I've never done a Space Marine army. Truth be told the last two Space Marine army books did not interest me and the divergent chapters seemed a little one dimensional for my tastes.
The last two armies I painted, Chaos Daemons and a Biel Tan Court of the Young King styled Eldar army, were a lot of fun to paint because each squad had a different color scheme and style. While I enjoy Tyranids, they're my favorite army aesthetic and model wise, they were a bit of a chore to paint as part of their appeal is that of a massive horde of creatures and a unifying color scheme really brings them together. For my Space Marine army I've decided to do something similar to my Chaos Daemons and Eldar in that each squad will be painted differently.
The major background idea behind the army is that it is an army list taking place after the Crimson Fists suffered hideous losses from the Orks. They're a tiny chapter at this point and incapable of committing themselves in any major way. With this in mind I figured that any sort of engagment they would get into would also involve other chapters fighting besides them. This combined with several examples of chapters coming together for a campaign and I feel that I have enough justification, background wise at least, to have a lot of fun in making each squad different.
I also like the idea of the army coming down in Drop Pods. The opening cinematic of the first Dawn of War game is incredibly iconic of how I see Space Marines. I also very much like the Drop Pod model and I've played against Drop Pod armies and they're more versatile and less rock-paper-scissors than I had imagined.
For basing I decided to use the GW 40k basing kit (which I won in a raffle at two years ago at Moe's Toys 4 Tots tournament). This gives each base the appearance of being a battle field. I didn't have enough bits for each base so I made a few others using Genestealer skulls, crushed Ork arms, Ork glyphs, Ork skulls, Tyranid infestation markers, and other bits. While it might look strange that there are body parts and helmets from the Eldar, Sisters of Battle, Chaos Space Marines, Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Tyranids, and Orks I feel that this gives the sense of all out war that past campaigns such as the Eye of Terror or Medusa V imagined.
With all that being said, here's the army list I'm working on. So far it's coming along pretty well, the bases are done and the Dark Angel Vets should be done this weekend, and my aim is to have the army painted in time for the Mecahnicon.
Space Marines - 1850 points
Librarian, Null Zone, Gate of Infinity (Modeled as Dark Angels Librarian)
Ironclad Dreadnought (Painted as a Salamanders Ironclad Dreadnought)
Drop Pod, Locator Beacon
10 Sternguard Veterans, 5 Combi-Meltaguns (Modeled as Dark Angel Veterans)
5 Terminators, 1 Assault Cannon, 1 Chain Fist (Modeled from the Space Hulk Blood Angels Terminators)
10 Tactical Marines, Meltagun, Multi-melta, Sergeant with Power Fist and Combi-Meltagun (Modeled as Crimson Fists)
10 Tactical Marines, Meltagun, Multi-melta, Sergeant with Power Fist and Combi-Meltagun (Modeled as Space Wolf Grey Hunters)
10 Vanguard Veterans, 2 Power Fists, 1 Power Weapon, 2 Storm Shields, 1 Melta Bombs, Sergeant with Power Weapon (Modeled as Black Templars)
The basic idea behind this army is to deploy the two Tactical Squads and dropping down the Drop Pods with the Vanguard Vets, Sternguard Vets, and Ironclad Dreadnought on the first turn. Depending on the mission and opponent I'll either deploy the Terminators or keep them in Reserve for Deep Strike. There should be enough Melta Guns with the deployed units and the units coming down in Drop Pods to take out most high priority vehicles.
From here I hope to advance the Tactical Squads forward, at least the Crimson Fist squad with Pedro Kantor, to give as many units the +1 Attack bonus from Pedro Kantor. The Sternguard Squad with the Librarian will be able to Deep Strike around using whatever ammo is best for the job (I learned to respect these guys at the 08 Baltimore Grand Tournament when they dropped in front of my Fortuned Avatar and took him out with their Always Wound on 2+ Ammo). The Vanguard Vets will advance and hopefully launch a devastating assault on high priority targets, doubly so if they get the +1A from Pedro being nearby. The Ironclad Dreadnought is there to tar pit units and to contest objectives. AV13 Walkers are fairly difficult to kill and I'm hoping between him and the Drop Pods that there will be a lot of targets for anti-armour weapons and I'll be able to contest objectives while securing one or two for myself.
Truthfully, the Terminators were not my first choice. I think I'd prefer a squad of Land Speeders or maybe two blocks of close combat Scouts. That being said, I really think the models from Space Hulk are fantastic and I just had to use them. I don't think they'll be bad, just not optimal in most situations.
Hopefully in later turns the two empty, or not depending on mission, Drop Pods will come down to contest or to capture objectives.
I think this army will be strong and a lot of fun to play while giving me a lot of tactical options. I could see Kill Points being a problem (I have 13) but it should have enough teeth and viable targets to prove a massive threat. Also, any shots targeted at the Drop Pods (which are relatively easy to destroy) are shots that aren't being fired at fairly devastating units that need to be neutralized. I think against most smart opponents they'll ignore the Drop Pods in Kill Point missions, short of last turn sniping, as they'll be busy trying to deal with higher priority threats that can easily earn a KP or two each on their own per turn. This works slightly different than Rhinos as Rhinos move to get a unit into position and they are the highest priority target available until their units get out. Drop Pods should force effective units into my opponent's face and the Drop Pods themselves will be ignored, so while the KP count is high I think it's effectively a little less.
I'll have a little photography station set up soon and I'll be able to post pictures of the army's progress over the next few weeks. This weekend I'm putting together Drop Pods, finishing bases, and putting the final touches on the Dark Angel vets. I also hope to get my Forge World Dreadnought Drop Pod and Ironclad painted this weekend as green is easy to paint and they should paint up relatively fast.
Be seeing you!