Tuesday, 2 October 2012

IKRPG! Session 2 - KHDR Street Football.

9th Octesh, 608AR (still)

Having finally got to their HQ, the Guard took to settling in, exploring the warehouse they'd been given and discovering that, while their stuff had been delivered, that was the only stuff in the building.  Having decided that they should look towards getting some money in to both furnish their building and just to simply get food, they split up to spend the rest of the day getting money;

Ivan introduced himself to Ivan Yurakin, the nearby alchemist, and offered his services as another alchemist willing to make various concoctions for him.  A payment of a third of the street price per elixir was agreed upon, and he spent the rest of the afternoon brewing potions for the man.

Vladimir and Demitri asked around about ways of getting the money they'd got from the thugs earlier in the day (last week) changed up for real cash.  They eventually discovered that the best person to go to was a man named Yusuf Krann, a Money changer in Uhliburg who specialises in blank coins.  After discovering that Yusuf Krann is actually a crotchety Rynn who doesn't actually understand Khadoran, they managed to negotiate through the beautiful language of coin to get 30 gold for the 55 blanks they picked up.  On the way back, they managed to pick up a cheap stove from an ironmonger's for 18 gold and Vladimir's axe from his time in the Winter Guard.

Josef and Lyudmilla went to the local guard house to find bounties, finding a standing bounty on bandits in the area and a large list of people who have gone missing from the docks in the last few years.  After this, Lyudmilla went to the other guard houses to see if they had any other outstanding bounties, and Josef went to the courthouse to attempt to get an invitation to any local balls or parties, only to be told that they didn't know who he was, and would not give him an invitation until he had made a name for himself in the city.

Flim was...  Tasked with looking after the HQ and starting to clean up.

After they had all finished their tasks and returned home, they discovered that the two taverns on their street, the Firey Anvil and the Dunked Dregg, both had large crowds in front of them.  As they watched, the two crowds started chanting at each other as a ball was thrown into the middle of the street.  Three men from each crowd ran out and started hitting each other and trying to kick the ball.  Quickly working out that a rudimentary and frankly brutal sport was being played in front of him, Ivan ran in as one of the men went down and quickly joined the scrum before being punched in the face and going down himself.

Vladimir silently looted a few people's pockets (including Ivan's...) under the pretence of making sure they were OK, and then the group retired to their HQ to plan for their next move...

Sunday, 30 September 2012

IKRPG! Session 1 - Winter is Coming.

Before we start...  Player Characters!

Josef Vassikin : Human Intellectual Aristocrat/Military Officer. The ranking officer of the unit and the leader of the Thorn Guard, Vassikin is the son of a low ranking Posnadik, and currently the owner of a sweet hat.
Flimpenuentsdor : Gobber Intellectual Alchemist/Field Mechanik. A certified (probably mad) genius, 'Flim' dreams of being admitted into the Greylords despite the minor issue of being totally unable to cast spells. This has led to him having an obsession with moustaches, as he has noted the correlation between them and rank in the Khadoran arcanists. Also the lieutenant of the Thorn Guard. Because... There wasn't really any other good options?
Demitri Koraztikoff : Human Gifted Arcane Mechanik/Field Mechanik. A mechanik with ambitions of one day creating a group of Servitors to do his bidding. Was made the treasurer of the Thorn Guard because he;s the least likely to blow the money up or pretend he never recieved it.
Ivan Demiodich : Human Mighty Alchemist/Soldier. The Thorn Guard's demolitions expert, Demiodich has found himself in the depressing position of loving explosions and being in a civilian area. Not one to let this dampen his spirits, he's now experimenting with other alchemicals, seeing how well acid works on traitors to the Empire.
Lyudmilla Ignatiovic : Human Gifted Gunmage/Rifleman. A Widowmaker with virtually undiscovered arcane powers, Ignatiovic gained a Magelock rifle (which she calls called Tzepsci) at the beginning of this new assignment and now fulfils the role of team sniper. Alone among her team, Ignatiovic is a fiercely loyal Umbrean, and is especially annoyed at the idea of Umbrean terrorists ruining what the Dark Prince has tried so hard to build.
Vladimir Ivanovich : Human Duellist/Thief. The team's quartermaster, if Ivanovich can't get it, it probably can't exist. Or he can't steal it yet. Has a habit of jumping in and out of combat when he could just walk...

Now, onto the first session...

9th Octesh, 608AR.  As a train sped from Korsk to Khardov with a division of the 4th Border Legion on shore leave as cargo, the 16th platoon, a whole six soldiers and all that remained of an ill-fated attempt to discover what happened in the Thornwood after Khadoran High Kommand lost contact with Supreme Kommander Irusk (see Colossals for more information!). were summoned from their bunks to the front of the First Class carriage, and to a beautifully appointed cabin with a dozen seats around a table.  Seated at the end furthest from the door, Koldun Lord Dhakun Volvodar who, as the troopers entered, passed them a dossier and bade them to sit around the table, which was covered with maps of Khardov and files on several targets.

After they were all in, their mission for the next few months was set out; there are three Kayazy in the city who have gone above and beyond the call of treason to become all-out threats to the state.  The issue, however, is that all three of them command such impressive private armies that they would take more resources than they would gain by taking them down.  A small unit of Winter Guard veterans, however, may be able to infiltrate the city to take these three out without causing riots.  They were sent in with a cover as a mercenary unit known as "The Thorn Guard", and were set up with an HQ building and mercenary charter.  To get them into the city relatively unnoticed, a whole division of the 4th Border Legion was given shore leave in the city so noone noticed their entrance.

Sadly, however, someone did notice them.  On the way to their HQ, in a reasonably deserted part of town, the group managed to wander directly into a gang meeting that was taking advantage of the quiet streets to deal more openly.  Flim, being the first to realise what was going on, decided to flee like a Devil Rat, but that simply drew the fire of several snipers posted on the roof.  Over the next few seconds, a shifty-looking Gobber fled, several bandits were stabbed with rapiers, one was shot and, most viciously, one was doused with acid.

With all the grace of a raving gorax, the team looted 55 coins - noteworthy in that they were blank gold circles, possible criminal coinage and, with that, the session ended...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

IKRPG! It's starting tomorrow!

So, the game starts tomorrow!  We'll be making characters tomorrow (so expect a post about them at about 1am tomorrow morning...).  Still before the campaign starts, I've had to make another...


Why yes, there are references and shots at the PP forums.  Because I'm mature like that.

Again, bonus points if anyone can translate the Khadoran!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 8 : The Winter Guard

And so here we are, the final chapter on the organisations of my Khardov campaign, and into the biggest single group in the whole damn city - the Khadoran military!  That is, of course, a bit misleading - the Khadoran military in Khardov aren't TECHNICALLY a single group, as the garrison is split up into smaller barracks throughout the city, and each individual barracks has essentially aligned itself to either the corrupt Kommander Konstantin, or the young, idealistic Kaptain Posdanovich.

While tensions on both sides are reaching boiling point, they have been currently kept in check by both the fact they are being kept busy undermining each other, and the knowledge that if they erupted into open war in the streets, the rest of the Khadoran army would come and crush both sides to restore order.  Either side could be talked into helping the party or, in a world that only exists with player characters, they could be convinced to team up against the a threat to Khador.

Kommander Matvey Konstantin
Kommander Konstantin is not a bad man, he's just old and tired; a soldier too young to retire, too ornery to adapt and too unremarkable to be promoted.  When agents for a group of Kayazy came to him and suggested that it may be worth his while to let the Olcheniy deal with a larger number of threats in the city, he couldn't see a downside, especially if it kept his men out of gang fights and alive a bit longer.  Sadly, that didn't seem to be the case - the Kayazy took over more of the city and allowed crime to happen so long as it benefited them.  By the time he realised how deep he was in, it was too late, and he directs his Winter Guard to keep the status quo intact while he drowns himself in fine Uiske and hooaga.

Actually a pirate.  Don't tell anyone.
Despite his attempts to slowly poison himself to death, he's still a fit and strong man, a true Khard.  He will not suffer fools who try to kill him to live, and will happily bring down his foes with his ornate handcannons and, if all else fails, his fists.  Above all, he fights like someone who, in his heart of hearts, knows he doesn't want to die.

