Red Corsairs – some photos

I haven’t had the opportunity (nor a good enough camera) to take photos of my army yet, so these pics taken at a Planetstrike 2000+2000 versus 2000+2000 pts. tournament I attended today will have to suffice for now.

This is Sobek the Devourer, Daemon Prince of Nurgle. That grey stuff obscuring his feet is cotton wool; wifts of smoke where an Imperial Guard Chimera was torn apart by the monstrous creature’s mighty blows.

These two guys are half of my Chaos Space Marine Obliterators. I’m not a big fan of the current white-metal Oblits, so I made my own instead using Chaos Terminators, some Ork guns from my bitz box, and a whole lot of green stuff. I’m quite satisfied with these conversions.

Action footage from the tournament. That lone Obliterator watched his companion get incinerated by the Leman Russ. He then proceeded to tear the Russ some new orifices.

That’s one of my Red Corsairs squads popping a Chimera open to get to the squishy insides. Yes, I did try to break the Chimera open with meltaguns and bolt pistols in the shooting phase, but the dice don’t always roll the way they’re supposed to, so I had to finish the job the old fashioned way: with a Power Fist.

Here’s a close-up of one of the first models I painted for this army. I was still learning the ropes, and getting the paint schemes and techniques right at this point, and that kind of shows in the lack detail and general untidiness. I should go back to the start and give all of my troops a touch-up.

That’s some of my Plague Marines. This was at the end of my 6 week run, and the rush was really starting to show, as I did two whole squads of these guys in a few days. The basic color scheme is really easy, actually; some purposefully untidy drybrushing, and a few coats of washes.

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Red Corsairs vs. Liberators Battle Report

Day and night, for years and years, the forges of Geryon had churned out weapons and armor for the Red Corsairs’ eternal crusade of terror. The tyrant Daemon Prince had reigned supreme for a very long time. The lives and souls of every man, woman, and child on Geryon were his to crush with labour or destroy on a whim. Freedom was but a fever dream for those poor, cursed wretches. When an encrypted communique managed to worm its way through to the people of Geryon, the last, flickering flame of hope was fanned into a bonfire. The communique read thus: “People of Geryon! Steel your hearts, and stand fast! Arm yourselves, and rise up against your oppressors! Look to the skies, for we are coming. Soon you shall be Liberated!

The weak, reddish, light of two distant suns filtered through the dust-filled atmosphere of Geryon Prime. The spires of the forge world’s capital hub city jutted out of the barren landscape like the rusted bones of a dead giant. On the plains just west of the city, a lone rhino troop carrier made its way past alien rock formations. Sobek the Devourer, a Daemon Prince of Nurgle, captain of the Red Corsairs, and second in rank only to Huron Blackheart himself, cursed the insolence of the slaves of the False Emperor, who had dared make planetfall on this particular backwater planet. HIS planet. The Red Corsairs in the lone rhino had been sent on a reconnaissance mission. They didn’t know it yet, but they were the bait, that would draw the Liberators out of hiding. Soon Sobek heard the high-pitched whine of the stratosphere-burning attack craft’s jet engines, and the rumble of Adeptus troop carriers. They were here! Sobek spread his mighty wings, and gave the rest of his army the signal to advance.

This battle was fought between my Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines and Frenzy’s Liberators chapter Space Marines (counts-as Blood Angels). The armies were 1750 pts. My army was similar to the one I posted earlier, although I switched some Berzerkers and Chaos Space Marines for a small horde of Plague Zombies (counts-as Lesser Daemons). I don’t have Frenzy’s list at hand, but it contained a Librarian, a Corpsman (Sanguinary Priest), two Dreadnoughts, a squad of Assault Terminators, a Storm Raven, two Predators, a squad of attack bikes, and several small squads of Tactical and Assault Marines in Razorbacks. The mission was Seize Ground using the Dawn of War deployment.

