Monday, 30 April 2018

Comic Review 30 // Aliens: Salvation by Dave Gibbons

My quest for cheap comics continued this week as browsed through my local library and came across another great comic. Once again we delve into the Dark Horse Publishings Alien Franchise and discover what crazy shit the Aliens are getting up to now!

Publisher: Dark Horse Publishing

Title: Alien: Salvation

Writer: Dave Gibbons

Artist: Mike Mignola

Pages: 56 (yes this is short)

Commercial Fluff: MIGNOLA! GIBBONS! NOWLAN! One of the most memorable Aliens tales ever told, now available as a premier-edition hardcover! When the most pious crewman aboard the Nova Maru is forced to abandon ship with his mad captain, the two are marooned on an inhospitable and remote world-and they're not alone . . . *Back in print for the first time in over a decade!

Review

Written in a time before Predators and Engineers this classic tale of Xenomorphs, pits humans against humans, humans against the company and finally humans verus Xenomorphs.

The tale begins on board the Nova Maru a cargo ship carrying an unknown package across the universe. In an unexplained accident the cargo gets lose on board and a seriously injured and freaked out Captain Foss immediately abandons ship, forcing Selkirk- one of his crew members, at gunpoint to go along with him. Sealing the fate of the other crew members who are sadly never seen again and easily written off.

The two men then crash the escape shuttle on the nearby planet, where everything seems to want to kill humans or at the very least make them sick. The rest of the tale is more about Foss who is injured and mentally unstable and Selkirk, a god-fearing man. Soon with food scarce and Selkirk starving the unthinkable happens but I will leave you to discover that part. The story then follows Slekirk's need to survive and the 58 pages finishes pretty quickly.

The biggest issue with this tale is the shortness of it at 58 pages. The initial spaceship scenes are rushed and unfocused, much more time could have been spent on that and the disposable crew in general. I also felt the xenomorph were under played, they just weren't scary and there are scenes were they are slaughtered in droves. They became to much of a background character for this to be a true Alien comic.

Mignola's art is interesting, I understand why people love it and it does help the storytelling but for me I have to say I'm not a true fan, sometimes it felt cluttered whilst at other times it seemed bare and lacksture. It seems like a love hate relationship for me.

Regardless of the above negatives Aliens: Salvation brings me back to simpler days of Xenomorphs, when they could be anywhere ready to strike. A true representation of the darkness that humanity fears. Interesting use of religion through out and overall a good comic just needed more space to expand and explore and of course more scary aliens! 3 out of 5.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Book Review 24 // Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

I feel like I am on a bit of a roll at the moment with my reading. I have now completed book nine of my Books of 2018, meaning I am halfway there! This time I went back to old faithful Warhammer 30k. Set in a timeline when Primarchs still walked the Stars and Space Marines had personalities. This one is #24 in the series. I must disclose I am not reading these in order but hope to start doing so soon. Let us jump in.

Title: Betrayer

Author: Aaron Dembski-Bowden

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 343

Commercial Fluff: The Shadow Crusade has begun. While the Ultramarines reel from Kor Phaeron’s surprise attack on Calth, Lorgar and the rest of the Word Bearers strike deep into the realm of Ultramar. Their unlikely allies, Angron and the World Eaters, continue to ravage each new system they come across – upon the garrison planet of Armatura, this relentless savagery may finally prove to be their undoing. Worlds will burn, Legions will clash and a primarch will fall.

Review

A great book and really intriguing read. One of the big noticeable developments seen within this book is that of the Primarch Lorgar. Last time I read a Horus Heresy book, Lorgar had been broken by the destruction of Monarchia (Thanks Smurfs), but now in this tale he is full of purpose, having rediscovered his passion and zeal. Leading both the Word Bearers and the World Eaters in a campaign to destroy the Ultmar system, ultimately crippling the Ultramarines. In my mind he has finally become a true Primarch, ruthless, cruel and full of self importance. Whilst we are on the topic we can't forget Angron of the World Eaters. This is the first true telling of the Red Angel within the Heresy series and it does not disappoint. He is angry, mean, bitter, ruthless, arrogant, tortured, wounded, pride filled and for some reason revered by his sons. Dembski does a great job portraying this damaged character and makes you want to like Angron and sons, some of the best scenes in the book involves Angron. To name a few parts of awesome we have to start with the Titan scene: Angron was meant to be rescued by Lorgar, but after Lorgar is cooked by a plasma blast Angron appears just in time to stop the titan from crushing the burnt Lorgar. We get to read about the monumental strength of Angron as he braces himself against the titans foot and holds it trapped long enough for a traitor titan to kill it. This scene is so cool, as it shows Angron has a brothers love for Lorgar even if he hates to show it. We also get treated to a few scenes of Angron putting several Primarchs on their asses which is always good for a laugh.

