D&D Encounters – Storm Kings Thunder – Arrival in Nightstone

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2016 by vobeskhan

14064236_10209789776363134_3461628604885620888_nFinally escaping the mists of Barovia I find myself not only transported back the Forgotten Realms but also back into the DM’s chair as we start the new story arc “Storm King’s Thunder” this week.

Down at Tabletop Tyrants we were planning on having 3 tables (2 for SKT while Jon’s table continued their adventures in Barovia), however after running a DM session 0 last week and a couple of players having to drop out due to work and other commitments we just have the 2 tables of SKT.

My table consists of:-

  • Jon – “dragonborn” warlock (his race is in question as he’s a master of disguise).
  • Liam – dragonborn paladin
  • Daniel – human fighter/cleric
  • Sarah – tiefling rogue
  • Jack – tiefling warlock
  • Lee – goliath fighter

Jon, Liam and Daniel all had DM rewards that meant their pc’s began higher than 1st level, while Jack brought an Adventurers League pc that was already level 2, the rest were level 1’s so a reasonable mix.

The heroes began a journey south from Waterdeep to Nightstone where they were looking to find work as guides/guards for the noble hunting parties that frequented the town. Travelling down the high road they reached the junction that would lead off to Nightstone they found the signpost damaged, even though they attempted to repair it they didn’t stop to investigate how it had been done and continued on to Nightstone.

Shortly after turning inland from the coast road they spotted a lone figure loping along on what seemed to be on a path that would intercept their own. Eventually they meet the individual who looks like some sort of woodsman, he introduces himself as Dendar, a ranger, and asks a favour of the party. He has an urgent meeting to get too but needs a package delivering to his friend Darthag who ran the Lionshield Trading Coster in Nightstone. The party is willing dependant upon what the package is so he opens it to show its a simple loaf of elven bread, so they agree and they each go on their way once more.

As they approach the town the church bell is ringing and the town appears abandoned. Entering over the drawbridge they find a pair of worgs in the town square and quickly despatch them. Daniel is eager to see why the bell is ringing but the majority want to deliver the package and hopefully get some answers at the Trading Coster. The place has been ransacked but they find a goblin within ramming things into a sack. Startled he attacks but stands little chance. With no sign of Darthag they head to the church with the fighter/cleric.

Most of the party simply relax on the wooden pews while the cleric, paladin and rogue advance into the rear of the church finding a pair of goblins playing on the bell rope. The first dies quickly but the second cowers in fear. When questioned he reveals that the goblins came to town to find it empty so were just helping themselves, when asked how many of them there were he said lots. The paladin thought they wouldn’t get anything more from the goblin so ran him through – but it didn’t kill the little beast and it gave out a wail, thankfully silenced by a blow by the cleric.

The party decide to head through the town to the keep in search of answers but as they walk down they divert to the windmill, curious as to why it’s still in apparent operation. As the cleric enters he sees the mill stone is still working, powered by  the vanes, but suddenly an arrow strikes from the darkened rafters above. Jon’s warlock makes himself look like the goblin from the church and convinces the pair of goblins within that the heroes will let them go if they just leave now (and since only their first lucky shot actually hit they are eager to agree). Once the goblins have descended to ground level they also convince them to go and tell the rest of their band to leave also, which they seem happy to do.

With the goblins trotting off the heroes turn once more toward the keep but the rogue spots something amiss in the pumpkin field. They investigate and find a pair of goblins wearing pumpkins on their heads (without cutting vision holes) playing hide and seek. However they both seem to have decided to hide with no-one seeking. The heroes again manage to convince them that it’s in their best interest to leave after gaining a little more information about where the goblins were from (caves to the north).

Reaching the bridge that leads to the keep they find it broken, a gap their reluctant to try leaping, but they recall seeing a couple of grappling hooks in the Trading Coster so head back there. As they come back out of the Coster all the remaining goblins seem to have found a little back bone and are waiting outside for them. However, Jon creates an illusion of a third dragonborn warrior rippling with muscles, which seems to tip the balance and the goblins scurry off. The heroes decide that it’s probably best to close the drawbridge once they’ve gone, just in case.

