Friday, 30 June 2017

8th Ed Hjaltland list- astra militarum

So, lets look at the lists, side by side. The lists are the 2000 point lists, and are about as equal as I can get them with the new lists. I'll just put the lists up first and then go through it all after.


CCS 1     Creed
                MoO
                OotF
                Standard
                Medipack
                HW Missile w/Flakk
                Carapace
               
CCS 2     Commander w/ Aquilla + plasma pistol
                4x vets w/Plasma guns
                Carapace
               
Preist   
Preist   
Primaris Psyker ML 2
Primaris Psyker
Commissar         
Commissar         
               
Platoon 1            
               
PCS        commander w/ Bolt gun
                4x guardsmen w/flamer
                Krak grenades
               
Squad 1 w/Auto cannon + flamer
Squad 2 w/Auto cannon + flamer
Squad 3 w/Auto cannon + flamer
Squad 4 w/Auto cannon + flamer
               
Platoon 2            
               
PCS        Commander w/Bolt gun
                4x guardsmen w/grenade launcher
                Krak grenades
               
Squad 1 w/ flamer + Krak grenade
Squad 2 w/flamer
Squad 3 w/flamer + Krak grenade
Squad 4 w/flamer
               
Vets      sgt w/bolt pistol
3x Melta guns
                Krak grenades
                Doctrines – Demolitions + Grenadiers
               
Vendetta            
Valkyrie w/MRP
               
2x Wyvern w/enclosed crew compartment

Aegis w/quadgun

2000
                Creed
               
                MoO
               
                OotF

CS1         medipack
                standard
                vox
               
                Company commander

CS2         4x vet w/plasma
               
                priest
                priest
                psyker w/stave
                psyker w/stave
                commissar w/pistol
                commissar w/pistol
               
                Platoon commander w/botlgun
               
SWS       3x flamers
               
Squad 1 w/Auto cannon + flamer + vox
Squad 2 w/Auto cannon + flamer + vox
Squad 3 w/Auto cannon + flamer + vox
Squad 4 w/Auto cannon + flamer + vox
                               
                Platoon Commander w/boltgun
               
SWS      3x grenade
                               
Squad 1 w/ flamer + vox
Squad 2 w/ flamer + vox
Squad 3 w/ flamer + vox
Squad 4 w/ flamer + vox
                               
               
Vets      Sgt w/bolt pistol
                3x melta guns
                Vox caster
                               
Valkyrie w/mrp + multilaser
Valkyrie w/mrp + multilaser
               
Wyvern w/heavy bolter
Wyvern w/Heavy Flamer

Aegis w/quad gun




1807

So, there have been a few changes, mostly along the lines I spoke about in the last post. There are a few things to note though. The vets have lost there doctrines, which is about 45 points worth, and their 4+ save, which is a shame, also loosing the 4+ saves are the two command squads. This is a shame as it does reduce their survivability, even with the new Ap system. One of the command squads also lost the missile launcher and the other a relic, namely the Aquila (for preferred enemy rerolls on the plasma, not that I use to actually remember it!). Oh, and vendetta has changed in to another Valkyrie. Pretty much everything else is as it was. These changes account for about 150 points or so, maybe a little bit more but the list is nearly 200 down. This is due to some price reductions. The big ones are the command squads, although the vets and some of the characters. Plasma is the big winner, halving in cost, although the points saved is spent on the autocannons and flamers, which have gone up in price, also the inclusion of vox casters in every squad adds points. Switching some of the squad, the command squads to special weapon squads actually didn't do much to the cost, just the cost of dropping a weapon. All in all the list still need altering slightly, above what I have already done. I think that unless they bring back the ability to combine squads, I will need to up the two platoon commanders to company commanders, in order to give me access to more orders, probably running one close to a few of squads, so he can move between them all as necessary, the vox casters will help.

