Friday, January 31, 2014

It's Raining Men

Inspiration and strange ideas seem to strike more often in the shower.  Such was the case today when I got a weird idea for a weird Warhammer spell and/or psychic power.  Actually, I imagine this as more appropriate for a WH Fantasy game than 40K, but I don't play Fantasy so I'll write it up in 40K lingo. 

(Disclaimer: As stated, this is kinda weird and purely for fun.  And what the hell, I have a blog, I might as well use it for stuff like this, right?)

For lack of a better name, this spell/power is called "It's Raining Men" (like that song by that one singer person). 

The wizard/psyker ambushes an enemy unit by teleporting an allied unit right on top of them! 
(This is probably a Telekinesis power in 40K.)  All units involved will make a Leadership test, as below:

1. First, the psyker/wizard makes their casting roll. 
   a.  The spell's range is 2D6" plus the wizard's leadership value.  Both target units must be within that range to the caster/psyker, though they need not be with each another. 
   b.  If the casting roll is successful, the friendly unit of fighters is immediately removed from the board (even if locked in combat), and placed into combat with the target unit.  They are counted as having charged in the Assault phase, though no Overwatch shots may be fired (as the enemy didn't see them coming).
   c.  If the roll is unsuccessful, the unit is still telelported but not where he intended.  Roll the scatter dice from their current location, always scattering via the arrow on the "hit" result and not reducing via the psyker's BS.  The friendly fighters are jerked out of reality and dropped from several meters above the ground to a new location.  All models take a single S3 AP- hit.  If dropped into Difficult Terrain, it counts as Dangerous on top of these hits.  If the unit would land on another unit, reduce the distance enough to drop them 1" short of that.  They then count as Pinned while they pick themselves off the ground (even if normally unpinnable due to Fearless or some other psychological reason).

2.  Next, if successfully dropped on the enemy, the friendly unit being teleported makes a Leadership check. 
   a.  If successful:  They fall on top of the enemy with the surge of adrenaline that comes from suddenly finding yourself falling through the sky into your hated foe.  They benefit from Furious Charge and Rage (so S+1, A+2 for this assult move).
   b.  If failed:  The shock of suddenly finding themselves falling from the sky straight into battle unnerves them, as you might expect.  They count as having made a disordered charge (so no A+1 for assaulting) and their Initiative is reduced to 1 for this phase.

3.  The enemy fallen upon by skyborne fighters makes a Leadership test.
   a. If successful:  They fight as normal but still do not get to make an Overwatch attack.
   b. If failed:  They are shocked by this ambush outta nowhere, suffer from Fear, and have their Initiative reduced to 1 this phase.

Note: Units immune to Fear still suffer other results and even units that normally pass Morale checks automatically must still make these LD rolls.  Also note that if both units are reduced to Init 1 they will go simultaneously slow.

I'm not suggesting anyone actually employ this in their games, it's just something I came up with to entertain myself while scrubbing the stink off myself.  But if anyone were to use it, I think it'd be the Orks.  This feels like Orky magic to me...

Another note: These are not Orks.  These pics were all taken from Time Bandits (for you young'uns who didn't know.)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Free Sci-Fi and Fantasy Audiobooks for Reviews

Two more of my shorter books have been reincarnated as audiobooks in the last week: The Thorne Legacy and A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley.  These now join The Prince of Luster and Decay as part of the Fugitive Fiction Audio Library.  You can now listen to these exciting tales while jogging, washing dishes, building or painting miniatures, or even driving!  And I want to give away several of these audio downloads for free!  

Well, nothing is exactly free.  I might ask just one teensy, tiny favor... 

The Thorne Legacy is a military SF tale narrated by Mr. Lee Strayer of Atomic 27 Media, and (in written form) it was a quarterly finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest.  You can check it out the audio-version on Amazon,, and iTunes.

I also have a few more free codes for the fantasy sword and soldiery novella The Prince of Luster and Decay, narrated by Mr.Nigel Patterson.  Also right there on Amazon,, and iTunes.

How do I get these for free, you may ask?  Well, all you have to do is send an email request to jdbrink888 (at) gmail (dot) com or use the email form gadget right next to this post.  In return for the free download code, you agree to write a brief review on Amazon telling other potential readers/listeners what you thought of it.  That’s it.  Just give your honest opinions.  If it sucked, tell us!  You’re out nothing but the time it took you to type the words, “It sucked.”  If you liked it, tell us a little more.
So: email, listen, review.  Free.  Easy, right?  

