Well then, unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months... and I know I almost have been... then this lovely tome came out. I am referring to Imperial Armor 13, War Machines of the Lost and the Damned. I'm not going to review this, since a lot of folks have put stock into several of the units in the book already. Adam over at The Dice Abide has some thoughtful analysis of the book and I agree with most of it, plus... I don't really have time for actual reviews as much. He also has some tactical articles as well, he really has done an exhaustive overview so if you haven't gotten the book yet then I suggest you check out his thoughts on it. This post, like all of them really, focuses on how does this book "effect me/my army?". Which, truth be told, I think that thought process goes for a lot of the gamers out there when something new comes out. I can tell you this much, with the Renegades and Heretics(R&H) army list inside this book. I will never use Cultists from the Chaos Space Marine(CSM) Codex again. Why? Because it's too much fun, that's why. That alone has been the biggest addition to my army... Battle Brother Traitor Guard are back since they were taken away with the new Ally Matrix in 7th. They really are the rabble and refuse of the Imperium and super cheap points wise for everything you get. I mean, it almost feels dirty they have so many options.
So I did, of course, make one major purchase and it was the Cadian Defense Force for ~$160 at my FLGS The Guardtower here in Columbus. Now please keep in mind, I already have 2 squads of 30 Cultists with auto-guns, and another 20 with auto-pistols and close combat weapon(CCW). So I just added a whole lot of bodies, a few tanks, and a Heavy Weapons Team(HWT) and super bulked out my R&H options. (Incidentally I also found out with this purchase of The Guardtower's lifetime discount plan... this purchase put me over spending $1,000 at their lovely establishment and as such I now receive 10% off all my purchases store wide. Pretty cool AND terrifying at the same time.) So now that I have all these bodies to choose from, and with the bodies I already have, what kind of unwashed horde do I want to build? Why, a witch coven of course! When going through R&H one of the first things to jump out at me was the Primaris Rogue-Witch for an HQ. That unit can be upgraded to Psychic Mastery 2 and take Malefic, it also unlocks the Rogue Psyker Coven as an Elites Choice when they are normally an HQ choice. Such a great place to start, a witch coven and all those they hold sway over... I'm really excited for this long term project, I've also resigned myself that all my projects are long term. I just really need to put in more painting days than modeling days to balance it all out.
So... no self respecting cult wouldn't be gunned down without a charismatic/terrifying leader shoving them forward or promising to feed them to the demons if they don't go. So here is the WIP of my Rogue-Witch HQ. He's based off of the Warhammer Fantasy Chaos Sorcerer Lord. Awesome model, it has the Carin Wraith and Nurgle Chaos Lord potential of being versatile enough for a lot of different projects. However, it needed some sprucing up to feel right. It started with scraping out the gorget to be able to fit a different head in and replacing the arms. This head is from the Cadian Command sprue, and the arms are from the Empire Flagellant box. The clawed hand is from a Ghoul and really sets off the whole "Imma sumOnen DEE-MUNZZ!!1!" vibe. It also makes him appear a little warp touched but not completely mutated. Sprinkle on some assorted gubbins of Wrack(LOVELY kit!) vanes, and vials and some pouches and he's mostly finished. I'm still thinking about the positioning of the right arm, and haven't found the right weapon yet.
So when the plastic Wracks came out, I bought 2 boxes. It has so many little bits and bobs it is easily on of my favorite kits. To be honest this was the first unit I built and this unit helped set the tone for the Rogue-Witch above. I wanted the idea of these guys to be that they were barely in control of the Warp surging through them, or that something very nasty had been bound to them. That it had wasted their bodies away while giving them an unnatural vigor. So these guys started out as Wracks with the torsos carefully clipped and then Ghoul torsos put on. For the heads I used the left over masks from the Carin Wraith sprue. All that was needed was some green stuff to fill some gaps and round out the heads. Possibly add some eyes. Add some vials, vanes, and that little light from the Scion backpacks that I had clip off to make them look like the escaped lab animals I was envisioning. They came out horrific and perfect. The only thing I'm still trying to figure out for them is a way to mark them when they become possessed. Currently I'm thinking of some type of peg or token that goes into the base to mark them as having ascended their mortal coil.
Now, every leader needs some thugs to make sure everyone stays "in line", so enter the Enforcer Cadre. Think Commissar but having no qualms about executions at all, or dosing the masses with combat drugs to whip them into a frenzy before the charge. I've seen a lot of people use the Scion kit to great effect and I figured for my Enforcers it would be perfect. These conversions were really simple. Defile/remove the Imperial iconography, head swaps, and nick/gouge to taste. The heads come from Maximini, which have a number of conversion bits available. I'll be using these heads for the members of the Command Squad as well to help mark them out on the field.
So I also got an Ageis Line as well and have started to Chaosify it with any spare time that has popped up. This helps feed my auto-cannon fetish that Havoc Squads have started. I DO love me some auto-cannons.
I did have a chance to play a 750 point game a few weeks ago. For that amount of points you can bring 50 bodies, a plasmacutioner, an auto-cannon HWT, 5 rogue psychers, and a few Enforcers. That my friends is gross. I can see the appeal of massed bodies with massive firepower now. Something that bog standard CSMs could sort of do, but not as well. Rogue Psykers are pretty good, they have a Invul Save, but their powers are really something. Creeping Terror is great, sure it reduces Initiative to 1... which is nothing to sneeze at... but the great part is making effected units only able to Snap Shot. I shut down my buddies Sicaran for that game, yes he did bring a Sicaran to a 750 pt game, and that was great. Now the only real downside to the Rogue Psker powers is the range. They're all at the 12" range. So yeah, it's risky, but no risk... no reward.
Since starting this I have ordered some bits. This will help convert my Ogryns, there was a box on clearance form a different shop in town so that was an immediate purchase. Make another auto-cannon HWT since I already had the actual auto-cannons from a previous bits order. Shoulder pads from Chaos Marauders and Dreamforge Stormtroopers to mark units on the field since they can be so large. All in all, I just made a lot more work for myself... thanks Forgeworld for making an irresistible book with all sorts of goodies! No, that wasn't sarcastic. Much.