Monday, 25 September 2017

Fiction: Eskade - Shrine World of the Wolf Mother

As he scratched at the festering wound in his side, Gurth convulsed before he wretched and delivered another serving of maggots to the rats beneath him.  The Wolf Mother had told him to come here. In doing so he had deserted the rest of his Chapter and travelled to the Charadon Sector along with his war band of Jackals. Months had been spent doing nothing while the rest of the Aureus squabbled and fought across the stars.  The Ancient had heard the tales of valour at Konor and the treachery of the new Primaris created to fight for them. He longed to be back in conflict, to show his chapter the might of Grandfather Nurgle.

“You’re disgusting and small,” rumbled a voice from above the Lord, the waft of breath scented with iron, smoke and charred flesh.

As the Jackal turned to greet his opponent he raised his volkite blaster with unnatural speed, his decaying limb flaking with the rapid motion. High above him towered a greater daemon of Khorne. Bewildered and lost for words Gurth pulled the trigger of his highly sought after firearm. The blasts tore through the beast's thick red skin but failed to penetrate the dense flexed muscle tissue below.

“Why does the Huntress choose such a weak and pathetic leaker to do her bidding? I am not your errand boy tiny man.”

“Ssstop… sssstop it with the insssultsss beassst unlesss you mean to fight me. My new massster has given me a force that will flourisssh in the eternity that is death. My legion of the undying is more than you can handle great one,” Gurth challenged, barely moving his infested facial features, as his clouded, singular cyclopean eye span wildly and without focus.

“I need to go and shed blood. I don’t have time for you or your so-called army. Here are your orders now do your work for the Huntress or I will be back to gut you,” spat the agitated Rögnvaldr’s, nostrils flaring as his temper increased.

With an almighty impact the rune stone hit the ground as the mighty daemon phased back out of reality. Masonry fell from the central shine chamber and the walls began to buckle. Having foreseen this moment many times over in his visions, Gurth grabbed the stone and ran towards the worn and submerged temple doors. Just like in his visions, he passed through the stonework as if it was water and clambered up the giant stone steps before him.

Inside of the temple there was a colossal statue magnificent and vast. A woman with the head of a wolf and the body of a human woman. One arm ended in a huge claw while the other hand held a vast daemonic blade.  The altar that stood before it, elegant and ornate, it’s centre filled with trinkets and scrolls of various sizes and colours. Each scroll simmered and distorted before his eyes. The surrounding walls were covered in scripture and perfect condition written in some ancient and forbidden language. Focusing on any part of the text made even the ancient astartes mind burn and his nose run thick with blood. Before he could investigate his surroundings any further a vast bird head with vibrant red plumage, came from around the corner.

“I have been expecting you Lord of the False Path, Unbeliever of the Truth. You have been chosen to protect this word, reap the reward of the Warp, free the Mother from her shackles and let the greatest hunt of the universe begin,” cackled the vast demented head.

Moving into the centre of the temple towards the altar, Gurth could see the vast bipedal form of the greater daemon before him. He knew he had been blessed or doomed to have been in the presence of two greater daemons within the hour. He began to approach before reeling back in horror as not one but two heads emerged, craning round to look at the astartes from behind.

“Fear is good and fear feeds the Mother of Wolves, bring fear to the system and protect her shrine world. You have been chosen to lead the armies of both humanity and Chaos in the name of the true Goddess of the Warp,” spoke the crimson plumed head, it’s eyes wide and unfocused.

“You have been chosen to die as a distraction for the ritual that is about to take place. Send your pathetic forces of the Grandaddy to death worm and let us feed off of your souls. Prove your worth!” Spat the head with flecks of green plumage.

Gradually it turned to face the Chaos Lord, one hand grabbing a staff and the other a mighty blade that’s surface constantly changed and twisted.

“Kill him now and then we can make a start on the preparations!” Snapped the green plumed head at the red.

“No he needs to be kept alive to defend this planet as the ritual takes place!”

