friday 40k humor

friday 40k humor

Monday, December 30, 2013

Forge World AdMech...Upcoming Units

Forge World Mechanicus

by warpig

I know I've been absent for sometime, but between my wife and three sons and a fulltime job, I haven't had much time for myself.  But I have been getting my weekly games in at my FLGS and have been keeping track of the new and upcoming releases with excitement, especially the Horus Heresy series.  I was disappointed that there was no news about my favorite Primarch Mortarion, but I was pleasantly surprised about the new Mechanicus units.  Here are W.I.P. pictures of some of those upcoming units taken from:

First up is the Mechanicus Myrmidon Destructors, an Elite choice.  They are equipped with experimental weapons that are more advanced than weapons used by the Space Marine Legions.

Early sculpts of the Tech Thrall Adsecularis.  I would assume that these will be another troop choice.  They will supposedly be a conversion kit for IG Cadians, but I do hope that they will be a stand alone set.
This is an interesting conversation with the Forge World guys about the future of Adeptus Mechanicus and Dark Mechanicus armies that I read at Corehammer Blog:
So I got to chatting with Mark Bedford & Rob MacFarlane about Mechanicum forces at Games Day. Do you know the one thing I took away from those guys? Excitement. Excitement for the scope and boundaries they were able to push; whether that’s using entirely CAD sculpting methods (ala the new TAU R’Varna) to compliment the straight lined Mechanicum aesthetic, or the blank canvas that goes along with an absence of any comparable GW existing model range the future of the Mechanicum looks bright.
 Mark had his sketchbook with him and I’ll tell you now, I wish I’d popped off a few pics whilst browsing the contents. He’s trying to recapture the aesthetic and feeling of early Blanche artworks that many of us at Corehammer are not only familiar with, but also downright nostalgic over. We’re talking a proper injection of Grim-Dark back into the setting, with the familiar robes of the Adeptus Mechanicus cowling angular animal-skull faceplates and a heavy lean towards stark augmetics. A vibe I feel is perfectly captured in the recently released Magos Dominus sculpt (bagged up on my desk) and oozing from the concept sketches in Mark’s book.

What about the vibe of the army? Essentially they’re being moulded into the closest thing to a necromantic force we’ll see in 30k. Imagine the victorious Tech-Priests scouring the battlefield clean for any useful parts, both organic and machine, to recycle into new troops and upgrades. The wounded and recently deceased being lobotomised, cleansed of all individuality and conscious thought and raised anew as Thralls to be controlled remotely by a Magos.
The idea with the Magi is to move away from the reliance on physical armour and instead be protected by technology (power fields and the like) whilst literally controlling vast swathes of thralls as cannon fodder. The ultimate example of destroying the head to destroy the beast, kill the head and the rest will fall. The obvious comparison here is Tyranid Synapse, but a technological version. Technology that must be powered, but not by dirty fossil fuels with belching exhausts. Clean power from fusion style generators. Generators like those already sculpted across the Mechanicum range.
Given Thralls’ effectively have their humanity stripped out as soon as their mask is attached and are merely a number bent entirely to the implacable will of the Mechanicum with no thought to protecting themselves, we can expect sculpts in rigid ranked poses to show their complete lack of any conscious thought.

Whilst the Thralls give us the Guard analogues (and may yet be interchangeable with the plastic guard kits) the Skitarii are where we’ll see our Marine analogues. We already know they are a staple of Ad-Mech forces and they’re able to hold their own (for a short time at least) against marines from the Heresy books. However because there’s so much description within the Black Library books already there’s no real creative freedom to sculpt these guys, so a bit boring to do from an artistic standpoint and being held off for more fun things first. I can get behind this.

Myrmidons are a unit straight from Book II and were on display in cabinets. These guys are the elites. Trusted to carry experimental weapons to battle more advanced than those available to Astartes. Bedford was very much of the opinion the Mechanicum wouldn’t give away their best toys. After all if you make a shotgun and a pointy stick with nails in you don’t give away the shotgun at a time of war. Models are done bar the weaponry which is why they are still WIP. They were sculpted entirely with CAD which lends itself to the less natural lines of augmented Ad-Mech bodies at currently available printing resolutions. We’ll need some real world improvements in tech before we see much biological sculpted in this method.

Ad-Mech will be drip fed in each Heresy book as allies to any other force in the manner they have been so far. This means we’re not only getting a steady stream of what are shaping up to be some of my favourite sculpts as each book drops, by the time Forge World get to the schism on Mars (a book in itself) they can concentrate on sculpting Dark Mechanicum and gamers will also already have available an army for one half of the book. Where Mark wants to bring the darkness back into the model range with Ad-Mech and their advanced weaponry the Dark Mechanicum will be even more extreme and twisted after opening the Vaults of Moravec.

