+ inload: Resupply – Galvanic Servohaulers mini-review +

+ Scatter terrain +

+ I'm not sure if GW's 'Galvanic Servohaulers' [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] count as models or terrain, but they're certainly very cool. Much larger than I had anticipated – check out the night watchman lurking nervously amongst the piles of crates, stacks of barrels and mini tractor/crane things I painted last night. +

+ The servohauler kits are simple but with more detail than I'd expect from terrain; they'd make a great basis for genestealer cult, ork or skirmish-game conversions and kitbashes. I like the fact that the trailer on which the crane stands is compatible with the big crates of the Munitorum Armoured Containers box I reviewed a while back [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]. +

+ The crane and tractors have some lovely details, but if you're happy to overlook or remove the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol, they're generic enough to work in most sci-fi or steampunk genres. After all, there's nothing particularly sophisticated about rugged building equipment. +

+ The models painted up quickly – rather a rush job, in truth – but the grimy, battered look built up with block-painting, washes and smoked highlights suits the spirit of the set. The depth of recesses on the crane meant that this piece was far more time-consuming than the tractors, even taking into account its size. +


+ Conclusion +

+ As with the Munitorum Armoured Containers kit, the Galvanic Servohaulers get two mechandendrites up (out of three),for much the same reasons. It's another detailed, versatile set of models that provide perfect scatter terrain for sci-fi, post-apocalyptic or near-future settings. +

+ Like the Armoured Containers, these would be great for dioramas and vignettes; and also offer a lot of potential for kitbashing and conversion work. +

+ inload: Night Lords +

+ Kivigilitha Ve Zah Jass +

This group of [REDACTED] renegades are equipped with few of the trappings and advanced materiel of their Imperial brethren, but their undoubted experience and a blasphemous willingness to use scavenged and unreconsecrated armour and weaponry makes them as versatile and deadly at the end of a long – and seemingly unsupported – campaign as they proved at the beginning.


The group seem unified by shared aims – likely symbolised by the poison daggers they wear as a crude gang-sign – and, perhaps, the fragments of a lost dream that they bitterly wish to spoil for those 'still sleeping'. [Non-apposite, potentially heretical, marginalia removed]

Their battlecry – daubed on sub-hive walls and projected through local comms channels (and reportedly, the last phrase whispered to their victims) is 'Kivigilitha Ve Zah Jass' – which loosely translates to 'We bring A Rude Awakening' in archaic Nostramon.

+ Classified information drawn from the Remarks on the Siege of Ur-Niemzca, authored by Magos Titus Manderghast, exiled subsequent to the battle's conclusion. +


+ Creo Fidanza (mark: arrogance) +

+ Such is Fidanza's belief in the inherent superiority of the Astartes that his fighting style is swaggering and ostentatious; deliberately alerting the enemy once there is no escape for them. After all, the prey should spend their last moments in fear, not ignorance. +

+ His armour, a well-maintained hybrid of mark IV and scavenged mark VII plates, is thus embellished and decorated with ritual terror markings; not least of which are his flamboyant trophy racks, which cast an inhumanly long, chiropteran silhouette. +

+ Shullat Avellon (mark: judgement) +

+ Representing what remains of the VIIIth Legion's original aims, Avellon acts as the unifying figure of the group. Through dominance and tactical ability, he is begrudgingly regarded as – if not the leader, for the warband bristles as such terms for all save their warlord – at least first-amongst-equals. Perhaps more importantly to the Claw, he is a neutral party, whose decisions ensure the others can indulge their predilictions. +

+ Gaining the lion's share of the spoils of war, his armour is good quality, largely (thought not wholly) unmarked by the taint of chaos. He bears echos of the trappings of rank – a trophy rack in place of a banner, a defiled tilt shield from a defeated enemy (or rival), and an artificer-modified terror helm. Despite his status, the collar of his breastplate is raised – all the better to ward off a blade at the neck... +

+ Basmu Seachild (mark: dishonourable conduct) +

+ The only non-Nostraman of the group, face-to-face conflict is anathema to Basmu Seachild, recruited to the Claw many centuries after the Legion Wars. Why confront the enemy head-on when you can finish them before they know there's a threat? A creeping, lurking and knife-strewn monster in the dark is how Seachild prefers to operate; his movements sinuous, coiling, and silent. +

