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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Compilaton of 8th Edition news

I'm not Natfka and I shouldn't try to copy or learn from him because...frankly speaking, I'm inferior and I'm not even worth...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Caling for Campus Wargamers!

I have just been to the Student Union Office today in Coffman Memorial Union, and to my chagrin I found out that the Campus Wargamers Club has been dissolved since 2011. Apparently they existed for 3 short years before going into inactivity and basically disappearing.

So this is a call for all those currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota (preferably Twin Cities) who are interested in Warhammer 40K and other wargaming activities. Please, if you want to revive the Campus Wargamers Club, let me know! I need 4 other people to bring the club back to life! Once we revive the Campus Wargamers Club, we can grab a room and have Warhammer 40K battles every Friday.

For the Emperor!

P.S. if you're not a student of the University of Minnesota, and would like to recommend me a place to play Warhammer 40K - like Tower Games, for example, please let me know too. Thanks!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Lord Inquisitor - Prologue

Great news, everyone!

The Lord Inquisitor - Prologue is finally done! Thanks to Erasmus Brosdau, the prologue has finally been directed and uploaded! You can watch the movie here on Youtube.



If you've subscribed to his Facebook page, The Lord Inquisitor, you would have seen the update here. He actually posted it 5 hours ago, but I was too slow. Nonetheless, if you haven't watched it yet, now's your chance! It's absolutely worth the wait! I have been eagerly waiting for it for a long time now, ever since the Grey Knights trailer, and I assure you it's worth the wait. The graphics are gorgeous, and it's evident a lot of work has been put into it. The quality is superb!

Anyway, dither no more. Watch The Lord Inquisitor - Prologue right now! The Emperor commands you!

As always, nobody expects the Inquisition!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Warhammer 40K in Minnesota

In Singapore, if you want to play Warhammer 40K, you have Battle Bunker in Bugis+. Easy to find, even if you're a foreigner. It's located near the center of the city, and has easy access through the MRT lines. So yeah.

In Minnesota, it seems that I can't really go around that much. The best place I can find - and by best I mean most convenient, is Tower Games. I think I'll visit Tower Games the most during my time in Minnesota. So yeah. Yay. And if anyone who is new to Minnesota wants to wargame or play Warhammer 40K, I suggest you check out the group Frozen North Gaming Club. They have a group on Facebook, and maybe they'll let you know how best to wargame and get together for Warhammer 40K.

So yeah, for the Emperor! Good thing I found Tower Games. I was cracking my head so badly over where to find a convenient hobby shop to wargame. Ugh.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Minneapolis

All right. Big news, everybody.

I'm in Minneapolis!

That's right. I'm no longer in Singapore. Starting this fall, I will be studying in the University of Minnesota, so I'll be staying in Minneapolis for about 5 years or so. I hope. I had best not screw around with studying, I want that PhD after all, and my research ideas are fun. I enjoy research and literature, after all. So yeah, I had best focus on that.

That said, I'm not going to be studying 24/7, so if I have a chance I'll try to jump back into wargaming. My friend at Battle Bunker is kind enough to agree to ship over my Imperial Guard army (and 1 Imperial Knight) over to Minneapolis so I can continue wargaming here. With that said, I'm going to ask if there's anyone who wargames in Minneapolis. What are the shops here? I've checked out Fantasy Flight Games, but while they have the board games, RPGs and Conquest (card game) for Warhammer 40K, they do not seem to have the miniatures. So I don't know if they play miniatures there.

I've checked out Fountain Place, down at Castlemoor, but wow...it's so far away from my rented apartment. Anyone can tell me if there's any other branch, or do I have to travel about 2 hours to get there every time I want to wargame? Ugh...

There's also Universe Games and Dream Vault, but they all seem so far away, and Universe Games - the nearest I can find so far - seem to have a fixed time schedule for games. That is, they only have miniature games on Tuesday mornings, and obviously I'll be in campus then so...that's a no for me. Ugh.

The only alternative is to save up, buy a car and drive to Games Workshop at Castlemoor every weekend. I'll see what I can do, I'll get a part-time job and stuff.

Anyway, that's the news, I hope you guys continue to enjoy Warhammer 40K, especially with all the Chaos Space Marines rumors inbound and stuff. And if any of you happen to live in Minneapolis, please help me out here and introduce me to a place for wargaming!

For the Emperor!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Imperial Knights Tactics

GIANT ROBOTS! No, seriously, we have giant robots/Mecha in Warhammer 40K! If you ever wanted to play Titanfall or Mechwarrior in the Grimdark universe of the 41st Millennium, this is your chance! Build an Imperial Knight, customize it with whatever weapons you want (like shooting stuff? Build a Knight Crusader. Prefer to run into melee combat and cut vehicles, infantry and Monstrous Creatures apart? The Knight Gallant is for you, man!), hop in, strap yourself in and pilot one of the most awesome mecha in Warhammer 40K!

Image result for imperial knights 40k artwork
6th Ed Imperial Knight Codex cover. I just love this artwork.  An Imperial Knight from House Terryn looming over a bunch of puny Space Marines (Ultramarines? Doesn't look like them).
Tau, you say? Pfft, who cares about their wimpy Riptides, ghostly Ghostkneels or clumsy Stormsurges. Our Imperial Knights destroy them in close combat, and even at range, they can hardly do stuff (okay, maybe the Stormsurge can, but make sure you wreck it in close combat before they fire off their D-cannon or Strength D Seeker Missiles). We have cooler Mecha than the Tau and YOU KNOW IT! To say otherwise is heresy, and you'll be reported to the regimental Commissar immediately.

Anyway, 7th Edition has brought with us a "new" Codex (well, not new as of this time when I wrote the article, it's more than a year old), with a few updates, Relics and Formations. So how do we use them? That's what this article is for.

Actually...it's going to be almost the same as 1d4chan's article on Imperial Knights tactics, so why do I even bother writing this? I think for the other tactics posts, I'll start changing things up otherwise there's no point. Just visit 1d4chan's Imperial Knights tactics instead.

Why Play Imperial Knights

1d4chan: Um...you have one?

Me: Actually...I have four.

My opponent gives me that stare. じぃぃぃ―

Me: Don't worry, I'm only going to bring one for the game. I won't use all four.

There's a good reason for that, and it has nothing to do with me being a good sportsman and giving my opponent a chance at winning without cheesing my way with 4 Super-heavy Walkers on the table. While it might sound awesome on paper to have four Super-heavy Walkers with 6 hull points each, overwhelming firepower in the form of high Strength low AP ranged weapons and Strength D melee weapons and a 4+ invulnerable save on one facing, when I actually put them into actual use it's...quite tactically impractical. Yes, they get Objective Secured in the Household Detachment, yes, they are immune to small-arms fire and any melee attacks of 6 and less, and yes, they ignore all effects on the Vehicle Damage Table with the exception of Explodes! where they lose 3 hull points at one go. But they are incredibly expensive - meaning a huge chunk of your army is gone whenever you lose one of these things, and they suck at holding Objectives. Trust me...you're not going to win many Maelstrom or objective-based games with 4 Knights.

Not to mention that the current meta is full of drop-pod melta-squads, Deep Striking Fusion Blasters or Melta, Tyranid Hive Fleet Detachment that bring up to 4 or 5 Flying Hive Tyrants because Games Workshop says you can now bring as many detachments as you want, and my opponent abused it by allying his Hive Fleet Detachment with a "normal" Combined Arms Detachment (Troops being Mucolid Spores), and tons of Haywire (Adeptus Mechanicus!) so you can expect to bid your Imperial Knights goodbye in 2 or 3 turns. Hell, you'll likely lose at least one Knight in your opponent's first turn. Trust me on this one.

And I haven't even mentioned the grossly underpriced Wraithknight that's more powerful than all the Knights with their Strength D options yet cost less in points. Someone's favoring Eldar this edition.

Image result for imperial knights 40k artwork
7th Ed Imperial Knight codex cover. Still cool. Baron Roland from House Cadmus, perhaps?
Why play them then? There are benefits to playing this army. For one thing, this is probably the easiest army to build and play, by virtue of you having the least models on the table. Your opponent doesn't have to wait for an eternity as you move and assign each of your multiple infantry squads targets, orders, movement or whatever. You just move each model 12". Not to mention, the Imperial Knights have very decent shooting at BS4, and are great at melee with WS4 and Strength D weapons. Even the Knight Crusader, who doesn't have Strength D melee weapons, can attack with at least 3 S10 AP2 attacks, because of his Super-heavy Walker rules like Smash. The Knights are great all-around units with amazing firepower and stuff, easy to learn, easy to play and very powerful if you know how to use them properly.

Additionally, you now have added flexibility in the forms of Relics and carapace weapons, the latter allowing you to slap on an Icarus Autocannon in case you have trouble with Flyers. While they die easily this Edition, the same can be said for your opponent - there is little your Imperial Knights cannot deal with, and they will definitely destroy at least half your opponent's army before they blow up (unless he brings all Flyers like 4 or 5 Flying Hive Tyrants). And when they do blow up, they usually send a big F U to your opponent by nuking the dudes that destroyed them. More than once have I laughed as my Strength D Apocalyptic Blast explosion nuked the Thunderwolf Calvary or melta/fusion blaster squads that melted the adamantine armor.

However, to get the best of your Imperial Knights, it is advisable to play them as allies or at least bring allies for your Primary Detachment of Imperial Knights. Even with carapace weapons, Imperial Knights aren't as flexible as what allies may offer, and have major glaring weaknesses that opponents can exploit (Flyers being a big one).

Imperial Knights shine most when taken as allies or when taken with allies, as their awesome might can be supplemented by meat-shields, powerful anti-air, haywire and multiple small units mobile enough to run around capturing objectives while your Knights play the Distraction Carnifex role and tank the heat from your opponents' guns - leaving the allies the chance to roam free doing what you need them to do.

