In an effort to get back into a bit of painting, I’ve gone old school and had a crack at a classic metal mini – the Emperor’s Children Champion. And despite the old school Eavy Metal backdrop, you’ll be happy to know I still suck at photography so these are the best you’re getting.
I started this a while back as part of a Heresy vs Heroes challenge against VioletSun on Twitter and I have to thank her for her patience as I am now about three months late with this one I think. The hobby mojo isn’t fully back, but this is a start and it was a lot of fun. I went back to the days when guns were red, barrels were yellow, metallic paints weren’t used and banners were made of paper. It was fun to once again revisit the days of goblin green bases.
I even managed to squeeze some leopard print in there. That was a nice touch I thought. I had to build the banner pole from scratch and I’m not particularly fond of the final banner there (it looks a bit too anime for my tastes) but the good thing about paper banners is that they can be redone, swapped out, etc. I tried fr “daemon” and got a Yu-gi-oh character instead. Will improve on the next one.
To be honest, there’s not much more to say. It’s nowhere near my best work, but it’s not bad for a little display piece done by someone who hasn’t been trying for three months. Hopefully it will prove to be a jumping off point and I’ll be able to do something better next time.
There are a few nice touches here and there so that’s why I’m happy to show it off. And long time readers will know of my enjoyment of Slaaneshi stuff from many moons ago.
I don’t know what’s next, but when I’ve got something painted, you’ll see it here first. I hope you’re having fun with the hobby, and until next week, onwards!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have seen the brand new Death Korps of Krieg miniatures from the upcoming Kill Team release. I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the new Kill Team box and while a full review will come at some point, it’s important to acknowledge that the miniatures inside got me painting again. The Death Korps have always been a favourite of mine since I first read about them in Warriors of Ultramar many moons ago. I never got round to painting any, but with this box, I was determined to give them a go. What’s more, I wanted to come up with an easy and quick scheme to help you paint yours.
Before we dive in, I just want to say that the miniatures and scenery are worth buying this box for alone. Even if the game’s a lot of fun, the minis are fantastic. You get loads of options with the Death Korps and my bits box has swelled with spares after this, but the level of detail is exceptional. I would caution you that they could be very fiddly, but they don’t need to be – you get needle thin bayonets and a tiny rack of medals, but you don’t need to include those if you don’t want to. Can’t wait to see what can be done with the orks!
On to the tutorial. Like I said, this is meant to be quick and simple scheme but we want them to look decent too. And there is that odd thing about the Death Korps that they draw us to paint them like they’ve been transplanted from the early 20th century and placed in the 41st Millennium. My advice is to just lean into that because it’s pretty hard to do otherwise – why fight it, but maybe use the good guys as your source of inspiration.
We’re starting with the green coat here. When trying to do something quickly and simply, working from larger areas to smaller areas helps a lot, and this is quite fun because you don’t need to worry too much about staying within the lines. I didn’t. But I did use a couple of thin coats of Waaagh! Flesh to get a solid green base all over the coat. I then used Militarum Green contrast paint to cover the whole thing. Once that was dry, I took very, very thin (like super watery) Straken Green to highlight the higher areas. And that’s that done. Pretty simple so far, right?
Super easy this, but you do have to be neater with this step. Just paint the trousers. A couple of thin coats of Straken green were applied, then covered with Athonian Camoshade. Once that shade paint was dry, I touched up the higher areas with Straken Green and then used a blend of Straken Green with a little Flash Gitz Yellow in it to hit the very highest areas with a spot highlight. Why use yellow instead of white to lighten the green? It just looks a bit more military-y to me and white in green invariable ends up looking like a type of toothpaste.
Next up, the leather areas. There’s a lot of them, with pouches, coat flaps, boots, belts… so be sure to hit them all. Base with a couple of thin coats of Rhinox Hide, then drybrush lightly with XV88 before covering them with an undiluted wash of Seraphim Sepia. And you’re done.
Ok, this isn’t super quick and simple but once you get into the swing of things, it gets a lot easier. Base coat everything with Leadbelcher. Then you’re going to want to do a sort of TMM thing here but in a kind of quick and slightly sloppy way. Rather than explain that, I’m just going to link to this video from Ben Komets and Painting Buddha that shows you far better than I how to do it but you do not need to be anywhere near as neat as a Slayer Sword winner. The paints I used to help me were Iron Warriors, an Iron Warriors/Abaddon Black 50/50 mix, and then an Abaddon Black pinwash followed by a highlight of Ironbreaker.
Next, I covered most areas with a 50/50 mix of Skeleton Horde and Contrast Medium to make it look grimy. But a few areas (buttons, aquilas, etc) I used some Nazdreg Yellow straight out of the pot. And that’s all the metallics.
Yep, we’re nearly done. There’s a few little bits to do and then the basing. Paint the gas mask tube black and give it some grey highlights. Paint the eye lenses black and then cover them in Ardcoat. The wooden stock on the gun is Rhinox Hide with streaks of some other browns and beiges (your choice) covered in a thin coat of Agrax Earthshade. And that’s it for the finer details.
For the base, I used a basecoat of Dawnstone, with a few larger rocks picked out in Eshen Grey before washing it all with some Athonian Camoshade. When this was dry, I highlighted with Dawnstone and then Administratum Grey. The barbed wire was painted with Iron Warriors, then areas were covered with Typhus Corrosion before dabbing those still wet areas with Fire Dragon Bright. Ironbreaker was used to highlight the barbs.
Quick and Easy
What do you reckon? It genuinely didn’t take me long to do this, and if you’re batch painting the 10 of them in this box, this could be a very quick way to get them all done. Hopefully, at least one of these quick and easy techniques can be of some use to you.
The metallic step is a wee bit faffy but once you get into the swing of things, it really goes by fast. I’ve already started the batch painting process and as I’m usually incapable of painting 10 of anything, and I don’t want to just give up on them straight away, it must be decent enough, right?
I hope that is in some way useful and as mentioned I look forward to writing a larger review of this in the future. As ever, stay excellent. Onwards.
Well this is a curious one. I’ve played a lot of Chaos armies in my time, but I’ve never looked into Tzeentch and the Rubric Marines of the Thousand Sons. I’ve played against them maybe once or twice, but I really don’t know anything about how they really operate, and especially not in 9th Edition 40k. But, GW sent me the new Thousand Sons codex so I suppose I better have a go at making one of our Lazy Painter’s lists. But I’m giving myself some caveats with this one. First off, I’m not taking Magnus. Yes, he’s a big chunk of points but, I dunno, I don’t like how he pulls the army apart a bit. Does that make sense? Probably not. Either way though – no Magnus.
Also, I actually want to try and do a Battalion for once. I usually go for Vanguard or Spearhead detachment but here, I want to see what I can do to take the full 12 command points into the game. We’ll still try and keep the model count to an absolute minimum, but we want some objective secured troops in here and a good blend of tactical options. Let’s see what we can do.
First up, we have to take Ahriman on his disc. The disc makes him faster and fightier which is nice and honestly I just love the model. He’s full of character and a natural leader for this army – definitely the warlord here. And those 3 psychic powers he can cast per turn will help a lot as well.
