Imperial Fists – Supremacy Force

With the last puzzle piece added to the collection, I have the core of what I "need" to recreate the Imperial Fists Supremacy Force from the very last moments of the 2nd Edition of Warhammer 40k.

This bundle was 65 GBP / 249 DM back in the day (that massiv uppricing in Germany, as the 65 GBP were only about 190 DM - anyhow the German price was EUR 127,31, or EUR 179,39 with inflation) when it was released in August 1998 and introduced in White Dwarf issue 224.

Warhammer 40.000 - Imperial Fists Supremacy Force

I had a White Dwarf subscription back in the day, but I'm honest. I fully missed that release or didn't really pay attention to it. There was just so much going on. You had the early mumbles of the upcoming 3rd edition of Warhammer 40k (oh? New rules? Improved game play ... at least from what we felt like from our pov back in the day). Mordheim being introduced, with a very open approach and lots of rules directly in the White Dwarf, Warhammer Siege, a full on converted Legion of the Damned army and so on.

White Dwarf - August 1998 White Dwarf - August 1998

Just  two issues later the army force shown on the box art was used in a battle report in White Dwarf 226 - the first battle report actually using the rules of the new edition - having Imperial Fists fight Orks. Something I have to talk with Indi.yeeha about, recreating that battle with proper 2nd edition rules and miniatures.

I have talked about my motivation regarding retro projects in this article - Oldhammer an Introduction. And my first stock, that I build up were an Imperial Army, along with dropping overstock and adding to collections that were already half way there, like the Sisters of Battle. And while I sold or traded my Space Marines, I kept the "original" mid 90s models to myself and didn't really needed that much to build up a small(-ish), well let's call it "reasonable" sized Space Marine force.

The big question was - which chapter should they be? Of course, with Space Marines there is always the option to go for a successor chapter and let your creativity flow. But I wanted something of the official lore, but a bit less mainstream. So I went browsing through the Codex Ultramarines, as well as the Painting Tutorial leaflet by Games Workshop, and something about the Imperial Fists just spoke to me.

Warhammer 40.000 - Overview Imperial Space Marines Codex Ultramarines - 'Eavy Metal Imperial Fists

But let's to a quick swipe left and right with the original 9 loyal legions.

Warhammer 40,000 - Dark Angels

Dark Angels - Part of the Angels of Death double codex, and really not my thing. Not ugly or so, but the whole Ravenwing, Deathwing etc. in a single army felt a bit cramped. Pass!

White Scars - To be honest, more of a side note in Rogue Trader and really one the map more since the third edition. So doesn't really fit the purpose of a 2nd edition project from my point of view. Not saying the whole Mongolian biker gang isn't an interesting theme, but don't feel it in combination with 2nd edition. Pass!

Warhammer 40,000 - Space Wolves

Space Wolves - Oh, this was a close one. Really lovely models, one of the first - if not the first codex of the 2nd edition of Warhammer 40k (release schedule was different for different countries). Still something that might happen, if I get my hands on some sculpts or feel like painting more space marines after this projects. Space Wolves are different enough from regular Space Marine armies, from their design, army build and so on. So we have to give this one a pass - for now.

Warhammer 40,000 - Imperial Fists

Imperial Fists - I liked the "vanilla" style of them, but not being Ultramarines. So they are traditional Space Marines without a fancy edge and I liked the chanllenge of painting yellow. Normally, I wouldn't go for yellow. As it can be tricky and unforgiving to paint, but with the scope of a 2nd edition Space Marine army (you can see the whole Supremacy Force is just 23 models, that's about a larger Ork mob and even less than an Imperial Guard platoon...) and the availability of airbrush, spray cans etc. seemed like an interesting idea. Last but not least, the metal bits made it a bit of a rarity. Swipe right! I think we have a match.

Warhammer 40,000 - Blood Angels

Blood Angels - Always felt like a power gamer choice and I didn't need that. Interesting models, but again a bit too special from Codex Astartes point of view for me. And in direct comparison between painting red or yellow, I just felt that yellow would be the more interesting choice, along with Blood Angels being very present. Oh you have an oldtimer? Interesting, which one? Ah, an W124 Mercedes E-Class ... yeah, good for you (But very common). So it's a pass.

Warhammer 40,000 - Ultramarines

Ultramarines - Probably the most obvious choice if you want to play the good guys and want everybody to know 5 gaming tables away, that they are with their bright ultramarine blue power armour. It looks clean, but very common. Very, very common. In the mid 2000s, every second miniature Games Workshop sold was a Space Marine and half of those were painted blue. So, yeah, not what I wanted to do.

Iron Hands, Salamanders and Raven Guard - All of these, similar to the White Scars were not that present in 2nd edition of 40k and got most of their attention in 3rd edition onwards. To be honest, weren't even on my short list for consideration.

My current stock of that project is very solid, as you can see below, and I have a few vehicles already here (partially in mint condition), for full coverage during building them here.

Warhammer 40.000 - Imperial Fists Supremacy Force Warhammer 40.000 - Oldhammer Rhinos Warhammer 40.000 - Imperial Guard Tanks

The hardest part was actually getting the bits and the captain.

