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News, Rumours and Trading / New 40k FAQs released today!
« on: January 20, 2017, 08:49:32 PM »
FAQs for the core rulebook and all Codexes have been released/updated today, over at the Warhammer Community website.

Fluff and Stories / Index Astartes: Fort Excalibris
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:24:04 PM »
Hey everyone.  I present to you all an Index Astartes article I've written for my army: members of the Deathwatch Watch Fortress Fort Excalibris.  I'm looking for some feedback on this, in particular the believability of what I've laid out here.  In the past I've mentioned that I dislike "special snowflakes" (being someone that absolutely has to feel special, usually by violating some core tenet of whatever project they are participating in) and that continues to this day.  In 40k, being a special snowflake tends to manifest itself in things like, "Oh, he's the only Grey Knight who's ever turned to Chaos" (despite background stating that NO Grey Knight has ever turned to Chaos).  I'm concerned that I might have gone a little too far in some of the things I've described here so I'd like some other people to take a look at it and tell me if that's the case.  I'm also a little...  I guess "scared" is the term, seeing as I've taken two actual GW places/Chapters and given them a history of my own (Fort Excalibris and the Imperial Stars).

Please let me know what you think.


Index Astartes: Fort Excalibris


The facility that would eventually become Fort Excalibris was founded in the 34th Millennium as a joint venture between the alien-hunting branch of the Inquisition, the Ordo Xenos, and the Adeptus Mechanicus to capture and study the tools of the alien.  The Ordo Xenos provided a complement of Deathwatch Kill Teams to investigate alien activity and retrieve xeno-artefacts whilst the Adeptus Mechanicus pledged a cadre of Tech Priests and their servants to study anything captured, as well as the space station Er Kontor that would be their base of operations.  Non-military members of the Ordo Xenos would oversee the running of the facility and provide additional aid to help the Adeptus Mechanicus in their research.

Less than a century after the establishing of Er Kontor, the Fabricator-General of the relatively-nearby Forge world of Mezoa discovered the pro-xenos leanings of the Tech Priests doing research there and declared them Hereteks.  Unable to directly assault them for fear of reprisal from the Inquisition, Mezoa engaged in a secret cold war with the unknowing space station.

Whilst Er Kontor’s initial research was extremely promising, over time as their resources dwindled and former allies removed their support they produced fewer and fewer usable results to the point that the Ordo Xenos was prepared to scrap the project altogether.  But, on the cusp of victory, Mezoa tipped their hand and accidentally exposed their actions to the Inquisition, who were swift to take action.

Cold war exploded into open warfare.  With all pretence of subterfuge gone, the Basilikon Astra of Mezoa was despatched to blow Er Kontor out of the stars.  The Ordo Xenos responded in kind, sending a flotilla of Imperial Navy ships to defend the research facility.  The flotilla arrived just in time to intercept the Adeptus Mechanicus ships bearing down on the space station.  Massed rows of torpedoes flew across the ever-decreasing gap between the fleets before slamming into their targets in blossoms of red and yellow.  Weapons batteries on both sides blazed white hot as they spewed their fiery payload upon their enemies.  Lance fire sliced open ship hulls, exposing their innards to the void of space.

As the Imperial Navy flotilla drew closer, the Adeptus Mechanicus fleet attempted to outmanoeuvre them in the hopes of accomplishing their assignment then retreating without paying too heavy a toll in destroyed vessels.  But the ships loyal to the Inquisition managed to draw close and launched boarding actions against almost the entirety of the Mechanicus vessels.  Few of the Legiones Skitarii had been deployed to the fleet and soon their ships started to become overrun with troops of the Ordo Xenos.

In a last ditch effort to succeed in their mission the Adeptus Mechanicus’s flagship, a Retribution class battleship whose name has been lost to history, fired its final complement of torpedoes at the station before signalling the withdrawal of their fleet.  The deadly missiles closed the distance with Er Kontor, the salvo large enough to obliterate the already-damaged facility.  At the last moment, a Sword-class frigate named Excalibris flew headlong into the spread of torpedoes.  The Excalibris was utterly destroyed, ripped asunder by a full half-dozen of the plasma warheads igniting as they impacted its hull.  The remaining torpedoes continued on their path and hit Er Kontor, crippling the station as secondary explosions rippled throughout its structure.

As the Adeptus Mechanicus fleet limped home to Mezoa, it was clear that their gambit had failed.  Er Kontor, though crippled and listing in space, was still whole; the noble sacrifice of the Excalibris and her crew had saved the station from the majority of the torpedoes at the dear cost of the ship and their lives.

In the aftermath of the battle, the Inquisition censured the forge world of Mezoa.  Assuring them that the Adeptus Mechanicus personnel aboard the station had been wiped out in the explosions caused by the final torpedo impacts, the Ordo Xenos claimed the research facility as being solely theirs, renaming it Fort Excalibris in honour of the vessel that had sacrificed itself.  Mezoa gladly let the Inquisition claim the facility, knowing it was a small price to pay and that they could have been forced to repay far more.


As with all Deathwatch Watch Fortresses, Fort Excalibris does not recruit new Space Marines but instead draws from the best xenos killers amongst the Adeptus Astartes.

Fort Excalibris itself is a sprawling complex located in the eastern portion of Segmentum Obscuris, almost on the border with Ultima Segmentum.  The initial space station has been built upon numerous times into a multi-hulled space fortress, surrounded by innumerable minefields and other defence emplacements.

