TOC: From the start, the quality of your work has stood out. The Astorum scheme is simple and easy to achieve, but your depth of detail has been phenomenal. And of course you have a rather unique naming scheme to your engines. What inspired the choice for Astorum? And how did the unique names come about?
Kasper: Well, I actually fell for the Astorum Legion when I first saw the image of the Reaver Titan. I played 40k almost 10 years ago, but I quit around the time 6th edition arrived, so I was kinda off the grid.
When I decided to start again, I went to Forge World and saw the beauty that is the Reaver. The stock Reaver on Forge World’s webpage was painted in this beautiful blue and gold scheme, so I looked it up and that’s how I fell for the Astorum Legion. Regarding the names, I have never been a Space Marine player (kudos to the guys who likes to play space marines, but I just find them flat and boring), so I decided on Guardsmen. Cadian was a bit too standard, and I really liked the Ellysian Drop Troops with all their aircrafts and stuff.
But I wanted my army to look heavy, so I looked up other Guardsmen regiments based around airborne assault, and I stumbled across the Harakoni Warhawks. I have since started a Harakoni army and I wanted my Titans to have the feeling of companionship with my Guardsmen regiment, hence the "of Harakoni" in my Titans’ name. Then I needed to decide on a theme. Everyone around chooses High Gothic or Latin, but I wanted mine to be less "knightly and gallant", so I went with a more horror-like inspiration. My first engine was my Reaver, and I have always liked the name Wraith. So Wraith of Harakoni it was. The rest, as they say, is history.
The first engine.
TOC: You beat me to finding out which engine was first. What influenced the decision to add more Titans (not that it's bad)?
Kasper: Well, I have an addiction I guess. Kidding aside, when they first made the Warlord I was a bit "meh." It looked too much like a Knight, and I always liked the box-like look of the original Lucius pattern (the one that looks like a walking battleship), and I have always preferred the Imperial Titans to look, you know "ugly" when compared to the Titans of the Eldar, and most recently the Tau Empire. The new Warlord was a bit too much like the new Imperial knights.
So at the beginning I was only going with the Reaver, and bought pretty much every weapon option for it, with the exception of the chainsword-arm-thingy (Because that thing looks weird) and the Volcano Canon because I felt a single D-shot was a bit on the bad side. As time went by, and the more Apocalypse games I played, I really started to enjoy the feeling of the big Titans, so I just kinda went with it, and on a Monday afternoon I clicked "Check Out" on Forge World, and a Warlord was added to my collection.
The Warhound was really impulsive (referring to buying one – TOC). A Friend of mine has an old Lucius pattern Warhound, which is absolutely stunning, and I really liked the design, but I preferred the look of the Mars pattern. So once again Forge World claimed my hard earned cash. I have to be honest here and tell that I am not done yet!
TOC: Not done yet? Then the Harakoni maniple is set to expand in the future it seems.
Kasper: Oh yeah. We are going to have a big family expansion. Can’t really tell yet what it’s going to be since it’s a secret, but I can tell that its name starts with an R, and ends with eaver, and I already have one.
TOC: Quite the lovely addition. Does this mean the Warhound may eventually have a sibling as well? And do any Skitarii and Secutarii march to war with your Titans?
Kasper: Yup, a family of 3 of course needs 2 dogs. But the next Warhound is going to be a bit more of a gimmicky thing, so no Destroyer weapons on that one. I’m most likely going to throw a Plasma Blastgun and a Vulcan Mega-bolter on that bad boy!
No. I have a buddy of mine who plays Skitarii, so those are probably the only ones that are going to follow my warmachines to victory. But my Astra Militarum army does include 3 Engineseers who keep a steady watch on my Titans, to keep them smooth and running.
TOC: The fluff seems to have quite the hold on you. How much has it influenced your builds?
Kasper: A lot, actually. I wanted my army to look like a more modern army, compared to the ordinary Astra Militarum army. So I have no Basilisks and stuff like that. Most of the artillery support comes from Manticores, Deathstrikes, and aircrafts (I own a Marauder Destroyer and a couple of strike fighters), so I wanted my Titans to function like mobile artillery platforms. That’s the reason why my Warlord and Reaver both use the Apocalypse Missile Launcher. If I am following Games Workshop fluff, I really don’t know. But my army as a whole has a history, and I really like to sit down and create a story for my army and follow it through. Powergaming and list-tailoring is absolutely the last thing I do. I play fluff and for fun, and I want all my models to symbolise that.
TOC: The narrative is the most important part to you. Does that mean your Titans become what I tend to call a "living model" where eventually you'll add detail to them as they tell their stories?
Kasper: Well, I’m going to sound nerdy now, but I am actually working on an experience system for all the god-engines when we play Apocalypse in our club. I have even included my Warlord, complete with crew, in a roleplaying campaign in the "Dark Heresy" roleplaying system.
We have a really welcoming mind in our community and the game just feels that much better when it’s not just a bunch of random skirmish fights to be entertained for a couple of hours, but a story where your heroes and units are a part of it. We are currently running a narrative Apocalypse campaign in our group, called "Tango-7", where we have fought a war between and Eldar/Tau coalition, and an Imperium force to gain control of the system. The story and such are my own work and the campaign have been running since June 2016; and will end 2-4 of March this year.
TOC: That is fantastic. Maybe we'll see a few Walk articles from you as time goes on. Have your Titans accidentally sparked an arms race?
