A final delve into Solaria, for now at least with the Reaver class engine “Manibus Ignum”. I added this into the battlegroup in a support role. By that I mean it isn’t part of the Mandatum maniple as the full complement is four Warhounds and a Warlord. Although it doesn’t benefit from the Warlord’s bonus ‘to hit’ and command modifiers, it’s still a handy engine to have in the support role. The mix of Gatling and Melta is a tried and trusted combo, but for a bit of “choom!” I swapped out the apocalypse launcher for a Volkite Eradicator. I know it’s not a popular points choice and in retrospect if I had just taken the launcher I could have afforded to fit a second Warhound with ‘cameleoline shroud’. But volkite is just so darned cool and heresy! I’ll probably paint up a launcher in Solaria colours as there’s clearly a spare from the kit so may as well give myself some extra loadout options.
There’s not a lot to call out about this engine other than the base and the banner I guess, the rest of the painting and weathering having already been covered by the other Solaria engine posts. I wanted the base to continue the ‘defenders of terra’ theme from the siege, Mercury Wall in particular, but also Solaria buying time for the defenders falling back from the outer defences to the inner palace in book two I think it was. The open stance of the Reaver was perfect for this and the idea behind using the mounted rough riders was additionally a nod to the ‘Imperial Hunters’ heritage as described at the start of ‘Titandeath’. The sharp eyed will again probably have noticed some of the models go right back to the original ‘Epic’ Guard set from the early 90’s when they came in boxes of 300 figures. Ahh the nostalgia.
The other is of course the ridiculously over-sized ‘Divisio Militaris’ banner which was supposed to be a second banner for the Warlord, but I switched it for the Reaver at the very last minute deciding it looked better as a battlegroup. I’m not sure I’ll go quite as big as this for future engines in a single banner, but I was super-pleased how nicely it came out and was exactly as I had envisioned it when I was considering how I wanted Solaria to look and feel on the tabletop.
So what are the future plans for Solaria?
I will likely add a second Reaver, but only because when I painted the test carapaces it turned out as one of the nicer ones, yet in the end wasn’t the one I went with for the event, opting instead for the variant with aquila and scrollwork (yes those are decals for the writing and no I probably won’t do it again!). I hate to see it go to waste as it also included one of the larger legio icons spread across the front so I feel a second reaver will balance the group out and let me run a few other maniple options. I’ve no plans to do this anytime soon so please don’t hold your breath or anything, next on the plan is a banner of Vyronii Cerastus knights and the start of my next maniple, which will be for …
Legio Astraman – “The Morning Stars”
I hope you liked my take on Solaria, until next time have great week!