Tears in the rain
3rd Aug, 2019

c beams
“Time to die”

Rutger Hauer (23 January 1944 – 19 July 2019) played one of my favourite characters. I know he was the bad guy, but he was my hero. As a young man I felt his rage, and the impotence of not being able to change your life, resisting the pressure of conformity, and the power fantasies that breeds. Roy Batter found his God and made him pay, but I was not so fortunate, as mine was a bit more elusive. All of which made the end scene all the more impactful. Tears in the rain. One of the few films to move me to tears, and brought the nihilistic horror mortality to the fore in a young mind. His calm acceptance of his death, his dignity, the joy of life, and forgiveness had a profound impact on me.

I later found out the Rutger used his own words, and that scene is now considered one of the best in film. Rutger said he has an affinity with Roy, and it’s ironic the character Roy died in 2019, and so did Rutger.

Many memories are being washed away as I age. Memory is funny like that: you only remember what you dwell on and distort your own reality. Something Marcus Aurelius bangs on about, that you forget all the little things you did to get where you are, but the little things, your habits, are what built your achievements. If you are not careful, you start to wonder how you got to where you are.

With Rutger’s death, I’m reminded of this all, and over the past few weeks I had a good think about it, and I must confess: I love life 🙂

The Emperor Protects
10th Feb, 2019

LOL. This is awesome. The creator seems to have made it as a critique, but is unaware of the meme that Donald Trump is the God-Emperor and the MGTOW monks as the precursor of the Thunder Warriors, who are the precursor of the Space Marines. I suspect that many edge lords are going to go nuts over this, and disregard the critique – after all: God works through imperfect vessels. I always find unintended consequences of our actions fascinating, that our small slice of objective reality, that we call the subjective, blinds us to everything else out there.

The sword has ‘tariffs’ on it, apparently the most powerful weapon a leader can wield in the modern age. I wonder if this really is a critique? I am not familiar with the current Italian sociopolitical climate, but I know more nationalists got into power. If I have it wrong, I wonder if Trump will hire it for 2020, because that would be too funny seeing this go through New York!

Back again
18th Nov, 2018

It’s been a couple of years since I last posted on my blog. I had to step away due to family commitments. Now that my role as a carer is coming to an end, I find myself thinking about Philverse, Sciror, and WarSpike more and more. Lots of ideas have been running around in the back of my head while I’ve been away, no matter how much I tried to suppress them, and they are starting to bubble up to the surface. They need to be expressed; otherwise I’ll explode, so I’ve starting to work them up.

As part of my Near Future designs, the first stepping stone of the Sciror timeline, I want to touch upon architecture, psychology and politics. Before I went on hiatus I started to think about these things, and how to lay a foundation unto which I build and justify the setting. My CORR housing post was my first outline of how to deal with a housing crisis in Britain, and how to build on the green belt land. I rendered up this image a couple of years ago;

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British Vote System
16th Jul, 2016

I am not a fan of the first past the post system we have in Britain, as it does not properly represent the will of the people. Other systems such as the Alternative Vote, Party-list proportional representation, Single Transferable Vote, or hybrids like Mixed-Member Proportional Representation,  do not really appeal to me either. They are better in some aspects, but introduce other issues down the line and can become very complex when scaled up. Instead of going into all the things I think are wrong with them, I thought I’d put up my mind to designing a new system, after all it’s really no different to designing war games: a set of rules to figure out a result. What follows is the result of these thoughts, and new system I christened: (new) British Vote System or BVS. I like the idea that the system should be named after Britain, but I’m open to a ‘technical’ name if you can come up with one?

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Future Perfect
11th Jun, 2016

So I’m pushing forward with the Sciror stuff, and deep thinking about the future of civilization (always fun) and its impact on the world. While Ecorium designs make a lot of sense (to me), and it’s true I could simply leave it at that and say ‘the machines did it’, I thought it would be more fun to imagine some evolutionary pre-steps invented by humans to reinforce the idea that the machines gave us what we wanted. In rethinking architecture I need new some tools to explain how it all works, to communicate to the masses why this is a good idea. I came up with ‘Blocks Space Diagrams‘ ;

Stages of conversion

Stages of conversion

You can read more about it here: Block Space Diagrams

This then leads to idea about how to design future building by giving a clear idea of our design goals. To really change the collective vision of what a future city will really looks like. This lead to me playing about in Blender to create the basics;


This is a cut away of one half of the design, a slice through the structure. It shows the staggered stacking of the units (like an Aztec pyramid!), the ‘hill lift‘ to account for the slope, and the layout of the car park and roads. All very compact and build around a steel frame with fireproof pre-fab panels. Each hab-unit is sound isolated from the steel structure and neighbours. Each hab-unit has its own walled garden where privacy is paramount (hence the high walls and end of garden overhang (stops people above looking into a downstairs neighbours garden)). Security is build into the design. A very safe environment. The slice above also shows the emergency stair system, build on top of the hill lift, and implemented every 10 units across.


The purple space is ‘commercial’ as is where we can put shops (who like to control the light to best display product), the early version of rack farms to grow food within the city, or data-centres where the heat can be recovered and pumped into the hab-units in winter, or power air-conditioning in the summer. The space in the back, the large grey area covers more car park, but on top would be a garden part exclusive to the residents (more security).

