Like a bolt from a transuranic arquebus, the Adepts Mechanicus have finally landed on gaming tables the world over. As someone who has had a long-term interface with the Cult of the Machine God, I've been asked by a few folks what my thoughts are abut these recent GW releases. I figured it might be fun to put together a series of quick review articles that covered my thoughts and feelings on each product released.
First up, I'll cover my thoughts on the AdMech Skitarii boxed set - makes either Rangers or Vanguard.
For a long time, hobbyists with an interest in conversions have been converting the foot soldiers of the AdMech, the Skitarii. Although descriptions have varied through various background sources and pieces of official artwork, these hobbyists (myself included) haven't strayed far from the look of red-robed warriors with bionic legs (easiest limbs to remove/replace) and hoods with cog trim. Companies that specialize in conversion bits have stuck pretty close to that look as well in their creations of Steel or Iron Brotherhoods.
I figured that the reluctance of GW to explore their iconic (and mostly unique to GW) imagery of the AdMech was because they hadn't yet decided the best way to portray these foot soldiers. Descriptions in more recent Horus Heresy novels have them looking very feral, with a lot of beast/beetle descriptors. I was looking forward to seeing those vague descriptions being rendered in hard plastic.
Obviously, however, I was wrong. GW decided that hooded guys in red robes with bionic legs was the way to go. I'm a little disappointed they weren't something else.
Having said all that I must point out that I am quite happy with what they are (hey, I converted a bunch of guys that look similar, so there's obviously an appreciation of the look). My 20 or so models are armed with a variety of weaponry, almost all of it fairly short, almost carbine-sized rifles, so I think they'll become my first two Vanguard units.
This means I'll be able to turn the three boxes of Skitarii I bought into Ranger units. Once I've seen the Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus codexes, I'll know if I should do all three, or if I could save one box to start turning into a new rifle section for my Vostroyan-based Solar Auxila army.
Ever the converter, I think that it'd be pretty straightforward to replace the lower legs with boots from plastic Cadians, cult and cast up a number of heads with furry hats, shave off the cog from the breastplate and equip them with the galvanic rifles (which look great!) Sure, it's a bit of work, but that's how I like to roll. Of course, you could simply use them with the Vanguard heads, galvanic rifles, and paint them a color other than red to represent a cool Solar Auxilia regiment. The heads from Empire Pistoliers would also work really well for a fancy look. Also, if you get enough sets (or trade for the weapons) the plasma calivers would be great as volkite chargers for a Veletaris Storm Section.
Speaking of 30K, these Skitarii would also work well as Tech Thralls in a Mechanicum list. Ten thrall from FW currently runs about $60 in the US, 10 plastic Skitarii are $40.
So, not a bad start to the Adeptus Mechanicus release into the world. The Skitarii are certainly lovely, not quite what I was hoping for, but lovely none the less. I'll rate them at 7 cogs out of 10.