Thursday, July 2, 2009

5th Lyonnian Regiment: A 40k Army Log, #1

Okay, first of all, some rules.

1) I will buy a few units every month, with a total money expenditure of 50 dollars every month. I'm willing to go a little bit over, maybe ten dollars or twenty if pushed, but it shouldn't be a monthly occurance. Money not spent will be carried over to next month.
2) I will buy at *least* one unit a month.
3) I will try to play at least one game a month with my army. That is of course after I get a few more units, since Guard armies rely on numbers and I don't even have the minimum required units to use.
4) Although this is my blog, I'm very willing to listen to advice on tactics and units, and names for those units. Feel free to comment.

Alright. Here goes.

May 2009: first month
Imperial Guard Cadian Shock Troopers (10 models), $35
Lord Commissar (1 model), $25
Total units bought: 2
Total money spent: 60 dollars

For the start of my army, I bought two units: Cadian Shock Trooper squad and a Lord Commissar.

The Imperial Guard is made up of millions of foot soldiers, such as the Cadian Shock Troopers. Thus they're a necessary requirement for any Imperial Guard army, and a good foundation. They're a 'Troops' choice, and thus I need at least two of these units to form a valid army.

An army also needs a HQ choice, and for this I had purchased a Lord Commissar. A Commissar with years of experience and a history of heroism, a legend in his own time. His life is a story of rallies and unbreaking discipline. To be honest I don't expect to use the model this early on: however, he's *very* pretty, and I had a lot of fun painting him. Plus, commissars are particularly useful in keeping armies under control, or so I hear.

Next month, I intend to buy another squad of shock troopers, to build up my foundation.


I painted the Guardsmen in a simple colour scheme. I undercoated them with skull white. The tunic is a base enchanted blue, with a trim of enchanted blue and skull white. The trousers are a mix of Elf flesh and skull white, whilst the armour is a mix of codex grey and skull white. The guns were painted with chainmail, with the same paint as the armour applied over the coverings.

The colour scheme of the guardsmen was designed to be reminiscent of the uniform colours of the French Army during the 18th and 19th centuries, hence the blue and cream trousers.

The Commissar is a far more complicated and detailed model. I gave him a chaos black undercoat, and went over the actual black areas (his trousers, his sleeves, the bottom of his tunic, and the top of his hat) with a slightly lightened black, which I then highlighted with a codex grey/chaos black mix. The inside of his cloak was a far more complex mix of red, blue and black, creating a very royal and rich burgundy colour. The outside of the cloak is a dark grey, so it's different from the black of his uniform but not so different as to break coherence. The Lord Commissar wears a red vest over his black tunic, which you can see above. The red was a 3:1 mix of Blood Red and Skull White, to give it the requisite bright red without making it pink (a pink commissar would look very interesting, it must be said). I also used this colour for his hat, his cuffs and the ribbons of his medals. The chestplate he wears I first painted with chainmail, which I also used on his shoulder pads, gun and sword. I used mythril silver for the fur top of his cloak (it's hard to see in the photo, my apologies). His belt buckle and the Imperial Aquila on the chestplate was painted with shining gold, which I also used for the trim of his hat, cuffs and trouser cuffs. The sash he wears was painted with enchanted blue mixed heavily with white, highlighted with white. The tassels at the end of the sash were painted gold, as were his medals and the chain for his cloak. His face was painted with bronzed flesh mixed with white. His facial scars were painted very lightly with a light red. Finally, I painted the laurel on his hat goblin green, and he was finished.

The Commissars in the Imperial Guard have a very striking, unique colour scheme, one I tried to stick to as much as possible. As such he tends to not 'blend in' with the rest of the army, but that's okay: as a political officer, it's not his job to be one of the men, only to ensure they don't break in the middle of a scrap.

There will (most likely) be no battle this month.

Next month, I intend to buy two more units: I'm thinking another Shock Trooper squad, and something else.

Thanks for reading! See you next month!

5th Lyonnian Regiment: A 40k Army Log Intro

So I have an idea for something I want to write.

