The Burning of Prospero

So here we are, a year on from the Betrayal at Calth and the landscapes of both 40k and the Horus Heresy are both constantly evolving and ever more entwined. Following the discovery of Daemonic Primarch Magnus the Red hiding in the recycling bins at GW HQ it’s time to return to the civil war that started it all. Even before Horus played his hand at Isstvan he was sowing discord and through his machinations, the hot-headedness of his brothers and what could easily be regarded as wilful idiocy on the part of the Emperor, it all came down to blood in the cities of Prospero. Without the traitors even needing to deploy two loyal Legions would come close to mutual destruction.

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Given the huge success of the Horus Heresy in general, and Betrayal at Calth in particular, there can’t be many who’re surprised to see GW returning to the cash cow for another bucket of milk. What’s striking however is that this time round they’re being a lot more adventurous – in keeping with the surge of creative energy we’ve been seeing over recent months. Alongside the space marines and terminators that GW packs into every boxset they release we have, for the first time ever, the Emperor’s loyal bodyguards – the Custodes – and the bane of witches everywhere, those psychic nulls the Sisters of Silence.

With Calth they played it safe as befits its status as the gateway drug to the setting. Cataphractii terminators and Contemptor dreadnaughts were already popular thanks to Forge World, there were two characters which could easily fit into any Legion or Chapter from either 40k or the Heresy, and a whole bunch of that ever popular money-spinning workhorse, the space marines. It would have been easy for them to repeat the trick with Prospero but instead they’ve opted for bigger risks – with arguably more to play for. This time the characters are far more Legion specific, and whilst we were encouraged to paint the Calth characters to fit our Legion of choice it would take more than a coat of paint to make Geigor Fell-Handed into an Ultramarine or Ahriman into an Iron Warrior. Likewise those who’ve thrown in their lot with Horus won’t find much use in the Custodes or the Sisters of Silence, representing as they do perhaps the only two facets of Imperial society that wasn’t split in two by the Heresy.

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Before we dig into the models themselves allow me – in my notorious hubris – to quote my comments from this time last year when Betrayal at Calth was freshly released:

“…for anyone thinking ‘what about Prospero?’ – well those two Legions (Space Wolves and Thousand Sons) would require very distinct miniatures and rules, rather unsuitable for a mass-appeal starter set. They’d also take away some of the thunder from Forge World exploration of that iconic campaign – although one wonders if GW might be planning some kind of follow-up or expansion set to coincide? At this stage one can only guess.”

Well I wasn’t entirely right, we’re still waiting for Forge World to tackle Prospero and when I imagined unique miniatures I was picturing something more akin to Ahriman and Geigor than the Custodes. Still, there’s no denying Prospero makes a natural choice for the follow up to Calth. Its early in the Heresy (in fact it’s arguable that this is where the first shots were fired) so there’s no danger of getting ahead of the popular Black Library series. Only two legions were present (unlike the zoo at Istvaan where pretty much everybody turned up) and it was an infantry fight (as opposed to the tank battle at Talarn or the space battle at Phall). Mind you – not that I’m attempting to repeat my Nostradamus-like prediction trick – the boarding action on Perturabo’s flagship the Iron Blood by the Imperial Fists at Phall could make for an interesting game in this vein, somewhat akin to a Heresy-era Space Hulk. Or maybe they’ll decide to do something completely out of the blue and base the next boxset around the Fall of Mars with loyalist Mechanicum guerrillas battling their scrapcode warped brethren for control of the red planet. We shall see…

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The Space Marines

Calth gave us space marines in Mk IV power armour, providing fans with a lot of extra variety when it comes to building their own Legion or Chapter. Now it’s the turn of the Mk III, also known as Iron Armour, to get in on the action. Now some people might be throwing up their hands and saying “Not another kit for making tactical marines?!” and fair enough there isn’t exactly a shortage of them. I can argue until I’m blue in the face about the qualities of Iron Armour, the joy of extra variety, the enriched background and appearance of GW’s posterboys, but frankly if you don’t love Space Marines with an unhealthy passion it may be hard to regard this as filling a gap in the market. Of course the standard issue Space Marine flaws are still in evidence – the weird, splay-legged half-squatting stance remains and they haven’t decided to true-scale them overnight either. Still if you love Iron Armour, and I do, then this is one to get excited about.

