Last Son of Caliban: Iron Within, Lions Without

Champion Joab stood, unmoving, at the very forefront of the boarding torpedo.  Already he pressed against the harness locking him in place, the front of his helmet nearly kissing the blast panel that separated him from the potent melta-charge ready to bore a hole through the hull of their target.  His right hand held a massive blade from ancient Caliban.  His left a shield, blessed and carefully worked, incorporating a heavy bolt pistol enabling him to vent his fury even outside the press and cut of melee.

Joab epitomised the Astartes of the Fifth in a way even Bors couldn’t.  Bors outpaced them, faster, tougher, smarter, he eclipsed them clearly, almost as much as their new Primaris brothers.  Their soul rested with Ancient Uriah, his banner as much a part of him as his heart or his black carapace.  Joab was their avatar.  The incarnation of their combative spirit.

Outside the Deathwing, the Dark Angels bore a reputation as a stolid, conservative fighting force, a moving wall of firepower, reducing their enemies to ash as they implacably advanced, or a perfect bastion of defence, sweeping away any who dared take the offensive against them.  While there was truth to this, it was not the whole truth.  The Dark Angels could eagerly take the offensive, unleashing devastating firepower and crushing close quarters attacks with more than the Deathwing.  They lack the primal lust for carnage of the Blood Angels or the Space Wolves, or the preternatural stealth of the Raven Guard, but their tactical precision and tightly controlled fury, properly channeled, gave them their own unique flair for close combat.

Joab didn’t move.  Didn’t fidget as many warriors, even Astartes might do before battle.  His blade pointed straight down by his leg.  His shield held at an angle, covering his body, ready to snap into aim should a target present himself.  The only sign of incipient combat came from the aura around him.  The air around him seemed hot and close, even in the chill atmosphere the Dark Angels preferred for their ships.  The first warriors behind him seemed almost to undulate, first leaning into their idol, then away from his towering contempt and rage.

Cain stood behind the honor guard selected by Sergeant Shamgar.  The Primaris didn’t know what to make of Joab.  The torpedo rocked to the rhythm of the incoming fire.  The rest of Shamagar’s men stood behind Cain.  Sergeant Shamgar had been ordered to the “slack” position at the rear, charged with ensuring no opening was left unguarded, no opportunity missed in the first flurry of combat.

The odd, warbling, hollow peal of the warning bell sounded, cutting through the noise of the torpedo.  Cain and Shamgar both intoned “10 seconds to launch.”

Joab didn’t move.  The rest of the boarding squad braced, even Cain, veteran as old as the metal of Caliban in Joab’s hand unconsciously braced himself against the unimaginable force.

Some fraction of eternity later a hammer of force smashed the torpedo free of its launch tube.  Joab didn’t move.  Sensors and relays embedded in the hull of the torpedo gave them information.  Peleg had pressed close, every torpedo carried an unbelievably precious cargo and Peleg had sacrificed greatly among her ship and crew to ensure they struck home.  Scarce 10 seconds from launch, within seconds of the torpedo’s engine guttering out the bell pealed again.

“FIVE SECONDS” called Cain, even his normally controlled voice pitched louder as combat neared.  The party leaned into their harnesses, preparing for the immense crash as the torpedo struck.

Joab didn’t move.

The light cut out and suddenly Joab’s sword was point up, so fast a soft crack cut through the cacophony of battle.  A moment later the small torpedo struck the Iron Warriors cruiser, burrowing deep before the melta charge burned through As the panel disintegrated, cut to shrapnel by precise charges, Joab, unleashed, raced into the confusion.

The two Iron Warriors in the room never stood a chance, even the stolid sons of Perturabo took a moment to recover from the catastrophic blast of a boarding torpedo.  Ignoring the few surviving mortals Joab ran his blade under the arm of one, the point emerging from the other as he finally triggered the generator of the relic power sword, the initial energy discharge detonating the chest cavity and armor of the millenia old warrior he had just reduced to gore and scrap.  The bolt pistol in his shield barked twice, reducing the unhelmed head of the other Iron Warrior to a gory wreck before the first Primaris lifted a foot to join him.

Within moments the squad flooded the chamber, combat blades and boots silencing forever the mortals still struggling to comprehend the calamity that had befallen their fortress in the void.  Beacons bloomed as the rest of the boarding parties reported and Joab turned to follow the icon Cain had selected as the rally point for the party.  A large gallery that each team should be able to reach quickly.  Shield raised to just under his eyes, blade up and back, ready strike Joab ran the corridors as if he’d lived a lifetime in this ship.