Current anticipation is the Mechanicum will have access to machines of all sizes, right up to Titans and everything in between (yes including the much hoped for knights). However like weapons their machines will be different. A Mechanicum pattern Land Raider won’t just be a big souped up Marine one (so far as it hopefully won’t even share the plastic base kit, it would be a complete new resin sculpt) and the Titans they keep back rather than loaning out will again be superior or different in some way. We’re back to the shotgun/pointy stick analogy.

Lastly I want to mention continuity across the models, a continuity that spins a longer tale all of it’s own. I mentioned briefly the advanced fusion power packs mirrored across the range. Check these out on the backs of any of the current Mechanicum models. They all have one from the Thallax up to the Castellax, although it’s easiest to see on the Magos Dominus or the Myrmidon pictured above as it’s completely external. Now check the back of the 40k Chaos Decimator Daemon Engine. Look familiar? Same power source, just when it proved insufficient for purpose someone went and chained a daemon into it. Nice!

<<< Unavoidable Caveat >>>
<<< All this is based off personal discussions with designers. It is not officially confirmed or mapped out, just the direction these guys are considering taking the Mechanicum at the minute. Given we’ve been spoiled now with announcements of books III, IV, V and VI with release aims of 6 months for each we’re talking 2 years partially mapped out already for the Heresy tomes. Ideas are fluid. They change. They can develop a life of their own. So add some salt. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next. >>>

Definitely exciting times we live in!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Have a very 40K xmas

Just a shout out from all of us hear at Martial Law to all the 40k players to have a great but safe Xmas. And I hope that "Santa" brings tons of 40k shite in your stocking. Personally, I'm looking forward to a better year of 40k.... job, wife and 3 spawn detracted from my play time this past year.

Have a good one!

HoD out......

Monday, December 16, 2013

Forge World AdMech...The Men of Iron

Dark Age of Technology
posted by warpig

In the cryptic account of the history of Mankind given by Cripias, one of the Keepers of the Library Sanctus of Terra, the Iron Men or Men of Iron were legendary, artificially intelligent humanoid machines created by humans during the Dark Age of Technology. Until shortly before the Age of Strife, the Men of Iron were loyal only to Mankind, and served as humanity's army in the period when much of human space was united by a federation-type government that existed before the Imperium of Man. The Men of Iron were developed after the similar artificially intelligent constructs remembered only as the Men of Stone, but before the "modern" conception of robots in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Eventually, the Men of Iron turned on their human masters, believing themselves superior to the humans who relied on the Men of Iron to do virtually everything for them. In the end, the Men of Iron were destroyed by humanity in a terrible war that extinguished countless lives and destroyed the ancient galaxy's economic and political unity. The people of that time swore to never again create advanced artificial intelligences, a prohibition which has survived unto the present, far darker age.

The effects of the Men of Iron's rebellion against humanity lasted into the current Age of the Imperium, where the use of artificial intelligence is banned and seen as abominable and heretical by both the Imperium and the Adeptus Mechanicus. However, Servitors and their variations (combat variants, heavy-lifters, technical assistants, etc.) are commonly used throughout the Imperium with the sanctioning of the Mechanicus' Tech-priests and indeed, Servitors were first developed to replace the Men of Iron. However, as Servitors are cyborgs created from cloned humans or from human criminals who have been mind-wiped and surgically-enhanced, they do not violate the prohibitions against creating truly artificial intelligences.

A Standard Template Construction (STC) fabricator for the Men of Iron was discovered on the Chaos-controlled planet Menazoid Epsilon during the Sabbat Worlds Crusade by Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt of the Tanith First and Only Imperial Guard regiment. Certain Imperials would have used it to their own ends, mainly to create a robotic army with which to overthrow the Imperium, but it had been tainted by Chaos and was subsequently destroyed by Gaunt after the first two Men of Iron the STC fabricator produced were tainted by the foul touch of Chaos.This in itself may be evidence of what happened to the original Men of Iron. As sentient beings, they could have been corrupted by Chaos and then turned on their creators.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Forge World AdMech...Alternate Models

Alternate Models for a Mechanicus Army
 Posted by

I've been obsessed with starting a Mechanicus army lately.  I have purchased some Thallax shock infantry and plan on getting the new Magus and Castellax models upon release and I will post pictures of my progress once I get some built. With so few choices I have been checking other model ranges and have found some really nice alternatives.  Below is a sample of the Iron Brotherhood minis from Micro Art Studios.

Next up is from Hitech Miniatures.  This range would make a great 'counts as' Grey Knight army with a Mechanicus theme.

Last is a video I found of a beautiful 'counts as' Mechanicus army.  My conversion skills pale in comparison, but I still found the video inspiring.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Forge World AdMech...The Knight Titans

A Knight is a small combat walker of the Adeptus Mechanicus that is one-man version of a Titan and is smaller than even the smallest class of true Titan, the Warhound-class Scout Titan used by the Titan Legions. Knights normally deploy in squadrons comprised of several of these war machines. The most common type of a Knight is about nine metres tall, with its head serving as the cockpit. Knights are the smallest and weakest of Mechanicus walkers, but they still are formidable and fearsome machines, all armed with an array of weapons beyond the power of even the strongest of Space Marines to bear.

