A Task Fulfilled

(Mild retcons due to player availability. I ask that you simply go with it, as I have to and I don’t like retcons).

Taking a break from my original fiction (going to be a post about that real soon!) to write this. It’s the fluff part from my game over the weekend. Taken a bit of licence here; I do not know if I “won” the campaign and therefore “did my objective” which was to destroy the Tyranid psychic beacon, but it makes so much sense in the fluff. The mission was 5000pts Imperial + 3000pts Eldar vs. 8000pts Tyranids with the Emperor’s Will mission. Our objective was the Imperial command post, their objective could have been the psychic beacon (we were the “attackers”). That’s how I’m writing it, anyway. The Imperial commanders of the battle did an amazing job at holding the objective, I honestly thought that we were going to lose our objective to a horde of bugs, but they managed to hold them back. I spent most of the game moving, as opposed to shooting, but I ended up almost doing a circuit of an 8′ x 6′ board!

Also, I assume that I “won” the campaign, or at least did damn well, because I only lost 2 games total, and those were both when doubles were introduced. I think my overall win/loss is… 10 wins and 2 losses. Or 20 wins and 4 losses when accounting for how we transitioned into and treated doubles games (we doubled all of my previous game results as my partner was new to the campaign and counted each game as 2 games afterwards). With that kind of win:loss ratio, I think I can safely assume that I did pretty well 🙂


 

Farseer Lireia pulled her armoured vehicles next to the Imperial position. Members of the Space Marines, the human elite super soldiers, had started to entrench themselves, concentrating on what looked to be a command post. In front of them were a line of human vehicles and behind them were two crude looking artillery pieces. To the left was another line of tanks and a handful of Space Marines who had taken up a commanding position in a ruined building, a couple of jump pack wearing members on the bottom floor. One instantly gunned his jump pack into life and made his way towards the Eldar vehicles.

“I hate dealing with Mon-keigh…” Lireia groaned before exiting from her Falcon tank, leaving her Warlock bodyguards inside. The Space Marine commander landed with a heavy thud, primitive plasma pistol in hand and a large sword in the other.

“Give me one good reason why we should not open fire on you alien filth here and now,” he growled through the vox grill on his helmet at the smaller Eldar woman, eliciting a mere point to the side.

“Because there is a mass of far less sufferable alien scum across the ruins from here. If you open fire on us then we will all become biomass for the Tyranid horde,” Lireia put in a very matter of fact tone. She could tell that this human wanted her dead, she could feel the murderous intent, however she knew that he would not. Not yet anyway.

“Stay out of our way, witch, and we will not be forced to fire on you,” he replied, gunning his jump pack to life again and returning to his troops. She could see that her forces were already being watched by the xenophobic, suspicious humans. If any shot was fired at her, she was confident that her warhost would react in kind, these primitives would not live long enough to see a drop of Eldar life spilled.

She cast her gaze out over the battlefield. Her acute senses picked up the Tyranid presence, though her psychic senses had long since picked them up. This was the beacon that they were supposed to find, she was sure of it; such a mass of Tyranids would not gather for any other reason. She looked again at the Imperial forces, then to her own. This was not enough if her estimates were correct on the magnitude of the Tyranid forces at this location.

“Isha give me strength,” she muttered sinking slightly and resting on her spear heavily. She could feel the weight of the Tyranid presence on her psyche, whispers seeking to drive her mad which she could not get rid of. She took a deep breath and made her way back to her Falcon, the other seers were feeling the effects too. “We will draw the Tyranids onto the Imperial lines before manoeuvring around the flank to investigate the centre of the psychic presence,” she addressed her warhost, about to continue on.

“We are ready to move on your order,” came another voice, one that she recognised, but from far away. She felt multiple presences, Eldar presences fast approaching but before she could tell who it was, a Space Marine drop pod crashed down near her lines. The Tyranids had already started to scuttle over the battlefield with alarming speed which gave Lireia little time to concentrate on who was approaching. The Imperial guns thundered, her own warhost mobilising to shoot the Tyranids that approached, felling the initial wave. From behind, Fire Prism class tanks fired into swarms of Hormagaunts, additional Wave Serpents supported by Vyper jetbikes zipped onto the field, bright lances piercing through into larger creatures. The Tyranid horde responded, organisms dropping from the sky and coming up from the ground just in front of the Imperial lines. The Tyranid firepower had already been strong, biological projectiles flying into the vehicles to little effect, but felling Space Marines on the flank.

“Now, my warriors, push to the left!” Lireia ordered her armoured column, along with the new support, spearing through the left hand side as the Tyranid swarm fell upon the Imperial lines ferociously, the tank commander’s vehicle being ripped apart as Imperial air support made its way up the battlefield, strafing the Tyranid horde with all manner of projectiles before being brought down themselves. One Vyper jetbike was brought down as homing projectiles slammed into its hull, wrecking the vehicle, but not causing an explosion. She had no time to check on whether the crew survived, praying that they had avoided death in the crash. Lireia, however, was unable to or unwilling to bring her Falcon around with the rest of the warhost. She remained on the right flank, her Falcon punching laser and plasma shots into the Tyranids that encroached upon the Imperials.

The warhost slowed ever so slightly, sending another wave of fire power into the encroaching Tyranid horde; Lireia did not want her warhost to be overrun, which was highly possible considering the low number of Eldar on the field.

From above a group of turquoise clad warriors dropped into the heart of the Tyranid lines as the second wave of Imperial air support arrived, strafing the Tyranid mass once more. Things looked bleak for the Imperials, but the lives of primitives were an expendable asset. Accompanying the turquoise warriors, who dropped a large payload of grenades into the nearby Tyranid beasts before seeking cover in what appeared to be an infested Imperial fortification, were a group of orange warriors, teleporting onto the battlefield with another familiar presence, clad in dark green heavy aspect armour and wielding a blade that burned with blue, psychic fire.

“This is Autarch Thalinia, we have landed near the beacon and will secure the location from these pests as the rest of your forces move in.” The familiar voice caused Lireia to smile as her warhost picked up speed again. A large portion of the nearby Tyranids immediately turned on Thalinia and her Warp Spider escort, dropping spore mines all over their position and sending tiny bio-projectiles crashing into the unit. Four of their number had fallen before Farseer Lireia brought her Falcon around to the flank and disembarked along with her seers, firing pistols and psychic fire into any Tyranid creatures that were nearby. Thalinia had taken cover behind the infested fortification, which had stopped moving and pulsating, fleshy tendrils hanging limply from the walls. She had not felt the psychic feedback of Swooping Hawks dying inside, so they must have been able to restart the Imperial technology inside or sever the Tyranid infestation. Or both.

Lireia contemplated greeting her older sister, though she decided against it whilst there was still a battle to be won. She was happy that she was there, though.

The Tyranid horde had thinned considerably, the Imperial lines still holding. The War Walkers, slower than the skimmers that bore the rest of the warhost, had very quickly distanced themselves from the Imperial lines. Lireia did not trust the humans to not start firing upon her warriors the moment the Tyranids had been routed. There were still organisms that were hurling themselves at the Imperial lines, some out of bestial instinct whilst others were being driven on by a few synapse creatures that remained.

Now Aspect Warriors and Guardians had started to pile out of their transport, armoured figures establishing a perimeter around the seers and beleaguered forces behind the fortification, shuriken and heavy weapons fire spilling out into any creatures that tried to intervene.

“Is this what we were looking for?” Thalinia briefly asked, firing her fusion gun at a nearby Tyranid Biovore organism, punching a hole straight through it before it could disgorge more spore mines onto their position. Lireia inspected the bulging, fleshy construct, allowing herself a smile. It was definitely psychic in nature and Lireia could feel that it was calling more and more organisms to the field of battle. They did not have time to waste, the signal was strong, perhaps strong enough to span entire systems. Lireia turned to her sister and nodded.