Whilst the basic goal of the venture of Fort Excalibris hasn’t changed over the millennia, the contingent of Deathwatch Kill Teams initially stationed there has evolved over time into being a fully fledged Watch Fortress.  The research portion of the facility, initially staffed by the Adeptus Mechanicus, is now fully crewed by the Ordo Xenos and their servants.

As one of the few Watch Fortresses to have a facility exclusively dedicated to xeno-tech research, Fort Excalibris has a reputation within certain circles for being at the forefront of Imperial research into alien technology.  As a result of this, Kill Teams from all over the Imperium deliver numerous pieces of xeno-tech to the experts at Fort Excalibris in the hope that some vital information can be gleaned for use in the future.

Deep within the depths of Fort Excalibris lie a great many relics and articles of war, some of which are so dangerous they cannot be used lest they annihilate all life on a planet’s surface.  The Black Vault of Fort Excalibris is one of the most diverse in the Deathwatch, allowing its castellans to be armed with the deadliest weapons known to the enemies of Man.

Combat Doctrine

As befits a research centre such as Fort Excalibris, its Kill Teams are usually armed with the best equipment available to the Deathwatch.  In some cases this means brand new, barely-post-testing weapons whilst in others this means ancient artefacts dating from before the Horus Heresy.

The Kill Teams of Fort Excalibris are well-armed and equipped to face any foe on the battlefield.  Whilst capable of making quick insertions into hostile territory, they are also fully able to wage war on a longer term basis, particularly in circumstances where xeno-tech acquisition is highly likely.  In such cases specially adapted Corvus Blackstars and Thunderhawk Gunships are used to airdrop varying forms of forward command posts including Aegis Defence Lines, Imperial Bastions, and even Skyshield Landing Pads to allow the Deathwatch to maintain a mobile front line.

The armoury of Fort Excalibris contains some of the rarest vehicles deployed by the Adeptus Astartes.  Amongst other things, the Watch Commanders of Fort Excalibris can call upon the aid of motorised behemoths such as Legion Fellblades and Typhon Heavy Siege Tanks.  The Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer is a particularly useful and oft-requisitioned vehicle, as it allows the Deathwatch the ability to take down alien Titans at long range; many such massive engines of war have been salvaged as a result of this war machine.


Like most other Watch Fortresses of the Deathwatch, Fort Excalibris follows the standard format of a strategium staff and an armoury supporting five Watch Companies, each consisting of a Watch Captain and four Kill Teams.  Due to the nature of Fort Excalibris, historically the Watch Commander has been an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor as often as it has been a Deathwatch Watch Master.  In addition to his usual duties, the Watch Commander is also the overall head of the research and development facilities, though a Deathwatch Watch Master holding the post usually delegates that responsibility to a senior member of the Ordo Xenos.

The current Watch Commander of Fort Excalibris is Watch Master Arcturus.  Originally from the Imperial Stars, a Codex Chapter whose Astartes are all curiously named after the celestial bodies the Chapter is named for, he has dedicated himself towards the extermination of the Enemy Without through a lifetime of committed service to the Deathwatch.

He succeeded his predecessor, Watch Master Feron, when the latter was slaughtered by a dozen Genestealers on the planet of Cagalian IX in retaliation for slaying their Patriarch in single combat, his death buying time to allow the troops under his command to be extracted safely.  Upon receiving word of these events, Arcturus immediately led his Watch Company of Deathwatch Marines to cleanse the planet of alien filth before receiving his new title and responsibilities.

Arcturus eschews the traditional Guardian Spear wielded by a Marine of his station, instead taking the field with an ornate and ancient Relic Blade of great length and power.  The more superstitious members of the Deathwatch whisper rumours that suggest this Relic Blade may have once been wielded by the Emperor himself and that the merest hint of His divine essence still resides within it.

The Watch Captain of Fort Excalibris’s Watch Company Tertius is Magnus Blackwolf of the Space Wolves.  Recruited from Engir Krakendoom’s Wolf Guard for his part in masterminding and leading an attack on an Ork-infested space hulk, Magnus has served in the Deathwatch with distinction for a great number of years. 

Distrusted by many within his own Chapter due to inadvertently choosing the name of the Space Wolves’ archenemy as his own following the Test of Morkai, Magnus finds himself more at home amongst his brethren in the Deathwatch than he ever felt in The Fang, the fortress monastery of the Space Wolves.  Comfortable with using the wide variety of weapons and wargear afforded him by his station, Magnus leads his Watch Company from the front with a feral grin on his lips.

In battle Magnus often wears an ancient suit of MkIII “Iron Armour”.  Originally designed for the brutal close-ranged firefights found in boarding actions, it is all but proof against attacks that could otherwise penetrate the vulnerable spots of inferior types of armour.

The highest ranking non-Deathwatch member of the Ordo Xenos at Fort Excalibris is Inquisitor Ambrosius Grax.  An ageing puritan of the Monodominant philosophy, since being assigned to Fort Excalibris he has tempered his methodology and now freely embraces the idea of using the weapons of the alien against them.

Despite nominally having nothing but a desk job, Inquisitor Grax often assigns himself to Deathwatch Kill Teams on their expeditions to retrieve xeno-tech.  When asked why, he smirks and replies, “Rank hath its privileges.”  Requests from members of his support staff to stop doing so usually end up with said support staff temporarily reassigned to scourge the environmental duct systems of dust, debris, and vermin.

Ambrosius is constantly surrounded by a cloud of exotically-scented smoke, which he claims aids his concentration when manifesting his psychic powers.  In actuality, he is surrounded by the leavings of the fat, stubby lho-sticks that he chain-smokes constantly.

