Posts Tagged ‘Astra Militarum’

Imperial Guard – 1200 Points – 11-26-11

11/30/2011 1 comment

57th Menasa Armoured Infantry (1196pts)

HQ (115pts)

  • Draake’s General Staff – Company Command Squad (115pts)Medi Pack (30pts), Meltagun (10pts), 4x Veteran, Vox Caster (5pts)
    • Colonel Hieronymus Draake – Company Commander (20pts)Senior OfficerPlasma Pistol (10pts), Power Weapon (10pts)

Elites (105pts)

  • Menasa’s Foundlings – Storm Trooper Squad (105pts)Meltagun (10pts)
    • Storm Trooper (16pts)Deep Strike, Special OperationsClose-combat weapon, Frag grenades, Hot-shot Lasgun, Hot-shot Laspistol, Krak grenades
    • Storm Trooper (16pts)Deep Strike, Special OperationsClose-combat weapon, Frag grenades, Hot-shot Lasgun, Hot-shot Laspistol, Krak grenades
    • Storm Trooper (16pts)Deep Strike, Special OperationsClose-combat weapon, Frag grenades, Hot-shot Lasgun, Hot-shot Laspistol, Krak grenades
    • Storm Trooper (16pts)Deep Strike, Special OperationsClose-combat weapon, Frag grenades, Hot-shot Lasgun, Hot-shot Laspistol, Krak grenades
    • Sergeant Wellard – Storm Trooper Sergeant (31pts)Bolt Gun, Plasma Pistol (10pts)

Troops (516pts)

  • Draake’s Own – Infantry Platoon (311pts)
    • Heavy Weapons Squad (75pts)Close Combat Weapon, Frag grenades, Lasgun
      • Heavy Weapons Team (5pts)Autocannon (5pts)
      • Heavy Weapons Team (5pts)Autocannon (5pts)
      • Heavy Weapons Team (5pts)Autocannon (5pts)
    • Infantry Squad (62pts)Frag grenades, Heavy Weapons Team – Heavy Bolter (10pts)
      • 7x Guardsmen7x Lasgun
      • Sergeant (2pts)Bolt Pistol (2pts), Close Combat Weapon
    • Infantry Squad (127pts)Frag grenades, Heavy Weapons Team – Heavy Bolter (10pts)
      • Chimera (65pts)Heavy Bolter, Multi-laser, Pintle Heavy Stubber (10pts), Searchlight, Smoke Launchers
      • 7x Guardsmen7x Lasgun
      • Sergeant (2pts)Bolt Pistol (2pts), Close Combat Weapon
    • Platoon Command Squad (47pts)Close Combat Weapon, Frag grenades, 4x Guardsmen, Meltagun (10pts), Vox Caster (5pts)
      • Platoon Commander (2pts)Junior OfficerBolt Pistol (2pts), Close Combat Weapon
  • Veteran Squad (205pts)Heavy Flamer (20pts), 6x Lasgun, Meltagun (10pts), Plasma Gun (15pts)
    • Chimera (65pts)Heavy Bolter, Multi-laser, Pintle Heavy Stubber (10pts), Searchlight, Smoke Launchers
    • Sebastianus Hektaar – Veteran Sergeant (25pts)Plasma Pistol (10pts), Power Fist (15pts)

Fast Attack (90pts)

  • Scout Sentinel Squadron (45pts)
    • Autocannon (5pts), Smoke Launchers (5pts)
  • Scout Sentinel Squadron (45pts)
    • Autocannon (5pts), Smoke Launchers (5pts)

Heavy Support (370pts)

  • Leman Russ Squadron (190pts)
    • Heretics’ End – Leman Russ Exterminator (190pts)Exterminator autocannon, Hull mount Heavy Bolter, Pintle Heavy Stubber (10pts), Sponson Multi-meltas (30pts)
  • Leman Russ Squadron (180pts)
    • Righteous Thunder – Leman Russ (180pts)Battle Cannon, Hull mount Heavy Bolter, Pintle Heavy Stubber (10pts), Sponson Heavy Bolters (20pts)

Heretics’ End

11/28/2011 Leave a comment

For those of you who read my last post, here’s the completed tank which was mostly painted in my car during my lunch break last week.

