Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Imperial Armour 11, the Doom of Mymeara

Imperial Armour Volume 11: The Doom of Mymeara is the latest addition to the IA series of books. It is the story of the invasion of the frozen Imperial world of Betalis III by a combined force of Craftworld Eldar and their Corsair brethren.

Story and Background

Like all Forge World books it is lavishly illustrated, opening with a six page full colour spread. The internal pictures are all beautifully done, and I’d say it is the best looking IA yet. The story telling is the standard after action report style of the series, and begins with the initial Corsair raids and the cat-and-mouse game between the Eldar and Imperial Guard forces as the raiders prodded and probed the seemingly random outposts before disappearing.
It soon comes to heated battle, and an Inquisitor arrives and sends a distress call to the nearby group of Space Wolves – Bran Redmaw’s great company. They arrive as the Eldar forces are on the verge of overwhelming the Imperials, and turn the tide, driving off the Xenos. But did they stop the aliens achieving their true goal..?

The story is well plotted and has plenty of twists and turns, with the Imperials giving a good showing even as they’re getting overwhelmed by the superior Eldar forces. There has been some mention of the Phantom Titans seeming underpowered against the Imperials, but to my reading is fine. The Phantom and its two Revenants are wailing on a Reaver and two Warhounds. They are driven off after the rest of the War Griffons show up – that would be five more titans of indeterminate classes, but either way I think it’s reasonable for the Phantom to retreat in the face of that.

This links in with the book’s worst aspect – it is edited terribly. I don’t mean Forge World’s usual brain-fart typos and messing up the rules, but it’s like in the rush to get it out for Christmas they didn’t have time to proof-read. For example:

“As the Nightwings, Phoenix and Vampires soared down, they were met with a tremendous firestorm of las shot and artillery shell. What heavy armour his command staff could muster, but he had not sent the young colonel into battle empty handed.”


It’s like they just cut out the beginning of the sentence, or part of the paragraph. There are a couple of other instances of this sort of thing, as well as glaring typos. Some include:

- Units being Jet Pack Infantry as their base type, but you have to pay to buy them jet packs

- Duplicating a piece of wargear in a units listing

- A superfluous mention of 0-1 and 0-2 restictions

- Webway portal wargear rules included… but nobody in the Corsair list can take it…

Etc, etc…

Now, Talima Fox’s prose is fine, but very uneven – the second paragraph of the book contains a 42 word run on sentence, and the focus on the macro and micro changes often. By this I mean that we’ll be essentially hearing a character’s life story, and then the exact details of how a battle was fought, then back to century spanning events in the next line.
The aforementioned editing issues don’t help at all either (I’m pretty sure I saw an ‘utterly decimated’ in there, but I can’t find it again). One particular example that stuck out was hearing how the Eldar were mowing through the IG forces defending a mining facility, “but it was at the entrance to the mines that the worst atrocities were committed by the Eldar.” We then read about how the mining vehicles (and militia behind them) blocking the entrance were destroyed by Fire Dragons… and that’s it. No massacre of cowering civilians, no revelling in the destruction, nothing particularly worse than what had just been described really.

Ms Fox seems to have a thing for Fire Dragons, and I can't blame her.

Compared to other IA stories, Mymeara feels short. The shortness isn’t a bad thing, the story gets to the point and never drags on or re-hashes the same type of battle over and over. Each piece of combat is different to the last, or a continuation that adds to the story rather than repeats it. In tone, aside from a few story callout boxes, it is very much a historical account. There are no real ‘character moments’ in the story. Generals command and soldiers fight, but aside from a few moments with particular notable officers or commanders (such as Bran Redmaw himself) most characters go unnamed. Whether or not this is a bad thing would be up to personal taste.

My gut instinct is that for whatever reason they cut sections out of the prose at the last minute, and didn’t have time to do a final edit before rushing off to print. I mean Forge World is renowned for its lax editing standards, but this is bad. Now you’re probably thinking it’s a terrible book – but the truth is far from it if you’re able to look past the superficial errors and enjoy the story. The ending section, written as the aforementioned Inquisitors account of a battle, is especially well done and I found neither the Eldar nor Imperials to be portrayed as weaker or too out of character.

One thing that is done very well is scale. It is an unfortunate thing that Sci-Fi writers have no sense of scale, but Talima Fox avoids this pitfall. The crapsack mining world of Betallis III still has a population of over six million, and the combats include large volumes of superheavies and huge numbers of regular vehicles. One example is that over a hundred War Walkers and five Cobras were recovered by the Imperials after the fighting – that’s just the salvage, not units engaged.

Coming back to that macro/micro thing, the Eldar section isn’t as fleshed out as I’d like – for the first real information on Corsairs in a 40k book there wasn’t much to go on about how they do things. We probably could have done without 14 pages of pictures of Space Wolf troopers and vehicles and had a couple more pages on Corsair society in my opinion. Fortunately the various Rogue Trader books have good source material on the various Corsair groups found in the Expanse, but it is a lost opportunity.

A dozen pages of this is certainly better than information about the Corsairs!

The same can be said of the Eldar special characters – namely that in a society with no gender divisions (and canon 50/50 chance of a warrior being female) it is a bit of a disappointment that neither the new Phoenix Lord, nor any of their new troopers, are female – especially from a boutique company like Forge World (and it’s not an easy prospect to convert the Shadow Spectres either). Another oddity is that none of the photos showcase the Corsair kits – they appear in the background of one or two photos, but as the new shiny toys they don’t get much play.

Army Lists and Units

First up are the Cadian regiments and a description of their notable actions. They are led by General Myndoras Odon, supreme commander of the Guard defenders. He has his own description and comes with a command squad and rules wise is Creed lite, including a special ability “Careful Planner”.
Next up is a brief discussion of the Cadian forces. It’s a generic description of Cadian forces, which seems superfluous given most people buying an Imperial Armour book would be familiar with the regiments already.
After this comes rules for the Malcador Infernus, Praetor Assault Launcher and Crassus Transport. Rules are the same as in IA: Apocalypse 2.

The Elysians get a brief write up, explaining they were hitching a ride with the Legio Gryphonicus detachment so were diverted by circumstances rather than choice. Legio Gryphonicus have a short bit of blurb, noting that one of the Reaver’s machine spirits was especially skilled at fighting the Eldar, having fought them before.

The Imperials continue with Bran Redmaw’s Great Company coming next. One point of contention I’ve noticed is that the Space Wolves are noted as a 2nd founding Chapter. It reads to me that this is meant to mean that as a Chapter they came from the 2nd founding, the Space Wolves Legion being noted as their predecessor. Regardless, it’s still a weird way of writing it.

He even gets a model before the Farseer.

