Audiobook 23 // The Long Night: The Horus Heresy Series by Aaron Dembski-Bowden.


I've been gifted of late a few audio titles, and amongst them was The Long Night. The cover says it all it is a Night Lord story written by the talented Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Running time is 42 minutes and is set slightly further ahead than where I am currently reading. But the warp is a fickle beast so any spoilers discovered will soon be uncovered anyways.

Here is the official write up:

The Dark Angels and the Night Lords fought one another to a bloody stalemate during the Thramas Crusade and, though the Lion eventually claimed victory, it left both Legions scattered and under-strength. Jago Sevatarion, First Captain of the Night Lords, languishes in a gaol cell in the heart of Ultramar. Far from a spent force, the Night Lords must consider where their loyalties lie, and what path they will take in the days and months to come.

Wow. That was an amazing 42 minutes, I actually went back and listened to it again. That is how much I enjoyed it. The audio quality and performance were excellent and it captivated me from the get-go. We join Jago Sevatar's imprisonment on a Dark Angels warship, which we discover later is the Invincible Reason, the DA's Flagship. Here we discover he is being interrogated/tortured by his captors and through this process, they have weakened his mental resolve and he is hearing voices in his dreams. But soon the voices are leaking into his waking hours and Jago believes he is losing it. Turns out Jago has a secret, a secret he and primarch tried to hide, but it is a secret that will save Jago's life...maybe?

Now if I tell you more I will spoil the story and that is something I don't wish to do. What I will say is that this tale opened my eyes to a larger view of the Night Lords. It is easy to believe them to be murders and ruthless killers, but in their minds, they are the only sane ones left in a galaxy gone crazy. They are the judges of right and wrong and they are justice. A truly great piece and well worth the listen.

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Book Review 119 // The Primarchs

Rolling along, enjoying these Horus Heresy books. Here we are at Book 20 The Primarchs. Still, 30+ titles to go, plus extras like the Siege of Terra series, the Primarchs and anything else that comes out! I may have to speed up my reading or I won't be finished till 2030. Back to this novel a classic length novel at 416 pages and has a beautiful cover image, here is the official write up for it:

Created in the Emperor’s own image, the primarchs had long thought themselves to be princes of the universe and masters of their own destiny – they led the Space Marine Legions in glorious conquest of the galaxy, and no enemy of the Imperium could stand against them. However, even amongst this legendary brotherhood, the seeds of dissent had been sown long before the treacherous Warmaster Horus declared his grand heresy.

Gathered within this anthology are four novellas focusing on some of the mightiest warriors and leaders that mankind has ever known – Fulgrim, Lion El’Jonson, Ferrus Manus and the twin primarchs Alpharius and Omegon – and the roles that they may have yet to play in a war which threatens to change the face of the Imperium forever.

It should be no surprise after reading the above that this book is made up of four short stories. The first is centred around Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children. Titled the Reflection Crack'd by Graham McNeil. This story is set post-Fulgrim, soon after Fulgrim becoming wholly possessed by a Daemon of Slaanesh. The story has the Emperor's Children hierarchy finally realizing that something is wrong with their Primarch and as they seek to uncover the truth, they ultimately each fall to chaos and are led down a darker path. Solid entry tale.

As should be the way, Fulgrim is followed by Ferrus Manus. Titled Feat of Iron and written by Nick Kyme. Set before the actions of the betrayal and his death, this story has the Iron Hands fighting against the Eldar. In the actions of this war, Manus is captured by the Eldar and is forced to face visions of his future. It showcases the Eldar once again attempting to affect the future and failing. A great story.

Then comes the Lion, written by Gav Thorpe. Thorpe is no stranger to the Dark Angels and creates a wonderfully single-minded lead. It is a well-paced story, with some good action, but suffers from following after two very strong ones. I enjoyed the links to previous stories and the supporting cast were great to have, but I felt like it was missing something.

The final story is by Rob Sanders and is about the twins Alpharius and Omegon, titled The Serpent Beneath. The main purpose of the tale is to highlight the inner workings of the Alpha Legion. This story really helps to showcase Omegon, proving just how dangerous and intelligent this character is. We get to watch them battling White Scars and then fighting each other, we discover that it is just another battle and doesn't seem to bother them. These action scenes are brilliant, they continue to push the edges of my interest in this legion. I just need to figure out a way to paint them.

With that, the book is over. Overall a great experience and well-paced. The next book in the series is Fear to Thread and we finally get some Blood Angels.

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Unboxing video Strontium Dog - Mutant Generals by Warlord Games

Following on from my last unboxing comes Warlord Games, Strontium Dogs - Mutant Generals. A great little kit as I am sure you will agree. So enjoy the video and be sure to drop me a comment below, especially if you have tips for improving my Youtube Channel.


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Beer Review 130 // Nanaimo Imperial Stout Collaboration.

Time for an exciting brew. Back about two years ago, three breweries collaborated in Boston to produce Nanaimo Imperial Stout. The creation of Trillium Brewery, Bellwoods Brewery and the amazing Evil Twin Brewing. Now I missed out on that beer and it broke my heart! Luckily for me, they rereleased it, but this time it was available from Toronto, and I was able to get my mitts on some. Let's dive in.

First up appreciate that pour, super black pour capped by a espresso brown thick head. It looks stunning in this Evil Twin glass. This smells boozy which is no surprise as it is 10%, lots of chocolate and vanilla up front. On the first sip I realise I poured it too cold and it is hiding some flavours but already I am getting a dark chocolate and vanilla hit, but I painfully sit it to the side to allow it to warm up.

5 minutes we are starting to some honey in the finish and a little coconut, this is such an indulgent beer, it is crazy tasty. By the half way point the beer has hit peek temp, we are getting the full flavour profile now, dark chocolate, vanilla, honey, cinnamon and a boozy warmth. This is an epic beer! Truely made by people at the top of their game and who can produce a beer that actually delivers on the flavour profile it is describing itself as. This beer goes way to fast for a 10 % and I am left hollow at the end of it knowing and regretting that I hadn't purchased more.

