Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hobby: Puppets of Lonne Warband

I was digging through the Facebook groups backlog of pictures. I found this one of a Vampire Counts Warband for Mordheim that somehow escaped finding its way to being cataloged on this blog.

The Puppets of Lonne, are made up of the Vampire Lord Lonne,  his necromancer croney and two hired thugs and then a veritable cornucopia of undead monsters.  Normally this is the sort of thing I wouldn't both posting, as its four years old. But I can't seem to find them in the house anymore and I felt like they look quite nice, so I figured why not share them

These weird bat creatures saw action as Dire Wolves.

So thats all for now! More Jornath and AoS action coming quite soon!

-Your Favorite Madman-

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Jornath: Assault on Gate S-2 (Morning)

Fortress Behars, has been besieged by three roughly regiment strength Ork assets since late last year, earlier in the Summer, one of these groups under the control of an Ork Warboss named Bazbrag, pushed through Imperial defenses to the East of the Fortress and fought their way through Saine Yeltsville, and attained positions within a kilometer of the curtain wall. The main eastern gatehouse was immediately fortified with veterans to stymie the aliens before they affect a major breakthrough. While sections of the warband did throw themselves at the East Gate, it was nowhere near the majority. Bazbrag was known for a particular level of guile, not common amongst others of his ilk, and employed a large number of specialist mercenaries called "Kommandos" that act as infiltrators, special operators and force reconnaissance experts for an Ork Warband. These infiltrators used a network of wine cellars and tunnels from Saine Yeltsville that stretch out into foundations of the fortress. They fed information on weak points in the Imperial defenses back to Bazbrag, who let lose a tide of war machines and infantry.


Gate S-2, was defended by members of Bastion Cohort Behras, specifically II Company-East Div. These men had engaged in defensive actions on the northern wall sections, acting as a reserve to the North Division companies there. When Saine Yeltsville fell the company was immediately re-deployed back to its home position. The gate itself is a tertiary entrance used for small vehicle traffic, it is not large enough to fit heavy armored vehicles such as the Chimera APC or Leman Russ through, which means that 11KCC vehicle assets defending the entrance had to be parked beyond the safety of the wall, along with the necessary infantry support.

When the Orks finally came, it was as an overwhelming wave of bodies and machinery. Indeed such was the number of Bazbrag's first wave that the men of the 2nd company were outnumbered nearly three to one by the greenskins. Commander Souza voxed immediately for reinforcement and set to giving the considerable population of vineyard workers and facility maintenance personnel any firearm to hand.  Chattering weapons fire and the crack-fizz of las weaponry issued forth from the walls scything down into the body of the Ork advance. The alien's reply was quick to come and horrifyingly efficient, a knight-class Ork war-walker stomped into view from behind the lines of rowhouses beyond the wall, a comically oversized assault cannon gave a sheet of cover to the approaching greenskin warriors. 

Commander Souza and Commissars attached to the Fortress' Bastion Cohorts marshaled the conscripted workers into rough firing lines blocking the gate. A motley assortment of autoguns, laslocks, and antiquated rifles held in shakey hands would be II companies last line in defending their position.  

As carriage mounted earth shakers pounded away into the approaching aliens, Bazbrag's Kommando's made their bid to silence the guns,  bursting out of a magazine casement linked to the fort's old wine cellars. The brutes charged toward the gun crews and were met by the conscripts who laid into the alien with knives, and close range fire. Of course dozens of the militia were cut to ribbons by the Xenos special forces, but faith and superior numbers saw the threat subdued quickly enough.

With the threat within the walls taken care of, the battle had begun in earnest outside. 11KCC assets and sappers from II Company engaged the vanguard of the Ork attack force, made up of a mixture of lightly armored gun trucks and various classifications of war-walkers. 

Where the Orks had a weight of fire the Imperium had greater accuracy. Though the Kula Tankers were blasting fuming holes into the armored hide of a great number of the enemy vehicles, it was far from enough to stem the tide completely. It was a matter of softening the enemy enough to allow the infantry precious additional moments to lose shots into the foes before they hammered into the gate proper. 

Ork infantry began to engage the Sapper teams, and it was then that from the north the blessed Angels of Death arrived, storming across a roadway from the cover of a line of rowhouses firing bolters and superheated plasma into the flank of the alien's advance. The Sons of Medusa, had given no warning of their impending arrival to the garrison, many men sat in awe of the demigods as they came into view. Discipline was soon properly restored when the next volley of Ork autogun fire snapped overhead.

Though the Astartes had arrived, the battle was far from concluded, the Sappers found their positions massively overwhelmed, and began collapsing back towards the gateway as the aliens closed in for the kill. 

The battle reached its climax as the Astartes assaulted the area around the feet of the Ork Knight, the roadway was bustling with pounding hydraulic feet, the aliens had deployed a fully mechanized formation of dreadnaughts and heavy walkers to tear down the wall of the fortress known as a "Dread-Mob", an apt name indeed. At the gate the last of the sappers was slain, the handful of grenade-wielding guardsmen withstood nearly a hundred slavering greenskins before their end came.

