This summer (next week in fact) sees the first installment of our gaming group’s semi-annual 40k campaign; Auctorian Redemption, planned, hosted and GM’d by Topher.

This is actually the third campaign for Auctoria, though my first, and represents a fairly heavy shift in direction from the previous two. There are three reasons for this.

Firstly because this time around we’re learning a new edition (8th) on top of the campaign rules, with all the unfamiliarity that comes from that.

Secondly because this time, rather than being a loyal planet besieged by the forces of Chaos, it is now a fully Chaos held world that the imperial forces seek to reclaim. The crusade is called the ‘Redemption Crusade’, hence the campaign title.

And thirdly, because this time the campaign map will be more dynamic and changale, with battles played over 6 rounds (one week per round) culminating in a grand finale 7th round at the end of the holidays. Toph plans to use the old Planetary Empires tiles, so I’ll try to get some shots up.

I’m really looking forward to it.

The important tasks for me right now though are twofold:

  • First, to decide on a character to lead my armies, as these characters are the focal points around which the campaign will revolve, and then second…
  • To decide on an army composition for them to lead.

These are the obvious precursors to the much bigger challenges of….

  • Paint said army to a decent standard.
  • Actually win some games with it.

So let’s get on with it.

The battle format seems fairly simple.

Games will be played using the new narrative system of 8th rather than the matched-play system, which means power levels (PL) rather than points (PTS), and we’ll generally be playing battles of around 100PL, give or take a few % depending on map objective bonus…

The characters we choose to lead our forces must be ‘Generic’ ones, meaning no named/special characters, and their PL is not counted towards the total for their army. I don’t think the GM will let us be too filthy with that; wanting a 13PL tank Commander for no cost is asking a bit much….

This is broadly what I’m taking:

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The Redemption Crusade Inquisitorial Task-force. A Power Level 100 (+5 for the free character), fully battle-forged army.

What you’re looking at is an Imperial Brigade Detachment. That’s a minimum of 6 Troops, with an accompanying minimum 3 of each Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support and HQ units.

Fitting all of that into 100PL is fairly tricky, but I deemed it worthwhile for the very simple reason that it gives me a whopping 9 Command Points (CP) to play with each game. I’m pretty happy with the overall composition here and with the possible exception of the fast attack slots I’ve not really had to take bare-bones units to make this work.

HQ units and Generals:

This is my HQ of choice to retake Auctoria; Inquisitor (or should it be Inquisitrix?) Jezebel (surname TBC), of the Ordo Hereticus.

I am using the unconverted Inquisitor Greyfax model from Gathering Storm , but she is otherwise a generic ‘rulebook’ Inquisitor with a Condemner Boltgun, a Power Sword (GM allowed this, as the rules don’t let you take both a ranged and a melee weapon) and the [Dominate] psychic power.

Other than some additions to her base, and a possible bit of extra paint on her hair, the model is complete.

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Yes, the Bunker is included in the list! 5PL to hide your characters and get some AA without needing a Hydra or Valkyrie.

The other two HQ units are a Lord Commissar (center-right behind the inquisitor) and a Company Commander (the space marine-looking model to the left). They’ll get names soon enough. I figure that the ‘staying power’ of the Commissar and Inquisitor together, with their respective bubbles, should keep the otherwise guardsman-heavy list in the fight for longer.

Troops

The bulk of the brigade is made up of 3 Infantry squads, 2 Tempestus Scion squads (one of 5, one of 10 men) and a unit of 5 grey Knight Terminators.

The intention is that the infantry squads will take a primarily defensive role, holding objectives and protecting my squishy support characters, while the Terminators and Scions will form the closest thing I can get to a “hammer” for pushing objectives and threatening the enemy back-line.

Scions being troops now makes this sort of thing much easier, and they have far more reliable mobility thanks to the deep strike changes…that said, the hot shot Lasguns have taken a much needed nerf.

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3x Infantry squads with identical kit. Sergeants with power Axes, Guardsmen with Vox-casters and Grenade Launchers. Cheap as chips for PL3 and 55pts a squad.

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Tempestus Scions are dead centre. The 5-man unit has hot-shot Lasguns all round, and the 10-man unit has 2 Volley Guns, and they are 3 and 6PL respectively.

Elites

I should explain at this point that things have gone a little confusing in the world of Astra Militarum 8th edition, and lots of units have become elite that never were; mainly as a result of formerly dependent characters becoming independent. Veterans are now elites for example, having swapped places with the Scions.

My elites section is currently filled out by the obligatory command squad (one of the few painted units in the force, one which I’m very happy with), though now devoid of its platoon captain who is now a separate elites choice, sigh.

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Master Vox, +1wound guy, Medic and Standard. Now all viable! Sort of….

I also have in my elite slots the three former regimental advisors…

  • An Officer of the Fleet, who doesn’t do that much, but makes flyers better (by giving them re-rolls) and who can call an orbital bombardment.
  • A Master of Ordnance, whose artillery strike is one use only now, but gives buffs to vehicles.
  • An Astropath, who is now GOD-MODE, providing telepathic bubbles and an ignores cover buff to friendly units within 3″, for the paltry cost of 1PL! 1!

..and some other….secret things.

(EDIT: they’re not actually secret, they’re in the back row of some of these shots)

Oh, and Ratlings, don’t forget the Ratlings…. The changes to cover have made them a little more vulnerable than they used to be, but they’re a little more maneuverable.

Fast Attack…

…is filled out with three placeholder units if I’m honest. I have two scout sentinels with Autocannons (I think Armoured sentinels are little too pricey in PL unless you’ve really splurged and given them all Plasma cannons and Hunter-Killer missiles, which no-one in the history of playing will have done!*) and a generic Hellhound.

*If you have done this, you are now a Genius, but before 8th Edition you were an idiot.

FYI, Hellhounds now explode more readily than other tanks again! I’m dangerously excited about exploding on a 4+ rather than a 6+ again and to be clear, that’s the principle reason I’ve chosen this pattern over the others. The Banewolf and Devil Dog, for the same PL, are definitely better choice against most targets.

Heavy Support

Now this is where I struggled to make choices, as working with PL meant I could essentially choose the tanks I wanted, irrespective of points value…..

In the end though I chose a Leman Russ Vanquisher for the anti-vehicle and anti-MC threats (the rest of the army is basically all anti-Infantry anyway, that’s just what it’s modeled as) and a Leman Russ Executioner.

Plasma weaponry in 8th edition, while still a significant threat to marines, is more of an all-round weapon that performs pretty well against most targets. It won’t be killing Marines and Terminators outright anymore, but it will still be hurting them a lot.

However, I do have other toys that may get swapped in or out for different rounds. I’m really sold on the idea of mechanizing the force.

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Other ‘toys’

All considered I’m pretty stoked for this campaign so far, and I’m hoping to post something every week in review of my games and of the campaign in general, as well as pictures of models, now that I’m building up speed with the painting side of things too.

Mat

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