Sunday 30 August 2015

523 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 2

Korpsman Anders Eriksson's story;
262 Line Regt Liaison Detachment
Death Korps of Krieg.


With a sigh, Korpsman Eriksson strapped himself into his seat, grinding his teeth a little at the patronising, sing-song vox voices piping out over the building roar of thrusters: these Cadians took this ‘health and safety’ stuff way too seriously. 

Eriksson couldn’t complain: the transport was desperately overcrowded, and he knew he’d been lucky even to get a seat. Then again, he felt lucky that he was still even able to use a seat: most of the poor wretches near him were on stretchers, and some quite evidently wouldn’t even make it through take-off, let alone the short hop back out into orbit. 

He sighed again. He was one of only a handful of korpsmen whom they’d been able to rescue, and he knew that he’d lost an awful lot of friends down there. 

The Combined Artillery Park of the Cadian, Praetorian and Krieg forces. NB: In this image, Korpsman Eriksson is manning his autocannon in the bunker in the foreground (battery left); the Penal legion can be seen to the right of the Malcador tank, just behind it, and Bdr Schmidt is manning his DKK thudd gun in the line behind and between the two bunkers.
It’d been fine at first: the fire missions came through the net loud and clear and the thunderous explosion of ordnance leaving countless batteries had sent intense shockwaves through his bunker: a sound a feeling to make any man of Krieg proud. After the opening salvoes, of course, the guns had found themselves in a more settled rhythm, and the reports back from the spotters – broadcast over the vox for any who could still hear well enough – were very encouraging. It had seemed as if the entirety of the ork first wave had been blasted apart in places. Glorious. 
The DKK thudd guns - Bdr Schmidt is fourth back from the front. NB: The Imperium fielded NINE thudd guns this day, and the orks very very quickly grew to hate them. A lot.
But with the more regular rhythm came a lulling sense of ease, and the orks had come – taking them by surprise. 

Of course, they were defended: the gun park was neatly corralled and defended by a perimeter of Korpsmen, their line bolstered on battery-left by a smattering of Cadian penal legion too. But the ground was not kind: space available for siting the batteries had been extremely limited, and as a consequence, guns of all shapes and sizes – Cadian griffons, Praetorian thud guns and naturally the big siege mortars of the Death Korps – had been jammed way too close together. A very tempting target for any outflanking orks. 
The orks roar into view...on both flanks!
They had done their best, those like Eriksson on the perimeter. They’d cut down countless orks in the time they’d had, but the time they’d had was way too brief, and the greenskins way too fast and way too strong. Dead ground only fifty yards away had sheltered the orks as they closed in, and the only decent warning they’d got had been the guttural growl of engines: scores of nob bikers had suddenly appeared and let loose a terrifying fusillade of coarse shoota bullets. 
After the ork shooting thins the lines a bit, the DKK and (at the back) the Penal Legion sally forth to fight back.
The Krieg perimeter had held for a while, of course: it’s what they were bred to do, and the defence lines were strong, but in the time and space allowed, they couldn’t kill enough of them quickly enough. And then the bikers and waggons were upon them. It’d been clear to Eriksson, once they’d wrenched his autocannon round inside the bunker to fire back in on the battery, that the lines simply could not hold: the defenders were as brave and fearless as they should be, but even the finest Krieg bayonet training could do little against two tons of a huge ork bike with its spitting death and whirring blades. 

Eriksson had seen heroism like never before. Battery-right he saw the Hauptmann split a biker from the nave to the chops with his powersword before the dying ork – mid-throes – simply grabbed and wrenched off the poor man’s head clear off before, like grotesque puppetry, it had sprung back on the rubberised tube of his re-breather. He shuddered at the image. 

