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Themed Army Ideas
Other Space Marine Themed Army Ideas

Keric Quicbrand's Great Company by Patrick Eibel 
Like the armies of Ferin Ironhammer and Vastator, this one is based around a mighty hero who takes its inspiration from an AD&D character of the 1980's. Keric Quicbrand was Pat's Norse-type Barbarian (using the rules from the blessed tome known as the Unearthed Arcana) who traveled the wilds of Drachenheim, my campaign world, cheerfully hacking up whatever foul monsters I threw at him in his continual search for a mug of beer he hadn't tried yet or another addition to his trophy collection. Matter of fact, let me tell you about the time that Keric ran into an Ogre Mage and--

Sorry--almost got sidetracked down Memory Lane there. Unearthed Arcana is out of print, Drachenheim is long gone, but the character of Keric Quicbrand lives on--at the head of his own Space Wolf army, of course. I'll let Pat take it from here.

Background
For nearly four thousand years, the Great Company of Keric Quicbrand has been believed dead, or forever lost in the Warp. The story of his return is the stuff of legend.

Shortly after the Battle of the Two Fangs on Bray (recounted in the story Tigers Eternal), Keric Quicbrand sent a detachment of men to accompany the body of his fallen friend Ferin Ironhammer, an Iron Priest. The detachment was to return to the Fang so that Ferin could be entombed in a Dreadnought sarcophagus. The remainder of the army would continue to engage the Eldar fleet to allow the Space Wolves and their allies, the Fighting Tigers, to withdraw from Bray.

During this engagement, Keric and his fleet fell into a dreadful trap. The Eldar Farseer predicted the coming of a warp storm. Timing the movements of his fleet perfectly, the Farseer lured the Space Wolf barges into position, and then used the superior speed of the Eldar ships to get out of the pull of the Warp Storm. The entire Space Wolf fleet was consumed.

When word finally reached Fenris almost ten years later, it was assumed that Keric’s Great Company was no more. Thousands of years went by with no evidence of the lost company ever found. 

Eventually, Ferin Ironhammer, now a Venerable Dreadnought, asked permission to form a company to seek out treasures of the lost race of the dvergar, more commonly known as the Squats. His ulterior motive was to find any trace of his friend and former lord. During this time, Ferin made the acquaintance of Raja Khandar Madu of the Fighting Tigers of Veda. The Fighting Tiger’s system of record keeping proved to be invaluable in recovering information about Keric Quicbrand that even the old Dreadnought had forgotten.

For years, Ferin Ironhammer led various expeditions throughout the sectors around Bray, and with each passing year, his hopes of finding Keric diminished. On one such expedition, the Space Wolves came under attack by a fleet of Chaos Murder class starships. Ferin’s forces were outnumbered, and he knew that unless a miracle occurred, they would surely be defeated. And so it was that the Fates smiled upon the Space Wolf fleet, as the lost ships of Keric Quicbrand used the Chaos fleet’s own Warp Gate to escape the nether space. The Chaos ships, now finding themselves in the minority, broke off and fled back into the Warp.

Ferin Ironhammer was amazed to find that not only was Keric’s Company still alive, they had only aged 40 years while in Warpspace. The streams of time in the Warp apparently flowed at a different rate than “real space.” Now reunited with their comrades, Keric's company explores space on Ferin’s mission to find the dvergar.

Philosophy
While Ferin Ironhammer’s force was designed more for prolonged exploration, Keric Quicbrand's Great Company reflects his penchant for savage assault combat. Their motto is: “The only proper death for a warrior is at the hands of a superior foe.” In game terms, the army is designed to reach the opponent’s deployment zone by Round Two. All non-assault choices are there to support the assault forces and deal with special circumstances.

HQ
Note: Keric Quicbrand's Great Company consists of two detachments: the original detachment led by Keric, and Ferin Ironhammer's detachment. The Great Company can be played as one very large army or as two smaller forces. Units from both armies are listed below.

Wolf Lord Keric Quicbrand. Keric bears a bolt pistol, frostblade, Belt of Russ, wolf pelt, wolf tooth necklace, wolf tail, and meltabombs. Keric leads the Great Company and is  Ferin Ironhammer's lord. 

Venerable Dreadnought Ferin Ironhammer. Ferin leads his own detachment but has renewed his vows of loyalty to Keric. Ferin has twin-linked heavy bolters, a storm bolter, Dreadnought close combat weapon, smoke launchers and extra armor.

Wolf Priest Sigmar The Elder. Sigmar has a plasma pistol, power weapon, wolf pelt, wolf tooth necklace, wolf tail, Iron Wolf amulet, healing potions & balms, frag grenades and meltabombs.

Rune Priest Horsa Drachenbane. Horsa has a rune staff, bolt pistol, Chooser of The Slain, and meltabombs. His psychic power is Storm Caller.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader Lars Ulrik. Lars has Terminator armor, a power weapon, storm bolter, and wolf pelt.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader Hengist. Hengist has a power weapon, plasma pistol, and meltabombs.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader Thor Heimdal. Thor has a power fist, bolt pistol, wolf tooth necklace, and jump pack.

Wolf Guard Battle Leader Karjala The Wulfen. Karjala has the Mark of the Wulfen, two  Fenris wolves, a bolt pistol, and a frostblade.

Elites
Wolf Guard Bodyguard "Jotun" (for Battle Leader). Consisting of seven Terminators, three of them with assault cannons and power fists, three of them with storm bolters and lightning claws, and one with storm bolter and power sword. 

