Tuesday, December 22, 2015

KR Customer for Life



I am now officially a KR Multicase customer for life. You might recall that last year at about this time I had a great experience with KR. The delivery person put my order in the garage and my wife backed over it with the truck. I mentioned it in passing to KR and they replaced the boxes even though the incident was no fault of their own. Also, at Adepticon, they were very attentive, approachable, and kind. Amazing service from people who really care about their customers.

This year I hemmed and hawed over my decisions as far as what foam to get. I loved KR's service, but I needed a full-height Heldrake foam. With KR, that meant a full $60+ purhcase since, no matter what foam you get, that's the price of a single regular card case full of "custom" foam. On another site, it would have only cost me $35 for a custom tray of the same size. I also am not a fan of pluck and I would have had to do a few pluck foam trays for some of my models.

In the end, I decided to go ahead and work out the order on the KR website and see if I could figure it out and get a good overall price. After measuring my models and referencing the tray print-outs, I actually came away with a great plan for most of my Daemon Orks and all of my Necrons for about $200 with free shipping. This is, overall, comprable to other companies. This combined with my experiences last year meant I was happy to pull the trigger and complete the order.

After reviewing my order, I realized that I'd made a mistake. I emailed Kath at their American division in Michigan and she got back to me immediately the next morning. She said that England had probably already filled out my order, but she'd send me the few pieces I'd screwed up on. Again, great service. She didn't have to do that.

Then, I got my original order last night and found that three of the troop foams were incorrect. I sent Kath a photo of the foam with my order slip to confirm it was incorrect. Again, Kath responded first thing this morning and said she would send me the proper foam today.

The customer appreciation displayed by KR time and again has sealed my loyalty as a customer. That kind of service is worth more than the pennies I could save, or convenience of custom cut foam I would get ordering from someone else.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tuska!

Before the new Bloodthirster came out, I'd started working on my Tuska Daemon Prince. With the new Bloodthirster model, I wanted to make sure his footprint was proper, so I created a new base for him and a bigger bosspole.







Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bel Ork Kor's Weird Horrors

When Tuska went into the Eye of Terror, he brought many Weirdboyz with him to protect the Ork fleet and find their way. Even after their possession by the Blood Prince, the Orks' inherent connection to the Warp cannot be pacified.





Saturday, December 12, 2015

Designing Missions for your Local Scene



One of the great things about adopting the ITC is that you're free to use whatever mission format you want. Our group has been working with the ITC since its inception and we enjoy the exposition and camaraderie. With this in mind, I'd like to discuss mission design for smaller events.

Of course, you can always just use the most popular tournament format in your area. The ITC and the People's Missions are both very popular right now, but a burgeoning scene may need to come to a slow boil before jumping into one of these formats and sometimes something unique and fun can emerge from that process.

Clarity

Clarity isn't just important for new players. Complicated missions might be fun for narrative or casual play, but in a competitive environment they are unwelcome. I've heard some folks question whether it is worth catering to the lowest common denominator, bemoaning the "dumbing down" of the game. Aside from the unwarranted negative connotations that invokes, that mindset is less than inclusive. You want people to attend your event and have a good time. If people have a bad experience because they misinterpreted a mission, they can leave your event unsatisfied and may never return. Never mind whose "fault" it was for the misinterpretation; the reality exists.


What are the Players Looking For?

We, as small-scale tournament organizers, need to keep what our players are looking for at the forefront of our minds. This means that, on a local level more than anything else, giving people what they want. This certainly doesn't mean completely bending your will to the strongest personality in the room, but you should also not rule completely by fiat, riding the ego train all the way to zero attendance town. Start with the familiar, the kinds of missions your local community are used to, then expand on that if needed. Ultimately, what they need is more important than what you want.

What are your Missions Trying to Test?

Besides the social and hobby aspects of this pastime, Warhammer 40,000 is a game of skill. In these types of games, you have fun by playing games, improving, learning, and playing more games, this time armed with a greater understanding. Missions should clearly test skills that can be improved upon over time. Testing attributes which are inherent should take a back seat to those which every player has the opportunity to learn.

Some players have extremely good natural ability in memory and awareness and you may not want to test them specifically because they are already important to the game of 40k.  It is a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff at higher level play, however, and work well as a tiebreaker. Table quarters style missions and multidimensional mission formats are examples of memory and awareness tests. Included in this is the ubiquitous Linebreaker. Remember, however, that many missions which test memory and awareness can slow the game down as the less apt players try to figure out what their score is at the beginning and end of every player turn.

