Tag: Drukhari Dark Eldar

Crusade: Deity of Death

Crusade: Deity of Death

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).

Prologue

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.

Painting Progress

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

Designing an Archon

Designing an Archon

So part of my flip-floppery in the current Planetary Empires Crusade we’re doing (swapping from Genestealer Cult to Drukhari to Necrons) has been that I’m not yet really telling the story of my central character: the commander of my force. I’ve done a bit with the prose battle reports, but in all three cases the model I’m using is pretty much standard basics. Nothing special with the Genestealer Patriarch or the out-of-the-box Archon for the Drukhari. I swapped around the arm with the Tachyon Arrow for the Necron Overlord, but even then he’s still pretty stock from the package.

So I decided that I’d do up a more personalized leader for each force, which could maybe help me connect to the story, connect to my opponents, and have something extra fun to do with each battle. I started with my Archon. The build is below, made from a Crimson Court model (from the Direchasm Underworlds game by GW), with parts from the old Eldar Guardians box, back bits from Incubi (and shoulder pads from their thigh pads), the Blaster Pistol from the Scourge kit, the medic bag from the Death Corps veterans kit (Kill Team), some banner poles and flag from the Raider kit, and the big Clawed Fiend skull from the GW skulls set.

I decided I’d do my Archon as a sort of artist-of-death, to represent the way that Drukhari need to feed on the pain and suffering of their foes. He captures moments of suffering by painting them, and thus has the floating easel that he brings along everywhere in case inspiration strikes.

I used to do little tiny illustrations on stickers for my DM screen when I ran Living Greyhawk D&D events: every time a PC died I’d illustrate the death, and then add it to the screen. In this case I’m going to get white post-it notes and cut them to size, do little illustrations of the suffering of the battle on them, and then put them onto his easel (I’ll do them in red ink, as if he’s painting in blood). Then put them in my crusade journal to save them, a memento from each battle. Should be a really fun way to add some flavor to the games, and I’ll always be fielding an Archon because it’s such an ubiquitous piece for the force.

Here’s the finished model, which I’m really pleased with. My Drukhari color scheme remains really striking to my eyes. I like the Necrons and Genestealer Cult schemes too, but the red of these just pops–particularly with the occasional blue glows, the white sections of helms, and the lava bases that I use for all my armies.

And here he is with the easel, front and back shots both:

I’m really pleased with the way he turned out, and I think this will make for a lot of fun with my Crusade games. I’ll post the pictures of the little drawings I do for each battle to commemorate them when I get enough completed, that is if I stick with them long enough. /sigh. And I’ll do similar “story” models up for my other forces as well, to really personalize what I’m playing with.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 57/365

Warhammer 40k Necrons 2022 Power Level Painted: 39/365

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult 2022 Power Level Painted Total: 72/365

Crusade: A Planet Revealed and a Leader Fallen

I’ve been playing in a Planetary Empires Crusade campaign (see all the posts starting with “Crusade” hah?), and after the first phase it was time to expand onto the planets–including the emergence of a whole new planet for conquest. The map below shows where all the forces are located.

Huge shout out to Sean for making this great map and keeping it updated

My initial starting area with the Drukhari was on Scylla Prime (as I was the LAST of the 15 players to get to choose hah), where my home base was the star port. That lets me more easily conquer tiles that are non-adjacent, so you’ll see in the first phase I spread my forces to take two other star ports: one on Glaucus and one on Phorcys, the newly revealed planet. Given that the Harlequins player Frank seized the Hive City on Phorcys, we’ve declared that “Elf Planet” and are determined to take more of it in the next phase (perhaps Steve’s Aeldari will be willing to help in the next expansion phase). I’m proud because at least my luck was strong on the planetary phase, and I’m currently holding 6 tiles (while every other force holds 5 or fewer). I’ve got my eyes set on expanding on Phorcys, because the lava paint scheme matches my basing of my models.

And double-huge shout out to Justin for making and painting these beautiful tiles, and organizing the campaign as a whole.

Managed to get three games in to this cycle of clashes, and the battle reports are below. I’m still toying with what my army should contain, as while I’ve been skewing a bit toward shooting I realize I might need to have a bit more melee punch.

Game Five

Archon Vÿr was determined to re-establish leadership in his raiding force. What he needed was a target where he could out-maneuver the foe, and keep them guessing. No doubt the herd-like Tyranids would prove easy prey for this purpose, he mused. While his adjutants were nervous, Vÿr’s blusterous manner seemed to at least motivate the Kabalites if nothing else.

