Before the Death Guard came the Dusk Raiders – and here we see a desperate warband still standing tall for the Emperor.
Many years ago I decided to make a different army. Back in 2005 I started on my pre-heresy Death Guard army. It was a labor of love years before GW really embraced the Heresy or made minis for it. Years passed, the army grew and GW wrapped both arms around the Horus Heresy. I knew it was time for me to call them done at long last and move on.
I wanted a new army that would be small, have a “warband” vibe and be even more niche than my Death Guard. I always enjoyed the duality of my Death Guard army as I could play it pre-heresy as Loyalists, or Heresy era as traitors. Still I’m a sucker for a doomed heroic cause. When I saw the official image of the Original Dusk Raiders scheme in a Forge World book I was intrigued.
Death Guard Left – Dusk Raiders Right
When I saw the Blackshields list in a the RETRIBUTION book I had my answer.
The Dusk Raiders
My new army would be a band of Blackshields. Loyalists from the Death Guard legion who hailed from a distant expeditionary fleet. Shocked by word of their primarch’s treachery, these terrans renounced Mortarion, returned to their original Dusk Raider colors and fought a campaign of vengeance upon their brothers till the bitter end.
The Sullen Sons
“Before being united with their Primarch, the XIVth Legion were known as the ‘Dusk Raiders’, and they followed the martial traditions of old Albia, upon ancient Terra. The 156th Company of the Dusk Raiders were known as ‘The Sullen Sons’, though there was little notable in their short history which required a cognomen. Early in the Great Crusade the wholly Terran 156th Company are recorded as being the sole Legion forces attached to the 231st Expeditionary Fleet, headed for the Western galactic fringe. They then disappeared from records until well after the beginning of the Heresy, appearing again as a gritty band of Blackshields fighting alongside Loyalist forces across multiple worlds in the Segmentum Solar. The Sullen Sons are notable for their appearance in multiple campaigns indicating they possessed warp transportation of some manner. They inflicted multiple stinging defeats amongst Traitor forces, with the Death guard being their favored foes. All records of the warband cease shortly before the Siege of Terra and their ultimate fate is unknown.”
Here’s the 2000pt list using the Blackshields list. “The Sullen Sons”
|Reaver Lord w/ Halo Blade, Powerfist, Volkite Charger, Artificer Armour, Digital Lasers, Cyber Familiar, Iron Halo, Rad Grenades, Meltabombs||260|
|Primus Medicae w/ Terminator Armour, Chainfist||130|
|2*Apothecary w/ 2*Artificer Armour, 2*Augury Scanner, 1*Power Sword||130|
|Cortus Contemptor w/ Chainfist, Graviton Gun||160|
|5*Cataphractii Terminators all w/ Plasma Blaster, 3*Chainfists, 2*Power Fists, 2*Combi-plasmas||244|
|Techmarine w/ Rad Grenades, 2*Servitors w/ Rad Missle Launchers||117|
|8*Marauders w/ 4*Autoguns, 2*Bolters, 1*Grenade Launcher, Chief w/ Combi-plasma, Powerfist||200|
|10*Marauders w/ 2*Lascutters, 2*Heavy Chainswords, 2*Power Weapons, 3*Bolters, Chief w/ Powerfist||256|
|Lord of War|
|Stormlord w/ Space Marine Crew||495|
I know, I know… you came for the pretty pictures.
I wanted the army to be small, and extremely weathered and battered in appearance. These guys were tough as nails Death Guard before they went blackshield, so they really don’t care about keeping up appearances. I wanted the army to have scavenged equipment and a large centerpiece model. Once I found the Heresy rule allowing a single IG superheavy to represent a scavenged local vehicle I knew the Stormlord was perfect. It’s not well armed, but makes a rolling home base – perfect from a narrative point of view. I wanted it to look like it was scavenged from a burned out chassis and repaired with whatever was available to the techmarine. “The Bucket” was born.
Most of all I wanted a heavily themed narrative force – the type of “never say die” force that you would never see in a tournament but that I could call my own. Rule of cool and being able to fit within the framework of the Heresy’s fluff was paramount over any min-max rules considerations.
“The Sullen Sons” The entire warband – ready to take it to traitors!
“The bucket” the warband’s mobile base and tracked firebase. It was salvaged from a long forgotten battlefield and brought back into service by the warband’s techmarine. An eternal work in progress, it is upgraded and repaired from whatever is available in the area.
He we see the warband’s veterans, equipped in cataphractii terminator armor. Such slow and nigh invulnerable armor was commonly issued to the Death Guard legion.
The first squad of Marauders, with attached apothecary. This unit is equipped with scavenged ranged weapons.
The Reaver Lord (right), with his two attendant officers, a Techmarine (left) and Primus Medicae.
Here is the warband’s Contemptor-Cortus dreadnought, with improvised frontal armor, perhaps to compensate for the tempermental atomantic shield generator.
The Bucket, features sponsons and defensive weapons salvaged from myriad battlefields. It’s primary vulcan mega-bolter is functional – with multiple vids of large swaths of traitor Army and Auxillia infantry falling to it’s heavy bursts.. The dual missile racks mounted atop it are armed with rad-missiles. A battlefield improvisation by the techmarine, and an unpleasant surprise for foes.
“The Bucket” serves as a base of operations and mobile HQ for The Sullen sons who would move from place to place during their many on-world guerrilla campaigns. Based on it’s appearance, it may have originally been assigned to the Imperial Army, or perhaps the Iron Warriors Legion.
The warband’s command staff again. Note the rad missiles on the servitors and the gruesome standard of the Primus Medicae – almost certainly a prized foe.
Apothecary assigned to the 2nd Marauder squad. It was The Sullen Sons’ good fortune to have a three man apothecary staff and Death Guard gene-seed that gave the Blackshields such long-term tenacity.
The heavy use of rad and plasma weapons were seen as a necessary danger to the warband. Here you see the Cataphractii squad issued such dangerous weapons en masse.
The Maruaduer squad is armed with whatever weapons could be scavenged from the battlefield. Some such as imperial lasguns have been modified to increase their potency by the warband’s techmarine, trusting in the marines’s power armor to deal with any hazards.
~ What do you think of the army. We will be following their exploits on the tabletop in the weeks ahead.