Joab flowed down the corridors his legs a blur, his upper body rolling in the graceful rhythm of a swordsmen, always in perfect balance over his hips.  They erupted into the first blocking position the Iron Warriors tried to put in their way, almost a score of veterans of the long war, hastily but precisely building their defense.  They were not set when Joab erupted into their midst.  His blade flickered and danced, he moved with precisely controlled violence, denying the Iron Warriors a chance to fire at the Primaris emerging behind him while opening precise lanes for the Primaris to lay down the withering fire of their Bolt Rifles.  Any Iron Warrior hefting his bolter found himself using it to fend off a blade, anyone reading a blade found himself exposed to the fire erupting down the passage.

Suddenly an eruption of violence throws the Primaris back.  A champion of the Iron Warriors and his escort bursts in from a corridor, throwing back the two Primaris covering that corridor.  One crumpled, a giant power axe cleaving deep into his chest and erupting from his back.  A shower of gore exploded through the room as the top of his torso flopped loosely, held by a shard of armor and a flap of flesh and gristle.  The other warrior went down grappling with his assailant, combat blade and chainsword cutting at adamantium armor.  The other Iron Warrior came at Cain, his Plasma pistol scorching deep into Cain’s shoulder pad, he felt the burn on his flesh underneath, smelled the charred flesh.  He caught the Power Axe as it swung down on him, enfolding its haft with his power fist and snapping it.  Cain jammed his own pistol under the chin of the Cultist Astartes and pulled the trigger.

Joab turned from his last victim and brought his blade up in swift salute to the traitor champion.  Snapping the blade down he hefted his shield, angling it precisely.  The Iron Warrior brandished his own blade.  “IRON WITHIN, IRON WITHOUT!” he bellowed and swung his blade down.

Joab leaned to one side, catching the hook of the axe with the top of his shield and hooking the champion forward.  His own blade cut down sharply, cutting deep into the thigh of the warrior under the armor.  Strangely orange blood showered the deck.

“Blood within, scorn without!” called Joab, spinning around, hauling the axe down with his shield and decapitating the champion with a single, swift blow.

“Master Cain, Strike Force Bors requesting a landing beacon.  Our escort is heavily engaged and we cannot remain in the defense envelope of the cruiser much longer.”

Cain focused on the overlay a moment.  His force stood less than 30 meters from the rally point, the other boarding squads already occupied it.  “Bors, they will counterattack momentarily.  Breach the hull here,” he caused a beacon to blossom on a higher deck.  “And bring your firepower to bear on them in the galleries inward and below your entry point.”

“Affirmative, master”

Joab stood still as a statue by the corridor forward, Shamgar and two of his squad stood at the rear.  “Onward brothers, it will not be long before the Iron Warriors attack our lodgement.  We will form the shield for them to strike, Bors will be the hammer to shatter their forces.”  Without cheer or exaltation, Joab swung into motion, leading them into their fortress.


Last Son of Caliban: The Arrival

Master Cain sat in the command throne, his battleplate interfaced with the ships systems, projecting a constant stream of data across his faceplate.  The only data his eyes sought was the countdown to emergence.  Somehow the transit, one that should have taken barely a week, had stretched over two long months.


“Sensors, full scan, Vox, raise the planet and any ships in the vicinity.  I must know what has happened in our absence.”  He carefully retained his seat.  His eagerness could already be sensed in his voice, he did not care to add his physical presence to the nervous serfs of the crew.

Shipmaster Peleg, evicted from her command chair had selected a position by the sensorium.  The powerful screens, scopes and sensors quickly gathered information and the servitors evaluated it.  Peleg jerked upright.  “Master Cain!  Mordia has… changed.”  She chewed the word, sounding repulsed by what she saw.  Cain selected the scope observing the planet and felt his gorge rise.  The planet seemed to undulate.  Shimmering waves of color passed across the terminator, patterns that whispered in his head, promising knowledge, wisdom beyond measure, secrets unknown ripe for the plucking.  He turned off the screen.

“Scan the other planets.  Focus on Luminaria.”

Peleg forced herself jerkily to close off the view of Mordia.  As soon as that scope slewed away she snapped upright, shoulders back, another stab of her fingers brought up the view of Luminaria.

“Shrine World of Luminaria looks… Luminaria stands!”  Another few switches and everyone could see the shrine world glowing, surrounded by fire as fleets battled.

“Vox, raise Luminaria, now.  Any identification on those ships?”

“Working now Master” came the call from the young officer at the Vox station.

“Helm, bring us in, Polar orbit for now.”  He keyed his vox to the network for the troops onboard “Warriors of the Fifth!  Mordian has fallen, but Luminaria stands!  We will deploy immediately to support her defender against the foe, and determine what has happened during out overlong transit.  All hands to drop stations.  Bors your blade will stand by to deploy by drop pod to clear a landing zone should we need one, Nabbuk we will go in by Thunderhawk once Bors has cleared the way.”  Two clicks on the vox were his only answer, the subnets spiked with activity as his Lieutenants quickly changed his orders into action.