“It is. I want this beacon destroyed,” Lireia ordered, though almost instantly as she spoke, Fire Dragons spilled from the back of a Falcon tank and made their way over to her position, melta charges ready. As they finished placing them around the beacon, carefully guided by their temple Exarch, Lireia ordered her forces back into their transports. The Tyranids were far from spent in this location, though her Craftworld’s job was done.

As quickly as they had arrived, the Eldar forces gathered the soul stones of those Warp Spiders that had died on first contact, got into their vehicles and sped off, quitting the battlefield. Behind them, melta charges detonated and the psychic signal was gone.

Lireia could return to the Craftworld with her head held high. It had been rocky, an uneasy path that she had walked, but successful regardless.


 

We had to end on turn 5 (just before I could do all of my getting out of vehicles), but I believe the score at the end was 8 for the Imperials and Eldar (3 for holding our objective, 1 for First Blood, 3 for each Slay the Warlord and 1 for Linebreaker) and 2 points for the Tyranids (1 for Slay the Warlord on the tank commander and 1 for Linebreaker). If it had gone onto turn 6, they might have contested our objective, but they would not have been able to stop my full 3000pts army (I took 5 casualties. 1 Vyper and 4 Warp Spiders) from stealing their’s. Massive props to them for sticking with it (and not getting too unnerved by my very odd play style!) and massive props to the Imperial players who managed to hold on despite the perfidious Eldar abandoning their defensive position without a word. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did (and I didn’t even do much beyond move all the tanks to all the places!).

What a Way to Say Goodbye to Warhammer 40k 6th Edition

Now, this is going to be image heavy as opposed to text heavy. I played the massive game that I said I was going to with my Eldar, but the Tau player did not show up, so there ended up being an extra 1000pts of Space Marines and 1000pts of Eldar to make up the difference. I will write a small fluff bit for before and after the battle once I get around to it, but here are the pictures I took of the game. 8000pts of Tyranids (including two maxed out Endless Swarm formations) is a scary concept. We were outnumbered at least 6 or 7 to 1 and we came close to being overrun by turn 3. We did, however, manage to pull a victory out of the hat with a heroic defence by the Imperial forces (I did the very Eldar thing of completely abandoning them to pursue my own objective that I did not tell them, that objective being to steal the Tyranid objective…) and the world’s largest flank attack by the Eldar (seriously, I moved flat out for 3 out of 5 of the game turns to get where I needed to be). The game was Emperor’s Will with Dawn of War deployment using the 6th edition rules.

Warhammer 40k 7th Edition: First Glance Impressions

Be wary internet traveler, this is a long one…

A word at the start to say that I will only talk about the rules section of the new rule book; I will not be going into details on the artwork or the fluff sections, nor will I go into the construction of the book itself as I am currently viewing a digital edition of it. I will only highlight changes from 6th edition, not every rule in the book, unless something is pertinent to another rule or allows for a particularly good combination. So without further delay, let’s delve into 7th edition!

The first change is one that had already been leaked. There is now 6” vertical unit coherency, though horizontal coherency remains 2”. This is a very minor change, but it allows us to spread our units out across different levels of buildings, which typically have 3” floor gaps.

The next change is a large one: the psychic phase! If you have seen my army lists, you will know that I like to field lots of psykers. Therefore, the psychic phase is a glorious addition for me; it is a phase designed with players like me in mind. How psychic powers now work is that you roll a D6 and add every mastery level in your army. For example, let’s say I roll a 4. I then add 3 for my Farseer’s mastery levels, 2 for my Spiritseer and 7 for the 7 Warlocks that I included for a grand total of 16. That is how many psychic dice I get for that psychic phase (the same is done for deny the witch dice, D6 plus mastery levels each phase). How psychic powers are then cast is you select which power you wish to manifest and check its warp charge requirement. You then select a number of dice from your warp charge pool that you wish to roll to attempt to manifest the power, needing a number of 4+ results equal to the warp charge requirement. Two or more results of a 6 will result in Perils of the Warp, now a table that you roll a D6 on and see what happens. This can vary massively, such is the fickle nature of the Warp, from the psyker being dragged into the Warp (Eternal Warrior can’t save you from this. It is not “instant death”!) to the psyker gaining armourbane, fleshbane and a 3++ save! Deny the Witch operates in the same way, you choose a certain number of dice to use to try and nullify your opponent’s powers, though you do not need to dispel all of the successful warp charges, you only need to reduce the number of 4+ results to less than the warp charge requirement of the power manifested. This does mean, however, that good rolling to manifest a power will make Deny the Witch rolls incredibly difficult as you need to nullify all of the successfully harnessed warp charges on a 6+. If you are targeting an enemy unit (with a malediction or witchfire, focussed or otherwise) then they get modifiers from the previous edition: +1 if the target is a psyker, +1 if they are a higher mastery level and +1 if they have Adamantium Will (good luck casting psychic powers on my beloved Adepta Sororitas!). However blessings and conjurations, psychic powers that do not target enemy models can now be denied, though you get none of the bonuses listed above, needing natural rolls of a 6 to dispel a warp charge. This is nice though, as it allows people to dispel those otherwise untouchable blessings and allows you to throw a spanner in the works if your opponent tries to summon daemons; I will have to watch out for this though as it means that people can dispel powers like Guide! Force weapon users now activate their force weapons in the psychic phase as opposed to when they cause a wound, which will give their force weapons the Instant Death special rule until the start of their following psychic phase. Psychic Focus is a new special rule where, if you roll all of a psyker’s powers in the same discipline, you get the Primaris for free. I love this rule, as I usually only roll on one table anyway, and it buffs the weaker mastery level 1 psykers as they automatically get two powers (one that they roll, the other being the Primaris). Chaos Psychic Focus is the same, but it means that an aligned Chaos model (daemon or marked) gains their deity’s Primaris power in addition to any others that they roll. It should be noted that attempting to manifest Malefic psychic powers is dangerous for all apart from daemons; any doubles will result in a Perils of the Warp result if the model attempting to manifest the power does not have the Daemon special rule. Similarly the same happens with Sanctic powers, only replace daemons with Grey Knights. I swear if I see an Eldar player summoning Daemonettes I will put on my Space Elf police hat and place a shuriken right through that player’s cranium. No summoning servants of the Great Enemy!

Charging through difficult terrain is no longer 3D6, it is merely 2D6 – 2, though you still strike at Initiative 1 (unless you have frag grenades). I like it because it removes a bit more randomness from charging (I preferred the old charging rules where it was a fixed value).

One thing that has changed that affects me a lot is the new Jink rule. Jink for skimmers now forces them to only use snap shots if they elect to Jink (which basically means that I will have to hide my skimmers behind cover more), but the base Jink save has been increased to a 4+, therefore a 3+ with holo-fields or disruption pods. I guess it is trade off, but it will force those of us who run mechanised skimmer lists to play slightly differently as we do not want to have to make snap shots all the time!

There are all of the rules for Escalation and Stronghold Assault in the rule book, such as building damage tables, catastrophic damage charts and rules for Strength D weapons. I will not go into Escalation style rules, as I did not and probably will not touch that for a long time at least, but I will talk about fortifications. Firstly, buildings now have hull points. Small buildings have 3, medium have 4 and large have 5. This does mean that you can now glance buildings to death, which could not be done in the previous edition as they did not have hull points (Swooping Hawks may have just become my best hope at attacking fortifications). Also, units inside a fortification can now fire their weapons systems, meaning that a unit of Space Marines inside a Firestorm Redoubt can fire the quad Icarus lascannons at BS4 and at whichever target they want. However, models firing out of the fire points must target the same as the models firing the weapon emplacements.

