FEAR IS A MIRROR

Big news today! I’m excited to say that Fear Is A Mirror is available to purchase for Amazon Kindle today!

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Your fears are a reflection of your true self.

What is Fear Is A Mirror, you ask? Well, aside from sounding achingly pretentious, it’s an anthology of twenty-five short creepy stories written by myself and my friend Joe Butler. We’ve been working like crazy on it for the past few months, tweaking and prodding to get things just right. We put the final touches to it the other night, and now it’s available to buy from the Amazon Kindle store.

So if you fancy being spooked out by ghosts and demons and psychotic faeries (and whatever Scratchyhands is), or you want to glimpse into alternate dimensions of varying bleakness and GRIMDARK, then I urge you to pick up a copy. And if you like it, a nice review goes a long way!

You can get it HERE!

Also, hey! Did you know that at the start of the year, I released my first proper novel, Broken Bird? Well, Joe, who is a much better artist than me, knocked up an awesome new cover for it!

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Innocence lost.

Broken Bird is my take on the whole paranormal romance shtick. You know it goes, girl meets boy, boy has a secret… and then it gets pretty damn dark. One of my proofreaders said it was like Twilight, as if written by Stephen King or Grant Morrison. Make of that what you will. Or make up your own mind by buying it HERE!

Two novels to my name feels pretty good (well, one and a half I suppose, what with Fear being an anthology), but there’s no time to rest. Onwards and upwards! There’s always more to write, and rest assured, you’ll find out about it all soon enough.

 

Gareth

 

The Disease Spreads

A few days ago, Ian and I sat down and had a few games of Age of Sigmar with our new-ish armies. I took my Nurgle force, and Ian took his Locorksts – Orks Orruks that have been painted to resemble the Locust enemies from Gears of War. 

Even though I had some recently-painted Nurglings and a Herald, Ian still had more stuff than me, as most of his Boyz were his 40k army, given a new breath of life for Age of Sigmar. We kept things vaguely balanced by taking 50-Wound armies (which was the most I could field anyway!), but aside from that we were just going to roll dice and have some fun.

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Uncle Fester’s Carnival of Rot; Lord of Plagues, Nurgle Herald, Putrid Blightkings, Nurglings, and two Spawn.

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Warboss Skorge’s Locorkst Uprising; Warboss with two choppas, ‘Ardboyz (unpainted), Shoota Drones (Arrer Boyz), Boomers (Leadbelchers), and Wretches (Gnoblars).

I quickly ran Ian through the turn structure and his unit’s Battlescrolls, and then we were off!

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The Blightkings advance through the aquarium decorations.

 

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“Fer da Queen! WAAAAGH!” I was in need of a Lightmass bomb.

Even though Ian’s Leadbelchers and Arrer Boyz managed to blast apart one of my Spawn, my Blightkings waded in and proceeded to take on all-comers. I only have a small gaming table, so without much room to maneuver, things devolved into a huge ruck in the middle. The dice gods weren’t smiling on Ian’s ‘Ardboyz, and the Blightkings ground them down in a gruelling slog of attrition. Meanwhile, my Nurglings and other Spawn were off giving the Grots some problems…

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Battle of the ankle-biters.

 

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It should be noted that this Spawn only managed to kill a single Grot in the entire game.

In the end, it was a foregone conclusion; although the Leadbelchers waded in (and it was only at this point Ian realised that the big lugs were actually damn good in melee), I was getting lucky with the Blightkings, and kept rolling 6s on their hit rolls for their blighted weapons (if a Blightking rolls a 6 to hit, that hit multiplies into d6 hits) and causing all kinds of merry hell. Still, we had fun; I liked the synergies and little rules of my Nurgle units; the Lord of Plagues handing out Nurgle’s Rot to friends and foe alike, the Blightkings healing nearby Nurgle units, the Nurglings who have to be killed in a single turn or they’ll just regenerate… plus I liked that I only had 12 models on the table and was comfortably holding my own!

We had a second game as well, a bit smaller this time, in which we tried a house-rule of alternating phases; rather than each player having their whole turn and passing priority, we tried a you-move, I-move, you-shoot, I-shoot approach, and that worked pretty well. It was my turn to apply the soothing cream in that game though, as a Waaagh!-boosted unit of ‘Ardboyz made short work of my Blightkings and Nurglings.

