As I said a while ago, I had put a massive amount of work and words into my Iron Hands Codex back in the day before jingles and ugh, ‘40k power’ ^shudder^. It’s a project that I was quite proud of at the time, and I still have a soft spot for now. Some good ideas in that book.
However, it fell into disuse for a while and I never resurrected the project. But recently (since BLL at least), I’ve been working on an alternative. You see I didn’t want to bring the old fandex out of retirement just in time for 6th Ed to spring up and force a rewrite. So instead I decided to just do an Iron Hands expansion pack of sorts to add to the regular Space Marines Codex and add their (woefully underrepresented) style to those other fine Chapters. The idea was simple enough, and the alteration needed to be small enough to rattle through them quickly pre-game. After lots of umming and ahhing (and probably erring as well, while we’re at it), I finally reached a solid conclusion. Seeing as this is my blog, I’ll rattle through them now, just so I’ve got them written down somewhere.
Chapter Tactics: Iron Hands gain “Relentless-Bolt Weapons” at the cost of Combat Tactics.
Wargear: Non-Terminator-armoured Independent Characters can purchase a servo-arm for+25 pts and a full servo-harness for +40. This cost does not include Artificer armour, which must be bought separately (if available). Models with either a servo-arm or harness gain ‘Blessing of the Omnissiah’ as per the Techmarine entry in the main codex.
Veteran Sergeants may purchase a suit of Terminator Armour for +30pts. The armour itself comes with one of the following loadouts: Storm Bolter & Power Fist, Storm Bolter & Power Weapon, Two Lightning Claws or Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield. For +5pts, a Terminator may replace its Storm Bolter with a Heavy Flamer or its Power Fist with a Chain Fist. It may not choose both. Scout Sergeants do not get this option.
Force Organisation: The Iron Hands count as a Codex Marine Chapter for all forge-world entries, including the Storm Eagle Gunship and Contemptor Dreadnought.
The Iron Hands may use the Storm Raven as a Fast Attack choice. All options and rules are identical to the Blood Angels entry, except that the Bloodstrike Missile are replaced with Multiple Rocket Pods (as per the Imperial Guard Valkyrie) for no change in cost. This exchange is not optional.
And that really is it. I’ve also been thinking about giving the Command squads the option to upgrade to Terminator Armour, as it would look cool as all hell and tie in nicely with the theme. However, it opens up a bit of a can of worms when it comes to equipment loads and points costing. However, if anyone has any ideas, suggestion or objections on that score, let me know. It’s all grist to the mill.
The key shift I think is the Chapter Tactics. I initially thought to give them Stubborn, as they are meant to be singularly unyielding and focussed, but the Imperial Fists and their successors already have that. Having read the Iron Hands novel and Chris Wraight’s stuff, the steady, relentless advance with bolters really seemed a prominent part of their fighting style, and reflects well on the tabletop without tipping the balance too far. Plus, extending the relentless ability to the Heavy Bolter guys as well makes clearly the worst heavy weapon option available into something cool and usable. It will never be as effective as a missile launcher, but the ability to move and fire, to reposition and still keep the pressure on enemy infantry really elevate this weapon to a viable choice. Plus cinematically it looks cool as well (in my head, anyway). Naturally, in my clan, Heavy Bolters abound!
Speaking of which (and seeing as I’ve clearly gone of the deep end at this point) I am creating my own Clan, both in concept and in models. This is clearly a stupid idea, but I have plans to have a full Clan deployment sorted out by the end of the year. I’ve worked it at about 5,000 points. It’s going to have back-story and everything!
Behold the rise of Clan Drükkskar!
Purge the weak! The rest is secondary!
There’ll be more to come on this theme later.
So long, lads.