Saturday, March 25, 2017

New Bloodthirster On The Horizon

I've just found out that our local club (Hogtown 40k) is having a 1850pt tournament in June and that there will be a painting rubric that rewards conversions as well as straight up painting.

My Khorne Daemonkin army is reasonably well painted and is fairly cool looking, so I'm hoping to give it a centrepiece that can really push it over the edge and (hopefully) grab me best painted.  I have never won best painted, but we all have to have a goal to strive for.

After the last such tournament, I was so jazzed at having a rubric that I went home and painted a chaos knight (I'll put up some pictures of him in a bit), and I took some time to do some good freehand on him.  As good as he looks, I'm hoping that this bloodthirster pushes him down into second place.

The plan is to start from the Forgeworld Khorne Daemon Prince, which is one of the coolest models existing. Ever.  I happen to have an extra damaged one (it's damaged in the back where the I will put the wings, so no loss here).

I want to have it perched on a building, crouching staring at the battlefield, with its wings high overhead.  I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I'll post up some of my INQ28 progress tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Slaanesh Daemon Prince

I love this model.  AFAIK, it's based on an illustration from the Chaos Space Marine codex from a few editions ago.

I loved the illustration then and love it still.  It was one of the things that drew me to Chaos and inspired me.  So when I had the chance to buy a used version of this daemon prince for cheap, I leapt at it.  This model inspired me to learn about simple green and I've since started salvaging older models.

I added on the wings myself, but I'm only showing the front of the model because it wasn't a beautiful green stuff job.  I've done some good work with green stuff, but this is not one of them (it's fine, just not great).  Still, I'm very happy with the model overall. He's also pure metal (including the wings), so he's the heaviest model in my collection along with my completely metal Hive Tyrant.

He's painted in the colours of my Slaanesh warband, the Eternal.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Grey Knight WIP

Hi all.  I'm testing out a new colour scheme for a few Grey Knights.  These are meant to attach to my Inquisitor's force, so I probably will only need to paint it over 10-20 models.

Some background:

  1. I generally prefer to use non-metal metals (NMM). I often catch flack for this (especially from B Grimm), so let me explain by way of analogy - I often find that people will just freeze their fashion at some point in their lives (usually 20s/30s).  After that point, their style doesn't tend to evolve that much, they just wear the same thing because it's them and it's what they've always worn.  It's why you'll occasionally see people who look like they've stepped straight out of the 80s or 90s.  What does this have to do with painting?  NMM was all the rage when I started to come into my own as a painter, and although I still paint metallics here and there, I find that I keep going back to NMM.
  2. I always like to personalize a colour scheme.  Occasionally I still paint close to codex-colours, but I will always do at least one thing that's my own. This test model is still pretty close to codex approved, but I've gone with pink instead of gold.  I've also used blue to offset the pink because: a) I think it looks great, and b) those are the colours of my inquisitor's army and I want these guys to fit in.
  3. I like to have colour schemes that are easy to paint.  These guys are very easy.  Lay down a light grey as a base and then paint the blue, pink and beige basecoats. Then wash the entire model in a generous black wash. Then highlight back up.  I can't really drybrush it, because the colours are in too close together, but also because I think these guys need to look clean and crisp, and that's the opposite of dry-brushing.
What do you guys think?  Any suggestions?  I'm thinking I might try to shade up parts of the armour closer to white in a few spots, but all in all, I'm really pleased with how this guy turned out and I can't wait to send him against some daemons.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Host of Eternal Torment

Hello again folks!

I started going to the Astronomi-con tournament in Toronto in 2015 and I immediately fell in love with it. I would say more than 90% of attendees have lovingly painted armies, care about the fluff and love the narrative aspect of the scenarios. For those of you who don't know their system, a very significant portion of the overall scoring is based on something other than battle scores (paint, army list, army sportsmanship, etc.). I just find that it pushes me to outdo myself hobby-wise and I quite like the end result. I also always have a blast at the event itself. Two years ago, I brought slaneesh chaos space marines with a smattering of slaneesh daemons. Essentially trying to create the feel of a Slaneesh demonkin book. Had a lot of fun with the army and wrote extensive background on the army as well. I was re-reading it to get inspiration for the upcoming Astro (April 2016), so I thought I would share it here too.

Enjoy!

List

CSM CAD

Chaos Lord (80pts) -  Mark of Slaanesh (15pts)

Daemon Prince (305pts) - 3x Mastery Level (become Psyker) (75pts), Power Armour (20pts), Slaanesh (10pts), Spell familiar (15pts), Wings (40pts)

2 Units Noise Marines (Troops) (201pts each ) - Noise Marine w/ Blastmaster (47pts), 3x Noise Marine w/ Sonic Blaster (60pts), Doom Siren (15pts)

2 Chaos Rhinos (52pts each) - Dozer Blade (5pts), Havoc Launcher (12pts)

2 Hell Blades (115pts each) - Two Helstorm Autocannons (15pts)

Chaos Relic Sicarian (180pts) - Armoured Ceramite (20pts), Dozer Blades (5pts), Heavy Bolters (20pts)

Chaos Daemons Allied Detachment 

Keeper of Secrets (210pts) -  2 Daemonic Reward (40pts)

Daemonettes of Slaanesh (10 strong) (90pts)

the beginning

The Excruciators were a chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. The origin of the Excruciators is shrouded in mystery. What little is known about the founding of the Excruciators is that it must have occurred approximately seven to eight thousand years ago.

