Friday, December 8, 2017

Rogue Trader: Heavy Support; Tarantulas and Sentinels of the 9th Nepenthe Imperial Guard Regiment

Heavy weapons platforms of the 9th Nepenthe Imperial Guard regiment move into their support-by-fire positions during an advance on a suspected genestealer cult stronghold on Geminion Secundus.
 Tarantulas carrying heavy weapons configurations such as those shown here were crucial assets in breaking up sudden assaults by the powerful purestrain genestealer broods who were invariably at the heart of such covens.
Even the awesome armored carapaces of the mightiest genestealers could be swiftly reduced to smoking fragments and steaming goo by these powerful twin-mounted multi-meltas and lascannons... 
...providing the crews could keep their nerve in the face of the charge.
 As useful for reconnaissance missions as for fire support, a pair of sentinels lope into the fight.
The lethal multi-lasers of the sentinels could break up even the most determined genestealer brood's attack.
 This cocksure seeming crewman seems confident that he is stomping toward an easy victory.  He and his comrade may be maneuvering  wide around the stronghold in order to cut off the cult's retreat.
(Assuming that they do choose to retreat.)

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Warhammer Ancients Chariot Wars: Libyan Skirmishers

I told myself I was going to finish my Hittite starter force before  I moved on to Egyptians, but these guys turned up on Ebay a couple of months ago, and the price was certainly right, so I had to get them.  I found them to be interesting looking troops and when they showed up in the mail I figured I might as well paint them while the inspiration was there.  Once lost, who knows when that inspiration might return?  That's how I justified breaking my own rule, anyway.
 The figures are all 1990s Ral Parthas; despite the very limited number of poses in that line, I like the sculpts and the size of the minis a lot, and I'm going to stray from the RP line as little as possible in building these armies.  Ral Partha made 2 Libyan figures, an archer and a javelin man.  There are twelve of each in this group.  That should give my Egyptians plenty of skirmishers for a start.  I do want to add some Nubian archers later, though. 
Rather dashing fellows, these, what with their tall ostrich plumes and their long cowhide cloaks...they really stand out amoungst the other bronze age guys I've collected so far.
 Unique to the Libyan national costume was the 'phallic sheath' .  Doesn't look too comfortable, but I guess its better than getting one's dork hung up on North African thorn bushes. 
 Still struggling to get the light right in the Fortress of Solitude.  Most of these pictures came out weirdly dark, even though I was dousing them in all the lights I could get my hands on. 
 Grr...Only now, as I post, do I notice the chip in the paint on this guy's hair.  Aghh.  I hate that.
On to the javelin men...
Guess I'll have to change the color I've edged all my bases with.  The flock blends nicely with the my mat, but the edges all look banana yellow against it.
Well there's the start to my Egyptian army, I certainly didn't get as far as I'd hoped on my Chariot Wars armies this year, but its not a bad start, I guess.
Marching into the rising sun, a contingent of Canaanite infantry are suddenly beset by a powerful  Libyan warband...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Deep Cut Studio Game Mats (Review)

Never done a product review on the old blog before.  Not really interested in them, but I thought a quick peek at my new Deep Cut Studio mats might be helpful to anyone who happens to be shopping around for game mats.  Mats can be pricey, after all, and that's particularly true if your a North American and you're ordering a mat from Lithuania, which is where Deep Cut happens to be located.  The shipping is murder.  But.  I'm very happy with what I've bought from them so far.  The mats are well worth the money in my opinion.  Here are a few views of mine. I needed an excuse to set up some lights and play around with the camera in the big board's new digs anyway.

 I ordered two mats, the first being the 'Old West' mat. It depicts a desert environment with lots of patches of dry, cracked earth, some drifts of sand and a weary looking shrub here and there.
The artwork is very beautiful and immediately convincing.  Here's a view with some ordinary stones gathered from a creek bed and a lizard hide I got from the terrarium aisle at the pet store.  You can see how well the mat sets off even the simplest terrain.
Three brave adventurers explore the mat.  Deep Cut sells their mats in cloth, pvc and mousepad.  Mousepad is by far the most expensive, of course.  I knew I wanted mousepad from the beginning.  Its lovely, heavy, rugged stuff.  It doesn't fold or crease, doesn't reflect the light, and you can bounce your painstakingly painted miniatures off it all day and their paint won't chip.
Mat detail.  I'm excited abut getting my Egyptians and Hittites onto this.  If I ever finish painting them, that is.
Another view.
And another, this time with minis.
The other mat I purchased was the 'Waterworld' oceanic mat.  I got this one mainly to support the ww2 naval miniatures games I've been getting into lately.  (More on them later.)

