+ inload: Officers of the Imperial Navy

+ Navis Imperialis +

[//Officers and Gentlemen+]

+ A 40k faction that has been in the background since Rogue Trader, and is utterly integral to the setting, but that has had fewer models than the zoats? The Navis Imperialis – or the Imperial Navy – have, to be frank, not really registered much with me in the past. Bar thinking 'those are some cool sketches in the Battlefleet: Gothic rulebook', I haven't ever given them much thought. +

+ Fairly understandable, as most 40k gaming I've played has been planetside. Today, however, there are lots of options for fighting over more obviously sci-fi-themed ship or urban boards that can fit in as boarding actions – not least the new Space Hulk stuff from Kill Team. Of course, there's also nothing stopping your Captain sending a raiding party down to a planet. +


+ 'It's a human's life in the Navy!' +

+ All of which is a roundabout way of saying that today we're bidding welcome to the Imperial Navy. As well as the awesome Kroot Kill Team [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], the boxed set Into the Dark provided us with the first box of plastic troops – the Imperial Navy Breachers – which I've been working on building. +

+ Annoyingly, I've misplaced the upgrade sprue that allows me to make the specialists, so while a replacement one surges through the warp, I've dug out a few figures that have accreted, like space barnacles, in various boxes. I thought I'd put together a crew for a Voidcraft. +

+ A couple of roughs – personal bodyguards, perhaps. One is from the Elysian Starstriders with a headswap, and the other is from Necromunda. The latter has also had a headswap; and in both cases this is more for personality and individuality than because I didn't like the originals. +

+ The left model required a touch more conversion, to remove a long ponytail from her bevor (the collar/neck protection), but is otherwise unconverted. The model is intended to represent a Necromunda Imperial Regiment bodyguard, I think – hence the cool RT-themed helm she's cradling. +

+ Next up is another Naval trooper from the old Elysian Starstriders set, again with a headswap. This figure was the recipient of the Necromunda figure's head – waste not, want not. She'll need a dash of greestuff to integrate the long braid to her head, and perhaps add a bit of bulk to her hair to help with the slight difference in scale. +

+ This Necromunda figure, part of a two-pack with the one above, is pretty much perfect for a Naval officer. Once more, a simple head swap provide a touch of individuality. The head is from the Naval Breachers set – and it's worth noting that the kit is a great source for heads. +

+ This figure will probably do multi-duty as an Admiral and ship officer. I very much like the officious appearance and am looking forward to painting him. +

+ At the other end of the scale from the stern officer is this fire-and-brimstone character; owing rather more to the Captain Kirk/Hornblower school of command. +

+ He's created from a Warhammer Quest figure with some bits from (you guessed it) the Naval Breacher box, including the naval bolt pistol. +


+ Besides hopefully being fun to paint, these will be multi-use models, able to serve as 'Naval NPCs' – perhaps to be used as scenario objectives, personalities in a 40k skirmish force, or perhaps for a model-led RPG game. Perhaps most obviously, they'll allow me to fill in some gaps in the War of the False Primarch – it'd be nice to give the Extinction Armada and Partisan fleet some more character. +

+ If you've painted up some Voidsmen or Naval officers and would like them featured on +Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten+, please let me know either in the comments or on Facebook/Instagram +


+ inload: Void Barons on Coldforge +

+ Warzone Coldforge +

Becklin shivered. Water vapour hung in the air. She wondered if it was being vented from somewhere, then dismissed the thought. Another series of hard bangs, staccato and overlaying, echoed down the walkway. More pursuing Guardsmen – but distant enough to put to the back of her mind for the moment. 

The scribe bleat-blurted again. This was the quietest way he could vocalise; and this the only way he could usefully draw the attention of his companions. Becklin turned to him, pointing her autorifle down towards the floor. 

"What is it, Ob?" The scroll was upside-down to her eyes, so she tilted her head. Her eyes flicked back and forth between his face and his hand, as the res-papyrus scribed quickly.. 

+ Kleinmann-Low + the script read. +Thirteen-thirteen; occluded. Losing identity.

Object-BN had picked up the Void Baron's battletongue quickly – unsurprising, given his profession, and Becklin had grown curiously fond of the bent old man. She nodded in comprehension. 