The Excruciators’ base of operations was the world of Trimilar, near the Eastern Fringe. From the Fortress of Absolution, in the Leighland peaks, the Excruciators enjoyed almost six thousand years of successful campaigning for the Imperium.

Unlike most Adeptus Astartes’ home worlds, with the exception of Macragge, Trimilar was densely populated and extremely wealthy, due to vast adamantium deposits throughout its core. So rich were its resources, that the priesthood of Mars had, on more than one occasion, petitioned the High Lords of Terra to have Trimilar re-classified as a forgeworld. However, the Excruciators were well regarded by the High Lords and all such requests were promptly denied.

The Excruciators’ main credo was to achieve a warrior’s perfection through a mixture of extreme ascetic lifestyle and punishing training regimens. Among a breed of ascetic warriors, the Excruciators were considered to be paragons of that one virtue. Perhaps as a result of their ascetic qualities, the Excruciators were able to rule the Trimilarians with a surprising amount of efficiency. In particular, the nobility of Trimilar was more than happy to pay hefty tributes to the Excruciators knowing that all of those tributes went directly to the military might of the Excruciators, which, in turn, ensured the protection of Trimilar and the trade routes used by the merchant class.

The wealth was put to good use by the Excruciators and they had developed a good relationship with Magos Torpentis, ruler of the forgeworld Kritamix 315. In exchange for refined adamantium, Magos Torpentis was more than happy to ensure the Excruciators were one of the better armoured forces in the Imperium and had one of the better trained contingents of techmarines as well.

The combination of the proficiency of the Excruciators’ Astartes with the glorious war machines produced by Magos Torpentis ensured the supremacy of the Excruciators for thousands of light years in every direction around Trimilar. The Excruciators had also successfully participated in responding to several of Abaddon’s black crusades and had earned accolades from many distinguished chapters, including the Ultramarines and the Imperial Fists.

EXCRUCIATORS LEADERSHIP AS OF 39M.351

In the year 39M.351, the Excruciators were led by Chapter Master Dynax. Lord Dynax eschewed a permanent honour guard, which he regarded as pompous. Rather, Lord Dynax had a few warriors that he had selected to advise him. These warriors were not selected based on rank, but rather based on their various abilities that Dynax believed would make him a better Chapter Master. The rank and file of the Excruciators referred to this advising body as the shadow council, in good-hearted mockery of its unofficial nature.

In 39M.351, the shadow council was comprised of Captain Zhotal from 2nd company, Chief Librarian Vardon, Master of the Forge Halanok and Sargeants Inguron and Antalek from 3rd company. Though Captain Zhotal was not the first captain of the Excruciators, he was regarded by everyone in the chapter as the best strategist and a master of void warfare. His primary duties on the shadow council were to advise Dynax on overall campaign strategies and void engagements. Chief Librarian Vardon was a psyker of untold powers. Rumours had it that he could rival Chief Librarian Tigurius of the Ultramarines in power, though Vardon’s humility would not allow anyone to make such claims in his presence. Master of the Forge Halanok was primarily responsible for advising Dynax in all aspects of armoured warfare and he was considered by Magos Torpentis to be the most gifted techmarine ever trained on Kritamix 315. Sargeants Inguron and Antalek were the more classic bodyguards expected in a chapter master’s retinue, but they were also selected by Dynax for their effect on the morale of rest of the chapter. Indeed, Inguron and Antalek were not only fraternal brothers, but they were identical twins. In the recorded history of the Adeptus Astartes, no other example had previously been known of identical twins being selected to undergo the trials to become 10th company members, being successfully implanted with a gene-seed and graduating to full battle brothers. The chemistry was so strong between Inguron and Antalek that they complemented each other on the battlefield to an almost supernatural level. And such was their battle prowess that they saved the lives, over their centuries of service, of a not insignificant proportion of the chapter’s forces. The battle brothers of the Excruciators therefore considered the twins a bit of a good luck charm on the battlefield.

THE IMPRISONMENT
In the second half of 39M.351, merchant vessels began disappearing from the trade routes under the protection of the Excruciators. Dynax sent several investigation teams, but no one was able to explain the disappearances. Matters got worse and the rate of disappearances was increasing at a frightening pace. Under pressure from Magos Torpentis and the ruling class of Trimilar, Dynax set out with nine companies of Excruciators, leaving only the 6th company to hold Trimilar and the Fortress of Absolution.

The Excruciators battle fleet lay in wait in the Trigoras asteroid cluster, which bordered on the most travelled trade route leading to Trimilar. For several months, the fleet lay in wait, dormant, watching traders go by without issues. Just when Dynax was about to give up, a convoy bound for Kritamix 315 was attacked. Out of nowhere, a massive portal opened and a fleet of Dark Eldar corsairs poured out to attack the trade convoy. Dynax ordered the battle fleet to move out to intercept the corsairs.

