Monday, August 12, 2013

Imperial Navy Boarding Party WIP

Painting on the pirates is moving along slow and steady.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share with you some of the special Imperial Navy models I'm putting together for my Ian.

First is the Valedictor Imperialis's navigator, Edwina Goodwin:
Edwina was born out of the online Rogue Trader RPG I ran for a while and crafted and played by my buddy Chris.  Prior to joining Zed's crew, the cruiser she was stationed on suffered a Gellar Field failure.  Ed was able to bring the ship out of the warp, but being lawful good to a fault, caused the astropath choir to get eaten by daemons when she insisted on saving the rest of the crew.  She's basically been banished by her house to the Koronus Expanse, and in particular, the Valedictor Imperialis which is turning out to be the dumping grounds for the Segmentum's undesirables.
The base model is a Visions of Fantasy mage.  I need to add some greenstuff details to her clothes, and some more bits and details to her staff.  Basically, she'll look a little more like this image when all is said and done.
Next, you always hear bits about how Ratlings in the Imperial Guard served as cooks.  I never read LotR, so I'm not sure if this is Hobbit reference or what not, but I told Ian: "You need the ship's cook to go with Zed.  Like Steven Segal in Under Seige, except cooks in 40K are Ratlings."  No really, it makes sense. 
Anyway, I picked up this little gem from 1988 to accompany the boarding party.  He'll just be a veteran with laspistol and spatula...close combat weapon.

Finally this is a secret sneak peak of things to come.  Can't reveal too much other than that she was inspired by this pic and was a featured NPC in the Savage Tide Eberron RPG that Zed came from.

Head and Torso by Laughing Monk Miniatures and legs from Maximini Greatcoats.  I've got some Kreig arms on the way for her.  She'll have some greenstuff accoutrements as well to look more like the Officer of the Fleet model.  Debating whether or not I want to keep the hat or go with a bare head. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zone Mortalis at Vinnie's House

For anyone looking to participate in some fun Zone Mortalis gaming at my house in a themed narrative setting I've come up with the following guidelines:

List Building

500 points list using the Zone Mortalis Combatant FOC

-extra 250 points for larger games
-200 point Kill Team + Brutes & Boss for 4th Edition Kill Team games

Games actually fought on ship/station will use the following:
Enemy Unknown
Cold Void -As Applicable
Catastrophic Damage: Void Ships & Stations - As Applicable

Everyone will have 2 Points to select stratagems from the Zone Mortalis Rules or IA9 Boarding Action Rules.  Closest Racial Equivalents should be substituted as needed.

List Modifications
Some suggested List modifications can be found here.  Including an Imperial Navy list.  I'm open to anything creative or zany not listed here that may have appeared elsewhere in the fluff like Blood Pact Raiders or Arbites Enforcers. 

Suggested House Rules
Squads of 10 or more may split in half as per the Combat Tactics rule from Codex: Space Marines.

Vehicles may be purchased in squadrons but operate independently.  This must be declared before deployment.

Artillery Barrages (like from the Master of Ordnance, Corsair Prince, or purchased as HS choices in some lists) may still be used indirectly to represent supporting naval gunfire. 

All models of type infantry including, jump pack, or jet pack infantry may claim objectives.

When using enemy unknown rules, when a unit represented by a blip counter is revealed, any models deploying within LOS of enemy units must be deployed within 2” of the blip counter and with squad coherency.

IG Heavy Weapons teams may be individually based as per 2nd-4th edition 40K.  Models carrying heavy weapons must have the appropriately modeled man-portable heavy weapon.

IG Heavy Weapons teams may take heavy stubbers for +5 points.

Tau SMS will use a 24” string to draw range to targets around corners, not straight distance.

Most importantly: No douchebaggery, asshattery, or powergaming.

I'm totally open to feedback on any of the above, so please let me know. 


