Diving 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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!):


(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.


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?


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.


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.


Dicing with Death – Battle of Kursche IV

The event which came to be known as the Kurschean Genocide was only discovered during the Scouring when Imperial administrators noticed the system had failed to deliver its tithes for many years. A task force of tithe-grabbers, archivists and data-scriveners were sent to claim the backlog of resources, men and weapons. When they arrived all they found was a dead system, the world aflame and the capital city a bombed out ruin. Using the few remaining satellites and data retrieval servo-skulls the task force were able to establish the following events…

Two large traitor fleets arrived in system within hours of each other and both raced to Kursche IV, smashing aside any orbital defences the planet had. The slender purple and gold ships of the Emperor’s Children launched Stormbirds and light landing craft immediately whilst the lumbering cruisers of the Iron Warriors spat out bulk craft that descended slower, but contained heavier cargo. The first message the inhabitants of the planet received was a blistering bombardment reducing much of the city to rubble. It is only possible to establish now that the two forces were after a stockpile of deadly weapons locked away since the Dark Age of Technology. Quite why the forces came to blows when they both fought on the same side is unknown, but it is speculated that each commander wanted the prestige of bringing the weapons to the Warmaster themselves.


The Emperor’s Children force was the first to arrive at the site of the weapons. It was the XXII Millennial, who had made a name for themselves on the blasted plains of Istvaan V. With them was the venerable chassis of the Glaive tank ‘The Tyrannicide’ and they were led by Lord Legate Antigonus Chlorus.


Against them was amassed a battalion of tanks formed up in an impenetrable wall of iron. Pict logs show the Iron Warriors were led by Rhommal, a praetor renowned for his genius at commanding tank squadrons and deadly accuracy with his personal Sicaran’s autocannon.


Despite arriving last to the battlefield the Iron Warriors managed to steal the initiative and with a roar of engines the armoured spearhead advanced.


With pinpoint accuracy the predators cut through the Emperor’s Children infantry in the open, but struggled to get rid of the marines dug into the large ruin on the left flank. The Iron Warriors Spartan tank opened up on its opposite number and the Emperor’s Children Spartan went up in flames. Antigonus and his terminator bodyguard stepped out of the ruined vehicle, now having to advance on the enemy on foot without the protection of his transport.

The Iron Warriors dominated the battlefield whilst the Emperor’s Children waited for their outflanking force to arrive. Tyrant Siege Terminators stepped from their Spartan and took great chunks out of The Tyrannicide, detonating its core and causing a titanic explosion. They all walked from the nuclear blast unharmed, wreathed in smoke and making for their next target.


Things were looking dire for the Emperor’s Children when the distinctive whine of anti-grav vehicles could be heard over the explosions and screams of the dying. Emperor’s Children reinforcements had finally arrived behind the Iron Warriors and they trained their weapons on the enemy tanks…


Predator after predator blew up under a hail of mult-melta fire and crushed by the effects of grav weaponry. Even Rhommal was forced to bail out of his Sicaran after a pair of javelins launched krak missiles into the rear of his tank.


Ultimately it was too little too late and the Iron Warrior’s Arcus Strike Tank took down most of the speeders with its deadly warheads. Legion Champion Anthame, the rest of his squad dead, attempted to destroy the remaining Sicaran using a melta bomb in a last ditch attempt to even the field. However the bomb failed to clamp to the tank and so Antigonus ordered his forces to retreat from the battlefield and the planet.


Having acquired the weapons the Iron Warriors retreated into orbit and bombarded the planet until nothing stood. So life ended on Kursche IV but this would not be the last time that events in the Horus Heresy brought war to the world…

463rd Orta, Byzant Janizars – Part 1

‘The Byzant Dominate was a small empire in pre-unification Terra situated next to the Achaemenid Empire, on the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl. Despite being a small empire, it had a formidable army, and waged several successful wars throughout its long existence. These wars won the Byzant Dominate prisoners, young children offered to the empire by defeated monarchs and tyrants as terms for peace. These children were raised by the Byzanters, indoctrinated into their cult and eventually joined the ranks of the emperor’s bodyguard: the Byzant Janizars.

Given the best equipment and training the Dominate could muster, these corps, or Orta, occupied a privileged position in Byzant culture and politics. Over time they had gained a reputation as king makers, famed for naming a new emperor and demanding vast sums from them; if they did not pay then the emperor was killed and a new ‘volunteer’ rose to the purple.

