Finished Beasts of Nurgle

Back in the 90s one piece of wargear you could get for your Chaos Space Marine army was a Beast of Nurgle…

Back in the 90s one piece of wargear you could get for your Chaos Space Marine army was a Beast of Nurgle. From there the legend of Sluggie was born. At some point I acquired two more of this era of Beasts of Nurgle and they were last used in a Warhammer Fantasy Battle campaign in Vancouver.

For that campaign I rebased them from their original cavalry bases to “monster bases” which were just pieces of balsa wood I cut to the right size. Somehow when the Chaos Daemon Codex came out and the rules suddenly changed so that I could have daemons in my Diseased Sons again, even if they wouldn’t be wargear cards, I quickly latched on to fielding Beasts. Of course I still want to field my sea of Nurglings or my horde of Plaguebearers but at 25% of the power, three Beasts of Nurgle will require at least a 48 power game and I think I must spend one command point to take them.

So I’ve been rebasing these models since September. I ended up doing a lot more than just slapping a round base on them. I had to cut the balsa wood and the plastic to fit. I had to fill in and round the hard edges, cover them with sand and skulls then paint that. I also used a variety of basing material I picked up over the years. During all that the models picked up a few nicks so rather than just leave it or touch it up with green or black, I got the idea to improve both the bones and the tentacles.

I did several highlights on parts of the green Beast of Nurgle, Sluggie. Esmeralda, the purple one, got the fanciest base. I tried out some new paint and ink on the runes but I actually think it looked better two coats of paint ago. She got the least new coats of paint on her tentacles. I also picked up some Blood for the Blood God paint recently and decided to try that on all the guts and sores. Finally Sluggie got Nurgle’s Rot gobbed on his tentacle tips.

Picked up recently at the Sentry Box was a tank, the Plagueburst Crawler. I don’t own one and the peanut gallery thought I needed one, I also bought a can of spray paint as no way that is getting done with tiny lines any time soon. In fact I don’t need any more models, but you get a discount on your birthday week so I should buy something.

Next up in the paint queue may be another old classic Diseased Sons model that I’ll spend less time on, but I think I thought the same about the Beasts of Nurgle, then I can see a primed and converted Chaos Spawn, the new Maceo, the Plague Surgeon and his objective marker and already on my painting table because I figured I’d be done lone ago are two plague marines that will finish the Burning Sores, but after a year of campaigning my thoughts on arming plague marines have changed.

Beasts Of Nurgle
Three Beasts of Nurgle

I also have two battle reports to type up and I think I have not even completed updating my campaign roster after my last game. I’ve been working a lot of hours and it has affected my sleep. Also I have not done a hobby blog retrospective or a post detailing my plans for next year, so that might happen before the battle reports, I’m not sure. I enjoyed reading several recently and I’m not sure the all battle reports all the time blogging style is maximizing likes.

After reading a thread about them, I ordered a set of magnifying lenses that go over my existing glasses. I’ve only tried the weakest ones, but it does make a difference. I’m not sure it has made me a better painter, but it does give me more confidence. Obviously having perfect vision is ideal, but I may never have had that, instead I need to try new techniques and options to speed up my painting. I doubt I’ll be doing freehand murals on tanks again any time soon, but who knows, I never thought I’d be painting a tank again so soon.

So if you have thoughts on what I should add to my Death Guard campaign army, or how either Arks of Omen or 10th Edition will affect the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion you can leave a comment below. Even if you have idle speculation on what vintage model I’ll dust off next and bring back to the gaming tables thirty years later, fire away.

The Siege of Vanitros’s Bastion, Year One

In the beginning there was an idea, let’s not play another skirmish scale campaign and instead play a narrative campaign of the big game…

In the beginning there was an idea, let’s not play another skirmish scale campaign and instead play a narrative campaign of the big game, Warhammer 40,000. This meant a lot of work for Bill and I but we eventually roped some other people into playing at the Sentry Box and elsewhere in Calgary. I’m still not sure who is winning, but it isn’t me.

I however have typed up over twenty battle reports and before typing up the next one I thought I would read back through them all in order to better forge the narrative as Bill has apparently been slacking at that.

In the before times

Before the campaign had a silly name, before it even had official participants there was just Bill and I playing a game of Warhammer 40,000 for the first time in almost exactly twenty years. I had recently bought Kill Team and I thought that was a more realistic scale for an apartment dweller with ever worsening eyesight. I don’t know what possessed Bill to go big in 2022, probably years of being stuck with no gaming at the Sentry Box during the pandemic, but he complains repeatedly about the chaos he has unleashed on the galaxy or at least Calgary.

I would of course be using the Diseased Sons, the same army I was using last time Bill and I played twenty years ago. Bill would not be using Orks instead he would be defending the Imperium against enemies foreign, domestic, alien, and immaterial.

There have been many heroes of the Diseased Sons: Oderous the Unclean, Leperous the Obese, and sandwiched between Epilepsius the Unbalanced and Malefactor the Marred in a censored data slate was a nearly forgotten figure who had never been documented leading a major campaign, Maceo the Maligned. Would he rise to glory or would he fall and endure the wrath of fickle gods?

Before the campaign could start we had to learn the new to me 9th Edition rules, as apparently I don’t know everything. More miniatures were dusted off McFly the Malevolent, Boris the Defiler even a much derided rhino APV. The great rebasing of 2022 was contemplated and begun, maybe in 2023 or 2024 it will be complete.

As Bill fleshed out his plans and attempted to find additional participants for his experiments more models were dusted off and tried on the table terminators and cultists made of lead oh my. Alas defeat greeted them in the grim darkness of the world’s largest gaming store.