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I’ll admit I’m not quite at the stage of being an expert on Space Marine armour marks but there’s no denying the Mk III has a brutal, slab-faced and slightly archaic appeal that’ll work nicely for anyone wanting to model their marines ready for a Zone Mortalis or kitbash their own breachers. By my count this gives the discerning space marine general go-to boxsets for Mk III, MkIV, Mk VI (debatably the tactical marines kit) and MkVII and Mk VIII (if you count the Death Watch kit). With this in mind I’m going to take a wild stab and suggest that this time next year we might well be looking at a box full of Mk V, the wonderfully studded and weird-looking Heresy armour. Mind you I wouldn’t be averse to seeing a Unification Wars game with Mk I clad Thunder Warriors slugging it out against tech-barbarian tribesmen.

Tartaros  Terminators

Although not as immediately iconic as last year’s Cataphractii the Tartaros are still great looking models. As models they’re visually distinct from both the Cataphractii and the standard terminators in 40k and thus, if nothing else, they provide a little additional diversity to the terminator options available. After all, with Space Marines remaining the most popular army ever, a little more visual variety has merit of its own. By sharing design cues with both the Contemptor and the MkIV tactical marines the addition of the Tartaros also allows players to create an army with a strong visual theme running through it – perfect if you want your marines to stand out from the crowd.

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In comparison to the Cataphractii which were armed almost exclusively for ranged combat the kit contains enough close combat weapons – in the form of lightning claws – to kit out the whole squad, perfect if your legion of choice is one of those like the Space Wolves or World Eaters who enjoys getting up close and personal with the enemy.

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Sisters of Silence

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Now this is where things get really interesting. For most of us a new armour mark for the space marines is only so exciting, but the appearance – for the first time ever – of models for the Sisters of Silence (and the Custodes for that matter) is big news in anyone’s book. Although the models themselves have come in for a degree of – perhaps justified – criticism (why oh why inflict models with armour which could so easily prove fatal to the wearer?) after consideration I’m coming down on the side of those who love them. After all so much in 40k is impractical and as dangerous to the user as it is to their enemies that it hardly seems fair to make a fuss about this. I’m also inclined to put the blame on the studio paint scheme. Had the armour been painted as leather the question would probably never have arisen. Leather armour would also make more sense given how close to the skin its being worn – and whilst I’m sticking my neck out and criticising the ‘eavy metal painters her outstretched hand is clearly bare and not made of a solid lump of gold like some futuristic female version of Jamie Lanister. sister-of-silence

Leather would also suit a light, fast-moving warrior like the Sisters. Leave the bulky metal and ceramite to the Custodes and Astartes – these girls want to be quick and lithe and, as shown in this painting by David Hudnut, leather and cloth is the answer to that. sisters-of-silence-by-david-hudnutStrange, ornate and archaic  these are everything the elite troops of the Imperium should be, and the release of these models represents another voice tempting me away from Chaos and into the arms of the Imperium. Of course, if I did decide to tackle such an army the Sisters wouldn’t be the only models from this set to have a place in the ranks.

Custodian Guard

Step aside Grey Knights, here we have the real Imperial elite. When Abaddon’s Khorne worshipping frontrunners come bursting through the final gate and onto the steps of the Golden Throne to claim the Emperor’s skull these are the men who’ll be waiting for them.custodes

Of all the models in the Burning of Prospero box these are the ones I’ve stared at longest since GW started releasing their pictures. For a while I doubted them but time has soften me. There are flaws of course, the huge shoulder pads mean that from some angles they look a little squat, and the swords in particular are a little too big (although what kind of filthy heretic arms Custodes with swords when there are Guardian Spears to go around?). The way the shoulder pad of this model sits proud of the body also concerns me…

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… but on the other hand take a look at this shield!
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… or how about the way the powerpack is incorporated into the back of the model. custodian-3

Overall then it’s fair to say that these models have grown on me to become my favourite thing in the box – a tough choice given that I’m a huge fan of Iron Armour and Sisters of Silence alike.