Named Heretics’ End, this Leman Russ Exterminator saw a lot of action over the weekend where it faced off against a despicable Necron horde and a misguided (and very short lived) Grey Knight force. Both battles I’ll be writing about later this week, but for now some pictures!

The tank was given a black undercoat before being sprayed with Catachan Green.  Next I used Bleached Bone to pick out the skulls, Mechrite Red for the rear laurel and Calthan Brown for the luggage.  I then glazed with a triple coat of watered down Devlan Mud.

The hull and sponson weapons were not glued in place so I can adapt the tank for future battles, the Heavy Bolter / Multimelta combination was used on Saturday to great effect.  Indeed, I think that at 190 points this is possibly the most effective combination you can have.

A History of Menasa

11/18/2011 2 comments

Towards the western edge of the Calixis sector, near the Halo Stars lies the planet of Menasa. Once a world of staggering beauty, the past ten millennia have literally torn this planet in two as the Imperium of man seeks to exploit one of the galaxy’s most valuable resources.

Colonisation and the Dark Age of Technology

Unlike most planets in the Imperium, much is believed to be known about the pre-imperial history of Menasa. It is thought that it was settled sometime in early M15 by the colony ship Astraprogenus under the command of Captain Simeon Drakus. Whether this is true or not it is beyond dispute that these settlers found a virgin world, temperate, teeming with life and – being twice the size of Terra – perfect for large-scale expansion.

Over the next eight thousand years the citizens achieved what their Terran ancestors had failed to, they preserved Menasa’s ecosystem and natural resources while at the same time building a highly advanced society built on a foundation of learning, equality and fairness. The planet was ruled by an elected quorum of citizens, each accomplished intellectuals, progressive in their outlook and wholly committed to the peaceful advancement of humankind. In many ways Menasa was the utopia all Terran colonists dreamed of finding.

All this came to an end in early M23 when warp storms heralded the beginning of the Old Night.

A new life underground

While the indigenous life on the planet remained almost entirely unaffected, over the first century of the Age of Strife curious afflictions began to affect the human population. Increased reports of madness, criminal behaviour, mutation and diseases long-eradicated began to manifest. After decades of painstaking research, it was determined that the warp energy was reacting with elements unique to the planet’s atmosphere and without protection the whole population was doomed.

By this time much of the planet had descended into anarchy, the rule of reason was gone and in its place grew a brutal, suppressive martial law. Individual city states gradually developed, wholly enclosing themselves in ever-thicker layers of armour in an attempt to keep out both the warp radiation and the increasing numbers of lawless bandits who roamed the wastes.

Even so the protection of these cities wasn’t enough and the radiation still found a way to breach the metres-thick walls, it was almost as if the warp itself knew of their desperate efforts and was determined to wipe all human life from the face of the planet. It took a man of singular vision to find a way to save the people from mutation, madness and death, that man was Antonigus Draake.

An alleged descendant of Simeon Drakus, Draake was a gifted scientist and superb orator. In a relatively short career he had risen high in both academic and political circles of Farhaven, the largest city and de facto capital of Menasa. As he commanded the respect of the scientific, civilian and military factions alike he was confident his radical solution would be heeded.

Draake postulated that the bedrock of the planet would shield the warp radiation far better than even the toughest substance they could produce. Every city would start digging tunnels and shafts deep towards the core of the planet, huge chambers would then be constructed hundreds of kilometres underground, capable of housing the entire population until the warp storms subsided. Faced with little alternative the population began the massive task of creating a new life for themselves underground.

When the warp storms subsided 6,000 years later a very different society emerged from their underground chambers. While they were still very advanced technologically, such knowledge was held by the descendants of the military and scientific leaders of before. This empowered elite quickly staked claim to the surface paradise of Menasa while the lower orders were consigned to the massive underground cities to toil in the massive hydroponic food farms and manufacturing caverns.

A rigid social order was maintained using both the Menasans’ instinctive respect for knowledge and the memory of the terror caused by the Age of Strife. When this was insufficient then the elite Menasan Guard could be relied on to swiftly silence any insurrection.

