Brotherhood of the Storm

The other day I posted a teaser trailer of an upcoming Horus Heresy novel (finally) about the White Scars. I speculated that it would be limited edition and, of course, it is. But on the upside they’re making it available for a week (21st – 28th September) rather than a limited run that sells out in a day. On the downside it’ll still cost you £40 including shipping. Below is a synopsis, some shiny images and an extract for you…

As word of Horus’s treachery spreads across the galaxy and with fully half of the Legiones Astartes turning their backs on the Emperor, Terra looks to the remaining loyalist Space Marines to defend the Imperium. One group, however, remain curiously silent in spite of efforts from both sides to contact them – the noble Vth Legion, Jaghatai Khan’s fearsome White Scars. In the ork-held territory of Chondax, a bitter war has been raging since the Triumph at Ullanor, and only now do the sons of Chogoris return their gaze to the heavens…

I liked Chondax. The planet that had given its name to the whole stellar cluster suited our style of war, unlike magma-crusted
Phemus or jungle-choked Epihelikon. It had big, high skies, unbroken by cloud and pale green like rejke grass. We burned across
it in waves, up from the southern landing sites and out into the equatorial zone. Unlike any world I had known then or have known
since, it never changed – just a wasteland of white earth in every direction, glistening under the soft light of three distant suns. You
could push your hand into that earth and it would break open, crystalline like salt.
Nothing grew on Chondax. We lifted supplies down from orbit in bulk landers. When they were gone, when we were gone again,
the earth closed over the scorch-marks, smoothing them white.
It healed itself. Our presence there was light – we hunted, we killed, and then nothing remained. Even the prey – the greenskins,
which we call the hain, others the ork, or kine, or krork – failed to leave a mark. We had no idea how they supplied themselves. We
had destroyed the last of their crude space-vessels months earlier, stranding them on the surface. Every time we cleared them out of
their squalid nests, torching them and turning the earth to glass, the white dust came back.
I once led a squadron a long way south, covering three hundred kilometres before each major sunset, back to where we had fought
them in a brutal melee that had lasted seven days and stained the ground black with blood and carbon.
Nothing remained as we passed over the site, nothing but white.
I checked my armour’s locators. Jochi did not believe me; he said we had gone wrong. He was grinning, disappointed to find nothing, hoping some of them might have survived and holed up again, ready for another fight.
I knew we were in the right place. I saw then that we were on a world that could not be harmed, a world that shrugged off our
bloodstains and our fury and made itself whole when we passed on.
That observation was the root of my liking for Chondax. I explained it to my brothers later as we sat under the stars, warming
our hands indulgently by firelight like our fathers had done on Chogoris. They agreed that Chondax was a good world, a world on
which good warfare could be conducted.
Jochi smiled tolerantly as I spoke, and Batu shook his scarred head, but I did not mind that. My brothers knew they had a poetical
character for a khan, but such things were not disdained by Chogorians as I had been told they were in other Legions.
Yesugei once told me that only poets could be true warriors. I did not know what he meant by that then. He might have been referring to me particularly or he might not; one does not ask a zadyin arga to explain himself.
But I knew that when we were gone, our souls made hot and pure by killing, Chondax would not remember us. The fire we warmed
ourselves by, its fuel brought down by lifter like everything else, which in the old fashion we would not extinguish with water nor
kick over when dawn came, would leave no stain.
I found that reassuring.

Khan Rides to War

About fucking time Black Library! That’s right ladies and germs, the White Scars are FINALLY (yes it does warrant capitals, bold, underlined and italics) getting a Horus Heresy novel. And here’s the pap teaser trailer to prove it…

I rather suspect it’ll be a limited edition release which will suck balls but what you gonna do? Apart from buy it. And dribble a little bit.

Shaping Up to Ship Out

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I briefly mentioned the other day that I’ve sketched out a 3,000 point army list for my 5th company White Scars so I thought I’d share it with you and get your feedback.