Deployment

The Red Corsairs won the roll-off, and chose to deploy a rhino full of Chaos Space Marines, and the Sobek the Daemon Prince in the middle of the board, about a foot apart. This was done to deny the Liberators as much ground as possible. The Liberators deployed in the far left corner.

Turn 1

The Red Corsairs armor rolled onto the field, followed by the Obliterators. The Obliterators took aim across the field, but were unable to find anything to shoot at.

The Liberators’ Razorbacks and Predators rolled into view on the left side of the board, as far away as possible from the Daemon Prince and the Vindicator, making good use of the refused flank tactic. The Storm Raven zoomed down from the same corner towards the centre of the field, its pilot anxious to deliver its deadly payload of Assault Terminators and Dreadnought. Two units were kept in reserve. Lascannon rounds, missiles, and searing plasma streaked across the plain, but due to poor die rolls and the night fighting rules, nothing much came of it.

Turn 2

As long dead soldiers answered the summons of Grandfather Nurgle, and rose from the ground to advance on the invading Liberators, the Red Corsair battle-line made haste to counter for the enemy’s deployment tactic, swiveling sharply to the left. The two Obliterator squads opened fire on the Attack Bikes, managing to take down two. Rhinos rumbled forward, and the Red Corsairs inside opened fire on the Storm Raven, which came crashing down. The Plague Zombies, eyes burning with hatred, assaulted the attack bike squadron, tearing one of the riders limb from limb.

The Liberators’ reserves unit rolled onto the field from the far right. The Corpsman joined the Assault Terminator squad, and advanced on the Red Corsairs’ main force through ruined buildings. The Librarian and a unit of marines advanced on a squad of Red Corsairs. The Furioso Dreadnought stomped out of the Storm Raven’s wreckage, and opened fire on the Berzerkers’ Rhino, managing to pop it open with it’s meltagun. One of the Razorback’s managed to score a hit on the Chaos Vindicator, destroying it’s main weapon, and thus rendering it practically useless. Screaming vox-amplified battle cries, the Furioso crashed into the Berzerkers, tearing two of them in half for no damage in return.

Turn 3

The Plague Marines disembarked and opened fire on the fire support Dreadnought, melting it into slag. The Obliterators’ lascannon shot didn’t due much of anything to any of the Liberator Razorbacks due to heavy cover. The other Plague Marine squad joined their Red Corsair allies in the melee with the librarian-lead marine squad. The plague zombies continued mauling the bikers, managing to break the last one of them. Rushing after it, the lone attack bike rider had no choice but to stand fast. The Berzerker Skull Champion tore open the Furioso, rupturing its reactor core, and blowing it to pieces.

The Liberator Assault Terminators destroyed a a Red Corsairs Rhino, the Librarian and the squad had joined killed a few Plague Marines and broke the Red Corsairs in the same combat, forcing them to fall back.

Turn 4

The other squad of Plague Marines charge and destroy the Librarian’s squad, forcing the lone Librarian to take flight. The Daemon Prince and the Berzerkers attempt to charge the Assault Terminators, who fall back and regroup.

The Liberators’ Predator enters the field, and opens fire, managing to whittle down the last of the Daemon Prince’s wounds, and sending the Tyrant screaming into the Warp. The Assault Terminators charge the Berzerkers. A Razorback on the right flank fires on a small squad of Red Corsairs holding an objective, forcing them to flee. The last remaining Plague Zombie, still deadlocked against the last remaining Attack Biker prevents the Librarian from regrouping, and forcing him off the field.

Turn 5

The remaining squad of Plague Marines leap into their Rhino, and rush to take the objective on the far right. The Chaos Vindicator attempts to ram the Liberators’ Razorback, but is unsuccessful. The rest of the Berzerkers are sent to meet Khorne. The Obliterarots move in on the objective in the left corner of the field, and manage to destroy another razorback with lascannon fire. The Attack Bike, down to its last wound, finally manages to kill off the last zombie.

