Cult of the Frigid Razor

The Morrighan was ancient beyond belief. She had seen empires rise and crumble. She had witnessed the fall of the Eldar race, the flight into the Webways, the founding of Comorragh, the brutal power-struggles that ensued, and eventually the rise of the upstart Vect. She had bid her time in the shadow of Lelith, waiting for her hour of might. Her cult, The Frigid Razor, was strong, and grew stronger with each season of gladiatorial combat culling the weakest from the flock. The Morrighan’s aeons of planning were finally about to give fruit. And yet she couldn’t shake the nagging feeling, that something was missing from the puzzle… She would have to consult the Crones.

Alright! Progress report time. I’ve settled on a paint scheme, that I’m satisfied with, both in terms of overall look, and speed of painting. The main colours are hawk turquoise and red gore, with some ice blue and fortress gray added to the mix. I’ve assembled the succubus, three reavers, and ten wyches, and painted the reavers and one of the hecatrixes (hecatrixi?). I was at the store painting with a friend and co-worker, and he was kind enough to snap a few photos of my miniatures. Tell me what you think.

A New Darkness Arises

Shrill screams pierced the eternal night. Frigid winds blew, forming icicles on crooked iron spires. The scent of blood lay heavy in the air. The wyches were getting restless, and the death-screams of wretched slaves were testament to this. The Morríghan savored the moment, licking her blood-red lips. Soon her covens would be strong enough to take their rightful place among the cruel Commorragh elite. Soon, very soon…

I started thinking about a new army a short while back, and after a rather arduous process of elimination came to the conclusion that there really is only one choice for me… the Dark Eldar. I plan on starting out with a small army list, get those painted, play a few games, and try to learn the inns and outs of the Dark Eldar army. I also plan on staying away from internet forums full of know-it-all’s, and instead try and discover what makes the Dark Eldar tick on my own, through the time-tested method of trial and error.

This much I know so far: There are going to be a lot of Wyches. There won’t be too many Raiders. I will only use models I actually like. The colour scheme will be cold and grim.

Here’s what I plan to start with:

Cult of the Frigid Razor
HQ
The Morríghan (Succubus)
Agoniser, Haywire Grenades

The Crone Mothers (2 Haemonculi)
2x Liquifier Gun

Troops
Ceridwen’s coven (10 Wyches)
Hecatrix, Power Weapon, Blast Pistol, Haywire Grenades

Blodeuwedd’s coven (10 Wyches)
Hecatrix, Power Weapon, Blast Pistol, Haywire Grenades

Fast Attack
The Skyrazors (3 Reavers)
Heat Lance, Arena Champion, Power Weapon

Total 618

The Red Corsairs Mk. II

I’ve recently been tinkering with my army list, trying to find something new and interesting to play with. I’ve also played some test games, and gotten some new models painted. In a previous post I bemoaned the fact, that most viable lists are variations of the same list. To a point this is still true, but I think I’ve managed to find a combination that at least manages to provide me with a slightly different gaming experience. And here it is: The Red Corsairs Mk. II, now with added BOOM!

Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines 1750 pts.

HQ
King Hell (Chaos Sorcerer)
Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission

Voormas the Violator (Chaos Sorcerer)
Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission

Elites
Barakka’s Blood Reavers (3 Chaos Terminators)
Reaper Autocannon & Chainfist, 2x Combi-Melta & Power Weapon

The Kraken (Chaos Land Raider)
Dozer Blade

Troops
Murat’s Crew (5 Chaos Space Marines)
Melta Gun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino

Barbossa’s Crew (5 Chaos Space Marines)
Melta Gun, Icon of Chaos Glory, Rhino

Jagha’s Crew (10 Chaos Space Marines)
2x Melta Gun, Icon of Chaos Glory

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

Heavy Support
Black Bess (Chaos Vindicator)
Daemonic Possession

Scylla (Chaos Vindicator)
Daemonic Possession

Beasts of the Deep (3 Obliterators)

The Sorcerers go with the five man squads into the Rhinos. Now that Lash isn’t a shooting attack anymore, the Sorcerer can lash out of a Rhino that has moved full tilt and popped its smoke launchers, which should provide targets for all that heavy artillery. The Land Raider deploys empty, and the ten man squad goes in there. The Terminators can either deep strike or start on the field, hammering away at all those soft Rhino and Chimera hulls.

