Thursday, 16 August 2018

Ash Squadron - a deathwatch kill team. Who knows where it might lead...

Well, in my last post I mentioned that I was eager to see what Kill Team had to offer - well I had my first game last week as four of us tried to squeeze round a single board and took all evening to play a short skirmish game!

First impressions
Very good. The mixed activations had the potential to really slow down and mess about with the combat phase in particular, but I'm sure that will speed up as we get used to the rules, plus probably have fewer models on the table and certainly fewer getting into combat so early (we played a 4-player game on a board sized for two players, so we were all pretty close in to start with!

So, without further ado, I mentioned last time I've been writing fluff for my kill team and here it is! (Spoiler alert, purists may wish to look away now!)

Ash Squadron
Though few realise it, the weight of Mankind’s hopes against the alien apocalypse are borne upon the broad shoulders of the Deathwatch. These warriors form the Shield that Slays, a noble brotherhood of paragons whose might is sufficient to hurl back a hundred alien invasions and still not seek rest. They are the vigilant few, the watchmen in the void, whose star-borne fortresses stand guard against terrors unimaginable.
Though the Deathwatch have always worn sombre black and silver, splashes of colour appear amongst their ranks, for they keep their original chapter’s livery upon their pauldrons. Arrayed for battle with mighty war engines in support, they are an inspiring sight for their allies, and doom given flesh for the xenos armies they fight across the galaxy.
As ever with forces overseen by the Emperor’s Inquisition however, the chamber militant of the Ordo Xenos harbours secrets within its ranks, truths deemed to be too dangerous for all but the most powerful few to know. The forces of the Deathwatch have long utilised technologies too rare or unstable for mass production, and it is a long held belief in its ranks that the saying ‘Know thy Enemy’ goes beyond simply understanding the core physical characteristics of the Xenos armies the Deathwatch must face. To that end, an entire research wing was founded by the Divisio Biologis with its aim being the study of Xenos species and their technologies,  and the research and development of new weapons utilising the advanced knowledge gained as a result. Such an undertaking could not rely on the ad-hoc recruitment of space marines into specific kill-teams that make up the majority of the Deathwatch forces however, and the order was given to create a permanent force of Deathwatch Veterans to support and protect the interests of the research and development project. This force is known only to a few even within the Inquisition, and is known informally in those circles as Ash Squadron, due to their tendency to leave no trace of their presence beyond ashes in the wind.

Ash Squadron eschews the traditional black garb of the Deathwatch, instead bearing armour painted ash white in honour of their role within the Chamber Militant, and whilst they still retain the original colours of their legion on the right should pad, the traditional silver left arm and shoulder guard of the Deathwatch is instead of a golden hue.

I've been having a great time putting together some models to represent Ash Squadron, and have written a command roster to cover the whole 20 potential members to fit into a campaign. I've finally got a selection I'm happy with, and have started writing some pen pics to go with them. In no particular order therefore...

So from left to right, top to bottom we have...

Silas Lucien - comms specialist but no fluff yet.

Shai Falco - combat specialist, also no fluff yet (this is going well isn't it! I promise I have written fluff for a lot of the team so far)!

Nyx Shadowbind - Nyx Shadowbind is the very antithesis of his Commander, Sorin Blaze. Taciturn, cold to the point of being unfeeling, and preferring to fight his enemies from afar, the two warriors have nevertheless formed a powerful bond in battle, and Blaze will rarely undertake a mission without including Shadowbind in his complement of warriors.

Shadowbind was originally seconded to the Deathwatch by the Raven Guard chapter following the battle for Mugulath Bay when the rest of his squad was destroyed by a T’au ambush. Understandably, ever since that day he has held a particular hatred for the blue-skinned aliens, understanding where many do not that underneath the even-handed, diplomatic exterior of the youngest of the galaxy’s pre-eminent xenos races, lies a steel core that would just as soon massacre their own children if it meant achieving their objectives. Ash squadron has a saying - “only in the eyes of the dead do you see Nyx Shadowbind”.

Iestyn Frome

Lumiel Dasalian - Typifying the secretive nature of his Chapter, Lumiel Dasalian is a quiet, solitary figure in Ash Squadron’s ranks. Such a demeanour should not be mistaken however, for there are few amongst the ranks of the chamber militant as capable with both firearms and blade as the former Dark Angel. Though his origins are shrouded in mystery, one thing that is known about the warrior is that his secondment to the Deathwatch was just as secretive as his Chapter. Rumours abound amongst Ash Squadron however that he was formerly a high-ranking brother within the Dark Angels, and that his permanent secondment was arranged to resolve some unknown dispute between him and his superiors.