Due to Kill Teams from all over the galaxy guarding and delivering new materiel to the researchers, Fort Excalibris is often host to Astartes from other Watch Fortresses, including such famous names as Watch Captain Artemis of Talasa Prime and Ortan Cassius, Chaplain of the Ultramarines.  On rare occasions, these outsider members of the Deathwatch are conscripted into Excalibris’s Kill Teams and sent on missions by Watch Master Arcturus.  Whilst technically an abuse of power, these actions are usually excused as the experience gained by fighting alongside Deathwatch members from other Watch Fortresses is seen as extremely valuable and are often “overlooked” by those who could do something about it.


The establishing of Fort Excalibris as a centre of research has led to the Deathwatch Marines stationed there embracing the use of refitted xeno-weaponry readily.  Likewise the majority of their Ordo Xenos personnel have at least a slightly radical bent, as any position within the Watch Fortress is naturally attractive to individuals who would prefer to use the tools of the alien against them.

The portion of the Adeptus Mechanicus who formed the initial alliance with the Inquisition followed a set of beliefs counter to those of the majority of their associates.  Their interpretation of the Xenos Testamenta, one of the Mechanicus’s Sixteen Universal Laws, meant they believed that even though the knowledge found within alien technology had been corrupted from the pure thought of the Machine God, it could still be salvaged for the Quest for Knowledge.  As a result, Fort Excalibris has become something of a pilgrimage site for members of the Adeptus Mechanicus who follow similar pro-xenos beliefs, though those who do visit often do so in disguise so as not to be identified.


Like all other Watch Fortresses across the Imperium, the Deathwatch is composed of Space Marines from a number of different Chapters, with a variety of nearly identical to little-to-no similarity in their gene-seed.

The exact composition of Fort Excalibris’s Deathwatch Marines varies over time, but currently includes members of the Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Crimson Fists, Liberators, and Howling Griffins.  There is a slightly higher than average number of Astartes from the Silver Skulls Chapter, likely due to Fort Excalibris’s proximity to their homeworld of Versavia.


Raising his sword towards the heavens, the leader of a given Deathwatch Kill Team or army calls out, “FOR EXCALIBRIS!” which is echoed in turn by his comrades.

Watch Fortress Icon


Author's Notes and Trivia

The major driving force of the background was justifying certain model choices in-universe.  This includes:
  • Wanting to convert the original limited edition Emperor's Champion into my Watch Master,
  • Including a Lord of War and a Fortification choice as per one of the painting and modelling challenges on another site that I'm participating in,
  • Wanting to include the Deathwatch special characters Watch Captain Artemis, Venerable Dreadnought Nihilus, and Kill Team Cassius in my army as themselves, and,
  • Wanting to include a Puritan Inquisitor with a roguish streak.
In my first draft of this, Fort Excalibris was initially a Ramiles class star fort, but I couldn't justify why such an impressive installation wasn't considered a Primary Watch Fortress (as per pages 12 and 13 of the codex).  The incursion by the Adeptus Mechanicus was originally an attempt to explain why it wasn't a Primary Watch Fortress (due to them maintaining a long-running grudge and starving the Fort of resources and allies), but all my attempts at writing it ended up with the AdMech holding the idiot ball.  In the end, I still included the AdMech attack because I liked the inter-Imperial conflict, and I especially enjoyed writing the battle.

For anyone paying attention, there are a number of references here.  In particular, there are 5 specific references to Arthurian legend (excluding the fact that the name of the Watch Fortress is "Excalibris" (which is where I took the inspiration from) since that's what GW called it) and 1 Star Trek reference (which kind of doubles up to 2 if you look at it in the right light).  Bonus points are available for anyone who finds them all   ;)

Hey everyone.  How’s it going?

It’s been over 7 years since I last played a game of 40k, due to me moving from England to Japan.  Whilst I attempted to continue with my hobby whilst I was out there, I wasn’t very successful.  As a result, I’m two editions behind on where the game of Warhammer 40,000 is and I’m hoping some kind people can give me some advice in playing catch up.  I've got a bunch of questions, all in bold and in green so they stand out.

When I last played, there were four main ways to play the game; core Warhammer 40k, Apocalypse, Cities of Death, and Planetstrike.  I’m a huge fan of playing with these alternate ways so eventually I’d like to be able to play in all of these different ways.

I’ve been looking at the array of books that are available at the GW website and can kind of group them into the following groups.  If anyone can help me out with anything I’ve gotten wrong, or anything that I’ve missed out because I don’t have the books, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Warhammer 40,000: Apocalypse seems to be the equivalent of the old Apocalypse book.  Would I be correct in assuming that Apocalypse Warzone: Damnos and Apocalypse Warzone: Valedor are supplements for Apocalypse that add new information only for certain armies, unlike how Apocalypse: Reload added information for all armies?  Are the two Warzone books worth picking up for someone who doesn’t play those armies?

I can’t seem to find any specific books that are the equivalent of either Cities of Death or Planetstrike.  Codex: Stronghold Assault seems to have aspects of both, especially as it mentions “updated rules for buildings and fortifications.”  Fortifications don’t seem to be in the core rulebook any more, unlike in 6th edition, so I assume that if I want to use my existing models like Aquila Defence Lines and Bastions I’m going to have to buy Stronghold Assault anyway?

Shield of Baal (Exterminatus and Leviathan), War Zone Damocles (Kauyon and Mont’Ka), Sanctus Reach (The Red Waaagh! and Hour of the Wolf), and Warzone Fenris: Curse of the Wulfen all seem to be campaign books that add additional rules for the armies involved.  Again, how essential are these for players who don’t own the appropriate armies?