But hang on John is this book just about Primarchs? No it is not there are Space Marines too. Mostly showcasing the World Eaters and their flaws. How they went from once being proud warriors of the Emperor to bloodthirsty sons of a monster. It was interesting to read how the geneseed forces the sons to follow blindly their gene sire, even taking on the dreaded Butchers Nails to share in their father pain. Dembski does a great job at this and makes a believable Legion rather than a slaving hoard of gladitoral warriors. I loved the portay of Kharn in this and we start to see how he becomes the unstable madman of the 40k verse.

Overall if you like Primarch tales this is a great book, if you like World Eaters this is a great book, like Word Bearers this is a great book and if you hate Ultramarines you'll love this book. Go pick it up read and enjoy!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Book Review 23 // Neferata: Blood of Nagash by Josh Reynolds

With joy I have completed book Eight of my Reviews of 2018 collection. This time I stepped backed from sci-fi and stepped back into the realm fantasy. The setting is from the Games Workshop Warhammer franchise, a setting now destroyed for their Age of Sigmar games. So let us jump into a time legends and go back in time to were Vampires, orcs and dwarves roamed a land now lost.

Title: Neferata: Blood of Nagash

Author: Josh Reynolds

Publisher: Black Library

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 416

Commercial Fluff: Neferata is a queen without a kingdom. Lahmia has fallen, her vampire children have scattered and she is reduced to draining blood from the beasts of the mountains. After a chance encounter with a party of dwarfs, she sets her sights on a capital for her new empire – the stronghold of Silver Pinnacle. She calls her allies to battle – but can she truly trust Ushoran, Lord of Masks, and his bestial Strigoi vampires?

Review

A hard book to read in my opinion. I found the two time lines throughout the story extremely annoying and a real pain. Jumping back and forth is pointless and a confusing way of telling a story in my opinion. I would have preferred a more straightforward timeline. With the first half set in the distant past and then the main story line. I found myself enjoying the past story arc more, before suffering disappointment as the chapter jumped forward once more. One of the standout sections of the book was the siege of the dwarven stronghold. It felt like the author had always been heading to this point of the story and you really start to feel his writing come to life (must be a dwarf fan at heart). Overall I feel he was wrong author for this tale, if the story had been about the dwarves point of view we may have had an amazing tale, instead it's more meh and lacklustre. For this tale I can only give it a two out five.

Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts below.

Sector 102 // Case File 'Angles McManus', 'Pancakes Clydes' and the game of Shuggy.

Welcome to another S102 update. This time we are venturing to shady back alleys and visiting the local Shuggy Hall 'Angles'. Enjoy and drop me a comment below.

Still a work in progress.
Accessing B.A.R.N.E.Y..........Subject: Shuggy Mega City One...... Specialising on Sector 102.

+++Location: Angles+++
+++Host: Angles McManus+++
+++Beginning play back+++

"Welcome friends to Angles. The best damn Shuggy Hall this side of Sector 13. All the big time players have played here, even that pin-stripe freak Max Normal. Once saw that guy do the Booglariser.....Whatcha mean you don't know what that is....Guess we best start with the basics. Follow me" - McManus Owner of Angles

Shuggy 101: The Basics

The game of shuggy is played on an eight by four foot table with two cues, a lot of skill and 18 balls of varying colours-

Eight White balls - Worth 8 points each
Four Blue balls - Worth 10 points each
Three Green balls - Worth 12 points each
Two Yellow balls - Worth 14 points each
One Purple ball- Worth 15 points.

The object of the game is relatively simple: score as many points as possible by sinking the balls into the pockets. Each table has ten pockets of various heights, making shuggy an easy game to play but a difficult one to master.

Pro-Shuggy and Crime

Shuggy is a very popular pastime in Mega-City One and like most popular pastimes, there are those who will use it for nefarious ends. Gambling is strictly prohibited in the city and, as such, the outcome of a match cannot be bet on or any other form of a wager placed. But this is Mega-City One and as a result billions of credits pass hands across the city on results of this game.

