Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Spearhead of the Red Brotherhood

The most feared weapons in the arsenal of the Red Brotherhood space marine chapter is their complement of Land Raider Crusaders. These awesome machines bristle with advanced anti-infantry weaponry and nearly impenetrable heavy platted armor as they lead the Red Brotherhood vanguard into the heart of the battle. Able to transport sixteen battle brothers into position to inflict the greatest losses on the vile enemies of the Emperor, the Land Raider Crusader is a tactical nightmare to plan against in a campaign.

The Red Brotherhood has chosen the Crusader model as their primary Land Raider heavy support tank for their chapter due to their reverence of the bolter, as Red Brotherhood bolters are known for their craftsmanship and battle brothers legendary skill in using them. The Crusader model primary weapon however, is a front mounted twin-linked assault cannon, which can lay waste to any troops or light vehicles in its path. A multi-melta is available for use against tanks, walkers and bunkers. And side sponson hurricane bolters can pin down nearby troops as the marines inside charge toward any cowering enemies left alive.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Da Ol' Den Dayz

   Sniksnazz sighed absently to himself and prodded the fire in front of him, brightly glowing embers rising in an out of time dance into the black sky. He was the oldest living ork in the camp, many years older than the Boss himself, and had been elected to serve as a sort of historian, passing on the tales of the “Ol’ Den Dayz” to the yoofs and any boys who would listen. To the majority of the klan, he was a novelty; too wounded to fight anymore yet somehow allowed to remain in the village. Most considered is tales to be nonsense and many saw his continued existence as a waste of resources.
   Sniksnazz had not volunteered for this position. A searing plasma blast has vaporized his left arm, leg, and ear, leaving nothing for Da Dok to stitch back on. He knew from the legends that the old doks could have fashioned him new limbs from metal and wire; great crushing blades that could snip a boulder in two or pipes that spewed fire and lightning. At present, however, the only replacements available to him were crude metal mockeries of his lost appendages, his new “hand” being a mere hunk of sharpened scrap suitable for nothing more that skewering a passing squig for a snack.  His leg was a metal stump from the knee down, which ensured Sniksnazz would not join in another glorious Waaagh! again.
   His fire was surrounded, as always, by many yoofs, eager to hear tales of when the klan was great and strong and of when entire worlds burned and sank beneath the pounding of their gunz and armies were left as bloody mountains of ruined corpses after their boyz unleashed a torrent of choppa blows against them. It was an important facet of their Kulture; memories of epic wars and conquests. To a warlike race like the orks, there were no greater pieces of information. The klan had always had a historian, each passing down the old legends orally to the next unfortunate candidate.
   “Tell uz a story,” Gobbad pleaded, “One ‘bout da Ol’ Den Dayz. We wanna hear one.”
   The other yoofs nodded excitedly. Hearing Sniksnazz’s stories was a privilege among the new warriors and it inspired them to emulate the actions of their mighty forefathers. Sniksnazz surveyed the circle of eager faces and sighed.
    “A’right.” he acquiesced. “Wut else am I good fer?”
   Taking a deep breath, he prepared himself to replay the same tale he always told, holding out his arms in dramatic gesture.
   “So long ago,” he began, “da klan flew through da sky in Da Hulk.” He waved a hand toward the starry night above. “We went from planet to planet gettin’ in good scraps. Den we’d load up all da loot we could carry and take off for annuver world. ”
   This was met with many wide eyed looks of astonishment. A passing Nob snorted his disbelief.
   “Bosh!” the armored giant said, a glare in his red eye. “Ain’t no ork ever flew.” The yoofs dared not argue lest they receive a blow to the head for their insolence. The group sat in silence until the Nob stamped off.
   “Anyways,” Sniksnazz continued, “our Boss must’ve been called Den in dose dayz. Dat’s why we call ‘em Da Ol’ Den Dayz.”
   The yoofs leaned in closer, eager to devour every word the old ork uttered.
   “One day, we comes across a nice planet full o’ ‘umies. Dey got big cities and a strong army so Den decides to stop Da Hulk ‘ere and ‘ave a go at ‘em. Back in dose dayz, da klan had big gunz and bombz and tanks! Even da godz demselves walked with us, but dey were made o’ metal and had ‘uge gunz and rokkits for arms. Dere feet shook da ground and dere gunz lit up da sky. Dey wuz so tall, you couldn’t ‘ardly see dere heads!”
