Thursday, 31 January 2013

Special Characters and The Ceramite Graf

Cosca properly turned out for parade.
 I like to check out the special characters an army has.  What do they do and what do they contribute to the identity of their parent army?  Sure there are "gamey" characters that have some fairly serious consequences (both balance and ethical) when brought to battle with a tailored list but I want to focus on the story aspect.  The charm of many of the special characters for me is they are archetypes of economy.  My favourites typically have a story that seems rooted in some other story we have all heard before.  Sometimes I think this is why they resonate.  In most tabletop wargames there is little call for complex character development so a "snapshot" doesn't seem out of place.

Given the choice between building an army around someone else's character or bending the character to suit my army is an easy choice.  I like building "counts as" character's that fit the spirit of the type/trope but clearly belong within my own army.  The Pohlesians hail from a post industrial world cum imperial world after rediscovery.  The prevailing feature is the disparity between noble and commoner, officer and non-commissioned member and how these ideas are being reshaped by the greater Imperium after a rather inadequate engagement.  I already presented Field Marshal Cosca who represents the most senior of "New School" officers.  Following the defeat the Deparmento Munitorium executed the planetary governor and assumed direct control of the Pohlesian armed forces.  Prior to this draconian measure the officer's corp was exclusively the domain of the nobility where influence, wealth and breeding dictated promotion.
I added freehand rather quickly to balance the white of the plume.  Better but I should clean it up a bit.

After the debacle the Munitorium opened the officer's program to commoners.  Regicide was made a mandatory past-time as it was believed to promote strategic and critical thinking.  The most talented children were taken to scholams to receive officers training and became the first of the "New Guard".  It wouldn't be any fun if the "Old Guard" Nobles had been stomped out; where would the internal conflict in my regimental story go?  Cosca is an old man who was one of the first of the scholam children.  His elevation to his high position was the direct result of the the Munitorium's pressure on the current governor.
An old version of Straken.  Not dynamic at all.  Did I learn my lesson?

Cosca was Creed but I really wanted a Straken.  The character's are such opposites and I thought this would work well to accentuate the class struggle that I want.  Enter the Ceramite Graf.  I envisioned a lead from the front swaggering counterpoint to the meticulous thinker the First Marshal had become.  Straken had this "type" he just needed a more selfish and "Old Guard" motivation for his qualities.  Graf-Colonel Ludvik Braga was born.  Braga is a noble to the core.  He was raised in the worst traditions of elitism that lead to the failure of the Pohlesian military.  Most suffered from complacency and inaction, his own weakness is an unquenchable desire for glory and indifference to the welfare of the men under his command.  To their utter horror this wretched officer refuses to die.

"I'm the real CO of this regiment you filthy old peasant!"

Braga leads from the front.  He believes himself the epitome of what an officer should be.  His "example" lead to his own horrible injuries and terrible casualties in the ranks.  His bloody minded "tactics" have lead to victories though most border on phyrric.  He maintains his position due to the machinations of his influential friends and his reasonable service record.  His survivability can be attributed to the vast coffers at his families disposal which have lead to him being the most exorbitantly outfitted augmetic in the sector barring members of the Adeptus Mechanicus.

Those are the ideas in the rough.  Nothing worthy of a finalized history article but more than enough to get a build going.  I didn't bother with a story board for the model; he very nearly built himself.  I'd played around with a Straken build for an older army that never came to be so many of the choices came from, "I could have said it better with".

"Wading into the enemy oblivious of consequence" type pose
 Parts Choices:
  •  An old Col Schaeffer model: No model says swagger like this guy
  • Necron Lord parts for augmetics.  I cut them down a bit to scale to the model better but left them a bit oversized to exaggerate his gestures.  The Necron robotics look like high end bionics.
  • I think the head is from a Luthor Huss Warhammer model.  Bellowing seemed more in character than chomping a cigar and I didn't want him sharing vices with Cosca.
  • I capped his head with a Perry dragoons helmet.  It is a physical tie he really needed to fit the regiment.  Colour should do the rest.    

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