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Art & Fiction / From the Embers of Anarchy (Original Work: Scene II)
« Last post by Myen'Tal on September 14, 2019, 09:18:29 PM »
~***~
Battle of Carrion
Geographical Area: Carrion Valley
Regional Area: Gorgon Dunes


  A hail of arrows fell from a cloudless sky, blotting out the desert sun. Azat let out a sharp bark of laughter and waded into death itself. A maelstrom of Qi warriors and charred-skinned horrors raged around him. Swords cleaved. Horrors screamed. Blood fountained across the dunes of the Valley of Carrion. Arrows descended from the skies, and the men of Qi fell in their scores.

   A moderate sized buckler lifted to blot out the sun, Azat danced around the crown of emerald serpents lashing toward him. He struck out toward a clutch of venomous cobras. Betrayer sliced into their scales like a sliver of light.

The ashen-scaled creature snapped her fanged jaws, but missed by the bronze skin of his arm. The Gorgon made to coil herself around him and finish Azat in one crushing squeeze. He warded off the Gorgon’s crushing maw with a flick of his wrist. He punched his buckler downward with force enough to send the beast reeling backward across the shifting sands.

“Hew them down!” Afraid to relinquish an advantage, Azat thundered to the scorching sun.  “Scorch their bones! Tear them apart! Show no shame before them!”

   Qi Warriors scattered across the Valley answered him and moved to reform. An endless storm of arrows rained down upon them and more of their number joined the blood-soaked battlefield. Azat climbed the peak of the greatest dune he could find and stared out into the Valley of Carrion.

   He counted a hundred different formations scattered about the Valley of Carrion, separated from each other by leagues of open field. A horde of a hundred-fold the number of the Qi writhed across the bone littered valley like an unnatural sea made from the stuff of night. Once, the Gorgon flood had numbered beyond count, their armies spread from one horizon to the next…

   “Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy…” Azat muttered onto the cool desert winds now that evening settled over the horizon. His words were lost in the deafening cries of Qi gathered in their hundreds, counter-charging their enemies.

   “Azat.”

A familiar voice called out to him from amongst the teeming masses, his volume like a burst of thunder amidst falling rain. A shadow eclipsed Azat from behind, wide enough to feel as if a mountain approached instead of a human. Azat glanced over his shoulder, then lifted his chin by several degrees to meet Aslan’s gaze.

Aslan laid a mighty gauntlet of tanned fur and sunbaked bones upon Azat’s shoulder. “You would have done well… if you cared more for the Qi than your own ambition. Scream to the sun if that’s what you desire, but it’s a shame that’s the only command you understand.”

“Never change, Aslan.” Azat scoffed and barked with laughter. “Did the Gorgons put your eyes out? My advance has only seen success, even under a sky of falling arrows, the Qi that you entrusted to me push us closer to victory.”

Aslan frowned, then shrugged. “The force that I entrusted to you is scarcely recognizable, save a few faces I recognize. I trusted the victory to them… not to you.”

“What do the dead care for any of that?” Azat quipped. “And why do you look so somber, brother? Gaze out toward the horizon with me! Look!” He pointed toward the eastern and western horizons with either hand. “Pray tell, Aslan, but what do you see?”

“Nothing…” A crooked grin broke through Aslan’s placid façade. “A Valley of Carrion, of which our people have labored for several generations to call our own… If only you could learn to do better…”

Azat shrugged and made to regather his weapons. “Your measurements seem off by several leagues, but it matters little… Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy. The Firstborn has scoured these lands, the Gorgons and their endless numbers feel the embrace of the inferno. Soon only their bones shall remain in the Valley.

“Erasyl would be proud of his appointed commander.”

Aslan’s grin widened. “He did not name me without cause… and yes, soon these lands shall earn their name. The Gorgons may have been wolves in their own time, but wolves could never hope to conquer lions… Enough of this. Resume your command, claim our victory, and remember that I shall always be at your back.”

“Never relied on that. Never will.” Azat made a dismissive gesture and marched back into the midst of the battle.

~****~
The Left Flank
Geographical Area: Carrion Valley
Regional Area: Pass of the Reaper’s Lantern


       “Zar’quin Guard!” Aiman’s voice, warm and languid like a desert oasis bathed in the rays of the midday sun, commanded a legion. “Attend your master! Loose!”

        Three thousand men and women locked in formation across the breadth of the corpse-strewn Reaper’s Lantern, lifted their composite bows to the skies. The moon was enveloped moments later by a cloud of flaming arrows.

