Although the Warhounds of Solaria get a lot of the attention in the Horus Heresy books, especially the “Bestia Est” and they do proportionally have a large number of scout engines overall, they are not solely a Warhound legio. Even though the temptation was to gravitate to a ‘Lupercal’ light maniple I preferred instead to take ‘Mandatum’ which let me take a full squadron of four hounds with a solid Warlord to anchor the centre.
The presence of the Warlord on the battlefield grants a bonus to all the hounds’ command rolls. Combined with the legio princeps trait, the warhounds have a high chance of successfully receiving orders during the starting phase, especially when operating as a squadron. Additionally, the warlord enhances their accuracy, increasing their chances of hitting targets within its range. This simulates Solaria’s exceptional coordination displayed by their hunting packs.
To complete the battlegroup for the event, I also included a support Reaver, bringing the total points close to the event target. Unfortunately, I couldn’t include a banner of Vyronii knights to represent the forces at Lake Voss (from ‘Siege of Terra’ book five “Mortis”) due to limited points. However, I plan to add them as an addendum to the battlegroup for casual games in the near future. In fact, I have already begun assembling them!”
I will be making individual posts for each of the engines in the battlegroup so I can talk a bit more about some of the techniques I used, or thinking behind specific basing, but I should probably talk about the armour scheme and the theme as a whole as there were some quite deliberate choices I made early on.
When I assembled and painted my Legio Mortis battlegroup after the game’s re-launch, little did I know that I was also laying the foundations for Solaria, quite literally. Initially, my intention was for them to represent forces at Beta-Garmon and the events described in ‘Titandeath.’ However, due to the long delay between starting the test models and resuming the project in 2021, I had the opportunity to read “Mortis.” This prompted an immediate pivot in the theme of the battlegroup, transforming Solaria into the shattered remnants of the legio, defending the Imperial Palace at the Mercury Wall. This alignment against Mortis worked perfectly, prompting me to maintain a similar palette and basing style.
Since I had incorporated some of the original scale Epic miniatures on the Mortis bases and ruined architecture, I needed to adhere to the same styling and ensure that any defenders were drawn from the same collection. This turned out to be a fortunate circumstance as it allowed me to utilize old Epic miniatures dating back to the original 1st edition game, including the ‘Necromunda IXth’ guardsmen models, among others. They represented the surviving amalgam of imperial forces from shattered regiments. To me, it felt like a wonderful tribute to the original game, seamlessly blending the old with the new.
I carried this idea of homage into the back banners of both the Warlord and the Reaver. Deliberately, I incorporated elements of the old designs, such as the prominence of the ‘Divisio Militaris’ mark and the iconic use of “Perfidi Pergendi” on the alternative side.