The Great Company gets a lengthy write up, and the aforementioned 14 pages of pictorials.
Game play wise they aren’t any different from the regular Space Wolves, but their master certainly is. Skarvald the Troll-faced did a great write up on his rules for those interested. Story wise he’s constantly struggling against the Curse of the Wolfen, but no insight into the curse is given – it just is.

The Eldar section begins with Craftworld Mymeara, telling of their struggle to survive and the intercession of Phoenix Lord Irillyth that saved them. One interesting tidbit is that each craftword came from a single Eldar planet, so they already had separate identities from one another before the fall, explaining the different ‘personalities’ of the factions. There’s more to the Mymeara Craftworld, but that would be spoiling the story.

Alaitoc is also present, an ally of Mymeara, and has their own background section. It is odd, as half of it is dedicated to an account of defeating a Hivefleet Behemoth splinter (that macro/micro thing again), which felt too much like copying Iyandens shtick.

The Shadow Spectres and their Phoenix Lord come first unit-wise, and have undergone a few revisions since the beta rules. They’ve got an invulnerable save that varies dependant on enemy range and the Prism Rifle rules have been tweaked a little. That said the Exarch lost his ability to fire separately from the Ghostlight, so taking a Haywire Launcher does… something to the shot (rules for the Prism Blaster are included).

The combined range, rather than being 12”+12” per extra model firing is now 18”+6” per two firing models (rounding odd numbers down) in the squad. That seems overly complicated to me, as you need two to shoot 24” (as in the beta), but four to shoot 30” where four would fire 48” in the beta.
One big improvement is moving them from the clogged Heavy Support section to the Fast Attack slot. Phoenix Lord Irillyth is what you’d expect – standard statline and beefed up version of his aspect’s gear.

The second special character is Farseer Bel-Annath, supreme seer of Mymeara. He’s a combat focussed Farseer, having previously served as an Autarch after a life on the path of the warrior after a stint as an outcast. He confers Stubborn to nearby units and can optionally modify his army’s FOC, dropping two Troops in exchange for a fourth Heavy Support.

Background wise he and Irillyth have a really weird timeline. Bel-Annath was born “long after the fall”, and was a young seer when Irillyth was last seen on Mymeara. He didn’t become a seer until the second half of his life. Yet the Shadow Spectre aspect is said to have fallen into memory for all save Mymeara due to Irillyth’s disappearance. But if Irillyth was last seen by a living Eldar not noted to be especially long lived, how did everyone forget the Aspect?

Alaitoc only contacted Mymeara after Irillyth departed, and the Phoenix Lord came to the Craftworld in what seems not especially long after the fall. So either Irillyth spent nearly 10,000 years chilling on Mymeara (no wonder his shrines were abandoned…), or the timeline is seriously messed up here. Editing, people, editing…

The Corsair background is, as mentioned previously, sadly brief. The entire section for a previously unseen but oft-mentioned faction is shorter than the Space Wolve’s pictorial section (can you tell I think it was too long?). The text is only a little over a page long once you take out the pictures. Nothing about how the bands are organised, where they are supplied from, what they do with their fallen or how they prevent falling to evil. Only a brief mention of Craftworlders occasionally taking on Corsair groups they feel are too close to their dark kin.

Corsair Army List

The army list itself is very good, once you get past all the bone-headed errors plaguing it (see earlier list). You can even take a Gyrinx! The basic Corsair weapon is either the Lasblaster or Shuriken Pistol and CC weapon.


Corsair Prince (or Princess) - a cross between an Autarch and a Archon, they can be well kitted out for combat (ranged or close) and allow non-deep-striking units to do so anyway. They also get a free orbital bombardment type weapon, with three variants to choose from.
The Prince (or Princess) can take a retinue of Bladesworn Corsairs. They come equipped for close combat, but can be given more ranged/special weapons.

Void Dreamer – the Warlock equivalent. They come with three psychic powers by default, a reasonable shooting attack, a defensive power against psykers or daemons, and a morale re-roll ability. They’re nice and cheap.


Voidstorm Squad – Elite Corsairs, they come with jet packs as default, and can take more special weapons.

Harlequins – as per Codex: Coneheads, may take a Corsair Venom transport.

Craftworld Outcasts – One Codex Eldar fast attack or Elites choice. I think this is meant to be 0-1 but, despite the preamble on the subject, such a clear note is missing.

Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors – from Codex Dark Eldar.


Corsair Squad – BS 4 Guardians, they can take Shuriken Catapults if you don’t like shooting things, or Shuriken Pistols is you like dying in close combat. They can also take Jet Packs, and min-max horribly: Five guys with Jet Packs, an Eldar Missile Launcher and Fusion Gun runs you 100 points. The Jet Packs come at a flat rate, so it is more pricey to do it this way.
They also have grenades and can take a squad leader upgrade, who can be given a fusion pistol and power weapon.
Jet Packless squads can take a Corsair Venom if they number five or less, or a Falcon if they number six or less… despite a Corsiar Falcon carrying ten. Dammit Forge World!

Wasp War Walkers – Changing slightly from their beta rules, they’ve gone up 10 points but can move as Jet Pack infantry normally now. Additionally after using their special Jump Jet move (now 12”, done in lieu of shooting after normal movement) they may no longer assault or make their Jet Pack move. You can’t have more Wasp Squadrons than Corsair Squads.
Overall I think they are great units, and the Jet Pack movement more than makes up for the lack of 24” jump.

Corsair Jetbikes – BS 4 Craftworld Jetbikes, whose unit leader can be given a fusion pistol and power weapon.

Dedicated Transports

Corsair Falcon – BS 4 Falcon, transport capacity ten.

Corsair Venom – Much like the Dark Eldar version, but with Craftworld guns.

Fast Attack

Hornet Squadron – as per IA:A2

Nightwing – a fast skimmer/flyer, it is not much changed from previous version, but gains “zAerial Assault” [sic]. Dammit Forge World!

Night Spinner – same as in White dwarf

Heavy Support

Phoenix Bomber – yes, you read that right. It’s hella expensive (just under a base Land Raider), but can rain unholy destruction upon your foes. It’s only AV10 though, so you’ve got to hope those holo-fields hold up.

Warp Hunter – as per IA:A2

Fire Storm – A pretty good ranged platform with the Fire Storm Scatter Laser’s 60” range (And twin-linking).

Overall I think it’s a great, characterful list hampered by stupid errors (such as the falcon issue and lack of webway buying ability.

The Eldar Engines of Destruction section details all the Eldar vehicles, Codex and Forge World, though does not contain rules for a couple of them (Wave Serpent, regular War Walker and Wraithlord). Everything else is detailed here, including the Wraithseer and Lynx. The Phantom gains the close combat weapon option, and Warlock Titans are mentioned.

