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.

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.

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