Forge World Book Seven: Inferno! (and rules)

Whilst this book remains, In my humble and bias opinion, one of the best Horus Heresy books released by Forge World to date there are undoubtedly a number of rules and in particular their wording that have lead to widespread confusion within the 30k and Vlka Fenryka community.

Caveat: I am in no way an authority on the rules nor am I able to offer any more than my opinion and considered interpretation on such, that said I firmly believe that discussion among the community and an open-minded approach to rules is the best policy. Where rules are ambiguous they need to be considered and approached with care, there are two major considerations in this, firstly the context of the rule(s) within the Vlka Fenryka legion and secondly the context of the rule within the wider 30k game and its rule set.

This post is intended to help those like-minded hobbyists and gamers within our community and provoke critical analysis of the rules for fairer game play.

 

The first area of rules I would like to tackle, and by far the most contentious is within the Space Wolves Army Selection criteria regarding HQ choices and Characters:

“Detachments with the Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) special rule must fulfill their compulsory HQ choice with either a Praetor or Centurion (representing a Wolf Lord or Claw Leader). Other HQ choices or Consul Types may not be selected as compulsory HQ choices.”

This pertains directly to the Force Organisation Chart (FOC) that is being used to build the army, for example the standard Age of Darkness FOC has a compulsory requirement for one HQ choice and two Troops choices. Thus in the case of the Space Wolves army this singular compulsory HQ chart slot must be filled with a Centurion or Praetor. In the case of the Centurion they may not have any consul upgrades and no Unique/Named characters may be taken in this slot. For clarity that is precludes the use of Hvarl Red-Blade, Geigor Fell-hand and the Priests of Fenris as the compulsory HQ for the FOC chart. Whilst this presents a potential ‘character tax’ in that you will always have to have a Centurion or Praetor within your list, this only becomes prohibitive at smaller points where you can’t afford the characters in your list too. Additionally the following rule needs to be taken into account:

“Any detachment with the Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) special rule must include at least 1 HQ unit per 1,000 points or part thereof in the army regardless of the Force Allocation chart being used.”

So you need to take a HQ choice for every 1000 points, rounding up, even if the FOC wouldn’t normally allow for it. So it you play a 5000 points game with a standard Age of Darkness FOC you must take five HQ’s even though the FOC only has 3 slots, one of these must be a Centurion or Praetor.

To clarify:

0000-1000pts Centurion/Praetor

1001-2000pts  Centurion/Praetor + 1 HQ of your choice (2 total)

2001-3000pts Centurion/Praetor + 2 HQs of your choice (3 total)

3001-4000pts Centurion/Praetor + 3 HQs of your choice (4 total)

4001-5000pts Centurion/Praetor + 4 HQs of your choice (5 total)

Whilst a presumption, it seems reasonable that Command Squads, Deathsworn Command Squads (for priests) and the Wolf-Kin of Russ are not counted within this tally and essentially exist outside of the FOC for the purposes of this rule. However they can be considered a HQ Unit and thus could be argued to count, in truth a Forge World FAQ needs to be published to clarify this.

Taking these two rules into consideration there is a lot of discussion as to whether Hvarl Red-Blade can count as the compulsory Praetor and likewise whether Geigor Fell-hand can count as the compulsory Centurion, as the wording is very specific in ‘Other HQ choices or Consul Types may not be selected as compulsory HQ choices’ I do not believe they can. As discussed this appears to be open to some interpretation and should be discussed and agreed with your opponent prior to games, or at least until a Forge World FAQ is published to remove this ambiguity.

 

The second area of rules I would like to discuss is within the Space Wolves Army Selection criteria regarding Grey Slayer squads:

“Only Grey Slayer units (see page 230) may be taken as compulsory Troops Choices by any Space Wolves detachment. All other Troops choices found in the Legiones Astartes Age of Darkness army list gain the Support Squad special rule if they are in a Space Wolves army (if they do not already possess it) and if taken as part of any Allied Detachment using the Legiones Astartes (Space Wolves) special rule.”