On the whole, we both had fun. There was a lot of referring back to the Battlescrolls, but that’s normal when you’re playing a new game with a new army. I’m sure in time the stats for our models will burn themselves into our memory just as surely as previous Warhammer rules.

The next time we play, we’re going to try and get a bigger table (which may mean an excursion out to a gaming club to use a table there) just so things don’t turn into a giant scrum in the middle of the table. I mean, it’s still Fantasy, not 40k, so shooting is fairly limited or short-ranged, but it would be nice to have several distinct engagements rather than big blob.  We’re also going try a house-rule inspired by 1-Page 40k and try alternating activation of units – so you would choose a unit and do their entire move, shoot, charge, fight, and then your opponent would choose one of their units, and so on, back and forth – and see how that plays out.

As mentioned, I had a Herald and some Nurglings that had been freshly painted; I bought the Getting Started kit for Nurgle Daemons the evening before the game, giving a whole lot of plastic to play around with. I only had time to get the Herald and Nurglings ready and quickly painted, but since then I’ve put the Plaguebearers together and painted them too!

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Bilebelcher the Herald. I may have actually gone slightly overboard with the heavy black wash on this guy!

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The kids.

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Vexvomit’s Plaguebearer band.

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More Plaguebearers.

All I’ve got left to do now is the fiddly-as-hell Plague Drones, and that’s my latest batch of Nurgle stuff completed. After that, who knows? I’m toying with the idea of some River Trolls Felwater Troggoths, just because the models are gross, bloated, vomiting toad-like abominations; perfect for Nurgle! What else? A wizard? Festus the Leechlord would be good, as he has a lot of cool rules. But what about a wizard riding a giant, gross, monster? Hmm…

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I wonder…

As for Ian, who knows what he’ll add to his Orruk horde? More ‘Ardboyz? I know he’s been hungrily eyeing up the new Ironjawz Brutes and Megaboss; these could represent Theron Guards and General RAAM in his horde! Whatever he goes for, I’m sure I’ll be on the receiving end pretty soon…

 

Gareth

 

Rise of the Rot

Once again, I’m flirting with that diabolical corporation and peddler of plastic soldiers, Games Workshop. I keep trying to get away, but their hooks are in too deep. First it was Deathwatch Overkill that dragged me back in, and then there’s the awesome dungeon-crawling sweetness that is Silver Tower… they’re geniuses.

So, a whole year ago, I was pretty excited about Age of Sigmar. Why wouldn’t I be? A fresh new take on the stagnant Fantasy universe, with gorgeous new models and free (!!) rules. A lot of the initial venom about AoS has diluted, and more and more people seem to be coming round to it. I’m all on board; I want a fun, casual tabletop game where I can field whatever I want. The lack of a points system is a stumbling block for some people, but the more and more I’ve thought about it, the less it matters to me. I’m only going to be playing Age of Sigmar with a few friends, and none of us are total dickbags, so things will be pretty relaxed and civil.

Darryl picked up the starter set last year, and we’ve managed to squeeze in a few games between all the RPing. But I wanted some of my own models, and I’d always liked the look of the Blightkings set…

I mean, how could you not?
I mean, how could you not?

Needless to say, I picked up a box after a particularly good day at work as a little treat to myself, and before I knew it I had assembled and painted them all. Then I was getting some Spawn and a Lord of Plagues, and next thing I’m doing is browbeating Ian into getting some of the sextacular new Ironjaw Orruks.

I’ve always been a Chaos player at heart. Sure, I’ve dabbled with other factions; Blood Ravens and Orks in 40k, but my soul’s always belonged to the Dark Gods. In my heyday, I’ve run Tzeentch Mortals (5th ed Fantasy), Word Bearers (3rd and 3.5 edition 40k) and Death Guard (5th edition 40k). Khorne and Slaanesh have never really done anything for me; give me decay and mind-bullets any day! It helps as well that Nurgle and Tzeentch play up to my preferred play styles; I love the relentless footslogging hordes of Nurgle, and the onslaught of magic/psychic powers and general Lovecraftian gribbliness of Tzeentch.

So, naturally, when I pick up Silver Tower, that’ll be my Tzeentch dudes taken care of. For now however, let me show off what I’ve painted so far, to start the grand carnival of rot in the Eight Realms…

Disclaimer! I’m a fast painter, not a good painter. I like to get something to a tabletop standard, which usually involves flat colours and a heavy black wash. I’m happy with the results, and who cares anyway? I’m not trying to win any contests.

