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Saturday, 24 January 2015

Darkness Rising 5 - Broken

It seems an age since book 4 was released, not least with all the major life changes that squeezed in last year. But with a New Year, and hopefully a period of stability, comes the next Installment in the Darkness Rising series.

Pencilled in for release next weekend, this is the new cover by the awesome Ceri Clark, whose work on all my covers have created a consistent and recognisable style.

The image on the cover is an interesting interpretation of a character. Originally I'd visualised having Vildor on this cover, as prior covers had Emelia, Hunor and Orla on them. The plan is to have Jem on book six. 

But after having written and lived with the series for five years now, I have such strong mental images of the characters that it gets increasingly difficult to represent them as I like. Admittedly I know the images are symbolic of, rather than replicas of, but I'd visualised Vildor as a sort of Tom Hiddleston character.

So this cover I've imagined as picturing one of the other key players- Kervin- whose tragic love of Emelia provides the key story arc in the series, and who grows to form a major part in the finale of the series.

And behind the bearded tracker, now cursed by Vildor's magic? The Wastes- a region of a North Artoria ravaged by the cataclysmic explosion of battling Prisms hundreds of years ago. And in the centre of which lurks Vildor and his demonic assistant, Blood.

So the 'blurb' ?

Beneath the veneer, beneath the beauty, there is always the coldness of stone.’ 

Tragedy has torn apart Emelia and her companions, a terrible betrayal instigated by the Darkmaster, Vildor. A devastated Jem struggles to control the fearful power of the crystals, becoming distant from his closest friends. Hunor and Orla are tested by a secret from the past, a revelation that will change everything between them. In the Dead City, Emelia begins a search for her past, a journey 
that will plunge her deeper into the darkness of Vildor and his twisted schemes. 

Desperate to seek aid in their battle against Vildor, the companions travel north to Belgo, capital of North Artoria. But everything is not what it seems in the palace, and danger lurks in every shadow, whether cast by friend or foe. 

Separated and alone, can Emelia, Jem and Hunor hope to prevail? Or will the evils of the present and the past overcome them at last?

Darkness Rising 5 – Broken is the fifth in the epic fantasy series that reviewers are calling  ‘epic and spellbinding.’ It is a must read for fantasy fans the world over.

Hope you'll check it out next weekend- or of you fancy starting the series it's available for free on Smashwords at 

Or chapter by chapter free on Wattpad at. 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

There and back again

Given that it's been out for a month now I'm hoping that posting about the Hobbit3 won't spoil it for anyone reading, but just in case...

So Peter Jackson has wrapped up another trilogy, and first of all I must say he's done an incredible job. Taking such iconic work, especially to fantasy geeks such as I, and giving it a reality is an amazing thing. 

Now I can't say the Hobbit films had the same impact on me as the LOTR trilogy, although visually they were superior. I think that's for a few reasons. Firstly, LOTR remains a work of greater scope, and wider variety of characters (Hobbit has really Bilbo, and less so Gandalf and Thorin- although the films have tried to compensate this as I'll mention below). As a kid, The Hobbit was always the support act you're glad you managed to catch before the main act got on stage.

Second, I think the adaptations that went into making the Hobbit a film were significant with regards the original book. This isn't a surprise- they took a children's book and made it mature, and with the motivation to construct a prequel to the LOTR. But the padding seemed skewed through the films.

When I think of the book and the seminal scenes I think of: The Trolls, the Goblins, then Golem, then Spiders, less so the Elves, then Smaug. Maybe because I'd always peter off reading towards the end (think I've read it four times) I can kind of remember Smaug getting shot, but not much about the Five Armies. In fact when my son asked me what they all were, I struggled (got four by reasoning not memory). So to me, the key events are mainly in film 1, less in film 2, and hardly in film 3. Rather in this movie we have The Battle, with the fluff building up to it, and the bits in Mirkwood setting Sauron's transient defeat and the Nine popping back (which was previously an entry in the Appendix timeline in LOTR, I think).

