Thursday 11 January 2018

Deathwatch: the fun of choosing

One of the fun things about Deathwatch is creating units out of mismatched chapters. I admit, I like my teams of oddballs flung together by fate and if they're some form of spies or black ops then so much the better. Some of my favourite books every are Aaron Allston's Wraith Squadron novels for the X-Wing series. I also just enjoy writing background for my armies and the fact that every Space Marine in a Deathwatch army is a visually distinct individual (even if it is just a shoulder pad) is an absolute gift.

Before those 3D printed shoulder icons arrive from Shapeways, I decided to take out the Deathwatch I had and get some naming done.

The Watch-Master of this station, Watch-Station Rubicon, is Caldon Gerhardt of the Iron Knights. Serving under him (but yet to be built) are two Watch-Captains, Cirus Calhoun of the Red Wolves and Luther Zalamea of the Blood Drinkers (if that sounds like an odd name for a Sanguinary Space Marine its because he's named after two Max Schreck movies, one of Shreck's characters having lent his name to the Blood Drinkers' chapter master).

Rounding out the command staff are Chaplan Tiberius Tigris of the Ultramarines and Librarian Trayvan Delios of the Blood Ravens, courtesy of the Kill-Team Cassius box set.

Down the ranks from them are the three Kill-Teams I have built fulfilling the roles of Focus Characters, the Friendly Allies and the Rivals.

The focus characters of my background are Kill-Team Germanicus led by Yehven Germanicus of the Novamarines and comprised of Lucas Mannheim of the Raptors, the Black Shield Morden, and Aemar Badstar and Gunnar Gunnar Lionsbane of the Space Wolves (who join the Deathwatch in pairs). The pairing of a sergeant from an ultra-Codex chapter with three marines from non-Codex chapters and a disgraced Black Shield is deliberate because that's the sort of tension that's fun to write.

Filling the role of the friendly allies are Kill-Team Karashi, the team Germanicus served on before his elevation to squad command. Led by Karashi Nito of the Mentor Legion and comprise of Hektor Dravian of the Ultramarines, Reihan Trier of the Silver Skulls, Lorvan Aurech of the Iron Hands and Javier Morales of the Crimson Fists. Karashi is the longest serving Watch-Sergeant at Rubicon Command, a potential future Watch-Captain and trusted advisor of Master Gerhardt.

Finally, the role of Kill-Team Germanicus' eternal rivals (I grew up on Sharpe movies and bad longform anime) are Kill-Team Marak. Led by Varil Marak of the Flesh Tearers it is comprised of members of the most dickish chapters I had iconography for: Aenir Dalus of the Brazen Minotaurs, Zakaroah of the Dark Angels, Julio Raklan of the Subjugators and Vantak Thule of the Sons of Medusa.

There are, of course, some more models from Kill-Team Cassius who still need homes: the Raven Guard and Blood Angels Vanguard Veterans, the White Scars biker and the Salamanders Terminator all need squads to call their own (I'm not sure I hold with these mixed team builds). Those will be the first priority for the 3D printed iconography. I also want to make a Vanguard team armed entirely with power weapons and storm shields because there is a lovely piece of art with a Dark Angels Kill-Marine armed like that and I just want that visual more than anything, perhaps using some of the more knightly chapters as team members. 

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