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...

Monday, February 25, 2019

Knights versus Dreadnoughts

I finally managed to get a game yesterday after spending last weel in Columbia University for an East Asian conference. And it was a match I had been looking forward to - against Dreadnoughts!

To recap, the first game ended with my Thousand Sons getting tabled by a Salamnders army that largely consisted of Dreadnoughts. My opponent had ten Dreadnoughts - basically he had a Battalion and a Vanguard Detachment which consisted of 2 Techmarines, a Primaris Lieutenant (who was his Warlord), a squad of 10 Intercessors, 2 squads of 5 Scouts - one with a heavy bolter and 4 sniper rifles, the other with a storm bolter sergeant and boltgun Scouts and both squads having camo-cloaks - , 3 Venerable Dreadnoughts with twin autocannons and twin lascannons, 3 Redemptor Dreadnoughts with the macro plasma incinerator, onslaught gatling cannon and hurricane bolters or storm bolters (I think), 3 Ironclad Dreadnoughts with hurricane bolters, and a Contemptor Dreadnought with multimelta and Contemptor fist. Or Dreadnought close combat weapon. You know what I mean. Wow, that's a lot of Dreadnoughts! Awesome, right?

In my first game, I played Thousand Sons, and despite fielding a Leviathan Dreadnought with grav-flux bombard and siege drill, and 2 Contemptor Dreadnoughts with butcher cannons (only one had 2 butcher cannons, the other had a chainclaw and soulburner paired with his butcher cannon), I got tabled. Understandably, my mostly anti-infantry - or to be more precise, anti-Marine Equivalent Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators couldn't stand up to an armored army. Without much anti-tank weaponry, even with the butcher cannons (well, I only had 3 in total, which meant 12 shots), I failed to kill a single Dreadnought (though I wounded quite a lot of them). Once he eliminated the three Hellforged Dreadnoughts, the rest of his walkers were free to rampage across my army, killing my Daemon Prince, Exalted Sorcerers, Ahriman, Rubric Marines and Scarab Occult Terminators. It was pretty one-sided, admittedly.

Even so, it was a ton of fun to play against. I'm not that obsessed with winning, and I loved that Dreadnought army - it did sound like something I would play if I ever go Space Marines, and I had entertained the idea before. It was so fun to play against, and it proved that it was viable in friendly and casual games! The owner was also a great guy and a lot of fun to play against too, so I asked him for another game.

This time, I opted for Knights. It would be walkers against walkers! And despite their differences in sizes, a Dreadnought can easily kill a Knight in close combat. I'm not kidding. Well, you'll see what I mean later. In any case, I took my usual House Yato Imperial Knights (they use the House Griffith Household Tradition) with their Household Retinue and Imperial Guard (sorry, I mean Astra Militarum) allies, the Draconian Armored Defenders. Unlike my Thousand Sons, who only had 3 Dreadnoughts and the rest of the points sunk into infantry and Marines, my Imperium army was mostly armored - and the way I love to play them. 3 Imperial Knights and 3 Leman Russ tanks!

So I had a Knight Gallant, a Knight Paladin and a Knight Errant in a Super-heavy Detachment. I spent a couple of Command Points to give my Knight Gallant the Knight Seneschal Warlord Trait (plus 1 attack to his characteristics) and Paragon Gauntlet, and the Knight Paladin was my Warlord (Ion Bulwark and Judgement Stormspear rocket pod relic). I also had a standard Imperial Guard Battalion of 2 Company Commanders (1 with plasma pistol, the other with bolt pistol), and 3 infantry squads (2 of them with plasma guns). Rounding them up was my Supreme Command Detachment of 3 Leman Russ Executioner tank commanders, which I spent another couple of points for the Vigilus Emperor's Fist Armored Company Detachment and Field Commander for the Warlord Trait.

We got the mission, Cut off the Head, an Eternal War mission from Chapter Approved. My opponent got the first turn, deployed first, and I deployed everything near the back to make sure I didn't get charged first turn (even my Knight Gallant hung back). I failed to seize the Initiative, and my opponent began!

Oh, right. My opponent placed his intel points on his 2 techmarines and Primaris Lieutenant. Knowing that my Knights will draw a lot of fire and be huge fire-magnets, I designated my 2 Company Commanders and Vigilus Tank Commander as the intel points instead, and had them all hang back. Not that it worked, given how the Scouts all scouted forward. But my Company Commanders were out of range of the sniper rifles, so yay.

Turn 1

My opponent had the first Venerable Dreadnought shoot at my Knight Gallant, and I used Rotate Ion Shields to prevent a few shots. The Ironclad Dreadnoughts and Contemptor Dreadnought advanced because they were out of range of anything, and the other Venerable Dreadnoughts and the Redemptor Dreadnoughts all fired on my poor Knight Errant. He didn't roll very well for the macro plasma incinerators, but they did enough damage to bring the Knight Errant down to 6 points, which was his last bracket. Ouch. However, other than putting maybe 2 or 3 wounds on my Knight Gallant, he didn't do anything. The Scouts with sniper rifles and Hellfire Rounds Stratagem (Heavy Bolter that does mortal wounds) contributed to bringing the poor Knight Errant down to 6 wounds, but the other Scout squad killed...maybe 2 of my Guardsmen (I actually made 3 5+ armor saves) with their boltguns and storm bolter. Then they charged in and clubbed another 3 to death (didn't fare as well with my saves in melee). My Guardsmen fought back and killed a single Scout with a bayonet (how funny), and even though they lost half their squad, I rolled a 2 for morale and they were fine. Nobody ran away.

With none of my units dead, not even my Knight Errant who was still on 6 wounds, my opponent failed to get First Strike.

My turn came, and I had my smoking Knight Errant move closer, but with him on his last bracket, he could only move 6". Furthermore, he was a Questor Imperialis and not Questor Mechanicus, so he couldn't use the Machine Spirit Resurgent Stratagem as my opponent suggested (I told you he is a great guy). My Knight Gallant also moved forward, so yay. Shooting for my Knights was pretty poor. My Knight Errant, as usual, did absolutely nothing with his thermal cannon. On the day I finally rolled a 4 instead of a 1, he missed all of his shots (to be fair, he was hitting on 5+, but you would think he could at least score a single hit...). Heavy stubbers did nothing, as usual, for both the Knight Errant and Knight Gallant. My Knight Paladin fired his rapid-fire battle cannon and totally fluffed his shots, and it was only his Judgement Stormspear rocket pod that hit and wounded...only for me to roll a 1 and a 2 for the D6 damage and do a total of 3 wounds to a single Venerable Dreadnought. My Knights were messing with me, for sure.

On the other hand, my Guardsmen had a lot more luck. Despite falling back, I had the surviving 5 Guardsmen fire their lasguns on the Scouts and I actually killed 1 of them with lasgun fire (well, 4+ save kind and they were in the open instead of in cover after trying to charge my Guardsmen and kill them in melee). Unfortunately, the plasmagunner blew himself up by rolling a 1. Ouch. The Company Commander killed another Scout with his plasma pistol, then ordered the second infantry squad to First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! However, before I even started rolling for the Rapid Fire 4 lasguns in rapid fire range, my plasmagunner fired and killed both surviving Scouts with his supercharged plasma (this squad stood still, so they got to re-roll ones, unlike the other squad). Welp...plasma guns are awesome...when they don't blow up in your face anyway. That earned me First Strike! WOOHOO!

My Leman Russ Executioner tanks, in contrast to my failed Knights, had a great round of shooting, destroying a single Redemptor Dreadnought, reducing a second one to 3 wounds and the third one to 5 wounds (putting 8 on him). The Knight Errant charged the Ironclad Dreadnoughts, and failed his charge. At least he didn't take any wounds on Overwatch. In contrast, when my Knight Gallant charged, he took a couple of wounds - I think he had taken like 7 wounds? He made it into both Ironclad Dreadnoughts, crushed both of them with his Thunderstrike Gauntlet, picked them up and threw them at the poor Techmarine (I rolled 2 4+). Initially I did only a single mortal wound, but the second Ironclad Dreadnought that was chucked at him did 3 mortal wounds and I killed a Character with intel points. Yay. Then I consolidated into the Intercessors, which was a bad mistake, for the Sergeant with Power Fist (and they were Indominus Intercessor Veterans with extra attacks) put another few wounds on him, bringing him to 15 wounds left or so. I think.

Turn 2

Neither of us had anybody in the objective at the start of the battle round, so neither of us gained any victory points. I did get 1 for First Strike, though, so yay? My opponent moved his Lieutenant forward, probably to engage the Knight Gallant in melee with his thunder hammer or something. The Contemptor Dreadnought also moved forward, as did the last Ironclad Dreadnought. The Redemptor Dreadnoughts also moved, and the surviving (second) Techmarine repaired one of them, bringing the one with 5 wounds to 7 wounds remaining and restoring his upper bracket stats. The Venerable Dreadnought fired upon my Knight Paladin, who had moved out, but with a 3++ invulnerable save (Rotate Ion Shields!), they did maybe a couple of damage at most. The other Dreadnoughts finally destroyed my Knight Errant through shooting while the other guy was in prime position to destroy one of my Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Funnily enough, the wounded Redemptor Dreadnought moved and rolled a 1 and a 2, and did 2 mortal wounds to himself despite the Salamander re-roll (he rolled a 1 again). Ouch. He had just one wound left. Oh, the Contemptor Dreadnought fired with his multimelta but did nothing to my Knight Paladin. Instead, it was the combi-bolter that put a single wound on him. Welp, I would take a single wound over the multi-melta multi-damage. As for my Guardsmen, the Ironclad Dreadnought killed 5 in the full, unscathed plasma squad, leaving 5. Again.