A louder series of barks now; closer to. Becklin and Object BN flinched, but before she could even resight her rifle, Neugebauer stepped around the railing, boltgun held one-handed and outstretched. Neither had heard him approaching.


The crashes the boltgun made in the confined space were deafening. The Void Baron turned to them, his beaked helm swinging around.

'Ugly brutes on this planet. You two'd fit right in." he growled.

Becklin grinned behind her mask,

"C'mon – let's get going. Ob's found the ingress-point." She gestured theatrically. "After you, Neugabauer. Age before beauty, after all."


+ Becklin, Neugebauer and Object BN +
+ You can read about the Warzone Coldforge Challenge Event, which has come to an end here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. +

+ Of course, if you didn't quite hit the deadline, or have only just heard about it, then that's no problem at all. The whole Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten project is intended to inspire and enthuse, so if you want to further explore Coldforge, then please do carry on using the #warzonecoldforge tag – I'll keep an occulobe on it and continue to feed the results into the project blog. +


+ In the depths of Coldforge! +

+ What does it mean to have a Primarch returned? That was the spur for me, and  what I wanted to explore with my challenge entry. After some thought, I decided one way to show this would be to have a rag-tag group; a sort of mini Inquisitor's warband, but led by a Space Marine. It would also give me the change to paint up some cool one-off models. +

+ The decision on the Chapter was tricky. I've wanted to paint up some Death Eagles (I), as we're still a bit short of those; and likewise I'm itching to try out some of the other lesser-seen Partisan schemes, like the Iron Guard, Red Fish or Jade Talons. While a Red Fish would be ideal for leading a group of non-Astartes, the others weren't well-suited. In the end, I opted for a Void Baron, as this privateer/pirate-themed Space Marine Chapter is really characterful. +


+ First up then is Neugebauer, a Void Baron space marine. This Chapter are shipborne assault specialists who fell into the 'Primarch's' influence after their fiercely independent – some would argue piratical – practises led to falling out with the Imperial Navy. Simply armed with a boltgun, he's got some additional tech-deelies on his vambrace, and is carrying a meltabomb – perhaps he's some sort of demo-man specialist? +

+ To tie in with the setting, Neugebauer's wearing my interepretation of a suit of Coldforge-pattern Mark VI 'Corvus' plate, with its distinctive beak. Such is the strain on manufacturing due to demand and the rigours of warfare, the suits are fairly bare-bones as far as Power Armour goes. This one has either had supplementary rims added to help protect the joints, or its bearer kept an old set. The torso is bare of the Imperial Eagle – lots of Partisans removed it, but in this case, it may simply never have been added. Instead, the phrase 'VIXI' has been scrawled across the plate – literally this is one way of translating '16', but it can also be read as 'I have lived' (and therefore are expecting to die)' – as a mark of the Void Barons' unsentimental black humour. In a retrohammer nod, his pauldron is also marked 'Kil Kil Kil'. +


+ Object BN is a scribe. I wanted to have a normally non-combatant role included in the little group, as I think it explains two things:
  • The war involves every level of Imperial society; it's not restricted to traditional soldiers. This is a struggle for the Imperium's future.
  • Even the most humble figures – perhaps especially those – might see the appeal of a new future; even if the 'Primarch's' motives and aims aren't entirely clear.
+ The figure is unmodified besides snipping off the tab so he'd fit on a tech-deck style base. The scrolls include a couple of little Easter Eggs for those following the project, and I was particularly pleased with the conceit of having cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks in the printer/copier device hanging round his neck. +


+ Last but not least is Becklin, who represents the everyman in the project. Tough, resourceful and determined, she's a symbol of the baseline humans who are fighting, suffering and accomplishing things while the demigods wage their war. It's a mark of her and her comrades courage that they're willing to grab a rifle and try to make things better for those around them. +

+ The colour scheme of all three is muted. I wanted a fairly oppressive atmosphere for Coldforge, and the dingy, desaturated tones seemed to fit in quite well. Common basing, and using the same colours but in different proportions  across the three models helps to suggest they're associated, even if not uniform. +


+ Just a few extra shots here. I'd love to see what you've come up with for Coldforge – remember to use the #warzonecoldforge tag on Instagram, or come and share your lore and pictures on the Facebook groups:

+ inload: One Throne on Terra! +

+ Marginalia: Silver Stars +

'Ymga? I recall... vessels. Glass; and... other materials. It is as though a skein of silk lies over that memory; and because of that I know it was close to what I lost. Of the Rangda? Hm. It is hard not to know that name. Every one of the inquisitive asks me of it – them? And yet, I can account for that absence. If I were there, I... have forgotten. I know only that it is a mercy that I no longer know.'

