Blood for the Blood God!

Well folks, putting aside the Shadowspear hype, this weekend sees a slew of models on pre-order for Khorne, and I’m finding it really hard to resist selling my soul to the Blood God – though I suppose he’d more prefer my skull than my soul, but anyway.

I’ve been considering what I actually want to do about my Chaos Daemons army idea for a few weeks now, alongside how I want to play it with the Chaos stuff coming from Shadowspear. I must admit to be leaning really quite heavily towards the Khornate aspect of Chaos a lot more, recently, and now that we have these beautiful Judgements of Khorne on the way, I think they could very well be enough to seal the deal for me!

I mean, floating skulls weeping rivers of blood! These Hexgorger Skulls are what has really attracted me to the army, and got me thinking about getting some brutal violence and slaughter in my life!

While I did actually sell off the Khorne side of the starter set back when Age of Sigmar first unleashed itself upon us, I have since been thinking about getting some of the models to build and paint, almost simply because I want to just have them as a painting project. However, since playing (and enjoying) Age of Sigmar, I think this could be the second army that I’ve been looking for!

I really shouldn’t be looking at branching out so often with my army choices, I know. There are so many unpainted models in my pile of shame, it’s just unreal, but I think it’s good to keep the variety to ensure things don’t go stale. I’ve talked before about being a follower of Chaos in games such as Warhammer Invasion, and I think this project could well scratch that itch for wanting an army that harkens back to the old Fantasy, while also being a force where I can use a lot of the models in 40k as well.

There is a lot to enjoy about Chaos at the minute, between these new models for the Blades of Khorne, and the upcoming Warcry skirmish game, which seems to have a very Khorne-y feel to some of those fighters. I think it could be a good time to get started with some daemonic forces of Chaos, after all!

Can’t wait to get started with all this stuff!

Shadowspear and more!

Well folks, it’s taken me a few days to digest all of the amazing stuff that we’ve currently got coming our way from GW with the second phase of the Vigilus campaign – and just when I thought I was over it, we get the preview for the big man himself! I mean, what a time to be alive!

First of all, the Shadowspear box itself looks really good. I was initially a huge fan, but my enthusiasm had waned a little bit, but now that we’ve seen these new miniatures in all of their glory, I feel very much like I need them in my life. Most of them. Well, probably all of them. I’m currently planning to split a set, and get myself the Chaos half as a decent start to a Heretic Astartes army and beef up my Cultist force idea from back in December, but then I also want that Primaris Vanguard Librarian. And possibly the ten man squad, whatever they’re called. Infiltrators? They look like beefier Reivers, somehow, and I like them!

I was listening to the latest episode of Vox Cast last night, with the legend that is Jes Goodwin talking about the contents of the box as a whole, and now I feel like I want to seriously make a Primaris Space Marines army! Gah!

So the new box looks amazing, and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on some of these models and getting them painted up. I’ve not really had any kind of thoughts as to a specific legion just yet, though I had entertained the idea of going “generic Renegade” and coming up with my own fluff, maybe, so I think that might be an interesting way to do it. We’ll see. I can’t wait to get that Master of Possession, at any rate!

I will likely pick up some Vanguard Primaris as well, maybe getting the Librarian off ebay and then seeing what else I can get in the fullness of time.

As if the new stuff in this box wasn’t enough, we also have the delights of the Warmaster himself coming in glorious plastic very soon, as well!

The model is insanely good, and I really like how they have clearly taken the original model as a jumping-off point. The amount of detail is just right, I think – so many of the new minis coming from Nottingham have been a little too busy, and it can make it difficult to really know where to begin with such things. But Abbadon looks just right, in my view – the baroque armour is definitely there, but it has enough breathing room that it can be interesting to look at, but not overwhelming. It should look fantastic as a centrepiece for my Chaos army idea, anyway, and definitely will form a nice counterpart to the Space Marine army idea I had way back in December, with Marneus Calgar forming a lynchpin of Ultramarines successors.

It looks like Abbadon will come at the head of the second wave of Vigilus storyline, as the second book in the campaign has also been previewed, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well! I was very impressed with the first book, so I hope we see a similar sort of tome in the second one, with a lot of interesting rules and stuff to enjoy. We’re promised new rules, detachments and data sheets, alongside more new models, including what looks like a possible new Dark Apostle (just when I’ve gone and bought the finecast one!) and a new Havocs kit, which should be good if this chap is anything to go by:

I can’t really say I’ve always wanted a Chaos army, though whenever I’ve played Warhammer card games, I have invariably gravitated towards the Ruinous Powers, so I suppose it was inevitable! It should be good to get a small force of these guys, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else we’ll be getting in this release window (Traitor Guard, please!)

