Tag Archives: Space Marines

Conception 2012 (RPG convention)

So this time last year it was freezing cold and we were staying in a caravan. Yes that’s right a caravan in January! Well this year we (me, hubby and some friends – Hubby came on Friday due to work commitments.) are being much more civilised. We are staying in a lodge, this time on site. So no having to drive anywhere, nor having to smuggle sandwiches in either. Can roll out of bed later and just walk over to the con.

Also got to appreciate the usefulness of the Google Star Map App. It was pretty clear some of the nights so not only got to see Venus, Jupiter and Mars but could also work out what constellations were about!  I’d fogotten that I’d actually downloaded it until someone mentioned they had it on their iPad. There’s not much point using it in London, too much light pollution.

So onto the games!

Cut for lengh

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Woman in Deathwatch

or rather the lack of.

Let me first make this clear, this is not some kind of rant about Space Marines and how its sexist that they’re all male in the 40k Universe. (At least I really hope it doesn’t come across that way.)  Its not something I get my knickers in a twist about, because I enjoy the  Warhammer 40k setting. This is more a post about about an oddity in the Deathwatch rule book.

The tagline for the setting is: “In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war.”

Its a terribly over blow satirical setting, a black comedy based on heavy metal album covers (to quote my husband.)  Its very silly, and whenever we have played Dark Heresy (where you play Inquisitorial acolytes) we tend to ham it up quite a bit, rolling around with shotguns, flame-throwers and as many grenades as you can carry. You shot first and ask questions later, everyone’s a hieratic. (Its a nasty setting, your essentially playing catholic space nazi’s, it’s not pleasant, you have to be over the top with it.)

So getting back to the point at hand, Deathwatch, the RPG in which you play Space Marines. They are all male, there never has been there never will be a female Space Marine.

In the setting this is explained thus: The Emperor, when he walked the Earth, before he ascended the golden throne, was male. He ‘functionally’ cloned himself making Primarchs. Who because they have his DNA are also male. Space Marines are based of Primarch DNA, whis is male DNA. Which is why they are all male. This may be a bit of a silly explanation, its does make it somewhat sexist, but Space Marines are based of Medieval Monastic and Knightly Orders, which funnily enough they were male and this is the feel the 40k universe is going for.  Here are some pictures:

Black Templar/Knight Templar – note the Maltese cross


(Black Templare from here, Knight Templar from here)

Dark Angels/A Monk (Cadfael – which is an awesome series) -look at those robes.


(Dark Angel from here)

Yes ok the Dark Angel is looking a little more aggressive…

There is however a female equivalent.  Sister’s of Battle. While they are human, as opposed to genetically engineered super soldiers, they are the pinnicle of what a human can be.  The stomp around in power armour (like a Space Marine) and wield bolt guns (like a space marine) and flame throws (like certain chapters of Space Marines, in fact they use them even more, its all about the purging!!) So they don’t live as long a Space Marine, they aren’t as physically strong, they don’t heal as fast, nor do they spit acid, eat peoples brains to get their memories, hibernate (Space Marines aren’t quite human). However they have the same level of equipment, they have the same security clearance, the same rank. Oh and they get the incredibly powerful faith powers, they are literally shielded from everything by their faith. Powerful Battle Sisters can banish demons.  They are in fact based on Nuns (surprise, surprise – can you feel the medieval vibe going on here).

Sister of Battle/A Nun


Saint Scholastica, who lived from 480 to 547 A.D., is the patron saint of nuns. Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Look thats metal armour coated in leather,so that it can be embroidered, is that not way cooler than a Space Marines? Ok so those two pictures don’t compare quite as well (like the Dark Angel and Cadfael) Nun’s didn’t walk around in heavy armour. But Sisters of Battle kick some serious ass.

Anyway finally onto the point of this blog post. (I just needed to explain some of the background stuff first.)

Hubby has been reading through Deathwatch (he’s good like reading the RPG books, I just buy them and look at them), and he noticed something a bit strange.

Deathwatch, in the 40k setting, is a Space Marine Chapter that was set up primarily to protect the Imperium from the Alien menace. Deathwatch the RPG is therefore based on this chapter, and so your expected to play a Space Marine because its a Space Marine game.

