A Custom Warhammer 40,000 Mission: Killer Ground

When the Warp envelopes a planet, nothing is ever as it seems. Even ruined buildings can suddenly come alive and go up in arms against the unsuspecting armies that were fighting nearby. The eldritch howls coming from their sealed walls are a promise of death to whoever dares to approach.

The armies

Both players choose their armies as described in the Prepare for Battle section of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook, up to an agreed point limit. No player can include Fortifications in its army.

Battlefield

Use the deployment map included in this mission. Place four Imperial Bastions (from the Fortress Assault supplement) at the four angles of the table to represent the Possessed Fortresses. Then set up the terrains as described in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

Deployment

Before deploying any model, the players must roll for their Warlord Traits.

First turn

The player who deployed first has the first turn, unless the other player manages to Seize the Initiative.

Game Length

The mission uses the Variable Game Length special rule.

Victory Condition

At the end of the game, the player who has scored the most Victory Points is the winner. If both players have the same number of Victory Points, then the game is a draw.

Primary Objective

At the end of the game, each player gains 1 Victory Point for each enemy unit which has been completely destroyed.

In addition, each player gains 2 Victory Point for each Possessed Fortress (see below) to which his units inflicted a Total Collapse or Detonation! result.

Secondary Objectives

Kill the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood.

Mission Special Rules

Reserves.

Possessed Fortresses: the Imperial Bastions have been possessed by daemons of the four Gods of Chaos and are hostile to every living being. Even if they form a sort of stand-alone army on their own, they have the Sentry Defence System special rule, so there is no need for a Games Master or a third player in order to play this mission.

The Possessed Fortresses have BS 3 and they consider the units of both players as enemy units, so they always fire on the nearest unit. The Possessed Fortresses fire in the Shooting Phase of both players. They also have the Daemon special rule.

Each Fortress is devoted to a different Chaos God (randomly determined after deployment). Depending on its patron, the weapons of the Possessed Fortress has one of the following profiles:

Range S AP Notes
Khorne 36″ 7 4 Heavy 3
Nurgle 36″ 5 Heavy 1, Blast, Poisoned (4+)
Slaanesh 36″ 6 4 Heavy 2, Shred
Tzeentch 36″ 6 3 Heavy 1, Blast, Soul Blaze

If attacked in close combat, a Possessed Fortress will strike back as if it were an Monstrous Creature with WS 3, S 7, I 4 and A 2, and equipped with defensive grenades.

Possessed Fortresses - Deployment map

Brother Vlad, the Flawless

During the last campaign I have run, we had rules to let out heroes gain experience and suffer serious injuries. In addition to the rules I already posted on this blog, we had mechanics to allow “squad characters”, like Aspiring Champions or Space Marine Sergeants, to be promoted on the field and become Independent Characters, and thus I started building a model worthy of a rising hero.

I wanted to use the Chaos Space Marines Raptors kit as a base, and I had a spare World Eaters Terminator head that an ex-colleague gave to me. The champion had to be a follower of Khorne, but he had to be very particular to fit in my Betrayers of Pain army. Why a follower of Khorne would be in a warband that does not venerate any God? Who was he? Where does he came from?

Brother Vlad was once a member of the Sanguinary Guards that formed the bodyguard of Sanguinius himself, and was at his side during the events on Signus Prime, when the madness flowing from Ka’Bandha almost drove the Blood Angels Legion on the blood path of Khorne. Vlad was seriously injured during that battle, and left for dead on the field. Many days later, Fabius Bile landed on Signus Prime to try to recover samples of the Blood Angels gene-seed for his experiments. There he found Vlad, broken in the body but still alive. In the time he spent alone on that deserted world, the darkness within his soul had grown bigger and bigger, changing him forever.

