+ inload: Intrigue at Warehouse CCLIX – Part IV +

 Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition battle report – part IV+

This (much-belated!) inload stems from others – Part I of this battle report can be found here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], part II here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], and part III here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded++

+ When last we read about Warehouse CCLIX, the Church of the Astral Ascension were closing in on the Hangman's Rope, the personal retinue of Inquisitor Unfortunus Voke. +

Ferlinghetti and Tempest came sprinting across the plaza as Arcimboldo primed a krak grenade on the surface of the stasis pod. With a great roar, the explosive ruptured the stasis pod, denying its contents to the genestealer menace. Panting, the autoscribe reported silhouettes and blips appearing on his auspex. Time to be gone...

Purestrains darted from cover to cover as they raced across the ground, their claws skittering across the broken cobbles.

What was in the stasis pod? There was no time to investigate. Even as Sergeant Tempest kneeled down to pick through the hot remains, Arcimboldo grabbed her webbing and pulled her up, urgently pushing her and Ferlinghetti to move.

Meanwhile, Manderghast advanced to buy the Rope some more time. Trusting in his power armour and mechanical might to carry the day, he broke cover and spat hard light at a group of hybrids.

The Church were pouring into the area now, individuals and groups appearing on both flanks.

Cymgin and Toria, the guardsmen, kept cool heads as monstrous forms began to close in on them. Rattling autogun fire kept them advancing cautiously.

Manderghast put down one hybrid, and braced himself for an attack from the nearby group, rolling his shoulders to limber up.

Veck yelled for Tempest and Ferlinghetti to redouble their efforts. Arcimboldo had pushed them off in order to escape two purestrains, but their recalcitrance forced him to turn back to face both monsters.

They charged, and his flashing blade leapt up into an en garde position. This would be the fight of his life...

Heeding Veck's orders, Manderghast let off a couple of warning shots, then ducked back behind the alehouse and began running back to the escape route.

Veck watched powerless as his forces fell back... Had destroying the stasis pod prevented a future disaster, or merely delayed things? That it was precious was clear, and he cursed inwardly that the Rope had been unsuccessful in retrieving it intact. However, this was a case of life and death now – and his team had still to escape.

+ The concluding part can be found here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +

+ inload: 30k Battle Report: Iron Warriors vs Imperial Fists +

+  Assault on Pradesh Novum army lists and preliminaries +

+ Had a great game set on Terra during the Horus Heresy last night, where I fielded my embittered Iron Warriors of Officio Monstrosa [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] against Bob Hunk's stoic Imperial Fists of Team Fisto [+noospheric inload link embedded+]. +

+ This was a 2,000pt game played using the Warhammer 40,000 rules with the Age of Darkness ruleset. We decided to play the Dominion mission, which is based around capturing areas of the battlefield over the course of the game, with secondary objectives of wearing down the enemy. We added a bit of a twist by playing it on a small 4 x 4ft board with densely-packed urban terrain; to represent Pradesh Novum, one of the many subdistricts and old towns that make up the sprawling outer part of the Palace. +

+ Below are the army lists we took, along with some short stories to get you in the mood. +


The Petitioner District

by Bob Hunk [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]

