Dok’s Shop – Jetbike Praetor

Just a quick post to show my current project, a Praetor on jetbike to lead my Sky Hunter Phalanx list. I was struggling for a while to think of a suitable model when the new Red Scorpions characters were suggested to me. So with my trusted hobby tools I set about sawing Casan Sabius’ legs off and sanding down any scorpion insignia, which there actually was not a lot of. I then built a Custodes jetbike, sanding down some of the insignia and attaching an underslung heavy bolter. Jetbikes are armed with a heavy bolter rather than 6 bolters. I still need to work out what to do with the bit where the bolters are, and blend Casan’s body to the Custodes legs using some greenstuff but I’m really happy with how he looks. I think he’s a pretty unique character.

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And he is a sneak peak of the full command squad, with whom he rides. There’s also a Chaplain and a Primus Medicae in there. Its a pricey squad points wise, but will (hopefully) look the part on the battlefield. And looking good is all Emperor’s Children care about after all!

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J

Zone Mortalis

Roughly a year ago I got a 3×3 ZM board and its taken a while to get round to painting it! Slowly but surely we’re getting there, with 2×2 done and the rest nearly finished. We were keen to get a couple of games on the board though, and so decided to set the tiles up, add a bit of scatter terrain and then play some games. First we did a three way game with 1000pts each. Here are the forces we used:

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It was a fun, fast paced game and very bloody. My poor Emperor’s Children didn’t have a single model left on the board by the end! The Emperor’s Children and Iron Warriors then teamed up against the Raven Guard and we tried the unknown enemy rules. That was a very interesting dynamic, with trying to work out what the various blips were. Here are some photos we took in game. We haven’t written any fluff for these games as it was more of a intro to ZM to see how it plays. The Cold in the Void rules are awesome and make terminators/breachers a lot more survivable.

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Once all the tiles are finished we’ll be sure to get some fun themed games on them so stay tuned for more!

J

Dicing with Death – Clash of Jakverk Refinery

Taking advantage of the Easter bank holidays, we managed to squeeze another couple of games in. Here are the armies we used in the 2k game (we got a bit carried away and forgot to take a photo of the armies we used in the second game! Both of us used the 2k list and then added a few bits):

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IMG_0338Jakverk had declared for Horus and valuable promethium from the planet was being sent to traitor fleets across the galaxy, aiding their war effort. A detachment of Emperor’s Children had been garrisoned on the planet to protect this resource from any threat. They had quickly grown bored of this task though, and began to use the civilians as their playthings more than guarding the pipelines. A small detachment of Raven Guard, sent behind lines by Corax to destabilise the traitor supply lines, saw Jakverk as a perfect target. A strike team personally led by Shadow Captain Kraai was assembled and descended quickly to the planet. Their aim was to take out the Braat Pipeline, shutting down the transportation of the promethium and stopping Horus’ armies from accessing this valuable resource.IMG_0340The Emperor’s Children reacted quicker than Kraai expected, stealing the initiative and moving aggressively towards the Raven Guard troops on the ground. Little did they imagine what was even now hurtling through the atmosphere from Kraai’s strike cruiser in orbit…SLAM!IMG_0344Two drop pods smashed into the Emperor’s Children deployment zone and squads of Raven Guard burst forward, laying down a hail of fire that crippled the Emperor’s Children. The plasma support squad obliterated the volkite caliver squad, leaving behind only a pile of goo and purple armour. The Land Raider Pursuit of Ecstasy drove forward, locked its lascannons onto Honoured Brother Kynaeus and blew him up. The lighting fighter Zorya’s Claw arrived and unleashed a volley of missiles and shots at the Pursuit of Ecstasy but only managed to immobilise it; the venerable hull withstood every other shot.IMG_0349Hipparch Anthame, commander of the garrison, stepped from the land raider’s ramp and charged with his bodyguard of palatine blades into the Raven Guard assault squad. Fresh from having massacred an Emperor’s Children tactical squad, the assault squad were caught unawares and were butchered by the beautiful blade work of Kreon and his swordsmen.IMG_9390Fuelled by this fresh victory, Anthame and his squad moved against the plasma support squad. Demanding vengeance for Galbeon and his volkite support squad, they cut the Raven Guard down in one swift round of combat.IMG_9391It was too little too late though as the Raven Guard cleaned up the Emperor’s Children’s deployment zone with more tacticals arriving by drop pod and engaging their enemy in brutal hand to hand combat. This turned into a slog as more marines piled into the melee. The Emperor’s Children fought back to back but were eventually slain.IMG_0350Kraai faced down Legion Champion Eurydeon and his skimmer relief force which arrived on the Raven Guard’s flank. Eurydeon had chased the Raven Guard throughout their 98 days on Isstvan V, making use of his sky hunter phalanx to constantly harass the Raven Guard. When Kraai realised that such a hated foe was on the planet, he made an oath that he would kill him. Although he was successful at neutralising the jetbikes, Kraai was knocked out of the combat by a pair of javelin speeders who murdered his unit with krak missiles from their cyclone launchers. IMG_0346The Raven Guard carried the day and took control of the prometheum refinery. The Emperor’s Children withdrew and regrouped with units that were moving up to reinforce the shattered garrison. The Raven Guard, leaving behind units to sabotage Braat Pipeline, pressed their attack on the retreating Emperor’s Children, and battle was met again in a windswept valley a few kilometres away. Kraai was determined to avenge his fallen brothers by killing Eurydeon, no matter the cost, and fulfil his oath.IMG_0352In order to kill his hated foe Kraai deployed the last of his reserves from orbit. Three more drop pods descended quickly and landed across the Emperor’s Children deployment zone. Augury scanners had predicted their precise arrival though and the Emperor’s Children turned to target the new arrivals. Thermal blasts from the volkite squad proved deadly and the entire plasma squad was gunned down before they could fire.IMG_0357Other elements of the Raven Guard army raced up the board, with the lascannon team glancing The Pursuit of Ecstasy on the Emperor’s Children right flank.

