A Death Korps of Krieg Astra Militarum Story by Steve Lyons
After the Christmas break, I find myself getting back to work, but it does have an advantage – time to listen to great audio books. And who doesn’t love a bit of Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard. These tend to be the books that are most commonly released by Black Library and it was Gaunt’s Ghosts that relaunched Black Library!
From the book:
Krieg is a dead world.
Fifteen hundred years ago, it declared its independence from the Imperium of Man, and paid the price. One loyal soul defied its treacherous rulers, and laid the world to waste. From these ashes emerged a unique fighting force, forged and tempered in nuclear fire…
Today, the Death Korps of Krieg lay siege to a captured hive city on the outskirts of the system-spanning Octarius War, in a desperate attempt to secure the cordon that stops untold masses of Orks and Tyranids from spilling out into the Imperium at large. The Korpsmen are relentless, ruthless, implacable, and unstoppable, even in the face of a war that seems unwinnable. How far will they go to achieve victory, and is history doomed to repeat itself?
Krieg is a two interwoven stories about the Death Korp of Krieg. The first is a current siege of a captured hive city, the second is the origin story of the regiments. And – for me at least – the origin story is the most interesting half of the book. Of course, the current day story has Orks, Tryanids, brave (or reckless) Imperial Guard, Cadians fighting alongside Death Korp troops… and an Inquisitor; but the origin story is new (to me at least) and is a great explanation of how Krieg is where it is now.
And where is it now; well it’s a dead world in the middle of nuclear winter but still able to produce regiments of renown to fight for the Emperor in all fields of the eternal war for survival. They have their rebreathers, lasguns, greatcoats, but most importantly their bravery – which could almost be called fanaticism… if that didn’t go against the Emperor.
In the past, Krieg is fighting a vicious civil war against traitors to the Emperor, and Colonel Jurten is fighting them despite being outnumbered and outgunned. The origin story included in Krieg is essential his story as well as the origin story of the regiment. And I loved it – it fits in very well with the Warhammer 40k background – it’s not good (Jurten himself talks about degrees of evil), but it does show the lengths the Imperium will go-to to keep itself alive and reminds the reader that there are no ‘good guys’ in the Warhammer 40k universe – just a lot of bad things happening and being forced on people.
And so it asks the question – ‘could you?’ or ‘could we?’; which was asked so much in 50s and 60s science fiction after the bombs were dropped on Japan in our own world. This is probably why I like Krieg so much.
Before I begin, jus a quick thank you to Peter for designing our new Featured images. I like the simplicity, but also that it brings many of our articles under a common theme. Ta Peter! Do let us know what you think of them on our Discord.
My reading over Christmas was limited with family and time off for a new addition to the family, but I did manage to get Fire Made Flesh by Denny Flowers finished – and I love Necromunda stories.
From the book:
The Fallen Dome of Periculus, once a hub of sanctioned commerce and illicit dealings, is lost no more… and the prizes it holds are sought by noble, Guilder, and hive scum alike. For Tempes Sol of the Guild of Light, Periculus is an opportunity to not only prove his superiority over his superstitious peers but also to see the end of Lord Silas Pureburn, Keeper of the God-Emperor’s Eternal Flame, bringer of fire and faith to the rioting masses, and his most hated rival.
But Periculus did not fall by chance. Dark secrets lurk in its shadows – forbidden archeotech, twisted creatures that feast on flesh, and an insidious rage afflicts all who dwell inside its confines. As madness and violence erupt within the fallen dome, the legacy of Periculus threatens not only to consume the underhive, but ultimately Hive Primus itself.
Necromunda (like Imperial Guard books) are amongst my favourite of the Warhammer 40k universe, because they involve (mostly) ordinary humans just trying to survive in the Grim Darkness of the Far Future where there is only war. It makes the characters much more relatable than the super warriors of the Space Marines, or the intrigue of the Eldar. With all that said, what was Fire Made Flesh like?
