Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 3 “The Clone Wars”

Milestone 2 has now been and gone, and this collection of models is beginning to look like an army now. The target for this month was to achieve the following:

I’m delighted to say that not only did I manage to complete the above, but I actually went one better and did all 12 Marksmen clones and all 12 Vanguard clones. This puts me nicely ahead for the next milestone.

We are now at 800 points, which in my opinion is probably the upper limit for First Blood. Here is a brief rundown of the units we’ve added in this Milestone:


This character brings yet more healing to the force with his Biotic Renewal draw event. When combined with the Pheromancers Accelerated Hibernation I fully expect to be able to reliably replenish casualties I suffer. He is poor in combat, so will need to be protected from enemy combat troops and characters.

Mimetic Assassin

This character is incredibly good in First Blood. Characters are normally quite vulnerable as they are not protected in a regiment (like in Last Argument). The Assassin however has an Evade stat of 3, which we are boosting by +2 with the Heightened Reflexes mutation, meaning that ANY wound he takes from Clash, duelling, direct damage magic or shooting will be saved on a 5 or less. Cleave is irrelevant to him! He’ll just dodge the massive axes! He has a decent number of attacks as well and will go first in duels thanks to his quicksilver strike special rule. His only slight weakness is a lack of Cleave, but he’ll certainly pull his weight in combat

Vanguard Clones

These are elite close combat troops. Each Clone has 2 attacks and a decent defence score, backed by evade 2 as well. Much like the assassin, they lack cleave, but sheer weight of attacks will tell against most enemy regiments. They’re also quite fast with a movement of 6 so can really to where they are needed.

Marksmen Clones

These are elite ranged troops. They have everything you need to smash enemies at a distance with lots of shots, a long range and the wonder arcing fire special rule, letting them use a friendly regiment to draw line of sight. They are only lightly armoured so careful positioning is needed to keep them alive, though the healing abilities of the Pheromancer and Biomancer will keep them combat effective.

We now begin Milestone 3, and this is going to be an interesting month as we convert the above First Blood Skirmish force into a 1250 point Last Argument of Kings force.

The obvious things changing will be the size of the regiments. Infantry, cavalry and Brute regiments all need to have a minimum of 3 stands of troops (a stand is 4 infantry models, or a single Brute/Cavalry model). Right now, all of the units apart from the Abomination are under this minimum threshold, so we need to bulk out what is already there. We will expand both Clone regiments to the minimum of 3 stands. We will also need to increase the Force Grown Drone numbers to make up for their below average individual stats, so I’m going to take all three of the drone regiments up to 4 stands worth of miniatures with 16 drones in each unit.

By the end of the next milestone (11th August if I stay on target!) The army will look like this:

This means that I need to add the following to the force: 6 x Marksmen Clones, 6 x Vanguard clones & 21 Force Grown Drones which should be perfectly achievable in a month.

This will give me 3 regiments of drones, each with a character embedded in them, and each fulfilling a different battlefield role. The assassins regiment is tasked with spreading decay into enemy regiments, whilst the biomancers regiment is simply a pool of wounds to be spread around the other regiments with the harvest essence ability. The Pheromancers regiment is purely there to keep him alive and healing.

The damage dealers will be the Abomination and the two Clone regiments. They are proper elite units that can go head to head with almost anything else in the game.

Stay tuned to see if I manage to get the next batch painted up!!!

Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 2 “The Force (grown drones) Awakens”

We are now officially one month into the latest Path of Conquest Marathon. Paint has been spilled! Brushes have been brandished, and clippers have done their brutal snippy work!

The original plan was to have the following completed:

Did we complete it? Well mostly, actually. The Executor, the Drones and the Abomination are all done. The Pheromancer got half done before I had a typical fit of Dave madness and decided I wanted to convert the model. To make up for it I did paint more Drones than I needed to and I have pretty much assembled the whole 2000 point army.


This is a pretty nice 400 point First Blood List. Let’s go into a bit of detail with the units and how they’ll be used in the skirmish system.

High Clone Executor

This chap has zero upgrades in the initial list, but that is ok as he is pretty decent in combat anyway with Cleave 1 and 5 attacks. He can dish the pain but he cannot really take it, with only a defence of 2 to keep enemy attacks at bay. He’ll be best hitting already engaged enemies where they can’t surround him and beat him up with superior numbers.

Force Grown Drones

In first Blood they are quite simply a meat wall that will not die. You can’t buff them as easily, especially at low points games, but they are incredibly useful to pin enemy regiments in place. Because the maximum regiment size is capped at 12, it is rare that an enemy will be able to take out all the Drones in one go unless they gang up with multiple regiments. This means that they can keep receiving healing from the Pheromancer to keep going. It is terribly frustrating to play against!


This chap will be the engine room of my small Spires Force. He’ll keep the drones fighting with his Accelerated Hibernation Pheromancy ability. He is to avoid combat at all costs and to simply keep the other units topped up with wounds.


Yes, I’m bringing a Monster to the table at 400 points. No I do not care! First Blood is where monsters shine! They have less to fear with smaller enemy regiment sizes and can quite easily swipe most enemy units and characters off the board in a single charge. The only way I’ve ever successfully dealt with it, was with a combination of a mage using firedart and her own barrage, plus 12 imperial rangers. It took so much firepower to bring it down!

