Welcome to Conflict Valorax, an open-ended narrative campaign for Warhammer 40,000 set deep within the Ultima Segmentum on the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy and close to the limit of mankind’s domain. The purpose of this campaign narrative is to richly detail the setting and history of the Valorax star system in order to bring a depth and storyline to ongoing games set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Games of Warhammer 40,000, Epic, Inquisitor, Aeronautica Imperialis, Space Crusade, Space Hulk and Battlefleet Gothic are all set within this greater context, each conflict adding detail to the ongoing plot.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Tutorial: How to Paint the Fortress of Redemption

So you want to paint the beautiful Fortress of Redemption the "me" way?

Well here's how!

1) Whine for months until your mum buys you a Fortress of Redemption for Christmas.

2) Leave fortress in its box for approximately one year.

3) Remove from box and build, making sure you leave each section of the fortress disconnected.

4) Spray black.

5) Make half-hearted attempt to paint it starting with a dark grey drybrush.

5.5) Listen to the audio book of Wilbur Smith's excellent novel, Gold Mine.

6) Place the incomplete fortress on the top of your shelving unit so that it's almost impossible to reach.

7) Leave for two more years.

8) Hear that new rules are coming out for buildings and suddenly get inspired to finish fortress off.

9) Realise dark grey colour scheme is a terrible idea.

10) Gaze speculatively at cream-coloured scenery pieces, wondering how you can do it even better.

11) Respray fortress black.

12) Wet-brush fortress dark brown.

13) Keep clippers to hand in case of cat-attack.

14) Watch some TV.

15) Drybrush the fortress light brown, leaving dark brown in the crevices.

16) Lay out Epic Eldar army ready for a game then realise it's never going to happen and put them away.

17) Read Forge World book instead.

18) Dryer-brush the fortress mustard with a lighter touch this time.

19) Lay out dirty kitchen towel squares nearby in case bandage needed after cat-attack.

20) Play Cityfight game of 40k with Tau versus Imperial Guard.

21) Continue painting fortress when its your opponent's go, really-dry-brushing cream, focusing mainly on the upper areas.

22) Ignore death-stares of opponent.

23) Grin inanely at opponent while continuing painting.

24) Use fortress section to provide impromptu cover for a Leman Russ Battle Tank.

25) Pick out detail on Lascannons (Tin Bitz with Dwarf Bronze highlight).

26) Paint other details metal then ink black and drybrush metal for highlight.

27) Pretend you don't notice Sentinel sneaking past.

28) Paint floors in metal.

29) Give black ink wash.

30) Use patented "swirly drybrush" method to highlight centre of each square with metal again.

31) Remark to anyone listening how ass-kickingly good you think it's going to look when finished.

32) Paint missiles dark then lighter red. Pick out tips in light grey and then white.

33) Try to think of witty simile for the way the missiles look.

34) Give up.

35) Do same metal, black ink, metal drybrush trick on other details and pick out skulls in cream and white.

35.5) Wonder why GW put skulls on every single scenery piece.

35.75) Wonder whose skulls they are.

35.8) Wonder if they want them back.

36) Lay out completed fortress.

37) Wonder if strange white shape in the background is headless man hunched over while trying to pick up a dry-roasted peanut that has fallen on the floor.

38) Flee from headless peanut-eating man while continuing to take pictures of fricking amazingly painted fortress.

39) Make deal with headless man that he can go back to looking for peanuts as long as he'll let you take photos of the damn fortress!

40) Realise you haven't actually finished after all because the Lascannon glowy bit hasn't been done.

41) Paint glowy bits turquoise and then light blue to simulate "glowiness."

42) Paint missile bay cover to match Crimson Blades insignia, always sticking to two or three tone painting method.

43) Realise it needs a bit more work.

44) Don't bother to do extra work.

45) Arrange tanks next to fortress in "cool" configuration.

46) Look smug.

47) Continue to look smug.

48) Write blog post, basically so that you can tell the world how smug you feel.

Monday, 2 December 2013

The Trap: Part One - Incursion

Chaos vs Crimson Blades | Gill v Tim | 40k | 55 | 110.997.M41

In the dark centre of the Lapitar jungles, the second Pernicious Gate stood guarded by a ring of defensive bastions.

It was critical beyond measure that the Chaos Space Marines not break through and seize control of it for if they did, a second horde of daemons would fall under their dominion.

But the Chaos forces had been spying on the defences with their scrying tools and they perceived that a hammer blow against a narrow frontage would easily fold back the defensive perimeter - especially with Crimson Blade forces kept busy in multiple other warzones.

And so they came, swooping down in drop ships as dozens of slavering daemons of Khorne materialised and bounded forward.

The marines stationed at the perimeter let fly instantly with explosive bolter shells but it was immediately clear that Lord Morder had been correct in his strategic plan. There were simply too many Chaos troops to hold back.

But then the trap was sprung.

Knowing that a Chaos Incursion was imminent, Alarice Klein, Chapter Mistress, had purposely left the defences weaker in order to manipulate the dark forces to attack.

The second their approach was detected, the signal was given and the hidden forces of the Crimson Blades sprang into action, bikers powering out of the undergrowth and Terminators deep striking down from the Black Scabbard in orbit.

A Land Raider churned out from the jungle cover, disgorging Assault Terminators into the midst of the daemonic approach.

But the Chaos Space Marines had anticipated this and they sprang a trap of their own.

A Chaos Land Raider surged in, Night Lord Assault Marines leaping from it and charging into combat as more and more daemons materialised, closing in on their enemies.

