Thursday, 27 October 2016

Rogue Quest Level 3 - Eldar Ranger

Say hello to Kelechi Iheanacho*1 - Eldar Ranger, and the third installment of my Rogue Quest Project, seen here with an unknown Xenomorph known colloquially as a 'Spine Critter.'

Kelechi comes face to face with the Spine Critter in the rocky wastes outside Nate's Point trading post
*1 Back in the day*2 AVP Shaun had a tradition of only playing Elves in my D&D campaigns, and with one notable and campaign spanning exception, he named these elves after members of the Nigerian national football team. This 'Eldar Ranger' has been named in honour of that tradition.

*2 It was a Thursday.

Rogue Quest is a project to produce a band of 6 Adventurers that match the classic D&D/Warhammer Quest character classes, but for the Rogue Trader universe!

Check out my first two party members here and here, but far more importantly check out these guys and the three Rogue Quest projects that inspired me to undertake this project!

Magpie and Old Lead

When playing PC games in the Baldurs Gate, Ice Wind Dale or Ruins of Myth Drannor series I almost always tend towards choosing a Ranger for my main hero, often Half Elven (I know, I know, cliched or what?), and when thinking about the Rogue Quest party I settled on an Eldar Ranger pretty easily. I definitely don't see him as the romatic wilderness hero on this occassion however. My own D&D campaigns have featured a number of memorable Elven Rangers over the years, nearly always played by AVP Shaun, and therefore nearly always had some dark and twisted element to their character. I see Kelechi very much more in this second category. Way more Rogue Trader that way, and every good adventuring party needs some internal strife I reckon!

As I commented to a fellow Oldhammerer while I was in the process of painting him up, I was surprised to find the sculpt (Scout 05) had been in production since 1991 as I'd always associated it with the 2nd Edition Eldar, but then that was obvioulsy a transition period looking back. The fact that it stayed in production for so long is no surprise. It's not necessarily an absolute Jes Goodwin classic, but for me it is an example of the quality that suffused all his work on the Eldar.

I also like the way his longcoat is swept back and his left hand is hovering near his holster, which gives it a bit of a gun slinger type feel
There are some things about the finished model I'm happy with. I think the colour pallete works well, I'm happy with the 'wraithbone' sniper rifle, and the way the red hair band really pops out as a spot colour and serves to tie him in to the rest of the unit when you see them next to each other.

Wait! What's that? A Spine Critter you say?
However, there are some things I'm not so happy with. Although the colour pallette works, the green and purple mean he looks far too similar to the alien Maw Beasts and Spine Critter. On the one hand this serves to link him more to his alien quarry than his fellow party members, and maybe gives a sense that the green and purple is almost like camoflage for a xeno-hunter. On the other hand, when you see them all next to each other it looks like they are the only two colours I have in my paint rack.

Kelechi has used his ranger skills to find the only remants of giant sea creatures in the otherwise barren landscape around Nate's Point
I'm also not happy with the basing. This model was actually completed a good few months ago now (only this blog post being unfinished has prevented me from posting) and was one of my early forays into anything other than flat painted bases. I'm not saying I'm against overhanging scenic bases, but here it serves little to no aesthetic purpose (i.e. it looks crap! :) ) and is a barrier to playability. I imagine I'll rebase it at some point.

Anyway, what do we know about Kelechi Iheanacho the Eldar Ranger?

Kelechi kept himself very much to himself and rarely said anything other than to confirm orders and offer politenesses without any warmth in them to his fellow party members. He said he was from a nomadic clan of  Exodites whose home planet had slowly turned from a colonised paradise into a deathworld. Dragon riders who would hunt the savage monsters of their world to keep their people safe. Well, that would certainly explain his expertise in tracking and taking xenos prey alright, but something about that explanation never did sit quite sit right with Sven.

The Squat's xeno-linguistic and database had revealed some interesting results when his recordings of the Eldar's speech patterns were analysed, and his suspcions having grown over the few months that Kelechi had been with The Unit, were roused further when his snooping device identified the use of Pirate Argot in Kelechi's secretive exchanges with fellow hunters in the saloon at Nate's Point, on the trail of that damned Spine Critter.

When Sven quietly raised the Eldar's background with the Unit's leader back on board their ship, he received nothing but an arch smile and a raised eyebrow in reply. He decided to keep his concerns to himself, but would definitely be keeping a watchful eye on the so called Exodite Ranger.