January 2014 Winner: Curtis Bargender

Mental agility
 is a trait which some organizers may choose to test, usually through Maelstrom style missions with a random component. Reacting to changes happening throughout the game, protecting yourself from them, and taking advantage of them is a good skill for any 40k player to learn. This takes months or years of practice. Some players never grasp it and can feel cheated by the random nature of missions with these components. Players can learn to work with these missions by knowing when to take a risk.


Many deficiencies can be mitigated with good decision-making and pure gaul. These are the skills which are very important to test in Warhammer missions. Every book mission highlights these skills in one way or the other. These are also skills which can actually be learned and tested. Decision-making is something that every player should focus on when they try to improve their game and what every organizer should focus on as a measurable skill in their missions.

December 2014 Winner: Charissa Sinclair

The importance of gaul is different for every wargame and it hasn't always been true of 40k. With the advent of progressive missions and the resurgence of assault, the combination of decision-making and gaul, also known as risk management has taken a front seat yet again. In a lot of ways, these modern missions encourage greater opportunities for risk, forcing people to move their miniatures across the board and interact with the other player. This makes for far more entertaining and engaging games.

To succeed, players need to not only know what their army and their opponents' armies can do, but they have to think about those things in the context of the mission. This is part of the reason why some kind of prescribed Objective placement is so important and why some missions (such as The Relic and Linebreaker) force opponents to closely interact with each other on the battlefield.

March 2015 Winner: Todd Silber

The elephants in the room are list building and measuring distances. Fortunately, Games Workshop has eliminated the latter skill from the game. This anachronism was a horribly unfair and largely pointless skill to test in a game of the mind with so many moving parts, particularly in the case of players with disabilities.

List building is unique to all the other skills we've discussed because almost every format has been designed to do the opposite of test it, but to thwart it. Today, the lists test the format, not the other way around. As organizers, we do what we can to even the playing field for the different list types. Of course, we can't help it if a player handicaps themselves by taking an army which is an impediment to their natural abilities, but we can do our best to make sure no one list build can dominate our events.

One size does not fit all. All or none of these skills may be important to you and your players, particularly on a national level. Always keep what your players are looking for in mind when developing your missions. 


Goldensprue Cup 2016 Scenarios/Missions

In order to explain how a local mission format evolves, We'll go over the rationale behind the missions our local scene has evolved over the past couple of years. We started out 7th Edition by combining an Eternal War and Maelstrom of War mission, then quickly adopted the ITC format. We made some adjustments based on what was going on around the country, adopted some old mission guidelines we liked, and streamlined it several times for clarity.

We actually call our games "Scenarios" which are comprised of "Missions".  These scenarios still have a lot in common with the ITC missions; we have two primary missions worth 9 points each, a single secondary mission worth 3 points, and two tertiary missions worth 2 points each. This point spread is meant to allow players with disparate list builds the same opportunity to score primaries while also avoiding ties with the secondary at an odd number.


Primary Missions:

Tactical Objectives: At the end of each of your player turns, score 1 Victory Point for each uncontested Objective you’re holding. Additionally, bonus points from special abilities are applied to this mission’s Victory Point total. The player with the most Victory Points for this mission at the end of the game wins this mission and scores 9 Battle Points. Players score zero points for a tie.

Our Tactical Objectives mission is a very traditional progressive scoring mission. It heavily favors MSU and, to some extent, blobs depending on the Objective placement. Tactical Objectives obviously tests decision-making and encourages carefully-planned risk-taking. Should the player focus on killing threats early in the game and hope to catch up on TacOs later on? Or should they bum rush their opponent, scoring the entire game? Maybe a little of both? Tactical Objectives is a dynamic and simple mission which is fulfilling for both novices to veterans.

Note that the scoring doesn't start on turn 2. Players often forget this mission if they have to score turn 2. Also, starting on turn 1 gives assault armies a slight leg up, allowing them to get their scoring in on the top end of the game while they're being deleted on the bottom end.

Purge: Score 1 Victory Point for each destroyed enemy unit at the end of the game and for every 4 complete Hull Point damage and Wounds dealt to enemy Superheavies and Gargantuan Monstrous Creatures. Additionally, bonus points from special abilities are applied to this mission’s Victory Point total. The player with the most Victory points for this mission scores 9 Battle Points. Players score zero points for a tie.

