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Blood Vow

Happiness is success... (Buddha)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Assassin - Part 25 - Blood Oath, Conclusion

The Phalanx appeared beside the Vengeful Spirit materializing via a perfect jump from warp space. Batteries upon batteries of nova cannons let loose point blank salvoes tearing into the exposed side of the Chaos war vessel. The crescendo tore through exposing crew to the sudden death from the deadly cold vacuum of dead space. Again the nova cannons unleashed another barrage ripping through the last of the void shields. Tilting to apogee the Phalanx speared into the next section of the Vengeful Spirit, boarding torpedoes tore into the outer breaches vaporizing hardened void armor as their claws sluiced through securing breaches for ready teams of Templars to enter the barge.

Warning klaxons sounded within the command deck. "We have been penetrated." said the skipper. Abbadon shot forth from his throne grasping at the second cask holding the immortal Drachyen. "Justarein assemble." commanded the Warlord as he gripped the hilt of his daemon sword. Explosions ripped through the chamber exposing the occupants. A sea of black armored Marines began to climb through the burning wreckage firing ranged weapons into the tight confines. Servitors died in throes as the Templars came forward.

"I smell your taint." came a cold voice. Crashing through a rended wall a winged giant appeared clasping a burning sword. "For Sigismund!" The blade came to life blazing so bright all were blinded, even the Archfiend could not see. The sword swept through like a scythe of death and everything that stood in its way was laid to eternal rest as it consumed their warped souls. Sanguinius cut through the Justearin within the blink of an eye then again the Templars' bolters sang Death all trained on Abbadon. Turning to fight Abbadon lifted the Talon to ward off the frontal attack. "Cease fire." commanded the Angel. "Are you ready to test your mettle versus a true warrior of the Emperor's blood?" Abbadon charged spraying the Primarch with the combi bolter component of the Talon. Sanguinius dodged each shot as he advanced straight ahead.

There came an involuntary cry of pain as the Black Sword speared through the Archfiend's chest puncturing both hearts with one swift strike. Outside the immense gravity well generated by the Phalanx began to consume the remains of the Vengeful Spirit. One huge black gauntlet cradled Abbadon's skull as the Angel gazed into his blind eyes. "Bring your precious weapons to bare now." taunted Sanguinius. The crushing power of the Primarch pulled the skull free exposing the pale neck. The tip of a deep ugly scar ruptured as his fangs plunged into the pulsing vein. The blood and life energy stored within the tainted vessel tasted so bitter. Sanguinius drank deep. Abaddon ceased to struggle as the Angel released him letting the shrunken body collapse upon the deck. The Archfiend looked up to see only Sanguinius standing over him, the daemon sword had clattered to the floor, then the tip of the Black Sword burst through his brain pan butchering the grey matter stored within the ruined skull.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Return of the Death Star * Interview with Colin McCade

Hi everyone Black Blow Fly here again to hopefully ruin your weekend... you see the army you love to hate is back in spades... I'm talking about you know - DEATH STAR !!!

Wow I feel all squishy inside just saying those two beautiful words ... hurrrrrr !

Last weekend the biggest event in the state of Texas took place, Wargamescon and a fella by the name of Colin McCade was able to resurrect the Death Star using the ever wonderful Imperium. So let's dive right into the interview.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Assassin - Part 23 - Abbadon Rising

The Archfiend sat upon the command throne within the dark confines of the Vengeful Spirit. His face was a tightly drawn mask hiding his thoughts from those that surrounded him. His eyes were hooded and the golden irises shone from within his deep and shadowed sockets. The Alpha Legionnaire stood before him silent and waiting. "Well." said the Archfiend. "What information do you have to tell?"

Sigulus looked up avoiding direct eye contact. "As you know the enemy is well guarded of late and information privy to their coming actions and plans are hard to come by now."

Abbadon scowled. "Is that all?" he said gripping his gauntlets tight.

"Of course not. I only say that as a precursor so that you can truly appreciate what I have to tell you."

"You try my patience Sigulus. Speak and be done with it."

"I have come to learn that there is talk within the inner circles of the Lords of Terra that the Emperor is no longer bound to the Golden Throne now. There is also rumor of the return of another Primarch... the Angel." said the Legionnaire chosing his words carefully, cold sweat had broke out across his steep brow. "And there is more, it is possible there is some friction between the Emperor and his two Primarchs, Guilliman and Sanguinius."