GW have also released rules to allow players to field Custodes and Sisters of Silence in 40k, an interesting development as neither is an active military force in the modern Imperium. In a statement on their facebook page GW took note of this but stressed that both factions still exist, adding “… who knows, we might just see more of them in future”. Whether this is a cheeky nod to planned developments or simply an attempt to keep their options open only time will tell but with Daemonic Primarchs entering the fray the time may be approaching for the Imperium to call all of its agents to arms. Who knows, perhaps someday we may even see Sagittarus Custodian Dreadnaughts such as the one shown in this picture by Adrian Smith. Edit: And indeed Forge World have been fast off the mark – already revealing this Custodes transport.custodes-dreadnaught

On a final note it’s interesting that, although he’s not a character in the game, the shield-captain of the Custodes squad bears a striking resemblance to Constantin Valdor, the Captain General of the Custodes who took personal command of those amongst his troops who were sent to Prospero (painting by Adrian Smith again – please excuse the tiny picture of the model, I’ll replace it as soon as GW releases something better).

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Ahriman

Calth was both criticised and praised for its generic characters and, perhaps as a result, GW have taken the opposite approach here. Azhek Ahriman is one of the most important characters in the Heresy and continues to plague the Imperium ten thousand years later. Forge World have already produced models for a number of the Heresy’s most influential figures but Ahriman has the distinction of being the first to appear in plastic and what a model he is. azeck-2

For the designers the challenge must have been significant. Not only is this character well known and loved, but also one who’s appearance must reflect clearly the fact that he is a loyalist – whilst remaining clearly the same character as his 40k incarnation. azeck

At first one might question if they’ve even succeeded – after all would someone unfamiliar with the background know that this was the same man who stood on the surface of Prospero all those centuries ago? Still the clues are there, albeit subtle, in the two strips of cloth hanging over his chest, the gently curving horns behind his head and, most of all, the third-eye in the middle of his forehead. 99800102009_ahrimannew_01

Of all the models here this is the one I’m mostly likely to buy in the near future. I’ve already got my eye on using him to create a custom sorcerer lord for my Chaos collection and of course plenty of people will be converting him into a 40k version of himself (the current Ahriman model being both iconic and rather old and clunky). The adventurous might  even make a Librarian out of him (as if the Space Marines don’t have enough of those) something I’m sure Magnus the Red will find quietly amusing as he waits in the Warp for his moment to return.

Geigor Fell-Handed

If anyone was feeling the lack of another wolf lord for their space wolves then here we have the man for you. With his ornate power-armour, trophies and fetishes he’s a striking figure – enough to have any fan of the Rout excited. Indeed, in my opinion he’s up there with Krom Dragongaze as among the very best of the recent Space Wolves models. With a model just restrained enough to avoid looking silly (and no more) he’s ironically wolfy and will no doubt find a home in collections of Fenrisian warriors from both 40k and the Heresy. As mentioned above however he won’t be an easy one to convert so if you don’t want a Space Wolf in your collection you’d better find someone who does to flog him off to. Even if you do want a force of Wolves to take the fight to the Thousand Sons there’s nothing distinctly Wolf-like about the rest of this boxset so he’ll always look a bit out of place unless you dig out a few spare trophies, wolf-skulls and totems from the bits box to decorate his followers. geigor

In comparison to Ahriman Geigor is something of an every-wolf, with so little in the way of preceding background that many people assume his chances of surviving Prospero in any accompanying fiction are slightly lower than those of a red-shirted man living through a mission in Star Trek. A popular rumour doing the rounds online is that this was originally intended to be Bjorn (later to be the Fell Handed) who’s better known to 40k fans as the oldest Dreadnaught of them all. Of course this would be a wonderful piece of storytelling, revealing this iconic character prior to his incarceration in an ambulatory metal box. The only downside is that, at the time of the battle of Prospero, Bjorn was the Quite-Normal-Handed, a rank-and-file space marine with very little to mark him out as the hero he would become. Supposition has it that the developers realised this rather late in the game, hence the last minute renaming of the character as Geigor Fell-Handed instead. As yet this remains purely a hypothesis but one has to wonder in either case, why name him Fell-Handed at all? After all it’s a title so closely associated with such a famous character in the story of both 40k and the Heresy – a character who was even present for the battle featured – that reusing it was bound to cause confusion. Perhaps there’s a clever explanation waiting to be revealed but for now, his name at least remains something of an enigma.

