Sunday, 21 March 2010

Void 1.1 rules for an in progress army.

I have started to build up an army of Grymn Tunnel Fighters and have decided to attach them to the Void 1.1 rule system. With that in mind, I have come up with some rules for the basic squads and have included some points values to aid with selection. I must at this point, give some credit to the lads and lasses over at the Celtos Legion site (see the link over on the right) as I have been picking bits from their down loadable Grymn army list.

So without further is the start of an army:

Grymn Tunnel Fighter Army (Void 1.1)

Special Rules: (all of the troops in the army will be subject to these rules).

Rough terrain specialists: All Grymn ignore any penalties for moving through broken ground due to their expertise at operating in tunnels and mines.

As long as any Grymn squad is not reduced to half its starting troop total or less, it will benefit from a +1 bonus to its CD value. Once reduced to half size or less, the bonus is lost.

Fire Teams:
The normal idea behind building Grymn squads is to add fire-teams. Whenever you add basic troops to a unit, they will be added in pairs and must have the appropriate price paid for them. Leaders and support troops are not affected by this rule.

Basic stats (for all troops unless stated otherwise):
AS: 4
SH: 4
ST: 4
T: 5
W: 1
CD: 5
SZ: 2
MV: 4

Tunnel Fighter Infantry Squad:

Structure: Squad
Size: Leader + 4 to 9 troops
You may select one support model for each pair of standard troops.

1x Leader: Pulsegun, Combat Blade. 22 Points.
4 to 8 Infantry: Pulsegun, Combat Blade. 20 Points.
0 to 3 Support: Heavy Pulsegun, Combat Blade. 30 Points (s)
0 to 3 Support: Grenade Launcher, Combat Blade. 24 Points (s)

Leader: Tactical awareness, High morale (+1).
Support: Tactical awareness.

Tunnel Fighter Close Support Squad:

Structure: Squad
Size: Leader + 4 to 9 troops
You may select one support model for each pair of standard troops.

1x Leader: Shotgun, Combat Blade. 21 Points.
4 to 8 Infantry: Shotgun, Combat Blade. 19 Points.
0 to 3 Support: Flamethrower, Combat Blade. 30 Points (s)
0 to 3 Support: Grenade Launcher, Combat Blade. 24 Points (s)
0 to 3 Support: Chaingun, Combat Blade. 24 Points (s)

Leader: Tactical awareness, High morale (+1).
Support: Tactical awareness.

Tunnel Fighter Close Combat Squad:

Structure: Squad
Size: Leader + 4 to 9 troops
You may select one support model for each pair of standard troops.

1x Leader: 2 Auto Pistols. 21 Points.
4 to 8 Infantry: 2 Auto Pistols. 19 Points.
0 to 3 Support: Chaingun, Combat Blade. 24 Points (s)
0 to 3 Support: Grenade Launcher, Combat Blade. 24 Points (s)
0 to 3 Support: Flamethrower, Combat Blade. 30 Points (s)

Leader: Multiple shot (x2), Tactical awareness, High morale (+1).
Infantry: Multiple shot (x2).
Support: Tactical awareness.

That is it for now. I will be adding further entries as I finish more of the troops. Just to whet your appetites a little, here is the first complete Tunnel Fighter squad; a Close Support squad:

I plan on adding robots, command models and some vehicles to the army so there will be updates as and when I get another step forward.

I am hoping that this little army building session will give a small insight into how easy it is to include Grymn in other games...even if you don't have an existing army to proxy for.

Thursday, 18 March 2010


Silvia sat at the bar. Her hair was bunched into two auburn pony tails; her flawless complexion was accented with a neutral lipstick and the merest hint of blusher; her perfect, hour-glass figure was tightly enclosed in a green, silk mini-dress with a plunging neckline and enough support to produce a cleavage that every male in the bar was currently wishing they could dive into. All eyes were on her as she sipped her soft-drink while spinning her beer-mat; carefully lining up each edge with the edge of the bar before turning to the next one. It was almost 20-00hrs when Silvia looked towards the opening door at the person entering. The new patron was dressed in standard Grymn fatigues, minus the armour plates and was rather dusty with a grimy face and hair matted with oil. Silvia waved and the new arrival came over, kissed her on the lips and sat down next to her. It was Hella and as she sat down, most of the males watching sat open mouthed as the sound of broken hearts echoed around the bar.
Hella and Silvia had been friends ever since they enlisted. Neither of them was happy with all the attention they were getting from their male counterparts so they came up with a way of avoiding it. They pretended to be lovers and then dealt with the only males fool-hardy enough to push their luck by using the chain of command and the rather brutal equal opportunity laws that existed in the Grymn armed forces. After basic training, the two girls followed different paths; Hella joined the light infantry and Silvia went for special operations and trained to be a sniper; a good one at that.
As Hella and Silvia sat chatting at the bar; occasionally touching an arm or brushing a cheek; the door opened again and in walked Edgar, in full battledress. He walked over and stood next to the girls and quietly cleared his throat.
“Silvia, there’s a job on” he said.
“When?” replied Silvia.
“Now, I’m afraid. You’d best say your farewells and come with me”.
Silvia did as she was asked and left Hella at the bar.
“What is so important that you feel the need to drag me away from a night out?” she asked.
“How does (he glanced over a shoulder to make sure no one else could hear) a Sleiti sound?” he said, with a glint in his eye.
“Really?!” she said, almost exploding with excitement “here?”
“Yes and yes” was the reply.
They walked hurriedly towards the barracks and began the preparations for the job.

