Friday, 29 November 2019

Book Review 62 // Nightmare Aslyum

I am loving the Alien franchise at the moment, it is seriously competing with my Judge Dredd time which is great. I am finding that these tales appeal to my warhammer sci-fi needs without being grim dark, they are instead just horror dark. I feel like I am trying to say that they just more believe able. With that in mind we follow Earth Hive with the aptly named Nightmare Aslyum.

Book Details

Title: Aliens: Book 2. Nightmare Asylum

Author: Steve Perry

Publisher: Bantam Books

Type: Paperback
Page Count: 277

Commercial Fluff: Wilks, Billie, and Bueller were the last survivors of a devastating assault on the aliens' home planet. But once their return to the solar system made them refugees once more, fleeing Earth and its alien infestation in a desperate attempt to stay alive. Now, in an otherwise unmanned military transport, they hurtle through space. Destination: unknown. Little do they know that the cargo they carry with them is a legacy of death that they will ultimately have to face. Nor do they know that they head toward a remote colony and military outpost. This pocket of humanity at the very edges of space is at the mercy of a general names Spears with an agenda all his own. Now Billie, Wilks, and Bueller face a new nightmare, and it is nothing they could ever have imagined: a gift of madness from an alien world, unbalanced mind, and the experiences of a mysterious pilot named Lieutenant Ellen Ripley.

Review

When the first book ended (Earth Hive), I was left feeling - "oh shit, well I guess everyone is dead. Goodbye human race", this of course is not true as Earth has it colonies and some of these even don't have xenomorph on them (though they seem rare). But it also left me with a hunger to read more, what happens next so I had to grab this book when I saw it. I was glad to see it was still Steve Perry at the helm which meant the story would continue as planned. And it did. The tale jumps in with Wilks, Billie and Bueller (well half of him anyway) on a space transport that has seen better days, heading to some unknown destination. What could possibly go wrong!?

A lot it turns out.

Up first Billie starts suffering from Nightmares that empathetic beings suffer when they can sense a xenomorph. Which sadly can mean only one thing, their transport has a few extra passengers. A search of the ship reveals a section that had been in lock down containing the remains of four once frozen infected humans. Sadly the presence of Wilks and Billie affected the machines and the bodies unfroze allowing the xenomorphs lose on the old tiny ship.

What follows is a terrorizing ordeal to deal with these creatures with only Billie realistically able to do anything as the other two are injured. I was seriously unnerved by the whole experience and this was a great opening to the book. I am not sure I would survive in a situation similar to this. Following this ordeal our trio are happy to discover they are reaching their destination a far flung military base with an attached mining colony.

All relief quickly passes as we meet General Spears a gene grown human with a pet xenomorph Queen! Spears has a dream of training Xenomorphs to carry guns, in the hopes of returning to Earth and using them to wipe out what he calls the feral xenomorphs... This man is crazy and to make matters worst he has fed all the colonists to the aliens, along with half his troops in order to make enough drone warriors!

What I like the most about the tale is how Perry handles it all, the aliens seem real, he gives them a realistic behavior and motivation which explains why they follow Spears, they also show how quickly they can turn when given the chance. Spears is a totally ruthless psycho which is always great in the villain, you just love to hate him. Wilks is continuing his journey of self worth and Billie is becoming a bit of badass mini Ripley if I'm honest. On the topic of Ripley, she barely made it into the book, I seriously mean barely. She is there for maybe two paragraphs, so don't buy into the back cover.

Is this the best book in the world...hell no. But the story is action packed and a fun read. More for a fan of the series than a just go grab and read. I shall now move on to the third book Aliens: Female War and see how we go.

Have you read this title? What are your thoughts? Let me know below and please sign up to the blog on the left side or follow me on instagram via @beerswithpeps

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Personal Musing 03 // Reno on the house

Welcome back everyone. I hope you enjoy these personal musings, allowing you a quick look into what I am up to and what I am thinking about. Today's post is about the last few months of renovations on the house. It's not really hobby related but I wanted to clear some space on the hard drive, so this will be more of a photo dump.

Basically with the family expanding we decided it was time to revamp the house. Up until now the house was divided basically into two. One apartment on the ground floor and then a multi roomed apartment upstairs. With the arrival of the newest member to the family it was decided to switch apartments. Now the upstairs hadn't been updated in a long while so the project turned out being bigger than planned. Here was the to do list:

Electronics - rewiring
Bathroom - Rip out/redo
Kitchen - Demo/Rip out/redo/flooring
Bedrooms - Paint/flooring
Hallways - Paint/flooring
Dining Room - Paint/flooring
Living Room - Paint/flooring
Children's Playroom - Window and flooring
Studio/Office - Paint/flooring

As you can see the it is mostly painting, but the rewiring, kitchen and bathroom were big issues. Anyways I took some photo's and will dump them here for future reference. If you want to comment feel free to drop them below.

