Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

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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 Defenders, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood, Cybernetica cohorts and Skitarii legions, and the Titan Legion, Legio Draconis, known as the Dark Dragons.

Featured Post

Horus Heresy Janus Campaign

I had a great weekend at the Horus Heresy Weekender, which was organized by the Frozen North Horus Heresy group - thanks to all the organize...

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

New Thousand Sons stuff

We have more news regarding Thousand Sons from Warhammer Community! Just look at the nine great cults.

Hmm, I'm not sure what to say, but yeah, a lot of them look like a reprint or updated versions of the Cults we get from Ritual of the Damned. I do like the addition of Cabal Points from the Cabalistic Rituals, though. And seems like you get them every psychic phase, so it's best if you find a way to shield your characters and don't let them get shot off the table.


Yeah, so if I bring like 2 Sorcerers in Terminator Armor, an Exalted Sorcerer, 2 squads of Rubric Marines and 1 big squad of Scarab Occult Terminators, I'll get like 10 Cabal Points. If I split the Scarab Occult Terminators into 2 squads and swap a Sorcerer in Terminator Armor for an Infernal Master, I'll get 11 Cabal Points. That's just awesome. Just look at what you can do with them!



That sounds pretty cool.

On another note, I remember again why I quit all the Thousand Sons Facebook pages and Discord server. Honestly, some of the Thousand Sons players I've met are among the whiniest people I've ever seen. Maybe it's a Chaos thing because I tend to notice the same snide remarks, toxic negativity and whining from Chaos players as well, but for the love of Tzeentch, a lot of them are so over the top. When they previewed some of the Cult powers in Facebook (official Warhammer 40,000 page) yesterday, already there was a bunch of people whining about how Time Flux was nerfed, how the Thousand Sons spells look weak and underwhelming when compared to Grey Knights. There was even some joker who insisted that Chaos would stay at 1 wound, never mind Death Guard didn't in their new codex. "Games Workshop hates Chaos." "Anything good that Thousand Sons has will be nerfed to uselessness in the next FAQ." "Waah, Thousand Sons suck, all these psychic spells suck, they look so weak!" "The Cult magic are by definition the strongest, so based on this, Thousand Sons will suck." What the f?


Seriously, dudes? The rules are not completely out yet, but already you have so many Thousand Sons players resigned to "our codex sucks", "GW hates Chaos", "Thousand Sons are weak", etc. based on the preview of Time Flux and a couple of spells. Honestly, the Cult of Knowledge one looks good, allowing you to reroll wound rolls of ones. But hey, let's just whine about how the cult spells suck, and therefore the codex sucks even before we get the full rules. I mean, I kind of understand why people are unhappy about Time Flux going up to warp charge 6 from 5, but think about it. Rubric Marines have 2 wounds and Scarab Occult Terminators have 3 wounds now, so they are harder to kill. Also imagine bringing back 3 Scarab Occult Terminators when you roll a 9 for psychic test after your opponent finally takes them down with lasguns, which was why they removed the D3 on 9 or more thing. So it's reasonable that they are harder to bring back. Of course, someone jumps in and complains that "they are not harder to kill because everything is deadlier now." Like what? Heavy bolters being bumped up to 2 damage? We'll probably see an adjustment of All is Dust to mitigate that, so let's just wait for the full rules before jumping into conclusions and whining, all right? Oh, let's not forget the comparison - Space Marines have a Chief Apocethary model that can automatically bring back a Terminator or Centurion for free! Yeah, I hate that ability too, but let's not forget 1) it's not free, you have to pay for the points and 2) it's one model, whereas all your Sorcerers in the same cult get access to the same spell. But hey, the cult spells still look weak, therefore the codex will definitely suck, am I right?

And guess what? We have 18 new spells now, 9 from the Discipline of Change and 9 from the Discipline of Vengeance. I'm sure you'll find plenty of spells to use. But no...the cult magic by default must be the strongest, so these spells suck even though we don't know what they are yet!

Finally, some people seem to cheer up over the new Cabalistic Ritual rules we're getting, and how thematic Thousand Sons seem to be now...and guess what? You have some clown coming in the official Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page and whining about how Daemons suck. For the love of Tzeentch...no matter what we get, people will still find somethig to complain about.

Sometimes people need to chill. I'm probably one of those, because I'm ironically whining about other people whining, but really, their negativity turns me off. And this isn't even productive negativity, it's toxic. Most of it sounds like whining for the sake of it. If Chaos stays at 1 wound per Marine, I can understand why you're upset - I'll probably be unhappy too. But that's not what's happening, as much as some negative nancies would have you believe. Making things up, jumping into conclusions and complaining before you get the full rules, and just being negative no matter what other people say in general, it's just...dumb. It's toxic. This was why I straight up left the Thousand Sons Facebook page and Discord. No matter what rules we get, people whine. If it's not about Tzaangors, it's about how our spells suck. Or how our Marines and Terminators suck. Ugh.

I won a tournament with Thousand Sons once, about 2 years ago, before Covid hit. They aren't as bad as people make it out to be - and I didn't use Tzaangors, I mostly used Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators. Maybe, if you experiment, have fun with them and just try them out instead of whining based on theoryhammer, you might find that they aren't as bad as you thought they are.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Bug Hunt RTT

So I participated in a Bug Hunt RTT yesterday in Phoenix Games, Fridley, and it was...well, I don't know if I'd call it fun. Let's just say all my games were incredibly one-sided. In any event, I'll just give a quick rundown on my list.

As you guys probably know, I bought the Warzone Charadon: The Book of Fire, and I found myself intrigued by the Skitarii Veteran Cohort. I didn't think I would use it, but I kind of wanted to experiment with it because it seemed fun. Upgrading my normal Skitarii infantry to having 5++ invulnerable saves and an extra attack each? Hmm, seems kind of fun. Might as well try it out. Also, it would be a usual change of pace from playing Knights. I love Knights and all, but I thought it would be fun to try new things, to switch form fielding gigantic robots to fielding hordes of infantry. My plan was to drown my opponent in bodies and pray that they wouldn't be able to kill them all. I saw that there would be Tyranids (full of Monsters), Adeptus Custodes and Knights, so I was praying that I would be able to have enough bodies and units on the table so that they wouldn't get wiped out in an instant or something.

