Techno-Heresy

In previous posts, I’ve outlined my Mechanicum forces for the Horus Heresy, which are useful allies to my Death Guard forces in 30k. In being lucky enough to get a ticket to attend the recent narrative campaign weekend at Warhammer World, The Invasion Of Lannar IV, I needed to prepare an army. In terms of practicalities, I knew my Mechanicum would take up a smaller amount of space in cases, which would be useful over a weekend of seven games, ranging from 1000pts-4000pts.

With the recent release of the Mechanicum’s Primarch equivalent, Anacharis Scoria, I thought this would be an ideal time to get him ready. I knew I had a week or so to do this, so I started in earnest – and here are a few photos of that progress.

The initial build:

ScoriaWIP1

A comparison shot with Cawl:

ScoriaWIP2

When sprayed:

ScoriaWIP3

(And the next photos will be on the table!)

I also wanted to make sure my rank-and-file looked suitable for gracing the gaming tables at an event where the standard of painting and modelling would be incredibly high. As such, I went and added transfers to all my models (and then weathered them suitably) – an example of the work in progress is shown below:

TransfersWIP

(I chose to be consistent where possible, with the cog-skull icon being placed on the left shoulder, and then the right using the identifier for that particular automata. These vary in size, and with some additional transfers, depending on the size of said robot!).

The weekend’s games were all themed around this invasion, representing a planetary assault and subsequent struggles for control over key areas of strategic value. It was a fantastic narrative, and packing in so many games against superb opponents made for a wonderful weekend, and great celebration of the hobby.

It kicked off with a 4000pts game on the Friday night, where I played against a beautifully Blood Angels army (that went on to win overall Best Army at the event!). I now lament my lack of photos of playing against it, particularly as it had a beautiful Thunderhawk as a centre piece (which I’ve not played against before). Aside from the Thunderhawk, it had three Vindicator Laser Destroyers, a Stormeagle, Whirlwind Scorpius, Command Rhino, and a few large Assault Squads with associated characters, Tactical Squad, Box Dread, and a Leviathan in a Dread Drop Pod (and perhaps other things I’m forgetting!).

The Blood Angels were deployed in a corner – I think I may have seized the initiative in this game, and pouring a whole army’s firepower (bar the Vulturax in reserve), destroyed two of the Vindicators and knocked a hull-point or so off the other, and took out the Scorpius and Command Rhino, making for a very successful first turn – and particularly, by removing the Rhino, impacting on the plan for the rest of the Deep Striking units. It meant that as units then came in (sometimes, scattering inopportunely), I was able to concentrate firepower in a useful demonstration of target priority. The Thunderhawk had a rather large impact, in that using the Destroyer weapon killed Scoria outright – but bringing it down was a really cinematic and exciting moment. In the end, I’d wiped everything out in a fantastic game to start the event!

The army facing down the Blood Angels:

Game1(1)

Shifting focus across the board:

Game1(2)

Continued:

Game1(3)

The second day started with the second game: this time, it was 2500pts a side, and saw the Mechanicum face off against the Ultramarines. The force included a Malcador Infernus (I think!), three Javelins, a Spartan with Terminators, a Sicaran Venator, two Quad Rapiers, and two squads of Veterans in Rhinos. This mission involved deploying opposite one another (corner to corner), with a few objects to seize and control.

Here’s a quick photo of the general set-up as we started getting into the game:

Game2(1)Invariably, with limited scoring choices (and especially so at the lower points level), Veterans jumped onto the objectives in the last turn, but the Mechanicum had exacted a very heavy toll on the Ultramarine forces.

The next two games were 1000pts with our Recon forces, which were part of the theme of the event, as they scouted ahead of the main army to establish a beachhead. The first of these saw the Mechanicum face off against Custodes, in a force featuring Jetbikes, two squads and their commander. Once again, whilst objective based – the Thallax and Thralls proved to be slightly squishy compared to even the moderate AP of their opponents’ weapons, and the trade-off for scoring was perhaps not wholly successful! Here’s a quick snap of the face-off and courageous advancing of the lobotomised warriors:

Game3(1)

(Due to a random event, as the attacker, I lost quite a number of the Thralls in the left bottom hand corner – which didn’t help things!).

The next game, however – against the Space Wolves, was somewhat more successful – and would be one for the sagas!  Three objectives to take and hold, with bonuses scored for successive turns holding them (until they are removed from play). The terrain worked really well for this sort of game, and was suitably cinematic with two roof-top duels – and the Thallax did really well in their advanced role! The Thralls also performed admirably, tying up the Seekers and characters for long enough, whilst everything else worked through the Recon Marines or Tactical equivalents. A couple of photos of the deployment and the action:Game4(1)Game4(2)

Ultimately, I was able to wipe out all of the Wolves, and hold all of the objectives, which I think suggested the potential of this force. It was a great game that went back and forth, and those Thralls again worked so effectively.

