Thursday 12 October 2017

CXLIII. Tor Megiddo

I'm back from the trip, recovered from it, so now it's time for a report. First, I'd like to say I'm glad that I went. Had a great time, met 'in the flesh' the great creative people with whom I'd been only communicating online. And, of course, saw their work in person. Thanks, everyone. A special honour goes to Alexander Winberg, who did a huge amount of work; he organized things really well, wrote the codex, made the table on which we played and made us all feel welcome in Helsinki. 

For the sake of those readers who are hearing about this for the first time, I'll explain what the event was about. Tor Megiddo was a collaborational project by hobbyists from the INQ28 crowd. Around a dozen people from different parts of the world were invited. Not all were able to make it in the end, so there were eight of us playing the game. Those who were not there still sent the minis they made for the project to serve as NPCs and monsters. In line with the INQ28 philosophy: the stress was on building and painting unique minis specifically for the event, inventing their backgrounds and playing out a story, while the rules were kept very loose and simple so that they don't get in the way of a good time. 

I wrote my report from the perspective of my warband. There was a lot happening on the table with so many players, and I could not keep track of all parts of the board. There were certainly many interesting moments elsewhere, like the duel of the Slåsbil and the Valkyre. Most of the other participants have their own blogs, and they will make their own write-ups, so I'm sure one will be able to figure out a more complete picture of the battle when these individual accounts are combined.

Places to look; blogs and sites of people who were there and other contributors: Echoes of Imperium, Wilhelminiatures, Secrets of the Void, The Convertorum, 'Nordics_minis' on Instagram, Bigbossredskullz, WarbossKurgan, Between the Bolter and Me. There was also lot of coverage on The Inquisitorium, the INQ28 Facebook group.   

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 The New Transhumans

Right before dawn on that day, strange news come to the warlord triumvirate of the New Transhumans. They say that mighty quake that shook the ground the day before opened the Valley of Defilement. In the Valley the Promethean Tower was sealed, forgotten for a long time. The legendary seas of promethium lie beneath. And everyone else is already on their way. The three warlords agree they must act quickly. They have done this before... Warlord Balvan and his most trusted warriors grab their battlegear and rush towards the mega-cannons. The engineers start calculating the ballistics... Balvan's cousins Kugla and Kriegla rally their own men, fuel the trucks, saddle the beasts. As three thunderous cannon shots are fired skyward, the tribe's motorised force spills out of the fort gate. It is on.

The Battle of the Promethean Tower

Warbands descend on the Tower from all sides, opening fire at the unsuspecting locals. The first few civilian victims fall. Warlord Balvan and his warband crash around the centre of the battlefield - one of the pods landing on the Promethean Tower's lower platform and the other two at the base of the tower some distance away. The marksmen Theg and Smet start with firing some shots at the advancing enemy with mixed success, while the berserkers Hobotnik and Folf and their leader head for the the Tower with intentions to climb up its sides. Their mission is clear - claim the tower complex and hold it as long as you can - buying time until the tribe's main force arrives across the red desert. 

Theg exchanges shots with the mutant cavalry that galloped in from the south of the valley, and gets quickly shot down. Pathetic. Meanwhile, Balvan reaches a ladder, but an enormous purple truck pulls in, with a clear intention of turning him into roadkill. The warlord manages to step out of the way of the cumbersome vehicle, but seconds later another fortress on wheels tries to run him over. The final straw was the crew's attempt to burn Balvan with flame throwers; shouting vile curses, he raises his power fist and punches the truck in the face.

Balvan punching a truck.

Sounds of battle and engines are increasing in volume on all sides. As Folf reaches the top of the north Promethean Tower, he sees the surroundings - bikes, armoured vehicles, horsemen and warriors of many desert tribes, known and unknown to him. This will be a tough fight. But Folf did not have much time to contemplate on that, as the top of the tower was guarded - by none other than Machromonicum the 83rd, the Lord of Lead. The berserker's heart filled with excitement - he imagined all the glory he would win if he takes this mighty foe's head, here at the top of the Tower, in full sight of all. Folf swung his buzzing chainsword readily.

On the southern part of the Promethean Tower, Hobotnik begins his ascent in hope to find someone to kill there. The shots from trigger-happy mutant gunslingers ricochet around him as he climbs. He notices the familliar scavenger warriors with whom the Transhumans have a feeble alliance. Soon their walker reaches the tower and warriors step outside on the platform. They seem to have no intention to fight Hobotnik, and focus fire on the mutant gunslingers below. Hobotnik looks up the tower and sees the guards of the Lord of Lead. Heads for the ladder to climb to the top. 

Around that time a heavily armoured vehicle coming from the north plows through a suspicious pit of uneven ground to the east of the Tower. The ground suddenly shakes, and from the pit three toothed heads on long, serpentine necks emerge. The worms commence spewing toxic bile at the unfortunate souls around them...

The Sand Worms emerge.

As he pulls his massive fist from the hole he made in the armoured truck's front a moment ago, Balvan hears engine revving behind his back. Instinctively, he hurls himself to the left, just as the purple truck from earlier smashes into the heavily armoured truck... Balvan could have been flattened between the two. Talk about reckless driving... As much has he would love the bragging rights that would come with single-handedly punching a truck into a lump of scrap iron, he remembers his mission. Before the murderous trucks have time to turn around, he runs to the ladder and climbs up the platform. Since he was having so much fun with the trucks, he only just realised that warriors of other tribes are closing in on him. The Scrap Queen and her boys, the famed Blue Ruin, and something that looks like a walking tower made of meat... A few explosions sound from below, but Balvan cannot see what caused them. On the platform he finds Smet, taking cover behind his crash pod and happily firing away. A look up the tower reveals see Folf swinging his weapons maniacally at a crooked robed figure. 