The two big issues that I have now though is the inclusion of creed in the list and the fact that it doesn't fit in to one detachment. As for Creed, I took him for the bonus that he gave me, the free rerolls for orders, plus the additional order and extra warlord trait. All of these things made him worth the points in my opinion, but some of his abilities have gone, i.e. free orders, but he has gained extra command points. Now, how useful this is I have no idea, as I haven't played a game yet but lots of people are saying how powerful command points are. So for the moment I'll keep him in and make my decision after a few games. As for the detachments, with the change in the roles of some of units, the redoing of platoons and the splitting up of the command squads, I now have significant amounts of troops and elites. in total I recon I have 4 HQ, 13 Elite and 8 Troop. This means that I can fill up most of the requirements for the Brigade Detachment, but not the heavy support or fast attack, at least not with out taking tax units. On the other hand would struggle to take 2 Battalion detachments as I would still have to many elite choices. The same can be said for the Battalion and Vanguard detachments. maybe I need to think about 3 detachments?

I have also been looking at other options and I'm very keen to see if I can get some extra units in to the force, specifically Ratlings. Now, this may involve some cuts in other places when I get hold of all the rules I need. I think that snipers are going to be important this issue and as I have 9 Ratlings sitting in a box, I thought that I might use them.

I'm hopeful that the new Codex will be out sooner rather than later and I can polish off the edges on the list.





Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Hjaltland in 8th edition - astra Militarum

So, 8th is here and I've had a week to get my head around everything. Things have changed quite a lot, not just in terms of game mechanics and army selection, for the guard, there have been a large number of unit changes. Gone is the good old infantry platoons, the mainstay of the imperial guard commanders forces for several editions of the game. Now, with the new structure, many builds are no longer possible, sadly this includes mine. Until the guard codex is released, blob squads are gone and so fearless priests, both of which were fundamental to my built.

But rather than launch randomly in to the list, lets look through the list from top to bottom and see what the differences actually are and how to go about correcting them or rather altering them until the codex drops and we cam get a proper look at the "new" guard.

So lets start with the HQ's. First up is the main command squad, containing Creed, a medic, the standard and a missile heavy weapons team, all accompanied by a Master of Ordinance. In order to use Creed in the new army I will have to use the regiment keyword Cadian, so in effect I would have to call all the regiment Cadian rather than Hjaltland but realistically this is just a paperwork issue and doesn't effect the game. The real issue is whether Creed is now worth it. Creed gave an extra order and a reroll if you failed the order, now orders pass automatically and you can pick up 2 company commanders for less points, and thus have 4 orders instead of 3. The only extras your still getting is the 4+ save, the hotshot laspistols and power sword. Oh, and 2 extra command points. The save could be useful, but hopefully carapace will reappear with the codex and the pistols and sword are not overly useful and with the spare points you could actually arm the company commanders with a hotshot pistol and powersword each. So really its down to the command points and how valuable they will become.

Commanders

The rest of the command squad also needs looking at. We'll start with the missile squad, as this is the most obvious change, with the massive increase in cost it really doesn't make sense as a single team making up the numbers, so its going, mostly to make way for the vox caster, who has become very much more important. The medic is the other obvious choice, with his new abilities he's in, and will be kept very close to my warlord. This standard on the other hand is still up in the air. He has lost a lot of the abilities I took him for but the leadership bonus seems like it will be useful in the new addition, a reroll ability would have been goodbut a +1 is still good, plus he's still cheap. So chances are the missile team will be dropped for a vox and a special weapon of some sort.

The last member of the squads the Master of Ordinance. This is a difficult choice, as even though he was very hit or miss inthe last edition, he was cheap enough just to chuck in for the fun of it. Now he's twice the cost and not as good, at least not for me. His artillery barrage is one shot, but is wasted if he doesn't hit, at least previously he could scatter and still hit something and his other ability is wasted on wyverns as it will only work between 36 and 48 inches and most of the time the target will be within that 36 inches. Chances are that the MoO will be reassigned somewhere else.