Ork infantry dismounted their transports and swarmed into the buildings the Sons of Medusa were attempting to occupy resulting in frenetic close quarters fire-fights breaking out, as the Marines pushed through room after room of barbaric warriors in their quest to gain advantageous positions on the dread mob.

At the gate Commander Souza met the Orks head-on with the aid of the conscripts, it was here that he would join the honored dead in martyrdom. The volley of close-range shots and a well-timed charge proved enough to break the orks from the wall, the majority of the non-mechanized orks began withdrawing into the city. 

Shortly after Commander Souza's death at the gate Astartes Hellblasters attained good positions in the city to gain plunging fire down upon the vehicles of the Ork dread mob reducing a great many of the alien war machines to molten slag in moments. It was at this moment that the Ork attack broke apart, the Knight and several other machines began a withdraw in good order with the remainder of the infantry. Some walkers charged blindly into the row-housing, smashing apart structures in great billowing clouds of rubble smoke. Melta and well-placed grenades were able to see these off, but they had done well enough in providing a distraction for the remainder of their species to vacate the field for a time. 

With the gate secured for the moment, II Company picked up the pieces, regrouping what they could. and re-establishing defenses further behind the wall. The tankers from 11KCC sped north along with a group of messengers to make use of the Eastern Gatehouse to get the vehicles within the wall and plead for long-term reinforcement. The Sons of Medusa had taken a mauling, Captain Corporis had deployed the strike force, after having only just executed a multi-day long combat operation within the Ork Exclusion zone alongside the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus. The Astartes left the field with one brother in need of emergency medical attention and twenty more in need of triage. The entire strike force was nearly depleted in terms of ammunition, particularly the Hellblasters. With the situation contained for the moment, the Sons of Medusa withdrew to their firebase to regroup and rearm. 

Bastion Command received the messengers with a weary acknowledgment. The Fortress could barely afford to pull of forces to other sections at this juncture, but an attack on this scale needed to be stoppered, and with the Astartes out of the fight, when Bazbrag's troops regroup it would fall to the men of the Cohorts to hold the line. 

Thanks for Reading!  This is the first of two battles at Gate S-2.
If you'd like to read more about the Forces, Lore, and Engagements from the "Battle for Jornath" campaign then you can click on the tab on the top of the page and view posts presented in chronological order in accordance with the setting, from anyone who's contributed!

-Your Favorite Madman-

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Vox Boost: Jornath Blog Posts 10/28/2017

Just a bump, to promote some blog-posts centered around the 40k Narrative Campaign setting "Jornath" that I've been playing in for the better part of two years now.

Today I've got two posts both from fan favorite Chris, a veteran blogger and tabletop gamer who focuses on top quality miniature making and copious amounts of delightful lore, as well as the instigator of the whole Jornath campaign!

The first post Martial Traditions of Usamiljen, is an in-depth look at the recruiting practices and broad strokes tactical doctrines of one formation of the Imperial Guard found within the armies of Jornath Imperial defenders.

The second post Without Number... looks at the groups most recent outing, a brutal large scale apocalypse game where the combined forces of the Imperium launch a desperate counter-offensive to effect a breakthrough in the Siege of Fort Behras. A game I will be covering here on this blog just as soon as I work through my back-log of other AAR's

As with all Jornath post's, these will be compiled under the "Jornath 40k" tab in the search bar at the top of the blog, where you can view the battles, lore, and formations of the setting as they are published in chronological order according to the timeline of the setting

I hope you enjoy the posts!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hobby: Stormknights of the White Wolf

I was thinking of playing AoS in the old world. Jd and some of the guys at our local GW concur. I could see the Stormcast Eternals being an experiment from the college's of magic by Teclis that uses the best and bravest of the empire knight houses and gives them magic powers and brutal strength. The motivation being Archaon and his boys coming down and kicking ass during the storm of chaos. The empire is left in ruins after fighting off Nagash a few years earlier and a wave of pro-chaos Skaven clans sacking Altdorf the year before Archaon comes in means he's really successful. Rumors of Sigmars return are rife in those times, and many suspect a final victory for chaos. The reality is not so much victory but a stalemate. Glottkin, a mighty chaos general in his own right betrays Archaon as the chaos host reaches Reikland, and gets bogged down in a number of costly sieges. Internal divsions starts fracturing the chaos warriors, and strikes from the stormcast prove vital in dissolving the chaos cohesion. For their vital role and their devout resolve in their God kings name, the new age post-archaon invasion is named the Age of Simgar. Chaos warbands now reside in the south, particularly in the ruins of Middenhiem and Kislev The empire rebuilds.

I prefer to think of the old setting in terms of modeling, and while I miss the regimented blocks the new system is frenetic and enjoyable. I'm sure the new mortal realms setting is interesting but I prefer the more traditional tolkienesque map.