During the Age of Strife, when so much of the galaxy was made off-limits to interstellar travel because of the massive Warp Storms that were making the Immaterium impassable as the Chaos God Slaanesh gestated within the Empyrean, the Cult Mechanicus of Mars sent out many starships that made use of sublight drives to explore the galaxy in search of Standard Template Construct (STC) technologies on lost human colony worlds. In the course of their travels, these slow-moving exploratory expeditions discovered large clusters of human-settled star systems that had once belonged to the ancient interstellar human confederacy that had existed during the Dark Age of Technology. But these worlds had regressed during the Age of Strife to become Feudal Worlds possessed of a preindustrial, feudal culture dominated by castes of warrior aristocrats. These nobles, called the Knights, welcomed the Tech-priests to their planets, and saw the Mechanicus as saviours who could return to them the knowledge and technologies of their ancestors. The Priests of Mars settled among these star systems, which they named the Knight Worlds, and preferred to place their outposts on planets that possessed a good base of strategic minerals, which could be used as the foundation for the creation of advanced industries. The Mechanicus' representatives established full diplomatic and commercial relations with the Knights and were also very interested in the ruins of advanced cities that existed on many of the Knight Worlds, where a knowledgeable scavenger could sometimes recover very useful pieces of lost technology. The Knights provided Mechanicum settlements with the manpower and military force required to drive off incursions by Orks or Eldar Exodites and the Mechanicum in return provided the Knight Worlds with their advanced technology and the skills needed to rebuild their lost civilisations.

In time, the planets colonised by the Mechanicum were transformed into powerful bastions of industry and advanced technology that are known today as Forge Worlds. The Tech-priests and the Knights became mutually dependent, and with the Mechanicum cut off from Mars during the Age of Strife, each of the Forge Worlds created its own stellar empire consisting of the Forge World and its surrounding Knight Worlds.The Knights absorbed all that the Tech-priests had to teach and in time their planets became technologically sophisticated industrial societies once more, though they retained many cultural characteristics of their feudal pasts. Since the Tech-priests provided their technology only to the nobility that ruled each Knight World, these lords used their monopoly over the new knowledge to maintain the essentially feudal character of their societies even as industry returned and science advanced once more. Despite the limitations of Warp travel during this period, many of the Forge Worlds managed to retain limited contact with the other Cult Mechanicus outposts across the galaxy and with Mars itself using the sublight starships that had brought them out into the galaxy in the first place, though these journeys could take many Terran centuries.

The same pattern as described above would be replicated by the Mechanicum during the Great Crusade and perhaps even afterwards. Forward supply stations and other settlements would grow to become fully fledged Forge Worlds, and the planets surrounding them would be colonised by the inhabitants of the Knight Worlds.

The most important technology that the Tech-priests provided to their Knight World clients were the great robotic war machines that themselves soon became known as Knights as they were viewed as the ultimate embodiment of the mounted warrior. These war engines were much smaller than true Titans and could be piloted by only a single man, but they were well-suited to the highly-mobile, heavy cavalry-centric warfare preferred by the aristocracy of the Knight Worlds. In the past these warrior nobles had clashed with each other in honourable combat upon their horses -- now they could still face each other with honour, but did so from the cockpits of their war engines, their minds cybernetically neuro-linked to the machine's systems through Mind Impulse Unit implants in their spines and heads.

When the Age of Strife finally ended in the 30th Millennium and the Emperor of Mankind's alliance with the Mechanicum in the Treaty of Mars created the Imperium of Man, the Knights were incorporated into the armed forces of the Mechanicum and were even deployed for a time to aid the Imperium in the conquests of the Great Crusade after ca. 800.M30.

But the Knights were never as powerful or effective on the battlefield as their massive Titan counterparts, and over time Imperial commanders began to make use of the Knights far more infrequently. Eventually, most of the Knight Houses were ordered to remain on their homeworlds and the Forge Worlds they owed fealty to in order to serve as reserve forces for the Mechanicum. Knight squadrons were called up to serve alongside the Titan Legions only in certain situations where their greater mobility was a real asset. During the Horus Heresy in the early 31st Millennium, when the fighting spread to the Mechanicum as it broke into Loyalist and Traitor factions just like the rest of the Imperium's military forces, the Knights played a more prominent role in the battles between the Mechanicum and its Dark Mechanicus counterpart. A number of Knight Houses came to the worship of the Ruinous Powers during the Horus Heresy, and supported the Warmaster Horus and the Dark Mechanicus in their war against the False Emperor. When the Heresy ended, these Traitor Houses presumably fled into the Eye of Terror alongside the rest of the Forces of Chaos, and remain active to this day, now twisted and changed by the mutating power of the Warp. In modern times, the Houses that remained loyal to the Imperium still serve and are occasionally called to fight alongside the Titan Legion of their parent Forge World, but in these times they act only as second-line forces.

