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Citadel Journal 28 (1998), p44-49 — The Attack on Doran VI


From the Dark Nebula they came, in their rusted, disease-ridden ships, hordes of pestilent, corrupted Plague Marines and their Daemonic masters. Why Festasmus and his army chose Doran VI over the other nearby worlds could only be guessed at by the citizens of that ill-fated planet. Who knows what drives his evil, infested mind? It was not for revenge against one of the loyal Space Marine Chapters, that at least is certain. The only defenders of that cold, backwater planet were a regiment of Imperial Guard and the ill-armed citizens under the command of Captain Jeremiah Bone. What Festasmus was truly after was an arcane tome from before the Age of Strife. The book details the biological experiments that were conducted on Doran VI before the infection and destruction of the entire population of the planet and many surrounding worlds. With it in his half-rotted hands, Festasmus hoped to unravel the mystery of the ultimate plague - and the antidote...


Festasmus's Chaos Warband

For centuries the foul spawn of Nurgle, Festasmus, Cancer of Worlds, has brought unclean war to the loyal children of the Emperor. His eternal quest has taken him from world to world, from the cold, dark eastern fringes to the ancient star clusters of the galactic core, all in search of one elusive thing.

Now, after long years of slaughter and battle he has found his prize... The Tome of Archaic Knowledge, thought to be most of the biological lore collected by the Departmento Biologica of the Administratum.

Mission: RESCUE MISSION (Attackers)

The Chaos player may choose a 2,000 point force from the following list:


The Imperial Guard set up first - see the deployment map.

Special Rules

The teleporters on Festasmus's Ship are malfunctioning and not all of the army may come down at once. At the start of the battle, before the position of the objective is determined and before the Imperial Guard player has deployed, the Chaos player must place a marker for each of his squads in the appropriate place that he wants them to teleport to. He might want to draw the positions on a map so that the Imperial Guard player doesn't know where they are landing.

At the start of each of the Chaos player's turns roll a D6 for any squads that are to be teleported. On the first turn, each squad needs a 5+ on a D6 to teleport successfully, on the second turn a 4+ and so on until they materialise.

When a squad manages to teleport there is still no certainty that it will materialise where it is meant to or whether it may be transformed into a disgusting mess of primordial ooze (praise be to Nurgle!). To represent this, when a squad teleports, roll the scatter and artillery dice and a D6. The direction on the Scatter dice indicates the direction in which the squad is off target and the artillery dice and D6 added together indicate how far by.

If the Scatter dice comes up as a 'HIT' then the squad is bang on target. If the Artillery dice comes up a 'MISFIRE' then something has gone disastrously wrong - roll a further D6: a score of 1, 2 or 3 indicates that the squad has been lost in the Warp and that their souls are consumed by the Daemons that inhabit it. They count as destroyed for Victory Point purposes although the Imperial player doesn't get the +1 Vp bonus for the Engage and Destroy mission because they didn't actually kill them. A result of 4, 5 or 6 means that the squad is delayed until their next turn, roll the dice again (Scatter, Artillery, and D6) at the start of the turn.

It is perfectly possible, although unlikely, for a squad to be delayed for the entire battle or to materialise off the table. If this happens, then the squad has no part in the battle but they are not dead for victory point purposes. If the game is part of a campaign then the squad eventually finds its way back to the main force by the next battle.

SPECIAL CHARACTER Festasmus the Putrid, Cancer of Worlds

Chaos Sorcerer Lord of Nurgle — 250 points +148 for his Bodyguard

Festasmus the Putrid has taken part in countless raids on Human worlds and in nearly all of the Black Crusades in the ten millennia since the Horus Heresy. Even before the Heresy Festasmus was one of the leading experts in biological warfare and used his psychic powers to create devastating virus bombs and gas grenades.

He is a bitter, twisted shadow of a man and is forever striving to relieve his agony and inflict it on others. He is extremely paranoid and likely to become dangerously jealous if anyone appears to get more attention than him. For this reason Festasmus has a bodyguard of his most trusted minions to praise his every action, blame others for his failures and basically boost his confidence.

He is one of the few Sorcerors who survived the contagion that infected and killed nearly half of the Death Guard legion. For this he blames the Emperor for creating him and the loyal Space Marines for forcing the Death Guard into the warp storm. He also blames the other Traitor Legions for abandoning them, anyone but his fellow Plague Marines.

