Weak in the face of bolters – How I caved into 30k

banglesEarlier this year:
“Hey Dave, you should get in on this 30k thing, it’s awesome.”
“Um….nah…think I’m ok for more Marines. Just finished a bunch.”
“But look at all the cool stuff, plus it’s the Heresy!”
“Um…nah…think I’m good for more clang-offs. Imma do some more Dark Elves, coz I don’t have enough of those already.”

Just a few months ago:
“Sooooooo..this Heresy thing. I painted a Blood Angel. Dammit.”
“Part of the ship, part of the crew, part of the ship, part of the crew, part of the ship, part of the crew…”

Space Marine Clang Offs

So it’s true. I am working on some Heresy-era Blood Angels. Depsite spending much of the last year professing to have no interest at all in 30k gaming, I have cracked. I’m weak, I admit it.

Well, actually, no. My main reasons for not wanting to get into 30k still stand – the thought of endless games of Marines dry-humping each others power armour off in palindromic dice-rolls (3+ to hit, 4+ to wound, 3+ to save. Rinse and repeat.) still leaves me a bit cold. Likewise, the seeming bias towards always buying the bigger better kit that ForgeWorld has released in order to win games pisses me off.

Got a Land Raider? Cool, I’ve got one with more guns, a charge port for your mobile phone and it fires Primarchs from the access ramps.

Oh, you brought a Dreadnought? That’s cute. I’ve got this allied detachment of super-mega-Mechanicum dreads that are actually infantry and therefore almost unkillable. Freem.

That a captain? You know what, fuck you, I have Angron.

And the kits. Fuck me, the endless array of variant fucking tanks and Marine bodies released just because they differ in some tiny tiny way to the others. I was tired of it, tired of Astartes, tired of rolling 3s and 4s. So I held out. I sat by, painted some Dark Elves and some characters for =][=28 and watched the ret of the Warbasterds rolling out all the pre-Heresy stuff.

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Heresy Blood Angels

Then it happened. I found myself with some spare Mark IV chaps and some Palatine Blades. I remember thinking Martin looked all lonely as the sole Loyalist player. I remembered how sweet John Blanche’s Blood Angel artwork was. And I remembered that I had always wanted to do an art-style Blanche Astartes army, something different to the current rash of airbrushed, weathered, hyper-realist look that damn near every army and especially every Heresy marine army seems to need to have these days. Don’t get me wrong – if that floats your boat, good on you. But it’s not for me.

It took a while, but the Astartes of Seraph Company are starting to come alive. Briefly, that is, as in the background I’ve written up, they all die. Every damn one of them.

As is always the way, I couldn’t do an army without a story. And this being the darkest of times for the fledgling Imperium, it had to be a dark story. Something that played nicely with the Blood Angels was the sense of tragedy around them – the flawed nobility that runs through them. With that in mind, I decided I wanted to tell a story of forgotten fallen heroes – the Astartes who died unremembered on Terra, butchered by those they once called brother. Mr Cormacks World Eaters provided the inspiration for their foes – the enthusiastic embracing of the Nails and its artificial rage by the Twelfth played off nicely against the rigid control and fear of the natural Rage that lay within the Ninth. It’s a nice contrast, made all the sweeter by the visual play of putting the pristine noble white on the Butcher’s sons, while the crimson of fresh-spilt blood sits around the noble and doomed Angels.

So that’s where we stand, knee-deep in the ruins of Terra with our brothers falling unremembered all around us. The first Tactical squad has been finished – so please check out my project thread on Bolter & Chainsword for more background and atmosphere – and plans are laid for 1500pts of dead Angels. I figure I might as well do 30k in my own messed-up way.

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