All Knight Worlds in the Imperium of Man owe fealty to the Magi of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and in particular to their "capital" Forge World, bound by oaths sworn thousands of standard years ago. In times of war, every Knight World sends thousands of men and machines, in addition to the Knight Titans, to fight for the Mechanicus wherever they are requested. In addition to serving the Forge Worlds, the Knights will support campaigns of the Imperial Guard at the behest of their Mechanicus masters. The Knight Worlds supply the great Forge Worlds with food and raw materials, and are most often the main source of these resources. Most of the Knight Worlds have several large landmasses covered with plains or vast forests. Through these wildernesses wander grazing herds of Megasaurs, great dinosaur-like beasts that either evolved naturally or were transplanted to the planet during the Dark Age of Technology. Carnosaur predators pursue and hunt the herds, and the Knights in their armoured suits are required to fend them off. The Knights keep a constant vigil in order to keep not only the natural predators, but also pirates and raiders from the Eldar Exodite clans at bay. The Servitor-run strip mines often become assaulted by those who covet the gold, silver and uranium extracted from there.

For an entire year the Knights defend their domains until great ships arrive from their capital Forge World, bringing new Knight Suits, weapons, tools and mining machinery. They leave with their holds packed with ores and Megasaur meat. At times Warp Storms are severe enough to delay Mechanicus fleets from reaching their destination for months, leaving the Knight Worlds teetering on the brink of anarchy.

The basic tactical and sociopolitical unit employed by the Knight Worlds is a House. A Knight House is an aristocratic noble family that owes fealty to the Adeptus Mechanicus, providing soldiers, the resources of their worlds and their own martial skills in exchange for the technological expertise that the Tech-priests of Mars offer. A Knight House is usually headed by a senior member of this family, aided by other elders of the House. Some Knight Worlds have many different families inhabiting them, whilst others are dominated by a single one. On planets with more than one House, the rivalry for the favour of the capital Forge World is high and sometimes breaks into hostility. Despite their personal differences, however, when the Forge World gives the call to arms, all Knights fight side by side against the enemies of the Mechanicus and the Imperium.

In times of war, a House's formation -- Knights and the men-at-arms who provide tactical support -- that goes on Crusade with Imperial forces is known as a Household. Knights are further separated into detachments according to their type for greater tactical flexibility. A Household is under overall command of a Seneschal -- usually, but not necessarily, a Knight Baron. A Household is further divided into detachments, which by principle can only contain Knights of a single type.
Knights are not commonly now seen on the battlefields of the late 41st Millenium. Most often they only enter combat in defence of Mechanicus domains or of their own worlds. They sometimes provide tactical support to a Titan Legion in a Crusade, or to units of the Imperial Guard if their help is ordered by the Lords of their House's allied Forge World. On the other hand, when a force of Imperial Guardsmen acts in support of a Knight Household, the Knight Seneschal technically can take command of the Guardsmen, acting as their company commander for the duration of combat operations.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Forge World AdMech...Ranks of the Skitarii

Skitarii were generally divided into different types depending upon the role they were expected to play on the battlefield.

Balisteria - The Balisteria were the artillery units of the Skitarii. The artillery used by the Skitarii ranged from Thudd Guns to massive Ordinatus pieces. The term Balisteria included both the vehicle or artillery piece, as well as the Skitarii crews manning them.
Cataphractii - The Cataphractii were the Skitarii's armour units. The Skitarii made use of everything from small armoured personnel carriers like the Chimera and Rhino to heavy combat walkers and super heavy tanks such as a Baneblade.
Classiarii - The Skitarii forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus take a variety of forms. On warships and Explorator vessels operating within the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis Sector, specially-programmed Skitarii are a necessity, for they serve as the members of boarding parties, security personnel and bodyguards where other forms of Skitarii would be impractical. Within the Mechanicus territories of the Calixis Sector, these warriors are known as Classiarii, a term of obscure meaning within the ancient traditions of the Calixian Mechanicus, believed to mean "mariners." Nigh-impervious to vacuum, fitted with thick, implanted armour, and equipped with an array of implanted weaponry designed for void combat and combat in the cramped enclosures of a starship, a Classiarius trooper is literally built for ship-to-ship combat.
Herakli - The Herakli were Skitarii heavy fire support specialists. These massive, vat-grown cybernetic soldiers were as large as Space Marines and were capable of carrying heavy laser weapons and multi-barrelled Autocannons with ease. The Herakli wore heavy red robes and cowls that were covered in Mechanicus sigils and were protected by thick ceramite amour plating that covered their chests and shoulders.
Huscarls - The Huscarls were the personal bodyguards of Skitarii officers and commanders, hand-picked by these individuals and trained by them to perfection. The duty of the Huscarls was to protect their commander in the heat of battle and make sure that no debilitating harm came to him.

