Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hellhound


Stygian Guard Hellhound light support tank.  The Version seen above is also equipped with a hull mounted multi melta useful for taking on other armor or for blowing a hole in a strongpoint prior to igniting it with burning promethium.  The Stygian guard made wide use of these tanks particularly in the urban combat zones or when assaulting a fortified line.  In these capacities the hellhound often excelled.

Standard GW hellhound kit with additions from the chaos vehicle upgrade sprue and shields from the fantasy chaos marauders kit.  This particular kit from GW was one of the easiest I have ever worked on.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Stygian Guard Anti Tank Squad

Stygian Guard Anti-Armor Squad.  The Stygian Guard typically uses Lascannons in an anti armor role.  Use of these squads is typically defensive in form though they have been observed providing overwatch for assaults.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Stygian Guard Heavy Bolter Team

A Stygian Guard heavy bolter team.  While both sides made heavy use of the heavy bolter the Stygian guard was able to utilize it most effectively when it came to delaying operations.  They tended to hose the advancing infantry before displacing and falling back in order to do so again.  Notice the loader on such a team carries smoke grenades to aid in obscuring the team as they displace.

A standard GW cadian heavy weapons team kit.  The heads have been swapped with those from pig iron productions and a chain has been added to the heavy bolter gun shield from the chaos vehicle accessory sprue.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Stygian Guard


Stygian Guard mechanized infantry squad.  Such squads make up the bulk of the official Stygian Guard army.  This squad in particular is tooled up for anti infantry fighting hence the flame thrower.  Given the Stygian Empires continued use of chemical weapons it is unsurprising to find this squad equipped with gas masks

These models are standard GW Cadian infantry with head swaps from Pig Iron Productions


Stygian Guard Chimera.  The Stygian Empire favored chimera's over Taurox's. Partly because of ease of acquisition but also based on firepower.  This Chimera in addition to it's multi laser also has a heavy bolter, a heavy stubber, and a hunter killer missile.  This loadout makes the chimera a formidable source of firepower on the battlefield capable of decimating units for it's embarked squads to then mop up.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Outpost 4372




Outpost 4372 lies in the basin plains of Ithican II, a small planet in Imperial space that had been hit with a "Flash Fire" attack and was now enduring a insurgency as a result.  The Outpost is manned by soldiers of the 343rd Anglican regiment.  The outpost serves as a fuel depot for forces hunting insurgents with a small garrison to guard it and keep an eye for signs of insurgent movement across the barren plains.  The outpost uses standard utilitarian Arkos forge designed pre-fab construction common throughout the sector.

     The Kit is the Mantic Games Sci-Fi watchtower kit from their battlezones scenery line.  While the kit looks simple enough a word of warning it is not.  There are no instructions, and you are best served assembling without glue then going back over and gluing the connectors.  I had to rebuild this kit three different times before I could get to glue.  While this kit is generic and allows a number of options I found it to be frustrating to say the least and am now a bit wary of some of the other kits in this line.  I painted it a olive green and kept the colors minimal and bland to reinforce the modular pre-fab nature of the scenery.  I used a great deal of GW Agrellan Earth technical paint, (highly recommended for easy weathering ) to give it an aged unkempt appearance.  I wanted to use this piece in future games as an abandoned outpost as well, hence the painting choices.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dark Apostle Janeus


Dark Apostle Janeus is the leading Dark Apostle of the 7th Hydra Grand Company, Alpha Legion.  A member of Lord Magwar's inner command circle he has helped direct hundreds of insurrections.  His keen mind has seen him counter imperial propaganda and lead those who hear his words down the eight fold path.  His zealotry and commitment to the long war is legendary.  So much so the gods have seen fit to reward his service by fueling the fire within him with the very essence of the warp.  Janeus radiates a dark heat and his skin appears as melting wax so great is the fire within that drives him.  Throughout the Stygian war he was quick to recruit from any recidivist faction of the Imperium in order to augment the strength of the Stygian Empire.  He was also chosen to instruct the new members of the dark priesthood, the eightfold path, in the ways of chaos to inspire and elevate the official church of the Stygian Empire.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"Spectral Stalker" Helbrute


A common configuration helbrute using a power scourge and twin linked reaper autocannon.  This particular Helbrute was sighted at Stalino Hive on Belruss.  It's occupant proved quite adept at sadistic strike and fade attacks against Imperial forces involved in the fighting there.  So much so in fact it garnered the nickname the spectral stalker, because n fact it was likened to being attacked by a ghost or spirit suddenly there and just as suddenly gone.  Sgt Higgens of the 97th Anglican regiment recounts this particular helbrute.