So given that Hobbit 3 is perhaps 25% Tolkien, 75% Jackson, did it work? As a conclusion to the trilogy- yes, just about. The Thorin-Bilbo storyline felt a touch strained in this film- the obsession with the Arkenstone, and the greed for gold, rather forced. The use of Legolas, whilst fun, was pretty throwaway- especially given that he aids and ultimately respects the dwarves, then in Fellowship has a good old rant at Gimli. The romance between Tauriel and Kili, whilst rather unlikely, oddly worked for me. I liked the idea of developing the dwarves personas- Bofur, Bwalin and Dwalin were all nicely done- especially Ken Stott's Balin. And Bard, with his family, resonated with me too.

In retrospect there wasn't enough time spent on seeing through those characterisations in my mind. The action scenes were awesome ( if vertigo inducing) but the writer in me would've liked those aforementioned characters to get more time. I suppose ultimately all of those characters are just bonuses and it was a film about Bilbo and his journey.

And I think that journey was done well- Martin Lawrence is excellent at conveying that bewilderment, the bravery that surprises even himself, the 'Everyman' in incredible circumstance. And his return to the Shire, and the linking with LOTR was nicely done.

I sometimes reflect on the conclusions to LOTR when Frodo returns to the Shire, but as a consequence of all he has seen and experienced he can never settle. Ultimately there is no place for him in the Shire and hence he sails West. The sequence is analogous to those returning from war, from a high-octane theatre of threat and death, to a world that has continued oblivious to their experience. You wonder as Tolkien wrote it, and Jackson filmed it, whether that was in mind? (I know JRRT hated allegory, unlike CS Lewis, so probably not). And Bilbo becomes tired as his unnaturally slowed aging dissipates in LOTR, and the years (and perhaps the memory of his quest) catch up.

For me there'll never be a set of films as iconic as the two trilogies (I like Star Wars, and Trek, but not approaching that league ). I always loved the Backshi version from early 80s, yet these six films have put fantasy onto a new level and I'm not certain that will ever be topped for me. 

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lords of Aberration- a CSM warband

Thought I'd post some 'fluff' on my main WH40k army- the Lords of Aberration. First go at this sort of thing, so bear with me...

Terganus Dire first rose to prominence amongst the chaos forces of Tzeentch as a callous yet efficient Lord and Commander. His battleforce of Scourged Chaos Marines achieved a notorious run of victories against the Necrons in the outer Darbin quadrant.

Ambition can be a double-edged sword, and soon Dire came under the gaze of Ahriman and his Thousand Sons. Ahriman sought an ancient artefact hidden deep on the planet of Croziek IV, in the Dantin quadrant and chose to exploit Dire's local knowledge, and skill against the Necrons. The combined host of Ahriman and Dire fell upon Croziek IV and annihilated the scanty Cron forces of Overlord Tyr. The host delved deep into the caverns of the planet, but disaster was to await them. Croziek held a long dormant Necron tomb, and the curiosity of Ahriman brought it back to its imitation of life.

The Chaos forces were swamped by thousands of Necrons, gauss weapons tearing into the Tzeentchian forces. Ahriman withdrew, blaming Dire's arrogance somewhat unfairly, for the debacle. Dire fought onwards, the remnants of his Scourged falling back to the planet surface. His unit's sorcerer, Sarvin Ebonyheart, used the warp to activate a terrible bomb that ripped across the planet surface tearing apart Necron and Scourged alike.
In the aftermath, Dire lay ravaged. His head was shattered, and only hate kept him from death. Sarvin, similarly wounded, used the last iota of warp within him to save Dire- grafting a golden Necron head to Dire's ruined flesh.

In time, the remnants of Dire's Scourged found him. They took refuge in the caverns, calling upon dark powers to save Dire and Sarvin.