View of the artwork.  I had a hard time capturing the color.  Its a somewhat deeper, richer  blue than it appears here.

I'm also looking forward to using this for Rogue Trader adventures and Oldhammer fantasy ship to ship combat.  I've got some resin pirate ships and intend to man them with Dwarf slayers and Skaven weapon teams.  Masts and sails transformed into towering infernos by warp fire throwers.  Think of it!
I was just playing around by this point.  Light still isn't quite right in most of these photos.  Going to have to keep working on that.
Stranded on a tiny desert archipelago after their ship has crashed into the sea, Imperial Prelate Sancho Corleon and his companions wonder what to do next.
The Astropath seems to doubt their chances...

Anyway, hope this might be of use to someone.  I've painted a bunch of stuff lately.  More Rogue Trader, Biblicals and some ww2 naval stuff, so there are plenty of posts coming down the pike.  Cheers!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The Big Board's New Home

I've been away from the blog for quite a while.  Couple of reasons for that.  First my computer started dying and for some weird reason it took weeks to get it replaced, something that should have only taken a day or two.  While that stupid saga was being thrashed out, great events were on the move.  The Mouse family is growing and Mrs. Mouse's mother is moving in with us for a time which means less space in the house for me and my stuff.  Up until now The Big Board has inhabited our attic.  I'm giving the room which used to be my library to my son.  There was just no way the attic could accommodate the contents of the library and all my game stuff.  Some sort of drastic action was called for.
There is an old garage on our property which we use to store just about everything other than cars, and above that sits an old apartment, built, I believe, in the 1940s.  Over the last couple of decades or so it had fallen into disuse and had been over-run by bugs and other godawful things, but I could think of no better place in which to establish a new stronghold.  So, armed with several hundred gallons of pine sol, spackle and carpet shampoo I waded into the mess and, over several  weeks, got it cleaned up and somewhat sorted out.  It's still a work in progress, obviously, but I'm actually pretty pleased about the way the little place is shaping up.  Anyway, that's where most of my hobby time has been invested over the last couple of months.
The Big Board, shown here scaled down considerably to fit my new Deep Cuts Studio mats.  (More on them later.)  Nice little floor to ceiling book shelf by the window holds most of my board games, mini rulebooks and my entire collection of Osprey books so that's nice.
Ginormous, cavernous f*%$ing closet actually holds all my painted figures AND...
 ...all my terrain!  It's like it was meant to be.  I worked for it, though.  More sweat and elbow grease went into cleaning this closet than every other room in the place put together.  There was so much dust and junk and so many long deceased vermin in here that it felt like I was schlepping out the Augean stables at times, but it was worth it.

Mrs. Mouse says I should get a decent table for The Big Board to sit on.  She's probably right, but the fact is that the Big Board has been resting on those milk crates ever since my friends The Troll, The Ratboy and I stole them from the college cafeteria for this very purpose, and that was a very long time ago.   The more I think about it, the more I become convinced that I really should get a proper table, but it's hard to let go of tradition.
The Troll, by the way, donated the ginormous tv. Can't play a game without old favorites like Predator, Ran, A Bridge too Far and The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean going in the background. Still a tremendous amount of work to do on the place.  The library is going to be on the other side of that white door, and the bathroom needs a hell of a lot of work, but it's coming along.  So anyway, this is what I've been up to for the last couple of months.  I need to come up with a name for the place.  So far I'm torn betwixt Festung Maus and The Jersey Lily.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Rogue Trader: Dead Men Space Marines Tactical Squad #2

From a manuscript discovered in the depths of the Scriptorum, The Emperor's Palace, Terra.

To:  His Excellency, The High Inquisitor Josephes T'Resque
From: Yacobe Scrivenius


Please find here another set of data faxes showing images of 4th Company Marines of the Dead Men Space Marines Chapter.  These particular images were captured during the aftermath of the second 'Stealer war, and show a squad of marines clearing a ruined settlement on Geminion Secundus.
In the wake of the second, or 'Great' 'Stealer war, as it is sometimes known, a great deal of  'mopping up' was required, especially in the ancient ruins and abandoned settlements which the broken remnants of the Genestealer Cults and their despicable allies favoured as refuges.  Here our squad reassembles after having successfully reconnoitered  the ruined facility.  Follow-on forces can be seen moving in behind them.
During the initial advance a missile launcher armed marine and his battle brother over-watch their brethren.  Again we see here the stylized skull motif favoured by many Dead Men painted roughly on one marine's helmet.
Another view of the missile launcher armed marine.  The shoulder scroll bearing the motto 'Mort' clearly identifies him as a Marine of the fourth company.