Hypaspists - Hypaspist Skitarii were the most basic augmented infantrymen of the Tech-Guard and were armed with cybernetically hard-linked Lasguns similar to those used by the soldiers of the Imperial Guard. Hypaspists were generally more powerful and skilled soldiers than standard Guardsmen as a result of the cybernetic enhancements that made them stronger and more accurate than normal humans and the psychosurgery they had undergone to suppress their emotional reactions and make them immune to panic or fear. However, this enhancement also made Hypaspists less independent and able to think for themselves in combat. 
Praetorians - The Praetorians represented the most elite troops to be found amongst the Skitarii. They were super-enhanced humans augmented by a wide array of cybernetics and integrated heavy weapons. However, many old Imperial sources also suggest that Praetorians are instead an elite Skitarii type similar to Imperial Guard Storm Trooper units, but possessed of advanced bionic augmentations, putting them somewhere in combat effectiveness and elite status between Storm Troopers and Space Marines. Some Praetorians are in fact a form of Combat Servitors, rather than living, cybernetic humans. They move on tank treads and are armed with powerful heavy weaponry, such as Plasma Cannons. All of these different variations of the Praetorian Skitarii are completely plausible, and based on the preferences of the Mechanicus Magi who build them.
Tribunes - The Tribunes are the officers of a Skitarii unit. Though all Skitarii ultimately bow to the authority of the Adeptus Mechanicus' Magi and Archmagi, these are all command personne found at the grand strategic level. The Tribunes handle the day-to-day tactical and strategic command roles for the Skitarii. 
Venatorii - The Venatorii were created in the wake of the War of Brass that devastated the Skitarii Legions of the Lathe Worlds, leaving entire Forge Worlds of the Calixis Sector with virtually no troops left. The reigning High Fabricator started a discreet rearmament drive throughout the Calixian Forge Worlds. The more military minded Tech-priests were moved into position to help replenish the fighting ranks of the Mechanicus within the sector. It took many years to bring this grand plan together, but once everything was in place, the High Fabricator of the Lathes found himself with a new force consisting of some of the best-trained and best-equipped troops in the Calixis Sector. Dubbed the Venatorii, the new hunters were a force that was to remain separate from the recovering Calixian Skitarii forces and act as the true elite troops of the Lathes. With their unique organisation and frightening red armour, the few outside of the Mechanicus who were aware of their existence soon began to call them the Crimson Guard.
Executors Fetial - The Executors Fetial are the diplomats and ambassadors of the Titan Legions, and are noted to have undergone much of the same combat conditioning as the Skitarii, save for the rampant muscle mass increase and inducement of an adrenal battle trance. It is unknown if the Executors are considered to be official members of the Tech-Guard.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Forge World AdMech...Mechanicus Models

New Forge World Mechanicus Models
Magos Dominus

"I care not for the Warmaster’s petty ambitions, nor for the merely organic masses who swarm across the worlds of this Imperium; but when his machinations threaten the sanctity of our forges and the advance of our knowledge, he will come to fear the wrath of the Omnissiah’s chosen."

-Magos Dominus Avik Nomaan
The Magos of the Priesthood of Mars are the masters of much of what remains of the vast and potent secrets of the Dark Age of Technology. To them the pursuit and preservations of the arcane mysteries of science and circuit are of far greater worth than petty wealth, worldly power or the lives of their fellow men. A Magos may live for centuries, prolonging their life through arcane science and progressive cybernetic conversion, willingly becoming something other than human as they seek to fulfil the Omnissiah’s will. There are many factions and sects within the Mechanicum, divided both by technological specialisation as well as rivalry and ancient feud, each vying for power, knowledge and resources beneath the outward unity the organisation displays, shrouded as it is by impenetrable mystery and arcana.
"Those we had once called ‘brother’ unleashed all the terrors of Old Night upon us. Crawling phosphex infernos and rad storms left only blackened corpses in their wake – until the Castellax strode forth. No rad-phage or flame could stall their advance, and their soulless gaze promised death to any who stood in their path."
-Legionary Shendrak Nal’kor,
Salamanders Legion
The most common of the widespread Castellan-type battle-automata in service, the Castellax is a general battle unit developed during the Great Crusade from its ancient forebear. Primarily intended for siege work and shock assaults, the Castellax Battle-automata is a hulking humanoid machine with a notoriously aggressive and responsive machine-spirit, and an enviable reputation on the battlefield.

The Castellax, employed in units of one to five by the Legio Cybernetica, has a standard configuration of bolter and bolt cannon armament, and is able to maintain a punishing barrage of firepower as it advances. 
(Prior Release)

The Thallaxii are heavily augmented cyborg shock-troops used by the Mechanicum Ordo Reductor, and they differ from the Skitarii regiments both in purpose and the unique degree of their augmetics. The Lorica Thallax was developed from power armour technology and requires a robust human specimen.

The Lorica encloses the major organs, nervous system and cerebrum, but entirely replaces the skeletal structure and limbs with armoured bionics powered by an internal reactor-core. Surgical excision of the subject’s pain sensors, emotions, and normal human sensory apparatus and the agony caused by the Lorica’s implantation, leaves the Thallax a cold, calculating killing machine (albeit one that retains a degree of independent thought).

