Friday, October 31, 2014

Fluff Friday Halloween Edition: The Ghosts Of Terra

SeerK here with a special Halloween Installment of "Fluff Friday".  This time I am doing something different.  A story from a Terran perspective.  Enjoy and Have a joyous Samhain and a Happy Halloween form all of us at The WayGate.

The air was still musty and stale. Despite the deep cleaning the air was still musty. It was a peculiar quirk of old vessels like this. Being in mothballs for so long stained the air. It would stay that way too. Even after a crew came on board and lived in the ship the air would still be musty. Gregory realized he was lost in thought again. It was easy for the mind to wander being alone in the dimly lit halls of a ship. He shook off his reverie and continued with his task. He had to get the communications console upgraded before the ship left dry dock. The ship had not seen action in over 170 years. It was a veteran of the first succession war. She was old and scarred. She had sent dozens of rebel ships to their deaths. Although there were many Razorthorn class Battleships still in service, none of them were as old as the Ixion.

The comm bud in his ear buzzed with static as a voice broke him once more from his thoughts.
“Have you got that panel in yet crewman Voight?”
It was Gregory's boss Chief Farnes. He had been riding Gregory all day. Apparently the Ixions new commanding officer was due to arrive at 0900 tomorrow morning. The Chief was hell bent on having the ship completely done for the inspection. Never mind they still had another week while they primed the reactors and brought the fold space drive online.
“No sir, but I am almost done. There is some feedback in the system that is causing some interference, I am still trying to track down.”
“Get it done ASAP crewman, we still have to get the port shield array re aligned. If you can't find the source in the next hour put it on the “gremlin” list and get down to the port array”
“Yes sir” Gregory sighed. The Gremlin list was getting big. This ship was very stubborn. It was like it was resisting their efforts to resurrect her for duty. Gregory pondered this for a few moments as he closed the access panel he had been working in and turned the communication console on. The channel was silent for a moment, then the static came back. It was different this time though. Gregory could swear he could hear something in the static.
“.......o forever.......” It seemed to be repeating. Gregory switched channels and messed with the settings, but it seemed to be on every channel. He ducked under the console and opened another access panel.

“ I tried to reason with them......”
Gregory jumped and hit his head on the console. He cursed as he stood rubbing the back of his head.
“Dammit don't sneak up on people.....”Gregory froze as he saw Admirals bars on the mans uniform. He stood to attention and saluted. The Admiral was sitting in the commanders chair at the center of the bridge. He was cast in shadow and the dim light reflected off of the medals and pins on his uniform.
“ I tried to reason with him. I didn't want to do it.......”
“Sir are you ok?” Gregory relaxed and took a step towards the man in the chair. He seemed to be sobbing as he spoke.
“They didn't deserve it. They deserved to be brought to justice and brought to heel. I told the president it would not make them surrender. It would only harden their resolve”
“Sir I don't understand, are you ill? Do I need to summon a medic?” The man continued to ramble as Gregory got closer. He was about 3 paces away from the man and still could not make out his face. He seemed to be cradling his head in his hands. Sobbing as he spoke.
“The Dindrenzi people didn’t deserve that kind of sanction.”
“With all due respect sir the Dindrenzi are savages that only understand one thing, Violence.”
the man began to laugh. It was a cold and seemed to penetrate Gregory to his core. Gregory noticed his breath in the air. It was cold, really cold. Were the atmosphere processors in the fritz again?
The man began to raise his head and sit back in the chair.
“Thats what my first officer always said....”
Gregory saw the man clearly for the first time. He was pale, and he features were drawn. He wore the uniform of an NTSC Admiral, but it looked like the ones he had seen in a museum. His eyes were sunken and there seemed to be scorch marks on his left temple. Gregory realized it was a gunshot wound. The man reached for Gregory laughing. A sense of terror overtook Gregory and he turned to run. He tripped as he turned and fell. He hit his head hard on the deck. The last thing he saw before blacking out was the man standing over him.

