Dark Angels Sighted

Belial Vs Ghazghkull - who will win?

The lovely postie dropped an unxpected package through the door yesterday – an advance copy of The Purging Of Kadillus. Part of the Space Marine Battles series, The Purging of Kadillus recounts the war first revealed in the Storm of Vengeance campaign pack in the distant history of 2nd edition Warhammer 40,000.

The story revolves around the Dark Angels of the 3rd Company under Master Belial, who face an unexpected Ork invasion whilst recruiting in the Piscina system. These events take place before Angels of Darkness and those who have read that book will find some familiar faces in unfmailiar roles – Kadillus shows the likes of Boreas and Nestor as they were before being left to their own devices… The star is undoubtedly Sergant Naaman of the 10th Company though, and writing his scenes was immensely enjoyable.

Kadillus has given me an ideal opportunity to go back to the Space Marines and present a story that I feel does them justice. The structure is a bit different from the other books in the series (I can’t help myself, I just have to mess about with format!). I’ve taken inspiration from the Band of Brothers tv series and the novel is broken down into separate stories that focus on a single character at a time, while the arc of the narrative links all of them together.

This approach has allowed me to bring in a wide cast of characters and take a good look at Space Marines doing what they do best – kicking alien bottoms and not bothering to take names. We get to live inside the skin of a Chaplain, fix up wounded Space Marines with the Apothecary, see a battle through the eyes of a Commander and go on missions behind enemy lines with the Scouts. It feels… complete. It’s a great story for introducing Space Marines to new readers, but adds plenty of depth for those who have been around the Adeptus Astartes block a few times.

After getting my COD: Black Ops fix last week, it’s back to Path of the Seer for the next month.

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Published in: on November 16, 2010 at 1:45 pm  Comments (18)  

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  1. I need to pick this one up soon, will have to reread Angels of Darkness first to refresh my memory.
    Will be nice to see Sgt Namaan seeing as he was dropped from the current codex. Maybe a spike in popularity after this book will see his return as a rival for Telion.

    Will we see any fallen in this book?

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    • The Fallen get a passing mention, but the story is about what the Dark Angels do for most of the time – fighting the enemies of the Emperor. I’ve been in discussion with BL about a future DA series that will focus more heavily on the hunt for the Fallen, though nothing is agreed yet.

      Glad you’re looking forward to this, you’ll have to wait until Feb for the release.

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      • Does this mean we are going to see a 40K A Team book series? :D

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      • Perhaps an Inquisitorial band on the run? More suited to the Cain series, I suspect :D

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  2. Can’t wait to read this one Gav!

    Was it different trying to write a Space Marine Battles book as a lot of what’s happened is already set in stone?

    PS – What you got Black Ops on? I’m GazTaylor on PS3 if you’re after an easy win! ;)

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    • Hi Gaz,

      It was not so difficult to write as another subject might have been because I worked on the original Storm of Vengeance pack :) The biggest issue was trying to incorporate some of the gaming information as well as the background – the battles described in the novel use the sample armies and modified versions of the example table layouts… I could have probably ignored this, but I thought it would be nice for old school gamers to recognise the squad names, characters and so on. Some of the names we used back then weren’t very good, but I’ve stuck with them.

      I’m on Xbox360 I’m afraid. Enjoying my reflex sighted, suppressed M16 with Ninja, Warlord Pro and Ghost immensely – the silent death! Having a whale of a time with Zombies too, I love that part WaW and Black Ops. We reached level 27 on Kino der Toten last night :)

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      • I suppose it does help that you wrote the expansion! I dimmly remember the Battle Report about it but I can’t remember if it was you or Jervis against Steve with the curly hair.

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      • Have rested my M16 for the moment and am now enjoying tearing up the place with the Enfield. Stealth be damned!

