+ inload: 15mm gaming in the Horus Heresy – and painting Emperor's Children +

+ New frontiers +

+ One 15mm Emperor's Children Legionary complete, and twenty-odd more well on their way. +

+ New projects have a habit of becoming over-ambitious and under-delivering, so I wanted to play things down and keep things as simple as possible. Here then, is an inload to give an easy reference point for the PCRC on gaming in the Horus Heresy at 15mm. It's a gathering of my thoughts as much as anything else, and if anyone else fancies testing this out along with us – please feel free. I'd love to hear your feedback and experiences to help make things better. +

+ Gaming in 15mm +

+ Bob Hunk and I are going to playtest using the Antares 2 rulset, available free at the Antares Nexus here. Our first considerations:
  • Walk before we run  Keeping things simple and minimal to begin – a new game system is tricky enough to adapt to.
  • Use existing stats where possible  A mag gun might not be the final set of rules we use for a boltgun, but it's a good place to start.
  • Add granularity sparingly  We get little enough time to game as it is, so keeping the game accessible and benefitting from the balancing of the Antares community is important.
+ With these things in mind, we'll be using the game largely unchanged to begin with. We've got a fairly slim selection of units at the moment, which is good to start with. These, along with my suggested proxies from the Algoryn, are:
  • Legionary Tactical Squads – Vector AI Squads
  • Rhino – Defiant Transport Skimmer 
  • Land Raider – Bastion Heavy Combat Skimmer

+ I suggested Algoryn because they've got the most 'basic' armour and weaponry of the Antares system; no variance between ranges and few special rules. That makes them a great proxy for the simple, brutal warfare of the 31st Millennium. Algoryn also have relatively better physical stats than many of the other factions – suitable for the Space Marines. +

+ Heresy in progress... +

+ Unit changes +

    + There are some modifications that we've discussed. That might clash with the simplicity note above, but they're really there to ensure WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). It's simpler, after all, to refer to the model in front of you than the ruleset.
    • We strip out all drones for the moment.
      • I think these add a lot to the game, so I'd be quite keen to see them reintroduce eventually as servo skulls, signum rules or something. For the moment, however, we'll keep it simple.
    • Changes to the Tactical Squads 
      • No option to change squad size. They're fixed to five. 
      • The Algoryn special guns aren't a good approximation of the Astartes loadout, so they are also all armed the same way by default, with a boltgun (mag gun).
      • For every two squads (i.e. ten marines), you can take either a missile launcher (using Mag cannon stats for krak missiles and X-launcher stats for frag) or an autocannon (using Mag Light Support) stats.
      • This is a bit different to how these weapons are used in Antares, where they're crewed support weapons, so we'll need to see how this works in practice. It may be that we need to bump up general survivability somehow, or draft our own weapons stats.
    • Changes to the Rhino
      • Use as-is, but with no options.
      • Be sporting when it comes to terrain – these are tracked, so don't get the various hover benefits etc.
    • Changes to the Land Raider
      • As for the Rhino notes on manoeuvring/terrain
      • Replace all weapons with two twin lascannons (Heavy Mag Cannon)
    + The aim of all these changes is to make things as simple and approachable as possible. At 15mm scale, some granularity is good, but if we can keep things really simple, then it's going to be much easier to play bigger battles. +


    + A nod to scale +

    + One thing we are still discussing is the table scale. I've suggested that we start on a Kill Team-sized board (22 x 30in) and use cm in place of inches. My argument for that is mostly practical. While I would love to play giant games on a 6 x 4in with loads of models and suitably monumental terrain, at the moment we've just got 30-odd figures.  Also, a small board makes it more easy to set up and put away in the limited time we have; and more able to be played alongside other games at our meet-ups. +

    + Secondly, Antares is quite a mobile game – you can typically move two or three times your move stat – and has much longer gun ranges than typical in 40k. As a result, I think things should work out alright at this size – or at least I'd like to see how this plays out in metric. If it doesn't work, or looks a bit crap, I'll happily change over to imperial. That's the joy of playtesting! +


    + Who's involved? +

    • Bob Hunk – Imperial Fists
    • Myself – Emperor's Children
    • Lucifer216 – Night Lords
    • TrojanNinja – Dark Angels
    • ...and hopefully other the PCRC members soon! :)

    + Painting 15mm Emperor's Children +

    + A quick rundown of how I've been preparing and painting my models: +

    + 1_ The models are glued to pennies as their bases, which are then covered with sand. +

    + 2_ Once dry, the models are sprayed with Halfords Camouflage Brown. A great matt finish. +

    + 3_ The models are sprayed at a 45-degree angle off vertical from both front and back, giving a zenithal highlight. I used Halfords Khaki as that was the lightest colour I had. I suspect it'd be more effective with white. (This was done on a whim as a bit of a test  for other schemes, to be honest – seemed to work well, but purple has such strong coverage that the effect is minimal with this scheme. Had it gone wrong here, no great shakes, as the purple would cover it.) +

    + 4_ The models are painted Screamer Pink (front), then washed with Druchii Violet. Once dry, the guns, soft armour and metallics receive a layer of Incubi Darkness. Note this is not pure black – to help with the sense of scale, tones need to be slightly muted to suggest aerial perspective (that is, dust in the atmosphere makes more distant things appear slightly bluer and less contrasting in value. Avoiding pure white or black, therefore, helps to create the illusion of distance).  +

    + 5_ I add a little circle of Incubi Darkness to the pauldron (to help the Legion symbol to pop) and studs on the other shoulder. Metallics are then added with Ironbreaker, then the guns and backpack get a wash of Agrax Earthshade. Once dry, highlights are added by adding a touch of Vallejo Off-white to the pink and Incubi darkness. The details, such as the Legion symbol on the pauldron are Liberator Gold. Eyes are a bright green (Warpstone Glow?) painted over Incubi Darkness. They are dotted with white to finish. +

    + Basing +

    + All very straightforward – a straight succession of drybrushes with the colours above. I added a hint of white to Zamesi Desert for the final pop, and then painted the rim of the base with Dryad Bark to tidy things up. +



    1. I'm so in love with this. I didn't expect Marines to look so good in 15mm, awesome work!

    2. These are looking great, and should be good playing pieces too with vibrant colors that allow them to stand out on the board.

      You know what would really make them pop though? A platoon of mortal Imperial Soldiers in grey uniforms...

    3. 15mm would be a better choice for 40K anyway. In Rogue Trader, the scale of models and terrain wasn't 1:1, so you could imagine that the base of the model represent the area controlled by the soldier, and the weapon ranges also reflected this, but in recent editions, it's harder for me to imagine the combat as being played on the table. Epic scale is my favourite, but then it's really hard to paint all those tiny models as individuals, and that's what I personally prefer.


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