Saturday, April 29, 2017

final score, 9-11 imperials!
When a Bane Wolf meets Iron Warriors in the open field...

Company Commander Ivan Klepstein consults Primaris Psyker "Ooo-Eee" on the significance of the recently-appeared 8,000 year-old Labor Calendar.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Labor Days Revisited: The Mission.

In this mission, Imperial Guard and an Inquistorial force are combating 30k Iron warriors.  Each force will contain 3000 points.  Terrain will be light urban.  Night fighting rules will not be used.  Six fuel cashes (objectives) will be placed in the "no mans land" between the two deployment zones, evenly spaced.  A terrain piece called the "Calendar" terrain piece will be placed close to the board edge of the Imperial side. 

The board will be Hammer and Anvil (short board edges).  The Imperial player will set up first, placing his figures around the "Calendar" terrain piece and within his 24" deployment zone.   The Imperial player may not hold any units in reserve that do not deepstrike or outflank.   The Inquisitorial force will not be deployed yet.

Then the Iron Warriors will deploy up to half of his forces.  None of this first half can be held in reserves.  Any of the other half can be held in reserves or "deployment reserves."

Then, the Inquisitorial force will deploy her forces, holding any units she wishes in reserves. 

The Iron Warriors will then deploy his "deployment reserves." 

Both teams will then roll off for infiltrators and first turn.

The game will last 5-7 turns as normal 7th edition rules dictate. 

Objectives:

Iron Warriors:  Capture the fuel caches.  Each objective will be worth d6 points at the end of the game.  Also, a bonus six points will be scored if the Calendar terrain piece is captured and not contested by the Iron Warriors at the end of the game.

Imperial Players:  Disrupt the plans of the Iron Warriors.  Victory points.  Gain one point for each unit destroyed.  Also, gain an extra d6 bonus points if the Iron Warriors do not capture more than two fuel caches at the end of the game.   Gain a tie-breaker point if a psyker is in base contact with the Calendar terrain piece at the end of the game.  If Martok is removed from play as a casualty (not from falling back), the Imperial team may eliminate one scoring fuel cache die of their choice at the end of the game. 

Labor Days Revisited, part 2.

Labor Days Revisited

Chapter Two.

The interstellar cruiser was long, shaped like a large pillar of salt crystal, yet it was jet black with some small accents of yellow striping.   Long range antennas and cannons alike jutted from its irregular nose, reaching out into the purple and green ether that it spun through.  Its aft was cold and dark.  There was no need to expend fuel as one traversed warp-space.  Despite its immensity, the clouds of warp that whirled around the crevasses and niches would have made the ship look small, as if a giant octopus was attempting to open a jewelry box.   The bulkheads that tied the ship together creaked like a wooden ship in a stormy sea, yet everything seemed eerily silent.

Quiet.  Stillness.  Those are the words.  Warsmith Martok slowly opened his eyes after a brief reverie collecting his thoughts.  They were approaching the Mercian system, at least the exit that would translate their ship to the outer orbiting moons.  He had not yet decided which one he would pick to exert his influence upon.

The moons surrounding Mercia, numbering nearly 100, were the source of almost inexhaustible supply- their mines and refineries received, processed, and shipped millions of tons of product per hour between all of them.  Arriving in the system would offer a starship captain 98 moons and one very large ice giant to peruse and purchase supplies.  The only problem was procuring the product.

Mercia offered very little in actual military resistance.  It was still held under the assumed control of the Imperium of Mankind, this was the territory of Guilliman, despite him actually fighting on some forsaken rock a million light-years away.  The problem with purchasing product from the Mercians was navigating the schedules of the corporations.  Each moon had its own distinct calendar system, and arriving at a moon might mean waiting days, or even weeks for assistance from the surface.

Martok had not thought this through.  He didn't have the time, at this point in the war, to waste time waiting for anyone.  He would arrive, and take what he wanted.  Then he would leave.

The deck holding his command throne was small and humble in its decor, functionality was instilled into every aesthetic of the design process.  Small screens flashed data to the eyes of servitors sitting still in three rows before him.  The only other thing of note was the large set of double doors directly in front of him.  Unlike other Warsmiths, he cared not to stare out into space.  Anyone walking into his command room would immediately see his face.  

