Defence of Aquillias VII

The Imperial World of Aquilias VII’s a lightly guarded world at the heart of the Imperium, one of those pretty idyllic Eden’s that the humans seem to forget needs protecting, which for the bloodthirsty warriors of the Kabal of Perpetual Darkness, means one and one thing alone…a Slavers Paradise.

Once the cities Guard Garrison had been suppressed, Archon ordered the raiding party to search the city, it would seem that the Dark Lord had the intention of taking every single piece of worth from this verdant cesspool. As a result, it was little surprise to me was the appearance of the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis’ personal Slave Barge. However what was a surprise was the appearance of both the Soulflayer, and the Tormentor, both fresh from their rebuilding at the hands of the Kabal’s Haemunculi. 

Our exit back to the Dark City was a webway gate on the very lip of the city, an ironic place considering its place inside the former Guard Base. Within the area around this strategic asset was Urien Rakarth, Master Haemunculus, who seemed at home, digging through the mass of information the fleeing Guardsmen left when we ran riot of their defences. Along with Rakarth in that sector, the warriors of the Bladed Talon, some of the Kabal’s most trained slavers, unknown to the rest of the command staff, Sybarite Tikaral Shidarn had ordered her warriors to scour the sector, though I would find out later on that she just wanted to get away from Sybarite Uries Saldan, who seemed intent on acquiring her as a mate. Along with the Bladed Talon, two Ravagers, a Reaper Lance Platform and a Redeemer Support craft where in the sector, as well was Sythra and her Crimson Shadows Wyches.

The first I had heard of anything being amiss was a burst transmission from Urien Rakarth; now this alone caused me pause, as Rakarth was the Master Haemunculus for the entirety of Commoragh, there was very little that could cause concern in the crazed man.
“Tyranids, Hive ship in orbit, assistance required,” was all I comprehended before the Archon ordered that the Jagged Scimitar was returning to the Dark City, even though it had the capacity for even more slaves inside its expansive hull.
I had learnt of the Tyranids from Drazhar, Master of Blades, who during my training and understood, especially when Archon ordered the Titan’s Soulflayer and Tormentor to return to the Webway Portal.

Reasons known only to the Imperial Commander that deployed them, and the Hive creatures that decided to land there, but a human minefield, a device that was wasted on the entirely anti-gravity capable Raiding force, seemed to be perfectly suited in dealing with the ravenous hordes of the Brood; forcing the Tyranids to spread out, making dealing with them a easier task for our Lancers.

As we travelled back to the portal, our Raiders returned in flights, landing upon the massive surface that was the Jagged Scimitar, with the expectation that we would be fighting our way back to the Webway Portal, it would seem that the Tyranids were expecting weak human opponents, not the battle ready Raiders of the Dark Eldar; as their forces seemed geared towards flesh and flak vests, not tempered Drakarium.

Be it by chance or design, but Archon had ordered the Sybarites of the raiding force (With the exception of Tikaral Shidarn who has the right to act of her own accord) to stay with the Jagged Scimitar until we arrived, meaning that the organic components that the Brood required were denied them.

As the Brood uncharacteristically made its cautious way across a now drained river that the Guardsmen had mined, bogging down in the mud, slowing their advance; our Lancers, taking cover within ruined buildings, or aboard Ravagers and Reapers patrolling wreckage strewn streets, picked off Synapse creatures with impunity, forcing the ravenous swarm to bunch together, making it easier for our Raven’s flying high overhead strafed their lines, almost without any recourse.

The Tormentor and Soulflayer arrived on the battlefield well before the Jagged Scimitar, who was forced off by a swarm of airborne spores. The arrival of the two Titans caused an increased morale boost in those warriors along with the two Talos that they brought with them, as it would seem that at that time, a number of the Brood’s heavy hitters, Carnifexes and Tervigons, even a Biovore Titan forced their way through lines of Hormagaunts, Gaunts and Gargoyles into the wall of Dark Eldar Warriors.

It was at that point where the clear advantages of the terrain that turned the battle in our favour, as Human buildings, in particular the many Water processing plants that were scattered throughout the city. Our warriors managed to hold two of these plants, with the knowledge of they who control the water controls a planet and the battle hardened Wyches of the Crimson Shadows held off over thirty Gaunts for most of the day. Even the discovery of Liches in the same building as Tikaral’s Everseeing Eye who were providing over watch for warriors engaging the Tyranids on the ground proved advantageous to the Sybarites warriors, felling all three Liches with minimal loses to her squad.

The appearance of a Trygon behind our lines caused concern for only a moment, until the Soulflayer Titan which was operating within the area descended upon it, tearing its blades into its carapace with little regard to the large Tyranid that caused the rout of one of our Raiding teams, likewise occurred on the other side of the battlefield with the Tormentor and one of the Archons prized Talos tore through a swarm of Gene Stealers, that managed to bypass our defence lines.