The Ironclad Dreadnought charged in and killed my Knight Gallant with his 4 attacks at AP -4 and 4 damage each. I used the Noble Sacrifice Stratagem, but it turned out I didn't have to, for I rolled a 6 and I blew up everything in the area. The Ironclad Dreadnought only took a single wound (damn it!), but the Intercessors took 3 mortal wounds, as did the Primaris Lieutenant. Ouch. And that was the Warlord too. The Redemptor Dreadnought charged and destroyed my Leman Russ Executioner tank and despite me using the Defensive Gunners Stratagem, I took about only 2 wounds off him in overwatch. I also completely forgot about the Vigilus Warlord Trait (he was within 6" of my field commander) so I might actually do more if I re-rolled. Whoops. On the other hand, my opponent completely forgot about his surviving squad of sniper scouts so it evened out. Maybe? The Contemptor Dreadnought ran in and smashed my Knight Paladin in combat, reducing him to about 6 wounds or so. I stomped on him, and of course, he only did 9 damage in total, leaving the Contemptor Dreadnought with 1 wound and failing to kill him. Just my luck. On the bright side, I rolled a 2 for morale and lost no Guardsmen despite losing 5 out of 10 of the second squad, and my plasmagunner survived.

With my firepower reduced, I tried to fight back as much as I could, and my Leman Russ Executioner tanks succeeded in killing both Redemptor Dreadnoughts as well as wiping out the Intercessors. It was funny. I missed with one of the lascannons and destroyed the guy with 1 wound with the plasma cannons. Then I decided to fire my lascannon at the Redemptor Dreadnought with 5 wounds left and all the plasma at the Intercessors...only for me to roll a 6 for my lascannon damage and destroyed the final Redemptor Dreadnought. The plasma cannons, as expected, wiped out the Intercessors, especially since I supercharged. My Knight Paladin had stepped out of the way and shot at the Ironclad Dreadnought, and did a total of 1 damage. Kind of pathetic if you think about it, even if he was shooting on a 5+. The plasmagunner who killed the 2 Scouts earlier stepped up and destroyed the Contemptor Dreadnought before any of my First Rank, Fire! Second Rank, Fire! lasgun Guardsmen could fire a single shot. That plasmagunner deserves a promotion.

I then had my Knight Paladin charge the Ironclad Dreadnought, and with 5 Reaper Chainsword attacks hitting on 5+, at least 2 got through, and boom! The Ironclad Dreadnought was dead. 6 damage flat, and as he already took a total of 2 wounds (1 from the Knight Gallant explosion, and 1 from the shooting of the rapid-fire battle cannon and Stormspear rocket pod, and I think it was the Judgement relic that hit and wounded him, only for me to roll a 1 for damage), that was enough for me to kill him. Yay. Funnily enough, it seems my Knights fail at shooting but rock in melee. I should have made all of them Gallants instead of upgrading my Knight Paladin into a Knight Crusader. Oh well. :'(

Turn 3

At the start of the battle round, because my opponent had his Primaris Lieutenant on the objective, he gained 1 Victory Point. And I didn't gain any...figures. So the score was 1-1. Hmm...this didn't look good for me, for he had killed 2 of my Knights and my last Knight, who was my Warlord, was on his last bracket and looked likely to die this turn. He also killed 1 of my Leman Russ tanks and I had 2 Executioners left. Well, that's actually pretty good, considering that all he had left were his 3 Venerable Dreadnoughts, which meant I killed 7 Dreadnoughts while losing 2 Knights and a tank. Well, a roughly equal trade, considering.

Realizing that I would get 3 intel points this turn if he focused on my Knight and left my tank commander alone, my opponent began moving his Venerable Dreadnoughts up. I think he did maybe 4 damage to my Knight Paladin, leaving him with 2 wounds? But he took 6 wounds off one of my Leman Russ Executioner tank, and 4 wounds to the other, leaving him with 7 wounds or so. He also used the sniper rifles and Hellfire Stratagem with his Scouts, but he completely missed his Heavy Bolter shot twice - even with the Salamander re-roll, so my Field Commander survived with 7 wounds. Nice.

First, I used a Stratagem (Jury Rigged) to bring my damaged Tank Commander back to 7 wounds to get him back to his upper bracket. I retaliated by firing back at the Venerable Dreadnoughts, and despite my best attempts, I only managed to kill 1 Venerable Dreadnought while putting a few wounds on the other two...I think. I can't remember, but I think I did succeed in killing at least one Venerable Dreadnought. As for my Knight Paladin, I had him shoot all his weapons at the Primaris Lieutenant, and despite his storm shield giving him a 3++ invulnerable save, I killed him and earned Slay the Warlord. I then charged the last Techmarine, but despite having 15 Stomps (I think I only rolled 12 and competely forgot about the House Griffith rule giving me an extra attack), the Techmarine was left with 1 wound - just like the Contemptor Dreadnought. And woe be me, the Techmarine swung back with his servo-arm and destroyed my Knight Paladin, thus earning my opponent Slay the Warlord. I tried to trigger an explosion with Noble Sacrifice, but I wasted the 2 Command Points by rolling a 2. Nope...not happening.

At least I gained 3 Victory Points, which meant I was up 4 against my opponent's 3 (he gained an intel Victory Point with his last surviving Techmarine).

Turn 4

The Venerable Dreadnoughts continued moving, and they as well as the Scouts fired everything they had into my Field Commander, who survived with just 2 wounds remaining. I think they damaged the other guy as well, but I can't remember. What I do remember is that I killed both Venerable Dreadnoughts with both my Leman Russ Executioner tanks, and the score became 7 to my opponent's 4 because my 3 Characters with Intel points were still alive.

Turn 5

Getting desperate in trying to kill my Leman Russ Executioner field commander, but completely out of Command Points (so no more Hellfire Stratagem for mortal wounds), my opponent moved the Techmarine up to get Linebreaker, and when the Sniper rifles and heavy bolter failed to wound the Leman Russ field commander, the Techmarine charged and attacked with the servo-arm that had brought down a mighty Knight (earlier, he fired with his plasma pistol, flamer and storm bolter and failed to wound even with Salamander re-roll). Alas, I rolled a 5 for the armor save (the servo-arm was only AP -2), so despite only needing one attack (which was 2 damage) to get through to kill my Field Commander, the Techmarine failed. Whoops. Oh, and I completely forgot about the damned Field Commander Warlord Trait. I missed the overwatch mostly, but I forgot to reroll them. And that guy was the Field Commander himself. Well, I was winning at this point, so whatever. But I've to remember this in future.

The next thing my opponent knew, my Field Commander fell back, and my last Leman Russ Executioner tank unleashed plasma hell on him, killing the Techmarine and my opponent's last Intel Point Character, and also denying him Linebreaker. The score was now 10 to 4 because all my Characters were still alive, and with only a single squad of Scouts left in the game (which I would most likely vaporize next turn with my last Leman Russ tank, even if they had 2+ cover save with their camo-cloaks), my opponent surrendered. Even if it went on, the lead would stretch because I had at least 2 Company Commanders with the Intel points out of range and out of sight, and I would continue to accumulate more Victory Points while my opponent simply had no way of gaining Victory Points at all with all his Characters dead. I was already ahead by 6 points at this juncture, and it would only grow to 8 even if he somehow succeeded in killing my Field Commander.

So it ended in my victory, but admittedly it was an extremely close game. I had only 2 Leman Russ tanks left (effectively 1, since the Field Commander was on 2 wounds), and had lost all my Knights. Traded them for the Dreadnoughts. Dreadnoughts are scary, especially in close combat. The Ironclad Dreadnought destroyed a Knight Gallant while the Contemptor Dreadnought brought my Knight Paladin down to his last bracket. Ouch. I think my opponent will get wiser and not bunch his Ironclad Dreadnoughts together for my Knight Gallant to kill both of them at the same time. And I should remember my Warlord Trait for Field Commander and not to consolidate into Intercessors. Ouch.

Anyway, it was a fun game and very enjoyable! I hope to play against the ten Dreadnoughts again! Maybe this time with a new list!

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Upgrades and Reinforcements

I ended up biting the bullet and deciding to upgrade my Knight Paladin into a Knight Crusader.

As those of you who have been following my blog since its conception in December 2014 (or more accurately, around January 2015 when I first began to actually assemble and play Warhammer 40,000), my Knight Errant and Knight Paladin are my very first Warhammer 40,000 models, and Imperial Knights are my very first army. That's why my Knight Errant and Knight Paladin have a soft spot in my heart, and I continue to hang onto them and run them in my army despite...them not being good in the current meta.

I'll try to write the battle report sometime soon, but basically yesterday, in a game where I played my combined Imperial Knight and Imperial Guard (as you all know, my Imperial Guard are my Knights' Household Retinue who escort them in the battlefield), my Knight Errant and Knight Paladin basically sucked. No kidding. The D6 on the thermal cannon has always let me down, and for the life of anything my Knight Errant can't hit or kill anything with his thermal cannon. My Knight Paladin fared little better with shooting, and his Titanic Feet does more damage in close combat than any of his long-ranged weapons during shooting (and even then the Titanic Feet fell...flat. Twice). More on that in the battle report. But I had enough of the inconsistency - and since I had Titanic Feet and didn't really need the melee stuff, I thought I should cut off his Reaper Chainsword and replace it with an Avenger Gatling Cannon. I also succeeded in getting a 2nd Stormspear rocket pod, so now I have 2 Stormspear rocket pods. Several iterations of my list uses 2 Stormspear rocket pods because of how good and powerful they are...I wish I had better luck firing them, though.

