February 1st GW Game Day – Cometh the Red Angel

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Loyalist deployment, clockwise from top: Loken + Justaerin, Vindicator, Marksmen Veteran Squad, Sicaran, Marksmen Veteran Squad, Weapon Masters Veteran Squad, plus Seekers in the Bastion in the middle.

Matt, Harry and I are in the midst of an ongoing Horus Heresy campaign – today’s mission was the Phase I Legendary Battle of the Istvaan series. This mission gave me 2000 points of Loyalists (represented by my Sons of Horus w/ some borrowed armored elements from my Ultramarines and some Seekers from Matt’s Emperor’s Children) and a fortified position, facing off against 3000 points of Traitors (represented here by my Luna Wolves standing in as World Eaters and Harry’s Night Lords)… led by Matt’s converted Angron (more pics and details on that later!).

My Loyalists held the line in a fantastic game – more details after the break.

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Read: A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill

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(Editor’s note: I’ve been doing a lot of reading in the 30k universe lately, and figured that I may as well throw my thoughts out there regarding some of the books I’ve read. I don’t really read them in any particular order; my book selection process consists of walking into the FLGS, browsing their collection and thinking “hey, I haven’t read this one yet and I’ve always wanted to learn more about X Legion”. The “Read” series will be a quick (spoilerless) review of each novel.)

A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill is my most recent read, and I must say I quite enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I knew next to nothing about the Thousand Sons prior to the book, knowing little more than the fact that it was Magnus’ attempt to warn the Emperor of Horus’ betrayal that resulted in the Space Wolves being sent to bring him in. I must admit that I was a little more hesitant that I usually am when starting this book, as the Thousand Sons didn’t really interest me in the way that more dynamic Legions such as the Blood Angels or Sons of Horus do.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-crafted story that asked some interesting questions. Namely, do the ends justify the means? Do the intentions of the actor justify the means by which he reaches his goals? In the context of A Thousand Sons, is loyalty strong enough justification to use evil means to achieve noble goals?

I must admit that GW’s trailer for the Burning of Prospero box, as narrated by Ahriman, did a wonderful job of capturing of what made the Burning of Prospero so tragic – and McNeill captures the injustice of Prospero quite well in this book. Did the citizens of Tizca really deserve the destruction of their homeworld? Did the otherwise loyal Thousand Sons need to be broken for the well-intentioned decisions of their Primarch, especially considering Magnus’ significant regret over what he had done?

You may think it nobler to suffer your fate, but I will take arms against it.
Ahriman

I was further pleasantly surprised to find myself rooting for the Thousand Sons, despite all we now know about their descent into Chaos and their present state in the 40k universe. They are the scholars and intellects who have built a glittering, wondrous city focused on learning and the arts – the Space Wolves are the savages at the door, and yet the Wolves are supposed to be the “good” guys. An interesting contrast from the traditional tropes, and I look forward to reading Prospero Burns to get their side of the story.

The book is a little long (one of the longer Heresy books I’ve read) and could have benefited from a little tighter editing, particularly in the first half of the book as it’s not until the Council of Nikea occurs that the action really picks up (and it was awesome to finally read an account of what happened there). And aside from Ahriman, the other Thousand Sons captains are relatively one-dimensional. But all these flaws are made up for by a well-written story of a Legion’s unwilling descent into heresy; proof that the road to Hell really is paved with good intentions.

WIP: Crimson Fists 30k Seeker/40k Sternguard Sergeant

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Ignore the white spot on his forehead, that’s just the reflection of my lamp 🙂

Happy 2017! A very busy holiday season meant less time for posting, although the hobbying time didn’t decrease; in fact, more time at home and not at work meant I got a good chunk of my Crimson Fists painted. More pics to come. Also received some wonderful hobbying presents that will keep me busy for the foreseeable future, including a giant box of Marines from my wonderful fiance 🙂

Anyway, above is my work-in-progress 30k Seeker/40k Sternguard sergeant. He’s about 90% complete, and requires just some edge highlighting on the black and chapter/company markings, along with some weathering. He’s built using a mish-mash of Mark 3 and Mark 7 parts, along with the bare head from the Ultramarines upgrade sprue. I normally shy away from painting bare heads, preferring the realism/aesthetics of Marine helmets, but lately I’ve been experimenting with using more of them and the results have worked out great.

The trick, I’ve found, is to keep things simple. The above results were made using a Cadian Fleshtone base, an all-over wash of Reikland Fleshshade, then highlights using Cadian Fleshtone again. I tended to overdo highlights on fleshtones in the past, so I deliberately kept them to a minimum with this mini.

