Wednesday, 24 August 2016

+ inload: Ambush at Kalkriese +

+ Ambush at Kalkriese: battle report pre-amble +

+ Theoretical +

+ The events of the Calth Atrocity were only made possible owing to the circumstances that led the bulk of two Astartes Legions, two Titan Legions and countless Imperial Army reserves to gather on the fleet base. But what could possibly warrant – or justify – such a force being gathered? +

+ The answer to that was the Ghaslakh Campaign – or the war that never was. The ork warlord Ghaslakh had established a petty empire to the Galactic East, just beyond the borders of the Five Hundred Worlds, with a stronghold rimwards of the Golsoria system. + 

+
 One of Warmaster Horus' first orders was for the Ultramarines to fight alongside the Word Bearers to crush the greenskins in a full-scale campaign of extermination. +
+ Many amongst the Ultramarines and their allies wondered at the heavy-handedness of the decision – while the orks were doubtless a powerful foe, they surely did not warrant the deployment of two full Legiones Astartes. +

+ The order came to be seen as a wily move by the Warmaster; a chance to soothe the prickly – if not outright hostile – relations between the two Legions via a comparatively straightforward campaign against a brutal but simple foe. If it were not for treachery, perhaps this is what might have been. +

+++

+ Golsoria +

+ Golsoria itself was a system that had been brought into Compliance scarce decades before by the XIIIth Legion. Containing three rocky planets and seven gas giants (official designations 12–877–12-887the humans of the system had regressed during old night, but the kingdoms of the two inhabited worlds had maintained a shared level of sophistication, and the new Imperial Commander was making great strides in pushing the Feudal-class world towards Civilised status. The orks threatened this all. A tiny garrison of Legionaries had previously driven off tentative probes of the orks, and the commander had alerted the Legion to the potential danger. +

+ As a result, even before Lorgar and Horus' betrayal became clear, the Ultramarines had been planning for an extermination campaign with all the thoroughness for which they were famous. Naval patrols had been increased near Espandor drawing the ork's picket lines corewards, and advance scouting elements and seeded recon teams infiltrated the Golsoria system from Salem and the Zur Mortalis expanse.  +

Ghaslakh's forces were believed to be threatening Golsoria.
+ Greenskins had been a notorious foe for the Imperium since time immemorial; tough, resourceful and hard to demoralise. In addition to their traditional strengths, it became clear that Ghaslakh's warriors were possessed of experience – hard-won in their own inter-xenos wars with the Khrave – and a precociously high technology level. Initial reports suggested Ghalsakh commanded a force of between 80,000 and 150,000 warriors plus an unknown number of mercenaries and freebooter sell-swords; a substantial – and increasing – threat not just to Golsoria, but to the systems around it. Ghaslakh did not constitute an existential threat to Ultramar, but it was a real and growing danger. +

+++

+ Bellum Interruptus +

A force including elements of three Chapters – nearly 23,000 marines – had been ear-marked before the Warmaster's orders, and stood ready to depart from staging posts around Iax. These had already begun to engage the orks and allied warbands in a number of inconclusive strikes across the borders of Ultramar before the Warmaster's orders arrived and the bulk of the Army Group was recalled for the larger muster at Calth. +

+ As history tells us, the campaign was never fully launched – Ghaslakh's eventual demise came at quite a different time. Despite this, there were a number of relatively large-scale deployments – notably the Nemesis Chapter's brutal defeat of the warband known as the Red Knives, the bloody events of the Starbeach Landings, and the humiliating defeat of the 77th Company on the shores of Cresta – before the order to redeploy was given. +




+ Fighting with orks was always brutal, and many Imperial Space Marines parted with Ghaslakh's warriors sporting wounds and grudges that they ached to settle with the xenos. For their own part, the orks were – perhaps predictably – spoiling for a fight. Reinforcements were starting to move in from the surrounding areas, and a number of internecine battles were fought as beta-warlords fought for Graslakh's favour. +


+++

+ The terrors of the TeknOrkracy +


+ One of the final acts of the aborted war was the Ambush at Kalkriese; a conflict between elements of the 15th Chapter Praetors of Calth, an Ultramarines Chapter who were still recovering from a hard-fought Compliance campaign further rimwards, and the so-called TeknOrkcracy, a tooled-up warband under the command of a brutal and cunning aspiring ork leader known as Gashbag. +

