Friday, 30 May 2014

Picking a Legion... it's messed up hard!

Picking a Legion. This is the toughest choice for the Horus Heresy gamer. We are spoilt for choice, and we know it. Already I discussed the armour options here, but this only comes into play after picking your army. All of these forces are very different to one another, and they all represent different goals which we have at the time of building them. This isn't the definitive guide, nothing I do in fact is anything more then a cursory guide, designed by myself and those around me to simply help other hobbyists. All I can hope is that you find what I write of some use.

Sorry in advance, there is only one picture today chaps.

Let's start with a little back story.

Before the Horus Heresy, I started with a Thousand Sons force, built using MK II armour, (not Legion armour, as this was pre-Book I from Forge World) with a few custom bits I acquired which helped to give them the Egyptian look. I actually searched sites all around the world here, getting parts from Russia, Poland, England, Australia, America and of course, unspecified places like eBay. This was an army of love, I had been a fan of the Thousand Sons since sometime in the mid 90's (at a guess), so I was happy to sink quite a bit of coin into them.

I built 30 sets of MK II with the squad leaders converted into Sorcerors, and with a home made Ahriman, a Forge World MK IIB Land Raider, several Rhinos and of course the centerpiece, Magnus the Red (converted from Scibor and GW parts, as well as some green stuff).

I converted and painted this painted Magnus before 6th edition dropped. When was that, 3 weeks ago?

Unfortunately, within a month of completing the army, 6th edition landed, and a month after that, the Horus Heresy was announced by Forge World and they released Betrayal. All of a sudden, 3/4 of the army was redundant. Why? Well, sadly, none of my shoulders now worked, as FW was going to release new shoulder pads. Damn. Also, a lot of the Egyptian parts would also be done over by Forge World. Double damn. I now had an army, which, although fun to play and which was a labor of love, was now, well, superseded.

This now left me with a difficult choice: If Forge World are releasing the Legions, which one/s would I like to do, apart from the Thousand Sons? How does anyone approach a Legion? I know for some it's a simple choice, they have only ever done one force, and will only ever continue to do one force, but for the majority of us, it's a nightmare.

Ah, Fuck.

So now here comes the choice. What does one do? When picking a Legion, break it down to what style of warfare you like. Although you can play any Legion however you like, do remember that their Legion traits amplify their chosen tactics. For example, the Raven Guard get stealth and infiltrate on all models which have the Legionnes Astartes rule and which do not also have the Bulky rule. On jump and bike units, they gain furious charge. This means that whilst I could field a terminator heavy force, I really get no benefit from being Raven Guard. Lets look at each Legion and a few other forces in a VERY simplistic way, as this is the first part of picking an army:

Dark Angels: Swordsman, Knights, use of both bikes and terminators, a pretty balanced force, but more set towards close combat.

Emperors Children: Perfection of wargear, based around fluid tactics, dedicated close combat units are effective yet brittle.

Iron Warriors: Ranged firepower in the extreme. Siege tactics and remorseless.

White Scars: High speed combined arms assaults. Hit and Run tactics, mass use of bikes and speeders.

Space Wolves: Aggressive, hard hitting, preference for close assault, use of all arms, power armour dominant.

Imperial Fists: Ranged firepower, placid, stoic, large use of firepower (specifically the bolter style weapons), also equipped with solid close combat troops.

Night Lords: Night fighters, hit and run, terror tactics. Fear and distraction, vicious cut throats.

Blood Angels: True perfection, but not for perfection's sake. They are born this way. Combined arms with an emphasis on close combat.

Iron Hands: Stoic, strong firepower, over abundance of mechanised units, strong mechanicum bonds.

World Eaters: Simple assault tactics. Overwhelming close fire support, utilising short range bombardments and mass infantry assaults.

Ultramarines: The perfection of combined arms. All units excel in their roles, no preference to any style of warfare, they adapt to suit the situation.

Death Guard: Stoic, slow to advance, but unstoppable once momentum is gained. The prefer chemical warfare and attrition tactics.

Thousand Sons: Psykers. They value knowledge and are adept at combining their powers with their units in order to amplify their combat effectiveness.

Sons of Horus: Combined arms, with a preference for close assault with specialist units. The warmasters' own.

Word Bearers: Religious zealots. Shamed by the Emperor, they sought new gods in the form of the warp entities. Use of daemons and a preference to combined arms.

Salamanders: Strong armour formations, use of flamer, melta and volkites as preferred items of wargear. Solid rocks of loyalty.