Escalation seems to be a new way of playing, but seems to be a way to add Apocalypse units to games of regular 40k.  I’m going to have to pick up a copy anyway, since I want to complete the CAD in a Quarter section of the 2016 Hobby Progress Challenge and need to find out what Lords of War the Deathwatch have access to.

Likewise, Death from the Skies seems to add more to the core game.  How essential is it?  And would I be better off picking up the book in the store or one of the recent boxed releases with two flyer models inside?

Finally, I’ve got Altar of War and Angels of Death.  Are the missions in Altar of War worth picking up?  As a Deathwatch player, and someone with intentions to rebuild his Dark Angels and Raven Guard armies, is it worth picking Angels of Death up?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer me any kind of advice on this matter.

Project Logs / MT's Project Log (currently: Deathwatch)
« on: September 03, 2016, 03:53:28 PM »
Hey everyone, how's it going?

As a global moderator of this forum, and a member since 2008, it's a little sad that I've not really shown much in the way of modelling or painting here.  The recent Deathwatch release has reinvigorated me and inspired me to actually get some models glued up and painted, so I thought I'd start a Project Log here.  It's going to be mirrored over at The Independent Characters' forum and maybe the Bolter and Chainsword forum too, with parts of it posted over on Facebook in the 1 Hour A Night Facebook group, so if you see this stuff in any of those places, it's not someone plagiarising me.

Anyway, onto the models.

So far, I've managed to purchase the following Deathwatch models:

1 Watch Captain Artemis
1 Deathwatch Venerable Dreadnought
5 Deathwatch Vanguard Veterans
5 Deathwatch Terminators
10 Deathwatch Veterans
5 Deathwatch Bikers
1 Deathwatch Corvus Blackstar

Over at the The Independent Characters forum and in the 1 Hour A Night Facebook group, I'm participating in their Hobby Progress Challenge and 1HourANight Challenge (respectively).  Mostly, that means that I have to pledge to paint a certain amount of miniatures each month and I get points and badges for doing so, with the chance to win some prizes at the end of the year.

For my first month of these two challenges I'm committing to doing 10 Deathwatch Veterans and 5 Deathwatch Bikers.  That's mostly because I'm completely undecided in what I actually want to field in my army (specifically, how I want to arm my models), and Bikers only really get one choice of weapon whilst I've somewhat decided what I'm doing with my first squad of Veterans.

The Bikers, as a Fast Attack choice, will also count towards the combined challenge called the CAD in a Quarter Challenge.  To finish this I'll need to have painted an Elites choice, a Fast Attack choice, a Heavy Support choice, a Fortifications choice, and a Lord of War choice by the start of December.  I already have an Elites choice that I can paint up (my choice of the Terminators, the Vanguard Veterans, and/or the Venerable Dreadnought) and I have several Fortifications choices I can take, due to me buying things before I left England for Japan 7 years ago, but I'm going to have to buy and paint a Deathwatch Land Raider at some point, as the three Land Raider types are the only Heavy Support choices the Deathwatch get, as well as work out what kind of Lords of War the Deathwatch can take, then buy one and paint it up.

I'm going to have to search out some of my old Dark Angels Ravenwing bits because I want one of my Bikers to be a member of the Ravenwing, specifically he's going to be the one with a Locator Beacon (seeing as that's what the Ravenwing do for the Dark Angels, it didn't seem like much of a stretch to do that within the Deathwatch too).

At this point I'm unsure how I'm going to base the army.  I'm considering basing it as urban ruins, as one of my to-do projects is an entire Cities of Death cityscape, with modular tiles and buildings, though I want to do a bit more research into how Cities of Death works in the current edition of 40k before I approach that project.  Failing that, I might just do your average "wasteland" base in order to fit in with as many tabletops as possible (sand and small stones, painted brown or grey).

In terms of the background of my army, I've got a few things I need to decide.  I want the option to use Watch Captain Artemis (seeing as I'm a huge fan of the Inquisitor game where he first debuted), Venerable Dreadnought Nihilus, and Kill Team Cassius as themselves as special characters, but I'm not especially fond of the idea of having my army come from Watch Fortress Talasa Prime (where Artemis and Nihilus are from).  I think the best way to explain them away is to have my Watch Fortress run some kind of exchange program, to allow Kill Teams and Watch Companies to come in and fight alongside the KTs/WCs of the Fortress and share tactics and strategy.

I'm thinking of adopting Fort Excalibris, located in Segmentum Obscuris, as my Watch Fortress as nothing has been written about it as far as I'm aware.  In particular, I'm tempted to take the name of the Fortress and 'create' a relic located there that gave the Fortress its name: a legendary sword of power that is wielded by the Fortress's Watch Master in place of a Guardian Spear.  My Watch Master could be converted from the original limited edition Emperor's Champion model (of which I have one spare and able to be used for this) with both shoulder pads removed and replaced appropriately, the Black Templar symbols removed, and appropriate extra bits added (Clavis, wrist-mounted Boltgun to replace the one on the Guardian Spear, etc.).

I'm tempted to include one of my other characters in my Deathwatch army, Magnus Blackwolf from my Space Wolves army.  I've written quite a bit about him, though mostly in aid of my then-current Space Wolves army, but since I no longer own that army, and I don't intend to collect another Space Wolf army any time soon, it's the only way I'm going to get to use the background that I've written for that character.  I'd have to rewrite some of it to match him being part of the Deathwatch rather than being in a Great Company, but it wouldn't be too hard for me to do so.  I'm assuming that he'd be a Watch Captain, but he might end up being my Watch Master or even just a regular Veteran.

That's about all I've got time for now.  Hopefully I'll post again within a short time with more on the army, not least of which I hope will be models assembled and/or painted.

