Thursday, 3 June 2010

NAG May Hobby Contest - Building Character

Prizes kindly supplied by Wayland Games and Bitz Box
Labelled photos by Chris Sutherland of KC Photography

This was judged on Sunday. The idea of the competition was for the entrants to make a mini and write some background for it. Entries were judged on Modelling, Painting, Background and Overall Character. The first two are obvious, background was marked on quality, originality, theme and rule of cool. Overall character was based on how the model and the background tied together and how much each contained a sense of character.
A massive, massive thank you is due to Wayland Games and Bitz Box who really showed that they do their bit to support the gaming community that makes up their customer base by donating prizes for the competition.
Sadly I don't have pictures for all of the entries, if I do manage to get hold of some for the ones that are missing I will pop them in here. Most of the photographs were taken by Chris Sutherland of KC Photography who kindly donated his time and expertise. Some have supplied their own photos of their minis but it's quite easy to see that my job as one of the judges was a difficult one! Also missing is a great deal of the background fluff that people created. I'm still hoping to get hold of the rest of it but rest assured it was all brilliant and it was great to see everybody putting such thought and imagination into their minis.

18+ Category 1st Place
Malarius, Death Guard Dreadnough - By John Triplow





18+ Category 2nd Place
Word Bearers Dark Apostle - By Chris Snowdon





Inquisitor Demerius strode along the darkened hall of the inquisitorial citadel, the sound his iron shod boots reverberating from the walls sending echoes racing ahead of him. Behind him followed members of band, interrogators, savants, censer bearers and cyber skulls, a party of 20 in total. This was his last day here the inquisitorial citadel, most of his band were engaged making preparations for them to leave this world and begin their mission, To hunt down and kill one of the Imperium of man greatest foes, Dark Apostle Zurchol.

A head of his party he saw the portal to the briefing chamber, as he approached, the door opened smoothly and the guards stationed to each side snapped to attention. Striding in to the room, he paused only long enough for his party to seat themselves before he began his address to the ranks of interrogators sitting in expectant silence.

“Good and bad are subjective terms but evil is another matter.

Only a few ignorant fools would consider an Ork to be evil, they are beasts driven by their base instinct and no more. They are a threat to the Imperium of man but they are predictable and thus they can be countered.

There are far more dire threats to the Imperium of man abroad in the galaxy and few of them rival Dark Apostle Zurchol of the Word bearers.

Few beings are truly evil but by the holy throne on earth I am sure of it that Zurchol is one of them. Zurchol’s story begins with the rise of Lorgar to power on Colchis. Zurchol was a member of Lorgar war band. He was a preacher of sorts, a man of words not of arms but that was no impediment to him. He had a rare talent to move a crowd, to bend it to his will and send it on its way with steal in its heart. Bending people to his will came easy to him. He was an acolyte of Erebus and learnt much from him.

With the arrival of the emperor at Colchis, a great number of Lorgar warriors were inducted in to the XVII Space Marine Legion, newly renamed Word Bearers, Zurchol was one of them. With in a few short years he had risen to the rank of chaplain to the 34th assault company, his power with words even stronger than before. He had been able to motivate simple men to heroic acts of bravery and determination, the effect of his auditory on his marines was no less remarkable. Never one backward step was taken by his company, he would drive them forward with stoic determination or with fanatical rage as the situation needed.

The Horus Heresy and the Word bearer’s role in it are well known. Zurchol and his company were in the thick of the fighting on many occasions but they also undertook numerous small raids on worlds of little strategic value across the length and breadth of the galaxy. The purpose of these raids was unknown and at the time they were seen as irrelevant in the larger conflict. Only now are we seeing the fruit of his labours, 10,000 years in the planning, only now is the monsters plan is coming to fruition.

In the last year, we have lost communications with or have had reports of armed uprisings on 14 of the worlds Zurchol and his company raided. We are unsure his purpose but we an only speculate but anything which requires 10000 years of forward planning must be of truly huge proportion. We have requested Inquisition strike forces be dispatched to all the worlds that we know were raided by Zurchol and his company.

I will be leaving shortly to lead one such strike force to the world of Nebiros which is less than 2 weeks distant with a favourable passage through the warp. There I hope to foil Zurchol’s plans as readings of the Imperial Taro show that this world is key to his plans. I pray that I reach it before it is too late.”

With that Inquisitor Demerius strode out the doorway and into imperial history, never to be heard from again. Wreckage of his fleet were found many years later scattered around the transition point where his fleet would have exited the warp at the end of their warp jump. This would have been a disaster long remembered in normal times but with the whole sector at war it was hardly noted.

