades about even, but the old Karamazov has an advantage in CC thanks to his higher Strength and his ability to take out vehicles.

Survivability is always an issue, so we'll look at that next.  While it seems obvious that the old Karamazov would have the advantage here with his 4++ thanks to a Rosarius, I'm actually going to give survivability to the new Karamazov for being an Independent Character.  Surround him with a unit of 10 GK Terminators and he's a hell of a lot harder to kill than the old one who succumbs quite readily to a single Railgun shot or Power Klaw if his save misses.  No wound allocation options means the new Karamazov is a definite winner.

Now, special abilities.  Everyone around him gets +1 attack seems pretty potent, but when compared to a S10 AP1 Heavy Blast that doesn't scatter (slap the center marker on any one of the GK heroes who have Eternal Warrior, take your pick) and you've got a hell of a lot more reliable method of dealing wounds, especially if your target friendly model is in close combat after a pile in.  Advantage New Guy.

So, in four categories: Shooting, Close Combat, Survivability and Special Abilities, we see that Karamazov has been outclassed by his new iteration two to one, despite the new fellow being five points cheaper.  And if no sudden changes happen it means two codexes will have two versions of the same Unique Character, and one is markedly better than the other, despite being cheaper.

Welcome to Codex Creep.  To be fair, it'll have been seven years to the month since Witch Hunters was printed when Grey Knights comes out, and currently Witch Hunters is the oldest codex in the game (Except Necrons, but who cares about those guys?).  So, the Oldest vs the Newest?  Definitely the newest wins.

And this is just one example of codex creep.  Take, for instance, 70 pt Chimeras in Witch Hunters vs 55 in Grey Knights, and the Witch Hunters still have to pay for the weapons that the GK get for free on that transport.  And the assassins...  Well, that's a post for another day.

PS: Dear Fyodor also seems to have been demoted, as he is now simply Inquisitor Karamazov, rather than Inquisitor Lord.  Maybe the extra points cost is for the title.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Battle prayer of the Cleansing Fire Commandery

Would that I had been a flame
Burning brightly in His name
To serve my purpose and then die
To have no will but His
Would that I had been a gale
To scour the land of sins
Would that I had been a gun
Dealing death without a thought
Woe that I am born of will
Surrounded by temptation
Blessed are those with minds like Iron
Blessed are we who have no doubts
Blessed by He who sits apart
Blessed to be his fire.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rejected Inquisitor Upgrades for the new GK Codex

Crate of Mongooses: Make 12d6 extra close combat attacks at S1 AP-.  "DIE DEMON!" Skreeskreeskree!

Daemon Screwdriver: Functions as Daemon Hammer, but even more suggestive.  "Pound or Screw?  Choices choices..."

Psychic Condom: Functions as Psychic Hood, but only works against Slaanesh.  "You don't know where she's been."

Big Black Coat: Provides no armor save but makes the Inquisitor even more Inquisitorial.  "Screw armor, I'm an Inquisitor!"

Badass Hat: All units wishing to assault the Inquisitor's unit must pass a morale test or fall back.  "Nobody messes with the hat."

Flying Circus: The Inquisitor and his retinue gain the Infiltrate universal special rule.  "Nobody expects us!"

Signature Sidearm:  S6 AP3 Bolt Pistol.  "Then I blew the Space Marine's head off..."

Untouchable:  All Cullexus special abilities -and- cannot be specifically targeted by daemons or psykers.  "You too can have a deus ex machina!"

Badass Bounty Hunter: All stats at 5, 3 Wounds, 3+ Armor, 2+ Invul.  "Bald guys never go out of style."

Busty Redhead: All stats at 4, 2 Wounds, 4+ Invul.  Starts with two one handed weapons of your choice, loses both after first turn.  "We don't keep her around because she's particularly good at her job..."

Cannon Fodder: Statted as an Inquisitorial Stormtrooper.  Give this model an intriguing backstory.  All wounds must be assigned to this model first.  "He'd been with me for years..."

Really Smart Guy: Allows a re-roll of any single dice per turn, but Ld must be tested each time or unit becomes Pinned.  "Yes, that's very fascinating, but we're kind of busy here."

Rogue Trader: All stats at 4, 2  Wounds, Ld10.  Can take any wargear from any codex.  If Rogue Trader model comes within 12" of an objective model detatches from unit becoming an Independent Character and moves as fast as possible towards objective.  Should he reach it, he and the objective are immediately removed from the game.  "That bastard stole the MacGuffin!"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Celebrating the New Convent

To All Loyal Subjects of The Imperium,

This notice hereby informs all residents of the Davoth Subsector that the Order of Our Martyred Lady has recently build a new cathedral on the recently christened planet of Autarch's Folly (formerly Hesperia IV).  The Cathedral of the Impervious Celestian is built upon the site of the great battle in which Sisters of the Cleansing Fire Commandery drove off the defending Eldar forces of the once Xenos held world, and will serve as the new headquarters of the Cleansing Fire Commandery. 

The cathedral is named after Celestian Jenna Falcone who, along with her sisters, dropped directly into the center of the Eldar stronghold and proceeded to give their lives distracting a Wraithlord, which gave the rest of the Commandery's forces the time they needed to assault the exterior of the Eldar fortifications.  Falcone was the last of the Celestians to fall, after receiving blow after blow from the Wraithlord, protected only by the power of her faith.

Also participating in the battle was Inquisitor Harold M. Stansfield of the Ordo Hereticus who led his personal squad of Stormtroopers, the Hellboys, directly into the fray in order to kill an Eldar Farseer who was giving aid to the Wraithlord.  Though the Farseer was torn apart by Psycannon Bolts and Plasma, the Inquisitor was too late to save the proud Celestians.  Upon killing the Xeno Witch, Inquisitor Stansfield withdrew from the field along with the lone surviving Hellboy.

Victory was achieved when Canoness Angelica Cross, leader of the Cleansing Fire Commandery dropped into the enemy stronghold along with an honor guard of ten Seraphim.  They destroyed one of the enemy's bastions, then engaged the Wraithlord.  Though many Seraphim lost their lives to the Xeno beast, Canoness Cross scored it a vicious scar across the face that left it too dazed to further participate in the battle.  The Canoness and her surviving Seraphim disengaged and continued to wreak havoc throughout the base until only the Canoness was left alive.

Canoness Cross then challenged and engaged the Eldar Autarch, high commander of the xenos forces, in single combat.  Weilding her blessed weapon and garbed in holy relics of the Order, Canoness Cross cut down the Autarch, sapping the will of the Eldar host and forcing them to flee.

The planet was taken for the Imperium, but only at great cost.  Eighteen Battle Sisters of the Cleansing Fire Commandery, nine Inquisitorial Stormtroopers and an Inquisition Assassin all died taking the site.  Their blood has sanctified the land and insured the blessings of The Emperor upon the beautiful Paradise World.

-BBC Davoth