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[WIP] Sons of Horus, 65th Company


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Alright ya lovely lot. Well, I volunteered to get some better pictures and fluff done for the company now that I've been more or less 'sold' on what I want the final group to look like. With a 30K League thing coming up, and a few of my mates hounding me to get better pictures of terrain (and make more, of course) I figured I'd make up a WIP log like all the cool kids are doing. So hopefully it'll keep up the motivation even in the absence of a painting event or the like.

Anyway, I'll probably be asking about as many 'what's your opinion' questions for ya lot as I do with everyone else that's sick and tired of my constant barrage of questions (they say 'don't text at two in the morning', but I know they love my questions!). So, this'll hopefully have some painting bits, some fluff, some bat-reps, we'll see what comes of it, eh? I should be updating the cover page with the most 'up to date' army compositions, etc, and replacing photos when I can. And, y'know, I get to test out the B&C's BBCoding to see how stuff looks. All in good fun.


Origins: From Whence Wolves Become Dogs

The 65th company emerged as any other line company in the XVIth legion, drawn up in the mid 10th century M.30 as a reinforcement unit from the 33rd battalions logistics base. The 200 strong unit of astartes was constituted during early restructuring protocols and saw intermittent service during the later years of the Great Crusade. The 33rd battalion included the 65th and 66th line companies, as well as the 17th Independent Reaver Company. The 33rd was placed aboard the grand cruiser Judicature as part of the 63rd expeditionary fleet's second line units.

During the Callas compliance of 978 M.30, the 65th was placed on front line combat trials. A series of errors and miscalculations led to heavy casualties for both line companies. Advance elements from the 14th and 17th Luna Wolves companies fought through Callasian lines to relieve the embattled 33rd battalion.

“Some bray for battle, some scream for truth, but

we've kept silent. We keep silent because there

will be enough blood. We keep silent because we

know we live amongst lies. There is only one

truth for us: we are sons of Horus Lupercal".

~Centurion Lathyls Decadron M.31.
The 66th effectively ceased to exist, and its remains were folded into the 65th company instead of reconstituting both companies. The 17th Reavers suffered fewer comparative losses by dint of their arrival in the third wave of the Callas Prime assault. While the 66th company would be refounded over the next two years, they would be part of the 35th battalion, leaving the 65th company and 17th Independent Reavers as the sole constituent of the 33rd. Their involvement in the Great Crusade and their influence in the upper structures of the Legion waned. While independent action with the Reavers continued unabated, the 65th company was tasked with rear line fleet guard duties and thus were given their sardonic title 'Cerberus Group', the guardians of old Terran myth.

By M.31, the battalion had withdrawn to rear line duties, and come under intense political fire for wishing to incorporate organic militia elements within the Legion's rear echelon structure to supplement their wavering Recon groups and to help with garrison operations on newly compliant worlds such as Tennerak and Davin. While this never emerged, the 33rd battalion's reputation as a primary assault unit was stained by perceptions of other company captains who spurned the Imperial Army as anything more than clean up and support elements. This perception of the battalion would linger until their trial by fire at Istvaan III.

Istvaan III: Dogs become Jackals

The 65th remained part of the rearguard of the 63rd expeditionary fleet, but did not contribute significantly to the Davin suppression and performed only prefuctory assaults on Interex space installations during the Interex compliance. The mettle of the 65th was untested, but their strength had slowly accumulated over the intervening years. Reconstituted as a 295 strong company, they were given the designation Cerberus Assault Group as the Judicature arrived at the Istvaan III L2 lagrangian point. Marshal Ahazaar's rebuilt company was not called upon to participate in the opening assault, a not un-surprising decision on the surface.

According to recovered logs from the Judicature, the marshal was apprehensive of the entire Istvaan III pacification operation but made no mention of it beyond his confidante and equerry Akkisen Shenzo. In an open conference with the Warmaster, he carefully pledged every asset at his disposal prior to the initial wave. This, perhaps, preempted doubts about the loyalties of the 65th.

The 33rd battalion was locked down aboard the Judicature, Marshal Ahazaar remaining in his chambers under guard while the company's commanding officer, Centurion Ashram Kademius and his honour guard, occupied the command deck of the Judicature. The Grand Cruiser was one of the 63rd expeditionary fleet ships that descended into orbit to carry out the virus bombing, proving the loyalty of the ship crew, though the astartes of the 33rd battalion were still untested.

In the ensuing firestorm, the 17th Independent Reavers were tasked with the capture of the frigate Shooting Star and were successful in their task. The 65th was held in reserve with a sizable contingent of armoured personnel carriers. After the revelation of intentions at Istvaan III, the 65th was dispatched on the 52nd day to suppress elements of the loyalist III and XVI legions who had escaped into the now wasteland countryside outside Istvaan III's capital Khry Vanak, the Choral City. For the next fifteen days, the 65th hunted for loyalist elements amid the ashen wastes, using a mixed doctrine of tank desant and rapid armour assault sweeps to destroy hidden strong points and overrun infantry contingents.

