Tuesday 14 July 2020

The Aurora Knights

   I started writing a post about my home brew space marine chapter just over 4 years ago, but every time I got it to a point it was almost ready to go I had something else to post and it got pushed back. The long term aim was to make a full company of marines that I could shape a history for through various games and, hopefully, the odd campaign, and then 8th edition and Belisarius Crawl came along. . .

The Background

Aurora Knights Space Marine Chapter 40k

   The Aurora Knights are a 23rd founding chapter (late 37th millennium), founded as part of the Sentinels group of chapters tasked with defending the Eastern fronts of the Imperium from the Ork and Eldar menace.
   The chapter's homeworld is the strategically placed, but lifeless planet of Ciuda'ura. Due to Ciuda'ura's lack of population to recruit from the Aurora Knights were instead given the privilege to recruit from any peoples the chapter deems itself to have 'saved' which has led to tensions between the chapter and other Imperial organisations, in one notable case with an Imperial Navy fleet that the chapter demanded a tithe of officers from after responding to a distress call.

   Broadly Codex compliant.

Recent History
   The Aurora Knight's recent history has been a checkerboard of fortune with multiple victories under their belt and honours being attached to their name, with only their tithing being a blemish to the chapter's reputation, they answered a call requesting aid from the Dalin system. The Dalin World's Liberation has been covered on this blog already (Dalin World's Liberation) but suffice to say it ended badly for the Knights with the loss of their homeworld, nearly half of their marines and most of their gene-stocks.
    The aftermath of the failed campaign was a chapter that was woefully under equipped in terms of men, equipment and even ammunition, with no real way of replenishing the lost men as their gene reserves were so low it could take a millennia to replace the reserves, the chapter felt the best it could do was go out honourably in a bang and not fade into obscurity. With this in mind the Aurora Knights salvaged what they could and headed towards where ever the fighting was heaviest, never throwing away their last men, but knowing that holding back was futile. With extra marines tasked with collecting gene-seed during battles and care taken to recover any lost equipment the chapter hoped to keep itself fighting for as long as possible so that when word reached them of the Lord Commander Guilliman's plans for the space marines they were down to barely 300 fighting full space marines and over 150 neophytes
    In the last hundred years to the present point, the influx of new resources that were supplied to all space marine chapters has seen the chapter rise to nearly 700 men, far closer to their full strength than would have been believed at the start of the century, of which nearly all of the chapter are now of the new Primaris breed. The chapter has chosen not to settle on a new planet but maintains a presence around it's old homeworld on an orbital station named the Tagma.

Back to the paint station
   That's the cut down version of what I was going to post. I'm sure the company that I almost finished will get onto this blog at some point but first lets look at the new stuff and what has changed as I now view them as two separate projects.
   When 8th was released I picked up a copy of the rulebook, got my old armies out and set up a couple of games, and broadly I enjoyed the edition with some caveats.
1. Sorry to any 40k players but the scene at Wayland Games that I saw from the outside was not appealing. There was a guy on the day of release who had bought his copy from GW at midnight and had spent the morning writing a 'broken list' to smash people on the 'get to know 8th' day that the staff at Waylands had organised. Since then I have seen all the lists that are obvious min-max lists with no flavour bar smashing face and this is all something I have no interest in getting involved with.
2. 8th was also the edition that my mates who had played 40k generally got on with other stuff, either due to a dislike of the changes or just because other games had changed the way they played.
3. By the time I really looked to get back into it, the two points above and the sheer amount of supplements needed to catch up put me off and 30k has mostly scratched the warhammer itch anyway.

   So, here we are on the verge of 9th. What has changed? The supplement levels haven't changed, the scene at Waylands is unlikely to change but I do have mates looking at the game again. So, 9th edition has been ordered (just the core rules, we are going to use old points until we decide to invest in the other books needed) and we have set up a learning day where we are all going to bring 500 point armies - big enough to have units to move around, small enough that even players who have sold armies off can put something together.
    What does all this have to do with the Aurora Knights? All the buzz has got me looking at the primaris models I have bought over the last couple of years and I decided that what I was making the older marines do, didn't fit the new style, and ultimately, the chapter has changed. If the bulk of your chapter is made of men who don't share your heritage and training, merely have the same ancestral gene-seed, they are going to bring new ideas and influences, so I decided to embrace this concept and have the chapter be reborn.
    The chapter icon has changed from a gold fist with the company colour in the background to the Imperial Fist icon - due to real life practical reasons - with the fluff being that it ties them back to their ancestral legion more. The red secondary colour has been dropped in place of the company colour being more prominent. The chapter also paints their left knee pad black in memorial of the losses of the Dalin World's Liberation campaign and the dark days that followed it. I have also included a white wing motif on the same leg if the marine has crossed the Rubicon since the induction of Guilliman's primaris marines.

 Strike Force Lieutenant (HQ)

  Two units of regular Intercessors (Troops)

 Unit of Hellblasters (Heavy)

primaris impulsor transport painted
 An Impulsor transport tank.

Normal service will resume but I'm enjoying this minor detour via 40k. I'll report back with my feelings on the new edition.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 7 July 2020

Back to gaming

   I don't normally post about my normal gaming, unless the board is particularly pretty, but I think being back out gaming is worth a post.
   Sunday saw me with two invites to go out gaming. The first was from my mate Neil to play Napoleonics using Rebels and Patriots round his house with our normal crowd, which I thought about for a while before turning down. In my head 4 guys in a front room just felt too risky at this point.
   The second invite came fairly last minute and was for 30k in a backgarden and that felt much more in line with where I felt the risk level lay. So I packed up my stuff (after a lot of searching for gaming bits put away for the previous couple of months) and set off for a game.

   Anyone in the UK will be able to tell you that Sunday was a little bit windy (hence how little terrain we had on the table - stuff kept blowing away) and the gazebo we put up to keep the sun off us kept collapsing in new and interesting ways as we played, but it was brilliant to be out seeing mates and rolling dice again.


   Yesterday we even played a couple of board games in my garden after work to test whether that would work or not, so it looks like I should be gaming again in one way or another even if it's not the same sort of gaming we had before the pandemic.
   The long and the short is there will be gamers reading this who can't see why it took me this long to get out gaming again, or gamers who can't believe I'm out gaming already but it's all going to come down to how risky you feel it is and what you are willing to do. For me gaming outside is absolutely fine at the sec, while gaming inside is something I will look at the other factors involved, e.g. how many other players.
   It will get back to normal, it's just a matter of when. And sorry Neil - hopefully next time?

Thanks for reading