Gregory woke suddenly and began to scramble across the bridge. Hands reached for him.
“Crap Crewman calm down” Gregory stopped and turned. He squinted and looked clearly at his assailant. It was the Chief.
“Sir? Is that you?”
“Who else would it be Voight?” The Chief looked genuinely confused.
“There is an intruder on board sir, he attacked me!”
“Voight there is nobody here except you and I, beta team left 2 hours ago.”
“You must have seen the guy he was wearing an admirals uniform Admiral, he was injured.....badly!”
“Crewman you aren't making an ounce of sense, Nobody is here except us. I found you by the console out cold”
Gregory looked over towards the console. A smattering of blood was on the deck plate. His head began to ache as reality seemed to come crashing down upon him.
“I saw him plain as day Chief, he was crying and sobbing about trying to prevent something. He looked like hell and it looked like he had been shot.”
The Chief rolled his eyes. “Not you too, I swear.......” he trailed off as he went for the first aide kit by the entrance to the bridge. Gregory tried to stand but felt dizzy as he did. The Chief motioned for him to stay down.

“What do you mean not me too?”
“Well some of the others have seen some weird stuff while we have been refitting the ship, I didn’t want to say anything to spook the rest of the teams that hadn’t seen anything. You were the last person I would expect to see anything. I just chocked it up to gamma team hitting the bottle on duty” The Chief walked back over to Gregory with a bottle of antiseptic and some gauze.
“I don’t understand sir? Are you saying some other people have seen this guy?”
“No Voight nobody has seen a crying Admiral, that ones new. I am guessing you whacked your head hard enough to get a concussion.” The Chief dressed Gregory's head wound. The antiseptic stung when he applied it to his head. “I am taking you to the infirmary once you feel confident enough to stand.”

After a few minutes Gregory stood with some help form the Chief. He was feeling dizzy still, but not quit as bad. They made their way down the corridors to the main port air lock. A thought occurred to Gregory as they silently made their way to their destination.
“Sir, this vessel is really old right? Did something bad happen on it?”
“Don't start Crewman, I know where this is going, no its not haunted and no nothing bad happened.”
“Oh...” Gregory was not one to believe in ghosts, but he had heard stories form some of the old yard workers. Old ships have seen a lot in their travels. Lots of good folks lived and died in their cold metal arms. They arrived at the airlock and made their way to the station. The umbilicus was always cold despite the heaters. The trip from the airlock to the infirmary was short. The Doc was in his office reading a book.
“Got an Injured man Doc” The Chief helped Gregory to the exam table. He sat down and thanked the Chief. The Chief conferred with the Doc before exiting.
“Hit your head did you, lets take a look” The Doc unwrapped Gregory's head and probed and prodded him a bit. He shined a light in his eyes and seemed to be doing some sort of test.
“Well looks like you have a minor Concussion, so I am going to need you off the next duty shift. I will let the Chief know. Loos like this cut on your head is also going to need closing.”
“Oh thats going to make the Chief happy, the Commander of that old girl is due here tomorrow”
“Well he will have to make due without you for one shift.”
“Doc can I ask you a question?, it may sound weird but bear with me.”
“Ok Crewman go ahead”. The doc began cleaning Gregory's wound and started to apply the dermal re-generator.
“Rumor has it you are a man that knows something about history, namely about ships.”
“Yes I am a history buff crewman and I would be a liar if I didn't call in a lot of favors to get this posting. There is a lot of history in this yard, The Storm Fleet has seen a lot of action.”
“Thats very true Doc, So this old girl out here, whats her story?”
“The Ixion? That vessel was once the flagship of one of Terra's greatest fleets. It fired the nuke that destroyed the capital city on Dramos.”
“That was Admiral Gravanivitch's Vessel? I thought his ship was the Dreadnought Fist of Terra?”
“Well it was once he was actually an Admiral. He was technically the first officer of the Ixion until he was field promoted by the President”
“He was field Promoted?” The Doctor Shook his head in acknowledgment. Another voice added to the conversation
“Well thats the nice way of saying he executed that coward Admiral Cross for disobeying the bombardment order and for being a rebel sympathizer.” The man in the door was imposing. He was tall and squarely built. His accent was thick. He sounded like he was from the Russian Federation region of Terra. His close cropped red hair and beard was illuminated by the bright flame of the lighter he was using to light a dark cigar.
The Doctor and Gregory were startled, but both managed a weak salute when they saw the rank pins on his uniform.
“Gentleman I am looking for the engineer in charge, I want to see my ship.”
“ I will signal the duty Chief sir, I didn't think you were arriving until tomorrow?”
“Sir may I ask a question?” Gregory felt very nervous, this man disturbed him. The way he looked at Gregory was almost Predatory.”
“How do I know these little facts?” The man responded with a wry grin.
“Yes Sir”
“My Great Grandfather told me about it when I was child, He liked to fill in gaps in story about Dramos.”
Gregory’s blood ran cold. This was Admiral Alexei Gravanivitch. The Commander of the “Rad Hounds” The Great Grandson of the man who destroyed Dramos.
“Its an honor to meet you sir!” The Admiral took a long draw on his Cigar
“Of course it is” He smirked and turned to exit, Gregory could hear the Chief stammering outside.
That is why the ship was being difficult. That is why people had been seeing things. The ghosts of the past were being driven out. Purged from its halls as it was awoken form its long slumber. The memories of the past were soon to be replaced by the reality of the present. The war against the Dindrenzi was at a tipping point. The ship was a killer. Its new master had finally arrived. The one man who would take her into the stars for her intended purpose.

