Jungle Juice: November 2006
by Patrick Eibel
Juice series has become popular with players looking to add a new
twist to their armies. Some players have more defined ideas when they write
us, and some are open to whatever we think up for them. Recently,
I received the following:
I need some help with
developing my Space Marines army. I know their name (Shooting Stars), and
general structure (Elites are 'Knights', regular Marines are 'Squires',
and Scouts are 'Men-at-Arms') already, and they have a generally medieval
European feel. I am not sure about using any doctrines.
At first glance, you may suggest to
Zach to pick up the Black Templar Codex (GW’s idea of questing knights)
and call it a day, but with a little imagination, a knightly order very
different from the Templars can be created.
The miniatures I have are:
I will soon be purchasing an Assault
Squad, and maybe a Terminator Assault Squad. PLEASE help me flesh these
guys out if you can.
1 Commander in Terminator armor (I'm
thinking of using it as a Librarian--the power blade could easily be a
1 Chaplain on a bike
2 Tac Squads (only one missile launcher)
1 Scout Squad (no sniper rifles)
I like the idea of basing a Space
Marine Chapter on the Knights of the Round Table, or in Games Workshop
terms, Bretonnians in space. Knights conjure up such vivid imagery – chivalry,
jousting, feats of heroism – that are tailormade for creating fluff. I
will be using Zach’s initial concept to create a unique army list.
The first thing I want to address
is the idea of steeds. While no Space Marine Chapter is known to use horses,
the use of Bike Squads is common and will suit our needs just fine. As
has been discussed elsewhere, however, Bike Squads do not generally
strike fear into the heart of an opponent. Thankfully, the trait system
provides just what we need.
First, we take Be Swift As The
Wind, which allows Bike Squads to be taken as Elite or Troops.
We want to use the Bike Squads as Elites (sort of like questing knights)
and will give them the Furious Assault and Expert Rider abilities.
The other trait we want to select
is Suffer Not The Alien To Live, which confers preferred enemy status
to a particular xenos species (I’ll let Zach decide who his enemy is).
This fits in nicely with the idea that knight go on long campaigns against
a particular foe, and thus know how to fight them well.
As for the Drawbacks, we will select
To Glory as the major drawback, and Have Pride In Your Colors
as the minor drawback. At first, Aspire To Glory may seem prohibitive,
but since I am not using Veteran Squads (they are replaced by Bike Squads,
remember), I am only giving up Dreadnoughts (I am including one Terminator
Assault Squad, since Zach mentioned he intends to buy it.)
Sample Army List
Here, then, is what a Shooting Stars
army might look like (entries without restrictions may be chosen up to
force chart limits):
0-1 Space Marine Commander
(Brother Arthur Pendragon) – may take Command Squad
0-1 Chapter Chaplain (Brother
Gawain)– on Bike
Bike Squad – must
take Furious Charge and Expert Rider. May not add an Attack
0-1 Terminator Assault
Squad – use the Terminator Commander (Brother Lancelot) and
add Terminators with thunder hammers and storm shields (it looks really
– as per Codex: Space Marines
Bike Squad – must
take Furious Charge. May not add an Attack Bike
Scout Squad – Scouts
are knights in training and act accordingly: they must take bolters and
either a heavy bolter or missile launcher. They may not use sniper rifles.
They may not infiltrate in cover closer to the enemy, but can be deployed
during the Infiltrators phase in the open (as per mission restrictions
and distance rules). Scouts maintain their ability to Move Through Cover
due to their lighter armor.
Assault Squad -
as per Codex: Space Marines
Attack Bike - as
per Codex: Space Marines
0-1 Land Raider Crusader
– to transport Terminator Assault Squad
Vindicator, Predator Annihilator,
Predator Destructor, Land Raider - as per Codex: Space Marines
In keeping with the knight theme,
I would model squad leaders and characters in robes. Black Templar and
Dark Angel figures will provide excellent models to choose from and using
a mix of the two will help the army stay distinct (as well as removing
any iconography for the other chapters). As for chapter colors, I suggest
Regal Blue armor (it seems very knightly), with Liche Purple robes and
a black shoulder pad with a white shooting star design. Use Mithril Silver
for swords and paint the chest eagles either Skull White or Shining Gold,
depending on what looks better.
Once the preferred enemy is chosen,
incorporating trophies such as heads, weapons and other bits will help
to characterize the army’s long struggle. If you want to go the extra mile,
you could model the bikers with Grey Knight halberds (you would have to
order the bits, or maybe use Bretonnian arms). This would give the appearance
of long lances which can be positioned forward over the handle bars or
The ideas presented here provide
a general framework that Zach can build from. A backstory and character
names can be created using the preferred enemy as a source for inspiration
(Brother Bertrand the Orcslayer, Brother Jacob Wraithstone, etc.)
I love the idea of using the bikes as mounted knights and the army will
have a very distinct look if the bikers are modeled right. I hope
Zach likes the ideas and look forward to hearing from him as he builds
If you would like me to develop some
ideas for you, check the introduction page
of this series for the e-mail address.
Posted November 2006.
Used with permission.