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.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Spotlight On: Squat Tarantula

Many years ago, in one of the first White Dwarfs I ever owned there was an advert for a Squat Tarantula, a heavy weapon artillery platform. I never bought one but I always remembered…

Twenty five or so years later and I have the next best thing: The Mantic Hailstorm Cannon!

I wasn’t sure about this model at first. I might not have bought it if it hadn’t come in the Mantic Warpath boxed game starter set, but it has grown on me. 

I don’t know if Mantic intended this to be used as a Tarantula in games of 40K, but the closest thing in the Squat codex I’m working from is definitely that.

With this complete I’ve now finished the support element of my army.

Just six Squat infantry to finish now and then I’m done!

(Grins inanely)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Spotlight On: Adeptus Mechanicus Thunderfire Battery

Now that I’m building my Squat/Adeptus Mechanicus force with more of a cohesive eye (and a better colour scheme) I thought it was time to update my Thunderfire Batter! 

The models are stripped down versions of models from Robogear and the rules I’m using are from the Tempus Fugitives Adeptus Mechanicus codex, however I’ve added Squats to the unit instead of Ballisterai. Because they are a bit better, I upped the points by twenty as well.

They were awesome in the game I played them in already so I’m looking forward to using them again. 

I’m putting all the Squats against the Zone Mortalis backdrop because that’s going to be the setting of their first proper game. Sadly that’s going to force me not to use the larger vehicles.

I’m flagging a bit on getting ready for this game actually. Maybe I’ll do some Chaos Space Marine games first. We’ll see…

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Spotlight On: The Squat Walking Ancient

This beautiful thing is the Iron Ancestor from Mantic.

Which I'm purloining to be part of my Squat/Adedptus Mechanicus force: Initiative 0999XXB#14-12.In my force He'll be a Dreadnought with twin-linked Autocannons and a close combat weapon.

For colours I went for the same scheme I've been using for my Squat infantry: Khorne Red | 2 coats of Nuln Oil A Khorne Red | Wazdakka Red and then Ianden Darksun and Sunburst Yellow. The metals were black inked down then highlighted back up.

I'm going to have to be careful as my Mechanicus/Squat force is becoming a little vehicle heavy. Which makes sense background-wise I guess, but may not be so fun for my opponents.

But the look of the army is really coming together to my satisfaction. It does pay to delay painting an army until the perfect colour scheme is discovered. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

On The Painting Table: Adeptus Mechanicus Aphid

Allow me to introduce my new retooled Aphid, a fast attack choice for my new Adeptus Mechanicus/Squat army.

The original version I made for this was purely using Robogear parts and looked pretty rough as you can see.

Realising how dodgy it looked I ripped the cockpit off, tore off the guns and replaced them with missile pods from a Valkyrie. It's now a more delicate spidery robot, rather than a piloted armoured thing.

I'm going to redo the rules for this tinker, making it open topped. It's going to be a glass cannon - easy to destroy but putting out a lot of damage.

And it perfectly suits the look I'm going for with my Mechanicus force - esoteric technology gone wild!

Monday, 17 September 2012

On the Painting Table: Squats!

The Squats are here!

I had no intention of buying these little guys at first but they niggled away at me and I subconsciously started trying to come up with reasons to fit them into my campaign.

Then it hit me.

These little dudes are going to be the militant arm of my Adeptus Mechanicus force!

More on that in future but for now, let's look at the models.

Obviously these aren't Squats from Games Workshop (sigh). They're Mantic Forge Fathers!

I love Mantic Chaos Dwarfs as you may know and I've also grown to love these little blighters.

The poses and options are a little bit limited but they are cool and they're nicely sized compared to a "normal" 40k human.

The weapon options are a tad limited for me because I bought a lot of the earlier sets that didn't have the tactical upgrades. As a result I have loads of basic troopers and only a few upgrades. I may have to get very sneaky when it comes to that... in time.

For now I'm happy. I'm liking the colour scheme I deliberated over for weeks and I'm building towards my first small game battling over my soon-to-be fully furnished Zone Mortalis.

I'll reveal more as I paint them but we haven't seen the back of the Squats.

Heh heh.

See what I did there?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Zone Mortalis Doors!

(Evil laughter)

My Forge World Zone Mortalis is really starting to come together now that I have bought and painted two sets of doors!

I went for subdued greens and a dull bronze for the eagle to match the dark and brooding look I am aiming for and they really add a lot to it.

Suddenly rooms start developing and you can see how much doors blocking egress will add to play.

I still really need at least one more set of the Zone before I can have a proper game and another set or more of doors but I'm thinking of having a little mini game once I've done my furniture and painted up some of my Mantic Squats.

I've been buying up mini scenery pieces to put inside the Zone at war game conventions (most recently at the Colours event in Newbury) and my next project is to complete all the furniture I've got to create much more realistic interiors. The zone is great on its own but needs some interior detail really. I just wish Forge World would release some stuff to go in it (though there's no sign of any on the way).

Here are the first two pieces of furnishings - a pair of cryopods. They're lovely but they're just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for more additions over the coming days.

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Doom Spheres: Part Three - Destruction Incarnate

Doom Spheres vs Imperium | Tim v Gill | Gothic | 63 | 118.997.M41

Battlefleet Valorax was on full alert. 

