Friday, December 22, 2017

Incident at Position Percival-VIII

++Imperial date: 2 543 987.M41
++Astropathic-duct: saboath crimson
++Inquisitorial clearance code: <redacted>

++Subject: Incident at Position Percival-VIII
++Ref: Invasion of Hammerfall
++Thought for the day: A mind without purpose will wander in dark places.


Inquisitor:

The invasion of <Hammerfall> is under way. Our contacts within Battlefleet Ultima have reported the presence of vessels belonging to the  chaos warband known as <The Cauldron Born> in high orbit around the planet. A collection of void pirates and renegades ride their wake like the tail of a rotten comet. Our augurs do not detect the psychic signature of the <Ghost Moon>, although a consultation of the Emperor's Tarot reveals the presence of a daemonic warhost many times greater than the number of invaders in realspace.

As of 12 standard hours ago, the invaders made planetfall at a series of key military and civil sites across the planet.  According to our intelligence, <The Cauldron born> are still recovering from losses at the battle of <Colandre> and <Hammerfall> is strongly garrisoned by the <Valhallan> regiments of the Astra Militarum. As our initial analysis predicted, the invasion attempt is largely contained. However, I bring your attention to the incident at <Percival-VIII.>

<Position Percival-VIII> is a garrison protecting a secondary approach to one of three main starports in the theater of operations. This position was found to be secure in 98.3% of our simulations.

Lord Inquisitor, I must be direct. <The Cauldron Born> committed a greater than expected amount of force to this position, even at the expense of locations deemed more tactically important. During the battle, a great host of daemons surged over the Valhallan positions. Even this would not have been a great hardship, however, the primary emplacement at <Percival-VIII> suffered a catastrophic magazine explosion during the assault. The regiments defending the position have suffered heavy casualties and are in disarray. The damage was, frankly, catastrophic. Survivors from the attack are withdrawing to the starport, but they are without the influence of their ranking officers, may the Emperor protect their souls, and the column is highly disordered.

We have detected the following entities in the invasion party:
<Hexarch Cerberex> <Rahab, Angel of the Depths> <Be'elzuul the Black Seraph>

A known Officio Assassinorum operative in the area is still missing.

Vid-logs from the landing site follow this missive. I implore you to grant permission to mobilize our operatives in the region.








Thursday, December 7, 2017

Battle honors!

Last weekend I went down to Ocean City Maryland for the second annual Shorehammer convention. It was a great time, and I took home a 1st place award for most unique army!



If you're anywhere near the Eastern seaboard of the US, I strongly recommend making the journey next year.

In the meantime, don't forget to follow along with my progress at Headwoundminis on Instagram.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Shadow War Draws to a Close

For weeks now, bands of adventurers have stalked brazenly through the ruins of silent Chalcydon, plundering its treasures and leaving bloodshed and mayhem in their wake. Having looted the best and most valuable riches, it is only the rumor of a hidden vault, the ultimate prize, that keeps them on the wasted planet. Then, as the kill teams plot their next moves, everything changes.

The planet's atmosphere, crackling with a slowly gathering psychic energy, is suddenly supercharged. Elsewhere in the galaxy, the Warmaster Abaddon tears a gaping wound known as the Cicatrix Maledictum across the surface of reality. At that exact moment, on Chalcydon, a third moon appears in the night sky. This is Peregrinus, the Ghost Moon, and sickness and horror are visited wherever its sickly light shines.

The rising of the Ghost Moon emboldens the scavenger cults living below the planet's surface. A roiling human wave boils out into the streets. They fling their arms skyward and shout, "Bless the coming of The Traveler!" Capering gaunt figures and strange, multi-limbed monstrosities flicker across vid screens as warning klaxons scream to life.


Nothing like a little planetary destruction between friends

After six weeks, we closed out our Shadow War: Armageddon league with a massive six player multiplayer event. Of the 15 Kill Teams who participated in the league, these six teams remained on the surface of Chalcydon after the rise of the Ghost Moon. As demons and cultists began to seep out from every crack, what began as a quest for plunder soon because a struggle for survival!

Going into this scenario, one of our Ork players, Grant, had a runaway lead, but this would be a chance for the other players to catch up. Using plenty of terrain, we set up a dense hive city layout with a very large, very tall, ruined skyscraper in the center of the board. Per Games Workshop's official multiplayer mission, I placed a cache with multiple loot counters at the top of this tower. The rules: last Kill Team on the field wins, and every token take out of the cache would result in an additional piece of Salvage (our league's stand-in for Promethium) at the end of the game.


Unfortunately, demonic incursions tend to complicate matters. In addition to the battle in the city, there was also a small side board representing the Ghost Moon. Thanks to the psychic efforts of the shadowy Father Midnight, revealed to be radical Ordo Malleus Inquisitor Jepthah Harn, players were able to traverse portals leading to the moon. Players were able to earn additional Salvage points by visiting the moon and fighting The Traveler. As if the situation wasn't urgent enough, The Traveler emerged from the Immaterium tolling a great rotten bell. Each turn, he would strike the bell 1d6 times. Once the bell was rung 49 times, his ritual would be complete, and every Kill Team would lose the game. The stakes were high indeed.