The dust from the bombardment had given the sky a permanent red cast, even here in the old Himalisia. The hellish glow had choked the normal cloudless azure of the sky. But that was just another irrelevant detail for Letholdus to file away as his world was swallowed by the siege. It ground on and on, consuming all of his existence. The Traitors were being made to pay for every single step they took towards the walls of the Imperial Palace. They paid in blood, and in iron and in transhuman lives. But it appeared the Treacher Legions had more than enough coin enough to spend on their advance.
Letholdus was numb to it all. Numb to the insanely spiralling casualty figures. Numb to the weeks of only fitful half-sleep. Numb to the faces of friends and foe alike, faces that even now faded to grey in his mind's eye and were swept away in the ash. It had all become a rhythm; a ticking metronome that measured their backwards steps across the Kathmandu plateau.
Tick-tick-tick. The thermal contraction of Mark VI power armour in the cold Tibetan nights. Tick-tick-tick. The chrono counting down to the next bombardment. Tick-tick-tick. A faulty actuator twitching in his powered gauntlet. Tick-tick-tick. The butcher’s tally steadily rising as their defensive perimeter tightened across the Petitioner’s District.
His Command Land Raider crushed a low wall to powder beneath its relentless tracks, and Letholdus steadied himself on the cupola. The cyclopean walls of the Inner Palace loomed on the horizon, a rockcrete smear in the haze, dwarfing the district they currently traveled through. As the Imperial Fists fell back and the walls became clearer, so too did their...their what? Defeat? No, never that. Their situation. Their limits, logistics and supply lines. That’s all he saw now, in crystal clarity. Letholdus watched the walls grind inexorably closer and listened to the tick-tick-tick of Land Raider’s systems beneath him.
The vox snapped. Letholdus touched his earpiece.
“Reinforcements, Praetor,” a voice crackled, the words of vox operator distorted by magnetic backwash.
The information was unnecessary, he had already seen them. As the Imperial Fists consolidated further towards the Palace walls, a golden arrow flew out to meet them. Letholdus watched the baroque grav-carrier skim towards them, feeling the tick-tick-tick of muscle spasm around the edge of his bionic eye. In better times would he have considered their arrival an honour or an insult? It was neither now, he was simply numb.
Letholdus called a halt. They had reached their latest fall-back line. The Iron Warriors weren’t far behind. Ranging artillery was already stamping flat the slums to the east. Soon these streets would run red with genhanced blood. The Imperial Fists began to dig in. Tattered but proud banners were raised. Letholdus issued orders. The grav-carrier slowed, disembarked four gilded lions, and then sped away, back towards the Palace.
Tick-tick-tick. Four pairs of gold armoured boots rhythmically crunched through the dust and broken glass towards Letholdus.
“Praetor Letholdus,” said their leader, removing his helmet, “I am Shield-Captain Hyperion of the Legio Custodes.”

Team Fisto & Custodes (M31) (Space Marine Legions)
1,997 points
152 points (8%)
Praetor (152)
artificer armour; power weapon (sword); solarite power gauntlet; bolter; frag grenades; krak grenades; refractor field
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Master of the Legion; Independent Character
525 points (26%)
9 Breacher Space Marines (305)
power armour; boarding shield; bolter; bolt pistol; 2× flamer; frag and krak grenades; legion vexilla
Infantry; Legiones Astartes; Hardened Armour
+ 1 Breacher Sergeant
artificer armour; boarding shield; plasma pistol; power weapon; frag and krak grenades; breaching charge
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Hardened Armour
9 Tactical Space Marines (185)
power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades; legion vexilla
Infantry; Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
+ 1 Tactical Sergeant
artificer armour; bolter; power fist; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
Rhino (35)
searchlight; smoke launchers; twin-linked bolter
Vehicle (Tank, Transport); Repair
325 points (16%)
Contemptor Dreadnought Talon
Contemptor Dreadnought (190)
Kheres pattern assault cannon; dreadnought close combat weapon (twin-linked bolter); smoke launchers; searchlight
Vehicle (Walker); Dreadnought Talon; Atomantic Shielding; Fleet
Mortis Dreadnought (135)
smoke launchers; searchlight; 2 twin-linked autocannons
Vehicle (Walker); Helical Targeting Array
Heavy Support
590 points (30%)
Predator Strike Squadron
Predator (150)
predator cannon; smoke launchers; searchlight; lascannon sponsons; machine spirit
Vehicle (Tank)
Land Raider Battle Squadron
Land Raider Proteus (220)
2 twin-linked lascannon; searchlight; smoke launchers; machine spirit; twin-linked heavy bolter
Vehicle (Tank, Transport)
Land Raider Proteus (220)
2 twin-linked lascannon; searchlight; smoke launchers; machine spirit; twin-linked heavy bolter
Vehicle (Tank, Transport)

Detachment: Custodes Strike Force (Legio Custodes)
225 points (56%)
Shield Captain (225)
Paragon spear; Close combat weapon; Iron halo; Plasma & krak grenades; Custodes armour; Melta bombs; Digital lasers; new option
Legio Custodes, Bulky, Crusader, Counter-attack, Precision Strikes, Precision Shots, Independent Character
180 points (44%)
3 Custodian Guard Squad (180)
Guardian spear; Close combat weapon; Refractor field; Plasma & krak grenades; Custodes armour; Melta bombs
Legio Custodes, Bulky, Crusader