Returning to the bridge they use their ropes and grappling hooks to make a crude crossing and despite the tiefling warlock falling into the water below eventually all make it in to the keep. More signs of boulder damage await them as well as a quartet of town guards protecting the mortal remains of Lady Nandar. After talking to the guards they discover the town was attacked by giants in a floating castle that bombarded the town with the boulders before some of them descended and tore the Nightstone from the town square, taking back to their cloud castle and then going back to the east. The guards tell them that many of the villagers fled, probably to a series  of caves to the north, and that Lady Nandar was killed during the bombardment. The heroes agree to help the guards lay her remains to rest in the family crypt near the church.

While the guards try and mount some semblance of a watch the heroes retire to whats left of the inn, finding it damaged and a goblin with a bolt in its back. Investigating the rest of the inn they find a human woman named Kella that claims she was knocked out during the giant attack and woke to see the goblin so shot it then hid. The party seems to believe her.

Their rest is short-lived though as a guard rushes in to tell them a group of riders had approached the drawbridge. As the party investigate they see 7 riders, and their leader seems to have a winged snake on his shoulder. Many of the heroes recognise this as a symbol of the Zhentarim. They ask to be let in as they have come to offer the town their services in its defence and rebuilding. The paladin and cleric seem set against it but then decide to let them in (telling their companions they intend to lead them to the keep bridge if Jon’s warlock will use illusion to make it appear solid).

The Zhents come in and stable their horses, then head south with the party. But before they get to the bridge their leader calls a halt, tipped off by some sixth sense perhaps. The cleric in the meantime has stayed behind and has taken their horses from the stable and tried to hide them behind the small graveyard. the Zhent leader receives another of the flying snakes, which appears to have a note attached to it, telling him of the horse theft. And they begin heading back north.

The cleric meanwhile is struck by a crossbow bolt from the direction of the inn but can’t see who fired it. As the Zhents and the rest of the party arrive, he spots Kella running along the side of the inn and tries to rugby tackle her only to find as he dives at her that she was a mere illusion as the real Kella nimbly leaps down from the damaged upper floor of the inn.

The Zhents calmly agree that if the party don’t want them here then they’ll leave without further incident and are escorted back out of town and ride into the dark night.

The guards resume their watch and the heroes return to the inn.

Next morning the heroes awake. As they begin to move around they realise they can’t see any of the guards and begin to search for them in earnest. They finally find one laying on the north palisade, a broken arrow shaft sticking out of their neck. First thoughts are the Zhents but they remember that they were armed with crossbows, not bows, though the goblins did have bows…..

They don’t have the opportunity to ponder further as they notice 2 groups of figures approaching from the north at a running pace. Both groups appear to be almost a dozen orcs, while one is heading straight at the towns northern wall (where the heroes currently stand), the other is veering off and heading down the side of the town, perhaps towards the drawbridge area.

And that was where we left it for this week. Some excellent roleplaying from all involved and innovative ways to avoid combat situations so far. Though I wonder how effective those will remain to be once facing less weak-minded foes.

All Scars painting challenge – The Survivor Series 2016 – September

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2016 by vobeskhan

survivor seriesWell September is our third Showcase month in the All Scars Survivor Series painting challenge, and with my mojo back on track after last month I decided it was time to paint one of my older models – my metal Deamon Prince, Vobeskhan himself.

I’d built him a while back and added a few bits to his base before using him in games long gone by (mainly in an old Cityfight campaign fought at home with Gary and a few others), but as the club is gearing up to start the Damnation Campaign and it is being fought in and around the same city, Vogen, I wanted to bring the big fella back into the action (also there are some nice new formations I can take him in too).

I decided to strip the base and remake it to fit in more with my current bikers and the one I did last month for the Warpsmith. So used more of the cork tile, to this I added the sandbags and spade that had previously been on his base and then using parts of zombie figures built the remains of a guardsman that hasn’t quite realised he’s dead, still reaching for his lasgun as Vobeskhan begins to stride past him, already looking for his next victim. I also couldn’t resist having his shoe (with foot still in it) discard on there too.

The Deamon prince model itself, I had already modified when I built it to have wings. Now originally the metal version didn’t come with wings, so I used some off of an old Grenadier models Nightmare Dragon. However these needed a little TLC and greenstuff to blend back into the form of the model.

I already knew he’d be in his Black Legion armour but wanted to have something other than the usual red skin tone for his hands, face and wings, so chose to do them in blue (fits nicely with the common use of Tzeentch marks within my force).