Raven Guard: Hit and Run tactics. Use of high speed assaults, utilising jump infantry and infiltration tactics.

Alpha Legion: Distraction, confusion, infiltration. The Alpha Legion will sow discord within their enemies before striking with a range of weapon systems.

The Mechanicum: High firepower, high toughness, but slower, more ponderous and less coordinated and ambitious then the Legions.

The Custodes: Combined arms, every fighter is stronger then their Legion counterparts, fanatically loyal to the Emperor.

Sisters of Silence: Psychic pariahs. They diffuse psychic powers forcing enemies employing daemons and psykers to change their tactics, often for the worse. Force multiplier for other factions. Inferior to all other forces.

Imperial Army: Strong firebase, but lacks the staying power of the Legions. Excellent for throwing up walls of human shields and overwhelming through ranged tactics.

Disclaimer: I know that there are probably 50 fluff Nazis who want to jump on me for these descriptions, but I am just making a point here by labeling the most obvious traits of these armies. If you really have a problem with this, you're looking way too far into it.

Now, on top of their tactics, and their rules, what else draws a hobbyist in?

The paint schemes, that's a huge one. Many World Eater players got into them just because they are fricken' sexy. Yes, I said it, it's true tho, that blue-on-white looks amazing when done right. What about the Death Guard? battle damage, rust, burn damage, so many options here. Ultramarines, blue with white and gold accents is majestic when done right. Painting colours that we love really gives a hobbyist the warm tingly sensation. (Note that I say colours, not colors, as I am Australian and speak the Queen's English, Yankee scum haha.)

The HH novel series from Black Library, every HH player's nemesis. Who read Betrayer by that bastard A.D.B? (you write some brilliant stuff, one cannot help but be jealous of the way you can build a protagonist with little effort, and then thrust them into a complex story which keeps you up till 4am because you want to know more) You read that book, and you find yourself wanting to work on World Eaters. You'd even sell cocaine to fund the army. What about the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus trilogy: who wanted to build Loken and a force of Luna Wolves loyalists fighting the last stand on Istvaan III? The novel series can be a huge motivation because it opens our mind and draws us into the universe of 30k unlike any other series. On top of this, sometimes we just want to paint a diorama based on a vivid image, such as a helmetless Guilliman punching Word Bearers into the sun on the outside of a battleship in space, or Magnus having his epic duel with Russ, Fulgrim's decapitation of Ferrus and many, many more.

These are all huge factors and they make it really hard to pick a force. I know several guys who are just stuck, they see multiple forces and their eyes light up. Then they realise that their Mrs. is holding a sawed off shotgun and is checking the bank balance looking for any reason to hunt them down and murder their 'beloved' hubby. (C'mon lads, most of us have been there, it doesn't have to be a wife)

I personally think that you just need to combine all three big factors. Pick a force who's tactics you like, that you like from the novels, and who's paint scheme you like.

My choices

I ended up deciding on the Death Guard, as I knew they were radically different to the Thousand Sons, in tactics and ideology, as well as the simple fact that they had most of their kits released. I also liked the paint scheme and the stories, such as Flight of the Eisenstein. So, I chose that force. Once I decided that I was done with the Death Guard, I had another choice. I decided (as book II was about to drop) to do a Loyalist army, especially as the majority of players were doing traitors, or loyalist factions of traitors. I chose the Raven Guard, as again, their ideology was VERY different to the Death Guard AND the Thousand Sons, I loved Deliverance Lost, and the Ravens Flight is like a kick ass 30k version of Dunkirk combined with the Vietcong, something that is very different to the 'standard' marine army.

Final Word

At the end of the day, picking a Legion is hard. In an ideal world, we'd get to work on every Legion and be able to pick and choose from a huge variety of units at any time. Unfortunately, for most of us this just isn't the case, and we are lucky to really hit maybe half a dozen armies, to varying degrees.

I'd like to know your thoughts on this, how did you pick your Legion? How would you suggest people go about it? Why is Wadey such a jerk?


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Dealing With Critisism

What happened to Macca?

I had built a pre-heresy army which I was really happy with. I had picked up some painting awards, performed pretty well at a couple of events and this had made me cocky.

I decided as my next project that I would try a Book I: Betrayal army. Now, at this time(3 years ago-ish), I was probably a good painter, when it comes to Games Workshop super-highlighting and such, however I wanted to try using decals and realism. I was actually inspired by a mate John who runs The Painting Bunker and his wonderful 40k Carcharadons. For anyone who has seen this army in the flesh, it was actually something very different to what a lot of painters were doing at that time (he started the project early 2012, I believe), because he was using a LOT of decals, weathering, and a lot of heresy era armour.