All in all, there are some extremely exciting times ahead!

Going bigger with Chaos

Hey everybody!
Time for the third and final blog of my mini-series, where I’ve been looking at growing my existing armies in the hope of having larger-scale games in the future, and this time it’s the turn of something that I’ve only recently started to plan out, the Chaos force! It was only towards the end of last year that I started thinking about building up a Chaos army, with the inspiration coming primarily from the arrival of Blackstone Fortress and all of the weird and wonderful goodness therein.

This post is also a bit of a cheat, as I’ve not yet finalised how I want the force to look. Rather, I’m waiting patiently for the new boxed set Shadowspear, which should not only bring me some interesting marines for a Primaris force, but also updated Black Legion miniatures that, from the look of the teaser trailer, should be off the charts awesome! So let’s ramble for a bit about the new stuff we know about, as well as what I hope we’ll see coming out alongside it.

The army I like to play tends to have a fairly decent balance, I think, between shooting stuff and beating stuff. From what I know of the forces of Chaos, then, I’ve been able to draw up something that I am really quite excited about playing, but the list remains quite small-scale, formed mainly of Cultists and the odd piece here and there that I like the look of.

I remain determined to somehow include the Blackstone Fortress models in my list, and have thus far included a patrol detachment of Obsidius Mallex with both companies of Traitor Guard and a Rogue Psyker. I’ve not put the additional Legionaries in there because I don’t yet know how things are going to look once we get the Shadowspear box. Will we get 10-man squads with different rules/options to the generic Heretic Astartes squad? Time will tell, I suppose – and that time might be sooner than we think, with the 80-day countdown for Vigilus to fall drawing ever closer!

We can already get bolt pistols and chainswords in a group of bolter-wielding Chaos marines, which I always find a bit weird somehow, but I suppose they don’t pay much attention to the Codex Astartes, after all! I really hope these chaps are the regular marines and not push-fit, though I suppose even if they aren’t, GW these days are producing a lot of models that will only go together one way, rather than the old style of marines where you have the legs, torso and arms all separate to allow for a variety of poses. Sad face. I suppose they do look amazing with all of the added detail, so it’s a decent enough trade-off.

Releasing a new kit of marines does of course beg the question, will the current finecast Havocs kit be released in glorious multi-part plastic, also?

In addition to regular marines, we’ve been promised new Obliterators, and we’ve already seen two of them between the trailer above and the preview on the Community site. Three Obliterators cost 195 points, which feels quite the investment, so I’m not quite sure how I feel about including these chaps in the list just yet. Though I’m sure I’ll eventually want to have some for a dose of heavy-hitting pain teleport striking in!

I do like the look of the Master of Possessions, who I assume will be an HQ choice with some kind of buff for these sorts of daemonic fleshmetal creatures. So depending on how things go with including the Obliterators in the list, I may well be fitting this chap in, also! Although I love the model so much, I might just use him as a Dark Apostle if I don’t manage to fit him in for his actual role.

I mean, look how sexy this beast is!!

I’m guessing that the rules for these things will be coming in the next Vigilus book, much like Marneus Calgar had updated rules in the last one. Whether we end up with a new Codex Heretic Astartes, who knows. I wouldn’t say Chapter Approved brought about a particularly significant number of points changes in comparison to anybody else, so I would only really expect to see a new book if we got a particularly large change in unit types, as we seem to be in for with Primaris Marines.

But enough of that!

So far, then, I’ve managed to slip in some interesting units, as far as I’m concerned, though I do want to include more of the Blackstone Fortress stuff – specifically, I want to have more than just 7 Traitor Guard. Much like Cultists, I feel like we should be able to field hordes of these guys – which brings me on to my main point, I suppose.

