Monday, April 10, 2017

Jornath: Assault on Nizajain

The second portion of the Orks Summer Offensive takes place in Kula Hive's municipalities or more specifically the coast off the Hive's Eastern shore. Where in the northern reaches,  1st Army Group was entangled in a large scale regiment scale assault on a broad front from multiple Ork forces converging on the vital Fortress Behras. In the south, the situation was different, the KCC and cohorts from Oakenzid and the South Plains had been slowly strangling the life out of the Ork Kroozer's crash site which had become a ragged Xenos city.  The green skins having taken brutal losses in their command structure during the crash, had been largely fighting amongst themselves, making the concentration easy pickings for Imperial troops.  However, a month before the Orks assaulted the Northern defensive line, much of the fighting between tribes in the southern zone had subsided and grouped behind a half-dozen warlords.  Of these warlords,  two opted to send their warriors in an all-out charge at the Imperial troops surrounding their positions,  while the other four, guided by a council of mek's from the Kroozer's engine room took their forces and descended on the city of Bolasku, a major shipwright center and port on the coast.  Bolasku was defended by 6 Reg KCC,  the 1st Royal NeoHuscarl, along with massed citizens militia, and while the J-PDF forces put up a bitter last stand to hold back the mass of aliens, it was scant few hours before the entire city was totally overrun. Barely missing a beat the Orks set about turning the massive shipyards of the city to the construction of a ramshackle scrap fleet.  Ground troops struggled to break through the outer two warbands to stop the aliens from breaking out to the open ocean, but it was sure to be a close run thing. In Orbit however, the angles of Death stirred to bring a decisive strike to the Ork plan


  1. Raid on Bolasku
  2. Destruction at the Pillars of Grehazin
  3. On Darker Shores.
  4. Last Stand of the Nizajan 100.  
  5. The Fishermen and the Beast

Raid on Bolasku

Summary: The port town of Bolasku, could always have been described as important to Jornath, its shipwrights crafted expert naval vessels of all kinds,  and it was a major source of planetary trade, between the merchant guilds.  During the War for Jornath. It became much more than a vital seaside production and trade center, as the city was located inside the decimated stretch of land where the Ork Rokks, crash landed.  Its position, placed its ship crafting facilities, and miles of material warehouses in easy reach of the Ork invaders.  The threat this posed was not lost of the Imperium who stationed the 6th Kula Conservator Cohort,  and 1st Royal Neohuscarl in the city.  Both regiments were slain to a man defending the position in the first 18 hours of the Summer Invasion. With the orks in control of the dockyards, and threat of a breakout in the north a dangerously real possibility the Imperium sends its most elite forces to kill the Mek’s and destroy their workshops in the Dockyards.  

Objectives: The Imperial Forces must kill any “Mek” independant characters in the Ork army and destroy the Av 13 / HP 2  building on the board designated as the Mek Workshop,  before turn 6.  

Terrain: The Board should be divided into two sections, one filled with ruins and buildings, and the other filled with coastal obstacles, driftwood, dunes, or hills.  

Special Rules / Units:  

Raiders:  The attack represents a preemptive attack by imperial forces,  and as such are elite.  They should consist of Scions, Veterans, or Space Marines. As only these troops can be considered able bodied enough to succeed in the attack.

Surprise Attack:  The Imperial troops will attack in a sudden and ferocious surprise assault.  All Imperial Units may choose to deploy via Infiltrate,  or Deep Strike,  regardless of whether they have that special rule in their unit profile.

Destruction at the Pillars of Grehazin

Summary: Despite the best efforts of the Imperial Raiders, their efforts merely delay the inevitable, and soon the oily clouds of thousands of Ork naval vessels blackened the channel between Bolasku and Nizajain Island. Imperial Navy assets worked overtime to scuttle as many vessels as they could before the Ork armada escaped the bottleneck of the Channel. Many of the Ork vessels,  fled the slaughter towards Nizajain, eager to get to grips with an enemy and avoid the Imperial bombing craft.  With no other forces to call upon Imperial Navy ratings, and Space Marines were deployed against the breakaway Ork vessels.  Deploying directly onto the Command ships via Valkyrie, Thunderhawk, and even civilian craft,  in order to scuttle vital ship systems.

Objectives: The Imperial Forces must secure at least 2 of 3 objectives on the table, by the end of 6 turns.

Terrain: An ork naval vessel,  which could be represented by a series of building kits placed together,  or by specially created terrain.  