Old Bdr Schmidt had died well, too. Having scooped up the standard from the command section as it fell near his thudd gun, he seemed almost just to sense the ork leaping at him from the saddle. Without so much as flinching he rammed the standard hard into the ground, knelt down – looking for all the world like he was on the artillery drill square – and calmly watched the ork nob spit itself on the shaft, thrashing impotently until dispatched with Schmidt’s laspistol. That was the last he’d seen of Schmidt. 
Immediately before Schmidt's heroic act
As above; high angle.
It wasn’t just the Krieg either – over on battery left he saw the orange-clad NCO in charge of the strangely well-disciplined Cadian Penal Legions wade through the fallen men of his own section to face up against a hulking ork biker Warboss Raknor, toe-to-toe. He actually buried his chainsword so deep in the warboss’s sternum that it snapped off at the hilt: Eriksson had time enough to see the man punch the ork in the armoured jaw before the nearby Praetorian Malcador, ‘Dauntless’ was ripped apart by a massive explosion. Everyone nearby had died except – astonishingly – the NCO, who staggered, dazed over the fallen corps of his erstwhile foe before being gunned down by the crazed gunner of one of the waggons. Such bravery! 
Yet another hero of the Penal Legion attached to the Cadian 24th: our ludicrously brave NCO may be seen behind the Malcador. Obviously, this pict is from the initial Imperial deployment.
Such bravery. 

Eriksson’s survival was nothing but luck. His autocannon – the last intact in the bunker – had jammed, badly, and with no more shells streaming forth from the firing slit, and with the bunker door held shut by ork corpses the orks had failed to notice them anymore. Seeing the slaughter of the gunpark unfold before their eyes, and knowing the OC to be amongst those bodies currently being looted, he and Gunnison had re-tuned their own vox-set to the command net for new orders. 

“Cease fire,” the order had come down. “We’ll get you out – you may know something of use, so don’t get yourselves killed now.” 

Gunnison then sent intermittent sitreps over the next while as the orks quickly got themselves back in what could loosely be described as some sort of an order before heading off again. “Enemy are moving towards you, Sir,” urged Gunnison down the vox. “I say again: enemy are moving – at strength – towards your position Sir. Acknowledge, over?” 

But Eriksson had realised even then that with no more support from the big guns, the rest of the Krieg and all of the other troops would already be feeling the pinch at the front line. And now they were really in trouble. 
Meanwhile, the DKK fight off the green menace on the high ground in the middle of the main battle.

With a sigh, Korpsman Eriksson settled back into his seat. He knew Bad Things had befallen the Imperium this day, and both he and Gunnison had already realised they hadn’t seen any other Krieg uniforms on board this transport – wounded or otherwise. 

His teeth started to grind once more.


NB: I'm terribly slow at writing fluff, and Real Life (TM) has sucker-punched me in the last two weeks, but please allow me to draw your attention once again to these marvellous contributions from my co-conspirators in the camps of Col. Gravis and Col. Winterbourne respectively:
  • Gravis (part 1; plenty more thereafter: link here)
  • Winterbourne (part 1; more to follow: link here).
With particular thanks to Zzzzz,

- Drax.

Friday 28 August 2015

522 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Aftermath Part 1

+++ TO BE CENSORED (strike through when done) +++

From the bedside of 

251259123 L/Cpl Hull, J,
B Coy, Cadian 2/24,
c/o Agratha Minor CCS A/657

Dear Sol,

Firstly, don’t worry – I’m okay. Secondly, I’m dictating this to the medicos: I’m afraid my arms aren’t much use for anything right now…but I’ll get to that shortly.

Emperor be praised, Sol, it’s been brutal. Honestly, I can’t tell you most of what happened, and you won’t believe the rest of it, but here’s the bare bones…
The right flank of the Cadian lines at kick-off. L/Cpl Hull is in the line in front of the building with the heavy bolters emplaced, with Commissar Brandt prominent behind him and to his left. NB: Sgt Windridge's veterans, in front of the main line, actually deployed by dropship later, once battle had been joined. 

It was glorious at first. We knew the big push was coming, and we stood to receive it: a line of Cadian Green, shoulder-to-shoulder with the Death Korps to our left, those frou-frou Praetorians beyond them, and our own 4th Armoured to our right. In His wisdom, the Emperor had even sent us a baneblade, there with the 4th. Think of it, Sol: a baneblade! I tell, you, they’re beautiful machines. Zarathustra, her name was.
The Baneblade 'Zarathustra' is surprisingly well camouflaged on the right of this pict.


