Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Malfactus Rift Campaign - part 4

Bossnob Woz gets some Boyz to push around!

Their names are all from a "Post Apocalyptic Warrior" name generator. They are intentionally not very "orky" as these Boyz are Freebooterz - they have been kicked out of their old klans for their weird ways.

Mangul and Finder:

Frenzy and Mudge:

Turbo and Hatchet:

There are three more Boyz (including one with a Big Shoota) on my painting table who will be joining them soon.

Friday, 6 October 2017

The Malfactus Rift Campaign - part 3

Psychic Maelstrom!

We have decided to allow psykers in the campaign, even though some of their abilities are crazy-powerful in such a small scale game (we are looking at around Power Level 15 to 20 for most games). To make sure they don't unbalance things we are going to use the rules for Battlezone: Psychic Maelstrom in all games (but we are ignoring the "Psychic Amplification" part). Everyone has been told that if they bring a psyker they have to bring a Spawn model too, just in case....

I have suggested that we don't need a detailed star map of the sectors we are exploring / fighting over. We can make up planets on the fly using a name generator. I'm looking for another to generate a brief backstory for each world (specifically the planets former use, rather than geography or environment. That will be based on our scenery collections) and we will come up with reasons for fighting there based on what the world is like. Most worlds will be affected by the Rift so we can assume a lot of abandoned ruins will be found... But what used to be here?

The action also won't to be limited to planets: drifting space hulks, orbital stations, moons, asteroids belts...

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

The Malfactus Rift Campaign - part 2

The Dust Hogz
  • Warboss Throttle (Power 4)
  • 5 Nobz - Mugwak, Smarg, Draktor, Arg and Boss Nob Nognox (Power 11)
  • 10 Ork Boyz, including Boss Nob Woz (Power 5)
  • Warphead - Zuggedd (Power 4)
This list is Power Level 24 in total, though I am unlikely to use all of them in every game.
We are not using a Power Level limit for games in the campaign but the player with the lower Power Level will get advantages - an "underdog bonus" (probably Open Play Ruse cards). The Warphead and the ork Boyz are not finished yet.


Exploring and charting the edges of the Malfactus Rift.  This small group of characterful and individual Freebooters: pirates, adventurers and scavengers, explore the outer fringe of the Dark Imperium. Poking around in Space Hulks and on backwater planets, finding ancient alien gubbinz and getting into scrapes.

Warboss Throttle

Throttle used to be part of the infamous Blood Axe warband known as Da Fifty Fiff Bad Redz Brigade, but he was outcast because he was far too interested in loot, and not interested enough in the militaristic formalities the Bad Redz delighted in. He became a Freebooter and set off with a very small group of Boyz loyal to him. Since hitching a ride on a Space Hulk that dropped out of warp space in the Ghoul Stars he has gathered a few more followers to his crew.

He is often exasperated and constantly frustrated by the failures of his warband. He just wants a "job" to go to plan; just once!

Bossnob Nognox is a loyal first mate and a tough, deadly fighter. He has been at Throttles side since the "old days" in the Fifty Fiff.

Mugwak is a miserable git. He mourns the loss of his lost mob-mates, and keeps a Slugga from each dead Nob as a memento, believing that he will gain some of his dead mates' strength by carrying them.

Smarg is a sarcastic bastard with a bionik eye. He never says what he means and what he says is always mean.

Draktor is the warband's heavy weapon specialist. And he is a bit thick. But since his brings the big guns and seems to know not to shoot anyone on his side the others put up with him.

Smarg is the warband's psychopath. He is always first in the charge and never carries a slugga, preferring to get "messy" with his Big Choppa.

Hoop and Twitch are the warband's fetchers and carriers, dogsbodies and slaves. The run errands, carry messages, fetch ammo and try not to get trodden on. The class a day when they don't nearly die as a good day. They have only been with the warband for a few weeks, they don't know but they are the latest of a long line of Grots that usually have very short lives in the Dust Hogz and they are already well past their expected "expiry date".

