Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Death Spectres

The Death Spectres are a Chapter of Space Marines that suffers from a genetic mutation which causes all of the Chapter's members to become albinos. During Abaddon the Despoiler's Black Crusade, the Death Spectres used jump pack equipped assault squads to quickly capitalize on every gain made by the Imperial Guard. Stationed Beyond the bounds of the Imperium, the Death Spectres maintain constant vigil to ensure that the supernatural inhabitants of the Ghoul Stars never again threaten the galaxy. -the Lexicanum

According to a recent BoLS article, there is such a thing as SAS, or "single army syndrome". I'm definitely a candidate, since I've been going through pot after pot of Dark Angels Green over the last year, and though I do love my Dark Angels, I am admittedly getting tired of painting them! Another interesting note of my Dark Angels is that there could not have been a more random army put together. My DA army started back, at least fifteen years ago with second edition, and has been hobbled together since then, suffering through many rules editions and multiple codexes. I'm not a big planner, so really the army came together more by chance than anything else. Lately I've tried to make amends somewhat by cranking out more tactical squads to fill in the ranks. I'm near the end of my DA road however...

If you haven't checked out BJ's Extremis Diabolus blog you should, it's got lots of tasty tidbits in there. I've taken a lot of his comments to heart and am using those thoughts on starting something new. First off is what a great buy the Black Reach box is, and since Chri3 is an Ork player, we'll be splitting it down the middle. Thirty-some-odd bucks is a good price to pay methinks for, umm let's see; a Dreadnought, five termies, a character model, and a full tactical squad to boot! Hopefully I can snag the templates and mini-rulebook too since Chri3 has already bought this box once before.

BJ also mentioned the solid piece of advice to fully paint one army before starting on the next. I kind of had this one figured out, but I had to learn the hard way. My past GW experiences have been similar to giving a six year a couple hundred dollars in cash and turning them loose in a discount candy store. I'm a little more focused in my old age. The last piece of advice; stat out your list first, and stick to it, then just buy what you need, painting it along the way. This is something I've never done, so, given all this I've decided to do a new Space Marine army, start it from scratch, and plan it out first; hence, the Death Spectres.

I went with this chapter because I liked their fluff quite a bit, and their paint scheme seemed easy enough, but if done right could be really pretty nifty. I've put together a list which follows and though I'm not a "serious" player, and I'm certainly not a tournament player, I'd still like some feedback on it, for good or bad. See what you think, oh, and know that same BoLS article kind of frowned on multiple marine armies, but I should point out that I have already finished a fully painted, large Tau army as well, besides, Marines are just cool.

Chthonius (Pedro Cantor): 175pts
I liked the idea of a commander named 'Pedro', plus he comes with a cool load-out and I like his special rules. I won't be using the actual Pedro model, but I'll find something suitable with a power fist and storm bolter

Helios (Chaplain, 100pts) digital weapons (10), jump pack (15): 125pts
I've never done much with Chaplains, but no longer, the digital weapons will help in an assault, and the jump pack's there for later in the list...


Terminator Squad (x5, 200pts), assault cannon (30): 230pts
I'll have to 'cut and paste' an assault cannon here, but otherwise these will be straight up Black Reach figs, I'll probably always field termies, they're too cool

Dreadnought: 105pts
edit: Per HuronBH's advice, I'll take a stock Dread with Multi-Melta and see where that takes me, the points I save gives me two more Scout bikes to boot, every little bit helps...

Sternguard (x5, 125pts), melta-bombs (5): 130pts
Razorback (40pts), twin-linked lascannon (35), storm bolter (10): 85pts
These will be Pedro's "honor guard" and he'll be attached to them, and thanks to Pedro's special rules, they're also a scoring unit


Tactical Squad Alpha (x10, 170pts), m. launcher, flamer, chainsword: 170pts
Rhino: 30pts
Bread and butter unit with transport

Tactical Squad Beta (x10, 170pts), m. launcher, flamer, chainsword: 170pts
Rhino: 30pts
Bread and butter unit with transport

Fast Attack:

Assault Squad (x5, 100pts), power weapon (15): 115pts
This smaller assault squad will play their role as needed and be lead into combat by the jump pack equipped Chaplain from the HQ section

Scout Bike Squad (x5, 110pts), cluster mines (10), locator beacon (25), aux. grenade launcher (10): 155pts
I don't even know how effective these guys will be, but, I like scouts and I've never had bikes, so this kills two birds with one stone, I threw the locator beacon in there too to help with errant deep strikers (which I was plagued with recently)

Total: 1500pts
So there you have it. I've got the Black Reach stuff pending, and already had a tactical squad box on hand thanks to Andy, plus it didn't take me long to hack up some Dark Angels I had pegged for veterans and turn them into five Sternguard. The big change for me is all the armor, which I just don't have a lot of experience building/painting tanks 'n such. As always, thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think...


