Geek Out Studio: Another Update

I just realized that it’s been over a year since I posted an article. I can assure you that things are still going well. I’ve just been extremely busy and forgetful. Mainly forgetful.

I’ve also become more relient on Facebook. It’s quicker to snap a picture and write a two sentence blurb than it is to write a whole blog post. If you’re interested in keeping up with what all we’re doing on an almost daily basis, then go and like Geek Out Studio’s Facebook page.

In the mean time, I’ll bring you up to speed on what all has happened in the year I’ve been away.

For starters, the cosplay side of things has grown. We made our first cosplay guest appearance at Emerald Coast Con in Fort Walton Beach at the end of October. I premiered my Halo ODST armor. There’s still some things that I want to add before I call it fully completed. However, here are some pictures from that weekend.

ODST Armor

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The humorous thing was walking across Hwy 98 to get something to eat wearing this armor. I got a lot people shouting out their windows saying Master Chief. Then actually eating food in the armor was an adventure and challenge. I actually don’t have a lot of movement when I’m wearing it.

Of course it was our RWBY cosplay that got us to this point. We premiered a large RWBY group at last year’s Pensacon.

ReunionRWBY GroupRed Rose

There are plenty more photos of our cosplay work over on our Facebook page. You might see more as we’ve put in to be cosplay models for a local photographer. I’ve also been ghost writing for her blog for a few months. Another reason why I haven’t been keeping up with mine.

We’re still doing miniatures too. Recently I’ve begun work on the Robotech Tactics miniatures. I started working on them mainly to see where all the negative press was coming from. I have to say I don’t know what people are talking about. The miniatures are not that difficult to put together, and they paint up well. I haven’t “finished” any, but here are a few quick work in progress pictures of some of them.

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There’s much more, but I won’t bore you on every single detail. Just know that I do plan to get back to posting on a regular basis. You can look forward to Youtube videos, prop building blogs, and regular topical articles. I hope to post a new article at least once a month, but like I said at the beginning, if you’re really interested in keeping tabs on everything that goes on at Geek Out Studio on a more daily basis, then like our Facebook page.

Did I Fall Off the Planet?

Oh my lord! Almost a year with no new content. That has to be a sad state. The truth of the matter is that I’ve been busy behind the scenes with a variety of projects. Add on top of that the juggling act of having a job. I’ve been doing a lot of gaming over the past few months. Some of it not Warhammer 40k. I’ve been sucked into the world of Infinity, Song of Blades and Heros, Flames of War, and Full Thrust. There’s a local Infinity escalation league starting next month that I’m jumping in on, so I’ll try and be good and start adding more actual gaming content. There’s also the small fact that I’ve been getting a very big project up off the ground. What is that you ask?

Drum roll…

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I’ve started a commissioning service that focuses on props, costumes, and miniatures. Right now you can check it out at Geek Out Studio’s Facebook page. It probably won’t be long until I get a proper web page for it along with Youtube channel. Naturally, content from this site will no doubt morph into including more content for Geek Out Studio.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a commissioning service for some time; however, it wasn’t until Pensacon that I decided to take the plunge. Most of my time over the winter was devoted to putting together my and my wife’s costume. Mine fell through and my wife’s costume almost did too. However, we managed to pull it off. Here she is in her RWBY cosplay as Ruby Rose.

Ruby RoseRuby Rose CosplayDuring the build of her costume I was getting a lot of praise from people, and when I showed them my miniatures, the praise just grew. Most of those comments were along the lines of I should do this professionally, or could I do something. I was also inspired when I ran into an old friend from high school. She was making a career of following her love and passion, so I figured I had no excuse.

Just my Warhammer peeps don’t feel like their being left out. Here is a small collection of my miniatures that recently won a handful of prizes at the Blue Angel’s Scale Model and Miniatures Expo. The pictures really are bad, and I’m in the process of making a light box. Just humor me and keep an eye out for better ones.

Dark Angels RhinoDark Angels SquadDeathwingRavenwing Storm TalonRavenwing Storm Talon topThese last minis aren’t Warhammer, but I think they’re easy to look at.

ShowgirlsI run a handful of these as my war band for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of projects on my table, so I’ll have plenty to go over through the next few days. Thankfully, I’ve been moved to part time, so I can devote more time on working on Geek Out Studio and my blog. Right now though, I trying to organize and clean the chaos that is near and dear to all of us: my work area. As all ways, if you have questions or comments leave them down below.

Books, Books, and more Books: My Journey Exploring Other Game Systems

Rulebooks

I swear I’m starting to feel like that new song “I’ve Been Away for Too Long”. However, this time it is for good reason. As you can see by the picture and by some of my newer posts, I’ve been exploring other game systems, broadening my horizons if you will. This of course means I’ve been doing a lot of reading and getting in some trail games. I have to say that I’ve been very pleased and excited, so I’d like to take a moment to go over what I’ve found and enjoyed. Now, this is not going to be a detailed review of each and every game system that I’ve read so far; instead, it’s just giving the broad strokes and impressions that I’ve had thus far with the systems that I have read and tried.