Vÿr unleashed his forces, ensuring that they struck at the leadership beasts of the Tyranids. His speeding Venom cornered the mind-beasts of the horde, driving a wedge into their command while his Ravagers opened up and decimated the Warrior caste beasts.

Meanwhile Haemonculus Oribraq was much more cagey with his forces, knowing just how violent and savvy the Tyranids could be. He committed his Talos pain engine to take out a massed group of Termagaunts and drive the attack into the Neurothrope behind the force. Disposable pain beast were better to commit than other warriors in this case, as the stinging attacks of the Tyranids surely took their toll.

Archon Vÿr rushed forward, desperate to get into personal combat himself. He cut his way to a hulking Broodlord, and engaged it in extended combat. His strikes eventually overwhelmed the beast, and while it cut at him frequently and with deadly force, his Shadowfield held and he went unscathed by the beast. With enough damage inflicted on the leadership of the throng, the various smaller beasts started to wander, and the Drukhari retreated with a victory. Archon Vÿr felt confident–that show of force would make his raiders cleave to him. This was all going to go well.

Game Six

Still riding high from victory, Archon Vÿr took his forces to raid some mon-keigh industrial facilities, and take more prisoners. His Kabalites were echoing his elevated spirits, plunging into the buildings and fighting to assail the victims within with gleeful abandon.

The mon-keigh had reached out to their supporting forces, and in this case the call for help was answered by some of the most able warriors amongst their brutish enclaves: a different company of their corpse-god protectors the Custodes.

While the Drukhari outnumbered and out-speeded the Custodes, the insert strikes of the elite warriors took a dreadful toll. Archon Vÿr scrambled to call in reinforcements, but found his communications jammed while the Custodes controlled a set of Imperial command nodes that brought other forces in the area toward their site: great Imperial battleships and phalanxes of star warriors turned their eyes toward the spot where Archon Vÿr’s small group was operating.

It was an ancient warrior encased in a full tactical battlesuit that proved most disruptive of the Drukhari forces. It shattered the last hope of Vÿr’s force sending messages for reinforcements, downed two of his vehicles, and eliminated all the newly-recruited Scourges that he had recruited. Vÿr cursed them, as they were specifically equipped with vehicle-destroying weaponry and failed to take the marauding suit down. He once again sounded a retreat and fled from the force. Vÿr brooded in his quarters of their raiding ship, the lessons of the recent battles skewing his thoughts toward the need for he himself leaping into the fray to motivate his warriors in battle.

Game Seven

One of the forces of the mon-keigh that blocked his path may not have been arriving to help, but rather to attack the planet dwellers themselves. These augmented warriors were pox-marked and swollen, no doubt given to horrific disease. Even the plants of the area were wilting with the vaporous clouds of death emitted from their armor.

Vÿr had his forces stay at range best he could, even with his recent swell of bravado. These mon-keigh were almost no longer human, and worse yet, their bodies were so torn and broken that the damage done to them did nothing to help the Drukhari’s own souls in feeling release. At times clusters of splinter fire from the Venom and the Kabalites didn’t even seem to register with them when they pierced armor and shredded skin.

Vÿr hung behind his forces, waiting for a moment to strike–but was ambushed by a teleportation attack from the mon-keigh opponents themselves. A number of their hulking warriors, and no doubt the one that was their leader, appeared in a shimmer of energy and rushed his position and that of his warriors. The warriors were dissolved in spurts of acid from sprayers before being cleaved down by massive scythes the warriors hewed.

Vÿr fought desperately against the leader, but the Shadowfield’s protections from strikes were not able to protect him from the creeping poisons and disease that sprayed across him in the battle. Finally, with a sweeping strike the leader’s roaring, spinning-bladed axe caught his left leg, shearing it entirely off. Vÿr fell to the ground, and as he looked down even a moment saw the flies landing on the stump and laying their eggs. He dragged himself back as best he could, and called for assistance. As always, his faithful warriors managed to grab him and drag him aboard a transport. But as he lay there on the deck with strange diseases eating into him, a dread worry started to reach his mind. It was as if his soul was being spoken to, and the Great Deceiver whispered his name as his force retreated into the night. “Vÿr… I dine on your soul tonight.”