Next is another big part: army selection. The first thing that really strikes me is that there is a sentence in bold letters stating that “players must agree how they are going to select their armies, and if restrictions apply to the number and type of models they can use.” This, to me, screams danger but also salvation. Responsible gamers would be able to have a fair discussion, but with some less reputable gamers, usually the types that I would avoid, this could be twisted and cause arguments that would end in serious list tailoring. How I would use this would be to ask my opponent if they want to play flyers. I own a single Crimson Hunter and a single Razorwing Jetfighter for my Eldar and Dark Eldar respectively, so I will never ever be able to field more than two, but if my opponent has no anti-flyer, or does not wish to play with flyers, I would be more than happy to accommodate. Also, on the other side of this coin, if my opponent shows up with a flying circus or a Heldrake spam, it gives me the option of saying that I will not play against a spam. I am all about balanced army lists and balanced games, not spam. It also boosts my confidence in saying no to super heavies, as there are those people who will field a small army with a super heavy unit. In the end, this is merely the GW team reminding us players that we do have a thing called free will and we are free to choose who we play against. As a fluff lover and narrative player, I tend to avoid cheese lists and broken armies. Next are the army selection methods: Unbound or battle-forged. Unbound armies are where you take whatever models you want; and I mean that in the most literal way. You could field a Riptide alongside a Hive Tyrant alongside Sternguard Veterans alongside a Necron Monolith, though why you would want to field such a bonkers combination is beyond me (but I’m a fluff player, so it’s obvious that I would never understand this). What unbound armies do allow for, however, are great themed armies such as a Space Marine armoured column or an elite Chaos Space Marine warband of Chosen Terminators. Undoubtedly this will invite cheese gamers to bring out the 10 Heldrake lists or the double Revenant Titans of broken-ness. My response to those lists is simple: “Nah, I’ll find somebody else to play.” Battle-forged armies, on the other hand, follow the Force Organisation charts of old, but allow you to re-roll your Warlord Trait and Troops that hold objectives cannot be contested, unless it is by Troops from another Battle-forged army. This may sound a little bit weak, if you face a cheesy list then they will have no problems wiping your Troops off objectives, but when you consider that everything (apart from zooming flyers or swooping monstrous creatures) is scoring, this is incredibly useful against everyone else. Dedicated transports also count as being the same battlefield role as the unit they were purchased for; that means that Rhinos taken as a transport for a Tactical squad will count as Troops and cannot be contested when parked on an objective unless it is by an enemy Troops unit in another Battle-forged list. There is an additional Warlord Trait table in the rule book to accommodate for the new Tactical Objectives, known as Tactical Traits, though the rest remain largely the same with a few simplifications to previously situational traits (such as your Warlord having furious charge when in your opponent’s deployment zone now being just furious charge anywhere). The Tactical Traits are nice for the Maelstrom of War missions, that I will get to later, but are only useful if you are playing those. You have one that allows you to discard two, instead of one, Active Tactical Objectives at the end of your turn, one is a one use only that makes your opponent discard one Active Tactical Objective at random, one that allows you to generate an additional Tactical Objective in the first turn, one that allows you to re-generate Tactical Objectives (you must discard all current ones and draw all new ones), one that allows you to re-roll how many Victory Points a Tactical Objective is worth, and one that causes your Warlord to score an additional Victory Point if he/she performs any of the “Secure Objective X” Tactical objectives, where X is a number between 1 and 6.

A brief talk about the new allies matrix. I have already gone over the combinations in my previous article, however I have now read all of the rules surrounding it. No, you cannot ally with yourself as your allied detachment must come from a different faction to your primary detachment (more Imperium favouring there as all of the SM chapters are separated by chapter tactics, but you cannot ally with a supplement as supplements count as their race’s original faction…). Both Allies of Convenience and Desperate Allies remain unchanged, however Come the Apocalypse has changed. Come the Apocalypse is now merely treated as Desperate Allies who have to deploy at least 12” away from each other. I hate this, there is nothing good about this in my opinion. It means that technically people can ally Eldar with Chaos Space Marines, people can ally Grey Knights and Chaos Daemons, people can ally Imperium and Tyranids. No, no and once more, no! There is so much lore heresy going on there that I want to put on a Commissar hat and start summary executions.

The Eternal War missions are identical to how they are now, apart from the whole “everything is scoring” aspect of the game. You still gain a Victory Point for destroying a Heavy Support choice in Big Guns Never Tire, though the part about Heavy Support becoming scoring is a moot point and has been left out (as they are scoring anyway!). The interesting parts are the Maelstrom of War missions and their Tactical Objectives. Tactical Objectives are objectives that you generate at the start of turn one and award Victory Points upon immediate completion. You may also discard one per turn, two if you have the Warlord Trait, which allows you to get rid of Tactical Objectives that you do not like or your army is ill-suited to achieve. Each Maelstrom of War mission differs slightly, such as Cloak and Shadows being the only one where you hide your Tactical Objectives from your opponent, or Deadlock where the maximum number of Active Tactical Objectives starts high, but decreases every turn. These missions are incredibly well done, in my opinion, and look really interesting. I doubt I will be playing Eternal War missions at all any more, as the Maelstrom of War missions most certainly upstage the more boring, static missions in the Eternal War table. I could see Eternal War missions being used in competitive play more, as they are more fixed quantities, but Maelstrom of War missions look much more interesting to the casual hobbyist like me.

The final part of the rule book is the appendix. Most of the rules are the same as before, with minor changes if any as I did not really spot any. Then there are common weapon rules (mostly Imperial items) and terrain rules, such as various special rules for certain types of ruins and clarification that woods are indeed a 5+ cover save. Overall, I like the idea of the appendix. It puts all of the rules that you may need to reference in the middle of a game in an easily accessible area of the rule book. It then has all of the rule book psychic tables and what each power does, but that is for another article.

As a side note, there are two errors that I picked up on in the digital edition. Firstly, the diagrammatic representation of what you can take in an allied detachment is wrong. It makes it look like an allied detachment can contain 2 HQ units, 3 Troops, 3 Elites, 3 Fast Attack and 3 Heavy Support, when all it can have is 1 HQ, 2 Troops, 1 Elites, 1 Fast Attack and 1 Heavy Support. Also, “Iinfiltrate and Scout” is in the appendix. I never knew that Infiltrate was spelt with two ‘i’s.

So, what is my opinion on 7th edition? I love it. Without a doubt, it looks very, very interesting. It is far from perfect and there are things that I wish were different still, but no rule set is ever perfect. It will take me some time to get properly used to, but from a first glance, I think it should be good. However, how things appear and how things really are can be two very different things. I should know that better than most, after all!

Warhammer 40k 7th Edition: Thoughts on a Few Sneak Peaks

This article is a prelude to what will come at the weekend where I will be writing a more in depth look at the 7th edition rule book. This morning I stumbled upon some pictures from the rulebook and decided that, in the interests of not having a huge wall-of-text style post on Saturday, I would write about them as it makes up enough to write a decently sized article.

First, I would like to talk about the new allies matrix. I have not seen the rules surrounding it, but from what I can tell, each army can ally with itself. If this is not true, I would imagine that it would be silly, as all of the armies of the Imperium are now under one entry. Therefore, if each army cannot ally with itself, then no armies of the Imperium would be able to. Sounds ridiculous. So, apart from the Imperium armies becoming a single entry named “Armies of the Imperium”, what else can we see from the new matrix? Firstly, Tyranids remain the only army unable to take any allies outside of themselves, though a lot of other armies lost a lot of Battle Brothers and even Allies of Convenience combinations. The only two pairs of Battle Brothers outside of their own faction are Eldar and Dark Eldar, as well as Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemons. Allies of Convenience are Armies of the Imperium and Eldar, Chaos Space Marines and Necrons, Chaos Space Marines and Orks, Eldar and Tau (no more broken Taudar nonsense. Hooray!), and Necrons and Tau. I think that reducing the number of Battle Brothers and Allies of Convenience is a good move as most factions in the Warhammer 40k universe are barely willing to talk, let alone ally with each other. However, I also believe that pushing the Armies of the Imperium into one slot was just lazy. On one hand it does make it simpler, but on the other hand it generalises a lot of diverse armies into one. For example, anyone who ran a traitor Astra Militarum list now finds themselves at a loss (unless they play unbound, so I guess this is all moot) as Armies of the Imperium cannot ally with Chaos Space Marines or Chaos Daemons.

