Saturday, November 28, 2015

Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth

We interrupt this Badab War project for a new distraction... The Horus Heresy! I've been looking forward to this coming out ever since the rumors started appearing on Bell of Lost Souls. I've been a fan of the Warhammer 30,000 universe ever since they introduced it. It's been interesting to see the back story develop from hinted at rumors, to an Epic Scale game, all the way to the now fully realized conflict presented in the books being published by Games Workshop and Forgeworld. I'm a sucker for Space Marines, and the only thing cooler than them is them fighting each other.

As soon as the new Betrayal at Calth boxed game came out I picked up a copy. Then I decided one box wasn't enough so I split another box with a friend. So now I have a lot of Marines. And it is awesome. I haven't played the actual game it comes with yet, though I intend to. I am more interested in the miniatures. I should also note I will not be playing Forgeworld's version of the rules either. Nope, I plan to game Horus Heresy Disposable Heroes style using a heavily modified version of those rules. With that said, I'll probably give Betrayal at Calth a try just for fun.

So, for those that haven't picked it up yet, this box is packed with stuff at a pretty damn good price considering what it comes with. Plus knowing that this boxed game will be limited run and the contents split into their own more expensive releases was enough to convince me to drop the cash on it.

So here's what you get:

1 Terminator Cataphracti Captain character

1 Pre-Heresy Chaplain style character

1 Contemptor Dreadnought with optional Multi Melta or Assault Cannon

1 squad of five Terminator Cataphracti (with Storm Bolter or Lightning Claw options, and a Heavy Flamer)

3 ten man Tactical squads (with Heavy Bolter, Missile Launcher, bolters, Melta, Plasma, and Flamer

Lots and lots and lots of bits. Grenades, pouches, holstered Bolt Pistols (enough for every single Marine), Power Fists, tabards, combat knives, etc. etc.

Here's a pic of the box brimming with stuff.

Here's my attempt to organize all the bits into plastic organizers...too much stuff!

All of the Marines are in MK IV Power Armor. There are several different helmet variants, with two main types, and a variety of shoulder pads. There are ten different legs, but they are all pretty much the same pose (my only complaint actually). The models are excellent, and the way they have the sprues set up is great. Not to mention the bits. It would appear that they have settled on a winning sprue formula and I really hope they continue this with the other MKs of Power Armor. Especially the MK VI Corvus! (Please oh please oh please...)

I'm not the fawning Games Workshop type. I don't play their rules, I don't like their prices. I am indifferent to how they treat their customers. But, I love the background they have created and as a modeler, I can say this is some of their best stuff yet. So for me, this ticks those boxes and that's all I need.

So...what am I going to do with a box and a half of Horus Heresy era Space Marines?

Big plans.

I have the good fortune to have two other friends that are interested in gaming this (and a few I could probably convince). Two of them have picked up a box (one was split between us) and we have chosen our forces and started painting.

My friend Derek picked up a complete box and has decided to do the White Scars (unless he changes his mind...). So I decided to pair that force with a Sons of Horus army of my own. My full box will be the chosen sons clad in their immediately post Heresy pale green armor. After having started the Horus Heresy novels series this past summer (I'm only through the first two books), I really came to enjoy the character Garviel Loken. I like how the Sons of Horus slowly descend into darkness in their look. By the time of the Battle of Terra, the Cthonian gang influence and their betrayal is obvious in the Sons of Horus appearance. I plan to work that into how I paint my Marines.

Here is what I am going for:

 Here is my first attempt at this look on my first Sons of Horus sergeant. I tried using a Self Etching Primer that has a greenish gray hue as my base and then washing it with GW Athonian Camoshade and GW Agrax Earthshade. I really like the look, but to be honest, it isn't dark or greenish enough, so I had to start over.

Here is my second attempt. This time I primed as normal then used a base coat of GW Sybarite Green followed by the same washes as before. This time it came out much closer to what I was looking for. Though it is still a little lighter, I like it a lot.

No markings yet as I am waiting for Forgeworld to restock their Sons of Horus transfers. I really want to pull out all the stops on these for painting so I want to use transfers to get the look I'm going for. Plus hand painting is a pain in the butt...

Now, for the second half of the project, I will be using the half box I split with my friend Rob to do Ultramarines. He decided to do the Word Bearers, so I figured doing a Loyalist force would help with matchups for games with my friends. Plus I kind of like the Ultramarines.

Rob got a pretty good head start on painting his Word Bearers, so I started a full squad of Ultramarines after one test model of my Sons of Horus. I plan to alternate until both forces are finished.

Here is my first test Ultramarine Sergeant.

I'm going for a Rogue Trader era feel for the markings on this Marine. The blood drop markings and the black and white crest are inspired by a force of Ultramarines in one of the old White Dwarf issues. The black and white crest is a copy of the black and white helmet stripe used on Ultramarine veteran sergeants, and I figure the blood drops will be company numbers from one of the Ultramarines many chapters as an honor from a victory during the Great Crusade.

Here is the missile launcher. I love the nod to the original Rogue Trader era Space Marine plastic box set missile launcher. Love it.

So that's it for now. I have a full squad of Ultramarines well on their way to being completed and then it should be game time soon.

I'll post up a battle report either with the actual Betrayal at Calth game or our own scenario using Disposable Heroes. Whichever comes first.

Hope you enjoy!


  1. I must say your blog is awesome Keith, I'm looking at alternate rules for 40k and really want to try Disposable Heroes for the setting, have you got any tips for converting the rules for 40k please?

  2. The main thing I did was add armor. Instead of an armor save however, I gave each armor type a value that reduces the AP of incoming weapons. So Flak armor is a 2AV that reduces the AP of weapons by 2. Power Armor I made 7AV. I'd like to type up a quick guide some time but I don't have any idea what time frame that would be in.

  3. The main thing I did was add armor. Instead of an armor save however, I gave each armor type a value that reduces the AP of incoming weapons. So Flak armor is a 2AV that reduces the AP of weapons by 2. Power Armor I made 7AV. I'd like to type up a quick guide some time but I don't have any idea what time frame that would be in.

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  5. That's awesome, thanks for letting me know. I'm gonna have to pick up a copy.

    Tha Calth game is pretty good as well if you get the chance to play it, it's one of the few Games Workshop games that my partner enjoys playing, so that's high praise indeed!