Silvia slid her rifle into its bag; it smelt strongly of gun oil after its recent clean. She packed her armour piercing rounds in with the standard Grymn-stopper rounds in her webbing pouches and made sure she had enough clothing, provisions and miscellaneous equipment in her pack for the job ahead. She carefully checked her communications equipment before clipping it to the yolk of her webbing and tucking the headset into her pouch for the journey. While she packed, Edgar briefed her on the location of her target, how they were going to get there and when the target was expected to be viable. He showed Silvia a few of the most recent pictures of the Sleiti dignitary that was to be disposed of and she smiled; she had never been given the honour of assassinating a Father before and she relished the opportunity.

Edgar and Silvia jumped from the grav-vehicle and ran into the cover of the trees before it rose into the air and darted off, keeping below the tree line for cover. By now both of the Grymn were fully camouflaged with a full body leaf-suit and cam-cream covering any flesh that was bared to the elements. They began to trot towards the target zone with weapons ready, just in case they were expected. They moved as stealthily as they could; using every bit of cover and making sure that they left as little trace of their passing as they could. As they neared the snipers nest (the nick name for where the sniper lies in wait), they slowed down, switched to hand signals for communications and kept as low as they could to ensure that they weren’t spotted. Edgar had his scanner set to full range and he was starting to pick up the blips of the enemy forces in the camp that they were approaching (they were surprised that there weren’t more, especially bearing in mind the dignitary that was present...they must not have been expecting any trouble). Soon the final hand-signal came and Silvia ducked into the cover of some dense scrub and started setting up her firing position while Edgar kept watch, scanning the area for any threats. Once she was happy, Silvia signalled to Edgar and he broke communication silence to inform army command that ‘the bird was in the coop’.

Silvia settled down and with the help of Edgar and his scanner, pin-pointed where the Sleiti was expected to appear. It wasn’t too difficult as his field shelter had been elaborately decorated with gold symbols and silk hangings (the Bohkin were extremely foolish to bring such attention to their honoured guest...they must have thought that they were immune from attack or something!). As Silvia spied the tent through the magnifying scope of her sniper rifle she was almost startled as the rigid fabric door slid open and her target appeared, carrying a bowl of what appeared to be steaming water and a towel. He placed the bowl on a small foldable table and stretched; his bare, grey torso shining with sweat in the evening light. Through the scope, Silvia could see his jet black eyes and his pointed ears very clearly and there was no disputing that this was a Sleiti Father. She felt a kick from Edgar and she came to her senses. She carefully loaded a clip of armour piercing rounds into her rifle and took aim. She slowed her breathing and prepared to take her last breath before firing. She relaxed, aimed directly at the side of his head and took her last breath. Carefully, she started to squeeze the trigger. She could see the vein in his temple throb through the powerful scope of her rifle. She squeezed further and just before the rifle fired, the Sleiti turned to face her directly and smiled. He knew she was there; he knew what was coming and as the armour piercing round left the barrel, he didn’t flinch or make a sound. He was still staring at her when the impact hit him cleanly in the top of his forehead, taking out the rear of his brainpan in an explosion of gory mist and debris. He slumped forward onto the table, sending the bowl flying as the legs gave way and he tumbled onto the ground as the blood pumped arterially from his body. Silvia quickly and mechanically, switched to the laser designator setting of her rifle and aimed it at what appeared to be an ammunition dump and gave the signal to Edgar. He acknowledged the signal and said into the communicator ‘eerie one, fire-flash’. Suddenly there was a low whine coming from behind them. From her position in the nest, Silvia could see little commotion from the Bohkin camp; they seemed to be wandering around aimlessly as if stunned by the loss of their Sleiti master. As the whine became louder a few of the Bohkin came to their senses and began issuing orders but they were too late as a Grymn grav-tank squadron loomed up from behind the sniper’s position and trained their weapons on the designated target. As one they opened fire with rail-guns and heavy pulse weapons; annihilating the ammunition store in a blaze of brilliance.