The rammed Razorback backs up, and puts the pedal to the metal, managing to reach an uncontested objective. The Liberator Space Marines crawl out the wrecked Razorback, and manage to take another objective, this one contested by a lone Obliterator. The Assault Terminators, joined by the Corpsman pour everything they’ve got into the contesting Obliterator, who takes it, remains standing, and retaliate by killing the Corpsman. The game ends on a very, very close fought draw with both sides holding one objective, and a third objective contested.

The Daemon Prince tyrant of Geryon had been sent back into the Immaterium, but the Red Corsairs forces holding the Forge Planet were still strongly entrenched, and it was only a matter of time until the Daemon Prince returned. The war for Geryon would go on…

Red Corsairs – Genesis

Less than three months ago I didn’t have a single painted Red Corsair miniature. In fact, the whole of my 40K-collection consisted of a a small, half-heartedly half-painted Ork force, and some odds and ends from a few other armies. And I was getting nowhere with those Orks. The task of painting some 80+ green-skins, plus transports, tanks and warbikes just seemed too daunting.

Enter Nopat ja Taktiikat and their 40K for Old Fogies (minimun age 30 to attend) tournament. Suddenly I had valid reason to get involved with tournament style gaming again. The only problem was I didn’t actually have an army to play with. Casting about for a while looking for something that would captivate my imagination, and I’d be able to paint in the six weeks I had before the tournament, I eventually went back to my first love: Chaos Space Marines.

My first ever WH40K army had been Chaos Space Marines, and I had some fond memories of playing my Emperor’s Children during the glorious days of WH40K 3rd edition, when power armored rhino rush was the way to go, and the CSM were real contenders, with a spanking new codex full of all sorts of goodies. These days, the followers of the Ruinous Powers have to settle for an outdated codex, that wasn’t that hot even when it came out. All of the interesting choices are gone, most of the units got nerfed, the choice of daemons got trimmed down to just two entries.

With all of the major types of Space Marines sporting way newer codices full of cool, top-notch stuff, Chaos was simply out of the running, or rather, the army selection was so trimmed down, that anyone with half a brain would just ditch about half of the entries, and double up on what was left. Thus, the “tournament standard” CSM lists all look pretty much alike: Two Daemon Princes with the Lash of Submission power (occasionally one of the princes might get swapped for a Chaos Sorcerer with the Lash, just for variety), as many Obliterators as possible (6 or 9, depending on tournament specific restrictions), and the rest of the points spent on Plague Marine squads with Meltaguns and Rhinos. This list is rather straightforward, and works reasonably well, but when you’ve seen it umpteen times, it kinda gets old.

Anyway, back on topic. I had six weeks to paint a 1750 point army, and zero practical experience with the 5th edition rules. With some (well, plenty) of advice from a veteran wargamer friend of mine, I was able to put together a working army list, and got painting. I almost made it, too. A co-worker helped out with the Berzerker squad, and I had to borrow three rhinos from the above-mentioned friend, but at least it was all Chaos, and all painted and ready for battle, just in time for the tournament!

The tournament commenced with a match-up against a veteran Ork player (who eventually won the whole tournament). The results were rather expected, as my Red Corsairs got soundly trashed in their first ever outing. Next up, an Annihilation mission with Spearhead deployment facing a vanilla Space Marine army without a single tank or troop transport, which meant my army had about double my opponent’s kill points. To make matters worse, the middle of the gaming board consisted of a killing field, conveniently overlooked by the two-story bunkers in my opponent’s deployment zone. Still, I did manage to turn a massacre into just a narrow defeat, so not too shabby. The third, and last game of the tournament was against another Ork player. My Daemon Prince was on a roll, killing mega-nobs, and demolishing trukks left and right, and the berzerkers didn’t do too badly either, at one time managing to massacre an ork mob in a single furious charge.