In a twist of fate, at about the same time as the wreckage of his fleet was discovered Inquisitor Demerius came face to face with his nemeses.

It was not the meeting he had dreamt of all those years ago, no glorious charge to foil the Dark Apostle’s plans at the last second, no, nothing like that at all. Vladimir Demerius was all alone when he faced Zurchol, chained to the wall of his cell, he didn’t need his eyes to tell him who it was who had entered the room, he could feel the evil and it chill his very soul.

18+ Category 4th Place
Shas'o Me'ka: Commander Wolfstrike - By Chris Waugh


The story of the XV9-MGX
Every Shas'o is allowed some leeway when they arm their battle suit for war. Some prefer the Kauyon, to wait patiently then strike as the opponent closes. Those Shas'o arm their suits for long range and barrage tactics. Shas'o Me'ka prefers the other tactic, the Mont'ka. To strike while the enemy is still preparing. To strike while they have yet to entrench themselves. He arms his battle suit for such strikes. And though the battles are won, it leaves a terrible toll on his suits.
It soon became apparent to the Ethereals that too many resources were being spent repairing the suit and a request for a more heavily armoured battle suit was sent. Shas'o Me'ka was soon gifted with a small strike force of XV9 'Hazard' armours. One for himself and several others for field testing.

The result was the same.

The suit came back battered and twisted. The Gu'la* forces had been pushed back of course, but it would be many more rotaa** before he or his suit would be in any state to fight again. It was during this 'grounded' period that he conducted an inspection of the kroot mercenary forces under his command and he came across a hound that was as badly beaten as he was. He enquired to the shaper guiding him what had happened.
"Old Garuru?" the Kroot Shaper told him "He may look beaten, but his hide is tough, and he's faster than any other hound."
The Shaper then cackled "Those scars are from his victories, you should see the ones that lost."
It was then that it dawned on him, armour wasn't the only answer! speed could be applied to survivability too. With this he quickly ended his tour and sought out the Earth Cast engineers working on his suit. He demanded that not only do they make his suit tougher, but faster and more responsive.

The Earth cast were appalled at the idea of making such a war machine, but challenge sparked their imagination and they began their work. They salvaged the gravity motors from a downed piranha skimmer, the jet boosters of his previous suits, and loaded it with the usual high-tech systems that Me'ka was accustomed to. The Earth cast refused to put their names on such work, knowing that controversy over the XV9 series was already high they simply dubbed it the XV9-X.

It soon got its chance to fight as the Gu'la* forces struck back. Though with incredible speed and fire power the suit out-preformed its owner and with its impressive defences it kept him safe.
To the amazement of the Earth cast the suit was returned with only minor damage. And, as a tribute to the hound that sparked its creation, the suit was painted blue and customised to resemble it. Its name was then changed to reflect its new look and role, the XV9-MGX, the Metal Garuru.

*Human warriors
**A tau day (15 hours or so)

Cost: 315pts

BS: 5
S: 5
T: 5
W: 4
I: 3
Ld: 10

Special Character: Commander Wolfstrike is a special character. He may be used in Tau armies of at least 1,500pts as an HQ choice. He counts as the 1+ Fire cast Commander the army must take.You may not select additional equipment from the armoury.

Equipment: XV9-MGX ‘War’ armour, Damysos flight pack, drone controller, Damysos drones, hard-wired multi tracker, shield generator, missile pod, plasma rifle and burst cannon.

Unit Type: Jump infantry (See Damysos flight pack)

Special rules:
Independent Character:
Except when accompanied by his drones, Commander Wolfstrike is an independent character (see the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook).

XV9-MGX ‘War’ Armour: The XV-9 series is a considerably larger battle suit armour than its more commonplace counterparts, and built to the highest specification the Tau Empire can produce on a substantial scale. As well as greatly augmenting the warrior within, the armour’s in-built systems feature a powerful compact energy source that enables it to mount weapons and systems of an unprecedented strength for its size based on experimental technology. XV-9 armour has the Acute Senses universal special rule, may deploy via Deep Strike and their in built photon canisters mean that they count as having Defensive Grenades. The XV9-MGX variant is further upgraded to include Iridium Armour.

Damysos Flight Pack: The XV9-MGX is an incredibly heavy battle suit due to its upgrades, to compensate for this earth cast engineers modified an anti-gravity motor from a piranha to allow not only short jumps, but limited flight capability. The Damysos Flight Pack works as either a jump pack or a jet pack, chosen at the start of the turn.

