Tag Archives: horus heresy

Shadow Crusade Gone Sour…

cropped-cropped-header2.jpg

None should forget the near disastrous consequences of Angron’s uncontrollable rage. After infuriating Horus at Istvaan, Angron would continue to test the patience of his fellow secessionists. It is well documented that Angron’s fleet came close to initiating boarding actions with the Word Bearers flotilla at the outset of their campaign against The Five Hundred Worlds. Had it not been for Lorgar’s measured responses and the cool-headed courage of Angron’s lieutenants, then the Shadow Crusade would surely have been doomed from the start.

It is true that both legions remained far from amicable. Blows were struck, even blood drawn, yet this soon gave rise to a grudging respect between the legionnaires of both Primarchs.* Soon their strategies synergised, forming a formidable fighting force that would cleave through hundreds of worlds.

*It should be noted that outright battle never took place between the two legions in the prosecution of this campaign.

This is a lie.

On Culuxis XI, an agri-world on the fringes of The Five Hundred, the Word Bearers and World Eaters clashed.

The Ultramarines were swift to evacuate their personnel when the secessionist fleets entered the system, narrowly escaping to their orbiting strike cruisers and fleeing to a neighbouring system where a meaningful defence could perhaps be mustered.

The small world was left to its own defences, guarded only by tens of thousands of untested auxilia and a handful of oath sworn Ultramarines.

The World Eaters fell upon them from orbit, sending waves of drop pods into the midst of the defenders. Within hours, seven of the eight primary hives had fallen, their populations either put to the sword or streaming outwards in panicked tides, choking the roads with refugees. The Word Bearers landed several leagues beyond these population centres, preferring to advance methodically, crushing resistance, and zealously indoctrinating terrified civilians. Often they would stop to practise esoteric rites, erect shrines and perform sacrifices, all in aid of fuelling the growing Ruinstorm.

The world’s capital, Mal Reve, built long before by Culuxis’ first colonists, proved to be a formidable bastion, holding out longer than its neighbouring hives. Here, the World Eaters’ drop assault proved costly: Laser defence arrays lanced pods from the sky and hidden void shield generators denied the attackers viable landing zones. Every avenue was an ambush, every park a minefield and every plaza a kill zone. The auxilia here were well-drilled and, having received news of the massacres in seven of the other hives, resolved to fight to the last breath. Their master, Cato Bellicus, a Terran born Ultramarine beloved by the people, was both an inspiration and a tactical genius. Undeniably, the situation was hopeless for the defenders, but Cato determined to make the World Eaters bleed for every inch of ground they took.

Fast becoming frustrated, World Eater commanders requested the armour and heavy ordnance of the Word Bearers to come to their aid. Distracted by dark rituals, none was forthcoming, despite the vitriol and stream of curses that flooded the vox.

71 hours from the first drop on Mal Reve, the head of Cato Bellicus was taken. The resistance quickly collapsed and the defenders took to the streets, all notions of valour turned abruptly to desperate survival.

The hard fighting had caused the World Eaters’ nails to dig hard, taking hold in such a way that only continued combat, or potent sedatives, could calm the cerebral burn. Too few of their apothecaries had survived to administer the required dosages.

It was at this juncture that elements of the Word Bearers sent to support the assault on Mal Reve arrived on the fringes of the city.

A World Eater centurion, his battle plate streaked with gore and filth, advanced at the head of his forces to meet their allies. Through the rubble he came, over the buildings that had been collapsed on his brothers and across the strongpoints littered with Culuxian dead.

The Word Bearers stood before him now, their crimson armour unbloodied and weapons still cold. Parchment covered with the rhetoric of their father fluttered in the blood and cordite tinged wind. It was a sight that made the nails bite deeper.

Heartily gripping the vambrace of a trusted brother was a well practised battle greeting in both legions. Never though, had it ever been immediately followed by the severing of the gripped arm. A mixture of surprise and agony swept over the Word Bearer as he was head-butted and sent sprawling into a crater.  The severed limb followed a moment afterwards, tossed contemptuously in by his attacker.

