Monday, 5 October 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 4

Gorblud awoke to a blurry image of a sky filled with dust and thick black smoke. As his vision swam in to focus he slowly sat up, noticing pangs of pain all over his body. He could hear some distant sounds of gunfire but upon looking around he didn't appear to be in any imminent danger.

Gorblud saw that he was lying at the foot of wrecked tank and a thin smile appeared on his face as he remembered tearing the turret off it and killing all the humans inside with blazes from his shoota (and a few stikkbombs for good measure). From quick observation it appeared his armour was burnt, broken and split all over - his power klaw a ruin of fused metal. It would take his meks a long while to fix it once he got it back to camp.

He pulled himself out of his armour, deciding it would be easier to drag back to his wagon than to try and walk in it without the hydraulics working. It was only then that he noticed the large crater in the side of his chest oozing dark blood. It appeared to be a mostly cauterised plasma burn - he should probably get the Docs to have a look at that.

As he strolled through the mounds of dead - some piled higher than his head, others shredded so that it was difficult to tell what body parts they had originally - he took note that both sides had taken heavy losses. Gorblud also realised he had quite a few more injuries that he hadn't initially noticed. For starters his left eye definitely wasn't working - when he reached up to check if it was still there all he could feel was a bloody crater in the side of his skull. He also appeared to have a hole straight through one of his thighs (probably a lascannon he thought) and even he was surprised he could still walk on it.

After a while of dragging his armour through rubble, corpses and miscellaneous vehicle parts he eventually reached his wagon. He was pleased to see that the grot crew were finished repairing the broken track that had made him abandon the vehicle mid-battle, however many hours ago it was now.

"What's the plan boss?" one of the crew asked in his high pitched sqeak as he entered the cabin.

"Back to the camp - we's got work to do!" Gorblud replied.

"But what about the city? Didn't we win the battle?" screeched the grot.

"Ha! You call this winning?" Gorblud reprimanded. "Leave Braindead to celebrate his ruin - there's nothing for us here. I came here for Winterborne, and the bugger didn't even show his face on the front lines! Send word to gather the boyz and our stuff - we're leaving!"

"Erm, sir..." one of the grotz said hesitantly, "the... the Stompa... the humans sabotaged it... there's nothing left..."

Gorblud just stared at the grot - fury building behind his one remaining eye.

"Er... and it also appears that... that the Deathskulls, they... they stole your Skulhamma..."

While deep in a moment of utter fury, Gorblud still managed a tiny moment of pleasure as he saw the grot sail clear over a ruined wartrakk and land in the burning wreck of a wagon - it was definitely one of his finer kicks he thought. The moment was quickly over though, and he glared at the remaining gretchin who were now literally cowering behind whatever meagre shelter was closest to them.

"GET US BACK TO THE CAMP NOW!" he roared "we'ze got some serious building to do!"

It would be a while before his army was back to strength he thought, but he knew he had the teef and the power to recover from this. He'd build a better Stompa and a better Skulhamma. He might even build one of them flying jets the kult of speed had used - that had caused loads of chaos before the humies shot it out of the sky.

He wasn't finished. He just needed a bit of time to gather some more boyz. And maybe get some more of those force field things - those would be useful against that human artillery.

Just a little more time... then Winterborne would get what was coming to him!

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 3

The ride was bumpy as hell, but that wasn't going stop Raknor enjoying it. He looked around the cramped compartment of the Trukk and could see the same grim enjoyment on the faces of the hulking Nobs surrounding him. They'd snuck around the Imperial lines now, and should be hitting the humie artillery emplacements any moment. He'd have to congratulate Nask for his Kommandos' work on discovering this unguarded route - the humies wouldn't know what hit 'em!

Raknor squinted as the Trukk broke through the tree-line and daylight streamed in to the cabin. This was it - time to chop up these humie wretches and make Gorblud proud.

The trukk skreetched to a bone-jarring halt, but Raknor and his squad were used to the exuberance of ork drivers and needed no time to regain their balance before leaping over the front and sides of the cabin.