Kaptain Olga Posdanovich
Kaptain Posdanovich is one of a new breed of young, idealistic officers who have graduated from the Dhruznia Academy and sent to Winter Guard units with a mind to make a difference.  When she arrived in Khardov, she found a garrison that stayed in it's barracks, seemingly under siege from criminals who ran the city.  She took her recruits and she started making her mark on the city, busting gangs and destroying illicit operations around her barracks.  After a while, she uncovered evidence of her superior's corruption, and started a crusade against the older guard, desperate to prove herself as an officer and to regain the trust of the people, which she still feels has been lost by the actions of the previous garrison.
Well, I used Bull earlier in this lot, so I kinda HAD to use Blythe, right?  I still haven't found a use for Holt.
Olga makes no claim to subtlety, cheerily carving through her enemies with her greatsword with a sense of conviction gained from the knowledge that everyone she kills is an enemy of the motherland - criminals weaken the Motherland, which is tantamount to treason in her eyes.  As a result, anything goes and, when she knows she's fighting for the Motherland, there's very little on Imorren which will stop her.

Anshyll Styrr
A refugee from the destruction of the Nyss, Anshyll has given up hope on her species utterly.  Not knowing nor caring about the recovery of Nyssor, she has taken up the life of a Bounty Hunter and, with her father's Claymore, has ended the lives of more lawbreakers, bandits and outlaws than almost any other hunter in Khardov.  To this end, she's taken up almost permanent residence in the central barracks to check for new bounties and rumours of pay days across the city.
In the interests of multiculturalism, this is the campaign's token Nyss.
If Olga is the unsubtle, screaming zealot with a zweihander, Anshyll is the graceful war dancer.  Spinning and slashing through her enemies, she is a firm believer in "dead" makes for easier bounties, and will happily murder anyone with a price on their heads.  While she tends to kill criminals for money, she's not above killing people who get in her way, and in any other society would be regarded as a vicious sociopath.

Prikaz Agent Dhakun Volvodar
Agent Vovodar is a believer.  He's a strict Morrowan, a patriotic Khadoran and a firm proponent of the concept that the ends will always justify the means.  After years of war with Cygnar, Cryx, the Protectorate, Llael, Ios (unofficially), he came home to discover a country that had been taken over by money-grabbers, bean counters and, worst of all, the corrupt.  Using his contacts in the Greylords, he found a team of six veteran Winter Guard, and brought them into the city undercover to clean up the worst scum of Khardov.
"I have a fuzzy hat!  AND A FEZ!  RAWWRGH!"  Yeah.  Badass.
Dhakun is an old man now, and will be happy dying knowing that he's doing all he can to bring down the cancer rotting away at the heart of Khardov.  Still, his strength never came from having a youthful body - it came from his total mastery of the powers of ice and wind.  If it ever comes up, he can freeze his enemies in place, bombard them with ice and obliterate them with howling gales.  And he can hit them with his axe, if he wants.  I wouldn't risk it though.

Aaand that concludes the groups of Khardov!  I may or may not post up my first impressions of the IKRPG on Wednesday when (Scyrah willing) I pick up the book, but until then...  Dasvidanya!

Saturday, 15 September 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 7: The Ex Crew and the Retribution of Scyrah

Two smaller groups this time; The Ex-Crew and the Retribution of Scyrah Cell that's operating just outside of Khardov.  These two have been lumped together as, between them, they only really have three named members.  The Ex Crew is a group of undead with very little personality, and the Retribution are closer to an enemy group that's primarily cannon fodder (well, about ten members, but only 2 aren't just "mage hunter").

The Ex-Crew
Khardov has mines, which means it has an infestation of Shaft Wights - that's the way of Caen.  Unique among the Shaft Wight packs, however, Khardov's pack isn't dedicated to just killing more people and digging to a central location.
Jooooooooooooooooooooin usssssssssssss........
This is due to a single person, a man who, sadly for how remarkable he turned out to be, died about fifteen months ago.  This man was...

Marek Danislav, the last foreman
The foreman in a minor mine in one of the lesser Kayazy's holdings, Marek Danislav was a genuinely thoughtful and liked man to all who knew him, and was, in turn, protective of his charges.  When a Shaft Wight attack threatened his men, he stayed behind to hold the undead off while they fled, and eventually sacrificed himself by blowing the whole shaft with a keg of blasting powder to cut them off from the living.

He awoke a week later, but not in his body.  As a ghost in the mines, he's found himself with the ability to control nearby Shaft Wights, and the love his men had for him has transferred to them somehow.  He's taken this as a chance to keep them from attacking people.

Ghost miners to lead zombie miners.  Now I just need Vampire miners, mummy miners and under miners.
Woe betide those who attempt to attack Danislav.  If would-be assailants have the ability to get around his incorporeal nature, they still have to get past his hammer - a concussive maul that will slam his opponents into the nearest wall of the mine.  If he needs to, he also has minor control over his mine, and a few other spectral powers of telekinesis and general manipulative dickery.  But he's mainly all about the hammer.

The Retribution of Scyrah
About five years ago, cells of Mage Hunters were sent out across Khador to keep an eye on the Greylords. Many of these cells still don't know about Nyssor, or the legitimisation of the Retribution in Ios, and many wouldn't care if they did.  Having waited for almost twenty seasons for instructions, they are now becoming bored, and have started raiding Khardov for supplies and indiscriminately killing anyone that comes past their cave lair.

While it's hard, if you can get into contact with the cell, they will welcome locations of mages to kill, and, quite frankly, won't question where the information comes from.

Tybias, Shadow's Bane
Calm, serene, gentle, considerate.  These are all words that don't even slightly describe Tybias, the leader of the Retribution "forces" near Khardov.  A third generation mage hunter, Tybias' family has participated in most of the defining moments of the Retribution for over two hundred years, and this is something that has weighed heavy on his mind as he's been left for half a decade, seemingly ignored by the Retribution and the Fane of Scyrah.  He doesn't even know of recent developments and the rise of the Retribution as a legitimate power in Ios - at this point, it's doubtful he really cares.
In keeping with random outburst of positivity I sometimes inject into these captions - I fucking love this model.
In the inevitable fight that happens when Tybias shows up, he sticks to the shadows and fires off Phantom Seeker bolts at, in order, any human with magical powers, anything that seems to know where he is, then anyone else who may have been involved.  He's also fairly good with his sword, but tends to use it to parry enemy attacks and get to a firing position where most melee fighters won't be able to get to him.

An Iosan mage with a vague power of prescience, Shyndri works with Tybias to plan the Retribution's raids into the city.  While she tends towards vague, half-dreamed predictions of events yet to come, she can usually gain some insight into a plan, whether it will work and whether it will be advantageous to the cell's ends.  Shyndri dreams of a time when she can go back to Ios and live with elves who don't just acknowledge her only as a walking predictor.
Holt not included.
Shyndri's never actually been in combat, and has very little in the way of actual power when it comes to killing other people, with spells or with her fists.  What she DOES have, however, is a team of Mage Hunters who will die to keep her alive.  If a fighter somehow manages to corner her on her own, they'll probably be on the receiving end of some wildly flung spells and terminal sobbing.  Be afraid.

Right!  One organisation left, and it's only the Khadoran military!  Hey, how big can it be?

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 6: The Chosen of Morrow.

I'm actually hugely excited by this lot - they're my favourite group I've come up with so far (it's why I did them near the end, to give myself something to look forward to!).  The Chosen of Morrow are a group of vigilantes who used to be members of the Order of Illumination before they overstepped their boundaries, killing not just Infernalists, Thamarites and criminals, but moving on to suspected Thamarites, "evil" Menites and anyone else who essentially looks at them funny.  To this end, even their faith has failed them and their priestly powers have gone as they have descended into a cycle of hatred and persecution.

Not ones to think badly of themselves, the Chosen believe that this is a test from Morrow, that they must take on the darkness without His help.  They are a group of psychopaths who have a cause, and it's still to be seen if the party will be attacked by them, or if they can direct them to attack their enemies.

