Thursday, 23 June 2011

Tale Of Five 40K Gamers

[Late] Mid-month update...

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As we near the the deadline for the first month's target we caught up with the gamers to see how they are getting on so far. Some of the guys were also kind enough to each put together a trail army list for their respective armies, so that we can all keep an eye on how their lists evolve over the course of the project.





I managed to catch up with James on Sunday as he prepared to take on Steven's Dark Elder in a 1000 point game of 40k. By all accounts he hasn't started painting anything as of yet, but he has promised me that there will be a surprise in store for the readers come the day of the first deadline. I wonder what it is he has planned...

Regardless of what he has in store I took the opportunity to take some photographs of James in action, in a game that was pretty much won and lost in the first turn! Better luck next time, eh?


Though James' Eldar got a right hammering, he still managed to die with a smile on his face!


Maugan Ra's Council of Death:
Maugan Ra: 195 pts.
Farseer: spirit stones, Doom, Eldritch storm, Mind War: 140 pts.
10 Warlocks, 4 x Destructor, Embolden, Enhance, 4 singing spears: 310 pts.

5 Pathfinders: 120 pts.
10 Dire Avengers: Exarch, Bladestorm, Defend, power weapon + shimmershield: 177.

8 Striking scorpions: Exarch, Scorpions Claw, Shadowstrike: 175 pts.
6 Howling Banshees: Exarch, Exacutioner, Warshout, Acrobatics: 128 pts.
6 Fire Dragons: Exarch, Firepike, Tank hunters: 131 pts.

Heavy Support:
5 Dark Reapers: Exarch, Tempest launcher, Fast Shot: 217 pts.
Wraithlord: Brightlance, Wraithsword: 140 pts.

Total: 1733 points




Rapturous Angels

JT: "You've not yet started painting any models, James, but do you think you'll manage turn it around in time?

JM: "I think so. Not started painting yet but I know exactly what I'm doing this month. I'll hopefully be able to get to work on things come the weekend, in the meantime I have this lot staring at me begging for my attention. Or perhaps it's me staring at them begging to play with my new toys!".


You can almost hear them calling to be played with...

JT:" You mentioned that you'd been messing round with some different paint schemes, have you actually settled on one yet or is it still up in the air at the moment?"

JM: "I have. Well I've settled on two. I can't plan out Space Marines without wanting to hark back to the imagery of them that brought me into the hobby. The likes of the Space Crusade cover art and it's always stuck in my mind how cool the captain in the white power armour looked amidst the red armoured Blood Angels under his command. So I wanted to do something similar. All the characters, champions, veterans etc. in the army will have an inverted colour scheme to the 'rank & file' marines. It'll hopefully create a nice contrast but still maintain a unified look across the army."

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Rapturous Angels Champion & Marine Armour

JT: "On the other hand, though, you have managed to put together some really cool background for your army [which the readers can check out below!]. I get the sense that the 'fluff' is just as integral a part of the army building process as the painting or building is, am I correct?

JM: For me it definitely is. Without the fluff it's all a bit soulless. The fluff is what makes it all go together, it provides the ideas for putting the mini together and for painting it and to an extent for the composition of the army and how it plays! Certainly I think I'd really struggle to build, paint or play an army if I didn't have a background for it. It'd just be plastic!"



The Rapturous Angels are a motley crew of renegades and degenerates. Some have been Chaos Space Marines for all of their cursed existence and others betrayed their former battle-brothers to join the warband. Some were created into their service and others were recruited from amongst their defeated foes. The core of the warband, and indeed their leader are traitors, previously of the Angels Exemplar chapter. After they turned against their own they fled with their leader, Mithridates The Torturer, into the Eye of Terror. His cadre of supporters formed the foundations of the Rapturous Angels, their souls already lost to Slaanesh, they attracted like-minded individuals amongst the heathens calling the Eye of Terror their home. There is a high prevalence of combat drug usage amongst their members, presumably orchestrated by Mithridates, drawing upon his experience as a former Chief Apothecary. Occasionally the Rapturous Angels recruit candidates to create new marines. The gene-seed they use is harvested from enemies and fallen comrades alike and the vast majority of it is very unstable, in part because of the rampant warp energies it is subjected to. Mixed with the warband's tendencies towards the overuse of combat stimulants and narcotics they create psychopathic mutants at best, the taint of chaos running through them. All those in the warband though share their addiction to combat stimulants and an increasingly devoted worship of Slaanesh.