Detachments

Household Detachment: 3-5 Imperial Knights of your choice, with the obligatory Warlord re-roll, plus all your Imperial Knights have Objective Secured! Woohoo! The Baron (usually your Warlord) becomes a Character, and can take Relics, receives +1 BS and +1 WS and re-roll To Hit rolls in challenges.
 - Do take note that Objective Secured is overrated for Knights...you might as well take the Baronial Court, which provides better benefits (see below), and Objective Secured is more efficient and cheaper when you take allies anyway. It's impractical to park 20-30% of your forces on a single objective, and you wouldn't be able to capture most of them anyhow. If you're planning on taking 5 Knights, then going for the Exalted Court is better, not only because of the crazy benefits (see below again) but you're going to shoot everything off the tabletop anyway, so you don't need Objective Secured.

Oathsworn Detachment: Fancy name for an allied detachment of Imperial Knights, it's for those who only want to bring one or two Knights along (if you bring 3, go for Household Detachment or Baronial Court, seriously).

Warlord Traits
1. Landstrider: friendly Imperial Knights add +1" to their run or charge rolls when within 12" of the Warlord. Sweet! This is for melee-orientated Imperial Knights (looking at you, Knight Gallants)
2. Favored of the Omnissiah: Any one standard weapon (except heirlooms) become Master-crafted. Uh...okay.
3. Exemplar of the Joust: Re-roll failed To Hit rolls when charging. Cool!
4. Cunning Commander: Your Warlord and up to D3 Knights have Outflank. Awesome!
5. Ion Bulwark: Warlord gets to re-roll failed ion shield saves rolls of ones. Combine it with the Exalted Court where your High King gets a 3+ invulnerable save and watch your opponent RAGE!
6. Knight Seneschal: Get +1 Attack. Cool, I guess? Most of the Warlord Traits are melee-orientated.

Wargear

Special Issue Wargear
Ion Shield: 4++ invulnerable save against shooting only (not melee) on any one facing, which you choose at the start of your opponent's shooting phase.

Ranged Weapons
Heavy Stubber: Standard Strength 4 AP6 peashooter that fires 3 shots that does absolutely nothing to anything except infantry. And with AP6, the infantry will probably survive anyway. It does have insane range, and you can use it to shoot at enemy units you're planning on Charging so that you can save your big guns for other threats. It is useful, even if ineffective in wounding (but you're going to use that Strength D weapon in melee anyway, so it doesn't really need to kill anything).
Meltagun: Hell, yeah, the meltagun everyone knows and loves, S8 AP1 Melta goodness that melts through anything with AV when within melta range. Downside is the pathetic range of 12" and thus the even more pathetic melta range of 6". Only meant for Knights that you're going to send right into the thick of melee combat, or you'll be wasting your 5 points.
Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon: Remember the good old Leman Russ Main Battle Tank's battle cannon? The reliable Strength 8 AP3 large blast that instantly glibs Space Marines or Marine Equivalents (MEQs) in the open to death? Hell yeah, it's back and better than ever - the Imperial Knight's version can fire TWO large blasts. That's right. TWO S8 AP3 large blasts, and it comes with an extra heavy stubber! Park your Knight at the end of your table and make use of that hefty 72" range! Don't forget the Ordnance rule, so you can roll 2 D6 for Armor Penetrating rolls and choose the higher one.
Thermal Cannon: S9 AP1 large blast with the melta rule that absolutely vaporizes Terminators or Terminator Equivalents (TEQs). You only have one shot, though, unlike the rapid fire battle cannon, and it's half the range at 36" (meaning your melta range is 18"). Don't be fooled by the melta rule, though. You're not supposed to use this to destroy vehicles. It's for Deep Striking Terminators and other TEQs with that annoying 2+ save. That said, if you're stuck in close, you can try and blow vehicles up by hoping you roll a 5 on the Vehicle Damage Table.
Avenger Gatling Cannon: 12 S6 AP3 shots with Rending! Awesome! This is the most versatile weapon in your Imperial Knight arsenal, capable of almost everything, from mowing down infantry squads to glancing lightly armored vehicles to death with its high rate of fire. Your go-to weapon for most things, and it comes with a Heavy Flamer to boot! Don't forget the heavy flamer, it's S5 AP4 template that Ignores Cover, so use it on impertinent mobs who have gotten close enough to lob melta bombs or haywire grenades at you.
 - Carapace Weapons
Ironstorm Missile Pod: S5 AP4 large blast with Barrage (fire from out of line and sight, and hits vehicles from where the blast originates rather than from the direction your Knight fires). With 72" range, it's a sweet weapon meant for wiping out hordes of infantry. Storm of Iron! The cheapest of the 3 carapace weapons.
Stormspear Rocket Pod: 3 S8 AP3 shots at 48"...well, essentially a 3-shot missile launcher with only krak missiles. The most versatile of the three carapace weapons, able to shoot at anything - for example, Instant Death-ing those Space Marines in the open or stripping hull points from a vehicle. The most expensive carapace weapon, though, so be warned...I personally think they're worth the points.
Twin Icarus Autocannon: 2 S7 AP4 twin-linked shots with Skyfire and Interceptor, this is to go-to weapon for Imperial Knights if you're facing Flyers. The middling option in terms of points. Not exactly the ideal anti-air weapon, so if your meta is full of people bringing nothing but Flyers (like 4 Flying Hive Tyrants), slap them on and use the Skyreaper Lance Formation. Otherwise...not worth it. Generally not worth it at all. Bring Skitarii allies with 3 Onager Dunecrawlers equipped with Icarus Array, it's much more efficient and effective.

Melee Weapons
Reaper Chainsword: Standard melee weapons for all your Imperial Knights, it's Strength D AP2 chainsword.
Thunderstrike Gauntlet: Like above, it's also Strength D but in the form of a gauntlet this time. However, it has the Colossal rule which basically means Unwieldy for Super-heavies (striking at Initiative 1). The cool thing is that if you kill a vehicle or Monstrous Creature with the Thunderstrike Gauntlet, you can then throw the dead model away in a shooting attack at up to 12" at any target. It's a large blast with no AP, but its Strength is counted as the Monstrous Creature's Toughness, or half of the vehicle's front AV, rounded up. Very fun, gimmicky, but most of the times not worth the extra 10 points or striking at Initiative 1 unless your opponent only brought vehicles and tanks (like my Emperor's Fist Armored Company).

Heirlooms of the Knightly Houses
Fancy name for saying Relics. Yes, your Imperial Knights can take Relics now if you take the specific Formations or Household Detachment that turns one of your Knights into a Character. Best if you take an Exalted Court - all your Knights become characters and can take heirlooms! Keep in mind you can only take one of each heirloom per army, though.
Banner of Macharius Triumphant: All friendly units within 12" of the bearer must re-roll failed Morale, Pinning and Fear tests. Worthless without allies, still not as useful with them unless you're keeping your allies close to your Imperial Knight as meatshields - then yeah, it's worth the cheap 10 points it costs to bubble-wrap your Knight with re-rolling Morale meatshields.
Helm of the Nameless Warrior: Gives the guy Rampage, so allow him to rampage! Expensive at 30 points, but generally worth it because your Knight will always be outnumbered in combat unless you're facing another Super-heavy or Gargantuan Creature (like Wraithknights...ugh).
Mark of the Omnissiah: Grants It Will Not Die. Your Knight will still die, though, but an additional 30 points for a 1/3 chance of regaining that valuable hull point for your dying Knight might be worth it. Getting a Tech-priest Dominus ally might be more cost-effective.
The Paragon Gauntlet: Fancy name for an upgraded Thunderstrike Gauntlet that gains Master-crafted for 15 points more. Huh. Okay. Keep in mind that this must replace your Thunderstrike Gauntlet, so you need to already have one before you can replace it with this, making this cost 25 points in actuality.
Ravager: An upgraded Reaper Chainsword with AP1 and allows the bearer to re-roll failed To Hit rolls of 1 in close combat. Pretty sweet, but also costs 25 points. Still worth it, as with WS4 it means you'll be landing a lot of melee attacks.
Sanctuary: An upgraded ion shield that grants a 6++ invulnerable save to all the other facings that is not covered by your usual 4++ ion shield. However, as with the normal ion shield, it can't be used in close combat. One of the cheapest heirlooms, second to the Banner, and very useful especially if you bring an Exalted Court and give it to your High King. Now you have 3++ ion shield save on one side and 5++ on all the others. AWESOME!

Unit Analysis
Don't forget that all your Imperial Knights count as Lords of War, and therefore are purchased in special detachments such as Household or Oathsworn Detachments that allow you to take multiple Lords of War. Meaning these aren't your usual Combined Arms Detachment, so if your opponent has to choose a specific unit (such as HQ, Troops, Elites, Heavy Support, etc.) for whatever reason (target or benefits against those types), let him or her know.

Take note that all Imperial Knights come default with a Reaper Chainsword (with the exception of the Knight Crusader) that has an option to be replaced by a Thunderstrike Gauntlet (except the Knight Gallant who already has both). All Imperial Knights can also take carapace weapons and replace their heavy stubbers with meltaguns for 5 points, no matter what type they are. Yeah, all of them have at least one heavy stubber, and some have 2.

Knight Errant
Your first Imperial Knight, armed with a Thermal Cannon and the second-cheapest at 370 points. Normally used for anti-Terminator duties, he can also be used to run up the table and melt a Land Raider within melta range. This guy's short range means you're more likely to send him in the vanguard of your forces, get stuck into melee, and rip things apart with that S9 AP1 large blast of his. Upgrade your heavy stubber to a meltagun for 5 points for more melta goodness, and watch him fly right into your enemy's lines. Yay. You can swap his Reaper Chainsword for Thunderstrike Gauntlet for the laughs, but otherwise the basic melee weapon does fine in close combat with its Strength D.

