Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flux Battle Objectives

A long while ago, I posted a series of posts about novel implementations of battle objectives (I: Primary Objectives, II: Secondary Objectives, III: Sub-Plots). Before I left Melbourne for the UK, I said to my gaming group that I was going to write the full suite of them all up in a system-agnostic style (i.e. they're not written explicitly for 40k at all - they're an entirely new system of objectives, but they're certainly easy to use for 40k and other systems without effort) for publication. And now, I've finally got around to doing it!

And as can be seen in the image (which is the front cover of the publication), I've also been messing around in GIMP (the free analogue of Photoshop). The image was created in multiple layers and the only outside photo I've used for it is the planet's surface which was done by taking an image of some sand!

If you enjoy it, a rating and a comment would be nice to receive on the publishing site. And if you know me personally, I might be able to arrange a complimentary copy for you - write to me.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Wargames Gallery: Space Wolves Wrecking Eldar

Digging through my old photograph collection, I located this little gem featuring paladin84's Space Wolves facing off against Eldar. With a downed transport, the Fire Dragons are facing a grim future from Fenris' best.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Space Marine Legion Tactical Squad Member

This space marine is the first of many (well, 20 to be exact) to join my first Legion Tactical Squad. As with all of my space marines that are going in to my new army, he is a conversion.

The parts for him are sourced from Grey Knights (the head), Forge World armour (arms), Anvil Industry (torso, and drum magazine), space marines (back pack) and chaos space marines (the bolter). The pose extols the virtues of the converted bolter to create a pose that suggests an accurately aimed shot at a mid-ranged target. I particularly like the head here. Although it is from Grey Knights and does feature pipework coming out of his skull, the grimace is a particularly interesting one. Moreover, the arms from Forge World create pose that is not typically found amongst regular space marine parts, which is nice. Although I won't be using too many more of the forge world arms in this manner, since I'm going to aim for more of a "gun kata" pose for most of the miniatures in this particular squad. 

Some final touches can already be seen on this marine, including the drilling out of the barrel of the bolt gun itself. I think this is a nice touch to add to all space marines as it really finishes the miniature's pose nicely. Just the shoulder pad left to add. And some true scale converted legs. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Arms for more Gun Kata Space Marines

After creating my first batch of "gun kata" styled space marines, I found myself in some real need of extra arms. The reason for this? Well, most of the good left arms, I'd already used up and most of the right arms were too (between bolt pistols, and wanting anything other than a traditional bolter across the waist / hip fire bolter pose). 

To overcome this: Anvil Industry to the rescue!

The image displays a mixture of left hand arms (and hands) from the medieval range of Anvil Industry that I was desperately in need of. The casts of these items are wonderful -- Anvil Industry really has quality control of their resin products at an outstanding level. There are barely any faults. And they few that there are, are so minor as to need a magnifying glass to pick them up (or myopic eyesight, and the piece held very close to the eyeball!). 

In terms of the range of poses available, Anvil Industry has this totally covered as well. Some of these arms are straight out, some angle at the shoulder to point in front of the torso, others at more of an angle. Some are bent at the elbow, others are not. Some have hands attached, others have the hands separate. 

To prepare some more gun kata marines, these are the ideal find, and I can very honestly recommend this company!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Astulae - a new RPG

With equal measures of pride and trepidation, today I've published my first roleplaying game. Its called "Astulae" and I'm selling it via DriveThruRPG at

The image to the side is the front cover of the book. Clocking in at over 200 pages, this has been a real labour of love that I've undertaken in my (extremely limited) spare time between moving houses, and between when my young children are finally asleep in their beds and me being asleep on the kitchen table through exhaustion! Its taken about a year to write up, polish, source the images, and typeset the whole thing. 

I hope that some of you out there might like it (Christmas time gift or stocking filler perhaps?! lol!), perhaps at least recommend it to your friends who might enjoy it or "like" the Facebook page for it: I'm also prepared to hand out free copies to reputable reviewers as well!! (just send an email using my warpstoneflux gmail address).

What's it all about then?

In a nutshell: Its a campaign setting in a twisting megadungeon of alternate realities. 

Imagine that your dungeon is not a series of rooms connected together with cobweb-ridden corridors deep underground, but instead, each “room” is a splinter of reality taken from across a grand ensemble of possible parallel realities. 

Every Astula (a room) can have its own laws of physics, its own peculiarities, and sometimes: its own denizens – some benign, some deadly, and some incomprehensible. In some Astula, magic and technology can coexist side-by-side, and in others both are strongly suppressed. 

But many Astula appear to be in a state of decay: slow, or otherwise. In turn, the Astulae are connected to one-another via portals that ultimately creates a large ensemble of realities to explore and navigate between – a mega-dungeon in many respects, but certainly not in a traditional sense. The configuration is not stable. Portals can be re-routed to other Astula. And new Astulae are added to the ensemble over time to create entirely new pathways and loops through. Will you enter and find a way to profit? 

This book itself is the campaign setting for Astulae and features over 100 highly detailed pocket dimensions (Astula or dungeon-like rooms) across 7 genres (High fantasy, Futuristic, Medieval, Nature, Outlandish, Urban and Waterside), 20 factions or persona who run through these Astulae for your PCs to join with or oppose, almost 50 altered laws of physics and reality or oddities to further flavour each Astula, 36 unique dressings per major Astula genre to further dress the contents of each room, 8 large-scale meta-plots to launch at PCs, and a suggested d6 rules system for groups who don't wish to use the contents in a rules-agnostic manner or adapt them to their own favourite rules set. And that's before all the flavour text and over 70 unique pieces of artwork scattered through the book that can be used as plothooks or inspiration! Jump in to Astulae to plough its depths!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Bolters Conversion

Following on from yesterday's review of the drum magazine from Anvil Industry, today are a selection of the bolter conversions that are possible with this accessory.

