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  1. Exactly what it says on the tin. For some time now, Umbral & I have been engaged in a slow-burning effort at doing various Unification Wars bits and pieces; and I've also noticed a reasonable uptick in people either doing their own logs/projects, or otherwise taking quite an interest in this period (lookin' at you, Honda; EdT, etc.). Part of the 'fun' with 30k modelling has always been the 'historical wargamer' side of things - attempting to get armour marks correct, and avoid anachronisms with equipment issue etc.; but with the added bonus that it's generally felt like a springboard to greater creativity (hence why my loyalist IVth are in Mk.VI - based off that minor fluff-piece about prototype suits being shipped to the Iron Warriors for field-evaluation and being wildly unpopular with Perturabo) rather than the 'straitjacket' it can seem like with "proper" historical modelling. 'Back in the day', before Forgeworld and the Black Library started detailing the Heresy properly, this meant a fair bit of what I suppose you might call "detective work" - figuring out when items of kit etc. became available and to whom, as well as any other details we could, based around piecing together stuff from Index Astartes articles, codex art, and whatever else was available to 'fill in the [then-unfathomable] blanks'. I'm interested in bringing this approach to the Wars of Unification - both because I'm quite keen on getting things 'period-accurate' with my output (I mean, if I'm going to put in a rather significant amount of effort in the conversion-work for each individual miniature .. may as well do it *right*, right?), and also because - like I said - it's a 'springboard for creativity' that considerably helps guide (and expedite) my modelling choices. I therefore thought it a prudent idea to get a thread going devoted to exactly this - attempting to work out what was in service during the Wars of Unification, and when it may have come into service; along with potential conjecture about predecessors and prototypes and suchlike that fill 'gaps' in our understanding, mayhap; and 'useful notes' about the elements in question (like whether it was an STC design or somebody 'invented' it, who tended ot make or comprise whatever it is, what it was brought in to replace, how it differs (especially visually) from its 30k and 40k 'descendents' (if applicable), tactical or strategic notes on employment, etc.). The scope of this thread isn't intended to *just* be about hardware (although for obvious reasons, that's quite important), but also about *formations* [e.g. the hexagrammaton style Astartes organizational template], roles and ranks [e.g the Imperial Herald proto-chaplain position; the Indian military ranks that Thunder Warriors appear to use per Outcast Dead], units, forces and regiments [e.g. the Lucifer Blacks etc.], as well as the various different kinds of super-soldier [e.g. Thunder Warriors, Custodes, Astartes, etc.]. But also very definitely .. the hardware! It'd be great to have citations, links, even pictures and such where possible - whether official, or peoples' fan-efforts that're worthy of note. I'll take a stab at some research and what not during my next wake-cycle; but eagerly look forward to seeing what others come up with in the mean-time. I'm particularly interested at the moment in 'small-arms' - bolters, whatever came before bolters, volkites, meltaguns, plasma weapons etc. : when they entered service if it was during Unification, waht patterns/what did they look like, and so forth. I'm sure others will also find all this very useful.
  2. Would it be good for 40K to destroy of Terra? With the loss of humanity's cradle, the Imperium will need to reset and rebuild. Would this be good for future 40K story ? I think so, it would be a something that we would not expect and would make a excellent campaign for us to play. Edit: thanks for the Title update, it really improved context of the topic.