   This was Sniksnazz’s favorite part to tell. He had few joys left in life but observing the blank looks of fascination on the faces of each new crop of yoofs never failed to amuse him.
   “We had gunz as long as ten boys stacked ‘ead to foot. Whole armies died, blown to juicy gobs, when dey fired. We ‘ad fightaz too, flying around, dropping bombz on da ‘umies on da ground. Dere were ‘uge tanks called Waggonz dat carried da boyz to where the fightin’ was best and shot up anyone in da way.”
   The last bullet and drop of fuel had long since been exhausted and indeed not even Sniksnazz himself had ever heard the satisfying roar of an engine built for speed and power or the ear-shattering blast of artillery. The recoil of a handgun in one’s grip, the exhilaration of speed, the joy of watching your enemy fracture into bloody shards from a well-placed explosion, all were utterly lost to this klan. Only the words of an old cripple remained. For the young and the curious, they stirred a memory within.
   “So,” Sniksnazz continued, “we fought with da ‘umies fer a long time. It was da best fightin’ da klan ever had. Dey ‘ad dere own tanks and gunz and put up a real good fight. Es’splosions shook da ground and cracked da mountains and the sky turned red with fire.”
   The old ork’s words were accompanied by a good deal of sweeping arm gestures and sound effects. “BOOM! BLANG! KER-BLAM!!!!” he shouted. “Da godz stamped on da ‘umies’ tanks and crushed everyone dey saw.” He brought his booted foot down on a clump of dry earth in front of him and shattered it in a burst of dust. “KA-SMASH!” he bellowed.
   The yoofs were enraptured. All the klan had for making war now was spears and stones and war-squigs. Certainly nothing to simulate that excitement pouring forth from the aged ork before them. Unbeknownst to any of the campfire circle, several orks from the camp looked up from sharpening blades and tending fungus to marvel at the crazy ork dancing about and shouting like an idiot.
   Sniksnazz stopped to compose himself. “So anyways,” he began again, “after a good long scrap, we finally put da ‘umies to rout. Dey ran, screaming like grots from a killa squig, away and left all dere big gunz and loot behind. Now dat wuzzn’t good enough fer Den. We coulda loaded up all the spoilz and took off again but no. Den wuzzn’t done fightin’. Now, it woulda been too easy to shoot up the rest o’ da ‘umies, ‘specially since dey gave up most of dere gunz so wise ol’ Den sayz we’re gonna take it to ‘em with nuttin’ but choppaz and klawz. Da boyz thought dat sounded like great fun. Make sport o’ the rest o’ ‘em.”
   “So da klan left all dere waggonz and bikez and big gunz back at Da Hulk and got to it. Da ‘umies were hidin’ in dere fortress like cowards and our boys had ta get in and take a blade to ‘em. After a few more days of fun, Den came out w da ‘ead of the ‘umie Boss on ‘is pole. We were headed back to Da Hulk when…”
   Sniksnazz paused for dramatic effect.
   “WAAA-BOOSH-KA-BOOOOOM!!!!!” he roared, leaping off of his seat and throwing his arms wide. “It was da biggest es’splosion ever! All da boys went flying!” He grasped a handful of pebbles and debris and threw it in a wide arc. “Like dis!”
   The yoofs sat upright in horror, heads snapping back as if responding to an unseen force.
   “The klan wuz scattered and thrown into da wind.” Sniksnazz continued. “No one knows what happened to Den. All our brave boyz and Nobz. Most o’ us were just blown into dust.”
   He sat back down heavily. This was his least favorite part of the story.
   “Wut happened?” Thragnaz inquired. Sniksnazz gave him a hard look.
   “Beakies,” he said gravely. “Dey blasted Da Hulk from space. Blew up all our good stuff and gunz. Cowards. Hidin’ up in dere ships.”
   The circle of young orks exchanged glances. This was the first many of them had heard of this enemy.
   “So it’s been many, many years but the klan is back togedder and we’s strong again. Been tryin’ to finish off da ‘umies ever since.”
   “Wut about da beakies?” asked Herdgrub.
   “Don’t know,” replied Sniksnazz, “but one day we’ll find ‘em and pay ‘em back.” This statement was met w resounding shouts, the thumping of fists against chests, and the clanging of weapons.
   “All I know ‘bout ‘em is dat dey’re cowards and wear red and white armor from ‘ead to toe,” the wizened ork grunted with distain.
   He looked up at the sky again, watching the climbing sparks circle one other and disappear. Beyond the reaches of their orange glow were the stars. Orks have no interest in astronomy, but if they did, they would have noticed a particular dim, red star in the eastern sky was growing increasingly bright with each passing night.
   “If only tings could back to da way dey used to be,” the old ork said to himself. “We’d crush all da ‘umies and beakies and take over dis whole world…”