Dasalian’s skill at arms in all forms lends itself well to the wide variety of missions Ash Squadron is called upon to perform, and he is rarely absent from field operations commanded by Sorin Blaze. Unusually, he always goes to battle wearing a white surplice over his armour, with a powered longsword scabbarded at his waist and a combination plasma gun cradled at the ready. Dasalian’s role is to adapt to the particular battlefield situation, providing covering fire or supporting combat operations as necessary.

Stranix Locutor - Stranix Locutor is the most recent Sergeant recruited by Ash Squadron, and is one of the recent influx to the Flesh Tearers of Primaris marines. Stranix quickly came to prominence following the reinforcement of that Chapter, and though boasting the enhanced physiology and geneseed of the Primaris strain, still exhibits savage characteristics more commonly associated with earlier brothers of the standard Flesh Tearers gene template.

In battle, Locutor wields a signature blade, a gleaming red power sword that he rarely sheathes. Some have questioned whether or not the blade has always had its reddish tinge, though Stranix has never given a complete answer to the question, usually simply giving the questionner a savage smile, showing off the incisors for which his chapter are infamous.

Gideon Thume - Gideon Thume is a simmering cauldron of barely controlled rage, the zealotry of his chapter’s character exhibiting itself to an extreme degree. Thume originally presented himself to the Deathwatch as a Blackshield, after he lost control during a boarding action on the Ork Rok known as Mork’s Gob and failed to follow the orders of his Marshal. Instead of falling back to defend the Marshal Thume pushed on, his righteous fury and templar blade driving all before him until he had butchered his way through to the engineering deck. Marshal Lomas survived the encounter and Mork’s Gob was diverted from its course, sent plummeting into a nearby star, but Thume was admonished for his failure to follow orders. Such censure would normally be cleansed through a penitent crusade, but Thume instead exiled himself from the chapter and sought out the deathwatch. Upon his presentation to that organisation however, the receiving Watch Commander felt that assignment to Ash Squadron was more appropriate, and therefore Thume still bears the heraldry of his original Chapter.

Always at the forefront of any combat operation, Thume wields the mighty Talassarian warblade Emperor’s Light. Wielding such a blade single-handed requires singular skill, and Thume seems to do so effortlessly. Alongside the mighty blade Thume carries an enormous Storm Shield, fashioned for him by the artificers of the Adeptus Mechanicus from the tilting plate of the Serran Interceptor, a Knight Errant of House Seraphus that fell in battle alongside the templars of the Lomas Crusade

and finally for now...
Sorin Blaze

Sorin Blaze is frequently called upon to command field deployments for Ash Squadron, and holds the nominal rank of Lieutenant for the purposes of the Chain of Command. Blaze was originally seconded from the Blood Angels chapter of the Adeptus Astartes and exhibits the typical features synonymous with that organisation. Fearless, aggressive and ever keen to get up-close and personal with their enemies, he is nevertheless of noble bearing and humble, understanding that his role is to lay down his life if required to see the mission completed.

His favoured armaments are the Xenophase polearm Sanguine Judgement and the Angel’s Wing, a storm shield of ancient construction and design, fashioned to resemble its namesake.

Blaze prefers to command his kill team from high ground, guiding them into position before dropping like a stone onto the field of battle like an avenging angel of legend, Sanguine Judgement cracking the very ground on which he lands and knocking his enemies from their feet.

Till next time!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Looking to get back in the groove

Hi all,
wow, it's been a long while since I last posted, almost 3 months in fact! I'm thoroughly settled in to my new job now so I'm looking to get myself a little bit of time now and again to get back to the blog and get some more content out!

So, what's been happening in the hobby world since then for me?

Dusk Knights

These guys are now mostly up-to date in terms of having painted almost everything I own for them, though with each passing codex release it becomes apparent that the book is ageing quite quickly, in particular in terms of which units 'should' make up a fluffy force, compared to which units 'do'.

I think the next additions to the Dusk Knights are going to be in the armoured section, with a view to getting the 'black templar' combat side of the army functioning better.

Swords of Dawn

Ever since I started painting the Stormhawk Interceptor for this force, I've decided that I'm short on detail in the paintwork, so I've tweaked the background for them slightly and I'm adding some more tribal/piratical style markings to them, I wanted to add some unusual flavour to the chapter that much of the Primaris stuff seems to be lacking.

Mael Dannan

I'm just about up to speed also with these guys now as well, just a few underslung guns on the windriders to do. I've got a big batch of other models to do for them, however these were a freebie from a friend and none of them are GW models so they're nothing more than occasional stuff to keep my hand in.