Upon realizing they were ambushed and outgunned, the corsairs turned and fled, with the Excruciators in hot pursuit. The corsair fleet tried to use portal technology to lose the Excruciators, but the fleet was too hot on their heels and were able to follow through the portals. Only the superior agility of the corsair vessels kept them in one piece, as the Excruciators maintained a punishing barrage on the Dark Eldars. The evasive maneuvers, however, meant that the Dark Eldars were unable to outrun the Excruciators. Eventually, the corsairs gave up trying to outrun the Excruciators and made for their home base.

After going through one more portal, the Excruciators fleet came face to face with an immense battle station the size of a small moon. The battle station opened fire on the Excruciators just as the corsair fleet made its way into its hangars.

The fleet was taking a heavy punishment and would not likely be able to make a warp jump before being annihilated. Captain Zhotal advised Dynax that the only way forward would be to assault the battle station. Zhotal made a bold assumption that the shields around the hangar would not have time to close before the fleet alighted. Dynax, believing that the Excruciators at near chapter strength would be able to deal with whatever occupied the battle station, agreed with Zhotal and ordered the fleet forward. More than half the vessels made it to the vast hangar of the battle station and only one company of Excruciators was lost.

The Excruciators quickly established dominance in the hangar by killing every single one of the members of the corsair fleet and destroying all of the Eldar vessels. Only once its righteous fury abated did Dynax organize his chapter for a broader sweep of the battle station. At least one hundred corridors led away from the hangar, with auspex scans revealing a labyrinthine interior. Forces were divided and the sweep commenced.

Unbeknownst to the Excruciators, the battle station was incredibly old, pre-dating the Emperor and representing the glorious peak of the Age of Technology. The corsairs had not been able to unlock the full potential of the battle station, but they had been able to unlock one of its most insidious defensive mechanism.

Archon Sytrix, leader of the Kabal of the Sibilant Sun, chuckled as he activated the defensive mechanism. Doorways throughout the battle station became invisible, teleporting portals. Each warrior of the Excruciators that went through a doorway was immediately teleported to an extradimensional holding cell. The Excruciators quickly realized something was wrong, but they were too deep into the battle station to avoid going through the thousands of individual portals. Slowly but surely, every Astarte became entombed in one of those cells.

Archon Sytrix did not give a second thought to the Excruciators after this day. He was not entirely sure what happened to the warriors as a result of the defense system - only that a certain crystal in a vast chamber in the battle station was connected to the mechanism of imprisonment. Sytrix had used the mechanism only once before, to imprison an ork tribe that had attacked the battle station. Confident in the knowledge that the Excruciators would not bother him anymore, he sealed the hangar containing the Excruciators’ vessels and went about his business.

What Sytrix did not know, was that the crystal itself was the prison. Each extradimensional cell was held within the crystal. Each of those cells was essentially a small cube, with no light or sound whatsoever existing inside the cell. The cells had been designed as a most insidious means of sensory deprivation torture. Time within the cells flowed differently, such that prisoners experienced one year inside the cells for every day of normal time in material space all the while preserving their bodies. The purpose of the cells were quite literally to preserve the bodies of their victims while driving them mad by the absence of any external stimulus.

THE RELEASE

To the Excruciators, approximately five hundred years went by in the crystal prison. Their release was entirely unplanned by Archon Sytrix and was the result of what would have been an aborted coup.

The Haemonculus coven serving Sytrix had grown discontent with his leadership. The flow of slaves for their experiments had diminished to an unacceptable level. They therefore unleashed their personal army in the battle station to try to slay Sytrix.

Through a strange twist of fate, the final battle occurred in the crystal chamber. While Archon Sytrix was successful in slaying his enemies, the dying throes of a Talos engine knocked the crystal to the ground.

Once the crystal shattered, all of its prisoners were disgorged into the vast crystal chamber, including the Excruciators. What ensued was a melee that cannot even begin to be described as ork war bands, tyranid monsters, demons and all manner of warp creatures poured forth from the crystal.

A quick battle cry issued from Dynax’ lips upon his release and roughly eight hundred Excruciators organized themselves quickly to slay each and every creature in the chamber.

The sights, sounds and smells of the battle were terrible in the extreme, but after what had felt like five hundred years of sensory deprivation, such sensations were a balm to the Excruciators. And so they slayed and laughed and cried as they soaked in the terrible madness that was the battle of the crystal chamber. Such was the extent of the slaughter that the psychic screams of the dying resulted in a small warp storm engulfing the battle station. Once the slaughter was complete, a quick count revealed that only about one hundred Excruciators were lost, leaving a full seven companies of Excruciators the sole survivors of that battle.

Immediately after the battle was over, each and every one of the Excruciators began to fear and loathe the diminution in sensations. Their minds had been deprived of sensations for so long that they needed to keep being fed. Dynax felt it too, through to his bones. He could not, and would not, allow the quiet to remain. He gave a rousing speech to his brothers, while surrounded by the shadow council, and made a plea for the continued sweep of the battle station, still completely unaware that the battle station was now existing fully within the warp.