 Full Thrust

This game’s rule set is not pictured because you download and basically print it off. By many, this game is considered the gold standard for tabletop starship battles, and with the death of Battlefleet Gothic I figured it’s a good place to start. I did play a couple of games of Battlefleet Gothic last summer, but I personally felt there was something missing. I maybe the only person that didn’t particularly like the models, so I didn’t take to the game like I do with most tabletop games I play. However, I still wanted to play a tabletop starship game. After searching around, I found Full Thrust. It took until the beginning of this summer to actually sit down and read the rules. Fortunately for me, there was a game convention demoing the game the next week. The short of it is that I love the game. It has the freedom to do whatever you want, but the best part is that you can use whatever miniatures you want. Do you want to build and put down a Space Marine’s battlebarge with escorts? Go right a head. There are plenty of weapons, hulls, and tech to do a good job at representing a battlebarge. The mechanics of the game are smooth and allow for a fast game play, as it doesn’t do the Warhammer standard of I GO-YOU GO. If you’re looking for a good tabletop starship game with a very strong and active community, then I would suggest giving Full Thrust a try.

 Dust Warfare and Bolt Action

My brother and I have been hunting for a game that would do a bit better in rewarding and simulating good use of tactics, tactical thinking, and maneuvering. We figured a World War II game would achieve this goal fairly easily, and would give us the added bonus allowing us to indulge our other interest: history. However, we would like something that would allow us to add a bit of Weird War II aspects to the game. I learned of Bolt Action when I watched a demo video of it on Beasts of War, and just by watching the video I was compelled enough to buy the rulebook. Reading the rules I’m really interested in starting this game. One of the good things about the game is that weapons and vehicles are given a generic title. A heavy machine gun for example has the same stat and does the same damage if it’s in a German army or United States army. This makes it easy for adding more custom or “weird” units like mechs to the game. I can pay the point for a Tiger II tank and just say that it’s a Tiger III walker. It doesn’t suffer penalties for moving through rough terrain, but doesn’t get a bonus for moving on roads.

I got Dust because of the oh so pretty mechs they have, but also for the fact that it is a Weird War II game. This past weekend I went to a demo game of Dust Tactics, and had an enjoyable time. Now the rulebook I have is for Dust Warfare, which means that Dust Tactics is a separate game that uses the same miniatures and much of the same mechanics. From my experience with the demo game and how it was explained to me by a few people, Dust Tactics is somewhat like Heroclix in that you have a game map and units have base stats, weapons, and abilities and you go to town. Dust Warfare is more in line with a traditional tabletop war game; however, from my reading of the rulebook, it’s basically Dust Tactics with a few more things added. Units still use the same stats, abilities, and weapons that come on their card, and there is no upgrade mechanic in the game. I’m probably going to pass at least on Dust Warfare. I think Dust Tactics is fun little system to give me an excuse to play with little plastic army men and an even better excuse to buy the lovely models that go with the game.

 Tomorrow’s War

I’ve been told and have read it in a few places on the Internet that a good alternative to 40k is Tomorrow’s War. Similar to Full Thrust, it allows the player to custom create their army. Of course the biggest seller for me was the fact that Space Marines in Tomorrow’s War play almost exactly as they are portrayed in the fluff: nigh unstoppable killing machines on two legs. Now, I haven’t played a game of Tomorrow’s War yet as I’m still reading through the rules, but there are a few things that have me a bit gun shy about the game. To begin with, there is no points system in Tomorrow’s War. I’ve read across the Internet that there is a points system in the works, but the last update about it that I’ve seen was from sometime last year. In its place, Tomorrow’s War is more scenarios based where the number of troops is explained in the scenario. This is interesting as it helps to create a more narrative game, but there are not really any guidelines for creating your own scenario. Plus without a points system, there’s no easy way for two players to meet and play a quick game without having to hammer out a few details before hand. The other thing that is leaving me a little disappointed about the rules is the lack of detail. There’s not a way to get down and detail an army or unit beyond saying my unit is Tech Level 1, Troop Quality D8. The rules put an emphasis on the soldier and not his gear. I find this hard to go with, as it’s the combination of the soldier and his gear that can make or break an army, an engagement, and even a war. I’m holding out on this game, as I believe there is something special in. I just haven’t found it yet, and would love to hear from more veteran players. If anything, it seems like a good jumping off point for doing some home brew things.

