Tag Archives: fluff

Codex: Sisters of Battle 2011

So, I finally got my hands on the second part of the Sisters of Battle White Dwarf codex.  I’ve been holding back from joining in the online discussion until I saw the points values and have all the info, and I have to say, I like it.

I realize that the response online from players has been mostly negative – at least from what I’ve seen – so let me share a few thoughts about why I’m glad GW did this.  I admit it’s partly because I’m a glass half-full kind of guy (and partly because I enjoy flouting received opinion), but that’s not the whole story. Continue reading

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Counts-as Ideas

It can be really fun to think of counts-as armies and units for 40k.  There are so many great gems in the long-running background of the game that are crying out for imaginative modelling.  When I was younger I used to enjoy the wholesale invention of units and rules, but nowadays I prefer to work within the framework of the existing rules for a few reasons.

Firstly, it gives you more freedom to use your awesome counts-as force competitively or against someone you’ve never met without having to worry about balance or accusations of cheating.  Secondly, I find it hard to know when to stop modifying a system – at what point does it stop being Warhammer 40k and start being My Totally Awesome 40k-Derivative Sci-fi Wargame?  Counts-as solves all those problems, plus I find it fun to try to fit old or untreated ideas into the existing material.

So without further ado, here are a few counts-as ideas I’ve had.  Some are more original than others, and some are for units rather than armies.  I should probably add that they are all themed, not counts-as for the purposes of competitive play.  So there’s no Space Wolves as Ultramarines or anything like that.

Feel free to use any of these ideas or add your own, I know I’ll never get around to making any of them (probably): Continue reading


Iybraesil Rangers ready for battle

I’ve finally finished off my last three Iybraesil Rangers.  They came out pretty well I think.

I read in some Rogue Trader-era background that Eldar warriors wear warpaint under their armour as part of their whole adopting the warrior aspect thing, so I thought I’d try painting the ranger’s rune in blood on one of the elf’s foreheads.  I think it looks neat, plus it’ll be good practice for my Farseer and warlocks whose rune-armour is going to be body-paint.

The completed squad.

Now to build the jetbikes.  But first . . . I have to finish painting Lord General Drake, my counts-as Straken.  I can’t have him still undercoated in the final apocalyptic battle of the campaign.  Plus my Infinity guys will be arriving soon too.

So many projects, so little hobby time.


Sisters of Battle mini-codex

So this is probably old news to most of you, but GW has announced that there will be a Sisters of Battle mini-codex printed across two up-coming issues of White Dwarf. Since the Witch Hunters are one of my 40k armies, I have some thoughts on this.

Continue reading


Book Review: Nemesis

By James Swallow

I’ve been thinking of writing a book review for a while now, so I thought I’d review a book I read a few weeks ago.  It’s not really a new one, but time is a bit plastic here on the interwebs – kind of like the warp – so I don’t think that matters so much.

In real life my work is mostly heavy reading, so I tend to pick up Black Library books when I need something fun to read, based solely on whether the subject matter interests me.  I certainly don’t read them all.  There are a few exceptions – I’ll read anything with Caiaphas Cain, for example.  In the past I’ve also particularly enjoyed Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor, the Shira Calpurnia novels by my fellow Canberran Matthew Farrer, and the books of another fellow Aussie, Henry Zhou.  I don’t really go for the ones about Space Marines of any kind, or books about the Heresy.  I guess I like the original recipe pessimistic vision of the 41st millennium the way it is, and I just don’t really like the idea of demi-gods flying around having superman battles against each other with giant hammers or whatever.

That means that Nemesis was an unusual choice for me.  I’m very interested in the Officio Assassinorum but not really interested in the Heresy era.  In the end the coolness of the assassins won out and I gave it a go.  I’d heard interesting things though about Nemesis being more of a detective novel, like Farrer’s Arbites books.  That turned out to not be entirely true.   Continue reading


Heroes of Iybraesil

Farseer by Jes Goodwin, Rogue Trader era.

+++++

Balora rose from her spirit-trance and floated softly from the Wave Serpent, towards the tiny knot of Eldar warriors gathered below.  

The Seers of the other peoples wove delicate rune-lattices from wraithbone to bear the protective wards that they wore in battle.  But the Ancient Mothers of Iybraesil knew that the most primal and eldritch of ways were ways of blood and sacrifice.  Balora’s slim body had been marked by the handmaidens with runes of blood, wept from the living branches of the Tree of Woe that sulked in the heart of Iybraesil.  These were her Runes of Witnessing and Warding, turning aside weapons and evil intent with equal efficacy.  Her staff was wound with dark blossoms from the same tree.  Her cruel witchblade lurked in it’s charm-shackled sheath on her back.

To one of the brute races the Farseer and the Autarch would have looked much the same – both slender, ethereal waifs, quick and terrifying.  To Skaia’s eyes though the Ancient Mother was old, her movements almost imperceptibly slower and more syrupy than the young warrior’s own.  She watched as Balora removed the pitted wraithbone ghosthelm that held the spirits of many Ancient Mothers of legend.  Tangled snakes of white hair tumbled over the old Eldar’s shoulders, glued with divinatory blood at the tips.  The Farseer turned her yellow eyes on Skaia, and the Autarch bowed her head, unwilling to look into the primeaval past within.  Balora’s voice coalesced in her mind.

*Autarch.  The Ancient Mothers have revealed to me the true name of this world.  The oldest among us has been here . . . before.  You will open your mind to the pathfinder Illia-Khai, and he will guide you.  There will be death, and I will follow in it’s wake, to claim what is ours from the corrupted ones.*

Skaia dropped to one knee and bowed, smiling to herself.  Her dagger hummed at her side, resonating with her own desire for war.  Her ancient scorpion armour shivered on her skin, as though coming to life.  It was only narrowly that Skaia had avoided the fate of the Exarch.

“Control yourself Autarch.”  The Farseer admonished gently, using her own thin voice for emphasis.  “Your Path is first to bring us to victory, not to bring the enemy to peace.”

*Yes, Ancient Mother.*  Skaia silently returned.  She would not forget her Path.  The will of the Goddess would be done. 

+++++

I wrote this little bit to get myself in the mood for painting the first of my Eldar.  I’m really busy with everyday life at the moment (I’m trying to prepare a paper for my first academic conference in three weeks), and I’ve been spending a little more time than I’d like thinking and posting serious thoughts about the games industry, meta-gaming, etc.  Really, the actual hobby is the thing, so it’s time to get refocussed on that.

I guess I’m an RPGamer at heart, so I like to start with a character or two to get the inspiration going.  This story introduces the Farseer and Autarch of my Iybraesil Warhost.


Unseen Influences: 2000 AD

Today I’ve got another Unseen Influences for you all.  The previous two articles in this series are by far the most popular and visited posts on Warp Signal as of now, and I’m really pleased to be able to write about something that so many of you seem so interested in.  Thank you all for taking the time to read.

I’m going to talk today about the British comic book publisher 2000AD, and the sometimes overlooked influences that their works had on the Warhammer 40,000 universe.  Many of you will know of 2000AD primarily through the iconic character Judge Dredd, but the books actually follow a multitude of characters in the same universe as Dredd, as well as (in more recent times) other universes such as the mythological Celtic world of the barbarian Slaine.

Of course it’s Dredd and his cohorts who we are talking about today. Continue reading


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