Like with the HQ choices discussed above, this pertains directly to the Force Organisation Chart (FOC) that is being used to build the army, for example the standard Age of Darkness FOC has a compulsory requirement for one HQ choice and two Troops choices. Thus in the case of the Space Wolves army the two compulsory chart slots for Troops must be filled with Grey Slayer units. If you are using a variant FOC then its specified number of compulsory Troops slots must be filled with Grey Slayer units. You can then take Tactical Squads, Assault Squads, Support Squads, Breacher Siege Squads, etc… as non compulsory options. These can never be taken to fulfill the basic FOC requirement as within a space wolves army they are given the Support Squad special rule.

This then seems to be debated further with the complication of Rites of War, in my opinion the Grey Slayers as a compulsory are only for the base list building, once you introduce a Rite of War or Special Character (Russ) that has further amendments to the FOC and army selection criteria this supersedes the base rules. For example Russ’ rule ‘The Circle of Varagyr’ which allows for Varagyr Terminators and Veterans to be compulsory troops, this clearly replaces Grey Slayers. Likewise taking a Rite of War such as ‘Armoured Breakthrough’, which for example makes Predator Squadrons compulsory troops will override the Grey Slayers requirement. Grey Slayers are the Space Wolves’ base troops unit, like other legions have Tactical Marines, Assault Squads, Breacher Siege Squads, etc…

 

This rules insight and critical analysis is here only to provoke discussion and offer my opinion on how they could be interpreted. As above until an official Forge World FAQ is published, ambiguity will remain. I would in the meantime advise all gamers to discuss these rules with their opponents and fellow hobbyists and make considered decisions that are free from the bias of wish listing, are not attempting to find advantage in rules manipulation and remain firmly in the spirit of the game and its bountiful narrative.

Until Next Winter…

Advertisements

Vlka Fenryka – Legion Structure

Taking inspiration from the collation of information by Drake Setta at Battle Bunnies following the release of Inferno the following post looks to replicate and build upon this documentation to outline the fighting structure and organisation of the Rout:

Legion size, estimated at the time of the Burning of Prospero to be 95,000 to 100,000 legionaries. Inferno outlines information on eleven of the Greay Companies, totalling 73,200 legionaries as part of the Censure Host. The list below looks to build on this within information collated from Horus Heresy sources:

The legion is divided into Thirteen Great Companies:

Onn Company ‘the Breakers of Rings’
Jarl: Gunnar Gunnhilt ‘Lord Gunn’
Terminators of the Varagyr and Legion command elements
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 3,000 Legionaires

Twa Company ‘the Thread Cutters’
Jarl: Unknown
Veteran infantry and Dreadnoughts
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 800 Legionaires + 60 Dreadnoughts

Tra Company ‘the Eagle’s Keepers’
Jarl: Ogvai Ogvai Helmschrot
Close assault infantry and support armour
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 9,800 Legionaires

For Company ‘the Blood-Worm’s Masters’
Jarl: Hvarl Red-Blade
Heavy Infantry (including Breacher and Assault Units) and Artillery
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 8,600 Legionaires.

Fyf Company ‘the Blood-Ice Storm’
Jarl: Amlodhi Skarssen Skarssensson
Mixed infantry and Light armour
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 10,000 Legionaires

Sesc Company
Jarl: Unknown
Composition Unknown
Numbers  committed to Prospero: Zero

Sepp Company ‘the Wight-flame’s Wielders’ – Landayvan
Jarl: Unknown
Black Cull, Destroyer and Immolation units, Siege weapons and Artillery
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 5,200 Legionaires

For-Twa Company ‘the Slaughter-Fire Heralds’
Jarl: Unknown
Reconnaissance and Infiltration units
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 9,500 Legionaires

Tra-Tra ‘the Serpents of the Battle Moon’
Jarl: Sturgard Joriksson
Heavy Weapons, Rapiers and Infantry Support units
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 7,800 Legionaires

Dekk Company 
Jarl: Unknown
Composition Unkown
Numbers  committed to Prospero: Zero

Dekk-Onn Company ‘the Sea-Flame’s Bearers’
Jarl: Varald Helsdawn
Veteran infantry (high Terran numbers)
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 9,200 Legionaires

Tolv Company ‘the Shield-Gnawers’
Jarl: Jaurmag / Oki ‘Scarred’
Close Assault Infantry and Ground Assault vehicles.
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 8,700 Legionaires

Dekk-Tra Company ‘the Corpse-renders’
Jarl: Jorin Bloodfang
Pursuit and Assault units.
Numbers  committed to Prospero: 600 Legionaires.

