Wednesday, 7 June 2017

The story of Belis Alta - Part 1 – Nova Spero

The Belis planetary system excists of three planets. Belis Alta, Nova Belis and Belis Auris which all move around their single sun, Aurora. The Belis cluster itself was was right at the edge of the Segmentum Pacificus with Tanith being the closest planet.
See the Belis planetary cluster at the bottom right.
The Sun Aurora had been burning bright and warm for thousands of years. When the belis sector was first discovered by the Imperial pioneer fleet of Admiral Avarell Prichard it was Aurora that had guided the fleet in like a beacon of light and hope in the vast darkness of empty space.

Prichard halted the fleet and sent out expeditionary teams to the surface of Belis Alta, which at the time was still an unnamed planet. The first humans to report back to command all spoke of a beautiful planet with lustrous jungles, wild rivers and large lakes. No seas but enough water in the lakes to support the ecosystem. The expedition encountered many different primal lifeforms. Large carnivorous beasts that hunted in the jungle and on the plains. Herds of herbivorous creatures that roamed the plains. Flora so diverse it would take a thousand years just to document them all. The planet had very large and high mountains and ridges,  large lakes, dense jungles. The open plains seemed almost empty of wildlife, only smaller burrowing  creatures would risk showing themselves looking for food only to quickly disappear underground at the slightest signs of danger.

 An exploration force was dispatched to the planet’s surface and set up camp near one of the highest mountains. They named it Prichard’s Peak and the base of operations was called “Nova Spero” (new hope). After setting up camp the base was operational and teams of explorers were sent out. They came back with countless specimen and stories. Every inch of the planet was bursting with life. A planet so beautiful they named it Belis Alta (Beautiful Old One). Not every explorers team came back as the planet inhabited some dangerous flora and fauna. Many explorers were lured into flesh eating plants or creatures that looked like plants. And then there were the beasts. A planet with so much life also meant there were a lot of predators. In the dense jungles it was hard to see any further then 50 feet but the hunters that had lived there for years had no problem getting through it quickly. Some explorers seemed to have vanished without a trace, never to be seen again.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Why Genestealer Cult...?

To understand why I 've started this blog we must travel back in time to the year 1990. I was a young lad, 13 years old and me and the guys in my neighbourhood were hooked on a boardgame game called HeroQuest. We played it a lot and we were chuffed that MB released another game trying to exploit the commercial success of HeroQuest. This game was called Space Crusade but because we live in The Netherlands we knew it as Star Quest. For some reason they changed the title of the game for some countries.

Looks like good ol' 90's fun doesn't it..
It were my first experiences with Citadel miniatures and I was blissfully unaware of the 40K universe and the grim dark future. I hadn't heard of Games Workshop and we played with unpainted figures, it didn't even occur to us that we could have painted them. We had fun with the Space Crusade game but it didn't caught on like Hero Quest and after a few weeks we stopped playing...we forgot about our adventures in dark dungeons and our missions on a space hulk, we moved on to other things.I always look back to those fond memories of the winter of 1990, playing games with my friends, coming up with our own scenarios and trying to block each other in every mission. I had never heard of a Plasma Gun before, never played a game with dice and it took a long time before I would once again roll dice trying to get an armour save.Over the years I forgot about Games Workshop and their games until(2008) I found a game of Hero Quest and Space Crusade in a local charity shop and couldn't resist buying them both.

The big difference between 1990 and 2008 is probably the INTERNET. I used my google skills to find out as much as possible about the games I used to enjoy so much. I found many other people enthusiastic about the games and I found out there was much more...much much more. Little did I know that the few euros I spend in that charity shop would lead to a plastic addiction and many more euros to be spend on various Games Workshops products.

I started painting random 40K figures first, if I liked the model I wanted to paint on it and with time my painting skills improved. I then joined a gaming club where the 40K game was played and because I didn't have a playable army of my own I watched a couple of games and bought the "Black Reach" box set (one of the best ever released tbh). I painted the space marines first and started playing and I was hooked. I really liked the 5th edition rules and the simplicity of the game mechanics. I added more models to my army and later also started an Orks army. Both armies went up to 5000 points easily but then....6th edition and 7the edition quickly succeeded each other and the game changed dramatically. Some liked it some not so much, unfortunately I fall in the latter category. The new ally rules are not something I enjoyed. I liked 40K because every army has it's strengths and weaknesses. I also like the story behind the game and seeing tables with mixed and matches armies fighting together was too far fetched for my liking. I stopped playing and collecting 40K and switched to Bolt Action and Modern Wargaming with games like "Black Ops", "Spectre" and "Skirmish Sangin".

After being out of Games Workshops clutches for 3 years they pulled me back in. Completely out of the blue and totally unexpected. I was away for a short weekend without the kids. Enjoying a city I didn't know we found a games store and I picked up a White Dwarf for old times sake. At the hotel room we had to wait an hour before we would go out for dinner so I started flicking through the magazine. It was the Genestealer Cult special and I really liked the articles, models and art work around the GSC, it reminded me of my first games with miniatures; "Space Crusade". Maybe I'm just being sentimental or is it because I am getting older but I really wanted some Genestealer Cult models to paint. Later when I was home I did some research on the internet and found out that the GSC have a pretty strong codex and could field an army on it's own without allies or could go with Nids or Astra Militarum which are totally justifiable fluff-wise. Reason enough to start a new 40K army again....

On this blog I will keep track of my progress. I still build, paint and play other wargames too so I will upload here every now and then. Come back to check for new updates here every now and then or follow this blog.

Thanks for coming here and hope to see you back soon.