+ Barring a Mark IV helm; only now beginning to warp under the influence of his incipient voidcraft, he wears a relatively crude suit of Mark V armour – the best he can hope for as the junior member of the team.+

+ Isimud Vologda (mark: horror) +

+ Colossal, debilitating, overwhelming horror is the Night Lords' modus operandi. For some, it was less a strategy and more an art to be savoured. For Vologda, it became an obsession. +

+ Tactical expediency and teamwork simply does not factor into his crystally straightforward mind; merely the act of spreading individual terror. Draped in skins and pelts, covered with chains and trophies, Vologda's method of waging war is plain and simple; and always, always, secondary to his true aim – sadistic, systematic and excruciating murder. +

+ With a talent for infiltration and stealth, he usually operates at the forefront of the team – all the better to scatter and unnerve the defenders for the others to terrorise; and all the less likely that his individualism will compromise the team. +


+ Battle report: Outskirts of the Plains of Tethys +

+ Battle report: Outskirts of the Plains of Tethys +

A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice: ‘Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can even a strong man be more pure than his Maker? 

+ A Warhammer 40,000 8th edition battle report +

New Bartle was the last sinktown before the open plains, an exposed and inward-looking frontier settlement, but important as the only reliable source of fresh water for the South-western flats beyond it. It was inevitable that the invaders would strike here – particularly given the warlord Og Throatchoppa's demands for a solid supply line to support a second front in his assault on the coastal cities. 
Unseasonal storms – that some claimed were caused by the atmospheric displacement of the wallowing, hovering starcraft of the green-skinned aliens, and others put down to the Emperor's wrath – had battered the town, but the Arcturan planetary defence forces were dug in around the sink, with ranging patrols exploring the outskirts.  
Hot, heavy rain was lashing one such patrol when the orks emerged from the murk...

+ A Narrative game using lists of 50 power; we played the Patrol mission +

+ Opening moves +

+ Ork boyz and a mob of killa kans advance alongside a big mek. The rain fizzed and boiled in a crackling half-dome over the creature's strange generator, indicating some sort of force field. +

+ The orks close on a temporary command post, defended lightly by a company commander and his retinue, an infantry squad and some ratlings, all sheltering from the rain. +

+ The orks close the gap quickly, racing forward to engage the defenders. Blurted reports from both sides draw in reinforcements – including the fabled Space Marines. +

+ Bolstered by the presence of humanity's champions, the guard turn the street into a killing ground, the central mob being shot to pieces, and one of the killa kans detonating with a dull thump. +

+ ...But there are plenty more where they came from! A mob of orks arrive on the eastern flank, and the big mek jogs to meet them – diving over a hedge to do so. +

+ The battle escalates +

+ As more guardsmen pour in, the killa kans advance on their power-armoured counterparts. As the Astartes and walkers trade fire, a gout of blood is torn from one of the Blood Angels. Grimacing, he gets back to his feet, continuing to fire. +

+ Throatchoppa himself arrives on the field, yelling angrily through the rain for his boyz to 'urry up!' +

+ The guard grenadiers meet the ork charge, but even these elite humans are no match for the raw power and ferocity of the aliens – they are swiftly overwhelmed. +

+ The orks allow the Imperials no space. Desperate screams are heard from the eastern flank, and the central street has turned into a brutal close-in brawl. + 

+ The Astartes struggle with the killa kanz. At last, Brothers Barbarigo and Engel manage to barge one of the clanking behemoths over, pinning it for long enough for Farnese to unload a full magazine into a weak point. Thick, murky blood sobs from the rents in the kan's armour and it falls limp. +

+ The melee in the east continues to rage, bodies steaming in the humid air. More Imperial Guard reinforcements arrive and are drawn in – but the press favours the orks and the squad and their platoon commander are torn apart. +

+ The final killa kan batters aside the Astartes and turns his spiteful attention on Commander Burton-Gogh, seizing him in a wicked claw. The Commander struggles free, bleeding and injured. +

+ Closing stages +

+ As the remaining Imperial forces drive into the centre, Throatchoppa reveals his ace in the hole – a mob of kommandos on the west. +

