Skittles SW:Ag

These are some of my Skitarii killteam for Shadow Wars: Armageddon. They are a mixture of Skitarii Vanguard guns and heads, vehicle hooks and antennae, and Catachan/Marauder bodies. The ribbed suits are from the Genestealer Cult Neophytes.

Much of the look and fluff is inspired by this: http://s3.zetaboards.com/The_Ammobunker/topic/7676229/15/ . I love his ideas and modelling, so can’t take credit for the idea of a Forge World turned feral.

The unit has “3 tiers” – full fledged warriors of the Machine God, tech-helots with low quality gear, and bionics and tech-gladiators seeking to become Skitarii. The army is pastoral Graeco-Roman themed and fights to recover their sacred past.

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The CognoScenti – Et in Teknopolis ego

They’re from the wastes of a Forge World that never was. Before the Hive, before the Rogue Traders, before even the marble columns and perfumed gardens of Kharybdis were the Priests of Mars.

The Explorator ship “Pandora’s Gift” was scouting the planet for a rich Dimantium source suitable to be the basis for a Forge World, but the initial TechnoSeed sent by the fleet suffered some unknown disaster that left the Mechanicus personnel dreaming in stasis for centuries. Faulty control-psalms released untold biomechanical horrors on the unsuspecting world, where they stalked the forests as TechnoSatyrs, feeding and building new generations of monsters: cannibal constructs and skittering swarms of servo-skulls that can reduce a man to a lacerated pile of discarded bones.

Emerging after a lightning strike reset the console, half-insane, the Explorators began their off-kilter work and laid the stones of the Mechanicus Templum. But cut off from the wider Imperium, the mission went native and blended into Graeco Praeterium’s society. Beneath the crust of the spreading facility, maintenance became ritual, history became myth, and the social structures of the Adeptus Mechanicus stagnated and atrophied. Few of the CognoScenti even remember the initial purpose of their mission as the hives above them spiralled to the stars, fuelled by the workings below the crust. But one Magos remembers.

The Shepherd was once a member of the CognoScenti until his obsession with feral mechanical lifeforms led him into self-imposed exile into the Underhive wastes between Skylla and Kharybdis, where he could be among his flock unhindered by the ritual and politics of Teknopolis. It is said that the Omnissiah’s spirit resides in all mechanical things, and through them does He show His will. Somewhere, hidden away in the memory banks of an unwitting mechanical survivor, is the secret to unleashing the self-replicating TechnoSeed that will claim Graeco Praeterium for the Mechanicus.

So it is that the Shepherd has gathered a loose warband about him so that he might continue his tasks unmolested. Any lifeforms they encounter are either tamed – if they can be – or dispatched, their memories downloaded into the Shepherd’s neural cortex before rot or implant overload corrupts the data stored in their brains.

Interval

Was remembering the super dark time in early 2013 last weekend with my pal. Pre-blog. Still in Big4. There was a Japanese film festival playing and they were screening the new Berserk films. We both loved the manga but were dubious about the CG animation that was going to be used. Sadly they were garbage, and had a 5 minute ballroom dancing scene with lifeless CG mannequins. This was meant to be an edgy movie about a dude killing people with a giant sword.

In the interval between the first and second film, which I was praying would be better, we went to the shop and I bought a pound of cottage cheese, 2 liters of milk and a bread roll and ate them with my hands outside the cinema. This is when I was deeply infected with the tryhard disease while recovering from the ingrown toenails and working 60 hours, wishing I would die semi-painlessly in traffic on the way to work. My gf was miserable and trying to lift weights. I was saying I wouldn’t marry her until she could squat 100kg. My friend looked on with disgust as I shoveled the Polish cottage cheese into my mouth.

Back in the cinema, the cultural attaché to the film festival said much of the budget went on a 4 second scene where the protagonist kills goons with a sword in a cool way. The film was crushingly disappointing, and it was impossible to guess which was the scene, it was all so stiff and bland. But we stayed. And then there was the dancing scene that was supposed to be the climax of the film. It was about then I started to question everything in my life that had brought me to that point, and hated myself for letting everything get this bad. I looked like a homeless person and felt like shit. Busy season was over but I was burned out. I dreaded the thought of staying in Big 4, but had no other options in finance or law. In just another 2 months, I fucked my back up and set myself for 2 years of chronic pain. Because I wouldn’t give in and try life a different way.

It was only last week I told him what a rough time it was. At least I know now to jump ship ASAP. Nothing is as good as having options in life.