The World Eater’s laughter crackled down the vox for a few moments, before being drowned out by the crashing sound of bolter fire. Incredulous, the Word Bearers voxed their ships and readied themselves for what would surely follow…

High above, Angron opened his eyes. His expression was one of pained concentration as he fought to quell the tremors and ticks that sought to wrest control of his face. He spat a goblet of his tongue out and licked his bloody lips, tasting the acid metal of his own gene-enhanced blood. Despite the titanic doses of tetra-opiates that numbed his senses, they failed to drive him downward into dormancy. He had been listening to the vox…

“Prepare the Charybdis,” growled Angron, slowly rising from his throne of bronze…

img_2222

This cortis contemptor was the first to join battle, striding from its wrecked drop pod to clash with its contemptor kin…

img_2237
Having wrecked the cortis, the XVII Legion contemptor talon turns to face a new threat – The Red Butchers deploy!
img_2224

Torrents of lascannon fire lanced through the dawn air, only for the Charybdis to jink unscathed through to its destination. The Word Bearers trained their bolters on the pod, all hope of firing upon the occupants before the inevitable assault fading away…

img_2239

“Gods! It’s Angron! ANGROOON!” The red-handed primarch sallies forth!

img_2236

Overwatch fire is ineffective, felling just two of the madmen!

img_2234

“Hold….HOLD!”

img_2240

CRRRRUUUNCH! Angron smashes into the waiting gun line…

img_2241

The tactical squads are annihilated in morass of flying limbs and reaving chainaxes! Two Word Bearers limp to the safety of their Proteus transport… Angron is only just getting started!

img_2245

Meanwhile, the Mhara Gal, immobilised and bereft of its plasma cannon, howls impotent rage at the foe!

img_2247

In the centre, bloody melee ensues as the red butchers continue their advance, carving through fifteen tactical marines and taking the head of the Word Bearers’ Chaplain…

img_2243

The red butchers stride through the remains of two wrecked dreadnoughts, shrugging off wounds as they are bathed in a wall of fire!.

img_2242

The two predators provide long-range fire. “Enemy Venator two hundred metres…fire!… foedeath,..confirmed!” The pair then train their lascannons on the Red Butchers in the open, bringing their rampage to an end…

img_2246

Angron wrecks one Proteus…

img_2248

…and another! A Medusa shell vaporises the remaining squad of assault marines…but it is too little, too late…

What a game! Thank you to Toby for an awesome time against his beautiful World Eaters army!

I particularly enjoyed how every tactical decision began with, “What would a World Eater do?”

This seemed to work rather well from where I was standing!

World Eaters 8 – Word Bearers 6.

Victory to Toby’s World Eaters

Played at BIG in Bristol. Check out this awesome hobby store at: http://www.bristolindependentgaming.co.uk/

Stand by for more Heresy action soon!

Over and Out!

Throwback Thursday: Rogue Trader Predator

tasting

Tasting Notes

Conceptually, I think the Rogue Trader era predator is superb. The design evokes so much of the blocky, utilitarian aesthetic found in all imperial tanks. The sponsons, a design abandoned in most tanks within the first quarter of the twentieth century, seems to have finally found its place in the far future. But wait – there is a nod to progress; the domed turret and a pair of equally curved mountings to house the lascannons stand proud on that chassis of stubborn edges. The result is both incredibly archaic and oddly reminiscent of 50’s sci-fi.

life-detroit-car-makers-world-war-ii-1942_6_chrysler-tanks

Acquisition and Assembly

The XVII Legion needed armour, so immediate ebayage was necessary. The two models I received were in bad shape and needed some serious restoration. They were carefully disassembled and given a good soak in Dettol for about two weeks. After cleaning and drying, the reassembly phase revealed a new host of problems: Attaching the track sections to main hull exposed gaps where the plastic had either degraded or warped over time. Plenty of green stuff and a few choice accessaries later, the pair looked fairly presentable and I deemed them to be ready for priming.

Here’s how they came out…

prde1

 pred2

predpair

…and together

Theoretical

It was the inspiration to run the Armoured Breakthrough Rite of War that originally led to this purchase. With this ROW the predators become fast vehicles with scoring that can also be taken as Troops. One of them is automatically boosted to a ‘Super Heavy Command Tank.’ Nice! The 24” re-roll for leadership is useful, but with the Word Bearers rolling 3D6 and selecting the lowest two already, this is formidable, as is the BS2 upgrade.