 Apocalypse

I finally picked up my copy of Apocalypse. I have always had the thought that Apocalypse was 40k should be. Titanic armies clashing in bloody gore filled battles that engulfed entire planets. This edition doesn’t do much to change what was fun about the previous Apocalypse game. You still are allowed and encouraged to put you whole 40k collection on the table and play. There are a few changes that I think are for the better and I’m interested in seeing how they play out. To begin with, there is the change in the way formations are assembled and used. Players are not restricted to pay additional points to field a formation. They just have to do is put the models down that make up the formation. The formation is treated as one unit for deployment, but afterwards, units in the formation my act independently. The turn order has changed and is something that I’m interested to see. From what I can make of it, the turn is an almost free-for-all where everyone moves, shoots, and assaults at the same time. Afterwards, everybody breaks for a meal and come back to do it again. This seems to be a push by GW to help Apocalypse games go quicker: taking only a day to complete a game. I for one hope these turns out true. Most importantly, the rules for Space Marines are lose enough to allow the use of Heresy era Space Marine legions with little trouble, which means I need to get cracking on continuing my Horus Heresy army list tactica. Overall, there are a lot of little things that I think will add some flavor to the game, and continue to make Apocalypse a game of pure fun and ridiculousness.

 Other Rules I’m Looking

This by no means is the only set of rules that I have or plan to play. As you know from earlier post I have Deathwatch, and have been trying to get a proper campaign going. It just hasn’t come together what with trying to coordinate six peoples’ schedule. I’m also interested in picking up Flames of War, as it seems to be a very good system to represent a large army and battle. Basically, not having the crowding issue that Warhammer tends to have. Speaking of Warhammer, Warhammer Fantasy has peaked my interest after going through a quick demo game, but that’s probably going to be a back burner deal as I already have 40k taking up a lot of space in my office. Let’s not forget Infinity. That’s a game I’m really keen of starting. There’s also Malifaux. I wasn’t so much interested in the game as I was the miniatures, but with 2nd edition coming out next month I may give it a try. I’m also looking at a few other games that are in the vein of Tomorrow’s War and Weird War II: Secrets of the Third Reich, Stargruntz II, Gruntz, Nuts!, and Dirtside.

The most eyes opening experience about reading all these different rules is seeing how some games are more refined, streamlined, or stronger that GW’s in certain ways. The most liberating thing about this experience has been the fact there is not a prerequisite to purchase the publisher’s miniatures. Aside from Dust Warfare, many of the rule systems that I have read either don’t have a miniature line, or they do have miniature line but it’s set in a genre that hundreds of other companies produce models for that genre: the World War II games. Talking with people, I have begun to understand better some of the criticism leveled at GW. I also am beginning to see that there maybe some brainwashing going on with the GW community. That’s not to say that I don’t still enjoy 40k and enjoy playing with 40k players because it doesn’t. 40k is what introduced me to tabletop gaming, and it’s been the game that played for years. I truly am a fan of 40k. I’m just beginning to develop a taste for other things. As always, I would love to hear what you have to say.

Studio Update: What’s Going on Behind the Scenes

MechanicumWell things have been a bit slow around here. The biggest problem with me not posting in the past month is that I’ve been fighting sinus problems. I don’t know if it’s an infection or my head is just clogged with snot. Anyway, I have an appointment with an ENT later this week, so I should get some answers. The weather here has been another contributing factor. I believe we are going on our fourth week of rain, which is not helping my sinus issues. This also put a bit of a “damper” on some of my painting as I can’t get outside and do any airbrushing. Finally, there’s the fact that I’ve been sucked into a few new games including Deathwatch. Basically, I’ll break down all the things that have been going on into a couple of sub-points.

I’ve Been Sick

I’ve haven’t been sick for a whole month, just the last two or so weeks. Who would want to do much of anything when they have to constantly blow their nose and still have enough gunk in their head to clog their ears to the point of near deafness? Not me. I’ve also been trying to find a job during this time. I love my hobby, but the funny thing is that it requires money. The sole motivation for me getting a job is so I can buy more toys. Sadly, I think I’ll find a job when both my head clears and the rain decides to stop, which at the current rate of things is never.