The plan didn't work out as planned, unfortunately.

My list was a Skitarii Veteran Cohort that looked like this:

Skitarii Veteran Cohort Battalion Detachment (Slaved Systems Forge World: Ryza):

Skitarii Marshal, Exemplar's Eternity, Calculate Without Diversion

Tech-priest Manipulus with Transonic cannon

Tech-priest Enginseer

3x10 Skitarii Rangers, Alpha with arc maul and arc pistol, arc rifle, omnispex, transuranic arquebus

5 Skitarii Vanguard, Alpha with power sword and phosphor blast pistol, plasma caliver, omnispex

2x5 Skitarii Vanguard, Alpha with taser goad and phosphor blast pistol, plasma caliver, omnispex

2x10 Secutarii Hoplites

2x5 Sicarian Ruststalkers with transonic blades

2x3 Serberys Sulphurhounds with phosphor blast carbine

2 Skorpius Disintegrators with Ferrumite cannons

2 Archaeopter Stratoraptors with chaff launchers

So yeah, I figured that since I have the models, I might as well try it out. It looks fun! Or so I thought. By the way, this is after the Adeptus Mechanicus FAQ, which didn't affect me because I don't really care about the weird stuff like Enriched Rounds or whatever, and I don't run 20-men blobs of Skitarii or Lucius or Ironstrider Ballistariii anyway. I stuck to Ryza because I'm sort of fluffy that way, and I was planning to have my dudes run up the table, swamp my opponents in bodies, hopefully make use of the 5++ invulnerable save to survive in both combat and shooting, and then hit back as hard as I can.

That was the plan, like I said, but...it never worked out the way that I envisioned.

Mission 1

First game was Retrieval, I think? I was up against an Adeptus Custodes player, which I had thought I might play against. He had like 3-4 Jetbikes, a Shield-captain on Dawneagle jet-bike, Allarus Terminators, a Shield-captain, 3 units of 3 Custodian Guards, 2 special Contemptor Dreadnoughts (one with a spear, one with a sword and shield), and a Telemon Dreadnought. I figured I wasn't going to kill all that, and instead picked To The Last, Retrieve Ocatrius Data and Engage on All Fronts to maximize my secondaries. After all, like I said, my goal was to survive and hope my opponent wouldn't kill all of my infantry. I had like, what, 84 dudes on the table, not including the vehicles. In terms of No Prisoners, that would give my opponent 9 points because I have a total of 97 wounds. I sent my Secutarii forward to screen and hopefully distract my opponent away from my more precious Objective Secured troops, and...yeah. That's about it.

As it turned out...my Ryza Skitarii Veterans still had enough firepower to shoot everything off the board, killing the Custodians and essentially wiping out all but the Telemon Dreadnought and 3 Custodian Guards by turn 4, I believe. In return,  lost 1 squad of Vanguard, 1 squad of Rangers, the Tech-priest Manipulus accompanying them, 1 squad of 10 Secutarii Hoplites, 3 Serberys Sulphurhounds, and...perhaps a couple of Ruststalkers in one squad (probably 3). I could still technically kill the 3 Custodian Guards. By the way, I believe I went second, but I can't remember. I think I allowed him to move his jetbikes up the table or someething so that I could shoot them off the table. In any event...yeah. He conceded by turn 4 or something, so I didn't get to kill his Custodian Guard, and I might have a chance to kill his Telemon Dreadnought because I still had both Skorpius Disintegrators and Stratoraptors on the table.

Eventually I won the game 96 to 43.

Mission 2

That was a mistake, as it turned out. Having such a score meant I had to face a Drukhari player. Some of you might have heard of the name James Kelling - you know, he's on Goonhammer, and even Frontline Gaming has an article on him. Got 5th place at the Dallas tournament, and I'm sure he's ranked up high in ITC or something.

The mission this time was Overrun. Needless to say, I got crushed. By what, turn 3 or something, he all but tabled me. I only had a single stratoraptor flying around, so I pretty much conceded because there was really nothing I could do. I had literally 0 points for primary, and I managed to get some for Engage on all Fronts on the first turn, and by virtue of conceding, I got 5 points for my surviving stratoraptor before it could get shot off, but oh, well. That was brutal. His Wyches and Kronos (did I spell that right?) swept up the table, advancing and charging, and pretty much slaughtering everything. My only moment of glory was when my Ruststalkers killed Drazhar in combat, ha ha. Ryza for the win. I think I destroyed a single Raider? That's pretty much about it. Ouch.

So much for drowning my opponent in bodies and hoping he wouldn't kill all of them. Even the Secutarii, who supposedly had a 4++ invulnerable save in combat, were brutalized by the Wyches and Sucubii. Yeah, well...I don't know what to say.

I lost the game 95-18. Yeah...that was...not good. Ouch.

Mission 3

After such a humbling defeat, I went into the next game fearing that I would get crushed again. Turned out to be another one-sided match, but this time...

Well, anyway, I was up against a Chaos player who fielded a combination of Thousand Sons and Daemons. I was expecting to charge all my Secutarii and Skitarii forward to ravage him in combat because...you know, Ryza. What I don't understand was...him pretty much sticking all his Daemons and Forgefiends right at the front. I even asked him if he was sure about that, if he didn't want to hide them behind terrain, but he was like, nah. To be fair, this was his, what, sixth game or so? But I was hinting to him that he should hide them behind terrain, but...well, this being a RTT, once he declined, I was like, uh oh. He even had his Rubricae pop up in the middle of the table to claim the objective because he used the Stratagem from Ritual of the Damned, Risen Rubricae. Again, I asked him if he was sure about that, but...yeah. I guess he was gambling on going first or something.