"Hmmm." replied the Archfiend rising up from the throne. Slowly he strode about the command chamber coming to a sudden stop beside the cask that held the Talon. Abbadon stared at the Ancient weapon. "Can you possibly incite them against each other?" he asked.

"What you suggest is a dangerous path. They are not easily manipulated nor is it a simple task." said Sigulus.

"Of course not, you are of Hydra, it's what you do best." Abbadon released the cask freeing the Talon. The weapon unshielded by the static kine barrier distorted the immediate real space. Sigulus felt it's great power seeping into the chamber. His stomach tightened, hot bitter bile filling his mouth. "You ask for miracles my Lord."

"I do indeed." said the Archfiend as he fit the weapon to his arm. The Talon articulated curling out as he flexed the claws individually one at time then drawing the long tips together. "If they fight with each other it makes our task that much simpler, doesn't it?"

Sigulus could not break sight from the Talon and it filled him with cold uneasy dread. "You ask too much."

"What do you need to make it so?" growled the Archfiend. He had grown a long black mustach and twirled one spidery end with his free gauntlet. "Tell me."

"A shape shifter, one that cannot be broken and whose thoughts cannot be read." Sigulus swallowed the bile.

"So be it then." Abbadon motioned towards a female who stood towards the back hidden by the deep shadows. "Come forward Cyrene." he said softly now. "We have a task for you."

Friday, August 18, 2017

Assassin - Part 22 - The Hunger and Thirst

Sanguinius strapped the iron scabbard and lifted the Black Sword testing the weight of the blade. The hilt was hard as admantium but felt lighter than a feather. Channeling his essence into the very core of the weapon the Black Sword blazed bright enough to blind a man and the razor sharp edges of the blade cut into the very real space causing warp ether to spill forth. The Primarch cut off the power to the sword and it grew black again. "To test this weapon versus Drach'nyen... my blood burns at the thought."

"My Lord I have a question for you." said the large Templar named Oathsbane.

"Yes?" said the Primarch.

"Following your death at the hands of the Emperor do you have any memory up until your Legion eventually was able to revive you?"

"I do... the oblivion was long, hard and cold as ice. I was forever trapped by black pain and remorse but the feeling of the great hunger and raging thirst burned within me forever."

"Was that all?" asked Oathsbane.

"No." said Sanguinius.

"What else then my Lord?"

"The constant desire for revenge, having died at the hand of the Emperor filled my soul with utter shame. I saved our Sire from certain death at the hands of the Archfiend Horus having succumbed to a deep fit of the Black Rage then he turned on me at my weakest moment." Sanguinius' eyes burned like red coals and he could still remember the brutal hate that had filled his mind.

"Once we believed him to be divine but his treachery has undone our faith." said Oathsbane. "We are still forever loyal to the Imperium though and we shall all fight by your side." The Templar drew his power mace and held it out. "Our Chapter is at number rivaling even that of the original Legions and we are ready as ever now."

Sanguinius held up the Black Sword. "My gratitude to your Chapter for this great gift is ever eternal. Abbadon will pay for the death of your great champion Sigismund at my hands. You can rest assured he will suffer a slow painful and utterly humiliating death." Sanguinius felt the hilt of the Black Sword twisting in his steely grip like a dark vyper, it's very essence spilling coldly into his core. "He will die as his weakling father did at my very own hands. Soulless. Honorless. Weeping. Ashamed."

Oathsbane smiled. "Those are the very words of Sigismund and I will be there to witness this final act."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Assassin - Part 21 - Excalibur

Sanguinius fitted the last of the tight clasps into his suit of black armor as they clicked into place. The plate was pitch black devoid of any marks other than a fractal pattern minutia of filigree deeply etched into the interlocking plates. His wings were furled tightly back hidden from sight within the combat chamber. "I need a weapon."

The Tech Marine bent over unlocking a hidden war chest. The hinges worked seamlessly as the top slowly slid open revealing a long black sword stored in an iron scabbard. A pair of golden Chymera formed the guard of the hilt.