Shadowy figures began to emerge bleary eyed but not yet warped into being brushy tailed. Are they Dark Angels, have they Fallen, or are they merely pawns deceived by promises made by the Chaos Gods or Bill? Mr. Piggie, Vaal the Asharian, Nixan, and Skink threw there lot in with the Diseased Sons, now truly a hive of scum and villainy.

Warhammer 40,000 only becomes more complicated with every book released and data slate updated. There are a lot of campaign rules, relics, and agendas. My starting forces began to take shape with Cancerous the Extremely Naughty and Billalexdevin being added and McFly being removed, will we see his beatific face again?

It Begins, Vanithros’s Bastion must fall!

The forces of the Ultramarines and the Chosen Sons of Mortarion, the Diseased Sons, the Death Guard, led by Maceo the Maligned met at censored coordinates in the Pariah Nexus, the galactic sector which housed the mysterious Vanithros’s Bastion, both forces trying to sweep and clear. Skulking in the shadows were the Fallen. Would the enigmatic Aeldari be drawn into the conflict, would a random space hulk filled with orks crash on the planet mid-battle, who knows. The Chaos Gods are notoriously fickle and the warp storms know no master.

In the second week McFly the Malevolent officially joined the campaign, perhaps he was delayed due to being tired from all that practice. Having defeated the Ultramarines in their initial skirmish the newly reinforced Diseased Sons had to randomly sweep and clear again, this time it was the Dark Angels Chapter of Space Marines impeding their path or was it? Elsewhere in the Pariah Nexus the Aeldari did predictably appear, there was no rejoicing.

The third week of the campaign was marked with the appearance of the Sisters of Battle. Surely mere women could not stop the Diseased Sons from seizing the supply cache now that they were further reinforced by the Hellbrute known as Toe Jam? There was pitched hand to hand combat in some back alleys of some inconsequential settlement, with Maceo failing to kill the Canoness as darkness fell.

There were now five opposing forces in the Pariah Nexus. What does Vanithros’s Bastion contain? Does it contain treasure, forbidden knowledge, the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe or is it merely a MacGuffin? Having failed to secure the supply cache and kill the Canoness, Maceo was in a truly foul mood before being forced to confront both the Ultramarines and the Aeldari. Had they allied against the Diseased Sons? Regardless, Nurgle hates blue armour.

If only I had remembered the true power of the Contagion of Nurgle, Bagonhead the Unbearable would not have had to been so heroic.

The enbiggening of my starting five man plague marine squads had begun but I’m actually wondering if nine is not the sweet spot because more plague marines is clearly better and they’ll never be a true gun line. Nine model squads leave room for a character in the rhino. Twenty weeks of hindsight is all well and fine but I’m telling all y’all it’s a sabotage that I have to keep fighting the Fallen or am I fighting the Fallen? Can the Right Hard Posse turn their hope into rot?

On Easter Sunday it fell to Maceo and McFly to try and defeat two enemy forces simultaneously. Would twenty plague marines be enough? What if they painted their armour purple would that make a difference? And why do the Fallen keep lurking in the shadows do they have something to hide? And is everyone aligned against the Diseased Sons? Will the Farseer ever tire of Dooming chaos space marines?

In this battle, Billalexdevin earned the Mark of Shame.

Once again the Diseased Sons faced off against their newest and most hated foes the Ultramarines. Take that Iron Hands! Could Maceo the Maligned complete the ritual in time? Would this remove the shame of Billalexdevin or the disgrace of the Cancer Cell? The Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion was long and the battle scars were earned.

Having completed the ritual and defeated the Ultramarines once more would a Chris finally join the campaign? What about a Kris? Or would we have to settle for a Thomas and an Aiden? Does twice as many players make the campaign go twice as long or does that rule only hold for four-way games versus two-way games? Would the next game be a complete catastrophe and why do the Ultramarines, the Sisters of Battle and the Fallen all want to stop your humble narrator and his Diseased Sons?

This game did feature my most successful Blight Bombardment, how many Sisters of Battle died? Stumpy, spawn of chaos didn’t have enough fingers to count, maybe he’ll grow some more. Once again Maceo could not kill the Canoness in hand to hand combat. He did earn a second Chaos Boon. Other Diseased Sons gained battle honours after this lengthy four army confrontation.

When the dust settled and a new day dawned Maceo the Maligned stared across the battlefield at the Aeldari once more. Where had they come from, what do they want? Would the addition of Killious Bilious the Silliest turn the tide of battle in the Diseased Sons’ favour, did he possess crucial intelligence on how to defeat the Aeldari?

After suffering defeat at the delicate and dainty hands of the Aeldari, Maceo the Maligned learned of a new Chaos Lord in the Pariah Nexus, would Lord Godrick be a friend or a foe? Chaos on Chaos conflict soon commenced because there can be only one Lord of Chaos in the Pariah Nexus.

Who would dominate the field this day? Maceo did defeat multiple Chaos Knights in melee combat, one even had to be struck down twice.

With Lord Godrick escaping Maceo’s grasp and the Aeldari presumably off doing something enigmatic, could the Diseased Sons defeat the Ultramarines yet again, could they dominate the field, or would their hope turn to rot?

In the twelfth week of the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion campaign it fell to the forces of the Diseased Sons to fight two battles on the same day. Where are all these armies coming from, Imperial Fists, Orks, and Adeptus Custodes arriving made the Pariah Nexus even more conflicted. Maceo defeated Waaargh ‘Eadripper but could not overcome the golden host with the most difficult to spell rules. Win or lose, battle scars would be earned.

