Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Kings of St. Arkham

Hey three posts in one week must be a record for me.

I’ve scraped together the remnants of my Imperial Guard army for a game of Warhammer 40,000 tomorrow.  I’ll be playing my brother-in-law at his place (an old and worthy foe), and really I just want to try using some allies and some psykers and stuff, and have a go at something new.  Well, not new insofar as it’s still 40k we’re talking about here. But new-ish.

I haven’t played anything with my bro for a while because he only really likes 40k, and you might have noticed that I’ve been having er… serious motivational issues with the game, the company, the whole thing, for the last couple of years.  I’m ready to give it a chance again though. Sometimes you just have to take a break I suppose, and blow away the cobwebs when you come back.

Right.  So I mentioned the Fallingstar Cadre last week, and they will be taking to the field tomorrow as part of a larger mercenary company.  I battled for ages trying to come up with a snappy name and a suitable logo for my re-issued guardsmen (seriously, I had trouble sleeping).  I thought about calling them “the Six of Swords” after a card in the Emperor’s Tarot, but wasn’t happy with it.  Then I saw these:

mignolapins

I’m a big fan of Hellboy and of Mike Mignola’s art in general, and that wonky skull with a crown looks like a perfect merc company symbol.  Plus this is 40k – it was always going to be a skull, let’s face it.

So I let the symbol dictate the name.  These guys are going to be called the Kings of St. Arkham (KOSA); an ironic name, since they are the survivors of a dead world. In the last campaign I played against my brother-in-law, St. Arkham was invaded and cleansed by the Ultramarines and a Titan Legion, leaving the remnants of the St. Arkham Guard regiments homeless and embittered against the Imperium of Man.  I’m sure there are a lot of stories like this to be found or written in the 40k universe.  For every world like Krieg, stolidly doing penance for centuries, there’ll be a world where the survivors of Imperial “justice” aren’t so quick to blame themselves.

The core of the merc company is two groups of veterans: one, remnants of the St. Arkham Rifles, are the titular Kings.  The others are Cadians who were fighting with the Arkhamites at the time of the Ultramarines’ invasion – deserters who decided to throw in their lot with their brothers-in-arms rather than lay down and die. The Kings have also picked up some other stragglers in the few years since the destruction of their homeworld: some ogryn muscle; a few scummy ratlings (how could I have a merc company without dodgy abumans?); and the Tau mercenary commander Hanzo and his Fallingstar Cadre.

Anyway this entry is getting a bit long. So I’ll post the list I used and let you know how it went next time.

All the best,

James

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Cyber City OEDO 808

Here is episode one of the anime I mentioned in my last post. I chose the UK version because it’s the one I saw and loved in high school, back when all anime in the west was dubbed.

You’re welcome.

More cyberpunk scenery: noodle bar + scatter terrain

I’ve been working on more scenery for Infinity, and I’m starting to realise that not only could it be used for any cyberpunk game, it could be used for any sci-fi game, period. Even though Warhammer 40,000 has its own range of hideously expensive skull-bedecked terrain these days, I’m imagining a game fought over my cyberpunk scenery and I’m thinking it would give it a nice, old-school feel.  You know, back when it was OK for an Imperial world to look like this:

Field_Police

Ha ha the punk is taller than the marines.

Anyway, I’ve made some stacks of boxes out of glued-together 1/2″ wooden blocks, and this Hello Kitty money-box from a dollar shop, suitably weathered and graffitied, will do nicely on the table. Or on top of a building even.

It even glows when I turn it on...

It even glows when I turn it on…

2014-09-23 15.06.19

The noodle shop is from BP Laser Terrain.  It was a bit of a challenge to put together, but it’s one of their hardest kits, so fair enough.  I’m particularly proud of the scrubbed-out “Kempei” written on the roof.

Below are the images I chose for the screens on top of the noodle bar, since you can’t really see them in the photo (not to mention one of them isn’t actually on yet).  The first one is by a Japanese singer/illustrator I have just discovered called Aki Akane:

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

I think her work is very cyberpunk, even down to the slight creepiness.

 

Extra points if you can identify the 90's anime this screenshot is from.

Extra points if you can identify the 90’s anime this screenshot is from.

So that’s it for today.  Have a good one,

James

Fallingstar Cadre: mercenary Tau

Sometimes it’s funny for me to look back over this blog.  Since I use it mainly to talk to myself and the internet about whatever gaming thoughts and plans occur to me, without censorship, I can sometimes see unconscious patterns emerging.  If I’m still doing this in another year, I might even have enough data to go back and make seasonal predictions about what I’ll do next!  But then I suppose I’d just do the opposite. And it’ll all be comfortably out-of-whack again.  The act of observing changes the thing observed after all.

So. I haven’t played Warhammer 40k for a long time, but it hasn’t gone away, strangely enough. Recently (and as always, with the help of my readers) I’ve come to terms with what it used to mean to me, and figured out what I want from the old beast going forwards.  I still think that it’s a clunky boring game to play and that taking it seriously in any way is not something I’m interested in.  So club play is out for a while.  But I am willing to own that once that’s settled… well maybe I was too hasty in dismissing the entire background setting as worthless and boring and declaring that I couldn’t find anything in it to interest me at all. Continue reading

What I want from miniatures gaming

It’s recently been brought to my attention (by my partner, who was getting a bit sick of hearing about it) that I change my mind a lot about the games I play.  Fickleness mental flexibility is a deep-seated trait of mine, and it can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation. In the case of miniatures gaming, the investment in time and money and the slow preparation required means that changing your mind all the time can be disastrous, financially and in terms of wasted hours. Plus you can feel committed to a game by the physical models you own, and feel guilty for not playing enough, like you’re wasting the time and money.  In my case things are complicated by my long and ambivalent relationship with certain games.

So she suggested that I sit down and really consider what it is that I want from my gaming.  This is not a bad idea, and I’m really glad that I did.  Maybe some of you have similar issues.  I thought I’d share below what I came up with after a few days of mulling it over. Continue reading