Painting Progress

One unit to add to the painted list at least…

These Drukhari Scourges with Haywire Blasters were a lot of work to paint. Especially the wings. They took a lot more layers and blending than I normally do, and I’m really pleased with how they turned out. The effort was worth it, and while that slowed down my painting progress I’ve loved to see them on the table. Of course, they’ve been entirely underwhelming with their weapons hah. And their survivability is just the pits. So I’ve got to work on tactically supporting them better and positioning them in ways that they can be useful but not exposed.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 53/365

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365

Crusade: Rise and Fall

Crusade: Rise and Fall

More Crusade games these weeks, and some more painting progress as well. Got three games in, setting me up decently for the first expansion phase on the Planetary Empires side of the battle (that we’re pairing with the Crusade-style rules).

Game Two

Archon Vÿr was keen on pursuing more easy prey across the surface of Scylla Prime, and that posed a problem. Succubus Maril’eth, the harridan who he suffered in his presence only because of her command of the Wych Cult forces he needed, exceeded in the face of the more backwards and simple of prey. The running of his raid was a carefully balanced endeavor, ensuring that neither Maril’eth nor his Haeomonculus advisor–Oribraq–got too much power or glory from any fight. He had set his sights on some mon-keigh forces that had high numbers of infantry soldiers–from their designations a large number of whom were indentured criminals forced to fight.

His forces prepared an ambush of sorts, using Archon Vÿr’s own presence as the bait for the mon-keigh. They hid in wait amid some ruined buildings as the legions of conscripts approached to try and capture the leader of the raiding force that was so obviously shown to their sensors. It was too easy, herding the prey like this, tricking them into hunting him down while his forces waited to pounce.

He set Succubus Maril’eth and her Wyches upon the regimental troopers, the ones who herded their own convict squads ahead of them. As expected, they had a fair amount more fight in them, and the Wyches took heavy losses–losing almost as many as they killed of the mon-keigh due to massed firepower. Meanwhile, Archon Vÿr strode confidently into the fray, his blade carving through the conscript forces.

It was then when Vÿr’s arrogant miscalculations came home to roost, as the conscript prisoners were not the meek sheep of those indentured to Drukhari forces, but possessed the menacing threat of thirty-some hardened criminals who knew how to shoot and to fight. He slew them time and again, but yet the waves of them were able to continue to attack. Soon enough, the sheer press of las-rifle fire managed to finally short out Archon Vÿr’s shadow field. He hoped that no panicked tone was present in his voice when he called his Raider for extraction. He had taken a number of hits that bored thru his armor and left smoking holes punched thru his limbs when he finally was able to leap over the press of assailants onto the deck of one of his Raiders. As he hauled himself up he heard the clucking tone of Haemonculus Oribraq: “I suppose I’ll need to start growing you a new right arm and leg… who would have known that their chattel soldiers could fight quite so well…”

Archon Vÿr steamed and nursed his wounds, knowing that nursing his pride would need an action of much more immensity–and perhaps Oribraq’s tragic demise.

Game Three

Archon Vÿr desperately needed easy pickings to satiate the rapacious tendencies of his forces, so he struck out to try and make a raid on a distracted foe. Noting a spot where the last remnants of the Genestealer Cult remained (must be a strain that did not share the same blood transfusions as the others he eliminated), he waited for them to strike at a rampaging Ork force that was in the area. His plan was to strike both sides suddenly when they were engaged, and make off with captives.

At first, it worked well–the Talos pain engine pulped enough Ork boyz that the few remaining could be subdued, and loaded onto the waiting Venom as captives. These would give Haemonculus Oribraq something to investigate, and tide him over for a while. The more distracted Oribraq got, the more stable Archon Vÿr’s raiding force would remain.

Meanwhile Archon Vÿr’s forces attempted to distract the Genecult forces. His Voidraven Bomber screamed overhead, killing the leader of the Genecult who stood exposed. They were of far less interest to his forces than the Orks, as getting some good arena beasts seemed to be a popular aim with his Kabalites as well.

The Kabalites managed to decimate the Orks, luring them to attack them in cover and then striking hard with the bayonets of their splinter rifles and their curved Kabal blades. Four or five of the beasts were subdued by them, and bundled to be carried off.

