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.


Redemptor Dreadnought

I finished up this bad boy today – it’s the “easy-build” version of the kit, but man oh man is it still lovely.

Leaving off the rocket launcher seems an odd choice, but oh well – it looks kinda dumb anyway.

Don’t talk to me or my son ever again.

And it’s yoooge – about the size of the Forgeworld Leviathan, which happily means I won’t have to shell out the bucks (and lose the friends) to get one.

I’m also now very pleased that I can field this totally-legal, if sub-optimal, 32-point Vanguard detachment. I imagine adding Aggressors is going to be my go-to core for at least a few games.

I mean, its anti-tank capability consists entirely of “run up to tanks and punch them”

Now up on the workbench is Skeletons for Shadespire, and a whole mess of MDF buildings I’ve been accumulating over the past few months. Terrain Town, here we come!

Painting Aggressors (Slowly)


But mostly just ’cause I’m not in such a hurry – I’ve got a game this Thursday at Ichinomiya, which I won’t be able to finish these guys for, then end-of-year business means the next game day I get to won’t be ’til January, so I can take it a bit easy.

And man, even with my patented super-lazy painting method, these guys are fiddly. In an awesome way, mind – I’m really in love with the models – but they have many many many edges to highlight. Fortunately, tonight I finished up the yellow, and with that and the black done, the “heavy lifting” is finished. Just metallics and red detailing, plus the ever-annoying unit markings, and they’ll be done.

Then my plate’ll be empty-ish again. The easy-build Redemptor Dread is up for pre-order on the 16th, and I’ll get one of those plus the Shadespire core set for myself for Christmas, so early next year I’ll have a bit to do – and I still have half my hybrids and some 6mm odds and ends on the table. Plus the Apothecary I kitbashed, but I’ll wait on him ’til I can prime him together with something else.

More Planning: Specialists

Last night I started painting up my squad of Primaris Aggressors (more on which as I get more work done) and thought, as I have for a while, that they might benefit from being fielded with an Apothecary – with such a small unit, being able to bring dead guys back would be decidedly useful, and since they’ll likely be tooling around with the Gravis captain, being able to heal him up would be a boon as well. But! The Primaris Apothecary model is 5200 freakin’ yen, which no way am I going to shell out for a single utility model.

So I took stock of my bits, and noticed that I still have the two extra Primaris guys from Dark Imperium I ended up with, plus some extra arms, including one with a pistol, from the Hellblasters, and some cool heads from the Aggressors. I wouldn’t have the cool backpack, but I could put together a pretty reasonably Apothecary kitbash with that and some other spare bits I have lying around. Yay!

Which brings me to my favorite thing: Thinking about how to paint them. Having collected an all-white Marine force way back when (anything by “Davidさん” in the very awesome Realm of Rman gallery, which you should by all means look at to see some of the insanity the Japanese hobby scene can produce), I knew that even one all-white marine would drive me batty.

A “White Templars” tactical squad from 2001 or 2002 – all white sure does look sharp, but if you think I’m going to go through painting another white army you have another think coming, my friend.

Also I do want to keep the generally black look I have for my Scythes. So the question is how to do Apothecaries? I thought about it for a bit, and fiddled around on Bolter & Chainsword when I should have been working, and ended up with this as my first plan:


Which is basically a veteran Scythe, swapping white for yellow everywhere but the aquila, with red shoulder pad trim for that “medic” touch, and a white shoulder pad to paint the gothic-flavored caduceus thing. Then I figured a (as yet notional) Librarian could just swap the white for blue:


And that looks pretty OK too!

So tonight I’ll get bashing, and see if I can put together a more-or-less acceptable Apothecary, and probably seriously consider trying for a Librarian as well – the Aggressor bare heads have cover-y things that could pass for psychic hoods, and I imagine I can find a sword-type thing somewhere…

Trip Report: November Nagoya Game Day

Sunday was game day for the Nagoya Miniature Games Club, and a good time was had by all. I brought my Scythes for two games, one matched play at 1200 points and one open play at 60 power, and I’m here to tell you I didn’t really notice any difference. Definitely good fun, though.

I brought a Spearhead and a Vanguard detachment, with:

-Gravis captain (Warlord trait: the +1W and feel no pain one, which is nice because I don’t have to worry about forgetting to use it so much – although I did forget to FNP about half the wounds I took all day)

-Primaris Lieutenant with Power Sword

-Ironclad dread with Hurricane Bolter and Chainfist

-Venerable dread with Assault Cannon

-Hellblasters with Assault Plasma Incinerators

-Reivers with knives

-Intercessors (This was the big change over previous lists – swapping out the Inceptors for a full Intercessor squad. All in all, I think it’s a solid choice. For the same cost, 3 times the wounds, and just about the same number of shots at close range, in an edition where the difference between S4 and S5 isn’t as huge as it used to be.)

-Quad Lascannon Predator

My morning game was against a Guard force, and I got tabled-enough-to-be-unable-to-contest-objectives by the end of turn 3. I lost the first turn, which hurt – he was able to deep strike some Scions next to my Predator and neutralize the bulk of my anti-tank ability right off the bat, leaving me without much to do against his tanks but try to run my dreadnoughts across the board and punch them – and, to my credit, I almost made it!

The Manticore was pretty scary too, but I was helped a bit by its lackluster armor penetration. Mostly he was just able to throw lots and lots of dice at me.

My afternoon game was against a mixed Adeptus Mechanicus / Ravenwing force, and I managed a win there. The setup we drew allowed my Captain and Dreadnoughts (well, the one that survived, anyway, but one is enough) to get into close combat, which is often enough to wrap things up for this army. The Reivers also did their job, tying up his Dominus and half his Ravenwing bikers for the first 3 turns, allowing me to worry away at the rest of the bikers unsupported.

