+ Painting the Partisans: Marines Saturnine +

+ Painting the Partisans: Marines Saturnine +

+ Warzone Pao Fung is active – read more about the challenge event in this inload [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. The challenge revolves around the Marines Saturnine, and today's inload looks at how to model and paint them. +

+ Silver Star (left) by me, and Marines Saturnine by Tom K +

+ Tinctures, glyphs and details +

+ Tom's tutorial at the bottom of this post handily explains how to do the underlying armour colour for the Marines Saturnine, so I'll focus on highlighting a few details that you might like to reflect in your take on this prognostic Chapter with its idiosyncratic command structure. +

+ As Partisans, the Marines Saturnine frequently bear the image of the Caputmori – the skull-headed eagle that served as the False Primarch's icon. +

+ A diagnostic detail of the Chapter is their use of hex-like scale lamellar armour. This can be cast or converted from a number of Necron models, and will go a long way to identifying the figure as belonging to the Chapter. +

+ With generally good relations with the other Partisans, the Marines Saturnine occasionally use non-standard wargear, such as this bascinet helm, perhaps inherited from the Wormwood Sons. This might provide you with some inspiration!.+

+ While the Marines Saturnine don't use a Codex-standard organisation, they still have access to all the awesome equipment of any other Chapter, so feel free to go mad with Terminators, assault marines, tanks and support of all sorts. +

+ On the heraldry in general, Index Astartes: Marines Saturnine has the following detail:
'At first sight, the alabaster of the Chapter's heraldry bears all the hallmarks of unpainted ceramite. Likewise, trim is rendered to resemble bare adamantium – or, depending on the hue, may indeed be untreated. The livery of the Marines Saturnine thus pointedly reflects their nihilistic outlook; signifying their belief that their time serving the Imperium is fleeting. To the Marines Saturnine, to decorate oneself with gaudy colours is unnecessary and ostentatious.

'The Marines Saturnine deviate extensively from Codex markings, instead using sexagesimal glyphs to denote the Sataba (their equivalent to Company) to which the Marine belongs; and entirely disregard squad insignia.'

''The Chapter symbol is an hourglass, presented upright and completely filled with sand. '

+ The hourglass symbol can be rendered in a more or less complex way. It can be almost iconic:

+ Or you can choose to render/model it more elaborately, as shown:

'For the Aegis, the Oracle and the Lamassu!'


+ How to paint the Marines Saturnine +

+ghostys_neon_rust was kind enough to work up a step-by-step, so over to him:

[+exloadspool begin+]

+auth: Tom K – @ghostys_neon_rust

1. Undercoat the model with Wraithbone. Randomly sponge on Bubonic Brown (or a similar ochre colour) across the miniature.

2. Sponge on White Scar randomly across the miniature. Feel free to sponge on top of the bubonic brown; it adds depth to the mottling paint scheme.

3. Dilute Gryph Charger Grey (contrast paint) 50/50 with Contrast Medium, then cover all the power armour in it. Wick away any areas where it begins to pool.

4. Add additional wear and tear. Using where the sponged bubonic brown is a guide, add patches of black Templar, snakebite leather, or bestial brown (mid brown) across the armour. You can also use this technique to cover any tide marks that appeared during the contrast stage. Admittedly I went a little overboard on this example; less is more here.

5. Edge highlight. I mixed a combination of contrast medium diluted gryph charger grey and white scar to create an off white. Edge highlight all the armour plates, and around the edges of the wear and tear (this helps it look 3D and not painted on). You can also use this highlight paint to add scratches and other discolouration to the armour. And you’re done!

I hope this helps all of you who’re interested in either making some Marines Saturnine, or perhaps wanting to decorate Pentarchy bases with their bodies. 

[+exloadspool CEASE+]

+ Weapons, lenses etc. are typically red, as you can see in the finished tutorial pict-capture: 


+ Good luck with your own builds and painting – and do feel free to share WIPs on Instagram or Facebook. I've done my best to make navigating things a bit easier by setting up a Linktree [+noosphericexloadlink emebdded+]. Please do spread the word by using the #riseofthelamassu and #warzonepaofung tags. +

+ inload: Challenge event – Warzone Pao Fung: Rise of the Lamassu +

+ Rise of the Lamassu +

Models by Tom K @ghosty_neon_rust – this is your chance to win a new Saturnine Terminator converted by Tom!


