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Themed Army Ideas
Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice: November 2006  by Patrick Eibel
The Jungle 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.

The miniatures I have are:

  • 1 Commander
  • 1 Commander in Terminator armor (I'm thinking of using it as a Librarian--the power blade could easily be a force weapon)
  • 1 Chaplain on a bike
  • 2 Tac Squads (only one missile launcher)
  • 1 Scout Squad (no sniper rifles)
I will soon be purchasing an Assault Squad, and maybe a Terminator Assault Squad. PLEASE help me flesh these guys out if you can.

Zach

At first glance, you may suggest to Zach to pick up the Black Templar Codex (GWs 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.

Getting Started
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 Zachs initial concept to create a unique army list.

Choosing Traits
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 (Ill 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 Aspire 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):

HQ
  • 0-1 Space Marine Commander (Brother Arthur Pendragon) may take Command Squad
  • 0-1 Chapter Chaplain (Brother Gawain) on Bike
Elite
  • Bike Squad must take Furious Charge and Expert Rider. May not add an Attack Bike
  • 0-1 Terminator Assault Squad use the Terminator Commander (Brother Lancelot) and add Terminators with thunder hammers and storm shields (it looks really medieval)
Troops
  • Tactical Squad 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.
Fast Attack
  • Assault Squad - as per Codex: Space Marines
  • Attack Bike - as per Codex: Space Marines
Heavy Support
  • 0-1 Land Raider Crusader to transport Terminator Assault Squad
  • Vindicator, Predator Annihilator, Predator Destructor, Land Raider - as per Codex: Space Marines
Modeling
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 armys 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 up.

Conclusion
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 the army.

If you would like me to develop some ideas for you, check the introduction page of this series for the e-mail address.
 

Related Pages
More Jungle Juice

Posted November 2006. Used with permission.
 

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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