Imperial Fists Bits Warhammer 40.000 - Imperial Fists Captain

So, with the 2nd edition rules, the supremacy force sums up to;

  • 1 Space Marine Captain with a Bolt Gun and Power Fist (96 Points + 13 Pts. for his gear), another +3 Pts for Frag and Krak Grenades. Total 112 Pts without (3) Wargear Cards.
  • 1 Space Marine Chaplain Hero with a Crozius Arcanum and Rosarius, Bolt Pistol and Frag Grenades (84 Points) and another +3 Pts for Krak Grenades. 87 Pts without (2) Wargear Cards.
  • 1 Space Marine Librarian Epistolary with Bolt Pistol and Frag Grenades (152 Points) and another +3 Pts for Krak Grenades. 155 Pts without (3) Wargear Cards.

That's 354 Points for Characters.

  • A Tactical Space Marine Squad of 10 is 300 Points excl. gear, krak grenades for everyboyd +30 Pts, a missile launcher with Frag and Krak missiles is 45 Pts, another 9 Pts for the flamer and 10 Pts for the Sgt. Power Fist. The unit could be lead by a Veteran Sgt, but in the Supremacy Force this doesn't look like this is the case (helmet isn't red), so we stay at 394 Points.
  • A Terminator Squad of 5 is 315 Points excl. gear, adding a heavy flamer for 21 Pts, and a power sword for the Sgt. which is free. Would have the optoin to teleport at +50%, but we will keep it like this, and as a Terminator is a Veteran by default, they don't have the Option for additional Veteran Sgt., suming up 336 Points for the Terminators.
  • The Bike Squadron of 5 is 235 Points excl. gear, with a plasma and melta gun (8 + 8 pts) and the power sword for the Sgt. at 6 additional points. On top of that we give the Bikers Blind and Krak grenades in addition to the Frag grenades they come with, adding further 50 Points to the unit. Total 307 Points.

And that's another 1,037 Points for Squads. This means the point value of the boxed set (which is stated around 1,500 points in the pre-order advertisement) is around 1,391 without using wargear cards and full options.

  • Models count: 23 miniatures
  • Point value: 1,391 Pts (Characters 354 / Squads 1,037 / Support 0 / Allies  0)

But wait a minute? 23 miniatures, doesn't the price list claim 32? Yeah, that's typo in the German White Dwarf. How about savings? Well, as I have only proper access to the German Prices and White Dwarfs, I compare the 249 DM price tag of the boxed set, to the individual prices.

  • Tactical Squad (10 Miniatures) - 80 DM
  • Bike Squadron (3) + 2 single Bike boxes - (65 + 2x 20 DM)
  • Terminator Squad (5 plastic miniatures, not the metal box) - 50 DM
  • Space Marine Captain Blister - 15 DM
  • Space Marine Chaplain Blister - 15 DM
  • Space Marine Librarian Blister - 15 DM

That's 280 DM, if we add another 12 DM for the decal or banner blister for the small sheet of banners, and there were no upgrade kits similar to this, so maybe add another 15 DM (which is roughly the price of the Necromunda weapon blister, so about comparable), adding 27 DM to a total of 307 DM of value for the boxed set of 249 DM. Giving you a saving of around 20%, not bad, not amazing, but pretty solid. I don't really have a sum of the costs here, as I acquired the models over a long period of time, and current prices are pretty messed up, but Space Marines are all in all pretty easy to acquire, due to a higher supply compared to other armies, with the exception of some special units. And some of these were available through Games Workshop even after the Primaris releases (for example the Space Marine Bikes).

Yet, I did some modifications, for example I replaced the rather boring plastic Terminators with the metal ones from that era, as they are just superior and more dynamic. For the overall project, I only need a few addititions, for example a second Marine with a special weapon (either melta gun or flamer) and close combat options for the Terminators.

Warhammer 40,000 - Imperial Fists Warhammer 40,000 - Imperial Fists Warhammer 40,000 - Imperial Fists

As mentioned above, one of the hardest part, was acquiring the Imperial Fists specific bits. The regular shoulder pads were quite easy, as was surprisingly the bike vehicle accessoires. I had a long search for the chaplain and librarian shoulder pads, along with the small terminator shield. And of course, the overall extras casted in plastic, like arms, gear and backpacks can be tricky to acquire in larger numbers. Here you have various options, for example green stuff moulding for the insignias (something that I'll do for the close combat weapon shoulder pads on the Terminators, as they didn't come as chapter specifics) and maybe 3d printing for backpacks.

Warhammer 40.000 - Imperial Fists Bits 3d Print - Bits in 28mm 3d Print - Bits in 28mm

The best thing to do next, would be to prepare at least a single miniature and go for a colour test, or build the core of this project - the supremacy force itself.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. Ha, this is crazy; I’m working on the exact same project! I’ve had most of the parts knocking around for a while, but with the addition of my captain, I feel I can finally proceed. Lookinf forward to seeing how yours turn out!

  2. Hey, I ended up here whilst looking for Backpack Banner images so I could do my old IF Captain Model for Darren Latham’s Challenge on Instagram.
    If you’re still short of one I have a Librarian Shoulderpad spare.

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