Armed with a trusty plasma gun, a senior battle brother scans his sector, covering his brothers' advance...

A decorated battle brother, most likely a corporal/assistant squad leader...he has seen his share of action recently, as is evidenced by the traces of what appears to be melta-weapon damage to the lower rim of an improvised left shoulder plate and the bullet-hole near the bottom of his right greave.
Another data image featuring the plasma gunner and the 'corporal'.  Note the 'iron knuckles' worn on the corporal's left hand, held in an even greater readiness than the bolt gun, as if they are the Marine's preferred weapon.  It was men like this who won the Second 'Stealer war.
Interesting image of another battle brother advancing to his next position.  Note the bolt pistol held in readiness in addition to the bolt gun.
The Squad Leader.  Note that he wears no obvious recognized mark of rank, as seems to be so typical with the Dead Men.  Alone amoung his squad, however, he does wear a skull marking, barely discernible in this photo, above the 'Mort' scroll on his right shoulder.  Such devices often denote leaders amoung the Dead Men, although there seems to be no clearly defined ranking system. 

   The final photo in this sequence, showing the battle group reassembling in preparation for their follow-on mission.  Visible are two tactical squads, two chaplains, two librarians, a dreadnought, a robot and two tech marines.  Small but formidable groups like this were often primary maneuver elements in fighting the 'micro scale' combats of the Genestealer wars, where enemy forces were typically dispersed over wide areas and used rugged terrain or the local populations to secret themselves.  I am currently assembling more information on the historical background, customs and beliefs of the Dead Men  Space Marines for you, I would have included some of it here, but my electro-stylus is giving trouble, so I will include it with my next chapter, which will touch upon the Terminator squads of the Dead Men Chapter.   

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Rogue Trader: K'Lurg Ratcha, Renegade Ogryn Cyborg

The product of an experimental brain enhancement operation gone horribly right, Ogryn Sergeant K'Lurg Ratcha emerged from the operating room with vastly enhanced intelligence, vastly enhanced mechanical aptitude and a vastly enhanced predilection and talent for extreme violence.
His Imperial creators were taken very much offguard by the extent of their own success but did not live long enough to regret it.  K'Lurg carved his way out of the facility before the anesthetic wore off and escaped into the surrounding jungle of the death world of Proteus.
The death world was no more ready for K'Lurg than the Imperial facility had been.  The cybernetically enhanced Ogryn soon fought his way back out of the jungle and onto a space ship with which he embarked on a career of piracy .
K'Lurg soon earned such an appallingly villainous reputation that the worst scum the Wailing Reach had to offer flocking to his banner.  For decades the renegade Ogryn terrorized the space lanes.  He became a major thorn in the side of The Dead Men space marines chapter, who were forced to devote ever increasing resources to the campaign to extirpate K'Lurg and his band of criminals.
Over several decades the Dead Men had several near successes in killing K'Lurg.  They poisoned him, shot him, Las-cannoned him, and destroyed a dam in order to flood a small valley on the planet Nepenthe which happened to have K'Lurg holed up at the bottom of it.  K'Lurg always survived.  The Dead Men justifiably believed they had finally succeeded in finishing their formidable foe when Captain Callixx of the 4th company severed K'Lurg's legs with a 2 handed chainsword in a desperate fight aboard K'Lurg's flagship, The Hungry Whore, then flushed the legless Ogryn out an airlock into space. Yet K'Lurg survived somehow, and was back in action within a few weeks, having replaced his lower limbs with an armored tracked chassis, and with his career goals re-oriented away from piracy and toward killing Dead Men.  It is thought that K'Lurg did in fact meet his final end when he was lured into a cottage on Ran by Chaplain. William Pil Grym and marines of the 6th company, who then called in artillery on said cottage, obliterating it with a direct hit from a one kiloton nuclear shell fired from a heavy howitzer.  No trace of K'Lurg's body was ever found, but thereafter K'Lurg's depredations permanently ceased.
K'Lurg shown some time after his brush with Captain Callix aboard The Hungry Whore, with his preferred personal weapon, a heavy beamer, and the armored tracked chassis he loved to use to grind close combat opponents to bloody pulp.
Ambush!  Famed bounty hunter Rufus Kraal, supported by hand-picked troopers of the 24th Geminions Imperial Guard Regiment, attempts to take K'Lurg by surprise.  Rufus barely escaped with his life.  None of his loyal guardsmen were as lucky.