It is a well known fact that crime and shuggy go hand in hand. And it is a rare night that a shuggy hall won't be visited by Jays (Judges) at least once. Alongside the obvious gambling crimes, there are other illegal activities that stem from shuggy  and shuggy meeting places. Number running and loan sharking are two common forms of crimes happening in the darkened halls, and many a would be champion has wound up in Resyk thanks to a shark demanding payment. Mobs also are a frequent problem within the Shuggy system. Using them as a legitimate front for their illegal activities, with behind-the-scenes dealing going on that would land all present a long stretch in the cubes. Protection, prostitution and counterfeiting are common arrests for Judges in and around shuggy halls, with slab walkers out to make some easy creds from punters outside the halls, to those heavies who wish to offer that extra little incentive to those who have won big on the tables.

Many halls also have side rooms designed to hold illegal games of cards and bingo. But in some of the more seedier halls, down in the basement can be found Bite Pits. With custom sound dampening and scan-negating equipment installed. These Pits are scenes of pure carnage, as bite fighters will attempt to literally rip into each other with their razor sharp teeth. Naturally once found out, the law stamps down hard and shuggy halls disappear over night as Judges arrests all involve and demolish the building completely,

Special Terms

Ten Commandments- The Player will pot a ball in every pocket without missing a single one. This is a high scoring shot and many
The Booglariser- The hardest shot in the game to make, the Booglariser consists of potting every single ball on the table with a single shot. It is a very rare event when a shuggy player can pull off this incredible shot.

Shuggy World-Wide

Brit-Cit- Shuggy is very popular in both Brit-Cit and on the Luna colony and both have provided world champions. The professional shuggy player can stand to make a vast amount of wealth if they are good at the sport, with the chance to win huge amounts of credits and trophies. Each year in Brit-Cit the Chalice is held. A major event sponsored by most of the leading shuggy table and equipment manufactures, the Chalice is the holy grail of shuggy and to win is to become wealthy.

Texas City- One of a number of shuggy variants is know as Southern Rules and originates from Texas City. Here the game is played on a slightly longer table and has 26 pockets instead of the normal ten. Each pocket is colour coded and numbered. With the highest numbered pocket being the most elevated one in the center of the table. But these rules are unpopular with the rest of the world and rarely played outside of Texas City.

Luna- The folks on the moon love their shuggy. But they have some strange ways of playing it. On Luna it is not uncommon for the shuggy hall owners to be involved with the Luna Mafia, or some other underworld society. The Luna Mafia controls almost every aspect of life on the Moon, and has sunk it's hooks into everything, from air and power supply to the Luna Justice Department itself. Luna shuggy is played much the same as regular shuggy but with a few distinct differences. the rules on Luna differ by each player getting only one shot on the table, no matter how many balls they sink. Needless to say, Luna players strive for excellence and mastery over their sport and will endeavor to out rank those from Earth and the other colonies.

Character Files: Angles McManus and Pancakes Clyde

Want to use these characters in your games of JDMG? Well now you can here are the rules for two of my iconic characters of my own creation.

Name: Jimmy McManus
Alias: Angles
Age: 71
Gender: Male
Race: Human

History: Hailing from Cal-Hab, Angles rose through the Shuggy Halls of the Northern Wastes. After turning professional Angles traveled to Brit-Cit and started climbing up the World Rankings. His career highlight (as he reached retirement) came when Angles faced off against Max Normal in the Hondo Open Finals. Angles ended up losing but with the winnings he retired and bought a Shuggy Hall in Sector 102. With 'Angles' open, the new Shuggy hall started attracting all the big names including Max Normal, whom has over the years become firm friends with Angles McManus.

Lvl.1 Hero

Credit: 90 Creds
Move: 5"
Agility: +2
Shoot: +0
Melee: +1
Melee Dice: 2D
Will: +1
Armour: +3
Hits: 2
Equipment: Pool Cue (Club). Handgun, Leathers.
Talents: Luck of Grud, Agile.