Cue, the Death Guard. I tried everything on these guys, I tried decals, weathering powders, wet effects, tons of battle damage, all resin bases. I often met with mixed results, but I thought I had it nailed until I went to the Anzac Cup tournament in April 2013. I ran into John there, and he basically took me down a peg.

Personal note:

I am actually a very, very arrogant person. I always have been, I know it's a problem, and I am trying to deal with it. When I went to the Anzac Cup, I thought I had one of the best painted armies in the world. Yep, I actually thought this, because I had weathering, I had decals, I had all these 'pro' bits I had used throughout the army. But having these things doesn't make you good.

He quite correctly pointed out that I should have used oils in certain places instead of acrylics, I should also have tried different colours in several applications. Worst of all, my sponge-weathering was incorrect. I had applied the weathering all over, as well as concentrating it in all the wrong areas.

Well, lesson learned.

You see, among wargamers, there are two types of people asking for opinions:

-Those who want a real honest opinion.

-Those who just want you to praise them.

I can honestly say, I have been both at various points in time.  Of course, to break down this even further, those people who want a real honest opinion will fall into a further two categories:

-Those who will take it on board.

-Those who are know you're right, but will keep doing what they are doing.

Now, I have definitely been every one of these four options.

So, to continue the story, John shot me down a few pegs. I now had some choices, I could a) Ignore what he had to say; or b) understand what he had to say and work on it.

I contacted him about 6 months later whilst working on my new Raven Guard project. John actually said to me that he was shocked that I had listened. He didn't think I would take it on board. To be honest, I wasn't too sure, but I trusted in my fellow hobbyist. He had nothing to gain by leading my down the wrong path. This is something that I don't think enough people realise: People want to help you improve.

The reaction:

Ok, so, I know that I was wrong. I knew I had to improve. So, I did. What happened when I tried to do the same thing?

"You're an asshole, his work is great, you're just jealous"
"What's wrong with you? How can you put this down?"
"Mate, you're everything wrong with this hobby."

What did I do wrong?

Well, it seems that I am an asshole. I either picked the wrong crowd, or the wrong words. When I look on Facebook, BOLS, Wargamer, Cool Mini or any of a host of different sites, I see:


Harsh? Of course it's harsh. But it's the truth. As a group, we hate to say this, but there is a lot of absolute shit out there. We see it in blurry battle reports that look like they were filmed by someone with epilepsy at a Pink Floyd concert. We see it when someone posts up modesl with zero detail thanks to just terrible painting, and they are saying they'll do commission work! Is "that's shit" what I say to these people when I am giving criticism? Well, maybe to my mate Wadey, but really, no. Instead, I will say:

"I know what you're trying to achieve, but if I may make a suggestion, I would try thinning your paints more, you'll get a far better result."

Much nicer then 'Shit".

To everyone out there, when someone says "What do you think" or "C's and C's welcome", this is how you should respond, if you choose to respond, with a well thought out simple solution. Saying "Awesome work bro" isn't helping them improve as a hobbyist. Neither is defending them, unless an obvious troll is just picking on the painter.

Don't hate because something is different

Something I have often done, I actually get annoyed when people actively break with the established traditions. They paint pink Ultramarines, or call a Chapter a Legion. Whatever. I am a very judgmental hobbyist. This is also a bad attitude that I have slowly been trying to drop. If someone wants to do something different, don't hate on them, judge it on the quality itself.

Bad Reception:

I actually once made a tongue-in-cheek flow chart, to do with a group of gamers who were constantly asking super simple questions rather then looking in the Basic Rulebook. Now, before I get kicked off another page, the whole intent was that people should look in the BRB before going straight to a forum, that way they learn how to find things, and if they are struggling, then they could still ask for help. Here it is in all its glory. See anything offensive?

This got me kicked off a certain Facebook page, along with several people who came to my defence pointing out the joke and the actual merit. Some people felt that I was actively putting people down, despite all the 'positive reinforcement' I actually try to give. The perception was that I was hating on people for asking questions, although it couldn't be further from the truth. I was actually trying to encourage other gamers to do some detective work, but it backfired mightily.

The end story?

People who receive criticism will react in a number of ways. The best of hobbyists will act on it enthusiastically or justify their choices. I try to be both of these these days. The worst of hobbyists will be down right defensive, and you can expect all manner of response from them.

