Title: The Road to Terra
Description: White Scars in defence of Terra
Vinnie - November 23, 2009 03:34 AM (GMT)
"From the bridge of the White Scars battlebarge
'Bladesteed' the primarch of the V Legion pondered the fleet arrayed before him. In the time since Jaghatai Khan had left his brother Leman Russ, he had not rested. Still uncomfortable with leaving the Wolves of Fenris alone to bring Magnus' Sons to account, Khan had found it all too easy to while away hours in dark contemplation. Fear was anathema to the Emperor's magnificent children, but Khan felt trepidation and a certain anxiety when he considered the illicit indulgences of Magnus' legion in vile and incomprehensible powers. Leman Russ had not been outplayed in his two centuries in service to the Imperium of man, but a hateful voice deep in Khan's mind continuously suggested the terrifying possibilty that the undertaking to Prospero might be his brother the Wolf's undoing.
So Khan had not allowed himself the idle time to wrestle with the idea. He had been tasked to muster a fleet, and so he had. Nearly two dozen battlebarges were arrayed in defensive phalanx around the
'Bladesteed' and around them were almost a hundred White Scar strike cruisers. Nigh on the full strength of the V Legion, over forty thousand Astartes, a mere score of whom could have subjugated an entire world in the Imperium's name. Khan nearly chuckled at the conceit, that in the face of such numbers of brutal and legendary warriors, he was still unsure whether it would be enough.
The Muster at Proximus, as that was the name of the system in which the V Legion assembled, was by now infamous in the expectation of it. Once in the history of the V Legion had every single one of its super-human soldiers stood beneath the light of a single star at the same time. The previous gathering had been on the Pacific plains of Terra, before the Emperor had set out on his great crusade, and before the primarch knew of his own manifest destiny, while he still lived and slept on the Steppes of Chogoris and still found the stars above an enchanting mystery.
Jaghatai Khan blinked himself out of his reverie. Swarms of Army transports drifted across the image projected onto the hololith viewscreen. Surrounded as he was with the alabaster magnificence of the White Scars vessels and warriors, he sometimes forgot that nearly a million mortals toiled and existed in the plasma wake of his battlebarge. Nearly half of whom comprised the expedition's Army contingent, and would stand alongside the Astartes of the V Legion in front of the Palace walls on Terra. Khan had long since understood the valour that each mortal soldier exhibited in the face of this reality, vulnerable as they would be with flak jackets and crimson fatigues the only barrier between them and the horror of Astartes assault warfare.
To the Army general Asimund, the idea of letting the White Scars take to the field without their Army contingent had been insulting. Asimund's loyalty had been iron-hard from the beginning, and his fortitude had humbled the primarch. Khan had begun to ragard Asimund as a battle-brother of the legion, not merely a strategic ally, and was honoured that he would at last get the opportunity to stand beside the general in a theatre of war.
'The fleet is ready, my Lord,' a bridge officer turned to the resplendent half-god. 'We are ready, my Lord,' he added with the weight of inevitability.
'Good,' Khan's rolling, sonorous voice echoed around the bridge strategium, which he now realised was near silent, every pair of eyes fixed on him. 'Make ready for transition into the empyrean. Set course...' He heaved a sigh, and hardened his olive-skinned features. 'For Terra.'
'Aye, sir,' The bridge crew did as their leige lord bid them, and slowly, reluctantly, the
'Bladesteed' began to move.
Right, after Gedren Prime I have realised I've got some big asks ahead of me if I want my Scars to be ready for the Seige of Terra, as have you all I'm sure.
I wanted to sling up my own 'Road to Terra' because the collective knowledge on this forum is invaluable, in my opinion, so I'd love the opportunity to get some comments and criticisms as I'm progressing.
Also, I'm really trying to develop my miniatures photography skills, so this is a really good excuse xD
Gedren Prime campaign army list:HQ
1. Jaghatai Khan (proxy Chapter Master w. Relic Blade, Artificier Armour etc.)
2. Captain w. boltgun
3. Captain on Bike w. Power WeaponElites
1. 5 Vanguard Veterans, variously equppedTroops
1. 3 Bikes and one Attack Bike (I am aware that this isn't a troop unit, even with the Captain on a bike, as it's only four models. I thought it was five MARINES not models, so took the AB to be two marines. It was an error I didn't even realise until a week or so ago, so apologies to all the Gedren guys :S)
2. 10 Tactical Marines w. Rhino
3. 10 Tactical Marines w. Drop PodFast Attack
1. 5 Assault Marines
2. 3 Jetbikes
3. Land Speeder Typhoon
This was roughly 1550 points. So I needed to double it for SoT, and also include stuff to accommodate for the TF rules pack. Thus:HQ
1. Primarch - Jaghatai Khan
2. First Captain - Jubal Khan - Bike
3. Second Captain - Unegen Khan - Jump pack, Th. Hammer, and St. ShieldElites
1. Storm Seer - Jump pack
2. Sgt. Kumblai, 3 Bikes and Attack Bike
3. Shigi, 5 Assault Terms w. Lightning Claws - Land Raider RedeemerTroops
1. 5 Bikes w. 2 flamers
2. 10 Tactical Marines - Rhino
3. 10 Tactical Marines - Drop PodFast Attack
1. 5 Vanguard Veterans w. various weapons - Jump packs
2. 5 Assault Marines w. flamer
3. 5 Jetbikes
4. Land Speeder Typhoon
This is an all encompassing list, from which I shall draw specific formations for each mission, and it comes to 3005 points approx.
C&C encouraged xD
So I gathered my Gedren army, a couple of boxed sets, and my bits box, and began.
Now to show for it so far I have some delightful WIP pics :P
Sgt Kumblai(right), from my Gedren Captain on bike(left)
Shigi's Termies' Land Raider Redeemer
Shigi's Termies' Land Raider Redeemer's Legio specific hatch
Captain Unegen Khan and my Storm Seer, both awaiting jump packs
Jubal's pimped ride
Assault Sgt.'s new chainsword(right) compared to the old(left)
Updates are most likely going to be weekly, as the weekend is the only time I have for setting up and taking photos.