By the time that the Jagged Scimitar arrived at the Webway Portal, spotters announced that the Biovore Titan had taken residence on top of the portal beacon, effectively cutting us off from a direct path back to Commoragh. This was also truncated by reports from our Raiding fleet in orbit of the presence of an Imperium of Man Battle group heading towards the planet, ready to either relieve the conquered humans, or exterminate the planet. At the urging of Urien Rakarth upon his arrival aboard the Jagged Scimitar, Archon Sethalis ordered all outbound warriors to return to the Scimitar as it soared over the battlefield laying down supporting fire from its batteries of Splinter Cannons and Dark Lances.

Once all forces had been accounted for, timed poisons were released into the water supply of the planet, killing those humans who survived our hunt, and starving the Tyranids the bio-organic material it required.

As the Jagged Scimitar berthed aboard the Archon’s Command Ship, the Wrathful Vengeance, our fleet withdrew from the system, heading back to the Dark City bruised, but otherwise better from the encounter.

3000 point Apocalypse Game Dark Eldar vs. Tyranids. Result Tyranid player forfeit at turn 4, victory point’s victory to Dark Eldar 

WAB: Legio XX

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For the last month, my Dark Eldar hasn’t been receiving much love, as I have begun building a new army; however, this time its for Warhammer Ancient Battles; I only looked into this game roughly two weeks before that point, though that may have more to do with the fact that the Tin Soldier, gaming store that I frequent had only started plugging the game at that point, it also didn’t hurt that the 28mm Historical Gaming group formed around the same time

As the pictures suggest, my army is an Imperial Roman Army; more accurately, Legio XX, or Twenty Legion, in particular, Twenty Legion as it was during the Roman invasion of England under Emperor Claudius. Compared to my Dark Eldar Army, regular readers of the blog would be aware of the state of my Dark Eldar army, this army in its entirety, is fully painted, as well as based, as you can tell.

The models featured in these photos were taken by Damien, the organiser of the 28mm Historical Gaming Society, and only reflected the portion of my army that was completed at the 16 April Meeting of the group. These models only took me roughly a week to complete from putting them together to painting them. Since that meeting, I have completed over 30 additional models, with a total in game points cost of 2199 points, currently I am only thirty models shy of an historically accurate Roman Century.

On top of these models, I have about another 60 on order, and plan on turning this into a epic scaled army including Emperor Claudius, Praetorian Guard Legion Unit, Praetorian Guard Cavalry Unit, and another unit of Archers, and a battery of Scorpios.

Legio XX- current roster

1 General on warhorse
1 Tribune 
3 x 18 trooper Veteran Legionaries Units with Centurion, Standard Bearer and Musician
3 x 9 man Auxiliary Skirmisher Units with Leader and Musician
1 x 9 man Auxiliary Archer Unit
3 x 4 horse Auxiliary Cavalry Units with Leader, Standard Bearer and Musician
1 Carrabalista (mounted Artillery) Unit with 4 crew
total: 2199 points
 

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Ouroboros invades Free Comic Book Day

Some of you may have noticed, particularly on Twitter and Facebook, I’ve been throwing around the Logo of Project Ouroborostitle “Project Ouroboros” a lot lately, and unless you’ve been following the url’s you might not be aware of it. Project Ouroboros isn’t some high-tech bio-chemical corporation, but the Australian Resident Evil Costuming Association.

Up until now, Ouroboros has only been to conventions, our tour of duty so far has been both Brisbane and Melbourne Supanova’s and the last two Sydney Zombie Walks. This was the first time that we ventured out of known territory and attended this years Free Comic Book Day in both Sydney and Brisbane, sparking our first ever multistate simultaneous event.

Many people might have asked, “But Resident Evil is a video game, not a comic book,” and while technically the franchise did start as the very successful Biohazard series in Japan, it has branched out into movies, card games and even a dual line of comic books and graphic novels. Because of this, coupled with the fact that technically Resident Evil Costuming isn’t the most event friendly of costuming groups, when compared to say the 501st Legion, our appearance list isn’t currently as in demand as others.

Going over the Manual in the field is always a good ideaConsidering that we formed in response to the second Sydney Zombie Walk, and how up until that point, we did not have a central contact system, considering we were often utilised as crowd control for the event, it would take a long string of phone and Facebook tag, to get all our now members aware of the event, and to see just how many of them could actually attend. Following the walk, and alluded to on the train to the walk that an organisation that would become Ouroboros would be required. We formed that following week, and within a month had spread to encompass the entire east coast of the country.

