Friday, August 8, 2014

Tempestus Scions Command Squad

Tempestus Scions Command
Oh man - the "dog days" of summer are finally, finally here! The weather has been so bad for so long that I was starting to contemplate witchcraft, ritual magic, or perhaps the construction of a ziggurat for human sacrifice in order to placate the gods.  Thankfully, the warm weather associated with a Canadian prairie summer finally arrived a couple of weeks ago - with no human sacrifice required (this time...). 

My dogs Spencer (left) and Joey enjoying the dog days of summer in the back yard. They have the right idea!
With the lovely weather here at last, my painting volume has taken a total nose dive as I opt for being outside as much as possible. But I have still finished a few things here and there in quick bouts of painting after sundown.  Here is one of those little side efforts - a "Tempestus Scion" (i.e. Imperial Guard storm trooper) command section.

These models are from the new, dearly expensive GW Tempestus Scion box set. I started on a small group of these models a while back. You can use the box set to create either command models or standard troopers - they are listed separately on the web site, but it's the same set.

I find this box set to be fascinating reflection of GW's current gnarled c*ck state.  The amount of options you have for the figures is really something, and the detail and quality of the plastic sprue continues to impress.  There are helmets, berets, knives, a wide assortment of special weapons, grenades, swords, plasmas pistols...on and on! Not to mention the standard etc. The styling of the armour might not be for everyone, but as a I said before, these are really nice figures with many design elements that speak to both new and long-time Imperial Guard fans.

Officer and four troopers
At the same time, I can't imagine just how much time and effort had to be invested into providing so many different options on so much sprue for just five figures.  I mean, you even have what look to be laptop cases as accessories! There is a floating servo skull! How many of those am I going to need? couldn't find room for a couple more legs and torsos on there, huh?  GW - what a pack of douchebags.

But enough GW ranting for now.  There is already a lot of great content for that elsewhere on the Web, written much better than I can manage (see here for a great example).  Back to the figures!

The Scions can have a command squad with a senior officer and all of the little add-ons common to Imperial Guard formations since the Rogue Trader days.  You can ad a medic, a comms guy (ok, that is more second edition than Rogue Trader, but still, it's been around for a while) and a standard bearer.  I opted for berets on the command squad guys, leaving a more standard helmet on the melta gunner.

Standard bearer - skulls anyone? Sigh

The standard bearer is a tricky fellow - I will need to mount a washer inside his base to keep him from falling over.  I was pretty disappointed with the flag - much too full of skull BS for my tastes. I do enjoy markings cast directly on to flags, as they are fun to paint, but this one was a disappointment and a blank one would have been more fun (not that it always turns out better for me, but a blank flag would have been nicer than this silly skull design).

Medical trooper

The medic has the all-purpose medical kit, and a laser pistol with a little saw blade handy for amputations.  It seems in the grim darkness of the far future, every medical procedure will involve an amputation...

Lots of kit for these fellows to carry

The comms guy is a nice figure. And another example of just how exhaustive the bits are with this box, you get "hot-shot" lasguns in their protective sleeves for each of these special role troopers, to ensure your command squad can still fire with them in the event you are confronted by a WYSIWYG pedant.

Vox operator

I painted these mostly for collecting/fun. In game terms, this command squad is a rather amazing waste of points.  While the ability of the officer to issue orders is important, things like the standard bearer and the medic offer bonus abilities that are of no real use to your Tempestus Scions.  "Feel no pain" and a +1 to close combat resolution will not save these guys from anything.  The extra range provided by the vox caster is risible. A comms net measured in inches? I can get behind the retro-yet-super-advanced tech of the 40k setting, but come on!  It is particularly ridiculous when you see the advanced data slates/scanners etc. modeled right on the figures...

Nice model, but sort of pointless on the table - take a special weapon trooper instead!
The biggest negative of these special role figures all of these come at the expense of the special weapons that you will need if you are to have any hope of success in the game for your Scions. A useful command squad for a 40k game will have an officer an four troopers armed with the same special weapon - all flamers, or all melta guns.  The new "hot-shot" volley gun would be a good choice as well - an officer and four troopers with volley guns would pour out quite a bit of fire.

All of these guys were supposed to be ready in time for the game during Curt's visit...oh well.  I'm sure they will get another chance to deploy...

NOTE - Fawcett Blog visitor Admiral Drax offered a fine rant of his own on the utter stupidity of the vox rules, and I enjoyed it so much I think you should check it out here.  It's from 5th edition, but it still applies.  GW's ongoing inability to come up with decent, workable rules for simple things like this continues to astound.


DaveV said...

Great work on these, Greg. Lots of character.

I hear you about LCF vs. utility. I have some old lead RT-era IG plasma gunners that need paint, to add to a command squad.

RE: vox: There's other sci-fi games out there that actually simulate the enhanced capabilities allowed by networked comms and computing. Too bad 7th ed. didn't really change much in that realm.

Admiral Drax said...

Wow - the clarity with which you've expressed my own baffled disappointment is truly impresive...Nice paint jobs, though!

If you'll permit the indulgence, you may find this old rant of mine of interest:

[it's from the 5th Ed Codex, but the points stand).

Curt said...

Cracking job on these troopers Greg! As we've discussed GW should try to fit some smoking boots on the sprue to reflect the fate of many of these poor lads... ;)

Greg B said...

Thanks very much guys.

Drax - that rant was so much fun to read, I read it twice, and I added it to the original text :)

Admiral Drax said...

:) Glad you enjoyed it!

Incidentally: way back when, that underslung chain blade on the medic's gaunt owes it's design I reckon to the Space Marine medic's -which used to be explained as being a tool to cut through armour for recovery of the geneseed if the marine died... iirc.