Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

Image result for adeptus mechanicus symbol

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...

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mars Battlecruiser

After an hour or so of playing, I managed to have my The Avenger of Khuegan and The Sword of Boetia succeed in their planetary bombardment where we basically wiped out Chaos strongholds with orbital weaponry (Death from the skies!). Thanks to that, Astra Militarum troops were able to root out the remaining Chaos forces and rout them from the sector. Hooray!

In addition, I also completed a side mission that was Assassination where I had to defend my flagship from Eldar Corsairs. It was a frustrating mission, but I somehow succeeded by destroying all the Eldar ships. At the cost of my flagship, but somehow I still managed to be victorious. I don't understand. I think it's because my victory condition (destroy all the Eldar corsairs) came before I lost my flagship. Anyway, thanks to that I leveled up to level 5 and now I have unlocked my Mars battlecruisier, The Triumph of Deliverance! This will be my new flagship.

Goodbye, The Avenger of Khuegan. Well, I repaired him twice, costing me a painful 100 renown points, but I probably will not be using him unless I have the points. We shall see. For now, I'll be taking command in my The Triumph of Deliverance and taking the fight to the archenemy!

For the Emperor! And the Omnissiah.

Battlefleet Gothic Armada

Yeah, so I restarted my game from scratch last night, and played everything from the tutorial. I decided to go with the Dominator cruiser instead of the Tyrant this time, but because I like the Tyrant so much I unlocked it the moment I had a 2nd slot. I doubt I'll ever use him though. But hey, it's nice to have the option.

Anyway, this is my fleet so far.

Level 5 Dominator cruiser, The Avenger of Khuegan

Level 1 Tyrant cruiser, The Avenger of Retaliation (I'm guessing Retaliation is a planet's name, or a system's name)

Level 5 Dauntless light cruiser, The Sword of Boetia

Level 1 Dauntless MK2 light cruiser, The Avenger of Light (why is almost every ship in my fleet the avenger of something? And Light and Retaliation?)

My Firestorm frigates and The Sword of Boetia have been upgraded with Disruption Overcharge to deal extra damage to shields, and The Avenger of Khuegan has armor piercing macro cannons. Yay. My typical 300-point fleet usually consists of The Avenger of Khuegan, The Sword of Boetia and a Widowmaker destroyer, but I try to fit in Firestorm frigates whenever I can. I suspect that I'll be going into higher-point matches in the future, so I upgraded my Firestorm frigates, particularly when going for 450-point matches. The last time I did that, I could fit in 4 Firestorm frigates along side The Avenger of Khuegan and The Sword of Boetia, but the current planetary assault mission in Turn 7 went back to 300 points. Ouch.

Well, I'm a level 4 Admiral right now, and I'm hoping to rank up to level 5 so that I can unlock a battlecruiser. I'm looking forward to getting a Mars battlecruiser, and I'll update you when I get it, as well as how far I've gotten to the mission.

For now, I've been wiping out enemy ships with The Avenger of Khuegan's nova cannon. That thing is a beast, ha ha. After reading about Dominator cruisers from Cadian Blood, where Captain Straden defended Kathur to the death aboard his Dominator cruiser, The Depth of Fury. By firing his nova cannon, Captain Straden took out a huge chunk of the chaos fleet that warped in above Kathur as well as dealing grievous damage to Terminus Est, the Death Guard flagship. Damage that was so severe it was never seen since the likes of the Horus Heresy. Entire decks were wiped out, and if Straden had been lucky enough to hit the bridge, Terminus Est and that accursed Typhus the Herald would have perished. Alas, it was not to be. Oh well.

Now I've a Dominator of my own. The Avenger of Khuegan. If I can get a Mars battlecruiser to join him, I'll be filling the map with nova cannon blasts. HA HA HA HA!

For the Emperor!

By the way, once I get access to flavors, I'll most likely go for the Adeptus Mechanicus flavor.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Battlefleet Gothic Armada, the first few missions

I finally started playing Battlefleet Gothic: Armada last night, and it was fun. Sort of.

There were a few problems, but I suspect it has more to do with my gaming laptop (which is an Aurorus with a freaking Nvdia GTX graphics card) than the game itself. The cinematic stutters and the dialogue and the video are not in sync. Basically the dialogue moves faster than the video, so they finish speaking (and the sound effects explode right before the screen of the explosion...what the hell?) before the video ends, and there's a long stretch of silence as the video plays catch up.