Rediscovery, The Great Crusade and The Horus Heresy

Life continued in such a way until early in M30 the 1st Legion of the Adeptus Astartes made planet fall near Farhaven, now a huge hive complex. Recognising the Space Marines as true sons of Terra, the Menasans joyously welcomed them and their inclusion into the burgeoning Imperium of Mankind. A great regiment of the Imperial Army was founded from the best of the Menasan Guard and with their illustrious commander, General Antonigus Draake IX; they joined the Dark Angels Crusade force and headed off into the galaxy in The Emperor’s name.

Menasa meanwhile became a source of fascination for many of the scientific adepts of the Imperium. Fascinated to learn how the people of Menasa could survive so well underground, armies of scientists and engineers enthusiastically probed the cities beneath the planet’s surface. Using the knowledge they had amassed from studying the Immaterium and its affects on the physical universe they discovered that it was in fact a particular metal element, unique in such quantities to Menasa, which caused the especially severe warp storms to manifest around the planet. This metal, called Ferrus Imperator, was particularly sensitive to warp energy and as such had the potential to be used in the construction of materials which could either channel or repel this force.

The Adeptus Terra, desperate for such resources, ordered the mass extraction of this material from within Menasa. Using the Menasans’ unique understanding of the mining process it was possible to create an extraction process on an unprecedented scale without greatly disrupting the idyllic surface of the world. Thus the exploitation of the planet began in earnest, legions of colonists were brought in to supplement the already large native population, within a generation there were close to one hundred billion souls toiling under the surface of Menasa while a relatively few elite dwelled in the palatial hives above.

The status quo was maintained until the greatest of The Emperor’s sons, Horus, rebelled as the Great Crusade was coming to an end. Without hesitation the planet declared its unswerving allegiance to The Emperor and a further three hundred Imperial Army regiments were conscripted for use in the war effort. Millions of Menasans found themselves fighting and dying across the whole of the Imperium, many laid down their lives defending the Imperial Palace on Holy Terra during the desperate final hours of the Heresy.

Less well known is the role that the 57th Regiment played during this time. Seconded to the Dark Angels Legion they found themselves helping put down a rebellion on the Legion’s home world of Caliban. Not much is know about what occurred during this time, however in thanks for their efforts the regiment was gifted with a set of priceless ornate weapons which their most exalted leaders use to this day.


While Menasa was spared the attentions of the vile traitors who fought under Horus’s banner, its relative proximity to the Eye of Terror coupled with it’s recently discovered mineral wealth made it an incredibly tempting target for the raider fleets converging on the area. Huge orbital star forts were quickly constructed along with the doubling of the size of the Menasan PDF, a substantial part of the sub-sector’s battle fleet was permanently stationed around the planet and other more secretive Imperial organisations sent emissaries as well.

As a further measure, the extraction of the planet’s metal increased in pace; gargantuan orbital refineries and star ports were built with space lifts constantly ferrying a steady supply of ore from deep within the planet’s surface. To the casual observer it seemed that this operation would quickly exhaust Menasa of all its bounty yet for millennia the planet gave up a seemingly unending supply of its most precious resource.

The Cataclysm

429.639.M37 is a date etched into the psyche of every Menasan, it was on this day that their planet died. Shortly after daybreak over Farhaven tremors were felt across the planet. As a result of the mining process such incidents were far from uncommon, most people went about their business and waited for the shaking to subside. After several hours the tremors had not abated and in the equatorial regions they were getting worse by the minute.

A general evacuation was ordered in the worst affected areas but by then it was too late. Massive gouts of flame, tens of kilometres high erupted from the ground all around the equator, the seas began to boil and the land cracked. Then with a sound so awful no mortal should ever have to hear, the planet broke in two.

No one knows for certain why this happened, over-mining has been blamed as the most likely cause yet some still claim that something happened to the seams of Ferrus Imperator closest to the equator. They claim that almost instantly the metal changed, it became hot to the touch and started expanding through the area’s mine-works. Such speculation is rigorously discouraged by the planet’s administration, and even if it were true, there was no one left alive to bear witness to the truth.