Father Konrad Vorisk
A former Morrowan priest from a village just outside of Khardov, Father Vorisk felt compelled by a series of dreams of Ascendant Katrina to leave his church and move to Khardov to cleanse the streets of crime and Thamarites.  Despite his initial good intentions, he has gradually descended into an orgy of violence, murdering near enough anything short of priests and those decked out in Morrowan paraphernalia he comes across.
Also, Harlan Versh is a bad ass motherfucker.
Vorisk randomly wanders around (sorry, he's shown his path by Morrow...) and kills anything that gets in his way. Screaming passages from the Enkehidrion as he walks confidently towards his target, swinging his sword and blasting away with his pistol, he makes for a terrifying sight to anyone who isn't confirmed as being on his side - and many who are.

Ivan Kaztenki
Where Vorisk is a loud, bombastic zealot, Kaztenki is the calm, collected centre of the team.  A Morrowan Gunmage who believes firmly in Vorisk's rhetoric, Kaztenki makes for a terrifying presence - a simmering intensity that burns through his amicable veneer.
Somewhere between Judge Dredd and Dumbledore, there is Ivan Kaztenki...
In combat, Kaztenki becomes a whirlwind of bullets and magic, firing at anything he doesn't recognise as being on his side.  Unlike many fighters, he fires off bullets at as many targets as possible instead of focussing on one target until dead, allowing him to gun down whole groups without waiting to confirm his kills.  This method, however, does mean he gets less kills than the rest of the Chosen.

Alyssa Di Santi
Di Santi lost her faith a lot earlier than the rest of the Chosen.  Having fought for her homeland from 603 to 607AR and watching Khadorans subjugate her people, the Knight of the Prophet went from fighting Khadorans on the battlefield, to waylaying Khadorans as a guerilla, to eventually travelling to Khardov to at least direct her anger at Khadoran criminals.  Despite having given up on everything, she now follows Vorisk around, firmly in the belief that if she should die fighting for him, she will at least die serving Morrow.
Some days you're the paladin, and some days the best picture in ten attempts is still out of focus.
Alyssa has a lightning fast technique in combat that involves her darting in with her blade and slashing at vital organs and arteries.  She fights every fight as if it was her last - if only because she doesn't care if it is or not - which makes her all out assaults an unstoppable barrage of death.

Erik Arkaim
It's a sad state of affairs when it's a legitimate claim that the Wizard who's short a few marbles is the sanest of the group, but between the psychopathy, the suicidal tendencies and the general delusions, Arkaim is just slightly mental.  While he's not a fanatic like the other three Chosen, he's still with them because he's finding it entertaining, and the rest tolerate his insane cackling because they believe he's with them because he's a devout Morrowan.  Both win this time.
In no way does this guy scream "crazy wizard" to me.  I don't know where anyone could get that from...
In combat, Arkaim acts with all the subtlety of a Khadoran freight train, all but dancing about the battlefield, calling down fire and ice and hurling his opponents into whatever's about at the time.  He's a walking collateral damage risk, but let's face it, if the civilians were going to die, they were going to die anyway...

Almost to the end of this rogue's gallery, but next comes the Ex-Crew, who will prove that the biggest criminal offence in Khardov is having sex with a miner...

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 5 : The Rusalka Kids

As well as the major antagonists in the city, I'm also adding in some neutral "companies" that the party can interact with, either fighting each other or allying to provide mutual assistance.  I've also made the decision of having the groups being between three and six characters, so they'll essentially be a party of NPCs to counter the player's party.

Firstly, we have The Rusalka Kids, a group of river pirates who have become hilariously wealthy smuggling in illegal goods for the Kayazy and other groups (both criminal and legitimate) into the city.  Currently, the only thing they won't take on their boats are humans and dangerous monsters, and even then, it's a logistics issue rather than a moral one.  The players have two real methods of interaction with the Kids - either they can use them to get items in to the city under the noses of the guards (both Winter Guard and Olcheniy) and their rivals, or they can attempt to take them out, cutting off supplies to their enemies at the cost of their own gear.

Madelyn Fernassi
The Tordoran leader of the Rusalka Kids, Madelyn Fernassi is a cool, calm professional who is renowned for her ability to stick to a job as long as she's being paid for it.  As long as she's been in charge of the Kids, their prices have been higher than most of the smugglers on the rivers around Khardov, but they have also been the most reliable, and are the smugglers of choice for near-enough everyone who can afford them.  She doesn't talk about her past, and anyone with any sense has learnt not to bother asking.
I love this model.  Doesn't make a lick of sense in a Khador campaign,  but it's a great model.
In combat, Fernassi is actually not as good as she tries to make herself appear to be.  While she's a reasonable shot with her blowgun and at least passable in melee with her knife, she relies on the rest of her crew to actually fight while she directs them and makes the plans.

Grant MacRoth
The second in command of the Kids, Grant MacRoth is a Thurian with a chip on his shoulder.  Having served in the Five Fingers Steelhead chapter for a decade before getting bored and going solo, MacRoth is a psychopath with military training and no Charter holding him in check.  He eventually fell in with Fernassi before she set up her smuggling business, and is one of the few people who knows about her life before Khardov - whatever she was, it was good enough to not only keep this sadist in check, but taking orders.
I actually think this model would make a GREAT Fighter character in pretty much any RPG.  No jokes here, Croe's a really cool model with a greatsword.
MacRoth has the most direct experience killing people of all the Kids.  This is evident in combat where he can happily slaughter whole ranks of enemies with a single swing of his greatsword, or take out targets at range with impunity with his handcannon.  On the other hand, he spends no time at all worrying about his defences, and may not actually know what dodging does.  So there's that?

Igor Vaustroyov
If Igor Vaustroyov had turned his mind to legal pursuits, he would have been a great success in whatever he'd wanted to do.  Sadly, he suffers from crippling lack of confidence and doesn't believe that anyone would take a seven foot tall bear of a man, who happens to also be a genius, seriously.  To this end, he has taken up alchemy, but only to attempt to make people believe he's got arcane powers.

He's a seven foot tall dude with multiple firebombs.  People believe whatever he tells them to believe.
Yeah.  He's a huge bloke with a gun and multiple alchemical concoctions.  People who try to take him down are going to get burned in some way, shape or form - do you need me to elaborate?

Jory Di Losta
An Umbrean from the Llaelese side of the border, Di Losta is an adventurer, duellist and general charmer of women throughout the Iron Kingdoms (except Cryx, Cygnar and Ord).  While he tends towards acting on his own, his lusting after Danika Gorislav drug him into joining the Kids, and a rough but ready friendship that has formed with Igor has kept him there.  And the cash.  He spends most of his time in pubs with Igor, trying to improve his confidence.
I totally picture this dude talking in a smooth Latin accent.  'Ola seƱorita, I am 'ere to  buckle your swash!
Jory spends his time in a fight darting in and out of melee, striking his victims with a few swift stabs before leaving them bleeding on the floor.  He's the fastest member of the Kids and, when the group fights, he takes up a skirmisher role, harassing enemies from the flanks.  Of course, he also enjoys a bit of glory hounding if it looks like they're winning, so look for him in a place where he can make a scene before firing off his loudest pistol.

Danika Gorislav
A Skirov sailor turned pirate, Danika is by far and away the only person in the Kids who can actually sail with any degree of competence.  While she has taught the others a little of what she knows, she is the one the  rest of the group turn to if they need detailed advice on how to keep their boat above the river's surface.
And ANOTHER Pirate chick in a bikini top!  What is this, the Carribean!?
If she ever gets into a fight, she fires wildly with her mismatched pistols at anyone who doesn't look to near any of her group mates at the time, trying not to hit them.  She's a reasonable shot, but she's been hired for her technical knowledge, not her combat abilities.

An Ogrun who grew up in Khardov, Gurav has gone from manual labour job to manual labour job before he lost an eye in an accident in one of the foundries on the dock front.  While he can still find work heavy lifting, he tended not to get much work as stress inexplicably causes his wound to bleed profusely.  He signed up with the Kids fairly quickly afterwards, and their reasonably light workload means his wound stays closed.
Huh.  Without any size comparisons, Ogrun look about as big as humans!
While he tries to avoid combat, when he feels the need to fight, he simply bull-rushes the biggest enemy as his left eye starts to pour blood disturbingly.  He body-checks people into walls and then swings with his war cleaver to finish them off - there isn't much that won't kill.