Later analysis notes the lack of anti-aircraft guns, speeders, jetbikes, or other assets that could ensure the safety of the 65th in wide-band sweeps or be used to counteract the 118th squadron's Stormcrows and Fire Raptors who flew alongside ostensibly as air-support. Other sources indicate that the 118th acted as a control mechanism to ensure the compliance of the untested 65th in ground operations. It was their air-wardens who who named the 65th Ash Jackals, or alternatively Dust Jackals in inter-unit vox communication, and the callsign was adopted readily by the 65th as their nom de guerre. Whatever the motives, the 65th completed their tasks with enthusiasm and arrived in the ruined city suburbs to support other actions 16 days later as the Coral City's last bastions of resistance fell.

However, to prove the loyalty of the 65th further, the 33rd released the last of its armour reserves and the 65th was sent in support of Legio Mortis elements at the same time as XIIth legion forces were being recalled from the battlezone. The 65th and 17th were pushed into the breach with straggling elements of the XIIth legion, pursuing loyalist remnants deep into the catacombs beneath the Precentor's palace. After a costly armoured assault that carried into the inner sanctum of the structure, the 65th was ordered to retreat, though the rear echelons and a significant portion of the 17th were caught in the undercrofts beneath the ancient structure and presumably destroyed by the barrage unleashed by Legio Mortis. The last 126 Ash Jackals were extracted by the 118th to the Judicature, bloodied but now proven.

Operational Doctrine:

The influx of new Cthonian recruits after Istvaan III had an effect on both the internal culture and combat doctrine of the Ash Jackals. Fresh from the fray, the leadership of the 65th reviewed after action reports, and through a systemic lobbying process on behalf of their marshal, capitalized on the events of the Precentor's Palace assault. Cthonian recruits were typically filtered through into tactical squads, through more emphasis was placed on advanced placement in Breacher squads. Many of the company's Rhino APC's were wrecked and abandoned on Istvaan III, but the Mastadon and Land Raider contingents were retrained and reinforced.

The resultant units were forced to fight on foot in support of heavy armour assaults, favoring medium to close range firefights with an assortment of specialist squads. No one overwhelming combat doctrine was adopted, and holes in the 65ths melee squads was filled by the influx of terminator squads and close cohesive support with the 17th Reavers. The 65th would advance on static enemy positions, attempting to take them by storm, advancing rather than holding ground. At the same time, the first air-support was received as a spoils of war from Istvaan III. An unmarked Storm Eagle gunship was transported back by the 118th, but claims by their captain were undercut by Marshal Ahazaar. Soon after, the Mournful Song was put into service, ostensibly to transport seeker and reconnaissance elements meant to probe perspective targets.

More recent developments has seen the Judicature onloading more Anvillus Dreadclaw Assault Craft and Storm Eagle transports, once earmarked for the 19th Air Assault company, but was overruled by 33rd battalion requisition requests. Now-Praetor Kademius has rallied for the 65th to incorporate a sizable bulk strike transit component, and the Storm Eagles and their escort fill those requirements well, though not without the loss of priority in obtaining more standardized Rhino armoured carriers.


Army updated: 19.05.17 M3.





Edited by Vykes
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-laughs- thanks, Cap'n Semper, mate! I figured it was about time to get myself in gear as there's still a fair bit of work to be done. Starting with a little more air support (now that FW sent me a replacement canard for an Eagle). But hopefully we'll see some progress pretty quick, along with a Mastodon that's assembled.


So much air support is... surprisingly hard to use, even with Angel's Wrath (I proxied with my Blood Angel Eagles and nearly lost turn 1 after my Assault Squad got routed). So, first question from me!

Q: With a budget of ~500 pts, what's a good turn 1 accompaniment for Angels Wrath?

- A loaded Kharibdys to draw eyes?

-2 units of 10 assault legionnaires?

-3 jetbikes?

-A Javelin?

My gut said 2 units fo 10 assault legionnaires and an armour hunter Javelin is 'okay'.

Edited by Vykes
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Very, very cool fluff! I think you incorporated a lot of elements reinforcing realism that lacks in many other back-stories:

-the fact that the 65th were originally under-dogs instead of all powerful mary-sues, having to prove themselves to reach favour,

-their origins, hastily put together by logisticians based on what was available really adds a lot of flavour and is very reminiscent of real stories of regiments during the massive conflicts of the 20th and 21st century,

-the seamless integration of the their backstory into the wider story arc of the Horus Heresy.


You've put a lot of work into this, it could legitimately be FW material :) Just a typo, you forgot the word "days", I think:

"For the next fifteen DAYS, the 65th hunted for loyalist elements amid the ashen wastes, using a mixed doctrine of tank desant and rapid armour assault sweeps to destroy hidden strong points and overrun infantry contingents."


This level of quality fluff really completes your army. Loving the fact that your army composition is story driven and makes a lot of "real world" sense (lots of troops and armored transports) instead of being the typical 2x drop leviathans + 2x veterans + 3x quad mortars... I am slowly building my armies in the same direction (lots of troops and transports) but it will take time. Your post is certainly great motivation though! P.S.: where did you get the template for the FW style presentation page?

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Thanks mates, I really do appreciate it!  


Aaah I'm definitely looking forward to painting up those birds, Pearson, mate.  There's deeeefinitely a lot more stuff that's waiting in the wings --pardon that awful pun-- including a particular superheavy.  Beyond that I maaaay have made another FW order thirty minutes ago or so.  Late night FW browsing leads to bad habits, yep. 