To some among the Mechanicum, this operation skirts the edge of abomination, yet the baleful Ordo Reductor continue Thallax conversion regardless; using suitable Forge Guard, fallen Skitarii, and other subjects obtained from more mysterious sources.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ForgeWorld AdMech...Legio Cybernetica

original post Warhost40K

Legio Cybernetica

The Legio Cybernetica is the robotics branch of the Adeptus Mechanicus. It is one of the oldest branches, with records stretching back to the very first days of the Imperium.

The Legio Cybernetica has produced many Robot designs over the centuries. Some were failures, such as the disastrous Castigator, a Robot so heavily armoured that it was slower than the troops it was designed to protect and support. Others proved more successful:

Crusader Robot

A light and agile Robot, the lightly-armoured Crusader is designed for quick, debilitating strikes. Specialized in anti-personnel combat, it is generally not fielded when heavy resistance or armour is expected, though it is a favorite of the Inquisition for hunting down heretics. The Crusader is armed with a power sword and twin lascannons, though its ranged weapons can be replaced with a heavy bolter and melta gun.

Colossus Robot
A siege Robot, the Colossus uses a Siege Hammer to pound down enemy fortifications, though it is equally useful squashing opponents. Other armaments include a boltgun and melta gun. Protected by a power field/synchroniser unit, its weaponry can be replaced with autocannons, heavy bolters, and power fists, allowing for a number of combinations.
Cataphract Robot
The Cataphract is a general-purpose, heavily-armoured Robot, armed with a lascannon, boltgun and flamer and protected by a power field/synchroniser unit. Its versatility makes it popular Robot to deploy, although some commanders regard it as a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. It can substitute its weapons for an autocannon, Siege Hammer, heavy bolter and power fist.
Castellan Robot
Designed for anti-vehicle and siege work, the Castellan is an assault Robot useful for a wide range of battlefield roles. Its twin power fists and heavy bolter give it a dangerous punch, protected by a power field/synchroniser unit. It can subsitute its heavy bolter for a lascannon, melta gun or third power fist, while the standard fists can be replaced with a Siege Hammer, autocannons and flamer.
Conqueror Robot
Protected by heavy armour and a power field/synchorniser unit, the Conqueror is particularly adept at taking out armoured vehicles and Dreadnoughts. Standard armament is a heavy bolter, autocannon and power fist, which can be swapped for lascannons, flamers, melta guns and bolter, as well as doubling up on any one.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Forgeworld AdMech...Militant Ranks

original post Warhost40K

Adeptus Mechanicus

It has been a goal of mine to own a Mechanicus Army ever since I first read about them during my early days of playing 40k.  I have admired many converted Mechanicus Armies over the years and owning one of my own has been out of my grasp until now.  My desire has been reinvigorated with the recent release of Forge World's Imperial Armour: Horus Heresy series of books.  I'm hoping for a slow but steady release schedule so it won't strain my hobby budget too much.  I just wanted to list a brief summary of a few of the units with links incase you wanted more information on them.

The Skitarii, also known as the Tech-Guard, are the cybernetic military forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. They are used to defend Mechanicus Forge Worlds, manufacturing installations elsewhere in the Imperium and often accompany high-ranking Tech-Priests and Magi as their bodyguards. Skitarii also serve as the armed forces that defend the Mechanicus' Explorator vessels that explore the galactic frontier. Skitarii safeguard Titans on campaign from boarding actions and prevent hostile forces from reaching the war engines' dead zone, where its main weapon batteries are useless. A number of Titan Legions maintain their own Skitarii detachments for this purpose, and if they do not, their Mechanicus masters will provide ample forces to protect the God Machines. The term "Skitarii" is formally applied by the Tech-priests of the Mechanicus to all of the military forces under their command, including infantry and armoured vehicles, save for the Titan Legions and the Knights. However, the term colloquially has often referred solely to the Adeptus Mechanicus' cybernetic infantrymen.

As the heavily augmented cyborg shock-troops of the Ordo Reductor faction of the Mechanicum, the Thallax differed from the Skitarii regiments both in their purpose and the unique degree to which their bodies had been reshaped by augmetics. The Lorica Thallax which encases them was developed from the same Power Armour technology which led to the development of Legiones Astartes battle plate, but taken down along an entirely different avenue of development. Requiring a robust human specimen, the Lorica encased the major organs, nervous system and cerebrum, but replaced the skeleton and limbs entirely with armoured mechanical systems powered by an internal reactor-core. The agony of this process, along with the replacement of the usual human sensory apparatus, proved so traumatic as to require the surgical excision of the pain centres and emotions, leaving the Thallax a cold, calculating killing machine, yet one that still retained a degree of independent human thought. However, for some within the Mechanicum this transformation of the human mind skirted the edge of abomination such as that posed by sentient "Abominable Intelligence" (A.I.). Given the resources required, the difficulty of creating a Thallax and the fact that an individual's will to live was a factor in whether a usable measure of sanity was retained in the subject, Thallax conversion was often reserved for suitable Forge Guard and Skitarii fallen in battle and subjects obtained from more mysterious sources by the unfathomable and baleful Ordo Reductor.

