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  1. PRIORITY OMEGA! Knut and Grimlock are back with episode 2 and this time they are tasked with reinforcing a beleaguered force of Imperial Fists & PDF attempting to stop a Daemonic summoning ritual! Will they stop the summoning or will the planet fall into further darkness?
  2. INCOMING TRANSMISSION *********************************************** The Cicatrix Maledictum has split the galaxy in two. Entire systems cut off from Holy Terra or lost forever in the warp. Or so it seems.... Scylla Quintus, a system thought swallowed by the great rift, has come back into view. With the return of this lost system, what mysteries are held and what threats lie in wait? Are you seeking this system to claim newfound glory, seize forgotten arcaeotech or simply to purify this warp tainted system? *********************************************** So the local group is doing another crusade campaign with a twist, we’re adding the old planetary empire rules as well. Got a bunch of tiles and everything. With the new codex dropping and those new crusade rules looking right up my alley (again) I’m going to do T’au for this. And while some might remember my battlesuit heavy force, this is going to be a better mix. Also allows me to be that guy considering I have lots of the frak off guns already. For this I’ll be using my old Darkwind Cadre. This was an army based off the T’au in the Dawn of War 2 game. So all the units are built (as closely) to how they are in the game. I did add a few units that weren’t in the game, just cause I liked the look or it added to my theme of spamming stealth suits. My starting 60 PL (2 RP on roster expansion) is the following: Commander in XV8 - CIB, MP, Flamer, shield generator, shield drones x2, Through Boldness, Victory, Puretide chip 7 Firewarriors - Pulse rifles Shas’ui - pulse rifle, markerlight 7 Firewarriors - Pulse rifles Shas’ui - pulse rifle, markerlight 7 Firewarriors - Pulse rifles Shas’ui - pulse rifle, markerlight 2 Stealth suits - burst cannon x2, counterfire defense system Shas’vre - fusion blaster, counterfire defense system 2 Stealth suits - burst cannon x2, counterfire defense system Shas’vre - fusion blaster, counterfire defense system XV95 GhostKeel - burst cannon x2, cyclonic ion raker, shield generator, counterfire defense system, stealth drone x2 Hammerhead Gunship - Burst cannon x2, High Capacity Railgun Tidalwall Gunrig - Supremacy Railgun Tidalwall Shieldline I have plenty to add and since I don’t have much in HQs for this army pretty much all my RP is going to roster expansion. I have lots to add including more tanks, pathfinders, a riptide, broadsides and FW flyers. Hopefully this will last longer then the 2-3 months most tend to run in my area. If anything it will be another force to keep records on. We’re supposed to start up in two weeks, the GM is still painting the first two maps. Once done I’ll snap a picture since I’ll be modding the image for territory tracking. Also to tide you over, not sure if I showed these here, but this is a portion of my Darkwind force.
  3. Night Spectres Pale Wardens of the Witch Stars "I looked, and there was a pale horse, and its rider's name was Death. Hell followed him."
  4. With Codex: World Eaters just around the corner, I thought it was time to bring up the topic of how to approach a new codex release with an existing Crusade. The natural reaction to any new Codex might be to simply start again, but I find that solution extremely unsatisfying. Being a narrative format, it would be disappointing to simply throw out all the narrative development I've put into this force so far. On the other hand, the Chaos Warband rules for CSM are pretty powerful, as far as benefits go. I have lost most of my battles, but all three Glory trackers are at Favoured status thanks to a judicious use of Agendas. And when a Chaos Warband is Favoured in a category, they get some significant discounts on important Requisitions - especially increasing supplies and adding WLTs and Relics. Importantly, there's no requirement to use those free Requisitions on CSM units, so you can add free WLTs and Relics to allied units as well... There is one big disadvantage to this, however: if you have started a Chaos Warband, your trackers always go down in every battle, regardless of whether you even use CSM units or not. But to increase your Glory trackers, you must use your Warband Champion in battle. This means your Champion is always exposed to battle scars, and our campaign house rules state that scars can only be removed if a unit skips a battle. This is why Kratus, prior to his ascension, was being used in every battle (even when not the best choice) and had accumulated two very detrimental battle scars. For several battles, Kratus had been unable to perform Heroic Intervention, for example. Ultimately, my concern is that I have benefited heavily from using the Chaos Warband rules, and those benefits might not be replicable with Codex: World Eaters, so they might feel undeserved. But then I did the Agendas and I suffered the battle scars on my Champion, to my detriment in many battles. So, I have a solution: All CSM-specific battle traits and Crusade relics will be exchanged for the nearest World Eater equivalents. Arkrath benefits from keeping all his pre-ascension Chaos Boons. This is something currently unique to CSM, since both Death Guard and Thousand Sons Daemon Princes lose their boons upon ascension. I don't know which way World Eaters will go, but if WE Daemon Princes lose their boons on ascension, then I will need to drop those as well. Similarly to (2), any benefits gained through the Chaos Warband that can't be done using the World Eaters' rules will be reversed. For example, Dreior's Berzerker squad gained a battle trait because I had a Favoured Warfleet - if World Eaters don't have some equivalent mechanic then I'll simply remove the trait. If Berzerker PL changes to account for the new Berzerker Eviscerator, I may need to change unit sizes or I'll be at a significant disadvantage. The main reason they're at 8-man squads now (other than Khorne's number) is to match the 1:20 PL/points ratio. Units that I've lost access to will need to be replaced with their nearest equivalents. The last one will be easy enough for most things: Thrax the Exalted Champion will become a Master of Executions and the Cultists will become Jakhals. But the Dark Apostle, Baruda, will be a bit trickier. I may have to consider giving him a new weapon so he can conceivably use the rules for an MoE as well, but it feels boring to have two virtually identical characters. I'll have to think on that one. Of course, all of this is assuming that World Eaters even get Crusade rules. There's no reason to believe we won't, but this Codex is looking like enough of a departure from existing 9th edition Codexes that there's a small part of me that wonders if maybe we won't. But hey, if that happens then I'll just continue using the CSM Crusade rules!
  5. Terminators have to be some of my favourite models in the game. Personal tank armour? Hell yeah! I've been sitting on a couple of boxes of the newer Chaos Terminators for some time, but have been hesitant to build them with Codex: World Eaters around the corner, especially since some earlier rumours suggested that there wouldn't be any Terminators at all. Now that we've seen all the releases and have multiple leaks indicating that Terminators are still in, I feel a lot more comfortable working on some replacements for Murdax's Butchers. Here are the first five members of the new Butchers: The heads and crests are 3D printed to resemble the old Forgeworld upgrade kit. The heads are a simple STL file, but the crests came from a Berzerker head kit that I modified to fit the Terminator armour body. I also added some weapons and bits from the new AoS Chaos Chosen kit for a little variety, and added some chains to the weapons to resemble the upcoming Berzerker kit. Murdax himself is already made from the new Terminator kit, so once these guys are done it'll just be a matter of making four more Terminators to round out the squad.
  6. Took a month, but Arkrath is finally done! Painting red Daemonic flesh when the model is also wearing red armour is always tricky, so I went with the option of painting the flesh like a redder version of his moral skin tone. Of course, had to slather on the blood for the oversized chainfist! I expanded on the rock that the Daemon Prince model comes with, making it feel more like the type of rocks the rest of the army uses. I also added some more similar rocks made it feel less like a random "hero rock". I'm also particularly pleased with how the bionic leg turned out - I've been wanting to do a biomechanical Daemon for years! That Venomcrawler leg just happened to be the perfect bit and I couldn't be happier. Overall, I'm very happy with how it turned out. The Daemon Prince model is such a great kit, I honestly can't get over just how neatly everything fits together and how many options it has. It did take a long time to paint, though - there are just so many details. I noticed several details that I missed just while taking these photos, but honestly, it gets to a point where you have to call good enough "done". Enjoy!
  7. THE CRUENTES Arkrath, the Hand of Khorne DAEMON PRINCE, 11PL For ten thousand years, the Astartes who would become Arkrath, Kratus, has led his warband of Chosen Terminators. Entering the Long War as a veteran warrior in the ranks of the XII Legion's Terminator elite, Kratus was frequently found in the most bloody of battles. This boldness amassed for him a significant following of Terminators, and they adopted the moniker of Red Butchers, once a reviled and pitied name but one that had since taken on a new sense of respect in their new worship of Khorne. It was from these same ranks that a warlord named Bardûl rose to prominence, his single-minded devotion to the Blood God eclipsing even Kratus's own. When Bardûl declared the founding of the Aksha'i Cruentes and the start of the Red Crusade, Kratus stood beside him, ready to go to war with the galaxy. As Bardûl's chief bodyguard and confidant, Kratus defended the man who called himself Hand of Khorne, as well as delivering justice to those who impeded the Bloodfather's dominance. It was not uncommon for Kratus to be dispatched to kill other Champions of Khorne who had displeased the Hand in some way. During the War for Janus, however, Bardûl grew impatient with the gifts his Daemonic patrons bestowed upon him, and he drank too greedily from the well of power that is Chaos worship, transforming into a monstrous Chaos Spawn. The power vacuum was quickly filled by the former Terminator Champion, who tore the symbolic chainfist from his erstwhile master's broken Terminator plate and took it for his own. Kratus's ascent was meteoric, and before long he was courting the same Daemonic patrons as his former master. Unlike Bardûl, however, Kratus's ambition and arrogance were tempered by personal sacrifices, having suffered several grievous wounds, including the loss of his own leg. Such losses displayed a certain dedication to the Lord of Battles, however they were still defeats in the eyes of the Blood God and would be punished. After one such defeat, Kratus was whisked away to the Warp before the alien witch's magicks could kill him. It was there that Kratus was first imprisoned and tortured by his patron, known to him as Ska'nzand the Wrathforged. He was held here for eight hundred years, by his perception, however never did his faith and determination waver. Impressed by this, Ska'nzand released Kratus on a quest of penitent rage throughout the Eye of Terror for another eight hundred years. In realspace only hours later, a winged figure manifested before the Cruentes, who were on the verge of tearing themselves apart to find a new leader. Monstrous in stature, this figure was armoured in what appeared to be a mockery of Terminator plate and bore a warped chainfist on its right vambrace. It did not use the name Kratus, for the man who bore that name was dead, it said. This was now Arkrath, the True Hand of Khorne. Warlord Trait: Hatred Incarnate Relic: Gorget of Eternal Hate Rank: Legendary Battle Honours: Scorpion Tail (Chaos Boon) - +1A Serpent's Fangs (Chaos Boon) - +1 to wound in first round of combat Warp Stalker (Chaos boon) - reroll advance and charge Razor-edged - improve AP of melee weapon by 1 Blackstone Shard Amulet - cannot be targeted by psychic powers Null-field Disruptor - ignores invulnerable saves Baruda, Blood Priest of Kharneth DARK APOSTLE, 6PL An early convert to the Cult of the Blood God, Baruda was instrumental in the formation of the Cruentes. He wears the charcoal black armour of Loyalist chaplains in dark mockery of his misguided counterparts. Baruda is an extremely - and some might say excessively - zealous individual, to the point that those around him view him with slight unease. However, there is no denying that his entreaties to the Dark Powers are an effective tool. He knows the Dark Zealotry, Wrathful