"The blade is said to date back to original advent of mankind, forged on an isle known as Avalon. Caledfwich, the magical sword first wielded by Fergus mac Róich. The black steel was forged from heavy ores plundered from the deepest depths of the darkest ocean on Terra. Much later it was reforged again during the Age of Dark Techology and reunited with the original scabbard. Both are arcane and possess their own set of other worldly power. It said when Fergus first drew the blade its light shone brighter than one hundred thousand burning torches, blinding all his enemies. Keep the scabbard with you at all times for no injury will you suffer. The blade's astral light is holy and stored directly from the Sun."

Sanguinius bent on knee clasping the long hilt. He felt a steady pleasant thrum purring as he withdrew the sword. "Truly a weapon befitting a Primarch." He looked down upon the Ancient word etched into the blade 'Excalibur'.

"The Black Sword was last wielded by our finest champion and he slew untold number of Chaos Champions. Only one pure of heart can master this blade." said the Templar.

"Sigismund." the Primarch replied.

"Yes." said the Tech Marine. "They will both serve you well."

There drew he forth the brand Excalibur,
And o’er him, drawing it, the winter moon,
Brightening the skirts of a long cloud, ran forth
And sparkled keen with frost against the hilt:
For all the haft twinkled with diamond sparks,
Myriads of topaz-lights, and jacinth-work
Of subtlest jewellery.

Monday, August 14, 2017

S4 the Universal Power

Strength 4 (S4) is the new universal power now. It used to be S3 prior to the release of the 8th edition Roll To Wound table.

This a great boon to Space Marines due to their ubiquitous bolter. It used to the case for the lowly lasgun but no more. As you can see from the first chart S4 wounds T6 on a roll of 5+ while the lasgun needs a 6+... twice as good ! If you have been playing a lot of 8th edition games you will come to realize the two most common rolls to wound are 3+ and 5+... therefore the lasgun is mostly wounding on 5+ at best now.

It is no secret now the assault phase is dead as a door nail now so take heed all you loyalist SM players... victory is through our bolters now !

Friday, August 11, 2017

Assassin Part 20 - Blood Oath III, Re-Awakened

The Death Company was prepared for battle dark in the silence and brooding. Bruised and sullen the storm clouds had the light of day obscured. Looming low and ominous in twilight premature thunderheads rumbled in the distant overture then all at once they parted. Light streamed down in bright unbroken beams. Overhead a golden warrior emerged from the opening and floated down towards the ruined sepulcher. The Sanguinor held his ancient Blade Encarmine in one gauntlet and a relic spear in the other.

The eldar broke from the temporary trance lifting up their shuriken weapons to take aim. Heavy staccoed bolter fire from the Death Company dreadnaught erupted into the xenos instantly pulverizing them. Lifting his dreadnaught power fists the Ancient opened them like flower petals greeting the light revealing heavy flamers from within and unleashed burning gouts of promethium as he slowly turned in place thoroughly drenching the enemy. The smell of burning flesh quickly filled the morning air and the accompanying screams of agony drowned the steady drum of the hurricane bolters.

Landing in the center of the ruin the Sanguinor lowered his melee weapons and withdrew a pair of polished ivory canisters from his utility belt. His armored fists crushed them releasing a sudden cloud of burning black incense. He pulled more canisters loose and broke them as well throwing them into the masses of ever crowding eldar surrounding the sepulcher.

Image result for black incense

The Harlequin stode his weapons and then quickly darted away only to be met by the burning gaze of the Sanquinor from above. He drew back the spear and launched it with a sharp twist of the wrist. It flew like a missile catching the pariah dead center in the back skewering the troupe like a piece of fresh meat. Twisting about the Harlequin clutched at the shaft as he bled out but could not set himself free.