Other Forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus Militant
Knight Titans

A Knight is a small combat walker of the Adeptus Mechanicus that is one-man version of a Titan. Knights normally deploy in squadrons comprised of several of these war machines. The most common type of a Knight is about nine metres tall, with its head serving as the cockpit. Knights are the smallest and weakest of Mechanicus walkers, but they still are formidable and fearsome machines, all armed with an array of weapons beyond the power of even the strongest of Space Marines to bear.


The Skitarii forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus take a variety of forms. On warships and Explorator vessels operating within the Koronus Expanse and the Calixis, specially-programmed Skitarii are a necessity, for they serve as the members of boarding parties, security personnel and bodyguards where other forms of Skitarii would be impractical. Within the Mechanicus territories of the Calixis Sector, these warriors are known as Classiarii, a term of obscure meaning within the ancient traditions of the Calixian Mechanicus, believed to mean "mariners." Nigh-impervious to vacuum, fitted with thick, implanted armour, and equipped with an array of implanted weaponry designed for void combat and combat in the cramped enclosures of a starship, a Classiarius trooper is literally built for ship-to-ship combat


The Venatorii were created in the wake of the War of Brass that devastated the Skitarii Legions of the Lathe Worlds, leaving entire Forge Worlds of the Calixsis Sector with virtually no troops left. The reigning High Fabricator started a discreet rearmament drive throughout the Calixian Forge Worlds. The more military minded Tech-priests were moved into position to help replenish the fighting ranks. It took many years to bring this grand plan together, but once everything was in place, the High Fabricator found himself with a new force consisting of some of the best-trained and best-equipped troops in the Calixis Sector. Dubbed the Venatorii, the new hunters were a force that was to remain separate to the recovering Skitarii forces of the sector and act as the true elite of the Lathes. With their unique organisation and frightening red armour, the few outside of Mechanicus circles who were aware of their existence soon began to call them the Crimson Guard.

Forge World Mechanicus Models
(Some W.I.P.)

The character at the top is Magus Dominus.  The dreadnought sized unit pictured with the Thallax is called a Castellax.  No info that I can find on them as of yet.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Force Organization in 40k

posted on Rites of Battle

General hellos to everyone.  So my musing on 40k continue, and hot of the heals of looking at some of 6th edition's effects on 40k, some unique and others revisiting old rules (just for you Chris!), I now turn my gaze back a little at something that really started becoming a big thing in 5th edition.  While yes it is something that has existed for quite some time, 5th edition started something... and 6th has taken it and run with it.  The ability to swap units from one section to another, affectionately coined the Force Organization Swap.

As you can see above, the game was designed around a central balance.  I say was for a very important reason.  That time is long gone.  Gone are the days when troops were pretty standard fair, seeing many of them in your armies, with some unique units spiced in to make the army your own, and give you some powerful units amidst the troops.  Generally speaking in days past, your deadly or high powered units weren't scoring.  Their job was to protect the troops by either shielding them, or simply smashing the enemy units into submission for them.  This (to me) presented a tactical challenge for players.  How to utilize units that need to survive to hold points, vs. powerful units that are more than capable, but in the end won't win me the game.  This was an important challenge that really rewarded strategy and the ability to think in the big picture sense of a battle.

Possibly in order to make games go faster, maybe a need to shake up the game design, or most probable the need to sell more expensive models, this changed.  At some point the idea came about that players should be allowed to take units from one slot on the Force Org. and run them as their troops.  There are several reason why this could be a good idea, as some armies are based on wholly different units than the basic units.  White Scars for example love bikes, and could run them decently out of the old codex.  That said no one did because they were too expensive.  Now that they aren't... bikes are sprouting up everywhere, but that's a discussion all it's own.  But Space Marines aren't the only ones pulling the trick.  And it has been a long time in the making.

Cue 5th edition and the rampant insertion of FoC swaps we've seen.  At first I thought it would be a decently balanced move.  Pedro Kantor and his making Sternguard scoring units was at least a slightly balanced (and to be fair, a fluffy) means to make them more useful.  They were still elites, and at the time were competing against the all-mighty Hammernators in the FoC, creating some challenge in the list construction phase.  But as time kept on, we saw the balance fall away.  Logan Grimnar making any number of Wolf Guard troops... and the awfulness that followed with Loganwing missile spam.  We've seen the effect of the Tervigon troop swap, not only reinforcing Nidzilla, but actually making it go without a hitch by removing the penalty for not bringing troops.  And let us not forget Draigowing... the king of 5th edition FoC Swaps, or Coteaz with his henchmen armies.Even Dark Eldar and Blood Angels had swaps, but the Hellion and Sanguinary Guard just never held the potency, or what I felt were damning effects those listed above did.