At the end of the day, it is up to the gamer to respond to any criticism they receive, however they deem fit. We don't always need to give an opinion, and we don't need to feel personally insulted when we receive a poor response or hear an answer we just don't like. Instead we have to take on board what we are told, and we have to learn from our mistakes rather then repeating them. If someone says "this method will really improve what you have" don't just ignore it, pick up a model, test it out. They could be right. If someone tells you "I'm sorry, but it just isn't it, this is crap", don't defend it, understand why they said it, you might learn something. Ask them why it's crap, ask how you can improve. If I had ignored John when I started my Raven Guard, you'd see a much worse army for it.

I'm Macca, and I'm still learning. I still get criticism. I still get angry sometimes. One day, I will be the 'perfect hobbyist', that is, the one who knows just with a look, exactly what to do with any job, and who knows how to take on board ideas. I'm not there, but I'm trying.


Something Altogether Different

Ok, I thought I would just have pure fan fun today. I thought I would take a look at a couple of Primarchs who are based on other sources. So, where to start?


So, the Lord of the Red Sands. Who is his look based on? Mola Rahm. This guy was one of the best villains I have ever seen on the silver screen. Most people should know him as the Anti-protagonist from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

This guy is just evil. He is the guy who rips hearts from chests, and has a thing about blood and skulls, along with having a penchant for child slave labour. Sound like Angron in any way?

Konrad Curze

This guy has two interesting aspects. His look is based upon the late Brandon Lee in 'The Crow', a victim of a vicious gang murder who is brought back to life to bring death to those who are evil and caused him pain.

Also, believe it or not, if the name didn't give it away, Marlon Brando's character in Apocalypse Now, Colonel Walter Kurtz is the actual personality which Curze is based on.

To quote Colonel Kurtz:

"I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream; that's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving."
"You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us."

Does that sound like Curze to you? He sounds like it to me...

 Jaghatai Khan

This one is a very obvious one: The Great Khan is, well, The Great Khan. Genghis Khan is actually a very positively viewed role model in Mongolia and is considered a hero even to this day. Despite being a man to whom conquest seemed to come naturally, he was also fair and equitable to those who joined him. This is pretty much exactly as Jaghatai appears in the Horus Heresy novel series too, not a lot of thinking seems to have gone into him, but hey, why mess with a great idea?

Now this is just three, in time I will do all eighteen Primarchs, but I just thought this would be a fun article. Of course it's all non-canon, but so long as you get a kick out of it like I do, who cares?

In the interest of fun,


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Musings On The Horus Heresy Thus Far: Part Three

First of all, we had some big hits yesterday on our Power Armour article, which is great to see. I'd just like to give a big thank you to everyone who supports this blog and views it on a regular basis. At the end of the day, we don't get money for this, we don't advertise, or get free stuff. This blog is run by a couple of guys who just love the hobby, and we just want to share everything we know, with the hope that people will share back and help us to get better ourselves.

Ok, to the topic at hand, Musings number Three.

So, for those who have followed the first couple of articles, Part 1 and Part 2, we have looked at the quality,value, a bit into the kits themselves and also what you get in a Legion army. Today we are going to look at the Mechanicum, the campaigns and finally where to next.

Mechanicum/Dark Mechanicum

Ok, now despite the title, there are zero differences between these guys yet. Why? Well, it's the start of the heresy, it's like the start of anything, everyone has defected with good intentions (I guess, just ignore the Word Bearers), and they don't yet realise that they have literally signed a pact with the devil.

In the Mechanicum list, you get what I like to term 'badassery'. That is to say, you can kick some major ass. Unlike the legions, the majority of the Mechanicum forces are poorly armoured, around 4&5+ saves seem to be the norm, with the occasional units making it as high as 2+. This isn't too bad however as multiple wound and higher toughness are traits common to a variety of units. On top of this, the majority of units pack weapons which ignore the Legiones Astartes armour, such as bolt cannons, phased plasma weapons etc. Of particular note are the Castellax, a Monstrous Creature that can be taken in squads and are TROOPS choices. Of course with the advent of 7th edition and unit scoring changes, they are less effective as scoring units now, however, in games below 1500 points, trying to remove these guys is harder then trying to cross Sydney without using a tollway (to those outside of Australia, Sydney is pretty much shaped like a spider web, and costs an arm and a leg to drive through).

As for their tanks, Super Heavies etc, they are masterful. Their lighter armour is similar to a Sicarian tank in effectiveness, whilst the wide selection of siege automata and knights can add some real punch, and at the extreme end of the game they will bring the Titans themselves. When it comes to HQ's, the Mechanicum are polar opposites of the Legions. Yes, they are big, tough, hard to kill, but they are designed to buff their army, rather then be a force in their own right.