The orks came on strong. We knew they would of course, and we were ready. Just as they started to close in on us though, the most perfect thing happened: the sky rained fire. Our artillery – blessed by the His guidance – tore vast holes in the greenskin lines…and then our gunline spoke. And it spoke loud, Sol: it fair roared. Machine and ork alike were blasted asunder by this onslaught, and barely anything seemed to survive, but survive it did, and before we knew it the ‘kans’ in the front of their lines, that’d been blown to pieces, were replaced instead by the dread form of a stompa.

Huge it was – and bearing right down on us, and as if this wasn’t bad enough, that’s when they started firing back. I mean, they’d been firing all along, of course, but at this point their shots started to hit home. I don’t even know what it was that ripped into our platoon – it seemed to come from nowhere – but suddenly, we were shredded. Half the lads, gone, just like that, and I was the only one left from my section.

Terrifying it was, Sol, but Commissar Brandt was there behind the line with the Lieutenant, and he soon got us going again.

Can you believe it? With the wounded and dying now all around us, we actually went forward! I joined in with those lads left from Shifty’s section at first and we just…advanced. What with me having the platoon’s only remaining melta, Shifty was keen that I did something useful with it, so he slapped me on the back and sent me off towards the stompa.

As always, Sol, the training kicked in. I got off a crack at it, but I don’t know if it did any good. What I do know is that all of a sudden, I wasn’t alone against it: Sgt Windridge's veteran boys fast-roped down, and boy, did they put some hurt on that great lumbering tin can! Before long, I’m pleased to say that the guns of the 4th Armoured had finished it off: it didn’t half go out with a bang!
Warboss Gorblud, prominent, top-right, leads his boyz forward. NB: L/Cpl Hull is just outside the right-hand frame of this pict.
The lunacy didn’t end there though. With the smoke still bellowing out of the stompa I realised that one of their leaders – an ugly great warlord called Gorblud, more machine than creature in his bright yellow mega-armour – had broken through into our lines, and was setting about the destruction of seemingly every tank of the 4th.

I realised something had to be done, Sol, and it didn’t take no Commissar to make me realise it this time, either. I went for him.

He was only twenty-or-so yards away, but by the time I reached him his bodyguard of filthy great nobs had been shredded, and only he was left. Huge, he was, and about to commit even more carnage in his feckless assault, but you know what they say about “The bigger they are,” right?
"Turn, Hell-hound, and look upon your death." Gorblud, alone now, but  having bagged himself a Leman Russ Demolisher, is not yet aware of the presence of L/Cpl Hull, who  may be plainly seen now, immediately in front of the stompa whose destruction he also helped to bring about.
I got him. The melta did its thing, Sol: I killed an ork warlord. Me.

That’s why they’re letting me take up the medico’s time here, Sol: it appears I’m now some kind of hero – a “Hero of the Imperium,” they’re calling me now, and I think that at least one of the nurses has already taken a bit of a shine to me.

I don’t really know quite what happened after that bit with the Gorblud fella, if I’m honest. I know that they surged forwards again: I somehow got wounded – quite badly, I guess – and the next thing I know I’m in this sick bay, miles behind the lines.

No-one will tell me exactly what’s happened (they’re taking it easy on me, because I’ve lost one-and-a-half arms and I’m dosed up to the eyeballs on happy juice) but I get the feeling it’s pretty bad. I can tell the staff here are feigning happiness when they come in, and I’ve started to realise that after two days (apparently) of being here I haven’t seen a single soul from B Company.

Still, good ol’ Drax was in charge, right? – So it can’t be too bad, right?

I’ll be in touch soon, Sol,

Take care, little brother.



I'm terribly slow at writing fluff, and Real Life (TM) has sucker-punched me in the last two weeks, but please allow me to draw your attention again to these marvellous contributions from my co-conspirators in the camps of Col. Gravis and Col. Winterbourne respectively:
  • Gravis (part 1; plenty more thereafter: link here)
  • Winterbourne (part 1; more to follow: link here).
More will follow,

- Drax.