Original Living Room
Alt Angle Living Room
Living Room
Weird box room of doors.
Old Bathroom
Old vanity unit
Kitchen Island
Hallway
Patio

Stairs to Bedrooms
Master Bedroom
Kids room
Giant Wardrobe

Kitchen Island gone
Old Kitchen Units gone

Washroom Old tiles wall gone.
Master Bedroom new paint scheme

Vanity gone
Fixing some bad old plumbing

Love some of the moldings on the ceiling
New Marble and kitchen units
Loving the clean, light colours and the new lighting
New Tiles going in
New Range Hood and the tiling
Kitchen is coming together nicely

New sofa and pictures going up finally.














































































































































































As I write this the kitchen appliances are getting delivered this weekend and the studio/office/gaming room is still being built. I plan to continue adding to this page as I take photos and finish areas. I hope you have enjoyed this sneak peak into my home and if you have questions reach out below. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Beer Review 71 // Lancaster Bomber by Marston's Brewery

Whilst searching the beer selection at the local LCBO, I stumbled across a brew I have not had in a long time. Marston's Lancaster Bomber, I remember serving this brew in a few bars I once worked at back in the UK. So I picked up a few cans in the hopes of it tasting as good as I remember or if I happen to have a hazy memory of this brew.

Details

Name: Lancaster Bomber

Style: English Bitter

Brewery: Marston's Brewery

Country: Burton-on-Trent, England.

ABV: 4.4%


Commercial Fluff:

This chestnut-coloured beer is brewed using pale ale and crystal malt, which gives it a full-bodied flavour. A finely balanced hop character is enriched by the late addition of Styrian Goldings to give a prominent floral hop aroma and fuller flavour.

Own Opinion

Artwork: Dull to be honest, could have done or produced something a lot more fun. It definitely doesn't stand out on shelf.

Pour: A very nice light chestnut colour, with a cream coloured foam on top.

Aroma: Malty sweetness and some floral and grassy hop notes. Smells like a real beer :)

Taste: A nice light fruit taste like raisin/current backed but by the expect malt notes of cereal and bread. A gentle carbonation assists the linger flavour note and bitterness that hangs on the tongue.

Would I buy it again: Yes. It's a tasty traditional ale, will blow your mind with it's flavour profile.. No. What it will do is give you a satisfying, thirst quenching drink that will let you enjoy your night without a hop burn or milk sugar coma. Go enjoy one and stop being a hop head for a minute.

Have you enjoyed this brew? Let me know below.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Comic Review 65 // Rogue Trooper: The 86 ERS

Following hot on the heels of my last review comes another Blue G.I review. This time set after the timeline of Rogue Trooper on Nu Earth we follow one of the G.I Dolls as she is reassigned to a new unit the 86ERs.

Before I go into my view let's get the details out of the way.

Details

Title: The 86ERs - Touchdown
Author: Gordon Rennie
Type: E-Comic
Pages: 144
Publisher: 2000 AD/Rebellion Publishing

Commercial Fluff:
The Acoma System, a Souther-held warzone in their galaxy-wide conflict with the Norts. Centred around a gas giant, its once-rich moons make it a valuable mining site, and the job of protecting the regular supply routes falls to the 86th Air Support Reconnaissance Squadron – a dumping ground for every failure and freak.

Rafe is a G.I. Doll, a genetically engineered solider sent to Acoma to join the 86ers. There she struggles to fit in with the ragtag crew of misfits and rogues. But when Rafe stumbles across a deadly secret there is more than discrimination to face, because now she is fighting for her life!

Review

I'm glad that over the last few years 2000 AD have opened the doors to spin off in the Nort vs Southerners war zones. I'm also glad to see that it is a strong female character with a completely different skill set than Rogue.

The setting is on a space station called 'The Citadel' controlled by the Southerners. The Citadel hangs around a giant Gas Planet with wonderful asteroid belts to fight over. Here we are introduced to the 86ers a group of 'misfits' and 'rogues', basically if you are sent here you are on the naughty list and on a real career dive. This seems to be the case for Rafe, newly joined to the 86ers this G.I has to learn who to trust and quickly.

The great part of this comic is the large cast of characters. There are a lot to take in so here are the main crew.

Rafaelle Blue - The main character. Female G.I and a one of the new outcasts to form the 86ers.

Gabe - Robot side kick with a strange personality.

Commander Harrigan - Chain-smoking Squadron Commander of the base.

Elson - A womanizing fighter pilot who introduced Rafe to the Citadel.

Kristos - A Southerner PSI, treated with mistrust by nearly everyone.

Becca Hunter - Flight Leader.

Stalov and the Norts - Switched sides after their Klan attempted (and failed) in a coup. Treated with some mistrust.

