Thursday, 31 March 2011

Officer Assesment - Major Ackland, 19th Praetorian Lancers

Background -

Benjamin Macharius Nolan Ackland is the second son of Lord Ackland, defacto ruler of Hive Ontrio on Praetoria. Thus, he is a direct descendant of Brigadier-General Ackland who was blessed with serving under Saint Macharius. As the second son of a noble family of Praetoria, as is traditional he was destined to serve in that worlds military from the moment of his birth. His families’ status and wealth guaranteeing him commission as an officer. He was privately tutored until joining the local military academy, where he was noted as being fearless, an exceptional orator and a fine and daring swordsmen. However, despite his noted enthusiasm, his grasp of tactics and strategy left something to be desired. On passing out he held the rank of Lieutenant, and was accepted as a liaison officer on the command staff of a personal friend and associate of Lord Ackland, one Lieutenant-General Brudenell. Ackland continued in this role when Brudenell entered service with the Imperial Guard as part of the musters of 989.M41.

Imperial Guard Service Record –

989.M41 – Founding of 989.M41
Ackland mustered to the Imperial Guard as part of Lieutenant-General Brudenell’s command staff.

992-995.M41 – Defence of Lanes World
Ackland promoted to Captain. However he saw no action while serving on Brudenell’s command staff.

997-998.M41 – Cleansing of Haile II
Brudenell given command of the cleansing of the outpost world of Haile II, held by rebellious PDF. Ackland was given the temporary role of liaison officer to 19th Praetorian Lancers during the campaign. After participating in several minor engagements, he was due to return to Brudenell’s staff, following what became the final and only major engagement of the war; the Battle of Compound II (cross ref file; 1023A/HAILE002911-I). Brudenell ordered through Ackland that the Lancers charge in order to recover a captured artillery position. However, the charge was misdirected into the rebel front line, resulting in significant casualties; including the entirety of the regiment’s senior officer cadre. The rebel line was broken however, and a pitched battle quickly turned into a complete rout for the traitors. Amidst stories of Ackland’s heroism, where he is reported to have led the charge throughout and killed the rebel’s leader by impaling him upon his Hunting Lance, Brudenell permanently transferred Ackland to the 19th Lancers, and granted him promotion to the rank of Major.

Assessment –

Major Ackland is a capable warrior in his own right; this combined with his oratory skills make him an excellent leader of men, commanding utter loyalty and respect from his subordinates. However, there are significant questions over his ability to follow orders. Further, it is the belief of some within the Commissariat that his transfer to the Lancers was calculated to avoid difficult questions which faced Lord Ackland’s son regarding how the Lancers charge was directed incorrectly. Ackland is known to be hot-headed and blind to grander strategy and tactics, which undermine his independent command and future prospects. Thus he must be closely monitored by his field commander and by the Commissariat at all times. It is my personal belief he will either shortly be killed in action, or will be summarily executed, probably as a result of his inability to follow orders. Given his families’ status, and his growing reputation amongst the common guardsmen, the former would be infinitely preferable.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Artwork - Praetorian Life Guard by ~jeenhoong

Every now an then I go googling, typing in various hobby related words to see what turns up which has'nt turned up on the blogs and forums which I follow regularly. Occasionally it turns up a really cool model, technique or idea that will end up in a massive list of favourites, revisited occasionally for inspiration. Today I came across something which was so awesome I knew I did'nt just want to file it away but to share it - and as its Praetorian related I could'nt think of a better place then on the blog.

What we have is a portrait of a Praetorian Life Guard, absolutely oozing with gritty character, created by jeenhoong on DeviantArt. If your a fan I'd really urge you to go an post on his page, and do have a look at the rest of his gallery, theres plenty of IG related artwork for everyone. Enjoy!

Praetorian Life Guard by ~jeenhoong on deviantART

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Praetorian MkI-B Leman Russ Conqueror

Praetoria with its significant industrial capability is one of only a small handful of non-Adeptus Mechanicus worlds producing a version of the Leman Russ Conqueror. How exactly Praetoria came to be in the fortunate position to acquire the designs for this variant of the Leman Russ is unknown. Though given relations with the Adeptus Mechanicus which have until recently been unusually amiable, it is likely they were acquired through legitimate means. This could perhaps be the result of trade, a definite possibility given Praetoria’s wealth and position as a major trading power in the Segmentum, alternatively the designs may have been granted as a reward for some service to the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Irrespective of this, Praetoria’s manufactorums now produce a version of the Conqueror almost identical to the early Mk3 Gryphonne IV pattern in respects of armour and performance. It also originally made use of Heavy Bolters imported from the Adeptus Mechanicus, and was known as the MkI. However, around 450.M41 the design was altered, and these Heavy Bolters were instead replaced by MkIV-I Gatling Guns (cross ref file; 8236B/PRAET102318-VI) in the hull and sponson hard points, resulting in the MkI-B. This is undoubtedly a contributory factor in the souring of relations between the Adeptus Mechanicus and Praetoria, and has been cited in allegations of Techno-Heresy.

