The Eidolon Rides To War

Can you hear the susurrous of brushes and crazed muttering of gamers as they prepare for a convention?

Arc40K, Melbourne’s longest running 40K tournament is this weekend, so I’m sure lots of folk are madly putting the finishing touches on their armies. Well, I’m ready, but given I only had part of one model to paint, this isn’t so surprising. It was, however, a model that has languished for years unfinished. Fear my Helldrake, it is finally ready to fly over the the grimdark battlefields of the far future!

A bit of mobility and firepower for my Wordbearer coven, most of which I think may have already appeared on this blog over the years. They’re getting on a bit, but I’m reasonably happy with them and it will be fun to have on the table again.

Plus the daemonettes I shared last-time. Lot’s of them.

Maybe I’ll see you across a table.

Happy gaming.

The road to Arc40K

Arcanacon is convention dear to my heart. Arc40K is an institution on the Melbourne 40K calendar, and deservedly so. It is only a fortnight away and with lists due soon I headed to the shed and pulled out some models. The decision on which one to take was easy, the only current codex I own is the Chaos Space Marine one. Job done.

Arc has always been a full hobby weekend: painting, sports and games, so most people bring some fiction and otherwise go the extra mile to really make their armies drip with theme. Here is my modest effort, background for a Word Bearer coven.

The Eidolon Speaks:


Do you want to live to ever?

Strive to shed the pathetic meat-sacks that bind your souls.

Shrive yourself with bolter and flame.

Strive to Glory on a tide of blood to honour our Dark Lords.

Pave the way to daemonhood with the eviscerated remnants
of the pathetic followers of the rotting corpse-emperor.

Well, do you?

The incensed filled landing bay of the deep-space transport filled with raised voices and the crashing of metal as fists beat time on shining armour. Lines of sigil-tattooed marines filed into the waiting landing craft, which roared to life and exited for the short drop the world below.

The Eidolon smiled as he felt the stirrings in his viscera and in the air around him from the pressure on reality as his allies from the warp pushed on the world-membrane, eager to enter this realm and taste blood once more.

The Eidolon smiled.


Who wants to live forever?

The Eidolon.

And the pending carnage will bring his plans one step closer.

see you in the grimdark

Eighth edition is a thing

For those who came in late, like me, just on a year ago Games Workshop released a shiny new and significantly revised edition of Warhammer 40K, the eighth incarnation of this now venerable franchise. Well two days ago I read the rules for the second time, which didn’t take long as they’re only 6 or 7 pages, and opened my copy of Codex Chaos Space Marines for the first time. And, today, I threw some models down with my friend Oli, as he took me through my first game of the current version of 40K.

I like it.43018330461_3697ccca69_k

It reminds me a lot of the house rules that our gaming group finessed over many years of playing Apocalypse. Lots of toys, large explosions, not too much book-keeping and plenty of general dark-millennium mayhem. No doubt weird stuff will emerge, but for the moment Abaddon gives this edition 5 skull encrusted spikes.

The Mechanicus won the field today, but Chaos took it right up to them before being purged with flame.

Congratulations Oli, and thanks for coming over to show me how 8th ed works.




I have a growing hoard of daemonettes. The models have dynamic and threatening poses, and in numbers they bring some great close combat grunt. A large squad with a herald can gain re-rolling, rending wounds on the charge. While shooting can really mess up their day, if they can get in a charge, terminators and other marines will be quickly gutted and served up as victory kebabs.
The chainmail-bikinis can perhaps be forgiven since they have 5+ invulnerable saves. However, I do have reservations about collecting daemonettes. It doesn’t take long to see that in the Grim Dark future the patriarchy has not withered and died. It is more than the frequent lack of women in this fantasy sci-fi vision of the universe. The images that do make it through into the background and the artwork, and onto the table, are from a rather limited selection. It is like the designers of the 40K universe read the first couple of pages of the Damned Whores and God’s Police and rather missed the point.


The Juan Diaz sculptures: still my favourites, even with the limited number of poses

And yet, here I am. Life is messy. Daemonettes often accompany my Word Bearers. Nothing says I’ve been reading Lorgar quite like zealots summoning daemons, and the combination of shooty marines and close combat daemons complement each other nicely. With my most regular opponent often fielding pskyer heavy Grey Knights it also feels right on theme.


An experiment in practicing painting flesh


One from each squad

I have a recently acquired a lot of Nurgle plaguebearers. Add a Soulgrinder and greater daemon (or two)  and a troop heavy Nurgle-Slaanesh daemon hoard is looking like my next 40K army.


The most recent, and final, squad. For now.