However, I personally prefer to play female characters, as I’m sure a lot of women tend to do. This therefore presents something of a problem. If you have a female player in your group and they want to play a female character in the game, how do you handle it in Deathwatch?  There are several suggestions for how to do this, for example you could play an Assassin, an Inquisitor, a Sister of Battle or some kind of Chapter Lieutenant (because there aren’t that many Space Marines, so you’d probably be a pilot or a heavy weapons specialist – however you have the potential to be more powerful and operating at the same level with the other three, as you can perform functions that Space Marines can’t – you really think a man in power armour can stealth?).

What is odd however, is that this is not mentioned in the book. It is implied occasionally,that you could a play a non-Space Marine. The game is about the Brotherhood between the Space Marines, and it does mention that playing a non-Space Marine will mean you’re not part of this brotherhood. But it never really brings up the fact that anyone who wants to play a female character could play a non-Space Marine.

Now you could argue that maybe in this day and age they didn’t feel the need to mention it. That maybe everyone can be all ‘grown up’ about this sort of thing. However it is something that could have been placed as a sidebar in the GM section, just noting that if someone would like a non-male character there are options, as opposed to kind of hinting at that. (For example most of the example inquisitors given in the NPC section are female.)

Perhaps we’re (me and hubby) are too used to White Wolf games, which do their best to be inclusive, for all genders, sexuality and races, they are filled with sidebars. And I know Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader and Deathwatch aren’t the same kind of game as say Shadowrun, which uses different fantasy races (orks, elves etc) to represent human races and thus deal with social issues, like racism in game. Which is fine, as I don’t expect that from the 40k ‘verse. I expect horrible situations where generally the only solution is lots of grenades, and flame throwers.

However this kind of thing, is generally what a side bar is for. To point something out that doesn’t fit with the main body of text, to make people aware of something they might wish to consider.

Which is not done here.  Was this forgotten? Did they think they didn’t need to address it because it was ‘obvious’ to those that were writing it and so it should be ‘obvious’ to everyone else? (Sure some people will consider this as an option, but there are people out there, who if something if something isn’t explicitly stated, will never consider it as an option.) Or did they simply neglect to even think about it?

I don’t know. I’d like to think that they simply thought it wasn’t necessary because we live in progressive times, but who can say.

So, moving on from that little oddity, what are the options to run Deathwatch if someone wants to play a female character?

  • Ignore the canon and allow female Space Marines, they’re functionally the same just female – careful about mentioning this online, people will jump down your throat about breaking the canon.
  • Be a dick and say ‘Deathwatch is a Space Marine game, they are male, and I don’t like people playing characters who are a different sex, so no female players.’
  • Think outside the box and allow the player to play a female Assassin/Inquisitor/Sister of Battle as mentioned above.
  • Or one idea my husband has had is to run the game where everyone is a Sister of Battle. But they’re just ‘fanatical nuns with flame-throwers’ I hear you cry. That’s because they haven’t had as much written about them as Space Marines and so don’t have have as much characterisation.


Filed under 40k, Gaming, Roleplaying, Warhammer

Obsidian Wings

Hubby got Deathwatch and Rights of Battle for his bday and I have just rolled up a new chapter. Well ok I’ve rolled up twice, the first chapter I rolled up where a pretty generic Ultramarines successor chapter who are more techy and directly rule an ocean world. It wasn’t that interesting.

This chapter however are completely insane:

Name: Obsidian Wings

Successor: Dark Angels Successor

Founding: The 39th Millennium to counter Orks.

Demenour: Base Dark Angels

Gene Seed: Altered Gene Seed – Lost neuroglottis (can’t detect poison) and mutated Catalepsean Node (have wildly altered sleep cycles)

Characteristic bonus:+5 Agility + 5 Fellowship

Chapter Hero: A Chapter Master who killed a Demon Prince

Homeworld: Uninhabited Desert World

Organisation: Unique non-codex with a siege doctrine.  No Assault Marines and have Bestial Companions.