The daemon moved with a grace and speed that Gurth had come to expect from most of the capable and older daemons in the warp. As the sword arm lunged at him, the arm with the staff intercepted. Beaks tore into flesh and feathers. Sword and staff bludgeoned and cut in union. Not able to comprehend what was taking place before him, Gurth left the temple with haste. Inhaling large amounts of the stale atmosphere he collapsed to his knees convulsing and contorting. His mind on fire he knew he had to protect this planet. For better or worse he was going to be part of something great. He had to contact the Deathguard, he needed their power, their protection and most of all their Primarch.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Battle for the Charadon Sector - Halloween Stratagems and Twists

The Canis Aureus along with nine other forces are fighting in my first ever long winded campaign. Run with narrative and cinematic moments in mind, ten players have assembled to try and conquer the system over a six month period. The idea is to keep the cheesy game play light and the missions story driven.

The map is a work in progress but all will be finalised by the end of the week.

Each month I will also be making fun Stratagems and Twist cards that are optional in battle. Below are the first months Halloween themed stratagems and twists.



Saturday, 23 September 2017

Daemonic Support

Having won with a full daemon army at 1000pts, I decided to go in again with half daemons, half chaos marines at 2000pts. The game was very close only leaving me with two troop units remaining against a fair amount of decent T'au units. Jamie fought well with his Pax'nera Sept, blowing away my most valuable targets.

It was a wonderful game and it has cemented my belief that daemons are a pretty great option in 8th Edition.

Daemonic Support

After wasting much time and slaughtering a number of his own forces, Rögnvaldr finally managed to get a portal opened to meet the Canis Aureus Astartes. They appeared to be heading into battle with the same brassy, blue skins that the greater daemon had just been in conflict with. Releasing a bellow of maniacal laughter, The Lord of the Unquenchable Thirst flew at the largest thing on the battlefield. As he brought his mighty axe down upon the riptide it's warning signals flashed and glared as its pilot was exposed. Far from the small retrieval party he had faced previously, these T'au bit back with extreme force. Rögnvaldr looked down at his perfect barrel of a chest to see his exposed rib cage and beating organs beneath. To die in battle was honour but to fall ineffective was a fate he could not bare to endure again. Launching upward he assisted the Aureus forces by smashing into the centre all tower. Hacking through masonry and plasteel, he eventually connected with the T'au leader's squad beneath. Sending the blue skinned body parts across the battlefield he roared in victory. As he faced off against the female leader he chuckled.

"You puny blue skins with all of your shiny, you think you are tough but I know different. I've shown you now. This is the true might of Rögnvaldr, I am ancient, I am terror, I am..."

"You are an egotistical brute with no honour!" Spat the female commander before charging at the gloating menace.

Her shots seemed to pass through him with little to no effect. Ego bruised, Rögnvaldr picked up the commander and ate her. He bit off her head first off her head before he threw the rest of her down his gullet whole.

Sulking at her accurate remarks, he decided to sit on the objective. Putting his axe down to one side, he jabbed at the machinery with his index finger. The lap dog of chaos never did understand technology. Part of him longed to understand the progress of races such as the T'au but more often than not his rage boiled over and he forgot about these deep thoughts as quickly as they had arrived.. Behind him a hellbrute exploded tearing apart the riptide and an obliterator. He knew the Aureus had prevented the T'au from getting what they needed but was repulsed by their ineffectiveness.

"All armour no sunstance," he said to no one in particular as he watched the T'au withdraw. Recalling the commanders insults a few seconds before he rose up and began to bellow in the direction of the retreat. The remaining crisis and stealth suits unloaded their weaponry into the greater daemon. Shots tore through his spinal column, separating his massive torso from his legs. The battle was over.
Fading out of reality the daemons took the technology back to their realm. Rögnvaldr left the Ta'u with the final image of his demented grin as his massive body phased back to his realm along with the console under his arm.

Friday, 22 September 2017

The Lord of the Unquenchable Thirst

On Wednesday I managed to secure an heirloom of an old friend from another friend that wanted to get rid of it.  My friend Ron had his bloodthirster for many years and it was one of his prize possessions. Sadly due to its lack of survivability in past editions, he eventually traded it for some other models.

For over a year I saw the greater daemon collecting dust at Jack's. Knowing that he wanted to get rid of a lot of the models that he did not field, I inquired about the model. Jack said he would sell it to me and now he is part of my collection and has already featured in three games in just as many days.  Below is some fiction to how he was acquired and his first battle alongside my forces.