The main difference between this list and the previous one is that there is more firepower, but it is generally shorter range, so the Rhinos with the Sorcerers need move up fast, and start bunching together targets for the 24″ range Vindicators, who also need to get a move on fast. The Obliterators and the Land Raider can hang back, since their range is a lot better. The squad in the Land Raider is there for taking objectives, so don’t stay too far back for too long. The army as a whole isn’t fast, so objectives on the opponent’s side of the field must be kept in mind from turn one.

I’ve played two games with this army now, both Annihilations, and both decisive victories. Methinks I need to test my mettle against more capable generals next…

The Chaos Space Marine conundrum

Since I last did a major update on my Red Corsairs Chaos Space Marines I’ve managed to play quite a few games, and try a lot of different army compositions and unit types. My game tally is about average. I win some games, but I tie far more, and lose about half of my games. I especially struggle against Imperial Guard (who I can’t match in firepower), and Space Wolves (who I can’t match in close combat prowess, nor sheer cost effectiveness across the board). I’ve tried including an even mix of interesting and effective army build choices in my lists, but the more games I lose, the more the lists tend to start leaning towards the more optimized builds. I’m not quite there yet, but I will eventually get to the point where the CSM army I’m fielding is a carbon copy of the so-called CSM standard tournament build.

Why is this? The short of it is the Codex is underpowered, the units are for the most part overpriced, and there really aren’t that many interesting choices in the Codex to begin with. The book is also four years old, and it is really starting to show its age, especially when compared to any of the codices released after the release of the fifth edition of the core rules. The picture above is only a half-truth in the sense, that of course evil is always cooler, but Chaos Space Marines are not even playing in the same ball park as regular Space Marines, Space Wolves or Blood Angels. Of course this is all old news to anyone who knows anything about the current state of competitive play. Even the infamous double lash prince -build, once much reviled, is now just a sad relic of a different edition and style of play.

Anyway, to get to the point, since stating the obvious and whining about getting the short end of the stick makes for poor blog content, lets have a look at what the CSM have going for them. This post is just the first in a short series, so bear with me. This time I’ll have a look at the Chaos Space Marine HQ choices.

HQ

Not counting the special characters (who for the most part are crap anyway), the budding CSM general has three types to choose from: The Chaos Space Marine Lord, The Chaos Sorcerer, and the Daemon Prince.

Out of these the Lord is arguably the worst, since he doesn’t really deliver much bang for buck. The argument could be made, that giving him wings gives him good mobility since wings, unlike a jump pack, can fit inside a Rhino. I suppose he’d be at his best when facing shooty enemy infantry in melee, but even for that he is just too expensive, and since he doesn’t have an invulnerable save, he won’t last very long. Oh, if you were thinking about taking Daemon Weapon, stop it. Immediately. Really, really not worth it at all. If you really have your heart set on a killy Chaos Space Marine Lord, however, take Khârn the Betrayer, and make sure you stay the fuck away from your own troops with him.

The Chaos Sorcerer is a slight step up, since he can use his psychic power (Lash of Submission is really the only one worth considering) from inside a Rhino. You could also experiment with a Sorcerer on a bike joining a unit of Chaos Space Marine Bikers, but this build isn’t really viable in point costs under 2000.

The one HQ choice that stands head and shoulders (literally) above the others is the Daemon Prince. He is decently killy in close combat if you equip him with Wings, Warptime, and Mark of Nurgle, but the more common build of Wings, Mark of Slaanesh, and Lash of Submission is a far more attractive choice. Despite the prevalence of amour in today’s competitive play, a Prince with Lash still gives you a very versatile tool for battlefield control. Wanna move those stuck-in orks off an objective? No problem. How about bunching up those pesky Nob Bikers for a salvo of Plasma from your Obliterators? Can do. Worried about that Lone Wolf about to trounce up your whole battle line? Give him a taste of the Lash, and it will take him that much longer to reach any place where he can do any damage. Obviously the Daemon Prince is a magnet for heavy weapons fire, but you need to remember that every lascannon shot aimed at the Daemon Prince is one less shot busting up your Rhinos. In fact, since the Daemon Prince is just that good, you’d better take two of them.

Next up, Elite choices.

Warriors of Chaos and Chaos Space Marines update

Time for a brief update.

The Sons of Northern Darkness, my Warriors of Chaos army is now up to a painted total of around 1400 points. I recently finished my second group of 30 Chaos Marauders. I still need 20 more for the army list I’m planning, but I think I’ll take a break from Marauders for a while, and make a Chaos War Shrine instead. I plan on using the Vampire Counts Corpse Cart as a basis for it, but will probably replace the zombies pulling it with either Warhounds or Chaos Knight horses.

