Sunday, 30 October 2011

Perfect for Primarchs

This evening I stumbled across Scibor Monstrous Miniatures, a Polish company who seem to be making some very detailed sci-fi (and fantasy) models at the moment.

Historical Models

The ones that caught my eye most were their 'historical' sci-fi Knights. Each one is themed around a particular period of ancient military history, for example Spartan, Celtic, Egyptian, Roman Centurian and so on.

Getting a Sense of Scale

One thing I don't know (yet) is how big the models actually are! The range is 28mm, however we all know that that doesn't really stop miniatures designers from wildly exaggerating the dimensions (Space Marines would be over 8ft tall in 'real life' for instance).

Talking of Space Marines, I do think that these models could be perfect for a tabletop representation of a Primarch. The picture at the top of this article could easily be Sanguinius of the Blood Angels, and the picture shown to the right could be the Dark Angels' very own Lion El'Jonson.

Cowardly Cowardly Custodes

The other models that grabbed my attention were these 'Roman Legionary Veterans'. One of my regular gaming friends (Simo of Claws & Fists fame) recently mentioned that one of his favourite 'expanded universe' units in WH40k were Imperial Custodes, and these models struck me as being just right for them. I really like the poses, and the monk-style tabards and hoods sit right with the fluff too.

These are some of the nicer models I've come across recently.

What models have grabbed your attention recently?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Fandex: Adeptus Mechanicus - A Review

Lantz McDonald's meisterwork, Fandex: Adeptus Mechanicus, has just received a major overhaul and has been re-posted on his website here. It is of course this magnificent work that is my major inspiration for my own Codex: Squat Stronghold. If my book is even half as good, I'll have done a great job (and, probably spent more time than I really should have).

The latest version of the Codex features pictures, model photographs, a few new units and rules, but most importantly lots of background information, stories and fluff.  The previous version of the book was great, but was largely a collection of unit descriptions and army list entries. This latest release goes a step further, and the result is a fully rounded book worthy of the word Codex.


In general, the army has the feel of the Imperial Guard to me, in that most of the infantry - HQ choices included - have roughly human statistics (that is, low-to-medium stats across the board) and a decent save (4+ or 5+ on infantry). However, the Ad Mech have a big surprise up their sleeves - Cult Bionics. In addition to an armour save, the vast majority of infantry models also benefit from a second save of 5+ which, if passed, ignores the wound altogether. It is not dissimilar to Feel No Pain in this respect, and observes the same limitations (ie does not count against hits from power weapons, AP1 and AP2 shots et al).


The other major trick in the AD Mech's armoury, and my favourite invention of Lantz's, is something called Complexity Value. Every vehicle in the army has a value ranging from 1-4 (apart from the Warhound Titan, but that's a whole other kettle of fish!). Each point of complexity value allows the owning player to reduce a roll on the vehicle damage table by one, however once the complexity value points have been used up, they are gone for the remainder of the game! This makes the vehicles of the Ad Mech much hardier than a typical tank, and all but guarantees that they will survive until at least turn two.


So, Lantz has certainly spent a large amount of time developing unique units for his codex, and every slot in the army list is filled with well thought-out and fully rounded choices. Tune in again tomorrow for the start of my section-by-section review of the army!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Developing Codex: Squats - Army Characteristics

The next part of my development of the Squats codex is to think about the characteristics of the army - that is, how will the army play in a typical game. After some brainstorming, I've decided on the following:

Squat 'Race' Characteristics:
  • Resolute, tough, strong-minded
  • Unlikely to fall back or be affected by negative psychology
  • High tendancy to hold grudges ('Book of Grudges'??)
  • Naturally resiliant to opponent's pychic powers
  • Few psychic powers / psykers in army
  • Ancestor Lord will be only psyker
  • Squat psychic powers will be defensive and/or synergistic (ie upgrading troop charactistics or powers, similar to Eldar Doom & Guide powers)
  • Mechanically & technologically highly adept (with particular aptitude toward plasma and energy weapons)
  • Subterranean dwellers

Squat Technology:
  •  Widespread use of tunnelling machines (Termite transports etc) - all transports arrive from deepstrike in a similar way to Space Marine Drop Pods (ie half arrive on turn one, rest arrive from reserve)
  • Tunnellers cause hits (large blast template?) on opposing models when arriving
  • Opponent's vehicles stand chance of falling into subterranean tunnels, depending on number of tunnellers in Squat army
  • Use of air balloons & air-ships - slow moving but stable weapon platforms
  • Reconnaisance 'Spotter' air balloon allows units out of line-of-sight to use balloon's LoS for targetting blasts & barrages
  • Light infantry armour (5+)
  • Unit upgrade to provide 3+ / 4+ (?) cover save (vs. ballistic shots only) from 'energy bubble generator'
  •  Sappers (scouts) allow areas of terrain to be secretly nominated as difficult/dangerous and booby-trapped land
One thing I will not be doing is limiting the army's 'foot' speed. I think that would fly in the face of every other race currently in 40k. If 6th edition brings in variable movement speeds (eg Tyranids, Eldar moving possibly 8"?) then I would consider dropping the Squats down to 4", but until that time, everything (from Genestealers to Ratlings) stay at 6".

