Monday, 29 March 2010

Designer's Notes: Count Radu

Welcome all, to the first of a series of hopefully many blog posts, entitled ‘Designer’s Notes’!

As Project Big Kahuna continues apace towards the golden goal of the Beta Test release, consider this a ‘leaked preview’ document of one of the many homebrewed new special characters and units, to be released into an unsuspecting 40K-playing public. You lucky, lucky people.

{click to embiggen rules & points cost}

Please also visit Atrotos on Rules Manufactorum, and check out his Character Design competition (in which a summarised version of this character has been submitted to), and vote for your favourite!

Now, onwards to the notes!


Count Basarab ‘The Handsome’ Radu, is a new character torn right from the pages of the ongoing Project Big Kahuna.

More specifically, Count Basarab Radu is a Storm Trooper upgrade character, ‘bought’ as per his respective army list points sheet (page number ‘XX’, as this is a small piece of a larger, albeit incomplete picture), to be used in any army using the Storm Trooper unit entry as per GW’s latest WH40K Imperial Guard Codex.


Create your Imperial Guard army list as per the usual manner, however allocate the points cost (as per the army list sheet) to upgrade 1no. Storm Trooper sergeant into Count Basarab Radu.

Think of the rules and army list points sheet as pages that should have been in the current Imperial Guard Codex, as least that’s how I see it! :)


I believe this character to be a fluffy, flavoursome, and fun addition to games utilising Storm Troopers, but with a unique twist! (so I hope you do too).

While clearly from both his rules and fluff, a ‘baddie’, players can use Radu in the ‘count-as’ manner to represent a real b@stard of a Storm Trooper leader, being extremely willing to sacrifice his own men to achieve his goals.

No cost is too much to bear for Radu, to achieve personal and infamous glory!


Radu is a blend of spoilt aristocrat and contemptible officer, a real self-serving gothic blueblood with a whiff of self-serving treachery, cruel ambition and lust for power. Perfect for the 40K Universe!

He has been designed to represent his abilities and skillset at the cusp of ‘turning’, but with the added restraint, or handicap, of having been so hated by his men he is just a hair’s breadth away from being fragbait!

Think of him as an Anti-Commissar. Willing to sacrifice anyone at any time, but hated by all (not just Catachans).

I made sure his background would read like it was not very far off from that of a Harkonnen in the Dune-universe, with little touches like his personal blade and wearing the peaked cap as a grisly trophy of his rise to the top, and with the added reasoning as to self-modification to justify the more extreme gameplay statistics.

Furthermore, his ‘Karpathian’ background is tied to that of Big Jim’s Soul Reapers project, which is also worth a visit! Thanks again, to Big Jim. It’s all his fault I now run a blog!


Hopefully it should be obvious as to the inspiration for the ‘look’ of Basarab Radu. I’ve opted to illustrate him in the ‘noble posing for his portrait’ look, to better reflect the manner by which he perceives himself. Maybe one day I’ll replace this with a more ‘action-packed’ shot of him in the field of battle. Maybe.

He won't bite beast or man, 'Cos he's a vegetari-an

In fact, here’s my take on Radu in model form (a concept model) with bits I have lying about, hence the lack of feet. Ah well.

Thank you Blue-tack.

I'll probably use my impending plastic Stormtroopers project to model Radu and his boys in the time-honoured 'count-as' manner. So am looking forward to playtesting him myself too!


I’ve increased his WS and pushed the boat out on his Initiative, in response to comments on my last character being not Herohammer enough! :)

Karpathian Death Sirens, is to fully cement Radu as an upgrade for a Deep Strike deployment-only character, for reasons tied entirely to the nature of Project Big Kahuna.

Ruthless Tyrant, is my twisted, twisted take on Atrotos’ Storm Trooper Officer post on his blog. Thanks for the inspiration, Atrotos!

Kill Them, or Feel My Wrath! and Attack, You Dogs! are to reflect both Radu’s bloodlust, and with the use of Rage USR to model his underlings attempts scurrying to carry out his orders, so some tactical thought will be needed to best use these abilities/orders.

Obey Me or Else! is my take on how to better exploit the Inspired Tactics result as per the Imperial Guard codex, albeit at a cost.

