Thursday, June 21, 2012

Igor PusDribble's Nurglesque Chaos Thugs

 There was no better man than Igor Prolekevitch.  Anyway, that's what folk said.  And from his youth, Igor always strove to prove them all right.  There was no man who labored harder, no man more honest.  No man more loyal.   A fierce and formidable champion of his liege lord.  A caring father.  A devoted son.  A faithful husband.  A stern but sensitive master.  All these things was Igor Prolekevitch,  Knight of Kislev.  Igor had faith in the rules of his world.  And for as long as that world lasted, his faith was repaid in love and in admiration, and in gold. 
And then the plague came.  And there was no understanding it.  No way to find rhyme or reason in it.  It first took Igor's Lord, the man Igor had labored for and supported from the time of his youth.  And then it took his aged mother and father.  And then his wife, and at last his children.  Men counseled Igor to flee before they, themselves, departed for the remotest regions they could find, but Igor would not leave.  He had been loyal to his loved ones in life.  He would not leave them alone now.  He would be no less loyal to them in death.

And so it was that when the horned, fly-blown thing found him sitting there beside the withered remnants of his loved ones, he did not resist, but went willingly alongside the one eyed, whispering thing down strange paths and in and out of nights and days where no star shone and no breeze blew.  Into the arms of Father Nurgle.  Father Nurgle took away his old face, gave him a new face, with a single burning eye.  Father Nurgle took away his old name, gave him a new name drenched in filthy glory...Igor Pusdribble!

 Though most of his former identity has long since fallen away from him, Igor's loyalty to his long departed family remains a fixture of his being.  It is Igor's intent to send as many souls to them as possible, to keep them company while they wait for him in the shadow of Father Nurgle.  In the service of the dread Chaos Lord BUZZGOB PHESTERLICK, Igor has risen to become a valued and trusted lieutenant, and now commands a band of Buzzgob's feared and loathed raiders...

 It's funny, but I was really frustrated with the way this unit turned out, and was not happy with them at all, but in these photos they don't look altogether terrible.  Still, I've got a hell of a lot of room for improvement when it comes to painting.  Just have to keep at it.

One chaos regiment down, about twenty to go!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rogue Trader Forces of the Imperium

On Friday some things showed up in the mail.  Weird and wonderful things.  I picked up this delightful selection of old 40k figures on ebay last week.  I have no doubt that if the seller had not refused to ship outside the U.S. I would never have been able to afford them.  As it was, there wasn't much competition, so I got them for about $6 and change apiece.  That's still a good chunk of change for me, but well worth it.  A great deal.  Figures are all in amazing condition, unglued and unused.  Some even had little flags and tatters of molding flash on them...which makes me a tiny bit suspicious....recasts?  If they are, do I care?  Oh, well.

So.  Now that I have them, what exactly is it that I have?  And what can I do with them, game-wise?  I had to do a little bit of research at Collecting Citadel Minis but it was all part of the fun.
 #1:  A very capable-looking fellow in power armor with bolter and scanner.  No stamp on his runner.  There is an illustration of exactly this guy in the RT40k rulebook under the Inquisitors section.  CCM lists him as having been released 3 times under 3 different names, INQUISITOR AUGUSTUS in 1988, later as MERCENARY, and finally as INQUISITOR WITH BOLTER.  Capable in any role, I'm sure.
 #'s 2 & 3:  figure on the left unstamped.  Very unwholesome looking sort.  Listed as ADVENTURER WITH CHAINSWORD AND MISSLE LAUNCHER.  Figure on the right also an unpleasant Harkkonnen looking type with chainsword, (Rinn! Rinn!)  knife and mini laz pistol.  Runner stamped 'SPACE EUNUCH".  Space Eunuch?  WTF? Who wakes up in the morning and thinks to himself  "Today I shall sculpt a Space Eunuch!"  Oh well.  It's a cool figure.  I will try not to think too much about it.

#4: The Classic Citadel Assassin.  Space Ninja.  Have wanted to buy this model for years.  No mystery here.

 #'s 5 & 6:  CCM lists these models as having been released as FEMALE WARRIORS in 1988, and again as FEMALE SPACE ADVENTURERS in 1991, but the runners on both figures are stamped SISTER.  From this and their equipment, we can judge that they are early versions or fore-runners of the Adepta Sororitas.  Both wear power armor.  One has a sword and bolter, and the other has a power sword and holstered Lazer pistol.