  3. Tiber wandered through the halls of the Fifth, drifting from chamber to chamber, a lost soul unable to find the quiet of the grave. The expedition had been successful. Tiber and his squad, assisted by the Librarian Seyth, had brought fire and fury to a dozen worlds and slaughtered thousands in the Emperor's name. Most were servants of Chaos. A few had once been loyal servants of the Emperor's Legions. Upon awakening in this Dark Imperium he had been told of many things, not least of all the great betrayals of ten millennia past. They had all struggled to accept such things were possible; the very idea that the Legions and their Primarchs could forsake the Emperor was the single most farcical thing any man could ever have envisioned. But then, as he had learned and was still learning every day, this world was every bit a farce. It was difficult to express these feelings to his battle brothers, especially those outside of the squad. This reality was all they'd ever known; a world that had taken everything the Emperor valued and cast it away in the name of foolish superstition. How could he explain the Imperial Truth to someone who was convinced, unshakably, that upon death their "soul" would journey to Terra and stand beside the Emperor's throne? In time he lost the will to wander and sat himself down upon a marble bench. He sat hunched over with helmet in hand. It was both old and new at the same time; new for him, but the Chapter had built it thousands of years ago. It was a Corvus helm, based upon the finest suits developed prior to the... the event he could not name. Not even in the privacy of his own thoughts. He had stood against the Death Guard and seen visions of the Legions slaughtering one another, and yet he still could not accept it. "The Librarian said you would be here," a harsh voice growled at him from the shadows. The speaker stepped forward and the harshness became apparent; his voice emanated from a vox-grille in the centre of a dulled metal choker. "What Librarian?" he asked the Techmarine. Rather than answer, the Techmarine raised his axe and gestured to a side passage. "Along here, Brother. Best not keep the Old Ones waiting." Without a word of explanation, the Techmarine led Tiber through mile after mile of service corridors and maintenance tunnels threading deep below the surface of Tasal. Here and there signs of damage and hasty repair suggested that the Tyrannic War had waged in these dark places, and in the cold gloom one couldn't help but note the Trygon sized stretches of fresh plaster. In due course the tunnels gave way to a wider chamber, most likely an armoury. Servitors plodded through the corridor or trundled along, slaved to tracked machines of bizarre design. Their actions stirred the air and blew wafts of oil, sweat and incense into Tiber's nostrils. After a while he paused and stuck out his tongue to better taste the air. For a moment, it tasted of a dried up river. But only for a moment. At last, the Techmarine seemed to notice him again. "He sleeps through here. We have entered the Noosphere and spoken to his dreams. He will awaken shortly." "I still do not know why I am here," Tiber replied, exasperated. "I was told you were to speak to the Old One, and so you shall," the Techmarine answered calmly before standing aside to make room for the Primaris. Inside the chamber was yet another relic of the past. The Supernovas claimed to have been created in the Second Founding, and Tiber had to admit their collection of antiques certainly supported the claim. This one in particular was truly impressive; a Contemptor Dreadnought, much like the ones that once strode beside the Legions during the Great Crusade. At Tiber watched the machine began to stir. It did not awaken fully from its dormant state, but the feeds and cables rattled as the pilot was coaxed back into the world of the living. With a low electric hum the great eyes of the machine's helmet flickered into life, casting dull red beams down onto the chamber floor. "Tiberius," the voice seemed to echo from every corner of the room at once. "Yes, I am Sergeant Tiberius of the Fifth," Tiber replied. "The Dream said you wished an audience with me. That only I would do, no other. No other is old enough," there was a deep rumbling from the Contemptor as its body rose upright in its cradle, allowing the eyes to fix on the Primaris. "Why have you roused me from my slumber?" Tiber fought the urge to back away from the giant machine. It was unarmed, and even if it were the Dreadnought would have no reason to harm him, yet Tiber feared its wroth all the same. "I... I do not know. I was summed to you just as you were summoned to me. I only know it was a Librarian who wished me to meet you." The eyes of the machine flared brightly for a moment, "‚ÄčLibrarians! Practitioners of forbidden sorcery! Mark me, boy; no good comes of listening to their counsel!" "Duly noted, Old One," Tiber replied diplomatically. There was a long pause as the Contemptor settled himself, letting the sudden flare of anger slowly burn away. "Laerta," he said at last, "My name was Laerta, named for Laertes, Hero of Tasal." "I do not know of him." "Hah. Perhaps you know him by some other name. They cannot even remember my name most of the time. Is that why you came? To learn of Laertes? Or, perhaps, of me?" Tiber sighed and hung his head, "Knowing