Wish me luck! FOR THE KHAN!
EDIT: Along with the army building I shall endeavour to make the rest of my Scars more PH, as they were very standard 40k style for Gedren, so I'm gonna have a go at studs, old Mks of armour etc.
Legion XX - November 23, 2009 07:43 PM (GMT)
Where did you get the Storm Shield from? It is very 'pre-heresy' looking and I like the overall size of it!
Leman Russ SW - November 23, 2009 07:48 PM (GMT)
I agree looking good. I believe the shield is from the Bretonian Men at arms.
Vinnie - November 23, 2009 07:55 PM (GMT)
Leman Russ is right. It's a brettonian men-at-arms shield with a crux from the Land Raider sprue. The WS symbol is green stuff, obviously :P
Ilmarinen - November 23, 2009 08:10 PM (GMT)
DaemonlordAbraxes - November 24, 2009 01:24 AM (GMT)
Thats all looking great, your painting is very good, nice clean lines and the like.
very nice use of the sheathed berzerker sword, how you get the chainblade teeth on there without messing up?
Vinnie - November 24, 2009 06:14 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (DaemonlordAbraxes @ Nov 24 2009, 01:24 AM)|
| Thats all looking great, your painting is very good, nice clean lines and the like.|
very nice use of the sheathed berzerker sword, how you get the chainblade teeth on there without messing up?
By realising that the skin on my thumb was of secondary importance to my Scars!
It was literally, take a regular chainsword, cut off the engine block, so you just have the chain housing and the teeth, then from the cut end, very slowly and very gently slice a very sharp craft knife along the flat of the housing, beneath the teeth. Follow the curve at the end of the housing to catch the last few, smaller teeth, as having these are essential in making the chainsowrd look like its teeth actually disappear into the housing.
TBH the hardest bit was straightening out the teeth once they were loose, as they curl into a tight spiral, and are extremely prone to snapping if you try to stretch them too quickly.
Make sure the surface you're gluing them too is filed flat and clean.
Et voila! Themed chainsword. xD
And thanks :P
DaemonlordAbraxes - November 24, 2009 11:29 PM (GMT)
You're welcome, i just realized what you used the Abbadon head for
Vredesbyrd - November 25, 2009 01:21 AM (GMT)
Woah, if you're willing to go to those lengths to have a Chaintulwar I'm really looking forward to seeing how this army pans out. As you took them to an event already it would seem that you've gotten white sussed, but even so good luck with that, it'd drive me mad.
Vinnie - November 25, 2009 12:22 PM (GMT)
Cheers 'Byrd :P
I wasn't hugely concerned about highlights and depth/texture when I painted these guys, because I just wanted to get them finished. My plan (in a roundabout sort of way) is to get back to all of my current Scars with possibly a whole new paint job, but more likely just some revamping. Either way, I am certainly going to be updating them.
Might have to make updates for this a little more often than once a week :P The urge to do more is overwhelming!
Vinnie - January 5, 2010 08:08 PM (GMT)
"The row of Stormbirds settled on the metal slab of the
Bladesteed's embarkation deck, the roar of their directional ramjet nacelles lowering in pitch as the pilots powered them down. The chassis's of the assault craft ticked and clanged arythmically as the engines cooled from operating temperature and the hulls warmed from the cold of the void, morphing metal pulling against itself.
Jaghatai Khan swept through the toiling mass of deck crew and flight ratings that bustled to and fro, preparing the hangar deck, further into the superstructure of the battle-barge than the embarkation deck, to receive the new arrivals, once their passengers had disembarked. He was accompanied by his first and second captains, Jubal and Unegen, and the deck menials respectfully cleared a path for the imperious trio. They did not cease their tasks, however, as Khan had always preferred that those under his command see to their roles as was their duty, not make obeisance to his vanity. To the Fifth Primarch's mind, that his fleet and his ship operated flawlessly was proof enough of their devotion.
With a hiss of equalising pressure, the ramp of the lead Stormbird yawned wide. Magnificent and terrible in his hulking Terminator armour, Assault Commander Shigi disembarked, ten of the man-mountains under his command following in his wake. Legion serfs rushed forward to disengage the Terminator marines' massive Lightning Claw-armed gauntlets. Shigi let his own armourers relieve him of his twin-linked bolter, flexing the armoured fingers of his fist for the first time since he had picked the weapon up, almost five hours previously. He looked up and saw his primarch approaching.
'My lord, it is an honour,' He said, bowing deeply. His abrasive, gravelly voice juxtaposed harshly with Khan's lilting timbre.
'The honour is mine, Commander,' Jaghatai nodded in greeting. 'You have surpassed even yourself, Shigi. Or were the reports of intense resistance exaggerated?' Khan smiled.
'The reports were not exaggerated, my lord,' Shigi tried, but could not totally keep the pride from his voice. 'My Century were simply unstoppable.'
Of the tens of thousands of Astartes that made up the White Scars legion, only one hundred wore the new suits of Tactical Dreadnought Armour into battle. The singular abilities of the immense suits had deemed appropriate the inception of a totally new combat formation, the Assault Century. Regarded almost on a par with the other Brotherhoods of the Legion, it had its own discreet staff contingent, equipment, billets, armouries, and of course a commander.
A veteran-sergeant of Jubal's First Brotherhood, Shigi had been short-listed for the position very early on, and it had not been a difficult decision to appoint him. Although he was Terran-born, he had embraced the Chogori way of life as his own, wearing scars, trophies, and legion heraldry all with pride. Khan's respect for him was surpassed only by the assault commander's respect for his Primarch.
'Your service does you credit, Commander,' Khan motioned that Shigi follow as he turned and began to bear away from the bustle of the embarkation deck. Shigi clomped after him. Jubal and Unegen held back, directing the Assault Century to their arming chambers.