Entreaty and Illusory Supplication prayers. Warlord Trait: Eternal Vendetta Relic: Mantle of Traitors Rank: Heroic Battle Honours: Detestation (Path of the Righteous) - cannot be targeted by psychic powers Stoic Fervour (Path of the Righteous) - 6+ FNP, 4+ FNP vs mortal wounds Just Killer (Path of the Righteous) - +1S when attacking units smaller than his Daemonic Flesh (via Chaos Reward Requisition) - unit gains +1T Aspect of Khorne (via Chaos Reward Requisition) - once per game free use of Fury of Khorne or Scorn of Sorcery stratagems Razor-edged(?) Crozius (via Victor Bonus) - AP of Crozius improved by 1 Thrax Gorechosen EXALTED CHAMPION, 6PL Thrax is a wandering traveller, claiming to be an original member of the War Hounds Legion and claiming to be the bearer of the coveted relic, Gorefather. Regardless of the truth to his words, the Berzerkers who follow Thrax into battle are invariably inspired to great deeds of bloodshed as Thrax himself frequently seeks out the strongest enemies he can find. Warlord Trait: Flames of Spite Relic: Gorefather Rank: Blooded Battle Honours: Sigil of the Shadowlord - 4+ Invul, 4+ FNP vs mortal wounds Validon's Bloodthunderers 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL Validon is one of the Cruentes' longest-serving Berzerker Champions, and has been instrumental to the cohesion of the Cruentes as a fighting force. He instituted a gradual change to the Eternal Warrior's fighting pits: instead of individual combat, the pits would focus more on squad-based combat. Through repeated training in this manner over hundreds of years, the instinct to fight in a squad of brothers became so ingrained that even in the deepest frenzy, Berzerkers would know to fight together. Validon leads seven Berzerkers, collectively known as the Bloodthunderers. Rank: Battle-hardened Battle Honours: Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1 to WS Divine Guidance (Path of the Righteous) - improves melee AP by 1 Dreior's Hunters 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL A newer member of the Cruentes, Dreior is a vat-grown gift from Fabius Bile's gene clinics. Implanted with false memories, he believes himself to be a veteran of the Long War, and despite his relative youth, he is a consummate fighter. He and his squad are often seen breaking through enemy lines and hunting down specific targets. Dreior leads seven Berzerkers simply known as the Hunters. Rank: Battle-hardened Battle Honours: Bitter to the Bone - can choose their Wanton state Fervid Focus (Path of the Righteous) - can move horizontally through terrain and models Trusted Hounds (via Warfleet Favour) - can choose a character's aura to always be in range Gorm's Stalkers 8x KHORNE BERZERKERS, 10PL Another long-serving member of the Cruentes, Gorm leads the newest inductees into battle. His strict command gives these initiates their first taste at combat, and puts them on the path to becoming fully-fledged Berzerkers of the Cruentes. Gorm's habit of consuming the flesh of the dead, however, often permeates through the ranks of those under his command. As a result, a significant number of Cruentes share his cannibalistic tendencies. Gorm leads seven Berzerkers known as the Stalkers. Rank: Battle-hardened Battle Honours: Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1 to WS Fervid Focus (Path of the Righteous) - can move horizontally through terrain and models Serpentine Fangs (via Dark God Favour) - Gorm's attacks gain +1 to wound on the charge Covenant of the Bloody Hand 20x CULTIST MOB, 5PL Despite this cultist warband's high attrition rate - or, perhaps, because of it - the cult members rarely have any trouble finding more volunteers for their ranks, as few mortal followers of Khorne can resist being given the opportunity to have their blood spilt on the battlefield. Members of this warband have begun adopting a sigil of a bloody handprint as they are inducted, signifying the dead passing on their covenant to the new warriors. Rank: Blooded Battle Honours: Believers of the True Faith - gain the Let the Galaxy Burn ability Murdax's Butchers 10x CHAOS TERMINATORS, 19PL Led by the dangerously ambitious champion, Murdax, the Butchers are a sub-warband of Terminators within the Aksha'i Cruentes. Fierce warriors all, this warband adopted the nickname of Red Butchers upon their descent into the worship of the Blood God. With Terminator plate being difficult to manufacture amongst the Traitor Legions, and with the World Eaters' excessively high attrition rate, the warriors in the Butchers are, ironically for their namesake, some of the more measured of the Cruentes. However, this should not be taken as a lack of aggression - they are capable of as much as their Berzerker brethren, however they have all trained for millennia to hone their use of the Butcher's Nails. Rank: Heroic Upgrades: Red Butchers (via Specialist Reinforcements Requisition) Battle Honours: Ambition's Edge - Murdax gains +1A, +1W and +1Ld Trusted Hounds - can benefit from certain character auras outside of range Hate-fuelled Butchers - +1WS Fervid Focus (via Path of the Righteous: Glorious Ceremony Requisition) - can move horizontally through terrain and models Vervek the Condemned HELLBRUTE, 7PL Vervek's fate is a cautionary tale for any individual who stands in the way of a mighty Champion of Khorne and his glory, for this former Terminator stole a trophy kill that Kratus had claimed. In the eyes of the Blood Father, of course, such triviality didn't matter - however, in the eyes of the corporeal judge and executioner claiming the god's authority, he was little more than a usurper. Vervek was carved out of his Terminator plate with little care, being no more than a head and torso before he was entombed within a Dreadnought's sarcophagus. Rank: Battle-ready Xarian the Bloody Idiot HELLBRUTE, 7PL Once the champion of a whole Cruentes warband, Xarian - formerly known also as Doomgore - was deposed of his position after it was apparent that he did not deserve to lead. Originally, he was the lieutenant of a rival World Eaters warband, the control over which he seized through betrayal, before he pledged them to the Cruentes. As a reward for bolstering their ranks, Xarian was gifted with command of his own warband and a rebellious Daemon sword. The sword resisted Xarian's ownership at first, having not been seized through combat. However, after several battles, Xarian appeased the weapon by stabbing it through his own stomach. Amused by this attempt at sacrifice, the sword appeared to capitulate. It soon became apparent that the sword still had not deemed Xarian worthy. Even though its power had been unlocked, it still rebelled at some of the worst moments possible, often leading to Xarian's defeat. Out of frustration, several conspirators - including Kratus and his Terminators - turned on the champion, dismembering his body and burying the Daemon sword deep within the Eternal Warrior. Xarian was kept alive as an amusement, more than anything, and was interred within a dreadnought sarcophagus. Xarian is a Helbrute, armed with a plasma cannon and hammer. Rank: Battle-hardened Battle Honours: Hate-fuelled Butcher - +1 to WS Despoiler Without Mercy - +1 to BS Chaos Rhino Motorpool CHAOS RHINOS, 4PL x2 Ranks: Rhino I - Battle-ready Rhino II - Battle-ready Rhino III - deleted Bardûl the Wretched Fool CHAOS SPAWN, 1PL A horrid, mutated mess of flesh, Bardûl is kept by the Cruentes as a "living" cautionary tale for those who would squander the gifts of the gods. Bardûl was once a mighty Champion of Khorne, blessed by the Blood God's favour and a promising locus around which the shattered remnants of the World Eaters Legion could gather. However, Bardûl was tempted with more power than he could bear. One of his Daemonic patrons offered him a tiny sliver of immortality, but the Chaos Lord demanded more. In a painful twist of hubris, the mighty Hand of Khorne was wracked with torment as his wrathful masters poured ever more mutating power of Chaos into the champion, until he was no longer recognisable. Rank: Battle-hardened Battle Honours: Fleet of Foot - +1Mv, +1 Advance and Charge rolls Grizzled - 6+ FNP THE PACT CRUENTES - DAEMONIC ALLIES Gorethane RENDMASTER, 7PL Equally at home hewing through ranks of foes from atop its warped chariot as it is duelling with enemy champions, the Gorethane is a dark master of battle. It can be seen directing its Bloodletter hordes from the front, always eager to slay. Warlord Trait: Glory of Battle Rank: Battle-ready Bloodseeker SKULLMASTER, 7PL The Bloodseeker is a swift butcher, and one of the first Neverborn to swear allegiance to Arkrath during his penance. Wielding the accursed axe Bloodbane and thundering into battle atop a loping Juggernaut, the Bloodseeker is a terrifying foe in battle. Relic: A'rgath, King of Blades Rank: Battle-ready Bloodletter Packs 6PL Rank: Battle-ready Bloodcrushers 6PL Rank: Battle-ready Flesh Hounds 5PL Rank: Battle-ready
  8. Or: I really need to make a proper urban-themed board for this narrative campaign that is set in a bloody city... 18 November, 2022 The sharp claws hunting us from the shadows have all but confirmed it: an ancient relic is buried under the surface of Hive Secundus, one that is of particular significance to the World Eaters. Rumour and hearsay had led them to this place, and it is time to claim the prize. The final preparations must be made to bombard this city and reach the relic within. Now, Genestealer Cultists have been found swarming the city, and we suspect that the foul xenos may have worked out how to use the fell technology within. Kratus, his flickering form uncertain in the material universe, leads Baruda, Murdax's Red Butchers, Validon's and Gorm's Berzerker squads, Xarian the Bloody Idiot and Vervek the Condemned in their Dreadnought chassis, and a mob of Cultists. The mission objective is essentially kill points (score VPs equal to the PL value of enemy units destroyed). The defender gets Light Cover while they're in their deployment zone, unless the attacker can turn off the objectives, which also earns the attacker VPs. Ever keen to show his worthiness to the Blood God, I have chosen Eye of the Gods (kill characters, vehicles or monsters for XP and Personal Glory) and Reaper (unit that kills the most gets XP) as my main Agenda picks. For my third, I figure that Deploy Vox Relays would be a good narrative choice for the story. I deploy aggressively, as normal with the Terminators and Cultists. I lose the first turn, but decide to rush both units up the board anyway with Apoplectic Frenzy to hopefully keep my opponent on the back foot. I figure the Atalan Jackals (gods, that name is going to be confusing in a few months...) will spring forward and try to threaten my Helbrutes, so I get the Cultists to help screen the machines against the dirt bikers' damnable bombs. Terminators plod up the field, knowing full well that they won't be protected by Illusory Supplication just yet. It's just GSC, how much firepower could they have? I keep Gorm's Berzerkers in Strategic Reserve, in the hope that they can nab an objective late in the game. In my opponent's first turn, the Goliath truck rumbles forward on my left flank. As expected, the bikers zip forward, past the suspiciously xenoform ruin in the centre, to harrass my Cultists. A Goliath Rockgrinder and a couple of light Ridgerunners wheel around to get some shots off at the Terminators. A not insignificant amount of shooting later, and four Red Butchers are taken out of action, their riddled bodies barely held together by their ancient armour. On the left, a wall of fire from the cultists (soon to be Jakhals?) inflicts a minor burn on the Jackals. The bikes charge, killing a few cultists, who in turn knock two bikers out of their saddles while the other speeds away. In my turn, the cultists advance to turn off the objective on the left. Weirdly, this is not an Action, so can be done after advancing - fine by me! Unfortunately, I forgot that they can't score VPs in the first round, but at least they'll be a distraction. In the middle/right, I send the Terminators out to secure the middle objective, and the Rhino to threaten the right objective. The Terminators also deploy a vox beacon for one of my Agendas. The Helbrutes ponder up and inflict a few wounds on each of the Goliaths. The Genestealers' second turn sees some Purestrains leap out of cover to maul the hapless cultists, turning the objective back on in the process. While the Rockgrinder hops on the objective on the right. Despite the Illusory Supplication from Baruda, the Terminators lose three models (note to self: trans-hit doesn't help much against BS4 enemies...), the Rhino suffers significant damage, and the Kellermorph pick off both of Baruda's little buddies and wound the priest himself. Oof. The cultists prove about as resilient as one can expect, and swiftly become a xenos meal. Frustratingly, the Genestealers burrow underground and head into Strategic Reserves. I always forget about that Stratagem... Meanwhile, the Rockgrinder ploughs into the Rhino, destroying it. Four (!!!) Berzerkers