Doctor Friedkin - A mysterious character who seems to be keeping progress of Rafe in the base. Originally a geneticist on the GI project, he turned to Xeno-Archaeology and an obsession with elder races after encountering a vast, biological alien ship in a jump gate accident.

Japeth - A mysterious alien hybrid who saved Rafe from the Nort base, although he apparently killed Rafe's robot Gabe.

Security Chief Montuez - Working with Friedkin in the conspiracy. He views Rafe as a "gene-freak".

They all seem to be working towards different goals, which ultimately leads to their own survival. But some of them are up to some seriously crazy stuff. Example would be that the Southerners have discovered the remains of an Elder race, who not only once ruled the galaxy, but actually grew beyond it as well. Soon the galaxy spanning war of Norts vs Southerners means nothing compared to the ultimate threat of these Elder aliens being re-woken. I love the fact that these all powerful aliens are never really seen but the hints dropped into the story really makes you believe they are best left alone.

As with most 2000 AD strips the artwork is pretty and helps aid the story. The scenes set during the space battles are some of my favourite. It does seem like that the story left open for a follow up, I wonder if it will come to pass? I for one hope it does as I enjoyed this.

Have you read this? Drop me a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Monday, 25 November 2019

Craftworld Iyanden 21 // Shrine of the Forsaken Obelisk

Hotly following on from lasts weeks post about Dark Reapers; I bring you the first of hopefully many Iyanden based Dark Reaper Shrines. First up this Shrine is a home brewed one, reason being I painted these pre-checking out, fluff and colour schemes. I had always seen the classic black, bone, red scheme but I wanted something new. I knew it had to honor the death theme, but I wanted them to be brighter in colour. With this in mind I went with a more brown or bone colour with pops of red and of course yellow to represent the Iyanden background.

Like all Shrines on a Craftworld, The Shrine of the Forsaken Obelisk stands alone. Those seeking the Shrine are greeted by dark foreboding shadows that reach out to the Aeldari spirit, as if they fear the living. Once inside the Shrine the mood does not lift. In what seems to be a wind swept landscape, stands a Obelisk of pure black stone, seemingly out of alignment with the rest of the world ship. Built into the base of this weird stone is the Shrine of the Forsaken Obelisk. Here the aspirants to Khaine hold a silent vigil awaiting the call for war. When aboard from the Shrine, the warriors are met with contempt as the normal aeldari avoid them and their morbid ways as best a possible.

During war the Shrine of The Forsaken Obelisk, are renown for using overwhelming fire power to devastate their victims. Unlike a lot of the other Dark Reaper Shrines, the Exarch of the Forsaken Obelisk do not use the specialist weapons of their position, instead they choose to use the weapon of the aspect warriors. To become shining examples of what the Aspect can truly be if they allow Khaine to consume them.


As you can see they aren't 100% finished yet. I'm looking to do one more highlight and base these. But I am happy to call these tabletop ready and start looking forward to my project.

I'm intrigued to how others paint their Dark Reapers. So if you are blogger and an Aeldari collector drop me a comment with a link so I can check them out.

Friday, 22 November 2019

Book Review 61 // Frost Grave: Ghost Archipelago: Destiny's Call by Mark Latham

Been heavy on the sci-fi books over on this blog, so I thought I would treat myself to a bit of Fantasy for a change. Whilst browsing my local library's shelves I came across the following title and knew I had to read it. For those who don't about Frost Grave I highly recommend checking it out (link), I have not had the pleasure of playing the game but I have now read two books and I am super intrigued by it. If you wish to check out my first review please go follow this link. Let's dive on in!

Book Details

Title: Frost Grave: Ghost Archipelago - Destiny's Call

Author: Mark Latham

Publisher: Osprey Games

Type: Paperback

Page Count: 384

Commercial Fluff: Samir is a thief, a street-urchin from Yad Sha'Rib, greatest city in the Empire. Like the city itself, he carries a secret; Samir is descended from the Heritors, powerful warriors who once drank from the fabled Crystal Pool. Though he dreams of one day saving his people from slavery and oppression, Samir keeps his nascent powers hidden lest he meets the same fate as his father--a slow death in the dungeons, where the grand vizier, Zhar-Marrhad, conducts dark experiments to unlock the Heritors' secrets.

When the Ghost Archipelago appears once more everything changes. Feeling the pull of the Lost Isles in his blood, Samir suddenly finds himself the centre of attention after a life of anonymity. Befriended by a tribal warrior maiden, charmed by a self-styled Pirate Prince, shadowed by a beautiful assassin, and hunted by the ruthless Zhar-Marrhad, Samir must navigate a world of treachery and deceit as he sets sail for the Ghost Archipelago. Only there can he unlock the secrets of his Heritor powers. Only then can he answer his destiny's call.