It is acknowledged that this list leans heavily upon the Forge World publication of Inferno (Book VII of the Horus Heresy series), some Jarls and their place within the company differ in the Black Library publications.

Until Next Winter…

Book VII – Inferno

With the seventh installment of the Horus Heresy campaign books almost upon us i can reveal that, not only will i getting this tomb but i will be reviewing it on none other than the 30k channel with my old Thousand Sons adversary @1kson, be sure to check out his work on instagram.

inferno

Until Next Winter…

40k Open Day – Insights from Mark Bedford

Having made the pilgrimage to Warhammer World for the 40k open day at the start of the month I had the pleasure of discussed the prospective direction that the Vlka Fenryka will be taking in the new book, Book 7 Inferno.

Part of the discussion was around a Heads Upgrade Kit, which Mark is keen for it to be a set of helmetless heads, with varying hair styles and facial hair that conveys a savagery but a practicality to  wearing a helmet over. So no tall mohawks or outlandish styles. We also discussed the knot-work leather masks described in the literature, looks likely that these won’t make an appearance as the aesthetic never looks right. These are some of Mark’s sketches:

We had a discussion about the units wolves would get, whilst not very forthcoming there was a lovely a sketch of a middle-ages warrior inspired suit of power armour, the idea being their armour would be gilded, inlaid with jets and ivories, not bright colour but subdued and more natural tones.

Mark was very excited to discuss a theory about Fenris, which he as pitched to Alan Bligh, but doesn’t know how much of it is included within the book. The premise being that Fenris isn’t a natural world colonised from before old-night, but a manufactured death world, wither physically built or terraformed and populated with monsters and extreme climatic conditions to breed the toughest warriors. He as keen to articulate that this could be another play on the phrase; ‘there are no wolves on Fenris’, because there wasn’t anything before they created it.

Another idea Mark was very animated about was the premise that Wolves Legion isn’t as old as it’s purported history, say 50 years old but with 200 years of sagas and traditions, how is this so? He suggested that this could be part of the dark and eerie psycho-conditioning of the Legion, giving them a noble background and a history to keep them calm and in check, rather than just being bred-executioners sent out to do the task too unsavory for the other legions to handle.

Whilst I’ve tried to interpret our discussion and recall it as best i can, i’m sure there are things I’ve missed above, but the general principles are there.

Until Next Winter…

Upplander

For many, the word Upplander conjures up the image of Kasper Ansbach Hawser, also known as Ahmad Ibn Rustah, a human academic of some significance prior to the Heresy. Hawser was noted to disappear under mysterious circumstances at about the age of eighty, only to reappear years later as a Skjald, or oral historian, for the Vlka Fenryka around the outset of the Horus Heresy.

In fact, Upplander refers to any visitor or traveler making planet fall on Fenris, authorised or otherwise.

upplander-introduction

Until Next Winter…

Inspiration and Nostalgia

The inspiration for the current incarnation of the Vlka Fenryka being developed in this log comes all the way from January 1997, specifically issue 205 of White Dwarf and Anthony Warrington’s entry into Golden Demon 1996 for Best Warhammer 40,000 squad, for which he was awarded 2nd Place (Pictured Below).

2016-09-04-21-00-27-3

This squad, for me, epitomised everything the Space Wolves were and should be, I was at the tender age of eleven absolutely amazed by these models, their posing, the subtle conversions and the use of Logan Grimnar’s Great Company colour scheme, not the vibrant yellow of Ragnar’s Great Company normally pictured. The hulking Terminator clad veteran with twin lightning claws is the direct inspiration for the Jarl created in this log.

Until Next Winter…