ONE PAGE RULES Grimdark Future: The Massacre at Sanctuary 101

A guest article by Gareth Topping

INTRODUCTION

HELLO, JUNGLE VISITORS! My name’s Gareth (I’ve been here before), and Wicked Uncle Kenton has kindly permitted me to share with you a re-telling of a classic piece of 40k lore: the Massacre at Sanctuary 101!

For those of you not in the know, way back in the elder days of Warhammer 40,000, when the Necrons were introduced to the game, there was a battle report in White Dwarf called Sanctuary 101, where some unlucky Battle Sisters were thoroughly destroyed by a force of Necrons (mostly because 2nd edition Necrons were busted–I mean seriously, Toughness 8 Scarabs!?). Over time, this battle report became part of the 40k canon, as the first encounter the Imperium had with the awakening Necron Dynasties.

My buddy Ian and I have both recently been collected Battle Sisters and Necrons respectively, ever since those two ranges had their 8th/9th edition glow-up, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to replay this classic piece of 40k history.

Continue reading “ONE PAGE RULES Grimdark Future: The Massacre at Sanctuary 101”

“KD&D” Part 9: Simpler & Better Illusionists

This post is part of a series describing the rule changes I've made for my current fantasy role-playing campaign. “Kilgore’s Dungeons & Dragons,” or “KD&D,” is a full-fledged variant of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game initially released in 1977. Feel free to use some or all of these rule changes for your own D&D gaming, no matter what edition you play.

After many years of role-playing retirement, I started, in 2020, running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign at the request of my neighbors and family. Coming back to the game, I’ve realized that, while it’s still my favorite, the mechanics of it can be clunky and difficult, and that some parts are lame.

To make what I consider to be improvements to the core rules, I’ve borrowed ideas from issues of Dragon Magazine and later D&D editions, as well as come up with a few of my own. My operating motto for re-tooling the game is to make it, “Simpler & Better.”

Thus far in this series, I’ve talked about:

Making improvements to magic-users was just the beginning: I going to go through each of the character classes and make them easier to play and a lot more enjoyable. So, let’s move on to the magic-user subclass, and a favorite of mine and my players: the illusionist.

Continue reading ““KD&D” Part 9: Simpler & Better Illusionists”

BiL Beatdowns: Orks vs. Dvergar

by Kenton Kilgore

For decades, Warboss Nadzdrag had led raids and mighty Waaaghs! across the galaxy, burning, looting, killing, in hundreds of battles against untold thousands of Adeptus Astartes, Astra Militarum, Chaos Daemons and Traitors, Aeldari, Tyranids, T’au, and—of course—Orks.

But never once in all that time had he experienced this strange sensation, this unfamiliar feeling that made his boots too heavy and his palms damp, that bent his neck and kept his eyes on the blood-red sands of Auros IX. Never had he known fear. Until now.

The cause of this newfound fear was the most dangerous being that Warboss Nadzdrag had ever encountered, more dangerous than the mightiest Space Marine Chapter Master, or the most ferocious Bloodthirster of Khorne.

Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, the Prophet of the Waaagh!, the Beast of Armageddon, the mightiest Ork who had ever lived, towered over Nadzdrag, nearly twice his size, as they trudged along, three large mobs of Boyz shambling behind them. Following at a distance were a Gunwagon and several Deffkoptas.

Continue reading “BiL Beatdowns: Orks vs. Dvergar”

“KD&D” Part 8: Simpler & Better Magic-Users

This post is part of a series describing the rule changes I've made for my current fantasy role-playing campaign. “Kilgore’s Dungeons & Dragons,” or “KD&D,” is a full-fledged variant of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game initially released in 1977. Feel free to use some or all of these rule changes for your own D&D gaming, no matter what edition you play.

After many years of role-playing retirement, I started, in 2020, running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign at the request of my neighbors and family. Coming back to the game, I’ve realized that, while it’s still my favorite, the mechanics of it can be clunky and difficult, and that some parts are lame.

To make what I consider to be improvements to the core rules, I’ve borrowed ideas from issues of Dragon Magazine and later D&D editions, as well as come up with a few of my own. My operating motto for re-tooling the game is to make it, “Simpler & Better.”

Thus far in this series, I’ve talked about:

Last time out, I started talking about magic-users, so let’s keep rolling with them. In my campaign, humans, high elves (but not wood elves), half-elves, and dwarves (yes, really!) can be magic-users.

Continue reading ““KD&D” Part 8: Simpler & Better Magic-Users”

Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus, Now With More Metal

Text copyright Kenton Kilgore, 2021
Most images copyright Games Workshop, 2021. Used for review purposes.

I came late to the party that is the Adeptus Mechanicus, but once I arrived, I became a big fan. The AdMech fight like a high-tech Astra Militarum, with an emphasis on infantry, rather than vehicles (not that any of their vehicles are sad). As such, their rules fit well with how I want to run my “Space Dwarf” army that I started many years ago. As you might imagine, I glommed on to the latest Codex: AM very quickly.