The mission was Sweep and Clear, so it was quite the odd deployment. As I said, my opponent pretty much put all his Forgefiends and Daemons right at the front, right in plain sight. We rolled off, I got first, and...well, I pretty much shot almost everything off the board before my army could run up and hit him in melee. In the first turn alone, he lost a Forgefiend, lost like almost 2 whole squads of Pink Horrors (10 dudes in 1 squad, which I annihilated, 20 dudes in another), a whole 10-men Rubric Marine squad, and half of the 10-men Rubric squad right in the middle. The Forgefiend detonated in the midst of his poor dudes, dealing a bunch of mortal wounds to them. My Secutarii Hoplites charged in and wiped out the Rubric squad in the middle...and that was that.

So much for charging forward and hitting them in melee Ryza style.

His Daemon Prince then flew up the board and wiped out both my first Serberys Sulphurhound squad and Skitarii Vanguard...only for him to be shot off the board too! I think I lost my other Seryberys Sulphurhound to his last Rubric Marines, and he managed to smite the hell out of my Secutarii, along with shooting them off the board with the Forgefiends and Characters (Exalted Flamers or something). Then I pretty much spent the next 2-3 turns shooting off his remaining characters, as well as destroying his remaining Forgefiends one turn at a time. And for some reason, he didn't bother to claim objectives, he continued running forward to try and kill my dudes with magic. Ahriman came forward to Gate my Skitarii and deal a bunch of mortal wounds, then killed my Tech-priest Manipulus in combat (the poor guy can't catch a break, he died in all 3 games). Then my Skitarii shot Ahriman off the board before tabling the guy by turn 4 or so.

Ouch. That was brutal. I know Thousand Sons are up for a codex update next week (or in 2 weeks since it's only preorder next week), but come on...okay, part of the reason was that my opponent chose to rush forward instead of playing for objectives and hiding his troops behind terrain like I did for my Skitarii, and this was like his 6th game, so it could have been mitigated. But man, that was one-sided, and I felt sorry for him. I feel...really bad. And this was after I got my own ass kicked by James in the previous game.

The final score was 96-24 to me, but...yeah. Because of my 18-point humbling at the hands of James's Drukhari, I finished 5th despite getting 2 wins and 1 loss, and winning big on both matches. Not that it matters to me...that last game still made me feel bad.

Thoughts

Honestly, this is the first time I was trying out my Skitarii Veteran Cohort, and it plays very, very differently from my Knights. First of all, there's a lot of infantry and a lot more units for me, so I spent a lot of time going through the different stuff. The chess clock is useful, so yeah, but I managed to finish in time. Well...because the games rarely went to the full five turns. Either I shoot my poor opponent off the board, or I get tabled myself. So yeah. But I have to be faster, I guess?

Secondly, the Secutarii Hoplites suck. Sorry, but that's an honest assessment. They may have a 4++ invulnerable save in combat, but they are Toughness 3, they die to shooting anyway, and they still die in melee against melee-dedicated units with lots of attacks like Drukhari. They don't get Forge World dogmas, so no +1 to wound rolls in melee on the charge (or when they get charged) like the Ruststalkers do. They only have 1 wound each, which is okay because I laughed when my opponents waste D2 shots on them, but...yeah, they suck. They move a paltry 6", they don't get forge world dogmas, and they are still too fragile. I love the models, they look cool, but right now, they simply suck and aren't worth taking. I'm sorry. That's just how it is. The arc lances too, they suck. I wanted to use them against vehicles like the Dreadnoughts, but the 12" range means they never get within range of the Dreadnoughts before they get shot off the table, and they still get destroyed in melee despite the 4++ invulnerable save. I...don't know what to say, but...yeah. It is what it is.

Thirdly, I shouldn't underestimate the shooting power of my army. It's Ryza, yes. My army is supposed to charge up the board and hit people in melee. In fact, one of the reasons why I chose the Skitarii Veteran Cohort was because I wanted to make use of the +1 Attacks to my standard Skitarii infantry (along with the 5++ invulnerable saves). Hell, even the +1 Leadership turned out to be useful, for I actually passed morale just barely with their Leadership 8 characteristic thanks to them being Veterans. But the shooting was insane. Against Thousand Sons, I shot them off the board in about a turn, and though the Characters with their 3++ invulnerable saves made them a lot harder to kill (and despite being melee specialists, my Secutarii Hoplites died against the Rubric Marines and Exalted Flamers or something), I still tabled my opponent by turn 4 or so. The Custodes too, I thought I wouldn't be able to kill anything, but it turned out that I pretty much tabled my opponent by turn 4, with his Telemon Dreadnought the only thing who would probaby survive. I don't know what happened against James's Drukhari, but I think his dudes were all stuck inside transports or something, and he went first, so I couldn't shoot them off the board before they hit me hard in melee and wiped me out. Not that it mattered, I just am an incompetent player when compared to someone like him, so I saw that coming. Need to improve, but...yeah. Binharic Offense, in particular, is a bloody monster of a Stratagem. Two Core Skitarii Veteran Cohort units getting +1 to wound...that was how I killed the Toughness 8 Daemon Prince after he buffed himself through the roof with Diabolic Strength and some Boon of Tzeentch (sorry, I forgot the name). I think I used that against the Custodes Dreadnoughts too and tore them apart with galvanic rifles and arc rifles. Incredible.

Fourthly, I need something sturdier. Unfortunately, this being the Skitarii Veteran Cohort, I don't have many resilient options. I can't bring Knights - which is just as well, because imagine if I bring Knights. They just die in melee. Secutarii, as I said above, suck right now. Their arc weapons aren't updated, and even with a 4++ invulnerable, their Toughness 3 means they will take a lot of wounds. No matter how good their invulnerable saves are, they are not going to survive the weight of attacks. I'm considering adding Sydonian Dragoons because they might be sturdier and won't die as easily. I'm kind of sad that I can't add Kastelan robots - such is the price to pay for playing Skitarii Veteran Cohort, but I'll have to live with it. I'll see if I can add Sydonian Dragoons. And no, before you tell me to get Ironstrider Ballistarii, I'm not getting those. I'm Ryza, I want to get into melee.