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Coathanger-Head, my Lord of Plagues. I gave him a spare Blightking head instead of the one he came with. Yes, I realise his antlers will get caught up in his shoulder spikes, but no-one said you had to make sensible fashion decisions to become a Chaos lord.

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My Burger Blightking champion. I sort of love/am repulsed by that one of his arms is basically just a bloated cancerous lump.

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Old Sieve-Face, the first Blightking I painted. You couldn’t ask for a simpler recipe; Bugman’s Glow skin, Ushabti Bone armour, DRENCH the whole thing in watered-down Mournfang Brown to make it grungy and shit-stained, then details in Waagh! Flesh and Tamiya Chrome and Gold Leaf (I don’t use GW metallics, I find them far too watery), and Nuln Oil. Takes about an hour, start to finish.

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The standard bearer. I love the hooded/chain-veil/antler head. The Blightking set is amazing, but it presents some real Sophie’s Choices for modelling; standard bearer or massive scythe? Big honking bell, or big honking axe?

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And here’s the whole gang of them. I’m sort of not 100% happy with the guy on the far right, I love the very Nurglesque-single-horn helmet, but his pose with two swords is a bit off. Eh. Frigging love the guy with the bell; he’s essentially a fat naked man with only a dirty apron to protect the world from the sight of his turgid leprous cock.

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I put some Spawn together as well. That’s a damn fun kit to mess around with. I feel like there’s probably a bit more I can do with these guys, but it might be because they’re primarily flesh-coloured and look weird next to the mostly-armoured bone-coloured Blightkings and Lord. The nice thing about the Spawn is that I could use them as Spawn, or possibly proxy them as Beasts of Nurgle.

Anyway, the next thing on my shopping list is the “Getting Started” box of Nurgle Daemons; that’ll boost my fledgling force with some Plaguebearers, Plague Drones, Nurglings and a Herald for a very respectable price. Geez, there I go again, saying that a GW product is good value for money… after that box though, I think I’ll be done with the Nurgle stuff as I’ll have a fairly solid chunk of stuff, more that enough to square up against Stormcasts, Bloodbound, and whatever Ian’s planning…

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Yep, not content with smashing gits in the grimdark far future, the Locorksts have invaded Age of Sigmar! Ian picked up a load of Black Orcs – or ‘Ardboyz as they’re now known – on eBay for cheap, and we have a game scheduled for this Saturday, so we’ll see how my stinky Nurgle dudes hold up to some full-on orruk aggression!

 

Gareth

D&D Sixguns & Sinners: BULLET 12 – CEREMONY, Part 2

So.

Demon. Hellfire. Church. Attempted assassination of an Army officer on his wedding day which is actually a ritual for a devil-worshipping crime syndicate. 

Hm.

Morgan transforms into a towering demonic monster, and belches fire everywhere. I have the guys roll to resist fear, and Jeb and Magnus get a damp feeling in their britches. The soldiers aren’t much better off. Mr. Sable scampers off to leave the group to deal with the proverbial shitstorm.

DemonMorgan thrashes about and kills the remaining Redbrand bandits. He then belches fire everywhere, unintentionally igniting the dynamite that the guys had set in the pillars. There’s a series of explosions, which stuns the demon.

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“Guys, if you haven’t worked it out, this is your chance to run like buggery.”

 

They escape the church – though Jeb takes the opportunity to snatch up Dies Irae, Morgan’s discarded master-crafted volcano gun –  the soldiers dragging the wounded Colonel Jefferson. Outside, things seem just as bad. A bunch of Quiet Brother agents have gone all Hydra, and revealed themselves among the crowd and start attacking people indiscriminately, causing all kinds of mayhem. John immediately starts taking pot-shots, gunning down the Quiet Brothers.

They get a safe distance away from the church, and an army surgeon starts attending to Jefferson, who is less than pleased with John.

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“Well well, Captain god-damned Dwyte. I knew you’d come crawling back and take a shot at me. I suppose this devilry is your doing! You dishonorable coward!”

John seems about ready to knock out Jefferson’s teeth, so Magnus and Jeb haul him to one side and explain the situation to Jefferson while John vents his aggression on any Quiet Brothers who make the monumentally terrible decision to get within sixty feet of him.

They hit on a plan to track down Mr. Sable, who clearly seems to be the ringleader of the whole situation. What they’ll do when they find him is up in the air, but it’ll probably involve rolling for damage. Jefferson seems to think that they’re the city’s best hope, and despite his personal feelings on John, he gives him a squad of soldiers as back-up.