Is that a Chaos Knight I see towering off in the distance or is the Pariah Nexus playing tricks on our sensors yet again? The Shroud is as inexplicable as it is impenetrable. As the battle climaxed, Maceo the Maligned and the Ultramarine Gravis Captain met in hand to hand combat, who would triumph? Would Maceo the Maligned ever achieve daemonhood?

Daemonhood exceeded Maceo’s grasp, after once again failing to kill the enemy commander in mortal combat, despite undertaking a successful flanking maneuver, the fickle forces of chance had had enough. Having been struck down by Lord Godrick for what turned out to be the final time, what made its way back to the Diseased Sons lines was barely humanoid, but it clutched a familiar looking mace…

News of Maceo’s untimely demise spread quickly through the Pariah Nexus and a certain Gravis Captain was eager to take advantage of the Diseased Sons’ weakened state. Who would win during the Obolis Incursion? Is this yet another MacGuffin? With McFly now leading the Diseased Sons he chose the path of calculated eradication and of course he had to turn their hope into rot. Was it a victory for the Diseased Sons or was it a victory for the Ultramarines? Does it even matter to Khorne?

Fresh off his less than triumphant draw, McFly had no choice but to soldier on as the campaign entered a new phase. Forces were now divided up into a Chaos contingent so the Alpha Legion, the renegade Knights and the Death Guard were no longer enemies instead attempting to defeat the combined might of the Ultramarines, the Imperial Fist, the Sisters of Battle, the Adeptus Custodes and any Xenos scum that may have temporarily allied with them. Was there any doubt who would win, evil will always triumph over good, because good is dumb.

After a long march, the Diseased Sons infiltrated the ring and turned the Imperial Fists’ hope into rot.

The very next week Bill changed his mind and forced the Death Guard to again attempt to destroy the ever more powerful Lord Godrick. Can you kill a Chaos Knight with a plague knife or a bolter shell? Would the Chaos Knights even bother to hunt for tech or would they just stomp on everything arrayed before them? Would you believe Aiden got tired of winning?

After not getting tabled by the Chaos Knights only the Ultramarines were brave enough to confront the Diseased Sons. Would the Ultramarines methodically eradicate their opposition or was today in fact not a good day to die? Had Captain Acheran and the Avenging Sons of Ultramar grown tired of winning too? Regardless an ill ash wind was blowing across the battlefield as the opposing forces crept into position.

First the Chaos Space Marines received a new codex, then the Chaos Daemons received a new codex and with the Chaos Knights already running wild crushing all who oppose them in their giant metallic fists, everything was coming up chaos.

Joining the campaign was a certain podcaster and finally the campaign would have a Kris. Alas the battle to see who the dice hate most would have to wait as the golden host with most difficult to spell special rules were declared the official opposition of the ever growing forces of the Diseased Sons. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I lost the first key roll of the game.

After twenty weeks of extremely difficult campaigning there would be no golden armoured super soldiers arrayed before the Diseased Sons this week, instead the “green” tide of Waaagh ‘Eadripper was back and they brought a Kill Bursta tank this time. My tradition of rolling ones to start the game continued.

Apparently, Beasts of Nurgle take a long time to rebase and touch up, starting that project randomly has hurt the Diseased Sons as no reinforcements have appeared on an actual battlefield for a long long time. We haven’t even gotten to see the family squabble of Nurgle versus Nurgle instead we got more complaints from Bill and even more orks joining the campaign, apparently green is good. But I used to play orks many many editions ago and I can tell a choppa from a big choppa.

With the orks now being everywhere could the stunties be far behind? I haven’t gotten to fight against them but I hear the Leagues of Votann are in fact strong. But alas it was again time for Chaos on Chaos crime as the Alpha Legion get up to their old tricks, or do they have new tricks?

Learnings

After almost a full year of campaigning with the Diseased Sons, the Chosen Sons of Mortarion, the Sons of Barbarus, have I learned anything? Well after reviewing every single battle report and summarizing them for the greater good, I decided I would add a short list of learnings.

1) More than ever, 40K has become an arms race

You may start the campaign with your warlord having a power weapon and a snazzy hat, but others will be bringing relic weapons and armoured fighting vehicles just short of a titan. GW very much increases its codices in power as an edition goes on, so armies with the latest greatest codex will be difficult to defeat even with balanced data slates contemptuously throwing crumbs at the older armies. A knife and a bolter is not cutting edge weaponry in the 41st Millennium.

2) Complexity increases as the campaign goes on

The 9th Edition of Warhammer 40,000 is complicated enough but as the campaign went on there were an ever increasing number of new agendas, stratagems, relics, honours, and scars to remember. Units gained objective secured and improved armoured saves while others lost benefits, the rules as written were no longer always the rules as written. Attempts by GW to rebalance points have little affect on a campaign using power level.

3) Don’t permanently lose your warlord

The most important roll of the entire campaign may have been the random third Chaos Boon I attempted to generate. I was learning the rules as I went and for the good of the narrative repeatedly took random boon. Other codices may have rules that give players setbacks but losing your warlord and any relics he may have is a major setback, much worse than losing an eye or picking up the Mark of Shame. The Diseased Sons have arguably not recovered.

Other warlords which have not been permanently turned into Chaos Spawn have only become more and more powerful as the campaign has gone on. Maceo could have been alive with a legendary campaign relic of his choosing, let some other minor character try to randomly become a Daemon Prince or just requisition one. If rumours are true you can have two Daemon Princes using the new Arks of Omen rules.

