Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Death Company: 2nd Edition Legacy and planning my unit for 8th

The Death Company have had a special place with me since 1994, although it's with a little shame that I have to admit I have never painted or even owned any. For a bit more background... 

The week that I played my first game of 40k was just after the DC background was outlined in White Dwarf (something like #188?), and the box below had just been released. 

I loved all the rules for them - these guys were compete badasses, being suicidal bloodthirsty shock troops. They would never break, carried any mix of special weapons you wanted and (at least for those original rules) had a very cool special mortal wound rule - they could take 1 mortal wound and keep fighting (more would kill them outright), but models who had taken 1 would be counted as casualties at the end of the game as succumbed to the injuries. Dirty Dozen in 40k... 

My very first game army consisted of 1 unpainted lead Vindicare assassin and a squad of ~12 Death Company in the form of a bunch of paper circles written on with text like 'Death company - chainsword/plasma pistol'. The assassin spent most of the game locked in single combat with a lictor and the DC roamed around the board being massively outnumbered by termagaunts. I forgot to use most of their special rules, inflicted moderate/low damage and think I lost on victory points. Loved the game. 

I went on to build out an extensive Eldar force for the rest of the 90s and never got to buy the box of metal 2nd ed death company models, but the suicidal troops were literally what got me into the game. Come forward to now, and with nearly half a company of red marines painted in the last 2 years it's time to work on the ones in black.

Reading about their role in 7th (and now 8th) edition and people seem a bit split on how they should be armed and used; cheap and aggressive close combat with default loadout, drop pod bolter squads vs jump packs... hard hitting melee weapons or stand off shooting. The fluff in Angels Blade also noted that 5th co lost most of their company number to the rage at that point in time so seems apt to field a bunch of them in the Daemonbanes. 

I'd gradually pondered over wanting to make sure my DC is -
- Slightly large unit to reflect Angel's Blade (3 boxes of DC)
- Geared much more for close combat, but cheap (chainswords & pistols)
- Lots of clear X markings on the modern parts (throwback to the 2 ed red saltire look)
- Swappable jump packs so they can be dropped in or fly themselves around
- Each one should look a bit unique (mix in BA tac bits, Sang guard, etc)
- A few rule-of-cool special weapons (but only a couple)

Basically I see the DC as being a mobile buzz saw at the front of my army for chewing through light hordes, but with a couple of punchy melee weapons for having a go at tanks (and generally looking tough). 

So my current progress on assembly has been...
- 15 DC troops armed with...
     Chainsword & bolt pistol (11x)
     Bolter & power fist (2x)
     Power sword & bolt pistol (1x)
     Thunder hammer (1x)
- Lemartes AND a Jump pack chaplain (either one or both can lead MSU)

I also had enough left over bits from the DC kits and command sprue to make a 16th troop with a banner. If it's not allowed as game-legal, that still gives me 3x combat squads or a big mob even without it. Should look pretty cool as a display piece alone and give me a chance to try out some banner detailing before doing the command squad banner.

Everyone (including the 2 chaplains) get 2 changes of clothes... a magnetised jump pack and a standard marine pack. For 18 troops, 3 magnets each = 54 magnets in total to drill and install. Lot of fitting to go :-(

I'll get some pics up of the construction soon - they are all largely coming together, but won't get them primed until after the 8th Ed Blood Angels codex comes out in a few weeks - just in case I need to make some last minute weapon swaps. 

Really looking forward to working on these over Christmas. 

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