25 October 2009

Another Unintended "Hiatus"

It's been a while since anything of substance was shown on this blog with regards to painting, modelling, etc. and while I don't have any good pics at hand, I wanted to say that progress has been made with a couple of projects.

I've spent a bit of time with my Merc crew and the first couple of minis are looking like they'll work pretty nicely.  I'm not entirely sure how I plan to arm all of them or how much individuality I will imbue the squad with, but I've got a couple of ideas about I want to explore.  Most importantly I've been really encouraged by the success of the first two builds, and I'll give a quick parts breakdown to give you all an idea of what I've been working towards.

Heads: Cadian helmeted heads with most detail shaved down (may change).
Bodies: Cadian torsos with Aquilas shaved down.
Arms: Cadian arms with lasgun removed.
Legs: SM Scouts (LOVE the tactical gear).
Weapons: SM Scout shotguns with bracing hand intact.
Other Weapons: Sniper (Vindicare Assassin's Exitus Rifle), Melee Riot (Baton and Shield), SMG (modified lasgun-to-auto-carbine conversion),  Bolters (SM Scout boltguns).

I've put in some work on the Chimera, replacing its turret multi-laser with a heavy bolter, and looking at sorting out a Sentinel for use in the Merc crew (using old, chaotic 2nd ed rules!!!).  I also want to remove the gimbal-mount lasguns on the Chimera, there's no plans for lasguns in the Mercs, so I'd sooner just have open firing ports.

I've also started in on a Guilder and his crew, starting with either a top-level mook or the Guilder himself, a kitbash of Empire Militia, Cadian, and SM Scout bits.  I've long waited an opportunity to start a more eccentric and perhaps anachronistic gang or crew, and this should be just the opportunity I've been looking for.  I plan on creating ornate las-locks for the enforcer-mook types, and all sorts of cool melee-bruisers and other scumbags-for-hire to add to this motley band.  It's gonna be fun.

Cheers to all of you, I'll be back soonish with some more updates.

05 October 2009

October Gaming Report!

A quick note: This report was started quite a while ago, but thanks to a lovely seasonal cold/flu thing, I have been unable to finish it until now.  Sorry for the delay, and to our group: any errors are due to my increasingly fragile long-term memory.  Thanks for some great games!

Hello everyone!  The October meetup was yesterday and all things considered went really well.  I still haven't gotten my old rosters and such transferred to the new laptop, so I was embarassingly unprepared for the games (and so was Jeff, as I handle rosters for his gang as well) and in fact was entirely unable to field the OI-FU.

The NMI hit the boards for two games, one against Darien's Orlock gang Cold Dawn, the other fighting a dissenting Cawdor sect, the Brotherhood of Sorrow.  Steph's Escher went to battle against Jeff's Ash Waste Rifles in a seemingly never-ending game (seriously, more than five turns) that took a brutally heavy toll.

In the first game, Darien and I rolled up a Gang Fight (surprise!) and set up on our respective board edges.  I spread the NMI out into four groups.  I spread out my fighters with my heavy holding the left flank and various shooting and melee sqauds across to my leader on the right flank.  Darien set up with his heavy on the right center of the board and his leader on the left side heading a small squad, with a scattering of gangers in between.  I rolled choice for first turn and gave it to Darien.

The Cold Dawn pushed forward, running to cover and taking up positions amongst the towers and buildings, waiting for the NMI to show their masked faces.  His heavy (carrying "The Lawnmower") took up a really nice firing position near the gate/tower, ready to stall an advance through most of the right half of the board.  The NMI countered by sending several shooters out onto rooftops and catwalks, and their heavy moved up with his flamer, ready to flank from the left side.  An assault group moved in support, headed toward cover behind a large tower.

Darien's gang was ready for me, and the Lawnmower took down one of my gangers in the first round of shooting.  Thankfully this also resulted in a failed ammo roll for the Cold Dawn heavy, neutralizing the threat of the heavy bolter for the rest of the game.  The Orlock leader and several others took some potshots at the NMI assault group, keeping hteir heads down but failing to do any real damage.  A prolonged exchange of gunfire erupted as the NMI returned fire, and while many shots struck home, few serious wounds were actually inflicted on either side.  On my right flank, Benedictus moved up quickly and quietly, avoiding the attention of Cold Dawn gangers.

The relatively bloodless conflict soon took a turn for the worse, as Benedictus and Callixtus maneuvered into position and opened fire on their unsuspecting opponents.  Benedictus's hand flamer stalled a small push from the Orlocks, lighting up a ganger and juve, while Cal's flamer literally rained down fire on an unsuspecting juve below.  This, combined with some decent shooting from my other gangers, pinned or downed several more of Darien's gang, enough that he decided to quit the field.  In a nice little bit of irony however, the Cold Dawn had suffered fewer injuries overall than the NMI (two Orlocks vs. four Cawdor) In keeping with their illustrious history, two of my Cawdor gangers died (and yes, one of these fell off a building - huzzah).

On the other table throughout this battle, Jeff's 7th Ash Waste Rifles fought Steph's Concrete Chaos Queens in a Bushwhack raid, with the Van Saar gunning for the leader of the Eschers.  A massive six-story tower dominated their battleground, and Steph wisely kept his leader screened from fire in the middle levels of that tower.  The Rifles and Escher fought tooth and nail throughout the whole of the raid, resulting in brutal casualties and tons of downed and OoA fighters.  In an astounding turn of events, Rifles leader Orion managed to keep his nerve this time around, avoding breaking from the fight when his bodyguard got taken down in front of him.

The Escher heavy plasma gun, infamous for incinerating an unwitting Delaque in its previous outing, was decidedly less potent in this game.  The Escher heavy eventually found herself in a melee contest with the Van Saar heavy, resulting in a clumsily fierce fight to the death.  After all was said and done in the hand-to-hand phase, Jeff's heavy Zeke had earned the nickname "Bitchkiller" after fatally wounding the plasma-gunning Escher with his boot knife.  This was only one of many blood-and-guts moments throughout the battle, and finally, after many, many attempts to take out the Escher leader, the Van Saar packed it in and retreated, leaving their vendetta unfinished.  This game lasted an inhuman 12+ turns and roughly as many beers between the opponents, and has entered the realm of epic legend in the Underhive for our group.

I played one other game against Mike's Brotherhood of Sorrow.  This Cawdor/Cawdor matchup ended up being pretty interesting, not only in premise but in the events of the battle.  We rolled up a Gang Fight, with a Treacherous Conditions roll resulting in the ineffectual but amusing Cockroaches (nice crunchy living carpet of bugs!).  Mike took advantage of his Tunnels territory, and after the first turn I found my left flank under fire from the rear, crippling the advance I had planned.  Despite the tactical advantage afforded him, Mike's fighters proved to be pretty poor shots, and I was able to counterattack with a few shooters on elevated platforms above his infiltrators.

At this point, the NMI seemed to defy their reputation as clumsy melee enthusiasts, as my shooters consistently hit their targets (but didn't wound a whole lot of them) and managed to keep their footing when hit near a platform edge.  Both Mike and I were perplexed as each of our shooting phases proved much less effective than we hoped.  Antoher odd aspect of this fight was a complete lack of melee combat; my sole remaining juve was pursued through the debris by the BoS leader and a ganger, and all others on both sides were unable to close to charge distance thanks to persistent gunfire.  Eventually the NMI took one too many casualties, and I conceded the game when it came time to take my bottle test.  I did much better in post game this time around, with no fatalities and very few permanent injuries.  The same went for Mike's Cawdor, although he had fewer overall wounded gangers at the end of the game.

This was another good meetup and despite losing a member of our group since last time, we still managed to get a goodly number of games in, and since Steph and myself have multiple gangs we can run (with my Mercs currently under construction as well), it allows for a lot of different matchups to be played.  It's looking as if the next meetup will be held at Darien's place, so we'll see how that works out.  It will be nice to just focus on getting my gangs ready to play rather than cleaning up the house and moving tables around!

01 October 2009

Oh boy...

It's been an okay week so far.  The weather broke from the obscene 90+ F in late September, and has progressed to a much more seasonal mid-50s to mid-70s.  Holy crap, it is about DAMN TIME!  At any rate, this has been a far better week so far.

I've gotten some painting time in and I've started a proof-of-concept model for the Enforcer/Merc crew that I've had in the wings for a long time.  I also built out a Guilder/Rogue Trader who will serve in some future games (Escort missions, Assassinations, etc.), and plan on doing up a couple bodyguards and some flunkies to go along with him.  I've got three old metal Basilisk crew members I plan to strip and convert to this end.

I also found and bought a couch - no more uncomfortable chairs for me, and our cat LOVES the big comfy cushions and claims one at nearly all times, rendering 50% of the couch his distinct territory.

