workshop battle

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Battle Masters (1992) was the big battle miniatures game counterpart to HeroQuest’s introductory dungeon bash.  Milton Bradley and Games Workshop collaborated again to fill a large box with plastic Citadel miniatures and kid-friendly rules.  Warhammer players bought many copies for the 103 figures, including Imperial knights, foot, and a cannon with crew, vs orcs, goblins, wolf riders, an ogre, Chaos knights, beastmen, plus a 6″ tall polystyrene tower.

I know more than one player who converted the Mohawk-sporting Chaos archers to make Chaos centaurs, and I’ve seen the vinyl map used under WWI aircraft games.

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Commission: “Sisters of Battle” (lines - Warhammer 40K)

I’m not sure if this is the largest, or the second largest image I’ve ever worked on – but it sure is damn large!

Based on Warhammer 40K, this image depicts a battle between the incredibly awesome Sister of Battle and a Lord of Change, a demon of Tzeentch, supported by Alpha Legion.

This image has been an incredibly massive project which has led me to tons of research, references and learning about the Warhammer 40K universe – a universe I am in love with.

Now that the linework is finished, we are currently proceeding with the shading phase and doing it live over on my Twitch channel (www/twitch.tv/oabnormal). Pretty soon, color!

Also, once we’re done with this image, I’ll be starting a new webcomic. You know, FYI.

A Response to a Private Ask that I Want to Share...

I didn’t add the thing about Dan Abnett, so I can’t really comment on it. What I CAN say is that while Space Marines are SUPPOSED to be asexual, they’re also SUPPOSED to be perfectly loyal, and we all know how THAT worked out. So, I don’t really think that it’s outside the realm of possibility. Rare? Certainly. Impossible? I don’t buy it. There are a few sex-linked conditions that aren’t directly related to your sex organs - hemophilia, for example - so it’s not entirely outside the realm of possibility. But it also isn’t the most likely.

Now, from a narrative perspective, I think that Space Marines are a lot more interesting when they are not, well… JUST Space Marines? What’s more interesting, Brother Andronicus the perfect Space Marine who does his bolter drills, worships the God-Emperor, and has no doubts or aberrations? Or Brother Julius who is… a little different? He has doubts? He has affection for mortals? He’s kind of in love with Epistolary Hezekiah? The latter, of course. All the best Space Marine characters have been like the latter.

As far as female Astartes go… look, do you have any idea how little of your genome is sex-based? It’s one chromosome out of 23! And, other than some of the genes that turn a few other genes off and on, that chromosome hasn’t even got anything important on it! On a genetic level, male and female humans are incredibly similar. We are way more similar than we are different.

But look, this is a story, right? So reasonable doesn’t matter. Let’s turn again to the narrative side.

My problem with all-male Astartes is that it’s just too damn easy. It falls too easily into our cultural expectations that men do the fighting and ladies… don’t. And then the setting uses its pseudo-science to go ahead and confirm all our cultural biases.

THAT IS BORING!

Shit that effortlessly confirms our cultural biases is dumb and boring. Wouldn’t it be more interesting if there were only male Space Marines because of some cultural bias within the Imperium… and it turns out that they were WRONG? Or wouldn’t it be fun if there were female Astartes, just to tweak the nose of our modern sensibilities?

But this? “Hey, let’s make things work just like our cultural biases say they should… and then back it up with SCIENCE so there’s no way to argue with it?”

Narratively? That’s boring as shit.

Finally, as far as some sort of Brothers of Battle goes… I don’t really see the appeal. Like I said, men are already everywhere, crawling all over every heroic trope there is. What’s the fucking point? Sisters of Battle are cool because they are unique. They are interesting! One of the most elite military formations in the Imperium, second only to the Emperor’s Space Marines in terms of personal heroism and durability, AND THEY’RE A BUNCH OF GIRLS!

That’s cool. That’s awesome. That’s unique.

Space Marines? Brothers of Battle?

I say this as a Space Marine player… it’s just more of the same. *Yawn*. Fuck it. I want things that defy my expectations, not just more of the same splattered all over the place.

The first army that needs updating in 8E 40k

Sisters of Battle, without question.

