Armiger Helverins

It’s been a bit since I posted! Mostly because I spent a good little bit just chugging away at Yet More Skitarii, which are neither very motivating nor, after the first batch, very interesting to look at.

But now I’ve jumped on the Knight bandwagon, with some Helverins to add to my AdMech force.

Love ’em! I’ve got a box of Warglaives in the mail as well, which (with the addition of probably a squad of Infiltrators) will bring my AdMech force to a comfortable 1500 points, ready to relax a bit like the Marines are.

So why are the Knights in the same colors as the Dunecrawler? Surely a Knight Household would proudly display their own heraldry!

Holmsian answer: During the evacuation of Gryphonne IV, a small contingent of knights from House <<expunged from Gryphonne IV records>> made it aboard the fleeing Ark Mechanicus. Sadly, it came to light that some of their number felt that the destruction of the forge world relieved them of their obligations to it. A minor mutiny was swiftly quelled, and rather than risk further trouble in a dangerous situation, the survivors were data-tethered and their war machines painted in the forge world’s livery. Desperate times call for desperate measures…

Doylian answer: I wanted to paint more stuff in the Dunecrawler’s scheme.

Inquisitor’s Retinue: Tempestus Scions

As you saw in the last post introducing my tournament army, I’d originally planned to field a few guardsmen I had lying around as Acolytes to fill out a cheap little Vanguard detachment for my Inquisitor (on account of it’s the easiest way to field one with the new guidelines in the FAQ), but the anal-retentive part of me got a bit bothered that standard lasguns are not, for whatever reason, legal kit for Acolytes.

So, I bought a box of Tempestus Scions*.

fullsizeoutput_3ca6The anal-retentive part of me is still twitching its eye a little bit, as Acolytes still just have the 5+ save and 4+ BS of guardsmen instead of the improved stats of Scions, but oh well.

I again chose a muted scheme so they wouldn’t clash with either of the other paint schemes in the force, and after a bit of pondering decided to go with something downright realistic, especially for the desert-themed table I have.

Next I’ll finish a few extra Skitarii I have on the bench, then paint up Magore’s Fiends for Shadespire which I picked up the other week.

*On the name: Being on the grognard-y side, I originally scoffed at the renaming of Stormtroopers to Scions, but recently I remembered something from my youth in the 80’s when Star Wars was big. Whenever we went to our cousins’ house and played Star Wars, we were informed that the white-armored action figures were “called Star Troopers in our house”. Being like 8, this upset me because it wasn’t their real name, and it being the Midwest and our family being very conflict-avoidant, nobody ever explained to me that it was because my aunt was Jewish. Which, now, I can see the point – no need to trivialize and normalize literal Nazi terminology if you can avoid it, y’know? Now I don’t think what was GW’s main reason for the name change (the whole copyrightable aspect is big for them), but part of me hopes it was just a little bit. So Scions they are.

The Gryphonne Crusade

I’ve got my army all painted up for our little local tournament in Nagoya next month – the 1500-point Gryphonne Crusade, fully FAQ compliant and everything.

The core is a Battalion from the Scythes of the Emperor: The Captain and one of his Lieutenants, two squads of Intercessors and one of Scouts, a Redemptor and an Ironclad.


Intercessors are always solid, and the Captain plus the two Dreads, while they’ll have to walk across the field to punch the enemy, will be a real handful once they do.

They’re supported by a Patrol of Gryphonne IV Remnants: the Domina, a squad of Rangers with Arquebusiers, a squad of Vanguard with just radium carbines, and of course the Dunecrawler.


The Dunecrawler (and its neutron laser) is really the star of the show here, although the snipers are always a pain. The Vanguards are basically along because I had the points to spare, although for their points they have an impressive threat range and put out a lot of firepower.

Last is the Inquisitor and his little Vanguard, commandeering the Scouts’ Razorback for a little more anti-tank punch for the army (and so the Inquisitor and his Acolytes don’t need to take up 4 unit drops to deploy). There’s a daemonhost lurking nearby as well…


(We need to say the lasguns are an unusual pattern of hotshot lasgun, since Acolytes’ wargear choices are weirdly limited that way.) Really just an Inquisitor / Daemonhost delivery system, although as I say the lascannons help shore up a fairly weak AT game in the army as a whole.

The whole army has a respectable 9 CP which in the past has been just about right, and since I’ll be taking the Domina as the Warlord with the CP-recovery trait, I should have enough to be safe. I think it’ll be solid – there’s really nothing flashy in here, just a solid core of troops with boring-but-reliable armor in support, plus the Inquisitor basically just for fun. We’ll see how it performs on the field!

40K: Fluff Bomb

Come May, here in Nagoya we’re having our annual “NagoyaHammer” casual 40K tournament, and I wanted to take part with my (probably extremely sub-optimal) allied Marines / AdMech list, and also include Eisenhorn, since I went to all the trouble of buying and painting him up. As I mentioned back when I started painting my AdMech, I got it in my head that this would be a crusade to reestablish the Gryphonne IV forge world, supported by the Scythes as repayment for saving the chapter with a Primaris infusion.