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pirate Progress

Just throwing on some updates of my pirate squad that's nearing completion.  Just need to fix a few mistakes, throw on some clearcoat, and get them onto some appropriate Zone Mortalis Bases.  Still short two pirates with grenade launchers.  I'm waiting on bits for those.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Female Kelshan Boarding Party

So, not that this has anything to do with the Heathen Stars campaign, but I'm quite proud of my burgeoning all-female Kelshan Boarding Party.  I have to admit, it's not super original in its conversion work, but work it was.  The designs for the suits and plasma cutters come from the prolific Sebastian Stuart (aka Shas'el Tael) of Eastern Empire whilst the female heads and torsos are the Kadesh female alien heads and torsos produced by Zealot Miniatures.  You can check out my review of these awesome conversion bits on the Advanced Tau Tactica Forums

To be named XV-81 Commander
Twin Linked Burst Cannons and Smart Missile System.  Would twin-linked plasma been better?  Yes.  Would they have looked as cool...not quite, but still pretty sweet looking which is why on...
XV-88 Broadside
While the Urban Assault Suit with the PAC system was not widely adopted by Sacean commanders, it found widespread use throughout the Kelshan cadres performing interdiction missions along the Perdus Rift.  Smaller than new marks of Broadsides, and with the more compact PAC, it was able to provide support to fire warrior teams in the tight corridors of starships.  Haven't decided whether the PAC will be a counts as railgun or high yield missile pod.

 Fire Warrior Team
Same ladies as in the review, although two were pulled apart and converted to carry plasma torches.  These will be used to represent the lascutters boarding stratagem (IA9) and come from Tael's Earth Caste Engineer.  

Pathfinder Team

Okay, this multipart plastic kit is sweet and a huge improvement over the old metal pathfinders.  Doubly so because I can incorporate the Zealot conversion bits.  I selected Ion Rifles for these ladies so they can overheat and take advantage of the blast marker rules in Zone Mortalis.  I may build the rail rifle variants though if I start facing Marines.

Not pictured.  XV-15 Stealth Team and the drones.  They're straight stock models.  Nothing exciting there, but I'll include them when they get painted up.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Painting Progress

In order to facilitate the upcoming campaign, I'm going to need two big things. The first and foremost, as mentioned in previous blogs, is a nicely painted Zone Mortalis board.  After a few failed attempts, I think I've got the right dark and decayed Imperial starship interior sort of look.  The second is of course Yan Marcuson's band of pirates. 

I wanted something suitably hi-tech and gothic without looking completely "Yaaarrrr!" as I could get with Empire free-company.  I settled on Delaque gangers with their goggles and long trenchcoats, as I seem to recall long brown trenchcoats being a signature item of another anti-imperial force in some other science fiction...

That said, here's my test pirate with an autogun, on my first nearly completed Zone Mortalis tile. 

What happened to my Corsairs?  Fear not, Neshani and Ielenia are waiting for the right opportunity to reveal themselves...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Heathen Stars - a Skirmish BFG Campaign

The Heathen Stars - a Skirmish BFG Campaign

The Heathen Stars is a Battlefleet Gothic Campaign pitting Zedkiel D’Lyander against the Dread Pirate Yan Marcuson.  Unlike traditional Battlefleet Gothic campaigns that pit a sector’s worth of ships of the line against each other, this one will focus on small engagements of escort class ships.  The game will follow traditional BFG campaigns with the following exceptions.

The Imperial Fleet consists
Winged Jubilation – Kar Dunash Pattern Fast Clipper (20 Pts)

Valedictor Imperialis – Voss Pattern Cobra Destroyer (30 pts)

 Escort/1, Speed 30cm, Turns 90, Shields 2, Armour 5+, Turrets 1, Leadership 8.
Weapons Battery   R 30cm, St 2, LFR
Prow Torpedoes   R30cm, St2, F

Special Rules:  Voss Pattern Torpedo Launchers – Voss Pattern torpedo tubes can actually carry two torpedoes allowing for a higher rate of fire than other patterns at the expense of ease of loading.  Any turn, the Valedictor Imperialis my fire a full salvo at Str4.  However it tests for reload ordnance at -2 leadership in the subsequent turn.

The pirates start with an undisclosed number of escort ships.

The Rules

Missions are rolled using the Human Wolfpacks scenario list.