I also picked up Left 4 Dead on PC; perhaps not the wisest move in terms of focusing my hobby efforts but will allow me to interact with friends I don't normally get to talk with on a regular basis.  Plus the game was 50% off during a sale on Steam, so that helped too.  Anyway, Steph's coming over tomorrow after work, we'll get a game of Necromunda in, then I'm going to see Zombieland.  Saturday will be the Reno Celtic Festival, and Sunday is the big Necromunda Meetup for October.  Big doings and hopefully tons of fun this weekend.  I need it.


23 September 2009

How to Stay Motivated

I am fortunate to have a steady job given many recent circumstances and events, and though I am appreciative of the steady paycheck and the means within which I am able to live, I have often found myself at home after the work day is over, thoroughly and completely non-eager to work at my painting, terrain builds, or other aspects of the hobby.

This can be frustrating on many levels, but perhaps the most keenly frustrating bit is the fact that I sometimes look at my bench and say to myself, "You need to get some work in on X, Y, Z, ... "

Perhaps this is the key to those stretches of time in which the hobby gets shoved aside.  The terminology used there: "You need to get some work in..."  This seems completely at odds with the reasons which enamored me to this pastime and can be a large obstacle towards my enjoyment thereof.

I remember that when I was in grade 7, or 8, when I first picked up 2nd Ed. Warhammer 40,000.  I was so totally and completely infatuated with the miniatures, the stories, the amazing photos of painted armies, and the sheer possibility presented to me with this new toy.  I say toy because that is how it was perceived by 12-13-year old me, but I soon realized that there was much more to this game than toy soldiers and dice.

I started painting and I loved it.  I think I must have spent whole weeks' worth of time crafting my incredibly cool and entirely non-competitive Ultramarine army, and soon my two best friends joined in with me, each of them grabbing hold of a Space Marine army (Blood Angels and counts-as Dark Angels), and we went to town.  Games lasted hours and frequently never got finished, mostly due to the fact that we only played once a month and because we had a Nintendo 64 sitting nearby singing its siren song...

At any rate, this bit of nostalgia is likely leaving some of you folks screaming "Pack it in, M.W.!!" so I'll address my main point now: things have changed and perhaps the most relevant of these changes is the fact that I can now afford most of the cool minis I want and have the time to paint them and play, but it has become more difficult to let go of all the responsibilities and worries that come with maturity (societal, physical, mental, etc.) and just give myself time to do my own thing and enjoy this admittedly silly little hobby.

Over the last two or three weeks, I've had to make some changes in my lifestyle and surroundings, as well as taking on a fairly-mundane-yet-occasionally-intensely-challenging project at work, and between an occasional sense of moderate depression and the daily feeling of "I'm finally done with work and now I will drink a beer and do nothing for a while," I've found my workbench becoming neglected.  I've got three hired guns and the NMI sitting on the desk, awaiting some simple painting work - not kitbashing, not cleaning, not sculpting but just plain old painting - and they've sat there mostly untouched for a week and a half.  What exactly is so terrible about this simple, formerly enjoyable task, you might wonder?  I cannot honestly tell you the reason I've been ignoring these items on my to-do list but I can guess that it stems from a problem with my approach towards the hobby of late.  The need to "Get Something Done" is overwhelming the idea of fun in my hobby and all it will take for me to get stuck in again is to simply look forward to the opportunity to paint rather than the responsibility of painting.

That said, I want to see if things will change once I take a new look at the bench, and hopefully that will mean some interesting new minis done up properly and some photos as proof of my triumph (such as it may be).  I do get a lot out of this little hobby of mine and I want that sense of accomplishment and achievement to be a more constant emotion.

Okay, that'll about do it for me tonight.  Thanks for the patience (I just need to start finishing each post with that from now on, eh?) and I'll be back soon.


21 September 2009

Still Reading? Good.

First, my apologies for the lack of posts, I've been dealing with a bit of personal stuff and it's been a bit of a drain on my time and my efforts in the hobby.  Among these things is a rearranging of my work spaces, and to my immense frustration, yet more modification of furniture is required.  Grrrrr.

However, it's not all bad.  I'm set up much more favorably in this new arrangment - the painting desk is set up between two windowfuls of gorgeous natural light, and even with the inevitable battles for desk space I will be having with the cat, I am looking forward to getting some work done.

With regards to the gaming group, we've lost Matt - just a sort of "not my thing" situation for him.  It's too bad that the game's not for him but I can't fault him for giving it a good couple of tries.  Our next meetup is looking to be the 4th of October, and I'm going to try to get a game in with one or two of the members between now and then.  We've decided to go with once a month for a big meetup and we all try to get in a game or two in between with a random opponent.  It's hopefully easier for everyone to fit this into their schedules and plan around it, rather than try to fit the meetup in between other stuff.

10 September 2009

Limited Labor Day WIPs

I've gotten enough of a handle on the techy bollocks of late to get som epics posted.  These have gone up at Eastern Fringe already, but I hope you enjoy them all the same.

First is the mysterious Bounty Hunter known only as Mister Todd.
His backpack is MIA but I know I will find it very soon and have him finished within a week, I hope.  This is one of my absolute favorite minatures from the Necromunda line, a bit goofy but very characterful and oozing detail.  I tried for a German style camo on the trousers which I am happy with and seems to work pretty well so far.  Inspiration for his name may become apparent if one is familiar with recent adaptions of Sondheim.

Next is a former member of the Necromundan PDF, assigned to extended duty at the edge of the Ash Wastes.  This is one SSGT Leon.
Leon is originally a 3rd Edition Stormtrooper.  These guys were great with their heavy armour and just sort of nonchalant body language.  It was sad to see so little attention given to them, as they only seemed to have a handful of poses across the whole line.  Admittedly this is an improvement on the plastic Stormtroopers that preceded them, but still a bit of a downer.  At any rate I painted him up to look like he's got a heavy duty bodysuit to protect against corrosive ash storms, over which is his tactical protective gear.  Assorted equipment is done up in a tactical gray.  Expect a bit of chipping and weathering on his gear, still to come.

Okay, that's all for now, but I did some work on loot tokens and some of the old 3rd edition plastic building ruins terrain, so I'll edit up and post some pics of that once I get Photoshop transferred to this new computer.

Cheers, all!

09 September 2009

Technical Difficulties are Overcome

Hey again.

My old reliable black PC tower is ailing quite a whole lot and in light of what I assume to be rapid-onset cooling problems, has developed a nasty buzzing from the inner workings that no amount of cleaning or basic maintenance has been able to sort out.

So I did a bit of work and research, and found myself a new laptop format.  This marks the first blog post from that new platform, and also an apology that the timing of this snafu meant a distinct lack of photos from this weekend.  I did take some pics though, and they will be cleaned up and posted soon.

Meantime I am excited about the computer.  I've been sort of a neo-Luddite about laptops, and I finally broke down.  Hopefully it will be worth it, but when Windows 7 drops that will be a huge help.

So here it is, thanks for your patience and I'll pay up eventually.

03 September 2009

Quick Note

Look! a splash picture at the top of the blog!

I've been meaning to do that for a while, and although it's not exactly how I want it to look, there's at least a placeholder up there adding a bit of color to the darkness of Sector N-UH-855.

I took a bunch of pics tonight but I rushed them and the light in this room is bad for minis and terrain so I am vetoing them all until I can get some better shots.  Thankfully someone decided that celebrating workers in the US should happen this weekend so there will be plenty of nice light to shoot in.

That's all, cheers!

02 September 2009

Stalled out, OH NOEZ.

Well, a bit of news, some good some bad.  Firstly the bad:  the next meet will be a bit later than expected.  Our "every other Sunday" schedule dropped this meetup on Labor Day weekend and as many of our members already have plans, we had to reschedule.  The next weekend is no good and so the campaign will continue on the 20th.

EDIT: ARGH, there is yet another speedbump as the 20th is committed on my part and Jeff's.  I have no clue when the campaign will continue.  This is getting frustrating.

Good news is I can probably get a lot of stuff done in the meantime!  I've still got a lot of WIP terrain that needs finishing.  I've got a garage (and work/games tables) available to me now and can do spraying, sealing, etc. without being at the mercies of the weather.  It will also allow me to spend some time with the hired guns and mercs I've been waiting to finish, getting a bit of variety available for the new campaign.
    •  Gate/watchtower (1)
    • Ruins (2)
    • Tank cluster (1)
    • Big Green Tower (1)
    • Catwalks (3)
    • Bounty Hunter (1)
    • Ratskin Scout (1)
    • PDF Deserter (1)
    • Sniper Merc (1)
    • NMI bases (12)
    • Frank the Lictor (1)
    I've had some problems with managing my focus and time spent on projects before, so I'm going to try to keep my discipline up a bit more and provide steady WIP reports and photos.  Here's hoping I can hold myself to it.

    Cheers all, and I will look to post up some pics as early as Thursday night!

