27 April 2020

March for Macragge: Part 6

Hi all, my first Ultramarines post of 2020 and I've painted a few things so far this year.  My new editions to my painted roster this year are a unit of Eliminators with bolt sniper rifles, a unit of 5 Incursors and a Primaris Lieutenant with power sword.

I now nearly have full company of Ultramarines painted with my captian and lieutenants having multiple models so they can be deployed with a variety of different load outs.

Eliminators are good little units that can do good damage if left alone and are resilient while in cover if the enemy decides to fire on them distracting for more valuable units.

Incusors are becoming a favourite unit of mine, being able to forward deploy, bully other infiltrating units, take objectives early and as they ignore to hit modifiers as well as exploding 6s in combat helps them with their role to deal with other infiltrating troops.

My Ultramarines are taking a bit of a back seat for a while but hopefully I will be bringing more updates on my other projects while we're under lockdown.

14 April 2020

Hobby Updates and Setting Some Goals

Why hello dear readers!

It's been a while since I've made an article for the blog. With a sudden influx of spare time (and a lot of backlog to get through) I figured what better way to spend it than to give an update on what I've been up to recently and to set myself some goals whilst the worlds gone topsy turvy.

13 April 2020

"Weep for Us" - Adeptus Titanicus, The Legio Sagittar and House Ferax

Well, lockdown is upon is, but I'm glad to say that even as Nurgle's cloud descended, Adeptus Mechanicus orbital landers delivered their precious cargo to the Titan Foundries of Sullaat Prime, and my new titan legion is making ready to march.

After a great intro game from Neil, I have thoroughly bought in to Adeptus Titanicus, a really lovingly crafted game system that won over my initial skepticism and will gel really well with any linked Age of Darkness campaign our group undertakes.

I've made a start on my titans as a result - see below for pictures of the work in progress. And I've also written out the background material for my legion and their knightly retainers. I present you with the Legio Sagittar and House Ferax...

The Legio Sagittar - The Weeping Hunters

My forces are the Legio Sagittar, a veteran legion embittered by their deployments to bring human cultures to brutal Compliance. Hailing from a forge world of Sullaat Prime in the eastern borders of the Segmentum Solar, their campaigns saw them serve repeatedly alongside the Luna Wolves and, subsequently, the Alpha Legion and the Iron Hands.

Their titans were renowned for their machine spirits' and crews' mercurial natures and controlled savagery in battle, but also for the cool discipline and fluid adaptive tactics with which they curbed the excesses of wrath and bitterness and exploited the chances of war.

Sadly, whether by some dark destiny or only cruel chance, the legion saw repeated deployments against splinter cultures of humanity spread across the galactic diaspora, as well as against alien but often peaceable planet-dwelling Aeldari upon Exodite worlds. The Legio Sagittar saw these verdant paradises and flourishing civilisations reduced, predictably, repeatedly, to ash - and the taste stuck in their mouths.

Worse still, the Legio Sagittar's own tendency to ferocious aggression in the cause of victory caused devastation and disaster that might otherwise have been avoided. They judged themselves guilty in a just cause, and lamented the necessary costs of Unity. They were ashamed of their excesses, and it is said that the princeps domina spoke several times of her concerns to the Warmaster under whom she served, seeking solace and absolution from him. This mixture of ruthless fury and bitter regret earned them the epithet of the Weeping Hunters.

The Legio Sagittar were not at the Warmaster's side at the time of his betrayal, having been sent back by the Gorgon on a tour among the Ghoul Stars in a display of might. The reasons for this deployment from the front lines are unclear, but Ferrus Manus may have hoped that the deployment of such God Engines would overawe unruly subject populations and convince them to pay the Imperial Tithe being slowly rolled out across compliant systems.

However, the legion saw it as a  dishonour as well as telling evidence of the oppression inherent in the Imperial regime they had enforced. It also put them dangerously distant from events, so that they only heard of the betrayal once the crushing blow at Istvaan V had annihilated the Loyalist response and killed Ferrus Manus.

