The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling


June Highland Tournament Prep part 1 – Time is of the Essence

Michael and I got down to it to prepare for the Highland tournament next month.  We played Time is of the Essence, the first mission which is... a bit brutal.


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher


Michael - Imperial Guard

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leman Russ Vanquisher, Pask, Hull Lascannon, Sponson Plasma Cannons, Fire Barrels
    • Wyvern x2, Fire Barrels
    • Stormlord
    • Imperial Guard Platoon
      • Command Squad, Lascannon
      • Infantry Squad
      • Infantry Squad
      • Infantry Squad
      • Heavy Weapons Squad, 3x Lascannon
    • Techpriest Enginseer, 5x Servitors w/Servo Arms


Mission - Time is of the Essence

As per all tournament games, terrain is set up by players rolling off and then alternating placement.  All boards will have one large impassable line of sight blocking terrain, 2 ruins, 2 forests, 1 crater, 1 lake or other water feature, and 1 medium building that has the special rule: At Any Cost Necessary - This building may be targeted by shooting or assault regardless of who holds it.

Deployment: Dawn of War

After setting up terrain, but before deployment, players take turns placing 6 total objective markers.  Starting on turn 2, at the end of your player turn, you score a number of victory points equal to the current turn (i.e. on turn 2 each objective you hold is worth 2 victory points).  At the end of the game, you lose victory points equal to the number of your units that were destroyed, broken at the end of the game, or still in ongoing reserves.







Michael seized the initiative!

Turn 1 - Imperial Guard

Fire from the Stormlord and Wyverns kill 2/3 of the Land Speeders and Pask shoots the Multi-melta off of the Land Raider Redeemer.


Can't hide from the Wyvern fire!


Pask fires a shot, and the Land Raider is down one Multi-melta.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Ironclad Dreadnought drops in and puts a hull point on the Stormlord.  Last Land Speeder goes for an objective in the forest.  Land Raider goes up and pops smoke.


The Ironclad Dreadnought threatens the Stormlord.

DSCF1502Smoke is our only hope!

Turn 2 - Imperial Guard

Lascannon squad aboard the Stormlord takes out the Ironclad Dreadnought.  Wyverns destroy the last Land Speeder.  Turn not pictured.

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Terminators disembark, and destroy the Wyverns.  Tactical squad arrives via drop pod, combat squads, and takes two objectives.  Scouts arrive via outflank and take another objective.


The Wvyverns are toast!


Objectives secured.


The Land Speeder Storm takes another objective.

Turn 3 - Imperial Guard

Fire from the Stormlord kills one Terminator.  Sponson plasma cannon on Pask's Leman Russ suffers an overheat!


30 shots kill only one Terminator.  Meanwhile, Pask has trouble with his Plasma.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Terminators blow up Pask's Leman Russ, but one Terminator is killed in the explosion!  Land Raider backs up to protect the Tactical Combat Squad holding the objective in the open.


Pask is toast.  The Land Raider acts as a wall to protect some bolter marines.

Turn 4 - Imperial Guard

Three Infantry Squads and the Command Squad disembark and bubble-wrap the Stormlord.  Precision shots do a wound to Leonidas and the Stormlord kills one more Terminator.


The Guardsmen form a wall to prevent a Terminator charge on the Stormlord.

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Leonidas splits from the Terminators, and his heavy flamer kills the entire command squad, as well as most of the red squad.  Leonidas charges the red squad, breaks them and wipes them out.  The Terminators charge the yellow squad, break them, and consolidate onto the objective.  Fire from the Stormtalon is ineffective.


Leonidas accounts for two units in one turn, and consolidates to the side of the Stormlord.


Terminators claim the objective.  Beneath them, two guardsmen flee a pitiful two inches.

Turn 5 - Imperial Guard

Green squad and Stormlord wipe out the Terminators.  Techpriest and Servitors charge Leonidas, but with a heavy flamer on Overwatch, and good attack rolls, Leonidas kills them all before they even get a chance to attack!  Lascannons do a glance to the Land Raider.


Leonidas prepares the avenge the Terminators.

Turn 5 - Azure Flames

Leonidas burns the Green squad, but can't make it to the objective.  Lucky Assault Cannon shot does three hull points to the Stormlord!  Stormtalon risks a hover to claim the forest objective.


Objective just out of reach!

Turn 6 - Imperial Guard

Stormlord does one wound to Leonidas.  Lascannons destroy the Stormtalon.


Leonidas stands up to 30 shots.

DSCF1518The Stormtalon is toast!

Turn 6 - Azure Flames

Leonidas charges the green squad, kills them, and takes the objective.  Land Raider Assault Cannon does one more glance to the Stormlord.  Game ends.


Leonidas grabs the objective.

DSCF1520Last lucky shot.


Final score

Azure Flames: 57 points + Slay the Warlord + Linebreaker - 3 lost units = 56

Imperial Guard: 7 points + First Blood - 8 lost units = 0


When event organizer Ian heard about our score, he was shocked.  Playtest with this mission had both sides routinely scoring 40-50 points.  Why, then, did Michael do so poorly?  In his own words, he created his list to be a tabler.  He wanted to win by killing everything in the opposing army.  This is hard at 1500 points.  Had even one of my models survived, I would have kept all of my victory points.  Michael only scored 7 points, and only by my urging that his squads hold an objective on turns 3 and 4.

Next: another battle report!  Stay tuned!


A day of mourning, a day of hope

The first week must be the hardest, though Antonius as Captain Dakota of the Azure Flames 6th company briefed him on the resupply schedule of the Strike Cruiser Honor.

“The Munitorum just now has sorted out all of the requests from Imperial Navy vessels that have stayed behind to mop up the Ork forces in the Julius system.  We can finally resupply, and I can see that the Honor has the most stores of any ship in the fleet.  I need to be able to swap out supplies to refresh the stocks of His Hammer II, which saw the most action of any ship during the entire Chasma Spica conflict.”

“Sir…” Antonius began before Dakota interrupted him with a chortle.

“Sir?  You haven’t called me that in a long time.” Dakota said with a smile.

“You have quite a short memory, it was two months ago.”  Antonius retorted.

Dakota made a dismissively waved his hand.  “That was when you were a mere Battle Brother, Captain Antonius.  Besides, it has been a long two months.”

“That’s an understatement.  Feel free to take anything we have, Captain.  We are all brothers here.”

“Thank you, Antonius.  I’m sure that once we have a more complete survey of all the planets in…” Dakota cut off as a faint noise emanated from his earpiece.  He touched it, and a microphone deployed.  “Dakota.  Yes.  Understood.  I’m on my way.”  He turned his gaze back to Antonius.  “Come, Captain, we have a Thunderhawk flight to charter.  There is a meeting of the full Senior Staff aboard His Hammer II in the main conference room.”