Next time I stock up, next time I will make the right life choice, next time!

Have you tried this beer? Let me know in the comments or by reaching out on social media.

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Comic Review 124 // Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 04


It's the final week of February already! I've just finished Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 04, meaning I only have 05 left to go. After that omnibus, I may do a few Marneus reviews and then a couple of Dredds before heading back to SD for the non-omnibus tales.

But back to Strontium 04. You know the deal by now, adventures in a far-flung future, where Britain has been nuked and a downtrodden mutant faction now attempts to survive. In this setting, we have Johnny Alpha, the son of an infamous Mutant hater (Keeler) and now himself a galaxy renowned Bounty Hunter. Working out of the Dog House Alpha and other mutants like him, now hunt down the criminals of the Galaxy. No job too big, if you have the money to pay. Welcome to Search/Destroy agency aka Strontium Dogs.

I'm excited about this issue and the reason for the excitement is on the cover. Durham Red, when I first was reading 2000 AD my real introduction to the S/D series was actually through Durham Red. I hope to visit her tales soon, but to actually read her introduction will be a great experience. Also from my understanding a large amount of the 352-page omnibus has her staring in it.

I wanted Durham Red and it turns out she is in the first story, which also turns out to be the longest one as well. Titled, Bitch. The tale introduces Durham Red to the S/D stories. Durham is a vampire-themed female mutant and a rare female character in the S/D series. She thirsts for blood but does not suffer from a classic vampire weaknesses. The story itself is pretty fun; involving an alien race who is suffering from the colonisation of their world by humans. A rebel factor fighting for freedom, travels back in time to kidnap Ronald Reagan from Earth and then attempt to use him as a bargaining chip to force the human populace to leave their planet. Into this mix, the Search/Destroy Agency has been hired to find the kidnapped leader of the free world, meaning loads of mutants are now heading to this world. Into this mix comes Alpha and Red, soon they have tracked down the kidnappers, but here the plot takes a twist as Johnny sides with the aliens. His reasoning is the aliens cause mirroring the mutant freedom movement of his past. Overall a great story, that made Durham interesting and not just comic relief like McNulty.

Following this first story up, we have a politically themed story called 'The Royal Affair'. In this story, the King of England, hires Johnny Alpha to protect him whilst he chases his true love. The only problem is  who that happens to be, a mutant. Ultimately this is a story of hope, the hope that things might change. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen and the King is ultimately overthrown and forced into exile, but love did win out.

Then we get a comedy story in 'A Sorry Case', followed up with 'The Rammy" which is pure action. Though nothing is really added by these stories, they do offer a break and reset for the reader. It helps to remind us of what S/D should be about. Then we hit 'The Stone Killers", which brings back Durham Red and introduces an alien world of Stone based lifeforms. An exciting and fun story that also reintroduced the Stix Family - how many members of the family are there? It also seems like the creative writers are struggling on plots, as they continue to rehash already used themes as showcased with 'Incident On Zeta'. Once again Johnny Alpha is on a Spaceship, which is captured by pirates and because once again he is a mutant, he is staying in the storage area when it happens. Giving Alpha the chance to save the day once more. Now, before you complain, I understand that there were most likely years between the actual stories if you were to read them in the comics. Sadly when reading these Omnibus' it seems we have to have one version of the spaceship heist per omnibus.

Then like that, we are at the last tale of the book. 'The No-Go Job" - Now let's be clear from what I have read people either love this one or hate it. I personally loved it. Simon Harrison's artwork is strange when compared to Ezquerra's. But it works and I enjoyed the change of style. Now if it was a permanent change, I am sure I would have an issue.

With that I am technically finished. But wait! There is more. We get a couple of one-off stories from the specials and the annuals. We even see the return of the beloved Wulf. I am going to be brutally honest and state that the artwork sucked on these. I found myself skipping through them, lacking interest which is a real shame. Overall this collection is a lot more light and comical, lacking any real depth at times. Though enjoyable mostly, it did feel like I was reading filler pieces, something to remind people what the S/D series is. It's a solid four out of five, though after the last omnibus it felt lacking.

Come back next week for Omnibus and the final book in the series.

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Miniature Monday // Strontium Dog - Max Bubba

Continuing on my quest to have a completely painted Strontium Dog starter set. This week I turn my gaze upon the main villain Max Bubba. It was a strange model to paint as it was hard to pick out details, his face as per the story is strangely mutated to look burnt, leaving not a lot of detail to focus on. But I did my best with contrast paints and washes and ended up with this. Hope you enjoy and here is Max Bubba's info.

History

Max Bubba was a mutant criminal who, along with his henchmen Impetigo Jones, Brute Mosely, Skull and their gang, escaped from the 22nd century back to Norway in 793 AD and began to carry out an audacious and frankly insane plan to get revenge on a world that had treated mutants like dirt by killing off future humanity's Viking ancestors and effectively eliminating all of human history (it appeared not to occur to him that he would almost certainly cause himself never to have been born). Bubba was thwarted by the Strontium Dog Johnny Alpha and his ally, a Viking chieftain named Wulf Sternhammer who subsequently travelled back to the future with Alpha and became his partner. Years later, however, Bubba came looking for revenge, killing Sternhammer before dying himself at Alpha's hands.

Powers and abilities

Strength: Peak human male.

Weaknesses: Absolutely mental.

Weapons: Blazooga - a blast style weapon and a handgun.

Bounty: 180,000 creds

I'm excited to have this guy face off against Johnny Alpha soon. But until then thanks for checking in and if you wish to help support the blog feel free to check out and use the following links:

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Audiobook 22 // The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis


Like many, I was captivated by the TV show and knew I had to try the book. But as I looked upon my to be read pile of shame. I knew I couldn't add this title to it. So I turned to Audible to assist me, listen to this too and from work and during lunch, I soon finished the book.

