Friday, December 4, 2009

Friday Game Stuff

So I am hoping to get in some gaming this evening. I have made some minor tweaks to my 2500 pt Blood Angels/Witch Hunters list. I took out the storm troopers and their flamer chimera, and changed the assault squad riding with Corbulo into an Honor Guard with two meltaguns and an apothecary. I also had spare points to make the dominion's immolator a multi-melta variety, to help with tank busting, and I gave the battle sister squad some meltas also. So, I lose five bodies, one tank, two scoring troops choices, but, I convert one troop choice into a more lethal HQ choice(and Corbulo's boys usually get smoked anyway), and I strengthen my core ten-strong troop units with meltaguns and meltabombs. I lost all the flamer goodness that I had added, but the added anti-tank capability I think is more important. If I can get the enemy out of their tanks, I have enough bolters and close combat attacks to devour most opponents; I have gotten the timing of this down a lot better. I will hopefully have some pictures tomorrow after I play this evening. I am anxious to show off the honor guard I made for Corbulo; they are white with red plates, like a whole squad of apothecaries. I think that is fitting for Corbulo.

Also, I have been wanting for a long time to get a group of people together to play "Vampire: the Masquerade". I know how to run an effective enough game using the older rules (the rulebook that was green with the rose on the front, even though I don't have it, the rules are pretty simple once you memorize them like I have), it is just a matter of getting the players. I nearly had a group together, but it fell through. I will be feeling people out in the weeks to come. It seems like a nice holiday distraction. The first thing to do: buy ten-sided dice.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

"From ancient grudge, break to new mutiny..."

Is there anyone out there who even reads this thing? Oh well. So lately I find myself thinking mainly in Romeo and Juliet quotes, specifically:

"What, are thou not drawn amongst these heartless hinds?"

"He who hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail."

"For now these days is the mad blood stirring..."

"The love I bear thee can afford no better name than this: thou art a villain."

"...be satisfied."

"They have made wormsmeat out of me."

"Oh, I am fortune's fool!"

and if it could only be this easy:

"Thus with a kiss I die."

Also, I find myself strangely haunted by this single line from MacBeth:

"...all my pretty chickens."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Intense Indeed!

So, the picture below, of me in Iraq, was called "intense".
Interestingly, this actually was one of my most intense days during my time deployed. Apparently, during the invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi national guard(ING) was never activated. After the invasion, allied forces kept the units intact as part of the new "legitimate" Iraqi army. But, after a few years (when I was there in 2005), the ING was proving to be very unreliable, full of insurgents, or full or people who felt their families were threatened, because the just like our national guard the members of each ING unit were all from the same region, likely the same town. So, it was decided to disband the ING and fold all the willing members into the Iraqi army proper.
Out in nowheresville, Iraq (Ar Rutba, Anbar Province, in far western Iraq), our battalion had complete martial law over the land. Therefore, we set up to collect all of the old, willing ING members, and get them processed and shipped to Iraqi Army boot camp. They were to hand over all of their old uniforms and any weapons they possessed; that's where that Iraqi rifle came from. We in motor transport go to sort of just sit around and provide overwatch for the infantry Marines who were doing the main processing of Iraqis. Of course, their uniforms and weapons were all getting tossed in our trucks, and we were armed and the trucks had machine guns in the turrets just in case the any of the ING tried to attack us. So, this was an all day affair, and later into the afternoon, I had actually moved from the truck shown above with all the collected gear in it, to a covered, shady truck. Several hundred former ING had shown up, and after many hours maybe the first 75-100 were processed.
Then, out of nowhere, mortars started to hit. Now, mortars hit our bases all the time, but always wildly inaccurately and to little effect. But these mortars were hitting close, right on the large dirt berm isolating our forward base from the city, wherein we were processing the INGs. I stared, fixed with a new kind of terror (this having been the worst shit I had been into up until that point), and the mortars threw up a lot of dust, and I felt the concussion of each one as it hit, and all the Marines were rushing to get under trucks or at least just on the ground, and the ING guys were just fleeing back into the city screaming. And then some more mortars hit and they WALKED IN CLOSER to our little cluster of vehicles, and then wisely I suddenly realized that I, too, should get down somehow. So I got down on the bed of the truck; since the truck had armored sides a mortar would have to hit it directly. Another mortar or two did hit, but then there was yelling, and the Battalion Gunner (my fellow Marines will know who this type of badass character is that floats around in every unit) had actually run UP ONTO THE BERM (albeit down twenty yards or so from where the mortars first started to hit), and was shouting back that he could see the mortars fire in the distance and to get the helicopters on the radio.
Luckily, this little ING intake mission had 2 cobra attack helicopters on station. I remember them flying over us; I am not sure if they took out the enemy positions or not, although I did hear someone shout "Holy shit, did you see those fucking cobras hit them!". All I know is that the mortars stopped firing, and then a platoon of LAVs (Light Armored Vehicles, the whole point of my unit 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion) went driving out to the mortar sites as we all crawled out from our hiding places.
Okay, and that is about all I can write right now. Thanks for reading, anyone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shooting Range

So there have been a few critical little incidents recently of people inadvertently making me really fucking furious regarding the wars, my being a veteran, my service-connected disabilities, and the military and Marine Corps in general. The result:











Now, we all know that the gun they let you rent and fire has fucked sights, right? Still, notice my shot group there, from the first box of 5.56mm. Pretty good for standing, although I think it was only 36 yards. A shot group like that just needs to be adjusted onto the target. Of course, I didn't get too technical, I just fired a lot of rounds. Blasting Away!

