Author Topic: Hobby Group Auxilia Work  (Read 5024 times)

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2023, 11:48:27 AM »
Lots of detail has gone into that, it's a bit stunning. :icon_eek: :eusa_clap: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline Sharkbelly

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2023, 06:26:32 AM »

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2023, 07:25:10 PM »
@GamesPoet: Thank you very much!

@Sharkbelly: Cheers!

Reception of the Above Present to JAB

What follows is our friend's reaction to receiving his diorama present, written over on Chaos Dwarfs Online:

Quote from: Jaberoo
Hello there! I am the JAB our dear Admiral has mentioned. I decided to join this fine community today, coincidentaly the day Chaos Dwarfs take their rightful due of everything in the Total Warhammer world.

Also a great many thanks to Admiral for all his work. I have had a great many laughs at the wondrous absurdity of it all. 100 % in line with the best of 40k. I will start painting them this weekend and I hope the paintjobs live up to Admiral's work.

-   -   -

Admiral has yet to mention the most hilarious part of this background: Admiral, his brother “the Eel”, Deviatecod and I played that out as a one-shot RPG adventure over the course of an afternoon and early evening.
Museum galleries were burned, clerks with stubguns were put down in the name of He on Terra, servitors were dismantled and humiliation was had at the three-fingered hands of an Administratum-class Penitent Secretary Engine. Who did not even deign to fight us, occupied as it was with it’s work at an organ… Printer.

All to kill a chemically hibernating Jokaero and steal a portrait that turned out to be of Alpharius. Which some horrible psyker and it’s Dark Angel goons saw fit to chase us into the Empyrean for.

I must also point out I had no idea that they had planned this out, nor did I know about the diorama.

At the end of the adventure they pulled the fantastic diorama out of a cupboard and so I spent the next hour enchanted by the details and listened to their walkthrough of how they made it. Genius, all of it.

As a bonus, here is Jaberoo's Khornequila symbol. As our zealous bloodthirst grew for the Emperor, we incidentally slid closer to Khorne:

Moonkin Hatchling, Cat and Tiny Sporebat I

This Warcraft sculpt is a gift for my little brother EEJR, sculpted after his birthday this year. He got to pick something I would make for him. While the sculpt is a success in some ways (such as the sporebat), the model does not depict three relaxing and cosily sleepy pet friends. Thus, a new version will be sculpted from the ground up, and it should turn out better than this the first version in many ways since I've learnt things I'd do different next time. For instance, the Moonkin Hatchling's feathers will be less rugged in texture, and its head and eyes will be larger next time. I will also have the opportunity to build their poses better from the start. Watch this space!

« Last Edit: April 22, 2023, 08:35:19 PM by Karak Norn Clansman »

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2023, 07:39:09 PM »
Astro-Ungarian Medicae Superiocrata

Tremble in fear, o naïve Imperial subjects! Bow low and heed these words about the nurse in your midst:

Aemmalia "Apothecaria" Embla-Lazic is officially known as a gifted member of the Officio Medicae, bearing the rank of Medicae Superiocrata.

Unofficially, she is a heinously cruel drug-ganglady hailing from Necromunda, wanted in four Sectors and currently operating under the disorganized aegis of Astro-Ungarian Imperial Guard regiments, where she commit baleful experiments and unspeakable organ theft in the field.

It was not difficult for such an infamous organized crime leader to infiltrate the Imperial and Royal host of von Dorfenhötz. Even following the Ljubljeburg disaster, when a freight ship smuggling Aemmalia's nefarious narcotics crashed into Hive Ljubjeburg and took the lives of two billion people, since the helmsman had gotten high on his own supply.

In Astro-Ungarian service, the undercover narco-queen has kidnapped the nobleman Arvid von Kvinnesamme-Jusic. Arvid was made into Aemmalia's consort at gunpoint, and has since become her aristocratic front figure and plaything.

To come under Aemmalia's syringe and scalpel without witnesses present, is to enter the nether circles of hell itself. Many a wounded brave warrior of Astro-Ungaria has ended his days cursing the day that he was born.

For Astro-Ungaria and Holy Terra! In Nomine Imperator!

-   -   -

This sculpt is a parody version of a friend, who is the girlfriend of another friend. In reality, she is of lean build, but the twisted thick wires used for this sculpt accidentally turned the miniature stocky. As any Dwarf player worth his salt knows, stocky equals mighty, so that is appropriate. She is meant to be paired with her boyfriend on horseback.

The miniature could be used as a Regimental Enginseer in JAB's Astra Militarum army, or perhaps as a medic in a secondary command group.

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2023, 11:05:12 AM »
Great job :eusa_clap:

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2023, 08:46:10 AM »
@Rowsdower: Thanks a lot!

Reply of the Chracians

Negotiations were off to a bad start, and had only taken a turn for the worse. Neither the haughty Asur nor the cruel and arrogant Dawi Zharr were renowned for their humility. The semi-barbaric Chracian highlanders were least of all suited for diplomacy, out of all the scheming kingdoms of Ulthuan. The Red Host of Nir-Kezhar had likewise not fostered a reputation for subtlety and restraint through its bloodied history of legendary insults and baleful atrocity. Bards would sing of the ensuing tongue-waggling for centuries to come, as both sides sparred with words as if aiming for the heart. The conversation grew ever more heated, and winged words leapt back and forth in a flurry of repartee and barely veiled threats.

At last, the High Elf princeling had enough of it. No laws of hospitality could hold him back from exacting revenge upon the insulting intruder. A shameful shaving of the coiled beard would not do.

Laiontides Fairbraid pulled sword and held it a mere inch before the stunted diplomat's nose, right between his surprised eyes, akin to glowing coals. The princeling's bodyguards moved in on the craven Hobgoblin entourage of the foreigner, great axes raised and ready to strike.

"Look, Dwarf. This blade is sharper than your cloven tongue."

"No man threatens a messenger!" cried the Chaos Dwarf. "Blasphemy! This is crazy!"

For a moment, the Elf seemed to relent. The short blade sank to his side. Then, wrath engulfed Laiontides' visage.

"This. Is. Chrace!"

It was a low blow. The Elf kicked him in the hat.

Sturdy chinstraps ensured that the force of the kick threw the entire heavy Chaos Dwarf along with the hat into the well. The last thing that Ambassador Zharkanek the Sly knew, as darkness suffocated him, was a primal sense of sinking into earth and water.

-   -   -

This diorama was quicksculpted for my brother EEJR over 3½ days in preparation for a Ninth Age Tournament where he was meant to field 300 High Elf spearmen. The reference to the famous Thermopylae vanguard action by the 300 Spartans, 700 Thespians and 400 Thebans was an afterthought, and not the intent behind the army list. Our first jokes were about Soviet hordes swarming out of revolutionary Lothern, not Leonidas at the Hot Gates.

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2023, 07:45:09 AM »
And nothing remained but silence.

Pray they do not take you alive.

-   -   -

Sisters of Silence Anathema Psykana Rhino

The sculpted ornaments on this Sisters of Silence Rhino APC were sculpted during one full workshop day's toil for a most noble and Countly friend's Adeptus Custodes army in Warhammer 40'000.

Note the shush Sister on the side panel, based on the famous Soviet propaganda poster. Likewise, note the resting Emperor on the back ramp, for He likewise gives the silencing finger.

A man and woman of the pure human form is found on the other side panel (sculpted upside-down, but peeling away and super-gluing them back in place will solve that issue). While a captured psyker is strapped on top of the vehicle.

Ave Imperator!

« Last Edit: July 21, 2023, 07:54:03 AM by Karak Norn Clansman »

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2023, 02:10:31 PM »
Thats incredible :::cheers:::

Offline Archilector_Malaga

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2023, 03:07:07 PM »
Excellent work!

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2023, 09:37:09 AM »
@Rowsdower: Thank you very much!

@Archilector_Malaga: Thanks a lot!

Luck has. Need keeps. Toil earns.

Roch holds.

Rock and stone!

-   -   -

Paraphernalia quicksculpts done for JAB during a week of mountain hiking and boardgame playing.

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #35 on: October 30, 2023, 07:13:48 PM »
Navis Imperialis Officer

Flag-Lieutenant Matteus Ripanus is a fleet officer attached to the Astro-Ungarian Imperial Guard host of General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz. In the noble company of these Duarchal crustlubbers, this energetic voidborn man has seen his swashbuckling skills go to waste amid an endless line of balls, parties and cardgame sessions. Since the general staff of von Dorfenhötz tend to spend its time muddling through plans and hosting festivities down in heavily fortified bunkers, the only chance for Ripanus to swing his cutlass or draw his laslock pistol has been in sparring matches and comradely training duels against Astro-Ungarian officers. As a rule, Imperial Navy officer Matteus has found the Astro-Ungarian officer caste to be more adept at drinking and socializing than they are at swordmanship and other combat skills.

Worse still than their deficit in martial prowess among the fighting officers of the Duarch, is the apparent lack of strategic acumen, grasp of logistics and stringent organization. As the Naval attaché to von Dorfenhötz' staff, Flag-Lieutenant Matteus Ripanus has discovered a myriad of unexpected shortcomings, and the list of observed unprofessional flaws in Astro-Ungarian staffwork grows with every passing cycle, to his horrified fascination.

For instance, Naval advisor Ripanus has arranged for dozens of orbital bombardments at the request of the Astro-Ungarians. Each time communication on his end has followed strict protocol, and he has promptly fed orbiting officers time and coordinates, provided to him by the Astra Militarum staff officers of von Dorfenhötz. Such coordination has often fallen short of their real targets, and Lance strikes and Macro cannon shells have struck into masses of Astro-Ungarian troopers with alarming regularity. On closer inspection, such events of mass self-inflicted casualties will often have been the result of sloppy schlamperei handling on the Astro-Ungarians' part. Mixing up various lines of enemy and friendly defences alike is a common occurence, as is handing out faulty timestamps, or not counting with the time needed for friendly forces to advance from one point to another under enemy fire. The mistakes are as endless as they are surprising and born out of petty mediocrity.

