A Short Story: The Redeemed II

The Liberation of Epdermus

 

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From his vantage point on the top of a small rise behind the central offensive line, Brother Ashriel looks out across the battlefield and smiled. The attack on the traitor’s last fortification is going well; The Dark Angels’ center, even though outnumbered by the traitors 5 to 1, is pushing the traitors back with superior fire discipline, laying a massive amount of suppressing fire while advancing slowly thru the ruble of what was once the Spire City of Epdermus.

Over the course of three weeks, the Dark Angels have systematically pushed back the traitors to this position; a city on the edge of a cliff side. The traitors have retreated to their last bastion on this beleaguered world. The huge city has been adequately fortified by the Traitors, turning it into a defensible position but it is clear to Ashriel that the traitors’ commander did not even consider that he might be fighting for his very survival here.

 

Turning to survey the right flank Ashriel heard an amplified howling laughter and his smile grew wider; Brother Amurael is gleefully firing salvo after salvo of armor piercing krak missiles into the Traitors’ gun emplacements. Ever since the techmarines took off the twin Powerclaws from brother Amurael’s Dreadnaught chassis and replaced them with a Missile Launcher and Lascannon; Brother Amurael has somewhat mellowed out. He is far less likely to charge the enemy position regardless of the odds and now would much prefer to stand back and shoot them down before moving in to crush them under his metal foot plates.

The detachment of Havocs Ashriel put in the right flank is also doing a dutiful job of supporting brother Amurael’s assault, rapid firing heavy bolter rounds into the enemy to keep them occupied and disoriented. “Soon…” Thought Ashriel as he turns away to look at the left flank; “Soon they will break.”

 

The Dark Angels’ salvaged heavy siege tank; Basilisk, on the left flank has been bombarding the Traitors’ position since morning and although it is protected by the nearby woods, there is nothing else on the left flank but a lone Dark Angels Predator tank to guard it. Ashriel can see that the traitor’s commander has seen this weakness in his lines and is moving troops to exploit it; guerrilla fighters are even now emerging from the woods carrying bombs and grenades to engage and probably destroy the Basilisk and Predator. With the Left flank gone, the Traitors will have broken through the Dark Angels’ lines and can attack Ashriel’s forces from behind, effectively boxing in the Dark Angels between their fort and army. Ashriel must act now to snatch victory from defeat.

 

Grim faced, his smile all but forgotten, Ashriel scans the Traitor’s lines to be sure of the enemy’s disposition before issuing his orders. Elements are moving from the right flank to the left, probably to anticipate the destruction and consequent breakthrough on the Dark Angels’ left flank, and to escape brother Amurael’s furious assault. The enemy’s central elements look to be holding for now but they will soon be overwhelmed by the Battle Brothers’ steady and disciplined assault.

Satisfied that everything is moving according to Brother-Captain Zuriel’s design, Ashriel activates his inter-armor link.

“Brother Halmeth, the traitors have reached the kill-zone.”

From behind the central offensive, in a hidden position behind some walls, Brother Halmeth’s gravelly voice comes over the growl of his assault group’s activated jump-packs; “About time.”

“Strike, brother,” Answered Ashriel; “Show them the Emperor’s Wrath.”

Roaring with unadulterated rage, the nine man assault team lead by Brother Halmeth came into Ashriel’s view, soaring over the battlefield to land in the midst of the surprised flanking Traitors. Brother Halmeth himself landed directly on top of a traitor, crushing him under the weight of his power armor. Blood and brain matter spraying his armor, turning it red with the first kill. His Jump-pack turned off without a thought; Brother Halmeth began laying about him; each swipe of his chain-axe taking a limb or head, each bolt pistol shot knocking a traitor from his feet. Halmeth roared a sky splitting roar and started to enter a state of semi-conscious killing frenzy, his warriors following suit. The nine assault marines hacked and butchered the flanking force.

Brother Ashriel saw the slaughter on the left flank and hoped that Brother Halmeth remembers his orders. The state of semi-conscious frenzy that the brother assault marines enter is not something that Ashriel understands nor does he want to. As long as they perform their duties, the end result very much justifies the means. After all, their former… allegiance… did not care much on whose blood was spilt as long as blood was spilt.

 

The destruction of the traitors flanking force by brother Halmeth’s marines took a direct impact on the traitor’s lines; it wavered and stopped moving to the left; fearful and very much intimidated. Tanks and other fast moving elements milled about adding to the confusion in the middle of the lines while the right flank is continuing to move back from brother Amurael’s assault.

