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  • Writer's pictureMatt

The Lost and the Damned

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Index;


During my teenage years the army which saw the table top the most and in fact, claimed the most victories was my converted Lost and the Damned force. Back in 2003 GW released the Eye of Terror codex, a book full of a few campaign themed armies for one of Abandon's Black Crusades. This "Traitor Guard" list gave me the rules to field the undead guardsmen I had been converting and turned the odd few models into an army. Unfortunately I'm not sure where this army ended up, a few models might be kicking around in my garage but I'd assume most of them are still at my parents house.


This brings us to the first concept in my ideas queue. Re-building this undead themed 40K army. Even if I found my older models, the conversion work wouldn't have been something I would want to reuse 18 years later. Most of the standard traitors were the Skeleton warriors of the time holding lasguns. Some zombies had Cadian parts and I remember using oversized toy skeletons has my big mutants. No, I think if its worth doing again, everything is built from new.

The second concept which I've been toying with is the Lazotep Mummies from the Amonkhet range of Magic the Gathering cards. For those not familiar, warriors from the Amonkhet plain become mummified in Lazotep and resurrected to fight again for the arch villain, Nicol Bolas.


Lazotep is effectively magically enhanced Lapis Lazuli and leaves the body of the warrior encased in a hard blue skeletal shell. It's like taking the Egyptian parody the of the Thousand Sons to the next level and it's Awesome!


So two undead themes kicking around. Question is, can they be combined or is this blog going to separate into two different armies?


On the one hand, the traditional undead, gory, rotten with an earthy colour pallet. On the other hand, bright blue and gold crystalline skeletons. The first very much suits a Nurgle themed force (which was what I picked back in 2003), the later very much suits Tzeentch...


A choice in Codex


So before unpacking the themes, I want to look at the current rule options now that the Eye of Terror codex is a thing of the past.

To do so, I think it's worth outlining the units the Lost and the Damned army could pick from in 2003;


For the HQ options, you could field a Chaos SM Sorcerer and Chaos SM Champions, effectively CSM sergeants who would lead units of the traitor guardsmen.


With Elites, you could pick from Big Mutants (S6, T4, with 3 wounds), Possessed and Daemon packs.


For Troops choices, you had units of Traitor guardsmen, Mutants and Gibbering Hordes (Swarm bases).


Chaos hounds, Daemonic beasts, Sentinels, Roughriders and Hellhound tanks could be picked for Fast Attack.


Lastly you had the options of Defilers, Chaos Spawn, Leman Russ's and Basilisks for Heavy Support.


Last of all you could pick the following from the Chaos Space Marine codex of the time; 0-1 HQ, 0-1 Elites, 0-2 Troops and 0-1 Fast Attack.


Now the two Codex's I'm looking at for 2022 are the current Thousand Sons and Death Guard books. A choice between Tzeentch and Nurgle again.


HQ options

I think it's fair to say that either current codex has suitable HQ choices. I could easily field some sort of Liche, Daemon Prince or nasty controlling the undead hordes.


Elites

Big Mutants were meant to be Traitor Ogryns and the Death Guard book has suitable proxies in the form of Beasts of Nurgle. As for the Thousand Sons book I'm looking through, (not the current edition I might add), there doesn't seem to be anything I can use.


Daemon Packs and Daemons in general are something easily solved with allied units from a Daemon Codex. I'm not really concerned with the current version of stat lines. The fact is you can field something akin to Daemons either way.


As for the Possessed Chaos Space Marines, there seems to the same unit option in the Elite section of the Death Guard codex. Not so much for the T-Sons.


Troop Choices

For troop choices, Both codex's offer replacements for the Lost & the Damned Traitors. Chaos Cultists fill the gap nicely but don't have access to the same armoury. The old Traitors had access to all the weapons regular guardsmen do, give or take.


As for the old Mutant unit, the Death Guard offer Poxwalkers and T-Sons have Tzaangors. Mutants were a simple meat shield with a S3 and T4 profile. Poxwalkers would defiantly suit the unit of Zombies I used to field but I had thought about using this melee troop choice for the Lazotep Mummies.


Gibbering Hordes of old literally used the Nurgling stat line for whatever swarm base you wanted to use. So the Death Guard book has this covered.


As for the "allied" Chaos Space Marines, well it's a pick between Rubric or Plague Marines.


Fast Attack

Hounds and Fast Deamonic Beasts seem to be ditched. I mean I guess you could reuse the Tzaangor Enlightened or Plague Drone stat lines but both are flying... The same goes for the Rough Riders. Guess these will have to be parked.


Sentinels could vaguely be (flying) Foetid Bloat Drones. Clutching at straws here but it's a vehicle stat line in the Fast Attack choice for the Death Guard. Nothing like it in the T-Son list.