I’ll give these codes out first come, first served, while they last. 

Last but far from least, A Long Walk Down a Dark Alley has also just become available as an audiobook experience.  It's a collection of four (used to be three, added a bonus story) noir-esque horror stories brought to life by Gardner Goldsmith at Earbook Productions.  Gardner's voice characterization fits these stories so well, he's made this my favorite of the three.  And, you guessed it, it's available at Amazon,, and iTunes.  I have not been given any free promo codes as of yet for this book, but if I receive any I will certainly let you know!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lex Luthor 40K

When I was looking for Superman Heroclix images I saw a cool Lex Heroclix in prison orange, so I thought I might as well do up Kal-El’s nemesis while I’m at it.  He would have to be Supes’s opposite of course: all brains, no brawn.  So here’s my fun little 40K take on him.

Lex Luthor

-/ 3++

“Doomsday Machines”
     --  Force Field Projector:  Lex wouldn’t be caught dead without a little insurance.  He wears a force field projector that provides a 3+ invuln save.
     --  Death Ray: This hand-held ranged weapon is just what it sounds like.  It has two settings:
        * Tight Beam: Rng 18” S1 AP d6  Assault 1, random AP, Poison 3+
        * Dispersed Charge: Template  S1 AP d6 Assault 1, random AP, Poison 4+  

“Evil Mastermind”
     --  After all models are deployed but before the first turn, Lex’s player can redeploy D3 units.  These may also be recalled into reserve and given the Outflank special ability.
     --  Lex steals the initiative on a 3+.

“Diabolical Death Trap”
     -- After picking sides but before deploying any models, Lex picks one piece of terrain and booby-traps it.  This counts as Dangerous Terrain for the entire game.

“Technical Genius”
     --  Lex can repair vehicles he is in base contact with instead of firing a weapon in his shooting phase, just like a Techmarine or Tech-priest.  He succeeds on 4+.

“Reverse Engineering”
     --  Whenever rolling for Mysterious Objectives, Lex’s player can reroll the result and also force his opponent to reroll theirs.  (Thus Lex may adapt alien tech or have some Kryptonite stashed there!)

“Cyborg Thugs”
     --  Select one Troops unit.  That unit has been modified and granted Feel No Pain (6+).

* I could have done up the green battlesuit version but that’d be to much like Superman himself.
** Maybe he could even be moved to an Objective that’s come up Kryptonite and build a cannon that fires a K-beam?  Could be a bigger Death Ray vs. normal folks and a long range, 2+ Death Ray vs Superman?  Sounds like the game would be over by that time though (discover objective, move adjacent, build raygun, shoot superman...  Turn 8?)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Superman 40K

Every once in a while I entertain myself by converting superheroes into 40K characters.  I've actually done up the X-men and Avengers on this blog, and yesterday I somehow got inspired to play with Superman this way.  (Keep in mind, this is just for the fun of it and your ideas may vary from mine.)


2+ / 4++

“Leaps tall buildings in a single bound”
     -- He counts as Jump Infantry (Character).  Difficult terrain is not Dangerous for him when moving in or out of it, and he counts as “using the jump pack” at all times. 

“Look, up in the sky!”
     --  He can start in Reserves and enter by Deepstrike, and may reroll the scatter dice when doing so.  When he enters play this way, he may make a Meteoric Entrance.
     --  Meteoric Entrance: When arriving by deepstrike, Superman can slam into the earth with such force that it creates a shockwave.  Place a Large Blast template over this model once his final landing spot is determined.  All models (friend or foe, but not Supes) at least partially under the template are hit: S5 AP- Strikedown, Ignore Cover, Large Blast.  This counts as his shooting attack for this turn.
     --  In the Shooting phase, he may effectively turbo-boost in flight.  Supes can move up to 24” more this way, but cannot shoot or assault.  He may, however, perform a Vector Strike as he blasts his own body into the foe.  Select one unengaged unit Superman flies over/through--this may also be a flyer.  That unit takes D3+1, S8 AP3 hits.  Vehicles take the hit to their side armor.  While turbo-boosting he can also claim a Jink save.

“Super Strength”
     --  Superman’s close combat attacks are at AP2.
     --  Hammer of Wrath (S10 AP-) whenever he charges into combat.
     --  His confidence in his own strength equates to And They Shall Know No Fear.