That should have been the end of Menasa. Billions died all over the planet and the explosion of debris accounted for 80% of the orbital complexes, hundreds of space craft nearby were also unable to escape the torrent of rock blasting out into space. Yet, The Emperor had other plans for Menasa, His will would not let the planet slip into the annals of history and slowly the destructive chain reaction abated.

Weeks went by and the first relief ships arrived. They were expecting to find a scene of utter desolation but found instead a planet reborn. Through the grace of The Emperor the two hemispheres of Menasa remained in place, although separated by a gulf two thousand kilometres wide they retained a shared atmosphere and, most miraculously of all, the surface and most of the internal chambers where still habitable!

When the first shuttles landed they found that the rebuilding had already begun under the guidance of Planetary Govenor Tiresias G’Laanor and Supreme General of the Menasan Guard Davidius Draake. Power had been restored to most of the planet and some of the mining operations were slowly recommencing. The climate had dropped by several degrees since to planet’s core had been wiped out, however heat was still being generated where the gravatic energies from the two halves of the planet met and interacted with the Ferrus Imperator, irradiating it enough to provide the warmth the planet required.

An Uncertain Future

By the end of M37 Menasa had rebuilt much of what was lost. The capital hive city of Farhaven, situated on what became known as Menasa Primaris now oversees a population of well over 200 billion, the vast majority of whom either toil in the subterranean mines or serve in the Menasan Guard. While Menasa Primaris is the administrative heart of the planet, Menasa Secundis is home to the vast military might of the planet. At any one time fully ten regiments of Menasan Imperial Guard remain on the planet to support the Menasan PDF to repel the frequent attacks by Chaos and other raiders intent on plundering the planet’s rare and valuable resource.

However as the forty first millennium draws to a close questions are again being asked about the planet’s precarious hold onto life. Rumours abound that scientists have concluded that the energies holding the halves of the planet together are beginning to fluctuate and sooner or later the hemispheres will most likely crush each other, dooming all on the planet to a fiery death. Such talk is quickly suppressed by the authorities but this is just one of many potential threats.

The neighbouring Eye of Terror is increasingly active. While The Despoiler’s thirteenth Black Crusade has more or less petered out there is no doubt that Abaddon will be back. Even if he is not, there are always equally vicious monstrosities spewing out of The Eye and many of them converge on Menasa seeking its bounty.

Likewise Rogue Traders are increasingly bringing tales of strange, esoteric encounters in the space near Menasa. Huge spaceships, apparently organic in nature have allegedly been seen around the eastern boundary of the Halo Stars. More troubling than that, several extra-planetary mining expeditions sent out to ascertain if Ferris Imperator is also present in nearby systems have vanished with the occasional garbled astropathic transmission regarding ‘metal warriors’ being the only trace found.

Whatever the future may hold for Menasa two things are indeed certain. The Emperor’s light will always shine on them so long as they maintain their faith in His divine will and when the dark legions come the might of the Menasan Imperial Guard will be there, ready and waiting.

Background is key

11/09/2011 Leave a comment

I’m not a competitive gamer, given my win to loss ratio I couldn’t be even if I wanted to. What attracts me to a game is the wealth of background material and how I as a fan relate to it. It is for this reason I’ve stuck mainly with GW games and 40K in particular.

To this end I base my purchases, conversions and painting on a theme or background I’ve already established for my chosen army. Last weekend I put the finishing touches to my new Imperial Guard Colonel. I’d taken longer than usual to decide on how to convert the model and longer still to paint it. As I was photographing it for this week’s Twitter Miniature Monday I realised that he didn’t even have a name and, more importantly, I hadn’t really given much thought to the intricacies of the 57th Menasans as a regiment in their own right.

On Monday night I sat down and sketched out a brief history of both Menasa and its most illustrious regiment covering the planet’s colonisation by (allegedly) Captain Simeon Drakus before the Age of Strife, right up to the 57th’s involvement in the 13th Black Crusade as well as their various incidents with the Reavers Redemptor Astartes.

To this end I’m going to be publishing a series of articles detailing the history and characters of my guard army and, if successful, I hope to move on to my other two forces.