The group heads round to the back of the cathedral just as DemonMorgan bursts out the front and starts taking rifle fire from the soldiers. DemonMorgan has gained some friends since they last saw him, and a flock of gargoyle-like demons fly out and add to the chaos. Jeb, the Dwytes and the soldiers fight off a few of them, and end up finding Gabriel Forrester cowering. Apparently, he saw Mr. Sable running away, and heard him mention to his flunkeys about heading “back to the Imperial.”

The Imperial is the Aurelia Imperial, the fanciest hotel in the city, down by the waterfront. The group make their way there, fighting off more Quiet Brother goons and gargoyles on the way. They then storm the hotel, losing some of the soldiers in gruelling room-to-room combat. They head up, figuring that Mr. Sable will be the swankiest penthouse suite. They’re not wrong, but before they can get to Mr. Sable, they have to fight through his personal bodyguard of knife-happy supermodels, which gave me an excuse to re-use the stat-block of Jenny the Razor; it was fun to see them tear through three of these enemies, when not too long ago just the one gave them trouble.

With the bodyguards dead, they burst into Mr. Sable’s private rooms. He’s standing there by the window, all sinister and Bond-villain-esque, watching the city burn.

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“I’m very disappointed in you Dwytes, letting yourselves be led astray so easily by this charlatan priest. You’ve drunken deep from his fountain of lies, blind to the path that he leads you down, just like your parents! You may think that I and my brothers are monsters, but we are nothing compared to him and his god! Whereas we would make this world better, he would see it destroyed completely!”

Badger

“What’s he talkin’ about, Jeb?”

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“He’s just crazy, son. And I’m about done lissenin’ to a crazy person.”

So, yay, BBEG fight! John wades in straight away with his dual guns, but Mr. Sable has all kind of dark magic up his sleeve. He curses Magnus, blasts Jeb with invisible, lacerating force, and sets John on fire. He also has a basic “infernal touch” attack that does a ton of fire damage. He gets his hands on Magnus, and Trev was forced to burn his Destiny point to cheat death; however, as a compromise, we agreed that Nate, Magnus’ trusty pet ferret, sacrificed himself by going for Mr. Sable’s face, distracting him for a moment before he was immolated. Then Mr. Sable went for John, and then it was Darryl’s turn to cheat death, allowing himself to be thrown across the room.

While all this was happening, Jeb had taken cover in the bedroom and was taking shots with his new volcano gun. With the Dwyte brothers badly hurt, Mr. Sable turned his attention to Jeb.

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“It ends here, priest!”

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“It sure does.”

Jeb throws the ceremonial dagger to Magnus, who grabs it and stabs Mr. Sable in the back. The wound blazes with the same weird silver-green fire that had consumed Jenny and Locke when they’d been cut by the dagger. By now, Mr. Sable is seriously hurt, and makes his escape by leaping from the window and invoking his emergency escape spell, a pair of shadowy demonic wings that will let him fly away. But John takes aim, and finishes Mr. Sable, with a critical hit no less.

The Quiet Brother leader plummets to the ground, dead. The Dwytes and Jeb heal their wounds, and look out over the city; Mr. Sable may be dead, but there’s still plenty of hero-work to be done.

We wrap things up narratively; the group hook up with the remnants of the army and spend the next few days clearing out the remaining Quiet Brother henchment and summoned demons. Afterwards, the governor calls them to his office, and in recognition of their efforts, grants them a huge cash reward. He also pledges to help the Dwytes rebuild their family home in River’s End, and, although Jefferson is not exactly thrilled, he reinstates John back into the army.

Jeb has an odd request; he wants to go back to see the aelfar clans, and act as a diplomatic liaison between them and the humans. The governor sees the wisdom in this, and says that Jeb will be the leader of a group of ambassadors whose mission will be to ensure that human and aelfar can live in harmony and learn from each other, blah blah blah.

Jeb says his goodbyes and heads west to the aelfar lands, but promises to return and visit when he can. John and Magnus return to River’s End. Before he leaves the city, John finally lets Mildred go, and gives her his blessings, hoping that she has a happy life with Jefferson. Ah, the feels.

We timeskip a few months; work is progressing well on rebuilding the Dwyte family home, and John is home during a break in his life as a newly-reinstated military officer. There’s been no news of the Quiet Brothers, and the Red Brand gang are now non-existent with the death of Morgan. Things finally seem to be going the brothers’ way.