So, overall, I fired:

*Some kind of off-brand M-16 with silly optics (shown above)

*Baretta M-9 knock-off

*Heckler & Koch UMP .45 with full auto (how is this possible? Shown below)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tournament of Champions

Okay so for the local 40k Tournament of Champions, I had 450 more points. I had no illusions about winning the tournament, so I wanted to try for a fun and effective 450 points worth of new units. So, naturally I selected Witch Hunter allies. It fits my army back-story and let me take exciting *NEW* units and especially, it allowed me to take Sisters of Battle. GIRLS in the army now; we'll have to take special care of them! So here is what I added:

*Sisters squad x10 w/ Superior, combi-flamer, book, flamers x2, in a rhino

*Inquisitorial Storm Stroopers x5 in a x2 heavy flamer Chimera

*Dominion squad (I painted these sisters' helmets yellow like a Blood Angels assault marine) x5 w/ Superior, in a T/L Heavy Flamer Immolator.

Anyway, the best discussion about my endeavors in that tournament is chronicled much better over at Yes The Truth Hurts, so I'll just direct any interested parties there. The short version is: I won two games, but in overall points, I was second-to-last. Hey-O! At least that's not last.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween

"This is Bowie to Bowie; can you here me, man? How far out there are you, man? Do you have one freaky sequin spacesuit or many ch-ch-changes?"

So yeah...that is me as David Bowie from Labyrinth, and Better Living as David Bowie from the Ziggy Stardust tour. Oh, the fun fun times!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Delta Epsilon Chi

Okay...so no post yesterday, because frankly, the post describing my battles with Dustin is going to have some fluff in there and a lot of pictures and it is taking a long time.

So...here's the lowdown on the "business club" to which I belong and am going to a conference for all this weekend:

Delta Epsilon Chi (DEX) is the collegiate division of DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America - essentially little clubs all over for high school students interested in business). The organization centers on attend various conferences. The one I am going to today and for this weekend is the "Fall Leadership Conference". I am State Officer, so I won't participate in the activities, but the other students coming from schools all over Utah will be doing two case studies based on real-world business problems that have happened to local companies. Sweet! These events are a lot of fun, especially because students get put into random teams with people they don't know. Hopefully they all get along and learn from each other and maybe even make new friends. They present their case study solutions to judges, who are working business professionals (and I got three of my friends to come down and judge; see you on Saturday!), and get instant feedback.

There are larger national conferences as well, but we'll talk about those later. Don't have much time for a longer post. Keep on rocking in the free world.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Updates are coming (finally)...

Okay everyone,

Sorry about my total lack of posts over the last two months (maybe there are a few out there who noticed). Transferring to a new college has been much more involved than I had thought, but things are starting to even out.

So I am going to honestly try to cover these topics throughout the week:

Wednesday: The results of my games with Dustin...remember when he came to visit? Those were the days...

Thursday: A bunch of background about the business club, Delta Epsilon Chi, that I am finally having success getting off the ground at my new school.

Friday: The final run-down on what I am adding to my army for the final 40k tournament. (Witch-hunter allies, baby!)

Saturday: A quick post about the wacky goings-on at the Fall Leadership Conference, the first DEX event of the school year.

...and after that, I think I will have my blogging feet back under me. Stay tuned for more...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ahhh!

So...school has been keeping me very busy! Hence, no posts in a long time. I will get settled in though, and get some good new posts up soon. I have the other battles from my campaign with Dustin and the tournament to describe, interesting things I am learning at school to rant about, and more.

So....check back soon.

- Valentine out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Woot!

While I was not the champion of the 40k tournament this weekend, I did get one victory and one draw out of my three games, with bonus points along the way. This was enough to qualify me for an invite to the final "tournament of champions", where I will no doubt be slaughtered without mercy. But still, I am mighty happy with my modest victories here and there, and I am figuring the game out.

Now, I just need to figure out what extra stuff to add to my army for the final tourney.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. I start next week at Westminster College. Woot! I will be a junior accounting major.

2. Tomorrow is the Mind Games Yearly Classic 3 Warhammer 40k tournament. I have got to get busy this evening finishing my last tank and 3 Marines. Luckily, I have them all well along...otherwise I would be looking at about 10 hours of total modeling work...too much to do tonight!

3. We just finished watching the last of Season 3 of The Mighty Boosh. Seriously, it may be the funniest show ever. Totally random and off the wall. Don't worry, though, I'm a shaman: my mind is like a fortress.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

So many activities...

So today is Dustin's final day. *cries*

We got nowhere near completing the 40k campaign that I had set up for us, but that is okay. We did managed to get Dustin's entire army actually assembled. We built all six of those Eldar tanks in one marathon building session:
We also did some other exciting things, like canoe the Jordan River:



Like lords of the river we were! And of course, there was a lot of time in the car...driving about the place. So much driving. Like an endless highway:

But still, it was a grand time. Thank you Dustin for visiting me. It was a total blast!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dustin's Fun Visit Update

Well, our night out in uniform went very well. We had a good time while managing to avoid any fights or even awkward conversations with strangers. Here we are, looking good:
We still have yet to play our second game of 40k. I think Dustin got demoralized when I slew his Eldar to a man (or space-elf, in this case) in our first game. Also, it is just so much easier to get sucked in to playing Halo all day (where Dustin still reigns supreme...although I did smack him down in a game of Chess yesterday). We had some friends over and managed to get in some four player games. Fun times.

We have the rest of this week to go before his leave is up. Who knows where our adventures will take us? Hopefully to the gaming tables.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Today's info is actually all closely related.