apparently tried, in vain, to stop the machine using nothing but their own bodies. It did not work, and half the squad disappears in a blisteringly bad roll. Things are not looking good, but I know I can still get this if I can disable some objectives and kill a bit more. On the left, Xarian the Helbrute atomises a good portion of the Goliath truck, destroying it. I didn't get good photos of this, but the Terminators likewise melt the Rockgrinder on the right, which turns out was rigged with explosives, killing a Berzerker and wounding everything else around it. Turns out that having 90% of your shooting be short-ranged against such a Stratagem is not wise! In my opponent's turn three, the trap is sprung and his Genestealers and the Muscle Beach make themselves known. Some sneaky buggers are also set up to cordon off the table edges against my own reserves. Back in the centre, the Aberrants and Purestrains clobber and scrabble into the remnants of my force. Unfortunately, one of Kratus's battle scars prevents him from performing a Heroic Intervention, so it's pretty much just down to the Terminators and Baruda. In a show of favour from the Bloodfather, Baruda is barely left standing, though the Genestealers' quick reflexes prevent his return swings from landing. The Red Butchers were not so lucky, and the Aberrants demolish the veteran warriors, though Murdax brings a couple of them down with him. My third turn is one of desperation. Kratus flickers into combat with the Purestrains, supported by Xarian, while the remaining Berzerkers from Validon's squad and Vervek launch themselves at the Aberrants. Meanwhile, my reserves move on from my own table edge, utilising an often-forgotten rule to be able to set up close to the enemy by keeping one model within 1" of my own table edge. Sadly, the charges in the middle weren't as successful as I had hoped. Vervek's power scourge was not the best weapon against 3W Aberrants, and the Berzerkers didn't quite finish them off, while the Purestrains proved to be too quick for even Astartes physiology. They finished off Baruda with numerous, viscious slashes. The lone Aberrant did end up fleeing, however unfortunately it wasn't due to my attacks, so I couldn't get XP for it. At least I could get VPs, though! At least Gorm's Berzerkers on the left were a little more successful, wiping out the Purestrains trying to hunt them down. Unfortunately, despite thinning my opponent's force somewhat, he still has tricks up his sleeve. The Patriarch, which we've learned calls itself the Salt Wyrm (though I still prefer "Big Daddy") blitzes through the ruins to stalk Kratus in an eerily familiar showdown. Meanwhile, shooting from the Ridgerunners knock out the last of Validon's Berzerkers, and the Hybrids that had been guarding the board edge throw themselves at Vervek, cutting at hydraulics and power cables, disabling the dreadnought. I try a couple of tricks: first, negating the damage from one of Big Daddy the Salt Wyrm's attacks using the Divine Shield stratagem from the Righteous Path rules. The blood shield succeeds in protecting him from the Patriarch's attacks...but I hadn't factored in the final genestealer. Kratus's blurred form, one second standing and fighting was on the ground bleeding in less than the blink of an eye. Fine, we'll play it that way! I use the last of my CPs on He Is Risen!, also from the Righteous Path rules. For a second, Kratus's body blinks out of existence... ...Only for him to reappear, a blood-curdling warcry on his lips. Kratus lays into both xenos, finally slaying the last of the Purebloods, but the legendary dexterity of the Big Salt Daddy Wyrm saves him from harm. Luckily, Kratus's terminator armour keeps him alive with only one wound remaining. GSC turn four, he still has some substantial shooting left, and Gorm's squad takes heavy casualties, In the middle, the Patriarch's witch powers prove too much, even for the divinely-inspired Kratus. Invading the heretic's mind with dark tendrils of energy, Kratus - standing in a pool of his own blood oozing from many wounds - begins bleeding from his eyes and other cranial orifices. He drops to his knees, but before the Patriarch can take his head, reality shudders around the Chaos Lord, and he disappears again in a wisp of warp smoke. With that, there's not much else that the World Eaters can do, and the Genestealers succeed in defending their territory from the Heretic Astartes once again. I do, however, manage to scrounge two Chaos Points to help keep some of my trackers at reasonable levels. Result: 53-65 Loss Kratus's Personal Glory: 7 -> 7Khorne's Dark God Glory: 6 -> 7Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 6 After the battle, however, Kratus doesn't reappear. At least, not immediately...
  9. It's been a hot minute since I provided much of an update to my Order of Battle! It also took a couple of months longer than intended to advance to the next phase of the Path of the Righteous that my force has begun. A quick reminder: these are optional rules from White Dward 472-476 from earlier this year. They follow your force at it walks a path of pure zeal, potentially leading to damnation in the process. These issues can be found in the Warhammer Vault, if you are a WH+ subscriber. In this phase of the Path, called the Absolution of Faith, a unit's Righteous Inspiration limit is raised from 4 to 8 points. For units with 7 or less points of Righteous Inspiration, several new stratagems are available. Notably: They Are Risen!, which allows the player to resurrect a character for 2CP on a 2+, once per battle. Doing so increases that character's Inspiration by 3 points, so you can only get away with this a couple of times per character! Divine Shield, which allows you to change the Damage characteristic of an incoming attack to 0 for 2CP, once per battle. This also increases that unit's Inspiration by 2 points. The Last Righteous Act, which is a fight-on-death Stratagem for 2CP. This increases the unit's Inspiration by 1 point. The rest of the stratagems do various things to improve a unit's combat ability (or psychic ability, for those inclined), and each increase the target unit's Inspiration by another 1 point. This phase of the Path also introduces a handful of new Requisitions, which simply allow the player to spread Righteous Inspiration points, redistribute Righteous Crusade Relics, or have a Righteous character teach a unit a Righteous Battle Trait. Oh, and there's some psychic stuff, but whatever So far, only Baruda (of course) has any Righteous Inspiration from taking a couple of Battle Traits in the previous phase. For some reason, Kratus also has a couple of Inspiration points - I must have started using the stratagems a few weeks ago, though I have no memory of doing so! Ah well, it's on the Unit Card, so Past Cheex must have been keeping track of something...right?
  10. 11 November, 2022 With news of Hive Secundus housing something powerful, several armies are converging on the city. Kratus, having been thwarted in breaking into the catacombs himself, has resolved to instead locate the weakest crust of the inner city and simply bombard it from space, cracking it open and exposing the bounty within. The Cruentes believe they have found the perfect position. The only problem is that a strike force of Imperial Knights stand in their way. As a further obstacle, something seems to be lurking in the shadows. Superstitious cultists rant about "vampyrs" and "shapeshifters" that have hunted the city's denizens since the war began, snapping up whole communities as they tried to escape the conflict. Indeed, the darkness itself seems to have eyes...and claws... For this battle and the next, units in range of objectives (or in area terrain, if there are no objectives) are at -1Ld and -1 to Combat Attrition tests, as somthing unnervingly stalks the shadows and preys on the unwary. Kratus's physical form is becoming increasingly detached from time and space. His outline appears almost wispy. And his movements, rather than being smooth motion, appear more like short-distance jumps through space. One moment he might be looking away, the next moment he could be turned to face you - only to suddenly be looking away again, all without appearing to move. Baruda, ever the zealot, loudly proclaims it is simply yet another boon bestowed upon his Lord by the god of war. Kratus is accompanied by Baruda the Dark Apostle, Murdax's Red Butchers, Validon's Berzerkers, a mob of Cultists, and Bardûl's wretched form. In this mission, the objective is to secure the battlefield - however, the communication issues present in Secundus and the presences in the shadows have jumbled the orders somewhat. There are four objectives, two of which can only be captured by part of your army, and the other two can only be captured by the rest of your army, randomly determined before deployment. Kratus, Baruda and the Berzerkers are trying to take the nearer two objectives, while the Terminators, Cultists and Spawn are trying to take the farther two objectives. For Agendas, I choose the nearly ubiquitous Eye of the Gods to kill characters and vehicles, and supplement that with one of the Agendas from this mission pack, Machine Vendetta, to get even more experience from killing vehicles. I deploy almost everything on the right flank, hoping to overwhelm this side of the board and prevent the Knights from taking my closer objectives, while sneaking up and capturing one of his for just a turn or so. Kratus himself deploys on the far right with the Cultists, hoping to hold an objective while the mortals are thrown into the fray. As is normal, the Terminators form the anvil in the centre of the battlefield, supported by Baruda's dulcet singing voice. Unfortunately, the Knights win first turn, so I don't have a chance to activate my defensive prayer with Baruda. Despite this, I push on with the plan, and with a blood-curdling roar the Terminators and Cultists move up the field with Apoplectic Frenzy. Baruda uses his Warlord Trait, Eternal Vendetta, to mark the big Knight, Prince Arthur, for death. The chivalrous fools leap at this chance, knowing the Red Butchers' reputation for resilience. The two melta Armigers round on Murdax's squad, supported by the autocannon Armiger in the distance. Prince Arthur likewise moves down the street to offer his - not insubstantial - firepower. On the right flank, a few Cultists were slain by some incidental stubber fire, while a few more were dragged silently into the shadows by the denizens there. (In hindsight, I have no idea why I moved them onto the objective that they couldn't even capture anyway...) The combined firepower of all four Knights sends a storm of shrapnel, high-calibre shells and superheated gas towards the ancient, frenzied warriors. Their priceless plate holds surprisingly well without the machinations of the warp to help them, however six of them are still felled - four of them to the Helverin's autocannons! The ground rumbles as Arthur and one of his Armigers thunder into the survivors. Prince Arthur swings first, cutting open three of the berserk Terminators. Murdax himself survives and, of course, barrels into the Armiger in a Counter Offensive. The junior Knight suffers terribly from the Champion's chainfist as it carves through metal plating, reinforced conduits and locomotive stabilisers. With only four wounds left, the Knight is unable to land a killing blow on the World Eater. Losing nearly an entire Terminator squad on the top of turn 1 is obviously not ideal, however this now means that around two thirds of my opponent's force is out of position. The Berzerkers vault over the pipelines, while Baruda leaps over his attendants to hammer into the damaged Armiger. Kratus - not visible in this photo - moves up to try charging into Arthur as well. Unfortunately, his blasted bionic leg continued to plague him, as he failed his charge even with a reroll from Warp Stalker. The Berzerkers struck first, swarming up the Knight's legs and sawing into various joints and other weak spots, bringing the adamantine giant down to just 10 wounds. Arthur swung back, choosing to mete out his vengeance against the bugs clinging to his hull, killing most of the Berzerkers. Murdax leapt from the Armiger and slammed his chainfist into Arthur's weakened hull, inflicting just enough damage (12) to cause the Knight to lose its remaining power and topple onto its back. Meanwhile, Baruda slammed his corrupted crozius into the Armiger, likewise only bareuly causing enough damage (4) to sever the right hydraulics and conduits to cripple the war machine. In my opponent's turn, having lost two critical Knights, he steps up with his last Warglaive to avenge his fallen. Another punishing salvo from the last two Armigers incapacitates the last Berzerkers and knocks out Murdax. The plucky Knight pilot sees his chance, and launches into Baruda. Luckily, the priest still has two lackeys happy to sacrifice themslves, with one dying. Baruda swings back, inflicting significant damage to the Armiger's hull. In my turn, the Spawn gribbles up to help