+ Event – #warzonepaofung +

+ A new challenge event for + Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten +, a group project themed around the War of the False Primarch. If it's not on your radar yet, go check it out – it's full of wonderfully imaginative and grimly gothic models from hobbyists of all stripes, and it's chock-full of lore that'll be sure to inspire. +

+ I've been running periodic challenges (such as #Killthefalseprimarch), for the project. I'm pleased to say these have involved all sorts of wonderful hobbyists – and since the project has always been open to everyone, I'd love you to join in, too. +

+ This time, Tom K (@ghostys_neon_rust) has volunteered to take the reins – 

Tom: After how much fun Warzone Coldforge was to see, I’ve decided I want to have a stab at running my own competition for the War of the False Primarch. 

This event will run from today, February 22nd, through to the 1st of April. The aim for this event is very simple: I want to see some of the Partisan Chapter the Marines Saturnine in the wild! 

+ The Marines Saturnine need you! +

+ Guidelines +

+ Over to Tom again: 

  • What to do: Your task is to build and paint up a member of the Marines Saturnine chapter of Astartes as they were in the Warzone Pao Fung. 
    • This is very flexible. If you want to try your hand at building one of the Oracular Order of the Marines Saturnine, for example, feel free.
    • Pentarchy-minded entrants can submit recently deceased Marines Saturnine as part of a scenic base for a Pentarchy model made for this event. 
    • Everything from single models, to squads or tanks may be entered into this competition. 
  • Submitting entries: Please post your entries to:
    • Instagram under the hashtag #warzonepaofung and #riseofthelamassu 
    • Tag Tom on Instagram (@ghostys_neon_rust) or in the Facebook group (@Tom Knight)
  • What then? After the cut off date (1st of April) Tom and Edd (@death_of-a_rubricist) will collate the entries and pick our favourite.
  • What’s the Prize? As an incentive for participating in this competition, I will be giving out a prize for the winning entry. The winner will receive a custom-made Saturnine Terminator, built by me, for you! So if you’ve been coveting your very own Saturnine relic suit of armour like that shown off below, now’s the time to act!

+ Glittering prizes – one of Tom's awesome Saturnine Terminator conversions can be yours! +

+ I hope that's all clear, but if you've any questions, feel free to send them to me or Tom. On a personal note, I really hope this charismatic and intriguing Chapter sees some more love – the lore, scheme and modelling is full of potential. +

+ Further reading and inspiration for your models can be found by searching for the Marine Saturnine in the vaults of +Some Things Are Best Left Forgotten+ +

+ Good luck! +

+ inload: Full Stride – Legio Interfector +

+ Amber Kings and Murder Lords +

+ You go decades without building a Warhound then four come along at once. I've been enlisted to construct and paint a Maniple of Murder Lords (Legio Interfector), starting with a pair of Warhounds. In addition, my Gallicaedes upgrade kit arrived – you can see him above left. +


+ Gallicaedes upgrade kit review +

+ Designed by Grim Dark Terrain [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+], I bought my print from  the licensed DarkMaterialsMinis shop [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+]. Lovely little kit that will be joining my Legio Validus. +

+ This adorable little Death Chicken is a conversion kit for the GW plastic Warhound Titan. It goes together very nicely. The feet and weapons are straight swaps, and there's an additional plate that fits between the waist and hips, giving it a bit of extra height. +

+ The shoulder plates replace the weapon mounting tops, and the big gun comes in five pieces: mounting, two braces, the gun itself, and a rear power cable. The main mounting slots neatly into the recessed gratings on the top of the plastic kit, and two big bracing pistons sit in the spaces at the top of the weapon mountings – so don't be too hasty when building: you need to leave the top plates off. The power cable then slots into the back and the gun in the spot. +

+ The gun fits very snugly – I opted to glue mine, but there are recesses for 5mm x 1mm magnets built in, so you can swap it out. The full kit comes with two additional head options (for three in total) and a volcano cannon option to swap out for this neutron laser. +

After that, the other bits, like the head, just stick on. Some additional targeters etc. help to disguise the Warhound origin, and the result is a nice distinct Dire Wolf equivalent. I'm impressed both with Grim Dark Terrain's design and DarkMaterialsMinis service – the print was lovely and clean and that lovely Fraser chap sent down two base toppers as a bonus: nice! +


+ Murder Lords – Legio Interfector +

+ There is no sensible way to say 'Murder Lords'. The name pretty much demands Mëtäl üml
äüts and headbanging – and that's just as it should be for a game involving giant robots smashing into each other. +