2. Dustin has been soundly destroying my dad and I in Halo and in Call of Duty. Better leave the xbox alone and play the next game in our 40k campaign. Dustin also crushed me repeatedly at Magic: The Gathering. Skills: Dustin has them

3. Tonight is the in-uniform bar-crawl. Yes, I got a haircut. A mighty haircut. Should have some pictures soon

4. This weekend at the People's Market we are hosting a "book day" for local authors. It is going to be sweet. I even have a few minutes to read some bits and pieces that I have written (just some school papers and such).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Siege of Deseret: Game 1

Last night Dustin and I played the first game in our campaign, the one with the wacky "neutral" units and hidden daemonettes. We were both trying to take a single objective, and each had 750 pt. armies It was everything we hoped it would be, and more. Here is what I took:

*Captain w/ power weapon, plasma pistol, jump pack
*Chaplain w/ power weapon + plasma pistol, jump pack
*Death Company x2 w/ jump packs
*Tactical Squad x5 w/ meltagun, in a heavy bolter razorback
*Assault Squad x5, in a rhino with upgrades
*Baal Predator

Dustin took:

*Farseer with Doom, Fortune, spirit stones, and assorted Eldar goodies
*Fire Dragons x9
*Fire Dragons x8
*Dire Avengers x10 w/ Exarch, power weapon, and shimmer shield
*Dire Avengers x10 w/ Exarch, power weapon, and shimmer shield

Per the special rules, I had the first turn but skipped it with everything in reserve (and everything arriving on turn 2, sort of like dawn of war deployment). Dustin started with one squad of dire avengers on the board, with the rest moving on from his table edge on turn one. This is what his deployment looked like:

And here are the rest of his fire dragons and the neutral orks:
My tanks stormed onto the board on turn 2, coming in from the side edge on area that counted as a "road". Captain Valentine and the other jump-packers were able to assault that turn, immediately throwing Dustin's plans out the window.

The game from then on was a slaughter of Dustin's infantry by the Captain and Chaplain, although Dustin rolled to take control of the Orks for a turn, and their Deffkopters killed both Death Company guys.
A lucky tank-shock with the command rhino sent the second squad of dire avengers running off the board. The fire dragons moved up and promptly melted down the command tank, and then charged the assault squad that came spilling out. Better to assault Marines than be assaulted by them. There was a lot of wackiness with the random neutral units. The Tau all retreated, although the Orks and daemonettes (once revealed) laid waste to the Kroot. The Demons tried to come after my razorback that was parked near the single objective in the game, but were righteously gunned down. Below you can see Dustin removing the slain daemons:
It then came down to the final close-combat brawl:
Good times...with plenty more to follow

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Today is the day

Dustin arrives this morning shortly after 10 am.

We probably won't get to our first Warhammer game until this evening, as I think Dustin still needs to spray his Eldar tanks. Where better to do that than pool-side, relaxing with old friends?

The day has arrived...long live the king!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday Late Edition

So here is a shabby picture of the converted Daemonettes in-progress:
When I get a little closer to a finished paint job I will try to do some better pictures. For now, I just wanted to drop in a little progress report, since I said that I would yesterday but then was just too busy. Busy busy busy.

On an unrelated note, we are going to see the new Harry Potter today. Wizardry and Witchcraft, oh my!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Demon Conversions for the Campaign with Dustin

If I have my 40k fluff right, then Slaanesh the chaos god was born at the moment known as "The Fall of the Eldar". It seems to me that it is fitting, then, to take some old Dark Eldar models (From the 3rd Ed. Box set?) and convert them into Daemonettes. Here are my six (six is the sacred number of Slaanesh) models assembled and ready for paint:



I will post some painted pictures tomorrow. I think the paint job will make them look more like daemonettes, and less like poorly-hacked-into Dark Eldar.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

I have been so busy! I am trying to get all of my Warhammer stuff in order for the campaign when Dustin arrives, so that means not only working on my last few Marines (I am so tired of red, seriously), but also Tau and Kroot, Orks, and probably a few Demons which I will head out and buy today.

I have also been trying to throw together enough decent-looking terrain for our games so we can play at home. Of course we will play a lot at the store, because of their large tables, great terrain, friendly atmosphere, and other players just hanging out.

Also, with Dustin's last-minute switch from Imperial Guard to Eldar, and the fact that he is not bringing his Tyranids, I am re-working the campaign from top to bottom. We will still play with plenty of wacky special rules, no doubt made up on-the-fly by us for comedy's sake.

All this to do...entirely too much fun, don't you think?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Dustin has chosen to go with Eldar as his new army, contrary to his earlier plans of Imperial Guard. He wanted the "Death Corps of Krieg" special Forge World Guard, and they were having shipping issues. He ordered his Eldar force today; something on the order of:

2 Farseer and 10 Warlock Seer Council mounted in a Wave Serpent grav tank
2 Dire Avenger squads(x12) mounted in Wave Serpents
3 Fire Dragon (x6) squads mounted in Falcon grav tanks

I am very excited to play, and I think that is a fairly solid "mechdar" (as mechanized Eldar are sometimes called) list. The weakness, which Dustin knows, is that there are only two scoring units.

2. We took the first ripe Tomato off the vine tonight. Soon we will eat it as part of a fancied-up grilled cheese sandwich.

