‘Haven a Good Time

I have been a bit busy of late.

My good friend Fabian has started up a Gloomhaven campaign in which I’m currently playing the Tinkerer. Naturally as a devoted Thrilling Intent fan I had no choice but to name him ‘Kier Fiore’ and have had barrels of fun restyling his actions into Kiresque things such as hurling around icy cold cans of Keer Energy Drink and explosive hairbrushes. I’ve also managed to get everyone around the table referring to his “harmless contraption” as “Mecha Kier” – there is little in life more enjoyable than having a bunch of people who have never watched a single episode of TI routinely saying stuff like “Can you summon Mecha Kier?”

(Of course I’m totally tipping my hand here, but if they don’t like it I’ll just launch an explosive pseudopony at them.)

We’re playing every second weekend which I’m finding a bit grueling at times, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

I’ve also been dipping my toe into the world of electronic music. Not actually making any of course, just ruining that already made by other, far more talented people. Scandroid to be specific.

A while back Klayton released a synthwave cover of the Michael Jackson classic Thriller which you can enjoy here…

Much like being turned into a whale by a wizard, this is awesome. But to my mind it could be even more awesome with one slight tweak. I mean, what could be better than Klayton plus MJ? What about Klayton plus MJ plus Vincent Price!

So, I got to work and with a few hours of messing around with audio editors that I barely understand I came up with this…


There you go! How’s that then?

The other inane thing I’ve done lately is spend many hours slogging through Google Image result pages to come up with a rather stupid thing inspired by this rather stupid thing that turned up on Reddit…

Simpsons Space Marine Legions

While that’s undoubtedly clever I though it a tad unambitious, so threw this thing together…

Simpsons 40k

Behold its majesty!

If you’re into Warhammer 40k its merits should be obvious. Otherwise please let me reassure you that it’s full of all kinds of clever puns and references that would have you rolling on the floor chortling with tears rolling down your cheeks if you only knew!

So yes, that’s your lot for the week (and if we’re honest probably the month…)

Meanwhile on Necromunda

Ah Necromunda! Hive world of hive worlds! Star of the Araneus Continuity! The planet so trashed that they’re refining the waste left over from the last time they refined the waste just to keep things going! How we love thee!

What the hell am I on about you ask? Predictably it’s Warhammer 40,000 again and in particular the relaunch of Games Workshop’s skirmish combat game Necromunda, set in the collapsing, polluted, gang-ridden underbelly of the planet’s largest hive city.

“But” you say “Necromunda was relaunched months ago! Why are you only babbling about it now?”. Good question. Well, maybe not such a good question because the Wyrmlog has been in a state of deep torpor for months. But still, what is my point? Have I bought the game and am engaged in an engrossing campaign with my friends?

Ha! Of course not! Do I look like I’ve sold a kidney?

(Really? Wow, I should probably eat some vegetables or something hey?)

Anyway, no I have not bought a copy because I plan on eating for the next few months. I have however been keeping an eye on the whole thing because I am a nerd and that’s what nerds do.

And in keeping an eye on the whole thing I stumbled across a series of photographs taken at the Horus Heresy/Necromunda Weekender event GW threw a month or so back. Among them was this…

Necromunda Map
Image Source – https://recalcitrantdaze.blogspot.com.au/

…which really got my sci-fi-nerd and map-nerd juices really running. A map of the entire planet!!!

Except… It’s really not…

As a piece of art it’s undoubtedly great. As a map it fails badly.

It’s clearly mimicking the look of an antique Nicolosi Globular projection map…

MAWO-62++World+Map+1670++Antique+Framed+Maps

…but the artist seems to have not understood how a globular projection works and just drawn the details as if it’s some kind of rectangular projection with bits chopped off to fit in the frame. This is particularly noticeable in that the east and west edges of the map don’t match up – water bodies just vanish off one side and don’t show up on the other! HERESY! CARTOGRAPHIC HERESY!

Faced with this insult to generations of map makers I had no choice. I had to redraw the entire thing properly.

I started by assuming that the original map is a equirectangular projection – not unreasonable I think given that that’s how most people think maps work. I expanded it on both sides to make room for a strip of land linking the east and west edges, and added space to the top and bottom to account for the poles. I then filled these spaces in with plausible detail (ie: made a bunch of stuff up).

With that completed I ran the result through NASA’s G.Projector tool to render it into a proper global projection. A bit of cleanup and labeling later, I ended up with this. Behold its Majesty!

f2

The Worldsump Ocean may be much larger than I show it and I had to squint to try and read some of the labels in the southwest section of the original, but overall I’m pretty happy with it.

The lesson to be drawn from all this? Never underestimate the lengths an Aspie will go to to correct problems in properties they care about! ;D

Audio Ghosts

I’ve spent a fair bit of time this weekend figuring out how to properly edit audio with Audacity. Which means the first episode of my and Rebecca’s podcast should be out soon!

(What is the correct grammar for collective personal ownership? Rebecca and my’s? Rebecca’s and mine? My education is failing me!)