Here is the official write up:

Eight-year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life, she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she's competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as she hones her skills on the professional circuit, the stakes get higher, her isolation grows more frightening, and the thought of escape becomes all the more tempting. Engaging and fast-paced, The Queen's Gambit speeds to a conclusion as elegant and satisfying as a mate in four.

As stated earlier I would never have known or listen to this title without watching the show first. But straight up this audiobook is so much better than the tv show. I need to definitely start looking into more titles by Walter Tevis.

The title for those who have not seen or heard of this is set in the 1950s and moves into the 60s. Our lead Beth Harmon is orphaned after a horrific road accident. Following a chance encounter with a chess-playing janitor, it is discovered that Harmon is a chess prodigy, and the story goes on to follow her success in a male dominated world.

The main character Harmon is a flawed individual, bright, intelligent, but with an addictive personality. During her time at the home, she becomes addicted to tranquillizers, which almost cost her life and then later as an adult she struggles with alcohol. This two side persona is so well portrayed and makes for a compelling character. Throughout the story, we see Harmon, awkwardly befriend many characters. It is through these awkward interactions that we see Harmon grow, every person Harmon meets seems to aid Harmon to unlock a new trait and grow, though touching it also helps to highlight her faults and how see seems like an outcast and alone.

The story is very compelling and the book finishes before I want it to. I am left wanting more but realistically there is no more, but I do wish we found out what became of Harmon. What does a World Chess player do after winning the big prize? As far as this title goes I can safely say I really enjoyed it, a title that can make me interested in chess is always going to be a winner.

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Book Review 118 // Know No Fear - Horus Heresy


Told you I was back on the Horus Heresy train. Hot on the tail of last week's Deliverance Lost, we come to Know No Fear by Dan Abnett. Let's be honest, it is written by Dan Abnett, so we know it will be fun. It also has the Ultramarines taking a hiding from the Word Bearers so let us dive in and review the novel.

Here is the basic info. Book 19 in the Horus Heresy Series, which clocks in at 412 pages long, features the Ultramarines fighting the Word Bearers and is the infamous Battle of Calth. Here is the official write up:

Unaware of the wider Heresy and following the Warmaster’s increasingly cryptic orders, Roboute Guilliman returns to Ultramar to muster his Legion for war against the orks massing in the Veridian system. Without warning, their supposed allies in the Word Bearers Legion launch a devastating invasion of Calth, scattering the Ultramarines fleet and slaughtering all who stand in their way. This confirms the worst scenario Guilliman can imagine – Lorgar means to settle their bitter rivalry once and for all. As the traitors summon foul daemonic hosts and all the forces of Chaos, the Ultramarines are drawn into a grim and deadly struggle in which neither side can prevail.

When war comes to Calth and set the planet aflame, the Ultramarines face annihilation against a foe who will use any means to settle their bitter grudge. 

Wow, great book. I feel like the last two books were rather low key affairs, with lots of stealth and small casts of characters. Well, Dan Abnett kicked down the doors of my sanity and gave me planet destructive warfare!

As a long-time 40k hobbyist I already knew the outcome of the battle and what happens to Calth, but my gosh was it great to finally be able to read how it all went down. A solid portion of the book is used to set the scene, which is very much needed. It is during this stage that we meet the main characters, work out who is where and why. This helps build up the tension of the story as we know the Word Bearers are ultimate villains and are planning to cheap shot the Ultras, and it is this slow build-up that makes it more epic when it finally comes.

When the fighting begins it is classic Marine on Marine action. Backstabbing, treachery, followed with plenty of heroics and heart wrenching agony. One of my favourite scenes was when the damaged spacecraft plunges through the atmosphere and is described beautifully by Abnett's writing. This is making me want to grab the Gaunt Ghost series (but I must finish HH first).

Overall a great story that was written by the right author. Easily in my top 5 so far of the series.



Let's Vlog

Moving forwards I am going to attempt to do some vlog style videos, recapping things I've done here on the blog. This will hopefully have two effects. 1) Remind people I have a blog. Get them stopping by to read all the fun things on here and hopefully follow. 2) Create a little reminder of what has happened. Allowing me to go back over what I have achieved and what is next. Hopefully, you enjoy and be sure you check out my Youtube channel!

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Beer Review 129 // Omnipollo Prodromus Imperial Stout

Well, it should be no surprise that I love Omnipollo. Ever since I started my true craft beer adventures in London, I have loved Omnipollo. This brewer is experimental, adventurous and truly one of a kind. This time we get to experience Prodromus, Imperial Stout:

Omnipolo is an award-winning beer producer founded in 2011. This imperial stout is opaque black, with a creamy head. It has aromas and flavours of coffee, nuts, dark chocolate, vanilla and graham cracker. Notes of butterscotch and toffee on the mid-palate lead to a full-bodied and balanced finish. - Craft Brand Co.

First up check out that pour. A beautiful black pour, with a thick, luxurious chocolate head. The aroma is to die for, strong aromas of dark chocolate, a little nutty coffee and a sweet vanilla finish. The taste is everything I love and adore, it is chewy in the mouth, rich, smooth and sweet. Delicious notes of the chocolate and graham cracker early on, make way for butterscotch and toffee as it starts to warm up. The level of booze is high at 11.5% and this is purely a sipping beer, but what a sipper. I adored it and though not a beer for every night of the week, it sure does make for a special treat every once and a while.

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Comic Review 123 // Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 03


Another gigantic omnibus for Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 04. Compiling 10 stories over 384 pages. The big tale in this the Max Bubba story which leads perfectly into the starter box set, I can't wait to read that one.

Here is the official write up:

Following the Atom Wars in the 22nd century, many of the survivors were mutated by the Strontium 90 fallout. Unable to get regular jobs, forced into ghettoes and considered an underclass by the 'norms', the only work open to them was bounty hunting. These Search/Destroy Agents hunt the criminals too dangerous for the Galactic Crime Commission.