Then we’re taking a pair of daemon princes with wings and swords*. They’re a classic chaos HQ, and two of them are enough to scare anyone. And that sword giving each of them 5 base attacks at S8 is just tasty. Proper tasty. This also starts a theme that runs through this army. Let’s just say I’m thinking of these princes as twins…
Three squads of five Rubric Marines. They’re all running identical loadouts with each squad taking an Icon of Flame, the Sorcerer is packing a Warpflame Pistol, and one of the marines is toting a Soulreaper Cannon. The Icon will help with the magic stuff (not something I’m up with yet but this appears to be very useful to have three of these in the list), and the Warpflame Pistol and Soulreaper are in there to look cool. I mean, they should kill a lot of things too, but really they’re in there because I like the look of them.
Two Heldrakes with each one breathing fire with a baleflamer. No, they’re not as devastating as they used to be, but alongside the daemon princes and Ahriman on his disc, I’ve got five things in this army that can fly fast and rain down a lot of pain on my enemies. And again, I may be biased by my heretical roots, but I just think they’re still the coolest looking flyers in the game.
Two Maulerfiends with Lasher Tendrils. I’ve played lists with two Maulerfiends before and they always earn their points back and usually do more damage besides. Those fists crack armour like nothing else, and those lasher tendrils are great at preventing them from getting bogged down in tarpits. And with 10″ movement and an ability to ignore charge modifiers, it’s another fast one. Well, another fast two in this instance.
Two squads of five Scarab Occult terminators each with a Heavy Warpflamer and a Hellfyre Missile Rack. 3 Wound monsters with a lot of firepower and a 2+/5++ and the ability to cast more psychic powers, plus the fact they are awesome looking miniatures, these chaps may be dusty, but I reckon it’s gold dust. Imagine trying to clear that lot out of the centre of the battlefield.
HQ: Ahriman on his disc
HQ: Daemon Prince with wings and sword
HQ: Daemon Prince with wings and sword
Troops: 5x Rubric Marines with an Icon, a Soulreaper and a fiery pistol
Troops: 5x Rubric Marines with an Icon, a Soulreaper and a fiery pistol
Troops: 5x Rubric Marines with an Icon, a Soulreaper and a fiery pistol
Elites: 5x Scarab Occult Termies with a missile rack and a heavy flamer
Elites: 5x Scarab Occult Termies with a missile rack and a heavy flamer
Heavy Support: Maulerfiend with Lasher Tendrils
Heavy Support: Maulerfiend with Lasher Tendrils
Flyer: Heldrake with Baleflamer
Flyer: Heldrake with Baleflamer
Points: bang on 2000
Model Count: 32 – not too shabby.
Army Name: The Flaming Twins of Tzeentch
Additional stuff: You can pick one of the Cults of the Legion profiles for yourself – I like the Cult of Scheming but there are lots of options. Same goes for relics and Infernal Pacts but with Ahriman as the warlord, he’ll have the Otherworldly Prescience rule which gives him a once per game 3+ invuln save which could certainly be helpful.
How it plays: Well, I can tell you how I’d play it, which may not be the best guide but it should be fun. Everything fast runs up the field beating things up and setting things on fire (I do love the amount of flamers we have in this list) with psychic powers pinging off all over the shop, while the core of Rubrics and Terminators slowly advance and take objectives and offer a solid second wave of attacks.
I know in the past I’ve tried not to do too many duplicates of units, so it was weird copying/pasting all those entries into that list but I reckon you could have a lot of fun painting each pair as the opposite of each other. One heldrake is blue with yellow trim, while the other is yellow with blue trim. Same with the daemon princes, maulerfiends, and scarab occults. Then do a big blue classic blob of rubrics led by Ahriman. I can feel a theme coming through easily there and that always makes an army a treat to paint. I’ll just have to hope it’s a treat to play as well.
Do you think I’d do well with this? How does it stack up against the Grey Knights list from earlier today? Let me know in the comments. Have a great day, and be good to yourself and others. Onwards.
(*) Gah! I did not take into account the Jealous Tyrant rule which someone on twitter pointed out. So I can only take one Daemon Prince in a detachment. I’ve looked, and I like the idea of the army looking like this so much, I’m just going to take him as an auxiliary detachment and take the CP hit. I’m having me two daemon princes, gosh darn it!
Ok, I’ll admit that I’ve been looking forward to this one. You see, not too long ago (well, 5th or 6th edition – one of those… maybe it was a long time ago) Grey Knights had one of the all time lazy painter army lists ever. It was called Draigo Wing and consisted of Kaldor Draigo, a couple of units of Paladins (which he made troop choices) and typically a Nemesis Dreadknight or two. A 2000 point army would consist of around 20-25 models and at one point it was also one of the best playing armies ever. People were terrified of facing this thing. So this should be a really fun challenge today – can we put together a 2000pt Draigo Wing army in 9th edition? Well, GW were nice enough to send me the new Codex, so let’s see what we can put together.
Of course, if we’re doing Draigo Wing, we need Kaldor Draigo – everyone’s favourite warp-bound screaming lunatic who will smash face with the best of them. He’s still ridiculously tanky in combat and in the hand-to-hand encouraging 9th edition, he’s a proper beast. That Titansword is looking very tasty, and the buffs he can give out are pretty nice too.
Alongside him, we’re taking a fully decked out Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight. The baby carrier warsuit is coming equipped with a Heavy Psycannon, Gatling Psilencer and a Nemesis Greatsword, along with a teleport homer for mobility. Yes, he clocks in at a lot of points but you get a fast, 13 wound, 6 attacks base monster with a 2+/4++. Not many people are going to want to get too close to him! Oh, and I’m giving him the Presaged Paralysis ability from the “Visions of Augurium” powers. This means that once per battle, I can stop my opponents using overwatch against him. Lol.
We’re taking 5 units of 5x Paladins here and while two squads will be decked out with a pair of incinerators and a lot of falchions, the third squad will be rocking 4x Nemesis Daemon Hammers and a Psycannon. I love that these guys now have 3 wounds each and add that to their similarly impressive statline and saves, these really are the elite of the elite. Oh and they of course get to pop psychic powers like almost everything else in the list. Two squads are decked out to churn through hordes with flame and sword, and the 3rd could go toe-to-toe with some of the biggest baddies in the game.
I’m also taking along an Ancient who can back up one of these units with his buffs in combat. Yes, it does mean buying a 4th box of Grey Knight Terminators but I think it’s worth it for the abilities here. Teleport this guy in with a squad you want to do extra extra damage in combat and you’ll be able to herd most opponents like cattle around the tabletop.
And last in the elites slot, but certainly not least, a Grey Knights Venerable Dreadnought with a heavy flamer on one fist and a tank killing twin-linked lascannon on the other arm. It’s always nice to find a way to squeeze a boxy dread into any list and this guy is definitely not just making up the numbers. Aside from the weapons, that’s yet another psychic power to pop off in that phase.
Stick with the classics. A Nemesis Dreadknight with teleporter, Greatsword, Heavy Incinerator and Heavy Psycannon. It can go hard in hand-to-hand but boy can it also shoot good. Well worth the points. There’s not really much else to say about it – it will do what you need it to do.
Because while almost everything here can teleport, having something zoomy and bulky in the skies above the battlefield always helps. And a Stormraven, it of the flying brick legend, is still a good buy even if you’re dropping a lot of points on it. But it does have twin lascannons and twin multi-meltas. Oh, and it can even drop our Venerable Dreadnought off somewhere if you want that chonky boi to have a bit of extra speed.