Hey everyone, how's it going?
I find myself in a bit of a weird situation, as I'm returning to the game after a break of around 6 years.  The last time I played a game it was 5th edition so my rules knowledge is a couple of editions out of date.  I've chosen to finally get around to assembling and painting the Sisters of Battle army that I've owned, but never done anything with, for around 8-9 years.
This 2000 point army is intended to be the start of me finally getting the army off the ground.  It is intended to be both an end point but also something that I can choose smaller armies from.  At my former gaming club games tended to be around 1500 points so, assuming that game sizes haven't changed too much over the edition changes, I figured 2000 points would be a nice starting point to aim for.

Currently, none of the army is assembled, so I have full control over what I can choose at this point, subject to the following model list (which I can add to, but I'd like to try and keep new purchases down to a minimum):

Spoiler: 'Model List' (click to show/hide)

With all that in mind, here's the army list.  I'm looking for any kind of help I can get, both with regards to Sisters of Battle specifically, but also with regard to 7th edition overall.

Combined Arms Detachment

HQ: Saint Celestine (135)

HQ: Canoness w/Rosarius, Eviscerator, Mantle of Ophelia (135)

HQ: Priest w/Mace of Valaan (50)
HQ: Priest w/Eviscerator (55)
HQ: Priest w/Power Sword (40)
HQ: Priest w/Power Sword (40)

Elites: Repentia Squad w/+5 Sisters Repentia, Melta bombs (Mistress of Repentance) (160)

Troops: Battle Sister Squad w/+4 Sisters, Flamer, Heavy Flamer, Simulacrum Imperialis, Veteran Sister Superior w/Melta Bombs, Power Sword (163)
Transport: Rhino w/Dozer Blade (45)

Troops: Battle Sister Squad w/+4 Sisters, Flamer, Heavy Flamer, Simulacrum Imperialis, Veteran Sister Superior w/Melta Bombs, Power Sword (163)
Transport: Rhino w/Dozer Blade (45)

Troops: Battle Sister Squad w/+10 Sisters, 2 Storm Bolters, Simulacrum Imperialis, Veteran Sister Superior w/Melta Bombs, Power Sword (230)

Fast Attack: Dominion Squad w/4 Meltaguns, Veteran Dominion Superior w/Melta bombs, Power Sword (135)
Transport: Immolator w/Twin-Linked Multi-Meltas, Dozer Blade (65)

Fast Attack: Seraphim Squad w/+5 Seraphim, 2 x Two Inferno Pistols, Seraphim Superior w/Power Sword, Melta Bombs (240)

Fast Attack: Seraphim Squad w/+5 Seraphim, 2 x Two Inferno Pistols, Seraphim Superior w/Power Sword, Melta Bombs (240)

Heavy Support: Exorcist w/Dozer Blade (130)

Heavy Support: Exorcist w/Dozer Blade (130)

Total: 2001

My tactics will obviously vary depending on the mission and the terrain, but I'll probably make the Canoness my Warlord and attach her and a Priest to the big squad of foot slogging Battle Sisters, with a Priest also in each of the vehicle mounted squads.  They'll probably try to head up the centre of the table to grab an objective whilst the rest of the army uses its speed to pick off annoying targets.

I can't help but feel that I don't have enough Troops in this army, but that might be a layover from previous editions of the game where only your Troops could hold objectives.

Please let me know what you think.  This army is hopefully going to form the core of my attempt at this year's Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge (which I punted on 2 years ago but would like to try and give it a go this year).

Hey everyone.

I’ve recently moved back to the UK after living for almost 6 years in Japan.  Sadly, I wasn’t able to do too much wargaming whilst out in the far east and I’m hoping to get back on track now.

I’ve been in the hobby for over 20 years and have accumulated a large amount of armies.  I’m no longer in position to store or even play with all of them so I’m looking at the rather unenviable task of cutting down the armies I have and I’m hoping that people here can maybe help me come to a decision as to which ones I can let go.

Ideally, I’d like to keep as few armies as possible and across those armies I’d like to be able to play with a variety of strategies, rather than having them all specialise in the same style of game play.

I’m going to rate each one on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 refers to the smallest value and 10 the highest, in each of the following categories to try and display my thoughts on each army:

  • Size: how many models I own for this army compared to my others,
  • Modelled/Painted: what kind of percentage of the army is modelled and/or painted,
  • Fondness: how much I like the army and want to keep it.

Here are the armies I’ve acquired, in alphabetical order:

Adepta Sororitas
Size: 5.  I own a moderate amount of models for this, more than enough to make a decent sized army but it wouldn’t be one of my bigger ones.
Modelled/Painted: 1.  None of these models are assembled or painted.
Fondness: 8.  I’ve wanted to do an SOB army for a while and there’s a certain something about having such an out-of=print army like this.

Adeptus Astartes: Dark Angels
Size: 8.  Most Space Marine releases over the past 15 years or so I’ve picked up some models for this army, including a number of Forge World models, including a Thunderhawk, and a large number of limited edition models.  It’s probably one of my biggest armies.
Modelled/Painted: 1.  Barely any of these models are assembled and none are painted.
Fondness: 8.  I’ve been a fan of Dark Angels ever since Codex: Angels of Death dropped in 1996.

Adeptus Astartes: Grey Knights
Size: 4.  These were part of a large Daemonhunters army in 3rd-5th Editions, but that army was not exclusively Grey Knights.  They’ve not been updated to the newer editions so I don’t have any of the newer plastic models.
Modelled/Painted: 7.  Most of my Grey Knight models are actually assembled and painted.
Fondness: 10.  I’ve loved the Grey Knights ever since I first saw their rules in Second Edition and when they first appeared in 3rd Edition I snapped them up.

Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines (Raven Guard)
Size: 7.  Most of the models I’ve picked up for my Dark Angels could also be used for my Raven Guard.  I’ve never really distinguished between the two in terms of my unassembled models.
Modelled/Painted: 1.  None of these are assembled or painted.
Fondness: 8.  I’ve loved the Raven Guard ever since their Index Astartes article came out in the middle of 3rd Edition and subsequent releases have only further endeared them to me.

Adeptus Astartes: Space Wolves
Size: 1.  All of the models I bought for this are still in Japan and will likely not get sent back here.
Modelled/Painted: 1.  Only a handful of these are assembled or painted.
Fondness: 8/1.  I actually would really like to do a Space Wolves army, but the fact that I've left all of my models in Japan means that I'd have to build the army from scratch, which I don't fancy doing seeing as I'm trying to cut down my armies, not build new ones.

Astra Militarum (Praetorian)
Size: 6.  This is one of my older armies, having started it shortly after they were first released, including buying the original limited edition box.
Modelled/Painted: 4.  I have a moderate amount of this army assembled and painted.
Fondness: 9.  Like the SOBs, this is an out-of-print army.  Whilst that does make buying replacements more difficult, I think that it imparts a certain level of coolness to the army.  Plus, it lets me quote Zulu as I play.

Astra Militarum (Valhallan)
Size: 4.  My second oldest army isn’t actually one of my bigger ones.
Modelled/Painted: 3.  I have a small amount of this army assembled and painted.
Fondness: 3.  I loved these models when I first started but I quickly moved on to other things.

Astra Militarum (Cadian)
Size: 7.  I picked up a load of plastic Cadians for a good price a while ago.
Modelled/Painted: 2.  Not done too much with them, though.
Fondness: 2.  I’m not a huge fan of them, simply because they’re so widespread (look at how hipster I’m being…).

Astra Militarum (Catachan)
Size: 7.  Likewise, I bought a large number of these in plastic.
Modelled/Painted: 4.  I have a moderate number of them glued and painted.
Fondness: 4.  I used to be pretty big on them but my interest has waned in recent years.

Chaos Daemons
Size: 10.  This is probably my biggest army, having been the army I concentrated the most on in the years before leaving for Japan.
Modelled/Painted: 6.  Again, since I concentrated the most on it, it’s the one that has the largest percentage assembled and painted.
Fondness: 10.  I love Chaos Daemons.  I really don’t want to give them up.

Chaos Space Marines (Black Legion)
Size: 8.  My third oldest army, my Chaos Space Marines are one of my biggest armies.
Modelled/Painted: 5.  A moderate amount of my CSMs are assembled and painted.
Fondness: 8.  I love the Black Legion and have done ever since Second Edition.  This is another army I don’t want to give up.

Chaos Space Marines (Death Guard)
Size: 4.  Don’t have too many of these as I bought them second hand as a job lot.
Modelled/Painted: 8.  The job lot was purchased mostly painted.
Fondness: 2.  Meh.

Chaos Space Marines (World Eaters)
Size: 5.  I own a fair amount of these.
Modelled/Painted: 3.  I have a small number of them assembled and painted.
Fondness: 2.  I’m not terribly attached to them.

Dark Eldar (Wych Cult)
Size: 1.  I have a 400 point army under 4th Edition rules that I bought for a Doubles Tournament at Warhammer World.
Modelled/Painted: 10.  All 400 points are fully assembled and painted.
Fondness: 1.  Whilst I remember the event fondly, I’m not attached to the army or the models at all.

Eldar (Ulthwé)
Size: 10.  My first and largest army.
Modelled/Painted: 5.  I have a reasonable amount of this army modelled and painted.
Fondness: 1.  Despite being my first army, and the one I’ve spent the most money on, I just don’t care all that much for it any more.

Size: 3.  Mostly buoyed up by my Imperial Guard and Grey Knights, my strictly Inquisition models don’t number all that many.
Modelled/Painted: 7.  That said, the majority of them are assembled and painted.
Fondness: 8.  I love my Inquisitors.

Khorne Daemonkin
Size: 6.  I don’t have the new Codex so I don’t know what’s in it, but glancing at the GW website makes me think that I have a fair amount, based on my existing CSM (World Eaters) and the Khorne section of my Chaos Daemons army.
Modelled/Painted: 4.  Mostly the Daemons.
Fondness: ??  Unknown as I don’t have any knowledge of the army.  Depending on which armies I keep, this might be a “free” army that I can simply make up out of the others.

Officio Assassinorum
Size: 1.  Umm…  I have two or three copies of each Assassin.
Modelled/Painted: 10.  And they’re all assembled and painted
Fondness: 7.  Mostly as a layover from being part of Codex: Daemonhunters and Witch Hunters.

Size: 5.  Mostly made up out of “free” models that I’ve acquired over the years (like being in box sets like Assault on Black Reach) supplemented by buying a few extras.
Modelled/Painted: 1.  I’ve only modelled a single Battlewagon and three Nobs as a “proof of concept” for the army (it was going to be a Genestealer-infested Ork army, led by a Weirdboy-Magus).
Fondness: 1.  I’m not terribly bothered about keeping these.

Tau Empire
Size: 7.  I bought a large number of the plastics around their 4th Edition Codex release.
Modelled/Painted: 2.  I’ve assembled a very small amount of models and not painted any.
Fondness: 8.  I like the Tau from a modelling perspective as well as from a gaming perspective.