Name: Pancakes Clydes
Job Title: Shuggy Hall Manager
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Race: Gorilla
History: After a brief period of running with the local Ape Gang Swamp Skunks, Pancakes wanted a better life and got hired as a bouncer for 'Angles'. Pancake slowly proved his worth and was soon working the bar inside. As Angles McManus grew older he slowly relied more and more on Pancakes until he finally decided to make Pancakes the manager. Under Pancakes rule the Shuggy Hall has prospered, with a mixed clientele of Apes and Humans 'Angles' is viewed as the most open minded bar in MC-1.

Lvl.1 Hero

Credits: 75 Creds.
Move: 5"
Agility: +0
Shoot: +0
Melee: 3D
Will: +0
Armour: +0
Hits:2
Equipment: Crowbar (Club), Handgun

Thanks for reading.

Comic Review 29 // Aliens: Inhuman Condition

Was browsing the comic section of the local library when I came across a hardback spine with Aliens written on it. Now as you may have seen I'm on a bit of an Alien spree (Out of the Shadows and River of Pain), so I due I had to sit down and read it. Lucky for me it is only 56 pages so devoured quicker than a colonist on LV426. Here are the details:

Publisher: Dark Horse Books

Title: Aliens: Human Condition

Writer: John Layman

Artists: Sam Keiths

Pages: 56

Commercial Fluff: On a distant, frozen world, "artificial persons" are manufactured in discreet seclusion. With formidable new security synthetics coming online, how better to test their mettle than against a hive of deadly xenomorphs? But as "socialization specialist" Jean DuPaul sees her ever-more-human android charges sent to their destruction, she learns that the most savage species in the universe is man. From writer John Layman, creator of the award-winning Chew, and acclaimed artist Sam Kieth comes Aliens: Inhuman Condition, a hardcover graphic novella from the pages of Dark Horse Presents that shines a dark, disturbing light on the Aliens universe.

Overview

Set after the first two motion pictures, we arrive on a frozen world where a factory of Artificial Humans co exists near an xenomorphs nest. Working at the factory is a disturbed Jean Dupaul a character tormented by her past xenomorph attack experience. Throughout the story the plot that is unveiled makes you question what/whom is true and what is a myth. I don't want to ruin the plot so I am trying to be as vague as possible; the tale is ultimately about a broken but strong woman dealing with her orderal and seeking revenge on a company that doesn't care about anyone. The Aliens are a second thought in this book and play more into the role of a bogeyman throughout.

For me the plot was interesting and was nice to see a damage character made stronger by the Aliens, instead of a gun ho hero like Ripley. The main struggle I had was the artwork. It made the whole story more child like and whimsical instead of moody and dark as was more fitting in my opinion.

For me this is a solid 3.5 out of 5

Beer Review 58 // Dunham Kekriek

Welcome back fine drinkers to another beer review. I had been on a bit of break as far as the beers go. But now I am back and ready to get going. So without further ado let us just dive head first in.

Details

Name: Dunham Kekriek
Style: Fruit Beer
Brewery: Brasserie Dunham // Dunham Brewery
Country: Canada, Quebec.
Price: $12 (big bottle, but damn is Quebec a pricy provence)
ABV: 6%
Commercial Fluff: Sour mashed golden wheat ale fermented with local sour cherries from tougas orchards.

Overview

Label: Nothing that special. Russian style font for some reason and a blotted red effect. Feel this is something they really could improve on.
Sight: A bold and stunning red. Pours with a thin white head that is quick to dissipate. Looks good overall. 
Aroma: Cherries, cherries and more cherries. There is a sourness to the aroma that justs let's you know it is going to taste great.
Taste: Definitely cherry but also a hint of raspberry about it. The sourness makes way for more of a tart finish but this is a great tasting beer.

Final thoughts

I've been lucky enough to enjoy quite a lot of Dunham beers and brewery has delivered every time on flavour and taste. This beer was refreshing and tasty, I just wish I didn't have to keep driving to Quebec to find them or paying the Quebec price tag.

Have you tried it? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Comic Review 28 // Judge Dredd Origins

Publisher: Rebellion Publishing

Title: Judge Dredd: Origins

Writer: John Wagner

Artists: Carlos Ezquerra // Kev Walker

Pages: 194

Cover: Brian Bolland

Overview

Story The Connection // Script John Wagner // Art Kev Walker

This tale begins with a rain soaked gang of muties infiltrating Mega-City One in order to deliver a package to the Grand Hall of Justice. Along the way they kill multiple victims gaining the attentions of Dredd. As Dredd pursues the gang of muties through Mega-City One he is hounded by recurring dreams of Chief Judge Fargo the founder of the Judge System and his clone brother Rico Dredd, both of whom are long since dead (Rico was actually killed by Dredd). This story is pretty interesting as you are dying to know what is in the damn box. Dredd seems old and tired (maybe due to the dreams) and the fact that it is constantly raining can't be a good sign. Nice opening story to wet the palette.