Review

The book follows young Samir, as he discovers his powers and sets off to become a hero and find away to free his people from a Tyrant. This book leans heavily into some classic Persian archetypes like a villainous Grand Viziers, Jafar, flying carpets and I love it all. It took me all the way back to watching golden era movies of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944). This novel was just a great escape read.

The city of Yad Sha'Rib was well described and felt alive, whilst the pirate crew added some great characters and the ability later for some epic deaths and plot twists and turns. But the true highlight of the novel was Zhar-Marrhad the Grand Vizier. He was so evil and driven, with zombie/mind controlled slaves that rode flying carpets.....so epic! Only negative problem I had personally was the fact I couldn't stop imagining Zhar-Marrhad as the Jafar from the Disney Aladdin (I know lame), but I found myself hearing his voice and it added an additional level of creepiness. 

I truly hope at some point the main character Samir gets re-visited, would enjoying reading what happens next and if he is able to save the City of Yad Sha'Rib.

Have you read this book? Have you played the game? Reach out in the comments and let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Personal Musing 02: Youtube....help?

Welcome to the newest section on the blog my Personal Musing. The first post went up last week, is about blogging, life and getting myself organized. This week is about something I hope to start working on and asking the community for help.

I wish to start producing Youtube videos, mainly show casing purchases (ie.unboxing), show off what I may have painted that week or just rant about something. I don't overly care about the youtube or growing the channel there, I am more looking to be able to start having videos on here as part of the blog. This is were you the community come in. What do I need?

Here is what I think I need:

Camera - First up I have a Google Pixel 2, which seems pretty good at videos but I would need a hand stabilizer to improve the quality.

I am also looking at the Logitech C920S Pro HD Webcam, does anyone have experience with this piece of kit?

Stablizers - I hate wobbly video as I am sure you all do. Any suggestions on this would be great, I don't have a huge budget as it stands but I am willing to build up my equipment over time so don't want to rush into cheap equipment that would have to be replaced later in the year.

Lighting - My workspace seems to have a good amount of natural light and I have some great day light blub lamps as well so I don't currently see this as an issue. But if there is something you recommend I am all ears.

Sound - Microphones, this seem important and needed as I want to have people hear me. I have a head set microphone that would work for now, but like the other sections, I want to improve and upgrade so please leave suggestions in the comments.

Space - This I am good for, I have a gaming room already and nice clean desk area to film in so I don't for see this being an issue.

Programs - Is youtube the right answer? Should I just get a video editing suite and post solely to the blog? Is there any video editing software you recommend - please note I don't use apple, I am google kid at heart.

I really hope this post reaches someone who can help. I need a video mentor I feel to get me going. As always please leave me a comment below and subscribe to the blog. Thank you for reading.

PS. I open to any and all help have old equipment you no longer use? Let's chat and see if you want to trade it out?

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Beer Review 70 // Live Transmission by Flying Monkey

I'm happy to announce I am currently on leave following the birth of my second born (a boy this time). This is what has lead to me trying to organize my blogging life, work life and family life so I can do a bit of everything and be ultimately happy.

I have also decided to cut back on the drinking and the pressure of finding new beers to drink everyday, to put on instagram and instead get back to just enjoying a brew. With that in mind I head to the local LCBO and grabbed myself a Live Transmission beer by Flying Monkey. Let's see how it did.

Details
Name: Live Transmission

Style: Milkshake IPA
Brewery: Flying Monkey

Country: Canada, Barrie.
ABV: 6.3%

Commercial Fluff:
With lactose sugar, grapefruit, orange peel, and coconut white tea.

Own Opinion

Artwork: Chaotic at best, lots of electrical looking equipment and a pretty hard to read name. For me it is a miss on this front.

Pour: Yellow, light hazing with a tight white head of foam. Not as hazy as I was expecting for a milkshake IPA.

Aroma: Meh. I'm getting some citrus and a lot of grain.

Taste: Definitely getting citrus from the orange peel, and a bitter finish from the grapefruit. The lactose seems non existent along with the coconut. Seriously wondering if the wrong beer is in the can.

Would I buy it again: Nope. Sorry Flying Monkeys this one is a hard miss. What happened? I think moving forwards I will proceed with caution on any of their beers that isn't a stout.

Have you tried this brew? Let me know your thoughts and remember you can follow me on instagram via @beerswithpeps. Cheers for reading!

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Comic Review 64 // Rogue Trooper WAR Machine

Welcome to a comic review. As you read this it is Nov 11th 2019 and it has been snowing all day! With that in mind I decided to read a comic I purchased last week called Rogue Trooper: War Machine. This e-comic celebrated it's 30 year anniversary and so 2000 AD did a 50% off deal so I had to get it.

Title: Rogue Trooper: War Machine
Writer: Dave Gibbons
Artist: William Simpson
Pages: 150
Publisher: 2000 AD or Rebellion Publishing

Commercial Fluff:
They are the best of the best. Alpha Company, 1st Genetic Infantry, have been created for war. Able to survive in the harshest environments, each clone warrior knows how to obey orders.