Much to Kraai’s frustration, Eurydeon had not appeared on the battlefield yet, and he vented his anger out on the volkite support squad, butchering them to a man in a flurry of blows from the dark furies’ raven talons.f35a201d-0d50-4849-b235-9902cfcd7d1cIt was then that the Emperor’s Children hidden blade appeared and Eurydeon showed himself. Appearing behind the Raven Guard lines, the jetbike squad deleted the lascannon team with shots from their heavy bolters and volkite culverins.IMG_0360Zorya’s Claw zoomed onto the battlefield, locked onto The Pursuit of Ecstacy and wrecked it with its kraken missiles. Anthame and his blade squad were then assaulted by Honoured Brother Yiraka who managed to kill three palatines before being ripped apart by Chaplain Athenion’s power fist.f579a9ad-206a-4530-a175-09b927bfacffShadow Captain Kraai, Hipparch Anthame and their bodyguard units met in the centre of the battlefield for a brutal combat that lasted mere seconds but saw many butchered on both sides. The Raven Guard came out on top, as when the dust settled not one marine in purple armour stood to oppose Kraai and his dark furies.IMG_0364Having suffered greater casualties than he expected, and failing to kill Eurydeon, Kraai ordered his force to withdraw. His attack had also served as a diversion and had given the saboteurs enough time to blow the Braat Pipeline. Kraai brooded over the battle whilst sitting in his personal thunderhawk. He was not one to break an oath and before the war was finished he would have Eurydeon’s head…

We played two games and decided to link them narratively. The first mission was Shatter Strike, representing the Raven Guard trying to take ground and capture the pipeline. The second game was Bad Blood from the shadow war missions. We hadn’t used them in a while but are big fans of the different feel those missions have; they’re much more personal and bitter than the normal missions. All in all was a fun day and a victory each for the Raven Guard and the Emperor’s Children.

J

Dicing with Death – Battle of Solarurbs

Solarurbs was an industrial staging world; acres of storage yards and miles of pipelines held resources vital to the war effort throughout the Great Crusade. With the outbreak of the heresy, controlling the world and its supplies became an important task for both sides. Fulgrim personally arrived to ensure the planet remained loyal to Horus. To his surprise an armoured contingent of Iron Warriors was already planet side by the time the Emperor’s Children arrived. Fulgrim dispatched his herald Kopheon in the Thunderhawk Marvellous Revelation to make contact with a force he thought fought on the same side. To his horror the Marvellous Revelation was shot out the sky under a hail of fire from various sicaran tanks and crashed amidst an oil field to the north of the planet. Enraged at this betrayal Fulgrim immediately deployed with the XXII Millennial to avenge his fallen sons and make the Iron Warriors pay…

IMG_9350 Moving up quickly, the Emperor’s Children tacticals managed to secure Kopheon’s corpse and his banner. Civilians working in the nearby factories tried to flee at the sight of the two armies engaging, but still ended up embroiled in the battle. Securing civilians for use as workers or slaves became a secondary objective for both sides. Early firepower from the Emperor’s Children proved devastating for the opposing armoured column, as the crew of the sicaran arcus were forced to bail out when the deredeo punched several holes in the side of the vehicle.

