This is the result:
I kept the sergeant head because the Shouty Command Face expression and the headset make him look like a seasoned NCO firmly in charge of things. I also kept the laspistol arm, but used one of the open-handed left arms instead of the chainsword arm. I glued a Space Marine auspex into the open hand, which makes a pretty cool “motion tracker” device. Orienting his head in the general direction of the auspex makes him look like he’s barking out orders in response to the tactical picture on its screen.
One thing that annoys me about the Cadian sprues is the lack of holsters for the sergeant’s laspistol, so I swiped a bolt pistol holster from my Space Marine bitz, shaved off the bolt pistol’s grip, then glued that to the squad leader’s belt. I also took a bolter magazine pouch and cut it in half to make a single pouch, and glued that to the left side of his belt in order to visually balance out the large holster. For the finishing touch, I took one of the Cadian grenade pairs, cut it in half so there would be 2 separate grenades, and glued one grenade to each side of his belt. The canteen/ammo pouch/knife bit was glued to the back of the squad leader’s belt.
I like this guy. He looks competent, characterful, confident in his authority, and I suspect that entire forests of plastic trees are breathing a collective sigh of relief at the absence of close combat weapons manufactured by Black & Decker.
While performing this conversion, the motion tracker game mechanics popped into my head. When using this guy in Guncrawl, I’m going to have his motion detector actually grant the ability to use Unknown Contact markers. During the Enemy Phase, UC markers are placed according to the standard enemy placement rules (in the nearest tile out of direct line of sight), and the players then have a tactical picture of where potential hostiles are.
If the squad leader dies or is dragged off by aliens, the ability to use UC markers is lost, and all UC markers on the map are removed. From that point on, a die is rolled for each surviving squad member at the beginning of the Enemy Phase, and the results are checked on the table below:
|Ambush Table A|
|1||Dragged off! The squad member is dragged through a floor grate or hoisted into a ceiling crawlway by an ambushing xenomorph. Roll on Table B.|
|2-3||Sneak attack! Place one xenomorph in the closest empty space, on any adjacent corridor or junction tile. The xenomorph acts normally during the Enemy Phase.|
|4-5||Place one xenomorph using the standard enemy placement rules. The xenomorph acts normally during the Enemy Phase.|
|6||Nothing happens to this squad member.|
|Ambush Table B|
|1-2||The squad member disappears screaming into the darkness. Remove the model from play.|
|3-4||Struggle! Roll again on this table immediately.|
|5-6||Xenomorph loses its grip and disappears into the darkness. The squad member is shaken, but unharmed.|
If a squad member rolls a 3-4 on Table B, any friendly models in adjacent spaces will automatically attempt to help free the trapped squad member. Each helper grants a +1 bonus to rolls on Table B, up to a maximum bonus of +3.
Note: These mechanics have not been tested yet, and came to me out of the blue in mid-conversion. Rolling on these tables does not use any actions, and they are meant to be short and dramatic moments that add cinematic flavor to the game.