In the beginning I thought that he should be heavily mutated, having been in the service of the God of Battle for ten thousand years. So I tried equipping him with a brutal-looking axe from the Chaos Forsaken kit, but it looked too big and disproportioned, even if it cannot really be seen from this angle:

An early version of Brother Vlad

Yes, as you can see from the background, I was still working on my walking altar to Chaos at that time.

Then I thought of using the daemon wings from the Possessed kit, but still was not satisfied.

A damonic version of Brother Vlad

Then I was struck by a thought. Vlad was a son of Sanguinius, the most noble of all the Primarchs. His mind might have been shrouded by darkness, his body might have been broken, but the taint of the Warp might not alter him beyond recognition. He is a fallen angel, but an angel nonetheless. Perfect. Flawless.

Brother Vlad, the Flawless

Even though I decided that he was a Sanguinary Guard, I did not want to clad him in a gold armour. It would have been too flashy and not “Blood Angels” enough. Also, I wanted him to stand out more from the rest of my army, to mark his difference. Gold would have been too similar to the muted green of the Betrayers of Pain. I painted him red, with gold trims as a nod to the rank he held 10,000 years ago.

The armour mostly doneThe armour mostly done - rear view

Note that in the end I decided to swap the plasma pistol for a combi-melta, for I wanted his squad to carry out an anti-tank role. I also gave him a ceremonial dagger from the Sanguinary Guard kit, a memento of his former life he is unable to get rid of. The death mask on his base, instead, was of one of his many victims. He has a particular hate for his former legion. They abandoned him on a doomed planet and almost killed him during the bombardment on the Cathedral of the Mark. He will have his revenge for this.

Brother Vlad the Flawless - finishedBrother Vlad the Flawless - finishedBrother Vlad the Flawless - finishedBrother Vlad the Flawless - finished

And, to conclude, here is a couple of shots of Brother Vlad in action:

Brother Vlad in action

Brother Vlad, the Flawless, guiding his men in a Kill Team mission.

Brother Vlad in action 2

Brother Vlad assaulting the lines of the Children of Torment

Update: Incaladion, Skitarii and Imperial Knight

Incaladion

When I started my hobby project based on the Tiger Eyes Titan legion, I thought that very few sources spoke of Incaladion: the third book of Forge World’s Horus Heresy series, a short note in Imperial Armour Volume II, a brief mention in Codex:Necron from third edition (which implied that on Incaladion there were schismatic members of the Cult Mechanicus that revered the C’Tans) and the image of “Incaladion pattern” storm bolter used by the Howling Griffons Space Marines Chapter.

surfing the web, however, this week I discovered that there is at least another mention of Incaladion, on that I completely missed while reading the Gods of Mars novel:

“‘Then we will fight them again,’ said another Space Marine, Varda she thought. ‘And this time we will finish the job.’ Ilanna shook her head. ‘No, you won’t. I mean no disrespect, Brother Varda, but you saw them. The beasts are imbued with some form of self-regenerative mechanism. You can’t hurt them. At least, not without my help.’ An irritated flare of noospherics behind her. ‘Do not suggest what I know you are about to suggest, Magos Pavelka,’ said Archmagos Kotov. ‘It could help kill the hunting beasts,’ she said. ‘It is a curse upon machines,’ said Kotov. ‘You dishonour the Cult Mechanicus with such blasphemies.’ ‘

