Betrayal at Calth 1: A Gateway

So, it’s Christmas day, you’re opening presents with family and loved ones, and lo and behold, your parents/significant other/sibling have bought you Betrayal at Calth! You look at the box, and your mind instantly begins to wander, and one of a few thoughts might go through your head, possibly at the same time.

1 “Betrayal at Calth? What’s that? Oh it’s a board game.. but you have to paint the miniatures? No thanks… I’ll take it back and get something else.”

2 “Betrayal at Calth? Sweet! I’ve been wanting to play this for a while. And I know a few wargamers, I wonder if I paid them would they paint the miniatures for me?”

3 “Betrayal at Calth? Sweet! I’ve always wanted an affordable Horus Heresy army! But I can only be Ultramarines or Word Bearers? Ah well, I guess I’ll choose one of the two…”

4 “Betrayal at Calth? Sweet! My Legion could use some support! And if I sell the board game bits I can buy some more toys on eBay!”

I find myself torn between the last two statements. I originally approached Mr. PaintingChap about blogging about my burgeoning Ultramarines army, which due to financial crisis I’ve since had to sell on. Needless to say I’ve been trying to find the money to get back into the Horus Heresy ever since – and with the release of Betrayal at Calth, it’s given me a gateway back into the hobby that I love.

I know there are people out there who will be happy to play the board game with unpainted miniatures, and there are those who will not. These are what I call “gateway gamers” they play games in one of any number of categories, be it card, board or video games, and Calth has shown them the gateway to table top gaming. Those who play without painting may find themselves getting more into board games, whereas those who are prepared to paint the miniatures, either themselves or pay people to paint for them, they may find the miniatures and the games rich background interesting, and look deeper into the world of wargames, which leads us on to scenario 3 and 4, and where I find myself.

I am a gamer. I play video, card, board and war games. I have been a wargamer since late 1999/early 2000. During my time in the hobby, I have had my “beer and chicks” phase, where I forsook my beloved hobby in pursuit of alcohol and attractive ladies. But like all things, my mistress called me back sometime in 2010 when I began to explore the Horus Heresy properly, and fell in love with the Thousand Sons. The story of the Thousand Sons, and the fall of Magnus grabbed me, and I instantly felt compelled to put paint to model. Unfortunately, there were no rules for us to play Heresy-era games, so my enthusiasm waned, and I focussed on other creative projects.

Then, with the release of Horus Heresy Vol. 1 – Betrayal, Forge World cunningly came up with a rules set that would work with the existing Warhammer 40000 rules, and allow you to use some of their miniatures to make an army and play Heresy-era, or 30k games. This gave me no end of joy as not only did I have a whole new group of geeky online friends, but some of them were coming up with really cool ideas. So I bought some basics, and considered how to make best use of them. However, with each passing book release came more and more interesting miniatures that I wanted to get my grubby little mitts on. So I found myself chopping and changing Legions more often than I care to mention. And now with the release of Betrayal at Calth and Forge World are now releasing Thousand Sons conversion parts, I can renew my beloved Thousand Sons project with vigour.

Next post in this series is due soon, keep your eyes peeled. 🙂


Twas The Night Before Christmas…

Well, the nights are getting colder, and the old calender is counting down the days to a particularly special day, for all mankind to celebrate, and be with their loved ones. A day commonly associated with red, jolliness and frivolity, and more than a few glasses of something to warm oneself. That’s right dear fellows, Christmas is but a few short days away. And to celebrate the joy of the season, I thought it would be nice to share a traditional story from my family that fellow hobbyists may enjoy. May your Christmas be jolly, full of holly… and other things ending in olly…

And for those of our number who are hoping Santa has a copy of Betrayal at Calth to put in their stocking, keep your eyes peeled in the New Year for a series of blogs with tips and tricks for how to get the most out of your armies using the Horus Heresy ruleset, and what to consider purchasing to expand your army when you do want to play bigger games.

From all at Team PaintingChap, we wish you a merry, healthy and peaceful Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year to all our friends, followers, contributors, and most importantly readers. Thank you for your support over the last year, and we hope to see you back in the New Year. Anyway, I’ll shut up and get on with the story. I hasten to add it is not a story of my own devising, if I knew who the writer was I would give due credit, however if you wish to know the source, please contact us.

Merry Christmas all :). ~Joe



Twas the night before 986996.M41, and all through the station
All there was clear, there was no abomination.
My helmet was set on the desk to my right,
On the chance that I was to need it that night.

The guardsmen were ensconced, asleep in their beds,
All the tanks too were safe, secure in the sheds.
Marines in the barracks, some manning the wall,
Assured me that the bastion never would fall.

When out in the yard there arose such discord
I grabbed up my bolter and unsheathed my sword.
Away to the window, I ran to take aim
As the marines around me all did the same.

My bionic eye turned the night into day
Allowed me to see, and to seek out my prey.
When what did my loyalist ocular show,
But an ancient conveyance, knee-deep in the snow.

The vehicle was pulled by horned quadrupeds
And a fiery red nimbus glowed from the sled.
The driver was mighty, his eyes full of scorn,
Dressed all in crimson like a servant of Khorne.

I gestured for other to shoot without pause,
For I was now certain this was Santa Claus.
“Fire Marines! Fire Guardsmen! Fire Ogryn and Ratlings!
Fire bolters! Fire lasguns! Fire mortars and gatlings!”

“You in the courtyard and you men on the walls!
Now blast away! Blast away! Blast away all!”
But all through this maelstrom the evil one flew,
Past plasma and bolt shells and frag that we threw!

And then, to my horror, I heard on the roof
The vile cavorting of each decadent hoof.
Screaming my orders, I spun quickly around,
As down the chimney shaft it came with a bound.

I saw its eyes glow, its vast stomach gurgle,
Bloated and fat, like a deamon of Nurgle.
Blinded by anger, I attacked with a scream –
Charged into battle with my brave space marines.

As we thundered towards him, closing the rift,
He reached in his satchel and pulled out a gift.
Then it tossed the vile boxes – I fell in a stoop,
As they arced through the air at me and my troops.

The wrapped missiles fell short, and plopped at our feet,
Our morale was quite strong, we did not retreat.
But the marines paused – our charge was disrupted,
They picked up the gifts and were quickly corrupted.

For each box contained a chaotic present –
The marines (damn their souls), found them quite pleasant.
A bolter, a flamer, a new power fist,
The Claus gave to all, and he checked off a list.

It moved through the station and left in its wake,
The sound of bright laughter and the stench of fruitcake.
The others succumbed, but it failed in its goal,
For to me it gave only a small pile of coal.

The station was lost, I could only instruct
The bastion computer to set self-destruct.
I failed to kill him, for I saw as I fled,
The target escaping, quite safe in his sled.

I heard it cry out as the base burst into light,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”