The sergeant also illustrates something I’ve been doing to all my Crimson Fists sergeants – giving them personalized heraldry via a backpack icon, then repeating that heraldry on their chestpiece and on the shoulder roundel. For this particular model, I found enough bits to add scrollwork heraldry on his backpack icon and chestpiece – I’ll be freehanding some scrollwork around the skull on the roundel to finish off the model. I find it does a nice job of adding some character and history to the model, because we all know that lets them roll better on the table 🙂

Painted: Crimson Fists Pedro Kantor Conversion

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My fledgling Crimson Fists army needed an HQ choice, and it was obvious right from the second I decided upon the Crimson Fists that Pedro Kantor would be that HQ choice – not only is he the only Crimson Fists named special character, but he’s also closely tied to the Chapter’s recent history, considering his role in the events of Rynn’s World. Taking Pedro would also allow me to theme an army around Sternguard, and we all know how awesome they are.

I’m not overly impressed by the existing GW Pedro Kantor model, so as is often the case with special characters, I decided to convert my own.

More pics and details after the break.

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Painted: Crimson Fists Tartaros Terminators

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I was mostly looking forward to the Mark III marines in the new Prospero box, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how wonderful the Tartaros Terminators are. They have all the imposing, threatening bulk of standard Indomitus Terminators, but with a sleek, clean style that really makes it obvious that they are a more advanced design of armor.

Neither my Ultramarines (no need for more assault units) nor my Sons of Horus (10 Justaerin are enough) really needed more Terminators , so I decided to paint them up in the colors of my newest army – the Crimson Fists. More pictures and discussion after the break.

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November 9th GW Game Day: Sons of Macragge!

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My brand new Sons of Horus took the field for the first time a couple of weeks back, and with the army being only semi-completed I had to rely on the good ol’ Ultramarines to make up the 2500 points. I fielded Abaddon and ten Justaerin teleporting in, along with three Veteran Tactical Squads (two ranged with Marksmen, one with power weapons and Weapon Master) mounted in Rhinos and backed up by a Vindicator. The Ultramarines contingent consisted of a Consul accompanied by Invictarus Suzerains in a Rhino, a Legion Tactical Squad in a Rhino, and the good ol’ Sicaran, which was nothing but disappointing in every game I’ve used it in thus far. Matt fielded 1250 points of his Emperor’s Children, allied with Harry’s 1250 points of Night Lords.

I ended up winning the game, although I have some lucky dice on my part and some un-lucky dice rolling on the part of Matt and Harry to thank. It was my first time playing a fully mechanized force in 30k and I figured the best tactic would be to use my mobility to swamp the objectives with bodies and get stuck into close combat and close-ranged firefights, where the Sons of Horus rules and my squads’ equipment loadouts (BS5, Strength 5, Assault 3, Rending heavy bolters is nothing to scoff at!) would excel.

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Of particular note were the ten-man Justaerin squad led by Abaddon, which attracted and soaked up a metric F-ton of fire while still managing to do some major damage in close combat. Two wounds each and a 2+/4++ save tends to keep models on the board. Even if all they did was get shot at, they still distracted attention from my Veteran squads, who were able to mop up opposing infantry and get dug in on the objectives. The Justaerin’s offensive contributions were really just a bonus.

The Sicaran also (finally) turned in a good performance, getting some key kills on infantry and light /medium vehicles alike. I’ve finally realized that the best way to use this thing is to take advantage of its speed and keep it moving, hopefully positioning it in a way that would let me get some shots on the side and rear of vehicles. The strength 7 of its autocannon isn’t that intimidating at first glance, but with 6 twin-linked rending shots on side and rear armor it’s more than capable of doing some damage.

All in all a fun game with friends, and really that’s all that I can ask. 🙂

Bonus: Brother Luckarius warns his fellow battle brothers of the treacherous Vindicator that claimed the lives of the rest of his squad:

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WIP: 32k Post-Heresy Crimson Fist in Mark III

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I could have easily used the Mark III marines from the Burning of Prospero boxed set to add to one of four Space Marine armies (Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Raven Guard, and Sons of Horus) that I already have. But because I am a madman that is obsessed with painting little plastic men in different colors, I decided to start up a Crimson Fists army.

More pictures of this utter lunacy after the break.

Continue reading “WIP: 32k Post-Heresy Crimson Fist in Mark III”