Damysos Drones: These are custom fitted drones capable of keeping up with Commander Wolfstrike’s mobility. 1-2 drones must be selected from the Tau armoury, and may move in the same manner as a normal Damysos flight pack.

Lone wolf: Due to the uniqueness of the XV9-MGX ‘war’ suit, few pilots are able to keep up with its sheer speed, and even less survive to try again. Despite being an Independent Character, Commander Wolfstrike may not join any unit other than his drones. This includes after the destruction of any and all drones.

Ice Wolf Strike: When his battle suit was constructed the earth cast engineers never expected it to be used in such a manner. The Ice Wolf Strike is named for its cold-blooded use of Tau weaponry. Once per turn, providing the he gives up All movement, Commander wolfstrike may fire all of his weapons in a single devastating barrage.
Range: 18” Str:6 Ap:4 Heavy 1, Large Blast

18+ Category
Eldar Avatar - By Steven Cavanash




18+ Category
Wolf Brother Captain Vikahs Ulvetand Of the Black Templars - By Iain Wright




Once every ten years, high amongst the mountains of Asaheim within the Great Fang, the high king of Fenris Logan Grimnar holds a tournament of strength where his greatest champions fight in hand-to-hand combat for the honour of the Fangfather. The last tournaments champion was Arjac Rockfist, As the Great King scanned the faces of this decades tourement with his iron gaze, he notices an outsider not of the clan.
Logan summons the outsider forward and asks why someone not of the Space Wolves has the ordacity and the bravery to enter such a contest of strength in his deep bellowing voice.
Vikahs just smiles back at his host and says “you will see”, he then turns his back and walks back into line with much jeers, boo’s and cheers from the massive crowd that envelopes the inner walls of the Great Fang.
Round after round Vikahs manages to defeat his opponents, showing great determination, stamina and valour. This act of pure guile, from an outsider intrigues Logan Grimnar, for this marine captain, whom is not of his chapter shows a great warriors soul and could easily be mistaken for one of his own.
In the semi-finals of the contest Vikahs nearly manages to fall Arjac. Grimnars champion, with a powerful blow to Arjac’s jaw that sends the towering wolf guard reeling back before steadying himself. Arjac retaliates by throwing his massive fist into the bridge of Vikahs nose, sending the burley captain to the floor. Thunderous cheers erupted around the inner walls of the Great Fang as Arjac stood triumphant over the unconscious body of the fallen captain. Grimnar raises his giant hand from his throne and the hall drops silent.
As Vikahs comes too, his eyes open and he gazes upon three figures standing over him, Logan’s giant hand outstretched towards him. Vikahs grabs Logan’s hand and is lifted to his feet. As his eyes gain focus he realises that he stands in the presence of The High King of Fenris, The Young King and the Wolf High Priest.
Still grasping his hand Logan announces that for his bravery to enter such a contest that Vikahs is inaugurated into Logan’s personal wolf guard. Vikahs looks directly into the Fangfathers gleaming eyes and turns him down saying that he could never truly leave his own chapter. Logan, Ragnar and Ulrik all burst into booming laughter and it is agreed that Vikahs shall be taught by ulrik while on Fenris then he may return to the black templars bearing the honour of Wolf Brother. Rangnar hands Vikahs his Frost Blade as a trophy for his heroic efforts in the decadent tournament. And so after spending 20 years on Fenris under the tutorlidge of Ulrik The Slayer Vikahs returned to his chapter stronger and more wise and now enters battle for both the pride of the Black templars and the Space Wolves welding his prized Frost Blade in one hand and his trusted Storm Sheild in his other.......

6 5 4 4 2 5 3 10

Wargear: Power Armour, Bolt pistol, Master Crafted Frost Blade, Storm Shield, wolftooth Necklace, saga of the Bear

Special Rules: Independent character, And They Shall Know No Fear, Relentless, Counter Attack, Insane Bravado

N.B; Vikahs Ulvetand may be used in either Black Templars OR Space Wolves army lists as a HQ choice

(Ulvetand is the danish word for wolvestooth)

18+ Category
Guiselle de Gisoreux - By Kevin Miller





Under 18 Category 1st Place
Broodlord Alpha XII "The Stalker" - By Josef Ducat



Broodlord Alpha XII Hive Fleet Imvot

“I’m Falling. Endlessly falling. Oh my God I’m dead, aren’t I? Twisting and turning, there’s something in my head, can’t get it out, must get it out. Pain; pain like no other. A world. My world. A world in flames, suffering, pain; death. Jaws, huge jaws closing around the planet. No escape. NO ESCAPE! The bottom I see it, I can’t stop falling, the floor coming up quickly, no way out, I’m going to die No escape, No Escape, NO ESCAPE!!!….”

