Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Unnoficial Codexes and 40k detective fiction.

Hey everyone

So my Deathwing are fully assembled now, including Captain Lysander as the command squad sergeant (superglue still hates me but pinning sorts that out). Just waiting on my Army painter Bone White spray before I get to actually tying together my divergent models with a colour scheme.

Of course, being a wargamer I wouldn't be considered 'normal' within our community if I didn't have an extra project in mind. It hit me when I was reading through the unnoficial Kroot Mercenaries codex that came out in 3rd/4th edition Chapter Approved and then was updated for 5th edition. It's completely unofficial and not endorsed by GW, but I think it would be a blast to play and model for.

Essentially it takes the Kroot of the Tau codex, those put in the Imperial Armour 3: The Taros Campaign, adds a few more and ties it all together into a fun codex. It's not a powergaming choice by any means, but definitely has character. To represent their mercenary nature, the kroot shapers who lead each squad can be equipped with a variety of guns (storm bolters, flamers, melta, kroot rifles etc.) and other weapons (power swords, eviscerators, various kroot charms). Ultimately it's an army that puts a lot of Kroot on the table, with their attendant strengths and weaknesses. Put a few flame templates down and I'd be pulling models off left and right but let me get the charge through a forest and I'll hit hard up front.

How about some heavy support to start us off?

Greater Knarlocs are a nice way to munch up your foe. Now if only they didn't cost £40 each form Forge World

Jump infantry kroot and their shaper wielding a chainfist

You can have squads of sniper kroot. Deadly until your opponent flies his heavy flamer land speeder next to them.

Kroot shaper council with kroot hounds. Like a unit of nobz except not as diversified, limited to a max of 5 members, cannot get invulnerable saves or FNP, no furious charge and get Instant Death from Strenth 6. On the other hand, you can get a buttload of attacks on the charge and they are just plain fun. Bring it on you greenskins.

The downside of the fun codex is that you are stuck with one box of plastic kroot, metal krootox and hounds, and forge world's expensive resin selection to make it all work. I put together a 1500pt list and I think that I could make it, with a bunch of converting from 5 sets of Kroot (80 figures total), 4 krootox, a set of LOTR Wargs for hounds (OSH's idea) and some Dark Elf Cold one knights to give me knaroc mounts (after a Greenstuff sculpted beak). Relatively affordable and with fun conversion options. It wouldn't have all of the cool kroot choices (Great Knarlocs, vulture kroot) but would be fun to play and quirky to convert. A project for another day perhaps.

What are your thoughts on codexes like the Kroot Mercenaries or the Lost and the Damned? Have you collected them or played against them? Would it benefit Games Workshop to bring them back as playable?

In other news, when I'm not working on my English Language teaching course's pre-course homework (somehow that doesn't seem fair), I've been putting together a novel pitch for Black Library Publishing. Until I started this I'd never considered writing detective-type fiction in any setting but I've found that 40k and the Inquisition suit me just fine. I'm enjoying taking a lowly interrogator who's recently bereft of his master and putting him under the command of an Inquisitor who doesn't want him, doesn't much like him and has tasked him to bring an escaped psyker to justice.

I don't want to give away too much on my setting and plot as I think it's quite creative and could (hopefully) pique the interest of the submissions editors at Black Library but I can tell you that this interrogator is working in an environment that is anything but comfortable and is worried that he can't trust his own mind. For the first time, I'm making a conscious effort to have every character I introduce to the story be critical at some point in things. I've written too much before where I would add characters like "a soldier", "the ship's doctor", "a henchman". That's not to say there isn't a place for such characters, but if they only warrant a title, then they should only warrant a small place in the proceedings.

Take care all,


PS: I'm a responsible wargamer. Despite being seriously tempted to add an Infinity starter set to my Wayland Games spray paint order to make the most of the shipping cost, I refrained. Doesn't mean I won't pick up some Haqq'Islam when I get to Bratislava and start earning some money.

PPS: If anybody has some of the metal krootox models they don't want and would part with for a modest price, please get in touch with me.


  1. Deathwing army, check. Kroot Merc army, check. Detective Inq fic for 40k, check. Are we related? :)

    I picked up elements of a Kroot Merc army on Ebay a couple of years ago, as well as some FW stuff, and have used them in a few games. They cannot take a hit, but infiltrating fleet units (such as a Kroot Hound pack with attached Master Shaper) can get into the enemy lines on Turn 1, and draw fire away from the other approaching elements.

    I put up some thoughts and a 750 list that I have used here -

  2. Hey Sholto,

    sounds like quite a mix. Are you putting something into BL for their 2011 submission window? I still remember warboss Kankrizans with great fondness but also that you were one of the best horror and detective fan-fic writers on the old BL forums. I have kept the name of one of my characters from the stories I put up there but my old Grey Knight story full of daemon primarchs, GK secret societies, Illuminati and Sensei probably fly at BL HQ these days ;-)

    I'm excited to start painting up the Deathwing soon. At Old Shatter Hands' advice I'm going to use the Army Painter bone spray to prime and basecoat them in one step. Then I'll probably give them a sepia wash and highlight up from there. I think it will be good to tie in the disparate model pieces with a colour scheme.

    The kroot mercenaries would definitely be a for fun army that focuses on getting in the enemy's backfield right away with infiltrate on just about every model.

    I do look upon your various knarloc models with great esteem Sholto. If I ever come into some money I think they are the most likely Forge World models for me to pick up.

    Have you played much with the Kroot Merc army? I can imagine the games being decided quite quickly by how effective the early attacks are from the beaked mercenaries. If it goes poorly, they just lack the resilience to survive and don't have the mobility of other fragile armies like Dark Eldar.