It had meant to be an overwhelming defeat for Chaos but the Crimson Blades were being overrun! They fought back but they were losing men. It was obvious that their only choice was to pull back and form an inner perimeter.

As the mighty Bloodthirster tore through their ranks they realised that, in all likelihood, they had no chance of slowing the Chaos approach to the Pernicious Gate and all the power it contained therein.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Covert Arms Buildup: Part Three - Cleared

Tau vs Adeptus Mechanicus | Gill v Tim | 40k | 54 | 109.997.M41 

The complex seemed empty.

Corridor after corridor without activity - no sign of life and only emergency power.

Whatever use the Adeptus Mechanicus had made of this place, it seemed abandoned now and the Tau moved through it, looking for signs that resistance remained. There seemed to be none but still they proceeded cautiously. 

But it was clear that all the tech adepts had withdrawn. Every Squat trooper had gone with them. Something big had been planned here and prepared for but after the initial defence the Mechanicum had pulled out completely.

Canisters and crates had been left behind containing weapons and other equipment. Obviously a major offensive had been organised from here, but the half human, half machine creatures had deemed a strategic withdrawal wise against the losses they might have taken. 

Yes. The Tech Priests had completely withdrawn. 

Or had they? 

Scuttling through the shadows, Squat defenders still remained, carefully checking their bolters and plasma weapons, readying themselves for a final rearguard attack to give the rest of their forces time to completely pull out.

 Aphids crept into position. On their tracked units, Thunderfire Batteries prepared to fire.

And then suddenly the Tau attacked, sweeping through the complex, blasting out with their pulse weapons, carbine barrels revolving rapidly. 

The Squats stepped forward from the shadows, entering battle,blasting at the disgusting and tightly-packed xenos interlopers. Fire Warriors fell but the Crisis Suits were forming the vanguard and their tough armour repelled the bulk of the small arms fire as they took down the defenders with cruel precision.

The Squats had never expected to win.

Their purpose was only to delay the aliens while the docking bays were cleared of transport craft. They had no withdrawal plan for themselves and fell one by one, roaring in challenge proudly.

The Tau didn't care. They pushed through, exterminating each and every single member of the Mechaicum defensive force, clearing every corridor until not one remained breathing.

 But this left them with no answers.

Something was brewing. The Adeptus Mechanicus were surely building an army. But why and what they would do with it? These things remained unknown.

Gill won

Friday, 11 October 2013

Covert Arms Buildup: Part Two - To Neutralise Command

Tau vs Adeptus Mechanicus | Gill v Tim | 40k | 53 | 109.997.M41 

The surprise battle within the outer reaches of the manufactorum had disrupted the Tau interlopers but the Adeptus Mechanicus forces had withdrawn deep into the structure and down into the underground levels.

The Tau had been unaware of their presence here but this was obviously another new faction with designs to take control of Valorax VIII. With their initial scouting force devastated, the Tau commander had to make a difficult choice: commit more troops for a deeper exploration or withdraw.

If they pulled out, it would give the Mechanicum full freedom to consolidate and expand what was clearly a new army. That could cause problems later on. In the meantime, an assault now without knowing the full scope of what they faced could be fairly damaging.

But it needed to be done.

Linked Gun Drones drifted into the outer reaches of the underground manufactorum, scanning for danger. There was no movement in the shadowy corridors but active datascreens suggested recent and ongoing activity. Unlike many of the other complexes, this one was fully operational.

Fire Warriors and Crisis Teams followed them in, scanning left and right with their pulse weaponry.

Still there was no sign of defensive forces.

But the Mechanicum forces were lying in wait. And though all reports had declared the stout Squats to be extinct, a sizable security force was assembled here and waiting.

As the intervening door came open the Squats opened fire, riddling the Crisis Suits with bolter fire as the diminutive abhumans took shelter in a storage chamber.

Then from behind the Tau incursion force a Mechanicus Aphid scuttled into position, letting fly with dozens of tiny warheads, striking down the Crisis Team before they could shoot back.

The Fire Warriors pressed on but more Squats lay in wait, firing then withdrawing, firing then withdrawing.

Now the fire Warriors were ready for them though and they let fly with volley after volley of concentrated pulse fire, driving the space dwarfs back.

Further Gun Drones glided into place as a Stealth team took up position before the next doors.With the initial resistance overcome, the Tau were able to funnel more and more troops into the narrow corridors now and their sensors told them there was a command centre behind the next door.

Making ready, they blew the locks and charged through, burst cannons spraying the interior.

Their sensors were right. Adeptus Mechanicus tech priests were manning the consoles, frantically working the controls, but the Stealth Team gunned them down before they could finish what they were doing.

The Squat commander hurtled forward from his command station to beat them back but there were too many of them. With reinforcements elsewhere in the complex he had to stand alone and even his great strength was insufficient.

He was hosed down by pulse rifle fire and fell to the ground dead.

Whatever the Mechanicus had been trying to do here had been foiled but more questions remained.

The answers lay deeper underground and there was only one way to reach them.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Why I'm Not Posting At The Moment

Hi there and apologies for the long period of not posting here. I can promise that I will return in time.

The reason I'm not posting is because I find it difficult to be into more than one game system at a time and at the moment I'm REALLY into Warmachine and Hordes.

If you've never played them it's worth going them a go. The miniatures are a little pricey but beautiful and you don't need as many and the rules are more complex and challenging. It's a more challenging and intellectual game in some ways.

Anyway, come and see what I'm up to on my Hordes Machine blog if you like. The link is on the right bar of this site.