Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Episode 7: Calth Extravaganza Part Two! Ultramarines, Word Bearers, Crusade Army List, and Know No Fear Concluded

And now for the second act of our Calth extravaganza! In this monster-length episode we continue where we left off last time with a discussion of the Ultramarines and Word Bearers Legions as well as additions to the Crusade Army List from Tempest. We then conclude our analysis of Know No Fear by Dan Abnett delving into the thorny issue of who truly won the Battle of Calth. Thanks for listening!

Direct link (to download right-click and choose "Save Link As"):

The Age of Darkness Episode 7

0:00  Introduction

7:18  The Ultramarines Legion

1:04:06  The Word Bearers Legion and Crusade Army List Updates

2:26:21  Book Club: Know no Fear by Dan Abnett Part 2

3:18:39  Two-week hobby challenge, closing song

Closing song is "The Haunted" by Rigor Mortis (from the "Freaks" EP)

The Age of Darkness Podcast can be contacted at




  1. Great show! You guys are crazy for not liking chaplains. Zealot and a power weapon is a pretty good deal - best consul to buff a unit.

    1. Thanks man! Yeah I don't really like them to much. For me other consuls stand out more and have a better buff than the chaplain. Also I don't tend to want to field them in 30k as I do a lot in 40k. How have you been using them?

    2. Well, as a Word Bearers player, I am sort of forced to take one (or the Centurion) which is fine and I like placing them in a large unit of 20 tactical marines with cc weapons. However, where it gets tricky is the fact that this unit has Dark Channelling and can also give Zealot which would be redundant. In that case, the Chaplain would jump to my Gal Vorbak to make them even more nuts. Fortunately, the new HQ choice Zardu Layak allows +1 to the Dark Channelling rolls to decease the chance of getting Zealot.

      Long answer.... I think Chaplain would be absolutely perfect if they gave one more thing for the 35 points, even just artificer armour.

      Can't wait to hear more of the show!

  2. Ha! I just realized that if I am using Zardu Layak, that he already counts as a Chapalin (and a Diabolist) and I don't need another Chaplain, just another 2nd compulsory HQ.

    Zardu and a Forge Lord with rad grenades sounds pretty good...

    1. Sigh... Got Zardu mixed up with Erebus. Zardu is only a Diabolist and not a Chaplain so another one is still required.

  3. Yeah I'm really not sure why he doesn't count. I would make sense. Yeah a chaplain in a 20 man brick is really good.

  4. I keep forgetting to add how great I think this podcast is!

    I've just finished listening to your back-to-back reviews on Know No Fear and I have to agree that it's one of those books where the bad stuff is pretty negligible.

    I thought i'd try and address some of the negative things you picked up on in your review and try and win you over, but I think you made pretty solid arguments so not holding my breath! :)

    The moustache twirling villains thing. I don't personally see this and I like to think the characters are a little more nuanced than you give credit (but i'm not afraid of being wrong). I can't really justify Kor Phaeron - he is, after all, just a smug little git. However, Tchure is a whole different thing.

    I have to firstly say that way before the novel came out I read the extract which is the main Tchure scene and I thought it was suspenseful and awesome. Now I know there is an argument that it's the typical villain telling people how evil he is, but I think it's much deeper than that. I think the scene epitomises chaos worship. A khorne follower can't just line people up and chop a million heads off in a clinical fashion. That is not Khorne worship. There has to be rage and blood lust and that sort of thing.

    Equally,I think the actual betrayal and the knowledge of the betrayal are different things. I like to read it that the knowledge of betrayal followed by the slaughter gave potency to the ruinstorm magic. Just shooting them would have been too clinical.

    I'm not sure I can justify the Guilliman no-helmet thing beyong 'rule of cool'. Why he didn't have his helmet? He was chillin'.

    I think it's also possible to read the epilogue differently. It's not about having a Ultramarines win as much as showing that the Ultramarines can be petty vengeful dicks. I would like to think that we might see Guilliman develop in some way that might take him from what we have seen to that epilogue (in the same way we are waiting for Corax to have a breakdown).

    Finally, the sudden ending. This is classic Abnett. I have read many an Abnett novel where 20 pages from then end you can be fairly certain that there is no way that the story is going to end before the pages do (and they always do!)


    A couple of slightly less related points.

    There was a mention of Betrayer as an example of more nuanced presentation of the Word Bearers, with a particular reference to Lorgar's brotherly love for Angron and actually wanting to save him. I'm still personally uncertain whether that was a misdirection or not (will need to re-read to be sure). Was Lorgar trying to free Angron from the butcher;s nails or was he throwing him to Khorne or both?

    There was a question as to whether Kor Phaeron survives the heresy and, I thought i'd let you know that like Erebus, he makes an appearance in 40k.

    Also you suggested that you would like to see the final novel do the Vengeful Spirit / Horus v Emp from different characters' perspectives. My personal hope was a duology with book 1 taking us all the way back to Ullanor and showing all the old faces at the peak of the Great Crusade a book 2 concluding the heresy.

    I'm also hoping for some surprises like Lorgar dying or something.

    Anyway, that's all for now. Thanks for reading.


  5. Rob,

    First of all thanks for the kind words and please accept my apologies for the slow response, it won't happen again so please keep the comments coming!

    So on the subject of the scene with Tchure, I really get what you're getting at. As the Ruinous Powers are beings made of emotion, the strongest emotions, like those drawing from the intensity and traumatism of betrayal, are those that would be most powerful if one was attempting to cast something like the Ruinstorm. I'm just not a big fan of those scenes where everyone is talking about how awesome it is to be evil, but in this case I accept that I may have misjudged it.

    As for the end of the book with the Ultramarines on Colchis I once again get what you're saying but I can't get behind it, the scene adds nothing except for an assurance to fans of the XIIIth that Calth will be avenged. A far more poignant end to the book would concentrate on the horror and catastrophic result of the war, not on the eventual revenge. We know that the Word Bearers will eventually be defeated, but I strongly believe the story would have been made stronger by concentrating on their victory, temporary as it is.

    As for Lorgar and Angron, I really think that the main character trait that can be gleamed from Lord Aurelian is the fact that he loves his family. In First Heretic he was willing to sacrifice himself to save a few of his men. I really think that once he realized that by granting Angron apotheosis he could free his brother from the Butchers' Nails he would stop at nothing to save him, especially considering the damn things were killing the man. Of course, the fact that this would make his brother even more potent in the war against the False Emperor was icing on the cake... So both, I guess?

    Finally I would love it if they did the final chapter the way you describe. How poignant would it be to have a final book underlining the way things were, with Fulgrim and Ferrus being best friends again, and Horus seeking advice from Sanguinius? Then there would be Mortarion alone as always, and Konrad knowing what was to come but of course no one listening to him... That would be heartbreakingly awesome...

    And Lorgar can't die, don't we know that he has locked himself away in his library on Sicarus or something? Am I wrong about this?

    Thanks again for the comments and please keep them coming!