Planetary Empires campaign continues to churn, and I slide to a more flexible raiding party role for a while to reset my force to explore some Ynnari lists that get me blending Drukhari and Asuryani forces (and maybe a few Harlequins at some point too).
The prophet had come, had walked the halls of the Craftworld and the alleys of Commorragh. More than a few had followed her, seeking guidance and insight or perhaps more insidious things. Followers of Archon Yraleath the Calcimineer noted that he had sent some envoys to make contact with those of the Saim Hann Craftworld, where their Kabal had some ties through varied exodites, corsairs, and more. There was a rumor that a Spiritseer was in contact with him, some long-lost ally who had spent time amidst high Commorragh themselves. The call of the prophet, the sounding of a potential for so much death, had motivated the sights of Kabal and Craftworld together on the planetary cluster Scylla Quintus.
The forces gathered in the Webway, united by the prospect of war against the varied assembled forces, war in the name of the goddess of death. Drukhari Kabalites stood in long ranks, eyeing their long-lost relatives amdist the Rangers and Guardians who stood in the Asuryani force. Yraleath stood speaking to the Seer, their conversation low. Sharp eyes noted a curved Hekatarii blade slung at the Seer’s waist. Had they spent time in the fighting pits, or a gift from some Drukhari consort? The opaque blue glow of their Seer’s mask gave no hints on the wearer’s demeanor, and their body language was deferential to that of Yraleath. At their feet glowed a single rune carved in the strange earth of the unstable realm. As they spoke, it seemed to glow, until lighting on fire.
Yraleath then spoke to the assembled forces. “It’s time for us to depart, to join our forces in attacking those of this system. The sheer scale of death and destruction these planets have seen have merely set the stage for death yet to come. Whether you believe the prophet’s words, or are here simply to chase some excess and violence to shave off another day of chase from She Who Thirsts, we go forth for war united. Fight in your bands, but know we fight together. It’s a particular delight seeing you brethren commit to war. A very particular delight seeing you needing… nay, wanting… to see your shots flense the foe, your blades draw blood. You grew up on the Craftworld, but inside is something older.”
The Spiritseer then spoke, their voice low but commanding as it modulated through the mask’s speaker. “We may work at similar aims, but we are different. Do not forget that.” The Archon bowed with an absurd deference, as if accepting the comment but also making light of it. The Seer continued, undeterred. “Our actions in these battles walk the line of death, bringing forth Ynnead as we are promised. The very spirits buried in our stones and our wraithbone cry out for death–the death we are about to mete out. Let us sally forth and destroy all we face. In the name of Ynnead and of the Prophet herself!”
Game One: Demons and Dust
The initial strike of the combined force of Ynnari devotees brought them to the outskirts of an industrial segment of a small town, once occupied by the mon-keigh. There was death here, and soon enough it revealed just what sort. The very walking dead–spirits of dust in armor–had convinced some cults amongst the mon-keigh to rise up and start unspeakable rituals to spread their predations.
The mechanized portions of the Aeldari force dispensed with the cultists on the left flank, whilst on the right a group of arena-trained wyches dove into the masses of warriors to tear them apart. The sheer bloodshed was unimaginable, as the wyches had to fight desperately given the tight quarters atop a small industrial platform.
In the distance, the rituals of the dust-suited warriors culminated, and daemons of a sort leached their way into realspace. The lines of Kabalite warriors barely got to fire before the malign sorceries of the assembled foes tore into them. Heads exploded and bodies fell rigid with destroyed minds in the mental onslaughts.
While the masses fell, the damage to the armored dust-warriors carried the day. Too many suits perished, and their leader fled on their strange disk-like conveyance–followed by their warriors teleporting to some distant fighting ship. The core of the Ynnari held long enough to secure the battlefield, and turn the carnage and interrupted rituals into work for the goddess of death.
