PHOENIX REBORN - UPDATE 14th OCTOBER 2005
After a hiatus of ten months the Fortress of the Unforgiven is back on the world wibe web with a completely revised version of the site. The road that led to this revision has been long, tortuous and hard but at the same time has reaffirmed my faith in the gaming community. It all started back in 2004, I decided to review the direction this site and the not inconsiderable resources I put in to it were going, mainly time and effort. I had to decide in 2004, as I returned to Australia and took up my permanant work appointment whether I would have the time to spare to maintain this site.
The heady days of the Eye of Terror campaign along with our own Gathering of Angels campaign were over. The Gathering of Angels competition, aimed at creating home made successor chapters by the fraternity also had ended in success. The new version of the 40K game (V4.0) had been released and an updated FAQ for the Dark Angels accompanied it. Despite the initial lamenting, I did manage to prove that the new rules worked well for the Dark Angels and most importantly allowed the chapter to be played in the spirit of their history.
Around the same time there was a slow attrition amongst the members of the Inner Circle who had steadfastly supported the Dark Angels. The venerable Project XXVIII (Brandon Beacom) went in to extended slumber, Grandmaster Owen Rees (Owen Rees) progressed on to better things, first taking over the UK Web Design Team and then getting on to the White Dwarf, and as a result had to remove the Outpost Site from the ether, Interrogator Chaplain Bishop (Nathan Bishop) also entered the halls of GW US and his base, Angelica Mortis began to be updated less often, Veteran Sergeant Malyr took leave of absence after a long and arduous task of keeping the peace in the DA forums all by himself and finally Grandmaster ZeussS also had to bow out due to commitments and his Gods of War site dedicated to the Deathwing had to go off the air. During this time however reinforcements did reach the Inner Circle, first in the form of Interrogator Chaplain Lucifer (Daniel Custodio) to keep the faith amongst the brethren and the Grandmasters ODM (Doug Miller) and Valaris (Anderson Mac Donald). Recently the Venerable Dreadnought has also occasionally stirred from slumber.
With the state of flux that was overtaking the Dark Angel community a decision was made to continue the Fortress of the Unforgiven but to revamp it entirely. I decide to take it upon myself to test the will of the gaming community by a long and tortuous process of deception, subterfuge, innuendo and downright cover up. I also decided to keep the overall structure of the site similar to the old site but to redo all the uttons, icons and banners. Basic principles in the site were streamlined and the few items that had questionable IP value were removed. Large chambers were integrated as I did npt feel my own Shadow Guards army required one all by itself and minor chambers increased. Files, images and pages were renamed for greater clarity. Al the time the process of hunting down good submissions went on, from the DA forum to ebay, from WD publications to Cool mini or not, the net was cast far and wide.
I also made a decision to redo the web site entirely in secrecy, known only to members of the Inner Circle.As each section was completeed the relevant section in the old site was removed and the links made dead. This gave the impression of a web site in gradual decay. A few, well timed announcements, lamenting the degree of support in the DA forum got the community's attention that allwas not well in the Fortress of the Unforgiven. The Champions of the Unforgiven competition held this year had two purposes. One was to gather home made chapter histories and the other to provide yet another reason for Shadow Guard's disappointment, strenghtening the impression of his loss of faith and commitment.
Then I introduced my alter ego, Dark Angel Fanatic, al fresh and eager to rekindle the light in the Fortress but then developed his demise through lack of contributions, lack of communications and then a completel difference in opinions. I had originally planned to release the new site by November but then realized that if I waited to complete every section of the site it may take me well in to the next year. So some sub sections such as tactica for the Specialist Games and Batrep were given a bnew banner... stating that they were works in progress and all of a sudden the timeline shortened. The massive conflict and arguments within the DA forums of the B+C community between Shadow Guard and Dark Angel Fanatic, with the members of the Inner Circle responding appropriately were meant to increase the anxiety and frenxy within the forums. I hae to say that I was most impressed with the behaviour of the fraternity, communicating their support, their anxiety and when appropriate their disappointment at my behaviour and occasionally formally telling me off too. It is very apparent that this Dark Angel community is well able to police itself and makes me so proud to be part of it.
Keeping the same modus operandi of the last revamp of the Fortress site ( Just to remidnd those who were not present, I took a leave of absence and returned as Gabriel Lionheart, wrote a piece of fiction which culminated with the surprise arrival of the Tower of Angels from the warp at a planet in need and I made that the final statement revealing the revamped web site - The story can be found in the Fiction section ) I decided to take the posts between ZeussS and myself from last October where enacted the exit of Shadow guard as a narrative story and develop it further, continueing Grandmaster Ares' hunt for the Shadow Guard, his hermit guide called "Fanatic the hermit" who then turns out to be a Dark Angel and finally reveals himself to the Shadow Guard and the finding of the Tower of Angels, suggesting the deception was for the purpose of repairing the damage that occured during the Cadian Campaign (details in the Gathering of Angels story).