+ Leaning into this, I though Khorne Juggernaut heads would look appropriately aggressive for this lunatic Legio. The conversion's relatively quick and easy – the Juggernaut head is assembled as normal, and then the back of a Warhound head is attached to fill the void. +

+ The Warhound head comes in a few parts, so I found the two halves of the 'mounting ball' and glued those together. Once the poly cement had set, I set to with clippers, trimming away everything except the flat back of the head and the mounting ball. It was then a case of carefully cutting away the edges until it fit snugly into the back of the juggernaut head. You don't need to be particularly neat, as the way the head sits in the carapace ensures it's mostly hidden anyway. +

+ As with my own Titans, I'm magnetising these. I've used 3mm magnets on the necks and on the weapons. The latter required me to trim away a little of the ball joint on the bottom of the weapon mount. This was then glued into the relevant weapon to ensure flat surfaces on both sides, before magnets were glued on using superglue. +

+ The models were then based using the technique detailed in this step-by-step tutorial [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]. Once this has dried, I'll prime them with Halford's brown camo spray and get painting. +


+ inload: Legio Validus rules +

 + Legio Validus +

+ Had an 1,250pt game of Adeptus Titanicus last night, which was a blast. No pict-captures, I'm afraid, as I was busy juggling rules, terminals and all sorts. I had a Warlord, Warbringer and Reaver, and was facing a Warlord, two Reaves and a Warhound. A very enjoyable game, which ended in my defeat – but close 'til the end, and full of cinematic moments. +

+ I was lending out some of my Titans, so it was mostly a Legio Sumer-Nikator civil war, but – as the Sons of the Temple currently lack any Warhounds – I did a quick get-you-by paintjob on the next Warhound for Validus. +

+ Basic colours in place; tabletop ready +

+ Some more work and the Warhound will be a little more refined, like this Reaver. +

+ I also took the opportunity to update the lore and rules for Legio Validus on the PCRC website [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+], and so here's how they work:

Legio Validus are a loyalist Crusade Legio force for Adeptus Titanicus, and use the following rules:
  • Legio Trait: Masters of Defence
    • After being charged and attacks have been resolved, the Titan can make a move of up to 3in within rear arc at full speed, then take one point of heat.
  • Legio Trait: Elite Magos
    • Reroll a single repair dice in the damage control phase.
  • Legio Strategem: Locomotive Override (1)
    • A Titan of scale 9 or 10 can use this in the combat phase to turn up to 180 degrees and then suffer 1 point of Critical Damage to its legs. Note it’s Critical Damage, not a Hit, so you don’t advance the track.
  • Legio Wargear: Plasma Rifling
    • A global upgrade on a Titan, applying to all Laser or Plasma weaponry for 15 points. It allows you to push to give +6” to the short and long range of those weapons.

+ You'll spot a rather glaring Eye of Horus on this Loyalist Engine's shoulder pad – a relic of when the Engine was earmarked for Sumer-Nikator, before I realised I'd probably get more value if I had two smaller Legios than one big one. While the pad could be explained in background terms, I think I'll probably just replace it at some point. +

+ inload: Adeptus Titanicus Eldar summary – and lore +

 + 'Alaitoc is Ready' +

+ Eldar Titan summary for playtesting +

+ The past few inloads have focussed on the rules for fielding Eldar Titans (thus far, just the Phantom) in the modern version of Adeptus Titanicus. If you're interested, here are noosphericinload links for the following:
+ These have had minor tweaks since the articles above, so here's a summary, including an updated Terminal and set of Weapons Cards, plus the bare-bones rules you need to try them out. I'd love to hear your experiences with them. +

+ Full size versions of the fan-made files are available for free download from the +Death of a Rubricist+ Facebook group. +