3. Tomorrow is my 2nd Anniversary dating Better Living. I love you, honey! <3

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Brief Battle Report

Last Thursday I played a fun game against one of the store clerks, Matt (I think...maybe Mike?). He was playing Chaos Demons, a very close-combat oriented army. An interesting match-up, since my army is pretty close-combat oriented also. He won the roll for going first, but elected to let me do it (since this actually denies me a turn of shooting because demons all deep-strike). So here is what my deployment looked like:




















Essentially, a big "turtle" formation surrounding my dreadnoughts and death company with tanks. This was my first big mistake. Having played most recently against Tau and Eldar, with all of their fancy guns, I deployed in a way to try to protect my most potent assault units from shooting. However, demons don't do a lot of shooting and have problems penetrating armor anyway. So rather than protecting my good units, I have boxed them in.

Here is a picture of the demons after they materialized on the battlefield:





















Luckily, they couldn't do anything on the turn they arrived, except take a a few ineffective shots at me. In my second turn, I did manage to gun down the Lord of Change, that big blue-winged guy. Hooray! However, I also immobilized my command rhino trying to drive it through the woods. In the next turn, the demons were upon me:





















The Bloodthirster, that big red-winged demon, knocked out one of my dreadnoughts, and the lesser demons all scuttled up and began bashing on my tanks. My dreadnought on the right side of the picture couldn't fit through the gaps in my units and his, to get out and start smashing the weaker demons, so I charged the bloodthirster...also a mistake, as the greater demon first immobilized and then destroyed it. My final dreadnought was heading over to crush those flamer demons (the blue guys on the left), but due to the special powers of a certain demon called "The Changeling", my opponent got to fire one of my tanks instead of me, and he used it to immobilize the final dreadnought. I also made the mistake of committing Dante and the death company too early, where some terrible dice rolling on my part led them to an early demise. As things were rapidly going bad for me, I threw common sense to the wind and started to dismount my infantry, trying to kill smaller units of demons while I had the chance:





















Unfortunately, after taking down their targets, my infantry were wide open to getting swamped, which is exactly what happened to these guys and basically the entire army. Once the "blood-crushers", the demons riding "juggernauts of Khorne" made it into my lines, I was finished:




















So another defeat for me. I need to remember that different enemy armies will play differently. There was really no reason for me to "turtle up" like I did; it only kept my dreadnoughts out of the fight. Also, with a few wiser choices during the game and some better dice-rolling, I really could have pulled out a draw, as most of the demons spent literally the entire game bashing on my tanks, not bringing them down until the final turn. I really shouldn't have gotten greedy and dismounted my infantry, but given the situation, it was the only chance I had to take a few more demon units with me. Actually, more individual demons were killed by the tanks they were bashing on exploding than by me shooting or assaulting them. That is pretty sad. But oh well, you live and you learn!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Better Living and I are having friends over tonight for drinks and a fancy dinner, possibly followed by more drinks! Hooray! Now I just have to get the patio set all cleaned up...

2. Dustin finally got his leave all worked out and should be arriving in town sometime during the first week of August. Hooray!

3. This Sunday at the Peoples' Market is "Jordan River Day". Celebrate this vital part of Salt Lake City by riding your bike or floating your boat to the market, as a combined bike ride/boat float will be heading up the river at 2:30pm. There will also be presentations and workshops on the importance of the river. Hooray!

4. Hooray!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cast of characters in my 40k army, Part 3: the Dreadnoughts

The thing that really makes my army "scary" to opponent is the three Venerable Furioso Death Company Dreadnoughts. These three models contain most of the killing potential in my army. As such, they are always a priority target for the enemy, and I try to shield them behind my tanks or terrain for as long as possible. Of course, they are all named and have a little back-story.

REDEMPTOR - Once a Chaplain, Brother Redepmtor led one of the largest Death Companies ever assembled in the Second Battle for Armageddon. This massive formation of blood-crazed Marines smashed into the Ork flank, disrupting their lines and delaying the Ork capture of Hades Hive. None of the Marines survived, except Redemptor...his broken body consumed by the Black Rage, he was entombed in a dreadnought sarcophagus so that he could continue to battle the enemies of humanity.


RESURGAM - One of the oldest Death Company Dreadnoughts, no elder or record identifies the true name of this battle-brother who has served his chapter for millennia. He is known only as Resurgam, meaning "I shall rise again". In countless battles, his dreadnought body has been all but annihilated, only to rise up once more, tearing his would-be slayers limb from limb.






ALLISON VALENTINE - Over 300 years ago, Allison Valentine was serving as a Sister of Battle to bring glory to the House of Valentine. But, in a combined action with the Blood Angels chapter, she was overcome with the Black Rage. The Blood Angels believed this to be a miracle, as no one outside their chapter and without their gene-seed had ever fallen to the visions of the Black Rage. They immediately encased the dying woman in a suit of dreadnought armor, so she might live on. The Ecclesiarchy and Allison's fellow Battle-sisters were dubious, suspecting the taint of Chaos rather than a miracle. It was this event that forced young Jonas Valentine into exile. Now, Borther and Sister fight alongside one another; she in the un-death of a dreadnought, he with the pronounced longevity of the Blood Angels. Continuing suspicion of Chaos taint is why Inquisition forces accompany the II MARS detachment, ever watchful of some sign that the Valentines are in fact agents of darkness.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

War Story Wednesday: The complications of leave

So a short post today, just to say: Dustin is still not sure about his leave. Let me tell you, taking leave in the military is a gigantic pain (in my experience). Sometimes, there are even weird conundrums like: you can't get your leave approved without a plane ticket, but there is a chance you will buy the plane ticket and still not have your leave approved and then be out the cost of the ticket. I don't think Dustin is any a silly situation like that, but there is still an elaborate process requiring the signatures of multiple people in the chain of command, a detailed travel plan, etc.