New Games

This has sucked up what time I have when not sleeping of medicine or job hunting. I have quiet enjoyed it too. For starters, Pelicon was held here at the end of June where I had the opportunity to try a couple of games I’ve been eying: Infinity and Full Thrust. I’m going to go ahead a jump into the camp that everyone else that has tried or has played Infinity has jumped into. That is that Infinity is a cool and fun game. It’s not as complicated as I was thinking it was going to be. The demo game I took part in only last maybe an hour, but in that time, I got a good feeling for how the game would work. The guy that was putting on the demo is working on growing an Infinity community here in Pensacola. Given the number of people who tried the demo, that community seems to be on its way to becoming a reality. The people at Bobe’s Hobby House is looking at starting to carry the miniatures, which I’m all for since I like to support local businesses whenever I can. In the same vein of new games, some of you know that I’ve gotten into Fantasy Flight’s Deathwatch. So far my friends and I have just gone through very basic “training” encounters where we are just trying to get a feel and understanding for the rules. I’m happy to say that we all feel comfortable enough to start a proper campaign, so starting this coming weekend, we’ll be starting one of the campaigns provided by Fantasy Flight Games. Naturally, I’ll post a campaign log. Finally, a new game that has truly sucked me in is Full Thrust. If anyone at there still has Battlefleet Gothic ships or plays Battlefleet Gothic, I would suggest giving Full Thrust a try since GW pulled support for Battlefleet Gothic. What can I say about Full Thrust? First it’s a great and solid set of rules that has the largest group of players. The last update the rules received was in the early 2000’s, but the community as add numerous updates since then. A couple of key points that draw me to Full Thrust is that the rules are general enough to allow just about anything as evident by the variety of custom rules or expansions, the rule set for creating ships is logical, fair, and an absolute blast. I’ve spent hours coming up with a variety of ship designs. For Battlefleet Gothic players, I think this could be a great thing to have and try. Battlefleet Gothic players can kit their ships out to better represent what they read in the fluff. A Space Marines’ BattleBarge could be the monolithic cathedral of power that it was meant to be. Finally, the most interesting mechanic that I felt was really lacking from Battlefleet Gothic was the use of fighters. Full Thrust provides a very robust fighter mechanic that allows players to use more modern naval tactics. Case in point, my first game I participated in my fighters did more damage, destroying one ship and severely crippling another, than my main ships did. You can check out the battle report on my second battle on The Miniatures Page. To give you a heads up, I was the Colonial Fleet from Battlestar Galactica.

Upcoming and Ongoing Projects

I really need to get back to updating more often I know. The nice thing with getting into more games is that I’ll have more topics to post. For starters, I’ll be making a player’s handbook for all the players that will participating in my Deathwatch campaign. It will basically be a condensed version of the main rulebook that way they can look up all the different traits, talents, weapon stats, weapon upgrade, etc. themselves without waiting or fighting over my single copy of the rulebook. Naturally, I’ll post a copy here for people to look over, give criticism, or download and use. There’s the standard painting work that I’ll be doing. If I can get a job, I can drop some money on a airbrush booth, a good photo booth, and equipment to post some tutorials. With Apocalypse out, I’ll really hammer away at completing the Horus Heresy army list as I can see a lot of people using heresy armies in the upcoming Apocalypse games. Along those line, I find a great tool the other day while wondering Dakka. Unit reference cards that you can make for you Warhammer 40k units. Even as a veteran player, I think this idea is great and plan on using them in with my armies. You can find more information on the cards here. I’ll try to get a couple up in a while to show you what I’m talking about. In the area of Full Thrust, the start of my own Colonial Fleet came today.

Battlestar Pegasus BoxBattlestar Pegasus

The Battlestar Pegasus is from Bad-Azz Resing Model Kits, and she is beautiful (keep in mind the box was full of packing peanuts when I opened it). As you can see, there is no flash on any of the pieces, and from my look over, there is also no warping. You can also see that she’ll live up to her nickname of “The Beast” as she’ll probably come in at almost 8 inches once constructed. I also received a sample of fighters from Jim Fox of Fox Miniatures. I only have a couple, and they are too small to photograph right now. If you want more information you can email him: fox@foxminiatures.com. Naturally, I’ll posts updates on construction and other aspects of my growing Colonial Fleet.

In Other News

This may still be making its way around the tubes when this get posted, but Bolter and Chainsword suffered some hard drive failures, and suffered further set backs when the new drives failed to mirror. Currently, there is donations being accepted as Brother Argos pays for and is the only technical support Bolter and Chainsword has also suffered personal problems over the recent months that is hampering the speedy recovery of the site. You can read more on Bolter and Chainsword’s Facebook page, or check out Bolter and Chainsword’s site. I have personally found Bolter and Chainsword to be one of the better 40k forums where the people are a bit more laid back.

As always, I look forward to hearing from everyone.

Deathwatch Kill-Team Assembles: Watch Captain Sepheran Decius

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Sanguinary Priests of the Blood Angels and the Angel of Mercy for the Deathwatch

Watch Captain Sepheran Blood Angel ApothecarySepheran grew up on the prosperous hive world of Felmir; however, he very rarely saw the splendor and opulence of the grand theaters, gilded banquet halls, and towering cathedrals that made Felmir famous. For Sepheran and his family, the dark, putrid hovels and allies of the lower hive were their home. It wasn’t by cruel fate or unfortunate that found Sepheran in the squalor of the lower parts of the hive, but rather a choice and mission of mercy taken on by his parents.