IMG_0332The Iron Warrior tanks responded with matched aggression, immobilising the Spartan The Magnificence which forced Fulgrim and his bodyguard to dismount. The plasma predator squadron deleted the entirety of tactical squad Iosephon, who were protecting Kopheon’s body, which meant the right flank of the Emperor’s Children all but disappeared. Orion’s Guardian, the Emperor’s Children sicaran, exploded in a fireball when the Iron Warrior spartan targeted it with its laser destroyer array.IMG_0333At this point the Emperor’s Children flanking force burst onto the battlefield and unleashed a staggering amount of firepower on the predators. Four vehicles were left smouldering wrecks and the Iron Warriors were forced to turn and counter this new threat.

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A large unit of tyrant siege terminators stepped from the Spartan, locked onto and destroyed the land speeders; jinking proved ineffective against so many shots. Accelerator autocannons from the remaining sicarans shot at the jetbikes and managed to whittle them down to just the Legion Champion Anthame.

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By this time Fulgrim had managed to move up and charge the siege terminators. The combat was short but bloody as the Blade of the Laer cut into the Iron Warriors with lethal effect. One lone siege tyrant stood against the odds, with insane heroism he refused to flee from Fulgrim but held his ground and ensured another round of combat.

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The Iron Warriors were forced to retreat from the unbridled rage of the Emperor’s Children and their primarch. Kopheon’s body and the standard he carried were removed from the battlefield and brought to the Pride of the Emperor with honour. The day belonged to the Emperor’s Children.

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Had a fun game making use of some of our newly painted scenery. I got very lucky with the first turn and taking out the arcus. I’ve played enough games to know that the arcus is incredibly deadly against my skimmer heavy army so it was the priority target.

J

Dicing with Death – Battle for Sithis Prime.

Following our casual 30k event on the weekend I thought I would write up a story of the battle between World Eaters and the Raven Guard.  It is more of a fluff write up rather than a turn by turn break down.  I have another write up to do so I’ll mix it up in the next one.20180304_112657-1

The battle for Sithis Prime: On the outskirts of the Istvann System lies Sithis Prime, a world ravaged by the civil war, all that stands is the Hive City of Kraventus.  The surviving populace of Sithis Prime have been journeying to Kraventus, the last safe haven, to seek shelter from the war that surrounds them.

Unforntuatley for the populace of Kraventus, a World Eater war ban lead by Kharn the Bloody have had their fill of legion on legion slaughter and have turned their butchery towards the nearest civilisation they can reach.  Spartans filled with raging tactical squads and the sound of roaring thrusters carry across the empty air as the World Eaters advance through the empty ruins putting anyone they come across with a swift and bloody demise.

Luckily for the populace of Kraventus, Shadow Captain Kraai of the XIX Legion, II Btn, VII Chapter, had been perusing the World Eaters fleet since the Drop Site Massacre.  Seeing the slaughter unfolding on the planet’s surface, Kraai decided to intervene and draw the World Eaters away from the city of Kraventus, thus allowing the populace to escape.

The world Eaters advanced across the battlefield mounted in Spartan Assault tanks which shrugged off most of the Raven guard fire power.  Crashing to the surface the dreaded hulk of a Leviathan painted in white and blue stormed into the Raven guard ranks determined to cut the head of the snake and kill Kraai before the battle had even begun.  After many casualties inflicted on his body guard of Dark furies, Kraai decided to withdraw and shelter in some nearby ruins.

Things were look bleak for the Raven guard, until reinforcements arrived.  Drop pods filled with plasma support teams and tactical squads smashed into the dirt of Sithis Prime, lightning’s unloaded their payload into the lead Spartan, obliterating it and leaving its occupants lying face down in the mud.  Seeing this opportunity Kraai broke free from the shelter of the ruin and began slaying all who stood before him.  Impaling two World Eater marines with his mighty paragon blade.

Kharn, enraged by this sudden turn of events charged out of his Spartan at a nearby tactical squad who had recently disembarked from their drop pod.  The onslaught of Kharn was undeniable and the panicked Raven guard tactical squad emptied their bolters to try and cut him down, but to no avail. Just when the tactical squad was about to perish, Kharns body was hit by a plasma round and was projected into a nearby wall. 

Kraai called to his master of signals to evacuate the city of Kraventus, however before he could issue the command his comrade was beset upon by a vindictive assault squad.  Cutting him into pieces and soaking their chain axes in his blood the assault squad laughed and jeered at Kraai.  Kraai left his dark furies to continue their assault and charged into the bloody slaughter to avenge his comrade.  Smashing into the combat with his mighty jump pack, he swiftly cut the blood thirsty World Eaters into pieces.