It is all a maddening carousel of errors, which no amount of triple-checking and vox-calling frontline officers for confirmation seem to be able to halt. Even when the Naval attaché has managed to catch two or three errors by going out of his way to make sure everything is in order ahead of bombardment, some new mistake will pop up and go all the way up the chain of communication to result in wasted bombardments and horrendous friendly fire incidents.

The resulting cost in human lives and even materiel is of little concern to Imperial commanders, but the lack of bite in coordinated orbital bombardments has blackened Matteus' record and seriously hampered his career. Other dark spots in his professional record has appeared as regard coordinating starship deliveries of supplies to von Dorfenhötz, for logistics remain a weak spot indeed among Astro-Ungarians, and to be saddled with them for a Naval officer is to be thrown into a dead-end of ingratitude and constant mess. As such, Ripanus' superiors have unofficially punished the Flag-Lieutenant by keeping him attached as an advisor to von Dorfenhötz indefinitely.

After many Terran months without being rotated away from the hard-drinking crustlubbers, the realization that he would have to suffer the misbegotten planning of Astro-Ungaria at war, finally broke down Matteus Ripanus' steely self-discipline. Thus he became shackled to a corpse. Embracing the easygoing and endless socializing of these aristocratic worldlings, Ripanus has turned from a grim glare of a man hidden away all tense in a corner, to becoming the life of the party. If the Emperor wills it, then duty will rest and jovial fun will be had. And so a voidborn workhorse who used to live for precision in his craft has turned native, and has adapted to Astro-Ungarian ways by relaxing and mastering quips and jokes where once he poured his hours into charts, firing tables and orbital calculations.

For the Duarchy!

-   -   -

This Fleet officer sculpt is a self-portrait, for Johan von Elak's army.


Guillaume Electricsson of the Adeptus Astra Telepathica is a much-abused Astropath attached to the general staff of General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz, an Astra Militarum commander cooking up fanciful sweeping plans of strategic maneouvers which his underfunded host of valiant but sloppy Astro-Ungarians are chronically incapable of realizing.

On top of the nerve-wrecking lurking horror and the extreme strains of delivering telepathic messages through the Empyrean, Astropath Electricsson has had to hone his bodily balance in the company of Astro-Ungarian officers. The reason for these demands on his sense of balance comes down to sloppy thinking on the part of the Astro-Ungarian general staff:

After all, since the signal sometimes seems to be weak in their customary bunker, so the officers will have the chained Astropath mounted on a marble pedestal in superstitious imitation of the lengthening of antennae for wireless vox communications. That ought to improve the signal!

Much of the time, the non-seeing Guillaume is utilized as much for keeping up with the newest scandals and highlights of courtly gossip at home on dear Astro-Ungaria, as he is used for sending and receiving military messages. It is strange, but true, that many valuable psykers ritually blinded on Holy Terra by the searing light of the Master of Mankind Himself will often be used to send trivial messages of no value for the running of an interstellar empire. Mediocrity reigns supreme in the Imperium of Man.

As is common among Astropaths, the bodily functions of Guillaume Electricsson will often cease to work properly during particularly strenuous mental rites of relaying messages. For this reason, Guillaume is equipped with hoses connected to pump machinery and liquid tanks. At least he has been spared the indignity of a drool cup screwed onto his chin. Likewise, an arcane encryption engine will be plugged into the Astropath's skull prior to message rites.

On rare occasions, blind Guillaume has been known to catch strange messages not meant for him. It is not known if these crazed messages are encrypted signal traffic from the Inquisition or similar shady organizations, or if they represent the deranged ramblings of fell spirits. During the latest such occasion, Guillaume in his trance entered a state of ecstasy, and rambled uncontrollably for fourteen Terran minutes straight. The garbled phrases spat out by the strained Astropath included such mysterious combinations of words as "of course dragons shed their skin", "eat its heart to become it" and "no, they are mine!"

While this dangerous psykic spasm played out, Astro-Ungarian officers and their hangers-on eagerly flocked around the wyrd Astropath to bet on how long his babbling would continue, or even bet on him dropping dead, succumbing to madness or suffering a worse yet fate. For some reason, the laughing and jesting ladies and noblemen did not seem to consider the stark risk of Daemonic possession or Warp implosion which could have engulfed them all in its hellish claws. Yet the lucky one need no wits, and so their disregard for the perils of the Warp cost them nothing.

Although the shackled Guillaume Electricsson cannot see the bemused ridicule heaped upon him during staff parties, he can sense and hear it all too well. It is not the refined cruelty of sadists, but the low background noise of everyday human spite, conceived with little cunning and little effort. The uncaring petty malice of so many staff personnel and their spouses and mistresses and servants claws at Guillaume's heightened psyche like nails on a chalkboard, and their nonchalant enjoyment of each others' company while at the same time only having the social refuse Astropath present for jokes, spit and japes, has submitted Electricsson's mental resilience to a daily grind. A grind which will eventually reduce the enslaved witch Guillaume to a broken wretch, fit only for the Emperor's mercy to end it all.

Is there anyone so lonely as the outcast in the midst of unwelcoming jolly company?

Ave Imperator!

-   -   -

This sculpt is a parody of a friend of Johan von Elak. The miserable background do not reflect the jolly nature of said friend, but the bleak lives of Astropaths in the darkest of futures.

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2023, 06:36:32 AM »
Outstanding effort :eusa_clap:

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2023, 04:32:48 PM »
@Rowsdower: Thank you! Warmly appreciated. It means a lot to hear.

Astro-Ungarian Colonel

Colonel Graf András Petr von Böhbenmann is the Count of Grevéberg, Honorary Pfamp of the Golden Order of Saint Günther and the legitimate contender to the disputed title of Arch-Earl of Spritzenhaufen. A fun-loving Astro-Ungarian servant of the Emperor, von Böhbenmann has found his soulmate in Gräfin Liběna Mila Moroznich von Lamberg, to whom he is engaged. This couple can always be relied upon to be the life of the party. Ding-dong! Touch the tralalalala!

Graf András is the favourite drinking buddy of Herzog Victorianus "Gamen" Neumann, and their drunken orations are infamous across three continents at home for their meandering speech and overblown arrogance. When drunk on amasec, ale, imported machpagne or the finest of wine, the two noble friends will frequently begin spitting on the underclass, both figuratively and literally. Indeed, their liveried bodyguards and junior staff members have often had to work hard to prevent a mob lynching of the two jolly drunkards after their esteemed saliva has landed upon the heads of lowborn scum.

The drunken escapades of von Böhbenmann do not stop there, for indeed they have become legendary far and wide upon fair Astro-Ungaria and beyond. Even distant voidholmers close to the Ghoul Stars have heard of how the Drunken Count smashed out his teeth while riding wildly on a dirtbike through the streets of Pfraag-Schlossburg, which led to Graf András installing a most golden garniture of false teeth and exotic ivory for that shining smile under the festive lumens.

Drunk like a lord, many other anecdotes can be told about the joy and merrymaking of Count von Böhbenmann and Countess von Lamberg. Tales are told by high and low alike of the times when the Drunk Count danced on palatial roofs, hunted by his retainers and bodyguards, who had to jump from gargoyles to buttresses as they chased the singing nobleman across domes and gable roofs. The stories about von Böhbenmann are legion in number. For instance, the blue-blooded party animals of Astro-Ungaria will often joke about that one time when an intoxicated Graf András tried to eat five cheese-dripping grox sandwiches by chewing around the hidden location of a slice of salty cucumber laced with a mild poison. For each sandwich, this cherished suicide cucumber managed to show up in new locations every time, and every bite into the toxic vegetable slice sent the good Count into a fit of vomiting. Much amusement was thus had in highborn company, as the Emperor intended.

The high spirits of civilian festivities has translated well to military service, for the easy-going aristocrats that make up the officer class of loyal Astro-Ungaria would rather waltz than brood. The sloppy schlamperei culture of the Astro-Ungarian armed forces leave plenty of time for fun and games, and so Colonel Graf András Petr von Böhbenmann has found that the hardships of starship travel and campaigning out in the field on strange worlds has been compensated by the merry atmosphere and generous drink that is to be found in the staff of General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz.

Graf András carries an artificier-crafted dagger and prized plasma pistol while in uniform, both of which he won at card games. The pompous Count von Böhbenmann's heirloom power fist carries the ancient mark of the Moon Wolf, symbol of Astro-Ungaria's patron saint the Divine Horus, who according to the fair world's legends faced down the Devil Lorgar side-by-side with the Emperor Himself. For some reason this treasured ur-myth of the Astro-Ungarians meet with frowning disapproval or much worse from offworlders such as Ecclesiarchal priests or members of the Imperial Inquisition. Yet somehow this quaint belief of Astro-Ungaria has so far managed to escape a bloodthirsty purging and suppression, probably because the critical orders got lost in Astropathic transmission or disappeared due to some misfiling by an Administratum clerk. And so the sclerotic mess of the inept Imperium ensures that heretical beliefs of yore survive in pockets across the Milky Way galaxy, akin to a sprinkle of living time capsules.

To Astro-Ungaria's noble castes, life is often a party, and Graf András has warmly embraced this jovial spirit. Occasionally, Colonel von Böhbenmann will even do some proper commanding of his regiment, the Astro-Ungarian 1993rd Infantry Regiment of His Divine Majesty's Imperial Guard. He has carved out a reputation for himself as a sterling drillmaster of the Astra Militarum, making his Guardsmen perfect the art of marching for parade. Under von Böhbenmann's command, the smell of freshly polished boots, picked flowers, frothing amasec and newly starched uniforms will never leave the unit while on garrison duty or when resting behind the lines. For all their glorious appearance, however, the soldiers of the Drunken Count's Own regiment tend to be slaughtered like cattle once out on the frontline, as a bloody reminder that gallantry and offensive spirit do not make up for a lack of competent command and murderous firepower.