Thanks a ton, Arion.  I caught sight of your 16th legion forces, gotta admit I'm impressed, too.  Definitely gonna be over there right quick, kinda ran out of typical 'likes' for the day, can't have it seem like I wandered off in the middle, eh?   


Good spot on the typo too, seriously thanks!  Got that sorted out.  Glad ya liked it, I've always been a narrative gamer and having the biggest and best wasn't on my radar.  And I'm still getting used to AoD's proper rules compared to 6th-7th edition, So I can't imagine trying to represent some super elite cream of the crop when I'm faaairly sure I'll be getting my legionnaires gunned down in neat serried lines because it looks cooler that way then maximizing coherency spacing :P 


So, instead of focusing on some competitive super elite force, I figured I'd go with a more 'normal' line company and build up from 'green'.  And that means taking losses, learning, and not being the best at anything.  So, when they do pull off a victory, it'll feel all the better!   I did shoot for that old regimental and thus political system for the background, so I'm really glad it came across :)  That doesn't seem to be explored much -- I recall a line in Scars that the 16th had some very good quartermasters and requisition officers on Mars and Terra so they were nabbing a lot of the best stuff as it rolled off the assembly line, internally it's gotta be the same cut throat stuff, right?-- Gotta just love lots of troops, though eh?  And man, ooooh it does take a while to build up and paint up the legion forces with so many bodies and boxy transports but it is satisfying.  I definitely hear that, mate. 


Aah the template, just made 'em in photoshop and saved 'em.  It's kinda weird, but that got started when I realized that the FW black book font is just the standard run of the mill Berylium font that's been stretched a bit in some headings.  So, I quickly searched the book, found that page 12 of the first black book was blank, and scanned it for the texture and colour profile--evil me, I know- .  Then I took a quick snapshot of the legion structure page and the legion intro pages on my phone, tossed both of them over on Photoshop and just essentially size matched both pages.  The boxes and lines were just straight drawn boxes, not much special at all.  Then I deleted the guides so all that was left was the background and eye of horus. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, I had my first friendly taste of 30K in a while, so me and a friend played up a 1K intro game to dip our toes into the fray again. Call it a teaser of sorts...

Istvaan III- Outpost D-221


Hopefully I can conjure up a full bat-rep pretty quick!

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Well, the first battle report. Bear with me as I get these pictures right, B&C is being a bit on the touchy side right now.

Sorry it ain't something more grand but we all gotta start somewhere, and I'm just toying with the BBC code and what works image wise. Anyhow, on to the show!

Istvaan III- Outpost D221, Day 52

-1,000 points EC vs. SoH, War of Lies


he rolling thunder of a heavily armoured column echoes through the now empty expanse of Istvaan, breaking the unnatural stillness that shrouds the dead lands. A small column of pale green slithers across the path that was once a road, now obliterated by the apocalyptic windstorms that ravaged the region. The shattered husks of aged buildings form an aegis over the low roadway, their blasted windows like empty sockets silently judging the sons of the 16th that thread their way through the drifts in the lee of the desiccated structures. It was once an industrial complex in a suburb of the city, now it stands as a ruined monument to a human culture seemingly long dead. That was not its only deception.

Two immense Raider tanks head the small search and destroy group, their squadron commander bobbing in the cupola as he surveys the blasted landscape around him. The troops perched on the lone rhino lingering in the rear of the formation are far more relaxed. The back hatch of the rhino splays open, weighed down by the half dozen armoured warriors seated on the rim, each staring out at the world behind ruby-red armourglass lenses.

“We're still outnumbered, you know.” A legionnaire mutters, the external vox amps spitting his words in harsh monotone.

“Where, here?” His commander glances over his shoulder, white crest whipped back in the breeze. “Nah, there can't be more than five or ten thousand left.” The short exchange pulls the astartes attention back to the ruined maze of wind-scoured industrial works to the south-west. He stiffens, attention drawn to something remote, barely glimpsed among the rickety lattice of conduit pipes.

“It's not that, Sergeant.” The trooper continues despite the pause, “I mean in this war. Unless we're at Terra in a month we'll be outmatched, outgunned, outnumbered, and they'll be coming soon. It's three against fifteen-”

Sergeant Artax Cythensus sighs and looks back at him, “Trust in the warmaster, Hexal. Trust in Horus, and trust in prov-” A whip crack scream is the only warning as a hypervelocity shell slams into the lead raider's armoured glace in a shower of sparks, followed swiftly by a shriek of discharging las bolts that turn the whirling ash and sand to glass.

“Contact!” The commander kicks the Rhino's frame with his heel as it drunkenly swerves to the right, pitching down into an imperceptible gulch. The astarte slips from the armoured carrier, barely breaking stride as the first kiss of adrenal stims flood his veins.