Shoutout to my young friend, Adrian, who has always helped me out. He helped me cut off the Reaper Chainsword while I worked on assembling my Avenger Gatling cannon, and he also helped me prime and spray my models black while I was working on my Carnodon tank. In any case, I magnetized the arm and now my Knight Paladin has been upgraded into a Knight Crusader. Thanks to the magnetized thing, I can turn him back into a Knight Paladin with either a reaper chainsword or Thunderstrike Gauntlet (though that means my other Knight Gallant would have to be a Knight Crusader or Knight Paladin or Knight Warden, which defeats the whole point unless I'm desperate on saving points), or if I ally him as a Renegade Knight with my Thousand Sons, he can wield dual rapid-fire battle cannons (though I might as well use my other Knight and turn him into one with dual Avenger Gatling Cannons). In any case, he's now a Knight Crusader, and I hope the Avenger Gatling cannon helps him be more consistent or I'll cry. A lot. Well, not literally, but he and the Knight Errant haven't been doing so well in my games and I really want them to remain a solid mainstay in my army. Let's hope the Knight Crusader upgrade helps him fare better. Currently he's the one with the Stormspear rocket pod (I usually give him the Judgement Relic to re-roll hit rolls for the rocket pod and the AP -3 and 60" range), but now my Knight Gallant gets a Stormspear rocket pod too! Yay!

My Knight Crusader isn't the only one getting an upgrade. My Imperial Guard army has received reinforcements in the form of a Carnodon tank. As mentioned, ever since the Martian Priesthood has reinstated the Standard Template Construct for the Carnodon tank, Draconis IV have embraced full-scale production of the medium tank, which makes an ideal escort for the slower and heavier Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Draconis IV being Draconis IV, my Leman Russ tanks are equipped with plasma weaponry and lascannons, while my Carnodon tank is fitted with volkite weaponry. That said, I've magnetized the weapons (or tried to, in any case, with quite disastrous results - the twin lascannons in particlar look very shaky), so I can switch between volkite weapons and lascannons. I love the volkite culverin and volkite calivers, and making my Carnodon tanks the hi-tech yet ancient armor to boost the armored squadrons is just too tempting to resist. I still have a single Leman Russ Annihilator left over, so there's my anti-tank needs. However, for 70% of the points, I have 80% of the firepower (admittedly, I forgot to include the plasma cannons, oh well). Anyway, we'll see. For now I'll be happy to use the volkite weaponry because...volkite. I have no idea how it'll work, but I can't wait to try him out in a game!

It was annoying to magnetize because the main turret especially was not meant for magnetization. Oh well. After a few hours of frustration, I finally manage to get the magnets to stick (I washed the resin before assembling the tank and had no problems with assembling the actual tank) but for now I'm leaving the volkite on. I completely forgot about giving him a spare multilaser, but we'll see.

Again, shoutout to my friend Adrian for helping me paint and prime my models. He helped me spray and prime my Knight Valiant, Deathwatch Primaris Hellblasters and Carnodon weapons (I did the Carnodon tank itself). Thanks, Adrian! Thanks to him, now I can begin painting them (I'll paint them next Saturday or something, depending, because I have to study during the weekdays and on Sunday as always). I wonder how my Knight Valiant will look like - of course I'll be using the same color scheme as my other House Yato Knights. And the Carnodon tank is Draconian, so he'll be in Draconian colors too. The Knights of House Yato from Draconis III, marching to war with their Household Retinue, the Astra Militarum Regiments of the Draconian Armored Defenders! I also look forward to using my Knight Valiant in combat too. I haven't used him yet, having used my usual House Griffith Household Tradition for my House Yato Knights, but I want to experiment with my Knight Valiant and see what's appropriate for him, or maybe even just run them as Questor Mechanicus with the House Taranis Household Tradition alongside Skitarii. Well, no one said Questor Mechanicus or Mechanicus-aligned Knight Houses can only fight beside Skitarii - if I find that the House Taranis Household Tradition works better for me, then I'll just field them as House Taranis/Yato alongside my Draconian Imperial Guard, who are basically on their way to being Tech-guard anyway. Given the amount of plasma and tanks they receive from the Forge World Draconis IV, they might as well garrison the place in the place of Skitarii or are in-between normal Imperial Guard and Tech-Guard. We'll see. A pity Veterans have been relegated to Elites instead of Troops otherwise I could just field Skitarii as Imperial Guard - they have the same stats as Veterans and can take hi-tech weaponry (3 plasma guns for Veterans). That's one of the things I missed about 7th Edition Imperial Guard - Veterans as Troops. I do have to say, our Leman Russ tanks are a lot better and Guard is a lot stronger than in 7th Edition now!

With these done, my next project will probably to get the grav-flux bombard and storm cannon (or butcher cannon array) I need for my Deathwatch Leviathan Dreadnought and Thousand Sons Leviathan Dreadnought, and probably a Contemptor close combat fist and Volkite Culverin for my Thousand Sons Contemptor Dreadnought that I'll be getting soon (I'll have to stick him in the freezer to break off his arms and magnetize them). Once those are done, I'll wait on the Doom of Molech and start planning for my Adeptus Titanicus accordingly. While the idea of running nothing but Knights are tempting, I do want at least one Warlord Titan with the Sunfury Plasma Annihilator. I wonder if I'll be able to run 2 Reaver Titans as his escort without having to rely on the Legio Gryphonicus Legion Traits. I could just run the Myrmidon Maniple with 2 Warlord Titans and a Reaver, but I wouldn't have enough points for Knight banners, which I really want!

The next post should be on Knights versus Dreadnoughts if I ever have the time to write out a full battle report. I have several books to read for graduate school this week, so...we'll see. Till then!

Friday, February 22, 2019

The Daemonkin arise

Here's the Chaos trailer for Shadowspear, aptly titled the Daemonkin Arise. Not sure if Daemonkin will be a new faction or not (anyone remember Khorne Daemonkin in 7th edition?) but will be cool if it does exist. In the meantime, check Warhammer Community for the new trailer.

Now, where is the Lost and the Damned, or a reworked Renegades and Heretics Index? I mean, I don't care if we don't get a codex, at least give Renegades and Heretics or Traitor Guard an Index like you did for Crimson Fists and Imperial Assassins (speaking of which, I might just get March's White Dwarf even if I don't play Assassins and already sold the ones I own - the only Assassin I foresee myself ever using is the Eversor Assassin). We already have codex for Heretic Astartes and Chaos's time to give us mortals proper rules and Index too!

That said, I guess I don't really need much apart from the cheap Renegades and Heretics Battalion with flamer spam?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Forge World stuff sold out

Well, I was trying to get a grav-flux bombard, a Leviathan storm cannon array (or butcher cannon array) and perhaps a Thousand Sons Contemptor Dreadnought...only to find that they're all out of stock. The Contemptor pattern twin volkite culverin is out of stock too. Oh, and the Thousand Sons Osiron Contemptor Dreadnought and the Castellax-achea batle-automata with aetherfire cannon are out of stock too.

So if you guys are looking for those, here's a heads-up. I have no idea how long Forge World will take to restock them - maybe a month, maybe half a year, maybe a year, maybe 2 years - but I'll keep track and let you guys know when they finally come back in stock. And maybe I'll be decisive and buy them this time instead of waiting for money to flow in. Ugh.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Renegades and Heretics

I was reorganizing my Thousand Sons army and I realized that I have a fatal lack of anti-tank. I also lack bodies - with Thousand Sons being such an elite army, there were very few models that make up my Thousand Sons army. It kind of sucks, but hey...that's the price to pay for playing Thousand Sons.

Of course, there would be people laughing at me and wondering why I'm not using any Tzaangors. Because I don't want to. The reason is that simple. I don't need to justify why I don't want to use Tzaangors for my Thousand Sons army, do I? It's my army, not yours. I'll play it the way I want to. You wouldn't like it if I tell you how to build and play your army.

On the other hand, I do lack bodies and anti-tank. I've been supplementing that somewhat with butcher cannons, but I might not have enough. My current iteration of Thousand Sons only has 12 butcher cannons shots. I probably have D3 shots from my Leviathan Dreadnought's grav-flux bombard, but that's nowhere near enough. I got totally crushed by a 10-Dreadnought army (he used 4 different types of Dreadnoughts - 3 Venerable, 3 Ironclad, 3 Redemptor and 1 Contemptor - in case you're wondering about the rule of 3) because I don't have any anti-tank, and I foresee the same problem against Knights or tank-heavy lists like my own Imperial Guard. That said, I in turn destroyed an Imperial Guard and Space Marine list the other time, one with two Leman Russ tanks. Oh well.

I'm contemplating replacing the siege drill and grav-flux bombard with twin butcher cannon arrays, and removing my Osiron Contemptor Dreadnought because the mixed shooty-melee thing isn't working out. Even with the awesome soulburner. Oh well. That will give me 24 butcher cannon shots for now, which is twice the amount I have right now. I'll probably add another Contemptor Dreadnought to my list (kind of regretting having sold my twin lascannon one now), hopefully making him a melee-focused Contemptor Dreadnought. Or I could just proxy the twin volkite culverins as ensorcelled volkite beams that use Butcher Cannon rules, which explain their souped-up Strength. That should work. Either way, we'll see. Made a stupid mistake by selling my other Contemptor Dreadnought, but I'll deal with it somehow.

Now that's settled, I'm planning on reducing my warpflamer Rubric Marines to half-squad. Currently they always die before I can deploy them, with my opponents shooting everything they have into my poor Rubric Marines. Sure, they are durable, and there are 10 of them, but that's 261 points off the table even before they do anything or get into range. And that's even with a Rhino transporting them across the table. Everyone is so afraid of them that they literally shoot them off the table before I could do anything with them, and as always, that's 261 points off the table. Ouch.