+ The orks on the Eastern flank start to flounder as they advance into the centre. Their numbers are thinned by disciplined fire from the guard and Astartes. +

+ Throatchoppa's reinforcements finally arrive, but too late – he grunts dismissively and waves forward his kommandos, who leap on and butcher the Rough Riders. +

+ With Burton-Gogh gravely wounded, Sergeant Raphael rallies the guard. Splitting the forces in the centre, he directs the guard to drive off the mob advancing from the east, while his warriors turn to confront Throatchoppa and his kommandos. +

+ With booming bolt and scything laser, the lightly-armoured kommandos are cut down. Seeing how the wind is blowing, Throatchoppa scowls and shakes a threatening fist at the scarlet-armoured champions of humanity before loping off into the rain. +


+ Imperial Victory +

+ The orks have been driven off – this time – but doubtless they'll be back, and in greater numbers... [/Obi Wan] +

+ Well, that was quite an intro to 8th edition! Regular inloaders will recognise Bob Hunk's awesome Blood Axes, who have clearly been plaguing the Imperium for millennia. It was great fun to get the Lamb's World back on the table – orks and guard are a classic match-up; and it was fun to have a new pairing of enemies in place of Nuzzgrond and Dresden. +

+ While it ended with a victory for the Imperium, I think that was down as much to luck as anything. Had Throatchoppa's boyz arrived more evenly – rather than half right at the start, and the rest dribbling in on the final turn – or the central mob had held back a bit to draw the Lamb's Worlders in earlier, I wonder if things would have been different. +

+ Stars of the match for me were Burton-Gogh himself – the rules now allow Guard commanders to be a bit braver – and, of course, the Blood Angels. They were critical to the victory; holding and eventually destroying the killa kanz, who would likely have rampaged through the guard. +

Og Throatchoppa and Maxim Burton-Gogh give each other the stink-eye.
+ We picked the mission to ease us into 8th – it starts with a small number of units on the board, and gradually builds up. +

+ My first impressions are that the game's much cleaner. It is simpler, but that's definitely a plus point for me. Since we play more detailed skirmish stuff when the fancy takes us, it's good to have a good clean system for bigger games. Similarly, we both agreed that the 'power' system of picking an army was quick and simple – both faster and more convenient than the more familiar granular points system. +

+ It did turn into a bit of a scrum in the centre; which meant that my guard were basically forced into the defensive – it was just a case of throwing more men into the melee and hoping we'd outnumber the orks. Not particualrly tactically satisfying, so I hope that a bigger game with a different mission (and perhaps on a bigger board!) would help add a bit of breathing room. +

+ Another big plus is that everything feels a bit more like a company-level game than older editions, which have swung from over-burdened skirmish systems with needlessly complex rules for vehicles and monsters; to soulless exercises in exploiting paper-scissors-stone type mechanics. 8th edition seems to have made basic troops – my favourite thing – more relevant. Ork boyz have received a lot of great boosts, and the order system makes even Imperial guardsmen something to be respected. +

+ So, a cautious thumbs-up from me for 8th edition. I did very much like the command point system, and the cleaner, simpler organisation in both army building and the game itself is very welcome. Perhaps the best bit of all was how much more like the stories the game played – far fewer weird game mechanic interactions, and less need to check the rules (even taking into account our unfamiliarity with the system). +

+ inload: Infantry and specialists +

+ Lamb's World infantry +

+ I still think of this as a 'new army', but the Lamb's World 117th is getting on a bit now. The models are essentially Elysians with head swaps (mostly the FW Cadian Respirator heads, but some from other sources including the short Specialist Games run of Necromunda Van Saar) and the rebreather on the torsos removed. +

+ I've always like the image of well-trained but regular soldiers, and so as with my other armies, the army was built with that in mind – the troops as the standard, middle-of-the-road option; determinedly non-elite, non-specialist. +

+ I've found this handy. First off, it means the army is largely future-proofed. Like space marine tactical squads or ork boyz, Imperial Guard infantry are always going to be the basic choice in the army list. I've seen other Guard armies change from being 'Veterans' to 'Conscripts' and back, but the Lamb's Worlders have always been (and likely will always be) plain old guard infantry. This makes writing lists from one edition to the next relatively painless. +