Leman Russ

Honourable mention with this release goes to Russ himself, the Lord of Winter and War, unleashed alongside the Burning of Prospero in a clever bit of cross department co-ordination between GW and Forgeworld. With Black Library getting in on the act with The Great Wolf this is a great weekend to be a Space Wolves fan. leman-russ02To me however Russ leaves something to be desired. His lunging pose is slightly awkward, as though he’s about to fall forward, the back leg kicking up too high in a way that’s reminiscent of the running Khorne Berserkers (a kit that should have been replaced long ago, not replicated). Compare him to the other running Primarch – Angron – and you’ll see the benefit to being slightly more restrained with the placing of the legs. Likewise his sword – admittedly an iconic design – is a little too over-the-top, early 90’s for my taste. What’s the use in all those spikes and blades apart from to snag on everything he hits? Thus in contrast to the Primarchs already released which, with the exception of Corax, have been universally outstanding, Russ is a bit of a miss for me. Hopefully others disagree however as the Wolf King has been one of the most anticipated models in the Horus Heresy series and it would be a shame if fans of the Rout are as disappointed in him as I am.

Magnus the Red

Now if we’re going to talk about Russ then what better time to mention his rival Magnus? Recent revelations emerging from the recycling bins at Games Workshop HQ (alongside the good news that they’re so environmentally conscious) reveals that the Primarch of the Thousand Sons is soon to be released – not for the Horus Heresy when he walked the galaxy as a man of flesh and blood, but for his return in daemonic form in the twilight days of the Imperium.

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Magnus the Red by John Blanche (of course)

It’s certainly a dramatic development and many are insisting that this means the return of many other primarchs is now imminent. Certainly the background has it that the daemonic Primarchs have been preparing for a return to the mortal universe for some time, and some – such as Angron and Magnus – having involved themselves violently in mortal affairs since the Heresy. For me the thought of being able to include them in my armies as we surge out of the Great Eye at last and bring ruin to the Corpse-God’s Imperium is hugely exciting. However, perhaps hypocritically, I’m not all that keen on seeing the loyalist Primarchs appearing in 40k. Of course it’s exciting to imagine that they might be out there somewhere but, much like bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster, that doesn’t mean I actually want them in my house. The loyalist Primarchs represent hope. Perhaps the day may come when the Lion awakes or Guilliman heals and, in the Imperium’s darkest hour, they ride out in Arthurian fashion. Until then men must suffice.

Perhaps this represents the views of a luddite clinging to the past, refusing to allow the setting to evolve beyond the moment in which I discovered it, forcing it – with unintentional irony – to stagnate into a worship of its past self. Perhaps it is simply that I am being left behind by the evolution GW envisions for its most popular creation. After all Warhammer has already made the transition from a world in which the aesthetic of the pathetic ruled, where a man with no shoes and fewer teeth took up a rusty sword to battle daemon princes and orc hordes, into a glittering universe of superhuman heroics, where gods do battle and the great unwashed are strangely absent.

The return of the loyalist Primarchs would send 40k in the same direction. The fate of the Imperium would hang less on the actions of a band of guardsmen defending a trench against the horrors of a hostile galaxy and more about two demi-gods duelling over their father’s throne.  Abaddon has launched thirteen crusades to wrest the galaxy from gene-gods and back into the hands of men and I’ve been with him every step of the way. Leave the Primarchs where they belong; in a lost mythic age. Let the Lion keep napping, leave Guilliman in state like a power-armoured Lenin – the only loyal Primarch that belongs in the modern 40k universe is Sanguinius’s golden-armoured ghost.

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So what do you think? Is this a worthy successor to Calth or will you be making your own Custodes out of Stormcasts instead? Do you think the model of Leman Russ is magnificent or are you too excited to concentrate by the thought of seeing Guilliman in 40k?  As usual the comments box is open for your thoughts so have at it.

