Thursday, February 24, 2011

A mortis pattern dread means you're committed

As I was cruising through the blog rolls the other afternoon during some of my free time, I stumbled across a few dreadnought posts and it got me thinking.

It's nice to see others using some of the tricks I've posted and then doing their own thing with them. WeeMen posted pics of his WIP Mortis pattern dreadnought that uses what looks like the same approach I used to make mine. We all wonder sometimes if other people are actually using the stuff we post. I know I do. It's definitely cool to see someone build or paint the same thing we did by using our approach and having it work for them.

Giving credit where it's due
With the good comes the bad though. On a different blog, there was a pic of my Deathwing dreadnought and the Author couldn't be bothered to at least say where it came from. That kinda bums me out a bit. I like to think of us being a closer knit community than that where we won't even give each other credit for what we do.

I appreciate the fact that WeeMen took the time to link to my blog so that others can see what he used and give credit for the idea. I think sometimes that people fear it may take readers away from their site if they tell the reader where the original idea came from. I think it's quite the opposite. In fact, I'm almost sure I'm no the first person to come up with the idea to use the Aegis guns and had I seen it done elsewhere, I would have given credit where due myself.

I'm not going to stop reading your article and go running to the site you linked to. I may check it out, but I stopped by to see what you've done and it lends some credibility to your blog when you credit your sources. No man is an island in the 40k blog world.

Deciding on the Mortis Dreadnought
When you field a Mortis pattern dreadnought, you're committed to it. You're willing to go all in on that guy. There's no other way to use him since you've basically said to the world that this guy has one purpose and one purpose only.

I think just about every Marine chapter can get one of these (except Dark Angles). I'm not bitter about that, I've made my peace with it. Blood Angles got a fancy new plastic kit for their long standing Furioso Dreadnought. You've got to hand to them, they're willing to play a dreadnought with only CCWs and make it work. That's hard core.

Building one for yourself
I should start by saying that you almost have to magnetise or make it so your dreadnought arms are interchangeable in this day and age. I used to just glue mine in place and call it a day, but now that I've taken the time to go the magnet route with other models, I'll never go back. Just knowing I have the options makes me feel better even if I never use them.

A pair of the tiny rare earth magnets will do the trick too. One in the torso where the arm stud would be (once you cut it away) and one in the arm in the hole that is already there. I just use greenstuff to fill in around it. Sometimes the heavier arms may want to rotate downward, but most will stay just as they are when you attach them.

But building one can be tough. There's the Forge World route where you order the appropriate resin arms, but it can cost a good bit of money going that route.

I picked up the Aegis Defense Line terrain kit for my dreadnought so I could make one with dual autocannon arms. Using one lascannon arm, one missile launcher arm (without the missile face attached) and the barrels from the Aegis kit, I combined it all together for slightly less than the Forge World route.

It is worth mentioning that going the Aegis route for autocannon arms like this will result in the arms being slightly different in length. I'm not sure how to solve that without sinking a ton of work into the model and that seems a bit counter productive to using the short-cut route in the first place. The difference is so slight, that even I forget they are not the same length sometimes.

You can do the same thing for dual lascannon arms (you don't need the Aegis terrain piece), but I could see some problems trying to do a dual missile launcher arm set up.

On the battlefield
Using these guys is another challenge all together too. I run two dreadnoughts with one as the Mortis pattern dual autocannon spec. That guy somehow manages to end up in hand to hand almost every time he hits the table. I don't know how it works. He walks out there, everyone sees this guy and they decide it's far better to get into close combat with him than have him shredding their lines with autocannon fire.

Even if I try to keep him out of combat by moving him around and positioning him (read run backwards like a little girl), enemy units still find a way to tie him up.

I think if you're going to field these guys and you've committed to their specialized weapon loadout, they you've got to be willing to do whatever it takes to make them most effective and use them to their potential.
Dual long range guns... shoot like there's no tomorrow (and stay out of combat).
Dual close combat weapons... get into hand to hand on turn one somehow.
Storm Raven Gunship... check. Wait a minute, how did that get in there?

My upcoming Deathwing dreadnoughts
Since I finished that Howling Griffon terminator earlier this week, I'm really excited about getting to work on my new Deathwing dreads. Now that my paint scheme will work (for the most part), I'm dying to see how these guys are gonna to turn out.

My heavy handed weathering should make them look the part for sure.

I can tell you one thing, no matter how I load them out, they'll be used to the best of their abilities... even if it means running away so I can keep shooting each and every turn until the enemy catches up with me.


  1. I do enjoy some dreadnaughts. They're like tanks with legs... tread-nots? Anyway, I've always liked the idea of lots of shooty-ness on dreads. Back in second edition they made rules for putting an assault cannon and twin linked heavy bolters on one dread. So I quickly converted the twinlinked heavy bolter arm. In those days you used special sustained fire dice when firing those weapons. I took out 21 orcs in one volley and my friend and I immediately named that dread Crowd Control.

