at Home and On Campaign

at Home and On Campaign

22 January 2017

Trying Donnybook for 40K...

I got into the Northstar pre-order of Rogue Stars.  I bought the hype so hard, that I ordered an ebook of the rules to read them right away.  Well, not my thing at all. Totally took the wind out of my sails. I expressed my disappointment to airbornegrove and he suggested I give "Donnybrook" a try.

Sooo... Donny'K?
Can I make that a thing?

The game reported below is assembled from an almost uncountable number of sources. The Universe is (sort of ) 40k. The scenario was rolled up from the Rogue Stars Rulebook.  The rules played were Donnybrook. (well, Donny'K). Let's not even get into the minis and scenery.

Spies for the Kingdom of Colores have discovered that a copy of plans for the construction of warp imploders are located in the “Remote Imperial Archive Station 881” on the planet Sca..(REDACTED BY DISNEY/LUCASFILM). The Kingdom of Colores would like to get the plans and deny them to the Imperium. The Imperium has spies of their own, and is aware of the Colores plot.

Additionally, a Trader in the secret employ of the Navigators Guild is at the Archive pursuing unrelated (but equally proscribed) research. All this attention directed at the Archive threatens to expose the Guild's research to the Inquisition.  The Guild explained to Colores that since this whole donnybrook was instigated by Colores spies, if their clandestine Merchant is arrested, Colores will be held responsible. 

Both forces arrive at the Archive at almost the same time.  The plans are located in the main building at the center of the map.  The objective is to get to the plans and transmit them to the HQ. A secondary objective is to recover/arrest the Navigators’ Guild Trader.


Space Marine Tac Squad 1,  D10, Armored, Vet Sgt
Space Marine Tac Squad 2, D10, Armored
Space Marine Tac Squad 3, D10, Armored
Wun Wun, D10, Tank, Armored, Heavy Weapons, Close Combat Weapons
Captain Marsupial, D12, Hero, Armored, Pwr Sword

Kingdom of Colores

Honschu Riders, D8, Cavalry, Vet Sgt (Cpt Paulus)
1st Squad, D8, Officer (Lt. Moybe)
Weapons Squad, D8, Heavy Weapons, Targeting Drone
Eight Ball, D10
Sgt Q’Taupa, D10, Sniper
Major Guiscard, D12, Hero, Pwr Sword


Cpt. Marsupial did not see any of the enemy forces yet. It was possible his unit had arrived first. Suddenly however, there was a loud booming as Imperial Combat Construct “Wun Wun” opened fire on the main building of the Imperial Archive Complex.

Cpt. Marsupial
“Wun Wun, what are you shooting at?” the Captian radioed to the giant robot.

Wun Wun
“The complex, Sir. You said it was full of ‘Rogue Traitors’”,

Wun Wun blasted the building again.

Cpt. Marsupial
“A Rogue Trader! dammit!  I said ONE,  just a single ROGUE, WUN!”

The construct fired again. The blast was so enormous, Cpt Marsupial was knocked off his feet and little Rogue Stars danced across his vision.

Cpt. Marsupial
“STOP doing that!”

Wun Wun
“Yes, Captain” and his guns went silent

Unfortunately the building was already ablaze… 

Meanwhile, hidden on the other side of the Archive...

Sgt. Mannesmann 
“Well Major, I guess the Imperials are here.” He said dryly.

Maj. Guiscard
“Destroying their own sh*t again…  typical.”
then keyed his comms.
"Everyone move out.  Weapons, cover the main bulding. On the way back, we will scoop up this Merchant / Spy requested by the Guild”
As the Colores Heavy Weapons Squad moves into line of sight, a chastened Wun Wun exchanges fire

while the Honschu riders spring forward to try and come to grips with the Tac Squad in front of them.

The view in the center is obscured for both sides by the burning Imperial Construct and Archive building, so Eight Ball moves cautiously toward the hiding place of the Merchant and the main objective.

Cpt. Marsupial radios back to HQ,
“The objective is burning and the whole area is overrun by fleeing Imperial staff.  We cannot assess enemy strength or intentions, because our targeting sensors cannot discriminate between our staff and the enemy. Can we get an overflight by a Stormraven?”

Imperial Comm Tech Jones
“A Stormraven is primarily a transport craft, Sir. Do you mean a Stormtalon?”

Cpt. Marsupial
“Yeah, Stormtalon, whatever  …. can it overfly our position and deliver some ordinance into the far treeline?