Fifthly, the transuranic arquebuses...are too unreliable. No, seriously. One shot means they are bad. I had entire turns where I just rolled 1s or 2s and just fail to hit anything with them, even with bloody rerolls. Or I do hit something, and then I roll a damned 2. They just aren't...very reliable. Not for my liking anyway. I'm thinking of swapping them out for plasma calivers. Since I'm Ryza anyway, and we are known for our plasma technology. Scratch that, I'm Draconian, but we use Ryza rules and we are known for stealing plasma technology from Ryza (so we're pretty much a second Ryza or counterfeit Ryza).

We'll see. I'll tinker with the list further and see what I can do. Maybe I'll participate in Ironhammer Season 4 and see how far I can go with the Skitarii Veteran Cohort in 6 games.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Half-painted Stormblade and Leman Russ Executioner tank

 So I started painting my Stormblade and fourth Leman Russ Executioner tank when...to my horror, I discovered that my Castellan green paint was missing. Oh, well. I guess I'll have to continue painting them another day. The bright side is that I only have the Castellan green paint left, so once I've gotten it, I can finish them up. I don't really need any other paint.


That's pretty much my armored regiment. Nothing but plasma tanks! 4 Leman Russ Executioner tanks, a Stormblade, 3 Armored Sentinels with plasma cannons. I'm not sure what else I need, but I think this should be it. All I have left are...well, Guardsmen. I'll probably get the Death Korps of Krieg from Kill Team and assemble a bunch of Veterans. Looking forward to it!

Friday, July 30, 2021

Adeptus Mechanicus FAQ is live!

 The Adeptus Mechanicus FAQ is now live! Check it out here.


Quick summary of the changes:

Solar Blessing now doesn't stack with light cover. Apparently there are whiners complaining that it stacks with heavy cover, but unless you allow your opponent to apply heavy cover to ruins in addition to barricades and fuel pipes (which makes no sense), it shouldn't be a problem.

Acquisition at Any Cost can only be used once per game.

Enriched Rounds is now 1 CP for 10 or less, 2 CP for 11 or more Vanguard. Also, it only auto-wounds on hit rolls of 5+ now, not 4+.

Galvanic Volley Fire is now change weapon characteristic from Heavy 2 to Heavy 3 and not Rapid Fire 2.

Both Ironstrider Ballistarii and Syndonian Dragoons no longer have the Core keyword.

So what do you guys think? Are the changes good enough for you? Or are you going to complain about how Solar Blessing still stacks with heavy cover? Or maybe whine about the Holy Order of Logi stacking with Lucius's Transhuman on an 8-point model with a 2+/3+ armor save (Bulwark Imperative, apparently), and that the FAQ still doesn't solve anything?

Honestly, this doesn't affect me at all because I don't run blobs of Skitarii, I don't use any of these Stratagems, and I don't use Ironstrider Ballistarii or Syndonian Dragoons. I also don't use Lucius, I use Ryza. So...let me breathe a huge sigh of relief and celebrate.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Torchbearer Task Force Regulus

"Lord Inquisitor, we have just managed to make it past the Straits of Epona and into the border of the Elara's Veil."

Lord Inquisitor Takeshi Tsuchimikado nodded grimly after Captain Connor O'Neil informed him of the ship's arrival. The Retributor-class battleship, Angels Ascendant, sailed into the void, her gellar fields replaced by shimmering void shields as she readied for combat. Accompanied by several heavy cruisers, five battle barges, eleven strike cruisers and a single Ark Mechanicus that was dispatched from the forge world of Draconis IV, the capital ships were surrounded by dozens of escorts, resembling shoals of whales that swam alongside cruising leviathans.

Bulky, heavily armored and brutally ugly, the capital ships of Torchbearer Task Force Regulus sailed onward, the might of the Imperium embodied. Within the cargo hold of the Ark Mechanicus, Omnissiah's Glory, the precious gene-seed that would save a beleaguered Chapter from extinction lay, attended to by dozens of Magi Genetor.

"Plot the coordinates for Elysium IX," Tsuchimikado ordered. "We head for the Celestial Lions' homeworld."

"There are reports that it may have fallen to the Archenemy, my lord," O'Neil reminded him. Tsuchimikado's lips pursed.

"Be that as it may be, we are honorbound to deliver their gene-seed to the Celestial Lions. They require Primaris reinforcements."

"They should already have Primaris reinforcements, thanks to the Emperor's Spears," Interrogator Isaac Istavan pointed out. Tsuchimikado shook his head.

"Not nearly enough. If we can get the Greyshields to the Celestial Lions, they should be able to bring their numbers back to a full chapter. I don't know how they managed to survive after the events of Armageddon, and even that...assassination attempt of my colleagues on Chapter Master Ekene Dubaku, but we are not leaving anything to chance."

"They said the assassination attempt failed...and that Chapter Master Dubaku still lives."

"Yes, they do." Tsuchimikado smiled, the almost star-shaped scar across his face making it look like a grimace. "A Chapter Master is impossible to kill."

"Nonetheless, we must hurry. The astropathic choir reports that the Elara's Veil is under siege, and that the Adeptus Vaelarii are hard-pressed to hold the enemy back. The cries of billions of deaths haunt their messages, and the stars weep blood."

Tsuchimikado turned to see Marshal Mowbray of the Black Templars, clad in his black and white armor. His red cape billowed about him, and the gold trim stood out in stark contrast to the rest of his Tartaros-pattern Terminator armor. When he raised an eyebrow, Mowbray shrugged.

"I was simply repeating what Alain said."

Alain, the resident astropath was prone to flights of fantasy and poetry. Tsuchimikado didn't press him. He bowed his head respectfully. Mowbray had come over from his flagship, Sigismund's Wrath, knowing that the Black Templars Marshal had granted him a huge honor. However, he was also aware that the Black Templar was keeping a wary eye on him.

The Adeptus Astartes and the Inquisition never had the best of relationships, after all.

"My lord," the officer of communications suddenly spoke up, his face tinted green and blue by the hololiths projected from his consoles. "Enemy fleet detected in the system."

"Disposition?" O'Neil asked immediately, leaning forward in his command throne. Both hands gripped the armrests tightly.

"Six capital ships and...over a hundred escorts."

