Monday, February 24, 2020

Shantytown Anyverse

(Image from:  Ashes of Dystopia)
Since I'm a mediocre painter, I'm a big fan of cardboard terrain.

Come to think of it, I'm not much better at assembling pre-painted buildings either.

Which is why I like Runestone Entertainment's Model Card Shanty Town.

While actual shanty towns are, sadly, an all-too common sight in our world, they're often the settings for Dystopian-style games and stories, also known as Crapsack Worlds.

So they can fit anywhere from Terra Firma to a recently terraformed world.

Runestone's Shanty Town currently can be downloaded for $6.95.  But Drive Thru RPG often has sales, or even offers stuff for free.  So check the site as often as you can.

You can either print the material on card stock yourself or take it to a print shop.  (There's a local print shop I like going to because their card stock is sturdier and their ink better quality).

This particular product comes in a PDF format and is 23 pages long.  This includes assembly instructions and various Building Templates (white paper "frames") and Texture Templates (exterior) in the following scales:  28 mm, 20 mm (1/72), 15 mm (1/100), and 1/144th.

Not all the Exterior Templates fit completely over the walls and roof.

This is deliberate in order to give buildings that slap-dash, scavenged look.

I assembled 9, 28 mm buildings.

First, are some "public buildings," which could be stores, warehouses or dive-bars.

 Here's the front view:

Here's the right-side view of the "general store," (first building on the left), and the rear views of the other two buildings.

The left-side view of the "general store," along with rear views of he other two buildings.  (Their sides are just plain walls with no unique features).

Next are some "private buildings," which could be dwellings, or storage facilities.

Front view:

Rear view:

Once again, the side views are plain walls with no unique features.

The last three buildings are small sheds.

Front view:

Rear view of the first two buildings:

While I question my skills at assembling cardboard models, I liked how these structures turned out because they're suppose to look decrepit.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Pass in Review: WH40K Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle)


I was originally planning on only raising an Astra_Militarum force for Warhammer 40,000 (WH40K).

However, a few serendipitous events happened that motivated me to expand my force of common foot soldiers.

First, I read Faith & Fire, a novel about the Adepta_Sororitas (Sisters of Battle), or for us "cynical fans" Nuns with Guns.

I liked it so much, I read the sequel, Hammer & Anvil.

There's an additional novel and novella, compiled in an omnibus with the earlier books by James Swallow that I'm currently not in the mood to buy.

But shortly after reading the first books back-to-back, someone offered to sell his painted metal Sisters of Battle miniatures collection for such a great price I couldn't pass up the opportunity.  While I'm not in the mood to buy a book that I've essentially read half of already, I'm always in the mood to buy figures I don't have to paint.

Since this was two years ago, I'm afraid I can't remember the guy's name, nor what I actually paid for the figures.

Anyway, these figures dated back to WH40K 2nd Edition.

The problem for me--and a considerable number of fans of the Naughty Nuns--was that we had rules for 6th, 7th and finally 8th_edition.  None of which featured the Adepta Sororitas.  So folks had to make due with old models and old Codexes and wedge them into their games.

Then, amid much rumors and anticipation, the Sisters of Battle Army Set was released with much fanfare in December 2019.

While the new plastic models look stunning, I wasn't in the mood to add to my Mountain of Shame.

All I wanted was the codex and game accessories, which Games_Workshop (GW) assured it's long-suffering fans--again, with much fanfare--that additional material would be available shortly after the New Year.

Fortunately, GW made good on their promise and I scarfed-up the codex, data cards and dice.

Now that I have all the necessary 8th Edition Crunch to run an Adepta Sororitas task force (in)competently, and Fluff to maintain my geek cred; I can finally post a decent Pass in Review.


Somewhere in the Sector Fronteris... Adepta Sororitas task force assembles.

The first vehicle to approach the apparently abandoned settlement is a Chimera armored personnel carrier (APC).

This vehicle is actually part of my Inquisitor Retinue, but since the color scheme is about the same does double-duty, serving with both the Inquisition (a.k.a. The Emperor's Pet Psychopaths) and the Adepta Sororitas.

I'm including this vehicle because it is part of the Sisters' order of battle, according to the Witch_Hunters Codex (3rd_Edition), but seems to have been dropped by this edition.  I figure I could use the stats from the Astra Militarum's Splatbook.

Next in the advance column is Rhino...

...followed by an Immolator.

The Adepta Sororitas' vehicle laager-up around the abandoned settlement.

My figures were painted based on the Order_of_Our_Martyred_Lady, in honor of Saint Katherine, the founder of their order and probably the most commonly fielded of the Orders Militant.

Since these figures are dressed mostly in black I decided to remove the settlement buildings for a clearer image of the miniatures.