  High in the cold void above Xhorik, a massive Space Hulk swam silently through the dark. It was covered in guns and spikes jutting out in all directions and painted bright red. From the command chair inside, an Ork warboss eyed the planet before him w greed and ambition.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Xhorik Prime: Geography and Background Part 1

Xhorik has a large primary continent and less of the surface is covered in water than Earth. The interior is very dry and rocky. There is a fertile strip along the coasts where the main cities are located and a band of jungle near the equator, but much of the continent is bare and arid. Large storms of dust and radiation shield much of the central landmass from observation from space or high altitudes, meaning that much of the interior is only very roughly mapped.

The pictures below give a good idea of how I picture the terrain. Think Gobi Desert or Nepal. Arid, high altitude, cold and rocky.

There is strong evidence that the sea levels used to be higher and that the main continent was more temperate many millenia ago. The central deserts are dotted with the ruins of a past human civilization, that appears to date back to before the Great Crusade. When the current settlers arrived sometime in the last few thousand years and started to explore inland from their coastal cities, they encountered small tribes of abhumans. They appear to be the descendants of the former human civilizations, changed over the millennia by mutation and adaptation to the changing environment. At first, the new human settlers were happy to kill-off the natives living along the coasts and leave the interior to the nomadic abhuman tribes, but the discovery of valuable minerals and fuels in the central deserts has lead to new tensions.

Aside from the relatively new human inhabitants and the native abhumans, the other main civilization on Xhorik Prime are the feral Orks. No one knows how long they have been on Xhorik. It is possible that an Ork invasion may have helped cause the downfall of the original human civilization, either directly through war or by contributing to the massive climate change of the planet. Or perhaps the Orks were here even before the original humans. Whatever their origin, the Orks appear to be relatively few in number and backward in technology. They seem to be primarily concentrated in the northern mountains with a scattering throughout the interior deserts. They were driven from the coasts long ago by the might of the Imperial armies, but they were never eradicated and have continued to live in small bands in the in parts of the planet that are least hospitable to humans. With only the small tribes of scavenging abhumans to fight and very little land suitable to growing fungus, the Ork population and technology levels have remained low. They are far too few and low-tech to challenge the humans of the larger coastal cities. But workers returning from the mines and drilling operations of the central deserts tell tales of seeing Orks riding beasts that have never been seen elsewhere on the planet.

The main industry of Xhorik Prime is the extraction of minerals and fuels from the planet's crust. Much of this mineral wealth is traded and tithed to the nearby home planet of the Red Brotherhood chapter of Space Marines, making this planet of strategic interest to the Marines.

The biggest company on the planet is the local subsidiary of Interplanetary Heavy Industries. IHI is a massive conglomerate, possibly one of the biggest organizations in the Imperium. But no ones knows for sure just exactly how big it is, as it consists of hundreds of subsidiary companies spread across hundreds (or possibly thousands) of worlds. IHI is involved in dozens of businesses, primarily resource extraction, manufacturing, and interplanetary transportation. Many of the subsidiary companies are contractors and subcontractors providing weapons components to the armies of the Imperium. The Adeptus Militarum never contracts out the construction of full vehicles or weapons to a single company, viewing that much power in the hands of civilians as a security risk, susceptible to the traitorous influence of Chaos. Instead, they contract out single components to hundreds of separate companies, with no one organization building anything more complete than the most basic sub-assembly. The final assembly is always done at the Imperial Guard's own factories. But a vast multitude of IHI companies are slowly working to gain access to manufacture all the individual components of the Imperium's vehicles and weapons. The board of directors are secretly planning to use that knowledge to manufacture their own private army of Imperial weaponry. Due to IHI having an organization as opaque and complex as the Imperium itself and the companies being spread over the vast distances of space, the scribes in the offices of the Imperial Defense Contractors do not suspect they are all part of the same organization.


Please add your own descriptions of the people and places of Xhorik, either on this post or a new one!


I decided to take a break from the boyz and paint up my last two gretchin. They were looking lonely and out of place as part of a mob that is otherwise completely painted. It was a nice change of pace because they are so small and simple. But they are still fun models, full of devious character and spite!

