Horus Heresy Throne of Skulls Doubles – Part 2

As promised here is a follow-up post talking through each of the games we played over the course of the weekend.

Game 1 – vs Raven Guard and Iron Warriors

Mission: Dominion.

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.

This was a really fun game, the Iron Warriors had a lot of artillery including a minotaur (which was ace to see on the battlefield) and the Raven Guard were all deploying from reserves/outflanking. Luckily for us with so many troops on the board we were able to deploy near a couple of objectives and hold onto them by the skin of our teeth! Our infantry took an absolute battering from their guns but we had too many for them to shake off in time.

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The Raven Guard player was very unlucky in his reserve rolls which helped us a lot as they were unable to arrive in enough numbers to overwhelm us at once. The poor autocannon squad got butchered by a tactical squad in a rhino and the leman russ got destroyed by their contemptor but our opponents were unable to match our scoring units.

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End result was a win for the 216th Expeditionary fleet! Our opponents were absolutely cracking guys, really good fun to play against, we couldn’t have asked for a better opening to the tournament.

Game 2 – vs Mechanicum and Mechanicum 

Mission: War of Lies.

Deployment: Dawn of War.

Neither of us had played mechanicum before and it showed in this game. We struggled to do much damage to their automata as we were systematically pulled apart by our opponents. The plasma mortar on the Thanatar is insanely good! Our heavy weapon teams were targeted early on and destroyed which meant we were lacking the necessary heavy firepower to make a dent in their army.

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My militia couldn’t even harm the Castellax as their lasguns were only s3! Our opponents used their list very effectively and we ended up with just artillery carriages on the board by the end. We didn’t really need to roll to see what the objectives were worth, as it was clear that we had lost the game. It was still good fun though, and we definitely learned lessons about the importance of protecting our heavy weapon teams!

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Games 3 – vs Iron Warriors and Sons of Horus

Mission: Tide of Carnage.

Deployment: Clash of the line.

Our opponents had brought a really interesting list, with the Sons of Horus being just 1 unit of Justaerin, a unit of veterans, a spartan and Horus himself. The deployment zone hampered us as we barely fitted our combined army in!

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The Iron Warriors managed to roll infiltrate for their warlord trait and deployed two contemptors right near our lines which hurt! Horus landed amongst our lines and the battle became a race between running our infantry squads up the board to take battlefield zones and trying to take down Horus. By the end of the game we got him down to 1 wound but just could not quite take him down.

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In the end the game came down to a single dice roll. One squad of Saoghal infantry were 6″ from our opponent’s deployment zone and, if they could run and make it in we would stop them scoring and win us the game. The dice took a long time to settle but came up a 6! So with a bit of luck we managed to win this game. We learned a lot about how immobile our army actually is though, with so many heavy support squads we struggled to get out of our deployment zone.

Game 4 – vs Death Guard and Iron Warriors

Mission: Onslaught.

Deployment: Vanguard Strike.

We were paired against a couple of good friends in this game which made it really fun. The Iron Warriors had a Sicaran Punisher which posed a serious threat to our poor infantry, taking it out was a priority. Our artillery was systematically targeted by our opponents in an attempt to force them to flee/destroy them. This proved very effective and we were unable to put out as much firepower as we needed.

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Despite looking cool my ogryns continued their trend of not really doing anything! They failed a couple of key charges and kept getting shot in the face by a neutron beam laser. By the end of the game the board was full of brutal combats between marine and militia, with both sides properly butchered. Sadly we ran out of time to see whether either of us could grab the dominion objectives, and having worked out victory points it came out a draw.

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A particular favourite moment of ours was the vexilla bearer from the grenadier squad who managed to take down astartes with his weaponised shovel. He is definitely in line to get some medals next time they are handed out!

Game 5 – vs Dark Angels and Ultramarines

Mission: Shatter Strike.

Deployment: Search and Destroy.

What a game to end the weekend on! We were up against a gorgeous Ravenwing list and a brutal artillery focused Ultramarine list. Our opponents were super nice guys and it was a fun game even though we got steadily blown of the board! Jetbikes with acid rounds are really nasty as, thanks to fleshbane, they were wounding our artillery on 2s which really hurt!

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The Dark Angels praetor was excited about the prospect of facing off against some beasts in the shape of the ogryns and proceeded to butcher them in a single round of combat. His moment was cut short when a medusa shell landed on his face and blew him up! The ultramarine leviathan was nasty, he just cut through so many militia men as he steadily advanced up the table and by the end we had nothing which really could harm it.

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By the end of the game we only had my basilisk and the Saoghal warlord on the board so another loss. It was such a fun game though and had several cinematic moments in it.

Overall Result

So with 2 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses out of 5 games we were pretty happy with our performance. We ended up ranking 5/66 teams which was amazing! Our lists definitely need tweaking and I think if we had been able to squeeze some practice games in we might have changed some bits around. We severely lacked mobility which definitely didn’t help.

I did buy a thunderbolt from the forge world store and am sorely tempted by an arvus, so expect to see some faster units amongst the Janizars sometime soon…

J

Horus Heresy Throne of Skulls Doubles – Part 1

Two of us attended the Throne of Skulls doubles over the weekend and it was an absolute blast! We played 5 really fun games against great opponents. It was heresy at its best! I promise we will do a write up of each of our games but for now we thought we would show you something else.

We ran a dual militia list called the 216th Expeditionary Fleet comprised of the Byzant Janizars and the Saoghal Siege Regiment. For the tournament you had to bring along copies of your list for your opponents. We decided to also include some fluff about our units alongside our list for people to enjoy reading. Here is the fluff we wrote, let us know what you think!

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The Expedition to Iydris Part 3

It has been a while since we have posted hobby updates but we have all been making progress on our heresy armies. I’ve been working away on my mid-heresy Emperor’s Children, in particular the unit of Palatine Blades. As explained in previous posts many of these characters are based off individuals mentioned in the book Angel Exterminatus. I also have a unit of assault marines with sonic shriekers to add to the mid-heresy army.

The unit is finally finished and I’m really happy with the results; they clearly look heresy in their reinforced mk 4 armour but they also look like traitor and look like the degeneracy which plagued the legion has set in. I was concerned about the best way to get across the garish paint on their armour whilst still wanting to tie them into the rest of my Emperor’s Children army.

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I also finished my Chaplain, who is based off of the old Emperor’s Children Chaos Lord model, but I’ll do a post highlighting him in the future.

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Here is the first finished squad of kakophoni. I’ve run them in a few games and they’ve been pretty devastating (apart from when they’re blowing themselves up!!!) With these guys I used the colourshift paints from Greenstuff world to make their armour iridescent. I think it works really well as another way of representing the bold colours of the mid-heresy Emperor’s Children armour that is still clearly purple in its base.

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Once I’ve finished off the whole force I will post more pictures with some fluff behind all the units.

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.

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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