Saturday 30 September 2017

Deciding on a New Legion

Hi all,

You may have seen from the last couple of Weekly Progress Reports and my last post that I’ve reached a point with my Iron Warriors where I’m intending on pausing them in favour of starting a new Legion project to mix things up a bit. My Iron Warriors have done me proud and at provide me with a 3,500 point gaming army. But it’s time for a change.

As the blog’s resident hobby butterfly, changing army projects is something I’m familiar with (and quite good at if I do say so myself); the bit I’m not so good at is sticking with the new project once I’ve decided to do it! To try and make sure that I stay motivated with my next Legion project, I wanted something that plays very differently to my Iron Warriors. I’d narrowed the selection down to a handful of Legions which I’d had some interest in; the Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Night Lords and Word Bearers. To help make the final decision, I looked at the following areas:

Whilst this isn’t necessarily the make or break decision for the entire project, I was leaning toward a loyalist Legion from the outset; the Bunnies have a number of campaign projects planned over the coming months, and having a Loyalist legion to counterbalance my Iron Warriors gives us a little more flexibility as a group. So while I wasn’t ruling out the Traitors at this stage, it was something I was going to bear in mind throughout the process.

For me, this is one of (if not the most) important aspects of choosing a project; I’m the type of player who has to be emotionally invested in an army – I don’t see the attraction to playing a powerful army without really liking the background for them. As part of this, I looked at the character of each of the Legions, as well as the named individuals in the Horus Heresy book series. Sadly, I really like the background of all four Legions that I was considering, so this wasn’t too much help!

Colour Scheme
It’s at this stage I realised that I’ve clearly got a thing for red (Blood Angels & Word Bearers) and blue (Ultramarines & Night Lords)… But at any rate, I wanted a colour scheme that I could reproduce consistently across the whole army. I’ve recently started using the Vallejo paints along with an airbrush, so I was looking for a colour that I could apply mostly with an airbrush just to speed up the whole process.

This is quite an important one; the look of unique units and the general army aesthetic are one of the key things I look for in a project. The Legions that I had in consideration all have a fairly distinct look from each other; I know that we haven’t seen the models for Blood Angels yet, however, the art that has been produced is a fairly good indicator. Word Bearers clearly have a lot to choose from when it comes to unique units and characters. Ultramarines only have the one unique unit currently, but the others are quite simple to convert. The Night Lords have their Night Raptors models, and the Terror Squads would be straightforward to represent with the existing range.

‘Typical’ Playstyle
This is where we start to see more of a divide between the Legions that I’ve been considering. I was looking for something which plays very differently to my Iron Warriors, especially around using different types of units such as Drop Pod, flyers, Land Speeders or bikes and jump packs. The Ultramarines began to show as potentially being very similar to the Iron Warriors in that they’re a very ‘conventional’ Legion when it comes to list building – They even essentially share a unique unit!  I’m not one who believes that certain Legions should only be played certain ways; the Death Guard would have carried out the occasional lighting raid, and the White Scars may have been forced to defend a fixed position - I’d like my new Legion to be flexible enough to be able to field different types of list where possible.

Rites of War
Each of the four Legions bring a pair of unique Rites of War. I was really quite taken with the Night Lords’ Terror Assault and The Last of the Serrated Sun from the Word Bearers; both provided a very different approach to gaming than my Iron Warriors. I also particularly like the Day of Revelation Blood Angels rite of war; who wouldn’t like the idea of the Emperor’s angels descending on plumes of fire to bring illumination to the foe?

So after carefully considering the above points, I discounted three of the four Legions I’d been thinking about. The first to go were the Night Lords and the Word Bearers; though I love the look of these two Legions I really wanted a loyalist legion to offset my Iron Warriors. I liked the idea of converting up each of the Night Lords with trophies and chains to make them really individual, but I don’t have that amount of time to dedicate to the hobby, and I could see myself not making progress as quickly as I’d like to and becoming disheartened with the Legion.

Second were the Word Bearers; again, a fantastic looking Legion, but I’d want to do them with a massive number of cultists, militia and downtrodden scum (I mean… willing volunteers); as well as really going to town on the Chaos element of the army. I’d want to include Daemons alongside them, but I feel this could drag a lot of focus from what I really want to be a Legion project… I’m not saying never, and may come back to these one day…

This left me with the Ultramarines and the Blood Angels. I’ve always been a fan of the Ultras; they were my first 40k army many years ago, and I really like the background to them. The Blood Angels are a fantastic looking army in 40k, and I’ve always had a soft spot for them. In terms of making a decision for my next project, I went back and forth between these two Legions for quite some time (most likely winding up Ahmose and Darien as I agonised over the decision!). Eventually, Ahmose suggested I paint up a Blood Angel just to get it out of my system; I’d already painted up an Ultramarine in Mk 4 plate, so it seemed fitting to stand them side by side.

Now, I really enjoyed painting both of them up, but I’ve decided to go with the Blood Angels (he has been line-highlighted, they're just a lot more subtle than the Ultramarine!)

The Ultramarines are a great Legion, but their Legion Rules, Rites of War and even Unique Units (I’m looking at you Fulmentarii!) produce a Legion which is somewhat similar to the Iron Warriors. The Blood Angels favour a different style of play and their Day of Revelation Rite of War places an emphasis on units that I’ve not really used before. Eventually, I’ll be able to play through the story of Signus Prime with them, and the Siege of Terra will be awesome when we get around to it.

So… fingers crossed Angelus arrives sooner than later…

Well, that’s the very long-winded way that I’ve gone about deciding on a new army – how did you pick your Legion? Was it as painstaking a process as mine?!




  1. I know it’s not on your list but Raven Guard could be fun especially if you’re considering night lords. Lots of fast moving units, you could use jet bikes. Though I’m not a huge fan of the corax model (I’m a dirty traitor scum) they’re the only loyalist legion I’ve thought about playing, as I love their legion specific stuff

    1. Raven Guard are an awesome Legion, but Spectre already has a sizable force, and if I did them as well, he might make me... disappear...

  2. Good on you, Blood Angels rule ;)

  3. Here's an out of left field suggestion: shattered legions. That way you could do all four, picking what you like best about each of them.

  4. Great choice! I find red difficult to give depth to but I'm sure you'll figure it out as you get into it.

    And they have a FW transfer sheet - that's huge. I'm starting a White Scars army and that's a major frustration, especially because I prefer decals over molded shoulder pads. But they're the legion for me. I was never really into marines in 40k - too disciplined, too detached - basically too inhuman for me to identify with. But then I read Chris Wraight's novels about the Vth, and here were a bunch of marines who were contemplative, self-moderated, bad with punctuality, not properly organized, love going fast… and I thought, if I were a genecrafted post-human killer, I'd be one of these guys.