I discovered my humble blog received some attention on another blog, warhammer39999. I'm very grateful for the mention, and it made me realise I have yet to post some background material on my army. So for all you fluff-buffs, here is some history on the chapter!
In the ancient Librarium vaults of Terra, beneath adamantium walls a hundred feet thick, sealed with hexagrammic wards and atomic blast doors, lie those records whose content would drive the common man insane and shake the foundations of the Imperium should they be known to others than the most faithful of men. Among the heretical works of the Ruinous Powers, arcane tomes of forbidden sorcery and blasphemous xenos texts fortelling the destruction of mankind are stored documents written by the Administratum itself in recent times, documenting the most atrocious crime known to man: treachery among the Emperors' space marines.
The last time the vaults were opened, one new file was added to the mountains of unholy knowledge stored therein, detailing the betrayal and destruction of the Storm Dragons chapter of the Adeptus Astartes.
This is currently my pride and joy, the Ultraforge dragon. In my opinion one of the best dragon models out there. As you may notice it's far from finished at the moment, the paintjob needs some cleaning up, it'll get a rider for it, and it needs a base.
This model is my counts-as Thunderfire Cannon. It's based on the old metal Lizardmen Stegadon model, with the horns replaced by brain-implants. The turret consists of a regular, round 25mm base (with those weird hooks from the vehicle accessory sprue stuck on the side) topped with a Rhino driver's hatch. The gun itself is a cut-down twin-linked lascannon with the covering plate of the Vindicator's robot-arm (the one that holds the shell) stuck on top.
This model was the first actual dinosaur added to the army way back in 2008 and is still my favorite model in my collection.
He was made using the Lizardmen Carnosaur (quite obviously!), some bits from the Command Squad kit (legs, shoulder pads), a cut up Terminator torso (saddle), and a combat shield and WFB Slaaneshi Lord halberd, as well as some assorted Space Marine bits and bobs.
Drop pods rained down on Cephian IV, braving the storm-wrecked skies as the powers of the Warp enveloped the planet in its diabolical embrace. They sped towards the surface, landing among the ruined spires of Hive Ulliter. The black capsules crashed into the earth at the foot of the Cathedral of Paean, erected in honour of the Chaos Gods, the lives of tens of thousands of the enslaved populace expended in its construction. Thousands more had been sacrificed on its altars by the 47th Word Bearers host, and millions would follow.
The pod doors slammed open, and the Storm Dragons 2nd Company lined up before the ruined hab-blocks surrounding the Cathedral. As an orbital lance strike briefly swallowed all darkness in a sea of white flame, the unholy church vanished in a beam of pure energy. The shock wave shook the very foundations of the city, but the Storm Dragons stood resolute in its pummeling force. With grim resolution, the Storm Dragons advanced into the hab-blocks, intent on rooting out all traitors still lying in wait among Ulliter's remains.
Just a little food for thought based on my first experiences with Kor'sarro Khan and why I think he is an excellent addition to a mechanised Space Marine army.
No doubt the most obvious reason to take Khan, your army exchanges Combat Tactics for Outflank. Most people take advantage of this by outflanking their Bike Squads or Assault Squads to get to grips with the enemy faster and without having to slog across the table. Outflank in general is seen mostly as a means to get your assault units in close range more reliably. However, if your opponent castles up in the centre, or deploys in a refused flank, you risk your units arriving piece meal with no further benefit, or on the wrong side of the table, respectively.
This was a game against one of the local Warbosses, Dennis. His Ork army contains some awesome conversions, especially the Looted Wagon and his Raider/Speeder Battlewagon hybrid. He used the following (apologies for the lack of details):
-Lots of plasma and melta Veterans in a Chimera and 2 Vendettas
-2 squads of 2 regular Leman Russ tanks
-8 Rough Riders
Another custom mission, Trophyhunt is a modified Kill Points mission in which only your three most expensive models (1 vehicle max.) grant points. This is actually in my favor as I can put all my points in the Land Raider (Librarian and one of the Tactical Veteran Sergeants).
Nonetheless I was scared shitless by my opponent’s army which included enough firepower to wipe me off the board in a single turn. Fortunately, two of his objectives were plasma gunners which stood a chance of killing themselves whenever they fired.
I threw everything in reserve, after he’d castled up in his corner. He hadn’t outflanked with his Vendettas so I didn’t have to worry about that.
The Sternguard dropped down and took out one of his Russ squadrons (granting me a Kill Point), while also targeting his plasma gunners’ squad but they survived and held their ground.
We kept trading fire as my reserves started to pour in. He hid the plasma gunners behind the Collosi and despite my best efforts I couldn’t kill them. My Land Raider survived everything thrown at it and my Assault Terminators deployed via deep strike, shrugged off all firepower thrown at them, and killed his Rough Riders while receiving the charge. Speaking of those Rough Riders, they were some sweet conversions:
I won, 14-6. My opponent hadn’t expected that I would reserve my entire army (in fact, he didn’t even know it was possible), but in return I helped him out when he thought his Russes were bound by the rules for firing multiple barrages, which would’ve meant he’d missed my Vindicator. Even in a GT I think it’s important to correct your opponent on rules even if it’s to your disadvantage.
