Creating a 40k Apocalypse Army: Giddy-up!

Going back in time to September 9, 2006 we arrive at TXG Tau for the Greater Good. That article was part of the failed CWF Game Cast Inter-System Tale of X Gamers. Although the TXG failed, the article serves as a perfect launching point for this foray into the realm of 40k Apocalypse.

Now fast forward 1 year and almost 200 articles later. I’m on a self-imposed retirement from 40k and all GW games. I’ve given up my Tomb Kings, Army of Sylvania, Empire, Beastmen, Hordes of Chaos, Space Marines, Eldar, Tau, Praetorians, Necrons, Kroot, Space Orks, and all things BFG. But wait, this article is called “Creating a 40k Apocalypse Army: Giddy-Up!” Why the heck am I telling you about my forsaken GW armies. Oh yes, now I remember. I was as unimpressed with GW as anyone could be. Didn’t spend any money on their products and bashed them repeatedly. Until I read White Dwarf 333.

WD 333 discusses Apocalypse in depth and it won me over. The ability to play where rules lawyers don’t have a toehold, where fun and sportsmanship reigns, where we can toss everything in including the kitchen sink (hey that’s a Battlewagon right?) And yes, the new plastic Baneblade had a little to do with it (ooh its so shiny and big).

After drooling over the pretty pics (please see Apocalypse Archive for the pics, not the drool) I hit my first stumbling block. What army do I play? Just 2 weekends ago I as cleaning out the basement and getting ready to throw away all my models. Do I choose one of those armies, always a work in progress, and add onto it? Or, do I start fresh?

There’s something wonderful about the chance to buy a complete Space Marines Battle Company. 106 troops clad in power armor waiting to kill the heathen and going to combat in 8 Rhinos, 1 Razorback, and 20 Jump Packs. The new sculpts look really great and I already have a lot of Space Marines. Lots of Tactical Marines, even a Devastator Squad, some Assault Marines, couple Rhinos, handful of Bikes, a few Land Speeders, even a Land Raider and a Crusader. They’re old models but they could work out. Plus I could add on the Masters of the Chapter. Four masters costing $35 that let me plan Ambushes, launch Orbital Bombardments, stage Precision Strikes, and unleash Surgical Raids. That’d be the perfect excuse for finally picking up Marneus Calgar. The smurfs could have a lot of fun on the table.

I also have a nice Tau army, remember the Tau that I mentioned in the first graf?, slowly adding to them in the TXG series and in particular in TXG Tau for the Greater Good Update. You can never have too many Crisis Suits so a Tau Rapid Insertion Force would be a great addition. I love drones, being one of the few people I know to field 2 full units of them in a standard game. The 18 drones in that box set would be nice. Plus, the Hammerhead/Devilfish is my favorite 40k kit to assemble. I have 2 of each but the more the merrier. The Tau Armoured Interdiction Cadre would let me tack on some more Hammerheads, yay both Railgun and Ion Cannon, plus finally get a Skyray like I always wanted. The massive size of Apocalypse would allow help me to combine my Gun Line Tau and Mech Tau into a single force. Just look at the battle report pages 70-95 in WD 333 and replace all the Imperium with Tau. You’d be rewarded with the magnificent sight of Kroot Mercs, Tau Gun Line, Mech Tau, and tons of Broadsides and Crisis Suits.

There’s also the Necrons. I began work on them awhile back and the idea of a horde of Terminators…I mean Necron Warriors on the table kicks ass. But, if they still phase out in Apocalypse it’d hurt a lot. It looks like casualties will be in clumps of 10 or even 20 models at a time. Even at 3k a Necron army can phase out…Fast! Unless the Apocalypse book handles this, the Necrons are gonna have to sit out this one.

What about a fresh start? I’d love to field some Baneblades, a Titan, or something gigantic like that. But, that requires playing Chaos or IG. IG would be an inferior version of my Tau and Chaos…well the new codex screwed them over. But, I have had a long standing desire to try out Tyranids. Apocalypse is all about large games and what’s more awesome than a horde of Aliens…I mean Tyranids swarming across the table to take out an opponent? They can paint easily, thank you dip method, but I’d need a lot of them and that’d be uber expensive.

I think the only way for me to choose what army to play is take a few, such as the 3 I discussed here, and make rough 3k army lists for them. Evaluate the monetary costs, the level of painting, what I have and what I need to get, and the reality of my going through with this.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my forthcoming army lists as I pick what my 40k Apocalypse Army will be. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on the subject and what you will be doing for Apocalypse.