I'm not sure why...I had a similar problem with Titanfall where I take over a minute or two to load the game, and by the time I load it, the game has already begun long ago and either team has about 100 points. That's even though I was already from the lobby from the start.

There probably is something wrong with my laptop. But it's a gaming laptop!

Anyway, bugs aside, the game itself is sort of fun. I play as Admiral Spire...okay, I start out as Captain Spire in charge of a Dauntless class light cruiser, checking out Aleph Station, finding out that everyone in there has been murdered after sending a boarding party of shock troopers (are they Cadians?), which then proceeds to be a trap. I hope those Cadians get out alive and safely back on the light cruiser.

Anyway, we encountered a couple of destroyers, which got destroyed by me, only for an entire Chaos fleet to warp in and force us to make an emergency warp jump. That's the tutorial, I believe.

The next mission has Spire promoted to Admiral (with me once again experiencing the same stuttering in the cinematic), and sent to take out a seditious crusier. Another pseudo tutorial, which forced me to take a Dauntless MKII light cruiser and Firestorm Frigate alongside my current Dauntless light cruiser. We were doing fine, but I lost the Firestorm, and for no reason the captain of the Dauntless MKII panicked and thought we were going to lose, even though both my light cruisers had a lot more health than the heavily damaged enemy cruiser (each of them has more green bars than the red bars of the enemy), and I was forced to execute him. Lieutenant Krast (I think) was promoted to captain for shooting the former captain. Yay. After this, the Dauntless MKII became a staunch maintstay in my fleet.

When I first unlock cruisers, I immediately chose a Tyrant cruiser. I favor broadside weapons, and the Tyrant has about 8 broadside macro-cannons, 4 being plasma. Ideal for moving alongside and unleashing a heliish broadside bombardment. YAY! So my standard fleet now comprises of a Tyrant cruiser being my Admiral flagship, a Dauntless MKII cruiser being my ship of the line, and a Cobra class destroyer. I like destroyers more than frigates anyway, but it's just too bad the Cobra lacks the lance weaponry the Firestorm has. But it's cheaper! Yay!

The next mission was escort, and I did that by trying to pummel all the Ork ships to oblivion. Unfortunately, it was too difficult to do so and I only destroyed one before 2 of my transport ships escaped (I lost 1). If you're having trouble with this mission, one advice is to split them up and have them run from three different positions on the map. For some reason, all the Orks converge on a single convoy ship first.

Then data recovery, which I used my standard Tyrant cruiser along with my Dauntless MKII light cruiser and Cobra destroyer, turned out to be easy after several tries of me screwing up and trying to destroy all the other ships, not realizing I only have 3 minutes to chase after the dude to board him. Oh, and another tip - only your cruisers and light cruisers have boarding parties, so don't make the mistake of going for speed and massing 4 Firestorm frigates with a single Dauntless light cruiser, only to find out that the frigates can't send boarding parties. Ugh. Plus the Tyrant cruiser can soak up lots of damage, so he will survive and make the warp jump before the enemy can board him. HA HA HA! The Dauntless MKII light cruiser (and I suspect the normal Dauntless) can't - if you don't destroy the other ship fast enough (and most of the time you will not), he'll board your damaged light cruiser and steal the data back. Oh well.

There are side missions, and I took the escort mission again. This time I destroyed 3 Ork ships and saved 2 transport ships (ugh, always losing 1). But for some reason after I completed and beat that side mission, I can't take the other side mission that involves destroying Chaos ships. Huh? What's going on? Am I restricted to a certain number of side missions or something? Anyway, I stopped there (just before the orbital platforms mission, where I've to defend them), and that's that.

I'll post more details as I play further through the campaign.

Oh yeah, there's no base building, which is kind of fresh and cool. I can upgrade and select my ships before each mission, so I don't need to go through the tedious motions of base building and waiting for my ships to be built. I can't wait to unlock battleships and larger ships!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Forge World for Skitarii!

It seems that Forge World has announced that they will be creating Forge World upgrades and stuff for the Mechanicus, and they have posted on their Bulletin some cool pictures of Skitarii Rangers with original weapons!

You can see it on the Forge World Bulletin by clicking here. I look forward to seeing what they have for the Skitarii! It'll most likely be featured in the next Imperial Armor.

For the Omnissiah!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada

I've finally purchased Battlefleet Gothic: Armada after making use of the Steam sales. Yes, I waited for a sale before finally getting my hands on it. As I said, I don't have a steady income anymore, so I can't recklessly spend my money.