Next we have the psychic powers. All of the original disciplines are largely unchanged, apart from a few minor tweaks and warp charge cost changes with a couple of new powers. Some psychic powers have changed as well, though I largely am unable to make out the exact wording on each power, nor will I go into detail in either this or the rulebook review, though I may do a separate article on psychic power tactics in the future. The disciplines have largely been offered to every race with psykers (apart from Tyranids. They are not included on the reference chart as they can only role on their codex powers) and there is blatant favouritism in these rules. The Inquisition, Space Marines and Astra Militarum have access to every single psychic discipline, with the non-codex Space Marine factions, such as Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Grey Knights, as well as Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Daemons gaining most of the powers as well. I may be a bit biased here, as an Eldar player, but I find it a little bit ridiculous that the race of psykers has access to the 2nd least number of disciplines behind Orks; so Chaos and Imperium get access to just about every discipline whilst the xenos get shafted, even the xenos race with the most potent psykers. Apparently we do not know how to move things with our minds. None of this really matters however, as every single army apart from Orks has been given access to Divination. Also, “Force” has become a psychic discipline available to everyone apart from Chaos Daemons. The power itself is basically what the force weapons do, however it is cast in the psychic phase. I would need to read more rules to get an idea on what it means and I eagerly await being able to read through each psychic power in detail. I think that telekines gained an awesome psychic power on their chart if you roll a six. Some sort of large blast Strength 10 pie plate…

That’s all for now as this is just a prelude to the article that I shall write once I get my hands on the actual rulebook, but a brief insight is better than nothing.

Warhammer 40k 7th edition: A few thoughts on the impending rules update

A rather belated article this weekend, considering what happened in terms of Warhammer 40k, but revision, food shopping and meeting with a friend to give some Astra Militarum parts got in the way, so I have only just sat down to write this a day later.

So, what happened, you may ask? Well, if you are a Warhammer 40k player, then you will probably have heard more about 7th edition; some of you may have even pre-ordered the rulebook already. I walked to Warhammer World in Nottingham today to pick up this week’s White Dwarf magazine. I do not usually buy it, but this week I felt that, with 40k 7th edition around the corner, I should probably buy it and have a read through to get an idea of what’s ahead.

From what I have read, I have a feeling that psykers, or anti-psyker wargear, will be an auto-include for most lists. The psychic phase, which resides between the movement and shooting phase, is a high-risk high-reward phase where your psykers can attempt to manifest their powers and your opponent can attempt to dispel them; from the sounds of it, it sounds a lot like the magic phase in Warhammer Fantasy. I also gather that any army gets the ability to dispel their opponent’s psychic powers, even those who lack any psykers like Tau or Necrons, but would benefit from taking some psykers from another codex (I will go over unit selection later). The psychic tables in the rule book will be the standard five: Biomancy, Divination, Pyromancy, Telekinesis and Telepathy, however they will also be joined by the two new disciplines: Sanctic and Malefic Daemonology, the latter of which has been revealed in this week’s White Dwarf. Malefic psychic powers are all about summoning daemons. There are a couple of offensive shooting attacks, but three powers plus the Primaris power are about summoning daemons. These range from summoning ten lesser daemons, such as Bloodletters or Daemonettes, to greater daemons such as trading the life of the casting psyker, or lives if it is a brotherhood of psykers, for a greater daemon such as a Bloodthirster or a Lord of Change, who can also roll on these powers. You could say that this is an obvious money grab by GW, daemons are not the best selling models in their collection so adding these powers that require daemons to be useful and will be available to a wide spectrum of armies could be seen as a business move, but I like it. As a fan of Dark Heresy, Black Crusade and the other Fantasy Flight games, I think that summoning daemons definitely has a place on the battlefield. As an Eldar player, I will not be dabbling. I have not seen the Sanctic table, but I imagine that it will be the reverse, powers specifically aimed at banishing daemons rather than summoning them. Also, rolling a double of any kind when summoning daemons (which is incredibly likely with the higher warp charge powers) when not a daemon yourself will cause Perils of the Warp, which will apparently have new and more deadly effects. Oh, and one final boon is that if a psyker rolls all of their powers from the same discipline, they get the Primaris power for free. More psychic powers means more variety at least, but I’d still prefer if I could choose my psychic powers like before.

Another thing that was directly confirmed and built upon were the aspects of unbound armies. Unbound armies are completely free of any restrictions apart from the points limit. For example, you could take an army of 4 Wraithknights, 2 Riptides, 3 Heldrakes, Sternguard Veterans in a Drop Pod and a Carnifex brood. I have already gone over the pros and cons of these Unbound armies from my point of view, but at least we now know that a Battle-forged force (one that abides by the Force Organisation Chart) cannot have its objectives contested if their Troops are on it and a Battle-forged force can also re-roll its warlord trait. All in all, it will not rebalance the potential cheese that a power-unit spam list can bring to the table, but it is nice to at least get something (being able to capture objectives that cannot be contested is a great boon, do not misunderstand me on that; it just is not enough). I will reiterate that I love the idea of Unbound armies, so long as myself and my opponent can act like adults about it and not just seek to make the most broken combinations.

There have been many tweaks hinted at that are apparently all over the rules, including vertical unit coherency being 6” to accommodate multi-story buildings, Split Fire no longer requiring a Leadership test and the requirement of scoring a 7 on a penetrating hit to drop vehicles in one shot, making AP2 and AP1 weapons a necessity if you want to one-shot kill a vehicle. You can still whittle them down with weight of fire (so… Hull points will still be around I would guess). As a mechanised Eldar / Dark Eldar player I am rather pleased that my vehicles will be even harder to destroy, though my gaming group may throw a tantrum at this.

Another change that was hinted at is the fact that they are bringing back the idea that all units can score. This is nice as I could imagine there being an important objective in a building with a squad of Celestians clearing cultists away from it, then wandering around aimlessly as they are unable to “hold” the objective, being an Elites choice. They are supposed to be the elite Sisters of Battle, yet they are unable to pick things up or secure locations? I am glad that sense is finally being re-introduced in this scenario.

I will not be buying the rule book when it comes out. £50 for all three parts (rules, art and story) is too steep for me and the £200 limited edition is nothing short of an absolute joke, I will be waiting for the starter set to come out. The starter set has not been officially leaked to my knowledge, but the word on the internet is that it will be Blood Angels and Orks. I can use the Blood Angels to increase my current Space Marine force and I will keep the Orks around for a rainy day (unless I hear of anyone who wishes to trade their Space Marines for my Orks). This is, of course, dependent on two things: the price of the next starter set and whether or not they release the rule book separately in the future.

Personally, I am still excited for 7th edition. It comes out on the 24th May, next weekend, but will it improve on 6th edition? I am cynical in the long term, as whilst 6th was better than 5th, in my opinion, 4th was better than both. All we can do, however, is wait and see.

A New Age of Pain

This is my first ever Dark Eldar army list that I put together on the cheap. It’s basically a battleforce plus a few other bits and pieces.