+ Gashbag had good reason to hate the 15th – his rise to power had been stalled by an earlier close defeat at the hands of the Praetors of Calth on the plains of Asal Utter, and he was keen to gather the heads of those responsible. Gashbag had repaired and re-armed his forces; the unsuspecting and mauled Ultramarines would surely be easier prey this time – and if nothing else, a victory would put thoughts of internal treachery out of the minds of his elites... +


Clash at Asal Utter

+ The ork warboss was nothing if not thorough, and further cemented his chances of victory by drawing the unsupecting Ultramarines into an ambush at the port town of Kalkriese. He sent marauding forces to engage the holding force of Calth IVth soldiery, resulting in a large portion of the town being flattened and the populace displaced. Gashbag was relying on the Ultramarines insisting on being hte last line of defence – and was not disappointed. + 

+ Captain Orpheus, commander of the 15th, was in the midst of preparing for evacuation when the news came. Torn between abandoning the world and falling back to Calth, Orpheus dispatched a holding strike force under the command of the newly-promoted Lieutenant Holion to see the safe evacuation of both the remaining military assets and the civilian populace from the ruins of Kalkriese. Little did they suspect that the orks would return – and in larger numbers... +

+++

+ Practical +

+ As mentioned in an earlier inload, I'll be fighting a battle against Bob Hunk's awesome ork army. This will be a 3000pt battle using the Age of Darkness expansion. We'll be fighting the Blood Feud mission with the Ultramarines being ambushed. +


+++

+ Army lists +

+ Praetors of Calth, Ultramarines 15th Company +

HQ

Centurion artificer armour; Legatine axe; frag grenades; krak grenades; melta bombs; boarding shield

Master of Signal cognis-signum; nuncio-vox; artificer armour; power weapon (maul); frag grenades; krak grenades; Consul: Master of Signal

Chaplain Crozius Arcanum; artificer armour; frag grenades; krak grenades; melta bombs; jump pack; Consul: Chaplain

Troops

14 Tactical Space Marines power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; chainswords; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox; legion vexilla
+ 1 Tactical Sergeant artificer armour; bolter; chainsword; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; melta bombs


14 Tactical Space Marines power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; chainswords; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox; legion vexilla
+ 1 Tactical Sergeant artificer armour; bolter; chainsword; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; melta bombs

10 Breacher Space Marines power armour; boarding shields; power swords; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades
+ 1 Breacher Sergeant artificer armour; boarding shield; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; breaching charge; melta bombs
·   Land Raider Proteus 2 twin-linked lascannon; searchlight; smoke launchers; machine spirit; twin-linked heavy bolter; explorator augury web

Elites

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon
·   Contemptor Dreadnought multi-melta; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight
·   Contemptor Dreadnought twin-linked heavy bolter; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight
·   Contemptor Dreadnought twin-linked heavy bolter; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); extra armour; smoke launchers; searchlight

Apothecarion Detachment
·   Apothecary artificer armour; bolt pistol; chainsword; frag grenades; krak grenades; narthecium; augury scanner

Fast Attack

9 Seekers power armour; 9× bolter (kraken bolts; scorpius bolts; tempest bolts); bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox 
+ 1 Strike Leader artificer armour; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; power weapon; melta bombs
Rhino searchlight; smoke launchers; twin-linked bolter

9 Seekers power armour; 9× bolter (kraken bolts; scorpius bolts; tempest bolts); bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox
+ 1 Strike Leader artificer armour; bolter; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; power weapon; melta bombs
Rhino searchlight; smoke launchers; twin-linked bolter

Heavy Support

Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought twin-linked Anvilus pattern autocannon battery; twin-linked heavy bolter; atomantic pavaise; smoke launchers; searchlight; extra armour

4 Heavy Support Marines power armour; heavy bolters; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
+ 1 Heavy Support Sergeant artificer armour; combi-weapon; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades; augury scanner





