Charlie: Last week I revealed that Necrons had cropped up in the Scyrian Expanse. To meet this new threat, Jon and Andy would need reinforcements, so I expanded the number of painted ships in Battlefleet Achernar from my effectively infinite supply of old BFG models. There is a particular joy in seeing a ship go from 'slap-happy brush fail' to 'ding!'
|The expanded flotilla, with the rogue trader cruiser Zenith in the rear.|
I'm not claiming my BFG paint jobs are even in the same country as amazing, but good lord they're an improvement on their previous incarnations. I probably should've taken before and after pics... maybe next time?
As is customary in our campaign, every ship has its own background and captain. As some readers may recall, the players' ships even have fully fleshed-out bridge crew serving as the recurring background characters. This brings a bunch of faceless space ships to life, helping the story become more emotionally involving and/or stressful. I figure if a player doesn't care about a friendly NPC dying, I'm not doing a good enough job.
The Vigilant is an overlord-class battlecruiser, and serves as Battlefleet Achernar's flagship. It is normally stationed at Kaprun to safeguard the shipyards, but is deployed when Admiral Tryphosa leads the fleet against substantial threats. Given the rarity of its deployment, its crew are well-drilled but untested, as a full fleet deployment tends to happen only once in a generation. To mitigate this problem, Tryphosa has been known to treat the Vigilant as a "retirement home" for old sailors with combat experience, and seeds these knowledgeable types among the untested crew. The advantage for the veterans is that they effectively have a job that keeps them safe and docked around a comfortable colony with frequent shore leave.
The Vigilant's captain is Aldous Montague. He has mentored so many of Battlefleet Achernar's officers, including Admiral Tryphosa, that he is seen as a paternal figure. It is said that the ship's crew spend much of their extensive downtime trying to guess his age. Advanced in years and the subject of a great many romantic portrayals of navy life, the triple amputee is said to be both fearless and unkillable. Those who have actually met him say he now runs more on tired habit, and has only avoided retirement because he'd have no idea what to do with himself without the routine of life aboard a ship. In this regard, Montague is cut from much the same cloth as the other old sailors aboard the Vigilant.
|This was originally one of the Dauntless models with torpedo tubes. It's been|
converted to the lance version with a cut down nova cannon and some green stuff.
The Seraph is a dauntless-class light cruiser that has served Battlefleet Achernar since 993.M38. It was refitted with a prow-mounted lance in response to a surge in greenskin piracy in mid-M39. Her captain is Justyna Laerta, a famously blunt woman with little patience for courtly behaviour. She has captained the Seraph for five years now, and those who know her well say she has an excellent memory and an unrivaled attentiveness for those under her command. Her lack of diplomacy has stifled her career, and she is looked down on by more politically-minded officers who see her as someone with no social capital.
|I had to rush the lettering on these bases to get them ready for the game...|
at some point I'll force myself to finish them off properly. Probably.
This squadron of firestorm-class frigates is led by Captain Nalani Makana aboard the Percheron. Makana's family used their wealth to propel her advancement through the ranks, and she is comparatively young for a squadron commander. She often comes off as cocksure and smug, though to the frustration of her rivals she is also a competent commander who benefits from an expensive education prior to her time at the Naval Academy. The other frigates in Squadron 25 are the Augeron, under Commander Salomon Bouchard, and the Andalusian under Commander Liselotte Prinsen.
Man, I love me some spaceships. Mercifully, this love can be indulged by two players who seem to keep coming back for more.