Solo Ability: Agility Specialisation

Squad Mode: Attack Pattern – Storm of Hell (Close Combat); Defense Pattern – Swift Advance (Advance while dodging)

Beliefs: Emperor above all.

Chapter Status: Over Strength

Friends: Space Wolves

Enemies: Orks

Advancement Table: No respite for the enemy.

Well there you have it, a Dark Angels successor that’s friends with the Space Wolves, hubby suggested I pick that chapter on purpose seeing as they were already massively divergent from the Dark Angels and had more in common with Space Wolves (E.g. Animal companions, being over strength and completely non-codex.)

Except of course they DO have the Dark Angels demeanour – so they’re really intolerant, suspicious, taciturn and hunt the fallen angels.

They’re siege specialists that probably infiltrate, seeing as they are incredibly agile but are running around in heavy armour – go figure.

Also have to assume these animal companions are the ones who can fly as they have no assault marines, which makes sense for siege specialists, but something has to explain the reason for having Wings as part of their name! (Hubby points out the wings could just be because they’re Dark Angel successors which probably makes more sense.)

I haven’t thought to much about the livery but heraldry wise they probably have black wings (which means they’re shoulder pad is probably white).  They probably have some Dark Green somewhere… but who knows. I mean do they have still have a Deathwing and  a Ravenwing? The demeanour says yes, everything else says no.

So yeah feel free to use them if you really want to!!!


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Games Workshop: Gamesday 2008

(This is why I need to get hold of my own camera (I now have) because it takes me ages to get pictures sorted when they are on my mum’s and I need to get them to my machine but anyway here is the post i was making the DAY AFTER Gamesday. Enjoy. Also the post is a bit picture heavy.)

So I was going to make a post last night, but when I got back I was just tooo damn tired. I mean sorting photos out and coming up with coherent sentences? It wasn’t going to happen. We got back in time for me to watch the new BBC telling of Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which I must confess I’ve never watched, read or listened to, so this should be interested, before I crawled into bed at 10.

So perhaps I should rewind a bit and tell you where me and C went for the day? To the Games Workshop games day at the Birmingham NEC. We opted to take the coach that our local Games Workshop had orgainsed, which meant we paid a little more, but seriously it was just easier plus as we only got our tickets a week ago I very much doubt the train would have been cheaper. Plus, while I’m not 100% sure I’d bet that Virgin trains were probably doing engineering works (again) which would have made it a b***h of a journey. So we left on the coach for Birmingham at 6.30am, arriving at the NEC just after 9. We made one stop on the way at Oxford services, where there were several other coaches, all clearly also on their way to the NEC.

We got there at a pretty good time, meaning that we weren’t too far back in the queue from the entrance, the doors opened at 10am and I think we actually got into the gamesday area at about 10.30. In fact on the way in we saw a kind of odd, but neat and something that does make sense at a convention centre, vending machine. One which wasn’t full of sweets and crisps, but with batteries, memory cards, usb sticks, dvds & cds, cables and mice.

(See we weren’t too far from the actual entrance to the place.)

Once we got in, I figured we’d try and head straight to the Forge World stuff, as the manager for our local store on the coach had mentioned that it just gets so horribly busy there, and as we’d got in reasonably early we might be able to see something. Unfortunately we didn’t quite realise were it was in relation to the entrance and so walked right past it and to the other end of the hall, where we discovered what we think may have been one of the best bits of the convention. A stall selling £5 mystery boxes and lots of old Warhammer stuff really cheap. So we both picked up a mystery box each, each box has 4 random blister packs.  We got some pretty neat models, Eldar Harliquins, 2 Tallarn Rough Riders, 4 Robed Space Marines,  4 Officers of a Russian looking imerpial guard regiment, I’m not sure which one? and a demon host. 🙂 We went back later and got 2 more mystery boxes as well as a £2 copy of the special edition of Warhammer 40k.. £2?! Can’t argue with that! 🙂 We weren’t so lucky with our 2nd lot of boxes, they both had Lord of the Rings stuff, a Gandolf, Boromir, Haldir and random Elf, 4 Uraki (sp??) and… 3 yes… THREE models of the same Legolas.. 😐 luckily some of the people on our coach DO play lotr, and so we got rid of some of the models. Although we still have 2 Legoli, and 4 Uraki.. not sure what we’re going to do with them. Anyone want one? We realised we should have got more boxes earlier, ah well. 🙂

After that we had a wonder rough, managed to see some of the Forge world stuff, my god the Titans are so BIG!! I mean I know they say they are big but you don’t appreciate HOW BIG till you see them. Look!