Knight Paladin
Your second and basic Imperial Knight who used to be the jack of all trades. Armed with the rapid-fire battle cannon, he's a versatile Knight that can literally do anything, from Instant Death-ing Space Marines and MEQs, stripping hull points off light armored vehicles, and throwing large blast pie plates around on your opponent's squads of infantry. TWO large blast pie plates, in case you haven't read the one above. His battle cannon's range means he can sit back at one end of the table and chuck those large blasts from safety. He's also armed with 2 heavy stubbers, so you have another 6 S4 AP6 shots, and if anyone Deep Strikes or gets close enough, you can charge them with him. He's no slouch in melee after all, being armed with that Strength D Reaper chainsword.

Don't just discard him, though. While the new Knight Warden might be more versatile, the Knight Paladin has more range, and his 2 large blast attacks can potentially deal a lot more wounds than the Knight Warden's 12-shot Avenger Gatling cannon, so he's actually more useful against blobs. And Ordnance means you're more likely to immobilize a squadron of vehicles (or destroy their weapons) with this guy with penetrating hits (2 chances, too!) than relying on the Knight Warden to glance them to death with only 12 shots.

Knight Warden
The new Knight, who takes over the Knight Paladin's role as the jack of all trades. His 12-shot S6 AP3 Avenger Gatling cannon with Rending can pretty much mow down anything, from wiping out small infantry squads to stripping hull points off vehicles, but bear in mind he has a shorter range at 36" so he will have to wade into the thick of battle where he's vulnerable to counterattacks. He also has a heavy flamer, so make liberal use of that before your opponent attempts to tie you up in melee with Fearless tarpits or something. As with the Knight Errant (and also Knight Paladin), you can swap his Reaper Chainsword for Thunderstrike Gauntlet for the laughs, but since both have Strength D and the latter strikes at Initiative 1, I would suggest sticking to the former.

Knight Gallant
Not as gallant as his name sounds, this guy is completely melee-orientated, armed with both a Reaper Chainsword and Thunderstrike Gauntlet. This means he gets one extra attack. He only has a single heavy stubber for shooting (replace with meltagun if you want), but you can probably take a carapace weapon if that's your thing. However, that's probably not why you took him. The Knight Gallant is the cheapest Imperial Knight at a "mere" 325 points, so he's usually taken so that he can fit inside lists already bloated with several super-expensive Knights, you know, to make the points cut.

Knight Crusader
This is the dakka Imperial Knight who is the complete opposite of the Knight Gallant above. That is to say, he is shooting-orientated. He comes stock with a thermal cannon, which you can replace with a rapid-fire battle cannon for 5 points (and you should), and an Avenger Gatling cannon on the other arm. So you can potentially fire up to 2 S8 AP3 large blasts, 12 S6 AP3 Rending shots, 6 S4 AP6 heavy stubber shots and a S5 AP4 heavy flamer template with just this guy alone. That's a lot of shots. Throw in a Stormspear rocket pod for even more dakka, and you can have him sit back at the field throwing shots everywhere. Best of all? Being a Super-heavy Walker, he can fire all those weapons at DIFFERENT targets. Watch your opponent cry as you obliterate 5 different units with just a single Knight Crusader!

Don't let the lack of a Strength D melee weapon fool you - the Knight Crusader is still no slouch in melee. He can deal 3 S10 AP2 attacks by virtue of Smash, and still has those Stomp attacks, so as long as he's not facing another Suepr-heavy Walker or Gargantuan Creature with Strength D melee weapons, he should be fine in combat.

He's also the ideal Knight to take in an allied detachment if you have the points to spare, but trust me, that almost adds up to 500 points (470, to be exact). Then again, that's the same cost as Gerantius, the Forgotten Knight of Sacred Mountain in Alaric Prime (see below).

Special Characters

Gerantius, the Forgotten Knight: A Knight Errant that's green, you can find his rules in White Dwarf (funnily enough you can't find them in the Sanctus Reach: The Red Waaagh! campaign). He has It Will Not Die, shoot AND run (take note you can't run and charge if you do this, though), must re-roll ones for Stomp, and best of all, has a 3++ ion shield. Don't forget he also has an innate BS5 and WS5, so those attacks will certainly hit! Can't be taken as your Warlord, though...but why would you want that? Make the other Imperial Knight your Warlord and you have 2 WS5 and BS5 Imperial Knights running around the table.

Obsidian Knight: Taken from the Warzone Damocles: Mont'Ka campaign, he's a black Knight Paladin with BS6 and WS6, has Preferred Enemy and Hatred (Tau) and a 3++ ion shield like Gerantius. Awesome. Those blue Tau campers are going to get squished no matter what. Yay.

Formations
Exalted Court: An extremely pricey formation that must take 5 Imperial Knights, but the benefits are enormous. First, all 5 Imperial Knights are characters who can take heirlooms AND get +1 BS and +1Ws. One of them is a High King or Princeps (your Warlord, duh), who gets +2 BS and +2 WS instead, +1 to his ion shield saves, the obligatory Warlord Traits re-rolls and re-rolls of To Hit rolls of ones in close combat. If you play large games and have 5 Imperial Knights, then it's worth taking this formation. Trust me. Worth it. Don't forget to buy Sanctuary for your High King, so he'll not only get a 3++ invulnerable save on a facing of your choice, but 5++ on all the other sides - and all for only 15 points!
Baronial Court: This is in some ways better than the Household Detachment, even if you don't get Objective Secured.  You still get to re-roll your Warlord Traits plus re-roll To Hit rolls of ones in close combat, and your Baron or Warlord has +1BS and +1WS while becoming a Character to get a heirloom. All Knights within 6" of each other get a +1 to their ion shield save on the front arc. Plus if they are within 12" of your Baron, they can Overwatch (AWESOME! Especially with Knight Wardens and Knight Crusaders in your army!) and Counterattack!
Tripartite Lance: The 3 newest Knights (Knight Warden, Knight Gallant and Knight Crusader) become a single squadron (like Leman Russ tanks) so they all charge and engage in melee combat together. Each Knight gives the other Knights benefits until he is destroyed. The Knight Warden, while he is alive, reduces enemy units' cover saves by 1 when all Knights in this formation fire at them. Knight Gallant, while alive, gives all Knights in this formation D3 Hammer of Wrath attacks instead of 1. Knight Crusader, while alive, gives all blast weapons in the formation Twin-linked...but it's completely useless as he's the ONLY one with blast weapons so it doesn't matter anyway. Not exactly a very useful formation, unfortunately, as if tarpits tie up your 3 Knights in combat, that's a hefty chunk of your army unable to do anything for a good part of the game. And the benefits are pretty meh, considering Hammer of Wrath is AP- and your enemies will make their armor saves anyway. Only the Knight Warden's reduction of cover saves can be considered useful, but it doesn't make the formation worthwhile.
Gallant Lance: A lance that is gallant...ahem. Three Knight Gallants with Crusader and Rage, and they can re-roll failed charge distances. Sweet, and can be a budget allied formation to your ranged forces that have no melee capability (I'm looking at you, Imperial Guard). Not too bad, but circumstantial depending on what allies or Primary Detachment you brought along.
Skyreaper Lance: Seems like someone at Games Workshop heard all the feedback about how Imperial Knights were ridiculously weak against Flyers, and they decided to come up with this Formation as a solution. 3 Imperial Knights of any type but all must take twin Icarus autocannons as carapace weapons. In return, they can re-roll failed armor penetration rolls against Flyers, re-roll those glances to try and get penetrating hits, and failed To Wound rolls against Flying Monstrous Creatures. Not worth it, you're better off taking Skitarii allies with Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawlers instead. I mean, you're taking about 1,200 points of Knights just to fire 6 twin-linked Skyfire shots at AP4 at a couple of Flyers. Nope, not worth it at all.
Adamantine Lance: A formation taken from Sanctus Reach: The Red Waaagh! Campaign. 3 Knight Errant or Knight Paladin of any choosing, they can re-roll failed ion shield saves as long as they are within 3" of each other. Like the Tripartite Lance, they get D3 Hammer of Wrath hits instead of 1, regardless of who dies, so pretty cool. While 1d4chan may say otherwise, take note that 3" is a very short distance, and bunching your Knights together to get that ion shield re-roll is generally not very sound tactically. Not only are they more vulnerable to blast weapons, it also means they can't run around the table capturing Objectives or shooting enemies (unless you brought 3 Knight Paladins, then you can shoot all over the table no matter where they hide). I haven't even talked about the disaster that comes from having a Catastrophic Explosion - imagine losing one Knight, only to lose the other 2 because they both also got caught in the Apocalyptic Blast Strength D radius! That would be an instant tabling (unless you have allies, but seriously, that's more than half of your army gone). Not to mention, you can only take Knight Paladins and Errants, so you don't have access to the more versatile Knight Warden, the shootier Knight Crusader or the cheaper Knight Gallant. All in all, the Baronial Court is better, and provides more benefits and bonuses.

Allies
Well, to be honest, Imperial Knights are usually taken as allies to other armies, but if you really want to take them as a Primary Detachment, here are several suggestions.

