I managed to get back around to some painting this weekend, so I've finally got those Jetbikes and Vyper table ready. I've also pulled out a handful more Guardians to paint up and bulk up my squads of them. After that I'm not sure what will get painted. Before I get too into anything else I want to finish my list.
If I'm playing Ulthwe I want to do it properly, so to start with I'm cutting some of my Aspects. In my 1500 list I had been tempted to run small squads of Dire Avengers, Swooping Hawks, Striking Scorpions and Dark Reapers. However I'm now looking at cutting the Avengers and Scorpions, which not only brings my list back within 1500, it also gives me some spare points to play with.
I get the impression from what I've read online that Hawks aren't a very popular choice, but I think they'll fill a nice role in my list. I've not got a lot of anti-tank, so the ability to deep strike a flying squad with haywire grenades will mean I can threaten tanks anywhere on the battlefield. Their weapons are weak, but good range means a couple of rounds of shooting I might otherwise have missed out on. This will hopefully give enough extra ranged ability to augment the Vyper and Jetbikes for my rapid-strike component, and if opponents get distracted picking off the boys in blue then it means less shots on my objective-scoring Jetbikes.
As well as fitting the Ulthwe fluff, Dark Reapers are making up some much-needed anti-Space-Marine power. This will mean I can rely on something more than a silly number of soup-tin-lids from the Guardians. The only doubts I'm having with the Reapers is that they're likely to be stuck off on their own on a rooftop while the rest of my army advances, but again the speed of Jetbikes, Vyper and Hawks should mean I can pull some forces back to defend them if needed.
I've had a few ideas for changes to make to the list that I can now look at with the points I've saved. I've dropped the idea of taking a Wave Serpent, since it would mean pulling more bodies away from the bulk of my force and into the rapid strike section, something I'd like to avoid. A squad of Pathfinders hiding near the Dark Reapers or going to ground on objectives is also tempting. However I'm currently leaning towards a few Warlocks to support my Farseer. This should improve the power and resilience of my HQ, providing a better anchor for my force. It also fits with the Ulthwe theme, which is something I'm keen to emphasise. But the most important part is that I enjoy painting them. So chances are that that's the direction I'm going to go with this.