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  3. As a die-hard Ork fan, I sadly have no interest in reading this. I’ve been let down far too many times by other Black Library novels, that reduce my favorite 40k faction into a punching-bag villain. The only Ork related content from Black Library I’ve ever been able to enjoy (thus far), has been the Deff Skwadrun comic from way back in the day.

    But as someone who’s favorite faction’s fluff is often thrown under a bus, I say kudos for the Dark Angel players! They’ve been some of the most stalwart fans I’ve ever seen! The Dark Angel fans I personally know still valiantly use their codex, despite the temptation to field a ‘Count-As’ Blood Angels army. It’s great to see some justice finally given to this chapter, as it’s probably the most interesting and dynamic one in my opinion. Although I admit that I do tend to favor the Cypher/Fallen side of their story… ;)

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    • The orks are far from punchbag villains in Purging of Kadillus. Not only do Ghazghkull and Nazdreg have cameos (the prologue and epilogue are from Ghazzy’s point of view), they give the Dark Angels a serious run for their money. In order to portray the space marines properly, you also need to make sure their opponents aren’t just wet bags waiting to be killed.

      I love Deff Skwadron too. Catch the Squigeon was great!

      With regard to the Fallen, it’s important not to get repetitive – I think that following up from the threads left at the end of Angels of Darkness will be a good way to go. Same goes for Cypher, too much information will destroy his greatest asset – his air of mystique.

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      • I have to completely agree with you on Cypher. Possibly the coolest part about him is the fact that 2 different Dark Angel fans can read the same vague fluff, and come to startlingly different conclusions. Some people vilify him while others believe him to be the hero of humanity.

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  4. Whoa, the whole Band of Brothers pitch has me sold. Then again I was going to buy it anyway…

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  5. Hahaha, you bugger – I’ve had a pitch hanging around half finished for ages that uses that same Band of Brothers pitch idea. Great mind, huh…

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    • Or fools seldom differ…

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      • A little of both, perhaps.

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  6. Hey Gav, will the Harbringer Chapter of the feral world Birmingham play some (major) significant role and/or some further insight of them or their shadowy planet in the Purging?

    Though to my regret I’ve haven’t gotten Angels of Darkness but your Path of the Warrior very excellent quality and uniquely pleasing to read in that old alien Eldar way.

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    • The story for Purging is based on the background in the campaign pack – so no Harbingers. To be fair, the original campaign run by Andy C, including Pete Haines and others, also had some Death Guard floating around I think… They were sidelined in the ‘official’ version of events.

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  7. Hi Gav

    Loved ya Books.
    Angels Of Darkness is a great book with alot of depth.
    I cant wait to read the prequel that brings out more about the DA and the characters. Cant wait.
    I pre ordered this a long time ago.

    Given your writing of the Dark Angels have you spoken much to Aaron Dembski-Bowden.
    He posted on the Bolter-Chain sword forums about his interest in writing about the Dark Angels and he is writing a short story about the Night Lords vs Dark Angels in the new Horus Heresy short story book.
    He had some interesting views of the Dark Angels.
    Given he likes both and writes about the Night Lords ill be interested to see how the DA do.
    They were left fighting on the fringes – scattered during the Heresy – holding off traitor attacks every where. The Lion trying to do his best to stop – delay Horus with his limited forces.
    Bowden said alot of people didnt know what the DA were doing and they were heavily involved in the fighting.
    Will you touch on any Heresy stuff that occurred prior your self?

    Out of curiosity do you play Dark Angels in 40k if you still play?
    Was there any hint from GW of an upgraded rule set – or new codex for the Dark Angels?

    Alot of players have gone off playing the Dark Angels in games due to the way GW has released a new general SM codex and the DA codex is rather stuffed up as a result with inconsistent equipment / rules approach.
    Players want a tidy up of all this giving a consistent approach to rules.

    Anyways Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    Gary
    New Zealand

    PS GO Naaman! Kick some Ork Butt!
    His Name is entered into the book of Honour.

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