Lastly comes the obligatory missions and Apocalypse Formations. These are all standard fare, with the missions as characterful as usual, and the formations taking advantage of the latest Forge World releases save the Space Wolves, which requires 2-4 Land Raiders.

Overall the book is a rough, or perhaps cracked diamond – it had great potential, but several missteps (poor editing, uneven flow of narrative, overdosing on Space Marines against the Eldar) keep it from achieving its full potential.

It may seem I’m harping on against the Space Wolves here, but given they only play a very small part in the story and we’ve just had two volumes of All MarinesAll The Time (and this is the first appearance of the Eldar) it was a great disappointment that it was so Imperial-centric. Yes, it’s called Imperial Armour, but there are players who don’t play Imperial forces, or who would like to know more about the various Xenos races.

This is a very similar complaint to my thoughts on IA:8, Armour of Gork (or possibly Mork). The Space Marines could have been easily excised from the story and replaced with Karskin, Valhallans, or anyone really and it wouldn’t have altered the story too much.

Story and Background8/10 for concept, 6/10 for execution. Now, I’m not slamming Talima Fox here as much as it might seem. Most of the issues should have been picked up before going to print as they’re silly, avoidable errors for the most part. Her writing and concepts were good, with the only eyebrow raising moment being a bit involving a group of Wraithguard and Space Wolves which, given GW’s propensity to have one side dominate, was a welcome change.

I’d happily read another book by her, but I’d be crossing my fingers that she’d be getting more (or better) editorial guidance. For the record I’m of the opinion that writers usually make terrible self-editors, especially if they don’t have a good long break between draft and review. I know if I don’t leave something a while I’ll miss glaring mistakes in my own writing.

Layout / Graphics9/10. A very pretty book, it only lost a point for lack of art of the Corsairs. The only Eldar character page is for a Dire Avenger. It would have been good to see more of these forces as they play a large role in the story and haven’t been featured before.

Army Lists and Units - 7/10, would have been higher if not for stupid mistakes. The Corsairs list would be great, save the errors riddling it. As it stands it’s still a good list, and would work well in low points games nicely.

Extras 7/10, good, but nothing exciting.

Overall – 7.5 / 10

I’m only giving it slightly higher than IA8 as I enjoyed the story more, even if the better plot was let down by worse editing. And, honestly, if I wasn’t a huge IA/FW fangirl and this was my first IA book, I’d be at least calling them up asking WTF (which I might do anyway)?

This all makes me feel that the book was rushed to make Christmas – there are too many obvious mistakes and Forge World’s constant “it’ll be out soon” message just makes me think they hit a deadline and either were forced to put the book out or decided ‘sod it’, and went to print regardless. Neither option is particularly good.

Still, the book, like IA8 for Orks, is a great resource for Eldar players and definitely worth a look if possible.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Koronus Gazetter Issue #1

This is a handout I'm producing for the players of my upcoming Rogue Trader RPG game to give them plot hooks, rumours and background texture. It's designed to be printed double sided and folded in half, so "Rogue Tradin'" is on the back.

Click to embiggen:

I think you can guess what the first adventure will be about ;) But there are seeds for future endevours and encounters layed down here. It'll be fun seeing the player's actions move from the back pages to bigger and bigger stories. Or seeing their screw-ups on the front page for all to see, ha ha!

Higher quality PDF available here.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What is this I don't even...

You know when you like a band but you've only seen a couple of their videos for some reason and then you look at one more and your brain just melts? Yeah, this is that.

In other news it looks like I'll be running a Rogue Trader RPG early in the new year - will post more about getting that up and running soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reviews: Outcast Dead, Eisenhorn, Ravenor, Hive of the Dead, Aurelian, Snuff

Real life, by way of jury duty, has gotten in the way of late - but it did afford me time to get some reading done.

The Outcast Dead
, by Graham McNiell.

This book is a must buy for fans of the Heresy series, and fans of 40k lore. Some of the important things it lays out include the exact timeline of the Isstvaan attacks in relation to Magnus' stuffing around, and a lot of vital background on the workings of the formative Imperium.

Following Astropath Kai Zulane as he comes to grips with a terrible secret that could dictate the course of war (or end it entirely), the story shows how the ideals of the Imperial Truth are often at odds with the actions of its most trusted guardians.
The Outcast Dead themselves are a group of marines stationed on Terra, belonging to the mysterious Crusader Host. McNiell does his trademark 'refer obliquely to something and wait to explain it in another book' trick here, but it's not especially intrusive or distracting to the narrative.

Possibly the best part of the book, for me at least, is making the Emperor more human. In most of his appearances, especially in the early books (and the awful Last Church [ironically also by McNiell]) The Emperor was often portrayed as either excessively God-like, with everyone falling to their knees and weeping, or as a jerkface (who has the face of a jerk). This also extended to the Primarchs to a lesser degree.
The obvious problem with this is that he becomes either unrelatable or unlikable, not to mention the plot hole of 'why is there political strife on Terra when the Emperor just needs to show up and bling out and everyone falls before him weeping (always with the weeping)?' This is the problem of having to tell the really important stuff - ie Horus' fall - first, when it would have been better served to get a handle on the universe 30k style and then get to the good stuff. But that wouldn't sell books as much though. It's like when a new miniature line releases all the important characters first, and they end up looking really bad compared to later sculpts.

But I digress.

Having the Emperor shown in a sympathetic light makes it seem more tragic, and isn't the whole story meant to be bad for humanity? I'd love to quote some of the Emperor's best lines, but they're pretty spoilerific, so I'll abstain.

The book isn't without its faults, the fight between a World Eater and a Custodes is often highlighted, as is the Death Guard's resistance to injury, but they're fairly minor and easily overshadowed by the positives.


Eisenhorn and Ravenor Ombnibii, by Dan Abnett.

Six books, so I'll just be covering them all briefly. The Eisenhorn series tells the tale of Gregor Eisenhorn, and his pursuit of various enemies of mankind. A first person narrative it follows Eisenhorns' thoughts and has quite a bit of internal monologuing and reflection. This is one of the book's strong points as you certainly get a feel for the Inquisitor's mindset.

Ravenor, however, switches between first person of the eponymous Inquisitor and third person for his team of loyal minions. I found this a superior method to the wholly first person: as the books are essentially crime novels having the crime stretched out over three novels left the first person feeling a little thin - there's only so much reflection a man can do.

One of the things that really dissapointed me in the seires was that the Inquisitors, supposedly super smart and cunning held the idiot ball far too often.

