Measure of the Foe – Badab Battle Report

If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you may remember that last year I was able to drunkenly talk the rest of my games club into participating in my long-held fantasy of setting-up a Badab War themed Kill Team campaign. We managed to get the first game in a few weeks ago, before Corona virus ‘social distancing’ became the norm in the UK. For this game I acted as the Games Master while Apologist fielded his Astral Claws and Omricon used his Salamanders.

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Image © Games Workshop

GALEN | Frontier World | Galactic South of Endymion Cluster

905.M41

Following the destruction of Imperial Tithe Fleet VX542/11 in the Badab System and Chapter Master Huron’s declaration of his ‘Articles of Just Secession’, the Imperial response began in earnest. The fleet of Loyalist Space Marines, under the command of Lord Commander Ortys of the the Red Scorpions, mustered on the edge of Secessionist territory. The first stage of Ortys’s plan called for a series of feints, pushes and raids into the Endymion Cluster and Galen Nebula sectors to gauge the strength and disposition of the enemy, as well as their commitment to the Tyrant’s cause.

One of these raids took the Salamanders to the Frontier World of Galen, where they would encounter the Astral Claws as enemies in battle for the first time. Galen was not a populous world by any means, and its defences were little more than a handful of bastions that doubled as both strong-points and listening posts. After a pin-point orbital bombardment from their Strike Cruiser, the Salamanders descended to the planet’s surface to meet their foes eye-to-eye for the first time.

++ ASTRAL CLAWS SECESSIONIST COMMANDER BRIEFING

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++ PLAYER: Apologist

Your Kill Team has survived the orbital bombardment, even if the bastion you were garrisoning has not. The distinctive flare of Thunderhawks entering the atmosphere has been spotted south of your position. Holding this position is not sustainable against a superior force, but it would not be right to allow this insult to go unpunished. If the enemy are coming to admire their handiwork, it’s only right that you show them some proper Maelstrom hospitality!

++ MISSION TIMING: This mission will use the Random Game Length rules, meaning there will be 5 – 7 turns.

++ VICTORY CONDITIONS: Victory goes to whichever side achieves the most victory points. The Astral Claws Kill Team will score victory points for the following:

Make the enemy pay for daring to raise a hand against their fellow Astartes. Make an example of their leaders. Show them the wrath of the Tyrant of Badab!

An enemy model is taken ‘Out of Action’: +1VP

The enemy model taken ‘Out of Action’ is also a Leader: +1VP

It will not be possible to hold the ruined bastion. The air defence Icarus Lascannon was damaged in the bombardment but not destroyed. It would be imprudent to leave it for the enemy to re-purpose. Ensure it is permanently disabled before you leave the area.

Have the most models within 2” of the Icarus Lascannon at the end of the mission: +2VP

Good hunting Commander.

++ BRIEFING ENDS

+++ Thought for the Day: An eye for an eye is inefficient, make it two eyes and have done with it. +++

 

++ SALAMANDERS LOYALIST COMMANDER BRIEFING

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++ PLAYER: Omricon

Your Kill Team has been selected for the task of descending to the surface of Galen and ensuring all Secessionist forces are either dead or captured for interrogation. Further bombardment at this point is likely to result in unacceptable civilian casualties, and it would be beneficial to have Secessionist survivors to return to Lord Commander Ortys for interrogation.

++ MISSION TIMING: This mission will use the Random Game Length rules, meaning there will be 5 – 7 turns.

++ VICTORY CONDITIONS: Victory goes to whichever side achieves the most victory points. The Salamanders Kill Team will score victory points for the following:

Capturing Secessionists to interrogate for intelligence will greatly benefit the future prosecution of the war.

An enemy model is taken ‘Out of Action’ while within 6” of a Salamander model: +1VP

The enemy model taken ‘Out of Action’ is also a Leader or Specialist: +1VP

Orbital augury reveals there is a civilian shelter beneath the Chapel of the Emperor Beneficent. If possible, civilians should be secured for extraction, interrogation and pardoning or execution, as appropriate.

Have the most models within 2” of the shelter entrance at the end of the mission: +2VP

Good luck Commander.

