September 24, 2018

Kill Team Tiamat

Genestealer Cults have been a fascination of mine since the 90's. I had a small army in the grim darkness of the Rogue Trader days based around the theme that a chaos cult skulking in the sump stacks of an Imperial world had been infiltrated by genestealers. There was a whole campaign, ran solo, based on forces only slightly larger than what might find now in the new Kill Team.

My old force is lost to time, but contained genestealer hybrids, chaos beastmen, chaos hounds, and a handful of imperial army models I'd painted in corrupt colors, much along the lines of the one that appeared in White Dwarf a zillion years ago (well, I didn't look up the date, but it was old).

When Games Workshop released Genestealer Cults as a full army for Warhammer 40k, I bought a pile of plastic for it, but never actually got around to painting any of it. With the launch of Kill Team it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have a go without the need to paint up fifty models (and what better foe to pit against Kill Team Crucible?).

With only needing a handful of models, I wanted to take the time to include some conversions and try to capture elements from my old army. I sat down with the Kill Team rule book to work out an initial force, with an eye toward including an eclectic mix of models...

Only when I started rolling on the charts in the book did I fall in love with this force.

My leader ended up with 'Born Survivor - This warrior is well used to fleeing from trouble to fight again another day.' As I had intended on using a Magos model rather than one of the more fighty types, this was great. I meant for him to be more for morale buffs than combat prowess and having him skulk around in the back fits perfectly. Also with the announcement of Kill Team Commanders containing psyker rules, I can see Onderghast getting a promotion soon...

For the background I rolled 'The Prophet's Claw - This Kill Team is the hand-picked retinue of a Genestealer Magus.' This sounds like the genestealer equivalent of an Inquisitor warband! I had viewed Onderghast as an Interrogator, but with the aforementioned announcement I am really going to play this up, kitting out the Magos to total badassery (which makes my list above irrelevant but I included it anyway because it was important to my initial process)... STILL a bit cowardly though!

The final interesting bit was the squad quirk 'Twisted Physiologies - Aberrations in the xenos gene have caused these warriors to develop a variety of unsettling mutations.'

So my first thought was how can I add beastmen to the kill team? Twisted Physiologies has me covered and could have simply replaced a few of my Neophyte Hybrids and armed them appropriately. However, the revelation came after I dug some spare beastmen sprues out of the cupboard. These guys are way bigger than men. That caused me to look at the Aberrations...

Oh... yeah! There was some putty work required, but the scale was perfect. I can only fit one into my initial team, but as the parts were scattered across the desk I went ahead and built two. The chaos power the cult was dedicated to (before merging with the True Faith) was Slaanesh so the pale skin tones of the genestealer aberrants will look perfect on these models.

Speaking of Slaanesh, I decided I wanted to add more than hunchbacked men and grabbed a sprue of Necromunda Escher to see what I could accomplish...

I managed to put together three of these ladies - again there was some putty work the fill out the heads, but the final results turned out great (you'll have to take my word until get them painted).

The rest of were going to be standard Genestealer and Hybrid models, but I realized I hadn't included a chaos hound. With all of the fuss received by 'the bestest boy ever' from the Rouge Trader box, I KNEW I need a dog... err... hound... er... canid. The Hybrid Metamorph Leader seemed like the perfect candidate...

I don't know how 'official' venues would view this level of deviation for a 'counts as' but I don't play at places like that so... The one thing the model lacks is the autopistol and blasting charges. I played around with a weapon mount on the other shoulder, but I really liked the non-symmetrical look of the model as is. I'll run Snarl without them and I doubt anyone will complain if I drop free wargear.

So that's it. The guy with the bonesword is not in the current list, but will probably take over once the Magos makes his ascendance. I can see expanding this force to the full twenty models allowed in the campaign rules (and maybe even into a (very) small 40k army. I'm going to be stuck in a hotel room for the next ten days but I packed a travel paint set so I hope to finish them during that time. I'll post the finished pics when I get back...

September 23, 2018

Ahriman, Sorcerer of Tzeentch

For ten thousand years, the seeker of arcane truths known as Ahriman has roamed the galaxy in a quest to acquire every artefact, every tome and every scroll that harbours eldritch powers. Worlds burn in his shadow as he plucks these treasures from their owners by any means necessary. Resistance is the last error his enemies can make – Tzeentchian magic reshapes reality around them, a pass of the Black Staff twisting their bodies unnaturally until nothing remains but bubbling flesh. Ahriman, lord of a broken Legion; his determination is such that destiny itself bends to his whim.