The image shows bolters from not only the space marine range, but also the chaos space marines and Dark Angels. For the conversions, the normal magazine clips were removed and shaved down flush with the bolter itself with a fine file. The drum magazine from Anvil Industry is a three quarters cylinder, hence it fits very snugly on to the body of the bolter with each. A little bit of glue and its complete. The only thing to do now is to glue them on to the arms of some marines. As can be seen, some of the bolters retain a right hand already, but for the rest, I'll have to source the hands from other bits in the space marine and chaos space marine boxed sets.

I think these bolters look great in comparison to regular ones. I intend to use them in a Legion Tactical Squad to make them really stand out from other "ordinary" marines. One of the main reasons for doing this is the "Fury of the Legion" special rule that is only available to the tactical squads -- they basically use up a whole load of bolter shells to fire twice in one round on their targets. And that is what I think these bolters suggest: a whole load of extra firepower available at whim.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Anvil Industry: Drum Magazines

I've been making a number of purchases lately to make some of my new 30k army look unique and pop a bit more on the table top. One of the ways that I'm doing this for my "regular" space marines is to change the bolter magazine. Anvil Industry ( sells just these parts to help make this idea a solid reality.

The image pictures two sprues of 10 drum magazines each, each displaying opposite sides to the other. Each of these magazines will fit on to the side of a regular bolter (or even bolt pistol) to create a weapon that looks like it has heaps of bullets in its drum ready to expend. This is in keeping with the background material for the Horus Heresy, where it notes that latter Heresy developments included large drum capacities to ensure that marines didn't run out of bolt shells in the middle of protracted planetary assaults - particularly in the wake of the Isstvan incidents. 

The drums themselves are resin, and three-quarters of a cylinder in shape. Bolters that they attach to will require a little bit of work, which I'll detail in a future post. Regardless, these are a terrific little purchase as they certainly help regular marines stand out from the crowd. I'll personally be using them on a gun-kata legion troops style squad. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Iron-Father Autek Mor

In many ways, Mor is a souped-up Iron-Father. He comes with cataphractii armour which I contend should be upgraded with a cyber familiar for maximum effect and some standard equipment. Curiously, he is also described as having "no love lost between him and his primarch" and controls a clan that is pretty much where the outcasts of the legion go. If Ferrus Manus is a bit strict, then this guy must almost be a World Eater by rights -- slaying others in his command he felt slighted by in duels. This and other background fluff surrounding the Iron Hands make me wonder just how close they might have been siding with Horus if only they'd be contacted earlier perhaps.

What stands out with him is the cortex controller. This strongly suggests a build involving robots, and the usage of the Legion's rite of war: The Head of the Gorgon, which allows the incorporation of battle-automata maniples as elites. I think in this role, Mor is an unsurpassed HQ choice (that isn't Ferrus Manus) for the Iron Hands, at a points cost that is comparable to a reasonably built Iron-Father. Place him with a command squad, or a squad of terminators inside a land raider and have some happy hunting times! His warlord trait (preferred enemy) will certainly help in this regard and will enable enemy infantry to be brought down quickly.

Overall, a points effective and excellent choice for an Iron Hands HQ, so long as you build an army list around his abilities.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Spearhead-Centurion Castrmen Orth

Much like Ferrus Manus, Orth is a force multiplier. By granting all tanks in the force +1 to the vehicle damage table we effectively can create a Ferrus Manus free army featuring a plethora of tanks to do the damage. Take plenty of land raiders for transporters where possible, and it should be a bit of a explosion bath / blood bath.

At the start of a game, he is also interred inside a tank that he cannot voluntarily leave. This has advantages of bonus BS and tank hunters. Hence I'd strongly suggest placing him with a high dakka output tank for maximum effect.

Once his tank is destroyed, he isn't too strong a character out on his own (hence his cheap-ish points value). Ideally, he should leg it to the closest transport tank (preferably a land raider) to get the high BS and tank hunting special rules in effect once more. Again: preferably a land raider.

I think his use is going to be within a land raider strong assault force (potentially even starting on board a super heavy tank). Blast away the enemy tanks as quickly as possible and then crush the remaining enemies.

In concert with other Iron Hands characters (like Ferrus Manus), the tanks of the Iron Legion are going to be quite an amazing armoured force to contend with.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Ferrus Manus

The Gorgon, primarch of the Iron Hands Legion, is as legendary as his background suggests he should be.

He is also one of the best ranged weapon primarchs published to date with his choice of two from: plasma blaster, graviton guns, grenade harness, or heavy flamer every turn. Seriously: these weapons are amazing.

And he has tremendous staying power outside of melee. Not bolter or anything with S4 or below can harm him due to the combination of his high toughness and the reduction in strength of incoming weapons. Forget about torrenting him to death with fury of the legion - it simply will not work. Heck, he can even survive a couple of las cannon blasts to the face and possess a good chance to survive or even not suffer a scratch between a 3+ to wound and an invulnerable save provided by his Medusan Carapace armour (basically 2+/3+).

His close combat weapon is "standard" for a primarch with AP1 and x2 strength. But one can take him for 40 less points if playing the narrative where he loses his hammer.

What really makes him shine are his special rules as sire of the Iron Hands, and the Master of Mechanisms. Both of these are superlative force multipliers. The former grants feel no pain to his sons (6+) whilst the latter will permit him to repair (with a good chance of success) any tank whilst giving It Will Not Die to the heavier tanks in the army.

His use is therefore primarily going to be as a force multiplier and therefore force an Iron Hands army build to rotate around these facets. I can certainly see a tank and dreadnought heavy army doing well with Ferrus Manus as a part of it. But I think if the enemy also has a primarch, like Fulgrim, then we probably want to keep Ferrus Manus away from combat with them. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Medusan Immortals Squad

This is where the "failures" of the Iron Hands legion go to reclaim a bit of their honour. Before perishing in ways too grizzly to contemplate.

In short, they are breacher marines with lots of bionic upgrades and no sense of self preservation in the attempt to overcome their Father's bleak code of warfare. One unique rule here is that if they win a close assault, they can opt to gun them down -- by taking snap shots instead of sweeping advances. This ties nicely with the Iron Hands legion rules set.

I think these marines are generally ones that we want to have as front line meat shields, but primarily set up for shooting -- even with the boarding shield and feel no pain rule. That said, we could go close combat orientated here as well, but at the expense of the bolt guns.

