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From The Skies! The 23rd Elysian - Ride of the Valkyries...


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"A shot in the arm or leg, may encourage a weaker man to inconvenient heroics. That is why we strike at the head and the heart of an opponent." - Col. Stavkowicz, 23rd Elysian Drop Regiment

Chapter 4 - Operation SABER

The intra-system mass transport, "Solar Grrl", began its descent.

Quite unexpectedly, the rear cargo hatch opened up and three objects slipped out unnoticed by tracking auguries, at approximately 10 miles above the surface.


It always seemed like it was Burke's turn to patrol the Lord Treasurer's immense roof when the weather turned ugly. His refusal to kick back part of his credits to the duty master usually translated into him getting all the dirty jobs. What could he say, he had a family to feed. He only hoped that Steppengraff on the other side of the complex was as miserable as he was.


Stalker preferred to freefall a few more seconds longer than his troops. First he never got tired of the feeling that an unrestrained drop provided, but just as importantly, it almost always ensured that his were the first boots on the ground.

As the high contrast green image coalesced into recognizable shapes, a voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Saber Six, this is Saber Six-Two. I am at your ten o'clock, fifteen meters low. I have two heat returns in the vicinity of the LZ. I have marked both targets.

Stalker's first thought was that was just like Boro, pushing the envelope even further than he would, determined to lead the way into Hell itself, if necessary.

"Saber Six-Two, this is Saber Six. Acknowledged. I copy your coordinates. The Northeast return is now labeled Charlie One, you own it. Saber Six-Nine, Southwest return is Charlie Two and he's yours. Gentlemen, let's not start the party too early, but you may consider yourselves weapons free."

The only responses to his statement were two clicks in his ear bead com set.


Burke looked at his chronograph with cold, tired eyes. He grunted at the fact that he had four more hours on his watch before he could get back inside and soak up a little warmth before his next shift started.

Just briefly, he heard an odd sound on the wind, almost like fabric rustling. The only nearby material Burke could think of was the Lord Treasurer's personal flag, but that had been lowered at sundown per standard protocol. As he squinted into the darkness, he never saw the filtered flash from the Stinger sniper pistol.

Burke slumped to the ground, his brain cooked by a focused packet of microwaves.

In sixty seconds the whole team was down and the perimeter was secure. All three teams were broken up looking outward at their section of the perimeter, intently seeking any sign that might indicate that the first phase of the operation had been compromised.
"Fortuna must favor the bold", Stalker thought. His teams experienced no casualties and only one trooper was disabled with a broken leg. Thankfully, he was still able to shoot despite the pain, as Stalker couldn't afford to lose the firepower or his cognitive powers to pain killers.

Saber Six gave the 23rd's silent battle language hand signals and his teams moved out.


Sleep seemed beyond Quinn's grasp tonight. Normally he was used to tossing around the day's issues, usually comforted by his decision making and how efficient his operations appeared. However tonight, his thoughts seemed dominated by an unexplainable growing unease. Tossing and turning in his bed, he briefly considered reaching for his medicae pack, but dreaded the headaches that resulted when he did. After another ten minutes had passed without release, Quinn got up and decided to make himself a cup of caffeine.

Part way through putting on his evening robe, he heard the sound of muffled voices and a rushing of footsteps on the floor of the marble hallway just outside his door.

Then silence.

An instant later, Quinn was thrown back by the shock of the explosion that threw his door off of its reinforced hinges. Lying stunned on the floor, Quinn weakly reached for the sidearm in his nightstand. Out of nowhere, a dark boot slammed into his wrist at the same time a gun barrel painfully jammed into his temple. A voice then hissed, "A most unwise move Lord Treasurer, do not force me to administer justice too soon."

With that statement, Quinn was roughly lifted up. Before he could utter a cry for help, a large adhesive restraint was placed over his mouth as he was rushed down the hall.

Still disoriented from the blast, Quinn soon found himself crouched on the roof of his quarters, shaking in the biting wind.

"Saber One, this is Saber Six, over. Saber One this is Saber Six, do you copy?"

"Six, this is One. Copy that."

"Saber One, GLORY, I repeat GLORY. Do you copy?"

"Roger Six. High Rise on target in two minutes. Copy?"

"Saber Six copies on High Rise."

Quinn's head had cleared enough that he began to look around for some way out of this mess. Just as he was beginning to stand, a long stream of stubber rounds raked across the roof, dropping several of the mysterious invaders.

