Friday, May 30, 2008
I'm still anxious. I hate the waiting. Not knowing what or who I'm up against (I have some ideas).
Things are tight around here. No expenditures right now...gotta be cool for a while. Really anxious to get a few payments I'm waiting on. I really need the money.
I'm stalled out on working on terrain for the moment. 4 days straight of doing terrain for the FLGS will do that to you. I used a metric fuck-ton of paint as well. I got a LOT done, and it all looks good: the store now has decent looking terrain instead of a bunch of broken primed-black crap.
I'm working on IG figs now. Vostroyans are based and getting primed (finally). Mordians are getting a USMC paint-job. Steel Legion dudes need a bit of touch up, and the Armored Company needs decals. Sounds like my weekend is all scheduled out!
Today, since I'm at home being a bum is housekeeping day! Every Friday I clean house and get everything in tip-top condition for when my wife gets home. I hate leaving any sort of a mess that she would have to deal with. This way, everything is done for the weekend, and the weekend can be just a hive of fun activities and gaming debauchery!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
A long time ago (1989) I started playing within the society. I started fighting (heavy armored combat) and began a hobby that would last in to the 21st century. I enjoyed myself. I fought a lot of great guys, learned a lot, and made some long-lasting friendships. I've driven and camped all over the western United States and spent several thousands of dollars. I think I've gotten my money's worth out of it.
In time I won many tournaments, fought innumerable wars, and heaped much glory and fame upon my SCAdian name. I was a knight of the greatest kingdom in the entire Society from which the finest warriors have come from.
Sometime after 2000 something changed. Maybe I changed. Maybe the game changed.
After my stint in the army it is possible that I was a different person. Maybe my expectations and memories of the mid and late 90's colored my perceptions. Regardless, the SCA experience was vastly different.
The one thing I could never abide was and is still politics. I hate it. Passionately.
It's like after 2000 I was being sucked in to the political world. Decisions by a star-chamber to affect thousands, locked behind closed doors. Back room dealings. Backstabbing each other. The good-ol-boys club was in full effect.
I divorced myself from this as much as I could and focused on fighting and having fun: training fighters and honing my own skills.
In the end, the decisions my peers were making and drawing me in to I could not avoid, so I made the fateful decision to resign my peerage, turn in my belt and spurs and drop out of the society. I couldn't be a party to this.
This was 2005.
It's been a few years now. I do miss the fighting. The adrenaline. The finesse of the dance. My mind remembers these easily. I have to remind myself of the rest: aches, pain, broken fingers, massive bruises, massive expenditures, driving for hours for short events with people I largely don't like. Bullshit ego trips. Stress and ultimately arguments with my wife due to my testosterone being elevated.
It doesn't balance out anymore. The fun to bullshit ratio is weighted heavily on the bullshit side.
I have to remind myself of that.
I'm still reminded of that world. Friends remain there, and I hear from them occasionally. Friends die. Friends are elevated to peerages and royalty. Friends are fucking other friends. Friends are getting divorced. All of this pulls my interest back. I can't help but snoop the various websites, consider going back, winning crown and changing the world.
I'm not going to do it.
I fantasize about it on occasion, but I can't bring myself to actually go back.
It's just a game. Just like any other. My campaign is over, and my character retired.
I wish I could just forget about it all.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
I'm still anxiously awaiting word on the position at Big Rooster. This week they are getting the last of the applicants. I'm really putting all my eggs in this one basket. This may not be wise, but it's THE job I want. I don't know how to fully express this. My next follow up will be on Thursday (following up enough to impress upon them that I AM interested, without being a pest about it.
Re-Reading Dawn of War Ascension now. Unlike many I actually love the DoW series by C.S. Goto.
Got some good juicy info on the new SM codex. Things are looking positive. While many people revile Jervis Johnson, I like what he's doing for the hobby. I must be in the minority. I've spoken with JJ a couple times via email, and he's a nice fella.
I'm working on a couple gaming tables for the FLGS. The local players treat the terrain like shit. "It's not mine...so why should I care?" So I'm cleaning out all the terrain, salvaging what I can and trashing the rest. Granted, I can likely salvage all of it in one way or another. My "Saturday Minis Painting Gathering" will be taken up with working on terrain bitz while everyone else works on figs. Beckie can handle the rest of the folks while I deal with this.
It's a crying shame how people treat other people's property. Property that they graciously let people use for free.
My Blood Ravens army is getting a facelift: inked the whole mess of them with brown ink, and going to dull coat them today. Man, we did a really crappy job on them the first time around. This time they should come out more like this (which is still a WiP):
My latest ink:
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Gunfire ripped through the dimly lit, forest under-canopy. The heavy bolter ripped through the flora like jagged lightning. The roar of the weapon against the nearly silent forest was jarring.
