Welcome to Conflict Valorax, an open-ended narrative campaign for Warhammer 40,000 set deep within the Ultima Segmentum on the Eastern Fringe of the galaxy and close to the limit of mankind’s domain. The purpose of this campaign narrative is to richly detail the setting and history of the Valorax star system in order to bring a depth and storyline to ongoing games set within the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Games of Warhammer 40,000, Epic, Inquisitor, Aeronautica Imperialis, Space Crusade, Space Hulk and Battlefleet Gothic are all set within this greater context, each conflict adding detail to the ongoing plot.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Spotlight On... The Aphid

The Aphid is a model from a different game system called Robogear that I use in my Adeptus Mechanicus army.

Robogear offers some fairly whacky vehicles that are clip together, fast to make and kind of interesting – especially if you convert them from the originally intended design as I did with this Thunderfire Battery.
Because I didn't want to use the pilot that came with it, I used toilet paper soaked with glue to make a curving cocpit.
For its rules I used the old Vehicle Design Rules again to design a medium-heavy walker. It’s quite nice in the game but needs to be used carefully to avoid being destroyed prematurely as its weapons are fairly short-ranged.


Aphid   
BS
Front
Side
Rear
3
12
12
10



Points: 129
Vehicle Type: Walker
Crew: Skitarii
Weapons: Twin-linked Assault Cannon, Twin-linked Bolters

Friday, 25 March 2011

Spotlight On... The Neutraliser!


The Neutraliser is a toy I bought a few years ago. I originally painted it up to be a Starship Troopers vehicle but it didn’t sit too well within that game system. When I started to pull together my Adeptus Mechanicus force it seemed like a logical addition.
With the addition of a Forge World brass etched Imperial Eagle it looks (to me) like it fits quite nicely.

As far as stats went, I was tempted by the Apocalypse rules for the Knight Warden from the Tempus Fugitives Cult Mechanicus codex but I wanted something I could use in normal sized games.
A quick fiddle through the Vehicle Design Rules and Bob was my uncle. Although I had to fiddle it a tad to use the Punisher Gatling Cannon as that hadn’t been invented when the VDR came out. I transferred the points across from the Imperial Guard codex.
In the game he is rather cool, mostly because he looks so good. I’m a sucker for the look of things. Rules and winning come far below this on my priority, but they came out quite adequately this time I think.

Neutraliser  
BS
Front
Side
Rear
3
13
13
10



Points: 250
Vehicle Type: Tank
Crew: Skitarii
Weapons: Punisher Gatling Cannon, Missile Launcher
Special Rules: Lumbering (Can only turn 90 degrees after moving a maximum of 6” forward)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Spotlight On... The Triceranoughts!

Background
With the majority of their armoured support devastated beyond repair, the Crimson Blades solution was to turn to the indigenous xenoforms on the planet where they became stranded, but this new biological “armoured” division proved the equal of any technology that had come before.
Used both for spearheading heavy assault actions and as beasts of burden, the Triceranoughts excel at the role they play in allowing the Deinosus company to maintain such a potent mobile force. Carrying everything from heavy armament to the concentrated liquid gruel used to sustain the marines in the field, the Triceranoughts prove invaluable, especially with the Cortex Units drilled into their brains to control them while accelerating their natural aggression.

Making the Models
The Triceranoughts were made from the same basic Triceratops toys as the Triceratank. Then I strapped on as many spare parts, barrels, lights and rolled up sleeping bags as I could. The goal here was create the idea of a support unit that spends long periods in the field and I wanted to explore the question of what Space Marines might eat in those circumstances.
As with the Triceratank (and the rest of the army), I wanted the Triceranoughts to be heavily weathered and battle damaged and used a drill to make shell wounds in their armoured front plates.
They have the same assault armour on their legs as my Tyrannosaur has as well as the razor wire, to act as a deterrent.

Game Rules
In the game, they count as Chaos Space marine Dreadnoughts. The rules there match up well with their capabilities and also have the Crazed element to symbolise their out of control nature.

Tactics
It’s difficult to talk much about tactics here because in almost every game, the Triceranoughts have ended up getting immobilised far from the enemy. They are designed to be close assault units and need to get into combat as quickly as possible to avoid getting shot up. Because they look so threatening however, they tend to draw a lot of fire.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Re-examining the Brood Nest



Apologies, I must have gotten confused when I was writing my previous blog about my Tyranid Brood Nest.