Still the many eldar surrounded the sepulcher teeming around it in vast countless number. The closest suddenly broke from their deep exhaustive battle fatigue clutching up at the marble stone block upon which stood Sanguinor towering with his dark host. They looked up with blank sunken eyes and dirty sullen faces. "Cease fire." commanded the Unending Host through his brazen vox grille and instantly all fell silent. "Finally all that was necessary is in place here. A great transmigration shall now pass. So mote it be!" Ash from the burning incense drifted down slowly peppering his armor like a soft gentle mist of refreshing rain. The Sanguinor pulled forth a huge golden chalice holding it over the gaping black maw of the sepulcher. Tipping it over ever so slightly a thin stream of bright red blood dripped from the sharp golden edge silhouetted by golden rays of burning sunlight. The silence held for a just a moment more then there came a horrid deep moan followed by a shrill lonely scream from the black depths of the ancient sepulcher, something large stirred below violently pained by its sudden reawakening. The pitch of the scream was ever so intense of the highest audible Octave. Dark blood began to quickly drip from the smudged nostrils of the watching xenos as broken rock and bits of stone trembled from an unseen force. That hidden below screamed again, a long wail that tore at the very realspace. Something gigantic stirred below in the black pit as the very warp began to bleed through into the surrounding continuum.

The Sanguinor and his companions continued to watch in silence, all of them anticipating the end with a vicious relish hidden by their masks from the braying crowds swelling below. There came the sound of deep raspy breathing and heavy panting from the pit then a pair of giant skeletal hands broke free from below clutching and grasping hard at the thin edge then the very top of a huge skull rose up, soft beautiful blue eyes sunken into the deep black sockets staring out in wonder. The giant wailed in pain as it struggled to pull itself free from its broken sarcophagus below. The air had grown hazy and it was hard to see everything now. It throbbed with a deep violent hunger consuming its only thought as it slowly climbed out dragging itself free from the black gaping maw. "Feed me!" it shrilled then wave after wave of a voracious feeding vacuum uncoiled from the animus buried within the ancient skeletal form. Too late the eldar realized the imminent danger and broke. "Feed me!" it cried again as the very closest xenos began to dissolve grasped by the many long wicked unfolding protoplasmic tendrils reaching out to grasp and consume them. A shock wave exploded from the epicenter capturing them all. One by one each but in the blink of an eye they were all wholly consumed, their souls extinguished as well.

A mirage of pale skin grew over the face of the skull as the giant licked at the ether energies folding in to his new form. Huge wings with the whitest of feathers unfolded from its now deeply muscled back tearing from festering wounds. Deeply buried memories exploded within its mind as it looked upon its fleshed hands, bare feet splaying in the black soil. Sanguinius smiled as he looked down upon his waiting children. "By my blood we are reborn And reunited onto this day!"

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Assassin Part 19 - Blood Oath II

Eldar troops swarmed over the open ground crowding around the ruins of the black sepulcher. They wore pitch black uniforms blending seemlessly into the background. A Seer Council moved through the masses chanting blessing to the masses. Overhead the dark skies loomed over them filled with clouds of burning ash. A pair of Wraithkinghts fashioned from pure white Wraithbone strode behind the Council towering above all others. Carcasses of Tyranid lower life forms littered the ground piled high. A glittering lone Harlequin carved runes into the exposed skull of a dead Tyrant with its kiss.

There came a super sonic boom from above drawing the immediate attention of all those still living. A trio of drop pods came crashing down hitting dead center atop the sepulcher. Immediately the doors exploded outwards on impact raining burning gouts livid shrapnel upon the eldar licking at them like gigantic tongues of fire. The closest were vaporized, their faint distorted shadows etched into the broken rock below. The Seer Council attempted to throw up a kineshield but reacted too slowly also consumed by the conflagration along with the others. The massive series of following explosions rocked the very ground with deep tremors causing even the Revenants to stumble for the briefest of moments then quickly righted themselves untouched by the sudden attack.

Charging out from its wrecked vessel the Ancient Venerable caught one of the Wraithknights with its unfolding armored fists savagely ripping it apart then threw aside the ruined halves. The Death Company dreadnaught reacted more slowly unlimbering its heavy Hurricane bolters stitching a salvo of shots into the remaining Revenant. Spinning away the alien construct lowered one of its cannon sighting along the upper bulk of the approaching metal behemoth. The shot went wide even at such close range kicking up great clouds of slagged rock. The newly approaching rank and file dived out of the way but still some were caught in the blast radius instantly slagged. Again the Death Company dreadnaught let loose another salvo now at point blank range stemming the ever advancing construct at bay by sheer weight of fire power. A few of the micro rockets struck true blowing chinks into the pearly white Wraithbone. The Ancient attacked from the rear catching the Revenant by surprise tearing through the back side with hated vengeance. Together the pair of Blood Angel dreadnaughts wrecked the Wraithknight crushing it into a pulp.