Baruda in his struggle against the warmachine. Elsewhere, unpictured, Kratus continues to set up his bombardment beacon, while the cultists advance onto one of my opponent's objectives to do the same there. The Spawn knocks a few more wounds off the Armiger, who splits his attacks between Baruda and the Spawn. The Spawn is easilly cut in half, but Baruda's final attendant leaps in the way of the whirring chainblades (an outstanding feat in itself, given that the disciple lacks a face), allowing his master to continue his onslaught, breaking the Knight's steed. Since I controlled more objectives for this turn, I now took the lead in VPs. Now it's just a matter of surviving long enough to keep it that way! In my opponent's turn, the last Armiger makes a good attempt at killing everything left in my army. The autocannons thump away at Baruda, knocking off two wounds thanks to his 6+ FNP, while the heavy stubbers kill off the Cultists (though maybe one or two more were claimed by the shadowy claws!). At this point, I had a choice to make: either keep Baruda on his objective and guarantee the win, or "do the Khorne thing" and charge. I do the Khorne thing and charge. The Armiger lands a single hit in overwatch, killing Baruda. Hmpf. With one model each left on the table, there's not much that either of us can do. He spends the last two turns firing on Kratus, whose Gorget of Eternal Hate easily deflects the heavy rounds while he finishes setting up the beacon. What a battle! The fates certainly swung from one side to the other, and my plan to just nab more objectives ended up working in my favour. Just one single turn of scoring more VPs than my opponent is all it took. Unfortunately, such a narrow victory (I assume) means that I only gain a paltry 4 Chaos Points. Bardûl the Wretched Fool earns the Fatigued Battle Scar. Baruda is the clear MVP for this battle, and so is Marked for Greatness, though this is not quite enough to progress to Heroic level. With the first of the beacons set, the warfleet of the Cruentes begins moving into position... Result: 45-35 Win Kratus's Personal Glory: 7 -> 7Khorne's Dark God Glory: 6 -> 7Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7
  11. This battle occurred a few weeks ago, but real life got in the way. Sorry for the lack of updates! Regular scheduling is to follow. I've also noticed that the recent formatting change on the B&C has deleted all of my paragraph breaks in previous entries, so I will eventually go back and fix them...eventually. 7 October, 2022 Burning with the power of the warp following his last encounter with the Imperial Knights, Kratus presses onwards through the dust-strewn wreckage of Hive Secundus. He's on a mission to uncover something buried in the heart of the city. With an awkward, limping gait, Kratus leads his forces onward to a processional way to the dark belly of the hive. Those who can see Kratus notice something unusual about him - like if they see him from the corner of their eyes, his outline is slightly blurred. Kratus is supported by the raving chants of Baruda the Dark Apostle, Validon's and Dreior's Berzerkers, a mob of Cultists, Murdax and his Red Butcher Terminators, Xarian the Helbrute, and a new Helbrute named Vervek. One of the Berzerker squads is mounted in a Rhino. This newcomer was, in fact, one of Kratus's former bodyguards who stole a glory kill from him several games back, and has been languishing in torture ever since... The World Eaters are defending in this mission, as they must secure this site as a point of ingress to the core of the city. The Genestealers, being the current owners of this mysterious objective, must sabotage this potential entryway by performing actions on the objectives. I choose the following Agendas: Blasphemous Ritual (perform an action in the centre of the table for potential XP and Dark God Glory points) - the World Eaters wish to 'consecrate' their entryway to the city's centre. Cull the Hordes (gain XP for killing 6+ models in one phase) - Khorne demands blood. Assassins (gain XP for killing characters) - Khorne demands worthy skulls. As always with GSC, you get very little information on where they're going to deploy, and I know they can spring up out of nowhere so I try to screen my weaker left flank while focusing mainly on the right. Kratus sees his unnamed follower loping off ahead, moving in a way that Terminator plate shouldn't, apparently unnoticed by the other Berzerkers. The figure, clad in the colours of the War Hounds Legion, turns back and reveals the positions of the enemies. The warning was of little help, however. On the left, the mutants' bikers scream as they surge forward before the battle was even underway, followed by the skittering of claws on dusty pavement. On the right, the jerryrigged civilian vehicles scamper back to try and avoid the fire of the two Helbrutes. In the ruins of some ruins of strangely non-Imperial origin, some shadowy figures can be seen waiting and watching. With a roar, the Berzerkers and Terminators surge forwards using the Apoplectic Frenzy stratagem. Note: these photos were taken after pre-game moves, but before my opponent had taken his first movement phase. The bikers zip forwards, prayers to their Four-Armed False Emperor on their lips as they prepare their demolition charges. Their pure-blooded brothers follow in the dust they kick up. In the centre, a mutant witch saunders forwards, her skull writhing with disgusting energies as she strikes down a couple of Berzerkers with mind bullets. The makeshift explosives do their destructive work, blasting armour plates off Vervek's dreadnought hull and damaging several systems, before barrelling into the Cultists. The cultists open fire in Overwatch, slightly damaging one of the bikes. Elsewhere, other shots ring out across the battlefield, including more than a little firepower directed at Vervek's already damaged form. However, none of them are able to finish off this beast and - despite the photo you see below - he is reduced to a single wound. The bikers run down several Cultists, but their bodies gum up the light steeds. One of the bikers is thrown from the saddle and clubbed to death, while another suffers some damage. Luckily, the Cultists are so intoxicated by the bloodshed that none of them flee. In my first turn, Xarian the Helbrute and the Berzerkers on foot advance up the centre, hoping to draw out the Genestealers. The Rhino moves up cautiously in a position to send reinforcements where needed. Xarian fires up his new multimelta, sighting the foul mutant witch across the battlefield, and in an explosion of superheated matter, wipes her off the table. (Though I have no doubt she used some kind of trickery to escape!) Meanwhile, Vervek lends a hand to the cultists, killing two more bikers as they struggle to extricate themselves from the mass of maddened humans. A few more Cultists are trampled, but again they pass their Morale test with a heroic stubbornness. Vervek gets bored and wanders off to fight the Genestealers...with his whole remaining wound. Meanwhile, I realise I should probably invest in some more disposable bait units, as the Genestealers on the right scamper forwards and make short work of Dreior's squad. And the incredibly fast blue buggers just bypass Vervek entirely to grab one of my home objectives. Some lesser mutants show up to help them out and they sabotage his potential Hive Core entrance. A mutant gunslinger appears with altogether too many arms and altogether too many pistols, taking aim at Baruda, whose chanting is messing with reality around the Terminators in the middle. He(?) succeeds in killing two of Baruda's buddies, and wounding the priest himself. I spend a command point to reroll one of his saves and he survives. The outcome against Dreior's berzerkers was never really in question, but I take a photo anyway. Even less contentious was the other Genestealers against the Cultists and Vervek, however here at least I am able to perform a Counter Offensive to kill a few of them with Vervek before he crumples to the ground. Somehow, the Cultist champion actually survives...and passes another Morale test! Turning to deal with the new threat to the rear, Kratus blurs through reality to charge the mutants. The Red Butchers begin desecrating the Imperial shrine in the centre of the table, knowing they could draw the attention of Khorne to the battle. I seem to have missed a photo here, but Validon's berzerkers jump out of their Rhino and easily take care of the Genestealers on my right. In my opponent's turn, the Patriarch makes himself known, followed by several Abominants as they counter my countercharge. Kratus butchers the lesser mutants in my rear, chasing down the gunslinger that was leading them, but rescue is at hand. Meanwhile, some more mutants appear to demolish another possible route into the heart of the city. They really don't want me in their lair, for some reason. Various combined arms brings Xarian practically to his knees. He retaliates out of rage using the Fire Frenzy stratagem, blasting a decent hole out of the Goliath truck but failing to destroy it. Kratus is surrounded by horrid, blue aliens. His ancient warplate wards off most of pistol shots from the Kellermorph as it disengages, but he is starting to bleed. As he bleeds, however, his silhouette begins to blur more and more frequently. On the right, a variety of mutants, aliens and vehicles launch into the Berzerkers and Helbrute. Taking first swing, the Genestealers tear at Kratus, cutting deep into his armour. His strange warping and blipping through reality continues as he fights off the aliens, before he eventually disappears entirely. Seizing the initiative with Counter Offensive, the Berzerkers launch themselves at the Patriarch and the Abominants, killing all but one of the horrible mutants and almost dragging down the Patriarch himself. However, despite being forced to the ground himself, the Patriarch tears through the Astartes, scattering the squad, while Xarian is knocked over by the truck. Emboldened by their newly desecrated/consecrated shrine to Khorne, the Terminators hurl themselves at the enemy with a mighty 12" charge. Baruda is also feeling lucky, and turns to show the Genestealers his stick. The Red Butchers, unsurprisingly, butcher their way through what was left on my right. While Baruda knocks down a couple of xenos and takes a couple of scratches in the process. Thinking their job was done, the Terminators failed to notice the biotech grafted into the Patriarch's carapace. His Archeotech Nano-meds pump stimulants into his body and he scurries away to join some mutants that had been skulking around my right flank for some time. The Genestealers in my rear, clearly deciding that they had no interest in Baruda's shiny stick, scamper off to take my other objective.... ...while the gunslinger mutant easily caps the priest. In my final turn, Murdax's Butchers close in with the slippery Patriarch, burning his makeshift bodyguards with their heavy flamers, before pummelling the Genestealer lord again. The battle ends there, with the Genestealers having danced around the battlefield and destroying all of the objectives. The Terminators, seeing this fate, head back to the World Eaters' drop zone, leaving behind the Patriarch's corpse. They fail to notice the swarm of nanobots still in the creature's bloodstream, knitting its flesh back together. One of the Terminators turns....only to see the body missing. Back at the drop zone, Kratus rematerialises with cuts and bruises all over. His silhouette is now blurred even when viewing him directly, and his blood is looking unusually black in colour. No units level up this battle and the Rhino (which was destroyed at some point, but I now can't remember how) gains a pretty inconsequential battle scar. However, a solid roll for my Chaos Points after the battle and one successful Blasphemous Ritual puts my force in a better position to when they started. Result: 30-65 Loss Kratus's Personal Glory: 7 -> 7Khorne's Dark God Glory: 5 -> 6Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7
  12. I didn't get to play a game last week, so instead I got some more hobby done! I hesitate to call it progress, since it's really just a distraction from getting stuff done that's been sitting in the Pile of Opportunity for too long, but hey, it was fun. Not content to just say "Kratus has bionics under his armour now", I went online and found a cheap ($1) bionic leg STL, fired up the old Photon Mono and made Kratus a new leg to represent his recent battle scar. I took the opportunity to fix a few things about the model I didn't like: his old pose made him look like he was leaning a bit, I moved the right shoulder pad up a touch to emulate the newer Terminator design, and I touched up his eyes a tad. It turns out it's very hard to paint eyes when the lower half of a model's face is blocked. Combined with his rather fetching tail, I think this Chaos Lord has quite a bit of character now! Now all he needs is something to represent his Serpentine Fangs (+1 to wound when charging) - any ideas?
