Sunday, March 13, 2011

Valhallan Infantry: Platoon Command + Commander Chenkov

The Company Commander is the general of the entire army, which can contain multiple platoons, each containing at least 2-5 ten-man squads and a number of other optional elements.  I will only be fielding one infantry platoon, but with all five infantry squads permitted, plus a heavy weapon squad and a unit of 20 conscripts, and the obligatory Platoon Command:

The composition of this squad is very similar to my Company Command, but I've swapped out the generic junior officer with Commander Chenkov, a special character from the Valhallan background.  I left the greatcoats ofthe troopers white instead of camouflaged, same as I did for the other command squad, but decided that looked a little too plain, so I gave them a black border evocative of the Chenkov's fur trim.  This looked fine, but also meant I had to go back and paint a similar border on the Company Command as well, this time in red:

Chenkov is mostly in this army because he is the only Valhallan-specific special character there is, but even if there weren't any specific rules for him, I still would have added him in just on the strength of his look.  The hat!  The jacket!  The enormous moustache!

To be quite honest, I find the skull on his bolt pistol a little overdone even by the ludicrous standards of the 40K universe, where the sardonic cries of "Needs more skulls!" have become a sort of shorthand for the motif.  Still, if a skully pistol is the price of getting that hat and moustache in there, I will pay it gladly.  And the jacket too, for that matter.

I had originally intended to use the Chenkov model as my army commander because, let's face it, he brings a lot more majesty to the party than the axe and cape I threw on the other fellow.  However, in reading the new rules for him I noted with interest his special rule, "Send in the Next Wave", which allows him to remove a decimated unit of conscripts on one turn, and bring them back at full strength on the the following turn!

The game background makes a pretty big deal about just how much affinity the Imperium has for tactics of attrition, seeing as their greatest strength is the teeming millions of men they command, but once you've picked your army list, you don't really get any sense of that...unless you can take the last five models from a unit of draftees off the table on turn two, and then bring on a fresh unit of twenty from the table edge on turn three!  I hadn't even planned to include conscripts in my force until that point, but once I read about the Next Wave, it was a foregone conclusion that I must have them, and now they will be the next unit I paint.

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