The Imperial Guard (Cadians) fight on, backed up by a Baneblade and an Imperial Knight. Yes, there's an Imperial Knight in the background behind the Baneblade, looking a little...lost.
Imperial GuardAstra Militarum: Meatshields. Bubble wrap your Imperial Knights with lots of expendable meatshields. Not only that, these guys are mobile, cheap scoring units with Objective Secured should you take troops. Stick Veterans in Chimeras and drive them all over the place to capture Objectives while your opponent is distracted with shooting down your big, scary Knights. For a very fluffy army, you can bring tanks, you know, combine your Emperor's Fist Armored Company with a lance of Imperial Knights to create an armored spearhead like those you read in the campaigns and novels. Very cool. Not only that, you have access to some of the best anti-air such as Vendetta gunships!
You can also take Stormtroopers Miliatrum Tempestus as allies if you want, because not only do they have Objective Secured when taken from the supplement, they have several cool orders, can Deep Strike, Move Through Cover and grab objectives from right under your opponent's nose like the ninja wannabes they are.
Skitarii: A very fluffy and excellent choice, because they provide the best anti-air you'll ever need through squadrons of Icarus Array Onager Dunecrawlers with 4++ invulnerable saves, cleaning out hordes with the Skitarii Vanguard's radium carbines, and in general complement each other very well. Having trouble with vehicles? Grab arc rifles for your Vanguard or Rangers and glance those Land Raiders to death before melting the Terminators inside with your Knight Errant. Or throw your Sicarian Ruststalkers up the table to hurl those haywire mindscrambler grenades at those Land Raiders, whatever you fancy. Sydonian Dragoons can help with close combat against tarpits with their taser lances, and Sicarian Infiltrators are force multipliers for your Knights, reducing the enemy's WS, BS, Leadership and Initiative by 1 so that you can strike at the same time as that pesky Wraithknight for mutual destruction (rather than one-sided destruction).
Cult Mechanicus: If you're not taking a Knight Errant, Kataphron Destroyers with heavy grav will be an awesome addition to your army. Or Kataphron Breachers with all that haywire goodness to pop open transports, Land Raiders and other vehicles while your Imperial Knights stomp over and flay them alive with their usual weaponry and/or Strength D melee goodness. However, the real reason you're bringing Cult Mechanicus along is for the Tech-priest Dominus. Not only can he repair your Knights on a 2+ (1 hull point) which is invaluable - you can slap on an Uncreator Gauntlet and take a chance to see if your Knight recovers up to 6 hull points in one turn (usually you'll just restore one or D3 on average). Hilarious if you pull it off, especially after your opponent worked so hard to deep strike all those meltaguns/fusion blasters to bring your Knight down to 1 hull point. Hah! The Emperor protects! Uh...in this case, it must be the Omnissiah.

Tactics
Beware of tarpits! Particularly those with haywire grenades or meltabombs. Veterans charging your Imperial Knights with meltabombs can be scary, as are Sicarian Ruststalkers, Dark Eldar and other dudes with haywire stuff. Tau Fire Warriors with EMP grenades...not so much and if they are that close, charge them and wipe them out in close combat before they can do anything to you.

Be careful. The moment you bring an Imperial Knight (or an army of them) to the table, your opponent will most likely go all out and bring drop pods loaded with melta squads or Deep Striking Crisis Suits, Stealth Suits and Ghostkneels with fusion blasters, or lots of other things. And then there's the Stormsurge with Strength D missiles and Wraithknights that will nuke your Knight from far away with their ranged Strength D weapons (how do those things cost under 300 points?!). Also beware of armies of Flyers such as Tyranid's Endless Swarms or 4 to 5 Flying Hive Tyrants in a single game. The best way to counter these guys are...unfortunately not bringing more Knights, but having a lot more variety in your army. Supplement your Imperial Knights with small, mobile squads of say, Veterans or Stormtroopers to capture objectives while your Knights serve as a distraction like the big fire-magnets they are. Bring Onager Dunecrawlers or Vendetta gunships for anti-air if necessary. If your opponent counters with Gargantuan Creatures of their own, bring Stormtroopers with their delicious orders to eliminate them with Elimination Protocol before they can take out your Knight. Easier said than done, I know.

Then there will be opponents who will outnumber you with tarpits. Surround your Knights with blobs  of your own or tanks to prevent them from getting tarpitted. Tanks and the Emperor's Fist Armored Company might be a good idea because your opponent will most likely be too distracted with the Knight to shoot your Leman Russ tanks, leaving them to drive around and razing the rest of his army with their BS4 bonus. Or bring Skitarii to use them as even more durable meatshields with exotic weaponry that can take out enemy vehicles and infantry alike, what with all that access to haywire and radium rounds or just taser them to death. If you're bringing Cult Mechanicus, adapt accordingly - heavy grav for Gargantuan Creatures like Wraithknights and Terminators or TEQs, and haywire for heavily armored vehicles like Land Raiders and Leman Russ or other Super-heavy Walkers and Vehicles. Particularly if your opponent thinks countering your Imperial Knights with Imperial Knights of his own is a good idea, bring those Kataphron Breachers as allies and enlighten him on why Knowledge is Power. Against Eldar, it might be good to bring a mix of Kataphron Destroyers with heavy grav to take out those pesky Wraithknights, Wraithguard and Aspect Warriors or whatever, and Onager Dunecrawlers to take out Wave Serpents (though they are no longer as trollish as they once were with those stupid cover saves).

The Cadians (Imperial Guard) fight desperately against the Ork hordes of Warboss Grukk Facerippa, their Imperial Knight allies of Alaric Prime adding their immense firepower in the background. As I said, Imperial Knights never fight alone.
Remember, variety is key. While it might be fun to plop down 5 Imperial Knights on the table, you're better off tactically by bringing allies to supplement your Knights. Just read the fluff - the Imperial Knights never fight alone! They're always accompanied by Skitarii infantry running underfoot to help clear tarpits and make up for the numbers, or lumbering beside the columns of Leman Russ tanks of the Imperial Guard (not to mention the Imperial Guard running underfoot...again, but this time trying not to get squashed). Just look at the pictures above!

So yeah, keep this in mind, and bring your Super-heavy Walker out with troops to back him up! For the Emperor!

Knights of the Imperium! We ride!

Other Links:









Skitarii Tactics (under construction)

Cult Mechanicus Tactics (under construction)



Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard Tactics (under construction)

Monday, August 22, 2016

Updated the Mechanicum Tactics page

Whoops! Looks like I'm late to the game. I've updated the Mechanicum 30K Tactics page to include Anacharis Scoria and the new Arlatax Battle-automata. Yay.

The reason why I'm so late with it is because I only just recently found a copy of the Horus Heresy Book 6: Retribution. So I quickly included these two new guys in once I found the new Mechanicum units at the end of the page. Have fun! Or not...anyway, the new Arlatax Battle-automata looks to be a BEAST! Fitting, considering Anacharis Scoria's unique Cybertheurgy is Rite of the Beast and he can take one as a bodyguard!

For the Omnissiah! Uh, wait...isn't Anacharis a Traitor? Yeah, he is. Part of the Dark Mechanicum. Death to all the Traitors and Heretics!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Draconian Armored Battle Group

While writing Battle Report 11 (or actually, while playing the game for Battle Report 11), I figured I might as well take a picture of my armored Battle Group to show everyone how the Draconian Armored Battle Group functions.

A super-heavy Stormsword tank escorted by an Emperor's Fist Armored Company
 So yeah, that's usually how it works. Usually the core of the battle group is the Stormsword super-heavy tank, who travels as the center or the pillar of the armored convoy. Understandably enough, he provides the main firepower of the group, the big guy everyone rallies to. Escorting this super-heavy element is an Emperor's Fist Armored Company of about 5 to 6 Leman Russ tanks (more when I add to my collection). We usually have the Leman Russ Vanquisher and Leman Russ Main Battle Tank hanging at the back, firing from safety with their enormous ranges, while the Leman Russ Punishers make up the vanguard, spearheading the assault with their Punisher Gatling cannons. They are flanked by Leman Russ Executioners, because...well, everybody loves plasma. It's a pity the latest FAQ nerfed Preferred Enemy for blast weapons, so the Leman Russ Executioners will probably go extinct now.

That said, my Leman Russ Executioner actually did a whole lot of damage and I was lucky enough not to roll any Gets Hot! rolls (okay, so I had one, but even then I passed the save and didn't glance myself) the last game, so I might just put my trust in the Machine Spirit of that particular Leman Russ Executioner. For more details, read Battle Report 11, which is just below because I had just finished writing it an hour ago or so.

Armored Convoy of Super-heavy element escorted by Emperor's Fist Armored Company
Doesn't this remind you of the armored convoys of Tallarn's war machines during the days of the Horus Heresy when they fought back against the Iron Warriors? Hell, yeah! I'm a fan of heavy armor, and super-heavy stuff just appeals to me. Maybe it's from the days of Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance where I would try to spam Experimentals, but don't the Baneblades, Stormswords and their variants remind you of the UEF Fatboy from Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance?

Anyway, I hope to be able to make use of this armored convoy again someday! For the Emperor!

Battle Report 11

As my days in Singapore draw to a close, I have to get ready to fly off to Minneapolis soon. Perhaps I shall start a new chapter in my Wargaming hobby when I find the local gaming store there, but I'll need to ship my Imperial Guard over. And one Imperial Knight, as that guy is the whole reason why I'm playing Warhammer 40K.

Consequently, I played what is most likely my final game in Singapore, at Battle Bunker today. I am very grateful to my opponent, who was such a good sport and agreed to have a game with me even though he was supposed to play X-Wing with some other person. Thank you!

Anyway, it was an Imperial Guard versus Space Marines (Imperial Fists) game. The game was set at 1,850 points because my opponent wanted an official tournament feel to it, or something, and we ended up playing Maelstrom, rolled a 6. So it's that mode where you draw 6 objective cards at the beginning, and slowly whittle it down by 1 with each subsequent turn (5 in turn 2, 4 in turn 3, etc.). I brought my Cadian Battle Group (or Draconian Battle Group as you already know), but this time I brought my Kamikaze Troopers (Storm troopers or Militarum Tempestus platoon for those of you not familiar with my Draconians) and an Emperor's Spear Aerial Company of 3 Vendetta gunships instead of my Stormsword. My opponent used Gladius Strike Force...actually, he used the Sternhammer Strike Force.

Basically, I'm not sure what's going on, but this was what my opponent brought along:

Sternhammer Strike Force

Command
Strike Force Command, Lysander. Yeah, he brought along a single Captain Lysander as his Command. Yup, that cheesy guy who's clad in Terminator armor, has 4 wounds, Eternal Warrior, a 3++ invulnerable save thanks to his Storm Shield and a freaking Thunder Hammer that hits at S10. Ugh. What a monster.

Core
Battle Demi-Company. A Captain...I think (not sure if it's Captain Lysander here or he used Captain Lysander as a separate Command choice). 3 Tactical squads with 10 men each, with 2 squads armed with 1 meltagun each. I think. 1 Assault squad, all armed with jetpacks. Yay. Jump shoot jump goodness. And 1 Devastator squad armed with lascannons. Oh, and the obligatory Dreadnought with a multi-melta. Two of the tactical squads are loaded into drop pods, because why the hell not?