++ BRIEFING ENDS

+++ Thought for the Day: Loyalty is its own reward. +++

A NOTE ON THE RULES

We’re generally quite a narrative-driven gaming group, hence the custom Kill Team missions and my role as Games Master. Space Marines have multiple lists available for Kill Team, and we discussed as a group early on that we wanted our Marines to have the durability of Primaris (so the games felt like brutal slug-fests) while also having access to Badab-era appropriate equipment. Therefore we decided that for this campaign that we would use Primaris Intercessors stats but that they could select any Space Marine equipment that was appropriate to the narrative.

THE BATTLEFIELD

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The Astral Claws bastion burns in the aftermath of the orbital bombardment, while the nearby Chapel of the Emperor Beneficent lies in ruins.

DEPLOYMENT

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Salamander Kill Team Phoenix deploys on the eastern flank of the chapel.

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Astral Claws Kill Team Clawthorn deploy in the refinery near the bastion and the ruins opposite the western flank of the chapel.

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MEASURE OF THE FOE

Sergeant Aldin was not the least bit surprised when the shadow of Imperial retribution fell across Galen and his bastion burned around him. He had expected it from the moment the Tyrant had declared the Succession. Violent retribution delivered from above and without mercy. He refused to rail against their fate. It was exactly what he would have done in the Imperial’s position. Still, that didn’t mean he couldn’t attempt to extract a little revenge.

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The Astral Claws move forward to reclaim the ground around the bastion and the western flank of the chapel…

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…taking up firing positions through the shattered windows and across the ruined interior of the flattened basilica.

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The Salamanders approach from the eastern flank, staying together in fire teams and moving cautiously through the ruins.

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The Astral Claws sniper provides covering fire from the gantry while the Heavy moves towards the Icarus lascannon installation to the north of the burning bastion.

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Sensing the moment is right, Sergeant Aldin orders his Kill Team to open fire!

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Bolt rounds of different calibres rocket back and forth through the ruins, adding to the considerable destruction already suffered by the sacred building. Frescoes are destroyed, rockrete is chipped and a couple of minor injuries are sustained by the clashing Astartes, but nothing debilitating yet.

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Heavy weapons specialist Brother Soter secures the Icarus lascannon objective, noting with grim satisfaction that this position affords excellent fields of fire into the ruined shell of the chapel.

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Illmarinen of the Salamanders fires his melta gun point blank at Kain of the Astral Claws. The Secessionist is grievously wounded but – perhaps in a dark echo of future events – clings to life and stays in the fight. Exposed, Illmarinen also suffers a serious flesh wound from return fire.

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Severus and Malchus assume a defensive position in the centre of the chapel, in easy  striking distance of the entrance to the civilian shelter beneath the ruin.

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Yoruban continues to provide pin-point covering fire with his stalker-pattern bolter, forcing the Salamanders to keep their heads down.

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The Astral Claws seize the higher ground while Sergeant Aldin prepares to confront his opposite number Sergeant Hephaestus and the badly wounded Illmarinen.

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Sergeant Aldin dispatches the Salamanders melta gunner with little effort, avenging the serious wounding of his battle brother.

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Heavy bolter fire takes its toll on the Astral Claws as the already badly wounded Kain is knocked from his feet and taken out of action.

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Brother Baraqu outflanks the Salamanders, laying down enfilading fire with his assault bolter and wounding the enemy comms specialist.

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The icy steel of the Maelstrom Warders clashes with the burning blade of Nocturne in a shower of sparks and metal fragments. The two officers deal a number of light wounds to each other, but nothing decisive.

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Brother Gelasius comes to the aid of his sergeant as the duel continues above the entrance to the civilian shelter. But will it be enough to tip the balance?

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The bitter fighting becomes up-close and personal in the ruined chapel.

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Brother Soter is forced out of position by the weight of incoming fire. Falling back, he seeks to find a better firing solution for his heavy bolter.

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With a final riposte, Sergeant Hephaestus finally beats the Astral Claws guard, and Sergeant Aldin is out of the fight.