MoO

The second command squad, the plasma squad, is an altogether different prospect. The commander will pretty much remain unchanged, although the plasma pistol will probably be dropped, as it was only there to compliment the plasma guns in the squad. The others will stay as they are, as plasma is now cheaper and the only alternative is to turn them in to a special weapons squad. This however doesn't make much sense as for about the same points you get one less plasma gun, but 3 lasguns. I'd rather have the extra plasma thanks.

So that's the HQ's, one will change a bit and one will remain pretty much as it is. Next up will be heavy support or the wyverns, seeing as that's all there is here. Despite the changes, these will be staying as is, as there is not a lot that needs to change. Points wise, they stay the same for me, as after upgrades, mainly enclosed crew compartment,  they were stirring around the same mark. While the weapon has got slightly weaker, with the loss of ignores cover, it still has the shred rules, so wounding will still be good and forcing saves is the name of the game. I will just need to figure a way of maximizing hits though.

The fast attack section will be just as quick, although there will be one major change for the moment. The valkyrie will still be flying around the table, doing its thing, rocket pods and all. In case you haven't guessed, it will remain completely unchanged, as its still doing its thing, exactly the same as before. The vendetta however is another story. This is basically because it no longer exists. Que the grumpy face. Ok, so it should reappear in a forge world book at some point, but I'm not planning on getting a book for one model, so i will either get a copy of the datasheet or i will run it as a valkyrie. This however leads to a problem. Do i run it as a rocket pod gunship, the same as the otherone or do I take the hellstrike missiles and a lascannon and go tank hunting still? Personally, I think that MRP'S are the way forward, yes there less powerful but i can fire 2 every turn rather than just 2 a game and I reckon that 10 MRP shots will do more damage than 2 hellstrike will. So it will be two valks with MRP'S cruising around the tables from now on.

Air Support

There aren't any elite choices currently, so this will be a very short section! There done, and on to troops and the main changes and issues!

The troop section has had the biggest shake up in the IG book, gone is the good old platoon and in comes separate units and teams.  Over all this doesn't have a massive impact as i haven't been running anything other than infantry squads, it will change how I run things. I have been running two platoons of two squads and the platoon command squad.  Now I will have to run 4 separate squads, two command squads and two platoon commanders. This is bad as my tactic was to blob the squads up for both firepower and survivability, now that tactic has gone out the window. So, what will the platoon look like now? If I try to follow the old pattern, I'd end up with 2 platoon commanders, 2 command squads and 4 separate squads, but there are some bigger questions. At this level, ie 1500 points, I would have 8 units I can issue orders to and I currently have 4 orders from the company commanders and 2 from the platoon commanders, so 6 in total. So do i need more orders or not? Platoon commanders are cheap, but not as cost effective as company commanders. So do I bin the platoon commanders for more company commanders or grab a couple of extra platoon commanders? Or do I even need more? How many orders will I actually need and will blob squads be a thing again with the codex? The other big question is with the command squads, and specifically, are they better than a special weapons squad. Now above, with the remnants of the company command squad, it made sense to keep them, firstly one of the squads had a medic and standard and the second squad had plasma and the extra shot and higher BS skill was useful, here however, its a different story. The Flamer squad doesn't rely on BS, so the extra BS skill is useless. Granted to you loose a Flamer, but when the flamers are in range your getting 6 shots from the lasguns, which makes up for the loss of the Flamer. So, the Flamer squad will get turned into a SWS. The grenade launcher squad on the other hand is not so simple, as it does rely on BS, however at S3 Ap0 and D1, it shares the same profile as lasguns in frag mode, and at assault D6, will do on average 3 hits, the same as a lasguns. Its only in krak mode that things are not equal, but in a game where everything can wound everything, I don't believe that extra shot is worth it. So this squad will probably get converted in to a SWS as well
.
Troops

The squads themselves are going to remain pretty much unchanged, just with the addition of a vox caster for orders. So from 2 platoon command squads and 4 squads were probably going to end up with 2 (company?) commanders, 2 SWS and 4 squads. This surprises me as when I first looked at the new guard setup I dismissed the SWS as a waste of time over the command squads, who could take the same weapons and a vox for the same price at the expense of 2 lasguns. However, for certain builds, such as flamers, the SWS make more sense, even of i wish they could take vox casters.