As if in answer, a dark acolyte came to them. Robed in darkest shadow, the Apostle bore the name Vyrik, and preached an unusual creed. Called simply The Paradox, Vyrik spoke of Chaos Unified- the belief that Chaos would only become victorious through order and unity, that ancient enmity had no place in a new universe.

And from these origins, invigorated by the teachings of the Paradox, Dire's warband grew into The Lords of Aberration. Many of his marines still bore the armour of the Scourged, but now the Eye was replaced by the symbol of the gold skull- an eternal reminder of the betrayal of Ahraman, and the finding of new faith.

The warband is led by an eclectic group of leaders, all loyal to Dire, who in turn bends the knee only to Vyrik and the Paradox.

Dire, himself is a terrifying figure. Clad in battle- scarred power armour, his golden head glowing with an unholy aura, Dire wields a cursed power-maul, rumoured to be the Black Mace itself. Dire's favoured units are his fast assault units- The Dark Scream bikers, and The Unseen Death raptors. They are often supported by Brother Xyrin and Brother Olvyx, two mutated Helbrutes.

His lieutenant, Sarvin, favours a combi- melta and staff, both distractions for the terrible warp powers he unleashes. Clad in terminator armour, he usually accompanies a unit of Chaos Terminators into battle.

Lord Baan the Pestilent, is a Nurgle lord commanding a unit of Plague Marines and Obliterators, whose nickname The Fever goes a way to explain the torrents of flaming terror they unleash. 

Similarly feared is Lord Ingrol, a former World Eater whose power sword, Calban, constantly thirsts for blood. Ingrol is often accompanied by his Chosen- The Bloodreapers- armour red with the blood of their enemy. His Beserkers, the Dire- Axes, are notorious for their insane desire for blood letting, and even Ingrol struggles to keep them in check.

The fifth, and perhaps most hideous leader, is Boroth Bileblood- a Demon Prince of Tzeentch. Constantly vying for leadership with Dire, Boroth  is rightly held in check by the triad of Dire, Vyrik and Sarvin- though his Psyker mastery is the equal of Sarvin. It is through Boroth's fell ingenuity that the Lords of Aberration have use of the accursed Forgefiend and Heldrake.  


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Denise E Kitson 1947-2014: a Eulogy

It was my Mum's funeral today and I had the honour of reading a short eulogy to the mourners. I kind of wanted to put it somewhere permanent and personal, so the blog seemed the right place to do this. Obviously much in it means little to anyone other than me, my Dad, my brother Dan and my wife, Amanda, yet there is a sentiment which I think anyone who has been through loss can empathise with.

We walked in to Procul Harum's A Whiter Shade of Pale, and left to Rod Stewart's Sailing. Beautiful songs for a beautiful woman.

Mum’s Eulogy
Mum was born Denise Elizabeth Ainley to Sam and Lynne Ainley on 16th July 1947. She grew up in the area between Harehills and Chapel Allerton in Leeds, on Roxholme Terrace opposite Potternewton Park. She attended primary school at Chapeltown Primary and then high school at Allerton High on King lane, not too far from here actually. At school she enjoyed athletics, and was an able pupil interested especially in Biology, English Literature and History. One of her favourite stories was winning a book prize and choosing DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers as her prize, which even in the early Sixties was considered a risqué choice!

Sadly, Mum lost her own mother in her late teens, recalling that she opened her A-level results at the hospital. Whether it was this sad contact with hospitals, her love of biology, or her caring nature, Mum was to work in healthcare in some capacity for her entire working life. She studied Physiotherapy at Leeds, and I remember as a kid her telling me she especially loved watching operations—the gorier the better. She was proud of the fact that she watched brain surgery without flinching, only to then faint when a surgeon tossed an amputated finger for her to catch. Think she still had the scar on her head?