I've installed it in my computer, and will be playing the single-player campaign shortly. This will be fun. I will probably try to write something about each mission, I don't know how I'll do it. Maybe I'll write my own narrative, my own take on events (leading a Mechanicus fleet against Abbadon), and stuff like that. That might be fun. We shall see.

As I said, this will mark my shift from tabletop to PC gaming, though my book reviews will remain. I love Warhammer 40K for its lore and fluff, so it doesn't matter if I can no longer play the tabletop game. If I can continue to get my hands on Black Library books and games that appeal to me, then I'll pursue Warhammer 40K in that direction.

For the Emperor! We'll begin halting Chaos's Crusade against our worlds...soon. I hope.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The World Engine

The World Engine, by Ben Counter, is quite simply...out of this world.

Featuring the Astral Knights, who apparently are a successor chapter to the Imperial Fists (really? Not mentioned in the novel), The World Engine is actually Borsis, some sort of artificial planet (later revealed to have been built by the C'tan, Yggra'nya (who comes up with these names?). The story? Badass Astral Knights decide to ram their awesome battleship, Tempestus (who by the way is the biggest and most powerful ship in the Varv Deliverance Fleet) into Borsis.

Okay, sorry about that. Let's back that up a bit. First, the Varv Deliverance Fleet is sent to halt the destructive trail of the World Engine, which had carved a path of carnage through the Vidar Sector. As it turns out, none of the Imperium's ships were able to penetrate the damn thing's shields, teleportation of Terminators failed (with the poor Space Marines getting terminated, most likely in the Warp or getting turned into some bloody matter thanks to the failed teleportation), and the fleet is getting its ass kicked. After losing one of their last battleships, and more than half of the fleet, the dudes decide to pull back and watch for now.

However, Chapter Master Artor Amhrad, the most badass Space Marine I ever have the chance to read about - even more badass than the wimpy Ultramarines, with Venetius being a pussy and wanting to wait for backup, even at the expense of the hive planet Varvenkast and its population of billions - decides to ram Tempestus into Borsis in an awesome attempt to deliver his entire chapter. The plan succeeded (otherwise we wouldn't have a story about it) obviously, and the Astral Knights, despite losing several of their number in the crash, jumped out to find themselves on the artificial planet, only to awaken the Necrons.

After that, cue epic battle between Adeptus Astartes and Necrons - except that our Space Marines are outnumbered one to gazillion (okay, 1,000 Astral Knights versus millions of Necrons). But our Astral Knights put up a good fight, using hit and run and performing surgical strikes on vulnerable target areas. Thanks to the slaves, they find out vital information concerning Heqiroth and the current dynasty, the Nephrekh dynasty. Despite securing help from an unlikely ally, the former overlord Turakhin, the Astral Knights continue to sustain grievous losses against a never-ending army.

I can almost imagine Chapter Master Amhrad giving a speech here. "We've been fighting a long time. Outnumbered by Necrons...humans have a strength that cannot be measured. This is Artor Amhrad. If you're listening to this, you're the Astral Knights."

Badass aside, Amhrad could only come up with one way of victory, thanks mostly to Chief Librarian Hylahi using psychic powers to contact some godlike entity (blasphemy! The only godlike entity is the Emperor!). Deciding to cut his losses but knowing there was no way off Borsis for his Astral Knights, Amhrad went for broke. Showing the middle finger to the Necrons and telling them to screw themselves, he suckered them into protecting Heqiroth by throwing the entire chapter, led by Captain Khabyar of the Ninth Reserve Devastator Company, at the Necrons. The chapter basically was exterminated in this last-stand battle worthy of being put alongside King Leonidas and his 300 badasses. Still, it was just as planned, for Amhrad had secretly led a tiny strikeforce into a secret location in Borsis.

Simply put, Amhrad trolled Heqiroth.

Deciding that since they're going to die anyway, the Astral Knights might as well take the Necrons with them. Not a bad trade, I mean it's about 1,000 Space Marines for millions of Necrons. I would take that any time. Anyway, Amhrad went and wrecked the containment field inside Borsis to release the Kraken...uh, I mean, release the C'tan imprisoned inside the heart of Borsis (and powering it). Giving the finger to the Necrons and Heqiroth, and particularly to Judicator Metzoi (you won the battle but you lost the war, xenos scum!), he allowed the wrathful Yggra'nya out of his cage. The C'tan, having been betrayed by the Necrontyr and sealed inside the Borsis he had built for them (he's the Worldbuilder, apparently) - and furious that the Necrontyr used the weapons the C'tan gave them on their benefactors, needless to say he was eager for revenge. He went and destroyed every single Necron on Borsis, granting Heqiroth a particularly painful death, then flew off from the crumbling Borsis like the Phoenix Force or Xel'Naga entity from Starcraft. That shut down the shields and allowed the Varv Deliverance Fleet to pummel and annihilate Borsis, turning it into chunks of metal and rock. Viva la Exterminatus!