Here are a few build ideas to think between.

Medusan Immortal Squad with 20 members, all with volkite chargers, veteran sergeant with melta bombs (475 points)
Purely here for the maximal use of the volkite weapons. Keep out of close combat and deflagrate anything within range.

Medusan Immortal Squad with 20 members, 15 with close combat weapons instead of bolters, 4 with graviton guns, veteran sergeant with thunder hammer, artificer armour, and melta bombs (465 points)
Expense melee unit basically. But can be very effective and hang around a while due to the feel no pain and the Iron Hands legion rules. Place inside a transport that can hold 20 power armoured marines and sally forth to vanquish foes!

Medusan Immortal Squad with 10 members, 2 with lascutters, veteran sergeant with power fist, artificer armour, and single breaching charge (305 points)
Equip with a land raider again, and destroy things that get in the way basically. Buildings and the like that is.

Medusan Immortal Squad with 10 members, veteran sergeant with artificer armour and thunder hammer (280 points)
More of a base line squad. Use in conjunction with a land raider if required. These guys are meat shields on the whole, and should be used to block line of sight and provide cover saves where possible.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Gorgon Terminator Squad

This is a special squad of terminators only available to the Iron Hands legion (or maybe the Alpha Legion as well?; we're not sure how far they've infiltrated, but we suspect they're everywhere - all the way to the top and bottom). In terms of the background, they are regular marines that have been physically fused with terminator armour that have extra embedded field generators on board. If they make their armour save, then the field generators will flash and potentially (4+) blind any unit within 6" of them.

Naturally, the Iron Hands are used to such things and get a re-roll on the blinding should it hit them. That said, I think this is a unit that should be kept away from other units just in case that occurs. And preferably near the enemy. Hence tactically, I think this is one that should be teleporting in (if the correct rite of war is available), or be placed in a land raider to get up close and personal with the enemy. Lock together with an Iron-Father in terminator armour and you have the makings of a deadly terminator assault team.

But more than that, what really appeals about these guys is the feel no pain special rule at 5+. These are terminators that are going to be hanging around much more than even regular Iron Hands infantry are.

Here are a couple of builds to consider.

Gorgon Terminator Squad with 5 members, 2 chain fists, 1 graviton gun, hammer bearer with a cyber familiar (245 points)
Something of a baseline unit and one that can forego the company of an Iron Father, this is one to place in a land raider or deep strike (if available) to get some early and mid-turn work done.

Gorgon Terminator Squad with 9 members, 4 power fists, hammer bearer with a cyber familiar and grenade harness (380 points)
Team up with a praetor or Iron Father and place in a land raider. This is the tip of your spear - use it wisely and back this team up with formidable fire power from the rest of your army that you're keeping out of melee. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Iron-Father

The Iron Father is available to the Iron Hands legion as a special praetor character, much like a centurion can be upgraded to a librarian. Although not a distinct unit in the books, I feel it deserved its own review.

What makes this character unique is the combination of equipment they gain. The servo-arm can be terrific in close combat to say the least. But more than that, the Iron Father gains feel no pain, and the battle smith rules. The latter can clearly help keep engines going, but the former truly makes this character in to a pseudo-plague marine champion on the table -- particularly when combined with a cyber familiar and some great armour and invulnerable saves. All this comes at the "price" of not being able to take jump packs and the like. A veritable small price to pay if I'm honest.

Here is one particular build that I'm fond of.

Iron-Father, cataphractii terminator armour, cyber familiar, chain fist, combi-grav gun (212 points) 
Essentially, this guy is one that will stay alive for a very long time (with a 3+ invulnerable save no less! and feel no pain!) and inflict serious damage on whatever you like. Team up with some terminators (and perhaps some robots as well) and go inflict some damage from the assault ramp of a land raider. Repair the land raider if required before driving to the next target. There's very little not to like here.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Iron Hands Legion Rules

The Iron Hands Legion is noted for the extent to which its warriors replace parts of themselves with bionics over time. For some, this might just be the titular hand they give up on becoming full marines, but for others it will go much much further. Combined with this is the "failure is not an option" attitude of their primarch and their grim determination to get the job done. Finally, they are also the masters of mechanised warfare, frequently fielding plenty of tanks that only adds to their perceived brutality.

To be fair, Horus thought the Iron Hands legion must have been close to siding with him given how close Horus kept them and how Fulgrim tried to sway they. Indeed, their brutality and general set-up speaks of a legion that would otherwise be primed for casual violence and a fall to Chaos. But this didn't happen. They remained loyal throughout. And paid a high price for their loyalty at Istvaan V.

Do the rules mesh with this background? Overall, I'm pretty excited by the rules!

The first special rule is inviolate armour, presumably due to all their bionic and fused armour. By reducing the strength of all incoming firepower, this means that the Iron Hands are somewhat akin (in terms of game mechanics) to plague marines!  Seriously: this is such an awesome boon for the Iron Hands. If we keep them out of close combat, but in range for half decent firing from their own side, then they are very unlikely to go down fast. Indeed, the only weakness of this rule is that it doesn't apply in close combat. So this is already a legion that is looking to rely on its ranged weapons to maximise its impact. I think this is one of the strongest legion rules out there so far to be honest. I really cannot underscore enough how great this rule is for Iron Hands players with the right army list.

Secondly, they have stand and fight. This is something of a balance to the huge boon that inviolate armour is. Not only is going to ground never an option for them, but they must also check Ld when they want to do things that other legions take for granted such as running, making sweeping advances and the like. Coupled with the above rule, this means that tactically the Iron Hands really really should keep out of melee and let their ranged weapons and tanks do the talking for them.

Lastly is another balancing rule for inviolate armour which is rigid tactics. Put another way: they must have more infantry than other types combined (jump infantry, and so forth). This effectively means that they really have to rely on troops more than anything to get the job done. And that certain rites of war will not be accessible to them.

