Friday, February 6, 2015

SMG Armageddon Campaign: Getting Ready The Steel Legion

Dusting off the Legion
If someone would have told me a couple of months ago that I would be planning a huge campaign with my Guard this year I would think them crazy. The last time I played my Guard army was in October 2013 at The Redstone Rumble. At that time the Guard was getting long in the tooth and I wasn't winning games with them anymore. In fact, that was around the time I was starting to discover assault and experimenting with melee armies for Chaos and Space Wolves. I was hooked, I was tired of shooting, it had gotten stale, assault was bringing the fun back for me.

Fast forward to 2014 and it was my year for the assault army. I had my ups and downs, mastering melee isn't easy (and I'm still far from a master) and there are some armies that will always own you when you bring a knife to a gun fight, at least that is how it went with my Chaos army. Anyway, I was having fun and I didn't want to run a shooting army anymore, melee was the way forward for me. As a consequence my Steel  Legion got neglected, not even touched. I think I might have played it once in early 2014 - maybe. When the new Astra Militarium codex hit I was excited, bought the new codex and liked it a lot. I made some plans to upgrade my Guard but it was all for naught. Soon, thereafter, I was using all my time and money to upgrade my Chaos army and continue my path of assault play style, so thus, my excitement for Guard was short lived in 2014. My Steel Legion collected dust, lonely and forgotten.

A very nice Steel Legion army, not mine.
I hate to admit it, but so low had the Guard sank on my excitement list that I had traitorous thoughts about sell them. This did not come to pass thankfully, I've always known I could never sell my Steel Legion. They are my first army and every piece painted by me, lots of hard work and nostalgia are invested in them. I bought them when 4th Edition was brand new and The Steel Legion had just been released as the new Guard army. I bought my Legion all at once in a big order from The Warstore (I think it was kinda new then). I saved up and spent around $800 to purchase a dozen vehicles, about six squad boxes and some blisters of heavy, stormtroopers and special weapon teams. I could never do an order like that today with today's prices, these days in the hobby I have to buy everything a little at a time to spare my budget (and mind) from exploding into chunky salsa.

Now onto 2015 we go, I survived a mini-40K burnout in January and now it's time to start the South Mississippi Gamers year long Armageddon Campaign. Yeah, sounds difficult to pull off but we are motivated. Hinkel has an ork (stoopid xenos) army and I have a Steel Legion army so things are off to a good start. I am planning on writing up about a dozen campaign battles to play out. The only thing holding us up is real life and terrain; the battles of Armageddon were fought across orbital stations, ash wastes, jungles, arctic wastelands and inside hive cities. We have our terrain making work cut-out for us.

My 909th Steel Legion.
The State of my Steel Legion
 So my Legion has grown through the decade and especially in the past few years since I got back into Warhammer 40K full time. Over those years I've added a plethora of models from a full squadron of Vendettas to more Legion infantry and a lot in between including various Forge World vehicle turrets. Just this week I purchased a Punisher on Ebay because we all know that Pask in a Punisher is pure gold. Not everything that was added is put together or painted but a fair majority of it is.

This was my first army so it was my test bed for learning how to paint. That being said, it doesn't look bad, about tabletop quality, and it gets compliments but it will never win any painting contests. Only a tiny handful of my Legion models have any hint of wash being used, something I loathe to see since I'm a hardcore wash user now. I may go back and touch up some models, especially the faces, at the very least they need some wash to bring out the details. All and all, I can't complain, especially knowing this was my first attempt at painting an army. Heck, I actually have some pride in my first painted army - it could have been a total disaster instead!

Updating for Armageddon Campaign
First and foremost, The Steel Legion fights as a mechanized force. This is great because I dislike running blob squads and infantry are very squishy outside their APCs. Unfortunately I only have four Chimeras, I could have five by swapping my Hellhound's turret for a Chimera turret. However, this is Armageddon, which means I'm fighting hordes of orks and having a S 6 template that can shoot 12" is amazing against orks, so the Hellhound stays. This means I will have to run some infantry on foot, which is fine, I will need some speed bumps for when the orks hit my front lines.