Angelo Septimus, General of the PDF on the planet Nimbosa XII, awoke in his hab bathed in cold sweat and with a small trickle of blood running from his nostril. Wiping the blood from his face he lent over and glanced at his timepiece beside his bed. 12:30. Always the same. Ever since someone had started to assassinate the heads of the organisations, creating mass panic, on Nimbosa XII, he had been plagued by the same dream, the planet dying.
He rolled out of bed and headed for the shower, turned the tap and stood in the cool refreshing water, hoping to create the illusion of sleep. After around 5 minutes of standing in the cascade of water, he heard a window of his hab shatter. Reluctantly he turned off the shower, pulled on a bathrobe and went to investigate. He found the window shattered inwards in the kitchen, and the cold hand of fear clasped his heart. His mind racing he thought of what could of happened, he was in the top spire of one of the largest hive’s on Nimbosa XII “nothing should be able to break that window”. Leaning in closer he noticed a strange, translucent, purple liquid covering the shattered glass.

It was at this point whatever it was scuttled across the room behind him, just in the corner of his eye, and one word jumped to the forefront of his mind. “XENOS!” Thinking quickly he ran into his bedroom, scrambled under his bead and pulled out a large, heavy standard pattern chainsword. Stalking back into the kitchen he thumbed the ignition switch, and adopted the ready position that had been drummed into his head since the age of 10, but had never used. It was at this point the creature chose to reveal itself.

It was hunched over but still dwarfed Angelo standing at least 11foot tall and had a horrible purple hide dripping in an alien ichor. It had four muscular arms; at the end of which were dark obsidian claws, which Angelo guessed, could decapitate him in an instant. Its head was strange, a bulbous cranium and large deep-set eyes regarding him with a strange alien intelligence. They stood facing each other for what seamed like an age, each reluctant to move transfixed by each other’s gaze. Suddenly the timepiece chimed 1:00, breaking Angelo’s trance. He raised the chainsword above his head for a killing blow. The xenos had other ideas. By simply cocking it head Angelo’s arms dropped and he suddenly couldn’t move like a marionette that’s had its strings cut.
The alien didn’t waste anymore time studying Angelo and with an explosion of blood it punched its fist into his chest cavity and took a hold of Angelo’s spine. With immense, inhuman strength the creature pulled his sine out from his chest and let him crumple to the ground in a spreading lake of blood.

“The broodlord studied its handiwork and was pleased. The leader beast was dead and this world was one step closer to the jaws of Hive Fleet Imvot. With one last look at the pitifully weak creature, it bounded out of the window and, melted back into the shadows, once again becoming a silent hunter of the night.”