The problem with sky scrapers, and building up people density that way, is supplying them – infrastructure has to increase dramatically and often road and rail  systems will be overwhelmed as more and more sky scrapers are built. New York has very wide roads (compared to London) but it’s grid locked. London couldn’t have sky scrapers in the numbers like that have in New York else the road and rail system would fail. When we did build a group  of sky scrapers in London we had to build the Docklands light railway system so people could get to Canary Wharf.

With my design we can population density without over stressing the populace because it’s making use of the wasted area above the road space, and also adds a ton of  secure off-road parking. This design is perfect for large roads leading into cities, or around cities like the M25. I would cover all 188km of the M25 (modern steel beams can easily span a motorway). With each 18 block slice being 6.5m wide, that’s 507,600 units. Later they can be extended into the cities with redevelopments. When I walk around London I see a ton of unused space above the roads. A wasted opportunity. Further, we can also convert some of the commercial space (shown above) into light road ways for cycles and electric vehicles. We could have double or triple-decker roads, perhaps with rail and underground systems beneath, which eventually leads to the stacked rail system of the Ecorium. We could also use the blocks to route electricity, and fibre optics.

Me-can-icus, or Me-can’t-icus
10th Jun, 2011

This post is about the Adeptus Mechanicus, their perceived level of technical ability as portrayed in background, and two opposing points of view commonly encountered on 40K forums. In the background of 40K the Adeptus Mechanicus seem to be pig ignorant of the technology they control, while atmospheric of the stetting, it seems at odds with common sense notion of the technical ability needed to maintain high end systems. Such high end systems would need a thorough understanding of how they work in order to repair them. Rote learning, an often used phrase to explain the ignorant building advanced systems, will only get you so far.  I thought I’d chip in my ideas on this whole ‘Adeptus Me-can-icus, or Me-can’t-icus’ debate.

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Space Marine – Modus Operandi
11th Feb, 2011

This post follows on from the previous post: ‘Space Marine Capabilities’. The concept is to extrapolate the battlefield role of Space Marines using the capabilities defined in that post, and drawing in other concepts and definitions defined in ‘Philverse’. Where possible I will add a link to any concepts referenced. Now we have an idea of what a marine can endure, it clarifies what their role on the battlefield really is – or what it should be.


Now we have an understanding of what a Space Marine’s Power Armour can physically resist, it seems glaring obvious that they are vulnerable to fixed weapons and heavy weapons. Space Marines may be small in comparison to an APC or IFV, but they are not going to want to be caught out in the open. This means they will have to use cover like everyone else. However using cover is not really ‘shock troop’ enough for Space Marines, we need a way to get them into combat far quicker, yet with the element of surprise (the whole idea of shock!). One of the fluff heresies I introduced was the idea of active camouflage.

Active Camouflage

This means the outer ablative layer is going to get an application of active camouflage material (rather than a Predator like cloaking field  – which would be great but a bit too high-tech). This material will mimic the surrounding terrain and materials. In combination with this active camouflage surfacing, the armour also needs a way to manage it’s heat signature. This can be done with a thermoelectric layer to recover heat energy and convert it to electricity for storage. Therefore the armour would emit very little heat and this would counter vision enhancement gear that scans for IR (infrared) and T-rays (Terahertz radiation).

This means it is quite hard to detect a stationary Space Marine while their active camouflage is on. This would depend on surroundings. While in soft cover they would be very hard to make out even when directly looking at them, but they would be much easier to see in desolate terrain like a desert (for some missions they may need an active camo cloak to breakup their outline). In the dark they would be virtually impossible to see (even if lookouts are equipped with IR gear, and other advanced scanners).

Colour of fear?

The use of active camouflage does require some justification. There is a famous quote in 40K that camouflage is the ‘colour of cowardice’.

It is also true that the Marines primary aim is to kill the enemy. If camouflage allows them to circumvent heavy weapons, avoid looses, allowing more marine to survive to kill the enemy behind those heavy weapons – the Marine may accept this as necessary. In effect their camouflage allows them to get to enemies ‘hiding’ behind heavy weapons.

It may be that camouflage is frowned upon only in certain situations. Standing up and getting your head blow off with a heavy weapons is worse than sneaking about. Camo is the lesser of the two; sneaking about trumps having no head. A Marine may not like sneaking about, but they console themselves that any dishonour they feel will be taken out on the enemy – ‘How dare you force me to sneak about!’.

Another areas where active camouflage really shines in counter guerilla warfare.  Guerilla fighters will flee from marines, often with the aim to leading the Marines into a heavy weapon kill zone, so the marines have to sneak up on them. In this instance ‘camouflage’ allows the Marines to engage enemies who will flee. In this instance it’s a  lot like hunting. Though for this role I imagine the Scouts would cut their teeth.