During her teens Mum was in the Girl Guides and went to the youth club in Chapel Allerton, which was where she met Dad. I think she said her first memory of him was that he laughed at her new Pink Witch bike, but evidently this didn’t put her off too much as they started courting later in their teens. By all accounts, and there IS photographic evidence of this, they made quite a good looking couple—with Mum’s resemblance to Dusty Springfield and Dad’s to George Harrison. Makes you wonder what went wrong with me and Dan…


They married at the end of the Sixties, honeymooned in Jersey, and then bought their first house off Shadwell Lane. Two years later I was born at hospital—a baby Mum referred to as ‘bald, cross-eyed and spotty’—and two years after that, Dan was born at home. Mum and Dad never seemed to resolve at what time that happened, and I loose count of the number of times they quibbled whether the midwife on her way from Wetherby was stuck in rush hour or not.
We moved in the late Seventies to West Park Drive, and spent the rest of our time as a family in Leeds living there. What can we say about that time? It was a great childhood—full of fun and laughter. We spent loads of time down at the Roundhegians club, playing badminton, and socialising and wittling Sunday afternoons away. Mum worked in several places as a physio in that time—LGI, Newton Green, Roundhay Hall, and it struck me as a child what it was for someone to truly love a job. She really enjoyed her time as a physiotherapist, although at work she’d be as happy having a smoke and a laugh with the cleaners as taking a break with the other physios. We’d holiday in Norfolk every year, and latterly in Aviemore—great holidays, great memories—our parents at their best. Obviously the holidays got more extravagant and sunnier once Mum and Dad got shot of me and Dan, but I’d like to think that Mum remembered those times in Knapton Hall, Norfolk as the best of the bunch.

In the mid-Eighties, Dad got a new job in Peterborough, and we all moved down to live there. Mum worked for a few years as a physio, but ultimately the need for a revision of her hip replacement meant she had to retire from physiotherapy, which I know was a tough decision for her. Naturally, Dad cracked the whip and Mum returned to work as a GP receptionist which, whilst not as enjoyable as physiotherapy, nonetheless gave her some enjoyable times.

Mum loved her time in Peterborough—her and Dad made some really good friends, (many of whom are here today) and again social life revolved around the sports club at Pearl Assurance and whilst she was able to she scooted around on her bike. Dan and I left home in the early 90s to go to Uni., but we’d often be back, usually with washing. Mum loved her holidays and Dad dragged her all over Europe and beyond, and as I mentioned earlier her love of history took them to Russia for a holiday however she loved her sunshine—her idea of sun block was carrot juice on the body, lemon juice  the hair!

One of Mum’s greatest strengths was her warmth and love for others. My Gran, Dad’s mum, remained in Leeds when we left, and Mum would ring her twice a week to chat. Gran was frequently staying with us during those years in Peterborough, and Mum had a lovely close relationship with her.

And our family grew. Mum and Amanda and Maura had a great bond, and some brilliant times with a mother who never had the delight of daughters of her own.  Five grandchildren—Jack and Tommy, Charlie, Evelyn and Henry—all gave her great pleasure, their energy keeping her young and ‘on her toes’ up until the end. She was never short of a hug or a cuddle for one of them.

When Dad retired, they relocated back to Yorkshire, to the lovely village of Addingham, near Ilkley. By then Mum’s mobility was problematic, but her and Dad persevered and up until her stroke last year she managed amazingly well. The problems with the stroke, her appetite and ultimately the cancer took their toll, but Dad and her managed to stay at home until the very end—and she passed peacefully on Saturday 30th August, with us all there.

So there you have it—Mum’s life. But there’s so much more I could tell you, so much more than facts and events.
Mum was warmth and life and laughter. She taught me and Dan what humour was—from her love of Carry On Films, or Les Dawson, or Blackadder, or Kenny Everett- all in the best possible taste! She loved to laugh, to giggle, to smile. She was kind, and generous, and caring. Mum was pictures of Hedgehogs, and brightly coloured boots. She was sunflowers, and big bright chrysanthemums. She was sunshine and wine, Rod Stewart, Freddy Mercury and Sean Connery. She was all about family, and love, and hugs.

