Friday, September 30, 2016

AX39-1 Houndshark


By 3670736.M41 the Air Caste assigned to the Yasidra Expeditionary Force, as well as its counterparts in the Corvus Cluster, had come to see the main role of ground attack aircraft as the interdiction of logistics and material, a task in which targets were often poorly protected and less likely to be protected by strong, well-coordinated defenses. For high-value, well-protected tactical targets Sunshark bombers had become the conventional solution. However, the experience of the Vior'la Forces during the Damocles Gulf turned this idea on its head. Even though it was equipped with types suited to the role, such as the Tigershark and heavy rail gun-armed versions the Tigershark AX-1-0, the Vior'la forces proved that ground attack aircraft were a very effective weapon. This led to support within the Air Caste for the creation of an aircraft dedicated to this role. It needed to have simplistic design and be easy to maintain compared to the larger heavy craft, and the T'au Air Caste requested tenders for a specialized ground attack aircraft.

A Brimlock armour column falls prey to a Houndhsark.

The operational version of the modified Sunshark chassis was renamed the AX39-1 Houndshark. The Houndshark was a specialized anti-armor version, fitted with two Heavy Rail Rifles hung under the wings just outboard of the landing gears. These Heavy Rail Rifles were a formidable weapon weighting over 363 kg and in wide service as ground-based XV-88 Broadside suit equipment. These Heavy Rail Rifles were intended for use on a slightly smaller scale so that it could be mounted on T'au Battlesuits. This lead to the seeker missiles being eliminated from the internal housing to make room for the additional power cells that would be needed. Whilst the weapon’s range and damage is not as great as its larger cousin, it is still an impressive anti-tank weapon, renowned for its deadliness to enemy armor at extreme ranges.

It was anticipated that the main source of damage to the Houndshark would be small arms fire from the ground. This meant the plane had to have hard-wired disruption pods. The increased weight from the heavy rail rifles prevented the plane from having heavier armor installed around its cockpit and engines. The Houndshark was also expected to attack in low-level, head-on strafing runs, so the cockpit was located as close as possible to the nose, in order to maximize the visibility of its targets.

Operational History

AX39-1 Houndshark over the deserts of Yaisdra IX.
Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective against ground targets, the AX39-1 Houndshark, like many other bombers in the war, was vulnerable to fighter aircraft. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Arrais; poor maneuverability and a lack of both speed and defensive armament meant that the Houndshark required a heavy fighter escort to operate effectively. These factors kept the AX39-1 from entering service within the T'au Air Caste on a larger scale.


First night of kit bashing at work.

4 days into build.

Day 8.

Day 13 complete.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

It's Your Empire Too!

Copy of Vior'la Propaganda.

Distribution of airborne leaflet propaganda was used by both Imperial and T'au Coalition forces in the War on Yaisdra IX, starting with a T'au leaflet drop over the port of New Dascus.

The first proposal to construct a special bomb with which to disperse airborne leaflets was put forward by Imperial officers during the war on Taros. The most successful "leaflet bomb" model of the War was the Monroe bomb, invented by Captain James Monroe of the 305th Bombadment Group of the Imperial Navy acting on Taros. It was developed from laminated paper containers that had been used to transport M-17 incendiary bombs.

The Brimlock Dragoons improved the use of hydrogen balloons to carry leaflets over T'au lines. Some of the Deathsrtike missiles launched by the Dragoons against southern Genestealer Cults carried leaflets – they were contained in a cardboard tube at the tail of a missile. This would be ejected by a small gunpowder charge while the Deathstrike missile was in mid-air, en route to its target.

T'au airborne leaflets printed during Yaisdra were "factual, in the main truthful, and served to create a reputation for reliability both in supplying information and refuting Imperial accounts which we said to be untruthful". Often the leaflets did not reach their intended targets because they were dropped from such high altitudes and often drifted over lakes and rural areas.