The MkI-B has to date been supplied exclusively to Praetorian PDF and Imperial Guard units, with many regiments now fully equipped with the vehicle. As with the MkI and all other versions of the Conqueror, it is a particularly mobile vehicle, indeed it is often dubbed as a ‘Cavalry Tank’. Thus, it is the ideal tank for Praetoria’s ‘Armoured Cavalry’ regiments, which favour a highly mobile form of armoured warfare, specialising in highly co-ordinated, set piece, armoured assaults often involving whole regiments.


Monday, 21 March 2011

The Praetorian MkVIII-H Lascannon and MkII-L Autocannon


Praetorian regiments make use of the standard MkVII Lascannon, be it with some minor aesthetical differnces. Standard power cells are also employed. However, rather then fitting it to the convential tripod mounting often fitted with this type of weapon, the manufactorums of Praetoria which produce them instead mount them to a carriage of local design. This carriage is based upon designs which were used by more primitive blackpowder weapons in Praetoria’s pre-Imperial past, though it has been updated with improved construction methods and materials.

The bulk of the carriage frame and its wheels consist either of natural hardwood, or of a synthetic fibrous material with similar properties. Hardwood, though more expensive, is normally favoured for this comparatively high status weapon. In either case, this material is treated with a resin compound to give it increased ballistic and thermo resistance, and to reduce splintering if it is impacted. The result is somewhat heavier then a comparable metal or composite carriage, but due to its nature it is also far easier to effect improvised battlefield repairs. The carriage is further reinforced by Plasteel bracing, as are the wheels. The gun shield meanwhile is reinforced with an Admantium plate, giving the Lascannon itself, and to some extent the operators, increased protection.

Though these weapons are normally man handled once deployed on the battlefield, beasts of burden or small tractor units are normally used for movement of any significant distance due to the significant weight of these weapons.


The Praetorian MkII-L Autocannon is a design based on the STC MkII Autocannon and carriage and uses standard ammunition. The weapon differs from the STC design only in its use of local materials, wheel design and in the removal of the gunner’s seat from the trail.

Almost the entirety of the carriage and its wheels are constructed from either natural hardwood or from a synthetic fibrous material with similar properties. Synthetic materials are more commonly used in this instance due to the greater cost of the alternative; this also allows the components to be moulded per the STC design. In either case the material is treated with a resin compound to give it increased ballistic and thermo resistance, and to reduce splintering if it is impacted. The significantly enlarged wheels are reinforced with Plasteel fittings, as is the gun shield giving a limited amount of protection for the weapons mechanisms. Its construction makes it somewhat heavier then an alloy or composite weapon similarly constructed to the STC design, but it is easier to affect improvised battlefield repairs as a result.

These weapons do not have a tow fitting as standard. This is because they are normally man handled on the battlefield, being of a weight that an individual Guardsman can comfortably move unassisted over some distance. For travel over longer distances the weapon can easily be dissembled for transport.


Sunday, 20 March 2011

Feeling Fluffy.

In the run up to this years Vanquish, and being very aware of the fact that the Tournament list I've been testing out lately is a long way from being ready to put on the table outside of the local club. Lots of painting still to do. However, thats not a worry as I've been feeling a strong fluffy sensation lately. My list was thus drawn up, and I'm leaving the Valkyrie and maxed out Heavy Support options at home, let alone Vets and Chimeras. Instead no two units are the same, I've brought the Mortars out of retirement, and am using it as an excuse to try out both Mogul Kamir the Roughrider special character (using my Major Ackland conversion via counts as) and to roll out my Lord Commissar with Powerfist (it's terrible, I've had the model painted for ages but have never put it on the table before!).

I'm also spending some time expanding on my Praetorian background articles, there are several in the works, with the Rocket Troughs/Mortars piece just finished.

But I'm going a little bit further then that as well, I always wanted to have a little folder with background to take to tournaments and similar events, a 'presentation' version of the background, so now thats what I'm doing. So I thought I'd share the PDFs if anyone was interested (the Gatling and Rocket Trough ones are done as I post this). There is a download link (hosting on Mediafire, so sorry about the odd pop-up if you do download) on the individual pages of each fluff portion, and on the Background Article menu.

The Praetorian Rocket Trough

The Rocket Trough is an infantry support weapon which fulfils the same role as the more traditional Mortar. This example originates from, and is chiefly produced by the weapons foundries of Praetoria, though a number of other worlds are known to have developed and produced similar weapons independently. On Praetoria the weapon has its origins in early intra-colonist conflicts.