And we’ll all miss her like crazy, but remember what she gave us.  Happiness and life.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Doom of the Eldar- WH 40k Batrep

So, me and Iain played a game of 40k yesterday supported by our respective sons. It was my second game of 7th edition, so still finding my feet with Psyker rules etc.

We played 2.5k points with Taudar vs. Deathwing/Imperial Gaurd (Tempestus). For my part I had:
Eldrad; Spiritseer; Warlock; 5 fire dragons (in Wave Serpent); 2xguardians with weapon platforms; 5 Dire avengers; 5 wraithguard (in serpent); 5 swooping hawks; 3 shining spears; 2 wraithlords (both with 2BLs); a warwalker (EML and SL); Tau commander; 2 crisis bodygaurds; 3 stealth suits; 6 fire warriors; a sunshark bomber.
Iain had 3 units of DW terminators, one with Belial, one with a termie librarian; a contemptor Dread; 4 valkyries, and a bunch of scions with a commisar.

And dice infused with the grace of the Emperor!!!

Thought we'd do this Batrep as a narrative report, written by Iain, with a short comment piece at the end by me!! We only played to end of round 3 because of time constraints (i.e. nursery pick up).


Mission report - alpha 666

After action report of the raid on planet  - Hopes Reach 

Forces  involved -
Grandmaster deathwing belial + escort 
Militarum tempestus airborne assault formation - Taskforce Dagger (QRF)

Mission log

After receiving word that all communications with Hopes Reach was lost the Dark Angels were given a tasking order to investigate with a formation of scions in support . The wisdom of Belial shone through and, after an in-depth recon, an unholy artefact was discovered. Belial decided to make a landing with his personal escort plus a formation of stormtroopers as QRF.
During the final prep the presence of heretical alien scum was detected near the site so, like a 'red rag to a bull,' Belial gave the order and the Deathwing dropped in to purge the alien scum in the Emperor's name .

Round 1- Eldar and Tau spread out towards the objective - the Chaos Artefact 

When Belial teleported he landed next to a Tau commander, and immediately sought to rid the enemy of its leadership. Yet after destroying the heretic scum leader Belial realised the true heresy of the situation - the Tau had allied with Eldar !!

Round 1- the DA teleport in and start battering the Tau commander, and the WS with Fire Dragons.

Instigating command protocol epsilon theta prime Belial called in the QRF. Belial realised that it would take time, as the Scions would have to make the journey from space in their Valkyries, but on arrival they would combat drop via grav chute . Pending the arrivial of the QRF, Belial plus his escort took the fight to the vile enemy destroying a wave serpent full with fire dragons !! It was at this time that the sinister Eldar showed their infamous psyker talents with first a warlock and then Eldrad duelling with librarian brother Tiberious. During the duels that followed librarian Tiberius saw off repeated attacks, and then counter attacked. He utilised his considerable talents to move around the battle zone exacting a terrible toll on the thrice damned enemy !!!

Round 2- Eldar move around to get Wraithguard in position to blast the DA. The shining spears (proxied by windriders) flee from Tiberius librarian and his buddies.

Events rapidly escalated as heretical ghost animated warriors of the Eldar, with armoured ghost mechanical constructs in support, advanced upon the grandmaster and his loyal bodyguard. Angered by the heresy of such witchcraft, Belial plus his escort set about the alien constructs and purged them for good . As the Eldar weapons retaliated, the QRF arrived in all their glory. Four fully loaded Valkyries descended out of the clouds dropping storm troopers off the rear ramps whilst unleashing a powerful display of imperial firepower fury at the enemy across the full width of the battle space !!!! 

Round 3- having killed a Wraithlord, Belial is after Eldrad atop the ruins. And the Valkyries arrive!

The ancient battle brother Markus Antinious enshrined in his contemptor dreadnought armour targeted an enemy Tau flyer to do some target practice and ended up producing damage to the fuselage . 