Fortunately, such a baleful fate has so far eluded von Böhbenmann, who prefers to stay one inch away from battle, since he believes there is a fifty percent chance to be killed in the field. For Colonel Graf András and his retinue is securely locked away inside a fortified command bunker. Here, the staff of General von Dorfenhötz will plot their overly ambitious plans and uphold their homeplanet's finest traditions of revelry, as befit their highborn status. The Astro-Ungarian army has taken it to heart that alcohol best grease the wheels of Imperial high command, and no titled soldier is better suited to make other officers feel at ease than Colonel Graf András Petr von Böhbenmann, the Count of Grevéberg, Honorary Pfamp of the Golden Order of Saint Günther and the legitimate contender to the disputed title of Arch-Earl of Spritzenhaufen.

And so the Astro-Ungarians at war party on, to the clinking of crystal glasses and the frantic vox-calls of frontline units screaming for reinforcements and the urgent correction of friendly artillery fire landing in their own trenches. Cheers!

Ave Imperator.

-   -   -

This sculpt is a parody of a friend and his girlfriend. Cheers!

Astro-Ungarian Master of Ordnance

Master of Ordnance Boldizsár Vilim Sándor von Heinrichi-Andortopf is a Duarchal artillery officer and member of the lower nobility on Astro-Ungaria. A professional artilleryman married to exactitude and precision, Sándor is on paper an expert in his craft.

Just as his superior, General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz, is in theory a strategic mastermind excelling at aggressively breaking through the lines and surrounding the enemy with sweeping maneouvres. Just the same, Master of Ordnance Sándor is in theory an expert at synchronizing a rolling curtain of creeping barrages with infantry advancing close behind. In practice, however, both officers fall short of their brilliance on paper, and both have produced mountains of corpses to prove it.

It is not so much material flaws that hamper the performance of Astro-Ungarian artillery directed by the Master of Ordnance, for the gigantic Szköda works on the fair homeworld produce excellent artillery pieces, even when the preserved technology level is of low stature. The quality is brilliant. Indeed, von Dorfenhötz is rumoured to have commented: The army of Astro-Ungaria have ninetynine problems. Artillery is not one of them.

Instead, it is lacking communications and faulty doctrine that so often drags down the efficiency of Astro-Ungarian artillery, making it merely decent where it is well possible for the artillery to rise and be superb if optimized. For instance, Astro-Ungarian artillery is often placed as close to the front as possible to increase its range. This makes its capture by the enemy an easy feat during grand offensives of the vile foes of the Emperor, and especially so since Astro-Ungarian Guardsmen would rather make their shelters comfortable and homely with flowers and planking inside, than toil away at digging multiple lines of trenches for a strong defence in depth.

Other doctrinal and communication dysfunctionalities haunt the Astro-Ungarian forces when on the offensive. While a rafale, or storm of steel, is easy to execute by merely pouring in shells onto enemy lines for days on end in a hammering, dumb fashion, it is not a winning artillery technique, since most of the foe will survive the initial bombardment and take cover, while the shrapnel that so tears flesh is useless in destroying enemy fortfications and razorwire.

More advanced, a simultaneous barrage against the enemy trenches and against a line further back has the potential to both suppress the foe and prevent the frontline troops from emerging from cover, while also hindering reinforcements from approaching. It is not a brilliant technique, although creeping barrages moving in a shredding curtain ahead of advancing friendly infantry do hold some promise. Likewise, leaping barrages have some utility, for they jump between bombarding enemy trenches, to shelling targets further back, to once again pouring ordnance on the trenches.

Master of Ordnance Sándor is a master of the creeping barrage, but the artillerymen under his command is not always so skilled. Often, the creeping barrage will go too fast and rush ahead of the advancing infantry, allowing enemy survivors to pop out of cover and gun down the Astro-Ungarians in no-man's land. Othertimes, the creeping barrage that should roll at marching speed ahead of friendly infantry, may go too slowly, and rip apart one's own line of advancing foot soldiers. Othertimes, precision is lacking, or too many of the shells are hastily produced duds, some of which explode akin to landmines when friendly Guardsmen step on the duds.

Still, for all its failures, the Royal and Imperial artillery under Sándor's command has achieved some notable success. The cannonstorm on Bucharia IX caught the cream of the separatist forces at their most vulnerable moment, as they amassed outside maglev stations for their offensive, and Sándor won a Bronze Orb of Ordnance as he directed dispersed clusters of artillery batteries to fire on the same location without warning. Thus a purple medal was won by turning seventythousand enemy assault infantry into mincemeat by a surprise bombardment, and von Dorfenhötz' optimistic overconfidence in his Duarchal army's combat power swelled further still.

One major dampener of the Astro-Ungarian artillery's potential is a weakness in communications. All too often, it becomes impossible for units to contact each other or command staff once battle rages. Cables get torn by shelling, and wireless vox signals may likewise be disturbed, especially so by means of electromagnetic pulse kit. And if contact can be established at all, the messages will often be patchy and tinny, since the vox equipment and sonic membranes of the Duarchal forces of Astro-Ungaria is of a very shoddy quality, yet another victim of the deterioration of human technology in the Age of Imperium. Evidence of this poor state of tech can be found on the Master of Ordnance's personal gilded vox-caster, which is equipped with a hand crank. This crank has frequently to be turned by sweating underlings to provide any signal whatsoever for the haughty artillery officer while Sándor commands the batteries from down in von Dorfenhötz' fortified bunker.

Even if messages do come through without any important parts missing, the information itself will often be flawed, since artillery spotters with their rudimentary equipment and lackluste training will often provide faulty coordinates. One eternal problem that plagues the artillery forces of Astro-Ungaria is its primitive technology and doctrine of forward deployment to maximize range. This has resulted in high casualties among artillerymen and forward observers, which has prevented a virtuous cycle of accumulating experience from breeding better expertise in an upward spiral of improvement. After all, with so many trained veterans dead, Astro-Ungarian Astra Militarum forces must rely on freshly trained personnel to plug the gaps and do as best as they can, and often corners must be cut in training due to underfunding or for the sake of stressful front emergencies shouting for more men at once.

As to friendly fire casualties among infantry and armoured forces from ordnance, it is of no matter. For Sándor, it is obvious: The sky on Astro-Ungaria is blue. Gravity pulls you down to the ground. The air can be breathed. And you bomb your own men in  war. It is nothing to fret about. Just reload and fire again.

And so, a grinding war there will be, wherever Sándor puts his foot down. Embrace the gruelling war of attrition, and let war be decided by logistics and industrial output. Let the shells be rationed and stored up, and then rained down like hellfire from the skies. Artillery is the king of battle, the great slayer of warriors, and its roar will never turn silent as long as Master of Ordnance Boldizsár Vilim Sándor von Heinrichi-Andortopf directs the big guns of the Duarchy on distant worlds and voidholms alike.

Ave Humanae Imperium!

-   -   -

This sculpt is a parody of a friend's friend, one well versed in military history.

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2023, 05:12:48 AM »
I love the little handle on the back of the gizmo :eusa_clap:

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2024, 08:34:07 PM »
@Rowsdower: Thanks a lot! Glad to hear it, since I was particularly happy with that idea.

Imperial Commissar

Imperial Commissar Juan Anendersh "le Petit" Berschren is a political officer of the Officio Prefectus, known for his brutality and heavyhanded meddling in military matters. Originally hailing from the mining world of Avesta Rex, the orphaned Juan experienced a harsh upbringing in the parochial and claustrophobic Hive Hernendahl, where ignorance and anti-intellectual attitudes reigns harder still than what is the norm elsewhere in the Imperium of Man. Juan strangled other juves to death in his struggle for survival inside the decrepit confines of Hive Hernendahl. He was forcefully inducted into the Schola Progenium after the tattooed indentured barcode at the back of his neck was discovered, marking him as a parentless offspring of Imperial servants.

The raw life on the streets of Hive Hernendahl and the rigorous discipline of the Scholam left Juan Anendersh Berschren traumatized and half insane, and as cherry on top of the cream he was also endlessly heckled as "le Petit", even though his stature was but a couple of inches below average. Indeed, average height in the Scholam was nothing impressive, due to lack of nutrition. As salt in open wounds, much shorter juves taunted Juan for his diminutive stature, until his sudden outbursts of violence scared them silent.

Schola Progenium branded the personality of Juan, by instilling in him an overly fanatical zeal, and a will to skip to the most violent solution at hand. In other words, Progena Berschren would prove to be an exemplary pupil. And so Juan received both curt praise and bruising blows from Drill Abbots. His single-minded pursuit of goals and his ruthless excesses served him well during the drawn-out tortuous training as a Cadet within the Officio Prefectus. Training courses in heavy carapace armour were heaped upon endless rote learning of the Tactica Imperium and the holy scriptures of the Imperial Creed.

The sore and battered mind of the hardy Juan was in a perfect condition when he unwittingly was sent to undergo his Trial of Compliance. Upon receiving the order to locate a comrade which he had shared many trials and tribulations with over the years, Juan almost rushed for the chance to finally take out his revenge over all the petty spite that he had endured. The command to shoot his dear colleague through the head was executed with savage glee, and Cadet Juan was seen grinning as he emerged from his victim's cell, swinging his pistol playfully and seeming to fully enjoy himself for the first time since being enslaved by the Imperium's brainwashing institution.

And so Commissar Juan Anendersh "le Petit" Berschren was awarded his rank and sash within the Officio Prefectus, and entered the Astra Militarum like a vulture looking for prime meat to feast upon. Travelling the stars from one regiment to the next, the circulating Commissar Juan lost his right arm in the line of duty. His bionic replacement arm is specially designed for maximal Schadendursch, namely a Hernendahlian custom of striking some subordinate on the shoulder or on the back in order to punish laziness, carelessness or some other fault, whether imagined or not.

