Sisters and Grey Knights to the rescue

Faith & Steel are pleased to report that Dr. Elphinstone Mercator, along with certain mysterious artefacts, have been rescued from heretics and aliens by a combined Sisters of Battle-Grey Knights force.


Dr. Mercator sent out a distress signal from his research station on XT-1984, a world accessible by permit only due to the prevalence of xeno-archaeology, after he became aware of a combined Tau-Chaos threat. How the Tau and Chaos came to be operating together is uncertain.  Indicative of the importance placed on Dr Mercator’s work, a rapid-response Sisters of Battle force was available in orbit, who deployed immediately.  A Grey Knight company also linked with the Sisters – their presence unexpected but welcome. Inquisition spokes-servitors would not comment on “operational matters” beyond noting that the company has been tracking a recurring source of daemonic incursions for some time.

There you have it folks: War was had over the weekend. Two on two, Tau and Chaos versus Sisters and Grey Knights, 3,000 points a side. The Imperium won out this time, rescuing the archaeologist and capturing three mysterious objectives.

With multiple players still learning 7th ed, we kept things simple. Purely by chance we all had bound lists and at least one psyker on each side.  We set up three objectives (scattered randomly) along the centre line. We also decided on a xeno-archaeologist and used the same rules as the relic to represent his capture or rescue.

Pictures follow.

The Tau go hard early and grab the archaeologist

The Tau go hard early and grab the archaeologist

A gutsy deep strike from a Nemesis dreadnought takes out the Tau Ethereal, turning the game

Chaos' turn to seize Dr Mercator

Chaos’ turn to seize Dr Mercator

But the Sisters and GK win out

Chaos Lord goes hard, but not hard enough

Chaos Lord goes hard, but not hard enough

Saint Celestine's finest moment: purging the heretics with fire and sword

Saint Celestine’s finest moment: purging the heretics with fire and sword

Thanks James (Grey Knights), John (Sisters) and Oli (Tau) for a great day of gaming.

Until next time – I’ll be back as soon as Slaneesh lets me have some more daemonettes (I don’t think this is the last we will hear of the mysterious XT-1984)


The battle continues

As promised loyal citizens, here are some more photos of the Exorcist assault on the Marcharius Canal.

On the Word Bearers’ left flank things got rather interesting when a coven of Grey Knight terminators and an Inquisitor teleported in to deal with the Daemonettes that had manifested there:


“Would you mind stepping this way ladies?”


However it wasn’t to be, as Slaanesh’s finest sliced through the Knights. Although the Inquisitor did banish a Herald of Slaanesh before being kebabed himself.                 Faith and Steel salute his sacrifice.

Seeing the trouble being caused by the daemons, an Exorcist Librarian used his psychic powers to teleport himself and terminator squad across the canal. kwai10 It was a bloody battle, with all of the terminators being killed before the Librarian stood his ground and killed enough of the daemons to cause reality to blink, sending the foul creatures back to the warp.


Are you looking at me? Yeah! Take that!

In the centre the two Lords kept their eye on the main objective: take and hold the bridge. They punched on as two mighty warriors should, neither being able to land a blow. kwai14Some tac marines who had apparently missed the lecture on the danger of charging power fist wielding terminators decided to help out. They died, forcing a leadership check on the Exorcist Chapter Master and giving the Word Bearer lord a chance to fall back onto the bridge itself.kwai13


He proved very hard to dislodge, leaving the Word Bearers in control of the crossing.


Running out of resources themselves and their chapter master falling to the dark magic of the Black Mace, the Exorcists called it quits to consolidate their lines on along the canal.

This campaign is far from over, with both sides digging in along a new front, it is now a race to replenish material to see who can launch an offensive first. And, never fear, our Faith and Steel reporters will in the battle space to make sure you see the latest dispatches from our loyal defenders of humanity.


Daemonettes have their revenge on the Inquisitor


Some sort of veteran dudes force a crossing and route the cultists


Kombi of death does it stuff – bye bye vindicator

Bridge on the river (K)wai- not!

