Following up on the interview with Brandon, owner of Multa Nimis, it became natural to look at doing an interview with the friend of his who jumped into Titan ownership at the same time and has the sister engine. Today, we interview Grayson, the owner of Invicti Magnus.
TOC: I can tell you that it's a pleasure speaking to someone who has helped inspire another TOC member in the hobby, and it's been evident that you yourself enjoy the opportunities it gives you. What started you in the hobby and what lead to wanting a Titan?
Grayson: I started the hobby with a single battle force of Imperial Guard several years back. Ran into an old friend who happened to be playing at the time and was super interested in the game. One thing led to another and soon enough I began swimming in plastics and resins.
At one point it all became too much and I decided to sort and sell everything I had. With all that excess money from sales, I began looking at Forge World's site for ideas. I didn't want to start another army as I had already started a 30k Word Bearers force, so I settled on something big. I had already acquired several Knights, and didn't really want any Baneblade variants.
I almost went with a Marauder Bomber, just because I love the look, but ended up with the Warhound due to a coin toss. If you can't ever decide, flip a coin. If you don't immediately like the result, go with the opposite choice. Best way to figure out what I really wanted.
TOC: That's an interesting take on decision-making. Was the Warhound itself as your chosen class of Titan also a coin toss?
Grayson: Actually, no. That stipulation was thanks in part to a combination of auto loan, semester fees, and a very large burrito.
Besides, if I had the financial income to use a coin toss for an investment as large as a Warlord, I wouldn't be an undergrad still.
TOC: Good point. Are there plans to get a second Warhound, especially after you have your degree?
Grayson: Not in the immediate future. I've got far too much unpainted to warrant buying newer models.
TOC: I imagine if not a sister at least some sort of guard unit, correct? Warhounds, while very deadly, do need support. Do you plan to have some sort of Titan Guard or support elements from Knights, Marines, etc?
Grayson: Apart from her sister titan owned by Brandon, my Titan is attached to an expeditionary force comprising of a Salamanders team lead by Captain Ty'roh of the Fourth Company, a Death Korps regiment, several assassins, and a Freeblade company hired by Forge World Lucius to assist the Warhound.
A very powerful set of allies backs the Warhound, ranging from Knights to the Imperial Guard.
Even the Officio Assassinorum aids the Warhound.
TOC: She's in very good company. And you mention the Forge World and it does remind me. What about it made you choose the Legio Astorum, the Warp Runners?
Grayson: Simply put, I fell in love with the decals once Forge World put them out. After that I found out they fought on Vraks as well. That sealed it
TOC: What, to you, has been the best part about being a Titan owner?
Grayson: Not really sure. It's more of a lot of little things added up. I've never owned a model that big before, nor had as much fun setting up the lore for it, and that's saying something.
TOC: Has it given you a want to set up the lore for other things as well? And do you find it easier to develop lore while having a friend who owns the sister Titan?
Grayson: Oh I've been a lore fan for a while. My Salamanders Captain earned his in a Tyranid campaign where only he and his command squad wiped the entire enemy force without any casualties. My Death Korps don't get individual lore as, they're Death Korps. If they don't die in droves then they've failed. As for other stuff, they earn more as I keep playing with them.
Usually whenever there is a big game. Apocalypse or so, I tend to create more lore for the models involved.
TOC: I take it Apocalypse is where she will see her first showing?
Grayson: If all else fails, then just a really, really, really big game of 30k will do.
I've got more than a few people to play against that can tackle a Titan.
TOC: What do you ultimately plan to do with Invicti Magnus, other than turn heads? Something the impressive base is already doing. And what inspired the base?
Grayson: She will be a cornerstone in my Mechanicum force once I finish building a loyalist 30k Mechanicum. As for basing, I gush over basing. I can spend 10 minutes on a model painting something quick, but two hours getting the base done right the way I want it. Especially on Knight bases and larger.
I consider the base as the mode of transportation for a model. It sets the tone and class of said model. A well-painted mini can be ruined with poor basing, and likewise something as large as a Warhound needs, nay DESERVES an amazing base to go with it.
TOC: And the story behind the base? What inspired it?
Grayson: A Warhound, while let off the leash for its missions, is never far from the eyes of the Mechanicus. So as to ensure its success and safe return, some Skitarii rangers were tasked with helping clear any small forces from impeding the Titan.
With that in mind, I wanted something that screamed the strength of humanity doesn't lie with a single weapon, or a better fighting style, but rather the ability to show ones humanity and strength to another human who has lost everything. Their family, friends, home, and worst of all, hope.
I wanted to convey how no matter the size or strength of humanities forces, all are to be protected, even the little ones. So having a god engine as large as a Warhound rescuing a little girl, and Skitarii protecting her, I don't think I could have conveyed that any better.
TOC: Certainly an interesting story to be told. The irony in that her sister engine's base will be quite destructive. Has Titan ownership brought any new views to your gaming?
Grayson: Not terribly so. I've already accustomed myself to the super-heavy Imperial Knight backlash, and a Warhound can arguably be considered a step backwards in terms of tabletop rules. Still, just having one on the field can truly demoralize your opponent. I plan to use this tactic effectively.
TOC: I see. Do you feel that the potential to include such units in normal games has broken it?
Grayson: I don't feel the game has been broken in anyway, but there is a noticeable power creep in the current codices. When I first started, it used to be Tournament Organizers had to decide to allow Forge World units or not in their events, as those models were considered the most powerful. Now we have to rely on third party organizations such as ITC to create FAQ's and amendments to the actual codex of an army.
TOC: That means you'll likely play your Warhound in more than Apocalypse then? And what would you ultimately like to do as a Titan owner? Any particular things you'd love to see come out?
Grayson: I don't particularly plan for anything stupendous to come out of owning a Titan. To me the game is not changed by any single model, but by the quality of your army as a whole. To forge your own narrative and build a worthwhile force that you can be proud of as a whole. The Titan is impressive, but doesn't hold the stage on its own. So I want to use this opportunity to say that one should always remember the rest of the army that marches with your Titans. They need to be just as impressive as the Titan itself.
TOC: As it should be. It's a holistic approach. Final question for you. Any special shoutouts, antagonistic bellows of fury and challenge, or advice?
Grayson: Stand behind me, and I shall be your shield. Stand with me, and I shall be with you till the end. Stand before me, and I shall bestow upon you my fury. So make your choice, and pray that it is the correct one, ye who stands in my sight. For this is your only chance.
TOC: Thank you for your time and your candor, it is much appreciated. And thank you for sharing your thoughts with the TOC.
Grayson: A pleasure.