The Death Company then stepped out lead by their Chaplain. While there was still a sea of eldar their leaders had been felled by the sudden savage attack. Urizen lifted his Crozius commanding them forward.

Friday, August 04, 2017

40k Editorial: BAO +1

Hey everyone so just when you thought it was safe again here comes BBF to ruin your weekend... it's what I do.

This past weekend was a major GT took place here in California - the Bay Area Open (BAO). So first the good news and it's really great news. GW released a new FAQ within a few days following the American Team Championship which effectively crushed the much hated Ravenspam and this is totally unprecedented. To me it shows GW really cares now unlike before... it's a really big deal. Today I'm here to discuss the effect of house rules on the game we all love, yes of course I am talking about Warhammer 40k.

I have never been a fan of house rules and unfortunately they exist in many forms. The house rule I'm talking about is as follows:

According to the actual rules if your army has less drops then you automatically go first unless your opponent seizes the initiative. The house rule in effect now changes this such that you no longer go first - there is a roll off and all you get if you have less drops is +1 to the result of your roll. I should mention there is actually another house rule in effect as well that does not allow you to reroll seize the initiative using a command point. Let's take these both for what they are.

The change to +1 is a huge advantage for horde armies which to me creates unbalance how the game is intended to be played. There was no vote to institute these changes and it came about literally days follows the official release of eighth edition. It is a very hot topic on the internet and my research shows more are against it than for it. A vocal minority made their case online and it came to be just like that !!! Wow.

One thing that bothers me a lot about this house rule is the fact that GW made a big deal about how eighth edition was thoroughly play-tested by vet gamers outside of the company and these are some of the same people that instituted the house rule... that just doesn't seem kosher to me.

So now let's fast forward to the BAO final round and the game between the two top players... whoever wins is the champion. I was lucky enough to be able to interview one of these two players - Paul McKelvey from Left Coast Corsairs. I'll let him give you his first hand account of the final game.

Hi Paul would you please first tell me a little about yourself and your army?

I've been playing Tau since 2001, it's my favorite army and a big part of why I love the hobby. My BAO list is essentially the same thing I have been doing with Tau since the beginning. Using the strengths of the army to counter the meta and focus fire and destroy the key elements of the opponent.

Next tell me about your opponent's army in the final round.

My opponent Brandon's IG army in the final round of BAO was extremely powerful. We both knew going into this game that it was going to come down to who ended up going first. He had a much greater chance of surviving my initial barrage than I did his. The conscripts coupled with artillery made this a very tough game for me. It was the first game where I had an opponent place so many units in reserve - he had 9 units in total for his reserves.

What was the mission parameters and can you describe the terrain layout ?

We played the NOVA Scouring mission - 6 objectives with the new modified diamond dawn of war deployment. The board had very little area terrain but a lot of line of sight (LoS) blocking terrain. The latter was a big factor but more area terrain would have only really helped him and further hampered me. Either way with all of the artillery he had that ignored line of site it didn't make a difference on how much or how little terrain was on the board. I choose end of game objectives and so did he. For tertiary I chose Cull the Hoard, Line Breaker and Moment of Bloodshed. He choose First Strike, Marked for Death and Strike Rank and File. We both scored all three on the first round, well except Line Breaker for me, but I was there still in the game.

Now tell me about how important it was for each army to go first. If you want to discuss the ITC rule modifications for +1 and no reroll seize please feel free to do so.

Out of all of my games at BAO this was the only game that the ITC modification made a difference. I don't feel like it is a super huge change in most games but when you are staring down an army with 30 drops that can still go first it seems a little silly. Either way that the community and TOs choose to play it I will roll with it - I love the game and the community. For events I run however But for events I will continue to use the BRB in all aspects, missions included. I have never been a big fan of making changes to the game. It creates a false meta and changes the power levels when the intent is to stop that from happening.

So there you go right from the proverbial horse's mouth and I couldn't have said it any better. Here we already have not one but two house rules with at most only one codex officially released. Ask yourself is this what you really want and is it really good for the game plus what kind of precedent is it.