“Master Cain, Blade of Vengeance is hailing us.”

“Open channel.  This is Master Cain of the Dark Angels leading the 5th Battle Company.  We are inbound to support your forces,”

“Well met Cain, I am Captain Tybahlt.  I am not sure what you know, but Mordian has fallen, corrupted by Chaos, the foul sorcerers of Magnus have turned it into their plaything.  The Iron Warriors have destroyed most of Luminaria.  The Iron Guard defends the last few shrines.  We are trying to pull them out but the Iron Warriors have the planet under tight control.  We have destroyed several ships, but both our fleets have suffered heavy damage.  You and your escorts might cut a way through.  How many boarding torpedoes do you have?”

Peleg threw a switch, tagging the information for his attention.  “6, 2 Thunderhawks, and fighters for escort.  One of our escort brings several Ravenwing pilots with it, they can cover us.”

“Excellent.  I will alert Lord Astorath.  We should have targets by the time you enter strike range.  For now plan on that Grand Cruiser being your boarding target.  For the Emperor!”

“For the Emperor”  Again he swapped channels.  “Brothers!  Our cousins the Blood Angels have been fighting a long battle, and the Mordians a longer one.  They cannot hold even with our help.  Astorath and the Blood Angels wish us to help them, evacuate the survivors of this system.  We will cut open a path, and the Blood Angels will escort them free.  Nabbuk, bring your troops to the boarding torpedoes.  Bors, prepare the Thunderhawks for breaching actions.  You have 10 minutes.”

Bors responded almost instantly.  “Master Cain, We can handle the initial boarding!”

“I know Bors, but you have most of our firepower and I need to know where to bring it in before committing it.  The Iron Warriors will have turned that ship into a fortress, and we will have limited time to cripple it.  I will lead the initial boarding with Nabbuk, and plant beacons for your Thunderhawks to strike.  Keep the fighters with you for cover, and husband your forces carefully.  The Iron Warriors are tenacious fighters and will whittle you down at every chance.”

“I… Yes Master Cain.  You are correct.”  Bors clicked off the channel and began issuing his own orders.

“Shipmaster Peleg!”  Cain said over his speakers.

“Master Cain.”  Peleg braced to formal attention, the tall woman coming almost to Cain’s armpit.

“The ship is yours, deliver us to boarding range of the Grand Cruiser, my men will board and cripple her.  Smash aside her escorts, and alert us if other ships seek to intervene.  We must open a way for the transports that will be fleeing the planet soon.  Serve the First Legion well today Shipmaster.”

“As always, Master Cain.”  Peleg said evenly.  Making the sign of the Aquila across her chest she turned to the crew.  “General quarters.  All hands rig for close combat and boarding.  Bosun, send all available crew to the batteries, and ensure ammunition feeds are ready.  Engines, prepare for full burn as soon as Master Cain signals readiness.  Helm, I want a course ready to take us close enough to the Grand Cruiser to damn well walk to her.  Her gun batteries might reach a long way but they traverse like they are encased in lead…” Her voice cut off as Cain left the bridge.  Cain hustled now, Nabbuk should be nearly ready and the range to the cruiser was already closing.  As Cain approached the torpedo room he slowed, striding through with the careful pace of a swordsman.

“Master Cain, the target is the Ferrous Malice.  A Repulsive class, or close enough, lots of long range firepower.  We approach her head on, 3 minutes to contact.”

“Board the torpedoes brothers.  It won’t be long before Peleg delivers us into battle.”

Little Green Men: The Repulsor

I like most of the new Primaris line.  The models are well made, they look great on the table exuding a solid efficiency which goes especially well with the determined Dark Angels.  While not as flexible as the classic Astartes they work well, especially in larger battles.

What I don’t like is the Repulsor.  The concept of a heavy Infantry Fighting Vehicle isn’t a bad one, especially for the 40k universe.  The problem comes in the execution of… pretty much everything.  The kit itself is something of a mixed bag.  It’s highly detailed, solid, massive looking, but at the same time it’s busy, complicated, underscaled and fairly poorly designed.

When you assemble the kit it’s incredibly frustrating because gapping is inevitable. To have an $80 model that cannot be built without gapping even with a generous application of sanding, rubber bands and masses of glue is incredibly frustrating.  And I still need 3 more to complete my battle company because it’s the only transport that can carry Primaris.  In addition having a transport capacity of only 10 (as opposed to 12) means that any HQ characters need their own battle taxi.  In addition even when fully assembled it looks busy.  Every inch of the upper hull and turret seems covered with bric-a-brac.  Painting these is going to be a nightmare.

