TOC: A pleasure to have you with us today.
Nic: Thanks Shadow, awesome to talk with you and participate in this community!
TOC: Your color scheme on your Titans certainly grabbed a lot of attention to say the least. What inspired such a unique look?
Nic: I adapted (shamelessly stole) the spacescape idea from an adept painter and applied it to my Imperial Navy flyers. When it came to thinking about a paint scheme for Titans, the first release of Adeptus Mechanicus units in 40k and the covert, exploratory, and maybe a little heretical, Stygies really grabbed me. So, I thought I would combine the standard Stygies scheme with elements to disguise and add interest, like the mottled red and spacescape.
TOC: Is that how the Legio Audax Redemptor was born? Turning the heretical into loyal?
Nic: Absolutely! If there's an organization that would do something as practical as salvaging the relics of a war 10,000 years old and reconsecrating them in the service of the Machine God, it's the Adeptus Mechanicus. Although as their battle honours show, many Loyalists haven't got the same practical mindset, and the Titans have had to turn their weaponry on the doubters in order to keep the recovery operation going.
The questionable loyalty and uncertainty of redemption are some of the reasons why I wanted to deviate from the standard Stygies VIII colour scheme too, masking the authors of the operation.
TOC: The Legio Audax was known to field only Warhounds. Your addition of the Reaver is another step to putting your own touch on things. What prompted that decision?
Nic: That's a really good point. I wanted to distinguish the reborn Legio from the Audax that supported the World Eaters. Building it up to the more familiar Battle Engine Maniples seemed like a good way to do it.
Having said that, the two Warhounds have both shown a strong push towards acting independently of the Reaver in games to date. However, this is partly thanks to a few team Apocalypse games where different players were told to control each to demonstrate the pride and independence of each Princeps!
TOC: Does this mean we can expect to see a Warlord later on?
Nic: I have every intention adding a Warlord and then mirroring my 28mm maniple with the new 8mm Adeptus Titanicus models. I'm very excited at the prospect of doing so!
TOC: What do you think of the new game?
Nic: I have watched a few battle reports and a live game. I really think it is a well put together, tactical game that does justice to the scale and complexity of the God Engines - but they say the proof is in the pudding, and my own set of rules and first 8mm Titans are on their way! I particularly like the firepower/mobility/protection trade-off that the game lets you strategize over, it's a very tight mechanic!
TOC: What prompted you on the path to Titan ownership?
Nic: I got into the hobby in 2008 when 40k was going through a 'small scale' period. Seeing the artwork from the 80’s and 90’s of hosts of Imperial Guard with the mighty Titan Legios towering above them really fired my imagination. It inspired me to one day be able to own my own piece of that truly epic part of the universe.
TOC: So, it's part collecting and part gaming?
Nic: Very much so! Although one day I hope to set up and outfit a gaming clubroom complete with dioramas. At the moment I display my Titans at home and occasionally take them for a walk to meet the locals in each city I move to...then incinerate them!
TOC: Sounds like you use your Titans as "world burners" when you play. Which Titan did you start with?
Nic: Oh, definitely. The tech priests are working hard to balance the ferocity of Audax with the thrill of a good game that everyone enjoys. I started with the Warhound Corona Muralis, which I acquired on a pilgrimage to Nottingham in 2015. Sending him home ahead of me, I dedicated the next two weeks to getting him on the table in time for an Apocalypse game with some friends, in support of my Imperial Guard.
He was also the centrepiece of a week long battle when Kill Team 7th edition was released. He sat centrally in GW: Casuarina as small teams fought back and forth over gantries, loading platforms, and the Titan’s carapace itself.
TOC: That must have been a proud moment.
Nic: Definitely! Darwin had only opened a GW in 2014 or so and the community was very tight and fun. It was great seeing everyone enjoy having a Titan on the table!
TOC: You certainly act as a good ambassador for Titan owners everywhere. What is it you hope to add to the Titan community?
Nic: Thank you. Coming from one of the TOC staff that means a lot! I'm absolutely supportive of anyone considering Titan ownership. I hope by having my Titans on display, featured as terrain, or involved in public and club games, to inspire and encourage other 40k fans to go Forge World and get a Titan of their own!
TOC: Have you been able to fight any other Titans locally?
Nic: Yes, I have a Chaos Warhound on trust from my good friend, and amazing hobbyist, Mike. It was the priority target in a Loyalists vs Traitors game this year. In Canberra, the highly esteemed Andrew H. is a lynchpin for the 30k gaming community in the entire Australian South East. Using his amazing power to manipulate the Astronomican, my Titans have been able to share the field with several other God-Engines - just sadly not under my command.
Games Workshop Belconnen also hosted a series of Apocalypse games last year for GW's Fate of Konor, where the engines may have accidentally wound up fighting on the Chaos side against another Reaver, Warhound, and a mighty Warlord in a 20 player game. The destruction was truly epic!
TOC: It's great to hear that your engines are getting games. Is there anything in particular for the future of Titans that you are excited about or hope for?
Nic: Over the last year, GW have released a bunch of literature involving Titans of all sizes - from the re-release of Dan Abnett and Anthony William's Titan graphic novel to books like Warlord and the compendium of Graham McNeill's AdMech trilogy. I hope that all this literature inspires a whole new generation of future Titan owners!
TOC: How much does the literature impact your decisions as a Titan owner?
Nic: I'd say it does a lot. Reading about the Great Rift in 30k's Battle for the Abyss and Stygies VII's less-than-orthodox approach to technology in the two editions of Admech Codexes, seeing Princeps Hekate snarl in the Titan graphic novel, and Richard Boylan's characterful animation of Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Helsreach and Legio Invigilata. These really guide how I want to characterise the background, posing, and painting of my Engines.
TOC: What is your favorite piece of Titan literature?
Nic: Tough one! I can tell you two of my favourite moments - in Graham McNeill's Priests of Mars the Warlord Lupa Capitalina fires its plasma destructor aboard an Arc Mechanicus spacecraft, and the destruction is catastrophically awesome! The second, the moment in Know No Fear by Dan Abnett, where at the darkest hour of the Ultramarines on Calth, just as they face destruction, the reinforcing Titans arrive and the battle changes to one between God-Engines. Saving the Ultramarines' bacon is a nice card to pull for any Legio!
TOC: So, what comes next for you and your Legio?
Nic: Along with putting together an 8mm maniple to mirror my current machines, I'm just about to add another 4 Knights into the Banner supporting the Demi-Legio. After those are ready to roll in and defend the flanks, it will be time to knuckle down and save up for the big one - my as yet unnamed and unpurchased Warlord.
TOC: We look forward to seeing that. One final, but always fun question. Any shoutouts, challenges, or bellowing threats?
Nic: I'm always up for a challenge! Shoutouts to my ACT hobby heroes already done, my challenge goes to any Perth, WA Titan Owners who want to square up for a game - Legio Audax Redemptor stands ready to set this city aflame!
TOC: Thank you for your time. It's been a pleasure.
Nic: Likewise! Loved the Citadel Walk article and really keen to see TOC strong into the future!