Kill Team

Well this was a real welcome release, I've run several kill team tournaments at my local club, so to get hold of a proper rule set and supported game was beyond anything I had dreamed of, plus it gives me an excuse to start a new army. And plug my other project of course, since me and my brothers grim have decided to run ourselves a campaign and get some battle reports filmed and on to youtube. I'll let you know more details when I have them, but for now, just a heads up that we all agreed it would be more fun to draw factions at random than resort to our default favourites. I'm not gonna reveal too much just yet, since we filmed the draw but we've got a pretty nice spread of factions involved and I'm working on some cool background for the campaign (plus writing a second background for my club campaign, why do I do this stuff, haha!?)

That's it for now, but I'll try and get some regular posting back soon and get some more pics up for you to see! I'm also going to look at getting the background and fluff parts of the blog bulked out and organised better - I've always enjoyed making sure my armies have background but that's rarely made it very far in terms of anything other than my own head.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Hobby update week 18 - a wanderer returns

Hi all! Turns out I haven't dropped off the face of the earth after all (though I do spend most of my days now below sea level).

In truth, I've been finding less time for hobby related stuff with my new job, and the blog is the thing that's taken the hit I'm afraid, so posts will be more sporadic for a while I think.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Golovin III: Darkest before Dawn. Part 1 - The City Sleeps

Golovin III - Darkest before Dawn

Eron lay perfectly still, his camo cloak draped around him and covered in the dust of this world to better disguise his presence, its’ cameleoline fibres picking up the subtle shade variations and mimicking them to further conceal his position.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Hobby update week 12 - Is it purple, or is it blue?

Greetings all, another big gap since my last post, I think I'm going to have to accept that I won't be able to post as often as I used to, with a more responsible job and more time commuting to and from work.

Still, I'm getting plenty of painting done, which is a good thing! My last update showed off my centurion devastators, and there's plenty more been finished since then!

Dusk Knights

First up therefore is my terminator librarian - his own scheme is now complete, I just need to finish his base (I've got a few bases still to do actually so will probably blitz them all in one go).

Then just a quick look ahead, this is the full extent of what I've still got to build/paint for the dusk knights, including 17 scouts, a landspeeder, 5 scout bikes, 8 marine bikes, 7 terminators, 15 assault marines, a couple of captains and 7 veterans.

Swords of Dawn

Thanks to Squaduary getting a big chunk of the Swords of Dawn completed, I figured it was time to get the rest done too in the hopes that I could get some cash together to progress the army with new additions. First up was the ancient.

I'm not entirely happy with the sword design in the centre but it'll have to do for now as it's as good as I can manage at the moment.

Then on to the Lieutenants who were the last two models needing to be painted.

I'm really pleased with the scheme for these guys and if at some point in the future GW do switch to a wholly primaris range for the marines and stop supporting the older style models, I will be quite happy to put these guys out on the tabletop!

Here's the whole collection as it stands at the moment. Next up on my list for purchases is a repulsor and some aggressors, plus more intercessors, hellblasters and reivers.

That's me done for now, hope to have something more for you soon!

Till next time,

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Power levels vs points - A Burning Eye View

Greetings all, things are settling down a little bit with the new job now, though I’m still unnervingly short of hobby time in the evenings due to needing to get up early (any chance that those scientists among you could crack on and get that Catalepsean Node invention please?) Next up on my list of topics to write about therefore is the comparison between choosing an army by the power level method, and using the more traditional points system.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Hobby update week 10 - Devastation

Greetings all! Another week goes by and another week without a game (insert sad face here). I did manage to get some decent painting progress done this week though, which was nice!

Monday, 5 March 2018

Hobby update week 9 - Clad in iron

Greetings all, welcome to my latest glimpse into my hobby world. This week's a fairly quiet one I'm afraid, mainly because I don't want to repeat all the pics from Squaduary that I posted last week.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

Hobby update week 6 - I need to paint something other than purple!

Greetings all, welcome to week 6's hobby update for 2018! I'm still all about Squaduary at the moment, and I'm still settling into finding a new routine for posting and painting, so please bear with me for a while as the blog settles down with my new job. Given my ridiculous pledge for Squaduary though I've found little time in the evenings to write new posts and get myself prepared for the week ahead so you'll have to make do with this kind of thing for a bit!

Friday, 9 February 2018

Funny Friday - Swarm!

Is 8th edition the most abstract edition we've ever played?

Greetings all, feels like an age since I've written a piece like this for the blog! I was reading a post the other day on the excellent March of the Damned, and in adding a comment to the bottom of the post, I got to thinking about 8th edition and how its rules represent things on the tabletop, and what really struck me was how the rules across the editions change, and how they represent the conceptual parts of the game overall.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Squaduary update - 1 week in (almost), 1 squad down!

greetings all, having decided to take a full part in Squaduary this year, I've also decided to keep the blog updated with my progress as I go along, and since I finished the first part of my pledge last night, here's the photographic evidence!

