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  • 8/10/2019 Fictional Reality 4


  • 8/10/2019 Fictional Reality 4


  • 8/10/2019 Fictional Reality 4


    TABLE OF CONTENTSBattle Report: Confrontation Devout vs. House Helios Elves 2

    Contest #1 13

    Game Reviews Noble Armada 14 Attrition 18

    Larry Leadhead 16

    New Unit: The T.A.V. for

    Warhammer 40K 21Standing Orders 24

    Fiction VOID 28

    Miniature Reviews Jeff Valent Studios 32 Crucible 33 Wizards of the Coast 34 Cry HAVIC 35 eM-4 Miniatures 36

    Tactical Manual: Gobelins in Confrontation 38

    Contest #2 40

    ADVERTISERS INDEXGreat Canadian Miniatures IFC, 30

    New Wave Entertainment 23, 37

    I-Kore 17, 27

    Talon Games 8

    Mastabas V 13, 31

    Brigade Games 20

    Holy cow! One year ago I was working on the

    final touches of the first issue of FR. Well, oneyear later were still around and thanks to all ofyou (readers, writers, and advertisers) Im stillpumped about doing this. I really appreciate all ofthe compliments and suggestions that I havereceived over the past year.

    OK, on to this issue. Youll notice that Xavier andthe Slave Pit are missing. He had more pressingissues to deal with and Ill be the first to say thatthere are many things more important than this.He should be back soon with more of his insightsinto conversions. We do have a new feature withStanding Orders. Deano C. Ware will be bringingus regular profiles of games that you may or maynot have heard of. These profiles will be Deanolaying the smackdown on games that deserve itand bestowing praise on those that rise above.This will all be according to Deano of course, so ifyou have a differing opinion please e-mail it to meand it will be published in the next issue.

    A load of figure reviews and a new battle reportare also inside. Before anyone freaks out aboutthe lack of a Confrontation battle report in thisissue it will be back next issue, but it was time togive space to another one of my faves;


    Speaking of Chronopia it looks like Excelsior hasstarted to move forward with not just Warzone andChronopia, but also with a line of fantasy figs outof Spain with Dragon Rune miniatures. I wishthem all of the luck in the world in their efforts torevitalize some great games.

    Keep on rollin baby!

    As always, I make no claim to anyones copyrightand if I fail to mention that you own somethingplease don't take it as me challenging yourownership. I simply forgot and will quickly get tothe business of flogging myself unmercifully.



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    Since we gave Warhammer Fantasy Battle a go inthe last issue I decided to play another fantasygame this time around. Ive played, and loved,Chronopia since it came out and am really hopingthat Excelsior is able to bring this wonderful gameback in a major way.

    I developed kind of a bad habit with Chronopiathat Im sure many of you can understand andsympathize with. At one time or another Ivecollected and/or played just about everyarmy/race in the game. The only ones I everreally stayed away from were the elves.

    I have dabbled in Swamp Goblins, Blackbloods,and the Stygian, but eventually traded off modelsfrom those armies to swell the ranks of others.Right now I have rather sizable Dwarf, Firstborn,Sons of Kronos and Devout armies. I would behard pressed to pick a single favoritefrom out of those four. Ive decidedto go with the shambling fiends fromthe pit, the Devout for this game.

    I bounced the idea of a 1,000-pointgame of Chronopia off of Christopher

    and he jumped at the chance to play.We agreed to play on a 4 x 4 tableand the game would last for 6 turns.We also agreed that wed keep ourarmy selection secret until we wereabout to play. So, Chris would notknow that I brought my bags o bonesand I wouldnt know who hed bebringing to the party. Terrain set-upwould be handled by both of usbefore doing anything else on theday of the game. The table would bedivided up into sixteen 1 x 1 squares

    and we would take tuns placingeither a single terrain feature ornothing in the square. Things like ariver section, woods, single or multi-level hills, or 1-2 houses would countas a single feature.


    On game day, before Christopher and I broke outany miniatures we took care of setting up theterrain. In addition to the guidelines previouslytalked about we also decided that a player coulddesignate one of the squares to be empty as hischoice for terrain.

    The result of terrain placement can be seenbelow. Out of sixteen squares seven were leftbare. There were four hill sections of varyinglevels, a small house next to an inn, a wizardstower, a section of rocky outcroppings and severalsections of crumbling walls.

    This was a very interesting way to set up terrain,especially not knowing your opponents army. Ihad to work to exploit my strengths withoutunwittingly helping Christopher.

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  • 8/10/2019 Fictional Reality 4




    for roll call would be the militia. Dirt cheap with ahigh attack damage, these are some of the bestbuys in the army. I chose 8 plus a leader. Youcan buy up to twelve of them in a squad, but theybecome unwieldy. I try to stick with the smallersquad. Now I am down 110 more points.

    Axemen are the mainstay of the Elven houses,and none should go to war without them so 267points later I have a squad of four plus a leader,an Axemaster, and the standard bearer. I haveyet to see a creature charged by four of thesesurvive. Next come the archers. Many peopleplay with scads of archers. Even though it ispossible to play with one missile squad per non-missile squad, I try to be more modest. Onesquad of five plus leader is enough for me. 195points gonecheck please. This is a subject ofdisagreement among some people that I play. Ido not like the optional firing rules with only oneshot a turn. I think moderation keeps the gamefrom being broken. One more squad to go and thedependable spearmen come to mind. With this

    When Mark came to me and asked if I wanted toplay a game of Chronopia for a battle report I letout a whoop of joy and strode to my game room togaze at my misused armies. I had four to choosefrom. As we got close to our battle a few groundrules were set up. Terrain would be randomly

    deployed and we were not to tell each other whatarmy we are taking. Hmmmwith the uncertaintyof what I was facing and where I decided for myfavorite and most used army: House Helios Elves.Yes, this was a predictable choice, but I figuredfamiliarity would allow me to adapt. To start myselection I started with my leader. Chronopiadoes not allow for a lot of fine-tuning of charactersso this is a good solid place to start. My Redlotus-eater always leads my troops intocombatwell at least he leads from the back. ALotus-eater starts at a mere 39 points beforespells. My first choice is the very powerfulDaughter of the phoenix. Here primary assets areobviously her cheap cost (40 points), her nicedamage, and her blinding speed. The lotus-eateralso took engulfing flames. With this being a two-action spell I can spend one action to maintaincontrol of the daughter while still blasting away atmy opponent. To add insult toinjury, engulfing flames has anunlimited range. All this bringsme to the grand total of 88points for a one wound, lightlyarmored, spell caster. He isalways accompanied by histrusty friend the Warrior of the

    Sun. For a long time I felt thisguy was overpriced. His bowis short range and his missileweapon skill is not very high.Then I learned a few tricks thatmake him worth it. 1) He isbetter in hand to hand than atrange. 2) His flame strikeattack is great. Everyonewithin two inches takes a hitwith no dice roll. 3) His armor isvery good. He is 95 points andis best run alongside the

    daughter of the phoenix, asshe is immune to his fire strikeattack. Now, with mycharacters set I proceeded tochoose my squads. First up

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    TURN 1TURN 1The first turn consisted mostly ofa lot of movement and not muchelse.

    On the Devout side of the table my Necromancertried to summon an Undead Knight, but ended upfailing and just yelling out some dirty word infrustration. Since I had also concentrated (Wholelot of good that did me! Mark) before castingSummon Undead Knight I would be unable to

    cast Quicken Undead, which means that all of myrotting carcasses are stuck with one action thisturn. Let the slow shamble forward begin!

    My Soulflayer bounded higher into the air andswept forward towards the right flank of the elves.

    All three of my warbands of Skeleton Swordsmenstarted towards the Elven battle line. Of mythree warbands of Skeleton Archers two of themadvanced to get better shots and the warband onthe rear hill went on WAIT, hoping to get luckyand put an arrow into some unsuspecting elf.

    Christophers first turn was similar to mine, butmost of his movement was not directed towardsthe line of undead that was advancing towardshim.

    His Lotus Eater concentrated and summoned aDaughter of the Phoenix (Dammit! Mark).

    The Warrior of the Sun and the Warrior of theGolden Mask both took positions ahead of therest of the Elven army. The Warrior of the Sun ina large patch of brush and the Warrior of theGolden Mask close to the side of a small building.

    The Elven Axemen came out of their cover behindsome ruined walls and shifted over.

    The Elven Spearmen backed up a bit and theMilitia milled around and reformed their lines.

    Christophers Archers shifted about, but stayed intheir positions of cover and went on WAIT.

    Except for Christopher summoning the Daughterof the Phoenix the first turn was pretty uneventful.

    As soon as he saw all of my Risen warriorsChristopher knew that walking forward and gettinginto hand-to-hand was going to be the bulk of myactions for a good while.

    choice I now have two squadsthat have polearms. Yeah, forattacking up to two inches away!For 187 I get a leader, standard-bearer, and 4 vanilla spearmen.Now I have reached that

    awkward point in armyconstruction. If I choose anAxemen I have left over points,but not enough to buy anythingelse. Aha, a Warrior of theGolden Mask fits the bill just fine.

    A polearm, two wounds,immunity to fire, and a flame-thrower template for a mere 54points. The only thing I wish hehad was an extra wound.