While the Shadowspear box does sound amazing, without even considering the Primaris aspects of the box, I find myself hoping that the rumours are true, and we actually get to have real releases of the Blackstone Fortress stuff in proper multi-part plastic goodness with a regular box release. I’m hoping for 10-man (at the very least!) Traitor Guard, and five-man Negavolt Cultists – we’ll most likely get Beastmen as well, of course, though I’m not so fussed on those guys. I don’t really hold out much hope that we’ll see anything further along these lines, though the Genestealer Cults release has shown that GW are very good at surprising us with a release schedule that just takes over the world, so maybe we’ll see additional stuff to flesh-out the release of these random elements of Chaos.

Should we actually get Traitor Guard released in this manner, then I’ll pretty much give up on any hope of GW bringing back the Dark Vengeance Cultists – I’m really glad that I found my own guys, of course, but I do find myself feeling a bit sorry for those who only know of Cultists through the five-man box available currently. Still, Cawdor gangers do make excellent conversion fodder, so I suppose I shouldn’t get too down on it. But it would be so much better if these kits would see the light of day again!

I am nevertheless very interested in seeing what we get for Chaos in the next month or so. How I eventually build my army is going to be a matter of some thought, for sure, though I do like the idea of having some of the marines alongside the chaff Cultists, backed up with daemon engines like the spider-thing and Forgefiends/Maulerfiends. Should look pretty damn good on the table, I reckon!

Chaos Daemons!

Hey everybody!
It’s New Year’s Eve, so what better time to start talking about my next big new project?! I’m not about to go down the whole route of “2019 will be the year of…”, but I do want to start thinking about working on something that will be quite new (well, kind of) for the year ahead, alongside all the other stuff I’ll no doubt continue with. For 2019, for me, that new project is going to be Chaos Daemons – specifically, the opposing forces of Khorne and Slaanesh!

I’ve always wanted a Slaanesh daemons army, and for years have been buying daemonettes, only to then sell them off again, most recently over the summer this year, when I sold off all of the daemons that I’d bought for the project, instead just trying to focus on a couple of armies. Well, I’ve come to realise that I’m never going to be a one or two-army guy, but enjoy having a number of small forces, as they provide a useful way to stay focused on the hobby. When the previews for Wrath & Rapture started, it got me thinking again about those daemon plans, but oddly enough, the thing that really tipped me over the edge into getting back into daemons was the new Grey Knights project that I’ve now started working on!

At any rate, this month I’ve bought myself a couple of the Start Collecting boxes, one for each force, and for the time being I think they will be sufficient for my purposes here!

I’ve designed a list for 40k that will basically involve throwing all of my units into melee as quickly as possible. An all-melee army is something I’m not really used to with 40k, being a Necrons / Dark Eldar player, so it’s got something going for it there as a novelty factor! There is very little shooting in the Chaos Daemons book, especially if you’re staying god-specific, so I’m thinking that I will doubtless be using this list in conjunction with all of my Cultists that I’ve got plans for, pretty much in the manner of having the humans alongside the daemons they’ve managed to summon into the world.

Purely speaking about the daemons, however, I’ve got two very distinct lists that should look pretty good on the tabletop, I’m thinking.

I do like a lot of infantry, as I’ve mentioned a number of times recently, and this list definitely allows for a lot of bodies on the ground! Chapter Approved has been really kind to Daemons, and Slaanesh in particular has seen a number of points reductions – before CA landed, this list cost 975 points, but the Slaanesh units have seen enough drops that I’ve got a significant number of points back – I could easily get some Seekers in there now, or maybe a Skull Cannon if I wanted to try for some much-needed ranged firepower…

I mentioned the fact that I’m melee-heavy, and I think this is something that really interests me in this particular build, because it’s the sort of army that I will need to change my playstyle for. I wouldn’t say I tend to play games without lots of cover, but being mainly a shooty kinda guy, I think I always tend to look for the open spots to take advantage of my ranged weaponry. Now, I’ll need to learn how to use cover more to my advantage, and move up the board preserving as many units as possible. So that will definitely be interesting.

I have always wanted this sort of army, though – I think it stems back to my love of the card game, Warhammer: Invasion, a game that I still need to get on this blog at some point! I would almost invariably play Chaos though, and with as many Slaanesh cards as possible, followed up with as many Khorne cards. The Bloodletter artwork has always been somewhat iconic for me, so having an army with those daemons in it is definitely a long-held dream of mine!