It begins with Periculus being discovered by a Goliath gang, but unlike the game of Necromunda this is not about the gangs, or a gang war – it is about other denizens of the underhive – from pit fighters to ratskin scouts, from Pureburn to Tempes Sol (from the upper-hive). Lord Silas Pureburn puts all his resources into ensuring any archeotech found in Periculus benefits him. But he’s not the only one in the hive interested in the new location and hivers come from far and wide to make their fortunes.
This is a great little book, with one shortfall – there were just too many characters for me and too many interwoven plots for me to follow all of them. That said it was still a fun read and a must read for those who lie Necromunda – however it probably wouldn’t be a good introduction into the world of Warhammer 40k.
I know that there are many hobbyists concerned about the direction of flow of Twitter and that’s because it has been a great source of hobby over the last ten years; a great way to meet new people, discuss the latest releases, and show off models. (Although you will need to regular use the block option if you encounter a gate-keeper).
There are also sometimes gems that people mention or notice and Mike Ellar had a good one yesterday morning!
Mike is a regular contributor on Twitter and after a short attempt to make Big Waaagh! work with Kruleboyz in early 2022, he is now trying the same with Kruleboyz. And it is not an easy task. He can be found regularly writing on Goonhammer. Go and check his articles out – I’ll be waiting for you when you get back!
Now, trying to make Kruleboyz work isn’t the easiest of tasks and so Mike has been reading the core rules and spotted an interesting one:
What does that mean for the rest of us? Well the big news is that it *could* impact who benefits from the new GHB22 (part 2) rules, although we think the rules-writers may have noticed the risk so either it’ll be covered in the book, or in a quick FAQ.
The main benefit here is the mount traits! And now more units can have them. Obviously look out for core-word locked options (particularly Monster keyword) but there are some mount traits out there without them.
This would be particularly useful for some of my Big Waaagh lists where I leave the Maw Krusha at home (mainly during the Purple Sun crises of July 2022)! But it does mean Fast ‘Un now has some additional options with the Wurgogg and there are bound to be other options in the books.
So, have a look in your Battletomes at any mount traits that are available; and then checkout those units with companions. There might be some Secret Tech hidden away in there that’s been missed.
What is does show is that it’s often worth reading the core rules again when a new Battletome of GHB drops to see if there are any interesting interactions – however if you want to do something you’ve never seen before; just chcek with you friendly neighbourhood TO! And don’t win on a ‘Gotcha’.
— Declan & Eeyore
* okay it’s possible Peter was slightly quicker to post than me… but you get two news articles in two days so its all win-win!!
Before Livingstone and Jackson even had the idea for Games Workshop and before the birth of Warhammer – science fiction in the 60s was having a great time; with speculative fiction, loads of magazines being published and space ships; lots and lots of space ships.
And Harry Harrison was one of the greats, with books spanning 50 years from 1960 to 2010. Famous mostly for the ‘Stainless Steel Rat’, I first found him through the novel Deathworld… which sounded like it could be an Imperial Guard novel – and possibly the basis for the Catachan Regiment.
From Goodreads: “The planet was called Pyrrus…a strange place where all the beasts, plants and natural elements were designed for one specific purpose: to destroy man. The settlers there were supermen…twice as strong as ordinary men and with milli-second reflexes. They had to be. For their business was murder… It was up to Jason dinAlt, interplanetary gambler, to discover why Pyrrus had become so hostile during man’s brief habitation…”
Okay, so I admit it, I may have lured you in a little on false pretences; the main story is indeed about a gambler with luck who is employed by the Ambassador of Pyrrus to win enough money for him to buy guns… lots of guns… a whole world of guns! After Jason dinAlt (the gambler) wins the money, he elects to join the ambassador to see Pyrrus for himself.
And it’s the planet of Pyrrus which is the best part of the story for me. Evocatively described, the planet which is trying to kill every human on it – including Jason dinAlt – with the creatures, plants and possibly the very planet itself trying to wipe humanity from its surface.