There were a couple of times I wanted to sceam at them "how are you in the slightest bit surprised by this!" One example is Ravenor, despite having extremely good reason to suspect he's got a psyker on board and that they may be extremely dangerous, completely fails to monitor them in any meaningful way. And when one of his minions brings news of possibly prescient dreams to him, he doesn't seem particularly interested.
Their minions are equally culpable sometimes, not bringing up their colleagues acting strangely when there's a daemonic entity on the loose etc.


Second thing is that Eisenhorn's supposedly unbreakable custom battle cant is laughably easy to descipher. Obviously this is for ease of reading, but I think it would have been better served to be formatted differently, such as how Mechanicus speach is ++marked out on the page++ or the like.

Still, the books are a most excellent, given I read all six in two days, so if you haven't read them definately pick them up.

Eisenhorn: 7.5/10

Ravenor: 8/10

Hive of the Dead gamebook, by Christian Dunn.

For those who don't know, a gamebook is basically a choose-your-own-adventure with dice for when you run into monsters.

Hive of the Dead is a simple tale, where YOU are the hero ('you' is always written in capitals in these things). A Guardsman afflicted with amnesia in a hive filled with plague zombies, you have to escape with your life.

I'm a big fan of gamebooks, so rather than reviewing the plot (which is almost always paper thin), I'll be discussing the construction and assembly of the book. Like the Fighting Fantasy series, Hive of the Dead is 400 paragraphs long, where each paragraph is part of the descision tree. This is a good length, and Dunn has a great mechanic where there is the occasional non-linear loop.
What I mean is where you have a choice early on to either: pick up a gun, look at a map, or use a radio, many gamebooks would have you do one then continue, or return to the original choice paragraph. What Dunn has done is to have each choice branch off, so you get different results depending in what order you do things.

For example if you look at the map and then the radio, when you go to pick up the gun a zombie attacks before you can grab it. But if you pick up the gun first a zombie will attack when you look at the map etc.

On the flipside the story is very linear and rather short. One of the biggest issues I have is that for each combat there is a 'turn to xx' if you lose. Each combat does have its own entertaining description of your death but they are, frankly, unneccessary and the paragraphs would have been better spent on their being more stuff to do.
As I said the story is quite linear, and there are a few false choices, where aside from a little flavour text change there is no real difference to the gameplay or events.

The writing, however, is generally good and written in a frequently tongue in cheek manner ("to disagree politely, turn to xx - to disagree impolitely and attack them, turn to xx). It does have the odd flat spot in the text, but its not too terrible.

The combat system itself is quite unweildy, being a stripped down version of 40k in some ways, and being overly fiddly for my tastes. There are damage multipliers, initiative, ranges and all sorts of things (and an advanced rules section). When 99% of the enemies are identical plague zombies, it is a bit ridiculous and is overengineered in my opinion.

For the Black Library's first gamebook it holds up well against the early Fighting Fantasy books (and isn't as insanely hard or frustrating), but the later books in the series show that BL has a great oportunity ahead of it. I'll definately be buying the next one.


Aurellion, Gold edition, by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.

The book that broke Black Library, and got us all free shipping. The book itself is essentially Inferno 40k, with a Daemon in place of Virgil. It gives reason for Lorgar's fall, as well as detailing the manipulations of chaos to make it happen.

But was it worth $70, or was the silver enough? I had a chance to look at both versions, and I'm not so sure the gold was worth the extra moulah. For the extra $35 you got some art, a signature and a placeholder. I mean I love a good exclusive, but the asking price is possibly a bit much, given the silver was so extensively cheaper. One odd thing was that the front of the dust jacket for the gold was tucked in to the back, so it covered the whole book - yet the silver didn't do this. One off oddity, or some strange thing that just made reading the book a little bit more inconvenient? Eh, either way it was a good read and an interesting, though not essential, piece of lore.

6.5/10 - this is based on the Gold, including relative worth of price. The silver could add a point.

Snuff, by Terry Pratchett.

The latest in Pratchett's Discworld series, Snuff is the story of Sam Vime's holiday to the country. It's a little bit Jane Austin, a little bit Midsomer Murders and a lot of fun.

Vimes is easily my favourite of the Discworld protagonists (just ahead of Moist), and Pratchett does not fail to deliver. There is humour aplenty, and a great mystery afoot with strange doings a'transpirin in the village (tis a local village, for local people). Here we discover the workings of one of the few traditional fantasy races not yet seen on the Disc - goblins. As can be expected from Pratchett they aren't what you'd expect, and there is no clear good versus evil except for Vimes versus crime, but that's to be expected.

The only potential downside for a new reader is that there isn't a great deal of time explaining the fairly extensive background (Vetinarii, the clacks, Old Stoneface etc), but the story is carried by the very real feeling characters and great dialogue so even if you don't know what's going on you'll certainly get the idea.

As I mentioned above about the Eisenhorn/Ravenor idiot ball situation, there is none of that here - it is a detective story at its core, and is constructed as such. Vimes investigates, he thinks and ponders, and when he does something stupid that gave his enemy an advantage he thinks 'argh, I've done something stupid that has given my enemy an advantage' rather than it being ignored. This is the book (and Pratchett's) great strength - the characters really feel like real people, and it is very easy to get deep into the story.


So that's what's been eating up my time lately... well, that and:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Some not so light reading

22 kilos worth to be exact:

Next challenge - where to put them...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Games Day Anthology 2011

This year's Games Day anthology features six short stories by the usual suspects in an A5 hardback format. I've only read the 40k stories so far, so will only be covering them here.

The book itself is well put together and the hardcover works with the small, thin (124pg) size. The only oddity is the printing of the title pages for each story - they are curiously faded as if they weren't printed properly. I can only assume it is a mistake involved in transferring from colour, as they feature their respective universe's logo (ie the Warhammer 40,000 eagle). Still, no problems with the actual text itself.

The first story is Death of a Silversmith, by Graham McNiell, set during the Horus Heresy. Unsurprisingly it concerns the death of a silversmith. In this case he is a specialised remembramancer aboard the Vengeful Spirit, who is so renowned for his work that Sejanus commissions four rings for the Mournival. But another commission, to make a series of small silver medallions, proves his undoing.
The story is well paced and shows a more peaceful side to the Great Crusade, taking place mostly in the memories of the silversmith as he dies, recalling his life.

