Thursday, September 19, 2013

Heresy Era Iron Hands - Choosing the army

In preparation for the Heresy 30k US events taking place this coming January, I needed to come up with an army list. In general most of my armies are created via the "Buy whatever catches my eye and then try and make a list out of it" method, but this time around I wanted to build the list first, then only buy what was needed. This would help keep costs down (relatively speaking) as I knew it was going to end up being a massive Forge World order.

Armies in 30k vary somewhat from the standard force organization chart, but the most basic "HQ and two troops" minimum requirement still applies. As shown in the previous post, the HQ choice was a no-brainer - a Praetor with the Forge Father upgrade, giving him all sorts of fun extra kit.

For troops choices, the stalwart tactical squad is a favorite. Unlike their modern-day bretheren however, they are capable of being taken in squads of up to 20, though they do lose access to any special or heavy weapons. To balance that out they do get the "Fury of the Legion" special rule which allows them to fire twice in one round, but losing the ability to fire the following round. Potentially up to 80 shots coming out of the unit is rather scary! Forge World does a 30-man bundle for the various armour marks, so I ordered up a set of the Mk.3 variety. That gives me enough for one 20-man squad and one 10-man squad, but that's not quite enough in my opinion, I wanted to do at least 40 tac marines (one 20-man and two 10-man squads).

Knowing that I am going to be kitting the tactical squads out with extra chainswords/close combat weapons I ordered several 5-man Mk.3 despoiler squads and some extra holstered pistols which will allow me to mix and match guys carrying chainswords, bolt pistols and slung bolters throughout the rest of the tactical squads, hopefully giving the units a bit more visual interest than just "a bunch of dudes with bolters". The guys who don't get chainswords will be getting the chainblade attachments on their bolters so it all stays WYSIWYG.

I needed transports capable of delivering the two ten-man tactical squads to whatever objectives they need to capture and weather the storm of fire getting them there, so a pair of land raider proteus tanks should fit the bill nicely. They are not assault vehicles like the more modern style phobos, but the Rule of Cool is definitely in play here; I absolutely love the nod to the original plastic Mk.1 land raider!

Next up was the Elites choices. In 30k you're allowed four elites choices which is nice, but I had an eye on a big ol' 9-strong unit of terminators in cataphractii plate which ate up a huge number of points. At the moment I haven't ordered them as I want to hold out to see the rumoured Gorgon Terminators/Morlocks. If the recent emperor's children terminator honour guard are any indication, they're going to be fantastic!

To carry the terminators (and the forge father who will be accompanying them), only one tank would do. The land raider spartan - another nod to the old school model shown in White Dwarf back when it was awesome. Weighing in at 340 points all kitted out, I was running out of points at an alarming rate, but had a nice solid core of four scoring units that were all hard as nails.

Rounding out the Elites choices was a cheap-as-chips Apothecary to accompany the 20-man footslogging tactical squad, providing them all with FnP. Hard to go wrong there! I had picked up the two-apothecary set a while back, and had given the Mk.4 dude to my buddy Dave for his Heresy-Era Salamanders force, leaving a Mk.3 model to use with the Iron Hands - worked out well!

On the Heavy Support front, I ended up with 5 'leftover' marine models from the mix of tactical and despoiler squads, so they got an autocannon upgrade set to allow me to field a small 5-man heavy support squad. I really dig how the autocannon set looks, and though I realize that 5 guys probably isn't enough, I'm hoping the sight of two land raiders and a spartan bearing down on them will cause my opponents to de-prioritize shooting at this squad!

In addition I definitely wanted to add one of the new Sicaran Battle Tanks, but not knowing points values means I've just pulled a number out of thin air, erring on the high side to give me some adjustment room when the rules finally drop. I love how this tank looks, and cannot wait to get my hands on one!