So I picked up the cheap little battle pack "Storm of Sigmar" with 5 Stormcast and some chaos guys, split between myself and as mentioned before JD.

I'm happy with how the majority of the model came out, I do think I want to revisit the shield, however, it's far too blue. 

I did some experimenting with adding greatsword pieces to the Stormcast as well, and I do really love the results.

thanks for reading!

-Your Favorite Madman-

Monday, October 9, 2017

Hobby: Repair Hanger

A piece of terrain that I finished a few days ago to serve as a "vital objective" during the apocalypse game I mentioned in a previous post.  The general idea is a service bay where they repair train engines outside of the local fortress/vineyard.  The structure is generic enough that I could see it finding a place in hive city boards or as part of farmsteads etc. as some type of garage or dock. 

Its an extension of my desire to have more (relatively) intact buildings on the table. I think a little room clearance adds some excitement to a guardsman's day, and I find it hard to rationalize why I'm sending my troops to recapture a totally reduced city in most games. 

Damage from a lascannon blast on one side of the building, being surveyed by a brother from the Marines Errant, which was painted by Chris and eventually found his way into my possession through the murky shifting of time.

Door to the offices, from the workshop floor

building overview. the stairs are high enough to reach the gothic archway from table level. Forgot to pull them out before I took the picture

Not even the Imperium is able to avoid the tendrils of capitalism it seems.

Shot down the main hall

A view of the back wall exterior. 

A utilitarian sign, without flash, and clearly not very clean.

A battlecannon shot through the side of the building, serves only to slow the shambling form of the Plaguebearer.

Thanks for reading!

-Your Favorite Madman-

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hobby: Deffskullz Battlewagon

In preparation for a mighty apocalypse game in the Jornath narrative campaign. I figured I really ought to apply some paint to the various heap of Orkoid bodies and vehicles littering my room.  

The model is the Boneyard Truck from Ramshackle Games, that I've added some coffee stirs, plastic canvas and Niz the friendly hype grot too to bring the mini some more character. I wanted to try out the GW technique for doing rust now, with Typhus Corrosion/Ryza Rust Dry/ Runefang and compare that to how I've been attempting rust in the past. All told the thing came together quite quickly and I'm happy enough with the results. After all, it IS an ork vehicle so it's not going to be on the table particularly long.

Just a short (not quite so wordy) one today, I'll have the post up for the apoc game up hopefully by the end of the month and two other large-scale Jornath batrep's up between then and now.  

-Your Favorite Madman- 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Jornath: Fort Behras

Fort Behras.

Fort Behras is the keystone defensive structure in the north of the continent of Manfredi-At-Prima, in Kula Provence. This structure has existed for generations and stretches all the way into the pre-Imperial history of the planet. During its extensive history, it has played various roles politically and culturally in the identity of the region.

