Saturday, 26 December 2015

ARTQ: It Came Upon a Midnight Fear: An Advanced Rogue Trader Quest Battle Report

Season's greetings vaqueros, and welcome to a very special edition of the Funky Wenis Rodeo. Today we are sampling the game of Advanced Heroquest, a headstrong and complicated brew, but with a lemony sci-fi twist, making a delightful cocktail of carnage, shuriken fire and space vampires from another dimension. Prepare yourself for...

It was a dark and oddly smoky night. Four adventurers approached an abandoned outpost in the middle of nowhere.
From left to right: Dr What, the mysterious psyker; Nary Sigmoron VII, the Genetically Modified Human; Jonathan Farker, squat mercenary; and an eldar named Gary. 
Artwork by Daniel Lovas, used with permission (Cheers Daniel! Check out his website)
All they knew is what the Imperial office planetside had told them - "reports of unnatural activities abound in that sector; disappearances, dismemberments, disco at odd hours. Good luck, and be careful..."

Intel led them to the alleged address: 0-Positive Drive, Platelet Crescent, Bloodton-Upon-Haemorrage. The outpost was an old listening station, long abandoned - at least, by it's human garrison. What lived there now, none living could say...

After getting the password right on the very first try ("Blood? Who would have guessed?!") the warriors searched the outpost until a secret door to an underground warren was revealed - someone or something had built a lair deep under the hill beneath the outpost. Time to sniff out this rat...

Jonathan Farker, squat mercenary and nominal leader of this motley band, approached the first door carefully, the rest of the team spreading out to cover him. The first door revealed little, save for another door. Everything was dark... too dark. And quiet... too quiet. And it smelt like ass... too ass.

 "Nary," Jonathon whispered, "There's something up there, behind that door. Wanna go see?"

Nary Sigmoron VII, Genetically Modified Human, gave a strange, electronically enhanced roar and hurled himself through the sliding metal doors with a crash, surprising a small group of hideously devolved humanoid ghouls, an android sentry and some sort of human leader - he looked like a member of one of the local gangs that had been reported missing in recent weeks. The ghouls were gross and some were doing deeply sexual things in the corner. Dr What sent a blast of pure mind power through the door, frying the brains of one of the ghouls and giving two more a terrible headache.

"Like what you see adventure boy?"

Nary raised his giant fighting robo-fist and began pummeling the deviants. Bolter shells ricocheted off his armour, and the android send hot blasts of laser energy his way as it attempted to call for reinforcements.

Two more ghouls appeared from the corridor, pouncing upon Dr What and Jonathon with their suspiciously sticky fingers. The good doctor used his psychic powers to heat up his sword to a white-hot tip, thrusting it through one of the beasts. The squat hacked at his enemy with his bayonet, slashing and stabbing at it's greasy flesh.

Gary and Nary double-team the android as it's dial-up modem once again fails to connect. Leaping onto a table, Nary Sigmoron VII brought the People's Enhanced Elbow down upon the oversized plasteel skull in the ultimate universal smackdown, shattering it and sending occular lenses flying all over the place.

ICQ-24/7 - prototype surveillance and security droid. He is always watching... always.

Being a rampant opportunist, Dr What opens up the chest while the others are occupied and pockets a cool 200 galactic credits.

Further into the complex. Nary discovers a room containing nothing but a shiny, shiny statue. It had a large red button on it's forehead, the kind you should never, ever push.
"It looks like solid carbonite," Jonathon said, his eyes gleaming as they worked out the approximate market value of a man-sized statue made of the rare metal. "Also, don't push that button."

"AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW...." sighed Nary, and Jonathon knew it was already too late.

With a pulsing noise, the carbonite melted away to reveal not a statue, but a very angry motorcycle punk with a shotgun. He attacked the red-armoured warrior with much punk-rage.

In happier times, Psycho Sam and his twin brother Psycho Larry would cruise the great apocalyptic highways of the future looking for love, and good times. 

Nary and Jonathon managed to subdue Sam and steal his motorbike keys - but their mission was far from over. The dark corridors continued deeper into the complex.

They battled ghouls and gangsters.

Many foul beasts met their end with a mighty fist to the grille, or with razor-sharp shurikens slicing through their nasty bodies, or with hot bolter shells exploding inside their ribs. Dr What melted mind after fevered mind, each contact bringing him closer to the truth. Something in this lair was controlling human and ghoul alike with a powerful psychic influence. The ghouls, whom once were men, were in the final stages of mind-thrall, little more than beasts. But what manner of creature could exert such control?