Story Origins // Script John Wagner // Art Carlos Ezquerra

On to the Origins story. We join Dredd as he organizes a team of Judges to assist him on a mission into the Cursed Earth. It is revealed that the mutant's package contained a DNA sample of none other than Chief Judge Eustace Fargo the founding father of the Justice system along with a ransom demand for a billion credits in return for Fargo. To make matters even more mysterious the sample was took from a living person even though Fargo is believed to have died in 2051. As the team of Judges come to terms with the mission it is also revealed that Fargo's Tomb has always been empty and that the Judges have been lying to rookies for years...
Soon Dredd, the team and a truck full of credits head out into the Cursed Earth. Having barely travelled a day the team come across a scene of carnage. A helltrekker has been ambushed and young child taken, after some convincing Dredd splits the team and personally seeks out the missing child. This was to become the first of many mistakes. From here on in I won't spoil the story, but we get to discover the origins of the justice system, how exactly Fargo rose to power and the legacy left behind. We also discover that even Fargo is wasn't perfect and that the Justice System was built on misinformation and lies, but I will leave that for you to discover on your own.

Final thoughts

Overall this is a great story, John Wagner once again confirming that he is the one and only true Judge Dredd storyteller. The art by Carlos Ezquerra is also up to the usual high quality, though I am a fan of Henry Flint there is something about Ezquerra that just makes me warm and happy inside. What could have made it a 5 out of 5? To be honest I'm not sure. It lacked the epicness needed to push it through to a five (I hope that makes sense?).

4 out of 5

What are your thoughts on this telling of the father of Justice? Drop me comment.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Comic Review 27 // Dredd Urban Warfare

I'm back! It's took a while due to me being distracted with work and my reading challenge, but I have finally picked up a comic and read it. So which franchise did I go with? Dredd of course... so head to the iso cubes and let us jump in.

Publisher: IDW Publisher

Title: Dredd Urban Warfare

Writer: Arthur Wyatt // Matt Smith

Artists: Henry Flint // Paul Davidson

Pages: 101

Cover: Henry Flint

Overview:

Made up of multiple stories the first two are Ma-Ma & Underbelly, I have already reviewed these (see here) so I will move onto Uprise.

Story Uprise- Written by Arthur Wyatt Art by Paul Davidson

This story is set in The Spit a strip of habitable land between two reclamation zones. Basically the structures of the old world that is slowly getting covered by the new. It's an area of high crime and even higher poverty. A place where the old world struggles to hang on whilst the mega corporations move in to build a fresh. The Judges of this area have lost the support of the locals and to make matters worse a rookies destroys the local leaders car leading to widespread riots.

As the riots spread throughout the area, Dredd arrives to lend a hand. But in classic Dreddverse story arc the local leader is assassinated by an unknown assassin and fake news is spread stating that he was hired by the Judges. Leading to the riots escalating further, soon the Judges are losing control and the call is made to bring in the robot auxiliaries.

This sets us up for the second half of the tale and as the story unfolds you see the manipulation of the justice systems and how the mega corp is organizing all the crimes and riots to bring about the fall of the Spit. Soon it is up to Dredd to find out the danger and save the Strip.

Review:

Nothing groundbreaking to the story it is pretty straight forward. What you do have is a tight storyline with a straight forward villain. The artwork is the true hero of the tale and I can't wait to see more of the Dredd movie comics soon. Solid read 3 out of 5.

Craftworld Iyanden 16 // Corsairs, Pirates, Outcasts and Exodites.


Welcome to the Corsair/Pirate/Outcast and Exodite page. For you to have found this page you have either followed the link from the dictionary page or traversed the webways to join me. First up a big thanks for joining my nerdy fun, I hope to slowly expand this page as I learn more about the Aeldari and even include links as I build and paint some of these infamous scoundrels. So pin back your pointy ears and let us get our lore game on!