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The Astral Claws attempt to regroup as the Salamanders secure their hold on the civilian shelter.

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Often slow to anger, there is little that can stop the sons of Nocturne once their blood is up! Although wounded by his duel, Hephaestus advances on the nearest Astral Claw, his burning blade leaving a trail of embers cooling in his wake. Brother Gelasius remains in place to secure the Salamander’s secondary objective.

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The Salamanders regroup in the centre of the chapel, stoically marching through punishing fire from the western and southern flanks.

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Brother Soter finally falls as a stalker bolter rounds comes whipping out of the smoke and straight into his chestplate!

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Sergeant Hephaestus vents his wrath on Brother Acast of the Astral Claws.

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Baraqu and Tullian exchange shots, although with his Infernus heavy bolter Brother Tullian has the weight of firepower on his side.

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Yoruban makes the decision to abandon his elevated sniper position in an attempt to secure the Astral Claw’s secondary objective and his critically wounded battle brother.

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The Astral Claws make a last ditch attempt to contest the entrance to the civilian shelter…

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…but it is not to be as Brother Acast falls to the weight of fire ranged against him.

And with that the mission timer ticked to zero. Salamander reinforcements were sighted approaching and the Astral Claws were forced to yield the field of battle to withdraw and lick their wounds.

++ FINAL SCORES

Astral Claws: 4 VPs

Salamanders: 6 VPs

++ IMPERIAL LOYALIST VICTORY

So there we have it, the first game of our Badab War Kill Team campaign! I hope I can get my Lamenters Kill Team finished for a game soon, although with the Corona virus situation who knows quite when that will be. Stay safe out there!

The Lamenters and Badab

Like all excellent ideas, this one started in the pub. I was out for drinks and dinner with a few of the members of my games club, when an intriguing question was proposed; if you could have one magical wish that would compel the other members of the club to collect themed armies and play in a campaign of your choice, what campaign would you wish for? My answer was easy. A Badab War Kill Team campaign.

Eyes around the table lit up. “You don’t need a magic wish for that!” they told me. So here we are!

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Some ask why we lament the execution of our duty. We do not. We lament that our duty is necessary at all. – Brother Heamis

I’m pleased with how my first Marine has turned out, but slightly embarrassed to note that many of the others in the club have finished their entire kill teams in the time it took me to make a single model!

I wanted to start with a basic tactical marine just to make sure I could get everything ‘right’, before moving on to specialists and the leader. But even though he’s ‘just’ a tactical marine I still wanted to allude to the fact that he would be taking part in some brutal ship-to-ship fighting and also hint at that Blood Angel ancestry. This is why I eventually settled on the pose of being in the middle of drawing his knife.

True Scaling

I knew from the outset that I wanted my kill team to be both ‘true scale’ and to have a retro vibe. Not only is the Badab War set in 40K’s “past”, but the original campaign narrative was first conceived in the early 1990s. Thankfully true scaling is a lot easier these days thanks to plastic Primaris Marines. No mucking around with Terminator legs any more if you don’t want to!

As you can see from the WIP picture below, the model is based around a plastic Primaris Marine. I was careful to remove and resculpt any details that were obviously ‘Primaris’, such as the rims around the knee pads and the stabilisers on the ankles.

I used Reiver arms as these are less bulky than Primaris arms, since they lack the forearm ‘bracers’ that the Primaris have, and therefore look more old school. It also gave me access to ready-made arms in the process of drawing the knife.

Painting

To paint the yellow, I tried something a little different from the technique I used on my Imperial Fists. It basically went like this:

  • Corax white undercoat
  • Averland sunset base
  • Cassandora yellow shade in recessed
  • Yriel yellow (two thin coats)
  • Flash Gitz yellow edge highlight
  • Dorn yellow final edge highlight

The chapter icon was an interesting challenge. I used an old Space Marine campaign badge transfer – a black skull in a black circle – applied over a white shoulder pad to get the central circle right. Then I painted over the skull in white and painted the heart in freehand (Khorne red then Evil Suns red).