No clues there about the stories ha. Let us dive in. By now we know the score, Johnny Alpha is a powerful and violent man but has a heart of gold and is a sucker for a sob story. Most of the book has very solid classic storylines, with Johnny Hunting down his man. But there are two standout tales that combine together to produce a heartbreaking tale.

The first is Max Bubba. Bubba and his gang members have once again escaped prison and are seeking revenge on Alpha and Wulf. Ambushing the pair they torture Alpha and Wulf staking them out in the burning sun. Johnny starts having flashbacks and we meet our main villain alongside his gang as they break out of prison the first time. Knowing they would be easily caught Bubba transports his gang through time to the era of the Vikings. Here Bubba plans to destroy the future by killing the past. As the future timeline starts to unravel Johnny Alpha is chosen to travel back in time to arrest/kill Bubba and his gang. During this adventure Alpha teams with the Viking warrior Wulf Sternhammer and with a crew of Vikings, they attempt to hunt down the Bubba gang.

A seriously epic tale of adventure, we have multiple timeline themes merging as the damage to the future continues. In the showdown between Bubba and Alpha the body count rises, and but Johnny manages to capture 3 of the criminals (Bubba, Mosley and Jones) and kills the rest. During the fighting Wulf is transported to the future and after reuniting with Alpha, chooses to stay forming the duo we know and love. This story ends tragically as Wulf Sternhammer attempts to escape and is gunned down and dies in the baking sun.

After this heartbreaking story, we join Johnny as he nursed back to health, basically a couple standard filler stories before Rage; the follow-up tale to Max Bubba. This is a dark tale, Johnny is a broken man on a dark path of revenge and we watch as he travels the galaxy to hunt down the Bubba gang. Through his chasing of the gang Johnny manages to kill off Brute Mosley in an avalanche, then after seriously wounding Impetigo Jones we see him get eaten alive by alien crabs on a beach. Then the final showdown happens, one on one Alpha grievously wounds Bubba and seemingly leaves him for dead. In the next scene, Bubba is in hospital and believes Alpha wrongly left him for dead. Filled with hope and the belief he can escape Bubba leaves the hospital to discover it was all a vile trick by Alpha to give Bubba false hope. As Bubba pleads for his life all Alpha can say is "I hate you!" and guns Bubba down in the street finally ending this saga.

The rest of the book starts to show the return of the Johnny Alpha we know and love as he helps Mutant Farmers hold of some norms and then we get some bonus stories, with a returned Wulf, I believe showing a job set before the Bubba story. The main issue I have is: Where has the Gronk gone?

Overall an above average read. Made epic and heartbreaking by the Bubba/Rage story. I'm intrigued about what will happen in 04, I am hoping we will finally get more McNulty and Durham Red. Come back next week for that issue.


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Aeldari Craftworlds // Saim-Hann

Hoping you are enjoying this Aeldari Craftworld Project series as much as I am? So far I have completed Alaitoc, Biel-Tann and Iyanden. Alongside these posts, I am painting a figure to go along with each one and this has lead to 3 new minis already painted in 2021. Combined with my Strontium project I have already passed last year's painting total! But enough about this, back to the project.

Saim-Hann

Saim-Hann is one of the larger Aeldari Craftworlds whose Jetbike-riding warriors, the clans of the Wild Riders, are renowned for their savagery and their preference for fast, mobile warfare, striking as a serpent before falling back beyond the reach of retaliation. Theirs is a craftworld of ancient tradition and a proud warrior culture.

In Aeldari myth, the Serpent is the only creature believed to exist in both the material and the psychic universes at the same time. Hence, the Serpent is said to know all secrets past and present. Saim-Hann means "Quest for Enlightenment," for the Aeldari Lexicon word for snake and secret knowledge is identical: "Saim."

The Aeldari of Saim-Hann bears the world-rune that represents the Serpent as their heraldry, sporting it on the cowlings of their jetbikes, grav-tanks and aircraft.

The Aeldari craftworld of Saim-Hann was reputedly one of the first craftworlds to abandon the Crone Worlds as the Fall of the Aeldari approached, heeding their Farseers' warnings. As such they have spent far more time isolated from the rest of the Aeldari than the other major craftworlds, although the Saim-Hann does maintain contact with and have cultural ties to the Exodite worlds.

They are fierce warriors, who place honour at a higher value than their more culturally sophisticated kin. This, coupled with their pride, has led them into conflict with each other and different craftworlds. While this generally takes the form of a highly ritualized duel in which first blood is usually sufficient to end the matter, the occasional deaths from these conflicts have lent to the barbaric reputation of the craftworld among other Aeldari.

The Wild Host of Saim-Hann is comprised almost entirely of Windrider bands mounted on Jetbikes. Windrider hosts in battle are spectacularly adorned, especially upon Craftworld Saim-Hann, where the kinbands ride to war in their thousands, sun glinting from their cowlings and pennants snapping like gunfire in the breeze.

Almost every member of Saim-Hann is part of a Wild Rider family, including its Seers, and this allows them to field many specialists who ride Jetbikes and Vypers.

The chieftain's closest family form the kinsmen, who paint their faces with hot blood on the eve of conflict, drink from each other's wrists and ride to war together as brothers. In much the same way, each unit of Jetbikes or Vyper pilots is comprised of blood relatives and tends to sport a vivid banner showing their clan's rune.

It is only during a Wild Rider's time as an Aspect Warrior that his familial ties are put aside, as devotion to the Aspect Shrine overrules all other considerations. The families are maintained in a feudal hierarchy ruled by an Aeldari chieftain and his rule is passed down through hereditary tradition.

Unlike other craftworlds who unite in mass mobilizations, the Saim-Hann kindreds are each free to choose whether or not to fight in defence of a particular cause. Disagreements on military matters are usually resolved with ritual combat between champions chosen from within the kindreds -- however, it is not unknown for a kindred to go to war without the assistance, let alone the approval, of the rest of the craftworld.