With the new codex the Vendetta has become more costly and I'm not liking it, especially with the reduction in transport capacity. Against orks all those lascannons aren't going to help as much as blast weapons so I am digging the idea of Valkyries with Multiple Rocket Pods. I already have two Vendettas magnetized so I can swap out the weapons but the Valkyrie loadouts need more work and need to be painted. These Valkyries are going to be workhorses shooting out pie-plates and dropping off specialized Infantry where they are needed.

Special Guns
Flamers. I am going to need more flamers. One can never have enough template and blast weapons to throw at orks! I think I have about 5 flamer conversions completed and another in need of paint but I'd ideally like to get a couple more conversions done at the very least. Speaking of blasts, I might try and get together some more Missile Launcher teams, they will be perfect against ork infantry and their vehicles. But I have a problem, I can't find my spare Missile teams. I figured I must have at least three more teams in a bits box but they have gone MIA from my collection at some point along the way. I think they might have been traded to pay off a 40K debt a couple of years ago.

Armored Vets
Carapace armor is affordable now, have you noticed? Veterans can get it for 10 points, that's 1 point per model to get a 4+! I have one Stormtrooper squad (old models) completed to represent carapace veterans and I have one Cadian Kasrkin squad ready to be painted. That will give me two carapace veteran squads in total, can't wait!

Carapace vets rock'n tiger stripes and four plasma weapons.
Remember Mortar Heavy Weapon teams? Yeah, they exist but you probably forgot about them like I did. They are super cheap and can actually be useful against orks so I am dusting off my old Cadian mortar team. It needs a little TLC, a mortar is missing the bi-pod so I'll mount it on a base and flock it, simple fix. I also need to finish two Autocannon team conversions, finish one Heavy Bolter team and fix one Lascannon team. When all my Heavy Weapon teams are all finished I will have three of each: Mortars, Lascannon, Autocannon, Missile Launcher and Heavy Bolter.

The Big Guns
On the tank front I'm golden. I have the following finished and ready for action: five Leman Russ tank bodies, one Hellhound, one Manticore, four Chimeras and one Basilisk. For the Leman Russ bodies I have various turrets to chose from including three Battle Cannons, Executioner, Vanquisher, Punisher and Demolisher. The Punisher needs a Heavy Bolter placed in the front sponson, easy thing to do.

Sadly, I don't have any Wyverns.  A pair of those would shred some orks like nobodies business, but for now I will rely on my Manticore to take up the slack on that end. This is a conscious decision on my part to try and keep down costs. Maybe one day I'll have those Wyverns .... one day.

Last, and not least, I've got two Armored Sentinels to put together and paint. The Heavy Flamer option seems to jump out at me as the best choice for horde control but I will magnetize to keep my options open.

Most Wanted
Most wanted on my wish list is a Vulture Gunship with twin-linked Punisher Cannons. Boom! To bad Forge World wants $100 bucks for it, but it has been on top of my bucket list for over year now. With luck the Pound will continue to drop against the dollar and FW products will get cheaper for us here across the pond. Sorry, Brits, but Europe's economy stinks worse than ours right now.

Anyone have any advice for my updating? Am I missing some tricks to throw at orks? Feel free to leave me a comment and enlighten me.


  1. When facing orks, make sure to not invest "too" much into anti horde. The orks can field a metric ton of AV values. Nothing like going all anti infantry, then someone shows up with only walkers.

    1. I hear ya, man. I got lots of lascannons and meltaguns for when the Legion has to face Orkameides and his war machines. But having looked over the history of the war it was mostly hordes of orks with fast vehicles and that will be hopefully be reflected in the battles we will do.

  2. Hi!
    I do like your steel legions colors. Your chimera and the squad are so great! Could you tell me which reference color you used for the hull?
    Thanks a lot!