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From Idea to Reality
Getting started <> Color schemes <> Raider Squads <> Transports <> Warriors <> 
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From Idea to Reality, Part 3: Raider Squads
Dark Eldar get Warriors and Raiders for Troops. I’ll deal with the Warriors in another article;  for now, let’s talk Raider Squads.

Raider Squads
The backbone of any army is Troops, and the backbone of the Ozone Scorpions is Raider Squads. In my initial plans, I included 5 of them, 3 with 10 Warriors each, and 2 with 5 Warriors each. Why so many Raiders? Every Dark Eldar player I’ve spoken to has assured me that one can never be too fast when playing the “Death Twinkies” (as I call them) and in any event, it fits the Ozone Scorpions’ “fluff” or background. Or as I wrote in the original article about the Scorpions:

Since its exile from Commorragh, the Kabal has had to stay one step ahead of its enemies; the army is fast even by Dark Eldar standards.
As I’ve been assembling the army, I’ve become concerned about the notorious Dark Eldar fragility and I’ve decided that I want as many bodies as possible without sacrificing speed. Therefore, I’m bumping up the 2 half-sized Raider Squads to a full 10 Warriors each. This, along with several other changes I have in mind, mean I need to increase the total point value of the army to about 2000. No mini-army here,I’m afraid….

The Role of the Raider Squads
With the overall assault orientation of the army, I’ve decided that the Raider Squads will rush forward and quickly engage the enemy, pouncing on one flank, hitting it with lots of firepower, and then assaulting the survivors of the initial onslaught. The Raider Squads will then either withdraw or continue engaging the enemy while or until the real heavy hitters—the Wyches, the Archon, the Taloses—attack.

Each Raider Squad will consist of:

  • 7 Warriors with splinter rifles
  • 1 Warrior with splinter cannon
  • 1 Warrior with blaster or shredder
  • Sybarite with poisoned blades and trophy rack
In my opinion, the splinter cannon is a must: it throws a sickening amount of shots at the enemy; even better, it’s an Assault weapon, meaning it can move and fire at the same time. I could have included a dark lance, but I prefer mobility to the heavier firepower. 

Each squad will have a blaster or a shredder depending on the opponent: blasters for heavily armored troops (Chaos or Space Marines, Necrons), shredders for more numerous, lightly armored foes (Imperial Guard, Orks, Tyranids—and let’s not forget those other, lesser Dark Eldar Kabals, shall we?). This means I will have to buy and paint extra figures for each squad, but I want the flexibility. 

Ozone Scorpion with shredder
Above: Ozone Scorpion armed with a shredder

I want my squads to have a little extra punch, so each one includes a Sybarite. To keep point costs down, I’m limiting wargear to 10 points or less. I’m giving the Sybarites poisoned blades because these weapons wound any opponents on a 2+ —pretty darn good for a character with a Strength of 3. The trophy racks will boost the Sybarites' Leadership to 9 with the first close combat kill—can’t have my Scorpions running away if they get their noses bloodied, now can I?

Painting the Raider Squads
Having established the color scheme for the Ozone Scorpions’ armor, I’m faithfully following it to produce a unified look to the army. I caught some flak from people who thought that the armor looked too bright or wasn’t in character, but that’s the point. Going along with Suggestion #6 of the Making  Your Army Distinct article, I’ve given them an unusual paint scheme. Like it or hate it, you have to agree that it's distinctive.

Ozone Scorpions
In each Raider squad, I use a Wych figure (center) as a Sybarite 

As I painted my Raider Squad, one new thing I threw in was to paint the helmet plumes Liche Purple. True, the Dallas Cowboys don’t wear purple, but my friend Pat had bought me a bottle of it and it’s too nice a color to let it go to waste. Remember, use what you have around if you can, just like Vicente’s article said. Plus the purple works well with the blue and the silver.

Eklavdrah
When I was just starting to collect Dark Eldar figures, my friend Dwayne offered to sell me a Talos and some Haemonculi, and he threw in a painted Lelith Hesperax as well. I knew I wasn’t going to use the conventional Wych figures, but I agreed to take Lelith anyway: at the very least, she would look good on my desk.

It didn’t take me long to realize that Commorragh’s #1 Bad Girl would make an excellent Sybarite figure. Although you can go overboard on equipping them with wargear, in general, squad leaders are a good idea. Though a Sybarite doesn’t increase the squad’s Leadership (drat!), each can receive some keen toys that hopefully will give their squad a little more punch.

I had decided that each Raider Squad Sybarite was going to have poisoned blades and a trophy rack. Fortunately, the Lelith figure came with those already: that trident would be her poisoned blade, and the spiky armor bit on her shoulder became a trophy rack as soon as I stuck an Ork head and a Marine head on it. The heads are plastic, left over from the “Rogue Trader” era (remember—never throw bits away!), painted as normal with a wash of Rotting Flesh over them to look like they’re decomposing. Icky, huh? Sybarites are supposed to have splinter pistols, so I glued a holstered pistol on her.

Of course, the problem with converting a special character figure and using it as anything other than that character is that you get comments about it. I could already imagine someone asking me why Lelith was hanging out with a Raider Squad and not a bunch of Wyches, like she’s supposed to. Even worse would be someone berating me for not asking them if I could bring a special character. So I tried to make the Lelith figure look less like Gladiator Grrrl and more like an Ozone Scorpion by painting her to match the army. Which meant—brace yourselves, boys—I painted clothes on her.

Eklavdrah
So wearing gold and silver is tacky: 
YOU tell her that.

Sacrilege, I know, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve broken one of the major tenets of 40K (I have a Space Marine Chaplain that DOESN’T wear black). Though the Lelith figure comes wearing an armored bikini and a mask, I painted over most of the exposed skin, so now she looks like she’s wearing a skin-tight bodysuit with armored pieces. 

(Please find it in your hearts to forgive me, fellas)

Eklavdrah

Despite the different armor style and stylistic touches here and there that distinguish her from ordinary Warriors, the Sybarite still fits in with the rest of the army because of her blue and silver outfit. I’ve renamed her Eklavdrah (after the chief bad girl from the original AD&D Drow module series [D1-3]) and I like her so much that I’ll include Wyches as Sybarites for all my Raider Squads.

Of course, what is a Raider Squad without a ride? Next time I’ll discuss how I built and converted the transports.

From Idea to Reality
Getting started <> Color schemes <> Raider Squads <> Transports <> Warriors <> 
Haemonculi/Talos <> Reavers <> Wyches <> Warp Beasts <> Archon <> Final



Related Pages
Themed Army Idea: Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions
Armies of the Jungle: Kabal of the Ozone Scorpions
 

Posted February 2001. 
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle