Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dimtree's Loot: Epilogue

They had been on Nepenthe for fourteen days.  For fourteen days, it had rained.  On the thirteenth day, some very bad things had happened, which they didn't like to talk about very much, unless they were blaming one another for them.  All through the next day, they had lain, broken and bleeding in the insufferable mud, occasionally trying to move, without much success, and cursing Neel, because he had escaped instead of being mortally wounded like the rest of them.  Eventually they had all agreed that Neel's survival meant that he must have betrayed them somehow, and deserved to die.  

Sometime around sunset Neel had shown up in a mud-spattered wartrukk, Doc Bonetinker and his throng of Gretchin assistants in tow.  Neel and Bonetinker had immediately set about fishing Rikk, Vivyun and Boss Mychul out of the soupy soil.  As the eternal grey rain pelted unceasingly down, Neel  sat and watched gloomily as Doc and his Gretchin servants had set about the laborious task of patching the boys back together.  Quite incapable of anything resembling gratitude, the boys shrieked their pain and hatred and lashed out with whatever functioning limbs they still possessed whenever they could.  Occasionally one of Doc's Gretchins had his skull crushed and flopped nervelessly into the muck, but Doc Bonetinker went on about about his work without seeming to notice...there always seemed to be more Gretchin.

 "Just look at me!  squawked Rikk.  I mean, really!  Look at me!  I had a broken spine, thanks to that bone-brained Ogryn, and what does Doc here do about it?  I'll tell you!  He puts me under, and when I wake up, I find he's given me a bloody Aqualung!"

"Well, he also gave you a metal backbone, moaned Neel indignantly.  You ought to be grateful.  I mean, you can walk now, eh?  You couldn't do after the Ogryn broke you in half."

"But I didn't ask for an aqualung, did I Neel?  Rikk bubbled wrathfully in reply.  No, I didn't, did I?  Hello!  Hello!  My name's Rikk!  I was  perfectly happy breathing oxygen, thank you, and now, Ach!  Suddenly, I've got an integral aqualung!  My head's in a bloody goldfish bowl!  How am I supposed to meet girls with my head in a goldfish bowl?"

Da New Rikk

"We're Orks, Rikk, we don't have girls."  snarled Vivyun, metallically.  He was sitting over by the Wartrukk, idly banging his new head against it and enjoying the rattle and clash of steel on steel.  Doc had scooped Vivyun's head out of the mud and tried to sew it back on, but something hadn't been quite right.  As soon as his head was back on, Vivyun had started speaking in a soft and kindly tone of voice, trying to encourage his maimed and suffering friends, assuring them that the worst was over and that things would soon be alright.  This had really frightened and upset everyone, and Doc soon stilled the panic by removing Viv's head again and replacing  it with a mechanical one.  This head immediately began to threaten and disparage all and sundry, in a raucous, clangy sort of voice, which made everyone breathe a sigh of relief. 

All the same, the tinny echo of Vivyun's new voice set Rikk's teeth on edge. "Well you don't know that for certain, do you Vivyun?  I mean there could be stacks and piles of girls on the next planet over, just waiting for us to stumble onto them, but it doesn't much matter to me now, does it?  His voice quavered and he seemed about to burst into tears.  "Not that you'd notice that I'm about to burst into tears...Because my head's in an aqualung!  he wailed.  I can't make out with girls in an aqualung!  I don't even know how I'm supposed to eat!"

"Aqualung never hurt anybody!  Growled DocBonetinker, stitching up a huge hole in Mique's larnyx.  S' an improvement!  I know a lotta boys'd kill fer an aqualung."

"Ugghl...Urk!"  said Mych.

Da New Mych

Something strange happened in Neel's head.  Sitting in the bed of the Wartrukk, chin cupped in one big, green paw, rain running out of his lanky gray hair into his mournful eyes, he began to murmur to himself...

"Aqualung...gurls...Feelin' like a dead duck, spittin' out pieces of our broken luck...
Sittin' in a dark trench...eyein' little girls with bad, bad breff...
Snot runnin down me nose...greasy fingers in frilly panties and lederhose...

The mysterious song's cheerful imagery almost made him feel not suicidal, and he mumbled it happily to himself for awhile until...

Same Old Neel

...He looked up.  The others were all staring at him.  Somewhere, far away, as if in the halls o' Gork and Mork, he heard a sound like a studio audience laughing in concert.  After an appropriate pause, Rikk broke the silence.  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Admiral Ackbar's Mon Calamari Marines

Key Rebel leader and former smuggler Admiral Ackbar poses proudly with troopers of his Marine Brigade, following a successful operation against imperial mining facilities near Kessel.

The Mon Calamari Marines, led by brave heroes such as the redoubtable Captain Calabarr, have distinguished themselves in numerous boarding actions and planet-side battles since their formation shortly after the destruction of the First Death Star.  Their unique skills in amphibious scouting and raiding operations are particularly valued, and the Mon Calamari Marine Brigade is considered fertile recruiting ground by the Rebel Special Forces Command...

A few months ago, I was bitten by the Star Wars bug again, with the result that I began to make extensive additions to my collection of old Star wars Grenadier Miniatures, to include the rules for West End's Star Wars miniatures game.  I should have bought them a long time ago.

So far, I really like what I'm seeing in the rules: they have a stripped-down, old school, home-brew feel to them that fills me with that same weird, nostalgic sense of contentment I get from reading Keep on the Borderlands, or the old Citadel Journal.

Scale is skirmish, with sixty minis per side being the recommended ceiling, and you build your squads from the ground up, mixing weapons as you please within units, both sides drawing more or less from the same equipment list.  This forces play away from Warhammery "Well my guys have _____, which is exclusive to my army list, and which does this and this and this, and you can't have it unless you have my army and, more to the point,  the new army list just published in hardback for $50" type play, to play more geared toward role playing and story telling, which is much more to my taste.  Seems like the game requires a lot of book-keeping for each of your squads, so huge armies may not be that desirable.

The minis are for the most part lovely, but the line, though extensive enough, suffers from a lack of variant figures amoung the numerous alien races and specialist troops.  You only get one pose each for the Tusken Raider, Jawa, and Snowtrooper, for example, which is really quite lame.  The first runs of models were cast in fairly soft lead, though, which gives me some hope that I will be able to do a little conversion work on some of them, and add some more variety to some of my units.

The Admiral attempts to warn me against getting sucked into in a new mini gaming system...

I plan on taking whole bunches of these to the back of beyond with me.  At some point it occurred to me that painting up a fat collection of Star Wars minis might be a great way to stay sane over there.  I'll just have to come up with a method for keeping the dust out of my fresh paint. Hopefully I'll have time to color up two full battle forces while I'm there, so they can get to blastin' each other as soon as I get back.  I like the Mon Calamari, so I couldn't wait to start on these guys.
...Alas, too late.