+ Despite the age of the army, I'm pleased with the paintjob on them. Camouflage and a little clean painting to contrast with it goes a long way to cover up flaws, and earthy colours are amongst the easiest to paint. I am glad I went with a semi-desert scheme, as it's versatile and works on most gameboards. +

+ Looking back over the army is a good way to see how my hobby has changed. These were definitely painted with an event in mind; and tackled en masse rather than individually. Still, I think they hold up if you inspect them – they're all done to the largely the same standard, even the characters. I've never been good at painting models more or less carefully in relation to their battlefield importance or role. +

+ The number of mortars in the army – nine or so – is a good symbol of contrariness. At the time the army was built, mortars were the cheap, rubbish option. You never saw them on the table; and I thought that was a shame – I've always liked things being a bit different. Perhaps they'll prove their worth in 8th edition? +

+ Having said there are no elites and that the army was all done at once, the grenadiers here belie that. These models are from Heresy Miniatures, and wer added after the campaign weekend I took the army to. I think they've only seen the field once – where they and their Valkyrie transport were shot down in short order! +

+ Finally today, a platoon commnder. Nothing much to say here except that the torso of the model is from the FW tank commander kit, I think. +


+ Gaming with the army +

The list for tomorrow looks like this:

Lamb’s World 117th – Arcturus theatre

[50 power]
Battle-forged: 3 Command Points
Battalion Detachment: +3 Command Points – required choices in bold.

HQ [7]
  • Caef Burton Gogh – Company commander [3]
  • Commissar Salem-Czet – Lord Commissar [4]

Troops [23]
  • Blood Angels Squad Raphael – 5 Intercessors [5]
  • Imperial Guard Infantry squad – 10 men [3]
  • Imperial Guard Infantry squad – 10 men [3]
  • Imperial Guard Infantry squad – 10 men [3]
  • Imperial Guard Infantry squad – 10 men [3]
  • Stormtroopers – 10 men, flamer [6]

Elites [14]
  • Lief Moorwing – Platoon commander [2]
  • Ratlings [2]
  • Special Weapons Squad [3]
  • Command Squad [3]
  • Command Squad [3]
  • Astropath [1]

Fast Attack [3]
  • Rough Riders [3]

Heavy Support [3]

  • Heavy weapons squad [3]

+ inload: Cavalry and tanks +

+ Recon in strength +


Onnagh flicked the lho stick up in a long, long arc through the dreadful, endless rain that had set in since the invaders had touched orbit. It was like the planet had got a stick in its eye and was trying to wash it out. The corporal and I watched the tumbling stick trace a graceful path to its zenith, then descend to land unceremoniously in a murky puddle a few yards away.

We looked back.

"Do that again, and I'll stick you myself." I said, warningly. "Do you want the green bastards to find us?"

She leaned back against the wet concrete and grinned broadly, eyes glittering. Stimms? Possibly. Then again, Onnagh was always the sort of lunatic that relished an argument. The invasion was probably the best thing that had ever happened to the stinking old criminal.

"You're late, anyway."

I grunted in reply. Late for what? As far as we knew, we were the last damned humans on Arcturus – though the crackling gunfire at least implied some of the PDF were still out there. We'd made a tactical retreat – which is to say, that Onnagh and I had belted it after the young corporal the second she'd soiled her breeches and legged it during the first firefight. She was still twitching; still wide-eyed. Onnagh and I, re-drafted regulars from the first Plateau War, had seen it before. Jumped at a noise and never came back.

'Course, that was against those dirty raddlers from the northern jungle and their weird pamphlets; not against these lunatic greenskinned aliens. Both fought like nobody's business – but then, maybe I'd do the same if I believed a big eye in the sky was watching me.

"There's word them off-worlders are coming through here soon. We should make it look like we was fighting."

Connagh pulled a pack of lhos – blessedly dry – from behind her webbing somewhere, stuck one in her mouth and half-heartedly gestured it to me as the Corporal shivered, her eyes trained on the wet road outside.

As I put the stick between my cracked lips and held the chem-blaze to the tip, I had another thought.

I guess the greens didn't believe the Emperor was a god, either.


