Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Assorted Miniatures for 'Dark Heresy'

Hi All,

Last week our gaming group started up our second campaign of 'Dark Heresy'.  For those not familiar, 'Dark Heresy' is a role-playing game set within the 40K universe.  The game was originally produced by Fantasy Flight Games which, sadly, lost the licence a few years ago. This is regrettable as the overall production quality of the rules and supplements was superb and the game had a loyal (if sometimes OCD) following. Being a shameless opportunist, I picked up most of the books at fire-sale prices and we've been enjoying the system undeterred.

Rather than the massed combat of 40K, 'Dark Heresy' instead sets its eye upon the gritty underbelly of the Imperium, with players taking on the role of 'throne agents of the Inquisition'. The overall look and feel of the game draws heavily upon Dan Abnett's excellent 'Eisenhorn' and 'Ravenor' series of novels. It's a setting where the main focus is upon the investigation, pursuit and foiling of the nefarious plans of Mankind's myriad enemies.  Think of it as a mashup of Call of Cthulhu, Terry Gilliam's 'Brazil' and Ridley Scott's 'Blade Runner'. Operatic + dystopian + grim-dark = great fun.

Anyway, the campaign we've recently started is based on one of the module series called 'The Apostasy Gambit'. Not being able to leave well enough alone, I've worked under the hood to fix some inconsistencies, adjust for scaling and to suit to taste.  

In the opening chapter the players are tasked to bring down a debauched aristocrat who has delved into heretical artefacts, proscribed texts and has neglected to file form R451138 in his Imperial Tax Levy (in of itself a crime probably punishable by inquisitorial torture). 

Being an unrepentant nerd, I like using lots of play aids in my games to help make the imagined environment a little more real. Sketches, maps, manipulated photos of NPCs and drawings of the whacky settings, and of course lots of miniatures! 

For the debut chapter I wanted to have more of an 'open sandbox' that what was offered in the stock module and so encouraged the players to plan their own assault on the target mansion. As part of the preparation I gave them a 3D print of the mansion's grounds along with three wee 6mm Valkyrie gunship models (each, of course, full to the gunnels with Inquisitorial Stormtroopers). I find players respond to these analogue objects, helping to drive conversation and planning

(5 geek points for the first person to guess where this mansion's design is from.) :)

The players' opponents were a large and very well equipped personal security force serving the debauched aristo. For these I used the Elucidian Starstriders from the newish Rogue Trader boxed set. 

Red trousers and mustard coats all trimmed in white. Whew, yes, that is a bit loud! I had a lot of fun painting these in the garish family livery of their patron. 

The security detail was also reinforced by a heavy gun servitor. I used this excellent figure from Wargames Exclusive. Yes, he's a bit of a brute.

Ultimately, the player's will conclude their adventure by travelling to a long-abandoned cathedral which hides a HUGE secret to its origin.  In fact, the cathedral itself is just the tip of the mystery... quite literally. :)

The ancient Cathedral, overgrown by nature over the past thousand years...

Here's a couple visual hints. 

Yes, it's rather, um, 'Epic'.

Sorry to have geeked you out on this little indulgence, but I found it such great fun to work on. 

Thanks for dropping in folks!