The last things to talk about are the priests and psykers. Now the priests are still a little up in the air. The two reasons to take them are not as good, as they are no longer fearless and they don't have the leadership values to make up for  this and their war hymns are not a good, although +1A is not bad, in a blob squad it would be even better. They still have the zealot rule, but I'm still not sure what that's about. In many respects the new commissioner is a better bet, higher leadership and special ability that means you only loose one model for a failed test. The psykers on the other  hand are nowhere near as good, mostly due to the loss of prescience. I really have to say that at present, I don't think that the psykers are useful to my army, at mostsmite might be useful, as might terrifying visions and psykic barrier, but overall there main reason for being there no longer exists.

Priest and Psykers

So, there are going to be a lot of changes to the list, I will have to sit down and figure out the new points total, after I have adjusted the list for 8th that is. Ill post up the new list and further thoughts later, possibly after I have been through the two other main armies of mine, the Dagr Ormr and Eagle Knights.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Eagle knights devastators

So, to continue with the Eagle Knights while I get myself up to speed on 8th. It seems quite simple really, although I don't have all the rule yet, as I only have the free download ones, although I should have the main rule book soon. 

Anyway, here are the devastators. The current squad consists of 3 heavy bolters and two normal marines, one of which plays sergeant. The squad only came about in order to forfil the requirements of the demi-company and that's it. However, I've grown attached to them and so they will more than likely remain, supporting the tactical squads now the restrictions on heavy weapons moving have been reduced. They may also gain another heavy bolters depending upon points. 

The squad

The rifle men (sgt on the right)

The two riflemen, the sergeant on the right, are here to mainly to make the number up. As with the rest of the squad they have chaos style packs and the blue helmets of heavy support. There isn't a lot to say about these guys really, they're your classic marines, resplendent in there orange livery.

The trio of heavy bolters

Again, these boys are classic Devastators, two good poses and one not quite so good, although with the new rules about moving and shooting with heavy weapons, maybe its not such a silly pose after all. Two of these guys are wielding some looted chaos heavy bolter and one is with a standard issue marine bolter, adding to the rag tag chaos/loyalist look, a look that's shared with a lot of the army, as per the back story.


Another shot

As I said at the beginning, these guys were originally just there to fill a slot in the demi company as cheaply as possible, hence the heavy bolter. They were also intended to just camp at the back somewhere and blat away, probably holding an objective at the same time. However, with the new rules for these guys, they will be moving a lot more. I was hoping for the heavy bolter to switch to assault 3 weapons like the deathwatch ones, but the -1 to BS will do. that means a 4+ to hit still, which is still pretty good. I hope that these guys prove as good on the field as I hope!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Eagle knights completed test models

8Th edition has been out for about 4 days so far and while I'm still getting to grips with all the 8th stuff, here is a little update to the Eagle Knights.

After priming, basing and then painting all the models orange, I decided to try put some color schemes. For this I chose a couple of random models, a Death Company marine and a Sanguinary Novitiate, both with jump packs. I also decided to add in the novitiates non-jump pack counter part. 

The three chosen models

The sanguinary novitiates 

I chose to go with an old style color scheme for these guys, following the schemes played down I the 2nd edition how to paint guide. So this meant that the novitiates were not going to be all white, but rather still company colored with just white bits, namely shoulder pads and left shin, along with other bits on the packs and arms. While this means that they are not as obvious as some other apothecaries, they still stand out from the rest of the company.

Side details.

I packed out some of the details in red, to give some contrast and their helmets are colored in their squad color, which just happens to be red, but if they had been from another unit, they would have had a different color helmet.

Next up was a death company marine, although for my fluff they are not your classic mad as a march hare death company, more just super angry.