I would also like to get the Greater Daemons in this list at some point – maybe if I took it to 2000 points I could manage to take the Cultist contingent alongside more daemons. I suppose that will be decided when GW decides to release a plastic Keeper of Secrets, though. I keep hearing rumours every so often, but I wonder if they were perhaps mistaken for the new Fiends. Wrath & Rapture does make me wonder if there are more wide-ranging plans for new Slaanesh, of course, so hopefully we’ll be able to get something to replace the awful finecast soon! (I don’t mean that in terms of the fact I hate finecast – the model is just ridiculous, and not in a weird way that I think it would work for Slaanesh, either!)

Bringing things up to 1500 points, though, will be the Chaos Cultist contingent, so let’s take a look at that right now. I’ve been through several iterations of how I want this list to look, but for the time being, I think I’ve struck on the version that will be the most enjoyable for me to build and paint.

There are still a decent number of points left over here to cope with any additions that I might want to make, but I think it should be a good, solid base for the army build overall. There’s a healthy use of some Blackstone Fortress miniatures, and the interesting addition of a Maulerfiend – a model that I was only tangentially aware of until I picked one up while browsing my local store recently. While I don’t intend to keep things separated on the battlefield, in my head it makes some nice sense to have a heavy beatstick in with the Cultists when they’re in melee, so it will act like a protection for them. The exalted champion is only really there because I like the model, but I’ve been thinking about changing him out for Obsidius Mallex – the only thing keeping me from doing so at the moment is that I want to keep the BF models as their own thing.

Talking with the manager of my local GW the other day, it seems that the Blackstone Fortress models are going to be released as their own thing to mark the 80 days for Vigilus to fall thing that we’ve got going on right now. Whether that means we’re getting just the multi-part Traitor Guardsmen etc, or if that specific range will be released with more models alongside it, I have no idea. I do hope that we see more new weird Chaos stuff like the Rogue Psykers and Negavolt Cultists, as those models are really opening a door to all manner of weird and wonderful stuff. I’d assume we’ll also be getting the second campaign book, wherein we’ll be getting more official 40k rules than came in the pamphlet within Blackstone Fortress, as I can’t imagine Traitor Guard will be stuck in that specific 7-man configuration forever. So I may well be re-writing the Chaos Cultist part of this list very soon!

I’m choosing to field this detachment as a Renegade Chapter, rather than going for one of the named Legions, so they get to advance and charge in the same turn, which is useful for the fact there are so many melee-orientated units in the list, so it’ll keep the theme going from the daemonic part of the army.

I’m really excited for a lot of the projects that I have on the go right now, and I think this one will really be a nice one to have going on in the background while I work on the other stuff that I want to get finished in 2019!

Slaanesh

Hey everybody!
Wrath & Rapture goes on pre-order today, so I think there’s no better time than to start rambling about a subject that is fairly close to my heart, being a long-time fan of the Dark Prince: let’s talk about the youngest of the Chaos gods, and perhaps the most problematic of them – Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure.

I’ve been a fan of the youngest of the Chaos gods pretty much since I learnt about the wonders of Warhammer. I’m sure you all think I’m some kind of pervert, after making that statement! But there has always been something quite interesting to me when you see the followers of Slaanesh in comparison with those of the other Chaos gods. They aren’t always brutal, half-mad killers, or putrid and disgusting rot-bringers. They can be quite elegant, with their slight and subtle mutations hidden beneath silks and velvets. I think this perhaps sums up a lot of the ideas behind Slaanesh pleasure cults in the Old World:

Warhammer Fantasy did a lot to form my opinion of Slaanesh, and while a lot of the emphasis there was on the debauchery and degeneracy, the basic idea of Slaanesh being the god of excess has been there all the way through. Cultists of Slaanesh may look pretty normal, save for a forked tongue, but the idea of something daemonic being hidden behind the glamour is definitely a powerful factor in the image of Slaanesh and what he represents.

Let’s talk for a moment about BDSM, though, and the overly-sexualised way Slaanesh has been portrayed in the past. Slaanesh is forever linked with the pain/pleasure principle, it seems, and I don’t think GW will ever remove themselves from it entirely. What was initially intended as something of a 1980s punk-style Chaos god has matured over the years, GW are definitely trying to play down the sexual nature of Slaanesh – presumably to make the range more palatable to their target market. I think this is a pretty sensible move, if I’m honest, as I think the hobby in general does struggle with an image problem a lot of the time, and having mostly-naked miniatures to play with does absolutely nothing to improve that image. I don’t want to be pushing around miniatures of naked women, as I kinda feel like it’s inappropriate and a bit too teen-angst-y for me. I mean, I’m 34 on Tuesday, so I don’t want people thinking I’m still in the mindset of a 14 year old. Of course, I’m not trying to tell anybody how to have their own kind of fun, but for me, things like the Juan Diaz Daemonettes or Seekers are just silly and childish, and I’m really glad GW have dressed the Daemonettes a little since then.