Hope you enjoy them.

When to leave things alone

11/02/2011 4 comments

My current army commander (left) and the original I painted in 1995 (right)

One of the things I love about the hobby is that with enough time and resources one can build up some spectacular armies. However unless you’re blessed with a hell of a lot of free time and a bottomless wallet such endeavours will take years and, lets be honest here, are never really finished.

When I resumed gaming in 2009 it took me a while to decide upon which 40K army to collect. Would I go for one of the races I was familiar with from the mid-nineties or would I be daring and try something new? In the end I elected to resume collecting Imperial Guard.

Back in 1995 I remember getting really excited about the 2nd ed’s Guard codex, I loved the re-imagined troops and of course, the tanks! Unfortunately my interest in the hobby was on the wane at that point so all I managed to collect was a Chimera, Leman Russ and enough Cadian Shock Troopers to make one and a half squads. Imagine my surprise then when I opened the 5th ed’s codex and saw that more or less the same tank models were still on release. This would I thought, be a breeze to resume.

My plan was to follow my original colour scheme as faithfully as possible. To this end I took my metal Cadian Lieutenant into GW Edinburgh where the lovely chap (who, come to think of it, actually resembled that model!) assured me that Knarloc Green for the tunics, and Catachan Green for the armour, all washed with Devlan Mud would be a perfect match. Obviously he wasn’t entirely correct but the new models turned out very well and I thought that on the battlefield the difference between these and the old minis wouldn’t be that obvious…

The pictures below show how wrong I was.

(L)The Russ on the left is my original from 1995, (R) one painted in 2010 shortly before the kit was superseded.

(L) My original Chimera from

(L) a current guardsman with plasma gun, (R) one of my originals.

I am in no way saying that I am embarrassed by the old paint jobs, as a fifteen year old I was very happy with them since it was the first time I had attempted to make ‘realistic’ colour schemes and to my eyes then they were masterpieces. My problem, if it is one, is that on the table they stand out for the wrong reasons.

Call me a bit obsessive but I like having a unified theme to my army, this is why all my Dark Eldar have the same multi-blue highlighted hair regardless of their unit type. These old tanks and troops just stand out too much and as such I seldom use them which deprives me of some valuable resources.

This brings me on to the question I want to ask, is it the done thing to correct one’s old choices? I would never dream of repainting my original Blood Angels since they were my first army have have long since been retired however I still play guard and I feel that I’m not doing these models justice leaving them in their current state. So, what do you think, am I over-thinking things or should I be more proud of the works from my past?


10/24/2011 8 comments

I kept meaning to get around to this but life has a funny way of eating up your free time, doesn’t it?

Anyway, a bit about myself and my hobby. Like many other kids of the eighties my first real exposure to table top gaming game with the arrival of Heroquest and Space Crusade, shortly thereafter I picked up a copy of Rogue Trader from a tiny gaming shop run by a school friend’s family in Wormit, Fife. At the same time I picked up my first metal mini, the old Imperial Jetbike with an Imperial Guard rider operating a grenade launcher seemingly unconcerned that his was piloting an open-topped super fast vehicle without using his hands!

Like almost every kid I gravitated towards the Space Marines and soon I had a respectable force of Blood Angels, each model containing enough paint to easily service an entire squad but I was young and far too enthusiastic. By the end of secondary school I had amassed a 5,000 point Blood Angels army, a 3,000 point Eldar army, a burgeoning Imperial Guard force, 3,000 points of an Epic Tech Guard army, 2,000 or so points of High Elves, a completely hopeless human Blood Bowl Team, an (as yet) unbeaten Orlock gang and a two decent Battletech armies, one Inner Sphere and one Clan.

Then uni happened and I discovered beer, girls and eventually gainful employment.

Fast forward to 2009 and while I had dabbled a bit in the modelling side of the hobby it took a £50 GW gift voucher from my then fiancée to really kick-start my love affair again. Since that fateful June day I have been very busy much to my now-wife’s amusement, support and occasional ridicule. Due to time and budget constraints I’m only concentrating on 40K for the moment and presently I’m working on the following armies.