Kelechi, for his part, kept silent as he polished his long and fragile looking wraithbone rifle, pretending his keen Eldar ears had not heard the Squat voice his concerns. As the squat walked back out to the hold whistling however, Kelechi's eyes were boring into the back of his skull.


The Spine Critter

This model was one that I came across when searching for alien animal companions late last year when I was preparing for the Rogue Quest project. At first I considered it as a possible companion for the Eldar Ranger, but in the end the model didn't fit that role, it's more predatory in aspect, and neither did the idea of an animal companion fit with the evolving character concept for Kelechi as a hunter and stalker rather than a nature warrior. Instead the Spine Critter became the perfect candidate as a target for The Unit.

To be honest, although I'm happy enough with the paint job I'm again not happy with my choice of colour scheme. In seeking to avoid it looking like an old school Genestealer dark blue/purple colour scheme I've ended up with it looking far too similar to the two Maw Beasts I painted up as companions for Doktor Krackpotnik (the Wyrd Beastmaster - Druid). At least I did a slightly better job on the purple highlights this time.

I really need to get a better camera if I'm going to keep doing this

It was only ever meant to be a basic paintjob, so I'm OK with how it turned out, from a not very sharply defined plastic cast, but the slightly shiny plastic did give me some problems and made me appreciate GW plastics a bit more.
The model is apparently from Galaxy Defenders published by Ares Games. I got a little card with the model which had some stats/abilities on it, so I decided this would make a good basis for it's profile in Rogue Trader.

M:6 Ws:5 Bs:3 S:4 T:4 I:6 A:3 W:3 Ld7 Int:5 Cl:7 Wp:7

1) Feral senses: ignore stealth - I'm interpreting this as an enhanced ability to sense hidden models, and an increased chance to detect models protected by things like chamelioline, holosuits, etc. and possibly and increased susceptability to sound/light/smell(?) effects.

2) Against single oponents the Spine Critter prefers to use it's claws and powerful bite (S4), but when facing more than one opponent it can launch it's spines in a short range area effect attack. I'm interpreting this as being equivalent to a handflamer attack (but without the chance to set things on fire), which the creature can deploy in a 360° arc once per turn in the shooting phase.

3) It's behaviour pattern leads it to prioritise targeting wounded models when charging/engaging in close combat.The Spine Critter must charge/engage wounded models first if they are in range/base to base contact (in order of most wounded first). However, the Spine Critter will not disengage from combat with a healthy oponent to charge a wounded opponent who is not already in base to base contact with it.

Dr Krackpotnik and his Maw Beasts have got the Spine Critter's scent and try to flush it out into the open for Kelechi to take the 'kill shot.'
4) Acid Blood - fairly standard for unknown xenomorphs. When the Spine Critter is killed it explodes with the force of its pressurised acid blood being released. I've interpreted this as a 2" blast marker with the effect of a flamer, instead of catching people on fire the lasting effect is whether the acid continues to burn (same dice roll/damage/save mod as a flamer).

5) It has some 'armour' - looking at the model, and thinking about various armour types and ratings in Rogue Trader, I think a 5+ Armour Save is about right.

The Critter is trying to escape the Druid's rabid Maw Beasts, but the Eldar Ranger has anticipated it's behaviour and steps out from hiding to take a simple ranged shot to the back of the creatures head.
I enjoyed expanding the project out to include some foes for my Rogue Questers and I've now got plans for some other obstacles or NPCs to go alongside future installments!

Rogue Quest Level Four is already painted (has been for ages!) so only needs a blog post to be written up. Expect that sometime around Christmas then ;)

Thanks for reading, and remember, take care of yourself, and each other.


  1. Good to see you back in business mate, and a cracking take on the ranger. I love that mini, and you've certainly done it justice - love the skin tone, and the critter is brill!

    1. Thanks! I was also really happy with the skin tone on the Ranger, the purple was intended to tie him in to the darker side of the Eldar species, as well as blending with the armour rather than contrasting against it, to better fit the alien-cammoflage feel.

  2. Good to have you back mate. The ranger is a nice choice and model !

    1. Cheers mate! I actualy like the sculpt even more now that I've painted it. I feel like Kelechi might have some other Eldar Rangers come looking for him at some point, just so I get a chance to paint them up!