4) Become a good bookkeeper

There are a lot of rules to keep track of and a lot of record keeping that must be done in a narrative campaign. The three random rolls to generate your initial disease can give the Death Guard a random boost or it can just force you to play oddly. You’ll have to choose agendas over and over which can earn you Virulence points. There is a relic which can make tailoring your disease more feasible and less random but when the primary and perhaps only model that can spread the disease turns into a chaos spawn, did I mention this was a major setback? But as you may have already guessed, it was also a cause of additional record keeping. I could have just selected the relic that makes tailoring your disease easier, no randomness, no risk.

As the campaign has entered a new phase I must try to accomplish a new set of challenging agendas to collect corruption points. I never spent my inflection points which now seem useless, so less than MacGuffins. As the campaign goes on you must keep track of various tallies, many agendas have them, and your tactics may need to majorly change to achieve these suddenly high priority agendas all the while attempting to spread your disease and please your patron.

5) Maneuverability is paramount

You might want to use the same models you’ve used for twenty plus years trusting in their resilience and their trusty bolter and rusty knife, but being slow is a huge disadvantage in many of the missions you’ll encounter during the campaign. You may think you can hunker down or stoically advance but in order to spread the disease or gain corruption points or pursue some other MacGuffin you will be forced to play against type, so running a foot slogging list of plague marines or ork boyz will be a hard slog in a lengthy campaign. I’m not saying a line of guys with guns couldn’t do well, but given the sheer number of different missions, agendas, and campaign rules, planning to just stay in your deployment zone and fire away may not be optimal 100% of the time.

There are ways to improve the maneuverability of the Death Guard but they’ll likely never be a fast and manoeuvrable force. Obviously GW wants me to buy more models, say fast attack daemon engines, but somehow I have not. Enhanced engines was very powerful on Lord Godrick and the similar fleet of foot rule will benefit many units, basically a couple extra inches of movement or a rule that gives you a more reliable advance roll will prove valuable over the course of a campaign.

Tabling your opponent does not guarantee victory, I think I lost a practice game that way, but see my very first observation, as the campaign goes on bigger and more powerful models will frequently be encountered, so you will be tabled at some point. So in addition to finding ways to increase the mobility of your units you’ll want to increase the lethality of your starting force. I don’t think we’ve ever played a larger campaign game than 50 Power. So I should be giving Deadly Pathogens and Relics of Decay to every single unit champion that can have one instead of recruiting yet more plague marines.

This post has gotten long enough. I can write additional briefer learnings another day. If you’ve learned anything from reading this summary of year one of our Warhammer 40,000 narrative campaign you can leave a comment below. I’m mainly playing for fun and to dust off and get some use out of my miniature collection, but I assure you it is a lot of work trying to modernize an army started in 2nd Edition, this is why I’ll probably never go back to my Rogue Trader era Orks. I would do things differently if we do another narrative campaign, but by then it may be the 10th Edition.

More Recommended Hobby Blogs

During the dark days, I lost touch with the hobby and the blogosphere and I think my RSS feed reader stopped working and being supported…

During the dark days, I lost touch with the hobby and the blogosphere and I think my RSS feed reader stopped working and being supported, so I had to dust off some computer science skills and parse some weird format to get the list of blogs I used to follow. I had previously cleaned up my sidebar on Musk’s Miniatures but I never shared the blogs I was digging on like I did before.

Some blogs went dormant longer than mine and then came back like mine, others were started while I was basically out of the hobby. I was always going to do a post like this, but now that I got the feeds into Reader I wasn’t sure how I’d get them out, then I fell behind reading the feeds and I have a pretty good set of unread hobby blogs that I like so I thought I’d share it.

The header may be the 39th digital photo I took with my Nikon Coolpix 2500 back on June 9th 2002, so over twenty years ago. The models in the picture were painted even before that and I note a distinct lack of tiny lines, so I suspect some were painted in the late 90s, there is one RBT01 that I rescued before rescuing models from other hobbyists was cool. They all have bolt pistols so they were painted back when that was an option for Plague Marines. There are no campaign badges so this is before the Calgary Grand Tournament.

Plague Gardening is the other major all Death Guard all the time blog on WordPress. I reserve the right to stop painting Death Guard or Nurgle at some point but it looks like the first half of 2023 will again be all Death Guard all the time. We both seem to be typing up a lot of battle reports.

Realms of Chaos is old school, there ain’t no school like the old school and I follow a lot of Oldhammer or Rogue Trader afficiando blogs. This blogger paints a lot of old school World Eaters of which I have a small collection thanks to Jim Bell that I’ll get back to someday.

Oldenhammer in Toronto should also be mentioned. They seem to have been a GW fanboy in the colonies longer than most. They stopped updating for a while, but that is the way it is with the blogosphere and RSS, you have to subscribe and wait for the spice to flow.

Leadplague has also been keeping it old school. Sometimes I forget the name of the blogs as they go silent for months or years like mine, but with a name like Leadplague I can remember that.

Magpie and Old Lead, is also about old and most likely metal aka lead miniatures. Maybe all blogs with lead in the title are inherently good. There is something satisfying about my old heavy metal dreadnoughts. I’ve been running mine in our narrative campaign.

The Old School Workshop sometimes paints new models just like me, but he definitely keeps it old school on the regular. I tend to prefer the more niche and personal blogs rather than the big loud ad filled monstrosities.

Warphammer is trying to be the Chaos blog or the blog for being good at playing Chaos rather than being bad at playing Chaos like me. I just don’t want to run special characters and flavour of the month armies, plus it takes me months to finish a single model and I try to keep the vow of only painted models hit the table, but I like to support my faction and someday I will enter a Grand Tournament and/or attend a major convention again.

