Friday, April 12, 2013

Grey Knight - Crusaders

First off as most of you have figured out the STC isn't going anyplace. The post about our demise was a April Fools joke, that honestly came across more serious and got more attention than we expected or intended. I do want to say thank you to all the followers, readers, and people in general who contacted us through various means to support us, and ask for more information. We don't plan on going anyplace and a letter from a lawyer wouldn't change that lol. BOLS did not send us any letter telling us to pack it up, and was in no way involved or notified about our post. (No bad intentions toward the BOLS crew with the post)

Now having said that let's jump back into other things. I continue to work on my Grey Knight forces and still am having fun doing so at this point. So far we have.

Strike Squad
Dread Knight

Let's jump into some Crusader fluff first.

A Crusader is a holy warrior for which devotion cannot be measured. These servants of the Adeptus Ministorum are recruited for the blind life altering faith they show to the God-Emperor and inducted into the ranks of the Ecclesiarchy from a Schola Progenium. To be selected is a great honor, though it leads not only to a grueling life of asceticism and martial perfection, but also inevitably to an unmourned death in battle against the forces of heresy and apostasy. A Holy warrior if ever you could describe one, and though they are imbuid with the same technology as storm shields to whatever shield like relic they posses,  few believe it is the shield itself that actually protects them. Thus the most fanatical of believers start carrying smaller and smaller shields into battle. Fellow warriors who view this call it madness, but when they stand unharmed after devastating attacks of all nature both from long range and short range weapons. Even the most scientific minded has to wonder if the God-Emperor is truly watching over them.

Some Inquisitors recruit Crusaders from the honor guard of the Cardinals Crimson -- that most mysterious of all the Ecclesiarchy's many orders. It is said that nowhere else in the Imperium of Man can more devout warriors be found -- save perhaps within the ranks of the famed Adeptus Sororitas. It is improbable that a Crusader's fate will differ greatly in an Inquisitor's service. That would be Most Inquisitors though, Lord Coteaz no longer follows this practice. The volunteers to join his forces from the ranks of those chosen and not chosen as a Holy Crusader are vast, and as such the process he uses to choose those that he would take into battle has become a ceremony of passage all in itself.

How do you prove your faith amongst the most faithful? How do you show your conviction while you walk among the most convicted? How do you show your devotion when surrounded by people who have already just as deeply devoted themselves? How do you stand out without crossing the line into Heresy?

With Ceremony and Ritual. In this case I speak of the Mask of Faith Ceremony.

The Mask of all Faith ceremony. A ceremony that like may of the stories you hear about Lord Coteaz and his forces comes to you in a whisper that no one would dare admit they spoke. A Ceremony that is myth and legend even among those who serve the secrets that the God-Emperor keeps. The location this event takes place differs depending who you hear the story from, Just as the details of the ceremony itself seem to shift in each telling. One thing is known for sure that the final act of faith amongst those who serve Coteaz prove themselves worthy of the Crusade by dawning the Mask of Faith. They place their faces into liquid gold that has been prayed over by three priests who recite the holy scriptures for a full day without pause to give the precious metal the proper blessings. Then the crusader in question places his head into the liquid before pulling back and allowing the gold to form and dry upon his face. It's said that no man has ever screamed and no man has ever perished from this act. That only the most holy have made it far enough to be worthy of this badge of honor.

The Crusaders who serve Coteaz can be seen wearing masks of gold that they cannot remove. If the ceremony is true the Crusaders themselves have never spoken of the act outside their own ranks. Meaning that the only other person that might know is the Lord Inquisitor they serve. However, you might have better odds becoming a crusader to find out the truth than to ask Coteaz himself.

Some Quick pictures nothing fancy of my test models for Crusaders. I normally don't run a large squad of these if any in fact sometimes I only run a handful between 2-5 when I play. I wanted a model that could count as a axe or a sword depending without too many complaints so I could buy either when list building. I also wanted a model that fit my theme thus far.

As you can see I have painted the front part of the heads with the gold masks, or the faith masks to match the armies fluff and back story.

The bases match the rest of the army, and I gave them the same style of power weapons the strike squads are painted with. The blue is nice against the gold and red's of the army. I picked a kit that was not only affordable to do several models should I want larger squads but also would fit the models theme of fanatic henchmen all in service of the Inquisitor. The normal Crusader model GW has is nice I wouldn't mind two to add at some point but at the price they are not realistic to field a full squad and I didn't feel they had the look I wanted.

I think they turned out very well. Remember it's not overly important what model you use for different units. As long as they are easily recognizable for what they are and WYSIWYG or very close you will never have any issues. My opponent can clearly tell what models are Crusaders among the army, and they match my theme. That's what it's about at the end of the day merging the two worlds. Playing with models that I enjoy, that fill a theme, and having them work well in tourneys without any issues or complaints. 

Feedback and comments are always welcome about the models or any of the progress thus far. Unless your going to point out this project is taking me forever, I already know that.. =P

<Re-post from STC where I guest write, all guest articles will always be reposted here with a delay from other sites so you don't have to jump around to follow my content. Also to keep a record of things I wrote>

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