If you want to go hard in Heresy games, these are the guys to do it, because anything and everything is a target for these guys.

The Campaigns

Now, this is a subject that not enough people are looking at, I personally think these are really well written narratives, and I will look at running them once we have enough players with large enough forces.

The Horus Heresy campaigns are three different styles.

In Betrayal, you have smaller battles between loyalists and traitors, with cityfight terrain using a variety of choke points. This is claustrophobic war fighting and is great for armies around 1500 points in size. I like the missions here, and you can even sneak a Primarch in here and there.

In Massacre, you now upscale to large open battles, with the occasional Fortification. Primarch V Primarch combat is huge here, and you can really open a can of whoop ass. This book is all about the Massacre, funny enough, so it starts all cheery with the Iron Hands storming enemy forces and rofl stomping face, and ends with the Loyalists last stands.

Finally, Extermination plays more with the idea of Zone Mortalis and Skirmish sized battles. This is because there are not Large Legion forces present on Istvaan V, just the shattered Raven Guard and a few unwelcome traitors (well, except Angry Ron and his chaps). The Zone Mortalis stuff is great too for fighting those void battles, but don't limit yourself to that, it could be fighting in poisonous atmosphere, such as the planet Barbarous.

All in all, these campaigns allow you to fight any number of battles in the Heresy. Although they are aimed at these specific battles, the tools are there to forge your own narrative. Not enough credit is given to the developers who worked on this section of the book, most people are more interested in the pictures and lists.

...What next?

Lets start with the bad. No Prospero this year.

Yeah, look, as a Thousand Sons player since sometime in the 90's, this sucks for me. BUT,  and this is a big BUT, this was the right decision. For the first time in ages with this hobby, the people writing the rules have said "look, a new edition, rather then fucking this, lets take a step back, figure out the rule set and balance this book from the ground up".


Now, the good. There will be a book IV later this year. It will contain more rules aimed at narrative campaigns: Win. It will contain more on the Mechanicum: Win. It will feature the Solar Auxillia: Um, I guess win? (I'm not a fan of guard, humans are just meat shields for power armour it seems).

Now, these books have no release schedule that I have seen, tho I am sure that behind the scenes, people have ideas. Now, this is all conjecture on my part, however...

Prospero: Thousand Sons, Space Wolves, Custodes and Sisters of Silence. Cool.
Signus Prime: Blood Angels, probably Daemons. It is just speculation, but I can see the Dark Angels or White Scars also being slotted in here just to get all feet on the ground.
Calth: Papa smurf and the rest of Smurf Village, more Word Bearers, and any other primary forces which have yet to pop up.

Well, to me, this is a bright future, although I think I will be in my mid thirties by the time the Heresy has run its course. To people who are complaining about the time taken to release things, remember, Forge World has to put a lot of work into the books and models, for anyone who is familiar with metalworking and plastics (like myself, shameless plug, I run an engineering business) molds cost a FUCKTIN of money. Whilst not an accurate measurement of cost, a fucktin is basically slang for very very very very expensive. If you're curious about this, watch the show Mega Factories: Lego and the molding process that goes on there for much much much simpler stuff.

Anyway, that's enough from me, here's a cat and I bid you good day.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Macca on Tactica: Different Armour MK's and Their Uses

I thought I would take a break from all the negativity of late to talk about something different. There is often a subject that comes up, and that is about what MK's of Power Armour an army should use. The answer of course, is whatever you feel you like most, but, if you want a more in-depth view, well, I will give you one.


This is the armour that the Legions wore most. Mark II Power Armour was developed towards the end of the Age of Strife and was used during the dawn of the Imperium by the Space Marines. This armour type was the one in majority use right up until near the end of the Great Crusade.

The majority of Legions actually used this armour as their mainstay throughout the Great Crusade, so any force set around the time of the Ullanor campaign or prior would have had the majority of their troops armoured this way, with a few exceptions.

Use this armour if:

-your force is pre-Primarch
-your force is predominantly a high attrition force (that is, suffers mass casualties) as this armour was the easiest to replace due to being so common
-your force is a higher speed force which favours lighter armour
-you are using loyalists (as Horus tried to get the Maximus MK IV armour given to Legions allied to him as a priority)

Examples of Legions which preferred this MK are:

-Dark Angels
-World Eaters
-Space Wolves
-White Scars


This armour was developed as a heavy assault armour. It is actually just MK II with extra plates attached to the front of it, and this is clearly visible when you view a miniature from behind.