     "We had been warned when we moved up to the front lines to relieve the 52 Anglican regiment.  Beware the spectral stalker they said, that helbrute will sneak up and slaughter you.  We shrugged the warning off for the most part.  Helbrutes are too big noisy and cumbersome to sneak up on anyone."

     "We were holed up in this storage site, the squad and I.  Outside we could hear the endless shells flying overhead as part of the endless barrages that make up city fighting.  Clever beast probably used the sound of the barrage to cover his approach.  One minute we were sitting there the next a part of the wall gets smashed in and four mechanical tentacles dart in.  They each speared a man in the legs or belly and hooked them.  I remember the screams as they were impaled and then dragged suddenly towards the hole in the wall.  Some of the lads darted in to rescue their mates, but as quick as can be the beast had pulled them through the hole and put that awful cannon into the opening.  The sudden salvo cut down another three of the lads and deafened the rest of us as we scrambled for cover.  Then just as suddenly as he arrived he was gone. and the squad down seven men."

     "Two days later the platoon began to recon slowly up the block.  The bloody thing hid itself amongst the ruins it's mechanical tentacles on the ground looking like all the world just another set of power cable debris.  Second squad found out the hard way.  it ambushed them dropping four men in an instant with the tentacles and blasting another two with it's guns.  We went rushing to second squads aid but the thing shot a support beam that further collapsed part of the ruin and left a thick cloud of dust into which it disappeared."

     "For two more weeks it went like that.  The beast would suddenly attack through the walls then disappear or ambush us then vanish.  Sometimes it would pick off a sentry and his relief, cutting them apart and leaving them for us to find.  We could tell it was the spectral spirit that did it because of it's tracks by the bodies.  The company was nearly three hundred strong going in, we lost 87 men in two weeks, only thirty or so was to stygian militia and bombardments.  The other 57 were to that cursed beast.  We warned our relief as we rotated back to refit, but I fear they took our warnings as seriously as we did when we entered the front." - Sgt Higgens 97th Anglican, Stalino Hive

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Helbrute



Helbrute equipped with Wrath pattern ecto plasma cannon.  Effective against both light to mid armored vehicles and devastating to even the most heavily armored infantry this pattern of Helbrute is amongst the favored versions employed by the Alpha Legion and the Stygian Empire.  While helbrutes are not typically found amongst the midst of the Stygian Guard, they are a more common sight amongst Stygian militia units.  They can be found on garrison duty and amongst the front lines of the war.  They have even been known to make up a portion of the "Flashfire" forces initial wave due to their unstable temperament and destructive capabilities.

This helbrute is from the Dark Vengeance set.  The multi melta arm has been replaced with a plasma cannon from the forgefiend kit.  The GW helbrute kit plasma cannon appearing to thin and anemic for my tastes.  A plasma Cannon should be more intimidating thus the conversion.  The tail is likewise from the Forgefiend /maulerfiend kit as I wanted to give the model a more serpentine/ dinosaur/dragon feel to the model.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

History of the Stygian Wars Part IV

With the expansion of the Stygian empire halted temporarily, the Imperium began planning and mustering forces for a counteroffensive.  Some in the Ecclesiarchy wanted a war of faith declared, while others sought  crusade to end the threat of chaos posed by the Stygian Empire.  Whatever the official declaration the ponderous might of the Imperium was about to be brought down upon the Stygian empire.  Unfortunately for the Imperium the spies and agents of the Alpha Legion had taken notice and Lord Magwar had a plan in place to deal with the coming storm.

The Flashfire campaigns
     The first flashfire campaign began on the Imperial world of Laotia II.  A small flotilla of two transport vessels and three infidel class raiders slipped the Imperial cordon and made it's way to the planet.  The raiders fired up the planet indiscriminately as thousands of lighters, savior escape pods, and other drop ships unleashed a horde of cultists across the planet.


The hordes of mutants, cultists, psychers, and bio mechanical constructs cut a swathe of destruction across the planet.  the attacks were however random though widespread.  The flotilla departed however within hours of it's arrival leaving the horde behind to rampage.  Imperial reinforcement were detached from the coming counteroffensive to put down the attacks and restore order.  within weeks of their arrival the suicidal horde ha lost over 60 percent of it's strength to clashes with Imperial reinforcements.
The remainder of the force however went to ground and began a planet wide insurgency campaign so effective Imperial reinforcements were needed to maintain order and were unable to depart for a new offensive against the Stygian empire.  Imperial tacticians calculated that 5% of the forces dropped on Laotia II were in fact trained heavily in insurgency.