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Big shootas opened up to the left and right of the hulking Warboss as his boots hit the dirt and he broke immediately in to a run. Belcher, his attack squig, squeeled in annoyance as he was thrown off his perch on Raknor's shoulder guard to swing briefly on his chain before scrambling back up again.

It was only after he'd taken several steps that Raknor realised something was wrong. The Imperial lines were still a hundred yards away - the Trukks had stopped too soon! Almost as soon as this thought had gone through his head enemy fire started whipping around him. It was panicky and poorly aimed, but Raknor could already see the enemy forming more organised ranks - it would be mere moments before the ork offence would come under serious fire. Raknor sped-up, urging his fellow Orks to run alongside him.

The Imperial fire intensified and orks began to fall. A large tank straight ahead spat out round after round of large calibre ammunition, mowing down orks wherever the guns were directed. Raknor, began to get worried - there was still a lot of ground to cover and there was a lot of firepower now directed at them.

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A huge roar overhead announced the arrival of Mytox and his stormboyz. Raknor looked on in dismay as he realised they had misjudged the jump distance and landed too far in front of the Imperial lines. They were almost instantly being cut to pieces by concentrated fire from a number of Imperial units. Curse those trukk boys, they'd caused this mess!

The death of the stormboyz was sorry loss, but a welcome diversion Raknor realised, as they had probably bought his squad enough time to reach the Imperial front lines. He looked left and right. The losses had been heavy, but not near enough to stop the charge - they could still win glory after all!

He took a large intake of breath and then let loose an almost ground shaking roar.


With uncontrolled enthusiasm his fellow orks joined in, bellowing and sprinting as fast as their bowed legs could carry them. He noticed with satisfaction as Durog and his bikerz hit the Imperial lines first, driving nearly full-speed into the human infantry while spraying shells and swinging choppas.

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Just before Raknor's own unit hit the Imperial lines, a human squad in bright orange fatigues bravely sprayed them with undisciplined las fire as they closed the last few yards. Raknor signalled to his squad to take out the big tank while he dealt with this little annoyance.

The first two humans went down to a burst of fire from his gauntlet mounted shoota - their thin armour no match for his high calibre shells. The next one was cleaved in two by a mighty sweep of his huge choppa which sent the top half of the body sailing a good 15 feet in a beautiful parabola while spraying his comrades with blood.

The next imperial jumped forwards and tried to skewer Raknor with his bayonet, but his clumsy strike was easily parried by Raknor's gauntlet shortly before his head was chopped cleanly off.

Raknor knocked the next human off his feet with the head of his choppa before he could bring his lasgun to bear. Raknor then rapidly deflected the bayonet of another before slicing him from naval to collar in one easy stroke. With each blow he struck Raknor was more invigorated, the power unit of his enhanced choppa seeming to thrum with more energy the more lives it took. He vaguely noticed his squad of Nobs tearing open hatches and lobbing stikkbombs in to the tank to his left, but he was now far too deep in to the thrall of violent combat to pay it much heed.

He only paused when all around him seemed to be dead - orange clad body parts littering the ground around him. He let out a bellowing laugh at the sheer joy of combat.

As he turned to look for new foes a searing pain seared through his chest. Sharply jerking away he heard an awful crunching noise and the pain flared into a brief moment of agony. Looking down he saw the end of a chainsword buried in the armour of his chest plate and broken off at the hilt. One of the orange humans was still alive and had seized an opportunity to attack while Raknor was distracted.

While Raknor was still in shock the human tried slam the broken handle of his sword into the huge ork’s face, but pure instinct made the warboss evade enough to cause a mere glancing blow to his chin.

Raknor quickly recovered his wits, realising the injury was nothing the Doks wouldn't be able to sort out in short order. He took measure of his foe and realised he had nothing further to worry about. The fool had disarmed himself of his most dangerous weapon by stupidly stabbing his opponent with a chain weapon intended for slicing.

In one easy move Raknor knocked the human to the ground with the haft of his choppa before raising it up for the killing blow. He paused briefly to appreciate the kill, giving the human a grim smile as he lay sprawled in a small furrow of mud and dirt.