my Brothers this is some elaborate prank. No doubt they are snickering at the thought of me stood here, embarrassing myself and wasting your precious time." A strange sound escaped the Contemptor; an almost wistful hiss, "Would that I had time worth wasting. I had nought to do today but dream of the old days. I was dreaming of the amber fields of Canyor, of Far Xason and the wondrous machines of Yakliht. When the Tyranids came I walked again under the sun, and when the slaughter ended I strode off in search of these places again. Canyor's fields had been swallowed by the trees; Xason, fallen into the sea; of Yakliht I found nothing, not even a myth. There is a world above my head, but it is not Tasal. Tasal exists now only in my dreams..." Tiber listened to the Contemptor's words in contemplative silence, and as the ancient warrior's thoughts drifted he realised why he had been led here. He took a knee and placed the Corvus helm down carefully upon the stone floor so that he could look into its eyes and see his past reflecting back. "I was born on Terra. Not the Terra that exists now, Terra as it was. Terra as the Emperor wished it to be. I grew up in Old Albia, in the war-clade shelters of Merrecynd. I learned the Imperial Truth in the shadow of the Broken Spire, and it was hard to learn with all the noise. Every day hammering, sawing, roaring of engines, all the sounds of a city being rebuilt. One day, they said, one day Merrecynd will be great again." "What fate befell Merrecynd?" the Contemptor asked. Tiber pretended not to hear him, "There was a legend I had learned from the cradle. Merrecynd had been a river town once, before the rivers boiled away in atomic fire. Ravens used to roost in the warlord's spire, and legend had it that if the ravens ever abandoned the city the river would burst its banks and Merrecynd would crumble. My grandparents told me that, one day, the ravens all fled. A week later the Thunder Warriors smashed down the walls, toppled the spire and slaughtered anyone foolish enough to stand against them. Many, many souls were so foolish. Not my grandparents though; they saw the Emperor as a saviour, not a conqueror." "I am curious, Tiberius of the Fifth; how does one so young have memories of such an age?" At last, Tiber met Laerta's gaze again, "because from my perspective only a few short years have passed since those days. I was to join the Legions, the Dusk Raiders, and fight across the stars to spread the Imperial Truth. Instead I was sealed away in suspended animation, only to awaken as what I am now." "A 'Primaris', yes? A Primarch's vision of the future?" Tiber gave a short, pained laugh, "No. A citizen of the Imperium, called upon to fight for a degenerate mockery of everything the Imperium stood for." Afterwards, with the clarity of hindsight, Tiber wondered if he had gone too far with those words. Still, Laerta had apparently recognised them for what they were; an expression of pain, not disloyalty. "I knew a man who suffered as you do," the Contemptor said in as kindly a tone as its booming voice could manage, "His name was Laertes, and he was a great warrior of the Ultramarines Legion. When the Word Bearers broke from the Imperium he was forced to slay men he'd once called brother, an act that he never truly came to terms with. I was named for him, as so many were; names like 'Lata', or 'Lasa' are bastardisations of his name, corrupted by the native tongues of this world. Like you he longed for a better time, and he wished to recreate those times with us. We were to be Laertes' Legionaries, for if he commanded a Legion then he could pretend the Heresy had never come to pass." Tiber, to his own surprise, couldn't help but smile at the tale, "You are saying I am like the Chapter Master of old? Longing for the Imperium of my youth?" "Perhaps, had things been different, you two would have fought side by side... although, if the Death Guard had recruited you as intended, it is more likely you would have fought against him." "I would never have turned against the Imperium!" Tiber answered sharply, rising quickly to his feet to answer the challenge to his loyalty. There was a brief dimming of the Dreadnought's eyes, "I chose my words poorly. Forgive my rudeness." "There is nothing to forgive," Tiber replied as his mind returned to his encounter with the Plague Marine. The Contemptor was right. There, but for a quirk of fate went he. Would he have sold his soul to the Dark Gods for revenge as they had? Or would he have been one of the Warp-touched Traitors who gunned them down? These were not pleasant thoughts, and so he swiftly banished them. "I know now why I am here," Tiber said with confidence. "I am here to ask you a question: do you believe the Tasal of your dreams can be restored?" The Dreadnought fell silent as its pilot considered the question. At length, the booming voice returned, "I believe that it is only truly lost when no soul has the courage to fight for its restoration." "Thank you, Ancient," Tiber answered with a low bow. He rose, then knelt to retrieve his helmet. "Do not leave," Laerta commanded. "All the brothers of my age, and yours, are long dead. I miss the dreams they shared with me. Indulge me, Tiberius, and reminisce of Terra as you remember it." Tiber smiled at the Dreadnought. "I would like to be remembered as 'Tiber', if you don't mind."