Some families also fight with each other, although this conflict usually takes the form of ritual single combat between champions. They are not uncommon, but fights to the death are very rare as first blood is usually sufficient to determine a winner.

The craftworld's rune is a stylized serpent, which is the Cosmic Serpent of Aeldari myth. Indeed, it is revered so much by the Saim-Hann Aeldari that one of their coming-of-age rites is to catch a dagger snake (found on many of the worlds of the Exodites) in mid-strike. The serpent also epitomizes the attack style of Saim-Hann -- a fast, deadly strike before withdrawing, leaving the enemy panicked and confused.

The warriors of Saim-Hann are proud, boisterous and aggressive, and use fast, mobile troops with a high quantity of Jetbikes. Young Guardians are always trying to outdo each other in contests of speed, particularly in battle.

Coming of the Ynnari

After the Ynnari's desperate resurrection of Prince Yriel turned defeat into victory during the Battle of Iyanden, they made haste to Macragge, there to bolster Humanity's shield against the scourge of Chaos by bringing the Primarch Roboute Guilliman back from the brink of death. From there they defended a clutch of worlds from the scourge of Chaos, but always they were on the lookout for more Aeldari sympathetic to their cause.

On Saim- Hann, the Ynnari's high priestess Yvraine found no small number of converts. The Saim-Hann world-ship had been sorely pressed since the opening of the Great Rift. At the height of the Khornate Blood Crusade, it had sent five entire clans to hold back the gore-maddened Red Tide on Upsilon, securing a fraught victory before disappearing to leave the planet's Human survivors shaken and confused behind them.

At the same time, the craftworld's fleet had fought void battles against Imperial Navy warships and elements of Abaddon the Despoiler's vast armada of the 13th Black Crusade.

At first, Yvraine's call to arms on behalf of the god of the dead Ynnead was seen as the last thing the seers and chieftain of the craftworld needed. It risked a schism dividing their clans, for tempers on Saim-Hann had always run hot.

A council was convened at the Speaking Place, a tribal hub in the midst of one of the craftworld's wilderness zones. Beneath the shimmering vault of a colossal bio-dome, they talked of ancestors, spirits, and futures yet to be. For a while, they found accord around the ever-burning fires of that place.

Then the skies shimmered above the conflagration, and a Drukhari strike force burst from a Webway gate long forgotten. Their intent was to slay Yvraine with a swift decapitating strike, ending her threat to Supreme Overlord Asdrubael Vect's power over the people of Commorragh.

The Drukhari's blades did not find their mark, for none other than the Phoenix Lord Jain Zar appeared to meet them in battle. The peace talks turned to a fierce battle in moments, and the Ynnari were forced to flee before the people of Saim-Hann could be brought into the fold.

Notable Events

The Voyage Begins (ca. M29) - Saim-Hann is one of the first craftworlds to escape the failing and corrupt Aeldari Empire.

The Fall of the Aeldari (ca. M30) - The Aeldari Empire was torn asunder as Slaanesh is born from their depravities.

A Cruel Thirst (487-492.M39) - The Slaaneshi Daemon Prince Lilesh Snarelust slakes his infernal desire for excess, masterminding a vast daemonic incursion across a score of Imperial worlds near the Moon of Nightmares. Unwilling to permit such a foray into the material plane so near to their craftworld, the Aeldari of Saim-Hann responds with focussed aggression, risking all in the battle against the legions of the Dark Prince. Over the course of five years, the Windriders of Saim-Hann systematically outmanoeuvres and exterminate those loyal to the court of Slaanesh. Eventually, Saim-Hann’s high chieftain Nuadhu brings Lilesh Snarelust to battle at the daemon's corrupted stronghold, the so-called Sanctuary of Sins. Though Snarelust’s lethal handmaidens seek to intervene, Nuadhu's Jetbike riders keep them at bay with volleys of shuriken catapult fire. Leaping from the back of his Jetbike, Nuadhu plunges the legendary Celestial Lance into the Daemon’s heart, shattering its soul and banishing its essence to the hell from whence it came. Those Slaaneshi Daemons that remain -- and the Chaos-worshipping humans that are in league with them -- are mercilessly culled.

The Death of Gnosis Prime (786.M41) - The Imperial planet of Gnosis Prime is invaded by the Aeldari after a territorial dispute of epic magnitude. Despite having settled the planet some twelve hundred years previous, the human inhabitants are given an ultimatum by Eliac Zephyrblade of Saim-Hann -- evacuate or die. The Autarch's imperious demand is met by an extremely vulgar response. The Aeldari force is outnumbered a hundred times over by the Imperial armies, but the vengeful Zephyrblade makes the ocean his landing zone before running rings around the military juggernaut of the Imperium with his Windrider hosts. He cripples the planet’s industrial zones before leaving Gnosis Prime to a cruel and lonely fate at the hands of his Drukhari allies.

Notable Saim-Hann Aeldari

Nuadhu "Fireheart" - Nuadhu is a notable Wild Rider of Saim-Hann. In battle, he is known to ride upon a Vyper, known as Alean, The Steed of Khaine, that has been built to allow him to fight from its back, much as the bloody-handed god Khaine rode to war on the legendary steed Alean. He is considered reckless, even by the standards of his kindred, and pays no heed to danger, gladly flying into the heaviest enemy barrage. His Wild Riders willingly follow him into the fiercest fighting.