It is safer in combat, but its very effectiveness is its weakness. In First Blood, you cannot shoot into combat, so ideally you want to dive in, ravage an enemy and leave a few models engaged. With 10 attacks, Cleave 1 and flurry, plus impact attacks, this awesome unit will leave little left standing at the end of its activation which leaves it vulnerable to take all the enemy ranged firepower.


Milestone 2 begins immediately and I am expanding the force listed above to the following:

I will be adding in 6 Marksman clones to the Executors Warband for some ranged punch, and will add a Mimetic Assassin and a group of 6 Vanguard Clones for some elite close combat power. Finally I will bring on another support character in the form of a Biomancer, and he will deploy yet more Force Grown drones to add another pinning block to the force. With 2 characters and 3 regiments to do this month, I’d better deploy the blue paint and get cracking! Oh, and I’ll finally finish that Pheromancer.

Path of Conquest: Dave’s inSPIREing Blog – Part 1

So here we are again. Another Path of Conquest series where you dear readers get to enjoy me slowly losing my mind painting up a 2000 point army through a series of milestones.

This time around I am amassing a Spires Army. Whenever I begin a new project I always like to pick a theme that I then shape my force around. My theme for this particular army is “MEAT WALL!”. I want to have a massive horde of Force Grown Drones led by supporting characters to keep replenishing their ranks. The full 2000 point army I have planned will look like this:

As you can see, there are a LOT of Force Grown Drones! These humble spear wielding meat-sacks will be the backbone of my force. They certainly have number on their side, but are individually weak. In my own experience, they benefit greatly by having characters attached to them to boost them, either by providing them with a boost to the number and quality of attacks they dish out or by increasing their resolve so that less of them run away (fall apart?) in combat.

The Biomancer will be the powerhouse of the list. I have shamelessly stolen this idea from Andy Sparks who used this build against me (to my absolute horror!). The Tier 3 mastery of flesh allows me to replenish the ranks of one of the frontline regiments with Essence Transfer and then activate them immediately. He then replenishes the casualties suffered by the first biomancy with his Biotic Renewal. It is really thematic and horrifying to face. His warband brings a pair of awesome Abominations for some late game rip’n’tear.

The Pheromancer is there to also heal up casualties with his Accelerated Hibernation Pheromancy ability. He also has the expensive-but-useful Pheromantic Drive which can allow a regiment to act twice, but taking decay in the process. This is really useful for Marksman clones firing double volleys at something or for really amplifying the damage that an abomination can do in a crucial turn. Worst case scenario you could even stick it on a Force Grown Drone regiment to unleash a total storm of rubbish attacks for a giggle. His warband also unlocks the wonderful Brute Drone regiment, who are fast and hard hitting with a decent number of attacks.

The Assassin will become a decay bomb with the lovely Cascading Degeneration mutation. He is also really tasty in combat anyway, doubly so with the Venom mutation. Whatever they connect with in combat will have the triple threat of a combat character, a storm of weaker drone attacks, and will receive Decay which will thing their numbers in their own activation.

My Warlord will be a High Clone Executor who will have a small bodyguard warband of Vanguard Clones (He won’t sully himself with Drones!). This regiment is incredible good in close combat, especially as i’ve upgraded them with an Assault Preceptor Commander. This grants them the Fury draw event for a massive number of attacks. The Executor also unlocks a regiment of Marksmen Clones. This ranged regiment is rightly feared for the large numbers of long ranged attacks that they can dish out. His supremacy ability is utterly brilliant (Possibly too good? In line for a nerf? Who cares! For now I’m activating 3 cards in a row on a crucial turn!). He’ll also add a nice bit of cleave to the force.  

So to summarise, The idea is to intimidate the enemy with walls of meat that simple wont die and who will engage the enemy in a war of attrition. The characters will lead the Drones, and will keep them alive and punching. The Clones, Abominations and Brute Drones will be the heavy hitters of the force that will deal with anything truly nasty.

The Path of Conquest challenge requires me to split the army into 5 milestones. Milestones 1 and 2 will initially be for the First Blood Ruleset. Then milestones 3-5 will bulk out the army to its final 2000 point total.

Milestone 1 begins with a 400 point First Blood force. Force Grown Drones are very cheap so we can afford to have a pair of fairly big units. When a Force Grown Drone regiment has 8 or more models, they get a free Pheromantic Node (which gives the benefits of a Leader and a Banner) so these chaps are hopefully going to be rather effective for their points. The force will be led by a pair of characters. A Pheromancer who is equipped with Accelerated Hibernation for healing shenanigans, and a High Clone Executor who is decent in combat, and who also brings his amazing Supremacy ability. We will round off the small force with an Abomination for a fast moving and heavy hitting punch. This gives us a bit of variety as well from a painting point of view, with two wonderful character models and a mighty monster straight away.

I’m looking forward to see how this force comes together. After painting a lot of metallic armour for my Hundred Kingdoms and Dweghom, I’m making it my personal mission to not use a single metallic colour for the Spires. The main scheme will be as follows:

  1. a bone colour for the weapons, rags and skin.  
  2. Blue/teal for the armour
  3. Purple for the Cloth and various other details

Hopefully I will be able to keep smashing out the large number models I’ll need to complete each month for such a horde army. To this end, my scheme will be fairly basic, using Games Workshop paints and shade washes. The bases will be done in my standard fashion.

Looking forward to seeing how we get on!