“When I look upon my warriors, my twin hearts swell with pride. They are the finest Astartes in the galaxy, and their leaders are equal to the greatest heroes of the Imperium.“—High Marshal Adrias Ioculus, chapter master of the Knights of Altair
TheGM: I began painting my classic Space Marine army relatively recently, and I am determined to complete my army before Games Workshop retires the classic line in favor of its Primarus Marines.
So. as my budget allows, I’ve been buying up boxes of classic Marines, even when I know it may be months or years before I get around to painting them. I want a complete 4th Company, supported by scouts, Terminators, Sternguard, and Vanguard.
Most recently, I decided it was time to focus on my independent characters. I can’t have my leaders run around the galaxy every month to a new war zone. Each war zone should be led by a separate commander, and it irks me to use the same miniature to represent these individual commanders.
So, it is long past time when the great heroes of the Knights of Altair have their own personal miniature.
I have begun this effort. I already had two heroes painted. Captain Marius Nevarre of the 4th Company has been fighting the orks on Hegira and the Tau on Dar Sai (neighboring moons), and I recently have had High Marshal Ioculus strike a blow against the Tau on Dar Sai.
But now I have a painted Captain Alaric Galba of the 1st Company, who is leading elements of the 1st and 3rd companies against the Death Guard on Dozaria. He is supported by Chaplain Alaric Galba on a war bike.
I also have finally painted my Techmarine, named Forge Master Guiot Odinet. I have yet to decide what war zone will benefit from his services.
Here’s a short bio of these three newly painted heroes:
Captain Alaric Galba
There is no subtlety to the fighting style of Alaric Galba, captain of the 1st Company of the Knights of Altair. You see the enemy. You close with the enemy. You crush his skull.
That direct and ferocious approach to warfare has served Galba well over the decades. Nothing can stop this grim and unyielding warrior when he is leading a charge of Astartes vested in Terminator Armor.
It was Galba who lead 50 Terminators against the Iron Gate of Ungol on the rebel-held planet of D’Qar. It was Galba who set the melta charges that brought down the games, led the surviving 30 Terminators in a fight through the traitor-held city to the enemy commander center, and personally slew the Daemon Lord that led the rebellion.
Despite his propensity for direct assault, it would be a mistake to assume the commander of the 1st Company lacks tactical acumen. While fighting the Tau on Hyberia II, Galba rejected a battle plan suggesting his 1st Company lead an assault against a heavily fortified Tau position. Instead, he spent weeks leading raids behind Tau lines, destroying command and logistical centers—and only then agreed to attack.
The result was beyond the expectations of High Command. The raids severely handicapped Tau leaders as they sought to respond Galba’s attack., and the fall of the position allowed a breakthrough that Imperial forces exploited to great success.
As of early 741.M40, Galba is leading elements of the 1st and 3rd companies against the Death Guard on Dozaria.
Recently I’ve been playing my Knights as Black Templars, and I wanted Galba to reflect a rock-hard melee monster. I originally considered converting the Captain Lysander miniature, but when I checked out the Forge World website, I took one look at Tyberos, the Red Wake, and switched gears.
I made no conversions to Tyberos. I saw no need. He looks like a monster as he is. So, I simply painted him in the Administratum Gray of my Knights of Altair.
Chaplain Gèrves Valquelin
For reasons no one dares ask, Chaplain Gèrves Valquelin foregoes the traditional black armor and skull mask that traditionally is worn by a chaplain. His armor remains gray, and it is rare for him to don his helm.
Such eccentricity does not diminish the respect and reverence that the chapter’s warriors have for Vauquelin. Steadfast in battle and uncompromising in his responsibilities for the spiritual care, discipline, and faith of his fellow battle-brothers, the chaplain also possesses a paternal spirit that makes him more accessible to his brothers than, say, the respected but grim Chaplain Arnaud Sévin.
As with any chaplain of the Astartes, Vauquelin always leads from the front, challenging the fiercest of foes, and exhorting his battle-brothers to every greater deeds of bravery and devotion.