    31 August 2009

    Big Brutal Battles! Part Three

    On to the final report from last Sunday, with the Cold Dawn facing the Brotherhood of Sorrow.  These gangs are both on the small side, with eight men in each crew, but rest assured they fought like mad.  The game started simply enough, a Gang Fight with no Treacherous roll, with Mike's Brotherhood deployed in a dispersed formation with a couple 2-man groups to begin, and Darien's Cold Dawn split roughly in half, with his Heavy and two support gangers on one end, and his leader with four other gang members supporting a push at the opposite flank.

    The first turn was pretty quiet as both gangs moved ahead towards a cluster of ruins and old industrial buildings at the center of the board, but Darien found a commanding field of fire for his gang's heavy bolter beneath the arch of a gate watchtower.  The Orlock heavy took down several Cawdor gangers through the rest of the game, prompting our group to start calling him "Lawnmower," and much to Mike's chagrin, Darien's first several rolls to hit (as well as his sustained fire and ammo rolls) contained an inordinate number of sixes, while Mike's rolls tended to the lower end of the D6 spectrum.

    The Brotherhood's heavy and one juve were taken out before they could get to grips with their Orlock rivals, and the Cold Dawn capitalized on their advantage by sending up some hand-to-hand fighters from the leader's group.  Meanwhile, the support fighters alongside the Orlock heavy moved to suppress a team of Brotherhood members picking their way through cover towards the Lawnmower's position.  Just as the BoS fireteam moved into sight of their targets, and the flanking team neared the Orlock heavy bolter team, Darien's luck started swinging into the low end of the D6, as ones started popping up with unsettling frequency - shots missed targets or failed to wound, and Mike seemed to have found the perfect opportunity to turn the tables on the Orlocks.

    Unfortunately, the Cawdor Brotherhood of Sorrow found their opponents to be much more fierce than they expected.  Orlock gunfire cut down the melee team in the ruins near the gate, while the lasgunners were caught out and engaged in hand-to-hand, and subsequently routed after fierce close combat.  At this point, Mike decided he'd better run while some of his gangers could still do so, and quit the field.  Fortunately though, his casualties were fairly light, and more importantly, the Brotherhood found themselves hosting an unexpected guest!  Shivers from the Cold Dawn woke up in shackles at the Brotherhood's home territory, and enjoyed (or endured) some kind hospitality from the Cawdor, until Darien offered a new Infrared Gunsight and Hotshot Power Pack in exchange for his ganger.

    27 August 2009

    Big Brutal Battles! Part Two

    The battle between the Concrete Chaos Queens and Delaque gang was no less intense. The Gang Fight was set in an area full of Methane Gas Pockets, which made it risky to fire from cover. Each gang spread out into smaller groups, with the Queens sending a melee team along the right flank, with their plasma cannon set up near the center of the board edge, and a small fire team moving up the right.

    To counter, Matt sent his Delaque flamer along with some juves and gangers to push against the fireteam, and his heavy stubber almost immediately proved its worth. As the Queens' melee team led by "The Witch," moved up onto a gantry headed toward the Delaque line, the heavy stubber opened fire, rolling up 4 shots in sustained fire and cutting down three of the four melee girls. The only one left standing wisely judged the situation to be hazardous and dove for cover, sheer terror leaving her incapacitated for the time being.

    Unfortunately, the leader of the Delaques was so emboldened by this decisive and nasty counter-flanking measure that he sorely underestimated the remaining Escher force. As he moved from cover, the Queens' heavy hefted a huge plasma cannon, switched the toggle to Max Power, and fired. I got called away from my game to help govern the shooting phase, as Steph hadn't ever brought so much firepower to bear. Next Steph sorted the Damage roll (possible D10 wounds) and ... the whole group sort of groaned as we saw the result. The shot was so powerful it inflicted the FULL TEN WOUNDS possible on the Delaque leader and left him as a smoldering pile of pain. Needless to say he went OoA. Several times over.

    Afterwards I am unfortunately a bit lacking with regards to the game's outcome, as I returned to my game which had just started to get bloody. I know for a fact that the Methane pockets had some hilarious results, and that the balance of the game swung a bit to both sides before ending. Matt and Steph's game wrapped up a couple turns ahead of mine and Jeff's, and so I will try to get a bit more information from them about their memorable moments, and I will be editing this report a bit to add in new recollections.


    26 August 2009

    Catwalks! Variant A

    By request of KRUG and as a pretty decent way to segue into the WIP aspects of this blog, I'm posting this tutorial on my method of making one of two types of catwalks featured in the Big Brutal Battles reports.

    Click the images for larger versions!

    This particular type uses the following materials:
    • 3/16" or 1/4" thick foamcore
    • 1/16" thick cereal box/thin card
    • Plastic embroidery mesh AKA "granny grating" - any density
    • PVA/White glue
    • Cyanoacrylate glue/Superglue
    • 1/4" styrene L-channel
    • Basing material of your choice (sand, misc. bits, etc.)
    And the following tools:
    • Exacto knife
    • Box cutter/Craft knife
    • Cutting mat
    • Hot glue gun (will be used in future constructions)
    Okay, let's do this thing!

    First, cut your foamcore to a size that seems about right for your needs. My SketchUp example shows a 2 1/2" x 12" piece as a base. Make your cuts as square as possible.
    Next, cut a piece of granny grating to the same dimensions as your foamcore base, perhaps a tad smaller if needed. Take your white glue and coat the foamcore's top, and set your grating on top, being sure to press it into the glue. I often use superglue at this point to "tack weld" the grating to the foamcore, then set it under a few books or magazines to insure even pressure while the glue dries. It is also good to omake these in batches, as the glue-drying phase can take some time.
    The next step is to cut some card to cover the long exposed edges of foamcore so they don't react adversely to spraypainting. Cut them to the same length as the foamcore, and wide enough to end up flush with the top of the granny grating, then white glue them to the long sides of the foamcore.
    Now you'll get a piece of 1/4" L-shaped styrene channel (I use Evergreen products as they are readily available in town), and cut two pieces, each equal in length to the foamcore plus the pieces of card to each side ( foamcore width + about 1/8"). Coat the exposed foamcore in white glue and score the styrene in a cross hatch pattern, then superglue them to the white glue-coated foamcore. Hold them in place while the superglue sets, then get ready for more card cutting.
    Cut two pieces of card to strips, measuring 1/4" by 12" (or whatever length your catwalk is. You'll then use white glue and superglue "tack welds" to secure these to the top of the granny grating, so that you create the long sides of a "frame" over top of the mesh. See the example pic to clarify:
    Next cut two more strips of card, this time 1/4" wide and long enough to finish the "frame" (in this case 2-1/16" long) around the mesh. Again, the example picture will help to clear up confusion:
    And there you have it! Add basing materials like sand or pieces of discarded gear to your catwalk, or leave them clear of debris (you obsessive clean freak, you!). I've also done heavily damaged catwalks partially destroyed by explosions, using bits of paper clip stuck into the foamcore to represent reinforcement bars, and I am toying with adding pipe and conduit to new pieces to add variety.
    The great thing about these catwalks is their ability to span pretty impressive distances without needing a whole lot in the way of reinforcement. The foamcore creates a sturdy base and all the card strips and such help to build up that strength. One thing I would recommend is that if you go a whole lot further than 12" in length, is to add bits that suggest structural upgrades, even if they aren't practically necessary. It adds many things: aesthetic detail, a bit of cover, and a sense of character that can become quite impressive.

    So anyway, that's one variant of my catwalks, I'll look at posting the "tiled" version soonish, if I don't get distracted or think of a better idea. Please let me know if this was helpful and if there are other ideas or things I can improve upon. I'll try to get actual WIP shots when next I build something, so I don't have to point to a screenshot.

    Cheers, and good luck trying your hand at some new catwalks!

    23 August 2009

    Big Brutal Battles! Part One

    EDIT: Fixed it!


    The new campaign started off quite fiercely with three games played between the six players in the group (the seventh apparently decided not to join up after all), and there was a lot of blood shed on this fateful day.

    The three matchups were:
    • My Orlock Iron-Forge Union (Orlock) v. Jeff's 7th Ash Waste Rifles (Van Saar)
    • Steph's Concrete Chaos Queens (Escher) v. Matt's Delaques
    • Mike's The Brotherhood of Sorrow (Cawdor) v. Darien's The Cold Dawn (Orlock)
    Each game was pretty intense and everyone had a chance to get a full game in, and what games they were! the OI-FU/7th AWR matchup was a Gang Fight, with our Treacherous Conditions roll setting the battlefield deep within swirling clouds of thick fog, limiting our vision to 16" for the game. I rolled for first turn and gave it to my opponent which in retrospect, given the fog, was a crap idea - it ended up giving a decent tactical benefit.

    Our board setup featured several three-story towers with 12" long catwalks, as well as some secondary towers, wrecked Chimera hulls, and old ruins of habs mingling with ad-hoc fences and guard towers. I deployed the OI-FU in four groups; a static fireteam including my heavy at the edge center, two juve/shotgun ganger teams at center and far left, and a leader/lasgunner/juve team to the right, with a single lasgunner taking to the gantries above the ground as well.