Corsairs/Pirates/Outcasts

My favourite section. Iyanden is lucky in the fact that it has Prince Yriel and his Eldritch Raiders the most infamous and feared group of reavers. But many Craftworlds home and give rise to these bands of marauding Eldar. The reason being the Path. Sometimes an eldar personal will seek freedom and adventure and will be unable to do so within the limits of the path, so they leave to discover themselves. Others like Yriel are Exiled for acts/crimes that could damage the safety of others. Sometimes personalities are so strong a how house/fleet/army will join their leader into Exile. Here are examples I have found so far.
Technically the original Eldritch Raider scheme, it was later recon to become Altitoc's scheme. Image taken from Rogue Trader (1980's). Love the colour scheme.

Alai Mercenary Corps- Unknown

Alai-Myan Alliance- Unknown

Alaitoc Warp Hunters- Unknown

Amharoc - Allies of Yvraine. Lead by Thraellen Longblade on the Mansbane.

Azure Flame - Unknown

Balestorm Avengers- The Balestorm Avengers are one of the Eldar groups operating within the Jericho Reach

Black Suns- Unknown

Children of Thorns- A weaker Dark Eldar Kabal. Exiled from Commorragh, the Children of Thorns consist of ex-slaves, fugitives, dregs and fallen lords who have come together in an attempt to regain their glory.

Crow Spirits- Unknown

Duke Sliscus' Sky Serpents- The Sky Serpents are a group of Dark Eldar Corsairs under the command of Traevelliath Sliscus, better known as Duke Sliscus. Taking their name from Sliscus's nickname, "The Serpent", the Sky Serpents are infamous across the galaxy and known for their unpredictable behavior and attack patterns.

Ellarion's Raiders- Lead by Ulthyr Ellarion the Corsair Lord and are active in the Calixis Sector. His motives for being in the sector are unclear. Some say he is searching for a precious Soul Stone, others that he simply revels in the thrill of the hunt and finds Mankind to be excellent sport. Battlefleet Calixis has pursued Ellarion and his raider fleet for four centuries to no avail. He frequently raids Merchant Fleet shipping in the sector, having scored over a thousand successful raids against shipments

Executioners corsair band - Played a role in the Gothic War.

Fuethan - Aggressive, impetuous and bold, they are quick anger and ever ready to go to war.
Golden Squadron- Unknown

Howling Serpents- Unknown

Mor'phann- Shun the aid of other Aeldari and have become insular, gloomly and dour. These Corsair follow death's path and a viewed as a sinister force.

Myan Agents of Silence- Unknown

Scarlet Command- Unknown. Absorbed into eldritch Raiders.

Sky Raiders- The Sky Raiders are a warband of Eldar Corsairs. They fought in support of Craftworlds Mymeara and Alaitoc in the invasion of Betalis III and the battle of the Karina Nebula fought immediately afterwards. They Sky Raiders are notorious for the viciousness of their attacks, raids of such brutality that they are often mistaken for incursions by Dark Eldar.

Sky Reavers- Unknown

Soul Reavers Pirates- Gothic War

Steeleye Reavers- Strong ties to Ulthwe with many of their members hailing from there.

Sunblitz Brotherhood- The Sunblitz Brotherhood are a group of Eldar
Corsairs believed by the Ordo Xenos to be aligned with Craftworld Alaitoc. They took part in the Eldar invasion of Betalis III in conjunction with Alaitoc, Mymeara, the Void Dragons and Sky Raiders. They are known to have a tense relationship with the Void Dragons, and during the battle in the Betalis system they may have fired on one another.

Twilight Swords- The Twilight Swords are a band of Eldar Corsairs who are particularly active in the Koronus Expanse. First being identified in the Heathen Stars in 789.M41 by Rogue Traders, unlike most Eldar Corsairs who usually tread the Path of the Outcast, they maintain close ties to Craftworlds such as Kaelor. They have been seen fighting alongside Kaelor's Aspect Warriors and Dragonships.
The Twilight Swords seem to relish in their piratical and wild lifestyle however. Dressed in gold and crimson red, they prefer wild melees and lightning-fast raiding to traditional combat. The Warband seems to also be bound by a complex code of honor, though they nonetheless are known to violate these edicts if it puts them at a disadvantage