Static and screaming burst from the vox, the wailing of doomed souls and bestial shrieking of things that should not exist. Tsuchimikado winced at the noise, but decades of fighting the archenemy had inured him to it. The crew of the Angel Ascendant, on the other hand, were shaken.

"Shut that off," O'Neil ordered, and the vox officer complied immediately. Blissful silence replaced the bridge once more. The captain then turned toward Tsuchimikado, who nodded. O'Neil drew in a deep breath and glared at the hololiths. "Send the order to the fleet. We attack."

"Destroy all of them," Mowbray said flatly. "Do not let even a single one escape."

"You heard him," Tsuchimikado said, and the captain nodded.

"No pity, no remorse, no fear," Mowbray whispered. He then turned, reaching for his helm that he had maglocked to the side. "I will return to the Sigismund's Wrath. We will show these traitors no mercy."

*

Even when besieged from all sides by numberless multitudes of enemies, the might of the Imperium still could not be denied.

The Black Templar fleet broke off and surged ahead, slicing through the void like sharp, brutish knives. Torpedoes volleyed from their blunt prows, detonating against the void shields of the archenemy warships. Lances arced forward, causing the barriers to sizzle out and collapse in sparks. Macrobatteries whirred about, waiting to unleash their payload the moment their broadsides faced each other.

The enemy fleet, though formidable, had clearly just gone through heavy fighting. There were ragged holes in their armor, and barely patched up damages - repairs that were overly hasty and improvised. Even without the visible signns of damage, the amount of debris that drifted in the system was a testamennt to the furious battle.

The Imperial Navy and Mechanicus ships followed up, the latter opening up with their long-ranged nova cannons. A frigate exploded as a massive round tore into it and detonated in its guts, and a heavy cruiser listed, its guts gouged out by another nova cannon round.

"The Exilarchy," Tsuchimikado murmured as he consulted his dataslate. Under his command, his retinue had tapped into the vox communications and relays spread throughout the system and began to piece together what had occurred here. "The name of the heretics who threaten the Elara's Veil."

The exchange was short but ferocious, the imperial ships slowly getting in close and pounding the battered Exliarchy fleet into oblivion. Several turned tail and attempted to flee, but the Black Templars strike cruisers swiftly caught up to them, their lances burning out engines and slowing their thrust. The entire engagement took hours - such was the nature of void warfare - but the Imperium inexorably and surely destroyed their foes, one ship at a time.

"Do you think the same has happened to Elysium IX?" Istavan whispered, moving toward the armorglass that spread across the bridge. The once beautiful world of Electra had darkened, a crimson fog of embers surrounding its orbit. Even from this disance, he could see the immense infernos that burned upon the surface of the planet.

"I believe the Exilarchy has invaded it," Tsuchimikado replied gravely. "That this is but a token force, mere raiders. The main bulk of the Exilarchy's strength would most likely be in the Elysium System."

"My Black Templars and I will help take back the Celestial Lions' homeworld from the Exliarchy," Mowbray said, his figure buzzing on a faded hololith. The marshal had led one of the boardings aboard an Exilarchy ship, and signs of fierce fighting had worn the blood-splattered Terminator armor out. Nonetheless, he stood tall and proud, no sign of exhaustion on his face. "Not just Elysium...but the whole Elara's Veil sub-sector."

"We will aid you however we can." Tsuchimikado lowered his head. Torchbearer Task Force Regulus was a gathering of Imperial might, boasting a dozen knight lances from House Yato of Draconis III, and about a hundred Imperial Guard regiments, recently reinforced by their victory in Kryptos VIII. When he had requisitioned the fleet shortly after the war in Kryptos VIII, the Shogun had agreed to send them across the Great Rift, to aid the Celestial Lions.

With a single Black Templars Crusade and dozens of Skitarii macroclades in addition to the Knights and multitudes of Guardsmen, they should be able to reclaim the Elysium system at least. Entire sectors had fallen to less.

"We will bring the fleet to the Elysium system, break through the enemy naval cordon and prepare to land ground forces on Elysium itself. We will drive the Exilarchy away from the planet...and refound the Celestial Lions if necessary."

As much as he hoped to find remnants of the chapter, the situation did not look promising. There were no Adeptus Astartes ships in the system, which struck Tsuchimikado as odd. Most of them were obsolete defense monitors and recently salvaged imperial ships whose make had not been manufactured by forge worlds in millennia. Was this system not under the jurisdiction of the Adeptus Vaelarii? What about the Celestial Lions' allies, the Emperor's Spears and Star Scorpions? He had no information regarding the missing Star Scorpions, but he had received information that the Emperor's Spears had benefited from their Primaris reinforcements and even shared whatever they had with the Celestial Lions.

The Greyshields, who had further blooded themselves in void warfare against the Exilarchy along with the Black Templars earlier, would prove to be a boon to them.

"My lord," the vox officer spoke up again. The lord inquisitor turned to him with a quizzical raise of his brow. The junior officer swallowed and gestured to his console. "We are being hailed."

"By who?"

"...by the Blade of the Seventh Son, Castellan Zvarin Roist, the Castellan of the Elysium Crusade."

"Brother Zvarin!" Mowbray looked delighted, or at least as delighted as a transhuman warrior could look. "He is still alive! This is great news!"

"Indeed," Tsuchimikado agreed. "Accept their hail and ask them for permisson to come aboard their ship. We have a lot to discuss."

*

At least that was Takeshi Tsuchimikado's intention, but he did not expect to find himself trained under the dozen or so barrels from the Marines of the Black Templars, Celestial Lions and Emperor's Spears. His Inquisitorial storm troopers mirrored them, their hot-shot lasguns and hellguns lifted up and aimed at them. Under different circumstances, Tsuchimikado would be impressed at how his handpicked troops were not intimidated by forces from three Adeptus Astartes Chapters, but right now he had to defuse the situation.

"I believe," Arucatas said, his tone dark and foreboding. "That we said we will destroy any vessels bearing the Inquisition's mark if they run the Straits of Epona."

"Peace, brother." Mowbray stepped forward, holding up an armored greave. "We are not your enemies."