“Faster than a speeding bullet”
     --  Fleet when running or charging
     --  His Initiative 8 reflects his super-speed

“Man of Steel”
     --  He has a 2+ armor save and 4+ invuln save.
     --  Eternal Warrior
     --  Night Vision & Acute Sense
     --  Heat Vision: This is a shooting attack with the following profile: Rng 18” S5 AP1 Assault 1, Melta

     --  In games where Superman is in play along with Mysterious Objectives, an Objective roll of 2 is not “nothing of note,” but is instead “Kryptonite!”  This has no effect on any models other than Superman.  If Superman is with in 3” of the Kryptonite when it is revealed, he suffers the following results immediately.  If he subsequently moves through  the 3” radius or ends his move within 3”, he suffers these results as well.  (Note: If revealed on the enemy’s turn and he is in range, he takes it immediately.  On his next turn, if he moves away, he’s clear and doesn’t take another hit just for starting out there.)
     --  Suffers an immediate automatic hit, Poison 2+, AP2. He cannot take his Invuln save but may take a cover save if applicable (including Jink when turbo-boosting). 
     --  If he takes this wound, Superman’s stats are reduced in this way until the end of his next turn: S5 T4 I4. 

I googled me some toy and Heroclix images.  Don't know what this last one relates to, but it's super cool!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Chaos Chicks: Ladies of Slaanesh

I had a couple of nice finds at the game shops this past week, both of which were Reaper "Bones" models.  I remember when this line was on Kickstarter and I was tempted to get in on one of those awesome package deals, but I just didn't need the models.  I'd loved to have gotten a big box full but luckily my conservative side won out and I stayed out of it.  (I've had models yet to even open for years.)  Of course, now I know what I missed out on.

These two are my first Bones models and I must say, I like them!  Good quality, great detail, flexible (which is kinda weird for me) and cheap!  I paid $3.50 for one and $2.99 for the other!  You can't get one GW model for $7.50 anymore!  I also saw a nice pair of Fire Giants, one male, one female, that I really liked, figured I could use them for Daemon Princes or something but...  Again, level-headedness won out, didn't need them, didn't buy them.

So now, what am I going to use these two for?  Ladies of Slaanesh, of course.

You may have noticed that this model isn't all Bones.  It was a spider-centaur figure, the top half of which was a separate male-elf-looking figure with a sword and shield.  So I threw him in my bits box and used Dark Eldar bits to make my female spider queen.  Her torso and arms are DE Warrior, her head is DE Hellion.  The face has sharp teeth and dreadlock-like cornrows, which I think fits her well.

In game play, she could be a Chaos Sorcerer or Lord with a Steed of Slaanesh up-grade, thus she moves as cavalry and has outflank with acute senses!  I great sneaky, ambushing spider character!

The six-armed, twin-nippled daemoness will make a great Herald to lead my Daemonettes.  The Herald has a lot of options, including rewards, loci, and psyker levels.  A lot of great potential here.  This was a design I wanted to convert using various bits, but now I don't have to!  This is way better than anything I could cobble together.
Pictured below is another work-in-progress: reviving my long-asleep Keeper of Secrets.  This is the best Keeper that GW ever produced, the original 1980's model, and I've had her for over 20 years!  At some point in those two decades, however, I lost her coolest arm, the fist in a chainmail gauntlet.  Big disappointment there, but I'll use some ogre bits and see what I can come up with.  Here she is relaxing in a Simple Green bath.  My new paint job won't be quite as colorful as this first one.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Howl at the Moon: a Chaos vs Space Wolves Battle Report

The Space Wolves and a detachment of Imperial Guard held a relatively worthless piece of rock; worthless but for the altar to the Ruinous Powers that laid abandoned there.  The forces of the Emperor intended to deprive the denizens of Chaos from having it.  The Chaos Marines and their Daemon allies hadn't come to recapture the altar, however; their goal was simply to reactivate it, by spilling as much blood as possible.

J and I played a 1850 pt game that rolled out to be a kill point game with diagonal deployment.