    My brother came on strong and moved to very advantageous positions. A team of autogunners and his heavy repelled the OI-FU's right-flank push, while his bolt pistoliers quickly took up position at the central area of the board, and a lasgunner team moved to repel my left flank push. My heavy and his backup found themselves out of visual range for much of the game (damn fog), but eventually made a difference towards the fourth and fifth turns.

    Fortunately for me the 7th AWR suffered from some of the worst accuracy and worst firearm maintenance I've ever seen in a Van Saar gang, and I only started suffering bad casualties in the fourth turn. Once we both closed to within the 16" "nucleus" everything got real bad real fast, with gangers and juves going down left and right. Thankfully my Orlocks don't suffer the same klutz factor as my Cawdor, and they almost always kept their footing around platform/gantry edges.

    The endgame finally rolled around on my third bottle test. I ran for it, voluntarily, as at that point I had 6 men OoA and 2 more Down, out of 12 total.

    Yep, 75% of the gang could not fight anymore, and if I'd left it to chance, it was likely to be a total shutout, with all my gang bleeding on the floor trying not to die. As it was, I only had a couple injuries worth mentioning: a juve with an Arm Wound, a ganger with a Chest Wound, and one man Captured. The 7th AWR had a man Captured, and one man Dead, with a Chest Wounded juve. In his post-game territory rolls, my brother had a Chem Pit incident and ended up with a Horribly Scarred ganger. I could only work three territories, so thank goodness for my two Settlements and Drinking Hole.

    I'll be posting up more accounts soon, as well as pictures but to be honest I have had a bit to drink tonight and my camera's gone missing (I hate moving...)!

    Cheers all!

    20 August 2009

    A Year in the Hive

    Quick update!

    After several weeks of summer heat and occasional (incredibly inconvenient) thunderstorms and rain, the moving ordeal is over. Boxes are being emptied and their contents organized into their proper places with surprising efficiency; the hobby desk is populated with paints, reference materials, toolboxes, and WIPs; the house is quickly becoming a home (AWWW).

    I've sent out a confirmation notice for our gaming group and it looks like we will have a crew of seven in attendance on Sunday, myself included. I am really excited, we're all ready to get some gaming in, and it's been tough to wait for so long after getting some newly-interested gamers involved.

    On the other hand, a really interesting coincidence has come to my attention; it has been little more than one year between the start of our first camapign (1 August 2008) and this new campaign (23 August 2009). It has really been interesting to look back on what I've worked on and how far along I've managed to make it on my ever-changing laundry list of projects and ideas. Some aspects of the hobby have improved for me greatly, others have not been developed as well as I'd like.

    For instance:

    Terrain: 30+ pieces either table-ready or WIP. 6 or so pieces awaiting a finished build. Very happy about this one, lots of challenge and a really great practical and aesthetic boon to the games we play. Also allowed me to have a good time working on pieces with gaming buddies.

    Games Table: 2 built, one for myself and one for Steph, again we got a chance to hang out and discuss gaming and other aspects of life whilst getting some real work done. I think I can stand to improve my design and provided things keep going well at work, etc. I am thinking about maybe doing up some modular 1'x1' board sections for a future project. We'll see...

    Models: I feel the most simultaneous ups and downs from this aspect, I think. On the one hand, most of my models were built very quickly before the first campaign started and while I've done a goodly amount of work to finish the rougher edges of these models, I've had terrible problems with staying focused and getting work done efficiently. To break it down:

    Okay, I guess:
    • Roughly a dozen models in a gang primed, no paint (We are 138).
    • A half dozen WIP hired guns.
    • Roughly a dozen models in a gang awaiting painted bases (NMI).
    • 2 dozen zombies WIP.
    • Roughly a dozen models in a gang completely revamped (OI-FU).
    Gaming: Our group has played a lot but a regular schedule has never really been established. That's been frustrating but totally understandable: people have obligations, emergencies, changing schedules, etc. However, I really hope that more of us in the group will mean more value placed on getting a regular game schedule in place and more gained from time spent gaming. I personally have learned a lot of strategy and changed some of my worse habits as more games have been played. With new players this can only get better and I look forward to new challenges and ideas for playing.

    Hobby: Despite my sometimes flaky approach to the hobby there's been improvements in the way I work and how I approach projects. I've tried new ideas and methods of construction, and have a better sense of my abilities now than I have ever before. I've expanded my sources of inspiration (read: I expanded my post-apocalypse film collection and my zombie book library by at least 200% each) and have an easier time creating playable terrain derived from books or film, while still providing a strong visual/aesthetic link to the source material. Overall very pleased with my last year.

    So at any rate, it's been a pretty good year for gaming and hobby for me. Take a look at your last year and see what you've done well, what you'd like to improve, etc. Or don't, it's your choice. However, it can be pretty fulfilling to take a step back and see what you've created and how your work changed.

    Cheers, all.

    17 August 2009

    Changing gears

    Hey again.

    The transition has passed a big milestone - the old apartment is now back in the hands of the rental company. We dropped off the keys last night, and now its just a matter of getting the new place all unpacked and ready for the big meetup this coming Sunday.

    Last weekend (August 8-9) my dad brought a saw and other tools over and we shortened the shelving so it would fit in the new house, and they look pretty damn good all laden with terrain, miniatures, and hobby supplies. It show me that I clearly have more work to do, as there's many empty shelves still waiting for something to be stored.

    That said, there are still a couple of big items needing to be set up - my printer and its accoutrements, my record player, and a few other things that just need to figure out what little bit of floor space they will live in (for now anyway).

    I also recently learned that a friend of mine is in pretty dire straits, in ICU for at least the last four days, and that's been a big distraction lingering about in my head. As callous as it may or may not sound, I am looking forward to the distraction of unpacking and arranging the house, this bad news is a bit much to bear. I hope it turns out better than I keep imagining it could.

    Anyway, things continue and I hope to be back at my desk putting together new stuff and finishing WIP pieces by the end of the month. Thanks for reading, and I'll be sure to post up some pics of our meet after this weekend!


    05 August 2009

    The Ongoing Transplantation

    Hello again everyone,

    I've been busy moving and it's going well! We're living at the new place already and though there's a still stuff that needs to be moved, it gets more and more manageable each and every day. I've sorted out my hobby gear (went over on the first trip!) and brought over one of my workshop desks, only to find out that the ceilings in this new house are about 2 or 3 inches shorter than the shelving. Crap! Thankfully it's just a matter of breaking down the shelves and chopping off the offending lengths, then I'm back in business.

    This weekend we hope to be completely cleared out of the old apartment and have our utilities transferred over to the new place.

    In related news, the camera charger cable I had lost was quickly located, and it was ALMOST in plain sight the whole time. Ugh. I'm glad I found it, though; I didn't really feel like buying a new camera.

    That's it for now, I'll be making a cleanup/packing trip tonight after work so wish me luck.


    27 July 2009

    Moving time

    Well, its been a while since I posted anything of interest and so while I cannot promise an especially thrilling subject for this update, I did want to stick to my promise of chronicling the process of moving. In anticipation of signing our lease and taking possession of this new house, my girlfriend and I have been packing up all the bits and bobs that seem to inevitably pile up around the house after extended residency.

    To that end, I have four boxes of books, hobby supplies, and computer gear, along with an army case (containing all my Necromunda minis), a shoebox full of paints, a large toolbox full of sprues, and a smaller bits-drawer tacklebox with loads of bits, glue and a few tools to boot. These are all ready to go to the new place after we sign the lease tomorrow, and I've secured a half-day off from work to allow for a quick and efficient start to the process of transferring all our crap from Point A to Point B.

    The plan is to get all of this listed stuff over there in the first day and if I carefully load my truck, I can get it all over in one trip and simply take all that stuff with me to work and then the rental office. I'm also working on getting the girlfriend to clear up her stuff from shelving units so they can be disassembled and relocated in short order, preferably witin the next couple of days. The nice thing is that if I can get some stuff loaded before I go to bed, said items can be loaded into my truck before work, and dropped off after work, on the way back to the old house.

    At any rate, tomorrow is the first of 20 days in which we will be moving, so wish us luck and I'll post at least a couple of times throughout.


    22 July 2009

    New Digs!

    Hey everyone!

    I put down a deposit on a bigger better living arrangement today, and damn if it isn't quite a bit exciting. Although it means the Necromunda campaign will almost inevitably see some delays, it also means that I will likely be able to host the games and avoid the "store rules" and "business hours" problems that we ran into on our meetup.

    In other good news, this, the premier Necromunda-in-Reno blog (he said with great humility) has found its first follower, a very dedicated and prolific fellow goes by the name of KRUG. < His work at the Eastern Fringe> is impressive in both vision and sheer volume and by my estimation it does me quite a service to have his support. Please, by all means go take a look at what he has created - quite nice work!