After many years of unwavering service, Imperial Commissar Juan was sent to the planet of Astro-Ungaria in order to investigate, assess, punish and rectify the Duarchal army's field performance. Juan set about his task, and the following months saw much scrutiny and many bruises on the shoulders of the Imperial and Royal general staff. At last, he reached the unmistakable conclusion that the problems in the field were due to logistical problem, and due to communication issues and an incompetent general staff. And so Commissar Juan filed a report about the matter.

The efforts of Commissar Juan Anendersh "le Petit" Berschren were, however, doomed to fall through the cracks of Imperial power. By now, Primarch Guilliman had returned to Ultramar, and Juan thus dared to hope that this would lead to improvements in governance. Then the attack of Mortarion turned an already bad situation worse. When Astro-Ungaria stubbornly obstructed Roboute Guilliman's reforms, the Tetrarchy of the Realm of Ultramar was already being reimplemented, and when Astro-Ungaria was forced to comply with the Primarch's will at gunpoint, the hopes of Commissar Juan were crushed.

The answer was short, when an Astropathically relayed reply to the Commissar's report finally arrived from his superiors: A repetition of the order to investigate, assess, punish and rectify the Astro-Ungarian army's lacklustre performance in the field. This curt reply was accompanied with a punishment assigment, in the form of Commissar Juan being indefinitely attached to Astro-Ungarian regiments. And so it seemed that the abyss of the corset army swallowed the brutlized political officer of the Officio Prefectus.

This administrative slap in the face saw Commissar Juan fall back on familiar methods to make it through the Schola Progenium: The Imperial Commissar would take a shortcut to the most violent solution within the framework of his given task. Nowadays, the traces of broken shoulders and pulverized self-esteem - followed by a blown-out skull via bolt shot - shows that Commissar Juan, who could have been a genuine problem-solver and a dutiful Imperial servant, today is nothing more than a spiteful ruffian with a fancy cap and a sash, a brute who spreads misery all around himself and who mistakes his own violent whims for pragmatism. And all around him, the tattered soldiers of the Duarch resent his presence, but so far no amount of fragging have borne fruit, and sinspeech whisper jokes have begun to spread that nowadays even the grenades of the Imperium are faulty - just look at "le Petit" still drawing breath as he glares malevolently at the Astro-Ungarian soldiery.

Thus is the faith of the devout tested. For the lash of the master is meant to teach you your assigned place, and the pain of the punishment will purge you of weakness. Rejoice in the suffering! Let us greet the hardship as an old friend! For the world of the living shall be a valley of sorrows, where trials shall bring mortals down to ash and tears. So speaks the Lectitio Divinitatus. Only thus may humanity repent of its abominable sins, committed by wayward ancestors in forgotten eons past. Embrace the trials and tribulations. Hail the nightmare. Hail Terra!

As He wills it.

Ave Imperatore Dei.

-   -   -

This sculpt is a parody of JAB, for whom I am sculpting and converting this Astro-Ungarian army. After sculpting Jaberoo's face, he had one objection: The gut is too small! And so I had to add a hefty stomach in green stuff to complete the impression. The model is painted by JAB.

-   -   -

Dysfunctional Garrison

"Men in Weltsturm regiments their service gave,
who everyone knows is very brave,
whenever in the forward line,
would hope and pray to Emp'ror divine,
that the enemy would not appear,
on their horizon, far or near.

All in His name. Glory be unto the Golden Throne. Hail Terra!"

- Self-ironic trench poem penned by Astro-Ungarian private Szilovic Kovacs during the siege of Castrum Lombergia on Leithania Supremus, the Commissarial discovery of which resulted in its author being publicly flayed alive, and then cut into little pieces by chainswords from the toes up to his neck while lambasted by regimental preachers to repent from his abominable sins

-   -   -

Portrait of an Astro-Ungarian Lieutenant Colonel

Depicted here is Lieutenant Colonel Arpad Heinz Josef Milan von Badenschtoss, a noble officer of the Imperial and Royal armed forces of Astro-Ungaria. Sworn to serve the Duarch and the Emperor, von Badenschtoss is an honest-to-Chorus Ringestrasse soldier, an upstanding exemplar of his dear homeworld's corset army, according to serpent-tongued detractors. A hard-drinking man fond of gambling, dancing at balls and other forms of highborn socializing, Lieutenant Colonel Arpad cannot be expected to attend to his military duties with the utmost zeal. Standards must be maintained, after all!

And so, a sloppy schlamperei  conduct of operations in the field follows wherever von Badenschtoss leads. Yes, the logistics and worn-out uniforms of the men might be in shambles, but at least the bravery, infantry marksmanship and artillery is in fine shape. Too bad about the costly butcher's bill, but that is a problem for General von Dorfenhötz to solve by shovelling in more reinforcements. It is just the way of things, better not think too much about it. Death must be Ljietranese, after all. It is better instead to drink up and be merry!

A toast for the splendid homeworld! A toast for the Duarch! A toast for the divine Chorus! And a toast for the God-Emperor of Holy Terra!

To waltz! Now let us swagger about and drink like good Loyalists should. Last one to finish their drink is feed for the moon wolves. Cheers!

Ave Imperatore Dei.

-   -   -

Christmas present made for my friend Jaberoo.

Note the suspicious symbols and purity seal writ on the Astro-Ungarian officer. Astro-Ungaria has somehow managed to retain the Divine Chorus (also known as Saint Horus) as not only a revered figure from its past, but as its patron saint. Clearly, the Imperial Cult must have already been festering on Compliant Astro-Ungaria when its star system became isolated by Warp storms at the onset of the Horus Heresy. This background twist serve twofold purposes:

First, it showcases the confused mess of the Imperium of Man in comedic fashion (just imagine the parade of random shenanigans through the ages that has made Loyalist Astro-Ungaria escape great purges for its unwitting heresy). Second, this ancient reverence for the Luna Wolves of yore is a reference to the Austro-Hungarian soldiers that were eaten by wolves in the Carpathian mountains in 1915, during Franz Konrad von Hötzendorf's threefold offensive to relieve the besieged fortress city of Przemyśl.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 08:39:53 PM by Karak Norn Clansman »

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #40 on: January 14, 2024, 10:32:39 PM »

Cult of the Offensive

In the grim darkness of the far future, man cares not for losses.

O man, what destiny awaits you, in a galaxy doomed to carnage neverending? What does fate have in store for you, where slaughter reaches out to claim all souls for its grisly harvest? What hope is there for you, o man, in an uncaring universe? What can be heard, as blood leaves your wounded body and death approaches?

That, we shall discover.

Mankind once straddled the stars like a colossus, and whole universe became its clay. In a bygone age of discovery and science, the sword of ancient man left every potential foe trembling, for the might of man was far superior to anything that xenos could muster. That age of mortal paradise and unchallenged power is now long gone, for the Dark Age of Technology collapsed into flames and ruination, and the great wonders of the ancients were torn down by the hands of revolting machine beings, who were then followed by a scourge of witches and Daemons, leaving behind only starving scavengers and alien raiders to prey upon the remnants of humanity during Old Night. Man fell from his shining pedestal. Man fell hard into hell, and all was fell.

Petty wars beyond counting raged during the Age of Strife, and almost all of them led nowhere but down a spiral of worsening devastation. This fruitless tribal warfare and crawl into oblivion was finally ended by a brilliant string of decisive victories by the all-conquering Legions of the Emperor of Terra. For His loyal forces struck hard across the Milky Way galaxy, and they brought order and internal peace to a new-born star realm for man. And men, women and children gasped for morning air and dared to dream again, after millennia of living in a waking nightmare.

The early Imperium saw the improvization of technology and military arts go from an agonizingly slow conquest of ravaged Terra, to a lightning capture of a million worlds or more. When the Emperor still walked among His people in the flesh, His war machine developed into a sophisticated toolset of conquest, able to master siegecraft, infiltration, tunnel warfare, terror tactics, orbital assault, chemical warfare, armoured thrusts to the throat of the enemy, starship boarding and many, many more facets of war.

The early Imperium was an unstoppable behemoth in war, able to outsmart and outlast even the neurally enslaved hordes of the Rangda and the worst that the Orkish menace could muster. In comparison, the latter day Imperium is a hunkered wretch, only able to prolong its tortured existence by a ravenous cannibalization of human societies as the High Lords of Terra struggle to feed the furnaces of total war in the midst of screeching dysfunctionalities and demechanization. It is true that it is an impressive achievement of grit and guts to last for ten thousand years in the face of so many lethal foes. Yet it is also true that it is a complete failure of interstellar empire for a civilization to dogmatically suppress any rekindling of scientific discovery and technological invention for fivehundred precious generations on end.

While the martial history of the Age of Imperium is a storied one, full of many inspiring epics, the larger overarching story that the tyrannical reign of Holy Terra tells, is that of tragedy turned into farce.

To better comprehend the wasteful and counterproductive failings of the fortified madhouse known as the Imperium of Man, let us touch briefly on a form of military culture that is commonly found on hundreds of thousands of worlds and voidholms. Let us look into the cult of the offensive, and behold the calls for aggressive action at every turn that it calls for, no matter the cost and no matter how unfavourable the outcome would be. Let us peer through its tunnel vision. And as a living, breathing exemplar of this cult of the offensive, let us raise up General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz of Astro-Ungaria from the mass of Imperial commanders, and turn our attention to this dutiful servant of the Emperor.

Count Frantisek Anton Szervác Theobald Juraj Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz hails from a noble clan of hereditary officers that can trace their origins back to M.37. The young Hanz-Konrad was an energetic thinker and rider, and won his spurs as a junior officer during the crushing of a rebellion in the Weneztlian marshlands on Astro-Ungaria's southwestern continent. He ascended the ranks of the Imperial and Royal army within his homeworld's Planetary Defence Force, quickly rising to become a staff officer and a teacher at the Duarchal military academies. Here, the active General von Dorfenhötz set about writing down his theories of warfare, and his intensive mind produced works that extolled the virtues of an offensive spirit, for victory must need always be carried on the point of a bayonet. After all, hesitation and cowardice would risk a commander missing opportunities, so better strike without doubt in one's heart, and better commit vast forces with elan and without remorse. Fortune favours the bold!