Just when Archon Vÿr felt things were going his way, the Genecult struck. They had been holding back some horrific warriors, four-armed creatures that came rushing out of crevices in the broken earth, no doubt concealed by mining tunnels on their approach. The creatures tore into the center of his force, while their Genecult outriders’ demolition charges blew up a Raider and a Ravager both. With the sudden reversal, there was nothing to do but flee again–even leaving all but the Coven-gathered Orks behind. Archon Vÿr faced an even more unhappy Kabal, and having to again draw from his households reserves to replenish the fighting forces he lost.

Game Four

With Archon Vÿr’s support in flux, Haemonculus Oribraq had a chance to assert a bit of control. He knew that Archon Vÿr was haughty and proud, and giving him a gambit to exploit that would pay off. Oribraq nudged that they work to destabilize nearby mon-keigh elites, as a force of the augmented armored mon-keigh was holding some nearby terrain. What brought them was unclear, but they served as a good way to get Vÿr to perhaps die at one of their hands.

Oribraq’s own forces fought admirably, his Wracks managing to hold off one of the crude mon-keigh jetbikes while Oribraq set up for the kill himself. His ichor injector proved deadly, and his scissorhand more than enough to cleave thru the armor and slice the leg off the passing biker. Oribraq scoffed, thinking what a pity the mon-keigh were so… limited… in their imaginations of what could be done with genetic engineering, cellular growth cultivation, and organ improvement.

The armored mon-keigh however proved to be more than a match for the remaining wyches that accompanied Archon Vÿr’s raid. A group of them were fighting atop an industrial structure, and the limited space for mobility made the lightly-armored fighters easy prey for one of the mon-keigh’s deadly swordsmen.

Much to Haemonculus Oribraq’s dismay, Archon Vÿr and his Kabalites managed to hold on to a victory through shrewd crowding of the foe. Only a single teleporting mon-keigh in golden armor remained at the heart of the battle near the end, his blows falling fruitlessly on Vÿr’s Shadowfield. With a laugh, he managed to intrude upon the space enough to disrupt the mon-keigh’s plans. The raid always had to strike then fade, and this time was no different. The mon-keigh were bested, and the Drukhari escaped with spoils from the community left un-protected by the golden warriors and their arrogance.

“I’ll have to try harder next time to get him killed,” thought Haemonculus Oribraq, as Archon Vÿr strolled back to his command seat of the retreating skimmer.

Painting Progress

Added two big things that have both been on my painting table for a while: 10 more Kabalite Warriors to round out a full squad of 20 as a firebase, and the Voidraven Bomber I’ve been mucking with for ages.

Definitely like how these Kabalites turn out, and they look so epic in the big squads. Have got to do up another blob like this with Shredders and Splinter Cannons.
Voidraven Bomber. Really, really pleased by this one. Trying to get the highlights down was harder than I expected, but I’m pleased.

As my list is forming up to a more clear “this is how I’ll be structuring the Crusade” feeling, I’ve got to get rolling on more painting ahead: definitely more Kabalites and Venoms in my future.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 48/365

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365

Crusade: Treachery and Comeback

Crusade: Treachery and Comeback

So we’re starting a new Crusade at my local gaming store, Drawbridge Games, and this is the set-up and first game of my force. I’ll include both the arrival of my force in the campaign (as I started with a couple of Genestealer Cult games before deciding on Drukhari) and the first game with them. I’ll do another more general Crusade story post when we hit the first advancement on the map: it’s a Planetary Empires campaign using Crusade armies–all the narrative fun!

Army Background

The Biophagus lay coughing on the ground, while the Clamavus stood frozen nearby, not moving lest the Haemonculus’ Needle Pistol fire and cut him down.

The Archon spoke:

“It was easy, you see. We’ve been wanting to hunt in the Scylla Quintus planetary cluster for some time. So much agony, so many foes all clashing. It called out to us through the webway. But it’s been a matter of where to start. Where to strike? Who to usurp first?”

“The Space Marines would be burdensome to tackle first, even more so the ones who work directly for their Corpse-God. The Tyranids are pointless to fight as their suffering isn’t even felt. The Tau, those dopey herbivores, are so stunningly un-imaginative except with technology, so their suffering is even less interesting than that of the human soldiers of the Corpse-God, who are already walking dead and given in to their run-down existence. And our Aeldari cousins, also fun to torment, are at very least our distant-if-absurdly-optimistic kin. They’ll be around in the future.”