The remaining world eaters seeing their army butchered and their leaded broken retreated allowing Kraai to signal the evacuation.  Kraai was also bloodied from the battle and regrouped his forces, and withdrew with the citizens of Kraventus.

Hope you enjoyed the write up

~ T

463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 2

The 463rd Orta fought under Varvarus in the 63rd Expeditionary Fleet by the side of the Luna Wolves. When the Emperor’s Children split off to form their own fleet the 463rd Orta were dispatched with them to provide auxiliary support.

Creze Hakan-Sje is the Corbaci, or commander, of the 463rd Orta. Whilst anyone can now join the Janizars, the upper echelons of the officer class are reserved for those from the Old Families. These were the original families to give up their firstborns, and have continued to do so for the past thousand years. Hakan-Sje was destined for greatness and thrived in the harsh conditions of the Janizars. His family used whatever connections they could to secure Hakan-Sje a favourable position and he proved extremely competent in command. He was sent to the officer college Ajema-Algikje along with another aspiring commander, Vavarus. The two formed a close bond of brotherhood which turned sour when Vavarus was chosen over Hakan-Sje to lead those Janizars sent to Horus’ fleet. IMG_0278

Beside him hovers Tawil, Hakan-Sje’s firstborn. Janizars are not allowed family of any sort, so when it turned out he had an illegitimate son it threatened to end his career. In a show of loyalty to the Janizars, Hakan-Sje had his son lobotomised and turned into a true-Nephilim, a complex biological and mechanical process which almost bankrupted his family. Hakan-Sje claims this fulfils his family’s oath as his firstborn now serves in the 463rd, albeit as his familiar. He carries the Creze ancestral axe, wielded by the family for a hundred years.

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The Orta of the Byzant Janizars are organised into squads, or Cemaati. Their preferred tactic is called a tercio, where they advance in an aggressive column aimed at punching through the enemy’s line and routing them. Life is short in the Cemaati as such tactics usually result in heavy casualties. To ensure they can always fight the Orta are constantly replenished by recruits shipped from the many households who have sworn to provide their firstborns and those who ‘volunteer’ from planets on which the Janizars fight. Each Cemaat is led by a veteran, called a Boluk-Bashi, who has fought and survived at the front line for many years.

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Pictured here is Cemaat Uch-Bir, led by the Boluk-Bashi Gaius Tutku. The son of one of the few noble families from Urartu to survive the Battle of Mount Ararat , Gaius Tutku was handed over to the Janizars after failing the Astartes recruitment program. He survived his first engagement, against the Orks on Chern-VI, and worked his way up to Boluk-Bashi and commanding his own Cemaat. He is a very bitter man who rarely smiles but under him Uch-Bir has gained a fearsome reputation.

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Due to the aggressive combat doctrine favoured by the Janizars, most troopers bear scars and other wounds from their time in the tercioes. A large number have had limbs blown off and so sport bionic replacements, or are forced to wear bionic rebreathers to replace collapsed lungs or facial injuries. This, combined with basic psycho-indoctrination, means that the Janizars have a higher tolerance for pain than a standard soldier of the Imperial Army.

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Each Cemaat is supported by squads armed with heavy weaponry. Their role is to suppress the enemy so the tercioes can advance safely and to take out heavier elements which might threaten the Cemaati. Janizars favour more portable heavy weapons, such as missile launchers rather than static fire bases of lascannons. Thanks to Creze Hakan-Sje’s connections the 463rd is supplied with rare anti-matter warheads that are adept at destroying vehicles.

Pictured here is Cemaat Uch-Iki led by Oda-Bashi Rasha-Fare, a female officer with an expert eye at tank hunting. Traditionally the Byzant Janizars took the firstborn of conquered nobles regardless of gender and the old families still fulfil this ancestral oaths. The requirements of the Great Crusade mean that any person can be accepted into the Janizars and the Orta continue to accept both male and female recruits. IMG_0254

 So I now have the minimum requirements to field the Byzant Janizars as an allied detachment, which I will be doing in a game on Sunday. In the works are: a land speeder squad (sentinels), a unit of arco-flagellants (ogryns) and a squad of grenadiers as my secondary compulsory troops choice.

I’ve enjoyed filling out the fluff a bit more for them. Not a huge amount has been written so I feel I can take some liberties. If games workshop introduce more stuff about them, it would be fairly easy to change these guys to being an entirely homemade militia army.