The citadel that would later become known as Fort Behras was established after the system of pseudo-feudalism was introduced to Jornath several thousand years after the initial colonization effort occurred. Jornath in these times saw a great deal of inter-familial skirmishing, large national governments were not established, and so territorial control of prime agricultural land, mineral wealth, and other natural resources was almost constantly in a state of dispute. In Usamiljen, and the glacial plains fed by runoff from the Ctre Valley, this skirmishing was of a particularly elevated intensity. The perfect confluence of agriculture and local material wealth, lords and ladies from Guffmans Platz, and numerous surrounding towns sought to use an asset to hand to fully cement their families claim to the region. Three of these families, representing a coalition of northern mining interests concocted a bold strategy, risking everything these families redirected all of their peasant miners, onto the lone peak to the east of the Ctre Valley, and instructed them to put their skills to use in creating a vast network of hardened tunnels, effectively hollowing out the peak, and turning the mountain into the shell for an underground city. At first, the project seemed to be total folly to the other families of the region. The builders were quickly draining their coffers on what appeared to be a foolish mining enterprise. It wasn't until the first Huscarls moved into the completed mountain complex that the real purpose behind the project was understood. Familial alliances were quickly formed to oust the miner's coalition from their mountain fortress. The extensive tunnel works provided proof enough from initial attacks, impossible to predict the location from which attacks would come, attackers faced enfilade fire from hundreds of hidden bunkers and fire-ports. After the alliances found that conventional attacks would be little proof against the position, their forces withdrew and prepared to lay siege to the mountain. The siege of the miner's coalition lasted for nearly thirty-five years, the mountain was supplied with a reservoir drawn from natural freshwater aquifers, and underground horticultural complexes kept the garrison fed on staple crops. No major fighting erupted for the majority of this period. Sporadic skirmishing would occasionally break out, but no large-scale actions were conducted on either side. The siege would eventually conclude when the families in control of the mining coalition were placed in financial danger by careful posturing from the alliance of families in Guffman’s Platz, who forcefully bought out several transportation cartels that moved ore for the miners. Faced with bankruptcy, the mining families sold their mountain fortress to their rivals, ending the siege.
Within a generation of the siege’s conclusion, Jornath’s nation-states were starting to establish themselves. With much of the contestation of the earlier feudal period slowly fading, the fortress’ role as a military structure began to diminish. Faced with a sizable piece of real estate which now lacked a practical application, the families sought to apply a more domestic purpose to the land. It was decided in short order to turn the mountain to growing a mutation of grape known as the Behras Berry, which has a thick waxy skin and grows small. This makes it horribly bad for eating, but ideal for wine production especially in the foothills where the slopes funnel runoff water and minerals downhill. The tunnel networks under the mountain are the ideal environment to store barrels of wine to ferment, as it's cool and dark. All this combined with the proximity to the transit hubs in Guffmans Platz meant that within a handful of years the Fortress was producing sweet white wine for all of Kula Province to enjoy.
When the Imperium made contact with Jornath, the name “Fort Behras” was a common brand amongst the citizenry of the planet. In the codification of planetary landmarks by surveyors of the Administratum, Fort Behras had its name erased however, purportedly because the adept filing the listings thought that a defensive position named after a grape was terribly inappropriate, and so gave the location the designation Height-906, lumping it in with peaks several dozens of kilometers to the north. The families who owned the fortress took this in stride, in fact, finding it so entertaining that they put the designation on their bottles.
It was not until after the completion of the Horus Heresy, indeed after the scouring had come to a conclusion that members of the Munitorum began to exert pressure on the nobility to open up land for the creation of planetary defense structures to use in maintaining Imperial authority. Private business interests chafed under this pressure, the Heresy had barely affected Jornath and many of the planets noble families, national administrations, and cartel leaders felt that the planet would be better served continuing with the way things had always been. But no planet argues with the will of the Emperor’s administration for very long, and soon enough the foundations of bastions and orbital batteries were being poured all across Jornath’s surface. At Fort Behras, a deal brokered with the Munitorum’s representatives allowed production of wine to continue in the lowland areas around the exterior of the fortress proper and along the slopes of the mountain itself as curtain walls, barracks, and defensive positions were erected in sections around the site. The completion of the work created the base of the defensive structure seen on modern Jornath, a patchwork of vineyard squares separated by auxiliary roads linking various supporting sites such as rail yards, vehicle repair centers, and sensor arrays to the gates of the fortress. The fortress itself now surrounded by a mighty plastcrete wall, dotted with small gates to allow for various automotive traffic, and bolstered from each cardinal direction by sizeable defensive gatehouses that allow access to the interior for heavier vehicles.
The most modern change in the landscape of the fortress is the town of Saine Yeltsville, which began construction just before 741.M41 as a suburban area to serve as overflow housing for members of the garrison, vineyard workers and other laborers needed to tend to the Fortress’ previously mentioned ancillary sites. The suburbs grew ever larger, with the eastern approach to the walls consisting of winding clumps of small housing, and shops.
When Ork forces entered the system at the beginning of the War for Jornath, the fortress was largely in a state of unreadiness, much of the garrison were part-time reservists from Usamiljen and various cities of northwestern Kula province. Readiness drills, weapons tests, proper maintenance of hardware had all been conducted infrequently if at all, which meant that the fortress was woefully ill-prepared to act as northern kula’s primary defensive keystone.  Garrison commanders frantically recalled all the garrison cohorts and scurried to check that weapons batteries could still be summoned to function.  This lapse in readiness prompted pioneer units, and local cohorts under the direction of regional Tactica command, to create the Ctre Valley firebase hopefully to allow more time for the fortress to be brought up to operational condition.

By the time of the withdraw back to the staging areas around the fortress after Operation Remits Maw’s failure, the complex had organized its garrison and brought half of its defensive weapon systems online. The process of restoring the facility to function was being waylaid by xenos incursions on the Usamiljen Heights mechanicus outpost, limiting the number of techpriests that could be flown safely to Behras, past greenskin flakk positions or through contested skies. Therefore, when Orks under Warboss Krump pushed along the highways southward eventually smashing against the walls of the fortress they were met with less than the full strength of the positions capabilities. Enough to stall the beasts, but not anywhere near enough to obliterate them, leading in turn to the protracted siege of the fortress.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Fictional Histories: Christopher Hollowell

Fictional Histories is a Fine Art project that seeks to analyze the world of tabletop gaming and looks to use the voice of the hobby to tell the stories of the men and women who engage in the hobby community. This work was among 4 others that were displayed at the Gatewood Gallery in May of 2017. 