Since killing Archon Yrinth, Esthine has had some time to explore the Kabal’s armoury. She liked what she saw (and also took the former-Archon’s huskblade) but refused to use his djin blade because it was basically what killed him. She has enough people who will try and kill her now, so she does not need a weapon that tries to kill her sometimes as well!

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“Run, you fools. We can’t hold against this!” Captain Grinel yelled at his men, though as he turned he found the barrel of a bolt pistol waiting for him. Before he could act, his head exploded as the Commissar pulled the trigger, executing the commanding officer in front of all of his men.

“You will fight or you will die,” Commissar Lord Bellis yelled as he raised his pistol at the sleek hull of an alien craft that darted above the forest where the Guardsmen were patrolling and squeezing of a burst of shots. As he fired, the vehicle seemed to dart effortlessly out of the way of his shots, sending a pair of missiles into the mass of guardsmen, detonating in a cloud of toxins that caused guardsmen to double over and empty the contents of their stomachs before finally collapsing in agony, writhing and clawing at their own necks. He looked back to the guardsmen who were still alive, fighting on at the sight of the Commissar Lord executing their leader in fear that he would do the same to them.

He noticed the number of lasgun and heavy weapon shots leaving the perimeter were decreasing, the guardsmen were being brought down quicker than he imagined. Out of nowhere a group of scantly clad, slender figures crashed into the flank, barbed whips and cruel blades slicing through the guardsmen’s ranks with ease. Where guardsmen stabbed, their targets had long since moved on, executing each guardsman with grace before rolling underneath the counter attack of his comrade or dancing above their blades. In front his warriors were being cut down by near invisible firepower from the darkened forest, lithe figures skulking barely in sight, moving amongst the shadows.

Before Commissar Lord Bellis’s eyes, a sleek, open topped alien vehicle darted into the midst of the guardsmen’s lines, dual guns spraying tiny projectiles into their ranks, dropping just under a dozen soldiers. The vehicle did not even stop, swooping down into the gap where guardsmen used to stand and slowing down for the briefest of moments as a slender, feminine figure dropped out, holding what looked like a barbed whip and a blade that left mild smoke trails in its wake. She was flanked by four more heavily armoured warriors that immediately started to hack and slash at the guardsmen that were all around them, slicing through armour and bone with ease.

“You face the Emperor’s benediction this day, xeno!” the Commissar yelled, firing his bolt pistol at the lightly armoured figure in the middle. The woman grinned, an evil malice emanating from her expression as bolt pistol shots either went wide or disappeared into shadows that manifested around her. He drew his power sword, crackling with blue energy as the woman just walked towards him, one foot crossing over the other with each step.

“Your Emperor cannot save you, wretch,” the woman replied as she closed in. Bellis released another volley of bolt pistol shots at the approaching woman, though the same outcome occurred, causing her grin to widen. As she closed, he could hear her maniacal giggling. By the Emperor’s will, he would silence this scum.

He swung at her as she closed in, though she deftly stepped to the side. He swung the other way though she was no longer there. Was this alien filth toying with him? The very thought riled him right up, swinging with zeal and the desire to destroy this particular enemy of the Imperium. He felt something attach to his arm, pulling him off balance from behind. He stumbled back and tried to pull his arm from whatever had grabbed at it, though he found that whenever he tried to move, it send pangs of excrutiating pain through his body. He looked at his arm, it was bleeding with a barbed whip wrapped tightly around. He felt her tug at his arm again, though he still retained more physical strength than this alien, turning and raising his bolt pistol to the alien and pulling the trigger once more. With the flick of a wrist, she freed her barbed whip from his arm, ripping chunks of flesh from his arm and causing him to drop his power sword; she pirouetted out of the path of the bolt pistol shots, but with the spray of bullets one impacted with shadows once more that formed in the bolt round’s path. He bent down and reached for his power sword, though before he could take more than two steps, he felt a boot against his side, pushing him aside and making him tumble to the floor. He looked up to see the woman walking over to him again. He raised his bolt pistol, though the woman flicked her whip, catching his wrist and slicing deep, blood oozing through the cracks in his carapace armour. How was a simple whip capable of piercing carapace armour with such ease? He looked up at his assailant, she was still laughing.

Suddenly, one of the Imperial veteran sergeants burst from the continuing melee, seeing the Lord Commissar fall. He charged at the woman, power fist crackling with energy. This would give the Commissar the opening he needed.

Or so he thought.

Still holding the whip in one hand, she flipped her blade in her other hand into a reverse grip, ducking under the veteran’s swing and stabbing it upwards into his stomach. As the blade pierced through his armour, then flesh, the man seemed to shrivel and instantly turned to dust that scattered as a light breeze passed. The Commissar at least figured that the man would struggle as life ebbed from him, though he had never seen a blade turn a man to dust like that. Regardless, he reached for his bolt pistol again, though the woman tugged at her whip once more, sending pain jolting through him once again, his hand recoiling at the sensation. Looking around he could see that his men were all but killed. At least, that would have been favourable, most of them were in fact merely incapacitated, being rounded up by figures in tight fitting, spiky armour. He looked at the woman again, though she now knelt by him, still grinning.

“I wonder how long this one will last,” she mused to herself. Bellis could hardly move, parts of his body were no longer responding to what he willed them to do, the poisons from the whip’s barbs well and truly in his system. She turned her attention to his face, making eye contact with him once more, a terrifying glint in her eyes, though the Commissar Lord would not falter. The Emperor protects his loyal servants.

“So, plaything… How long will you last?”

Esthine Narésiel made her first conquest as Archon of the Kabal of the Venomous Lotus.

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1000pts Kabal of the Venomous Lotus

HQ

Lady Esthine Narésiel – 195pts

Archon – 60pts

Huskblade – 35pts

Agoniser – 20pts

Shadow field – 30pts

Haywire grenades – 5pts

Phantasm grenade launcher – 25pts

Soul trap – 10pts

Elites

Narésiel’s Bodyguard – 178pts

4 Incubi – 88pts

Klaivex Rithin – 15pts

Onslaught – 15pts

Venom – 55pts

Splinter cannon – 0pts

Splinter cannon – 10pts

Night shields – 10pts

Troops

Arts on the Battlefield – 250pts

10 Wyches – 100pts

Haywire grenades – 20pts

Two hydra gauntlets – 20pts

Hekatrix Reythel – 10pts

Agoniser – 20pts

Raider – 60pts

Dark lance – 0pts

Flickerfield – 10pts

Night shields – 10pts

Carrion Birds – 190pts

10 Kabalite Warriors – 90pts

Splinter cannon – 10pts

Raider – 60pts

Dark lance – 0pts

Flickerfield – 10pts

Night shields – 10pts

Splinter racks – 10pts

Fast Attack

Heavy Support

Scourge of the Skies – 165pts

Razorwing Jetfighter – 145pts

Two dark lances – 0pts

Four Monoscythe missiles – 0pts

Night shields – 10pts

Flickerfield – 10pts

Grand Total – 993pts

A Change in Leadership is in Order

“Esthine, open the portal!”

“No… I think not.”

Yeah, I made a reference in the title. No, it is not a story for Chaos, but yes it contains betrayal. It’s a simple fight scene, which I’m not that great at, but… Eh, here it is anyway!

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The doors to Archon Yrinth’s chambers on Commorragh were heavier than Esthine expected. She would have to change that soon, this was an unacceptable imperfection in what she had planned would be her own soon enough. She had arranged everything perfectly, but she did not expect everything to go as planned.

“I know why you’re here, little Dracon,” Archon Yrinth was waiting for her, his blade in his right hand leaving a trail of black smoke as he walked slowly towards her; conversely, his blade in his left writhed, as if alive itself. “Do not think you are the first to try and usurp me. You are no more wise, nor are you more powerful than the rest,” he uttered as he took another step. He was now within striking distance. She knew his capabilities in combat, gripping her agoniser tightly, allowing it to coil out behind her.