And in the meantime, no slut-shaming my daemonettes or they’ll manifest on your home world and teach you the error of your ways.

Pyscho chicken: qu’est-ce que c’est?

I bought a Helldrake not long after they were released. Flyers were starting to be a thing and my Word Bearers were being routinely plastered from above.

But my heart wasn’t in it. It sat in the cupboard, still in its shrink-wrap, until January this year.  I thought, “This is long enough, I’m never going to build this thing” and took it to second-hand Sunday at Arcanacon 2015.

It didn’t sell, maybe people’s love affairs with flyers is waning but I took it as a sign from the dark gods and put it together. I got as far as a base coat before I went back to work and that was that. Now I had an undercoated Helldrake in the cupboard, which is a step backwards in some ways. Hard to store or sell and still not able to be used.

But I persevered and now I’m happy to unveil the Hellchicken in all its spiky glory.


The oracles are unclear if it will get as far as being used in my army. Well shall see.


Walking in Slaneesh’s Shadow

The Apostate found the Sorcerer’s commitment to a single Chaos deity somewhat distasteful, but the Word Bearer needed him. The Slaneeshi adept had promised to teach the Word Bearer some of his warp knowledge and in return the Dark Apostle has for the moment bound his war band to walk in the shadow of Slaneesh.


Thank-you for the comments on my earlier post. I’ve had a look at the codex, the Arc players pack and my miniatures. A few tweaks and I think I’ll go to Arc 2015 with:

The Apostate, dark apostle with the black mace & a gift of mutation
The Cult of Pain, 14 cultists, flamer
The Cult of Light, 15 marines, icon vengeance, plasma pistol; asp champ with power sword
The Elect, 5 chosen, asp champ with lightening claws, 4 flamers, veterans of the long war; rhino with a dirge castor
Justified Vengeance Vindicator with siege shield

Nimrod the Untamed, sorcerer (level 1 psyker, discipline of slaneesh); mark of slaneesh
Cult of Noise, 9 Noise Marines, 5 sonic blasters, close combat weapons, icon of excess
Exquisite Fury, Land Raider with twin-linked lascannons

I don't need armour. I have sun-glasses

I don’t need armour. I have sun-glasses

The marines are to take or defend an objective. The cultists absorb damage while the dark apostle swings the black mace. The noise marines throw out shots with no cover saves and the sorcerer gives them buffs depending the power drawn. The land raider and vindicator deal with big or scary stuff.  The chosen will keep things simple with a 3 word slogan: “Kill, Maim, Burn!”


I think this list will go OK, provided I don’t face too much air, too much armour or too many monstrous creatures. I mean, what can go wrong?  Some extra bodies in the noise marines will make them more survivable. The loss of the second cultist squad will ultimately just save kill points as the squad not with the apostle would have been rubbish anyway. The other change is the sorcerer leaving his terminator armour at home. This way I get more noise marines in the land raider and otherwise fits the rest of the theme a little better. The sorcerer is still the only model yet to be completed.

I think the paragraph of fiction frames the army nicely. A Word Bearers coven allied with some Noise Marines for nefarious deeds. Lots of cultists and not too many toys offsets the vindicator and larger squads. I’ve taken a really tough weapon in the black mace but put in the hands of a dark apostle rather than a lord. The list may be on the light side, but apart from no helldrake I think is OK (it’s 1348 points, just under the 1350 arc limit).

Arc15_04For sale: one helldrake; still in shrink-wrap.


Arcanacon Ahoy!

Army lists for Arcanacon are due in a couple of weeks so it’s time to start thinking about ultra01what to take. Before Christmas I was all set to take Ultramarines. The list doesn’t need any work, I know the kit and it is a balanced combined-arms force.

So, in a near re-run of last year, I’m going to take Chaos.

I’ve drawn up a new list with three design constraints in mind. I want to:
– use an Arc bound list
– paint a minimum of models
– minimise upgrades

By using Arc bound I get an extra 10 points and I need all the help I can get.

Minimum upgrades is because I inevitably get to the end of a game and find I’ve been playing with a self-imposed handicap by ignoring up to 100 points of goodies. This is not a good look. So WYSIWYG and not too many extras to remember will help make things cruisy. This can be particularly important on day 2, especially if the weather is hot.

Draft list for The Coven Malleus

The Apostate found the Sorcerer’s commitment to a single Chaos deity somewhat distasteful, but the Word Bearer needed him for the moment. The Slaneeshi sorcerer had promised to teach the Word Bearer some of his warp knowledge and in return the Dark Apostle has for the moment bound his war band to walk the path of excess.

