It often happens to me that I’ve read a BL novel, watched an action movie or browsed a comic and I want to produce a unit or army to play it in the 40k world. After devouring several Gaunt’s Ghosts novels I knew I was in one of those “have to field this” moments and started to figure out how to do it. In the end it’s just Guardsmen right?
How to play it
Well let’s recap what make the Tanith First-and-Only stand out from other units, from a military standpoint: the Ghosts are an elite light infantry unit that excel at scout and stealth operations. So basically are a foot unit with camo-cloaks.
In terms of weapons, they favor flamers as the default special weapon although they also sport a sniper in each platoon (which based in the size and number, I’d say resembles a standard squad). Heavy weapons are less common but there is always an autocannon (“Try again” Bragg) or missile launchers, that they call “tread-fethers”, at hand. M’kay. That is a bit confusing to start with, as foot IG doesn’t like to move from behind the Aegis/home ruins and definitely do not scout up the field. On the other hand, Vets usually ride in Chimeras or even Vendettas and sport meltas or plasmas. Hmm.
The camo cloaks are expensive for what they do but even with that, their survivability and usefulness would be close to nothing. A possibility is using Al-Raheim (let’s call him Corbec if you know what I mean) and outflank 30 or 40 of them, with assorted power axes and melta bombs. I haven’t played against outflanking IG blobs in 6th but in late 5th they were nasty. Admittedly because the meta was so meched up that finding 150+ foot guardsmen was a surprising prospect. An ATSKNF character to lead them would be useful but a) I haven’t seen a single power armour dude in 7 books so far, which is refreshing and b) I’m not even sure I can find a way to do it. So let's leave it as a 30-40 men platoon with Al-Raheim; depending on points I’ll add a Lord Comissar Hark or Gaunt.
In 6th, and specifically in a tournament context that is where I play the most, perhaps (note the italics) I could use them as sort of distraction unit, proving I don’t sink too many points there. Just show up in a flank near an objective and capture/contest it. Even better if use them with my usual drop pod wolves as there will be lots of units for my opponent to clean off his DZ. I don’t mind not using an über optimized list, as long as it’s not an auto-lose list, which admittedly this could very well be. Tell you what, I’ll run this in a couple of casual matches and see what it does. At least, it doesn’t care much about Flyers.
How to model it
There are 6 metal models still available in the GW site, but don't look that great. I believe more were released in the past but I'm not willing to spend eons on ebay to purchase them at a reasonable price. Well Cadians are relatively affordable aren’t they? But they look too formal, a well drilled unit out of the Eye of Terror’s West Point. The Ghosts are meant to be, well, way less formal. They all wear black matte fatigues and cloaks, but then some wear caps, some helmets, most go without any head gear. Then you have the Tanith-bred with long black hair and tattoos while the Verghastites are mostly slum gangers, although there are also PDP militia and refined career officers… and there are also female troopers. Cadians definitely don’t work. The Catachans, well I could use some parts here and there but not as the base. So after looking for a while at independent companies, I’ve found out a very nice unit from Victoria miniatures that looks like the real thing. The inspiration is obvious and the level of detail seems nice. For $45 I’m willing to give it a try.
|Camo cloaks, check.|
Assorted heads, check.
Knives, different poses, accessories, check, check, check.
I also have some Kromlech bits that I purchased for my SW (like feral faces) and a few Krieg knives and weapons. After the first 10 are completed, I can start adding special characters like the sniper Larkin, female sergeant Criid or sergeant Domor with his augmented bionics. All in all sounds like a plan!
P.S. if it the outflanking blob doesn’t work, I’ll just use them as vets in a chimera. Or leave them to decorate the shelf where the Gaunt’s Ghosts novels are J