In a stinky corner of the warren they discovered the lair of the Ghoul King, a massive creature with bulging red muscles, huge raking claws tearing through flesh and armour with equal ease. His foul children surrounded him, jaws dripping foul drippy stuff, their red eyes glowing with hatred and hunger.

Gary and Jonathon stitched up the Ghoul King with some precision bolter and shuriken fire. The other ghouls soon followed, but the Ghoul King was not the one they sought - something even fouler lay in wait...

The adventurers approached the final door. There was a lot of noise coming from the other side, it sounded like chanting. With a roar of mechanical rage, Nary blasted through the door into the midst of the ultimate monster mash.

In the midst of all the commotion, a hideous figure stood in the centre of an interdimensional summoning circle. "Bahaha! Velcome to my lair, insignificant food-items. I do so like it ven fresh blut does home deliverink!"

Ham Stokyr - Space Vampire

Furious George, the evil undead Jokaero sidekick

Assorted orks

Accompanying Ham was an ork warlord in full powered armour, his small retinue, a smattering of gangers armed with lasguns, and a horde of sexual ghouls. The heroes were facing the battle of their lives!

Nary waded into the throng, crushing heads with every swing of his fist. Behind him, Dr What focused his mind-powers and sent a blast of energy that injured several ghouls and exploded the brain of Furious George, evil Jokaero. Gary lined up Ham Stokyr, the space vampire, and gave him a full load of shurikens at almost point blank range. The creature swirled it's cape as the razor-sharp death perforated him. He fell to the ground, apparently vanquished.

"Ha ha!" Suddenly the vampire rose back up again as if by some invisible force. "You vill haff to to better than that, silly adventurelinks!"

The forces of evil assaulted Nary with renewed vigor, and the red armoured warrior began to falter. He managed to land a telling blow upon Nog Nosebuster, the ork warlord, crushing his ugly green face and making his brains squirt out of his ears, but the combined attacks of ghouls, orks and lasgun fire from the back of the room was taking it's toll. As the last of Nary's strength failed him, Gary pulled out a medi-stim injector and inserted it into a slot in the warrior's support pack. With a hiss the potent serum was pumped into the superman's veins, but the results would take a turn to take effect, and the fighter was now lying at the mercy of all the gathered monsters.

Ham Stokyr stood over the fallen bulk of Nary and raised his comically oversized but extremely deadly syringe, ready to suck the juice right out of the Genetically Modified Human and use it to fill himself with supernatural strength. All he had to do was hit one, prone individual lying directly at his feet and victory for the forces of evil would  be assured!

Unfortunately for Ham, he missed.

With a roar of angry vengeance, Nary Sigmoron VII rose to his feet, towering over the blue vampire.

"Come now, ve are reasonable beinks, ve can talk about this, no?"

"Sorry blue-balls," chuckled Jonathon, "Nary talks with his fist. Exclusively."
Nary brought his fist down onto Ham's skull, pile-driving him a foot into the ground. The evil monster then turned into evil black goo and leaked away, evilly.

The rest of the monsters were mopped up with ease after that, and a thorough looting of the room provided a sweet haul of galactic credits which they filled their pockets with before leaving, jauntily discussing the jolly good fun they'd had. The mystery of the disappearances had been conclusively solved, and a rich reward awaited them.

Back in the lair, something hairy stirred. The stiff corpse of Furious George slowly got up out of the puddle of guts and ork blood it was lying in and stood, leering, as it's exploded brains bubbled and fizzed and started creeping back inside it's skull. The ape-thing sneered and shook it's fist as it loped off, already planning how to bring his master back once again from the dark dimension he called home...


As usual there are many folks to thank for the making of this report. My wonderful players Count von Bruno, Archaeopteryx and Christian were all good sports, and patient with me as I fumbled through a game I was largely unfamiliar with, using new rules that hadn't been tested yet. Their feedback will form the basis of an ARTQ module i'm planning to make for you all to use to play along at home. The legend of Ham Stokyr will live on in your hearts and living rooms for a thousand years!

Speaking of rules, this game simply could not have worked without the help of Niibl from the Oldhammer Forum, who sent me a draft of his 40k weapon conversions to AHQ chart. The sheer volume of work there is remarkable and far better than anything I would have come up with in the timeframe I had. You're a legend Niibl!

Finally, thanks to JB and Jon for coming up with the crossover concept and welcoming me to help test out this system as a part of their ongoing Rogue Quest project. You guys are cool.


  1. Absolutely smashing!!! I love everything about this! Psycho Sam's appearance made me want to cover myself in peanut butter and weep in a corner. Pure awesome!