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    TURN 2TURN 2

    Turn two started with me winning Initiative andselecting Christophers Elven Axemen to be

    activated first. They shifted over to the right somemore.

    The Lotus Eater tried to hit the Risen Archers onthe hill with Engulfing Flames, but failed tosuccessfully cast the spell (Whew! Mark).

    His Warrior of the Sun moved farther up in thebrush and went on WAIT. My Risen Archers thatwere also on WAIT decided to take a shot at him,but ended up being out of range.

    The Daughter of the Phoenix plugged in a fresh

    battery and moved waaaaaay! Up towards my lineof bones.

    The Warrior of the Golden Mask got a bit closer tothe small house and went on WAIT.

    The Elven Spearmen shuffled

    around and went on WAIT and hisElven Militia thought that was a goodidea and did the same.

    My Necromancer again failed tosummon the Undead Knight, but Idecided not to concentrate so I couldalso try Quicken Undead. I wassuccessful at quickening some Risen

    Archers, but had I concentratedinstead, my Summon Undead Knightwould have been successful.

    Again, all three of my Risen

    Swordsmen moved up towards theElves. What, am I going to wait forthem to come to me?

    As one warband was moving up theWarrior of the Sun took a shot fromWAIT and killed it. Christopher and I

    decided before the game started that since hedoes not use a regular bow that he would be ableto wound the Risen, but at regular damage, notx2.

    My Risen Archers that are on the back hill stayed

    put and went back on WAIT. The quickened oneson the right side of the hill towards the center ofthe board got onto the hill and took some shots atthe Warrior of the Sun, missing of course!

    The remaining Risen Archers simply movedforward and my Soulflayer swooped down by thelarger building, ready to get into it.

    Again, the summoning abilities of myNecromancer fizzled. This was a bitdisheartening, especially since he has a reallydecent PW rating.

    Christophers strategy of milling around andrepositioning his main force is taking shape. Icannot blame him for not wanting to get stuck inwith lots and lots of guys that are already dead.

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    TURN 3TURN 3

    I won the Initiative roll to beginturn four and again choseChristophers Elven Axemen tostart things off. They continuedtheir slow shift to the right.

    This turn the Lotus Eater castEngulfing Flames and iterupted right under the Risen

    Archers that were on the hillclosest to the center of theboard. Three of them werestruck by the flames and two ofthem crumbled into dust.

    His Elven Spearmen backedup some more, surely worriedabout the Soulflayer that wasgetting close to their position.

    The Warrior of the Sun tookthree shots at the Risen

    Archers on the close hill. Hemanaged to hit two of themand kill one of them.

    The Militia fell back some more and went onWAIT (Waiting for Christmas maybe because noskeletons are getting there any time soon.).

    His Elven Archers also went on WAIT.

    The Warrior of the Golden Mask came around theside of the small building and went on WAIT,readying himself for the inevitable charge fromthe Soulflayer.

    The Daughter of the Phoenix charged into theRisen Swordsmen and cut two of them downbefore returning to her cover behind some rocks.

    My archers on the close hill sent a volley of shotstowards the Elven Militia and managed topincushion two of them.

    My Necromancer decided to pronounce themagic words correctly this time and successfullysummoned the Undead Knight (I use aConfrontation Undead Centaur for the Knight).He also brought one of the Elven Militia back

    from the dead to harass the Elves. They promptlyleapt from WAIT to smack him down. I only hope

    that its not too late for the Knight to do me somegood.

    All of my Risen Swordsmen continue their longtrek across the board.

    The Risen Archers that got spanked by theDaughter of the Phoenix went on WAIT and theones on the back hill came down and started toadvance.

    To end the turn my Soulflayer flies down andbreathes fire on the Warrior of the Sun, who

    saves, and then charges in only to be counter-charged. The ensuing combat sees one wounddealt to the Elven warrior and the mighty demonstough hide deflecting a blow.

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    TURN 4TURN 4

    Turn four saw Christopher winning the Initiativeroll and picking a warband of my Risen Skeletonsto activate first. They, along with the rest of myRisen Swordsmen, advance towards the Elves.

    Christophers Warrior of the Golden Mask takes aswing at the Soulflayer and manages to hit thebeast twice, but both are saved. In response, theshe-demon swings back and cleaves the Elvenwarrior in two (Rolled a natural 1.). As soon asthe Elf hits the ground the Elven Archers that areon WAIT open up on the Soulflayer. Threearchers plus the leader let fly and score two hits,

    one being a natural 1. My bad mama is down totwo wounds. Being quite pissed off now, theSoulflayer moves up to the Elven Spearmen andflames away on them. Being on WAIT helps themas one of the two that was hit jumps out of thewa and the other makes his save.

    My Necromancers magical powersfizzle as I try to summon a secondUndead Knight. The Knight movesup towards the center of the board,hoping to see some action before itstoo late.

    Two of my Risen Archer warbands

    kept moving towards the Elves, whilethe third took some shots at theElven Militia and missed.

    When Christophers Elven Archersactivated they again shot at theSoulflayer. Five arrows struck herand she saved against all but one.

    The Elven Spearmen, seeing thatthe Soulflayer is near death, passed their FEARtest and charged into the hellspawn. It took acouple of them to do it, but they managed to bringthe winged monster down.

    Again, the Lotus Eater unleashed EngulfingFlames upon the walking dead. This timetargeting the Risen Swordsmen that the Daughterof the Phoenix had been harassing. Twoskeletons crumbled in the magical fire.

    The Warrior of the Sun moved up to the rocks andtook a shot at a Skeleton. He hit, but somehowthe Risen Swordsman saved.

    The Daughter of the Phoenix decided to stay andkick some more undead booty. She ran over and

    dropped two more before retreating to her rockycover.

    The Elven Militia fell back a bit, hoping to get outof missile range and the Elven Axemen continuedto shift over to the right.

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    TURN 5TURN 5

    The Risen Archers to the right let fly at the Elven

    Axemen and, miracle or miracles, they manage tokill one. Before the blood can run out of his deadbody he is raised as a Risen Swordsman.

    The Elven Archers, without any targets within amile, shift their formation around a bit.

    The recently raised Risen Swordsman (formerElven Axeman) charges into his brethren andmanages to drop one of them.

    The Daughter of the Phoenix charges headlonginto the Risen Swordsmen and rolls a natural 20

    for her first attack. Sucks to be her!

    To finish off the turn my Undead Knight gallopstowards the Daughter of the Phoenix and plants anice big kiss on her, causing one wound.

    My lone Risen Swordsman on the left moves alittle bit away from the Warrior of the Sun.

    OK, were starting to close in on theend of the game and my shamblinghoard is proving to be less thanuseful. For this and the sixth turn

    well report in more of the standardChronopia back-and-forth style.

    To start off the turn I win theInitiative test, which is a little bit ofgood news.

    My Necromancer uses an action tomaintain control of the summonedUndead Knight and is able tosuccessfully cast Quicken Undeadon the group of Risen Archers thatare on the (almost)central hill.

    Chris Lotus Eater maintains controlof the Daughter of the Phoenix andattempts to cast Engulfing Flames,but he says the magic wordsbackwards. Damn Elven publicmagic academies!

    The quickened Risen Archers on thehill all shoot at the Warrior of theSun and all but one misses. Yes, hesaved on the one hit that nailed him.

    The Warrior of the Sun leaves open his can of

    whoop ass as he rushes in and hacks up twomore Risen Swordsmen.

    In retaliation, the Risen Archers in the clearingbehind the hill shoot and manage to hit him twice,but he saves against both of those hits too.

    Chris Spearmen take some baby steps uptowards the smaller of the two houses.

    The Risen Swordsmen by the large house makeslow tracks towards the smaller house as thesmell of fresh meat wafts in the air.

    Wanting to back up their pointy-eared brothers theElven Axemen also head towards the house.

    The Risen Swordsmen on the hill make somemore slow forward progress and the Elven Militiaalso shift to the right, following the Axemen.

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    TURN 6TURN 6

    and casts Engulfing Flames on theRisen Archers in the clearing. Threemore skeletons crumble to dust.

    The Risen Archer on the hill shootsinto the combat between the variousrisen troops and the Warrior of theSun and from about 5 feet away hemisses.

    The Elven Axemen, with a tear intheir eye, are forced to charge theirundead brother (risen last turn) andhack him into many pieces.

    The Necromancer mutters his magicwords, that sounds like many 4-letterwords, and while maintaining controlof the Undead Knight he alsoquickens him.

    Cautiously, the Elven Spearmenmove around the corner of the smallhouse, being careful not to stray tooclose to the risen troops.

    As the end of the game begins the outcome is

    less than a mystery to me. My chances of gettingmy mass of troops into close combat is aboutzero, so I have to minimize what casualties I maysuffer this turn and try as hard as I can to scoresome points.

    Chris wins Initiative and his Warrior of the Sunmoves around the Risen Swordsman and chargesthe Undead Knight, who saves against his hit, andthen he goes critical and drops a Flame Strike.Boom! Three dead Risen Archers and one deadRisen Swordsman.

    The Risen Swordsmen on the hill charge in andkill the Daughter of the Phoenix. A few others getto move up and one gets a charge off on theWarrior of the Sun, but cannot hurt him.