“Boobs for the Boob God”, I hear you all cry…

I’m not trying to get all SJW here, and I’m aware that there are plenty of arguments for allowing artistic representation the freedom it needs. If you enjoy the sort of overly-sexualised miniatures such as these, or the current stuff being made by companies such as Raging Heroes, then that’s fine – you like what you like, and that’s all there is to it. Personally, I don’t like it, and I don’t really want to be associated with it. There is a very definite problem, to my mind, with female representation in a lot of geekdom and, without getting into that debate here, I think anything that GW can do to tone things down is a step in the right direction.

In recent years – particularly since the re-launch of Warhammer Fantasy as Age of Sigmar – GW have gone down the route of having Slaanesh be more about the allure, and temptation, rather than anything overtly sexual. Slaanesh is supposed to be about Excess, which can be represented by more than just sex. The ‘sergeant’ for the Daemonettes is called an Alluress, for example, and there are references to Slaanesh daemons enticing their foes closer before they slash them apart. It’s an interesting move, for sure, as allure is pretty much all about the tease, the promise of more to come.

Slaanesh is now mostly about speed, with rules in 40k and AoS that allow models to advance (run) and charge, and gain additional attacks for charging, etc. In 40k, there are rules that allow you to adversely affect your opponent’s characteristics while nearby Slaanesh units, reflecting the beguiling nature these daemons possess. They’ve become the Sirens of the Warhammer universe in a classical Greek way, and I have to say, I really prefer that!

I’m also quite pleased to see a more standard approach to Slaanesh as an entity too – for years, there were references to a male and female half, as represented by the models having a female right-side and a male left-side of the chest, for instance. The “problem” was compounded by the fact Slaanesh was named the Dark Prince, but also called She Who Thirsts by the Eldar of Warhammer 40k. In some of the artwork there are still visual cues of androgyny, but overall it seems that GW have adopted the masculine pronoun for referring to the deity now, which, I feel, further helps to bring the line away from sexuality and more about simple lethality.

I would love a model of a Slaanesh sorcerer like this guy, though.

So far as the models go, I do love the current range for just how weird they all are. While Khorne models are all pretty much classic devils, Nurgle are all disgusting, and Tzeentch are just weird, there is a much more subtle wrong-ness about Slaanesh that I think is particularly impressive overall. They do tend to be very spikey, and there are several shared design cues such as the crab-claws and the reverse-articulated legs, but I think that GW have managed to hit the nail on the head when it comes to what these things represent. Daemonettes in particular are supposedly beautiful maidens who seduce folks into getting too close before eviscerating them. I think the idea of the beguiling daemon using a glamour to lure people in, then revealing the much more daemonic face beneath, is really strong here – from a distance, we see the half-naked daemon women and get a completely different idea of what they actually look like.

The steeds of Slaanesh are interesting for their undulating shapes, which is just the right side of suggestive, but the chariots they pull are all spikey meat-grinders – indeed, the Hellflayer is basically a threshing machine designed to carve up all sorts of folk on the battlefield!

Slaanesh Hellflayer

It’s this spikey-ness that is another important aspect of the look of Slaanesh, for me. Bloodletters look like classic devils from common folklore, and we’re inherently averse to them because of that fact. Slaanesh daemons, however, have that lithe sensuality that makes us think they’ll be a lot less vicious – in-game, Daemonettes have a stat line similar to what is basically the standard human, and most weapons will be wounding them on 3s. But they are fast, and they have 2 attacks each at WS3, and their basic claws are AP-1 – these things are vicious!

There’s just something quite dangerous about the look of Slaanesh models.

For all that Slaanesh has been moving away from the boobs-out look of the past, however, I find myself a bit confused by the new Fiends of Slaanesh models that are in the Wrath & Rapture box, as they once again have the suggestion of sexuality about them that I thought we’d put behind us.

They’re good looking models, for sure, but it is a little bit dismaying to see an emphasis placed on Slaanesh being all about the boobs. The models are otherwise fantastic, and definitely an improvement on the older Fiend, which was one of the earliest models I’d attempted to paint!

