The past few weeks I have had a few discussions with people about people getting into The Horus Heresy game with plastic models. When I first started my Ultramarines it cost quite a bit to get into, my first two orders to get me going came to £1,291.72!!!

That got me two full Tactical Squads of 20 marines, two Storm Eagles, a Fire Raptor a Sicaran, Praetors, Apothecaries, Tarantulas a 10 Marine Assault Squad, Champion, Master of Signals, Quad Mortars, Deredeo, Command Squad, command Upgrades, Assault Weapons, Books 1 and 5 plus moulded shoulder pads for everyone!

So it wasn’t cheap, but I had saved for a long time to be able to afford it all over two purchases. But someone starting today doesn’t face the same cost barriers I did, mostly thanks to Betrayal at Calth and Burning of Prospero.

So how is it cheaper getting into Heresy, we can see this just by looking at how I started my Word Bearers, for which I wanted 35 Marines, which would be split into two 10 man Veteran Tactical Squads, a 10 man Tactical Support Squad with Plasma Guns and a 5 man Heavy Support Squad with Missile Launchers.

Now going to Forgeworld for resin marines it would cost me £25 for 5 Marines, making it £100 just for 20 marines without weapons, now add to that sone Bolters at £12 for a pack of 10, so you need two packs plus a command upgrade pack at £11, you have a total cost so far of £135 for two basic squads. Of course these being veterans you want them to have special/heavy weapons, I opted for Heavy Bolters in one Squad and Missile Launchers in the other, to grab those you need to buy a pack of 5 of them for £13 each adding another £26 to the cost of those squads for a total cost of £161 for the two squads!!!

For the Tactical Support Squad, you will need two £25 packs of Marines, and a pack of Plasma Guns in this case which are £12, so that Squad is £62. The Heavy Support Squad need a pack of heavy support marines which are £24 plus the missile launchers which cost £13.50, so that squad will cost you £37.50.

So far for just basic powered armoured marines we have spent £260.50.

With a copy of Betrayal at Calth you can do it so much cheaper, buying from Games Workshop direct you would get the boxset for £95 giving you 30 marines which you can use for the Veteran Squads and Plasma Support Squad, and what’s more it comes with all of the options to build the Veteran Squads, you will still need to buy the £12 plasma gun still. Also you are five marines and four missile launchers short of having everything so you will still need to get the £24 Heavy Support Squad and £13.50 Missile Launchers. So with that in mind your spend for those 35 marines is now £144.50.

But that’s it all you get with Betrayal at Calth, you also get a Contemptor which with its weapons would cost £53 and a squad of Cataphractii Terminators which would cost you £49.50. And not forgetting a Praetor in Cataphractii Armour and a Chaplain, the nearest equivalent on Forgeworld being the Praetor pack which costs £34.

So all told with the few bits from Forgeworld, buying Betrayal at Calth instead of Forgeworld resin gets you £397 worth of stuff for just £144.50 and gives you a basic list of 1532pts. 

Now what about adding vehicles?

The discussions originally started around the use of Mars Pattern vehicles and whether or not this was ok or not. Now as you may or may not know, I have used Mars Pattern Rhinos for my Word Bearers, two of which were in the modelling section below. These vehicles, no matter what anyone tells you were around in the Heresy and are perfectly fine fluff wise to use, Whirlwinds, Rhinos, Predators and Land Raiders. The only ones you can’t use are Razorbacks and Land Raider Crusaders/Redeemers because they hadn’t been invented yet. And you can’t really use a Mars Pattern Whirlwind to represent a Whirlwind Scorpius, because they are very different models, but other than that, go wild use them.

So if you add three Mars Pattern Rhinos you are spending only £22.50 as opposed to £37 for the Deimos Pattern Rhino, and £45 for a Land Raider as opposed to £73 for a MKIIB Land Raider from Forgeworld.

From this you can see getting into Heresy these days can be relatively cheap, all of the above would set you back no where near as much as it would have 18 months ago, and that can only be a good thing can’t it.

Well not according to some Horus Heresy veterans who shall remain unnamed. They are concerned that with the plastic kits, too many people are getting into Heresy on the cheap and damaging the game!!!

Right well let’s just look at what has happened in the last 18 months then in the North East Heresy scene. We have seen a lot more people getting into the game, now admittedly a lot of those armies are initially starting off as heavily infantry based as that’s the model favoured by the cheaper kits, but once the infantry core of your army is established, it’s then easier to add the more expensive resin only stuff to your army on a piecemeal basis.

So a player might start off with two big footslogging units of Tactical Marines backed up with Terminators and Predators, but as they play others, they see what works for them and they start adding things like Sicarrans, Spartans, Leviathans etc etc.