The Corvus Cluster has been running a Warhammer 40,000 narrative campaign longer than Bill and I. They do battle reports and tutorials and I’ve tried to follow along to see if I could learn anything, alas I still am nowhere near the 40K player I used to be, I just have limited time, but I did play a lot of games in 2022, maybe my most ever in a single year.

The Sentry Box’s blog gets a shoutout as we are playing most of our games there. I think some staff talked about playing in our campaign and some actually are, but I don’t think we are an official campaign unlike their Necromunda one. Maybe I’ll play in the next Necromunda one, but one campaign is enough for me at a time and this is what Bill wanted to do after Warcry came to an end due to Covid.

Sprocket’s Small World is just another miniature painting blog which often seems to feature Nurgle miniatures and oh yeah he’s won FIVE Slayer Swords!

A Tabletop Gamer’s Diary has lots and lots of painted and converted models. I’m not sure how he finds all the time and energy but since I’m giving out shoutouts to start the year, this blog definitely deserves one.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever met any of the Fawcett Avenue Conscripts, but I do know a number of Warhammer 40,000 players in Winnipeg even though I’ve never been there from back in the 40K list days and of course Astronomi-con which I last participated in back in 2010 in Vancouver.

I know very little about Captain Cook’s Funky Wenis Rodeo. I only discovered it recently I think through a Facebook group of which we are both members. It has lots of painted OOP models from the Rogue Trader Era. Sometimes I find new blogs by looking at the blogroll of other blogs, so I think I’m checking out his blogroll right now. We seem to like a lot of the same blogs.

Another blogger I have followed for a long long time is Rob Hawkins. I believe he lives just up the road or used to live in Edmonton. I have been to Edmonton but not in a long long time. People have threatened to come down from Edmonton to play against me in Warhammer 40,000.

My final shoutout and link because I have yet another battle report to type up is for Brandon Palmer. You may know him from Grey Matter Musings or as GMM Studios. You’ve probably seen his work. He paints professionally and often does huge armies for Adepticon.

So that next battle report is not getting written tonight. I have actually done a lot of blogging in 2022 especially if you go by words typed. I may blog a little less in 2023 as I hope to paint a little more. If you have hobby goals or a favourite blog you can leave a comment below.

40K Narrative Campaign Week 22

It seems like just last night I was typing up a battle report…

It seems like just last night I was typing up a battle report, but since we played another game of Warhammer 40,000 and I do the best job when I write at least a first draft immediately after the game, I’m spending New Year’s Eve blogging. Fear not #Fitfam although I’m also drinking I have plans to be healthier and fitter in 2023.

Of course I plan to paint more next year, doesn’t everybody? I did pretty good at my 2022 hobby goals but I never painted any orks. Both Bill and Kris are painting orks now it seems. They even played each other today, I don’t want to spoil it, but the orks won that game. Aiden ditched us to play some other Chris at Warhammer 40,000 so it fell to me to take on Devin again with his ever more powerful Chaos Lord, apparently it is good not turning into a Chaos Spawn.

Pre Game

When I learned I was playing Devin I could have changed my army list. It was far from optimal but several units are resting while I paint additions to them or in the case of the Plague Surgeon the entire model, so this left McFly, Rabban, Gangrene, and the Cancer Cell to take on a very powerful Chaos Lord. How powerful, powerful enough to have a page of special rules and ten campaign points by himself!

This made me the underdog, even with the newly heroic McFly, no one is afraid of him or my latest five plague marines or my paltry ten cultists. Actually the unit that seems to actually put fear in the enemy when he gets into close combat is the Hellbrute, hammer time can do a lot of damage.

The mission this week was Dangerous Ground. Before our game I announced I was spending one requisition point to follow the path of Corrupting the Weak and after my lack of success at Culling the Horde last week I took “Sow the Infection, Harvest the Plague” as my agenda. A lot of agendas and other parts of the game work better in slightly larger games but once again we were a combat patrol of 25, actually 24 power. In the future I apparently must take as my agenda one of: Break their Spirit, Subterfuge, or Poison their Minds in order to earn Corruption points. I never did anything with my Inflection points, but you can enhance a pyscher with requisition points and corruption points according to some campaign book.

I of course lost the roll to go first and in order to keep the game moving I chose to just stay on my side having set up the terrain pretty symmetrically. This wasn’t my lucky day, but I did do a better job of following and remember the rules so it was basically a moral victory as we had to hurry at the end because it was New Year’s Eve.

Battle Round One

You can see above how the army was deployed. I put Gangrene in the rhino and since I had extra command points I thought of starting them in reserves but I just am not that strategic. I need to give more thought to my army and tactics in the new year. Usually I just show up and wing it. Devin as an Alpha Legion player often does all sorts of redeployment shenanigans so you need to set up conservatively. This time all he did in his command phase was move one unit forward. In fact his whole turn consisted of moving and most everyone advanced.

Death Guard Turn One

Since I had seven command points, eight actually at the start of my turn I decided to order a Blight Bombardment. I think this game is a little small for a 3CP stratagem and I always wanted a Lord of Virulence but have yet to paint him. I think my strategy was not terrible the plan was to cover one objective with my token, so I chose the objective that Devin had advanced the furthest towards but in hindsight he and I think I should have put the bombardment on the right flank instead.

My rhino with it’s enhanced havoc launcher and damaged combi-bolter managed to kill at least two cultists. The cultists actually failed leadership too so I think three more actually died or ran away. No victory points can be scored in this mission during the first turn.

Battle Round Two

To start turn two, the cultists tried to come back from the dead. I had killed at least two but several died after they failed morale. Thanks to Tide of Traitors and apparently a tiny table four cultists returned to battle at the front of the squad, which actually effectively moved it further up the board.