Citizens, after fierce fighting across the Northcote plain the Imperial offensive has apparently been checked. The forward momentum of our brave warriors stopped by ruinous powers on the banks of the fast flowing and now reportedly toxic Macharius Canal.

A strike force of Exorcist space marines came within minutes of seizing an intact bridge but have been stymied after desperate fighting by traitor marines of the Word Bearers.

Faith and Steel have secured pict images of this titanic struggle, including unconfirmed reports of a daemon incursion. (Well, the Inquisition was involved, who as we know make no comments about planet side operational matters).

Jim and I had a ripper of a game – 2,000-ish points each, with my Word Bearers defending and his Exorcists assaulting. The goal was to capture the bridge. To mix things up a bit, the Exorcists had to start off the table, deploying using the dawn of war rule from 5th ed (units moving onto the board in turn one, with reserves as normal). The Word Bearers had to leave at least half their units off the table, but started rolling for reserves from turn one. In addition there was an opening bombardment, but the prepared positions saw no casualties.
The river is toxic sludge, making it both difficult and dangerous to cross. kwai01The Exorcists emerge from the morning mist: kwai02

Fighting erupted quickly, with Chaos loosing their Landraider in the opening salvo forcing the enclosed Noise Marines to quickly exit the burning wreck:


Hey! Where did our landraider go? There is nothing but a big crater where I left it!

More tomorrow loyal citizens – it is curfew here in the Republic.


Word Bearers Can’t Take A Hint

Emperor be praised. The Exorcists have taken another step towards eradicating the foul presence of the Word Bearers that infect this corner of our Glorious Imperium.

Assisted by a detachment of Grey Knights, members of the Exorcists dealt a heavy blow to the traitor astartes, driving them from the field and taking possession of the strange relics found there.

The artefacts are now in the possession of the Inquisition, who deny all knowledge that anything was seized, that there were any Word Bearers here or that a battle even occurred.

Jim came over on Sunday for some Arc practice, 1,350 points of 40K goodness. We both used our Arc lists. Jim, his Exorcists with some Grey Knights and an Inquisitor; I used by Word Bearers.  We set up using dawn of war and played a variant of the relic where we placed three relics, one in the middle of each third of the table. The extra objectives were good, as it avoided the usual relic grid-lock in the middle of the table.

I conceded in turn six, given that in order to win 5 cultists had to rally and then take down his thunder hammer wielding chapter master to hold an objective to tie.  They didn’t rally.Cult02

The game was even for the first three turns.  Jim set-up rather spread out, which allowed me to hide from his somewhat diluted fire.  Highlight in the first half was my vindicator taking out a terminator squad in a text book pie plate spat!Ex_01Things unravelled in the second half: the word bearer terminators had a deep strike mishap, ended up back in the warp and ultimately arrived too late to affect the game. Then, the Exorcist general tore through, mashed and made life generally unpleasant to daemonettes, chosen, marines and cultists. Not a bad day’s work and earning his second MVP award this season. Well done that man:

Cult01 Ex_02


GK_02 The Grey Knights: “Move along please, nothing to see here”

Too late to change the list for Arc, but I think the army will work OK anyway.
No AA, so air will punish me, but I figure I will meet on the second day the half like me without flyers and then start dishing out some damage of my own.


Enter, The Apostate

Arc lists are due Friday (6 Jan). I put up a draft list here and got a bit of feedback and a game. Here is the final list:

The Apostate Dark Apostle with plasma pistol and gift
20 Cultists; 2 x flamers
10 Chaos Space Marines; 2 x plasma guns; close combat weapons; VotLW
5 Chosen; Asp Champ with lightening claws; power sword, 3 x flamers; VotLW Rhino
6 Terminators; heavy flamer; 2 x combi-flamers; 2 x power fists; icon vengence
Hellbrute with twin-linked lascannon and missile launcher
Vindicator; siege shield, combi-bolter
Sister Pain  Herald of Slaanesh with exalted locus of beguilement and greater gift
Sweet Nothings 10 Daemonettes; Alluress, Rapturous Banner

The chosen started life as havocs but have been promoted, loosing a flamer but gaining extra choppy goodness.  Most of the rest of the Word Bearers have turned up recent battle reports. The artist formerly known as a chaos dreadnought is still in the workshop getting fitted with its missile launcher.