The predators’ purpose is clear: To keep their distance, stay alive and secure late game objectives with a well timed flat out move. Should I opt to be more aggressive, they could tear up the enemy’s flanks, drawing away other units from my core, or position themselves midfield for those opportune rear and side armour hits.

And Finally

This is another miniature that I badly wanted when I got into the hobby in the mid-nineties but was sadly unavailable. Now, thanks to the wonders of the online marketplace, they are finally mine. I’m really pleased with how they have turned out and integrated into my army of 30k Word Bearers. Their comparatively small size initially gave me pause, but since they are ‘Fast’ owing to the ROW, they now fit both aesthetically and thematically.

At the time of writing they are unbloodied, but they don’t have to wait long – I’ve got a 3,000 point game scheduled tomorrow against World Eaters.

Oh,

and Angron’s coming…

NEXT WEEK ON THROWBACK THURSDAY

landraidersbox1x-01

It’s throwback Thursday…

ogryn_old_retro_art

With a relentless release schedule of increasingly beautiful minis, it’s easy to forget about the phenomenal miniatures in the early days of Games Workshop. Heavy, prone to chipping and highly poisonous, these were the models that captured our imaginations. True, many hobbyists shy away from them completely nowadays, believing them too clunky, perhaps too ungainly for a place next to their newer, increasingly dynamic range.

That said, it is clear that a market for them  exists beyond simply a small cadre of veteran hobbyists with nostalgic glints in their eyes. Games Workshop, recognising the demand for many of those classic miniatures and perhaps (dare I say it?) noticing the exorbitant bidding wars occurring on ebay, asked the community what they would like to see returned to the forge for a limited run.

Although I did not indulge in this GW led retro revival, I know plenty that did; A friend of mine purchased a bundle of Daemonettes and their steeds along with a Chaos Lord or two. Admittedly he did this on a magic carpet of whimsy fuelled excitement (probably). In my case, what with a hobby room fast approaching absurd levels of cardboard and sprue based excess, I tend to make sure that my purchases are actually going to get used in an army some time soon…

So, without further introduction, welcome to Throwback Thursday, where every…hm… Thursday I’ll reveal an old favourite that has pride of place, even amongst its smug and CAD designed resin kin.

I’ll start with my all time favourite Rogue Trader era model, the Ogryn. There was a line of them back then, but of all the sculpts, ‘460101’ captured my imagination the most. The others are a little too cartoony and lacking in any real drama or character. ‘460101’ is somehow bulkier, captured in a half turn and laden down with all kinds of esoteric equipment. The goggles and expression are reminiscent of ‘2000AD’ which heavily influenced the design of many Citadel models. Finally, the tilt of the ripper gun suggests both the strength of the Ogryn and the weapon’s considerable heft.

wd113p764601ogrynsx-02

After scooping him up on ebay, I inevitably wrote him into an Imperialis Militia list, having previously no ambition to include any Ogryns whatsoever. Now I’m up to a squad of six of these lovable mutants…

I will do a detailed post on my Imperialis Militia project at some point in the future, no doubt it will contain details of my pained experiences on drafting a list that satisfied both my thematic and modelling ideals (its performance unfortunately was left on the bus…).

Anyway, Ogryns! I love the idea of having Toughness 5, multi-wound models lumbering forwards with Assault Heavy Bolters. If they elect to do so wearing purple trousers then so much the better! After batch painting nearly everything (including rhinos and a contemptor talon) it was a joy to focus on this miniature over the course of a morning and an afternoon.

2017-01-07-photo-00001444    “Knuckle duster. Check. Purple pantaloons. Check. Groin protector. Check…”

I won’t lie, he’s utterly incongruous amongst his enormous, Bullgrynesque brothers in arms, but I love him all the same. If ever there was an army where RT era models fitted in, it’s the Imperialis Militia. Lets all raise a glass to Forgeworld for designing an army list where almost anything goes!

Cheers!

Next week and in plastic!

c890011plaspredator-02