Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The News Spreads

The profound impact that Gary and his game have had on our culture has become evident just by recognizing the variety of those commenting on his passing, from the serious - NPR's "All Things Considered - to the much less so - lolcats.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Another empty chair at the table

Gaming boards around the net have been abuzz with the news - Gary Gygax, co-creator of the D&D game, has passed away. Much of the talk has revolved around the personal interactions people had with Gary. The times they shared a drink with him at a gaming convention, the games they played around his Lake Geneva kitchen table during the game's formative stages, etc. I'm unfortunately unable to contribute to these discussions. Though I have undoubtedly walked the same halls as he did during the dozen or so years I've been attending GenCon, I never once met the man. However, as a quick scan of the posts on this blog will indicate, I was just as deeply affected by the man's work. My oldest and strongest friendships extend back in time to a kitchen table, a pile of books, a collection of oddly shaped dice, and a collective curiosity and imagination that was simply not sated by the stories told by others. While most of these friendships have moved away from gaming years ago, there is no denying their origins.

Despite the fact that the role-playing game label has been increasingly usurped by the World of Warcrafts and Final Fantasies - games that are in fact most easily characterized by their singular focus on combat and distinct lack of player-contributed storytelling - there is little question as to the importance of Gary's contributions and I and legions of others would be much poorer without him.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Never Satisfied

So, after reviewing my chapter's color scheme the other day, I realized that I wasn't exactly happy with the vet sergeant's scheme and felt that, across all the variations, the scheme didn't work all that well. So, with some minor tweaks, I present to you the current, and hopefully final, scheme for my budding marine army:

Basic Marine & Sergeant

Veteran Marine & Veteran Sergeant

I have been toying with using these guys as a Blood Angels successor chapter. If I do so, I will obviously need to have a Death Company. For that, I am thinking of using the following scheme. The idea is that, after the marine succumbs to the Black Rage, his armor is painted black and stripped of all markings, as he is no longer brethren to his former squadmates. The only indicator of his prior life is the color of his helmet, which designates his one-time status within the chapter. Overtop of this newly blackened armor is draped a red robe that symbolizes the blood lust that now drives him. Yeah, I know, the fluff is a little bit over the top here, but hey, what is 40K if not cheesy fiction?

Finally, the newest version of the Bolter and Chainsword's Space Marine Painter has a bunch of cool new wargear and unit marking options, many of which you can see on the preceding illustrations. Toying around with those, I present a veteran sergeant assigned to assault squad 7 of the second company and a marine officer, perhaps a Lieutenant (back in the days of Rogue Trader, space marine companies had a hierarchy of commanding officers rather than the single company captain of today):