  2. Captain Crooks serving up a big heaping helping of Oldhammer goodness right here! Watch out newborn this shit will Blanche all over you! This is pure Oldhammer through and through.

    ...but seriously...




    Nuff said.

    1. Thanks Blue :) With a bit of refinement this game should really swing, but it was silly Oldhammer fun by the bucketful :D

  3. Captain Crooks amazing stuff...for some reason I too wanted to sit in a corner and rub peanut butter on myself after seeing Psycho Sam...weird. Also that bit about the Squat wading in with a stiff lip and stabbing away with his bayonet had me reaching for my camo stick, and ka-bar. Well done sir.

    1. He was the backbone of the team, not great at shooting, not great at fighting, not real tall and... actually why DID we bring shorty along...?

      One of the things we discussed a fair bit was the relative size of the characters and how they obstruct lanes of fire and other considerations like that. The squat was one character who would never cause a problem by standing in the doorway, hehe...

  4. Excellent stuff Crooksy!

    I like the names, the minis, the story, the style, the spunk and creativity of the game. Good on you :)

    Oh, and could you tell me what the "ICQ-24/7 - prototype surveillance and security droid" mini is? It's it a conversion or a standard mini? I like him.

    Champagne gaming all the way my friend....champagne!

    1. ICQ is an odd combination of what I assume is the body of an old Warzone android with the head of a metal Necron Tomb Spyder. It started off as a joke, putting that big dumb head on that android body, but then something magical happened and I caught him watching me on the toilet - the rest is history!

  5. Man I'veve been awaiting this one but you sure provided solid gold here. Apart from the deep interest I have in how mechanics worked teh story is just briliant and had me in tears (of laughter) on more occasions I'll admit.
    You took the game under your command and tamed it to make Cringer into Battle Cat !

    1. I'm working on your favourite thing as I type - proper ARTQ character sheets for everyone to enjoy :) you know it's true, everything I do, I do it for you. And so it begins.

  6. Quality work Captain.

    Stokyr will be back, I can feel it. Reincarnation is always more likely with an undead Jokaero in your camp.

    1. I hear they are good at laundering capes too. A look like Stokyr's doesn't happen by accident.

  7. Fantastic! And that Ion Age head on a Sigmarine body looks really good.

    1. I thought so too :D which is why I bought more of each, because I don't know where to draw the line on humerous one-off jokes. Now I've got another pile of super-expensive plastic to add to my already teetering mound... eesh.

  8. Awesome - thanks for the write-up, sounds like you all had a good laugh! Some lovely minis in play too, the Sigmarine & android really stand out :-) I'm really looking forward to seeing the ARTQ project develop, (and hopefully giving it a whirl myself!), so thanks for doing your bit to move the project along!

    1. A project like this is not only a good chance to bring out models you don't often use (I have literally one painted Eldar in my whole collection) but provides a great excuse to make some wild conversions - Ham and the Android were already around, but the Sigmarine was made especially for this project, and I also painted a few ghouls that will eventually be a part of a much bigger fantasy undead army. ARTQ welcomes all your minis with open arms!

  9. Awesome minis and game! Looks ace, you certainly had fun!

    1. We sure did, it was a memorable game :D Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Great stuff. I too love the Sigmarine conversion; but even more I loved the write up and photos - looks like a great game.

    By the way, how is the Australian Oldhammer Day plans coming along - I am keen to get involved somehow....

    1. I'm hoping to run this game at the proposed Oldhammer Australia day - as yet the fine details are still being worked out ;) keep bugging me though, for sure!

  11. Great detailed write up your battle reports are awesom, keep me coming in 2016.
    Your paint style is very unique, in a good way I can't remember seeing ORKS painted quite ithat before but it really worked out well. Hapoy new year to you and you adventurers, it would be great to see them continue their quests!

  12. If you're talking about the Deathskull lootas,that's how everyone painted them in the 90's - they looked like escapees from a box of Lego. Most of my orks were painted when I was 13-14 and I've been recently refurbishing them, repainting their skin to my more recent style and basing them to match a more modern aesthetic. They are still firmly mired in the 2nd edition style though! Also i put that photo of the three through a filter for a laugh, they are less gritty IRL :)

  13. Why did it take me so long to read this? Absolutely awesome! So much to love in this, but the tops is Psycho Larry on his Akira bike, Where do I find one of these?

    1. Unfortunately Sean, that Akira bike is an old Grenadier sculpt that noone currently produces. I picked it up by chance and converted the rider to look like the BOYL15 event figure Psycho Sam. The bike won the sci-fi vehicle category at the BOYL event, judged by Tony Ackland no less! :D