Silvia threw herself upright and screamed. Her nightshirt was soaked with sweat and was clinging to her shapely form in see through patches. She stared at her hands until she realised that she was awake and looked at the clock. It was 02:00 hours; the same time as she had awoken every night that month and in much the same manner. She climbed out of bed and walked to her sink, switching on the small lamp above it. She stared at her gaunt and weary looking face in the mirror and ran some cold water into the sink. When she had finished she looked down from the mirror and at the water; in its surface she could just make out the jet black eyes and the smiling face of the Sleiti father. It seemed to laugh at her as her fingers broke the surface of the water and as she splashed her face the image splintered into a myriad of shapes and disappeared.

Silvia knew that it would return.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Using Grymn in Warhammer 40k

The easiest way of using Grymn in any existing game is to simply count them as an existing army. Since I first decided to tie my Grymn into the one game I had any rules for; Warhammer 40k, I have been basing them around the Imperial Guard. I know that some people use other races for them (namely Space Marines or the Inquisition) but I thought the Grymn suited the Imperial Guard but with a few alterations.

Troop availability.

If you are wanting to keep the Grymn to the original ideas, then there are a few things that I feel would need to be sacrificed in order to induct them into the Imperial Guard Codex.

There are some components of an Imperial Guard army that DON'T suit the Grymn. I would strongly suggest against any Psykers or Commissars because Grymn don't have psychic powers and the concept of a Commissar executing his comrades doesn't fit with the idea that Grymn are excellent team players. I also doubt that the Grymn would have Penal Legion squads or Ministers / Preachers / Priests. The Grymn do make use of conscripts but they are more willing volunteers rather than press-ganged troops. I wouldn't use Astropaths or Master of the Fleet as advisors for the Company Command squad either.

So, what can the Grymn have?

Company Command / Command Squads
Infantry Platoons
Veteran Squads
Ogryn Squads
Ratling Squads
Rough Rider Squads
All of the vehicles

Counts-As Equipment.

As I have said before, the armour that a Grymn wears looks a lot more like Carapace Armour than Flak armour so I would try to work that into the cost of the troops. In the previous version of Codex Imperial Guard, there was a system which enabled you to add Carapace armour to a squad for 20 points (irrespective of its size). I suggest that you get together with your playing partners and agree that this is fair, otherwaise you can either restrict yourself to units that are allowed to have Carapace Armour (Company Command, Veterans and Stormtroopers) or simply count Grymn armour as Flak Armour and have done with it (whilst kicking your 'so-called' gaming mates under the table for being beards).

Grymn weapons will need to be counted as WH40k weapons and I thought I'd get the ball rolling with the proxies that I have chosen for my armies:

Grymn Weapon / WH40k Weapon

Grymn SMG – Autogun / Lasgun
Twin SMG – Twin Linked Autogun / Lasgun
Pulsegun – Hellgun / Hot-shot Lasgun
Pulse Carbine - Hellgun / Hot-shot Lasgun
Heavy Pulsegun – Plasmagun
HMG – Heavy Stubber
Minigun – Heavy Bolter
Railgun – Missile Launcher
Grenade Launcher – Grenade Launcher
Flame Thrower – Flamer
Sniper Rifle – Sniper Rifle
Grymn Machine Pistol – Laspistol / Autopistol
Grymn Naval Pistol - Laspistol / Autopistol
Knife – Close Combat Weapon
Powered Axe / Sword – Power Weapon
Grenades – Frag / Krak Grenades
Mortar – Mortar
Converted Railrifle - Meltagun
OGrymn Chaingun – Ogryn Rippergun

As you will see, there are a few missing weapons (Plasma-Cannon, Las-Cannon, Auto-Cannon etc...) but that is mostly because there are no Grymn weapons available to proxy for them. That means that if you chose to use any of the missed out weapons, you can either use the WH40k weapons or find some proxies and convert them to fit in with the system (I have done this with a converted Railrifle that I use as a Meltagun)...just remember that you will have to make all of the converted weapons look the same and also tell your gaming buddies what they represent.

And Finally...