“A brilliantly planned assault, Brother-Captian Zuriel.” Thought Ashriel begrudgingly, “With the Traitors crushed on the left flank and the ones on the right flank being pushed back, they have become entangled in the middle, easily picked off by my Battle Brothers from which there will be no escape, yes… brilliant.”

“Well.” Ashriel thought, shaking himself out of this musings and clearing his Bolter’s magazine cartridge, “It is now out of my hands now that the battle lines have met. At least it gets much simpler from here on out.”

Striding down to the center of the battlefield, he activated his helmet’s vox-link and gave his command squad the order to engage.

 

-Steven-

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.” – Sun Tzu, The Art of War

A Short Story: The Redeemed

To continue the article on Fluff, here is a short story I made for an army of Fallen Dark Angels: The Redeemed who insist on calling themselves Dark Angels again (confused Chaos Marines FTW). It was used during a campaign we did at our LGS many moons ago.

Anyway, without further ado, first, the setting of the campaign:

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 *photo of the planet ain’t mine, found it via google, all credit to whomever owned it, mad skills bro

“HAVOK”

At the time of Abbadon’s 13th Black Crusade, when the Warmaster laid low to the Imperial Defenses of the Cadian sector and the attention of the Emperor’s forces were fully engaged, a small tremor of warp energy rocked the calm of space in a relatively quiet part of the Gothic sector.

It started with a small distortion in space, a ripple of a sort. Imperial sensor probe XII/AlphaTheta barely picked up anything on its old yet still sensitive multi spectrum array. Still, it activated its ancient analyzers, just to be on the safe side.

It had not even finished its first analysis when a second distortion shook its old metal frame. Alarm whistles rang as its repressors compensated for the backlash. The analyzers were sent to work trying to catch all the data as it panned it’s cameras toward the cause of the distress; A newly formed electrical warpstorm in the dark of space.

Like a ragged cut in the heart of reality, the warpstorm violently rages and rapidly grew in size. Green-red warp fueled lightning flashing before it, distorting the surrounding space. Waves of raw energy radiate away from the warpstorm like a tidal wave of chaos and destruction, then… a hole of impregnable blackness formed at it’s center and from the hole, a brown green planet slowly emerged.

Warp powered lightning strikes the planet endlessly as its birth causes natural disasters to erupt on its surface; earthquakes, floods, typhoons and tidal waves. Whole continents were formed and destroyed as the planet came fully into being on the material plane.

As the sensors strain to catch each detail, the analyzers came to several conclusions;

  1. The distortion has the same the energy output and patterns as that of the Eye of Terror (albeit a smaller version of it).
  2. The planet has been classified as having passable breathable air.
  3. The planet has been designated as planet H4-V80k of the Gothic sector.
  4. Imperial sensor XII/AlphaTheta has 3 minutes left to function before the released warp energies reaches its position and fries every circuit onboard its tiny metallic body.

Imperial sensor XII/AlphaTheta’s Machine Spirit pans its cameras to catch a last glimpse of Holy Terra as it’s relays sent the last data package it will ever send.

The Administratum Astronomican on Holy Terra has received the output of data from the doomed Imperial sensor probe XII/AlphaTheta a few hours ago and the pics and energy analysis were enough to send every Astrotelepath scurrying to their posts. Inquisitor Devak has been contacted and is now reviewing the data to determine an appropriate response. The remaining non-engaged Adeptus Astartes and 3 companies of the Imperial Guard are on full stand by for immediate deployment.

Meanwhile on the planet dubbed “Havok” by the astrotelepaths, dawn breaks for the first time in a millennia.

Flight of the Fallen

Brother Sergeant Ashriel checked around the mound of rubble and signaled the “All-clear” sign. His squad of veteran battle brothers fan out of the ruined building, scanning the area and covering each others back with the easy confidence that only a millenium of warfare and camaraderie can achieve.

“Brother Ashriel, the teleport beacon is ready.”

“Proceed.”

“Target is locked, getting a clear signal through the auspex, waiting for Verification”

“Very well, confirm verification before the teleport this time Gamail, we don’t want another Harakan incident now do we?”

“We survived that didn’t we, brother?” asked Gamail, a smile in his voice carried through the vox-link at the memory of the “incident”.