    + Playtesting Eldar Titans +

    + In addition to these, you'll need the following get-you-by playtesting rules. These are additional clarifications on how the game runs, and how certain weapons interact with or effect Holofields. These are additional clarifications on how the game runs, and how certain weapons interact with or effect Holofields. +
      • List building – Replace all references to 'Maniple' for 'Conclave'. Eldar do not yet have Strategems. For the moment I suggest you playtest without them for either side.
      • Game prep – Replace all references to 'Princeps Senioris' with 'High Steersman [name TBC]'. Determine Missions, Deployment and Battle Field Control as normal. Deploy as normal.
      • Strategy Phase – Treat all references to 'Princeps wounded' as 'Infinity Circuit Disturbed'; treat all references to 'MIU Feedback' as 'Spiritweave Disturbed'.
      • Movement Phase – Treat all references to 'Reactor' as 'Infinity Circuit'
      • Damage Control Phase – apply the following adjustments:
        • 1. Activate Unit.
        • 2. If Infinity Circuit Level is orange roll D6; if red, roll D10 on Wraithtension Table.
        • 3. Repair Roll with number of dice equal to 'Shaping' 
        • 4. Distribute results as follows: 
          • X+ Repair weapon (see weapon card) 
          • 4+ Reduce reactor level by 1 
          • 6 Repair 1 critical damage 
          • 6 Repair Holofield Burnout  [Holofield Burnout: Holofields are inactive]
      • Combat Phase 
        • To Hit Modifiers – treat references to 'Steersman Wounded' as 'Moderati Wounded'.
        • Ignore all reference to Void Shields.
        • Note that weapons on the 'Shoulders' location are not affected by 'Carapace' restrictions with regard to targetting enemy Units within Scale.
      • End Phase – Treat all references to 'Infinity Circuit Disturbed' as 'Reactor Leak'.
      • Orders tables changes
        • Emergency Repairs: Treat all references to 'Servitor Clades' as 'Shaping'
        • Shutdown: Replace text with 'Holofields are no longer Active, can only be activated in Damage Control Phase, make normal repair rolls, reduce Infinity Circuit stress level by 2.

      Calling on the Infinity Circuit

      • 1. Roll Reactor Dice 
      • 2. Advance Infinity Circuit level by number of Reactor Symbols 
      • 3. If result is Awakened Machine Spirit perform an immediate Command Check
      • 4. If Command check is failed, roll D6 on Wraithtension Table 

      Wraithtension table – D10 Effect 

      • 1–2 suffer S9 hit to body, bypass Holofield.
      • 3–5 Holofield Burnout; if Holofield already burned out, resolve as result 6-8.
      • 6–8 Suffer D3 S9 hits to body, bypass Holofield.
      • 9–10 Titan is destroyed; all Titans within 15" (except Corrupted Titans) lose all orders. Titan then falls in a random direction.


      Instead of the energy-absorbing warp-based void fields of the Imperium, or the brute power fields of the Orks, Eldar Titans rely on misdirection, deception and sensor-baffling for defence. 
      The wing-like harmonic vanes that form a distinctive crest on the backs of Eldar Titans weave a web of photonic projections about the War Engine. The projections create a field of visual distortion, baffling perception across all electromagnetic spectra, and thus making it more difficult for attackers to target the Titan.
      While holofields operate dynamically, their effectiveness is enhanced by movement. The faster the Titan moves, the more effective the defence.

      • A Unit attacking a Target equipped with Holofields suffers a -2 modifier to the To Hit roll, which is cumulative with other modifiers. 
        • This is reduced to a -1 modifier if the Target is on First Fire orders or Shutdown orders, or if the Target is Immobilised.
        • If the Target has Full Stride or Charge orders, successful to Hit rolls of 6 must also be re-rolled.
      • A Unit attacking a Target Unit equipped with Active Holofields may not declare a Targeted Attack.
      • Weapons with the Blast trait that Hit a Target Unit with Holofields scatter D6in before the attack is resolved (use the small arrow on the Hit symbol to determine direction), unless the To Hit result is a 6. If the attack misses, it scatters D10 as normal.
      • Weapons with the Beam trait must make a check against BS with no modifiers when attacking a Target with Active Holofields. If the result is a miss, the Beam continues its path; resolve the attack against subsequent models as though the intervening model was not there.

      Holofields and weapon traits clarifications

      • Holofield Burnout indicates the holofields are not Active. The holofields become Active only when repaired.
      • Attacks with the BypassMelee, Psi trait(s) are affected by Holofields as described above. Note that this means Melee attacks cannot make Targeted attacks until the Holofields are not Active.
      • Units equipped with Holofields are affected by Concussive weapons as normal if hit.
      • Attacks with the Firestorm trait are resolved as normal against Units with Holofields.
      • Attacks with the Shieldbane or Voidbreaker trait(s) have no additional effect against a Unit with Holofields.

