Sunday, August 7, 2011

Officio Assassinorum

It seems that the only thing that I do slower than painting lately is post. I made a phone post , but that is only good for half credit. You deserve an actual epic post, and that is just what you are going to get.

They call him "Smiles" and he just wants to hug you.

The founding of the Officio Assassinorum dates back to time of the Great Crusade before the events of the Horus Heresy. The person primarily responsible for this fun group of girls and boys is none other than Malcador the Sigillite (from the makes of Grey Knights, saving the Emperor, and probably a bunch of other awesome stuff). He gathered the leaders of the six Director Primus's of the Assassin Clades to hunt down the enemies of the Emperor. The Officio Assassinorum works closely with the Inquisition (with the branch Ordo Sicarius charged with watching the assassins) but is a separate entity.

The Ordo is organized into several temples, each with their own specialty:
  • Vindicare Temple - Snipers, Tom Berenger not included
  • Callidus Temple - Infiltrators, like two ninjas taped together to make one big ninja
  • Eversor Temple - Berserkers, ever sore is right
  • Culexus Temple - The anti-psyker assassin, Pariahs just like Louie Anderson
  • Venenum Temple - (no model) Poisoners, probably founded by a Borgia
  • Vanus Temple -  (no model) Spies, like James Bond but without the gun (maybe)

I am going to detail two of these assassins below. I have not read the Horus Heresy book , Nemesis so I am hesitant to go into too much depth. I am on Fulgrim so that makes it 7 books away. At the speed I read, it'll be a year before I get around to making an update. When I do, I'll detail the remaining Assassin they have models for and touch on the rest of the Temples as necessary.You can real more at your local library Lexicanum.

Vindicare Assassin

Pew pew!
It's probably a mistake to start with the best because it can only go downhill from here. The Vindicare, to me, epitomizes all that it means to be an assassin. They are stoic, patient and precise. They are your typical elite sniper. They differ from other snipers in 40k in their wargear and they newly beefed up statline.

Let's talk shop. The main weapon of the Vindicare is the Exitus rifle. It is a superbly crafted sniper rifle that is heavily retooled and customized by the assassin. If the rifle was not dangerous enough, the Vindicare comes with three types of special ammunition.
  • Helfire - Wounds on anything but. That means hits on 2+ (with a 4+ reroll), then wounding on a 2+. 
  • Shield-breaker - ignores Inv saves, then... takes them away forever!
  • Turbo-penetrator - Wounds on 4+ like normal but causes two wounds. Ouch and ouch again.
The most deadly thing about the Vindicare is the last little note in his entry. It says that when he kills someone, he gets to pick which model is removed. That is right, he gets to decide who lives and who dies. Sargent with a plasma pistol, powerfist and meltabombs (about a 65 point model)? Not any more!

"Vini, why are you pointing your gun at my head?"
The Vindicare can Infiltrate into a high position with lots of cover. then with Stealth, it gets a 3+ cover save and Feel No Pain (6) on top of that. This makes him one nasty customer to deal with at range.

On my Vindicares (Vindicari?), I painted the black, silver, gold and leather in my standard way (I'll have to post on that at some point). The only two remarkable painting techniques involve the Synskin and the mask.

The Synskin (bodysuit) started Krylon Pimento followed by Blood Red. I gave it a 1:1:1 wash of water, Badab Black and Baal Red. When that dried, I touched up the red carefully on just the raised areas. I then did a sloppy job of highlighting the raised areas with Blazing Orange. You can afford to be sloppy because the next step fixes it. You give it a wash of pure Baal Red. That blends the orange with the red and make for a very smooth finish. You can repeat the Blazing Orange followed by Baal Red wash until you get the effect you want.

The mask was under coated Astronomocan Grey and base coated with Space Wolf Grey. I applied some Skull White to the edges. I then did a wash of very thin (maybe 2:1) Asurmen Blue. If you make the wash really thin, you cal always apply another layer if it is not enough but if it is too think, you might have to start over. After the wash, I touched up the edges with Skull White and washed again. Keep it up until it looks right.

Eversor Assassin
Image from NachoMan

If there was a word to describe the Eversor, it would be goreriffic. I don't know if they qualify as assassins as such. They are insane killing machines bent on destruction, blood and death. They contrast directly with the stealth and subtly of the Vindicare.

The primary weapon of the Eversor assassin is fear. Fear and surprise. Ooooh, the two weapons of the Eversor are fear, surprise and an almost fanatical devotion to the Emperor. Seriously though, I can see how even the rumored deployment of one of these monsters could send waves of fear through an enemy.

When deployed, Eversors are pumped full of the combat drug Frenzon that enrage them and turn them into lethal weapons of carnage. These drugs are also incredibly addictive and the assassin is dependent on them for survival. It is said that the assassin is kept in cryo storage to keep them alive without the drugs, but I think it is a safety issue. Who wants one of these things running around unchained.

The assassin is equipped with a Neuro Gauntlet (counting as a Lightning Claw) and melta bombs making it equally deadly to infantry and vehicles alike. The last nasty little piece of wargear carries is the Executioner pistol. Back in the day it was a combi-pistol that could wound on a 2+ but had no AP. The Eversor could fire it twice and still charge back then but no longer. Insted, it has a pistol that always wounds on a 2+ and is AP2. Ladies and gentlemen, that is almost as good as the Vindicare's Exitus pistol.

The Frenzon drug gives it d6 bonus attacks the turn it charges in. That combined with furious charge, makes it a beast to take a charge from. To facilitate it getting into close combat, the assassin has Fleet and Move through Cover.

The Eversor lost a few really cool things from the last Codex. Back in the day, it could Infiltrate. Now, it has to run across the field weathering fire before it can assault. It also used to have a 12" charge range giving it an 18" threat range. It still kind of has that with Fleet (6" move, d6" Fleet, 6" charge) but there is some uncertainly to it now because of the roll. Finally and perhaps the coolest part, is that when you killed the Eversor, it blew up and hit everything under a 3" template with a S5 hit. While not really deadly, it was pretty neat and made your opponent think hard about what unit he would use to deal with the assassin.

As far as painting, the Eversor was done in the same style as the Vindicare. The one on the left was painted years ago and it was interesting to see how my techniques have improved. I did some touch ups, but for the most part left it alone. I did a little work on the face to bring it in style with the rest of the assassins. The one on the right is the current one. I did some more work on the face after this picture was taken, so it is less blue now.

The severed head was really easy to do. I based it Talaran Flesh then Dark Flesh. After a Ogryn Flesh wash, it touched it up with Dark Flesh and then Dwarf Flesh. That sounds like a lot of work, but it went really quick. For the bloody parts (you can't really see them in this picture), I just let the Krylon Pimento show through and washed it with flesh. After clear coating, I painted those parts with a gloss finish.

I am really looking forward to playing with these assassins. I think that the Vindicare will infuriate and disrupt my opponent quite a bit. I don't know what roll the Eversor will fill, but it will sure be fun to pull the pin on them and let them go to town. 

Still on the table is that darned Warsmith but at least I have an idea or two of what to do with him. I am also working on those Grey Knights I posted about before. They are close to be done. I am also working on the muzzle flashes for my Thousand Sons. There are also some Blood Angel Sargents that got dipped in the brake fluid and need repainting. Any bets on what I'll finish next? There is really no telling.

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