“Only by the grace of His divine light Gamail…, and of brother Zamael’s plasmagun carrying squad entering the same building that we happened to be in when the Ultramarine’s Terminators mistakenly teleported to us instead of our own brother terminators.”

A light tap on the helmet of each brother in the squad the only outward indication of a hearty round of laughter at that shared memory.

“Well, it was fortuna… hold! Receiving multiple return signals on the auspex. Multiple incomings, most probably hostile, they are on a converging course.”

“Very well” Answered Ashriel calmly, “Brothers, weapons are free but engage targets of opportunity only, conserve your ammo.”

Switching his armor’s vox-link channels with a thought, Ashriel contacts the rest of his exploratory expedition situated a bit further behind his small scouting force;

“Brothers, we move to teleport location Beta, Alpha has been compromised. Brother Halmeth, your Raptors are to provide cover for Samal’s squad who shall remain in their Rhino until ordered to engage, understand Samal? No heroics this time.”

“Agreed.” Halmeth’s rough gravely voice responded over the sound of his squad’s jump engines.

“Affirmative, though I liked you better when you weren’t so uptight Ashriel” Samal’s melodious and cultured voice answered, “This whole ‘repent-back-to-the-Emperor’ thing has got to you hasn’t it?”

Ashriel did not even deign a reply. The last few days weigh heavily on his mind. The exploratory force on the newly birthed planet of Havok was supposed to encounter only light resistance but so far they have blundered into a force of former Battle Brothers, a sorcerer of Mighty… no, that is wrong; it’s wretched, Wretched Tzeentch now, a Tau force complete with battlesuits and an Eldar force that featured dancing clowns who gave the Brothers a bloody nose.

The list of enemies of the Emperor grows daily it seems… but, as it was once a long time ago and as it will be in the future, it is Ashriel’s solemn duty as a Dark Angel Space Marine to be the mailed fist of His Divine wrath, the first to meet His challengers where ever they may be.

Shaking himself out of his contemplation, Ashriel opened his armor’s vox-link and addressed his Battle Brothers;

“Brothers, once again the enemy is upon us.”

“They think us weak.”

“They think us defeated.”

“They think us easy prey.”

“They think us forsaken of His Light.”

“They know nothing.”

“We have been given a chance at redemption.”

“For once again,”

“We feel the warmth of His Presence.”

“For once again,”

“We fight in His name.”

“Brothers, once again,”

“We”

“Can”

“Proclaim:”

 “For the Emperor!”

-Steven-

“Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

“Fluff”

Greetings Fellow Generals!

One of the better parts of this niche hobby of ours is the fact that each miniature you own (and hopefully, paint) is part of a greater army and that each army has its own history of wins and losses, Victories and defeats, Heroes and cowards. That army is uniquely your own, no other person on the planet has that exact same army that you put on the battlefield time and again, sure he might have the same minis and copy the exact army list but that’s the superficial. What makes a tabletop army, An Army, is it’s back story (or as some call it: “fluff”).

 

Fluff is the back ground story of the army that you make up.

 

Now this is optional of course, you don’t have to, but by making a back ground story of the army you are working on, it will push you to fight harder for it’s heroes and roll better dice (really! its scientifically proven!) than a bland and generic army without a back story (made even worse by not painting any part of it… bad juju will happen, you have been warned!).

 

You don’t even really have to work hard at creating a back story; naming it’s general or unit can do the trick. Heck, sometimes that back story comes to life as you test your army’s mettle in the field of battle. It’s General or unit gaining a reputation as battle after battle rages.

 

I, myself might have a bit of an obsession with this aspect of the hobby, it must come from my old D&D days of Dungeon Mastering and naming each and every town, store, and NPC….

but I digress,

I usually put some thought into my army’s back story every time I paint one up; whether it’s a High Elf army that was left behind when all high elves were called back to Ulthuan by the Phoenix King during the Dwarven wars. The army will incorporate as many “normal” troops as possible with very few special elite troops… and definitely no Dragon Princes! They wouldn’t be caught dead seen in the old world

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a Chaos Space Marine army mislead by the Chaos Gods into thinking they have been redeemed and is trying to get back into the Imperium. (the Chaos Gods did this to sow discord and confuse the Imperium of Man… also it seems like fun!) using the Dark Angels as the fluff template and because the Dark Angels have their Fallen, this ties in perfectly with what I wanted: a Chaos Space Marine army with no Daemons, no Daemon Engines, no outward indication of chaotic corruption only using the Marks of Chaos on units to differentiate my marines with normal marines. Oh, I did give myself one concession; my General is a Chaos Daemon Prince but in the form of a (delusional) Heroic Space Marine Captain with Dark Angelic wings, is unusually tough vs illnesses and is also bloodthirsty in close combat (yup, covered all 4 Gods! mighty expensive points wise but oh so very fluffy).

