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

From Idea to Reality, Part 5: Warriors
If I were not writing this series, I would build and paint all five of my Raider Squads before moving on to the Warriors—I would prefer to have the extra speed and firepower for my first few games with the Ozone Scorpions. But then I wouldn’t have anything new to discuss, and a succession of articles on Raider Squads might be a bit too dull for even the biggest Dark Eldar fan. So…let’s talk Warriors.

The Warrior Squad
Though Raider Squads will be the backbone of the army, I see the need for a good chunk of Troops that could absorb casualties—as well as the weedy Death Twinkies can, anyway. After years of playing Space Marines, I’m appalled at how wimpy Toughness 3 and a 5+ Save is!

Warriors can vary in size from 10 to 20 members. I had heard about the merits of 10-man Warrior Squads outfitted with dark lances, to act as a sort of Death Twinkie Devastator Squad, but that didn’t fit my idea of how a Dark Eldar army should fight. Stay back and shoot? No thank you—I do enough of that with my Tigers. And to me, having only 10 men in a Warrior Squad may be easy on points but is kind of a waste of cannon fodder potential—why have 10 if you can 15? Or 20? Plus, if you’re only going to take 10 guys, why not give them a Raider?

The only real problem I see with Warrior Squads is speed. Fleet of foot is nice but it doesn’t begin to compare with a Raider. I wrestled for a long time with the ratio of Raider Squads-to-Warrior Squads; 3:3 was way too slow: half my army on foot? No thank you. Even 4:2 seemed too cumbersome. Finally I settled on 5:1. 

The Role of the Warrior Squad
My Warrior Squad numbers a full 20 and acts as cannon fodder, a distraction, or a knockout punch. The squad consists of:

  • 15 Warriors with splinter rifles
  • 2 Warriors with splinter cannons
  • 2 Warriors with blasters or shredders
  • 1 Sybarite with poisoned blades and hellmask. 
As you can see, the squad is equipped similarly to my Raider Squads, for the same reasons. The differences are more guns (especially more splinter cannons and blasters/shredders) and a hellmask for the Sybarite instead of a trophy rack. With a squad this big, I’m not too worried about needing the Leadership bonus a trophy rack would provide. Besides, my Sybarite model (a converted Harlequin; below) already has a scary-looking mask, and (following the advice of Vicente Ruiz’s article) I’m using what I have on hand.

Malekyth the Accursed
Above: Malekyth the Accursed. 
The thin film of Scorpion Green on his double-bladed 
short sword marks it as a poisoned weapon.

I’ve named the Sybarite Malekyth the Accursed, after the dark elf villain from Walt Simonson’s awesome run on Marvel Comics’ The Mighty Thor, waaaaaaay back in the early 1980’s. I don’t know if my Malekyth is actually a Harlequin who’s gone bad (or if that’s possible)—all I know is that my friend Pat gave me the figure and I wanted to use it. Like the Lelith Hesperax figure I used as a Sybarite for my Raider Squad, Malekyth is painted in the same colors as the other members of his squad, distinguishing himself with his different style of clothing and armor.

I’ll use the Warriors as cannon fodder if I need my Scorps to hold a position or just absorb some incoming fire. While I figure I’ll usually be moving toward the enemy, there may be opponents, such as Orks and Tyranids, that I won’t be in a hurry to engage. In that case, the Greenskins and the Bugs can amuse themselves crashing through my weedy Warriors—and right into my cleverly-designed trap (that’s the plan, anyway).

Warriors

The Warriors can also serve as a nice distraction. It’s often hard to ignore 20 guys throwing an awful lot of fire down the field. Who cares about that lone Haemonculus hiding behind the boulder when the guys with the blasters and splinter cannons are chewing up your Tactical Squad? Hopefully the Warriors will be able to buy time for the heavy hitters (the Archon, the Wyches, the Reavers, and the Taloses) to get into position.

Finally, the Warriors can act as a knockout punch. Once my army is complete, a crucial part of my general strategy will be to use a webway portal to drop the Warriors into the lap of the enemy, to reinforce the Raider Squads already in combat and to mop up any enemy resistance.

Painting the Warrior Squad
Man, after finishing all these Warriors, I have new respect for folks who have Orks and Tyranids—painting big units can be tedious. As mentioned many times in many other places, the assembly-line method is the only way to go, for putting together and painting the figures: line ‘em up and do the same task over and over until it’s done. 

So first I clipped all the legs off the sprues and glued them to the bases, then I glued the trunks to the legs, etc. Similarly (after priming the figures with black spray paint), I applied a coat of Enchanted Blue to the trunks and limbs, then a coat of Mithril Silver to the helmets, shoulders, gloves, and boots, then went back and put on another layer of Enchanted Blue over the first, etc. 

To speed up the process, I didn’t try any flashy conversions like you might see in the back of Codex: Dark Eldar. Nor did I add any fiddly bits like extra blades and such. The Warriors are rank-and-file guys, so (with the exception of Malekyth) they look like it. 

Speaking of conversions, I have quite a few planned for other units in this army, so to maintain a unified look throughout, I’m rigidly adhering to the paint scheme I discussed previously. My Warriors are identical to my Raider Squad members.

To help myself maintain that identical look, I developed a checklist for when I get down to detail-level painting. So all the guns will look a certain way, all the helmets will look a certain way, etc.
 

Figure
Have I applied 2 coats each of: 
  • Enchanted Blue (trunk, limbs)?
  • Mithril Silver (helmet, gloves, boots, shoulder armor)?
  • Chaos Black (guns, flesh)?
  • Skull White (hair)?
  • Boltgun Metal (blades)?
  • Liche Purple (helmet plumes)?
  • Shadow Grey (base)?
Have I given each figure a wash of thinned Chaos Black?

Have I drybrushed each figure's armor in Shadow Grey?

Guns
Have I picked out gun details (buttons on splinter rifles, energy cells on other weapons) in Ice Blue?

Have I painted the tips of shredders and blasters in Boltgun Metal?

Heads
Have I painted helmet eyelenses in Enchanted Blue?

Have I painted eyes on faces in Blood Red?

Have I painted on eyebrows with Skull White?

Have I highlighted faces (and other areas of exposed flesh) in Enchanted Blue?

Have I highlighted the hair with Mithril Silver?

Bases
Have I drybrushed the base with Space Wolf Grey?

Perhaps a tad obsessive-compulsive, but it works for me. The one thing I regret about my Fighting Tigers army is that, with four different color schemes, it doesn’t look as cohesive as it could with a single scheme. By being so meticulous this time, I hope to make my Ozone Scorpions look more unified, despite the extensive conversions I have planned (more about those conversions some other time).

Now that I have two Troops units done, it’s time to follow my own advice (from the 8 Tips to Help You Finish Painting Your Army article) and paint up an HQ unit.
 
 

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 April 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