Mission Briefing




Sons of Horus 65th Company, Lacashrian Platoon led by Arnius Tybessus

-Centurion “Arnius Tybessus”: Thunder Hammer, bolt pistol (Warlord Trait: Master of the Vanguard)

-Seekers (5): 5 combi-plasma

-Land Raider Proteus “Astron Lead”: Dozer blade, Twin Heavy Bolters

-Combat Squad Primus (10): Sergeant Cythensus (Power Sword)

-Rhino: Dozer blade

-Combat Squad Secundus (10): Corporal Voris (Power Sword)

-Land Raider Proteus “Death's Note”: Dozer blade, Twin Heavy Bolters

Emperors Children 22nd Millenial, Remnants

-Centurion Deligatus “Limantes Kallus”: Master crafted power axe, plasma pistol (Warlord Trait: Conqueror of Cities).

-Veterans “First” (9): Sergeant Candecus (lightning claw), Rhino Armoured Carrier

-“Second” (10): 2 plasma guns, Sergeant Gaius (Power Sword), Rhino Armoured Carrier

-Predator Tanks (2), Apollo (Autocannon, Las Cannon Sponsons), Bacchus (Autocannon, Las Cannon Sponsons)

-Outrider Squad “Quicksilver” (3): twin linked plasma guns, sergeant Indemius (Power Sword)



Turn 1

Sons of Horus

The lance of armoured vehicles continue their advance on the north eastern reaches of the industrial complex. The column's Rhino advances flat out, and with a thud, sheets itself in layers of thick obscuring smoke. Squad Primus advances, dismounted, in the wake of the armoured carrier in a wide circuit to the north west.


1: 2 shots, 2 hits, 1 pen, 5 Autocannon destroyed
Key Notes.
The lead Raider rolls down the old south road, lining its las-cannons up on the distant Predator nestled among the empty shipping containers in the shadow of a rusted catwalk. With a static crack, the bright ruby lances slice through the predator's autocannon, turning the barrel to molten slag1.


Emperors Children

Housed within his command rhino, Deligatus Kallus orders his armoured forces forward. Both APC's edge up to the ruins, providing a convenient screen for the small section of outriders behind them.

The battle tank Apollo barely hesitates despite the loss of its main gun. The land raider heedlessly stumbles forward, prematurely triumphant. The Predator's las cannons pivot up, adjust a fraction, and fire. With a hiss and crackle, the distant trundling form of the Land Raider is struck. It briefly flickers then and bulges obscenely as billowing pillars of flame split it in half with an echoing thunderclap. Several armoured forms tumble out from the wreck, wreathed in smoke and unceremoniously scrambling away as a secondary explosions tears the vehicle to blazing scrap, raining molten droplets down upon the ashen wastes1.


1: 2 Seekers die in the inferno, Moral test
passed with a 6.

2: 3 autocannon hits, 1 pen results in shaken.

Key Notes.
To the north, the Predator Bacchus spots the distant form of the Rhino advancing upon the concealed nest. Boxes and tarps built up around it reveal only the slight curvature of the turret and little else. It pivots, tracking the distant carrier. The predator's juttering flurry of shells sheers through metal plates and buckles plate, but the vehicle emerges through the fog with little more than superficial scars2.


Turn 2

Sons of Horus

“Advance, all forces advance!” The Lieutenant hisses into his microbead, almost fighting to free himself from the three Seekers pulling him back from the blazing wreck which set the hem of his cloak alight. He points to the distant shape of the predator as the second Raider grinds over the ruined wreckage of the first. Affirmations from Combat Squad Primus intone their compliance in the north1, while Corporal Voris's Squad Secundus responds with an affirmation click.

1: Advance roll of 5+1 for Master of the Vanguard
Key Notes.
Their transport passes by then halts, guns blazing into the distance. Both bolts reach out to the predator, scrabbling across its hull, leaving neat black scars on the resilient lavender paint but little else.

Emperors Children

As a well oiled machine befitting their legion's nature, the remnants of the 3rd legion let their plan unfurl. The pair of Rhino's cautiously skirt around the ruins, Deligatus Kallus stepping out into the harsh solar light that bakes the sand red as the dying planet's swirling clouds evaporate overhead in a whirling maelstrom. His outriders scream by behind him, hurling themselves across the gap towards the outer walkways, keeping to the shadows as they ready their trap.


1: 1 autocannon and 1 las hit, 1 glance,

1 penetrating hit wrecks the Rhino

Key Notes.
The staccato bark of an autocannon echoes off the metal trappings and cold refinery stacks. 'Contact eliminated', sergeant Galvanus leading the Predator Bacchus reports. Black smoke plumes spew into the horizon beyond the northern gantries1.


“Good.” Kallus replies and points to the nearby pillar, a small simple thing etched with names of the architects of Istvaan's Imperial compliance. Kallus led his group of warriors out in challenge, seeing the distant forms of loping astartes in the distance. “It's as good a day as any to see off a few more of Horus's rancid mutts.”


Turn 3

Sons of Horus

“Now,” Lieutenant Tybessus orders his Seeker bodyguard forward as Squad Secundus piles out of the Raider and into the breach. Tybessus had spotted the damned leader of the ragged enemy column, “For Horus, for the hope of a better tomorrow! Show them no mercy, give them no reprieve!” His Seeker bodyguards dart out in front with the cheering squad of thundering astartes by his side.


1: grenade hits 5, wounds 2, 1 saves.

18 bolter shots, 11 wounds, 9 saves

2: Seeker plasma hits 6, 1 precision shot is saved

with Look Out Sir for Kallus. 5 wounds.