Considering it was still uncharted waters, it was only a light presence to the Sydney Kinokuniya event, which was understandable; even I had my doubts about the success of the event; but regardless, we trooped from 1030 till 2, and since the other groups that where in attendance where wrapping up, that we would as well.

In all it was a great event, if only to get our name out there. Now, bring on Supanova Sydney

Project Ouroboros NSW Team with Harley Quinn

 

Is the Filter really gone??

The news has only just broke so not all the reports are in yet; but it would seem that the Australian Federal Government has officially decided to not submit the Mandatory Internet Filter in either the May or June sessions of Parliament, considering that the Government does not reconvene until the end of August, it is highly unlikely to be passed into law before the next election.

While this would be the latest election promise of the current government put on the back-burner, this is the first that a majority of netizens are not complaining about; aside from other members of the public who have slammed the government for dropping another election promise, completely unaware just how much damage this promise would have caused if it went ahead.

Despite reports yesterday, stating that the Filter was not being submitted to the Senate in the next two sittings, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has come out today, almost in response to the global sigh of relief, to state that the government had no intention of dropping the filter, and planned to still introduce it, though as of yet, there has been no actual timetable.

In a earlier post I commented that when the Filter was Green-lit, its supposed to have already been submitted to the Senate, been approved, and technically should be in operation as we speak. But as we can plainly see, the Government has even less faith in their filter than the rest of the Public does.

Rumours have been running rampant as to why this is the case, whether it is due to international pressure from internet content organizations ranging in size from Leo Laporte’s TWiT Network, to the massive corporations such as Microsoft and Google to drop the Filter; even the US State Department, through the US Ambassador to Australia stating that there are better methods of tracking illegal activities online.

Unfortunately there is very little information about why this has happened; except that it has, so while other people may be jubilant in the belief that the Filter is gone, this seems to be a lot akin to some speculation that I and other bloggers have had, that this might just be an election ploy, drop it now, before the election, be re-elected, and when everyone’s attention has been diverted something else, re-introduce it.

Actually, Conroy, they do…

A few weeks ago, during an interview, Stephen Conroy reaffirmed the Government’s stance to not disclose a list of websites that have been blacklisted; stating that “We don’t disclose when books, music or video games are banned, so why should we do the same with the internet,”

Unfortunately, Minister Conroy, that information is disclosed; when a game, book, movie or CD is banned, all the vendors are notified that they will not be able to sell these items to the public, they in turn tell the public that they cannot purchase these items. It is after all the reasoning behind the R18+ movement, because the community at large is aware that these games are being banned. Despite that once these items become banned, they are often highly sought after, and obtained from other countries, usually Indonesia or New Zealand with little or no legal recourse. Despite the legality of obtaining these banned, the method of notification and obtaining them still exists, and raises the lack of knowledge in the Communications Minister.

The main issue associated with not revealing the blacklist, or even just new additions to the blacklist, is the lack of information about what would happen once a website is on the blacklist. Considering that  a number of companies that exist almost exclusively online, the there is a chance that a harmless online distribution company may end up on the blacklist by way of accident or malicious activity; they  have no detailed legal forum to appeal the decision, or even legislation to inform them that they have even been put on the list.

Another issue that is highlighted by the reluctance to release the blacklist relates more to the effectiveness of the Filter, as opposed to the secrecy. The basic concept of this filter is to block ‘harmful’ content at the ISP level, meaning that you shouldn’t be able to access websites that are on the list. Ideally then, there shouldn’t be a problem with releasing a list of websites that you can’t access, right? Unless, of course the filter isn’t the perfect fix that the Government is promoting it as.

It might, however have something to do with, the Ministers announcement of 16 April, stating that it would not be an offense to bypass the Filter. Yes you read that right, the Mandatory Internet Filter, is mandatory, as long as you actually use it. Now I would have thought something called Mandatory would be, I don’t know, Mandatory, and it being an offense to try and bypass it. It it will be perfectly legal to bypass the filter, a feat that can be accomplished quite readily, by way of VPN or Proxy Servers, negating the actual effectiveness of the filter, to the point where it shouldn’t even be called the Mandatory Internet Filter, but the Optional Internet Filter.

A number of my fellow bloggers have begun to speculate that the Filter is becoming a political foil, something that will be dragged along until just before the next election, only to be dropped; I’m unfortunately a little more sceptical, the Government would not have used the Filter as an election promise in one election only to drop it in the next as an election ploy seems a little redundant in the world of politics

Wait, Earth Hour?

I had contemplated simply reposting last years Earth Hour Article, as the sentiment that surrounded last years post is still relevant, as a whole the measure is simply an empty one to let people feel better about themselves, without actually doing anything. While I still might, there was something that I needed to point out; I had no idea Earth Hour was on.