And that's the pirates!  Next up, the Chosen of Morrow!

Monday, 3 September 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 4 : House Ygevny

Last of the three main antagonist Kayazy houses in Khardov, House Ygevny is the smallest but, in many ways, the most dangerous of the trio.  If Drago Katzoff is after the citizens of Khador's minds, and Stefani Ryumin is after their souls, then Kerwyn Ygevny is after their bodies, which is much, much easier to get.  In it's legitimate side, Ygevny produces some of Khador's finest mechanika, and can command vast prices for even the most basic of gear.  For the Khadoran who can't afford the luxury prices of their mechanika, Ygevny also produce a large amount of the day-to-day alchemy that even the poorest citizen of Khardov uses, from curatives to vermin poisons to various etching acids.

House Ygevny primarily focuses it's less than legal side on kidnapping, organ and human trafficking, and necromancy.  They rely on smaller, more elite groups of enforcers, boasting a large percentage of mages, alchemists and mechaniks and, when that fails, Ygevny has a horde of thralls and failed experiments he can unleash on anyone who opposes him.  Rather than criminal activity for profit, House Ygevny sends most of it's results to Doctor Arkadius for grisly research into human "improvement".

Kerwyn Ygevny
Kerwyn Ygevny is an old, cantankerous bastard who comes from an old money family, of which he is the last of his line.  While this doesn't bother him, he is mildly more concerned with the grim realisation that his money won't keep him alive forever on it's own, and after contracting Rip Lung (the disease of choice for old bastards who need to die painfully), it's dawned on him that, if he's going to live another eighty years, he'll have to be more proactive in finding both a cure AND a way of discovering how to prolong his life.

He's part of my Malifaux Crew.  Different bases, naturally.
To this end, Ygevny has moved his entire empire into alchemy and mechanika to research extending his life - everything from alchemical cures to give him a few more years to technology such that they used on Karchev to keep him going well into his 150's.  He's already had to get his leg into a brace, and wears a mechanikal breathing apparatus to keep his withered lungs moving.  He is, in short, a wreck.

But this just means he's more dangerous than ever.  While he doesn't have the gift, Ygevny has learnt several necromantic rituals that don't require any natural ability, from jets of acid that melt flesh from bone, to the ability to raise crude thralls, to withering waves of crippling pain and nausea.  He also has several mechanikal and alchemical surprises, including his cane (a rather boring ice blast) and several types of bombs.

A former mercenary and friend of Kerwyn, Jynnasa is an Iosan rebel who left her homeland to see the kingdoms of Western Imorren.  Far from it being a wasteland of inferior races and nations looking to destroy the Iosans, she found a continent full of people who could challenge her, physically, mentally and spiritually.  Now that the Retribution has come to power in Ios, she fears her now-human sympathising ways would get her in trouble, if not killed, and she has chosen to ride out the rest of her life with Kerwyn Ygevny - a man who is both as intelligent as her, and (don't remind Ygevny) about her age.

Uhh...  Yeah.  She's an elf!  Honest!
There's a simple rule with Jynnasa - never fight her one-on-one.  As a very, very powerful gunmage and a crack shot, she will leave two enemies dead in less than a second, or one person really dead.  She is the master of the magelock pistol, and is a very, very nasty combatant.

Borosh Gostaff
Head among Ygevny's alchemists, Gostaff is about as legitimate as a genius in the field of alchemy to be and, as long as his "eccentricities" are catered to, he is capable of mixing his employer the world in his lab.  Occasionally, he'll wander off for a few days and only return after a spate of disappearances in the city start raising questions.  Rumours that he concocts his greatest elixirs with human body parts are, of course, totally unsubstantiated.

The name has changed from Gorman.  Not much else has.
Gostaff is a master of stealth, seemingly capable of shifting between shadows as he pelts his targets with either acids or choke bombs, dependant on if he wants corpses or experiments.  He hunts alone, but he's physically frail, and will drop if he's hit.

A "present" from Doctor Arkadius, Gron is an alchemically-improved Farrow with improved strength and toughness over his already strong and naturally resilient species.    While he generally does whatever he feels like, he is primarily invested in keeping Doctor Arkadius supplied with human subjects to experiment on, and in turn supplies Ygevny with a constant stream of magical and alchemical supplies which may help extend his life.

In this photo; Rorsh casts Blur!
Gron is almost as strong as an Ogrun and as tough as a Trollkin, as well as a fair shot with his rifle.  He also carries several grenades and sticks of dynamite for if he needs to fight several enemies at once, but he will tend towards just wading in with his fists.

That's it for the Kayazy Houses!  Next up, I'll be starting on the NPC "parties", starting with the Rusalka Kids, Ordic River Pirates!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 3 : House Ryumin

Last post, I covered the industrialist Drago Katzoff, but now it's time to move on to another of the great Kayazy Lords of Khardov; Lady Stefani Ryumin, the queen of coal and owner of over half the mining network in the city.  She is well loved by her workers, and is renowned for paying vastly above the standard wage for her miners, as well as providing excellent healing and financial support for injured employees.

Of course, she can afford this because she has the majority of the street gangs of Khardov in her back pocket.  She pays the workers, and the gangs take a large sum of it back and pay Ryumin to distract the Olcheniy, who she also unofficially controls, towards their rivals.  Despite all this, Ryumin remains behind the scenes and (relatively) quite a minor Kayazy - a fact which can only be by choice.

On the (even more) illegal front, Ryumin is also both a Thamarite Priestess and an Infernalist, and has a booming trade in souls from people all across Western Khador.  People come to her to make contact with Infernals, and the Infernals grant her power to keep the souls coming.  This dark trade claims dozens, if not hundreds, of Khadoran souls a year and does drastic damage to the Khadoran war effort.

Stefani Ryumin
Stefani Ryumin was born into a fairly rich family who have lived in Khardov for several generations, and is used to having money around her entire life.  Despite this, she had a natural affinity with the "low" members of society, preferring the company of non-humans and commoners and, when she inherited a small mining operation, she used the knowledge she gained to encourage more and more workers to join her business, slowly edging out her competitors as more and more of their employees moved over to join her.

With apologies to the sculptor for the shitty paint job...
Now, Lady Ryumin controls the majority of the mines in the surrounding area and large foundries where the ore is smelted.  They are hubs of activity all throughout the night, and it's rare to find an area of her territory that doesn't have some people about or, if you're that way inclined, noise to cover illicit activities.  She has also set up underground temples throughout Khardov where Thamarites can worship in peace.  These also have the upside for Ryumin of giving her both safe refuges AND a ready supply of reinforcements across the city.

In a fight, Ryumin is touchingly pathetic, having no combat or spellcasting abilities to speak of.  Of course, would-be vigilantes don't fight Ryumin herself, they fight the two spectral Umbral Enforcers who follow her around to keep the Infernal's investment alive.  While she flees, these two monsters attack assailants under cover of invisibility with whips that can fly through flesh and bone to attack the soul directly - anyone who is killed by them quickly discover their souls have been kept from Urcaen and at serious risk of being taken by the Infernal Reavers.

Rorvag Rockbiter
A childhood friend of Stefani Ryumin, Rorvag was hired as soon as she took over her first mine as a foreman, and has been working for her ever since.  Now, he is responsible for the day to day workings of her business, as well as leading the protection of the mines from rogue Shaft Wights and saboteurs from other Kayazy with mine workings in the city.

Oh yeah, and he's a Trollkin.
While he's a dab-hand with his greatsword and customised cannon, Rorvag's biggest asset is his leadership - he is respected and admired by those he leads, who know he is the first in to any situation and the last out, trusting on his natural resilience to see him through.  He is, however, easy to avoid - unless someone threatens Stefani directly, he sticks to defending his mines, and certainly won't come to the aid of any of the other lieutenants of House Ryumin.