Fight hard. Die well. But as the sole survivor of a brutal massacre, Friday starts to question those who have made him this way, making an uncontrollable war machine the most dangerous creature in the galaxy!

As the 1980s drew to a close, 2000 AD had decided to revamp Rogue Trooper and invited co-creator and original artist Gibbons back to re-visualize the character - but rather than draw the new series, he ended up writing it. It was his chance to put his own spin on the character.


Debuting in Prog 650, War Machine ditched the bio-chips and turned 'Rogue' into 'Friday', a different genetic infantryman with similar origins who swears vengeance on the corporation that cloned him and his fallen buddies - Top, Lucky, and Eightball.

Will Simpson's artwork marked a clear departure from the black-and-white art that had defined so much of Rogue's previous incarnation, sitting easily alongside Simon Bisley's work on Sláine: The Horned God and Colin MacNeil on Chopper: Song of the Surfer.

If Rogue Trooper was partly inspired by Westerns and World War Two films, War Machine took its cue from Vietnam and Paul Verhoeven movies - a gritty, hard-edged and taciturn meditation on war, obsession, and identity.

Review

So as a long time fan of the original Rogue Trooper strip, I had seen this comic kicking around for a while but had never took the dive. I wasn't sure what the story was actually going to be as I had never seen these ones in 2000 AD (pre-me being a reader). But when they discounted it by 50% I knew I had to pick it up.

The story is basically Dave Gibbons' retelling of the Rogue Trooper story, but in a version he felt it deserved. The big changes is Rogue is now called Friday, bio-chips are not a thing. Yep that's right Helm, Bagman and Gunner are no more. Though the characters exist in this comic, they are known as Top, Lucky and Eightball they don't survive the battle and death is their final act. The war has also taken a step back from crazy sci-fi into a more realistic sci-fi. The war for Nu-Earth is now a lot more violent and dark, which you will either love or hate.

Unfortunately for me some of these changes hurt the story telling. Without the bio-chips Rogue/Friday is purely out for his own motives, he doesn't have a counter pointing character. I use to love when the chips disagreed or forced Rogue to save someone. Rogue needs this otherwise he is just a dull lone wolf, seeking vengeance and nothing else. I feel this was a big miss by Gibbon on this tale. We also lack the humor of the original comic, mainly brought by Gunnar, but without his bio-chips Rogue/Friday is just a dull action hero and I ended up not really caring for him by the end.

The battles are a highlight for sure, which is great as most of the comic is action, action, action! The artwork is also crazy and beautiful and full of colour, whilst remaining dark and moody. But these just aren't enough to save it for me.

Guess what I am saying is.....glad it was 50% off and is a miss for me. Some how Gibbons made a character I loved and enjoyed into a two dimensional dull action hero. Have you read this comic? What are your thoughts? Did I miss something or did Gibbons miss something?

As always thanks for reading along!

Monday, 18 November 2019

Craftworld Iyanden 20 // Aspect Warriors - Dark Reaper Shrine

Welcome back Aeldari travelers. The call of Khaine and Ynnead is growing stronger throughout the webway and more Aeldari wear the masks of war. Today I am going into the fluff and lore of Dark Reapers. Hands up this detail is all over the codex and the web, so if you are long time Eldar fan you don't really need to read this. This is being written purely for my own hobbying pleasure. The first part will be known lore, the second part will be Shrine Names that will become links once I build and paint a unit to match the entry. Then this whole section will be linked to the Eldar Encyclopedia for future path walkers to find one day. Let's dive in.

The Dark Reapers

The Dark Reapers are the most menacing of the Aeldari Aspect Warriors. They exemplify the Aeldari War God Kaela Mensha Khaine in his aspect as the Destroyer, and their skull-masked costume echoes that of their founder and Phoenix Lord, the "Harvester of Souls," Maugan Ra. They specialise in the use of highly-destructive, long-range heavy weaponry.

When Asurmen taught his brethren the arts of war it was Maugan Ra that fell furthest from the fold. He fashioned baroque weapons of occult nature; not the blades of his brethren but dark and malefic artifact that could slay his foes from afar.

As his craft progressed, Maugan Ra learnt that even the mightiest weapon could be wielded with surgical precision. This led to the creation of the deadly Maugetar, the Harvester, and later to the disciplines of the Dark Reaper aspect itself.

The origins of the Aeldari Aspect can be traced to Craftworld Altansar and the Fall of the Aeldari, following the birth of the Chaos God, Slaanesh. Altansar rode out the psychic shock-waves that destroyed the Aeldari realms but was subsequently caught in the gravity well of the Eye of Terror. Although the Aeldari of Altansar fought valiantly against the encroachment of Chaos, they were unable to escape their inevitable doom, and within 500 Terran years of the Fall their Craftworld was swallowed by the Warp.