  4. This plog will chronicle my attempts to build, paint and fluff out the tales of those few legionaries left behind to record the glories and the deaths of the Great Crusade, The Crusader Host. "Those that remain, that record and that do not fight as their brothers fight, and die out in the galaxy." Remembrancer Bista Batnis 50 years before the Istvaan Tragedy It must have been a hard thing, to not rant and rave, to simply wait for the next update from the roving fleets and expeditions. For the news that they had been recalled to their brothers and could pass on the burden. I imagine these poor warriors to have been bored, perhaps proud and most definitely bitter. Some were outcasts, some were heroes and some simply were. Often older Terran Veterans with sharp memories of conquering regions they now paraded through. I like to think that Macaldor would have understood this and perhaps put them to work, ferreting out small security issues, setting challenges not unlike those of the Cutodes and even perhaps the odd minor insurrection put down amongst the warring nobles. That is what I intend to explore here. I will not be able to update often, nor will it be of the quality of the regulars here but perhaps it will amuse, or even stir a little curiosity. "Some came in their legion's best plate, resplendent in records of glory, carrying trophies of deeds done and enemies slain, others were there as punishment, others where abandoned because they didn't fit. In my explorations of their deeds on and around Terra I recovered no small amount of evidence pointing towards their being a number amongst them akin the Silent Sisterhood, similar in gene code and even mildly repellent to those who carried the power of witchery. But then some legions also sent their witches, outcast in their eyes. So perhaps in my elderly years I have simply found that you can often acquire evidence where ever you look." Remembrancer Bista Batnis Sometime during the Scouring http://images.dakkadakka.com/gallery/2017/1/17/851065_sm-Galaxy%20map.jpg In order to tie all these models together I intend to use this as my base, and place models near their legions world if possible. WIPs to come...
  5. Yes, you read that right. Umbral and I are actually going to do a segment of the Unification Wars in [broadly] 28mm scale. And this isn't just a pipe-dream or a "we're planning on doing X wouldn't it be cool" ... we've actually already got half a dozen miniatures made, and another several already finely WIP; plus some reasonable setting-details to make it all make sense in. In terms of a bit of backstory for just *why* we're attempting to luridly illustrate one of the most exotically unknown parts of the 40k timeline ... some of you might have caught our various other Vox Stellarum logs either here or over on Ammobunker. The idea with these has always been to bring together the three things we love most about 40k [i.e. uniquely converted miniatures, well-crafted stories of narrative resonance and 4-dimensionality, and the fluff and setting we get to play with both in] as a sort of living novel or something. We have yet to play a game, despite spending almost a year on these projects thus far ... but with all of the incredible detail of characterization, background, and lovely LOVELY figures that we've racked up [cheers Umbral], it almost doesn't matter. It started out with an intent to run an Inq28/Inquisimunda campaign set somewhere proximate to the 'contemporary' 41st Millennium. That's still on-track. Then I said "wouldn't it be cool if..." [famous words of inspiration no doubt responsible for all manner of leaps both forward and backward apace in human history] "...we did Inq28 style gaming in the Horus Heresy - there's all SORTS of smaller-scale 'narrative' actions and plotlines we could explore in amidst the big battles!" - and so we started doing that as well [also still on-track, and progressing very nicely, if I do say so myself!]