If you are a tournament player, these counts-as options will not work for you if you go to official events. So they will only be usable at events that allow proxy forces or for friendly games. What you can see from my work here is that it is very easy to fit a Grymn army into Warhammer 40k just by using a small amount of imagination and hoping that the people you game against will allow you to field them!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Grymn Versatility: The Second Batch.

To follow on from yesterday's post on Grymn versatility, I have a few more pix for ideas. First up, here is a better pic of an Inquisitor and some henchmen:

The Inquisitor has powered armour and has been converted (pose and head-swap). He is joined by a couple of standard Grymn and a converted fantasy Dwarf...never underestimate other ranges to add a bit of further flavour to a Grymn force.

Have you seen Serenity, Star Wars or even Space Balls? If you have, you will soon find out that they have star-ship crew members as the central characters. With this in mind I decided to put together a small crew myself. The crew I chose were all from Hasslefree but none of them were Grymn. They are a mix of pirates, human children and fantasy Dwarfs with a couple of other miniatures in the mix for more variation:

The next pic shows a Mystic Panda who is a rather diminutive version of a Wookie-like character:

In addition to the Panda, there is also a robot and there are future plans to add a Grymn security team to add a bit of punch.

Although I already have a desert force, I thought about making something that looked a bit more 'rag-tag' in nature so I decided to start a Grymn desert veteran army. This will be a fairly small force that will effectively be for reconnaissance and special ops. The whole army has extra equipment sculpted onto it and is being painted with a non-uniform scheme. The next pix shows the sniper squad, complete with partial ghillie-suits (added with green stuff):

Not all of the desert veterans will have ghillie-suits but they will be catered towards the desert environment with water bottles and extra pouches for those extra bits of kit needed for extended periods away from the main base.

So who said the Grymn can't be fun? I would just point them at the rather resigned looking Grymn below. He has obviously agreed to dress up for the children's, charity, Christmas party and is not looking forward to the event:

If that wasn't enough to make you think about what you can do with Grymn then what about changing their skin colour and going for a more evil look? This next pic is one of a Dark Grymn...just a paint scheme change and the world of Chaos is opened:

Add a few chips to the armour and maybe a few arcane symbols here and there and you could end up with a rather menacing character...and maybe a rather evil army to go with him.

As a final note, The Grymn could use all sorts of other miniatures to add to their versatility. Depending on whether you want tanks, APCs, anti-grav craft, giant robot walkers or allies from other races, you can tailor the force the way you want just by picking miniatures and vehicles from other ranges. This last pic shows a converted Grymn with six robots (converted from GW Necron warriors) and an APC from Old Crow miniatures. As a unit, they operate as a building clearance squad:

That about covers all of the bases I have tried so far but there are limitless options because of the fact that the grymn aren't tied to a specific ruleset. I hope the last couple of posts have given you food for thought and if they get you thinking outside the box, then my work here is done.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Grymn Versatility

I was looking at this blog today and thought that it was in dire need of some pictures so I decided to put a few up to demonstrate the versatility of the Grymn. I'll start at the very beginning by showing a pic of my first army; a desert force:

The army contains a number of conversions; including a Female OGrymn, an OGrymn with a jump-pack and various reposes and head-swaps. You will also notice that I have a group of Judges at the front left of the pic and some Inquisitors at the front right. The army isn't finished yet but I got fed up with painting so many different shades of brown!

My next army pic is one of a complete force. These are my Grymn in temperate DPM. I used the Codex Imperial Guard book for the organisation and the army has two platoons of troops that are backed up by a small Ogryn squad, a Sentinel, a grenadier squad, 2 storm-trooper squads and a selection of heavy weapon squads:

I built this force using an older version of the Codex that had the Doctrines system. I was going to add some transports for the troops using Glaive APCs from Old Crow miniatures but although I got as far as buying the vehicles, I thought the lack of an airbrush was enough to prevent me from painting they are languishing, unpainted, in one of my cupboards.

Finally, I have a small group of Judges. These are supported by a riot control walker which is actually a 1/144 scale Crab walker from the Xabungle Manga show. All of the troops are converted:

To add further flavour to the group I decided to put together some security robots to help the Judges police the populace. These are some of the plastic Daleks that came free with an issue of a Dr. Who comic a while back. I thought that the eyes on the top were perfect for police that is what made me think of using them as Judge robots:

To continue on an urban theme, I decided to add an army of urban fighters. These would be an infantry army supported by jump troopers, fliers and armoured walkers, transported in APCs. The first troops to be assembled were a platoon of jump troopers. Here are pix of the first two painted units:

There are eight more troops to go in the platoon; a four man command squad and a four man support squad. I have been working on the Urban army for a long time but find painting the camouflage hard work so these are the only painted troops so far. There are many more to come but they will be in a simpler paint-scheme once this platoon is finished.

