That army, followed by my new codex Defensive mech list, earned me 3 Vegas Golden tickets and a number one ranking on Rankings HQ for a few months.
I'm getting to the point of the article, really.
Any way, I managed to pull this off by being observant of what I was facing at local tournaments, and trying to guess what I might face at upcoming GTs.
Enter 2012 and GK henchmen spam and DE venom dakka. Two armies that could not only blast you off the table with shooting, but finish the job with superior assault.
At a recent tournament I noticed that Blood Angels were having some success against GK spam by putting a furioso dread into a Storm Raven and turbo boosting it into the GK ranks. Sure the raven would die, but it absorbed enough shooting to ensure that the dread lived. Next turn, the dread would tear into purifiers. Fearless is a handicap for poor purifiers. The dread will most likely kill 7 or 8 of them, and if they are unlucky one will live from the fearless saves. Locking the dread in combat on the GK turn, then freeing him next turn for the dread to assault another squad.
Single dreads were tearing through entire armies!
That got me to thinking about a cheaper and more reliable way of delivering dread death to GK armies. The raven is too expensive and unreliable. It can be blown up before it even moves, stranding your dread on your edge. So I figured pods were the way to go! Sure I would lose dreads due to GK dakka before they got to assault, but when you are running six of them, odds are one or two would survive!
Plus it would make a pretty cool army.
Plus plus, I had the models sitting around!
Now I get to my point. More on building the list later. First a cool pic for the blog rolls.
I had the models sitting around. I had lots of unused infantry from my ever changing lists. I also had the dreads, or enough store credit to get them and the pods.
With a minimal investment I had a full 2k point, 10 pod army, painted to table top standards ready to go.
That is the first step guys. The point has been made. When starting an army on a budget, come up with your concept, and build what you can with what you have. The idea is not to get an entire new army, and assemble 2k points of grey plastic and try to get in games. Get your army table top, and go play.
The key is seeing what works. I quickly learned that I needed more killy shooting upon landing for infantry. SO I dropped a blood talon dread and added one with a heavy flamer and frag assault launcher. Problem solved. This minor change was easy, all I had to do was paint the launcher and mag it to a dread.
But as I play the list more, I realize I need more changes. Here is where the slow adjustment of your army is key. Eventually I want to play this army as a competitive force, that also competes for best painted. While I started the army using recycled models, I will eventually remake the entire force and paint it to my award winning standards. All while playing a table top army to learn how to do it.
So now as I make changes, I will be painting those models up to top standard.
Here we go!
First the recycling part. I used models from my retired model case.
Finally I had to add the sergeant upgrades. Here is where I stay ahead of the curve. Previously, I would always give my SGT a power sword, to take advantage of that initiative 5 strike. But with rumors of only fists being able to punch through Terminator armor in 6th eds, power fists will become much more important. A ten man squad is a perfect place to hide a pesky fist. You are going to see many more of these forgotten relics showing up soon!
Now to the cool stuff. After a couple tournaments, I realized that my six dreads were overkill, and not quite getting the job done. I needed a little more melta on landing, and I needed it to be able to take more than a single hit before dieing. A psy dread can blast a dread off the table, but could easily fail to kill an honor guard model, let alone the whole unit. But first I needed to upgrade the librarian model I was using.
Any way, with a little kit bashing, I had a pretty cool librarian. I gave him a SG shoulder pad, with the intent of using more to match the Honor Guardsmen.
Think ahead as you plan. This squad is going to actually become the centerpiece of this army as I paint it to my Best Painted standards. It has to be interesting and unique. The kit bashing I am doing, as well as the matching shoulder pads will help create a look that adds to the greater sense of unity in the army as a whole.