Lastly we have the Hellhound Flamer tank. The Deathguard Myphitic Blight-Hauler would work as a proxy. Again the T-Sons are falling short of options.


Heavy Support

Defilers feature in both codex's which is good.


Chaos Spawn feature in both books but are now Fast Attack options.


As for battle tanks, either have options for the classic CSM Predator. So a version of a Leman Russ might as well be there. They have a tank as far as I'm concerned at this point.


The Death Guard book have Plagueburst Crawlers which could be a corrupted Basilisk.


While the Thousand Sons book has things like the Vortex Beast, Forgefiend and Maulerfiend. All might be good options for the old Tomb Kings Necroshpinx model I have. Would really suit the Lazotep concept. I think the Death Guard can take these as allied units from the Standard Chaos Space Marine book however. Or if I'm really looking to use this Necroshpinx, I could proxy it as a Helbrute, which is an Elite choice for either codex.


Verdict?

I think the Death Guard book would be a worthy successor to the old Lost and the Damned list.


Getting that theme to work


So the Lazotep Mummies are much tougher zombies and behave as trained troops on the battlefield. I'm looking to convert the Mortek Guard with Tomb Kings parts which will mean they fit the melee choice on the table top. I'm thinking the tougher Poxwalker stat line would work here.


I could also "break" parts of their Lazotep plating to reveal the corpse beneath it.


So these could be the Elite (not in the Codex sense of the word) troops on the battlefield. Those captured battlefield casualties, mummified in Lazotep and returned to serve a new master.


By using Poxwalkers as the Lazotep Mummies, I forego using the classic looking Zombie horde which I had in the 2003 list.


The other troop choice is the standard Chaos Cultist. These are the planned skeletal guardsmen. While they will be skeletons with Autorifles, I don't think they should be painted blue. Lazotep is like an armour over the skeleton hence why I'm using Morket Guard, which are a much bulkier undead that suits this. With that in mind, if I'm using regular skellies for the ranged infantry, I think there should be a separation in colour, I.E. regular bone coloured skellies for the Cultists.


Hopefully it's as if the army raises a lot of undead, but not all can be mummified in Lazotep. They (the Liche) reserves this magical Lapis for the troops in need of it the most, those in close combat? This is a working idea clearly.


The thing I'm struggling with most is the clash between the bright blue, gold and rather clean undead look of the Lazotep Mummies and the dirty, traditional undead with mixed and tatty equipment of the Cultists. I wonder if the idea of recreating my old Lost and the Damned army and this Lazotep theme should be two different armies?


In any event, I'll start converting various units and see what happens. I don't imagine I'll have enough for a full army any time soon, so the question of whether these two ideas go together is a problem for later.


Early concept models


So, on to the actual models. Or at the very least some working concepts. As I've loosely decided on above, the Cultists will be the risen guardsmen and other damned inhabitants of the 40k universe. While the tougher "Poxwalkers" will be those undead mummified in Lazotep.


I still had a single sprue of 90's era Warhammer Fantasy Battle skeletons. I reckon it must be left over from the first time I made this army, which is fitting. I also cast some Cadian legs in resin, deliberately trying to leave air bubbles. These turned out to be really useful for boots with skeletal toes jutting from them, or fitting a bone down the middle of a shin guard.


As for the Cultists weapons, I had two options. Either I model the Skellies with the guns they carried while alive, Lasguns, Galvanic Rifles, Bolters and all sorts in between. Or I model them to fit what the rules state a Cultist carries, Autoguns. I figured that it's easier for the army to be rearmed and reloaded if they all carry some sort of standard issue rifle and as this army is going to be heavily converted, they should at least be armed with what the codex states. To avoid further confusion.


Autoguns however are a pain. Apart from a few expensive Necromunda white metal sprues and of course the official cultist models, Autoguns are not readily available like Lasguns are from the numerous left over Cadian boxsets littering the country. No, Autoguns would have to be built.


I settled on reusing Kroot rifles and the magazine parts of the new Primaris Bolters. Cut down and reshaped, I think they'll do. It's also easier to model the Skeleton's hand holding the trigger area than it used to be back in 2003 when I used Lasguns. These new rifles look pretty brutal as well, which will help with the theme.



Cadian bodies have also been combined with some ribcages and the empty helmets stuck over some skulls. I do plan on adding tattered clothing and other bits of old uniform. Whether it's on these 4 or just others in the army once I find new parts.


The left hands however will need green stuff each time. I've cut down the original Skeleton fist (which would be stuck to the back of a shield) and used green stuff to add the fingers and thumb holding the gun barrel.