And then Jeb rides into town, with a worrying look on his face.

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“I think you boys better come with me.”

To be concluded…

 

Gareth

D&D Sixguns & Sinners: BULLETS 12 – CEREMONY, Part 1

Okay, it’s been quite some time since our last foray into the Territories for an update on my group’s Wild West D&D campaign. Last time, I gave a brief summary of our last few sessions, but as we approach the finale, something a little more in-depth is required, and I finally have time away from other secret-squirrel projects to do this long overdue write up!

In Attendance: John Dwyte (Darryl), Magnus Dwyte (Trev), Father Jeb Underwood (Joe).

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An’ naturally, I’ll be servin’ as the Lawman.

Our heroes found themselves in the local jail after their ruckus at The Velvet Birdcage, along with Morgan. The sheriff is in the pocket of the Quiet Brothers, so Morgan is released after only an hour so that he can continue to do the muscle work for those darn demon-worshippers. It looks like the Dwytes and Jeb would miss their chance to interrupt the demonic ritual that the Quiet Brothers are planning to enact! Jeb tells them not to worry.

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“The Lord will provide boys. Now get some shut-eye.”

The next morning, they wake to hear a commotion out in the front of the sheriff’s station. They recognise the voice of Gabriel Forrester, who they helped (kind of) waaaay back when. Gabriel storms in with the sheriff, and demands that the Dwytes and Jeb be set free. The sheriff is reluctant, and makes some excuses that the three of them are all dangerous, armed outlaws (which, technically, is not a lie) and have to kept incarcerated, awaiting trial. But Gabriel’s not taking “no” for an answer, and he brought backup; Elsa deBouvier and the girls from The Velvet Birdcage all walk in, crowding around the increasingly-nervous sheriff.

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“Last chance, sheriff. Let the preacher and his friends go.”

The sheriff panics and tries to escape, but the burlesque girls mob him, drag him to the ground, and viciously knife him. Gabe grabs the keys and lets the Dwytes and Jeb out, and everyone awkwardly avoids making eye contact. Elsa hands Jeb back the ceremonial knife where he’d left it in the burlesque house. She and the girls have all got blank stares and tell him that the “moment of destiny” is upon them.  Hmm.

The gang get their gear back and head for the church, stopping on the way to acquire as much dynamite as they can afford. The wedding hasn’t started yet, but the procession route is packed with crowds and decorations. Obviously they can’t go in through the front door of the church, so they sneak round the back. Inside, the place is suspiciously empty. They take the dynamite and start setting it up on pillars, the idea being to bring the whole place down on top of the Quiet Brothers.

But who should walk in when they’re in the middle of their act of sabotage? Morgan, of course, with some more of his Red Brand goons.

“I knew you couldn’t stay away! Well I’ve had it with the three of you! We’re ending this, now!”

They have a gunfight in the church, but it doesn’t last long; soldiers rush in from outside at the sound of gunfire, followed by a senior military officer in full ceremonial garb; Colonel Robert Lee Thaddeus Jefferson, John’s old rival from his army days!

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“What the hell is going on here!?”

For the second time in 24 hours, the Dwytes and Jeb find themselves at gunpoint. John however is hidden away, and Jefferson doesn’t see him. Although John now knows that it wasn’t Jefferson who burned down the family home, he still arranged it so that John was dishonorably discharged from the army, and effectively ruined his life. And for Jefferson to be here, today, in formal dress uniform… he’s Mildred’s new husband-to-be! John takes aim from cover…

Magnus and Jeb are trying to talk down the soldiers when at that moment, the Butler – who by now everyone knows is a Quiet Brother – strolls in from off-scene. Magnus and Jeb can’t do anything as they’re under guard by the soldiers, and John is too fixated on Jefferson.

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“Is everything quite alright, Colonel?”

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“Everything’s fine, Mr. Sable. Please, leave this to my soldiers and I. We’ll sort out this mess, and then we can proceed.”

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“I couldn’t agree more.”

Three things happen then. Mildred, in her wedding dress, comes in to ask what’s happening. John shoots Jefferson, hitting him in the chest and knocking him down. And Mr. Sable, the “butler”, whips out a knife, utters some demonic words, and stabs Morgan in the chest.

“Wha-!?”

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“The blood of an Apostle who has turned from the Lord’s light. You were always just a tool, Morgan. But your sacrifice will mark the beginning of a new age.”

