RPG Conflict

Walking through Target at this time of year always makes me think about GM’ing an RPG.
All the school supplies for sale artfully displayed in a small section of the store awakens an itch in my gaming soul.
Seeing all the packages of crisp, clean graph paper, the new empty binders/notebooks with lots of empty pockets, dividers and the packages of pens, pencils, colored pencils, highlighters etc makes me want to rip open those packages of graph paper and colored pencils and begin laying out the bones of an adventure.
But what adventure?
I’m no longer interested in the worlds of Fantasy.  Dungeons & Dragons will always have an honored spot in my memory.  Designing dungeons ruled by a vampire clan that threw orcs, gelatinous cubes, zombies, skeletons and giants at the adventurers in  vain attempts to prevent the adventurers reaching and destroying the vampires was fun.  Or sketching out  vast cave networks where the adventurers were being hunted down by an angry red dragon for killing its hatchlings.  The creation of these worlds and populating them with monsters, magic swords, potions and scrolls will always be remembered as fun, creative times.
But I’m currently more interested in science fiction settings.
And this is where my conflict is.
Edge of the Empire Rulebook
Edge of the Empire Rulebook
I really like what I’ve read about the Fantasy Flight Star Wars RPG system.  There is/was a live play podcast  called “Bothan Banter”   https://bothanbanter.com/ that was very entertaining to listen to and provided great insight into game play that you can’t get from reading the rules & sourcebooks.
But I like Marc Miller’s Traveller universe better.  It ‘feels’ more of a science-fiction milieu, especially if set during the time of the Imperium.  Where the Star Wars universe is a little more cartoony in my opinion.  In the Traveller universe I can see more adventures in the style of Robert H. Heinlien, like Lazarus Long and his extended family colonizing planets and moving on, or Starship Troopers engaged in pitched battles.
I think an Edge of the Empire  story could work with a  Traveller style feel.  It’s a little grittier than an Age of Rebellion story, it could deal more with humans and aliens, less with Force users and Imperial antagonists.  A story about gamblers, second sons from aristocratic planets, shady deals, crime lords and their henchmen all while keeping out of Imperial view would flow nicely.   Or a remote colony world where rare metals are discovered leading to an influx of prospectors, confidence tricksters, unscrupulous corporations and mercenaries hiring out as guards, bandits or militia.
FFG’s dice with their success/fail mechanic, advantages, disadvantages, triumphs and despair encourage and nurture storytelling.  The GM can make a task more challenging by adding difficulty dice to the dice pool.  The players can enhance their successes by rolling some advantages or triumphs. Likewise  the GM can tone down their successes if they roll some disadvantages.
Sure, maybe they successfully picked the pocket of a minor character by rolling up a success, however some threats lead to a loud mouthed kid  that saw them and he starts yelling what he saw at the top of his lungs!
That sounds like fun!
I think I’ve resolved my conflict.

The Avatar of Khaine Craftworld Biel-Tan

The Avatar of Khaine is the embodiment of the spirit of Khaine in a shell of molten metal.

Avatar of Khaine frontal
Avatar of Khaine

Khaine was the god of war of the Eldar.  In times of crisis, when a craftworld goes to war the spirit of Khaine is summoned and a towering construct of metal is imbued with Khaine’s rage.   The avatar stirs the spirit of war in the breasts of the craftworld’s citizens as they don their war masks as Guardians or one of the Aspect Warriors.

The fiery, blazing avatar towers over the Guardians and they become fearless in his vicinity.  Wielding the Wailing Doom, a fearsome weapon in the shape of a sword or a spear the Avatar stalks the battlefields of the 41st millenium destroying all foes it comes across.

The Citadel metal model of the Avatar is a fine sculpt but is showing its age.  Also, it hardly ‘towers over the battlefield’ anymore, being about the size of a plastic Wraith Blade.

On the table

Side View of Avatar
Side View of Avatar

A main role of the avatar is to provide a bubble of fearlessness to the units around him.  It’s prime role is to get into combat and start slaying the foe.  The great strength and high toughness make the avatar an excellent tool for taking out high value targets.  One must be careful against being tarpitted by lesser foes.