Bored at work (when, frankly, I should have been working), I wrote up a fluffy explanation of the situation, and since all the principal actors are now painted, here it is for the world – or, at least, the half-dozen people who look at this blog, heh.

LET IT BE KNOWN that the Scythes of the Emperor have recognized the resurrection of their chapter with an infusion of Primaris space marines by the Adeptus Mechanicus as a debt that cannot be ignored, and have, as repayment of that debt, launched what shall heretofore be known as the Gryphonne Crusade to assist the Gryphonne IV Remnants (with whom the Scythes have a particular solidarity in the shared experience of the loss of a homeworld to the Great Devourer) in scouting out, conquering, and founding a new Forge World at an appropriate site.

Praise be to the Emperor! Praise be to the Omnissiah!

Principal Actors

The forces of the Scythes of the Emperor have as their core the 2nd (Battle) company led by Brother-Captain Fentius Jorr, while the forces of Gryphonne IV consist of the 1st Cohort (Expeditionary) of the forge world’s single remaining Macroclade, under the command of Domina Vishti Ramh X10C5. The Crusade is accompanied by Inquisitor Harken Alford of the Order Xenos and his retinue, on his own recognizance.

In the relatively short time they have been fighting together, Brother-Captain Jorr and Domina Ramh have developed respect for each others’ strengths—Jorr as a seasoned and powerful front-line fighter, and the Domina as a bona fide tactical genius—and find that they work well together, both on the battlefield and in the Chamber Tacticum. The Brother-Captain’s fiery zeal for the Crusade (he was one of its first and most enthusiastic proponents in the Chapter conclave) is tempered by Rahm’s rather more detached nature, while at the same time it cannot be denied that his fervor energizes her and the forces she commands, helping to overcome the sometimes too-careful conservatism her position as marshal of some of the last forces of Gryphonne IV has instilled in her. Inquisitor Alford’s presence is tolerated with unease at best by the Domina—she suspects, with a calculated accuracy rating of approximately 76.3%, that the Inquisitor would balk at (53.8%) or even interfere with (22.5%) the re-foundation of Gryphonne IV on the basis of xenotech findings, something which she herself sees as a distinct, and not unwelcome, possibility. She also suspects, with a calculated accuracy rating of approximately 92.8%, that this is in fact the very reason Inquisitor Alford attached himself to the Crusade. For his part, while Brother-Captain Jorr is privately not entirely fond of some of Alford’s more unorthodox methods, he is pleased at least to have a reliable psyker along, as the Scythes’ newly-reestablished Librarium did not yet have enough members to spare any for the Crusade, and he respects the Inquisitor as a dedicated agent of the Imperium who has proven ready and willing to put himself (and the troops he commands) in harm’s way in the Crusade’s battles.

Brother-Captain Jorr, when the Warlord, uses the Iron Resolve or Champion of Humanity Warlord Traits.

The Scythes of the Emperor, as an Ultramarines successor chapter, use that chapter’s Tactics.

Domina Ramh, when the Warlord, uses the Monitor Malevolus Warlord Trait.

The Gryphonne IV Remnants use the Graia Dogma to reflect their dedication to the Crusade.

Inquisitor Alford uses the rules for Inquisitor Eisenhorn.


Adeptus Mechanicus: Tech Priest Dominus

I finished up this fella the other day – apparently one of the last hand-sculpted miniatures GW ever produced? Not that I can tell the difference. It’s a nice kit, at any rate, and surprisingly large if you’ve only seen it in pictures.


For the April 15th game day, I just (or “just”, depending on how productive I am) need to paint 10 more Skitarii and Old Gregg Eisenhorn (“Did you ever drink Bailey’s from a shoe?”) – probably doable, at the rate I’ve been going.

Adeptus Mechanicus: Dunestrider

I finished up this bad boy this morning:


And I’m really pleased – this is the first time I’ve really gone to town with even the rather simple weathering going on here (it’s basically just chipping using a sponge and a wash / filter of a mix of Vallejo smoke and black ink), and the coolness : effort ratio is really very nice indeed. The grungy aesthetic doesn’t really fit with Marines IMO (heraldry being so important to them), but for AdMech it’s a really nice look. It also lets me draw attention away from the terrible freehand on the Gryphonne sigil, heh.

In fact, it looks so good I may end up getting some Kastelans even though I hadn’t really been planning on it, since they should look really good in a scheme like this.

Next, though, is the Dominus, then the rest of the Skitarii I need for the big 40K tournament here in Nagoya in spring, then I’ll be painting this guy up:


I really got him on a whim since the shop had him and he’s limited edition, but he does solve my “I don’t have a psyker in my collection” problem and my “4000 yen for an Enginseer!?” problem, at the cost of Canticles and Dogma for my AdMech – probably not worth it, but the Rule of Cool wins here. Now I just need to scrounge or kitbash up a daemonhost…

Adeptus Mechanicus: The Skitarii Muster

I finally got some good photography conditions to take some pictures of the Skitarii I have finished – a minimum squad each of Rangers and Vanguard.