Overall, I cannot underscore enough what inviolate armour is doing for this legion, even with the drawbacks of the other rules. If we are able to put together an army list that focuses on raw firepower from tanks and infantry, without splashing too much on fast vehicles or jump infantry, then the Legion will be hanging around on the tabletop for a long time. To counter the lack of jet bikes, I think that the Iron Hands are going to be using plenty of rhinos for personal transports to get where they need to be (or otherwise keep up with the enemy).

As if this is not enough to encourage a certain flavour of army, then the legion can also elect to pay a small price for adding the Blessed Autosimulacra to any vehicle, and characters can also elect to gain a cyber familiar too. Wow. This is a legion that will be tough to remove from the table. But there are counters. World Eaters or Raven Guard in drop pods will certainly do damage to them, as would a Sons of Horus melee army. Hence the Iron Hands player needs to pay attention to his/her strengths whilst manoeuvring their weaknesses beyond the enemy reach.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Which Legions had Warrior Lodges?

The warrior lodges were initially encountered by the Sons of Horus and Word Bearers on the world of Davin, where in the future, the Warmaster would eventually fall to Chaos. This happened some sixty years prior to the events of the Horus Heresy and the legions involved decided to adopt the practises of the lodges wherein the warriors of the legions could freely voice their thoughts without paying attention to rank.

There are suggestions that the Chaplaincy movement allowed Horus and Lorgar to spread the warrior lodges to other legions in time. But which of the legions had such lodges? Below are a few notes that I thought I'd try to assemble from the Black Library publications as well as Forge World books.

Dark Angels: unclear, but doubtful that the lodges truly took hold in the way that Lorgar and Horus wanted. Even if Luther et al. later went down the chaotic route.
Emperor's Children: the Brotherhood of the Phoenix was introduced, but only the most elite of the legion were permitted to join it, rather than it being open to all.
Iron Warriors: The Dodekatheon served as a meeting place between masons and warriors alike to discuss designs, but was perhaps somewhat elitist as only officers tended to have time to attend.
White Scars: Certainly the book "Scars" demonstrates the existence of a warrior lodge element within this legion.
Space Wolves: No true lodges, but certainly the warriors met informally at moots of the Rout (etc.).
Imperial Fists: No lodges that I'm aware of.
Night Lords: Unclear.
Blood Angels: Unclear, but doubtful.
Iron Hands: Although I would have expected them to have one due to being in close orbit of the Sons of Horus, it appears they did not.
World Eaters: Macer Varren of the World Eaters is known to have forbade his company from joining the legion's lodges, so we assume that they had them, even if we don't know their name.
Ultramarines: Unclear, but doubtful.
Death Guard: The Seven Pillared Lodge.
Thousand Sons: Probably none??
Sons of Horus: The Quiet Order.
Word Bearers: Noted as having them invested from the outset along with the Luna Wolves / Sons of Horus.
Salamanders: Unclear, but possible.
Raven Guard: Doubtful that Horus and Lorgar had the time to establish the lodges once Corax took over the legion late in the crusade.
Alpha Legion: Who knows. Highly doubtful though as they kept outside influences minimal and Alpharius didn't take command till late on, but probably more than aware of lodges in other legions.

Therefore at least 7 legions with full blown lodges and perhaps more with lodges in some stage or other of gestation. Please feel free to correct any information above in case I've missed something!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Unboxing Mark III Iron Armour from Forge World

To build some authentic space marines for my growing 30k army, I purchased some Mk III Iron Armour marines from Forge World. Below is a picture of them (minus the bases) as they came directly out of the packaging with. 

As can be seen, they come in the same components as the plastic range does except for the torsos which are a single piece. There are multiple poses, but all come with bolter arms as the default option (unless one specifically orders the rampager squads -- which is chainsword plus bolt pistol). I think its important to note that the bolters do not come with this set. You have to supply your own, or order them separately.

The sculpts are excellent, but there were one or two minor air bubbles here and there as one might expect from resin casting. Nothing that cannot be fixed with some greenstuff. Importantly, working with resin is also quite different to plastics as it is more brittle. Hence slicing these pieces from their sprues (if I can even call them that -- they're large resin blocks that add a lot to the packaging weight if I'm honest!) needs to be done with care so that you don't snap off a critical bit here or there. I'll be mixing these bits in with other regular space marines, chaos space marines as well as bits from other companies to assemble my Alpha Legion army from!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Puppetswar: Destroyer Arms

Puppetswar is an online retailer based in Poland. I recently ordered a number of parts from them, including the Destroyer Arms, pictured below. Puppetswar make a range of resin bits for use with their own gaming systems, but they're very suitable for replacement parts for space marines and imperial guard style miniatures. 

The destroyer arms themselves are great for terminator arm replacements. With a little work, they can also work for regular marines -- but the shoulders will need shaved down to take a normal shoulder pad on top. I think they'd make excellent alternatives to power fists, or even a close combat weapon.

The resin itself is reasonably well cast. There are minor issues, along the same lines as one might expect from certain other companies: minor air bubbles, flashes, and so forth. The poses are good with a variety on offer. And they also come with a small circular indentation on the inside so that you can place magnets in them to attach / detach from a torso. 

My only complaint is the amount of time that they took to arrive: at the upper end of what they claimed on their website to say the least, but otherwise all good and well packed for the post. I'll be using these parts in my upcoming Alpha Legion army...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Truescale Meltagunner

This is the final melta gun toting marine for my (minimum sized) Legion Support Squad. As a true scale analogue, I have extended the marine's legs just above the knee joints by a good 3 to 4mm to build in extra height. Additionally, the waist has been raised by adding in some greenstuff filler to give another 1mm or so of extra height. This subtle addition to the height makes all the difference to the final scale of the model.

The bits for the rest of the miniature consist of a blend of chaos space marine, grey knights, and space marine parts -- all plastic in this case. The final marine is a Corvus mark marine -- but Corvus Alpha, rather than true Mk.VI perhaps(!). Overall, I'm pleased with this conversion and the pose has a quantum of dynamism built in to it with the marine seemingly firing the melta gun whilst taking a stride and lowering the bolt pistol for the moment. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Games Workshop Leeds

On my travels again - and this time in the city of Leeds in the United Kingdom. As usual, I decided to do my "mystery shopper" thing and look at the local Games Workshop store there and see what I thought of it. I was greeted by a chap called Steve (or it could have been Steven - apologies if I got that wrong). As well as being very enthusiastic, he also was keen to show off what the store was up to. This included an End Times themed fantasy board that looked to be a great work in progress (Nagash orientated it would seem), as well as a grubby Nurgle Daemon Prince that was being worked on! Both looked splendid to say the least and I was very impressed with the staff.