'It was not intended that we should forget. I remember... afterwards... it took a great deal of craft. Bargains were struck beyond the Rim that it should be so.'  

'No, there are no seals. It is not as simple as that. There were, I am told, moments when I would have welcomed mental mutilation; and given my certainty, I perforce place my trust in my former self. It is a ragged conviction – but I must believe that I, or my father, so decreed the action. I resent your intrusion. Nothing remains beneath. This is no mere semblance or mummery. I have forgotten. And I will it to remain lost.'

'These are, it seems, times in which conviction bears more weight than truth. The latter – for me as for my father – has become a luxury I can ill-afford. Some things, after all, are best left forgotten.'
[//attr. Conficturas+]

+ Ten tiny Silver Stars. These were painted with a stripped-back version of my scheme for their larger-scale brethren.

_1 Spray with GW's Wraithbone undercoat.
_2 Paint the base with a deep brown.
_3 Paint the whole figure with Apothecary White – the contrast paints are absolutely stellar for these small scale figures.
_4 Once dry, pick out the backpack and boltgun with a mix of brown and black diluted with flow improver (this makes it behave a little like a wash, so you get a deeper tone in the recesses).
_5 Use Sotek Green to paint the chestplate and helm.
_6 Paint the pauldron stripes with Screamer Pink.
_6 Paint the backpack and boltgun details with silver.
_7 Pick out the shoulder trim and chestplate with Balthasar Gold – at this scale, the paint has enough coverage to work straight over the white undercoat, which is a great timesaver.
_8 Once dry, add the washes: Agrax Earthshade over the backpack, boltgun, and gold areas; and Drakenhof Nightshade for the turquoise areas.
_9 Allow to dry, then pick out any details to finish.

+ I added highlights to the helms by adding a little Vallejo Cold White to the Sotek Green, and also used Cold White to pick out the Legion* symbols and other markings on the pauldron. I also picked out some squad designation on the kneepads with simple stripes of Screamer Pink. +

+ Casualties proved a good way to test out the scheme on different armour marks. +

+ Echoes of Warzone Null +

'I cannot account for the absence. I... have forgotten.'

+ inload: Getting started with Horus Heresy in 15mm +

+ Where the Stone Oxen and Lions Stand +

+ Getting started with 15mm Horus Heresy wargaming +

+ Pic of Bob Hunk's glorious (and LED-enhanced) Imperial Fists +

+ As outlined in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], our gaming group is adapting the freely-available Antares 2 ruleset for our Horus Heresy wargaming. This inload is intended as a primer, so if you fancy doing it yourself, you should feel free. +

+ First steps +

+ To get started, you'll need to download and read the Core Rules that are available here [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. You'll also need:
  • A second player(!)
  • A measuring tape
  • Around a dozen D10 dice
  • A D6, a D8 and a D4 dice
  • Something to act as pin markers
  • Order Dice – one for each unit – and a bag or box to draw them from.
+ You can use pretty much anything for most of these, but if you want a one-stop shop, Skytrex (a subsidiary company of Warlord Games) produce a set of blast markers; and an Antares dice pack. +

+ The Order dice are the one thing that can't easily be substituted. You can buy different colours from Skytrex here, or search second-hand sets. The important thing is that each side must have a set of dice of a different colour to the other. If you don't want to buy as set, you can either use stickers to mark up some D6s you have (make sure both you and the other players use the same size), or use the handy table for reference:

1 – Rally
2 – Advance
3 – Run
4 – Fire
5 – Ambush
6 – Down


+ 'I've never played a wargame!' +

+ First off, welcome to a fun new hobby! The Antares 2 rules are written nice and clearly, and there's a handy quick reference sheet here that I recommend keeping to hand while you find your feet. If possible, find someone on the Gates of Antares Facebook group to talk you through. It's a thoroughly friendly community. +