The smaller squad in the picture is actually Traitor Guard and they have a sniper rifle among other tricks, it kept missing or failing to wound though. Devin also has several melta guns including a combi-melta on his rhino. His actual cultist squad has two of every special weapon those flamers combined with “Let the Galaxy Burn” and some good rolls and re-rolls meant my rhino took some damage but it didn’t die. If I knew every gun in the army was going to shoot the rhino I would have popped smoke. I think next time I put a squad in the rhino I just pop smoke after roaring forward.

The Chaos Lord charged the rhino, but still it lived. The Chaos Lord has so many special rules, he is tough to kill but he is no Lord Gogo.

Death Guard Turn Two

So if you haven’t guessed the Blight Bombardment did nothing, hence my theory it would be better in a larger game when the battlefield has more troops on it. It did redirect the Alpha Legion forces, but as they rely heavily on one model, I should have sent it his way, but he can teleport or something. I probably shouldn’t have played it at all, there are better options in the stratagem deck.

I advanced my Hellbrute as the mission was to just stand beside four objectives nine inches from the centre of the board, perhaps holding off on the bombardment for another turn might have worked better but usually you have the most command points on the first turn, so the cost seems less costly. This game I forgot zero psychic phases, I actually used my crib sheet. It doesn’t have all the answers but it helped me remember to use both offensive and defensive psychic powers. I actually failed a pyschic test with snake eyes, but I rerolled. Plague Wind thus killed three cultists and I killed two more with Smite.

Gangrene got out of the rhino which I left in melee with the Chaos Lord. This made it hard to shoot him but he also was stuck hammering my empty personal carrier. He destroyed it and I made it explode but he has a rule or a relic that lets him shrug off even mortal wounds. That had been my plan to kill him and would be my plan again next time, but he was both lucky and Devin used a lot of command points on that one model. A different mission and you might be able to ignore him and win.

Having played over twenty games in this campaign, I prefer the ten man Plague Marine squads, but in the small games five model squads is more practical. Having extra models enhances their survivability. Of course I still need to paint a lot more special weapons, Gangrene is pretty sparse with just a single melta gun, but they were happy to not fight the Chaos Lord and instead shot and then charged the cultists. Their flakk armour actually made some saves but I finished them off and consolidated into melee with the Alpha Legion / Fallen rhino as seen below.

This turn we did do the scoring, I didn’t earn that many points towards my agenda tally as cultists do not have Contagion of Nurgle but I did take the early lead 15-5 on the big board.

Battle Round Three

In this turn the Alpha Legion did a lot of shooting killing one cultist and one plague marine. The Chaos Lord charged the cultists and I played Overwatch, I even rolled a six for the number of flamer attacks but ultimately I accomplished nothing. I strongly prefer the plague spewer or for models that can get one the heavy flamer. That may actually deter some charges or make someone pay. As it is strength four just doesn’t cut it, but that is the best cultists can do. Today I learned I can field Gellerpox Infected and they can have a heavy flamer.

His squad of Legionaries also got out and charged, hence the extra shooting with an additional squad on the board. They have both a power fist and a heavy chain axe, that did some work. I decided to fight back with my cultists, this turned out to be a mistake, not only did they not do anything as the Alpha Legion Chaos Lord has very good saves, but the rhino was still in melee with my two remaining plague marines and killed both them after I failed all my armour saves. This was Devin’s highlight of the match.

I decided as I still had a lot of command points to play Insane Bravery on the cultists which I just realized was illegal as they have a battle scar which prevents it. Oh well so much for getting all the rules correct for an entire game.

Death Guard Turn Three

It was around this point that Bill announced he had to leave soon and he was my ride. So that affected my strategy and we basically rushed so Devin could get his kills as I did not think I would win after this turn because although I remembered it my Smite psychic attack was denied and that was my plan to kill the Chaos Lord. I also had the Orb of Decay and some stratagems but now command points were in shorter supply after I illegally played Insane Bravery. I failed to cast Plague Wind at all and this is when I started thinking today was not going to be my day.

Rabban, even though armed sub-optimally in my opinion, killed a cultist. I declared two charges as remember Bill said we had to speed things up, I was considering advancing or just avoiding melee with his Chaos Lord, but McFly charged in to try and save the illegally insanely brave cultists. The Beast Rabban also charged.

Although my Malignant Plaguecaster got to fight first, he failed to do anything as Devin has many ways to protect his Chaos Lord from relic armour, to invulnerable saves, to shrugging wounds, to command re-rolls. He also has the Mark of Slaneesh so he smote McFly who really should stick to casting psychic powers. Next game he will and Devin is encouraging me to requisition a Relic of Decay for him as the ruling seems to be the Orb of Decay is not a Relic of Decay. What say you Internet?

The Cancer Cell of course did not hurt the Chaos Lord either but my Hellbrute pasted two cultists.

Battle Round Four

We really hustled through the last two turns. Devin even thought he had another whole turn as he failed to table me, but I pointed out I was taking notes and had a turn marker on the table. But the score at this point would have been 35-25 so not terrible but with my Malignant Plaguecaster now gone the game was basically over and I sacrificed him mainly because it sped up the game but in theory he could have done 12 wounds to the Chaos Lord.

My cultists obviously died and my Hellbrute started taking wounds but he has eight. The melta guns started missing and Legionaires charged which resulted in Rabban killing three of them.