“A full meeting?  But we have just secured Iperin as our homeworld!  We have not even begun pouring foundations for the Fortress Monastery.  We can’t be going on another crusade.”

“If the Emperor has need of us, then we go.” Dakota replied in a dour tone.  “Let us hope that no Imperial power wishes to challenge our right of conquest to Iperin.”

Antonius suppressed a shudder.  Without help from Inquisitor Voltman Kalmsan, The Azure Flames may well have come to blows with the Adeptus Mechanicus over the quarantine of the Menelaus during the Chasma Spica conflict.  If those delicate assurances had crumbled…

“Let’s go.” Antonius said.  Dakota nodded.


Antonius and Dakota strode into a darkened hallway, lit only by candles.  The faint aroma of incense wafted from censers on either side of the hall.  Near the end was a door with several bands of plasteel securing it.  Next to the door, a servo skull hovered above an autoscrivener with a roll of aged parchment that rolled up from the floor.  As Antonius and Dakota approached the skull scanned them with a red laser.

“Who comes?  Who comes?  Who comes?” The skull croaked in a mechanically augmented voice.

“Zeraf Antonius, Master of the Marches, Captain of the Strike Cruiser Honor.” Antonius replied as tradition said he should.

“Come in remembrance, and leave with purpose.” The skull intoned as the doors slid open.

“What?” Antonius exclaimed.  The skull did not answer.  “That isn’t the normal greeting.”

“No, it’s not.” answered Dakota.  “Go inside, I’ll be there in a moment.”

Antonius went through the door into a small antechamber.  He knelt before a small statue of Vulkan and offered a short prayer of devotion.  As he rose, Dakota came in behind him and repeated the ritual.  Antonius picked up a small padded mallet and rang a small gong hanging by the door into the main chamber three times.

“Enter.” A voice called.  Antonius carefully opened the door and went into the conference room.  A large table with data displays inlaid stretched from one end of the long room to the other.  Around the table were fourteen large steel benches, built to accommodate power armour.  At the far end, a larger, more ornate throne held the bulky frame of Perseus, the new Chapter Master, clad in his Terminator Armour, armed for war.  Around the table, most of the spaces were taken by the other captains of the ten companies of the Azure Flames.  To Perseus’ right was Chaplain Alexsandr, the Master of Sanctity in his black armour.  To his left, Ory-Hara, the Chief Librarian, clad in a blue hood and a mask that hid all but his eyes.  At the opposite end of the table sat Senior Apothecary Luiz and Jelnac, Master of the Forge.  Several of the other captains were seated in the places they took by tradition, but many seats were still empty.  Antonius took his, nodding to Perseus.  Perseus did not acknowledge the gesture.

He knows Antoinus thought.   Only someone who knew Antonius’ secret would give him that look of both trepidation and admiration.  Antonius turned to Apothecary Luiz who gave him the same look.  One week ago, on the day of his promotion to Captain, Luiz had told Antonius that he was the only gene-son of Atrus, the former Chapter Master and the man who saved the Azure Flames.  Atrus’ visions from the Emperor gave the chapter a new purpose.  Now, with Atrus gone, Antonius felt that he had lost a father.  Again.

Dakota entered quickly after Antonius, and the room was silent again.  Other Captains eventually filled the room until all fifteen members of the Senior Staff were present.  Perseus stood and spoke in a loud, clear voice.

“Let all who have come here speak not outside these walls of our counsel, save for the one voice in which we all speak.  Let loose words not in hatred, save for the alien, the mutant, the heretic.  Fear not your own voice, for here it is all you are armed with.  Do you so swear?”

The room answered as a chorus.  “On our honor, and by the teachings of Vulkan, we so swear.”

As soon as the echo of the group’s reply faded, Perseus sat. “We are not going to war.” he said.  Puzzled looks came from all but a few.

“Then what did you call us here for, old man?” shouted Leonidas, Captian of the first company.  His green gauntleted fist pounded the countertop.  Antonius briefly reflected on Leonidas’ livery; he was a living reminder that the Azure Flames had once been the Sons of the Salamander, and he took the duty of being that reminder very seriously.

“I have called you all here because we have all lost something.” Perseus answered.

“Yes.” the monotone mechanical voice of Edgard of the 3rd Company spoke up. “I have my revenge against the successors of Victor Kalan.  I slew dozens of aliens and heretics for each of my brothers that were taken from us by the Alliance.  Yet now there is only emptiness.  We have no purpose.”  Edgard was slouched over in sorrow, and Antonius heard the servos in his torso actuate as he corrected himself and sat up properly.  Edgard had survived the worst injuries imaginable, but he seemed to be in real pain now.

“We have a purpose.” Khalil of the 8th company retorted.  “Atrus told me just before he died.  He said that a true hero fights until his dying breath, knowing only what is in his heart.”

Jelnac, Master of the Forge, muttered “I still cannot believe that Atrus did not let his Techmarine bodyguard go with him.”  Though he was almost too quiet to hear, the anger in his voice was palpable.

“No one doubts the resolve of any of our brothers, Khalil.” Perseus said as if Jelnac had not spoken.  “We will live up to the memory of the man who shaped our chapter.  However, without his vision and drive, we must re-assess the purpose of the Azure Flames.  We sought to banish the darkness in the vision that Atrus had so long ago, and we did so with honor.  But now we must find a new purpose.”

“What is the purpose of any Space Marine chapter?” mused Zhuang of the 2nd company.  “We fight the enemies of the Imperium, and vanquish foes that give ordinary men pause.  We must simply adapt to this new role.”

A memory floated up, unbidden in Antonius’ mind.  It was pervasive; he could not dismiss it.

***Antonius looked out through someone else’s eyes.  He looked on as a younger version of Zhuang in Scout Armour lay broken and bleeding on the floor of a dark room.  Apothecaries came in to tend him, but he righted himself, pushed off of his knee, and stood.  Bright crimson blood ran from his mouth, nose, ears, and eyes.  He walked out of the room and the vision faded.***

As Antonius looked around the room, the rest of the council seemed to refocus their eyes, recovering from experiencing the same memory.  All but Ory-Hara, who stared daggers at Zhuang.

“Is this why you stood after the Final Trial of Brotherhood, Zhuang?” Perseus’ tone was almost accusatory.  “To join ‘just another chapter?’  No.  You are the only member of the Azure Flames since Atrus created that trial to walk out of the Black Room on your own two feet.  Are you content with mediocrity, Zhuang?”

“No, my lord.” Zhuang answered.

“Nor should any of you be.” Perseus continued.   “Atrus is gone.  We will all mourn him in our own way.  But he did not leave us only to have us turn our backs on all that we have built.”

