Ok, so getting down to planning out the army. I like having a pretty solid idea of how the army will look, and i like to build up to around 2000 points or so. That allows you to play some big games and mix and match at 1500-1750 points.
Chances are it will go slightly over 2000 points, but that's not really a big issue.
The master can carry the conversion beamer on a bike.
WTF? A bike mounted conversion beamer, that's just insane. A few Google image searches later and I found people had done just that. Amazing!
Marines are not blessed with a great variety of selections, it's scouts or tactical marines. Digging through my box of models I find i have 15 scouts, at least 20 tactical marines, and a plethora of heavy weapons. That's very good.
One credit card transaction later and these bad boys are on their way to me.
I'm looking at 2-3 Tactical squads and possibly a scout squad with sniper rifles. Close combat scouts don't really fit the theme of this army to well, but i really would like some variety in my troop choices and cloaked snipers look like a good option. A rhino or two would help out here as well. (the box of the damned contains at least 3 old rhinos)
Fast Attack selections
This army isn't one I imagine will use a lot of land speeders, scout bikes, or assault troops. It's not really the flavour I'm going for. (Also, the assault marines are set aside for another project and my land speeders are broken)
Digging through my box of marines (The good box, not the damned box) I find a Bike squad. Now normally I wouldn't think a bike squad would be 100% thematic with this army, until i remember my master of the forge is on a bike. He really needs a escort squad and the idea of bionic bikers has a certain amount of appeal. Also, I have the models.
Dreadnoughts totally rock
and two, I really really really want an Ironclad Dreadnought in this army
Look at this bad boy. If anything screams "I MUST BE IN AN IRON HANDS ARMY' it's this guy right here.
Steam powered seismic hammer that looks like an industrial mining tool? YES SIR!
So I settle on using my current Lascannon metal dready, buying an Ironclad and possibly another dready or two.
I'll make sure they have lots of bionics to show their veteran nature and mount them in a razorback.
Well, the obvious selection in the heavy support section is obvious.
A techmarine armed with a giant seismic death cannon..... it's almost as though this unit was designed with this army in mind. Gentlemen, I present the Thunder Fire Cannon
I'm also considering a vindicator, I have one currently, painted in the army colours but its an old model and the pain job is just terrible. But it served me well in the past and the new model is totally boss.
And of course, I can field Dreadnoughts in this slot as well. So many choices, if only dreadys were troops :)