I think this army will work OK.  Plenty of flamers for hoards – orks and ‘nids; choppy stuff for shooty armies like Tau and Guard and shooty stuff (plasma and bolters) for other 3+ armies (marines and necrons). Cultists will laugh at grav-guns. The Vindicator can laugh at the rest.  And the daemonettes ready to get stuck in with their rending and with the locus, re-rolls on missed to hits. Lovely!

See you across the table.

Old School Space Wolves

Steef won’t be making it to Arc this year, but he did make over to the Republic of Northcote with his wonderful Space Wolves army to give my Word Bearer list a test run.

We rolled Big Guns Never Tire (heavy support are scoring), with short table edges and five objectives for our 1,350 point armies.

Steef had a Lord in a drop pod with blood claws; two lots of grey hunters with plasma guns; predator with lascannons; whirlwind; and two or three landspeeders.

I had my Arc list: Dark Apostle; cultists; marines; chosen with flamers; termies with flamers; shooty hellbrute; vindicator; and daemonette allies. Slightly changed from the earlier post, but nothing major.

The game was draw, with one objective each, me with first blood and his Wolf Lord killing by Dark Apostle. He took four turns to kill him – which was four turns longer than it should have, but the Cultists having watched the fight decided they’d had enough and run like the drug addled gangstas they probably are:


Night and blocked line of sight kept deaths low on turn one. The drop pod landed behind my Daemonettes looking for a bit of bolter goodness and failed to kill any.  Logan Grimnar was not amused and he would like his blood claws back, please.

The landspeeders pushed forward for close range melta work, largely failed to destroy anything and were destroyed in turn – too much plasma for the open-topped flyers.


Old school lead landspeeders – the warranty will be long gone on those babies

SW05 SW04 SW03 SW02 A lovely paint job by Steef – lovely smooth blue greys. I think a lot of the newer Space Wolves are too grey, the older blue shade is more reminiscent of deeply frozen ice.

I will do some shots of my army on another day. Here they are pushing forward just before the SW got stuck in:WB01

Eagle eyes will have spotted the grey plastic. My excuse is preparing to Arc, and this is the only model that needs to be painted. I think even I can meet that deadline.


Back to the painting station you – you’re not welcome on the table like that

Steef’s army held up OK (build-wise), given the age of the codex and that he built it a couple of editions ago (3rd ed, I think, but that might be telling).

I was happy with the Word Bearers. Nanna Bols now has a bunch of ersatz grand-daughters in Sister Pain and the Sweet Nothings, a herald of slaanesh and daemonettes. Inspired by him they run with a locus of beguilement and a rapturous standard: close combat killing machines. The marines, with flamers for short range and demolisher cannon and plasma guns for medium range shooting, will help get them where they need to be. The cultists will die in horrible and otherwise funny ways and all up the Word Bearers will do OK.

Who am I kidding? They will die like dogs, but at least they have plenty of Word Bearer vibe.SW01

Toodle pip! D.

Arc Planning

So, after a couple years running Ultramarines, I’ve decided to go back to my Word Bearers for Arcanacon this year.  I was reasonably happy with their performance at the Grand Duchy Dust-up, but I found I just couldn’t put out enough damage early on.

Thinking about the list, I think there was stuff I just didn’t use. Stuff I paid for it and forgot I had – self inflicted, really. And, stuff I had but found wasn’t very useful (which is not completely independent of the first reason).

So, I’ve tweaked my list.  First, I have dropped the aegis line, which never really seems to pay for itself. A slightly more radical change is having units take either veterans of the long war or an icon of vengeance. I have found that paying for the extra point of leadership and then making them fearless was expensive with only rare pay back.  So, the termies get an icon (leadership is already 9 and I mostly want them hanging around).  Marines get VotLW, lifting leadership to 9 (10 while the champion lives), and hatred that will useful if I run in to loyal marines.