It turns out it was less scenery piece and more cat vomit.
And here is the culprit:
Haydon!  
It’s actually what I found on my War Table when I got home from work yesterday. I think he was just trying to get involved with my various projects.
The funniest thing was that if you look at the “Brood Nest” there’s a fish shaped cat biscuit nestled in the front of it!
I must say, my friend Mike was sceptical. He described it as looking like “a pile of glue and s#!+, it doesn’t look like anything.”
I do actually have a few home made Brood Nests. I must remember to post some pictures.

Heh heh.

On the Painting Table: Tyranid Brood Nest

And here is my latest scenery project: A Tyranid Brood Nest.
This is the first one of a series of linked projects that will populate the table when the gribbly ones have descended for feasting.
I decided to go for quite an elongated shape for my first one and constructed it from a mixture of gravel, sand and PVA glue.
This has had its base coat but I’ll be adding highlights later on.


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Spotlight On... The Triceratank!

Background
Utilising xenos biofroms to fill weaknesses in their diminished strength, the Crimson Blade Deinosus Battle Company cane equally be referred to as Dino-Marines!
The Crimson Blades are principally a close assault force and as such they ran the risk of being vulnerable to overwhelming armoured opposition. Fully aware of this, Captain Felix Wulf saw to it that the weakness was immediately addressed, both in the specialised equipment handed out to the Hunter squads but also by strapping the bulk of a wrecked Predator Annihilator onto the back of one of his xenoforms.
The Triceratank (as it is affectionately known) is the perfect precision tank-hunting tool, able to lay down an overwhelming field of needle-sharp heavy las-blasts exactly where it is needed.
As long as it is alive and its weapons still functioning, the Chapter has nothing to fear from heavily armoured opposition.
Making the Model
The Triceratops was a particularly nice toy that I started off with and to that I strapped on the turret, top and sponsons of a Space Marine Predator Annihilator tank. Wanting to match the battle-worn look of the rest of the company I added heavy weathering and battle damage.

Game Rules
In the game, the Triceratank uses the rules for a Space Marine Predator Annihilator.
Tactics  
With three lascannons, the Triceratank is there to take out vehicles. The rest of the army does contain some meltaguns and Dreadnoughts capable of tackling tanks but this is the specialist item right here. If there aren’t any tanks to shoot it can feel a little redundant but it’s just as good at taking out heavy infantry (like Terminators).

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Spotlight On... Golgotha, Space Marine Alpha Level Psyker


A while ago I wrote a little blog about my Space Marine Alpha Level Psyker, Goliath... Well now it's time to meet his brother, Golgotha.


Like his brother, Golgotha is a member of my Crimson Blades Space Marine Chapter who developed incredible psychic powers and wound up being put in suspended animation until recent events required him to be resurrected.

 

He possesses incredible psychic might, far in excess of a Space Marine Librarian. Here we see him using the strength of his mind to lift balls of magma up from far underground before hurling them forward to explosive effect.
 
 
As I mentioned in my previous article, although both Psykers make nice display pieces, they function in the game as Baneblade Super Heavy Tanks - the armour representing psychic force fields and the weapons representing psychic blasts.

 


The large fireballs are made from ping pong balls, painted with a ripple effect from dark red up to orange and then yellow. The base is made from a mixture of gravel, sand, all-purpose powdered filler and PVA glue.


The smaller fireballs were made from little polystyrene balls I got from Hobbycraft. The smoke trail is made by a piece of stiff wire with clump foliage (basically tree foliage) glued onto it. I bought from a railway model shop. This was then dry brushed a few shades of grey.


Golgotha is actually standing on a levitated rock - it isn't that easy to tell.


I was going all out with this model because I was hoping to get a look-in at the Best Army award at a Tempus Fugitives event at Warhammer World. I didn't win.



But I did get nominated.


It's a pool of water at the front of the base. The idea is that bubbling steam is surrounding another magma ball being brought up from below. I like it (although the steam - made from clump foliage - doesn't look quite as I would have liked). Unfortunately three out of four people asked aren't sure what that part's supposed to be.


For Golgotha himself, I wanted a different look from his bare-chested brother - more regal and Librarian-like. He's made from various Dark Angels parts and was quite parts-expensive.

The rock he's standing on, by the way, is made from insulation foam.

I'm interested to hear any comments if you have any views...