3: In a nice little end note, 5 long range shots

produce 2 wounds, 2 fails, destroying the squad.

Key Notes.
Corporal Voris unlatched the first grenade pin, and pitches it into the assembling mass of chainsword wielding legionnaires. With a gutteral 'thump', the mass of boltguns blot out the squeal of armoured tracks in a roar of death. Scything curtains of bolter fire fell the first legionnaires even as the gory chunks of shattered armour and twisted limbs crash back to the ruined earth1. Seeker plasma bolts add to the destruction as they slice through the enemy mass with contemptuous ease. Some of the Warrior Lord's retinue hurl themselves in front of their commander, only to die for their efforts. The scarlet plumed sergeant falls in a spasming mass as his head is wrenched from his shoulders2. Dazed and disoriented, the last few warriors stagger only long enough to be caught by a renewed barrage of fire as Squad Primus advances upon the compound. In precious few seconds, only the black clad warrior is left. He stumbles back away from the scene of ruination3.

“Run, coward!” Tybessus calls, a wicked grin on his face as the twisted wounded grasp at their leader for succour, only to find he had disappeared.

Emperors Children

Even as the the 3rd legion's commander scrambled away from the destruction, his reserves roll forward. His second squad debarks in an efficient covering pattern, occupying the ruins. The bikes race by cover, circling around the walkways as the commander's rhino rolls forward to block off the walkways from the advancing squads of the 16th legion. The trap is sprung.


1: 6 shots, 5 hits, 4 wounds, look out sir passed

on sergeant. 18 bolter shots, 11 wounds, 9 saves

2: That 2 becomes a 1, and it becomes a dead


3: The Outriders, naturally, rolled for its moral

test and failed spectacularly while the Sons of

Horus Squad get Insane Bravery!

Key Notes.
Outrider bikes sweep in close in front of the Land Raider, chancing its wrath as they fire point blank into the mass of legionnaires now cut off from their objective. Hurtling forward, plasma bolts repeat the scene unleashed moments before, cutting down legionnaires left and right as they cluster together to protect their leader1. Something goes wrong, and with a flash, one of the bikes explodes, the front half disintegration and spinning end over end in a flurry of mangled parts2.

As the Raider guns its engine, the bikers break off, retreating away from the beast at top speed . Jeering cries of galvanized legionnaires greets their retreat3.

The crackle of heavier weapons cuts the silence, but no further pronouncement greets Kallus's ears, just the sharp cry of recall from the outrider's leader.


Turn 4

Sons of Horus

The Sons of Horus advance stalls. As the Predator Bacchus turns its weapons on Squad Primus, Cynthesus draws his troopers into cover, with just one or two emerging to snap shots out at the shadows flitting among the ruins.


1: Squad Secundus advances up the ladder a total

of 11 inches

2: Seeker's short range plasma predictably kill

the bikes, even if they jink.

3: 2 thunderhammer against an already damaged

Rhino. It didn't explode, though

Key Notes.
“Lieutenant?” The Seeker looks to their commander, and gets a nod at the unstated question. They peel off quickly, getting to open ground and kneeling as their illum sights target the retreating bikes. Squad Secundus, blocked by the enemy rhino, backtracks to the ladder and one by one, ascend to the gantry, hoping to get better shots at the foe within the industrial maze1.

Even as the Raider's las bolts electrify the dead air leading to more whirling as the gyroscopic mounts attempt to correct their aim again, the sharp 'crack' from the Seeker's report is evidence enough that their task was complete2.

Tybessus shoulders his thunderhammer, letting the immense metal hulk crackle with power, and hurls himself bodily at the Rhino, “You're in my way!” With a wild two handed swing, he throws his whole body into it. The weapon discharges with a cataclysmic boom that sends up a sheet of dust, and a secondary crackle. Amid the coughing, hacking fit of the rhino's dying engines, it rolled forward a fraction before a second thunderblow caves in the whole right half of the driver's side compartment. With a final splutter, the engine dies. Haphazardly, the lieutenant gazes into the open rent where the thunderhammer tore open the armoured carrier, seeing the spattered remains of the driver across half the cabin3.


Emperors Children

*1: Despite cover, a mix of long and short range,

and Going to Ground, the Emperor's Children kill 4

of the last 5 legionnaires including the sergeant.

*2: Predator fire kills 2 more astartes in Squad

Primus. Both line squads flee.

Key Notes.
The remaining 3rd legion squad spreads out among the ruins, finding ideal firing spots to repulse any ground attack, setting sites and awaiting the inevitable.

As the first of the Warmaster's forces crest the ramparts, shielded by a morass of pipes and conduits, they had already sighted in the ranges. In a flurry of precision fire, the Sons of Horus fall in droves, caught completely by surprise. Amidst the scream of shot and shell, armoured bodies thunder to the dust below, tossed from the ramparts in bloody ruins1.


The Bacchus picks out the few movements with aquilline precision, and in a juddering thump of autocannons and las bolts herald another announcement. 'Lord Kallus, the advance has been halted. Enemy forces withdrawing.'2



Turn 5

Sons of Horus

“Trooper!?” Tybessus rushes past the one trooper down the ladder, seeing the warrior check on his commander. There was hesitation, but a sharp gesture quickly directs the warrior further to the south, though he keeps low and away from obvious fire lanes. A signal of intonation tells the lieutenant what he already knew, his short advance had been halted, Cythensus reported falling back towards the refinery stack. It was just in time, he crouches in the lee of a distillation tower next to a trio of dark armoured forms.