In terms of location, the Leeds store is situated on Briggate (pictured) which is at most a 5 minutes walk from Leeds train station. Leeds train station is a very busy one at most times of the day - serving the main Northern England Trans-Pennine route (connecting Liverpool to Hull and York, plus the North). It couldn't be in a much better location from a gamer's point of view who wanted to catch a bus or train in to the city, but I suspect that driving here would be a bit of a pain in the busy city streets - especially in the weeks before Christmas (like I visited here!). Overall, a nice store to play in and visit, but I personally wouldn't want to drive here.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Meltagunner Lobbing Grenades

Adding to the growing squad of melta gunners for my 30k army is this space marine - toting both a melta-gun and lobbing a grenade with the left hand. Again, this army is going to follow the maxim of mo model unconverted, as well as trying to make as many models true scale (regardless of terminator legs) as possible (before it kills me). 

The head of the marine is taken from the chaos space marines range -- it is the Nurgle head with the chaotic extensions removed and filed down to a smooth finish on the left hand side of the image. Indeed, with the head turned to look at where the grenade is being lobbed, the scrubbing away of the gribbly Nurgle bits can hardly be seen. 

The legs are from the regular space marine range, extended a few mm's to something more resembling true scale, and greenstuff at the hips added to the leg extensions. In hindsight, I think green stuffing the knee regions is easier for this kind of conversion, unless one is really wanting to change the angle the hips make with the thighs.  

The torso and arms are from the chaos space marine range. There are plenty of bits from this range which work very well for 30k armies, but you'll notice here that I've shaved off the belt buckle. I'll paint over this with a legion symbol (or at the very minimum a Greek letter) when I'm at that stage. The back pack is from the grey knights range and to represent a marine that might be able to deep strike in to play. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Calas Typhon

Once a librarian in the Death Guard, and also one of the first in his legion to succumb to chaos, Typhon would eventually become Typhus the Traveller. But in the crusade and heresy era, Typhon is the master of chemical death, embodying the deathly chemical war traits that the Death Guard became synonymous with.

Typhon is one of the pricier sub-commanders available in Massacre - coming in more costly than Kharn or Eidolon. He is equipped in some ways like a Grave Warden terminator, but also carries a master crafted death shroud power scythe.

In addition to this, he has the power to call down a chemical bombardment since he is the master of the Terminus Est. A large blast with poison and no cover saves is a great wound inflictor, but a different beast to a regular blast. Hence he gets Ordnance 3 to make up for this.

Finally, he also has "Witch Blood". This means he is a low level psyker. The only issue is that he cannot use his abilities on the battlefield if Mortarion is also present before the primarch's fall to chaos.

Is he worth the points in comparison to a praetor with terminator armour? Possibly. I think the combination of being a psyker coupled with the orbital bombardment just about cuts it to an even level between the two points wise.

Tactically, I think Typhon wants to be getting in to combat later on in the game, after calling down his bombardment. His access to telepathy should help with this. I would think he would want to be with other Death Guard terminators (Grave Wardens or Deathshroud terminators) but could be equally effective with a large blob of regular tactical squad troopers who are footslogging across the board. And moreover, he is also a very fluffy choice for a traitor player (he cannot be selected by the loyalist side after Isstvan) that can inspire dread in an opponent due to his fame in 40k. But he doesn't get any plague zombies of his own to command here!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Grave Warden Terminator Squad

Carrying the foulest of Terminus' Est's armouries, the Grave Wardens are Nurgle Terminators in all but name and toughness bonuses.

All of them are armed with an impressive array of weapons. Not only do they have power fists as standard, but they also have the Death Cloud (a toxic template weapon that ignores cover) and an assault grenade launcher.

It is important to note that all of these weapons have a short range -- 18" in the case of the grenade launcher. Hence the Grave Wardens are fundamentally a close combat squad and therefore need to be on board a land raider phobos or spartan for maximum effect (not withstanding any Orbital Assault rite of War). That said, I feel these terminators can take on most things in the game and come out smelling of … yuck.

Upgrade wise, the chain fists are attractive for maximum damage potential against all types of units in the game. The heavy flamer with chem munitions is attractive, but might be overkill. The combi-weapon for the chem-master is a nice choice and could conceivably be either a melta or flamer component (which in turn could also be given chem munitions as well). More members is also a good option, particularly for a land raider spartan.

Here are a pair of potential builds.

5 Grave Wardens, 2 chain fists (210 points)
Probably the baseline build here, but still very effective so long as they get in to the optimum position. Highly points effective too.

10 Grave Wardens, 2 heavy flamers with chem-munitions, chem master with combi-melta, 4 chain fists (415 points)
A large squad for a land raider spartan. This can take on anything in the game technically.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: The Kakophoni

In short, the Kakophoni are the early iteration of noise marines with psycho-sonic weaponry. But instead of the 40k Salvo style sonic blasters, they have the Cacophony -- effectively a heavy 1 weapon instead.

But the bonus in 30k is that these guys have a special rule called bio-psychic shock. In short, if you cause wounds on your target, the target must take an Ld test modified by the number of wounds caused. Failure indicates more wounds that have AP2 and instant death. Hence the optimal tactica with Kakophoni is to have a large squad of them to ensure the maximum possible hits, the maximum possible Ld modifier, and hence the maximum amount of damage. A large squad of these marines can readily take down squads of enemies with some good die rolls.

The only real upgrades available are for the Orchestrator (squad sergeant). Given their sonic shriekers, I think a power weapon is probably the optimal choice, but can also see that a power fist hidden in a larger squad might be beneficial.