The Betrayal

Mithridates The Torturer delights in inflicting excruciating torment upon his victims even more than he enjoys inflicting it upon himself but it had not always been so. He has long since lost interest in preserving lives but he was once Chief-Apothecary Mithridates of The Angels Exemplar.

He had risen through the ranks to become master of the Apothercarian through dedication to his work and to his Chapter. His speciality had always been in the field of combat drugs and he devoted an age to study and experimentation aiming to create perfect combat stimulants that amplified the already impressive traits of the Space Marines without any of the negative side-effects commonly associated with their use. Chapter Master Xiphares allowed for Mithridates to test his various concoctions on the fatally wounded that he treated so that he could better document his progress. (Xiphares name has since been stricken from the records of The Angels Exemplar, his treachery in allowing the possible contamination of the chapter's precious gene-seed and, indeed, allowing Mithridates' heresy to take root have made him a shame upon their brotherhood). When Chapter Master Xiphares was slain in battle and Chapter Master Polemon took on his mantle, he saw the successive failures of Mithridates in his endeavour as good reason to redirect the Apothecarions energies into other matters. He also took a dim view on his predecessor's controversial decision to allow testing on battle brothers whose gene-seed had not yet been harvested. Mithridates though had dedicated himself to his trials and believed he was close to the answers he sought so he continued to experiment. With no further access to test subjects he began the insane practice of experimenting upon himself, injecting numerous amounts of his creations into his bloodstream. This birthed an addiction to stimulants which in turn attracted the attention of the chaos god Slaanesh.

Slaanesh whispered to the Apothecary, promising that he'd give him the formula he sought if he offered up his soul in exchange. Still relatively sound of mind Mithridates declined the chaos god's offer and whispered prayers to the Emperor of Mankind to safeguard his soul. So Slaanesh turned his gaze elsewhere. Desperate to find the answer himself Mithridates began adding all manner of strange substances to his creations. Over time few of them were added to improve the effectiveness of the mixtures but more so to satisfy his addiction to stimulants. He began field-testing his experiments and it was not long before his brothers in arms quietly remarked on the visible improvement in his martial abilities, his impetuousness and need to be in the fray. He regularly took to the field on a bike so that he could quicker meet the foe in battle. The rush of combat a stimulant in its own right. From then on, when his brothers fell in battle, he would attend them using chemicals and substances, often of his own creation, to either mend their wounds or dull their minds to them. They were seemingly all highly addictive in their nature as Mithridates rapidly developed a core of supporters, dependants who required the continued survival of the Apothecary so that he could manufacture and provide their next fix of stimulants! These devotees ride with Mithridates to this day but their tastes have long since moved on from just mere combat drugs.

As Mithridates descended further into his addiction and created a vast list of crimes to which he would one day have to be held accountable for. Slaanesh spoke to him once again. Again, dark whispers promised to tell him the secret he longed to know. This time Mithridates relented, his soul seemed a small price for such a potent chemical, something that would reawaken his drug-dulled senses once more. In a possessed state he manufactured a single dose of the chemical and, desperate to feel its effects, injected it into his system. His senses were magnified far beyond the super-human level they already operated at, his body manufactured adrenalin to extreme levels, his strength was multiplied and his muscles worked his frame at a blistering pace that no mortal could ever hope to match. Although potent beyond what Mithridates could have hoped for it was short lived and all that it had brought had been wasted in the gloom of his study within the Apothercarion. He tried to manufacture a second dose but he had no recollection of what ingredients he'd used or their quantities. He beseeched the Dark Prince for the formula once more. Slaanesh agreed to allow Mithridates to manufacture another dose but only in exchange for a gift of one hundred souls. So it was that Mithridates' fall was complete. He barely considered his actions such was his need for the drug. He summoned those loyal to him to the Apothercarion in secret and then revealed his treachery. Promising the souls of all those on board the company's Strike Cruiser to Slaanesh, he released a neurotoxin into the the Aeration Systems. The neurotoxin was a side product of a failed experiment of his that had led to a separate more deadly use for the chemicals he created. Even the advanced physiology of a Space Marine couldn't fend off the affects of the neurotoxin without aid. His battle-brothers died in droves as the toxin attacked their nervous system causing violent convulsions until asphyxiation killed them. The advanced systems within marine power armour easily warded off the toxin but so few of the marines on board the strike cruiser donned their armour whilst in transit. Mithridates and his followers wore theirs and they were easily able to mop up those that survived the toxin amidst the confusion. Only those that swore their souls in service to Slaanesh were spared from death. Slaanesh held his end of the bargain and Mithridates was able to manufacture another dose of the chemical he craved. He enjoyed its powerful effects as his followers set the strike cruiser on a course for the Eye of Terror, fleeing the violent retribution they knew would follow them otherwise.