The scenario was The Comet from the Open War deck, and I had my Intercessor squad in reserve to move to grab it anywhere on my half of the board – and it dropped at the center point, so I was able to get enough wounds / models onto the objective by turn 5 that he just couldn’t shake them.

I also played my first match of Shadespire during lunch, and it was good fun. My orcs pretty much stomped face on the other guy’s Stormcast – I won the first game 11-0 and the second 9-5. It helps, I think, that orcs (at least when you build your deck heavily with orc faction cards as I did) are extremely straightforward, as indeed you’d hope orcs would be. Just roll up and start pounding face – the only thing I really had to keep an eye on was whether my objectives in hand wanted me to gang up on the enemy or take them on one-on-one, which is pretty easy to manage. My verdict is: A Good Game! I definitely left wanting to play more.


A very good day, against some fun opponents. Good time had by all.

In other news, I took advantage of Black Friday to order some more hab pods from Sarissa for my 40K table, so that should be arriving before too long. I’ve basically decided to use my winter bonus and speech contest judging pocket money to get myself the Shadespire core set and one of the new easy-build Redemptor dreads for Christmas. Then I might be able to turn back to an on-hold-for-40K 6mm North Africa project we started talking about last summer early next year. But who knows!

The Joys of Color Scheme Planning and Execution

One of the things I wanted to do when I started collecting my Scythes force was have a consistent, regimented color scheme across all squads – the full Codex Experience, as it were – because with my previous attempts at marines back in the day, I did it in sort of an ad-hoc way. I also wanted to improve the “canon” Scythes of the Emperor paint scheme, of which I am not fond, so writing up a quick outline document before I ever touched paint to model was a nice way of killing two birds with one stone. Those Bolter and Chainsword color planning things helped a lot, too, but fundamentally I found having everything all planned out before I even bought a model helped me a lot.

This is the basic color scheme progression. On the left is the basic trooper – black armor with yellow trim. In the middle is the fire team leader (who will lead the second combat squad if the full squad is deployed in this way) with a yellow helmet, and then the sergeant who additionally reverses the shoulder pad colors.

Squad markings are basically codex by the book, save that the fire support chevron is fully filled in to ensure readability of the squad number (and painting over transfers is a massive PITA, I tell you what). The chapter symbol is crossed scythes, but high-ranking individuals and company banners may display a single scythe instead.

Elite troops have white helmets. Originally this would have been 1st company troopers, but this has expanded to include any units which are usually filled by veteran troops. (In game terms, I’ve decided this means anything in an Elite slot – mostly because I wanted Reivers to have white helmets.) (And yes, elite fireteam leaders sort of get lost in the shuffle, but oh well!)


And finally, officers have red helmets – there are no official markings setting Lieutenants and Captains apart, as it’s usually easy to tell in practice.

I decided not to show company anywhere on the model, because I couldn’t think of a nice elegant way to do it that would preserve the limited palette I’m working with, work on any mark of armor (which ruled out what would have been my first choice, numbers on kneepads), and preferably be something I could do with a decal. So I was pleased to see that a lot of the codex chapters in the, er, codex, just don’t show company colors, and it fits with the Scythes fluff in that they’ve essentially had just the one company for quite a long time anyway.

And that’s that. The ooonly thing I might do differently is look into getting chapter symbols from Shapeway or custom transfers or something – each individual marine’s symbol is wonky in its own idiosyncratic way, sadly. Hindsight and all that!

Back To Your Regularly Non-Scheduled Programming – Photography Practice

And here that my 30-day challenge is done, I finally get around to actually looking into how to take good pictures of miniatures, heh. I think I got a couple! This is my Gravis Captain, and Zoraida, the leader of my Neverborn crew for Malifaux.

That’s more like it! Photography lesson learnt, will keep in mind moving forward.

30-Day Challenge Day 30: Wrapping Up With a Trip Report

Wow, this was a quick 30 days! It helped, I think, that the first 2/3 were packed to the gills with a pretty hectic project.

On day 30 I didn’t paint, but instead went up to Ichinomiya to hook up with a little gaming group they have up here – 5 or 6 guys in a very very tiny plastic model shop.


I didn’t get a picture while it was still light out, but the shop is literally like 15 feet deep – there’s really only one table big enough for wargaming, but with a small group it probably doesn’t matter much!

I played a fun little 50-power game against the group leader’s Necrons. The more I play 8th edition, the more I think 50-60 points is really a sweet spot. Still a lot of fun, in ways that similarly small games often weren’t very fun in earlier editions, but pretty quick and (and this is my own personal opinion about scale) a better fit for the best-suited-to-skirmish-ness of 28/32mm models.

Next time I think I’d take 10 Intercessors instead of the 3 Inceptors – the latter are maybe a bit squishy to be a lynchpin of a force this small. But the double dreads did as well as ever (although a squad of 6 heavy destroyers will and did mess them up) and the reivers, as always, did the work, tying up his immortals for 3 turns before the near-dead ironclad moved in to help them out. In the end, the ironclad was able to chainfist to death the lord who was carrying the McGuffin and escape from the wrath of destroyers into the safety of combat by the end of the game, giving me the win. It was a close thing, though! A couple luckier wound rolls and it would have been very different.

It was a fun evening, and a good chance to meet some new guys relatively new to the hobby. It’s a bit of a drive up to Ichinomiya from here (about 40 minutes from either work or home on the tollway, an hour on regular roads), but I think I’ll be able to make it once a month or so!