I just hope he can make it out here before school starts!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thoughts on my 40k army

LinkSo...I am kind of at an impasse with my 40k Blood Angels army. I currently have it set up for 2050 points for the third Mind Games tournament coming up in August. The list I have worked out is roughly:

Dante, Lord of Blood Angels
Death Company w/ jump packs x4

Venerable Death Company Dreadnoughts x3

Ten-man tactical squad mounted in a rhino x2
Five-man tactical squad mounted in a razorback
Five-man assault squad mounted in a rhino, accompanied by Brother Corbulo

Predator tank with autocannon and heavy bolters
Baal Predators x2

I have played a couple of games with this army, where it performed much better than my previous army lists. Still, the thoughts that other players have had is that Dante is just too expensive in points (200) for what he does (which is a lot). Also, once Dante is down and no longer giving his fantastic bonuses to everyone around him, the army kind of starts to fall apart. Also, Corbulo is the one preventing the death company guys and death company dreadnoughts from running all over the place with compulsory "rage" moves. Having him mounted in a tank (I can't give him a jump pack) tends to make the army unwieldy, and eventually some of the death company stuff gets outside his control range and has to make their compulsory moves. There have been suggestions that I take a regular Chaplain or the special character Lemartes (who comes with a jump pack) to control my death company stuff and drop Corbulo. Still, I think that having Corbulo mounted in the command tank makes him very survivable, whereas a jump-packing Chaplain tends to just get gunned down (which is what happened in my games in the previous two tournaments).

So I don't really know what to do...keep my list the way it is and refine my tactics to better shield Dante, and make better use of his and Corbulo's special bonuses? Or take those two characters out and use the points on something else? The only thing I can think to do would be to drop Dante and use those 200 points on some Witch Hunter allies; most likely just some extra troops choices. But then...no super-over-the-top Dante bonuses. Also, I have almost completely painted everything for the list in its current state. I would have to buy and model up those witch hunters...which is a giant pain.

So I am thinking...I will keep the list as-is, and try to get in a few more games where I will work to keep Dante better protected until he makes contact with the enemy, and also keep the army together. I generally split the army, with a main thrust containing all of my goodies, and one predator, the razorback, and maybe another unit or two sitting back to shoot. I think that I would fair better if everything was just together, in a single big armored column that advanced on the enemy. I would be very vulnerable at that point to big template weapons, but since everyone BUT Dante and the death company are mounted in tanks, generally a big template weapon is still only going to destroy a single tank.

Decisions, decisions....

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. The Peoples' Market is really booked up for music this weekend! We have Misty Rivers scheduled for a long set in the morning, Jose Banillo and everybody from Lutheran Community Services, and Didjeridan may even be there to play his didjeridoo. Of course the house band, Rick, Tiffin, Patrick, and myself will likely play throughout the day. We also have a neat workshop scheduled that day on electric vehicles, starting at 12:30.

2. This weekend, I am going to the Utah Delta Epsion Chi (ΔEX or "DEX") State Officer Retreat. We have a whole day of leadership classes, teambuilding exercises, and the good stuff: decision making. I also get to report on my progress towards starting a ΔEX chapter at Westminster College, where I start as a junior this fall. Woot!

3. I have been talking about the Tau from Warhammer 40k on here, and I think that there may be some unfamiliar readers out there. The Tau are an alien empire in the distant future of the fictional (obviously) Warhammer 40,000 Universe. They control a small but dense piece of space, far from Terra and at the fringe of the Imperium of Man. The Tau have absorbed other species from planets in their empire, all working for "The Greater Good", and have a technology level far beyond that of humans. Consequently, in the game they have many of the best weapons around, and many ways to apply special bonuses to their shooting. As my Blood Angels army is fairly focused on close assault, the Tau get to shoot me up as I try to advance on them, and are usually able to out-maneuver me and delay my assault for several turns if not the whole game. Below is a picture of Josh-from-the-game-store's Tau, from the most recent tournament:





















...and here is a picture from the game, with one of the Tau "Piranhas" advancing on my tactical marines:





















In the game, I eventually shot down both piranhas with that big gun one of my guys is toting, a "multi-melta". However, Josh's Kroot eventually came and took this position over, in what I think was the critical objective that caused me to lose instead of draw. What is a Kroot, you ask? Kroot are one of the main alien species that has joined the Tau empire. I don't have any pictures of Josh's excellently painted Kroot, but here is a picture of mine (they are the guys on the right):




















Okay, folks...have a good weekend! Valentine out.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Uniforms

So...no post yesterday. I was busy getting my Marine Corps Dress Blue uniform from the tailor. I had to have it altered so it could still fit me. You see, I had made Dustin an offer: If he so desired, when he returned from Iraq, I would get all of my lovely thick hair cut off and within regulation, and make sure my uniform was ready to go, and we would both go out on the town decked out in our military get-up. Maybe we will get free drinks? I am sure a lot of people will come up to us and say "thank you"; they always do...

Anyhow...the blues look great. I think next week I might actually put up some pictures.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Music

Okay. So I really like music. I actually went to a couple semesters of music college. My problem lately is I can't find any NEW music to listen to. I guess I don't really put a ton of effort into it, and I am quite content to just listen to my favorites over and over. The most recent artist that I have "gotten in to" would be Neko Case, who totally rocks. I have been lucky enough to see her live this year AND last year. Also, Better Living just happens to have all of her records. Beyond that, I have to go back several years to when Dustin turned me on to The Arcade Fire, who totally rule the Earth. All bands must bow to them. Just look them up on You-Tube and be amazed. This is a particularly silly and awesome performance, and here they are playing one of their songs with David Bowie.