Monday, 7 March 2011

Another Failure

Necrons vs Deinosus Crimson Blades | Rob v Tim | 40k | 51 | 108.997.M41


In the far Chillward regions of Kaltirey, the Necrons continued their implacable march Scorchward. They had passed now outside the vicinity of any Guard outposts and moved now through the deep snow fields, blasted by blizzards but moving ever onward nonetheless.
But ahead of them, silhouetted figures moved in the snowstorm. The Necrons slowed, narrowing their visual detection units. Suddenly explosive shells streamed out of the white mist, hammering into their lines and the Deinosus Space Marines ran forward, Triceranoughts bellowing in fury as their cortex units flooded their systems with rage inducing hormones.
The Necrons showed no fear or surprise. They had defeated this opponent before after a series of tactical validations. They calculated only a 17% chance of significant loss now.

The Bladelords and Hunters ran forward, opening fire with bolters, plasmaguns and meltaguns, bringing down the lead Necrons, but scuttling fast round their flank came a gigantic insectile Tomb Stalker. It didn’t slow as it parted the ranks of the Bladelors, ignoring their bolt and plasma shots, ripping them apart one by one.
The Necron ranks opened for a moment and floating forward came the sinister form of the Necron C’tan: the Deceiver. The marines ran forward led by Felix Wulf and engaged him but they lacked the strength to harm him at all! Methodically, the Deceiver started to crush them, one after another. Realising the situation was untenable, Felix Wulf ordered his squad sergeant to activate his homing beacon.
The air started to crackle and spark, the godlike Deceiver pausing momentarily as it crushed the larynx on one of the marines. Then the sergeant transmatted up to the orbiting Black Scabbard and the Mammoth landed hard in its place. The great hairy beat trumpeted and crashed into the C’tan, knocking him back and Felix grinned. “Take that you bastard!”
But even the mammoth barely had sufficient strength to wound the Deceiver while every return blow tore chunks out of its flesh. It wasn’t going to work!
And meanwhile, the Necron warriors continued to march implacably forward.

"You will leave this battlefield immediately you hairy brute!"
A team of Raptor Riders pulled ahead of the Space Marine line, engaging a unit of Immortals. Their powerful weapons and the strength of the raptors’ jaws proved to be a dangerous combination, but any victory was insufficient. Both Triceranoughts were crippled now; the aggressive strength of the Deinosus battle group was diminishing to the critical level.

There was nothing now for it but to call a withdrawal.  
Captain Woolf put the withdrawal code out across the com and slipped out of the reach of the deceiver’s swinging fists as it ripped the Mammoth into its constituent parts.
The battle was over; and once again the Space Marines of the Deinosus battle Company had failed to halt the Necron advance.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Spotlight On: The Hammer Collider


The Hammer Collider is a homemade vehicle for my Adeptus Mechanicus army: Initiative 0999XXB#14-12.  

The basic vehicle was a toy I picked up YEARS ago at a car boot sale, thinking that one day it would come in handy. The turret revolves but actually comes free on those folded arms and lifts up above the tank!
It had a wrong scale open cockpit at the front that I covered over with a couple of spare dozer blades. I added some lights and smoke launchers and Bob’s your uncle!
For stats I dug out my old Chapter Approved book and used the Vehicle Design Rules inside. The rules haven’t changed THAT much since 3rd edition when it was current and I figured it would give me a basis for play-testing – especially considering that the VDR was weighted to overprice vehicles on points.
Painting it, I dry brushed Dark Angels Green and dry brushed up through Snot and Goblin Green. I used plain black on the black bits and Boltgun Metal with a black wash on the silver bits.
The Hammer Collider has the following profile:

Hammer
Collider
BS
Front
Side
Rear
3
13
12
10



155 Points
Vehicle Type: Tank
Crew: Skitarii
Weapon: Plasma Accelerator
The Plasma Accelerator has the following profile:
Plasma
Range
Str
AP
Type
Accelerator
36”
7
2
Heavy 1, Large Blast





Friday, 4 March 2011

Mission Briefing: Covert Arms Build Up

Shas’o Shi, commander of the Tau Montyr’nan Contingent, came out of his meditation feeling irritable. Aun Ko, his Ethereal master, insisted that all Tau enter this state of peace before coming to battle but he was a fire warrior and peace jibed against his lust for war making. He checked the scanner readings one final time and summoned his Shas’els. This was a short and simple mission and he wanted it completed rapidly.

To all observation, the Manufactorum, though sprawling, was largely derelict. The carpet bombing the foolish humans had done to eliminate the Tyranid invaders had left it almost completely ruined. But scanning indicated there were still significant areas underground that remained intact. As yet the humans had not taken advantage of this resource and the Tau wished to remove this possibility.

Their mission was to destroy the complex before Valorax forces could get it going again.

The demolition party went ahead – only a small force was required – and entered the ruined upper complex. But the complex wasn’t wholly deserted as scans had indicated. Worse, their readings showed that some kind of dampening field was in effect, preventing readings being made from outside.