+ 'I already play Antares 2' +

+ Great – tweaks have been kept to a minimum, so if you're familiar with Antares 2, you'll be ready to play. The key changes are:
+ If you want to play in 28mm scale, then feel free. The only tweak I'd suggest for 28mm play is to reduce the Movement stat (M) of the marines and tanks back down to 5. +

+ Note that this army list is not intended to play against the factions and creatures of the Antares setting. You can, of course, do so – there's no difference in the mechanics, but I don't think it'll really reflect the comparable capabilities of either side very well. +

+ In terms of models, you can use any of Games Workshop's Space Marine models, if you're playing at 28mm scale. If you're doing as we are, then I suggest you scour the noosphere for Epic-scale STL files, and print them out at 187%.

+ 'I already play Horus Heresy: Age of Darkness' +

+ You'll be familiar with the background, and with the sweeping battles of Space Marines. The modifications we've made to the rules are designed simply to reflect this background. +

+ First off, you'll need the rules. Happily, these are available for free here [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. Antares 2 is a brilliant game, designed by Rick Priestley (of 40k fame) and Tim Bancroft. +

+ Secondly, you'll need either to apply the adjustments to the scale (noted above, under I already play Antares 2) to use your existing models, or source some 15mm models – again, as described above. +


+ Lucifer216's Night Lords clash with my Emperor's Children +


+ Playing space and mission +

+ Now you've got all the rules and models to hand, you'll need a table – we  used 30 by 44in for Battle of the Mirror Plains. Conveniently, that's twice the size of a GW Kill Team board, so if you've got one hanging around, that's all good. The game scale nicely, and for a larger game, I'd suggest that you use a 6 x 4ft table, as in Meeting Engagement on Gundrun Prime. +

+ Next, you'll need to create a mission. Both Antares 2 and AoD are unapologetically narratively-leaning, and that's also the attittude I'd encourage here once you get into the swing of things. Come up with a cool story and work together to write a mission around that. Because Antares 2 has really clever morale mechanics, you can play an asymmetric game that remains fair and engaging. +

+ My Emperor's Children +

+ When starting out, however, I'd encourage you to use mirror forces (so you can get used to the mechanics and learn the strengths and weaknesses of various units together) and one of the missions from the 'Playing the Game' booklet here. While these missions are Antares-themed, a lot of them can happily be played in another setting. They're been thoroughly playtested and  all those I've tried are great fun. +


+ Gathering an army +

+ With all those in place, gather your forces. The rules for doing that are also in the 'Playing the Game' booklet listed above. The game does scale well, but I'd recommend trying it out with about six or seven units a side to start. +

+ The Army list and weapons stats (at time of writing, we're at v0.3) can be downloaded from the Files section of the +Death of a Rubricist+ Facebook group. Do feel free to ask there if you can't find them. +

+ At the moment, we haven't got any Army Options for the Space Marine list, but we're going to playtest allowing each side a one-use Order Re-roll per Force Level (FL) – that is, if you're playing a FL2 game, each side should be given two tokens that they can spend at any point to re-roll critical command rolls. That should help to ameliorate any 'feel-bad' moments. +

+ At this stage, you're ready to play – good luck! Please do feel free to comment here or on the +Death of a Rubricist+ Facebook page if you've got any feedback or ideas. +


+ Designer's notes on version 0.3 of the army list +

+ Changes made since the last game have included:

+ Weapons +

  • The boltgun now has two firing modes: Deliberate and Burst
    • This change means that players can either choose to fire one accurate and more deadly shot, or go for weight of fire. I don't anticipate this slowing the game down much, and it will create some fun tactical choices.
    • I'm leery of adding additional complication and granularity to a battle-level game, but this change is made to ensure that Tactical Marines remain at the heart of the experience, and an enjoyable, exciting and interesting unit to use.
  • Power sword renamed to Power weapon; it felt too granular to have swords, axes, mauls etc. SV (Strike value – basically armour modifier) increased to SV4, to make them more worthwhile in combat.
  • Power Fists likewise were bumped up to SV7, making them a credible threat to tanks.
  • Increases in SV to krak missiles
  • Increase in SV to autocannons, and replacement of RF to Not RF, allowing them to fire both shots without a penalty to their Acc.
    • These changes were made to differentiate them from Heavy Bolters (which fire a greater number of less powerful and less accurate shots), and make them more attractive in comparison to Missile Launchers.
  • The Autocannon's bigger brothers, the Predator Cannon and Accelerator Autocannon (from Sicarans) have appeared. The former is basically a four-shot autocannon, while the latter is shorter-range and slightly less powerful, but fires six shots.