Back view of Avatar
Back view of Avatar

This model was painted with Citadel colors.  I tried some wet blending but became impatient and so the blending is not as smooth as intended.   The green hair and green gemstones are intended to show this is the Avatar for the craftworld Biel-Tan.  After applying the static grass and sand to the base I sealed it with Citadel Purity Seal.  Big mistake.  It frosted over horribly.

Avatar after Purity Seal
Avatar after Purity Seal

I applied a gloss coat and that reduced the frosting.

Necron Tesla Immortals

Necron Warriors and Immortals, the heart of a Necron Army

The Littles of the Necrons

Necron Warriors and Immortals are the nuts and bolts of any Necron arny.  They fill the all important Troops slot and are forces to be reckoned with.  Warriors are the most basic of Necrons.  With their limited intelligence and free will they go where they’re told and do what they’re told.  Which is usually, “Go there and kill those”.  Armed with Gauss flayers a squad of 10 can fire a good number of shots at any unit.  These semi-sentient automatons can be embarked upon Ghost Arks for rapid deployment.  Ghost Arks can be used as mobile bunkers adding additional firepower with their Gauss Flayer arrays while providing protection to the Warriors riding on them.
Necron Warriors
Necron Warriors

The Bigs of the Necrons

The Immortals are the Warriors ‘Big Brothers’, slightly bulkier, with a better armor save (3+ vs 4+) and armed with either a Gauss Blaster or Tesla Carbine Immortals are a threat to most foes.  They are footsloggers like Warriors, designed to advance implacably while laying down a torrent of fire.  Denied the ability to ride on Ghost Arks, Immortals have access to the deadly Night Scythe as a transport vehicle.  Being a flyer the Night Scythe can’t start on the board but with teleportation beams a Night Scythe can deliver a squad of Immortals where they need to be with great reliability.

Necron Tesla Immortals
Necron Tesla Immortals

Necron Gauss Immortals
Necron Gauss Immortals

The funsies

Both Immortals and Warriors are excellent objective holders.  Both benefit from Reanimation Protocols (or at least they did in 7th Edition, here’s hoping 8th keeps them as resilient).  Some of the most fun I’ve had with Warriors is having an opponent kill 3 or 4 of them only to have 2 or 3 stand back up!  This is particularly fun against psycher heavy armies since Necrons have virtually no psychic defense (or least they didn’t in 7th, here’s hoping blah blah blah)

Necron Overlord Djetari of the Leytek Dynasty

Fleshlife

Before Djetari became a necron, he was a necrontyr of considerable skill.  While his tactical and strategic abilities were not the best his ability to inspire was superb.  He gathered a great host, more warriors and veterans than any other of the Leytek aristocracy.

Neron Overlord Djetari
Overlord Djetari of the Leytek Dynasty

He organized his hosts units he called ‘Centuries’.  A century consisted of 100 rank and file soldiers, 25 veterans armed with Gauss Blasters and 25 veterans armed with Tesla carbines and their associated vehicles.

Necrontyr to Necron

Djetari’s charisma was diminished during the transformation from flesh to living metal.  However the vast numbers of warriors and Immortals keyed to his control made up for the loss of his inspiring presence. Having hosts of undying soldiers at his command also made up for his lack of strategic skill.  He could afford to send wave after wave, rank after rank of warriors at his foes.  His Immortals could target key objectives while his warriors kept his enemies busy.

 

Roles of the Necron Canoptek Spyder

Necron Canoptek Spyder
Necron Canoptek Spyder

In the tomb

The necron canoptek spyders are the workhorses of the tomb world.  The spyders are monstrously strong with razor sharp pincers that cut through flesh, living metal and steel easily.  Hovering above the ground the spyders are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the tomb world’s technology.

They are capable of spawning scarabs, small scuttling mindless creatures that burrow through anything.  The scarabs break larger items down to smaller units that the spyders can handle more easily.  A small swarm of scarabs can destroy even the mightiest of the Imperium’s war machines in very short order.

In battle

Necron spyders move slowly so they tend to fill a defensive role.  Hanging in the back field spawning scarabs, sending them out in waves of destruction.  Foes that reach the spyder find themselves being crushed by spyder’s strength.  The living metal of the spyder’s body protects against all but the most devastating of weapons.  The spyders claws and pincers pierce and rend the toughest armor with ease.