(1st Battle Sisters Squad)

Adepta Sororitas' task forces are known as "Missions." These are considered the smallest organizational units capable of independent action and form the military arm of the Adeptus Ministorum, a.k.a. The Ecclesiarchy.  In addition to forming the main militant arm of the Church Militant, the Adepta Sororitas also works closely with the Inquisition’s Ordo Hereticus.

Note on higher echelons:  Two or more Missions form a Commandery, two or more Commanderies for a Preceptory, while the various Orders are divided between two Convents—Convent Sanctorum and Convent Prioris.

My particular Mission consists of two squads of Battle Sisters, each armed with an assortment of Bolters,Flamers/Storm_Bolters, and Meltaguns, with one sister bearing the Simulacrum_Imperialis and led by a power sword-wielding Sister_Superior.

(2nd Battle Sisters Squad)
With a little finagling I might be able to select some figures from the two Battle Sisters Squads and form a single Celestian squad instead.

The Battle Sisters/Celestian Squads will need close-assault specialists or fire support.  And that's where the Dominion and Retributor squads come-in.

(Dominion or Retributor?)

From what I can gather, the four figures pictured above could form either a Dominion or Retributor Squad.  I'll just need to clarify what they are at the start of any game.

If the Adepta Sororitas can be considered religious zealots, then the Sisters_Repentia are fanatics.  These women seek atonement for their real, or perceived sins and form the Sororitas' suicide squads.

Here's my full squad of Repentias:

Since the picture looks a bit crowded, I split the squad in half for a better view of the Chainsword-wielding Repentias, driven-on by their Mistress:

My Adepta Sororitas Mission includes two special characters.

First, is the shotgun-wielding preacher, Uriah Jacobus, bearing the Banner of Sanctity:

Second, and commander of my Adepta Sororitas Mission, is none other than Canoness Veridyan, the iconic poster-girl for the Sisters of Battle:

(The original Canoness_Veridyan cover art by John_Blanche)
While the Adepta Sororitas aren’t genetically mutated enhanced like the Space Marines.  Despite this, they can count on divine intervention in the form a living saint:

 Saint Celestine.

Another version of Saint Celestine and her attendant Geminae Superia:

Here’s my entire Adepta Sororitas Mission, or as many as I could squeeze into one image, minus the three transports shown earlier:

Overall I’m very happy with my Sisters of Battle collection.  While I stated earlier I wasn’t planning on adding to my Mountain of Shame, I could use a few Hopitallers to act as the Mission’s medics or field chirurgeons.  So I hope there’ll be some available separately that I could purchase without having to get an entire starter kit.

Since this is an older set of metal miniatures, some figures, especially the Repentias, required some touch-up paint work.  I also added the sand flocking to the black bases, minus the flying figures of Saint Celestine and her Geminae Superia.

I'm sure the new plastic models will be more detailed.  But for the most part, I like the weight and feel of metal miniatures.  I've had to add washers underneath the bases of my WH40K plastic figures because they're too light and tip over easy.  My metal ones can too, especially if their pose is too extreme, like with my Repentias.

And it's not just the infantry-type figures that have a balance problem.  The flamer attached to the commander’s hatch of the Mission's Rhino is too unbalanced.  I’d rather not glue the hatch down, but I haven’t found the right sized washer to weigh down the underside of the hatch.

Bibliography of Related Videos:

In addition to leafing through my new Adepta Sororitas Codex, I watched several videos on the subject that I couldn't manage to weave into my review's narrative.

So I've listed them below, starting with The Crunch

—Snipe and Wib, of Codex Complaint, present the Adepta Sororitas' First Codex (2nd Ed WH40K).

—Uncle Atom Smasher, of Tabletop Minions, helps players determine whether or not they need to buy the Adepta Sororitas' Limited Edition Army Box Set.

Norn Queen Alexis also has an unboxing video of the Adepta Sororitas Limited Edition Army Box Set, as does Sword 'n' Steele.

Striking Scorpion 82 discusses the new Adpeta Sororitas Codex (from the Box Set).

—For anyone planning to buy the new figures, The Painting Coach has tips on how to paint Sisters of Battle based on the Order of Our Martyred Lady.

Norn Queen Alexis hosts a Beginner’s Guide video.

—There’s plenty of visual information on Adpeta Sororitas Fluff

One Mind Syndicate has 4 videos, starting with:  Sisters of Battle 40 Facts (Part 1) and Part 2, as well as their origins, while delving in to what they don’t tell you about the Sisters of Battle.

—In another Norn Queen Alexis video, our hostess does a rundown of the Adepta Sororitas’ various Orders, as does Arch Warhammer.

WH40K Theories newcomers’ intro video answers the question:  Who are the Sisters of Battle?

—And for anyone wanting to set their games to earlier eras than the 40th Millennium, Arch Warhammer has a video on The Sisters of Battle in the Age of Apostasy.

Regardless of how involved you are in WH40K, I hope you enjoy the information presented here.