MK III was best suited for spacecraft boarding actions and combat in confined subterranean tunnel complexes with little cover. This armour was ideally used by Space Marines when cover was minimal and combat was a matter of a simple frontal assault. Because of this pattern of Power Armour's great strength, it became known as the "Iron Armour".

Use this armour if:

-your force is pre-Primarch
-your force is predominantly a high attrition force (that is, suffers mass casualties) as this armour was the easiest to replace due to being so common
-your force is a frontal assault force which prefers heavy armour
-you are using boarding and Zone Mortalis tactics

Examples of Legions which preferred this MK are:

-Iron Warriors
-Imperial Fists
-Iron Hands
-Death Guard


Maximus. Supposed to be the pinnacle of armour design, able to offer the best protection in a variety of conditions. Many of the Space Marine Legions were entirely or partially re-equipped with it by the start of the Horus Heresy.

The armour is best suited to the same roles as MK II, but is designed for use late in the Crusade, so it is of little use to people fielding early crusade armies.

Use this armour if:

-your force is post-Primarch
-your force is a traitor, or a later Legion, as they were often the first to receive new equipment

Examples of Legions which preferred this MK are:

-Blood Angels
-Thousand Sons
-Sons of Horus
-Emperors Children
-Night Lords
-Word Bearers
-Raven Guard
-Alpha Legion


Ok, there is no picture for this one. MK V is a stopgap designation or term, used to cover all mish-mashes of armour combinations and home jobs built during the Heresy by both sides. Unlike the actual Forge World models, it is not of a standardized design, and would most likely have been regular MK II, III and IV armour with parts home made or taken from other MK's added to them.

Use this armour if:

-you don't care about the actual fluff and think it looks cool
-you like rivets

Examples of Legions which preferred this MK are:


MK VI (Originally called MK V)

The finalised pattern of the Mark VI armour was named Corvus Armour in honour of the Raven Guard Legion's Primarch Corvus Corax. It looked little different from the Mark IV armour which most of the Legions already wore, with the obvious exception that the left shoulder plate was bolt-reinforced and the helmet design is the classic beaky.

This new mark of armour was Artificer-made and the first sets were shipped to the Raven Guard Legion ahead of all the other Loyalist Legions during the Horus Heresy, in recognition of not only their role in the technology's development process, but of the valiant sacrifice made by the XIX Legion during the Drop Site Massacre of Istvaan V, and their resolute determination to rebuild their shattered Legion to rejoin the fight against Horus. The prototype plans seem to have been acquired by the Alpha Legion, and they seem to be sporting similar armour, as well as captured examples from the drop-site being taken in very small quantities, most likely by Sons of Horus marines.

Use this armour if:

-your force is Raven Guard
-your force is Alpha Legion
-your force is a traitor present at Istvaan V who may have captured examples in LIMITED quantities.

Examples of Legions which preferred this MK are:

-Raven Guard
-Alpha Legion

Terminator Armour

In the Heresy, we use two main types:



These two armours serve two different functions. Cataphractii is the real heavy hitter, similar in function to MK III power armour, and you can even see it in the layout. Tartaros on the other hand is more like MK IV power armour, an all-rounder version.

All the Legions utilised both types, in varying numbers, but it's up to you as the player to pick which one suits your army more. If you are using Imperial Fists with lots of Breachers, Cataphractii might be the go. If you are using Raven Guard, the more subdued Tartaros might suit you better.


I hope this quick little guide on power armour is helpful to you, I know that in the end, we all have a theme in mind for our armies, so at least this will give you the basics you need when picking what you are going to use. If you liked this article, let me know, also, if you have any ideas on other articles you would like to read or information you would like to know, post it in the comments.

I would also like to give a big thanks to Forge World on their lovely artwork, which I have featured here. As it is hard to come by really high quality images, I have borrowed these ones for the purposes of this article. Until next time,


Monday, 26 May 2014

Musings On The Horus He- Wait A Minute, Who Changed The Rules?

Ok, so it happened about two or three years earlier then we thought.... a new Edition of Warhammer 40,000. It's all over the internet (they have that on computers now), but I am not going to take the same approach as the other blogs, because it means changes for The Horus Heresy, and that's all I care about.

So, what does this mean for the HH gamer?