There are more to come (the 9 Ork Boyz led by Woz, for example!), but this is the warband as it currently stands:

Monday, 25 September 2017

The Harrowmark Run - part 6

Triumph and Treachery: Artefact of Ultimate Power 
The most important part of the cargo was not on the shipwreck, rather it was flung not far away during the crash. Bruised and battered, the warbands rush to grab the fabled artefact.
(The winner's General can generate an additional Artefact/Spell)

The Ogresuns
Kaptain Salty Ogbad - Orruk Warboss, Gem of Seeing
Dredger Zug - Orruk Boss
Dubloon Dreg - Orruk
Fetch - Orruk
Blackspot - Orruk
Nastyface - Orruk
Bad Hook - Orruk
Fishgutz - Orruk
Capsize Naz - Orruk
Walker Plank - Grot
Stormy Trug - Grot
Dirty Morrgun - Grot
Mr Whalebelly - Ogor


The cold light of an autumn dawn broke over the tangled forests that stretched on for ten thousand leagues in every direction. Wortbad stood under the path of the last voyage of the pirate skyship Rotmoon, and it was here that most of her cargo had been dumped as the ship careened out of control overhead, before it was wrecked a few miles away, somewhere beyond the next hill.

Kaptain salty Ogbad chose to take the risk of harnessing the power of the Dreadfire Portal and ordered the rest of his crew to head for the chest that had been pushed off the deck of the crashing skyship.

From the top of the stair he surveyed the edge of the village.

Ogbad saw the Ordeshal Host's cavalry appear through the gates of the Rose & Scythe Inn.

And he cursed as the Whyte Lady materialised right next to the chest. She opened it and revealed The Helm of Authority! The Orruk Kaptain roared with frustration and raced back down the stone steps, he chased after his crew.

The Orruk Pirates continued towards the chest, but they were not undaunted: Several of the Ogresuns grumbled about old battle wounds playing up and urgent appointments elsewhere.

Dredger Zug was having none of it though and the pirates pressed on under his baleful gaze and hard words. The Kaptain was not far behind them too, which reinforced Zug's orders.

The Gilded Hand cavalry took on the ghost riders while the Whyte Lady and Kalyustar angaged in a magical duel! Arcane lightning flashed between the two wizards.

While the Gilded Hand cavalry were dealt-with by the Host the Whyte Lady turned her attention back to the Orruks.

Her Mask of Horror stopped three of the Ogresuns in their tracks; frozen in terror! The Vampire cut down two pirates then used the life force of the fallen orruks to heal the wounds Kalyustar had inflicted.

Noisey William arrived but he was entirely distracted by his disappointment that the inn was closed.

The Whyte Lady's power of Death Incarnate felled three orruks simultaneously.

Only Blackspot held kept his feet long enough for the Kaptain to get close.

Ogbad charged at the Vampress, kutlass flashing in the autumnal light.

The Orruk Kaptain's merciless assault saw off the undead queen,  his Ogor crewman only deigned to join him once the vampire was banished. The two of them gloated over the Helm of Authority and the riches it would bring them!


Major Victory to the Ogresuns! (+6 Renown)
Triumph: Heroic Saga (+1 Renown)

Added 3 Orruks (Scupper Lug, Poxy Uzbad, Floggin Morr) and a Grot (Dread Pirate RogUrtz) to the warband for 7 Renown.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Malfactus Rift Campaign - part 1

Godfather Viktor, Blessed Knight, Wailslake and I are about to start a WH40K 8th edition campaign. We have been discussing the setting and what kind of warbands we will be using. We were chatting about bands of adventurers exploring the dark side of the Cicatrix Maledictum in the "current" timeline of the 40K universe. It's still early days as far as planning is concerned but this is where we've got to so far...


The Great Rift is a tear in reality that essentially divides the Imperium in half. Its emergence was a literal galaxy-shattering event, which threw the Imperium into chaos and ushered in new wars across nearly every world in the Imperium. So powerful and far was this storm that the very laws of physics fray at the edges as the inconsistencies of time fluctuations, once largely localised to larger storms such as the Eye of Terror, spread across the galaxy. Some worlds felt centuries go by in an instant while others were all but frozen in time, and still others have suffered constant temporal shifts. 
None fully understand the origins of the rift – though there are many theories: the breach of the Cadian Gate, the sorcery of a Daemon Primarch, catastrophe in the Webway, mass bloodshed and fire in the Damocles Gulf – all may have caused or contributed to it. The rift is variously known by the cultures of the galaxy as the Crimson Path, the Mouth of Ruin, the Warpscar, the Dathedian, Gork’s Grin and a thousand other names besides. To the Imperium it is the Cicatrix Maledictum, or just the Great Rift. To those on the Terran side, it is a tainted scar across the sky. To those unfortunates on the far side, it is far worse…


Blessed Knight made up a name for a region: "Ghoul Star Rifts". I didn't realise he'd made it up and went looking for it on the new Dark Imperium map.... and found it! So that was settled - we would be exploring the far north-east of the galaxy, way beyond the reach of the Imperium now that the Astronomican is not "visible" for half the galaxy!