Having grown up on the streets of Khardov, Braz knows his way around the city like no other, as well as the methods of every major criminal player in the area.  He came into contact with Ryumin after she came to power and had started trying to make her mark as a Thamarite priestess among the criminal gangs.  He decided to make money by setting her up with gangs, and she decided she'd pay him to be her contact with all of them.  After five years, their relationship has settled into a routine - he collects the gang's protection money to give to Ryumin, and keeps her up to date with new players in the area.

He also looks like Yoda as made by Dark Crystal-era Jim Henson.  Which is badass.
Braz doesn't fight, he assassinates, he steals and he uses the gangs jockeying for his favour to fight for him.  His knack for stealth and love of torture and cruelty means that anyone who comes in to fight him head on will be led into a maze of traps and dead ends that would make Jigsaw jealous, none of which will kill his prey quickly.  Of course, his only loyalty is to money, so it's possible to buy your way out of the deathtraps once you get in, but he doesn't publicise that...

Jaime O'Harenhal
A Thurian mercenary, Jaime has fought in the Scharde invasions, multiple border skirmishes (on every border), the invasion of Llael (on both sides), as an enforcer in Five Fingers and on several missions into the Thornwood and the Sharde Isles which he refuses to talk about.  Now, he's covertly in the employ of Ryumin as the leader of the Olcheniy, the Kayazy-funded city guard.  While he generally does his job well, he's also turned the city guard into what amounts to enforcers for Ryumin, driving out or crushing all street crime that isn't directly in her pocket.

It's Rutger Shaw-lite!  Woo!
Jaime is an excellent combatant with at least two decades of military engagements that he's willing to admit to.  On top of that, he's a practised commander at the unit level, and has the resources of the Kayazy and the Olcheniy at his immediate disposal.  While he is single-handedly a dangerous foe, when he brings his allies, he's almost unstoppable...

And that's the second of the Kayazy Houses my players will be fighting!  Next up, House Ygevny, the alchemists...

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 2 : House Katzoff

So, last time I gave an overview of the factions of Khardov, and now I'm going to go into more detail about each of the groups in turn (and throw in some pictures, too!).

House Katzoff is responsible for almost a third of the manufacturing in Khardov, specialising in Steamjacks and with a sideline in gun manufacturing.  Naturally, as you might think, House Katzoff has a lot of military contracts, and Katzoff himself has re-invested the money from these into muscling out his competition by funding assassinations, corporate espionage and even the occasional legitimate business practices.

Like all good successful Kayazy, House Katzoff is involved in various less-than-legal activities.  Drago Katzoff himself is personally involved with a series of brothels throughout Khardov and works with his bodyguard and confidante, a woman known only as Madame Blaustavya, to keep them running.  While this isn't illegal in itself, these are used as a front for assassination, blackmail and gun running.  And there's probably a lot of shady backroom deals done there, too.

Drago Katzoff
Drago Katzoff is a Skirov industrialist who has moved to Khardov to make his fortune.  Over the last few years, he's gone from obscurity to being the premier producer of military-grade mechanika in the area, and has made a rather impressive pile of gold in the process.  He's a true poster child for Khadoran capitalism, and one of the rags to riches stories that other young Khadorans are already told of.  In every way, Drago Katzoff is a gentleman, a patriot and an inspiration to the nation.

He has the fu manchu goatee of smarminess.  I hope my players hate him as much as I do.

Drago Katzoff doesn't exist.

Three years ago, the man who would be Katzoff was known as Drogo Musevni, an Umbrean Greylord working in Llael.  During a mission to infiltrate an organisation known as the Free Umbrean League, he discovered that his personal views and the organisations' were in alignment, and he slowly found himself being indoctrinated into the group.  After revealing his current situation to the League's leadership and offering his services, they "disappeared" him, and a new man was born.  Now, "Katzoff" makes a fortune to send back to his new masters, as well as the occasional "missing" shipment of warjacks and weaponry.

Katzoff also has a few tricks up his sleeve to surprise anyone who tries to take him on in anything other than the sneakiest of ways.  His new persona is not known as a spellcaster, and he carries a magical Orgoth weapon known as Ironhater, a sword that can take control of any cortex nearby, sapping the wielder's strength to force a steamjack to act well beyond it's operational parameters.  In essence, the first people who try to attack him will discover a man who, far from being a simple aristocrat, is close to being a full-fledged warcaster...

Madame Blaustavya
Not much is known about the woman who calls herself Madame Blaustavya, except for her legendary beauty and grace.  It is believed that she was the daughter of one of the workers in one of Katzoff's factories, and that she was noticed by the lord when she came back from her stationing with the Winter Guard.  Although originally taken as a personal escort, she quickly proved both her intelligence and ability in combat, and was elevated to the position of overseer of the brothels in Khardov.

She'd be so much hotter if I could paint well.

Not only is Blaustavya a naturally competent fighter, but Katzoff has also brought in multiple fighters from across Western Immoren to train her in varying fighting styles.  This, combined with Vashyyr, her mechanikal Nyss Claymore, has made her a deadly assassin and bodyguard for the Kayazy lord.

Andrei Drogovya & Odei Thunderforge
The joint heads of House Katzoff's foundries, Drogovya and Thunderforge are responsible for a large number of the technical improvements that have come out of Khador in the last few years.  While they aren't party to the more illicit workings of House Katzoff, they are still committed to the cause, and will fight to defend their foundries if an errant group of players try to move in.

Thunderforge is the little one.  Glad I could help.

To a greater (in Drogovya's case) or lesser (in Thunderforge's case) extent, both of these mechaniks have suffered injuries in the line of work.  Thunderforge suffers from terrible burns down the left hand side of his body from a smelting accident, and Drogovya lives in a mechanikal suit that powers his replacement arm and leg, which were lost in the line of craftsmanship when a warjack fell on him.  While many would think this would prove they were poor mechaniks, they see this as proof that they have made mistakes they have clearly learnt from.  Their version seems to be the right one, as little setbacks like losing two limbs seems to have only sharpened Drogovya's mind to further heights of genius.

Actually fighting these guys will be a masterclass in unpleasantness, as they both pack some kind of flame thrower - Thunderforge has his arc welder, and Drogovya has an in-built flame belcher on his mechanikal arm.  While they may not be the greatest combatants, they DO threaten burning their opponents to death.  Which just isn't a nice way to go.

Well, there's a slightly more in depth look into House Katzoff, the house that shouldn't exist.  Next up, I'll be looking slightly more in depth into House Ryumin, the house of whispers.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

IKRPG! Life in Khardov, Part 1 : Overview


So, I've not been posting much recently, and that's MAINLY because I'm coming very close to getting every model I own painted for the first time in...  Ever.  Still, I've also been working on my IKRPG campaign, and I'll be posting up details of the factions, their machinations and some of the intrigues that go on between them.

As you'll quickly discover from the faction overviews I'm about to write up, Khardov is a shitty, shitty place.  After the Conquest was finished, the lower classes of the city experienced a surge of patriotism that softened the sheer number of deaths from people who froze, starved and got caught in accidents building the thing, but that wave of joy has passed and the grim reality that many of their friends and families were lost on something that didn't even bring Cygnar under Khador's control is slowly setting in.

Fuelling this fire are the three major Kayazy merchant houses of the region.  While they are not provably doing anything illegal (any more than the other twenty two in the city), they are using the unrest to be slightly more blatant in their crimes.  The players - a unit of Winter Guard veterans - have been sent in by the Prikaz to bring down the Kayazy from the inside, while still maintaining a veneer of plausible deniability for the Khadoran government if it all goes wrong.

House Katzoff
Headed by lord Drago Katzoff, House Katzoff is responsible for a large amount of the Warjack production in Khardov.  Under the command of Crew Chief Andrei Drogovya and the Rhulic Mechanik Odei Thunderforge, the Katzoff foundries churn out new 'jacks by the dozen, and even have a side business building bespoke steamjacks for wealthy clients to perform a variety of functions, from construction to combat.