The fifth game saw the Mechanicum face off against Custodes at 2500pts this time: featuring Valdor himself, a couple of large squads, Terminators, a Dreadnought and Jetbikes. With objectives in play again, particularly those to defend, it meant I needed to play more tactically than normal – and this did involve a lot of inviting the Custodes on to the massed firepower of the Cybernetica Cohort! It worked effectively to help keep them at bay, and to secure the necessary objectives for the victory. Some photos of the deployment and game:

Game5(1)Game5(2)

The third day then started with another Recon mission, and I got to play my previous Custodes opponent at this points level from the day before. In a game centred around securing a mysterious objective, an opportune seize (I think!) meant I could jump forward and grab this, and try and retreat. We then fought a glorious war of attrition, that eventually just left the Magos standing, unable to obtain the objective at the last. Another brilliant game, that came down to the very last, with the enjoyment of so many Thralls thwarting progress once again!

Game6(1)

The ‘meatgrinder’:

Game6(2)

To round off the weekend, the seventh game was another at the 4000pts level. It all hung in the balance: if all the Traitors could win, we might snatch victory… Safe to say, I did my part in (yet another) wonderful game, against the Imperial Fists. It was the first time I’d played against a Mastodon, and the army featuring Quad Heavy Bolters, a ten strong Lascannon Squad and a ten strong Heavy Bolter squad, lots of Land Raiders, and then Breachers, Vets, and Terminators, in the variety of transport options – lead by Sigismund himself.

Photos of our deployment:

Game7(1)Game7(2)

And, another seize I believe, which meant I was able to really use target priority to my best advantage. Taking out the Lascannon squad early, and starting to whittle things down on one side of the board (away from the Mastodon!) worked effectively. One Castellax maniple nobly advanced on that side of the board to draw that initial attention, and so I could work to remove the other threats before dealing with that and the contents in an epic showdown. Mindful again of the spread objectives, I tried to manoeuvre round to give as much time firing as possible, which worked well:

Game7(3)

Sigismund, with the remains of his retinue (indeed, the last of the force), was all set to charge Scoria and his automata – but failed the charge, and died to Overwatch. A fitting end…! Another great game, pitting these two huge forces against one another, truly emblematic of the Heresy – and a brilliant way to end the weekend!

Afterwards, we rolled the hypothetical duel between Sigismund and Scoria… and Scoria killed Sigismund in that single round of combat (suffering no damage). (As well as Sigismund’s ‘fleet’ re-roll, which was also failed – so clearly wasn’t Sigismund’s day!)

In summary, it was a superb event with a great narrative and camaraderie throughout, and was a real pleasure to take part in. I’m very much looking forward to the next Heresy event now!

During the weekend, I picked up some Vorax to supplement the scout force in future, as well as some additional pads for my Death Guard. The next project is likely to be involving the Heresy, but in a slightly different scale…

 

 

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Bane of Forges

With the new Forgebane box-set being recently released (pitting the might of Mars in the form of the Adeptus Mechanicus against the dynasty of destruction that is the Necrontyr), it presents a opportune time to add reinforcements to my forces of the servants of the Omnissiah (or their Dark Mechanicus masters).

Having built up a household of Knights, I’d consciously painted them so they could be loyalist or traitor (with a paint scheme in homage to the Legio Mortis), and so that they could lend support to the Ad Mech force I was building. I was able to get in four games at a tournament with a Renegade list of three Knights (as pictured below) when 8th Edition was first released, and it was a really good experience to learn the mechanics.

RenegadeKnights

In picking up the new box, I was particularly enthralled by the Armiger Warglaives, as they are a wonderful hybrid between Ironstriders and Knights, which add a nice alternative option to an army list. I’d seen a nifty conversion on social media that channelled a particular vehicle from Star Wars, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do the same – having two Dunecrawlers needing to be built provided the impetus:

DunecrawlerKnights

With a similar connector, it means they can be usefully posed on either set of legs – and further still makes them look sufficiently alternative that they could be from another forge world, perhaps with dubious loyalties…

*Edit – I’ve now built the tops of the Armigers, and here they are on the Dunecrawler legs (similar to Defilers):

DunecrawlerKnights2

I’ll look forward to painting them in a similar style to my other Knights, and look to tie them in with the usual spot colours and Martian basing scheme.

Cognisance

I became conscious that I hadn’t posted an update to this blog in ages – and felt that this should be rectified! Since the last post (April 2016), I have not been inactive in the hobby – and have plenty to show, both Death Guard and otherwise! With the recent release of Codex: Death Guard and the new Edition of Warhammer 40,000 (8th Edition), there is an entirely new range of lovely models to build and paint, including the Death Guard Primarch, Mortarion himself, in plastic. This should mean in due course I’ll be getting lots of the newer sculpts painted up in the traditional scheme in order to get them ready for the tabletop.