It’s a short novel (what would be a novella in modern terms), this is a great read if you want some inspiration for a Catachan themed roleplaying scenario or a narrative campaign. With the added benefit of being a great read as well. And if you like it as much as I did, the great news is that it is a trilogy! (and it’s available on Audible)
Do you ever wish that Gaunt’s Ghosts had more Spears and Shields instead of Lasguns or that Sharpe had fewer Frenchmen to fight but more Persians…? Well good news your wait is over and Woehammer’s Elite group of Book Reviewers have the perfect solution to your needs.
The Gates of Athens is the first in a new series of books written by Conn Iggulden. If you’ve not seen his name before he has written a lot of historical fiction in eras as diverse as Rome, Genghis Khan and the War of the Roses. Unlike Gaunts Ghosts and Sharpe he tends to write complete series so characters don’t lice forever, but he is very good at capturing the themes of the historical era in which he is writing.
The Gates of Athens is an interesting story and one that wargamers will likely know something about, and Iggulden starts at Marathon where the army of Darius (the Persian King) is forced from Greece. At this victory we are introduced to five of the main characters used in the book… but don’t worry about keeping up, this is mostly the story about Xanthippus, a Strategos (Division leader) of Athens.
After victory at Marathon and Pheidippides has unfortunately died (again), the reader is introduced to the politics and intrigue of the Agora or Athens. Its not in too much detail though so no preknowledge is require or expected and the book is still mass market paperback so not intended for those who only want to read about the politics of the day! There is intrigue, deals and betrayal! Perfect!
But 10 years after Marathon the Persians are back under the new King – Xerxes – and heading for Athens who will need all her sons to save her!
It’s a smashing (and bashing) tour de force with Xanthippus in particular being a great character and hero for the story. Despite knowing the story and the sequence of events its written to still bring the reader along for the ride and – if you don’t know the story- there’s definitely enough explanation to stop you becoming confused. Despite the historical requirements and limitations, Iggulden also manages to keep the number of characters to a good level despite all the people involved.
So if you’re in a gap in Gaunts Ghosts or fancy a bit of a change from Orks and Psykers then give this a go. You won’t be disappointed!
(cover picture from Games Workshop / Warhammer Community)
I think I can say without much fear of contradiction that scalpers are annoying and frustrating. Whether its for the latest Black Library/Forgeworld limited edition or tickets to watch Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire at the County Championship it’s frustrating to be giving money to someone who was just fortunate enough to buy 14 copies!
But never fear, Games Workshop seem to be noticing the trend and their latest attempt to resolve it is for the Cursed City expansions. The two expansions sold out quickly, and prices on Ebay were increasing – and Games Workshop must have noticed.
So they’ve announced that these two expansions (and the only ones they are releasing) are being made available on make to order.
If you want either expansion then now is the last chance to pick them up. There’s no models involved but most gamers will have access to suitable alternatives (or buy the models separately). Additionally some FLGSs will have some of these available as well, so support your local store where you can.
My last outing with the Gloomspite Gitz ended with a 2-3 result and me playing against Gitz for game 5… so a good result for Gitz although not for most armies; but when it came to deciding which army to use for Warfare (12th – 13th November, 2022) I was very tempted to go back to Big Waaagh as it can smash (and bash) and win a few more games than the Gitz.
But, with the new Battlescroll and the reduction in points for Squig Herd and the Mangler Squig I couldn’t ignore GW’s attempt to make the Gitz playable – so I’ve gone back to them for a second time.