Vauquelin wields the Crozius of Devotion, a sacred relic of the Knights of Altair. Powered by a s a powerful gravitic energy generator from the Dark Age of Technology, the Crozius is topped by a golden, double-headed Aquila of the Imperium with the power to shatter the thick armor of a tank.
In early 741.M41, Vauquelin is serving in a two-company contingent of Knights under the command of High Marshal Ioculus in the Dryillian Quarantine Zone. There, Vauquelin leads a squad of bikers seeking victory against the Necrons that have invaded the industrial world of Tophet.
When I first deployed my six-man squad of Space Marine bikes, the unit routed twice—a shameful display of cowardice that did not bode well for this new unit. So I decided to bolster their resolve with a chaplain in command.
I purchased this miniature at a convention flea market years ago. It was clearly an older Citadel model. The legs and torso did not fit well, so I was forced to fill in a sizable gap with Green Stuff. I also lost the original boltguns for the bike, so I had to substitute them with boltguns cut from of Space Marine arms in my bitz box.
So far, the addition of Vauquelin hasn’t done much to improve my bikers’ performance in battle. Recently, while trying to slip through a narrow gap of terrain, the bikers were counterattacked—and I could only get three out of the seven bikers into close combat (the rest were crowded up behind the first row of bikes and, because of the stands’ size, too far to join the first round of fighting.) Needless to say, the bikers were forced to fight piecemeal and were destroyed.
Master of the Forge Guiot Oudinet
No one in the Knights of Altair has advanced in rank as quickly as Guiot Odinet, whose knowledge of technology and skills in the maintenance, repair, and enhancement may be unparalleled in the Segmentum Ultima.
In only two centuries, Oudinet has risen to the rank of sergeant, been inducted into the Machine Cult, spent decades on Mars studying the mysteries of the Cult Mechanicus, and so surpassed the skills of older Techmarines that his appointment as Master of the Forge was inevitable and unanimously approved.
Although discrete in his more unorthodox beliefs, some within the Mechanicus are suspicious that Oudinet is a Heretek, loyal to the Quest for Knowledge in name only and willing to deviate from millennia-old Mechanicus rites and practices dictating the use of technology. They are partly correct.
In fact, Oudinet is a devoted follower of the Cult Mechanicus. But he rejects the belief of most Tech Priests that all innovation and experimentation violates the will of the Omnissiah—or that the only path to understand technology is to seek out lost Standard Template Constructs (STCs).
In service of the Omnissiah, Oudinet believes, he has a duty to maximize the efficiency of weapons, vehicles, and power armor to defeat the enemies of the Imperium. If that means experimentation and innovation, so be it.
Nowhere is the brilliance of the Master of the Forge more on display than in the efficiency of the Artificer Armor worn by High Marshal Iodculus’ Honor Guard. This armor is old and venerated, but Oudinet has heavily modified and improved it with a variety of mechanical interfaces and armor enhancements that offer more protection than that provided by Terminator Armor.
On the battlefield, Oudinet often will be found near the largest concentration of chapter vehicles, repairing a Predator’s damaged weapons, retreading an immobilized Rhino, or reviving the machine spirit of a damaged Vindicator.
When necessary, however, the Master of the Forge does not hesitate to join the fighting. On the world of Talosia, Oudinet single-handedly did battle against an ork Deff Dread, bringing down the foul xeno monstrosity by using a servo-harness plasma cutter to sever the ork walker’s’s power conduits—and then decapitating his enemy with a Power Axe.
Oudinet is a standard Techmarine figure painted in the livery of the Knights of Altair. I suspect all the Techmarines of my Space Marine Chapter will look remarkably similar, as I see no reason to have more than one in my collection.
I have yet to deploy Oudinet on the battlefield, but I’m interested to see what leverage he provides an army. He will be well supported. Having picked up Servitors at convention flea markets over the years, I have an ridiculously and utterly pointless excess of Servitors in my collection (at least 10).
The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting my gamin adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.
Categories: People of Interest