Painted for my brother Dennis' collection. It was fun to paint something different. The base is photoshop wizardry because he is going to finish it to match the rest of his army. I just didn't want to post the pic with an unfinished black base!

It was probably a mistake because this guy is dead hard and he is absolutely going to kill me...

September 3, 2018

Kill Team Crucible

When the new Kill Team game out, I was psyched to find the elements of role playing that was built into the game. Adding specialists provides a level of narration that also give you concrete benefits during the game. However, there is another layer of charts that allow you to add details like the reason your team was formed and the personalities of your main characters. These are unique to each army choice and there are also name generators to get you started if you don't know what  a genestealer cultist might be called. Of course, you can do this in any game, but I feel like having Games Workshop add these elements in each army list encourages people to make use of the narrative element, especially newcomers to the hobby.

After building my Kill Team from the Deathwatch list, I rolled randomly on the charts to give them more life beyond their stats and forge a narrative.

Kill Team Doctrine
The Deathwatch are humanity's shield against xenos horrors. I decided to go with an all Primaris Kill Team because I really like the models and haven't done a lot with them yet. I chose the Team Doctrine 'Fortis Kill Team' because... well... these teams are comprised solely of the heroic Primaris battle brothers!

Of course, every game will have a different mission, but this defines the reason your team was assembled. I rolled on the chart and got 'The Cull' meaning they are especially interested in suffering not the alien to live, even for Space Marines.

Squad Quirk
This is something that sets your squad apart from the rest. I ended up with 'The Bigger Picture' which says my warriors know full well the wider price of failure and are willing to commit unconscionable deeds in the name of victory. THAT sounds ominous...

Intercessor Marcus Aggrenor, Ultramarines
Leader (Tactician: Marcus' mind is a rich repository of tried and tested combat maneuvers.)
Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

Of course the leader is an Ultrmarine! I used some Deathwatch bits on my leader to make him stand out a little.

Intercessor Navaer "Never" Qeld, Chapter Unknown
Sniper (Black Shield: Mysterious and insular, Naever's past is a dark secret.)
Stalker Bolt Rifle, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I wanted the sniper's Stalker Bolt Rifle to stand out from the others so I snagged a barrel from a Scout Sniper Rifle.

I rolled "Black Shield" for my Sniper, which is something peculiar to Deathwatch. For reasons known only to the Deathwatch Chapter Master this marine has chosen to keep his chapter of origin a secret. He may be on a clandestine mission for his Primarch, the last survivor of a destroyed chapter, or one of The Fallen. The Chapter Master has approved his assignment to the team and his brothers will not ask him further. His comrades call him "Never" as in "never misses" which is sure to doom his dice rolls.

Intercessor Jago Haden, Imperial Fists
Gunner (Contemptuous: Jago has nothing but scorn for xenos and all their works, and his disgust for them finds its purest expression in battle.)
Bolt Rifle, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, and Krak Grenades

I love that the Imperial Fist came up with 'Contemptuous' as his personality. I seem him disdaining to take advantage of cover in games (which probably means he gets killed, but oh well).

Reiver Erik Stormstrider, Space Wolves
Combat Specialist (Hunter: Once Erik sets his eyes on a particular quarry, he harries them to the exclusion of all else.)
Heavy Bolt Pistol, Combat Knife, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, and Grav Chute

Combat Specialist.. well, yeah, Space Wolf! Originally I was going to convert a model with an axe, but I really liked this pose. I added the wolf tail on the pistol grip and there is a wolf skull on the back of his belt. He will patrol forward through cover seeking to close with the enemy as quickly as possible on the tabletop.

Reiver Ari Mologhai, Black Templars
No specialty (New Comer: Ari replaced a beloved and trusted battle-brother who fell. He seeks to prove himself to his new squad.)
Bolt Carbine, Heavy Bolt Pistol, Frag Grenades, Krak Grenades, Shock Grenades, Grapnel, and Grav Chute

I went ahead and rolled a personality for the sole non-specialist on the team and got "New Comer". The others refer to him as "The Kid" despite his decades of service in Black Templars and I see him constantly trying to prove himself in battle and taking crazy risks in games.

I just realized I forgot to add the squad marking (4) on their knee pad.. oh, well.

I KNOW people are going to ask - the name plates are from Versatile Terrain and worth every pound. They have several different sizes and different style fonts. I will be getting more of these...

So that's it. I don't know how they will actually fare in games, but Primaris are dead hard with two wounds and 3+ saves. The special ammunition rule for Deathwatch will make them extra dangerous. This was a fun project and I see more Kill Teams in my future.