Originally I wanted to talk about both Solaq and Calth in this post but I might have ranted on about Solaq a bit more than I expected, So I think Ill leave it like this now and do another post on Calth,which will hopefully be a bit smaller.
In the Shadow Force Solaq, you get the following: Contents from the Sternguard box, Vanguard Box and a Land Speeder. A shiny new Captain and some special rules. Unfortunately this box is not as good as the previous ones that Games Workshop has released, and strange that they then have done something like Calth after it where they’ve got some good savings on what you get.
This box is focused around the Raven Guard, the stealthy marines, and the small bit of fluff that sets up the conflict between the Tau force and the Raven Guard is not too bad. To give you the jist; Shadow Captain Solaq’s transport shot down the Tau flyer carrying the Etheral, both forces have CAS deployed in the form of a land speeder for the Raven Guard and a Tau Piranha. These two are looking for the Ethereal while the Vanguards and Sternguards move in under direction of Solaq, the Tau on the other hand are making a fighting retreat to a transport.
Outside of the 3 missions you get, which appear to be fun, adding in some minor rulesets here and there. For example, in the first one, the land speeder has to scan specific locations on the map to find Aun’Do, the Tau Etheral. There looks to be some new artwork throughout the book, specificly one catches my eye, a Raven Guard terminator about to smash a Tau with a hammer while lifting him off the ground. Most of the Art is done by the new artist(s) that we’ve had since the Dark Eldar Codex (I think?) and some returning artwork. This guys stuff is hit and miss for me, some of it looks good, some of it looks terrible(Daemonkin Codex, Terminator Entry).
Then there is the Unit/Squad Sheets. These are mostly good, the Land Speeder has flown in from the Ravenwing with its Jink Re-Roll but thats okay. Scout is a nice bonus too but no Chapter Tactics here. The Vanguard vets are more or less the same and nothing too special here, they have the CT to make use of their jump packs, with 4 LClaws and the TH+SS. Its not a bad combo and its something I would use myself. The Sterguards are an odd bunch.. So they get Fight from the Shadows, in which if they stay stationary gain shrouded for the following turn, and so on. So they can consecutively get a 2/3+ coversave in Ruins. But Games Workshop Giveth and they do something derpy which pretty much takeths; they are armed with a Plasma Pistol, 2 Bolters, a storm bolter…. and a Heavy Flamer?? Of course a heavy flamer, nothing makes more sense to fight from the shadows than FIRE. “Sir, we’re getting flamed out here, I cant tell where the flame jet is coming from!!” Seriously though… I could have dealt with the storm bolter and plasma pistol if it was a heavy bolter, but a heavy flamer, for fucks sake GW. Sigh, moving on..
So here is Shadow Captain Solaq and his sprues below! A new Space Marine Captain, which depending on how you feel about all the limited edition captains running about you might be fairly apathetic. But I was after this specific model rather than the rule set. Ill get to that later though. For the most part he is a generic captain; Power sword and Plasma Pistol, gains fear tests on a 3D6, ontop of his ATSKNF. But his helmet is a Relic, and one I am thinking heavily about the uses with at the moment. Its a pseudo invisibility. Any unit that wants to shoot at him or his unit has to pass a leadership check. Fail that and you have to snap shot him. Its a neat benefit and applies to the squad he is with as well. Of course because its a leadership check that means that its based off chance that it happens, but I am sure that when it does its going to happen when it was needed most. All of that for the price of a chapter master, with captain stat line, unsure how I feel about that.
The formations alright, all the units look like they will work well enough together, but with the sterngards having that heavy flamer, I feel like its a let down. Especially when you have this exact formation available through the new book, just without the specific named units, so that would give you some tactical flexibility. It also means that you can use these units with that formation. A 10 man squad with Solaq that needs a leadership test if someone wants to shoot at it? Could be good. Will have a think about all that after I get Kauyon eventually.
I picked up this kit for a conversion. I have had an idea for my Ultramarines force leader. A conversion I wanted to do for awhile now but have not been able to find the parts or workout the pose. The idea for this captain was one with two swords, one pointing out into the ensuring combat, picking out dialogue from playing through the Witcher 2 a few too many times, Vandegrifts “My lords, to your banners! We enter the fray.” The voice, the momentum, and while Vandergrift is the bad guy, it still gave me the idea of the ever tactical son of Guilliman talking to the men around him while hes thinking through how the battle is going to pan out and deciding to enter into it himself, as if his entry, and that of his guard, will be the deciding factor. Im yet to work on loadout exactly yet, I actually want to build the model first and then work on the rules.
Originally I wanted 10 of the Forgeworld guys to be his guard, Played as Honour Guard or Vanguard Vets. I may get forgeworld items eventually, but with Solaq plus other bits on hand I can build a 10 man squad of jetpackless vanguards. Yes, I know, they’re probably going to get shot to pieces, but I plan to use a Drop Pod, Rhino or Land raider depending. Its the sacrifices you make when building something “Fluffy” or with a lore backstory that you have built. Sometimes you just have to throw the min/maxing out, which I think is the best thing you can do in this game sometimes. The mix on it Im looking at is 6 Storm Shields and Lightning Claws (Probably modeled with Power swords), 2 Double Claws, Captain with the TH+SS plus one other with TH+SS. This means I always have someone with a TH if I need to get in on those vehicles, but the main focus of this group is to mince through enemies.
So why Claws and shields but looking like swords? I have yet to pick up the new codex for Space Marines, but going off the old ones and everything else up until this point, Power Swords and Claws cost the same. The Storm Shield has a rule to stop you getting that extra attack from having a second close combat weapon, and claw needs another weapon with Specialist to gain the bonus. Unless power swords have dropped in cost in this new edition there is literally no use in using them over a claw in this scenario.
Thats the plan for all that, and hopefully its built by the end of the week. That way I can start on Calth! Thank you all for reading, next up is talking about that, and a project I want to drag a few other bloggers into if I can; Forge the Character.. More on that this week.