Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Custodian Guard Squad 3/4

The third member of the quartet of Custodian Guards is this fine looking fellow. 

Modelled with a combination of parts grabbed from differing canon poses, the right hand clutches the iconic spear whilst the left hand has reached for the power dagger (close combat weapon in 30k). The model itself communicates a feeling of rushing toward an objective whilst preparing for some resistance along the way. Possibly even readying to hurl the dagger end over end at an opponent and follow up with the spear. 

I think the toughest point of the process was gluing the headpiece on to the top of the helm. For some reason it just didn't want to cooperate with me. I guess that's just life! Great to have this third one churned out though. One left to go!

Monday, January 18, 2021

Custodian Guard Squad 2/4

Continuing with Custodes number 2 out of 4, this particular fellow is a stoic and immovable object ready to exact the Emperor's due from any and all. 

Once again the sheer level of detail on this miniature is hugely impressive to me. Rarely seen in yester-decades outside of Forge World resin, the miniature sports a huge level to iconography that really is befitting of the Custodes in general. 

No conversion work has been undertaken here. I found the spear to be a bit problematic to glue on to the wrists. For some reason it didn't want to settle in to position well (maybe a bit too much gravitational torque). I though a nub might be a better to help seal the position in place. Other than that, very straight forward to piece together. 

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Custodian Guard Squad 1/4

The first entry (after the Custodes Shield Captain) that I made for a Custodes Guard Squad was this fellow. From the box, I knew I was going to like the sheer dynamism of this pose: the swept back spear coupled with the aggressive, yet empty, left hand feels like a truly mid-battle strike waiting to happen. Indeed, the quality of miniature that Games Workshop is now able to pump out from the plastic molds is truly impressive -- not just the posture that is possible, but the entire level of detail present has gone up by an order of magnitude compared to even ten years ago. 

I based this one on some cork to give him a little bit of extra height on the battlefield -- not that any enemy would need to draw additional lines of sight to what are already over-sized space marines. The power knife, or close combat weapon for 30k purposes, has been attached to his right lower leg to provide something a little bit different to the regular locations around the waist and hip. 

Other than that, this was a nice, straight forward build with no real conversions for once. 

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Horus Heresy Review: Contekar Terminator Elite

We switch away from the Dark Angels in our Horus Heresy Reviews this year to focus on the remaining units contained within Crusade. We begin with the Contekar Terminator Elites from the Night Lords. As a side note, I was hoping to see the Atramentar in this book, but alas, the Contekar are what we are given.

The Contekar were the noble born sons of Nostramo. Corrupt, and showing utter contempt for the Imperial Citizenship, their main concern was with their own standing and status within the legion. Indeed, only the Night Haunter or the First Captain could freely command them, everyone else had to be worthy of their butchery. More than this, they were often sent to change the commander of lesser Night Lord detachments that were deemed unworthy. No wonder Sev sent them everywhere to maintain order.

These terminators are close combat and close range shooting one. They will do terrifically well in boarding actions (zone mortalis) as well as teleporting directly to where they are needed, as well as objective holding. Armed with heavy flamers or a variant Volkite weapon, they need to get close and personal fast. Their chainglaives will do well with AP3 and rending, but I really like the Escaton power claw option that the Dissident can carry in to battle. Access to trophies of judgement to cause fear is the icing on the cake.

With Sevatar in play, the unit can be taken as a personal body guard, but does not have to be deployed with him, which is very nice and spicy. 

They really do poorly in a ranged game. Therefore the play style of these terminators has to be to get where they need to be and engage rapidly. This could be done via teleportation, land raider phobos, or dreadclaw drop pod. All three provide nice options for the controlling player. 

Here are a couple of builds to consider.

5 Contekar, Dissident with Escaton power claw (245 points).  12/Jan/2021: Now costs 255 points.  
A baseline build to put inside transports. 
Add teleport transponders for a total cost of 255 points to generate a distraction unit or objective sitting unit. 

10 Contekar, Dissident with Escaton power claw, 5 volkite cavitors, all with teleport transponders (495 points). 12/Jan/2021: Now costs 470 points.
This is getting expensive in terms of points cost, but is a very nice unit to teleport in to play in enemy lines are wreck havoc. Beware of Salamanders and the like though who don't care about your fear and laugh at your flamers with their own ones. Add 5 more bodies to taste. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Story Cubes

Deviating a little bit from the normal content today, with something a bit different for your tabletops: Story Cubes!

Story Cubes are a very simple idea at heart. They are a load of d6 die, with each face having some kind of symbol on them. The symbols are themed, and in the image you can see two sets of story cube die, one from the astro set (blue coloured), and one from the core set (brown coloured). 

The idea is that players roll the die and make up a story using the images on the die as prompts for things that they have to include. Now, although these things are marketed at children, they make really nice adult games at parties too (assuming you're able to host such parties in current times). 

So with the example in the image, we can see there's a moon shape, a footprint, a chaos star (lol!), some World Eaters (also lol!), a fluffy monster, and so on, and so forth. There's no particular right or wrong way to play the game either. The makers encourage starting with "It all began when...", but my lot are already stating "One upon a time..." to begin their stories. With nine die per set, the combinations possible are high, but when combining sets together, things get really more imaginative. 

Overall, I'd rate this idea quite highly, particularly for children, and also more inventive adults. Available on Amazon (and I'm not affiliate in any way with the makers, nor received the product for free). 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Most Powerful Non-Named Character in 30k: Custodes Shield Captain

The Horus Heresy game is replete with a range of super-powerful beings and constructs. Not only are Primarchs available to play, but also heroes and anti-heroes of renown such as Sigismund and Abaddon, through to titans as well. 

However, there are plenty of powerful non-named characters available to construct. Legion Praetors come with a range of possible play styles and builds augmented with rites of war, and legion specific rules. Even the Mechanicum and Solar Auxilia have a range of unnamed characters that can be built to taste and made rather powerful in their own right.

Of all of these, there is one complete stand out to my mind. The Legio Custodes Shield Captain. When built with a Praesidium Shield and Solarite Gauntlet, this creation of the Emperor is beyond rude, he's almost game-balance wrecking. Add in a teleport transponder and the Tribune rule, and he is well and truly probably the best non-named character in the Horus Heresy game. Of course, more things could be added such as digital lasers, and so forth, but 6 lots of S=10 attacks with AP1 and master-crafted is truly awesome, even if it swings at I=1. Add on eternal warrior and fearless, and this unnamed close-combat killing machine really is up there with the heroes with names in the Horus Heresy (even if he utterly lacks in the ranged shooting department).

It would have been rude not to sculpt one (thanks Santa!). 

Most power fists in the game are left handed. I find this awkward, as most storm shields (and Custodes) shields are similarly left handed. One had to be converted. I didn't fancy repositioning individual fingers, so decided it would be the shield to be converted.

The power fist is a shaved down Dark Angels terminator power fist with the iconography removed, and the shoulder joined cut down to size to ensure that the pauldron fits over the top. The shield uses a fist from one of the sentinel war blades to attach to the arm, and some green stuff sculpting to build in around the upper and lower edges of the hand to create the handle for the shield once the original left hand was removed. Otherwise, this conversion is a simple one to execute and I'm pleased with the outcome here. It will await painting on another day. 

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