Fortifying This Position

As a loyal son of Dorn, and devout Imperial Fist, it is my sworn duty to build as many fortifications as possible, whenever possible.  That’s why, when I liquidated my Renegades and Heretics army on the eBays, I used a portion of the proceeds to comb through auctions to get a bunch of plastic at excellent prices.  I had always wanted a fortification for my force, both as something to actually pay for as part of the army, or to use as terrain on the table itself.

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This is the epitome of Warhammer: 40,000 terrain.  I need it.

The Aquila Strongpoint always appealed.  Its massive macro cannon and enormous golden eagle wings swept around it just evoked the style of Warhammer: 40,000 to me.  It was big, ostentatious, grimdark, and killy.  At least, it was killy before 8th Edition dropped.  Now it’s a relatively underwhelming chunk of plastic, and so my dreams were dashed against the rocks, never to come to pass.  At Heavy D6 shots with a ballistic skill of 5+ it’s remarkably pathetic.  What’ll you get, an average of one, maybe two hits per turn?  And plenty of those turns you’ll miss entirely.  When it hits, its definitely good, but I really can’t stand the current 5+ ballistic skill for all fortifications (except some of the Forgeworld ones, which is intriguing).  Clocking in at strength 14, AP -3, and a damage between 3-6, it’s not terrible for blasting smaller hard targets, but putting out single-digit wounds on a titan each turn isn’t worth the 400+ points the fortification is worth.

Now, the fact that these fortifications can be crewed by 20 infantry with characters is great.  Because the rules allow you to shoot out of them even if the fortifications are engaged.  It essentially gives a garrisoned unit a massive shield (the building) that must be destroyed before their shooting can be compromised.  Putting a unit of Devastator Centurions inside is vastly appealing, with a captain and some other characters.  So this may be enough of a boost to make taking the structure worthwhile.  I did love that Aquila gun oh-so-much..

But then I noticed something I’d overlooked for years.  The Aquila Strongpoint has two options.  One for the main gun like you see on the box, but another statline for replacing the gun for a massive vortex missile battery!  It’s only 20 points more, but the profile is interesting (if admittedly still not ideal).  Heavy D6, and hitting on 5+ as usual.  But each hit causes an automatic D6 Mortal Wounds!  And what’s more, if the model is not slain by those mortal wounds, you roll another dice, and on a 6, it suffers an additional D6 Mortal Wounds! It looks to be fun, if not incredibly powerful.  Let’s see how it works out!

So I decide I need an Aquila Strongpoint.  But since I’m running it as the Vortex Missile Battery, the big golden eagle of doom cannon is out – which is a shame because that’s what I was so interested in.  This did, of course, open up modeling opportunities, because I’m not buying the Aquila Strongpoint if I’m not using that amazing eagle cannon.  So I did some thinking and research and discovered the Fortress of Redemption also has a built in missile battery, along with that hideous Dark Angels tower.  So I managed to find a secondhand Fortress of Redemption from one of my loyal Instagram followers, new on the sprue, even!  I also ordered a couple (okay, maybe 5) Imperial Bastions, the extremely versatile kit I’ve heard so much about.  And planned to convert the fortress into something more … Dorn-esque.

To my surprise, the dual lascannon turret on the Fortress of Redemption was able to be swapped for a second missile battery!  This was working out perfectly!  And the plinth of the ridiculous “Dark Angel” tower was the correct size to accept either a Bastion or even the Cityfight building sprues.  I’d wind up with a shorter, more squat and sturdy looking structure (above), which was great because it both aligned with the aesthetic I wanted while also making it more appropriate in size comparison to the actual Aquila Strongpoint!  Pretty soon my Imperial Fists would have a fortress worthy of Dorn!

A suitable outpost for Dorn’s finest!  But what color to paint it?

The Fortress of Redemption comes with two discs that cover the silo, and in true GW fashion for variety (seriously) they’re double sided. One showing the winged sword of the Dark Angels, for whom the fortress is originally designed for, and on the opposite side the standard Imperial Aquila. I was content to use the Aquila, but it started to gnaw at the back of my brain. This was going to be a purpose-built fortress for my Fists, they need iconography on it! So I’m talking with our Discord chat group (you are on our server, aren’t you?) I had the talented @little.plastic.people whip up a quick 3D render of a silo cover (picture below)! I then abused my position as a high school teacher and press-ganged a sophomore into using his home printer to run a test print 😏. Glad I’m able to add these little details, it adds so much to the model!

o that’s the current state of the project.  I’d say its about 90% done, with perhaps a little more detailing and doodads to throw on it.  I’ll definitely be painting some banners to hang from it as well, and I’m toying with the idea of transferring some of John Blanche’s iconic artwork onto the lancets in the alternating buttresses as a sort of fresco.  It’s certainly impressive, if I say so myself, but it wasn’t satisfying my desire for grand fortress.  I NEEDED MORE.

And more was had!  With the extra bastions, I was able to whip up something without too much planning.  The bastion kit is a dream to build, even more so than my administratum project.  These panels were designed to mesh seamlessly in many different combinations — the kit was intended to make some multiple level, terraced fortifications.  The possibilities are endless, and I’m more than tempted to get more to build a grand citadel wall!  What I need currently, though, are more floor plates.  Each kit comes with enough for a single 1×1 tower, as that’s all you’d need per box.  But if you get clever and make a wide building like me, I’m using more “wall” space than should be necessary since I’m not using anything on the interior.  I’ve only used ten wall sections, which is just 2.5 bastion kits worth of walls, but this requires six floor plates.

So I went to eBay and bought a few from Germany, of all places, which had decent prices.  There were only four available (all I needed), but that goes to show you how in-demand these actually are for such projects.  Scouring the internet, I couldn’t find any more.  None.  I’d almost suggest to Games Workshop that they need to sell these particular sprues separately for people building these kinds of structures, as you’ll always need more than what is supplied if you’re doing anything remotely large.

All of that being said, that’s the current state of the “Citadel” as I’m calling it (see above).  It’s a 2×6 bastion structure that will have a two-tall bastion tower in the center rear, providing a large terrace around the front of it to deploy defenders.  I’m debating running it as a Firestorm Redoubt, and adding the appropriate guns to it, but it could easily just be a plain Imperial Bastion.  The fun thing to note is that the Fortress of Redemption’s dual lacannon that I didn’t use fits on top of the bastion roof, so I could use it on either of my terrain pieces.

And that’s all for now.  I’ll post an  update later when my German floor plates finally arrive!

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