The next two stories are interlinked - The Curse of Shaa-Dom and The Treasures of Biel-Tanigh by Gav Thorpe and Andy Chambers respectively. Shaa-Dom splits off from Thorpe's Path series of books, obstensibly telling the story of a White Seer as they travel from the chaos artifact harbouring human world featured in the series. Biel-Tanigh happens before this, and tells of a pair of Dark Eldar attempting to steal an artifact from the titular realm - the same realm the White Seer goes to dispose of his cursed item.
The stories aren't bad, but Shaa-Dom really feels either too short or too long. By that I mean that the first part is concerned with disposing of the artifact, and then the book takes a hard right and devolves into a slasher tale. If you've seen the movie Sunshine it's a rather similar shift. The story just feels like a connecting part of a larger piece (which in a way it is) rather than a work in its own right.
Biel-Tanigh, as mentioned, connects to Shaa-Dom, but stands on its own much better. It is an action piece, but still fits in some new looks at Dark Eldar culture and their nature.

Finally comes Emperor's Deliverance by Nick Kyme. Set during the third war for Armageddon focussing on Sister Hospitilar Athena and her struggle to keep the wounded and refugees under her care safe. Though the arrival of a pair of Marines Malevolant would seem to be a boon, it proves to be anything but.
Sister Athena is a great character, as are the two Marines, Nemiok, the senior and more brutal and Varik the (slightly) more compassionate.
The story is more a battle of personality, with Athena fighting the Marine's obstinate pragmatism and callous respect for nothing but strength. The standout moment is when she implores them to help her dig out a trapped carrier loaded with refugees, but they refuse, and she shames them by doing it herself with a few servitors - "I wanted you to know that, to know that a mindless flesh-mech slave showed greater compassion for humanity than the Emperor's Angels." And then the Orks arrive and things get much worse...

But even then the heartless Nemiok is shown to perhaps have been affected by Athena's actions and bravery, and at the end there is a small tie-in with Kyme's Tome of Fire series of novels.

Emperor's Deliverance is the standout of the collection in my opinion, and if you borrow a copy and only have time to read a single story, I'd make it that one.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Review: Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2nd Edition

The Second Edition of Forge World's expansion for Apocalypse has arrived, loaded up with tons of wargear for the tabletop. However it is not all just for Apocalypse...

On the first page they display three handy logos, indicating whether or not the unit is intended for Apocalypse games, such as the Warhound below:

Or for regular games of 40k, like these Contemptors:

The third logo is for Apocalypse formations. However one very intersting thing is that the "Warhammer 40,000 unit" blurb reads:

This unit is intended to be used in 'standard' games of Warhammer 40,000, within the usual limitations of Codex selection and force organisation charts. As with all our models these should be considered 'official', but owing to the fact they may be unknown to your opponent, it's best to make sure they are happy to play a game using Forge World models before you start.

Nafka had a post recently on Faeit 212 about the officialness of Forge World, and you can read my opinion on the matter there. Suffice to say IA units are now as legal to field as any other unit in 40kdom. Because, you know, if my opponent tells me he's playing GK razorspam or a Leafblower I'm perfectly happy to not play him as well...

But I digress...

The book itself is the standard Forge World layout, but it broke a record! It only took me five minutes to find a mistake - it's usually a while before I spot those ;)
The special mission Rampage of the Beasts describes what forces and percentages they are broken up into for the Attacker twice. Also despite being an upgrade for 5th ed, the Eldar Serpent Rider Host still makes reference to Target Priority Tests.


But minor points aside, the book is solid. Now on to some of the more interesting things:

Imperial Guard

- The Marcharius Vanquisher got a second fire mode for its AT shells, gaining the +1D6 pen on that shot only, losing the blast but also gaining Twin Linked.

- The Marcharius Vulcan can fire twice like the Stormlord. The Vulcan Mega Bolter is still over-rated.

- The Crassus went up a little in points, but can carry 5 more dudes (so you can fit a whole platoon + Command Squad in there!) and also moves 12". Great improvements there.

- The Dominus variant of the Crassus features a triple bombard. It is delightfully over the top.

- The Praetor, pictured below, feels a little underwhelming. It has three fire modes (HE, Incendiary, AA), but you have to pick one before the battle. The explosive ones are only Ordnanace Barrage 2, and though they are 5" and 7" templates, something with so many missiles on it (and an Apoc unit) looks to me like it should fire more.
That said it's good they didn't just give it an Apocalypse Blast weapon, and it's not that expensive really.

- Tauros Squadrons are there for IG or Elysian armies (the Venator is an upgrade, so squadrons can be mixed types).

- Plasmagun version of the Marcharius. It can overheat when fired on maximum, but I'm not sure it's going to be fired that way very often.

- Six of the formations are gone, as well as a number of vehicles like the Manticore.

Space Marines

- The Contemptors come in four flavours: vanilla, vampire, loup-garou and dakka.
The Codex version has more wargear options, including a special plasma blaster and the Graviton Gun.It can take a +1 BS option, two DCCW arms or a Chainfist (allowing an Ironclad Contemptor). It can also take all the standard dread weapons, though the Assault Cannon is the special Kheres model (more dakka!); mount a cyclone, regardless of other weapons; or take the heavy conversion beamer.

The Blood Angel version may take Blood Tallons, the Frag Cannon or a Magna Grapple. It can't take the beamer, plasma blaster, graviton gun or cyclone however.

Space Wolves is very similar to the Codex model, but less wargear. It also must chose a Night Saga...
The Wolves find that their Contemptors tended to savagry and excess in battle, tainting the sagas of those within. It bacame self-fulfilling as now the Iron Priest only inter those warriors already of dark disposition.
The three sagas are the Saga of the Black Cull, the Saga of the Forsaken One and the Saga of the Iron God. Each also comes with an Oath - Master of Slaughter, Oath of Sundered Brotherhood and Oath of Hubris respectively, guiding how the Contemptor will act.

The Mortis pattern starts with BS5, and must take twin heavy weapons on the arms, and may also take a Cyclone. A Mortis with twin Kheres cannons and a Cyclone sounds very tasty - 12 Assault cannon shots plus two missiles on the move would murder infantry and even armour would be afraid.

These guys are privey points wise, however. You can go mad and get some of them costing as much as a Land Raider without too much trouble...

- The Caestus and Achilles are reprinted here.

- The dreaded (ha!) Lucius pattern drop pod has not only gone up in points, but it is now risky for the Dreadnought to assault out of it.

- A formation was cut, but they left in the Automated Defence Force, which is odd as the rules for the Taratulas aren't in the book. You can download the IA2 update though to get them, but it is a bit silly.

Forces of the Imperium

- The Lighning, Valkyrie and Vulture are all out, replaced by the Sky Talon.

- The Arvus can take jury-rigged guns.

Da Orkz

- The Looted Rhino, Gun Wagon, Battle Fortress and Krusha Wagon are all gone.

- The Warkopta, Kustom Meka-Dread, Kill-Blasta/Bursta, Lifta Wagon and Grot Tank Mob from IA8: Armour of Gork (or possibly Mork) are all in however.