Nothing remained of Altansar except for Maugan Ra, the mightiest Exarch of Altansar's Shrine of the Dark Reapers. The Dark Reapers represent the War God Khaine in his role as the Destroyer. They are perhaps the most sinister and lethal of all the Aspect Warriors and their dark armour is adorned with symbols of death and destruction.

The Dark Reapers' Aspect Armour is the colour of midnight, and incorporates a complex set of interlocking plates. Although the Dark Reapers are comparatively slow-moving compared to other Aeldari warriors as a result of their heavy armour, this is of little consequence, for their role on the battlefield is to serve as long-ranged heavy weapons fire support for the more mobile Aeldari units. The Phoenix Lord of the Dark Reapers, Maugan Ra, teaches that the kiss of death can be delivered from afar. It is this credo that is central to the way of the Reaper.

Their sacred weapon is the Reaper Launcher, a long-barrelled missile weapon that can create a blistering firestorm of small missiles with a single salvo. The small armour-piercing missiles the Reaper Launcher fires are powerful enough to take down all but the most heavily protected of foes.

The Dark Reapers pride themselves on their accuracy. To absorb the recoil of firing the Launcher and maintain a steady firing position, the powered limb supports include lower leg armour and boots fitted with stabilizers and clamps to secure the Dark Reaper to the ground. Their helmet incorporates specialized range finding sensor vanes which extends out of the helmet of their Aspect Armour and allows a Dark Reaper to achieve target lock on even fast-moving vehicles.

This also creates a mind-link with the Dark Reaper's weapon, allowing them to "see" out of the muzzle of the launcher. The resulting increase in their already deadly accuracy means it is almost impossible for a Dark Reaper to miss his target. Their superb aim enables them to dominate the battlefield, pinning down enemy forces and destroying their chosen targets at will.

The downside to all of their extra equipment, along with the weight of their heavy weapon, is that Dark Reapers are slower and less mobile compared to other Aspect Warriors. However, as their primary tactical role is to provide long-range fire support, this is not seen as significantly detracting from the Aspect's combat effectiveness.

Exarch

Operating in squads of three to five Dark Reapers, one of which may be an Exarch, these units are usually positioned in cover behind the main Aeldari battle line, where they can best support the advance of friendly troops and target the enemy's heavy assets. For added mobility the squad can also be mounted in a Wave Serpent transport.

Every Aspect Shrine of the Aeldari is led by an Exarch, an Aeldari who has been called permanently to the Path of the Warrior. An Exarch has traveled so far down the Path of the Warrior that he or she can no longer leave it and so dedicates him or herself fully as a high priest of Khaine in service to the Aspect of the War God that he or she represents.

Exarchs wear more elaborate and ornate versions of Aspect Armour which incorporates the spirits of their past wearers, granting an Exarch not only wisdom and knowledge stretching across the millennia but a raw pool of potent psychic energy that can be used in combat.

This permanent acceptance of the Aeldari's "war mask" provides Exarchs with enhanced skill and dedication to their craft and entitles them to access their Shrine's oldest and most advanced wargear. As a result, an Exarch of the Dark Reapers wears a more formidable form of Dark Reaper Aspect Armour and instead of a Reaper Launcher, can wield a number of different special weapons, including an Aeldari Missile Launcher, a Tempest Launcher and a Shuriken Cannon.

The skills and wargear of a Dark Reaper Exarch exemplify the already deadly firepower and accuracy that defines their Aspect. A Dark Reaper Exarch's inhuman combat abilities surpass even the talents of regular Dark Reapers, as a Dark Reaper Exarch is perfectly capable of laying down a lethal hail of fire more rapidly without loss of accuracy from any weapon they wield, and of landing pinpoint shots so accurate they can bypass cover and hit targets who thought themselves fully protected.

Notable Dark Reapers Shrines

Shrine of the Broken Storm
Shrine of The Crystal Grave
Shrine of The Forsaken Obelisk
Shrine of The Jade Scythe
Shrine of The Last Midnight
Shrine of The Three Deaths


Sources
Codex: Eldar (7th Edition), pp. 108-110
Codex: Eldar (6th Edition), pg. 36
Codex: Eldar (4th Edition), pp. 34, 66
Codex: Eldar (3rd Edition), pg. 16
Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 10
White Dwarf 172 (US), "The Eldar: The Path of the Warrior - Dark Reapers", pp. 5-16
White Dwarf 138 (US), "Alaitoc Craftworld Eldar Army - Dark Reaper Exarch", pp. 20-29
White Dwarf 127 (US), "Eldar" by Rick Priestley, Jes Goodwin, William King & Lindsey D. Le Doux Paton, pp. 13-52
Games Workshop Online Store - Eldar Dark Reapers

Friday, 15 November 2019

Book Review 60 // Wild Rider by Gav Thorpe

Swiftly following the Ghost Warrior review I started reading Wild Rider (Rise of the Ynnari #2). I have high hopes for this tale as Ghost Warrior was a really good kick off to the series. I personally love Gav Thorpe's story telling especially when it comes to Elves and Aeldari. I'm also excited to be jumping from Iyanden to Saim-Hann Craftworld. The only Saim-Hann themed stories I have experienced is from the codex, so this will be an eye opener.