Just as Raknor started the final downward swing a blindingly bright flash appeared to his left, instantly followed by a searing pain at his neck. His vision blurred and he felt a huge wave of disorientation as the sound of the massive explosion reached his ears.

A moment later his world stopped spinning and his vision slowly came back. The pain at his neck had gone away as quickly as it had arrived, and even the pain in his chest seemed to have abated.

He could see the massive wreck that had been the heavy tank and a couple of his nobz staggering away from its recent cataclysmic explosion. Nearer he saw a human in orange fatigues struggle to his feet under the shadow of a hulking ork figure. The human gently pushed the ork and the body toppled helpless and headless to the floor.

A grim realisation came to Raknor as he recognised the armour and weaponry of the felled ork. Well, no wonder the pain in his chest had gone – his chest was now several feet from his head. As his vision blurred and he drifted in to unconsciousness all he could think was ‘I really hope there is a bluddy dok nearby . . .’

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Monday, 31 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 2


The imperial line had overextended. In the West the Leviathan had pushed too far ahead and was now almost cut off from the main battle line. He had heard on the short wave vox that the force under Captain Caine had reached Gravis and were taking up defensive positions among the wreckage of a stompa, The Praetorian Lancers and Dragoons had also managed to reach the Leviathan and were organising themselves for a final charge headlong into the ork lines. 

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“Second Rank…”

In the East the Cadian armoured might had come unstuck. The near suicidal advance of ork trukks. battlewagons and bikes had delivered Warboss Gorblud and his retinue deep into their lines. In close quarters the tanks were no match and a great many venerable Leman Russ were unceremoniously ripped apart. Where these ork reinforcements had come from nobody knew, a great many had advanced on the Imperial lines from the flanks and the rear. The cunning of the orks had seemingly been greatly underestimated.

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Admiral Drax was close by. That much he knew. He had expected to link up with him near the centre of the Imperial lines, attempt to re-establish communication and better coordinate the deployment of the heavier elements of the Fourth Mechanised. With the renewed ork assault and the arrival of the Green Tide, Drax, much like Gravis had been almost cut off from the main Imperial lines. An ork Skull Hamma battlefortress had been closing on the Cadian support weapons. From the reports of his own scouts, it appears that Drax had decided to see to it personally…

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“First Rank…”

Colonel Winterborne was brought back into the present when the hull of a nearby chimera imploded under the impact of a crude ork rocket. The shock wave from the explosion washed over his command squad. A number of Cadians had been stood far closer and had been caught in the blast. Lord Stern strode over to them and unflinchingly administered the Emperor’s mercy.

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The sergeant major continued to shout orders at the amassed Praetorian infantry. The remnants of a number of squads from the fourth foot had formed up with squads of the fourth mechanised. Two ranks deep they stood, arranged in a long line punctuated by support weapons in the form of heavy bolters and autocannons.

“Second Rank...” 

The first rank took to one knee and began reloading their lasrifles. Their comrades took aim over their heads, picking their targets from the onrushing orks.


The nearest orks absorbed the Praetorian fire, a great many falling to so many well placed hits, but many more shrugged of the lasfire, seemingly uncaring or unfeeling of the injuries sustained. The heavy weapon gunners did their best to focus on the larger orks, some shots punching clean through, others tearing off limbs. But still they came.

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“First Rank...”

The Baneblade Indomitus Rex spoke with the fury of a god. It’s guns tearing huge holes in the ork advance. It advanced to the right of the Praetorian position, supported by Cadian veterans. These were the same veterans who had laid low the tyrant Warboss Gorblud. There hadn’t been time to find the body, and while these cocky veterans were prone to exaggeration, they were certain their melta fire had put too many holes in him to survive.

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Combined with the armoured onslaught of the Baneblade the ork advance began to waver. It was then that the world went bright white…

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Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 1

The orks emerged from the thick smoke, their guttural war cry hanging in the air. Colonel Winterborne gave a nod to the sergeant major.
“At One Hundred Yards...”