House Katzoff is also the legitimate front for the Free Umbrean League.  A group of terrorists who want the now united Umbrey to secede from the new Khardic Empire under the leadership of Vladmir Tzepsci.  Drago Katzoff (formerly Drogo Musevni) uncovered them as a young Greylord and, rather than taking them down, was indoctrinated into their beliefs and used "liberated" Llaelese coin to pay his way into a new life.  Now he uses his connections to funnel both funds and supplies to the League - anything from a few hundred Horns to a shipment of Warjacks - and must be stopped.

As a side business, Katzoff also runs the majority of burlesque houses and brothels in the city.  Under the watchful eye of the woman known only as Madame Blaustavya, pretty young girls are taught several trades - dancing and loving being the two most well known, but also including stealth, assassination and an ear for incriminating information that could be used against clients if they become a problem.  Anyone can hire a girl from Blaustavya for the night, and requests for sex and murder are about equally common...

House Ryumin
The mining company created, owned and aggressively expanded by Lady Stefani Ryumin, House Ryumin is responsible for over half of the considerable mining network that sprawls out beneath the city.  Under the watchful eye of the Trollkin Foreman Rorvag Rockbiter, worker safety is a priority, and Ryumin herself is well loved for her insistence on paying higher than average wages to her men, as well as her total disregard of race - Gobber, Trollkin and Iosan are just as good as human to her.

No one's that philanthropic in Khardov.  Stefani Ryumin recoups her money in two ways.  Firstly, Ryumin is a Thamarite, and has purview over most of the Thamarite Septs in Western Khador.  Infernalism, sacrifice and just good old fashioned sadism are not unknown to her, although she sees nothing wrong with this - her subjects offer their bodies and souls willingly, and she merely accepts them.  Among the pacts she currently has, she has at least two bound Infernal Soldiers and contact with the ghost of the mine's previous foreman, who has control of the Shaft Wights in the area (rumours that she directs them to attack other mining operations are, of course, totally impossible to prove).  People pay her vast amounts to grant their wishes, even if they are unaware she only acts as a front woman for things that shouldn't exist...

Secondly, and on a far more mundane level, Ryumin quickly muscled a Thurian by the name of Jaime O'Harehal in as the de facto leader of the Olcheniy - the mercenary city guard of the Khardov Kayazy.  If a criminal gang wants to continue their muggings and extortion on the citizens of Khardov, it pays her a cut of their taking through Braznaggalakam, the Gobber "king of thieves".  Every so often, when a gang fails to make it's payment, or if the notoriously unpredictable Braz takes a dislike to them, the Olcheniy get an "anonymous" tip of a gang's hideout, and the general citizens of the city get to hear about how Ryumin and her men took down another gang that prey on the weak like monsters.  Truly, Ryumin is a hero of the Empire.

House Ygevny
Lord Kerwyn Ygevny is different from the other two Kayazy Lords of Khardov.  Unlike the rest, he doesn't own huge swathes of property, or employ hundreds of people, but he doesn't have to.  Ygevny mechanika is considered some of the best in Khador, and his apprentices can command the kind of prices some Mechaniks get for full warjacks.  He also employs a series of skilled Alchemists who, under the supervision of Borosh "The Alchemist" Gostaff, manufacture curatives and other potions to support his day to day business.  He is never seen without the gunmage Jynnasa, his bodyguard and (reputedly) the only person he considers as brilliant as he is.

Of all three of the Kayazy Lords, Ygevny is both the least and most motivated by greed when it comes to his crimes.  Alone amongst his peers, Ygevny doesn't care about money - he is both a very old man, and has contracted Rip Lung - everything he does is a desperate attempt to keep himself alive a while longer.  At best, Ygevny has made contact with one Doctor Arkadius, and is supplying him with homeless pulled off the streets so he can experiment on them.  To this end, Arkadius has supplied a farrow named Gron to his estate, both to keep him safe, and to keep him under control.

At worst, Ygevny is a practicing Necromancer.  While he is not an arcanist himself, he has access to enough relics and forbidden knowledge to ressurect crude thralls, and most of his time is spent experimenting with undeath in an attempt to keep himself alive.  While he is mostly lucid, fear of Urcaen has pushed him beyond the bounds of sanity, and he is a danger to himself, the city and the Empire.

There are also several "neutral" factions in and around the city which the players can either ally with, use or come into conflict with as they see fit.  This is what I have so far, but I'll probably add more...

The Rusalka Kids
Led by Madelyn Fernassi and composed entirely of Tordorans and Thurians, the Rusalka Kids are Khardov's premier river pirates and smuggling crew.  With a reputation for punctuality, reliability and discretion, the Kids are used by everyone with a cargo that needs to be shifted without the rest of the city knowing.  While Fern handles the bulk of the transactions herself, she also occasionally delegates to her lieutenant, Grant MacRoth - who speaks with her total authority.

The Chosen of Morrow
The city is going to hell and, to some people, that seems more literal than others.  Led by Father Konrad Vorisk, the Chosen have taken to cleansing the streets of Khardov with sword, bullet and spell.  Criminals, Thamar worshippers and even some more extreme Menites have all been killed in the Chosen's crusade, and soon even the members of the Olcheniy and Winter Guard garrison who agree with their methods will have to start hunting them down.

The Ex Crew
Khardov is a mining town and, where there are mines, there will be Shaft Wights.  What seperates the Shaft Wights of some little mining town on the border and Khardov is, apart from numbers, that they're being controlled by an outside influence.  Specifically, the dead miners still follow the ghost of Marek Danislav, the old foreman, and Danislav will happily talk to the few people willing to converse with the long dead.  It's possible to negotiate with him for both safe passage through the mines (if you don't mind the smell) and even possibly valuable items that his crew have found.

The Winter Guard Garrison
The Garrison in Khardov is an interesting exercise in incompetence and general lack of motivation.  With the Olcheniy tackling most of the unsanctioned crime in the city, and Kommander Matvey Constantin being paid an impressively large and regular bribe to drink fine Uiske and ignore the sanctioned "disturbances", the Winter Guard spend most of their time pretending to drill and generally doing nothing.  Still, the majority of the garrison want to do something, and their clear itching for a fight will either be a great asset or a huge hindrance, depending on who gets to them first.

The Retribution of Scyrah
Several years ago, a small contingent of Mage Hunters took up residence in a disused mine shaft just outside of the city limits.  They primarily spy on the inhabitants and commit small acts of sabotage in arcanists workshops but, as the years go on, they're getting bored and their leader, Tybias, Shadow's Bane, is gradually getting them riled up to start actively killing mages.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I'm gonna post up about each of these in more detail, and really get into the specifics of each character and group.  This is primarily so I have a decent frame of reference, but I hope some of you people in Internetland get something out of this, too! :D

Saturday, 23 June 2012

My Firstest Evar Tournament!

I'm quite vocal about my general dislike of competitive play, but I still wanted to go to a tournament, just to say I'd been, and today was that tournament!  Due to it being a bit of a late planned event, only four people actually turned up, but meh, here's my story of my first 35 point tournament...


Lord Arcanist Ossyan
-Sylys Wyshnalyrr
10 Riflemen + UA
10 Riflemen + UA
2 Arcanists

Kaelyssa, Night's Whisper
10 Mage Hunter Strike Force + UA
2 Mage Hunter Assassins
2 Arcanists
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution

GAME ONE - Ossyan Vs Caine (Gauntlet)

Captain Allister Caine
6 Gun Mages + UA
6 Gun Magers
6 Rangers
6 Rangers
Black 13th
Gun Mage Captain Adept

Thanks to Ossyan's theme force, Hypnos got Admonition, the Banshee got Quicken, Ossyan got Chronomancer and one of the Rifleman units got Shatterstorm.  I pushed my 'jacks up the middle as a Riflemen unit went up each flank.  He misjudged his Ranger unit on the flank with the unit of Shatterstorm'd Riflemen, leaving them within 3" of the edge of a forest and consequently left with two members - they never passed a CMD check for the rest of the game.

Hypnos managed to get a few good shots on the 'jacks, Void Locking Caine's Hunter while allowing Ossyan to arc Arkantrik Bolt into the Marshall'd one, locking them both down, while the Banshee managed to kill a few Rangers and knock Caine's Hunter into the Black 13th, killing Ryan.  In return, all the gun mages in the army AND both Hunters left Hypnos with one box on the Cortex, which was promptly used to get two from Ossyan to shoot at Caine, followed by a seven-man CRA from a unit of Riflemen, which left Caine on negative health.