“I have taught all of you, save Perseus and Alexsandr.” The rough, gravelly voice of Daniel, captain of the 10th company, was so nostalgic to Antonius that his Power Armour seemed far too big for him.  “With those two exceptions, I watched you all fire your first Boltgun.  I saw you go into battle for the first time.  I watched you grow, and I personally made the recommendation to Atrus, and before him Chapter Master Logain, to promote you all to full Brotherhood.” He turned to Perseus. “My lord, you are my oldest friend.  Know that I mean no disrespect, but you know as well as I that no one in this room would ever turn their backs on Atrus, the Chapter, or any of our history.”

Perseus sighed. “You are right, Daniel.  Zhuang, I apologize.”

“No, the fault is my own.” Zhuang replied. “I was avoiding thinking about the future, because I do not know what we are to do.”  He paused for a moment before adding: “Atrus always knew what to do.”

“Indeed, but we are bereft of his advice.” Valerien, captain of the 9th company answered. “We shall always remember the past, but it is our duty now to look to the future.”

“There’s always a choice…” Antonius surprised himself as those words left his mouth.  Everyone turned to him, and he felt the closest thing to fear that he had felt in a long time.

“A choice, Antonius?  We have no choice.  We must carry on, as we always have.” Valerien said.

“That’s not what I meant, but I can’t…” Antonius trailed off.  He knew what was right in his heart, but the words would not come.  Suddenly, he felt inspiration flow through his mind like a bolt of lightning.  “Ory-Hara, I need to share a memory with everyone.  Can you help me?”

Ory Hara nodded slowly, and stood.  He walked behind Perseus, and came down Antonius’ side of the table.  Antonius leaned his head back.  Ory-Hara’s gauntleted hand hovered above him.  With a click, a rectangular compartment opened in Ory-Hara’s palm.  As the armour opened, Antoinus saw the rubbery surface of the Black Carapace.  In the middle, was a small, circular hole about 2.5 centimeters across, exposing the pale flesh of a human palm.  Ory-Hara lowered his hand to Antonius’ head, and Antonius quickly went through the meditation techniques he learned to empty his mind of all thought.  A candle appeared in his mind, sporting a bright, blue flame.  Into this flame, Antonius pushed his hesitation, his excitement, and his pride.  He floated in nothingness for a fraction of a second, and then let himself remember.

***Antonius walked into the chapel of the Strike Cruiser Honor.  All of the sergeants were there, as well as Antonius’ predecessor, Captain Ganendra and Chaplain Hakan.  Captain Ganendra formally ordered him to take command of the 5th Tactical Sqaud.  Chaplain Hakan distributed devotional wine, and everyone drank.

Except Gehn.  Gehn stared.***

As the room once again shook off the effects of Ory-Hara’s memory sharing, he heard someone spit.  A small plume of acrid smoke emanated from the plasteel countertop in front of Leonidas.

“GAAAAH!  Antonius, you dare to soil our council devoted to the memory of a great man by remembering that… TRAITOR?” Leonidas shouted.

“We have to remember Gehn.” Antonius answered.  “You see, Gehn had a choice.  He could have let his jealousy and anger go.  He could have remembered that his oaths to the Emperor were stronger than his own ego.  Instead, he chose to let that jealousy and anger consume him, and turned to the Ruinous Powers.”  Antonius stood as he gained momentum. “We can choose to fade into the background.  We can take this system and build a fortress that rivals The Fang, and forever cut ourselves off from an uncaring galaxy.  We can be just like every other chapter that squats in their Fortress Monasteries and deigns to bless the battlefields with their presence.  Or…”

Antonius looked around, suddenly a bit self conscious.  Chaplain Alexsandr’s harsh Valhallan accent split the room. “FINISH, boy!” Antonius suddenly felt himself full of confidence.

“Or,” Antonius continued “we can make Iperin our home.  We can turn this world into a bright candle that banishes the darkness.  We can share our home with those who have had their homes and families taken from them, like mine was.  Like Ory-Hara.  Like Edgard.  Like so many of our brothers. Even Atrus himself.”

“Seek not to put yourself above mankind, for from whence you came, so you must serve.” Chaplain Alexsander intoned.

“The words of Vulkan.”  Everyone around the table said as a chorus.

“Atrus gave us a quest.” Antonius continued.  “He led us on a crusade, never settling in any one place, so that we would be ready to face the darkness he saw.  Our quest is over.  Now we have a choice.  Do we let our grief consume us, or do we let it drive us?  We should start a new quest.  To defend those who cannot protect themselves.  To avenge what cannot be protected.  And to bring light to those plunged into darkness and despair.”

Another memory rushed into Antonius’ mind.

***Once more, Antonius saw through the eyes of another.  The huge bulk of Atrus in his Dreadnought body was standing next to him as they gazed upon the smoking but intact silhouette of Tenkath Hive.  “A great victory.” a voice from behind Antonius’ eyes said.  “The shields held, and the traitors have been purged.”

Atrus sighed. “Yes, it is a great victory.”  His tone, even through speakers, was grandfatherly and regal, but tinged with sadness.  “But so many will be trapped in this dark place.  You fought along its streets, Ory-Hara.  You saw the living conditions these poor souls endure.  This place is no Releeshahn.”

“What does that mean, my lord?” the voice that was Ory-Hara’s inquired.

“Ah, yes.” Atrus turned to face Ory-Hara.  “Releeshahn is a legend from my old homeworld.  It means ‘city of light’ in our old tongue.    Releeshahn was a fictional city where none suffered, and there was light and music and happiness.”  Atrus turned to Tenkath Hive again.  “Every human life is worth saving.  I just wish we could give them better than… this.”***

Perseus stood.  “All of you know that I took the mantle of Chapter Master reluctantly.  I felt that I could not do justice to the legacy of Atrus.  That reluctance is now gone.  We have a new quest that will drive us.  For every world that we save, we will offer asylum to those whose lives have been destroyed by war.  For every world we lose, we will salvage what can be saved.  Our Fortress Monastery will be the capital of a shining city of hope.  And we will call it Releeshahn.”

Everyone rose and cheered.  Except Ory-Hara, who remained silent.


Jelen awoke to darkness, as she had several times before.  Her throat was raw and dry from shouting.  She shifted from the jagged piece of plascrete that was her bed and once again began to feel around the ruined chamber she was trapped in.  Nothing.  Again.  She began to sob.

“I want my daddy…” she repeated again and again.

Suddenly, from outside the rubble, noise.  The bad bugs had come back to kill her.  All sound in her throat died.  Her chest tightened, and she began to shake.

“STAND BACK!” came a voice, loud despite being muffled by the debris.  The words snapped Jelen out of her shock.  She scooted back away from where the voice had come.  A brilliantly shining blue axe head appeared.  It disappeared and returned faster than Jelen had ever seen something move.  As it widened a hole in the wall, Jelen heard shouting with each stroke.  Dark blue gauntlets reached through either side of the newly formed hole and ripped the wall asunder.  Standing in the light was an Angel.

