The Doom of Ieriche

Hey everyone, we decided to link some of our games together into a campaign setting. We wanted to create a bit of interest in our games and to introduce some other narrative elements and special rules. The plan is to use the rules for running a campaign from Book 4 and adapt them a little bit to suit our purposes. We’re mainly looking forward to including war zone traits, strategic objectives and such as well as building some new fluff for our characters. This is campaign is just for fun and just between us.

Here is a brief bit of background to the planet and the ensuing conflict:

‘The bright banners of the 233rd Hoyuke-Chata Fusiliers cracked in the wind as the regiment stood to attention along the trench network which wove its way through the outskirts of Eurbelhive. Bunkers stood at strategic points along the trenches, housing the regiment’s heavy weapons and command elements. It was a resplendent force; their uniforms were a bloody crimson and deep turquoise and the sun gleamed off helmets that had been carefully polished. It was hard to miss such a colourful force stationed amongst the mud, gunmetal, and discarded corpses.

That was the point.

The 233rd did not realise that they were bait. They did not even realise that they were actually fighting for Horus.

Two years before the outbreak of the Heresy the Emperor’s Children had brought Ieriche into compliance.  Ieriche is the fourth planet orbiting binary orange giants. It was a world of relative importance, being designated a low level staging world for sub-expeditionary level resupply. The only inhabited world in the system, two of its moons are mined for valuable resources used in the city sized manufactories on the planet, with the other two moons turned over to defence. These are fitted with large defence cannons, long-range detection scanners and thousands of armed security. Fulgrim himself had accepted the Governor’s surrender and in a theatrical display of magnanimity allowed the man to continue his rule. Several regiments of Hoyuke-Chata Fusiliers were left behind to ensure he stayed loyal to the Imperium.

Ieriche had been cut off from astropathic communication and so were entirely unaware of the events of the Isstvan system. When ‘the Andronicus’ entered real space at the edge of the system they were welcomed as returning heroes. Lord Commander Eidolon himself came planet-side and told with tearful eyes how the Emperor had been betrayed. He told them how Ferrus Manus, ever jealous of Horus’ command and his bond with the Emperor, had turned from the Imperium and corrupted Corax and Vulkan to his cause. He said that even now Corax was coming to this system to hunt down all those who had stayed loyal to the Emperor.

Eidolon could barely keep a straight face as the Governor and ruling elite of Ieriche fell for this lie. Outraged at such betrayal they immediately turned Ieriche to a war footing and vast networks of defence lines were constructed around the hives, to help in the coming war against who they thought were traitors of the Imperium.

Instead they were being used to draw the Raven Guard into a trap. Emboldened by taking the Perfect Fortress and supported by an influx of recruits thanks to the work in Ravendelve, the Raven Guard had begun to strike back at the exposed rear of the traitor advance. Horus had approved Eidolon’s plan to draw the shadowy legion out and destroy them for real.

The thought of such carnage, and having the Raven Guard kill imperial army men who were loyal to the Emperor swelled Eidolon’s heart. At the right time in the battle his force of Emperor’s Children would swoop down in a pincer and crush the Raven Guard.

Today was going to be a good day.’

We played our first game planet-side over the weekend which was great fun, expect a written up report over the next couple of days. The plan is to mix it up, planning large scale operations as well as centurion level games and Zone Mortalis to represent the fighting around the moon bases.

(the image of the planet is a screenshot taken whilst exploring the Space Engine program, for personal use in this campaign only. See http://spaceengine.org/ )

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.

IMG_9403

IMG_9402

IMG_9404

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!

IMG_9410

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:

IMG_0369

IMG_0368

IMG_0371

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.

IMG_0373

 

IMG_9425

IMG_0385

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

J

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.

IMG_0273

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.

IMG_0263

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.

IMG_0266

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.

IMG_0264

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!):

IMG_9052

(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.

IMG_9043

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?

IMG_9022

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.

IMG_9044

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

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!

IMG_0222

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.

IMG_0230

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.

IMG_8902

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.

IMG_8898

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.

J

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:

IMG_8503

To this:

IMG_0028

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…

IMG_0022

J