Death By Fluff?

UPDATED: Sun 22 Jul.  Headologist has put together a superb triage report on Captain Nero's injuries - make sure you check it out here!

Afternoon again to all, thanks for stopping by.  Well, me and Headologist are still reeling from our mighty battle the other day which was a hard-fought draw.  It was a steep learning curve for 6th (having realised we inadvertently missed out a few of the new rules), but we're both very impressed by the changes for the most part.

Anyway, as soon as the battle ended the work really began for me.  Regular readers will know I'm a fluff addict, and all the details of my army right down to the tiniest bit of fluff are carefully recorded in my background tome.  As well as this, all the officers in my army have career service records, to which all their medals and misdemeanours are appended, so all these had to be updated.  The army has a company history as well, detailing every battle in which they've fought in true biased, Imperial language.

Captain Nero.  I'm not sure I could ever be ruthless enough
to kill him off if he died in battle.
Probably my most controversial fluff practice is, however, killing off my commanders.  In 1/7 Company, usually if an officer dies, that's it.  The model is retired and the service record gets a big 'KIA' stamp on it, and I convert a new officer to use.  This is highly annoying, since some of my nicest conversions end up in the 'graveyard' spot and don't get to be used very much - but on the other hand, it gives them a very strong narrative that they earn through sweat and toil.  (Incidentally after a while, I will probably bring out the old conversions and use them again with new names.  I can't buy a new officer for every time someone dies).

Captain Nero was an original commander from another Guard army from years ago.  He transferred to my new army and has fought in every battle, among other things killing a Space Marine captain in close combat and single-handedly bringing down a Monolith with melta-bombs.  His list of battlefield feats is made all the more impressive since he's never actually died.  Well, until the last game, when he was killed by a scattering Earthshaker round.

To get out of having to kill him off for such a ignominious death, we normally give the important officers a few 'cats' lives' to give him a chance.  As a penalty, he has to roll a few times on the Necromunda serious injuries chart (page 84 of the Rulebook).  In Nero's case, he got Partially Deaf and Blind in One Eye - perfect as they fit in with the injuries you'd get from being clipped by an explosion, and also nicely tallies with the bloody bandage.  These give him -1 BS.  (Headologist is currently working on one of his trademark triage tag for me to add to Nero's records!)

The lesson is, everything that happens on the battlefield is an opportunity for fluff.  Take a look at the company history for the battle of Valkyrie Pulsus:

iv.) Valkyrie Pulsus, 012.M42/291.  1/7 Coy spent several planetary days refitting in Taros, during which time they recieved their full allocation of combat troops including anti-air and auxiliary abhuman forces.  After the full refit was complete and as the company prepared to undertake its first combat operation, word came of the Valkyrie Pulsus, of 3 (Anti-Landing) Squadron, 8 Battalion and its destruction at the hands of unknown ground fire.

Capt Nero and his command re-entered the suburbs of Tarons and located the Valkyrie, but also established the presence of Astartes marines.  Again seeking authorisation from Inquisitor Cytheria, the Praetorians attacked.  Firing an opening salvo of devestating 57-cwt. shells, backed up with short-howitzer fire, the ranks of the Marines were greatly thinned.  In particular, a fast-moving unit of attack bikes were expertly destroyed with artillery fire as the men of 1 and 2 Platoons moved on their objective.

Despite the advantage of fire, the treasonous foe deployed from Drop Pods into the rear areas of the company battle line and, despite being quickly silenced by the men of the Coy Reconnaisance Squad and Lt Galbrio, disrupted the fire of the howitzers at the crucial moment of attack.  By the time the men entered the building into which the Pulsus had crash-landed, the Astartes were well ensconsed and repulsed their attack.  Despite this, their own casualties from IIIIIIIIIIIIII were such that they were compelled to retreat in disarray.