Since that day Slaanesh has strung Mithridates along, demanding exponentially greater numbers sacrificed in his name for each new dose. Mithridates' mind is now completely broken by his addiction. Now he is a creature devoted to achieving new levels of stimulation, ever injecting himself with stimulatns and toxins for the sensations they inflict on him. As his altered physique adapts to the poisons he increases the dosage or creates new ones. He now though finds an even greater joy in sharing these toxins with his victims.


The Rapturous Angels organise themselves into packs. The strongest of their number championing and leading these packs into battle. The packs are always 6 bikes strong in tribute to the Dark Prince. Many of them count an attack bike as one of their number and the position of gunner on these often given to the weakest of their number as punishment, denying them the right to ride their own bike to war. Their bitterness makes them cruel beyond compare and ironically makes them the perfect candidates to wield the devastating weaponry at their fingertips.

Leading the packs to war will be Mithridates The Torturer, often with his own entourage of former Angels Exemplar veterans, those that turned with him. Mithridates has any number of lieutenants eager to lead in his absence but it is indeed very rare for him not to be drawn out by the sound of war and the scent of fear. The warband's Land Speeders, in theory, form their own separate pack but such is the headstrong nature of their pilots that any organisation is quickly abandoned upon contact with the enemy.

Combat Doctrine

The Rapturous Angels almost exclusively conduct warfare from the saddles of their bikes. So lost are they to sensation and excess, that even the cacophony of emotions, sights and sounds that is war carries a limited thrill for them. When conducted at breakneck speeds and as a disorienting dance of death it can still hold some appeal. The use of combat drugs to enhance all of this is a common trait amongst the heathens that make up their number. Exponents of hit and run warfare, they work to confuse and overwhelm their foe. They love nothing more than the panic their attacks breed amongst their foes and often avoid the "quick kill" tactics employed by many imperial commanders, preferring to extend their prey's agony for as long as possible. Letting the anticipation reach fever pitch or allowing fear and stress to overthrow reason so that their foes turn upon their own in their terror. Occasionally this tactic fails and their actions only strengthen the resolve of their enemies. To the Rapturous Angels though this is of little consequence. Pain and death are new experiences to be explored to their fullest just as much as the infliction of them should be.

One thing that sets the Rapturous Angels apart from many renegade warbands is their continued use of Land Speeders. Normally these machines require far too much maintenance to be practical for the disjointed bands within the Eye of Terror. The Rapturous Angels take great pride in keeping a wing of these fast vehicles operational. Entire campaigns have been fought for resources so that this can remain the case. A team of Techmarines and adepts of the Dark Mechanicum take care of the Land Speeders. The most advanced practitioners of daemon-technology sought to attach themselves to the Rapturous Angels for the chance to work with technology so rarely seen within The Eye. This has made many warbands envious and more than once have attempts to steal these Land Speeders been fought off. The pilots of these craft are obsessed by their vessels and are amongst the most unhinged members of the warband. Perhaps the greatest risk to the survival of the warband's Land Speeders though are these pilots themselves. The combat drug addled, thrill-seeking maniacs are reckless beyond measure, initiating suicide dives and lightning attacks with equal fervour and constantly striving to push themselves and their craft to the limit. It is not unknown for these pilots to fly their craft straight through enemy formations, firing their deadly weaponry at point blank range and engaging foes in hand to hand combat from their cockpit before accelerating away through them, howling with maddened glee all the while!




Grey Knights

JT: "I hear you've gotten off to a really good start with your painting, what have you done so far?"

LH: “So far I've painted five Terminators and Castelan Crowe, although I still have work to do on their bases. For my first months entry, however, I've just finished painting a Stormraven.


Buzz works hard trying to complete his challenge of 250 points of painted models

Librarian: Nemisis Warding Stave, x2 Servo Skulls, Quicksilver, Might of Titan, Summoning, Sanctuary: 215 pts.

5 Terminators: Daemon Hammer, Incinerator: 205 pts.
10 Strike marines: Psycannon, Incinerator, x6 Halberds: 260 pts.
10 Strike marines. Psycannon, Psilencer, x6 Halberds, Thunder Hammer: 250 pts.