Auxilliary
Now this is what I'm not sure about. I have completely no idea what's going on here. Basically my opponent brought a Combined Arms Detachment (yes, he brought a CAD) as his auxilliary, and he assured me that it was legal and part of the Sternhammer Strike Force. I have my doubts, but whatever. I'm here to have fun, not to debate rules and be a lawyer. If he says so, so be it.

Anyway, his Combined Arms Detachment consisted of a Librarian as his HQ, 2 5-men tactical squads with no upgrades, another Devastator squad with lascannons, and a 3-men Centurion squad with grav guns. The Centurions were loaded up inside a drop pod along with the Librarian, whom he didn't bother to roll on the Psychic Table or used his Psyker powers. In his own words, he said that he only took a Librarian because he's the cheapest HQ (cheaper than a Captain and a Chaplain). Why he didn't bother taking the Devastator and Centurion auxiliaries, I have no idea, and when I checked my digital copy of Angels of Death when I got home, I don't see anything about the Sternhammer Strike Force taking a CAD as an Auxiliary. To make matters worse, he told me that all his Devastators have +1 to their armor penetration rolls against my tanks because of some Imperial Fists Siege Hunter rules. And when I just checked the book, it says against BUILDINGS only. Well, I suppose everyone makes mistakes. I make them too. I guess.

Those blue Space Marines are meant to be Imperial Fists. That's right. Imperial Fists, not Ultramarines.
Oh, and yes, those blue Space Marines are meant to be Imperial Fists, not Ultramarines. That's right. My opponent switched chapters to Imperial Fists shortly after he painted them, so he's going to have to repaint them all over again. Only Lysander is in the proper colors. Man, I don't envy him. Painting is not my forte.

Anyway, on to my list.

Cadian (Draconian) Battle Group

Battle Group Command
Company Command Squad, armed with heavy flamer and 3 flamers. Yes, trust me, equiping them with flamers was worth it. Loaded on one of my Vendetta gunships.

Core
Emperor's Fist Armored Company. Leman Russ Vanquisher with lascannon as the Tank Commander, a Leman Russ Main Battle Tank with lascannon as squadron buddy, a Leman Russ Executioner with plasma cannons and lascannon, 2 Leman Russ Punisher tanks with 3 heavy bolters each. And the obligatory Tech-priest Enginseer.

Auxiliary
Emperor's Spear Aerial Company. 3 Vendetta gunships. Hell, yeah! I finally get to use them!
Militarum Tempestus platoon, otherwise known as Kamikaze Troopers. Old school stormtroopers. Anyway, a command squad with 4 hot-shot volley guns, and a 10-men squad with 2 meltaguns. The 10-men squad took a Taurox Prime with Taurox Gatling Cannon and twin-linked hot-shot volley gun as Dedicated Transport while the command squad rode on one of the Vendetta gunships.

So yup, that's 1,850 points worth of Imperial Guard versus Space Marines! Let the game begin!

Cadian (Draconian) Battle Group versus Imperial Fists Sternhammer Strike Force

We rolled off, I had the first turn and my opponent failed to seize the initiative. By the way, my Warlord, the Company Commander, rolled the Staunch Traditionalist Warlord Trait (he rolled Above the Thundering Guns trait first, which is entirely useless given how my Warlord already has Voice of Command AND can already issue 3 orders thanks to the Cadian Battle Group benefits, so I chose to re-roll it). That would be the death of him, as you'll see later.

Someone really ought to kick the guy who wrote those useless Cadian Warlord Traits into the Eye of Terror.

Turn 1

Anyway, I started first. I drew 6 objectives, and I think one of them was Hold Your Ground, another was grab an objective I was near to, and another was Overwhelming Numbers. I can't remember. Anyway, I deployed with my Tech-priest Enginseer sitting alone in one corner, to hog Objective 1. Yay. He remained there for the entire game (yeah). I tried to move my tanks up to grab Objectives 3 and 5, while keeping them in the Tank Commander bubble to grant them BS4, as well as keep half my tanks inside the deployment zone to grab Hold Your Ground. My Taurox Prime also zipped up to grab Objective 5 because my Punisher wasn't able to reach it, but my other Punisher reached Objective 3.

On the other side, my opponent had deployed with his 2 5-men Tactical squads out in the open (because we didn't have a lot of terrain on the table), a 10-men tactical squad, Dreadnought and Devastator squad all squeezed inside a single building (for cover and to secure Objective 2), the 2nd Devastator squad parked inside a 2nd building to capture Objective 4. The Assault Squad, along with Lysander, was deployed right next to the 2nd building for some reason, also out in the open, but they do have intervening cover from the jungle in the middle of the table.

The inexorable advance of the Emperor's Fist Armored Company toward the hapless Traitor Space Marines.
Anyway, I opened fire with my tanks. Combined shooting from my Punisher and Taurox Prime completely wiped out one tactical squad, while my other Punisher took out the other tactical squad, who was wounded after my Vanquisher and Main Battle Tank fired at them. The latter completely scattered (I think) or killed only 1, while the Vanquisher killed another with his lascannon (his Vanquisher cannon completely missing despite being BS4). I can't remember, but just know the 2 tactical squads were wiped out, giving me First Blood.

The Executioner didn't get any Gets Hot! rolls and went on to disintegrate 2 or 3 dudes from the Assault Squad. With First Blood on my hands, plus Objective 3 (or was it 5?), Hold Your Ground and Overwhelming Numbers, I earned 4 points. I had 3 more, I think one was Objective 2, another Objective 4 and the last one was Witch Hunter. Ugh.

My opponent then dropped 2 drop pods right next to and in front of my tanks. The Centurions and the Librarian poured out of one of them and basically wrecked my Tank Commander (the Vanquisher) with their grav shots. Wow, grav is awesome...unless used against me. Ugh. Oh well, there goes my BS4 benefit. NOOO!!!! Funnily enough, the other guy who came out of his second drop pod fired his meltagun pointblank range into my Leman Russ Executioner, and despite being within melta range, rolled a combined D2 of 5 (a 1 and a 4), and only had an armor penetration of 13. Not enough to even glance my AV14 front armor. Poor dude. Anyway, he combat squadded the 10-men squad and split them up into 5 each.

The Devastators fired upon my tanks and their lascannons failed to glance the AV14 front armor of my tanks, while the Assault Squad moved, ran and then jumped toward Objective 6 but just couldn't make it there...

My opponent drew Assassinate, which he had gotten, and some other objective I can't remember, for about 2 or 3 points. Oh boy, that's close!

Turn 2

I rolled for reserves, and while I fluffed my first Vendetta, my second one came in and I opted for the 3rd to automatically come in as well. I then declared a low-altitude drop for the Stormtrooper one so that they could jump out without scatter and hose down a tactical squad with their hot-shot volley guns, which they did. One Punisher and those Kamikaze Troopers that grav-chuted from their Vendetta wiped out one tactical squad while the other one was also wiped out by my other Punisher. Yay. So another 2 tactical squads bite the dust.

The Centurions were taken out by combined fire from my Leman Russ Executioner AND my 2 Vendetta gunships, firing their 3 twin-linked lascannons to slowly peel the wounds off them. Apparently the Librarian had 3 wounds, but was Instant Death-ed by a lascannon from my Executioner. Woohoo! That earned me Witch Hunter. On the other hand, I accidentally had one blast plate scatter right into my Punisher and glanced a hull point off him. Ouch.

I had drawn Objective 6 this time, so I quickly moved my Taurox Prime up to capture the objective, which the Assault Squad had run to but failed to capture, so I scored that too! Anyway, I took out about 2 or 3 with my Taurox Prime, but failed to wipe them out. Fortunately, my Leman Russ Main Battle Tank fired and squished the remaining jetpack dudes with one shot of his battle cannon. Woohoo. Another Space Marine squad blasted into a bloody pulp. Nice!

I can't remember the other objectives, but I pulled ahead to about 6 or 7 points. I think.

My opponent then responded by dropping the other drop pod next to my Taurox Prime (but for some reason he didn't shoot the Taurox Prime?!). He had his tactical squad, Dreadnought and Devastators stay in cover, but suddenly he claimed that he forgot about the Imperial Fists' Siege Hunter bonus that allows them to add 1 to their Armor Penetration rolls against vehicles. As I said, only now I found out that he misread that bonus and it only applies to Building Damage Tables...oh well. Lysander slowly moved, but to where I have no idea.

Anyway, I think he wrecked one of my Punisher tanks with the combined fire from the Devastators. Ouch. I don't remember. Anyway, I think that's about it. I can't remember what Objective he secured, but apparently there was one with D3 points, and he rolled a 5 or 6, which granted him about 3 points, which pulled him up to 5 or 6 against my 6 or 7, cutting my lead by a lot.

Turn 3

My 3rd Vendetta came onboard while the other 2 zoomed around. I dropped my Company Command Squad, but they scattered all the way to in front of the forest I was talking about earlier...right in front of Lysander of all people. Ugh. Anyway, I had drawn Objective 4, so I moved my Taurox Prime up the table to the building with Objective 4 and disembarked my troops, but they were unable to get into the building because I rolled snake eyes for move through terrain and got 2 ones. Ugh.

However, my shooting was vicious. I think. My Vendetta gunships fired upon Lysander, and only put one wound on him. Meanwhile, I threw out orders for both my Company Command Squad and Storm troopers, with "Forward, for the Emperor!" for the former and "Fire on my Target!" for the latter. The flamers didn't do anything to Lysander, unfortunately (so you must be wondering why I said they were worth buying). On the other hand, thanks to "Fire on my Target!", my Storm Troopers emptied their meltaguns and hot-shot volley guns with Ignores Cover and exterminated the Devastators camping inside Objective 4. Yay.