Under 18 Category 2nd Place
Lupis Ferrous - By Paul Curtis




Lupis ferrous once Canis Lupis protégé of the great canis wolfborn renowned for his combat skill and expertise was on the fenris home world when canis wolfborn set him a task to build a squadron of the toughest men in the space wolves army and have them ready to make an assault on the neighboring planet to fight off a horde of unknown origin heading for the fenris home world. After about a week of assembling and training the men Lupis and wolfborn set out for the planet to fight this moving unknown horde. Upon arrival upon the planets surface or what was left of it seemed to be a wasteland infested with taint but not a taint that canis wolfborn had seen before this day, after some time searching for any survivors of the attack when there was no sign of any survivors Lupis unsheathed his relic blade and stabbed it into the ground and laid out a challenge “ all those he think are worthy to fight show yourselves in one on one combat with me” after about a second the ground in front of Lupis began to rise and shift and soon revealed a giant creature with a hard hide back two giant claws like a crabs and to large talons spurting from its abdomen and a scared left eye making the creature half blind and a large drooling tongue which reached out to Lupis and he slapped it away with the back of his hand, as he did this the creature let out such a high pitched sound that all the men around Lupis and canis began to collapse as the screech caused them to faint, but Lupis and Canis both stood unaffected by the screech and Lupis mocked the giant alien by saying “is that the best you got you useless beast ” having realized it was insulted it let out a large scream and swung for Lupis with one of its formidable talons and as Lupis doges the blow narrowly grabbing his sword at the same time turns and leaps onto the beast and stabs it in the other side of its head and blinding the beast completely, the beast then let out a cry as it fell to the floor still alive and Lupis goes up to the beast and says “ I expected more” and stabs his blade into the beasts head and into its chest in one strike and as it falls to the floor the in a slump dead, “now that was showing off” Said Canis as he looked at Lupis “ well you got to have a little style when doing this you know otherwise this would be no fun” replied Lupis. as the two went to awake the men they had brought with them the ground began to rumble and the squadron fell into a hole into a infested pit of random DNA “ Damn it I just got them and as they turned around they saw a flow of unknown creatures come out of the gaping hole the beast left when it went to fight Lupis “well it looks like its time to have some fun” said Canis as he randomly charged into a group of the creatures “wait for me I don’t want to miss this” shouted Lupis as he ran into a group of these creatures. After a few hours of continuous battling with these creatures they began to fall back into the hole they came from “thank god for that I was beginning to run out of energy” said Canis as he caught his breath “are you kidding” said Lupis as he breathed deeply “I was only just getting warmed up” they both looked at each other and laughed and as they turned to see if the men were awake yet they felt a slight rumble beneath them, then a stronger one which was getting stronger and stronger until a figure with four large arms a reinforced skeletal structure on the exterior of its body and had a viscous look in its eye at which moment it swung at Canis wolfborn and knocked him clear over onto the floor “hey get off him” shouted Lupis as he jumped on this creatures back and stabbed his sword into the beast making it let out a cry and twist its body knocking Lupis off but leaving the sword in the beast, then the creature pulled the blade from its back and slammed it to the ground breaking it which at the same time one of its four arms thrusted for Lupis and shattered several of his ribs and knocking him over the beast turned to see the over prey leave and take off in the ship for fenris as Lupis looked he saw the beast lurking over him “finish it you infestation monster” spluttered Lupis as the creature picked him up the creature said “your no fun” hissed the creature so Lupis spat on the creature and as it raised its claw a large booming noise of what seemed to be drop pods came through and the beast chucked away Lupis as it could see a new plaything heading towards it, as Lupis looked up all he saw was a flurry of gunfire which tore through the beast making it fall dead next to Lupis at which point Lupis fell unconscious. Later Lupis awoke to find himself in a cell with two what seemed to be chaos warriors and as he tried to stand he felt a pain in his chest at which point he noticed the bandage around his body “yeah we gave you medical attention when we found you we thought you were dead” said a voice from nowhere “who are you show yourself” demanded Lupis a large figure emerged from the shadows he was wearing terminator armor and had his hair tied so that it went up and fell back down “I am abaddon leader of the black legion of chaos and you are Canis Lupis protégé of Canis wolfborn part of the space wolves army” replied Abaddon “ how…” “do I know your name, I know everything there is to know about you Lupis I have been studying you for some time now to see how your progress shows within the imperium and it is somewhat lacking your full potential” interrupted Abaddon Lupis stared long and hard at Abaddon and said “what do you want with me” Abaddon laughed and looked towards the cell behind him “your dying, your wounds are slowly killing you” lied Abaddon “what, how” asked Lupis in a confused tone “does it matter you should be worrying and trying to work out how to save yourself not how your dying” replied abaddon in a more anxious tone “alright then I suppose this is the part where you say you’ll save me if I join the forces of chaos then” said Lupis in a sarcastic tone “yes but you must be placed inside a dreadnought of our own design with a special feature” replied abaddon as he swung his body round and looked at Lupis “what special feature is that” asked Lupis more intrigued than worried “you’ll just have to find out” abaddon said, as he began to walk away Lupis said “why should I Canis will come and rescue me soon so I wont need your precious dreadnought” abaddon stopped to turn and look at Lupis “he left you to die out there with that beast” Lupis’ face went blank as he fought why “then he looked to abaddon and said with the most viscous tone in his voice “Ill test your dreadnought then” abaddon smiled and waved the men to help him to the dreadnought bay. Upon arrival abaddon told the men to place him in the dreadnought and prepare it for activation, and before they closed it Lupis asked abaddon one thing “why are you helping me” abaddon looked and then smiled as he threw the switch and Lupis ferrous champion of the skyrar’s dark wolves was born.

Lupis ferrous 220pts

6 5 7 13 13 11 5 4 10

Wargear: Multi-melta, dreadnought close combat weapon

Special rules: Demonic blessing-confers +1 strength, preferred enemy-space wolves, potent power source-2D6 explosion range when destroyed exploded result, berserk charge-+1 initiative and attacks to Lupis and his squad if they charge but next turn him and his unit must take a minus one penalty BS when the combat is over.

Seeing as Chris did an excellent job on all of the pictures for the competition I also asked him to take a few pictures of Kaldor Foe-render, who with his background was my sample entry for the competition. Done a little work on him since he was last photographed, fixing a few untidy bits and darkening the gore to make it look more realistic.

Kaldor's background is on here elsewhere so I'll not repeat it here!