     And so in the coming months more flotillas slipped through the lines to drop expendable cannon fodder along with trained insurgency experts onto no fewer than 17 imperial worlds.  Most of the incoming imperial reinforcements were now being sent to stomp out the fires of these new attacks, including the forces previously dedicated to launching a counteroffensive.  These attacks began to be known as flashfire attacks as they happened suddenly, threatening to blaze out of control and topple the planet, and had to have a large imperial garrison left after the initial battles to keep the fire from reigniting.

The Shadow War
     Even as the flashfire campaigns were being initiated the shadow war increased in tempo.  Chaos assassins and sleeper cells would strike behind imperial lines only to disappear again.  Imperial forces secretly worked to stop these attacks as well as inserting agents to spy and sabotage the Stygian empire.  The shadow war raged for intelligence, and secret control of the sector.  It went generally unnoticed amidst the sector spanning war.  After all with tens of thousands of people dying every day in the war what did the loss of one or two individuals a day matter. 

The Wars Grind On.
     And so the Stygian wars raged for the next two years in bitter stalemate.  The shadow war had revealed to the Imperium some of Lord magwar's plan, along with other useful information.  One such tid bit was the Alpha Legion turning use of p.o.w.'s into spawn, battle servitors, or sacrificial offers to summon daemonic aid.
The Adeptus Astartes forces began to raid the Stygian Empire worlds in response to flashfire attacks.  These met with mixed results though the Apocalypse Angels chapter had a high success rate along with elements of the Raven Guard that had come to aid the Imperial cause.
And so the Stygian Wars rage to this day across over two dozen worlds, hundreds of orbitals and remote outposts, in the depths of space between worlds, and hidden in the cities across both empires.  it sees both sides raiding the other while gathering strength to launch major offensives.  It sees small detachments joining both sides daily in an effort to tip the scales, while mad genius's on both sides develop new weapons with which to win a series of wars that has already seen chemical and even atomic weaponry used.  In this dark millennium with a conflict this large there can be no pity, no peace, only war.

                                                                                                                     
History of the Stygian Wars part 3

A wave of conquest
     With the Fall of Cryxis IV the stygian empire began another wave of conquests.  World after world fell to chaos with the Imperial fleet reeling there was little the Imperium could do to stop the wave of conquests.  Imperial worlds mustered what resistance they could and tried to bleed the Stygian Guard to weaken them all the while sending out desperate pleas for aid
     Within a year however imperial reinforcements were arriving in the sector to try and stem the tide.  Moreover a number of worlds had began mass conscription programs to combat the oncoming Stygian tide.  In particular the hive world of Anglia Prime raised a force of nearly 28 million in a year.   However with the first war machines of the Dark Mechanicum forgeworld of Cryxis IV starting to reach the front lines Stygian forces were able to keep up their implacable advance

Signs of Hope
The next year saw still more advances made by the Stygian Empire, but the pace of conquest was slowing.  More and more Imperial reinforcements were making it into the sector, enough that the Imperial fleet was beginning to conduct raids on the Stygian Empires shipping lanes.  Another reason for the slowing of the Stygian Empires advance was the great strain their quick conquests had put on their supply lines.  The most noticeable effect of this for Imperial forces was the composition of the Stygian forces.  The Stygian Guard remained primary structured like a Imperial guard regiment, but now being seen more often were militia armies made up of cultists, mutants, and daemonic war engines.  While fearsome in their own right they lacked the discipline and training the Stygian Guard had.  though it was foolish to underestimate their potential.  Still the Stygian advance continued in part due to the increasing number of psychers fighting for the Stygian empire.  These psychers would often summon daemonic aid further increasing the severity of the warp storms beginning to engulf the sector.

 
Stemming the Tide
     The Following year brought more reinforcements to the Imperials in the form of ships regiments and even a few astartes strike forces, including a large detachment from the Apocalypse Angels.  Finally on the worlds of Belruss II, Chosan III, and Quatel Prime, the Imperium was able to halt the advance of chaos.
 