I'd suggest a build along the lines of this:

10 Kakophoni, Orchestrator with power weapon and artificer armour (265 points)
A back field unit with sufficient range to take out enemy infantry squads. Place in cover, or take a rhino and drive closer to your target before unleashing that bio-psychic shock!

Alternatively, a slightly smaller squad drop-podded in to the enemy would also be a nice way to deploy them. So perhaps:

6 Kakophoni, Orchestrator with power fist, artificer armour, melta bombs (195 points)
A squad to drop pod in with Orbital Assault rite of war and take down some light tanks and their contents.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Lord Commander Eidolon

As skilled as he is arrogant, Eidolon is almost everything that one might expect of a lord commander of the Emperor's Children.

The first thing to note is that Eidolon has a force multiplier ability for his warlord trait: +1 to charge distances within a bubble of 12" is an excellent addition to the Emperor's Children, and can be combined with other bonuses to make his Legion particularly rapid on the battlefield.

Not withstanding his archeotech pistol, Eidolon has subjected himself to the attentions of Fabius Bile and as such has a template weapon than can pin and rend -- but only once per battle.

Naturally, he is also only available to the traitors.

But the real stand out thing is his ability to ignore the cumbersome effect of his master-crafted thunder hammer on the charge. This means that whatever role you choose for this HQ, he should ideally be getting the charge in when he goes. So, we should be tactically thinking about placing him in a land raider phobos or spartan along with some honour guard or terminator squad to make best use of his excellent close combat abilities.

His points cost is moderately high, but, I think, justifiable. And he will certainly live a while to tell the tale on the battle field. But he's certainly vulnerable to characters like Kharn wielding gore child, so his use (as with much of the Emperor's Children) has to be highly tactical.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Phoenix Terminator Squad

Terminators locked in to the quest for perfection within the Emperor's Children legion, these individuals are the elite of the elite.

They come armed as standard with phoenix spears. These unique weapons are reminiscent of power lances in the sense that they gain a nice upgrade (+1S, AP2) on the turn that the unit charges in to melee. Otherwise, they function as power weapons. Hence the deployment of these units necessitates getting the charge on an opponent rather than being charged. As such, they are vulnerable to enemy terminators who can guarantee AP2 all the time, as well as other enemies with "hidden" power fists and the like. Therefore, I cannot underscore enough that this unit must be taken with a land raider phobos or spartan to ensure such an eventuality. Otherwise they are expensive points sinks that might act as little more than meat shields for Fulgrim.

I think there are at least two build that merit consideration.

5 Phoenix terminators, Champion with grenade harness (275 points)
I think that this is the baseline unit to charge out of a land raider phobos. Ensure you get the charge. And even if its drawn, you still win thanks to the unit's living icon special rule.

10 Phoenix terminators, Champion with grenade harness, all with sonic shriekers (490 points)
This is the maxed out squad! Place in a land raider spartan and go forth!  Its worth noting here (again) that the Horus Heresy sourcebooks encourage large units and this can readily be seen here with the ability to upgrade the entire squad with sonic shriekers for a set price (rather than per terminator). 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Kharn The Bloody

Before he was the Betrayer, he was a voice of reason: a calming influence on Angron, and a skilled duellist. After Angron slew most of the other senior officers on rediscovery, it was Kharn alone (as a mere line captain) who talked him around.

In the game, Kharn can be taken either with the Cutter (an AP 3 weapon) or with Gorechild (a better option, but costs more and only available so long as Angron is not also on the board). Naturally, Kharn can only be selected as a traitor in any narrative that follows the canon course of events.

His points cost is comparable to a well armed and armoured Praetor. But more than that, his WS is excellent and he also has the boons of Rampage in addition to an invulnerable save and his plasma pistol. Coupled with the World Eaters special rules, Kharn is an excellent beat stick in close combat and will be able to take on most infantry in the game (more so with gore child in his hands). Plus, he is an incredibly fluffy choice for any World Eaters army before, during or after the Isstvan campaign. Hence, even if one thinks that the points cost is a fraction too high, I think people will still take Kharn for the name and his ability to inspire fear in the enemies ranks (figuratively speaking). 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: The Red Butchers

Wearing custom terminator armour that doubles up as prisons to hold their occupants in when they're not in battle, the Red Butchers are those World Eaters who have utterly succumbed to their darker murderous urges thanks to the Butcher's Nails.

Their deployment is not without drawbacks: since they are lunatics, they are always hit on 3+ by any enemies in close combat with them. Clearly this can be their downfall (despite their high WS), but to balance this up, they also have 2 wounds each. Coupled with fearless and hatred of anything, these terminators are ones that will rip apart most opposition in short work. Hence the best tactic is to get them in to melee as soon as possible. I would therefore strongly recommend taking a Land Raider Phobos as a personal transport (a Spartan Land Raider is also viable for larger squads), or (if permitted by a rite of war) take a drop pod, although to be honest, I'd prefer a land raider out of the two.

There are a number of reasonable builds that can be made, but all of them have a strong close combat component to them - as one would expect. But beware: the points cost of these units is already high to begin with. And even with two wounds each, they can still die to instant death if they find themselves against a bunch of enemy thunder hammer or power fist terminators, let alone a vindicator blast.

5 Red Butchers, all with two power axes (275 points)
This is a kind of "vanilla" build that is still highly effective at the expense of zero ranged weapons. But with a BS of 2, this is hardly a great sacrifice. Place them in a land raider phobos and go hunting any none-tank unit in the game. Even a primarch - just for laughs - if you're so inclined!

5 Red Butchers, all with pairs of lightning claws (300 points)
As above, but striking at initiative to circumvent enemy power fists and thunder hammers, but sacrificing a little bit of AP. Not quite what I'd be inclined to take, but still viable thanks to the hideous amount of attacks available on the charge.

5 Red Butchers, Devourer with combi-flamer and thunder hammer, butchers with two power axes (290 points)
This is about the best of the lot to be honest. Given the poor BS of the squad, the flamer is there as both an anti-charge deterrent, and to try to soften up enemies in cover before charging in. Can't go too wrong with this squad, especially placed in a land raider.