 

get-help

https://www.scribd.com/document/188457352/Creeping-Across-Time

This appears to be a comparison between a character from Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and the fictional character attached to the defunct lifting/stretching comedy blog Mopewod. That’s easily one of the most specific things I’ve found on the internet.

I’ve never read War and Peace, but fair play to whoever wrote it, it’s pretty good. Is Brent still alive now that he’s out of prison?

Talk about books for MM

If you like military scifi, I highly recommend Heinlein’s “Starship Troopers” and “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” by the same author. “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman is also solid. Be careful which version you read, as it’s been edited quite a bit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forever_War I read those in the last year, so they are pretty fresh recommends.

I also really liked “The Stars My Destination” by Alfred Bester. It’s a very tightly plotted scifi novel from the 50s. If you want to read more pulpy crime/scifi, I really liked “Junkie” by William S. Burroughs, and of course “Naked Lunch”, “The Soft Machine”, “Nova Express” and the “Ticket that Exploded” by the same author. All very much a challenge to read, but they throw up phrases and images that will stay with you forever.

For psychological scifi, I really like JG Ballard’s work. Some of his work is more experimental, but it all feels very current, even if he began writing in the 50s. His life story is easily the most interesting bit of his work.

Further into the cyberpunk/word salad genre, “Neuromancer”, “Mona Lisa Overdrive” and “Count Zero” are at least semi-decent. They are laughably dated, and written on a typewriter, but still radiate cool. Of those, Neuromancer is head-and-shoulders above the others.

If you want to go a bit further afield into Eastern European scifi, I highly recommend “Roadside Picnic” by the Strugatsky brothers. A very dark adventure story from the 1970s about the aftermath of an abstract alien visitation, and the effect it has on the “stalkers” who recover objects from the Visitation Zones. Also made into a film called Stalker, and a the loose basis for the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

“We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin is a decent read if you like dystopian novels, it influenced many in the 20th century. I’m not entirely sold that it’s a great novel however. If you like Doctor Strangelove, read “Memoirs found in a Bathtub” by Stanislav Lem. If I think of more scifi novels, I’ll let you know.

I’ll do literary fiction next maybe. I define literary fiction as “anything not scifi/fantasy”.

 

For Coach:

I’m pretty divided on ancient Rome to ancient Greece. That period of 600-400AD of Athenian Greece is amazing. But Rome had such interesting stories and insights. If it tips me over into the Roman camp, I have 28mm Legionnaire models and fight my friend’s Celts in historical wargames.

I don’t really have strong feelings on Rebels v Empire  – I would prefer to live in the Rebel section post-war. But I don’t like Jedi as anything other than space knights. While the Empire have snazzy uniforms, I’d hate to pay the taxes required to fund the military.

I’ve never finished Dune, I’ve tried 3 or 4 times, but find the prose too stilted. It’s a shame, as it’s really influential on 40k.  I think it’s had so much sucked from it over the years by other works, it’s nothing but a dry husk.

I mostly read books to feel stuff.

Garbage collection

Started playing Necromunda again this weekend. It’s a 28mm skirmish game in the grimdark future where you control a cyberpunk gang and battle your friends for control of the Underhive. My gang are Enforcers – dedicated to restoring the rule of law in the Underhive. A very fun game to re-learn!

squad

The dude with the machinegun in the center is overwatching most of the field. He downed about 30% of the enemy gang! We’ll play with more terrain next time. I was nicely dug in.

squad2

Outnumbered almost 2:1, I split my 6 dudes and forced the gangers to come to me.  They tried to encircle me, but the heavy machinegun on the flank picked off guys as they broke cover and tried to close with me. 40″ range is great on a small table!

As I was armed with 18″ range shotguns, my opponent’s 24″ range rifles tried to pin my left bunch as the fight developed. Their good cover and elevation reduced the effectiveness of the rifle fire, and they were able to enfilade some gangers rushing the machinegun as they exited the building on the right. The rest of the fight was mostly one-sided. I think my team will have more problems on the attack if I can’t concentrate them. As it stood, sticking together and having supporting bases of fire helped inflict a large amount of casualties.

If I were fighting as the more numerous gangers, I would have made a big deathball of dudes and rolled down one flank trying to conceal my advance behind the buildings. I might have kept a small bunch of dudes to pin down the machinegunner, or at least stop them moving freely. When I had a superior force concentrated on one flank, I’d spring the trap and hit them very hard. All 10+ would have been much harder to kill in one turn.