Their models update has been “apparently coming” for about 3 years now. Come on GW, you’ve updated their rules for 7th (I guess their full army in Imperial Agents is technically an update? I’ll leave that one for SoB players to decide) now they just need plastic models. It can’t be too difficult to do.

Index Sororitas - Order of the Abyss

“May all that is lost, be found” – Sister Adriana Oldrich

The Battle Sisters of the Order of the Abyss are a Lesser Order Pronatus that split from the Order of August Vigil subsequent to the events that followed the destruction of the imperial oceanic mining planet Nahmu. Born out Despair, the Order protected the ancient space station known simply as the Ark. The Order is now charged with discovering and retrieving the Ark of Truth so that it may reveal all that is lost from the Imperium.

Origin

“She who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” – Sister Nina Marian

M37.207 The Order of August Vigil of the Order Pronatus were asked by the Ecclesiarchy to investigate whether the large battle station sized saviour pod currently laying on the ocean floor of Nahmu is from the Ark of Truth and whether it contains information on how to find it.

Nahmu, was once one of the finest oceanic mining worlds in the Imperium. In lower gothic the name translates as ‘Old Mother’ it was characterised by unique hive cities that would submerge onto the ocean floor to mine for precious minerals during slack water and would then process them above water during the rest of the time.

The Ark of Truth according to ancient scripture is supposed to be the resting place for some of mankinds long forgotten, finest relics, as well as an archive capable of locating of trove more. Under the command of Canoness Abeni Aingeal, sisters from the order of August Vigil boarded the space station submerged deep below one of Nahmu’s many oceans, to find life support fully operational but, incapable of self-sustained flight. Deep within its vaults laid the ancient; Vengeance Engines in full working order. While it was an exceptional discovery and warranted further investigation in the name of the emperor, it could not locate the Ark of Truth, with it only containing the last known location before it separated. Without a name they simply started referring to it as the Ark.

In the years following the sisters tirelessly continued to research and study the Ark in hopes in one day returning it to the Ecclesiarchy that was until M37.212 when the planet Nahmu started experiencing freak geological activity, so violent that it began tearing itself apart. Before the final cataclysmic event destroyed the planet for good Canoness Abeni Aingeal diverted all power to the stations shields in hope of it surviving the event, the result, the huge amounts of energy hurtled the Ark into the black void of space.

The Order of August Vigil assumed their fellow sisters dead and the Ark lost. For those upon the Ark, they had nothing but the ships automated life support, artificial environment, and trajectory. So until the surviving sisters gained control and reinitializing offline systems they were left hurtling uncontrollably into the empty vacuum of space. As they floated in the blackness of nothing it was not long before they came to the attention of roaming Ork Pirates. Sisters from the Order of the Valorous Heart who had been assigned as a protection detail as part of their penance for their sin of pride. These sisters would go on to repel the first attempted boarding action and then onto training the Sisters of the August Vigil the important combat tactics in order to survive. These lessons would prove to be invaluable, as under the command of Canoness Abeni Aingeal,over the next dozen years they were assailed multiple times from Eldar Corsair, and Rogue Trader but they survived and eventually were able to return home.

Early History

Returning home to the Order of August Vigil having been declared untainted, their sisterhood struggled to recognise them, they were far darker, they had gone into the Abyss and returned. They weren’t Sisters of August Vigil any more, their journey had turned them into something far darker. It was clear to command that they weren’t able to reassimilate, so it was decided that the survivors were to form a new convent on the Ark. This would not be enough to ease tensions for on Lethe, the survivors would disobey orders and break rank. Within the private museum of the planetary governor, laid the Red Necklace of Chirosius, the bloodstained chain with which Apostate Cardinal Bucharis bound Confessor Dolan with. Sisters from the Order of August Vigil had intended to negotiate and trade for it, but the sisters upon the Ark would have none of it. Launching a brutal and bloody assault, slaying all in their path the survivors took the necklace by force. Upon investigation into the incident, the Inquisition would clear the sisters of any wrong doing having discovered the governor had been a mutant and agent of Slaanesh. By this point the tension between the Order and the convent upon the Ark was untenable and with the rather begrudging blessing from the Canoness’ of both the Order of August Vigil and the Valorous Heart, Cardinal Halfleikr Pomorac authorized the convent to separate and form a new order. The new order was named the “Order of the Abyss” and took Nahmu as their home planet in name only, for the Ark would be their mobile convent and their flagship. The order was tasked with unlocking the Arks secrets, so that they may find the Ark of Truth.