THE FALL

It took the Excruciators the better part of a month to cleanse the external portions of the battle station. As the resistance started to thin, it became clear to Dynax that his chapter would never be the same. Warriors started to mutter to themselves in the quiet periods or would start self-inflicting wounds to try to recreate the rush of emotions they all felt at the battle of the crystal chamber. More worrisome to Dynax, he started to dream about a strange purple demon every time he tried to rest. The demon called itself Angareth and kept promising that it could help feed the sensation void. Dynax originally rejected such thoughts, but the lack of sensations soon became unbearable.

Dynax confided in his shadow council and each member confirmed to Dynax that the also deeply felt the need to fill the void. They also confirmed that they were dreaming of Angareth too. Zhotal was the first to suggest heeding the call of Angareth. His argument was that Angareth was only proposing to continue with the purge of the battle station for now, which the Excruciators were doing anyway. Plus, Zhotal argued, this could be an opportunity to trick the demon and slay it. After much debate, the shadow council decided to push onwards. Immediately after making that decision, each member of the shadow council became more at ease, as though part of the emotional void had been temporarily filled. Dynax also noticed that his troops looked more calm and serene. At every rest period, Dynax dreamed of Angareth and after every dream, Dynax felt refreshed. It turns out Angareth was visiting every member of the Excruciators in their dreams, promising to fill the void.

And so the Excruciators pushed on until they reached the center of the battle station, which was the seat of power of the Haemonculus coven. It was designed as a mass torture chamber, where all kinds of torments were inflicted upon victims to feed the now mostly defunct Kabal of the Sibilant Sun. Upon reached the chamber, every Excruciator felt a wave of elation at the sensation assaulting their senses. The smell of blood, the cries of pain, the sights of mutilated bodies and the permeating sense of fear and hopelessness filled the hearts and minds of the Excruciators to the point where they could almost forget about their fears of sensory deprivation. The experience clearly affected every single Excruciator, so Dynax ordered a halt to hold a meeting of the chapter.

Dynax admitted his newfound need for sensation and his dreams of Angareth to the rest of the chapter. The members of the shadow council came forth and also confirmed the same to the troops. Dynax then invited others to share their views and every single battle brother confirmed the same.
Dynax asked his brothers what they wanted to do – continue as normal until driven mad by their need for sensations, or accept Angareth’s help, knowing full well that doing so would make them traitors to the Imperium. So scared were the Excruciators of the emotional void they all felt while imprisoned, that every single one of them voted to accept Angareth’s help.

Dynax then proposed that they rest to see what Angareth would suggest next. That night, Angareth showed the Excruciators a way to summon it and its minions. Angareth promised that they would slay the remaining Dark Eldars and that the Excruciators would feel emotionally fulfilled for months afterwards from the terror the Dark Eldars would release upon being slain by the servants of the Dark Prince.

The next morning, the Excruciators performed the ritual and Angareth and a legion of daemonettes appeared in the chamber. They immediately charged toward the Haemonculus positions, followed by the Excruciators. Angareth had not lied; the Excruciators felt such an elation at seeing the daemons tear the Dark Eldars apart that they immediately pledged themselves to the Dark Prince following the battle.

THE HOST OF ETERNAL TORMENT

Following their fall, the Excruciators spent several months learning from Angareth the proper ways to worship Slaneesh and to feed their emotional needs. They became consummate torturers, using the Haemonculus torture chamber as their news means of sustenance. The started raiding systems neighbouring the battle station, which had been renamed the Flensing Blade, for slaves to bring to the torment pits. A few years went by and the Excruciators started receiving gifts from Slaneesh. A number of them mutated and fused with their weapons, which started emitting high frequency sonic bursts instead of bolter shells. Others received mutations that were more decorative than practical. Many grew bone horns and others grew the ability to be implanted with doom sirens.

About three years after the fall, the Excruciators received a visit from a delegation of Dark Mechanicum adepts let by Warpsmith Gorteal. Gorteal met with the shadow council, which now numbered Angareth as one of its members, and explained what his business arrangement was with the Kabal of the Sibilant Sun: slaves for technology. The shadow council retired to debate the proposition in detail. Zhotal, seconded by Angareth, suggested making the relationship with Gorteal much grander in scope. Zhotal suggested that they raid Trimilar, enslave its population, slay the remaining Excruciators at the Fortress of Absolution and recover the gene seed stock and all of the Fortress’ remaining armour. The slaves would go to Gorteal and the Excruciators would gift him the emptied Fortress of Absolution as well as a world rich in adamantium. In exchange, Gorteal would leave a contingent of Warpsmiths at the Flensing Blade to help Halanok unlock the secrets of the battle station. Gorteal would also commit to furnish to the Excruciators war machines the way Magos Torpentis used to. Everyone agreed with Zhotal’s proposal, which was promptly communicated to Gorteal. Gorteal accepted on the spot.

Dynax and a vast host of Excruciators and daemonettes then set sail for Trimilar in the Excruciators’ vessels that survived the original barrage from the battle station. On approach to Trimilar, the fleet was hailed by the Fortress of Absolution and cries of joy went up from those Excruciators on the surface. It turns out the 6th company had not thrived very much in the few years since the disappearance of the fleet and they were overjoyed at the return of the rest of the chapter.