  2. Can you get a Mortis pattern with dual heavy bolters in today's Codex?

    I'd love to see one with dual assault cannons. That'd be kinda cool to put down on the table. Maybe a bit over the top, but fun to use as long as you're not on the receiving end.

  3. And an easy conversion if you've ever bought a ravenwing box. I mean seriously, how many assault cannons can one person use?

  4. Ron,

    Forge World still sells mortis Heavy Bolters, missle launchers, lascannon, and autocannons. As to what is in the codex's, I couldn't say. No mortis Assault cannon though. Go figure.

    As for people borrowing content, I found a bunch of my pics on a site in Spain... they did give me credit with a link to my blog though. I choose to now believe that I'm huge in Spain!

  5. Warhammer 39,999: Is it stealing if it's your own photo? In all truthfullness, I am trying to limit what I bring over from FTW. The last thing I want is for this to become some sort of satellite site to FTW where all I do is reference stuff from back there.

    Karitas: Would you believe I don't have a single assault cannon in my Deathwing army.

    The Inner Geek: Spain you say? Must be nice to be a celebrity. I don't mind folks using my pictures as long as they let the viewer know where they came from. It's the fact that they take the time to find it, post it in their blog post, talk about it, but can't be bothered to let folks know that it's not their picture.

  6. Ron-

    Don't forget, Forge World updated rules are free to download on their site.

    Dark Angels get love there and are the only chapter that can take a "true" Mortis (no storm bolter)and at a discount, including the ghetto blaster dual missle launcher, dual Las. and dual twin heavy bolters, which are DA only.

    Other chapters can build Riflemen, but it costs a bit more.

    make sure to download a copy as they do go away after a while.

    Santa Cruz Warhammer

  7. That post had a lot! This new order is shaping up great and the blog feels like a home from home already.

  8. I built my twin-linked Autocannons from leftover Guard bits, but I'm thinking the Aegis guns looks like they'd be an easier fit.

  9. SC John: I've made it a point to pick up all the Forge World books (Imperial Armour series) over time and the rules are in there. Of course we all know how most folks feel about using FW rules.

    Porky: Too much? With this new format, most of my posts will be substantial in size since I can accomplish a good amount in one week. I'd like to be able to add little extras to posts as well now that I feel more free to do so.

    Gyro: I think the side by side version you have looks quite cool actually. That and having the ammo feeds almost on top like that is another aspect I think helps make it stand out.

    I really like the browns you have on the base of the model though. I know this is about the guns, but how did you paint the base for the dread?

  10. Ron-
    The forge world rules downloads are all new and have all been updated to jive with the current 40k rules books and codexs, and they have added a few things also like the Dred drop pod that you can assault out of.
    I thought the guys at the retirement home you play with let you cheese away?

    I would.

    Santa Cruz Warhammer

  11. Hey Ron,

    I solved the mismatched length issue in the autocannon arms by building my own dread shoulders

    Heres is my dread blog on dakka (don't worry its less then a page!)

    I know custom building and casting dread arms isn't exactly a shortcut but it sure is nice to have a model you don't see in many other armies...I run three!

  12. SC John: Updated? When did this happen? I know I miss lots of things...

    I'm off to see if I can dig up the new "updated" stuff. I have to be honest, I'm not too worried about it, the retirement home guys will let me use just about anything I want to use.

    Blackhand: Thanks for sharing the link and your process, mind if I repost it here?

  13. @ Ron - Not too long at all. It was broken up with pics of different sizes and arrangements so it felt very naturally spaced. I think this kind of length, depth and layout is great for a wide mix of interests. Anyone would think you'd been doing this for years..!

  14. Porky: Thanks for letting me know. I'm trying to include more pics in each post becasue of the increase in material.

    I just wanted to make sure it wasn't getting too long winded.

  15. Feel free to repost Ron, it would be great to see my work up on your blog!

    Here's a pic of the finished product if you are interested

  16. Excellent, thanks!
    I grabbed one from your original link and dropped into my most recent post as a followup to this one.

  17. Giving credit is a must. I hope you contacted him and kindly asked to rectify the situation.

    And yes, it's cool to see what people come up with trying to do something similar. I find it very inspirational:)

  18. Flekkzo: Lets just say that sometimes it falls on deaf ears and that's the part I find most disappointing.

    And I agree 100 percent about seeing what others do to solve the problems we all seem to come across in the hobby. Even if their solution doesn't work, it might get you started down a new path.

  19. BoLS has also now poached this picture of your dread. No excuse for that sort of behavior.

  20. Hudson: Seriously, did I at least get credit for it?

  21. Seriously, No. No attribution. I left remark about it.