Space Marine Captain
– Artificer Armour
– Plasma Pistol
– Power Sword
– Melta bombs
– Space Marine Bike

Command Squad
– Apothecary
– Company Champion
– Company Stanard
– x2 Meltaguns
– Space Marine Bikes

Space Marine Bike Squardon
– Attack Bike with Heavy Bolter
– x2 Plasmaguns
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs

Space Marine Bike Squadron
– Attack Bike with Multimelta
-x2 Meltaguns
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs

Space Marine Bike Squadron
– Attack Bike with Multimelta
– x2 Meltaguns
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs

Space Marine Tactical Squad
– Missile Launcher
– Plasmagun
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs
– Rhino
– Extra Armour

Space Marine Tactical Squad
– Missile Launcher
– Plasmagun
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs
– Rhino
– Extra Armour

Space Marine Tactical Squad
– Lascannon
– Plasmagun
– Power weapon
– Melta bombs
– Rhino
– Extra Armour

Landspeeder Squadron
– x3 Heavy Bolters
– x1 Hull mounted Assault Cannon

Landspeeder Squadron
– x3 Multimeltas
– x1 Hull mounted Multimelta

Space Marine Assault Squad
– Power Weapon
– x3 Plasma pistols
– Melta bombs

Predator
– Twin-linked lascannons
– Sponson lascannons
– Extra armour

I’m about 40 points light so if anyone can suggest anything, I’m all ears.

Space Bikers vs Space Ninjas

So rather than painting my Ultramarines, I’ve been wrestling, instead, with the idea of starting a new Space Marine army. I could do something, dare I say it, different, but Space Marines are awesome and they’re the only army (whatever the Chapter) that has ever excited me. I’ve dabbled with others over the years but I’ve always come back the Adeptus Astartes. So why fight it?

Now I’ve been struggling to decide which Space Marine army to collect because, realistically, the likelihood is that I won’t be collecting another time and money being an ever diminishing commodity. Thanks to Nick Kyme I had to add Salamanders to list to be considered because, well, they’re awesome. But in the end they were cut for two very important reasons.

1. I don’t like painting green (after years of painting Dark Angels badly)

2. I wanted to do an army that was significantly different to the Ultramarines and beyond taking a butt load of flamer/melta weapons I’m not sure the sons of Vulcan can offer that.

So it came down to the White Scars – Space Bikers – or the Raven Guard – Space Ninjas. So how to choose?

Well, Lee of The Chaps argued that Raven Guard would be a quick army to paint in so much as the process is; spray black, edge highlight the armour, paint the metal bits silver, base, done. This is valid but ease has never been a consideration for me on a project, but how excited I am about the army. I don’t give a monkey’s about how tactically viable or hard-hitting an army is. If I did I wouldn’t field a Battle Company of Ultramarines because, let’s be honest, you’ll always have a fight on your hands in doing so.

The idea of fielding a rapid strike force either in the form of White Scars or Raven Guard is just awesome. Be it hordes of jump pack enabled assault marines and drop pods or hordes of bikers tearing across the battle field is very evocative. And both colour schemes are incredibly striking at the same time. Plus it brings with it a host of new tactical challenges and a whole new mentality.

Playing with Ultramarines and embracing their background, as I do, it’s hard not to play as you expect them to behave in real life. Grim faced determination, faith in the battle plan and their brothers, disciplined ranks and coordinated volleys of fire. And, above all, courage and honour. Getting into the mindset of a very different Space Marine Chapter is absolutely one of the best bits about starting a new army. Working out an army list to reflect the Chapter faithfully is hugely fun and so rewarding when it finally takes to the field of battle.

The important things to remember is decide how big you want the army to be. If it’s Battle Company size fine. If it’s more like 1,500 points fine. But settle on a points value and then write a list accordingly as not only will you know what you’re aiming for so you don’t make wasteful purchases that you can’t fit in or don’t suit the army style. Plus, as you acquire toys you’ll be able to field smaller forces as you will already know the army structure you’re working to.

So, who to choose? The Space Bikers or the Space Ninjas?

I’ve always had a great fondness of the Raven Guard. Their background is awesome and they’re just so damn cool in all the books featuring them. I like them so much that I even used them as a basis for the Void Stalkers Chapter, my example Origins post for the Shell Case Shorts 4. So, they look cool, they are cool. But, and I think this is what’s stopped me from making that crucial first purchase, they’re just not as cool on the board as they care in the books. In the books they are, literally, Space Ninjas. They’re armour is more sophisticated that standard power armour allowing them to infiltrate and generally be a sneaky bunch of…well, Space Ninjas. You simply cannot reflect that in a game of 40k. And that’s disappointing.

But it’s more than a case of I can field a whole army of bikes in a White Scar army, although I can. Or that it reflects the background far more faithfully, which it does. It’s the fact, as well, that it is a huge departure from what I’m used to which is very appealing. It’s also a very different colour scheme that emphasises individuality, with the tribal markings, than the far more rank & file Ultramarines.

This penchant for lunatics on motorbikes is quite a revelation to me. I didn’t realise how much I liked the White Scars. Yes, they’re background is awesome but I never thought I’d prefer to the Space Ninjas. But, it would seem, the White Scars give me everything that the Ultramarines aren’t, which is kinda the point…