10 Red Butchers, Devourer with combi-flamer and thunder hammer, 9 Butchers with two power axes (515 points)
Getting very expensive now, but this death star unit can be accompanied by Angron himself and then placed inside a Spartan. Good luck - and avoid those vindicator shells as they will be the death of this entire squad!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thunder Hammer Conversion

Many space marine armies run thunder hammers in some form or other -- the most common being on terminators armed with said hammers and storm shields, but also on character models and occasionally on squad sergeants or others. 

Given how common they can be, it is worth considering a minor conversion to make them stand out from the proverbial crowd. 

In this conversion, I've attempted to do exactly this by replacing one of the heads of a terminator thunder hammer. Firstly, I've cut carefully around the front hammer head to remove it from the body of the hammer. Once filed down, I drilled through the centre of it to provide a pin that goes from the handle through to the new head. In this case, I've chosen one of the gargoyle pieces from the chaos space marine tank sprue to be the head. In between the gargoyle and the filed down edge of the hammer, I've inserted a very old plastic shield centre from the warhammer range (which can be seen in my old bits box rummage image).  This extra "spacer" ensures that the gargoyle head looks somewhat tapered to the main shaft of the hammer, rather than simply gluing the gargoyle directly on to the shaft. 

The overall effect is one that implies something of a unique thunder hammer (perhaps even master crafted) and reminiscent of some of the analogous hammers available to the Space Wolves and other chapters / legions. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Shouldering Arms, Meltagun Marine

Whilst technically not quite a full shouldering arms pose (since the fist is still on the trigger rather than the base of the weapon), this marine has his meltagun held vertically in his right hand while pointing at a distant target with his left.

The conversion here uses a metal meltagun that I purchased a long time ago in the old style clam packs. The only real way to ensure structural soundness of this model is to pin the metal to the plastic. This takes some significant drilling work -- and with a sound drill that isn't likely to snap as pressure is applied. But the lead alloy that the melta gun in made out of is reasonably soft, and so can give under the pressure of a hand drill. That said, some care is needed to not apply too much pressure as the drill bit can break under high pressure (as I've discovered on past occasions). The pin in this model runs deep in to the metal fist and in to the plastic arm, and is a simple paper clip. 

The left arm is a simple pointed finger glued in to place and the corvus helmet looking in the same direction to give a sense of purpose to the conversion. The back pack follows my previous meltagun / gun kata marine and is from the grey knights plastic space marine boxed set. Eventually this torso will be married up with a set of true scale legs and some accessories added to make the final product.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Gun-Kata: Finalized Meltagun Marine

Wielding a melta gun and a bolt pistol, this space marine is a dynamic example of the "gun kata" meme that I'm trying to capture in my evolving Alpha Legion army that is coming together.

The marine features the arms set apart at 90 degrees as described in the original Gun Kata article. In addition to this, greenstuff has been added in to the arm pit region to emulate piping on the armour. The torso part has then been glued on to a pair of true scale legs that I prepared separately. As can be seen, the legs have been extended by the addition of greenstuff at the lower part of the thighs following extension through pinning. 

The marine features a plethora of different parts sourced from diverse plastic boxed sets, including chaos space marines (torso, melta gun, arms, bolt pistol), space marines (legs, head, shoulder pads), and grey knights (back pack). He will eventually form a part of a tactical support squad that are armed with melta guns. 

I'll leave the impending question of the back pack unanswered for now!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Maloghurst The Twisted

Twisted in mind before he became twisted in body, Mal is Horus' equerry and as such carries the authority of Horus wheresoever he goes.

His rules are nice: he is able to make both veteran tactical squads and reaver attack squad in to troops. But he pays for this for having a broken body: he doesn't move fast at all and as such probably does not want to be attached to front line melee style units. Hence he is only really suitable for back field units like support squads. This is something of an enigma as he would otherwise be quite a reasonable beat stick in combat. But since he is also a scoring unit, then one could imagine placing him in such a unit on top of a back-field objective for the entire game. His presence is then a deterrent against being charged there whilst the faster elements of the force go forth and conquer.

On top of this, he has the same abilities as a Praetor in the sense of being able to activate rites of war, and also carries a legion standard.

In short, I feel that Mal is a great addition for a certain style of Sons of Horus army that focuses on Reaver Attack Squads and Veteran Tactical Squads. But there is an enigma here as well in the sense that Mal is not well suited to front line work, so much be maintained at the back in all likelihood (unless drop podded in and then leaving the squad he joined before combat commences). And his price tag is attractive as well considering his equipment. Hence I think he's not only a fluffy choice for a traitor force (or pre-heresy Luna Wolves), but also an effective one if handled well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Reaver Attack Squad

One of the specialist units available to the Sons of Horus, the Reavers grew out of the Cthonia gang warfare and more than despoiler squads or assault squads are the essence of the Sons of Horus' way of warfare: rapid attack and merciless slaughter of their opposition.

Their boons are outflank coupled with precision shots from all squad members (not just the sergeant -- or chieftain as he's called here).  But the upgrades can also make a difference. Given that every shot is a precision one, bane strike ammunition is very tempting for this squad to make sure it is going to be taking out power armour equivalents reasonably regularly.

Unlike regular squads, a reaver one can take a drop pod or a rhino as it pleases (so long as they're not wearing jump packs - which they can as well). In short, I feel there are multiple ways one can build this squad depending on what one wishes to see it do.

Here are a few examples.

Reaver Attack Squad, 15 members, all with bane strike shells, 4 powerfists, chieftain with artificer armour, entire squad with jump packs (480 points)
Excessive certainly, but able to tackle most things in the game. The jump packs enable the player to get the charge in (we hope) on the opposition after decimating them with bane strike and precise shots, and coupled with the Sons of Horus special rules, should be bringing down enemy squads with regularity.

Reaver Attack Squad, 5 members, 5 combi-meltas with bane strike shells, chieftain with artificer armour (195 points)
This is a squad to outflank and take down some back-field tanks, and then use their precision shots to take care of some squad sergeants and then to force leadership checks.