I tend to use a lot of Squig Herd models, and this was a significant cost saving for the lads. (100 points for the herd alone). It also meant I could look at an upgrade of my Grot on Giant Squig… (see below)
Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
Leaders Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (270)***
General Command Trait: Dodgy Character Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact) Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance Madcap Shaman (80)*** Artefact: Moonface Mommet Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork Madcap Shaman (80)*** Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Battleline 36 x Squig Herd (420)** Reinforced x 2 12 x Squig Herd (140)* 12 x Squig Herd (140)* 10 x Squig Hoppers (180)** 10 x Squig Hoppers (180)**
Units 5 x Boingrot Bounderz (105) 5 x Boingrot Bounderz (105) 6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) 6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) 1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)***
This is similar to the previous list with a few small changes. The first is a reduction in the Boingrot Bounders from 10 models (reinforced units) to 5 models. This frees up 210 points to spend on more Gitz… I’ve gone for 2 Madcap Shamans with Hand of Gork to threaten the backfield of my opponent’s objectives. One of the little chaps also has the Moonface Mommet – effectively giving my Herd -1 rend against one unit each turn – not bad for a little chap.
My other big change, allowed by the reduction in points on Squig Herd, is to swap out the Loonboss on Giant Squig with a Loonboss on Mangler Squig. This allows me to assist all the Squigs in combat – a thing I struggled with at Warhammer World.
This turns the Squig Herd into 3+/2+ (with the Marshcrawler) and I won’t be low on command points whilst he is alive. And to help with that he is a ‘Dodgy Character’
Not helpful against spells, but he can mostly stay out of the way, or rely on the dispelling rolls of him and his mates. This does mean I lose two benefits in the last army. +3″ movement from the Giant Squig and re-roll random movements. But I think this more than makes up for that. At Warhammer World I didn’t advance far beyond my lines and doing damage was the main issue.
Having avoided ‘bottom Chump’ last time with 2 wins, I’m aiming for 2 wins again, but will be trying for 3! Let’s see if my last tournament of the year can be a fun one.
A Novella for The Siege of Terra by Graham McNeill
With The Siege of Terra in full swing, Graham McNeill takes us down a little cul-de-sac to close off the story-arc of the ‘Sons of Selenar’… or the Shattered Legions. This is an interesting departure from the other Siege of Terra books, in that it has characters from the Horus Heresy series who have been with each other for some time and gone through a number of adventures together.
From the book:
The Shattered Legions crew of the Sisypheum, broken and at the end of their endurance, find themselves divided – torn between following their resurrected captain on a suicidal mission or obeying orders to return to Terra and rejoin their Legion brothers.
Following a series of garbled messages intercepted by the Kryptos, the divided warriors descend to the shattered surface of Luna. Here, their bonds of loyalty, duty, and their devotion to one another will be tested as ancient horrors of the earliest days of gene-manipulation are unleashed, and a long-buried secret is revealed.
A secret that will have far-reaching consequences for the future course of the galaxy, no matter who eventually claims Terra.
The Shattered Legions – a group of loyalists separated from their own legions, find themselves hiding in the solar system following a void battle, when they receive a call for help from the surface of Luna. Ancient technology is under threat from the Sons of Horus and they are being called to help.
This is a strange – but I imagine essential – addition to the Siege of Terra, and I can understand why it is a novella and not part of the main story arc. The characters have all been introduced in some depth in the Horus Heresy series and – as I note above – have already have adventures, battles and close-calls within that series. This then left the writers of the Siege of Terra books in a quandary – the need to close this particular story-arc, but not confuse people who are just reading the Siege of Terra – like me!
And they have succeeded – sort of. This story has what you need in a Horus Heresy novella, but it should probably have been released under that series and not the Siege of Terra series. There is only a minimal link to the Siege of Terra proper – they are on Luna – and Black Library could easily have released it alongside.
The writing is of course good as we’ve come to expect from Graham McNeill but the characters are already developed, and I would have liked to have a little more description of them, even if it would have been superfluous for those who’ve read all the Horus Heresy novels. They fly, fight, kill and die whilst struggling to save the secrets of Gene-manipulation… and there’s some more history about the Emperor thrown in for good measure.
Overall a good book, but you really need to have read the Shattered Legion novels from Horus Heresy first.
Continuing my re-reading of the Dan Abnett series – Gaunts Ghosts – next up is book 6, Straight Silver
‘Commissar Gaunt and his men undertake a seemingly suicidal mission in the blood-soaked trenches of the 41st Millennium.