Jaghatai Khan approached the shimmering turquoise-tinged force-field at the threshold of the embarkation deck's aperture. Stars glittered, drifting slowly past out in the infinite. Pinpoint shadows of opacity indicated the locations of other craft in the fleet, causing stars to blink and drawing dark traceries across softly fluorescent gas clouds as the ships crossed in front of them. Shigi was unnerved by the hesitation he felt in his Primarch’s demeanour.
'My Lord?' Shigi began.
'You know,' began the Khan, abruptly. 'Of course, how fraught mankind's inheritance of the galaxy has become. And of course you are aware of the dire reckoning we face at the gates of Terra.' It was not a question, but Shigi responded.
'I know , my Lord, that the perfidy of our erstwhile brother has sundered the Emperor's hosts in twain.' Shigi had been choleric from the first moment he had heard of Horus' betrayal, and at every opportunity had made his intense hatred of the mutinous Warmaster known. ‘I know that his treachery has irredeemably twisted the very nature of the Emperor’s vision for humanity. That mankind can never be totally united under Terra shames me to have once fought alongside Horus’ Sons.’
‘Your loyalty is an inspiration, Commander,’ Khan turned his maned head to face the Assault Commander. For one horrifying moment, Shigi was convinced that his Primarch would break, and weep like a babe. Then the familiar iron personality dominated Khan’s ivory features once more. ‘Would that more of our brothers from other legions had shared it.’
‘There are many who do, my Lord.’ Shigi countered, knowing his masters melancholy would evaporate at the thought of the tens of thousands of Astartes now forging a vengeful path toward the cradle of humanity, preparing to fight for its very future. ‘And you are our standard, behind whom we will ever rally, Lord, rightly confident of victory. Their treachery is their undoing, for they no longer bathe in the light of the Emperor.’
The utterance was out of his mouth before he knew what he was saying. Suddenly memories of gatherings, of adulation, of
prayer snapped to Shigi’s mind. Months of sermons attended, first tentatively then enthusiastically, in the quiet halls of the
Bladesteed’s sleeping belly now rushed to fill Shigi’s mind. The guilt and the horror of the voice he had given to his fledgling faith was such that the Assault Commander felt sure that the knowing of it would burn through his mind and explode, raging as a beacon for all to see – including Jaghatai Khan.
Shigi floundered, unable to prepare his mind for the tirade of censure to come. His rank would be lost, his status as brother, his armour. He would be cast into the pit of treachery alongside Horus’ legion and their accomplices. The Primarch would be incensed; betrayed; merciless.
Khan rounded on Shigi. Their eyes met, and the Assault Commander nearly wept for what he saw in his Primarch’s expression – understanding.
‘Many things have changed,’ Jaghatai’s voice was barely more than a whisper. ‘And many more have yet to change. Of this I am certain. Our fate, ever irrefutably determined, is now in flux, and we may yet choose where we steer our intentions.’
Never had the Khan spoke in so veiled a manner, and Shigi at once knew that there could be no defeat with one of the Emperor’s prodigal sons leading the righteous war. Righteous and holy. The knowledge stoked a fire in his breast, and he at once pitied those heretics who would fall before him, his Primarch, and his Primarch’s legion.
Okay guys, bit of a hiatus. Revising for exams, battling through the Christmas scrum etc. So I've not got a lot to show right now, but I've been going stud and rivet crazy with greaves and shoulder pads, so there'll be pics of them up at the weekend.
For now; glued in the rear hatch on my redeemer, and assembled a melta gunner using the badass TechMarine helmet from the DA vehicle sprue xD
Along with studs, I'll have pics of shoulder padded termies up hopefully by the weekend.
Basically, don't forget about the fifth! More is on the way, honest!
kublai - January 6, 2010 12:00 PM (GMT)
hi how did you make the greenstuff part between the arms and torso by Shigi the terminator ?, it looks fantastic, i never get that right.
DaemonlordAbraxes - January 6, 2010 11:54 PM (GMT)
You should fill in/cover up the DA icon on the helmet
Vinnie - January 7, 2010 12:53 AM (GMT)
@Kublai - It was just a blob of green stuff, then gently roll the sharp edge of a modelling knife around it. Very simple. :)
@DLA - Yeah I was going to. I just slung the guy together as i had five mins to spare, and I wasn't going to faff around mixing a miniscule amount of GS for just that. I'll wait till I've got something meatier to sculpt.
DaemonlordAbraxes - January 7, 2010 02:37 AM (GMT)
Alright, i like the looks of the Land Raider
Vinnie - February 5, 2010 04:30 PM (GMT)
Seeing as there were loads of IWs in this year’s writing competition...Captain Unegen stood over the mangled wreckage of the Iron Warrior. The traitor’s fading yellow visor fixed him with a flickering glare. With a sneer and a grunt Unegen heaved his massive thunder hammer into that visor. The Iron Warrior’s helmets crumpled with a spark, a crack of ceramite, and a crunch of bone and tissue. With that, the garrison protecting the Mechanicum depot was completely annihilated. Fifty of Perturabo’s Astartes had defended its prefabricated rockrete walls; a formidable defence for an installation barely ten square kilometres.
For siege specialists, thought Unegen derisively, they didn’t rate much at defending. The White Scar captain disengaged his hammer and hung it from the fixing at his belt as he walked through the broken and crumpled remnants of the depot’s main gate. The gate had been manned by twice as many Astartes as any other place on the walls, so it had been easily recognisable as the weakest point. It had been a simple matter to feint either side of the installation with mechanised Marine squads to draw the defenders to the flanks, before storming the gate with melta bomb-carrying bikers.
In the courtyard immediately behind the gate a handful of Scars were piling up the dead Iron Warriors in a large pyre heap. Three Astartes stood to the side, refuelling their flamers for the coming task. One heavily pierced and bearded Scar stood at the top of the heap of dead, stripped of his armour to the waist, laying out around himself with a roaring chainsword. Unegen gazed at the Battle-brother briefly.