Notable Sisters

In their relatively short history, the Order of the Abyss have an astounding recording for remarkable individuals

First Canoness Abeni Aingeal

“In the depths of despair, I found him” – Abeni Aingeal, First Canoness of the Order of the Abyss

First Canoness Abeni Aingeal from the Order of the Abyss, formerly from the Order of August Vigil prior to M40.212 would have been considered an understated leader among her sisterhood. The events that followed Nahmu, in the face of extreme adversity Abeni transformed all of that. As a leader she maintained the Emperors light among her subordinates so that they would not face the despair alone. She showed incredible ingenuity to solve the challenges thrown at them. Having led her sisters for so long in confinement, she was eventually able to led them in battle where she revealed a fiery passion, that her sisters follow without hesitation.

Current Canoness Superior Eliska Ludmila

“Now, Emperor be praised, that to believing souls gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.” – Eliska Ludmila, Canoness of the Order of the Abyss

Orphaned when her father was press ganged into service of the Imperial Navy, she was sent to the Schola Progenium of Gabchik Kubish, at Bohemia, where she grew recognition as a steely eyed servant of the emperor, with a nerve of steel and an unrelenting desire to serve. The Narva offensive is the largest operation her Order has committed too and it has seen her tested. Lord Inquisitor Alexei de’Ossmann is wary of her, as she is not who he had hoped she would be when he approached the order to assist in the battle against the Tau Empire.

Gabchik Kubish was a member of the Bohemia Planetary Defense Force. When the Daemon Prince Reinhardrik manifested within the planetary governor’s palace, Guardsman Kubish participated in efforts to reclaim the palace and execute any heretics present. The Daemon Prince’s powers forced technological devices to fail- including the loyalist guardsmen’s weapons,, which allowed Reinhardrik to slaughter them at his leisure. In desperation, Guardsman Kubish used a Holy Orb of Antioch- a gift from a Space Marine of the Black Templars Chapter, mistaken for common jewelry and displayed in the palace for millenia- to exorcise the Daemon Prince, giving his life in the process.

In death, Gabchik Kubish was named a martyr, an Imperial Saint, and namesake of Bohemia’s Schola Progenium. Shrapnel from the Holy Orb was recovered and then inlaid into the guide bar of an ornate chainsword, which was named Beastbreaker. Bohemia’s planetary governor granted Eliska Ludmila the honor of bearing the weapon in battle, after the Order of the Abyss returned to the Imperial fold; every day, she fights to prove herself worthy of it.

Beliefs

Due to the nature of the Orders missions and tasks, they encounter many a tale of heretical crimes, all of which is recorded within the Testament of the Martyrs of Faith, so that once the Ark of Truth is discovered they may take up retribution against those that defile the name of the Emperor. Having constant contact with artefacts and relics has made the Order particularly lax about the worship of the god emperor through totemic representation. This has caused some friction with other more conservative Orders. This belief has held them in good stead, not being dragged into ideologically charged retributive campaigns and has allowed them to stay on their mission.

It is not the only belief that has caused controversy among other orders. Other orders commonly distain the blatant relationship between them and the Adeptus Mechanicus, for it is usual sight to see Techpriest accompany sisters upon missions to authenticate technological artifacts.

The founding sisters of the Order passed on their incredible will to survive but, over time sisters of the order have grown to believe that mere survival is not enough. One must not only endure the toughest of trials but also better them. To be a Sister of the Abyss, one must learn that lesson well and truly – to strive against all odds to win, and to be prepared to throw away victory and even their very lives for the ideals they will spend the rest of their lives fighting for. That way no sisters death is in vain and the dozen years trapped upon the Ark will have had a purpose.