As I do with my rulebook reviews, I’m not going to cover everything in exhaustive detail. Instead, I’ll touch on what I like, what I don’t like, and what I’m indifferent to. If you’re looking for a more in-depth view, I highly recommend this analysis by the guys at Goonhammer. So, let’s get started. 

Continue reading “Codex: Adeptus Mechanicus, Now With More Metal”

A Sacred World

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming novel Stray Cats, about the adventures of a cat named Pimmi across nine worlds, one of which will be familiar to visitors to this site.

If you like 40K fiction (and/or cats), I think you'll like this, which incorporates a lot of Jungle lore, with adjustments made to avoid infringing on Games Workshop's intellectual property.

Chronology: 14.038.379
Sector: Udaipur
System: Bagha
Planet: Vedah

Like many other cats on this hot summer afternoon, Pimmi is napping in a patch of sun when the Kurindans come to end the world.

A shrill keening from high above jerks her awake. The kitten cringes, head tucked, ears flat, eyes following those of the thin boy sitting next to her on the cracked stone steps of the shrine, forgotten by almost all.

A silvery shimmer, streaming white smoke, screams from the empty blue sky, spinning a flawless spiral for a second or two. Then it smashes into the village in the shallow valley below, a thundering explosion as the ground shakes. Pimmi’s heart beats a single time, and then the shockwave of the strike knocks the boy atop her as the scores of other cats who live here scatter.

Continue reading “A Sacred World”

“KD&D,” Part 7: Simpler & Better Spellcasting

This post is part of a series describing the rule changes I've made for my current fantasy role-playing campaign. "Kilgore's Dungeons & Dragons," or "KD&D," is a full-fledged variant of the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game initially released in 1977. Feel free to use some or all of these rule changes for your own D&D gaming, no matter what edition you play.

After many years of role-playing retirement, I started, in 2020, running a 1st Edition AD&D campaign at the request of my neighbors and family. Coming back to the game, I’ve realized that, while it’s still my favorite, the mechanics of it can be clunky and difficult, and that some parts are lame.

To make what I consider to be improvements to the core rules, I’ve borrowed ideas from issues of Dragon Magazine and later D&D editions, as well as come up with a few of my own. My operating motto for re-tooling the game is to make it, “Simpler & Better.”

Thus far in this series, I’ve talked about:

  1. Going back to AD&D instead of using the current, 5th Edition D&D;
  2. “Simpler & Better” character races;
  3. “Simpler & Better” character classes;
  4. The basics of making combat “simpler and better;”
  5. An in-depth look at “simpler and better” combat; and,
  6. Changes to various weapons.

Let’s switch gears and talk about casting spells, which is just as big a component of D&D as is combat.

Continue reading ““KD&D,” Part 7: Simpler & Better Spellcasting”

Birthday Spankings: Old Friends, New Starts

By Patrick Eibel and Kenton Kilgore

It was only within the last thirty standard solar years that the planet Tondar had been discovered, seized (violently), and settled by Imperial forces. Two years ago, this world had been overwhelmed by a massive Ork Waaagh!, and only within the last few months had the Greenskins been driven from it by the Space Wolves, led by the ancient Dreadnought Ferin Ironhammer.

Before a proper force of Astra Militarum could be sent to secure the planet, the Wolves had been ordered to another warzone, and in that vacuum, the forces of Chaos had struck, drawn to the Warpstone—crystalline hunks of solidified Warp energy—found on Tondar. 

Should the Traitors acquire the Warpstones, their power might be nigh-unlimited. But while the Wolves were gone, the planet was not undefended….

Continue reading “Birthday Spankings: Old Friends, New Starts”

In Praise of Patrick

by Kenton Kilgore

My pal Patrick Eibel turns 55 (!) today, and seeing as how he has achieved this milestone birthday, I thought I’d tell you some more about him and post a public “thank you” for all the things he’s done for me and this site over the years.

Jungle Guide Patrick Eibel

Continue reading “In Praise of Patrick”

Back and Badder Than Ever: the 9e Drukhari

Text by Kenton Kilgore, copyright 2021
Most images copyright Games Workshop, 2021

The fact that the second xenos army book released for 9th Edition is Codex: Drukhari—and not one for Craftworld Aeldari, T’au, or Orks—flabbergasts me, but I’ll take it. I’ve been playing Dark Eldar since they arrived with the 3rd Edition rules in 1998, and they’re one of my favorite forces to play. As I’ve done in the past, I’ll go over the new book, pulling out some of the things I like, some that I don’t like, and some that I’m indifferent on. Ready? Off we go!

Continue reading “Back and Badder Than Ever: the 9e Drukhari”