Army List: Daemons of the Ruinstorm (Mechanicum Themed)
Leader: Aegis 114 (Daemon Lord)
I had wanted to explore the Mechanicum faction and integrate them with my Horus Heresy armies for quite some time. I saw a variety of different options and, in general, I liked how radically different you could create your army, adding a variety of different styles to the robots, while still keeping the core concept of robots backed up by decked out nerds. It mirrored the feel for my Iron Warriors which was nice to expand on, but at the same point seemed to duplicate more of my tactics and I was hoping to get something different out of the Mechanicum.
Exploring other sides of the Mechanicum army, I gained a liking for the idea of “Dark Mechanicum”, a faction that chose to side with Horus during the Heresy and embraced the powers of Chaos. Since this faction didn’t have a legitimate Army List at the time of this army’s inception, I went with a different approach. The Daemons of the Ruinstorm Army List had come out in Book 8 and the rules were intriguing, to say the least. Having a WIDE array of daemon models I was no longer using, I chose to explore conversions and came up with a variety of “techno-daemon” ideas. What started as a few simple squads to reinforce my Traitor elements evolved into a full fledged army that I am quite proud of and excited to see on the table.
Each model in the army represents either a fleshy/mechanical aspect of the origin army or a daemon that is built from scrap/spare parts and embodies the idea of the Scrap Code. This concept has led me to influence the conversions by putting each of the designs into a specific bucket and then understanding what their build was, based on where the models fell. In general it came down to “Scrap Code Daemons” and “Mechanicum Possessions” (Which were further broken down by Fleshy vs Mechanical).
Scrap Code Daemons were models that were quite unique in their appearance and I tried to make them as “alien” as possible. The first attempt was the Lesser Daemon I created from Pink Horrors (More in their entry), but some of the models in this bucket are literally a plastic egg shape that I attached legs to and added bits. These models, by far, required the most to plan out, but are some of the most rewarding to see finished.
Mechanicum Possessions were models that were once part of the Mechancium army, but had been possessed or subverted by the Warp and were changed drastically. The Fleshy and Mechanical versions in this share a common ground, the use of “Fleshmetal”, which represents the power of the Warp reinforcing parts of the body/mechanisms (think reverse Borg). These conversions usually started with a base Mechancium model and then I expanded in one way or another with a variety of bits, sometimes creating an entirely new design.
The last type of model, which doesn’t have a bucket because they are just a mass of modeling shenanigans, is the Arch Daemon (Gargantuan Creature). I won’t go into the specifics because each one will have it’s own entry (I have one built and a second one planned), but these things are something I am quite proud of and I do hope to employ the “personality” I have created for them when I deploy them in a game.
Daemons of the Ruinstorm has a variety of mechanics that interact with gameplay on several levels. For starters, your army has a base mechanic that you choose called an “Aetheric Dominions”. These act as a mutator for the entire army and allow you to take special upgrades, along with having penalties (much in the way that an army can dedicate to a specific Chaos God in 40k). For this army, I chose to go with the Creeping Scourge Dominion which fits the “Scrap Code” aesthetic quite well.
The Creeping Scourge Dominion is synonymous with Nurlge effects and grants units the ability to take the Miasma of Rot emanation, which has a degrading effect on enemies B2B with the unit. This concept plays really nicely with the idea of the daemons emitting Scrap Code to degrade enemy technology. This emanation was only going to be applied to the “Scrap Code Daemons” with the other models benefiting from the changes the Scrap Code inflicted upon them. Along with the emanation, this Dominion also grants FnP 5+ or ITWND, depending on the classification. The negatives with this Dominion are similar to that of the effects with Nurlge, decreased run speed, which also fits with the slow and ponderous feel to the army.
In addition to modifiers to the way the units play, the Aetheric Dominion also modifies the way the win conditions. With Creeping Scourge, I can elect to replace my Primary Objectives with an objective based around controlling table quarters with Warp Rifts and keeping enemies away from them. It puts an interesting spin on things, and in some cases it can really skew the scoring in my favor, but it is only for the Primary Objective, and my opponent cannot score anything off of it, only deny.