    The Lotus Eater, not needing to control theDaughter of the Phoenix anymore, concentrates

    The Undead Knight attacks the Warrior of the Sunand hits once, but then his sword-arm rots off andhe rolls a natural 20 to just suck a lot. TheWarrior saved off of the first hit though.

    The Elven Archers stand around and gauge thewind direction and speed just in case any targetsdecide to present themselves.

    My Risen Archers in the back take a few, veryfew, steps forward and Chris Militia decide thatbeing caution is better than being dead and try tostay out of bow range.

    My Risen Archers on the right did not have LOS tothe combat going on over on the hill so they hadto move forward for the little good that it would do.

    My remaining Risen Swordsmen step around thelarge house to see some Elven faces looking backat them from around the small house.

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    Marks View

    Well, that could have gone better. With an edge

    on points killed Chris took the game, but itwasnt too lopsided. Sometimes too much of agood thing can lead to your downfall, and in thiscase it did. After the game Christophercommented that the three units of Risen Archersis what kept his stationed pretty firmly on hisside of the board. Fewer archers would havepresented less of a ranged fire threat to him andhe could have met the advancing hoard withoutsuffering a brutal number of casualties. Ofcourse, this would have given me more foottroops to use in hand-to-hand combat, but I dontthink that would have spooked Chris like the

    huge bank of archers did.

    So, what did I learn here? Well, I already knewthat an all (mostly) risen army is as slow asmolasses, but combining their slow speed, aturn-limit game, and a reason for your opponentto stay away from you just spells disaster.Theres really not too much you can do aboutthe speed of the Risen except for QuickenUndead, but that only affects one warband, notthe whole army. In a last man standing scenarioI think that I would have come out on top, butChris did everything right. There was no reasonfor him to commit his troops to the grave byheading headlong into masses of bow fire.Presenting less of a threat from missile fire wasprobably the better way to go.

    The Soulflayer died much sooner than usual, butthis was probably due to her not having anyback up to assist after she got stuck in. Herspeed is one of her big points to exploit, but witha mostly slow army coming in behind her shewould have to take care of her own backyardand, unfortunately, could not.

    I still think that an all-risen army can work, but it

    will take more tweaking on my part. I had fun(most important) and learned a few things (alsoimportant) that should help me next time out.

    From Chris Corner

    What could have been billed as being thegrudge match of the century after our


    Warhammer Fantasy game last issue turned out to

    be a HBO flop.

    Every other squad of Marks was armed with a bow.With the ability to raise dead troops no matter thedistance there was not a snowballs chance in hell Iwas crossing the middle of the board. We set upterrain before revealing our armies, and we hadboth chosen to make the terrain rather sparse.When his army was revealed three things came tomind. 1) The Warrior of the Golden Mask isimmune to fire so he should be where theSoulflayer is. 2) Only two things in his army can beaffected by my archers. Congratulations on army

    selection 20% of my army is now almost totallyuseless. 3) Flame strike with a Warrior of the Sunand a supporting Daughter of the Phoenix rocks.

    The game was very slow. Only one disagreementcame up. Are the risen immune to the Runebow offire? It is a 9x2 weapon so we split the differenceand said it was a straight up normal 9. No dicerolling. Just common sense compromising. I prettymuch spent the entire game staying out of range ofhis archers, except for a few exceptions. I used myWarrior of the Sun to flank Marks army. Heattracted some fire, but he could shrug it off. The

    Daughter of the Phoenix could easily catch up withhim. On the other flank I baited Marks Soulflayerinto flaming the Warrior of the Golden Mask. Bum,bum, bum, Teflon Man!!! (sung to the sound of theTrojan commercial) He was an acceptablesacrifice. It resulted in the Soulflayer becoming theprimary target ofhmmmeverything in my army!!!She fell quickly! Most of the causalities happenedat the end of the game. I had basically consideredthe game over and did not back up my troops. Afew lucky shots (well statistically they should havehappened, but hey we will call them lucky) followedup with a murderous rampage of what used to beone of my troops closed the gap to make the game

    very close indeed. The unlimited range of engulfingflames help out a bunch as the Lotus Eater slowlycooked the archers while he stayed out of range.Mark and I both wished the game had been a bitmore exciting, but I enjoyed playing none the less.Sometimes the best games are just ones in whichyou sit and chat as you play along. Good gameMark.

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    GAMESGAMES1. Warzone2. Car Wars

    3. Warhammer 40K4. Warhammer Fantasy5. Trinity Battleground6. Chronopia7. Flashpoint!8. Battlefleet Gothic9. Clan War 10. VOID

    WEAPONSWEAPONSA. Nova CannonB. Sword of MightC. Horsefly Missile

    D. CestusE. NazgarothF. Splinter RifleG. Vulcan MachinegunH. YumiI. Boar Head Pick AxeJ. Aris Sonic Rifle

    Back with a new contest, howcool is that?!? Actually, this isthe first of two in this issue.

    The guys from Mastabas V (seebelow) have generously

    donated a free paint job of acharacter at a Level 2 rating.Check out their site for furtherdetails on what that gets you.

    All you need to do is match upall ten games, listed below, withthe weapon that appears inthem. All entries must be sentto me [email protected] and

    only the first entry per personwill be accepted.

    The contest will run from thetime this issue comes out untilJune 30, 2001. During that timeall correct entries will be savedand on the 30

    th I will randomly

    draw one winner from those thatgot all ten games/weaponsmatched up correctly.

    You can match up the numbersand letters or the full names ofthe games and weapons. Aslong as I can identify which youhave paired together and youhave all ten correct you are onyour way to winning. If thereare no entries with all tencorrect Ill draw a winner fromthose that have nine right, andso on from there.

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    Game Reviews

    Basics Noble Armada is packaged as abox set that contains one forty-eight pagerulebook, one small booklet filled withbackground information on the Fading Sunsuniverse, 4 sprues of plastic miniaturestarships (in all), 4 hex maps, 30 starshipdeck-plans, four twenty-sided dice, a cheatsheet with charts, and one sheet withcounters.

    Presentation As noted above the box set ischock full of stuff. One of the mostimpressive contents of the box set is theplastic starships. These miniatures range insize from the tiny Hawkwood Explorer(measuring about a half inch long and aquarter inch wide) to the lumbering freighter(approximately a one inch box). The onlyassembly required is to pop each of the shipsonto their flight stands (with the minorexception of the freighter that has two pieces

    that snap together). My gaming group wassurprised at he detail in the plastic figures,even the small ones. The book is decentlylaid out with an index that allowed us to findanything we were looking for with relativeease. The hex maps are nothing special, butthat in itself is actually a benefit. No stars, noplanets, just the emptiness of space in whichto wage your wars. If you want to add thesethings feel free, but this game includes thenecessities not a bunch of pretty pictures.

    byChristopher Carr

    Noble Armada can be found

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    counting hexes. Movement uses a speedchart and applies vector math. This meansthat ships can revolve through a full 360degrees without altering your course. All diceroll are made based off of your crews skilllevel with only three or four modifiers. Whileit is possible to win the game by blasting youropponent into submission, the game reallyhinges around boarding actions and thetaking over of enemy ships. The shipschematics double as a map of the shipsinterior, and boarding parties and defendingmarines move up and down the corridors in acat and mouse game for control of the ship.They can also be used as part of a roleplaying campaign set in the Noble Armada, orother space-faring, universe. To round outthe ship-to-ship combat there are theobligatory critical hit and fumble charts forboth normal volleys of fire and hallwayfirefights between boarding parties and shipdefenders.


    A boarding action in progress.

    Storyline Noble Armada is set in theFading Suns role-playing universe. In the50th century civilization has reverted to afeudal society. The Houses Hawkwood, al-Malik, Decados, Hazat, and Li Halan vie forpower. Space fleets answer to each houseand political plots commonly play themselvesout as space combats. Technology is not aseasy to come by so capturing ships andprisoner exchanges are the rule of the day.

    Races While the Fading Suns role-playingsystem is rich with stories and history; thisgame relies on the role-playing system to addthe fluff. No specific mention of alien racesoccurs in the rulebook, but the authors domention the extreme rivalries that existbetween particular houses.

    Game The game plays with surprising littlepaperwork. Being a hex based games allspeeds and ranges are measured by

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    is great, as are the miniatures. My onlycomplaint is the rulebook is a mere 48 pagesand can get vague. We found that actuallysetting up the examples on a board andwalking through it helped with this though. Inhonesty the game is lacking in fluff andbackground, but the rules are grounded inreal logic without getting bogged down. I

    love that your speed is tied to your shields.When your shields get weaker you have toslow down, as small particles in space willstart to destroy your ship. I really did enjoyplaying this game, and would love to get myhand on some of the expansion packs thatallow for bigger (two hexes long) ships.

    presented with permission by

    Army Lists The game uses the genericpoint system, and there are thirty ships tochoose from. Due to the looting and extremepiracy that all of the houses participate in allof the ships can be used in any fleet. Thishelps to take away of a single army beingalmost unbeatable because they happen tohave the best toys. What impressed me was

    the build system. You could choose to useminiatures from any manufacturer, point upyour fleet using the build system, and then hitthe galactic highway on your way to rulingthe galaxy. It is here that alien races caneasily be evolved.