This is the third of those pieces presented in the show, here showcasing an interview with one of my long time friends and opponents Chris formerly from "Sippin' on Paint Water" now contributing to the blog-o-sphere through Gloria in Morte. Chris is a skilled painter and modeler, the resident "how did you paint that?!!" guy of the group so to say, it's not uncommon to see intricate unit badges on the sleeves of 15mm soldiers, or to look at his host of carefully converted Death Guard with horrifying disgust. While his recent move has taken his forces appearance on the blog to a reduced regularity, we still find time on occasion to throw tiny plastic warriors into pitched battles. When I talked to him about the most memorable moment in gaming for him he pointed more towards a time period, a stretch of time around the release of 6th edition 40k, that spanned around a year where the group of us began entering into the 15mm generic sci-fi scene. I chose to capture that time period by looking at one of the absolute earliest battles between the two of us, the Battle for Sellas

Christopher Hollowell

I can't speak to any one person's reasons for playing a tabletop game, or becoming more involved in a wargaming community. I do think that it has something to do with a sense of camaraderie or  shared interest in a creative outlet. I think it's good in general, more people means more money in the hobby, a broader variety of interests to fuel the hobby's expansion. I think we'll see more and different ways that people choose to integrate it into their interactions with others, especially in a digital way.

I've had some long term projects, I've had large projects, but I think the single best gaming experience had to be when I started into 15mm sci-fi as a genre of interest. It's got less to do with science fiction and collecting lots of cool and affordable miniatures, and more to do with my exploration of that community as a digital presence and in a more real way with my close friends who started into that process at the same time. It allowed me to experience it as an individual, as part of a small group and with a sense of belonging to a sort of hobby diaspora.

so you would say like the PGCC and the stuff we did as part of that rush in the beginning was more rewarding because it was entirely our thing. like because it was crafted entirely from our small group it held more significance than it would have if we had moved from mainline 40k play to like infinity or something

Yes, not because the bigger games lack value, or good game design, but more because there is a certain amount of organic enthusiasm and creativity in something that is less polished. 15mm sci-fi is more of a sandbox setting for gaming, there are rules but no one set is king, there are great minis but the companies that make them don't have add budgets or marketing just a product that gets people excited and wanting to share it with folks who like it as much as they do. It might not be the best formula for long term success, but it is earnest and engaging in a way that something more established can't be.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Jornath: A Valley of Iron

"Hurry up lads, this one's going to start stinking soon, and it'll attract the Ork hounds"  spoke Sergeant Arading, stepping over the slumped bulk of the alien warrior laid out in the middle of the small room. his scout squad, barely visible in the dim light-spill peaking through sections of torn metal siding, and wood slat. The faintest movement could be discerned from the gently swaying edges of camo cloak, brushed by the salty air pushing across the Kulian marshlands.

"Potential HVT's spotted at Northwestern corner Brother Sergeant" whispered Scout Mildarien, looking through the scope of his M40/A1 out across the massive city of scrap metal buildings. In the open area below the scout's hide, Mildarien could see a great commotion stirring. A handful of Ork trucks and IFV's had arrived, from deeper into the Exclusion Zone, kicking up a storm of dust and engine smoke as they roared into the compound. As the convoy came to a stop the roll gate on a nearby workshop rolled up, a hulking beast surrounded by a handful of warriors and a swarm of greenskin runts strode out on bionic legs. 

"Tärz Scruntkicka, visual confirmation attained at distance 680 meters, elevation negative 40 degrees on bearing two-four-zero." Mildarien reported mechanically, training his rifle on the Ork leaders head.  Scruntkicka, is master over a warband of alien slave masters known as Runtherders and lords over a section of the Exclusion Zone known by the Ork as "Da Stabheels" reportedly the highest concentration of Gretchin in the entire zone, though almost no operations teams have returned to give a detailed ground analysis of the area. It is strange to see the beast so far from home...

Scruntkicka stormed up the side of the lead vehicle in the convoy, a stolen dockyard hauler mutilated by the aliens into a form of combat support vehicle. Angry screaming floated up from the beasts, though the Ork language is not particularly suited to quiet civil platitudes in conversation this was clearly not a pleasant encounter. In short order a pistol shot rang out, slamming into one of Tärz's bodyguards sending him flying backward. Orks began to gather from around the area, dropping what they were doing to investigate the latest violent attraction.  Suddenly Scruntkick was hurled back by an unseen force, and in the dust, the bulk of a truly massive brute descended on him.  Tärz's legs proving vital in preventing his untimely demise, booting the bulkier Ork off. In the moment the hulking monster slammed against the back of his transport, Mildarien knew his identity.

"By the Emperor..." he whispered turning to Sergeant Arading.

"Brother Captain!" Sergeant Aerea shouted running into the chamber, where Captain Corporis was meeting with a Tech-Magos from Usamiljen Heights. 

"What is it, Sergeant?" said Corporis, irate at the interruption. This meeting was vital for upcoming Imperial Guard operations around the fortress, the mechanicus and Astartes needed to be on the same page, in terms of strike locations, logistics, and dozens of other factors that would pivotal to the delicate nature of what was to come. 

"A scout squad from the Dreadmare Companions has located Oilymaw in the ruins of the Holmtex Marsh Conservatory." spoke Aerea rapidly. 