Overall I’m happy with the final result (though my wife says that the way they’re positioned with the guardsman’s mouth being open it looks “a bit wrong”, but hey, why should Slaanesh have all the fun!”.  Maybe I’ll finally get around to painting some Possessed now to join him on the blood soaked streets of Vogen to spread the mayhem and madness.

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New Chaos Formations leaked – lets look at the Hate of Traitors

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , , on September 6, 2016 by vobeskhan

TraitorsHate_ProdSlide

So the new Black Crusade Detachment and its formations have been leaked from the imminent Traitor’s Hate book and I thought I’d share my thoughts on them.

First thing I notice is that it says that as an exception to the normal rules  units chosen as part of the Detachment AND the formations all receive associated Command Benefits and special rules.  In the Restrictions it states “Only the datasheets listed here can be included in this Detachment and all units must have the Chaos Space Marine Faction”.

 

Being new to the use of Formations I consulted with a fellow All Scar and was very happy when he confirmed that Legion formations could be included as additional Detachments (points allowing). But, back to the task at hand.

 

Command Benefits

 

Lord of Chaos – If this is your primary detachment you can reroll for Traits. Same as for the basic CAD, useful.

 

Death to the False Emperor – all units get Hatred (Armies of the Imperium), in addition units can take Veterans of the Long War for free. Firstly we don’t have a detail on what classes as Armies of the Imperium, just Space Marine forces or will it include Guard etc as well. Secondly, WOW, the compulsory tax of the Legion just got made a bonus – happy camper here.

 

Path to Glory – choose a model with Champion of Chaos at the start of each friendly turn and roll for a Chaos boon (can use his Favoured Scions rule too if he has it). Double-edged sword really, I’ve only remembered to use the rule a few times so far and on at least 2 occasions have gotten Spawn results. But that’s part of the fun of Chaos, so I’ll be using this as often as possible but probably just on Aspiring Champions where possible.

 

NOTE: Where the formations list Chaos Lord or Sorcerer you may use the equivalent “Special” characters such as Abaddon and Ahriman etc.

 

0-5 Command – Lords of the Black Crusade, either a Chaos Lord, Sorcerer or Daemon Prince.

 

1+ Core – Chaos Warband, Maelstrom of Gore or The Lost and the Damned.

 

1+ Auxiliary – Helforged Warpack, Veterans of the Legions, Cult of Destruction, Heldrake Terror Pack, Fist of the Gods, Raptor Talon,  Terminator Annihilation Force, Favoured of Chaos, Trinity of Blood, and Spawn (1-3 units of Chaos Spawn).

 

So the Formations:

 

Core:

 

Chaos Warband

1 Chaos Lord                                                                                         0-1 Sorcerer

1-3 Chosen, Terminators or Possessed                                            2-6 Chaos Space Marines units

1-3 Raptors, Talons or Bikers                                                             1-3 Havocs or Helbrutes

Restrictions: None

Favoured Scions: when rolling for Boons, roll twice and choose either OR both results.

Objective Secured: ALL units in the Warband get this rule.

 

So the obvious comparison is to the Legion’s Warband formation.  Only difference in composition is Chosen are in the 1-3 Elite slot.  Favoured Scions is a double for the Favoured of the Warmaster, but Objective Secured replaces Thirst for Glory. I’d probably prefer this version as having all units with Objective Secured is a better option as most games are now Maelstrom games.

 

Maelstrom of Gore

1 Chaos Lord or Kharn the Betrayer                                                                4-8 Khorne Berzerkers

Restrictions: Lord must be given Mark of Khorne for FREE.

Blood Crazed: Units have Fleet and add 3” to charge distances.

Red Rain: Once per battle at start of movement phase summon Red Rain. Every unit locked in combat is allowed to pile in and fight as if it was the fight sub phase but enemy units cannot fight back. They can still fight normally in the assault phase of the same turn.

 

Again, as with the Legion supplement, why is the only god specific formation Khorne – where’s the love for Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh. Is it simply because they want to boost sales of the lack lustre khorne units – maybe. It won’t however entice me. If I want to include a Khorne formation I’ll use Hounds of Abaddon. After checking, I realise this is a re-hash of the Apocalypse formation of the same name in the Pandorax book.

 

The Lost and the Damned

1 Dark Apostle                                                                                      4-9 Chaos Cultists

Restrictions: None

Tide of Traitors: Each time a unit of Cultists is destroyed roll D6, 4+ and you place a new identical unit in Ongoing Reserves. They gain Outflank and count as members of this formation.

