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.

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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, March 29, 2016

Militarum Tempestus Scions in Deathwatch Overkill

I just went through Natfka's blog and I saw something awesome for all Imperial Guard and Stormtrooper fans! Apparently the board game Deathwatch Overkill will be expanding with a new mission that gives full rules for using Militarum Tempestus Scions, allowing us to tell the tale of Inquisitor Chaegryn's doomed investigation of Ghosar Quintus.

I can't wait! If I find out more about this, I'll let you guys know. This is awesome! I like stormtroopers a lot more than Space Marines, so this will be great for me!

For the Emperor!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Getting Ignited over Necropolis

I'm in the midst of reading Necropolis, and I'm getting sick of all the politics and stuff that Gaunt has to face not just in this volume, but all the volumes so far. There's only so many times you can reference the bad blood between the Volpone Bluebloods and the Tanith's First and Only before it gets stale (worse, they are not the only ones, apparently the Jantine Patricians was the antagonists in the first volume, First and Only). Blah blah, they have something against the Ghosts, blah blah. Only the setting has changed.

Plus the enemy is still Chaos. At least we have the engimatic Eldar show up in Ghostmaker, but they were there more as allies than enemies, and I'm getting sick of seeing Gaunt's Ghosts fight nothing but Chaos scum. Plus the whole politics angle has been overplayed to the point of cliched. I mean, I've read dozens of sci-fi military novels, and it's always the politicians that are cast in an unfavorable light, getting in the way of the military, causing trouble, being corrupted, blah blah.


Maybe it's a trope, and to be fair, this was written in the late 90s, so it's a classic. Maybe back then the trope of politicians bumbling and getting into the military's way hasn't been overused...yet. But right now it has reared its ugly head far too frequently.

And Ian Douglas's Andromeda Dark series is set to be released in November. I'll pre-order it when I get to America on Bookdepository, otherwise the book will get delivered to my Singaporean home instead of my temporary residence (I hope I get a dorm room, it seems cheaper and more convenient).

In other news, I've gotten ahold of Deathwatch: Ignition and sad to say, it's a collection of short stories. Damn it, I wanted the novelization of the Deathwatch: Overkill campaign. Why can't I find the novel for that one!? Anyway, I'll write an impromptu review for it (something like this post) once I'm done reading it. I actually haven't finished reading Necropolis yet, but judging from the dwindling pages it's only a matter of time. So don't worry.

For the Emperor! For Tanith!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Gaunts' Ghosts

I was actually planning on picking up my Deathwatch novel today, but things ended late so I couldn't get to my local gaming store in time. Oh well. Next week then.

Anyway, I'm reading Gaunt's Ghosts - the first omnibus, to be exact, which is about their Founding. And it is awesome. Yeah, really. Maybe I'll write a book review, but I doubt I will. There are already so many book reviews about Gaunt's Ghosts, and they write about it far better than I do, so there's no point in me writing one. As of now I'm through the third novel, Necropolis, but I really like First and Only and Ghostmaker. I thoroughly enjoyed both stories, and especially appreciated the touch Dan Abnett brought by not just making it a tale about Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, but also about the individual troopers under his command.

I mean, Corbec is really awesome, and Mkoll is also very cool. Dorden is noble, Larkin is quite the amusing and likeable character, and I even warm to new characters such as Captain Daur in Necropolis and Soric. I also like a lot of the guys who fought bravely and passed on, such as Sergeant Blane and his Seventh Platoon and even the brave but reckless Lerod. Ouch. The ones I really dig are Caffran and Milo Brin, both young 'uns that I can really relate to, sometimes feeling out of place yet can be absolutely resourceful in times of crisis. I can't say I like Rawne, though, or Feygor. But Bragg, Varl and all the rest are awesome. Gaunt is also quite the remarkable leader who can politically maneuver with the best of them, and his exploits are legendary - though not quite up there with Ciaphas Cain - with Ciaphas, I like it when he narrates his tales in first-person, and his adventures are awesome and mind-blowing. On the other hand, what makes Gaunt's Ghosts shine is not Gaunt himself but the sum of many parts consisting of all the troopers, from the young Caffram all the way to Gaunt's second officer Colonel Corbec.

Of course, Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and his aide Milo are also indispensable. Milo's ways of worming out of trouble are hilarious and I couldn't help but grin and laugh when he outwitted Inquisitor Lilith in Ghostmaker. Now that was quite a scene on par with Ciaphas's amazing getaways and outwitting of his foes such as Commissar Tomas Bejie. The humor is scarce, but the human element and the way Dan Abnett individualizes each trooper is nothing short of amazing.