“Are you all right?” the Angel said.

The events of the past weeks all flooded into her at once.  The sirens.  The war.  Her daddy running out to draw the spores away.  That awful sound.  The collapse.  Being trapped for days in the ruins.  She ran towards the Angel and held on to his greave.  Horrible sobs wracked her chest.

“Majeed?  Antonius.” The Angel spoke in hushed tones.  “Bring me some water and a blanket from the emergency supplies.”  He paused. “Yes, I know.  Hurry.”  The Angel gently patted her filthy hair with his dark blue gauntlet.  “It’s alright, you’re safe now.  We will not let the aliens come for you.”

“My…” Jelen hiccupped incoherently.  “My… My… daddy… is… he…”

“What is your name child?” the Angel asked.

“J… Jel... Jel… Jelen.”

“Hello Jelen.  I am Antonius.  The Emperor sent me and my brothers to protect you.”  As the Angel said this, a vehicle appeared from behind a ruined building.  It plowed rubble out of its way with a forked blade on its prow.  It was the same deep blue of the Angel’s armour.  It was boxy with a sloped font, clean lines, and a wicked looking turret with a long barreled cannon and two smaller glowing guns flanking it.  As it approached, it slowed.  Another Angel disembarked through a rectangular hatch on the side, emblazoned with a bright blue flame symbol.

“You had to drive here?” Antonius said.

The other Angel smiled.  “You said to hurry, my lord.”  He handed Antonius a blanket, which Antonius wrapped around Jelen.  He lifted her and took her into the vehicle. The inside was cramped, and full of other Angels.  Counting Antonius, there were six total.  All blue except one which was white.  She sipped water from a canteen the other Angel gave her.

“Brothers, this is Jelen.  She is the only one we’ve found.  We must fall back and relieve Captain Edgard and the remaining defence force of Ifan III.  Make this girl’s safety your first priority.”  Jelen’s howl of grief managed to drown out the growl of the engine as the vehicle jerked into motion.

“I… I… lost my daddy.” she sobbed.

“I lost my father, just like you did.”  Antonius said.  Jelen was so shocked her crying immediately ceased.

“But, you’re an Angel.” she said.

“Before I was an Angel, I was little, just like you.  How did he die?  It’s alright if you don’t want to remember.”

“Daddy was carrying me down the street.  We saw those spore things.  There were lots and lots.  Daddy put me in the storage room, and told me not to come out.  I heard him run away.  Then there was a big boom.  The wall and ceiling fell down.  I couldn’t get out…”  She trailed off.

“Your father was very brave.”  Antonius said.

“How did your daddy die?”  Jelen asked.

Antonius looked down at the floor.

“It’s alright if you don’t wanna remember.”  She said, patting him on the greave.

“Tell her, my lord.”  The white Angel said.  Antonius looked up at him for what seemed like a long time.  His face, taut with anguish, softened slightly.

“Alright.  I’ll tell you how he died, saving me and all my brothers.”  He turned to her.  “His name was Atrus, and he was a great man.”


IX Squad, 1st Company: The Bearers of Hope – Azure Flames Chapter Approved Dataslate (part 2)

So I've been hinting at secret projects, and I'm proud to unveil the first in what will be a series of Games Workshop Chapter Approved dataslates.  Behold!  The Bearers of Hope, 9th squad, 1st Company


The 9th squad of the Azure Flames 1st Company was wiped out during the Chasma Spica conflict.  After the Azure Flames claimed Iperin as their homeworld, Chapter Master Perseus himself organized the new 9th squad from those who showed no fear in the face of the most gargantuan of enemy war machines, monsters, and Titans.  In a galaxy where large threats are becoming more commonplace, The Bearers of Hope are Chapter Master Perseus' answer to the most powerful weapons of the enemies of Man.  Often staying aboard the Battle Barge His Hammer II, major threats are either spotted by Azure Flames forces, or from orbit (for exceptionally large targets).  Deploying by Drop Pod, The Bearers of Hope crash into the hottest parts of the battlefield and erase large targets before they can devastate Imperial positions.

Unit Composition

The Bearers of Hope - Sternguard Veteran Squad x10 - 350 Points (plus 35 Points for a Drop Pod as a Dedicated Transport)


  • Bolt Pistol
  • Bolter-Melta
  • Frag Grenades
  • Krak Grenades
  • Special Issue Amunition
  • Power Fist (Sergeant Only)
  • Melta Bombs (Sergeant Only)

Special Rules

  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Chapter Tactics: Azure Flames
  • Combat Squads
  • Gargantuan Destroyers: Any model with this special rule may re-roll any rolls to hit, wound, or penetrate against any Superheavy Vehicle, Gargantuan Monstrous Creature, or building with the Mighty Bulwark special rule.


To fit the idea that this squad is specifically designed to destroy large targets, I had most of the squad looking and aiming their weapons up.  I am particularly proud of the sergeant, who seems to be turning to his right in order to shout orders and point out weaknesses.  I even saved one of the shouting sergeant heads from the old 3rd edition Space Marine sprue!  Classic!  I also figured that the sergeant of such an important and esteemed squad would be one of the rare few to participate in the Salamander Hunt on Nocturne.  I used a cloak from a Dark Elf Corsair, and sculpted more scales to mesh it with an ordinary Space Marine Backpack.  I tried to give the impression that he was turning with the cloak.  I also added a Melta Bomb with a custom sculpted rope to hold it in place.  Each member of the squad has a custom sculpted Flame on their left shoulder pad.

Sharp eyed players may notice that backpacks are a bit askew, and there are bits of blue here and there.  The Bolter-Meltas and backpacks are stuck on with blu-tac for ease of painting!


Coming up next, a custom vehicle and a very special character to lead the Azure Flames as the End Times approach!  Stay tuned!


Chapter Tactics: Azure Flames – Chapter Approved Custom Chapter Tactics (part 1)


All three people who frequently visit are familiar with the Azure Flames, my Space Marine Chapter.  You have probably read the Chapter Approved for the Azure Flames that describes their backstory.  However, new developments have come about.

My friend Ian recently became the manager of the Games Workshop store, newly opened in Ypsilanti, MI.  Games Workshop had a contest to see which manager could drive sales for the Space Marines' 30th Anniversary.  Ian's idea: every person that purchases a Space Marine unit, vehicle, and character could create a Chapter Tactics for a chapter that they invented.  To do this, they either choose a Chapter Tactic from the Space Marine codex, or the special rules from another codex for a specific chapter (such as Blood Angels).  You would then remove one of the special rules for that chapter, and replace it with another special rule to make your new chapter similar to their parent chapter, but unique.