1: After 4 turns of shooting, not one but two

shots slip through and both were 'explodes'. 'Can

you do that? Can you explode twice?!'

Key Notes.
With a bestial roar, the second line Raider rolls forward. It twists its immense las-blackened bulk, settles in, and spits another pair of ruby lances at the distant predator. A cacophonous blast rips the turret from its rings, slamming it against the walkway as billowing clouds of soot and ash erupt from the rapidly contorting wreckage. 'This is Death's Note, target destroyed.'1


Emperors Children

1: The predator autocannon kills 2 astartes, and

squad Primus promptly fails its moral again. They

fall back to Objective 5.

Key Notes.
Sensing the demise of its sibling, Bacchus roars forward, splintering the sand-packed boxes that protected it thus far and turning on the squad that had halted their flight. The clatter of autocannon shells detonates, sending pieces of power armour flying in chunks across the plains and scattering the squad further1.

The last remaining rhino spots the lone shadow of Squad Sencondus through the tangle of rampart stanchions, and after a dull blurt of bolter fire, loses track of the figure.


Turn 6

Sons of Horus

1: Tempest shells and frag grenade add up to an

incredible 42 hits, killing 6 legionnaires

including both plasma gunners. They retreat.

2: 1 obscured shot penetrates and shakes the APC.

Key Notes.
As the Raider moves to reposition itself, the seeker squad and their lieutenant dart into the expanse. The hunkered down forces of the third draw a bead at the charging figures, about to fire as the first flurry of tempest splinter shot explodes among their ranks with a flurry of guttural roars. The tempest fills the ruins with a rain of death: shot after shot sending up plumes of dust, pulping power armour, and mincing flesh with reckless abandon. A grenade from Tybessus churns up a mass of near liquefied legionnaires, turning the defensive redoubt into an abattoir. Despite the cries of their Deligatus, the veterans reel back, dragging him with them1.


The Death's Note sends a scintillating beam of fire roiling across the void, impacting against the stationary Rhino, turning its track guard to slag. The vehicle rumbles forward before it can solidify on the tracks, spitting molten metal like a waterfall2.

Emperors Children

1: Rhino attempts to tank shock the Seekers, and

after a passed Moral test, Death or Glory is

Chosen. The Lieutenant's thunderhammer connects,

causing the rhino to explode.

2: 1 Las cannon shot hits, a look out sir it

passed on the sergeant, and one seeker is turned

inside out. Moral test passed.

Key Notes.
Kallus halts his squad, sending them into cover, edging up towards the old entranceway towards the rhino in case they had to fall back. Back and forth his warriors were already assessing their possible withdrawl vectors.


Rocking forward, the Rhino guns its engines as it swings towards the crested warrior and the trio of elite warriors. The armoured carrier's driver slams the accelerator, seeing the undaunted foe. Lieutenant Tybessus shoulders his hammer, letting the vehicle come to him. He swings in a final note of utter contempt. And, with an unearthly crash, the hammer descends on the front glace, splitting it in half in a guttering explosion as the ruptured fuel tanks ignore on contact with the molten metal. The Rhino explodes in a roar of detonated fyceline leaving a quartet of figures standing in the heat haze1.


The remaining predator attempts to dominate it as the figures stand in stark relief. The Seeker's sergeant is shoved aside, one of his remaining warriors bisected at the waist by a las cannon bolt while the rest rattle off hardened ceramite as the 16th legion commander braves the lethal storm2.



all back and consolidate ground.' Hexal's orders flashed over his visor. He crouched in the dust at the base of the dull beige refinery stack, boltgun held at the ready. The legionnaire could still hear the groan of the predator tank nearby, and could have spat when they were sent reeling from the monstrous beast. The oily smoke of smouldering armour and components filtered through his helmet, but he refused to seal his armour. Something about it felt like it should be something remembered. The first real test against astartes, like a hammerblow in the back of his head, he felt this had significance.

The legionnaire was so lost in his thoughts and immediate visual scans, that he only vaguely registered footsteps behind him. “Haxal.” Cythensus said, his power sword unpowered as it lay across his shoulder. “Displace if you see that damned tank again. You're in charge here, I'm taking Torrax and Fairanks to see if the driver's dead or not. Death's Note will be here in a few seconds, keep an eye out and report anything.”

Haxal nodded, looking around for sign of renewed ambush. It felt hollow, not gallant, but like he was bleeding out into the sand without reason or gain. Tilting his head up to the sky, he watched the errant breezes mixing the smoke from a number of vehicles, not all of them belonging to the 65th... “I wonder if they feel the same.”