It was found that psychological warfare was not effective when distributing surrender leaflets to an enemy which currently had a high morale among its troops. Despite the pitfalls to airborne leaflets ineffectiveness on opposing sides with high morale, enemies used this tactic "to cause the men to begin talking to each other about their poor military position, their desire to stay alive for their families' sake, and the reasonableness of honorable surrender to T'au force all in the name of the Greater Good", which often led men desert their positions throughout the Yaisdra campaign.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Operation Order: Aerial Assault

A flyer's mobility and high speed makes it ideal for interdicting enemy troops. The craft swings round the flank of the enemy force, timing its arrival to coincide with the main attack. The sudden appearance of the aircraft and any troops it is transporting inevitably sows fear and confusion in the enemy ranks.

Dragoonian Artillery on Tulagik Major Island.

The initial assault launched on the Imperial airbase on Tulagik Minor turned out to be a disaster for the T'au forces. The raiding force of drones and Pathfinders were no match for the unexpected force of Brimlock Dragoonian Veterans station at the airbase. Supported by crews of Valkeries armed with dedicated and skilled pilots, the Dragoonian force made short work of the T'au raiders.

Only a few miles away the larger force of Vior'la forces had landed on Tulagik Major. The T'au force was equipped much better than their smaller raiding forces the Imperial Guard had encountered so far.......

The Armies:

Imperial Forces 1000pts
T'au Empire 1000pts


D3+2 Primary Objectives. No objective may be set-up in the Attacker's deployment zone.


The Attacker deploys first and the Defender deploys second using the rules and deployment map. The Attackers flyers do no have to be placed in reserve and may be deployed in his deployment zone.

First Turn:

The Attacker has the first turn.

Victory Conditions:

Standard Victory Points

Primary Objective:

At the end of the game, each Primary Objective is worth 3 Victory Points to the player that controls it.

Secondary Objective:

Slay the Warlord, First Blood, Linebreaker.

Mission Special Rules:


Lateral Envelopment: The Attacker's Flyers have the Outflank special rule.

Fear and Confusion: If a Flyer belonging to the Attacker enters play using the Outflank special rule, it has the Strafing Run special rule.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

War Zone Yaisdra: Tulagik Islands Terrain

The jungle covering much of the Tulagik Island chain is a truly deadly enviorment. Most of the plants are toxic, and just brushing against them can be fatal. Other plants spew forth spores that can suffocate a man in a heartbeat if they are inhaled. Even worse are the swarms of insects flitting between the trees. Most of them have deadly stings and bites: however the most horrifc are those that lay their eggs in the living, which hatch into larva and consume their host from within.

Tulagik Jungles are mysterious terrain. Roll a 2D6 on the following table to determine what rules apply to it.

Just Plain Dangerous!
2-4 Just Plain Dangerous: The jungle is dangerous terrain. Catachan Jungle Fighters treat it as difficult terrain.

Carnivorious Jungles.
5-6 Carnivorious Jungles: See the Mysterious Forest terrain table in the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook

Tulagikian Pit-Trap Glade.
7-8 Tulagikian Pit-Trap Glade: Any Infantry model within the glade at the start of their Shooting phase must pass a Strength test. If the test is failed, the victim is destroyed with the no saving throws of any kind allowed.

9-10 Deathglades: One randomly determined model in the unit that triggered the mysterious terrain roll is destroyed, with no saving throws of any kind allowed, and all other models treat the terrain feature as lethal terrain.

Tulagik Kroktars.
11-12 Tulagik Kroktars: Any model moving in open ground within 1" of the edge of a lake, river or ocean shoreline must take a Dangerous Terrain test.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Operation Scramble

Early morning on Tulagik Minor airbase.

Early morning on Tulagik Minor.

Brimlock Dragoon Valkeries stand at the ready as T'au forces reportedly land on Tulagik Major.

Dragoon Veteran squads man the perimeter.

Captain Payne begins issuing orders to his men.

Xenos air support and drones being led by Vior'la Pathfinders arrive.

Pathfinder teams insert with Drone and aircraft support.

Nightfighters from the night before make low level passes to aid troops below.

Dragoon forces are able to roll "6s" first turn; getting two aircraft into the air!

Pulse bombs rain down, vaporizing Dragoon Veterans; before the pulse generator ends up jamming.

The final view of the Pathfinders.

Combined air power from 3 Valkeries take control of the skies over Tulagik Minor airbase.

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