Prelude to Conflict

Tick-tick-tick. An internal chromometer marks another phase of the interminable bombardment. 
Exhausted, moving by rote, he retrieves his helm from inside the turret, and fixes it in place even as the white streaks – some arcane alchemical propellant, perhaps? – describe the ballistics' elegant arc towards the palace walls. 
For a moment, they seem to give the red sky white ribs. 
Like the machinery of a clock, the Iron Warriors are already in motion. Even as the wave of displaced dust barrels towards them, the infantry are stepping out of cover and stalking forward warily. Auspex tracking, weapons lit, his predator's heavy tracks greedily bite into the dead ground, and it lurches forward alongside its companions. 
Instinctively, he closes an eye, to preserve his sight as the missiles impact. The distant white flashes burn black in his autosenses, and he re-opens his eye, shaking his head with fatigue. 
The Emperor's forces were throwing everything at the Warmaster-loyalists, and in turn the rebels were pummelling and punishing the very earth itself to make it turn over the Legionaries of the VIIth Legion. 
Not enough dead. The Imperial Fists had winnowed and defiladed and undermined and bombarded the Iron Warriors – and still the advance continued. Steady as an atomic clock, their lock-step an interminable, inevitable tick-tick-tick. Soon. Soon there would be a reckoning. No ambushes and outflanking; a pure battle. Blade against blade. Arm against arm. 
Not enough dead. Not nearly enough 
"My lord Artabas?" The voice registers. He grunts in response, waves a distracted hand at the Legionary. The Legionary wordlessly reaches up to the cupola, hands the slate over.The wave of hot dust and ash envelops the column of cold-eyed Legionaries, washing over and around them, cloaking their advance. It is as hot and dull and painful as his exhaustion. 
The atomics set off a warning count in his armour; tick-tick-tick, but he remains scanning the horizon from the open hatch. As the count slows, he removes his helm once again and looks down at the slate as the tank prowls forward. Munition expenditure, casualty predictions, advance demands, requests for support. Niceties. Irrelevancies. 
The inside of his mouth tastes of tin and copper and smoke. As the column passes another shelled-out slum, he sneers at his reflection in an incongruously intact window. Red-eyed and smeared with black dirt, his teeth are limned with blood. The air is hot, greasy with rad-wash. He spits, and looks forward. 
Himalasia. The Inner Walls. A muscle spasms in his eye – a tic of fatigue – as he spies a distant golden arrow descend and disappear behind an intervening curtain wall. Artabas' bloody teeth break into a grin. If the Custodes are present, the Fists are nearly at bay. His hands twitch furiously."Full advance!"