Comm Tech Jones
“Well Sir, delivering ordinance is done really well by a Stormsurge, but a stormsurge is a Tau weapon and it can’t fly.”

Cpt. Marsupial
“Storm friggin whatever!!! Hang on... let me check the database myself”

Cpt. Marsupial
 That’s it, I’ve had it! I’m done! We’re supposed to be the most elite fighting force in over forty one THOUSAND YEARS of human history, and we have the vocabulary of an eight year old!
Here's an idea...maybe, just maybe if I go over to the enemy, SOMEBODY over there will share a THESAURUS!"

Space Marine Private Smith
“Sir, you can’t say that. It’s heresy”

Cpt. Marsupial
“Shut UP!”

Marine Cpl Johnson
“You’re a heretic!”

Cpt. Marsupial

and Cpt. Marsupial is shot very..very...very dead.

Ok, so I HAVE to break the fourth wall here:
In the middle of the game we pulled the event card and rolled on the table.
The result is called “I gotta be me!”, and it states that a “prominent member” of the squad says: “I can no longer fight for a lie!” and declares his intention to join the enemy.  (you then roll on another chart to see what the unit does)
The result of that roll?  His unit immediately turned and summarily executed him!

LOL, How 40k is that????

I don’t care if that result ever happens again.  Seriously, that’s one of those hysterical moments in gaming that will stick in your memory forever. I am totally hooked.

I think all I need to write from here is a summary.  I mean really, is anyone going to be paying attention?  'cause I'm not.  I'm still replaying that madness in my head. 

... Colores got a unit to the burning building (Eight Ball) and they lost 3 out of 4 guys to the fire before the last guy made his rolls and transmitted the files to the rebel fleet above Scari(REDACTED BY DISNEY/LUCASFILM)

So About This Crazy Game...
Donnybrook is a card driven set of rules described by the authors as skirmish level for the pike and shot era.  It is a great rulebook by layout and execution. The author explains that the rules are derived from his homebrew set that he uses pretty universally. There is even a batrep online where the rules are used in a battle between Nazi’s and a combination of zombies and other monsters. (The Link is here: LINK)
So the ability to modify is there. 

The deck you build for a Donnybrook game includes a card that triggers random events. The first card drawn for the game report above was, of course, the event.  We rolled on the chart, “A random building catches fire.  Any figure in the building when their card is drawn, must roll 5+ on their ability die, or be wounded. The fire remains for the rest of the game.”

Guess which building ended up being on fire?
…and this was just the havoc caused by the FIRST event. Then the next time we drew an event,  complete insanity …

What a great time. If anyone is interested, I can do a follow up post that will run through the mods I used for sci-fi.

10 January 2017

KCS Mary Shelly: Manning the Rails

It is an old Naval tradition, that when arriving at a port, the crew of a warship stood in formation near the edge of the main deck.  Though now simply ritual, the original intent of “Manning the Rails” was to display to port officials that an arriving foreign vessel had no hostile intent. (If the crew was on deck, they couldn’t be loading the cannons and preparing the ship for battle.)

The current complement for the Shelly is:

3 Senior Officers – Captain, Chief of Flight Ops, Senior Intelligence Officer
2 Navigation Crew - Navigator, Attendant
1 Flight Controller
4 Fighter Wing Techs
7 Ship’s Security – Team Leader, 3 Team Members, Corpsman (2 on detached duty to the Tartarus Rim, not pictured)
15 Able Spacers


I have a few pilots and Flight Ops crew still waiting for paint. I tend to do them in breaks between 
projects.  The sources are:
Captain: Hasslefree “Not Adama”
Senior Intelligence Officer: Colony 87 “Archivist”, I think that’s the name
Chief of Flight Ops: GW
Flight Controller: Heroclix, Nova Corps Officer
Navigator: Colony 87, but I don’t know what she’s called
Navigator Attendant: some OOP GW mini I acquired a few while I was working there
Ship’s Security: The Assault Group, Cops
Fighter Wing Techs: Colony 87
Able Spacers: Heresy Inspectors, Zombiesmith Aliens, Reaper Bones Grey Aliens

I am looking for more sources for Able Spacers.  I like the Heresy Inspectors, but they are limited to 5 poses.  I need more variety, but with the same sort of low detail coverall. Also, I am looking to replace “Not Adama” as the Captain figure.  I would like a sculpt with a little more personality.  Maybe one of the new Astropolis figures from Lead Adventure, but they seem a little too far in the other direction.