Sunday 23 August 2015

521 - 6MMRPC 10: - - We Interrupt This Broadcast - -

This week I should have been posting fiction in the aftermath of The Second Siege of Agratha, but technical issues and real life have conspired to prevent me from doing so. 
[What I should be writing about]
I'm also terrible at writing fluff but please allow me to draw your attention to these marvellous contributions from the camps of Col. Gravis and Col. Winterbourne respectively:

  • Gravis (part 1; plenty more thereafter: link here)
  • Winterbourne (part 1; more to follow: link here)
For my part in the meantime, I shall meet the statutory requirements of 6MMRPC by noting that this week I was at least able to do a wee bit more building, viz, I have now completed making my troop of Comets - four tanks and what will be a wreck (see here for details from before: link):
Imagine three-and-a-half more of these...
Fluff soon, I promise.

Drax out.

Friday 14 August 2015

520 - 6MMRPC 9: Completion and a Joker

This will need to be quick: I've got the biggest 40K smackdown of my life starting in about 14 hours, and miles to go before I sleep.

To sum-up 6MMRPC progress over the last two weeks, I've somehow finally finished the 2nd Ed Stormtroopers for tomorrow's match (if you're not familiar with the 'sculpts' then trust me: the faces are as flat and featureless as a puddle, so I'll go back to them later, maybe), but I also accidentally played a Joker. First though, some 2am-style pics:
Emperor be praised. I should note that there is, of course, another 10-man section (1 Section) to complete this platoon; what you see here is just what I've whizzed through in the last fortnight-or-so.
2 Sect (plas/melta); 3 Sect (2x volley) and HQ Sect (4x volley)

If you look carefully at the right-hand side of the first pic, you'll see how I've killed two birds with one stone: many of the models had rifle barrels which had snapped off, and I lacked special after a bit of a hatchet job with some lasguns, six troopers now have the 2nd Ed retro--fitted version of a hotshot volley gun (or whatever it's called): four in the Platoon HQ Section and two in 3 Section.

Now, what about this joker? Well, I was in an old FLGS in Norwich and - without thinking and for the first time EVER at my wife's prompting - I bought myself a new toy: a B-Wing to complete my X-Wing Rebel flight, the 'Mutts and Mongrels'. 

Right then. In my mind, at least, that brings me full-square and back on track with the 6MMRPC blogging. So there. 

Right. I'd better get painting for tomorrow then...


- Drax

...And miles to go, before I sleep.

Monday 10 August 2015

519 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Part 3: Friendly Forces

To step away from the fluff for a brief moment, Gentle Readers, I shall try to fill you in on where all this has come from.

Back in May, in Post 500 (here: link) I announced that I was planning to sell off my 40K Imperial Guard army. Within only a couple of days of this I'd had a couple of folks showing genuine interest (thanks, chaps!) and a message from Colonel Winterborne of the 4th Praetorian Mechanised Regiment (here: link) informing me that I had to go out fighting.

And thus a legend was born.

Shortly thereafter, and in a process totalling (so far) over a hundred emails, a home was found for the game (Kirton Games in Crediton, run by Col. Gravis), an enemy was found for the Imperium of Man and a handful of additional belligerents were uncovered too, so in total we now have the following:

  • 4th Praetorian Regiment of Foot (The Lord Governor's Own) under Col. Gravis himself, with a notable detachment of cavalry (here: link)
    Col. Gravis. Windswept. Bit of a smoldering 'Poldark' thing going on there, wouldn't you say?
  • 4th Preatorian Mechanised Regiment, under Col. Winterborne. I should point out that both of these Praetorian armies are absolutely bloomin' stunning and my lacklustre Cadians will sully the table just by being near them.
    Col. Winterborne. Whiskery. Okay - this guy means business. 
  • 2/24th Cadian Light Infantry under the local command of Admiral Drax (with recent reinforcements from a liaison detachment of 262 Line Regiment of Krieg, under Oberst Horne [please see Zzzzzz's delightful fluff in my last post, here])
  • An Ork Warband led by Warboss Gorblud (Matt),
  • A Second Ork Warband of Goffs, led by Braindead Bigsod (Mike) and
  • Yet Another Ork Warband led by Wazdakka Gutsmek (James)
Sadly my knowledge and understanding of our Orkish adversaries (both on and off the field) is limited, but frankly, that seems appropriate, given the fog of war (and the fact that the Ork players aren't bloggers).