As for those Lazotep Mummies, Morket Guard are the base with a Tomb Kings head swap. The Kholpeshs come from the Thousand Sons Terminator sprue (which hopefully will not be an issue to keep locating spare ones...). Lastly, which is a bit of a problem, Mortek Guard left arms are modelled to the shields they come with. Which leaves me trying to find suitable left arms to hold the Tomb Kings shields. Currently these two have Eldar Guardian arms holding the shield. I'm hoping this won't be too noticeable once it's all painted. Unlikely this method will be the standard one moving forward.



06th of May, 2023


It's been a while. About 18 months in fact but I'm back with this project. There's probably some joke I could make about resurrecting such an old blog about undead minis. Ah well.


Now I have to say I think I've settled on a direction now, maybe. Well visuals mostly but not quite the lore just yet. More on that later. In actual fact it was back in February of 2022 I finished painting the Magic the Gathering inspired Skellies, linked here. This threw a spanner in the works that I didn't bother to remove until a week or so ago. After finishing the bright blue skeletons and starting on the drab Cadian skellies I lost momentum. I just couldn't get the two batches of test mini's to gel with each other. In the end, a few days ago, I gave up. Nothing else to it, they'll have to be separate armies and I'm more interested in dabbling in abit of my own Necromancy and bringing back my teenage army. Ah, knew there was a "joke" in there somewhere.


So the Lapis Mummies will be something else eventually. For now I sat about converting up more skeletal guardsmen and once I have more than 4 finished, I'll update the blog with some pictures. For now, I want to try and hammer down the lore reason the undead roam the 40k universe.


I've come up with a few lore "friendly" solutions to the problem. Trying to think of why different races could turn to Necromancy and how'd they do it.


Option 1 - Whoever smelt it, dealt it


Have to say, despite the fact I'm very likely to use the Death Guard book for this army, Nurgle as a reason is my least favourite. It's just too easy. It's not particularly interesting or it has been done before. Oh look boys, the God of Death and Decay has risen the undead. Yawn.


I'm also going for more of a skeleton focused theme over zombies, so there's not going to be the gore and rot that comes with a typical Nurgle palette.


Option 2 - They've gone full Vampire, never go full Vampire


This one gives a decent aesthetic but doesn't answer any of the how questions. A Blood Angel gets hold of a Vampire Counts army book and takes it as an appendixes to the Codex.


More of a fun take on it as I quite like the idea of a bright red Blood Dragon Vampire, I mean Blood Angel leading the army.


Option 3 - Resurrection orb goes brrr


This one is actually a favourite of mine at the moment. Necron Lord wakes up after a millennia taking a nap, only to discover some pesky Humans live on his world now. Oh and his Necron army is AWOL because reasons.


Armed with nothing but a Resurrection Orb and a frag tonne of glowy green nanite robots, he infects the local populace and does what Necrons do best. "I'm gunna go build my own Necron army, with blackjack and hook..."


The resident undead 40k army giving the living factions a taste of what undeath is like, is also kinda cool too.


Option 4 - Insane in the membrane


This one is certainly more plausible than some of the others and I guess is the default Chaos option. A Psyker goes rouge and after being hunted down by the local Arbites, starts raising corpses to defend himself. Soon enough he's threatening the the planetary defence force. More and more Imperial units are drawn in, fuelling his every growing army of death.


It's a safe option for sure but not one I think will provide much option for a centre piece to the army. Just some Chaos sorcerer unless I come up with a better way of depicting the model on the table top.


Option 5 - Even in death I still serve


This one is the only loyalist option I can think of. Either directly affiliated with the Legion of the Damned, or just just powered by the same faith in the Emperor, certain Guardsmen refuse to fall. "I didn't hear no bell".


It's an interesting take and it would be good to be the good guys. However it does limit me to human models and I was very much planning on converting undead aliens too.


Option 6 - Crystal hippie crap


This option was my Eldar "solution" to Necromancy but more fitting for the Dark Eldar. Same sort of principle to their Wraithbone constructs imbued with the soul of a departed warrior. Maybe a Dark Eldar Haemonculus starts experimenting with Soul Stones on mortal races. Gathers enough momentum to seize power and all of a sudden "I am the Captain now".


It would certainly explain the myriad of alien races I'm planning on including for the army but I've always hated the Dark Eldar so not really feeling this take.


 

Anyway, that's all I have for now. Let me know your favourite option for the army's lore or maybe you've got an idea for another direction to take. Let me know.


 

14th of May, 2023


OK, so after a few days thinking it over I think the Necron solution to Necromancy is still my favourite and despite all the comparisons at the start of this blog between the Thousand Sons or Death Guard codex, I think I'm going to use neither. After looking at the wargear and stat lines of the Genestealer Cult book, I reckon I can make a better "traitor" guard list from that.