Wolf Guard Bodyguard "Einherjar" (for Wolf Lord). Consisting of five Wolf Guard with bolt pistols and power weapons. 

Wolf Scout Squad "Thunder." Three have sniper rifles, one has a heavy bolter, and their leader has a bolter.

Wolf Scout Squad "Lightning." Two scouts have bolt pistols and close combat weapons, two have power weapons, leader has a meltagun.

Dreadnought Angus The Black. Angus has a twin-linked lascannon, missile launcher, smoke launchers, and extra armor.

Dreadnought Valnir The Reaver. Valnir has a  multi-melta, a Dreadnought close combat weapons, smoke launchers, and extra armor.

Iron Priest Skjall and Thralls. Skjall has a combi-weapon, servo arm, and a thunder hammer. His four Thralls have combat attachments.

Troops
Gray Hunter Packs. Keric's Great Company has six 9-member Gray Hunter packs. Each pack has two power weapons or power fists, one plasma pistol, one special weapon, and has a Rhino. Each pack is either led by an HQ or Wolf Guard leader.

Blood Claw Pack. Keric's Great Company has one 10-member pack. The Blood Claws have bolt pistols and close combat weapons; one of them has a flamer or meltagun, two of them have power weapons.

Fast Attack
Blood Claw Assault Pack "Mjollner," consisting of 6 Blood Claws with bolt pistols and close combat weapons, 1 with a special weapon, and 2 with power weapons. All have jump packs. They are led by a Battle Leader and a Wolf Guard to form a 10-man squad.

Blood Claw Bike Squad "Grendl," consisting of 3 Blood Claws with bolt pistols or close combat weapons, 1 with a special weapon, and 2 with power fists, led by a Wolf Guard on a bike.

Attack Bike Squadron, consisting of 2 Attack Bikes with heavy bolters.

Attack Bike with multi-melta.

Land Speeder Squadron "Valkyrie," consisting of 3 Land Speeders with multi-meltas.

Land Speeder "Ragnarok," a Tornado with assault cannon and heavy bolter.

Heavy Support
Land Raider Crusader "Thunderwolf," with extra armor and smoke launchers.

Whirlwind "Kraken"

Long Fang Pack "Venir," bearing 3 missile launchers and 1 lascannon.

Long Fang Pack "Aesir," bearing 3 heavy bolters, 1 plasma cannon. 

Vindicator "Dragon"

Predator Destructor "Howling Doom,"  with autocannon; sponsons have lascannons.

Modeling and Painting
Keric’s army differs from other Space Wolf armies in that their armor is Shadow Gray, not Space Wolf Gray. I prefer the darker shade: Space Wolf Gray is too pale for my tastes. Keric's Wolves have Sunburst Yellow shoulder pads and eye lenses. To add more personality to the army, I’ve developed some “trademarks” that I carry throughout.

First, any figure or vehicle with a heavy weapon has hazard stripes painted somewhere on the model.  This was particularly difficult to carry out on the Long Fangs with Lascannon and Missile Launchers, as those weapons do not lend themselves to having diagonal stripes applied. I ended up painting the stripe on their kneepads and leaving it at that. 

As described in the Second Edition Space Wolf Codex, only Sergeants could have special weapons, so back then I had painted a chevron pattern to indicate rank on the shoulder of the flamer, meltagun and plasmagun Marines. Now, a standard trooper carries the special weapon, making the rank insignia obsolete. Rather than repaint, I built on the heavy weapon motif and designated a color for each type of special weapon to add to the top of the chevron: blue for meltagun, red for flamer, and green for plasma gun.

To make characters distinct, I have modeled all of my Wolf Guard and Squad Leaders without helmets (except the two old Wolf Guard figures that came with helmet on). When I got the new Space Wolf Battle Force, I was impressed with the variety of heads available and expanded this to include plasma pistol and power weapon troops (not necessarily ALL of them, just enough to be visually interesting). This effect has the added bonus of making it easier to find the “special guys” when playing, although it makes no sense from a military standpoint – “the leader is the guy with his helmet off, shoot him first”.

Finally, the new Space Wolf accessory sprue is great for making even the most generic army look Viking-esque. I use the two wolf-headed backpack to designate Battle Leaders from regular Wolf Guard, the armor with the large wolf pelt for characters with wolf pelts, and the wolf tails to add a little flavor to generic figures like the Terminator Captain and Space Marine Commander models.

One of the things I have strived for in painting the Space Wolves is a consistent look throughout the army. I want the colors and themes to “pop” when the army is observed in its entirety. By using simple techniques and consistent color schemes, I feel that, even though Keric’s army is typical of a Space Wolf battle force, it still has an individual and unique flavor.

General Tactics
By Turn Two, I want most, if not all, of my army in YOUR deployment zone so my Wolves can go toe-to-toe with you like real warriors!

Optional Rules
Trophy collector: Given Keric's penchant for taking trophies from his defeated enemies, he could be considered to have the trophy rack wargear item from Codex: Dark Eldar. Which would explain why a Space Wolf has an Ogre Mage horn affixed to his helmet....
 

Related Pages
Ferin Ironhammer
Other Space Marine Themed Army Ideas
 

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© Copyright Patrick Eibel, April 2001. Used with permission.
 

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Fighting Tigers:
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers

Other Pages:
Main <> What's New <> Site Index <> The Tiger Roars <> Themed Army Ideas
Events and Battle Reports <> Campaigns <> Terrain <> FAQ <> Beyond the Jungle