Very early on in their encounters with the traitor Legions allied to Horus’ cause the White Scars had learnt that the armoured forms of dead Astartes warriors are exceptionally difficult to burn in complete form. To solve this, at first they had simply butchered the fallen, but this settled uneasily on the pride of the White Scars. They were not, after all, Angron’s shameless, senseless butchers. A skimming blow from chainsword, the Scars had established, was sufficient to crack the ceramite like the shell of a nut. After this treatment, fire caught easily enough. With both pride and sorrow in equal measure, Unegen reflected that many White Scars had become quite adept at this unique form of cadaver preparation.
“Captain,” an assault sergeant with a mane of long black hair and a beaked ‘Corvus’ helmet held in the crook of his arm jogged up to Unegen. “We have identified the objective, my lord.” The sergeant gestured to a huge, rusting tin shed about a hundred metres down the central concourse of the facility. “Our Techmarines have identified and disarmed a number of melta charges that were placed around the interior of the building. It looks like the Iron Warriors almost permanently denied us the access we wanted.”
“I’m glad it was
almost, brother,” said Unegen with a smile. “And the contents of the shed are as our intelligence suggested?”
“Yes, my lord.”
“Good.” Excellent, thought Unegen. “Authorise a couple of landers from the fleet to come planetside and pick up our spoils.”
“Yes, lord. And the brothers?”
“Instruct them to head back to the Stormbirds and Thunderhawks.” Unegen paused as a whooshing roar from behind him indicated the setting of the pyre. “I shall make a brief inspection inside the shed before I join them. A garrison of army troops shall be stationed here after we leave.”
“That may not be necessary, sir.” The sergeant offered. “Nearly two thousand of the original staff remain here, sir,” he added in response to Unegen’s questioning expression.
“They did not defect?” asked the White Scar captain.
“No, sir; they believed the Iron Warriors acted under Imperium rule still. When the fighting broke out, they simply hid.”
“I see,” replied Unegen. “Then we shall keep all of our army units with the fleet, and this staff may remain. Khan knows we need every fighting man we have access to. Dismissed, sergeant.”
“Yes, my lord.” The sergeant cantered of towards the Astartes that were lining up in ranks in the courtyard opposite the pyre, and began shouting orders.
Unegen walked up to the huge sliding doors of the storage shed, from where the last servitors were trundling, carrying bundles of disarmed explosives. The captain stepped into the shed and waited an instant for his eyes to adjust from the dusty glare outside to the muted light within. His hearts skipped.
Ten new and unused Rhinos were parked in two staggered lines across the width of the shed. They still bore the matte grey primer of a vehicle fresh from an STC line, yet to receive their Legion colours. Their tracks still gleamed as though polished, and their exhaust stacks were still a complete dull metal, not having yet suffered the blueing inevitable to all functioning vehicles. Unegen peered behind the vehicles, walking around the side of the rows. The last two vehicles in the line, he now realised, were skeleton vehicles, gaps in their chassis’ indicating modifications yet to be made. In Mechanicum crates at the rear of the shed, Unegen saw that the components for conversions to a Predator and a Whirlwind were stored. The White Scar captain grinned to himself. He turned on his heel and walked out of the shed. In the brazen sky, a brace of bright trails indicated the approaching landers. In less than an hour, the vehicles would be in the armoury-workshops of the White Scar legion.
Basically, I spent fifty quid at my local GWs last games night on some second hand stuff a guy brought in. I think you will agree that it was fifty quid well spent..!
Yes, that is a mk. 1 Rhino with intact roll-bars, and yes, that is a special edition Ultramarines captain from 'back in the day'.
This has given me a bit of a kick up the jaxxie, vis-a-vis getting on with my Scars, so hopefully a few more updates, and a little more frequently too!
Ilmarinen - February 5, 2010 05:21 PM (GMT)
*kicks Vinnie up the jacksie* :ph43r:
ShroudFilm - February 5, 2010 05:27 PM (GMT)
That Ultramarine captain is an awesome model... I had one back in the day, painted it as a DARK ANGEL, if you can imagine such a thing... :rolleyes:
Pacific - February 5, 2010 06:54 PM (GMT)
Wow thats a pretty good haul for 50 quid! I remember that Captain being part of a battle report during 2nd editions tenure, think its a lovely model and I think could look distinctly PH with just a little work.
I love the handles on the side of the rhino, although you realise now that you're going to have to model marines hanging from the side of it? :P
Might actually be an effective Thunder-Rhino conversion though, I can't recall a single one of those at the last AoTE which hit the mark..
Vinnie - February 15, 2010 08:06 PM (GMT)
More on the Land Raider, and started work on a rather special Rhino conversion... at whose purpose I shall let you guess :P
Also some minor alterations to some of my existing Scars.
Vinnie - February 19, 2010 12:13 AM (GMT)
Right, I'm going to stop saying when I'm putting pictures up, because I invariably don't put up said pictures. But this time I have a reason, in that my mate is not in a position to lend me his camera at the mo, so... -shrug-
Hey ho, I'll give you a written update instead. And then pictures will follow at some indeterminate point in the future.
1. I have been doing a bit of work on Jubal's bike comprising: Filling the unsightly hole in the back of the seat and the rear mudguard left when I widened the rear wheel. Also I have replaced the front forks with those from an Ork warbike, giving the vehicle a nice raised profile, and looking damn cool to boot.
2. I have assembled an autocannon turret using the chaos defiler reaper autocannon, with which I shall replace the assault cannon on my land raider.
3. I've assembled a bespoke rhino using the sisters of battle immolator kit for the roof section. I've also made a plasticard white scar icon to fit on top in one of the turret cupolas.
So, all this, and more you shall see, but only when I have access to a camera again.