Eliac Zephyrblade - Eliac Zephyrblade is an Autarch of Saim-Hann who led a warhost of Aeldari and invaded Gnosis Prime in 786.M41. Claiming the world as their own, despite it having been under Imperial control for over twelve centuries, the aliens set about the systematic eradication of its billions-strong population. A full year after the start of the war, Wolf Lord Logan Grimnar and his Space Wolves Chapter arrived in the Gnosis System. When they found the doomed world, it was all but a graveyard. The Great Wolf vowed if he could not save the people of Gnosis Prime, he would avenge them, and so, the Great Wolf set course to Gnosis Secundus seeking revenge against the Saim-Hann Aeldari still in-system. At the height of the battle, Grimnar feigned a looming defeat in order to draw the arrogant Aeldari commander into battle. Though the two mighty warriors clashed blades, Grimnar was unable to take full advantage after having knocked the Autarch from his Jetbike by smashing its engine-core with the Axe of Morkai. The Great Wolf could only howl in frustration as the Autarch nimbly pulled himself up onto a passing skimmer. The two exchanged a final look through the rain before Zephyrblade and the surviving Aeldari fell back through a Webway portal. Though the Space Wolves had emerged victorious, it was a hollow victory as the Gnosis System lay in ruins whilst the Aeldari had escaped...at least for now.

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Audiobook 21 // Perdition's Flame by Alec Worley


These Saturdays are coming thick and fast, it is almost like there is one a week! For this week's audiobook, we are delving into the Black Library Horror series with Perdition's Flame by Alec Worley. Running at 79 minutes it was perfect for a walk to and from work. Here is the official write up:

The wind screams. The dark night is freezing. Vossk, a Vostroyan Firstborn, shrinks into a rock against a howl of memories. Having disgraced himself by deserting his post during a terrifying encounter, Vossk had resigned himself to penal servitude, though yearned for the chance to redeem himself. But in the 41st Millennium, such dreams are hollow when a man’s reality has been shaken to his core. Found in the shadows of a pitiless cave, Vossk relives his tale to his rescuer. But trauma stalks the weary, and in the face of an even greater horror, it grins at those whose courage has failed them once before…

Written by Alec Worley. Running time 79 minutes. Performed by Grace Andrew, John Cameron Stewart, Andrew Wincott & Jo Woodcock

Not my first adventure into the horror side of Black Library, so I had high hopes (see: The house of Night and Chain along with Watcher in the Rain). The story circles an 86th Vostroyan Firstborn by the name of Vossk. Viewed as a deserter and now imprisoned on a ship en route to a panel legion, Vossk finds himself surrounded by murders and cold-hearted killers. To make matters worst the ship's systems seem to be failing and the horrors that lead to Vossk's desertion have seemingly followed him onto the ship. Now left with no choice Vossk has to team up with his prison wardens and discover the truth of this attack.

To be honest, it is no scarier than any other Black Library titles, but what it does excel at is the production values. A lot of excellent voice acting went into this, and I genuinely appreciate the hard work completed by the actors. A great story of faith and valour whilst still being action-packed and very 40k. Worth a listen to!

Have you listen to or read this story? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments or if you have the chance give me a follow. Thank you for stopping by, show support and feel free to use these links to start your own adventures. I get a kickback if you use the Amazon link, so thank you in advance.

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Audible Perdition's Flame

Book Review 117 // Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe


Last weeks the Outcast Dead has reignited a spark inside me for the Horus Heresy. I have the next few novels lined up and ready to go, so expect lots of heartbreak and betrayal in the coming months. This week I got to dive into Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe.

I have to be honest and state I know very little about the Raven Guard. They aren't a legion I care much for, my begins and ends with the fact that they favour stealth and ambush, along with leaning heavily on the emo raven theme. I am glad to see my favourite author Gav Thorpe is the writer so I am excited to see what happens.

As the Horus Heresy divides the Imperium, Corax and his few remaining Raven Guard escape the massacre at Isstvan V. Tending to their wounds, the bloodied Space Marines endeavour to replenish their numbers and return to the fray, taking the fight to the traitor Warmaster. Distraught at the crippling blow dealt with his Legion, Corax returns to Terra to seek the aid of his father – the Emperor of Mankind. Granted access to ancient secrets, Corax begins to rebuild the Raven Guard, planning his revenge against his treacherous brother primarchs. But not all his remaining warriors are who they appear to be… the mysterious Alpha Legion have infiltrated the survivors and plan to destroy the Raven Guard before they can rebuild and threaten Horus’s plans.

It's nice to finally learn some deeper info on this Legion. I believe Corax was last mentioned way back in book three(?), on the fields of the Drop Site Massacre. Lucky for us the book picks up at this location, as we follow Corax and his sons retreating across the war-torn planet, constantly chased by the World Eaters Legion and Angron. As all seems lost aid arrives in the form of the Raven Guard garrison force who following a vision has come to save the Primarch. From here we join Corax who attempts to rebuild his legion using gene-tech gifted to him by his father. 

Within this story of hope, we have a cloak and dagger story. During their attempts to flee Istavan it would appear some Alpha Legion troops managed to sneak in. Their goal is two-fold, step one; discover the gene technology and attempt to steal it or at least destroy it. Step Two; cripple the Raven Guard and take them out of the civil war for good. This aspect of the book was amazing! I really enjoyed the secrets and shadow work by the Alpha Marines, who weren't even sure how many members exist within the Raven Guard.

Overall a solid book, not without faults, but full of action, intrigue and story expanding lore. This is what I want from these novels and I hope this style of storytelling continues.

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Unboxing Video - Strontium Dogs - Build a Mutie Unboxing

Today is a shameless promotion of my Youtube Channel. Over there, I am learning the ropes on how to vlog, do unboxing videos and one-day soon live stream. Below you will find my video where I unbox a Warlord Games, Strontium Dog box - Build a Mutie. Have a watch, have a laugh, give a follow. You know the score!


I had a lot of fun making this video. I definitely want to make more! I feel there is room for me to grow within the Youtube community, doing these Warlord Games videos. Let me know if you enjoyed it and if you have any feedback.

As always thanks for stopping by.

If you have the chance give me a follow. Thank you for stopping by and showing support and feel free to use these links to start your own adventures. I get a kickback if you use the Amazon link, so thank you in advance.