    At any rate, the group in Reno has been informed via email of this new development and I await their feedback about this turn of events. As frustrating as this might be given my recent change of pace and its promises of more regular updates, I hope that this won't dissuade anyone from checking this space for updates. I plan to keep a pretty close record of the move and all its repercussions.

    Okay, that's about it for now. Thanks for reading and I'll be back as quick as I can.


    13 July 2009

    Gaming again!

    Hello again from Reno! We had a meetup with the newly interested gamers at Heroes in Sparks, and despite a compressed schedule (my fault) and lacking in good Necromunda terrain pieces (store policy), we had a great time of it.

    After being contacted by a couple of gamers in the area who wanted to see about joining our new campaign, we sorted out the details and started to make preparations for the game da
    y. For me this meant FINALLY finishing "Version 2" of my Orlock gang - I started my Necromunda experience in August 2007 with this gang, based on plastic Catachan kits and painted in a rather boringly uniform color scheme.

    A bit boring, right? I agree.

    Roughly 10 months ago (September 2008) I started the revamp and it's all done bar a couple weapons details and cleaning up paint on the bases. I'm really happy with the changes I made, and the gang is much more in line with my original idea about the character of the gang and their role as working-class antiheroes.

    Better, closer, warmer...

    As you can see, the difference is quite striking and regardless of public perception of the success/failure of my new take on the OI-FU, I'm quite content with the new look. This revamp was partially a result of being slightly underwhelmed by my first go at the gang, and partialy a desire to push my painting, sculpting, and modelling skills a bit further with some personalizations. For example, the
    extremely awkward first posing of Seamus, gang leader, was annoying as hell to me for a long time; the revamp allowed me to give him a "folk hero" pose and attitude. I'm now considering a quick head swap, but haven't decided. After all, it's far too easy to keep going and going and going, without ever getting to say "it's done" and that can really bring inspiration to a grinding halt. However, his billowing cape calls for a similarly-affected hairstyle... hm. You can see the problem here, right? For now I think I'm calling it for the OI-FU. I'll sort the final details and find some sealer, and there will be my first "finished" gang.

    So next on the list comes an interesting (and potentially frustrating) new project. I've been planning and buying supplies for a kit-bashed Enforcer/Arbites squad, and I think it would be a great chance to come up with some amazing one-of-a-kind minis. So far I'm looking at a parts list that includes:
    • (2) Space Marine Scout kits (standard, non-sniper variants)
    • (1) Cadian kit (20-trooper box) + (7-8) odd troopers' worth of bits
    • Assorted Space Marine arms
    • Other random bits as needed
    So there's theoretically a whole squad plus three replacements according to the new WIP ruleset for Enforcers in Necromunda. The main problem is that a cyber-mastiff and handler are pretty much inescapable in that roster and I frankly don't care for the models I've been able to find. I'd sooner use an actual dog and sculpt canine body armor but still, this is a big stumbling block for this project. At any rate, those are my plans for the next big thing on my workbench, along with the incessant parade of terrain that finds its way to my "to-do" list.

    For now our campaign is going to continue with two new players, and a possible third, but our next meetup hasn't been planned quite yet. More information will be posted as I get it.


    02 July 2009

    NPCs, Terrain, and Computer Problems

    In keeping with the new direction of this blog, I thought I'd take a minute to describe some of the stuff I've been working on and where I'm headed with my hobby.

    First, I can breathe a huge sigh of relief, as my computer is back in working order. I had a true bastard of a problem that was finally resolved and let me say that I am readily ashamed at how big of an impact the downtime had on my efficiency and attitude with regards to my modeling and painting. I got a lot of work done, and felt great about what I had done, but the entire time working I had this unshakable sense of my missing computer, and how inconvenient things had become for me. Boo Hoo, right?

    Anyway, it's fixed and now I just have to find a missing camera charger so I can get some damn photos of my works-in-progress in this space.

    Speaking of which, the workbench has hosted a number of different jobs this week, from hired guns (bounty hunter, PDF deserter, ratskin scout) to gangers (three OI-FU members) to terrain (a wall with gate and watchtower, a couple of ruins/barricades from foam packing materials) and the results so far have been really enouraging.

    I've tried some new techniques on the bounty hunter - I did a pseudo-German-style camoflage pattern on the trousers, which turned out really well - and a County Cork tartan pattern on an OI-FU member - which, to my chagrin, looked like crap and eventually was painted over.

    I've also been making heavy use of the Payne's Gray wash technique in my miniature painting and terrain. For those of you not familiar with this method, it's pretty straightforward and easy to acheive great shading and definition from a simple basecoated model. If I can get myself organized I might try to do a quick tutorial writeup here to show the method and the results it can yield even for an amateur painter like myself.

    For those more eager readers, check out Dakka Dakka's tutorial section. There's some amazing stuff there.

    The OI-FU will finally be revamped and ready for play for the meetup on July 12 - I'm in the home stretch, and it's a good feeling. It's been far too long a road for this project, and I just hope the end result looks worth the wait. The members Liam the Shootist, Cillian, and "Chickenhawk" James are almost complete, they need to be detailed and fixed to bases, and that's that, save for painting and attaching weapons to the whole of the gang.

    The terrain work is tending towards the post-apocalyptic, for several reasons. First, I LOVE ruined and/or abandoned buildings; there's a massive opportunity for playability, details, and dark humor. Second, while I am a current fan of Necromunda and don't plan on giving up the game any time soon, I recognize that other games exist and that I may want to give them a shot. Therefore, I don't want any blatant "hurrrr GAMES WORKSHOP hurrrrr" stuff strewn about. I'm trying to build it all from scratch. I've looked at sources like Fallout (1-3), 28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead (2004), I Am Legend, Left 4 Dead, Mad Max/The Road Warrior, , etc. where society has just stopped, leaving the infrastructure to die a slow death.

    The result of this sudden (often violent) halt is recognizable-yet-drastically-different versions of things like roads, apartments, houses, offices, etc. as well as the patchwork shantytowns that might crop up. Especially interesting to me is the variety and juxtaposition that can occur where purpose-built structures are modified or adapted to fit a new use or role. It's great to think of, say, a sandwich shop that's had its windows smashed, with tables upended and used to secure the building against raiders, or undead, or what have you. Or the burnt-out high-rise whose third floor has been equipped with a sandbagged machine gun bunker out the window, ready to repel a direct assault.

    At any rate, the table I want to play on looks like any number of societies and cultures have moved through/fought over/scavenged/settled the ever-loving crap out of the area, leaving their mark in the form of soaring towers and gutter-cities, with bullet-holes, crashed vehicles, and craters to mark the changes of power.

    Okay, that'll do it for me for now. Feel free to remark on your ideas of hobbying, gaming tables, whatever comes to mind, and maybe I'll get a few ideas out of the exchange.


    29 June 2009

    New Happenings!

    Necromunda in Reno is still alive and doing pretty well, if my thoughts on the subject are to be believed.

    The game mentioned in the last post went really well as a refresher for our existing group members, and as an introductory game for a potential new member. A friend of one of the members has played Warhammer 40,000 in the past (he mentioned playing games a number of years ago), and he got a taste of a Necromunda game, playing my Cawdor gang Nex Manus Imperator against the Delaque gang KFC's Voodoo Posse. The result was a four-round loss for the new guy and NMI but he enjoyed himself immensely and we had a good game all around, the four of us helping to explain the game mechanics and make suggestions, as well as talking a fair amount of trash and cracking jokes.

    Hopefully this will be a more or less permanent addition to the club roster. In addition to this new player, I've gotten word from a couple of Necromunda gamers in the area who just got started playing and have expressed interest in meeting up to have a game or two. With this in mind, I'd like to extend the invitation to other interested gamers in the Reno-Sparks area (or further out if you feel like making the trip).

    Our meetup will be taking place at Heroes Hobbies and Games on Baring Blvd. in Sparks, NV, on Sunday, July 12 between 4:00pm and going until closing time at Heroes (about 9:00). We're hoping to get two games running at once, but we will run at least one game regardless of turnout. If you are interested in joining us, I'd love to know about it, so feel free to leave a comment for me here at the blog with some contact info, and I'll try to coordinate as best as I can.

    Our group has four table-ready gangs available along with a handful of creatures, hazards, and hired guns, but if you have a gang available (table-ready or not) please bring it along, as well as rosters, notes, etc. I hope that this gaming session can serve as a bit of a recruitment Q&A as well as a meet-and-greet/orientation, so even a casual interest in the game is welcome.

    Well, that's it for the time being but keep an eye on this blog. I'm having problems with my PC at home, but once that's sorted I hope to post up more frequently and include some workbench photos as well as proposed "permanent" hired guns and other rules ideas I've been mulling over.