Combat Doctrine

“We return light to that left in the dark” – Sister Ludvik Vit

All sisters from the Order of the Abyss have a wide range of individual specialisations when it comes to the study, investigation, and research into ancient relics and artefacts. On the battlefield the order has become specialised an a few polarised aspects of conflict due to the nature of the tasks. They are specialised in lightning raids and drop assaults in order to secure information or items, as well as rear-guard operations in order to defend and guard them.

Due to having the unique access to the vaults upon the Ark, the Order is able to deploy numerous ancient machines to aid in their missions. Reports have stated seeing Vengeance Engines upon the battlefield. An ancient machine resembling somewhere between that of a Penitent Engine from the Ecclesiarchy and that of an Dreadknight of the Grey knights. All indicators point to the fact that these machines are the same as those being deployed by the Order of the Desert Rose.

Confession suits have been seen marching and deploying alongside the sisters of the order. These exo suits originate from mining the mining equipment used to extract artifacts deep underground. The Order saw promise in these suits as did the Adeptus Mechanicus who quickly sought to strap an array of heavy weaponary onto them, making them walking tanks with formidable firepower; mass-collapsing grav-weaponary, infantry shredding heavy bolters, or armour piercing lascannons. Confession suits get their name from the belief that they are able to engage their enemies from such a distance with such ferocity that by the time they have reached you, if you are lucky enough still to be alive, you will confess. They are indeed one of most powerful assets that the Order has available, an asset many orders wish they had. More recent reports have spoken of an unidentified machine that bares similar resemblance to that of the Adeptus Astartes Dark Angel Chapter’s Nephilim Jetfighters providing air cover for the order, further investigation is needed to confirm

Notable Engagements

“There is no Artifact not worth shedding blood for! ” – Sister Tamara Vratislav

Since its establishment, the lessons learnt from the dozen years trapped upon the Ark have stood in good stead.

The 2nd Red Crusade

M38 in the Grail Abyss, the Grail had gone missing. Centuries of requests to examine this grail in the belief in contains clues to the whereabouts of the Ark of Truth had been denied, if the order could recover it before the Grail Wardens, they hoped to unearth a vital clue in their quest.

MORE COMING SOON

Battle for Sirens Gate

M39.273, Sedlec Ossuary, at the battle for Sirens Gate, the Order of the Abyss became bogged down against swathes of heretics. The heretics forces must be broken and the gate taken for within the masonry of the gate the order believed laid a clue to unlocking the silent vault within the Ark. Order was given to deploy the Confession suits. The suits strode into battle and from a far they pounded their enemies positions. Bloody havoc was bought upon their enemies that day. Their fiery rain hastily destroying the heretics so that their fellow sisters could secure the gate and the vital information could be secured.

Krakens Mouth

In return for information regarding the Ark of Truth, Lord Inquisitor Alexei de’Ossmann required that the Order dispose of the traitoris planetary governor of Vitus held up in the palace at Krakens Mouth. The Order determined that they best way to achieve this would be through an orbital assault, led by their Vengeance Engines. The understanding was that the orbital drop would enable the Engine to quickly unleash its dual heavy flamers and engage in the close quarters fighting that would inevitably ensue. Its smaller profile would allows it to negotiate the tight passageways around the palace that a regular armoured vehicle would be unable to navigate past. At the east entrance to the palace, sisters were ambushed by the remaining troops loyal to the governor, they overran their position. Supported by a Vengeance Engine with its additional mobility it was able to engage the enemy and push back the assault, had it have been one of the rhino chassis based vehicles available, it would have easily have been destroyed, leaving the sisters vulnerable and most likely lost.

The Narva Reclamation

999.M41 at the request of Lord Inquisitor Alexei de’Ossmann arrive on Narva to assist in combating the Tau Empire and retrieving the Magma-core Syphon the former auxiliary power supply to the Ark of Truth and currently under investigation by the Earth Caste of the Tau Empire

WARHAMMER 40K: SACRIFICE

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“She was an angel, pure as righteous destruction. She laid low the twisted and lifted the righteous. At her passing, a million voices cried out her name. Shall we ever again see her like?”

  — Sister Patricia of the Order Famulous on the disappearance of St Celestine

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Fanart of Warhammer 40K miniature game of Workshop. In this drawing I show the Battle Sisters with St Celestine against some Eldar.



Drawing process