Book Details

Title: Wild Rider (Rise of Ynnari #2)
Author: Gav Thorpe
Publisher: Black Library
Type: Paperback
Page Count: 277

Commercial Fluff: The Wild Riders of Saim Hann craftworld are renowned for their skill and daring, none more so than their headstrong Wild Lord, Nuadhu Fireheart. Having been approached by a representative of Yvraine, emissary of the Whispering God, Ynnead, Nuadhu has unwittingly awoken a slumbering threat – a tomb world of the aeons-old necrontyr. Now, Clan Fireheart must seek alliance with the Ynnari in order to combat the threat to their craftworld, and preserve their honour and the future of the family. The two forces return to Agarimethea to destroy the necrontyr before their strength becomes unassailable. But for what other purpose does Yvraine accompany Nuadhu and his kin, and what exactly is her interest in Naiall Fireheart, the ailing chieftain of the clan?

Review

I enjoyed this tale quite a lot. It is very fast paced which kept my head in the story and Saim-Hann is such a strange realm for me as I am so use to the creepy and death somber halls of Iyanden. As with the first novel the characters are very interesting and offer a true view of Aeldari culture during this time of strife. It also does a good job at showing how the Aeldari are completed splinted over everything that is going on - you still have the corsairs hiding away, the blood thirsty Drukari attempting to hold onto their empire, the Exodites attempting to stay isolated, the Craftworlder's aloof and just clinging to the path and the Ynnari attempting to rally all to their banner (even tho it would mean ultimate destruction). Gav does a great job at representing this and showcasing the politics.

The main character in my opinion is Nuadhu with the Ynnari actually playing second fiddle to him. We discover he has aided the Ynnari and in doing so has woken a Tomb World. Fleeing the awaken warriors, Nuadhu then has to rally the warriors of Saim-Hann to work with the Ynnari in an attempt to destroy this tomb world. What should be easy and straight forward turns into political maneuvering by the clans and soon the Fireheart Clan seem to be left out in the cold.

Soon battle is joined and the stories speed up. There are some interesting ideas behind the Necron World and I really enjoyed this twists. But of course it can't all be good, I found some characters are easily thrown away and I felt we didn't get the full experience of the Ynnari characters. But overall this is a solid read, especially if you are Saim-Hann fan.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Personal Musings 01: Blogging

Welcome to an a new section on the blog. The sole purpose for this is just for me to write about anything and get some thoughts out there. It might be about me, my family, my life or it could be hobby related or just a funny picture.

Today's opening piece is going to be about blogging. I started blogging about 10 years ago and had a pretty successful blog known as The Fallen Princes. It followed my Eldar force (which happened to be Alaitoc) and my Badab Project, a group blogging event involving over 100 blogs and the space marine forces being built around it (I threw my lot in with the Tyrant!). It became a second job and one that no longer brought pleasure. Then the breaking point happened and the blog died and so did my blogging days.

Jump forward to July 2017 and Beers with Peps opened for business. The goal was to record the different beers I was enjoying and also do the odd hobby post, but even that hasn't gone to plan. At first I had believed the blog was going to be 90% beer to 10% hobby. Now I would say the blog is 40% books, 40% comics, 10% Wargaming and 10% beer. I have to be honest and say I am not disappointed about this in the slightness. I am actually so impressed with how my reading has improved and I can only thank this blog for that. I would love to have a solid core of followers like the old days, I would also love to have people commenting on posts. But I understand the days of the traditional blog are gone and I am most likely chatting away to myself, but I will continue to produce a blog that brings me joy and see where life will take it.

I make no promises that there will always be posts, but when there is one expect them to appear on the following schedule:

Monday: Miniatures - #miniaturemonday #miniswithpeps
Tuesday: comics - #comicswithpeps
Wednesday: Beer - #beerswithpeps
Thursday: personal
Friday: books/Audio Drama - #bookswithpeps
Sat/Sun: Days off/Random

I look forward to this new blogging lifestyle and I hope you will stick around for the ride. To get the ball rolling I want to offer out a follow for a follow. Please hit follow over on the left or sign up for the email following and then leave a comment blow, I will then seek out your blog and follow back. If I really like what I see I will add it to my Blogroll section.