Dynax ordered the 6th to assemble in the courtyard of the fortress and to await their arrival. The entirety of the remaining forces at the Fortress of Absolution did as ordered, so great was their wish to believe that the chapter would be finally re-united. Even more damning for them, they assembled unarmoured and unarmed. Dynax’ forces charged into them right out of their shuttles and massacred them to a man in a matter of minutes. At the climax of the massacre, Dynax ascended to daemonhood and became a daemon prince. It spoke to the extent of the fall of the Excruciators that they all cheered such a result. Dynax stood over the bodies of his former brothers, surrounded by the shadow council and Angareth and ordered his forces to bring Trimilar to heel and start filling Gorteal’s slave ships. Dynax, the shadow council and the remnants of 1st company then set themselves to plunder the fortress.

Holds filled to the brim with war machines, gene-seed and relics, Dynax’ forces returned to the Flensing Blade, to find it much changed. Indeed, since the Flensing Blade existed within the warp, a much longer period of time had elapsed for those in the battle station than for the Trimilar execution force. Halanok and the warpsmiths had succeeded in unlocking most of the battle station mechanisms such that the Flensing Blade was now capable of warp travel and was also capable of withstanding almost any kind of void warfare. More interestingly though, Halanok had continued to develop the worship of Slaneesh in Dynax absence. The Flensing Blade was now equipped with torment pits, pleasure dens, drug dens and chambers capable of fulfilling whatever form of sensation one could possibly want to experience.

Dynax was very pleased with the work done and promoted Halanok to be the spiritual leader of the war band in addition to being its chief Warpsmith. Dynax also proclaimed that the Excruciators were dead and that the mixtures of Astartes and daemons comprising his forces would now be known as the Host of Eternal Torment.

In the thousand years since the fall of Trimilar, the Host of Eternal Torment has grown into a force that rivals the red corsairs and that is eclipsed only by the Black Legion. Due to its association with Gorteal, the Host is one of the better equipped forces of Chaos, often fielding ancient relics such as a Sicaran battle tank as well as newer models such as the hell blade fighters. The Host attracts a vast array of supplicants and followers of Slaneesh, with the Flensing Blade being known as one of the better places in the galaxy to be to worship Slaneesh and partake in every sensation imaginable.

This influx of recruits and top of the line war machines in turn allows the Host to be extremely efficient slavers. The Host’s favourite tactic is to come out of the warp in high orbit around an imperial world, destroy the orbital defenses with the destructive power of the Flensing Blade’s armaments, and invade the world. Such is their reputation that most worlds only put up a token resistance to the arrival of the Flensing Blade since the Host has a habit of keeping recalcitrant subjects for their own torment pits while cooperating populations are merely sold into slavery. Many prefer the sale blocks of the Flensing Blade to its torment and pleasure pits.

The Host has thus become a premier slave provider and everyone from the Dark Mechanicum to the Black Legion itself tries to remain in Dynax’ favour to have access to the most desirable slaves. The Host also specializes in custom orders. Abaddon itself once commissioned the Host to sell him an ork war band. Dynax could not fathom why Abaddon wanted the orks for, but the Host set sail to an ork infested world and filled its slave holds to the brim with green skins.

The Host has settled into a rhythm in which they fill their ever expanding emotional needs in the pits of the Flensing Blade and attack whichever world or forces they need to in order to fulfill their latest slave orders. They are clearly in the highest favour with Slaneesh as the daemon contingent of the Host, led by Angareth, continues to grow while the Dark Prince continues to bless the Host’s war machines and warriors with blessed mutations. Indeed, the Host’s warriors mutate more frequently into Noise Marines than would normally be expected. Additionally, the members of the Host are constantly surrounded by a thin, purple mist, making the Host sometimes appear a bit hazy. Rumours abound that the mist is what allows the Host to capture slaves so efficiently, plunging the populace into a despair-induced torpor. Dynax does not know whether it is true or whether it is the Host’s reputation that achieves the results. He, however, does not care one way or the other and enjoys the mist as another sign of his Lord’s favour.

If you are in need of slaves or just want to worship Slaneesh whole-heartedly, feel free to seek the Flensing Blade and be confident in the knowledge that the Host will accord you all the protection and benefits of a valued customer. If you wish ill on the Host or if you are a follower of the Blood God, then stay clear of the Flensing Blade lest you become fodder for the torment pits. If you are potential merchandise for the Host, quiet surrender is your only viable option – otherwise, you will be subjected to abject, eternal torment…

DYNAX – HIGH LORD OF THE HOST OF ETERNAL TORMENT

Dynax is now a powerful daemon prince of Slaneesh and the uncontested ruler of the Host. He continues to be blessed by Slaneesh and has recently been granted vast psychic powers by the Dark Prince. Slaneesh also sent an imp to Dynax to serve as a spell familiar and Dynax does not go anywhere without it. Dynax relishes personal combat and often opts for psychic powers that directly increase his might. However, he is not above killing foes from the air if it makes good strategic sense. When Dynax’ actions truly please the Dark Prince, Dynax’s sword becomes imbued, on the eve of battle, with a portion of Slaneesh’s will. This allows Dynax to shoot forth a torrent of billowing, corrosive purple vapor that is strong enough to melt ceramite armour. Dynax continues to be advised by the shadow council and counts its members as friends.