Battle Round Five

The Chaos Lord charged but failed to kill the Hellbrute. This was the end of the game as far as Devin was concerned but I pointed out he got to fight again in my half of the turn. The Hellbrute gave the Chaos Lord a scare getting two wounding hits through but then a command point was used, but D6 wounds from the hammer is no joke. Having the ability to shrug off wounds definitely helps.

Post Battle

Not that anyone cared to ask, but I think I ended up with six in my poison tally earning me nothing. The final score was 50-30 so a respectable performance by the underdog. Without any corruption points I couldn’t use the new fancy requisitions, but as Devin seems to imply I could requisition the Relic of Decay that is Plaguecaster or Sorcerer only. Also after doing all the post match book keeping I picked up no new battle scars, made Rabban MVP and after some deliberation enhanced his engines as speed is also in short supply in my Death Guard army, though I was tempted to enhance a weapon.

I will probably write another blog post in the future detailing my plans for the new year as I already partially summarized my painting accomplishments in the previous post. If you have thoughts on this battle report or hobby goals to share for 2023 you can leave them below.

40K Narrative Campaign Week 21

Although it has been a while #warmongers I have played two games, but only one of them was part of the original Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion narrative campaign…

Although it has been a while #warmongers I have played two games, but only one of them was part of the original Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion narrative campaign. In other news, WordPress.com only partially works with the Safari browser so I had to use Google Chrome to start this, the final hobby blog update of 2022…

As this was going to be the final hobby blog update of the year, I planned to also revisit my hobby goals for year. I definitely ran out of steam there for a while painting and got bogged down updating models that I didn’t need for our narrative campaign nor had I planned on painting them in 2022 such as the Beasts of Nurgle which I’ve still not finished rebasing again.

One thing I did learn was you can not even declare a charge if you are not within twelve inches of the enemy, no matter what special rules you have. Also Death Guard have relics that are Relics of Decay which are on page 50 of the codex, but the other relics, the company specific ones are they thus not “Relics of Decay” because they are not on page 50 for the purpose of the “Release the Toxins” stratagem? What say you Internet?

Pre Game

Despite it being New Year’s Eve we will play again tomorrow, so this blog post may become epic if I add another battle report to it. I must type like a maniac to try and get at least most of this blog post finished tonight. Last night I failed to write more than the introductory two paragraphs.

For my first game in quite a while I drew Bill, loyal Ultramarine player. Or so he used to claim to be, now he’s gone back to his first army, the Orks. We played 25 power and our mission was Fat-berg Clearance. I took McFly, Rabban, Gangrene, a rhino and of course the Cancer Cell. Bill fielded some boyz, some grots, some killa kans and a trukk. WordPress hates orky spelling.

My army had five campaign points to Bill’s one, it being his first game with his new old army. So the Orks were the underdogs and got extra command points. I took Cull the Hordes as my agenda but that didn’t work out so well for me. Bill was big on scrapping and busting heads. He also won the roll off and got to be the attacker which suits me fine. My army is slow and has few long ranged guns. I will eventually rectify this but at the rate I’m painting it will be bolters and knifes for the foreseeable future.

Deployment

We were on a small table as it was busy at the Box, but we were playing a combat patrol game. I deployed second but Bill had twenty grots in two squads of ten. I thought I could cull them, but I’m just not so devastating. I put down my cultists the Cancer Cell, Bill probably deployed more grots. I put everything else on the opposite flank. I did not deploy anything in the rhino, I use it more as gun platform in small games, afterall it has a D2 Havoc Launcher thanks to campaign experience.

Battle Round One

In this mission, the attack went first, so not surprisingly the Orks moved forward. Thenthe grots in the top left of the picture headed towards an objective, they are black Ultramarine symbols. Why aren’t they painted Bill? My objectives are all painted.

The Killa Kans killed two Kulitists.

Death Guard Turn One

My first turn was not terribly exciting. I did fire all my guns but I did a lot of missing. However the Reaper Autocannon did some work and orks are not known for their resolve so after taking a few casualties I believe the first grot failed morale. I believe I forgot the psychic phase. Bill let me cast Miasma out of turn, but I gotta remember the psychic phase I often skip it to go to shooting. Too many years with no psychic phase in the game.

Battle Round Two

Of course the orks move forward, as you can see in the picture they ultimately get stuck in. The grots may not have ran completely away just taken some additional casualties so the first fat-burger may have been destroyed this battle round. But perhaps it was Battle Round Two. The ork warlord who badly needs a name was ineffective but I’ve fought orks before this particular model is tough to kill and has a lot of attacks including an attack squig which got forgotten then remembered at least once.

A lowly slugga caused a wound on the dread, which is actually good as it enrages the Hellbrute and they wound better. The hammer has proven its’ value but I miss the heavy flamer which I modelled twice, only the powerfist arm can now have the heavy flamer so at some point I’ll paint a 9th or perhaps 10th edition dreadnought.

The actual trukk charged, I used overwatch but failed to wound it with the Beast Rabban. However the aforementioned hammer did twelve wounds and the trukk exploded!

The Killa Kans had kept shooting at the Cancer Cell but again they passed their morale check.

Death Guard Turn Two

I too moved closer so I could use my psychic powers but I failed to cast Plague Wind, however Smite which is underrated did three mortal wounds. The cultists also managed to wound an ork. I shot the grots dead, preventing them from removing an objective. Finally the Beast Rabban charged the Badmoons killing three with his hammer.

The last lonely ork in the mob ran.

Battle Round Three

The orks of course move forward. The killa kans killed more kultists. They also charge the last two as you can see in the picture, finally removing the Cancer Cell.

Bob the Necessary Evil managed to do a single wound with his powerfist on the warboss. However the warboss fights back killing one member of Gangrene squad.