Battle scene Imperial Guard vs…? I’m not sure

A Reaver Titan

Close up shot of the fortress.

Tyranids vs Space Marines, for the Anphelion Project, Imperial Armour Vol 4 from Forge World. I may well have to get my mits on that book at some point theres some nice Tyranid stuff in there. 🙂

(Left to Right) Tyranid Trygon, Malanthrope , Hierophant. Just to give you an idea of how freaking BIG a Hierophant is(!)

Sorry some of these pic’s are so dark, am not used to using my mum’s camera. These pictures were actually a lot darker too, I’ve adjusted the levels to make it possible to see stuff. Couldn’t really fix the blury one!

There was also lots of random games going on, here are a couple of pictures:

Waaaaagh! Battle ship.

Isn’t it great? An actual ship. I forget who they were fighting, (Space Marines I think, or might have been  a mix of Marines and Imperial Guard), but they were based at an actual dock.

Heh Life size 40k models.I’ve no idea why I didn’t take a photo of the Space Marines the Orks were fighting… Oh well.

Racing. 🙂

Tanks! This was just a giant tank battle, Imeprial Guard vs Orks. 🙂

Annoyingly I am POSTITIVE I took some more photos of other games going on, some Eldar Vs Tyranids, and a big fight between the Tomb Kings and the Undead, which had a giant sphynix and such. However they seem to have vanished. 😦

Now for some other random pics:

Ork Battle wagon.

Thats one big gun, I would suspect there aren’t rules for this in 40k, because otherwise that’d be pretty nasty!

The people who make warhammer originally started off which historical battles, their new supplimant is the the Great War and this is a scene from Galliple.

Thats pretty much all the pictures, overall it was a good if rather tiring day. It got to abot 2pm and both of us just ran out of energy, luckily the power of coca-cola did revive us. Hurrah for sugar. I wasn’t too impressed with the awards ceremony for the Golden Demon has the way they set their big screen up made it almost impossible to see the actual figures. The screen had a bright white background, with the large logo for the Gamesday at the top and the name of the award at the bottom, meaning the pictures were squashed in between with no way to help contrast them. The best we could make out was ‘I think thats an.. Ork?’ :/ So will have to wait till I can find a report and pictures either online or in White Dwarf.

Finally the guys from our Games Workshop had set up a quiz, we were supposed to be in teams of 6, but the other 4 people in our team contributed NOTHING. Still with just me and C, and C somehow dredging up 10 year old memories of what certain things were we managed to come joint 3rd with 39 poitns (I think) the winners got a rather large 59, so we had no real hope of winning there. Some of the questions in the quiz were pretty tricksey, such as how many elves turn up at Helms Deep in the book.

I’d definitley consider going again, those mystery boxes were fab! 🙂

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So Excited!!

Hehehe!! So a few weeks ago I saw the Eldar E3 trailer for Dawn of War II, and I must say its a fantastic trailer, the graphics are amazing and it really shows off Eldar and Space Marines really well!! The trailer ends with the Space Marine Captain slashing at the Eldar Farseer with his chain sword and saying “This world is ours, Witch!” with the dying Farseer answering “Wrong, this world is theirs.” And she points up to the sky, and all we see is a rather reddish looking night sky. The trailer then cuts out to say Dawn of War II, coming soon (or something like that). Leaving you going “Whose?! Whose world is it?!”

What was my reaction then? “Tyranids! Its got to be Tyranids! Oh I hope its Tyranids!”

What did C find today? A slightly extended Eldar Trailer, showing who turns up

and also This

(Sorry the Embedded video just didn’t want to work 😦 )

I was right!! Tyranids!! SQUEEEEE!!! I am sooooo very excited! Look at the awesomeness!!! The utter utter awesomeness of them!

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