Prophet of the Gods: The Apostle’s Zealot rule applies to all Lost and Damned units within 6” of him.

 

Cheap troop units to capture/deny objectives, cultists are generally underused, but I can’t help but wonder if allied Renegades and Heretics are a better option.

 

Auxiliary:

 

Cult of Destruction

1-3 Warpsmiths                                                                                    3-5 Obliterators or Mutilators

Restrictions: None

Empyrionic Guidance Rituals: At start of movement phase each Warpsmith can perform the ritual on one unit of Oblits or Mutilators within 8”. Oblits get to shoot twice, Mutilators attack twice.

 

The first of 3 formations to include the Warpsmith.  I’m not sold on this one as it hinders the Deep Strike of the Oblits if you want them to benefit from the Ritual.

 

Favoured of Chaos

1 Daemon Prince                                                                                 3-5 Possessed

Restrictions: None

Baleful Nexus of Warp Energies: Units of Possessed within 12” of the DP at the start of the Fight sub-phase get all 3 mutations rather than just 1.

 

Much better than The Tormented from the Legion supplement, though has a minimum of 3 possessed units. Might be tempted to give this one a try at some point.

 

Fist of the Gods

1 Warpsmith                                                                                         3-5 Predators, Vindicators or Land Raiders

Restrictions: None

Dark Wards: all vehicles within 12” of Warpsmith have 6+invulnerable save.

Unholy Blessings: Warpsmith gets +1 bonus to repair vehicles in this formation.

 

The second outing for the Warpsmith and the first to include the CSM vehicles. It’s not quite the squadron rules we were hoping for (perhaps they’ll be in the book too, but I doubt it) but certainly an interesting option. Doesn’t specify if Land Raider includes any available variants though (as usual they seem to ignore anything from the Forge World books).

 

Heldrake Terror Pack

2-4 Heldrakes

Restrictions: None

Rising Terror: Enemy units suffer -1 Ld within 12” of 2 Drakes, -2 for 3 Drakes, and -3 for all 4 Drakes.

Merciless Pursuit: Vector Striking targets that are Pinned, Falling Back or have Gone to Ground, target suffers D6 St 7 AP2 hits instead of 1.

 

This is what Chaos Marine players have been waiting for, not the ridiculous one from Death from the Skies but a proper Drake formation. I expect we’ll be seeing a lot of these in use, but I think unless its massive point games most of us would just field the 2 Drakes.

 

Helforged Warpack

1 Warpsmith                                                                                         3-5 Helbrutes, Maulerfiends, Forgefiends, or Defilers

Restrictions: None

Master of Mechanical Warpcraft: While the Warpsmith is in play the Warpack can reuse their Deamonforge rule repeatedly.

Warpack Alpha: Nominate one of the Warpack as the Alpha. They gain the Character type and a 4+ invulnerable save. If the Alpha is destroyed the rest of the Warpack gain the Rage rule.

 

And the third Warpsmith formation. This one I do like, mainly because it includes Defilers, and the option to make one a character with 4+ invulnerable is bonus. Also there doesn’t appear to be a “within range” requirement for the Warpcraft rule.

 

Raptor Talon

1 Chaos Lord                                                                                         3-5 Raptors or Talons

Restrictions: Lord must be equipped with Jump Pack – for FREE.

Predatory Warriors: Can charge on the same turn they arrive from Deep Strike Reserve, but count as Disorganised charge when they do.

Cacophonic War Cries: Enemy units charged by 2 or more Talon units must subtract 2 from their Ld until end of the turn.

 

I know Jon will be salivating at this one, and rightly so. The special rules go some way to mitigate the use of Warp Talons now, as before they couldn’t benefit from their blinding landing ability as unable to assault. I expect we shall see a fair few Night Lords forces being unleashed soon.

 

Veterans of the Legions

1-4 Khorne Bezerkers, Thousand Sons, Plague Marines or Noise Marines

Restrictions: Unknown

Special Rules: Unknown

 

This just feels like a shoe horn to get the god squads included. Though I’ll wait and see what Restrictions and Special Rules come with it as this is the only one not leaked – yet.

 

Terminator Annihilation Force

1 Lord or Sorcerer                                                                              3-5 Terminators

Restrictions: Lord or Sorcerer must be equipped with Terminator Armour for FREE.