Finally, for this post, we have my latest project; Grymn Tunnel Fighters. These are a mix of Grymn bodies with heads from Pig Iron Productions and a bit of sculpting to join the gap:

I have a lot of plans for these Grymn and have already painted twenty nine of them with various weapons. Unusually, I haven't even written an army list for them yet which makes them unique because I usually make a list, buy the troops and build the army.

The tunnel fighters will be supported by robots and custom made APCs. All of the ideas are in just needs the time to build everything!

In the next post I will further highlight the diverse uses of Grymn miniatures so please stay tuned.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Some things aren't just black and white.


It was cold; so cold that the tips of Mikkell’s fingers were starting to get numb and he was wondering how long he could keep up with his current actions without dropping his SMG. The icy water was up to his chin and as he carefully waded through it, he cautiously looked around to try and spot any unusual movement. To his left were three more Grymn light –infantry troopers with the look of being as frozen as he was. To his right were another six; including Sgt Freidl. Together, the squad waded slowly towards the river bank, trying not to make a sound or ripple in the water that would give their presence away. Although it was slow progress, they soon reached the bank and scraped themselves out of the water on their bellies; quickly finding cover in the bushes along the edge of the river bank. With a signal, one of the troopers was sent out into the darkness to scout the area while the rest of the squad kept low and maintained an all-round defence. After a few moments, the trooper returned; reporting that the area was clear and that they could relax their guard a fraction. Sgt Freidl looked around the squad and whispered “it’s about time we got a brew on lads...Mikkell, you can take first watch”. Mikkell hefted his SMG and, crouching low, took up a position nearby where he could keep a look out for any danger.
Staring out into the darkness, Mikkell wondered what he was doing there. He had been brought up by a loving family, had been well schooled and had even been offered a well paying job at the local gunsmiths but he had decided to throw caution to the winds and join the army. Mikkells father was extremely proud of his decision to serve in the Grymn forces but the rest of his family had been horrified. They just couldn’t understand why he would want to leave the security of his home and go and put himself in harms way while serving in the military. Mikkell had explained that there was minimal risk involved, especially because there had been no malicious contact from Sleiti or Bohkin forces for generations now but his family were very sceptical about the whole business...well, as it transpired, they had been right. Although there were no Sleiti or Bohkin involved, there had been multiple incursions into Grymn space by other alien foes. These new foes were especially problematic because they seemed to want to steal everything they could get their hands on and remain hidden while they stole. When they had finally showed themselves, they proved to be highly proficient fighters; utilising low tech ballistic weapons and sharp blades to good effect. The Grymn forces didn’t know what they were really called but they had been given the nickname of Noblins.
Noblins were small, green skinned aliens with an almost skeletal face and small beady eyes. They spoke in sharp, shrill voices and had a keen desire to keep hold of everything that they had stolen. They were usually finely dressed in high collared trench-coats and sturdy boots. Their sharp claws and teeth meant that they were also a menace when unarmed and they would keep fighting even if their cause was hopeless. They had even been known to chew off their own hands to escape bonds of confinement so muzzles were a common sight on captured Noblins. At the current time, the Grymn council had no idea as to how they had arrived in Grymn space as no star-ships had been detected during the various Noblin incursions. The council had agreed, however, that the Noblins represented a moderate threat to Grymn security and they were to be either wiped out, incarcerated or forced to leave the planet. That was why Mikkell now found himself sitting in the bushes, shivering with cold and staring out into the blackness of night with a readied SMG for company.
“Shift’s up mate” said Durin, disturbing Mikkell’s concentration “the brews are on as well.”
“Cheers Durin, it’s been quiet here...let’s hope it stays like that.”
Mikkell quietly made his way back to the rest of the group; leaving Durin to carry on the watch. He quickly found his squad clumped together around a lightless stove drinking tea from small tin cups. He crouched low and quietly scampered towards them. He nodded to those present, unshipped his small day-sack and removed his mug, tea and whitener from it. He also found a small packet of fruit biscuits to go with his drink. Pouring the hot water into his mug, Mikkell crouched low, shivering due to being so wet. He could feel the warmth filtering through the mug and stirred the contents until they resembled tea. He then sat down next to Fria and cupped his mug in both hands whilst taking small sips of tea.
“You look frozen solid!” whispered Fria “come here and snuggle, I’ll soon get you warm”.