So, looking at these ratings, it seems pretty obvious that I'm most interested in keeping some of the following armies: Adepta Sororitas, Dark Angels, Grey Knights, Raven Guard, AM Praetorians, Chaos Daemons, CSM Black Legion, Inquisition, and Tau Empire.  It also doesn't seem like too much of a problem to keep my Assassins.  In terms of tabletop tactical applications, it seems that these armies can be divided up as follows:

Long Ranged
Short Ranged
Dark Angels
Adepta Sororitas
Grey Knights
Raven Guard
Grey Knights
Raven Guard
AM Praetorians
CSM Black Legion
Chaos Daemons
CSM Black Legion
CSM Black Legion
Tau Empire

Theoretically, I'd want to only keep two armies, with opposing game play applications.  I can kind of cheat in a couple of ways, by combining certain armies.  Inquisition, for example, could be combined with my Praetorians, Grey Knights, or Adepta Sororitas.  Likewise, my Black Legion and Chaos Daemons could be combined, whilst also allowing me to use the Khorne Daemonkin army list too.

So, does anyone have any thoughts on which armies I should try and cut down on?

General 40k and Expansions / What is the current state of the game?
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:33:07 PM »
Hey, everyone. How's it going?

For the past 6 years I've been living in Japan. Unfortunately, despite my attempts to maintain my miniature wargaming hobby it's fallen by the wayside. However, this Friday I'm returning to the United Kingdom where, amongst other things, the majority of my hobby items are, including 15 years worth of miniatures, though I'll probably have to start trimming down the number of armies I now run.

I expect that my motivation to glue, paint, and play will increase, simply due to easy access to models and other players, but I've mostly been out of the loop for the past 6 years so I don't really know how things are currently going. What does the current state of the game look like? In particular:

  • Does the current rule set favour ranged combat or melee combat?
  • Are there any particular strategies that are commonly known that are overly or unintentionally powerful? I'm thinking of things like Rhino rush in 3rd edition.
  • Does someone who prefers a good story over a finely tuned army list have a place or are things all about having the most cut-throat lists?
  • Are any of the currently available Codexes considered to be particularly powerful or weak?
  • How much do the expansions get played these days? Things like Apocalypse, Planetstrike, Cities of Death, etc.
  • What big changes have taken place since 5th Edition in the rules themselves?

Thanks in advance for any responses.

Fluff and Stories / Index Astartes: Dreadwolves - updated April 6th
« on: January 19, 2014, 05:31:15 PM »
Hey everyone.  This is an Index Astartes article for my latest army, a group within the Space Wolves known as the Dreadwolves.  I'm looking for some feedback on this, in particular the believability of what I've laid out here.  I, for one, hate "special snowflakes"; a special snowflake is someone that absolutely has to feel special, usually by violating some core tenet of whatever project they are participating in.  In 40k, this tends to manifest itself in things like, "Oh, he's the only Grey Knight who's ever turned to Chaos" (despite background stating that NO Grey Knight has ever turned to Chaos).  However, I'm worried that I've stepped too far into this territory due to certain aspects of my army's background and I'd like some other people to take a look at it and tell me if I've gone too far.

Please let me know what you think.

EDIT: I've spent a few hours tonight rewriting this, and I'd again appreciate feedback.  I'm going to keep the old version in a spoiler, but there's a new version later on in the thread, specifically in this post.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Over on the The Independent Characters forum they've running another of their annual hobby progress challenges and I've decided to enter this year.  You choose a 2000 point army and paint it up over the course of 10 months.  For the first five months you build up a 1000 point force specifically designed around the Zone Mortalis rules (as can be downloaded from the Forge World website Downloads Page ("Zone Mortalis Expansion").

I'm looking to do my Space Wolves but I've not played any games of 6th Edition.  Heck, I've barely looked over the rulebook.  So, even though I've come up with the start of an army list, I'd like people to take a look over it and give me some pointers.

As mentioned, it's specifically for use in Zone Mortalis, so the fact that everyone's on foot isn't too much of an issue.  Likewise, I shouldn't be facing any heavy vehicles nor flyers, so anti-tank and anti-air choices are at a minimum.

Spoiler: Army List #1 (click to show/hide)

Spoiler: Army List #2 (click to show/hide)

Third time's the charm, or so I've heard.

HQ: Wolf Guard Battle Leader w/Runic Armour, Wolf Claw, Storm Shield, Saga of the Warrior Born (175)

HQ: Rune Priest w/Terminator Armour (120)

Elites: Siege Dreadnought (120) (running off of the rules in IA6 as I don't have a copy of Imperial Armour 2 Second Edition yet)

Elites: Lone Wolf w/Terminator Armour, Chainfist, and Storm Shield (85)

Troops: 10 Grey Hunters w/2 Plasma Guns, and Wolf Standard (170)

Troops: 10 Grey Hunters w/2 Plasma Guns, and Wolf Standard (170)

Troops: 10 Grey Hunters w/2 Meltaguns, and Wolf Standard (165)

Army Total: 1005 (got to shave 5 points off somewhere)

The Flamers have come off of the Grey Hunters and gone onto the new Dreadnought, which has been paid for, along with the new Lone Wolf, by removing the Wolf Guard.  I now have 4 shooty units (the Dreadnought and the three Grey Hunter packs), 3 melee units (the WGBL, the SD, and the Lone Wolf), and the flexibility of the Rune Priest to top things off.  How does that look?