    Theater of War The game is best playedon an empty map, with lots of room for whipsto maneuver. Yes, there are rule for planetsand other large objects, but they appear toslow down game play. As an interesting note

    there are two levels of rules for gravity wells(i.e. planets and such), one that is simple,and one for the anal-retentive know it allsthat insist upon using Newtonian Physics.

    Value This box set retails at $55 USD. Youget a bunch of stuff for you price. The build

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    BasicsThe game of Attrition is set in the far future wheremankind has been locked in battle with an ancientalien race for over half a millennia. The game is afast paced skirmish normally between any of thethree forces provided for in the game. Starter sizedgames are advertised to only need 10-12 models perside. But this would appear to vary greatly with thetroop types a player chooses.

    The rules for Attrition come on a CD and can beeasily acquired for free from Alternative Armiesalong with any order from their web site( or from BrigadeGames ( The rules arewritten to accommodate games with 15mm and28mm miniatures, with vehicles being available inthe 15mm scale. All measurements in the game aremade in centimeters (cm) and most die rolls aremade using a ten-sided die (D10).

    PresentationThe rules are provided on a CD, which can beviewed in three different formats. Two are in read-

    and the third is in PDF format. All are equallyreadable. With the exception of the front and back

    pen and ink drawings sprinkled throughout. Theorganization

    You can get a copy of theAttrition rules on CD

    odd, and there are times you will have to skip

    forward to later chapters in the rules to understandsome of the material presented in earlier chapters.If I were to voice my biggest complaints about thelayout, it would be that the point value for a characteror an item is not listed with the character or item;instead they are on lists found toward the end of thebook. Another small issue is that the weapondescriptions are not alphabetized or ordered in anyway I could tell, which made finding the descriptionfor a particular item frustrating. My biggestcompliment would be the non-technical writing style,which makes the reading easy and enjoyable. Alsothere are sporadic "in context" fictionalizations,examples and commentaries that add to the color of

    the game.

    Also provided on the CD is the Brigade GamesCatalog, and photos of many (if not all) of theavailable miniatures for the game (and they are evenpainted).

    To be perfectly honest, I think the rules look a bitrough around the edges, and could use anotherrework, but seeing that the rules are free, I hardlythink it is something worthy of complaint.

    StorylineThe rules do come with a full chapter describing how

    the human race came to the predicament that it is induring the time period of the game. I personallythought that the chapter should have been the firstchapter in the book, instead of the next to last. I wasoften confused about much of what I was readinguntil I reached this chapter. I found that after I readit, I had to look back at many of the referencesearlier in the rules with a new understanding. Forany new players, I highly recommend readingChapter Seven, entitled "Background", first.

    To be brief, the human race apparently colonized alarge part of the galaxy over the course of someundisclosed amount of time (presumably several

    hundred years at a minimum) in slower than lightspeed space ships. This lead to a multitude ofcolonies, all independent of each other, scatteredover a large area. One group of humans discoveredfaster than light speed travel from a visiting alienrace (who then get slaughtered for their generosityby the very humans whom they share the knowledgewith in order to prevent others from learning about itas well.). This eventually leads to humanity

    by Clay Richmond

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    becoming united, by force, along with some alienraces thrown in to boot.

    After the Human Empire has reigned for a fewhundred years, an ancient alien race is bumped intothat essentially knocks humanity back into the Stone

    Age in only a few years. Strangely, the aliensstopped the turkey shoot and vow to pick it up againlater.

    Well, "later" is some 400 years away, after humanityhas been able to get back on its feet with a neworganizational chart. Now they are organized inwhat they call the Confederacy, based around astate religion that has been chartered from thebeginning to prepare themselves for the return of thedreaded "Dragon Ships", or the Khanate, as the raceis called.

    Needless to say, when they do return, it's a moreeven fight this time around. In fact, after 657 yearsthere is no end in sight, and no side has the upperhand. Finally, an agreement is made. The outcomeof the war is to be determined by putting down forceson a planet and let them fight it out. No support fromeither side is allowed and the planet would beblockaded for five more years. At the end of thattime, presumably, the winner takes all. The planet iscalled Golgotha, and to date, the fight has gone onfor three years. Fighting has deteriorated into smallskirmishes and much of the equipment is in poorrepair. It has now become "the ultimate war of


    RacesRaces are of course limited to the scenario. Theprimary combatants are therefore the Confederacy(Crusaders), and the Khanate (Shia Khan). Bothapparently have subservient races, but the primaryones represented are the goblinoid "Malig" who areruled ruthlessly by the Shia Khan.

    A third force is also represented that sides withneither of the primary combatants. These are the"Trators" (named after a outspoken dude namedEmil Trator). These guys are made up of theleftovers of human deserters from both primarycombatants and who knows what else. Theyapparently have no far-reaching goals and are in thefight only to survive and to garner power andprestige with the other Trators. Presumably, theyfight among themselves as much as they fight theConfederacy and the Khanate.

    GameA normal sized game can be played with less that adozen miniatures per side, and is completelycharacter based. Although models often fight insquads, each squad member is an individual unitand has no coherency restriction with othermembers of the squad.

    Some small amount of bookkeeping is requiredthroughout the game. Characters armor valuesmust be tracked (it goes down during a game as itsucks up damage) as well as his wounds (even themost worthless of troops have several woundsavailable before these are removed from the game).Even jump packs, which seem to make the gamemove faster and more unpredictably, have limitedfuel, so this too, must be tracked for each character.

    The most difficult part of the game appears to be inthe force construction. Troops and forces are highlyadaptable to personal preferences and to themission. Troops need to be purchased, thenoutfitted with armor, weapons (here is anotherpossible area for bookkeeping, as some of theweapons the rounds must be purchased andtracked) and special gear, special skills andexperience levels then can be purchased as well butof course there are limits. Being a geek myself, Isee this as an area where a little software help wouldbe very helpful.

    Army Lists-ForcesThere are three available armies, but the scale of thegame (15mm or 28mm) will slightly change theforces available to each. Vehicles for example arenot used in the 28mm games.

    In general, the Confederacy has worse armor, lowerstrength, and less wounds than the Shia Khan. But,this is counter-balanced with the Confederacy'slower character cost and their better ability to shoot.Their better ability to shoot should not beunderestimated, as it will surely be valuable in agame where shooting is the primary way to attackthe enemy.

    To me, the greatest limitation to the Confederacy istheir more limited choices in character types. In the15mm scale, for instance, the Confederacy has 5choices of character types compared to the 9choices available to the Shia Khan. This seems tolead one to the conclusion than the Shia Kan playerwill always be better able to customize the force tothe mission.

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    But, whether this will only provides for more variety,or actually turns out to be a significant tacticaladvantage will remain to be seen.

    The Trators are also limited in their characterselections. They actually have little that can becalled advantages, with the possible exception oftheir low character cost when compared to theprimary forces, which of course makes sense, sincethese are the misfits and scavengers. But there isone thing that makes them formidable, and that is amodel they have available to them called aPschoborg. This thing has an armor value that ismore than twice as good as any other model in thegame. The cost of this beast is, of course, high (likecosting on the order of more than eight normalTrators). But then again, with the rule of being ableto shoot away armor, it would be interesting to seehow long this guy would last against superiornumbers.

    Theater of WarThe game is set up to be mostly a missile weapongame but optional rules are provided to allow for amore involved hand-to-hand system. Golgatha, thebattlefield, is essentially an abandoned planet, so afield full of blown out buildings, broken down ruinsand a cratered landscape is probably the order forthe day. Many troops are equipped with limited flightcapability (using jump packs) so tall buildings cannormally be assaulted without too much difficulty.

    The rules give a little help in the way of how tonegotiate buildings and their effect on combat, butmuch is left to the players to implement as "houserules". One thing that is provided in the rules,something often left out in other games, is a general"wound" table for structures. This allows for the casewhere a player wants to simply blow away an objectin the way. This may even be unintentional, as in theshort battle report provided in the rules shows a casewhere a model was hit while standing on a bridgeand not only was the model smeared, but the bridgeitself was blown apart and the debris actually killed amodel below. Unfortunately, much of this wasgoverned by on the spot "house rules" generated forthis particular instance.

    MiniaturesMiniatures for the game are readily available andreasonably priced. There is, currently available, areasonably good selection of models and it seemsthat most models can be purchased in units or asindividuals. Also, an option you don't always see, isthat you can purchase the models painted orunpainted. A full catalog comes with the rules alongwith ordering information and web sites to visit.

    ValueIt's hard to beat the price of Attrition seeing that it isfree. The rules are not very complex and much isleft to the players to fine tune the game to theirpersonal likes and dislikes (the chapter on optionalrules is longer that the chapter containing the corerules).

    My personal feeling is that the game is worth givinga whirl if you like character based Sci-Fi games.However the growth potential of the game seems tobe a bit limited given the scenario, and with therequired paperwork, players will definitively want tolimit their model count on the table.

    There are a multitude of options (weapons, armor,rules, skills etc) in the game that will make just aboutevery game totally different from any other. So as faras possible variations on a single mission goes,

    Attrition looks like it will be hard to beat.