“Cheers mate!” he whispered in return as he shuffled over to her and allowed her to put her arms around him to get some heat through his chilled muscles. Fria rubbed his arms and hugged him close while he sipped his tea and he began to feel the chill lessen slightly. He looked around and noticed that most of the squad were in huddles just like he was but he had been lucky as there were only two girls in the unit and he had managed to be on the receiving end of hugs from one of them. There was no impropriety involved but he would rather be hugged by a girl than a boy any-day.
“You’re chilled to the bone” whispered Fria “you seriously need to get some meat on your bones!”
“You’re telling me!” he replied “I eat like a Devourer yet still I never put on weight...I could really do with a thick layer like Djoord has” he whispered while looking towards a rather portly Grymn sat next to the lightless stove. Djoord looked over and grinned at him, he had seen that Mikkell was in the embrace of young lady and raised an eyebrow in mock disdain.
“Feth!” cried Durin from where he was hiding on watch “in-coming!”
The squad of Grymn dropped their mugs and grabbed their SMGs, quickly positioning themselves for all-round defence again. They could hear a stumbling approach through the undergrowth from Durin’s direction. They all braced themselves as a small, trench-coated Noblin burst from the cover of the bushes, drew two sharp swords and charged straight at the nearest Grymn. Garyt managed to snap-fire a couple of rounds before the Noblin piled into him, knocking him to the ground. Garyt fell back and was desperately defending himself with the stock of his rifle as wild flurries of sword blows reigned down on him. The furious Noblin was screaming away in its horrible, chittering voice while darting malicious glances around those Grymn present. Moments later, Durin burst through the same bush as the Noblin had and brought the butt of his SMG down hard on the top of the evil thing’s head with a loud crack. It fell instantly unconscious and landed across Garyt with a thud.
“Cheers guys” said Garyt, looking around at the rest of the squad “it’s good to know that I can count on you lot”, the irony in his voice was almost opaque.
“What did you want us to do?” sneered Djoord “shoot at you both?”
“ could have done something” he replied, a bit crestfallen.
Sgt Freidl climbed to his feet and surveyed the still body of the Noblin. “Mikkell, get some ties and bind its hands and feet...Durin, do you have a muzzle on you? If you do, muzzle this devil”.
In moments the Noblin was completely bound and considered to be in a safe enough condition to leave in a corner. Durin was relieved by Gunar and along with the rest of the squad; quickly did a perimeter search to make sure that there were no more Noblins nearby. Once things were deemed to be clear, the squad returned to their mugs and continued warming up again. As the evening wore on, the Grymn began to sort things out so that they could bed down for the night. A guard roster was drawn up, bivvies were erected and night time routine was sorted. Those that were able to go to sleep went to bed and those that were due to take on a guard duty, stayed up and chilled out by the stove. Everything settled down and the Noblin remained silent in the corner where he was left.
Morning came as quietly as the night had been. The few Grymn that were awake, had started cooking breakfast and stirring the rest of the squad from their slumber. Sgt Freidl climbed out of his bivvy, stretched and went over to see how the Noblin was getting on.
“Oh fething hell...” he cursed “where’s the fething Noblin gone?”
On the ground in front of him was a muzzle and some ties but no Noblin.
The squad immediately grabbed for their SMGs...Except for Djoord...
“Has anyone seen my SMG? I left it by my bivvy and it seems to have gone” he said.
“Where’s my pack gone?” asked Gunar.
“...and my Binoculars have walked!” intoned Marise.
After a brief search it was discovered that on top of an SMG, pack and binoculars, various other things had disappeared; including rations, some dog-tags and a few items of spare clothing.
Freidl held his head in his hands...
“I bet they never had this problem when fighting Bohkin” he said “this will be fun to explain to the boss when we get back”.
Freidl sighed and ordered the camp to be cleared ready for the move out. He gave Djoord his pistol and suggested that it would be a very bad idea for him to lose it. Once every thing was ready, the squad was assembled, formed into a standard patrol formation and began to march off into the trees. They were going to have to head back to base and report what had happened and replace the kit that had gone missing. Freidl was downcast as he knew that his squad would be a laughing stock for allowing a fully trussed Noblin to not only escape but to take a bunch of kit with it. He was not looking forward to walking into the Sgt’s mess after work either.
“Fething Noblins!” Cursed Freidl as he turned the squad towards the direction of base and tried to think of a way of making his embarrassing little experience sound less of a comedy...but he couldn’t.
From the bushes, a pair of beady eyes watched the squad depart. A grin formed on an almost skeletal, green face as it began to look through Gunar’s pack. It had been a good night’s haul for the Noblin. The boss would be very happy with his new treasures...