Targeted for Annihilation:  Before deployment nominate one enemy unit. This formation has Hatred against it and can make a shooting attack against it immediately after they deep strike, this doesn’t stop them shooting again in the shooting phase either at the same or a different target.

Target Updated: If the nominated unit is completely destroyed, you can immediately pick a new unit as replacement target, this can be done each time the target is destroyed.

 

I quite like this one, though I think I’d probably use the Bringers of Despair and Chosen of Abaddon instead.

Trinity of Blood

3 Khorne Lords of Skulls

Restrictions: None

Rampage.

Apoplectic Storm: Start of their movement phase, enemy units locked in combat with them suffer a number of St 6 Ap 4 hits equal to the number of models in the unit. These hits have Ignore Cover and Soul Blaze and are randomly allocated.

Crashing Volleys: Weapons used by a Trinity have twin-linked if attacking a target already attacked by another member earlier in that Shooting phase.

 

I don’t want one Lord of Skulls, why would I want three? Again, this is a re-hash of a Pandorax Apocalypse formation. I think I’ll wait to see the Chaos Knights rules and options in Traitor’s Hate for a Lord of War option thanks.

 

So, do these options fill you with dread, do they get you excited to be the badass’s of the Galaxy once again? What are your thoughts?

 

 

D&D Encounters – Curse of Strahd – Vallaki in flames

Posted in Campaign, D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by vobeskhan

Curse of Strahd CoverAfter my companions concluded that we may be under equipped to tackle a whole den of werewolves we decided to return to Vallaki, and we begin the couple of days march that will get us there. The journey was mostly uneventful until the night before we reached our destination.

We had reached the stone bridge that crossed the Luna river and were preparing to make camp when we heard wolf howls not too distant. We couldn’t be too sure how far away they were and so kept a vigilant watch as we camped.

It was just before what passes for dawn in these grey dismal lands when the only one of us without a natural ability to see in the dark, Eldon, noticed the wolves creeping up out of the ravine beside the bridge, he nudged me awake just as more of the filthy beasts burst out of the nearby treeline.

Wolves rushed in at us, showing a cunning beyond normal animals they went after our sleeping companions and myself , but thankfully their attack did rouse the others from their slumber. Eldon’s bow sang as it sent arrow upon arrow into the wolves, and as dawn had not yet arrived I still had my summoned boar to assist me as my blades struck at the ones nearest me. Having been caught unarmoured Pertinax and Rorik were feeling the bites severely and it actually looked like the fight would go against us when a swarm of crows swept in and began haranguing the wolves from behind, turning the tide and then chasing the last of the wolves away. One of the birds remained and began to morph into a bird man. It spoke with a thick Barovian accent and told us that they (the were ravens) had been watching us since we visited the Winery and had decided that they shared our goal in defeating Strahd and his minions.

Since we were now all awake we began our preparations and broke camp, heading onwards to Vallaki. Expecting to find the gates closed and to have to barter our way back in we were surprised to find the gate open and unattended. A large column of smoke rising from within. Heading swiftly in we discovered that a fire had been started at the church and several guards were organising a bucket chain and moving civilians out of the way. We talked to one that despite recognising us was willing to accept our help. He said that most people were being directed to the Inn. We asked if the priest was still inside but he wasnt sure.

We rushed into the church to see the priest laying limply at the altar, a familiar robed figure standing beside him – the Abbott. Pertinax and Rorik stride up the central aisle while Eldon and I shadow up the outer sides.  Eldon takes a bowshot at the Abbot, striking true but the man seems barely injured by it. It does anger him however and he throws of his simple robe as a pair of large wings spread from his form – he’s some sort of angel, and carry him across the room to strike poor Eldon down into unconsciousness with a single blow.

Pertinax and Rorik rush intercept the Abbot and I head over to the priest, quickly administering a healing potion to the unconscious clergyman. Helping him to his unsteady feet I whisper “Where’s Ireena?” but the Abbott must have excellent hearing, and ignoring my companions wings his way back over to where I’m standing. I decide to take a risk and in Draconic I tell him “Leave here, I’m bringing the girl to the master” but he see’s through my deception and laughs at me. So I quickly stab my blade into the priest beside me, right into his gut, as my silver shortsword makes a stab toward the Abbot and I sprint back away from the altar towards the exit. I expected the Abbott to follow but he picks up the lifeless body of the priest and with a thrust of his wings flies up out of the ruined roof of the church with his prize.

