Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Force, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood and Skitarii legions, and perhaps the Titan Legion, Legio Gojira (which will never happen because I don't have money for Forge World Titans).

Oh, and I'll throw in the Thousand Sons from time to time because they're my favorite Space Marine Legion. I refuse to believe that they are Traitors! They're just...ahem...secretly loyal to the Imperium!

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Baneblade book review

Before I start the book review, let me first state that I own a Baneblade variant. Not the standard Baneblade, not even its sister tank Hellhammer, but a mere Stormsword. I could swap it for a Doomhammer, and I most likely wouldn't go for a Shadowsword because I'm not that desperate for a Strength D weapon, but I suspect the Stormsword is the variant I'll use the most, mostly because I want an apocalyptic blast-sized S10 AP1 attack that Ignores Cover. And now that I have 2 Chimera APCs for my Veteran troops, the Doomhammer's transport capacity is frankly, pointless.

So yes, I'm a fan of super-heavy tanks. I'll have to take a picture of my Chimera APCs, Leman Russ tanks and Stormsword and post them up one day. For now, let's move on to the book review.

Baneblade, by Guy Haley, is a fantastic book. Guy Haley has written an excellent novel focusing on the exploits of the super-heavy Baneblade, Mars Triumphant, but as with all Imperial Guard novels, what makes the book amazing isn't the tank but the men who operate and drive the tank. Guy Haley has developed an outstanding tank crew, featuring an uptight but otherwise likeable protagonist who received the chance to join the crew of Mars Triumphant after he pulled off an epic stunt that saved his tank company. Any guy who can fire off a concerted bombardment from a few Leman Russ tanks that sent a Stompa toppling over to trip a psychic Gargant deserves utmost respect. Colaron Artem Lo Bannick is the man, and the human heart inside the super-heavy tank.

Guy Haley has developed Colaron's character in detail - his characterization and growth are excellent. born on Paragon as a noble, he joins the Imperial Guard to seek redemption after accidentally killing his cousin in a duel (I don't understand how that's dishonorable, the dude was trying to kill him!), and a good choice too. He pulls off some awesome stuff that gets him promoted into an Honored Lieutenant in charge of his own Baneblade in the end.

That's not to say the story is all about him. His commanding officer, Cortein, is a beast, and the gunner Ganlick grows on you, as does the humorous Radden and the rest of the crew. Each has their own part to play in running a formidable tank just bristling with firepower like the Mars Triumphant, and it shows in their engagement in combat. No crew member is forgotten or left out of the narrative, each serving their role with distinction. And this actually adds on to Colaron's characterization - he develops a strong bond with these people, and when the inevitable casualties mount, he is left to mourn and wonder if the grief he is trying to escape from is basically present right here in the battlefield. A sombering moment.

The Orks also turn out to be very interesting enemies here, far from being the usual stupid brutes that recklessly charge forward and die to Imperial Guard's coordinated and disciplined firepower. I'll admit, I kind of got spoiled by Ciaphas Cain's exploits against dumb Orks, but Greeneye here turns out to be a formidable enemy that thwarts the Imperial Guard's efforts at every turn, outwitting them and laying waste to their armored companies. The Black Templars are unneeded, I want to see an Imperial Guard army defeat a foe without requiring the assistance from Space Marines, but the victory was won by Guardsmen, not the Space Marines. The Black Templars only came to mop up the Orks after they were beaten, so I'm not going to count them in. Yay.

The combat is fast, furious and in great detail, making for a highly entertaining read that I enjoyed tremendously. It's like watching a kaiju movie, where Godzilla faces off against Gigan - the Gargant certainly has that cybernetic feel to it. One day I'll try writing an Imperial Knight story where Super-heavy walkers duel with Gargantuan Creatures, but that won't be until the far future. Or at least until I get this semester done and over with. Sigh. Anyway, the action scenes are top-notch, as you would expect from a Warhammer 40K novel that doesn't involve Space Marines hacking their way until their enemies corpses pile as high to the ceiling or something...this is why I stick to Imperial Guard novels.

I highly recommend this book - in a word, I say it's awesome. I like it better than the Yarrick: Pyres of Armaggedon novel that I recently read, despite Yarrick also battling against all odds against an extremely cunning and devious foe (some parallels here). I guess it's the tanks, and for some reason Colaron feels a lot more relatable and a lot more human to me. Yarrick...well, he's a hero, but there's something in his narrative that doesn't click for me like Colaron does. Maybe it's his youth, naivety and inexperience that struck a chord in me, as opposed to the overly serious Yarrick who's all about honor, duty, sacrifice and yada yada.

So...for the Emperor!

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