Jungle Juice: November 2009
by Patrick Eibel
It has been awhile since we broke
out the Juice, but with a relatively new Space Marine Codex out, there
are plenty of players looking for advice on creating an army that does
not rely on the ubiquitous special characters. Recently, I received
Top of the mornin' to
ya, my name is Jonathan. I have recently started a new Space Marine
army, but now I'm stuck.
So far I have:
My whole army currently comes out
to about 870 pts.
A Captain w/ thunder hammer, artificer
armor, digital weapons, plasma pistol and melta bombs (190 pts);
Epistolary Librarian w/ The Gate
of Infinity and The Avenger (150 pts);
Tac. Squad 1 w/ flamer and missile
launcher; Sgt w/ combi-plasma, plasma pistol and teleport homer (190 pts);
Tac. Squad 2 w/ flamer and missile
launcher; Sgt w/ plasma pistol and melta bombs (170 pts); and,
Tac. Squad 3 w/ flamer and missile
launcher; Sgt w/ plasma pistol and melta bombs (170 pts).
Their primary tactic is to sit
in a fortified position and plug away at enemies with long-range weaponry.
If an enemy unit is within assault range, then any unit that has taken
casualties will wildly charge it while full strength units keep firing
at new targets. In addition, my Captain and the squad he's attached to
will always charge regardless of unit strength. I want to work this into
the army's fluff somehow, but I'm not sure how.
They are probably going to be
Imperial Fist spinoffs `cause they seem to show the same disregard for
personal safety and are just suicidal enough to try a last-ditch charge
to defend an objective on Turn Six (sort of near-sighted, I know, but being
in character is more important then winning to me).
I don't want any tanks or transport
vehicles if I can at all avoid it (except for maybe Dreads, because I like
the fluff for them and the way they look and work next to regular Marines).
I don't know why I don't like tanks (other then I think Marines are tough
enough already, and as a matter of honor would rather go into battle with
nothing but a trusty bolter and a prayer on their lips instead of hiding
behind armored vehicles... at least my Marines would).
As far as a color scheme is concerned,
I'm thinking about painting them Ultramarines Blue or Emerald Green and
white. I would have bronze, silver or gold trim (depending on rank) on
the right shoulder pad, where the unit marks are, and Badmoon Yellow trim
on the left shoulder pad, where the chapter markings are.
I'm thinking about adding:
Where I need the most help is in
the fluff categories (and if you have any other suggestions I'd love to
hear them). The fluff categories that I really need are:
A Devastator Squad armed with two
lascannons and two plasma cannons (these guys will probably be the Librarian's
personal squad that he'll be attached to at all times);
An Assault Squad for HtH support
(these guys may be upgraded to Vanguard Vets for fluff reasons);
A Command Squad for the Captain to
make his assaults a bit more deadly; and,
Two more Tac. Squads just to bolster
the army's numbers a bit more (as of now I'm not sure how to arm these
guys, but I'm thinking maybe arming them the same as the others).
I have read the article about writing
good fluff (several times,) but as
I already said, I can't come up with anything. Once I see something down
on paper (or up on screen as the case may be) I'm usually pretty good with
taking it from there.
Name ideas for the chapter, company,
squads, characters, etc, etc, etc.;
A chapter symbol (the simpler the
better, as my freehand skills are almost non- existent at best); and,
Maybe the beginning of a fluff story
(only a paragraph or so, because I have tremendous writer's block when
it comes to writing stuff on Space Marines)
Thank you for the help!
This is exactly the kind of help
that the Jungle Juice idea was meant
to address. There is a lot here to work with, and hopefully Jonathan
will find some of my advice useful.
The Army List
I will include the units Jonathan
is thinking of adding for the purposes of discussion. First off,
I would give the Sergeants each a power fist instead of melta bombs.
While melta bombs are a cheap way to get some tankbusting in a unit, the
power fist is more effective (more attacks) and can be used in close combat
Number Two, I would not have a Devastator
Squad accompany the Librarian with Gate, as they will not be able to fire
when they relocate. Instead, make that a unit of Sternguard Veterans
with plasma guns (there seems to be a plasma theme to the weapons choices.)
The unit can relocate to rapid-fire range and unleash a torrent of deadly
fire using the psyker’s power.
Jonathan can still take the Devastator
Squad, but just leave them as a stand-alone unit, and I would consider
taking all lascannons, as the army is currently very poor at taking out
anything with a high Armor Value. To this point, I would also recommend
getting a Dreadnought with twin-linked lascannons and a missile launcher.
Vehicles with AV 14 are becoming more common (Land Raiders and Guard tanks),
so it is imperative to have reliable options to take them out.
My last suggestion for the list is
to get some Drop Pods. I respect the no-tanks attitude as part of
the background, but with 5th Edition, mobility has become essential in
claiming objectives and dealing with opponent’s troops that you cannot
see or reach. I do not think Jonathan needs to go with all Drop Pods,
which seems to be a popular tactic these days, but one for the Command
Squad and two Tactical Squads should be a good start.
Based on the way the army is constructed–like
to hang back, high powered weaponry–I envision their primary foe being
Tyranids. This would also give a reason for their fury in assaults,
as they know that if they big beasties are that close, desperate measures
are necessary. You do not actually have to have a friend who plays
Tyranids to keep the backstory going, just that at some point in the Chapter’s
past, they had a major campaign against Tyranids and developed fighting
tactics to deal with Monstrous Creatures and swarms of Gaunts.
As for names, the name of the chapter
is fairly straightforward. As a successor to Imperial Fists, you
can keep the Fists part and instead of Crimson use Emerald (the blue color
scheme would be too close to Ultramarines). I will describe color
schemes in the next section.
Since the Fists and Ultramarines
use vaguely Roman sounding names, I found a Roman name generator and a
Latin translator on the internet and plugged away until I got some names
Painting and Modeling
Captain: Decius Crassus
Librarian: Kaeso Sertorius
Dreadnought: Brother Loricatus
Squad names: Unum, Duarum, Triarum,
Assault Squad: Tentatium
Dev Squad: Sepelium
With a name like Emerald Fists and
given the colors Jonathan outlined at the start, the color scheme seems
simple enough to work out: white armor, Dark Angels Green left arm including
hand/fist, Burnished Gold chest eagles. Using white on the shoulder
pad allows Jonathan to use the black fist decals as his chapter badge,
so no hand-painting involved. To reference the background and add
some individual character to models, some Tyranid bits could be used to
decorate bases and such.
Well, I am all out of juice….err
figuratively that is. I hope that Jonathan, and any other gamers
working on similar projects, can find some useful tips in this article,
and I look forward to playing against those armies one day. Sifting
through all of the material put out by GW to design, assemble, and paint
an army can be difficult enough without having to think about creating
a story. That is where the help of fellow gamers can be useful and hopefully
some ideas that we present can be related to any army. Until the
next time, get out there and play!
Posted November 2009.
Used with permission.