Edit: If you just can’t get enough of reading about this new boxset I highly recommend KrautScientist’s in-depth look at the models (and of course their conversion potential).

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26 responses to “The Burning of Prospero

  • Alex

    Great write up again mate – it sure looks like a cracking release! I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t really get too excited about Marines as a rule, but there is something cool about the Mk. III isn’t there? Those terminators are a bit special as well, but I’m most excited about the Sisters and the Custodes… very cool indeed.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, in spite of what you might think from posts like this, I struggle to get that worked up about marines (unless they’ve been made aware that all sophisticated gentlemen have spikes and screaming faces on their armour). There’s something about the Mk III though – I think that it appears so industrial and low-tech, which ties it in with the aesthetic of the wider Imperium. Other armour marks, especially the likes of VI and VII are a bit too clean and high-tech for my tastes.

  • Warburton

    I haven’t exactly kept up with modern space marines as such but what is the Mark VI box?
    I am tempted by this box set though. And I will 100% buy a Mark V Heresy Armour box.
    For a long time I refused to read the HH books as I thought the Primarchs were better off remaining as semi-mythical figures of the past. But my regular gaming buddy forced me to read them and I am enjoying them so far.
    Great write up.

    • Wudugast

      To me it’s two different settings; the Heresy where Primarchs are characters we engage with and 40k where they are mythic figures. I like how some of the things they stood for have become warped and misunderstood over time, it adds depth to the setting. Ultimately if one wants Primarchs one has the Heresy – if one doesn’t then 40k is there. The popularity of one element in one setting should not mean automatically adding it to the other. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

      Your question re the Mk VI box actually made me go back and reappraise GW’s line that the Tactical Marines boxset makes MkVI marines. It does, there’s enough bits in there, but one would need to buy a lot of boxes of it if one wanted to make a MkVI themed army. As someone who doesn’t keep up that closely with Space Marine armour marks myself I’d rather accepted the official line but I think it’s rather wishful (or salesmanlike) thinking on their part. I’ve updated the post to the reflect this.

      • Warburton

        Good point, though in practice if I ever paint a heresy army or will just get used in normal 40k games (2nd ed of course!)…
        I thought it referred to the Tac Squad but just thought I’d check in case I’d missed something!

  • psousbois

    Great insights and commentary, keep up the good work! I’m a big fan of the MkIII and fancy equipping a squad as a 40k devastator unit for my DAs, although I’ve realised that it’ll prove problematic giving them 4x shoulder mounted lascannons as the FW 5-in-one-set legion heavy weapons don’t come with corresponding arms. Custodes and SoS models are nice (I like your thinking with the leather SoS armour), but am reluctant to get too excited as they are probably two of the forces 40k DA would be least likely to deploy alongside…

    • Wudugast

      Ah, the faff of getting arms to hold heavy weapons they weren’t designed for – I know (and hate!) it all too well. Good luck with it though, I think it could look amazing (and seems like one of the best ways to include Iron Armour in the ranks of 40k Dark Angels). As for the Sisters and Custodes I’m struggling to think of reasons why the latter would be fighting anywhere based on the current background (as far as I’m aware they hardly even leave the Imperial Palace to pop down the shops let alone traverse the galaxy in search of battle) but the Sisters might make natural allies for the Angels. Given some of the shenanigans that Cypher has pulled to escape their clutches I’d be highly suspicious of any warp-based goings-on in the vicinity of the Fallen and would definitely be keen to bring some psychic nulls along for assistance. If they’re from a secretive order, little known or trusted by the rest of the Imperium and unlikely to be heard (literally or figuratively) if they try to report on what they saw – so much the better!

  • Thomas

    Gret write-up buddy (as I have come to expect!). I’m so excited about MkIII armour, can’t wait to get my hands on them. Ahriman is also very cool. I might have to get hold of a second one just to convert. The Space Wolf look like a Space Wolf. I don’t know, that estatic just isn’t my cup of tea.

    I think the custodes will be fun to work on. The level of detail and the sheer size of them is … wow. But the captain just reminds me of the Barbarian from Silver Tower a bit too much (https://www.games-workshop.com/resources/catalog/product/600×620/60010799002_WHQSilverTowerENG18.jpg). It is essentially the same model. I Think they could have done more.