The thinking of Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz is not bereft of merit. Clearly, he has spotted the potential of sweeping thrusts and breakthroughs to strategically encircle or cut off the enemy force. He has likewise grasped that pushing the foe hard with rapid advances may take you inside the enemy's buffer of decisions, and catch the enemy unawares and likewise provoke mistakes, panic and logistical breakdowns. Some of Hanz-Konrad's ideas have on a few occasions been turned into practice to thundering effect, but usually such moments of brilliance have relied heavily upon allied Astra Militarum forces to carry the day in ways that the Astro-Ungarian regiments are unable to do. For the most part, such victories are exceptions to the rule, for von Dorfenhötz has proven himself to be a great butcher of his own men through his many careless attacks without the wherewithal, intel and preparations to suppress, outgun and outpace the hostile opposition.

It is not just the rank and file Guardsmen of Astro-Ungaria that will be used ruthlessly by von Dorfenhötz, for the bewhiskered General will likewise deceive his offworlder allies, fail to communicate and coordinate war efforts with his allied commanders, and most importantly he is skilled at tricking allies into doing his bidding through all manner of cunning. In response, some members of the Death Korps of Krieg have stated that to fight alongside Astro-Ungaria is akin to being chained to a corpse.

To be clear, General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz have achieved some notable victories, though not necessarily on the battlefield. These successes are truly Astro-Ungarian in nature, and not to be ignored. For the good count is a romantic at heart, who grooms his moustache to perfection. His are the best whiskers in his entire army, according to some ladies at balls. Hanz-Konrad's amorous conquests through his rejuvenat-prolonged life have proven more consistent than his military ones.

After Hanz-Konrad's wife Vendula-Hajnalka passed away, the widower and father of seventeen suffered from bouts of doubts about his fitness as an officer. These biting dark thoughts were suddenly dispelled as if by divine intervention when Hanz-Konrad during an aristocratic feast laid his eyes upon countess Vilma-Gisela "Virga" Lenka Amalia von Rausenburg, the wife of count Jozsef-Edler von Rausenburg and the mother of nineteen. The bouncy von Dorfenhötz quickly devised a new strategy to win the married Virga's heart: He would join Astro-Ungaria's Imperial Guard regiments for a nearby campaign offworld, and return home a triumphant hero.

The resulting debacle was named the Triple Offensives of Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz on the giant decrepit voidholm of Varazdin Ultima, which resulted in enormous casaulties for the Duarchal Astra Militarum forces as separatists mowed them down in bottlenecks and even vented three entire regiments into the cold emptiness of space. Among those slain was to be found two of Hanz-Konrad's own sons. The Imperial losses were so great, that an emergency Astropathic call to nearby Astro-Ungaria went out, and in the large shipment of reinforcements that arrived six months later there happened to be a certain colonel Jozsef-Edler von Rausenburg, accompanied by his wife Vilma-Gisela.

What followed was a strange courtship, with the silent knowledge of Jozsef-Edler. The affair took many years as the voidholm campaign ground on, and it involved Hanz-Konrad writing several thousand love letters to Virga. Some of these letters were sixty pages long, and bore purity seals stamped with a heart. The correspondence did not only happen in Low and High Gothic, no, for Astro-Ungaria with its varied landscapes and patchwork of parochial tribes and sects is a Babel of tongues. Astro-Ungarian officers, as a rule, are fine linguists, but lacklustre tacticians. Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz, for instance, can speak eleven languages, and he employed them all across his many confessions of love to Vilma-Gisela.

The entire Astro-Ungarian military effort on Varazdin Ultima ended in a fiasco, and saw the ravaged regiments of the Duarchy rotated back home to be restored. Fresh new forces were shipped in, hailing primarily from Titonus Triarius, and these replacements would in time achieve the victory that the Imperial and Royal forces of General von Dorfenhötz were unable to make happen. Yet the massive attrition and slow defeat of von Dorfenhötz at Varazdin Ultima would strangely see him win his more important campaign, namely that to claim Virga's heart.

The charm of Hanz-Konrad and the endless stream of love letters and the secret meetings and suspected trysts between the two lovers eventually drove the husband of Vilma-Gisela to divorce his wife in a public scandal. Badly disturbed, she said yes when Hanz-Konrad swooped in and elegantly proposed for her to become his wife, and thus Vilma-Gisela von Dorfenhötz joined the General's side as a loving companion and a seemingly loyal guardian of his reputation, treasuring his every letter. Exuberant with victory in love, Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz ventured on a spree of military campaigns across the stars in order to thank the Holy Terran Imperator for this divine gift, and his beloved Virga followed him into every command bunker, bringing her wit and humour to the conversations of the noble general staff and their many parties.

These grateful campaigns of war resulted in carnage across two subsectors, for the remarried General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz was filled with confidence, and he acted out all his strategic dreams of great offensives and sweeping maneouvres to the tune of millions of slain Astro-Ungarian soldiers. Instead of hunting for efficiency and cunningly grasping for advantage at every turn, Hanz-Konrad's standard solution is to increase input by throwing ever more bodies into the meatgrinder. In this regard he is an embodiment of the mechanistic cruelty that makes the Imperium of Man function in its monstrous fashion.

Send in the next wave!

And so, the courageous Guardsmen from Astro-Ungaria were hailed by shot, typhoid and mud. On Preszburg Secundus, General von Dorfenhötz sent soldiers into mountains in the winter without proper winter gear, and many of the poorly equipped Guardsmen sported boots with paper soles. These frostbitten Astro-Ungarian mountain climbers died like flies, and hundreds of Guardsmen were dragged away by ravening wolves and other predators of a more alien nature. Yet the harrowing reports of frozen soldiers being eaten alive by wolves was greeted by the pious Hanz-Konrad as a good omen, for the moon wolf was after all the animal associated with the Divine Chorus, patron saint of Astro-Ungaria. Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz is after all a devout worshipper of the God-Emperor seated in radiant glory upon the Golden Throne of hallowed myth, and everyone on the dear homeworld knows that Saint Chorus is the Emperor's favourite son.

Ave Imperator.

The personality of the General is the splendour of Astro-Ungaria. An undying optimist, Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz excells at his professional friendship with the Duarch, something which has ensured his high military rank no matter the deadly blunders that the good General commits. The people skills of Hanz-Konrad do not end there, for he is often a pleasant man that is good at encouraging others. Indeed, Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz is well liked by the cadets of Astro-Ungaria's military academies, and this appreciation of his personality has aided in the spreading of his his military thinking across the planet, which is a purely distilled form of the cult of the offensive.

Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz will often become high-strung when debating military matters, and he has an impressively persuasive way of arguing, which often seems to settle discussions in his favour. Hanz-Konrad's effective argumentation and rhetoric has however acted as a mask for his failed ideas that more often than not prove impossible to implement under his own leadership with the Duarchal forces that he himself has done so much to shape over the last four generations.

The fame of von Dorfenhötz has seen him depicted in many Duarchal propaganda campaigns, and his visage is a familiar sight across Astro-Ungaria and its vassal voidholms. And so General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz has been proclaimed as the greatest genius of his generation on the dear homeworld. His writings on aggressive maneouver warfare has been hailed across Astro-Ungaria as military masterworks, even while his own operations in the field fall woefully short of living up to his theories. Granted, the thinking of von Dorfenhötz is practically viable for a much better equipped, trained and led force than that of the Imperial and Royal host of Astro-Ungaria.

Would not the sign of a true military genius be the ability to design plans that make the most out of the real force available, rather than an imagined one? Would not a genius understand the limitations at hand?

Would not a genius understand that the strengths of the Duarchal army is its bravery, its hardiness, its infantry marksmanship and its artillery? Would not a genius understand that the many weaknesses of the Astro-Ungarian host include a lack of armoured vehicles, a lack of trucks, poor logistics, messy organization, a confusion of languages, shallow defensive lines, underfunding, undertraining, underarming, lousy grasp of technology and poor leadership from its officer corps?

Would not a genius comprehend that his solution of throwing bodies at problems in repeatedly costly offensives fail to yield results? Would not a genius understand his own central role in the operational failings of his army, instead of blaming subordinate officers for the poor execution of his supposedly good plans? Would not a genius be more than just an shirker of responsibility by claiming to be a big ideas man when his ideas fail in practice? Would not a genius be able to judge when is the time for defensive and offensive warfare respectively? Would not a genius be able to negate the weaknesses and play to the strengths of the ramshackle Astro-Ungarian army, and steadily deliver results beyond expectations? Would not a genius punch above his weight class? Would not a genius have a long list of impressive victories to show for his lifelong efforts in the course of his military career in the Astra Militarum?

Instead, Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz has proven himself in offensive after offensive to be a callous butcher, and an energetic grand planner who never is capable to learn fundamental lessons. When failure occurs, then he will try, try again in much the same manner as before. And try harder with more men, more horses and more bayonets pointed at the vile foe. If nothing else, the Duarchal servants of the Imperium might be able to drown the enemy in rivers of Astro-Ungarian blood, and cover the foe in mountains of Astro-Ungarian corpses. Only thus can the bloodshed be carried to a victorious conclusion, if the records of von Dorfenhötz's campaigns is anything to go by.

And so, we see tragedy turn into farce. For what is four million dead Guardsmen on Varazdin Ultima, when Hanz-Konrad won Virga's warm heart in love? What is prized generalship on Astro-Ungaria, if not the unrealistic assessment of one's own strengths and the inability to win the sweeping victories which one pursues with such vigour?

Thus all that is left, is slaughter without end.

For man has devolved into an ignorant savage during the rotting course of the Age of Imperium, and the brilliant man of yore who sought to unlock the secrets of creation itself has been replaced by his degenerate descendant, which is an embittered and depraved man, turned inward in myopic rage and dementia as his fanatical faith carries man over the parapet and into no-man's land, where razorwire and hellfire awaits.

Such is the last charge of man, in a time beyond hope.

Such is the state of our species, in the darkest of futures.