Sepheran’s parents were talented healers. They could have their pick of a high position at any of the illustrious Apothecariums of the upper hive or even a private appointment to any of the numerous noble houses. However, it was Sepheran’s farther who believed that the Emperor’s mercy and healing was a gift that should be shared. Against the wishes of his family, Sepheran’s farther took his young family down into the lower hive, and effectively severed ties with his affluent family.

It was in an environment of hardship, squalor, and death that Sepheran spent his childhood. It was against this backdrop that Sepheran also watched his parents bring a glow of peace and happiness. His parents turned no one away, and Sepheran learned and appreciate the value of human life. Through his mother’s family, Sepheran was able to receive the education any other noble would. However, he learned quickly to hide it from his peers. Even though his family gave medicine and healing to the unfortunate of the lower hive, most of the populace still held contempt for Sepheran and his family and their wealthy background. His parents also brought him up in the mysterious of medicine both out of necessity and pride. By the age of ten, Sepheran was able to provide basic medical attention to friends and people who needed it. This only helped to sooth some of the animosity and tension that Sepheran experienced on a daily basis.

However, the violence the lower parts of the hive are known for finally crashed into Sepheran’s little world of existence. Sepheran lost both his parents when they refused to become the personal medics of the violent gang lord Cort. Sepheran escaped enslavement by heading for the surface where servitors and Arbite officers would not allow Cort or any of his gangers to travel. It was during his flight that Sepheran decided to make his way to the Baal and attempt the Journey of the Aspirants. Using his grandparents’ name and his medical training, Sepheran made the long journey to Baal.

His natural disposition to the mysteries of the Apothecarium made him a natural candidate for further training and induction into the holy order of the Sanguinary Priests. The Sanguinary Priests were moved by his compassion and solemnity with any task or patient placed in his hands. Corbulo, master Apothecary for the Blood Angels, took Sepheran under his charge as Corbulo felt Sepheran embody many of the angelic qualities of their noble primarch. Sepheran became a stickler for the rites and recitations of the Apothecarium. While most apothecaries take their duty seriously and look on the duty of collecting a fallen brother’s gene-seed with quiet reference, Sepheran took these duties to a more personal level. After fashioning a blood chalices of his own, Sepheran took to inscribing the chalice with the name of any battle brother he tended to in their final moments while at the same time filling it with a few drops of their precious blood.

Blood Angel AssaultIt was the assault on Zoran that Sepheran earned notoriety: for good or bad. Members of the Alpha Legion infiltrated and caused an up rising on the frozen planet. Along with Sepheran, elements of the 3rd and 5th company were dispatched to quell the up rising. During the fighting, Sepheran would render aid to many of the civilians that where unable to evacuate. Many of his battle-brothers, having the mentality that any civilian or human present was a rebel and possibly touched by the ruinous powers of Chaos, saw this behavior as weak and foolish. Sepheran’s commanders had mixed feelings. Some believed they reflected the noble and angelic nature of Sanguinius, and that the Blood Angels are the protectors of all of humanity. Others felt Sepheran’s actions where at best misguided and over zealous. Hoping to atone for his deeds, Sepheran sought out the Deathwatch where he continued to render aid to any that needed it.

Through many selfless actions and harrowing rescues, Sepheran gained the attention of many of the Watch Commanders. Feeling that some of their Watch Captains focused too heavily on the threat to humanity, the Watch Commanders raised Sepheran to the rank of a Watch Captain hoping that those around him and below him will remember that it is the people who make up humanity that the Deathwatch was created to protect and help. Since then, Watch Captain Sepheran has always made it a priority to first protect and rescue people before plunging into the darkness of battle and the horrors of the void.

Watch Captain Sepheran Decius’ Character Sheet

Deathwatch Kill-Team Assembles: Battle-Brother Hector Gregorus Achilles

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Battle-Brother of the Ultramarines First Company and Tyrannic War Veteran

Battle Brother Hector Tyrannic War VetBrother Hector is not a notable Captain or comes from a noble house in the Ultramar Sector. He is a Marine, a Brother, an Ultramarine. Hector’s birth on the Garden World of Iax was one wrought with tragedy and significance. Hector’s family was simple residents of the city First Landing. They were a family that honored the Imperium and the Ultramarines, and they were loyal and disciplined in their work. Ultramar is filled with people and worlds that live in balance and thrive with a perfect mix of productivity and recreation. Unfortunately, Hector’s family was tortured by the fact that they would likely never have children, for Hector’s mother was told by the Medicae that her reproductive organs were in major disarray. It was unlikely she would ever have children and, in that slim likelihood that she did get pregnant, the child would likely die long before ever being born.  But, whether through sheer will and strength or from the blessing of the Emperor, she was able to conceive and bore Hector. The event did not go without tragedy; however, Hector’s mother died giving him life. As he got older, he vowed not to waste the life his mother sacrificed so much to give.