As I start developing rules and stats for individual units, I will use the above characteristics as a general guide, and flesh out some of those points in more detail to hopefully make a really unique army! 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Developing Codex: Squats - Unit Names Revealed

This week, I have been planning the unit types that will feature in my grand work, Codex: Squat Stronghold. Some of the units are traditionally associated with the Squats, and existed all the way back in the original first and second edition lists. Some units, especially the heavy vehicles, hark back to the days of the wonderful Epic Squats. Other units I've just made up cos I like the sound of the names, and the codex needs a good spread of unit types to give any potential army a proper balance.

So without further ado, here are the unit names that I will be fleshing out into proper army list entries:


THANE LORDS - advisors & specialists
UNIQUE CHAR. – GUILDMASTER XXXXXXXX - will make Guild Bikers into Troops choices
UNIQUE CHAR. – XXXXXX (TYRANT-SLAYER ) - possibly make Slayers into Troops choices


CLAN LORD - unit upgrade for Troops units
FORGEMASTER - unit upgrade for Troops, sim. to IG Priests?
SLAYERS - sim. to IG Penal Legion?
LONGBEARDS - 'veterans' Squat unit


BERSERKERS - assault unit
DRAGONS - special weapons unit
THUNDERERS - heavy weapons unit




IRON EAGLE GYROCOPTOR - sim. to Valkyrie / Vendetta but without transport capability
IRON CLAW ‘SCOUT’ GYROCOPTOR - single-seat flyer sim. to Ork Deffkopta
STERNHAMMERS - shock attack Squat unit
SAPPERS  - demolition scouts





Over time, I will be detailing each of these units. First I will be writing a brief synopsis for what the unit should do, it's motivations, and it's abilities and hindrances. Then I will draw up stat-lines, weapons profiles, wargear options and points values. Phew! It'll be a long and hard task, but one I'm really relishing. I can't wait to get stuck in!

Which units do you think ought to feature in Codex: Squat Stronghold?

What abilities, special rules or features do you think they should have? 

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Tomb Kings In Space!

Necrons! This weekend has seen the first leaked pictures of new Necron models. And I have to say, they do look fabulous! You'll find pictures here: NECRON PICS

I'm reminded of when Necrons first surfaced, as a free give-away on the cover of White Dwarf back in the mid-nineties. My thoughts then were that they were pretty poor! The model was a Terminator, pure and simple, and not even a particularly good one at that. That first impression has clouded my judgement of the army ever since. This perception has not been helped by the limited choice of models, the static poses and generally negative opinion of the army - even by Necron players!

However, the new models have changed least some of those long-held views. I'm really glad that GW have decided to inject some much-needed character into the models. Of course, you can see the Necrons' lineage immediately - the influence of the recently-released Tomb Kings is obvious for all to see. That said, it gives the army a visual theme which in the past has been sorely lacking, so I'm looking forward to seeing some good-looking armies on the table soon.

Of course, what the Necrons really need is some vehicles, and it finally looks as though they're getting some! Again, the models look stunning - to me, reminiscent of the Alien pilot from the first Alien film. Of course, nice models are only half the battle (never excuse the pun). The real validation of the Necrons as a valid army will be when we get to see new rules and the new Codex - so let's hope it's not too long a wait!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Plannng Codex: Squat Stronghold - The First Steps

This weekend (during a trip to the inlaws) I've had a chance to start planning my new project, Codex: Squat Stronghold. The stages are as follows:

- Squat racial characteristics
- Style of play
- Signature units
- Unique wargear
- Army tactics
- Unit stats, options and points values
- Background history & 'fluff'

I'll explore each of these areas in separate blog entries, starting with the racial characteristics and then style of play. Watch this space!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Welcome to Rogue Trader!

Welcome to my new blog, Rogue Trader. On this blog I will be sharing my thoughts and plans on the more creative and imaginitive ideas I have for my wargaming hobby. Whilst I will continue to post my ramblings regarding 'codex' Warhammer 40,000 on the fantastic 'Claws & Fists' blog, I will use this site to show off my modelling conversions, to review some of the great fan-written codexes (fan-dexes) and to plan and develop some fan-dexes of my own!

My first project will be to start work on an all-new Squats Codex. Some of you may already know that I did write a simple version last year, however it was very much the Imperial Guard codex with some renamed units and a few minor stat changes. This time around, I intend to create a brand new piece of work, complete with new units, unique wargear and of course a plethora of signiature Squat vehicles! I will also take the original background stories from the first and second editions of Warhammer 40,000 and revise it to suit the current 40k universe - including of course dealing with the bug infestation that supposedly rid the universe of Squats in the first place!