Throughout its history the Rocket Trough itself has varied immensely in specification, with various sizes, designs and materials used. Some recorded variants have even combined multiple launchers to create a potentially devastating, if unpredictable salvo fire system. Ammunition has varied just as much over its history. The earliest known examples were individually crafted specially for the weapon for which it was intended. In more recent times there has been standardisation with two different sizes of rocket produced, so allowing mass production. One size of rocket is the ‘standard’ man-portable type commonly used by Praetorian forces up to the present day. The other variant was for a larger trailer or vehicle mounted version which has now largely ceased production, its role now filled by more conventional weaponry.

Rocket Trough Design -
The design of this weapon is very simple; its main component is the launching rail, normally a tube or v-shaped section of metal or ceramic proof against rocket exhaust. One end of this launch rail is mounted on a sturdy base with a blast plate; this will sit on a pivot directly fastened to the ground or take the form of a sturdy tripod. The other end of the launch rail is typically mounted on a bi-pod, this mount will also be of adjustable height so as to alter the angle of the launch rail, and thus the trajectory of the rocket when fired. The firing takes place either through the use of electro-igniters, or using a friction based lanyard.

Assuming stability can be achieved the accuracy of this weapon rests entirely in the operators grasp of the behaviour of the projectile in flight, including its weight if a non-standard payload is carried and its propulsion. In the hands of an expert such a weapon is justifiably more accurate then a more tradition Mortar, however if the operator is not expert the weapon is inaccurate at best. The weapons design also gives the potential for the weapon to be fired directly. While this posses an extreme hazard for the operator it does mean the weapon can be employed in a fashion similar to a Missile Launcher in dire circumstances, for example engaging enemy armour, given an appropriate warhead.

Ammunition -
The Rocket ammunition currently produced consists of two main components, a solid fuel engine and a warhead. The engine is vented in such a way as to cause the rocket to spin about its axis in flight, so improving its accuracy. This engine also gives the weapon its greatest benefit over a standard Mortar, as it can be manufactured with a larger engine charge giving it a greater maximum range.
The warhead is normally a Frag charge, used to cause infantry casualties over a small radius. Smoke rounds are reasonably common, and others including Krak basd warheads are produced in small quantities. Should such ammunition run out however, it is also possible to use standard Missile Launcher Missiles. This is very hazardous however; as the Missiles must be modified in order to be fired via this method. It also requires the operator to have a great deal of experience in order to compensate for the different behaviour of the projectile.


Saturday, 19 March 2011

Vanquish 2011 Fun List - 1500pts


Company Command Squad inc. Power Weapon, Company Standard, Heavy Bolter @85pts

Lord Commissar inc. Power Fist @85pts


Platoon Command Squad inc. Autocannon, Grenade Launcher @45pts
Infantry Squad inc. Lascannon, Plasma Gun @85pts
Infantry Squad inc. Lascannon, Meltagun @80pts
Infantry Squad inc. Autocannon, Plasma Gun @75pts
Infantry Squad inc. Autocannon, Grenade Launcher @60pts
Heavy Weapons Squad inc. 3 Lascannon @105pts
Heavy Weapons Squad inc. 3 Heavy Bolters @75pts
Heavy Weapons Squad inc. 3 Mortars @60pts

Platoon Command Squad inc. 2 Meltaguns, Flamer @55pts
Infantry Squad inc. Plasma Gun @65pts
Infantry Squad inc. Flamer @55pts
Infantry Squad inc. Grenade Launcher @55pts
Special Weapons Squad inc. Demo Charge, 2 Flamers @65pts


Roughrider Squadron inc. Major Ackland - counts as Mogul Kamir, 1 extra Roughriders @105pts


Leman Russ inc. Hull and Sponson Heavy Bolters, Heavy Stubber @180pts

Manticore @160pts


Monday, 7 March 2011

Mk3 Roughriders, New Sculpts Work In Progress

Yes I've been quiet, busy in fact, but amongst the things keeping me busy has been this.

At long last the new Roughrider sculpts are really taking shape, so I thought I'd chuck up a quick picture. As with the previous two versions (my own and the abortive Phoenix Club set), I'm making use of the WFB Empire Outrider Horses. This time though I'm also making use of the Pith Helmeted Head set which I sculpted for Secret Weapon Miniatures. The Torso just needs a little more detailing, the boots need adding, and the first set of arms still have a fair way to go - the one in the picture is nearly done though. I'm also thinking of turning out a scabbard and holster as accessories to join the Lance components I've already finished.

Hopefully further updates soon.