Pacific - February 19, 2010 12:28 AM (GMT)
I'm interested to see how this rhino of yours turns out!
Also, I'd like to see the direction you take with your autocannons on the Landraider. I tried a similar thing (although with standard IG autocannons) and although it doesn't look particularly bad, doesn't look complete either!
Vinnie - March 30, 2010 06:39 PM (GMT)
Right... -blows off dust- A blog, good. Wondered if I hadn't lost this...
Updates are as follows:
1. Begun rebooting all my Scars using Scab Red for the banding and detail etc. as I think it's a more brooding and natural shade. Less cliched too.
2. Added some bite to my Tac squads in the form of a Heavy Bolter in one and a Lascannon in the other. Though I may want some Missile Launchers in there at some point too, so to be on the safe side I'm currently painting all four.
3. Pactically completely assembled Jubal Khan, with both helmeted and unhelmeted head options, and a bad-ass bike.
4. Done a butt-load of head-swaps with bare Space Wolf heads and WHFB Chaos Marauder heads.
I went to bed at 10 this morning after a high-octane night of painting and gluing madness. Now my sleeping patterns are well and truly raped, so I'm just gonna sit down and spend another night doing more of the same! xD
My objectives are to finish my four Heavy Weapons guys. Paint at least a handful of the new bare heads I've added. GS some PH-ness over all the horribly mk. 7 looking helmets I have. Plasticard my way to victory with Jubal's bike, as it still needs a front armour plate. Last but not least, take my razor saw to some terminator bits in preparation for Khan 2.0...
Once again, apologies for the lack of pictures, but they will be forthcoming. Probably have to wait until after Fall of Luna tbh... but yeah, eventually!
Right, back to the paints...
Azkaellon - June 15, 2010 11:10 PM (GMT)
Love this army! must see more! could you do a group shot of it so far as ive ever manager to get to any events to see these with my own eyes
Vinnie - December 5, 2011 07:59 AM (GMT)
The grille deck of the Stormbird shuddered and lurched violently. The bike wheels strained against their chain lashings and creaked on their hard-studded tyres as the erratic motions of the landing craft tested the strength of the anchors. Jubal Khan took one more slow breath. The eight hunters lined up with the first captain were flexing arms and cricking necks, snarling helms dimly underlit with the dull green compartment lighting that threw crazy shadows onto the bulkheads all around. Flowing topknots shook like so many horsetails as the craft banged and tipped, and Jubal focused on the whining of the engines, constantly changing pitch as the pilot fought to keep the craft from the crashing waves of flak erupting from the planet surface. Abruptly, one anti-aircraft shell struck the ‘Bird somewhere on the starboard flank, and the craft was hurled sideways. Jubal kept a firm hold of his bike, and his hunters managed likewise their own bikes, avoiding being thrown bodily into one of the weapon lockers or grav harnesses that were stowed in the walls of their craft. The Stormbird rolled and pitched crazily, but eventually levelled.
“Damage report,” commanded Jubal into his vox bead. The crackling voice of the Astartes pilot stuttered back in response.
“The starboard engine is faltering; probably took in some debris from the hit. Flank plating is shedding in large sections, and hydraulics for the forward ailerons has been disabled. Not my best approach, this.”
“Your efforts are worthy of any true Chogoran, pilot,” replied the First Captain. “All I require is that we land. Becoming airborne once more is of secondary importance.” The pilot grunted down the vox, a sound that could have been a cough or a laugh. His reply crackled back to the captain.
“My Khan, if I can assure you of nothing else, I can assure you we will make planetfall... perhaps a little meteorically, but planetfall nonetheless.” Grim humour fed the fires of Jubal’s warlust in tight situations such as these, and the pilot’s mordant tone made the first captain smile inside his helmet.
“For the Khan, brother!”
The pilot positively yelled down the faltering vox link, “Honoured be his name!”
Streaking through the smoke and debris clouds, the Stormbird trailed sprays of fluid and chunks of fuselage. Dim shapes of sister craft flitted like roaring shadows through the atmospheric mire as the speartip thundered toward the ground. Greenskin turrets, tiny flickering muzzle flares hundreds of feet below, threw airburst shells incessantly at the landing craft as they stormed onwards. One ‘Bird, hull blackened from repeated hits, flashed orange as an engine caught aflame. The craft began to dip, falling out of formation, and was immediately picked on by the vindictive ork gunners. Tossed from one airburst to the next like a toy, the craft disintegrated, white armoured warriors and alabaster bikes tumbling out into the cold, smoky atmosphere and disappearing down. In the detached and calculating manner so typical of Astartes, the other pilots used this temporary respite at the sacrifice of one of their own to accelerate out of the greenskin firing solution. With that one single lapse in enemy discipline, the pattern of defensive fire evaporated, and the black scuds of flak simply chased the Imperial ships’ tails across the sky.
A tactical marker on Jubal’s bike auspex turned red and faded, informing the captain of the loss of a squad of his bikers. In his mind he quickly cross-referenced the craft rune with the First Brotherhood order of battle. Sergeant Ungabat and his squad; their names would be entered into the Book of Souls back in the Palace of the Primarch on Chogoris. Data streams scrolling on his helmet display told Jubal that the landing zone was approaching rapidly, and the Stormbird’s whine pitched down once more, engines shedding power as the craft began to drop steeply. Jubal and his squad of hunters felt their weight ease as the Bird plummeted to the ground. The altimeter on the compartment bulkhead, haloed by an arterial red light, buzzed downwards, and the Stormbird began humming and whirring as stabilising fins deployed and flaps were lowered.
“Make ready, riders of Khan,” growled Jubal over his squad vox channel. The hunters all came back with confirmations;
“Honoured be his name!”, “In the name of the Khan!”, “For the Khan, and for the Emperor!”
