Monday, June 12, 2017

Some Proponents of Prospero

For Propsero! Some troops from the XV Legion, the Thousand Sons

Summer is almost formally here, what with the Stanley Cup being handed out just last night (to the Pittsburgh Penguins again *vomit*).  As the weather improves I'm continuing with my slow, steady and somewhat random painting production.  The theme continues to be 30k.  In my previous posting I featured, of all things, a squad of Space Wolves, inspired by the story of "Prospero Burns".  Moving along with that theme, and the "Burning of Prospero" box set, I have some opponents for the Space Wolves.  This is a veteran squad and lone Terminator Sergeant from the XV Legion, the Thousand Sons, defenders of Propsero.

The writers at Forge World have tried their best to give each of the 18 Space Marine Legions involved in the Horus Heresy story their own unique "character", differences that go beyond different numerals or colours and symbols on the power armour. This is a tall order, given some limitations in the context that the main story puts in place, and doesn't always work, but in the case of the Thousand Sons, I think the writers, amplified by gifted story tellers like Dan Abnett, have done a great job.

Veteran Sergeant with plasma pistol and thunder hammer.  You know what they say...when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail...
Of the 18 Legions, the Thousand Sons stand out as the exception to the otherwise universal belief among the Imperial decision-making apparatus that arcane powers are not called for when you can just drive a Fellblade over something. Recall that in 30k the warp and its dangers were somewhat known, but avoided more on a basis that secularism was a central underpinning to the new Imperium, and a further perception that goofy superstition was not called for.  The depth of possible corruption and power the old gods of the ruinous path could bring to bear were not fully understood.  Needless to say, the Horus Heresy would put an end to that...

Support weapons - a heavy bolter on the right and plasma gun on the left
But where the magical powers of, say, the Word Bearers, are mostly about chasing favours from daemons, the magical aura of the Thousand Sons has a more scholarly and interesting vibe to it. They pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge, and seek to safeguard it forever.  In the context of the story of the Dark Age of Technology and the Unification Wars, it's really neat.  They thought the power of the warp, used properly, could be bent to the will of the Imperium, and made use of these skills in their prosecution of the Emperor's Great Crusade, at least until they were called out at the Council of Nikea.

Some of the regular grunts with bolt guns
The Thousand Sons are a Legion of archivists with big guns!  Where the other Legions (or Chapters of 40k) have some psyker ability in their Librarians, those are isolated and singular characters. Almost the entire Thousand Sons Legions have those abilities! Space Marines as sort of warrior-scholars are an interesting concept, and certainly stand apart from, say, the brutishness of the World Eaters, the brittle insecurities of the Emperor's Children or the laughably cartoonish evil of the Night Lords.  The Thousand Sons remind me of D&D players who were using the complicated rules for dual class characters, trying to combine the abilities of a mage with those of a warrior, without having to settle for the compromises of a paladin or a cleric.

A view of the back, showing the great detail the GW folks have achieved with these plastic Mk III power armour kits - they are a treat to paint

While they ultimately end up as parody Egyptian tomb drawings with guns (I'll concede that Terminator officer is pretty funky, though) in the 30k setting the XV seem like fun and offer many narrative gaming possibilities beyond the doomed defence of their home world.  Where other Legions will be relying on the brute power of their tanks and artillery (which, hey, is super cool too), a force of Thousand Sons, applying their arcane powers, will focus more on infantry and some interesting characters.  For example, if you can just open up warp gates, you probably won't need as many Rhino APCs...

Sergeant in Tartaros Terminator armour

Another lovely plastic kit from GW
As with the VI Legion fellows I posted a couple of weeks ago, I really, really enjoy painting the Mark III power armour, and the plastic Mark III sprues are just great. The Tartaros Terminators look really, really cool as well.   GW is killing it with these kits.

Ready for some gaming!
The composition of this initial force in this posting is based on the first scenario in the "Burning of Propsero" board game. It has this one veteran squad and the lone Terminator sergeant. The Space Wolves for that scenario have been painted, so I'm almost ready to give the little board game a try sometime this summer. In the interim, I'm going to keep dabbling away at some Propsero-themed 30k stuff.

Hope everyone has a great week!   


Curt said...

Dude, you had me at 'a Legion of Archivists with big guns' :P

Now, I totally have to do up a force of these guys for Epic.

Your stuff looks absolutely superb. I love how you've done their spooky green eyes and the muted gold/brass looks spot-on.

Michael Awdry said...

Absolutely stunning work again Greg.

JamieM said...

Cracking stuff Greg, I do like me some Thousand Sons and these are very well executed. I've not tried the boardgame in the box yet so I shall give it a go over the summer.

Eddy Artillery said...

They look awesome Greg!

I do like the little extra sigils on their armour.

Millsy said...

Simply gorgeous Greg!

Iannick said...

Great red Greg, I really like the gritty look it gives them

Unknown said...

They look awesome games!