If I'm doing Iron Hands, i felt it was my duty to include some Mechanicum allies in the form of Calleb Decima and a small unit of Thallax. I think it'll be nice to add a splash of color to the otherwise predominantly black-and-white army. Doesn't hurt that they're already purchased and painted either! When the dust settled I had exactly 100 points left over, which made a defense line and quad gun a no-brainer. I was worried about what I'd do for anti-air, as I expect to see more than a few storm eagles during the heresy weekender!

The final step was to put together the painting chart, which helps me stay organized and figure out what exactly needs to get done. At the moment it's a sea of red, but over the next couple months it'll all be turning green! The first Forge World order has been placed and it's winging its way across the pond to me. I am really looking forward to it!


  1. Absolutely love the Cataphractii plate termies. I haven't really looked too much into 30k, but those guys I could see picking up.

  2. Wow. Like your style. Now all you have to do is finish it all before the deadline.

  3. Holy sh** that's a lot of FW. And I want it all!!!
    Can't wait to see all of this done, especially the termies: I LOVE all of the FW terminators (except tartaros) and am planning a 10 strong unit of the catapractii ones for my 40k army.

  4. Bloody hell, your motto must be "if your going to do something, do it properly"
    That is one mighty forgeworld order.
    Can't wait to see it take shape.

  5. @Evan S: Indeed - I am really looking forward to seeing what the Morlocks look like.

    @Zzzzzz: Hah - that's gonna be the real trick. Batch painting ahoy! :)

    @17yearoldhobbyist: It's been a long time in planning, which has allowed me to save up the somewhat frightening amount of money it's going to end up costing. Yikes! I hear ya on the Tartaros terminators, I'll take the Cataphractii any day!

    @Phil Morris: Hah! No sense messin' about, I figure. :) Definitely had to break it down into a couple orders, basic infantry are coming first so I can get a head start on painting all of 'em, then next month when the Massacre book drops it'll be another order of tanks and terminators. That one's gonna sting...

  6. Funnym I'll take the Tartaros termies over the others easily. Funny how preference works. :)

    Big project ahead of you sir, though if your recent painting output is anything to go by, this'll wee lot will be a breeze!

  7. Love the Mechanicum ally idea, fite the IH's well. Good luck on this!

  8. I hear the cataphractii ones have different rules in 30k, so I don't know how one will work over the other. They just look menacing enough to be terminators in 40k!

  9. The missus would kill me if I tried dropping a whole army purchase on her - even if it was done in tranches - much easier to smuggle a unit in every other month.

    Look forward to see you push through this one a-la the effort used for the Eldar.

  10. @Dai: Indeed! I don't dislike the Tartaros termies, just think the Cataphractii are closer to the aesthetic laid down in the Visions of Heresy books. When I was planning on doing Alpha Legion, I was going to go Tartaros as they seem a bit more sinister. Lots of painting to come, but I have a pretty good feeling about it!

    @Jugger: Thanks man! Love the ad-mech, always looking for a reason to get 'em on the table!

    @17yearoldhobbyist: Indeed. In 30k they get a 2+/4++ save, but are slow and purposeful. Nothing wrong with using 'em as 'vanilla' terminators in 40k though! They just look the business!

    @Frothing Muppet: Hah! I hear that. Just waiting for the first wave to show up on my doorstep, then it's gonna be batch painting aplenty!

  11. How excited are you that they announced Ferrus Manus today?

    Seriously, he looks amazing. You have to add him into your forces!

  12. @The Eye Of Error: Hah - Big time! I was initially thinking that I could get away with not having him (as he goes out like a chump at Isstvan V) but after seeing the model? Yeah, I gotta have him. It is by far my favorite Primarch they've done - really, REALLY looking forward to seeing what they do for Magnus the Red!

  13. I love the Spartan kit but not the price, and was thinking of converting one up from an existing model. Can't wait to see how yours turns out!

  14. @#2501: Aye, it's gonna sting quite a bit. I was originally considering doing a pair of 'em but after looking up the exchange rate I'm thinking that's not gonna be economically feasible. Yikes!