Hobby / MOVED: Tempest's Blood Angel project- updated 10 October
« on: October 10, 2012, 06:27:08 PM »

Past Contests / Elites Contest [VOTING]
« on: October 08, 2012, 04:58:57 PM »
Lo and behold; a voting thread!  Thanks to a small extension for entries, we managed to get six rather nice sets of models.  But, as ever, I'm going to be a cruel taskmaster and only give you one vote each.

Please vote for your number one choice and may the best entry win!   ;D

Entry A:

(click on the thumbnail for a larger picture)

Entry B:
Sanguinary Guard

Entry C:

Entry D:
Sternguard Squad Heraic of The Forgotten

Entry E:

Entry F:
Brother Adiel- Blood Angels Furioso Dreadnought

Past Contests / Fast Attack [RULES]
« on: September 20, 2012, 06:29:39 PM »
Whoops...  Looks like someone forgot to post the Fast Attack contest.  Oh...  wait...  that was me...   :facepalm001:

Sorry, folks.  MT's been a little preoccupied recently what with turning 30 and all...

Here's the contest, and it will be extended accordingly.

Lightning-fast gunships, swift moving assaulters, stealthy forerunners, and bike-mounted troopers grant a commander a multitude of tactical options and can quickly turn the tides of war.  This contest is open to any Fast Attack choice from a Warhammer 40,000 Codex.

  • Entries can be submitted via a PM to Masked Thespian from September 20th until November 13th.
  • Voting will take place between November 14th and November 20th.
  • Winners will be announced on the 21st of November.

1st Place - 10pts
2nd Place - 5pts
3rd Place - 2pts

(The top 3 all receive official 2S winners seals as well).

The winner of this contest will also be able to lay their grubby little mitts on a fantastic shiny set of Custom Second Sphere Dice:

  • The unit must be a legal Fast Attack choice in a current edition 40k Codex;
    • Transport options, such as Rhinos or Mycetic Spores, may be included (and indeed must be included if they are a compulsory part of the unit choice such as in the case of a Tau Pathfinder squad);
  • Up to three pictures of your entry may be submitted;
  • Forgeworld models and Monstrous Creatures are accepted;
  • A caption or title of up to 10 words may be included as part of your entry;
  • Depending on response, entries may be divided by a panel of impartial judges into Master and Novice tiers for the purposes of voting;
  • The models may not have been entered in a previous contest;
    • Contests running at the time of the big crash are not considered to be previous contests for the purpose of this rule;
  • The models must be fully painted;
  • Photos of your entry may not exceed 800x600 pixels;
    • If your photos exceed 800x600 pixels then Contests HQ reserves the right to reduce them to an appropriate size.

Don't forget to check out the Elites Contest.  Only 11 more days to get your entries in!

Past Contests / HQ Contest [VOTING]
« on: August 27, 2012, 06:55:35 PM »
Egads!  It's a voting thread!  Albeit a little late.   :-[  Sorry about that; between our downtime and a little personal issue of mine, I'd been unable to get things sorted until now.  But, to make up for it, I think we've got some rather nice contest entries for everyone to muse over.

Please vote for your number one choice and may the best entry win!   :)

Entry A:
"Strength Through Unity, Unity Through Faith, believe in our destiny."

Entry B:

Entry C:
"Ulrik the Slayer (unbased because it's a commission piece)"

Entry D:
Nurgle Sorceror (sic)

Entry E:

Entry F:

(click the pictures for larger images)

Entry G:

Past Contests / Elites Contest [RULES]
« on: August 07, 2012, 04:35:23 PM »
So, I kinda forgot that I needed to get this contest going at the start of the month.   :-[  I'll keep it running an extra week at the end of September to make up for it.

I also kinda had a brainfart and originally wrote this up as the Fast Attack Contest.  But that doesn't start until next month.  Whoops...   :-[  Sorry if I got anyone's hopes up, but in my defence it's 1.30am right now and I really do need to get to bed for work tomorrow.

Here's part 3 of our rebooted Competition Calendar! Check out the thread here for more information on current and upcoming contests!

Wherever the battle is thickest, a commander must choose to commit the most experienced troops at his disposal.  Whether they are extremely skilled, well armed, well armoured, or a combination of all three, they strike swift and true, leaving behind only corpses in their wake.  This contest is open to any Elites choice from a Warhammer 40,000 Codex.

  • Entries can be submitted via a PM to Masked Thespian from August 8th until September 31st.
  • Voting will take place between October 1st and October 7th.
  • Winners will be announced on the 8th of October.

1st Place - 10pts
2nd Place - 5pts
3rd Place - 2pts

(The top 3 all receive official 2S winners seals as well).

The winner of this contest will also be able to lay their grubby little mitts on a fantastic shiny set of Custom Second Sphere Dice:

  • The unit must be a legal Elites choice in a current edition 40k Codex;
    • Transport options, such as Rhinos or Mycetic Spores, may not be included;
    • Units that "count as" Elites though do not take up any actual slots are allowed in this contest;
  • Up to three pictures of your entry may be submitted;
  • Forgeworld models and Monstrous Creatures are accepted;
  • A caption or title of up to 10 words may be included as part of your entry;
  • Depending on response, entries may be divided by a panel of impartial judges into Master and Novice tiers for the purposes of voting;
  • The models may not have been entered in a previous contest;
    • Contests running at the time of the big crash are not considered to be previous contests for the purpose of this rule;
  • The models must be fully painted;
  • Photos of your entry may not exceed 800x600 pixels;
    • If your photos exceed 800x600 pixels then Contests HQ reserves the right to reduce them to an appropriate size.

Don't forget that our Troops Contest is now in its voting stage; head on over to the Voting Thread and cast your vote if you haven't done so already   ;)

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