I’m pretty pleased – it’s a good-looking and easy-to-paint scheme that should complement but not clash with the Scythes I’ll generally be fielding them alongside. I decided to say to heck with the unit markings (as they’re only available in white and making up my own waterslide transfers ended up being too much of a pain), although the Alphas to have a sigil on their robes.

And just in time, this morning I finished assembling the Start Collecting box I picked up on Thursday.


If I can hunt up an Enginseer before game day (by no means guaranteed, as the shops in town that carry GW have pretty thin stock generally) I’ll actually be able to field all these guys as a Battalion, with the Marines a Vanguard in support, which would give me a nice patch of command points and help cover for the main weakness in my Marine force (namely, lack of boots on the ground) with Skitarii cannon fodder. We’ll see – I’m going to go hunting this afternoon!

40K Army 2: Adeptus Mechanicus

I’ve been thinking for a while about what do to about a second army for 40K – my Marines have more or less reached “maturity,” with more than enough for any size game I’m likely to want to play, and not much space for expansion (well, some more scouts are probably in the making someday, to fill out my Troops choices and let me do some board denial). So what to do for Army 2?

My first thought was to expand the Alpha Legion I’ve collected a few of for my Advanced Space Crusade set: a Start Collecting box would be a solid start in addition to the couple squads and couple of HQ I have at the moment. But, that’d just be another force of power armored dudes, plus it’d realistically still be a while, and a not-insignificant outlay of cash, before I could use them in a game.

OK, so how about some Imperial forces I could ally with my Marines while I get started? This led me to think about Adeptus Mechanicus, at least in part because waaay back in 2nd edition, when I was a wee university student, the Codex Army Lists booklet had an Adeptus Mechanicus list, including a unit I immediately fell in love with the idea of, Electropriests. They didn’t have models, of course, and wouldn’t for like 20 years, but the idea was cool as hell. And (unlike, apparently, lots of people) I think the current Electropriests also look cool as hell. So I considered for a bit a Vanguard detachment of a Dominus, two squads of Infiltrators, and a 10-strong squad of Electropriests to get started as allies.

I probably will eventually get that detachment, but common sense won out in the end and I decided to start with a solid core of troops, as the Marines I run are usually thin on CP since I like my 3-dreadnought Vanguard.

So, which Forgeworld to go with? A quick page through the codex made the decision for me, and got my Forge the Narrative juices flowing nice and good. Gryphonne IV, the forge world with a natural connection to my Marine chapter, the Scythes of the Emperor, via the shared experience of having your homeworld eaten by Tyranids. My idea is now that the Scythes, to repay the debt incurred to the Adeptus Mechanicus by the saving of their chapter (with that influx of sweet Primaris bigmarines I love so much), have launched the Gryphonne Crusade, working together with the Gryphonne IV remnants to scout out, conquer and found a new forge world. Tadaa! An excuse for allies, and a neat little story to hook me in.

So I ordered a Start Collecting Skitarii box from the local store, and also picked up a box of Skitarii to occupy me while I wait for it to arrive. I’ve painted up the first few, and they’re not only looking good, but turning out to be a lot of fun to paint – lots of lovely baroque details, and a color scheme that contrasts with that of the Scythes without clashing with it, and includes a bit of yellow to tie things together.

The only stumbling block is figuring out unit markings – Gryphonne IV has light gray robes, and the only Skitarii transfers available are white… So I’m looking into print-your-own waterslide transfers, which I know exist, but I’m having trouble tracking down with my lack of waterslide-transfer-related Japanese skills.

Let the muster begin!

Trip Report: February Nagoya Games Day – Advanced Space Crusade!

On February’s game day in Nagoya, a friend and I herded a bunch of interested parties / guinea pigs together and had a big old multiplayer participation game of Advanced Space Crusade, that 1990 gem with the Scouts and Tyranid Warriors, D12’s and funky map boards. And it was a heck of a lot of fun.


The way ASC works is you have between one and three “flanks of attack” into the Tyranid hiveship, and on each flank the Marines explore, fight battles and so on. Since there were four players plus one GM (me) we just had two semi-independent one-flank battles (possible because two of us have sets, so we had enough map boards to do two battles at the same time), allowing allies to share forces amongst themselves. The Marine victory condition was to win three out of the four major battles hidden in the exploration decks, and the Tyranids managed to win by getting enough reinforcements before the third battle to overwhelm what little the Marines had left after the first two.

Which, if you know anything about ASC (and you probably don’t) probably goes to show just how much I’ve tweaked the game from the “out of the box” experience, which is heavily weighted towards the Marine player, mostly because of ridiculous reaction rules and partly because of Tyranid reinforcement rates that leave them struggling to have enough models to keep up pressure on the Marines. So my main 3 changes are: limiting the number of times you can react during the enemy turn, bumping up Tyranid reinforcement rates, and allowing Tyranids to (for a significant cost) bring in reinforcements during a battle from outside their available pool of blips. It seems to be in a place where the Marines need to be aggressive, both in exploration and during battles, and a bit lucky, to win, which seems OK to me – I’m sort of aiming for Space Hulk levels of challenge.

(If anybody interested in actually playing the game stumbles across this post, feel free to join the Advanced Space Crusade group (me and two other guys), where I have files with all my house rules in them posted.)