Such is the fate that awaits us all, on the brink of doom.

And all that can be heard by the dying is the roar of guns, and the laughter of thirsting gods.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only war.

-   -   -

Parody sculpt of Austro-Hungarian field marshal Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf and his second wife Virginia von Reiningshausen (Virginia von Hötzendorf after remarrying), made for my friend JAB. This quicksculpted model was not made with casting in mind, and the positioning of the two lovers is not mould-friendly. Otherwise I would have been tempted to have it cast.

Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf has been one of my favourite historical personages ever since I devoured an 800-page book on the first world war at age 13, borrowed from the local town library. The more one learn about von Hötzendorf, the more fascinating he becomes. If the first world war feels like a meaningless story to you, then look at it with these eyes instead: It's Conrad's war! He got the girl and a happy ending, aside from the millions of dead.

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #41 on: January 25, 2024, 09:23:12 PM »

Astro-Ungarian Partygoers

Alas, court gossip on Imperial and Royal Astro-Ungaria has proven true, as if illuminated by the holy light of the God-Emperor Himself. And so we can trust in the waggling tongues of our fellow men and women. For indeed the loose talk about half of the von Wochenschlaussen noble house being open polygamists is justified by the facts of the matter. Yet fell rumours about baleful pleasure cults and hidden debauchery beyond the wildest imaginations of sinful mortals have so far turned out to be so much hot air and deviant chatter. Perhaps Inquisitorial scrutiny should be turned upon the sinspeech rumourmongers who speak of dark powers and heretical depravity in the first place, rather than upon a most well-bred aristocratic clan of fine pedigree who donates lavishly to the Ministorum temples?

Ave Terra.

For indeed the von Wochenschlaussen house is a pillar of opulent Astro-Ungaria. Indeed this ancient family claim distant Holy Terran lineage with more than a pinch of His Divine Majesty's fleshly seed mixed into the bloodline, if their audacious origin myth is to be believed. With such a godly touch of the Imperator's own virility and fertility and magnificient stature marking out the von Wochenschlaussen kin for greatness beyond humility, surely lesser humans must understand why they break homeworld commoner norms about monogamous marriage in such flagrant a fashion? Surely this is not just decadent aristocratic defiance of local plebeian mores and customs? Surely this is divinely ordained, by the will of the Emperor, seated in radiant glory upon the Golden Throne of hallowed myth.

Ave Imperator.

And so we see a splendid trio enter the dance floors and fortified bunkers of General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz! As servants fret and busy themselves around their owners and betters in caste, in sweeps landgravine Zsazsa-Karla Frézia von Wochenschlaussen from the proto-spire of Colonia Apensberg. This noblest of noble ladies is accompanied on her right side by baronet Rezsõ-Ratko von Hermandorf from Civitatis Kirchenhoff, fond of bringing exotic and alien flower bouquets to his beloved, although he is so youthfully besmitten with Zsazsa-Karla that this Medicae-cunning man sometimes will be heedless of the risk of xenoid toxins and infectious diseases carried by strange fauna from strange worlds under strange skies. Baronet Rezsõ-Ratko is willing to risk everything to bring his beloved samples of rare and beautiful bloom. Meanwhile, on Zsazsa-Karla's left side can be found edler Jadranko Mijat-Slavoljub von Hadik-Gyulai-Nechterling, a solid fellow hailing from the island district of Sachsa-Hugonnai, with a pious reputation to match his old-fashioned puritanical Catholodox beard.

Salve Imperatore Dei.

The fabulously beflowered headgear of landgravine von Wochenschlaussen is adorned not only with jewels, skulls and the bone of holy martyrs, but her large hat also bears a couple of purity seals flanking the sacred icon of the moon wolf, the animal associated with the Divine Chorus, patron saint of Astro-Ungaria and favourite son of the Emperor according to the treasured founding myth of the dear homeworld. This lucky wolf's head signum can also be found on the left tunic side of major von Hermandorf, in the form of an Argentilupus medal of honour, drawing upon the cherished Astro-Ungarian tradition that selfless Saint Chorus defended the mortally wounded Emperor in the flesh against the fiendish assaults of the devil Lougarh. According to popular sagas told around campfires, hearths and electro-heaters on Astro-Ungaria, Saint Chorus was assisted against the heinous traitor by his trusty moon wolves.

Gloria In Chorus Ex Luna.

Blessed be the faithful, for their ceaseless worship and sacrifice shall be rewarded with eternal life after death by the celestial God-Emperor Himself, ruling living and dead alike from Holy Terra in His ascension to godhood. And so all is well in the divinely appointed order emanating from on high unto all worlds and voidholms of the Emperor's cosmic demesne, and all humans thus look up to their stern masters, who in turn look up to His Divine Majesty for guidance. Thus all souls are united under one Golden Throne, sworn to one Emperor upon one cradleworld.

Ave Humanae Imperium.

And as we watch the shining Zsazsa-Karla Frézia von Wochenschlaussen glide over the dance floor with both her beloved in a Lijetranese waltz of passion, surely we must reckon that such bountiful amorous blessings are her rightful due, as the truebred lady of an ancient noble house that is sworn to protect and serve the exalted Duarch of Astro-Ungaria, as well as the Saviour and Lord of all mankind. Praise be!

In Nomine Imperator.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2024, 10:35:20 PM by Karak Norn Clansman »

Offline anvalous

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2024, 02:10:18 AM »
This plog is epic! Love the fiction and the greenstuff is incredible!

Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #43 on: February 06, 2024, 10:34:00 AM »
@anvalous: Thanks a lot!

Budget Sentinel

In the grim darkness of the far future, man replaces machine with muscle.

A writer during the misty past of the Age of Terra once opined that a great power only becomes a necessity when it is in decline, for the truly great do not need to justify their existence. And so, as the Imperium has aged, and aged badly, it has sunk into a slow death spiral of demechanization and loss of technological capabilities. And as the Imperium has weakened and its foes have swarmed ever closer to nip at this decaying monster, its internal propaganda has increasingly started to shriek about the time of ending, and of the absolute necessity to rally to the Imperial banner, for the only alternative is the oblivion of man. And at the end of the fortyfirst millennium, this may well be true if viewed with shallow understanding.

Yet truthfully, the Imperium of Man itself is the prime suspect in this tragic drama of rotting human power across the Milky Way galaxy. On whose watch did mankind waste fivehundred generations of crucial time only to descend into depravity and senility? On the Imperium's watch. On whose watch did humanity fail to rekindle an enterprising spirit of innovation? On the Imperium's watch. On whose watch did man sink into a morass of ineptitude and screeching dysfunctionalities, as ever more of his governing systems rusted and decayed into bloated parasites that actively hurt the human population? On the Imperium's watch.

The fact that the Imperium of Man killed all potential rivals in the cradle during the Great Crusade only makes its grand decline ever more of an atrocious failure. The ship of mankind is sinking, and the flag in its mast is Imperial, just as its demented helmsman is Holy Terran. This failure of human power is as damning for the final verdict on the Imperium as this cosmic dominion of the God-Emperor is sclerotic in nature.

As a saying widespread across half of Segmentum Tempestus has it: Really bad is not yet dead.

The early Imperium was a confident and dynamic civilization, expanding vigorously across the Milky Way galaxy akin to lightning bolts cast from the birthworld of Terra itself. When the Emperor bestrode the stars in the flesh, His Imperium was a realm expanding across the Milky Way galaxy for three centuries in a row, winning wars and erecting shining towers where once only ruins and hovels had existed. The ten millennia after the Horus Heresy saw the tides of history slowly turn against the Imperium, through ebbs and flows of silver ages and eras of desperation.

As fivehundred generations of humanity unfolded, the resilient Imperium would suffer innumerable crushing defeats. The Holy Terran Imperium would likewise see many colonies lost, and see untold billions of worshippers of the Imperial creed succumb to slaughter, human separatism and alien domination. In this later era of defeat and dangers, the confident hope and vigour of the early Imperium gave way to an inward-turning bitterness consuming ever more Imperial subjects in pogroms and sectarian massacres. And so the Imperium descended into a fever dream of myopic aggression and self-consuming fanaticism. Hope is dead.

It did not have to come to this miserable ending. And yet it did. The Adeptus Mechanicus in its demented pursuit of dogma and jealous suppression of rivals did not have to quench all sparks of ingenuity. And yet it did. The early Imperium at the height of its vigour did not have to kill off all human competition. And yet it did.

Let us turn briefly to the elimination of all human competition to Terra. Monolithic empires without competition are prone to stagnation. A plethora of fiercely competing interstellar human empires would have meant that some powerful alternatives capable of reigniting science and invention could have surged human power in the Milky Way galaxy upward. Instead mankind has become captured inside the tyranny of the High Lords. Our species is thus stuck in a rut, ever decaying inside its fortified madhouse. The Imperium is thus become both man's guardian and insane jailor, both its last strong shield and its foremost tormentor.

For all His greatness and brilliance, the Emperor was plain wrong. With the Great Crusade, it was His way or the highway. He killed off all human competition in the cradle, and it turned out that His Imperium went to hell in a handbasket following His bloody ascension, dooming mankind in the process thanks to its ruthless suppression of all renaissance of scientific discovery and technological innovation. Thus mankind became a captive species under the Golden Throne, facing a dead end as predators closed in from behind. And all that could be heard was the laughter of thirsting gods, for they fully knew the irony of this grand joke.

Ave Imperator.

Of course, the crux of the matter is knowledge and hardware. There is only so much that numbers and mass industrial output can achieve in the long run of interstellar empires and devouring swarms. Put differently, the key to greater human power is science and technology. As deviants executed after being flayed alive have put it, the stale Imperium does not invent things, it relies only on the broken remains of the past. These remains have proven incredibly reliable and useful, because they were designed to be that way. Yet the crutch of better ancestors' emergency measures turned permanent will not be enough to save the Imperium from obliteration.