“Contact! Three-O-Clock” Dorian called out over the squad net.
Ejected casings and matte links erupted from the ejection port bathing the forest floor in hot brass.
“Where Dammit!” Rama called out. “I can’t see anything but forest!”
“Same here, continuing to scan! Help me out here Dor!” Called out Mikel aloud, skipping the vox entirely.
“Hold your fire, Dorian!”
“Cover me!” Calius called out as he ran forward, anointed bolter in-hand, scanning from tree to tree looking for the enemy.
Moving forward of the squad, Calius checked every bush and knot-hole for any sign that an enemy was present. Aside from destroyed underbrush, no signs were present.
The rain started coming down in sheets. In the distance lightning could be seen through the cracks in between trees. The rumble could be heard several seconds later.
“What is this?” Calius said to himself as he eyed the massive evergreen. Scrapes, claw marks could be seen on the back-side of the tree trunk, opposite the scarring from the bolter fire. Calius stepped forward, and then looked up.
Only a faint whiz-crack of the sniper weapon could be heard, and the splash of ichor washed over Calius just before he was hit by a massive impact of a falling object.
In a blur of claws and corded muscle, the shape…the body dug deeply in to the ground and Sergeant Calius in an attempt to flee.
Stunned by the impact, Calius was grasping for his Bolter when the claw ripped down his back and pinned his hand to the forest floor. In a flash, the Lictor took a swipe with a long limbed claw, skimming off the shoulder plate, and catching Calius in the face, tearing in to his lower jaw, shattering it and very nearly ripping his mandible free. Calius staggered, pulling free his power sword, falling back against the tree.
Again, heavy bolter fire ripped through the dark, impacting all around Calius as he stayed in the shadow of the massive green-pine.
For a moment, Calius saw the eyes of the beast as it glanced back at him, just before it charged off in to the thick underbrush. Alien malice, hunger, death. Grabbing his bolter this time, he looked to fire at his enemy, but it was gone; vanished in to the under-canopy.
Dorian halted; hearing something out of place. Quickly he scanned to the rear, and dropped to a crouch.
“Blood” Dorian breathed aloud. “Tercius?” he voiced via voice bead.
“What’s up Dor?” Calius asked over the squad net; halting the team via hand signal.
“I’m not sure, but I do smell blood and Tercius hasn’t responded…I lost sight of him.”
“Full alert boys! Everyone take cover…Dor, I’m moving to you…stay put and scan for movement!” Calius replied.
Sergeant Calius slipped through the underbrush to the rear of the formation. Signaling for Dorian to stay put, he moved past him towards where Tercius should be.
“I smell it now…Tercius…respond!” Calius called in to his vox.
Following the trail of broken vines and other plant life… Calius saw the fallen scout. He froze in place, fully alert, looking for some tell-tale clue that would give away the assassin. Quickly checking his auspex, Calius finally moved forward.
Switching to the command net, “Raven Six this is Scout Six, I have one man down. Nothing on auspex and no visual on the enemy.”
“Confirmed Scout Six. Directing assets your direction. Locate the threat and eliminate it.”
“Confirmed Raven Six, Scout Six out!”
The corpse of Tercius was a bloody mess. Calius collected the weapon and ammunition and opened the pouches of the fallen scout. Finding the emergency beacon, he toggled it on and set it on the corpse. The smell of spilled blood was strong, but underneath it, subtly was another scent. Sickly sweet. Something…wrong.
The first raindrops began to fall.
“Storm is coming boys” Calius said quietly to the rest of the scouts via sub-vocal vox, halting in the dense underbrush of the lush green foliage in the southern
Mikel and Tercius hunkered down in the shade of a felled, rotted tree with their sniper rifles, scanning visually for any contacts. Dorian extended his bipod for the heavy bolter and crept into the creek bed. Rama vanished in to a crutch of berry-vines and Serin provided rear security, keeping an eye on the animal trail they followed from the clearing where the biked were cached and camouflaged.
Within moments anyone looking in this area would never know that a small squad of Blood Raven Space Marines was hiding in ambush.
Scanning his auspex, Calius checked for any signs of movement or life forms. Using his eyes he began the real scanning.
“Are we clear” Mikel asked impatiently.
“Son, an old tracker once taught me; if you want to find something…use your eyes.” Calius replied.
Tercius asked quietly “How do you get that there’s a storm coming? The report we got was that it was to remain hot and clear.”
“Come over here and I’ll show you.” Calius answered. Tercius always asked the right questions and was anxious to absorb knowledge. A fine asset to the Blood Ravens.
Moving silently, Tercius slid over to Calius’ position.