Special Rules / Units:  

Naval Ratings:  Navy Ratings are used to the tight confines of CQC fighting in spaceships, and as such are equally as apt to the close quarters fighting on board sea vessels as well,  Navy Ratings are 10 man Guardsmen units, equipped with Shotguns. (Range: 24”,  Str 4,  AP -,  Assault 1)  as well as offensive and defensive grenades,  they are 65 points.

Aerial Landing: The Imperial assault force must be deployed on the largest area of flat ground on the board,  the limits of this area are the limits of imperial deployment.   1 Imperial Unit may be deployed on the tallest piece of terrain on the board.

Exhaustion:  Aerial forces from both sides, have been fighting continuously for 36 hours. Units with the ‘Flyer’ and ‘Skimmer’ unit type have a -1 to their Bs for this battle.

On Darker Shores...

Summary: While the gap between the Pillars of Grehazin, has been filled with enough Ork vessels, to make sailing through it a slow and dangerous affair around three dozen Ork naval craft escaped the aerial raids to land on the Southwestern shores on Nizajain converging on the coastal village of Happjain.  The Isle Guard of Nizajain whom had been preparing their defense for the past 2 days,  stood ready to annihilate the greenskins from sandbag duggouts, and fortified cafes.  Battle was joined as the first Ork warriors hit the black sand shores.

Objectives: The Orks must move as many units from their deployment zone on one short table edge, through the Imperial Units and off the opposite short table edge.

Terrain: The board should be divided into thirds,  the ork deployment zone,  no mans land and the Imperial deployment.  The Ork deployment should be mostly devoid of cover, save for hills and light foliage. No mans land, should have loose obstacles, tank traps, minefields, and razorwire.  And the Imperial deployment should have a handful of fortified buildings and defensive structures,

Special Rules / Units:  

Naval Landing: On the 1st turn of the game  no Ork units may run, and vehicles may only move 12’’ at their furthest, to represent the effects of high tide on movement.  

Last Stand of the Nizajain 100

Summary: Fighting on the Isle of Nizajain lasted for nearly 2 weeks,  the Isle Guard killing thousands of Xenos as they fought tooth and nail for their homes.  But sadly after the days of intense fighting the 2,000 man unit numbered only 112 men. Commanded by Lt. Fary,  the “Nizajain 100”  would make their stand on the northern peak of the island at the shell hole poked ground below a lighthouse.   While the of no strategic importance,  the outcome of the battle would pervade the memories of the Imperial defenders for the duration of the War for Jornath

Objectives: Kill Points,  

Terrain: The Lighthouse sits at the end of an extended craggy bluff,  the Imperial Guard have fortified the ground beneath it,  by utilizing the artillery shell holes as fighting pits.  The area is very much a moonscape,  littered with hundreds of shell craters, destroyed bunkers and vehicle husks.

Special Rules / Units:  

Terrorizing Attrition:  The Ork assault represents the last breath of a truly massive assault on the position.  The Imperial forces may place d3 piles of Ork corpses, that measure 2’’x 2’’  any Ork unit that ends its turn within 6’’ of one of these piles must take a morale check.

Look to the Colors!  The Imperial troops here are led to their defense by the charismatic and hardy Lt. Fary.  If Fary is killed,  all Imperial troops must take a morale check, re-rolling the first success.

Exhaustion:  Forces from both sides, have been fighting continuously for nearly 2 weeks. All Units have a -1 to their Bs, Ld and I for this battle.

The Fishermen and the Beast

Summary: While the Isle Guard battled the Orks on Nizajain, and the Navy and Space Marines conducted strategic landings on board Ork vessels, heading into Open ocean.  The Imperial troops were not able to stop the Xenos vessels breaking south towards Oakenzid.  Though only a handful,  these Orks would land along the east coast in numerous seaside villages.  Where the only troops left to fight them were fishermen, bakers, and schoolteachers. The War had come into the homes of the average citizen,  and in the end it would be these citizens that would decide if the Orks would breakout into southern Kula.

Objectives: The First force to completely destroy all enemy units is the victor.

Terrain: The Board should reflect a small coastal villages, bordered on one side by a small forest, and on the other by the Ork Landing beach.    

Special Rules / Units:  

Citizen Militia: The Imperial Guard, build their force using a modified structure.    With the “Platoon Command” and “Ministorum Priest”  options being the only available HQ choices.   Platoons in turn do not have to include a Platoon Command,  and may not take special weapons teams, and have a limit of 0-1 heavy weapons 0-1 Infantry squads,  but a limit of 2-8 Conscript squads.  