A quick look confirms that Ireena isn’t in whats left of the church so we head back out and towards the Inn. As we approach we can hear signs of combat further towards the western gate. At the Inn we spot the altar boy we met previously, and discreetly question him. He tells us that Ireena left town with the man with the tiger in the caravan and the lady with the wooden leg. Pertinax wants to help with whatever is attacking the town from the east so we head that way, but as we move he suddenly runs off to the west saying he’s remembered something we might need.

As we approach the eastern gate we can see about a half-dozen guards with Izek, the burgomasters henchman, battling a pair of creatures we recognise as the Abbot’s handiwork – flesh golems! I whisper something to Eldon as we approach, he nods and takes up a position to the side, bow ready. Rorik stands ready to use his spells before closing into melee. I dash up beside Izek and shout “We’re here to help”.

Izek

While the guardsmen’s weapons are having minimal effect on the golems, Izek is using his strange arm to throw small balls of fire at them and causing more injury. I spot an opening and stab my blades forward – into Izek! “I told you this wasn’t over” I growl as I nimbly step away, just as Eldon’s arrow whirls past my head to strike Izek squarely.

He’s unwilling to turn his attention to us as the golems continue to attack, but with another pair of blade wounds from myself, an arrow from Eldon and Rorik’s conjured spiritual weapon he does turn to us and swipes at me with his battleaxe. His deformity certainly hasn’t diminished his strength and I stagger under his attack, but thankfully our combined attacks drop him. The guards are still trying to hold off the golems, I toss Eldon the coins I promised him for attacking Izek and I give Izek’s axe to Rorik and begin heading back to the Inn. Honestly I expected my companions to want to remain and help the guards but they both follow me. Before we reach the Inn we meet Pertinax, he’d run back to the church and recovered the saint’s bones. We tell him Izek is dead and that we intend to leave. He agrees and we go back to the Inn and ask the altar boy which way the tiger caravan went, apparently it headed out fo the west gate and so we set off that way.

I tell my companions that I wish to visit the Vistani camp that we helped nearby, and suggest we head there as they may have further news of our quarry. Lubash is surprised but happy to see us. He tells us that Rictavio, Ireena and Ezmarelda did indeed come to see him, leaving the tiger caravan with him as a decoy while they took another one off to the west. While my companions talk to his sons about this I have a quiet word with Lubash.

The Vistani graciously extend their hospitality overnight to us and we happily accept, next morning they are all preparing to move out. Pertinax and Rorik gather their gear and get ready to follow after Rictavio but before they notice I’m not doing the same. “Our roads part ways here my friends” I say, “my path lies not within this dreary land, Lubash has agreed to take me elsewhere and Eldon has agreed to accompany me. I have acquaintances that would value his skills. Farewell my brothers-in-arms, I hope you find those you seek.” with a clasp of arms we bade each other fair travels and I watched as they set off.

Eldon and myself found seats amongst the Vistani caravans and were soon rolling along at a sedate pace through the Svalich Woods. The ever-present mists began to enclose us and both myself and the halfling reached for weapons, but Lubash assured us we would not need them. Continuing to travel onwards the mists became so thick we could barely see the wagons in front and behind us, but after almost an hour of constant travelling the mists recede once again but we’re no longer in the woods. Indeed, we’re no longer in Barovia as I begin to recognise local landmarks, we’re on the road no more than a days march south of Waterdeep.

Lubash halts his caravans and tells us that he has to go back now, but thanks us once again on behalf of his daughter and wishes us safe journeys. Eldon and I gather our gear and begin walking northwards, when we turn to look back the caravans have again disappeared, only a wisp of misty fog drifting across the road where they should have been.

I don’t know if I shall ever see my other comrades again, honestly, I’m not sure it would be of benefit for either of us. The Black Network has nothing to gain in Barovia, whilst the Realms are much better suited to our goals. But first a warm bath and a hot meal are in order, then I’ll introduce Eldon to my “friends”. But that’s another story.

All Scars 2016 Tournament – round 5 v Crimson Slaughter

Posted in 40k, Gaming events with tags , , , , , on September 4, 2016 by vobeskhan

SAMCRO-legionThe fifth and final round of the All Scars 2016 40K club tournament saw me facing off against fellow Chaos Space Marine player, Mark, with his Crimson Slaughter.