Round 3- a Valkyrie view of the targets!!

As the end game drew near Belial saw his opposite number in the impossibly old Eldrad on the top of a ruined building. He charged the position, taking an unholy amount of fire in the process, but still walking through it like it was just rain. Belial focused on getting to the vile leader of the Eldar, but it wasn't possible. After trading blows, the thrice damned alien scum opened a portal and Eldrad with the rest of the Eldar- Tau alliance slipped away into the Warp-way, never to be seen. For how long no one knows... 

After completing SSE ( sensitive site exploration) protocols the QRF deemed the site secure and the nature of the artifact was established. The heretical artefact was composed of crystalline rock that poured pure evil forth (Brother Tiberius note:  no wonder the warp-stained Eldar wanted it, and as for the Tau no doubt the Eldar told them it's for - THE GREATER GOOD ) . The full rituals of purification were completed and the site blasted from orbit to remove the artefact and any stain of its presence, once all forces had returned to their spacecraft .

This concludes the action report 

Thought for the day - 
Aliens are filth have no fear no remorse for they will show you none 
Do what must be done !!!


With a gesture, Eldrad Ulthwain switched off the display. The intercepted battle report had made for sombre reading. The ancient Eldar Farseer rose from his seat on the ship's observation deck and strode to the giant window. The vastness of space before him weighed heavy on his shoulders.

The Deathwing had proven devastating opponents. Even before the formation of Valkyries had soared in his troops had been taken apart by the thunder hammers and storm bolters. He had lost too many good allies--the Iyanden spiritseer, Ulthas, had died in a blaze of agony with his wraithguard; the warlock, Vyan, had fallen with his Dire Avenger unit; and the Tau Commander, Ir'Oth'Tau, had succumbed to an onslaught of two terminator units at the start of the conflict.

Where had he gone wrong? So many battles, over so many years--he tired of the relentless bloodshed. The Tau had been impetous, eager to secure the artefact, and had jumped away from where the Eldar could assist them. They were easy targets for the deep striking Deathwing. Without leadership the Stealth suited Tau unit, and the Fire Warriors, proved little value. His own units--the Setting Sun (Swooping Hawks) and Swiftest Light (Shining Spears)--had died as they sought to secure the artefact, before the Tau flyer could aid them.

We were ill-prepared for the aerial onslaught and the stolen technology of these Imperial lackeys, Eldrad considered. We should have focused our attacks on single units--methodical, clinical.
Like the Deathwing.
Do I have to become my enemy to defeat them? Is that the true path of the Eldar?

"My liege?"

Eldrad turned to regard the Farseer who approached. The eldar was young, but exuded warp power from every pore.

"I asked not to be distrubed during my contemplations."

"My apologies," he replied. "But we have reports of other ships nearing the system. Chaos Marines, Orks, and some space marine forces--White Scars and Space Wolves as far as we can tell. Shall I alert the Tau ship?"

"No, no--not yet. They are an impulsive race, in their desire for the greater good. Let them lick their wounds a time longer, as we do ours."

"We are preparing the Crimson Hunters in readiness for the next strike."

"Which you shall lead."

The Farseer bowed, and then left the observation deck.

So, the conflict was joined by more of the Imperium, as well as the fell forces of Chaos and Orks. Did they suspect the true nature of the ancient technology on Hopes Reach? The Chaos artefact destroyed by the Dark Angels was only a tiny part of the mystery on the planet below.

A mystery that if possessed by naive hands could spell disaster for the galaxy.


So the saga of Hopes Reach will continue next time, as the battle is joined by the White Scars...

Thursday, 31 July 2014

a quick word from our sponsors...

