Flesh And Steel.
Alan Bligh, Mark Bedford, Edgar Skomorowski, Tony Cottrell
Subject – the Solar Auxilia and the Mechanicum
Initial ‘reveal’ – that an Ordinatus model (BIG!) is work in progress at FW right now… and it will be bigger than a Baneblade!
The Solar Auxilia – aggressive defence tactics, force landings and then defend the beachhead.
The Solar Auxilia are – just like the Legiones Astartes – split in the Horus Heresy… some of them have fought with Horus or other Traitor legions for years/decades… naturally in many cases they have formed tight links with these legions, so in many cases have followed them into treachery.
Looking at the new SA ogryn models:-
ES: This Ogryn design is a kind of halfway house between the Solar Auxilia infantry and tanks.
AB: The Ogryn rules in “Conquest” are WAY toned down from the initial version!
These ogryns are ‘stitched’ into their armour and then switched on – organic killing machines, but deliberately not in the style of the Mechanicum. They actually have an ‘off’ switch on the back of their head! Also a kind of cage on the side of their head to stop them biting the medicae.
MB: John Blanche’s artwork is a major inspiration for the Mechanicum. Tech-priests are the ‘human’ face of the Mechanicum – and there are much, much worse than them yet to be seen. AB wants to do the ‘crazy’ ones… the Mechanicum are the ultimate recycling army, they re-use absolutely everything left laying around after a battle, including body parts. AB likes the creepy guy look.
AB: I have at least one army where I drilled the eyes out! <hangs head in shame, laughter>
MB: The whole look of the Mechanicum is deliberately different from the rest of the Imperial forces… Mech tanks look fragile, but have lots of energy shields instead of armour. They always keep the best stuff for themselves and let the Imperial forces have the lesser gear… Legion Land Raiders, for example, are inferior to the Mech forces.
AB: Must remember that the 30k Mechanicum are NOT the 40k Adeptus Mechanicus. They are a kind of shadow empire, only partially part of the Imperium. The Dark Mechanicum have split off from the main track because they don’t want to obey the rules that have been imposed upon them (by the Emperor etc).. But we have to remember that the Mechanicum haven’t split right down the middle in the same way as the Legions… in many ways, the Mechanicum has split more. Some of the Dark Mechanicum don’t so much follow Horus as just want to rebel against the strictures of the Mechanicum – example, Cyclothrathe – they are out on the edge of the Imperium, and what they’ve found out there has driven them mad.
The Legio Cybernetica are a kind of compromise from the age of (now banned) sentient machines – the LC have artificial intelligence but not artificial sentience – they aren’t self-willed, sort of artificial beasts. However, as the war goes on and supply chains get disrupted (on both sides) it starts getting hard to replace the cortices in the robots – the Dark Mechanicum will start to take short cuts and try using daemons instead – although this is later, doesn’t happen immediately. Even during the Great Crusade, some of the Primarchs were started to get worried abou how many battle-automata were being created – suspected that the Mechanicum were building up to take on the Imperium itself? Although there are differing levels of suspicion amongst the Primarchs – for example, after a while (after the start of the Heresy) Perturabo starts to mistrust his own legion so much that he has a bodyguard of battle-automata created, instead of using his own legionaries.
Q: Will there be a red book for the Mechanicum?
TC: Yes, but not just yet – there is more yet to add.
Q: Will we see some of the odder sub-cults of the Mechanicum? (such as the electro-priests from 40K).
TC: A lot of 30K stuff isn’t seen in 40K and vice versa – the Mechanicum has evolved a lot.
AB: The 30K Mechanicum has no set organisation – a lot of it is ad hoc (the Taghmata are likened to a feudal ‘raising of banners’) and varies wildly between forge worlds. We may see some bits of the unusual stuff, but the 30K Mechanicum army we see is the ‘macro’ army, the more common stuff.
Q: Will we see 30K Skitarii?
TC: Skitarii are 40K Adeptus Mechanicus troops, their role has pretty much already been covered in 30K – if they are seen, they are likely to be quite different from what you’re used to.
Q: Will there be more types of Ordinatus?
TC: In 40K, each Ordinatus machine is unique, and they are very rare. In 30K they are somewhat less rare, so we will likely do some variants.
Q: Will you cover the relationship between the Mechanicum and the Iron Warriors? Rules and background?
AB: We will cover how the Iron Warriors’ relationship with the Mechanicum evolves – ditto with the Iron Hands, Salamanders – even the Dark Angels (my note – interesting!). After they became one of the Shattered Legions, the remains of the Iron Hands cope in different ways – fight back, start a guerrilla war, some basically go mad. Some turn to forbidden tech – the Keys Of Hel.
MB: Some legions desperately need to replace lost warriors, and quickly…
Q: Will there be any weapon packs for the Mechanicum? For Myrmidons?
MB: Yes, we’re doing them now, but they’re not ready yet.
Q: Will you produce rules for the tech used by the Raven Guard? Reflex shields, etc?
AB: That all depends on the space available in the books. Some stuff – like that Raven Guard gear mentioned – will be left to later books.
Q: After having seen the illustration of the Mechanicum Ordinatus being planned, are you going to be using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) more?
TC: We will be using it more, but still using old-fashioned sculpting as well – kind of a fusion of the two. We will model by hand and by computer – were are not a CGI company!
Q: Are there any Solar Auxilia heavy weapons coming?
TC: The SA don’t tend to carry many heavy weapons.
AB: Most of the SA’s heavy weapons are machine-mobile rather than shoulder-carried or the 40K Astra Militarum two-man fixed teams… they will use Rapier platforms and such. There will be some other heavy/special weapons coming – such as snipers? (Joke about unicycle Rough Riders).
Q: Will there be any Mechanicum transfer sheets?
TC: Yes – we have just taken on someone (Jez Goodwin’s daughter, in fact) just to do decals & brass etchings and the like. Previously they’ve been done by various artists in between other projects, if a bit of spare time came up. Now that we have a dedicated person for this, there should be a lot more.
Q: Will there be a Kelbor-Hal model and rules?
AB & TC: We need to get the narrative to Mars before doing something like that. We will be doing at least one book on Mars later – within the next 4 books perhaps? (my note – if what is mentioned in later seminars is true, then at the earliest this would be Book 8).
Q: In one of the Garro audios there is a kick-ass Mechanicum flyer – will you be doing model/rules?
MB: I have some ideas… <laughter>
Q: (Sorry – didn’t hear the question!)
AB: The Scyllax are guardian-automata, they are defensively orientated and have no cortex. Very little of them is organic, for obvious reasons – inside them is a rad-furnace, they are intended to kill with rad weaponry. Sort of the Mechanicum equivalent to the Legion Destroyer squads.