A large bolt with a nut makes a good grot club! They can't all afford to have knives.

Gotta love the teeth!

I gave each of them a splash of red to tie them together with the rest of the army.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Rules for Flying Monstrous Creatures (FMC)

By special request from Bill, here are the rules for Flying Monstrous Creatures. They were too complicated to send in a text message.

In addition to all the special rules for Monstrous Creatures (Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash), FMCs have Jink and Vector Strike.

There are two flight modes: Swoop or Glide. You declare which you are using at the start of your movement phase. You cannot declare a charge on the turn it changes flight modes.

Deployment: A FMC that starts on the board starts in Glide. If it arrives via Deepstrike, it starts in Swoop. If it arrives via Reserves, it can choose to enter either Gliding or Swooping.

Gliding: It moves, runs and charges exactly like it had a jump pack. This means you can elect to "jump" in either the movement phase (move 12" instead of 6") or assault phase (re-roll charge dice) and jump over difficult/dangerous terrain.


  • At the start of movement phase, it makes a pivot up to 90 deg. Then it must move at least 12" and up to 24" in a straight line. 
  • It can fly over terrain and models. 
  • It cannot charge or be charged while Swooping.
  • It can never fall back while Swooping.
  • While moving, it can Vector Strike a unit that it moves over that is not in melee. This inflicts one hit at the FMC's unmodified strength and AP2 with no special rules like Rending. It inflicts d3 hits to fliers. This counts as one of the two weapons fired during a turn. 
  • Shooting: FMC can fire two weapons in the shooting phase (unless it used a Vector Strike). They can elect to use Skyfire on all weapons (allow them to shoot at fliers normally instead of as Snap Shots).
  • Being Shot At: Like other fliers, any unit that does not have Skyfire can only fire Snap Shots at at a Swooping FMC (this means they need a 6+ to hit).
  • A Swooping FMC can move off the edge of the table. They go into Ongoing Reserves and come back on from any table edge next turn. They cannot leave the same turn they arrived.
  • If a FMC takes an unsaved wound, you take a Grounding Test. On a 3+ it stays in the air. If you fail, it is Grounded and takes a S9 hit with no saves allowed and counts as being in Glide mode until the start of your next turn. This means it can be charged and it can charge in your next turn. It loses Jink until the start of your next turn. 
Jink: When being shot at, you can declare if it is Jinking (before any to-hit rolls are made). If it Jinks, you get a 4+ cover save until end of turn, but it can only make Snap Shots (hit on a 6+) on your next turn.

Charging: If the FMC is Swooping, it cannot charge that turn or the next. On the second turn, you have to declare you are going to Glide. Then, the turn after that, you can charge. But if you get grounded in your opponent's turn and start the turn in Glide mode, you can charge. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quick Rock Pile

A quick update here. I painted up a small rock pile that can provide some hard cover for a few models (we actually used this piece of terrain in the last game, but the rocks were not painted so I haven't posted it yet). I realized I have a lot of large terrain pieces such as buildings and hills to break up movement lanes and lines of sight, but not much that can actually provide cover while still allowing a model to fire at the oncoming enemy. This little rock pile is step toward balancing the types and sizes of terrain on the table. It doesn't cover more than a handful of models so I'll have to make another one or two that are similar, but a bit larger to accommodate larger units.

Friday, November 14, 2014

'Ard as Nails

No new posts for a while because I was out of town for work last week, but I just finished the next batch of 'Ard Boyz, bringing the mob total up to eight. These guys were mostly modeled many, many years ago so some of the conversions are pretty rough. I sure could have used a little green stuff here and there. But since I was young and no good with it, I tried to cover most of my ugly gaps with chains! I think they mostly look fine since you generally look at them more from above than from below, where you can see the arm pit gaps.

I like the rusty weapons. Much more proppa' than my previous mobs of boyz.

 Knuckle guard in case you have to bash faces up close and personal.

I like the double shoulder plates. Extra 'ard!

 His bayonet is actually tied to his slugga.

Look at that choppa. Extra choppy! 

Using two hands to be extra choppy! This was one that was originally supposed to be a Skar Boy back in Third Edition (two hands to represent the +1 STR), but a few armor plates and he makes a fine 'Ard Boy. 

Don't worry; he still has a slugga. What you see is what you get!

 The four newest boyz are ready to rumble.

The full mob of eight. Two left to paint!