It is said that when the Weeping Hunters' princeps domina, Kera Eleisa, received the news she swiftly suppressed its spread, and retreated for a Terran week to brood over the legion's conflicting duties and debts. At last she acted, summoning the assembled princeps at the core of the legion into urgent conclave and swiftly executing those she deemed Loyalist.

Some of the scattered legion outside her immediate reach kept their Loyalist sympathies, or turned as disillusioned Blackshields to carve out their own small stellar principates. But the cold heart of the Legio Sagittar would always belong with Horus, the charismatic Warmaster who had helped them justify their actions to themselves. The majority gathered to his banner, subjugating the systems they had been sent to intimidate and joining the march on Terra.

In bitter, saturnine humour the Legio Sagittar embraced their dark reputation with a new motto and battle cry: "Weep for Us".

House Ferax - The Burnt Hounds

Legio Sagittar came to Horus and their place as oppressors through embittered regret. Their closest allied knight household, House Ferax, embraced it.

House Ferax hails from the feral moon of Torxa Theta in the Dominion of Storms. Torxa Theta was a knight world which had long since devolved to feudal brutality and whose houses had split and split again into ruthless fiefs, sparring for the tech and thrall-specialists who would maintain their knightly engines.

A sizeable contingent of the Legio Sagittar, including their newly appointed princeps domina Kora Eleisa, formed part of the 182nd Expedition which discovered this fierce culture and brought them to brutal compliance. However, the princeps of the Legio Sagittar were impressed by the House's ambush tactics and fierce savagery, which had achieved the rare loss of a Weeping Hunters titan during Compliance, the toppled Reaver Argent Stalker.

The Legio Sagittar further perceived both the power and the wild brutality of the household's forces  in initial joint actions under the 182nd, and after initially calling for their dismantlement for perceived crimes of war - a request overruled by no less than First Captain Ezekyle Abaddon himself - they settled for brutal subjugation to the status of a Vassal House. The Weeping Hunters took it upon themselves to exploit their knightly retainers' savagert - to "leash the dogs and keep them from the fire", as princeps Eleisa acidly commented.

It is characteristic that  Horza Gol, the High Castellan of House Ferax and a survivor from the initial wars of compliance, heard of the insult and embraced it as a compliment - giving House Ferax a new and notorious title as the "Burnt Hounds". Horza Gol is also said to have commented - though not to Kera's face - that a leash pulls both ways, and a strong hound can drag the master along.

The Torxa savages chafed under the status of a Vassal House, but ultimately submitted to the will of their Legio masters. Legio Sagittar and House Ferax had an unusually strained and combative relationship. Troops fighting alongside them were shocked when Ferax knights rushed ahead of their battlefield brief, or turned in fierce packs on exposed civilian targets. Yet the same troops would be stunned or terrified at the Legio's response - Weeping Hunters Warhounds or Reavers might openly threaten or in cases kick down unruly knight forces in a brutal chastisement.

Still, the Weeping Hunters' tactical flexibility and focused rage made them highly effective alongside their vassals the Burnt Hounds. The Legio Sagittar and House Ferax were an effective pairing - as a huntsman with a wild dog.

As a result, when Heresy struck the Burnt Hounds were not in doubt as to their path. Barely restrained, they had never cared much for the ideology of the Imperial Truth. They went where honour or blood was to be had, at their master's side - although with more scope than ever for their baronial factions, always seething under the surface of Torxa's unification and their reduction to a Vassal House, to go rogue and carve out their small stellar empires.

And however Kera Eleisa may have understood her betrayal, perhaps Horza Gol was right when he took it as a sign for savage battlejoy and not lament. The leash, after all, pulled both ways.