So what do I do with the 130 points now that I've reduced it to half-squad? With the left-over points from removing the soulburner and replacing my Osiron Contemptor Dreadnought with a more melee or shooting-focused Contemptor Dreadnought, as well as the discount I get by replacing the Leviathan Dreadnought's siege drill and grav-flux bombard with the much cheaper butcher cannon arrays, I can probably use them for a Battalion. I have 2 choices - one, I can just flood the table with 3 or 4 squads of Cultists (and probably combine the 2 Rubric Marine squads into a squad of 10, with soulreaper cannon). Or I can try and build a super-cheap Battalion with the leftover points while leaving the Contemptor Dreadnoughts in a Vanguard Battalion to get an extra Command Point (every Command Point counts!).

Wait! You may cry. What kind of super-cheap Battalion can Thousand Sons build? Even the Sorcerers alone cost 98 points, which means the cheapest Battalion is 346 points (maybe 302 points if you just take an allied Chaos Space Marine Detachment with 2 minimal Chaos Lords and 3 squads of Cultists). Okay, so let's look at Tzeentch Daemons, who have the cheapest Daemons Troops choice of Brimstone Horrors at 30 points each. Unfortunately, the cheapest Herald of Tzeentch, the Changecaster, is 65 points, so taking 2 of them would set you back at 130 points, and the minimum Tzeentch Daemon Battalion would cost 220 points. Hey! That's not so bad! That's actually pretty cheap, comparatively.

But what if I tell you that Chaos has a cheaper Battalion than even the Imperial Guard's 180-point Command Point battery?

Oh, right. Yeah, we do. In the form of Renegades and Heretics. With the Renegade Commander only at 25 points, we can field a Renegades and Heretics Battalion for only 170 points. Of course, we don't get Orders, we have terrible BS and WS (5+), a poor armor save (6+), and low leadership. And we don't get our Chaos Covenant unless our Renegade Commander is the Warlord (hell, no, I ain't letting some random mortal be the Warlord of my army when I have my Thousand Sons - the Warlord should be Ahzek Ahriman or an Exalted Sorcerer at least!). They should FAQ that, and I'm sure I wrote an article on Renegades and Heretics and proposed changes about a year ago. Another point of interest is that while the Cultists have gone up in points to 5 points per model, the Militia Guardsmen remained the same at 4 points. So we still have access to cheaper Guardsmen than Cultists, at the cost of BS and WS. Worth the 10 points?

No, but that's not why I'm choosing Renegade Militia Guardsmen over Cultists (okay, maybe it is, along with the extra command point the Vanguard provides).

I'm choosing Renegade Militia Guardsmen because for some reason they can take 1 special weapon for every 5 models in the squad. That means I can have 2 flamers in their dirt-cheap Troops slot. Since you have a minimum of 10 dudes per squad, you can take 2 flamers per squad.  For 52 points, 4 less than Cultists, you can have the same number of bodies with 1 more flamer. Furthermore, because flamers are auto-hit, you don't have to worry about the poor BS of the Militia Guardsmen. Yay. Time to spam flamers!

Therefore, with the about 200 points I have left over, I can spam 6 flamers with my Troops alone. And if they die...well, they were cheap and expendable. And my opponent just wasted shots getting rid of my Guardsmen instead of my more expensive Rubric Marines. Heh. I even have 5 points left over to give one of my Renegade Commanders a plasma pistol. Yay! To be honest, I would prefer to take a Malefic Lord as my 2nd HQ because it would be fluffier and more thematic (they're Spireguard allied to Thousand Sons after all), but with his points being at 80, it's just not worth it and I don't have room for that (I might as well use a Chaos Lord).

That will give me about 14 Command Points for a 200 point game. For bigger games, I can throw in my 5 Rubric Marines with warpflamers and maybe a couple of Leman Russ tanks, and still have a few points left over. But that's something else for another time and I rarely play games above 2,000 points. In any case, with quite a relatively high amount of Command Points, I can spare 1 to upgrade the combi-bolters on my melee-focused Contemptor Dreadnought with Inferno bolts. With the new bolter rule in effect, my Contemptor Dreadnought will be able to fire 8 AP -2 Inferno bolts at 24" even if he moves. YAY! I can't wait to see how this will change the way my Thousand Sons will play. And I wonder if it's really a good idea to throw in Renegades and Heretics and have them run around with 2 flamers each. Only one way to find out!

Oh, and it really fits the fluff for my Thousand Sons warband really well, because they rely on mortal troops and allies such as their own Spireguard, instead of mutants and Tzaangor hordes. With Spireguard being Renegade Guardsmen or Renegade Militia (I kind of like the word Renegade more than Chaos Guard or Traitor Guard as it implies that they're still somewhat Loyalist and not entirely beyond salvation or redemption), the Renegades and Heretics might fit them more. I was also thinking of a background story, where they are formerly the Phoenician Spireguard, but after some circumstances, they end up forming the bulk of the military forces of my Thousand Sons warband. They were abandoned and left to die during a Tyranid invasion and could only helplessly wait for death as the Imperial armada above was about to perform Exterminatus, but the Thousand Sons Warband, the Sons of Shadow, opened a portal to the webway and basically evacuated the entire regiment to safety. Or relative safety anyway, for they ended up being hunted and hounded by the Harlequins during their escape to the ashes of Prospero or whatever world on the edge of the Stygies Sector that the Thousand Sons conquered. There they began rebuilding and retraining, rearming and developing as a fully fledged mortal army for the Sons of Shadow to draw upon. Maybe that will be a cool story titled Spireguard or something. We'll see. Their emblem is the phoenix, which explains their primary armament being flamers. I should get some Hellhounds for them, but I dunno. As I said, we'll see. They shall rise from the ashes once again and march to victory under their Thousand Sons massters, for the glory of the Imperium (and not Tzeentch - I told you, my Sons of Shadow are secret Loyalists).

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Valiant Last Stand, change in army playstyle

After playing with Basilisks over the last few games, I find that I don't really like them. Yeah, they did well against a bunch of Tyranids, but I find that my Leman Russ tanks do far more damage. I've to say, I'm not very impressed with the Basilisks. Sure, they have high strength weapons with awesome AP, but the D6 shots really hurt them. Unlike Leman Russ tanks, who can shoot twice if they didn't move, they only put out 3-4 shots on average (and my rolling has been pretty bad, so I usually get 2-3 shots even with the discarding the lower dice), and they miss most of their shots (you think I would get at least 50% hits, but no, I'm lucky if I get 1 or 2 hits even if I roll hot on my D6). Furthermore, their low (relatively) Toughness and number of wounds make them hard to play, especially when compared to my Leman Russ tanks. Ugh.

So...I guess I'll sell my Basilisks away and get more tanks. Well, I don't need more Leman Russ tanks. In fact, I'm selling one of my Leman Russ Annihilator tanks because I find that I don't really use them anymore, and I prefer the Executioner tanks (especially after Chapter Approved, when they receive a massive points cut with all their executioner plasma cannons and sponson plasma cannons). So my future games will mostly revolve around my Leman Russ Executioner tanks as the core of my army, supplemented by plasma gun-wielding infantry and other tanks.

Enter the Carnodon tank. Well, I mean...why sell the Leman Russ Annihilator if I'm going to get a Carnodon tank anyway? For one thing...Volkite. For another, it's a lot cheaper and fits into my armor theme more. Rather than the random D6 shots, I'm probably going for 8 Volkite shots (and probably some multilaser shots on top of that). Plus I can get 4 lascannon shots for 7/10 the price, compared to 5 lascannon shots (granted, I get 2D3 plasma cannon shots, more wounds and higher Toughness). Even so, 62 points (or 57 if I throw in a multilaser) is no joke, especially for an army like Imperial Guard. That's more than enough points for a command squad or infantry squad with special weapons! Furthermore, because I tend to play my Imperial Guard army with Imperial Knights, those 62 points make a lot of difference as well - the difference between a Knight Gallant and a Knight Paladin, or the price of 3 Icarus twin autocannons, or a Stormspear rocket pod and an Ironstorm missile pod. So yeah, I think I might want to try the Carnodon tank...and if I really want to save on points further, I would just settle for the volkite. I have a feeling that the hi-tech volkite weapons would supplement my Leman Russ Executioner tanks' plasma weapons more than the Basilisks' projectile weapons. Especially since my Draconian Armor Defenders are supposed to be closely affiliated with the forge world Draconis IV, so they tend to have a lot of more advanced and ancient tech than other Imperial Guard regiments. Hence the higher concentration of plasma weapons and even Volkite! Ever since the Martian Priesthood has reinstated the Standard Template Construct for the Carnodon tank, Draconis IV have embraced full-scale production of the medium tank, which makes an ideal escort for the slower and heavier Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Yes, I'm a little sad that I can't mount plasma cannons on the Carnodon, but I actually love the Volkite weapons. A great throwback to the days of the Solar Auxilia!

Forge World 40K 30K Militia Carnodon Battle Tank

Another thing I'm getting is my Knight Valiant. Yay. I've built him just last week and I can't wait to try him out in a match. Let's hope he makes a valiant last stand before he gets blown up! Yeah, I'm wondering why I'm not getting the Knight Castellan. Probably because I'm sick of seeing him dominate the tournament scene, and I wanted to try something different. Yeah, the plasma decimator probably complements my Draconian Armor's plasma theme more, but...come on. Let's not cheese, shall we?

Last on my list of to-do is to rebuild my Skitarii. I have no idea what's going to happen, but I'm experimenting with getting a couple of cheap boxes to rebuild my Skitarii as defenders of the forge world Draconis IV. Again, they are not meant to be a standalone force, but to supplement my Knights or my Imperial Guard. I might sell my Deathwatch if anyone is willing to buy it at a reasonable price, otherwise I'm fine with hanging on to my Deathwatch and playing more games with it (especially if I meet opponents who absolutely detest playing against Knights).