So with this entry, I'd like to expand on the fluff, explain my Genestealer reasoning and provide the first few painted mini shots.


Resurrection orb goes brrr

So, Necrons...

I'm thinking that for one reason or another we have a solitary Necron Lord. Maybe he was banished or broke away from the rest of his kind and sort solitude. In any event he wakes up after a millennia of slumber to find his primordial resting place has developed into a war-torn Imperial world with varying alien races competing for territory.

He has no army of his own to defend himself and reclaiming his planet will be no easy task. Time however is still on his side as no one knows about his tomb yet, preoccupied as they are.


"The Necron Lord, after scanning the surface of his planet, entered one of the many laboratories of his tomb. Work will need to begin again on a project he started aeons before. Canoptek Nanites. Originally designed to infect and corrupt the bone constructs of his ancient enemy, these microscopic robots will now need to serve a different purpose.


Weeks would eventually pass as the solitary Necron laboured away underground. Only partially aware of the rumble and disturbed dust reverberating within his chamber as explosions announced themselves on the surface.

His prototype nanites were ready, but needed testing.

¬¬bodies abandoned in Imperial sector... will suffice. Limited movement detected within zone. Risk mitigation acceptable¬¬

The timeless Lord selected his target. A manufactorum. Bombed beyond use to any of the currently warring factions, he stalked between the rubble and remains of a fire fight serval days old. Periodically stopping to scan motionless combatants and injecting selective cadavers from his hunched form.

The syringe he carried was now empty. ¬¬begin countdown¬¬ as he slipped away into the darkness of his lair.

Displayed on his ocular processor, the timer eventually reached zero and the Necron Lord returned to the abandoned sector. Restless dead now stumbled between the equally skeletal buildings. His eyes flickered and relayed commands to the nanites infesting the host's skeletons. The zombies stopped, turned to his direction and awaited further command.

¬¬acceptable¬¬

This first test has been somewhat successful but the nanites injected into a dead host had learned nothing! Beyond basic hostility or labour commands, the copses would serve little purpose in his ultimate plan.

With a final flicker from his glowing eyes, the Necron Lord retreated back underground with his new found guards following in his wake.


After many more cycles working silently within his underground laboratory, the Necron Lord was ready to test phase two of his Canoptek Nanites. This time, he would not need to risk a trip to the surface as each of the decomposing figures haunting his tomb had been equipped with pressurised containers connected to nozzles protruding from their gapping mouths.

Within the dimly lit room, glowing eyes flickered once more and the restless dead made their return journey to the surface.


Private Harkin chuckled to himself as he rested against what used to be a hab-block. After weeks of ducking out of picket duty, it was finally his turn. Despite longing for his bunk, he hadn't felt this relaxed in a long time and was enjoying what he could from the sunset.

He and his fellow Cadians had sent the Orks packing two nights ago. The killzone they had setup meant the greenskins suffered severe casualties. Harkin didn't expect to see them again for another week at least, so he was making the most out of the temporary piece and quiet.

Harkin took a final draw on his Lho-Stick, stood up and flicked it over the barricades. He aimed to reach the intact Amasec cabinet he was told about by last nights shift. Apparently it was in a building to the east that would also give him a view over most of the fortifications he was meant to be keeping an eye on that evening.

The rest of his platoon were getting some well earned shuteye after a gruelling few days on the front lines. Letting Simmerson skip out on shift this evening and stay behind would give him decent leverage later on. You see, Simmerson had got his hands on some officers ration packs that Harkin aimed to part him with.

Harkin rounded a corner half daydreaming about some actual food and jumped out of his skin. "Bloody Vostroyan just standing there, is he wanting to get shot!" he thought to himself. "Oi Bearskin, are you lost?" he shouted as he composed himself once again.

The Vostroyan trooper didn't move.

"Oi" Harkin shouted again. "Ain't you boys meant to be other side of the lines?". Harkin lowered his lasgun and walked up to the other Imperial trooper. He placed his hand on the other's shoulder and nudged him. "Take your mask off, you can't hear for shi...".

What used to be a member of the Vostroyan 49th turned around abruptly after sensing another's presence. As soon as a new target was acquired, a green and faintly glowing gas sprayed out of the troopers breathing apparatus engulfing the poor Cadian.

Harken dropped to his knees, coughing. His vision blurred and he desperately tried to focus on anything at all. The sight of his hand came briefly into view. Was the air glowing, or was it him?

The airborne nanites flooded his nervous system, busily downloading his consciousness and infecting the very marrow of his bones. In the end, the confusion and headache became too much.

Private Harkin had been a trooper for 9 years,10 months and 6 days. He completed the whiteshield program with distinction and had survived two campaigns before this one. He had been assigned to 4 different platoons being the sole survivor of at least one of them and had once saved the regiments Commissar from being eaten by a Squig.