Clearly, Purge is our Kill Points mission. Purge is an important mission to include in your suite due to the rise in popularity of progressive scoring. Purge creates a tougher row to hoe for MSU armies which seek to take advantage of this environment.

First and foremost, purge has been and always will be a great test of a player's ability to mitigate risk as they decide whether to commit a unit to action or not. Purge also tests player's awareness and memory, though can slow down the game when players feel the need to stop and count the units which have been destroyed in order to decide how much they should risk to eek out a win.

Hold Objectives: The player holding the most uncontested Objectives at the end of the game wins this mission and scores 9 Battle Points. Players score zero points for a tie.

This is the simple, tried and true mission we've used for years. The number and placement of the Objectives can have a big impact on how the game plays, however, insuring some challenge and variety.  This mission favors units which are solid from both a physical and a morale standpoint. This includes multi-character deathstars which can break away or "Voltron Out" endgame. This is a pretty big risk, however, as you can't always be sure the game will end that turn.

Hold Objectives tests a player's perception and wits. They need to keep enough units alive in order to score at the end of the game, so they always have to be wary of what their opponent is doing. While a player is trying to keep their units from being destroyed, however, they'll probably be working towards the four other missions as well, deciding every turn how much or how little to risk in order to score them and stay in position for the end game.


Seecondary/Tertiary Missions:

Slay the Warlord: As per the core rulebook. Both players score zero points if no Warlords are slain during this game, though both players score this mission if both of their Warlords were slain during this game.

Slay forces players to think about whether they want to commit a powerful character to a risky gambit. Of course, if one of their powerful characters isn't made their warlord, then they risk a possibly weaker character being destroyed and giving up crucial points. Slay also feels right from a narrative perspective; of course taking out the enemy leader is an important goal for your forces!

Breakthrough: The player with the most units at least partially within 12" of their opponent's board edge at the end of the game wins this mission. Both Players score zero points if neither has at least one unit 12” from their opponent’s board edge, though both players score this mission in the event of any other kind of tie.

This mission is far less binary than simple Linebreaker. Not only does Breakthrough help reduce the possibility of a tie, but it also rewards players for playing aggressively. Again, it's missions like these that you want to include if you think it's important that players interact with each other.

Big Game Hunter: Of all your opponent’s destroyed units at the end of the game, find the unit which was worth the most points. This is your Big Game. The player whose Big Game was worth the most army creation points scores this mission. Both Players score zero points if neither opponent has any destroyed units, though both players score this mission in the event of any other kind of tie. Note: do not include attached Independent Characters and don’t combine the points of multi-unit force selections (such as Dedicated Transports) when determining this total.

This mission helps, in some small way, to further balance out superheavies and tough units. Players feel a little less bad about trying to kill a unit that might normally feel like a waste of time killing. This mission is a little confusing, however. Players need to be reminded that they don't actually have to kill their opponent's most expensive unit; they just have to be the one to have killed the most expensive of the destroyed units between them. Because of this, this mission is a small boost to MSU armies that don't also take a big unit like a Knight.

King of the Hill:  The player with the most units at least partially within 6" of the center objective scores this mission. Both Players score zero points if neither has at least one unit 6” from the center objective, though both players score this mission in the event of any other kind of tie.

This ITC mission which includes an area control aspect to our scenarios. Table Quarters can be very frustrating to some players because it requires some pretty advanced planning and an analytical mind to execute in a reasonable amount of time. The King of the Hill mission allows for a similar feel, but is far less complicated for players.
Bloodlust & Vengeance: The first player to destroy an enemy unit scores this mission. If the other player also destroys an enemy unit on their next turn, both players score this mission. If no units are destroyed throughout the game, neither player scores this mission.

This mission was a natural progression from First Blood and was independently created by many game groups simultaneously. It's a pretty cool mission and favors durable armies with good shooting, particularly at range.

Hold Ground:  Any player holding at least 2 Objectives at the end of the game scores this mission.

This Secondary/Tertiary Objective is also borrowed from the ITC and it acts to somewhat balance the victory conditions. It's very good to add to scenarios where the paired primary missions are progressive in nature.