The Lord of the Unquenchable Thirst

Wandering his prison for many decades Rögnvaldr had been denied combat. His soul bonded to a realm of desolate tranquillity. The dust beneath his feet boneless and missing the history of conflict. A bloodthirster of Insensate rage, he spent his days wailing and thrashing at the stale air and dust beneath him. Once a king among his army, now he was nothing but a joke. In the limited moments of clarity, he knew he had failed his master. A greater daemon was supposed to be the fear of all in the Warp and beyond. No one feared him. Every battle he had launched himself into he had failed, each one a depressing and hopeless loss. Now he sat collecting dust.

Perching on the only remaining piece of conflict, a broken ork truck, he sat and thought. His large taloned hands scratching at his thick-set godlike chest. The daemon had lost any sense of time and space. Wings bonded he had been denied flight and walking seemed a chore.

Suddenly the world lurched. The sand began to cascade downward, creating a whirlpool at his feet. he tried to escape but his hooves were bonded to the truck beneath him. Cursing and wailing he thrashed as the sand engulfed him.

Surrounded by fire, he felt like he was back at home. Stretching his now unbound wings, the embodiment of rage let out a roar that shook the rocky foundations beneath his feet.

"I am glad you are eager Rögnvaldr, Lord of the Unquenchable Thirst," spoke a raspy husky feminine voice.

Taken by surprise, the greater daemon turned to see the vast body of a female at least five times his height. Her hair wild untamed flame and her body glistening with sweat and seduction.

"I ain't got time for your Slaaneshy ways bitch, your gods just a tiny baby in comparison to Khorne!" He yelled, clutching at his ancient axe that was suddenly in his grasp.

"Do not be mistaken, I may look like a fiend of the Lord of Excess but I am no follower of any one god. I have benefited from the powers and blessings of many. My body is indeed the gift of Slaanesh, my Sword a gift from The Taker of Skulls, the hair a reward from the Changer of Ways and my internal corruption a curse of the Plague Father."

"I need blood, I don't care for your words woman!"

"Did your Lord give you blood? Have you been shedding Blood for the Blood god?"

Rögnvaldr looked at the floor, his arms going limp and his axe handing loosely in his grip.

"I thought as much," spoke the daemon, her Jackal head contorted in a bestial malevolent grin "I sacrificed the population of a planet for your release from your eternal prison. Now it is your turn to prove your worth. We live in a new age. Guide my legion of daemons to find the beacon of my shrine world and give it to Gurth of the Canis Aureus."

Before Rögnvaldr could question the mighty beast before him, he found himself in the realm of man. Sniffing the air he could smell the sweet innocent blood of the squishy blue men. Not sure of what orders to give the gaggling hordes of daemons he looked to his armoured gleaming enemies.

"KILL, KILL, and KILL SOME MORE!" Rögnvaldr roared.

Diving towards the devilfish he hacked it with his unrelenting fury. From the wreckage emerged the T'au fire team that then were dived upon by the daemonettes that surged beneath him. He had forgotten the excitement of war. Flying towards the next largest target he tore at the crisis suits, gleaming drones diving in the way of each of his blows. Spitting with rage he continued to swat them until he sunk his axe into the soft flesh beneath the crisis teams armour.

"Weak, weak you are all so weak before my might!" he roared in glee.

Rögnvaldr had never survived a battle or taken down anything of worth on the battlefield. Suddenly feeling a surge of admiration for his new leader, he knew he could get used to this level of slaughter.

Flamers darted across the battlefield setting T'au aflame, deamonettes moaned and shrieked in ecstasy, dismembering those in their path. Across the battlefield plaguebearers and the freshly diseased, marched forth blinking in and out of reality restoring what the T'au thought to be lost numbers.

Knowing when to cut her losses the T'au sun shark pilot retreated as the rest of her force was torn apart by the daemonic horde.

Victory had been swift but sweet. Rögnvaldr had cherished every moment, so much so that he had forgotten why he was even here. Approaching him, a daemonette held out a damaged ancient stone.

"My lord we have retrieved the artefact, we must now meet the Lord of the Aureus." she uttered in a raspy lust filled tone.

Embarrassed at his lack of focus and wanting to assert himself, Rögnvaldr brought his axe down onto the daemonette and picked up the artefact. Before pointing at a random daemon in his horde.

"Oi you! Open one of your portals, we have work to do!"