HQ – Kaldor Draigo
HQ – Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight with sword, heavy cannon, gatling psi and a teleporter + PP
Elites – 5x Paladins with 2x Incinerators and a lot of falchions
Elites – 5x Paladins with 2x Incinerators and a lot of falchions
Elites – 5x Paladins with 4x daemon hammers and a psycannon
Elites – Paladin Ancient with psycannon
Elites – Venerable Dreadnought with twin las and a flamer fist
Heavy Support – Nemesis Dreadknight with sword, heavy cannon, incinerator and a teleporter
Flyer – Stormraven Gunship with multi-meltas and twin las
Points: 2000 (well, it might be 1990 – my maths for this list did go a bit all over the shop – either way it’s good)
Model Count: 21. …21! I think I’m in love! That’s proper Draigo Wing numbers!
List Name: Draigo Wing 2021
I’ll let you work out what relics to take, and there’s also the “Brotherhoods” system which gives you access to specific strategems, warlord traits and psychic powers. I like the “Prescient Brethren” for this list but you might have other ideas. I was hoping the above would fit into one Vanguard detachment but alas it doesn’t – you can only have one Grand Master per detachment and that’s Draigo, so you have to sacrifice 2cp to take the other Grand Master as an auxiliary choice. If you don’t want to pay the CP, You could just slot in another underarmed suit and slip a Brotherhood Champion in there, so you’d keep the firepower, but you’d be up to 22 models then and that just feels like too many!
How Does It Play?
To be honest, I reckon this will do very well. You’ve got enough hammers and swords to tear up anything else in combat, and with all the lascannons and psycannons, you could put down an army of superheavy tanks without too much issue. You can teleport a great chunk of it straight into you enemy lines, and if you’d rather sit back, let’s see how the enemy likes all those flamers and stormbolters. Ok, you have no objective secured, but do you think your opponent will have an army left after turn 3? I wouldn’t be so sure. And let’s not forget you’ll be popping off up to 8 psychic powers in that phase! And thanks to the Aegis, Mortal Wounds aren’t even as scary as they would be to other armies this small.
Honestly, at just 21 models, I am mega tempted by this. It’s a rules heavy army, so I’d need to remember a lot (which I’m not great at these days) but 21 models and that much hurt to dish out? Tempted. Genuinely tempted.
That’s your lot for this one. I hope you like the list. I love the fact that you can run a Draigo Wing type list in 2021 and 9th edition. Wonderful news indeed. Have a lovely rest of your day, and I’ll be back with more very soon. Onwards!
It’s a wonderful weekend in the hobby. There’s a new boxed set out of a new edition of the wonderful game that is Age of Sigmar, with some truly inspiring miniatures in it. I popped over to the Friar Lane store in Nottingham today and picked up my set. Very excited for it, and I hope, if you pre-ordered it, you got one too, and that you’re giddy with glee that you get to enjoy it.
With all of that being said, I find myself again at a crossroads in my hobby. I have slumped. I am as far away from being a good painter as I ever have been, and I’m not even trying to regain the stature that I liked to kid myself that I had reached. Why? The simple answer is depression, but for the longer reason, read on.
I don’t want to make a big deal of this – it’s really not my style. But I have been encouraged to share my take on the state of me as both a therapeutic exercise and, perhaps, a way to help others who find themselves in a similar storm-tossed boat. So I am writing this for both altruistic and selfish reasons, and I like that, just because of how contrary it all is. But I’m afraid in the next paragraph (or so – to be honest, the whole post is a bit of “purse dump”), I need to overshare and be a bit cringe – if you want an excuse to leave, that warning is the one you should take as a cue for your exit.
A little while ago I put up some very cringe-worthy tweets on Twitter regarding myself and how I believe I am seen as a person (think Quasimodo without his Esmerelda). These have since been deleted, as has the Twitter app from my phone and even tipsy-me knows not to venture to microblogging sites to air my feelings. Drunk-me thought a pity party would be a good idea. Sober-me was embarrassed beyond anything. Whether or not the feelings in there are true or not, it’s unlike me to voice such things. I’ve not microblogged since, and I apologise for any concern caused.
But it’s all wrapped up in a spiral within a whirlwind within a helix. A little while ago, I was working at GW. It was better than ok. On days, it was awesome. And I got lured away (which allowed me to start up this blog again, which is great) by “more money”. Years ago, I did the same thing, and I regretted it then as I do now – from now on that will never be the reason I change jobs. I lasted 7 weeks in the job I left GW for before I called an end to my probationary period. Why? Well, it was a combination of two things really. On the one hand, I had not realised the toll lockdown and working during lockdown had taken on me (and the whole pandemic “if I get it, I’ll likely die” thing played into it). I worked the whole damn thing, and while I’m sure furlough was no cake-walk for anyone, I battled on through the whole thing, and my workload shot up and the stress shot up and as good as I am at compartmentalising such things, there’s only so much water my weakened dams can hold. And the new job made me feel like a fool. I went to a very big company in Notts, and while everything they promised me in the interviews sounded great, it was apparent in 2 weeks that my vision for what I could do (that had been confirmed in those interviews) was, within that organisation, impossible to do. There were nice people, but the practices and working standards and the fact that I felt I had very much been conned into taking the job, made me quit during my probation. Oddly, I’m very conscientious – if I don’t feel I can justify my paycheck, I’m more likely to leave than stay.
All of that happened, and a whole bunch of other stuff was heaped upon my broad shoulders (some of it self inflicted) and there were more than a couple of daggers through my soul as well, and in the end, those darkened tendrils of depression and self-loathing and nastiness trickled into my hobby and so my fate was sealed there and then I suppose. I painted the best thing I have ever painted, and I grew to loathe it. Had not my hand been stayed by reason then and there, I’d have snapped my brushes and binned anything I couldn’t sell. That’s the truth of it.
But in the darkest times, there remained a seed of hope. Presumably my brain knew that I would one day want to return and try again. That day has not yet come, though it tosses in its slumber even now, waiting for an opportunity to ride forth into the light again. There is no light yet, but I suppose it’s all darkest before the Dorn(sic), right?
So I have been “funemployed” for several weeks. I’m very lucky really, in that I can support myself and that I have tradable skills that keep me from the poor house. What’s more I’ve been sensible enough and fortunate enough with my money that I am not panicked for funds even if there is little trickling in. But even with that, my conscientiousness doesn’t like that I’m not contributing. And that all bleeds into every area of me and what I do like an oozing poison. I would not consider myself a miniature painter right now. A reluctant yet still excited hobbyist perhaps, but I am not what I once was. And even though I chose the path I now walk, with every justifiable reason, and more than a few comforts that not many could call on, being a fool still hurts. Making the wrong choices still stings, and considering I moved my entire life up to Nottingham to do one thing and then, the idiot that I am, I threw that thing away… it still hurts.
And I was good. I painted several pieces before my demise of which I was hugely proud. My blending and glazing work was getting on to a new level, and my basing was becoming very sharp, and I was confident – perhaps over-confident – in my skills. If a Golden Demon had happened, perhaps, just perhaps, I might have snuck a bronze. Maybe. If several of the major players had been held up in traffic.