More recently, Patrick was nice enough to turn me on to the band Beirut, who have a similar vibe to The Arcade Fire, a little more by the way of Devotchka.

I have a busy day ahead of me - here's wishing it is full of good songs!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Busy Weekend

Wow! What a holiday! First, great sunshine at the water-park, and continuing all day on Friday into my parents' big party.

Saturday was a blur...sleeping in, then prepping for the 4th of July celebration, where People's Market had a booth. We also ran a big sack-race that was a huge hit and had kids running in from all over the park to participate. I cut out before the big fireworks show...so I could make it home and head out with Better Living to a park up on Capitol Hill...where we watched fireworks going off all across the valley.

Sunday, the market was a blast, although I caught a lot of open hostility. Apparently, some people just don't have any manners (or class, or humility). It is okay, though...they are like a shadow to me now; an echo of a person. No sense letting one little shadow ruin a fantastic weekend!

And how about all of the SUNSHINE?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. I petitioned Better Living to have a Tuesday or Thursday "Project Roundup". She said no. She said it could be the "Project Review, Project Update, or Project Progress Report", but not round-up. Apparently, "there is only room for one round-up on this ranch." It was cute.

2. The Marines have recently launched a big offensive in Afghanistan. I heard on N.P.R. that the Marines are planning on clearing a southern region of the country and then setting up temporary camps and staying for who knows how long, while they train the Afghanistan Army and police in the area.

3. Water Parks! We are going to an amusement park today, that features a small water park and several water rides. It is too bad that we aren't going the Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas, because that is the greatest water park I have been to. Aaaahhhhh....nice times in the water.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Feeling Lazy...

I have several errands to run today, and so I am feeling kind of lazy when it comes to blogging. So, I will just share a few nice 40k images with you all. Better stuff tomorrow.

The first is a picture from the last 40k tournament I played in, wherein Stelek's demons have laid waste to one flank of my army. Yikes! Luckily, I laid waste to the other flank of HIS army, then ran away for a nice fair-and square draw. Very nicely painted demons.

























The second picture is of my small Tau force, looking cool in some ruins in a picture I sent to Dustin to keep him motivated (warhammer-style) while he was in Iraq:
























That is all for today, folks. Valentine out.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

War Story Wednesdy: Motor Transport

When I say over there in the "about me" bit that I am a Veteran, I don't give a lot of details. More for War Story Wednesday? So here is today's topic: Motor Transport. My M.O.S. (That is Military Occupational Specialty for the uninitiated) was "3533": Logistics Vehicle Systems (LVS) Operator. So..a fancy acronym-tastic way to say that I drove trucks; the fanciest trucks. The LVS series of vehicles are all powered by the Mk48 front module, which has the cab and engine, and are then coupled with a rear module. There are several rear module variants. The Mk14, for example, is a simple flat bed that can be fitted with I.S.O. (International Standards Organization) locks to haul shipping containers and connex boxes, or cargo can just be placed on the bed and strapped down. The Mk17 has a smaller flatbed (with fold-up sides), and also has a hydraulic crane. Below is a photo of some of the most difficult LVS work I got into. In the photo, I have just returned to our camp after a vehicle recovery mission. I am driving the Mk48/16 rear module, which has a fifth-wheel to pull an M870 low-boy trailer:
I actually have the trailer detached, because its bit for the fifth-wheel is on a collapsible goose-neck. I am backed up to the back of the trailer (those are the rear ramps of the trailer sticking up behind my four main LVS axles). I have used a winch on the Mk16 to recover an Army 5-ton that was hit by an enemy IED. It wasn't a particularly large or effective IED, but it did flatten the tires and took out a big piece of the passenger side axles. In the picture, if I remember correctly, we are off-loading the Army 5-ton over at the Army's side of our camp.

As an LVS Operator, I also went through all of the regular Motor Transport Operator training (MOS 3531), and was fully licensed to drive (and boy did I drive) the normal Motor Transport vehicles: The 7-ton MTVR and the ubiquitous HMMWV (High Moblity Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or 'humvee'). Below is a photo of a 7-ton towing a HMMWV:
There are two things I would like to point out in this photo: first, we are in the middle of nowhere, and second, that HMMWV is all kitted-out and up-armored. Regarding the first, there isn't much to say. We are out in the desert. It is vast and empty. I believe we are on a raid in the photo, or on our way back. That is an entire other post, however. On the second point: That is not one of our Motor-T platoon HMMWV's. It belonged to H&S (Headquarters and support) Company or one of the other companies in my battalion. We didn't get up-armored HMMWV's until a few weeks before we redeployed back to the U.S. Our convoys were thusly comprised entirely of 7-tons (generally) with a few LVS's thrown in to haul fuel, heavy equipment, etc. The 7-ton in this picture is a good representation of our average 7-ton: an armored turret for a gunner, bolt-on armored door, and ballistic windshield.

Alrighty...I think I am going to go swimming now. It is summer, after all!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Narrative Campaign

So, when Dustin comes to visit a large chunk of our time is going to be devoted to 40k. Since we are both total fluff-heads (we love Necromunda because of its Role Playing Game qualities), I am working on a narrative campaign for us to play using pretty much every painted model we have. There will be five missions, based loosely around the idea that Tyranids have landed on planet Deseret (*wink*), and Imperial forces as well as locals (Orks and Tau) are responding to the Tyranid invasion.

