Monday, February 21, 2011

Valhallan Infantry - "Bom Squad" (Veterans)

At long last, my second squad is done!  About a week behind schedule, but whatcha gonna do when there's an out-of-town wedding, church meetings and a feis all in rapid succession?  Truth be told, I'm happy it's only a week.

A Warhammer 40,000 army list breaks a force into various categories: HQ, Fast Attack, Elites, Heavy Support and so on.  A legal army requires a minimum of two Troops choices, and my 81-man Infantry Platoon will be one of these.  The Bom Squad here, all ten of them, will be the other one.  The Ministorum Priest is an addition that doesn't even show up on the force org chart.

Veterans represent seasoned troops, and while their stat-line doesn't distinguish them greatly from their regular infantry comrades, they have access to much more diverse equipment.  Of the three specialist designations available, I have equipped this squad as a demolitions team, which entitles the entire team to carry Melta Bombs (very effective against vehicles and bunkers) and one member can carry a Demolition Charge (dangerous to pretty much everything else, including the thrower).

This has little to do with tactics and more to do with carrying the theme forward of the Chimera I built with a mine-plough on the front of it.  Even though this squad is more about deploying explosives than removing them, you have to hope there would be some shared skill-sets there, right?

This squad required a bit more conversion than I am normally wont to do, beginning with these re-purposed tank crewmen.  A previous edition's rules allowed these models to escape a wrecked tank, and if you got them off the board, you diminished the amount of points your opponent got for killing your vehicle, forcing him to expend shots at a unit with no real combat effectiveness.  Hardly sporting, so this rule got left behind in later iterations.  I decided that using them as regular Guardsmen would not only round out this squad nicely and give it some visual distinction, but since two of the crew only had laspistols and needed conversion, it also gave me an excuse to use some of the cool looking wire-stock lasgun carbines from the vehicle crew sprue.  I added a Melta Bomb (with the big D-handle, magnetic limpets and danger stripes) to the one crewman because you don't want someone saying, "Well, if I had known they carried Melta Bombs..."

Two simpler conversions were the vox-caster and heavy flamer upgrade.  Both conversions required little more than some aggressive filing on the backs of the models to accommodate the appropriate backpacks.  I hadn't planned to put a heavy weapon in the Bom Squad as they are generally move-or-fire weapons, and I want this lot moving forward to bust bunkers, flush out trenches and take out vehicles.  There is no model for a Valhallan Heavy Flamer, but when I came across the tanks in another vehicle sprue, it seemed like a worthy improvisation.

The last two members of the squad are carry-overs from the old Schaeffer's Last Chancers set, a 40K version of The Dirty Dozen penal squad.  Demolition Man required no conversion whatsoever, as he not only comes with the demo charge and ubiquitous fur hat, but his lasgun even has a Kalashnikov-style curved magazine.  The Sergeant is the old 'Hero' model, with his weenie laspistol replaced with a plasma pistol for a little more oomph, and I will be treating that fancy sword as a power weapon so he can do more against power armour than just chip some paint.

The Ministorum Priest is pretty much the old Confessor Kyrinov model, a Valhallan special character who longer has any specific rules.  He originally came with an enormous mace-shaped power weapon, but I grafted two chainswords (that's right sissies: a chainsaw sword) to create a two-handed version charmingly known as an 'Eviscerator'.  This makes him a little more dangerous in close-quarters, but also gives him improved armour penetration.  His 'Righteous Fury' rule also lets the entire squad re-roll missed hits in hand-to-hand combat on the turn they charge, but the real reason I included him was for the hat.  How Eastern Orthodox is that lid, am I right?  It seemed like a good fit, and I am thinking of calling him the Archimandrite, or maybe just Father Grigori.

I don't know why these pictures came out so...orangey, but I can't waste any time experimenting with settings while the next squad is waiting.  The important thing is that they are my favourite colour: done.

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