With the Stygian Empire momentarily checked, sector command bagan to take stock of the overall strategic situation.  Thirty four worlds were now part of the Stygian empire.  Intelligence reports confirmed that each of these worlds was being fortified forming multiple rings of steel around the heart of the Stygian empire.  Cracking those defenses would be long and bloody.
 Still a chaos pocket empire could not be allowed to exist in the sector plus Intelligence reports were revealing other potent hazards stemming from the Stygian Empire.  The tithe to Lord Magwar was learned of and Imperial authorities calculated that within three year the Alpha Legion would have stockpiled enough to do this again in another sector, and perhaps anther two sectors within eight years.  Such a massive upheaval threatened the entire segmentum.  Of other concern was the Stygian Empire was acting as a beacon for every renegade and chaos worshiper in the segmentum drawing them to the fighting.  It was learned Lord Magwar was helping equip these renegade warbands in exchange for oaths of fealty and other favors.  It was determined that the 7th Hydra under Lord Magwar could not be allowe to garner the support and power he needed to pose a threat to the Imperium on the level of Huron Bleckheart, or Abbadon.  With the new influx of reinforcements The Imperium would go on the offensive and crush the Stygian Empire.
 
 

Friday, June 12, 2015

History of the Stygian Wars part 2

The War Begins.
     The Alpha legion fleet arrived at the penal planet of Stygia just as a full scale revolt led by Alpha Legion puppet had broken out.  Imperial forces trying to contain the revolt were unprepared for the sudden assault from space and within hours the entre planet along with it's prison population of 1.3 billion souls were in the hands of Chaos.  The Alpha Legion then struck an accord with the revolt leader declaring him to be the new emperor of the Stygian Empire.  Trainers were brought down to the planet to convert the population into an army an see to it they were properly armed while the new Emperor went with the newly arrived fleet and armies the Alpha Legion had procured for him in wilderness space to conquer a new empire.  In exchange for being declared Emperor and receiving Alpha Legion support, the new Stygian Emperor tithed 10 percent of all captured and produced war material from his new empire to be turned over to Lord Magwar's 7th Hydra Grand Company of the Alpha Legion.

The Surge of Serpents
     The Stygian Emperor and his new host struck out suddenly with offensives in every direction at once.  Three agriworlds surrounding Stygia were the first to fall.  With minimal pdf presence and little to nothing in the way of orbital defenses they were easy pickings for the Stygian Guard and Alpha Legion assaults.  All three had fallen within the first month and throwing the specter of famine over nearby Imperial worlds dependent upon them.  Four more worlds came under assault a month later.  These Imperial worlds tried to resist but were again overwhelmed before they could adequately resist due to years of advanced preparations the Alpha Legion had made.  These operations were typical of those that would then follow.  Upon the arrival of the stygian fleet Alpha Legion cult cells and sleeper agents would spring into action.  Communications would be cut, defenses sabotaged, key personel would be assassinated, preemptive attacks launched by cults on defense staging areas.  Assaulted from within and without the planets quickly fell and were converted to serving the new Stygian Empire.
                                          Trapped Between the Stygian Guard
                 and Alpha Legion cultists a pdf force
                 about to be wiped out.
Continued Expansion

        Imperial sector command was left reeling as in a span of three months over eight worlds and two dozen moon and asteroid outposts had fallen to the Stygian Empire.  Worse still was the warp surrounding the sector had begun to stir with the violence the Alpha Legion had unleashed on the sector hampering communications and reinforcements.  Within another six months five more worlds had fallen to the Stygian Empire.  Reports filtered in of fallen worlds given over entirely to the production of war material the raising of additional forces, and the fortification of conquered worlds.  The Imperium was able to gather a large chunk of the sector fleet and sent it to the now threatened forge world of Cryxis IV with it's ring of shipyards.  The Stygian empire had to be kept from taking a forgeworld at all costs.
                    Stygian Bastion                                                             
 
Battle of Cryxis IV
     The Imperial Fleet gathered at Cryxis IV sheltered in it's web of orbital defenses as the forgeworld prepare for war.  Admiral Tulon, the Imperial fleet commander was confident in his ability to defeat the chaos Invasion armada that intelligence reports had predicted was bearing down on him.  His one worry was that the chaos armada might see the strength of his position and turn away without engaging, and while that would deny chaos any chance of invading the forgeworld it would also deny him the chance to annihilate the chaos armada.
 