Officia Monstrosa 2000 (Legiones Astartes)2,000 points
HQ320 points (16%)
Artabas (Siege Breaker) (150)WS5·BS5·S4·T4·W2·I5·A3·Ld9·Sv3+
nuncio-vox; phosphex bombartificer armourpower weapon (maul); charnabal sabre; frag grenades; krak grenades; refractor field; Consul: Siege Breaker
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Consul; Independent Character; Art of Destruction
Çjarn (Champion) (170)WS6·BS5·S4·T4·W2·I5·A3·Ld9·Sv3+
Combat Augment Arrayartificer armourpower weapon (axemaster-crafted); power weapon (axemaster-crafted); frag grenades; krak grenades; refractor field; Consul: Champion
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Consul; Independent Character; Supreme Fighter; Honour of the Legion
Troops510 points (26%)
Muster XIX (14 Tactical Space Marines) (185)WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A1·Ld8·Sv3+
power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox
Infantry; Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
+ 1 Tactical SergeantWS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
power armour; chainsword; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
Muster LII (16 Tactical Space Marines) (215)WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A1·Ld8·Sv3+
power armour; bolters; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades; nuncio-vox
Infantry; Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
+ 1 Tactical SergeantWS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
power armour; power weapon; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Fury of the Legion
Muster XIV Basilikoi (4 Tactical Support Marines) (110)WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A1·Ld8·Sv3+
power armour; volkite chargers; bolt pistol; combat blades; frag and krak grenades
Infantry; Legiones Astartes; Support Squad
+ 1 Tactical Support SergeantWS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
power armour; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes; Support Squad
Elites150 points (8%)
2 Rapier Carriers (150)WS–·BS–·S–·T7·W2·I–·A–·Ld–·Sv3+
2× graviton cannon
Artillery; Extremely Bulky
• 4× Space Marine CrewWS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A1·Ld8·Sv3+
power armour; bolt pistols; frag and krak grenades
Infantry; Legiones Astartes
Heavy Support1,020 points (51%)
Predator Strike Squadron
Predator (115)BS4·FA13·SA11·RA10·HP3
predator cannon; smoke launchers; searchlight; lascannon sponsons
Vehicle (Tank)
Predator (115)BS4·FA13·SA11·RA10·HP3
predator cannon; smoke launchers; searchlight; lascannon sponsons
Vehicle (Tank)
Predator (95)BS4·FA13·SA11·RA10·HP3
predator cannon; smoke launchers; searchlight; heavy bolter sponsons
Vehicle (Tank)
Hekaton Zodios (Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon)
Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought (310)WS5·BS5·S8·FA13·SA13·RA12·I4·A4·HP4
Leviathan siege drill (meltagun); Leviathan storm cannon2× volkite caliver; smoke launchers; searchlight; frag grenades; extra armour; phosphex discharger
Vehicle (Walker); Reinforced Atomantic Shielding; Crushing Charge; Dreadnought Talon; Move Through Cover
Muster CPXLII (4 Heavy Support Marines) (185)WS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A1·Ld8·Sv3+
power armour; multi-meltas; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry; Legiones Astartes
+ 1 Heavy Support SergeantWS4·BS4·S4·T4·W1·I4·A2·Ld9·Sv3+
power armour; bolt pistol; frag and krak grenades
Infantry (Character); Legiones Astartes
Land Raider Battle Squadron
Immisericordia (Land Raider Proteus) (200)BS4·FA14·SA14·RA14·HP4
2 twin-linked lascannon; searchlight; smoke launchers; machine spirit; twin-linked heavy bolter (shrapnel bolts)
Vehicle (Tank, Transport)

+ inload: Iron Warrior Siegemaster +

+ inload: Episcopi Artabas +

+ Iatayu Artabas, who met his end during the Siege of Terra was a polymath, a pragmatist and an amoral monster from the planet Kush Tertial. While he was a capable warrior – he was, after all, and Astartes – his rise through the rank to become a leader of men was due more to his pathological obsession with minuteae than charisma or ferocity. In any other Legion, he would have made a capable Line Officer. In the Iron Warriors, his detail-led approach gave him an overview that saw him command battalions. +

+ A rank specific to the IVth Legion, Episcopi were roughly equivalent to Lieutenant-Commanders, with a similar breadth of roles. Senior to the line Centurions, an Episcopus was a special designate who operated alongside a Grand Battalion; though with no special connection with it. An Episcopus could expect to be sent where he was most needed; where his abilities best suited the Legion's need. They included linebreakers, siegemakers and medical, morale or technical specialisms. Artabas excelled in all aspects of planned warfare, making him a vital cog in planning the assault on Terra. +

Pictured with his armament of choice – a simple power bludgeon and umbra-pattern bolt pistol – immediately prior to the assault on Pradesh Novum, Artabas limped out of this engagement, only to fall mere weeks later. A temporary tilt shield bears a simple stripe marking him as attached to the 242nd. His armour is otherwise unremarkable, save for the enhanced optics and data-gathering upgrades to his helm and powerpack. +

+ The most striking feature of this understated officer's appearance was his vulture familiar, Sampatu. Startled during a clash between the Iron Warriors and an infestation of Hrud, the bird rose up and spoiled the aim of an infiltrated hrud fusilier – an act which likely saved Artabas, though its perforated wing rendered it flightless. In a peculiar act of charity, Artabas recovered the bird and spent many months training it and assisting its recuperation using flight-recovery technology usually reserved for psychic cyber-familiars, servitor-putti and the like. larger, stronger and more resilient than the extinct Terran vultures which it closely resembled, the avian became both a totem and a preternaturally fast and vicious helper to Artabas. +