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Revenge for Konor

Yesterday myself and Jamie dealt with the wrath that was the Ultramarines.  Jack fielded a particularly cheesy list including a grand total of 16 las cannons across 2 devastator squads, a predator and two storm talons. Also in the fray was Guilliman himself, a primaris librarian, a squad of primaris marines a lieutenant and a Knight Errant. 

Even with all of the firepower, it looked like we had a solid victory in our hands until Jack scored two big objectives on turn 4. It was an intense game that ended in 11-10. Not prepared for such a nasty list, I was happy with our survival and performance rate.

My knight also survived until turn 4 saving almost all of the lascannon shots that impacted on his frame. 

Below is some fiction depicting the events of the game.

Revenge for Konor

Vengeance was inevitable. Before the dawn had risen, the forces had arrived. Interrupting the battle with a hail of lascannon fire, the Ultramarines descended. Veterans alongside a handful of new Primaris Astartes deployed with haste, raining fire down upon the forces of both the Pax'nera and the Canis Aureus. Their might and prowess was unlike anything either side had faced before. From out of the haze of battle came the colossal figure of a knight. It's blue armour catching the new dawns rays, illuminating the walker in a holy aura. Making a swift and silent agreement both forces stopped their advances on each other and turned their fire to the new and far greater threat. Still sore from Damocles the Pax'nera Sept wanted to reap vengeance on the Imperium more than quench their rivalry with the Jackals. The Aureus in turn wanted to reap the blood of those who had betrayed them many years ago. Despite being outmatched on the field, both T'au and Heretic fought side by side against the Primarch and his entourage. Gottfried knew he must act quickly. Throwing himself into combat with the enemy knight, he was certain this would be his final battle. Clashing his blade upon it's carapace, the knight reeled from the blows, falling backward sparking and thrashing. From below the Tau firing line punched through its hull into the pilot within. As it's systems failed the towering giant collapsed to the ground, a threat no more. From the south he emerged; furious and wanting vengance for both the Jackal's and T'au's assault of Konor. Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines charged into the T'au forces, raining the Emperor's vengeance down upon them. Shrugging off the hail of firepower, psychic aggression and the payload of bombs from above, the Primarch made his way through the sea of battle flattening all in his path. As the battle raged on Tallen witnessed the glory and prowess of the god on the battlefield. Weakened but raging with unmatched fury, the Son of the Emperor cleared the T'au deployment zone. Furious at the staggering losses his troops had suffered. In a valiant effort the T'au Commander Steadstrike had flown towards them, with the fallen Gottfried in his arms. The pilots torso had taken deep trauma and still retained a large shard of metal that impaled his chest. "Your Lord is no more but I have saved your most honourable warrior from destruction," spoke the Steadstrike on landing. "You can come with me or die here to the dogs of the Imperium. Those are your only options." In awe at the sight of the mighty warrior holding the Freeblade's pilot, Tallet looked to the commander. "We already have a subterranean escape route planned. The demo charges will seal us in and they won't be able to follow us. Well not with nine men and a flyer anyway, even if one is built like a god!" Grateful for the grunts forward thinking, Steadstrike followed the militia into the depths below. Both forces had lost the battle but Stead'strike knew that they had dealt a heavy blow to the Imperium of man. It was a sacrifice worthy of so much death.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Fall of Faustus

Deathguard and the Canis Aureus versus Bay'bee T'au and Pax'nera Septs

Last night Jamie achieved his first solo victory against me in a year of playing Warhammer 40,000. It was a momentous event and an amazing time. Due to the huge scope of the game and our armies' rivalry, I decided to kill off my high Lord Jackal once and for all. Faustus had been responsible for the fall of the T'au and the loss of one of their home systems. Now the Pax'nera Sept are on the rise and have a huge boost to their confidence. 

The last stand of Vlees.

The Fall of Faustus

Faustus had been so sure of victory on his return. He had heard the good news from the Charadon Sector. The Aureus had formed an alliance with the Deathguard in order to preserve the temple world of the wolf mother. They had waged war against the T'au forces and victory had been absolute. Not one of the xenos had survived.