Thanks for looking!

23 December 2016

Death and Carnage at the Bulow Tank Factory (a Heartwarming Christmas Story)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and on the edge of space in Sector Six
The soldiers of Eight Ball Command were up to their old tricks

Intelligence had found a factory where Space Nazi’s were building machines
And although they had a lot of security, Eight Ball crept in unseen

“Mark the radars and other air defenses!” ordered Major Guiscard, his voice full of wrath
“The ‘Shelly’s inbound, and her strike planes will need a clear path!”

Above, the Shelly’s navigator transitioned the giant ship from warp into perfect position
She hung in geosynchronous orbit, her pilots eager to launch for the mission

The Shelly’s Captain barked, “Go for the mission, for the Shelly’s main guns, we are too high!”
The fighters and bombers screamed away from the ship and down from the sky

“Merry F’ing Christmas!” yelled a pilot as his first missile was away
Smashing the Anti Air defenses marked by Eight Ball was the opening play

Next came the bombers, unleashing apocalyptic death, destruction, and disorder
Their bombs tattooed with insults, curses, and derisive comments about your mother

as quick as they came, victorious in this bout
it was back to the Shelly, and then the Shelly warped out

On the ground, the explosions went on, the factory completely burned
“Mission Success, installation destroyed” Major Guiscard confirmed

But then… there was a miraculous change, laughter after the furious fray
All of the toppled soldiers were stood up, all polyester smoke and fire was lifted away

Mirth and good cheer was all you could hear, as the soldiers were placed back to the beginning
“It was your dice” “It was your face” the players bantered about the real reason for winning

The players went home, dreaming of victory or plotting revenge right through
Hurry back dear players, your toy soldiers stand ready
 …and they may start without you

from the Governor General and Family
(pic from Royal Archives, "Princess Sophie's 4th Annual Holiday Ball")

21 December 2016

"Wellllll..... Johnny Ace...

Spun the Chamber of His Cowboy Gun!"
- Opening line of "Johnny Ace" by Dash Rip Rock from the "Ace of Spades" album

Johnny Ace is a notorious data thief for hire in Sector Six. He's pretty handy with a gun as well. Rumor has it that there are new Imperial Officials arriving in the Sector.  Might be some opportunities there...


Just a short post today. The model is the "not FIN" from Hasslefree with a headswap with the "not Nick Fury" from Crossover.  I was originally thinking of him as just a gun for hire or a bodyguard, but the satchel on his right hip suggests a lot of gear.

Welcome to our new reader in Sector Six:

07 December 2016

Special Diplomatic Investigators

For such a completely worthless backwater, Sector Six is causing the Empire major problems. It strains credulity, but it seems that an official Imperial Survey briefly mentions this place actually exists (very briefly, in passing, and as an aside in the 114th section of the appendix to the “4,031st Analysis of the Enduring Long Term Price Stability of Low Quality Common Metal Reserves, Non-Strategic”). 

It gets worse: the mention was NOT edited out in the final draft before being forwarded all the way to Imperial Prime.

That sort of outrageous disruption of bureaucratic process is guaranteed to trigger an explosion of exception forms and new reports and the commission of a committee to investigate the need for an investigation.

Meet the Special Diplomatic Investigators

The Naval Liaison Officer is from Games Workshop, and the Contessa is one of the fantastic Colony 87 sculpts

Thanks for Looking

30 November 2016

The "KCS Mary Shelly", Backstory and Build

Office of the Governor General
Travis Point, New Cypress
Kingdom of Colores

Chief of Intelligence, Admiral Jones
(High Level Briefing)
“Approximately 1,400 years ago, the Imperial Cruiser, ‘Interrus’ (hull number 447A32CC) was placed into fleet reserve and assigned a holding orbit above Ocrade. It was then prepped for cold storage and vented to space.  The Interrus remained undisturbed for the next 374 years.   

“Fortuitously for us, things then took a turn for the ship, when a departing merchant vessel suffered a massive warp force level catastrophe.  Official Imperial reports assumed that the Interrus was consumed by the explosion, but there were rumors that she had survived and was adrift in warpspace. After an exhaustive investigation, our agents uncovered several catalogued sightings of the ship and gave the data to our navigators.