Apparently there's a backstory about how Borsis was heading to Mars, presumably to awaken the Void Dragon we read about in Graham McNeill's Mechanicum from the Horus Heresy series, and an afterstory that included the reclamation of the Tempestus's wreck from the remains of Borsis. I think Venetius stopped being a dick and had the entire chapter of Astral Knights enshrined as monuments in the ship or something. Yay. Unfortunately, the survivors of the Astral Knights, about 30 or so left in Obsidia and didn't take part in the mission, weren't enough to rebuild the chapter, and they were ultimately replaced by the Sable Swords. The leftovers were convinced by the Sable Swords dude to embark on a crusade or something until their chapter dies out.

Ouch. Grimdark as hell.

Oh, right. The review. Well, if you've read all that and think, hmm...that's not badass, then...I have nothing to say. If you've read that and think, man, that is one hell of a story. I had best find the book and read it, then we've become battle brothers. Ben Counter has done it again. I knew he had it in him. I mean, his Grey Knights Omnibus was one of the few Space Marines novels I could stomach, and The World Engine not only didn't disappoint me, it surpassed my expectations. The battles were intense. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen any other story in which the Space Marines fight like the Imperial Guard! The Astral Knights were basically sent to their deaths Astra Militarum style, fighting footslogging battles as infantry. If only they had the numbers...if only a regiment of Imperial Guard managed to make it down with them, with all their Leman Russ tanks and artillery...if only, if only. Man, that would have made for a better story, but admittedly the average Guardsman isn't going to survive a crash to the surface of Borsis, never mind the hazardous environment.

Well, to sum it up, the Astral Knights felt very human. Yes, we all know Space Marines are genhanced supersoldiers, but these guys were human. They were vulnerable, they could be killed (and easily too, by the Necrons), they felt emotions such as pride and hubris. Ben Counter's Marines weren't grown in vats. They often are normal men handpicked to be implanted with the geneseed and surgically altered to become Adeptus Astartes. That's why they retain their human memories, and are prone to having their fragile human pscyhe fall apart. They are fallible, unlike the Mary Sue Ultramarines I sometimes read about (man, that was obnoxious), and that makes them even more powerful as characters.

The epic battles just add an awesome slice of seasoning.

Verdict? This book is a must-buy and a must-read. You don't often see a single Space Marine chapter doing something so badass it puts even the Ultrasmurfs...uh, Ultramarines to shame, yet at the same time retain all the flaws and characteristics that make them oh so human. Buy it and read it now. I guarantee you'll enjoy the ride (unless you got turned off by my summary above, then it's probably not for you).

For the Emperor!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Not good

I've always been a big fan of Warhammer 40K, having been introduced to the universe via Ciaphas Cain. Yeah, I first heard about it from Dawn of War, and while I always wanted to play those games, I never had a chance to. I should buy them on Steam, but the games are so old and oudated I'm not sure I want to.

Dawn of War II doesn't appeal to me. I don't like squad based, tactical styled RTS. I prefer the first Dawn of War. I'll just wait for Dawn of War III.

Speaking of which, I'm kind of surprised that the Imperial Knight character is Lady Solaria. In the lore, only men can be Knights. I'm not being a misogynist, and I'm all for women being able to pilot Knights, but I'm surprised they didn't follow the lore. I wonder if there's a reason for that, or if there exists an all-women Knightly House. If there is, cool. I just want consistency. I mean, in the Codex, and in Graham McNeill's Knights of the Imperium, it's clearly stated that only men pilot the Knights, and women are forbidden (yeah, the universe itself is...misogynistic) to do so, given Baron Roland's reaction when he found out the true identity of the Freeblade. So how is it that we suddenly have a Lady Solaria piloting a Knight to fight alongside the Blood Ravens?

And what happened to the red Knights in the Dawn of War III trailer? I was looking forward to the details of that house.