My Punisher killed 1 Combat Squad...I think, meanwhile my Executioner completely scattered all his shots and did absolutely nothing. Ugh. On the other hand, I rolled a Gets Hot! roll of 1, but thanks to rolling a 4 after that, my Executioner didn't kill himself. Phew. The Main Battle Tank fired on a drop pod, and while I could roll 2 dice thanks to ordnance, I only rolled a 1 and a 2 (or was it a 3?), which meant my Main Battle Tank did nothing against the drop pod. What luck.

I can't remember what objectives I earned here, but I succeeded in gaining a few more to about 9 or 10. I think. Oh, I remember. I drew Hold the Line. Thanks to my Company Command Squad, my 10-men Storm Trooper squad and Taurox Prime (now a separate unit since my Kamikaze Troopers disembarked from it) being within 12" of my opponent's side of the table, I scored D3 points and I rolled a 6. So I pulled ahead by a lot, maybe about 10 or 11. Whoohoo!

My opponent had to kill a character in a challenge or something, and to grab Objective 4, or something. And he also had to grab Objective 6, which he was in position to do with his last, remaining combat squad. He killed 1 of my Storm Troopers there in the open, ouch, but I have 9 men left. Kind of pitiful, actually, given how many bolt rounds he fired...or it was because I made my saves. Carapace Armor and their 4+ armor saves really make a difference. He had begun moving his Dreadnought and Tactical squad out of cover and into the open, finally making a move. They fired upon my Kamikaze Command squad, taking out 2 guys. The remaining 3 guys actually failed their morale test and ran away. HEY! Leadership of 9, and I rolled a freaking 11?! I lost a Punisher Tank as well, which was painful. That meant I only have 2 tanks left. Oh boy.

What happened next was kind of hilarious. Lysander charged my Company Command Squad, who responded by squeezing the triggers of their flamers and creating a Wall of Death. The boltgun, unsurprisingly did nothing, but the sheer amount of wounds the Wall of Death inflicted on Lysander actually managed to take 2 wounds off him. Yes, even with a 2+ Terminator Armor save, he actually lost 2 wounds to the flamers. That's why I said it was worth buying them the flamers.

On the other hand, my Warlord's Staunch Traditionalist forced him to issue a challenge, which Lysander promptly went and won, beating the poor Company Commander's ass into a bloody mess with his S10 Thunder Hammer. Ugh. The wounds spilled over and 2 more Veterans died, leaving the other 2 to run off, terrified at the sight of a Captain in Terminator Armor crazily swinging his giant hammer around like some sort of Khorne berserker.

These Space Marines really have fallen to Chaos, eh? Time for us Imperial Guard to do our duty in the name of the Emperor and purge these Traitors!

Hmm...what happened here, I can't remember, but I think he had a point for Slay the Warlord and for Objective 6, so he pulled to 8 points or so.

Turn 4

I can't remember what I drew this round as well, except for one card that really stood out and yelled at me. Slay the Warlord. That's right, I drew Slay the Warlord, and I had a Lysander with a single wound left in my sights. This is doable! No, I MUST do it! I must kill the Traitor Captain! FOR THE EMPEROR!

So I basically threw everything I had at Lysander. Oh, wait. I'm getting ahead of myself. The two flamer Veterans continued running away from the sight of the Terminator Captain bearing down on them, but I did regroup my Kamikaze Command Squad. Meanwhile my 9 surviving Kamikaze Troopers jumped into the building to capture Objective 4, with me rolling a 6 to bring them to the second floor of the building. Yeah, now I remember, that's another objective I captured. My second Vendetta gunship promptly flew off the board while my remaining two pivoted to face Lysander.

Anyway, everyone and anyone that could fire on Lysander did so, but the bastard was a tough nut to crack. He survived all the lascannons that my Vendetta gunships threw at him with that absurd 3++ invulnerable save of his (stupid Storm Shield), he survived the single meltagun shot (1 missed, whoops), he survived a volley of hot-shot las-fire with his 2+ Terminator Armor save, and I was forced to use my Taurox Prime to fire upon him. Finally...FINALLY! Lysander FINALLY died to a single round from the Taurox Prime's Taurox Gatling cannon. All it took was a single roll of 1, and when my opponent rolled a 1, that was the end of Lysander.

Slay the Warlord is mine. WOOHOO!

Again, my Leman Russ Main Battle Tank and my Leman Russ Executioner scattered so badly I might as well not have bothered firing their cannons. At least I didn't roll any Gets Hot! rolls this time. Phew. On the other side, the three Kamikaze Troopers (the remnants of the Command Squad) rallied and took out 2 of the Tactical Marines that were advancing upon them. Yay?

That earned me 2 points (I rolled a 4) for Slay the Warlord, another for securing Objective 4, and brought my points total to 13.

Um, my opponent opened fire with his storm bolters on his drop pods to kill the 2 fleeing flamer Veterans, his Tactical squad moved closer to kill the 3 Kamikaze Troopers and wiped out 2 in the process, as did his Dreadnought who also moved closer and melted the Kamikaze Captain (or Tempestor Prime) with his multi-melta. On the other end of the table, the Tactical squad rushed in to throw krak grenades at my Taurox Prime, taking a hull point off it, and then charged it to destroy it in close combat before consolidating at the foot of the building my Kamikaze Troopers were in, supposedly to hide out of sight so that my Kamikaze Troopers couldn't fire on them. I think that earned him D3 points for No Mercy, No Respite, and again he rolled a 5 or 6, earning 3 points to pull himself up to 11 against my 13. Wow, that's so close. It was making me nervous how he was catching up so rapidly.

Turn 5

My Vendetta returned, and I saw that I have to secure Objective 5 again. Oh well. So I dropped one of my Vendetta gunships to hover mode to capture Objective 5, only for my opponent to point out that there was a drop pod on that objective, and it had Objective Secured. Darn...except that your drop pod is right in front of my Vendetta.

So my Vendetta fired three lascannons shots into the drop pod...only to miss all 3. Yes. I had twin-linked, I re-rolled all 3 misses and I still MISSED. What the hell!? Groaning, I then have my second Vendetta that just came on again to fire at the drop pod, dreading my rolls. This time, fortunately, all hit (there was 1 miss, but twin-linked allowed me to re-roll that and I hit with all 3 shots!), and I actually rolled 2 threes and 1 four. Yes, that's right. I wrecked the drop pod in one volley of lascannon shots. WOOHOO! Objective 5 is mine! MINE, you sucker! MINE!

The 3rd Vendetta zoomed toward the Dreadnought and opened fire, and once again thanks to twin-linked, all 3 hit the side armor...only for me to score 3 penetrating shots. Wow, how lucky can I get? Even better, one of the penetrating shots resulted in an Explodes! (because I rolled a 6) and the Dreadnought's debris careened right into the Space Marine Tactical Squad in front, killing 1 or 2 of them. Wow, that was quite the stroke of luck. My Main Battle Tank opened fire and basically squished the remnants of that Tactical squad, so the entire middle section was empty save for my tanks and Vendetta gunships.

My Executioner, bless his machine spirit, did not roll any Gets Hot! rolls and while he scattered 3 of his shots, he managed to land 2 small blasts right atop the 5-men Tactical squad that clustered like mushrooms at the foot of the building my Kamikaze Troopers were camping in.  In his haste to hide from the line of sight of my Kamikaze Troopers, my opponent didn't realize that bunching up his Tactical squad like that made them vulnerable to blast templates...and my Executioner happily executed those Traitor Marines like the cowards they were. HAH!

Um...so what does that mean? I can't remember...oh, right. I pulled ahead to 15 points during that turn.

My opponent couldn't do much, but he retaliated with his remaining Devastator squad to wreck my poor Executioner tank (with those +1 to AP rolls of his), and he earned a point from there. I think. So it was 15 to 12? Still pretty close, but hey, whatever works! Anyway, with only one Devastator squad and 2 random drop pods left, that was all he could do...

My opponent rolled to see if we should continue, and continue we did! On to Turn 6...

By this time, there's not much left on the board except a Devastator squad hiding in that building and a couple of drop pods facing three Vendetta gunships, a Leman Russ Main Battle Tank and 9 Storm Troopers.

Turn 6

And what do you know, I drew a card that asked me to secure Objective 1. I bet almost everyone has forgotten by now, but my Tech-priest Enginseer that had been camping on Objective 1 ever since the beginning of the game and doing absolutely nothing while fiddling his mechadendrites on the objective was still there, so that was effectively a free point for me. At that moment, before I could shoot the Devastators off the board with my Leman Russ Main Battle Tank and Vendetta gunships, my opponent called the game. With only 1 Devastator squad and 2 immobile, stationary drop pods left, there was nothing he could do. With me pulling ahead to 16 points, there wasn't much he could do except drag the game on. So we called it there, and when it ended I found out that I actually have Linebreaker as well, with my Kamikaze Troopers still camping on Objective 4, and within 12" of my opponent's board edge. Woohoo.

So the game ended in my favor 17 to 12. That was close, very close. The game ran all the way toward the end, and if I had not rolled those lucky rolls that saw me blow up a drop pod and a Dreadnought, I wouldn't have such a great lead. Not to mention, I was lucky enough to roll 3 points and 2 points for Hold the Line and Slay the Warlord. Then again, the same could be said for my opponent, who rolled 3 points twice for the score D3 points objectives. Well, whatever the case, we had fun and it was awesome!

And my Imperial Guard army finally won a game! FINALLY! I never thought I would see the day when my Imperial Guard would win! Great job, Draconians! Mission accomplished! WOOHOO! We won! DRACONIANS FOREVER! FOR THE EMPEROR!

Not only that, my Draconian Imperial Guard regiment actually beat Space Marines! Okay, my opponent wasn't playing aggressively or competitively - and if he actually threw Lysander down in a drop pod with the Centurions, my tanks would have been totally wrecked. Ouch. Oh well. Thank the Emperor for that (I guess?). Not only that, his list didn't seem optimized. I mean, he might have been better off taking a Gladius Strike Force and spamming Rhinos, Razorbacks and drop pods (but if he did that, he wouldn't have the right to protest against me bringing a Stormsword...right?). This proves that a game can still be fun and winnable even without a super-heavy, and my Storm Troopers are actually excellent at capturing objectives! Not only that, my Vendetta gunships are pretty powerful too! They really saved my bacon there at the end, blowing up the drop pod and Dreadnought. Phew.