to hunt the Dindrenzi once again..........

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Behold - The ORLYians

The first half of this glorious and absurd Sorylian fleet is complete. Basing has begun on the remaining ships, which will be added to the collective. Local player A-Aron gave me permission to live vicariously through his Sorylians and paint them up like googly-eyed war goldfish. Completing this project has been difficult at times because I find myself giggling uncontrollably. Such are the pitfalls of googly eyes, it would seem.
Scroll down for more pics!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

DNS 'Papua' - Victor of Soleran IV

The Papua dealt the final blow to the treasonous RSN fleet that went rogue.

Traitors deserve no quarter, and the the Dindrenzi give none.

Remember Dramos.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Firestorm Armada Tournament Preparations

Dreadbeard, SeerK, and I have been working diligently on both the scenarios and tournament scoring system that will be utilized for U-Con and then further refined for use at our Firestorm Armada event at Adepticon 2015. I still love saying that.

We have hammered out four rounds worth of tactical material, drafted the logic and structure for the scoring, and have been whittling down more extraneous elements of the tournament day. Since we believe in community, when we have a fully loaded product, we will be submitting our methods and materials for broader input from the fine Admirals out in the far reaches of the Internet.

So far, some of the main sticking points have been how do we deal with players that would be accused of the dreaded "slow-play". For anyone that doesn't know, slow-play is traditionally used within the context of a timed, competitve event and refers to a player that is willfully playing slowly so as to gain advantage from this tactic. The advantage gained varies widely, but we see it across game systems, so there is indeed a temptation to do so. Unlike outright cheating, or using loaded dice, it is incredibly hard to pin an accusation of slow-play on a player. Our council has not come to a final solution for this problem at this time.

Also, it should be noted that some players are just slow players, either by nature or because they lack the table experience to have everthing memorized or lack the tournament experience to formulate moves quickly and in advance in order to get as far into a game as possible during a timed event.

This is just a quick update for anyone drifting by. Also, if anyone has any actual experience with events that handled slow-play in an original fashion, I would love to hear it. 

Remember Dramos.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Battle At Cyrax Alpha Results!