With the points I free up I’m going to take a hellbrute with lascannon and a missile launcher. Its role is tank buster, although it can supply some spine to the cultists.

The list (1,350 points):

Dark Apostle with plasma pistol; gift (because he gets a re-roll)

5 Chosen with flamers in a rhino – VotLW

5 Terminators with flamers – deep striking BBQ specialists

Hellbrute with lascannon and missile launcher

10 CSM with plasma pistol, plasma gun; ccw; VotLW; Champion with p/sword

10 Cultists; pistols and ccw; flamer

10 Cultists; pistols and ccw; flamer

Vindicator (storm shield and combi-bolter)

Allies: Herald of Slaanesh with exalted locus

10 daemonettes with rapturous standard

I know people bag allies, but daemons and Word Bearers go together like flies and Nurgle. I have 9 points left – unless I can think of something else I will get an 11th daemonette


Exorcists Save the Day

Jim, Steef and I assembled as planned.  We played a modified version of the All Round Defence where a relief column has to battle its way through the Chaos hoards to the besieged Ultramarines trapped in the middle.  The set-up is in the earlier post: A bastion too far?

I set up in middle of the table, with 800 points of Ultramarines – no HQ, Captain Varus died in the overnight raid that established the fire base deep within the Chaos lines. The rest of my force, basically Lysander and some assault termies were to be part of the relief effort.  Early intelligence proved faulty as the rebel guard were not present but rather a concentration of World Eaters.  As dawn broke, things did not look good for the Space Marine defenders as shoulder to shoulder Berserkers emerged from the mist:

World Eaters begin their approach

World Eaters begin their approach

Fortunately the world eaters took time to build, but the only hope for the Ultramarines was the arrival of Jim’s Exorcists, who having fought their way through chaos lines began to arrive:

The first wave of the relief force arrive

The first wave of the relief force arrive

As expected, the Berserkers rushed the building and were soon breaking open the blue wrappers for the squishy treats inside:

The Beserkers work their way upstairs

The Berserkers work their way upstairs

A hellbrute throws its weight around

A hellbrute throws its weight around

It wasn’t all one way. A bloodthirster went down under concentrated fire but the berserkers, now supported by hellbeasts, were soon well into clearing the Ultramarine strongpoint.

The Exorcists, having made it this far begun to have a rather bad day, with the arrival of a hell chicken (exit Chapter Master, RIP) and a bunch of bikes:

Exit the chapter master

Exit the chapter master

There was widespread carnage at the Exorcist entry point, which kept a lot of both armies well away from the objective.

In the end, fire discipline from the Exorcists plus some nice blade work from the honour guard saw a narrow victory to the Imperium, despite a final feral fling from a contingent of old skool daemons:

Bloodletters make a final desperate dash to support the dying beserkers

Bloodletters make a final desperate dash to support the dying berserkers

There was a nice cameo from some devastators, who managed to tear a new hole or two for the Berserkers who managed to reach top:

A beserker is torn a new one

A berserker is torn a new one

There wasn’t much left at the end: no Generals (Lysander went down after several turns of a bloodletter blob – a close thing, with only three of the latter left, but only after squashing Steef’s close combat monster general in one round! Kharn had a bad day, with only a thunder cannon before he tried to play catch with a krak missile), hardly any troops and barely a vehicle left running.

We had to call time after 5 turns, but it was unlikely that Chaos could have turned things around if we had gone on.

Not that Khorne would have been too worried – there were plenty of skulls to go around today.

So, with the encircling chaos siege broken it looks like we can return to more open warfare.  A chaos loss will initially see them go over to the defensive. This can be easily accounted for by the Imperium having turn one in the next round (with Chaos stealing the initiative, if they can).

Thanks to Jim for saving my blue bacon – Huzzah! the Exorcists – and to Steef for putting a world of Khornish hurt in the way. A top day.  Thanks.