"They are certain?" rumbled Corporis, already gripping his blade's hilt tightly. The list of adversaries to cross him and live was short indeed especially when it came to filth like the Orks. 

"Visual confirmation attained as of five minutes ago, Navy assets are on standby to level the complex. The beast is recruiting up followers,"  replied Aerea.

"Tell the navy to lock the area down, gather half the company and inform Tullos to prepare the Thunderhawks.I will cleave the beast's head from his shoulders!" Commanded Corporis, rage seething between every word. 

"BrOthEr CaPtAiN" intoned the Magos, in the harsh grating monotone of the mechanicus vox hailer.
"ThE CoNserVatOry CoNtAIns NuMeRoUs  XeNoS MeK WoRkShoPs| It WoUld Be a PlEaSuRe to CleAnSe ThE BlASPHEMOR FrOm ThE ZonE| My SkiTarII ShAlL AcComPany YoU|"  The Magos spoke curtly, turning with finality before Corporis could rebut the offer, the click of a dozen mechadendrite hooves the only word of farewell. 


One Hour Later

Ork small arms fire smashed against the side of the plastcrete wall. sending shards of rock scattering across his armor. Peaking out, Pugno hammered out two bolt rounds ripping the shooter apart in a spray of gore. "Attain that overlook brothers! More are approaching."  He ordered into the squad vox bead. They were in the thick of it here, much further to the north of the exclusion zone than they had been operating in since arrival. Here the aliens staged to hit Imperial Guard and Mechanicus positions at Usamiljen and Fort Behras. The strike force had been on the ground for fifteen minutes and only now was reaching the purported location of Oilmaw. It made him anxious, the Mechanicus assets were slowing down the advance, the Skitarii fought admirably but the press of Greenskins from all sides meant that the Sons of Medusa needed to continuously go house-to-house or assault dug-in fighting positions to free up Vanguard and Onagers to advance. Never the less, they had made it to the Conservatory Complex, with enough men to hopefully kill this particular beast once and for all.  

Pugno's battle brothers swept into the ruins of the Conservatory's processing wing, clearing the rubble choked rooms with precise bursts of bolter fire. The area had been turned into a sort of Inn for the greenskins, barrels of putrid purplish grog, naked light bulbs, fire pits and squig meat littered the ruin. The sight of alien habitation in Imperial buildings always filled him with revulsion, but ever since the company had faced Dwellers infesting Uriah I when he had been a scout, it made him nearly sick to see.  He considered setting detonation charges in the building before they left the operations area for a moment but pushed his personal feelings back down, resuming command of his team. Striding down the interior corridor, Pugno delivered a heavy boot kick to the metal door at the end of the hall. Sparks flickered from the hinges, and the door flew into the chamber beyond. A heavy slug smashed against Pugno's breastplate, as the Ork within let loose a torrent of fire into the door frame. Shrugging off the hit, Pugno ran into the fire, grabbing the beast by the neck and throwing it from the nearby open window, the creature toppling to the ground below with an audible snapping sound. 

"Overlook attained, move up under us Visus" breathed Pugno heavily.  

"Roger! Squad Rubro moving to your location!" came the crackled reply over the strike force vox, hardly audible, through the staccato feedback noise of weapons fire. The scattered mobs of four or five Orks firing from windows and alleyways, or suddenly appearing from doorways brandishing bulky close combat weapons, had started to shirk away from the strike force. Chattering fire still barked from across the operations area but it lacked the roaring gusto of earlier.  

"This begins properly soon brothers. Check weapons, reload and give me sight lines down that street." Pugno ordered, reloading his bolt rifle and taking a moment to properly assess the commanding view the second-floor overlook offered of the combat zone. 

Crashing through the streets to their direct west the Mechanicus Dragoons struggled with a rolling tide of Ork gun trucks. One of the metallic cavalry men thundered towards the Squad's building, trailed by a duo of green skin vehicles.  Two rockets whistled towards the dragoon, one slammed against the electrostatic shielding of the rider's casement, the blow staggering the walker and sending its legs flailing as they simultaneously try to keep upright and turn on the attacker. The second projectile spiraled out of control into his squad's building, filling the hall they had just cleared with white hot metal and smoke. 

The Dragoon, leveled a massive archeotech pistol towards the alien outriders, sending a yellow searing bolt of energy lancing outwards, piercing the back right of one of the vehicles and sending a gout of flame shooting out from the ramshackle buggy.  "Brother Sergeant! The beasts approach en masse, your orders?" spoke Brother Auternus, turning slightly from his position at the window. 

"Prioritize leaders, neutralize the locomotion capabilities of any war machines that get within range if possible." Pugno ordered, turning from the Dragoons plight and fully rejoining the battle, underway in earnest.