For the units themselves, each model I made had to fall into a specific category within the Army List, and I obviously modelled them according to these choices. I will go into specific upgrades in the unit listings, but in general anything that was classified as a “Scrap Code Daemon” got the Miasma of Rot emanation, while others models I was very selective of using this emanation on them.
The real mechanics challenge came with the Arch Daemon, since it has a different set of emanations and I had to figure out a way to make it fit in with the army and not absolutely crazy when deployed. I believe I did find a happy medium.
Split off from the Mechanicum assets from Mars, the 413th Assault Maniple consisted mostly of heavier elements of the Mechanicum that excelled in fast insertion strategies to pin down an enemy and drop their heaviest units in position as quickly as possible. Their limited numbers meant they relied more heavily on augmented humans for their labor intensive tasks, but the fighting was done primarily with large Domitar and Thanatar class battle automata. Their main assault elements were established around using light combat elements to suppress enemy positions while their larger brethren were able to outflank enemy positions and get in close, where their firepower proved undeniable.
During the 104th’s civil war, Aegis 114, the primary command processing unit of the 413th, chose to have their forces remain neutral and instead branched out to follow a different path. Since no deployment was made during the civil war, the 413th remained mobile and in space. The majority assets broke orbit and pursued a distress call, leading them through the warp into a previously unexplored area of space. Here they were engulfed in a warp storm and came into contact with entities that influenced their minds and in some places were able to possess the bodies of the battle automata. Aegis 114, chose to embrace the power he was acquiring from this unknown entity and let his Maniple fall to the Ruinstorm. He soon realized the life-blood of code that existed within him and his allies had changed to that of Scrap Code, but instead of destroying his inner workings it enhanced his body and that of those around him. Infinite time passed as the 413th underwent a massive change, reworking their minds and physical bodies in ways previously thought unimaginable. Aegis 114 began to see the universe in a new way. His body, having been merged with his bodyguard and fully joined with this unknown entity, had grown and morphed to become a monstrous amalgamation of mechanical and organic might. Their ships underwent a massive transformation, the machine spirit merging with the Scrap Code to create titanic mechanical beasts of burden that heralded the arrival of the Ruinstorm.
Their transformation complete, the reborn Aegis 114 returned to reality and made contact with the traitor elements of the 104th, pledging themselves to their cause and vowing to be there when called upon. Warsmith Nereus, always having respected the path of the Mechanicum, accepted his newfound allies and chose not to question their latest iteration, assuming it was a further gift from their machine god.
Their forces were never deployed together, but Nereus on many occasions had requested the 413th to deploy opposite their landing zone and act as a distracting force while using his own forces for surgical strikes against the enemy. Aegis 114 was always eager to deploy his forces and destroy and assimilate everything they came into contact with.
Most notable among his Maniple were the creatures no larger than the Astartes allies that had grown from seemingly spare parts and were able to invoke the Scrap Code to degrade their enemy’s weapons and armor they relied so heavily on. Aegis 114 came to rely heavily on these creatures and their ability to weaken enemies, allowing the heavier elements of the 413th to easily crush whatever they came across. Their tactics had changed from that of suppressing the enemy and outflanking their positions with strategic insertion, to simply swarming and overwhelming enemy positions with sheer numbers. Losses to the Maniple were only temporary as the greatest tech priests among their ranks had risen to gain power and influence over the fleshmetal that their automata were now made up of.
Largest among their ranks, the siege automata had undergone a massive change and had become something of an enigma. Their armor plating had become fleshmetal, with protrusions that almost made them appear bug-like. These immense monsters seemed to exhibit a primitive intelligence as they appeared to be more reactive to things on the battlefield and otherwise slowly move towards the heaviest concentrations of enemies.
The 413th Assault Maniple had evolved into something both terrifying and immensely powerful in the eyes of Aegis 114. His alliance with the 104th was slowly feeling like a non-aggression treaty rather than allegiance, but as long as the warriors of the Iron IVth continued in their course, the 413th would follow and bring nothing but destruction in their wake.