When the Drukhari appeared for 8th edition, the Court of the Archon models immediately caught my attention. Single-model units of multi-wound badasses, hand picked by their despicable crime boss? Yep. I thought they'd make ideal candidates for a thematic kill team, so I set out to build my own versions of each, and then basically see what points I had left over...
The Kabal of the Lateral Thorn's "Diplomatic Envoys"
Let's start with Dracon Espina. She rocks a blaster, because at T3, 1W and no Shadow Field, she's not the best candidate to fling into melees. We keep her out of the way. The Obsidian Stone mounted in her helmet lets her attempt to deny a single psychic power in the enemy turn, a valuable piece of kit in an Opus that doesn't contain a single psyker! A Gloom Field gives a degree of protection from shooting attacks for her and her cronies, as long as they stick together. She also has a Phantasm Grenade Launcher which almost never gets used, purely because the list is 247 points without it. Lastly, the Archon's seal increases her Inspiring Presence out to 9". That comes in useful for the next bunch of villains...
|Dracon Espina, First Trueborn of the Kabal of the Lateral Thorn|
Ur-Ghul, Lhamaean, Medusae, Sslyth.
All of these guys get to reroll all of their Hit dice if they're inside Espina's boosted Inspiring Presence, so that's neat. They can all attempt to defend her from attacks, and the Sslyth does it best of all. Since Espina is a Kabal of the Lateral Thorn leader (as opposed to a Wych Cult or Coven of whatever leader) I can choose to take any of these guys as Core. I nominated the Ur-Ghul, her personal pet, and let the rest be Specials for better campaign survivability and the TP I'd get from filling my Specials section.
|Espina's pet genestealer, with skinplanted chain and mind-shackle. Plays as an Ur-Ghul.|
|Lhamaean Ilex disdains the cult's usual trappings of exposed flesh and fluttering lashes, preferring the stark beauty of the kill.|
|The Medusae called Goire is a self-styled wizard. No true psyker, his powers flow not from the Warp but the brain parasite he carries.|
|Eydouxii's serpentine body provides terrifying strength and a shocking turn of speed.|
The team features two Hellions from the Blizzard that Bites, a small gang of violent criminals-cum-smugglers who Espina hires from time to time when she needs a turn of speed on her side. These are my only other Core models. The ability to more or less choose their combat drugs is lovely. I normally take the Toughness boost, or the Strength one. In certain matchups though, neither are useful. Fire Warrior Tau are a prime example, where increasing Toughness from 3 to 4 means nothing against S5 weapons, and similarly, augmenting their strength from 4 to 5 wouldn't make any difference against T3 enemies. In these cases I'd take Hypex for an extra 2" move. Combined with their ability to fall back, shoot and charge, it lets these nutters cover ground like nothing else.
|"Bring me their heads!"|
Finally we have a pair of Trueborn, one of them sycophantically copying Espina by bringing her own (rather small) blaster. Great against pseudo-monsters, sentinels and most enemy leaders, the left-right punch of two darklight weapons doesn't often leave much behind.
To ice the cake, let's have a look at the Tactical Point potential of the list. We get:
- 1 for having a leader. Ka-ching!
- 1 for having a full infantry list. Another easy one, although playing without Reavers still feels weird.
- 1 for filling up my Special section. The ability to take Court models as Core frees up as many spaces as I want, essentially, but I only needed two Trueborn to get that second blaster. (I actually only needed one, as the Dracon counts, but there's not much else to be done with the points.)
So that's a modest 3. I favour the "Keep Them Guessing" philosophy for an extra 2. With the Drukhari and rulebook stratagems to choose from, I've got more than enough tricks up my sleeve to adapt to the evolving battle without having to repeat myself.
Some notes on the models.
If you're interested, the Ur-Ghul's mind-shackle is made from a Reaver jetbike handlebar piece. His wrists are deliberately swollen and bruised, as the chain was implanted under his skin by wrapping thin strips of green stuff around his arms and building the chain directly into it. The chain links are superglued to stop the paint rubbing off as it moves.
The Lhamaean's mail skirt and torso comes from an old dark elf spearmen kit, and her scarab beetle base is from Element Games.
Espina's blaster is a dark lance with the thin barrel chopped off. Super easy conversion for a nice oversized blaster! The skull at her hip represents the Gloom Field projector, and the back banner her Archon's Seal.
The Sslyth took a bit of work. His body is a daemon prince tail, his torso is made from two Cold One Knight torsos placed butt to butt, and fitting those things together took a bit of green stuff work. He has a Scourge head just because I thought it looked cool. His weapons are from Flagellant, Cold One Knight and Scourge sets, with an arm from the old Dark Elf spearmen and a holstered pistol from some Dark Eldar Warriors from the 90s. Couldn't resist.
Thanks for reading! If you have a beloved team you'd like to share with us, get in touch at the Facebook group for the blog or community. Happy Heralding.