Private Harkin died at the age of 27 Terran cycles and subsequently awoke serval days later.

He had no idea how long he had been unconscious. After regaining his footing he scanned his surroundings. Harkin rubbed his eyes and it did nothing to improve his perception of the street he collapsed in. No, his eyes no longer functioned. He didn't understand it but ¬¬vision was no longer dependant on two organic spheres housed within this hosts central processing unit¬¬

He was struck with confusion

¬¬host retains consciousness... archiving... archiving...¬¬

Harkin felt like he was blinking rapidly as his brai... as his skull started processing data. He wasn't sure of who he was any more but felt the overwhelming desire to pick up his lasgun and

¬¬move to target destination¬¬


An internal counter kept track of the returning warriors. Each zombified drone was capable of infecting multiple new hosts and the Necron Lord had only lost a handful of drones to enemy forces.

It was a good start. Soon enough his hand would be strong enough to start making himself known to the parasites infesting his world.

His nanites did have an unintended effect on each host however, but it was of little consequence. In an attempt to replicate themselves to a sufficient number to claim the host, the nanites had consumed most of the organic carbon matter of each vessel.

If the Necron Lord could find humour in anything, it would be the skeletal resemblance to the warriors he commanded a millennia ago.


As I was trying to go to sleep several nights ago I thought about the nanites, undead firing guns and how I could excuse a more melee focused unit on the table top beyond, oh they're zombies and those are skeletons.

I settled on the idea that if the Canoptek Nanites infected a living host, they would have enough time to download key information. Combat protocols, strategic training, certain memories etc. This way I could convert skeleton warriors driving trucks, tanks, using equipment as the host's knowledge would remain memory banked to a cluster of nanites perhaps hidden within the skull of the victim itself.

Who knows, maybe the host remains as a whole or in part trapped within their decomposing remains.

Whereas if the nanites infected beings who are already deceased, there is no knowledge to obtain. The body can be moved but would require instruction and guidance beyond basic commands. In this way I can excuse melee units composed of infantry ordinarily predisposed to long range combat.


Stealing from the Genestealers

As I mentioned at the start of this entry, I've given up on the idea of using the Death Guard codex. So much for the start of this blog, almost all of it has been discarded.

I think I've settled on the idea of using the Genestealer Cult codex instead. While the DG codex would be a good start, most of the units are power armour based and that's not really going to work for all of the skeleton guardsmen I had planned. Whereas the GSC book has plenty of human based units and some melee troop chooses beyond the one size fits all Poxwalkers of the Death Guard.

They also have bikers in the Genestealer book which will allow me to include the Rough Rider cavalry I had in my original army.

The standard line infantry for the GSC also have a wider selection of weaponry compared to the current edition Chaos Cultist rules I had planned on using. Greater room for converting minis.

However all of this is an issue for future me. Currently I have lots of undead Guardsmen to finish. Speaking of which;


The Minis

So far the production line hasn't be effected. I have plenty of Kroot rifles and bolter parts to make the auto rifles. The 90's skeletons make ideal frames from all sorts of uniforms or troopers and so far have mostly been made into Cadians and Catachans.

The new Deathrattle Skeleton's plate mail will make things a tad harder. So far however they do make pretty good undead Vostroyans and might be useful for Tempestus Scions.

Greenstuff has defiantly been a resource at play here and I've used instant mould for a few of the parts like the Vostroyan gas masks.

Lastly for this update, I've started work on a couple of Genestealer Cult specific models. Namely skeletons holding the mining lasers and other GSC specific equipment but more on that later.


 

27th of May, 2023


Over the last couple of weeks I've been busy converting more guardsmen and started work on some more undead Tau figures after I found out that the Skulls boxset from GW contained all sort of alien, well um, skulls.


But before I share the next load of minis, I found myself stuck on a train for my usual trip into the capital for work. 4 hours is a long time and this month I started typing up more lore of the Lost and the Damned. So if you'll indulge me;


"Colonel Griess waved another trooper past. “Quickly” he repeated as he ushered his retreating infantry to the landing zone. He still had a hard time believing any of this. For months his regiment had held this sector against the greenskins and now, all that was left was 6 platoons built from the remaining Imperial units. He hoped, perhaps in vain, that more of his regiment had escaped elsewhere although his experience told him otherwise. Another of his fellow Cadians hurried down the corridor, followed by a couple of Vostroyans, then a Catachan in carrying a heavy stubber over his shoulder. He directed each one down the correct route, offering greater detail to the soldiers of the other regiments.