On the battlefields of Aexe Cardinal, the struggling forces of the Imperial Guard are locked in a deadly stalemate with the dark armies of Chaos. Commissar Ibram Gaunt and his regiment, the Tanith First and Only, are thrown headlong into this living hell of trench warfare, where death from lethal artillery is always just a moment away. The only chance for Gaunt and his lightly armed scouts to survive is to volunteer for a mission so dangerous that no one else dares accept it.’
The Ghosts are stealth and infiltration specialists, but when they are assigned to the wars on Aexe Cardinal they quickly find themselves in the middle of trench warfare… and to make matters worse the enemy has brought some very big siege guns into the war… and the trenches are under intense attack.
After repelling the first attack against their lines, Gaunt convinces the local command to use his troops in a more suitable location… but there is a catch; the Ghosts are split in two. One half is working their way through a forest – still miraculously standing after decades of war – and the other must hold the trenches… and find the location of the big guns.
Unfortunately neither mission is as it seems and the Ghosts have to explore the wood, where their own need for R&R may cause them to forget the basics, whilst those left behind in the trenches must find the guns, so they can be silenced.
Straight Silver is back to classic Ghosts (although it never went far), and I loved it. The descriptions of the battles, unlikely survival of the troopers, and death of some, whilst they infiltrate and fight their own boredom … often at the same time.
This is another novel set in the 40k universe that I was able to relate to, in a way that I sometimes struggle with Space Marines. The Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum remain just men and women… with guns and a little armour… dying in droves to keep the enemy at bay or making small progress. Straight Silver delivers on this promise.
Another great novel and a good read.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Previous Gaunt’s Ghosts Book Reviews on Woehammer:
This is the Top Three AoS Lists for the Justice Series GT that took place in Liverpool, UK on 15th and 16th October. It involved 80 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.
The Justice Series has been going on for some time now and this is not the first iteration, and – whilst I haven’t been to the venue yet – it is getting good reviews. Ritchie is the manager of the store and gaming venue and he is very visible on Twitter, as well as being a very good player on the UK scene.
They have also just announced their new mascot / character – Justice – who is a female mage knight. You can find out more about her here.
(Pictures copyright Games Workshop)
Before I jump into the Top Three AoS Lists, I wanted to remind everyone of our friendly Discord server where you can join in the conversation with the Woehammer crew and suggest articles or series for the website.
If you like what we’re doing, why not join our Patreon and help keep it going?
Also if there’s a one day or two day tournament you’d like us to cover drop us a comment on this post and we’ll have a look at it for you.
The Top Three AoS Lists
Allegiance: Beasts of Chaos – Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance – Triumphs: Inspired
Leaders Dragon Ogor Shaggoth (155)** – General – Command Trait: Adamantine Scales – Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact) – Lore of Dark Storms: Sundering Blades
Battleline 6 x Dragon Ogors (250)* – 4x Paired Ancient Weapons – 2x Draconic War glaives – Reinforced x 1 6 x Dragon Ogors (250)* – 4x Paired Ancient Weapons – 2x Draconic War glaives – Reinforced x 1 6 x Dragon Ogors (250) – 4x Paired Ancient Weapons – 2x Draconic War glaives – Reinforced x 1 10 x Ungors (65)*** – Mauls & Half-Shields 10 x Ingots (65)*** – Mauls & Half-Shields
Comments: Well, if ever there was a White Dwarf article that had a bigger impact on any gaming system I’ve not seen it. Dan & Freddie (see below) won their last two games with the Beasts, with very similar armies. The only reason you don’t see this as often is because the Dragon Ogre sculpts are big and expensive.
Expect some changes in the new Battlescroll due to be released in October, but based on the previous Battlescrolls I wouldn’t expect them to suddenly become rubbish.
Well done to Dan for 1st, and a 5-0!