+ Gashbag's TeknOrkracy +

HQ

Boss Gashbag (Warboss in mega armour) Da Lucky Stikk; twin-linked shoota; power klaw; stikkbombs; mega armour; bosspole;
cybork body
Mek kustom mega-blasta; choppa; Mek's tools; stikkbombs; grot oiler
Big Mek kustom force field; power klaw; Mek's tools; stikkbombs
Big Mek kustom force field; power klaw; Mek's tools; stikkbombs
Painboy 'urty syringe; Dok's tools; bosspole; cybork body; grot orderly
Weirdboy Psyker (Mastery Level 2); Weirdboy staff

Troops

20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
20 Boyz shootas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob shoota; power klaw; bosspole
30 Boyz sluggas; choppas; stikkbombs
• Boss Nob shoota; big choppa; bosspole
10 Gretchin grot blastas
+ 1 Runtherd slugga; grabba stikk; stikkbombz

Elites

4 Meganobz 4× twin-linked shoota, power klaw; mega armour; stikkbombs
• Boss Meganob Infantry (Character); 'Ere We Go!; Furious Charge; Mob Rule
Battlewagon zzap gun; 3× big shoota; grot riggers
10 Kommandos sluggas; choppas; stikkbombs; 2× big shoota
• Boss Nob slugga; power klaw; stikkbombs; bosspole
5 Deffkoptas 5× twin-linked rokkit launcha; choppas
Dakkajet 2× twin-linked supa shoota; twin-linked supa shoota; flyboss

Heavy Support

Deff Dread 2× big shoota; 2× power klaw
Deff Dread big shoota; skorcha; 2× power klaw
3 Killa Kans 3× grotzooka; kan klaw
15 Lootas deffguns; stikkbombs
Battlewagon kannon; 2× big shoota; grot riggers


Note that a planned Gorkanaut stalled on the starting blocks, and has been replaced with a Looted Wagon, boarboys (bikers) and some additional wargear.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

+ inload: Hold fast! Ultramarine Breachers +

+ The Vigintii +

+ I've banged on a lot about Breachers over the past couple of inloads, so rather than repeating myself, I'll simply pop up some pictures of the squad as they currently stand. +


+ Sergeant and four marines. The banner was painted with the new Iyanden Darksun (apologies, I can't remember the name) then washed with sepia ink. While wet, I used my thumb to wipe off the excess ink from the raised areas. Once dry, I used slightly diluted Iyanden Darksun to clean it up a bit, then added Dheneb Stone to the mix for highlights. The detail is all moulded on – I think the backpack is a metal piece from the character Sicarius. +

+ Note the inclusion of an heraldic tilt shield – I'm really enjoying adding these to the occasional veteran. +



+ Squad leader and four marines. Being organised to a fault, the Ultramarines always have a chain of command in place. This fella doesn't have any in-game rules, but made a good excuse to have a bit more fun modelling – building lots of near-uniform models isn't the most exciting process, even if the end result is worth it. +




+...and all together, plus Brother Letas (in the red helm of censure). The bases aren't complete, and nor are the squad markings. The little circles you can see on the shields will have an eta (η) symbol. Rather annoyingly, despite spending [SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] ages last night carefully painting in the Breacher Squad symbol (an inverted omega with a gladius through the centre) on every right shoulderpad, I forgot to get a pict-capture of any of them. +



+ You can just about make one or two out in this rather gloomy WIP picture, but you'll probably have to use your imagination for now. Regarding the markings, I couldn't resist adding a few little personalising details – the occasional CXC (for the 190th), legion numeral or additional Legion symbol here and there – but I've deliberately left them fairly neutral. These are, after all, new Ultramarines. Not quite raw recruits, but only just beginning to write their legends... +

+++ AMEND +++
+ I've now secured a pict-capture of the Breacher squad details:
+++AMEND TERMINUS+++

+ What next? +

+ With the first ten (well, eleven) Vigintii requiring just some final weathering and basing, the next things on the painting table:

+ Ah, more Breachers. Well, that's not particularly exciting. +



+ Ah, an apothecary! That's a bit more fun. I've a solid preference for the visuals of a game, and one of the things that always slightly disheartens me is when one or other army isn't on the table. This is generally due to it being pretty much all in reserve, or all in flyers, or so forth. My army sits around looking daft and then getting shot from all angles as they pop up, with no opportunity to actually fight. Fortunately, my Iron Warriors army taught me the great pleasure of augury scanners and Explorator augury webs, which go a long way to disrupting reserves and generally making life a bit more difficult for infiltration/deep-strike heavy armies, and giving my Ultramarines a chance to shoot back before they're annihilated. Why's this relevant? Well, Apothecaries can have augury scanners, so that's what he's clutching in his left hand. +

+ The visuals bites both ways – I suspect my infantry-heavy army would benefit from having lots of apothecaries, but it just seems a bit off to me to have so many in an army. One apothecary to every forty or so men seems alright, though. +

+ inload: They Shall Know Fear +

+ Officers on deck +


Epulone Tiberial Highheart +


+ A fairly productive weekend of painting saw me finishing Chaplain Highheart who, like the Breachers of Viginti yesterday, has been lurking half-painted in a case. I rarely think it's a good idea to force myself to paint, preferring to work on something as the enthusiasm strikes. +


+ Not my best work, but I rather like him. He'll be leading the charge against the orks of the Teknorkracy this Thusrday... Keep an eye out for a report. +



Monday, 22 August 2016

+ inload: Squad Viginti WIP +

+ Squad Viginti WIP +

+ Theoretical – What's cooler than Space Romans with big tower shields? +
+ Practical – Space Romans with big tower shields and power gladii. +


Three Breachers, with markings and details to finish.
+ These poor chaps have been sat in a figures case while other projects – Court of the Sun King, Officia Monstrosa, May You Live Forever – have ticked over, and with a game coming up on Thursday, it's about time I got them painted. +

+ Below are some WIP shots of a Breacher squad; a new type of unit from the Age of Darkness expansion that gives space marines a shieldwall visual. +






+ There are currently three nigh-finished members – the sergeant, squad leader and a red-helmed rotter. They need a few minor tweaks and basing, but I'm happy with how they're looking; certainly good enough to plop on a table to be swiftly removed! +

Sergeant of Viginti (the squad designation is recorded on his banner – Viginitii)
Squad Leader


Saturday, 20 August 2016

+ inload: Grubby Rankers +

+ The Ultramarines have a reputation for being upright, proud and strait-laced, which is certainly built on foundations of truth. However, none of those clad in cobalt and gold are identical in character. There is a great variety of imbalance in humours amongst the Legion; some erring towards a choleric disposition, while others are generally sanguine or bilious. Mostly, such imbalances are drilled out during training; but in some cases they prove intractable. +

+ Such warriors are tolerated if their deficiences or exuberances prove to be of no detriment to themselves or their comrades. Since the time of Gren Vosotho, the War-born had harboured a peculiar and unlikely mix that – perhaps owing to the influence of their geneseed – nevertheless came to prove more than the sum of its parts. Indeed, many officers even post-Guilliman show certain eccentricities – impulsiveness, bravado, or a peculiar sixth sense – that have proven to be a great benefit to the Legion and underscored their individual advancement. +

+ Whether the following troublemakers of the 190th prove to be future Officers or swiftly-cooling corpses is still to be played out... +


Brother Anandates, Corinthian (190th)
+ Part of the field-intake of replacements necessary for the Corinithians, who had suffered catastrophic casualties during a raid against greenskin pirates, Brother Anandates has proven both capable with a support weapon and insubordinate to a fault; indulging in non-standard kill markings and aesthetic vandalisation of his wargear. Not yet red-marked, he has skirted perilously close to the line on more than one occasion in his short field-life. +

Brother Spiriculus, Squad Secundus (190th)
+ In contrast, Brother Spiriculus is devoted, drilled and conscientious... and seemingly catastrophically unlucky. It seems the fates have a dark sense of humour for Spiriculus, and he has become something of an ill-luck totem for Squad Secundus. As a result, squad cohesion has been slow to materialise amongst the inexperienced 190th. +

Friday, 19 August 2016

+ inload: Ultramarine Master of Signal +

+ Upilio Constantine Pullo +


The XIIIth, perhaps more than any other Legion, relies on smoothly interlinking command and control, with orders percolating downwards for swift enactment. Some Ultramarines excel at particular roles – the strategic leadership of the Legion falls to those most able to command; while line sergeants provide staunch tactical direction. +

