Even as an acolyte it was clear that Garik-Z would not follow the typical path of a tech-priest.
Many thought he would study under the biologis because of his work turning criminals under an Imperial death sentences into servitors. The speed and accuracy of his mind wipes was often remarked upon by his mentors. In addition the servitors he turned out did not have the usual physical trauma and were able to be reprogrammed and repurposed more quickly.
These skills served him well in the decades he spent creating and maintaining the 83rd Skitari cohort. The Alphas he created had the highest survival rates of any cohort. His refusal to share his methods with his mentor lead to his being ‘loaned’ to the Dominus tasked with expanding Kaiyune IV’s Kataphrons.
The Dominus recognized Garik’s skills and gave him free rein to do as pleased. This suited Garik fine and he quickly set to work. Eager to test new ways to to remove conscious thought but retain any innate aggressive behavior, Garik was soon requesting the most violent and psychotic criminals.
He was extraordinarily successful in this endeavor. The Breachers and Destroyers he created sped across battlefields to close with the foe. They were among the most merciless of the battle servitors ever created. Where most Kataphrons were effective at destroying the enemies of the forgeworld, Garik’s were efficient as well. Other Kataphrons could destroy a tank or breach a bunker. Garik’s Kataphrons would destroy the same tank faster with less force giving them more time and ammunition to destroy another tank.
Having increased the efficacy of Kaiyune’s Kataphron cohorts Garik turned his attentions to also increasing their survivability. Before he started working on making Kataphron’s more survivable they were often treated like throwaway forces. They were simple and cheap to replace after all, there was plenty of hardware on Kaiyune IV and the only flesh parts needed were half a torso, spine and brain. Garik was able to imbue or nurture some inborn cunning in his Kataphrons. Those that survived one fight were increasingly more likely to survive another.
Indeed it was a phalanx of these veteran Kataphron that excised a Tyranid infestation on the moonlet Mera-X-178. Mera-X-178 was a mining planetoid that also produced a protein rich lichen in the mines. 800 of Garik’s Kataphron were deployed, over 500 of them being veterans. The newly minted ones were sent into the mines to purge and drive out the termagants and hormagaunts. The veterans remained on the surface and wiped out the broods of Carnifexes that were wrecking the preprocessing plants and other hardware.
Using a variety of tactics such as goading the Carnifexes into rage-filled charges only to be cut down by flanking fire of Heavy Grav Cannons or slamming into the flanks of the Carnifexes with Arc claws and Cognis flamers. Rapidly changing tactics and constantly on the move Garik’s Kataphrons were able to obliterate the Carnifexes before the unseen Hive mind could adapt to their tactics.
I’m really fascinated with the compatibility between GW terrain kits, particularly of the Sector Mechanicus line. I saw this in the March 2019 issue of White Dwarf and knew I had to build one. It’s a simple build and the step by step instructions in White Dwarf were very clear and helpful. All that is required is one Ferratonic Furnace kit and a Haemotrope Reactor kit.
I have no idea what a Haemotrope is, but I like the big Mechanicus skull on one side of it. There are 2 Haemotrope reactors in the kit so I used both of the skull-sides on my Ferrotonic Reactor. I’ll make a single Haemotrope reactor with the other 2 sides and some green stuff to the top of the pipes at the base as there’s a gap.
End on View
Now that it’s primed I’ll do a heavy wash of Nuln Oil Gloss then some dry brushing of a light gray or pale wytch flesh. Next the pipes and metal details will be picked out before a last wash of plain Nuln Oil.
Finally some weathering and maybe a few mechanicus decals.
All work done so far has been purely airbrush. The blues are Badger Minitaire Troll Hide Blue and Lagoon Blue. The white of the carapace is Daler Rowney White Ink. (Everybody is jumping on the Airbrushing Inks Bandwagon so why shouldn’t I too?) Besides I wanted to see if painting white with them was as marvelous as everyone says it is. It is. It really is. I’ve shied away from white armies in the past but now believe I can do one.