The Biophagus stared up, his eyes bulging as poisoned blood seeped from out his ears. The Archon continued, whether or not the poor dying creature could hear.

“But you, Cult of the Twisted Helix. You made it so easy. Your practice of sharing blood, passing the same tinctures all around? Made it simple for my Haemonculus here to concoct a poison that would delay just enough before killing each and every one of you. My agents slipped it in to your equipment, and then you…” he pointed at the Clamavus “… you so obligingly sounded the call that all in the Cult should join in ritual sharing of the blood again. What sustained and strengthened you all, now kills you. Each one will become a husk, slight delays only by individual constitutions. But all will die. What a kind practice you’ve shared. My hope is that there are branches of your Cult elsewhere, so that all your bastardized combinations of two despicable races in this galaxy are so easily and politely dispatched.”

The Archon stalked away with the Haemonculus trailing him, leaving the Clamavus scratching at the site where he too so recently received the Biophagus’ transfusion. He nearly wished that the elves had killed him as he felt a creeping chill inside his spine. Instead he went to find others, to see if they were truly dying, and to call fervently to the Star Children to arrive… and avenge.

Game One

Having established a sally port webway entrance on the Scylla Prime, the Drukhari set their sights on nearby prey. While the Tau had their primary beachhead in the contested system on the ice moon of Glaucus, they were dispatching small expansion cadres all across the surface of the larger planet. Archon Vÿr was hankering for a daring challenge, as while his Haemonculus Oribraq’s plan for taking out the Genestealer Cult was entirely successful, it was also clear to the rest of the Raiding force that it was Oribraq’s doing. Vÿr had to make some deft strokes to make certain it was him who ruled, not his underling alchemist assistant.

Archon Vÿr dispatched Oribraq and his creations to cover a flank, while his Kabalites and the Wych cult forces in his employ tackled the main line of the Tau. Between a Raider full of Wyches and a Beastmaster with a new Clawed Fiend (some aquatic version of the monster that looked mostly like a giant crab), Vÿr was confident that the Tau would be swept away.

Unfortunately the Tau seem to have undergone some technical upgrades, in both the behavior of their drones and the quality of their battlesuits. And whatever new ammunition they were using in their tanks’ rail cannons proved to be especially devastating: the Night Shields of his Raider seemed to do nothing as the solid shot blew it apart on arrival. Even the new crab-like Clawed Fiend was ruthlessly gunned down by the foes before it could fight.

It was time to make a statement, a signature kill, to show everyone just who was in charge and how to stop the horrid bovine Tau in their tracks. Archon Vÿr strode straight forward into the face of the towering battlesuit that anchored the middle of the Tau line. He began darting about, landing blow after blow, only to realize that something had changed: the Tau must have reinforced the suit and made it more vehicle and less pilot. His poisons were doing nothing to the mighty creature. More depressingly its missiles and arm cannon eventually overwhelmed his Shadowfield. As he took a devastating kick from the thing, in melee no less, he was only saved by the arrival of Haemonculus Oribraq’s Talos which finished off the mighty battlesuit.

Meanwhile Oribraq and his Wracks were dominating their side of the field, including stopping the Tau Commander in their tracks after surviving their comet-like descent. With a number of Tau warriors chained up and headed for Oribraq’s lab, the tide finally began to swing for the Drukhari. Archon Vÿr’s Flayed Skull Ravager managed to finish off both of the Tau rail-bearing tanks with a final bit of help from the rampaging Talos. It was the only bright spot of his forces amidst a narrow victory. And he had to concede that without Haemonculus Oribraq’s contributions to the fight (both personal violence meted out and that of his hellish creations), what should have been a loss became a narrow victory for the Drukhari raiding party.

Archon Vÿr licked his wounds and watched for any potential upstarts and assassins rising against him thanks to the relative disgrace of his Kabal amidst the broader victory. He’d need to think more carefully about where to deploy Haemonculus Oribraq’s forces: both to batter the foe, and to ensure that they did not get too much glory.

Painting Progress

As always, more painting updates for each game I play. Finished up a couple of things for this game, and I’m really close on a few others that I’ll hopefully have finished for the next.

Realspace Raiders is a podcast that is doing a Talos painting competition, so I wanted to do up a Talos for it. I’m really pleased with how it turned out–and its first outing on the tabletop was quite impressive.
I’ve shown the Beastmaster conversion before, but every Beastmaster needs a Beast! So here’s the “Clawed Fiend” for him. I’ve been dying to paint up the crab miniature from Underworlds, and this was finally the right timing to do so. I won’t field him too often as I’d need a big unit, but was fun to paint up and pleases me.