Morgan staggers back and starts to change, as some infernal force takes over his body, warping and transforming it until eventually a huge demon stands in his place, its body burning with hellfire…

To be continued…

 

Gareth

D&D Sixguns & Sinners: QUICK SHOTS

It’s been a while since I provided an update for our Wierd West D&D game; like Christmas, the Easter holidays are usually fairly hectic so it’s been tough to get everyone together. We managed to get two quick sessions in though, which is better than nothing!

I figured a quick rundown of key events of the last few sessions would be better than a full write-up (which, to be honest, I’m finding more and more of a chore to do), so here we go…

So, when we left the group, they were busy facing down a filth demon in the streets of Tributary Falls, summoned by the Quiet Brother Amadeus Locke.

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  • The fight against the demon was tough; it resisted mortal weapons, regenerated its wounds, and had toxic claws. But the fight could’ve been a lot tougher; I totally forgot that Jeb had a couple of vials of holy water, which he used to anoint John’s cavalry sabre. John got a couple of good hits in and destroyed the creature, though he fell victim to the filth demon’s diseased touch (he got better).
  • Magnus wanted to keep Amadeus Locke alive for questioning, but Jeb killed the Quiet Brother with the ceremonial knife. Instead, they took Magnus’s friend Jace and after some friendly interrogation, he sold out his employers and told Jeb and the Dwytes about the Quiet Brother’s plans.
  • Apparently the QBs were planning some kind of ritual or attack in New Varn, the capital. It was going to be during a big wedding, which was going to be attended by all manner of government and military bigwigs. Beyond that, Jace didn’t have any other information; all he knows that the QBs are getting genuinely worried about the constant intervention from the Dwytes and Jeb.
  • The group “appropriated” Locke’s stagecoach and traveled in style to New Varn. Along the way, Jace had a few quiet words with John. He hasn’t seen fit to share what was discussed with his companions.
  • Upon arriving in New Varn, Jace left them and Jeb took them to a burlesque house called The Velvet Birdcage to relax before the imminent violence of the next few days. He’s old friends with the madam, Elsa Debouvier, and while the Dwytes are entertained, Jeb has a private conversation with Elsa.
  • The evening is going fine, when who should walk in but Morgan the Branded, leader of the Red Brand gang! Last time the group tangled with him, it ended badly for him, and along with all his men that they’ve killed, he’s wouldn’t be too happy to see them.
  • The three of them hid from Morgan and attempted various ways of assassinating him. None went according to plan, so the whole thing devolved into a shoot-out. Morgan put some serious holes in them with his volcano gun and Apostle powers, but three on one is still three on one, and they chipped him down. Jeb attempted to throw the ceremonial knife at him, but missed.
  • Morgan ran from the burlesque house and the group gave chase out into the streets… and right into a gang of militia, lawmen, and the mysterious butler! They were taken into custody along with Morgan.

The Reaper’s Tally: 2 witches, 5 train robbers, 20 Red Brand gang members, 1 guard dog, Silas Thorn, Jenny the Razor, 4 Fihanna-Fimh warriors, Stone Bear, 6 Biel-Tan warriors, Bernie Dutch, 2 Quiet Brother henchmen, 1 horse, 1 filth demon, Amadeus Locke.

Will they escape jail in time to stop the Quiet Brother’s demonic ritual? Well, hopefully we’ll find out soon…

Gareth

 

 

Deathwatch Recruits

So, I’ve been a bit obsessed with Deathwatch Overkill. How obsessed?

Well… I may have bought some more Space Marine kits and made some new Kill-Team members with some homebrew rules. The catalyst was when Ryan and I were looking through the character cards, and noticed that the Dark Angel character, Gydrael, is a bit… awful?… compared to his battle-brothers. In a game where the Deathwatch player doesn’t want his guys to die, what does Gydrael have as a special ability? One last mediocre attack before he dies! Because that’s just as good as Grytt’s frag cannon, Natorian’s psychic powers, and Redblade’s general ass-kicking abilities. Why don’t you love Dark Angels, GW?

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Re-rollable Jink and full BS Overwatch isn’t love, it’s chronic masturbation.

So I got to snipping, and now Strike Team Cassius has five new members.

Advance warning; these guys haven’t been playtested yet, so they may be a teeny bit over/underpowered. The fun will be trying to find the balance.