The Byzant Dominate, like the Achaemenid Empire, was incorporated by the Emperor in the early days of Unification. The Byzant emperor, Sul-Tac, was determined to resist the Emperor’s diplomatic envoys, believing him to be safe in his capital fortress, Byzant-Alpha. When the massed ranks of raging Thunder Warriors arrived at the fortress gates, the general of the Byzant Janizars, Madhvian, saw an opportunity for political advancement. He feared the enhanced warriors, whose reputation for the brutal massacre of any opposition preceded them. With the Janizars, Madhvian stormed Sul-Tac’s chambers and killed him along with his family. He then opened the gates of Byzant-Alpha, presented the head of Sul-Tac as a gift, and named the Emperor as the new Byzant emperor.

Upon hearing this, the Emperor accepted their declaration, becoming the ruler of Byzant and thus acquiring the empire without bloodshed. For their treachery against their former ruler though, the Emperor had the Ortas swear an oath of loyalty, that the Emperor was the last and only ruler they would ever follow and fight for. In order to seal this oath, whilst punishing them, the Emperor ordered the Janizars decimated. He also obliterated Madhvian with his psychic might.

The Janizars took their oath to heart, and fought in some of the bloodiest campaigns during Unification. The Janizars were allowed to take the noble children of defeated empires (often those preliminarily rejected from the Astartes project) and raise them in their tradition. With the influx of recruits the Byzant Janizars more than tripled in size, and several new Orta were raised, sent to fight alongside the legions in the great crusade. Thanks to their noble birth and early loyalty, they were attached to some of the more noble expedition fleets, most notably a large contingent fighting with Horus under Lord Commander Varvarus.’

This is the fluff I wrote to give a bit of a back story to the Byzant Janizars. I always liked the idea of the Byzant Janizars after reading a fan-made campaign pack about the Macharian Crusade. In it they were described as one of the Emperor’s household, so I reasoned they were likely to have been in the Great Crusade. Even though some sided with Horus in the books, surely there were some loyalist units as well? In the supplement it said how the Byzant Janizars were one of the few regiments to use a-grav vehicles so I was planning on continuing that theme, with land speeders as sentinels and eventually converting up some skimmer leman russes (note I won’t actually count them as skimmers, I just think it’ll look cool!!!)

Anyway, I eventually worked out the bits I wanted after struggling for a while, especially with regards to the distinctive Janissary hat. I settled on the mix of kits you see below, and am pretty happy with the result. Here is the first test model I made:

Their hats are greenstuffed on and I eventually shaved off the gems on their head and replaced them with aquillas to make them look more futuristic.

I was really happy with how he looked so started converting up the rest of the squad. This is the first militia squad, and needs to be bumped up to 20 men strong. I think the squad as a whole looks quite impressive!


I also wanted to take advantage of being able to choose your warlord trait in the cults & militia list and being able to increase the AP of a weapon in your army. AP2 rocket launchers should be pretty handy at being able to destroy enemy vehicles. I still need to paint up one more rocket launcher to make the squad legal size.


Finally I quickly painted up a force commander to use in smaller games so I could use the army as an allied detachment for my Emperor’s Children. He will eventually be the commander of the second militia squad but he works as my HQ for now. IMG_8903His pose is based of the Vostroyan command squad on the old Warhammer 40k Battle Missions book as I loved their static poses observing the battlefield rather than being stuck in the middle of the fighting.


I have also finished the first of my land speeders which will be count as sentinels. The fluff reason behind this is that their empire was based on the edge of the Mediterranean Dust Bowl and so skimmer tech proved more useful at being able to patrol their territory than conventional walkers/vehicles. Its armed with an autocannon and I wanted it to look burdened with extra supplies and comms to show their use as logistics support for the infantry as well.


I’m really happy with how they’re coming along and how they look as a whole. Next on the list is the force commander and finishing these squads off. Then I’m looking forward to playing some games with these guys as an allied detachment. If you guys have any comments or ideas let us know.

Thanks for reading.


Dicing with Death – Clash on Kardiv Prime

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s a write up of a couple of battles we fought last week. I hope you enjoy!

