Saturday, 6 June 2009

123 Captain Stephenson - Unique Character


NB: This is an update - 16/03/2010 - I've tweaked Stephenson's profile after the advice of my dear readers: thanks for the ideas, guys! The data and fluff, below, are the new versions.

A long time ago, I pictured this sentinel and noted that there was a story behind the model and the colour scheme. Well, here it is - with some tweaks and in a new-Codex stylee [rationale follows beneath].
Ladies and Gents - Capt. Wm. Stephenson; data, back story and pictures:
Yes, I did it on Excel. I'm not very technically minded, I'm afraid.
Here are three pics of him with his new 'clearance blade':
And here he is - for fun - hiding in my wife's herbacious border:
I should point out that this is an old paintjob - especially on his face. I'd never leave it so blank and pallid now, I hope!


Model: bought from ebay in a slightly ragged state and basic Catachan colours. I converted stuff and made the weapon, just for fun, from an old Epic warlord titan weapon. This was mostly done almost six years ago. He was always going to be Stephenson, so I popped an officer's head on him and spruced up the paintwork and base about a year ago. Added the chainsaw blade today after lots of deliberation - it just adds a bit of depth and a 'Catachan' edge. Looks ugly, but it works.

Points cost: alternative HQ for my mechanised inf (1/24), so had to be at least 70pts. The special rules aren't game-winning, and he's extremely vulnerable to shooting, being a one-man HQ unit and an open-topped, AV10 vehicle. Hence the conversion field, to give him a fighting chance. The vox rule was because I'd modelled it on there and it makes sense, and the bolt pistol's just for fun. The chainsaw blade acts as a power weapon (as a dreadnought ccw) but does not double his strength - that would've been too much.

Concept: from the original 'Zulu' organisational concept for my army - hence, of course, them being the 24th. Stuff's changed a lot since then - that was 3rd edition codex!

The statline is a mix of both statlines (Coy Cmdr and Sentinel), but don't forget how vulnerable he is...

I'd love your thoughts on this one, if you'd be so kind...

- Drax.


  1. I think you've made a great character, and the stat line seems spot on too.
    I think you could also explain the Refractor feild as Feel No Pain special rule as he is part machine.
    My only other thought is that maybe he should be allowed as an HQ choice under a certain points level say around 1250pts, above this level he is a special officer choice in fast attack, like Mogul Kamir.
    I only mention that because i'm not sure the Cadian would allow a vast army to be lead by such a 'vunreable HQ'
    Only my tuppence worth:)

  2. Thanks, Andy - that's most encouraging.

    I didn't go with Feel No Pain because there are so many attacks to which it doesn't apply - I was after a general 4+ save. Still, I like the idea of it being because he's part machine - I might consider tweaking that.

    As for him being so vulnerable? - Well, aren't all guard HQs pretty damned squishy?! He's in charge of the mechanised force, so there will at least be plenty of other armoured choices around to attract the gunfire!


  3. You can't really give him Feel No Pain as he's a vehicle, not a unit and has no wounds. Also vehicles do not have inv saves, just cover saves.

    Other than that - awesome. You now inspired me to create a character of my own. :o

  4. I like him, he fits together really well. The stats are ok, and fit the fluff along with the model. Nice job mate.

    Although, I'm with Andy on the HQ option. It's ok for small games, but anything bigger and I'd make him a special character with a few rules of his own.

    Yes, the guard hq are squishy, but even they get bodyguards to handle the incoming flak.

    Could this be the start of Codex Drax?

  5. Interesting unit Admiral. Pretty well balanced points-wise, and outflanking/scout will let it close with the enemy.

    The one thing I wouldn't be sure of is the 4+ invulnerable save, as has been said before. I think you might have to write some kind of rule where he can ignore any roll on the vehicle damage table on a 4+ instead of the invul or a cover save, though, reason being that vehicles can't get invuls and cover saves don't help you in close combat.

  6. Thanks, chaps.

    Now that really is a good way round it, Max - thanks!

    Anyone got any idea as to how the fluff might work for it?

  7. I suppose you could give it a roll 2d6 for vehicle damage and pick the lowest.

    That would make it more survivable to both shooting and close combat without breaking the normal rules to much.

    Also, I'm pretty sure GW have used this method in the past for one of the races vehicles.

  8. I dunno - a lot of stuff hits AV10, and when it's open-topped, a lower dice on the damage table will still screw it too much.

    No - for me the 4+ has to be inviolate, so Max's idea is pretty tempting.

    It's all just for fun, anyhow.

  9. A couple of possible fluffy rationales for your inspection:

    1) The Horse's Machine Spirit might be somehow upgraded, either by Mechanicum priests, the machine copying Stephenson's willingness to just charge into battle and fight through the pain, etc., that makes it keep on fighting and dodging no matter what

    2) Catachan Workaround: while with the jungle fighters he learned a thing or two about redundant systems. When combined with his familiarity with his mount, access to Munitorum resources and Cadian training, was able to make a better sentinel. This makes it very hard to maneuver properly and considered a waste of resources on lesser men, which is why it isn't copied everywhere.

    3) Some type of vehicular force field, as previously mentioned. It might be some kind of xenos tech (possibly from when the Necrons shot him down), or just a special request to the Munitorum that is too expensive to be used on lesser men.

  10. More good thinking, Max - thanks.

  11. Very cool stuff, Drax - a very flavorful character, and I think you're just about spot on with the points for play balance purposes. The only way I'd tweak it would be to make him an upgrade to a sentinel squadron and tone him down to a platoon commander for orders purposes, though I'm fuzzy on whether Sentinel squadrons can benefit from orders in the first place...

    All in all though, I really like it - fluff above all, my good man!

  12. i think i may have missed something, but can you tell me the reason for the vox caster?

    as these would have no effects on the vehicle unit or surrounding units...

    other than that, loving the character, its exactly the kind of character that people should be doing more often, for those friendly fluff campaigns. im definately inspired to think of a special character now, i was goingto use a Creed count as as my Tsar, maybe i should aim higher?

  13. d'oh, just saw the senior officer bit, now i geddit *smacks forehead*

  14. Dear All,

    Thanks for your thoughts - I've just twaeked and updated the rules for this model a little.

    - Chris.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!