On Saturday morning, I found myself heading around to my friend Cat's for a game with him and another mate John. We set up the table, a nice cityfight board, we got some lists together, no allies, just straight Legion lists. I was running Raven Guard (for a change, pfft), Cat was using a World Eaters army with more terminators then I had tactical marines, and John had his awesome converted Word Bearers. John proceeded to pull out his brand new, limited edition 40k rulebook. He then said "This cost $360." Ok, now, for those playing in other parts of the world, that's Australian dollars, which is about $340 US dollars, or 180 Euros... Fuck me in the ass sideways with a pineapple!

$360 for a book the size of a DVD case....

So after getting over the shock of what 7th just cost my mate, we got to looking at the rules. Cue the standard "Dafuq, why did they touch that rule, and why did they change that? Were they high when they came up with this?" but, as I calmed down (admittedly some time around 12 hours later,) I got to see that some things were a little better. Now I don't care about 40-gay anymore, they pretty much lost me at the Eldar Codex, so we aren't going to go into that, besides, BOLS and Wargamer can give you all the knowledge you need about the changes to death stars.

So what do I care about?

What I do care about however are two things: my Legion, and Chaos Daemons. Why? Because they are Super Mario Battle Bros. with the Word Bearers. We already know of lists that summon 50+ models per turn thanks to the Malefic (Re: who even reads the fluff anymore, marine players, summon daemons to your hearts content) psychic powers. As a Heresy player, this is VERY worrying. But, before letting the hate flow through me, I realised something: We don't game like that.

You see, I think that 90-95% of people playing the Horus Heresy are playing fluffy lists and playing them for pure fun. My mate/Wadey's-man-lover Keepy has a Sons of Horus army that has 10 Justaerin in it... about the most expensive bloody unit compared to its actual usefulness of any unit in the FW trilogy! Yet he is building them, and using them. Because why? It's fluffy, and it's fun!

I have another friend, and he is collecting White Scars. He was running a fully legal list in 1000 point games with 9 jetbikes with a primus medicae on jetbike.... for anyone playing at that points, that is an incredibly hard list to kill. But, he doesn't play it anymore, because although it won games, (boy did it win games!) it wasn't fun, it was "move, fire, repeat".

So, I guess the 35 power dice pool and the Warhammer Fantasy style magic, I mean, psychic, phase doesn't really effect the Heresy. Most guys seem to want to just run special characters and Praetors, because there is NOTHING cooler to a heresy player then a beefed up, fully converted, fully themed praetor swinging his weapons and cutting a bloody path through his foes.

Ah, I first used this in my first Macca on Tactica... I still think it works...

Of course, when a good friend who works for Games Workshop (seriously, he's a good bloke, not once has he dry humped my leg when I walked in. Hate the guys at the top, not the guy in the hobby store, he is usually just a fan trying to earn a living) asked me what I think of the new Psychic Phase, I replied "I think it's as well thought out as anal bleaching". You see, it serves a purpose, you now have a whiter asshole. Did it achieve anything else? Well, um, not really? The new psychic phase is just like that. You now have all these dice to roll, and the whole thing just got a lot more complicated, but hey, it's a change. It has fixed Seerstars, if you're into that thing, but really, it's just served no real purpose.

If you disagree with this, I will be happy to debate the pros and cons of anal bleaching with you.

Ok, so if that problem is solved, what about the Legion lists?

Well, not a whole lot has changed here. I don't think Forge World will do many changes here, but all your vehicles just got a lot harder to kill, especially if you're running Salamanders with their Rite of War. To be honest, I actually don't mind too much, the majority of changes will not hurt the weekend wargamer who just wants to put pretty models on the board.

To think you had to sit through the spiel on anal bleaching to get here.

The new objective cards?

Well, I am not sure how to put this, but I am NOT a fan. The problem here, is that you can really get a bum draw and lose a game despite doing anything and everything you can. An example (such as what happened with me on the weekend) is that you might draw a "kill a flying monstrous creature to get a victory point"- but in the Horus Heresy, funny enough, these aren't that common, so that's a point you're not getting. Not only that, but your opponent might get "hold objective #.." for a free victory point. Ok, cool, so he gets a free point? Now just because of a card, I'm a point down?

Some people might be saying "ah, c'mon, all you need to do in that case is kill the holding unit".

Well, it's not that easy, you see, in 4th, 5th and 6th, the objective game was simple: Start the game, kill the most dangerous units, working your way down, and in the last few turns, seize the objectives to win the game with relative safety. Now, you have to say "damn, little Billy is holding objective 2 and is going to get a victory point. I have to force that unit off the objective, but to do so, I am now diverting resources away from where I need them more, such as killing their heavy firepower.