Hi again SeerK here.  Well we had a small turn out yesterday for the Firestorm Armada tournament dubbed "The Battle At Cyrax Alpha".  Evolution Games once again played host to the tournament.  We had 8 Participants with yours truly doing my duty as a Vanguard and running the show.

We had an excellent mix of both Zenian League and Kurak Alliance fleets.  After the guns were silenced the Sorylians emerged as the victors.  SO here are our winners.

1st place  Matt Johnson playing Sorylians

2nd place Dave Wangen playing Directorate/OSO

3rd place  Aaron Ferrigan playing Veydreth.

Our Battle Station Raffle Winner was Tony Alfonso.  Congrats to all the winners!  Our next event will be on November 15th at UCON.  I hope to see you all there.  Especially since we have three Battle Stations to give away!

I thought I would post a few pictures of the event so enjoy!

Our Winning Fleet ready to hunt

Our Winner Matt aka the King Lizard

Until Next time Crush the Alliance and as always


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Its Tournament Time!

Hey all!  SeerK here just with a couple updates.  I have been pretty busy this week painting, job hunting and planning tournaments.

I had the chance to sit down and record a segment with Phil over at Firebase Delta About our upcoming demos and Tournament, The 2nd annual Storm Zone Brawl:The Battle At Omicron Theta, at UCON on November 15th.  I also got to talk  a little about our events planned at this years Adepticon.

The episode should be up by the end of the week, so give it a listen.  Speaking of the end of the week.
The Michigan GT is this Saturday, but if 40K and War Machine is not your bag, then we have a Firestorm Armada Tournament set up for this Saturday at Evolution Games in Lansing.  I have a Facebook page with all the details.

Doors open at 10 A.M.  Dice will roll at 11ish.  Entry into the Tournament is $10.00.  In addition we will be having a drawing for a Battle Station!

Sooo that's all for now, just a quick update.  I am working on some posts about Omnidyne and some more fluff for our "Fluff Friday" series.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always....


Friday, October 3, 2014

UCON Pre Reg Is Open!

Hey guys! SeerK here.  As you know we are running a bigger than normal Firestorm Armada event in November.  UCON Games convention in Ann Arbor will be hosting the 2nd annual Storm Zone Brawl:  The Battle At Omicron Theta.

Pre registration is now open!  You can reserve your spot in the tournament by going to the UCON website.  Entry is the cost of a day badge, or weekend badge if you want to come play a bunch of games, and $6.00 for the tournament.  It is going to be a 4 round tourney starting at 10 A.M. so I would suggest a hotel room if you are coming from a decent distance away.

We have boxed sets and Battle Stations up for grabs.  There may be some more surprises as I have some things cooking on the back burner.  We are hard at work getting tables and terrain done for this event.  This is going to be a taste of whats to come for Adepticon as well.

Stay tuned for the missions.  We are hard at work testing them out as they are brand new and geared to give you an excellent tournament experience.

That is all for now.  I just wanted to make sure you get your spot reserved as the tournament has 20 available slots. Hope to see you there.

Until then crush the Alliance and as always....


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Maruders Fleet Manual Pt 1: The Oroshan

Hi all! SeerK here once again. So I have been going through the new Marauders Fleet Manual since Spartan was good enough to put it back up with some fixes in it. Most of the updates were just omissions and such and there were not any real major changes. With the impending drop of Planetfall this month I wanted to kinda go through the Marauders before the obligatory series of Planetfall posts takes up the blog for a bit.

So Lets start with my personal favorite in the book. The Oroshan. I have always liked these models. The Armageddon Dreadnought is big. The Defiler Cruisers are also have a good heft to them. The only ship I am not a fan of design wise is the Slayer class frigate. The snail like design is a little weird to me. I am hoping when they eventually release the new models we have a big more consistency in design. I digress a bit though.