"Tell that to the Inquisitors who murdered Chapter Master Dubaku." Roist's finger nearly twitched on the trigger of his boltgun.

"Chapter Master Dubaku is dead?" Tsuchimikado repeated blankly. "But the messsage from the emergency beacon pod reported that the In Devout Abjuration was destroyed. My colleagues' attempts should have failed if that's the case."

"They didn't," Arucastas replied coldly, and left it at that. Tsuchimikado felt cold perspiration drip down his back as he stared at the boltgun pointed at his face. He took a deep breath and held up his hands.

"The Inquisition is not, as most misunderstand, a monolithic entity. There are...many factions within the Inquisition. Most Inquisitors are often at odds with each other."

"That is the only reason why you are still alive," Arucatas said. Tsuchimikado nodded and didn't argue, not wanting to push his luck. If the Space Marines truly wanted him dead, he would have been killed long ago.

"I am, obviously, of the faction opposing those who are foolishly attempting to drive the Celestial Lions to extinction."

"Why?" One of the Celestial Lions asked bitterly, his skepticism clear. His boltgun never wavered from Tsuchimikado's face, and it was clear from the intense hostility he emanated that he itched to pull the trigger.

"Because the Adeptus Vaelarii are the only ones who can defend Elara's Veil," Tsuchimikado explained calmly. "Those foolish, shortsighted colleagues of mine have allowed their pride to go to their heads. In their obsession...their desire to carry out a nonsensical vendetta, they doom the Imperium. Already half the Imperium has fallen to darkness. We cannot risk losing any more territories. Lord Commander Guilliman has returned to us and he will bring the Imperium back to the light. But we must all do our part. We cannot be...petty and shortsighted, incensed over some perceived slight. The High Lords who discretely ordered the destruction of the Celestial Lions have already been removed by Lord Commander Guilliman himself. I have also collected evidence of the colleagues involved in this vendetta and sent it to the Primarch. He is busy, of course, and I do not know how he intends to deal with it...or if at all. But in his graciousness, he allowed me to put together a torchbearer fleet to reinforce the Celestial Lions with what Greyshields he can spare from Indomitus Crusade Fleet Tertius. These..."

He gestured toward the hundreds of Primaris Space Marines, all decked out in the blue and gold colors of the Celestial Lions, who stood smartly in the hangar after disembarking from the Overlord gunships that flew over from the Black Templars fleet.

"...these are the hope of your Chapter, and will restore you to your former strength and glory. As you say, you are the Sentinels of the Veil, the Adeptus Vaelarii, and that you still live and fight to protect the Emperor's domains. The Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman has returned to the Imperium once more, and he will reward you for your efforts. You will be reinforced, you will hold, and you will protect Elara's Veil, no matter the cost."

"We do not take orders from the Inquisition," the Celestial Lion snarled. Tsuchimikado shook his head.

"The Inquisition does not presume to give orders to the Adeptus Astartes. This is a mandate from a higher power - the Emperor Himself, as well as his son, Lord Guilliman. I understand if you mistrust the Inquisition, but you should at least recognize the authority of the Avenging Son."

"Brothers." Mowbray stepped forward. "What the inquisitor says is true. He is...not of the same faction as those who seek the extinction of the Celestial Lions. There are many groups within the Inquisition as he says, and he belongs to those who side with Lord Guilliman. He wishes to restore the Celestial Lions as much as we do. It was through Inquisitor Tsuchimikado's efforts that he was able to put together this fleet and bring along hundreds of your Primaris brethren, to take the fight to the enemy."

"Not only that, I have pledged the forces under my command to help you retake the Elysium system. The whole of Elara's Veil." Tsuchimikado boldly pushed on, buoyed by Mowbray's assistance. "We will join the Elysium Crusade."

For a second, the tension in the air simmered, but the Space Marines finally lowered their boltguns. At a subtle nod from Tsuchimikado, the inquisitorial storm troopers did the same.

"What do you think?" Roist asked, turning to Arucastas and the Celestial Lions. He nodded at Mowbray. "I can vouch for Marshal Mowbray. We fought together in the Donian Crusade." He smiled. "We killed hundreds of Orks side by side."

"I remember that," Mowbray responded with a grin.

Arucastas pursed his lips, turning to his comrades. Breac bristled, but his eyes flickered to the newly minted Celestial Lions, the former Greyshields poised to reinforce the devastated chapter.

"I don't trust him," he muttered. "But...we can't deny that we need the reinforcements."

"Indeed," Arucastas agreed. "And with a fleet of this size aiding us, we might just be able to defeat the Exilarchy once and for all."

"No more holding actions. No more defending." Breac noddded. "We can finally take the fight to the archenemy!"

"I sense no deceit," Ducarius murmured, his eyes closed. "For an inquisitor, he is surprisingly open and honest."

"I have no intention of deceiving you," Tsuchimikado spread his hands and met their gazes firmly. "My duty is to the Imperium, not to carry out some petty vendetta. I may have colleagues whose stupidity, arrogance and reckless shortsightedness will doom us all, but that is why my faction exists. To keep those who would abuse their power in check and remove them whenever possible, and safeguard the Imperium from threats both external and internal. The Celestial Lions are vital to the defense of Elara's Veil, and we cannot risk losing them."

"Very well," the Celestial Lion sighed. "We do not have a choice. Our forces are severely depleted, and we have been hardpressed to hold the Exilarchy back. With this, we may just have a glimmer of hope of reclaiming the entirety of Elara's Veil."

"But..." Breac's tone held an ominous air of warning. "At the first sign of treachery, we will destroy you, the Inqusition be damned."

"I understand," Tsuchimikado replied calmly, though he felt a tremendous sense of relief, a massive burden taken off his shoulders. He had fought to persuade the primarch, Roboute Guilliman, to spare a huge number of Greyshields, called in several favors to put together a huge fleet, and even attached himself to the Black Templars, and now his efforts had finally borne fruit.

It would be a colossal waste to destroy the noble Celestial Lions. He truly believed that. Especially in this dark age, where the enemies besieged the Imperium in their multitudes...only the foolish would try and weaken the Imperium's defense by destroying one of the stalwart Adeptus Astartes Chapters. Their pettiness would doom the Imperium.