  13. Or: It's Fistin' Time! 22 September, 2022 After a series of stinging defeats and anaemic offerings to the Blood Father, the World Eaters are eager for a worthy fight. Kratus, in particular, is determined to prove his worth as a successor to the Hand of Khorne. As scattered bands of Cruentes stalk the streets, they encounter a scouting force of Imperial Knights, presenting them with an opportunity to take some worthy trophies. Since the last battle, I used Repair and Recuperate to remove the battle scar from Thrax, the Exalted Champion. It appears his pact with a shadowy daemon has instilled him with new confidence... Kratus and Thrax lead this force, composed of all three Berzerker squads led by Validon, Dreior and Gorm, and backed by a Cultist mob and Bardûl, the Spawn. Eager to salvage his reputation and silence any possibility of usurpation from within his ranks, Kratus seeks to draw the Eye of the Gods (kill characters or vehicles) and solidify himself as an Instrument of Vengeance (Path of the Righteous - kill characters or units bearing relics). In this mission, half of each player's units (rounding down) must start in Strategic Reserve, at no cost. With seven units in my army, I opt to keep Kratus, two Berzerker squads and the Cultists on the board. Thrax leads a reserve band of eight Berzerkers and the Spawn. The objectives for this mission are simply to kill enemies and end the game in the opponent's deployment zone. We also set up a couple of supply cache secondary objectives, per our campaign's rules. Performing a special Action on these objectives would provide free uses of certain Requisitions. A wave of determination sweeps over the World Eaters, and although my opponent gains first turn I decide to use Apoplectic Frenzy to sprint almost everyone forwards. In the Knights' first turn, their warlord, Prince Arthur, shimmies between two ruins to draw a bead on the Berzerkers on my right. In a storm of extremely accurate firepower, six Berzerkers are blasted apart. On the left, one Berzerker is downed by an autocannon from the shooty Armiger. Following up on his successful shooting, Prince Arthur barrels between the ruined buildings to charge and easily destroy the two remaining Berzerkers. Kratus, still suffering from some Deep Scars, cannot use Heroic Intervention. (Our campaign has a house rule where a unit can only use the Repair and Recuperate requisition if they sit out a battle, and Kratus has been fighting in every battle since gaining that scar.) In response, I abandon my original plan of using the Cultists to just nab some supplies, and instead hurl them at the Knight along with Kratus. If push comes to shove, they can use Fury of Khorne to help get a few extra wounds in if needed. The Berzerkers on the left instead head over to pick up those supplies...but I forget that they have the Battle-weary scar, preventing them from performing Actions. Dangit. Kratus leaps from the corpses of dead Berzerkers to latch onto the Knight's carapace. With the help of the Wrath of the Chosen (+1 to hit with Terminators or Chosen) and Stoke the Nails (puts the unit into Wanton Slaughter) stratagems, as well as his various abilities, Kratus drives his chainfist repeatedly into the Knight's body. Inflicting an impressive 27 damage, Kratus manages to rupture the fuel cells of Prince Arthur's mighty steed, causing a catastrophic explosion that kills several Cultists and wounds the Chaos Lord. Seeking retribution for the demise of their Warlord, the two Armigers in reserve start racing towards Kratus. Six cultists (and a couple of Berzerkers on my left) are slain by the Knights' firepower. Wading into the Cultist mob, the Armigers make short work of the mortals and their remains are sprayed onto the walls of the nearby ruins and silo, leaving Kratus decidedly vulnerable. In my second turn, Thrax and his Berzerkers stream in from Strategic Reserve, taking advantage of the ability to set up closer to the enemy if you arrive close to your own table edge. Thrax's aim with his combi-melta is uncanny, scoring a direct hit on one of the Armigers and stripping six wounds off it. Elsewhere, Bardûl wanders onto the table near my opponent's deployment zone, ready to wander in on the last turn to earn some endgame VPs if things go badly. Meanwhile, Gorm's Berzerkers stalk through the ruins, hoping for a long charge on the Armigers to help out the Chaos Lord. Unfortunately, everyone except Kratus fails their charges. I guess it's down to the Hand of Khorne, now! Kratus has an impressive nine attacks on the charge, so I allocate three to the wounded Armiger and six to the other. Using the Wrath of the Chosen and Stoke the Nails stratagems again, he gains an absurd number of attacks from exploding 6s, but even so he barely finishes off the wounded Armiger and, with a lucky Command Re-roll to wound, he destroys the unwounded Armiger. Unfortunately, Kratus's luck can't last forever. The last Armiger sidesteps the ruin and unloads his autocannons into the Chaos Lord, who fails two of his 2+ saves, so even a Command Re-roll wouldn't help. High-impact, explosive rounds tear into Kratus and he crashes to the ground, ending his rampage. In my third turn, Thrax and all the Berzerkers hurl themselves at the last Armiger, eager for the kill. In the Knights' fourth turn, he knocks out a couple more Berzerkers from Gorm's squad, but the writing is definitely on the wall. Thrax and Validon's Berzerker squad pack into the last Armiger, with Thrax severely damaging the machine (seriously, I can't seem to roll 6s to save my life with Gorefather), and it is easily dismantled by the Berzerkers. What a brutal game. I made one mistake in sending my one Berzerker squad that can't perform Actions after some objectives that require Actions, but other than that things went unbelievably well, and probably need to start screening Berzerkers with Cultists to prevent them from getting charged so easily. I also kept forgetting to use the Skulls for the Skull Throne stratagem, since all of the Knights were Characters. But I think that would've just been rubbing salt in the wound at that point! Result: 50-10 victory Kratus's Personal Glory: 1 -> 7Khorne's Dark God Glory: 6 -> 5Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7 I only gain four Chaos Points for the victory, but with Kratus killing the enemy Warlord and two more characters/vehicles, he gains another three Personal Glory points. I put another three Chaos Points from the victory into Kratus's Personal Glory (I think he deserved it!), catapulting him from being Forsaken to being Favoured! Evidently, his followers were impressed by his showing in this game. Unfortunately, Kratus does fail his Out of Action test, and it turns out that one of his legs was turned into a pulpy mess by a hail of mass-reactive rounds. His body has not yet accepted the crude bionic replacement, giving him the Lost Leg battle scar (-1Mv, -1 to Advance and Charge rolls). Oof. However, he gained a whopping 8XP from the Eye of the Gods agenda, and a further 4XP (and 2 Righteous Inspiration points) from the Instrument of Vengeance agenda, plus he killed three units and was Marked for Glory for a total of 17XP (including the one for fighting a battle). And this is the part I've all been waiting for: Kratus finally levelled up to Heroic rank, giving him another chance to roll on the Chaos Boons table. He already has serpentine fangs (13) and a scorpion's tail (21), and if I roll either of those two results again he gets to join Bardûl in the ranks of spawndom. I roll the Chaos Boon - and get 23. Warp Stalker (reroll Advance and Charge rolls). My heart skipped a beat on the first D3 roll, but that result was a very good one, and partially offsets the Lost Leg battle scar. Kratus is now at 47XP, so levelling up to Legendary rank is realistically only a couple of games away. And who knows what awaits him when he does...
  14. Or: Maybe Don't Choose To Go Second Against Custodes Next Time 16 September, 2022 After being surrounded by the foul xenos forces, the World Eaters only manage to fall back thanks to the enemy armies' preoccupation with each other. Returning in force and hoping to catch these enemies off-guard, the Cruentes are surprised to not see Necrons or xenos mutants, but instead the transhuman might of the Adeptus Custodes. After the last battle, I used the Repair and Recuperate requisition to remove the battle scar from the Terminators. Kratus and Baruda lead the force, consisting of Murdax's Red Butchers, all three Berzerker squads led by Validon, Dreior and Gorm, a big mob of Cultists, Xarian the Helbrute and Bardûl the Spawn. In this mission, there are six objective markers in No Man's Land, which players must perform "loot" actions on to score VPs. Each objective can be looted three times in total before being removed. I choose the agendas Blasphemous Ritual (perform an action in the centre for XP and Chaos God Glory), Instrument of Vengeance (a Path of the Righteous agenda to kill characters) and Reaper (unit that kills the most gets bonus XP). I win the roll-off for first turn, and decide that I want to go second, to draw the enemy forward or something. It sounded like a good idea at the time. At the top of the first battle round, I spend a few CPs on Apoplectic Frenzy to rush the Red Butchers, Cultists and two Berzerker squads forward. The Berzerkers on my left flank rage forward but somehow maintain the wherewithal to take cover. The Cultists move into a position to capture an objective on my first turn, while the Terminators look all menacing in the middle. And finally, the Berzerkers on the right start shuffling around a piece of terrain. Why didn't I Frenzy the other Berzerker squad, you ask? You know, the one in a perfect position to nab an objective on turn 1? Your guess is as good as mine, dear reader. In my opponent's first turn, things move up and start shooting. I quickly realise that I should've taken the first turn, if only to get Illusory Supplication off on the Apostle. Thankfully, my dice are extremely hot - who knew that frenzied Berzerkers would be so situationally-aware that they could make so many saves in cover! A few Terminators are, however, blasted off the table. Remind me again why I chose to go second? In response, everything surges forward in a great, red tide. Terminators begin a mission action in the centre of the table, while Baruda sings them a nice prayer. I didn't want to risk failing the dice roll, so I quite happily used the Fell Prayers stratagem to guarantee it. On the left-centre, the Cultists also begin the mission action on an objective. Near them, some Berzerkers Advance to cover. Not sure why I didn't Frenzy them at the start, since it would've meant that they could do the mission action now...but I digress. Past Cheex is not best Cheex. On my right, Berzerkers file forwards, while Xarian opens up on the Custodes with jump packs (I forget their name). Xarian gets a little too trigger happy, rolling two shots and landing both a 1 and a 6 - thanks to Wanton Destruction, the 6 turns into two hits but the 1 still causes a mortal wound. In my opponent's turn, some fancy bolters kill several Berzerkers out on the left flank, a pile of Cultists are turned to mist, and a couple more Terminators are killed. Many Terminators are saved by the Illusory Supplication, though - against an army that relies on a small number of high-quality shots, nearly halving their ability to shoot is extremely useful. I seem to be missing some photos of my second turn, but simply: Terminators continue moving forward, this time enacting the Blasphemous Ritual on the centre of the table. Baruda again uses Fell Prayers to automatically succeed in using Illusory Supplication on them. On the right, my Berzerkers charge and massacre some Sisters of Silence who were on an objective, while the remnant Berzerkers on the left attempt to charge some bolter-wielding Custodes. Unfortunately, Tanglefoot Grenades root them to the spot (reduced my charge range by a whopping 6"!). On my opponent's turn, he decides he's had enough of the Dark Apostle's shenanigans and sends a Shield Captain over to assassinate him. Meanwhile, more jetbikers head off to intercept the Berzerkers on my right, and a couple of Terminators are killed. The Berzerkers on my left, out in the open from their failed charge, are mercilessly cut down, with four dying to shooting. The few that are left are easily mopped up in melee. Yeah, this turn isn't looking good. On the right, the Berzerkers there are skewered by the jetbike charge. The only glimmer of hope this round is Baruda, whose loyal disciples are cut down while the Apostle himself is merely wounded. In return, he lands a successful hit on the Captain. In my turn, I remember that Baruda has the Mantle of Traitors relic, so he can use the Fell Prayers stratagem once for free. He beseeches his daemonic patrons to splinter reality around the Red Butchers once more, while he turns his attention back to the Captain. Sensing an opportunity for a gory kill, Kratus steps up to claim a worthy skull for Khorne. Xarian stomps forward to handle the jetbikes on the right flank. Meanwhile, the Cultists keep chanting "wE cAptOrEd iT fOr ChAyOssS" into their vox for some reason. They've just been quietly earning me VPs all game, bless their hearts. I've got some good charges lined up, which would give me the opportunity to stay in the game. If I can clear out a few of these enemy units, I'll be able to stay ahead on VPs and potentially win the game. Unfortunately, the dice gods would not agree. Tanglefoot Grenades yet again ruin my day, dropping the Terminator charge by 6" again (my opponent profusely apologised for rolling a 6 twice with that stratagem!). They end up failing their charge, even with a reroll. Even more unfortunately, this leaves his Allarus Captain free to use his own relic, which allows him to perform a Heroic Intervention to anywhere on the table. He chooses to go after Kratus. Had this not happened, I would've activated Xarian first to kill the jetbikes on my right, trusting that I could weather the attacks from one captain. But with two captains squaring off against my characters in the centre, I opt to activate Kratus first. He splits his attacks between the two captains (first mistake). The jetbike captain makes enough Invulnerable saves to barely survive, while the Allarus captain uses Transhuman Physiology to absorb the rest of the attacks. Of course, the jetbikes then interrupt combat and demolish poor Xarian, and a string of bad saves means that both my characters die. From there, my opponent simply had to mop up the rest of my Terminators and Cultists to win the battle. Result: 25-45 loss Kratus's Personal Glory: 2 -> 1Khorne's Dark God Glory: 6 -> 6Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7 Oof, what an unfortunate series of events. My opponent played his stratagems well, twice using Tanglefoot Grenades to severely hamper key charges, but that last Hail Mary charge just fell apart spectacularly. Kratus's Personal Glory suffered again after that disastrous mishap, while the Blasphemous Ritual and my paltry 1 Chaos Point kept my Dark God and Warfleet glory at their previous levels. Thankfully, no rivals tried to challenge Kratus still. Gorm's Berzerkers gained the Battle-weary battle scar, while Bardûl lost 1XP from a Devastating Blow. I made a few key mistakes in this game again, particularly with regard to going first and not Frenzying my third Berzerker squad. They would've been able to nab another objective early on, while benefiting from cover. I also should've kept Baruda better covered, rather than letting a jetbike character charge him. I also failed a few key rolls, especially the Terminator charge in the middle. Had they succeeded, they probably would've killed the Allarus Captain while Kratus killed the Jetbike Captain and the Helbrute killed at least one or two of the jetbikes. No units gained a rank in this game, but I did make Kratus Marked for Glory (though in hindsight shouldn't have bothered, given his performance!), which put him just 1XP behind reaching Heroic rank...