Oh, and let's not forget the Thousand Sons. I'll probably swap the poor Osiron Dreadnought out for 2 normal Helbrutes (I don't like the Chaos Helbrutes so I'll just use the Loyalist Dreadnoughts and paint them in my Thousand Sons, Sons of Shadow colors). And swap the Leviathan siege claw and grav-flux bombard/soulburner ribaudkin out for 2 butcher cannon arrays. We'll see. One of the things my Thousand Sons army lack the most (which was made obvious when I played against a Space Marine army of 10 Dreadnoughts) was mid-range anti-tank. Okay, long-range anti-tank, actually. But you know what I mean. The Leviathan Dreadnought died too quickly, and I think he would be better off just sitting in the back and unleashing 16 Strength 8 AP -1 shots instead of wading through the front and eating everything my opponent has. I hope I'll be able to figure something out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Draconis Coalition and the History of Draconis III

So I was trying to come up with my own Titan Legion, especially in preparation for Adeptus Titanicus. I ended up rebuilding my Skitarii army, though it's pretty small. That makes sense, as the bulk of the Draconian military is comprised of the Draconian Imperial Guard. However, the Draconian Armored Astra Militarum Regiments often work alongside the Skitarii Maniples of the forge Draconis IV, either as support for the Titan Legions, or fighting alongside the Imperial Knights of Draconis III.

I have rewritten the fluff for my Knight Houses and Imperial Guard regiment in the aftermath of 8th Edition, Adeptus Titanicus, Mechanicum (and its evolution into the Adeptus Mechanicus), Lord Commander Roboute Guiliman's return, and all the other stuff. So I'm going to combine my old material with the new one here.

The Draconis Coalition

The Draconis Coalition is a cluster of systems located at the far northeast segment of Segmentum Solar. A Coalition of over two hundred worlds, united under the rule of the Shogun (Generalissimo), who rules on behalf of the Emperor, the core system is known as the Draconis system, home and capital to the Shogun and the largest Knight Houses in the Coalition. House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda reside on Draconis III, the third world from the star Draconis. Further out is the forge world Draconis IV, where renegade Tech-priests and outcasts from the Adeptus Mechanicus seek refuge and gather. Many of these exiled Tech-priests are those who have been banished from Ryza, and as such, Draconis IV seek to reproduce the plasma technologies of Ryza. That is also the reason why the Astra Militarum regiment on Draconis III - which also serves as the Household Retinue and military armed forces for the Knightly Houses of Draconis III - are equiped with more plasma weaponry than most Imperial Guard forces. The mainstay of their armored regiments, the Draconian Armored Defenders, are Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Recently, they have been re-manufacturing Volkite Carnodon tanks that had been mothballed for ages inside the manufactorums in Draconis IV since the days of the Horus Heresy and Great Crusade, but these remain rare and eschewed for the more powerful and much sturdier Leman Russ Executioner tanks. Indeed, entire regiments of Draconian Armored Defenders consist of nothing but Leman Russ Executioner tanks, volkite-armed Carnodon tanks with Stormblades as super-heavy support. Otherwise it's mostly Leman Russ Executioner tanks, Carnodon tanks and plasma-armed Draconian infantry, living up to Draconis IV's reputation as the Second Ryza.

Currently, the Shogun is Yato Yoshimoto, the equal of a High King on other Knight worlds. While the Knightly Houses on Draconis III are Imperial aligned, they tend to have very close relations with the Forge World of Draconis IV. Similar to the Five Hundred Worlds of Ultramar, the Draconis Coalition is made up of over two hundred worlds allied to each other, the Daimyo of each world owing fealty to the Shogun, who in turn rules over the Coalition on the behalf of the Emperor. Draconis III serves as the core world and the capital of the Coalition, and while the largest concentration of Knights gather there, there are minor Knightly Houses scattered across the two hundred worlds in the Coalition, all of whom are distant relatives to one of the three major Knight Houses on Draconis III. The equivalent of a Baron are the Daimyos, Lords and Nobles who pilot the Knights, and the previously mentioned Shogun is the Draconian equivalent of the High King.

History of Draconis III and the Great Crusade

Draconis III is a lush agri-world full of greenery, fertile plains, life-giving rivers, streams and oceans, and vibrant forests. The first colonizers immediately set up farming settlements and fishing villages across the four major continents that stretched across an otherwise ocean-populated world, but to protect them from the amphibious Leviathans that rear from the seas, and the monstrous serpentine behemoths (known as the Orochi) that assault their relatively small villages, the human colonizers had to depend on the newly constructed Knight suits from the Standard Construct Templates that they had brought along. Along with the Knights we all know, there were also STCs for Titans, particularly Warlord Titans, vast, lumbering god-engines who incinerate the gargantuan monstrosities from the forests with their Sunfury plasma annihilators and Belicosa volcano cannons.

Yet, these colonizers, having hailed from the Asian continent of old Earth (now Terra), sought harmony with Nature. So unlike more extreme colonizers who valued technology and efficiency over coexistence, they did not exterminate life from Draconis III. Rather, they built their homes beside forests and oceans, and respected Nature as an admirable force of life. For Millennia, the colonies expanded, basing their trade largely on agriculture and fishing, and they became quite wealthy, able to set up small but bustling and packed metropolises on an Eastern chain along the biggest continent. Similar cities were also built on the other three continents, but they served to integrate Mankind with Nature rather than attempt to subjugate it.

This peace did not last long, as the great Age of Strife soon came upon them. Warp rifts tore open the fabric of reality, vomitting out daemonic hordes and destruction. Yet, as necessity dictated, Draconis III had already constructed countless Knight suits to combat immense goliaths from both sea and forests, the Draconian population was able to stem the horrific tide and repel them back to the foul dimension from which they emerged. In this way, Draconis III managed to survive the horrors of the Old Night and continue to prosper despite being isolated from the rest of humanity. Having practiced self-sustainance, and already alienated because of their attempts to coexist with Nature rather than subjugate it, Draconis III welcomed this change and continued to develop. However, much of their technology was reduced to ruins when their Artificial Intelligences rebelled, only to be ruthlessly put down by the Knights that patrolled the continents for any sign of chaos. It was this that led to their technological regression and further deepened their faith in Nature rather than technology.

As the millennia passed, the Knights began to take command by virtue of their prestige and great martial power, and replaced the aristocrats as the new ruling class. Fights began to break out between these newly emerging powers and they splintered off into many different factions, each ruling over a domain of their own. Much like other Knight Worlds, they devolved into a feudal system, with vassals pledging loyalty to the Nobles in exchange for protection or chances for glory. Having already possessed a number of Knights that ranked among one of the most in the galaxy, Draconis III descended into bloody civil war as each of these Knight warlords sought to subjugate each other and reign supreme over the four continents. The greatest of these warlords were known as Daimyo, the Warlords. Being the greatest of powers, they fought, forged alliances, dabbled in politics such as engaging in political marriages to strenghten the ties of two houses, and traded. The darkest period of Draconis III, the Knights and millions of their vassals, Household retinues who would later provide the foundation for a Planetary Defense Force and later an Imperial Guard Regiment, clashed and flooded Draconis III's fertile soul with blood and iron. Hundreds of Knights duelled each other in honorable battles under the shadows of titanic Warmaster Titans, massive Warlord Titans and nimble Reaver Titans, who would later form Legio Draconis (Dark Dragons) on the newly founded Forge World of Draconis IV, providing apocalyptic firepower that leveled mountains, razed cities to the ground and even tear open the stalwart defenses of the bustling metropolises.

The warriors did not care about coexisting with Nature in the way their preceding ruling class did. Focused solely on victory, they trampled upon the grassy plains of Draconis III in their hulking, adamantine armor, followed by columns of armored tanks. Thankfully, they did not have the technical expertise or vision to industrialize their world either, so the ecology of Draconis III remained largely untouched. The Rough Riders used to make up the majority of the soldiers, escorted by marching ashigaru, or foot soldiers, but their ineffectiveness against the colossal armor of Imperial Knights drove them to obsolescence, and the warlike leaders grudgingly acknowledged the futility of sending mere foot soldiers into combat with these giants. What few Standard Template Constructs and manufactorums left were used to construct armored tanks, which allowed even the common soldier to at least wound a towering Knight. A single tank might not be able to put a dent, but an entire squadron of tanks firing in concerted unison could put down a single Knight. This, of course, was limited to the relatively few tanks produced - numbering only in their thousands as opposed to the millions of marching foot soldiers, but it at least reduced the senseless loss of life. The particular military tradition was kept and later served as the foundation for the Planetary Defense Force, and subsequently the Draconian Armored Defenders, which is almost entirely made out of tank companies with armor infantry support. Working in concert, the armor infantry would escort and protect the tanks from anti-tank fire, while the tanks blast huge holes in enemy fortifications and rain fiery death upon massed formations of foes.

It is in this dark period when a shrewd tactician emerged. The Daimyo of House Yato, Yato Yasutaka, devised a strategy to begin uniting the divided Houses of Draconis III under one rule. Forging alliances with the powerful House Takeda and the indomitable House Uesugi, he slowly picked off one House after another, adding their domains and military might to that of his House and his allies. Manipulating politics so that the rulers of House Takeda and House Uesugi would remain loyal to him, either through family marriages or promises of glory, he was able to unite Draconis III under four decades of constant warfare. At long last, he had all the Knight Houses, including the great House Oda, the stubborn House Tokugawa, the resilient House Akita, all pledge loyalty to him as he took up rule as the Shogun, the Draconian equivalent of the High King. Dispersing his defeated foes into divided territories, he was able to build up and maintain his power base, ensuring the rule of his descendants. Under House Yato, Draconis III returned to propsering once more, the civilians able to experience peace and joy after millennia of bloody warfare. As centuries went past, House Yato and its allies, House Takeda and House Uesugi, began to subsume and integrate the other Houses into their own clans, and eventually there were only three Houses left, the others either now part of the three great Houses or destroyed.