Game Two: Breeding Nests
Pouring over careful scan data, Archon Yraleath found a likely spot to strike. The Seer may be a true believer, but Yralreath was more cagey. Finding a way to use violence and war to duck the predations of She Who Thirsts had been what he had done for generations. He painted pictures of the battlefields, triptychs of life becoming death, and it had held her at bay thus far. Tho each time, a bit less, he knew. That’s why the words of the prophet were at least worth listening to now. And if he could turn that Seer and their forces into a tool for his own machinations in the Commorragh, then all the better.
But that meant playing the Seer’s game, and interpreting the strange visions. After their prior battle, the Seer had spoken of the various ways the goddess of death was denied–the armored warriors of the mon-keigh with their dust bodies being only one such method. His scans turned up another: multiple tendrils of a cosmos-spanning hive fleet had reached Scylla Quintus, and the way that the fleet destroyed everything but turned it into more Tyranid… life… was perverse enough an affront to him. Their sheer lack of artistry, of freedom, of creativity in destruction? That was worth ending–and Yralreath pitched that much to the Seer.
Agreeing to strike at the hive fleet, the forces set upon a spot where an initial tendril bombardment had seeded the very ground with the invasive organisms that called to and guided their forces. The Ynnari forces were tasked with finding the various nests where they were buried and eliminating them, so that the spread of the Tyranid vanguard organisms would be blunted. Of course, some of the beasts were already on the ground near these, defending them while the rest of the fleet drew closer. Fierce Tyranid Warriors were cut down in droves by the Wyches, but they seemed almost limitless in response–and killed many of the area-trained themselves.
The Spiritseer’s Guardians rode with them in a Wave Serpent, and rushed toward the mental commanders of the Tyranid force. A pod of Zoathropes nearly destroyed the crew of the Wave Serpent with their mental onslaught. The pilot hung on long enough to deliver them, and the Spiritseer put an ancient curse of Doom upon them, which enabled shuriken to tear through their armored forms with precision.
The forces of the Archon and the Seer were able to unearth and destroy all four of the buried nascent vanguard organism nests–fusion blasts and grenades destroying each of them. The worse of the Tyranid forces were held at bay, in no small part thanks to the sacrifices of both Drukhari and Asuryani transport craft crew. One daring Raider interposed itself of the hordes of smaller beasts and the birthing creature that carried them, only to be shattered by their small claws and finally shot thru by the spines launched by the mother-creature. As the Ynnari forces withdrew in victory, they knew that deaths of some of their number were the price to pay for the goddess of death to tighten her grip on the system, and the eventual rise of Ynnead herself.
Plenty of painting these past two weeks. First, I finally managed to put the highlights on my second Ravager, this one equipped with Dark Lances. As I’m playing Ynnari right now, I’ll have to paint up a Heavy Support choice for the Asuryani to be able to field this one. But glad it got it done, as it adds more heavy firepower to my forces.
Very first of my Asuryani forces that I finished up was a Wave Serpent. I’ve got a pretty mechanized infantry approach to Drukhari, so to balance that I’ll need a whole lot of Wave Serpents too (tho I may swap back on occasion to a pure Drukhari list just to make progress on many Venoms). Pretty pleased both with how it turned out, and with how it matches my Drukhari forces well. These two armies are going to really click together.
Finally, I needed to complete the Spiritseer leader of the Asuryani side of the force. I did them up with a weapon swap to be holding a Hekatarii blade, to make them fit just a bit closer to my Drukhari forces. I will likely do up a Farseer too soon, but I had this model and they seemed good to try out the various colors (hard to do the arms/glove with the armor highlights, but do a different set of lowlights for the robes still in the same base color. I think it turned out okay tho.
Overall I’m pretty pleased with the painting progress so far, and if I’m going to hit 365 or more Power Level painted this year it’s time to focus in (as we’re nearing the end of April already). So I think it’ll be Aeldari that become the year’s focus–especially because when I set them on the table they look so slick and unified (even between Asuryani and Drukhari).
Painting Challenge 2022 Progress
Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted Total: 115/365