It has been a little while! To be honest, work kind of kicked my butt, and being tired and burnt out doesn’t help ones motivation to paint. But, I figured if I didn’t paint something eventually I would fall back into bad habits of never painting anything! So, to get back on the horse, I decided to paint one!
Rough Riders are an odd unit, and one that in the current edition doesn’t do very well, and is relegated to those willing to use the 40k Index entry for them. They won’t win a battle for you, but that isn’t really what their meant for. As a anti-deepstrike screen, as mobile flankers with special weapons, and as an excuse to take, you know, freaking cavalry in the 41st Millennium, they hold a special place in my heart.
Some people prefer to model their Rough Riders on xeno-mounts, such as Warhammer Fantasy Cold Ones. Me, I’ve always had a love of horse cavalry, and its a prime example of 40k wackiness that I loved. However, the offical versions came either as Attillan Rough Riders, a sort of Attila the Hun sort of wild-men, and Tallarn. Of the two, Tallarn interested me most. But it was again an Abnett novel that provided the inspiration for my troops.
In the novel Necropolis, Abnett takes readers to the besieged city of Vervunhive, a hive whose chaos infected neighbor of Ferrozoica has attacked in overwhelming force. To stem the tide, several Guard regiments, such as the Royal Volpone Bluebloods, the Narmenian Armoured, and of course, the Ghosts. Another regimental group that arrives is the Roane Deepers, who according to Abnett are based on our worlds Anzacs, Aussies and New Zealanders who served in the two World Wars and Vietnam. Laid back, prone to disrespect authority, but are tough fighters who don’t flee from a scrap, the Roane offered a solution I didn’t think of immediately, but once I latched onto the idea it never left.
You see, in WW1 the Australians had a mounted infantry unit called the Australian Light Horse. They saw use as impromptu cavalry at the battle of Beersheba in modern day Palestine, using bayonets! Cavalry is often considered a snobby arm of the military, this gave me a chance to buck the trend.
My idea was that the Roane would not only be infantry regiments, but could also be rough riders, or in their terms, Light Horse. Not meant for open battle, but as scouts and disruption forces, Roane Light Horse regiments would act as the eyes and ears of an army, without drawing on promethium supplies. With a simple gene-modified horse that could live of the land, and equipped with a las-pistol and explosive lance if needed for battle, Roane troopers could move quickly, and locate enemies on planets with large areas of open ground. Sure, a satellite or ship in orbit could do a similar job, but in the end nothing beats a MK1 human eyeball. Once found, they would run away, and link up with a larger Imperial Guard force, and then make use of their battle skill.
Thus, I ordered a large amount of bits to make it happen. The riders are Victoria Miniatures Rough Rider conversion kits, with a Slouch hat head from the same store. The horses are GW Pistoliers. Having bought two kits of pistoliers, I’m actually well equipped to build a small kill-team of Ventrillian Nobles now!
These guys sat built and unused till 8th edition dropped, when I started to take them, mostly, as a joke unit. They have never killed anything, drop like flies to a mere hint of enemy gunfire….and look awesome while doing it. Either way, they are again shelved due to poor performance, but in the fluff I’ve done up for my army, that just means they are doing what they are supposed to be doing; finding the enemy, and reporting back, and running away before they can get caught. Sure they don’t see the table, but it was a fun unit to paint, wasn’t red, and gave me a much needed little pick me up!
However, it isn’t all horses today.
I also managed to acquire all three of the OOP Vostroyan Platoon Officers, and they are making their way via post to me. As well, I managed to find an old Commissar model on eBay with both a Power Sword and Power Fist! The sheer lunacy of that made it an easy sell, and both him and a platoon commander arrived while I was at work earlier this week!
Anyways, I’m making a trip to the Clubhouse tommorow, where hopefully I can get the Commissar primed, and maybe even a game of kill-team in! But that is all for now.
As always, Ave Imperator, and I’ll see you in the next post! If you have any comments, feel free to leave them! I’d love to see what you guys have to say!