+ Being equal in ability does not necessitate heterogeneity, of course. While some Officers of Ultramar achieve their rank through skill at arms – we think of Tauro Nichodemus, or the glittering blade of Salvio Fenn – others, like Constantine Pullo, possess some of his gene-father's genius for organisation and administration. +



+ The post of Master of Signal is the official designation for the post known to the Iron Hands and Death Guard as Watchmaster, to the Raven Guard – unofficially at least – as Whisperchief, and to the Ultramarines as Upilio. The role varies slightly, but all who wish to master it must possess an ability to parse, sort and filter a tide of often conflicting information, acting both as filter and codifier of the ebbs and flows not just of battles; but of entire theatres of war. +

+ Owing to their multi-levelled thinking and superlative calculatory abilities, most Signal Officers excel at void warfare, and many are drawn from void-captains and Astartes fleet staff. They are commonly placed in charge of Expeditionary sub-fleets, a responsibility far above most Centurions' duties. +


+ Never the most fearsome in combat, nor the most charismatic, nor yet the most indomitable, Constantine Pullo is nevertheless a terrifying man to make your enemy; as he has the ten thousand arms and ten thousand eyes of the Ultramarines beneath his command to turn against you. +


+ Decked out in artificer-adapted Mark V hybrid (II/IV) plate with inbuilt cognitive-memhancer, arm-mounted augur-board and multi-spectrum vox-beading, Pullo is capable of directing an entire battlefront; as indeed he demonstrated during the Syrinx Annihilation, the closing events of the Hypon campaign, and the Nekuli void-war. In addition to this equipment, he carries an eminently practical boltpistol sidearm and the vitis, the short staff that serves as mark of office, as a visual directional tool when his high-tech equipment fails him or is impractical, and – in extremis – as a bludgeoning weapon. +



+ The Master of Signal is a role that sits at the heart of the Ultramarines' way of war. Serving in the 15th for nearly three decades, Constantine Pullo's experience and knowledge saw him promoted after the Nekuli campaign to a new role with the Evocati, overseeing the training of future Ultramarines on Armatura. This was a role he took on with characteristic seriousness. Redeployed to Calth alongside the final intake of Inductii before the Ghaslakh campaign muster, Pullo was caught alongside the warriors of the newly-created 190th when the Word Bearers attacked. He was lost on the surface prior to the Underworld War; just another of the 160,000 or so Legionary casualties of the Atrocity. +

Thursday, 18 August 2016

+ inload: Officers of the 190th +

+ Chains of Command +

+ A couple of work-in-progress officers for the 190th today. First up, a Chaplain:

+ Epulone Tiberial Highheart +

+ Roboute Guilliman was famous for encouraging the close study of all the Legiones Astartes; with the intention of encapsulating and refining successful approaches within his own Legion. Several innovative tactical and strategic structures and squad types pioneered by their cousin-Legions were fielded – both broadly and in more limited test-bed structures – by the time of the Calth Atrocity. +

+ The Chaplaincy spearheaded by the Word Bearers was one such office. Lorgar and his closest advisors were zealous in the dissemination of the post across the Legions. Rejected by some, the post was taken up by the Ultramarines on a limited scale. In truth, the office sat poorly within the Ultramarines Legion, where zeal and passion were firmly subsumed beneath a structure of logic and analysis. As a result, some historians suggest that the adoption was a personal sop to Lorgar on Guilliman's part – an extended hand of reconciliation. +

+ Nevertheless, while not widespread in the XIIIth Legion, the Chaplaincy was no useless appendix. The post was stripped of duties distasteful to the ruthlessly sceptical and fact-focussed Ultramarines; and grew the morale-shoring role of inspiration through demonstration. Selected as exemplars of duty and honour, Chaplains operated across the Chapter command structure, such that any Legionary, from Aspirant to Tetrarch, could seek their advice and wisdom. They thus formed an underpinning web across the Chapter that bound the warriors together as brothers. +