Imperial Guard: The 57th Menasan

Hailing from the unique planet of Menasa deep within the Calixis sector, a planet mined so extensively for force blade minerals it’s now in two separate parts each orbiting the other. Due to the nature of their main export they are subject to frequent attacks by Chaos raiders, as such theirs is a fortress world. Taking much inspiration from the successes of Cadia and other Chaos-ravaged planets, those who do not toil in the vast underground mines are subject to military service.

Although this is my oldest army since getting back into the hobby I’ve only recently started working out their background (and it shows!) but I’m working with a writer friend who’s also a fellow civil servant and member of my RPG group to include Menasa as a location in our next Dark Heresy adventure so I have a few more months to flesh things out fully.

Presently it’s a little over 4,000 points and I’ve recently built my first super heavy, the Baneblade Fury of Menasa which I’m currently still painting.

Chaos Space Marines: The Heralds of Woe

In the late 38th Millennium the High Lords of Terra authorised a secret project to create a new chapter of Space Marines who’s sole purpose was to explore out with the reach of the Astronomicon. Their goal was to finish the Great Crusade and bring the last of Terra’s lost children in to the Imperium. The origins of their gene seed is unknown although many suspect some kind of heretical amalgam of several strains were used. In any case, the truth behind this, along with the original name of this chapter, has been excised from history because of what followed.

Almost century after embarking on their mission they passed the threshold of the Astronomicon’s influence and disappeared. Two thousand years later ships matching the designs of their fleet began appearing along the eastern fringe of the Imperium and one by one the most remote systems and star forts began to fall silent. Those who fled talked about electric blue armoured warriors calling themselves the ‘Heralds of Woe’ who had returned to the Imperium to bring the light of The Truth to humanity.

Before too long the Inquisition captured a member of ‘The Enlightened’, a group made up of those converted by the Heralds. He told of the absolute truth that The God Emperor was in fact the fifth and most powerful Chaos God and that only by acknowledging and embracing this truth can humanity be saved. Since then the Heralds have fought to enlighten all those whom they encounter, particularly brother Astartes, those they best in battle are given a stark choice, convert or be sacrificed to The Emperor.

This is a relatively new project for me; as such I only have a couple of squads, a Terminator Lord and an almost complete Dreadnought I’m converting from an AOBR model. Chaos-wise they are more or less servants of Chaos Undivided however they do have some Tzeentch leanings which I hope to expand upon when I work out more of their background.

One of the elements that I’m really looking forward to is the inclusion of Enlightened Marines which would be those who converted from other Chapters. They’ll be basic CSM squads led by an Aspiring Champion but most of the models will be standard Space Marines with their original Chapter liveries with the occasional part of HoW replacement armour and, of course, their original markings crudely scored out. I’m looking forward to including members of some of my regular SM opponents armies in these squads.

Dark Eldar: As yet untitled Kabal.

After a particularly bloody attempt to topple the ruling classes of Commorragh a brother and sister fled with the remnants of his Kabal and her Wych Cult to the farthest reaches of Dark City. There they encountered an ancient Haemonculus known only as The Grandfather who claimed to be their distant descendent and agreed to help them resume their status at a price.

I’ve been collecting Dark Eldar since November 2009 as I’d heard rumours of an impending update and I wanted to have something together for when it was released. I had a solid core finished before the new Codex appeared and I’ve been slowly adding some new units and retrospectively converting the older ones to fit in with the new rules. As yet I’ve only had a couple of games with these guys as it’s still very much a work in progress, I don’t even have a name for these guys!

Aside from these projects I’m an avid roleplayer, I have a regular group of thirty-something gamers and we play a fair number of games from the FFG stable of GW licenses to Serenity, Mage, Spirit of the Century and many more. I also spend some time about once a month bouncing around the hills of Scotland on my mountain bike and very occasionally I go to work.

My aim to update this blog at least weekly with my observations, thoughts and any other drivel that pops into my head. I’m looking forward to showing people some of my works in progress, expanded army background fluff as well as the occasional review and battle report. I hope to entertain, sometimes inform and hopefully not annoy but in any case please feel free to comment either here or by tweeting me @jraferguson.

So long for now, don’t be a stranger.