I’ve made no bones about that being my goal, and have said before that whether that takes me another 30 years, it’s still my goal. But then I painted the Skaven Bombardier (pictured above) and it all fell to pieces. Genuinely, it was the best miniature I had painted. I hadn’t relied on my penchant for ambitious freehand, I had played to all my acquired strengths and it was wonderful. I was so proud of the job I did. It was the last miniature I painted before I allowed my will, and psyche, and fragile ego to come crashing down.
So now I hate it. I love the miniature, and I’m proud of my paint job on it, but I hate it. Because it’s me at the best I can be but it’s not good enough. It’s everything I have learned and fought to produce and it still falls short. It’s the best thing I have ever painted, and perhaps the best thing I will ever paint, and it’s still not good enough for my own standards (as foolish as that sounds). Of course, the completion of this falling around the same time as the rest of my world being turned upside down (either voluntarily or forcefully) didn’t help. When one’s own ego is out to get one, all is nought. There is no light, there is no hope of attaining one’s goal, it’s all pointless.
Though I have grown since then. Slowly, my will to get back to that place is returning. I’m a long way from it, but everything is moving in the right direction. I have some freelance work coming up that I’m really looking forward to, my own business will happen soon, and I’m beginning to have fun painting as well. I’d like to credit Bobbie (@violetsun on Twitter) for some of that, though she doesn’t know it. Not only do I need to get my Heresy Vs Heroes piece finished for her, but I’ll be taking her on in my first ever game of 9th Edition 40k soon. I’ve got a list, and I’ve been working on my Necrons too – so excited to have a new army for 40k, especially as I’m not an Army Painter at all.
I guess the point of this post is to let you, many friends, followers, fans and well-wishers know that there has been a reason for my absence from the world, and that I will be back, but not any time soon. Also, to anyone else hacking their way through a dark forest, you need to know that there’s light. Don’t let your brain get the better of you for too long – down that path inky waters lie.
And if I’m being honest, don’t be brutal to yourself with a hobby a that should be fun. I set myself a high standard that I am still very far from meeting and I have to deal with that, but if that’s not you, don’t be tempted down that path. If painting toy soldiers makes you happy, hold on to that, and don’t let things change that. You’re awesome, and you’re having fun, so that’s what you need to remember.
I’ve also found other outlets that are not wrapped up in the pressure I place upon myself for painting miniatures. I’ve spent a couple of weeks working on fun projects with water colours and I’ve designed some t-shirts on commission and that’s making me feel great right now. Seems spending my creative time away from toy soldiers is doing me a great amount of good.
Lastly, I want to say thank you to all of the lovely people on twitter who sent me messages after my little outburst. I was dealing with some shit, and honestly, I didn’t get back to you because of embarrassment and not wanting to dredge through all of that shit again and make your lives any bleaker. Can’t promise you that I feel any better, but I can tell you I don’t feel any worse and that I’m sure, one day, I’ll be ok.
But until I feel happy and healthy and confident again, I’m still going to be a bit of a recluse on Social Media. Don’t expect me drunk tweeting about the music I’m listening to any time soon. I will be back though. I promise. Just need a little time and light and all will be well again. Until then, if you picked up Dominion, I hope you will paint many sneaky orruks and/or shiny Stormcast. I look forward to seeing them all. Be excellent to each other and please have fun as much as you can. Onwards.
Both the General’s Handbook and its 40k cousin, Chapter Approved, have become must buy books for those who enjoy competitive or Competitive gaming (the small c is for people who like a good contest, the big C is for those who like tournaments – know what I mean?). I have always been more of a painter (not that I’ve been doing a great deal of that lately) but I do like a game, and a competitive challenge is always a little more fun if you have a good opponent.
A little while back, I made a post about my Stormcast Eternals army and I will be trying to get that to 2000 points and legal in matched play during the early days of this new edition of Age of Sigmar. So I need to work out what I need to paint, how I’m going to play my army, and, how I’m going to operate in this new edition. Games Workshop were kind enough to send me a copy of the General’s Handbook 2021, and in this post, I’m going to see how easy it is to use this product to help an AoS novice like me to get my Stormcasts all Shipshape and Brightspear fashion.
First off, I’m going to say that the size of this product is great. It’s a little larger than A5 and as someone who has known the pain of dragging 5 or 6 books along with me to a 40k game not so long ago (Rulebook, Codexes, FW Book, Campaign Book, etc…) it’s nice to know that this is small and handy. Also, one of the practicalities of the game is that while we might play it on a 6’x4’ (or 44”x60” in new money), you usually need the same area gain just to hold all of your open books. So this handy little tome-ette works great.
I also like, that they’re continuing to split the updated points costs into a separate little book. Makes it easier to find and can be left at home when you don’t need it. Lovely. If I had one gripe with this size of book, it’s that the font sizes can be tiny and if your eyesight isn’t great, it could be a little hard to read, but that’s really the only thing I question about this. In those pitched battle profiles, when you need to look something up in a huge roster like Stormcast Eternals, even with the guidelines, it can turn into a fair bit of squinting. But I can live with that for the convenience that this size of book brings.
Onto My Army
With these updated points, I worked out the list of what I had and it clocked in at (according to my mental arithmetic) 1190 points. It felt like I had a lot of ground to make up there. The points costs for the Dominion box are in this pack too so it turns out that if I add in the big Celestial Spear character, two groups of five Vindicators (which finally gives me my 3 battleline units that I need), and the 3 Paladors I’ve had sitting in a box for ages now, I could get up to 1955 points! Result. And with 45 points left over, I reckon I could squeeze an Endless Spell into this list. And that brings me on to my next favourite feature.
I do like the tabs. My codexes are typically sprouting with bookmarks (well, scraps of paper) but the tabs in the main book here need to be adopted by all GW publications – it makes life so much easier. It was while reviewing these that I noticed the Endless Spells tab. As someone who’s never really understood these magical things, I was delighted to find all of the “Anyone can use these” spells in this section with all their rules. Cross-referencing with the Profiles booklet, I’ve added the Chronomantic Cogs to my list giving me exactly 2000 points to get ready – more on that later.
The Player’s Code & Learning Rules
The Player’s Code (which has existed in one form or another since at least the early 90s) is lovely to see here. Now we’ve all had 18 months of being necessarily anti-social, it’s good to remind us all what it takes to make a good game for both players. I still don’t agree with the “Never complain about your bad luck” bit as that’s pretty much my entire personality during games but I like to think I do it with a fair amount of humour so hopefully it’s not that bad when I do it. And I still think my own rule should have been added – the winner buys the drinks (that way, everyone wins), but it looks like that didn’t make the cut again. Shame.
Otherwise though, I hope all players will take some time to review the Code. It’s worth it, and will make all of our lives better.
Next up, I needed to review the rules and do you know what, this really is a great little section. From pages 59 to 95, there is everything you will need to play a game really (aside from the Battletome unit rules). Numbering the sections for reference is a great move. The side notes in the margin are mega helpful for novices like me. While this section feels dense and involved, it doesn’t feel like it’s too much. It tells you everything without it feeling like it’s told you Everything. I’ve gone through it once and feel like I know the game backwards (which almost certainly isn’t true but it’s nice to feel like that never the less) and I reckon I could find my way around it for a game easy as pie.
So it’s a well done to the rules writers and a very well done to the people who laid this section out in the book. Great work all round.