9 April 2020

Path To Glory Month 2-3 - Slaves to Sigmar

We left off at the end of January with me ushering in my first slaves to darkness models, the Lord on Karkadrak along with 10 Chaos Warriors and 3 Chaos Knights. Though fun to paint (love the rhino-meets-crocodile vibe), I played three games with the fuller army (in greyor basecoated plastic) and just wasn't feeling it. They didn't play like I wanted them to, apart from the Lord on the Rhino once equipped with the -3 rend Runeblade from Malign Sorcery, who (credit to him!) was a true monster. But there  was a change of plan...

In particular, the core chaos warriors and knights didn't have that much offensive bite, the army seemed heavily reliant on its marauders pulling off long charges from deep strike to win the objective / board control game, coupled with the ridiculously powerful slapping down of full hit and wound re-rolls on tank units to do the killing (Warshrines and Sorceror Lords had a lot to answer for...). I may have won the games I played, but would have preferred to just play as Nurgle like I usually do - even though their book may be ageing, it has some more nuanced and cool tactical options.

In addition, being the hobby butterfly we all are, I found myself emerging from the cocoon of this abortive project to nestle on the varied Spring flowers of Adeptus Titanicus (new starter set, great game system, great demo game with Neil), Necromunda (our club gang war has kicked up again recently, and I've painted my Delaque to kick up some fuss across Chem Ridge) and 40k (getting my marines to their full competitive glory, as the first actually fully painted (almost, anyway) 40k army I am able to take to events. I'll try to give these guys the photographic coverage they deserve in periodic "What I've Been Up To" posts.

So, after our group rallied around a prospective AoS doubles event (once COVID-19 lets up), I decided to jump ship - my Slaves are great models and can still do good work in a Nurgle and - eventually - a Khorne army, but I wanted to try to revive my failing enthusiasm and #Bash Some Backlog (thanks Matt) by painting some of the extensive Stormcast Eternals I've amassed by buying multiple copies of the first and second edition starter sets and ruthlessly cutting up and converting (which I really enjoy) to get a unique and cheap army.

For the doubles event, we have 1,000 points each, and I'll be allying with Neil's Seraphon (the successors to the notorious "Neil's Eels" Idoneth list of the doubles we attended in Autumn 2018).

My list will probably be:

Lord Arcanum on Dracoline
3 Evocators on Dracolines
3 Evocators on Dracolines
5 Sequitors
5 Sequitors
coming to a round 1,000 points.

 I'd ideally like more of a mix of mobile units, but once I'd added one set of Thundercats + Thundercatboss and the mandatory selection of what's sadly, I think, the only really decent core unit SCE have, I had 260 points left - not enough to buy anything meaningful alongside my usual favourite unit, the Vanguard Palladors (180pts), as SCE heroes start at 100 points. So I went with even more cats!

At the Autumn 2018 doubles, I was partnered with James, and to everyone's surprise we came second out of 80 odd teams with 5 wins (mostly because Nurgle and Nighthaunt were the new hotness back then and we struck lucky not facing any hugely horrible lists or super skilled players!). So, easy record to beat, right? The only way is up, apart from down.

I've celebrated the new project by finalising a colour scheme and painting up my first Sequitors - I just love these guys in gameplay, being super dependable and useful pieces who can either zip down into cover for a 3+ rerollable save and really hog those objectives, or start dishing out pain with the stormstrike maces. I'm pleased with how the colour scheme has worked out - hopefully my savage and noble but increasingly amnesiac stormhost, the Hounds of Azr, will really project an Ultramarines style heroism with that blue, black and gold.

Till next time!

7 April 2020

For the Lion: Air Support Inbound

Hi all, I have been a busy painter recently and have managed to get something done for several projects including for my 40k Dark Angels.  To join my Primaris Lieutenant I have painted up a Ravenwing Nephilim Jetfighter to provide some air cover to my slowly growing Dark Angels strike force.

For the Lion: Shock and Awe

Hi all Neil here with a new For the Lion post about the Storm Speeder I've painted up this month.  Its quite a short post as I haven'...