      + Eldar Titan Clans and Craftworlds +

      + But enough of rules – what about the lore? I've been unpicking and following the few extant threads from GW about Eldar Titans, and it's actually pretty cohesive. +

      + Eldar Titan crew +

      + Eldar Titans all contain a spirit stone. The pilots, called Steersmen, are granted a small portion of the spirit stone, which they wear as a bandana on their head. The stone bonds physically with the Steersman, and is used to form a bond with the Titan. It cannot be removed until death, after which the Steersman's personal spirit stone (worn on the breast, and often shaped to reflect the Clan's symbol) is interred within the Titan, forming part of the War Engine's Infinity Circuit. The forerunner is then being able to lend their wisdom and advice to the living Steersman/men that follow.  +

      + The Titan's Infinity Circuit is thus a microcosm of the larger circuits used by the Craftworld at large. It's unclear whether the Titan Clan's Infinity circuits interact with each other, or with the Craftworlds' broader circuit, or remains isolated. Perhaps it varies from Clan to Clan. +

      + Small Titans, such as Revenants, will have one living Steersman, while larger Titans such as Phantoms vary between those with a single crewman to those with three or four. Almost all Steersmen are close blood relatives, and families often serve together in Conclaves – groups of Titans – within the larger Clan. Twins and triplets, being vanishingly rare occurrences in Eldar society, are particularly well-suited to piloting Titans, owing to their shared heritage. +

      + In battle, the steersmen use their Soul-stone fragments to form a linked mind with the Titan and each other, allowing them all to move with a singular purpose, and with the heightened focus and clarity of thought of the most single-minded Exarchs. +


      + The Titan Clans, Craftworlds and the Eldar Path + 

      + Eldar Titan Clans (at least the few we know of) form part of the Craftworlds, but live apart in separate enclaves, as they're a bit unusual. Other Eldar find them a bit disturbing owing to the way they finish each others' sentences and generally act in concert – a result of the shared mindstate they have in battle. The relationship of a Clan to a Craftworld can perhaps be viewed a little like that of the Adeptus Mechanicus to the broader Imperium – mutually reliant and supportive, but with a clear distinction. +

      + In this, I think of the Eldar of the Clans are a little like Eldar Rangers, in that they distance themselves from the other members of the Craftworld (though in the case of the Titan clans culturally, rather than physically as they Rangers do). Aspect Warrior Exarchs are probably treated with a more extreme version of this, with other Craftworlders paying them wary respect, but mostly avoiding them. +

      + The Eldar of the Titan Clans aren't lost on the Path as Exarchs are, and it's unclear whether becoming a steersman is a Path in itself, or restricted in some way. Again, I think this is rich soil for writing the lore of one's own Craftworld or Clan. Perhaps some more militaristic Craftworlds, like Biel-Tan, have a lot of back-and-forth of individuals between the Clan and the broader Craftworlds, with their Steersmen benefitting from experience gained while walking other Paths of the Warrior. Others, like Saim-Hann for example, with its culturally atavistic approach, might have quite closed-off and culturally isolated Clans, with virtually no interchange between the Clan and the other inhabitants. +


      + What are the Clans like? +

      + Craftworlds appear to be able to support multiple Clans. The following Clans are attested in Codex Titanicus as examples. Some of the lore is interesting to read in light of modern Eldar background – little seems to have changed, but where it is different, it's quite marked!

      Protectors of the Fallen (Fir Dinillainn)

      Since Imperial records began, the Eldar Phantoms of the Saim-Hann Craft World have been known as the Fir Dinillainn – the Protectors of the Fallen. Yet on their own time scale, this name is but a recent acquisition, earned by an act of outstanding courage and selfless sacrifice to another clan many thousands of years ago. Lord Amthillian, leader at the time, sacrificed a third of his force to protect the dying warriors of the Fir Linithion clan – his companion in the field – so that their spirit-stones could be retrieved. By that single act of self-sacrifice, the Fir Lirillyon – the Knights of Purpose – were renamed the Fir Dinillainn.

      Since that day the Phantoms of the Saim-Hann Craft World have astonished even Imperial forces with their selfless heroism.

      + A nice, dare I say 'generic', first Titan Clan to read about? The events described – or self-sacrifice to protect spirit-stones – are iconic of the Eldar in general, and could be applied to pretty much any Eldar force. +

      Watchers over Ancient Wrongs (Fir Farillecassion)

      It is widely-rumoured among the few Eldar unaware of the truth that the true location of the Black Library – said to hold the Eldar codices that concern themselves with the worship of Chaos and tell of the Eldar's downfall – must be the Biel-Tann [sic.] craftworld. Although this is certainly untrue, the Phantoms of Biel-Tann do display an unparalleled hatred of Chaos. The driving force behind this hatred is a fervent wish that no other race should suffer the terrible downfall that befell the Eldar.