Allegiance: Beasts of Chaos – Greatfray: Gavespawn – Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs – Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Leaders Beastlord (95)* – Artefact: Mutating Gnarlblade Dragon Ogor Shaggoth (155)* – General – Command Trait: Unravelling Aura – Lore of Dark Storms: Sundering Blades Dragon Ogor Shaggoth (155)**** – Lore of Dark Storms: Hailstorm Great Bray-Shaman (100)**** – Lore of the Twisted Wilds: Savage Dominion
Battleline 6 x Dragon Ogors (250)*** – 3x Paired Ancient Weapons – 3x Draconic War glaives – Reinforced x 1 6 x Dragon Ogors (250)*** – 3x Paired Ancient Weapons – 3x Draconic War glaives – Reinforced x 1 10 x Ungors (65)** – Mauls & Half-Shields 10 x Ungors (65)** – Mauls & Half-Shields 10 x Ungors (65)** – Mauls & Half-Shields
Units 5 x Centigors (85)* 5 x Centigors (85)**** 20 x Bestigors (250)*** – Reinforced x 1 1 x Mindstealer Sphiranx (95)*
Comments: To say that I’m running out of things to say about Beasts is an understatement (see above). We’re seeing loads of them in the top threes at the moment and they seem to be a great counter to Maggotkin of Nurgle who Freddie beat twice on the way to his 5-0. Well done again!
Allegiance: Slaves to Darkness – Damned Legion: Knights of the Empty Throne – Mortal Realm: Ghur – Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak – Triumphs: Indomitable
Leaders Knights of the Empty Throne Varanguard x 6 (560)* – General – Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield – Command Trait: Inescapable Doom – Artefact: Grasping Plate – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch Knights of the Empty Throne Varanguard x 6 (560)** – Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield – Artefact: Corrupted Nullstone – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Spell: Mask of Darkness Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Spell: Mask of Darkness
Battleline 8 x Iron Golems (75)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Units 1 x Mindstealer Sphiranx (95)**
Behemoths Chaos Warshrine (215)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Prayer1: Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Comments: It’s an Archaon list, without Archaon… just lots of Varanguard changing the definition of hero and letting Slaves to Darkness take loads of them.
And they come back – albeit in smaller numbers…! Wow. They are fast, hit like a ton of bricks and can use hero abilities. You don’t want to be on the receiving end.
This might be one of the last times we see them from this current book so it’s great to see Phil get them to 3rd in a tough tournament. Also a special shout out to Piotr who drew with Phil in the last game, but lost on points scored in the first four games — such small differences.
Army Faction: Skaven – Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs – Triumph: Indomitable
LEADERS Verminlord Deceiver (405)* – General – Command Traits: Devious Adversary – Artefacts of Power: Shadow Magnet Trinket – Spells: Flaming Weapon Slynk Skittershank (225)* Thanquol (415)** – 2 x Warpfire Braziers – 2 x Warpfire Projectors – Spells: Skitterleap
BATTLELINE Gutter Runners (210)* Gutter Runners (210)* Night Runners (90)** – Nightleader Night Runners (90)** – Nightleader
OTHER Gutter Runners (210)* Skittershank’s Clawpack (225)*
ENDLESS SPELLS & INVOCATIONS 1 x Quicksilver Swords (60) 1 x Warp Lightning Vortex (80)
Comment: I love Skaven, and had an army of them in Warhammer 8th Edition (and have even rebased some of them), and so I keep an eye out on their successes. Gabe hasn’t gone with Stormfiends, but has taken Night Runners and Gutter Runners. The only thing it’s missing to make it fully Eshin, is the Assassins, but he’s got Thanquol and a Verminlord instead so it’s definitely a Skaven list.
This is another list where I say I don’t understand what it does, or how it does it.
At 225 points I’ve not seen Slynk or his Clawpack before… it’s more Eshin so Gabe’s keeping on theme, but they can deploy outside 6″ and near terrain at the end of turn 1, so Gabe can pin in the enemy a little. The blighter can fight as well… as you’d hope for 225!
It’d be really interesting to know how this works, so I’m not suggesting go out and replicate this list, but it is an example that there are still new lists out there that can compete.