I've never seen anyone get any CPs on Gauntlet.  It's basically glorified 'caster kill.

GAME TWO - Kaelyssa Vs The Butcher (Destruction)

The Butcher
-War Dog
6 Winter Guard + UA + 2 Rocketeers
2 Eliminators
2 Eliminators
Kovnik Grigorvich
Man o' War Drakhun (Mounted)
Saxon Orrik

Yeah.  I got mauled.  I forgot about Counter-Charge on the Drakhun and that messed up my entire game.  Highlights that I remember from the blur after that included missing a 'jack in melee with Kiss of Lylyss, meaning I hit my own Strike Force in the back with it (effective ARM 9.  Oh yeah...) and only avoiding getting mauled by a unit of Eliminators due to exceedingly unlucky dice on the other guy's part.

I managed to win by getting two VERY lucky shots off with my Hydra, killing the Butcher.  I didn't deserve this win - I allowed myself to be flustered by getting caught out by a rule I hadn't accounted for and then fluked an assassination.

I'll take the win, though :p

Overall?  While I enjoyed it, I'm not a massive fan of timed turns, and I'm certainly not a fan of how much they start messing with my mind, even in a two game event - little mistakes start snowballing, and I found that incredibly stressful.  Still, the actual games themselves were good fun!  I could see myself doing it again if I knew the other players were about my level.

I've also picked up almost all the bits needed for my Mercenary army, too.  Pictures to follow at some point!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Slow-Grow Month 1 - Baldur Rocks!

As I mentioned about this time last month, I'm playing epic Baldur in a slow-grow league!  Currently, I'm running...

Epic Baldur

The current plan is that the Woldwarden tramples forward, pops his animus and Geomancies Roots of the Earth, then Megalith tramples forward and Geomancies Roots of the Earth and finally Baldur walks forward, casts Roots of the Earth and then a rock wall in front of the wolds, so it looks a bit like this;

The end result is a DEF 14, ARM 21 Woldwarden and a DEF 14 ARM 22 Megalith that can't be moved or knocked down.  Or even engaged by a large number of non-reach infantry.  Oh, and everyone regenerates SOMETHING as long as Megalith is alive - Megalith regenerates D3, the Warden gets 1 as long as it's in base contact with Megakith and Baldur basically ignores the Devourer's Debt for the first two turns.

Oh, a quick note on the Ritual of Renewal - I've yet to find a need for it.  Sure, Baldur takes some damage, but when he starts getting P+S 18-20, he can start wrecking heavies, let alone enemy 'casters.

Still, Baldur has yet to let me down - I've gone 4-0 at the 15 point level.  One more week at 15, then onto the heady heights of 25 points!

Thursday, 31 May 2012


Shitty picture, sexy mini. (Source - the good people at Lost Hemisphere)

I've seen some potential spoilers of the rules, but I don't want to jinx it - I'll just let this picture sink in...

Also, in a completely unrelated note, I've completely finished painting every Ret mini I own - I'll try to get some pics up at some point but, for now...  Oooh...

EDIT - Got my source wrong.  Also, latest news puts this beauty at 18 points, making it Iosan tech that is CHEAPER than the other ones!  Someone's making up for the Arcantrik Force Generator!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

IKRPG! T-Minus 4 Months!

So, the hope is that the IKRPG will be dropped around August/September time, which happens to coincide with the end of Dark Sphere's Slow Grow so, with this in mind, I've already started getting into GM mode! I've shanghai'd a group of six players, and come up with a basic plotline set in the wilds of Khador's foremost mining city, Khardov!

Both to set up my campaign AND as a proof of concept, allow me to present the first of (hopefully) many Khardov Heralds;

You can click on it to zoom in.  And I have no idea why, but Kaya HAS been fighting a lot of Searforge armies recently...

XP bonus to the first of my players to decipher the Khardic in the middle!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mercenary Tendencies 1.1 : MCBAAAAAAAIN!

I finished these babies last night, and just wanted to throw 'em up

From left to right; Rustbucket, Reinholdt, Crash, McBain, Clanky (also pictured, my Mage Hunter Strike Force that I've been putting off 'cos I hate infantry.  Not pictured, the parts to make up the legless War Hog just off to the left).  While these babies required vastly more cleaning than any of the Ret kits I've got, they were also vastly more fun to put together - the Merc kit comes with haulage to add on and the arms and heads are infinitely more posable.

Plus it feels far better when you start hacking it up and painting it as covered in rust and oil!  More Merc kits may come after I've finished this McBain list...

Friday, 11 May 2012

And now for something completely different... Part 2 : Mercenary Tendencies

The coming months are all about slow-grow here in Chip's Warmachine land!  I'll be building a 50 point Baldur the Stonesoul theme force for a Dark Sphere slow grow league (NOT Journeyman) from June to September, and a 50 point McBain and Lord Carver theme force at my own pace.

Today, I'll be talking about the initial 15 point lists for my mercs and minions!  I WOULD also post pictures, but PP decreed that I would have a legless War Hog, so actual pictures will be coming sometime soon. Still, I'm currently in the possession of;

-Reinholt (meh, I had a point left...)


Lord Carver BMMD Esq.
-2xWar Hog
-Gun Boar

The hope is that, over the next few months, these battlegroups will spawn armies that will allow me to switch battlegroups to field every faction in the game (except Ret, who I have, and, like, Searforge.  But no one cares about them...).  It's a dream I've had for a while, and have never REALLY got round to actually doing it - so here's the mission statement - next few months are dedicated to getting the armies together.  No distractions!

Apart from Baldur.

Friday, 4 May 2012

And now for something completely different... Part 1 : Epic Kaya!

As some of you may remember during the heady days of the Western Immoren Economy Tour, I started a small Circle army and, now that I've managed to scrape together the cash for the plastic Warpwolves...

...I've finished it!  Currently, the force is;

Kaya the Moonhunter
-Pureblood Warpwolf
-Feral Warpwolf
-2xWarpwolf Stalker
Druids of Orboros + Overseer
Shifting Stones + Stone Keeper
Min Warpborn Skinwalkers

I've truly messed up the painting of the Druids, but I've signed up for a slow-grow league where I'll be making an epic Baldur list, so I'm considering picking up a new unit for that to try again.  Still, the army is nice to pull out when I want something to brutalise some poor bastard - it's fast, it hits hard, it's fast, it hits hard, it's fast and, last but not least, it hits really, really hard.

I'm still looking for ways to keep Laris alive for a full battle, though.  Answers, as always, on a postcard to;

42 Orboros Avenue
South of Bainsmarket
Wilds of Cygnar

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Mangled Metal : Scrapyard

Today's recommendation for a new game type is what, as of Monday Night, we've taken to calling Mangled Metal : Scrapyard.

The format is simple; 50 point Mangled Metal with 2 'casters.  No support, no solos, nothing but 2 battle wizards and their 'jacks or 'beasts - last person with both 'casters AND 'jacks on the table is the winner!

And, most importantly, there are a LOT of 'jacks on the table.

I know what you're thinking from that picture above and yes, you're right.  I DID get massacred.  Thing is, even as I got stomped into the ground, it still felt like a close game, where one wrong move on either side would spell the end of the game and a bit of Focus mismanagement will put you in a REALLY bad spot.

This has actually got some of us into thinking through proper lists for this format.  I genuinely believe Retribution can do well in this format, and am considering making a list around Kaelyssa and Ravyn that focusses purely on Assassination (Kaelyssa under the effects of Phantom Hunter and Ravyn's Feat would easily take three Focus off an enemy 'caster - and hopefully do some damage - on a vital turn...).

But more on that as it comes...  Next week...  Another game with the Ossyan theme force (probably!)

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Iosans Unbound : Redux

"Humerous" epilogue to my last blog post.  As I was putting the minis back from taking the photo, I dropped them.  The Force generator and the 'jacks are fine, but the infantry is now a very expensive pile of broken metal.