This was not to last, however, as within another few millennia, the Imperium stumbled upon the isolated world. Nearing the end of the Great Crusade, the Imperium was still continuing their efforts to reclaim long-lost human colonies and return them to the fold of the Emperor. Lord Marshal Mathias Perry led several regiments of Solar Auxilia to the surface of Draconis III and negotiated with the powerful but aging Knights. At first, the Knights rebuffed his advances, and war broke out as the Imperial Army, consisting largely of Solar Auxilia, attempted to subdue the three major Knight houses. As old as the suits were, the Knights were still terrifying weapons of war, as the Solar Auxilia found to their cost. Petitioning for aid, reinforcements finally arrived in the form of the Thousand Sons Legion, fresh from the Ventris campaign where they destroyed an entire Household of Knights for refusing to submit to the Imperium. Eventually, the first, fourth and sixth companies descended and destroyed the formidable lances of Knights with psychic powers alone, but not without sustaining casualties of their own. Even so, they continue to bolster their ranks with regiments of Prosperine Spireguard, landing millions of mortal soldiers and armored vehicles upon the great plains of Draconis III. Recognizing the immense firepower, arcane witchery and undecipherable scale the Imperium presented, the current ruler, Yato Yoshinobu decided to minimize bloodshed and attempted to preserve his planet's autonomy through negotiations. He was intelligent enough to understand that the aging Knight suits of the three great Houses would not be able to stand up to the massive firepower the Imperium wielded, and that they would never survive a war of attrition against an Imperium that numbered hundreds of thousands of worlds. Even if they somehow fought off this incursion, they would have incurred unsustainable losses and suffered bloody damage.

Fortunately, Yoshinobu knew that there would also be benefits to returning to the Imperium, either through old Mythology about an Emperor descended from a sun goddess, or the ancient technology scattered about the planet but rendered out of use by the Age of Strife. Shrewd enough to find an opportunity to recognize this rule, he then brokered a deal with Magnus, the Primarch of the Thousand Sons, to legitimize his rule further and named himself Shogun of Draconis III. As Shogun, he had received the right to rule from the Holy Father of Terra, the Emperor Himself, and would reign over this world on His behalf. Recognizing his authority, the Imperium did not aggressively press for more concessions, and after pledging his fealty to the Imperium and promising to tithe troops to pursue the Great Crusade, House Yato's dominance was all but assured. Yoshinobu also saw the need to modernize, realizing that his world's antiquated Knight suits and obsolete armored vehicles were no match for the vast armies the Imperium could bring to bear. Above all, he craved the military technology he was exposed to, such as the much more armored and powerful Leman Russ tanks that the Imperium had.

The combined Knights of House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda number over hundreds, each of their massive rosters second only to that of the great House Raven. Thanks to the Mechanicum coming to claim Draconis IV as a Forge World, another cunning move by Yato Yoshinobu to secure allies and the prosperity of his House and allies, they continued to grow in strength, the Mechanicum providing new Knight suits and able to help maintain, repair and even upgrade the existing ones. This also saw Yoshinobu realize his dream of modernizing and his, his world emerging as a pre-eminent power much like his ancestors were in the past, and achieving honor and glory that surpassed those of historical legends.

Draconis IV, the Estasblishment of the Legio Cybernetica and Legio Draconis and the Horus Heresy

With the arrival of the Mechanicum, Draconis IV was transformed into a forge world, its once silent air polluted with toxic fumes, and its barren landscape overrun with radioactive sludge and waste. Vast hive cities and manufactorums sprang across the dry continents of Draconis IV. As a very young Forge World fresh from its cradle, the priesthood of Draconis IV could not afford to be picky, and aggressively recruited Tech-priests from all over the fledging Imperium, regardless of faith or creed. Consequently, most of the Tech-priests who arrived and made Draconis IV their new home were exiles, outcasts, renegades, and progressives, banished or persecuted in their original forge worlds for heretical beliefs. This wasn't to say the priesthood of Draconis IV allowed heresy to propagate within their ranks, but they were certainly lax when it came to matters of faith. As long as one remained loyal to the Fabricator-General of Draconis IV, one could research and build whatever one liked. Many of the Tech-priests were exiles from Ryza, having been hunted for pursuing new paths in plasma technology, and they arrived in Draconis IV to continue their supposedly blasphemous research. They brought with them scattered maniples of Skitarii, personalized cyborg armies more loyal to their individual Tech-priest masters than any overarching Martian priesthood.

It was most likely because of Draconis IV's youth that when it began and was later plunged into the hellish fires of the Horus Heresy, that it did not have much of a standing military. The fledging forge world depended heavily on the various, scatterd Skitarii maniples under Warlord-like Tech-priests or renegade Magi and Knight Houses of Draconis III for defense, and a symbiotic relationship arose. Aware of the Knights' power over them, the Tech-priests of Draconis IV were not foolish enough to attempt to seize power over the Knight Houses, and indeed, were as submissive to them as the Sacristans permanently attached to the Knights. Indeed, rather than a forge world, Draconis IV is also known as a Sacristan World in addition to its nickname as the second Ryza.

Even though they have a small force of Skitarii, which was slowly merging into a single military organization as a group of high-ranking Archmagi formed the core of authority in the fledging forge world, the free-spirited and progressive Tech-priests of Draconis IV continued to indulge in their experiments and mass-produced battle-automata. Hence, Draconis IV became home to one of the largest Legio Cybernetica cohorts in the Mechanicum, and the Imperium. Thousands of battle-automata and siege-automata were produced in Draconis IV alone, many of them shipped to help the Legions - especially the Thousand Sons Legion - in the Great Crusade, but the bulk of the Legio Cybernetica forces remain on the surface of Draconis IV, guarding alongside their Skitarii escorts and handlers vital installations and massive manufactorums that continue to churn out their brethren and hundreds of thousands of Leman Russ Executioner tanks and Carnodon tanks, and millions of laser and plasma weaponry at an incredible rate. It was also because of their specialization in producing plasma weapons that Draconis IV produces an unnaturally high number of Thanatar Siege-automata, and they tend to favor the plasma and Darkfire versions of Castellax Battle-automata over the Mauler bolt cannon patterns. The Skitarii Vanguard of Draconic IV are also armed with an unusually high number of plasma calivers, when compared to other forge worlds, probably second only to Ryza. However, the Skitarii Rangers favor arc weaponry, wielding exotic lightning to devastating effect in both range and melee combat.

Along with the Legio Cybernetica, the Titan Legio, Legio Draconis was also created and established during this time. Nicknamed the Dark Dragons, the black and gold Warlord Titans marched to war, escorted by Reaver Titans and other exotic variants such as the towering Warmaster Titan. However, the youth and lack of manpower of the Forge World Draconis IV meant that there wouldn't be many maniples of Titans. As such, in contrast to the vast number of Knights, Legio Draconis remained one of the smallest Titan Legions in the Imperium. Ironically, it was this lack of size and presence that saved Legio Draconis, for their distance from Beta-Garmon meant that Legio Draconis would not be able to muster any large amount of forces to send to Beta-Garmon. They also escaped the Doom of Molech, but they were eventually present in Terra to fend off the Traitor forces of the Warmaster, albeit in very small numbers.

Unlike most Legions, Legio Draconis, the Dark Dragons as they were to be known, tend to favor large Titans more than the smaller ones. There are no Warhound Titans or other Scout Titans in Legio Draconis, the Dark Dragons comprising virtually only Warmaster Titans, Warlord Titans, Reaver Titans and a mix of other medium and large-sized Titans. They also have two Imperator Titans, the Shogun's Will and the Rising Sun, both of whom survived the siege of Terra. However, they are rarely ferried out of Draconis IV, remaining as honor guards and twin sentinel guardians of the forge world. The core mainstay of the Legion are Warmaster Titans armed with massive plasma destructors and Warlord Titans with a preference for Sunfury Plasma Annihilators, though a sizeable number of them are equipped with the devastating Belicosa Volcano Cannons, and they are usually escorted and protected by medium-sized Titans such as Reaver Titans. They often march to war with the tiny figures of fearless Skitarii swarming over their massive feet like ants. The Skitarii maniples' job is to keep their Titan charges from being overwhelmed by hordes of xenos, and even within the very few Imperator Titans, whole maniples of Skitarii await alongside small squadrons of Kastelan Robots, ready to defend the god-machines from intruders, raiders and boarders (particularly Chaos Space Marines). They have an entire Knight House seconded to them, House Kanda, which is a direct branch from House Yato, and thanks to their connections with the Mechanicum, consist primarily of Cerastus Knight Lancers, Cerastus Knights Atrapos, entire lances of Questoris Knights that include exotic variants such as Questoris Knights Styrix in addition to the regular chassis, supplemented by a few Acastus Knights.

Aftermath of the Horus Heresy

In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, the Legio Draconis was one of the few Titan Legions left relatively intact after the Siege of Terra, having sat out most of the engagements. The Knight Houses and the Solar Auxilia regiments from Draconis III had borne most of the fighting, but while they bore scars of the conflict, they emerged mostly unscathed in comparison to other worlds, for Horus did not deem the Draconian cluster strategically vital to his plans.

Nevertheless, the outlying systems surrouding the core Draconian system had fallen to anarchy and infighting, as Traitors and Heretics took advantage of the chaos following the Horus Heresy to stake their claims as rightful rulers of their worlds. Often ambitious Daimyos, these Renegade Knight houses took up arms against the Shogun, and by extension the Emperor and the Imperium, who had already suffered terrible casualties in the narrow victory over the Warmaster. Even the vaunted Legio Cybernetica Cohorts of Draconis IV were but a shadow of their former glory, having sacrificed the bulk of its forces fighting Traitor Legion Astartes and Dark Mechanicum renegades during the Horus Heresy. Reduced from thousands to mere hundreds of battle-automata, they were ordered to swear terrible binding oaths of loyalty, and fear of the battle-automata they produced - with many of the Dark Mechanicum's twisted constructs turning malefic and possessed by Daemons - invoked their allies' distrust of them, despite the great costs they had borne in fighting for the Loyalists during the Heresy. On the other hand, the resilient Skitarii maniples of Draconis IV prospered, probably because of an influx of wounded and damaged human soldiers from the Imperial Army regiments of Draconis III returning and requiring cybernetics and augmetics to survive. Even so, the influx of new Skitarii was barely enough to replace the cyborg soldiers lost during the terrible battles of the Horus Heresy.