I'm into Warhammer 40,000 in a big way. My father was into it as well, and passed tidbits onto me whilst not actively guiding me into the game. I stumbled across Games Workshop's monthly model magazine, White Dwarf, in a news agency, when I was about ten. Intrigued by the cover, I bought it, read it, and was enraptured. I recognised some of the elements from my childhood, when I played (and mangled) the 40k spinoff 'Space Crusade'. I bought next month's magazine, and the one after that, and so on. I told my parents about my interest.

That Christmas, I was given a good, solid foundation for a Space Marine army, as well as the main rules. That was nine years ago. On and off I collected, since for many years I just didn't have the money to allocate to actively building up my army. Last year, however, I started getting a wage of my own, with fairly good money, and I returned to collecting. All up, I have around ninety or so Space Marines, with five vehicles: a rather large army. However, in nine years of playing, I've never played a proper game with my own army.

Recently, however, I had an idea. I was reading through my old White Dwarf magazines, and I noticed they were doing a monthly feature where one of the fellows started collecting a new army, and would spend 40 pounds every month building it up, and playing it and testing it out. I figured, since I have the money and newly-found freedom, that I could do the same. I would start collecting a new army: Imperial Guard, the foot soldiers of the Imperium of Man. Every month I'd write a post (or series of posts) featuring their growth, and their performance in games.

My mind got to working. They would be the 1st Company of the 5th Lyonnian Regiment, an Imperial Guard company hailing from the Lyonna system in the Segmentum Pacificus in the Galactic West. A (relatively) well-managed system, the Lyonna System has two inhabited planets: Lyonna Primus and Lyonna II.

Unfortunately, Lyonna is continually beset by Ork invasions. To the credit of the defence forces of Lyonna Primus, most invasions have been broken with limited help from the Imperium's other military forces. An exception to this was the Waaagh of Ork Gorkamundus, who nearly overran Lyonna Primus. Only with the aid of several regiments of Imperial Guard and a Space Marine chapter was the Waaagh driven off Lyonna Primus, where immediately after the Imperial Governor pushed the forces on, exterminating (effectively) the Orks who mostly controlled Lyonna II, which was extensively colonised.

This post is becoming rather long, so I'll create another one immediately after which will be the first *real* post. Read on!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bosses that have Beaten Me Down

Alright, for this post, my first real post, I'm going to list a group of video game bosses that I had a lot of trouble with. In no particular order, really. Just general painfulness.

Warning: possible spoilers.


Sephiroth, from Final Fantasy Seven
Theme Song: One Winged Angel

Who is he?
You know who this is.
If you don't, possibly because you're new to the Internet, or other fanciful possibilities, Sephiroth was the protagonist of Final Fantasy VII, and (possibly) single-handedly introduced the image of the white-haired pretty boy into the mainstream gaming view. Plus he had an outrageously long sword, too. He wanted to become a god or something like that.
Now, Sephiroth was probably not much of a problem for a fair few people. He was challenging but not too hard, and was a cinch compared to the ludicrous difficulty associated with Emerald and Ruby Weapon (which I have not yet beaten).
Why did I find Sephiroth hard?
I was like, ten years old. I found random battles to be one of the most infuriating things ever, which resulted in gratuitous overuse of L2 and R2. As a result, I wasn't very strong by the endgame usually.
How did I beat him?
By growing the hell up.
(And W-Item)

Nyx, from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
Theme Song: The Battle for Everyone's Souls

Who is she?
Nyx is the final boss from Persona 3. I won't go into detail about what, exactly, she's doing as said final boss. Needless to say, it's not nice (or is it?).
Why did I find Nyx hard? Because Nyx is from Persona 3, a game from a series of hard games, published by Atlus, who delight in the general suffering their hard games produce. Whilst Persona 3 is probably one of the more forgiving titles in the Shin Megami Tensei series (with the earlier ones being infamously painful), Nyx was still one of the hardest bosses in a game that could, depending on how you played it, take you out the back and beat you like a dog.
Nyx also operated on a desperately cruel attrition strategy: you had to defeat Nyx about twelve times, and the first eleven times could be considered Nyx 'warming up'. The battle took ages to complete, and a defeat resulted in one of the most sadistic tools in the JRPG arsenal: having to repeat cutscenes and insanely long battles.
How did I beat Nyx? By levelling to level goddamn 99, that's how. Even then, it wasn't particularly easy.