In addition, the unit, vehicle, and character that you purchased could be used as a Dataslate for an army chosen with your unique Chapter Tactics.  This works even if the particular unit is not in your codex (such as an Imperial Fist successor being able to take a custom Dark Angels Nephilim Jetfighter).  As a bonus, each Dataslate can change or add one special rule, to fit your chapter.

Finally, your Dataslate will be compiled and printed by Ian who has recieved from Games Workshop the OFFICIAL CHAPTER APPROVED STAMP.  That's right, the actual, physical, rubber-and-ink stamp, with which he will stamp YOUR DATASLATES and make them OFFICIAL AND LEGAL IN ANY GAMES WORKSHOP STORE IN THE WORLD.

Of course, I couldn't say no.

So, this article is the first of four articles detailing all of my official rules (in a first draft form).  Soon, the Features bar to the right of the main articles will feature Codex Supplement: Azure Flames, a PDF scan of the Azure Flames Chapter Tactics and the three Dataslates that go with it.


Chapter Tactics - Azure Flames (Salamanders Successor)

Adhering to the teachings of their Primarch and parent Chapter, the Azure Flames emphasize close range firefight and flame based weaponry.  However, the Azure Flames were formed just over 400 years ago, and for the majority of their existence have been a mobile Crusade based chapter, unable resupply without the help of the Departmento Munitorum.  As such, they lack the relics and master crafted weapons common in their parent chapter.  To make up for this, they fight each battle with the dogged determination that even one small victory can change the galaxy.

Flamecraft: Adherents of the Promethean Cult, the Azure Flames follow the rules for Flamecraft from the Salamanders Chapter Tactics in Codex Adeptus Astartes p. 190.

Never Give Up, No Matter The Cost: The Azure Flames believe that the battle you are currently fighting is the most important battle.  Despite the relatively short time their chapter has existed, they are known for turning an overwhelming loss into a bitter stalemate, and snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.  A player that has his Warlord chosen from an Azure Flames detachment may choose to play another full game turn (consisting of one player turn for each side) after the game is supposed to end.  This special rule does not apply for missions that end due to a certain event (such as the assassination of a character or the destruction of a building).  This also does not apply to a game which has ended due to a pre-arranged time allotment (such as a Tournament game).  In the case that this additional turn is the 8th or higher turn, any effects that rely on the turn number simply treat the new turn as the highest possible turn number. (i.e. if a mission tells you to draw 7 mission objectives on turn 7, but has no instructions for turn 8, simply treat turn 8 as another turn 7)


Next: IX Sqaud, 1st Company: the Bearers of Hope, a character squad with a big surprise for big targets!  Stay tuned!


Highlander May Tournament Prep part 2

As stated in the previous post, I played Right Place at the Wrong Time with one other opponent; Josh who I had not seen before at club but was a pleasure to play against.  He brought his Tau, of which finished models such as his Stormsurge are fantastically painted.  Here's another batrep!  Once again, please excuse fuzzy pics due to camera troubles.


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher


Josh - Tau

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Commander with no weapons and all of the wargear that gives his unit unspeakable buffs. (Note: Josh's commander is in pieces, so his Commander this game is proxied with Forge World's Moratarion)
    • XV88 Broadside Battlesuit x3, High Yield Missiles, Smart Missile system, Velocity Tracker
    • Riptide, Velocity Tracker
    • Fire Warrior Strike Squad x5
      • Devilfish, Seeker Missile
    • Kroot Carnivores x10
    • Stormsurge, Velocity Tracker, 4x some kind of missile that is ridiculously strength D
  • Drone Net VX1-0
    • Drones x4, 4x Marker Lights
    • Drones x4, 4x Marker Lights
    • Drones x4, 4x Marker Lights
    • Drones x4, 4x Marker Lights


Mission - Right Place at the Wrong Time

Players alternate setting up 6 numbered objectives.  When an objective is first claimed, roll a D6.  On a 1, the objective explodes, causing D6 S5 AP4 hits to the squad that claimed it, and then the objective is removed from the game permanently!  On a 2-3, the objective is removed.  On a 4+, the objective is "real" and is rolled for as a Mysterious Objective, re-rolling all results of 1.

If 3 objectives are removed, the remaining 3 are "real" and if 3 are identified as "real" all others are removed (assume they are deactivated).  Objectives are worth 3 points at the end of the game.  First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord for one point each.

For this game with Josh, we played with a short board edge deployment.





This is the first time I have played a tournament scenario with this club in which I went first, even counting last year.


Azure Flames - Turn 1

Ironclad drops behind the Devilfish and glances it with the Heavy Flamer, but the Meltagun is jink-saved.  Land Raider with Leonidas and his posse move Flat Out while the Land Speeders chill by an objective.


Ironclad shakes up the backfield, but a lucky jink save spares the Devilfish from melta doom!


The Land Raider risks extra movement in lieu of using Smoke Launchers.  The Land Speeders cower by the objective.

Tau - Turn 1

Marker Lights turn the Land Raider into an Xmas tree, and then four Strength D missiles wreck it.  Leonidas and the Terminators take fire from the Kroot, but are unscathed.  Battlesuits unleash fury on the Ironclad, doing 2 glances.  Turn not pictured.

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Leonidas splits off from the Terminators, burns 4 Kroot, and charges the rest, breaking them and wiping them out.  Land Speeders emerge from cover to fire at the Stormsurge, but lucky Invulnerable saves negate their shots.  The Terminators charge the Stormsurge, doing 6 wounds and narrowly avoiding stomp attacks!  Ironclad charges the Suits, but one glance from overwatch fire wrecks it!


Leonidas takes the Kroot out as they flee.


Undeterred by the loss of their Land Raider, the Terminators charge the Stormsurge!  It's stomp attack doesn't catch them off guard.


One more missile makes the Ironclad give up.

Tau - Turn 2

The Riptide uses marker lights to turn the Land Speeders into crushed beer cans.  The Devilfish advances on the central objective.  Terminators finish off the Stormsurge.


The Land Speeders taste Tau firepower, as the Fire Warriors go for the gold!


Hey guys, how's it going?

Azure Flames - Turn 3

Terminators lose two models to overwatch fire, but survivors kill the suits and the commander!  Stormtalon arrives and puts one more glance on the Devilfish.  Tactical squad arrives and combat-squads to hold the objective and menace the Devilfish.


Commander and suits are now roughly the consistency of medium-spicy salsa.


Tactical squad is finally on the job.

Tau - Turn 3

Riptide lays into the Terminator survivors, but good invulnerable saves protect them.  Fire Warriors and Devilfish kill two Tactical Marines, breaking the combat squad!


The Tactical squad has to fall back before the Tau onslaught.


Riptide tries to put the hurt on the Terminators, but they're just too hard!

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Melta firepower from the Tactical squad explodes the Devilfish, and the Stormtalon kills four of the Fire Warriors, breaking them.  The Terminators take the objective by the lake.


The Tau are driven back.