As mark couldn’t make it on the day due to holiday commitments we agreed to play it the week prior at his place. We would both battling for the dubious honour of bottom of the table and the worryingly named “woollen spoon” (knowing full well I have a phobia about the feel of wool my friend Gary had organised this as a kind of motivational aid).

As with everyone else, we were to play mission number 5 from the main rulebook – Cloak and Shadows. We rolled for deployment type and got the standard Dawn of War layout, Mark won the roll to choose sides and also to choose who’d deploy/go first, which he elected to do.

Once Mark had deployed I set my own forces up, holding the Heldrake and Proteus (with Chosen inside) in reserve as usual, and setting everything else up towards my right hand side in a refused flank style.

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Jaxxon, Unsa and the bikers were doing well early part of the game, destroying the unit of CS that deployed from the dreadclaw, then the cultists and moving on to the plague marines – but by then they had lost a fair few members thanks to enemy psychic attacks and once the noise marines opened up, it left Jaxxon alone and on 1 wound.

Highlights of the game for me were inabilities of the vindicator and proteus to hurt each other until round 5 when the proteus finally got the better; and squad Bullhorn using an imperial statue for cover with a cry of “Well shit! The Emperor really does protect!”

The remnants of squad Bullhorn, along with squad Slap’ed managed to tie up the CS obliterators for majority of the game, negating their firepower – just as well seeing as I kept killing my own plasma gunners due to gets hot rolls.

The tactical cards as usual did not draw in my favour, often coming up as objectives in enemy hands on the far side of the board, but it was a really fun game and when we rolled the dice at the close of round 5 the game ended with Mark the winner (10-6).

With the majority of the other games still to be played I delayed publishing this post as agreed with my fellow All Scars committee members. The only public post being Marks :-

“So the Woollen Spoon decider came down to Chaos v Chaos – Mik’s battered and beleaguered Black Legion against Mark’s crushed and crucified Crimson Slaughter.

With the sides deployed, Chaos came out of the blocks quickly, but Chaos wasn’t far behind, scoring an early point with First Blood. Chaos rallied with reserves arriving and caused damage to the Chaos back line, but Chaos stood firm and fought back, dealing Chaos some grievous wounds. In desperation, Chaos turned and launched a full-scale assault at Chaos, wiping out a whole unit of Chaos in the process and consolidating deep into Chaos territory. But Chaos was not done yet – in an audacious move Chaos swept forward, taking out the Chaos elites in the process despite a hail of Chaos bullets coming their way.
All too quickly, round 5 had come to an end, with Chaos holding a slender lead over Chaos. The crucial roll for a continuation took place – a 1! Chaos had won, beating back a tenacious Chaos in the process.”

I would still be attending the final rounds game day though, playing a game of x-wing with Joe as he also had no opponent.

All Scars painting challenge – The Survivor Series 2016 – August

Posted in 40k with tags , , , , on August 29, 2016 by vobeskhan

survivor seriesSo with my tournament army fully painted and having done my alternative Talia for my Batman crew last month I wanted to do something different, and as I was looking through the Renegades & Heretics army lists once again (with the possibility of forming allies for my Black Legion) I decided to paint a unit of my Chaos Cultists.

I have quite a few sets of the cultists from the Dark Vengeance boxed set (around about 100 at rough count), so I chose a squad of 10, 8 with autoguns, 1 with heavy stubber, and the last a champion with trench coat and shotgun.

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I was really surprised how quickly I got through these and my willingness to paint was still running high (for a change), so I decided to rebuild and repair my Deamon Prince and its base as well as repair my warpsmith (the fecking tentacles are a nightmare) and make a scenic base for him.

Then I got them both primed in my black spray, and after deciding that I’d leave the Prince for next months Showcase I set too on the Warpsmith.

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Still not ready to lay down the brushes I decided to bash out another squad of Cultists, this time a melee based group. 9 of them with auto pistols and combat weapons and the champion with the axe and Freddy Kruger claw.

I got the base coat, trousers and bases done then found that I had little time to continue for a week or so, but then today (with a small break due to a headache) I knuckled down and got them completed.

Not going to win Golden Demon any time soon but I’m very happy with them and it means that out of my 433 total miniatures 114 of them are fully painted!

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D&D Encounters – Curse of Strahd – Moonlight Shadows

Posted in D & D 5e, D&D, Encounters with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2016 by vobeskhan

Curse of Strahd CoverAfter checking the rest of the cells without getting attacked, our party decided to go looking for our missing battlerager so back to the other side of the courtyard we went.