Necron canoptek spyder
Necron canoptek spyder

Occasionally the spyder will mount short range weaponry that destroys metal and flesh by breaking down their molecular bonds.  Unfeeling and uncaring a necron spyder can cut a swathe through any foolish enough to attack it.

Necron Destroyer Lord Zerg

Necron Lord Zerg and his gun cohort Zig,Zag and Zug
Necron Lord Zerg and his gun cohort Zig,Zag and Zug

History

In his fleshlife the necron Destroyer Lord Zerg was a cruel, vicious member of the Necrontyr aristocracy.  Zerg had a tactical genius for swift strikes that inflicted great damage to his enemies.  He was justly feared  by other members of the Leytek Dynasty.  Few of the other lords of Leytek would openly oppose him.  Those that did would often find themselves falling to his fatal blade.  Short and extremely strong for a necrontyr, Zerg was quick to anger and take offense.

When the Silent King made his bargain with the C’tan to transform the Necrontyr into the Necrons, the Leytek Dynasty was just beginning to rise in prominence.  In them the Silent King saw a viable threat to himself and relocated the dynasty to the outer reaches of his domain.  Zerg took this removal to the hinterlands as a personal insult.  As a result a deep hatred and silent rage began to grow in psyche.  This rage festered during the long millenia that the Leytek tombworld slept.

Awakening

Lord Zerg had arranged with the crypteks that he was to wake from the great sleep before the other lords.  Over the centuries his anger at the Silent King had grown and became less discriminate.  Anyone or anything that he even imagined slighted him became a target of his hatred.  Zerg forced the crypteks to remove his legs and fuse him to a destroyer skimmer.  The pain of that transformation shredded the last few strands of sanity he had left.

Necron Destroyer Lord Zerg
Necron Destroyer Lord Zerg

The Tomb World

While the necrons of the Leytek Dynasty slept deep in their tombs, the world that was theirs was discovered and laid claim to by other races of the galaxy.  The eldar Craftworld Krahlee saw an uninhabited world and nurtured it as a Maiden world.  They cultivated it and it was a garden world for the ship bound eldar to visit in times of peace.

After the human galaxy was torn asunder by the Horus Heresy, a small group fled the war torn Imperium and established a colony.   The colony grew slowly because they used little of the technology of the Imperium, fearful that either the savage forces of roaming chaos warbands or the heavy handed bureaucracy of the Imperium would notice its use.  When the eldar of Craftworld Krahlee took notice of the humans they attacked.  Faced with destruction by the eldar a distress signal was sent but it was too late.  The humans of Morgan’s Grief were slaughtered.  The Imperium arrived too late but found an agri-world and a righteous reason of vengeance to claim it.

The Tomb World Today

Zerg woke to find his home a playground for the hated eldar and infested by a race of primitives with powerful weapons and seemingly unending numbers.

He immediately instructed the crypteks to speed up the awakening of the Leytek but also to keep them hidden.  Zerg and his lieutenants began a series of quick raids killing eldar and human alike.  This temporarily satisfied their rage and lust for killing.  These raids also provided Zerg with much needed information on how the galaxy changed during their long sleep.

Necron Destroyers
Necron Destroyers

The Necrons would pounce on the unsuspecting interlopers of their world.  Zerg’s lieutenants zooming in first Gauss blasters thinning out the foe.  Zerg would then sweep in  swinging his Warscythe  and decimate the rest in a frenzy of hacks and slashes.

 

Tyranid Gargoyles

I painted these  tyranid gargoyles primarily with my Patriot 150 airbrush.

I started with a white primer then airbrushed the blue using Citadel paints watered down 2 parts water to 1 part paint.

Tyranid Gargoyles
Gargoyles

After the blue I airbrushed the edges, the carapace and the bones in the wings purple.

Tyranid Gargoyle
Gargoyle

Finally I used a standard brush to paint the weapons bone, the teeth, tongue and eyes.

Battle Recap – Tzeentch vs Dark Angels

This is not a battle report.  Hence the title ‘Battle Recap- Tzeentch vs Dark Angels’.

A battle report would or should be a turn by turn telling of the tale of a game.

This will be  a much more summarized version.