“We found the Interrus in deep space. She was in good shape, so she was recovered and secretly towed to an orbit above the Bakkun moon where we began to restore her to active service under the codename ‘Project: Iowa’

“Despite a last minute attempt by Imperial and Reich’s agents to derail the project, we have succeeded in bringing her to an operational state.

Flight Operations Compartment

Ship’s Bridge and Admiral's CIC Suite

Engineering and Main Reactor

Navigator’s Suite

6 x Portescu 3rd Generation Main Guns

1 x Teledyne, Rapid Fire 14Gw Blaster Array and
4 x Teledyne, Rapid Fire 7Gw Blaster Arrays

4 x Straalivant 737pkt Shield Projectors

“Unlike some other Imperial designs where the further back in time you look the more advanced and capable they get, our girl is truly an odd duck. Her main battery layout is awkward with asymmetrical fire arcs and to get her serviceable she’s a complete mishmash of technologies. A Frankenship if you will.

“She will be christened, the KCS Mary Shelly


The Build
So my friend Mike, owner of Goldmine Games, (and longtime Ork player… nobody’s perfect) was lamenting the fact that years and years ago, he was dumb enough to sign up for a tournament at a major convention and missed out playing in a huge Ork battle with lots of yelling an laughing. He has always regretted it.

I asked him to describe the event, and he said the only thing he knew for sure was that there was an aircraft carrier involved.

As you can see…

From the very beginning, I knew I couldn’t build a true to scale massive space battleship/carrier in 28mm.
Welllll…. honestly and more accurately, I reluctantly accepted that I wouldn’t be able to build a true to scale massive space battleship/carrier in 28mm. So the aesthetic was going to have to be a playset version of a space battleship/carrier like the old G.I. Joe USS Flagg.

I drew a bunch of sketches, and ended up with two competing ideas of design concept:
1.       Traditional Aircraft Carrier
2.       40k Imperial Cruiser / Pre-Dreadnought (I’ll use IC/PD as an abbreviation from here on)

After going back to Mike for direction, he offered up an inspiring “I don’t know”, lol…

I briefly considered a carrier lower deck with a superstructure frame suspending the IC/PD on top

This plan was just too ambitious, but it did lead me to the next idea. Flip the concept, put the carrier deck on top, and the below decks would be the guns for the IC/PD.

Next, I did some research on carriers. Did you know that there have been two carriers built with the Island superstructure on the port side?  It was an experiment by the Imperial Japanese Navy:

Kind of cool in concept, but in practice it created new problems.  There were no crashes, but there were several incidents where pilots attempted to land the “wrong way” expecting the Island to be on the opposite side. Additionally, ALL operations, like replenishment and refueling had to be executed on the mirror image as well, and after a lifetime of training one way, crewmen could never seem to operate as efficiently “wrong handed”.

In the end, only the Hiryu and Akagi were configured like this.  Both were lost in action, and no new carriers with a port side island have ever been built.

That’s your trivia lesson for the day.

Back on track:
One of the peculiar (and defining) characteristics of some Pre-Dreadnoughts was offset main gun casemates as shown below on this deckplan of the USS Maine. By placing the main guns on the lower deck, I could incorporate the asymmetrical look of those older ships.

…and, since modern Carriers have an angled recovery deck (for safety and operational speed), I married that to the placement of the main guns.

Scale wise, I had to thread the needle between playset and the look of actual planes on the model.  Planes had to fit on the elevator, below deck, and plausibly navigate around all the deck obstructions. Every step of the way, I kept planes close at hand to sanity check all of the components.
When it came time to do details, I wanted a disparate look on parts of the equipment.  The background of the “Shelly”, is that she is not a new hull.  She is a salvage operation on a 5000 year old ship with new owners who have a different culture, different priorities, and wildly varying (and borrowed) technology.

Lastly, I wish I could say that the elevator actually works, but the best I could do is build it so it can be placed in 3 different positions.

The Shelly is 6' x 2.5'

I religiously followed the “Rule of Cool” no matter where it went.
I know it’s a carrier deck in a vacuum and zero gravity. I don’t care, it looks cool.
I know no one has designed that deckplan since the 1880’s. I don’t care, it looks cool.
I know the ceilings are too high. I don’t care, it looks cool.
You are correct, it has no walls. How else are you supposed to play on it? It’s cool, it stays.

I hope you like it. It was a blast to build, and it makes me think of re-orienting the blog a little to a “Star Trek like” series of following this ship around for awhile.  I’m not sure I’ll do that yet, but it has an undeniable appeal.