The Red Corsairs, my Chaos Space Marines army is up to about 2400 points. The most recent additions are three more Plague Zombies, and a squad of Chosen Chaos Space Marines and their Rhino, converted from Space Marine Sniper Scouts, and an old Mk. I Rhino respectively. We played a staff mega-battle last week, with six players total with 2000 points each on the table. My side, consisting of my CSM, Teemu’s Space Wolves, and Ville’s Necrons, managed a narrow victory over the opponents: Mika’s Orks, Hese’s Orks, and Juho’s Deathwing. The game was a blast, and we’re already planning a sequel, with the same players and armies, except for Juho, who opted for Dark Eldar instead of Deathwing. Just for kicks, here’s some of the backstory we’ve managed:

The First Battle of Hagalund had been a victory for the combined forces of the Liberators, the Red Corsairs, and the undying army of the Deceiver. The massive Ork horde, and their very unlikely ally, the Deathwing Terminators, had suffered a crushing defeat.

The C’tan had been the mastermind who’s insidious whispers of genocidal Deathwing tyranny on one side, and hollow promises of vast wealth and loot on the other, was what had brought the Liberators and the Red Corsairs, sworn enemies, together. As usual, no one invited the Orks, but a world ripe for War, Plunder, and Mayhem is something no Ork can resist. And so they came… And there was War.

What became known as the First Battle of Hagalund soon escalated into a planet-wide conflict. Death Unending! Millions of Souls sent into the Warp, and into the waiting maw of the Star Gods! The Deceiver was indeed mightily pleased with the results of his sinister machinations…

The Liberators’ view

Although the Hagalund system is far from the Liberators’ common operational zone, The Captain couldn’t let the tyranny and terror of the Dark Angels’ selfish leadership go unanswered. Overlord intelligence also suggested that the 1st Company had been in possession of lethal vortex missiles, which are classed Alpha-level WMD’s in the Liberator codices. These in the hands of the barbaric greenskins also swarming the planet would surely end in sectorwide disaster. Pre-emptive action was needed.

So the mustered Task Force Knight Giant, led by Master Chief Ares, hero of the first Battle of Hagalund, was dispatched from the Liberators’ battle fortress. Their mission: Storm Hagalund and restore the hope of a free galaxy and bring down the hammer of justice on all.

“We’ve ran out of Justice, but here’s some MK4 Hellfire rounds for you instead!”

The Red Corsairs’ retort

‎”Tell me now Ares, have you not abandoned the worship of the False Emperor, as have we? Do you not travel the space-ways in search of fulfillment and purpose, as do we? Can you not see we are more alike than you care to admit? Come now. We have much to discuss. Let me liberate you of your regrettable misconceptions concerning Our Allies who dwell in the Immaterium. They have such sights to show you, if you’d only be willing to open your eyes.” -Nergal the Tempter

The Xenos are coming…

The Warp was filled with a roaring blaze as the remnants of the 1st Company’s Taskforce, along with wounded Grand Master Belial, returned to their Chapter’s Fortress Monastery empty-handed, but assured that no Fallen was on that accursed planet.

Meanwhile in the depths of Commoragh Kirarth Dawnblade, the Archon of the Obsidian Rose Kabal, smiled as he watched the planet through an arcane holographic device. In a few weeks the planet would be consumed by the flames of war. Millions would suffer, and the battlefields would be littered with bodies. Just the place for the Dark Eldar…

An errant thought crossed the Archon’s mind. His Kabal was strong, but they were greatly outnumbered by the Orks and the mon-keigh. The answer came to his mind almost immediately. Surely the Orks would be easy to manipulate. The Dark Eldar could easily outwit the brutish Greenskins.

Kirarth turned his head slightly as he heard one of his Trueborn approach him. It never hurt to check who approached, even though he was well-armed.

“My lord, the Kabalites are preparing for war. The Wych Cult of The Scarlet Lily is also joining us, as are many Hellions and Reavers. Even the divine Lelith Hesperax has expressed her interest in this campaign. When shall we make the cattle suffer in our hands?”

The Archon let a cold smile on his face as he shuddered with the pleasure of expectation. Just the thought of those souls ready to be harvested raised his heartbeat.