Darth Malak, from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Theme Song: Darth Malak's Theme Song

Darth Malak was the main antagonist and final boss of Knights of the Old Republic, and despite spending most of the game acting as a really pissy child who threw his toys around indiscriminately (and coming off as having a serious inferiority complex compared to the more restrained, cooler Darth Revan), he made for a highly climactic end.
Actually, now that I think about it, Malak used the same bitchy 'fight the same fight over and over' technique which Nyx used, except she was far more hardcore about it. If he was running low on health he'd drain some sealed prisoners' health, making this quite a long fight. After Malak, I expected quite a hard fight from KOTOR 2, and whilst it most definitely was a hard fight, Darth Traya was somewhat less of a climax than Malak's berserk rage.
How did I beat him? I actually don't remember. I think heavy, heavy healing was involved, which involved a light character. I had the idea of attempting to parallel-game a light and dark character at the same time. My dark one reached Malak first.

France, from Europa Universalis 2 and 3
Theme Song: Le Marseillaise


Okay, ultimately some confusion can be caused by this entry. For starters, it's hardly a 'boss' in general, for the game lacks a linear story, but I decided to include it because it's the one I almost always think of first. For the unitiated, Europa Universalis 2 (and its sequel, Europa Universalis 3) are strategy games, ranging from 1420 to 1820 in world history. The general premise is that you choose a nation during the time period and play it to glory.
EU, and the general 'EU engine' games, are famous for being fearfully incomprehensible to new players, who enter and see a dangerously confusing interface, filled with strange concepts and a lack of any real help as to how to play the game. (The original manual for Eu2 was in some areas, just plain wrong.)
Now, veteran players of EU2 and 3 can make the game do some seriously broken things, like taking geographically isolated African nations like Xhosa or Benin and conquering the world, but we aren't going to talk about them. We're going to talk about me, and why France scares the hell out of most players in the EU series.
In both games, France occupies highly wealthy provinces, has a lot of manpower, and is almost always on the cutting edge of technology. It proceeds to use this technology to beat the living crap out of all of its neighbours, sometimes simultaneously, gaining even more power. In Eu3, the AI actually gives them free money and soldiers. Fake difficulty? Totally, but nonetheless hard, especially playing as traditional French enemies England, or one of the small German states (of which there are approximately 99 billion). France also gets some excellent generals, including Napoleon, who is possibly an elementary force of nature by that point. (The AI sort of screws it up, but God help you if France is being played by a human player). I have seen games where France has, as an AI, conquered Europe, starting with Russia, and squeeding everyone between them. Improbable? Yes, but that doesn't stop France from proceeding to dominate the rest of the game. Don't underestimate France. They'll proceed to beat every hilarious French surrender joke out of you with a baton.
How did I beat France?
Luck probably plays a bit of it, as the random events system can break nations on a whim, possibly catering to some sadistic deity. However, the best way is to simply wipe them out early, typically as England, when they're still weak, divided, and Joan of Arc hasn't saved their asses. Of course, an England which has conquered France will immediately become a goddamn superpower, which is good news for you if you're England, and bad news for everyone else.
Otherwise, you'll typically spend a goodly amount of time skirting the 'France' issue, and hoping they'll pick on someone else. Admittedly, I don't end every game of EU2 and 3 by grinding France into the dust: I simply don't have the time or the ability.

An opening greet

Thought I'd create a blog. To be honest it was a spur of a moment thing. Not really sure what I'm going to do. Anything that pleases me, really. Stories, lists, things I like to talk about. Either way, the lowdown:

I'm Haplo, a 19 year old Australian male, currently majoring in Japanese and International Relations. I live in Brisbane, in the state of Queensland. You can find me on Steam under the profile name HappyHaplo.