Folf vs the Lord of Lead.

The meaty walker, which seems to be an actual living animal of incredible size, unloads its passengers at the end of the platform and moves on to engage someone else. The warriors that came out of the piglike beast lock eyes with Balvan and advance menacingly. The Scrap Queen herself rushes towards the Tower on her many mechanical legs. She is incredibly fast. Balvan grabs Smet and orders him to climb up to the Tower's summit, where Folf is still furiously battling the Lord of Lead. They won't let him take all the glory.
The lumbering Tor, a walking derelict promethium rig approaches from the distance. It is heading towards the Tower, minding not the battle around its unsteady metal feet.

It is becoming more and more crowded around the Tower.
On the south end of the Tower complex, the mutants have jumped off their misshapen steeds and met the scrapper allies of the Transhumans. Hobotnik finally sees an opportunity to butcher someone, and charges towards that melee, cutting mutants left and right. Just when they were all done away with, an ear-piercing, headache-inducing sound comes from below. The allies stumble around, stunned.

Hobotnik and the muties.

The Promethean Tower complex shakes as the Tor pulls to a halt leaning on the central platform. 

One of the folk that came out of the giant pig's harness, a hulking barbarian, noticed the Scrap Queen climbing up the tower's side, right beneath Folf and Smet's crash pod. With his immense strength he manages to push the heavy ball over the edge of the platform right on top of the unsuspecting Queen. She falls down, raising a cloud of dust. However, it is but a scratch... And now she is mad.  She goes back up to deal with the cur and anyone else who stands in her way.

The Scrap Queen about to be hit by a ball.

When Balvan and Smet get to the top, Folf is still struggling to kill the Lord. His heart sinks when he sees his mates, as he knows that now the kill will not be only his... All three of them advance against the Techpriest. He is much tougher than he looks...

Meanwhile, Hobotnik's drugged up mind all of a sudden recalls that he was supposed to climb the Tower, and with utter disregard for his allies, he leaps towards the ladder. Still reeling from the sound attack, some of them get kicked out of the way and fall from the platform, possibly to their deaths. The scrappers are in a hurry too, and as soon as they regain their composure they race past Hobotnik, with equal disregard of his safety. Warriors of both warbands head up the south tower, falling over each other.

The Bird of Hermes swoops in from the high skies and proceeds to sail silently over the battle. An ill omen... As if it knows something the humans do not, the Tor suddenly steps away from the Tower, and walks straight away from it, towards north-east. 

Bird of Hermes.

Supported by his warriors, Balvan finally manages to strike the final blow to the turbulent priest, and the Lord of Lead falls from the tower broken, crumpling into the dust below. There is no time for respite, though. The Lord's guards on the bridge between the towers roar in anger and begin firing furiously at the barbarians. The Scrap Queen appears, seemingly out of nowhere. She must have scaled the Tower's side. The three warriors, bleeding and exhausted by the fight, prepare to make a stand against the new threat.

And then, from the rickety shacks to the south-east, a projectile is fired from a hijacked turret. The Promethean Tower is hit directly, promethium ignites and explodes. Fire rains on the surroundings. A chain reaction occurs, blowing up the entire tower complex and everyone on it...
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Everything getting blown up was really a fitting ending to the game, I must say.

The crew started brainstorming ideas for the next gathering as soon as we were done with this one and sat down to have a pint at the end of the day. There is definitely interest, so I expect there will be another one of these next year, in one form or another. Anyway, time for me to get back on track with my own small projects now.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

CXLII. Tor Megiddo - Final Preparations

Only a few days left till the game. The warband has been done for months, but there were still some extra bits to craft before I board my plane for the cold north.

Crash Pods

I wasn't going to have any vehicles from the start. Then only last week I got this fun idea of an alternative mode of transport for my troops.

My technobarbarian tribe, the New Transhumans, is in possession of super sized primitive cannons, which they use to quickly drop a squad of their toughest warriors straight where the fight is. The remainder of their force follows on the ground, setting out on trucks and beasts. They come later to the party, but able to carry the loot and roll the empty pods back home. 

The warlord rides in the big one, while the warriors must squeeze into the smaller ones in pairs.

They are styrofoam balls on 50mm lipped bases. I used copies of my sculpted shields for doors on the two smaller pods, and sculpted a bigger face for the Warlord's pod. I didn't have much time left, so I aimed to finish them as quick as possible. Simple build, black undercoat, rust, pigments and one extreme highlight on the doors. 


Stat Cards

I'm used to having cards for my characters in any game I play. They are useful and can look great with some effort.

For the backs of the cards I photographed each warrior (a sandy desert background would have been more suitable, I do admit; but I didn't have one around). I made the cards in Photoshop and then had them printed to size.

The stats were written out in the most fitting 40k-ish fonts I could find. Originally I planned to coffee-stain the cards, but then I ended up having them printed on paper with a semi-glossy finish, so I dropped that plan and left them clean. Each side was printed separately, then cut and glued back-to back, with a layer of heavy paper in between. The only weathering I did was distressing the edges with a file.


Tor Megiddo Codex 


The Codex PDF for the event was written by Alexander Winberg. I had it printed and then cut and pasted it into book shape, in order to have a physical copy.

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That's it, I'm all set. Next you hear from me will be in a report of the battle of Tor Megiddo.


The land shakes beneath the fury of the storm.
The sand is drenched in blood and oil.
Most holy Promethium, it fills our veins with wrath.
Ride forth warlord! Blessed by the Cog and the Bolt!
Wage war in the sun!
Can you hear the engines starting?
Can you feel the boiling blood?
Can you see the storm approaching?
War in the sun