Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today… to get through this thing called life.” How often does one get to start of a blog about dead monkeys with a quote from the artist formerly known as “the artist formerly known as Prince?” Heck, I could stop right now, and my day would feel fulfilled–but I started this post with a purpose, and gosh-durnit, I’m gonna finish it!
In recent history, Aristotle theorized that an infinite number of monkeys, given an infinite amount of time, could create a defense laser. (I knew he was brilliant, but I was completely unaware of his ability to see 40,000 years into the future!). Well, maybe he didn’t say it in so many words, but he did come up with the underlying theory. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
Apparently, it doesn’t really take an infinite amount of time, all it took was 40,000 years. Of course, our story has a twist in it and it includes building a better monkey: The Jokaero.
For those of you who have never heard of the Jokaero, they were a race of monkey-esque primates with an innate ability to build technology . I say “were” because, like the mighty squat, all traces of the race have been erased from the history books since the days of Rogue Trader.
GW only ever made one model of the critters, and it was less than stellar. Recently though, I stumbled upon a game called AT-43 by Rackham and it sparked the memory. Kindled by the thought of “counts-as”, it seems that the army called “Karmans” would do beautifully to bring the dead race back to life. From the range of models, it seems that these were almost made to be “counts as” Tau.
This is how I see a counts-as army unfolding:
- Broadside – K-Warriors
- Commanders – Venerable Cornelius
- Crisis Suits – K-shooters, K-Burners, K-fighters
- Devilfish – King Buggy
- Drones – Tau Drones
- HammerHead – King Mammoth
- Pirahna – King Buggy, Guru Lucius, Dirt Trike
- Stealth Suits – Anakongas, Kaptars
The units that are missing are: fire warriors, vespids, & Kroot. Realistically, fire warriors could be their own stand-in, since they’re completely armored, and fortunately neither Vespid or Kroot are of the Tau race proper, so they could be used as-is, or they could be subbed out for any sort of enslaved race you want.
How perfect is that? And to top it off, these guys are already painted, and are fricken’ cheap! For whatever reason, almost all of these models are about 70% off at www.thewarstore.com. I couldn’t resist myself–though I wasn’t brave enough to go full-tilt. I picked up a couple of boxes of Anakongas, and some K units. I plan on using them as counts-as Tau allies in my next Apoc game to add a little flavor. I originally was planning to use some of the smaller units for fire warriors, but it seems that even the smallest monkey is roughly terminator sized.
Though I never played first edition 40k, I’ve endured countless tales from my gaming buddies of Jokaero built defense lasers and mind-controlled vortex grenades. For anyone who played first edition (and to a lesser extent, 2nd edition), you remember the zaniness that ruled the game. It made for a fun, relaxed environment where seemingly anything could happen. Sure, the rules were much more complex, but they allowed for so many cool things to happen.
I miss those days. And despite the fact that the underlying rules don’t get any zanier when you throw a monkey on the table, here’s to hoping it brings back some fond memories and makes the atmosphere a little more light-hearted.
This post goes out to all of the dead monkeys of the universe. Thanks for the memories, and though your lifespan was short, at least you lasted longer than the Skaven… P.S. If you’re looking for more info on the Jokaero, here are a few good links:
History & Details:
Rackham Site (with pics of Karman models):