65th Company:

Death Toll: +5

Obj 5: +2 VP, Obj 4: -3 VP

22nd Millenial:

Death Toll: +2

Obj 3: +1

65th Victory 4-3


After Action:

Okay, so... like, that felt new. This does feel like it's building on my real thought that 'I like troops!' but also, man, 30K is still gonna be more complicated than I recall. It's fun, it's not that bad, but the sequencing is still gonna take a little bit. I almost feel like I didn't do the tempest bolts right, but they're just like any other blast weapon, and... is there a reason people don't take them? They might not be strong but yeash, on Bs5 troops they aren't bad against legionnaires. I do feel I basically contractually need the vexillia after so many failed leadership checks, more were failed than passed.

Anyway, it's a weird break from 8E and Kill Team, requires some readjustment. I know that I looked up at my opponent when the close combat squad tumbled out, saying "you sure?" Again, she said the same thing when I brought a line squad up onto the ramparts and got them blown to pieces. Lot of those here, we both wanted more troops but that requires, y'know, more points and we wanted a more or less mirrored grouping here.

Bit of a rules question: The Deligatus's squad was killed to the last man, leaving only him alone in the unit: so as the unit no longer exists he doesn't have to take a test as an Independent Character, correct? Just checking.

Beyond that, it was just an intro game, but I had fun. Hey, hopefully I'll get a chance to get in some more full fledged games and post up some more reports.

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That was a really enjoyable report mate, the mix of narrative and information was just right to keep it engaging but also to clear as to what was happening. The little key notes and frequent images also helped in that regard (cool idea re. the key note boxes). Good to see you triumph over the IIIrd princelings, though it sounds a very close game, with some cinematic moments (thunder hammer wielding officer halting the oncoming tank).


Interesting to see your thoughts about transitioning from eighth to HH, whilst I've been building my 30k force, I've only been playing eighth, however that should hopefully soon change.

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Thanks Pearson, dude!  It does mean a lot as I uuuuslaly either write straight narrative or snap a few photos (usually it ends up on dice rolls as I'm notoriously unlucky). Doing a proper battle report hasn't been a thing for me, well, not for 10 years anyway.  


Man there was a few really close and wonky rolls there (the bikes panicking themselves was, y'know, a thing that I didn't expect.  Or the EC's never actually getting into combat which was a little disappointing).  There was definitely a few chances to scoop up some more points for the 3rd that just came down to rolls that didn't pan out but it was pretty close.  Especially after seeing a Raider go up in flames turn 1. -laughs- the Thunderhammer thing was an odd one, it' a Rhino killer.  Not sure how much of a compliment that is, kinda like saying he's the meanest kid in third grade.  


Oh man, from 8th and KT to 30K is tough.  I mean, part of it is simply edition bleed in that it still doesn't quite work the same as 7th or 8th, and thus a lot of the synchronization and nit-picking things really add up.  The 'which way is my board edge when I've got two' came up a few times, the facings were were gracious with but man that can open up a lot of issues.  I'll see how Age of Darkness feels as a system in a few more games, I think, but man it feels right on the cusp of unnecessarily finicky.  Plays pretty decently, just it has some stuff which makes it really feel like a past edition.


Aye, going forward I'm gonna try to toy with the BBC code... admittedly it killed about 5 hours of my time telling me a certain image extension wasn't valid... that was a thing. 

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It's obviously a topic that's been heavily discussed before, but it is interesting to contrast seventh and eighth (well, I kinda transitioned from sixth to eighth, but...); having played eighth, I really find that it's too stripped down, with the lack of facings, moving and shooting changes and complete lack of customisation available in unit building. However, there are aspects I do appreciate, the armour piercing mechanic and ability to split fire, for example. In my mind, we need something in between, though, as I say, I'm not hugely experienced with either system.

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I'm still going at it as a person who remembered it from prior to the AoD system with 6-7E in mind, but it's interesting. I'm much more favourable towards 8th as a whole for the base game of 40K (and I play a lot, but it's usually Astartes on Astartes battles with some nids and tau tossed in on the side), but 30K suffers from less issues because of the homogenous nature of the core units involved. It's not 'bland' or 'boring' by any means, but things function cohesively which lessens some of the complexities that the earlier system build in as it's still mostly Astartes. My problem with a lot of earlier versions of the system is that they wanted to be simulationist and in some ways it might be really granular, but it's still has some notable cases of being floaty and vague: facings and such is one of those spots that I love in concept but in execution it can be really weird*. All in all, AoD has some great points, so does 8E.


Aye, I'd like to see an AoD 2.0 but what I'd like a lot of people likely wouldn't. Because of the relative lack of Monstrous creatures, tanks feel perfectly workable as 'vehicles' but a few more hard coded 'notions' about facings would be preferable to me (even just on vehicle diagrams in the unit entry). I've found I don't like templates because being really 'conscientious' about coherency isn't so tactical as it is tedious, 30K's terrain rules crossed with some of the to-hit penalties from Kill Team's environs are ideal for me rather than 8E's sincere lack of anything resembling sense there (or the kinda outa whack AoD 'my wheat field blocked your death ray' method). Bring in some split fire, the AP reduction system (and regulate it! It's gone crazy right now), and variable movement speeds from 8th, some of the cover mechanics from Kill Team, keep the vast majority of AoD's stuff including unit and force construction, missions, moral, and vehicle mechanics. Then it's more of a clean up in presentation (USR's in unit entries and such).