An early attempt by Thomas' Adeptus Mechanicus expedition to seize the central objective was thoroughly routed by Alex's carefully-placed Space Marine team, causing Thomas to bottle out early. After awarding the "bottle award, " a bottle of soda, I enlisted him as my lieutenant and he took over the part of The Traveler and his waves of summoned Plaguebearers. Panos' Orks and Ian's Task Force Beracruz Imperial Guard traded shots in the ruins as Grant made all haste for the portal, completely ignoring the battle on the main table.

As a wave of Grant's Orks spilled out of the portal and onto the moon, they were surprised to find that they weren't the first ones there. Our Tyranid player, Jake, had previously asked me if he could use the optional one-man army rules for the final scenario. I advised him that he could, but that I thought it was a bad idea. I was very wrong – Jake brought a horrifying Tyranid monstrosity with enough skill advances to make up the numbers. While Grant's Orks slowly fought their way up the main stairway through waves of Plaguebearers, Jake's alien terror scaled the cliff to engage the demon directly.


The surface of the Ghost Moon quickly became a blood bath, as Panos' Orks entered the portal, followed by Alex's scouts, who lobbed grenades to great effect into the masses of Orks. Meanwhile Jake's Tyranid traded blows with The Traveler as Ian's Rogue Trader household, true professionals to the end, remained focused on the cache.

Sadly, we had to call the game for time as the store was closing, but after six turns the armageddon clock was well past the halfway point due to some very lucky rolls. As one of our players put it, "The success of any multiplayer game can be determined by the amount of yelling." Following that metric, this game mas definitely a success and a fitting sendoff to a great league. For now, it's time to get swept up in the frenzy of 8th edition, but I look forward to revisiting Shadow War in the future.



Monday, June 12, 2017

War of the Rats Kill Teams

Our Shadow War: Armageddon league draws to a close this week. More than a dozen intrepid Kill Teams have descended upon the planet Chalcydon to "reclaim" its hidden treasures, and in the process, have helped kick off a warp storm that threatens to draw the entire planet into the Immaterium.

I've had a blast organizing this six week event, and all of the participants have set high standards for appearance and sportsmanship. Here's a look at just three of our many beautifully painted combatants.

Fer Villanea's Thousand Sons: Team Space Egypt




Ian Wallace's Rogue Trader Household: Task Force Beracruz




Tom McCole's Alpha Legion




Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Season of the Witch

a decidedly unsanctioned psyker

The Hexorcist
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 3 4 1 3 1 3 1 8

Beyond the reach of Imperial authority, bathed in the light of strange stars, psychic phenomena and the unfortunate souls who manifest them are unchecked. The fringe worlds are a haven for unsanctioned psykers, and Chalcydon is no different. In fact, Chalcydon is a veritable nest of these rogue sorcerers. The individual known as The Hexorcist is powerful warp conduit, but maintains a tenuous grasp indeed upon the powers of the Immaterium...

Wargear: None

Empyrean Armor: The Hexorcist has a 5+ invulnerable save. This is increased to 4+ if The Hexorcist did not attempt to fire a Warp Bolt during the previous turn.

Warp Bolt: In the shooting phase, The Hexorcist can attempt to unleash a Warp Bolt. To do so, it must first pass a Leadership test. If the test is passed, resolve the attack as if The Hexorcist were firing a plasma gun (p.63). You may choose either profile, but if you choose the maximum power setting and the weapon explores, The Hexorcist instead suffers a wound with no saving throws of any kind allowed. Ignore all ammo rolls for this weapon.

If the test is failed, it cannot unleash a Warp Bolt this turn. However, if you roll a double 6 for this test, The Hexorcist also suffers a wound with no saving throws of any kind allowed.

Warp Lure: The entities of the warp notice this psyker.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

B.E.A.S.T. Mode

Let's take a look at the first Hired gun for War of the Rats, our Shadow War: Armageddon league:

Bionically Enhanced Assault Servitor, Tactical

Hired Guns may be added to any Kill Team's roster following the rules for Special Operatives. A Hired Gun may be employed by any Kill Team, regardless of faction (life is cheap on the galactic frontier, and alliances shift frequently!).

B.E.A.S.T
M WS BS S T W I A Ld
5 5 1 4 3 1 5 2 8

The B.E.A.S.T. was designed to track and subdue quarry in dense terrain. A horrifying fusion of man and machine, this assault servitor is surprisingly agile and has been outfitted with a full compliment of scanning technology to allow it to track its prey. It is relatively easy for a Kill Team to hijack the unit's controls, setting this unrelenting stalker on their foes.

Wargear: The B.E.A.S.T. is armed with two lightning claws.

Unrelenting Stalker: B.E.A.S.T. has the Evade and Infiltration stealth skills.