The Ghoul Stars and surrounding regions, as shown in the Dark Imperium map:

So I made a zoomed-in version of the map and added a sepia filter, as that's my preference for all maps. It's an area a few hundred light years across, so we are looking at a relatively small area but it still has a few interesting things going on - a huge Warp Rift in the middle for one! The Ork empire of Waaagh Bork around Desperation is off the map to the south east. So it won't feature but remains a looming threat. There are also 2 splinter hive fleets to the north east!

We will probably zoom in a bit more for the campaign's narrative but this gives some context of the regions around where the action will take place.

There are probably hundreds of unlisted start systems in the area - plenty of room for us to make stuff up! But the "headline" planets of the region:
  • New Drekport
  • Sistec Prime
  • Malfactus (a warp rift)
  • Quisto’Rol
  • Lunaphage
This is the same area of the map as it appears in Codex Chaos Space Marines:

The Desolation of Dreth VI is listed a daemonic incursion.

The moved name label also shows Malfactus is one rift not two, as I had thought from the Dark Imperium galaxy map.

The map according to Codex Grey Knights:

The Carsayon Vortex is classed as chaos stronghold or daemon world.

I noticed the warp rift is shifted quite a lot north in the Grey Knight version, it probably changes over the years. Hard to map a shifting region like that - imagine trying to plot a safe course around it, without the aid of the Astronomicon!


During our last game I said, outloud, that 40K Orks are not doing anything for me at the moment, so of course the first idea I have for this campaign is for an Ork warband: Ork Explorerz! (I think this article was nagging the back of my mind: Warhammer 40,000: Top 5 Explorers)
The Warhammer 40,000 universe is a terrifying place where even your own mind is no refuge against the myriad horrors of the galaxy. Despite this, it’s also packed with adventurers and glory seekers who willingly travel to the dark corners of space in search of treasure, fame, mysterious artefacts or simply inner peace.
While most Orks are totally content with a life of mindless violence as part of a larger clan, some strive for individuality (or just fancy a bigger share of the post-battle loot). These Orks become Freebooterz, roaming bands of pirates who hire their services to Orks across the galaxy. 
I was thinking about my recent (and WIP) 40k projects and all of them are centred on Mancunius Dome. I needed something new, and fairly quick, or it might feel a bit crow-barred in. I have loads of unbuilt Ork models, so zero spend required! Plus Freebooterz, while totally different to my "proper" Ork army, are easy to justify as a small add-on force.

My warband for the campaign is taking shape: Warboss Throttle and his Freebooters, The Dust Hogz. They will not look like the standard Ork Space Pirates based on the look of real C17th pirates (since I have a pirate Orruk army already). I'm sticking to the look of Boss Nob Woz (below): so a bit Mad Max. biker leathers, fur, feathers, "scrap" trophies, etc.

The Dust Hogz
  • Warboss Throttle (Power 4)
  • 5 Nobz - Mugwak, Smarg, Draktor, Arg and Boss Nob Nognox (Power 11)
  • 10 Ork Boyz, including Boss Nob Woz (Power 5)
  • Warphead - Ghizzud (Power 4)
Power Level 24

Exploring and charting the edges of the Malfactus Rift.  A small group of characterful and individual Freebooters: pirates, adventurers and scavengers, exploring the outer fringe of the Dark Imperium. Poking around in Space Hulks and on backwater planets, finding ancient alien gubbinz and getting into scrapes.

I painted this guy for our planned "Mad MorkX" game from 2015 (that never actually happened). I'm going to build my Exporerz around him in the same style.

There will be more to come over the next few weeks: The other's are also working on new warbands and we are going to come up with a few plot lines.