  15. Or: The One Where I Realised Rhinos Kinda Suck When Forced to Use Strategic Reserves 16 September, 2022 As forces from all factions present on Janus trickle into the Hive Secundus, more engagements break out. The indomitable Necron advance pursues the regrouping World Eaters, however sensors on both sides start pinging with the presence of new enemies... Kratus and his lieutenant, Thrax the Exalted Champion, lead Dreior's Berzerkers and Gorm's Berzerkers, backed by Bardûl the Helbrute and Xarian the Spawn. Two Rhinos are seconded to transport the Berzerkers. In this mission, players are required to keep half of their force (in PL value) in Strategic Reserves, or otherwise deployed elsewhere. Players score VPs by killing things, killing things with Reinforcement units, and killing things in the enemy deployment zone with Reinforcement units, as forces attempt to encircle each other. Per the current campaign rules, each player sets up an objective marker to represent supply caches, which will give players free uses of certain Requisitions. Starting on the board is just one Rhino filled with Berzerkers and the Exalted Champion, and the Dreadnought. Kratus is in Warp Strike, while everything else is in Strategic Reserves. Not wanting to repeat the events of last game, I don't invest much into getting first in the Turn Order. Necrons go first, followed by the GSC, then the World Eaters. Surprisingly, the Necrons choose the central deployment zone. I set up my one Rhino and Dreadnought behind cover. The Necrons set up very cagey, with just some Praetorians behind the central refinery and some Immortals and Annihilation Barge behind the ruin in their deployment zone (ignore the models sitting off to the side). The GSC, of course, are nothing but blips on the auspex. The Necrons move up to take position behind the pipeways, while the Annihilation Barge zaps a few wounds off my Rhino. I move Xarian out of cover to try and plink some shots off at the Barge, to no effect. The Rhino trundles forward, urged on by the bloodthirsty maniacs in its troop hold. The GSC player does his usual shenanigans. Some stuff flings forward to take up positions around supply caches, other things prepare for future assaults. The Patriarch himself holds back, confident in his amazing threat range. In the second battle round, the Necrons get lucky and blast apart the Rhino, killing three(!). Many more Necrons filter onto the battlefield and begin to plink away at the Genestealer Cultists. In my turn, Bardûl arrives on my right flank, getting a long charge on the Plasmancer out in the open. And he proceeds to eat the rather un-nutritious Necron, before piling into the Barge to tie it up. Thrax and Gorm's Berzerkers charge some Skorpekh Destroyers, hoping to draw in the Skorpekh Lord in a Heroic Intervention, but the enemy declines. Ah well. Berzerkers annihilate the Destroyers. I also move up my Rhino from Reserves, preparing the Berzerkers inside to charge in the following turn. Kratus opts to wait in the Warp for one more turn. In the Necrons' turn, return fire from various units knock out three Berzerkers, leaving only Gorm and an injured Thrax still standing. The Skorpekh Lord charges Thrax and Gorm, killing Gorm. Thrax barely survives with a miraculous save (6+ to save, decided to waste a CP on the reroll but it succeeded!). Thrax, unfortunately, fails to land any meaningful hits back. I go fishing for 6s to wound (to trigger both Gorefather and the Flames of Spite WLT), but despite landing several hits and having full rerolls to wound, he rolls not a single 6 to wound. The few normal wounds that go through are saved. Blast. Elsewhere, the sneaky Genestealers continue their domination of the field, nabbing some more supply caches and threatening my flank and rear. Xarian's Dreadnought body suffers some damage from massed promethium from the cultists, while the demolition charges of the bikers succeed in wrecking the Rhino and killing a Berzerker. I forgot to take a photo of the ensuing charge, but the bikes opt to go after the Helbrute, knocking him down to just a single wound. In return, Xarian pummels three of the bikers and causes the last one to flee. Meanwhile, a small unit of Genestealers hits the Necron brick wall and discovers just how resilient they are. Several warriors die, but the melee would grind on for most of the game. In multiplayer games, the Fight phase is resolved in Turn Order, which unfortunately means that the Skorpekh Lord is able to drag down the Exalted Champion. I forgot to take photos in my turn, but with little left in my army I decide to go for some long charges. Kratus and the Berzerkers angle after the Genestealers, hoping to wipe them out before they could rip me to pieces...but both units fail their charges, even with Kratus getting a reroll. That's less than ideal. Xarian shoots something and whiffs (of course) and charges the cultists, only managing to kill a few. The Genestealers and Big Daddy himself swing around to meet Kratus and the Berzerkers head on. Meanwhile, the rock grinders make short work of the poor Dreadnought. The Genestealer and Patriarch charge ends more or less how you would expect, with everything in red dead. With the last World Eaters swept off the field and sent packing, the Genestealers round on the Necrons, but with the way scoring works in this mission, the two xenos forces are drawn in points. Result: Cruentes 20 - GSC 40 - Necrons 40 Kratus's Personal Glory: 3 -> 2Khorne's Dark God Glory: 7 -> 6Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7 With this rather disappointing display, Kratus's leadership is starting to be called into question, and he is lucky to even make it off this battlefield alive. With such a low Personal Glory score, he risks an attempted leadership coup, but thankfully his champions are quiet for now. Thrax gains the Loss of Reputation battle scar, reducing the range of his auras. However, I decide to mark him for greatness for his epic luck at saving (gotta give it to someone, right?), and he gains a rank. Faced with the frustration of being bested in single combat, Thrax exhorts the empyrean for strength...and is answered by a shadowy benefactor. He gains the Sigil of the Shadowlord Crusade Relic, granting him a much-needed invulnerable save and a 4+ FNP against mortal wounds. Bardûl also ranks up, gaining the Fleet of Foot battle trait, making him much faster. Since I was last in the turn order (and was trailing badly in points for the whole game), under the Catastrophe mission pack rules, I gained a bunch of Underdog points. None of them would've helped me during the game, but I'm able to spend three on gaining an extra Marked for Greatness, which I add to Dreior's Berzerkers. Finally, my Warfleet Favour finally pays off. Shortly after the battle, Dreior and his Berzerkers lead a successful fleet raid, earning him the trust of his Lord. Dreior's Berzerkers also gain the Trusted Hounds battle trait, allowing them to benefit from the aura of one of my characters from anywhere on the battlefield as a Command Phase ability.
  16. No battles this week, but lots of hobby progress! I've mentioned before that some of the models in this force are very, very old. Remaking these classic models has been on my To Do list for a long time, and the release of the Chaos Space Marine Chosen box as a standalone kit gave me the impetus to finally dive into it. Validon Validon's original model was based on the metal Khârn the Betrayer - I had received multiples of the model in a trade about 16+ years ago, so just had to convert one into a unit champion (of course). As the years went on, he received numerous additions and updates, including numerous coats of paint to "fix" his old paintjob, and a chainsword in 8th edition when dual-wielding became a thing. Last year, I received another plastic Khârn in a trade. I already had a plastic Khârn painted, so I immediately knew how I wanted to use the second one: as an update to Validon's classic model. One of my goals with these model updates was to make sure I retained enough details to keep the individual recognisable, as if the updated model was a plausible evolution of the character itself. For Validon, other than retaining Khârn's basic design features, I added a three-pronged spike from the Chosen box (with pennants rotated around to match his movement) to his backpack and a head from one of the AoS Slaughterpriest models to approximate his old helmet's design. Dreior Dreior's original model was an attempt by my to make a "modern" Chaos Marine out of spare parts before the updated CSM kit was released, using an AoS Blood Warrior head, Raptor power fist and DV Chosen backpack. Honestly, the less said about the old model, the better! For his new incarnation, I wanted to retain that right-handed power fist - which, unfortunately, is a bit of a rare configuration. Thankfully, the new Chaos Terminator kit has a right-handed power fist, and (with a suitable arm) it's pretty perfectly scaled to put on a power-armoured body. I decided to give him a plasma pistol instead of his old FW combi-plasma, though I ran into a similar problem: not very many left-handed pistols in the Chaos range. Thankfully, I had a (rather beaten up) Kranon the Relentless model kicking about that was perfect. I also decided against giving him a bare head (which was the original plan) and gave him a 3D printed helmet instead. Gorm Another ancient model from early on in my collection, maybe even one of my first conversions. Gorm was originally built from a Berzerker with a CSM power fist (with the pointing finger repositioned) and a chainglaive built with an old Chaos Marauder arm and Berzerker chainsword. I knew the new model needed to have a similar running pose, and a power fist loosely gripping a chainglaive. This was accomplished using the new two-handed chainaxe arms from the CSM Legionary kit, with the chainaxe head replaced with a chainsword, and a power fist from the Chosen kit. The power fist was very tricky to do: I had to remove the daemonic face from its palm, just the power fist from the elbow, and even repositioned the thumb, before sticking it onto a different arm. The only thing I'm a little annoyed about was that I didn't pay attention to Gorm's original skin tone, but let's just chalk that up him running out of tanning lotion since the Heresy. Overall, I'm extremely pleased with how these three guys turned out. The old models were bothering me but the characters had quite a lot of history in my lore, so when I saw the Chosen kit I knew I had an opportunity to give them the update they deserved. That kit is an absolute goldmine of some extremely cool bits (as well as some...rather derpy bits), and I thoroughly recommend it for conversion fodder!