J

 

Dok’s Shop – Isstvan Terrain

Isstvaan III was reborn in plague and fire, and its surface became a scarred and ruined graveyard of civilisation. The life-eater virus unleashed at Horus’ command reduced all organic matter to sludge then orbital bombardment ignited the gases released by the actions of the virus. Firestorms thousands of kilometres wide swept the surface of Isstvan III and after the fires died out, they left a realm of ash and smoke scattered with the twisted carcasses of burned-out hives and dead cities.

This description in Book I caught our attention and, as we are in the process of updating and painting all our scenery, we thought it would be awesome to convert up some terrain to represent the remains of Isstvan III. Our ruined buildings and pipes would work well enough, but we wanted to go further and create some of the terrain mentioned in Book I. It would also give some fun additional rules for playing games with these terrain pieces.

It provides rules for mysterious forests and rivers, mysterious structures as well as a host of other scatter terrain. We decided not to make any forest and the sculpted skull pools on the GW Realm of Battle Boards look perfect as ‘grave slime’ with some green tinted water effects paint on top. It was on the battlefield debris that we devoted most of our efforts.

To build the scenery we used the following tools (not show is the base material we used for the models. We used a canvas board material, but we’d recommend using plasticard as it is as strong and easier to cut!):

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(also learn from our mistakes and wear gloves when using expanding foam; it is a real pain to get off as water makes it stickier!)

Wrecked vehicles

The wrecks of Legion tanks, land crawlers and other civilian vehicles are everywhere on Isstvan III, their crews turned to sludge and hulls scorched by fire. The weapons on many of these wrecks may still function if an operator is willing to pull the dead from their seats and trust to fortune

This is the easiest way to show signs of a recent massive conflict and luckily we had a couple of spare vehicles lying about to turn into wrecks. First we built the rhino normally, leaving doors unglued so we could position them on the base. We then went to town cutting up the vehicle and using drills to simulate weapon fire, and we thought the dead gunner was a nice opportunity to show a last stand of a nameless marine. IMG_9023

Next thing we did was spray a load of expanding foam onto the base then pressed the rhino down onto it so it interacted more naturally with the base; it looks like it was in the thick of it before it got hit/wrecked. To blend the expanding foam into the base we used polyfilla and stuck the sand mix to it using pva glue. The end result looks like this:

We also knocked up a wrecked land speeder. It is meant to look like it got hit whilst skimming and then crashed into the ground, throwing dirt up in the process. We used expanding foam to build up the dirt then used polyfilla and sand to blend it in, like with the rhino. There are a couple of details on the model, like the gunshot hole in the pilot’s helmet maybe suggesting why it crashed. It will have a multi-melta attached, as a deadly weapon you can try and fire in game. IMG_9040

Corpse Mound

The dead are everywhere on Isstvan III. The shattered remains of thousand of dead Legionaries lie heaped like flotsam on a seashore, leaking liquefied flesh from the split joints and broken eye pieces of their armour.

Such a cool idea, and very grimdark. The idea of piles of dead was too cool not to include on the board. We struggled for a while how to represent it on the table though. We had a box of old plastic zombies lying around and added what spare bits we had. Initially we just tried to build up bodies by themselves but it did not look like much of a mound. Instead we went back to the expanding foam and then placed the bodies/marine bits in the foam as it expanded. This looks like it actually offers a cover save and the foam can just be the liquefied remains of the population.

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Whilst biological matter was eaten by the life-eater virus so there technically should not be any human corpses, we figured it helped make the corpse mound look more corpse-y and remind that humans had fought on the planet too.

Drop Pod Carcass

Hundreds of drop pods remain from when the loyalists deployed to bring Isstvan III back into compliance. Now many remain strewn across the grey sea of wreckage and ruin.

Again another image too cool not to do, we managed to get some drop pods really cheap on ebay and set to work making them look like terrain rather than models. We decided to have them on built up bases to represent the damage caused by their impact. Having cut out a suitable sized base we then added expanding foam before pressing the drop pods down in it. We think this makes the landing look realistic, what do you think?

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We then added polyfilla and sand to the based so it would match the boards. We pressed them in at a slight angle as well just to give a bit more interest to them. These drop pods were heavily inspired by the board that was at Warhammer World for a while with all the drop pods lying about. There’s still one more drop pod to build and we think they’ll look pretty great all together. IMG_9039

The centrepiece of our Isstvan board will be the crashed thunderhawk tile from ForgeWorld. We’ve started working on it already and decided to paint it in Emperor’s Children colours so it would stand out from the board. In addition it presented some fun themed battle opportunities around Saul Tarvitz and his actions on Isstvan III.

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That’s all we’ve done so far. The debris is currently sitting outside having been sprayed so there should be updates on them shortly! Let us know what you think of the terrain.

J