While Rorik, Pertinax and Heimlich examined the large symbol above the fireplace, myself and Eldon descend into the basement. The halfling can’t see in the dark so I light a torch. As we move lower we can see a barrel towards the centre of the room with stands of wine racks towards the outer walls. There is a scrabbling noise coming from the barrel so I move a little closer and toss the torch in.

An angry little creature leaps out, its fur aflame and I skewer it on my shortsword. Once sure that  nothing further of interest is below we head back up and in the light I can tell it used to be squirrel. Most of its fur has been singed away, but I put it in my bag of holding for now.

We decide en mass to ascend to the upper floor. There is a bed and table which the others go to examine and I move to look up at the bell in the small tower above the centre of the room. I hear some commotion behind, turning to see Heimlich, our paladin, trying to gorge himself on what looks to be chopped up body parts while Pertinax attempts to restrain him. Not my problem. I try to climb the rope attached to the bell but it proves beyond my capability.

Judging the distance up to the beam holding the bell to be within my range I step slightly aside and loose my acid breath upward in a volatile stream. It covers the top of the bell and the beam where it was attached, theres is a fizzing, sizzling noise and then the whole bell drops – crashing not only to but through the wooden floor of the room we’re in and down to the stone floor of the room below. Thankfully we all manage to avoid being hit on its way down, and this seems to have brought the paladin back to his senses.

We head back down stairs and purely out of spite I take the clanger out of the bell and dunk it in the large pot of whatever the hells is cooking on the fireplace. Strange that no-one has come to investigate the crash, and we’ve still not located our battlerager.

We return to the “prison” side of the abbey and ascend to the upper floor, its grimy and looks like it’s not been used for some time. Opening the first door we found a young woman dressed in a style very similar to Vistani though when I mention this she seems to take great offence. She’s armed with several weapons (many of them silvered) and has a wooden leg carved to match her other boot. She says that the Abbot has been dealing with Strahd and his due to meet him at midnight, when she intends to strike at them. We offer our help which she grudgingly accepts.

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Rather than go in blind Eldon and myself decide to scout ahead as the sky darkens and night falls, a pale moonlight filters through the windows and their ragged curtains. Not willing to risk a torch I decide to sneak ahead and pull open the curtains to allow more moonlight in to aid the halfling. The first area appears to be some form of reception area, maybe some sort of office. A door leads further on, neither of us can discern any trap upon it or noise coming from beyond it and so we cautiously open it.

The room beyond looks somewhat akin to a hospital ward or dormitory. More curtained windows along one wall to our left and a number of doors leading off to our right. Again I move forward to open the curtains but as I open the first set rather than get  lighter the darkness seems to flow around me and coalesce into five shadow creatures. Their strikes upon me not only drain my health but seem to sap the strength from my body too. I realise that I’m seriously outmatched and cut off from the doorway so take the only exit possible – and dive out of the window, luckily my agility allows me to land in a roll undamaged. I regain my feet just in time to hear Eldon shouting his little lungs out “Undead! Help!” and within moments I see the windows of the room burst with a radiance akin to sunlight and realise that Heimlich must have activated the amulets powers.

With the sounds of combat from above I make my way , albeit slowly, back to the courtyard and to my companions, arriving only moments after they had successfully dealt with the shadow creatures. Many of us are injured and we ask Rorik for healing. He’s reluctant as he still doesn’t trust that myself and Eldon had nothing to do with the amulet being in his backpack, so he asks us straight out if we did it. Both Eldon and myself tell him we didn’t and he believes us, calling upon the powers of his god to heal our wounds. The young woman has gone, whether she meant for us to fall into the trap or not remains unclear, but with our spirits and resources low we decide to barricade ourselves in the room and recuperate for the remainder of the night.

In the morning we search but find no sign of the Abbott nor his auburn haired “companion”, so after giving the keys to the more sociable of the prisoners and telling them they were free we descend back down to the village of Krezk.  While we sit once more beside the shrine pool we discuss our next move and destination, do we follow one of the other clues from the card reading (and head to the werewolf shrine) or do we head back towards Vallaki and the mysterious wizard by the lake? Vallaki seems to be a majority choice, not least because Pertinax still holds a grudge against their burgomeister and his fiery armed henchman. Rorik has dragged the golden sun symbol from the Abbey with us so maybe we can use that as a “gift” to regain access to the town.