Building an Isorian Army 1: Introduction

Canadian Gamer Zac Belado runs his own blog and has written several battle reports.  After designing his own Isorian force, he cleared out his local FLGS of Senatex figures, ordered more and offered to write a series of articles detailing his progress. We were delighted! The first installment is here…

Building an Isorian army

Isorian Banner with phase troopersSome time ago I decided that I wanted to follow up my Ghar Rebel army with a new force. I still have the Concord half of my starter set on a shelf waiting to get assembled and painted but I have always been drawn to the Isorians in Beyond the Gates of Antares. They have a unique look with their blend of alien organics and human technology. They also have a wonderful backstory wherein their conflict with an alien race has caused their own nanosphere to be merged with alien nanospore to create a hybrid that is anathema to the remaining PanHuman Concord. The Isorian’s attempts to win their war against the Tsan Kiri ultimately doomed them as they literally became infected what they were fighting against and, in doing so, became a separate, hostile shard of the very polity they founded: the PanHuman Concord.

One might say that they won their war but appearances say otherwise! The IMTel of the Isorian Senatex is now in a constant, uncontrollable war with that of the Concord along their borders at the Northern and Southern Interface.

I am primarily a narrative gamer and so this wonderfully conflicted and horrific background got my creative juices flowing and drew me in. Also, how can you not want to play a faction that has a sniper that warps time to allow it to fire multiple shots?

There are two ways to build a new army. You can determine a particular strategy or plan of attack that you want to use in your games and then build an army to enable that. Or you can do what I usually do and just get all the models you think that look neat and fit into the point level you want to play. This has, in the past, brought me much joy in building and painting my models but not a corresponding level of joy on the gaming table! So instead of assembling an army of Tsan Ra warriors and Phase Bikes and then wondering why I can’t win a game, I decided to plan how I wanted the army to play instead.

A plan presents itself

Isorian Tsan Ra Torus Squad 2b
Tsan Ra Torus Squad

The Isorians are equipped with some interesting units, especially the recently released phase-shift projector, but the one that caught my list-building attention was the Tsan Ra Torus Squad. Not only are they aliens but they are hard-hitting close combat monsters armed with their compressor torus. Point blank shooting at SV3 combined with multiple hand-to-hand attacks make them a fearsome opponent in an Assault! The issue is going to be getting them to somewhere they can be effective and since they are Large and decidedly not Fast they will require a Tograh MV2 transporter drone. Five of them will fit nicely into a Tograh and so that helps determine the first two units in the army!

At 1000 points we need four Tactical options and so two Senatex Phase Squads and a Command Squad are an easy way to fill out that requirement.

The plan for the force will be that the Torus squad in the Tograh will identify a target for assault and then move forward to engage it. The Phase Squads and the rest of the force will, depending on the scenario, hold objectives or move to stop the opponent from obtaining their goals. Once the Torus Squad is deployed and attacking they should provide enough of a distraction for the rest of my force to hold the field.

We need to look at some support options though. The Phase Sniper is too useful to not include so it goes in. Currently the force has no way to deal with high Res units so an SC2 Medium Support Drone with a Plasma Cannon should help us there. It isn’t going to be able to move forward to support the Torus squad but it will do nicely to support the rest of my force. A Support Team with X-Launcher and all ammo types will also help provide me with options to deal with whatever my opponent throws at me — having played a Ghar Rebel force for a while, I am now acutely aware of just how much trouble an X-Launcher with Net ammo can cause so I want to make sure I have one! And, after some discussion on the IMTel Facebook group, I also added a Medi-probe shard to provide some support to the Torus squad as they rampage.

This leaves me a few points over the limit as I also want to add at least one Get Up! order to the force to ensure that I can recover if I use my phase  armour. Happily, if I reduce the Phase Squads to 6 models each that will bring us to 1000 points exactly. This is going to be a starting point for what I hope will eventualy be a 2000 point force but I’ll want to get in a few games with it though before deciding what other units I will add.

The Starting List

Isorian Senatex Phase SquadSo this is the army list as it stands at 1000 points:

Tactical

  • Senatex Command Squad: 2x Strike Trooper
  • Senatex Phase Squad: Strike Leader, 5x Phase Trooper, Plasma Lance, Spotter Drone
  • Senatex Phase Squad: Strike Leader, 5x Phase Trooper, Plasma Lance, Spotter Drone
  • Tsan Ra Torus Squad: Plasma Grenades, Tsan Leader, 4x Tsan Trooper

Support

  • Isorian Andhak SC2 Medium Support Drone: Weapon Drone, Batter Drone, Plasma Cannon, Spotter Drone
  • Senatex Phase Sniper: Camo Drone , Phase Sniper
  • Senatex Support Team: Phase Trooper, Phase Trooper, Spotter Drone, X-Launcher (E): All ammo
  • Tograh MV2 Transporter Drone : Batter Drone, Phaseshift Shield, Shield Drone

Auxiliary

  • Medi-Probe Shard: 4x Medi-probe

Army Options

  • 2x Get Up!

Painting and Building

I still haven’t settled on a paint scheme for the army so I suspect that I will begin with the Command Squad first to settle on a colour scheme as well as a painting process. I find that when painting an army the steps I use are critical in getting the army quickly and consistently painted. The three models in the Command Squad will let me figure out those steps quickly and makes adjustments as I need.

I’ve already cleared out my FLGS and put in an order for the rest of the force. Removing everything but the Command Squad, Phase Squads and the Sniper puts the force at 500 points so that will be my initial painting target so I can start to play some games while I paint the other 500 points.

More soon!