Kardiv Prime had escaped the worst of the Heresy so far. It was protected with a chain of fortresses around the main hive built by the IV Legion and garrisoned by well drilled army troops. It didn’t possess any great wealth or strategic importance and had hoped the heresy would pass them by. When Corax’s fleet appeared at the edge of the system the garrison at Ga-Phe was put on full alert and requests for aid were sent out to any available traitor forces. It was a surprise to everyone that the Raven Guard didn’t attempt to take the main hive but rather landed in the northern polar ice fields, ignoring all population centres. Old cartographs showed a small research facility there but nothing else. Shortly afterwards, the XXII Millennial of the Emperor’s Children arrived and went straight to the polar caps to confront the Raven Guard.

An initial scouting force was sent under the command of Hipparch Anthame to locate the Raven Guard forces. The skimmers scouted far ahead of the rest of the task force, and operated as a reserve for the infantry.


They quickly realised they had walked into an ambush set up by Shadow Captain Kraai, who had assembled units of elite troops to delay the Emperor’s Children.


With his troops deployed either side of the ravine, Kraai had waited for Anthame’s forces to march through the pass before launching their attack. Swift and deadly the tactical marines opened fire, pinning the Emperor’s Children infantry whilst the Dark Furies bounded down into the pass. Brother Kyaneus opened up with his kheres at the back of Honoured Brother Aristogeitus and destroyed the contemptor with one burst of fire.IMG_0070

The Mor Deythan suffered heavy casualties under the firepower of the Emperor’s Children support squad positioned in the bastion; even their ability to blend into their cover couldn’t protect them from the martian death rays.


The Raven Guard had the upper hand in the fire fight until the skimmers returned to the battlefield. They arrived right behind the Raven Guard lines, crippling Brother Kynaeus with a sustained missile barrage from the Javelins.


Nothing could stop the Raven Guard plasma gun support squad, who chewed through every unit they came up against. The jetbikes were annihilated by white hot bursts of plasma.


The Dark Furies made it into combat with the tactical squad to the west of the pass and Shadow Captain Kraai butchered Sergeant Iosephon in personal combat. The rest of the squad quickly died to the claws of the Raven Guard.


The Emperor’s Children fled, defeated by the sudden strike of the Raven Guard. After this initial skirmish, both sides geared up for a larger battle. When Antigonus, the commander of the Emperor’s Children on Kardiv Prime, realised they now knew the position of the Raven Guard he immediately mobilised his entire Millennial and drove straight for the Raven Guard forces. They were intercepted and battle was met just outside the research facility.


The Tyrannicide, the Emperor’s Children Glaive, took a heavy toll on the Raven Guard. It decimated the assault squad, Dark Furies and Mor Deythan with its Volkite Carronade. In response a Darkwing storm eagle flew in, dropping off a squad of terminators. They set to work with their chainfists and crippled the venerable super-heavy, knocking it out of the battle.


Corax’s personal appearance on the battlefield helped rally the Raven Guard, and he set about butchering squads of Emperor’s Children. Lord Legate Antigonus, seeing the primarch and looking for a rematch of their duel on Istvaan V, charged in with his bodyguard. Several members of his Phoenix Guard were cut down by Corax, but even he could not withstand the blows forever and was eventually forced to retreat from the battlefield. IMG_0090

Even though the Raven Guard were outnumbered they fought valiantly. They had managed to delay the advance of the Emperor’s Children long enough for a shuttle to be launched from the research facility. Squads of Raven Guard gave their lives as a rear guard to allow the rest of the XIX legion troops to flee the world. Antigonus could only look on in fury at being denied this chance to destroy the Raven Guard completely and he was left to wonder what it was that the Raven Guard had fought so determinedly to extract from the planet.

The research facility held no clues as to what had been taken, only that it had required a large complex of geothermal generators to run. If this was something that could help the loyalists in their fight against the Warmaster’s cause, then Antigonus would need to stop them. The XXII Millennial relocated back to their cruiser and set off in pursuit of the Raven Guard, determined to stop whatever their plans were…

Christmas Presents!

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and got lots of plastic crack!

I got a new camera for Christmas. Still getting the hang of all the different settings but had a play with it on some models today. We’ve gone from this:


To this:


So we’ll be able to take much better quality pictures of our models and battles from now on. (this does mean I will have to step up my painting though as you can now see all my mistakes!!!)

We’re hoping to have a game soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it all looks with the new camera. Until then, here is a sneak peak of something I’m working on…