Final Thoughts On The GHB21
I really like this product. It’s incredibly helpful, full of useful things and laid out in a sensible and logical way. Has it helped me to sort out my Stormcast Army? I don’t think I could have sorted it out without this set of compact books. It’s got me almost as excited for AoS as knowing I have a copy of Dominion on the way to me soon. Finger’s crossed, I’ll be heading to Warhammer World with it all one day soon.
So What Next?
Well, in under a couple of weeks, I will be heading to my local store to pick up Dominion, and then I have exactly 15 models that I need to paint up to get to my 2k points army. Once that’s all done, I’ll be painting up some of those delightful new Orruks I reckon. But I’ve got a lot of half finished projects that I want to get to over the next couple of weeks os hopefully I’ll be able to show off some of those here. Until then, happy hobbying. Onwards!
The following is an account of Esserius of Iann, Wanderer Scribe Primus of Orthrus. It details the 10 most deadly predators native to the planet, each responsible for huge numbers of human deaths over the millennia that humanity has occupied Orthrus. Written in the latter years of M34, it is still considered the preeminent guide to the more deadly wildlife of this death world. Esserius of Iann, as a Wanderer Scribe spent little time in the cities and most of his life wandering the wilds. There was no greater authority on the monsters that dwelt there, and few since have written so extensively on the subject.
…and so it is we arrive at the pinnacle of predation upon Orthrus. I have reserved these entries regarding the fauna of our planet for the latter pages of this work due to my distaste, and aye, my fear for these beasts. I dare say, in our glorious Emperor’s broad and brilliant domain that spans the heavens, there may be more vicious creations, but I doubt there is such a concentration of them in any one place. Each of these monsters has been responsible for the deaths of thousands upon thousands of Orthrusians and so you will excuse my reluctance to write their names, though for completion of this work, I must. Let us start now, so that we may end soon.
The Greater Tertiree is a vile beast. On its hind hands (for this strange entity has remarkable delicate-looking hands ending all four of its limbs) might stand as tall as a man, but its slight stature hides a deceitful and wretched character. It has long been surmised that its sensory perception is greater than almost any other animal, with its compound eyes and long, always alert ears that can apparently detect prey over 10 miles away on the savannahs and in the edges of the great forests where the Greater Tertiree dwells. It has no nose and there is no room in its mouth for a tongue thanks to the eight rows of razor sharp teeth, so presumably it takes joy from feeding purely from the sensation of being full. They often hunt in packs, but are most dangerous when they are moving solitarily as their pronounced barb that ends its tail makes a perfect ambush weapon. Too many young men and women from this world have breathed their last breath with that vile weapon stuck in their chest. Its only saving grace is that the Adeptus Mechanicus’ Biologis corps now employ a synthetic variation of this poison in some of their work, though even this benefit to our Imperium does not redeem them in my eyes for I have too often witnessed the epilogue of their victims.
When walking through the mountains of our world, it is wisest to stay on the paths cut by our ancestors for they have overhangs and deep, small caves for us to hide in. Stray too far into the open air and you may see too late the giant shadow of a falling Kotodor. It has been theorised that these are truly ancient monsters on our planet and it is easy to see why when you consider their enormous size and strange anatomies. On its back are two great wings with which the Kotodor cannot fly. Instead, these appendages allow it to adjust and slightly delay its fall, as the monster hunts by dropping from the peaks of mountains and flattening its prey with its armoured undercarriage. It uses dextrous hands to pick up its prey and it feeds by consuming its catch whole. The Kotodor has no teeth, but instead it has plates and muscles in its throat that crush and grind its food. The mountain chains of Orthrus are filled with these beasts so the next time you walk in their footfalls, keep an eye out for the shadows, and if one appears above you, think it not an errant cloud, and instead run on instinct for cover.
I’ll confess, when I first laid eyes upon the Spotted Rygerofin, I found the animal to be amusing and sympathetic. When, a day later, I came across a caravan that had been devoured by a pack of one hundred of the creatures, leaving 20 young men and women dead, I realised that even the sweeter-looking animals of our world are often deadly. One on its own is fine, and their diminutive stature has even made them pets among our wealthier citizens, but two or more of them and they become a threat. When they mass, they are capable of felling even the largest beasts of Orthrus. What’s more, they are everywhere. I have seen them bullying other animals at a desert oasis, hopping through the canopies of our forests, roaming the savannahs and scaling the mountains. They are little thugs when they have numerical advantage over anything else breathing that is around them, and what’s more, they can deliver a headbut like the strike of a power maul, and they have a bite which cuts like power sword. That beak of theirs makes a popular hunting triophy, but if the Spotted Rygerofin see that you’ve taken it, they will avenge their confederate with furious and too often fatal assault.
The Antopalder is one of the most curious beasts to roam the Savannahs and wetlands of our world. It is an evolutionary throwback and almost certainly the living ancestor of several other species, though none of those are as deadly as this strange monster. Frankly, everything about them is ridiculous, and one would think that such a thing as this would have died out or evolved further, but it hasn’t needed to for one very good reason; it is an incredibly efficient killer. This comes down to the fact that it employs a great range of hunting methods depending on its surroundings. It can ambush from rivers and swamps, chase across open plain, and even drop down from rocks and cliffs. The strange rear limbs have been witnessed being used as clubs, spears and also used to help the Antopalder leap to extraordinary lengths or heights. They feed regularly and often, and because of their array of talents, they have no difficulty in adapting to any prey. They are fascinating, though it is foolish to get too close or stay too long when studying them – those tusks can rip through the armour of a Chimera (yet another trick it has learned).
The Banded Hakom makes our rivers and coastlines its home and it also makes them an incredibly dangerous place to be. An amphibious monster with a vicious, and indeed paralysing bite (thanks to a toxin secreted from its jaws) it has developed a taste for humans over the millennia that means they will pursue any traveller for miles if necessary (this is not something it appears to do with any other food source). It does have one particularly curious feature though, that is as uncommon on our world as it is, I am informed, common on most others. Upon its feet, it possesses claws that rip and slash at its victims. Most other beasts rely on gripping or stomping, but the sharpened claws point at a unique evolution upon our world that unfortunately makes the Banded Hakom even more deadly. The saying goes “May you be bitten first’ among the nomads that risk the coasts – it is a wish of good fortune, hoping a speedy and painless death, rather than being ripped to shreds.
There are almost no species on the planet that can challenge the sheer bite power of the Lonar. Its traditional hunting method is to propel itself up from the deep at an almost unreal velocity before clamping its jaws into the belly of its prey and then ripping chunks out of it until it expires before the Lonar then feeds. Unfortunately for those who try to traverse the seas of Orthrus, the Lonar does not distinguish between boat hull and its more typical food, and so many have been sunk in the middle of the ocean, their crews and passengers then devoured. Only boats lined with expensive adamantium hulls stand a chance of coming out of an encounter with a Lonar unscarred. While its jaws and speed may appear to be its most potent weapons, it also possesses a pair of long tail-like appendages that are in fact incredibly powerful sonar detectors making it impossible for their quarry to hide from them.
The largest predator in our oceans, is the Halew. It drifts serenely in currents and one might imagine it to be akin to the ancient giant beasts that were said to swim in Terra’s long boiled away seas. But the Halew is instead a vicious ambush predator that swims into shallow waters from the deeps and launches itself with terrifying speed at anything moving on the shore and swallows hole everything that it can fit into its cavernous mouth. Curiously, while it attacks sea-going boats, it does this not for food but its own apparent entertainment. It crashes and spins and tosses vessels like a canid with a ball. No one really understands why it doesn’t devour the sailors as they spill into the water, but who can fathom what sort of manias and fancies can pass through the giant mind of such a beast. Strangely, it does not possess teeth, but its young are born live with large defensive teeth that drop away from it as it ages.