Here are some shots of a Sector Mechanicus table I put together. The idea of a table with lots of raised walkways has always fascinated me. The release of the Sector Mechanicus kits gave me the tools I needed to build such a table.
To be honest, at first I was just going to build a few pieces. But the furnaces were so simple to build I found it soothing and soon I was buying ‘just one more kit’.
I hated scraping the mold lines off the platforms and walkways. I had so many pieces, the very short walkway pieces, the long walkway pieces, the half circles, the angled walkways aka ‘all the platform and walkway pieces’. Scraping the mold lines off the edges took forever and left me choking in plastic dust. So I stopped doing it. I admit it. I left the rather visible mold lines on the walkways and platforms. I know it knocks me down on the ‘Hobbyist Scale’, like not drilling out bolter barrels. But it’s scenery. Terrain. It’s meant to add character and atmosphere to the game, not take away from the armies fighting over it.
In my defense I’m going to use the ‘There is Quality in Quantity’ defense. I had unwittingly acquired too many pieces. Well, unwittingly is a cop out. It’s not like I went to one of my local FLGS and thought I was buying a box of Eldar Guardians or Skitarii only to find out when I got home I had bought another Sector Mechanicus kit. I knew what I was doing. Sometimes I specifically looked for the Sector Mechanicus kits with lots of walkways or support trestles.
To Glue or Not to Glue
I glued some of the pieces together. For example, I glued a few of the half circles together to form one piece and then glued them on top of the furnaces. I also glued walkway pieces together to make longer, sturdier walkways. I did not glue everything together of course. Rubbermaid does not make a 4’x6’x 4′ storage tote (that I know of), and even if they did storing it would problematic.
The Ironstriders of Forgeworld Kaiyune IV are fast and deadly in battle. The servitors bound to the walker have the best spatial awareness of any servitor. This allows them to move quickly across the battlefield regardless of obstacles.
Armed with either a twin cognis autocannon or twin cognis lascannon the Ballistarii can roam the backfield and still hit most any opposing target.
I still need to add decals to this model to complete it. Plus I like playing with MicroSol and MicroSet! Looking at the photo I realize I can also add more shadow particularly in the leg pistons.
Farseer Tai’Len of the craftwold Biel-Tan is a formidable psyker and military general. Tai traveled many of the Paths of the Warrior before taking the Path of the Seer. On each path he learned lessons that make his battle plans very effective.
As a Guardian he learned the power of focused mass shuriken fire. He uses his Guardian squads in fleet groups that are always on the move. One squad moving up while another moves back, keeping the enemy within the firing zones of at least 2 Guardian squads at all time. Enhancing the power of the squad closest to the enemy with a well placed Doom on the foe or Fortune on the Guardian squad while the other Guardian squads wheel around the foe.
As a Striking Scorpion he learned how a swift strike can decapitate the leadership of the enemy, causing disarray among their troops. Wielding a Singing Spear and protected by his Rune Armor Tai’Len will take on the foe’s generals in single combat. Wielding the powerful Executioner or Mind War spells Tai to weaken his foes. Then provides the killing stroke with his spear.
Tai learned the power of Doom on his enemies while he trod the path of the Banshee. The whirling blades and acrobatic movements of the Banshee are far more deadly when their target is Doomed by a friendly farseer. A single squad of Banshees will decimate an enemy unit that is Doomed in one charge. Tai was impressed both with how quickly a squad of Banshees will remove an enemy unit from the fray and how many more of his Banshee squad mates survive the battle when the enemy was Doomed.
In the Corconna system Tai’Len led a branch of the Swordwind against a growing Ork Waagh. The large number of Orks they faced were whittled down by rotating squads of Guardians until the battle-enraged Orks fled. Squads of Vypers armed with shuriken cannons harried the Ork flanks, funneling the Orks into the deadly fire zones of the Guardians.