+ Rough Riders +

+ Rough Riders are one of those things that makes 40k a gothic dystopia, rather than a sci-fi space opera. I love the contrast of 'ruffs and laser guns' in the setting, and horse-riding soldiers charging hovering battletanks and scuttling alien beasts is an image that I think fits perfectly. It's a sort of 'anti-sci-fi' image that provides contrast and reminds you how advanced and alien the glittering gauss beams of the Necrontyr or fluted wraithbone ammunition of the Eldar would appear to the Imperium's military. +

+ There's an inherent Imperial pragmatism to the concept too; far easier to maintain horses than badly-understood technology; so just like the Romans adapted technology from the lands they conquered, the Imperium is happy for its forces to equip themselves to fight as they're best able to do. +

+ Quite apart from that is the modelling and painting opportunities. Horses (or whatever steed you pick) are living creatures, and thus benefit from a bit of variety. In turn, that gives you something interesting to paint to relieve the tedium of uniforms. The squadron above includes a palamino, a bay and a chestnut, amongst others – and they allowed me to try some interesting techniques such as wet-in-wet stippling (for the dappled grey on the right). +

+ Freehand opportunities abound; the markings on this horse were taken from a holiday snap. +

+ Matching the colours and getting the 'borders' between areas of colouring was a fun exercise. +

+  The models themselves are relatively simple conversions; mainly kitbashes. The rider is made up of legs from the Empire Pistoliers (the layered armour was smoothed down into flak-style plates) mated with an Elysian upper half. Again, the only conversion work here was scraping away detail from the torso and removal of the tubes that run down the side. The rest is a kitbash similar to the Lamb's World infantry, using a Cadian head with respirator from FW. +

+ The horse is from the Wood Elf range; with the armour slightly reshaped. The addition of some packs (from tank sprues and the same upgrade sprue as the rider's head, I think) helps to fit the horse into the universe. +

+ The Rough Riders are one of my favourite parts of my army; I've got the bits somewhere to make five more, so perhaps I'll expand this little group. +


+ Not so subtle +

+ Main battle tanks are much more popular than horses with most guard players – understandably so; what's not to like about cool model tanks? – but I struggle to enjoy painting them unless I can find some way to give them a bit of character and human interest. This example, E-118, has a Lamb's Worlder hitching a lift on the back. +

+ On the other face, another of those anti-sci-fi touches: a 'requisitioned' cow. I wanted to get the idea that the Leman Russ is an all-in workhorse; likely used as much as a bulldozer and tractor as it is a weapon of war. +


+ inload: The Alien Wars – Arcturus and the Lamb's World 117th +

+ The Alien Wars: The Arcturus Theatre and the first Lamb's World 117th +

Lamb's World [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]. Of the planet itself, little is said; for it represents just one amongst hundreds of thousands that make up the Imperium. A backwater rainworld, loosly civilised, it sends its sons and daughters out to fight the Emperor's wars, and has done so for many millennia. +

Typical Lamb's World guardsmen - pugnacious, grimy and resolute.
+ Numerous regiments from the planet have served in the Imperium's armies; most more dutifully than remarkably. The 27th 'Copper Hornets' fought in the Damocles Gulf campaign; the 55th saw service in the Dolor Debacle; and a later raising of the 117th – the so-called 'Black Hands' – were deployed to Shale. +

+ The 117th regiment seems to have a cursed history. Owing to the peculiar recruitment habits of Lamb's World, there have been at least three 117th regiments, all of which have met dismal ends. The infamous Shale campaign [ca.M41], left but one survivor [cross ref. Terentius Dresden] or the resurrected 'Black Hands' regiment, while another was all but wiped out during the Fourth Scallop Star purges. +

+ The first recorded 117th served during the Alien Wars, far from the sector of their birth. Deployed to shore up the ongoing war on Arcturus in 191.M35, the regiment quickly found itself embattled against tough, resourceful ork invaders, who had established numerous beachheads and looked set to overrun the world in short order. +