This has seen the number of regular opponents I have shoot up from 2 or 3 to substantially more giving me more variety in my games, and how can that not be a good thing??? With my two regular opponents Graham and Christian, I was lagging behind in a bit of an arms race, with Graham running a tank list and Christian running a Scoria Cybernetica list. Now I can enjoy games against them, with my reasonably fluffy Ultramarines list, lose and know I have other opponents against who I stand a more equal chance.

Not that I am complaining about Christian and Grahams lists, I just need to develop better ideas on how to handle them whilst sticking to the fluff of my Legions.

And with more players comes more events, Graham has been able to run several more Heresy related events at which we have gotten more and more players, giving us all chances to play more varied games. If anything the influx of people has actually calmed down the local meta, as new players come in, we have actually seen our lists decrease slightly in power so we don’t put the new blood off the game.

Anyway, I say, go out and buy plastic Marines, use your Mars Pattern vehicles, come and enjoy the game, because the more players we have, the better off the game will be in the long run.

What I am Modelling

The first half of the week my motivation to paint was quite low, but on Wednesday I was ambushed by Lindsay and Megan and frogmarched into my studio where I decided to paint up the last two Rhinos for my Word Bearers. One will be for the Heavy Bolter equipped Veteran Tactical Squad and the other will be for the Plasma Gun equipped Tactical Support Squad.

With both of those finished I have put the main red onto the armour of the Tactical Support Squad and washed it, but I was running very low on Nuln Oil and had to wait until Saturday to restock.

What I am Reading

I am about halfway through Master of Mankind and so far I am impressed, it’s a very good book and extremely well written, possibly the best Black Library book yet written.

I am also listening to Vulkan Lives, like with Nick Kymes other Slamanders books for the Horus Heresy, I struggled with reading it, but I am getting on with it much better as an audiobook, plus it’s nice to get an appearance from John Grammaticus who has to be one of Black Library’s most mysterious and interesting characters.

What I am Playing

I went to Graham’s Horus Heresy event, A Message from History last Sunday. I took my Word Bearers at 3500 points and played two games. My first was against a Mechanicm Cybernetica army, playing the Shatter Strike mission.

With a large number of Castellan robots, three Thanatars and a low number of troops, I figured my best tactic would be to drive forward and get up into his deployment zone and try and stay there.

So my Rhinos and Spartan headed in whist my Dreadnoughts walked in whilst shooting their weapons, I deepstriked in with my Gal Vorbak and Ashen Circle to try and distract him and keep him off my troops.

The tactics worked, and I ended up winning the game 7-1.

My second game saw me team up with Grahams Iron Warriors in a doubles game to play the same Cybernetica player and a Dark Angels player. The Dark Angels player was using a force organisation chart that allowed him to take four fortifications, which I am still trying to figure out which book that was in. Either way he had three Bastions and some Vengence Weapon Battery’s.

Due to some confusion about setting up, all my dudes ended up set up behind Graham’s line of tanks! So it took a while for my guys to get into combat, although my Plasma Gun equipped Tactical Support Squad managed to wipe out a unit of Dark Angels Terminators who arrived by Deep Strike, again trying to work out how they did that too.

In the end my squad of Terminators and my Praetor saved the day by killing the Cybernetica Warlord in the last throw of the games dice.

In the event overall the forces of the Warmaster easily destroyed the lackeys of the Emperor, and Christian got to play with his new Acastus Knight Porphyrion.

I also got to play a game of 2500pts with my Word Bearers against Edwards Emperors Children at the club on Tuesday, again the tactics of being aggressive paid off as we were playing the Tide of Carnage mission.

Again it came down to the last dice roll as I denied him a unit in his own deployment zone by having my Ashen Circle charge and chop down the guys he had in his deployment zone, meaning that I won the game instead of him.

What I am Backing

Still just Light and Dark, but I have finally gotten round to unboxing the Turtles game and I will have a proper report for that written up once I have gotten a game of it in.

What I am Spending

I have bought some terrain for the Heresy weekender which is just five weeks away now, bought three Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Lines, a pair of Wall of Martyrs Imperial Defence Emplacement, a Wall of Martyrs Imperial Bunker, two Basilica Administratums and two Manufactorums. 

I also preordered the Dwarf Giants dice, the Special Play Hall of Fame Cards and the Mighty Zug for Blood Bowl as well as some Word Bearers dice and I picked up a couple of sets of plastic Tartaros Terminators from eBay relatively cheaply.

Spent a lot this week, but much of it was for the weekender so that doesn’t really count does it!

Anyway the issue is that I have been feeling down, and when I feel down I either overeat or spend money, and this week I have been spending money.