The Knights did not come away unscathed either, having lost many of their nobles and soldiers. The worst casualties were those suffered by the Solar Auxilia regiments raised in Draconis III, with half of their strength effectively wiped out during the civil war. It would take them many decades to rebuild.

But rebuild they did, with the Mechanicum priesthood now reorganized and united under the Adeptus Mechanicus with teeming legions of Skitarii programmed to a central command, and the Solar Auxilia replaced by the Astra Militarum organizations to ensure a betrayal on the scale of Horus Heresy would never occur again. Once replenished to their full strength, the Knightly houses, the freshly raised Imperial Guard regiments of the Draconian Armored Defenders and the cold, merciless Skitarii Legions of Draconis IV enthusiastically participated in the Scouring, driving what remained of the Traitors back toward the Eye of Terror.

However, their role was far from done...


While the core Draconian system had remained largely intact and firmly in Loyalist hands throughout the Horus Heresy and after, the sourrounding systems making up the outer systems had fallen to anarchy.

The Shogun of that time, Yato Yoshitsune, ordered a Crusade - the Draconian Crusade - to conquer the outlying worlds and bring them back into the fold of the bring them back to the Emperor's light. Gathering a huge Imperial Guard battlegroup on the Segmentum Scale, he then launched a century-long campaign to reconquer the two hundred worlds and establish Imperium hegemonial rule over them once more. Leading hundreds of Knights and millions of Imperial Guardsmen and Skitarii, as well as dozens of cohorts of Cybernetica automata, Yoshitsune was able to conquer the two hundred worlds within his lifetime. It also helped that he had the aid from the steadily growing Titan Legion of the Dark Dragons, who had suffered minimal losses during the Horus Heresy. With nothing to oppose the enormous god-engines stalking the worlds alongside emotionless Skitarii escorts, many of the renegade Daimyos and their populations capitulated at the mere sight of them. Even the pockets of Iron Warriors or Alpha Legion Legionnaires who had chosen to hide and lead the incursions in these worlds were rooted out and mercilessly wiped out, the Chaos Space Marines unable to withstand a barrage from the Knights. The Word Bearers attempted to summon Daemons and turn Jigoku into a Daemon World, but the Knights of House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda smashed through their rituals, routed the Word Bearers and banished the Daemons crawling out of the Immaterium with the help of the Draconian Armored Defenders and Draconian Skitarii. On the jungle world of Morita, the attempts of a small band of Death Guard legionnaires to turn it into a garden of Nurgle were thwarted and the disgustingly resilient Marines hacked apart and incinerated by reaper chainswords and conflagration cannons as well as the incendiary combusters of the Legio Cybernetica, and the cybernetic Skitarii immune to diseases, toxins and viruses, flushed out any traces of the Heretic Astartes with plasma and arc weaponry.

Within a century, all two hundred worlds in the cluster had become subservient to Shogun Yato Yoshitsune, and he, with his Knightly subordinates - the great Daimyo - forged a Coalition binding the two hundred worlds together under his rule - answerable only to the Emperor Himself.

Of course, throughout the next ten thousand years, the numbers often rise and fell. Some worlds fell to Chaos, but more worlds were reclaimed and forcibly brought back to the foe by sheer military might. After all, there was little in the galaxy that could stand against the Knight Lances of the noble Houses of the Draconis Coalition. Failing that, they would face the sheer apocalyptic power of Legio Draconis...

The Fall of Cadia and the Cicatrix Maledictum

Despite sending large detachments of Draconian Armored Defenders consisting of thousand-strong tank squadrons, and the vauntly Knight lances of Draconis III, Cadia still fell. What remained of the Draconian army was forced to flee along with the surviving Cadians, and these Cadians followed the Draconian hosts back to the Draconian Coalition, where they continued to recruit and raise new regiments or bolster existing ones from the two hunrded worlds. As a result, the Draconians learn armor warfare and receive infantry training from the proud and revered Cadian Shock Troops, becoming on par with them...or at least I hope. In any case, that's why their regimental doctrine is so similar. Of course, their fighting styles differ - the Draconian Armored Defenders are primarily an armored regiment, with few infantry support, and they specialize in plasma weapons. They use Leman Russ Executioner tanks exclusively, because plasma is their bread and butter. If possible, I would like to have all my infantry wield plasma guns, but obviously that is neither practical nor balanced, nor would the points be cool, ugh, you know what I mean.

Anyway, the Great Rift opened up, and the Draconian Coalition was swallowed up by tides of screaming Daemons pouring through the warp. Many of the worlds fell, and only the core system survived. Draconis III and Draconis IV are what remain of the once proud Draconian Coalition, with the majority of the two hundred worlds consumed by insanity and cackling creatures from the Warp. Some planets endured, protected as they were by the indomitable custodians of the Knight houses and their Household retinues, the Draconian Armored Defenders living up to their names and defending their worlds. Many forge worlds, guarded by countless Skitarii and Cybernetica Cohorts, even succeeded in eradicating the immaterial invaders with their faith in the Omnissiah. But more fell.

Fortunately, even among the worlds that had fallen, pockets of resistance continue, with surviving Draconian Guardsmen and tanks, Skitarii and Cybernetica robots rallying around the remaining Knights of Houses Yato, Uesugi and/or Takeda and fighting off the Daemonic incursions in bastion-cities. Often these would be the only hive-city left in the world, such as Ama-no-taka, where the City of Light remained standing, bristling with defiant Draconian Guardsmen and a total of seventy Knights when reinforcements finally arrived to relieve them.

With the Warp Storm falling away, and the light of the Astronomican finally becoming visible after such a long time, the time has come. Yato Yoshimoto, the current Shogun, has declared a second Draconian Crusade. Mustering his forces from across the core system and gathering the greatest number of Knights ever since the Great Crusade, Yoshimoto intends to recapture the two hundred worlds that have been engulfed by Chaos and Daemons, and bring them back to the Imperium while relieving the beleaguered defenders. With their Cadian allies, and calling upon favors owed by various other forces such as the stoic Valhallan Ice Warriors and the lethal legions of Skitarii and Adeptus Mechanicus military assets from various forge worlds, and even Knightly Comrades such as those from House Hawkshroud, the Knights of House Yato, House Uesugi and House Takeda march out again, leading their Household Retinues of Draconian Armored Defenders, Draconian Skitarii and Cybernetica Cohorts to reclaim the two hundred worlds in the Coalition from anarchy, chaos and certain doom. They are further reinforced by the Titans of Legio Draconis, the Dark Dragons offering apocalyptic firepower to raze whatever enemies that stand before them.

Their job is made easier now that most of the Daemons had disappeared into the warp along with the Warp Storm, but new enemies lurk in the shadows of these worlds, ready to spring their traps and claws their filthy xenos jaws around the honorable Knights, resilient Skitarii, revered god-machines and determined Guardsmen of the Draconian Coalition...not to mention countless Cultists and their Dark Masters dwelling in the shadows and just waiting for fresh converts to come to them...

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fires of Cyraxus and 30K Mechanicum to 40K

Thanks to the ever-reliable Natfka (he beat me to this today), we've unearthed news regarding the ill-fated T'au invasion of a forge world.

There will be no Fires of Cyraxus, at least not in the near (or even far) future. It had been put on indefinite hold. You can find the original news on Reddit or check out Natfka's Faeit212 blog as usual for where I got this from.

The good news is that we will be getting 40K rules for the Horus Heresy Mechanicum units. So we'll be seeing the Castellax, Thanatar, Vultarax and Thallax on the 40K tabletop real soon! To be more precise, we'll be getting a "beta codex" in the same vein as the Adeptus Custodes Forge World codex where we're able to play 30K Adeptus Custodes units in 40K. Even better, this is "at the top of their list" so we'll be more than likely seeing it released sometime in future. Ave Omnissiah! Good for me, since I already have a couple of two-Castellax strong squads and a couple of Thanatar and a Vultarax. So yay. All I need to do is round them up with my Knights and I'm good to go. Probably should think about getting a bunch of Kastelan Robots back, but we'll see.

Internet outage

Had an Internet outage for the past couple of days, but otherwise there's not much to report, other than I got my ass kicked by T'au when I brought a Knight list. Yes, I know I deserve it for being "that" guy. Who brings 3 Imperial Knights to a game?

To be fair, I did ask the guy and he specifically requested that I bring my 3 Knights because he wanted a competitive game.

I'm also planning on delving into Adeptus Titanicus sometime soon. For now, I'm going to sell off the models I don't need. I probably don't like the way my Basilisks play, and I very much prefer my Leman Russ tanks, so I'll probably sell them off, along with a bunch of other stuff (like my Leman Russ Annihilator tanks - I find that I don't use them a whole lot). In other news, I have bought and assembled a Knight Valiant, so yay. My Knight House is getting expanded a little. I'm still not sure what's my optimal list, and I need to test out my Knight Valiant in actual combat (new model syndrome means he'll most likely get blown off the table by turn 1, though...but that leaves me with my other 2 Knights to do the heavy lifting...not that it helped me in my last game). I'm also thinking of getting a Cerastus Knight-Lancer to round out my Knight list, but he's way too expensive. I've been looking around Ebay for cheap, second-hand ones, but obviously no one's going to sell them at an affordable price. Too bad then.