Sadly, my grasp of the rules since 5th edition is also pretty tenuous, but I'm sure I'll pick it up, right?

Gravis and his team at Kirton Games [BUY STUFF FROM THEM HERE! --> link] have been doing a sterling job of getting tables, scenery, Leviathans etc. ready for this event (when their real lives have allowed it), and I'm grateful to Winterborne and Matt in particular for penning some great background fluff and rules. 

Mostly though, I'm humbled and touched by this fiendly ol' blogosphere of ours a-rallying round!

Thanks, All!

- 4 Days...

Saturday 8 August 2015

518 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Part 2: Reinforcements?

[Being a guest post, from the pen of Zzzzzz from Devos IV (here)]

262 Line Regt Liaison Detachment

The five newly appointed Quartermasters of 262 Line Regiment were being interviewed one at a time in the command bunkers buried far below ground, where a long chamber beneath the citadel was set aside for the transiting Kreig Regiments on Agripinna. 

The next man went in. 

 “How’s the new job Horne? Are you missing company command? Have you reconciled the G1098 account yet?” 

“Sir? - Yes, sir. I am getting to grips with it, by turns.” 

“Good show, your new appointment is one of those things unique to us; we need people like you to ensure that it’s done properly.” 
The General sat forward, his face suddenly illuminated in glorious monochrome. Its ugly callouses of scaring and augmentation twitched as one human eye and one augmentation glanced over him. 

“Oberst Horne, you have been selected as Special Advisor to the Imperial Expeditionary Force 44. You’ll land somewhere near some Emperor forsaken plain called Bolon or Colon or something and travel to reinforce the Cadian 24th who are deployed in force to defend a small farm called Agatha or somesuch.“ 


“You’ll provide our expertise in defensive operations against Greenskins. Apparently two platoons of Tallarn guardsmen have been eaten already.” 

“You’ve served alongside the Cadian 24th before, haven’t you Horne?” 

“Yes, Sir. A little over eight years ago on Devos IV.” 

“Did they impress?” 

Horne considered for a moment. It was always hard to know where the old man was going with these questions. “Yes, Sir. In the final cityfighting for the planetary capital, their CO led a bayonet charge to meet a group of World Eater beserkers. He had no available support, but his action enabled 19 Armoured Regiment to move up and deal with the World Eaters. A valiant and worthwhile sacrifice.” 

There was a long silence whilst the one-eyed, mostly prosthetic General shuffled through the paper script and data slates on his desk. 

“Humph. I thought so. Straight after evensong this evening your soiree to worlds new was announced to the men. When assistance to the Cadian 24th was announced there was an immediate and spontaneous volunteering amongst the men to provide you with an Honour Guard.” 

There was an obvious pause that seemed to have been left for him to fill. 

“I’m flattered, Sir.” 

He was. 

“I’ve refused most of them, Horne, your Honour Guard will be limited to three platoons. That willll be all.”

Saturday 1 August 2015

517 - 6MMRPC 8: Progress and Distractions. Good Distractions.

Brief version.

1. Progress: The 2nd Edition Stormtrooper platoon is rapidly nearing completion. I actually did a lot of work on them last week (this is last week's post, really) but don't have access to the photo right now)
2. Progress: That will leave only a Manticore and a Servitor to finish before the Second Seige of Agratha, in a fortnight's time(!)
3. Distraction: THIS - Secret Cinema's 'The Empire Strikes Back', last night in London - great fun!
4. Distraction: I'm on holiday for a week, in Norwich (birthplace of this blog, back in '08), and unable to do ANY painting.
5. The prospect of blowing an evening's urgent painting next week in order to get in a game of Bolt Action(!)

Oh, such excitement!

- D.