My army (dubbed "Love in the Time of Typhus") was roughly thus:
   - Typhus (warlord)
   - plague marines, plague zombies, rhino
   - noise marines, thousand sons    
   - raptors, spawn
   - obliterators
   - Keeper of Secrets
   - daemonettes
   - flesh hounds
   - soul grinder

J's forces, as best I can remember:
 Space Wolves
   - Bran Redmaw (warlord)
   - 2 squads of grey hunters, rhino
   - lone wolf, wolf scouts
   - thunderwolf cavalry, fenrisian wolves
 Imperial Guard
   - command squad
   - 2 platoons (each with junior officer squad and combined 20-man squad with heavy weapons)
   - Guardsman Marbo
   - leman russ tank

I'll give communicae like "tweets" - brief bursts that give episodes of the battle:

* Chaos fires first.  The soul grinder, obliterators, and noise marines all target the enemy rhino and those grey hunters that stumble from the exploding wreckage of it.
* IG platoons lay continuous suppressing fire with autocannons and lascannons, aided by the leman russ tank, but with limited effectiveness.
* T-Wolf Cavalry suffer sonic attacks and are assaulted by 5 ogre-spawn. One spawn dies but they kill the wolf riders.
* The lone wolf fiercely charges the Keeper of Secrets, lightning claws out, howling with rage, but the greater daemon and his concubine are too quick. The daemon bride keeps his head to practice her kissing technique.
* The pack of flesh hounds creep through woods and leap through a ruined wall, assaulting 20 guardsmen.  A handful of guardsmen die but they kill the hounds in two rounds of combat.
* The soul grinder's phlegm bombardment launches large blasts of deadly, suffocating goo into the massed soldiers.

* A squad of Grey Hunters outflank by Redmaw's command behind the ruins housing the noise marines and obliterators. They trade shots with the chaos units, then charge the noise marines.  After two rounds of combat the hunters prove victorious, only to be assaulted by plague zombies in the final turns of the game.  The last two hunters takes some zombies with them, then feed the rest with their atrophied brains.  (hehe, space wolves are dumb...)
* Guardsman Marbo appears behind the soul grinder and flings his explosive charge over a smoke stack on its ass.  The soul grinder takes several hits to the rear but miraculously survives the entire battle, continuing to push forward and fire his heavy weapons.  The daemonic machine loses two hull points and its harvester cannon, but never returns to the warp.
* Marbo fires his poisonous ripper pistol at new targets and was so damn stealthy that he survived twin-linked plasmagun shots from the obliterators high above (rolled two 6s to make open-ground stealth saves!)
* Wolf scouts outflank behind the soul grinder and attack it too, doing little to no damage.  They are then torn apart by obliterator assault cannons.
* The raptors leap over a building, flame one of the already battle-weary guardsmen squads, and attack.  They win the combat and perform a sweeping advance, killing around 15 men without taking any losses.
* On the IG's turn, the remaining squad lights up the raptor squad with a mass of lasers and autocannon shells, killing them three times over.

* Bran Redmaw and his pack of 15 fenrisian wolves arrive by outflanking near the guard platoons.  He immediately releases a howl and transforms.
* Typhus twice curses Redmaw with diseases, once with -1 to S and T, once with a cloud of flies that reduces the whole unit's Attacks by1 but gives them an improved cover save.
* The Redmaw and his pack assault the daemonettes and slaughter them.
* The Thousand Sons position and fire into Redmaw's back, inflicting one wound.
* The rhino (which also some how manages to survive the whole battle) pulls up and drops its stinking load: Typhus and his plague marines.  The rhino is shaken when its riders get out so they cannot fire weapons.  They and the ogre-spawn charge the werewolf and his pack.  The plague marine champ challenges to allow Typhus to work his disease magic and kill wolves.  The wolves are wiped out (eaten) by the ogre-spawn but the plague champ never gets to swing his power sword -- the werewolf tears him in half too quickly.  Typhus also has no targets by Initiative 1 and so does nothing.
* Typhus and Redmaw go into challenge with the plague marines and spawn watching on.  Redmaw gambles on a Smash attack, making half as many attacks at twice his strength, thus inflicting instant death.  Typhus is slammed about by the monstrous wolf-beast and killed before he can counter attack with his daemonic scythe.  Redmaw wins again!
* In the final clash of titans, the Keeper of Secrets joins the combat, challenged by Redmaw (who prefers not to have the plague marines and spawn also attacking him).  The Keeper and his concubine accept.  The combat lasts two rounds, both down to a single wound in the second round.  The Daemon's speed proves the deciding factor and the werewolf is skinned as a fur coat for Cassandra.  The battle is over and this world becomes a portal to the Warp that will flood this sector for centuries to come.

Recalculating the final tally:  The Imperial forces had 5 kill points, plus Slay the Warlord and Linebreaker (marbo) for 7 Victory Points.  The powers of Chaos had 9 kill points plus Slay the Warlord and First Blood (rhino) for 11 Victory Points.  Chaos wins this battle, but the war goes on...