 I couldn't get it to show up well in the pictures, but both SISTERS have a Ram's Head sigil on their left shoulder pads, a symbol I don't recall from Imperial iconography.  Not a Sisters symbol for sure.

 #7:   Haggard, distressed looking fellow.  Pipes and hoses and stuff running out of his head.  Runner stamped ADEPT MECH.  Clearly a Tech Priest of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

#8:  Bearded guy with pressure suit or armor and...hand flamer?  Stamped ASTRONAUT.  CCM lists him as SHIP'S OFFICER. 
#9 & 10:  Two guys with helmets in hand, one with laz gun and flight jacket, one with military button up dress coat and head set.  Both stamped PILOT.
#'s 11 & 12:  On the left, a SPACE PIRATE with chainsword and Dark Elf style crossbow, stamped PIRATE.   On the right, the instantly recognizable to any Rogue Trader fan EMPORER'S BODYGUARD.  I'm planning on keeping the pirate, as I would eventually like to build up a little force of space scum, but I will almost certainly sell off the BODYGUARD.  As much as I like him, I don't plan on having any games set in the Emperor's throne room.
#13:  No stamp here, but also no mystery.  Mystic type with eye-lids sewn shut.  An Astropath.
#14:  The highly sought after  female army trooper with Heavy Flamer. Stamped VASQUEZ.  I like this figure a lot but...I've seen her sell for 30 POUNDS.  Someone has her up right now in ebay world for $118.00, which I highly doubt he'll get, but even if commands a fraction of that price, I might have to sell her. So...That's what I got.  I sat down and looked at this disparate group and wondered how I could organize it into some kind of playable force.  I have 9 old army figures to go with Vazquez...making a perfect squad...And suddenly it's quite clear how I can build a lot of fun scenarios around this little group, eaving out a couple of misfits...  But that's another post.

Rogue Trader Orks

Every so often I get out my old Rogue Trader Rulebook and leaf happily through it...what a different animal Rogue Trader was from what 40k is now.  Rick Priestly essentially gave the fans some historical background and some basic rules, and then said  "Now get out there and have fun with it." 

Much like Warhammer Fantasy Battle 2nd edition, Rogue Trader is a miniatures game with a strong role-playing element.  Telling a good story is at least as important as defeating your enemy.  Games are for goofing off, getting creative and having fun.  There is little or nothing in the way of tournament rules, but the book gives you all sorts of crazy scenarios you can delve into and get inspired by.  I had an opportunity to pick up a bunch of splendid Forces of the Imperium figures last week (more on them later,) and so I've been getting out my old Space Orks and Eldar Harlequins and dusting them off, brooding on writing up some little scenarios for them.

I actually bought these Orks in 2007, whilst on vacation in Iraq.  I purchased the antique SPACE ORK RAIDERS box set to give me something to do in the tent on the long days and nights between missions.  My friend Dustin noticed them sitting half-painted on my home-made shelves, and the inevitable questions and discussions followed.  I tried to warn him about the financial and psychological perils of collecting and painting armies of little Citadel warriors, but to no avail.  Dustin's interest provided the excuse I needed to do something I wanted to do anyway, and soon I had ordered the latest edition of the 40k rulebook. We spent about a month poring over it, distracted from the killing fields of Iraq by the killing fields of the far future.

Very soon, the damage was done.  Dustin's tent corner began to overflow with his company of Catachan Devils, whilst mine was soon populated with Orks and Witch Hunters.  Dustin has since gone on to infect his brother in law with the wargaming disease, and routinely leads his Catachans into battle against Straun's Necrons.

The sand on the bases of these boys is Iraqi sand from  FOB Speicher, near Tikrit.  I'm sure my bringing it home violated about a zillion regulations.  Awesome.  I wish I'd brought home a bucket of that sand.  It was fine and pale looked great, I thought.

I still like these old school boys, and use them for Trukk Boyz in my new school 40k army on the rare occasions when Dustin and I get a chance to do battle with each other again...(They're small so they fit nicely in the Trukks...)