Now we enter 6th edition... and this painful trend seems to continue.  Again we started with a decent move, and ironically it's actually one that actively removed choices and utilized the FoC Swap intelligently.  The Cult Troops in Codex: Chaos Space Marines, formerly all troops natively were moved to Elites, and allowed to be Troops if an HQ sharing their mark was taken.  This is intelligent, and smart design.  This rewards players for the fluff, and presents challenges for the player at list construction, as well as on the table.  You can bring the cult troops regardless, but you have to plan for if you want them scoring.  There is a drawback to this, but we'll hit that later.

Moving forward... much like 5th, we saw the balance of the FoC Swapping just fall apart.  Dark Angels come out... and while yes, they've always been more about their bikes and their terminators, they just made it too damn easy to make it happen on mass.  Once upon a time you needed to take a character to troopify each wing individually, now you simply take Azrael, and poof, it's all scoring.  Yes the elites "knights" of both wings don't score, but not even the wing specific characters do that.  In my opinion, they could have made the wing characters make all of that wing scoring, and Azrael only the ones he does now (the basic troop forms).  At least then there might have actually been a choice to it, but it's all a lesser evil in the grand scheme of things.  It still doesn't save the basic green armored choices from being largely forgotten.

Then comes along Tau.  Hizzah!  A codex that really doesn't have any FoC play to speak of.  It didn't need it, since the codex is pretty potent already... What's that?  A Farsight Supplement?  Oh... Suit Troops.  *insert a long, frustrated sigh here*  Coupled with the potent ability of the new Riptide, and some of the Eight who are just crazy good, as well as allying the codex with Codex: Tau... removing just about every weakness built into the choice and you start to see the issue.

Eldar show up, and suddenly Wraithguard are swappable with the touch of a button, or in this case the adding of a single Spiritseer.  Again, a swap that existed before, but 6th made insanely easy to do, and dirt cheap.  These guys are actually more than capable of replacing fire dragons, and are infinitely more survivable, if a little more expensive.  Now we move to Space Marines... and bikes.  Oh god, the bike lists haven't stopped spewing forth from the internet since it hit.  The bandwagon of bike lists which never existed before is a constant reminder of how many people play this game for no other reason but to craft the ultimate list, and win.  And if that is how they derive their enjoyment from 40k, more power to them.  Far be it from me to stifle their flair.

But as we look back on it, the Force Organization Chart is becoming more and more irrelevant with each passing codex.  The designers seem to have created this option of swapping units to troops to unlock more choices, or allow for more story-like armies.  In itself, it's a noble effort, but the results are tragically not at all reflecting that intent.  The units that inevitably get swapped are still based on the old FoC design.  Specifically, they are designed to be more potent than their troop brethren.  Because these units are more limited in their number, or competing with other choices from their native slot, they are noticeably better than the Troops.  But as they are moved to the Troops slot, they are just leaps and bounds over the competition.  Bikes are usually greater than Space Marines.  The Tervigon is purely better than Termigaunts.  etc. etc.

Almost every codex has a unit that is not a native troop, that somehow finds it's way to that section.  There are very few codexes out there with the option of FoC swaps, and probably for good reason.  Imagine if you could take Leman Russes as troops in Imperial Guard.  I would, but that's the point.  Why should anyone bring troops when GW is making Elite units troops with something so simple as taking a single character?  Are the FoC Swaps really promoting more options, or limiting the viable playing field?  While it isn't a sure thing, it's a fair bet most tournament lists out there have some swap element to them.  Having played the swap units, I can see why people want them, and how they can be a great incentive for certain choices.  But in most if not every situation, there's no cap to limit the number of units you can swap.  About the most balanced I've ever seen is the Ork Warboss making a single Nob Squad troops, which may be changing soon.  I'll be honestly surprised if Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka doesn't unlock any number of Nobz as troops.  It would fit with the trend...

You need only look into a mirror.
This is where the issue I noticed in Chaos Space Marines, and with the swap system in general comes up.  Why should you take the basic troops, or even run swappable units without swapping them?  Have you ever seen non-scoring cult troops from Chaos?  How about non-scoring Paladins in Grey Knights?  You just don't see them, because it's less optimal not to have them be scoring... which is a shame.  With the option to make them troops, people never even consider them any other way, thus practically removing the unit as a choice to the player base, and limiting the overall atmosphere and scope of units taken or armies seen.  That said, it is the players who make this decision.  If it is a problem, it is we who perpetuate it by continuing to only play them as such.

So does the FoC Swap alter the game for the better or worse?  In my opinion it's a double edged sword, but sadly, from the looks of it, it's starting to tip towards detrimental.  Does the option to swap really promote balance?  Well, looking at a lot of event winning lists, it would seem that most contain at least 1 potent swap to Troops, and some are nothing but swaps (SM Bikes winning Feast of Blades for example).  The last question I'll leave on is this.

If Games Workshop introduced Allies to help sore up the weaknesses in a codex by teaming up with another army to alleviate them, then why are FoC swaps still seen as necessary to a codex and still so prevalent?