Here is a rough outline of the five games:

GAME #1: 1 objective, + neutral Orks & Tau. This is a crazy, silly game to help Dustin and I both get up to speed on our 5th Edition rules...and also just be crazy and silly! Dustin will have a 750 point Tyranid swarm, and I will have a 750 pt. Blood Angels armored convoy. There are also Orks and Tau that start on the board, and after our turns, I roll to see what silly thing the Tau do and Dustin rolls to see what silly thing the Orks do. There is even a potential for Dustin to roll well and gain control of the Orks for the rest of the game. There is only one objective we are fighting over, using Stelek's modified objective rules. Below is my VASSAL diagram of the game 1 deployment:





GAME #2: All of Dustin's Tyranids VS my Marines, in the ruined outskirts of town. D3+2 objectives, long table edge deployment just like a standard game in the rulebook. No crazy special rules (although we may still use the modified objectives rules), EXCEPT: If any of my named characters or his Hive Tyrants are killed in this game, they cannot be used in the big final battle.

GAME #3: Dustin's Imperial Guard and my marines (played by Dustin) VS Tau and Orks, played by me. Dustin is rushing in his "R&R" time before he gets leave to paint up a small I.G. army, so in this game he can test it out. We also thought it would be fun to let him have a few of my Marines just so he can play around with them and boost the points of his I.G. force. We'll probably play a standard mission from the rulebook, with all those random dice rolls for game type and deployment. The weird allies (Orks and Tau? For the Greater Good?) is enough wackiness for this game.


GAME# 4: Dustin and I team up to form like a 3500 or 4000 point Marine/I.G. joint force to play some guys at the store, and it ties in to our campaign somehow. Hope we can find some willing opponents!

GAME #5: The nids are just too much....all of Dustin's Tyranids, plus many "infected" Tau and I.G. VS. a bunch of my Marines with a few Witch Hunters or I.G. heavy weapons teams...there is a breach in the city walls...only if it holds can the civilians be evacuated before the planet is virus bombed into oblivion! Of course, we will make up some fun siege rules.

So that is pretty much the plan. It is a work in progress. I hope Dustin enjoys it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Return of the King

Well, my best friend Dustin got back from Iraq on Friday. He told me that they flew from Iraq to camp "Al Udaid" (or some-such; where is that, Qatar?), where they waited several days, then flew to Ireland, than Baltimore (where they stayed overnight), before finally making it back to Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.

He is supposed to come up and visit on leave in about two weeks. How am I supposed to wait TWO WEEKS?? I am putting in overtime on my 40k painting and terrain building, and also writing a lengthy narrative campaign for us to play through. Should be fun.

Glad to have you back, Dustin.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

1. Just saw Transformers 2 last night. All told, I was just as dissatisfied with it as the first live action Transformers movie. Too many human characters, doing too many stupid things, with too many stupid lines. I keep waiting for them to just REMAKE THE ANIMATED MOVIE, which was the apogee of animated action movies as far as I am concerned. I have read some hints online about introducing Unicron for the inevitable third Transformers movie. If only we are so lucky.

2. So what is this? Micheal Jackson is dead and everyone is *mourning* ?? Everywhere I look on the internet, it talks about people "mourning" his death. Is this really the right word? I don't mean to hate on the guy and his memory, or his music, but are we all supposed to wear black for a month and be sad because the "King of Pop" died? I don't know...it is always unsettling to me when a celebrity dies and the public and media talk about how it is a tragedy, but more so in this case.

3. Buy Local First Utah is starting their "Independents' Week" tomorrow to celebrate local businesses. They will be set up at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, and more importantly, there will be a big hullabaloo Sunday at The Peoples' Market, involving silly games and contests with lots of prizes and giveaways.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cast of characters in my 40k army, Part 2: the Veteran Sergeants

Well, I missed a day in there (busy, busy, busy), but here is the afore-mentioned write up of the veteran Sergeants in my fluffy Warhammer 40,000 army.

SERGEANT CHAMPAGNE - The senior sergeant of the detachment. Champagne is known to carry his large axe with him everywhere, as a sign of his rank and authority. He commands a five man squad attached to a razorback transport.






SERGEANT TAEBERIUS - Horribly wounded after an aerial jump-pack insertion, Taeberius' life was saved only by fitting him with advanced bionics. He now commands II MARS' lead tactical squad, often the first to deploy from their transport into battle.









SERGEANT ARGENBRIGHT - Only recently promoted to veteran status, Argenbright has yet to paint his helmet gold in honor of his station. He has instead spent his time since promotion relentlessly drilling his squad, constantly inspecting their weapons, and consulting with the squad's transport operators.





SERGEANT COSTIGAN - Having served with Lt. Tadena in Brother Corbulo's Honor Guard, Costigan now leads his five man assault squad in repelling attacks made against the II MARS Command rhino. During his time as a member of a veteran assault squad, there were several battles that only Costigan survived, leading other Blood Angels to endow him with the epithet "Lone Wolf", a title he has embraced by carving a wolf onto his breastplate and wearing a Baal desert wolf pelt into battle.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cast of characters in my 40k army, Part 1: the Command Staff

My army is mainly based around some fluff I wrote when I bought some of the first all-plastic tactical marine squads and the newer rhinos and razorbacks. So, there are several named characters in the army, presented for posterity and fluffiness:

LORD CAPTAIN VALENTINE - The Captain himself. Born to a noble family on a feudal industrial world near Baal, but exiled at a young age to Baal Secundus, Jonas Valentine was inducted as an initiate into the Blood Angels chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. There, he quickly rose through the ranks due to his heroism in battle. He now commands II M.A.R.S. (Mobile Armored Strikeforce), a mechanized quick reaction force that is a joint effort between the Blood Angels and the Inquisition.