These great doors suddenly opened, and the power-armored figure of Master Ziggarauth entered the chamber.  The Master of Signals stopped immediately after entering into  the room, and transmitted his data via the command deck encrypted channel to the First-Chair servitor, sitting closest to the warsmith.  Martok had the information in a moment, and responded.  Not a word was actually spoken between them.

Mercia.  We drop out of Warp now.

The room went dark, and a whisper of darkness was audible as the psychic forces from the belly of the ship ached the hull back into reality.   Martok noticed an extra flutter- was it a blinking light?  It spun briefly in his mind, as if he was doubting.  This was an unlikely feeling for him to experience.  He transmitted to the First Chair.

Inform the priestess of an anomaly.  It should be investi-


The transmission was cut short as arcs of warp energy shot through the ship, and something large collided with the hull.  Lights across the deck turned a sickly-amber color, and klaxons blared.  The First-Chair compiled the data and began an emergency broadcast.

Impact on Sectors 17, 18, 19 and 25.  Damage within toleration limits, drones state active.  Error strings found in navigation systems as follows.  Coordinates: error state.  Visual confirmation: error state.  Deep field sensors: error state...



It went on like this, but Ziggarauth and Martok had stopped listening.  They had instead connected a channel directly between the two of them.  Immediately after another collision.  This one was larger.  The entire ship trembled.

Ziggarauth, what is this?

The system is gone, the Master of Signals replied,  we are in a debris field.  Navigation is compromised.  We do not have a bearing.

Something had happened to Mercia.  The planet itself was gone.  In its place was a debris belt wide enough that sensors could not penetrate it.  The hundreds of thousands of beacons that normally shone out when arriving in the system were gone.  The only logical conclusion was that Mercia had been destroyed.  Something else was wrong as well.  There were changes in signal strength, changes in the Astronomicon, beacons were missing, replaced, or had seemingly moved to different locations at impossible speeds.  The ship could not right itself and slammed headlong into a giant ice-crusted comet.  A second klaxon blared.  This one was more shrill, and should have sent panic through anyone able to feel panic on board the ship. 

Breach.  Sector 5. Drones: error state...


Ziggarauth had already transmitted the order to ignite the main engines, and the ship burst into life.  The pounding of steel-clad boots on multiple decks created their own rumbling through the floors.  The legionnaires were moving to the drop ships.  Martok bellowed out an order, this time using his voice and the intercom, rather than use a proxy.  

"We shall land upon the first body we find, and gather what we can find.  We will need fuel to leave this disaster, and to get back on course.  We care not of who we find.  We are taking what we need."

He had little time.  There were larger battles to fight.  His legionnaires were needed elsewhere.

We are approaching 55, the Master transmitted.  This was the Mercian system.  WAS.  The war had moved quickly.  Something had happened here.  Something was still happening here.  Evidence of orks.  Evidence of xenos, unidentified.  And what was this beacon on 55?  It was inelegant, strange, a warning.  A beacon that almost sounded like someone was saying, "Stay away, we have nothing here."  What were these strange names?  Yarr?  Lathekin?  Martok knew not of these leaders.  The servitors came up with nothing as well, with their thousands of databases to access. 

This could not bother him.  The engines fired and  the ship lurched toward the planet, debris still colliding with the bulk of the ship every few seconds.  The noise was astounding.  Martok almost wished he was back in the cursed warp, listening to the quiet whispers of silent gliding.  His mind drifted, momentarily...

Drop ships in range.  Martok received the signal and departed through the double doors, Ziggarauth sharply at his heels.  He began touching the minds of all of his men, coordinating their landing procedures and simultaneously picking a spot upon the surface to begin their assault.  

Hive city: Yool...

Information was still being fed to him as his dropship released from the bowels of the starship and drifted into the periapsis.  Flames began to lick the windshield, and obscured the cloud-covered planet below.

"Close them," he casually ordered, and blast plating lowered across the screens.  It was very quiet for some time. 

 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Labor Days Revisited Scenario

Labor Days Revisited

(with all apologies and credit to Tony Wood)

A 7th Edition 40k and Horus Heresy scenario.

During the Klaeser rebellion, one of the many things to disappear, along with secular idealism, the working-class labor bosses, independent banks and ownership of property was also the standard calendar year instituted on JYLN-55 for over eight-thousand years.