Its a rarity that i get to the cinema these days. With three kids with divergent ages its difficult to find common films, and when me and t'wife get some time off together the last thing we want to do is sit in a dark room with dozens of people eating popcorn in our ears and not be able to talk (yes, we still talk after 14 years of marriage).
So it was quite a treat the other day to drop the titchy one at pre-school and take older two to the flicks. Now I'd hoped a decent superhero movie was on but, and this must be a rare hole in the scheduling, there was none! We must be post-Xmen and pre-Guardians at present. So the next best choice was the new Transformers movie, which is a sort of reset to the series wherein we get some new fleshy stars alongside the same bunch of robot aliens.

All in all it was a good laugh--a little long, rather too many almost finales and trying to man itself up by saying 'sh1t' a whole lot--but with great action scenes and amusing characters. I'd not seen Transformers 3, but that did;t really matter as i got the plot in about 5 minutes anyway.
But beyond all else, the lasting impression for me was the in your face product placement in the movie. Seriously it was as subtle as a blowtorch on your testicles. There's a few subtle ones to start with--bottles of Bud on trays of food etc--and then 'boom' a lorryload of Bud Lite with bottles rolling everywhere, Marky Mark pausing after a death defying escape to pop a cap and swig some. The bald millionaire dude pointlessly slurping some Chinese milk carton straight to camera with irrelevant dialogue. Then the slo-mo Johnie Woo style shooting Bumblebee twisting past a van with Victoria's Secret on the side. It'd have been less subtle if he wore stockings and suspenders.

Should i be surprised? Certainly Transformers is no stranger to it--the motor company GM allegedly gave a million dollars of cars towards filming Transformers 1. But so noticeable? I looked on-line and was surprised how many films I'd seen that were famous for the product placement done in a crap manner: Superman 2 and the Coca-Cola billboard--OMG, yes i remember that; ET and the trail of M&Ms. I googled it and wiki-thingy mentions it goes back to Jules Verne, and travel companies wanting to be in 80 days around the world!!

It got me thinking how much fun it'd be to have product placement in unlikelier programmes. What could you advertise in Games of Thrones? Life Insurance? Antiseptics? Thermal underwear? Perhaps a smartphone for Jon Snow (who, after all, knows nothing). Or on Hannibal? Some Gaviscon for the post-flesh indigestion?

The best scene I recall for product placement has to be on Wayne's World. I'll leave you with this clip, and the thought that perhaps the true irony about this was that most of the companies satirised probably did pay for the appearance, even if it was a gag!!!

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Chaos in Conflict - CSM vs CSM

So after 18 months of playing Warhammer with my lad, Charlie, I finally had my first game against someone not related to me and able to call on the unbeatable reserves of his mum. Having said that, I’ve never won against Charlie—and yesterday’s game was following suite.

But what a great laugh! I met Iain by one of those weird coincidences wherein we’d both commented on the same photo on a Facebook group and I noticed his address said ’Greetland.’ Long story short, we befriended on FB and met up yesterday for the first epic game.
We’re both Chaos Space Marines players, and for our first battle chose to stick with the armies we knew. Iain’s been playing since he was a lad, and fortunately this was a fun game where I was reassured he was going to go easy on me!
My boys???
The Lords of Aberration –Decay Division (2500 points)

HQ: (1) Lord Terganus—Chaos Lord: Jump Pack , MON, Sigil of corruption, Plasma pistol, Black Mace
(2)Boroth Bileblood—Daemon Prince : Burning Brand of Skalanthrax, Demon of Nurgle, Power Armour, Wings

Elite: (1) Chaos Terminators (x5) –Reaper Autocannon /Combi-melta, Powerfist x3
(2)Chosen (x5)—4xMeltagun, MON, Chosen Champion Gift of mutation, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Chaos Rhino
(3) Helbrute - Missile launcher/ TL lascannon

The Lords of Aberration chaos marines

Troops: (1) Chaos Cultists (x10) Autoguns /Flamer
(2) Chaos Space Marines (x10) Autocannon ,Plasma Gun
(3) Plague Marines (x6) Meltagun/Plasma Gun & Plague Champion - Combi -melta, Power Fist& Chaos Rhino
(4) Plague Marines (x5) : 2x Flamer & Plague Champion- Combi-flamer