     The Chaos armada emerged at the edge of the system and undeterred began making it's way straight towards the waiting Imperial fleet and Cryxis IV.  Minutes before the fleets came into range the Chaos fleet sent an encrypted signal out to the forgeworld.  The message contained a technovirus that turned every servitor in the system into a weapons platform for the Alpha Legion on a seek and destroy setting.  Meanwhile the Fabricator General of Cryxis IV revealed his true allegiance turning the orbital defense platforms on the Imperial fleet.  A dozen Imperial cruisers were crippled in the first salvo.  As Admiral Tulon sought to face this new threat his manservant of thirty years walked up to him and stabbed him to death on the bridge before being cut down by ships security.  On his body a hydra tattoo was discovered on his left wrist.  With the Imperial fleet suddenly leaderless and beset on by the orbital defenses The Alpha legion fleet slammed into them with devastating effect.  Some Imperial ships fled while others fought to the death trying to salvage something from the disaster.  In the end The Imperial fleet lost 12 cruisers, 14 frigates,  1 grand cruiser, and Admiral Tulon's flagship, the Retribution Class Battleship "Divine Will".  Most of these ships would be salvaged in time and used by the Stygian Empire including the "Divine Will" which was rechristened "Death Adder" and was the Stygian Emperor's personal flagship.  Down below loyalist units fought Dark Mechanicus traitors, berserk servitors, and invading Stygian guard.

       Loyalist Skitarii fighting Dark Mechanicus and servitors

Despite a truly heroic defense the loyalist forces were wiped out over the next three months.  Cryxis IV became a Dark Mechanicus world under the Stygian Empire.  The sector fleet was reeling from defeat, with sector sending pleas for reinforcements.  And the Stygian Empire was growing stronger with it being only a matter of time before Cryxis IV was mass producing daemonic war material for the Stygian Empire.


 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

History of the Stygian Wars Part I

Preparing For War

The Origin of the Stygian Wars could be traced back 112 years ago to the year M40.855.  Lord Magwar of the Alpha Legion 7th Hydra company sought to change the strategic weaknesses found through Chaos forces with the Imperium forever having a massive material and manpower advantage.  His plan was to recruit a base force, and using the element of surprise to quickly establish a pocket empire.  A percentage of resources gained and produced by this pocket empire would be taken away prepare further large scale uprisings.  Meanwhile the pocket empire would fight to expand, or at the very least preserve it's holdings for as long as possible in order to fuel larger and more wide spread rebellions across multiple sectors in the years after it's fall.  The Korsov sector was chosen as the target in the segmentum tempestus.  The Rebellion would focus on the penal world of Stygia.

The following century saw the Alpha Legion covertly developing cults and agents throughout the Korsov sector in preparation for the rebellion.  Meanwhile Lord Magwar and his forces began raiding sectors adjacent to the Korsov sector seeking supplies and equipment for the new pocket empire they wished to create.  Key raids saw the capture of transport convoys and small escort ships lured into investigating false emergency calls.  Pirates from all three sectors along with dark pilgrims began flocking to wilderness space where the 7th Hydra secretly operated out of.  Slowly but surely a large force began to take shape out in wilderness space.  Finally massive raids were launched to capture more military equipment to arm the new army the Alpha Legion had formed
                                  Alpha Legion Marine securing war material during a raid


The Hour Grows Late

     Imperial forces reeling under these constant raids and learning of a build up in wilderness space called for reinforcements to stop it, and to hunt down the Alpha legion in wilderness space.  Ironically the Korsov sector sent most of the reinforcements in the form of Imperial guard regiments and fleet assets to assist these sectors.  Meanwhile a prison revolt was in the making on Stygia, it's leader hand picked by Lord Magwar to be the new emperor of the "Stygian Empire". 
     A task force of Loyalist space marines of the Apocalypse Angels chapter had meanwhile undertaken the call to arms and began to hunt the wilderness space for this threat to Imperial security.  On the desolate moon of Ryback IV they found one of the training facilities used by the Alpha Legion and assaulted it.
                                         Apocalypse Angels raid Ryback IV

Despite the overwhelming success of the raid, the Imperium discovered it was too late.  From the few prisoners taken and interrogated it was learned that the vast chaos force was already en route for the Korsov sector and the penal world of Stygia.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lord Magwar warlord of the 7th Hydra grand company Alpha Legion



     Lord Magwar is the commander of the 7th Hydra grand company of the Alpha Legion, and the mastermind behind inciting the Stygian Wars.  He along with his key subordinates directs the chaos Strategy for the puppet Stygian Emperor.  Though rarely seen directly in the field, when he does appear it is always clad in terminator armor wielding a daemon cursed murder sword.  Tactically Imperial commanders have found him to be highly flexible and innovative using stealth, infiltration, assassination, and diversionary attacks to prime the way from a multi pronged main assault that often sweeps the bewildered defender aside.  When fighting defensively He favors highly economical force to threat ratios in great depth, along as using lures to direct the fighting to a preplanned ambush, and even small disruptive preemptive strikes to derail offensives before they can gain momentum.