Thank you for reading and I hope we can reignite this corner of the blogging sphere.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Beer Review 69 // This One by Stray Dog Brewing

It's been a while which is truly my bad, but I am trying my hardest to get back on track and start actually having a blog that does something. The main hardship I am now facing is to get through the huge amount of back logged reviews I have and to start clearing out space on my tablet. With this in mind I crack out a great local breweries brew and welcome in the new era of Beers with Peps.

Details

Name: This One
Style: California Common
Brewery: Stray Dog Brewing
Country: Canada, Orleans, Ottawa.
Price: $3.20
ABV: 5.2%

Commercial Fluff:
Now available in the LCBO and bronze medal winner at the 2018 and 2019 Ontario Brewing Awards. Our take on a California Common, a unique North American style with a rich history dating back to the Gold Rush era, this beer is based on our award-winning recipe. It has a moderate malt presence, intertwined with balanced notes of toast and caramel, finished with hints of rustic wood on the nose. It has a beautiful copper color that finishes as crisp as an autumn morning. So when your server or bartender asks what you’d like to drink, point at the menu and say, “I’ll have This One.” You’ll be glad you did. 5.2%, 35 IBU

Own Opinion

Sight: Pours a beautiful dark ruddy amber, topped by a crisp white head. Looking good for sure.
Aroma: Malt forward on this and a little bready/toast aroma.
Taste: Caramel sweetness brought into play by the malts used. A very well rounded brew that finishes a little dry for me with some gentle bitterness.
Would I buy it again: Yes. It's a nice malty, toasty brew with a sweetness given to it by the caramel. It is a nicely well rounded brew that makes it easy to drink and I can easily imagine drinking three, four or five of these on a night out or whilst playing a board game.

Have you drank this one? Let me know in the comments your thoughts and be sure to check me out on instagram via @beerswithpeps. Cheers and keep drinking great beer!

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Comic Review 63 // Judge Dredd: Volume One IDW

The Dredd train is still rolling! I am slowing building up speed and excitement for the soon to be released Warlord Games Judge Dredd Miniature game (hopefully will have a copy by mid to late November). What this has caused in the complete need to read everything Dredd. So I am bravely dipping my toes back into the IDW License. I will be honest and say what few I have read haven't been great so far, but I am always willing to be proven wrong. With this in mind let us head into Judge Dredd Volume One IDW.

Let's start with IDW the company, as it has to be discussed, they don't work like classic 2000 AD their sole purpose is make Dredd enjoyable for a US market. This means a more DC/Marvel looking strip and less jabs at American culture. It also seems like Dredd acts a little bit different to the norm. This has the effect of either love it or hate it, it really does seem to split the groups I am a member off. For me so far I have found them to be a miss unless they are working with a classic tale in which case all they do is colour it and change the comic size.

Plus side to this volume for me is that it seems to all be written by the same person Duane Swierczynski. This means one of two things - 1) If I like the opening tale the chances are high I will enjoy the entire volume, 2) If it starts weak I fear it will not grow on me at all. That my intro complete I will continue to write the review once I complete the volume....

.... Okay this was fun. It's definitely different to the Dredd I'm use to but the stories are just off the wall and have that JD crazy edge to them. Up first MC-1 looks good, this has to be pre-wars, pre-Cal and pre-chaos day. The city almost seems to clean and there are plenty of Judges on the scene. The opening story hints at a growing droid rebellion that is starting to grow in power and causing trouble throughout MC-1. I loved the high up level of a block having a specially crafted tree that can grow fresh fruit every 5 minutes, but I loved it more when the tree malfunctions and the fruit starts exploding causing absolute chaos :)

Most of the stories straight forward and lead into the next, which is the bonus of just one writer working on the story, the main plot seems to follow the Droids and a weird Clone story. The clone story is weird, a gang of doctors are cloning people and then threatening to torture and kill the clones unless the original citizen pays a ransom. This is a real mind bending idea. Do you not care? Do you care? What if you save them? Then what happens? Who is the original? I seriously don't know what I would do. This story also involves a twist as it seems a Judge was cloned as well, a Judge Tarjay. The tale in this volume ends with Tarjay being framed and escaping into the city to be continued for sure.

Highlights - The world, I know Duane didn't create it but he does well at bringing it to life. There is no real intro, you are just dropped into the middle and get on with it. The stories all link nicely without any real issues. It just a well written story arc.

Lowlights - Needs the 2000 AD humor, not sure if it will turn up in the later volumes, or if it was a choice made by IDW. I know our British humor doesn't always translate well in the states but I fill this is going to be a straight edge Dredd for sure.

I actually enjoyed this. I am interested to see where it goes. So I now have Volume two on the reading list so check back soon for that. Have you read this? Let me know in the comments. Cheers.

Miniature Monday // 1987 GW Talisman Pirate

Something a little bit different this week as I delve into the past. I was lucky enough to get my hands on a 1987 Talisman Dungeon Pira...