    Clay [email protected]

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    mind. It just doesnt look like the game that I wasused to. To be honest, its not and its notsupposed to be either. Its still called 40K, but ifyou have played any of the previous versions youknow about the significant changes that havetaken place. Thinking about it more, Id have tosay that the recent articles about custom buildingyour own vehicles is what caught my eye andbrought me back into the fold. I decided to gowith the rather plain option of regular SpaceMarines, but with the new vehicle build rules Icould use some models that I was really in lovewith, my VASA troops from VOID. So, without amoments hesitation I put together datafax cardsfor each variant of the Tracked Assault Vehicle(T.A.V.) that VASA troops are famous for using.Not over the top or unbalancing, but absolutelyVASA. I just didnt like the idea of my BlackLegionnaires (Assault Troops) flooding out of theback of a Rhino, or Land Raider, or whatever. I

    have to say that GW putting out

    the custom build rules was agreat thing. Not just for me, butall previous, former and future40K players. Ill stir up somemore custom vehicles for myVASA troops and drop theminto a future issue for you totake a look at and maybe evenuse. Im sure other SpaceMarine or Imperial Guardplayers can find a use for sucha cool looking vehicle. You canprobably round up your own

    T.A.V. at any local game storethat stocks VOID products,several on-line stores, or youcan go to I-Kore direct

    Hey everyone! Before we get into the guts of thisnew unit for Warhammer 40K I thought that Ishould give you some background on my past,and hopefully future, with the game. Many moonsago I started playing a game called Warhammer40,000: Rogue Trader. I loved this game verymuch. Yes, it could get cheesy and powergamery (not a real word!), but it was a lot of fun. Iwas even good/lucky enough to win a majortournament at Origins one year back in Los

    Angeles. Along came 2ndedition 40K and I likedit, maybe even as much as rogue trader. A lot ofthe role-playing elements had been stripped awayand each codex seemed to be more powerful thanthe last, but I spent a whole lot of time playing 2


    edition. Along comes the 3rd

    edition of 40K and itfeels like I just ran headlong into a brick wall.Since picking up the new box set when it cameout I had not even thought of getting into it, untilnow. I really cannot tell you what changed my

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    Standing Or der sby Deano C. Ware

    Standing Ordersis a new column I hope to bringyou every issue in Fiction Reality. StandingOrders grew out of my hobby within a hobby ofcollecting miniature gaming rules and other rulesvery close to miniature gaming rules. Being thetype of person who has never seen a set of ruleshe didnt like, which doesnt mean Ive neverbought a set of rules I didnt like, I have tried tosummarize and/or profile the different types andsets of rules that I have collected over the years inorder to make it easier for me to refer back to

    them many months later.

    Once I decided to actually begin the undertaking Ifigured it wouldnt hurt to share it with othergamers like you, who may not have as many rulesets as me but have more than one or two youhavent really broken down yet.

    A word of caution is in order however becauseStanding Orders is not a game review. Ihavent played all of the game rules I have andwhen you read some of the Standing Ordersprofiles you will probably know why. Others I justhavent had an opportunity to spread them out ona table with my miniatures and actually fight out abattle.

    Finally, in order to add some continuity to thearticles and to make it easier for you to get right tothe part of the profile that you will benefit from themost, I will use a common profile for each gamereviewed.


    Each profile will contain the following sections:1. WWhhaattYYoouuGGeett this section will let you know

    what the miniature rules contain such as

    charts, maps and background fiction.2. WWhhaatt YYoouu NNeeeedd this section of the profile

    will let you know what dice, rulers, andtemplates are required to play the game. Inmany cases, I will simply indicate that thestandard dice and rulers are used.

    3. WWhhaatt YYoouu AArree TToolldd this section of theprofile will let you know what the author claimsis unique or different about the set of rules.

    4. WWhhaattYYoouuWWiillllDDiissccoovveerr this section of theprofile will let you know what actually comesacross when you play the game or at leasttest it out.

    5. WWhhaattssOOlldd this section of the profile detailswhat I believe to be game mechanics thathave been tried before and have failed.

    6. WWhhaattss NNeeww this section of the profile

    details what, if anything is new about the rulesand possibly deserves further investigation onyour part.

    7. WWhhaattss FFaammiilliiaarr - this section of the profileactually details what aspects of the game willbe familiar to most miniature gamers andneither intended to infer that it is good or bad.

    8. WWhhaattssGGoooodd this section of the profile willprobably be the meat and potatoes ofStanding Orders for most readers and willobviously detail parts of the game I liked themost.

    9. WWhhaattss BBaadd this section of the profile willdetail the parts of the game that just dontwork, whether it is the background world, thefiction, the rules or the art! For some reason I

    just didnt like it.1100.. WWhhaatt IImmGGooiinnggttooDDoowwiitthhTThheesseeRRuulleessthis is my favorite part of the profile. This is whereI tell you what I intend to do with the rules nowthat I have profiled them. This could run thegambit from letting my daughter color them, toselling them on ebay or starting my own egroup topromote and support them.

    Like any new venture, any comments,suggestions and feedback are welcome and

    appreciated; especially if you have played a gameI profiled and feel you can add a perspective Imay have missed (I doubt I will have missed it, butI MAY have so let me know).

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    WWhhaatt YYoouu GGeett Ravens ofKarnage is a 38 page rulebook witha 1 sheet errata. The rulebookcontains a map of the world ofKarnage which is peculiar in thatthe opening title inside the book is

    Ravens of Karnage: The World ofBlack Raven. I am not sure if theauthors changed the name of thegame world at some time and forgotto reconcile these two or if BlackRaven refers to some other placeor person in the game. Therulebook also contains a fairamount of black and white photos ofminiatures in action, some armylists and some obligatory paintingtips.WWhhaattYYoouuNNeeeeddAccording to theauthors the game is to be played in15mm scale but of course, you canre-base for 25mm. The suggestedminiature figures are manufacturedby Black Raven Foundry, which Ihave also never heard of. Inaddition to the rules and figures youwill need: two or more players,several six sided dice, several tapemeasures or rulers, terrain piecesand a 4x8 table.WWhhaatt YYoouu AArree TToolldd Nothingreally. The rules do not contain anyintroduction to speak of or any

    synopsis of the game or designersnotes.WWhhaattYYoouuWWiillllDDiissccoovveerrThe firstthing you will discover is that notmuch thought was put into the

    game background. It is pretty much astereotypical fantasy setting: to wit, first there wasnothing/then the gods came along, then mancame and defeated the evil, but the evil was notreally defeated and now its back! Even the map isa generic world map that has been crushed backtogether and then broke apart toward the top todepict this new world. The lack of attention to

    detail is most prevalent in the large parts of themap simply labeled water with no ocean or seanames whatsoever. The rest of the map isnumbered and contains staple names likepictland, Keltic Isles and Island of Cimmeria.Many of the names obviously owe their origin to


    The first set of rules I have choose to profile is aminiature wargame titled Ravens of Karnage.Ravens of Karnage was published in the UnitedStates by Stephen Thomas and Steve Jamieson.There is no publication or copyright date providedhowever the errata sheet was dated March 11,

    1998 making the game at least three years old.

    I am unfamiliar with either of the authors howeverthe address provided to contact them directly atthe time was: 346 River St., Coopersville,Michigan 49404 (616) 837-7045.

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    the same sources first painstakinglyresearched and developed bynovelist Robert E. Howard for hisland of Hyboria, so I wasparticularly bothered by theshameless rip off. The second thing

    you will discover is that the rules arepoorly written and hard tounderstand. For example, when anarmy loses integrity it is required tomake a Command check and whenactivated do whatever the checkrequires. However, the only timeyou make a Command check iswhen you are trying to do something

    if the check is less than a modified10 then you fail (i.e. fail to rally). Soif you are told to make a commandcheck and fail what are you to door what have you failed to do?WWhhaattssOOllddI knew I wasnt goingto get much out of these rules whenI opened them and saw theWeather rules. If there is anyonereading this who has ever played awargame with a good set ofweather rules please let me knowwho you are and what game it was

    so I can avoid both of you! Thisisnt to say I havent seen good usesof weather in a miniature battle but Ihave never seen good weatherrules. Ravens of Karnage is no

    exception. Basically weather isdivided into three weather zones:northern, central and southern and it ispredictably hot or cold in each with the alsopredictable modifiers to movement and flight, etc.WWhhaattssNNeewwThe Army Integrity section of therules was the most interesting part of the rules Icame across. Basically, each army starts with abase of 10 integrity points and then gets morebased on the type of units you field (i.e. scouts+2, allies 3). These integrity points are thenused throughout the game to re-roll desiredresults or activate additional units. However, if

    your armys integrity points reach zero (whicheventually they will since you can lose them anynumber of ways but only gain 1 for each terrainpiece seized) you must make a Command check.Conceptually, these integrity points aresupposed to represent the armys morale and

    cohesion, however in practice they appear to bere-roll points that allow you to re-roll bad meleeor missile results for no apparent reason I didntlike that roll where my knights failed to chargehome, I think Ill roll that again! If this aspect ofthe game had been better developed I can seewhere it would have been interesting.WWhhaattss FFaammiilliiaarr Ravens of Karnage hassections on: organization/formations, sequence ofplay, weather, movement, command, missile fire,melee, champions, army integrity, magic, building

    an army, special weapons and creatures andcharacters, painting tips, basic battle lists, races ofthe world of karnage and advanced rules.WWhhaattssGGooooddThe only thing that I can say wasgood about Ravens of Karnage is that instead ofusing a lot of tables, the tables you need are

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    contained in the sections where they are actuallyused. For example, melee combat is resolved bytaking the difference between two rolls andreferring to a table. However, the table isprovided right underneath the paragraph thatexplains how to compare the two die rolls.