I really look forward to reading more of these classic works. Though it must be said that some of the lines are cheesy, particularly the quotes from Sturm, Slaydo and other characters as the beginning of chapters. I know they are meant to be inspiring but sometimes they come across as...well, cheesy.

Anyway, I'll look forward to picking up the Deathwatch novel and reading it after I finish The Founding omnibus.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

White Dwarf Genestealer Cult Uprising

I'm sorry, I know I'm very late in posting this, but I've finally gotten my White Dwarf for this week, Issue 110 that was release on 5th March 2016. A few days late, I know, but I already did the Genestealer Cult datasheet write-up on Sunday. Today, I'll elaborate more on the fluff written in the White Dwarf and sum it up for those guys who are unable to buy this week's issue (either because it's sold out, or it costs too much).

I also ordered the Black Library novel titled Deathwatch: Ignition, and like the other books, I'll write a book review once I've finished reading it. Maybe. Maybe not. I mean, I didn't bother writing a review for the Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum anthology that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I did write something for Yarrick: The Pyres of Armaggedon (something about the writer being Canadian). I think. Well...not like anyone reads my books reviews anyway, so if I get lazy I don't think anyone will miss it.

Before I get into the fluff, let me direct everyone's attention to the inside page on the overleaf of the cover, opposite Page 1. It's titled How to use your free Genestealer Cult rules Pullout! Here's what it says:

In the center of this issue of White Dwarf you will find an eight=page pull-out section which will allow you to use the Genestealer Cult models from Deathwatch Overkill in your games of Warhammer 40,000! Below you'll see how you can ally the Ghosar Quintus Broodkin with other factions.

Genestealer Cults and Allies
All units in the Ghosar Quintus Broodkin have the Genestealer Cult Faction. Genestealer Cults ally in exactly the same way as Tyranids, as described in the Allies section of Warhammer 40,000: The Rules.

There you have it and it should answer any questions regarding how to ally your Genestealer Cult (unless you've already read Natfka's blog or Bell of Lost Souls). They are basically Tyranids. And Tyranids, who treat everyone as enemies in the vein of Come the Apocalypse finally have Battle Brothers! HOORAY! Too bad I don't play Tyranids, but I would love to play AGAINST Tyranids. Come on! Well, I really like the Genestealer Cult, so I might ally them in with my Imperial Guard (compromised Planetary Defense Force if you want the fluff to fit) in the manner I wrote in my last post, with an armored company in the backline, and the Genestealer Cult infiltrating in front. Yay. For the Four-Armed Emperor...BLASPHEMY! YOU SHALL BE PURGED!!!

Anyway, here's the summary for the Genestealer fluff in White Dwarf.

This whole Ghosar Quintus thing seems to be returning to its roots, or the origins, because Ghosar Qunitus Broodkin was supposedly the first ever Genestealer Cult uncovered within the Imperium. So Kill Team Cassius must have encountered these xenos heretics way before the legendary Commissar Ciaphas Cain and his valiant Valhallans purged them from so many worlds across the sector. It's an origin story, huh? There's a brief mention of the Genestealers being a minor alien race from the moons of Ymgarl, a huge nod to the first edition, in Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader.

Ghosar Quintus was a mining world, or Delverworld, that bwas one of the most productive planets of the Imperium, with so-called "exemplary records of tithe payemnt" that passed "Adeptus Munitorum and Adeptus Mechanicus with unheralded ease." That is, until the Space Hulk designated Curse of Unreason ended up floating into the system it was orbiting in 1,500 years ago, and infected the world. Basically, Inquisitor Chaegryn conducted a routine ordos investigation in 680.M41, and...probably died (most likely killed and eviscerated by those damned Genestealers), the Deathwatch intervened and dispatched Kill Team Excis. They...well, got slaughtered completely and the Deathwatch got mad and sent in yet another Kill Team, this time led by Chaplain Cassius. Uh, good idea. More like Killed Team.