Let’s start off with Gydrael’s replacement, Zahan Ammael, a Dark Angels Apothecary. It seemed strange to me that the Kill Team didn’t have a medic, and although the Deathwatch Marines can all self-heal, sometimes they need a bit of help.

Speed 2, Armour 3+

Plasma Pistol – Assault Range (1 dice, 3+), Combat Range (1 dice, 3+), Maximum Range (-). Cleave.

NartheciumInstead of attacking during a Deathwatch Attack phase, Ammael can use his narthecium to heal a Wounded Deathwatch Marine within Assault Range. That Deathwatch Marine becomes Unwounded, just as if they’d made a Combat Recovery.

As Ammael fills in for Gydrael as a representative of the Dark Angels, Ademus Mordebrecht, the Black Templar Sword Brother, serves Gydrael’s role as a fearsome melee beatstick, good when leading the charge and holding the line. It helps that he looks like a badass old guy as well. I love that hand-on-holstered-sword piece from the Sternguard kit.

Speed 2, Armour 3+

Power Sword – Assault Range (3 dice, 3+), Combat Range (-), Maximum Range (-). Cleave, Rend.

Bolt Pistol (Kraken) – Assault Range (1 dice, 2+), Combat Range (1 dice, 3+), Maximum Range (-).

Bolt Pistol (Hellfire) – Assault Range (1 dice, 5+), Combat Range (1 dice, 5+), Maximum Range (-). Blast.

Combat ShieldEnemies attacking Mordebrecht at Assault Range have a -1 penalty on their attack rolls against him. If a model would normally need to roll 6 to hit, then they are unable to hit Mordebrecht at all. Mordebrecht is immune to Blast attacks.

IGNORE THE MOULD LINES. IGNORE THEM I SAY.

What can I say about Daxos Koriad? Well, he’s an Iron Snake with a big gun, and will generally be staying near the back, keeping his fellow Devastator Grytt company as he mows down hordes of Genestealers.

Speed 2, Armour 3+

Heavy Bolter – Assault Range (1 dice, 5+), Combat Range (3 dice, 3+), Maximum Range (3 dice, 3+). Rend.

Sustained FireIf Koriad doesn’t move during the Deathwatch Movement phase, he may attack twice with his heavy bolter at Combat and Maximum range in the first Deathwatch Attack phase.

Next up is the Storm Wardens Sternguard Veteran Cormac Aehryn; no Deathwatch Kill Team is complete without an angry Scotsman with a big sword! I may – may – attempt a tartan pattern on the tabard when it comes to painting him. May.

Speed 2, Armour 3+

Storm Bolter (Kraken) and Sacrisan Claymore – Assault Range (3 dice, 3+), Combat Range (2 dice, 3+), Maximum Range (2 dice, 3+). Rend.

Storm Bolter (Hellfire) – Assault Range (1 dice, 4+), Combat Range (1 dice, 4+), Maximum Range (1 dice, 4+). Blast.

Thunderous Fury – When Aehryn is Wounded, he can re-roll failed attack rolls made at targets in Assault Range.

And last of all, we have the Blackshield known only as “Ophidius”.  I wanted a Marine who would appear more “special ops” than the others. He serves as a sniper and saboteur, disrupting his enemies with precision shots and all manner of clandestine tricks. Hmm, a highly skilled operative with a penchant for “dirty warfare”, and his origin unknown to his squad-brothers. How very mysterious and not at all sinister…

Speed 2, Armour 3+

Bolter (Kraken) and Combat Knife – Assault Range (2 dice, 3+), Combat Range (1 dice, 3+), Maximum Range (1 dice, 3+).

Bolter (Hellfire) – Assault Range (1 dice, 5+), Combat Range (1 dice, 5+), Maximum Range (1 dice, 5+). Blast.

Bolter (Stalker) – Assault Range (-), Combat Range (-), Maximum Range (2 dice, 2+). Cleave.

SabotageAt the start of the Deathwatch Movement phase, Ophidius may sabotage the Xenos player, delaying their reinforcements and disarming their traps. Look at the top three cards of the Xenos Deck; you may put any number of those cards on the bottom of the Xenos Deck, and the rest back on top in any order.

(Yes, not “Genestealer player” and “Broodmind deck”… let’s just say I have plans to give the Deathwatch something to fight instead of just Hybrid Cults all the time…)

And all together;

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The Knight, the Healer, the Champion, the Snake, and the Enigma.

Now I just need to paint them. Lucky for me they all wear black…

Gareth