Fiend of Slaanesh

Which I suppose brings me on to the Keeper of Secrets.

All of the four Chaos gods have almost identical basic structures in terms of how their model ranges run – the lesser daemons as troops, a chariot, an elite choice, a cavalry choice, heralds and a greater daemon centrepiece model. Khorne, Nurgle and Tzeentch have each now got their plastic greater daemon model in the shape of the Bloodthirster, the Great Unclean One, and the Lord of Change. For Slaanesh, we’re waiting for a Keeper of Secrets that is better than, well, this one:

The Keeper of Secrets as an iconic image is actually not too far removed from the new Fiends, as it happens. The reverse-articulated legs, the skin being held up with hooks, the whip-like tongue… I wouldn’t be surprised if many people first saw these than thought we might be in for the big bad itself.

I don’t want to sound like I’m getting too negative though, as I do really like the Slaanesh range for just how weird it all is, and I’m pleased to see new models finally arrive for it – something I never thought I’d see again, if truth be told! Daemons of Slaanesh are some of my favourite miniatures, and I think it would be a load of fun to try and build a force once again out of these bizarre snake-horses and crab-ladies. I’ve been looking at the Start Collecting box as a good place to start, as I’ve always wanted to try and put together that Exalted Chariot.

I’m hoping that the range will continue to be fleshed out, now that GW seem to have lost their aversion to even acknowledging the fourth Chaos god. Early efforts in Age of Sigmar to sideline Slaanesh in favour of the Horned Rat seem to have disappeared, and I think this new box set means that Slaanesh has very definitely not gone anywhere. I do enjoy the efforts with the lore to keep the idea of Slaanesh as an absent god still a part of the universe, however, though I think perhaps now that we’re seeing new plastic miniatures for the range, we might actually be on the verge of a new Battletome for the Hosts of Slaanesh within Age of Sigmar?

Here’s hoping, as I think the Hosts idea is really quite interesting and worthwhile exploring through their own book. Age of Sigmar definitely has more ideas for Slaanesh than 40k, mainly due to the fact that we have additional units that can be taken in the fantasy setting in the shape of the Hellstriders.

These chaps are almost the epitome of Slaanesh as the Lord of Excess – muscular warriors who are driven forth in their desire to cause as much pain and torment as possible. The fact that their wargear is quite perfect, their bodies muscled to perfection – it just screams what Slaanesh is all about, the pursuit of something to excess. They exemplify that unique aspect of Slaanesh as a Chaos god – each of the four is disturbing in his own way, for sure, but there is something a lot more pristine about Slaanesh, and while you can of course model your Daemonettes bathed in blood and reveling in gore, I do enjoy the idea of an unsullied host of daemons as opposed to anything else.

It’s a shame we can’t get these in 40k as some kind of human-style cultists of Slaanesh. Though I would still like to see something like the classic berserker-cultist of Slaanesh realised in model form:

I’ve been rambling for quite some time now about the miniatures line for Slaanesh, but let’s get round to talking about some of my efforts with the army!

I’ve tried to build an army of Slaanesh models a few times over the years, but have never been very good at getting the look right. Most recently, two years ago I’d built up some Daemonettes, a Seeker Chariot, and a Herald, and was trying to get going with some Hellstriders, but sadly abandoned that project shortly after moving house. Well, I think it might have been a case of overloading myself with miniatures to paint, as I have been a bit all over the place with my projects lately, even if I so say so myself! It’s time to cut back a little bit, and try to plan out exactly what I want to be using in games before going all gung-ho and buying loads of stuff that I have no real ideas for… It’s the easiest thing in the world to go to the games store and pick some stuff up, but actually building it and painting it was becoming quite the chore. So I’ve been trying to be a bit more strategic with what I’m picking up, in the hope that I’ll be better at the hobby overall.

I’ve been thinking quite a lot about approaching a Daemons army once again, this time with a bit more sense behind it, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see whether I actually get somewhere this time!

Falling to Chaos…

It wouldn’t be the first time

Since the whole Blackstone Fortress thing has gotten me in a froth about playing with miniatures that are more esoteric, and yet somehow a lot more close to what, for me, Warhammer 40k is all about, I’ve been thinking about getting myself a small Chaos force. Well, it might not be that small, after all, as I’m thinking principally about using Chaos Cultists.