Major Victory (4+ Games Won)  
Orks: Imperial troops were smashed aside, not only was Nizajain Island lost to the Xenos,  soon to become one of the largest Ork settlement and muster areas in the entire war. But much of the East coast between Kula and Oakenzid not belong to the Invaders,  Orky Forts sit where once, were sleepy fishing towns, and Battlewagonz now grind west across the heartland of Kula province...

Imperial: Imperial troops slaughtered the Xenos, though the Isle Guard were massacred, their defense wasted the aliens strength and the greenskins were swiftly purged from the Island, which would soon serve as the muster zone for Imperial offensives into the Rokk Crash-Sites.  The handful of ork vessels that made landfall in the East coast, were able to be contained, and while many towns were decimated,  an Ork breakout in the south was prevented.  

Minor Victory (3 Games Won)
Orks: A grinding slog on both sides, the Orks proved to be the stronger for the moment, securing Nizajain Island, and turning it into a mustering point for raids all along the coastline. Though a major breakthrough into the south was prevented, it was only through the loss of thousands of soldiers and civilian militia troops. The Eastern Front had opened up,  Ork naval raids and attacks even as far south as Oakenzid, spread the Jornathi PDF even thinner.

Imperial: A grinding slog on both sides, the Imperials proved to be the stronger for the moment.  A breakout in the south had been prevented, but Nizajain had been lost,  neither force being able to truly claim the position, the Isle becomes a quagmire of sporadic fighting for nearly three decades. But for the moment,  the east coast had been stabilized, with the Orks bottled back into their Rokk crashsites.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fictional Histories - Fine Art about Tabletop Hobbies

Perhaps some of you will know, and some won't. But I've had the immense privilege to attend undergrad at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro for the past four years, as a member of the New Media and Design specification in the School of Art. During the time that I have spent in college, I like to think that I've grown as a member of the global academic community as well as an artist.  While I shy away from putting artworks up on this blog, as it's dedicated to my exploits in Tabletop gaming, I have found my professional and private interests strangely brought closer together.  Specifically during an intensive photography study that I participated in during the summer of 2015, which was exhibited in the Big Visions show in the fall of the same year.   During the final stages of that project, I was struggling in trying to find a connection with Southern France and my life in the United States, around the same time I discovered the Games Workshop store in Aix-en-Provence, and hung around the place in my spare time as a sort of lifeline to home (the cafe' across the plaza also had excellent espresso, which didn't hurt matters)   Up until that point I had drawn a pretty hardline not to include things from "nerd culture" in my work, I had this opinion in my head that it was unprofessional to incorporate things like miniatures gaming or hobbies into work.  After a very enlightening discussion with my professors, they convinced me to branch out and really explore how miniatures gaming could influence my experience of France. While I never ended up putting those French miniatures photos into the final show, they were crucial to altering how I looked at my entire experience of the place.

Fast-forwarding a bit, we come to the present and my last semester at the University. Having incorporated bits and pieces of miniatures gaming in abstract ways into my works since France, for my final project with the school, I opted to actually dive in and explore something that I've always wanted to know.  I have often found myself fascinated by the amount of time and effort that gamers are willing to exert on building their settings, I'm reminded of blogs like Palladian Guard or Devos IV. that recorded in painstaking detail the names, stories, and planets of men that do not and have not ever existed in detail that would make some historians blush.  Of course, we look at men like Tolkien and his Mythopoeia for a classical example of this behavior. I have often asked the question of myself, (readers of this blog will know I'm also quite guilty of this behavior) what inspires me to create so much content and data for a fictional history to be consumed by a small sub-group of the social scene around me, especially in the face of misunderstanding or hostility even from my girlfriend and others who sit outside the hobby community.

My last project is titled Fictional Histories and seeks to ask others that question of themselves, as well as to get a glimpse of the settings, memorable games, and thoughts of other people who are as committed to tabletop gaming as I am. The plan is to conduct an interview with a tabletop gamer, ask them a few questions, foremost amongst these is a memorable moment in tabletop gaming, and then I will create a diorama of that moment, pair it with the recorded or transcribed interview as well as any documents (things like army lists, stories etc.) miniatures or props the interviewee might be willing to loan for the duration of the project and then display the diorama, its interview and its ancillary material in the same way a museum might display information about a real historical event. The hope is, we explore the people that are involved in the hobby, and also de-mystify it a little for the people that see it but maybe write it off as immaturity or weird.

If you think you'd like to participate in an interview with me for this project then please feel free to...

Email me:   [w/ Subject "Fictional Histories"]
Call or Text:  3369061755