Of all the beasts I have encountered in the wilds of Orthrus, I do not believe any to be so ugly as the Giant Newmea. It is a hideous creation on every level. Not only does it present a monstrous visage with its sickly pink skin, wild hairs and frankly hideous face, but the way it devours its food is the stuff of nightmares. It dwells in the rivers of our world and only ventures out to feed. It will leap at its prey, pin it down and crush it with claws and the weight of its body. Once crushed sufficiently, it uses its large mouth and gripping fangs to pull the body into its digestive system where it will slip into the large appendage at its rear where its food is devoured over the course of several days. Stories have been told of men and women still screaming from inside its digestive chamber as it crawls back into the murky river waters.
All across the wilds of Orthrus, caves provide shelter for humans venturing beyond the city walls, but be wary of deeper caves for in these dwell the Seliel. These giant invertebrates dwell in the dark and hunt through motion detected through vibration and moving air-currents. Its favoured trick is to secrete a sweet smelling orange bonding agent from the glands close to its beak before returning to its slumber (it folds down the feather-like construct on its back over itself for protection and heat retention). Later, when some poor beast or person gets stuck fast in the monster’s glue and begins thrashing around trying to regain freedom, the Seliel will awaken, move ponderously towards it, and then use its beak to peck them apart and feed. Beware deep caves.
It is perhaps cruel irony that humanity introduced one of Orthrus’ most fearsome predators to the planet themselves. The Lykos’ ancestors were the canid that accompanied the first men and women to our world. Once faithful companions and working beasts, over the years they escaped to wild and became feral hunters that now roam in packs across the planet. On a world full of dangers, humanity supplied one of the most dangerous themselves. They have adapted to every type of territory and now count venturing humans as a favoured food. What’s most fascinating is how they have learned to live with, avoid and even hunt the other land-based beasts on this list. And what does it say of us that one of our most noble friends looked upon Orthrus, and took the planet’s side against ours?
And there you have it. I don’t profess to be much of an illustrator but I had loads of fun with this lot, and it was nice to get the watercolours out again. What’s next for Orthrus? I suppose we better jump into histories and languages next, but we shall see. In the meantime, enjoy your hobby time. Onwards!
Hello readers. You may recall that at the end of my last world building post, I spoke of my keenness to flesh out the fauna of Orthrus (that was the name given to our planet) and despite this not being the logical next step in world building, I simply couldn’t resist. The idea of fleshing out the monstrous beasts that make this a death world of note, was just too enticing, so I’ve strayed from the original path a bit to have some fun, and in this post, hopefully I’ll give you some ideas when it comes to creating your own fantasy monsters too.
When it comes to Orthrus, we know we have a varied world in terms of environments and I knew I wanted a diverse menagerie of monsters. Wild and very much extra terrestrial creatures, yet there is a need for them to not be too “out there” as we need humans to survive on this Death World and not be overwhelmed by the beasts in the uninhabited areas of the planet. But this all does lead us to a strange question for one to have to attempt to answer…
How do you invent an animal?
I mean… it’s not an easy question to answer! Not many people have had to try and answer that one either. Where do you even start? Does one consider the single-celled organism, then try and chart the variations and mutations over millions of years, eventually bringing one to the evolved form that inhabits Orthrus today? I tried that idea and my brain collapsed several times before I even reached vertebrates. But that’s a question too – do they have vertebrates? Do backbones exist on this world? Maybe it’s a world where silicon filled sacks and nodules support the complex structures. Perhaps the animals here typically have 7 backbones. Do they use the same senses? Do any of them have eyes? Or limbs? And don’t even get me started on the lobster problem…
I tossed and turned one night as I tried to consider this, my eyes clenched shut in the darkness as my brain toyed with all of these questions. It was only in the annoyingly chirpy light of 5am, as I stood with the fridge door open chugging orange juice straight from the carton that I had my revelation – it’s all my choice. I am the creator of Orthrus and if I want the entire planet filled with pink cats, that’s fine (I don’t want it filled with pink cats, but that would be kind of cool – maybe for the next world). This revelation led to another – this is very much an Earth-like planet. We know that an “alien Earth” planet (Earth 2.0 as many think of it) probably exists and many astrologers are looking for it – so why not Orthrus? And if this is the case, given what we know of the nature of evolution, we can say without any great degree of fantasy, that there is a likelihood that the animals on this planet may have evolved in a similar way to those on Earth. We know that eyes work, teeth work, wings work… so the logic behind evolution dictates that as they would be efficient on Earth, they would also be efficient on Orthrus. That was a very helpful conclusion to arrive at as it allows us to play with the tools with which we’re familiar.
My seas will be water, the trees in the forests will eat carbon dioxide and expel oxygen, and that leads us further to the reason the planet was settled in the first place. If I was making some bonkers world where the ground is made of diamonds, the trees spew argon and the sees were made of ice cream, we’d go more bonkers with the animals, but it’s not, so we won’t. This is an Earth-like planet. It’s just that it’s home to a lot of monsters.
As with the name of the planet itself, I decided to lean on mythology for a bit of inspiration. I didn’t want dragons, giants and the kraken kicking around, but when looking at some mythological creatures I was given an idea. Consider the chimera (not the tank), the mermaid, the griffin and the pegasus. All of those (and many more) are combinations of other animals that actually exist, rather than being totally new creatures. So how about some combos? As I sat in my dressing gown, eating marmite covered toast, I wrote some lists, and reached for these heroes…
…and then I started rolling. I made a set of rules and stared in stunned horror with the occasional giggle thrown in at many of the results I rolled, but even with the strangest combinations, I got some inspiring results. And it lead me to some interesting evolutionary quirks too but I’ll be telling you more about those tomorrow when the next post comes out (I have some creative writing to do). But when you see what I had to work with, you’ll hopefully be at least intrigued. One thing’s for sure, this planet has some real monsters roaming around and boy do they look terrifying.
How I Created My Monsters
First off, we need to work out how many combinations we’re going to be doing. For this, I rolled a D4 ignoring results of a 1, meaning I would at most have to try and combine 4 creatures and I’m glad I had this as a limit – those were the hardest ones to try and conjure up.
So, let’s say you rolled a 3 – that means you’re going to have to roll 3 times on the below table:
You rolled a 1, a 3, and a 6. That means we need a mammal, an insect and a reptile. Here are the tables you’ll be rolling on for these results (as well as the other choices too):
I did some test rolls and on this occasion, I got a Bear, a Butterfly and a Skink. But before trying to combine these creatures, it’s worth working out how big the creature I’ll be creating will be. Grab your D4 and roll on this:
Let’s say I got a 1 and therefore decided the scale should be along the lines of a house cat. That would certainly be an interesting combo.