- The Grot Mega Tank is also in. It takes two 'heavy turrets' of twin linked Kan gunz, and three light turrets of Kan Gunz. It's better armoured than a Chimera, but not by much. Movement and shooting are very much like the Grot Tankz.


- The Wraithseer has had a few tweaks to its powers. Foreboding is now -2 to Leadership or be Pinned, and Deliverence is now Feel No Pain.
Enliven still seems like a waste to me - I'm yet to hear an Eldar player lament the lack of Fleet on his or her Wraithlords. Something like Fleet or some bonus to shooting would have been good. Or making it count as Assault Grenades.

- The Phantom Titan has had a fair bit of work done to it. It still costs the same, but they have changed the shields, it's hard to hit in CC, Spirit Guides got reworked to not suck and the Star Cannon got an extra shot (yay?).
I'm still of the opinion that the secondary weapons are too short ranged, but it is a much better bang for your metaphorical buck.
Point to note is that it can hit anything in assault with a titan CCw, as its Towering Monstrosity rules doesn't prevent it.

- The Hornet gained Aerial Assault from the Dark Eldar codex, so is much more useful.

- Ths Scorpion, Cobra, Phoenix, Void Dragon Phoenix and Nightspinner are all cut.

- The Lynx hasn't changed from its beta rules.

- The Warp Hunter got a BS bump, and a bigger blast on the main gun.


- The Scything Talons of the Heirodule and Harridan gained re-rolls to hit. The Harridan is now a proper flyer, and the Gargoyle brood rules were tweaked a little.

- The Malanthrope got some stat changes, went up in points and now has a Synapse based boost to units around it.

- The Stone Crusher Carnifex went up in points, but had some stat changes and is harder to kill, with a boost to its Regeneration rolls.


- Added in Commander R'Alai in his XV-9 suit. He gets a special experimental weapon and has special ammo on top of that, though they Get Hot!


- Have a unit! The Tomb Stalker is very gribbly. Able to Fleet, Deep Strike, Move Through Cover, Hit and Run as awell as assault units without having LoS first. It also has a special immunity to weapons that wound regardless of toughness (Hellfire shells, sniper weapons etc).
It's pretty pricey points wise, but cheaper than a Monolith.

Dark Eldar

- The Reaper is the Raider built around a giant haywire blaster, shown above. It has two fire modes, and can cause multiple haywire hits in one shot.

- The Tantalus is the big two hulled vehicle, and can carry 16 dudes. Unlike the model shown at Games Day it doesn't have the pintle mounted weapon, only the two Pulse-Disintegrators (which fire 6 shots each...). It can also bladevane infantry and vehicles (for 2D6 penetration), and is an open topped tank, so can ram and tank shock on top of everything else.

- The Raven fighter looks rather sad now...


- The Tzeentchian mega-greater Daemon is absent, but the other three are represented.

- The Chaos Warhound can now be Possessed. It is a great deal for the points.

- The Chaos Contemptor is very similar to the Codex version, with a few key differences. It has some unique chaosy secondary guns, can take a Havoc Launcher instead of a Cyclone, and doesn't have the invulnerable save.
What it does have, however, is the ability to ignore 50% of glancing hits, and also ignore a smaller number of penetrating hits.
Dedications to the four gods are available, but must be modelled appropriately. The Chaos Contemptor is also not crazy, so won't go around killing your own dudes.


There are also four new Apocalypse missions. They are well written, including details of reccomended table size, points levels and detailed scoring information. Each is very different and would obviously require a lot of planning, moreso than normal.


Overall this is a great resource for anyone interested not only in Apocalypse, but in expanding their 40k options. Like always there's more for Imperial players, but both Eldar factions have some great things too.
It does suffer in that it references other IA books in a couple of places, and they also cut a number of units out that aren't in regular Codexes which, when coupled with removing the master unit list that listed what book everything was in, seems rather stupid.
Also, the Reaver is on the cover, but the rules aren't in there... that's not just silly, but a little misleading in my opinion. I'm not sure why anyone approved that, as a great shot of the Contemptor would have worked just as well.

In total I'm giving the book an 8/10.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Games Day Australia 2011

So the first Games Day to be seen in Australia in seven years has come and gone. Here are my recollections and experiences, as well as some info from the seminars.

First up was the venue - it was spacious, well lit and no problems finding it. Funnily enough it was next to filming of the reborn Young Talent Time auditions... not sure how they handled all the Waaaaghing going on though.
Still, a few people got some odd looks, like this awesome Commisar who arrived at the same time I did:

Sorry, I didn't get her name to credit

There weren't huge lines like those seen in the UK and US, with ForgeWorld's line rather large when I arrived at 10:45 or so (having worked until 1am that morning). They died down considerably later in the day, and it was organised that people picked up their orders and were moved to a central payment area with six registers going.

Arriving late I unfortunately missed the Black Library seminar, so no comment there :(
So instead I had a wandered around for a bit, catching up with some people until the design studio Q&A with Phill Kelly and Adam Troke.

54mm scale in the Forge World Best in Show category

The Q&A was well populated and fairly interesting. Some points of note:

- In regards to new races they asked "raise your hand if you feel your army is laggin behind in attention?" and used the fair number of hands to illustrate the more pressing need to update the current crop of Codexes first.

- Adam did go on to mention Necrons and Dark Angels as two in need of help, but it didn't sound particularly to indicate any info on forthcoming releases.

- Phil commented he would change the Court of the Archon and Dias of Destruction if he could in Codex Dark Eldar. The Court was at one point planned for a boxed set so you'd have to buy one of each so it made sense to have it that way. The Dias was a last minute job, and needed more tweaking.
He also mentioned changing the Decapitator and making some units better and some worse, but no specifics on why.

- In regards to supplements like Cities of Death and Planetstrike they said the designers used tose as a change of pace or a reward "like desert", and they wanted to do more.

- This led into a discussion about global campaigns. They are limited as they can't have huge ones that change the universe as the results might mess up the story - Adam specifically mentioned that the results for Medusa V were not what they expected. The questioner brought up that it helps get gamers involved in the universe by having a shared goal. They did ask who would be interested and got a strong positve response.

- There was talk about the design process and how ideas come about. Phil said they are trying to change the process from "you will design this" coming from above to a constant stream of pitching ideas and having a more free-flowing creativity.
They have  a giant whiteboard where the studio just put up ideas for anything and get feedback and response on it. Assignments are generally given to the most eager studio member as they'll put the most work in, "and lots of unpaid overtime". There is however competition, including knife fights in the carpark, for some jobs so they painted the studio as very free-flowing.