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A ragtag mercenary army of Free People who claim they are descendants of what was once a proud city named Altdorf. It’s old general (Obergeneral Steffan Dekk) is in possession of a book from the Time Before containing military insights, giving him strategic brilliance and a mighty sword that he claims is a family heirloom (items stolen from somewhere, no doubt). He leads the Desperates, an army of men with an accompanying retinue of war machines containing two ancient cannons dubbed “the voice of Sigmar” (this allows me to shout “Sigmar has spoken” whenever the cannon kills something ehehehe) and “money shot”, he has also acquired the services of a mage (Marvin the Great) and a master engineer (Brakon Hesselhof). Together they go from city state to city state, lending themselves to the highest bidder.

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My Pirates of the Broken Coast, lead by Captain Phinneus Shae and his “merry” band of cut thoats, such as his lovely but deadly first mate Hawk or his financier, the dwarf Lord Rockbottom (baaaad name for a guy doing all the money stuff), his medic Doc Killingsworth who is so bad at his job, the pirates would rather NOT admit they got a wound and just keep fighting (you probably live longer that way). This army would field a large number of Pirates, representing the pirate crew with maaaaybe 2 or 3 warjacks as back up.

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My latest; which is a Retribution of Scyrah army based on the Dawn Guard. The army will be primarily white and yellow in color scheme, lead by Vyros, Incissar of the Dawnguard, the one eyed, veteran general of the Retribution whose animal companion (a hawk) allows him and his Warjacks to see thru forests. This army will rely on Warjacks more than infantry. My thinking is that Elves wouldn’t be able to muster a large number infantry cause, as we all know, Elves are a forever dying race… (thank you Tolkien)

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Well, anyway that’s it for “Fluff”, I hope this article gives you inspiration and brightens up your gaming experience and also helps you achieve that to which all mortals strive to achieve: a Legacy.

 

Until next time,

Steven

“The object of war is not to die for your county but to make the other bastard die for his” – George S. Patton

The Paint Rack: New Year!

Greetings fellow warriors!

New Year it is, happy we are!

Well, it’s a new year and we at the Paint Rack (yes, that’s the royal “we”) would like to wish you all a very happy new year, may your brush always be sharp, may your paint always flow and may your blending always be smooth

The last minis I painted in 2016, called them done at exactly 11:30 hehehe… what was yours?

“I have not yet begun to fight” – John Paul Jones

The Bard’s Corner: Is This The Right Game for Me?

On the first episode of the Bard’s Corner I’m going to talk about whether or not tabletop RPGs suits you or not. Because, to be completely honest, it’s not a game for everyone. Considering the time and effort it takes to play even a single game (which generally takes a few hours), it’s important to make sure that you’re not wasting your time; because time is a precious commodity for anyone, let alone adult hobbyists with a full time job.

Continue reading “The Bard’s Corner: Is This The Right Game for Me?”

The Paint Rack: Undercoating and Basecoating

Greetings fellow generals,

In this article, I would like to talk about the first steps of painting miniature toy soldiers: Undercoating and Basecoating.

Disclaimer: I have to let you know that there is actually a step before undercoating if you are super serious about your painting and that is cleaning the mini with warm water and soap to get rid of excess production oils (and scraping away “flash”) but in my experience, most gamers skip this step because we’re just not that anal about our painting. We want to get our new shiny on the battlefield and killing stuff as fast as possible, not lounging around on the painting table soaking in warm water… Gothar the Bloodthristy does not do jacuzzis…

Continue reading “The Paint Rack: Undercoating and Basecoating”

Warmachine & Hordes 101: Part 4 – Attrition and Time Victory Condition

For the last of the Victory Condition article, I decided to combine the attrition and time victory condition. Not only because the time victory condition is very seldom pursued as a primary winning condition, but also because the way in order to achieve them is somewhat similar.

Continue reading “Warmachine & Hordes 101: Part 4 – Attrition and Time Victory Condition”