In the meantime here’s a new shot of one of my other projects, building Lego minifigures of characters from Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts novels. This group shot contains the first glimpse of two new minifigs – Inquisitor Golesh Constantine Pheppos Heldane (who also appears in the Eisenhorn novels) and Lady Ulrike Serepa fon Eyl from Blood Pact. Heldane is one of the oldest minifigs in the project, but I’ve never been 100% happy with him. Lady Eyl is the newest, and isn’t 100% done yet. But I decided to have them join the party anyway.

Gaunt's Ghosts
Click for Bigness

That’s all I got to say for now!

Shopping

You know those dreams where there’s a really awesome shop, and then you wake up and forget the dream, but halfway through the day you remember the really awesome shop and for a moment you think it’s real and then you remember it was just a dream and there’s no really awesome shop?

I hate those dreams.

But I tell ya, if Games Workshop branches were as amazing as I dream they are, there’d be a lot less whinging in the tabletop community.

(I dream about Games Workshop. It’s hard to put into words just how sad that is).

Round the Cape to the Far Antipodes

I took delivery today of some Lego I’ve ordered to put together a model of Inquisitor Golesh Constantine Pheppos Heldane to go with my other Gaunt’s Ghosts minifigs. Nothing unusual about this you might think, except that I placed the order back on May 19th.

Now, I can accept that prior to the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, 113 days might be an acceptable delivery time between the UK and Perth, but I really would have thought that the Royal Mail would have moved on from clipper ships by now. Or perhaps the Ordo Chronos of the Emperor’s Holy Inquisition got wind of my plans, disapproved, and caused the parcel to get lost in the Warp? The Lego seems normal with no obvious signs of chaotic taint, but one can never really tell, so I won’t let the resulting model get too far away from Saint Sabbat, just in case.

In any case, Firestar Toys can be absolved of any blame as they clearly did post the parcel a few days after my order. Whatever problems occurred did so after my order left their remit, so I will happily continue to recommend them to all aspiring minifig builders.

Keep your eyes peeled for Inquisitor Heldane!

Lesser Known War Machines of the Astra Militarum

The Leman Russ Expectorator
A rare model of Leman Russ battle tank, the Expectorater replaces its main armament with an Expectorator Cannon, which fires congealed globules of Space Marine phlegm at the enemy.

The limited supplies of Astartes saliva (which is collected by specialised Chapter Spitoon Servitors post-combat) restrict the use of the Expectorator to actions where it it expected to prove particularly effective, such as against Emperor’s Children Chaos Marines who have shown themselves to be horrified at the idea of being covered in rancid spit.

The Leman Russ Exasperator
The Exasperator Battle Tank swaps its main weapon with a bank of servitor powered mega-vuvuzelas. The indescribable cacophony produced has proven able to drive even Slaaneshi noise marines off the field, hands clamped firmly over their ears.

The Leman Russ Exnihilator
All attempts to create a hybrid of the Executioner and Annihilator Battle Tanks have so far met with failure, with many Astra Militarum Commanders firmly of the opinion that the Tech Adepts responsible only maintain the effort due to an unhealthy fascination with puns.

Happy Taumas!

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all cross the zone,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a drone,
The fire-ports were locked with their lasguns in place,
In the hopes that an enemy would soon show his face,

The guardsmen were sleeping, tucked up in their billets,
Dreaming of recaff and sizzling grox fillets,
For the rations were low, the supply lines were cut,
The Commander sat up with his rumbling gut,

Unable to sleep he pondered, and tried,
To figure how long they could last unsupplied,
Then on the perimeter sounded a klaxon,
He leapt to his feet, glad of such a distraction,

Across to a gunport he flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutter and lifted the sash,
The night vision auspex he pulled to his eye,
Providing a scan of the objects outside,

His bolt gun unholstered, preparing to shoot,
He beheld a Piranha and eight spikey Kroot,
And a little blue driver with a slit in his brow,
He knew in a moment it must be a Tau,

The Tau and his Kroot flew in over the ice,
And he whistled, and shouted (via translation device),
“Now Gnawer! Now Chewer! Now Nibbler and Biter!
“On Shaper! On Shooter! On Slicer and Fighter!

“To the top of the bunker! To the top of the wall!
“Now lift away! Lift away! Lift away all!”
To the top of the bunker the xenos all flew,
Boxes strapped on to the Tau and his crew,

The Commander spun round, as the ceiling hatch popped,
Through it the Tau and his porters all dropped,
He looked like a daemon, his skin pale and blue,
His oddly cleft face and his cloven feet too,

But a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Showed the Commander he had nothing to dread,
Not speaking a word, they went straight to their task,
Resupplying each backpack and filling each flask,

Then raising salute with a hand sign quite strange,
They headed back out to the place whence they came,
The Tau primed the piranha, the Kroot gathered round,
And away they all flew, barely making a sound,

Yet to the Commander he yelled (via translator),
“Happy Christmas to all, for the Good that is Greater!”

POSTSCRIPT

(The Inquisition turned up at the rise of the sun,
Destroyed all the evidence and purged everyone)

Concerning the Eldar

…you’re correct about the Eldar having a kick-ass interstellar empire back in the day. The problem was that it was too kick-ass. Life was too easy, everything served up on a platter with no challenges, which lead to the Eldar getting bored out of their pointy little skulls.