Void Dragons- The Void Dragons are a group of Eldar Corsairs known for their use of the Void Dragon Phoenix and Vampire Hunters fighter crafts. They are perhaps one of the most infamous and dangerous Corsair warbands, operating across the galaxy and estimated to operate at least 3,500 ships. They have been encountered in the Cadian Gate, Tau Empire and the Halo Stars. Their attacks hold no predictable pattern, and range from ambushes against Chaos raiders near the Eye of Terror to the mass enslavement of the Imperial Penal Colony of Vorenz-IV, to fighting against the Ork Empire of Charadon. They also saw action in the Betalis III System in conjunction with Mymeara, Alaitoc, and other Corsair bands like the Sunblitz Brotherhood. In 140.M40 the Void Dragons became involved in the conflict on Vern IV between the Death Spectres and the Kabal of the Envenomed Thorn. Currently, they are under the leadership of the haughty Princess Saarania.

Void Warrior- Unknown

Void Watchers- Unknown

Xian's Black Raiders- Allies of Ulthwe. Absorbed into the Eldritch raiders.

Yriel's Eldritch Raiders- The Eldritch Raiders are a fleet of Eldar Corsairs under the command of Prince Yriel. Though Yriel and his Corsairs have officially left their Craftworld of Iyanden to raid Imperial shipping, the Eldritch Raiders still respond to the defense of their Craftworld in times of need. Their raids have been responsible for claiming over eleven thousand Human, Hrud, Tau, Chaos, and Tau ships.

Exodites


"There’s only one true path in life – the path that leads to war" - Mauryon of Biel-tan 

Ybaric Exodites: Dragon Knights allies of Iyanden hailing from Halathel which was destroyed by Hive Fleet Naga.

Worldsingers: Gifted Exodite Eldar who are able to manipulate nature, roughly equivalent in ability and role to Bonesingers of the Craftworlds. Pure of spirit, Worldsingers are one with nature and can spontaneously grow vegetation and forestry from seemingly thin air.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Book Review 22 // Alien: Out of the Shadows

With surprising speed that amazed and shocked me, I have completed book seven for my Books of 2018. It is a journey back into the Aliens franchise (link to an earlier review), to the time period set 30+ years after the original film in the time that Ripley spent a sleep in her escape pod. Having enjoyed the previous book I was excited to read this and over the easter weekend was able to complete it at speed. So let us jump into the review.

Title: Alien: Out of the Shadows

Author: Tim Lebbon

PublisherTitan Books

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 352

Commercial Fluff: As a child, Chris Hooper dreamed of monsters. But in deep space, he found only darkness and isolation. Then on planet LV178, he and his fellow miners discovered a storm-scoured, sand-blasted hell - and trimonite, the hardest material known to man.

When a shuttle crashed into the mining ship Marion, the miners learn that there was more than trimonite deep in the caverns. There was evil, hibernating - and waiting for suitable prey.

Hoop and his associates uncover a nest of Xenomorphs, and hell takes on new meaning. Quickly they discover that their only hope lies with the unlikeliest of saviors...

Review

The start of the book is pretty actioned packed as we meet the heroes of the book. With their space station seriously damaged during a failed docking action. The crew are shocked to discover the second ship now attempting to dock is the home to three black insect like creatures that have seemingly eaten the miners of the planet below. As the small group of survivors take stock of the horrors unfolding around them a small lifecraft slowly moves towards them and docks. Revealing one crew member Ripley.


It’s fitting to throw Ripley into this mess, though very confusing how it was never mentioned in the second film (more on that later). The author did great work in showcasing Ripley's badass character and how damaged she is mentally after realising how much time has elapsed. It was also interesting to see the return of the android Ash, not in a physical form but as a manipulative code within the shuttles computers.

Soon Ripley is explaining how much shit the survivors are truly in, explaining what had happened to her crew and what to expect when they finally face the xenomorph threat. For me the story really comes to life when they have to venture down to the planet and discover the origins of the alien threat. I don't want to put in too many spoilers but expect tunnels, aliens, spaceships and alien ruins. As the ending approaches and the author takes an easy escape route and plays the memory wipe game, setting Ripley up to be found in the second movie with patchy memories and no remembrance of Hoop or the doomed LV-178.


Overall I really enjoyed this and finished the book in 4 days (new record for me). This book has made me realize I need to really expand my sci-fi reading and so I will be on the search for more of this Franchise.


Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts.

Book Review 75 // Legion by Dan Abnett

With this forced leave from work I am finding time to start working my way through some of the bookshelves of shame. It's crazy to th...