ZHOTAL – LORD OF THE STRATEGIUM

Lord Zhotal, as he is now known, is truly the second in command in the Host. Equipped with the blade of torments, a fickle blade that can sometime become a power sword if Slaneesh is particularly pleased with Zhotal, Lord Zhotal likes to lead from the rear. His most important trait is his strategic acumen and Dynax prefers to deploy Zhotal with the rear-guard, usually with a squad of Noise Marines. From there, Zhotal directs the mighty firepower of the Host’s long range weaponry, calls in air strikes and reinforcements and ensures that the Host does not become flanked or cut off from its extraction point. This is a role that Zhotal is more than happy with and he particularly relishes the opportunity to watch Dynax, Angareth and the various daemons of Slaneesh rush the enemy and tear them apart while he puts his mind to surgical long range extermination. Typically, Zhotal will deploy with the Onyx Blades. Zhotal’s most recent honourable kill is that of Capitan Orfec of the 3rd company of the Sons of Orus. Captain Orfec fought in a challenge with Zhotal and was decapitated by the blade of torments. Captain Orfec’s head was added to the spikes of the Rhino “Flayed Bones”. Perceived as a sign of favour from Slaneesh, Captain Orfec’s head is not decomposing and continues to bleed to this day.




ANGARETH – KEEPER OF SECRETS AND MEMBER OF THE SHADOW COUNCIL

Angareth was a keeper of secrets of modest power in Slaneesh’s court. It had been watching the Kabal of the Sibilant Sun closely for a way to deliver their souls to Slaneesh as a means of garnering more favour from the Dark Prince. Angareth jumped on the opportunity to deliver to Slaneesh an entire chapter of Adeptus Astartes when the Excruciators invaded the Flensing Blade. Angareth manipulated the dreams of the Haemonculus coven to incite the rebellion and drove the Talos engine that broke the crystal before dying. Successfully converting the Excruciators to the worship of Slaneesh so completely and so quickly has showered Angareth with the Dark Prince’s favour. On most days, Slaneesh grants enhanced psychic powers to Angareth as well as several rewards that allow Angareth to do what it likes most – flay mortals alive in close combat. Only Angareth knows its true agenda for the Host, but, for the moment, it is happy participating in the Host’s activities and being a member of the shadow council. As the Dark Prince allows more and more of its daemons to join the Host, Angareth’s power and prestige within the Host grow commensurately as it is seen by the Astartes as the commander of the daemonic legions.



THE ONYX BLADES

The Onyx Blades are a squad of Noise Marines led by Inguron. The Onyx Blades are so named because of the blade Inguron carries in battle. While trying to enslave the Khorne demon world of Trialix, Inguron and Antalek fought a demon prince of Khorne armed with twin blades, one made of Onyx and the other made of bone. Inguron and Antalek teamed up to bring down the prince and claimed a blade each as a trophy. The blades have been fitted with a power source by Hanalok and should on most days function as power swords. However, the blades are fickle and sometimes the power field refuses to activate. Inguron and Antalek just view such occurrences as tests sent by Slaneesh and they relish the opportunity to slay in the Dark Prince’s name the old fashioned way. Both Inguron and Antalek have also been fitted with doom sirens and they relish the ability to melt armoured foes with it. The Onyx Blades’ most recent accomplishment was the slaying of the honour guard of Captain Orfec, of the third company of the Sons of Orus. Inguron personally defeated Albius, the 3rd company champion and is currently wearing Albius’ flayed face and torso on his armour. The Onyx Blades take great pride on the fact that Lord Zhotal usually deploys with them and that Captain Orfec’s head is impaled on a spike on their Rhino, the “Flayed Bones”.





THE BONE SWORDS

The Bone Swords are a squad of Noise Marines led by Antalek. The Bone Swords are so named because of the blade Antalek carries in battle. While trying to enslave the Khorne demon world of Trialix, Inguron and Antalek fought a demon prince of Khorne armed with twin blades, one made of Onyx and the other made of bone. Inguron and Antalek teamed up to bring down the prince and claimed a blade each as a trophy. The blades have been fitted with a power source by Hanalok and should on most days function as power swords. However, the blades are fickle and sometimes the power field refuses to activate. Inguron and Antalek just view such occurrences as tests sent by Slaneesh and they relish the opportunity to slay in the Dark Prince’s name the old fashioned way. Both Inguron and Antalek have also been fitted with doom sirens and they relish the ability to melt armoured foes with it. The Bone Swords most recent accomplishment was the slaying of the entourage of the ork boss Gratuk. Antalek personally defeated Gratuk and is currently wearing Gratuk’s flayed face and torso on his armour. The Bone Swords usually deploy into battle on board their Rhino, the “Seed of Damnation”.





