Wednesday, April 28, 2010

By Divine Providence

At the time I first thought of doing a Stonecutters themed army, Games Workshop was still several months away from releasing Codex: Space Wolves. I therefore had just assumed I would use Codex: Space Marines and my guys would be another bunch of DIY vanilla marines. This was fine with me as I think it's a great book with lots of cool things to play around with, especially since I had no interest in using Black Templars or Dark Angels. Captains and Librarians, Tactical Squads in Rhinos, Terminators and some tanks, and voila... every marine army I've ever played. I know this army. I have played both with and against this army countless times in the past. Do I really want to do it again?

And then at the very time I began in earnest my Stonecutters project, the clouds did part and descending upon golden beams of sunlight was Codex: Blood Angels. Though I heard the trumpeting fanfare, I resisted at first as I have ever been wary of jumping on a newly released army. I don't think I've ever started a new army within the first year or so after its rulebook has come out, and it's even been a very rare occasion for me to be actively working on an army at the time its Codex gets updated. Not for any principled reason but simply out of fear that some hypothetical person might think I was just a bandwagon jumping, flavor-of-the-month gamer. Quelle horreur, non? And so as the buildup to the Blood Angels gained steam, I dismissed out of hand any thoughts of using the new book and contented myself with scowling at every new rumor about them.

As the release of the book drew near and the 40k blogs filled up with discussions concerning the Sons of Sanguinius, I was able to learn a lot more about how the army functions and I started to see some potential there. In particular the rules for The Red Thirst and Black Rage caught my attention as they seemed to offer a possible way of representing my Stonecutters' alcohol-fueled fury. That was the hook for me to really begin considering C:BA as a serious contender for my army. I ordered a copy and quickly saw many other ways I could use the Blood Angels rules and army list to translate my vision for the Stonecutters into the 40k universe, including a couple of special conversions about which I am very excited. Codex: Blood Angels is an interesting book and looks like it can make for a fun army, and the idea of using the Blood Angel's rules without having to put up with their whole vampires-in-space thing has a lot of appeal for me.

So my plan for the initial build of my army is to base it off of the rules from Codex: Blood Angels. One of the benefits of doing a DIY Space Marine chapter, however, is that this decision does not necessarily have to be a permanent one. With the exception of a few units that are unique to the Blood Angels, the vast majority of what I collect and paint should be easily adapted into an army using any of the other Marine codices. The idea of making a Venerable Dreadnought based on Grandpa Simpson cracks me up, so with the built-in flexibility of DIY Marines this is still something I could do with a future vanilla marines Stonecutters variant if I wish. I don't plan on going too crazy with the BA exclusive units so hopefully I will be able to keep my Stonecutters as versatile as I can.

Plus, I could always make Grandpa into a Furioso dreadnought or even better, a Furioso Librarian!