CHAPLAIN MANILLA - Manilla served with the Veteran Company for thirty six years before his induction into the Chaplain Corps, where he made a record seventy four consecutive combat teleports. As a Chaplain, he initially served detached from the Blood Angels chapter to aid the Inquisition in rooting out cultists spread throughout many neighboring star systems. Manillia is second in command of the II M.A.R.S. detachment.






LIEUTENANT TADENA - The Armor Officer of II M.A.R.S., Tadena directs the many armored vehicles of the detachment from the unit's command rhino. In an early act of heroism, he drove his Rhino forward directly into enemy autocannon fire, covering friendlies and allowing them to advance as he rammed the enemy position, disabling it. He served as a member of Brother Corbulo's Honor Guard before being requested by Captain Valentine for the second Mobile Armored Strikeforce.





FIRST SERGEANT VANOSTRUM - The company First Sergeant, serving as an aid to Captain Valentine as well as leader of the Captain's Honor Guard. Vanostrum's courage and ferocity are legendary, as are his preference for basic weapons and close assaults. He has served as company First Sergeant alongside Captain Valentine for five major campaigns.



...tomorrow: the Veteran Sergeants

Mondays

Aren't they terrible? And I am not even working right now! Even still, I am finding it hard to get motivated and work on my models. That and I need more spray paint, both to prime several pewter models and some terrain I am trying to make.

Looks like Monday errands....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Unrelated Information

Taking (stealing) a cue from Better Living, I will reserve Friday posts for random bits of news, info, game talk, and stories that bear little or no relation to one another.

1. Warhammer 40,000 "Planetstrike". So GW came out with a new "expansion" for 40k, "Planetstrike", detailing invasions of planets from space. While that sounds awesome...I just don't know if it merits an entire new book. Also, and I might be wrong, I can't see there being a whole lot of new material in there. We already have drop pods, orbital bombardments, and deep-strike. Are there going to be rules for all sorts of *NEW* drop pods, orbital bombardments, and deep-striking? I guess I can see this sort of as the 40k version of Warhammer Fantasy castle sieges. Which are cool. But I'll bet there won't be, say, cauldrons of boiling oil for your Marines to pour down on the invading Tau. If they are going to put out this product, I would hope for it to have detailed rules/scenarios for sieges, boarding actions on enemy ships, amphibious assaults from the oceans, etc. We'll see.

2. Peoples' Market is in the lead! Apparently, someone nominated the Peoples' Market for a "Nickelodeon Parents' Pick Award" (I am assuming some parent). Now, anyone can vote online for best farmers market in salt lake city...and Peoples' Market has currently edged out the behemoth Downtown Farmers Market for the #1 spot! We're ahead 36% to 32%. So come on, you one or two people who read this, click the link and vote for Peoples' Market! You can vote multiple times; once per day.

3. North Temple / TRAX Community Planning. Last night I attended a "community planning workshop" addressing the TRAX line going in on the the west end of North Temple street going out to the airport. The Mayor and his crew have expressed their desire to turn this stretch of North Temple, home to the power plant, trailer parks, the famed Red Iguana, and some blight, into a "Grand Boulevard". So there we probably about 200 people in attendance, some of whom I knew (thank God), and we listened to different people talk about the TRAX project. It is expected to open late 2011 or early 2012 if I am remembering correctly. Then, we broke up into dozens of little "work groups", where we actually drew on nice big maps of the street what we would like to see. I was pushing for lots of greenspace, community gardens, a community supported agriculture urban farm, and of course several large, impressive 5-15 story office/residential buildings. Let us expand downtown to the West, across I-15, only instead of the empty lots and surface parking that plague the current downtown zone, we'll have green space and parks and gardens and farms. Sounds good to me anyway.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. I won't get any gaming in, although I will probably have some painting time.

Valentine, signing off.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Command Rhino


So, I wanted to show off my command rhino because it is nearing completion. I will post some better pictures when it is totally done and highlighted, clear-coated, and Corbulo and his squad are painted up as well. When I decided to add Corbulo to my Blood Angels Army, I knew that he would need a sweet ride. What better vehicle than the Damocles Command Rhino by Forge World? I even added some extra little targeter-thingies and small com dishes and things, and got the Forge World Blood Angels door set.

Below, I have taken the top off and you can see the dudes inside, manning the radios and satellite up-links, and directing the battle.

My army includes Dante, Lord of the Blood Angels, and Corbulo, High Sanguinary Priest. Dante is off charging in to battle with his jump pack, so I figured Corbulo would ride around in this tank and fluff-wise, be the one actually calling the shots. It also helps to have his apothecary ability and his special "Red Grail" powers extend not from his base, but from the hull of the rhino ;)

Below, I just want to show a side-by-side comparison between the front of the C-2 rhino and one of my line APCs. Obviously, the C-2 on the left has the Forge World front plate. The standard tank on the right has got the Blood Angels emblem decal on the right , and a V decal, for "Valentine", on the left (as do all my other tanks). The command tank has some etched brass bits...mainly because I ordered the command rhino as a complete kit from Forge World, and wouldn't you know it...NO DECALS!










Finally, I wanted to highlight some stuff I did that I think is pretty cool: The guy coming out of the turret on the command tank has a gold helmet. Of course Corbulo's rhino would be crewed only by veterans. Also, the veteran is holding an "Auspex" scanner; I just wanted to do something different and I think it adds to the whole "command and control" idea behind this vehicle. Lastly, when you have an army with seven tanks and you put all the extra storm-bolters all over them, you eventually run out, since each tank only comes with one, but my rhinos all have two. So, I rigged an unused dreadnought storm-bolter. Hope anyone out there checking this out likes it...I love modeling and converting and all that stuff.

Valentine Out.