Friday, January 25, 2013

Dark Angels WIP - Schlemazal

With the new codex and models out, it’s time for me to get back to work on my army, starting with some new additions. I picked up a Nephilim and the Deathwing Command Squad/Knights kit along with my copy of the book (sadly, I was not expecting the Nephilim to be terrible), and I’ve been putting some time into building and painting over the last week.

First off, the Nephilim. When it comes to the rules for the Nephilim, I think it’s way overcosted for what it can do (which is basically just kill light vehicles and rear armour). Sadly, I’d already bought one and its alter-ego, the Dark Talon, is even worse, so I built it anyway. I was actually really impressed with this kit, if not with the rules behind it. I think the design of the fighter itself is rather nice. I was worried from the front-on pictures that the hull would be really blocky, but this turned out not to be the case.

One of the issues I often have with GW vehicle kits is that there is inevitably some warping on large pieces, which can be a real pain to deal with when constructing the hull. The Nephilim has an interesting way around this though – the engine pieces are designed to fit tightly around the assembled hull, holding them into place even with minor warping. Everything else fit together well and the whole thing was a breeze to assemble. I know it’s been a while since the last time I built a vehicle, but this was by far the easiest to build kit I’ve ever seen.

As for the weapons, I have to disagree with Discordian – the avenger megabolter is the way to go on the Nephilim. With the remainder of its weapons at S6 or less, the Nephilim is relegated to hunting light vehicles and rear armours (AV10-11). The volume of fire is much more valuable here, and the megabolter set-up will glance an AV10 or 11 vehicle to death on an average shot, if it doesn’t kill outright. It really isn’t worth firing at AV12 or better  even with the lascannon (~40% chance of a single penetrating hit, all other shots wasted), so I say go with what will do the best against AV10-11. If the Nephilim had S8 missiles, it would be different, but it doesn’t.

When it came to the terminators, I decided to build a new command squad. I really like the new Deathwing Knights, but having AP4 apart from a single round of combat means that they’ll be one-hit wonders most of the time. I think any Deathwing army would benefit from having a squad as heavy-hitters (plus they’re great against light vehicles and chaos), but I field a company list with only one or two terminator squads and I need those to have more versatility.

I really like the robed look for the terminators, which is why I got the kit in the first place. The only issue I had with this set was that the robe torsos were each designed to fit on only one of the leg poses comfortably, so if you want your terminators to have different poses you’ll have to do some modifying. There’s also only one thunder hammer in the kit, so I had to scavenge a second one for the above squad. Be warned when building a terminator command squad though – unlike every other apothecary in the game I’ve ever seen (even others in the same book), the Deathwing apothecary MUST give up his melee weapon, meaning no power weapon of any sort on your apothecary.

I’ve started painting this squad, so I’ll leave off with a few pictures of the one model I have finished. This is actually my first time painting Deathwing in a bone color, in the past I’ve used white drybrushed over black to simulate rubbed-on ashes based on one of the older stories for the origin of the color, but I felt that this would look better in the end. As for the robes, I think in the future I’m going to go a bit more extreme with the highlight colors, as I’m not satisfied with how much it stands out on the top part. Next up, the champion with halberd (or Sgt. McFartface as Gothmog would call him).