I have always admired painters with large armies. Aside from looking impressive, a large army is a testament to the creator’s commitment to their vision, planning skills in selecting a colour scheme that can be replicated across a vast range of models, and patience in carefully applying that scheme to dozens, often hundreds of models.
I do not have a large army.
Since my first experimentations with High Elves at the age of 11, I have been a butterfly, both in terms of faction and colour scheme. A look at my collection will reveal a great many one-offs and Kill Teams, most of which were intended to be joined by reinforcements at a later date. So when Gadget suggested a Crusade campaign, I knew I would need a force with a low model count, that I could paint to look good with relatively little effort.
One of those Kill Teams I mentioned was made early this year to oppose Gadget’s orks. He was once again trying to find the perfect yellow, this time on Meganobz, and I decided to find an equally armoured and imposing unit to reduce them to fungoid mush. My faction of choice was the Adeptus Custodes, supplying obscenely elite warriors to imperial armies since the close of 7th edition. The unit of choice was Aquilon terminators – I’m afraid I have never been a fan of the Allarus models, they are clunky in all the wrong ways, with neither the grace of the basic guard or wardens, nor the ponderous unstoppability of the Aquilons.
Gadget’s orks were never finished, the sad victims of another failed experiment (they looked fine to me, but my opinions were brushed off as the demented ravings of someone who could never truly UNDERSTAND yellow). But my terminators were complete – the Dread Host were the obvious choice for a terminator heavy force, and the classic gold with a twist from the black and white makes for an engaging colour scheme. I have always enjoyed painting custodes; a little careful drybrushing and washing can make them look really good without hours being sent down the drain. “Well,” I thought, “I can just add a few more units to this solid foundation and I’ll have an excellent starting force”.
Unfortunately Aquilon Terminators are such an expensive choice that it is impossible to make a battle-forged 25 power level Combat Patrol list with even a minumum sized squad, so they will have to join later. Until we get into larger battles, then, I will need a troops choice. With such a powerful close combat unit in the wings, Sagittarum Guard were the stand out troops choice, and a 4 man squad is underway.
To head up this force I had a range of options, for my mania for making leader models, each more grandiose than the last, has been with me from my earliest days. The current option of choice is a rather arrogant looking individual based on the Ixion Hale model, who will represent a particularly superior, politically minded member of the Ten Thousand.
Shield Captain Iorghos Tyrrhenicos has now reached the painting stage, and is having the initial drybrushes applied. Also in the painting queue is a Pallas Grav Attack, which was bought because at 5PL it is the cheapest unit in the Custodes roster, while still being (according to more experienced Custodes players) disgustingly effective. Eagle-eyed readers may notice that with a captain, 4 Sagittarum and a Pallas I still have 3 power points left. These will be spent either on an additional Sagittarum, or more likely on a 5 woman Sisters of Silence Prosecutor squad. After all, the orks have a witch-mind among their ranks, and it would be a tragedy to lose warriors of the Emperor’s Praetorians to such a base and bestial creature…