"Saber One, this is Saber Six. The LZ just got hot. Taking fire from the Southeast. Several men down. Where in the throne is High Rise? Do you copy?"

"Saber Six, this is High Rise. ETA 20 seconds. You should see my IR markers on your Northeast."

Quinn began to be aware of a new sound, higher pitched than the wind, more constant than the staccato bark of the stubber. Almost at the same time, the stubber that had been pouring fire on them, began firing up into the air, based on the track of its tracer rounds.

"Saber Six, this is High Rise. Clear the LZ. I'm coming in hard and I'm not staying long. It's gotten just a little too warm for comfort."

Before Stalker could respond, the Valkyrie slammed into the roof and popped the back hatch. At the same time, the side doors slid back and gunners began returning suppression fire on the stubber emplacement.

Quinn felt himself yanked upright and the two soldiers on either side ran him into the back of the craft. The two soldiers threw Quinn at the bulkhead in the front of the cargo area. In the time it took him to sit up, the rest of the Saber Six team was onboard and the craft had lifted off. Once in the air the soldiers sat down in the utilitarian jump seats.

A black clad soldier came over to where Quinn was sitting, flipped him onto his stomach and pinned him to the floor with an armored knee. Before Quinn could do more than squeal in pain, the soldier pulled his wrists behind his back and applied two string restraints, then did the same to his ankles. He then performed a quick, but efficient pat down to ensure no weapons would inconveniently surface later.

Satisfied that Quinn wasn't going anywhere unaided, the soldier removed his webbing and sat nearby, alert, but relaxed. Quinn eventually succumbed to the monotonous drone of the aircraft's engines and slipped into a deep sleep.




A third time.

"Wake up you pathetic excuse for a human being!" A flustered Quinn felt heat on his cheeks from being slapped awake. Quinn's eyes finally focused on the severe features of a blacked out face with piercing eyes, mere centimeters from his face.

"I certainly hope you are of value to the good Inquisitor, Lord Treasurer, as you cost me one aircraft and fourteen good men."

The speaker's anger seemed to abate a little upon noticing the panic that swept across Quinn's face.

"You are afraid. That is good. You should be."



Photos by the BoLS photographer, War Games Con 2010, The Battle for Armageddon

More later...

Edited by Honda
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how do you find the transition to 6th with a pure elesian army? what boots do you punt on the ground in turn 1?


on a sidenote; damn, only 1 flyer+14 guardman down?

Edited by hendrik
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how do you find the transition to 6th with a pure elesian army? what boots do you punt on the ground in turn 1?


I really haven't changed how I play my Elysians because of 6th that much. I really like to play Apoc, and in Apoc, things that tend to make a big deal in 40K tend to have less of an impact.


From an army perspective, they are still Guard. The demo charges are more effective on vehicles now, as are the mortars and missile launchers on infantry, but since there aren't a lot of gimmicks to the army, what Guard infantry does well, we do too. The key to Elysians has really always been about mobility and objective grabbing. It's rare that you're going to charge right in and assault someone off an objective, so you need to be able to get their first with a lot and then use your flying artillery to keep you alive.


One big change in 6th is that there are potentially more AA weapons around and that new Chaos flying monster is scary, but do keep in mind, especially in larger games, you will have more flyers than they will, so you can continue to challenge the air through most of the game. I should also mention that in my Apoc list, I always took two Lightnings, armed with the twin lascannons and the AA missiles to cover my air assault.


In regular games, I start with my Company Command on table, which includes an Officer of the Flee, a heavy bolter team, and a mortar team. Also good candidates for T1 are a Venator carrying the...I think it's called a drop beacon, but basically the homer that eliminates the drift on your drops. After that, I want everything to either drop or fly in. I will almost always take an infantry platoon as a cheap objective holder and save the vet squads for transport in Valk/Vendettas. I never, ever leave home without my two Vultures with Punisher cannon. I've just found them to be too valuable. Beyond that, it's just boots, usually 95 or more. I also usually bring a couple melta Sentinels. I started off only bringing these armed with heavy bolters, but in reality, the Elysians need flexible, mobile heavy AT fire and they really fit the bill. Tauros are almost always equipped with the grenade launcher and are used to harass the enemy.



on a sidenote; damn, only 1 flyer+14 guardman down?


Well, that was just a story. At War Games Con, the Elysians did quite well because we were playing 5th and the Orks didn't know we were coming. It provided for a nasty surprise, though we do have to be careful around Lootas. Getting too close to a squad that has 45 shots is not fun. Now that the Orks have non-FW flyers to field, it's going to be a tad more interesting.