+ Artabas was an unusual choice to oversee the Officia Monstrosa, but then the very nature of the task – to subdue and capture a Primach during one of the greatest and most complex campaigns before or since – required something quite unique. +

+ inload: Weapon Platforms +

+ Rapier platforms +

+ Rapiers are semi-autonomous tracked weapon platforms used by many arms of the Imperium's military, from the Imperial Militia to the Legiones Astartes. Rugged and reliable, their distinctive grumbling forms are rarely the stuff of legends, instead occupying a humble supporting role in the Imperium's military history. + 

+ Most commonly armed with a bank of linked laser weaponry called laser-destroyer arrays, which operate on similar principles to lascannons, the Rapier is versatile enough to mount other weaponry too heavy, specialised or bulky for infantry – even Astartes – to handle. Common Rapier mounts include quad-guns, heavy bolter banks, mass-drivers and the feared graviton cannon. +

+ Graviton cannons emit a distinctive sub-sonic thrum as they wash the target area with massless spin-2 boson particles, displacing resident scalar and vector particles through a process called quantum spin-weaving. This is manifested in a localised and temporary apparent increase in mass and weight with no concomitant increase in size or displacement of the target, resulting in catastrophic stresses to the target. In layman's terms, it increases the gravity of an area, flattening buildings, crushing armoured vehicles and reducing infantry to a thin, gritty paste. +

+ The Iron Warriors Legion made great use of the Rapier platform, adapting it to bear everything from direct-fire weapons to comms-arrays and orbital links. In addition to these standard uses, the Iron Warriors also commonly utilised Rapiers as transports during deployments in dense terrain like jungles. In these cases, the Rapier platform would typically – though not always – be stripped of their primary weapon and used instead to bear palettes and crates of arms and ammunition for a Muster. These allowed infantry-heavy deployments to operate for longer and range further than otherwise advisable. +

+ Displaying their typical ingenuity and practicality, the IVth Legion also employed the platform for many unique improvised uses, ranging from creating temporary mobile bridges across the racing waters of Vortigern, to carrying the honoured dead back from assaults. There is even one recorded (though uncorroborated) instance of an entire Iron Warriors platoon piloting hastily-stripped-down Rapiers during the Retreat from New Mars, allowing them to outpace their furious pursuers and draw them into a fatal ambush. +


+ The army... complete? +

+ With these Rapiers complete, I've now got a balanced 2000pt army all ready to go for my game tomorrow. Here are a couple of pictures of the infantry en-masse. +

+ inload: Six Species Player Profiles #1

+ Player Profile: Jimmy Turnpike +

Height: 5' 9"
Weight: 194lbs
Age: 19
Experience: First season
Team: Chaunterwick Unathletic

Season stats:
Position: Thrower
MA: 6  ST: 3  AG: 3  AV: 8
Skills: Pass, Sure hands, Dump-off
Games played: 2
TD scored: 1  Comp: 1  Int: 0  Cas: 0  MVP: 2

+ James Turnpike is a new signing to Chaunterwick Unathletic, a promising youngster recruited by a talent scout after winning the parish horseshoe-tossing contest at the Grimchurch village fête. After his interview*, Turnpike signed a short-term** contract to the team, where he swiftly stood out as one of the few members of the 'Bobbins' (as Unathletic are fondly known) to show some ability to handle the ball. +

+ Proving himself a valuable member of the team, Turnpike combines two traits uncommon, even surprising, for a Blood Bowl player: a reluctance to be punched and a genuine talent for getting rid of the ball before the tackle is made. His position as quarterback makes use of his keen eye, and means that the other 'Bobbins' are keen to get the ball to him – much to his dismay! + 

* i.e. fighting his way out of the sack into which he had been bundled and finding himself miles from home.
** In relative, geological, terms.


+ Painting +

+ Still nominally WIP, Turnpike's a colour test for my first new team in a good few years; a scheme loosely based on both the Welsh Rugby strip and Charlton Athletic's. He's worked up from a red primer base, with a pair of reds (one for armour, one for cloth) and a pair of creamy whites (again, one for armour, one for cloth). +