By the time the Colonel knew he was fighting a new foe, significant damage had already been done. A sickness had taken hold across his ranks. He was a seasoned veteran but his stomach churned at the thought of what was left of his men once they contracted this... this disease. None of the army medics had managed to slow down the rate of infection but the Tech Priests had disappeared a few of their own after they had fallen ill. Griess suspected they knew more than they were letting on but it mattered not. The lines were lost and they were in retreat.


These skeletal guardsmen fought with all the tactics and skill as they did in life but were far more resilient. Shots that would have felled a living man only gave these ghastly figures pause. However, what was more unnerving was the way that multiple skeletons would sometimes move as one, fire as one. It was almost as if at key moments, the enemy was being controlled.


The dead raising within their own fortifications had achieved what the Orks had failed to do for months. Break the Imperial lines. The Commissar assigned to the Cadian 26th had told him he had seen this once before, he had spent his final days seeking out signs of the ruinous powers. After he shot two soldiers of red platoon for the crimes of heresy, the rest of the platoon left him behind to join the ranks of the undead. Colonel Griess knew that if the Commissar was alive now, he wouldn’t be. He knew his current strategy would not have had the approval of the now deceased Commissar…


You see his Imperial lines had technically been fighting a war on two fronts. Luckily for him his northern enemy had also been too preoccupied with the Orks to wage their own war with his forces. This unlikely stalemate with these strange but technologically advanced aliens conveniently served a new purpose. It was into their territory he now retreated.


A week ago a couple of his scouts had returned form the Tau lines. The Tau still had drop ships. Off world vessels that in the Colonels desperation, thought was worth a shot commandeering to escape the ever advancing undead. However the scouts watching the Tau landing zones had in turn been watched. As they attempted to leave the sector and report back to Imperial lines, the Tau swooped in and invited the hapless scouts to follow them. Communications with the Tau were set up soon after. The Colonel had learned that the Tau were also in retreat. They too were planning an evacuation as the undead ate into their ranks. Sensing the desperation in the human’s actions, the commander of the Tau enclave offered not just a truce, but an escape. Join the Tau Empire and not only will they offer the Imperial soldiers a way off this rock, but a new life. Service in the Tau Auxilia.


Colonel Griess had been a soldier for too long. There was always another campaign, another war. It was never ending. He had grown tired but life with the Tau. This would be different, right? It seemed that way. It sounded very compelling. Besides, it’s too late now. What was the alternative he thought? Unending service to the undead hordes? Once they arrived at the Orcas, he would explain to his men the choice they had. Either hold the lines and stay true to the Emperor who abandoned them here, or seek a new life within the glorious Tau Empire. It was a perfect plan, nothing would go wrong, nothing could go wrong. He rubbed his eyes and attempted to stop his left eye from twitching. He hadn’t slept in days.

Private Harkin found himself with many others of his fellow undead infantry. He recalled moving up to this position but couldn’t recall the last few seconds. He hated the blackouts. Not as much as he hated the living. He sensed to his right the large hulking skeleton of a long dead Ork. The Ork was acting as his squad's heavy weapon “specialist”. Harkin remembered hating Orks while he was alive. Likely due to their insistence on living. Did he hate himself in his life before undeath? He couldn’t remember but theorised that he must have done. Otherwise why would he be here today? Fighting alongside the rest of these skeletal figures, this legion of the damned.


He moved along the cover of a nearby wall. Stopping every so often to peer over top and check on his target. They were all moving on the Tau landing site. Getting their bony hands on those Orca dropships would prove most useful. In fact each of the currently advancing squads had former warriors of the Tau Empire. It made sense to him that they should have a better chance flying these vehicles than he did. Afterall some memories of their life before death remained. He still remembered his basic infantry training that he completed… He couldn’t recall where. He still wore and looked after his Cadian 26th uniform and armour. Although he had to admit it was no longer in a condition he could be proud of. Someone while he was alive would have held that against him he was sure. He hated the living.


The living Tau had seemingly joined with the remaining Human forces in the area and looked to be jointly guarding the landing zone. Did they intend to flee with these space fairing aircraft? Time was against the undead if that was the case. Harkin let off a short burst from his auto rifle to cover himself as he moved across a short opening. He missed the feel of his trusty lasgun but that ran out of charge a long time ago. In fact most warriors in his advancing company had forgone their original armament in life and now wielded rather crude but effective projectile weapons. Ammunition had been a challenge to overcome for their Lord. The silent overseer who directed their efforts had first set out to claim any remaining manufactorums in the sector. Once in the undead’s possession, the smaller greenskin skeletons had been put to work within these factories to produce weapons they could re-arm and re-supply en masse. The end result was a collection of looted and jerry-rigged solid shot rifles. Limited moving parts but did the job nevertheless.


Harkin peered over his cover once more. There was a lot of open ground between their current position and the living. He went to scratch his head and he pondered solutions. Then stopped himself mid gesture. He of course couldn’t scratch anything, he could no longer “feel”. But that hadn’t stopped the semi consistent phantom itches.