+ Units +

  • Veterans – The granularity of the D10 system allows slight increases in Acc, Co and better Init when compared with Tactical Legionaries. A limit of 0–FL means that you can't just take these over Tacticals; and their Sergeant also has 'Follow', which allows him to take charge of a section of the battlefield.
    • This unit is intended to stand-in for everything from Legion Veterans to specialist units like Terror Squads and Noise Marines.
  • Terminators – Similar stats to Veterans, these benefit from improvements to Storm Bolters (addition of Not RF means they fire at full Acc) and Power Fists (increase in SV makes them able to take down tanks in combat). The Res value has been chosen so they'll only die on criticals against small arms fire. Slower than other Marines, they'll need more careful use than the more flexible other units. 
  • Command Squad – officers weren't really thought through before, so I've created a unit. While the Centurion is fairly tasty in close combat (and the squad can be armed with pistols and swords to help), this isn't really a game that revolves around it, so the idea here is to provide a strategic rather than tactical advantage:
    • The officer has Command 15, which allows units within 15cm to use his Command value; and Follow, which enables multiple units to activate, allowing you to concentrate force on a critical area. This helps the unit to shore up a critical part of the line, and generally act like an officer, rather than simply smashing face.
    • An optional Ancient allows your Centurion to be accompanied by the Company banner. This model has 'Hero', which means other units can use his Init (allowing Tactical Marines to react better, for example), representing the inspiration they draw from their Company colours. 
    • The Veterans here have Loyal bodyguard, which allows players to reallocate hits on the Officer (or Ancient) to them.
  • Predator – Cheaper than a Land Raider, better armoured than a Rhino (but losing self-repair and transport), this is a nice all-round tank that I hope to see more of. The armour is at the sweet spot that makes infantry heavy weapons meaningful against it (in a way that they're not against the Land Raider).
  • Sicaran – Very much designed as a 'side-grade' to the Predator, it's a hint more expensive, but a little faster and tougher. See the notes on the guns above.

+ Plans for v0.4 +

  • Further refinement of units
  • Addition of krak grenades options to units
  • Addition of specialist options (e.g. close-combat veterans)
  • Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield options for Terminators
  • Further weapon variants on tanks
  • Apothecary
  • Dreadnoughts (including Leviathans)
  • Consider Rhino and lighter tanks becoming single order dice units; modify speed up.

Silver Stars on the painting block +

+ Further thinking +

+ In short, the initial idea was a whim as much as anything. TrojanNinja and I had enjoyed a fantastic day out playing the new version of the wargame Beyond the Gates of AntaresLucifer216 had found some wonderful 15mm models, and enthusiasm was high for Horus Heresy (HH) gaming, with the release of Games Workshop's updated Age of Darkness (AoD) game. +

+ We could very easily have started playing the new AoD with our existing HH armies, or simply played Antares 2 itself. In fact, I'd thoroughly encourage you to do both. Let me emphasise that this isn't intended as an anti-GW thing, nor as a rejection of the Antares background and universe. As a group, we very much enjoy both! This is simply a nice way to scratch a few different itches in combination, and make the most of our limited gaming time together. +

+ If you do decide to dive in, I hope you'll find this engaging with this as simple as possible. +

+ The 'elevator pitch' for the Antares 2 ruleset is that it's manufacturer-free, so while there is an extensive (and awesome) range of models, the core rules can explicitly be used elsewhere – which is what we're doing here. +

+ The resulting game is slightly more stripped-back and grubby than either the high sci-fi of the Gates of Antares universe or the space opera of the Age of Darkness. If you think of it a bit more like old war films, you won't go too far wrong. +