  17. 27 August, 2022 With the Cruentes' supply lines well and truly solidified (Warfleet Glory has been at 7 for several games now), Kratus has set about raising as many edifices to the glory of the Bloodfather as possible. However, in this small satellite city of Hive Secundus, a cultist coven has alerted the Cruentes of a hidden cache of Mechanicus artefacts. Eager to add these to his arsenal, Kratus leads a force to recover them - and pile some skulls in the process. Fortunately for his warriors' Butcher's Nails, a worthy foe looms on the horizon as four Imperial Knights close in on the same target. Kratus leads Baruda the Dark Apostle, Murdax and his 9 Red Butchers, Validon and his 7 Berzerkers, Gorm and his 4 Berzerkers, Bardûl the Spawn, and a small mob of Cultists. The Cruentes' Agenda is to perform a Blasphemous Ritual (perform an Action in the centre of the table for XP and Dark God Glory points) and to destroy some Priority Targets (kill vehicles). The Cruentes push forward as the Attackers in this scenario (personal rule - if I win the roll-off, I always choose Attacker) and manage to get first turn. The mission is Tech Hunt from the Plague Purge mission book, where there are four objective markers near the centre line of the board with a number hidden underneath them (the players know what two of the numbers are, but are not allowed to check after they're placed). Players must perform an Action to uncover an objective's number. The player performing the Action gets 10VPs, but if it's an odd number, the objective is removed from the table. The two remaining objectives, if uncovered, are worth 10-15VPs per turn. With the enemy in their sights, the Berzerkers of the Cruentes surge forward in Apoplectic Frenzy. I forgot to take photos after my first movement phase, so just imagine everything another 5-6" further forward. Turns out that Apoplectic Frenzy is a very useful tool for reaching objectives early to perform Actions, as I uncover two of the objectives in my first turn - one on the right flank (behind that rocky outcrop) and one on my left flenk (behind that big building). The Red Butchers also begin their Blasphemous Ritual action in the centre of the table. My opponent's first turn opens up to him killing my small Berzerker squad on my right flank through shooting and assault. Elsewhere, combined shooting kills a two Berzerkers and a Terminator. The Big Knight turns the Cultists into red slurry. Finishing their Action in the centre and gaining some XP and a Dark God Glory point, the Red Butchers and Kratus surge forward once more to take on the enemy warlord. Baruda, the Dark Apostle, steps up to begin the next Blasphemous Ritual. On the left, Validon's Berzerkers have a choice between charging a shooty or choppy Armiger. I don't particularly want to have my opponent interrupt combat, so I decide to charge the shooty Armiger. The Berzerkers swarm it and, later in the Fight phase, rip it to shreds. The Red Butchers start chewing up armour plates and hydraulics with their chainfists and power fists, knocking out most of the Knight's wounds. In hindsight, I definitely should've used the stratagem that gives Terminators +1 to hit! My opponent declines to interrupt combat, since he only has two CPs left. Kratus then steps up with his chainfist, mag-locked boots giving him access to the knight's carapace and carving off the last of the Knight's wounds. The enemy machine had some relic that caused Mortal Wounds on saves of 6+, so both the Terminators and Kratus take a couple of wounds. As Kratus breaches the machine's cockpit, however, his triumphal roar is interrupted by a deafening explosion. My opponent spends his last CPs to force the Knight to explode, killing a couple more Terminators, knocking some wounds off the nearby Armiger, and pinning Kratus under the bulk of its collapsed machinery. The Knights have lost around two thirds of their force in one turn, so things are getting dire. In desperation, one of the Armigers charges Baruda in the centre while he was still building his pile o' skulls, as the other Armiger loops around my rear to attack Bardûl, who was being held back in case of emergency. To the surprise of no one, the Spawn is instantly gutted by the small Knight's chainblade. In the centre, I opt to interrupt combat and use two additional strats: Fury of Khorne to cause auto-wounds on 6s to hit, and Stoke the Nails for the added Strength and exploding 6s. It's a long shot, but I still hope for the best. Unfortunately for Baruda, however, he fails to land any damage on the Armiger - that's 4CPs well spent... In return, the Armiger cuts apart Baruda's last Disciple (the other was killed by the big Knight's explosion) and lands a hit on the Apostle himself, opening a huge gash in his amour but he is still left standing. Those Disciples also having a 4+ invulnerable save is extremely useful here! Unfortunately, the distraction (and Baruda's poor showing) means that Khorne isn't interested in his offering, and his Action fails - I need to roll a 7+ on 2D6, but only get a 5. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the final turns. Validon's Berzerkers and the Terminators all charge the Armiger harassing the Blood Priest, easily cutting it to pieces. In return, the last Armiger in my back lines sweeps around the big ruin to attack Validon's squad in the rear, leaving only a couple of Berzerkers alive. It is the final gambit by my opponent, but the result was never really in doubt with seven Red Butchers still on the field. As the Armiger is dismantled by the frenzied Terminators, Baruda attempts another Blasphemous Ritual, but is again shunned by the Bloodfather. Result: 70-0 Win Unlocking the archeotech vaults, Baruda has discovered an ancient and potent warp-fuelled power source for his Crozius (improves AP by 1). Only the Cultists suffer a Battle Scar, becoming Battle-weary (no actions, 1XP cap per battle), everyone else recovers without problems. The Cruentes gain 4 Chaos Points for winning the game, and one bonus Dark God Glory for a successful Blasphemous Ritual on turn 1. I use these to keep the Personal and Warfleet glory the same, while bumping up the Dark God Gory to a Favoured level. Kratus's Personal Glory: 4 -> 4Khorne's Dark God Glory: 5 -> 7Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 7 -> 7 I use the Warfleet Favour to up my Supply Limit again, but can't do anything with the Dark God Favour just yet.
  18. This is something I've been wanting to do since the start of the year: the Aksha'i Cruentes are embarking on the Path of the Righteous. Now that I'm comfortable with the Crusade rules in the CSM codex, I feel like this is a logical and characterful step for the Cruentes. They've always been a zealous bunch, and now with the death of Bardûl and the rising star of Kratus, I think it's a good time to start folding these rules into my army. Baruda is clearly pushing more of his influence on the new Hand of Khorne! For those who don't know, the Path of the Righteous is a series of articles from Flashpoint: Nachmund in White Dwarf, spanning issues 472-476. If you are a Warhammer+ subscriber, you can get all of those articles right now in the Warhammer Vault. This series covers a force's ascent to absolute belief in their cause as righteous zealots, with a neat little twist at the end: My plan is to start with just WD472, and then each month simply add the rules from the next issue until the Path is complete. In the first phase of the Path of the Righteous, I start keeping a Righteous Inspiration tally for each unit in my force. I gain access to a few new Battle Honours and Agendas, and engaging with these will increase a unit's Inspiration tally. The tally doesn't actually do anything (yet), but it's a handy guide to see just how zealous my force is getting. To begin with, even though all units in my force will be on the Path, not everyone will be enthused by it. My vehicle drivers, for example, don't really care; Xarian and Bardûl, likewise, are too far gone to pay attention to it. In game, this means that those units won't actively try to achieve Righteous Agendas or use Righteous Battle Honours (or, later, use Righteous Stratagems). Later on the Path, this will prove to be problematic, but that will be half the fun!
  19. In another stunning example of hobby butterflyism, I've decided to work on something completely different to what's already on my desk. But this was just a quick update of a model I have been meaning to fix. I haven't been happy with the composition of Baruda's model for some time. The original intention was that the huge icon would represent the Banner of Rage relic, but it just really felt like it unbalanced the model - and this was exacerbated by his slightly side-heavy pose (and not helped by the Banner being an absolutely rubbish relic). The rest of his model I'm reasonably happy with - the head is from the Corpse Grinder gang from Necromunda, the Accursed Crozius was an icon found on the basing materials in the Bloodthirster kit, and the arm was simply from the Chosen box. Not being one to shy away from ripping apart models I have already painted, I popped his arm off (thank you, Past Cheex, for not pinning it!), cleaned up the join, and painted a simple bolt pistol arm to replace it: Following the destruction of the World Eaters as a Legion at Skalathrax, Baruda left Dreagher's command and struck out on his own, blackening his armour as a symbol of the ashes that the Legion had needed to become; he believed the World Eaters needed to die for it to be reborn as a new Legion under the Blood God, and when he eventually rejoined another warband of former World Eaters, he shared this philosophy with them. That warband seized this new idea with enthusiasm, later becoming known as the Cruentes. Baruda continues to serve the Cruentes as its spiritual guide, regularly communing with Daemons and offering many sacrifices to attain their favour, which he utilises frequently in battle. Baruda knows the Illusory Supplication prayer, in addition to his default Dark Zealotry and Wrathful Entreaty prayers. At time of writing, he does not have any Warlord Trait or Relic. And, just because I love Chaos Weirdos in all their forms, here are some closer looks at his buddies Voxface and Incensior: Voxface's original podium backpack wasn't really doing it for me - I don't really see World Eaters as being big into reading - so I swapped it out for this gigantic Khorne icon from AoS. Incensior, on the other hand, has to be one of the few models in my force that isn't converted in some way: Enjoy!