The rugged timbre of the co-pilot blared from the shipboard tannoy casters. “All units, prepare for disembarkation; t-minus forty seconds.” The full weight of Jubal’s armour rammed down onto his shoulders and boots as landing thrusters fired, effectively reducing the Stormbird’s downward momentum to zero. The craft hovered for a moment as the pilot adjusted attitude and confirmed bearing vectors.
“Twenty seconds,” blared the shipboard tannoy. With a lurch, the craft dropped once more. “Ten, nine...” The Stormbird drove its landing skids into the ground and the warriors within swayed with the motion. “Eight, seven...” The engines dropped gratefully, exhaling their last vestiges of thrust. “Six, five...” Orange warning lumens flashed into existence and pulsated, indicating the imminent drop of the hatch. “Four, three, two...” Jubal pressed a rune on his bike’s control pane. In answer the autoloaders of the twin-linked boltguns on the bike’s prow cocked and whirred, filling the chambers of the automatic weapons. “One...” Jubal Khan offered a brief, clandestine thought to the warrior spirits of Chogoris in the hopes their courage would be with him this day. “Zero!”
The hatch whirred down quickly, and the chain anchors holding tight to the bike wheels were retracted into the aircraft bulkheads, clattering noisily across the deck. Nine bikes roared into life, and their thunderous song echoed out of the cavernous Stormbird compartment. Jubal stood in his saddle and yelled.
“RIDE!” His hunters needed no encouragement. The mounted Astartes powered down the ramp and onto the dusty ground, some front wheels lifting slightly with the acceleration. Jubal gunned his bike forwards, opening the throttle wide. Thirty metres from the landing craft the captain slewed round and to a halt. The hunters growled up behind him, engines rumbling. The sky was pale blue, but almost completely obscured by the ragged wafts of smoke, dust and gunfire enveloping the land around the drop zone. More Stormbirds were slamming down and yawning their compartments wide to disgorge their howling charges. Jubal leaned round, and from a sheath running the length of his warbike he drew a tall banner pole. With a tug he loosened the slipknot that bound the furled standard, before he twisted in his saddle and planted the pole firmly in its cradle over the rear wheel. The heraldic standard whipped around in the swirling downdraft from the landing craft all about him. Jubal opened a wide band vox channel and addressed all the squad sergeants in the speartip.
“All squads for the front charge, on me. All squads for the north flank, on Captain Vachir.” Another captain also borne on one of the ubiquitous White Scar bikes had raised his own standard. The twenty speartip squads, now nineteen due to the ork flak, began to converge on either captain, according to their battlefield appointment. Jubal led a charge of thirteen squads, including four hunter squads and one squad of Tangahi attack bikes, their heavy bolter armed sidecars overflowing with ammunition lockers. Vachir Khan led six squads, including three Tangahi squads. Power fists adorned most of the sergeants with Vachir of the Sixth Brotherhood, and their attack bike squads were saturated with multimeltas. Theirs was the job of breaching stout walls, and Jubal looked forward to seeing their glorious efforts.
As vigorous wind swept away the chaos of the flak screen, the crumpled ground opened out before the White Scars. As per the meticulous battle plan, they had dropped into a wide and dusty gulley, and rocky ground offered a staggered advance with plenty of cover without presenting too harsh an obstacle to the bikes. To the north lay rolling hills of scrubland. The flanking contingent with Vachir Khan now roared off towards the cover of these hills, riders whooping and standing in their saddles as they drove their bikes up the slopes of the gulley. Fur cloaks and horsehair tassels stretched straight out behind the speeding convoy as they disappeared into the rolling terrain. Jubal turned to the column that had assembled behind him. They were equally riled and battle-hungry, and anticipation flared in Jubal’s breast. He removed his helmet to address them, and hopped up so he was standing on his saddle.
“Riders of KHAAAN!” bellowed the First Captain. One hundred and two White Scars stood erect, weapons held aloft in ancient salute, giving earth-shaking voice to their heated spirits. “We attack now as ever our ancestors have, with the speed of the wind, and heralded by the thunder of our mounts! Sergeants, break off into squads and harass the defences that face us using all your speed and guile. Glory and honours uncounted await the courageous warriors here today!” Once more the White Scars vented their lungs, howling approval to the heavens. Jubal donned his skeletal helmet, and in one fluid motion span and dropped back into his saddle. He clicked his external vox casters to maximum volume, before drawing his wicked tulwar.
“For the Khan, WE RIDE!”
With that the First Brotherhood of White Scars rumbled forward, across the rocky terrain of the gullies and outcrops and for the first time laid eyes on the target that required such overt and aggressive conquest.
The ork stronghold was huge. Over ten square kilometres of hard baked saltpan had been infested with the enormous and improbable metal structures so endemic in greenskin population centres. The stronghold was roughly fan shaped, the point of this shape comprised tall and well fortified buildings nestled in the crook of the scrubby hills to the north. The rest of the veritable city slowly dwindled out into the saltpan, buildings smaller and ricketier the further flung out they were. A huge fortified wall enclosed the main city quarter in the hills, but the chaotic assembly of patchwork buildings on the outskirts were strewn with barbed wire and barricades of debris and gutted vehicles.
The green menace swamped the entire conurbation in thousands, their belching and snorting audible from a mile away, and the stench detectable from even farther. Tractor rigs and armoured behemoths grumbled through what could be called streets as the ork war machine wound up for pitched battle. Huge mobs of swinekin pulsed and roiled around their shabby structures. Fur, leather, metal plates, and all manner of esoteric weaponry blended into the mass of green flesh. Flashes and flares of multicoloured light stuttered from the exhausts of clunky rockets strapped to the backs of some of the larger and braver orks. Every now and then glimpses of enormous walking monstrosities could be caught through the jumble of buildings. Dredds, as the vile greenskin called them, clomped and staggered their way out of huge workshops, covered in clinging figures, all stunted and evil, brandishing crude tools and oversized pistols.