All in all, both systems work... just Xenos ruin everything :P


Thanks Hushrong, dude!  I'll definitely try to keep it up and get some more of these in the works.  Painted up stuff always appeals to me and I'll try to keep it that way and get some o' me mates to finish up their painting too. Hah, and more warzones are on their way (ordered in some more battle mats, think I may even by another in a day or two). Aaaah, now to decide my next legion force as the 65th is almost complete for the moment.


*I mean, I get that it's in quadrants but that changes, and you can take a side shot from the front arc if the front is more obscured and it just gives a cover save to the side, but at that point the angle would make a vehicle's effective armour as high or higher than the front armour because a projectile  going through on an angle punches through more material by virtue of the tangental distance being greater than the perpendicular distance, thus the effective armour is artificially much thicker. Which is the reason rounded turrets and such existed... and where is the blasted corner!? Gah.

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Ahhhhhhhh, so this is where you're hanging out, Vykes. Glad I found it. Your background fluff is superb... and looks pretty, too. :) And that was a terrific batrep with the combination of narrative and pics.


I look forward to following this and seeing more narrative and painting.

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Hah, good ta see ya found my little hide-out here in the 30K section, Fortis :P Yeah been busy working this up and putting a bunch of stuff together but haven't gotten much actually 'completed'. But that should chance soon, I hope. Off to do some work right now, actually. :) I always try to make it nice and pretty, kinda fun to replicate the FW look and maybe get some insights on how to make these things work... right now, I'm kinda wondering about how to use some of the boxes for BBCoded pictures. Should be fun going forward!


Will do Hushrong, mate, will do.


And thanks too, Son of Carnelian! I'm hoping to maaaybe get in a bigger game in against a mate who wants to borrow my IX legion boys soon. So hoping to get another bat-rep soon enough, too. Gotta sharpen up those presentation skills.


What ever happened to narrative plog bat-reps? I swear the vast majority I see are just like 500 word long bullet points or recorded on shaky cam.

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Fantastic report! Really enjoyed the way you presented the text and the photos were great.


I’m pretty sure you get access to all specialist rounds for the seeker squad which makes them a fairly flexible unit. I recently used a six man seeker team in a zone mortalis game. Tempest rounds were absolutely brutal, I wiped a ten man tactical squad with reactionary fire as they charged me.


Looking forward to seeing more!



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Thanks Cadmus Tycho, dude! Yeah I'm hoping to get a few games to keep it rolling: Dark Angels, Blood Angels, maybe some Imperial Fists boarding action (using some D&D dungeon tiles because... why not?)

Man, Seekers are great, I think I'm gonna be figuring out how to make my 9th legion beaky vets into seekers. Man, with the void rules in Zone Mortalis, I can absolutely see Tempest rounds being absolutely devastating. Man, I really shouldn't like seekers as much as I do, and they are just so expensive.




Lets see how images in a box works. Hah, nailed it!

Update #1 (And trying out the BBCode stuff) Well, got a few things base painted, just waiting for 'em to dry and put on a wash. Honestly they never look like much at this stage. But it's a nice solid start. Gah, ran out of my usual corks to mount up all the infantry so I guess the rest will have to wait till tomorrow or Monday (going to head to the shop later and snag a Vindicator).

And hey, would ya look at that, the BBC image box code works great! Gonna have to go back and rework some of the bat-rep images like that so they can be min-maxed in the good way (not the win at all costs way, that time is looooong past).

Edited by Vykes
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I stand impressed, Brother Vykes, you do a great job. I think it really pleases our beloved Warmaster! Seeing the enthusiasm and such great work what I found in the halls of B&C is that drew me back to the community. 

I really looking forward to learn more on the 65th company and I hope that we will see more battle reports! That's what I really miss, and hunt for the on the web - great batreps in the Heresy :wink:

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Thanks mates!

Aye, DreadfulSagittary! I really really miss those old school narrative battle reports and 30K is my jam as a setting, so if I can do it and provide some fun for other people, then that's a major win for me! The 65th is edging closer and closer to completion (and now I'm wondering if I should do the whole of the 17th Reavers) but I guuuueeeess I should work on some antithesis force, which is likely just my angels.

Glad to be of service, Marshal, sah! Man, I miss doing bat reps. Lets see if I can get some more in, soon. Juuuust waiting for some more gaming mats.

Hah, Hushrong, mate, I'm hoping I can get this Mastadon lookin' right. It's mostly done but I have some chipping and maybe some more effects to go.

Got 2 sics, so bit of a vote: do they go to the Blood Angels, or the Sons of Horus? Got some scimitars, more infantry, and apothecaries for the 16th coming right up with a Vindi and a third Rhino.

Aaaaaand painting update! Maybe a lore update when I finish up the 65ths heavy weapon support squads. Should be goin' on tomorrow.




Gotta replace those images, but what do you expect from 8:30 PM in a country where the sun's down at 6 this time of year :tongue.:

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Oh damn, the Mastadon is looking excellent surrounded by the foot support, it's going to look even better in a cinematic shoot or on the field. It absolutely dwarfs the Rhino, hadn't realised quite how big they were.


The air wing is a sight to behold too, your force is really branching out into a full-on legion at this rate, how many points can you muster now?


Though I do love your Sons of Horus, I think the Sicarans would look ace in the Angels' red.

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