Dropping from orbit, he had been quick to engage the enemy T'au commander. Swiftly, and with a brutal impact, the Jackal was knocked prone by two heavy punches. His armour cracked and open, his chest exposed. Faustus called to his demonic masters but there was no answer. Furious, the crazed psyker ran at his assailant. Steadying his aim, the Commander aimed his heavy burst cannon. The shots tore through the High Lord Jackal's exposed torso and he fell to the ground dead. Despite being more powerful and his senior, Vlees had no rule over the High Lord Jackal. Silently he watched, waiting to see the warrior's rebirth once again. He had known that Faustus had come back from death seven times before and each time led the Aureus to greater victory. The Ancient silently watched the smoking corpse of Faustus, clearly his time was over. Observing the battlefield, the Ancient witnessed his last two terminators fall to the huge volley of firepower from the T'au firing lines. Over one hundred shots tore the two warriors down. He advanced as he heard the death throes of his last remaining comrade, Danor. Danor had been his navigator out of the warp, a long and trusted ally in the last twenty centuries. His death provoked no feeling that could overcome the Lord's soul tearing and perpetual agony, but he was aware, deep down he had lost something he could never replace. Vlees had seen the field of battle most days that he existed in the warp. He respected this new foreign enemy. The T'au had fought efficiently and with great tactical prowess. Never before had he seen his men fall so fast in the line of fire. As he strode up the battlefield the xenos brought their firepower upon him, every weapon exploding with energy and hate. Sure in their victory, they gave no mercy to the lone Jackal. The impact of the volley would have been enough to obliterate a landraider. Over a hundred shots glanced off of his runic armour. Others collided deep within his extraordinary, indomitable form, the raw power surging through his core. Before him stood the forces of the Pax'nera Sept. He could smell a mixture of surprise and fear, which swiftly was overcome with the excitement of victory.

Not wanting to waste anymore resources the Pax'nera Sept fell back. The supplies had been held and the pickup had arrived. A great victory had been achieved. They had finally crushed the Canis Aureus after a year of unrelenting punishment, annihilation and withdrawal. Faustus was dead. The High Lord Jackal was one of the five great leaders, now that he had been defeated the T'au hoped it would diminish the threat for some time.
Deep within the storms of the warp She chuckled in a deranged hysteria that travelled across time. She had known many warriors but none as devout as the Jackals that worshipped her. Clutching her sword in her massive perfect hand she raised it to the daemonettes before her. Thriving in the anticipation of battle they eagerly awaited her command, leaping with fervour and glee. Slaanesh had been kind to her and she would give him the pleasure that he so deserved. Elevating her mighty claw, she sent forth the Horde of daemonettes to support the unbeliever. Once the Horde had left the confines of the twisted hall, The Huntress turned, continuing to torment and absorb Faustus' tortured soul. They emerged flickering and incorporeal at first. Women savage and twisted with the taint of chaos. Sexualised monstrosities, moaning and wailing in delight. Vlees began his advance and readied his axe. The Jackal understood the ferocity of what he was about to face. He stormed forth into battle, moving with a speed and elegance that his sheer bulk disguised. Once complimented by Russ himself for his vigour in battle, Vlees had known little equal. Using his knees, axe, feet and claw, he tore the horde apart. Every attack meeting its target and each blow fatal. He did not tire, he knew no rest. Wracked with the touch of the dark gods, he slew the daemonettes with ease separating bone and flesh. Eternal agony was the price of his power and he considered it a worthy toll to pay. The mute Lord ceased his fighting immediately as the daemonettes knelt around him. Vlees could hear their breathing, it had diminished; becoming relaxed and sedate. Comprehending his position and the task he had faced, the Jackal knew he had passed this test. Striding up to the tallest of the daemons before him, he placed his hand upon her face. No words exchanged, the daemons rose and turned to face the north. He could take this battle to the T'au without the further loss of life. The Jackal Lord knew the power of daemons and was grateful for the force that had granted him such raw, unrelenting power. He understood how to fight and lead better than most of his peers, but he lacked the knowledge of the warp. Twisted and Corrupted his body was tainted but he had kept his mind focused and true. He had slain greater daemons and been cursed by sorcerers time and time again but his will knew little equal. He would never be a slave to Chaos, but he would harness its power in revenge for the honour of his Chapter.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A Clash Against the Deathguard

Over the weekend it was my pal Ron's birthday. For the event myself, Ed, Josh and Ron assembled our armies to face off against each other. Ed and me formed a Mechanics-Space wolves alliance, while the Orks ran alongside the Deathguard. 