The rules for it are a mess as well.  Instead of making it a super Razorback, with beefier weapons and maybe an additional secondary weapon, they made it a super Land Raider with multiple primary weapons and a plethora of secondary weapons that requires a cheat card during the shooting phase to make sure you remember all your weapons.  Add to this the previously mentioned problem with finding a space for characters with your 10 man squads and these vehicles just have problems in the rulebook.

Finally, this Land-Raider sized vehicle is way too small.  I’m not kidding.  The doors are too small, the turret simply doesn’t have room for even a gunner and all the ammunition feeds for the half dozen weapons in it.  The hull doesn’t have room for a drive system, driver, ammunition/power supplies for the weapons and more than a couple passengers.  I really wish they’d brought in a level headed veteran to help them with the design.  I think the vehicle would be vastly improved by removing several turret weapons, some of the hull weapons, adding a couple passenger seats, and just being about 25% larger.  This would make it make more sense, be less of a time sink to use in a battle, and much more efficient (even with a slight price increase for the added size) as you don’t need an extra one just to be a 300 point commander’s taxi.

The problem with the Repulsor isn’t that it’s bad.  Because it really isn’t.  The problem with the Repulsor is that it’s mediocre from top to bottom.  It can’t QUITE carry enough.  It’s size doesn’t QUITE make sense.  It’s got just a FEW too many weapons to use without being frustrating for you and your opponent.  And the assembly is, frankly, bad.  Yes when that huge wall of lead smashes whole squads and a tank it can be a lot of fun.  Yes it’s real nice to zoom 10 intercessors out to an objective and then have a wall of metal and guns sitting there daring someone to make them move, but their captain is running along behind trying to get in range to bubble them, 10 hours later you’re done with your shooting phase, and all you can see is the gaps in the model.

Maybe GW has a Primaris Rhino planned for release.  It would be nice.

40k A Belated New Years

Hello readers and welcome to 2018!  It’s only almost April…

40k is still progressing.  I’ve played all of 2 or 3 games even!  I have yet to complete any models but I have gotten a lot of airbrushing done.  I have a squad of Hellblasters, 5 devastators, a Lieutenant (Bors gets a model!) all green, I need to assemble and prime/green the rest of the devastators (I’m awash in tac marine sprues for some reason).  I also have a LOT of wings and jump packs from the Sanguinary Guard which should let me make Bors, as well as another 5 assault marines as the awesome looking squad I already have.

This means that really all I have left to collect is vehicles.  Painting wise I am focusing on 5th company elements, then I will push more terminators and the Ravenwing elements.  Look for some pictures of my Fire Support teams soon, as well as an updated TOE for the company.  I’ve been putting some thought into it.  I am going to do some writing on the fiction as and when it strikes me, and I’m working on a HUGE major project for next year that I think will interest most of you.  For now, plan on seeing some miniatures next week!

Little Green Men: Last of the Year

So this has been a very productive year for painting.  More than 40 miniatures painted, including several vehicles, and all to a standard I’m very happy with.  December has been a rocky month with work being absolutely crazy but next month is already looking much better.  I have 10 Hellblasters, 4 heavy weapons, a Sergeant, a Lieutenant, a techmarine, and a medic all ready to go Tomorrow or Saturday I should be able to assemble the other 6 heavy weapons and get myself ready to paint my heavy weapons infantry and remaining characters.

Sorry about the potato picture quality.  I didn’t have much time to set it up.  Better stuff to come.

Currently I have 22 Tacticals in 3 squads (6,6,10) 10 Intercessors, 5 Assault Marines, a Captain, 3 Lieutenants, an Ancient, Zeke, a Predator, a Rhino, a Razorback, 8 Terminators all painted.  I want to get the 10 Devastators and 10 Hellblasters done ASAP.  They are so good in this edition.

2nd and 3rd I’m going to be doing some painting, at a minimum getting the Hellblasters done.  More than likely getting the devastators done as well.  This will get me to the point where I really just have the Inceptors, some of the Assault troopers, and vehicles to get the battle company done.  I know I’ve talked a lot about the bikes but I’ve re focused myself.  I want to get the entire 5th Company painted and on the table.  I need to get a couple other primaris characters, and paint a few others, but the command group is looking really good and the army itself is filling out nicely.  Purchase wise I believe I’m down to vehicles unless I add another Intercessor squad.  I have all the traditional astartes I need, including heavy weapons and specialists, while I do have a Veteran Squad I’d like to do they will be very expensive and require some additional skills I’ll need to work on to get them done.  I also would like to do another 5 Dark Angel Assault Troops with Sanguinary Guard wings, but again, 90 dollars for 5 marines is a lot.  Especially when I have 5 perfectly good assault marines sitting there waiting for paint.