Despite the media blitz that existed last year for this frivolous exercise, it did not seem that Australia followed through this year. In fact on the 27th, I ran my day as I normally did, and considering the number of lights still on in my region, so did a lot of people. This is despite the fact that the organisers and the World Wildlife Fund declaring that even more Australians participated than last year, this is despite the four major sporting games that took place during the time. But we’re also overlooking the power plants still chugging along producing all that wasted power…

Considering how much disdain I have for Earth Hour, and how much I loved my original article, I shall reproduce it here

 

Earth Hour: Only an hour to affect nothing

originally published March 28, 2009

This evening marked a time in that those with social consciences turned off their electronic devices in an attempt to save the world from global warming. At 8:30 AEDT, those that felt that their one act could save the world, turned off their lights, and turned on their torches, for one whole hour. News reports speculated that over a billion people turned their lights off, some had parties where they would celebrate their achievement by torch and candle light.

All the while, these people turned off their lights, the Powerplants still chuffed away, producing the same amount of emissions they did the hour before, and the hour later. Regardless what the masses had done, since simply killing the power in the home, does nothing towards the generation of said power in the powerplant, any action anyone did, would have simply been a cosmetic one.

Now I have been trawling the blogosphere, trying to gauge what the ‘official’ stance on Earth Hour is, and I am amazed, at just how naive a lot of people are. There are some bloggers who insist that this becomes an annual calendar event, while others are marvelling at how major cities look with some of their lights off, compared to them on. All the while, ignoring the fact that as long as things like Stadiums, and Shopping Centres, who consume more power than most city blocks, remain in operation during these times, no matter how many houses turn their lights off, nothing is going to happen.

I personally did not participate in Earth Hour, for abovementioned reasons, so I went out to Dinner, to a Steakhouse, that for the duration of Earth Hour, had its lights on, kitchen running, and showed Happy Feet on the TV, while another showed a local sporting event, that I wasn’t paying attention. This Steak House also happens to reside on the largest club in the Region, and it as well, chose its bottom line, over any so called attempt to save the planet.

There are a number of reasons as to why Earth Hour, as a whole is a pointless venture, namely, its our reliance on power generators to maintain a number of our vital systems, namely public transport, and hospitals, systems that if power is removed from the process, the whole system grinds to a halt. The other major issue, is the fact that there is no incentive to do it, other than a moral one to say that they did their bit to save the planet, before they get into their gas guzzling SUV and drive to McDonalds.

If anything Earth Hour, is and always will be, an environmental failure, propagated by the Greenies, in an attempt to guilt the masses into accepting that their misguided approaches to well just about everything, as the correct course of action.  If anything, all it did is raise some kind of awareness, that the individual might be able to affect an environmental issue, but if failed any real attempt to combat any form of climate change.

Zombies! Hundreds Of them

On the 27th of March, the Zombie horde returned to Sydney, as the Second Australian Gamers United Zombie Walk brought over 500 zombies, and about 40 or so Zombie Hunters, together to protest against Australia’s absence of an Adults Rating for Video Games.

Our Business is to Muster Zombies

Now considering the departure of South Australian Attorney General, Michael Atkinson, personally I would have thought that a protest march for an Adults rating was a rather moot topic, considering that both the Ratings biggest opponent was now gone, and the fact that his replacement was actually in favour of the Rating. Thankfully, Australia has another electronic issue that sits hard with a number of the advocates for an R-18+ Rating; that would be of course, be the Mandatory Internet Filter.

Considering my history of covering both the Internet Filter, and the Ratings debate, I was given the choice to participate in any of the discussions that would come up in the course of the day, or simply participate in the march; naturally I chose to help out, also considering, I’m naturally loud person, apparently loud enough to be heard, even further than a loudspeaker, which when mustering over 500 people is apparently actually a good thing when the group kept getting separated.

Despite a small detour caused by an unknown bylaw, which didn’t seem to be an issue during the last march an some rather candid pictures with the police who informed us that we were unable to travel through Darling Harbour, the organisers had to change the route on the fly, but thankfully, it didn’t seem to slow the march down.

Roughly three and a half hours following the start of the march, the marchers pulled themselves back to the fountain that served as the initial meeting point, where everyone took the chance to sit and recover from the over 20,000 steps that they had just stumbled through; At the end of the March, I hung around the fountain, to chat with the organisers; and yes, it did take a lot out wearing all that black tactical gear; I also noticed that there was more than one Zombie that had passed out or had decided to fall asleep in the gardens.

In all, it was an amazing turnout, with at least four times the number of zombies than last time; hopefully, this act, will cause some ripples in the rest of the community.

Chatting with some Zombies