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The Rulebook: Strontium Dog

The Game: The Good, The Bad, The Mutie by Warlord Games

Beer Review 128 // Peche Mortel Jameson 2020


It's been a hot minute since I last reviewed a Dieu Du Ciel beer. So to re-enter the world of this Montreal brewery I chose a beer I had been saving for a while; Peche Mortel - Jameson 2020 edition. A hearty 9.5% brewed with Coffee and aged with Jameson whiskey.

Now for those who haven't read my old review of a basic Peche Mortel, please take the time to have a read. This post was done way back in 2017 (link). But it is from this base that the Coffee/Jameson brew is formed. The aroma is straight up whiskey and is all classic Jameson notes, a fruitiness, nuts, vanilla and wood. To this aroma base, we then get a little coffee and some chocolate, roasted malts. It smells so good. On the first sip, the tongue explodes with flavour. Coffee is the dominant flavour this time, pushing aside the whiskey, there is also a boozy warmth to this which is very welcomed. The mouthfeel is sticky and clings to the mouth, which leaves a lingering taste that is just delicious. This was truly a treat to enjoy, I am hoping they make this version again and if they do I will be all over it!

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Comic Review 122 // Strontium Dog: Search/Destroy Agency Files 02

Wow, this is one big omnibus. I finished reading this one with a day to spare. Meaning I am writing this with barely 24 hours to go before it goes live. I have to say, I am really enjoying the Strontium Dog series so far, it definitely isn't knocking Dredd off the top spot but is definitely up there in my enjoyment lists. As I stated earlier this year, I am really getting into the Warlord Games: The Good, The Bad and The mutie; a Strontium game. To ensure I am getting the most out of the game, I am attempting to read a large chunk of the series as well as painting up figures.

Last week I unsurprisingly started with omnibus one. Once you have had a read that, you can head back here. The original book was a great intro to the main trio and did a solid job of introducing us to the series. 

Personal Thoughts

I entered this book looking for the lore to be expanded and I was not disappointed. 

This omnibus opened with Portrait of a Mutant - a deep dive into Johnny Alpha's past, how he was affected by the Strontium 90 and also how his father Nelson Kreelman was in fact the leader of an anti-mutant group. Through this series, we meet the leaders of the mutant rebellion (who later become Strontium Dogs), we discover how and why T-Weapons were created and finally how Kreelman was overthrown. Great intro to this book, which left me more engaged with the Strontium series than I could have imagined. This was then followed by the emotional - The Gronk Affair. This tale reintroduces the Weerds Brothers (first seen in the Hell series), these low life Strontium Dogs are looking for revenge on Johnny and Wulf and in an attempt to lure them into a trap, they aid poachers in an attack on the Gronk's homeworld. Quite a sad tale, showing how dark this series can be, the sight of all the Gronk pelts is rather horrific.

We then get what I would call more traditional style stories for Strontium Dogs, the first involves Kid Knee, a down and out SD agent, looking for one final score against the criminal known as the Mutator. A good, solid outing. Kid Knee was a fun character and his ending is more of a warning to the main characters about knowing when to quit. This is then followed by the Moses Incident and shows the effect the job can take on Alpha and the lengths he will go to, to right a wrong. A rather dark and emotion-filled story. Then the third story in this trio - The Killing, has Alpha and Sternhammer entering a deadly competition where to win you have to kill everyone else! Alpha and Sternhammer take on this challenge as nearly all the competition have bounties on their heads. This ended up being a classic gunfight story and I loved it.

Then to finish up we had a 23 parter (basically an Epic) called Outlaw. This actually continues the Nelson Kreelman story. With Johnny Alpha's Dad reappearing in disguise to take over the Strontium Dog program. With the aid of the Stix Brother's, Kreelman is able to turn S/D agent against S/D agent. Within this chaos, he also manages to get Alpha, Sternhammer and the old leaders of the Mutant Rebellion outlawed. With a sizable reward on their heads, the team flee the Doghouse and attempt to reclaim their freedoms. This was an amazing story and hit hard on several panels as some of my favourite characters came to an end.

Here is where the omnibus should finish, but there is actually a throwaway bonus tale at the end, that is just pure filler and not very good, to be honest. Overall a great, fun read. Stronger in the story than the first omnibus and is really setting up some exciting story arcs. I just hope omnibus volume 3 can continue the upward trend.

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Kindle Edition - Search/Destroy Agency Vol.1

The Game: The Good, The Bad, The Mutie by Warlord Games

Miniature Monday // Cube Head Ugly for Judge Dredd Miniature Gaming.

Welcome back for another miniature Monday. Today I am showcasing a quick and easy paint job. Spent at best 30 minutes on this and used a lot of contrast paints to get it done. The model itself is a 1985 Games Workshop, Judge Dredd miniature, know as Cube Head. Part of the JD RPG game line, he was number 13 out of 16. My goal for him and a few other models I have is to create some citizen crowds to act as cannon fodder or hindering terrain features. I don't plan on spending much time on these as they are more scene filler than focus, but hopefully fun enough to look at from 3ft.

Here is some background to these unusual citizens of Mega-City One.

The Uglies are citizens who wish to artificially uglify themselves to achieve a unique appearance. Followers use uglification products or body modification to enhance their ugliness or negate their attractiveness.

Origin

Otto Sump, a hideously unattractive person, was chosen to tell his pitiful life story on a talk show. He made such an impression on the viewers that he received a huge cash prize. He used his winnings to found a cosmetics company. However, his skewed sense of beauty meant that he made products that made the user ugly. Sump's celebrity, however, made him a fashion plate. His customers sought to emulate his ugliness, making Sump very wealthy.

Sump Products

Bulgetrex: Makes eyes redden and swell.

Bogle Drops: Nose drops that induce runny nose and snot-production.

Flabbon: Adds layers of cellulite.

Fuzz: Grows body hair.