Obviously this means more work toward my Aeldari 2022 goals, which is likely to continue given that I’ll be doing the Crusade and Planetary Empires campaign with them over the next few months. Fun times and good painting joy ahead.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 33/365

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365

By Sky and By Ground

By Sky and By Ground

So of course the moment I get rolling on my Aeldari Apocalypse force, I also get strongly tempted by the new rules of the Genestealer Cult codex. Readers of my updates will see a fair amount of vacillation between the two (and also dabbling with like three other armies, gah). While the previews for Genestealer Cult kind of got me down on them ultimately (or maybe, more clearly, it was leaks for other forces like Aeldari and Tau previews for Custodes)–the book really did deliver what looks like a lot of fun.

So I’m going to be sort of exploring a two-pronged approach. I’ll see if I can’t work on both forces at the same time. I’m going to do up a similar thing to my Aeldari Apocalypse picture for the GSC. And we’re kicking off a campaign at my local store, and I’m leaning toward using Genestealer Cult for it. I’ll do another post focused on Genestealer Cult goals (heh, cult goals). With that army, given that it’s somewhat limited in scope and model choices–and the models are quite few points–I’m going to go for 365 total painted (including prior to the 2022 calendar year).

Here’s my painting progress, which has been both sky-borne Drukhari and tunnel-infesting Genestealer Cult.

More Kabalite Warriors to bolster my existing unit of them.
Conversion of the original metal Dark Eldar Beastmaster model on a modern Hellion skyboard. Still a silly model (oh that codpiece). But kinda pleased with the result.
Jackal Alphus for the Genestealer Cult. This is one of my favorite models from this force. Just really dynamic looking with the sniper rifle and the bike.
20 Neophyte Hybrids. Well, actually 23 as I did them in two batches and adjusted the weapon choices in the second batch. This squad will be leader with web pistol, standard, 4 webbers, and the rest shotguns. Excited to give them a try in games as my Patriarch’s bodyguard.
Five Acolyte Hybrids with hand flamers. All set to pop up behind enemies and set up crossfire situations. These guys take a lot of time, as the tyrannic flesh has a lot of layers (including mixing a pink wash, bringing up to white, then a purple wash, and finally back up to white again). But I’m really pleased with how they end up looking.

All told a ton of painting. Really pleased with this progress in general, and with the promise of both forces going forward. I’ll need to eventually specialize, lest I end up painting 710 PL haha.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari 2022 Power Level Painted: 25/365

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Cult Total Power Level Painted: 64 / 365

Aeldari Apocalypse

Aeldari Apocalypse

As I mentioned in my prior post, I’m aiming at painting up 365 points of Aeldari for 40k as my 2022 year goal. Which is a pretty ambitious undertaking. I’m doing so because I want to build a Ynnari but mostly Drukhari force for Apocalypse-sized games. I wanted to visualize what I have and want to paint next, sort of a virtual measure of progress toward goals of a pretty big and impressive force. So I did up the following graphic:

I like this because it’s actually a pretty good look at what I’d want the full force to look like eventually. It doesn’t include what I’ve already painted (which is a lot: 47 PL / 980 pts. already finished and magnetized). As I paint going forward, I’ll color in the models I’ve completed. I meant to do this with a T’au project that sort of flubbed as it started early in Covid, but I like the idea and wanted to give it a go.

Mustering a big force like this for me means a few large centerpiece models, plus that whole host of ground troops to be arrayed at their feet. That’s why my next project is a very un-exciting big blob of Kabalite Warriors. Need to have that “look” to the battles of the 41st Millennium: the swathes of infantry being blown up on the landscape where Titans stride.

Archon and Seer in 2022

Archon and Seer in 2022

So it’s a new year, and that means a new painting goal for my hobby gaming. Last year I worked on a lot of models across a lot of different armies, and this year it’s time to focus. I’m going to stick with the one-PL-a-day model for my progress, but keep things clustered in the realm of all things Aeldari. 365 Power Level (or more) of models painted for Aeldari forces. I’m focused on Drukhari, but I plan on splashing in some Craftworlds, Ynnari, and even maybe some Harlequins at some point. It will mean some steady commitment, but I’m arranging some big game events to narratively keep my focus (and painting goals) on track.