While the rest of the Death Guard were fleeing from their Imperial pursuers, Festasmus's ship was caught in a Warp current and carries to an uncharted part of the galaxy. Unable to control his ship, Festasmus crash-landed on a planet inhabited by a lost human colony. With the aid of the Death Guard who survived the landing, he killed the leader of the colony and enslaved the population.

By sheer luck or Nurgle's design, the humans on the planet, which he called Mortarion in honour of the legion's Primarch, had the technology and resources to build Warp-capable ships to travel quickly between worlds and star systems. This he used as his base of operations until he found the small Warp storm known as the Dark Nebula. This evil tract of space contains three planets. One each of these planets, Festasmus has at least five separate, well-hidden laboratories, each of which is protected by a contingent of Plague Marines.

He has extensively charted the surrounding systems and knows all of the sites best suited to ambush Imperial science and research ships. With Power Armour salvaged from dead Space Marines he, with a little help from the infamous Fabius Bile, has managed to create more Plague Marines to serve him.

Festasmus is constantly on the look out for new and deadly varieties of toxins and radioactive waste within The Dark Nebula to create hybrid diseases and contagions. He hopes that one day he can use his extensive knowledge to gain power over the Imperium itself and put the loyal Space Marines in the same pain and suffering that he is in. His speciality is to visit the most densely populated hive worlds, unleash a deadly toxin into the air or water supply and stride through the hives, watching the inhabitants die slowly and painfully as the disease reaches epidemic proportions.

During his quest for the ultimate plague, his plans have been foiled many times by the timely intervention of the Imperial Guard. Over the years, Festasmus has developed a bitter hatred for the Imperial Guard and has sworn that they will be the first target for his plague.

His recent discovery of the existence of an ancient tome on the planet of Doran VI places him one step further to achieving his goal. This book details the numerous experiments in chemical warfare from before the Age of Strife. The experiments were ended suddenly because there was no-one left alive to continue them.

You may include Festasmus as an independent character or as the army commander. He may lead the army if it consists entirely of Plague Marines, Daemons of Nurgle and Characters with the mark of Nurgle. The army may have 1 Chaotic Daemon engine of Nurgle per 1000 points or part thereof. For example, if Festasmus is commanding a 1500 point army, it can contain up to 2 vehicles with the Daemonic possession card. It can not contain any other vehicles. Festasmus has a Strategy rating of 5.



Armour: Power Armour (3+ save).

Wargear/Rewards: Festasmus and his bodyguard have the Chaos mark of Nurgle. Festasmus may have up to 4 wargear cards and/or Nurgle Rewards, 2 of which are always Nurgle's cloud of flies, and Nurgle's Rot.


1FLEE! - Festasmus is really unnerved and must pass a leadership test or flee 2d6" towards the nearest table edge.
2TRAITORS! - Festasmus thinks that everyone is trying to kill him. Roll the scatter dice, he fires (D6 1-3) his Mk 1 Plasma Pistol or (4-6) his Bolt pistol in that direction. If there is a model within an inch of that direction and in range, roll to hit and wound it as normal be it friend or foe.
3HIDE! - Festasmus thinks he sees everyone bringing their weapons to bear on him. He decides that it's much safer and more sensible to hide and cower... Festasmus moves his full move towards the nearest cover.
4-5ERR - Festasmus is so lost in his fear that he forgets what he was going to do and just stands still gibbering.
6CHARGE! - Festasmus realises that the only way his army will respect him is if he gets to the enemy first and kills them all single handed. He runs his full move towards the nearest enemy, charging them if possible. This doesn't count towards his normal move that turn, although he may not shoot that turn.

Making your very own Festasmus Conversion

If you would like to make your own Festasmus conversion to accompany your Chaos Nurgle army you will need the following pieces:

Convertin' - First, I filed off the Dark Angels insignia. Then I clipped the Crozius Arcanum from the figure's hand and glued the power axe in place. Then the right arm was glued to the body, the Plasma Pistol and shoulder pad to the arm and finally the backpack was glued to his back. TA-DA! One mean and smelly Nurgle mutha ready to paint.

Paintin' - After the black undercoat was dry, Festasmus's robes were painted Dark Angels Green and roughly highlighted in Snot Green and then Goblin Green. Any metal bits were drybrushed Tin Bitz and then lightly with Boltgun Metal. Gloves and a few other areas were painted with Blood Red straight onto the black undercoat.

Finally, the mask was painted with Bubonic Brown and highlighted with Bleached Bone. His eyes were re-undercoated white then painted Yellow and shaded with Red Wash. The Power Axe head was painted Dark Blue and highlighted in a lighter blue.