Escort Damage:
In traditional BFG, escorts disappear in the puff of blast marker with a single shot.  While this makes large scale fleet battles manageable, it doesn’t make for an interesting skirmish game. Instead of hitpoints, every time a hit is scored on an escort, roll 1D6+1 on the critical damage table and apply that damage to the ship.  Extra damage adds +1 (or D3 in the case of a hull breach) to subsequent rolls made to the table.  If you roll a result that the ship has already received repaired or not, treat it as +1 extra damage.  Any roll on the table of 12 or more is a Bulkhead Collapse and effectively destroys the ship.  Roll on the catastrophic damage table.


Special Orders:
Called Shots – Speed Half to Full, Turns None, Weapons Full Effect + any damage scored on the enemy ship will affect a declared component in the critical hits table (2-10.)  The targeted area must be called before shooting.  No extra damage is inflicted unless 2 or more hits are scored on the targeted area. 

Are not automatically restored and must be repaired like damage.

Boarding Actions:
Are resolved via a 500 pt game of Zone Mortalis

As per the normal BFG Campaign rules except that repairs go towards reducing the extra damage count a ship may have against it.

Adding to the roster:
Passage Watch 27-Est is stretched thin and long ranged patrols are not going to receive any reinforcements from Battlefleet Calixis. Warships, even escorts are a rare commodity. Any ships added to the Imperial Navy roster must be captured from the pirates.  However, captured ships start with a leadership of 6 to represent a press-ganged crew with minimal officer/NCO oversight.  You may cross-level crews across ships sacrificing 1 point of leadership on one ship in the roster for a point somewhere else.

Passage Watch 27-Est Appeals table:

+3 New Crew – You may roll up leadership for a new ship crew to use on a captured vessel.
+4 Minor Refits – Roll on the ship refit table
+5 Overhaul – A captured transport ship may be overhauled to represent a new class of ship.  Any captured transport can be converted to a Q-Ship, Escort Carrier, Armed Freighter, Fire Ship.
The Heathen Stars "Sub-Sector" Map
The Heathen Stars aren't a sub-sector any more than the Koronus Expanse is a true sector.  However, Imperial Navy star charts classify this region of space as such.
Only portions of this chart are from sanctioned Imperial Navy Sources.  Many of the routes and systems themselves come from merchants and Rogue Traders operating in the region: notably the Lord Captain Olivares.  Details of the systems are sketchy at best.  No Administratum records exist on any of these systems or their planets within.  The best records have been compiled by a scribe working for Lord Captain Olivares though the quality ranges from old voidsmen's tales to detailed statistics. 
It is imperative that detailed charts of the systems and their orbital mechanics be developed as soon as possible. 
Naduesh will be the starting system for the Imperial Navy.  The best records of Passage Watch 27-Est regarding this system are as follows:
An artificial or near-artifical planet built in humanity’s distant past. No Rogue Trader has fully explored or settled the world; most are content to pick up a few relics, some native livestock, or just resupply from the clear freshwater lakes. Decaying fortress-hives and barracks dot the surface of Naduesh. The abandoned hives are just the tip of the iceberg; the underhives stretch down to the planet’s artificial core.

Addendum from the captain at Footfall: There is a large human settlement in the outskirts of one of the largest hive cities built up around the site of an Adpetus Mechanicus Explorator mission.  It has a fully functioning spaceport to bring archeotech up to an ever growing orbital dock and supplies down to the surface of the planet. 