Most of all, Takeshi Tsuchimikado was a practical lord inquisitor. Elara's Veil must not fall. It was a buffer between Imperium Sanctus and Imperium Nihilus. Should Elara's Veil fall to the enemy, there was nothing to hold back the hordes of darkness that would threaten to spill over through the Cicatrix Maledictum and invade the recently stabilized Imperium Sanctus. The invaders would find a route through and assault Imperium Sanctus, threatening the fragile peace that they had just barely managed to win for themselves.

When that happened, Lord Commander Guilliman's dreams of unifying the Imperium once more and reclaiming humanity's birthright over the galaxy would be shattered.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Summer Meltdown Grand Tournament - Renegade Wargaming Event

 So I attended the Summer Meltdown Grand Tournament organized by Renegade yesterday, and...well, yeah. I can't say I did well (in fact, I probably did horribly), but I had a good time and it was fun. I guess that's the most important, so it's fine.

So the Renegade GT was composed of 5 rounds. Uh, well...I didn't take many pictures because we were on a chess timer, and it was pretty intense and competitive. Also, I'm too exhausted to write detailed reports, so I'll just sum them up briefly.

First game was against Salamanders, owned by Kyle. You can see him in the picture here below! Great guy. Anyway, it ended pretty...uh, one-sided. The Salamanders with their meltas smashed my Knights and I was effectively tabled by...was it turn 4 or 5? He blew my Knights up with the Eradicators and Land Speeders with multimeltas, and the Aggressors also did quite a lot of work. I lost the game 47-93. Ouch.

My second game was against White Scars, and even though he had a Leviathan Dreadnought and Eradicators, they weren't as potent as Salamanders (with the +1 to wound for melta during Tactical Doctrine) and he only brought 3 of them as opposed to 6, so I survived, and I managed to...uh, I think I tabled him. I'm not sure. I can't remember. Maybe he had a few dudes left, but I remember stomping his Chaplain to death, along with blowing up his Leviathan and Redemptor Dreadnoughts. He also had Bladeguard Veteran and Hellblasters, who I blew to bits, and I also got rid of the Land Speeder Storm, Scouts, Outriders and Intercessors, so if I'm not mistaken, I did wipe out his army, but it was still a close game because he had scored big on primary objectives (while I screwed up on the Primary), and also on Oath of Moment. I managed to win 70-52. Close one! Phew.

My third game was against Adeptus Custodes. Another close game, I managed to destroy the Jet-bikes, but because the damned Custodes all had Objective Secured, I could not contest a single Objective. All he had to do was plant a single Character or squad or whatever on an objective, and it's his. So he scored big on primary. Also, I picked the wrong secondaries - should have taken To the Last, for example, instead of No Prisoners. Also should have retrieved Ocatrius Data with my Ruststalkers instead of charging them in. I ended up killing every single unit in his army except for 2 models. Just 2 models - the Shield Captain and a single Custodian Guard. Unfortunately, I was unable to grab the objectives I needed despite trying to snatch them from the durable and Objective Secured Custodians, and I lost 65-76. If I had gotten To The Last and done Ocatrius Data, I might have gotten 12 more points, enough for me to win. If my Knights could contest objectives better, he wouldn't have gotten so many primary objective points. Ugh, it was a frustating loss, but I did my best. Can't do anything else.

My fourth game was against Ultramarines with a ton of Dreadnoughts. I made a horrible mistake of picking To The Last because of that last game, but I ended up losing all of my Knights to his Dreadnoughts. Despite killing 4 out of 6 Dreadnoughts (well, he actually had 2 Redemptor Dreadnoughts, 2 Contemptor Dreadnoughts and 2 Invictor Tactical Warsuits, but because the latter are walkers, I counted them as Dreadnoughts for ease of summary), I lost all of my Knights because I stupidly had my Castelallan within range of the Redemptor Dreadnought. I did get quite a few objectives, though, thanks to my Skitarii, but...yeah, it kind of sucked. My Knight Crusader did blow up with a hail Mary and killed his Librarian, Primaris Techmarine (Master of the Forge) and damaged his remaining Dreadnoughts, but otherwise there was little for me to say, other than...yeah, I captured objectives and did relatively well. Again, I made a terrible mistake of picking secondaries - if I had picked Engage on all Fronts instead of To the last, I would have won or at least gotten a draw. Instead, I got 0 for To the last and lost the game 71-86. Ugh, how frustrating.

My fifth game was against Thousand Sons, with Magnus. I was lucky enough to go first and wounded Magnus enough to tier him, so when he flew across the table, Warptimed, and crashed into my Knight Castellan...he SURVIVED! Killed Magnus in the second round, and then everything went downhill for my opponent from there. I...well, I feel bad because of how one-sided it was, and I wiped him out by turn 4. Ouch. I won the game 93-41. Sorry, Talha. I did not expect that to happen. I thought Magnus would win the game for him, or at least make it a lot closer. Wow...

Also, I wanted to take a picture of Talha's Thousand Sons army, but he left before I could. Whoops, I completely forgot! Ugh...

And there you have it. I won 2 games and lost 3 to cap off a...well, unimpressive performance. I finished 33rd out of 56 players. Considering that it was my first Grand Tournament, I guess it's...okay? I can't complain. I'm playing Knights, after all. Depending on what happens with the Thousand Sons codex (if they make psychic more fun), I'll most likely stick with Knights. I love Thousand Sons, but honestly, I'm not happy with what they did to our psychic spells. The nerf to smite was just a killer, and we don't get a +1 to casting psychic spells like Grey Knights do, which just makes it unreliable for me. We'll see, I suppose. Sigh.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Warzone Charadon: Book of Fire Spoilers

Well, everyone's talking about the Veteran Skitarii Cohort and other rules and stuff in Warzone Charadon: The Book of Fire, but I'm actually more interested in the lore.

I know that many people online have made fun of me for it, but I'm not buying the book for the rules or Army of Renown or whatever. I'm buying it for...you guess it, the lore. I want to know what happened to Metalica. I'm hoping that one of the major forge worlds survived the invasion of the Death Guard.