Anyway, the story can go like this: The Draconian Armored has prevailed over a renegade Space Marines Chapter that supposedly succeeded the Imperial Fists. That's why this successor chapter uses blue power armor instead of the golden armor representative of the Imperial Fists. They were exterminated by the courageous, determined tank crews and Kamikaze Troopers of the 42nd Draconian Armored Defense Force, and purged so that no man, mortal or otherwise, can ever defy the words of the Emperor again.

For the Emperor!

Oh, right. And as this is probably the last game I'll be able to play at Battle Bunker Singapore for a long time, here's a goodbye picture I took with the mascot standing guard right outside the shop. I mean, in the spirit of Pokemon Go! or Pokemon Trading Card Game and stuff, right?

Pikachu? Why are you in Warhammer 40K? Did some Imperial Guard regiment breed you on some paradise world where citizens of the Imperium capture pocket monsters to battle each other in the Emperor's name?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Regimental Standard: Deathwatch

Greetings, Imperial Guardsmen of the Draconian Armored Defense Force.

The Regimental Standard has published an issue regarding the revered Deathwatch, Apparently some other Imperial Guard regiment has failed in their duty to purge the hated xenos, and the Inquisitors of the Ordo Xenos have been forced to intervene - to the extent that they must dispatch their elite militant arm, the Deathwatch to take over such duties.

Let this serve as a warning to our own regiment, who has thus far never failed to serve the Inquisition, and the Imperium faithfully. Let us continue crushing xenos scum under the treads of our tanks, our armor proof against their accursed weapons and whispers of heresy. There is nothing better than cold steel and titanium to protect us from their insidious influence, and nothing more effective than depleted uranium rounds fired from our vaunted Leman Russ Punishers to exterminate these hateful species.

Remember, the moment the Deathwatch are dispatched in a mission that we are originally meant to execute, it means we have failed the Emperor. Make sure you hold fast to your faith and purge xenos scum from our galaxy!

For more details, please refer to the Regimental Standard.

Quote of the day

"The only good xenos is a dead one."

Space Hulk Deathwing

HELL YEAH! FOR THE EMPEROR!

We finally have a release date for Space Hulk: Deathwing! Well, it's not a precise release date, but it at least narrows down the period after so much time of waiting and guessing. Guess what? Space Hulk: Deathwing will be released in November 2016 on PC!

WOOHOO! And the Angels of Death shall descend upon the hated Xenos and purge our galaxy clean of them!

Anyway, here's the latest trailer. Have fun watching it, and savor the destruction we shall wreak upon the foes of the Imperium!


Heralds of the coming doom,
By cry of Raven, we are drawn.
This oath of war and vengeance,
On blade of exalted iron sworn,
With blood anointed swords aloft,
Advance we into Dread's dark shade.
Punishment divine unleashed with Hate
A wrathful storm of bolt and blade,
Purge with plasma, fist and shell,
Bring cleansing fire's righteous breath,
For the Emperor! Knights of Caliban!
The Lion's Anointed Angels of Death!
No forgiveness. No retreat.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vendetta for Death from the Skies

Oh, right. There was quite a furor being made about the Vendetta being missing from the Death From the Skies supplement that Games Workshop released a couple of months ago. I was one of them, being the proud owner of three Vendetta gunships, so you can imagine my dismay when I learned that it was missing. I ain't gonna use no Valkyrie Assault Carrier. I want my triple twin-linked lascannons! But alas, it seems that Games Workshop has a vendetta against the Vendetta, and so did not deign to include them in their supplement. Ugh.

Well, fellow Vendetta owners, rejoice! For we have received an update from Forge World regarding the Vendetta gunship! Here are the rules for using the Vendetta in the Death from the Skies supplement! So now feel free to bring your Vendetta gunships to a dogfight and shoot enemy flyers out of the air with triple twin-linked lascannons!

AWESOME! For the Emperor!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Freeblade Chapter 6

Yes, I know. I know it is a stupid title, but I thought it was fitting because it is about a boarding mission.

That's why Chapter 6 of Freeblade is titled Too bored to board. Sorry, I can't help it. I like puns.

Anyway, this should wrap up the naval battle as well as describe the boarding action the Kamikaze Troopers and the Imperial Knight took aboard a Chaos Despoiler class battleship. It probably isn't accurate (I mean, seriously? A ship's corridors being wide enough for Taurox Primes and an Imperial Knight to stomp through?) but it was fun as hell to write and provided some much-needed character depth and development. I hope. I don't know. Anyway, it was...fun. Yeah.



I hope the naval battle was fun too. I read too many Star Carrier series by Ian Douglas. Yes, I am a huge fan of Ian Douglas (William H. Keith, Jr.), and have read almost all his military sci-fi series, including the Galactic Marines series - which consist of the Heritage Trilogy, the Legacy Trilogy and the Inheritance Trilogy - and Star Carrier series as well as Star Corpsman. I'm now just waiting for Andromeda Dark. Yes, if you're a huge fan of military sci-fi and space marines (and since you're reading a blog on Warhammer 40K there is a high chance that you are), I highly recommend his books.

Oh, and the naval battle that took place in Cadian Blood also helped. I mean, that was one badass captain and his Dominator cruiser! I wish they destroyed Terminus Est with their nova cannon, though. What a waste, but it was awesome.

Anyway, being an amateur writer, it's a given that I'll fail to emulate either of them, but I do hope you enjoy Freeblade nonetheless.

For the Emperor!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Freeblade Chapter 5

Yeah, I stayed up late just to complete this chapter. So I present to you Chapter 5 of my story, Freeblade. Yay.

This time I tried my hand at trying to write a naval battle. I know I suck at it, despite my scathing book reviews. Yeah, it's difficult to be a professional writer, and even more difficult to write a battle scene. I'm open to advice or suggestions for improvement, and so implore you to read this and tell me where I went wrong or something. I'm looking to get better, because I really enjoy writing and want everyone to enjoy reading my stuff.

And I can't do that if all I do is...well, I don't know. Anyway, please read Freeblade and tell me what you think. I hope you like the naval battle, but if you don't, then please offer suggestions and advice on how to improve. Thanks.

For the Emperor!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Tallarn: Ironclad

"Victory is a child of many parents. Defeat is an orphan." - ancient Terran aphorism, origin unknown

Tallarn: Ironclad by John French is about the Battle of Tallarn. As you guys probably know by now, I'm a huge fan of Imperial Guard armored regiments, and so when I heard there was a Horus Heresy book detailing the battle of the greatest armored conflict in Warhammer 40K history, involving over millions of tanks and armored vehicles, I was excited to get this book. Furthermore, when you look at the cover, you can see the tagline right at the bottom, "The Battle of Tallarn rages on, becoming the single greatest armored conflict in the history of mankind." Even the synopsis at the back hints at such a tale, with the line of the "...the poisoned earth shakes beneath the treads of countless battle tanks and war machines."

Unfortunately, Tallarn: Ironclad is not about that. Rather, it focuses on a few characters and small skirmishes between these characters, rather than open out into the vast, colossal armored conflict that the Battle of Tallarn background has so much potential for. The book does hint at it, yes, but the details of the larger war on a massive scale is only described within small excerpts ahout one to two pages long, not unlike those little bite-sized excerpts you see in codex and campaign books.

Yes...you got that right. The massive scale of the Battle of Tallarn is reduced into codex and campaign-styled bite-sized excerpts to give a background, rather than be the focus of the story itself. What a letdown. Or maybe it's my fault for holding such expectations and misinterpreting the synopsis. Oh well. But seriously, if I wanted to read excerpts of the Battle of Tallarn, I wouldn't have bought a novel. I would have just relied on the Imperial Guard codex or a Horus Heresy campaign book to read those kind of excerpts. I mean, Graham McNeill or Dan Abnett might have done a lot better in terms of weaving all the different threads together into a much larger story and either of them would have done epicly described battles taking place on an apocalyptic scale without needing to insert one to two-pages excerpts in the middle of chapters. They would have just melded these epic wars into the narrative itself. Why was there a need to divorce the larger battle from the more personal ones? If anything, the mere 235 pages that make up the novel does not justify its price tag of 18 British pounds (or S$45 - Singapore dollars). It's overcosted, and the whole "limited edition" thing is quite frankly, rubbish. Books are meant to be read and shared, not to be hoarded by collectors.



The writing style and content are okay. John French writes well, and his battle scenes are described competently. He might be no Dan Abnett or Graham McNeill, but he does his job adequately, and the characters are a joy to read about. I particularly like how he split the story into the viewpoints of four people, from Colonel Commander Silas Kord to Hrend, then Argonis, and then finally to Iaeo. He juxtaposes the goals and actions of these four characters, using Kord as a counterpoint to Hrend as the latter searches for the weapon Perturabo seeks, while Kord moves according to his suspicions that the Iron Warriors are attacking Tallarn for some insidious reason. They might be subtle, less direct opponents. On the other hand, Argonis and Iaeo have a common rival in Jalen, the Alpha Legion operative, who is investigating what the Iron Warriors' motives are. The way John French weaves and ties these four loose threads into a single, underlying plot is a joy to behold, and when everything comes together, particularly at the end, it's a really fun read.

So yeah, let me thank his wife, Liz French, and his editor, Laurie Goulding, for helping John French write this story. It had been entertaining in its own way, and I really like Silas Kord. I could relate to him, and he was quite the awesome character. Hrend is...well, I guess cool because Contemptor Dreadnoughts are always cool and that cover of him ripping open a tank (see above) just rocks. Argonis, on the other hand, is the typical Space Marine, y'know, loyal to his Primarch Horus (even though Sons of Horus is a traitor Legion), duty-bound, overly serious, blah blah. Iaeo is a really different viewpoint, providing insight into how the assassins of the Vanus Temple work. I can't say I really like her, but I did appreciate the difference she provided in viewpoints. She was cold, effective and cunning, even if brutal and merciless to her own allies. I might not like her character or the things she had done, but her thread was a very good read that provided an alternative perspective to the whole war. If anything, I feel Argonis was the loose end, an unnecessary thread who only existed so that his story and meeting with Jalen could be tied into Iaeo's encounter with the archenemy.

