I've always loved walkers. I played a lot of MechWarrior back in the day and stomping around a virtual battlefield with my force-feedback joystick occupied a lot of my hours in high school.
In 40k there is no shortage of walkers. Dreadnoughts look pretty cool, but Sentinels look a whole lot better to me. There's something about the longer, chicken walker legs and the simple fact that a pilot is driving the robot that make it hit home for me.
Along this same vein is the Eldar War Walker, which edges out the Sentinel to not only be my favorite 40k walker but probably my favorite 40k model period. Those graceful lines, the fluidity of motion and the posability of the model all really speak to me.
Of course now there is the Wasp, and I have fallen in love again. Why? The enclosed cockpit is part of it, but what seals the deal is what's on its lovely rear end:
I. FREAKIN. LOVE. JUMP JETS. What makes the Drop Sentinel better than the normal Sentinel? Well, besides the sweet roll bars, ROCKETS ON A MECH. In MechWarrior I almost universally chose mechs that could take off in a stream of fire, looking for nothing more than to land near/ on top of my opponent while shoving a 30 foot long shotgun in somebody's face. Here is finally a unit in 40k that can make my dreams of DFA come alive... and in a very attractive package too! Heck, it even looks like a Firefly/Raven... Anyway, with the jump jets they can move 24" in the movement phase and assault (but not shoot) afterwards. While they aren't the best assault troops a 30" charge against Guardsmen isn't a half bad way to go about things, and at the very least they can leap out of danger or to contest an objective late game.
But that's not all! These guys finally have the BS 4 that the Eldar so rightly deserve, so they don't have to rely so heavily on Guidance from Farseers to their job. This is great not only for their crazy jumping abilities but also the chance to deep strike away from your forces. But that's not the greatest thing- these fools are a TROOPS CHOICE, meaning that they don't compete for Heavy Support slots. Hot. Damn.
I see these guys sticking in the backfield while throwing out str 6 firepower, then jump jetting to late game objective contest or just to get out of trouble. They also have the option to jump down, shoot up some vehicles in their rear arc then jump away before the retaliation can get to them. They're not the best despite what some early cries of cheese might say, but their play style sounds really interesting to me and can at the very least help make War Walkers a viable choice.
This model almost single handedly wants me to start playing Eldar. They aren't THAT expensive from Forge World, and if somebody doesn't want to play by their actual rules I can always proxy them as War Walkers. And I could finally paint up an orange and grey Yme-Loc craftworld force, which I've been meaning to do for some time...
Dammit Forge World. Damn you and your pretty things that I must have!
So what do you think about this new long-legged vixen? Does function follow form or is it just a great pair of legs?
*All images of the Wasp above belong to Forge World and are used without permission (but much love!). The image of the War Walker above belongs to Games Workshop and is also used without permission (but again, much love!)