The Oroshan are strait up mercenaries, which means it does not matter if you have a Kurak Alliance or Zenian League fleet. Even though the Blood Tribes of the Oroshan hail from Directorate controlled space they work for anybody who has currency. This means any fleet can have up to 25% of its points total made up of mercenary ships. For the Dindrenzi and the RSN this works out rather well as the Oroshan add some major fire power and have a fleet tactics rating of 3. SO Dindrenzi and RSN fleets do not suffer from a lower tactics rating by including allies. Lets take a look at the ships.

The Armageddon class Dreadnought lives up to its name and class in every sense. This ship is big, extremely well armed and very tough. The Armageddon sports impressive and long range fore power in pretty much all of its arcs. Range band 2 is lethal distance for all of the weapons. For max fire in the fore arc you need to be at 20 inches. In the side arcs you need to be about 16 inches. You have many options for your 3 hard points. I personally like to take weapon shielding, +2 move and second assault. I then add the Special Forces MAR and give the Torpedos Decimator Warheads. Being able to force disorder checks on individual ships and squadrons is nice. You can also add wings and more AP, which is nice if you give the ship Grief Escorts. The escorts are armed decently and you have the choice of adding point defense or assault points. I usually give it the point defense upgrade as I tend to use the escorts to bolster the Armageddons point defense and take out small ships. I love the Armageddon. The couple games I have fielded it, the ship has really decimated my opponents tier one vessels. Its ability to engage several targets effectively is impressive.

Sadly you cannot take the Armageddon in a patrol fleet. So we have a new addition to the Oroshan fleet in 2.0. The Harbinger Battle Carrier is your Patrol fleet, any fleet really, tier one choice. The Harbinger is not really lacking for fire power. It has slightly less dice in each arc when compared to the Armageddon. It does lack the torpedo weapons though. It has a max wing capacity of 9 wings with a hard point upgrade. I would use one of the hard points for this upgrade. The other I would use for weapon shielding. I personally think you get more for your points giving it the weapon shielding upgrade rather then a second shield die. You can take Grief Escorts. I would probably take at least two geared for point defense. This ship, on paper, looks like it can tangle with most battleships and other battle carriers. It would need support though. I have yet to use the Harbinger in a game. So I will reserve any major judgments or comments until I have a few games under my belt with it.

The Oroshan's only tier 2 choice is the Defiler Cruiser. I really like this ship. You can take them in a squadron of 4 and give them the Pack Hunter MAR. Its Beam weapon is only in the fore arc, but it does go out to range band 4. With the Pack Hunter MAR this gives you 7 dice and 40 inches. Not to bad. The Torpedos can be fired in any arc. They can also be given Decimator warheads. The Defiler is on par with a heavy cruiser in terms of fire power. It cannot take fire like a heavy cruiser though. It does have a DR of 4 and a CR of 7 with one shield die so they can take some fire. I like to send my Defilers after big ships as they have 22 beam dice in range band two when they are at full strength. This can really lay the hurt on even dreadnoughts. The only real issue is they become targets after one good volley of fire. All in all the defiler is a real solid cruiser class vessel.

The Tier three choice is the Slayer class frigate. These ships can be fielded in squadrons of 6 and have the Pack Hunter MAR. They are decently armed, but only have a fixed fore weapon. This can mean it can be a little difficult to get all the Slayers lined up on some targets in a full squadron. The other issue you can run into is the fact they only have 1 crew point. This makes the ships unsuitable for hanging out in debris fields, surviving boarding assaults from pretty much anybody and also makes them easy pickings for assault robot torpedoes. The Grief Escort also has one crew point so be wary.

All in all the Oroshan are a good hard hitting fleet. They are a good anchor for a Marauder or mercenary fleet. They also are great additions to regular fleets. I am going to be using them a whole lot more since I acquired a fleet. I may start running them in tournaments once I also get another frigate squadron. The minimums for a battle fleet fit into 900 points as fate would have it. A dreadnought, 4 cruisers and 12 frigates. Not to bad.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always