HELL BLADES – THE TWIN REAPERS

The two hell blades called the twin reapers were originally normal hell blades provided by Gorteal to the Host in exchange for slaves. Their pilots were talented and the Twin Reapers provided aerial superiority to the Host on more than one engagement. Following a period of inactivity, Halanok noticed that no one had seen the Twin Reapers’ pilots in months. Upon inspection, the Twin Reapers were found to have suffered mutations and the pilots appeared to have become entombed and/or morphed with the aircrafts. Originally, Halanok had concerns that the Twin Reapers would no longer be able to perform, but they always follow order and respond to calls for airstrikes. If anything, the Twin Reapers are more murderous and more agile than they ever were. In the face of such performance, Halanok has stopped asking questions and just accepts the fate of the Twin Reapers as a sign of favour from Slaneesh.





WARPSMITH HALANOK AND THE TITAN HUNTER

Warpsmith Halanok is a revered member of the shadow council and the spiritual leader of the Host. Following the raid on Trimilar, Halanok recovered his most precious war machine, the Sicaran battle tank previously known as the Emperor’s Fury. This relic had been with the Excruciators since its founding and it was beloved as a means to destroy heavy armour and infantry alike. During the raid on forgeworld Aritax 212, the Emperor’s Fury was disabled and its conductor slain. Halanok performed some field repairs and took it upon himself to drive the tank into battle. During the final battle, Halanok slayed three Imperial Knights with the tank and decided to rename it the Titan Hunter. Halanok has been adamant ever since that no one but him should drive the Titan Hunter into battle and the Halanok/Titan Hunter combo has been instrumental to many raids launched by the Host. Recently, the Titan Hunter has been blessed with more and more mutations and Halanok spends less and less time outside of the tank. Dynax and Zhotal are a little worried that Halanok and the Titan Hunter are becoming one entity, but have so far refrained from raising their concerns with Halanok.



DAEMONETTES OF SLANEESH

The Host is blessed with a large contingent of daemonettes, which is accepted by all as a sign of Slaneesh’s favour. The daemonette hordes are commanded by Angareth and are typically deployed as deep striking skirmishers tasked with disturbing the enemies’ back fields and long range fire power. The daemonettes are utterly loyal to Angareth and will do anything, including being banished back to the warp, rather than face Angareth’s wrath.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Drop pod to dreadclaw conversion

Hello folks,

As an avid chaos player, I love dreadclaws. Even in 40K when they eat your models, it is an absolutely necessary tool to being competitive with chaos list. When I got into 30K, I wanted to do word bearers as I just love their fluff and the novels. I quickly focused on the rite of war called "Last of the Serrated Suns", which is basically a drop list. I figured I needed three dreadclaws, particularly since they have inertial guidance and don't eat your models in 30K, but did not want to shell out for the forgeworld model. Don't get me wrong, I love the model and own one for my 40K death guard, but I just couldn't justify the cost. I therefore spent a bunch of time on the internet and found a great conversion tutorial by greenstuff industries (http://greenstuffindustries.blogspot.ca/2015/04/dreadclaw-from-drop-pod-conversion.html). Actually pretty easy to follow, even for a very amateur converter like me. The one modification I made is that, instead of using plasticard for the bottom, I used the round part of the cap for the pill bottle the superglue "hot stuff" comes in. I include a pic below of the bottle and the cap. You basically remove the clear plastic from the inside of the cap and cut out the border to make a flat piece.



Bottom line is that I liked the concentric circles as I thought it looked a little bit more like the original model. Anyway, below are a few pics of the finished product before painting and what the painted model looks like once finished. I recommend this easy conversion for anyone who wants to include multiple dreadclaws in a list, but either can't shell our the forgeworld price tag or can't handle re-casters. As a bonus, since we are talking dreadclaws, I include below a few pics of my death guard "proper forgeworld" dreadclaw.

As I am always trying to work with plastic rather than resin, I had an idea to convert a nephilim jet fighter into a primaris lightning. Should be super easy to do, but if it works it means a plastic model at half the price for my word bearers!!! I'll write a separate post about that experience once I have done the conversion.

Happy converting everyone.
















Mathhammer - Plasma v. Wyverns



B. Grim and I were debating between plasma guns or an extra wyvern for my Inquisitor's army, and I decided I would try to run the numbers (note - I found out after I wrote this article that it turns out he was debating between melta and plasma and I thought he was debating between wyverns and plasma). Just a warning that I've assumed that you have a bit of stats knowledge for the article.

At S7 AP2, plasmas are very effective. But Wyvens are notorious for putting down a ton of wounds. Let's see how they do against marine equivalents (MEQ) and terminator equivalents (TEQ).

PLASMA

S7 wounds on a 2+. MEQ has no save and TEQ has a 5++. So a shot has a 5/6 chance of killing a MEQ and a 5/9 (= 5/6 x 2/3) chance of killing a TEQ.

Assuming a squad of veterans with two plasma guns (I know you can carry 3, but chimeras only have two firing points), they hit on a 3+ and get 2 shots within 12" and 1 shot between 12" and 24". Four shots means 20/6 = 3.3 MEQ dead, and 20/9 = 2.2 TEQ dead. Assuming of course, no cover save. If they're outside of doubletap range, there will be half as many wounds, so 1.65 against MEQ and 1.1 against TEQ.