    WWhhaattss BBaadd Ravens of Karnage. The gameitself was just not a serious attempt to make agood miniature game. Throughout the entirerulebook you get the sense that the authors justwanted to do enough to have something to helpthem sell a line of miniatures. This is most

    apparent when you refer to sections like SpecialWeapons, Creatures and flying creatures,centaurs, giant eagles and dragons are allconsidered special. The same can be said of theAdvanced Rules which contain separatestatistics for light, medium and heavy infantry or

    cavalry; stats which could have easily beenincluded in the main rules.WWhhaatt IImm GGooiinngg ttoo DDoo wwiitthh TThheessee RRuulleess Hopefully, I will be able to sell them at the nextconvention I attend. If not, I could always takeanother look at those weather rules!

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    open and the driver leaned out of his seat toswing around and speak to us. Get out ofthose greens cadets, camo is for ground-pounders above you youll findcompression suits and link-up gear. Put it on,and well be at our destination in an hour or

    so. The ride will be a little bumpy, so try tohang on to something. After the doorsnapped shut, we grabbed the suits from theoverheads and I grinned at Elijah. Yousee, compression suits were worn under flight

    jackets or low-G gear. It looked like we weregoing into the flight program, and it was like adream come true. One day, it looked, wewould be shunting fighters in the upperatmosphere. We quickly put on the heavy-lined gray jumpsuits and clasped shut the linkup bands at our wrists and ankles. Link-up

    bands were electronic circlets that attach thecompression suit to whatever the wearer wasgoing to be piloting, so specific subtlemovements of the hands or feet would sendcertain piloting responses to it. After my lastlink-up was attached, the compression suithissed loudly and constricted on me like asecond skin as it vacuum-sealed itself. Aftera few moments of getting used to it, it wasalmost as if I wasnt wearing the suit at all.

    As I stretched my arms and legs in the newuniform I heard Elijahs suit exhaust and

    looked over to him. He was smiling like thejunker-that-got-away. We fastened ourselvesback into the seats and rattled along insidethe APC.

    by Bryan Steele

    I was scared as hell. You would be too. Imean, it was the first day of true honest-to-goodness training as a member of the best ofthe bestthe Black Legion. The only realthought going through my head was, how didI end up here?

    I was drafted out of the ranks of the Goliathmilitia a few months ago after we cleaned outan entire sector of colonial rebels. It waspretty awful work, fighting and killing peopleyou knew from work or from school, but it hadto be done. It had to be done, and becauseof how well my unit did, we were drafted intothe VASA proper. Most of us knew we weregoing to be marines or tech crew, and most ofus were right when we got our orders.

    Almost everyone had to report to Epsilon pod

    immediately, but Elijah and I were told to stayput and we will be picked up shortly.

    It was maybe an hour of standing in the hotsun, hefting forty kilos of gear over ourshoulders, when they showed up for us. Ablack and gray TAV pulled up to us and theside hatch spiraled open. The hot airshimmered as it mixed with the cool climate-controlled gust from inside the APC. Dont

    just stand there like meat puppets, get incadets, the speaker crackled from the

    cockpit. We slid inside and plopped down onthe hard plastic benches and fastened downthe harnesses over our shoulders. After wewere reasonably comfortable the panelbetween the cargo bay and the cockpit slid


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    Maybe an hour later, the vehicle shiftedloudly and then came to a halt. We couldhear blast doors grinding shut and a myriadof voices outside. The speaker crackled tolife inside our compartment, Were herecadets. Welcome to Hell. The rear walkwaylowered and we grabbed up our packs andclomped down it, our metal-shod bootsechoing loudly. As the walkway lifted backinto the vehicle, it sped away into one of thevarious corridors and we stood there slack-

    jawed. The bunker was a few stories tall, withthe only ceiling being the cap on the highestlevel. Catwalks and terracing spiraled up thesides and around the walls, and at least twoother TAV vehicles were parked in sideniches. One very menacing Tiger APClumbered out of one garage into another,technicians following it with sparking torchesand other instruments. As we were taking inall of the surreal surroundings, a voice barkedbehind us loud enough to make us both dropour gear in surprise.

    I hope you are enjoying the show cadets!Now grab your gear and move! Move, move,move!!! We spun around and screaming inour faces was a large soldier wearing acompression suit just like ours, except withthe sergeants stripes down his chest and

    shoulders. He was pointing down a hallwaywith his thickly muscled arm, so we snatchedup our packs and sprinted as well as in timeas we could without slowing down. When wegot to the opposite end of the hallway, wefound other unmarked men and women muchlike ourselves mulling about in front of a largeclosed door. By the looks of them, Id saymostly from Viridiabut I recognized at leasta few darker skinned Ironglass natives in thebunch. When we got there, a green lightblinked above the door and it thudded with

    the distinctive opening of a magnetic seal. Itthen swung slowly open into a plain gray-tiledgymnasium filled with various equipment ofunknown reason or purpose. The door itselfwas being pulled back by one of the most

    feared forces in all of pan-humanic space, amember of the Black Legion. His eyespeered out judgingly from behind hisfaceplate, and a smirk twitched at the cornerof his mouth as we filed into the room. Oneother man stood aloof in the center of theroom, his back towards us and a bright greenline chalked onto the floor. After a fewseconds, we cadets lined up naturally at thatgreen line and waited. While we waited, I

    noticed the distinct tattoo of the berserkerlegions on one of the darker cadets andanother had a wicked scar on his arm thatlooked like a deep burn of some sort. Then ithappened, the man in the shiny blue-black

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    want you all to take a deep breath and hold it.You may not release this breath until I givethe okay to do so. Startingnow.

    The other Black Legion member walked downthe line, pricking our collective fingers and

    punching a few buttons on his handheldcomputer. Some of the cadets werewavering by the time he got to the end of theline, and my lungs burned like hot coals.Grenald clicked his heels to the Captain andleft the room. Zed stared at us all when oneof the cadets burst out and sucked in agasping breath. It was Elijah. Zed shot him aglare and issued the order, You may nowbreathe again cadets.

    We all swayed and staggered with

    lightheadedness. Cadet Woodrow? Whydid you deliberately disobey a direct order?

    Isir? I wasnt able... Elijah struggled toanswer.

    Grab your pack and report to technical, youwill never need to hold your breath ever againfor me. You are out of the program cadet.ServeVASA elsewhere. Dismissed. As Elijahturned he slumped his shoulders and moved

    toward the door. Zed then faced us andaddressed the line. These few breaths Ihave allowed you to take in the last forty-seven seconds are the first breaths of BlackLegion Unit: Gamma.

    Just as Cadet Woodrow, some of you will endup twisting wrenches under a Tigersomewhere with the battle raging around you.Some of you may not even make it out intothe field at all. But a select few will end upfighting the foes of humanity, foreign and

    domestic, as a proud member of the BlackLegion. As a Black Legionnaire, the battlewill not rage around youit will rage throughyou. Welcome to the program cadets, nowwe get down to business.

    armor clicked his heels and began hisspeech. Well, I see you all have made it.From this point forward you are no longercolonials, you are no longer Ironglassians,and you are no longer Viridian. You are notyour mommas sons and daughters; you are

    not your families only heirs. You are none ofthese things any longer. You are now part ofthe single last best hope the human race willever have. You are a part of the machine,and yet some of you cogs and pulleys willneed to be replaced as you break or wearoutthe machine does not stop, ever!. Hespun on his heels and Elijah and Iimmediately knew his face from the posters. Icould tell that some of the other cadets hadno idea, because if they didtheyd be asafraid as we were. It was he. It was Zed,

    Supreme Captain of the Black Legion. AsLegionnaire Grenald comes around toprogram your bio-data into his date pad I

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    I looked hard at my image in the mirror andthen took the helmet and put it back on thestand. I shook my head at the image in themirror and shut the locker door. Was I trulyready for this? Probably not, but I was sure ashell going to try.

    After all, heroes have to startsomewheredont they?

    to be continued


    Thats pretty much were I began this little tripdown memory lane, and now you see why I wasscared as hell. I was lined up with probablyforty of the finest recruits humankind to offer,being barked at by probably one of the mostfeared and respected men in pan-humanicspace, and being told that I will one day soarthrough the skies as a Black Legionnaire. Youcant blame me for being a little scared.

    You have twenty-fourstandard hours to say anyand all good-byes to family,friends, and other lovedones. You will find thatyour bio-data will open youbunkroom doors and your

    lockers. Be back in thisroom tomorrow, suited upand ready to forgeteverything youve everheard or known.Dismissed. The dooropened and we started tofile out toward the barracks.

    Our names were postedabove the glorified closetscalled bunkrooms, andafter a few seconds I found

    mine. I breathed over theanalyzer and it beepedtwice and the door slidopen. I stepped inside andimmediately dropped mypack and turned to thelocker. Another breath andthe locker opened. Staringback at me was a pristinesuit of shiny blue-blackarmor engraved with theGamma symbol over the

    right breast. The helmetstared at me like a metallicskull on its stand, and Igrabbed it in both hands. Islid it on and looked atmyself in the mirror frombehind the eye slit.