He darted for her, his speed impressive, though nothing that she had not seen before. She smiled, sidestepping but not attacking. She needed the right positioning.

He came at her again, this time it seemed as though there were three of him that weaved in and out of each other in order to throw her off balance. A clone field was not unheard of among Archons, especially in his circumstances. She dodged out of the way, though one of his blades caught her in the side, causing her to stumble as trails of crimson rolled down her kaballite armour. Did he…? She figuratively held her breath, though the fact that she had not collapsed was a telling act. Archon Yrinth held up his left hand blade, now spattered with her blood, his other blade clean, still emitting a slight trail of smoke.

“Did you think that I would give you a quick death, little usurper?” he asked, cackling a sadistic laugh before rushing for her again. She put her weight on her back foot, this time cracking her agoniser at one of the figures that rushed for her, dodging into its direction. As her agoniser connected, the figure of the Archon disappeared and she dodged into its path, though again she felt a blade passing up her chest to her shoulder. She stumbled with the momentum of her dodge, clutching at her chest wound. It was fairly deep, but not deep enough to be fatal. Was this a bad idea? She asked herself as she tried to gather her thoughts, though she did not have long before he came at her again, plunging the same blade into her abdomen. It pierced through her armour with ease, she found herself gritting her teeth with the pain as the blade penetrated flesh. Archon Yrinth twisted the blade, eliciting a pained groan from Esthine as she involuntarily grabbed onto the Archon’s shoulder to keep herself on her feet. He kicked her hard and ripped the blade free.

“Did I give you permission to lay your hand upon me?” he asked as she fell to the ground. She still held her agoniser tightly, though even one-on-one, she found herself hopelessly outmatched against the Archon. Perhaps she should have gotten someone else to do the deed? No, this had to be handled by myself, or another would simply take the power and leave me with nothing, she thought to herself as she stirred on the floor. She could barely move, her body was shutting down and her nerve centres were performing to an amplified standard. She lay on her side, bleeding heavily onto the floor as she found herself unable to do anything but look up at the Archon. He was still laughing and grinning.

“You will make an excellent plaything, my pet,” he uttered calmly, slowing his laughter. “Won’t you? You may be too weak to endure much,” he continued as he knelt next to her, placing his pristine huskblade back into its sheathe. Esthine was about to lash out when Archon Yrinth stumbled backwards onto his feet for no apparent reason. Esthine needed no excuse, her only chance of avoiding a terrible fate had presented itself and she would take it. She willed her arm to crack her agoniser to strike at his neck, managing to get the end to wrap itself around between where the helmet met the ghostplate armour. She knew that he was not equipped with his shadow field as she had stolen it previously, however his first attack had caused it to short out; just her luck. He quickly grabbed at the agoniser, but she quickly jerked her wrist, causing the barbs to rake through his armour and his neck, decapitating him in a messy shower of gore. She pulled a small needle from a pouch on her belt and jammed it into her neck, painkillers rushing through her system to counteract the poisons that Archon Yrinth had applied to his djin blade. She clambered to her feet and looked at the headless figure of the former Archon. She grinned, having been nowhere near the next in line for the leadership of the Kabal; her plan had accounted for that, she had dispatched her personal retinue to deal with the competition, confident in Klaivex Rithin and his Incubi unit’s abilities, though not confident enough in their abilities to send them after the Archon himself. He rarely left his chambers, hence the need for a direct approach more akin to the workings of a Wych Cult than a Kabal. Regardless, it had worked and she had proven that she was the most capable; the former Archon’s usage of volatile weapons had been his downfall in the end.

She took his huskblade from his belt, attaching the sheathe to her own belt. There were preparations to make, cults to maintain relationships with and repairs to be done, both mechanical and biological.

Her only regret was that she was unable to savour his pain for longer.

The Tyranid Threat Revealed

(Note: This will be a long post. Lots of things to write into the story)

Ok, so I made a 2000pts army list, but the campaign is shifting again, due to the lack of any presence from one of the Chaos players. Basically, the other Chaos player will be pulling out and the last two games will be 4x 2000pts armies against 2x 4000pts armies. This week it is myself (Eldar, because the organiser likes painted models and he is my friend, so I will gladly oblige), Imperial Armoured Battle Group, Tau and Space Marines against Tyranids.

This would have all been simple to put into the fluff… Until the Space Marine player said that he couldn’t make it, so my friend and his Chaos will be stepping in. How the hell am I supposed to fluff the Eldar not just shooting the forces of Chaos on sight? I did the best I could!

Also, I had to explain what happened with the pair of Inquisitors and their lack of troops in defending the capital hive city, especially as the Armoured Battle Group was whisked away to fight Tyranids. The Chaos forces used as the antagonists were my own, Slaaneshi following Chaos Marines and traitorous Guardsmen.

For my army list, I went for a fluffy mechanised list. Falcons are under-represented, considering that they are the most commonly used Eldar battle tank! The plan for the army is the same as most of my mechanised lists: hit the enemy with heavy firepower and deploy the Aspect Warriors late in the game for the coup de grâce. However, I am facing 8000pts of Tyranids with 6000pts of help from Tau, Imperials and Chaos. My prediction is that it will go horribly as the two Tyranid players have more unity and list synergy than us. Hopefully I can at least pull a moral victory by losing very few, if any, models!

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Farseer Lireia Narésiel sat within the confines of her Wave Serpent transport, her head resting against the wraithbone interior and her eyes were shut. She was breathing heavily, mentally preparing herself for the coming battle. The humans had been left even more short-handed, the humans’ armoured column had been pulled from the capital hive city and the planetary defence force would crumble quickly.

“Farseer Lireia. You must pull back from the capital,” came the voice of one of her Rangers, the message psychically sent through her wraithbone communication devices. He was one that she had sent to observe the hive city. “The humans will not last long enough and we are ill equipped to fight with a force that follows the Great Enemy this size.”

“What are the numbers?” she inquired, opening her eyes suddenly.

“A few hundred humans, assisted by a few dozen Chaos Space Marines, though they are also bolstered by daemons. We do not have the force necessary to fight them alone.”

“What of the humans? Surely they are not so inept as to have been wiped out already.”

“Farseer, you over-estimate the strength of primitives,” the ranger replied, a distaste in his voice. Farseer Lireia looked at the Aspect Warriors within the Wave Serpent, though she was addressed again, this time by one of her Warlocks.

“Farseer, our Rangers have found a critical mass of Tyranids assembling. We must attend to this lest the entire planet be consumed by the horde.” Lireia was silent in response. How had she not seen this force assembling? She placed her palm to her forehead, resting her head on the wraithbone interior of the Wave Serpent again.

“Warriors, we must pull back and regroup with the rest of our forces. The Tyranid menace amasses and we must cull their numbers before they are allowed to snowball out of control,” she addressed her entire warhost, a tired tone to her voice. Immediately, the transports and war walkers turned around and made their way back to the webway portal where the Eldar had made their encampment.

—————

Thump. Thump. Thump. The sound of artillery shells landing outside in the streets drilled into Alyssa’s concentration. The battle was not going well, as she had expected after the armoured column was rushed off elsewhere under circumstances that neither her nor her superior, Inquisitor Lord Tyzell Chaylen, had managed to gather.

