Tuesday, December 27, 2016

30K, Epic style, Part II : Planning

Epic Battles in the Age of Heresy

So as we saw in the previous post, this project, like many others in this place, is moved by Nostalgia and a sense of unfinished business. But now, let's leave aside feelings and let's look at the concrete side of the project!

There's a lot of layers to this project: first I had to decide what rules to use from the many official and non-official Epic rules available. It's a bit complicated honestly, especially since Epic hasn't been supported by GW for a number of years. Fortunately, the community is very active on the web and on Facebook and the Epic Armageddon crowd has done a great job of creating a complete rule package for Epic 30K, including army lists for all the Heresy Legions. You even have FAQ,s, an "how to build a 30K force" etc. How this hobby was possible before the Internet I have no idea! So, for those interested you can find everything here 

Then there's the actual figures, which I got from Ebay and numerous Facebook groups. While the project is rooted in Nostalgia, the rules have evolved so much that my goal was never to use only Oldhammer Epic figures; I'd say about a third of the force is made-up of the old, original plastics figures from the Space marine boxset, and the rest made-up of newer GW stuff or "forumware" (private sculpts) I managed to acquire through various sources. I might also use some proxies from various Sci-Fi manufacturers who produce some great stuff similar in style to GW.

What is particular for this project in my case is that I haven't painted anything but 28mm since my few attempts at Epic some 25 years ago. No, not even a few 15mm or 40mm, just 25 years of good ol' 28mm. So a leaning curve is to be expected, especially since I've never painted modern vehicles either, in any scale. So do keep up with me if my first few attempts are shit! 

Now of course, the most important question : which Legions (Chapters) to paint? Obviously I need two, at least, a traitor chapter and a loyalist. Let's have a look at the original ones, starting with the Imperials, shall we?

These images were on the side of the Space marine boxset and were actually the only colour images available at the time, the booklet being B&W. Since then other Legions were added to the fluff but for this project I want to use 2 of the "original" 12 Legions. I looked at those images when I was 11 a lot more than it makes sense, really! But I disgress : since the Imperials are for the brother I intend to pick one of his favourite. Gabriel had three favourites : Dark Angels, Ultramarines, and Blood Angels. However I'm the one who does the painting so I settled on a Legion I'm going to enjoy painting! And this is the good, old and reliable XIIIth Legion, the boys in blue, the Ultramarines. I don't fancy painting that much red to be honest (so Blood Angels out) nor black (Dark Angels). Also, to me the Ultramarines are just the perfect Imperials; goody two shoes to the extreme, the "Emperor's finest", and as a bonus my 30K dueling partner Greg just despises them so why not throw some in his face for 3 straight months!

Now, let's have a look at the forces of change, under benevolent Warmaster Horus

Here what's interesting is three Legions (as per the "official" fluff) changed colours since these days; the Death Guards are now white and green, the Sons of Horus are now green and the World Eaters white and blue. Growing up, my favourites were the Death Guards, the Sons of Horus and the Emperor's Children. However Greg has already done the Sons of Horus to death, and I don't feel like dealing with conflictual sources and colours ;-), so the choice becomes an easy one : long live the IIIrd Legion, the Emperor's Children! I've always been a fan of purple and pink (love painting both colours) and these guys are just twisted and evil, which makes them a perfect counterbalance to the Ultramarines! Also, my favourite Legion (or Chapter for that matter) name.

So yeah, I think Purple vs Blue will look pretty good on the battlefield. If I really enjoy painting Epic, I might add smaller contingents of allied Legions later on.

As I usually do, the project is not based on an actual "Order of Battle". I just intend to build enough toys on both sides to be able to mix and match as I see fit. I did made a few tests using the army lists, to have a general idea of what I can get for a set amount of pts, and to create proper, usable formations in terms of quantities.

The first batch is below, ready to be painted. More will be added, but I'll try to finish this first! Yes, I know that's a lot of super heavies; really I just got them all in one score so I figured I'd paint them all! You can see the original Land Raiders and Rhinos in the front, and in the middle the still very Old School plastic Dreadnoughts.

Wish me luck!


  1. YES! Sexy Chaos Renegades? Check! Iconic Space Marines? Check! Taking a dig at your painting duel partner? Check! This project is living up to its billing.

    1. Thanks Sean! First 3 weeks in, the project is a lot of fun and keeps me busy

  2. excellent - hope it goes well. Funnily I purchased the old space marine game a couple of months back as I'm wanting to relive the time I spent playing the game with mates back in high school. It was a great game and we spent hours at a time playing it when we should have been studying. I've painted up two titans for it already and the infantry and vehicles should be pretty easy once I get started on them...

    1. Opposite for me: the Titans I keep for last! It's been fun working on the infantry and tanks

  3. Loving the back story on this project Iannick. I had forgotten how the colours of several of the original legions had "evolved" - I wonder how a unit of white-and-red Death Guard might look for kicks...

    1. Thanks! You should do it! You can always use the red and white guards as a special "veteran" force born in the troubled time that was the 80s... ;-)