You can test your skills with a pencil and your imagination as well. I didn’t use the above example in the 10 I’ve already done. But to give you an idea of what’s coming tomorrow, here’s the list of the combinations I did get:
Bee / Tiger / Otter
Toad / Gecko / Condor
Cassowary / Gecko / Frog / Puffin
Elephant / Grasshopper / Alligator / Salamander
Piranha / Komodo Dragon
Lion / Gar
Whale Shark / Newt
Eagle / Snail
Salmon / Newt / Flea
So, that should make for some interesting beasts, right? Well, as I said, you’ll be able to read about them all tomorrow. And I hope those charts are useful to anyone else who wants to create their own fantasy creatures. I went with creatures that had some quite different looks, but of course, if you want to get your own in there, why not change things up? Replace Amphibians* with “Dinosaurs” or add Terrapins, Gorillas, Eels or whatever else to the appropriate lists. It’s been a very fun project with some… intriguing results.
And if you need any more inspiration, I do have a couple of other resources. Firstly, there’s the excellent “Alien Worlds” documentary series which is on Netflix which has some fascinating ideas on alien evolution and the creatures it would create. And last night, a friend recommended (slightly too late for me) the book Principles of Creature Design by Terryl Whitlatch which I have now ordered and I’m really looking forward to reading (this is apparently a very useful book).
There you have it – how I created my monsters. As mentioned, there’ll be a post tomorrow featuring all of my bizarre creations. And once we’ve got that out of the way, we can get back to the aspects of World Building that Orthrus needs to go through to become a “real” world. So look out for a Sunday bestiary from me, and until then, have a very happy hobbying weekend. Onwards!
Welcome reader! Your prayers have been answered and devotion rewarded because I have the brand new Codex: Adepta Sororitas and I am here to help out my fellow lazy painters by putting an army list together for the Sisters of Battle that will hopefully not test your patience or tax your time. That’s the point of this series really. I’m not great gamer, but I like painting minis and were I to dive into this range to create an army, this is probably how I’d do it. Why? Because it will have a minimum number of miniatures, plenty of new hotness, and ideally, the army won’t suck too much on the tabletop (it should at least be fun). Will it win you a tournament? Almost certainly not. Will you have fun painting it and playing with it? Let’s hope so.
I do want to issue a caveat with this one though. I’ve not played Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition yet. What with lockdown and everything, the opportunity has not presented itself. So, I can’t promise you I won’t make a mistake here, but I don’t think I have. Anyway, if you spot one, you know where the comments section is.
Adepta Sororitas Army List – On A Wing And A Flayer
This list sits at 1999 points at the time of writing which is rather nice. What’s more, it’s hyper elite with a couple of big and very fast moving blobs backed up by some sound support. I know Battle Sisters typically play like an Imperial Horde army, but not when a lazy painter is in control of them they don’t!
Orders & Detachments
I’m not hugely up in all the intricacies of the Adepta Sororitas but I do know you need an Order, but my list is a bit… interesting. None of them really seemed to fit exactly what I wanted to do with the army, or the make up of the units. But thankfully, there is a Minoris Convictions section in this book, allowing you to create your own Order by picking two of these boons. So rather than being Bloody Rose or Ebon Chalice, I’m going to call mine the Azure Eye (sounds ok, right?) and we’re taking two of these convictions.
First up, I’ve picked the Shield of Aversion. This means that AP -1 hits are treated as AP 0 hits – hopefully this will keep a few more minis alive (I don’t have many to lose). Next, I’m taking Devout Fanaticism – the long and short of this means I’ll be adding 1 to the attack characteristic at the start of most combats. That’s going to help a lot with this list too.
And in terms of Detachments, I’m just taking the one of them – a Vanguard Detachment. Like I said, this is going to be quite an elite army.
Go big or go home, I say. That’s why I’m taking the brand new Morvenn Vahl AND Saint Celestine and her Gemini Superior in this army list. Both hit like a truck, you’ve got a great new mini in there, and a modern classic too, and the latter has that hilarious/frustrating habit of popping back up when she dies the first time around. MV will be taking the role of Warlord giving her the Righteous Rage warlord trait (I say “giving” – she has to have that one). That means that this strength 5, 5 attack monster will be able to reroll the to hit and to wound rolls. Very handy.
What’s more both of these characters are pretty rapid, so we need some things to keep up with them…
2 units of 5 Zephyrim, each carrying their fancy banner that lets them re-roll their charge rolls. I see the job of these ladies is to keep up with Saint Celestine and support her as she assaults high value targets with brutal close combat attacks with their power swords and high numbers of attacks.
A single Exorcist Battle Tank can put out a lot of firepower and will be hugely frustrating to any enemy units who try to avoid the blades of the rest of the army. If you’re facing lots of infantry, it might be worth kitting this out with the Exorcist Conflagration Rockets but the standard launcher works against any army.
This is the bulk of the army. We have four units here, and you can probably guess what one of them will be – yes, we’re taking 3 Paragon Warsuits. They are super pricy but when you look at the stats, and the miniatures, any painter would want these in their army. And all of them are having Multi-Meltas because… Multi Melters. I love the look of these new suits and honestly, the reason I’m including them is because of how gorgeous the models are; the fact that they can stomp face and serve as a bodyguard for Vahl are a bonus.
I’m then taking 5 Celestian Sacresants with Halberds, while the Superior will take the Spear of the faithful (which looks beastly) and an Inferno Pistol. Again, this is here because I love these new miniatures and it’s a plus that their rules look fun. The ol’ 4+ invulnerable save is pretty useful too, though they may struggle to keep up with the boss ladies a bit – hopefully they’ll be able to get into the fight eventually though.
Next up, we’re taking a squad of 10 Arco-Flagellants, with one carrying the Endurant Implants. Yes, there are 10 of them, but they’re not complicated to paint at all, and the models are very interesting too. Could be done very easily with contrast paints and a splattering of metallics. They can help to protect the Exorcist or just go on a bit of an annoying rampage.
Lasty, we’re taking 3 Deathcult Assassins. There’s some funny stuff in this book involving Priests, but I can’t see any reason why they couldn’t fit here – they have that all important “Adeptus Ministorum” keyword. I’d probably make my own miniatures for this to add some personal flair to the army, but the old minis still look decent enough. And they’re cheap and can be quite lethal in the right circumstances. Will they survive long? No. Can they take a few enemies with them? I reckon so.
HQ: Saint Celestine & The Geminae Superior
HQ: Morvenn Vahl
Elites: 3x Paragon Warsuits
Elites: 3x Deathcult Assassins
Elites 5x Celestian Sacresants
Elites: 10x Arco-Flagellants
Fast Attack: 5x Zephyrim
Fast Attack: 5x Zephyrim
Heavy Support: Exorcist
Warlord Trait: Righteous Rage (Morvenn Vahl)
Order: Azure Eye (Shield of Aversion & Devout Fanaticism)
Model Count: 36
Command Points: 9 (right? Like I said, 9th is still a bit new to me)
There you have it then. A fun little list that will hit hard, hang around (hopefully) and you get to paint lots of the new stuff too. What’s more, at 36 miniatures, it won’t be too taxing on your brushes. Yes, I could have made it fewer but painting 6 paragon Warsuits wouldn’t be a joyous thing to do, and the army would end up rather wonky probably. Also, there’s so much fun in all of the units in this fantastic codex, that I wanted to ensure some variety.
It’s very much about moving fast and getting into the fight as soon as you can. I look at it and think it’s one of those lists where, depending on your dice rolls, you’ll either table your opponent in 4 or be tabled yourself in 3. At least that means more time in the pub laughing about the game, and you don’t have to faff around with things like objectives – no-one’s got time for that when there’s purging to be done.