Objective secured.

Tau - Turn 5

Terminators survive another round of fire.  Game ceded.


Josh's Tau list relies a LOT on Marker lights.  They turn a moderately-sized CAD into a can't miss scalpel, able to kill any target with devastating precision.  Worse, if you take the time to kill Marker Light Drones, you're not killing things that can kill YOU.  The Stormsurge is a great super heavy, but it can't hold up to a kickass melee unit like Thunder Hammer Terminators.

Next: Modeling projects, painting, special rules, fluff and MORE!  Stay tuned!


Highland May Tournament Prep part 1

Good news!  I played two more missions in preparation for the upcoming tournament!

Bad news.  I forgot my camera at home, and was forced to use my phone's camera, which is nowhere near as good.

Oh well.  Here's a condensed Batrep against Kyle, a veteran!  Please forgive fuzzy pictures.


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher


Kyle - Astral Drakes Space Marines with Imperial Knight Ally (special chapter, counts as Salamanders, but loses master crafted weapons and instead gains ability to take Heavy Flamers and other special units).

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Special Chapter Master on Firedrake (counts as Wolf Lord with Thunderwolf, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, and throwable S10 AP2 Hammer)
      • Immature Firedrakes x2 (counts as Fenrisian Wolves)
    • Firedrake Cavalry x3 (counts as Thunderwolf Cavalry, 2x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield, 1x Wolf Claws)
    • Tactical Squad x10, Flamer, Combi-flamer, Heavy Flamer (note: this is allowed due to unique Chapter Tactics)
    • Sternguard x5, 3x Combi-Flamer, 2x Heavy Flamer
    • Promethean Rhino (unique unit, counts as a Rhino that gives any infantry model within 2" the Torrent special rule for any weapon that is a "flamer" according to the main rulebook)
    • Devastators x5, 4x Missile Launchers, 4x Fireball Missile upgrade (special Chapter Tactics missile, S5 AP4 small blast ignores cover, +15pts/model)
    • Scouts x5, 5x Sniper Rifles, Camo Cloaks
  • Allied Knight Detatchment
    • Knight Gallant (Knight Chainsword and Power Fist) with Meltagun


Mission - Right Place at the Wrong Time

Players alternate setting up 6 numbered objectives.  When an objective is first claimed, roll a D6.  On a 1, the objective explodes, causing D6 S5 AP4 hits to the squad that claimed it, and then the objective is removed from the game permanently!  On a 2-3, the objective is removed.  On a 4+, the objective is "real" and is rolled for as a Mysterious Objective, re-rolling all results of 1.

If 3 objectives are removed, the remaining 3 are "real" and if 3 are identified as "real" all others are removed (assume they are deactivated).  Objectives are worth 3 points at the end of the game.  First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord for one point each.

For this game with Kyle, we played with a long board edge deployment.



I deployed Leonidas and the Terminators in the Land Raider Redeemer, with the Land Speeders around them.  Kyle had the Tactical Squad and Devastators in a forest, with the Sternguard in the Rhino Promethean.  The Chapter Master and Firedrake Cavalry were to the left of the Knight Titan (from Kyle's POV).





Turn 1 - Astral Drakes

The Chapter Master and his Firedrakes move out towards the Land Raider.  The Knight takes cover behind some terrain.


We have 4 attacks for some reason!  Here we come!


Knight seeks cover among the flatiron rock formation.

Turn 1 - Azure Flames

Leonidas and the Terminators charge the Firedrakes.  Lord challenges the Terminator Sergeant and kills him, but Immature Firedrakes die as well as a couple wounds from one of the Firedrakes.  Two other Terminators are killed by Firedrakes.  Ironclad drops by the squads in the forest and kills the Promethean Rhino.  Drop pod kills one Sniper Scout.


Leonidas and the Terminators throw themselves at the counts-as Thunderwolves to slow them down.  They succeed pretty well.


Hey, that was a really nice custom Rhino!


Drop Pods are always so annoying...

Turn 2 - Astral Drakes

Good saves by the Terminators mean only one Terminator dies.  Knight rolls triple 1's for difficult terrain, and so cannot charge the Ironclad this turn.  Tactical squad charges and a few die, but keeps the Ironclad in a tarpit.  Before the charge, Krak missiles do a Crew Shaken result to the Ironclad.  Scouts charge the Drop Pod and do one glance.


Leonidas toughs it out as the Firedrakes do more damage.


Awful roll prevents the Knight from charging the Ironclad.

IMG_0609Drop pods are REALLY annoying...

Turn 2 - Azure Flames

Leonidas takes one wound from the remaining Wolf Claw Firedrake.  Land Raider and Land Speeders move up behind cover to hold an objective.  Ironclad kills all but one Sergeant in the tatsquad.  Land Speeder Storm arrives.  Drop pod and Land Speeder Storm kill two more sniper scouts, breaking the squad.


Leonidas has lasted much longer than I expected him to.


Waiting to rush the Knight...


The Scouts flee from bolter fire!

IMG_0614The Ironclad still takes on the Tactical squad.

Turn 3 - Astral Drakes

The last Terminator is killed, as Leonidas takes one more wound, just barely hanging on!  The Knight charges the Ironclad, destroying it but taking two hull points with it.


Leonidas barely holds on...


The Titan turns the Ironclad into shrapnel, saving the Tactical Sergeant.

Turn 3 - Azure Flames

Leonidas succumbs to the Firedrakes.  The Land Speeder Storm, Land Speeders, and Land Raider team up and just barely manage to remove the last wound from the Knight!  It explodes and takes the last Tactical marine with it!  The Stormtalon blasts all but one of the Devastators.


The Chapter Master finishes Leonidas and prepares a nasty surprise for the Azure Flames vehicles...

IMG_0618Now THAT'S how you kill a Knight!

Turn 4 - Astral Drakes

Chapter Master charges the Land Raider, doing 3 hull points.  Remaining Sterguard turn their flamers on the Land Speeder Storm, killing it and ALL of the Scouts inside before they can even disembark!  Two remaining Sniper Scouts charge the Drop Pod and take one more hull point.


That Drop Pod...


A S10 Thunder Hammer puts the hurt on the Land Raider

Turn 4 - Azure Flames

Tactical Squad finally arrives.  Shooting takes care of the Chapter Master, Firedrake, Devastators, and Scouts.  Having only one Sternguard squad of 4 men, Kyle cedes.



Thunderwolf Cavalry is hard, but even a weaker but still hard melee unit can really slow them down and make them less scary.  Knights can also be very scary.  Kyle told me after the battle that I did EXACTLY what you need to do to a Knight; hit it from multiple sides with dedicated anti-vehicle weapons.

Next, I take on Josh and his Tau Markerlight madness!