I played Dark Angels with Forces of the Imperium (2 culexus assassins, Yin and Yang.  )

Culexus assassin Yin
Culexus assassin Yin

Culexus assassin Yang
Culexus assassin Yang

The game was 1890 points,  I had 2 Ravenwing Attack squads, each with a combat bike, one with a stock landspeeder and 1 with a landspeeder Vengeance.  I also had a Deathwing formation consisting of 2 squads of 5 terminators, (4 plus sergeant), each with an assault cannon and a squad of Deathwing Knights with 6 Knights plus the Knight Master and 1 level 1 Librarian in terminator armor with force axe.   I also took the Silence Squadron.

My opponent had Magnus, a Demon prince of Tzeentch, 3 squads of 3 terminators each with at least 1 sorcerer.

It was the eternal war mission Emperor’s Will with Hammer & Anvil deployment.

My opponent set up first, 2 squads of terminators on his right flank, 1 on his left, Magnus and the demon prince up center.  I deployed an attack bike and the stock landspeeder on my right and the landspeeder Vengeance back on my left.  I infiltrated Yin 18 inches behind his 2 squads on his right flank and Yang in the center of the table 18″ away from Magnus.  I scouted one attack bike up center and the other one with the stock landspeeder scouted up my right flank towards his single squad of terminators.

I failed to seize and he took his first turn.

Magnus did a lot, he Doom Bolted the Landspeeder Vengeance, penetrated and blew it up.  He killed the attack bike in the center of the table, gained a boon in the form of a Spawn.  At the start of my turn I had 4 units on the table, I was down 2 units and he was up 3 (the spawn and some summoned demons).

I moved up the right flank, Yin moved up and ran within 12″ of the 2 terminator squads with sorcerers and Yang tried to get within 12″ of Magnus and failed.  In the Psychic phase Yin used his Animus Speculum and killed a terminator.  Landspeeder and attack bike failed to hurt the terminators on the right flank.

His turn…not much was happening Magnus and the terminators on the right flank shot at the attack bike and landspeeder, took a hull point off the landspeeder and killed the attack bike.  My turn the Silence Squadron failed to come in but the Deathwing did.  The knights came down right center in his deployment zone, 1 squad of Deathwing scattered into terrain, 1 of the clumsy sods failing his dangerous terrain test and fusing with a rock.  The other squad came down left center near his terminators on my right.  I killed all but his sorcerer on my right flank, Knights moved to my left, Yin was in assault with the 2 terminator squads on the right.  This assault went on for 3 more rounds before Yin lost his last wound.   From this turn on, the adage “40K is a dice game” burned me bad.

Magnus beamed the Dark Angels Deathwing Knights – I failed 2 of 4 3++ saves.  Yin died in his turn, allowing the Knights to assault one squad of his terminators in my turn. The Knight Master hit with 2 of his 4 attacks, failed to wound with 1 of them even though he only needed twos to wound.  The 4 Knights hit 5 times with their 12 attacks on the charge and killed 2 terminators.  Yang killed the spawn from the first turn.

By now there were flamers, another Herald and Seekers, pink horrors  summoned.   The Silence Squadron came in turn 3, took 3 wounds off Magnus even hitting him with the rift cannon , but again I rolled a one to wound, causing no damage.  I was rolling a lot of ones that afternoon!

Magnus got a wound back which my terminators shot back off leaving him with 2.  In a fit of desperation Yang assaulted Magnus, survived the first round with 1 wound but failed to wound Magnus in return.  My librarian and terminators assaulted Magnus, survived thanks to their invulnerable saves but also failed to wound, my other squad of terminators failed their charge.

Magnus wiped one terminator squad and the Librarian, the seekers finished off the Knights.  All I had left were 3 terminators, 3 planes.  Called it there.  The Dark Angels lost.

I like the assassins.  Not sure how to use them effectively though.  It was an enjoyable  game.  It would have ended much differently if I could roll twos or better when I needed to!

Biel Tan Vyper

Vyper was primed with  gray Stynylrez from Badger.  Then sprayed with Citadel Warpstone Glow watered down 1 part paint, 2 parts water.  Highlighted with Citadel Warboss Green also watered down 1 part paint , 2 parts water using Badger Patriot 105 airbrush.  Final highlight was Skarsnik Green applied with brush.

Vyper without thorns
Vyper without thorns