They had arrived late. Bloody late. No sooner had the Praetorian IV left Bolan flats they were engaged by ork Kults of Speed. They saw the orks off time and again, but every attack delayed the Praetorians further. By the time they got to the outskirts of Agratha the devastation was already apparent. Vast swathes of the city had been reduced to rubble, smoke billowed from countless fires and the sky was lit up with flame, explosions and tracer fire. Only the reassuring boom of the artillery companies safely ensconced behind Imperial lines confirmed that the city hadn’t already fallen. Or so they thought…

“Volley Fire Present...”
The disciplined ranks of Praetorian Infantry presented their lasrifles in unison.

Intelligence was still scarce and communication with the defenders had been a practical impossibility. Even with the powerful communications relay operated by Gravis’ command Leviathan precious little had managed to get through the trickery of the orks jamming. Not even the usually secure local vox frequencies worked. It had been suggested by Enginseer Argus that somehow the orks had acquired the Imperial vox codes and somehow decrypted the cypher, but such suggestions were dismissed with contempt for what ork could have the capability for such a complex task.

“Steady lads...”
The orks charged closer. Men in both red and khaki uniforms stood shoulder to shoulder.

The front lines had been a swirling mass of combat, death and destruction. In the East of the city Gravis had mounted a counter attack from the battlements of the Leviathan, laying waste to hordes of greenskins with every salvo from the mighty doomsday cannon. In the west however the Cadian lines had come under crippling ork attack and only the swift intervention of Drax’s armoured fist platoons and Leman Russ squadrons prevented total collapse.

Still they came closer, you could almost see the whites of their eyes. Targets were picked.

A platoon under the watchful eye of Captain Caine and Primaris Savant had been sent to support Gravis’ men. The primary threat of the Bad Moon stompa had already been eliminated and the orks were dying in droves. That should have been enough. The priority had been to hold the centre draw the orks in further while the advancing forces of Drax and Gravis would spring the trap. That’s why he had gone there with his strength. That should have been enough damn it.

The lead advancing orks were punched off their feet by the fire to be trampled by the onrushing horde following in their wake.

Then the guns fell silent. Somehow the orks had outflanked the Imperial lines and set upon the lightly defended artillery emplacements. The artillery support was no more. In the blink of an eye the battle changed, no longer could the Imperial forces keep the orks back, emboldened by the respite from the withering artillery barrage the orks grew bolder and set upon the imperials with renewed frenzy. At this point the Imperial advanced began to falter and one by one advanced units were being forced to fall back or risk being overrun.   

“Volley by Ranks. Front Rank

The slavering orks came closer still, uncaring for their grievous loses. Intent only on tearing the guardsmen limb from limb.

to be continued...

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Second Siege of Agratha - Prelude

Praetorian IV Mechanised Infantry under the command of Colonel Animus Winterborne. 
Somewhere on the Mputu Ridge 50km Southwest of Bolan flats. 


Colonel Winterborne - How did the greenskins manage to breach the cordon? Details man, give me bloody details. 

Lieutenant Tavistock - Seemingly they breached at the Barlon flats and made straight for Agratha. The Tallarns posted there are... gone.

Colonel Winterborne - What the Hades do you mean gone?

Lieutenant Tavistock - Dead sir, every last one, the camp now resembles a charnel house. The Tallarns were seemingly caught by surprise, our scouts couldn't find a single living soul. 

Captain Caine - 2 full regiments of Tallarns... How on earth did the greenskin filth manage to take them by surprise? Commander Al'tshan is no fool.

Colonel  Winterborne - Quite Captain, seemingly the threat has been sorely underestimated. What intelligence was recovered? We must have something on what happened. 

Enginseer Argus - I can be of assistance Colonel. While the data feeds of the base are unrecoverable I have accessed the pict and audio feeds of a number of badly damaged munition servitors. By piecing together the data and...

Lord Stern - Enough techpriest, speak plainly, what happened?