Capt Nero was grievosuly wounded in the attack, and was awarded a third bar to the Patium Pro Imperatora for his injuries.  3d. Lieut. w.o.c. Galbrio was awarded the Aquilla Mundanis for his efforts in defeating the deep strike of the Astartes Squad.  2d. Lieut. Creticus was killed in action, defending the objective despite the loss of his entire command squad.  He was postumously awarded the Patium Pro Imperatora and the Ribbon Intrinsic.  In disciplinary matters, Sgt. Rainius of 2 Squad, 2 Platoon was shot for 0001/01A Desertion; 1st Lieut. Caraco of 943 Ordnance Battery was shot for 5135/10D Incorrect Application of Fire, Resulting in Imperial Casualties.  May they find redemption &c.  Sgt. Dalbinus of 2872 Air Defence Battery was fined 1,000 days’ Campaign Pay for 2578/04K Inapposite Use of Specialist Munitions.

Now, just out of fairness to Headologist, this was not quite what happened, it's been dressed up to make it seem more heroic than it was.  My favourite bit is the list of charges at the end, and what they refer to in the battle:
  • Nero was blown up, so he got his third bar to the Patium Pro Imperiatora (a sort of Purple Heart).
  • 3Lt Galbrio beat a Deep Striking squad that had dropped onto my mortars, so an Aquilla Mundanis for him (equivalent of the Eagle Ordinary).
  • 2Lt Creticus was killed charging a Space Marine squad on the objective, so a Patium Pro Imperiatora and Ribbon Intrinsic for him (posthumous - unlike Nero, he doesn't get a second chance).
  • Sgt Ranius was the sergeant for a squad that legged it (note that no-one in Second Battalion can be charged with Cowardice, because they're part of the elite Praetorian Regiment, so instead they get Desertion).
  • 1Lt Caraco was the battery commander of the Earthshaker detachment, who got shot for 'Incorrect Application of Fire' - read friendly fire - on Capt Nero.
  • Sgt Dalbinus - interesting.  Since we controversially rejigged the new Hydra rules, letting him fire at ground targets as normal, to 'pay' for it, now every time the Hydra fires at a ground target, Dalbinus gets fined 1,000 credits (about three months' pay).  In the fluff, he's now in debt until he's about 300 years old so all the other tankers have a kitty they donate to for him.
And just to prove I'm not lying - Lt Creticus' service report ...

Phew!  That's a lot of fluff - just goes to show how important it really is!  Anyway, back to proper modelling next time.  More collaboration projects in the works and the War In South America stuff is really building up steam ... until next time!

The Colonel


  1. I absolutely love this sort of thing! It definitely inspires me to do something similar with the 7th... Keep up the great work, man!

  2. You're going to need to get a steno-pool together to record and collate all the battlefield data that happens in your games. Definitely taking it to the next step with this one, I love the fines for improper use of ammunition.

  3. Cheers for the comments!

    @Mordian: Glad you like it; if you want any of the templates/documents I've done as a starting point then just let me know!

    @Chris: I was thinking about doing a sample After Action Report, with rough ammunition expenditures and all as well as fuel consumption, rations, etc. Might get my rear in gear and do it now.

  4. Excellent as ever! Hope I can do our shared fluff justice with my efforts. I might make up a physical tag for Nero, he deserves it lol. Glad the kitty idea made it to the final draft :p

    1. You'd better do it justice ... or else I'll shell you with my criminally inaccurate artillery. Can't wait to see the triage tag!

  5. Congrats on serving up both a delicious meal and for setting a strong example to all those around you. Hope you don;t mind me featuring you in my weekly themed top-x over at The Chaos Manifesto. Cheers and thanks for sharing.

  6. Just rejigging the tag design and the chart (to feature the filtering out of cowards more clearly lol), have a bit of mock gold leaf to do some of my fluff documents in the style of illuminated manuscripts - just need to find a dark ages monk to write them now. I'll see about getting those stamps done for you too and some sealing wax with seal for my stuff

  7. @HOTpanda: Thanks HOTpanda, a pleasure to be of service! There's lots more to follow!

    @Headologist: You're a good egg.


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