Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Incoming: Stellan Hoplites
Here's the cover art of the upcoming Codex: Stellan Hoplites.A WIP document written by myself for recreational and professional purposes. If you dig them up out of the homebrew rules section on the BoLS Lounge you'll know these guys are a rather unique twist on Inquisitorial Storm Troopers. Specialized and elite the Stellans are, in game-play terms, an off-shoot of the Imperial Guard in much the same way as Space Wolves or Blood Angels are products of the Space Marine 'umbrella' codex.
What I'm hoping to create is a race that does not enjoy any of the brute force organic enhancements common to space marines and other super soldier 'archetypes'. The Stellans, equal in prowess to the elite Storm Trooper regiments are nevertheless human with all the faults and shortcomings that suggests.
However human beings can be surprisingly divergent - especially when left to the devious machinations of a wayward Lord Inquistor to whom the Adeptus Mechanicus owe a favor of some magnitude. The Stellans have more going for them even than their high-tech wargear and fierce disposition might suggest. Covert and mysterious a secret that would damn a whole world to extinction is hidden within the heart of every Hoplite. A weapon whose true potential shall forever be indeterminable but whose obvious power has the madman Inquisitor grinning in anticipation.
There are several themes I've attempted to build into the Stellans to make them more palatable and to give them authenticity and depth. I know the Greek theme has been done to death but hopefully this time it will be done right since it will have been done by an actual Greek. Also my fascination with space travel has made me add a 'star' theme (hence 'Stellans') which I hope will be more 'romantic' and more subtle than Angry Blood Vampires shooting Blood bullets from guns in their Blood Fists. Finally the enigmatic powers that drive the Stellans would not be complete without someone to personify them: The Lady Enchantress is a character based on a mixture of religious figures from mythology with a great deal of inspiration coming from my beautiful wife.
In game terms the Stellans will play like a mixture of Imperial Guard and Eldar. They are fast and hard-hitting but fragile and unforgiving in the hands of a novice. More than anything I wanted them to be specialized in close-quarters shooting and mobility with melee capabilities if the player is careful in choosing his battles. Synergy is not as important in a Stellan army as each unit should be able to handle almost any target. This will favor players that are bold and good at calculating risks. Often I find that units I've written off as lost will overcome all the odds returning to play a pivotal role in the endgame. This is because I've endeavored to make every model a significant one unlike regular GW codecies that make each squad feel like a meltagun with ablative wounds.
Balancing is still taking place and so the full codex is still some months away. However, I wanted to put this teaser out there and see how people feel about this third part rules-source. The primary objective is not only to match but to surpass GW codex quality with this release and show my fellow gamers just what we can do from home to enhance our hobby. I don't want this to degenerate into a "you'll never be able to use this in a tournament so it's useless debate." There'll be a time for that later. Rather I'd like some comments on the cover art and the idea in general. I'll add a link to older work on the Stellans but keep in mind that all unit entries have been re-done and many are completely different.
P.S. Posting this stuff elsewhere too so I apologize if you've already seen it.