KwikLime Shampoo: Burns off the hair at the roots.

Lip Chapper: Chaps lips.

Pimplex: Pimple-inducing cream.

Sump Paste: Creates cavities in teeth.

Wart-On: Wart-inducing cream.

Well, that's it for today. I hope you enjoyed this quick and dirty miniature post. Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts, what companies miniatures do you use to represent standard citizens in sci-fi games?

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Judge Dredd: Complete Case Files 03: Stars Otto Sump

The Game: I AM THE LAW by Warlord Games

Audio Book 20 // Realmslayer by David Guymer

Remember this review of Trollslayer? Well, I had so much fun with it that I had to jump into Realmslayer! Now some of you will be thinking WTF, you skipped x,y,z. Well, yeah I did. He is my reasoning:

1) I already own Realmslayer so I may as well enjoy it (The important reason).

2) It's set in Age of Sigmar and not Warhammer so is most likely a franchise reset. Let us see if I was right?

A Gotrek Gurnisson audio drama boxed set

The Slayer returns. Spat out of the Realm of Chaos after an eternity of battle, Gotrek Gurnisson finds himself in the unfamiliar surroundings of the Mortal Realms. With no axe, no oaths and no Felix, he sets out to find his place in this new universe…

Gotrek's back, he's voiced by Brian Blessed, and this epic boxed set contains four full-length audio dramas making up one exhilarating adventure that takes Gotrek across the realms and introduces him to new companions and enemies. It's truly unmissable.

Okay, this was basically a refresh and a new starting point for Gotrek's tales (Minus Felix). Realmslayer was an interesting guide to Age of Sigmar, as our hero, Gotrek doesn't have a clue about what is going on and needs it constantly explained to him (much I myself). I still don't fully get the new setting (realm gates, fire dwarves?) but the more stories I am listening to, the more it all seems to sink in and make sense. The audio drama itself was wonderful to listen to, very immersive. Brian Blessed brought Gotrek to life in a way I could never have imagined and moving forwards with the older tales, this is how I will imagine his voice. The supporting actors were good in their roles, I enjoyed the over the top performance of the Dark Elf actor, as she made the character seem over the top and uncaring, perfectly suited to the character of villainous morals.

But I need to go back to an earlier comment I quickly mentioned before. Gotrek was a great character to have as a lead to the story. He remembers the Old World, he is confused by the new one and his struggles to comprehend the changes, match my own inner struggle with AOS. I was on the journey to understand the new normal with him, it felt reassuring to have a guide in this situation as the main plot feature. Following this tale and Soul Wars before, I am starting to warm up to this new Warhammer verse, though I have yet to find my faction (where are my Wood Elves?), these audio adventures are definitely helping me, but I have a few more Old World tales to complete first before diving fully into AOS. So let us put a pin in it for now and continue on this journey at a later point.

Have you listen to or read this story? Let me know your thoughts below in the comments or if you have the chance give me a follow. Thank you for stopping by, show support and feel free to use these links to start your own adventures. I get a kickback if you use the Amazon link, so thank you in advance.

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Audible Realmslayer

Gotrek Miniature for Age of Sigmar

Book Review 116 // The Outcast Dead by Graham McNeill


Back into the darkness of the Warhammer 30k series - Horus Heresy. I've managed to keep a toe in with the Primarch series, but it feels great to be reading these again. It may help that I started with Graham McNeill for the return.

The galaxy is burning. The Emperor’s loyal primarchs prepare to do battle with Warmaster Horus and his turncoat Legions on the black sand of Isstvan. Such dark times herald new and yet more terrible things still to come, and when Astropath Kai Zulane unwittingly learns a secret that threatens to tip the balance of the war, he is forced to flee for his life. Alongside a mysterious band of renegades, he plunges into the deadly underworld of Terra itself, hunted like a criminal by those he once trusted. In the face of betrayal, Kai must decide where his own loyalties lie and whether some truths should be buried forever.

Damn this was a book and a half to come back to. First up let me say I enjoyed the slow build-up to the action. It helped build up suspense and love for the characters involved. Without a spoiler every two seconds I will only say that the space marine cast was some of the best so far, it is just a shame that they didn't get more backstory! We had a Thousand Son, a Deathguard, a Luna Wolf, an Emperor's Childen and 3 World Eaters Space Marines, possibly guarding the most important individual of the whole 30k verse. The story about halfway through really gains momentum and builds up to a heart-thumping battle as the villain of the piece (possibly a Thunder-Warrior), finally gets to grip with the group and let us not forget the Custodians and the hunters chasing the group down. Overall the second half was a lot stronger than the first and I felt page space was wasted, especially as too many story plots were left wide open to not be revisited.

Ultimately a great welcome back to the Heresy and I can't wait for Deliverance Lost.



Beer Review 127 // Cosmic Latte by Beyond the Pale

Hang on Peps! Didn't you already review this beer? Why yes, yes I did (See here). But this is a new version of this beer. The coffee has changed, the label has changed, so time for a review.

Let's start with the label, it's been updated, it's been done by a professional and it looks great. Beautiful metallic and sparkly label. But how does it change? Well, this time they use Izere Coffee rather than Equator Coffee. We still have all the delicious pale malts, oats for smoothness and cocoa nibs for flavour. It pours beautifully, nice crisp white head, clear yellow pour, looks so nice in a glass. The aroma is coffee with a slight hint of chocolate in the background. The mouthfeel is smooth, creamy and full-bodied. The taste is dominantly coffee, which as the tongue gets used to it becomes more chocolatey, the bitterness is gentle and doesn't linger, slightly dry in a positive way as it makes you want more! This has been my go-to drink for January and I highly recommend you try this if you get the chance.

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Miniature Monday // Strontium Dog - Impetigo Jones

Here we are with the third member of the Max Bubba gang. Impetigo Jones will soon be causing mayhem alongside Max Bubba and Brute Mosely . ...