One victory, one narrow defeat, and one total defeat. Not so bad for a first timer, eh? And I did manage to rack up plenty of gaming experience. Next time around, the Red Corsairs wouldn’t be so easily dealt with. Mark my words, by the Ruinous Powers! Yarr!

Next up: Some more practice games, the rest of the rhinos painted, a new unit, and gearing up for a 2000+2000 pts. Planetstrike team battle tournament.

The Red Corsairs are here!

“Following the events of the Badab War, the surviving Astral Claws broke through the Imperial blockade and fled to the Maelstrom, taking the broken body of their Chapter Master Lufgt Huron with them. Huron turned to the ruinous powers in order to survive and still leads the remnants against the Imperium, though they now call themselves the Red Corsairs.”
– The Lexicanum

The Red Corsairs, the followers of Huron Blackheart, are a force of Chaos Space Marines operating out of the Maelstrom. Followers of Chaos Unaligned, yet welcoming to Chaos Space Marine cultists venerating a single Ruinous Power, the Red Corsairs are a varied force, who’s combat doctrine concentrates on making the most out of the forces at ones disposal, fast armoured assault supported by Obliterator onslaught, and furious close-range combat with meltagun, bolter and chainsword. Other cultist support includes Plague Marines of Nurgle, and blood-frenzied Khornate Berzerkers. Whenever Huron himself is occupied elsewhere, it is his second-in-command, Sobek the Devourer, a cultist of Nurgle elevated to Daemon Prince status, who leads the Red Corsairs on their piratical raids.

Those in the know have most likely deciphered that the slightly prosaic description above is a reflection of one of the few (possibly even the only) viable competitive Chaos Space Marine army builds using the current, fourth edition codex. This post is also a slight deviation from the usual topics this blog covers. It’s about miniatures wargaming, more specifically Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40.000, a game I’ve played on and off for almost two decades, and recently gotten heavily re-involved in. This post (and possible follow-up posts on the same topic) is about the army I’m currently painting and gaming with, the Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines.

In this and future posts I will write about anything and everything relating to Chaos Space Marines, the progress I’m making with the army, me learning to play using those newfangled 5th edition rules, and reports on how I’ve been doing on the battlefields of the 41st century.

My army is currently at 1750 points. I have this army completely painted to a gaming standard, and I’m currently in the progress of building up to 2000 points. Without further ado, on to the meaty bits of wargaming geekdom, the army list.

HQ
Sobek the Devourer (Daemon Prince of Nurgle)
Wings, Mark of Nurgle, Warptime

Troops
Murat’s Crew (10 Chaos Space Marines)
Aspiring Champion w. Power Fist, 2x Melta Gun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino, Dozer blade

Barbossa’s Crew (10 Chaos Space Marines)
Aspiring Champion w. Power Fist, 2x Melta Gun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino, Dozer blade

Angra’s Crew (9 Khorne Berzerkers)
Skull Champion w. Power Fist, Rhino, Dozer blade

Typhon’s Crew (5 Plague Marines)
2x Melta Gun, Rhino

Plagueis’ Crew (5 Plague Marines)
2x Melta Gun, Rhino

Heavy Support
Beasts of the Deep (2 Obliterators)

Beasts of the Deep (2 Obliterators)

Black Bess (Chaos Space Marine Vindicator)
Daemonic Possession

Various kinds of gaming

It has been almost a months since my last blog-post, so an update on my gaming-related activities is in order.

Role-Playing

Working full time (from 12 pm to 6 pm most weekdays, and one or two Saturdays per month as well) has really taken its toll on the amount of free time and energy I have available for traditional Pen & Paper role-playing. I still don’t have an ongoing role-playing campaign of my own, as the logistics of getting a group together regularly is just too much work, not to mention the time it would take to do the planning of the actual game sessions. I’ve tried getting together a regular group for some kind of low-maintenance gaming, but finding three-four other people with schedules matching my own, who’d also be interested in the same kind of gaming I am has proven a hurdle I haven’t been able to pass. I haven’t given up hope yet, though, so I guess I’ll continue planning for possible campaigns. The latest idea I have is running a mini-campaign of “Good Old Days” Vampire: The Masquearade, but as the people I used to game with are (if possible) even more timetable-challenged than I am, I don’t expect this project to take off from the ground any time soon.