Monday, 1 March 2010

It's not all action; you know?!


Egil tensed as his head was wrenched to one side and he braced himself for the bump that he expected to come. Sure enough, he felt a firm jolt as his head got wrenched back the other way. He gripped the overhead hand rail tightly and shifted his weight slightly in his seat. Considering all the technological advances that the Grymn had made, he was extremely disappointed with the amount of effort put into the bench seat he was now precariously perched on. Over the roar of the engines he listened to the comms chatter that was continuously flowing from Fredrik’s head-set but could garner little information from it. Egil wiped his brow with the back of his sleeve, after tilting his helmet back for easy access and looked around the cramped compartment. Off to his left was the door to the drivers compartment and he could see the back of Rork’s helmet-clad head through the open view-hatch. He also had Fredrik and Logar on his left. To his right were two more Grymn and opposite him, on a bench seat similar to the one he was on, were five more. There was so little room in the compartment that they barely had space for their weapons and packs between them. It was cramped, hot and smelled of sweat and other more unpleasant odours. Egil was beginning to tire of the journey. They had all been shut up together for a good four hours and during that time they had traveled a fair way cross-country; something that Egil was beginning to feel down to his bones due to the poorly padded seat. He could see that he wasn’t the only one getting fidgety. Torla had a look of complete despondency on her face. She looked over at Egil and instead of her usual smile; she rolled her eyes to the armoured ceiling. Yet still the engine roared and still the jolts and bumps continued. There didn’t seem to be an end to it.
All Egil heard through the comms chatter was “CONTACT” and the continuous garble ceased almost immediately. Everyone in the compartment looked towards Fredrik and instinctively began to put their SMGs in an easier to reach position. The headset remained quiet...
...Suddenly the sides of the armour rung with the clatter of small arms fire and the tone of the engine went up a notch as the driver gunned the throttle to get a bit more pace. After a few more clangs, the impacts from outside ceased and Sgt Tomas leaned forward and began to question Fredrik. Fredrik just shrugged and began to flick through the channels to get more information but found none. Sgt Tomas looked around and copied Fredrik’s shrug; he only knew as much as his comms operator but he had the added stress of being in charge of the unit...with nothing to tell them. Rork’s orders had come from higher up the chain of command so at present, Tomas and his squad were at the mercy of the driver. Sometimes Egil pitied Tomas; it couldn’t be too easy having to look after a squad of Grymn and he was glad that he hadn’t been in the service long enough to have to find out.
Without warning, the comms chatter returned and Fredrik swapped information with Sgt Tomas in brief shouts and extravagant gestures with his free hand. Once Tomas had the gist of what had gone on, he told the rest of the squad. Apparently, the lead vehicle had run a Noblin road-block and had cleared the way for the rest of the column. The small arms fire was a result of the contact. Fortunately the Noblins didn’t have anything that could break through the armour so they were ignored for the primary objective. That was it...nothing special.
The journey seemed much smoother now so Egil assumed that they were now traveling on a road of some description. He checked his watch; it was nearly 18:00hrs and that meant that they had been traveling for nearly seven hours. He was bored, tired and aching. He gazed at his boots and shifted his weight on the seat again. His hips complained as he moved. He rotated his shoulders inside his body armour and stretched out his fingers to try to help with the aching and lack of circulation. Still staring at his boots, he thought of other things he could be doing at that moment and every one of them were better than his current activity...or lack of it.
Without warning, the engine roar lessened and Egil felt the reaction of the vehicle slowing down. Sure enough, a loud squeal from the brakes and the dipping sensation caused by the suspension meant that the vehicle was slowing to a stop. Egil saw Rork gesturing through the view-hatch for a moment and then the engines roared again, lifting the front of the vehicle slightly as the engine torque powered them forward again. After a few moments the squeal of the brakes brought the vehicle to a stop again.
“Right then, squad; prepare to de-bus” ordered Sgt Tomas “make sure you grab all your kit”.
With that, the rear ramp slowly dropped and bright sunshine shone in from outside. They all grabbed their kit and began to leave the vehicle. As they stepped outside they were met by a stern faced Grymn who shouted for them to form up into a squad. To Egil’s surprise, Sgt Tomas immediately hustled them into formation and stood at the front facing the Stern looking Grymn.
“SQUAD...SQUAD: SHUN!” shouted Tomas and almost instinctively, the squad came smartly to attention. Tomas then saluted and returned to attention.
“Welcome to Camp Cash. My name is Captain Grim and I am responsible for your training and welfare while you are here” Said the stern looking Grymn “if you don’t train as hard as I think you are able, you will get no welfare”.
From that moment on, the seven hour trip from basic training to mechanised-combat training seemed almost pleasant...
...Egil slung his SMG over his shoulder as he walked briskly up the tail ramp of his Glaive armoured personnel carrier. It was something that he had done many times before, especially in the two and a half years since leaving Camp Cash as the star pupil. Today, however, things were different. As he took the seat opposite the comms operator, Egil looked down at the front of the helmet he had placed on his knees and smiled. Subtly marked in black were some Sgt’s stripes below his name. He had come a long way since the trip to Camp Cash.