Ho.  Ho.  Fucking.  Ho.

Iosans Unbound

So, I finally got a full 150 point army painted, and that means one thing, and one thing only...  SHITTY PHOTOS!
This is the full army - it contains all the minis needed to field Rahn, Ossyan and Vyros' Theme Forces up to Tier 4 with a few other minis for support (and because I PAID for the damn Force Generator so I will use it).

The "Core" of the army - Vyros, 2 Hydras, 2 Aspis, Halberdiers +UA, 2 Heavy Rifle Teams, a unit of Stormfall Archers, Epic Eiryss and a Mage Hunter Assassin (who I've just noticed was more than 5" from the camera.  Stoopid Stealth...) - plus 4 Arcanists who can be scattered around the army as needed.

This part of the force could also be referred to as "everything not in the other two bits".

The Artillery section - Ossyan, Hypnos and a Banshee, 2 units of Riflemen + UA, another unit of Stormfall Archers and the Arcantrik Force Generator.

These are the elements that will cover the main force.  While I'm still pissed about my Arcantrik Waste of £60, it may be useful in an Unbound game and at least won't need Focus to be effective.  Of course, it also can't use, say, Chronomancer to further boost the damage...

Lastly, the Shyeel contingent.  It's what it looks like - it's a Rahn Tier 4 theme force with an additional Artificer.

Oh yes.

The Artificer should move up with the Halberdiers to keep them safe before they charge.  Halberdiers charging kicks ass too much to let them die before they do it.

Now, I'm well aware setting up an Unbound game is a statistical impossibility when you could play approximately eighteen million regular 50 point games in the same timeframe, I'm just very, very happy that I've finally got to this point, and now I feel confident I could at least participate if the option ever comes up so...  Yeah.  Yay!

And I got to show off some minis - not the best work in the world, but admit it, all black looks better than iElf white!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Hammer Time

OK, I know it's been over a year since I posted, but I've been busy!  I've even get a full unbound army painted (pictures to follow at some point) but, right now, I'm posting a quick battle report with my newly completed Ossyan theme force.  I'm going to try to post up at least one battle report a week to keep me posting...  Stuff...  To this blog.

Today's list is...

 - Hypnos
 - Banshee
 - Sylys Wyshnallyr
3x Arcanist
2x 10 Riflemen + UA
4x 4 Stormfall Archers
2x Heavy Rifle Teams

And it went up against;

 - The Behemoth
 - Beast-09
 - Torch
 - Devastator
 - Kodiak
6 Mechaniks

The scenario was Gauntlet, and I won the roll-off but chose to go second.


Karchev's deployment was...  About as subtle as a deployment with 6 Large based minis can be.  Legs is the Behemoth and the chassis with no limbs is Torch.

SPOILER : This turns out to be an effective foreshadowing...

I deployed with Ossyan, the 'jacks and their support facing off against Karchev's battlegroup, the two Heavy Rifle teams and Riflemen Unit 2 (the ones on the right) deployed to cover the centre objective, and Riflemen Unit 1 (left) set up to flank round the side of the massive building.  The two units of Stormfall Archers were set up in the middle left to go where they were needed.

Thanks to the theme force benefits, Hypnos started with Admonition, the Banshee started with Quicken and Ossyan started with Chronomancer.  You read that right.

Karchev moves up and uses Tow to drag the Devastator, Torch and the Behemoth up before casting Sidearms.  Torch uses his cloud centred on himself and Beast-09 and the Kodiak run up behind him, with the Mechaniks up behind him.

At this point, Karchev is DEF 109,695,149,741,097 and immune to knockdown.

The Ret army moves up, with nothing in range to shoot, the turn is over quickly.  So quickly, I forget to activate Sylys and the third Arcanist before passing the turn back.

Karchev and his cronies move up in formation, with Torch using his cloud slightly behind him.  The Behemoth fires off two shots at the Banshee and manages to take some chunks out of the ground and the hill.

The Arcanist bravely cowering behind the brick wall gives Hypnos a point of Focus, who then walks up and takes a pot shot at the Behemoth, hitting it before boosting for damage, doing a few points.  Ossyan arcs an Arcantrik Bolt at the Behemoth, also hitting but not doing enough damage to bother boosting.  He then walks up, feats and fires at Torch, catching him and doing a few points of damage.  The Heavy Rifle teams and Riflemen Unit 2 open up on the Behemoth leaving it damaged enough for two Stormfall Archers to finish it with Brutal Shot before turning on Torch.

 On the flank, Riflemen Unit 1 CRA Beast-09, taking out the axe and reacquainting me with the Hyper Aggressive ability.  Not wanting to bother TRYING to hit Beast-09 while he's in melee, the Stormfall Archers take some shots at Torch, leaving him on 2 points of cortex.

The Mechaniks fail pretty much all their repair rolls, but manage to get Beast-09's axe back online.  Torch walks up and fires his flame thrower through the Stormfall Archers, incinerating two and missing Ossyan.  Karchev pops his Feat, casts Unearthly Rage and sprays at Ossyan through Torch, missing everything.  The Spriggan charges the Banshee and is half an inch out.  Beast-09 charges the flanking Stormfall Archers, Threshers and murders everything within 2".

It's at this point we realise I have nothing in either control area, and am facing down a virtually undamaged Karchev who is 1 up on CPs.  Balls.

Ossyan puts three focus on the Banshee, and an Arcanist activates to put one on Hypnos.  Ossyan moves back, fires at Torch, hits and does no damage.  He then Arcantrik bolts it, hits and does no damage.  Hypnos moves across to cover Ossyan and Void Locks the offending barely mobile trash pile.

That's right - in three shots, I didn't dent it once!  On the plus side, it's blocking Karchev's charge lane.  Right?  Right?

The Banshee does some damage to the Kodiak's legs and hull, and the firing squad on the right start doing some damage to Karchev.  The Stormfall Archers move into Khador's scoring zone so I don't lose.

Not wanting to let Karchev heal (not even a little bit...), the Riflemen on the flank go round the side and pick off some of the Mechaniks

In the turn of Wrestling ninja attacks, the Devastator throws Torch at Hypnos, knocking them both down and, crucially, leaving Torch on 1 Health.  Torch gets up and uses his flame thrower, missing.  Beast-09 Threshers and kills a few more Riflemen.  The Kodiak throws the Banshee at the Heavy Rifle team, getting a bunch of Riflemen and killing the lot.  While he couldn't get a direct charge lane at Ossyan, Karchev "warped for speed" and charged an Arcanist, killing it with his fist and getting a free swing at Ossyan, fully boosted...

...Does 15 damage on a 16 health 'caster.

The last two Mechaniks charge the Stormfall Archers and whiff hilariously.

After cleaning my chair and changing boxers, I assign three Focus to the Banshee (one to Shake off the Knockdown) and drop Quicken.  The Riflemen walk up, use Whites of their Eyes and do a full CRA into Karchev, followed by the Banshee doing a fully boosted Hail Mary shot - hitting Karchev EXACTLY on 16 - and knocking him down and, more importantly, out of melee.  The two Heavy Rifle teams take Karchev down to 8 health, a charging Arcanist manages to get 16 on his damage dice (oh yes...) for another 5 and...

Ossyan walks up and stabs Karchev.

In the face.

Like a boss.

The much-maligned Chronomancer does me well with Ossyan.  One focus from an Arcanist means I can use Hypnos and the Banshee's guns more effectively - where the damage is a bonus to their special rules - and keep more focus for Ossyan himself.  Also, with Ossyan himself, it means I can see if it's worth boosting with his attacks, leading to at least one or two extra camped focus a turn.

I'm considering switching out the Stormfall Archers for a Daemon and a fourth Arcanist.  Hellmouth with Chronomancer and Ossyan's Feat should do a LOT of damage in the right hands ("Oop!  Didn't kill him?  BOOST!  MUAHAHAAA!  Die!  DIE MY DARLINGS!"), and I've only had grief with the Stormfalls getting in the way of each other, while a third Heavy 'jack should do something more noticable.

Lastly, yes.  I got VERY lucky with a few rolls in this game but, honestly, looking back I couldn't say I'd do anything different.