Role-Playing at Tapiolan Pelikauppa is still going strong, with Jim running Lamentations of the Flame Princess bi-weekly. Our second in-store game at the moment is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition, which I’m game mastering myself. We’ve only played one session of it so far, but we had a record attendance of seven players. The rules system used is way heavier than LotFP, and as the group was rather large, we didn’t get that much actual role-playing done. I think I’ll have to limit the gaming group’s size somewhat, as eight people at one table is just too much.

There’s also the small(ish) matter of key time hours (paying hours) dedicated to something which doesn’t directly correlate to numbers (e.g. sales), so at the moment I’m doing this pretty much on my own, non-paying time. It doesn’t, however, come as that big a surprise to me that role-players are crappy customers, who think the hobby should be free, and any book that’s over 20€ is too expensive, but as I haven’t really sold anything role-playing related in two-three months, the sad fact of RPG non-viability as a product category in Finnish retail is really starting to sink in. (Yes, they told me. At least I gave it a shot.)

Console gaming

Console gaming is something I indulge in on a semi-regular basis, mostly for the sake of keeping up with new releases. I have a Playstation 3 console I got as a birthday present from my lovely wife, but I haven’t had that much time to actually play some of the newer games I’m really interested in (Fallout: New Vegas for instance). My hand-held Nintendo DS console gets a lot more attention, however, as the relative ease of popping the lid open and just playing for a few minutes makes it the ideal console for the timetable-challenged. The Nintendo also has a strong nostalgia factor for me, as the 8-bit was one of my first consoles, and I’m of the generation who was of appropriate age when Donkey Kong and other hand-held consoles became all the rage in the 80’s. I’m currently playing a Legend of Zelda NDS game, and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which is another one of those Japanese, vaguely role-playish games where you fight monsters, do quests, gather experience points, and horde loot. Not great, but still good fun gaming. There are also a few puzzle-type games I’m looking into at the moment, the Ace Attorney and the Professor Layton series of games chief among them.

Wargaming

My other love is tabletop wargaming, which I’ve ben involved with on and off for the past two decades or so. I was on a hiatus from it for a few years, but working in a gaming store specializing in wargaming has really re-ignited my interest in the hobby. I’m currently working on and gaming with a Chaos Space Marine army, which is at about 1750 points at the moment. The current CSM Codex is kind of crap (Curse you Gav Thorpe!), and not really competitive with the real big boys of WH40K (in my opinion the three Space Marine Codices, and Orks). Chaos Space Marines (more specifically Emperor’s Children) was the army I started with way back when, however, so I’m sticking to my guns, and slowly expanding my army while I wait for a new edition Codex, which hopefully won’t suck as much as the current one.

My army is themed around the Red Corsairs, a force of piratical Chaos Space Marines operating out of the Warp Storm known as the Maelstrom. I’ve played only five proper-size WH40K 5th Edition games so far, and I’ve mainly taken a beating from more experienced players, but I’m slowly improving, learning how to utilize my army’s strengths, and how to counter some of the stock tactics of other types of armies. The tally so far is three games against Orks (one narrow victory, and two defeats), a game against Space Marines (a narrow defeat), and a game against another CSM army (a tie). Next up, I need to paint two more Rhino troop transports, the special character Huron Blackheart, and a Squad of Noise Marines, all of these for a Planetstrike tournament in four week’s time.

That’s it for now. Tally ho, Yarr, Blood for the Blood God, Stay frosty, and above all, Keep gaming!