What makes a Grymn, a Grymn?

So in the big scheme of things, what is it that a Grymn has that a human doesn't...apart from height?

From what Kev has said, the Grymn were specifically built for mining the dangerous asteroids that float through space. They have excellent metabolisms that mean they heal fairly quickly, they are strong for their size, highly agile and are able to survive in extreme conditions. They are quick witted and able to soak up alcohol with less effect than a human but how does this effect the Grymn's stats in combat when thinking about wargaming with them?

Well the easiest way of looking at a Grymn is to start with a Human's stats and decide which way to adjust them to best match the Grymn's description.

Let's start with Warhammer 40k and the basic stats for a Guardsman.

Move - 6 (standard for infantry)
Weapon Skill - 3
Ballistic Skill - 3
Strength - 3
Toughness - 3
Wounds - 1
Initiative - 3
Attacks - 1
Leadership - 7

For other games that use size as a modifier to hit, the Human stat is a size 2 (Void 1.1).

Movement - I don't think that a Grymn should be penalised where movement is concerned. Yes, Grymn are shorter than a Human would be but that doesn't mean that they can't move as quickly so I wouldn't have them move slower.

Weapon Skill / Ballistic Skill - I would say that these stats would be comparable to a Human army trooper. The Grymn are a martial race and spend a proportion of their lives in the military as a matter of course...and pride. The Imperial Guard are the WH40k equivalent of Human army troopers so it would make sense to have the same stats for the Grymn.

Strength - Yes, the Grymn are a strong race but it would be too easy to bump up the strength stat and make them too powerful so I would be tempted to leave the strength as that of a Human...and say that, for their size, the Grymn are quite strong.

Toughness - The Grymn are bred for extreme conditions. They have an excellent metabolism and a strong constitution. I think that the Grymn should be tougher than a Human so I would give them an average stat of 4.

Wounds - basic troopers would normally get a wound stat of 1 and I see no reason for the Grymn to be any different.

Initiative - I would suggest that the Grymn are about on level terms with a Human...but maybe would get a bonus for being teamed up with other members of the squad. From what Kev has said, the Grymn work in fire-teams so maybe they should get an initiative bonus if their fire-team is complete? An initiative of 4 if the fire-team is complete, 3 if not.

Attacks - I see no reason to give a basic Grymn any more attacks than 1.

Leadership - Here is where things get a bit more in-depth. Grymn operate better when they have company; Kev said so. Referring back to the Initiative stat, it makes sense to link the Leadership stat to whether or not there are complete fire-teams in the unit. I doubt that a lone Grymn would be any worse off than a standard Human so a base stat of 7 for leadership may be a good place to start. If there is more than half the unit left alive, maybe there should be a bonus for the Leadership stat...if the unit is above 50% then a standard Grymn Leadership stat would be 8. If it drops below 50% it drops to 7.

Height/size - The big we say that Grymn are size 1 or just count them as Human sized for the purpose of targeting? I reckon that a Grymn would be as easy to hit as a Human due to their 'developed' stature. Okay, they are short but they are pretty well built so I would be quite happy to think of them as a Human sixze for the sake of targeting...yes?

So...from what I have written, the Grymn stat for a game of WH40k would be like this:

Move - 6 (standard for infantry...including Grymn)
Weapon Skill - 3
Ballistic Skill - 3
Strength - 3
Toughness - 4
Wounds - 1
Initiative - 3/4(if above 50% unit strength)
Attacks - 1
Leadership - 7/8(if above 50% unit strength)

Size (Void 1.1) - 2 (for the reasons I have given above).

As for armour saves, the Grymn generally have a nice coating of plate armour. Whether or not you choose to count this as Flak or Carapace armour is up to you but my first thought would be just looks so much more hardy than Flak armour...don't you agree?

What about a few special rules?

I think we'll save those for another time.

I welcome any comments on what I have posted and will be happy to accept advice where people think that stats are too low/high.