Hector worked on the family farm with his father and ranch hands until he was old enough to compete in the trials to join the ranks of the Ultramarines. Hector saw it as his duty to the world and the Imperium that he loved and to his mother. She fought and persevered over every obstacle for him and he would do the same and not let anything stand in his way of being everything he could be. Hector completed the trials and earned his right to don the mark of the Ultramarines. Throughout his training and, ultimately, inclusion into the 10th Company, he was an exemplary marine. He was well versed in all forms of combat and skills with nothing really standing out about him except for his tenacity. Whenever his sergeants or instructors told him that he either couldn’t do something or he failed to achieve a goal, he would rethink his methods and approach with new tactics. He would do this over and over until he succeeded where so many either failed or gave up. His calm, calculating nature combined with his unwavering resolve did not go unnoticed for long, however. Brother-Sergeant Telion was the first to notice Hector, for Hector reminded him of himself when he was younger.

Hector was soon promoted to the 7th Reserve Company before filling vacancies in the 3rd Company. Hector’s initial service with the Ultramarines in the 10th, 7th, and later the 3rd were filled with minor skirmishes and battles, nothing extremely taxing for a mighty Astartes. He quickly distinguished himself as a versatile member of his squad and a competent second in command allowing his unit a greater flexible stance in engagements. However, his true nature and strength did not show until his new home, Macragge, became the target of a great and unspeakable horror, the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth. As part of the 3rd Company, Hector saw days after days of combat with little rest in between. His Company was there when they lost the Jewel of the Imperium, Prandium. This lush and vibrant Garden World was renowned throughout the Imperium and one of the first locations of the Tyrnids invasion. The Ultramarines desperately staved off the invasion only long enough to allow the inhabitants of the planet to escape. The several day siege and ultimate defeat left a bad taste in all the Ultramarines’ mouths, especially Hector. So when it came to Macragge herself, the Ultramarines vowed to make the Tyranids pay for all their trespasses.

As the Battle for Macragge broke out, Hector and the 3rd Company were stationed on the mighty orbital defense stations and fleet encircling the planet. For days they fought off wave after wave of Genestealers and Gaunts, but no matter how many the fleet or the marines killed, more kept coming. The fight was eventually drawn down to the planet and elements of the 3rd were sent to aid in the protection of the Sirocco Spaceport and then on to Cold Steel Ridge. Hector’s unrelenting fortitude was only matched by the unrelenting force and numbers of the Tyranids. He became a leader and inspiration among his squad mates and Imperial Guard Auxillia as he refused to allow even the slightest glimpse of failure rear its ugly head in front of the great Tyranid Horde. However, his character would not be the same after the tragedy that would befall both his squad and that of his Chapter in the frozen northern polar fortress.

The 3rd and 7th Companies were sent to reinforce the 1st which had been besieged in the northern polar fortress since almost the onset of the Tyranids’ invasion. Tired and battle worn from weeks of fighting they descended upon the fortress.  Hector had become a rock for many of his Battle-Brothers from both the 3rd and 7th Company. Their ranks had been depleted but they were still battle strong, and he had almost become a pseudo sergeant for squads that had lost theirs.  No sooner did Hector and his squad disembark from their drop pod they came under attack from all manner of Tyranids. In the push into the fortress, they were completely engulfed by both the numerous attacks from the surviving Tyranids and the amount of death that hindered any kind of progress. The two companies suffered major casualties as they fought to take back every inch of the fortress. Hector’s armor bore the scars of each of these encounters and his sergeant and squad showed it, too. Hector would become the acting sergeant when what remained of his squad looked to him for guidance when they lost several of their numbers and their sergeant to a surprise attack from several Lictors and Genestealers.

Battle for MacraggeHector’s ultimate personal test came when he and several squads from the 3rd and 7th Companies finally reached the final stand of the 1st Company. Hector would never be the same after what he saw there that day. Upon entering the room, a flood of emotions filled him and his fellow Brothers. There, in the lower penitorium, a part of Hector died. There, in the center of the room, lay the 1st Company. A circle of Terminators back to back surrounded by mountains of Tyranids, their bodies lying six deep. They had fought until there was no more ammo and then continued until there was no more breath in their lungs. Hector felt great pride in the most courageous and honorable thing he had seen but also felt a great pain at the great cost it took. The fight was over, for some more than others. Since then, Hector has become closed and reserved about those events, allowing very few the privilege of knowing what true honor looks like. After the Battle for Macragge, he joined Chaplain Cassius and his Tyrannic War Veterans in the attempt to bolster the completely depleted 1st Company, for he and what remained of the 3rd Company had seen most of the severe combat during the war. His calculating nature served the War Vets greatly as he and the others quickly devised ways to easily defeat and cripple the Tyranid threat and Hive Mind in combat.