The Dark Vengeance cultists are no longer available, sadly, because the box has been replaced with Dark Imperium, and the goodness that is available there. Which is a shame, because the generic cultists that you can get now are a bit sad if you’re trying to build up a huge Chaos-worshipping cult. The Dark Vengeance lot only include a couple more variants, but between squad Anarkus (on the left) and squad Tetchvar (on the right), you get some really nice-looking sculpts that, with a decent-enough paint job, could be made to look quite varied and rag-tag. Which I suppose is what you want out of a Chaos cult in the Underhive…

What’s even sadder is that I’ve currently lost my Dark Vengeance bits in moving house! They’re bound to be somewhere, so hopefully I can get them sniffed out soon. As a side note, there’s a bunch of Necrons stuff hiding from me as well, so it might be high time to have a sort-out and see where everything has gotten to…

Anyway!

I spent a huge chunk of my time on Friday planning out my Cult for Necromunda games, as I thought it would be a simply splendid idea to build some of these chaps up for the skirmish game as well. That I was basically devouring the rule set like some sort of fanatical zealot was entirely on point, as well! The fact that the rules for these guys are free online is even better! As another side note, how amazing are GW for doing this? Free rules for stuff is amazing! I know they do it for Age of Sigmar, but the fact they also do it for other stuff is really good. Anyway!

So I worked out a starting gang list that includes a Demagogue (Tetchvar) and a Witch (Anarkus), along with two Disciples (the special weapons chaps) and then five Helot Cultists (the basic five-man box that is still available) for a grand total of 960 points. I’m currently not 100% sure on the Witch, as I could replace him with two further Helots, but I’ll see on that one for now.

Chaos Cultists

The Necromunda plans are all well and good, and I’m looking forward to trying them out soon, but the main point of today’s blog is to talk about my plans for 40k, and combining the Cultists with the contents of the Blackstone Fortress box…

There is, of course, a lot to be excited about with the upcoming Blackstone Fortress release. I just can’t seem to express how much this stuff speaks to me! For the most part, I’ve been ignoring the heroes, but even there we have such amazing ideas as Ministorum Priests and Navigators – yes, Navigators! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to include these in my Imperium army without seeming too cheesy…

But I’m thinking about Chaos today, and so I’m thinking about running a Servants of the Abyss patrol detachment alongside a second patrol detachment of Cultists, which would bring me to 496 points in total. If I can somehow work out 1000 points of Thousand Sons (ha!) then I would have a pretty great starting Chaos army, I reckon!

For informational purposes, then, the Servants of the Abyss detachment contains the following units:

This little band of wonderfulness comes to a grand total of 327 points. Not bad really, though as a lot of folks have pointed out online, the fact that they’re so prescriptive – especially the Traitor Guard – means that it’s unlikely many people will want to field them very much. Personally, I have no problem with fielding weird and wonderful stuff, and the flavour of this warband is just too irresistible for me to do anything else!

As an aside, I’m really hopeful that we’ll see these things realised as full plastic kits sometime in the future. My fervent hope is for some kind of Agents of Darkness Codex that would allow us to field weird off-shoots like the Negavolt Cultists and Chaos Beastmen without having to go fully into the Dark Mechanicus or whatever. I suppose this is what this army list is all about, for me; having a weird collection of Chaos and mutants that is more fluffy than anything else, but could still offer some really nice and flexible support to a Chaos army. But I don’t want to get into just what I’m doing with my other Chaos plans just yet…!

Anyway!

The second patrol detachment in the list contains two groups of ten Cultists – the aforementioned squads Tetchvar and Anarkus – headed up by a Dark Apostle. I have toyed with the idea of creating some kind of kitbash instead of going with the finecast model, but on reflection, he doesn’t look entirely too marine-y so I hope he can fill in quite nicely for me in the role of heading up the bands of Cultists.

While I’m not about to start drawing up massive lists already, I have been giving a little vague thought to eventually expanding this force out a bit more along the thematic lines and, while I hope to have more random Chaos stuff like the Blackstone Fortress miniatures coming out soon to bolster the list, I’m thinking about including a couple more Dark Apostles and Cultists just to keep the flavour going. I might eventually include some Black Legion marines, but that’s a long way off. I would love to get back into painting daemons, for sure, though I’ve never really managed to get very far with those before losing interest to other projects, so I think that might need a bit more thought put into it.