That’s your lot. Thanks to Games Workshop for sending me the book to work with for this article. I’m off to go paint things now – may your hobby prayers be answered. Onwards!
Welcome back readers. In our last episode, we created a map for the brand new world we’re creating (you can read all about that here), but now we need to start adding some more details. For a start, this world needs a name – I can’t keep referring to it as “the world” – and we could also do with embedding it a little more in the 41st Millennium. So that’s what we’re going to do with this blog post today.
What Sort Of World…
As we’re placing this world into the galaxy of the 41st Millennium, we need a reason for it to be there, and an idea of what function it serves. I decided when I was creating the map that I want this to be an Imperial world as that will allow me to more easily interact with friendly and unfriendly forces in the setting, and humans are quite helpful to have when it comes to naming things and explaining history. True, I could have made it a human world beyond the Imperium’s control but one would have a great sense then that it would not have much of a future, even if it did have a well written past. No, we’re going Imperial.
So, we know that the Emperor’s standard flies here, but what sort of world should it be? The Imperium is full of planets that serve a distinct function, and of course every planet must pay the Imperial tithe in some way (or have a reason for exemption). There are crowded Hive Worlds, smoke-filled Forge Worlds, Agri-Worlds that feed the Imperium… but let’s take a look at that map again:
It’s too green to be a Forge or Hive world (though I’m sure such a thing as a verdant Forge World could exist but I’m not going to stress myself with those justifications) so instead, I need something wild. Yep, this is going to be a Death World.
Death Worlds offer several advantages for me here, not least of which is the bestiaries and horticultural entries that I can include later on. I always think of Catachan when it comes to Death Worlds and they’re got some lovely monsters to work with (like the Catachan Devil pictured below). What’s more, it means the 10 established cities can be the only real population hubs on the world, leaving the deserts, forests, tundras, seas and savannahs to the beasts who live there (along with perhaps a few more nomadic peoples who still dwell in these places). And like Catachan, I can fulfil this world’s obligations to the Imperium by providing a regiment to the Astra Militarum (and I dare say a few additional resources once i’ve worked those out). I’ve got plenty of ideas for this too, but I’ll go over that in a future post.
I really like the idea of the cities being large hives with space ports and all the mod-cons of any Imperial city, but they’d be very much walled in. Enormous fortresses with high and well defended walls to keep the beasts out of the population centres, but I also want to find ways to have the population interact with the wild areas too, but we’ll get to that later too.
I also want the similarities to Catachan to end there. It’s very easy to clone a world and re-skin it, but we want to create our own planet here with its own flora, fauna, fiction, functions and… fings? I knew I’d overstretch myself there. But I think we’ve borrowed a little bit to create a solid base there. Now, it really is time that this place got its own name…
Welcome to… Orthrus
Naming things is… tricky. There are a thousand sources of inspiration, but it’s getting them to marry up, and using the conventions you have to create a distinct language that’s the tricky part. Mythology is a great place to start but again, there’s no point in using Aztec mythology for the name of a river and Egyptian mythology for the name of a town because it just won’t sound right all together. “There stands the mighty city of Bastet next to the banks of the mighty Quetzalcoatl river” – see what I mean? I think the trick is to pick one area, and use it sparingly. Lean on it more for inspiration rather than taking names straight from it. That being said (yes, I’m going to break that rule straight away)…
I arrived at the name Orthrus because I probably know Greek mythology better than any other kind (studying Classics for few years will do that to you) and because I wanted to address another issue that I had made for myself. You see, I think my world looks rather… pleasant. It looks like a nice place to visit with stunning scenery and vistas worthy of a postcard from the map I drew, and yet I’m trying to sell it as a Death World full of monsters. So I needed a name that would fit in with this. Orthrus was the brother of Cerberus – the famous multi-headed dog who guards the gates to the Underworld. Orthrus is far less famous, and is widely regarded as having just two heads, and he didn’t have the best of times either, given that he got killed by Heracles during the hero’s 12 Labours. Is Heracles the mighty Imperium that reclaimed this world after Old Night? Or is Heracles the forces of Chaos or Xenos armies that threaten the world still? And then I imagined this:
“They say our world was named after an ancient beast on Terra. A canid with two heads and I believe this to be most fitting and in accordance with our scripture. For those whose star-borne ships find our world see a glittering and verdant jewel among the heavens that is loyal to our most divine Emperor like a faithful, old hunting hound. But should they set foot on our planet, they will find that both the people and the animals that live here, have the ferocity and jaws of a wolf, its mind set on slaughter.”
-Uralia of Imoth, Scribe Primus of Orthrus
What do you think? Not bad, eh? A little early flavour to work with there. And oddly, the name Orthrus fits in with another method I found for creating names that’s a little more abstract. I was searching for ideas on naming things and one commenter on a forum (which I now can’t find to give credit to – sorry about that) suggested taking a list of your friends names and simply removing the first and last letters to create some interesting place or character names. I gave it a go and immediately found that longer names are more useful for this – sorry, Dan, but I can’t have a city called “A”. But I grabbed some random ones from my facebook friends list and here’s what I came up with for my major rivers and cities:
Rivers: Enr, Ichae, Onatha, Obbi, Amue, Ele, Ennife and Hri
Cities: Imo, Ichela, Ober, Imoth, Ame, Atherin, Aur, Iann, Rai and He
Now, the keen-eyed amongst you may notice that the vast majority of those names now begin with vowels. One could see this as a problem, but I say, when life gives you lemons, construct a fictitious reason to justify why you have so many lemons. It fits in with the name of the planet fine (stroke of luck there) and furthermore, it does give a helpful uniformity to things. It’s at this point when a wonderful chain reaction of thoughts came along that really set the tone for the make up of our planet. I was sat in a pub doodling all of this down and this is the train of thought I had…
All proper nouns should begin with a vowel unless a place/person is considered rebellious
This is because of a strong written tradition that has mutated over time in isolation
There are lots of rules for stories and writings – scribes are very high in society
Memorised recitation punished – stories should always be read from scrolls/books
Because of this, lots of Orthrusians joined the great crusade as remembrancers
Libraries are where the seats of government are held
Overly complicated legal and political systems
All of that came out of my brain in about 3 minutes (I just spent more than 10 minutes deciphering my excited scribblings from that time) and it already gives me something in the bank to work with in terms of the characteristics of society on the planet including language, politics, tradition, superstition and more. But we’re not quite there yet, and we will be looking more at how society functions on Orthrus in a future post.
All that leaves us with are our three rebellious names, but happily, on our map there is the northern continent with two cities and one major river, so we’ll make that the rebellious place here and work out a little more as to why that is the way it is in a future post. Oh, and before I forget, we also have two moons orbiting Orthrus – Eurytio and Eryon, both of which are riffs on the characters from mythology who Heracles killed alongside Orthrus.
Now that we have all of these names, I’ve added them to our map (I used a D10 to work out the name of our planetary capital – Atherin) and I can start thinking more about this place with a sense of how it sounds in my head. Just giving these names, and using that little bit of cultural reference is already picking at my imagination and giving me ideas which is great.
That’s it for this week. Next time round, I fancy taking a look at the beasts who make this planet a death world, but we’ll see – it may be I do one of the other posts instead (depends if I decide to start drawing the monsters or not). Until then, happy hobbying! Onwards.