      Inquisitor Trant tells of his journey to Truan IX to destroy a Khornate coven. However, Trant arrived too late – upon reaching the surface he found that virtually the entire populace had been wiped out. In the rubble of the western continent's capital city he found a half-burnt banner bearing the symbols of the Fir Farillecassion – the Phantoms of Biel-Tann. They had arrived before him.

      + Besides the change in spelling, it's interesting to see that Biel Tan, far from being the xenophobes of modern 40k, were crusading in order to save other races at this point. +

      Eagles Born of Fire (Fir Iolarion)

      The Fir Iolarion – Eagles Born of Fire – were almost completely destroyed four centuries ago when they lost control of the warp gates aboard their craft world, Lugannath, allowing the Daemons of the warp to enter and attack them. For many years the clan drifted helplessly in space while they laboured to make the necessary repairs: stranded, and with their numbers severely depleted by the creatures in their midst, they were reduced to being one of the weakest Eldar clans.

      Over time, however, thanks only to their own unrelenting and steadfast efforts, they have not only regained the power they once had, but have exceeded it tenfold. Their almost total obliteration is now regarded by their leaders as a baptism of fire.

      + ...and the last Clan comes from Lugannath, one of the few Craftworlds that had any lore at all in this period, and then disappeared for a few editions. Their Titan Clan sheds little light on the broader Craftworld. +

      + What can we take from this, and why's it relevant? Well, first off, I think it's fair to say that while there's not a clean slate to work from, equally there are some nice starting points. +

      + At this point in time, the Eldar colour schemes hadn't yet been 'locked-in' so firmly, and so I think you could happily defend Titans painted in unique clan colours, those of its parent Craftworld, or perhaps a combination of the two. +

      + ... and speaking of painting +

      + I hope you're not too bored with this Phantom, but I'm delighted with how he's coming out. The model is now ready for the table, with the final details still to be decided upon. +

      + This front view shows that the body itself is all complete: the additions now will be some details – though I'm slightly nervous about [+SCRAPSHUNTERRORABORT+]ing the existing work up! These will include:
      • Clan logo
      • Personal details
      • Banner.
      + The old lore had the Titan's banner hanging from the weapon, which is an option, but I'm leaning towards it going between the legs, which has a big ol' area of negative space crying out for some interest. It'll also help draw the eye, balancing the figure a bit. +

      + Secondly, because the weapons are magnetised, they move – and hanging a banner from one seems a problem waiting to happen. +

      + Both weapons need further attention, but the Wraith Glaive in particular needs its blade painted. I'm umming and ahhing about whether to try a colourful blade (a device I personally dislike for Imperial weapons, but seem fitting for the Eldar), perhaps in pink or green; a pale ghostly hue; or metallics – perhaps with a hint of colour near the hilt to suggest a glow. +

      + The D-bombard likewise needs polishing off, though it's not clear from this over-exposed image! It's nice to have some sunlight back in the mornings, but today was not great for picking up detail. +

      + And to prove the back detail exists, here's a rear shot. +

      + To close, here's a scale shot, showing the Phantom next to its Imperial counterpart... and what's that odd glyph behind? Could it be that work is restarting on the Gargants, too? +


      + inload: Warhound, Phantom and Reaver Titans +

      + On the Hunt +

      + Titanicus enthusiasm continues ahead of some weekend gaming. Having favoured Battle Titans (and especially Reavers) since I first heard of Titans, Legio Validus is the beneficiary of my first Warhound. +

      + Battle Bling Oldeus-pattern Warhound +

      + I bought a Precept boxed set (a bundle that included every type of Titan then available for a hefty discount) a couple of years back, but have only just got round to building the Warhound – more fool me: these Scout Titans are great little kits. I've used Battle Bling's Oldeus-pattern conversion kit [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+] to get more of a retro flavour. The main reason for this is that I'm going to use the other one of the pair for a Dire Wolf conversion using Grim Dark Terrains' Gallicaedes upgrade kit [+noosphericexloadlink embedded+], so this will help to give a little more visual differentiation. +