Monday, 5 February 2018

Hobby update week 5. All about Squaduary

Greetings all, back into the swing of a new week, and it's Squaduary taking the limelight for the next 4 weeks! Hopefully you'll have all seen my pledge last week for this event, and are looking forward to lots of painting updates on the Swords of Dawn in the first instance.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Squaduary 2018 - my pledge!

Greetings all, welcome to the latest community painting event, (I'm thinking about putting together one of my own for this year, but have yet to decide which month to go for and what to suggest).

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Codex Adeptus Astates: Space Marines. 6 months in.

Greetings all, welcome again to the hallowed halls of my blog, where today I reflect upon 6 months of the 8th edition space marine codex, my thoughts on how the book stands up after many other faction releases, and plenty of game time!

Monday, 29 January 2018

Hobby update 2018 Week 4

Greetings all, welcome to week 4 of the year and my hobby update! It's been a quieter week this week I'm afraid due to real life - I've changed jobs and started at my new place today. What that means is I spent much of the weekend either celebrating with people I've know for as many as 15 years, or recovering from those celebrations/preparing for commuting to work for the first time in my life. Still, things progressed and continue to do so!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

May the hobbyist be fitter - Part 4

Greetings all! Welcome to part 4 of my series on losing weight and getting fitter! It's a day late this week due to real life getting in the way on Friday and Saturday, but hey ho, that happens I'm afraid.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Codex Eldar review - Dire Avengers

Greetings all! Time for the third part in my Codex Eldar review, this time we're going to look at that most dependable of aspects, the children of Asurmen himself, the Dire Avengers.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

First 2k list for the Swords of Dawn Primaris Marines

Greetings all! Continuing on with my current trend of posting up army lists and theorising on effective combinations. Today we have a look at my Primaris collection and how I'm thinking I'd like to take it forward.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Hobby update 2018 Week 3

Greetings all, it's that time again where I like to collate all the hobby progress I've made from the week before, updating on both painting and gaming progress. This week I also even have some more built stuff to include!

Saturday, 20 January 2018

May the Hobbyist be fitter - Part 3

Greetings all, welcome to part 3 of my series on being a fitter hobbyist, and all round more healthy person! I've now been monitoring my weight for almost three weeks, and am gradually trying to increase the amounts of physical exercise I'm doing, but in such a fashion that I don't end up pulling/straining something and having to take backwards steps.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Funny Friday 2018 - It's back baby!

I could definitely see Christopher Walken saying something like this! Perfect Imperial Guard General or Inquisitor Lord.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Craftworld Mael Dannan - evolution of a 2k list.

Greetings all,
well, thanks to everyone who voted in the poll to name my Craftworld Army, it really was fun to see how the vote swung back and forth, and very pleasing to see so many people taking part.

Now that I have a name for them, I thought I'd take a quick look at how my list has evolved from my last post on the subject (here).

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Codex Eldar review - Storm Guardians

Greetings all, second review post up for the Eldar, this time I'm having a look at the close combat cousins of the Guardian Defender squad, the Storm Guardians. Don't be fooled into thinking this unit isn't worth a second look!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Hobby update 2018 Week 2

Greetings all, that time of the week again, when I update you on all the lovely hobby progress going on in the Burning Eye domain! This week is a bumper week in some ways, got lots done (well, that's how it feels at the moment, I guess we'll see when it's all laid out won't we!

Saturday, 13 January 2018

May the hobbyist be fitter - Part 2

Greetings all, time for my first update then! I've embarked on a course this year to improve my general health and wellbeing, and lose weight, because this sedentary hobby of ours has been taking its toll on my physique for too many years (honestly when I started at Uni I was a 28" waist. I'm now a 36" with 'stretch').

So, headline result, given nearly two weeks of eating more sensibly (I haven't changed my meals particularly, just made them a more reasonable size) I've managed to lose...

Friday, 12 January 2018

Dusk Knights vs Orks

Greetings all, 
I've got a brief battle report for you all today, from my league game last night. Our league isn't prescriptive about game sizes or fixed lists etc, so I agreed to play a 2000pt game against Andy H and his Orks. 

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Preparing yourself for a game of 8th edition 40k.

Greetings all,

I've got quite a few games of 8th edition behind me now (not as many as some, but I play every week) and one thing that has come to light in my mind is that performing well in a game isn't just a case of bringing a good list and turning up to roll some lucky dice. The depth that GW have managed to impart into 8th edition and therefore the preparation required to give yourself the best chance of winning is also a significant factor. Let's have a closer look at what I mean shall we?