“Another group of cultists will approach through the second street,” she murmured into her vox unit as she continued to navigate the different strands of fate. She was trying to hold the planetary defence force together, but it was not working. Their leadership had already crumbled, the captain fleeing the battle and leaving his men to die. Inquisitor Lord Chaylen, had long since led a strike into the heart of the traitor Deredian lines and had gone silent ever since. He was an Inquisitor Lord of the Ordo Malleus. This was his theatre of war, fighting against daemons and traitorous humans. Like the snakes that they were, they had infiltrated the capital hive city either during or after the Iron Warrior occupation. What she was worried about were the facts that Lady Thessa Riobin and Lady Raina Alerin had led their groups on a sabotage mission. She was not worried about their capibility, Alyssa had been a Deredian herself, they were all born light infantry, it was in their blood and in their upbringing. However, as an Inquisitor it was her duty to suspect possible heresy. Could those two have betrayed the Imperium?

She waited for a response over the vox, though she was met with empty noise. There was no response. “Cowards. You have forsaken your duty to the Emperor,” she muttered, gathering up her cards quickly and grabbing her force halberd which crackled with blue witchfire as she clasped it. She stood up from her seated position, placing a finger to her vox unit. “Amarahns, status report!” she ordered though her vox unit, though again there was no response. She cursed under her breath, though a chill ran up her spine. The artillery had stopped.

She quickly removed her deck of cards once more and cast them into the air, each card floating around her. She closed her eyes again and delved into the paths of fate. She could see the forces of the traitors, daemons alongside humans with a handful of Chaos Space Marines overseeing the battle. She could see the ruins in which she resided, her own form broken amidst the rubble. It was not the first time that she had foreseen her own demise, but her pride caused this particular vision to cut deep; she truly hated those who betrayed her and her own people all those years ago.

She gathered the cards up once more. She was reluctant to broadcast on open vox, but from what she saw, it would make no difference anyway. The forces of Chaos would find her anyway and her chances of survival were slim as it was. She was alone and surrounded.

“This is Inquisitor Alyssa Robertson of the Ordo Xenos hailing any and all Imperial forces in the area. The forces of Chaos are overrunning the capital hive city. We cannot lose this location again and so, by my mandate, I order all unengaged Imperial forces to fire upon my position. The Emperor protects; may none find us wanting.” She stopped broadcasting, turning to face the door. Three, two, one.

The door exploded inwards as the entrance to the building was blown open, traitorous Guardsmen rushing in and sending lasgun shots towards Alyssa. She moved alongside the lasbolts, ensuring that she was never in the path of the traitorous fusilage. It was a simple, precognisant trick. She raised her hand and sent blue lightning arcing along the traitorous lines, felling a score of cultists. The others started to run towards her, though again she merely arced the lightning along them, causing all but one of them to drop to the floor, charred and lifeless. The final one jumped at her, swinging a knife that she dodged with an almost casual nature, bringing her force halberd up his torso, rending through his armour and separating his body, splitting in half at the waist like a bloody, wet banana peel.

“The Emperor’s justice comes for all,” she muttered, gathering herself once again. She knew that was not the last of them, but she had bought some time to search for an escape route. She could not venture outside, she could feel the presences of both physical and Warp beings out there, but this old Imperial building had to have some sort of tunnel or back door. Her search did not last long before a pair of pink daemons manifested, their lithe forms a perversion of the human body with large claws for hands. The daemons licked their lips with forked tongues as they moved towards Alyssa with speed that no regular human could hope to manage.

She dodged below the swing of the first daemonette, though the claw of the second one caught her leg, piercing through her advanced mesh armour and calf with ease. She let out a pained cry as she shifted her weight onto her functional leg, swiping at the offending daemonette with her force weapon. She caught the form of the daemon, cleaving it cleanly in two and causing it to dematerialise. The other one did not hesitate, stabbing forwards at Alyssa’s chest once again, catching her near her shoulder and shattering her collarbone. She tumbled backwards to the floor, the daemonette looming above her for the final, killing blow. Alyssa clenched her teeth her left hand swirling with psychic witchfire. She could not raise her force halberd, she could barely move her right arm without unbearable pain. The daemonette brought it’s claws down, but it caught a heavy wave of psychic lightning in the chest, causing it to flicker out of existence like the other.

Alyssa breathed a heavy sigh of relief, dragging herself backwards to a pile of rubble and pulling herself onto it. She still clutched her force halberd, though her right arm just hung limply by her side. She could not stand and could not wield her force halberd any longer. She did not care if it was her fate to die here, she was going to resist. More cultists were moving into the building and loosing lasbolts in her direction, catching her in the chest and abdomen. The impacts caused her to fall to the ground again, her entire form going limp as she lost consciousness. Emperor protect my soul.

—————

The Wave Serpents pulled into the Eldar encampment, the Aspect Warriors filing out. Finally, Farseer Lireia walked down the ramp, immediately making her way over to her seer council.

“What are we looking at?” she inquired as she approached, the group of Warlocks turning to meet her.

“Tyranid monstrosities are amassing. We predict that our foothold on the planet will be moot if they are allowed to amass many more beasts,” one Warlock replied. “We should amass our forces and strike at them quickly,” he continued, still facing Lireia. She thought for a moment. She did not wish to engage them in combat, for where primitives outnumbered her warhost at least hundreds to one, the Tyranids had the numbers to outnumber her by the thousands.

“Allow me to cast the runes. I shall consult the skeins of fate for our best course of action in this,” she replied, turning away and reaching into her small rune pouch, grabbing a hold of them and casually casting them into the air, allowing them to orbit her form slowly with faint blue lights.

A few long minutes passed as she stood in place, periodically plucking orbs from the air, interpreting the runes with a frown. Once she had finished, she gathered them up, placing them back into her rune pouch and making her way back to the Warlocks who were busy strategising.

“Mobilise the warhost, we will strike at their numbers from a distance and retreat before they can mobilise against us,” she instructed, causing a group of the Warlocks to immediately fan out and gather the Aspect Warriors. Lireia reached out to her troops. “Brothers and sisters. The Tyranids are amassing and soon will have the numbers to start a planetary culling. Our objective lies undone and we will not allow them to force us off the planet. Today, we will strike at the horde and thin their numbers, much like how we deal with Orks and Imperials. We strike, then fall back into the shadows.”

She made her way over to one of the Falcon tanks, flanked by five of her Warlocks. She lay a hand on the wraithbone hull and grimaced. She did not have the warriors available for any mistakes to be made. She had to do this perfectly.

—————

Traitorous Guardsmen started to move towards the inanimate body of Inquisitor Alyssa Robertson, their lasguns trained on her form.

“Dasin, check her,” one of them spoke out, his lasgun still trained on the Inquisitor. One of the cultists stepped out from behind, walking slowly towards the body of the Inquisitor. He did not make it far before stopping, looking around.

“Hey, you hear that?” the cultist asked, turning to look back at his squad. They started to look around again, though the cultist leader shook his head.

“I don’t care, just put a lasbolt through the bitch’s head and let’s go.” His voice was impatient, but slightly shaky as an audible whistle could be heard. Dasin turned around again, though before he could take another step the ceiling caved in on him and a large, dark red pod crashed in behind them, causing the cultists to jump and turn to face it. The cultist leader’s eyes widened, raising his lasgun at it. “Shoot it,” he yelled, opening fire with his lasgun, though his weapon seemed to bounce off the armoured hull. Slowly, the sides of the pod folded outwards and huge, armoured individuals strode out, armour the same dark crimson of the pod, opening fire into the cultists and cutting them down in a matter of seconds. One of the individuals strode out, stepping through the dead bodies of the cultists, crushing their torso’s under his giant armoured boot. He knelt down, placing his boltgun next to Alyssa’s inanimate body. He gently turned her over, or rather, as gently as he could before placing a finger to the side of his helmet, activating his vox unit.

“Tempestor Prime Alerin, converge on my position. We have found Inquisitor Robertson, though she is badly wounded,” he growled, his voice grating through his helmet’s vox-grill.

“Yes, my Lord,” came a woman’s voice over his vox unit. He stood back up, picking up his boltgun again and turning back to his squad.