Scenarios:

Scenario 1 - Crusade
Objectives: Place 1 Objective in the center of the play area. After that, players take turns placing 2 more Objectives each wherever they want within the normal Objective placement rules for a total of 5 Objectives.
Objective type: Mysterious
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Hold Objectives
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Purge
Secondary Mission (3pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Breakthrough
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Big Game Hunter

This scenario is a traditional combination of missions which is easy for new players to pick up. I have found that this is a good mission for players new to our area to start practicing with. This scenario works to balance MSU armies, although Breakthrough and Big Game hunter give them a little bit of a leg up.

Scenario 2 - Emperor’s Will
Objectives: 

Each player places 1 Objective each in their opponent's Deployment Zones, then 1 Objective equidistant between them for a total of 3 Objectives
Objective type: Variable
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Hold Objectives
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Tactical Objectives
Secondary Mission (3pts): King of the Hill
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Bloodlust & Vengeance

Emperor's will includes a third no-man's-land Objective at the center of the table to keep things interesting. The fact that this Objective is always equidistant from two player-placed Objectives ensures the game is a little less predictable each time than if all the Objectives were

Scenario 3 - Cleanse and Control
Objectives: 
Players take it in turn placing 1 Objective each in their opponent's Deployment Zone, then 2 more Objectives each wherever they want within the normal Objective placement rules for a total of 6 Objectives.
Objective type:
 Variable
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Purge
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Tactical Objectives
Secondary Mission (3pts): Hold Ground
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Big Game Hunter

Cleanse and Control balances a mission that is very easy for MSU (TacOs) and a mission which is their bane (Purge). The minor missions are also sufficiently mixed. This mission also features 2 Objective placements with restrictions and 4 without, so players with this mission are very much the masters of their own destiny, giving a minor leg-up to deckchair armies.

Scenario 4 - Big Guns Never Tire
Objectives: 
Players take turns placing 2 Objectives each wherever they want within the normal Objective placement rules for a total of 4 Objectives.
Objective type: Mysterious
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Hold Objectives
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Purge
Secondary Mission (3pts): Big Game Hunter
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Breakthrough

Big Guns attempts to maintain the original conceit of the mission. With Hold Objectives and Purge, it partially favors big units blasting away at the enemy, but it also favors armies that can hunt them down and kill them, taking their position (Purge, Big Game Hunter, Breakthrough).

Scenario 5 - The Scouring
Objectives: 
Players take turns placing 3 Objectives each outside their own Deployment Zone and within the normal Objective placement rules for a total of 6 Objectives.
Objective type:
 Variables
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Purge
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Tactical Objectives
Secondary Mission (3pts): Hold Ground
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Bloodlust & Vengeance

The Scouring is very much like Cleanse and Control. The only difference in missions is swapping out Big Game Hunter for Bloodlust & Vengeance. The number of Objectives are even the same. The difference is that the Objectives are placed outside your deployment zone. This ensures that, in most cases, the Objectives will clump along the center deployment lines and in the middle of the board. This creates a far more bloody game than Cleanse & Control.

Scenario 6 - The Relic
Objectives: 
Place 1 Objective in the center of the play area. After that, players take turns placing 1 more Objective each not within 6" of any Deployment Zone for a total of 3 Objectives.
Objective type: Mysterious
Additional special rules:
 The center Objective is the Relic.
Primary Mission 1 (9pts): Hold Objectives
Primary Mission 2 (9pts): Tactical Objectives
Secondary Mission (3pts): Breakthrough
Tertiary Mission 1 (2pts): Slay the Warlord
Tertiary Mission 2 (2pts): Big Game Hunter

The Relic has been tempered by the addition of two Objectives, both in no-man's-land. This mission rewards players who can take the middle of the board and survive it for a long time. The option, also, can be to hold back, shoot, and then move forward when the danger is eliminated.

Evolution

I always work under the assumption that the missions will change over time as our needs change and as playtesting shakes out the problems. For example, we just added some of the new secondary missions from the ITC, some with a few minor tweaks. When you're developing your own missions, don't be afraid to try new things. You never know what you'll innovate.


The Next Outing

So, our next tournament is our flagship event, the Goldensprue Cup. It's on February 6, 2016 at Flipside Gaming in East Greenbush, New York.  Sign up if you're interested.