        Embattled at the foot of the mountain pass, hundreds of the Gorgon thrashed and scythed through entire ranks of Qi with wild abandon. Blood mingled into the oil pits hidden in the earth beneath their writhing bodies. Soon the skies themselves were choked with the scent of charred smoke and incinerated corpses.

        “Weapons unsheathed!” Aiman cried over the pitiful screams of the burning. She craned her head toward Karah, standard bearer of the Zar’quin and horn carrier. “Karah, do as you will!”

       “My will is yours, Aiman!” Karah lifted the horn to her lips and sounded a deafening dirge that rolled across the valley.

       Commanded, the Zar’quin unsheathed their blades and shattered their ranks in a momentous charge into the chaotic melee. Practiced and fluid in her art, Aiman plucked an arrow from thin air and let it fly from the ethereal bow clutched between her gloved fingers.

       A lance of brilliant light pierced the heart of a Gorgon bedecked in the bloodied heads of her foes. Before the Serpent champion could collapse in on herself, an explosion of magical shards erupted from out of the core of her form. Scores of warriors, Gorgon or Qi, lie shredded from the impact. Yet a woman of Aiman’s talent ensured many more of the foe fell before her own warriors did.

       Invigorated in the presence of such titanic force, the Zar’quin crashed into the melee. The first of their number scrabbled up a hill of dead as they fought, either struck down back into the mountain pass or slaying their foes without effort. At the fore of their ranks, Karah strode across the colliding lines, glimmering crimson gilded in gold filigree fluttering in the embers on the wind.

Ibrahim, Oracle of the Seven Oasis, cast an eye over the overall scope of the battle.  “How much longer can these brutes hold their own against such numbers? For every arrow you cast into the enemy, you fell the Twelve’s bravest warriors as much as you rend Gorgon flesh.”

“Are you preaching your omens at me now, Ibrahim?” Aiman glanced over her shoulder to stare the priest in the pit of his enigmatic eyes. “Spare me your fearmongering. You speak of the Gods’ disfavor, but the Gods have already commanded me to hold this mountain pass until blood flows like a river back into the canals of Tu’shik.”

A mirthless smile spread across Ibrahim’s morose features. “It’s always a pleasure to correct your misguided faith, but this is not the time. Listen to my council with more than your deaf ears and you’d know that I only ask what you need of me.”

Aiman scowled her distaste at the Oracle, but shrugged in resignation. “As you desire, then. Bring the moon down upon them. I’ve always wanted to know if your might was more fable than fact.”

         “Caution, I’d advise. The endless might of the old gods is not to be trifled with… I must beseech Ny’mira, Mother of the Solar Wind. Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy!”

         “Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy!” Aiman affirmed. “Do not leave me disappointed, old man.”

         Ibrahim nodded with grim finality. He pitched his head in the moon’s direction and droned the most ancient of litanies.

        “She is the purity of the full moon in the unforgiving cold of the desert night. She is the ebb and flow of the tides pulled from the void between the heavens. She is the oasis that wanders betwixt the barren lands, seeding her life blooming waters into the deprived, famished, and despairing.

        “Ny’myra, mother of the Solar Wind, Goddess of tranquility, and the balance of the stars in the heavens and the worlds that spin between them… lend your might to this insignificant dust! Plant into this parched soil a seed of your many glories, that your children may bear witness to your strength… may they honor your name with oaths of fealty for eternities to come…”

   Aiman listened to Ibrahim beseech the Old God that had chained him in mind, body, and soul… but the skepticism that would seize her heart and make it cold was drowned under a sensation that she could not place. Her heart pounded in the core of her chest, and her lungs struggled to hold down air. She felt as if she would recede into herself, carried away by the sensation that spread into the very essence of her.
 
    Something not born of her own will kept her on her feet. A strength that she had never felt before overcame her limbs. The ethereal bow in her hands burst into magical powder from the tenseness in her fingers. The memory of joyous emotions felt distant and forlorn, scattered by the crashing waves of a sudden, swelling terror.

   Aiman watched as the Zar’quin Guard, overcame by the same force, surged into their mortal nemesis. Warriors once broken and maimed, suddenly dragged Gorgons down into the blood-soaked sand by the strength of one limb and rent them apart. Others still on their feet bisected the serpentine creatures by the flicks of their wrists, and hewed other Gorgons apart in a flurry of blows.

   “Ibrahim,” Aiman craned her head in his direction, disgusted beyond all reason. “What have you unleashed? This… forbidden magic is foul beyond all reason.”