Despicable Leadership is a twisted version of Commissar rules and is a balancing mechanism to make a player really think about utilising Obey Me or Else!, as with each loss could potentially cause more and more Morale tests.

Screech Chutes is my method of incorporating a Planetstrike stratagem into a character in both a fluff and fun manner.

Blade of the Handsome is my way to add further insult to injury in combat, to really take advantage of Radu’s Initiative of 5. And he's a b@stard, so it's totally in character, I would think!


Here is my breakdown on why Radu is a 90 point upgrade.

Count Basarab “The Handsome” Radu is an upgrade to that of a normal Storm Trooper Sergeant (17 points by itself). I've included for this section as a 'behind the scenes' peak of how I would cost a homebrew character, obviously using an existing 'template' as a starting point.

Cost of Upgrading of a Storm Trooper Sergeant to Count Radu:


+ Increase 1no. Wound, add 5 points

+ Increase 2no. WS, add 2 points

+ Increase 1no. Attack, add 2 points

+ Increase 1no. Leadership, add 2 points

(Points added as per Big Jim’s character design template)


+ Unique Character, add 20 points

+ Karpathian ‘Death Sirens’, deduct 2 points (removal of Special Ops: Recon + Behind Enemy Lines)

+ Ruthless Tyrant, add 10 points (cost of Senior Officer)

+ Obey Me or Else, add 5 points

+ Despicable Leadership, FREE


+ Power Sword, add 10 points

+ Plasma Pistol, add 10 points

+ Refractor Field, add 5 points

+ Blade of the Handsome, add 1 point

+ Screech Chutes, add 20 points

FINAL COST: 90 points


As with all homebrew, please ensure your opponent agrees to let you use this character in your games. Or alternatively, get your opponent to use the character!

Either way, you will both be contributing in the beta testing and further development of Count Radu, the feedback of which would be most appreciated by yours truly. This, in turn, will better develop the character and will be incorporated into the Beta release of Project Big Kahuna.

Please do not hesitate to email me or comment here on any thoughts, criticisms, feedback, on the rules, points cost, etc.

Or just go ahead and have fun with him, and let me know what you think after!

Thank you. And Project Big Kahuna thanks you.

- Menzies

Note: All illustration work depicted here is fan art and all fan supplement rules are completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Ltd. All models are converted from Games Workshop Ltd parts and components with other non-official sources and are completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Ltd.


  1. Out frakin' standing so far, the art and the fluff are awesome. His special rules look flavorful at a glance. I will give them a further look a little later today.

    I'm glad you found my little character generation template useful.

    Keep up the great work!


  2. Oh yeah, I almost forgot.....

    I'm lovin' the Soul Reapers tie in, it is well done.

  3. Thank you very much. :)

    The Soul Reapers tie-in is very much a shout out I will incorporate into Project Big Kahuna, to honour it's debt to Galaxy in Flames.

    Also, your character generation template (points values for stats increases, etc) is invaluable, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Anyone who wishes to try their hand at homebrew would do well to check your blog out!

  4. Nice insight into your process - I'm a much more 'GW creative process' kinda guy, ie I wing it ;) But I'll give Jim's matrix a go and see how similar the points are.

    I like the rules and writeup, they mesh very well together. Despicable leadership is probably my favourite of the lot.

    With the model he looks not quite right for the character to me. A good pose to look at is the Commisar running and slashing with his power sword, more like a duelist - maybe drop the plasma arm lower to put more emphasis on the sword?

    As an aside, is Big Kahuna the name of the project or the name of the operation the ++ censored ++ are going on? It's just that I'm doing something with the ++ censored ++ and if it is an op I've got a place to obliquely reference it.

  5. Putting the emphasis on the sword is a great idea! Now I need to source something more akin to a cutlass. :)

    Understandably re: model, I'm working up some generic plastic stormies at the moment, to be led by this FW-respirator model, so for now he's a 'playtest' stand-in for Radu. Perhaps one day I will get the proper pieces together to make a 'finished' model.

    Depiscable Leadership is the most fun I had writing homebrew rules. Again, an 'inverse-Commissar'-type rule if you will.

    'Big Kahuna' is the name for the project of the ++censored++, AND I can reveal, a 'unit'-type belonging to a regiment of the ++censored++. :)