      + Both the plastic kit and 3D-printed resin upgrade went together beautifully. I couldn't resist adding a bit more motion to the Warhound, which mainly involved careful trimming around the hips and repositioning the toes. +

      + When re-posing like this, I find the two most important parts are:

      • Doing lots of dry-fitting and testing before you commit to glue.
      • Having a strong mental image in your head, and sticking with it.
      + Reposing like this can throw up some moments that feel wrong – like putting the foot right in the centre of the base – but it's this that gives the right support for the centre of gravity. Dry-fitting is what will let you check. +

      + I've magnetised the four weapons (plus an Ursus Claw), so I can swap out options. Since I'll be using the other chassis for the Dire Wolf, which has set secondary arm weapons, I'll also have the option for doubling up on certain guns with this 'hound. +

      + A quick spray of Halfords camo brown, and the model's ready for painting. +


      + Alaitoc +

      + And speaking of painting, the grind continues on the Phantom. I polished off the right lower leg and blue on the D-bombard arm last night. That leaves just the lower left leg and weapons to go. +

       I'm in two minds on how to paint the Wraith Glaive – whether to go for an eye-catching colour, like bright green or pink, or something more muted, like a ghostly grey-white. I guess if I foul it up, it's not all lost – after all, I can just pop the arm off, as it's magnetised! +

      + These are not the greatest pictures in the world to show what I've done – sorry – but I'm just so pleased with how it's coming along. I'm pleased that I decided to paint the forearm wraithbone, as though the weapon is worn like a sleeve; just seems to work much more nicely than blue. +

      + You'll also spot that I've started adding some dark areas. These are a mix of black, scorched brown and the same dark Prussian blue I used for the Titan's blue armour. It just takes the edge off the black and stops it looking dead. +

      + I'm still very pleased with how it's coming along – and it was a treat to return to blue, a colour I find very relaxing to paint. +


      + To close, a picture of the Legio Validus Engine above – he was feeling left out. +

      + inload: Playtesting the Eldar and Legio Nikator walk +

      + Legio Sumer-Nikator fight Alaitoc +

      Not want you want to see marching towards your lines...

      + I brought the Sons of the Temple out to Walk. In my defence, they are on my list of priorities this year, as they've lurked in a state of just-complete-enough-to-be-put-to-one-side-but-not-quite-finished for more than a year now. +

      + Coropedion +

      + Initial playtesting +

      + With 2023 being Alaitoc's time to shine, I thought I'd run a very quick playtest of the Eldar Titan rules [+noosphericinloadlink embedded+]that I've been working up. This test was simply 'does it work mechanically?', so I set up the Phantom 8in away from a Warlord – Coropedion doing the honours – and set them blazing away at each other. +

      + The first problem I found was identifying which weapons were which! After some consultation with the PCRC, we decided that the weapons were, from top down: Wraith Glaive (a simple one, this), Heat Lance (based on the similarity to Eldar fusion weaponry), Pulsar (as it shares design features of the Eldar laser weapons), and D-Bombard  (based on the vanes). +

      + That means the Titan I'm working on [+pictcapture below+], is armed with a D-Bombard and Wraith Glaive. +

      + I fought for three rounds with this set up, and while both were heavily mauled, they were still standing at the end. Mechanically, the Phantom works. The lessons I took away from this very limited test were: 
      • It was quite fun using the holofields – the mechanics worked quite smoothly, involved the location dice early one, and seemed to give roughly similar overall protection against attacks as I'd expect from void shields.
      • The Phantom doesn't have much to do with its plasmaweave (though note there was little movement here), and generally felt a bit 'Imperial'.
      • A 'Special' result disrupts the vanes, but it's not clear where the damage itself should be applied. 
      • The D-Bombard is awesome. The first shot scattered, but only enough that the hole on the template missed – and that caused a Devastating Hit to the Warlord's body. The second shot hit and caused a Critical to the legs – but then a lucky shot from the Macro-Gatling Blaster hit the vanes and disrupted the holofields. This let the Warlord target the D-Bombard and knock it out with its Laser Blasters.
      + I then repeated the process with Pulsars, and then decided to try out melee against Ipsus Granicus, the Manifest Law [+pictcapture below+]. Here, the Phantom strode in happily avoiding the Manifest Law's attacks for two rounds, but was unable to do very much at all before the Manifest Law finally laid it out with an uppercut! +