He would go on to fight with the Tyrannic War Veterans in numerous battles, proving to the Ultramarines and the Codex that the Imperium needed warriors like them. Hector was also promoted to the honorable ranks of the Ultramarines Honor Guard where he trained them in the ways of combating the Tyranids before returning to the 1st Company and the Tyrannic War Vets so he could train others. He would become familiar to several Chapters as a cold and calculating soldier and leader, as he was sent out to train others in the knowledge of combating Tyranids that the Ultramarines had learned. He now extends his knowledge to the Deathwatch in order to help the Imperium against the Tyranid onslaught as well as increase his knowledge of the enemies of the Imperium. His armor and his soul still bear the scars of that life-changing battle. The great Techamarines could easily fix his and the other veteran’s armor but it has become a solemn and personal memorial to the events and Brothers they lost. To enemies and those that do not know him, he is Battle-Brother Achilles, a Tyrannic War Vet of the Ultramarines First Company, but to those lucky few that grow a connection to him, he is Brother Hector, a calm and concerned being who loves his fellow man.

PensacolaWarhammer Has Joined the Deathwatch: Fantasy Flights Deathwatch RPG

Deathwatch RPG

This has been a long time coming. Ever since I saw the first 40k RPG, Dark Heresy, I had always wanted to RPG as an Astartes. Eventually, Deathwatch came out and fulfilled my dreams.

It’s taken me a long time to finally break down and buy the Core Rule book. I’ve never had any experience with a tabletop RPG. The closet thing I came to was a single game session of Mutants and Masterminds. I also never really had a gaming group large enough to play a game. Then finally, I’ve never been a GM, and didn’t know if I wanted to play or GM.

Well, my gaming circle has expanded enough to finally take up the game, and after reading the rulebook; I wonder what made me nervous. The core mechanics are a snap, and somewhat like the core mechanics of the standard 40k game. You move X distant, you shoot using your Ballistic Skill, and then you see if you wound (how much damage you do). Again, for someone who has no previous tabletop RPG experience, this is a nice easy mechanic to pick up. The skills are treated the same way. All the skills correspond to one of the base characteristics like Ballistic Skill or Fellowship, and a player just has to roll equal to or below to pass.

So, with a group of five players and me as a GM, my group will begin playing they’re first campaign of Deathwatch some time next weekend or the following. During that time, I’ll be posting character backgrounds and sheets along with a “campaign log” (basically the story with me acting as the narrator) with awards/honors and experience points at the end of each mission. I hope you come back and follow “The Liberation of Avalos”. As always, feel free to leave questions of tips on the forum on here in the comments.

Space Wolves Tournament List: Deciding Which Unit to Take

Space Wolves Codex ArtI’m about a month and a half out from Coastal Assault, my first big tournament. Over the last two months or so since I decided that I would go, I’ve been busy putting together models to round out squads and units that I plan to take as well as vigorously play test the list that I planned to take. Well, I’ve finally hit that point were I’m shaving 5 points here and there. Basically, I’m at the point where everything is solid and works solidly together. However, I’m also at a point where I’m torn between two units. To make things a bit more clear, I’ll show you the two lists that I’m juggling between.

List 1

HQ: 4 Rune Priests with Chooser of the Slain and Melta Bombs 1 in Terminator Armor with Wolf tooth Necklace, Master of Runes, and Saga of the Beastslayer

Troops: 3 Ten man Grey Hunter squads with Mark of the Wulfen, Banner, and 2 Plasma Guns. All in Rhinos

Elites: 8 man Wolf Guard Squad in Power Armor with Combi-weapons, 3 Power Weapons, and 3 Melta Bombs in a Drop Pod

Heavy Support: 3 Six man Long Fang squads with Missile Launchers

The idea is that three of the four Rune Priest would sit back with the Long Fang squads and cast Prescience while the fourth, who would have the Space Wolves powers, would go in the Drop Pod with the Wolf Guard. The drop pod would drop in mid-field or where ever I needed it and act similar to a Sternguard squad. This would give me four 24″ bubbles of psychic defence as well as. Not to mention the Rune Priest in the drop pod would be well in range to fire off his powers. Rhinos would move forward to claim objectives.

List 2

HQ 3 Rune Priests with Chooser of the Slain and Melta Bombs

Troops: 3 Ten man Grey Hunter squads with Mark of the Wulfen, Banner, and 2 Plasma Guns. All in Rhinos

Elites: 8 man Wolf Guard Squad in Power Armor with Combi-weapons, 6 Power Weapons, 3 Melta Bombs, and Arjac in a Drop Pod

Heavy Support: 3 Six man Long Fang squads with Missile Launchers

Similar to the previous list, but this time Arjac is in the drop pod. The Wolf Guard are built to be a bit more close combat based. Again, the drop pod would drop either in the mid-field or near a unit I want destroyed. The combined shooting of the Wolf Guard and Arjac’s hammer throw would kill most units along with vehicles. If they are assault, it’s not too much of an issue as I have a good chance of getting the Counter-Attack, and some poor character has to fight Arjac.