Introduction to the Heathen Stars

The crew of the Valedictor Imperialis had just intercepted the Winged Jubilation, a Kar Dunash pattern fast clipper that had broken mooring from Footfall and was trying to make a hasty escape.  Just as Zedkiel thought he'd made a mistake, he and his chief of the watch accidentally stumbled across a the bodies of their missing team of tech adepts  that were going through the freighter's communication logs. With the jig up, the Captain turned on Zed in a desperate attempt to throw the Imperial Navy of his smuggling operation.  Zed and his skilled armsmen were able to put down the enemy crew and discover that the true captain was hiding amongst his men trying to look like a rating. 
En route to the Footfall with the captured ship in tow, Commissar Riker was able to conduct a thorough interrogation of the captain.  His summation was that the captain was a cowardly waste of flesh unfit to command a ship, incompetent beyond any ability to develop the connections for black market trade: an easy pawn for someone else’s larger schemes without any discernible links to the mastermind.  Having exhausted what he could of the captain, Riker jettisoned him and half-dozen surviving officers from the Winged Jubilation into the void with their ill-gotten cargo.
Both ships docked at the generically named Pier 27, a small asteroid docking station on the outskirts of the main hub.  Pier 27 is the civilian dock utilized by Passage Watch 27-Est on their transits from Port Wander into the Koronus expanse.  All the hands, security personnel, and administrators work under contract to Battlefleet Calixis, allowing the Imperial Navy to keep its permanent presence at the station discreet.  There are but a handful of true Imperial personnel from the Administratum, Arbites, and Munitorum to ensure the stability and security of operations there.  The presence of an Imperial ship at Pier 27 often draws a crowd from the main settlement of peepers, peddlers, preachers, and prostitutes.
Upon docking, the chief of the watch took the surviving hundred or so crew of the clipper and press-ganged them into service on the gunnery decks and torpedo magazines of the Valedictor to replace the casualties from the infighting that occurred during the trip to Footfall.  The Valedictor’s Techpriest immediately began putting in the orders for repairs to the Jubilation.  Lt. Gaius, the XO, gave the order that Junior officers and NCOs not involved in recovery operations would be authorized a 24 hour pass, restricted to Pier 27. NCOs may give their ratings pass at their discretion. 

The chief Astropath informed Zedkiel that he had received a reply to his notice of capture of the ship and a change of orders.  Zed pulled up the message on a data-slate and it read as follows:
Fleet Communique
Sent: Secondary Astropathic Duct-201.814.M41
To: Lieutenant Commander Zedkiel D'Lyander-Footfall Pier 27
From: Admiral Nathaniel Horne—Metis Fleet Base
Commander Zedkiel, you are to be commended on your capture of the smugglers vessel on your first foray into the Expanse.  It is our duty to remind the Imperial citizens here that they are not exempt from the law nor beyond the watchful eye of the Emperor.  As is custom here in the Expanse, a captain that captures a ship may choose to crew it and use it as he sees fit in the service of the Navy. You may be able to put it to good use in your upcoming assignment.
We've been receiving reports from the governors in the Heathen Stars about an increase in pirate activity.  The pirates have grown bolder from attacking random shipping to conducting daring orbital raids on colony worlds.  You and your crew are to conduct a long range patrol in the Heathen Stars region of the expanse, investigate the pirates, and put a stop to them. Your destroyer should be more than adequate to put the fear of the Emperor them. 
I wish we could have had the opportunity to meet before sending you on to the farthest reaches of the Expanse, but such is our duty. 
Ave Emperator
Communique Ends
With this, Zed decides to go ashore to see what information he can obtain from the locals on the pirate attacks.  Taking Riker, Edwina, the Chief of the Watch, and a small Contingent of Armsmen, he tracks down a freighter on Pier 3a that has just returned from Raakata hauling a sanctioned load of archeotech to the Adeptus Mechanicus on the Forge Worlds of the Lathes in the Golgenna Reach of the Calixis Sector.
The captain, very happy to help the Navy, especially anyone investigating Pirate activity along his routes reports he hasn’t seen any pirates personally, but he knows from fellow captains and dockmasters in the subsector that the pirates are from a Wolfpack led by the charismatic Dread Pirate Yan Marcuson. 
“He’s a ruthless cutthroat that always leaves one survivor to tell the tale of battle.” The captain explains. “He’s gained such a reputation amongst merchants in the area that there’s rumors that captains will sooner abandon ship rather than face him in combat.”
The captain produces a pict slate with the only known image of the man in question. 

“Even those on the ground are not safe.  I’ve heard tales of Marcuson landing in far-flung settlements, procuring supplies, taking concubines for his vast harems, press-ganging every able bodied male into service before leaving the entire place a smoking crater of slag.”
“I know it’s only a matter of time before I meet my fate at his hands like so many other captain’s before me.  I’d certainly find another less-profitable trade route if I could.  But my hands are a bit tied by the cogboys.”  He says as he gestures over his shoulder to a pack of crimson robed tech-priests very interested in the contents of some container being hauled aboard the freighter.
“If you could put a stop to him, Commander, I’d be eternally grateful.”