"Damn this rabble!  Continue forward brothers!" Captain Corporis yelled through his vox hailer. He was beyond eager to get this debacle over with, the trouble with honor debts is they are typically hard won. The servants of the Omnissiah were stirring the pot more than a purely Astartes strike force would have, the size and pure firepower of a Skitarii Cohort were attracting even more greenskins to the location; granted it was spreading them across a wider area but the Skitarii fought methodically.  Nevertheless, Corporis knew the importance of including the members of Usamiljen's keeper's in a battle. The Imperial Guard had been hard pressed in the past year with a string of tactical blunders, massive strategic misteps, and nearly disastrous Ork counter-offensives. While his Astartes could win any raid they were sent on and damage the alien war effort acting as the scalpel they were, the war must be won by soldiers of Jornath.

Corporis drew his blade taking a handful of swings he thrummed on the activation switch. The size of the Warband bearing down on them with furious vigor was mighty, it would take careful skill and precise shots to see their quarry brought low. The strike force was wasting no time in pouring enfilade fire down onto the charging aliens, explosive bolt rounds, conversion beams, and stubber rounds laced across the iron faces of the Ork vehicles in a carnival of light. The lead Ork IFV a converted dockyard hauler bristling with guns and covered in glyphs aimed straight for Corporis and his command team. 

"Brothers, our quarry approaches prepare yourselves!" commanded Corporis to his squad. A handful of his brothers in venerated Cataphractii armor took position behind him,  the heat of a dozen power weapons was tangible to him, even through his armor. The adrenaline of a worthy fight approaching came over him, doubled in its potency through the violent joy of potential revenge coming within reach.

"Fething lunatics coming here like this!" Yelled Scout Sergeant Arading, sprinting past a gaping hole in the building. Chattering fire from an Ork emplaced gun lacing behind him.  "Sergeant why didn't they just let the Navy deal with the situation?!" asked Scout Mildarien, returning fire on the emplacement with precision fire from his rifle as the rest of the scout squad crossed the gap. "Them that come from the loins of Ferrus Manus don't exactly have a solid penchant for stealth or the simple beauty of killing something without it seeing you!" came Sergeant Arading's reply, even laden with combat stress it still came across as immensely sarcastic. Gallows humor was just one of the Scout's many glowing character traits.

Rejoining the rest of his squad on the opposite side of the gap, they slinked into the lower levels of the shattered conservatory administrative offices, the desks and countless collections of documents still littered the area, the greenskins had trouble eating or building much out of the materials. A boon to the scouts as they stalked through the low cover, past the hundreds of rushing Orks only meters away outside. Quietly the team slipped off into the drainage canals behind the conservatory, the grots they had slain on their entry still laid undisturbed, a good sign that the path ahead was likely clear of packs of roving squigs.  "If our friend Tärz is down this way then something queer must've happened down in the Stabheels. Let's finally get some eyes on eh boys?" whispered Sergeant Arading, in a much better mood now they had regained some measure of concealment and stealth...

"Purge the Weak!  Meet them now brothers! Cut your way to the target!" bellowed Corporis above the total deafening roar of the Ork's main body. As one the company veterans strode forward, their artifice blades glowing with luminous energies. The onrushing Ork vehicle had slid a halt, a heavy assault plank smashed into the muddy ground. huge Ork Nobs slammed down the ramp hefting massive axes high above their head. Then with a great roar, the Kill-Mek himself entered the fray. 

"I TOLD UZ I WUZ GONNA 'AVE LOADZ MOAR BOYZ!!!!" Oilymaw screamed as his retinue locked blades with the Veteran Astartes. 

"Changing!" Pugno announced swapping out his spent magazine for a new one. "HVT's located Sergeant, engaging the Company command assets!" spoke Brother Dyaxae frantically, a portion of his left arm bleeding profusely from a smoking crater in his armor.  "Close the noose! Auternus pick up Pumark and follow us closely, we shall join Squad Rubro and move as one to end this in short order Move brothers!" Pugno yelled above the din of clashing armies. The squad immediately set itself into action, Auternus hefting much of Pumark's bulk onto himself, the wounds the latter sustained barely even allowing him to limp alongside Auternus, though ever dutiful he still held his bolter firmly in his off hand. They made their way back downstairs to squad Rubro, the first floor was decorated in a carpet of spent shell casings and a thick haze of gunsmoke lit with the burst of weapons fire. Rubro turned his attentions from the directing of his squad for a moment to converse with Sergeant Pugno. 

"Whats the status of your squad Magna?" spoke Sergeant Rubro quite casually given the circumstances. 

"Pumark's critical but walking, and some minor hits across two others. Ammunition is at a moderate level, we are ready to get this over with. What about you brother?"  replied Pugno.

"Ammo's low, but the Emperor's watching us we've sustained no injuries. We are ready to make this charge." reported Rubro.  The collected marines stood for a moment in silence, to steel themselves for the fight, and prepare their combat knives. 

"Sons of Medusa!....  PURGE THE WEAK!!" Shouted Sergeant Pugno, slamming open the door and diving headlong into the tide of beasts. 