It was a close game with 3000 points a side. In the end the survivability of the Deathguard won the game. One lonely Deathguard model held the objective allowing the forces of Chaos to prevail over the forces of man.

Not having faced off against orks too much in the past, it was great to see the might of a Stompa on the battlefield. Intimidating and huge; it was a sight to behold.

Vlees and Jostien, the eldest and youngest leaders of the Canis Aureus.

The Ritual

Renegades and the lost had collected from all parts of the galaxy to hear the great one speak. Once a proud member of the imperium, like all astartes, his vision had changed. His skull, massive, bare and broken was a sight to behold. Long absent were his needs to communicate using the words of man. Now Vlees relied on far greater stimuli. No longer possessing eyes, his large cranium had built upon his nerve endings and sensory glands. The ancient's hearing and smell was unmatched among his rivals and peers. Proudly he had led his renegade forces from the warp to face off against the Tau and Eldar alliance. In his victory, he discovered that his chapter of origin were not only still active but also disgraced. Furious, Vlees gathered his warband of renegades and placed them under banner of his chapter. Deserters from the Emperor's Children, the Deathguard, the Thousand Sons, some Khorne beserkers and many other factions had chosen to follow their Lord over the centuries. Now they served the Canis Aureus, the Chapter out to get revenge on everyone for the treachery that had been committed against them. As he rose from his mighty throne of soul stone, Vlees commanded his legion to disembark and prepare to face the green skin menace that approached. Eager and cunning, the green skins had acted as a diversion for the Deathguard's more malevolent plans. Being one of the original Chapter's founders and firm battle brothers with the original High Jackal, Vlees had gained acceptance despite his altered state. Even under his horrific transformation, his stance and manner had remained unchanged. Slowly he strode down the long hallway of the Garmr, with the same pride and commanding the same respect as he had done over nine thousand years ago.

Gottfried had been waiting for a chance to fell the greenskins again. It was how he had spent the last three decades as a Freeblade under the service of the Imperium. His mighty Knight had been torn down and rebuilt more times than he could remember. The pilot's right arm, both legs, as well of a portion of his internal organs had been replaced with cybernetics across the years of conflict. As the last noble of House Aureus, he had taken these wounds with pride. He had hoped to clean the Aureus name with his efforts. After two decades it was clear that no matter how many green skins he eradicated there would be no promotion or acceptance of his heritage or that of his lost home world. As he began his advance on the colossal stompa before him, he was filled with pride. Never did he dream he would be fighting alongside the astartes of his home world. Working alongside the Ancient's legion drove him to seek greater glory. Thermal cannon belching forth molten hellfire, the knight collided with the metal beast before him. Lifting his reaper chainsword high, he cleaved chunk after chunk from it. Large sections of metal crashed into the ground, creating large clouds of fetid noxious fumes. The taint of the Deathguard was evident.
The belly of the Stompa was now open, from within burst forth a Horde of orks along with their mighty Warboss. They pulled the noble to the ground tearing and chopping at his legs. From the inside of his wreck he could see the mechanicus support drawing the green skins from his wreckage. Laughing, he knew he would get to live another day.
Crushing the once lush tropical vegetation underfoot, the mutated Chaos Lord crashed into the bloated, fetid landscape. Their strongest ally down, he knew it was time to give his aid and help turn the tide of battle. Firing his storm bolter and grenades from his custom-built power fist, he made his presence known. Inspired by his descent the marines piled out of their rhino and collided with the decaying lord before them. With the supporting fire of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the champion fell and his bodyguard soon after. Vlees turned his bloated weeping sockets upward and absorbed the sounds of mighty engine ahead. The stormfang gunship launched all of its ordinance into the gorkanaut next to him. As it tore the last of the first and second marine squad apart, the impact of the volley hit. The walker buckled and collapsed, leaving only one of the twenty jackal hunters standing. Surveying the disease ridden corpses of his brothers before him, Vlees silently commanded the remaining marine to begin incinerating the area. In the distance he could hear the lone surviving Deathguard marine finish his ritual. Even though the battle of might had been won, they had managed to stall the Aureus forces. The ritual was complete. He was was coming.