Fast: (1) Chaos Bikers (x3) - MON, 2x Meltagun &Chaos Biker Champion- Melta Bombs, Plasma Pistol
(2) Heldrake - Hades Autocannon
(3)Raptors (x5) Meltagun/Plasma Gun, Plasma Pistol
Heavy: (1)Chaos Predator : Autocannon, Lascannons
(2)Forgefiend –Additional Ectoplasm Cannon, 2xHades
(3) Obliterators (x2) :MON

One of the Nurgle Obliterators

Iain lent me a drake to play with, and his 2.5K of awesomeness included a Nurgle psyker DP, terminators in a land raider, two units of CSM (Nurgle), plague marines, Dreadclaw drop pod, heldrake, defiler, a vindicator, and… an Imperial Knight. Yes, I’m not messing with you—370 whatever points of awesomeness, with a big bugger melta pie-plate that made my troops do the impression of the wicked witch having a shower…

As it was my first game of 7th Ed we decided just to go for total wipeout, and off we went…

I didn’t take enough notes to do a detailed Batrep, but essentially we had a standard size play area with loads of terrain (and cover!!), an abandoned Aegis line with Quad-gun and statue, and a river with bridges. I had Helturkey and termies in reserve, he had Heldrake only.

First round I learned about absence of psykers in my army the hard way as his DP sends rotting magic and fly palsies across my troops. I slung some heavy shots against his vindicator and defiler, stripping a few HPs away, and raced up the field with raptors and bikes aiming to flank the Imperial Knight.
Then he flings a defiler, vindicator and imperial knight pie-plate in the manner of a 41st millennium Greek wedding. Think the raptors and chaos lord went down to that salvo, and predator/forgie got scorched. The awesome drop pod lands in the middle of my dudes and his marines spill out.

the ill-fated bikers racing towards the huge Knight....

Turn two the Chosen earned their money by melta-ing the land raider, and some lucky hits from my brute and bikers immobilises his Knight. Similar hits on the vindicator stop it dead in its tracks.
His DP cooked and rotted his way through my cultists, and the Knight blew up two bikers.

Turn three, I blew some more chunks out of his guys but nothing major, and the DP got medieval on some Plague Marines asses—well, the cankerous flakes of armour that resemble buttocks. He returned the favour by his DP toasting my PMs, and his other heavies almost finshing Forgie.

The Decay Division's finest Plague marines, looking for moisturiser...

Turn four, and still no drake, and the Termies deepstrike mishap back into ongoing reserves! Noooo!!!. DP finishes off the plague marines and sets his sights on Imperial Knight, whilst Helbrute and one biker keep chipping at it. Then Forgie and Predator nail the Defiler into demon-crab oblivion. In reply, he finishes off predator that round and his Termies annihilate the cheeky Chosen.

The Cheeky Chosen

The epic finale finds my plasma-melta PMs scrapping with his CSMs and losing; his Vindicator holds on still; and my DP charges his Imperial Knight. On my round of combat we are both still standing, albeit both with a wound left. And my Termies mishap again! 240 points of utter crappery there!

The shy Termies who never arrived at the party

Final round, Iain’s turn five, is like the end of the Godfather. He pops my Forgefiend, my Plague Marines, and my Heldrake. And the fight between the Imperial Knight and my DP? Incredibly I get the hits, and the pen roll—and he explodes. The wave of energy vaporises my last biker, and some of his marines.

Forgefiend, looking rather blue in this photo. Lad did well in battle--earned his points back

Iain is the victor—winning by 3 or 4 VPs due to his slay warlord, linebreaker and first blood. Most importantly we had a great laugh, and finished the game feeling like we’d known each other ages rather than for four hours. It’s funny how life throws these things at you—meeting someone who has such similar tastes and sense of humour in such an offbeat way. I’m hoping we’ve got many more games ahead, and many more laughs.