    And the sisters – well leather would remove the lethal aspect of their boob armour, unfortunatly it’ll also remove the armour aspect of it. Naw, I’ll try and file it down. Flat chested sisters ftw!

    • Wudugast

      Thanks very much! I know what you mean about the aesthetic of the Wolves, it always seems a little bit forced to me. I think they could be amazing, and when converted sympathetically to emphasis their barbarian/tribal/shamanic qualities over the space Vikings look they can be excellent, but straight out of the box they’re so-so for me. Mind you Giegor really nails it, if they were all a bit more like him I’d be on board without a doubt.

      I agree that the shield-captain is easily the worst of the Custodes but I’m hoping that with them being fairly customisable that can be easily fixed. I hadn’t spotted the similarity to the barbarian from Silver Tower but it makes me wonder if the two could be combined in a diorama. Clear away the chaos components from the barbarian and he starts to look like a Custodes in his underwear ready for his arming servitors and serfs to dress him in his armour. Size might be an issue as the Custodes are pretty big but then a lot of the new AoS models are rather large as well so it might work out quite nicely.

  • Get out of my head, dammit! A closer look at The Burning of Prospero | eternalhunt

    […] we begin, however, allow me to point you towards Wudugast’s article regarding The Burning of Prospero as a possible companion piece to this post. I’ve only skimmed his post so far, mostly for […]

  • Lasgunpacker

    Great review, thank you for doing it.

    Agree completely with your last point about the loyalist primarchs, they need to remain myth, and not return to 40k. The daemon primarchs seem more suitable, as they are daemons and could be anywhere, but honestly I never liked the idea of special characters, and certainly do not like the idea that you have to have one to build a certain type of army.

    • Wudugast

      Thanks!
      Personally I don’t mind special characters (although I tend to focus on characters of my own instead). However they need to make the universe bigger, not smaller. When everything becomes about the actions of a few unique individuals the setting shrinks and ideas are stifled because they don’t belong in the window of what is known. I remember reading an article in White Dwarf where Jervis Johnson said one of the key things for him when writing rules and army lists was that they allowed the players to do more, not less. On the surface one could say that adding the Primarchs adds depth to the setting, it gives people more options simply by virtue of giving them more units to include. However for me it would definitely make it feel more restricted. The implication would be, I feel, that those campaigns which involved the Primarchs are the important ones, and those that don’t are fringe issues. But maybe I am just being a luddite. Certainly if this change comes I’ll try to enjoy it – there’s nothing to be gained by doing otherwise 🙂

  • Rory Priest

    Nice write up there. Both you and KrautS have some great points.

    I agree with Russ being a little off, I have wanted that figure since I first got in GW as the Wolves were my first army. I think I would actually try tweak the pose… a lot.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I think if he was a bit more static he would work better. Probably the best bet would be to swap out his legs for one of the other Primarchs, perhaps Mortarion or Curze, then tweak the upper body to match. Potentially I think that could make for an amazing model but I’d be doing my research first – it’s a lot of money to spend on a model only to find out the size isn’t quite right. Good luck if you do try it 🙂

  • Mikhael the votary

    Thanks, I really enjoyed reading your in-depth thoughts on the new set.

    My own plan is to use my Calth Word Bearers in place of Thousand Sons and Calth Ultramarines in place of Space Wolves, it seems mad to me to try and paint up yet more Space Marines and end up with 4 Heresy era factions, in addition to my W40K Deathwatch (which I should point out I had been collecting long before Deathwatch Overkill).

    The question then is what to do about the two special characters – build and paint ‘as intended’ or adapt to something else? I’m not sure whether Ahriman should be Thousand Sons or Word Bearers. For Geigor I have the crazy idea to tone him down a bit (new head and cut down backpack), put a Deathwatch shoulder-pad on him and make him a (W40K) Deathwatch hero.

    I would therefore play BoP as Ultramarines & allies vs Word Bearers, hoping that it won’t be too much of a disconnect with the original background setting. I still enjoyed the BaC game when I switched the setting to W40K and played Deathwatch vs Word Bearers! (Deathwatch Sternguard KT + Terminator KT, vs Heresy-era Word Bearers, Helbrute and Sorceror, the latter both from Dark Vengeance).