“Now look at this webbing” Calius gestured to the arachnid web in the brambles and underbrush. “See how she’s spinning the web and making it tighter, denser? She’s making the web stronger. Sometimes animals and insects have a fine sense about things, like in this case…weather. She knows bad weather is coming because she is finely attuned to the barometer. As a scout we pay attention to the little things.”
“Attention to detail” Tercius replied as a mantra.
“Yes…attention to detail”.
After moments in the hide, waiting for the wildlife to get accustomed to their presence, the scout squad was on the move again.
Silently picking their way through the verdant hills, Calius raised a gloved fist. The squad froze in-place. The enhanced senses of a squad of Space Marine Scouts filled the immediate area, scanning every tree, rock, and blade of bitter-root in the area. The gloved fist spread in to an open hand, finders spread wide; all squad members slipped in to the nearest cover and concealment, raising bolters and sniper rifles, scanning for a threat in the overgrown forest.
A veteran of over a hundred years of conflict as a Blood Raven did nothing if not hone the intuition of Brother-Sergeant Calius. His experiences have led him from the testing fields of the Blood Trials, to becoming a scout like this team he leads now, to being an assault trooper, to joining the prestigious First Company and training in the use of the Tactical Dreadnought Armor, but for all of this, Calius’ real niche is that of a scout. His field craft and stealth abilities are peerless in the Chapter and passing on that knowledge is a priority, especially in a Chapter such as the Blood Ravens, where Knowledge is Power.
“Do you smell something?” Calius asked.
“Smell what?” answered back.
“Kind of a sweet small, almost a sickly sweet” Calius replied “Pungent”
“I can’t really place it Sergeant” Rama whispered “Maybe, I sense something, but I just can’t place it. Wind direction is Northeast. But I feel it more than I smell it.”
“Hehehehe…Rama, one day you’ll make a fine Librarian. Let me know what you feel and when you feel it, maybe you can track this down.” Calius chuckled.
“Will do sir.” Rama added.
“Just ‘Calius’ is fine son.”
Hours passed, and the squad moved though the patrol area, making their way back towards the clearing and their transportation. Scout Rama took point and led the way. The forest was loud with the sounds of avians and other arboreal life forms.
Scout Tercius provided real-guard coverage. “There is so much wildlife and activity, it’s going to be hard to filter out the native fauna and try and find an actual threat out here.”
“What exactly are we looking for anyhow sergeant?” Mikel asked from the front, covering the point-man Rama.
“This is what we do prior to the Blood Trials…we scout the area and make sure it is secure from any threats.” Calius answered as he slipped under a felled tree, checking for any sign of corruption or xenos passage.
“Don’t worry Tercius, I’ll keep you safe.” Rama commented from the hollow of a rotted tree.
Mikel suppressed a chuckle as he crept forward. Turning back to cover the rear, he halted briefly, scanning for signs of movement. Finding none but the activity of nocturnal animals, he lowered his cameoline hooded cloak and slipped on his night-vision goggles. Scanning briefly, the sweat from the oppressive heat ran in his eyes, and down his neck. Turning back to the front he saw, for a fraction of a second the tree he was next to actually move, the branch coming directly at his head.
He didn’t have time to move, or duck the branch, he didn’t have time to speak or react. The bladed claw of the Lictor tore through his throat, severing his head from his body. Arterial blood fountained from the bloody stump as Mikel went suddenly limp, falling to the forest floor in a heap.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Started converting (really repainting) an old Dark Angels Land Raider last night/ yesterday. It was pretty nicely done, but of course...the wrong color. So I did a couple base-coats of Red Gore to cover up the green, and started drybrushing Blood Red to bring up the highlights. This is gonna take a bit: this is the biggest model I've worked on so far (painting) and it's slow. Probably because it's mostly just a coverup.
Looking forward to GamesDay 2008 in Chicago. Not doing the Grand Tournament...not really a tourney player. But I am bringing a couple armies for open gaming. Hopefully get in a game of Apocalypse. That and I'm hoping to see some of my distant/ online friends there.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Counted up and set up an armylist for the Pre-Heresy Ultramarines. 2760 Points so far.
Over halfway painted at this point. I think they are coming out nicely.
I'm also filling out my Blood Ravens Chapter. They were my first SM army, comprised at first with a box of hand me down bits with I cobbled together a 1500 point army list out of. Since then it's doubled in size (as well as paint quality).
I sold off all my Warhammer Fantasy Armies. Honestly, I never played. While the figs were cool and all...they gathered a lot of dust. The selling of these is what financed my Adeptus Astartes Buildup.
I'm building a battle board for the FLGS. Their terrain sucks and they need some help: so I'm making up terrain and a board for them.
Looking forward to 5th Edition 40k and loving Apocalypse so far.