Intel had been gathered; reports analysed and decisions made. The Doom Spheres had to be stopped at all costs. With such destructive might at their command their was no telling what destruction they might wreck on Valorax Prime when they reached it. One Doom Sphere had been bad enough. Two was a force that could not be ignored.

A new Battlegroup was formed with tremendous firepower, incredible levels of potential destruction that couldn't fail to bring down the approaching spheres: A Retribution class battleship, two Mars battlecruisers, a pair of Gothics and two Dominators as well as a squadron of flitting Cobra Destroyers.

 They drifted through the void, scanning for contact against the static feedback of the irradiated asteroid fields.

Of greatest fortune was the lack of Ork contacts. The invasion fleet had obviously splintered and fled but the chance that they were still lurking in-system, using the distraction of the Doom Sphere approach to sneak past the cordons couldn't be entirely ignored. 

The ships pinged out their long range scanners and when they were starting to doubt the Doom Spheres existed, they flicked into view.

Admiral Phantos on the bridge of the Battleship paled as the image focused on his screen. There weren't two Doom Spheres anymore.

There were three.

And the newest one was over twice as bigger as either one they had seen before.

It wasn't just a Doom Sphere. It was a Battle Planet.

The Retribution let fly with its torpedoes and continued to close, charging up its lance batteries, but before it was even in range the Battle Planet pounded it from the fore with its violet lightning, crushing its shields and ripping into its bulkheads.

The torpedoes impacted harmlessly against its armour and Admiral Phantos fully realised what was happening, how utterly they had underestimated this foe, even while classing them as an omega level threat. He shouted to turn about so that he could bring his weapon batteries to bear but the Battle Planet fired again and his ship was atomised beneath his feet.

The asteroids were blocking nova cannon fire so the ships were forced to weave through, coming painfully close to the Doom Spheres. The Gothics rocketed in close to one of the smaller spheres but even locked on, their lances failed to break down the enemy shields and they took tremendous damage on the return volley.

There was only one gambit that might give them a chance of success.

All three nova-armed ships remaining turned toward the asteroid field between them and the Doom Spheres and, ignoring all proximity alarms forged straight through it. Gigantic rocks impacted the ships but they emerged on the other side and let fire with all their nova cannons, bringing down the shields on one of the smaller spheres and damaging it finally. 

But it was useless.

They were now far too close for a second volley and the Doom Spheres were at their ideal firing range. There was nothing to do but disengage again.

The Doom Spheres could not be defeated.

The Cobra Destroyers put themselves between the Spheres and the capital ships and were blown apart for their sacrifice. But their sacrifice paid off. The capital ships were able to disengage, pulling away from the Doom Spheres and powering out of their limited range.

The third battle had been lost and now little stood between the Doom Spheres and Valorax Prime.

Their only chance was for a final stand to be made there with every ship they could possibly muster.

If not, there was little doubt that Valorax was doomed!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Doom Spheres: Part Two - Things Get Worse

Imperium vs Orks | Gill v Tim | Gothic | 62 | 115.997.M41

Close to Valorax IX, at Chilltaste Station, an orbital space dock, once used as a docking point and relay point for mining shipments but now lying derelict, the remains of Battlegroup Myrmidon regrouped. 

The Gothic cruisers were joined by three more capital ships from Battlefleet Carrion, a Mars and two Dominators. Their message for reinforcements had been heard and a yet larger force, far more than would be required to crush any attackers, was on its way.

But they did not have unlimited time. Already the Ork fleet had consolidated its strength and was closing on their position, newly determined to break through to Valorax VIII and land their forces. This time the Imperial ships did not have the luxury of clear field of fire and long range. The Orks ships were almost upon them by the time they managed to bring their ships about.

This time there were two Kill Kroozers and a Terror Ship backed up by yet more flitting escorts. Almost before they had chance to react the Ork ships blasted into close rang, coming too close to be targeted by the nova cannons, but they were still taking tremendous damage from the lances and weapons batteries of their enemies.

Then the Onslaught  Attack Ships powered close to Chilltaste Station and locked on, unleashing all the power of their weapons as Savage Gunships closed in behind letting fly their torpedoes. The impacts struck the space station and ripped it apart, blowing it to smithereens so that all the Imperial ships could do was avenge it.

Then not one, but two Doom Spheres came into range of the battle, drifting in from the flank, and Captain Lane of one of the original Gothics realised that their time had run out.

The other ships continued harassing the Orks, ignoring the pleas of Captain Lane to ignore them and turn their attention to the spheres, then the dark black ships unleashed their payload of violet energy.

The shields on both Gothics fell and all but one of the Ork escorts approaching them was wiped out in a string of fiery explosions.

"Turn about!" bellowed Lane. "Now! Ignore the Orks! You have to target the Doom Spheres!"

A split second later, first his ship, then the other Gothic, were obliterated in fiery death, utterly eradicated under the impossibly powerful lance fire of the Doom Spheres who moved inexorably toward the rest of the battlegroup. 

The Ork ships were already breaking off, running silent. They knew the power of these approaching weapons of total destruction and the remaining Imperial ships had no choice but to follow them, to flee before this slowly approaching enemy.

The Imperial ships broke off and fled and the Doom Spheres moved every closer to Valorax Prime.