This is an old Space Marine mini that I've had for quite some time. Its been around the block a few times having fought previously in my Iron Warriors & Silver Skulls armies (if not more). Now he's painted in the colors of the Storm Wardens. He's painted using a lighter shade of blue than that used in the Storm Wardens charity army of last year as the darker blue more or less renders this color scheme identical to my Eldar, and I didn't want to repeat that scheme across two armies.
'So why a Storm Warden?' is what I'm sure several of you are wondering right now.
Well, I was perusing GW's online store & saw that the humble Tactical squad is now $37.25, or basically $40 with tax (I've never noticed this as I have a scout army). True, AoBR tac marines go for $10-$15 on ebay, but call it a mental exercise, a whim, stupidity, a combination thereof...I wanted to see if I could build a SM army of some sort, with all minis new & on-the-sprue, For the cost cost of just one new tac. squad.
The answer to that question is 'yes' though its kinda bland to look at (and you ignore the mini above which I already had in my collection).
I found a seller on ebay who had the old 2nd. ed. 40k starter box marines listed @ groups of 8 bolter marines for $5, and individual 2nd. ed. starter ML marines also for $5. Shipping was $5 for the first & the rest were free. So (4) ML marines & (24) bolter marines plus shipping totaled out to $40.
28 boring models, now what do I do with them?
I decided on a demo/combat patrol army of Storm Wardens (more because they're different and easy to paint than any other reason). Quite often new & potential players will stop by the FLGS to 'just watch' cause they have no minis of their own. Sometimes we have enough loaner minis to let them give it a shot, but there's always a concern about handing these lovingly painted & expensive models to a total stranger who might drop them or (as I've seen before) grab squads by the handful as they're unaware of the effort put forth to paint and convert them.
The marine above as I said was an old model, and with a few bitz added later, has now been promoted to the rank of captain! His servo skull who bears his Iron Halo has a 'IV' engraved on it, so he became the 4th co. captain by default. The Codex Astartes tradition lists that company's color as green, hence the green circle emblazoned with the #4 on his shoulder pad.
So far the pros: Dirt cheap, easy to paint, (and excluding the captain) all models are simple and plastic so most likely not to reach terminal velocity if dropped onto the floor. Plus, even after they're all painted they'll never be even close to the prettiest of models (actually they'll be the polar opposite of my Red Corsairs) meaning that newer players will have an obvious incentive to get their own stuff, rather than just expecting to use the 'free' army forever.
The cons: WTF good is 25 bolters, 1 power sword & 4 missile launchers?
The easy fix: make some of them Sternguard.
Captain with power sword, bolter with hellfire ammo & digital weapon: 135 points. Basically my standard 'captain' fit. In my opinion, captains should be bad asses, so their shots should always wound (hellfire) and their attacks should always kill in HTH (power & digi weapons). Sounds good on paper anyways...
6 man Sternguard Squad: 150 points. With two attacks a piece, they can form an ad hoc assault unit, and their variable ammo options help them fill in the lack of special weapons to some extent. I just need to paint them differently from the tac. marines to set them apart.
6 man Tactical Squad: 106 points
6 man Tactical Squad: 106 points
The 'meat and potatoes' to any 'standard' SM army. No options though. So my apologies as there's no gravy to go with this meal...
Heavy Support: 10 man Devastator Squad with 4 missile launchers: 250 points. A full 10 man squad allows the option to split into combat squads and thus split those MLs into pairs as well.
So there you have it: a 747 point demo army. Its simple, straight forward, and cost me the same as a single, new tac. squad.
It also conveniently falls into the 'split force org.' list type, so could be allied to another like sized force to oppose a 1500 point army making for a more exciting demo game. Or, I can simply remove the captain and one tactical marine, which drops the cost to 596 points, perfect for a game of 'Combat Patrol' (not that that ever happens...). Also, totaling 29 for a demo or (more importantly) 27 Marines for the combat patrol, they'd all fit into a single Thunderhawk! That fits nicely into the theme of a combat patrol, so the list is even 'fluffy!'