Friday, December 4, 2015

The Raid on Pakeshi IV Part 3 - A Weird Strategy



Previously on the Raid on Pakeshi IV: After successfully claiming the world of Shatara, Mad Dok Drillteef has sent a splinter force to raid the world of Pakeshi IV. The local PDF failed to completely repel the Ork invasion, but they have been assisted by the fortunate presence of some  Blood Ravens Space Marines. The system’s Imperial Commander, Celia Falkes and her subordinates still have no idea what either the Orks or the Space Marines are doing on her world. Pakeshi IV is little more than a huge chemical reclamation facility supporting the gas giant mining operations throughout the system. The Blood Ravens are commanded by a young Librarian by the name of Djalix T’sorg.

~ * ~

His state of being had evolved beyond simple annoyance. Codicer T’sorg and his men had been fighting Orks for days. The city they defended lay at the center of a sprawling chemical reclamation facility. The Orks had breached the initial physical defense provided by the surrounding chemical lakes and machinery. Although the Pakeshi Rangers had destroyed the Orks’ huge hovercraft battle fortresses, the Orks themselves still infested the city. The Greenskins’ presence had, at first, consisted of sporadic raids throughout the city, but it had slowly begun concentrating on a single compound.

The locals, of course, did not realize the compound’s significance as a secret research facility for the Inquisition. T’sorg and the rest of the Blood Ravens knew the truth, of course. Hours ago, T’sorg had deemed it tactically significant considering the Orks’ new posture and had made the region’s Imperial Commander, Celia Falkes, aware of the truth. It had become clear that the Orks had learned some information about the compound; information which held a certain importance to whatever debased plans their warlord had in mind.

The Librarian was bloodied. His muscles were sore from being stretched taut by grimy ropes and chains. He was not unconscious. No matter how badly they beat him, he refused to give them more information than he cared to and he dared not black out. One thing that he had learned from his recent campaigns against the Orks is to never show weakness. He couldn’t give the Ork nothing, though. Orks are an impatient lot and don’t suffer long an arduous task with no clear benefit.

His torturer was a squat Ork the others called Frang. This odd, older, yet somewhat stunted Ork, was the king of his domain. The wide alley was a charnel house of horrors where Frang’s other victims were strung up, beaten and disemboweled. Frang carried a long-handled hooked blade, clearly the device which had been the instrument of this golgothan symphony of horrors. Among the victims was a single Astartes, so horribly beaten that T’sorg could not identify the corpse. T’sorg guessed that the cruel blade had not killed any of them instantly, the Astartes in particular. He prayed to the God Emperor that his Battle Brother had not died screaming.

Codicer T’sorg had grown impatient, though. Death would be preferable to the incessant bludgeoning and meandering questioning. He had to admit, however, Frang was an excellent choice for this particular job. The old Ork was clearly disfigured, whether by birth or by some old injury. His lower jaw was narrow and his teeth were small and dull; many of them black with rot. T’sorg had never seen an Ork with old teeth in his head; and he’d seen a lot of Orks. Although Orks were capable of some level of speech, some of it understandable, it was often impossible to fully understand what they were trying to convey. With Frang, however, every question he asked was clear, and the Ork seemed clever enough that he probably knew more often than not when the subject of his bloody work was lying. The questions, however, were very telling.

“Where were the other Beakies?” Frang spat. T’sorg assumed the Ork meant the rest of the Blood Ravens. After Shatara, the Chapter’s presence in the Pakeshi Sector had dispersed, bolstering areas surrounding that world. Commander Falkes had agreed to call Chapter Master Revueltas for reinforcements, though their astropathic choir had been overrun before a response could be received.

“I don’t know,” he growled.

“Were you on the world you call Shatara?”

“Yes. I enjoyed killing many of your kind.”

“Will the oomies counter-attack Shatara?”

“Oh, yes. Be ready for a major assault. We will wipe that world from all memory.”

“You… exaggerate, grox filth!” Whack! across his face. The flat of the blade cracked his left orbit. Burning agony filled his vision. Light and sound exploded in his mind.

“Why do you have so many Weirdboyz?”

In spite of himself, T’sorg said, “We are all, in some way…” then stopped himself. “We take them. From others. So we have more.”

“Liar,” the butt of the implement jabbed into his diaphragm, but the muscles there resisted the thrust. Just the same, he made a great show of exhaling deeply and coughing.