Ghosar Quintus was ruled by a mining cartel known as the Trysst Dynasty, who obviously had been infected by purestrain Genestealers, and produced heirs or leaders who kept all these Genestealer Cult activities and subterfuge under wraps. Until it was too late! So basically, in just four generations, the Genestealers' genes had integrated into the society of Ghosar Quintus, planting eladers within Trysst Dynasty, and taking steps to ensure their subtle invasion ran for as long as possible. Until they got found out, and they decided to rise up and rebel against the Imperium, annihilating Kill Team Excis, only to be defeated by Kill Team Cassius after "prolonged and daring fighting." Right. There are thousands...maybe even hundreds of thousands Genestealer Cultists (just read this line: "the Broodkin emerged from the Ghosar Quintus's mine-workings in such numbers..."), and it took just one Kill Team to wipe them out. Really?! Forgive me if I'm skeptical.

Of course, they could always take the easy route out and kill the Patriarch, Patriarch Ghosar, and somehow losing their leader leads to the Hive Mind breaking down and the Genestealer Cultists just evaporating into thin air, or self-destructing, or drive them to suicide. I dunno. I guess I'll find out when I read Deathwatch: Ignition. I'm tempted to get the board game just so I can field the Ghosar Quintus Broodkin Formation, but I'm pretty short on cash these few months. I don't earn a lot, and I'm running off to America or Canada in August...I hope. So...I'll wait and see. It'll be fun, though.

Anyway, the fluff rounds off with bitter irony about the Genestaler Cult becoming a psychic beacon that calls down Tyranid Hive Fleets to devour the worlds as well as the poor Cultists who worshipped them. Man, to be consumed by your gods, that must be one hell of a way to get your faith utterly destroyed. Well, serves them right for turning away from the light of the Emperor (though it must be said it isn't their fault. Thrall, hypnotism, and Patriarch's formidable psyker powers and all that).

I don't think I need to go into the definition of what the Deathwatch Chapter is, but hey, I might as well type it since I've written this far.

The Deathwatch Chapter is a standing army of Space Marines, charged with safeguarding the Imperium from the aliens that assail it. From awakening Necrons to gathering Ork hordes, Hrud (a nocturnal, tribal race of scavengers and parasites from the days of Rogue Trader that has no army or its own codex, a strong connection to the Warp, love migrations, hence you see the word here, and mostly live in underground cities called Juunlaks when they are not stealing stuff or being hired as assassins) migrations to the expansionist Tau Empire (funny, I didn't see any Deathwatch Kill Teams in Kauyon or Mont'ka when the Tau was expanding back then), there is no end of threats. Drawn from the very best within the Space Marine Chapters (except Grey Knights, apparently), the Deatwatch are selected for their expertise in fighting aliens. This special arrangement has lasted millennia and seen thousands of battle-brothers join their ranks, some for a short time, others for decades or even centuries (Dreadnoughts and Venerable Dreadnoughts?). Thus an Ultramarines Veteran might fight shoulder to shoulder with a White Scar (and become an Ultra Scar), Crimson Fist (Crimson Smurfs now) or Blood Drinker (Vampire Space Marines!), each contributing unique skills and abilities. Upon joining this august company (they recruit every August), each watch member (receives a watch) has his armor repainted black, his left arm plated bright silver and adorned with the Deathwatch's sigil. Only the original Chapter badge remains uncovered, to honor the armor's spirit.

Uh, well, it goes on to say that "the Deathwatch operate in small numbers, often deploying Kill Teams with only a handful of warriors to excise a threat." Not sure why, I mean you have an army, don't you?! Anyway, they have access to their favorite weapons, which they can swap and change for wargear most suitable for the threat at hand, and despite being always outnumbered, they are never ever outgunned. Yeah, right. Wait till you face down the thousands of Earthshaker cannons from stolen batteries of Basilisks...well, I guess that's true then, because the only army able to outgun a Deathwatch Kill Team is the Imperial Guard. Whoops.

Anyway, this is what you've missed in White Dwarf if you didn't buy it. Buy it, the datasheets for the Genestealer Cult alone is worth it. That's an order, and any attempt to shirk from your imperial duty of offering monetary tithes to Games Workshop...uh, the Imperium of Man, will be considered Heresy and a dereliction of duty, and I'll use my power as a Commissar to BLAM you.

For the Four-Armed... -BLAM!- For the Two-Armed, Human Emperor!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Genestealer cult rules and in-depth look!

The Genestealer Cult rules are out! Please check them out at the Games Workshop Deathwatch rules page. Have fun!