I’m excited for next year.  I’m excited to see where the hobby goes and where my skills take me.  I’m already planning for Armies on Parade, for expanding beyond the 5th Company, and for what to do with all the Aeldari my wife has.


40k Year in Review

So I’m going to do a simple year in review for 40k.  Not much structure as this is just a horrifically busy week for me.  More an overview.

The Best of Times

8th Edition Release(s)

So after going through the fiasco that was the Age of Simar release, and watching as PP fucks up Warmahordes almost as bad with their 3rd Edition release, GW manages to orchestrate a very careful, organized launch, and carry that momentum clear through the end of the year, starting well before the actual release with the return of Magnus and Guilliman, and continuing through the release of 10 codexes this year, massive upgrades to Space Marine armies, and some pretty solid balancing of armies.

The New Kits

Holy shit these are great.  The Primaris look very good, even if they are a bit of a pain to assemble, the Death Guard look amazing, and all of the Primarchs look simply incredible on the table.

Events galore

Fate of Konor was a ton of fun.  Armies on Parade was great fun.  There’s plenty of chances for events from purely collecting/modeling competitions to ultra-competitive high intensity tournaments.  Des Moines has had at least 1 major event every month, and that’s JUST for 40k.

On Message, On Target

Ok, look, we all know I’m a feminist, and that representation in 40k is a bit lacking.  Female dominated armies are a bit lacking, and boobplate shows up a lot more than it should.  In addition the features of nearly every sculpt are very “European” even for armies that supposedly aren’t.  GW has been vocal about increasing diversity and cutting down on some of the more sexist elements of their models.  While there has been limited opportunity for them to do it with their long pipeline from project inception to release, they’ve played a lot of the right notes, now let’s see if the players on stage match the music.

Living Rules

I mean, yeah buying Chapter Approved every year is going to be a bit of a drain, but MAN it’s nice to see them FAQing and Errata-ing and just maintaining things.  SO nice.

The Worst of Times

(Not) Fixing the Rules

So the biggest things they needed to fix were invuln saves and re-rolls.  They did not fix them.  They added mortal wounds.  Now there’s army comps that can spam them through psychic powers that made the problem with Alpha Strikes just incredibly worse.  I think they will need to figure out what to do about the huge number of 4++ or better invuln saves (I think even special characters shouldn’t have them very often) and re-roll auras… I like how they make any character interesting but holy hell does it slow down the game.  Just give a +1 to hit or wound and call it a day.

Alpha Strike

First turn is huge.  Way too big.  I’m hoping next year’s Chapter Approved brings us some alternating activation because the way things are it’s just ugly sometimes.  You can be crippled in a turn and that before you get a chance to go.

Marines are great, what else is there?

Not.  Much.  Eldar got a brief re-release of old models.  No real upgrades or new releases.  Nids got a little love, but not much.  Grey Knights got nothing.  CSM other than Death Guard got nothing.  Other Chaos got only stuff originally designed for AoS.  I get that Space Marines sell better than anything, but they HAVE more than anything.  Give Eldar or Orks that kind of love and see what happens!


Things aren’t all steak and sunshine even for the Marines.  More and more, chapters with distinct and carefully developed histories are being turned into Ultramarines.  This isn’t good, it isn’t interesting and it doesn’t help the narrative.  Hopefully GW starts looking at the issue and either puts someone in charge of fluff development that isn’t Matt Ward.

It’s been a great year.  Probably the best for 40k in a long damn time.  There’s clouds on the horizon but there’s a lot of sun and a lot of clear seas too.  Just a matter of navigating the waters wisely, and so far GW seems to have hit more clear water the storms.

Last Son of Caliban: The Gift of Hate

Habbakuk sat in his quarters, looking at the dagger before him.  The dull green glow of the stone in its pommel seemed improbable coming from such an ill-cut lump.  The stone looked like it had been shaped with crude stone tools, yet it still glowed, even in the dull candlelight of Habbakuk’s quarters.  Interrogator-Chaplains lived in quarters far less spartan than the humble cells most of the Dark Angels brotherhood lived in.  Their role as both spiritual leaders, and guardians came with many trappings, some easy to understand, some far subtler.  Habbakuk hated the banners and the books.  Habbakuk hated the litanies and the lies.  Habbakuk hated the traitors and the easily led astray.  Habbakuk hated everything except the pure, clean truth.  But Habbakuk understood the need for shields between the true horror of the Fallen and the unprepared minds of his brothers.  He hated their weakness, but he understood their potential.  Habbakuk led them in the litanies he despised, steeling them that they might ascend to a higher understanding.