From a gaming perspective, this has mostly been dominated by games in the Horus Heresy, including a few narrative campaign weekends, such as Throne of Skulls. My Heresy-era Death Guard have therefore have become suitably battle-worn, to match their paint-scheme, and have grown yet further. The next project for them will be an Orbital Assault Drop-Pod list, as I’m looking to flesh out possibilities for running different Rites of War depending on the game or the event. To complement my Death Guard, I’ve been working through a number of Mechanicus/Mechanicum elements, which have been suitably themed to have potentially questionable loyalties, as to whether they may or may not be Hereteks… as not everything’s allegiance is binary…

This aspect of the hobby began in early 2016: I started initially with Skitarii Vanguard, putting together a core of six units – one of which will have three Plasma Calivers, and the rest will have three Arc Rifles:

In order to get a correct number of Arc Rifles, I bought extra from the Kataphron sprue – and with a cut Radium Carbine, and a small piece of plasticard, we were in business!

This progressed quickly, as I look to paint them in a Ryza-based scheme: the use of orange would appropriately tie in with my Death Guard, as well as being a lovely bright colour! After construction, I looked to get things sprayed grey (including a few other notable additions, such as the Dominus and the Kastelan Robots) to go with the pre-built and sprayed Ruststalkers and Infiltrators (which lurk in the back of the photograph…):

SkitariiSpray3

Working then from a base layer of orange on the Vanguard, Robots, Datasmiths and Dominus, it was good to get the main colours on and blocked, before starting to work in on the lovely details:

SkitariiOrange4

Metals and their first wash:

SkitariiWIP5

Carbines and bases:

SkitariiWIP6

Starting to pick out details:

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En masse:

SkitariiNearFinal8

Then, wanting to venture further into the Heresy side of all things mechanical – I picked up some initial bits to start off with and to form the core of the army:

MechanicumStart9MechanicumFirstBuild10

I then worked on a larger selection of robots, in a variety of sizes. Some Kastelans:

KastelanWIP11KastelanWIP12

A mixture of 30k Mechanicum: Thallax, Castellax, Ursarax, a Domitar and a Thanatar, and associated Datasmiths and Priests:

MechanicumWIP13MechanicumWIP14

I’ve also focused on thematic basing, which I believe captures a suitable ‘Martian’ or technical off-cut style, completed with broken cogs and gears, a few tufts of hardy grass, and set around the Ironearth/Ironcrust Technical Paints:

MechanicumBasing15

A close-up example:

MechanicumBasingFinal

To lead them, I added and started to paint a Magos (to be used as Scoria for competitive games), and added another Thanatar for fire support:

MechanicumAdditionsMechanicumAdditionsCloseUp

Here are a few WIP photos of Scoria:

ArchmagosScoriaWIP2ArchmagosScoriaWIP3

It was around this time that I added (yet) another Thanatar, and kept trying to keep everything cohesive, by tying in similar spot colours among the overarching scheme:

ThanatarManipleWIP

Here’s a photo of the (ever-)growing Cohort:

MechanicumArmyWIP

With a couple of pictures of the Thanatars complete, next to their master:

ThanatarManipleCompleteThanatarManipleComplete2

To make sure my Legio Cybernetica Cohort remain legal, I did require some more Castellax to fulfil the core of my army, so had to bulk that up further. I tried to match those armed with four Dark Lances, with four more toting Heavy Bolters:

CastellaxWIPCastellaxWIP2CastellaxWIP3CastellaxWIP4

As well as then thinking about the other things to start adding, such as an additional Magos Dominus and some Tech Thralls:

CastellaxWIP5

For a Bolter & Chainsword event, Loyalty and Treachery, I also pledged to add a number of further options, including Vulturax, Krios Venators, and more Thralls. A few photos of them in progress are included below!

LoyaltyTreacheryWIPLoyaltyTreacheryWIP2LoyaltyTreacheryWIP3

For my Thralls, I wanted to pick out all the details as they are such great models (despite their relatively low points cost on the tabletop!). I’ve picked out all of the cables in different colours, and used these to help tie them in with the rest of the robots. I chose to do these in yellow, rather than orange, just to reflect both their semi-human nature and to be reminiscent of Hazardous Materials suits. A quick progress photo:

LoyaltyTreacheryWIP5

More final details:

TechThrallsWIPTechThrallsWIP2

The support cohort together as completed:

LoyaltyTreacheryComplete1LoyaltyTreacheryComplete2

Having completed this, I now have somewhere in the region of 4,000pts of Mechanicum (and a reasonable amount of Mechanicus, to be totalled), which has expanded into quite a sizeable amount of support units. Bar the Vulturax and the Krios Tanks, I’ve been able to magnetise a case to fit all of the above Mechanicum in – with a quick example shown below too:

MechanicumCase

It has made things very usefully portable! I’ll follow this blog-post with a few photos of it in action: it plays very differently to the Death Guard within the Heresy setting, and will hopefully be a useful contrast and supporting element in future. With the new Forgebane boxed set having just been released, I’ll show some WIP photos of the Armigers, before looking to turn my focus back towards the Death Guard. Until next time!