WIP Chaplain


+ Tiberial Highheart holds the honorific of Epulone, a role whose duties extended to organising feasts, festivals and events of martial and physical competition within the Ultramarines, providing the Legionaries with a close focus for their peacetime role. +

+ The role of Chaplains fell under suspicion after the events of Calth, with many being withdrawn from front-line roles, but this was never a general rescindment. +

+++

+ Lieutenant Pullo, 190th Signals corps +


+ This model is built from a variety of unusual parts including a Space Hulk powerfist (from Brother Omnio), the helm from the FW Master of Signal and – probably my favourite bit – the rod of command from an Alpha Legion special character. +

+ Both figures are WIP. While the metallics are largely complete, the blue armour is midway through the process. I start from a midtone blue (Mordian blue) which gives me tonal range to both shade down and highlight up. At this point, you're seeing them with just the shading added (a variety of blue and purple washes applied topically, plus a glaze of Liche purple paint). The next stage is to add the highlights, and that's when they start to 'pop'. +

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

+ inload: 15th/190th disposition +

+ Mark -1.57 sidereal +

Sergeant Santiagon

The column's footfalls crunched as they marched through the snow. Lieutenant Holion's breath misted in the air. 

'Forces at our disposal, sergeant?'  

'I've taken the liberty of preparing a dataslate, sir.' Sergeant Santiagon frowned as he handed it over. 'It's far from complete, but all told we've got the best part of a demi-company here, plus auxiliaries.' The column continued marching over the deep snow, warily scanning the ridgeline to the east and bare trees to the west. 'Not all in fighting order, I'm sorry to report.'

Holion nodded, absorbed in the slate. 
'Until we get a solid practical on what's happening here, we've got to make to the Muster. This doesn't feel like orks...'

+++

+ It's easy (and quick) to compose a snap of an individual model, but I find getting shots of a whole army is always a pain – so I'll be working up to it. I thought I'd collect together a list of what's what in the army. Not exactly an army list as, owing to the changes to the rules and restrictions, there are a number of odd models that don't quite fit. +

+ This project is going to (hopefully) resolve this, and step one is to work out what's what:

Warriors of the line

  • The Apaesians (Sergeant Epipatros) – Rhino carrier Spear of Iax [Seeker squad]
  • The Ciconians (Sergeant Mox) – Rhino carrier Quadriga [Seeker squad]
  • The Locrians (Sergeant Santiagon) – Rhino carrier Odius [Seeker squad]
  • The Carnassans (Sergeant Ordustin) [Tactial support squad?]
  • The Corinthians (Sergeant [REDACTED]) [Heavy Support squad]
  • 190th Squad Secundus (Sergeant [REDACTED]) – Tactical squad
  • 190th Squad Quintus (Sergeant [REDACTED]) – Tactical squad
  • 190th Squad Duodecimus (Sergeant [REDACTED]) – Assault squad
  • 190th Squad Viginti (Sergeant [REDACTED]) – Breacher squad – Land Raider Proteus carrier Legacy of Armatura
  • Shield of Sinon, Predator
Command and Specialists
  • Captain Orpheus Orkbane
  • Lieutenant Holion
  • Ancient [REDACTED], Chapter Standard Bearer (15th)
  • Lieutenant Pullo, Master of Signal
  • Brother Yppocampon, Apothecary
  • Brother [Redacted], Apothecary
  • Brother Arius, Techmarine
  • Brother-dreadnought Avulus
  • Brother-dreadnought Strix
  • Brother-dreadnought Cestus*
  • Brother-dreadnought Telcion*
  • Brother-dreadnought Icelus – Deredeo pattern
  • Brother-dreadnought {REDACTED] – Leviathan pattern

* Previously a marine of the 15th; killed in background.