He contemplated the dagger.  A weapon of old earth, brought to Caliban and saved from the wreckage of Caliban’s destruction by the watchers in the dark.  The Khazd had crafted the stone in ages long forgotten.  Habbakuk knew that if he picked up the blade the stone would glow even brighter, responding to the strength deep within him despite its humble-seeming carving.   The Khazd must have been master craftsmen, but according to the documents that went with the stone they had been weak.  While commissioned to place this stone and other great ones into a necklace they had tried to steal it from a great king of the Telar resulting in a great war.  The necklace had been lost but the stone recognized when discovered in the early days of the Emperor’s reign.  A thing seemingly crude, yet possessed of a subtle strength it carried a powerful message.  One which Habbakuk wished to use.

Every warrior of the Dark Angels possessed a reliquary of weapons.  From the humble Neophyte with his noble bolter and simple carapace to Supreme Grand Master Azrael with an arsenal fit to arm a full company in splendor, the warriors of the First venerated the instruments of war, and Habbakuk was no exception to the rule.  The Inquisitor-Chaplain had fought for decades before ascending to the chaplaincy, and decades more before taking up the keys and blades of an Interrogator.  He brought with him weapons, armor and artifacts dating back to the dawn of the Empire and before.  Not to bear to war, his wargear he kept simple, but to use as tools in his quest to save the Unforgiven.

The door chimed as Master Cain requested entry.  Habbakuk signaled assent and the door slid aside with a soft chuff.  Rising to his full height the Interrogator refused to look up at the towering figure before him.  “Master Cain, you have come into much knowledge that we guard most jealously.”  He paused a moment.  “We protect the spirit of our brothers most zealously” he spat out in a voice suitable to grind rocks.

Master Cain looked back impassively.  Looking at the glowing coals of Habbakuk’s eye slits.  Even here in his quarters the Interrogator Chaplain sat prepared for war.  As if sensing the Master’s thoughts Habbakuk went on, grinding out the sentences.  “You must guard this information well, yet use it.  You must guide your brothers and your warriors, prepare them for their own day of enlightenment.  Grand Master Ezekiel and I hunt the Fallen.  You carry out your mission and help us guard the secret.  That is all you must do.  That is all you shall do.”

Master Cain glared into the lenses, his presence potent.  Habbakuk ignored it as a boulder ignores a wave crashing over it.  In a flash Habbakuk snatched the dagger by the handle, flipped it and hurled it at the Primaris.  Keyed up by Habbakuk’s hostility the Master snatched the dagger by the blade even as its tip pricked his chest.  Only his arm had moved, his gaze still locked on the black avatar of hate before him, he lifted the dagger to look at it before unfreezing to examine the beautifully crafted weapon, and the brilliant gem in its pommel.

“This is Nargond’s dagger.  The stone comes from old Earth, the blade from Caliban.  It has two loyalties, two homes.  It serves one Master.  Contemplate it as you master your new duties.  That is all.”

Little Green Men: Slow Holiday Blues


Ancient Uriah joins his Battle-Brothers.  The banner isn’t terribly exciting yet but I’ve got a couple ideas.  My freehand game is weak but I have a lot of transfers to work with so we will find some embellishments to add to it.  I got Lieutenant Smiley and built him with a helmet.  His smiling face might make it onto a librarian later, I decided to paint him by hand after priming him with an airbrush.  All the green you are looking at is Caliban green.  20171219_171618.jpg

Getting an even coat on the GW Base Caliban Green was not easy.  He’s going to take a lot of touching up.  I still have a total of 3 Lieutenants to do, an Apothecary and a Company Champion.  Oh and some Tarterus terminators.  That I’m doing cork bases for.  You may have noticed.

I also got a nice gift from a friend including a Dark Angels venerable Dreadnought.  The instructions are… The usual Forgeworld lack of instructions.  It’s not like it’s a difficult model but wow that is sparse.  I also have some Rhino doors to kit out the new Razorback.  I need to get some assault cannons for it, but that’s easy enough.  I also have a box of Hellblasters to assemble.  That’s going to be a bit of a chore as there’s a lot of part for not a lot of poseability.  They do look really good, and I can do a couple things to make them look even better, especially since the new Dark Angels Hellblasters box comes with not one but TWO accessory sprues and a really good Dark Angels transfer sheet that has both the Infantry and Vehicle decals all on one monster sheet.  It could be arranged better but it’s still an amazing added value to the box.

This leaves me with basically a box of Devastators, two Razorbacks, two Rhinos, two Repulsors, a Primaris Apothecary, Chaplain, and Librarian, a box of assault marines and Sanguinary guard to finish the assault squad, and that should get me the models for the whole battle company.  That’s an intimidating list, and I probably want another squad of Primaris Intercessors and their Repulsor as well just because they are so damn good!