. And we briefly batted around a few ideas about Unification Wars stuff [because ever since reading Outcast Dead, and some part of Prospero Burns, as well as elements of the Black Books fluff, ti's been seriously prominent in my brain for some reason], although it always seemed a bit of an idyl day-dream reather than a serious miniatures project. Particularly with all the other stuff we get up to hobby-wise [we haven't even done a project-log for our other 'closer-to-40k' setting yet...]. But Umbral, bless him, had an idea one day and mocked up a few figures [which you'll be seeing shortly] using some Bretonnian Men A Arms I had sitting around mixed with some Cadian parts, and it instantly became apparent that he'd just made WW1 British Soldiers in a Lower-Tech Science Fiction Setting. "They're Albian Ironsides", he declared. And so they were, too! This naturally lead to two follow-up question: first up, what sort of setting could we plug them into ... and second, what would I be doing to go with them? The answer to the first, well you'll see a few elements of what we've come up with in due course. And as for the second ... THUNDER WARRIORS. I absolutely HAD to have Thunder Warriors. They're quite iconic for the Unification era obviously - but the concepts put together by most people thus far just don't quite 'do' it for us. Most of them are too small, or too 'clean' or too overtly "Marine-like". And fair enough. IT's an ill-fleshsed out area of fluff depiction [with even the otherwise wonderful Blanche illusrations basically having them in Mk.V Power Armour for some inexplicable reason], an dmost poeple can't be bothered to do truly 'original' things when playing around with a concept - so you get slightly converted plastic marines with Cadian HEavey Weapons Team sunglasses heads and plumes. We were wondering about usng some of th elarger Khorn Bloodbound heroes from Age of Sigmar, but were still umming and ahhing. Until in one of those totally 'meant to be' feats of serendipity, somebody screwed up a seriously bulk order we'd just done [which was supposed to include Horus Lupercal for an experiment in making a truescale Space Wolf Terminator for our Horus Heresy game ... but instead wound up with us getting most of a Leman Russ for some reason], thus leaading to Umbral having parts on his hands and a sudden flash of inspiration... You'll see the result of that particular happy 'accident' a little later. But the basic result was, we wound up realizing that the Primarch figures by Forge World were probably our best bet at doing Thunder Warriors - particularly as we already do everything else truescaled anyway, and they had lovely 'unique' armour-sets to them that quite clearly weren't ordianry Marine armour, and came handily with a lot of 'lower tech' elements [for example, Mortarion has what apppears to be CHAINMAIL in the gaps in his plate]. Now, some might disagree with our take on Thunder Warriors. THat's OK. It's your hobby after all. But after taking a look at their representation in The Outcast Dead, it became readily apparent that these guys were BIG. Bigger than Marines, in fact. Fully capable of taking on several of them at once AND WINNING [as proven by the incident related in the World Eaters/Warhounds fluff-piece from th relevant Black Book]. So with this in mind, we set out to create what I can only describe as table-top Demigods. Not the ordered, somewhat more 'predictable' and 'sanctified' Avataras or Aspects of the Emperor which the Primarchs are - but the sort of folk whom Babu Dhakal evokes in one's mind when one reads his bits in The Outcast Dead. Except in their PRIME rather than once they're cancer-ridden husks of their former selves once hte wars of Unification have already been won. Oh, and we also decided to give our Primarch-based Thunder Warriors an array of 'twists' based around the idea that they're not simple 'line' Thunder Warriors, but perhaps bespoke crafted [rather than 'off the rack'] creations for more 'particular' purposes. Kinda like forerunners to the actual Marine legions perhaps. Anyway, I'm rambling. On with the show!
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