Stormraven: Twin-Linked Bolter Side Sponsons, Multi-Melta, Twin-Linked Assault Cannon, Mindstrike Missles: 235 pts.

Dreadknight Nemisis Daemon Hammer, Heavy Incinerator, Gatling Psilencer: 205 pts.
Dreadnought: Assault Cannon, Psybolt Ammunition: 130 pts.

Total: 1500 points.

JT: "Tell us little bit about your trail army list, do you you think it's working for you or not?"

LH: “Not at all. I just can't seem to get enough troops! When I include a standard amount of troop choices I find it very difficult to fit much else into the list. It looks like I'm going to have to design a list that is purely for fun or just full of craziness!”

JT: "Do you think you'll have much to chop and change before you know whether or not the list is right for you?

LH: “ Well, I've been playing around with no less than eleven different lists. So I'm absolutely, positively sure there will be changing plenty adjustments made to the list as the project wears on.




Raven Guard

JM: "So, you'll be painting a lot of black for this project. It's often seen as a difficult colour to get right and people have many different tricks they use to make it work. Care to share your method?"

JT: "It's actually really simple! It's maybe slightly more unusual compared to the way some people might do it, but I personally like the effect. I first started with a base coat of Chaos Black, which was then highlighted with 1:1 mix of Chaos Black and Shadow Grey. I then highlighted the armour twice more, each time adding a a little more Shadow Grey into the mix. After that I carefully painted a watered down mix of Macharius Solar Orange and Dark flesh into the recesses of the armour. Finally, I gave the armour a light wash using Badab black. What's more, though, it seems to capture the worn, earthy look that I envision the Raven Guard to have when they're at war."


John's first Assault Squad ready almost ready for action

JM: Codex Space Marine chapters can sometimes be quite similar, do you have any plans for this one to really put your own mark on it?

JT: "When you take a chapter-specific character in your army it automatically gains additional abilities that you wouldn't normally benefit from using a standard HQ choice from the codex. So, I suppose the inclusion of Shrike will alter the dynamics of the army in way that will allow me to play slightly differently from other players who use Space Marines at the club. I've also chosen units that will be tasked with carrying out specific roles on the battlefield - in keeping the 'fluff' wherever possible - so, again, that will also determine how my force operates as a whole."

JM: In the past we saw a nice snippet of 'fluff' you posted for your Raven Guard after an encounter with Khornate Daemons. Can we expect to see some more of this as you build the army up?

JT: "Yeah, I think that might be doable. But I think It'll be based solely on key or epic moments that take place in my games."


Now get their bases finished!

JM: "Will we be seeing a Raven Guard conversion similar to the artwork you chose to represent your army for the Tale?"

JT: "Probably not. Although I do fancy kitting up some of the Sargents with lightning claws. But, of course, getting hold of them is like trying to find hen's teeth!"




JT: "You've completed your first challenge without any problem. What do you have in store for us next month?"

KW: "Next month I hope to have another squad of Kabalite Warriors ready along with a squad of Reaver Jetbikes, I haven't tallied up the points of these two squads yet, but if I'm short of the 250 points mark I could add a Raider which I have already built and base coated."


A squad of menacing Kabalite Warrors ready to do battle!


Lelith Hesperax

JT: "Games Workshop have just released yet another wave of Dark Eldar figures; what are you looking to include in your army?"

KW: "I've already purchased a Razorwing from the new collection of figures but I'd really like to include some Wracks as an Elite choice later on. I've used them before and they can be very useful if you can get into close combat straight away."


Kelly smiles for the camera whilst preparing some of her models for the Tale...

JT: “Recently you played your first game of 40k for a while, how did it go?”

KW: "It went a lot better than I anticipated to be honest. Admittedly, it was played at home against my son and I had requested that he use some Terminators in his army list, which ate up a considerable amount of points on his part. I did this because if, and when, I do come up against Grey Knights they have terminator armour as standard. It was a Capture and Control game which I won because I managed to eliminate the troops that could hold the Objectives, but to be fare I did very little damage to the Terminators."



Grey Knights of Titan said...

Really looking forward to seeing your Grey Knights Buzz...I know how mental it can be to try and paint to short deadlines after Adam from the Space Wolves blog challenged me to build, magnetize and paint my Grey Knights Draigowing in 2 weeks (ok it was only 21 models but still!!!)