At the front of all of this was a coterie of alpha males; enormous individuals made of iron hard bone and corded musculature, and garbed in sheets of beaten metal and hides of innumerable long dead animals. Tall poles dripping with gory and rotten trophies towered above the jabbering masses, swinging from the backs of such huge leader castes of greenskin. Red, yellow, pink and blue paint adorned vehicles and orks alike, and the horde of vile aliens made the earth tremble as they began to move.
Jubal and his contingent hammered across the saltpan, kicking up clouds of dust that were immediately borne away by the foetid wind. The whole line of White Scars spread out, offering many small and fast moving targets to challenge the less-than-inspirational marksmanship of the orks. Jubal and his hunters throttled back a little, and the bike squads circled wide either side of them before turning back inwards. Hundreds of metres out to the left and right, the squads accelerated towards a point at which they would converge. Then, perhaps three hundred metres from the frothing vanguard of the ork horde, they opened fire as one. Twin-linked bolters chattered and barked in their dozens. The converging route of the bikers created a horrifying crossfire that chewed up the front ranks of advancing swinekin in their hundreds. Some skilled riders, pumped up on bravura, managed to maintain bolter fire and hurl frag grenades into the ever-approaching line of orks, blowing ragged and visceral holes in the bellowing line of xenos.
Suddenly it seemed that the two wings of bikers would collide. The riders ceased their fire and thundered into each other head on. With enviable skill, every biker sped between two of his companions coming from the other direction. The two forces mingled for an instant, before they passed each other and hurtled out the other side, speeding away from the ork horde, and opening up a wide gap between them.
The squealing and howling horde staggered in the face of such sudden and overwhelming bombardment, and the living clambered over the dead to charge into the gap the retreating bikers had created.
Jubal Khan of the First Brotherhood and four full squads of hunters were powering forward to meet them. With a heartbeat of silence followed by a gristly crack, the two forces met. Tulwars and lightning claws slashed out, while plasma pistols scorched white hot gouges into the meat of the greenskin mob. The four squads were in one wide delta shape, with Jubal at the very point, carving a gory path through the masses. His powered tulwar sang and hissed as it rent limbs from trunks and heads from shoulders, and the armoured tread of his warbike ground foul xenos into the hard ground as he revved over the bodies of the slain and unslain alike, his contempt for their barbarism evident in his zealous dealing of their deaths.
Jubal slashed his tulwar across the face and chest of an ork, whose skull and thorax split in two, falling to either side. He gunned his engine and churned the corpse beneath studded tyres, before sensing motion to his left. He whirled around, blade already whipping across the ork’s midriff. Green and black innards, foul smelling and gloopy, tumbled out and the ork yowled. The animal tripped over its own guts and smashed its considerable face into the frontplate of Jubal’s bike. Jubal was already swinging for another greenskin. The hunters behind him revved and lurched their way through the morass, each man wielding blades and chain weapons to great effect in the close confines of the mob.
An echoing thud parted the clamouring orks like so many rats before a hound. The area before Jubal opened up to reveal a hulking ork dredd, enormous splayed feet hammering into the ground on pneumatic pistons. Without a heartbeat’s hesitation, Jubal pulled back on his handlebars and lifted the nose of the bike up seventy degrees from the ground. Raised so high, Jubal simply swung himself bodily round the axis of the balancing bike, and planted the soles of both boots into the viewing lens in the middle of the machine’s body. The lens was annihilated, and the momentum of the Astartes captain rocked the dredd back on its flat feet. Kicking off from the faceplate of the xeno construct, Jubal landed squarely back in his saddle. For a beat the dredd hung, tipped back on its heels, then the weight shifted, and the machine clattered to the ground on its back, useless as so much scrap metal. A crude rocket fired off comically into the sky from a bracket on the machine’s arm assembly, and grunts and squeals could be heard from inside as the construct writhed and strained to no avail.
The White Scar assault had stalled, as Jubal knew it would do against such overwhelming numbers. But the operation had been planned to the nearest second, and in the brief respite, Jubal cast his gaze skyward. Sure enough, small flares burnt dimly against the bright sky. The suggestion of streaking trails fluttered out behind each pinprick of light. With renewed vigour, Jubal bellowed his fury at the oncoming horde, and threw himself and his bike into fresh waves of foebeasts. The hunters at his back howled in answer and drove their mounts on, over living and dead, slashing about with devastating and gory enthusiasm. The saltpan began to soak up the ichor spilled from the massed corpses, and the wheels of the advancing Astartes began to stick. Just as it seemed the orks might begin a coherent counterattack, a sonic boom slammed the air, and another, then many more. After each, an armoured comet blazed into the ground, retroactive ramjets slowing its descent at the last second. Drop pods rained down, fins and heat shielding glowing with the heat of atmospheric entry. Like the petals of some brutal metal flower, the ramps of each pod swung down, and squads of tactical marines stomped forth, clean and ready bolters levelled at their hips.
In disciplined bursts, the new arrivals unleashed wave after wave of explosive rounds into the orks. At the same moment, Jubal became aware of the other bike squads in his contingent, gamely mowing their own path through the horde to his left flank, bolter fire strobing angrily.
So comprehensively hammered had the brunt of the ork advance been, most of the mob was now stood still, and in the distance clunking and creaking vehicles revved impatiently at the backs of the orks before them. Many tried simply to drive over the greenskins in their way, but the overwhelming press of bodies was even proving the match of that tactic. A sudden and hammering blow to Jubal’s head brought him back to the moment.
The captain’s helmet span off into the chaos, and he was very nearly unseated. He slashed up his tulwar instinctively in the direction from which the blow had come, and the blade contacted something tough. Sweeping long hair from his sweaty face, Jubal focused on his attacker.
A huge leader caste greenskin had the keen edge of a power tulwar embedded in his brow, and appeared to be only a little encumbered. He belched and snorted and threw back his head, trying to rid himself of the irritant lodged there. Jubal was not prepared to surrender his master-crafted weapon to the gormless likes of this brute, so the captain held on tightly. The White Scar was wrenched from his saddle and catapulted into the air. He felt as if his arm was nearly torn off, but luckily the blade came free before his shoulder did, and so he spiralled down to earth still armed.
