Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Purge of 56-Izar: Fluff as inspiration

**This post may contain spoilers for the Eisenhorn novels!**

The background story of 40K is one of the things I like most about the game, and for me, it is what keeps me painting and modelling. Fluff can also be used to drive you tabletop games as well, adding some more interest to your battles.

One of my favourite pieces of background is the Eisenhorn trilogy by Dan Abnett which follows the career of the Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn.

I've been re-reading the first book this last week, and one of the things I thought would fun would be to see if I could make a legal army list to represent one of the incidents in the book. At the end of the first story, there is a full scale Inquisitorial incursion on to a xenos held world the Imperials have designated 56-Izar. Heretics have landed there to seize a rare and powerful Chaos artefact from the aliens who reside on the planet, and the Inquisition intends to stop them. The Inquisition launches a attack to prevent this with 150,000 elite Imperial Guard drop troops and 60 Deathwatch marines. This is a great part of the story, so I've put together an army list which represents (in small scale of course), the forces present.

I've used Codex:Daemonhunters for this, as the list required a Daemonhost which you can't take with the Witch Hunters list. Without the Daemonhost, you could represent this host with the Witch Hunters list.

Inquisitor Lord Phlebas Alessandro Rorken, Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, 3 Crusaders, 3 Cherub Familiars.

Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, Word of the Emporer (represents his will). Eisenhorn is accompanied by his retinue:
Sergeant Jeruss of the 50th Gudrun Rifles (Veteran Guardsman)
2 Veteran Guardsman
Alizebeth Bequin (Acolyte with hellgun (represents her las-carbine))
Midas Betancore (Acolyte with bolter (represents his needle rifle))

Inquisitor Konrad Molitor, Bolt Pistol, Power Sword, with his retinue of 2 Acolytes both armed with las-carbines (shotguns)

Cherubael, Daemonhost

Mirepoix Elite Drop Troops:
3 Squads of 10 Drop Troops (Inquisitorial Storm Troopers) with Veteran Sergeant and 2 flamers
2 Squads of 10 Drop Troops (Inquisitorial Storm Troopers) with Veteran Sergeant and 2 plasma guns

10 Tactical Space Marines of the Deathwatch Chapter, lead by Brother Cynewolf (Veteran Sergeant) armed with a storm bolter, a flamer and heavy bolter.

This comes out at roughly 1500 points or so, depending on what extra tricks you put on the Inquisitors. I think this would be a pretty cool battle to re-enact and interesting to model and paint.

For the heretic forces led by Dazzo and Gorgone Locke on 56-Izar, these could be done from the Lost and the Damned list from Codex: Eye of Terror (Arch-heretic for Dazzo, Locke as an aspiring champion, traitors for the Naval Security detail).

To re-enact the battle to capture the Necroteuch, you could simply do this using the capture and control mission from the rule book. One objective (traitor side) represents the Necroteuch, the Imperial side objective represents the primer to translate the text. Or to add flavour, have Eisenhorn who is carrying the primer have to get to a certain point on the table and the other side have to stop him.

So there we are, a legal (I think) army list inspired by a background story. There are many others to inspire you in the rich canon of the 40k background. Perhaps the Mechanicum army of Adept Zeth at the fall of the Magma City, or Commissar Yarrick's forces on Golgotha, there are many great possibilties. I'd love to hear suggestions for other armies based on events in the 40K background.


Ryan said...

So, here I was, enjoying my vacation, not having anything to do besides dishes and taking out the trash occasionally... and maybe painting some Space Marines. Now I have to pull out that series of books and read them yet again...

*shakes fist in your general direction*

Lord said...

Why not use the deathwatch kill team rules? they seem more accurate than regular Space Marines. Besides, Veteren Sergeant does not do justice to Brother-Captain, use the appropriate model....and stats.


Chris said...


Absolutely, you could use the Deathwatch rules instead, but I wanted to draw up a list from a single codex. That's the beauty of background based gaming, you can tool it to how you want to play.