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    Miniatur e ReviewsMiniatur e ReviewsTo start off this issues miniature review well look

    at some dwarves from JEFF VALENT STUDIOS.

    First up is a Dwarven Shaman. Dwarf Shaman: Avery nice looking figure that is wearing animal furson the lower part of his torso and over some of his

    feet, but leaving his toes exposed. One of the firstthings you notice about this figure is his hair. Itsstyled in two large, well, points coming off the topof his head. It is probably held up with lots ofanimal fat and helps to give him that CrazedDwarf Shaman Who Lives Alone in the Woodslook. He has a large pouch hung over oneshoulder and two smaller pouches attached to hisstaff. His two weapons are a sacrificial daggerand a very cool looking staff. The staff isawesome, with lots of etchings, baubles, and istopped by a very cool head that looks like somekind of voodoo doll. He looks like hed do equally

    well summoning or scaring off evil spirits. Muscletone on the figure is good, but not over the top.There was a bit of flash on the dagger and on acouple of pouches, but nothing that you wouldntnormally expect.

    Next up is a Dwarf Spear Commander: He could

    easily pass for a veteran leader of a squad ofdwarven spearmen, but I think hed be more athome poking through the woods with a band ofadventurers. Like all of these dwarven models hehas a lot of character. Hes wearing spectacles, issmoking a pipe, and has a large plume on thefront of his helmet. Hes probably not standing atattention since hes smoking the pipe, but onguard is a reasonable description of his stance.He is wearing chainmail armor under his cloakand pants, and overall detail of the model is verygood, right down to the notches on his belt. Hehas a couple of pouches on his back including abedroll and wineskin. The shaft of his spear iswooden and you can make out the detail of thewood grain, very nice touch! Basically no flash onthis models, but there was a defect. Each anklehas a tiny part that did not form correctly in themolding process. As long as I take a second toeither fill it in with putty or even super glue gel thiswill not be a problem. The defect is really quitesmall and I didnt even notice it until I was goingover the figure more closely to check out thedetail.

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    Last up from JVS is a Dwarf Wizard. In atraditional fantasy game you might call him acleric, or runesmith, or even a magic user, but thismodel could easily fill all of those roles. He doesnot present as feral an image as the shaman, butrather a more civilized one. Hes carrying a staffin one had that is topped by a large gem or maybe

    a crystal ball. Hes had a nasty encounter, eitherwith a monster that didnt appreciate him pokingabout its treasure or another dwarf that didntappreciate him poking about his wife, which lefthim wearing an eye patch. His head is back a bitand his mouth is open, which looks like hescasting a spell or yelling at someone. Theres nometal armor on this guy, but he has a couple ofbandoliers of pouches across his chest and twolarge pockets on his coat. One containing a book,and the otheryou guessed it, a bottle! Hisarms are bare and the modeling shows nicemuscle tone without being exaggerated. He has

    another weapon, a bedroll and more pouches onhis back.

    Each dwarf retails for $4.00 or you can buy the set

    of three for $10.00. Any or all of these wouldmake great additions to a Dwarven army. Youcan find JVS at

    With the unknown future of the Crucible line ofminiatures the miniatures in the next review might

    be hard to come by, but if you play barbarianarmies and enjoy mixing in new, non-standard,models in your army I think youll like these a lot.There are still several on-line stores that haveCrucible figures in stock, but once they run out itmight be a very long time until this line of figsbecomes available again, if at all.

    The first figure is called High Thane and iscarrying two hand axes and is in a running-forward pose. One axe is held above his head,ready to be thrown, while the other is closer to hisside. Hes wearing a lot of plate armor, more than

    other traditional barbarian type figures, but hecould fit in as a tribal war leader without trouble.The breastplate of his armor is very ornamentaland is etched with the face of some sort offearsome beast. The first time I looked at thisfigure I wondered to myself, What is up with hishead?. Upon closer examination I found that heis wearing the head and mane of a lion as ahelmet or headdress. Absolutely brutal! Maybehis name is Androclese and instead of taking thesplinter out of the lions paw he whipped his assand wore his head around as a trophy. His lefthand comes as a separate piece and there was

    some flash that needed to be trimmed/cleanedaround his boots and weapons, but the mold linewas just about unnoticeable.

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    The next two guys are called Thanes Bodyguard,and as you can guess, serve to guard the guy we

    just got done talking about. Instead of beating thehell out of a lion and wearing his pelt as a badgeof honor these guys walked into the jungle andwent toe to toe with a gorilla and are now wearing

    their pelts across their back and their hollowed outheads as helmets. Talk about hard core! If theseguys will go out into the jungle and jump, kill andskin some poor gorilla thats just out looking for abanana what are they going to do to an enemy onthe battlefield? Both are armed with large two-handed axes and in addition to the gorilla hidesthey wear quite a bit of heavier plate armor. Bothhave somewhat interesting cod-pieces. Facialdetail is ok and mold lines are faint, but do needsome filing. Flash was minimal and required justa small bit of cleaning.

    addition to the old standbys like Tribal Warriors,Viridian Lords, and Blade Maidens, my armyincludes Confrontation barbarians of all flavors,Crucible figures. And pretty much any otherbarbarian types that I happen to come across.You can tell right away that this guy is no pure

    breed. His facial features readily give away thefact that he is the product of some less thanpleasant union. Hes clothed in leather that iscovered by pieces of chainmail armor and hasseveral pouches and trinkets that he is carrying.One very cool addition is in the form of a jawbonethat is used as some sort of arm band on his leftarm. He is wielding a large two-handed battleaxe, ready to bring it down on some hapless foe.The mold line went straight down across his faceand needed a bit of careful cleaning so as to notmar any facial features, but other than that therewas not too much flash. My one peeve with thisfigure is the right foot. Its raised up off of theground to give the figure some animation andmake it look like hes running forward. On theoriginal model there is a bit of metal that extendsfrom the bottom of his foot to the tab. Its moldedin such a way to look like some grass or turf. Iabsolutely hate this and, as you can see, haveclipped it off of the model and had to do a bit offiling to the bottom of his foot. Ive seen a bunchof models that have this, mostly on flying models,but I just cant stand it. What, is he running sofast and furiously that hes digging up sections ofturf? Ok, thats a very petty peeve, but I had toget it off my chest. I got the painted version seen

    below from New Wave Entertainments site. Youcan even see the little foot-tab! Im not sure thatan orc-human coupling would produce a purpleskin color, but who knows. I really do like thisfigure and will be using him in my Sons of Kronosarmy, probably as a leader of a Hearthguardwarband. The stock number for this figure isWOC40036 and it retails for $2.99.

    Like I said earlier these guys might already behard to come by. Ive seen a few Internet storesstill selling them and perusing eBay every once in

    a while couldnt hurt. Just so you can have themhandy the stock numbers and retail prices ofthese figs are below and they are/were producedby FASA.

    High Thane 91-424 $3.95Thanes Bodyguard 91-421 $5.95

    Krusk, Male Half-Orc

    Whats with this bunch of barbarians? Well, I likethem, a lot in fact, and I use lots of non-standardfigures in my Chronopia Sons of Kronos army. In


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    Code 09201 $2.50

    Here we have a fewmore models from theCry HAVIC game.The model to the rightis an ImperialSekkoutai. She is ascout that is armedwith a katana and iswearing little in way of

    the underside of thebase, on one of herhands and a shoulder.The arm holding the

    katana is a separatepiece and can giveyou a bit of freedomwith the pose. All inall a nice female minithat can fit in withseveral differentgames and settings.

    armor. Her poseeither has her runningor ready for combat.Her facial features andhair are quite nice andthere was barely a hintof a mold line. Therewas a bit of flash on

    Above you can see a shot of a ConfederateMARS unit. They are designed to take massiveamounts of punishment and still lay waste to theirenemies. He is kind of tall and lanky with his legsmaking up about two-thirds of the height of themodel. Flash was minimal, but there were a fewplaces that needed to be cleaned up and while themold line was visible it was taken care of easily.

    His two arms and axe are separate pieces, which

    will allow for some pose-ability, always a nicefeature. Not all of your bad-ass robots have to bewalking along in the same pose.

    At $5.95 hes cheaper than other models of hissize and could fit into games other than CryHAVIC pretty easily. Stock number 09103.

    You got a glimpse of the Imperial MARS unit lastissue in the Cry HAVIC review, but heresanother pic of a very cool looking miniature. Ifnot used for Cry HAVIC, this guy has Mishimawritten all over him. Id easily drop him in as aMeka. With a little conversion hed be kickingass on a Warzone battlefield in no time.

    The model comes in three pieces; the body andtwo fins that go on his back. Like the

    Confederate MARS unit there was very littleflash and the mold line on this one was basicallyunnoticeable and really required no clean up.

    He also clocks in at $5.95, which is about half ofwhat you might expect to pay. If you play CryHAVIC or need some cool robots for any othersci-fi game either of these will work nicely.Stock number 09203.

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    All of the way from merry old England I was

    sent some miniatures from eM-4 Miniatures.EM-4 sells pre-painted miniatures that aredesigned to be used with their game CombatZone, but will surely work with many othersystems.

    The guys at eM-4 were good enough to sendone group of each of the three sets that arecurrently available. In this issue well go overthe SWAT Team.