      + Overall then, a quiet success. In concert with some feedback I've had from comments here, on the Bolter and Chainsword and Facebook, I'll be making some tweaks. These will be functional and aesthetic changes at this stage (i.e. to make sure things work mechanically and don't break the game), rather than 'big picture' changes (i.e. a different design philosophy). That's largely to ensure that the rules get a proper test; I know from experience that it's very easy for things to get derailed by making too many changes too early on. +


      + Change log v003 +

      • When a Special result is rolled on the location dice, the damage should be applied to the Body. This is consistent with the mechanics for Imperial Titans, and so immediately familiar.
      • The 'Plasmaweave' – a term I've never been too happy with – will be replaced with a Spirit Stone/Infinity Circuit-themed panel. Rather than a literal Plasma Reactor heating up, pressure on the Titan and crew will be reflected by stress on the Infinity Circuit.
        • While it will operate in much the same way as a Plasma Reactor and use the same mechanics, it also opens up future options for things like the Titan's Conclave (that is the Maniple equivalent) potentially sharing 'stress'; and/or partially replacing/complementing the repair mechanic*.
        • Visually, It'll be nice to have gem-shaped icon on the Terminal, rather than a circular light.
      • Add backs to the weapon cards.
      • Move the Quake (Draining) special rule on the Sonic Lance to the front, for clarity.
      + On the 'sharing stress' across a Conclave, this was an idea that came from various sources – thank you all for the feedback. My gut instinct is to be slightly leery of the idea – in the original background, the Titan's infinity circuit is limited to the Titan itself, so it seems odd to extend it beyond the Titan. On the other hand, the lore is fairly vague, and the idea of a sort of Conclave-wide 'communion' is fitting with the psychic nature of the Eldar. Perhaps most importantly, it helps to differentiate the Eldar from the Imperials while keeping the fundamental core mechanics intact. +

      + *On the repair mechanic, a lot of comments have included suggestions for improved repair for Eldar, on the basis that the Bonesingers can sing the damage away. I've decided not to pursue this because I don't feel like this is a 'battlefield repair' sort of thing, lore-wise – and unlike Imperial Titans, where the techpriest and servitor clades are on board, there's no suggestion that a Bonesinger (or equivalent) is part of the crew. More importantly, it closes off the design space for other races. To me, Eldar war machines should feel tough but brittle – or well-armoured but squishy, to put it another way. I hope that explains the design approach. +

      + And a final note, I've also had comments that state a Phantom is better equated to a Reaver than a Warlord. I don't necessarily disagree with that, though I've deliberately using Codex Titanicus as the core inspiration, which explicitly states the Phantom is the Warlord equivalent. I certainly don't want to exclude anyone – I think there are at least as many very good arguments for a Reaver-equivalent as a Warlord-equivalent. Happily, I think this is a problem that has two good solutions – why not both? +

      + In much the same way as Warlords used to be divided into Eclipse, Nightgaunt, Nemesis etc. types – the distinction being forced on for commercial reasons (GW couldn't afford multiple plastic Titans, so the studio had to make do with tweaks on the one model they had), so the Phantom originally had two types: The slightly slower, heavier Spectre and the slightly faster, lighter Shade. +

      + While my preference is for the Warlord-equivalent (the Spectre), it seems good to be able to add a little variety to the force by giving the option for a Shade. As they're so closely related, my intention is to keep both called 'Phantom', simplifying the interactions of mechanics, weapon cards etc., using the same naming convention as the 'Warbringer Nemesis', for example. We'll thus see the Phantom Spectre and Phantom Shade in v003. +


      + Arty stuff +

      + Painting the model is ticking along, too. Last night I polished off the upper legs and knees, the shoulder pods and started work on the arms. While I'm very pleased with how it's coming along – a lesson, if ever I needed one, that sometimes there's no replacing simply spending more time and effort on a model  for the best results – I am annoyed with myself for not cleaning it up more carefully. +

      + Lesson learned, and so for the second Phantom (being sung into existence as I write), I've cleaned up the components much more carefully. The vanes [+pictcaptureref above+] were nerve-wracking to clean as they are so fragile. +

      + I'll likely build some more weapon options soon – I'm waiting for an additional set of mirrored arms so I have access to ranged weapons on the left arm. +


      + On the Catwalk +

      + A few glamour shots of the Titans as they stand. +

      + Gaugamela (with alternative head) +

      + Senex Codomannus – 'Old Spiteful' +

      + One of the Amber Kings – Legio Validus +