40K C2A: Tim’s Blog Entry 1 – List Building

The Particular JudgeAs part of the Warhammer 40K Call to Arms that just started at Black Knight Games, Mykk, Jay, and I all agreed to start up new armies, some of us coming back to 40K after a long time.  In my case, I was a Magic: the Gathering player before I was ever a minis gamer, so the first place I wanted to start was with list building.

For anyone who knows me as a Warmachine player, you’ll know I enjoy a list that has the potential to be fielded at a tournament.  40K has some amazing narratives, but I wanted to first find an army I was excited about the storyline for that could also hold its own against a field of strong players.  I did a little bit of research and, because I’m not a spectacularly experience 40K list builder, I looked at a couple of formations that give powerful advantages and guide list building.Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation

I settled on the Adeptus Mechanicus War Convocation (pictured right) from White Dwarf 69.  The list has some powerful advantages, like free wargear, plasma weapons not getting hot, and Cult Mechanicus prayers to the machine god working on all of my models.  The formation also forces me to take a fairly restrictive set of things, which makes building my 1500 points pretty easy.  So let’s go over what I’m taking!

01630cd5b26c0cfe25c1c105bff81472ce6ad342baStarting with my warlord, I’ve included a Tech-Priest Dominus as my HQ from the Cult Mechanicus codex.  This ambiguously gendered transhumanist has a Power Axe and a walking stick which, while seemingly contradictory, is also pretty badass.  I gave her an Eradication Raygun and a Phosphor Serpenta as ranged weapons, and a Stasis Field as a defensive option.  From the Relics of Mars list, she took The Scryerskull Perspicatus, allowing her to scry inside enemy vehicles and let my army damage them more easily.

One of the perks of my formation is rerolling the warlord trait, so I’m hoping to always have something cool for each battle.

01cb6031fb2250e3f964bbc15f74528210ab6f850cCult Mechanicus troops are extremely well armed, and my two squads of three Kataphron Destroyers are no exception.  Equipped with cognis flamers, these guys have a serious wall of death if you charge them.  I also gave them Grav-cannons to take out well armored troops like terminators.  Access to these kind of heavy guns comes at a cost, of course, as these guys only have a 4+ armour save.  Here’s hoping that these rolling tread-centaurs make it to my enemies in time to bring this firepower to bear.  I wonder if tread-centaurs is ever going to catch on?


012087f93a37d98f57e040c8a59b1afa3bbfdb176dFrom the Skitarii side of my army, the Ironstrider Ballistarus is a rapidly re-deployable gun platform.  A twin linked cognis lascannon can even hit Flyers with a re-rolled 5 or 6, so the one shot it has can be aimed at any reasonable target of opportunity.  Obviously, I’d rather be using this guy to wreck tanks or enemy artillery from a safe distance.  If you look closely at the model you can see one of the guys operating it actually has his legs chopped off and is piloting the walker by literally walking.  Gross.


01f2586b1145ef02970332785d2d4e74a6cfb1bff7My real answer to enemy fliers comes in the Onager Dunecrawler outfitted with an Icarus Array.  This walking tank shoots flying enemy models at regular ballistics skill, and even has an interceptor gun that can shoot a flier coming in from reserves.  While not spectacularly great at any other job, I figured it was important to have something in my army that can deal with all the airships out there.


017a85cebd6ed4634117113e3b95514ec4816bf867I haven’t, at the time of writing this, quite finished assembling my Sicarians.  Pictured here you have the officers for each unit, with the armless, headless, torsos of the remaining models.  Sicarians are interesting, and I haven’t figured out exactly how to play them yet.  The Ruststalkers are clearly powerful close combat troops and have the ability to move quickly from covered areas while perhaps capturing objectives on my opponent’s side of the table?  01ff3f7e551512727b8aa8728caec9cd7484bbf723The Infiltrators have guns, as well as decent combat abilities.  Unsurprisingly, they may also infiltrate, allowing me to keep them in reserves.  I’m not sure when I would want to do that, so I’ll have to try out some different things with them and see how the games go.


01bd9d46c8eab1ccf6941cf26c72199d8e9f0375abNot all Skitarii soldiers are robot grasshoppers, of course.  Some of the faithful martians are just normal folks equipped with the best technology in the galaxy and respirators to protect them from the harsh radiation of their own equipment.  The Skitari Vanguard are another middle of the board unit, with a couple of Plasma Caliver weapons in the squad, they’re able to dish out heavy weaponry from 18″ away.  I’ll probably use their scout move to position these folks near some cover or at a reasonable vantage point.


01bdafa7e8ceab02ba6db49f775fe72413b152e5ecBy contrast, Skitarii Rangers have some really long range rifles.  These hooded snipers shoot comfortably at 30″ and even 60″ with their weapon attachments, these guys are going to hang out at the back of my board picking off targets of opportunity.  A gun for all occasions might as well be the motto of the Adeptus Mechanicus.  I’m pretty sure the first time these guys die unceremoniously


01fa82e4fc9318ebdc1f62fec52c1019ff1e398013Last but not least, what’s an army without some kind of fantastic centrepiece?  When the Imperium first discovered the Knight worlds, cut off from other parts of the galaxy for generations, the Imperial Knights were in dramatic need of repair.  So several families pledged the service of their knights in exchange for the technological assistance of the Adeptus Mechanicus.  These huge gun platforms serve alongside the Skitarii forces wading into battle armed to the teeth.  I got some assistance from Jay, who’s a talented sculptor, to put a Skitarii Ranger style hood on my Imperial Knight Crusader, as none of the Mechanicus head options suited my aesthetic.  The crusader has a number of gun options, but I went with the Rapid-fire Battle Cannon, to drop a couple of huge templates from backfield, an Avenger Gatling-Gun for a quantity over quality approach to shooting, and another meltagun.   The kit also allows for a carapace mounted gun, so I took a Stormspear Rocket Launcher.  It seemed like a good choice, given my Onager Dunecrawler is already my dedicated anti-flier piece.


Putting it all together, the army really looks great, even without having started painting it.  I’m planning on priming in silver to cover all my extensive recessed metals, and then using red as my primary colour (typical of the Martian style).  I’ll post some updates once I have some colours on these guys, or have played a few games.

In the meantime, sign up for the Call to Arms and show us what you’ve been working on!  It’s only $30 to register, which gets you free entry to all of the events that are a part of the Call to Arms, an awesome party for everyone, and a custom set of objective prizes for anyone who finishes by February.  On top of that, if you spend $150 on stuff specifically for your new army, BKG will waive the $30 and give you entry for free.  Make sure once you do sign up that you join the BKG Call to Arms Facebook group to show off what you’re working on and stay motivated.01253f9fef976229cdf15cce08febfda48848ffed7

Oh, and one other thing.  Jay, Mike and I entered into a bit of a side bet.  Anyone who doesn’t finish his army has to buy dinner for anyone who does finish.  Mike’s a motivated guy and knows how to paint an army fast, but I’m not so certain about Jay.  Any recommendations as to where Mike and I should have him take us?

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