“Soon”, he whispered, “very soon”.

To cap things off, here’s some pictures from the first battle.

Assembling the Storm Raven

We finally got our black box from GW on Friday, and as weekend was coming, me and a co-worker divided up the work and took the kits home with us. I got the Storm Raven, while the co-worker took home the Furioso Dreadnought.

Looking through the sprues, the kit brings to mind the Land Raider kit, so anyone with assembling experience with the LR should have no problems here. First thing I did was cut all the parts off the sprues and clean them up. I then glued the interiors (benches and control panels), and the headlights to the side panels. These can be done later, but it would probably be somewhat more fiddly.

Next, I glued the angled back panel sans the back hatch and the main floor panel to the two side panels, and put in the front ramp, which is supposed to open, so make sure you don’t get any glue on it. There is some slight plastic warping, so you might want to apply some pressure while the glue sets. Rubber bands are good for this. The back access ramp has these small hook things holding it in place, but in practice the thing is better just glued in place, as the fit isn’t snug enough for sensible articulation. That’s what I did anyway.

Before putting the roof on, plop in the front side thrusters. They are snap fitted, and are supposed to articulate slightly. The roof slides in quite smoothly, but once you glue it in place, you won’t get at the interiors very easily, so if you intend to paint those, get that done before fitting the roof.

Next up, the cockpit. This should be easy enough to assemble as long as you make sure you put the parts in in the right order e.g. legs, control panel, torso, arms, shoulder pads, head. There is also a back panel, which I actually forgot to put in at this stage, but luckily I managed to push it in between the pilot’s back and the back wall of the cockpit. Next, I glued the clear plastic window to the roof frame, doing my best not to get glue smudges on the window panes. I didn’t glue the roof on yet, as I intend to paint the pilot first.

Next up, the tail section. This one is only four pieces, so it shouldn’t cause anyone any problems. After this, the wings and thrusters. These may look daunting, but are actually quite simple, as long as you dry fit everything and use common sense. As with the front side thrusters, the thrusters at the wing tips are supposed to snap fit and articulate. The wing-mounted missiles go in at this point.

Returning to the front end, I opted for twin-linked multi-melta instead of heavy bolters (D’oh!). They are supposed to swivel slightly, but as the movement is only about a quarter of an inch, I just glued the thing in place. The landing gear went in next. At this point you can choose between extended or retracted landing gear. I went for the latter myself. The side doors are also glued in place at this time. You have the choice of fitting either the doors or the hurricane bolter side sponsons. If you like using magnets, you could construct some sort of frame inside the door for the magnet, so that you could alternate between just plain doors or sponsons.

Almost done now! I assembled the top turret, and glued the gunner servitor into place, but didn’t glue the window in place yet. A horizontal rod goes into place under the gunner’s seat, the ends of which come out on the sides. These are for mounting the guns. The top air intake was also assembled, but I didn’t glue it into place yet, as that would make it virtually impossible to put the turret in place.

There you have it: The Storm Raven pretty much assembled. The only parts not glued on at this point are the turret’s roof and guns, the cockpit roof, and the roof air intake. These won’t go on until after painting the cockpit and turret interiors. To finish things off, here’s some (rather poor quality) photos of the Storm Raven. Next up, painting this rather awesome tool of war.

Red Corsairs – Apocalypse

Yesterday I had the opportunity to take part in an WH40K Apocalypse battle. The battle was fought on two 12′ by 6′ tables. There were twelve players divided up into two sides (Imperials on one side, and traitors and alien scum on the other), each fielding somewhere in the region of 2500 to 3500 points for a total of around 10K per side per table, and for a grand total of… 40K. My Red Corsairs allied with another force of Chaos Space Marines, and a Dark Eldar kabal. Our opponent was an alliance of Imperial Guard, Space Wolves, and Daemon Hunters. The game ran for around eight hours and seven game turns. Our side managed a hard fought, and narrow win. On the other table, the Imperial guard and the loyalist Astartes fared better, with an equally narrow win over an alliance consisting of Tau and rebellious (or perhaps misled) Space Wolves, and so the overall result of the Apocalypse battle was a tie.

As my army isn’t quite at 3000 points yet, I had to borrow some minis from another follower of the Ruinous Powers. My regular force was thus bolstered by Huron Blackheart himself, some Terminators, a Land Raider, and six extra Obliterators for a total of ten. To finish off, here’s some photos from the event, courtesy of Mika Vuorio.