27 October 2009

The Might of the Imperial Guard

The Imperial Guard are my favourite army, the reason i love and collect them is that they have a very mortal feel about them, each grunt is a man like you or I with his own ambitions, fears and tastes, this "feel" makes the army almost unique in its fluff, sharing maybe the Tau's willingness to live, eat and breed without clouding it with insanity, insatiable greed and a heroic duty.
The Guard from a hobbyists point of view are unique as well, every Guard planet is different yet the same, populated with humans yet it could be a fascist regime, capitalist states, a democracy, a principality or even a 40K communist convergence. Each of these planets can be warm and wet, cold and dry, rocky, watery, foggy or clean thus even further shaping the development of your army. Ill pick out the Valhallans as an example, this Guard Tithe regiment is one based upon the Russians in WW2, with their iconic greatcoats and dogged "we will get it done" attitude. Their planet, Valhalla is icy and cold, thus the coats and snow bases and their frosty personalities (excuse the pun), their special weapon is the flamer, a complete contradiction of their environment.
A gamer will love the guard for this reason too, i will use Valhallans again to demonstrate. Their special character is a ruthless little bastard who sends conscripts, red raw, into the treads of tanks until they clog and stop, he does this with a special rule allowing the squad upgraded to come back on the board, signalling the original unit is dead. This tactic used in game means that objectives can be protected in the very final turn while providing body screens for more important units to hide behind.
Another army is an Airborne one. with Valkyries and Vendettas zooming around the board, missiles firing, unloading troops and staging outflank ambushes. Another? the Treadhead army, 6 oily 100 tonne tanks rolling towards the enemy, shells bursting them into bits, walkers run alongside taking pot shots at exposed heads and engines.
Yet another, the armoured assault, well trained troops with trophies and bombs taking out key objectives whilst air support keeps them covered.

"give me 100 space marines, or failing that give me 1000 other troops"

~ Marneus calgar, a douchebag

12 October 2009

A short story...

Tiberius gazed over the fields of Mourn, his usually solemn expression softening slightly. His power armour hissed and whined as he took his gauntlets off, despite his bulk he walked softly. The smell of the lilacs was sweet to his tuned senses, the rustle of the buds a cacophony to his ears. Tiberius’ fingertips brushed the purple flowers of the field, his mind pondered the day coming, the trials of Gargra’ Thor, the bloodshed, the horror, the pain and the glory.

The twin suns were setting over the ridge as Tiberius drew close to the Halls of the Enlightened, he replaced his gauntlets and took a key from his waist, it slotted perfectly into a notch, set into the millennia old gate. It shifted, the stone cracked and shook, dust and spiders fell like snow onto the earth around Tiberius’ large feet, and he made his way inside.

It was dark, so very dark that Tiberius could hardly see. He walked down endless staircases, passed towering statues of former warriors, Tiberius crushed bones and rats under his feet, their filth marring his armour. After several hours of trudging Tiberius arrived at his destination, the room of Martyrs. The entrance was daubed in signs of love, love for the dead, and love for the sacrifice of Saints. He pushed the door open; it was stiff but still functional. The grey stone ground and roared its defiance as it slid slowly open. Tiberius stepped in through the gap.

The room was brilliantly white despite the oppressive darkness in the halls before, there were no direct light sources yet the walls themselves glowed like skin under the sun. The walls were completely bare, the floor carved into spirals from the mountain itself. The ceiling was seamless and covered in murals to the Gods and the deeds of their followers, Tiberius felt that all the ancients had turned their perfect eyes towards him; their spotless lips open in age long fury and now surprise.

True to the words of his superiors there was the tool, set into the middle of the floor, a tall multi-barrelled device, the one that would activate the trial. Tiberius stroked its white marble surface; it shifted under his touch, like a crustacean emerging from its shell the prongs and levers appeared. Tiberius pulled the main lever and almost immediately the glow from the walls dimmed, the light turned red casting a bloody glow onto Tiberius’ handsome face; he licked his lips tasting chalk. The ceiling began to crack; it was so silent Tiberius had not noticed this until the plinth began to rise. Tiberius ascended through the now open ceiling, he felt the sweet scented air on his face, smelt the lilacs, their aroma once again flooding his senses. He emerged out of the temple, rising with speed, the walls around him circular, white marble. Tiberius gazed upwards, the wind tearing the air around his head, now he was rising through marble columns, much like a coliseum, except through the gaps Tiberius saw open air, the orange sky empty and oppressive.

The space marine had now reached the top of the tower; he stepped out, gingerly at first, stance low and tense. He knew he was being watched but could not place the observer; he made his way up stone steps until he was on an open shelf. Tiberius knew that if he fell he would fall for days before he smashed into the ground, the hairs on his neck were on end, one push and it was all over.

Suddenly wind stopped. The fury of the sky was settled. The space marine walked to the edge of the plateau, when he gazed down he saw the purple sea of flowers, they shifted in the wind like cloth, they were so beautiful he wept. The petals were whipped up by unseen hands, they danced to and fro casting shapes in the air, spiralling and pirouetting. The flowers felt no guilt, no responsibility, they were destined to dance, Tiberius loathed them and yet, loved them, the space marine sank to his knees.

The clouds began to gather around Tiberius, he knew that his journey, his destiny was about to start. Almost instinctively Tiberius opened his palm and slowly, a purple flower fell, it settled into the deep furrows on his hand. He looked at it, wiping his eyes with his free gauntlet; Tiberius watched as the flower turned a deep red, his head snapped up, his eyes sharp once again. His stalker, the soundless predator, it was upon him! And it spoke I AM KHORNE, YOUR SOUL IS MINE!

05 October 2009

Welcome to my blog!

This is my first post so i will just say Hi to everyone reading this and welcome. Ill just talk a bit about how i got into Warhammer ... a long time ago in a schoolyard far far away..........

Basically when i was 5-6ish a boy in my class brought in a warhammer 40k catalogue,an old school booklet with the pictures of Valhallans storming an Eldar camp or vice versa, we boys gazed at these pics for hours, (the girls were never interested), we would say things like "oh im that guy cause i would shot that pointy guy then hide behind that box" and so forth and eventually the booklet became so tattered it fell to bits, however my interest in this hobby had already kindled!

Fortunately my dad asked about the hobby to some of his workmates, one of which was quitting it, he gave my dad a sack of Orks with his best wishes and vanished into the fog, never to be seen again.... (actually i think he had a baby and relocated, its more dramatic with the fog).
This sack included Goff warriors and Gretchin foot troops, old school commandos and SS Stormboyz, i also received the characters and cannons of this motley race. Hardly none of it caught my attentions to be brutally honest, all accept my love of the Gretchin and their ranks, their rifles and their discipline in comparison with brutish orks! I did not know it but this would link directly to my all time love, the Imperial Guard.

I ruined orks with my crude painting (by the bucket) but i grew in skill to a point where more paint ended up on the model than on the floor, with this my father let out a mighty cry to the heavens and a box of chaos space marines entered my hobby!

By this time I was around 10 so I was old enough to take painting lessons at the Tunbridge Wells store, (something I will always be grateful for!) the guys there taught me techniques and tricks of the trade and pretty soon I had some decent iron warriors painted up, this wouldn't last however as the heroic space marines caught my hungry eye and soon, with penny pocket money saved I had a squad of crimson fists painted. Over the next 2 years this army developed into around 1000pts with friends from my primary school collecting armies too. The Crimson fists now sit in a box on one of many shelves but they will always be remembered as my first true army.

Guardsmen came about when I joined my secondary school, I bought 2 boxes of infantry and painted them up in winter camo and never looked back :D.