The idea is for the marine to get across open ground and behind enemy lines without detection. Once behind enemy lines they are clear of most fixed weapons and can resort to shock tactics. The first is changing the active camouflage layer to their chapter colours, which makes then highly visible (most marines have very bright chapter colours). For an enemy to suddenly be confronted with massive 7-8′ Space Marines, encased in small arms resistant armour, in and amongst their number is going to be quite a shock and the resulting combat is going to be chaotic (this is a big reason for my notes in the bolter, as having Power Armour be bolter resistant would greatly reduce the casualties of friendly fire: so the Marines can really let rip). The enemy are probably armed with small arms and this is not going to affect the Marines. This means the enemy is likely to rout as the marines can mow them down with impunity.

More shock

Another way to get into the enemy complex would be via drop pod. Using the ideas I put forward in my drop pod article, they marines can smash into the enemy complex at high speed, creating a huge blast crater on impact, and deploy. They could use the edges of the crater for cover and many bunkers would be damaged.

Battlefield Role

Taking all this into account a Marine would remain hidden for the most part until they are behind enemy lines. Once behind enemy lines they would change back to their chapter colours and let rip. This would be extremely shocking to the enemy, and disrupt enemy lines. Being attacked by Marines from behind, while all your heavy weapons are facing the other direction, is going to cause chaos.

Table top game

I suppose if you translated this into the table top game, the marines can be ‘teleported’ in. This ‘teleport’ is not a real teleport, it merely accounts for their stealth abilities. Such an attack would force psychology tests and most likely make many opponents flee (or at least move away to regroup).

Looking at this type of attack, it would seem appropriate to allow the IG to deploy Marine allies in this manner as a surprise attack.

In the open Marines would be harder to target, and modifiers would apply. Renegade humans would be very vulnerable to Marines, but aliens may be far more capable.

I suspect the Eldar could track them (through psionics), so could the Nids and Necrons, maybe even the Orks have an idea where the Marines are by instinct. In these instances perhaps the Marine player could use ‘blips’ from Space Hulk to disguise the true nature of his units.

Small arms would be less effective: so uprate their armour value in some way. There would also be a few special rules – like weaker values when facing power weapons. I’m not too keen on the Armour mechanics, perhaps simply added the value to the T score? Another debate for another time.

Space Marine Capabilities
26th Dec, 2010

This is an overview of what a Space Marine can do according to the ‘Philverse’ explanations of 40K technology. The aim is to provide a framework that re-enforces the heroic image of the 40K Space Marine. As 40K matures and pushes more and more into new media like computer games and movies, it seems the capabilities of the Marine changes to match the new medium. I know the Black Library’s position is to take 40K and make it ‘real’, and therefore bring 40K to life, and that approach yields very different Marine compared to the table top game. The same holds true for computer games like Dawn of War. None of these various media versions of Marines seem very compatible with each other, and often each new expansion seems to drift towards Marine mediocrity.

This can lead to Marines being portrayed in a way that does not seem to match what they are. Often they seem to acting like trigger happy ‘mooks’ or ‘cannon fodder’, and end up being killed off in droves. This popular image jars with supposed tactical prowess, robustness, and fire-power of the Angels of Death. It makes even less sense when we consider their rarity, and the difficulty of the conversion process of man into marine.

Either they are the ‘elite of the elite’ (and should act like it) or they are not (and should not be purported as such). It would be nice to have an overview of what a Marine can actually do, and how they act. To define their abilities and character in a ’40K cheat sheet’. This could help to avoid the Marines ending up in roles that make little sense for a Marine – often nothing more than new clothes to wrap up the same old mooks.

The idea of this post is simple enough: work out how marines can function on the battle field if they really are as good and smart as they are said to be. To close the discrepancies between what they, and their gear, is said to be able to do – and how it ends up being portrayed. I’ll start with my ideas on Power Armour, and how effective I think weapons should be against it. When I get the chance I’ll follow up with some more ideas. Remember this is ‘Philverse’ version of 40K, and while I’ll try and match 40K canon as I see it, I may diverge in my musings…

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Ultramarines movie
24th Dec, 2010

I had the pleasure of watching the Ultramarines movie thanks to a friend. To cut to the chase I did enjoy it, but overall it did not hang together as a Space Marine movie. I had to use a bit of mental gymnastics to deal with the ‘logic bomb’ at the heart of it (that may be a bit strong, I’ve only just watched it, and I may mellow in the days to come 😛 ).

Please do not read this if you have not seen the movie as what follows may spoil your enjoyment. I have tried to stay away from the actual story and concentrate on the underlying premises. This is very nerdy, and only really applies to fans who take 40K far too seriously to be healthy. Most will not care one jot about what bugged me. If you can forgive the taint of nerd rage, please read on;

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Underhive Pound
18th Oct, 2010

‘Pound’ is a genre of music found in underhives of 40K. It is popular with gangers, scum, and mutants. My first thought of this type of music it that is would be some kind of hard core techno. I quickly dismissed this when I thought about the economy and resources of the Underhive. Modern techno uses sophisticated instruments, amps, and gear that I doubt those in the Underhive would have access to. If they did have access to such gear I suspect if would be rare and not common enough to found a genre of the Underhive music. We are so used to modern technology it is often hard to over look it and think of a world without it. I think the music of the Underhive has to be limited by resources. Back to basics.

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