These days I'm increasingly becoming interested in writing Rogue trader scenarios and mini-campaigns populated purely by old-school figures.
 I have, as of now, about 18 of these lads.  I need a few more...I'd like to have six squads of five boys, each, ideally.  That should give me what I need to put together the scenarios I have in mind...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Buboe Sourwing

 As a child, he could never keep his mind entertained with the herding of pigs nor the tending of soil, nor the thatching of roofs...useful things....but rather always he filled his fevered brain with fancies of beasts that pushed themselves above the earth, and unfolded themselves upon the breeze.  Things that were closer to the sun and stars.  Beating him did no good.  Starving him did no good.  He didn't care.  He collected feathers and broke open the bones of birds to find the secrets that helped them fly.  He caught moths and locusts and watched them leap and flutter in the candle light at night, tied on tethers he made from his own pale hair.  He sprang from tree branches and from roof-tops, and tried to catch the wind in the folds of his coat hoping he could drift away, borne up on the breeze.  He might have killed himself.  After a time, his family began to wish he would.
 "Unsound!" The people whispered.  "Unclean!"  And they were right, he thought.  He didn't think it was his fault, but he knew that he had been made differently, and that he was of no use to them.  And such thoughts made him turn all the more, in his mind, to dreams of flying away, away, away.  That was what he had been meant to do.  It was pointless, pointless, being here.  But how to do it?  He had not been made properly for life in the village, but neither had he been made for life in the sky.
On a warm autumn afternoon, when he should have been working, he landed badly after one of his brief, impassioned flights, and dragged himself home with a swollen ankle and a broken arm.  They knew, at once, what he had been doing, that he had been shirking the harvest, and that, worst of all, he was to be more useless to them now than ever.  A cripple, a useless mouth.  They drove him out.  He had known that they would.  And he didn't blame them really.  He made his way into the woods, the pain of his arm and foot growing more and more acute as he made his slow way along.  He would have dearly liked to have climbed a tree, but it was hopeless to try in his condition.  As the trees got thicker and darker, the land tended downward, until he came at last, to the edge of a rotting morass, a swamp stinking in the high corruption of the last, lingering swelter of summer.  All around him, he could hear a wild, high-pitched whining sound.  He thought it was in his head at first, a figment conjured by his great pain, but then he saw them.

Saw the flies.

He did not know which way to go, and his pain was now so great that he simply sat and watched the flies, Darting. Hovering.  Beautiful.  Free.  They crawled all over him.  Ticlked his eyes and his nose.  Crawled inside his broken skin.  And that was when, in the dimming light of dying eyes, he saw the shadow of the great, horned bulk before him, and heard the voice of Father Nurgle for the first time.

Such a tiny price to pay.  A soul.  An ephemeral thing, a wisp of mist. A bundle of desire chained by flesh and circumstance.  Father Nurgle was kind.  Father Nurgle gave him wings to bear him up, up above all of it.  A mighty steed to carry him.  The strength of a hero to swell a the slender arms of a young boy.  A terrible spear crawling with plague.  Writhing with the vengeance of Father Nurgle.

He returned, at long last.  The piercing wail of his steed's wings drove them out from under their roofs in amazement and dismay.  They looked up in wonder at him, pale faces upturned, and the gifts of Father Nurgle he sprinkled on them, from out of the folds of his cloak, and the foul breeze carried death directly into their astonished eyes.

 Buboe Sourwing, Champion of Nurgle

Mutations: Bestial Face (Fly), Cloud of Flies, Fast, Wings, Silly Voice, Puny

Gifts: Mark of Nurgle, Demonic Steed, Nurgle's Rot
I found this very elderly Citadel Beastman on ebay and spent a pretty penny on him, though I was pleased to have him, even at the hefty price.  When he came in the mail, I was a bit dismayed at his diminutive size, and wasn't sure how I could fit him into my Chaos horde.  Ultimately the Ral Partha Plague Fly came to my aid.  The fly is missing a foot, and I'm going to have to take his antennae off, since flies, as it turns out, don't have them.  I was able to make a saddle blanket out of green stuff to to try to hide the awkward Beastman's base.  I think the conversion looks nice, and Buboe will make a fun chaos Champion or leader of a Nurgle Warband.  I just hope I don't screw up the paint job and have to start over.