The death comapny

While they are still mostly orange, as per the chapter colors, they do have a certain amount of black on them, more so than the regular marines or assault marines. The normal helmeted models will have an all black helmet as well as the colors shown here. Notice the nod towards the death company?

Death company rear.

While Im happy with the models, there has been a bit of an update with some more of the details on the jump packs painted black, as I look at these pictures I can help but think that the models need a little bit more to make them stand out as 'death company', Im thinking that maybe the lower leg area should be black, similar to the novitiates white shins, also maybe an arm or hand should be black as well, but this may clash with the chaplains and their black torso's and arms.

Ill be looking in to the Knights 8th edition army list soon, bit already its obvious that there will be some changes to the current list, either because the options have changed or because the units themselves have changed. For the moment however, I'm happy with how they are progressing.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Primers

So, while we wait out these last few hours, I thought that I would put a post out that has been sitting in the draft folder for a few months. This all started about 18 months ago when I bought some new primers to use with my new airbrush compressor, and as yet I have actually yet to use them with the compressor. I have however used them several times with the good old brush and I have a few thoughts that I have decided to put down on to paper.

The primers in question are Vallejo surface primers, in both black and white.  I chose these primers after looking around on-line at various forums and the like, where lots of different primers were being discussed. These seemed to be a good choice between cost and effectiveness. 


Vallejo Surface Primer, in both black and white

The primers themselves are very different, the black works very well, the white less so. The black primer is very good, but it does require a bit of mixing first of all, otherwise it seems a little watery. The primer covers nicely but sometimes it still fails to "grip" on to the model and not coat properly. The white primer however, even with a good stir, doesn't really cover very well. It usually requires at least two coats of paint and even then it still doesn't seem to cover as effectively as the black. One thing I have found is that by mixing the two up, usually 2 to 1, white to black, that the primers covers quite nicely and evenly, giving a good base and also still showing up the details nicely, something that can be hard with the black primer.

GW Primer

Next up was the GW primer, or Citadel Technical Imperial Primer, this is the first primer I bought, mostly because it was in the GW shop. The primer works well, not quite as good as the Vallejo black primer but it does cover nicely and evenly. Its not quite as good and at the price, its not worth it. It was be a lot better if it was the same colour as the GW Abaddon/Chaos black, or whatever its called. This would be mean that it would fit in nicely with the rest of the range, namely the GW spray paints. 

On the spray paint front, I have used the GW ones in the past and found that they are pretty good. I have always had good experiences with them but I moved away from them as they are quite expensive. Hence the reason that I got the compressor in the first place.

The various subjects

You can see the various primer tones that the Vallejo mix created. As you can see the black makes it hard to see all the different details and layers, but the other shades of grey are better. It can make it hard however, to see what bits you've actually primed and which bits you haven't! I think given the choice I will continue using the mix, as it covers nicely and will make the various primers last longer. I would like to see what the primers look like through the air brush, hopefully I might get a chance one day soon.

Overall, I would recommend the Vallejo black primer to anyone. Its a good mix of cost and effectiveness and it does have the option of using the airbrush or the brush. The GW primer is also good but is a lot more expensive and doesn't match with the other GW range black paint and so the extra expense isn't really worth it.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Happy Birthday to me.

So, if you hadn't guessed,  I've just had my birthday! At the grand old age of 34 most of my birthday present consisted of things for the little men (aka WH40k) or bits for the old banger sitting on the drive (aka the 2004 MG ZS 180 or "taxi lightning race" to the bairns)

So what did I get? Well, nothing really, but in a good way. With 8th being so close, I've asked for the starter set and two of the indicies, the two imperial ones. If I get the set, the plan at the moment is so swap/sell the Nurgle stuff, as its not something I want or collect and its not going to really be possible to convert to a loyalist force, like I could with the old DV chaos marines. Now, I know its a bit cheeky to sell off or swap part of a present, but they would just sit around unused otherwise.