“COME HERE AND PIT YOURSELF TO MY BLADE, OPLAN-BHAT’IN!” roared the White Scar captain, his blood up from the confiscation of his beloved bike. “SUM UR’HKAT FOL HESHAN MAQ’LI!” The captain bellowed forth an unending stream of shocking and virulent Chogoran curses at the hulking beast, which lurched towards him, huge cleaving weapons raised high. “ON LEH’TAN SHOR TELAAQ’UN!”
A massive blade came down towards Jubal, and face ruddy with unadulterated rage, he blocked it with a monumental parry. The swinekin’s blade buried deeply into the muddy ground and stuck, so the beast brought the other round in a horizontal swipe. Jubal dodged back from this, and let the beast’s own swing carry the arm off balance across its chest. Without waiting for any recovery from the ogre-thing, Jubal raised his tulwar high and then down, hacking off the ork’s arm above the elbow. Green black ichor sprayed from the stump and the animal bellowed in rage before staggering back and landing dejectedly on its rump. Its heavy set features seemed confused, and Jubal wasted no time. With a pendulous, upwards swipe the White Scar severed the beast’s neck. The expansive brow furrowed for an instant, and then the huge head dropped to the muddy ground. Jubal kicked over the hideous thing and pierced the mandible flesh at the bottom of the mouth with the tip of his tulwar, his face turned skyward, mouth snarling as he relished the victory. He unlooped a trophy cord from his chestplate, drew the dry teeth and bones already threaded there up to one end, and then pushed the alloy cable through the hole he had made in the ork boss’ chin. He reattached the trophy cord and swung the grisly trophy up behind his back. Satisfied his honour was restored, he dodged through the assault that still drove on around him, pleased to see the orks beginning to falter as the implacable White Scar advance really began to take its toll.
There were white armoured corpses amongst the debris on the ground, and Jubal steeled himself, certain in the knowledge that all slain this day would be remembered every decade at the Rite of Howling. The unrelenting bolter fire from the drop pod units was clearing the beasts gradually, and the vicious offensive from the bike mounted Scars felled the orks in great swathes. Jubal spotted his bike, cast aside on a mound of bodies and body parts. He leapt through the mêlée, allowing his brother Scars to complete their own combats, not wishing to detract from their glory and impinge upon their honour.
A hysterical greenskin plunged to the ground in front of Jubal, its rocket pack guttering and sparking. The animal screamed and roared at the White Scar captain. Jubal did not raise his weapon, nor did he break stride. Instead his armoured gauntlet connected dead on with the ork’s stubby snout, and the thing immediately yelped in pain. Robbed of vision by the blow, the ork collapsed to the ground, clutching its face. Jubal simply dropped a frag grenade, pulled from his belt, behind him. The rocket pack went up like a box of cheap pyroworks, all sparks and whistles and multiple colours, and the hysterical greenskin was scattered over a wide area. Jubal continued picking his way towards his bike. After a handful more brief scraps in which Jubal’s Tulwar sang, the first captain reached his downed bike, its heraldic banner muddied and frayed, its potent engine offline for the moment. He wrenched it upright and twisted the ignition. The six-valve turbocharged monster roared to life, and Jubal hiked himself up into the saddle. All around him White Scars reaped a terrible vengeance upon the ork beasts. The swinekin were on the verge of a rout.
A thunderous boom reverberated through the saltpan ground and one of the towering xenos constructions in the scrap city began to topple, with aching slowness to the ground, shedding a trail of rivets, plating and lesser greenskin sub-species as it fell. Vachir Khan and his armour breaking contingent had brought down the fortifications from the hillward side, and flooded the empty city from behind the rampaging orks, just as the White Scars had planned. Every moment more melta charges detonated, demolishing the haphazard erections of the orks and dumping tonnes of scrap metal on top of the few foebeasts that remained in the city.
With the three arms of White Scars compressing the orks from all sides, the horde became a panicky and disordered mess, or at least a more panicky and disordered mess. Grinning Jubal nodded thanks to the memories of his ancestors. He bellowed the sweeping advance.
“For the Khan, WE RIDE!”
The last bastion of greenskin strength on that world was done, and the glorious burgeoning Imperium had scoured the hated xenos from yet another of the outlying planets of the Ullanor system. Ultimate victory over the beasts’ empire was one step closer.
Glory is coming, brothers of the steppes--
Ilmarinen - December 5, 2011 10:37 AM (GMT)
Vinnie - October 21, 2012 08:06 PM (GMT)
Aventine - October 21, 2012 11:34 PM (GMT)
Looking good! I like the use of Chaos bikes. I'm going to have to get to naming my units too (as soon as their is more than one).
Vredesbyrd - October 22, 2012 12:03 AM (GMT)
These look great Vinnie, I like the judicious use of Marauder bits to 'barbarian up' your Scars. Those LC just look brutal, are they out of the new Warp Talon box?
Vinnie - November 3, 2012 05:29 PM (GMT)
Cheers, Aventine, your captain on the jetbike was what really gave me the boot up the rear to get stuck in again! Also, KHAAAAN!
Yeah Vred the claws are from the Chaos WT box. That kit is a PH modellers dream, so long as you're happy with a file, and never really liked your finger-skin anyway... ¬_¬
+++pict update in t-minus 24 hours estimated+++
Pacific - November 3, 2012 06:12 PM (GMT)
Look really good mate! On the finished article the white looks great.
Also, glad to see a couple of mohicans in there! Nothing like enough mohicans on space marines these days.. ^_^
And that is an obscenely large topknot on one of the bikers.. :D
Ilmarinen - November 7, 2012 11:33 PM (GMT)
FOR THE KHAN!!!
Awesome updates dude. Loving the savagery!