Next I filled in the chequered pattern. I did this by ‘sketching’ in roughly where the black squares should be, then going back and painting the black more solidly, followed by any touch ups of the white where I’d made a mistake. I know some people like to draw in a grid for cheques and then fill in alternate squares, but I find that can leave the black squares larger than the white due to the thickness of the grid lines.

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LED Eye Lenses

Of course I had to add my customary LED helmet eye lenses. My tutorial is here if you’re interested and haven’t seen it already.

As an experiment I applied a thin coat of Spiritstone red technical paint to the eye lenses. This doesn’t do anything to hinder the light when the LED is on, but makes the eye lenses look red when it is off, as seen in the image below.

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That’s it for Lamenters and Badab for the moment, but there are still six more models to come. It should be a fun campaign, in addition to my Lamenters the rest of the games club already have Astral Claws, Space Sharks, Sons of Medusa and Salamanders kill teams underway. If you’d like to see my good friend Apologist’s Astral Claws kill team then his blog is here. Stay tuned for more Badab action over the coming weeks and months!

Imperial Fist Breacher – True Scale

Something a bit different today; I thought I’d take a break from painting Kantor Blue and remind myself of the “fun” of painting yellow! So here’s a Breacher for my Age of Darkness ‘True Scale’ Imperial Fists.

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I started this army back in 2014, when there was no such thing as Primaris and if you wanted an embiggened Marine you had to do it yourself!

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This is my fifth completed Breacher, making the squad half done. Although the other models are at least assembled and undercoated.

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The idea behind this army is that it represents mid-late Heresy Imperial Fists. They’ve seen some action; they’ve been to Mars to recover the prototype MkV and MkVI armour, they’ve completed missions for Rogal Dorn in the Segmentum Solar, but now the Warmaster is closing in and they’re rushing back to man the walls…

Previous True Scale Imperial Fists

My Imperial Fists haven’t really featured on this blog very much yet, so here are a few more pictures for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t seen them before. There’s even more information in this log that I used to run over at the Bolger and Chainsword forum.

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The blue LED helmet eye lenses use my standard method as detailed in this tutorial. In fact these were the first models to pioneer the resin casting technique! Some of them are still on their original CR2032 batteries – five years later!

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The volkite energy flare is one of my favourite LED effects that I’ve done so far. You can see more of my Imperial Fists on Instagram, if you scroll down far enough.

Anatomy of a True Scale Astartes

If you’re wondering what parts I use to build my True Scale Marines, I’ve done a break-down below. This technique was heavily influenced by the work of my good friend Apologist. Check out his Death of a Rubricist blog for more True Scale goodness and general painting excellence.

I refer to this armour pattern as MkVI-S (the S is for ‘Stark’). In my mind it represents an early variant of MkVI. It’s still recognisable, but didn’t quite make it into full production after the Heresy.

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1. Head – MkVI head taken from the Ravenwing Black Knight sprue. Skull badge removed from forehead. Aerial removed from left side and left side re-sculpted in Green Stuff to match right.

2. Torso – Custom Green Stuff sculpt over standard Space Marine torso. Only the neck socket and plug for backpack remain on show and unmodified.

3. Shoulder pads – The left shoulder pad is a plastic ‘blank’ Terminator shoulder pad with the recesses around the edges filled in and studs added. The right shoulder pad is the Forge World Imperial/Crimson Fist Terminator shoulder pad with a lot of the detail (like purity seals) removed and the recesses around the edge filled in.

4. Arms – The arms and hand are a mix of from the Tactical, Assault and Grey Knight Terminator sprues. They have had reinforced ‘cuffs’ added with Green Stuff.

5. Bolter – Forge World Umbra pattern bolter.

6. Backpack – Forge World Legion MkVI power armour backpack.

7. Legs – Forge World Legion Tartaros Terminator legs. The ‘sunken’ panels on the thighs have been filled in to increase the diameter of the thighs and give a smooth appearance. Although if I was starting this army now I’d definitely use the plastic versions!

8. Base – Plastic 30mm rolled shoulder base with milliput, sand and slate top.

Anyway, I hope that’s all been informative, and a fun break from Crimson Fists and Genestealer Cultists!