I’ve play tested the core parts of both these lists to death, and can say with a certain level of confidence that it is solid and good. I just need to decide between a fourth Rune Priest or Arjac.

Project Diary: Coastal Assault

Many of modeling projects, such as my Chaos Death Guard army and a pre-heresy army, have been put on hold since I’ve decided to participate in Coastal Assault this year. All my “online” projects and such will continue, so you’ll still get weekly updates on the Horus Heresy tactics, and Battle Reports as I finish them (I a couple weeks behind on those). I mentioned earlier in my Space Wolves Tournament List post. It’s only three months away, and I want to make sure I have a completed army, which is why I’ve put everything else on hold until then. I spent most of today going over what all Space Wolves I had, and what I would need. After this weekends play test of my previously posted list, I’ve gone back and begun to make changes. The sad thing is that I haven’t fully nailed down a final list. However, what I am certain to take and what has become the core of the more recent lists I’ve made has been compiled into a nice little Excel sheet.

 

There’s not too much to do, and I’m certain I can get it all done in three months. I just need to decide on the other elements that I’m going to take so I can add them to the check list. Even the stuff that I don’t know yet about taking won’t be much and won’t take much longer to complete. The only things I’m stuck on whether or not to take are Land Speeders, Bikers, Lone Wolves, another Rune Priest, or just take some more Wolf Guard. I’ll probably post the various lists that I’ve come up with on the forums and here. Until then, I would love to hear any suggestions, and I’ll keep things updated as I complete things.

2000 Point Space Wolves Tournament Army List: Coastal Assault 2013

 

HQ – Rune Priest: Power Armor, Chooser of the Slain, Wolf Tail talisman
Powers: Jaws of the World Wolf & Living Lighting

Troop – 9 Grey Hunters: Standard, Mark of the Wulfen, Plasma gun, Power Weapon
Transport: Rhino

Troop – 10 Grey Hunters: Standard, Mark of the Wulfen, Melta gun x2, Power Weapon
Transport: Rhino

Troop – 10 Grey Hunters: Standard, Mark of the Wulfen, Melta gun x2, Power Weapon
Transport: Rhino

Elites – 5 Wolf Guard: Terminator Armor, 4 Thunder Hammers, 5 Storm Shields, 1 Frost Axe, Cyclone Missile
Upgrade: Arjac

Heavy Support – 6 Long Fangs: Missile Launcher

Heavy Support – 6 Long Fangs: Missile Launcher
Transport: Razorback: Twin linked Plasma gun and Lascannon

Heavy Support – 6 Long Fangs: Missile Launcher
Transport: Razorback: Twin linked Plasma gun and Lascannon
Fortification – Aegis Defense Line with Quad Gun

At the end of January, I’ll be participating in my first big tournament at Coastal Assault. This is big step out of my comfort zone as I usually just play pick-up games and Apocalypse. However, over the last few weeks with Jerry and I play testing new units and codices, I’ve decided to give it a try. I also want to see how good of a player I am having only really played Jerry. I’m not going to build myself up with the idea that I’ll win, or that I must win. I just want to go have a good time playing other people and other armies.

Having said that, I don’t want to be a push over. I do want to put up some kind of fight, and at least win a game or two, which is why I posted my list. Thoughts, suggestions, and criticism is welcomed. I’ve been playing Space Wolves since they came out recently, so I’m very familiar with what is good. I think the tactics of my list are straight forward. I put my Rune Priest in with a pack of Grey Hunters and drive them around sniping psychic powers, denying psychic attacks, and just try to keep them fresh as long as possible. My other Grey Hunters will do much the same, but specifically target troop choices and try to claim objectives. My Wolf Guard with Arjac are going after higher priority targets like Special Characters and HQ choices. I’m also using them to counter any Terminators that I might encounter. The Long Fangs will be tucked behind the Aegis Defense Line with a Wolf Guard pack leader in Terminator Armor and Cyclone missiles. Finally, my Razorback will support either the Grey Hunters or the Wolf Guard.

I only have a few problems with this list. First, the mobility of my Wolf Guard. Without a Land Raider, I can’t get them to where I may need them in a hurry, or conversely, get them out of a situation I don’t want them in. I’m still leery of Long Fangs. I’ve never really had good results with them. However to be fair, I’ve never loaded my whole Heavy Support chose with them. Finally, I lack things like Heavy Bolters, Autocannons, Assault Cannons, and template weapons in case I go up against any horde army.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll begin training and seeing how this works with the tournament missions. I have no doubt that I’ll be making some changes.