Reaver Attack Squad, 10 members, 2 flamers, 5 power axes (280 points)
Take these guys in a drop pod. On landing, flame the local area, and then subsequently look to charge in with the power axes to take care of anything up to and including terminators.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chaos Space Marines Summary Page

This is the summary for my reviews of the Chaos Space Marine Codex. Entries are listed according to Force Organization Chart position rather than any other order. Also included are entries such as Be'Lakor which come from data slates rather than the hardback book. At the end of the list are other reviews on this codex, including Warlord Traits.

Abaddon the Despoiler
Chaos Lord
Daemon Prince
Dark Apostle
Fabius Bile
Huron Blackheart
Kharn the Betrayer
Lucius the Eternal
Typhus the Traveller

Chaos Terminators
Chosen Chaos Space Marines
Khorne Berzerkers
Noise Marines
Plague Marines
Thousand Sons

Chaos Cultists
Chaos Rhino
Chaos Space Marines

Fast Attack
Chaos Bikers
Chaos Spawn
Warp Talons

Heavy Support
Land Raider
Chaos Predator
Chaos Vindicator

Related Articles
Daemonic Steed
Gift of Mutation
Ichor Blood
Icon of Despair
Icon of Excess
Icon of Flame
Icon of Vengeance
Icon of Wrath
Warlord Traits

Chaos Daemons Summary Page

This page brings together my codex reviews of Chaos Daemons as it was in 6th-7th edition Warhammer 40,000. Entries are listed by Force Organization Chart position and then alphabetically. At the bottom of this are a few additional thoughts and entries about other aspects of the daemons codex, such as the Warp Storm Table.




Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Other Daemons Review Articles.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Glaive Super-heavy Special Weapons Tank

The final entry in Massacre for the normal legion army lists is a super heavy. The Glaive is interesting for fielding the volkite carronade. This is a beam weapon with a 1" width that not only ignores cover saves, but also deflagrates as per regular volkite weapons as well as haywires enemy tanks. With a high S and low AP, this can cause damage to anything in the game.

The options are somewhat limited though. I'm not sure one wants to get rid of the default las cannon sponsons. Perhaps heavy flamers might be cute instead of heavy bolters to cure any charging units of their suicidal tendencies. But otherwise, I think I would run the following build:

Glaive, with armoured ceramite (650 points).
The armoured ceramite is almost a given in Heresy era gaming, but could be left out if desired as the HP of the tank is large enough to ensure it'll last a while even without it. Although do note that the tank does have a lower AP to the rear which could be a vulnerability.

Game wise, I think the tank will keep a half decent range from the enemy and pump out shots at heavy tanks, heavy infantry (i.e. terminators) as required. The critical thing is to keep the vulnerable rear facing away from heavy weapons and D class tank killers. To be clear: this tank does not have a D class weapon of its own, so if you do take this tank as a Lord of War, you can almost be assured your enemy will have a D class weapon. Therefore you need to play this tank to its strength. It is not a titan killer. But it will take care of lighter tanks and infantry with ease. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Horus Heresy Review: Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod

The Legion Dreadnought Drop Pod does exactly what one might expect it to. It delivers a single dreadnought - either a regular dreadnought, or a contemptor (including regular mortis or contemptor mortis patterns of course) - to where they are needed on the battlefield.

More than that, the drop pod has the assault vehicle special rule meaning they can assault right out of disembarkation. But this does not apply to the turn that it drops in to play.

Much like the regular drop pod, it can also drop pod assault, and has inertial guidance systems. Perhaps the biggest new rule here is the burning retros rule which can provide shroud on the turn it arrives.

The points cost is more than a regular drop pod to compensate for its larger nature. But that's fine. As I think the dreadnought drop pod can do more than simply deliver your cargo to where it is needed. This drop pod is very capable of denying lines of sight, providing shroud to anything drawing a line of sight through it, and of forming choke points on the battlefield to exploit and / or box in your opponent with. I think several of these, combined with an orbital assault rite of war from a legion praetor will give you the opportunity to play out a "box in" tactica against vehicle heavy opponents. This would make for a particularly interesting game in my opinion.

I have no build suggestions for this entry, since there are no upgrade options. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gun Kata - Dynamic Bolter and Bolt Pistol Arms

Judging by the number of hits on my previous Gun Kata Space Marine article, the meme is a popular one. So today, I wanted to explore it in a bit more detail with some more regular parts. 

One weapon that every "standard" space marine comes with is the bolt gun / bolter. There are a number of ways to build in some dynamism in to such weapons to make any space marine stand out on the tabletop from its counterparts and "regular" space marine armies that just have bolters held across the body in a regular fashion.

In the image below, I'm going to illustrate this with both a bolter and a bolt pistol. Firstly, the bolt pistol. This comes from the chaos space marine range. And the only thing that I've done to it is a wrist rotation. Seriously: that's all. But: it is more than sufficient to give any marine holding it a unique "gangland" kind of vibe as the pistol is now held horizontally such that the empty spent rounds are ejected directly downward (rather than sideways as is usually the case). I pinned the wrist rotation in place to give it extra support, but I don't think its really needed. 

The bolter is a more complicated matter. Firstly, Space Marines are supposed to be ambidextrous. But every model always has the space marine holding the bolter's trigger in the right hand. Both space marines and chaos space marines suffer from this. I think the reason is because the spent bolt rounds supposedly eject from that side of the bolter and hence no one wants to be whacked in the tummy by them ejecting in the middle of a gun fight. But this situation is different if a space marine is wielding the bolter one-handedly. And why wouldn't they - they are super human angels of death after all!

Hence for the bolter, I've used a chaos space marine arm (one that connects to a heavy bolter, or a standard bearer arm will suffice) and attached this to a hand taken from the grey knights range (they have a couple of clenched left fists on the sprues) incorporating another wrist rotation when I attached it. Then, a standard bolter (drilled, of course!) is attached on the top of the fist to finish the conversion. The result: a left handed held bolt gun angled horizontal to the ground that makes a matching pair with the bolt pistol. I'll be adding both of these arms to the same space marine to create a unique gun kata style marine that is holding both arms out to his front, stretched out, and firing away at his enemies. 
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