Dodging past the heavy ax blow of a Nob, Corporis found himself finally in front of Oilmaw, just as he tore the arm from Brother Gagar. The alien tossed the Astartes to the side with contempt, the Marine's arm flew at Corporis as Oilymaw launched into a heavy horizontal ax swing. Gagar's arm smashed against Corporis' armor, but the Captain was not so easily distracted, blocking the ax blow with his power sword.  The searing heat field, sending white hot slag metal dripping off the contact point with Oilmaw's massive ax. Not skipping a beat the alien brought its muscled right flank suddenly about to smash into the captain, sending him skidding backward a few inches. Again the beast tried a heavy blow from the right but this time higher, clearly in a motion to decapitate the captain. Corporis crouched under this sloppy swing and side stepping came up behind Oilymaw. Striking forward his blade lanced out piercing the Warboss's lower back. With blinding speed, Oilymaw lashed around smashing his clenched right fist into the side of Corporis' helmet, stumbling the captain for a moment.  He recovered just in time to watch the last nob's skull turn to paste as the crackling energy of a Cataphractii's power fist wrapped around its skull. Turning back quickly to face Oilymaw, he saw the beast holding the steaming wound in his back. 

"The Beast must not escape! Cut him off!" screamed Corporis into the vox channel. 

Pugno emptied the last two rounds of his clip into the nearest Ork boy to him, the greenskin carried sharply off its feet by the bolt rounds suddenly changing his momentum. Squad Aes, descended from the Ork habitation towers above, the first warning of the Inceptor's arrival was the falling bulk of an alien jump pack warrior smashing to the ground in a black pulp.  Soon the air filled with a hail of bolter fire scything down from the heavens, cutting down dozens of aliens with shredding small caliber fire, leaving a carpet of severely wounded aliens for Aes' squad to land on. 

"Rioght' letz leg it!" shouted a thunderous voice from amongst the throng of remaining Orks.

"Told uz Id get u boyz da good fightin' didn't I"?! shouted Oilmaw, clutching at his back, and surrounded by a half dozen retainers, including another monumental beast with metal legs, that Pugno wasn't familiar with.  It mattered not, he squeezed off a dozen more rounds into the direction of the group, missing or catching other milling orks in the crossfire. 

The beasts had lost momentum in their charge, well ordered Bolter drill and the withdraw of the key alien personalities had seen to that. There were still nearly a hundred beasts left milling around the Conservatory grounds in groups sizeable enough to seriously hamper their pursuit of Oilymaw. Corporis knew to press his advantage now and break the spirit of the Ork's before they could find renewed spirit for fighting.  

The cataphractii and the rest of the squads in the strike force pressed on keeping the pressure up in the center, as Skitarii Vanguard and Sicarian Ruststalkers hoped to close down the nearby adjacent avenues. 

Pugno, tried desperately to re-acquire the location of Oilmaw and Tärz, amidst the Chaos. On the far side of the open plaza, the conversion beamer of one of the Mechanicus Onager's obliterated the facade of a towering habitation building, burying many of their own vanguards to block any available pathway for the beast's to flee through.  Squad Aes, despite their jump packs, was finding the plaza a difficult to negotiate quickly to directly follow the targets, it was littered with combatants, smoking vehicle husks and piles of dead. Thinking quickly the Inceptors of Squad Aes rockets up as high as their jump packs would allow and found a perch above the square. Where they could see the path of Oilymaws' flight more clearly..

Corporis plunged his blade into the belly of the greenskin before him it died in a whimpering, wheezing pile he stood in a pool of alien gore. Then it finally happened, the Orks had lost their stomach for the moment and began to withdraw back to the nearby line of housing and market stalls to regain their number. It made him feel numb, He knew they hadn't caught their quarry today. But, the cost in alien life and territory may well have been worth far more than his personal feud. scattered gunfire still echoed across the square. and the rumbling of combat between the rest of the Magos' cohort and the Orks was still fully underway around them.  He had sent Squad Aes to follow Oilymaw with the aid of the Imperial Navy and PDF's terrestrially based fighter craft.  

In the end, the butcher's bill was high. Pugno looked over the field of twisted bodies now milling with Jornathii muster men and cohort infantry burying the remains and demolishing the hideous structures the Orks had constructed. The Skitarii had lost hundreds of vanguard in the subsequent holding actions needed to strangle wait for the Imperial Guard to arrive. While the Sons of Medusa had two fatalities, both from the command team that bore the brunt of Oilymaw's retinue, as well as nearly a dozen casualties, needing some form of medical treatment aboard the Strike Cruiser a crushing loss to be sure, but what more could a soldier of the Emperor hope for besides to die in glory for the Imperium...

Thanks for reading the most recent narrative battle report in the Battle for Jornath "living narrative campaign" if you'd like to know more about Jornath's history, its belligerents, read through the roster of former battles or use mission documents to play on Jornath yourself. Click...