As early as year five of the Horus Heresy, the then-intact, massive frozen planet named Mercia held 98 planetary bodies in her orbit.  Each of these bodies worked upon its own schedule of production, some of them holding days that lasted nearly three times the length of days on other planetary bodies.  Similarly, the orbits of the moons of Mercia often cast simultaneous periods of eclipse upon one another, and these periods of darkness and relative lengthy periods of daytime between made for a haphazard conglomeration of local time zones and tribal holiday observations.  At any given time there could be found over two dozen holidays occurring  upon several different moons, each with their own method and duration.  The Mercia system, being a vital shipping hub for the blossoming fleets of mankind and a supply of fuels for its long-range stellar engines, found itself suffering from regular inefficiency. 

Enter Niral Iruy, an economist on the third moon of Mercia (called Nepreryvka 7), came up with an ingenious plan to keep the multitudes of workers on the nearly 100 bodies in the system working at full speed without a drop in production.  Every citizen in the system (nearly seventy-five billion of them at the time) would be designated a symbol.  Eagles, bears, wheat, books, and imperial letters and icons were all used to define each and every citizen.  The workforce as a whole was shifted from a seven-day to a five-day pattern.  Normally, each citizen would rest on the first day of the week and then work for the next six.  From now on, each citizen would work for four days and then get one day off.  With the relatively simplistic minds of the citizens of the planets all agreeing to the selling line: "more time off more often," the calendar was adopted quickly over a one-year period.  The workforce was divided into their symbols, and massive spreadsheets were delivered electronically to every workstation and homestead.  These spreadsheets showed which days each symbol would work, and which days a particular symbol would have off.  While the working classes appreciated that their day off would come earlier, they found it unfortunate that their times off would not coincide with the times off of their friends or their family members, with whom they would have regularly shared their religious holidays.

What eventually happened, after the dissent was quelled, was a new rhythm of life in the Mercia system.  Over the decades and centuries, it became matter-of-fact that "eagles" would only fraternize with other "eagles," and "bears" would have social engagements only with other "bears," if not just for convenience sake, but also as a sense of commonality, and eventually, kinship.  In fact, in just 400 years after adoption of this calendar system the first of the "Jor-Dann" clans were formed from the workers who had been given the letters "J" and "D," letters which, through mere consequence, aligned their "off days"on the calendar nearly half of the time.  Congruent designations such as these married and had children with one another, and eventually aristocratic families were allowed to assign their children and grandchildren with the same symbols as themselves.  Entire clans of people worked on the same days, had off on the same days, and grew in strength and isolation from other clans formed by other symbols.

On a less personal note, the economic result was astounding.  Mercia practically doubled its production ten years after its implementation, and adherence to the calendar system, now dubbed the Niral System, would become the cultural norm for thousands of years.  While many things would change in the 10,000 years following the Heresy, the Niral Calendar System would survive multiple revolutions, moments of great suffering, and devastating loss of life in events such as the plague of M36.41, the "Splitting" of M38, and the destruction of Mercia itself.

Skipping over thousands of years brings us to the current day, the time just past the Klaeser rebellion.  The Klaeser rebellion reintroduced new thoughts and new ideas to a very ancient system.  One of them was the rejection of the Niral Calendar.  However, its cultural significance could not be erased, and the caste system that it created had been so thoroughly ingrained upon JYLN-55 that even after the calendar's usage had been prohibited the old prejudice remained.

One engineer had designs to reverse the damage done.  The Klebstoff Clan, occupying large swathes of the worker hab-blocks of Yool (JYLN's largest hive city), had been working on some rather ingenious technological advances for the past 70 years.  One scientist by the name of Dwoo Ynot had gathered the collective angst of the Klebstoff Clan into a hypothesis: if he could travel back in time and tweak the Niral Calendar so that the "J" and "D" designations would land one day apart, the rival Jordaan would be effectively wiped from history itself.

Strange things happen in the slums of hive cities, and in Yool one could find Orkoid Freeboota traders and Chaos-tainted traitors alike.  Dwoo Ynot made some dark deals and invented his machine, part Shokk-Attack-Gun and part Warp Gate. When it fired up and instantly detonated, it sent a one-mile diameter area of the hab-slums screaming into the warp and left a gaping, smouldering crater behind.

The planetary defense forces of JYLN-55 were the first on the scene.  Members of the Inquisition translated out from the warp into near orbit soon after.  At the edge of the crater, a conspicuous sign had appeared, seemingly from another time.

It was an early billboard of the Niral Calendar.


To be continued...