“What lies behind the big, old, wall?” His questioner wanted to know about the Inquisitorial compound. The wall surrounding it was very old, certainly pre-dating the Inqisition’s presence there and likely pre-dating the Great Crusade. “Nothing.”

Whack! “Noooo. There is something. Why else are there walls? Why else are there defenders?”

It was true. The remnants of the Pakeshi Rangers including the Imperial Commander had fallen back behind the wall. The Orks had been striking at the compound’s outer defenses, pecking here and there, sacrificing hundreds of Orks in dozens of raids. Clearly, the Orks’ commander was not stupid. He was testing the installation’s defenses, finding the right places to strike when he finally decided to make an assault. T’sorg had ordered his Blood Ravens to strike out beyond the walls for this reason. They had destroyed at least ten Ork raiding parties before they could be used to help their commander collect the information he needed. His hope was that his counterpart on the Ork side was a careful commander, which his strategy had revealed. The Ork warlord would, if T’sorg was correct, hesitate before making a big move without a clear tactical edge. This behavior obviously went against everything he’d ever been taught about Orks, but one thing that was also important to expect from any enemy was the unexpected.

“Why?” Frang demanded before T’sorg could realized he’d been daydreaming, on the verge of losing consciousness. Through a red, blurry haze, he saw the staff end of Frang’s tool raised for another blow.

“It’s a hardened position. Walls. We can hold you off until reinforcements arrive.”

“You won’t…” Whack! “..hold us!” The weapon came down on the Librarian’s arm. His vision cleared with the sharp pain which signified a cracked bone.

“Didn’t hurt,” he did his best to make this defiance sound desperate. He wondered if the Ork sensed that.

“It will hurt more if you do not tell me everything!”  Each word in the sentence punctuated by a pointless blow laid against his torso and abdomen.

“Please,” he choked, “Tell me what you want to hear.”

“Where?” Crack! “Is?” Crack! “The?” Crack! “Tome?” Crack! “Of?” Crack! “Blood?” Crack!

“We. Don’t. Have. It.” He gasped between each word, spitting blood and tooth fragments.

Crack! “Lies!” Crack! “It is there!” Crack! “Behind the walls!” Crack!

T’sorg gave up the act and became calm. “Thank you, Frang. I’m glad this wasn’t a useless exercise. What is the Tome of Blood?”

The implement came up for another blow, but T’sorg flexed his mind and gently pushed the Ork, “Stop.”

A confused look crossed Frang’s distorted face. The confusion melted into fear.

“What is the Tome of Blood?” He pushed again, “What is it, Frang?”

The Ork doubled over and vomited whatever bloody mess had been his last meal. Fear and realization filled his mind. “I shoud na asked that. I should na told ya.”

“Tell me the rest.”

Frang moaned in desperation, “It will bring Tuska to us. Warboss Tuska. Now he fights for the Lord of Blood. He will fight for us instead. We will conquer!”  Frang was almost relieved when he was done. He leaned against the staff of his weapon, exhausted from the experience.

“Let me go,” T’sorg whispered.

The Ork winced and his eyes crossed. “No.”

“Let me go, and I will make you strong,” he pushed the Greenskin’s mind. Not too hard. Finesse was key.

Frang grunted. Blood oozed from both of his ears, droplets pattering on its shoulders. “Strong…”

“I am Weird. I can make you strong.”

The Ork spasmed, but moved towards him, lifting the pigsticker. “You…”

“I must be let free. I need my hands.”

The business end of the weapon wavered at T’sorg’s throat. He could see the old, violet bloodstains caked on the pitted surface of the crude weapon. How many loyal Imperial citizens had met their end on this cruel device?

“Fpree…” Frang’s voice was was no longer clear, but muddled by the blood which was now gushing from his nose.  The weapon twitched.

Please don’t die yet, T’sorg thought in spite of himself.

T’sorg felt the pigsticker graze his cheek and swipe at the ropes binding his left arm. The cracked bone in that arm became a sudden, distant memory as muscles in his forearm and shoulder screamed at being moved after the long hours of tension. Despite the agony, he focused his attention back on his captor. “You fool. You have let your prisoner go free.”

“No…”

“You will be executed,” and he pushed hard with the last word, putting all of his hate into it.

“Exec….”  The Ork spun his blade around, opened his mouth wide, and bit down upon it, cleaving his own skull from the inside out. Frang collapsed, his head cracking open and a fan of chunky meat ejecting from the wound.