What is she talking about, archmagos?’ demanded Tanna. ‘Nothing at all, a vile perversion of her learning,’ said Kotov. ‘Speak, Magos Pavelka,’ ordered Tanna, and Ilanna almost smiled at the outrage she felt radiating from Kotov. Had they been anywhere within the Imperium, she had no doubt the archmagos would already have exloaded his Technologia Excommunicatus to the Martian synod. ‘When I was stationed on Incaladion, I–’ ‘Incaladion? I might have known,’ said Kotov. ‘That is why you bear brands of censure in your noospherics? And to think I allowed a techno-heretic aboard the Speranza!’ Tanna held up a hand to forestall further outrage from Kotov, and Ilanna was pathetically grateful to be spared a repeat of what she had heard from her accusers so long ago. ‘What is Incaladion?’ asked Tanna. ‘A forge world in Ultima Segmentum,’ said Ilanna. ‘I was stationed there a hundred and forty-three years ago when there were some… troubles.’ ‘What sort of troubles?’ asked Tanna. ‘Researches into the shadow artes of the tech-heretek!’ snapped Kotov with a surge of indignation. ‘The worship of proscribed xeno-lores and artificial sentiences! Half the planet was in violation of the Sixteen Laws.’ Kotov rounded on Ilanna. ‘Is that where you developed your heathen code?’ ‘In service to Magos Corteswain, yes,’ answered Ilanna. ‘Corteswain? This just gets better and better!’ said Kotov.

‘Who was this Corteswain?’ asked Roboute. ‘He was a great man,’ said Ilanna. ‘Or at least he was before he disappeared on Cthelmax. He was Cult Mechanicus to the core, but a Zethian by inclination.’ ‘I do not know what that means,’ said Tanna. ‘It means he held to ideals of innovation and understanding, of looking for explanations of techno-functionality that did not rely on the intervention of a divine being.’ ‘You see?’ said Kotov. ‘Blasphemy!’ Ilanna ignored him. ‘The possible applications of xeno-tech to existing Imperial equipment fascinated Corteswain, and he dared question established dogma regarding its prohibition. What you have to understand about Incaladion was that it was a world where a great deal of corrupted machinery ended up. Spoils taken in battle against the Archenemy. Machines and weaponry infected with scrapcode and infused with warp essences. Adept Corteswain developed a form of hexamathic disassembler language that could break the bond between a machine and whatever motive spirit lay at its heart.’ ‘A curse on all machines!’ wailed Kotov. ‘It was a way to free those machines from corruption,’ said Ilanna with an indignant flare of binary cant. ‘Magos Corteswain saved thousands of machines whose souls were in torment.’ ‘By killing them,’ said Kotov. ‘By freeing them to return to Akasha,’ said Ilanna. ‘Ready to be reborn in a new body of steel and light.’”

I have to thank Karthak Maz Urzak from the Space Battles forum for this quote.

This quote is utterly interesting, not only because it tells us something more about Incaladion and what is going on there, but also ties Corteswain to it. In case you are wondering, Corteswain is a former techpriest that was abducted by a C’Tan and was then released alive after visiting a Necron planet. He then proclaimed that the Machine God was nothing else than a C’Tan, eager to devour all life, and stripped himself of all his bionic parts. He was later imprisoned as a heretek, but his preachings managed to spread among the Cult Mechanicus.

Reading these paragraphs again gave me the inspiration I needed to create a background story for my army, and to tie it to the legendary Gates of Varl, but unluckily I still have not got the time to write it. I will post it here as soon as I have something worth showing.

Well, but now it is time to show off some hobby.

Skitarii

The Skitarii are coming along nicely: I added the flames to their robes, and then painted the purity seals and lenses. Here you can see a couple of side-shots of my Alpha and of a ranger with transuranic arquebus (those weapons are visually too cool to not use them).

And here are a couple of group shots with the Imperial Knight’s base as a scenery.

Incaladine Skitarii

Incaladine Skitarii

Legio Fureans Imperial Knight

I almost finished its legs’ armour. I just need to glaze some areas with Guilliman Blue, add some shadows around the rivets and then higlighting the metallic trims.

Tiger eyes legio leg plates

Here you can see a test-fitting picture. I had to lay the Knight on its back, for the plates would not stay in place if it is standin on its feet. As you can see, I have undercoated the whole model with Leadbelcher spray. The finish looks a little bit grainy in person, but we will see how it will look after the first Agrax Eartshade wash.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the results I am achieving! This is surely the best army I have ever painted.
Tiger eyes knight leg plates in place