All in all I enjoyed the convoluted deception and I think I am safe to say that the Dark Angel community got caught completely unawares apart from a few players and that I am immensely proud of the gaming community we have developed over at the Bolter and Chainsword forum.
As a one off special edition, I have extended this letter to three pages, the next two pages contain details of the changes that have occured on this site as well as description of the various chambers, both major and minor. The web sit at the moment contains nearly 900 pages and 250 MBs worth of content. I trust you will enjoy going through this web site in detail.
FORTRESS OF THE UNFORGIVEN
Welcome to the third incarnation of the Fortress of the Unforgiven, a website that is dedicated to the Dark Angels legion and their progeny. The Fortress continues its main emphasis on supporting thr hobby in all its guises but has undergone major changes in its structure, and composition while expanding its horizons in a number ways. Below I will detail the changes as well as an introduction to the various sections of the web site.
The new Fortress has retained outwardly the layout of the old site but has completely redrwn or redone icons, banners and buttons. All active buttons and icons have a mouse roll-over effect that identify them as being active. The site itself is divided in to 13 minor chambers related to mostly administrative functions and nine major chambers with content. The major chambers have reduced in number due to the removal or joining of previous major sections.
Major conceptual changes have taken place in two ways. One is the inclusion of subsections to support the Fallen, who are after all our brothers and sons of the Primarch. Secondly, other subsections have been created to support the Dark Angel participation in Specialist Games such as EPIC Armaggeddon, Battle Fleet Gothic and Space Hulk. So why don't you walk with me and learn about the new sections and content.
This section is essentially a supplement to existing Dark Angels rules. New rules and additonal supplements for Deathwing, Ravenwing and Dark Angel Battle Forces, entire army lists including rules for fielding the entire eighth (Assault) reserve, ninth (Devastator) reserve and Tenth (Scout) companies. In addition there are rules for an ironwing Battlegroup, specific units and lots of special characters along with brand new digital images. Adding to this concentraton is an entire Codex dedicated to fielding Fallen Space Marine armies.
Eternity of War:
This chamber contains gaming supplements. There are subsections dedicated to providing you with additional stand alone missions, mission linked campaign rules, strategic campaings and additional scenarios for the Specialist Games such as Spacehulk, EPIC Armageddon and Battle Fleet Gothic. A battle reports section is also present while the last subsection traces the history of 40K related games, supplements, s rare kits and OOP model based on my own collection.
This section provides the player with the most detailed history of the spacemarines and the unforgiven. This includes the Apocrypha Caliban and the Gathering of Angels along with sections that are dedicated to home made successor chapters and characters. Prominence is given to good background fluff.
The tactica section with advice for all aspects of gaming including creating armies, Deathwing, Ravenwing and DABF forces. I have left the old tactica articles based on secong and mostly third edition rules along with the newer fourth edition ones simply because they all have some lessons in them. Tactica sections also support the Specialist Games as well as reviewing enemy forces and a section to discuss weapons and systems.
Astro Tabulum Galactica:
This covers the whole galaxy of the 41st century. Each segmentum is presented with the positions of know systems marked on it. Each system leads to description of its main planetary body along with relevant historical information. More than 70 images of ndividual planets adorn this section.
Liber Audacio Unforgiven:
The library of fiction, poetry and stanzas relating to the unforgiven and the fallen. These are all original works submitted by the gaming fraterny and constitues the largest collection of fiction relating to the unforgiven.
Legions of the Unforgiven:
The army display section, containing more than seventy complete armies and battle fleets including background information. These include 40K armies, Individual characters, EPIC scale armies, battle fleets, dioramas and fallen warbands. This is likely the largest such collection of armies displayed on the world wide web.
Master of the Forge:
The section dedicated to the painting and modelling aspect of the hobby. Step by step descriptive articles range from simple techniques such as creating bases and painting the various types of unfrogiven armies to complext conversions and modelling techniques. Covers individual models, vehicles and dioramas.
The links section of the web site but with a major difference. All the links here are selected by the webmaster and the Inner circle and rather than being just a collection of links this section provides a mini review of each site listed. The sites are selected on merit without any expectation of banner exchanges or other rewards for the Fortress site. The selected sites are offered an award to be placed on their own site if they so wish.