Let's see, infanty pictures...










That ought to cover the infantry for awhile.



Edited by Honda
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Drop regiments are a powerful assest and ally in apoc games. I've witnessed the power of 10 flyers and a lot of guardsmen dropping on an objective.

My group once played an apocalypse style "rolling" campaign modeled after the historical Operation Market Garden. My Armored and Mechanized companies supported by a highly mobile space marine force had to break through to relieve the drop company who were holding a strategic bridge in a small river town. It was a very fun game to run, especially considering for once the basilisk was used at max range. (actually took two turns to get into position to support the drop regiment player). The Imperium secured oneside of the bridge in the end, and even so it became a nightmare trying to prevent tank bustas from just blowing up the bridge. if it wasn't for the SM player dropping in a dreadnought to pull a gandalf against the orks the game probably would have tied. Punisher cannons on vendettas are amazing at forcing your opponent to roll saves, the creedence of increasing death by probability being one of the enjoyable aspects of the Imperial guard.

however ork lootas are the bane of aircraft just for the sheer number of auto cannon rounds they can pump out, and yes they are snap shots if your flying, but once you start hovering...


Honestly I like the feel you embued with your regiment. Congrats!

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Okey doke. This slug of pics should get my project pretty much caught up as far as where the army stands right now. I have some WIP pics if anyone is really interested in seeing how the infantry were painted or how I did the Vulture "Punisher" cannon conversion for the Valks.


Here are a couple of my drop sentinels





Some Tauros








A cheap "counts as" missile launcher conversion. I have three stands of these so that I can field a full squad.



A veteran Heavy Bolter gunner



After I got all the infantry painted, I decided to detail them a bit, so I added things like the rank stripes on the back of their helmets (L->R, Col., Sgt., Lt.)



Also, at some point, I wanted to make a vet squad that was...different looking. So I fiddled around with bits and ended up using the helmets from the Valk door gunners and pilots, some back packs I had, and then chopped up their lasguns to have a more H&K look to them.







I'm including this shot which is similar some of the previous due to some adjusting of the type of picture which gives a better feel for the colors as they really are. The other shots were used because they had good detail, but the camo pattern is a tad too blue looking.



Now that I am current, I've an itch to do some fun things and let my creative juices flow. Some of the upcoming projects for this army will be an objective based on a Valk nose assembly, one of those targeting sensors, which will be another objective, and then something I've been considering for a bit. If you are familiar with the movie "Blackhawk Down", then you will have seen how the Blackhawks were preceded by Little Birds (Hughes MC-500M's?) carrying the Delta Force troopers. So, I wanted something like that. So, I settled on an Arvus Lighter, which I will arm with TL-Autocannons and then I'll probably need to model up some sort of special squad of troopers to go with it. They may or may not look like Delta Force, but I am fairly certain that unlike my other scheme, they will all be in dark clothing. I'm rather looking forward to starting on that in a few weeks after the Arvus gets here.


I'm also going to delve into the background of the 23rd, or at least provide for some additional back story for how my guys & gals got to where they are today. In case it wasn't obvious (which is not a bad thing), the Chapter Four post above was an Elysianized version of the first few minutes of "Air Force One", which was very inspirational as it pertained to the development of the modern day 23rd Regiment.


Anyway, I'm looking forward to the continued development of the army and will include battle reports and such as they come along.



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:D Bolting guns onto Arvus lighters is painfully bad in game.


I love the look of those guys, though, especially the H&K lasguns. My only criticism is that it makes the plasmagun look insanely big and bulky.

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Thank you Brother Hastatus!


The basing is fairly simple and easy. After gluing sand to the base, I paint with (craft grade) dark brown, then a dry brush with a medium grey, then a light grey. After that I apply a snow mix and some static grass on some bases.





On a few bases, I left some of the base top exposed and then when all the rest of the basing was done, I painted the flat area with a coat of Futures and then a coat of 'Ard Coat to represent snow melt.


Finished base



I hope that helps.



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Lovely work on your Imperial Guard, Honda. I love the camo scheme you've come up with and I love those flyers. The bases look ace too! Are you planning on adding any more to the army? :)





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@BBL: I would love to add two "real" Vultures with Punisher cannons on them. I'll just have to see whether or not that will pan out. Regarding infantry, I have quite a few now, so any additions would be something that is out of the ordinary, e.g. the proposed Delta Force troopers to go with the Arvus.


@FM: Could you clarify your statement a bit? How is having guns worse than not having guns, especially big ones? Is it the "Hover" piece? Don't they have to hover to get out of the vehicle anyway?