Painting wise I’m going to whittle away at the command group a little bit more.  I want to get at least 2 of the LTs this week, ideally all three, and the apothecary to boot.  I’m still focusing on the “Greenwing” company, but I need to work on the bikes.  They are too good in the codex to ignore.  This project is going to last well into the summer just to get the company as it exists in the story on the table fully painted, but it will happen, and when it does, I’m going to have to find an Apocalypse game to play!

Last Son of Caliban: Divided Councils

Lieutenant Nabbuk knelt in his cell.  His robes laid precisely around him as he contemplated arms and armor.   The last week had been onerous, even for the transhuman Astartes and their Primaris cousins.  Suddenly Ezekiel had summoned them back to the Tempus Occidere.  The brothers had been ordered to their cells for equipment maintenance and told to assemble in the Strategium for a briefing from the master.

Nabbuk’s brow set in a deep furrow as he contemplated this.  Ezekiel and Habbakuk had let them know that Master Cain languished under the care of the Chaplains, and no one else had seen him for the week.  The watchers on board had been agitated.  A pair of them had watched him constantly since the time he had returned from the surface.  Others had been constantly wandering the corridors on unknowable errands according to the Chapter serfs crewing the ship.

The chime of his vox bead jerked Nabbuk from his thoughts.  He toggled it with a tilt of his head, and leapt to his feet as the voice of Master Cain sounded from the bead.  “Lieutenants, attend me immediately in Ezekiel’s chambers.”  Before Nabbuk could acknowledge the carrier cut off.  Nabbuk rose to his feet sharply turning out the door so quickly he had to twist to squeeze through the opening portal.  He paced down the corridors at as rapid a face as respect for his rank permitted.  His hood flipped up his arms folded down the opposite sleeves had paced down the halls of the strike cruiser, Bors fell in step coming around a corner, looking like a younger brother beside Nabbuk, despite having nearly a century on the Primaris.

As they approached the Librarian’s quarters Bors paused a moment, laying a hand on Nabbuk’s breast.  “Tread lightly brother.  Curiosity is not a virtue among our brotherhood.  We obey, we fight, and we guide our brothers.  We do not question.  Restrain.  Your.  Curiosity.”  Nabbuk reared back a moment, then bowed his head before turning to the door.  They entered Ezekiel’s quarters where Master Cain stood before Ezekiel, Inquisitor Zadok, Inquisitor-Chaplain Habbakuk, and Astropath Granik.

Cain stood in the center of the room, with all but Habbakuk in front of him.  The Inquisitor-Chaplain glowered from the corner of the room.  Darkened in deep shadow his eyes glowed like baleful coals looking over the assembled leaders.  Ezekiel hid deep in his cowl.  Bors walked in like a man pushing against a gale, then stepped to the side of the door inches from the wall.  Nabbuk followed his lead on the opposite side of the door.  Cain looked at Ezekiel a moment, as Ezekiel and Habbakuk glanced at the Lieutenants.

“Brothers.  We have been summoned.  The leader of the heretics lies under our Chaplains as we extract information to secure this world, but we cannot delay here any longer.  Skagerrak will hold without us.”  He nodded at the Astropath, her sunken eyes windows into a horror that Nabbuk didn’t care to contemplate.  “Granik he brought us a distress call from the planet of Mordia.  The Iron Guard calls for aid.  Commander Dante has called for loyal servants of the Emperor to aid them, and Supreme Grand Master Azrael has dispatched us.  We have already broken orbit, and will enter the Warp shortly.  The Navigator tells us a beacon shines on Mordia, which should greatly aid our travels.  Shipmaster Peleg tells me we should be there within the week.  We shall brief the company now, and then begin hardening their spirits to face the monsters of the immaterium.

Little Green Men: Codex and Battle

The long-awaited day is partially here.  We have the codex, I have mine and Lt. Smiley in hand.  I also have hellblasters.  I’m quite happy.

So the books is… unexceptional.  I’m happy with it, don’t get me wrong.  There’s some really neat bits to it.  The emphasis on plasma is really fun and fluffy and can be super scary.  If you save some CP for the end of the game where you can overcharge without losing so much if someone switches it from “burrito” to “self-immolation” you can put out a TON of S8, D3(!) shots with -4 AP

The characters are good, Azrael took a glancing blow from the nerf bat but is still in auto-include territory for competition.  Getting Stormravens is SUPER nice.  Razorbacks got nerfed pretty hard, understandably so.  Stratagems are very good, Contemptor is great, Psychic powers are very fluffy, but it almost feels like you want Zeke AND another psyker to make sure you have the coverage you need.