Let me know if I can answer any questions or elaborate on a topic.

Thanks for looking!

A big Welcome to the newest reader to Sector Six,
AsaltoRabioso Lleida

13 November 2016

Project Iowa, Ep. 4: The Inquisition Strikes Back

Kingdom of Colores "Project: Iowa", Orbiting the Bakkun Moon

After a covert technology deal between the Kingdom of Colores and the Rex-Avis Clan, the Imperial Inquisition has begun operations to recover the prohibited tech and punitive action against the two principal factions.(See "Project Iowa", Episodes 1 through 3 for more info)

Aware that their deal is no longer a secret, the Rex-Avis Clan is saying their farewells to their Colores counterparts so that they can return home to protect their own. "Colorado" Rex-Avis, Sir Ursaline Drakemore, and Kitty Luong are scheduled to the first shuttle back to their ship, the TMS Enhance.

 Saying good-bye to Ambassador Sophie Andres on deck
Max and Cookie are below in the crew quarters, 
settling up their poker winnings from some 
of the guys in the Colores Security Squad
Jasper Dysdeimos has agreed to stay behind and he is
allready hard at work in the engine room
(wait... What does an Orbital Station need with an engine room?)
At mid-deck Professor Applebeck (of the Colores Royal Astrophyics Institute) and his Jokero assistant are preparing the last Warp Imploder and other equipment for installation on the warp engines. (..warp engines What kind of station is this?)
at that very moment Inquisitor Guimar's Strike Team is approaching in a Null Sphere.

They have been prepped to forcibly board the Colores Research Station. They believe it contains equipment to construct bombs that tap the Warp for their explosive power, potentially generating enough force to destroy whole planets. The Inquisitor and his Team intend to destroy the facilities and abscond with any bombs already constructed.

The moment of impact...

Inquisitor Guimar spins around, trying to get his bearings.
First, he sees the Warp Imploder almost right at his feet, 
then he sees the Professor staring, shocked, right back at him
and down the deck, unbelievably, stand the the architects of the conspiracy

...and then it hits Guimar and his Team, this isn't a Space Station... IT'S A SHIP

The frozen shock is broken by the blasting Assault Rifle of Blake Walker firing through the glass of the Traffic Control Cabin.

"Go Go Go!" the Inquisitor screams, and everyone starts firing at once.

One of the Space Marines lays a full volley into Colorado and her shield flares from the impacts.

The second Marine smashes the port on top of the Traffic Control room, reaches in and throws Blake to the deck. He lands with a crushing thud, taking him out of the fight
Kitty moves with blinding speed through the firefight 

The Inquisitor orders his battle psyker to target Colorado

..but the Colores Navigator zeroes in on her

...and teleports Kitty right in her face

The fighting is intense, and the Rex-Avis Clan are pushing the invaders back, but the Ship's Security Team is taking heavy casualties.

As the Inquisitorial Stormraven arrives to evacuate the Strike Team, Kitty takes on the Inquisitor himself

Unfortunately, it is not enough.
The Inquisitor and the survivors of his team escape with Professor Applebeck, the Jokero and a Warp Imploder.

The Inquisitor's ship was tracked entering Warp Space along Red Route 1, which would take it directly back to the Rex-Avis homeworld. Colorado and her cohorts are now in a race to make it back in time to stop Inquisitor Guimar from exacting his revenge. They are accompanied by Ambassador Sophie and a small team who will lend a hand and try to rescue the Professor. 


I would like to thank The Composer for agreeing to share his models and his background to bring this campaign to life.  The action now shifts to the Tartarus Rim and his blog, (Link: HERE) for the exciting conclusion of the Cross Blog Extravaganza!

From my end, it has been a blast, and working with the Composer as co-conspiriator has been very rewarding.

I would also like to thank Cheetor's Blog (Link: HERE) for the special effects inspiration.

Yes, that is a gigantic 6 foot model space battleship/carrier on the table.  ...and, yes, it has interior lighting.  The Space Battleship has been my secret project behind the storyline and hopefully I pulled off somewhat of a surprise.  Soon, I will provide a full tutorial (probably after the end of the campaign over on the Tartarus Rim) of how I built it, and lots of beauty shots. It will also be the star of a couple of local events, and I'm sure will feature in more than few blog posts going forward.

Thanks for reading!