Few Lamb's World regiments are specialised; the culture of the planet favours adaptable generalists. The 117th shows a preference for relatively low-tech and reliable equipment. The gunners complain about the 'back-breakers', but heavy bolter operators enjoy a certain cache in the mess.
The equatorial regions of Lamb's World has, since time immemorial, been plagued by an infestation of orks; which require the Imperial Commander to operate eternal vigilance – and his forces to perform regular sweep-and-clear missions. As a result, nearly every soldier who leaves Lamb's World will have fought against the greenskin, and become accustomed to their typical tactics. This proved not only useful, but life-saving, on the world of Arcturus. +


+ The Arcturan War and Imperial Politics +

+ Many Arcturans muttered privately that the lack of support in their war with the invading orks was a sign that the Imperium itself was withholding its armies as a sign of disfavour. This was, after all, a dark period in the Imperium's history, with the Imperium itself sundered in two. Most planets beyond the immediate influence of the competing galactic capitals had studiedly remained neutral at the secession of the distant Segmentum Pacficus, but privately, most favoured the claim either of Terra's status quo, or Nova Terra's claims of greater adherence to the Emperor's vision. +

+ Of particular note during this period in history is the general inaction of the Astartes. If the worlds of the Imperium were become increasingly withdrawn in the political and religious forment of the time, the Chapters Astartes were doubly so. The Ecclesiarchical Bull of the Emperor's Deificiation – issued within living memory for those with access to juvenat treatments – officially stated the Emperor to be a god. In its wake, the increasingly influential Ecclesiarchy was clamping down on 'heretic' faiths – which included most Chapter cults. +

+ While few in the Church were unwise enough to declare against a local Chapter, they privately petitioned against the Imperium's armed forces requesting any aid from the Astartes – citing numerous reasons; from the importance of humanity defending itself, to the Emperor's Angels literally ascending to dwell with the God-Emperor in some other realm. Thus the Church and its Angels sat in an uneasy and unspoken truce; one refusing to request their help, the other warily dwelling in their fastnesses. +

During this period, few Chapters looked beyond their immediate fiefs, in order to avoid appearing to favour one side or the other in the temporal or spiritual debates of the time. Of those that remained actively campaigning, most deployed to wilderness space, where they could continue their duties without inadvertently sparking an intersectorial war. +

+ The result of this was that, to many, the fabled Space Marines became just that – fairy tales. +


+ Arcturus, located deep in wilderness space in Segmentum Ultima, was far from the hub of Imperial politics, but Lord Governor Finchley-Gossamer, the otherwise shrewd Imperial Commander of Arcturus, had publicly spoken out and campaigned in favour of supporting Nova Terra against what he saw as an increasingly oppressive bureaucracy. +

+ The Historia Imperium, a common scholam primer on Arcturus today, makes it clear that it was vanishingly unlikely that the orks were in any way influenced by Imperial politics, but as the alien armada approached, many muttered darkly that the greenskins had been paid – though by Terran or Nova Terran agents was never clear. +

+ With the benefit of historical hindsight, it is more likely that the orks simply took advantage of thinning extra-solar defences as the players of Imperial politics gathered their forces closer to them, rather than contribute to cooperative efforts – but the dark cloud this suspicion cast over the defenders of Arcturus had a real effect on the war; retarding recruitment, slowing the building of defences, and leading to intermittent fighting and resentment between competing factions even as the orks reached the system pickets. +


+ Caef Burton-Gogh and the Arcturan War +

Caef Burton-Gogh and his command team at the height of the war.

+ The orks that invaded Arcturus were typical of the greenskins only in that they were utterly unpredictable. The unidentified leader was possessed of obvious skill and cunning; using unconventional strategies to wage war on land, air and - critically - sea. It was the latter that caused the Imperial defenders such hardship, as their navies - mostly hastily refitted merchants - proved woefully inadequate to operate against the precociously advanced field technology of the orks. As a result, the orks quickly established superiority here, making mutual support between the Arcturans city-states difficult. Even as the Arcturans desperately sought to defend major ports across the world, the orks gathered to destroy one after another via sea. +

+ Caef (a rank in Lamb's World Gothic dialect, roughly equating to Colonel) Primus Burton-Gogh was like a bolt from the blue. Capable, dashing and charming, the experienced soldier proved a key to the defence of Arcturus. He split the 117th down into two parts; a core that retained two-thirds of deployment strength, and numerous subsidary companies that proved vital in shoring up both the physical defences of the Arcturan planetary defence force and their morale. +