Harkin and the rest of his squad then stood up from their crouching positions, turned ¬6 degrees west¬ and sprinted ¬58.4 metres¬ across open ground. Once arriving at their destination, the remaining skeletons turned sharply left and opened fire in unison.


Private Harkin found himself with many others of his fellow undead infantry. Laying before them was the body of a Tau drone controller and what remained of the machinery that signalled local snipper drones. He recalled peering over a wall and looking over to where he now stood, but couldn’t recall the last few seconds. He hated these blackouts."


So anyway, I kinda like the idea that these damned warriors retain some knowledge or traits of their former selves. It can be explained away as a requirement of the Necron Lord for trained and battle hardened troops, with maybe an minor side effect of the individual in question retaining some of their personality. Albeit poisoned by the Necron Lord's hatred of the living. It opens up a possibility of rebellion too, maybe they one day break free from his domination and the sweeping blackouts as a result of being directly controlled by the Necron.



 

18th of June, 2023


So over the last couple of weeks I've been busily converting more infantry models and I have a lot ready for paint but not many actually finished. For now however I can share my new Tau additions, which became possible due to the Skulls boxset, which seems like its primary purpose was base litter for your models.

However for this army, it's given me Tau and Kroot skulls. The Kroot model was built from all sorts of bits and pieces and I can't say I'll be adding many more due to the fact that I need Genestealer feet and the bones from the Ghoul boxset to build another.



 

7th of July, 2023


I have to say it's been a busy few weeks and as of typing this, I've started working on units other than the standard cultists. More on those later.

For now, I've been continuing to add to the Neophyte Hybrid units. However I do need to start building more with the heavy or special weapons. I think I have too many autoguns for now.


I also received the Avatars of War Orc skeletons in the post. I had planned on limiting myself to GW parts only, but this would mean no dead Orks in the army, which just wasn't going to work. Especially happy how these guys turned out.


Lastly, I've also built my first character model. The rather fancy looking Dire Avenger Ex-Exarch will count has my Kelermorph.




 

16th of July, 2023


In this update, I'm happy to report I've added more than just run-of-the-mill cultists to the force. I was lucky to find a ebay listing full of random Sister of Battle parts and when it arrived, the loot was better than expected. I was on the look out for a few helmets, gloves and the like, but this listing had enough random parts to build 5-6 Seraphim.

I got stuck into kit bashing them with some Myrmourn Banshees and before I knew it, I had a unit of Hybrid Metamorphs ready for paint.


I was pretty reluctant to use so little of the Myrmourn Banshee figures as I had originally planned on just giving them Sister of Battle arms and heads etc. In the end I thought it was more in keeping with my theme to Undead-ify 40k models than 40k-ify Age of Sigmar models.


The hand flamers were all built from regular flamers with the middle section of the barrels cut down. I would have liked actual Sister of Battle hand flamers but I wasn't going to wait to find some before I built these. Impatient I know.


As for the centre figure, she was meant to be holding my cult icon. I just haven't figured out what that will be yet. So her outstretched hand awaits some sort of bead glued in place later on down the line.


The colours of the ghostly cloaks were inspired by the model I aim to have as my army general, the Necron Necromancer. You see the Necron Psychomancer figure has this cool pixelated skull being summoned in front of him and it's painted in a similar blend of colours to the cloaks above. As the army is built from so many different units, I want some recurring colours present to tie it all together. In part, that's why they all have glowing green eyes.



As for what's next, well the Psychomancer is built. I've also got proxies for the Achilles Ridgerunners and Atalan Jackals. I'm very much looking forward to getting these finished!


 

11th of September, 2023

It's been a while but i've not been idle. It's been a busy few weeks building and converting lots of kits that lead straight into painting them all. Don't worry however, my pile of shame still exists, I've just been super motivated to finish this army.


First up is my Atalan Jackals. Well, annoyingly i'm still 2 models short on account of the new rules stating a squad size of 5 or 10 and the box sets I bought coming in 5's and 3's... Not sure currently what the last two bikers will be but for now, I'm happy with a Human/Ork mix.

I've also made sure that base sizes remain correct here, with one of the Ork bikers counting as a Heavy Stubber equipped quad.











Next up are my Achilles Ridgerunner proxies. I'm not that keen on the official models and had been looking for a reason to paint a few of the Ork hot rods on account of them being awesome. So I took the opportunity to expand on the armies greenskin... green bones... dead Ork presence.


I've also deliberately painted these models to resemble the official models on the boxes, in an attempt to reinforce the corruption of the living theme. It's the same reason i've not been painting any of the tattered infantry uniforms in my own colours but sticking with recognisable uniforms.




