April 2020. The height of quarantine boredom. Saul Tarvitz is released and a member of our gaming group mentions something about always wanting to do an Emperors Children army.
How great were the older black books? Always wanted to play through the scenarios.
We should do it. We should totally open a bar!… ahem I mean, we should totally do Istvaan iii.
Thus #returntoisstvan was born. And the first schism arose. Isstvan or Istvaan? This is why brother turns on brother.
We settled on using the centurion rules supplied by the Mournival events team as this offers us an agreed framework for Centurion (the creation of infantry focussed armies reminiscent of 2nd edition) as well as providing extra rules, scenarios and added spice to the campaign. You can download this rules pack for free in the link below.
The goal: to create unique 1,500 point centurion forces based on the stories surrounding Isstvan III. We divided up into loyalists and traitors, and naturally, I bagged myself a force I’ve been pining to create since day 1 of the Heresy. TRAITOR SONS OF HORUS!
When considering this sort of campaign there are a few gentlemanly accords that must be reached. Firstly, how do you spell Isstvan? Somewhere out in the depths of space-time exists a style guide for Black Library. It seems that the black books and the Black Library fiction use Isstvan, rather than Istvaan – although both have been used and are correct. It’s just one is more correct than the other.
Already discord ferments amongst brothers.
Secondly, Leviathans. Yes, a few units were there. Yes, technically, you can use them in centurion mode. Would it be appropriate for traitors to use them to exterminate their once brothers? ABSOLUTELY!
However, these things are rather powerful for such small scale engagements, so we have ruled such vehicles out.
Thirdly, army lists. How do we create the most themed lists possible in context to the lore? Our gaming group is passionate about this subject. Some lean to the Stillimania school of thought, creating an army list with no special characters and creating that force with no room to chop and change. The characters grow in stature and develop a personality of their own. Units, no matter how poorly they perform, get used again and again, for the general to master.
I don’t fall into this school of thought. I like taking special characters. This is a historical game, so Abaddon will lead his personal guard of Justaerin into battle!
Speaking of which, here’s the first attempt at a list. I’ll gleefully chop and change and buy too much because that’s the fate of all who hobby.
If you would like to join the challenge feel free to use this framework. Or, totally disregard it to build a force that reflects your vision of the nightmarish fratricide that was Isstvan III.
- Lore first, last, and only. This is a narrative-based project. Shape the rules to the lore, not the other way around.
- 1,500 points infantry based centurion lists using the Mournival events pdf.
- No Leviathans. It’s just not polite.
- Only use units that were mentioned in the Black Library and Forge World sourcebooks. Things like the Contemptor Cortus were later developments, and would not feature at Isstvan III
Now, I just need to figure out a good recipe for the green…
See you at Choral City!