+ Having a platoon of the veteran off-worlders deployed alongside them proved vital to reinvigorating the Arcturan companies defending their planet. The natives quickly warmed to the cheery and vigorous Lamb's Worlders; and came to see the extra-planetary aid as a symbol of the Emperor's continued favour. +

+ The larger part of the Lamb's World army then began a fight-back, rallying the Arcturans and reclaiming two of the lost coastal cities in swift-striking assaults – though only at crippling losses. Even as the Lamb's Worlders adn their Arcturan allies prepared their third assault, it was clear that the regiment was going to be unable to continue active duty for much longer. +


+ The Blood Angels +

+ However reassuring the Arcturans found the deployment of the Lamb's World regiment, they were but men. While the tide of defeats slowed, the orks were still pressing their advantage across the coastal regions and moving inland. It was two long months after the reclamation of Porth Caul that a signal came that brought fresh hope to the fighters – the Angels of Death were rumoured to be coming... +

+ While the rumours were not denied, few in the High Command believed it. Indeed, a number of them denied the existence of the Astartes completely; though consented to a propaganda campaign being launched. + 

+ However, it was during the assault on Drevi Falls, the third coastal city-state that the 117th had set their eyes upon, that such rumours proved true... +

The Blood Angels 3rd Host in battle alongside the Lamb's World 117th.

+ inload: Squad Raphael +

+ The finished combat squad +

+ Okay, so a proper combat squad is now completed. I'm afraid to say that I just wanted to crack on and get these done, so there aren't any work-in-progress shots beyond this picture of the shading mix:

+ This rather unassuming blob is made up of two drops of Winsor & Newton Sepia ink, two brushloads (size 1 round) of Liche Purple, two drops of clean water and one brushload of flow enhancer. I've run a brush through to show the consistency – the gap opened here closed almost immediately; the consistency is a little like beer; slightly sticky, but no body like milk. This amount was sufficient to paint all four of the models in quick succession, given a cool evening (and refreshed occasionally with one or two more drops of water). +

+ These chaps represent half of 'squad 1' in the original army, shown above left. +

+ There are a few little additional honour marks etc., but stuck to the fairly stripped-back and clean look as far as I could. The honour markings themselves are drawn from the Rogue Trader-era notes covered in an earlier inload [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+], which I thought was a fun little Easter egg. +

+ I have been careful to include at least one purity seal on every marine. The period in which the army is set (M35) immediately follows the official deification of the Emperor, and I want to evoke that post-rational aspect of the era, as the secular Imperial Truth gives way. Doubtless there are a few older Blood Angels who remember a time beforehand – and there are likely philospohical and theological arguments still raging within the brotherhood and in the Chapter cult as the old and new doctrines interact – but in general, most of the Blood Angels in the army will have been born and raised treating the Emperor as a god, rather than a human figure. +

+ This is mainly because I've explored the Great Crusade era a lot, and fncy delving into the gradual decline of the Imperium into the baroque dystopia of the later millennia – a beautiful decline and fall, which nicely parallels the fate of Rome and Constantinople, a topic that was part of the inspiration for this army. +

+ That aside, I'm pleased with the result. Certainly an improvement on the first iteration of the army (sorry, younger me!):

The original Brother Engel, a relic of the wars of 1991.

+ Individuals +

[APPEND NOTE: Forgive the wet bases, wonky freehand on the gun-eagles, and that {SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT] mouldline visible in the individual shots – these have since been tidied up. ]

Brother Barbarigo (Durbael 4:11). Note the Bleeding of Arcturus campaign badge on his shin.
I picked out a few details in Boltgun metal to suggest connecting ports and so forth.

Brother Donato (Duhael 4:12). 

Purity seals are a dull purple, to fit in with the scheme; the Chapter symbol is also muted.

Brother Farnese (Shemhamphorae 1:20).
Farnese's backpack contains a mobile shrine – a spiritual equivalent to a vox-unit.

Brother Engel (Narieal 4:10). The white kneepad is from the old White Dwarf illustration – simply labelled as an 'Honour Marking'. I thought this was fitting for an update of the oldest model in the army.
The Blood Angels' logo is painted with a neutral mix of black, yellow and purple.