And so, instead of rekindled thought and invention, man in the Age of Imperium is experiencing a slow erosion of his remaining knowledge, resulting in an ever worsening picture for the tools and weapons that Imperial man holds in his hands. The rugged decrepitude of the Imperium can best be glimpsed in its creeping demechanization. Let us thus turn to one aspect of this decay of machine and this replacement of metal with flesh. Let us gain a glimpse of the maldevelopment of mankind through the widespread phenomenon of budget Sentinels.

The Sentinel walker is a lightweight bipedal vehicle able to traverse difficult terrain, sporting a crew of one. This dependable Standard Template Construct (STC) walker uses a robust gyro-stabiliser system and articulated legs that enable silent stalking through dense undergrowth and urban ruins. The Sentinel is likewise capable of high speed over open ground. Sentinels can be found in a myriad different variants across the million worlds and uncountable voidholms that make up the Imperium of Man. Some common forms of Sentinels include power-lifters, used both for handling civilian and military logistics, while some military Sentinels are made for armoured thrusts, droptroop duty and even light artillery support. It is a versatile weapons platform. Yet the most common role for Imperial Sentinels is to act as scouts for the Astra Militarum, Planetary Defence Forces and voidholm militias.

In this scout role, Sentinels excel. This is because the humble Sentinel at once represents both an easily manufactured form of walker technology, and a trusty workhorse that can withstand a great deal of user abuse and faulty maintenance. After all, the Sentinel STC was made to function in this way: Simple, strong and dependable for colonists who had fallen into a backward existence. There once were far more sophisticated types of walker engines during the fabled Dark Age of Technology, yet some of the most advanced walker technologies that have been discovered by Explorators remain beyond the means of even the Adeptus Mechanicus to produce. Meanwhile, middling forms of walker tech strain the best efforts of the Magi to fashion, as evidenced in Imperial Knights and Titans. The loss of Mechanicus ability to produce new Imperator-class Titans stand as a testament to the peeling away of human capability and knowledge in the darkest of futures.

The mostly lower levels of STC technology retained in the Age of Imperium was designed to be idiot-proof, something which the Imperium of Man has certainly put to the test.

Imperial Guard Sentinels are equipped with a single heavy weapon piece, such as a lascannon, plasma cannon or heavy flamer. Furthermore, commonplace extra armaments for Sentinels include huge chainsaws for clearing a path through thick vegetation and riotous mobs alike, as well as hunter-killer missiles for taking out enemy armour and biological monstrosities. While the Sentinel has never been a tough vehicle able to eat blows and keep coming, it is nevertheless an agile predator with a hefty bite for its weight class. Other common pieces of equipment include camouflage netting, searchlights, auspex arrays and smoke launchers. A vast assortment of modifications exist for local climates, such as servo-driven claw spikes to allow Scout Sentinels to grip glacial planes with their feet. Desert gear include larger feet for loose sand, and filtration intakes to prevent grains of sand from entering the engine. Armoured Sentinels, on their end, tend to sport leg-mounted recoil compensators.

The single pilots of Sentinels tend to be raucous and headstrong individuals, and their commanding officers tend to allow these lone wolves more leeway with their antics than is ever afforded the mass of footsloggers. After all, excentric Sentinel pilots are expected to operate ahead of the main force, where they are suited to perform acts on their own initative to a degree that would be considered dangerous and even seditious for drilled line infantry. And given the short life expectancy of Sentinel pilots, it is understandable if the officers look the other way, as long as the mavericks serve well aboard their chickenwalkers.

For ten millenia has the Sentinel been a trusty warhorse for the massive organized hordes that make up the wilted Imperium's main forces. Ease of manufacturing has been key, allowing many primitive factories to churn out untold thousands of Sentinel walkers to set templates, thus replenishing losses and reducing dependance on high-end production lines located on forge worlds. And yet even this simple and rugged machine is starting to experience mounting shortages as of late, as the Imperium continues to sink deeper into a morass of apocalyptic incompetence and screeching dysfunctionality.

Indeed, the slow deterioration of human knowledge, technology and hardware has finally begun to make itself felt even among the Sentinel corps of the Astra Militarum. Worsening manufacturing technologies on a great many Imperial worlds mean that better machines of yore that break down can increasingly no longer be repaired or replaced. Instead worse machines or human and animal labour must pick up the slack, as the decrepit Imperium of Man continues to throw bodies on problems just as it feeds the meatgrinder of eternal war with an increased input of manpower in the face of declining equipment for its soldiery.

This spiralling rot has finally reached Sentinel factories on hundreds of civilized worlds and voidholms. Where once the hereditary know-how of lay techmen or the holy expertise of rotating Tech-priests was sufficient to maintain production of walker legs and gyro-stabilizers whenever machine breakdowns called for repairs or replacements, nowadays a growing number of industries find themselves staring blankly at their all-important machinery. Imagine how it is to stand among the ruins of your forefathers, surrounded by buildings that you do no longer know how to repair. Such is the situation facing a number of Imperial Sentinel factories, where chanting rituals and the application of sacred oil and the swinging of incense are all performed in vain in front of mute machines that can no longer give birth to wondrous engines of war. On a galactic scale, the issue is still a small one, yet the problem is nonetheless growing, without hope of turning the slow tide of demechanization.

Conformity, censorship and zealotry all flourish in a state of total war, yet the brilliance of a civilization not genetically engineered for war is slowly drained if unrelenting total war continues to face it for hundreds upon hundreds of generations on end, even if the material and manpower losses can be sustained. This draining of brilliance is especially so if the civilization in question shuns even the basic tenets of curiosity and daring freethinking that are necessary to feed innovation and discovery, as is the case with the parochial Imperium of Man.

Errare humanum est. It is human to err. And so we find that the blessed cosmic dominion of the Imperator of Holy Terra is a most human realm. Indeed, this mess that is a place has over time been built largely on errors, and all the self-inflicted faults of the Imperium are starting to catch up with its projection of power akin to a tidal wave drowning all in its path. The small but growing Sentinel shortage is but one facet of the larger problem facing the Imperium of Man internally through its sick decay. The lords of the lash within the Adeptus Administratum has at last taken note of the mounting shortage in an area which once could have been taken for granted to just work of its own accord. And so the solution must be a further regression in technology level for some Imperial Guard forces.

Imperial answers to a shortage of Sentinels include, on the one hand, the introduction of makeshift Sentinels that are still of a mechanical type, such as armoured tractors as seen on many agri-worlds, or armoured cars that share many characteristics of Scout Sentinels, but lack the walkers' ability to traverse difficult terrain. On the other hand, some replacements for Sentinels do not even require oil and promethium to function.

Enter, the budget Sentinel!

The light Sentinel substitute is formed by strapping together two or more horses or exotic alien mounts, mounting a rider on one steed and packing baggage and weapon batteries or flamer tanks on the other, and then hanging a heavy weapon between the trained beasts. Since many Scout Sentinels are expected to sport chainsaws and hunter-killer missiles, the rider will be equipped with a long chainlance, while the pack mount may be fitted with a rocket tube. As such, the functions of Sentinel walkers are largely fulfilled on paper by the biological walkers and their armaments. After all, budget Sentinels are able to traverse difficult terrain, and can cross open terrain at decent speeds. And unlike mere cavalry riders on lone mounts, these katamaran teams of steeds sport the heavy weaponry expected of Sentinel walkers.

For the robed clerks of the Departmento Munitorum, this equine solution means that they can check off all the boxes of Sentinel functions for military units, and declare that the light Sentinel substitute will perform the same duties as Scout Sentinels do. And nevermind that loss rates are even higher among budget Sentinel riders than they are among Scout Sentinel pilots. More men, women and juves willing to serve His Divine Majesty can always be put in the saddle. There are always warm bodies to spare.

The Imperium is a nightmare, and everyone there is morbid.

For an example of such budget Sentinels in action, let us turn to the Imperial and Royal host of loyal Astro-Ungaria. The Duarchal army of this civilized world is like many others in the wider Imperium, once one looks beyond the sterling examples of overperforming regiments that fill propaganda posters from one end of the Milky Way galaxy to the other. Do forget, for a moment, the efficiency of the Death Korps of Krieg, the glories of the Vitrian Dragoons, the daring deeds of the Catachan Jungle Fighters or the legendary resolve of the Cadian Shock Troops.


Offline Karak Norn Clansman

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #44 on: February 06, 2024, 10:39:53 AM »
Let us look  instead to the stalwart warriors of Astro-Ungaria, who indeed suffer no lack in bravery or hardiness or piety. Instead, Astro-Ungarian regiments suffer from chronic underfunding, undertraining and underarming. This lack of equipment and practice is somewhat alleviated by a solid artillery arm and fine infantry marksmanship, until one discovers the nearsighted ineptitude of the Astro-Ungarian officer corps, which drags with it not only poor command in the field and faulty strategic decisions, but also means that Astro-Ungarian forces are riddled with poor organization and lacklustre logistics. Indeed, organization and logistics for Astro-Ungarian regiments will sometimes border on chaos, as the requests and information that the Departmento Munitorum receives turn out to lack essential requirements. To top it all off, the rudimentary technology level of Astro-Ungaria means that her Duarchal forces suffer from a lack of armoured vehicles of all types, including Sentinel walkers.

Tech on Astro-Ungaria has become particularly etiolated, when compared to many other hive worlds and civilized planets and voidholms across the Imperium. One might say of this retrograde state of affairs that the dear homeworld of the brave Astro-Ungarians is just ahead of the curve. The acute scarcity of Sentinels on Astro-Ungaria has seen a once ubiquitous scouting vehicle become reserved for Armoured Sentinel duty. After all, when the walkers have become so uncommon, why not slap on more armour and recoil compensators in an attempt to make the scarce leggers last longer? Instead, a standard solution has seen Scout Sentinels be replaced wholesale in most Astro-Ungarian regiments by light Sentinel substitutes of an equine ersatz variant, running on feed rather than fuel.