I suspect Lady Solaria is a Freeblade...but that makes no sense. She wouldn't be a Lady then. Much like how Barons and Lords are titles of Knights - look at Baron Roland! - why would a Freeblade retain the title of Lady? In any case, I'll look forward to the lore. Yay. It'll be fun if the Adeptus Mechanicus gets its own army in the game...eventually, but I won't hold my breath on it.

Speaking of which, I'm looking forward to the Steam sales to get a cheaper copy of Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. I'm also waiting for more details on Space Hulk: Deathwing, but Inquisitor: Martyr doesn't appeal to me. I don't like RPGs or Moba-styled games or hack-and-slash games. Was never a fan of Diablo and the other hack-and-slash RPGs. I mean, I would have been hooked onto Technomancer if it wasn't RPG but a shooter. But it's not a shooter, so the only game I get to play on Mars is Doom. Yay. Speaking of which, there was a debate on Social Media whether Doomguy can kick the Space Marines' asses. I'll have to say it depends on which Space Marine you're talking about. If it's Kaldor Draigo, then...oh well, his Mary Sue-ness will overwhelm Doomguy. Maybe. I dunno.

Aside from that, I've a bit of bad news. As I'm going to America to study, I'll have to sell off my physical Warhammer 40K army. I'm kind of sad, and I love my army, but I don't know when I'll be back and if I'll be able to buy my models back. By that time, I might as well buy a whole new Adeptus Mechanicus army. Sigh.

We'll see. But this blog will probably go into hibernation the moment I get to Minnesota. Unless I'm somehow able to get funds for building my army - and I won't, I need to study - I don't think I'll be able to do much there. Instead, I'll focus on procuring Black Library novels, writing book reviews and stuff. And maybe do some gaming, like for Battlefleet Gothic: Armada. Or something. We shall see.

Speaking of which, I need to get to writing a review for World Engine by Ben Counter. It was awesome. As expected of Ben Counter! I mean, I read his Grey Knights Omnibus and actually like it, and this is from a guy who doesn't like most Space Marine novels.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Attack on Umbro Prime

Umbro Prime, the home and recruiting world of the Penumbra Dragon Militarum Tempestus Scions. At its heart lies a fortress-academy, where thousands of storm trooper cadets are trained and forged into one of the Imperium's most efficient and deadly weapons. For millennia, it has churned out a constant stream of storm troopers with indisputable pedigree, honors and courage, but today, the very planet that housed the training facilities that shaped such brave men will face its sternest test.

The Necrons had come, almost as if appearing from the darkness itself. Night Scythes slipped from the shadows, despositing eerily illuminated warriors and immortals at a distant canyon just out of reach of the fortress-academy's formidable anti-air batteries. As the skeletal soldiers and mechanical horrors muster their forces in a safe distance, their presence is not left unnoticed by a keen-eyed sentry on duty.

The sentry, Cadet Wilshmere, sounded the alarms, an act that would save thousands of his comrades' lives for they would have otherwise fallen victim to the Necrons' unsuspecting ambush. As servo-skulls flew around the corridors, shrieking at the top of their audio amplifiers, the sleeping cadets were roused and ordered into action. In less time than it took for them to wake up, the cadets immediately dressed in their uniforms and picked up their equipment, double-timing to their defensive positions.

Commissar Calloren, the headmaster of the fortress-academy, oversaw the positioning of the cadets as they took up their positions in hastily dug trenches or lay in prone positions behind fortified walls. As he gazed over the frightened and tense expressions of the fresh-faced recruits, even his battle-hardened heart and iron will couldn't help but buckle when he thought of the immense threat looming in front of them. For all their Spartan training and harsh discipline, they were but children. Most of them were still firmly rooted in their teenage years, bright-eyed and not having tasted actual combat in their entire lives.

Shaking his head, he turned to Sergeant Major Johan, who was barking out orders to a couple of cadets that were lugging a heavy weapon behind them. The missile launcher made a screeching sound as the metal rubbed against the rockcrete.

"Do you think they are ready?"

First Sergeant Johan, who had been serving as Sergeant Major of the fortress-academy for over five decades, looked at the distant canyon grimly, faintly making out the eerie green flashes of the Necrons' signature gauss weaponry. Taking a deep breath, he glanced over the bustling cadets who still hadn't taken up positions, then gazed at the skeletal staff of old, retired officers who were taking charge, their grizzled figures bearing down on the children. He forced a hoarse laugh.

"I don't think any of us are ready."