+ Expect a few edits to this over the course of the project, as I dig out models or change my mind and pull bits apart! +

+++

+ Let's face it, all this is useful for me, but a bit boring, so I thought I'd do a gallery of a few old faces:

Brother Eumon, Locrian

Brother 'Young' Holion, Locrian 

Cassie, Mother to worlds
Brother Atlion, Corinthian
Brother [REDACTED], Squad Secundus
Squad leader [REDACTED], Squad Secundus
Brother [REDACTED], Squad Quintus

+ You'll spot a number of [REDACTED] notes here. Normally, that's the in-universe way I list things if I haven't decided on a name, but here it's that I'm fairly sure I've named him/it, but have no idea what the name is... I would check Warseer, but sadly it's still down. If you can help fill in a blank, please let me know! +

Monday, 15 August 2016

+ inload: Saturnine Plate +

+ Brother Deredeo Thorne +


+ I will be back - So reads the litany inscribed on Brother Thorne's oversized exo-armour pauldron, the scrawled paintwork spilling across the battered golden trim. +

+ Artwork from GW Space Hulk +

+ The Underworld War saw the vengeful might of the surviving Ultramarines as they hunted down the murderers of their world. Despite the impossibility of resupply, both sides remained well-equipped for the duration, owing to the wealth of equipment and materiel laid down at Fleet Anchor Calth. Nevertheless, while there was certainly a lot of equipment to hand – or salvageable from the irradiated surface – uniformity was a low priority. Armour marks, small arms types and the like thus became mixed and matched on both sides over the course of the war. +


+ Brother Deredeo Thorne, a veteran trained in the use of specialist Tactical Dreadnought Armour, is pictured here in an atypical example of the plate. Unlike power armour, which had been developed in the Unification Wars and refined over the course of the Great Crusade, Tactical Dreadnought Armour was still highly experimental by the time of the events of the Horus Heresy. Various types and patterns of so-called 'Terminator' armour had been developed across the galaxy, often by Forgeworlds or inidividual eccentric magi that were secretive or even in open competition with one another. As a result, they varied wildly in appearance and battlefield application; from the technological triumph of Tartaros pattern to the famously unreliable Nova Martus suits. +


+ Complete verification is impossible, but Thorne's armour appears to be a variant based on Primarch Vulkan's designs. These vanishingly rare suits were deployed sparingly by the XVIIIth – but often to great effect, as they mounted additional heavy weapons on top, in a manner similar to a true Dreadnought suit or the Martian Mechanicum's heavy cybernetica divisions. +


+ Thorne's armour is thus an enigma, as the Underworld War took place on the other side of the galaxy to these development and known deployments of these highly-experimental suits. It also diverges from the design in a number of ways; the most obvious being the lack of a dorsal weapon mount. Instead, it bears a curious spinal structure, the purpose of which may be reinforcement, decorative, or perhaps serve a more esoteric use. The author humbly posits that it may be a section of armour retro-fitted after the removal of the dorsal weapon simply to reduce the armour's height – thus allowing its use in the oft-cramped environs of the War. +


+ Seconded to the 15th/190th, Thorne's extensive knowledge of the Calth Arcologies made him a valuable strategic asset to local XIIIth command. His battlefield experience (won securing the Compliance of the abhumans of the Galctic Core), married to his thirst for bloody vengeance against the Word Bearers, made him a frighteningly efficient hunter-killer during the Underworld War. +


+ Like his armour, Thorne's armament is atypical; his combi-bolter bearing a non-standard additional top-loading magazine housing. Little is known of this variant, which may have been a one-off produced by an artificer, or a limited and unsuccessful adaptation of the combi-bolter. The angle of pict-capture demonstrates the scrawled personalisation on his shoulder pad; which is curiously absent of other tactical markings. All in all, Thorne's image provokes more questions than it answers. As with nearly all records of this benighted time, the truth will likely never be known. +


+ One mystery that can happily be resolved is Thorne's given name, Deredeo. More commonly recognised as a Dreadnought variant-type, Deredeo is a Terran name of Old Albian extraction. Records indicate that Deredeo Thorne is genuinely his birth name – Meaning simple 'God of Fear', it would be easy to assume that this is a name chosen after being inducted into the Legion. This was a common tradition amongst the XIIIth since their inception: a necessity so for many of the nameless orphans who were recruited into the so-called 'War Born'; and continued after the discovery of Guilliman as many Legionaries took up names that had Macraggian providence to demonstrate their desire to fit into a cohesive Legion. +

+ That Thorne's long-dead parents would name their child such a dreadful name is perhaps indicative of the horrors of the planet they found themselves in: Old Terra. +