    19 June 2009

    OOC - A Change of Pace

    Hello again any steadfast readers...

    After another several months of no updates, I wanted to announce some recent developments.

    First off, the current narrative of Sump's Drift has been delayed to the point of fragmentation and after consulting with the other gamers in the campaign, we've decided to reset the scores and start again. We'll keep the setting and main plot, but this time around we're more sure of the direction we want the campaign to go and we all feel that it will be easier going this time around.

    Second, this blog is going to change along with the campaign. Past blog entries have dealt almost exclusively with In-Character accounts and had little to say during downtime, which I have to admit is where most of the work and development took place. I'm looking at this "reset" as a chance to redirect the blog to accommodate the work that goes on behind the scenes, including looking at modeling, sculpting, terrain builds, thoughts on gaming, and ideas for Necromunda in general. I want to keep this blog going but it was a lot of work to maintain the character of the storyline without getting burnt out. This way I can throw in battle reports as they come, but in the meantime I will be posting WIP shots, completed pieces and models, and ideas for characters that come up between games.

    Third, our group is FINALLY free to have a game this weekend, so we'll get at least a few pics of our meetup into the blog. Hopefully the few of you who still pop in to see what is(n't) happening will get a bit of a surprise.

    So to sum it all up, the blog will be changing but I think the new direction will untimately be for the better. I'm not expecting a massive following or anything, but it'll be nice to take a broader look at this hobby and all it encompasses.


    The Sump's Drift Campaign

    28 April 2009

    OOC - Status

    Well, it has admittedly been quite a while since our campaign and blog have seen any attention. Thanks mostly to real-life commitments and busy schedules on the part of all of our campaign members (of which there are, after all, only 3) as well as conflicts in the distribution of spare time throughout, we've not had a game in two and a half months.

    Unfortunately this trend is likely to continue for another few weeks, as I deal with work and the other campaign members focus on college finals and massive projects at work.

    Fortunately, I have been able to eke out a bit of work on modeling, painting, and building of models and terrain pieces, and I plan on uploading some photos of this stuff over the next few days, if not tonight.

    Future plans for the campaign include:
    • Enforcer squad from our member who ran the Voodoo Posse
    • Armed Response/Security Team conversion project
    • Newly-reworked Orlock Iron-Forge Union gang
    • Lots of terrain painted up and included in bat-rep pics
    • More bat-reps, new threats to Subsector 19, and hired gun NPC system
    Sorry for any disappointment or frustration resulting from the languishing blog, but believe me when I say I am beyond ready to see something new in this space.

    Thanks to any and all persistent readers, and updates to the blog will resume fairly soon.

    12 March 2009

    ++ Yurik News Network underway ++

    Hello once again, dear readers.

    My work towards a more consistent news network in the subsectors around Sump's Drift has been moving forward nicely, but more work lies ahead. I have contacted representatives from Marshal Turterra's Precinct in Sump's Drift, as well as members of the 7th Ash Waste Rifles, the Orlock Iron-Forge Union, and Nex Manus Imperator in order to obtain first-hand tips, reports, and other items regarding the happenings below the "hive proper." Expect testimonials from these sources to appear on this channel in the future.

    In related news, Gus "Ol' Prospector" Chiggins has been retained as an editorial columnist (mainly at Mr. Chiggins's insistence) and will post items of interest "as often as a fella' damn well pleases."

    More to come.

    -Yurik out.

    02 March 2009


    ++ Sector N-UH-855, "Sump's Drift," Precinct 08, Marshall H. Turterra cmdg. ++

    - Necromundan Plague update: all infected persons within the jurisdiction of Enforcer Precinct 08 have received treatment where possible. Deceased/reanimated victims have been terminated and their bodies removed from the area. Citizens are advised to remain alert for any further symptoms but may rest assured that any immediate threat has been dealt with.

    - Reinforcements to Precinct 08 have been dispatched from Sector N Enforcer headquarters and are expected to arrive within the next month-cycle. Increased manpower will allow for Precinct 08 to extend its jurisdiction into Subsector 19. Guild caravans with private security have already established trade routes and have been maintaining peace within larger settlements in Subsector 19.

    - Enforcer officer on patrol in 400 block of industrial zone reported a large collection of empty liquor bottles piled in a heap no less than 2.5 meters in height by 3.5 meters wide. This collection appeared over the course of one (1) day-cycle and residents of nearby worker's habs noticed no strange happenings. A Munitorum sanitation crew was dispatched and removed in excess of 1,500 containers. No further information has been revealed about the origin of the containers.

    - Special Entry team dispatched to 200 block of hab-units in response to reports of sustained high-caliber weapons fire. Upon arrival, teams located the source of the weapons fire, and breached the door of hab unit 240. Officers determined the sound of gunfire was in fact part of a vid-link being played at extremely high volume. The tenant of the hab-unit was found unconscious in the sleeping area of the unit, and awoke only after 10 minutes of repeated attempts to rouse him. The citizen was inebriated to the point of immobility, and was taken into protective custody.

    - Citizens are advised that the House Delaque gang known as "KFC's Voodoo Posse" AKA "King's Voodoo Posse" has been reported as disbanded following an exceptionally violent battle. Furthermore, the House Van Saar gang known as "7th Ash Waste Rifles" has been hired by local Guilders to serve as Watchmen in Subsector 19, after defending Guild interests from "KFC's Voodoo Posse."

    18 February 2009

    ++ Military Contractor for Hire ++

    Attention all settler parties, scav-teams, and gangs:

    Staff Sgt. "Leon" (ret.) of the Imperial Guard Necromunda garrison offers his services to any interested party. S.Sgt. "Leon" will provide advanced marksmanship, tactical expertise, and grenadier experience for the modest sum of 50 credits per sortie. Discreet hiring practices are preferred.

    All replies to be directed to this space, and are subject to screening by "Leon."

    17 February 2009

    ++ Raid on Voodoo Posse Turf ++

    Spc. Ezekial reporting.

    At 1830, daycycle 20090215, Sgt. Orion returned from his negotiations with Benedictus of the Nex Manus Imperator faction (NMI), and ordered me to select five (5) men from our number to form a combat squad. I was to lead said squad in a raid into territory held by KFC's Voodoo Posse (VP), specifically targeting a secure structure believed to contain the credit records for the VP gambling operations. Destroying or capturing this objective would severely damage the operational capability of the Delaque faction.

    Sgt. Orion informed me that our squad could expect assistance from the NMI. The Cawdor leader and one other member of that faction would meet us outside the boundaries of the VP territory. This alliance was initially forged before the 20090111 action at Dark Bluff, and although the NMI has honored the truce thus far, the Sarge is convinced there is an alterior motive. Although it is unclear what that motive may be, we have agreed to be civil with these fanatics as it is believed they still hold Old Chester captive within their territory. Until he has been released, Sgt. Orion will not risk double-crossing the NMI.

    After the briefing, I spoke with the rest of the Rifles and selected my squad. Tex, Visili, Laertes, Lazarus, and Vincent were chosen, and after making preparations and checking weapons and gear, we moved out at approximately 1900 hrs.

    We arrived outside the edges of VP territory in Subsector 19 at 1927 hrs., and linked up with Benedictus and Urbanus of the NMI. The Cawdor were armed for close-quarters fighting, and I ordered Lazarus and Laertes to move with them in a spearhead element along the western flank, avoiding contact with VP elements until support was in place. Vincent and Visili would move up the center, and take firing positions upon visual contact with VP sentries. Tex would move along the eastern flank with his plasma weapon, supported by myself and the squad's stubber. Tex's earlier leg wound had been problematic given his specialist role in the Rifles, but the power of his plasma gun was too important to the mission to leave him at HQ.

    With a plan of action established, I ordered the squad to move out. Despite the urgency of our action, Benedictus and Urbanus insisted upon undertaking ritual combat prayer before moving into position. All elements signaled readiness at approximately 1940 hrs. and I gave the order to execute maneuvers.

    There was no resistance for several dozen meters. All squad elements and allies advanced across the field, with the NMI operatives moving at the very front of the spearhead, followed by Lazarus and Laertes. Vincent and Visili reported visual contact with two VP sentries, identified as Replay and Rude Boy. Visili further reported having secured two firepoints atop an abandoned hab-structure, several meters apart. I moved up into a derelict freight-elevator tower, having ordered Tex to close on the objective at ground level.

    As I moved to the third floor to establish fire support, Benedictus broke from the established plan of action and opened fire with a bolt pistol. Despite his lack of discipline, the NMI operative was able to incapacitate Replay. However, Rude Boy activated an alarm klaxon and two VP reinforcements identified as Grease Job and Tom Tom arrived from the northwest. Benedictus was wounded by fire from Tom Tom. Urbanus took cover as Grease Job fired, then dispatched Tom Tom in melee combat with surprising efficiency and finesse before moving to engage Grease Job.