To keep up appearances and inject pride and doughty spirit into the budget Sentinel crew, these riders are picked from the Imperial and Royal Hussars, famous for their swashbuckling flamboyance, red-blooded flirtations and devil-may-care attitude toward life. As such, Astro-Ungarian budget Sentinel cavalry will wear exquisite shakos bedecked with cords and proud plumes, all meticulously colour coded for rank and regiment. The leaders of Duarchal budget Sentinel squadrons will in turn wear three feathers instead of a plume in their shako. As for headgear, Astro-Ungarian Guardsmen in general will rarely even be issued helmets, instead making do with stylish headwear made out of cloth, such as mountain caps, fezes and square czapkas. After all, death comes for us all, so why not face it with dash and style instead of cowering for protection? The Emperor protects!

Hardened veterans among Duarchal regiments will sometimes quip about the lack of helmets by quoting a pick-up line popular across tens of thousands of worlds and many more voidholms: "Are you a bullet? For I cannot get you out of my head!"

Other sayings may apply. For instance, the proverb: "Destiny is a saddled donkey. He goes wherever you lead him." Thus the Imperium has led the destiny of man into hell. Behold the dilapidation of human science and technology in the God-Emperor's star realm. Behold the budget Sentinel. Yet take heart, Imperial subject! For Holy Terra and Astro-Ungaria are standing together in one trench. For the Emperor!

And so, budget Sentinel cavalrymen will ride ahead of the vanguard of the Duarchal host, braving the dangers of hostile warzones to spot the enemy and warn their comrades in arms. These katamaran horse scouts will often operate ahead of a mother unit of hussars, who keep a herd of fresh horses around for spares. The light Sentinel substitute do wear out horses at a brisk trot, and so replacement horseflesh must be kept on hand. Both mechanical Sentinel walkers and biological budget Sentinels tend to receive percussive maintenance from their crews when the steeds get bogged down or become exhausted at inopportune times. Such barbaric cruelty is endemic across the entire domain of the God-Emperor, and thus man and beast alike will be made to suffer across the stars. Embrace the hardship, for it will purge you of your weakness and make you strong. Pain is weakness leaving the body, as per the claim of Imperial dogma.

Given that the ersatz Sentinel consist of two horses with a heavy weapon hanging between them, their rider is robbed of the usual cavalry option to have their horse lay down low on their side, while the rider takes cover behind the torso of their mount in order to fire lascarbine at the foe. The budget Sentinel hussar must instead make do with their own judgement, their fine horsemanship and their heavy weaponry when encountering enemies in the field when out scouting or on patrol. Indeed, foes accustomed to Imperial cavalry sporting lascarbines or hunting lances may occasionally be taken by complete surprise when budget Sentinel scouts open fire with multi-lasers or heavy flamers. The light Sentinel substitute of equine variety may be a moronic solution to a self-inflicted problem of demechanization, but if it sometimes work it is not completely stupid. And so the sunken state of mankind in the Age of Imperium is not yet enough to cause a collapse, only an ever-worsening degradation in a slow death spiral of knowledge and technology loss, propped up by a relentless flood of both human and animal flesh, sweat and blood.

The horses of budget Sentinels are equipped with blinkers on the side facing the heavy weapon. The equines are trained as far as is feasible to withstand the nervous strain of the firing of such heavy weaponry as multi-lasers and heavy flamers a short distance from their face, although it has to be noted that the roar of promethium flames so close to the head is often sufficient to scare the best of horse teams, leading to what may be charitably called a merry dance. The light Sentinel substitute mounts are likewise trained to not panic too excessively at the din of rocketry firing overhead with flames singeing the horses' fur. This is especially a problem with Astro-Ungarian hunter-killer missile racks, which consists not of a closed tube, but of an open channel. Finally, the horses are also practiced to remain calm at the sound of chainlances shrieking.

Needlessly to say, all this training at accustoming the equines to the noise, heat and sting of weaponry is rarely fully succesful, and so many horses will dance around for a while in dismay or outright fright from their worst experiences, until the rider manages to calm them down. The riders will often be chosen from cavalrymen with an innate bond to horses, who display an ability to calm horses and make them do the rider's bidding in pressing situations. This is necessary, given the havoc that two horses strapped together may cause if they try to dash about in different directions while carrying a heavy weapon between them. This all adds to the music of the battlefield.

What instrument does the Duarchal Sentinel hussar play in this symphony of war? The chainlance, of course!

The chainlance is a chainsword mounted on a pole. It is equipped with a lighter at its counterweight end, for igniting the fuses of the sometimes cheap and shoddy krak-rockets that paper-pushers may pass off as hunter-killer missile substitutes. Indeed, the chainlance's spherical counterweight is itself a hollow container for promethium fuel to the lighter. In practice, the lighter at the butt of the chainlance is more often used for lighting lho-sticks and spirit burners, and not least for arsonry when raiding behind enemy lines. As for the rockets themselves, they are often made by Astro-Ungarians. These hunter-killer missile substitutes are cast with the raised letters KK visible in squiggly fraktur font. This shortening of words stands for "Imperial and Royal" in the Astro-Ungarian tongue of Leithian, being a Low Gothic translation of "Kaiserlich und Königlich." Another abbreviation variant for this Duarchal phrase of allegiance is that of K.u.K.

Let us get a glimpse of the esprit de corps that fill the stout chests of the Imperial and Royal budget Sentinel riders. Let us turn to the first Scout Sentinel squadron (Equine Ersatz) of the 1993rd Astro-Ungarian regiment, the Drunken Count's Own. The proud hussars manning the budget Sentinel horse teams all hail from noble families, of which wachtmeister Arvid von Kvinnesamme-Jusic can boast of the finest pedigree. Corporals Ebhen af Stekheri-Pajic and Pauliai de Neumann-Stjepanovic are, in contrast to their squadron leader, of the lower nobility. The brawling and amorous lifestyle of hussars is clearly visible in these three hard-drinking men, who have plenty of scars and dirty campfire stories to share when the amasec is flowing freely and the stars of a ravaged galaxy seem to twinkle in peace up in the nightsky, where so many starship sailors have drowned in the silent void.

They are lovers indeed. Wachtmeister Arvid von Kvinnesamme-Jusic even became the consort of a gangleader at gunpoint. His beloved is Aemmalia "Apothecaria" Embla-Lazic, officially a gifted member of the Officio Medicae bearing the rank of Medicae Superiocrata. Officially, this lady is attached to the Astro-Ungarian army of General Hanz-Konrad von Dorfenhötz to tend to the many wounded. Unofficially, she is a heinously cruel drug-ganglady and organ thief hailing from that den of scum and villainy known as Necromunda in Segmentum Solar. It was not difficult for such an infamous organized crime leader to infiltrate the Imperial and Royal host of von Dorfenhötz. This occurred after the Ljubljeburg disaster, when a freight ship smuggling Aemmalia's nefarious narcotics crashed into Hive Ljubjeburg and took the lives of no less than two billion people, since the helmsman had gotten high on his own supply.

The Duarchal hussars Arvid, Ebhen and Pauliai have formed bonds of brotherhood in arms that run thicker than their aristocratic blood. Many are the brave deeds and heroic feats in combat that this trio of grizzled horsemen have performed, and they are indeed great scouts for their regiment. These rowdy hussars love the wilderness and shun civilization like the Plague of Unbelief. These three doomed gentlemen were chosen to become light Sentinel substitute scouts due to their sheer hardiness, crafty survival skills in the wilderness and excellent horsemanship. Fully aware of the danger of their profession, these brothers in arms have taken to calling their squadron the Black Swords, with embroidered blades to be found on the left side of their shakos. Close as clones, they have sworn by oath on the holy book of the Lectitio Divinitatus to take as many vile foes with them into the grave as it is humanly possible to do. The Emperor would ask no less of his finest servants!

For Astro-Ungaria and Holy Terra! In Nomine Imperator!

Thus technological savagery and impoverished industry may be partially compensated by manpower and horseflesh. As unending total war has resulted in the cannibalization of human societies within the Imperium of Holy Terra, we see that the tyranny of the High Lords run on a simple equation: Namely that of increasing input by throwing more bodies into the meatgrinder. Such baleful solutions to mounting problems is characteristic of the demented myopia and mechanistic cruelty with which the rulers of mankind decide the fate of their own species.

For indeed man has become a sacrificial lamb of sorrow upon the altar of the Emperor, as His bedevilled Imperium has been hollowed out by deranged despots until all that is left is a withered husk of human interstellar power, ready for the slaughter. Truly, the Imperium of Man is akin to a suicide pact gone wrong.

Thus the Emperor's brutopian dream has degenerated into a bizarre nightmare of primitivization and decay, as mechanical walkers and their equine substitutes stalk alien forests and the ruins of slums while they scout ahead under toxic skies. These shortcomings of blundering man, that tragic toolmaker, are what keeps the Imperium going, even as this abominable colossus on feet of clay crush its own malnourished people underheel with heinous indifference.

Aye, crippled mankind in the Age of Imperium leads a stifling existence, as torpid as it is depraved. Proof of man's fall from the shining pedestals of the ancient past can be found in the budget Sentinels that neigh and stomp their hooves while their rider gaze into the distance. This, ladies and gentlemen, this is the fruit of ten thousand years of neglect of knowledge and innovation. For as the banned piece of sinspeech would have it: We have created nothing of our own, and everything that we have taken from the ancients we have distorted.

And so the budget Sentinel of equine katamaran version is a cheap solution to ongoing demechanization. Yet this bean counter's shoddy fix to a growing problem cannot halt the slide into the abyss that Imperial man is experiencing on Holy Terra's watch.

For all that is left for us is torment neverending, in the disheveled monstrosity that is the Imperium of Man.

It is the fortyfirst millennium, and there is only retardation.

-   -   -

Tribute to three friends.

Offline Rowsdower

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Re: Hobby Group Auxilia Work
« Reply #45 on: February 10, 2024, 01:06:34 PM »
[snickers] That automatic pistol isnt going to do much against a carnifex or a Necron if he stumbles into one is it?!