What's worse?

What could be worse than a Space Marine Legion that fell to the Chaos powers and rebelled against everything they once respected? We don't know, but it was probably pretty bad.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Terminators, Terminators, and more TERMINATORS! (Part II)

Continuing from my EARLIER POST regarding my favorite 40k models - Terminators...

Last post, I dealt with the traditional terminator army, the old school one if you will - Deathwing. Today, I'll expand our terminator horizons by discussing the use of the Space Wolf codex to field an all-terminator army and also discuss the use of "Counts As" for fielding terminator armies that aren't Dark Angels or Space Wolves.

First, lets cover the alternative to Deathwing - that which the interwebs has dubbed "Wolfwing."

Prior to the current Space Wolf codex, Codex:Dark Angels was the ONLY way to legally field an all terminator army outside of games of Apocalypse. But the current Codex:Space Wolves came with one interesting chain reaction.

Logan Grimnar allows Wolf Guard as Troops. Wolf Guard may be clad in Terminator Armor (TDA). Therefore, one could field Logan + Terminators (as Troops) for a legal all-terminator force that differs from their Deathwing counterpart.

"How are the two Terminator Armies different?" you ask? Well, if you're not familiar with the details of both Codex:Dark Angels and Codex:Space Wolves, let me give you the nutshell version.

Standard "Ultramarine" armies can field 2 types of terminator squads, one with guns, and one with close combat weapons.

Deathwing Terminators collapse these two into a single terminator squad - one in which you can field terminators with guns or terminators with close combat weapons, but mixing-and-matching the two types within each squad. In the end, though, each individual terminator is either like an Ultramarine Tactical Terminator or an Ultramarine Assault Terminator.

The Space Wolf codex takes this "mix-and-match" idea one step further, allowing a Wolf Guard to essentially equip each arm as he sees fit. So instead of being a "Tactical Terminator" with a Storm Bolter/Heavy Weapon and a Power Weapon-Fist-Chainfist OR an "Assault Terminator" with twin Lightning Claws or Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield, the Wolf Guard in TDA can equip each arm individually to combine Tactical AND Assault roles into a single model. Storm Bolter and a single Lightning Claw? No problem. Power Weapon and a Storm Shield? No problem. Thunder Hammer and a Combi-Melta? NO PROBLEM! It should be noted, and will be touched upon in more detail below, that this "ultra mix-and-match" style of equipping terminators is not new; it is how Chaos Space Marine Terminators have equipped themselves for a while now.

In essence, with one fell swoop of the Codex:Space Wolves hitting the shelves, the Terminator Community was in an upheaval. Do you scoff at the "new, shiny" and play Deathwing because you always have, and always will? Or are you tired of Cyclone Missile Launchers that only shoot one missile and Storm Shields that provide a 4+ invulnerable save in close combat only and break from the ranks of the old school to embrace the new generation?

Seriously. The release of the Space Wolves codex really lit some flames under hardcore terminator players, with folks arguing and defending both options.

Sgt. Brisbane at The Sons of Thunder blog did a really nice article on the PSYCHOLOGY/PSYCHOSIS OF A 'WING PLAYER. I highly recommend this read.

DEZARTFOX, RON (both featured in the previous DFIR Terminator post), and RUNTMCRORY (of The Military of Ultramar blog) also discussed their views on the subject, comparing and contrasting the two, and ultimately sticking with the Deathwing.

{insert awkward segue here}

The release of Codex:Space Wolves also fostered the expansion of another element of Terminator Armies.


Counts As Terminator armies weren't new per se; however, I've seen a huge upswing in the number of Counts As Terminator armies since the release of Codex:Space Wolves.

Not surprisingly, given that there are two ways to field an all-terminator army, there are two general trends in the Counts As Terminator army choices.

There are those who follow the traditional Deathwing template, such as RuntMcRory at The Military Of Ultramar. Runt is an Ultramarines player. Rightfully so, he drew the conclusion that at some times, the Ultramarines would be faced with a challenge that only a Terminator Force could solve. So Runt has added enough Terminators, Dreadnoughts, and Land Raiders to his Ultramarine army that he can field them by themselves as a Counts As Deathwing army.

And I think that Runt's use of the Deathwing Template is very appropriate to depict an Ultramarine force consisting solely of Terminators and Terminator Support.

Another application of the Counts As Terminator army is to field an all-terminator Chaos Space Marine force.

Ron at FTW was one of the first I saw do this with his (now famous, and now sold to someone else) LUSTWING.

The Lustwing is a Slaaneshi-themed all Terminator Counts As Deathwing force. I guess it goes without saying that the Lustwing uses the Deathwing template (but I better say it nonetheless, just in case you haven't had your coffee/Red Bull yet).

The army is beautifully converted and painted. It definitely gives off a Slaanesh vibe, even if the "rules" driving it are imperial.

Another Chaos-themed Counts As Terminator army, and another stunning example of high-quality conversion and painting work, is THE GOREWING.

Unlike Ron's Slaaneshi-themed Counts As Deathwing Lustwing force, Elazar The Glorified used the Space Wolves codex to formulate The Gorewing.

Given that the standard Chaos Space Marine Terminator is similar in its options as a Space Wolf Wolf Guard in TDA, the use of the Space Wolf template really fits with this army, just as much as RuntMcRory's use of the Deathwing template really fits his Ultramarine terminator army.

For example, Elazar's use of "Lone Wolves" with "Fenrisian Wolves" (Fleshhounds) puts a little icing onto the Gorewing cake, IMO.

So there you have it. Deathwing, Wolfwing, and a variety of Counts As Terminator armies.

So, where do I stand in all of this?

I put one foot into each of the camps. I played Deathwing from way back. Lets just say that my first Deathwing army was all metal. Ron's Lustwing really inspired me visually, and then the splash release of the Doombringer Annihilation Force bundle by GW to support Apocalypse Reload caused me to sell the all-metal Deathwing force and replace it with a Counts As Deathwing Chaos force (Flawless Host color scheme, kind of - Homage to Ron!).

But over time, I became more and more dismayed by the neat toys other Space Marine armies got that my Deathwing didn't have.

Master of the Deathwing does NOT have a 4+ invulnerable save Iron Halo? Seriously? You're trying to tell me that the Master of the FIRST COMPANY of the Dark Angels doesn't have what his nine other counterparts have?

Cyclone Missile Launchers with one shot. Meh.

Sub-standard Storm Shields. Meh, again.

No Land Raider Redeemer. Meh, again.

So, as my WOLFWING posts of late have shown, I have chosen to build up a Space Wolves Terminator force now. There is definitely a place in my heart and soul for my first ever 40k army, the Dark Angels. But I have divested myself of all those models, and patiently await the day when a new Codex:Dark Angels comes to life. I suspect that another True Deathwing force is in my future, once we see that release.

Well, I guess that is about it for today. Until next time, keep your Crux Terminatus polished, and have a Happy Thanksgiving (if you live in the U.S., that is).

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