    I opened fire on Rude Boy but failed to wound him, as he attempted to find cover. Laertes similarly failed to wound the target despite emptying his weapon's magazine, but Lazarus lightly wounded the sentry and forced him to take cover. Visili fired on the Delaque position, and finally took Rude Boy down.

    Further VP reinforcements arrived, identified as Prince and Little Caesar. Both moved past the melee combat to support their wounded comrades. Little Caesar fired at Lazarus, forcing him into cover. Prince eliminated NMI operative Benedictus with blows from a shotgun, and stepped out to fire on the pinned Lazarus. I opened fire with the stubber and took Prince out before he could take a shot, although my stubber's ejection port became jammed by a fouled casing. Vincent and Visili provided covering fire for Lazarus, forcing Little Caesar back. Urbanus easily subdued Grease Job and moved to engage Little Caesar. The Cawdor operative's melee skills allowed him to quickly eliminate yet another of the VP, leaving the field clear for our raiding party to close on the wounded Replay and the objective he had been guarding.

    Despite his assurances to the contrary, Tex's lingering wounds had slowed his advance significantly. He was still unable to make visual contact with the objective and as our squad waited for him to close on the objective, one final reinforcing element of the VP arrived. KFC moved into the combat zone, but operative Urbanus reported that the Delaque commander seemed dazed (several reports of varying reliability have been made that KFC has suffered a head wound of some sort, leaving him prone to violent behavior or inhibited mental capacity) and shortly thereafter, KFC stopped in place, making no attempt to defend himself or open fire.

    Urbanus engaged KFC in melee combat, but only barely managed to take down the Delaque leader. The Cawdor operative reported that despite his lack of initiative, KFC's reflexive defenses were still unhindered. After KFC was subdued, Urbanus rendered Little Caesar unconscious. At this point, 2008 hrs., all hostile elements in the VP territory had been neutralized, and Tex proceeded to destroy the objective with plasma gun fire. Squad casualties were zero, save for the wounded NMI operative Benedictus.

    Operative Urbanus was debriefed following the action and his comments have been added to the preceding report. As I linked back up with the NMI man, I was surprised to see that he had not only carried his unconscious leader to safety, but had also captured one of the VP fighters. Benedictus recovered sufficiently to walk (although he seemed to be suffering from psychological shock), and the two Cawdor agents withdrew from the field, Urbanus hauling the wounded Delaque back to their territory.

    Addendum: Due to their devastating wounds in the raid, the Voodoo Posse have apparently reported our actions to the Guild Watchmen. However, during the course of their investigations, the Watchmen have deputized the Rifles, perhaps as thanks for disrupting the VP gambling operations, thereby removing direct competition for settler credits. It is difficult to say what affect this may have on our standing in Subsector 19.

    04 February 2009

    ++ The Subsector 19 Project ++

    Dear Readers,

    As mentioned previously, I have witnessed a great many things in my travels over the past several months. Some sights have inspired me and vindicated my choice to leave the news office, and others have given me cause to return immediately to my life in Sump's Drift. I have given a great deal of thought to my options, especially since the brutal violence I witnessed at The Breach, and it is with a heavy heart that I must now announce the end of the Subsector 19 reports.

    It is my intention to establish a network for the efficient sharing of information between Subsector 19 and Sump's Drift, as there are a great deal of settlers and Guild representatives creating new townships and trading posts throughout the area. Despite the rapid growth of these settlements, there is a distinct lack of reliable information available to the majority of these people, and perhaps more alarmingly, a distinct lack of lawful representation. The lack of Enforcer presence in this new "frontier," so to speak, has taken a heavy toll on many innocent travelers - the outbreak of plague. It is my hope that by creating such a network, future incidents might be better managed or even avoided altogether via a "quick-response" citizen's watch and/or Enforcer patrol.

    On a more personal note, this will allow me to continue to bring the news of the subsector to all my faithful readers while allowing my life to return to some sense of normalcy. I thank you for your time, and future developments and news will follow once a properly-linked facility can be found and secured.

    "Scoop" Yurik, Freelance News-Agent

    11 January 2009

    ++ S19 - Dark Bluff's Last Stand ++

    "Scoop" Yurik, freelance News-agent

    As we neared Dark Bluff, the bone-chilling moans of plague victims could be heard for dozens of meters beyond the outskirts of town, thanks in large part to the intensely blustery winds blowing against us as we traveled. With Liam and Cillian on point, our party moved quickly to the hastily-built wall surrounding the town's few buildings and entered through a narrow gap just above shoulder level. Once inside, each of us had weapons drawn and ready as we crept through the empty side streets, but there was simply no movement anywhere.

    Only the moans of carriers and the howling wind were heard as we scaled ladders to the top of a pipeline-turned-general store. Here Liam spotted figures entering Central Street from both ends - five members of the 7th Ash Waste Rifles at the south, and five crusaders of Nex Manus Imperator at the north. These new arrivals were quickly noticed by the horde, as dozens of hungry moans filled the air. However, much to this reporter's surprise, a handful of figures called out from atop other buildings and old equipment.

    From the rooftop, our guides pointed out what appeared to be several mercenaries stranded in the dead town: A bounty hunter with a towering black and white coif, standing atop a two-story building on the west edge of town; a Ratskin waving his rifle on an outcropping of concrete (barely a half-dozen meters from our position); a stoic figure with a long-las and bush hat at the south end of the street; and a gas-masked man in Guard fatigues with a slung hell-gun, standing atop several storage tanks, just barley beyond the reach of the mindless zombies below him. Each called to their would-be rescuers, promising rewards in return for their survival. All had spent any ammunition long ago and they were all out of food and water.

    Against all odds, it seemed as if the Rifles and NMI gangs had called for a truce. This reporter has been quite unable to determine what reasons were behind this alliance, nor how long it might last, but it is quite feasible that following their mutual losses to the Voodoo Posse and in the face of more than twenty plague zombies, each gang's leader had realized how beneficial such an agreement could be. Orion's and Benedictus's voiced echoed back and forth across the field, assuring each other of a cease-fire between their groups and a focus on eliminating the undead. Despite their truce, the task set before them would not be easy.

    The battle began with the rapid birth and death of a miniature star; a full-powered plasma blast issuing forth from Orion's pistol and harmlessly melting a patch of dirt and rock into a glassy sheet on the ground, the Van Saar's aim spoiled by a nasty gust of wind. The remainder of the Rifles spread out, watching carefully for targets.

    To the North, NMI's kill-team began shouting prayers of purity and cleansing, and took aim at their undead adversaries. Callixtus's flamer rasped and belched as a spear of burning fuel engulfed two zombies, sending one tumbling to the ground on fire; the other black and smoldering but largely unharmed. Benedictus sent a bolt round rocketing towards the scorched survivor, the mass-reactive round punching a huge hole in the carrier's ribcage but failing to bring it down. Nearby, Urbanus's autopistol stuttered as another plague victim was riddled with rounds, but this creature was just as resilient at the last, groaning in protest but shuffling on unhindered. Caius and Adrian both leveled their shotguns at the carrier and two manstopper rounds tore huge chunks of flesh and bone from the decomposing frame, calling out in frustration as they too failed to re-kill the abomination.

    With a chilling growl, the scorched zombie reached out to grab Benedictus, who quickly pulled his knife from its scabbard. The Cawdor leader jabbed the glinting blade into the zombie's torso, punching through the rotting ribs and forcing it backwards. Benedictus's bolt pistol roared as a round exploded the carrier's head. After pulling his knife free from the corpse, the Cawdor leader leveled his pistol and purged the flamed zombie from the hive with a shouted prayer punctuated by bolter fire.

    Urbanus found himself in a similar situation as the carrier he had targeted lurched forward, arms outstretched and teeth snapping. Despite his disbelief at the creature's resilience, Urbanus reached out to grab the zombie by the throat, and stuck the barrel of his pistol directly between it's dead eyes. A quick burst of fire obliterated the slack face, and Urbanus cast the body to the floor as he would any other refuse.

    At the South end, Vasili swiftly climbed a ladder to a platform, aimed and fired his lasgun at an undead target. The shot passed cleanly through the torso, punching a cauterized hole in the shoulder without taking the zombie down. Heavy Zeke brought out his autogun and loosed a quick burst at another carrier, but missed altogether as a gust of wind spoiled his aim. Suddenly another plasma blast lit the streets like day-lamps. Tex, standing atop a tower platform over the street, had managed to incinerate a carrier's leg with a large plasma gun (perhaps a reward for his bravery in The Breach), and the now-lopsided figure toppled helplessly over the edge of the catwalk.

    Hearing the curses of his men at their failed shooting, Orion quickly drew his chainsword and brought it roaring to life, yelling for Lazarus to support his charge. The two Van Saars rushed the decaying creature that Orion had earlier targeted but as we watched from our perch, Orion's powerful swing brought him off balance. The Zombie grabbed hold of Orion's shoulders, and bent its neck to feed. Lazarus pulled the creature's head back quickly, and shot it through the neck, crippling it instantly. The creature dropped, but as it did, it's claw-like fingers and broken teeth scraped Orion's face, drawing blood. The Van Saar leader began to move, but began to sway on his feet and soon slumped to the ground, the plague affecting his body with surprising speed.

