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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8 thoughts on “The Kings of St. Arkham

  1. sinsynn says:

    I’m a big Mike Mignola fan as well, and his weird Nazi characters helped inspire my Flames of War Xenos-led, artifact-seeking Axis army.
    He’s the only guy that could use dots and dashes and make it look like a texture.
    Sure- it LOOKS easy- go and try it!
    Such a spare style, but so stylistic that you’d recognize his work if it was on a random birthday card.
    …This comment is getting a lil’ long naow, and lord knows I like to keep ’em brief!
    😀

    • beat ronin says:

      Smart arse 🙂

      I’m winning the game by the way. We had to stop at turn four because it’s 40k and takes forever, and we’re going to try and finish in the next few days. But I’m having a good time. It was really good to see my old army on the table again.

      And the Tau are fun. So far being Desperate Allies hasn’t caused any probs at all for my guys. Hanzo shot down… some sort of… Space Marine fighter thingy with assault cannons all over it, and it crashed in a ball of flames right at his feet.

      • sinsynn says:

        Heh. Epic 40k moment.
        That’s wassup.
        Stoopid Beakie flyer. Die in flames!!!
        😀
        Sure, pretty much every game out there has a tidier, more reasonable, better written rules set…
        But not many games produce moments where yer mighty hero guy shoots down a spacefighter, and stands there casually looking awesome as it smashes into the ground at his feet.
        ….
        Dammit I can’t hate on 40k when stuff like that jumps off.

        • xbushcraftx says:

          I had a couple epic moments in WoT tonight. I was playing arty and a couple heavies broke through to my flag at the end of the game, somehow managed to go aggro, play peek a boo in the buildings and shotgun them both for the win lololololol. Then the next game the last artillery is hiding behind a slope, half in a lake. I zoom over the ledge and ram him for the kill but momentum puts me in the deep water and i start drowing. One seond left on the death clock when the victory banner drops. Tee hee.

  2. xbushcraftx says:

    Diggin’ the name and the logo. My brother in law is a huge nerd, if I ever move back to my wife’s hometown he’ll definitely be down to roll some dice.

    Whats this? No in-game pics? Come on guy!

  3. kaptainvon says:

    Nice badge. I want one.
    Nice army background too. I love those little things around which a whole concept coalesces.

    • beat ronin says:

      Hey thanks. It was your posts about Rogue Trader that reminded how to think like this. If you play actual games, then the narrative practically writes itself. You just need to interpret the events. Funnily enough, in the 7th ed. game I just played (by the book, as I wanted to learn), I rolled “Old Grudges” as my Warlord Trait – which was perfect as I was fighting the Ultramarines.

      We’ve agreed from now on that we can pick them though. If 40k is a game that needs discussion beforehand, my one request of anyone I play is going to be that we choose our own Warlord Traits.

      Oh, and I can’t work out how to get those badges. They were on Mike Mignola’s facebook page, and there were stacks of comments saying “where can I get them?” and no reply 😦 Looks to me like they’re on someone’s suit jacket, judging from the fabric. Or perhaps in a display case of some kind.

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