   Ibrahim glared at Aiman with oily eyes seeping with some foul magic. “I’d save your strength; the Solar Wind has not yet arrived. Harden yourself, lest you be drowned in her wrath. Your misguidance has blinded you well, Aiman. Know now that I speak in truths… Listen to your truest emotions… the Old Gods are speaking to you.”

   Aiman tilted her head in askance, disgusted beyond words. “You’d murder us all for our sacrifice?” 

   Ibrahim sighed, but remained silent.

   Aiman uttered the words, the night sky itself tortured and rent over their heads with swirling hues of color that one’d find on a rare opal gem. An unfamiliar sound of a ferocious, swollen sea erupting onto the shore thundered over Reaper’s Lantern. Aiman was convinced that no end of the Valley of Carrion could not have heard the oncoming dirge.

   “Stand your ground, Aiman.” Ibrahim’s words were not a command, but Aiman did not flinch from what could be seen on the horizon. “We must all face our destiny, on one day or another. The Zar’quin Guard have all sworn their oaths, that such a day would be any if needed.”

   Aiman cracked a smile that showed nothing but her unsurfaced terror. “There is no honor in this manner of death… but make no mistake, Erasyl and Hazan shall avenge us.”

   Ibrahim shrugged, then pointed toward the oncoming tidal wave that threatened to touch the stars themselves. Upon its black waters, corpses beyond number were ensnared in it’s crushing grip. The cries of thousands of Gorgons were silenced beneath the dirge that crashed upon the mouth of the mountain pass.

   Ibrahim shrugged. “So, you never asked yourself what the Twelve sacrificed for such power to begin with? Gaze, Aiman, then reflect upon all of what you have seen. I have some intuition that you are not done until Ny’mira has had her due… but now we journey through the cycle of death. Prepare yourself!”

   Aiman stared into the abyssal waters until the moment of her instantaneous death, her mind crushed by the void that lurked between the stars.
~***~
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Thanks, guys!!! Cannot wait to start up the paint machine again!

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nice workarea, it's making me kind of jealous.
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Projects Blog / Re: Nutty's Craftworld Eldar
« Last post by Nutty on September 14, 2019, 06:07:51 PM »
yeah I got into Eldar just in time for the new goodies :)
I'm looking forward to new models; it would be cool to see some updates in the range, I do like most of the aspect warriors we have but some are starting to show their age.

Untill they do I'll just keep chipping away at my current pile. I'm working on some rangers now; I came across a box of 5 for a good price.. so I couldn't resist.
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Campaigns and Battle Reports / 1250 Orks vs. Ad Mech: Vital Intelligence
« Last post by Roboknee77 on September 14, 2019, 04:36:46 PM »
1250 Orks vs. Ad Mech: Vital Intelligence

Orthos IV: Act 2

   Their forward base destroyed, fighting a war on two fronts, and with ammunition and spare parts running perilously low, mechanicus forces find themselves on their heels during the struggle for Orthos IV.  They have, however, at great cost, managed to obtain one of the coveted relics in Ork hands, albeit a severely damaged one.  It may prove a valuable lead in discovering a larger trove.
 
   The current situation necessitates re establishing contact with high clergy to upload precious data on the artefact for processing, request a badly needed resupply drop, and to obtain further orders.

   Scans of a nearby derelict mining facility indicate that its communication relays could be repaired and their signal amplified, enabling at least temporary contact with the orbiting cruiser Eye of Deimos. 

   Inconveniently, a sizeable Ork looting party happens to be also scouring the facility. Time is of the essence, so scout forces have been ordered to secure communication terminals with utmost haste. (Thanks to Uncle Tungsten for the introduction).


   This is the first part of the 2nd narrative arc for my Orks and Uncle Tungsten's Ad Mech of the Orthos Campaign found here.  The round information is not up yet, but basically the Ad Mech are trying to narrow down the location of ancient atrifacts and the Orks are trying to find the location of the Ad Mech vessel to use it to leave the planet.