  1. Nifty, idea. I really dig the idea of Marines patrolling the Ghoul Stars.

    Are you going black and white or dark grey and white? For the color scheme.

  2. Mik,

    I think it looks great. Very interesting chapter as well. If you are going to do White Shoulder pads here is the formula I used for my templars that worked out pretty well.

    2 thin layers of Astronomican Grey foundation paint as basecoat followed by several thin coats of skull white. The white you just paint up the coats until you get the look you want.

    Anyway thanks for the link to my site, and I am glad my advice could be of some use. I look forward to reading how your army progresses.


  3. Thanks Big Jim, I don't know much about the fluff of the Ghoul Stars, but it certainly grabbed me. I'll be going with a pure black, highlighted with a dark grey. Aquilas and helmets will be bone white, shoulder pads pure white, and I'm thinking of doing the bolter casings in bone white as well, I dunno. Pouches and stuff will be in dark greys. And don't forget that albino skin tone!

    @BJ: Thanks again, one hand washes the other! Yeah, your tips on starting a new army were very helpful (obviously), so thanks. Thanks also for the painting tip, I'll use it for sure!

  4. Hey, first let me say I really like you blog and I have been reading it regularly for near 6 months now.

    Second, while Pedro does make Sternguard a scoring unit they are still an elites choice, be careful not to forget that.

    Finally, the rest of the list looks solid. I would suggest sticking with the MM over the Assault Cannon but I understand your reasoning for not. Personally when making a new army I always start with the basics, one HQ and two troop choices and then go from there. AoBR is indeed a good way to start an army cheaply or even build a whole army if you don't mind ebay shopping.

    I do work from a list usually also though find I can never stick to it as I find it always needs tweaking after I get things underway. Usually I aim for around 1500pts or so to start with and work up to 2500pts. With that said I also have a tendency to paint around 1000pts of an army and then move on to another as a change of pace. I paint a 1000pts of that one and then go back and do another batch of the previous army, etc. I currently have 3 armies in that cycle, Nurgle Daemons, Howling Griffons, and Orks. My current project is the Orks, though I am also pretty close to finishing off the Nurgle Daemons which will mean I will probably add something new to fill the whole the daemons leave soon.

    Well best of luck to you.

  5. @HuronBH: First of all, thanks, glad to hear you've been on board, and reading, for a while now.

    I just like the AC because it has a high cyclic rate and spews out lots of empty brass...of course this has nothing to do with in-game stats, haha!

    I'd be crazy to try rotating multiple armies, but it's appealing...darn it. Now, planning my next army is one thing, getting and painting it, that's another thing entirely. At least I've got a plan starting out, we'll see about the painting part.

    Thanks again!

  6. Painting it is the easy part, well sort of. You do not need to necessarily be the fastest painter, just dedicate yourself to getting it done. Who care if it takes a day, a week, a month, or a year to get that squad or even that model done. Just take your time, do a good job, and force yourself to do it. You can even put it down if not feeling inspired and come back (this is something I do all the time and what got me into the rotation process I do).

    My Goal for October was to paint a 1500pt 107 model Ork army. What have I accomplished. Well my Warboss and Nobs look very nice and I finally figured out a basing scheme. I also have about half a unit of boys half done, several vehicles I did not have at the start of the month assembled, and a Big Mek most of the way done. Did I reach my goal, not even close. But I am happy with the models I have completed so far, I have no regrets and that can be important when working on a new project. Speed will come with time, but doing it right the first time makes all the difference.

  7. Fair enough! I've had two (and a half) DA characters languishing in my queue forever so I am working this week on getting them done so I can officially put a fork in the Dark Angels.

    I've got tac squad A assembled as well as the Sternguard, and we should be placing that Black Reach order this week, so I'm off to a good start! Your sage painting advice will go a long way, thanks again...

  8. Just a heads up, basic dread w MM is 105 points. That's 20 points spare you have (10 if you plan to give him a heavy flamer - I wouldn't bother unless you eventually plan to get him a drop pod)

  9. Thanks Tristan, and that's just enough to give me a fifth scout bike!

  10. dude i just started a death spectre army and i found the scyths look alot better than swords just my opion srry for spelling

  11. Cody, I agree, where do you get the scythes? From WHFB Undead boxes?

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