“Brothers, form a defensive perimeter around this building. No traitors will come within a hundred metres of this building,” he growled at them, immediately causing them to stir into action, taking up different positions around the building and pointing their weapons out on the street, the sergeant standing guard over Alyssa’s body. A large group of cultists were already moving up the street and the Space Marines’ bolters opened up into them, sending explosive bolts into the front ranks and causing the ones behind to be showered in blood and gore. The remainder darted into the side streets and started to fire back, though the lasguns used by the cultists were nothing compared to the boltguns of the Space Marines, tearing chunks into the buildings and the cultists hiding behind them.

Above the Space Marine position a squadron of Valkyrie roared overhead and twenty five figures dropped from the backs, five from the centre one and ten from each flanking flyer. As the figures descended, flashes of light erupted into the cultist lines, searing through armour and flesh alike.

“Sergeant Emerus, we are approaching your position from above,” came the same female voice as before, grey armoured units descending onto the rooftop of the building. A helmeted individual pointed towards the edge of the roof. “Squad one, take position on the edge and give supporting fire, squad two with me,” she uttered quietly over her vox, filing into the building and descending the stairs to see the Space Marine sergeant still standing guard over the Inquisitor’s fallen body. She motioned over to the Inquisitor. “Iten, it’s time to work,” she uttered as she turned to the squad’s medic, before directing the rest of her units to the front, “the rest of you, these heretics are not going to just give up. Go and spread the Emperor’s punishment to these foul traitors.”

As the rest of the Tempestus soldiers moved over to the front of the ruins to lend their support to the Space Marines, Tempestor Prime Lilyne Alerin approached the Space Marine, saluting the sergeant in a quick, snappy motion, before making her way to the medic who was carefully tending to the Inquisitor’s broken form. He glanced up at her as she approached.

“She’ll live, but by the Emperor is she messed up,” Iten informed Lilyne, looking back down to continue working on the Inquisitor’s wounds.

“Understood. Carry on, Iten,” she replied, turning and walking over to the side of the Space Marine sergeant, hot-shot laspistol in hand.

Outside, the cultists were being routed across the city as Space Marines and Tempestus Scions alike descended from the sky and into the capital hive, their zeal in hunting those that were once their brothers in arms was unmatched.

—————

“Farseer, the forces of the Tau, Imperials and Chaos seem to have some sort of agreement,” the voice of one of the Craftworld’s Rangers echoed through her wraithbone communication device.

“Then I assume we have more enemies to fight than just the Tyranids? Fate would have us do all the work it seems,” she replied, shaking her head. This was the last thing that she needed.

“Should we start to remove their commanders? Without leadership, they could prove an excellent speed bump for the Tyranid swarm,” the Ranger asked. Lireia pulled her runes out once more, casting them within the cramped confines of the Falcon tank in which she sat, her Warlock bodyguards in company. She effortlessly plucked one from the air, raising a curious eyebrow. Interesting.

“No. Fate has shown me another path. If we can perform our parts well, we may be able to put an end to two enemies in one swoop. Maintain watch for now and inform me of any changes.”

“As you wish, Farseer.”

“Brothers and sisters,” Lireia started, addressing her entire assembled strikeforce. It comprised of the vast majority of Eldar who decided to stay on the planet which, suffice to say, was not many. “An opportunity has arisen for us. The humans, Tau and forces of Chaos have entered into an agreement to fight the Tyranids. We will use them as a distraction whilst we perform our objectives here and pull away before they inevitably turn on us. If we play our parts well, we will remove multiple obstacles in one go.”

One of her Warlocks instantly turned to face her, addressing her directly. “Farseer,” he started, his voice concerned, “this is ludicrous, we should destroy the forces of Chaos where they stand!”

“Such an act would rouse the hostility of those that they have entered an agreement with. The Imperials would gladly lend us aid in that, but the Tau, in their naivety, would likely defend the forces of Chaos. As we fought, the Tyranids would consume us all.” Lireia did not even turn to face the Warlock. She was honestly sick and tired of so many people doubting her decisions.

She was confident that she could pull this off.

————————————————————————————————————–

2000pts Ithyl-Loc Strikeforce

*Counts as The Spirit Stone of Anath’lan

HQ

Farseer Lireia Narésiel – 145pts

Farseer – 100pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Runes of warding – 10pts

Runes of witnessing – 15pts

Rune of the Everwarden* – 15pts

Lireia’s Seer Council – 220pts

6 Warlocks – 210pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Singing spear – 5pts

Elites

Troops

Disciples of Asurmen – 275pts

10 Dire Avengers – 130pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter laser – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

A Thousand Blades – 275pts

10 Dire Avengers – 130pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked scatter laser – 5pts

Shuriken cannon – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Storm of Blades – 78pts

6 Dire Avengers – 78pts

Tears of Isha – 250pts

10 Guardian Defenders – 90pts

Shuriken cannon – 15pts

Wave Serpent – 115pts

Twin-linked Eldar missile launchers – 15pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Eyes of the Craftworld – 96pts

8 Rangers – 96pts

Fast Attack

Sentinels of the Infinity Circuit – 152pts

8 Warp Spiders – 152pts

Heavy Support

Gift of Anaris – 150pts

Falcon – 125pts

Scatter laser – 10pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Faolchú’s Deliverance – 145pts

Falcon – 125pts

Starcannon – 5pts

Holo-fields – 15pts

Fury of Khaine – 210pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

War Walker – 60pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Scatter laser – 5pts

Grand Total – 1996pts

Whoever said that 6th edition killed mechanised armies just isn't doing it right!

Whoever said that 6th edition killed mechanised armies just isn’t doing it right!

There is Hope Yet!

Some of you who know me will know that I occasionally have a distaste for us as a race. We tend to do really stupid things and sometimes make me question our place on the evolutionary ladder.

However, last night’s Eurovision Song Contest proved that we, as a species, have some hope! For those who do not know, Eurovision is a song contest where each European country enters a performer who will sing a song on stage, accompanied by all the usual bells and whistles, and then be voted on by the other European countries using a sort of ranking score system where they tally up the votes in their country and assign them a score of 1 – 8, 10 and 12. I usually do not care that much about the results, but this year was different. Conchita Wurst of Austria, a male-to-female transgender, took the top spot with 290 points, beating back the Netherlands with 238 points and Sweden, the favourites to win it this year, with 218. The song that Conchita performed was called “Rise, Like a Phoenix”, a very James Bond-esque style ballad, which was quite well done.

What does this mean? Well, I do not believe that society as a whole are ready to accept transgender people in the same way as it has grown to accept lesbians, gays and bisexuals, some comments that I have read around have proven that there are still those closed minded individuals who are unable to comprehend the notion of a non-binary gender identity. What it does show, however, is a step in the right direction. In twenty years time, could we be looking back at Eurovision as a turning point in history? Could it be the spark that ignites the fires of acceptance (really cheesy, I know) for the transgender community. This writer certainly hopes so; people should be who they want to be without fear of discrimination or stigmatisation.

What was interesting to see was the animosity towards the Russians. Whilst this is both unsurprising and obvious as to why it happened, I did feel bad for the Tolmachevy sisters who got booed every time a country gave Russia a good number of points, and the Russian representative, who got booed as she gave Russia’s scores out. What is going on in the world is not their fault, nor should they receive negative reactions just because Putin is a jerk.

Also, in case you were wondering, my favourites were, in this order:
Austria
Switzerland (did NOT get the recognition they deserved)
Sweden
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Iceland
Finland
Azerbaijan

I can claim partial national pride for the Netherlands coming in second, being a quarter Dutch. I mean, the UK will never do that well so this is the best I can get!

The scores can be found here, as well as details for all of the acts and videos of the performances.