And wow, that twist at the end, where the faithful and loyal Origo turned out to be the third triplet of Jalen (after Iaeo subtly led the other two to their deaths) was just amazing. As I said, when it all came together, it just clicked so well.

However, that's probably the only part I like about the story, other than Kord being one of my favorite characters. The rest of the book kind of falls flat. This is not to say that it is a bad book (it is overcosted and not worth its price tag, though). My criticism stems from personal reasons rather than any fault of the writer. John French is a competent writer, no doubt about that. It's unfair to compare him to Dan Abnett or Graham McNeill or even Sandy Mitchell, who rank among the greats in terms of Black Library novelists. He's definitely better than Matt Ward, that's for sure.

Rather, what I don't like was the whole revisionist history thing. As you know, the Tallarn Desert Raiders are one of the most famous Imperial Guard regiments in the Warhammer 40K universe. You can check back in the old codex (2nd, 3rd, 5th ed) or Only War RPG books, and they all describe the Tallarn Desert Raiders as mobile guerilla fighters relying on hit-and-run tactics. They also described the Battle of Tallarn as a hollow victory for the Imperium, who managed to win the battle at great costs, primarily thanks to the Tallarn military conducting lightning-quick guerilla warfare against the Iron Warriors and making it so costly for them.

Yet, for some reason John French sounds like a closet Iron Warriors fan. Now, I don't think he is, but the writing style and content somehow implies that he loves the Iron Warriors, and the narrative often slants toward the Iron Warriors' favor. Throughout the whole book, the Iron Warriors are described as always winning, and the Imperium always losing. Okay, I get that the Imperial Army failed to break through and conquer the Sightless Warren fortress that the Iron Warriors constructed (or actually converted from the Sapphire City) THREE times. I mean, the fun of reading was to see how the Imperial Army went against overwhelming odds and drove out a Traitor Astartes Legion, right? But no. When every engagement (with the total exception being the Rogue Trader fleet called the Golden Fleet) goes the Iron Warriors' way, with them winning every engagement either detailed in the excerpt or in the narrative of the novel itself, something is seriously wrong here. This isn't a balanced tale of how the Imperium forced the Iron Warriors to pay a devastating cost. No, for some reason it seems that the Iron Warriors were winning...not easily, admittedly, but seriously? Every engagement?

For example, there was a scene where Silas Kord and his armored company were ambushed by Dark Mechanicum forces, and they were basically wiped out to only Kord's Malcador assault tank War Anvil and Origo's Scout Razor, but in almost the same chapter Hrend's armored team went and destroyed a company that included TWO super-heavies - 1 Baneblade and 1 Stormlord, even though they don't have any super-heavies of their own. To rub salt into wounds, he did so by destroying half of that armored company, including the Baneblade, without losing a single tank. He only lost 3 of his Predators and 1 fellow Contemptor Dreadnought to the Stormlord, whose Vulcan Mega-bolter chewed through...but they brought it down eventually. The Baneblade got destroyed too easily, with just a hit or two, and the Leman Russ tanks that escorted it did absolutely nothing. Yes, they were completely useless. It's as if the Stormlord alone was the only thing that could fight the Iron Warriors. Now, I'm not against the Iron Warriors winning, I just think they're winning way too easily, especially when the Imperium has been described throughout the entire book as losing battle after battle after battle. Seriously? Even the Golden Fleet that wrecked the Iron Warriors fleet before running away for some obscure reason (why not stick around and finish the fight?! What's the whole point of running through the system, wrecking orbits, destroying supply transports, only to leave right after that?!) wasn't a part of the Imperium.

Worse, it seems that John French has confused the Iron Warriors for Tallarn forces. As I wrote above, any Imperial Guard fan who is remotely familiar with the fluff and read the old codex and campaigns will know that the Tallarns are famous for their guerilla warfares, lightning-fast hit-and-run raids and cunning ambushes. Yet in this story, the roles are reversed. Iron Warriors, who are supposed to be masters at siege warfare, turn into the freaking ambushers in this story. Remember when I said Hrend and his armored company went and wrecked a company that had the Baneblade and Stormlord in it? Yeah, they did so in a Tallarn-styled ambush. If you're talking about tanks rushing in and taking an armored convoy by surprise, it should be the Tallarn doing that, hitting an Iron Warriors convoy then running away after inflicting maximum damage! Not the other way round! And in case you wonder if this was a one-off...it was not. Kord and his Tallarn armored company, who should be the one carrying out guerilla warfare, ended up being on the receiving end of a Dark Mechanicum ambush!

Oh, and the failed third attack on the Sightless Warren at the beginning of the book? Turned out that the Iron Warriors knew the Imperial Army's assault was coming, and they had ambushes ready to pincer the Tallarn armor and wipe them out as they attempted to retreat. So much for Tallarn being masters of guerilla warfare and determinedly wreaking havoc on the Iron Warriors by hitting and running and disappearing into the sand before the Iron Warriors could track them down and destroy them.

Yeah...if you're an Imperial Guard fan or familiar with Tallarn lore, you'll be going "HUH?! What in the Emperor's name!?" right now. Like I said, revisionist history.

To make matters worse, the Tallarn and Imperium were given their obligatory victory (because the fluff has already deemed it so) in a very grudging (or so I imagine) manner. No, the Imperium didn't win because they forced the Iron Warriors' hands and made the war too costly for the latter. They didn't win through sheer grit and determination. Nope. According to John French, the Imperium won only because the Iron Warriors, particularly Perturabo, the Lord of Iron, was ordered by Warmaster Horus to pull out. The way John French put it, the Iron Warriors and their Chaos forces could keep on going and win eventually, but Horus had to throw a fit and force Perturabo to withdraw all his forces from Tallarn just so he could have consistency with established fluff. I'm just as perturbed as Perturabo at this.

I mean, c'mon...the Iron Warriors bias is strong in this book. Even in the excerpts regarding the big picture, there was one scene where the Imperium forces conducted a surprise attack that broke through the Iron Warriors' orbital defenses and fleet to land reinforcements and armored vehicles for the final battle against them. Now I understand the need for a final battle that forced the Iron Warriors to withdraw, but as I said earlier, the way the final battle was concluded and ended via Horus forcing the Iron Warriors' Primarch to withdraw left a terrible taste in my mouth. I wanted the Imperium to at least have some credit for forcing their hand, not everything being strung along by the Iron Warriors as the entire book had been about (or by Iaeo, who was the one Imperial force who actually did any good). But despite the Imperial Navy's success in smashing thee warships and orbital platforms to land reinforcements, the Iron Warriors would soon counterattack and that this was only buying time. John French was basically implying that the Imperial Navy wouldn't win against the Iron Warriors' counterattack. Yet another bias slant toward the Iron Warriors. Ugh.

I mean, it wasn't enough that the Imperium won the war at great cost...but this revisionist history had the Iron Warriors winning all the way only to technically "lose" by being ordered to pull out by the Warmaster? That was a cheap, anti-climatic way to end the story, which was unfairly slanted toward the Iron Warriors almost the entire way. It's taking way too much liberty in rewriting the history of Tallarn and ignoring all the usual fluff about Tallarn Desert Raiders and their long history of guerilla warfare. Where was this guerilla warfare and hit-and-run raids they were so famous for? Not one mention of them actually carrying their specialties out, and when it was indeed executed, it was done by the enemy Iron Warriors who are supposed to be masters at siege, not ambushes!

On its own, Tallarn: Ironclad is a good read, and I honestly enjoyed the way the four different threads from the different viewpoints of several characters tied together into one single underlying plot. On the other hand, I couldn't stomach the Iron Warriors bias, and was more than annoyed at the way history was revised and rewritten to slant toward the forces of Chaos. Give the Imperium some credit, man. And the anti-climatic ending was just unsatisfying. Not only that, the big-scale battles were reduced to separated excerpts instead of being tied to the whole narrative, and the Tallarn and Iron Warriors seemed to be mixed up by a writer who confused who specialized in what...

As a side note, since I didn't like the ending where Iaeo tried to terminate Kord and his immobilized tank, I'm going to add a little something. Basically Iaeo failed to realize that Kord's distress call wasn't the only signal being transmitted. The Iron Hands have also been tracking down Menoetius and his Predator, and when they went to search for them in the Hacadia Flats, they found the damaged War Anvil. Silas Kord and his crew were rescued, and their report regarding a stray Iron Warriors armored assault group seemingly in the middle of nowhere was lost among the millions of reports submitted about the Battle of Tallarn. That's why nobody knew about the Cursus thing. In fact, Kord himself didn't know about it either, just that the Iron Warriors were searching for something beneath the earth. And at that time, he was too wounded to care what they were searching for, and by the time he recovered, nobody paid much attention to him to search for that place again.

Kord also retired after the Battle of Tallarn, probably to take responsibility for losing his entire company. Origo somehow survived and disappeared after that, most likely returning to the Alpha Legion. And the Tallarns lived happily ever after in this grimdark galaxy of Warhammer 40,000.

Well, anyway, as I said, the gripes I have with Tallarn: Ironclad are personal stuff concerning fluff. If you're looking for a book to read to pass the time and be entertained, Tallarn: Ironclad certainly achieves that. But beware, you are paying a premium for a thin book with not a lot of content. I can buy a Warhammer 40K novel that is twice or almost thrice the length of Tallarn: Ironclad for two-thirds of its price. So yeah...be warned that the price tag isn't justified. And if you're an Imperial Guard fan like me, prepare to be outraged by how the history for the Battle of Tallarn has been callously revised and rewritten to slant in the Iron Warriors' favor.

For the Emperor.