Also, now you're thinking about this tune...


And finally for this entry is the big bad lad himself, the Necron-mancer Patriarch. Not really any conversion here aside from a head swap from the old Empire Wizard model. No, I quite liked the voxel skull spell he had going on and the model in general as is.


This is the mastermind behind all those nanites bring people back from the dead. The only shame of it is, as he counts as the Genestealer Patriarch, he can't actually join the unit of Sister/Banshee/Metamorphs. Ah well, they look good together.




Next up are more Banshee Metamorphs, cult icons and another character model.


 

19th of October 2023


Cult Icons


I've been mulling over what to do with the cult icons for a while. I don't think they should be banner bearers like the official Genestealer Cult models and although I have a few models to represent the icon bearers now, I'm not convinced these will be the final executions.


The basic principle is a bit of a mash up between your standard Necron Warrior and Glowing Ghouls from the Fallout series. The Nanites infesting the host is either instructed, gains enough experience, or has sufficiently replicated enough to start the transformation process. Slowly replacing bones for metallic counterparts. I also considered this could happen if the skeleton takes enough but prolonged battle damage. Each destroyed part rebuild from metals absorbed until they're almost entirely metal.


In any case, the models glowing green are stacked full of Necron energies and can raise their fallen Death Cultists (as opposed to the spirit of the rule, in which new models are reinforcements).



The entity formally known as Harkin stood immobile in the dark of the catacombs. He had been chosen and his frame had begun its ascension. There was no definitive way of initiating this change but it would signify his status within the Death Cults, as those who completed their transformation would join the ranks of the Lord's personal legion. While Harkin processed events to come, the nanites infesting what remained of his organic vessel pulsed with ancient energies. Replacing the immediate dark with a bilious green glow.


Soon he would need to return to the surface and seek out more raw materials. The nanites hungered for metallic alloys. Piece by piece replacing carbon elements. Harkin was also aware of required modifications needed for his firearm. He had stared work on fabricating a heavy axe head fitted beneath the weapons muzzle brake. More materials were needed before converting it away from solid shot rounds into a disintegrating jade beam.


Harkin had served in squads containing other icons of the Death Cults before. These glowing figures used their heightened connection to the ancient Lord to rebuild the skeletons of those fallen cultists. Each destroyed bone segment being reshaped, every bullet wound being filled. The greater the damage, the longer the repair. These Cult Icons were metal smiths, being able to link with the host’s nanites to manipulate and bend metals to their will, replacing damaged parts as they went. He was proud to have the chance to now adopt this role as he worked towards the ranks of the true eternals.


The conquest of this planet was almost complete. The Necron Lord’s updated knowledge of the universe taken directly from the memories of his subjects. The small Eldar presence on the planet had either succumbed to his will or retreated off world. No doubt to alert the rest of their kind of his return. Pockets of the younger races still had the nerve to continue their existence, but he had made good use of their numbers to build his legion. Those he did enslave to his ranks had retained far more of their past selves than the warriors he was used to but he could still dominate them and bend their minds to his will. It mattered little. No, remaining personalities in his warriors paled in comparison to his immediate needs.


While he dominated the surface and stalked the remains of this insolent civilisation, he still had no defence in orbit or any meaningful off world capabilities. He also knew new foes would likely be on their way. The Humans he had absorbed knew about a heavily equipped and armed version of their species. A warrior sect of their race that would not leave his world uncontested.


Other dregs of this Human race seemed to have differing motivations. Some of them served the ruinous powers while others worshiped a devouring hive. A species that would seek to consume the carbon frames of his legion.

Many of these foes would no doubt be on their way. No, it was not time for compliancy. There was still work to be done. He needed to dive deeper into his most ancient vaults.


Magos


Quite accidentally, I decided to build a Magos out of some of the spare parts kicking around my hobby station. Literally holding parts against each other that prompted a "I know what this could make" eureka moment.


Like the Kelermorph proxy before, I wanted to keep the pose similar to the official model to emphasise what this model is meant to be on the table top.



For this model, I used sections of an oversized paperclip that came from a Christmas cracker some years ago. The plastic is pretty neon and knew it would come in handy one day.


More Hybrid Metamorphs


So while I've already converted 5 Hybrid Metamorphs out of Sister of Battle models, I knew the unit wasn't at full strength yet. Also, as I clearly hate myself, I decided the last 5 models of the unit would be Howling Banshees. So that's blending 4 colours and white armour...


While I'm happy with the end result and family photo, I don't want to add anymore of these models to the army! It felt like weeks had passed painting these newer 5.





So what's next? I want to start work on the "allied" Guard units. Thinking rough riders and a Hell Hound. Extra reason to paint huge vats of glowing goo with the latter!


 

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