Tau Kor’or’vesh Kir’shashvre “Castellan” escorts



FINALLY.  This squadron has been plaguing me for months.  These Castellan escorts have almost as much detail as larger Forgeworld Tau capital ships in less than 1/4 the area.  The three color scheme doesn't make it easy.  Finally, the Tau script on the bases took forever because even though there was only one word per ship, it was much harder than the big ships with multiple words.  I had to do it OVER and OVER and I got sick of it.

I am not looking forward to the 8 Wardens, even though Kir'la is only a 5 letter word.

However, I am taking a break from the Tau.  Coming up next is some battle reports from Highland in prep for this year's Golden Rhino tournament.  After that, BIG projects for the Azure Flames which are in various stages of development.  This is an exciting time!  Stay tuned!


Highland April Tournament Prep part 2 – Dark Angels with White Scars

Part two of my Tournament Prep was with Paul!  He wanted to try some of the new things from the Angels of Death supplement.

Just as in my previous post, we played a 1500 point game.  We were limited to one CAD and one other formation, with Highlander rules (see previous post).  We also played Right Place at the Wrong Time, this time with Dawn of War (long table edges).


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher

Paul - Dark Angels with White Scars

  • Combined Arms Detachment (Dark Angels)
    • Librarian, Lv2, Conversion Field, Bike, Fulmination discipline (new in Angels of Death)
    • Ravenwing Command Squad x6, Apothecary, Ravenwing Standard, Plasma Talons
    • Scouts x5, Shotguns
    • Tactical Squad x10, Grav Cannon with Grav Amp, Grav Gun
      • Drop Pod
    • Tactical Sqiad x5
      • Drop Pod
    • Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance
  • Ravenhawk Assault Wing (White Scars)
    • Stormraven
    • Venerable Dreadnought, Plasma Cannon, Heavy Flamer
    • Sternguard x10, Power Sword, Heavy Flamer







Before turn 1

Dark Angel Ravenwing Bikes make a scout move to claim an objective.  However, it is a bomb which kills the Apothecary, leaving them without Feel No Pain!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 1

The Tactical Squad arrives via drop pod and destroys the Land Speeders with bolter and Grav fire.  The rest of the army advances.  Turn not pictured.

Azure Flames - Turn 1

Land Raider advances and destroys the Land Speeder Vengeance with a well placed Meltagun shot.  Ironclad Dreadnought deep strikes and bakes a bike with his Heavy Flamer.


Land Raider menaces the rest of the board, while the Ironclad drops behind.

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 2

Bikes retreat to stay away from the Land Raider, while the Tactical Squad immobilizes the Ironclad with a grav shot.  Scouts charge the Drop Pod.  The 5-man tactical squad and the Ravenhawk Assault Wing arrive on the left side of the board to get objectives.  Sadly, one of the objectives evaporates for the tatsquad.


Ironclads are much less threatening when they can't walk.


It's objective time!

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Land Raider makes a mad dash across craters and bakes 1/2 the Tactical Squad, including all the Grav!  Even immobilzed, the Dreadnought fires its Heavy Flamer and bakes the Scouts.  Stormtalon arrives and puts two glances on the Stormraven!


The Land Raider drives like it's auditioning for Fast & Furious 40,000.


Nice shooting by the Stormtalon!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 3

Tactical squad charges the Drop Pod, glancing it as Bikes stay cautiously out of Land Raider charge range.  Venerable Dreadnought disembarks to get the objective.


Bikes are cautious while Tatsquad is gutsy!


The Venerable Dreadnought's struggle is real, as is the objective he finds.

Azure Flames - Turn 3

Land Speeder Storm arrives behind the Stormraven, but due to Reinforced Ceramite, the Multi-Melta is useless!  Tactical Squad arrives via Drop Pod, grabs both objectives by combat squadding, and vapes the Venerable Dreadnought.  However, an explosion kills the Sergeant!  Land Raider Redeemer Kool-Aid Mans through the wall and takes the central objective.  Stormtalon menaces the 5 man tatsquad, killing 3.


Melta is less effective without the extra D6.  Meanwhile, the Stormtalon brings Death from Above.


Got it!


Stunt Driver!  OH YEAHHHHH!

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 4

Bikes go the long way around to avoid the Land Raider.  Sternguard disembark and completely wipe out the bolter squad.


Still wary of the Land Raider.


Sternguard arrive for some serious firepower.

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Land Raider rolls out to go for the other objective.  Stormtalon finishes off the Stormraven.


Stormraven finally goes down, as the Stormtalon risks a hover.


Land Raider goes for a different objective.

Dark Angels/White Scars - Turn 5

Remaining two bolter marines run to secure central objective.  Bikes charge the Land Raider with rending sticks and do nothing, then hit-and-run 12".  Sternguard charge the remaining tatsquad in the crater, and kill them!


The bikes punch the Land Raider in the butt to no effect.


Sternguard get the job done!

Azure Flames - Turn 5

Leonidas and the Terminators disembark the Land Raider, and then the Land Raider moves back to the central objective.  The two bolter marines holding it are killed, and the Land Raider holds the objective.  The Stormtalon hovers flat-out to get the objective in the crater, and Leonidas and the Terminators charge the Sternguard, killing them all.  The scouts hold the last objective.  Game ends.


Leonidas finally shows up, and puts the hurt on the Sternguard!


Land Raider makes one more dash through a wall, and takes the last objective.


Final Score:

Azure Flames: 9 plus Linebreaker for 10

Dark Angels/White Scars: First Blood for 1


Paul was banking on a psychic power to trade places with another unit, and get a turn one charge!  Unfortunately, he did not roll that power.  He had a good list, but 3 of the 4 objectives he identified were removed, one of which killed his apothecary!

In the end, I love this mission because it requires you to be mobile and tactical, but not as frantically as a Maelstrom mission.

Next: more painting and modelling projects!


Highland April Tournament Prep part 1 – Imperial Guard

Last year, I took on an anything-goes style 40K tournament with one goal: show that 40K is still fun by standing up to beardy broken lists with a balanced fun Highlander-style Combined Arms Detachment.  I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams, because I not only won the tournament, I made quite the impression on Ian, the event coordinator.

So, this year, the points value is reduced to 1500, and players are limited to one Combined Arms Detachment plus one other formation of any kind, subject to the Highlander rules of composition.  For those unfamiliar, you can only take one of any given unit.  The exception is Troops choices, but you can only duplicate Troops choices after taking one of every type of Troops in your Codex.

The Tournament is in July.  Never too early to prep.  With the help of the wonderful people of the Highland Library 40K Club, I played two great games to see how my initial list performs.  My first game was against Michael, who I played against last month.

The mission that we played was the 4th mission from last year's tournament.  We didn't get to play it properly, so it will be the first mission in this year's tournament.