Enemy

Mars Battalion: Cybernetica Cohort Specialist Detachment

HQ:
Tech-Priest Dominus
Tech-Priest Enginseer

Troops:
3 Kataphron Breachers
5 Skitarii Vanguards
5 Skitarii Vanguards

Elites:
Cybernetica Datasmith
5 Sicarian Infiltrators

Heavy Support:
2 Kastelan Robots

Stygies VIII Battalion:

HQ:
Tech-Priest Dominus
Tech-Priest Enginseer

Troops:
5 Skitarii Rangers
5 Skitarii Rangers
5 Skitarii Rangers

Dedicated Transport:
Skorpius Dunerider

Elucidian Starstriders Patrol:

HQ:
Elucia Vhane
Janus Draik

Troops:
Nitsch's Squad (5 Voidsmen & Aximillion)

Elites:
Knosso Prond
Larsen van der Grauss

Auxiliary Support:

Elite:
Eversor Assassin


Ork Forces
Bad Moons Battalion

HQ:
Warboss on Warbike w/ Attack Squig, Shoota, Da Killa Klaw, Best Armor Teeth can Buy (trait)
Big Mek on w/ Slugga, Choppa, & Kustom Force Field

Troops:
10 Gretchin
10 Gretchin
10 Gretchin

Elites:
15 Tankbustas

Heavy Support:
2 Smasha Gunz
2 Smasha Gunz


Evil Sunz Battalion

HQ:
Bik Mek on Warbike w/ Headwhoppa's Kill Choppa & Kustom Force Field
Weirdboy (Warphead) w/ Warpath & Fists of Gork

Troops:
11 Shoota Boyz & Boss Nob w/ Big Choppa
11 Shoota Boyz & Boss Nob w/ Big Choppa
11 Shoota Boyz & Boss Nob w/ Big Choppa

Dedicated Transports:
3 Trukk w/ Big Shootas

Mission, Terrain & Deployment
   In the scenario, Vital Intelligence, there are 5 objectives laid out like an X on the map along diagonal lines across the board.  one is at the center and the others at the mid-points of the lines running from the center of the board to the corners.  Each round a d6 is rolled to determine which is active to score more victory points, or all of them if a 6 is rolled.

   The terrain was set up as a ruined mining facility.  There was a mix of ruined buildings, platforms, drilling towers, and pipelines throughout to offer some cover and break line of sight.

   We rolled and got search and destroy for the deployment.  I won the roll and picked the southwest corner.  Uncle Tungsten got the Northeast Corner and set up his army back and in cover.  I deployed my trukks as close to the edge of the deployment zone as possible while setting up the smasha guns along the edges of the zone for line of sight and range.  The grots were deployed as screens and the Tankbustas in the rear to protect for jumping.  Tungsten got to pick who went first and picked himself and I failed to seize the initiative.

Ad Mech Deployment

Ork Deployment

Top of Turn 1
   At the start of the round Tungsten rolls to see which objective is active and rolls a 4, the North west objective near a bunch of small buildings.  He cautiously moves forward and with limited targets weapons in range focuses his fire on one of my trukks and strips it of 7 wounds and that's the extent of his first turn.

The Ad Mech advance methodically


Bottom of Turn 1
   I spread out my forces to engage multiple targets, but first one group of Gretchin advance to get in range of objective 4 to secure the active objective.  The first trukk advances north to shoot at a group of rangers and wiping out 3 of them with heavy dakka.  The wounded trukk limps toward objective four while the big mek follows to provide force field coverage and to repair it as well.  The third trukk drives east toward objective 5 and rams the enginseer, each doing 2 wounds to the other.  The smasha guns fire ineffectively.  Finally the Tankbustas are jumped onto the central objective, 1, and more dakka the dunerider to a fiery death.

   At the end of the round we count up objective, I hold 3, including the active one, to Tungsten's 1.  I also get a point for First Blood.

Orks 5, Ad Mech 1

Spreading out to engage multiple targets

Here come the Tankbustas
Running Down an Enginseer

Top of Turn 2
   Objective 4 remains the active objective for this round and the Ad Mech begin their counter-attack.  The Starstriders arrive this turn, mostly behind cover but the voidsmen manage to shoot the gretchin holding objective 4.  The grots that survive run away to grovel another day.  Deemed a priority threat, the tankbustas come under heavy fire from the infiltrators that arrive on the scene, who manage to wipe out the squad.  The breachers and the kastelan robots destroy the previously wounded trukk, killing 2 boys, who disembark onto objective 1.  In the southeast oil field the enginseer withdraws from combat with the trukk and the rangers that survived the dunestrider explosion along with two groups of vanguard and Janus Draik fire on the trukk, destroying it and killing 2 of the orks inside.  I get a lucky roll and the trukk explodes spectacularly, killing 5 vanguard, 2 rangers, the enginseer and deals 3 mortal wounds to Janus.  Janus and the vanguard then assault the boyz, wiping out 6 more while the boyz kill the last two vanguard.