I also found the awesome photo of actual galaxies and their connection patterns that I used as the cover photo for this post, and it absolutely reminds of the Webway description from 40k fiction. So I’m going to find a way to do some sort of big webway game soon and use this as the image.

Started the year with a fair push of completing models. Wanted to round out my ability to do a Realspace Raid by adding a Drukhari Haemonculus and a unit of five Wracks to my force.

Was a bit fiddly to assemble, but I like the way they turned out. Was fun to have a model where the red was much more accent and occasional.
These models have a lot going on with them, so I tried to keep it as simple as I could with some of the color choices. I like that their back banners (literal racks for the Wracks) are like deformed versions of the ones that squad leaders, Incubi, and characters have.

I definitely will need more Wracks to make the unit durable enough to hold objectives, but it’s at least a start for small games.

Also, finished up the first of two Ravagers. Went for the one with triple disintegrator cannons first. While I know that the one with Dark Lances will be overall more effective in games, the idea of having a strong basis for good AP and 2 damage shots was just too tempting.

I’m extra happy with the white of the sails on this one, as the picture has them meshing with the background white pretty effectively to the point of being invisible. These take a ton of work with the crew members, but I think it was worth it in the end result.

Overall a solid start to the year of painting all sorts of Aeldari. Expect to see mostly Drukhari for a long portion of it, tho I’ll surely pick up the new releases that have been teased for the Craftworlds Eldar as I start to mess with those components of a force. And I’ve gotten myself a gift from Forgeworld for the end of the year successful painting that I’ll have to do up once I’ve got a bigger basis for this force. So some good things to look forward to.

Painting Challenge 2022 Progress

Warhammer 40k Aeldari Power Level Painted: 15/365

The Kabal and the Cult

The Kabal and the Cult

Well I definitely added some painted models to my fledgeling start of a Drukhari Dark Eldar force over the past two weeks. Rushed to get a fully painted 50 PL ready for some holiday campaign games (just have to clean up/highlight two Ravagers that are mostly done to get there!). Also meant that I’m closing in on my goal for the year: 358 out of 365 Power Level painted in 2021. I’ll just dump all the units and the HQ I finished here. I’m really enjoying the color scheme I’ve got going for them.

Drukhari Kabalite Warriors

I’m starting out by exploring the Kabal of the Flayed Skull with my force. Not the most powerful of choices in the codex, but definitely fits with ideas about them being closer to the Saim Hann craftworld (as that’s the aerial combat Kabal).

Succubus with Razorflails

I did up the Succubus with the Razorflails mostly because I thought they’re pretty amusing–so many attacks, and as I’m running the Wyches as Cult of Strife, Competitive Edge turns it up to absurd levels of attacks. Infantry blobs beware.

First Unit of Wyches
Second unit of Wyches
Third unit of Wyches

I did up three small squads of Wyches, each one with their sergeant using a different weapon combo: one with Agonizer and Blast Pistol, one with just the Agonizer, and one with the trusty Power Sword.

Drukhari Mandrakes conversion

I wanted to add a squad of Mandrakes but in no way wanted to deal with the Finecast resin that the current models are in. Searching around for alternatives, it seemed like these Age of Sigmar Sea Elves fit the bill. They have the strange carvings in their skin that work for the blue energy runes, and I represented their shooting attack as blue energy coming from their eye sockets and mouths. Pretty reasonable conversion I felt.

So that’s a huge addition to my force, which I’m really quite pleased with. I’ve gotten them onto the table twice, and definitely enjoyed them well enough in the first few games. Looking forward to more working with them.

Genestealer Cult Bonus

I also have a friend who is starting a 3D printing on demand service (Quixotic Quest Printing, check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/QuixoticQuestPrinting), and I ordered a Boombox to go on my Genestealer Cults Clamavus. Gonna paint him up soon, but couldn’t resist sharing the finished conversion. I tried to get it on his shoulder but the scale wasn’t quite right. Good news the Acolyte Demo Charge arm was perfect with the straps, so I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out.

I’d imagine that The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (well, mostly Melle Mel) would be a good tune for him to be playing: https://youtu.be/bercOMtBIgg

Miniature Painting Goals 2021 – Totals so Far

40k Power Points Painted 358/365

Marvel Crisis Protocol Miniatures Painted 13/12