    • Wudugast

      Sounds like a good move. There’s no reason why the generic models from BoP (the marines and terminators) couldn’t be painted as belonging to any chapter or legion and the setting is so large that I’m quite sure the Ultramarines must have fought alongside the Custodes and the Sisters against the Word Bearers at some point. As for the game itself, I’ve not seen it myself yet, but I’d imagine that if you can get over the Thousand Son’s feel of the board itself (scarabs etc everywhere) then it could be played as a clash between the Ultramarines and the Thousand Sons. After all Lorgar was manipulating chaos in quite a grand way by that stage of the Heresy with cataclysmic effects easily on par with Magnus. Depending on the scenarios in the box it might even be possible to play BoP as a precursor to Calth without too much tweaking. BoP could cover the time when the Ultramarines were still fighting on the surface and the Ruinstorm was beginning, then BaC would cover the second half of the battle in the Arcologies.

      As for Geigor I like your idea about adding him to your Deathwatch. I think part of the joy of the Deathwatch is the way they allow you to add any Space Marines that take your fancy to your collection – without it mattering that they’re not part of your main chapter. Out of curiosity, as a long time Deathwatch fan what do you think of the new codex?

      Ahriman would take a bit more work to covert but could be turned into a captain, librarian or even dark apostle for your Word Bearers – depending on how much work you feel like putting in and how much you’re willing to change the base model.

      • Mikhael the votary

        I imagine the Ahriman model becoming a Word Bearers ‘diabolist’?

        Regarding the Deathwatch codex… until this was released, my main source for the Deathwatch was FFG’s Deathwatch RPG, which is a lovely book with lots of inspiration and fabulous artwork, and of course there are a number of supplements too.

        Now that the codex is released, nothing has changed! The FFG book is still the best source for Deathwatch. I like the new digital artwork in the codex, and of course the new model range is superb, but it doesn’t add a lot really. I’m not someone that plays ‘codex’ W40K any more, I don’t care for points and army lists; my inspiration these days come from the INQ28 movement, so ‘look and feel’ means everything. And the new codexes are all shiny and lovely but a bit lacking creatively.

        At least I’m pleased to say that the official GW vision for Deathwatch is not very different to my own (based as I say mainly on the RPG). There are small differences, like the Apothecary and Techmarine being missing (I have both), but I understand GW are driven by commercial reasons, wanting to make the army distinct from other SM armies, drive sales, etc. and I’m ok with that, I’m not complaining because we’ve had a fantastic year or two of releases, my only problem is my house filling up with boxed games and plastic sprues!

      • Wudugast

        We’re very much of the same mind there – look and feel is key for me. Points costs and rules change constantly but a good miniature will always be a good miniature. It’s all about capturing part of the 40k universe and creating a collection of models that I’m proud of. And as you say the last couple of years have been fantastic in terms of the quality of the releases – I’m already drowning in sprues and half-finished projects and, especially as a Chaos fan first and foremost, I sense there will be plenty more on their way!

  • Azazel

    Nice write-up. I’ve just read it through again – though I wouldn’t worry too much about the sisters’ hands being gold. Even here in the 3rd Millennium we have metallic paint and metallic cloth material. Gold lame’ gloves fit perfectly well into the ostentatious world of the Imperium, after all!

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, that’s true – I can quite imagine the priests and generals of the Imperium lording it over their subjects in their golden robes. In some ways it’s all about creating an illusion, I’m actually looking at a tiny lump of painted plastic but the artist’s job is tricking me into thinking that it’s a neo-medieval space warrior. From that point of view the trick might be said to have failed – to my eye it still looks more like her hands are made of metal than that’s she’s wearing golden gloves. However that would be rather petty of me – after all the success of the illusion is the coming together of the artist and the viewer to share in the act of imagining, to say “we know this is not real but let’s pretend together that it is”. For me not to try to meet them halfway and say “probably she has golden gloves”, would be as unfair as for the artist to say “I’ve sprayed it black – you’ll have to imagine the rest”.

      Anyway, cheers for the feedback – especially gratifying that you thought it was worth a second read!

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