Bozeman - Azure Flames Space Marines (Salamanders)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Leonidas, Captain of the 1st Company (counts as Vulkan He'stan)
    • Ironclad Dreadnought, Chainfist, replace Storm Bolter with Heavy Flamer, Ironclad Launchers
      • Drop Pod
    • Terminator Assault Squad x5, 5x Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield
      • Land Raider Redeemer, Extra Armour, Multi-Melta
    • Tactical Squad x10, Veteran Sergeant, Power Fist, Bolter-Melta, Meltagun, Multi-Melta
      • Drop Pod
    • Scout Squad x5
      • Land Speeder Storm, Multi-Melta
    • Land Speeder Squadron x3, 3x Multi-Melta
    • Stormtalon Gunship, Skyhammer Missile Launcher

Michael - Imperial Guard (I'm not calling them Astra Militarum)

  • Combined Arms Detachment
    • Land Raider Executioner Command Tank, Camo Netting
      • Commander Pask
    • Commisar, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Refractor Field
    • Commisar, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword, Refractor Field
    • Veteran Squad, Grenadiers, Forward Sentries, Demolitions
    • Infantry Platoon
      • Platoon Command Squad, Medic, Commander, Power Sword, Plasma Gun
      • Infantry Squad, Plasma Gun
      • Infantry Squad, Plasma Gun
    • Primaris Psyker, Lv2
    • Techpriest Enginseer
      • 5 Servitors, Servo Arms
    • Stormlord Superheavy Tank, 2x Lascannon, Camo Netting
      • NOTE: Due to Michael not owning a Stormlord, he used a box top as a proxy.  Fire arcs were approximated and judged with a 4+.


Mission - Right Place at the Wrong Time

Players alternate setting up 6 numbered objectives.  When an objective is first claimed, roll a D6.  On a 1, the objective explodes, causing D6 S5 AP4 hits to the squad that claimed it, and then the objective is removed from the game permanently!  On a 2-3, the objective is removed.  On a 4+, the objective is "real" and is rolled for as a Mysterious Objective, re-rolling all results of 1.


If 3 objectives are removed, the remaining 3 are "real" and if 3 are identified as "real" all others are removed (assume they are deactivated).  Objectives are worth 3 points at the end of the game.  First Blood, Linebreaker, and Slay the Warlord for one point each.

Setup zones are Random.  For this game with Michael, we played Hammer and Anvil (short table edges, 24" deployment)





In the grand tradition of Tournament scenarios, I did not go first.


Imperial Guard - Turn 1

The Stormlord fires a Lascannon at the Land Raider Redeemer, glancing it, and fires its Vulcan Megabolter at the Land Speeders.  Luckily one of them is out of its fire arc.


The Land Speeders take a huge amount of fire!


Land Raider is glanced.

Azure Flames - Turn 1

Land Raider advances and pops smoke.  Ironclad Dreadnought arrives and damages the platoon squad in the bunker.  Last Land Speeder flies towards the enemy.


Let's move out.


Imperial Guard - Turn 2

Plasma fire from several sources puts two glances on the Ironclad.  An Infantry Squad charges the last Land Speeder and kills it.


Guardsmen rush!


Not enough to bring down the Ironclad!

Azure Flames - Turn 2

Ironclad charges the Stormlord, doing 8 hull points of damage, just one away from doing it in!  Land Raider moves up and uses its Multi-Melta to destroy Pask's Leman Russ.  Land Speeder Storm arrives and takes cover behind some ruins.  Turn not pictured.

Imperial Guard - Turn 3

Veteran squad disembarks from the Stormlord and charges the Ironclad, killing it with Melta bombs!  Vulcan Megabolter whiffs against the Land Speeder Storm, but Heavy Bolter sponsons shred the speeder, and other guns kill two of the Scouts, forcing them to go to ground.


Expensive Veterans are worth it, as they save the Stormlord from the Ironclad.


Scouts are stymied in the ruins by heavy fire.

Azure Flames - Turn 3

Stormtalon arrives and kills many of the Infantry squad that killed the last Land Speeder, breaking them.  Leonidas and the Terminators disembark the Land Raider, and split up.  The Terminators go after the Veterans, killing everyone but the Commissar who breaks and flees!  Leonidas kills the remaining troops in the bunker with his Heavy Flamer.  Tactical Squad arrives via drop pod, combat squads, and blows up the Stormlord with Melta power!  The only survivor is a lone Servitor who is killed by a Drop Pod Storm Bolter.


Air power gets revenge!


This Commissar doesn't have anyone to shoot, so he flees!


Leonidas clears the bunker, as the Tactical Squad finishes off the Stormlord.

Imperial Guard - Turn 4

Platoon commander orders the Commissar to Get Back in the Fight!  Commissar fires his plasma, but a Terminator makes his save.


The Commissar is back, but out of luck.

Azure Flames - Turn 4

Bolter fire and fire from the Stormtalon kill all remaining models.  Tabled.


Shot him before the Terminators could finish him.


The Stormtalon hovers to take care of business.


I knew holding objectives would be hard with a Superheavy designed to wipe Space Marines off the table, so I poured everything I had into killing it.  That ended up working well, as Michael put all his eggs in one basket.  A superheavy basket.  However, without the Stormlord to dish out punishment, the rest of the army was a bit lacking.

Next: I go up against a Dark Angels/White Scars list with new tricks from the latest Space Marine Supplement: Angels of Death!  Stay tuned!



Look at this.  Is there anything that screams laziness more than the barrel of this Space Marine's Boltgun?


No one wants to see that.  That's bush league.  Don't be like that.  Here's a handy guide on how to drill the barrels of Boltguns so they don't look terrible.

  • Get a good pin vise set with a 1/32" and a 3/64" drill bit.  The standard Dremel 7 bit set comes with this and is usually less than $5.
  • Put the smallest bit (1/32") in the pin vise, and begin to drill the crossbore of the Bolter.
    • PRO TIP: If you are at a bad angle, you'll ruin the barrel.  Instead of going through the whole Bolter at once, drill a bit on one side and switch.  Keep switching after a couple turns until you break through.
  • Continue as above until you see daylight through the Bolter.  DO NOT STOP UNTIL YOU SEE DAYLIGHT.  See below.


  • Keep the same 1/32" bit in, and drill a very small divot into the front of the barrel.  Try to make it as centered as possible.


  • Replace the 1/32" bit with the 3/64" bit.  Drill out the barrel all the way to the cavity you created in the crossbore.


  • Sometimes, the crossbore gets a little extra plastic from the barrel drill, as seen below.  Put the 1/32" bit back in and use it to carefully clean the crossbore.


  • If any of your barrels were damaged, fix them with putty or replace the Bolter if you can.
  • Now your Bolters don't look like garbage!

Next: A huge update to the Azure Flames, including two Tactical Squads, and some special surprises courtesy of Games Workshop's 20th anniversary of the Space Marines!  You won't want to miss this!

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