- Someone asked about FAQs, and the reply indicated there's an assistant designer who is chiefly responsible for them all.

- On playtesting, Adam used the example that for High Elves he personally played 40 games, recording the results, as well as other studio members, White Dwarf guys, "their external playtesting group", and other in-house team members.
There was no fixed amount done though, and it is an elastic amount.

- When asked what they thought on balance, the reply was having a tough but fun game where it could have gone either way at any point. They did acknowledge that they sometimes screwed up, and that they all find it terribly embarrasing.

- A question was asked about release schedules, with Dark Eldar getting more models while some armies are still waiting (this got a chorus of "Tyranids!" from the audience). The reply was that they were changing to try and do a single major release for as much as possible with only some Special Characters being delayed as they can be troublesome to get right.
Ogre Kingdoms was used as the example of this.

- Phil then went on to talk about how they won't be re-treading Forge World, and the Mournfang are distinct creatures from the Rhinox riders. Forge World is there to flesh out the fringes and add depth was they way it was put, and they do their own thing.

- Jervis reads every letter he gets sent, and tells everyone in the studio about them. Adam did a Jervis impersonation for effect.

Forge World Best in Show category

After that I headed down to get Graham McNiel (who had spilt coffee all over himself at some point) to sign my copy of Thousand Sons. The queue was only about 25 minutes, though the signing at the city store on Friday night was apparently much, much bigger. Two guys from Darwin in the line behind me had gone there and given up.

Graham was very nice to talk to, and we had a chat about writing and whatnot, including discussion on making Space Marines seem superhuman and their role in the story. No ground breaking revelations to be had, but it was great to have a good chat with him.

Henry Zou wasn't there, or if he was he disappeared before I saw him. I haven't read either Anthony Reynolds or Matt Farrer's works, so I didn't talk to them.

Single Model category

I didn't go to the Perry twin's Q&A as it started just as I finished talking to Graham. I didn't realise they were going to be there, otherwise I would have brought my copy of Rogue Trader for them to sign. They were here for Dreadfleet, having designed a large number of the ships.
It was rather odd seeing them in person as to me I always imagine them with the mental picture of their portrait in teh back of Rogue Trader or the early White Dwarfs.

40k Squad

I did have a caht with Adam, mostly about kitbashing Chaplain Terminators and the merits of scrounging for bitz around the place. He did mention that Dreadfleet had probably been in the works for around three years total, but would have been around six months work done in one big hit.
Another comment was on new Codexes comign out (someone asked about Dark Angels), and he commented that it was hard to get to everything, but Dark Angels, Necrons and Sisters of Battle need re-doing, though he did add "though Sisters just got a 'hold-me-over' codex in White Dwarf and it's awesome!"

Phil signed my Ork Codes, and we had a talk about games designs (he's a fan of the D10 too), going retro (the 1st ed stuff was an influence on him) and understanding girlfriends with both being horders of stuff.
No revelations here as it was more a hobby chin-wag than anything.

I did some shopping, pickign up the exclusive short story collection, the new artbook, a poster and The Outcast Dead. Wait in line was probably about two minutes or so.

40k Squad

Lastly was the All-In-One Q&A with Phil, Adam, the Perry Twins, Anthony Reynolds, Matt Farrer and Alan Merrit.

- I asked about any editorial control over what they create. I was told the only control there is comes at the start of a project, whether the pitch for a book/model is given a green light or not, and not in terms of any marketing team ("they don't have any" - Alan) or sales driven objectives.

- They were asked about the future of Finecast and the character plastics, and the inclusion of races such as Jokaero and Slyyth as minor notes in the armies.
The response was that they were wanting to include more when they could to give the feeling of a broader universe, as well as more opportunities for modellers. They can't guarantee that every race mentioned will be included though, as it still needs to fit in the army lists.

- Alan talked about introducing new ideas at some length, sparked by a question about computer games and how close they had to follow GW's mandate.
Basically they have to do as they're told, and can't introduce new things. If they have a gap they need filling they come to GW for a filler (such as the Orca in Fire Warrior). The only exception anyone could remember was Phil saying the Rail Rifle in Fire Warrior was designed by Kuju to fill the sniper rifle FPS archetype, and the studio liked it so much they adopted it - everything else is GW's doing. I was tempted to shout "metal bawksez!" or "spess mehreens" at them, but abstained.

He further elaborated that they won't be discarding  and races, as they learnt from their mistake with Squats (and he did specifically call it a mistake) and that they realise now that "they can't pretend like things didn't exist".

- There was quite a lot of talk about plastic models and designing them and whatnot.

Junior Category

After that I had a bit more of a look at the Golden Demon entries and armies on parade, but had to leave to go to work unfortunately, so missed the awards ceremonies.

Relic also had a stand with Space Marine free to play on six TVs. I didn't have a go, but it looked pretty fun. I dont' think I'll be buying it just yet though.

All in all it was a great day, and I'm really glad I went. I'll definitely be going next year!


And if you want more GW goodness, head over to Tales from the Maelstrom where they've got a great interview with Rick Priestley.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Triple Review: Chapterhouse Farseer, Scorpion Exarch and Modern Rifles

So I recieved the new "Scorpion Warrior Priestess" (cough cough) model from Chapterhouse Studios yesterday, so I thought I'd put up a review of some of their newer products.

First up is the SCAR & M-14 set.

In the set you get eight guns, tww each of the M-14, SCAR w lasgun magazine & muzzle break, SCAR w drum magazine, SCAR w drum magazine & 40mm grenade launcher.

The accuracy of the guns in is quite good, though if you want to quibble the stock on the SCAR is a bit short (and they don't accept lasgun magazines...), but that's a minor issue.

Casting quality is top notch, very sharp with very little in the way of flash or mould lines. The pictures are of untouched straight out of the box parts. Compare to Forge World Elysian lasguns below:

This pic does illustrate the one problem with production - the butts of the guns join straight on to the vent (the big block of scrap resin). This means it's a rather tricky process to remove the guns as the vent is a fair bet thicker than the stocks:

The warpage is not bad for parts this small IMO.

Adding a small bridge between the gun and vent would be a huge improvement to what is a fairly problematic issue.

As for useability I fear the actual guns, while lovely, will be hard to get to work. For instance look at how large they are compared to some Space Marines:

Not really an issue, and they SCARs will fit with Imperial Guard, though the M-14 might be a bit huge for Guard. The probelm comes when you try to go outside of GW's 'heroic' proportions to manufacturers like Corvus Belli, Hasslefree or Studio McVey:

For reference here are some real dudes with the guns:

So yes, the oversized proportions really hamper their application outside 40k or maybe converting WarmaHordes minis. The M-14's rifle grip will be hard to convert easily, especially with GW's wonky proportions.