Sorcerer level 1 psyker with mark of Slaneesh (terminator armour)
I’ve been enjoying the psychic phase and a psyker will be a bit of fun

Dark Apostle with the black mace
basically a delivery mechanism for the black mace

Two squads of 10 cultists, each with a flamer
for objectives but mostly to soak up damage around the DA

7 Noise Marines; three sonic blasters; icon of excess
flavour, because I haven’t used them for a while

15 Chaos Space Marines; icon of vengeance; champ with power sword
these guys will be hard to get off an objective

5 Chosen; aspiring champ with lightening claws; 4 flamers; veterans of the long war;
rhino with dirge caster
this squad is very effective with its toasty goodness and a bit of choppy-chop

Landraider with twin-linked las
for the NM and Sorcerer to ride about in

Vindicator with siege shield
S10 AP2 pie plate; don’t leave home without one

The sorcerer is the only model I need to paint. This is a plus.  No daemonettes, but given the slap allies recieve in comp I’ve tried to keep the Slaneesh vibe by using the noise marines.  There are two things I don’t like about this list. I’ve made the Sorcerer the warlord so the noise marines become a troops choice; this feels cheesy. The other is no fast attack. The chosen in a rhino will fill this role but it detracts from a more balanced org structure.



How do you stop an Imperial Knight?

The Republic of Northcote faced an incursion from James’ Grey Knights, who just to mix things up a little bit bought along an Imperial Knight.  Not just any IK, but Gerantius!

Imperial Knight fight

Brevet Gerontis; but still a very nice lend lease Imperial Knight

We played 1,500 points and used the tactical objective cards. So with 500 points on imperial knight, the Grey Knights took a venerable dreadnought, one of those monster dreadnought things and a couple of tooled up squads (including some paladins).

How to stop an Imperial Knight?  Well, my Word Bearers experimented with a couple of terminator filled land raiders.  I took a couple of squads of cultists (because it is always funny to see cultists dying horribly) and allied a slaneesh herald and some deamonettes.

Imperial Knight fight 2

Sharp eyes will spot two squads of daemons. The second were summoned by the herald

It was not a good day for the Imperium.  They just couldnt’ bring enough fire to bear, a disasterous deep strike saw the Lord and retinue sucked into the warp. Ouch!  This was, of course, the culmination of decades of subtle plotting by my Word Bearers.
Imperial Knight fight 3

How to stop 500 points of Imperial Knight?  Avoid the enemy deep striking into your deployment zone and then unleash 1,000 points of Land Raider-Terminator combo on the big boy.  Not cost effective but very satisfying.

Imperial Knight fight 4

Final score 10 VP to 5 VP; imperial tacticians are already plotting the next likely move of the traitors. This is good, because it will give a chance for chaos spys to steal the plans and so avoid the need to develop any for themselves (leaving more time for partying at the temple).


Land Raider? Don’t mind if I do!

A friend of mine found a land raider surplus to requirements. Thank-you very much, I can think of a use for that.

It came undercoated and with rather more tentacles than I cared to paint, so I decided to pare it back to being merely spikey and set to with some spray cans. The colours are almost the same as a recent bastion but that is because I used the same spray cans. Waste not want not.

LR03 LR02 LR01

With a bit of purple and some brass for contrast I think it has a bit of a Slaaneshi feel. Given the number of daemonettes my Word Bearers have been hanging out with, this is not entirely surprising.

Now, where did I put my whips and handcuffs?

The Two Towers

I enjoy planet strike. It is guaranteed carnage which is no bad thing in the Grim Dark Future(tm). One of the aspects I like about planet strike is that there is a clear attacker and defender. This makes sense to me. The days of arranging to meet in a field and bash the crap out of each other like civilized people are long gone, and most modern situations involve a clear attacker and defender even if this may change during the course of an engagement (allowing for counter attacks, etc.)

To have a decent planet strike board doesn’t take a lot of terrain, but you do need some decent fortifications. My collection only had a single bastion, which I painted to be consistent with my Word Bearers.
One bastion just isn’t enough so I was pleased to obtain two more at second hand Sunday at Arcanacon. Like most projects they sat in the cupboard until inspiration struck.

The last couple of weekends have seen a construction frenzy. One I did with a chaos vibe – skulls are so 39th millenium!



The skulls are resin; I picked them up at the same time as the bastions, so I’m not sure of the manufacturer. I removed the more obvious imperial eagles and the skulls were a simple additon that give the tower a slightly different look that I’m happy with.

The other is slightly more generic so will work for Imperial or Chaos and is inspired by the jazz camoflage that the British navy experimented with in the first world war. With a bit of added bling I think it came out OK.


So that is a total of three towers
But hey,Lord of the Rings has at least three towers in it too!