Something was going on here that was top secret. The Tau had stumbled into far more than they had bargained for! As they skulked forward it became clear that the Adeptus Mechanicus were building their forces for war. The entire complex was given covertly over to amassing an army.

Suddenly the Tau demolition teams realised they were in way over their heads.

This picture sadly isn't mine. It was taken from here
Board Layout

The board is set up in a city fight configuration.

Forces

The game is played at 1,500 points: Tau versus Adeptus Mechanicus. Only two troop choices are deployed initially from each side. The rest of the armies enter play as reserves as they are called in to assist.

Deployment & First Turn

The Adeptus Mechanicus deploy first no closer than 12” to the centre line. The Tau deploy second, no closer than 12” to the centre line.

The Adeptus Mechanicus have the first turn unless the Tau successfully seize the initiative.

Game Length

The game lasts for six turns or until the time limit is reached.

If an even number of player turns have been played half an hour before the time limit is reached the game will end without a new game turn being started.

Victory Conditions

Kill Points are used to determine victory.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

On the Painting Table: Thunderfire Mechanicus


There are only two days left now before my first game using my brand new Adeptus Mechanicus army and I’ve been working feverishly to get together a 1,500 point army (using some Imperial Guard models to plug the initial gaps).
I’ll be revealing more in the near future but here’s a glimpse of my Reductor Thunderfire Battery.  

Basically it’s an artillery battery using rules from the Tempus Fugitives Cult Mechanicus Codex. Tempus Fugitives are a group who organise themed tournaments at Warhammer World. I used to go to these. But have now stopped.
Anyway, the Thunderfire Battery functions similarly to the Space Marine one but here we see two “Balistarai” (Imperial Guard Cadians - using my Chalice Trident models) and a Tech Priest manning each one instead of a Tech Marine.
The models are partially made vehicles from Robogear. I bought a whole boxed set when they were going cheap and I have loads left to make. They form the basis of my whacky Mechanicus forces.
Those are Forge World brass eagles by the way, in case you weren’t wondering.
In the game I’m expecting these to be a glass fist: very destructive but also quite fragile.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Spotlight On... The Mammoth

Background
The Mammoth is an integral part of the Crimson Blade’s Deinosus Battle Company – a company of loyalist Space Marines utilising dinosaurs in battle.
Controlled by a Cortex Unit drilled into its skull that goads its aggression up to deadly levels, the Mammoth remains in orbit aboard the Black Scabbard Battle Barge until its Priority Insertion Point is ascertained by one of the veteran squad commanders on the ground.
Once this is determined, the squad commander activates his homer unit and teleports up to the waiting Battle Barge, trading spatial coordinates with the huge and very angry creature that now finds itself in the thick of the fighting.
The Mammoth’s primary role is to function as a line breaker, devastating resistance at the strongest point of the enemy battle line.

Making the Model
The Mammoth is basically a toy mammoth, though a particularly nice one, but I made several changes to bring him in line with my vision for the army. The Cortex Unit drilled into his brain that controls him is made from the bottom half of the teleport homer that comes with the Space Marine Terminator boxed set. To enhance his defence and attack capabilities in assault he has been given armoured shin guards made from thick card bent round and dry brushed Tin Bitz and Dwarf Bronze. I wrapped a bit of razor wire round there to deter enemy attacks.
The seargeant model below has the top half of the teleport homer attached to his back. It's deactivated and black here as he's still on the field but when the reserve roll is made, this would light up (in my imagination) as he was transported up to the Black Scabbard. 

Game Rules
In game, I use the rules for a Summoned Greater Demon for the Mammoth. The whole army uses Chaos Space Marine rules but these represent quite nicely what he can do. The idea is that in the early game the squad leaders are assessing where the best place for him to be is. Then, when the reserve roll is made, they swap places with him and suddenly there’s a huge monstrous creature in the thick of the fighting.

Tactics
The crucial thing here is choosing which squad champion to swap the Mammoth with. Getting the Mammoth into combat and keeping him three will stop him getting blasted and help him do as much damage as possible. He isn’t undefeatable but he is good, however I don’t hesitate to throw and squad in to support him if need be.
He’s scary for the opponent more than anything and the psychological edge that can give wins battles.

An Amusing Story
At a campaign weekend at Warhammer World I wanted to surprise my opponent so when I made my reserve roll I smashed my Mammoth down hard on the table making a resounding clap.
This did indeed surprise my opponent.
It also reverberated across the table, knocking over half the models in both armies.
Suffice to say, my apologies kind of ruined the triumphant moment.