The smoking crater where a trukk used to be

Before the explosion
Infiltrating their own deployment zone
Fire on those cowardly grots
Janus is a good fighter

Bottom of Turn 2
   The orks spirts raised by the spectacular explosion of the trukk in the oil fields press forward.  The warboss drives through the wreckage of the trukk to gun down 2 vanguard and klaw to death 4 of the 5 rangers, remaining locked in combat until the next round.  The boys finish off Janus and secure objective 5.  The lone surviving trukk drops off it's group of boyz and races back to objective 4 to take control of it and hold off the starstriders.  The boyz disembarking from the trukk, along with the boyz on objective 1 and the big mek kill off the infiltrators.  The trukk boys proceed to charge the breachers and hack them to bits and pieces.  The dominus intervienes and kills 4 boyz.

   As the turn ends, I have orks in superior numbers at all objectives, scoring 6 points.

Orks 11, Ad Mech 1

WAAAGH!

Trukks can hold objectives too
Da Boss is Dead Killy
Ad Mech Command under Attack

Top of Turn 3
   At the top of the turn Objective 4 is once again active.  The Ad Mech make a last ditch effort to find the information they need but it may be too late.  The Dominus withdraws from combat to allow the kastelan robots to finish the boys threatening the Ad Mech Command.  The starstriders and two lone rangers fire on the trukk holding objective 4 with little success and even less in combat.  In retaliation the trukk runs over their dog.  In the oils fields, an assassin shows up and along with the vanguard wipe out the last of the boys holding the objective there and engage the warboss in close combat.  Da boss eviscerates the assassin and his attack squig devours a vangaurd.

   At this point my opponent concedes as by the end of the turn we'll both score 3 points and he doubts he be able to catch up.

An Assassin appears

Engaging the Warboss
No more Assassin
This is the Party Trukk and Everybody is Invited


Final Score:
Orks 14, Enemy 4

Post Mortem
   This was good game for my orks, coming off of a drubbing by the Deathwatch and a close loss to the Iron Hands (report to be posted "soon").  I was able to apply lessons learned in those battles to good effect here.  I had multple threats my opponent had to account for and I moved agressivley while taking objectives.  For example, my opponent had to bring his infiltrators into the game in his deployment area to kill the tankbustas instead of coming in on my flanks and starting to harass my smasha guns.

   The coolest moment, and I think pivotal, was the trukk explosion in round 2.  It prctically wiped out half of the Ad Mech forces in that area.  It kept my boyz from coming under heavier fire and let my boss come in to wipe out the sruvivors.

   As I've made mistakes in the deployment department before I don't think Tungstens cautious deployment helped him.  He was only able to take 7 wounds off a trukk in his first round.  My army was basically at full strength and able to "Alpha Strike" in the bottom of turn 1.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and as always, thanks to my opponent.
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Nice painting spot! Let me know how that paint works. I'm still in the dark ages but if it ain't broke...with the impending banshee drop, I have come to the conclusion that I will keep my old paint scheme on them but update it a bit.
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Projects Blog / Re: Nutty's Craftworld Eldar
« Last post by Dread on September 14, 2019, 03:59:51 PM »
 8) great stuff Nutty. Color choice is spot on. You've got a great start, looking forward to more.
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Projects Blog / Re: Nutty's Craftworld Eldar
« Last post by Myen'Tal on September 14, 2019, 03:14:17 PM »
Awesome start, Nutty!!!

Loving the cohesive look you've achieved across your forces so far.

Are you looking forward to any new eldar models in Phoenix Rising?
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New paint setup is steadily forming!!! Just need a little extra space to put my scale 75, which will happen soon once I get some more furniture in.

Scale 75 should be delivered Monday, along with the rest of the products I need to get started!!!

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Space Marines / Re: 1500pt Dark Angel Highlander list
« Last post by Blazinghand on September 14, 2019, 05:41:58 AM »
For more anti-infantry, one option might be to change out the plasma cannon in the tactical squad for a Heavy Bolter, if you have a mini with one of those, or drop it down to just boltguns in the squad, and use the spare points to bulk out the intercessors or scout squads. With the huge Inceptor squad, it feels like you have enough plasma to take down anything plasma is good against, and you'll likely be using WftDA on them or the Devs anyway, so the plasma cannon in the tac squad won't do a whole lot, and an extra body on the field might help.

Overall, it looks like a tight list, and if you can get the Master close enough that the Inceptors can benefit from his aura on the turn they arrive, that's big value. The only concern I would have would be the LR getting bogged down on the way in by enemy chaff squads, but I don't think you have a lot of room to squeeze in more anti infantry firepower if you want to keep the max inceptor squad and the 4-plasma-cannon dev squad.
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