Death Guard Turn Three

I think I failed my psychic test, suffering perils of the warp, maybe Bill remembers but it did happen but which turn, this game was before Christmas so several weeks ago. I charged the grots with the rhino setting up a heavyweight clash. However I failed other charges I declared.

I did three wounding hits, resulting in seven wounds but I didn’t write down which model did this. The warboss finally Krump’ed killing three plague marines with his klaw.

Battle Round Four

This round some grots again tried to destroy a fat-burger. I think the killa kans may have spent a turn earlier destroying one. Bill did destroy two in total and thought that would guarantee his victory, alas he did not read the mission closely enough.

The warboss with no name charged my Hellbrute leaving it with one wound perhaps, I know Bill complained about my models surviving but isn’t that my thing? The hammer did six wounds in return and the warboss was no more.

Death Guard Turn Four

I had big plans for the psychic phase and using a stratagem in the command phase but then I forgot. I did wound something with the Malignant Plaguecaster’s bolt pistol. The last squad of grots again failed their morale check, apparently that is their thing.

Battle Round Five

The four surviving grots advanced. This was the turn I forgot the psychic phase. The rhino finally managed to kill the last of the grots. Maybe this was the turn it charged, my memory is clearly hazy. Bill was busy patting himself on the back after I killed all his models, but that earned me the defender 50 victory points and I thus won 70-40.

Post Game

The Cancer Cell took another injury, they already have two battle scars and I was thinking of just letting them expire but after thinking more I took minus d6 experience points. I made McFly the MVP giving him 32 XP and earning him a campaign relic, his second, alas it may not count as a Relic of Decay.

2022 Hobby Wrap Up

Since I’ve basically agreed to play another game of Warhammer 40,000 tomorrow morning at Sentry Box this may not turn out to be the last blog post of 2022. But I still want to prepare by reviewing what I said I was going to do versus what I actually managed to accomplish.

I did paint at least eight models, actually I think I painted a lot more than that, but I only needed to choose eight models I worked on to do #ArtVSArtist on Instagram.

I said I was going to paint more plague marines but I barely pained any. I rebased a lot, painting a lot of skulls and nurglings, but actual new plague marine models added to my army may have just been two.

Purple Plague Marine
New Purple Plague Marine

Apparently I thought I’d also finish a Necromunda gang. I did do a test model, but there is no way I can play in two campaigns at once, long term I’d like to switch to skirmish games as they are less painting and require less space, but Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion will continue into next year. I used and plan to continue using Necromunda models as chaos cultists.

Death Guard Chaos Cultists
Chaos Cultists painted in 2022

My third priority was to rebase old models for new rules. And boy did I spend a lot of time on that. I now have four “chaos” codexes. I’m still using just one, but long term I may get to use all four, whether the Siege of Vanithros’s Bastion lasts that long is to be determined. I had not planned on updating my Nurgle daemons but somehow I got caught up in the enthusiasm and I ordered special adapters for them too. I’ve rebased well over thirty plague marines.

Syphilis Squad
Rebased Purple Plague Marines

My fourth priority was to paint chaos cultists. Of course I’ve collected so many models over the years I plan to run a horde, probably two squads of twenty eventually, but I only managed to paint ten. I did spend a lot of time on these very low points costs models.

Priority five was Night Goblins aka Gloomspite Gitz but I think our Warcry campaign came to an end. I still have partially painted and likely some unpainted goblins from Warhammer 4th Edition but they are clearly not a priority heading into 2023.

I also wanted to employ simple but effective miniature painting techniques but despite my vision worsening every year I’ve been in Alberta I’m stuck painting tiny lines because of Owen and Thor. I will probably never start a new army but if I did, I’d use coloured primer. I have yet to go “slapchop” but I may drybrush more in 2023 as Bill is not the boss of me.

Amazingly I did paint two chaos spawn and due to Maceo the Maligned rolling 31 or was it 13 he is now a chaos spawn in our narrative campaign. He has been converted but as yet to be painted. He may be painted soon and damned if I don’t drybrush him.

Chaos Spawn
My first Chaos Spawn painted to Bill’s specifications

I’m not sure I painted many Nurglings in 2022 but I definitely painted some and I bought more because I’m also using them to enhance bases. I’m thinking of updating the Nurgling Party Mobile for 9th Edition as well. One day I’ll field an absolute horde of Nurlgings like I’ve dreamed of since 3rd Edition of Warhammer 40K. Now in the Death Guard I could only field a few unless we play a truly monstrous game.

Nurglings
Long Neglected Nurglings finally painted.

I also said I was going to paint non-Nurgle Chaos Space Marines but as I’m DIY chapter not truly a Death Guard player I will eventually use what is probably a better Chaos Codex for me. I still will be able to field Plague Marines, but not all the extra Death Guard stuff, but that will have to wait at least another half year, we’ll see how long the narrative campaign lasts. There are new rules coming yet again and maybe even 10th edition.

Although I had no plans to desert the Diseased Sons like Bill deserted the Ultramarines I too was originally an ork player but it wasn’t really by choice. I still have that army and many, many unpainted orks. I even bought Kill Team which I still haven’t played.

I’m going to publish this post. It is already probably too long, but apparently search engines are using machine learning more and more so although this isn’t a popular blog, it is more popular now than it was when I wasn’t updating it. But the blogosphere peaked in the past and although Elon Musk and Mark Zetterberg are doing their best to piss people off, running your own blog let alone an entire domain is a lot of work. I don’t really have the time, but I have some hobby goals, which I may have to detail in a future post, but if you have hobby goals for 2023 you can leave them in a comment below.