Game 5 - Seize Ground, Pitched Battle
-2 Nobz squads in Battlewagons
-3 Slugga Boyz squads in Trukks
He reserved his Trukks and joined his Warbosses to these squads. The Sternguard destroyed a Battlewagon and took out half of the Nobz that bailed out. They were then killed by the survivors. My ranged firepower just pinged off and before I knew it I was hiding my Tactical Squads from the Trukk mobs. My Assault Terminators initiated a counter-attack and were duly dispatched by the Nobz!
I tried to contest objectives with the Speeders but the Boyz weren’t about to give up their prizes! I lost, 18-2. This was probably the best game of the entire tournament, my opponent was an outstanding sportsman and great fun to play. I must admit when I saw his army roster I thought I’d win pretty easily, just goes to show you should never underestimate your foe!
With the paint scores and knowledge quiz scores added, I placed 23rd out of 120. I had a blast at the GT and I can’t wait ‘till this year’s event!
Game 2 - Take and Hold, Pitched Battle
Versus Imperial Guard
-Lots of Plasma platoons and Veteran squads
-3 Storm Trooper squads with melta and plasma guns
-2 Armoured Sentinels with Lascannons
-2 regular Leman Russ tanks
Take and Hold was a custom mission involving one objective in the centre of the board. Scoring MODELS within 6” gave one victory point, most victory points wins. No contesting.
I took second turn and he deployed spread out across his table edge. The terrain worked in my favor as it split his army in half, preventing each half from drawing line of sight to each other. I deployed in a refused flank to take advantage of this and gang up on one half.
He Stunned my Land Raider but didn’t do much more in his first turn. The Sternguard dropped down across my empty flank to block his line of sight there even more with the Pod. They took out a Veteran squad and claimed some guys from another squad. I had to thin out his scoring models or he’d just swarm the objective and win through sheer weight of numbers.
His Storm Trooper squads deployed via deep strike but couldn’t do much, though the Land Raider was Stunned again. My Speeders went down but claimed some Guardsmen and a Russ in the process. I initiated a mass combat over the objective with the Assault Terminators and a Tactical Squad, while the remaining Tactical Squad dealt with a Storm Trooper squad that somehow had killed my Librarian in close combat!
I eventually pushed him off the objective and won, 18-2. Another great game, this time made greater by victory!
Game 3 - Annihilation, Dawn of War
-Big Mek with Shokk Attak Gun & Weirdboy
-Shoota and Slugga Boyz squads
-Nobz and ‘Árd Boyz in Trukks
-Tankbustas and Burna Boyz squads
I was drawn against somebody from the store where I play, but I hadn’t had the chance to play him before so it didn’t matter. He had a fantastically painted Ork army.
Unfortunately for him his turn kicked off with his Shokk Attak Gun destroying itself and the half of the Shoota Boyz squad it was with, handing me a free Kill Point before I had even moved a model. I tried a conservative play style which with hindsight might not have been such a good idea as it left me open to assaults and reduced the Sternguard to super-expensive spectators.
His Deff Koptas outflanked but tasted the firepower of nearly my entire army. This however left one of my Tactical Squads open to an assault by an ‘Ard Boyz squad, which cost them all their lives.
He assaulted my vehicles with the ‘Ard Boyz and Nobz but could only destroy the Vindicator. I won, 14-6. It was a good game, though I felt a bit sorry for my opponent as halfway through the game our armies were paint judged and he scored lower than me, while it was clearly much better painted. As it turned out, he lost points because he hadn’t based his transparent flying bases, which in my opinion is a stupid ruling since that's why they’re transparent!
The basic strategy is distracting the opponent with the Sternguard, preferably dropping them behind the enemy or on a flank and taking out a target of opportunity. Meanwhile the Land Raider and remaining tanks move in and target key units before contesting enemy objectives. The Speeders either deploy by deep strike or move up behind the wall of tanks. The army is not very flexible because of the Drop Pod assault rule meaning my Sternguard must deploy Turn 1 but I like the models and they’ve done pretty well for me.
Game 1 - Capture&Control, Spearhead
Versus Iron Warriors
-Lord & Sorceror with Terminator retinues
-Berzerkers and Plague Marines squads
My first game was versus a GT veteran with a beautiful, fully-converted Iron Warriors army.
I received second turn and he proceeded to destroy one of my Rhinos on his first turn. My Sternguard dropped down behind his objective and hosed the Defiler with melta shots, but only scored Stunned results which were ignored by its Daemonic Possesion! The plasma guns killed an Obliterator though. The return fire from his forces slew all the Sternguard as expected.
I lost my Vindicator to a lucky autocannon shot and the Land Raider was taken out by a combi-melta, the Assault Terminators bailed out and took on pretty much his entire army as the Librarian all but annihilated a Berzerker squad with the Avenger.
The Speeders didn’t do much (though one survived two successive rounds of combat from a charging Defiler despite being Immobilised, only getting Shaken and Stunned in the process!)
In the end I failed to reach his objective with one of my Rhino squads by mere inches, while mine was contested by half a Chaos Marine squad ganging up on one single Storm Dragon, who just wouldn’t die and prevented a Massacre!
Loss for me, 16-4, but a great game and I was itching for more!