Enginseer Argus - Apologies my Lord. Somehow the orks managed to conceal their presence until they were right on top of the base, by the time the alarm was raised it was too late. It is not known precisely how this feat was achieved, but closer inspection of etheric data suggests a powerful psyker was present. 

Captain Caine - How could one primitive ork psyker manage such a deception? 

Primaris Savant - It is true ork psykers lack finesse, however the way in which they harness the warp is markedly different from ours... how can I explain... numbers my lords, numbers...

Lord Stern - Primaris I grow impatient, what are you saying? 

Primaris Savant - ...the...the psyker feeds off the orks nearby, to achieve the deception needed to fool the augurs and sentries... I don't think we've seen a horde this size since planet fall. It's beyond even the most pessimistic predictions. Even if the Tallarns hadn't been count unawares... They wouldn't have stood a chance. 

Captain Caine - Holy Throne of Terra...

Colonel Winterborne - Captain! You are Praetorian and must remember to conduct yourself as such. 

Captain Caine - Yes Sir. Apologies sir. 

Colonel Winterborne - Lieutenant, Have you managed to get through to high command yet and notify them of the breach of the cordon. 

Lieutenant Tavistock - All long range communications are still being jammed sir, we are still cut off from high command. We have had no contact from any new regiments. There remains only one other regiment that we are contact with via long wave vox, they are continuing to make best speed for Agratha.

Colonel Winterborne - Looks like it will be down to us to see to the ork menace. I almost pity the greenskins. 2 of Praetoria's finest and being outnumbered only 50 to 1 by the orks barely seems sporting does it. Captain Caine, give the orders for the regiment to form up, let the men know it is time to fight alongside our Praetorian brothers again. 

Captain Caine - Gladly sir.

Colonel Winterborne - One more thing, Lord Stern, ensure the men desist with this Drax's last stand nonsense. He may not be Praetorian but he is no fool and decorum must be maintained. I won't be a bloody footnote in someone else's last stand, the emperor has far grander plans for this glorious regiment. See to it. 

Lord Stern - Consider it done Colonel.

Colonel Winterborne - Lieutenant, update the fourth on our latest intelligence and inform them that we will now make best speed for Agratha. Also, get me Gravis on the Vox, I intend to find out if he is a betting man... 


Sunday, 26 July 2015

Finished Praetorian Baneblade

Finally another new addition to the army, the mighty Baneblade!

After excessive delays due to real life I finally managed to dust off my paints and brushes and finish the Baneblade off. In my last post great progress had been made and I was finishing off the freehand before then working on extensive weathering and painting the stowage. Without further delay, lets take a look! (apologies for the very ad-hoc photos!)

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As you can see I've gone to town with the weathering. There are painted chips, sponge chips, washes for dirt and damage, track weathering and scorch marks! Compare it to the new rolled out of the factory look and its quite the contrast.

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You get a good view of some of the stowage I've used on the side. All my tanks are getting updated so they really have that 'on campaign' feel.

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The freehand skull mirrors that on the turret of the Macharius and in my mind is used to mark tanks in this superheavy squadron. The purity seal has some real age. I bought it in the 90s and it is from the old titan legions/epic space marine sets! Its metal and they were to put on your Titans.

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A good look at the Curious Constructs tank commander issuing orders from the command cupola. Also you get a good look at some of the blue glass and searchlight I've painted.

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No freehand on this side of the turret but you can see some more stowage and one of the plastic GW jerry cans.

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Here you can see the main freehand on the side of the tank. Once again it mirrors the freehand on the macharius with black and white checks and red stripes. The lion motif is different but the thinking is they would be unique to the tanks themselves. Personally it's my favourite lion I've painted.

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Finally the rear of the tanks. I went minimal on the mechanics shrine with most of it being that bone/stone finish. I then picked out the purity seals and the mechanicus symbol. You can also see the upside down barrels on the right... the servitor responsible has been recycled.

I hope you all enjoyed having a look at the newest addition. Onwards and upwards now, time to paint something else new for the army. I really fancy having a crack at Nork Deddog...