    The figs come as a boxed set with a clear

    plastic window so you can see the exactfigures that you are getting and how theylook. The first thing I said to myself when Isaw the figures is that they looked familiar, orat least the paint jobs did. I have a feelingthat the same guys that crank out the KnownWorlders box set of painted miniatures alsopaints these figs.

    They come sitting in a form-fitted plastic tray,but really do not have any padding oranything to keep them still. There was a bit

    of paint scuffed off onto the tray and a fewspots (like on boots and hats) that will need tobe touched up. All five of the figures arepainted in a basic blue paint scheme. Apiece of clear plastic taped down across thefront of the figures would help keep themfrom slipping around.

    The figures also come with plastic slotta-bases to be glued on. The paint jobsthemselves are good and they will be seeingthe light of day on my gaming table. They are

    not, however, spectacular. They are notreally meant to be though. The quality of thepaint jobs is on the same level as thepreviously reviewed Known Worlders.Good, not great, but they do not suck either.They are five guys painted in matching colors

    Here we have a Hero that isarmed with an SMG and acouple of grenades. Paint

    job was decent, but he didsuffer a little in transit andhas a few scuffs that willrequire touching up.

    This is probably my favoriteout of the group, the Medic.Hes wearing a baseball capand is armed with a heavy

    pistol. Slung over his leftshoulder is a large med-kit.There was a chip in the painton the bill of his cap and theflesh could have been a bitneater.

    Well start off with the

    Sergeant of the unit. He isarmed with an auto-shotgunand also has binocularsaround his neck. Some ofthe flesh could have been abit cleaner, but nothing thatcannot be worked with orsimply left as is.

    that are ready for you to play with. Works forme.

    Aside from using these models with CombatZone they could also have a place as thecore of a Necromunda army. I could also seethem as various troops in VOID or you couldput together multiple sets for a 40K army.You could even go whole hog and scratchbuild paddy wagons and futuristic police cars.

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    This is the first of twotroopers firing an assaultrifle. He is firing more upthan across (see fig below).

    A couple of pouches on hisbelt accompany a holster for

    a pistol on his right hip. Asmall chip on his right foot isthe only thing that needed tobe fixed.

    Our last guy, also firing anassault rifle. The flesh on hisface needs a bit of touchingup, but he survived the tripfrom the UK without ascratch. As with the others,multiple pockets, pouchesand a holster are present formore gear.

    mend these. The paint jobs are not museumquality and may not win an award, but theywill save you considerable time hunched overyour painting table when you could have

    been playing. And thats the point to theseguys; open the package, glue them to theirbases, and then go play! If thats what youneed then they will fit the bill perfectly.

    At $20 for the set of five guys you are payingroughly $1.50 for each paint job. and you areplaying with them five minutes after buyingthem. Like I said earlier, you wont be takingthese guys to your local convention andwinning a painting award, unless you decideto strip them and re-paint them on your ownand you happen to be a master painter, but ifyou are looking for a quick police force for ascenario or even to flesh out an army withmultiple sets, the guys at eM-4 provide youwith a good product at a reasonable price.My only gripe is that they will tend to bouncearound a bit while in transit.

    OK, so are they worth buying? Well, yes. Ifyou have a need for a SWAT Team orgeneric police force I would highly recom-

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    aka Ballsnone of you have any balls! Phil Hartman in the movie GREEDY

    take a full command. Select a leader, Azzoth theCheat is very common, a standard bearer, and amusician. Next jack up your numbers with cheap,but effective goblins. Goblin spearmen, goblins withballs, and other baseline troops are economicalchoices. Given the goblin tendency for low damagetroops toss in a few ranged combat guys in the wayof archers or javelins. I normally reserve 100 120points for my big hitters. Select two 50-point

    characters or one big monster. Sounds pretty easyhuh? Well, lets take a look at each of these steps alittle more in depth. What command should I take?Well, you have three leader choices. Azzoth theCheat is the cheapest and most common. At a mere29 points he lends his courage of 2 to those aroundhim, and with his modest combat stats he can dishout a whopping damage 13 hit if he master strokes.Becbunzen is more than twice expensive and offershigher stats in every area except movement. Themost important statsthat go up are the allimportant courage of4 and a whopping

    discipline of 5.This gives you arather good chanceof winning adiscipline checkevery now and then.The final choice of acommander is thefamous Goretzh theMassive. If I had tochoose between himand the troll I willalways side withGoretzh. His free

    FORCE 5 belly hit is devastating as it hits everyonein the front. Remember that the front is currently thefront 180 degrees. Thats a lot of automatic stuns ihe gets jumped. One very important note, he onllends his stats to other mutant goblins. Normalgoblins do not benefit from his fear rating. As for

    The game Confrontation has caused quite a stir herein the U.S. in the past year. The miniatures aregreat, but have been hard to come by at times.Now, many of the people that wanted figures havesome, J. Michael Tisdel has polished up the rulesinto a very playable English version, and the rest ofus have been delving into a game that is not likeanything that we have seen or played before.Unless you speak fluent French, or surf via

    Babelfish, we have had no real reference on whatdoes and does not work in this game. Everything wefigure out has been via trial and error. Over time andmany games here are some tactics to collecting andplaying with the goblin faction in Confrontation.

    Purchasing your army: When buying any Confrontation army to play it isimportant to do a little research to make sure youbuy a playable army. Keep in mind that the mostcommon game we find that is played is 300 points.Due to the insanely cheap points cost of some of thegoblins you can find that you spend lots of money,have lots of figs, and have a mere 150 points to use.

    Do a little research. Head over towww.rackscan.comto see copies of all of the cards.Use this knowledge to plan your purchases

    Although there are several high points value figures,do be careful as gobelins have safety in numbers.

    Army composition:When pointing up yougoblin army, be awareof your weaknesses.Goblins have a very lowcourage value. Did Isay lowI mean NOcourage whatsoever.

    They will run at theleast sight of somethingscary. What? There isa bumblebee?? Runaway!! Run away!! Tocombat this be sure to

    Azzoth the Cheat

    Goretzh the Massive

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    a standard bearer and a musician, I always take theregular ones. They are dirt cheap, and I use themto enhance my command characters, not to fight.

    What grunt line troopsshould I take?Ballsyou have tohave lots of balls!!Besides how muchfun it is to say this, Ithink this is very true.For a mere 8 pointsapiece they fear whenthey charge, canberserk, and have amodest damage of 5.Spearmen are also agood choice. Theyhave spears and canbe used to add dice to

    a combat without entering it. This means they donot have to take a fear test. Marauders are evencheaper than cheap, but they will have a LOT ofproblems wounding bigger guys. This is anotherreason to favor the balls. An archer or two is alsoadvised, but once again very low damage meansthat you need a good roll or a critical hit to hurtmuch of anything. The javelins have the uniqueadvantage of being able to lend dice in combat likethe spearmen, but still have a ranged attack. Thereis no sure-fire combination, but be sure to spreadaround what you take. An army of nothing but ballgoblins leaves you with a lot of stamina 1 troops.The mutant goblins were a mainstay in my armyinitially. I was very happy with them until I translatedtheir additional card. Mutant goblins force non-mutant goblins to take a fear test when they movewithin their move distance of each other. Not verygood for an army of courage 0 troops so if you douse them keep you command together. Monstersand choices galoreFor mid level goblins I normallygo with a psycho mutant goblin with wings (pick aspell) and a strohm goblin on a rat. The psychomutant is decent in hand to hand (he gets an extradice), but add a spell to him and he becomes veryversatile. The strohm goblin on a rat will not runfrom fear with his fanatic ability and on the chargehe can dish out a whopping force 10 hit. Both ofthese put together come to a little less than the wartroll. Now he is the supreme big guy in mostpeoples mind. He hits very hard, has a very hightoughness, and the regeneration ability. On paperhe looks great, but do be aware of his initiative of 1.He needs to be teamed with another goblin that hasa decent initiative.

    Army Tactics

    Fighting fear: As I mentioned before fear is thebane of a goblin force. There are several ways tocombat this. First, keep your full command staff inthe center of your army. A full command with Azzothlends a courage of 4 while Becbunzen and companygive off a slightly more impressive courage of 6. Thesecond way to counter fear is to cause fear yourself.Ball goblins cause fear when they charge. Ballgoblins charging wolfen do not have to even take afear check. Granted they still have to test versesundead, but this goes a long way toward negatingthat advantage. Mutant goblins also cause fear andcan be used to counter wolfen and undead fearcausing tactics. The third thing to consider is to tossin a couple of Strohm goblins either on rats or foot.These goblins have the fanatic ability and will not runno matter what.

    David versus Goliath: Many of the goblins causevery little damage. The marauders only have a forceof 1! When fighting against higher toughnessopponents try to run you goblins in groups.Hopefully when you constructed you army you put ina few decent hitters. Run these alongside of the itty-bitty goblins and use numbers to win the initiative.Generally speaking always swing with your big hitterfirst. They have the best chance of causing aserious or critical wound. The lightly armed goblinscan then finish him of with their low damage attacks.If your goblins find themselves in a situation lackinga normal hitter you can either wait until one getsthere, or try for master strokes. Remember, anyonecan pull one of these off. Simply jack up the mark(difficulty) of your attacks and pray for a hit. Youmay be surprised at the outcome.

    Flying wedge: The strohm goblin on a rat is VERYfast. He works very we