What I'll do is go through the Genestealer Cult rules and analyze them. I won't go over the Space Marines and Deathwatch Kill Team because...well, Space Marines. Everyone knows them, and you'll find better stuff than mine out there. The same for Genestealer Cult, but I'm more interested in them so I'll write about them. Sorry, but you'll have to put up with my bias here. >____<

Now let's check out the first unit. We have our lovable and awesome Patriarch Ghosar: The Ghastly Truth. True to Lovecraftian Mythos fashion, this dude is worshipped as a god. He's also a great psyker, capable of hypnotizing dudes, and the thralls who fall under his spell become cultists of his new, deadly cult. Cool. He's a bit on the expensive side, costing 115 points...but I guess that's standard for HQ units. I mean, my Tech-priest Dominus costs about 105 points, 135 if I give him relics from Mars, so nothing too outrageously expensive and not overly cheap either. He generates psychic powers from Teleptahy, so you can get invisibility? I think? On the other hand, with his BS0, I don't know if he can use Psychic Shriek. Uh...what? Weird. On the other hand, his WS7 makes him an absolute beast in close combat, his Patriarch claws taking his S5 and giving him both AP3 and Rending, plus Shred! So re-roll your wounds, as you have 4 attacks at Initiative 7 (5 on the charge). Stealth gives him +1 cover save, I think, and he has Hit and Run to escape from combat if you want him to. He's a Mastery Level 2 Psyker, so roll on those tables, dude!

Next is the Magus Orthan Trysst, the Prophet of the Great Patriarch. A budget HQ at 65 points, he's also a psyker and with BS4 he can finally use Psychic Shriek because he generates psychic powers from the same Telepathy table as his Patriarch. The BS4 also helps with the pathetic autopistol he has. Uh...okay. He's not bad in close combat as he has a force stave to Instant Death things with Force if you want to. That's something you need because his strength is otherwise a miserable 3 and he only has 2 attacks. Like his Patriarch, he's also a Mastery Level 2 Psyker, so you'll probably be using him more for support (Invisibility if you're lucky!), and unless you don't mind the risk of losing him, throw him into combat for an Instant Death hit from his force weapon. He does have a Genestealer Familiar, though, which gives him 2 extra S4 AP- hits with Rending. Not exactly reliable, but can be fun if you roll a couple of sixes!

Then you have the Primus Vorgan Trysst, the Right Hand of the Patriarch. The warrior dude, he has a needle pistol. Poison on a 2+? Yes, sir. AP6 and 12" range will be his undoing, so don't rely on him for shooting even with his decent BS4. Bone sword seems something taken out of the Tyranid codex (I'm not familiar with it so I could be mistaken). It's a cool weapon with AP3 that strikes with his S4 and has Life Drain, which allows him to Instant Death an opponent with a roll of 6. With 3 attacks (4 on the charge) and WS4, that might be possible. Cool. A bit more expensive than Magus Orthan Trysst at 75 points, he's another decent HQ that works if you're on a budget on points. This guy also has Zealot to make him Fearless and improve his first-turn close combat, so attach him to a unit to make them Fearless! He's an Independent Character like the other HQs.

The troops are here! First off are the Favored Disciples, Acolyte Hybrids of the First and Second Circles, 12 of them costing 85 points! Not bad! They cost a bit more expensive than Guardsmen platoons and Veteran squads, but cheaper than a 10-men Space Marine tactical or scout squad. Funnily enough they have blasting charges that serve as assault grenades, and autopistols, so their mediocre BS3 sees some use. But what you want is to get them close in combat with their WS4, S4 AP5 rending claws with Rending that, coupled with a close combat weapon, attack thrice (four times on the charge) at Initiative 4. Don't forget two close combat weapons (one close combat weapon, and the other rending claws) gives an extra attack! Plus they are Fearless!

The alternative Troops slot is the Faithful Throng. 16 Neophyte Hybrids at 110 points? They cost the same as a 10-men Scout squad, but unlike the Favored Disciples, they suck at close combat with only 1 attack, 1 close combat weapon and WS3. They're more for shooting with their BS3, with 12 autoguns packed in there. Fortunately, that's not all - they have 2 grenade launchers and 2 mining lasers! The grenade launchers are standard - if you ever play Imperial Guard, you should be familiar with them. They fire the same krak and frak grenades at 24", so no changes there. The mining lasers, on the other hand, are the new stuff. They're basically half-range lascannons that fire at 24" instead of the usual 48", but preserves the awesome S9 AP2 goodness. Tasty. Keep in mind that mining lasers are still heavy, and these guys don't have relentless, so if you move, run or whatever, they have to snap-fire the stuff. Not bad for a troops choice, they are versatile, but their mediocre BS3 means they will be missing half their shots. Oh well.