    The NMI continued to advance, with Caius and Adrian moving to flank a zombie near the base of a hab-unit. The creature had not spotted them yet, and so the gangers both aimed and fired manstopper rounds at the unwitting undead. Neither man accomplished anything, save announcing their presence to the zombie, and both swore colorfully, cursing the wind and their weapons. Benedictus managed to hit his target, but as before, the bolt shell only removed a large crater's worth of the carrier's dead flesh without ending it's existence. Urbanus stood braced against the wind, and during a lull in the gusts, managed to blast a zombie off its feet with a burst to the torso. The creature still squirmed, growling, on the ground, but it would be simple work to finish it off.

    Meanwhile down the street, Vasili shot the knees out of the zombie on the catwalk, and it plummeted over the edge and tackled another walking corpse to the ground. Both of them flailed in confusion, still "alive" but not a threat for the moment. Nearby, Zeke slung his auto, seemingly frustrated at it's light weight in the wind as he brought his heavy stub gun to bear. The huge gun shuddered as the Rifles heavy fired a long burst at his target, but in spite of the improved stability and rate of fire the zombie was not hit even once. Not once in the span of a long career has this reporter heard quite so complex a string of profanity, dear readers. Orion staggered to his feet, grimacing in pain, and growled an order to Lazarus. The ganger fired his bolt pistol at an advancing corpse, and as expected, opened up a horrific wound which did not stop his target.

    Father Benedictus dashed forward, revved his chainsword and with a brutal thrust, severed the head of the zombie laying at his feet. Wary of this group's resilience thus far, the Cawdor aimed his bolt pistol and shot the head between the eyes for good measure. At the hab-unit, Adrian loaded a new shell into his shotgun and blasted the zombie with a load of scatter-shot. The scatter-shot shredded the flesh of the carrier's legs but once again failed to bring it down. Caius loaded a scatter-shell as well, and unloaded the pellets into the chest and neck of the zombie, knocking it back and blasting away one of its shoulder blades, but still the thing lived, stumbling toward Caius with one arm hanging limp. Urbanus, in a desperate attempt to defend his brethren, fired his autopistol, hitting the carrier with several shots, to no avail. NMI heavy Callixtus had switched to his shotgun and blasted off a manstopper round. The heavy slug streaked by the zombie and tore a rather large hole in the hab wall.

    The zombie finally reached Caius, dead fingers taking hold of the ganger's red cloak. Caius struggled to reach his knife, but before he could pull it from its sheath, the zombie had bitten his arm and ripped open a deep wound. The shotgun clattered to the ground as Caius tried to shove the carrier away, but the jaws closed again, this time at Caius's throat. Blood soaked the crimson robes, and the NMI ganger fell to the floor, dead. His limbs began to twitch as the zombie turned its attention to Adrian.

    Orion's earlier wound seemed to be little hindrance as he took up his chainsword and charged towards another carrier. The growling blade swept up and across, sweeping through a reaching arm and continuing across the scalp of the targeted zombie. The plague victim fell in a heap, and Orion shouted an order to secure the area. Vasili reached the stranded sniper, who appeared to have suffered a badly wrenched ankle, and required assistance to walk. Vasili took aim and shot an approaching carrier as it stepped around from behind the tower, toppling it to the floor, before helping the sniper to his feet. With a snarl of frustration, Zeke leveled his stubber and opened fire once more. This time the volley found its mark and the zombie fell with a cavernous wound in its forehead. Tex fired his new plasma rifle, but the searing full-power blast only succeeded in burning the arm off another advancing zombie.

    As the corpse that had killed Caius reached Adrian, the ganger snarled a foul curse and attempted to bash in its head with the butt of his autogun. The corpse's cold hands caught the weapon and held it fast, and a lethal tug-of-war began. Meanwhile, Callixtus holstered his shotgun and climbed to the roof of a nearby building. At the top he advanced with flamer in hand, ready to cleanse any plague zombie that appeared. Meanwhile, Caius had begun to stir and as he clambered to his feet, a deluge of flame engulfed him and the carrier grappling with Adrian. Urbanus's risky shot paid off, as the zombified Caius fell back to the floor and Adrian's opponent staggered back only to catch a skull-crushing blow from the ganger's autogun. Attempting to grant peace to his former crusader, Benedictus fired a bolt round at the former Brother Caius, but the shot was hastily aimed and bounced away into the shadows of an alley.

    As yet more carrier closed on the Van Saar kill-team, Vasili slung his lasgun and hustled his wounded charge towards the relative safety of the Southern entrance to Dark Bluff. Like blockers in a game of tackle-ball, Orion and Lazarus met two approaching zombies head-on, screening their comrade. Zeke's autogun fired again, and another zombie fell to the ground where it crazily twitched about in the dirt. Lazarus blasted his opponent at point-blank range, but the bolt shells failed to activate properly; instead of exploding within the carrier, they punched clean through and blew holes in the door of a ratburger stand across the street. Orion's skill with a chainsword proved effective once again, and with another carefull-aimed blow, the head of his undead counterpart was cut free and rolled to a stop at the foot of a refuse bin.

    As the reanimated corpse of Caius attempted to regain its footing again, Adrian reached down, pulling back the ganger's smoldering hood, and stabbed his former brother through the eye socket. Caius stopped moving and crumpled lifeless to the ground, his torment ended. Finally, Benedictus was able to reach the Ratskin atop the makeshift watch tower; the tracker was unhurt, and clambered down the ladder. As he reached the ground, a carrier lurched forward from behind the edge of a air-processor unit, and Callixtus's flamer rasped. The sheeting flames engulfed the carrier, and it stumbled around for a few seconds before collpasing. It did not move again.

    With that, more than half of the zombies had been eliminated or at the very least rendered immobile by their wounds. Both kill teams quickly departed the street, securing heavy barricade doors behind them. Only Father Benedictus paused, taking a moment to offer a prayer for Caius's soul before using his compact hand flamer to immolate the body.Then the streets were quiet, save for the moans of the remaining carriers. Liam, Cillian, and Ugly Sean methodically fired at any visible zombies, either killing them or crippling legs or feet to prevent their escape, then we too departed the field, seeking the survivors of the undead siege of Dark Bluff.

    -Yurik out.

    10 January 2009

    ++ S19 - Dark Bluff ++

    "Scoop" Yurik, Freelance News-agent

    Following the brutal, 3-way clash at The Breach, it had been a long while since this reporter had seen a member of any gang, save the OI-FU. Various scavengers and traders we encountered had rumors of their exploits; the NMI had been seeking a zombie dressed in the crimson of their order, the Rifles were spotted hunting rats on the outskirts of Parlay Crossing, and the Voodoo Posse had hired themselves to a small trade caravan as security. Despite all these sightings, it seemed as though our party had lost the trail of these three crews, until the notice came from Dark Bluff.

    As this reporter sat down to a breakfast of campfire roasted algae-paste and broiled rat-haunch, an emergency signal came through the Dispatch Services to my data-slate. The message was desperate: the young town of Dark Bluff was overrun by the undead, help was needed, and a Guilder could pay for rescue.

    It would not be an easy task, but the promise of Guilder credits would be a fine prize for any gang with zombie-hunting experience. This reporter quickly mobilized the party, and we set out for Dark Bluff immediately, with Seamus remarking that even if the gangs in question didn't show, there were still creds to be made helping the folks in town.

    More to come, dear readers!

    09 January 2009


    Attention any and all able-bodied gunmen or gangers!

    Bounty offered for elimination of Plague Zombies!

    Your services are desperately required in the settlement of Dark Bluff. Dozens of victims of the Necromundan Plague have infested the streets of the settlement and supplies are running out.

    Central Street has been lost to the carriers, but barricades have been built along the road, containing the threat to that area.

    Despite repeated pleas to the Enforcer Precinct at Sump's Drift, no aid has been rendered and the settlement is in grave danger. Ammunition stores have completely run out and food supplies have dwindled to dangerously low levels.

    Simply put, we are starving, beseiged by zombies, and unable to defend ourselves.

    A Guild Journeyman has been stranded in the town after arriving in the midst of the infestation and losing his caravan, and is prepared to pay a bounty on all zombies killed. Two Guild Credits will be paid for each dead zombie, with a bonus of 50 Guilder Credits to be paid to any gang that can kill 13 or more of the foul creatures.

    Please furnish a Kill-team of no more than Five Individuals, well-armed and supplied, to the former trading post at the western edge of town. This is a secure location and has been well-fortified against the undead, with most survivors holed up inside. Here payment will be rendered.

    Please hurry. Dark Bluff's citizens are in danger.

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