WYVERN

A wyvern has four twin-linked small blast shots with S4 and shred. Since you get a chance to reroll to wound and both MEQ and TEQ have T4, every hit has a 3/4 chance to wound. MEQ will then fail their armour save 1/3 of the time, which means that it will take you 4 hits before causing 1 wound on MEQ. As TEQ fails their armour save only half as much as MEQ, you'd need 8 hits before causing 1 wound on TEQ.

Now the difficult part - trying to figure out how many models are hit using theory. TEQ are usually run in groups of 5. Due to squad coherency, you should always be able to get 2 bases covered, but unless they've just deep striked in, you're probably not going to get more than 3 bases covered. I'm going to assume on average that you can place your blast so that it will cover 2.5 TEQs. Now, how to deal with scatter? First of all, since it is twin linked, it will only scatter 4 out of every 9 times (=1 - 1/3 x 1/3). It will scatter an average of 4" (the 7 on the dice minus the 3 BS). Assuming that the TEQ are deployed in a line and that you've placed the blast in the middle of the line, half of the time it will scatter along the line (hitting the one TEQ on the edge) and half of the time it will scatter perpendicular, hitting 0. So, a hit (5/9 odds) will cause 2.5 hits, and a scatter (4/9 odds) will hit 0.5 on average. That means each shot will cause 1.6 hits (=12.5/9+2/9) on average. As you have 4 shots with each wyvern, you're looking at an average of 6.4 hits per turn, which means 0.8 TEQ dead per turn.

For MEQ, based on my empirical experience and assuming a squad of 10 models (and assuming someone is spacing out their models to avoid wyverns), I'm going to say that a hit gets 4 models. I'm going to assume that the 4" average scatter will, on average, catch another 2 models - this is because squads of 10 MEQ are often a little more blobular than TEQ which means there are still 6 other models clustered around your blast template and you've got a decent chance of catching something (or a lot of things) in any direction as long as the scatter distance stays down. So a hit (5/9 odds) on the scatter die will hit 4 models, and a scatter (4/9 odds) will hit 2 models. So each shot hits 3.1 models on average (20/9+8/9). You have four shots, so you're looking at 12.4 hits and (per the above 4 hits for 1 wound), you're looking at 3.1 wounds.

CONCLUSION

So, against MEQ, wyverns are about equivalent to two plasma guns at double tapping range and they're twice as good against MEQ outside of double tapping range.

Against TEQ, you're looking at 0.8 dead vs 2.2 in double tapping range, or 1.1 outside of double tapping range.

Of course, 10 vets with a chimera and 2 plasma comes to 155 pts and a wyvern comes to 65. So, if you're only examing killyness, the wyvern comes on top on a per point basis against both MEQ and TEQ.

Some other things to note:
  1. If you're running a CAD, your vets and your chimera will be ObSec, which is quite useful.
  2. The calculations above assume a marine enemy. If you're facing something with worse saves (orks, tau, eldar, IG), your wyvern is going to be even better.
  3. The vets and chimera have to put themselves in danger to get into double tap range. The plasmas have the biggest relative advantage (to the wyvern) against TEQ, but any TEQ you don't kill are going to hit back pretty hard.
  4. Wyverns have much better range.
  5. Meltas are cheaper than the plasma but give you more flexibility against armour.
Thoughts? Think any of my assumptions (or worse, my calculations) are off?

Friday, February 17, 2017

Raging Heroes Review

First of all, I love these models.

I think they're absolutely gorgeous.  To the right you'll see Doctor X.  I don't have a name (or backstory) for her yet, but the model is so cool it's hard not to love it. You've seen the model I've been using for Althea (in fact, the model that helped inspire the fluff, rather than the model that fit the fluff).

Additionally, I find that Games Workshop is very poor at putting out good female models. Was there even a single plastic Imperial model before Greyfax, Celestine and Celestine's pair?

Not only does Raging Heroes have plenty of female models (seeing very clearly that niche that GW left open), but their models have an awesome aesthetic.  They have plenty of women with boots and armour who are clearly out there looking to kick ass.

However, I have one very serious beef with these models that may prevent me from ever buying from them again.

You can see the primer peeling on the inside of the coat.
There is something about the mold release agent that they use that just does not work well. I followed the prepping instructions provided by RH for the commissar.  Let soak in simple green for an hour and then rinse in warm water.  After the lightest of brushes while I was applying a wash the primer started to flake from the inside of her cloak.

So I took further steps.  I put the commissar in a bath of simple green and let her sit there for days and days.  I took a tooth brush to her and scrubbed off the primer so that I could start again.  In fact, I put all of the rest of my models back in there too.  I let them all soak in the simple green for quite a while, occasionally taking them out and scrubbing them with a brush.  Finally I rinsed them all in warm water, again with a tooth brush.  I primed them and went to paint and then .... well take a look at the sniper below.  It's rubbing off again. I even let the models sit in the air for a while (another step they recommended).
Again, except this time after much prep.

So the models are gorgeous, but what good is a model that you can't even paint?

I don't know that I'm going to buy any more until I hear that they've fixed this problem.  I heard another blogger refer to them as "trollcast", and it seems appropriate.