Did they? Well...spoilers ahead, obviously, but I don't think anyone cares. Nobody reads this blog anyway (except one or two), and even if by chance there are, I doubt they care about the wider implications of Warzon Charadon with regards to the fluff or lore of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Nonetheless, I'll go against the grain (all those videos talking about Be'lakor's new rules, the Veteran Skitarii Cohort, the supplement for the Order of the Martyred Lady, etc.) and talk about the lore instead!

Well, as we know, Metalica is under siege by the Death Guard. But Morvenn Vahl leads Battle Group Tarsus of Crusade Fleet Primus to reclaim parts of the Charadon Sector, apparently killing the Lord Discordant, Zeid, in a powerful strike.

The Alpha Legion and Word Bearers, or rather, a group from each of these legions united under the moniker Disciples, completed a summoning ritual and called forth Be'lakor into real space. As an added bonus, the ritual was done by sacrificing the captured Patriarch of Dhaku's Genestealer Cult, which is awesome. Heh. Foul xenos. He then descends with a legion of Daemons onto the home world of House Raven, Kolossi, and invaded the Keep Inviolate. After a brief and violent clash, Be'lakor somehow managed to spirit the entire knight world of Kolossi away into the warp. And this was after a group of Adepta Sororitas braved all odds against an Alpha Legion and Word Bearers fleet to make planetfall.

Yeah, you heard that right. House Raven...might not be dead, exactly, but their home world is gone. However, Kolossi apparently showed up deep inside Imperium Nihilus, discovered by the Inquisition. The Knights left back to defend the Keep Inviolate have been corrupted, and they are now House Korvax, a Chaos Knight House. Now, they and the corrupted residents of Kolossi fight under the amused gaze of Be'lakor, who sets them against each other for his own amusement.

Though Vahl reclaimed parts of Warzone Charadon, Metalica itself was left in ruins. The Imperium managed to drive back the Death Guard eventually, and Typhus retreated after suffering like 80% casualties of his forces, but...Chaos won. Typhus achieved his mission of infecting Forge World Metalica with the Nemesis Wurm, or rather he infected Fabricator-General Khleng, and now Metalica is doomed to die a slow death, often outbursts of Nurgle stuff coming up and destroying infrastructure, corrupting Skitarii, tech-priests and servitors. Despite their best efforts to scrub the forge world clean, the infection would always return, and Metalica loses more of itself with each passing day. They will eventually die unless they find a way to get rid of the Nemesis Wurm. Typhus, on the other hand, received Nurgle's favor, and was blessed and rewarded. I'm not sure what will happen to him, maybe he gets extra relics or something, but Nurgle was pleased with what he had accomplished. Yay? As for Khleng, he's dead, and good riddance. I say this as an Adeptus Mechanicus guy. His eradication arks and extremist "all flesh must be destroyed" beliefs did little to endear him to me. My forge world, Draconis IV, follows the tenets of Ryza, as well as the Prime Conduit of the Omnissiah (Belisarius Cawl).

The Deimos didn't really do much...apparently, they showed up and like Vahl and Battle Group Tarsus, reclaimed parts of Sector Charadon. We have the standard "everything is in ruins, the Charadon Sector is a mere shadow of its former self, will probably never recover, and they can't contribute to the Imperium's war efforts" rhetoric, which kind of sucks, to be honest, but...it is what it is. The Grey Knights never did anything. The Thousand Sons fought against the Death Guard, and Tzeentch against Nurgle, but again, nothing came out of that. Why were they even mentioned? No idea.

Big implications: Metalica will probably die in the end. House Raven is now a spacefaring Knight House, having lost their home world and the Keep Inviolate. Not good. Not good at all. Princeps Grevan and the rest of House Raven swore to find Kolossi and make whoever was responsible for it pay (Be'lakor and his disciples), but...I doubt anything will come out of that. Like Metalica, House Raven is probably ruined. Ouch. Don't know what's going to happen to the Knight STC, or how they will replenish their numbers, but I'm sure they will manage somehow. Not fun to have your army invalidated and written off from the lore, but you know, House Raven is basically just another Cadia.

Yeah, they took the Cadian route. Just like Cadians, House Raven lost their home world, and now they are a spaceborne army. Uh...yeah. Apparently only Space Marines are allowed to win, am I right? Oh, well.

That's pretty much it.

Hey, this reflects the meta somewhat. Death Guard are doing well, so they won. Chaos Space Marines are pretty awful right now, so the Black Legion got their asses kicked by the new Sisters codex. And Knights, well...yeah, they are in a rough spot, so House Raven lost their home world, Kolossi. On the other hand, Be'lakor has some insane new rules, so...yeah. Oh, and the Genestealer Cults are a joke right now, which was why they got eradicated so quickly. I probably don't even have to mention the poor Astra Militarum, who were slaughtered in great numbers by the Death Guard and everyone else. Only aberration is that the overpowered Adeptus Mechanicus (or Skitarii) lost to Death Guard, but...meh. Oh, wait...that's Lucius. Metalica is awful right now, ha ha, nobody plays Metalica. On the other hand, Deimos seems to have won, so...there's your Adeptus Mechanicus victory. And the Grey Knights and Thousand Sons codex are nowhere to be seen, just like them being strangely absent in the book, despite being mentioned a couple of times...with no real consequence.

If you guys have any questions about the lore and fluff regarding Warzone Charadon, go ahead and ask! I can't promise to give all the answers because I'm not an expert, but I have both books and I will do my best!

Also, I think I'm going to plan a campaign using the rules in Warzone Charadon for my gaming group in Dreamers Vault. I'll probably be the campaign master. I'll discuss with the kids and my friends and see if they want to play. I'll do my best to run the campaign, but it all depends on them, really. One of them plays Death Guard, another plays Blood Angels, so I think this will suit them. If need be, I have Knights and Adeptus Mechanicus to replicate several of the scenarios here, but being the campaign master, I probably will be overseeing the campaign, handing out rewards and keeping track of scores and the victory tally instead of gaming. Still, we'll see!