So we played a battle today.  2x Dark angels at 60 PP.  I had an Astartes LT with Combi-Melta, Power Sword, and the shroud relic, Zeke, a Techmarine, 2x 5 tacticals, 2x 5 intercessors, a rhino, a lazorback, a repulsor, and a partridge in a pear tree.  Warlord was the LT with the recycle CP Warlord Trait.

25354035_10160111533660221_3056547024613387985_n.jpgPlanetstrike was the game mode, so our opponents had 50 points of nids and 50 points of Death Guard.  The Nids player picked a gunline with exocrines, a zoanthrope, and a couple hive guard units.  No gaunts, stealers, nothing small.  Death guard brought a medium unit of poxwalkers, two units of something that could take a shit ton of special weapons, two predator annihilators and a pair of sorcerers.

We actually picked a narrow table edge, and our opponents compressed the board by deploying way far away.  I think they should have tried to jam more.  Firestorm barrage went off, forcing both opponents to burn 2 CP to push them away from concentrations of troops.  Even this didn’t save them as 1 hive guard was killed and another brought down to 1 wound.  Everything except my repulsor filled with inceptors showed up on turn one, the Flyer showed up deep behind the nid gunline, spitting out a nasty deathwing blob that proceeded to begin to wreak havoc behind the nid gunline.  My rhino / razorback raced up the side, advancing each of the first two turns to get into attack range of the nearest objective.


We misplayed the buildings, giving the defenders a lot of free bunkers, but I’m sure we messed up some things on the attack as well.  Anyway their turn one they turned on the terminators with a vengeance but… terminators are tough and only two died to the concentrated fire of the entire enemy team.  Our turn two my repulsor showed up and spit out two 5 man intercessor squads which immediately split up, half going to take the objective held by the weakened Hive Guard, half spreading out to guard the flanks of the character blob.


While the Repulsor’s firing was thoroughly disgusting, resulting in only a couple wounds on the predator, the one intercesor squad managed to secure the objective on the hill, killing the final hive guard in melee.  Meanwhile the Storm Raven proceeded to lay waste with its heavy guns, and Belial, Asmodai, and the rest of the deathwing proceeded to butcher the nids heavy shooters.

The character blob weathered some more fire, aided by both predators burning down my repulsor in one turn, showing the inexperienced intercessors how tank crews should do it.  Some fire from the death guard debouching from the bunker below the hill forced my intercessors to basically exchange fire until they got picked off one by one, while the other squad died shielding the flanks of the character blob from the other bunker.  The pox walkers and sorcerers tried to stop my infantry from the midfield objectives, resulting in Zeke being tarpitted after his covering squad died, the LT scoring 6 wounds on the sorcerer and watching 5 of the wounds get saved by Disgustingly resilient…


He ended up on one wound after the melee, killed the LT, then got gunned down by the Rhino, which proceeded to pile into the pox walkers.  The Lazorback avenged the Repulsor on one dread, while the Storm Raven killed the other.  Belial butchered the remaining enemy sorcerer, while the rest of the character blob secured two of the objectives.  The remaining plague marines finally killed the intercessors on the hill objective but the Razorback claimed the center objective, Belial another, and two more by Asmodai and the other terminator squad.  We killed both enemy warlords, they killed mine, leaving us with a 14-4 win as Zeke and the Techmarine finished off the last of the poxwalkers, leaving the surviving plague marines hiding in their bunker, surrounded by loyalists bent on purging the field.


Man of the match goes to the intercessors on the hill who soaked up a simply incredible volume of fire before finally going down the second to last turn.  Ezekiel was very entertaining battling poxwalkers, denying 0 powers, and only getting off a couple himself, although he did manage to kill 7 poxwalkers in one turn.  The Repulsor was the wimp of the match, terrible shooting results and then volleyed off the table.  The character blob was amazing, shredding nearly all the tyranids, while my partners apothecary managed to heal 0 wounds and 0 fallen brothers over the course of the battle.  Thanks medic!

We’re all still learning with 8th.  We all made rules mistakes.  Fortunately we are in a really great and supportive community.  We made as many mistakes in our opponents favor as our own, and every game we make fewer mistakes.  Other than forgetting the psychic phase.  Which everyone did at least once.

I’m looking forward to more games, and enjoying the ones I’ve played, I’m excited to see how things go for my Dark Angels, and still hoping we get the Lion back sometime this year.  Given some rumors I’ve seen it looks like we might get Khan, which would be a SUPER neat model, and a very interesting choice, Lorgar, who I would LOVE to see, a demon equivalent of Bobby G, and then the Lion towards the end of the year.  That would make for a great year for 40k.

Anyway, another victory for the First Legion!  Not sure when I’ll get to play again during the holidays but tuesday there should be a lot of painting, writing, and taking pictures to update my progress on the hobby aspect!