Might sell my Deathwatch if I can get a good deal for them, but I doubt it. We'll see. They're a fairly new army and I hope I can get a couple more games with them, but I do need the money. Especially if I plan to go into Adeptus Titanicus.

Speaking of which, I'll have to rewrite my whole Titan Legion fluff from scratch, especially with the developments in Adeptus Titanicus. I'll be renaming my Titan Legion to Legio Draconis (the Dark Dragons), and they'll most likely go with the Myrmidon Maniple because I like Warlord Titans and I'm not a big fan of Warhound Titans. Sorry, I like giant robots, and the bigger, the better. I'm a plasma guy, and the Plasma Annihilator Warlord Titan looks like a great deal for me. Of course I hope to pair him with the Volcano Cannon Warlord Titan (since I have a Shadowsword). I hope I can round out my list with Cerastus Knight-Lancers (which is why I'm shopping around for a cheap, second-hand one - so that it would fit my fluff and theme).

Furthermore, for the standard 8th Edition 40K version, I'm planning on reacquiring my Skitarii. Good thing I have my Tech-priest Dominus and one Tech-priest Enginseer (which I was saving for Horus Heresy and my Mechanicum army). Since I'm getting into Adeptus Titanicus and building my Warlord Titans, I think I'm going to get myself a bunch of Secutarii Hoplites to escort my Mechanicus Knights (I've been experimenting with House Griffith and running my Knights as Imperial, but after the last game it seems that it might not be a good idea to do that). So I'm going to have to either do a Patrol Detachment (either I get a bunch of new Skitarii or I use my Kasrkins as Tech-Guard) or a Supreme Command Detachment (where I get a second Tech-priest Enginseer). Most likely I'll just do the former, because what I want is the Secutarii Hoplites as formidable shock troops (like, literally). That will also blend in with my Lance theme if I can get a Cerastus Knight-Lancer. Imagine, the Skitarii Secutarii Hoplites escorting my Knight Lancer, or following closely in his wake after he leaves a trail of destruction behind, cleaning up whatever is left in his wake. Otherwise I'll just make do with my Knight Paladin.

Well, I've to go to Columbia University for a conference this weekend, so no hobby this week. I'll see if I can write something about my new Legio Draconis, though.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Abaddon returns!

The Warmaster of Chaos has returned! Abaddon is coming to the tabletop with a new plastic sculpt! HA HA HA HA HA!

He's still no match for the Thousand Sons, though.

Anyway, you can watch the video here. Warp, just visit the Warhammer Community page itself for more news.

Another thing of note is the new Shadowspear box, so we will have Vanguard Primaris Space Marines, a Librarian and Eliminators. As for Chaos, we have new plastic kits for the Black Legion Chaos Space Marines and Obliterators, and we also have the Master of Possessions! I'm betting we'll get a new Possessed plastic model too. Oh, and we have a new Daemon Engine, the Venomcrawler.

Will the Thousand Sons get them too, or are they exclusive to the Black Legion? Well, we'll find out!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The night of Knights

Well, I probably shouldn't have done this, but I ended up fielding my Imperial Knight army against my friend today. He brought his Blood Angels, and borrowed my Leviathan Dreadnought (I think he wanted to see how the Leviathan Dreadnoughts would fare against Imperial Knights). I ended up tabling him in 3 turns or so. 4, actually, considering I couldn't kill his last Intercessor and his wounded Rhino by the end of my 3rd turn.

Basically we played Beachhead, and he brought a Battalion and Spearhead, which featured 3 Captains (one in Terminator Armor, one Primaris Captain in gravis armor, and one normal Captain), 2 tactical squads, 5 Intercessors, 5 Devastators, 5 Hellblasters, a Terminator squad, 15 Death Company dudes, and 2 Leviathan Dreadnoughts. And a Rhino. Against that, I brought a Knight Gallant, a Knight Errant, a Knight Paladin (my Warlord with Ion Bulwark and Judgement Stormspear rocket pod), the Vigilus Emperor's Fist Armored Company formation (spent a command point for field commander for one of my Leman Russ Executioner tank commanders to get the Warlord Trait) that featured three Leman Russ Executioner tank commanders in a Supreme Command Detachment, and an Imperial Guard infantry battalion.

I ended up going first, and I basically wiped out the Devastators, killed a few Hellblasters and destroyed one Leviathan Dreadnought from shooting alone. I also secured the objective in the middle. But his Death Company wiped out the poor infantry squad sitting on the objective, killing 6 guys with their bolt pistols, then charging my Knight Gallant and Company Commander. The latter died, and the former, after taking hits from the Leviathan, went down to 11 wounds or so. I managed to kill a couple of them, but not a lot. Maybe 2 or 3? Despite my Knight Gallant having Titanic Feet...oh well.

The Sergeant was the sole survivor after everyone else ran away from morale, and secured me 2 Victory Points. My Knight Gallant moved toward the Leviathan Dreadnought, and I think I brought it down to just 1 wound left after all the shooting. My Leman Russ Executioner tank commanders wiped out both the Hellblasters and the Death Company except the Sergeant, leaving him with nothing more than a couple of Intercessors (who had eaten quite a few shots from my Knight Paladin's rapid-fire battle cannon over the past 2 turns). My Knight Gallant then charged in and destroyed the Leviathan Dreadnought (I forgot to chuck him, though), while my Knight Errant finished off the Death Company Sergeant in melee. The Captain in Gravis Armor then stepped in and smashed the poor Knight Gallant with his power fists/auto boltstorm gauntlets and brought him down to just 2 wounds. Ouch.

The Terminators struck in and destroyed one Leman Russ Executioner tank before consolidating into the field commander. Funnily enough, I killed a couple of them in overwatch, as well as did a few mortal wounds to both the Captain in Terminator Armor and the Terminators when my Leman Russ Executioner blew up on a 6. Also did a wound to my poor Leman Russ Executioner field commander. The Terminators then consolidated into the field commander. The Captain in Gravis armor failed to wound my Knight Gallant this time, surprisingly enough, or I made my saves, and then I proceeded to crush him with the Paragon Gauntlet and consolidated right into the Ancient. With still 2 wounds remaining. Wow. Oh, the tactical squads poured out of the Rhino and killed my Sergeant, which meant nobody was holding the objective, and a couple of guys died in overwatch from the thermal cannon. The Captain charged my Knight Errant, did about 6 wounds to him, then got stomped to death by Titanic Feet.

In my third turn, I wiped out the Terminators with my third Leman Russ Executioner tank after my field commander fell back, and the Knight Paladin basically shot the Captain in Terminator Armor to death with his Stormspear rocket pod, but I had to charge him in to finish him off. The Rhino took a shot from the lascannon of my third Leman Russ Executioner, taking 6 wounds, but otherwise survived. Um, the Intercessors also survived the shots from the rapid-fire battle cannon, leaving about 1 guy on the objective in my opponent's deployment zone. The Ancient got wiped out in combat, needless to say. The Captain in Terminator Armor also got cleaved in half by the Knight Paladin's (my Warlord) Reaper chainsword. The Knight Errant charged the two tactical squads, split his attacks between the two of them, and just like their Captain before them, they were squashed to death by his Titanic Feet. Funnily enough, my Knight Errant seems to fare better in melee than his thermal cannon, which didn't do much.

By now, my opponent conceded because he only had one Intercessor and one wounded Rhino left on the table. That kind of sucked. Compared to that, I still had all three of my Knights, two of my Leman Russ Executioner tanks, a Company Commander and 2 infantry squads (holding the objective in my deployment zone). I was ahead in victory points, about 5 points to his 3. And he was on the verge of being tabled. Ouch.

We had a rematch immediately, and this time he brought his Knight Castellan, his Astreaos super-heavy tank, 2 Hellblaster squads, a Repulsor, a Terminator squad, 2 Captains in Terminator armor, and a Leviathan Dreadnought. This time, it was my turn to get crushed. In the first turn - he insisted on going first this time, and given how I tabled him previously, I was only too happy to let him get his way - his Leviathan Dreadnought moved forward. Between his Knight Castellan, Astreaos, Hellblasters and Repulsor, he destroyed two of my Leman Russ Executioner tanks, and brought my Knight Gallant down to 6 wounds, his last bracket. Ouch. His Leviathan Dreadnought wiped out my infantry squad, but miraculously spared the Company Commander, who ran forward and grabbed the middle objective (we decided to play Beachhead again). First Strike to him, but I didn't get First Strike.

My Knight Gallant couldn't charge anyone, so he just ran behind cover, my Knight Paladin took potshots at the Astraeos and merely put 5 wounds on him, and my Knight Errant put 5 wounds on the Leviathan Dreadnought. My Leman Russ Exectuioner put a total of 10 wounds or so on the Repulsor, but failed to destroy him. No First Strike for me.

My opponent had 2 victory points, and he destroyed my final remaining Leman Russ tank (with the Knight Castellan, who was out of reach of my other Knights or couldn't see them) and his Astraeos killed 7 of my Guardsmen in the second squad, while Deep Striking his Captain in Terminator armor about 9" away from my Guardsmen. He did about 5 or so wounds to my Knight Errant with the Astraeos, but that was about it. The Terminators Deep Struck 9" away from my wounded and hidden Knight Gallant, but they failed their charge. Oh well. The Captain in Terminator Armor wiped out my depleted second squad and consolidated toward the final infantry squad but was still far away enough to not be locked in combat with them.

By this time, it had gotten late and we called it. Unfortunately, that meant it was my win because while my opponent had 2 victory points, I had 3 - from getting the objective in my deployment zone and the objective in the center (thanks to my Company Commander). That was just funny. Even though I was getting destroyed, I won in victory points and objectives. The game can be a funny thing sometimes. least my opponent had the satisfaction of blowing up my tanks (but he failed to kill any of my Knights...hmm...).

Well, that was fun. I can't wait to see what my Knights can do next week!