Call this cynical thinking, but I feel it's kind of taking the fun away a little bit, yes, it's more technical, but I would rather win or lose based upon how myself and my opponent actually performed during the game, as opposed to who pulled out the better cards along the way.

The aftermath.

Naturally, when I realised that I could just use the HH missions and objectives, and as a house rule ignore the cards and such, I decided to go party at the Sovereign with Wadey and Keepy.

How did this get in here? Dammit! Who proof-reads my work!

It's not all doom and gloom now, is it? No, in fact, I like a few changes, such as changes to jink saves, however I do feel that the overall feel of the game was nicer in 3rd and 4th. In the short term, some FAQ's will drop, and we will get on board, and in a month or two, the grumbling will subside. In the long term, the Prospero Book has been pushed hard to the right thanks to the complete change to the psychic phase, so the fans of the Thousand Sons (like myself) and Space Wolves (pathetic dog worshipers) will be waiting quite a while (a year is a fair guess). I must say however, that isn't exactly a bad thing, since the developers are all too happy to work out how to make these armies work, unlike a certain codex that dropped at the start of 6th yet felt entirely 5th...

So, what are your thoughts on this? Too cynical? Fan of anal bleaching? Perhaps you plan to run a list that will stretch the boundaries of the rules? Let me know,


Friday, 23 May 2014

Raven Guard Legion Heavy Support Squad 1.

Ah, finally, back to models. I have been busy working on my articles an Books 1, 2 and 3 from FW, as well as some Alpha Legion, but today sees a return to my Raven Guard...

Lets take a look at some Legion Heavy Support in the form of Devastators. I love these guys, and having everyone equipped with heavy weapons makes sense. As I don't get to touch MK III a lot with the Raven Guard, these guys were fun, as the trim allows me to add a little extra colour. I magnetised their weapons so I can swap between the two at any time, but I have to say, I am so happy with how the plasma turned out, I might just use them all the time. You decide.


I have softly blued the barrel tips with some Guilliman glaze, and the plasma are just three levels of drybrushing with white over the top. No airbrushing at all on these guys except for the light dusting on their feet/lower legs.


I haven't actually settled on a lens colour yet for the lascannons, so I am open to suggestions...

The Sgt was a fun extra bit. I wanted him to stand out, but without using a crested helm or a paint stripe, so I used the GW 40K Tac Squad 'Bane' face. Batman is screwed now! Also, I decided on a different plasma cannon, as if the Sgt has the more unique wargear, and the binoculars hint at him leading his troops and picking targets.

I used small black decals to apply numbers to the weapons (in this case, 3) so I can identify which weapons belong to which chap.

So there you have it,  Devastators in a nut shell. Hope you enjoy,


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Alpha Legion!


Well, erhem, not exactly... Macca here, and today I bring you an army I have been doing some commission work on, an Alpha Legion army! Now it's not all finished yet, AND the guy who owns it helped paint it with me, as I used the army as a tutorial for him to learn some basics of airbrushing on. Shout out to Deano!

I built a custom 'Exodus' the sniper character from Book III for the army, and he wears slightly darker versions of the Alpha armour. There isn't anything special about him, as he is a freebie I have thrown in for my mate just so we could use the guy in games!

Now I know Rhinos are not that popular in 6th, but we couldn't resist kitting a few up with hunter killers.

I really went to town on these rhinos, fully painting the interiors, as well as unit numbers being applied to the inner hatches, caution stripes on the ramps, rust damage on the floors, walls and ramp.

This army was actually begun around the time Book II arrived, and was done around Christmas, for the most part. The Hydra symbol is from 40k, we decided to keep it as opposed to the high-contrast white Hydra as the subdued Hydra says something subtly about subversion and stealth, to us anyway.

Also visible are the unit markings on the right knee.

Now the army wouldn't be any fun without some kind of high-speed anti armour.... so we built 3 speeders. (I still have 3 more to do)

Each speeder comes with converted Heresy era crew.

The bases are all provided by Secret Weapon Miniatures, and as always, are of a fantastic quality.

Lastly, we come to the case. I had this case custom built by the lads at Laser Touch, based here in Melbourne Australia. These guys do amazing work, and I am so happy that I'm giving them a sly plug right here.

The case is designed to hold the entire army and the units I have yet to complete (lots of recon marines), and even has custom unit names traced into the surface.

Alpha 6, 7 and 8 are the Rhinos.

So that's all for now. If you liked this army, let me know, I am considering doing more commissions, although I have had massive troubles with my varnish supplier lately and it has slowed everything I do right down.

Take care,