I have always wanted a Slaanesh army though, as I love the purples and the lilacs and just how weird those models actually are!!

I want the army to feel more like a Chaos Cult rather than an army, so I think having actual marines in there would take away from that a bit. The Traitor Guard are perhaps a bit of an exception, as they are supposed to be an army force, of course, but I think they look weird enough with the furs and whatnot that they don’t appear overly regimented. I may well stay clear of the marines, and instead go for Cultists and the Daemons that they have summoned. It might be fun to field an army of these, though as I said earlier, I think I’ll need to give it a bit more thought first…

Anyway!

So those are my thoughts on building up a small 500-point Chaos list! It’ll help me a lot with both small games of 40k and also Necromunda and Blackstone Fortress, which is always a delight, so I think it should be a decent project to keep me going through the winter!

Jumping on the beast-wagon

Hey everybody!
Well, if you’re one of my instagram followers, not only do you have impeccable taste, but you’ve likely already seen the post from last week about being seduced by the lure of the Beasts of Chaos battletome for Age of Sigmar. The musk is obviously heavy with those fine gentlemen. Ahem, anyway.

I haven’t played Age of Sigmar in years. In fact, I’ve only played it twice, and that was in its first edition, and I was playing with the new Stormcast Eternals. I did like those chaps, and still have my army from back in the day. At any rate, while I’ve made no real move to do anything more with the fantasy setting of Warhammer, I have been keeping an eye on things, and have often felt myself weakening as regards to getting back into it all. See, Warhammer Fantasy is what got me into this mess in the first place, and I will no doubt always have a soft spot for the Old World, even in its new incarnation.

While I was almost won over by the Daughters of Khaine (I did buy a couple of things, but then returned them and bought loads of Tau, instead) and the Idoneth Deepkin (I do actually have a box of something from that line, though I’m planning to turn them into Mandrakes for my Dark Eldar army – though I have heard they’re not quite the right scale? Oh, anyway), I’ve always managed to keep myself back from pulling the trigger on getting into Age of Sigmar with a full army. But when the previews started coming out on the Warhammer Community website, I was finding myself increasingly drawn to the Beasts of Chaos, and the idea of once again getting into the whole Fantasy thing, and so I have cautiously begun to dip my toe into the pond on that. Well, we’re probably mid-calf at this point, but I’m digressing.

Beasts of Chaos are one of the classic armies from the World that Was, of course, and were incidentally the first army I played against in the AoS system. I remember at the time thinking they looked like great models, and around the same time I bought some Minotaurs (now called Bullgors). I never did anything with them, and I think I ended up selling them. Anyway.

With all the new stuff coming for the army, I’ve once again turned my focus to these delightful, hairy chaps, and have decided that here is the army that I’ve been waiting for to get my attention.

I’m hearing a lot of good things about Age of Sigmar 2.0, and there has always been a very vibrant Fantasy scene at my local store, so I reckon it’s as good a time as any to start getting properly into this stuff. For the moment, life seems to have settled a little, so I think it’s about time I looked into the other offerings from Games Workshop, and see what they have going on.

Endless Spells are something I have no idea about, but they do sound kinda fun, adding another level to the game. I’ve always played armies with no psychic ability in 40k, so magic and the like is something that I’m not 100% sure about. So that’ll be interesting to see where it goes. The fact that magic spells have models sounds great, anyway, and the flaming bull and magical horn look tremendous – not so sure on the birds, but they’ll make great Razorwing Flock proxies for my Beast Pack in my Dark Eldar army.

All in all, I’m really looking forward to trying my hand with the Beastmen.

But wait – there’s more!!

I’ve been talking with a mate about Blood Bowl, and we’re both going to give it a go at some point, with a bit of luck. Once again, it’s good to have the sort of game where all you need is one team to get going, so I think it’ll be nice to have something available to use should the opportunity arise. Naturally, I’ve chosen the Doom Lords, although I was also considering the Dark Elves at one point. I have no idea about getting into Blood Bowl, and have only today ordered the box of these chaps, so once I’m sufficiently along with the AoS Beastmen, I think I’ll start to look at the fantasy football team and see where I can go with them, also.

Stay tuned for more blogs where I ramble inanely about my adventures with Beastmen, as I get started with both Age of Sigmar and Bloodbowl!