On thing I did get was this;



Ok, so its a little out of date but its been sitting in the cupboard waiting for a while, to long to claim anything back unfortunately. That was mostly my fault as I told the wife to get it early, as I wanted the hard back book and not a soft cover one and was worried that they would sell out before my birthday came around. I was partly right as they did sell out of hard cover ones, but they are also getting rid of them all together! Oh well, I'm looking forward to reading all the fluff! Which from what small bits I have read is really good.

I will update you all if i do indeed get more stuff, for the moment though we are still playing the waiting game.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Marine WIP 4

This is the final chapter in my marine test schemes. The Brazen Hawks are the last chapter to get their paint applied and I'm still not 100% sure about it. I like the bronze color but I think that the balance of color is not right. There are a lot more details on the honor guard figure on the left, but I wanted to keep the models both quite simple and plain, but I don't think it works properly.

The two models


Plasma gunner

I like the plasma gunner model and I'm quite impressed with my first attempt at blending with the plasma coils. It doesn't show up very well in the picture and to be honest probably isn't that great in the flesh, but for a first attempt I think its pretty good. The cabling on the other hand, looks out of place. I think I need to change the colors, possibly switch the yellow for red to keep the color pallet down and not be so contrasting, on the otherhand that was what I was going for. Painting it red will tie it in with the coils though or maybe I just need to add more yellow to tie the cabling in to the rest of the model? Ill probably go for red in the end but ill leave it for a while and see what I think.

Honor guard

This model was the additional model added to 7th edition DV boxsets and makes a nice honor guard model, at least in my opinion anyway. As I mention above, there is a lot more detail on the chest that I could pick out, but I think that will just make it look busy rather than actually enhancing the model. I think I may add some bone coloring to the horns and add some more black to the details, try and break up the metallic color a little.

I am wondering if its just the fact that the model is so shiny, with all the bronze and silver, maybe I need to tone down the silver parts, add in some more contrast.

Of course all this could be a mute point with the imminent  release of 8th. I am planning on getting the starter set and as such some of the new marines. The question is, do these become a new army or join an existing one? Right now the brazen hawks are in danger of finding themselves squatted and reborn.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Marine WIP 3

Recently, I've had a bit of time to hit the paint table.  While the Eagle knights are the main objective this year, i have taken some time to put some paint on my test models for the Emperors Disciples and Stone Dragons. 

First up are the Stone Dragons. I've done a Tac Marine, or Grey Hunter if you will, and a Rune Priest. I chose these model for no other reason than I felt like it, plus I thought it would be cool to paint up the Ruin Priest. 

The two models

The two models are classic DV models and the libby makes a good Ruin Priest. I'm pretty happy with these two models, there basic, especially the Tac marine, but I like the look. I still have to do the finishing touches and shadings. I also have to decide on a emblem for the Dragons.


The Ruin Priest is a lot busier of the two models, as one would expect from a Libby/Priest. I haven't changed anything about the DV model, not that I really think it needs it. I've tried to highlight as many of the details as I could as well.

I like the overall effect of the two models and I think that the scheme doesn't really need any adjustment. I think the colour balance of the back packs may need a bit of adjustment but that's about it.

Next up are the two models for the Disciples. These have been on before, but they have had some adjustment, mostly to tone down the yellow on the tabard things? (anyone know what there actually called?) The original yellow was just too much for the models, along side the original yellow head of the command squad model. So the original yellow helmet was toned down but I've painted up the yellow tabards red. I think that this looks so much better and it ties in the bolters and shoulder pads too.

The models

I'm now happier with these models now, and think that this is the final colour scheme for the Disciples.

As for when these models actually get some company, that's anyone's guess. I'll keep pushing on with the Knights for the moment but I'm hoping to get some more paint onto the Hawks and see what there completed colours scheme looks like.

Friday, 2 June 2017

Another attempt at fan fiction

This is a piece that I've been thinking about writing for a while, but have taken a while to get it down in black and white. I thought that this year I would try and write a few more fiction pieces as I enjoyed the last one I wrote a while back. Well here goes nothing!

