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40K: Horsing Around With Rough Riders

3 Minute Read
Oct 11 2017

They might not be in the codex but you can still charge into battle with the Rough Riders!

The Astra Militarum Codex is out and there are lots of good things in the book. However, while everyone is coming up with new lists, some folks are mourning the loss of a classic unit: The Rough Riders. That said we aren’t giving up on them yet! After looking through the Codex, we think we’ve got a good work around.

The Rough Riders were (and still are) good now. You can still take them thanks to the Index, but Games Workshop “forgot” to create new models for them. Fortunately GW is also a fan of conversions and they dropped us some hints as what players can do as a work around. Say hello to the Ventrillian Nobles:

These guys dress pretty old school. Their armor has a slight 18th century vibe to it. But they are a good starting point for our Rough Rider replacements.

As you can see, the main elements for this army are your standard guardsmen with some feather hats. And where do you get those helmets/feathers from? The Free Peoples of course! Formerly known as Empire Handgunners/Archers, the basic infantry kit comes with a ton of heads you can use as a swap. So that got us thinking – what other Free People Units could we reassign to the Guard?


Freeguild Pistoliers! Feathers? Check. Fancy Helmets? Check! Horses? Check! All we need to really do is do some basic torso/arm swaps and find some replacement lances and we’re set. Oh and the bases…can’t forget those need to get upgraded…

The lances could come from other kits or you could make your own with brass rods – you could even attach them to their backpacks. Most folks aren’t going to give you too much fuss over some cool conversions. The scale will match and the unit is worth taking – and this seems to be a good work around.

If Games Workshop really wanted to show Rough Riders fans a little love, they could even rebox those Pistoliers and toss in a couple Cadian sprues – problem solved! Now, they won’t be the classic Attilian Rough Riders but we feel like it’s better to have “Generic” Rough Riders than to not have them at all.

Alternatively you can also just order a Death Rider Outrider Detachment from Forge World…


But where’s the fun in just “building” kits?! I want to do some conversion work!

Another fun option is to go with the Demigryphs. Swap out the head, maybe a torso, add a backpack and you’re pretty much ready to go:

Rough Rider Fans – don’t lose hope! Their rules can still be found in the Index which are still 100% legal for play still – Ride On!

Author: Adam Harrison
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