@BH: I'm glad that was of some help. If you have any other questions, just shoot me a PM.


While BnC was sleeping, I did manage to get one small thing done, which I will post shortly. It's more for giggles than anything, but...we'll you'll see.


Thanx for the C&C! Glad to have BnC back up. Very little out there compares favorably to here.



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Hee, Cylcopses are so cute.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v205/KaguraHakubi/Forum%20Comments/MikoSatisfied.png The thing with putting guns on the Arvus is that they're all forced to snap-fire,  always, and are still quite an expensive option. You're usually better off with a dedicated combat aircraft, even just a plain old Valkyrie. Especially in an Elysian list where they're Dedicated.

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The thing with putting guns on the Arvus is that they're all forced to snap-fire, always, and are still quite an expensive option. You're usually better off with a dedicated combat aircraft, even just a plain old Valkyrie. Especially in an Elysian list where they're Dedicated.



Interesting...could you post the references for that please? I was under the impression (probably mistakenly) that they could only shoot while in Hover mode, which would give them decent shooting capabilities (BS3), but the additional vulnerability of only being able to do it while in hover mode.


I'm glad you brought this up now as I haven't the Arvus in hand yet, though to get some coolness in the model, I will most likely still add the autocannons.


I should also reiterate, the Arvus is not being added because of its capabilities, but being added despite its capabilities. This is a pure "fluff" unit, to emulate the Delta Force Little Birds that accompanied the Blackhawks (which are my Valks) on "Blackhawk Down".



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Imperial Aeronatica page 19. The rule is called "Improvised Weapons Mounts", and an Arvus with even the most basic weapons upgrade (TL Multilaser or two Hellstrikes) is 95 points, for an AV10 flyer that has to hover. On the other hand, no, they don't have to Hover to fire them.


The Arvus really isn't a good fit for representing Little Birds, though. The Little Bird is a dedicated scout / light interceptor with a small transport capacity, while the Arvus is a dedicated cargo transport - more like an Osprey than anything else, only not half as awesome. If you want something to use as a Little Bird, the closest is probably the Aquila - it has roughly the same transport capacity, a nose-mounted hard round weapon (Heavy Bolter, can be exchanged for Multi-laser or Autocannon), and is hover-capable. It's also somewhat larger, however. The Aquila's not very points efficient either (AV 11/11/10, Transports 7, and only 1 gun for 110 points), but it can also go super-sonic to get that squad where it needs to be (not a great analogy on the helicopter side of things, but oh well).


As far as the attack chopper/scout role goes, while it sacrifices transport capacity entirely, the Vulture is the best choice. A dedicated ground attack craft, because 40k doesn't support that it's also an excellent dogfighter. It's more manoeuvrable while Zooming than either the Arvus or the Aquila with Vector Dancer, and comes with a Valkyrie profile, a heavy bolter, twin-linked multilaser and two hellstrikes base for five points more than a Valkyrie.

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So as a sanity check for myself, I was looking around to see where I had gotten off the path on the Arvus and it turns out that in Imperial Armor: Apocalypse, 2nd Edition the "improvised Weapons Mount" has a different rule, which is as I stated, i.e. the Arvus can only fire when hovering.


I guess the good news is that I'm no crazier than originally believed, but I'm not sure whether one book trumps the other. Does anyone know? Both seem to be the most recent edition and updated for 6th. Also just checked the FW update for 6th and saw that Arvus has neither description, but does have Deep Strike, which doesn't help.


From a modeling perspective I think I'm going to go ahead and add some sort of twin autocannon mount for coolness factor.



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  • 1 year later...


But you may need more Valkyries.


You owe me a new keyboard. :P


I just love Valkyries, though right now, Vultures are probably at the top of my new acquisition list. I do have an Arvus I need to build to represent my "Little Bird" which will carry my Delta Force type squad because, cinematic. :)

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But you may need more Valkyries.


You owe me a new keyboard. :tongue.:


I just love Valkyries, though right now, Vultures are probably at the top of my new acquisition list. I do have an Arvus I need to build to represent my "Little Bird" which will carry my Delta Force type squad because, cinematic. :smile.:


Dude, what I'd like to know is how you transport your army. I'm guessing you have a pit crew and all, lol.


Oh and the Arvus. The flying potato that only a Star Trek fan could love. So ugly that it has crossed over into the beautiful. I'd like to see it when you finish it. Maybe needs some Landspeeder Storm Scouts hanging off it.

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