He could feel his stomach churning. Could feel the nausea in his throat. It wasn't the mission, the prospect of death, no, that had never bothered him. That had been beaten out of him years ago, back at the Schola Progenitum (????). No, what brought the bile to the back of his throat, what disturbed every fiber in his body what the smell. The smell of ozone, the smell of oil and grease, the smell of incense. The smell of the tech priests and their infernal machines or rather machine. For it was only one machine that made him feel this way, that dam teleporter. He had never liked it, not even the first time. He had seen too many of his fellow scions killed by this damed  machine, turned inside out or rematerialised in walls and rocks, sometimes they simply dissapeared. No, he did not like it, he hated it with a passion.

"Are you listening Tempestor Fin?"

Fin snapped out of his trance at the sound of the commissars voice.

"Sorry Commissar Hert, I was thinking over the mission plan" He knew it was a lie but he also knew the commissar would not push the matter, not now anyway, it wasn't good to upset the troops before battle.

"Are your men ready? As this is your first mission, I will be watching you very closely. Any mistakes will not go unnoticed. Is that understood?"

First mission? thought Fin, first mission? The idea almost made him laugh out loud, but that would not have been sensible with a commissar around, especially not this young upstart. Fin had stopped counting missions years ago, once you got in to triple figures it seemed pretty pointless. He knew what the commissar  meant though, first mission incharge. He had been a scion since puberty, some 15 years ago, now he was a harden old vet. By all rights he should have been a prime, a company commander, but his temper had put paided to that on more than one occasion. But maybe, just maybe, if everything went to plan this time, he might finally get there.

"Yes Commissar, my men are ready. Red and blue squads are on the teleportation pads. Yellow squad and your command squad are in the hanger bay loading in to the valkyries as we speak. They will be ready to launch as soon as you get there, Sir"

"Very good, Tempestor, carry one then" and with that he turned away and slowly walked across the room. It took all of Fins resolve to the walk after him and give him a smack around the back of the head. The arrogant shit he though, fresh out of training, barely a hands full of missions under his belt, and he's waltzing around like a dam........

"All is ready for your presence" a voice interrupted, a strange mechanical voice at that. Fin didn't have to look to know who had spoken. Without Answering he turned and strode past the techpriest, heading  to the teleporters platform. As he reached it, he looked to Tal, his comms operator, who looked back, giving a thumbs up. The valkyries were airborne, he didn't need to ask, Tal knew what the question would be and knew how to answer, there was no need for words. He looked around the rest of the squad, a mix of men and women, some as old as Fin, some still did not yet need a shave. He knew them all though and knew they would follow his orders, but it was comforting to have some old vets with him, men who knew what to do even without orders.

What happened next was the worst part, not the teleportation, no that was bad enough, it was the waiting that was worse. Standing there in silence, each scion deep in their own thoughts, knowing what was to come, what was to happen, listening to the techpriests and servitors humming and buzzing. Most were probably thinking of the battle to come, thinking over the mission, the target, their own roles but not Fin, he had only one thing on his mind. Teleportation. It was the most terrifying thing Fin could think of, and for a man who had fought numerous daemons and mutants, that was saying something.

It seemed like an eternity before Tal spoke. "The birds are inbound, 2 minuts to target" Fin looked over to the Techpriests, huddled around the control column and spoke loudly.

"Ready"

It was all he needed to say to start the machine men moving, humming and buzzing as they went. Fin placed his helmet on his head and locked it in to place, and braced himself, both physically and mentally for what was about to happen.

The air around the two squads started to fizz and pop, and you could feel the static in the air, you could feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end, even through the susuitThe machine men started to shimmer and In an instant, everything changed. One moment they had been looking across the teleportation bay, watching the priests working away, hearing the giant machine humming and buzzing, clinking and clanking and then they were looking it across a river and the green fields beyond. Fields that were crammed with hundreds, if not thousands, of people, many of which were staring back.