T’sorg immediately reached out, took the weapon and smashed the blade against the chains holding his other arm in place. He thought about looking for his armor, but decided that might be a deadly waste of time. He hefted Frang’s bloody device and began climbing the nearest building. He had to get a lay of the land, find the path of least resistance back to the compound.

As he climbed, he became more aware of the world outside the alley. The acrid odor of the world’s air was actually refreshing compared to the offensive environment in Frang’s golgotha. The crackle of small arms fire rippled in all directions, but there was no heavy artillery. Good. The Orks hadn’t started their major offensive yet. When he’d allowed himself to be captured, T’sorg had gambled with that eventuality. His curiosity had overwhelmed his caution, however. He’d had to find out why the Orks had come to this backwater world and why they were willing to sacrifice so much for so little.

When he reached the top of the roof, he found something waiting for him. His initial reflex was to duck back down, but the Ork was staring directly into his eyes. He could immediately feel the Ork’s connection to the Warp. Its burn-scarred body was practically naked, adorned with only a few bleached bones and trinkets. It leaned on a long, ornate staff. T’sorg’s caution once again lost the battle against his curiosity and he pulled himself up onto the roof.

“So, are you my counterpart?” he rasped. It was possible he had bruised ribs.

The Ork’s response was not verbal, “Close enough. Your things,” it gestured to a large, burlap-covered bundle nearby. “Thank you for visiting. I learned much.”

“I learned a great deal as well,” he said, almost defiantly.

“Yar. You delivered yourself to us. Smart, oomie. Smart one. Go on. Take your things. Go.”

“Why?”

“You need to find what we’re both looking for.”

“You won’t get it.”

“We’ll see, oomie,” and the Ork smiled. “We’ll be coming soon. I can’t hold back Big Mek Dreadnutz forever, so you be sure to find the Tome before we get there.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

Juggerboss

Progress continues on the DOrks! Here's my finished Juggerboss riding his pet sow. They still need names, but I haven't figured out how to write them into the story yet.






Here are some in-progress pics of the sculpt:










And the current group shot:





Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Bel Ork Kor

The work on WAAGH! Tuska continues. I'm trying to create at least one version of my list which is reasonably competitive, which means the addition of Belakor. This model is my attempt at making that fit into my army thematically. For this model, I took a pair of wings from an old Reaper dragon and attached a body and legs from the Savage Orc Boar Riders. Then I used one of the arms and the big weapon from the Savage Orc infantry pack for his shadowy blade weapon.

Of course, Belakor is a psyker, so really has no business looking like a daemon of Khorne, so I painted Bel Ork Kor kind of Albino-y, sort of like a big pink horror. I think his pose and size matches up with the real Belakor model pretty well. What do you think?

~ * ~

Warboss Tuska had the help of a great many Weirdboyz during his adventures leading him and his WAAGH! into the Eye of Terror. Just because they joined forces with the likes of Khorne, that doesn't mean that WAAGH Tuska cast away their Weirdboyz. Their chief, Belork, was blessed with the impressive countenance of a powerful Daemon, second in stature only to Tuska himself and with incredible, mind-altering powers. Now, going by the name Bel Ork Kor, he takes the vanguard in Tuska's most important battles.





Thursday, October 8, 2015

WAAGH! Tuska Looted Heldrake

These brave Orks were able to "tame" a Chaos Heldrake during the Warp Jump to their first conquest. It has actually become a bit of a ritual for some of the Orks of WAAGH! Tuska to brave the underbelly of their Kroozers at the start of an invasion in order to take control of the Heldrakes latched on there and use them in battle.






And another group shot this one is far more impressive. 

We're sitting at 2029 points painted with the following loadouts:





Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Possessed of Tuska and their Followers

Completed the commitment for September... all the remaining "Daemony" guys and Cultists.



Tuska himself, ready to put a whomp on with his 'uge klaw...





The Possessed Nobz. Hopefully they look like they have a 3+ save!





The ventriloquist is my favorite...



The Orks aren't the first to arrive and fight on the Blood World. Many Human warriors have stepped forward to fight and die here. These Cultists have risen to fight for the glory of Khorne once more!





Everything I've completed so far. A little over 1500pts worth...



What remains are the vehicles and piggy stuff. I'm still in the process of purchasing more pigs, so I'm moving on to the Heldrake now.