Kasper: I will gladly supply you with a couple of war stories and pictures of these legendary battles! Yeah, well you might say that. When I bought my Reaver, people were starting to call me a power gamer, until I played my first game with my Reaver and I didn’t even have a single Destroyer weapon on him. Then one of the Eldar players bought a Phantom, then I bought my Warlord…and then things really escalated.
My group now has two warlords, one Reaver, two Warhounds, one Marauder, one Stormbird, a load of super-heavy tanks, two Revenants, two Phantoms, and a Supremacy Armor as well.
TOC: A very healthy Apocalypse community has certainly come about. How has that growth affected your love of Titans over time, especially since it seems the Titan ownership dream started by chance one fateful day when you returned to gaming?
Kasper: I really like the fact that our community has grown so explosive in the Titan compartment. It almost makes our Apocalypse games seem like "scaled up" versions of the old Epic game. Also we have a very strong "gentlemen" feeling in our club, so the Titans are like centerpiece models in the battle, and since we are very equal on Imperium and xenos side, the games feel really balanced. And I just love the feeling of having about three to five Imperial Titans stride forward to face three to five Eldar Titans, all while armies are marching at their side. Gives me the goosebumps every time.
So I would have to say my love for Titans is growing every time a new one is added to the group.
TOC: What is the ultimate goal you'd like to have out of Titan ownership? And how does it feel to know you command the deadliest of the game's units?
Kasper: My dream is to have a game, one-on-one against an opponent of the same magnitude and army size as myself. Not in a power-gamed "I will include Magnus the Red in a 1,000 point army" type, but an opponent of the same mindset as myself, and play a gigantic Apocalypse. No nonsense, no rule-yapping, just pure destruction between two players.
Well I haven’t really given it much thought until now, but I guess it feels kinda badass. I feel that my participation in games matters, because I have so much to bring to the table (both literally and figuratively). Also, since I have that type of unit in my army people tends to listen more to my advice during games because they rely on me as a vital part of the army. That is a cool feeling!
TOC: The battlefield god kind of intoxication. What advice would you give to someone considering Titan ownership or just getting into it?
Kasper: Yeah you might say that. War is a drug you know, but so can Apocalypse be. Well my advice is: think! A Titan is not like assembling a Dreadnought. And before you say "Duh I know that," no you don’t! It has nothing to do with the complexity of the model as much as it’s the weight and the material the Titan is made of. For my warlord I used: 27 Pins, 4 entire JB weld packages, 9 clamps, 17 rubber bands, and over $130 on materials and hardware.
If you are ready for the challenge, the hours, and the money to spend on a Titan, then buckle up, because you are in for a ride! Also remember. Most people will refuse to play against your Titans in ordinary games. So expect them to have a lot of bench time, unless you play Apocalypse. And don’t be a jerk; arm your Titan in a fun way. Your opponents won’t want to play you again if you dish out a Reaver with 8X Destroyer shots a turn. Play fun, play smart, and play big! Titans are a blast, and without doubt, worth the effort you put into them.
A beast to assemble but quite beautiful.
TOC: What has been your biggest challenge as a Titan owner thus far?
Kasper: Apart from cleaning resin, which is a pain, I think it was magnetizing the model. All of my Titans are magnetized at the hip and have interchangeable weapons. For my Warlord I used a 45 pound pull force magnet! That thing is scary btw! Oh and transportation!
A Reaver is hard to stuff into a box, and a Warlord isn’t any easier. As far as assembly goes, I had a lot of experience since I have played Warhammer fantasy for almost 20 years, so that was easy for me.
TOC: What do you think the future of the Titans holds, especially now that the might of the Warlord has come to life on the table?
Kasper: I think they will add in more Knight variants, like the new Porphyrion, which is a nice mix between a Titan and an ordinary Knight. I don’t think, nor hope, that Forge World will make an Imperator (because I would have to get one and paint one! And that thing will be expensive!)
I hope they give other races some love too. I would love a Forge World Great Gargant for the Orks, and a gigantic Bio Titan for the Tyranids. Maybe an even larger Tau Titan? I am quite sure we will see a Warlord kit to make it into a Chaos Warlord, which is going to be pretty cool. Titans are here to stay for sure! And with the new 3D printing technology, we can really start to see some amazing models, like the Warlord.
TOC: Any desire to see a Lucius Warlord body drop alongside a Chaos Warlord one day?
Kasper: Oh yeah, that would be awesome! With the big closed carapace where the Canons (I think it’s turbo lasers) stick out like on a battleship. I would without a doubt get one!
TOC: You'll probably love when the Titan graphic novel re-releases in March then, since Imperious Dictatio is a Lucius Pattern Warlord. And one final question for you. Any shoutouts, bellowing challenges, or words for your fellow TOC members?
Kasper: Oh yeah I’m going to get that! So excited for that novel! Oh yeah, fellow TOC members, you guys are a part of a special brotherhood of people who brings 40k to a whole new level! Thank you all for your participation in this project! Let’s spread the images of these beautiful battle engines, and let our enemies tremble with fear!
And thanks a lot to you, Shadow and Drake, for running and maintaining this amazing blog! And to all you guys out there with a Titan not yet on this blog: what on earth are you waiting for!!
TOC: Thank you for your time today, it's been a pleasure.
Kasper: Pleasure has been all mine! Loved to be a part of this Interview!