Monday, April 21, 2014

Time of Legends, An Age of War

This is a dark age, a bloody age, an age of daemons
and of sorcery. It is an age of battle and death, and of the
world's ending. Amidst all of the fire, flame and fury
it is a time, too, of mighty heroes, of bold deeds
and great courage.
At the heart of the Old World sprawls the Empire, the
largest and most powerful of the human realms. Known for
its engineers, sorcerers, traders and soldiers, it is
a land of great mountains, mighty rivers, dark forests
and vast cities. And from his throne in Altdorf reigns
the Emperor Karl Franz, sacred descendant of the
founder of these lands, Sigmar, and wielder
of his magical warhammer.
But these are far from civilised times. Across the length
and breadth of the Old World, from the knightly palaces
of Bretonnia to ice-bound Kislev in the far north, come
rumblings of war. In the towering Worlds Edge Mountains,
the orc tribes are gathering for another assault. Bandits and
renegades harry the wild southern lands of
the Border Princes. There are rumours of rat-things, the
skaven, emerging from the sewers and swamps across the
land. And from the northern wildernesses there is the
ever-present threat of Chaos, of daemons and beastmen
corrupted by the foul powers of the Dark Gods.
As the time of battle draws ever near,
the Empire needs heroes
like never before.

One of my favourite hobbies is Warhammer, both Fantasy and 40,000 (40K, as it is affectionately known). There is something exquisitely satisfying about two armies on a table clashing for victory in a battle of supremacy. The only thing to make it an even better experience is if both armies are fully painted and the table has enough terrain to make it an interesting game. Not that there is anything wrong with a plain field of bloodshed, but terrain just adds that much more to the game.

Warhammer is a very social game as well. I've met some great people while playing Warhammer. It's like having a board game night with friends, just much more involved than a typical board game. In fact, if I am trying to explain Warhammer to someone that is the line I use: It's like a game of Risk, but much more involved.
How is it more involved than a game of Risk? Well, for starters, nothing is assembled or painted when you get it. You are literally BUILDING an army and painting it so that you can play. After you have an army built and all the necessary elements (core rule book, dice, tape measure, relevant army book [or codex for 40K], any templates that may be needed, etc...) you can throw together a game and pulverize your opponent!
The following pictures go through the necessary steps to building an army.

As stated above, I do enjoy both Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40K. I command a Wood Elf army for Fantasy and a Space Marine army for 40K. When the new rules were released for 40K, I took the small Chaos Space Marine force in the Dark Vengeance starter set and put together a Chaos Warband. For Fantasy, I took the elements in the Isle of Blood set and am working on a small High Elf party (which is currently my obsession) What follows below are some photos of minis that I've painted up for my various armies. Unfortunately I don't have any of my High Elves painted up, but I have Wood Elves, my Emerald Saints Space Marines and my Pyre Chaos Warband. Hopefully the colours (and models) are enough to differentiate  the factions from one another. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Page Turns

Remember that time when Frodo and Sam were at Mt Doom to throw the One Ring into the fires where it was created? Well, I was there. And what about that time that young Adelrune went seeking out Riander to train him as a knight? I was there too. Or how about when the Jedi were massacred during Order 66 and then roughly 20 years later the son of a traitor shows up and is instrumental in the fall of the Empire that changed the face of a Galaxy Far, Far Away? You got it. I was right there with Luke Skywalker and the Rebels.

I'm not quite sure when I read my first book. I'm not even sure of when I first learned to read. But I am glad that I did.

Books, for me, have been constant friends. Growing up in the country and not having a lot of friends (read as any friends) in school, books were companions and fellow adventurers and true loves. There were new things to learn and new people to meet and new sights to see within those lovely pages filled not with words, but experiences.

There is a quote that I like from The Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo quotes Bilbo and though the quote is about the Road, I think it follows very true for books as well. The quote goes like this: 
'He often used to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep and every path was its tributary. "It's dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to."
The relation to a book? Think of stepping out your door as opening a book. Once you open that cover and turn the first page you could end up anywhere.

Maybe embarking on that journey is why I enjoy writing. I wouldn't say I'm terribly good at it (though others might say otherwise), but I do enjoy it. I have a few short stories drifting around on my computer. Perhaps next time I'll post one of them. This is not that time though.

So whether you are a traveller to far and distant lands, heading to your cousins castle in the next county over or just popping into the pub down the street described within the book you are reading, keep those pages turning. You can visit all the places you had ever wanted and all you have to do is pick up a book.