  20. I've been playing this army for quite a long time. Almost as long as the soon-to-be obsolete plastic Berzerker kit, in fact; I think it came out about a year before I picked up my first Chaos Battleforce box back in the day. Over the years, I have collected entirely too many Berzerkers made from that old kit. At last count, there were something like 80-odd painted Berzerkers, and about as many unpainted. Unfortunately, that kit is now getting a little long in the tooth (so to speak), and as my force evolves to include newer kits, they start to look more and more out of place. In this Crusade army, the only unit left that is composed of Oldzerkers is Gorm's Hunters: Gorm himself was kitbashed probably 15 or more years ago, featuring parts from the Berzerker box, 3rd edition-era CSM, Chaos Marauders, and a WE symbol that I had sculpted and inexplicably duplicated on both the power fist and pauldron (I think I had just discovered push-molding). Having already built and painted Newzerkers for Validon's and Dreior's squads, I knew it was past time to do the same for Gorm - and this week I finally worked up the motivation to finish them off: Of course, working on this project (not to mention all the other Berzerkers in this force!) really highlighted just how out of place their Champions were. I mean, Gorm's base is a good 2-3mm thicker than those of his squad, and that barely keeps him a similar height! So, I've also started working on some new iterations of the three Berzerker Champions in this force (so far...). For comparison, here are the old iterations of Validon, Dreior and Gorm: And here are their WIP new versions: In keeping with Validon's old model being based off a metal Khârn, the new one is based off a plastic one that I had rattling around in my bits box, with a head from an AoS Slaugherpriest, power fist and pistol from CSM, backpack from old CSM, and icon spikes from the new Chosen kit. I did have to modify the spikes slightly to swing the little pennants in the opposite direction, though. Separating Khârn's head from his body was tricky, since so much of it was incoporated into the torso. In the end, I had to carve away much of the cabling on the torso, as well as the vent on the front. I replaced the latter with a speaker from an Imperial Guard vox, and covered up the missing cables with some Chaos Star bits from the Chaos Knight kit. Dreior was by far the Champion with the least character in his model, which is partly what inspired his backstory as a literal clone. His new model has a little more going for him, with a body and head from the Chosen kit (though I added some Butcher's Nails with green stuff - not that you can see them in the photo), a power fist from the Chaos Terminator kit (which, by the way, is perfectly scaled for power armour now) and a plasma pistol from the old Kranon the Relentless. And finally, old mate Gorm was made from a Chosen body, head and power fist, Legionary chainaxe arm (and haft), and a chainsword that I think was from the Raptor kit. I think this model was the best homage to his old iteration, with that heavily modified power fist loosely gripping his custom chainglaive. Now that is a face only Khorne could love. I wanted to lean into his backstory of cannibalism, so just had to go with one of the heads from the Chosen kit, and I think it captures his derangement (and degeneration) well. That's all for now! All comments and criticism are welcome.
  21. Lord Kratus, the Hand of Khorne Once the Champion of Bardül's Terminator bodyguard, Kratus clawed his way to fill the power vaccuum left by his master's Spawndom. As the former Hand of Khorne's body was being torn asunder, Kratus tore Bardül's chainfist - a symbol of his self-proclaimed title - from his warplate. Easily besting other challengers for the title, Kratus assumed his position as the leader of the Aksha'i Cruentes, and now intends to reunite the many Cruentes warbands scattered through the galaxy. Kratus is haunted by an unsual affliction: he can often see another warrior, wearing the colours of the old War Hounds Legion. This warrior has never revealed his name, nor has he ever removed his helmet, and speaks with a voice that Kratus does not recognise. When the warrior speaks directly to Kratus, no one else reacts; in battle, the warrior often warns Kratus of danger, or points out a flaw in an enemy's movements. Curiously, however, the warrior occasionally speaks to others in Kratus's presence, and when he does so his words are met with an air of respect, but at all other times he appears to not be noticed by anyone else. After I finished painting him, he also gained two Chaos Boons: Serpentine Fangs (+1 to wound when charging or performing a Heroic Intervention) and Scorpion Tail (+1A). I couldn't resist adding a scorpion tail, and am saying that his lightning claw has gained a vampiric quality that leeches an enemy's resilience when he latches on. Kratus has the Hatred Eternal Warlord Trait (reroll hits, +1A and +1S on the charge or when performing a Heroic Intervention). Murdax's Butchers With Kratus now leading the warband, one of his former Terminator companions, Murdax, has bested the rest to become the new Champion. Gathering more warriors to his command, Murdax himself has grown significantly in power and influence. Murdax leads 9 Red Butcher Terminators, armed with various weapons. Murdax himself is armed with a combi-melta and chainfist, and has the Ambition's Edge Battle Trait (+1A, +1W and +1Ld for the unit Champion). Over the past two battles, I have used two free Requisitions from having a Favoured Warfleet to improve the Butchers: one to adjust the unit's wargear (and give Murdax his new weapons, rather than a pair of Accursed weapons) and one to bump the unit up to 10 (before they level up again and are unable to take the Fresh Recruits Requisition). Blood Priest Baruda Unsatisfied with the Soultearer Portent prayer, I have spent 1RP on the Commune with the Dark Gods Requisition to replace it with Illusory Supplication. I know it's a bit of a meta choice, but I would like to win some battles every now and then! Sidenote: yes, Baruda is named after the priest from Khârn: Eater of Worlds. Is it the same individual? Who knows! Future Plans As I get more and more used to the B&C's Blog functionality, I plan to create a "living" blog post that lists all units in my Order of Battle. I also would like to start using the Blog Categories feature to start cataloguing the modelling and painting side of the hobby, so there should be plenty more coming. I have some new models in the pipeline to replace some older models, so stay tuned!
  22. Aside from the obvious change in leadership, there have been some updates since the last battle. In our campaign, for the first two weeks we had a special rule in place: This was essentially a 2-for-the-price-of-1 deal on increasing supplies after fighting a Combat Patrol game. I found that in previous Crusades, our group would just play 50PL/1000pt games but not bother spending resources to expand their supplies, to the point where Crusade became almost synonymous with small games, so this rule was to counteract that. So, having fought two Combat Patrol battles, I had an extra 20PL of Supplies to play with. On top of that, I also reached the maximum level of Warfleet Glory, so opted to use the same Requisition one more time. I now have a total of 75PL worth of supplies to play with. Starting this week, we'll be escalating our games to 50PL. With that in mind, we now have a few new additions to the Aksha'i Cruentes. Blood Priest Baruda, Dark Apostle An early convert to the Cult of the Blood God, Baruda was instrumental in the formation of the Cruentes. He wears the charcoal black armour of Loyalist chaplains in dark mockery of his misguided counterparts. Baruda is an extremely - and some might say excessively - zealous individual, to the point that those around him view him with slight unease. However, there is no denying that his entreaties to the Dark Powers are an effective tool. He has the Dark Zealotry, Wrathful Entreaty and Soultearer Portent prayers (I wanted to avoid the meta choices!). As yet, he does not have any Relics or Warlord Traits. Thrax Gorechosen, Exalted Champion Thrax is a wandering traveller, claiming to be an original member of the War Hounds Legion and claiming to be the bearer of the coveted relic, Gorefather. Regardless of the truth to his words, the Berzerkers who follow Thrax into battle are invariably inspired to great deeds of bloodshed as Thrax himself frequently seeks out the strongest enemies he can find. Thrax is armed with the Gorefather relic and has the Flames of Spite Warlord Trait. A New Leader Arises Following the damnation of their former warlord, a brief conflict arose amongst the various champions of the Cruentes. Ultimately, such questions of leadership are always answered by personal strength in the fighting pits. Emerging victorious was Kratus, former bodyguard of Bardûl. Owing to his new position, a new model is in order. Here's a little sneak peek of his new look: Don't worry, once he's on a raised base, he'll be a touch talled than his old model! Other Updates Old mate Xarian the Helbrute has become a Hate-fuelled Butcher, improving his Weapon Skill by 1. A Cultist Mob has been added. Two Rhinos have been added. (One was actually already in the list, but I never mentioned it.)
  23. 22 July, 2022 While hunting for new prey, the Cruentes discovered a cache of useful technology they could secure for bartering with the Dark Mechanicum. As they were securing the site, a Necron force led by Illuminor Szeras attacked their position. Bardûl personally led this force, and was once more accompanied by Dreior and Gorm's two small Berzerker squads, as well as Xarian the Helbrute. The mission forced me to split my army in two parts, and forced me to deploy my whole army first, but gave me two objectives to defend. For my Agenda, I took the one that would give me Warfleet Glory, which gave me three extra objectives to grab and bring back to my deployment zone. On my left, Xarian achieved nothing: he downed three Warriors, one of which promptly stood up, and the other two got back up over the game. In return, Xarian was one-shotted by a lucky blast from Szeras: Bardûl and a squad of Berzerkers, meanwhile, made short work of a unit of Praetorians on my right: However, this left the Berzerkers in my centre open to attack from Skorpekh Destroyers...who, in turn, were counterattacked by the Berzerkers on my right: These Berzerkers then proceeded to claim one of my Agenda objectives and return it to my deployment zone. While this was happening, Bardûl started his action on one of my Agenda objectives, but was rudely interrupted by Szeras. Szeras bounded around the outside of this storage tank, catching the veteran warrior by surprise and carving deep into his armour. In return, Bardûl severed a leg of his opponent before gripping Szeras's mechanical neck with his chainfist. Szeras fought back, once more puncturing Bardûl's plate but not quite laying him low. Refusing to release his grip, Bardûl ripped his enemy's head clean from its shoulders. Armour broken and bleeding from several wounds, Bardûl faced down the Necron Warriors, who could not seem to hit his flesh with their Gauss rifles. In desperation, they charged the Chaos Lord, but just could not penetrate his defences. In return, Bardûl slew a total of five Warriors before the rest fell back. Result: 55-5 victory for Khorne! With the Necrons retreating, the Cruentes discovered what the xenos were after: under the battlefield was a vault of abhuman genetic experiments, which must've been of interest to the inquisitive Szeras. While the genetic material itself was useless to the World Eaters, the equipment within the vault was invaluable, and Bardûl dispatched it to the Eternal Warrior. Bardûl's Personal Glory: 4 -> 3 Khorne's Dark God Glory: 5 -> 4 Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 4 -> 8 But now comes the real fun part. After this battle, Bardûl levelled up; in addition, the mission Victor Bonus allowed me to grant one unit a Battle Honour. Did I decide to throw in my lot with the Chaos Gods and make a grab for immortality with two Chaos Boons? You bet your heretical rear I did! It went a little like this: The first roll was a 12 for +1 Wound, which was very suitable given that he refused to die in both of the games so far. Perfect! Then the second roll...also a 12. Bardûl, in his arrogance, believed he was entitled to a greater reward than what was given to him and drank too greedily from the cup of immortality. Time for me to start making a new Chaos Lord...
  24. 15 July, 2022 The first battle the Cruentes took part in for this Crusade was 25PL against a mate's Death Guard. This was his first 40k game, so we kept the mission to a simple one from Beyond the Veil. I chose the Agenda that would get me Dark God Glory points for performing an action at the centre of the board. The story behind this mission is that our forces are jointly invading an Imperial world that has until recently been isolated by Warp storms. As Imperial reinforcements arrive in-system, the World Eaters give in to their bloodlust and start hunting their allies in the heart of an occupied Hive city. Bardûl led this battle, accompanied by the two small squads of Berzerkers, led by Dreior and Gorm, and Xarian the Helbrute. Opposing them was a Daemon Prince, two small squads of Plague Marines, and a small blob of Poxwalkers. Being an introductory game, I didn't take any photos and tried to let my opponent have a few hero moments to keep it fun. In the end, I accidentally wiped him anyway, however he won the game on points. Bardûl and Xarian the Helbrute were the only models left on the table; Bardûl had killed the Daemon Prince and several Poxwalkers, while Xarian demolished everything else in melee. Despite losing the battle, I still gained 3 Chaos Points to put towards my various trackers, plus one Dark God Glory point for achieving the Agenda once. Both Bardûl and Xarian gained 5XP, so were close to levelling up already. Bardûl's Personal Glory: 4 -> 4 Khorne's Dark God Glory: 4 -> 5 Cruentes' Warfleet Glory: 4 -> 4
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