"Engage! Primary target sighted! Scion Ross get that plasma gun firing, take the bastard down!" It was all pointless really, everyone was already firing, having drawn their weapons the moment they materialized and he could hear the whine as the plasma guns of Ross and Teal charged. Fin looked to his right to check on Blue squad, they were further away than he would have liked, further than they should have been, but they were there and in one piece. More importantly they were also engaging the enemy, there hotshot lasguns firing and the volley gunners were maneuvering into position on the squads flanks.

The crowd around the target was starting to react, a lot quicker than had been anticipated. Weapons were appearing from the crowd and they were starting to return fire, not just the wild firing of civilian soldiers, untrained and undisiplined, but the careful aimed fire of trained disiplined soldiers, most likely PDF soldiers turned traitor. They were only 20 scions and the enemy outnumbered them massively, if the valkyries didn't show up soon, things could get messy, already he could see some of his men were injured but as yet, none were dead, something that wouldn't last at this rate.

The primary target was on the move, his sedan chair discarded and he was running on foot through the crowd, his attendants hard at his heals. It was just as the pitch of the whining plasma guns changed, a sign that they were charged, ready to unleash death, that the primary target seemed to topple and fall in a cloud of red mist. In amongst all of the noise of battle, Fin was convinced he had heard the distinctive crack of a bolt gun, moments before the target fell, someone else was out there, a sniper maybe? Or, and the thought chilled him, a marine, an angel of death and while their hotshot lasguns could kill a marine, the marines were stronger, faster and more importantly had better range on their weapons. It didn't take him long to decide to avoid contact at all costs.

Second later the point was mute, as the roar of jet engines grew. The valkyries had arrived, any second there would be the distinctive ripping sound that accompanied the missile pods firing.

His comms link crackled in to life, it was the commissar "Have you eliminated the target?"

Have I eliminated the target? Fin thought for a moment, have I?

"The target has been eliminated" it wasn't a lie, not at all, the target had been eliminated after all, of that fact he was in no doubt. It was simply a statement of fact, if anyone claimed the kill later, the commissar would not be happy with him but he could not do anything about it, after all he had told the truth. There was no reply through the comms, just the ripping sound of the missile pods firing, a distinctive sound that brought comfort to Fin and his men. With no heavy weapons in the crowd of people and no anti-air vehicles, the valkyries slowed to hover over Fin's troops. Soon other Scions were landing to his left and right, yellow squad to his left, on the outer flank and the commissar and his command squad to his right, taking the center ground.

By now the enemy was in full retreat. Only a few of the more fanatical followers remained to shoot at the Scions, and none of these, Fin observed from how they held their weapons, look like soldiers. Not that he expected they would be, no soldier would have stuck around when facing a platoon of Scions with Valkyries support, especially with no armour or anti-air for support.

It was at this point that he spotted movement out of the corner of his eye, or at least he thought he did. Who ever was out there was very good, keeping to the shadows and the dead ground, keeping out of sight. Whenever he thought he saw movement, it was fleeting, gone before he could fix on it. They were moving fast, to fast for humans, it had to be marines, had to be, but they were retreating, their mission done and Fin could feel the relief flood through him.

"What do you see Tempestor? Are there enemy escaping?"

"I see Nothing commissioner, no enemy"

"Then stop daydreaming and move your men up! advance across the stream now!"

Fin looked around, advance on what? There was nothing and no-one to advance on, everyone who could run, had run and everything else was just a bloody mess of body parts, the valkyries had done their jobs, shredding the unarmoured heretics. Without answering the commissar, he ordered his units to advance across the river and to try and locate the body of the heretic preacher, something he suspected would not be possible, seeing as he had just had his head blown open the last time Fin had seen him.

As they crossed the river, Fin looked back to see the Commissar and his command squad still on the far bank, there volley guns held at rest but still ready, they looked like they were in no hurry to cross, no doubt they would be maintaining a 'fire base' as the commissar would call it. More like 'keeping his boots clean base' thought Fin, bloody commissars.