The Elites slot has the Purestrain Princelings. 2 Purestrain Genestealers at the cost of 30 points, they're the normal Genestealers in our standard Tyranid armies that we know and love. WS6, BS0, no psychic powers, can Infiltrate, Hit and Run and has Stealth. Like the Favored Disciples, they have S4 AP5 rending claws with Rending. 2 attacks at Initiative 6, 3 on the charge, well...hmm...not as scary as a full brood of Purestrain Genestealers that absolutely tore apart my Sicarian Infiltrators a long time ago. But these guys have Leadership 10, so it'll be hard for them to fail morale. Whee. Too bad you don't have the option to add more to these guys. Oh well.

The 2nd Elites are the Brothers Aberrant, who at 120 points for 4 of them, have a poor BS1 but a decent WS4, so they're obviously meant for close combat. Yay. 2 of them have power hammers and the other 2 have power picks. These are all unwieldy weapons, so their poor Initiative 2 isn't affected that much and they strike last in close combat. However, these are powerful melee weapons, with the power pick adding +2 strength to their S5 and giving them AP3. Awesome! The power hammers are even more powerful, giving +3 strength and AP2, plus Concussive! They all have rending claws, which gives them an additional attack in melee, I think? So instead of 2, they have 3, but I don't know how the two-handed rule for the power hammers work, so maybe the hammer guys only have 2 instead of 3 (4 and 3 on the charge then). They are also Stubborn, and they have Feel No Pain, which makes them more survivable with their Toughness 4 and 2 Wounds (beware of high strength weapons that will Instant Death them, though, like S8 AP3 large blast battle cannons from my Leman Russ Battle tanks and Knight Paladin). Not bad at all, a pretty cool and small but scary melee squad with high strength weapons!

That's all! So what do you have if you put all these units together? You get an awesome formation, of course!

The Ghosar Quintus Broodkin, at 600 points in total, contains all 7 units and grant all of them Stealth and Infilitrate (if they haven't gotten them already), which means you can Infiltrate your Faithful Throng 18" away from that tank and start pinging away with your 24" lascannons for the rest of the game. Cool! They also have pretty awesome bonuses, like the Ambush the Unhallowed. This allows all Ghosar Quintus Broodkin units who Infilitrate to gain Shrouded until the start of the 2nd turn, allowing them to survive longer with better cover saves! Even better, all units that Infiltrate can charge on the first turn! That makes your Favored Disciples and Purestrain Princelings as well as the Ghosar Patriarch and the Primus all the more deadly right from the start of the game! I can't imagine the chaos this will ensue when you Infiltrate them right in front of your enemy, move them closer, and charge them immediately! Furthermore, this augments the Ghosar Patriarch and Purestrain Princelings further, allowing them to Infiltrate within 1" away from enemy units. Yes, you read that right. Infiltrating 1" away from enemy units. AWESOME! Obviously, Ghosar Patriarch must be joined to the Purestrain Princeling unit for that because this rule doesn't work if he's joined to other units like the Favored Disciples. Well, why would you want him to join them? The Ghosar Patriarch works better in tandem with the Purestrain Princelings in my opinion. And charging on the first turn? Yes, this is pretty much guaranteed. Just pray your opponent doesn't seize the initiative and shoot your elite melee unit off the table before you get to charge in and rip him apart.

Even better, the Ghosar Quintus Broodkin also has Broodmind Telepathy, which grants all units in this Formation Fearless and Adamantium Will! This enhances your army's defense against psykers and psychic powers, and you don't have to worry about your units breaking morale and fleeing from battle no matter how many losses they sustain. Keep in mind, the Ghosar Patriarch must be alive for this rule to remain in place, so make sure he survives as long as possible!

And that's the wrap-up and in-depth look at the new Genestealer Cult army! It looks pretty cool and fun to play with. Is it a top-tiered army? I'm not sure, I don't think so. But it's a pretty fun and fluffy army that can spring some nasty surprises. Infilitrating 1", then charging right in immediately? Count me in! It makes for a great ally, especially to Imperial Guard, who lacks dedicated close combat units. Imagine parking an Emperor's Fist Armored Company at the back, in your deployment zone, and then Infiltrating your Genestealer Cult close to your opponents' deployment zone. Chaos will ensue! Even if you lose, it'll be a mighty fun game, and you don't have to worry about the One Eye Open rule since they will be deployed so far from each other!

For the Emperor! We shall control the Hive Mind and bend these Genestealers to the Will of the Emperor and have them serve the Imperium by slaying the enemies of Mankind!