For me this is a bit of a disapointment as I'd been hoping to use the M-14 especially on some Black Scorpion minis to post-apocalyse them. I'm still going to use the weapons on either my Marines or Beastmen, but the lack of versatility is a shame.

Second is Doomseer Iyanna-Duanna:

Coming with all the parts shown, with two arms for each side - sword/staff and magic bolt/heil five:

Again, the mini is very cleanly cast and has little flash. Details are crisp, though the metal itself has a few pock marks and tiny bubbles.

By an astounding coincidence, she fits in very nicely with Games Workshop's Eldar line (I know, I couldn't believe it either!), with the armour style and her acoutrements matching well. She doesn't have a lot of the very fine details of the latest Farseers, so as a comparison I'd say she's about the same as a 2nd Edition era sculpt.

Scale wise she blends in seamlessly, and her pose isn't too static or overly dramatic, so she won't stand out amongst a seer council with GW's warlocks.

For those interested her head wouldn't be too hard to remove, though I'd use a saw or Dremel to do it.

Lastly we have the newest release, Armana'serq Scorpion Warrior Priestess.


In another crazy coincidence, Armana comes with all the options for the Striking Scorpion Exarch - Biting Blade, Chainsabres (w shuriken pistols), Claw w shuriken pistol. Aside from the Biting Blade the arms all have a small pin that fits into the shoulder socket, though it wouldn't be an issue to change the pose.

Detailing is superior to Iyanna above, but that may partly be due to Armana having less robes and so on. There is a grenade strapped to her belt, a couple of small stones and the weapons are very detailed. Her not-Mandiblasters and the Predator-esque dreads are sculpted as well as the GW ones, though the head weaposn are shorter. The highlight is that her face is very detailed and certainly one of the best I've seen on a Games Workshop 28mm heroic scale miniature.

Scale wise she is tall. Not hugely out of place tall, but were she standing upright she'd be close to a head over her counterpart:

Who I coincidentally had made female...
Maybe I should join GW in a class action?

One oddity is that she doesn't have a slotta-tab, but comes with a slotta-base. Now I don't know if this is a mis-cast or what, but there's no indication of a defect and it seems a very strange thing otherwise.

Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

Chapterhouse Studios themselves were very fast to ship out, with reasonable shipping prices and good comunication. I got an email when the order was 'pending', 'processing' and 'shipped'.

The miniatures themselves were probably on the higher side, less than a McVey L.E. resin, but more than a McVey metal, Hasslefree or Reaper. I imagine Chapterhouse isn't producing in as great a quantity and they do come with a wealth of options too, so I would say it's worth it.
The weapon packs are good value, certainly cheaper than Forge World.

Final Scores:

Weapons - 6/10 overall, but as a purely 40k add on, 8/10.

Doomseer - 7/10

Scorpion Priestess - 9/10

Chapterhouse Service - 9/10 (docked them a point because the website looks like ass).

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baby Got Razorbacks

I like small tanks and I cannot lie,
You other brothers can't deny,
That when a girl walks in with an Battlefoam Case,
And a Razor list in your face,
You get sprung!

Wanna pull out? Tough!
'Cause you notice that 'back was stuffed,
Assault meltas and a Priest it’s bearing,
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring.
Oh baby, I wanna play you,
And something so new,
My clubmates tried to warn me,
But that ‘back you got makes m-m-m-me so horny

Ooh, she’s Raz-o'-back-in,
You say you wanna Pitch Deploy?
Well, Flank Refuse me, Refuse me,
'Cause you ain't that average groupie.
I've seen them glancin’,
To hell with lancin’,
She's sweat, wet,
Got it goin' like a Melta 'Vet.

I'm tired of magazines,
Sayin' fluff-bunnies are the thing,
Take the average blog man and ask him that -
She gotta pack Razorbacks!

So, fellas! (Yeah!) Fellas! (Yeah!)
Has your girlfriend got the ‘back? (Hell yeah!)
Tell 'em to spam it! (Spam it!) Spam it! (Spam it!)
Spam that MSU ‘back!
Baby got ‘backs!

(Demon paint on an ‘ard Boyz booty)
Baby got ‘backs!

I like 'em small, and on wheels,
And when I'm clubbing a seal,
I just can't help myself, I'm actin' like an animal
Now here's my scandal:
I wanna get you home
And ugh, double-up, ugh, ugh
I ain't talkin' bout Comp Score,
'Cause playin’ nice is such a bore,

I want lists tuned, tricked-out and nasty,
So bring that Leaf Blower,
Mix-a-Lot'll knock it over,
Gunnin’ for a place at that top table.
So I'm lookin' at bat-rep videos
Fluff-bunny carebares playin’ like schmoes,
You can have them newbies,
I'll keep my opponents like Kirby,

A word to the WAAC soul players, I wanna get with ya
I won't cuss or hit ya,
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna *win* -
It’s the way I was born.
‘backs got it goin' on,
A lot of wimps won't like this song,
'Cause them punks like to hit it and quit it,
And I'd rather stay and play,
'Cause I'm long, and I'm strong,
And I'm down to get the RazorSpam on!

So, ladies! {Yeah!} Ladies! {Yeah}
If you wanna roll trip Land Raiders? {Yeah!}
Then turn around! Stick it out!
Even Jervis has to shout
Baby got ‘backs!

Baby got ‘backs!
Yeah, baby ... when it comes to army lists, White Dwarf ain't got nothin',
to do with my selection. Vanilla Captain? Ha ha, only if he’s on a bike.

So your girlfriend rolls a Rhino, lovin’ to not move and fire fro',
But Rhinos sitting still are just time bombs,
My army list don't want none,
Unless you've got guns, hun,
You can do Storm Ravens or Dreadnoughts,
But please don't lose that ‘back.
Some brothers wanna play that "comp" role,
And tell you that the ‘back ain't gold,
So they toss it and leave it,
And I pull up quick to retrieve it.

So BoLS says Sisters 're back,
Well I ain't down with that!
'Cause the ‘dex is small and Faith is stinkin’
But I'm still thinkin' bout switchin’,

To the metal dames in that magazine:
You ain't it, Miss Thing!
Give me plastic, I can't resist it,
Lead and FineCast just miss it!
Some knucklehead tried to dis,
'Cause melta-spam girls are on my list,
He had game but he chose to nerf 'em,
And I roll up quick and table 'im.

So ladies, if the ‘back is around,
And you want a win at all costs throw down,
Dial 1-900-MIXALOT,
And bring them nasty thoughts,

Baby got 'BACKS!

I posted this in the comments on BoLS for some reason, so decided to share it with you all.