On the swamp moon of the gas giant Serol VII Tai fought toe-to-toe with the Necron Overlord S’Zentol while squads of Dire Avengers and Howling Banshees kept S’Zentol’s Warriors and Immortals at bay. Tai kept the tireless being of living metal engaged in single combat for hours until finally he disarmed the overlord and pierced the metal shell of S’Zentol. The Eldar withdrew, knowing the Necrons were delayed from gaining their full strength but were not truly defeated.
The Skitari of Kaiyune IV are extremely deadly. Very little of the human is left in them. The Alphas are the exception. They are made from the most successful mercenaries that the tech priests of Kaiyune come across.
The Alphas are ruthless commanders, some have compared them to the Commisars of the Imperial Guard for the heedless way they send wave after wave of their skitari into a fight.
Deadly marksmen, or at least marks-once-men, the skitari of Kaiyune IV hammer their foes with a storm of long range firepower.
Their distinctive blue great coats cover a more traditional red armor plating. Kaiyune IV has been out of touch with Mars for centuries but still follow her precepts. At least, they claim to.
Kaiyune IV is a space-faring forgeworld, at its center is a Mechanicum Ark ship. Over the centuries it has been built and rebuilt. Ships have been added to the original Ark, bolted and welded on so that the original Ark is barely visible.
The forge is reclusive. While it appears to remain loyal to the Imperium and to Mars, contact with it is so rare that no one can know for sure where its loyalties lie.
Blue & white are the predominant colors of the forgeworld. The techpriests still wear red on their shoulders in memory of far away Mars.
Arch Magos Tamos Sondon
The Arch Magos has not been seen in many years. Occasionally static-riddled messages from deep within the Ark are received from him. These messages in broken binaric encourage the techpriests to continue to build on the original ark. To that end they have mined the system’s planets and asteroids of all metals and isotopes. What the Arch Magos is doing in the Ark is a mystery. He alone is allowed into it’s core.
The forgeworld forces fight primarily to keep the forgeworld secret. Ships that travel to the forgeworld are captured, ransacked and added to the bulk of the forgeworld. The missing ships have not gone unnoticed by the Imperium at large but no one in the Imperium has taken any action.
There are also internal wars between the magos, some attempting to fill the void of Arch Magos Sondon’s absence. Others for rank or to acquire coveted resources of other minor forges. Still other forges fight merely to test new weapons and battle protocols.
It is unclear. The Arch Magos is working to a plan. But what that plan is no one but the Arch Magos knows.
The Dire Avengers of the Shrieking Soul Shrine have a long history with the craftworld Biel-Tan. Their exarch is one of the oldest of all the Dire Avenger shrines. A master of warfare in times of crisis he leads his avengers in swift strikes. Uncannily striking the foe in their weakest spots. These strikes cause the enemy’s commanders to change their battle plans to the benefit of the forces of Biel-Tan.
The Shrieking Soul Shrine Dire Avengers work closely with Howling Banshees. They thin an enemies ranks with their focused shuriken fire before the Banshees leap in. The exarch wields the dire sword Soul Scream, given to the first exarch of the shrine by Asurman himself. Through a millenia of battles it has been wielded by the exarch of the shrine.Its killing stroke decapitating the foe. The soul gem on the sword is said to hold the soul of an exarch slain by Asurman for fleeing the battlefield and dishonoring his now cursed and forgotten shrine.
Small Strike Teams
For small strikes the exarch will take his 4 most trusted warriors in a Falcon that delivers them where they need to be. The Falcon then provides covering fire. After accomplishing their purpose they return to the Falcon and move on to their next target. The small strike teams never get bogged down in long, protracted fights. These small teams strike behind the enemy’s lines, forcing the enemy commander to deal with them.
Large Strike Teams
For larger strikes the exarch will take a full squad and a Wave Serpent to deliver them where their firepower will provide the greatest benefit. The larger squads have successfully held up rampaging Orc mobs and turned Tyranid swarms to where they could be decimated by other the forces of Biel-Tan.
The larger teams hold a portion of the battlefield, denying the enemy a flanking maneuver or forcing the enemy to split his forces around the Dire Avengers.