Some of them dealt with this by exiling themselves to primitive border worlds, where life was tougher (the descendents of these guys are the Exodite Eldar of the 41st millennium). The majority however started looking for things to excite them, and ended up getting into all kinds of weird and perverse stuff that would make a modern day S&M club look like a kindergarten picnic.

In the 40k universe, emotion affects the warp. The emotions of the Eldar are far more powerful than those of humans, so billions of Eldar getting their rocks off with weird excesses caused one hell of a disturbance, which culminated in the Fall (with a capital F). This involved the birth of a new Chaos God, Slaanesh, and the conversion of the core of the Eldar Empire into a breach between realspace and the warp which is known in the 41st Millenium as the Eye of Terror. The vast, vast majority of the Eldar were instantly consumed by Slaanesh, with only small numbers surviving via a number of lucky or ingenious methods.

(There’s some very old fluff that talks about some Eldar surviving within the Eye of Terror and worshiping Slaanesh. You can take or leave this as you see fit).

Additionally the Eldar had their own gods, most of whom were eaten by Slaanesh. Exactly what these gods were is open to all kinds of interpretation, but a couple of them survive in some form or other.

OK, so the survivors of the Fall…

The Exodites: As mentioned above they were on outlying planets of the Empire and weren’t corrupted like the rest of the Eldar, so they managed to survive. The Exodites avoid getting eaten by Slaanesh (which would normally happen when they die and their souls enter the Warp) by wearing psychoactive crystals called “Spirit Stones”. Spirit Stones capture their souls as they leave their bodies, and hold them safe until they can be transferred to matrix of wraithbone built into the planet and known as the “World Spirit”. The souls of deceased Eldar then chill out in the World Spirit for all eternity – or at least until someone comes along and destroys it, or a mutant tyranid vampirises it, or they need some more wraithbone constructs to trim the hedges.

The Dark Eldar: Way, way back in history the Eldar (or their creators, the Old Ones, who may or may not have been giant frogs) built a system of extradimensional tunnels that kind of go into the Warp without being part of the Warp. This is the Webway, and it allows quick travel back and forth across the galaxy with minimal chance of being eaten by Daemons. A whole bunch of the corrupted Eldar took shelter in the Webway when Slaanesh turned up, and remain there still in a vast city named Commorragh.

Because the Webway is so close to the Warp, Slaanesh can reach in and suck at their souls, so they need to either replenish their souls via mercilessly torturing other beings to death, or fend Slaanesh off with the souls of other beings, who they mercilessly torture to death.

(The Dark Eldar are not your friends.)

The Craftworld Eldar: Craftworlds are Eldar spacecraft the size of planets. They were built prior to the Fall, either (depending on which fluff you read) as trading craft traveling slower than light between Eldar worlds, or specifically as refuges for Eldar worried about the way their society was going to hell in a handbasket. In either case, some Craftworlds managed to get the hell out of Dodge before the Fall happened, and continue to sail between the stars to this day.

The Craftworld Eldar are (understandably) paranoid about falling prey to the same temptations that destroyed their ancestors. As such they control their emotions by devoting themselves to a “path” – a code of behavior similar to martial art, perfected to the nth degree. The most detailed paths in the background are those of the various Aspect Warriors, but there is a path for every job that needs to be done on the Craftworld, which presumably means there are things like “the Path of the Window Washer” and “the Path of the Waitress”. But hey, it seems to work for them.

The Craftworld Eldar also use Spirit Stones to save themselves from Slaanesh, and transfer their souls into the wraithbone structure of the Craftworld, which is called the Infinity Circuit. There is a rumour that when the last Eldar dies, the Infinity Circuits of all the Craftworlds will spontaneously combine and birth a new Eldar god, who will kick Slaanesh’s ass – but I wouldn’t bet on it. In the meantime they can temporarily pull souls out of the Infinity Circuit and use them to power wraithbone constructs, although they don’t like doing this because it’s kind of like digging up grandpa and making him wash the car.

The Harlequins: The Harlequins are merry pranksters with the mystical powers of interpretive dance and converting your internal organs into mincemeat as soon as look at you. They’re the wandering minstrels of the Webway who turn up in Craftworlds, on Exodite Planets, in Commorragh and even (on occasion) on human worlds to perform their dances, which tell the stories of Eldar history. They are protected from Slaanesh by one of the few remaining Eldar gods, who duels Slaanesh for their souls when they die. Their acrobatic skills and shiny costumes make them terrifying in combat, so if they put on a show for you, sit down, shut up, and clap at the end.

If a Harlequin offers to kiss you, politely decline.

If you say hello to the dwarf, turn to page 8. If you kick him, turn to page 10.

This is hilarious!

If David Cameron must ban anything, let it be Warhammer fantasy games

But even more hilarious are the hopeless Aspies* in the comments who can’t seem to grasp the idea of satire, or who can grasp the idea of the satire but are so in love with the hobby that it deeply wounds them to see it maligned so!

(* I’m an Aspie, so I get to call other Aspies out)