One of the most masquerading Fantasy Characters, that can be found within the Fantasy Realms, of my Warhammer 40,000 Ork army - is no other than my Ork Killer Kan(s):
For in the Heat of Battle, is it all too-easy for me to forget, that an Ork Killer Kan - is no Dreadnought! So if not a Dreadnought, what exactly is an Ork Killer Kan then? Well ... I shall answer in two parts. First: in terms of assembly and painting ... The hardest part for me, was ensuring that the Killer Kan, sat reasonably upright - when glued into it's base. I found achieving this, to be harder than you'd think - as my Killer Kan, is leaning backwards slightly! It also took me a while, to find the ideal pose for the Power Claw - eventually deciding upon, aiming for above head height (aka take that you bigger Dreadnought!). As far as the painting was concerned, I decided to under-coat in Chaos Black, dry-brush in Gun Metal, and work in some contrasting Ork'y colours: Dragon Red (for the Power Claw, Ork Lip/Banner and View Slit), Angel Green (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Bolts), Golden Yellow (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Banner) and Ushabti Bone (for the Horns on the front). I then mixed in a twist, with some Tuskgor Fur, upon various belts and wraps (being dry-brushed in Ushabti Bone), together with a dab or two, of Shining Gold - upon each rivet. This was followed by a dry-brushing everywhere, in Shining Gold (the really old one), to complete the masquerading look, of this particular Ork Killer Kan :) Second: in terms of game-play ... Battle One ... Being a fan of using new models, in smaller Skirmishes at first (so I learn how to use them), I took a single Ork Killer Kan, and included it with 26 Slugga Boyz, and a Gretchin Mobz of 30. Against this, a friend wielded 18 Khorne Berzerkers - both armies totalling around 360 points. Now each army, was itself split into two main flanks - with my Ork Killer Kan, joining 13 Slugga Boyz, and 15 Gretchin fodder (in Da Front!). This was just as well, as I was soon on the receiving end, of 18 Khorne Berzerker Bolt Pistol shots - slaying 12 Gretchin. WWAAUUGGHH! My Orks replied in kind: with 18 Grot Blasta shots, 26 Slugga shots, and six Big Shoota shots from my Ork Killer Kan (split over two turns). The result of all this? Two Khorne Berzerkers fell - to the Kan's Big Shoota :) My Gretchin then bore the brunt again, as they were charged by the Khorne Berzerkers - slaying 18 Gretchin. Unfortunately, my Slugga Boyz had lost their charge advantage (the Khorne Berzerkers having used, their 3 inch consolidation move to engage them). Fortunately, this made little difference - as my remaining 24 Ork Choppas, were soon cutting down Khorne Berzerkers! And in the back? Did my Ork Killer Kan, bring his Power Claw into play - with a charge, and 3 dead Berzerkers (from instant death). The Khorne Berzerkers, were now loosing rapidly: 5 dead, 4 dead, 3 dead, 2 dead - leaving just 1 Khorne Berzerker (as 3 had been lost earlier due to Ork shooting). It felt as though, my Ork Killer Kan, had never really been challenged (which indeed he hadn't!) - though he still grinned at the end, as his Slugga Boyz, dragged down the last remaining Khorne Berzerker :) Battle Two ... Having compared the statistics/profile of an Ork Killer Kan, against a Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought (Bjorn the Fell-Handed) - did I start to think: their very similar! A battle against Space Wolves, would cause pause-for-thought on this :( Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon, which amazingly bounced off (with some bad shooting) from the Killer Kan's front armour. My Killer Kan then opened fire, with his Big Shoota (which also bounced off - as Bjorn's front armour, is just too thick). My Killer Kan then charged Bjorn - but as he prepared to raise his Power Claw (he missed!), did Bjorn simply smash him, with his Lightning Claw (causing a Crew Stunned result). Having lost his charge advantage (and the ability to move/fight), was my Ork Killer Kan, then ripped to bits (on the next turn). In my Battle Lust, had I made one mistake - I'd forgotten about the points difference, between an Ork Killer Kan, and a Venerable Dreadnought (125 minus 45 equals 80 points less!). But, was it really a disadvantage? A Power Claw for 45 points? A masquerade or not? Battle Three ... Was against Space Wolves again :) Yet this time, did I wield a more sensible unit of Ork Killer Kans - three of them :) It was whilst they were fighting against Bjorn, that I feel that I learned so much more, about the weaknesses, and the advantages of Ork Killer Kans. As this time, it was my friend that was under a masquerade - as he believed that Bjorn had the upper hand. Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon (tearing a Killer Kan to bits), then charged into the second Killer Kan (also tearing this Killer Kan to bits). Unfortunately (for Bjorn), whilst this was going on, did my third Killer Kan, sneak around the back of Bjorn - and tear Bjorn apart, using his Power Claw!! Overall: for some time, did I find myself wondering at the difference, between the Ork Killer Kan's failure in the second battle, and their success in the third battle. After looking at their profiles, comparing against a Space Marine Dreadnought's - did I eventually realise, that they are in-fact very similar (and hence a bargain in terms of points). But the difference lies, in whether you get a chance to bring their Power Claws into play! The more Killer Kans you have, the greater the chance that you can :) Thus, one on one, fairly even - as both the Killer Kan and Bjorn, strike at the same time (Power Claws and Power Fists both strike at Initiative 1). But three on one, confers all sorts of advantages to the Killer Kans (as they have potentially 6 to 9 Power Claw attacks, compared to a Dreadnoughts 2 to 3, or 3 to 4 for a Venerable). WWAAUUGGHH!
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If there's one Fantasy Character, within the Fantasy Realms of 40K - that is itself akin to the Eye of Terror, as it pulls you into the Swirling Mists of Intense Debate, than there is no finer model to collect, than a Chaos Champion's Juggernaut of Khorne:
I remember once, hearing a fellow gamer's voice - what have you got that for? Well ... It's my Juggernaut, and he's part of my Chaos Army! Needless to say, my friend and I, were soon at loggerheads :) His basic point was, that there is no point to the Juggernaut of Khorne - as it's too expensive a model (in terms of points). Well now ... Did my Chaos Lord decide, that he would be having none of this! As I quite like, the Juggernaut of Khorne :) First: in terms of collecting and painting ... I decided to assemble this model, in two parts - the Juggernaut, and the Chaos Space Marine. With the Juggernaut, I filed the metal pieces, then glued them together (but not onto the base - simply resting his feet, for the correct position). I then under-coated in Chaos Black, flipping the Juggernaut (to paint the underneath), followed by two coats of (brushed) Chaos Black. I then dry-brushed in Weapon Bronze, and glued the Juggernaut onto his base (as I found myself becoming concerned, about paint chips!). The hardest part of the Juggernaut, was painting his raised armoured edges - which I first under-coated in white, then painted in Shining Gold. As for the rivets, did I again make use of my trusty cocktail stick (with a dab of white, Dragon Red and Magenta Ink). It is here that I found it hard, to paint the inside edges of the Juggernaut's feet (as when glued to the base, is it difficult to reach the armour). I then painted the Juggernaut's skulls and teeth (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I turned my attention, to the Juggernaut's armoured back plates, and his power conduits. I decided to under-coat both in white, with Dragon Red over the top, and Magenta Ink (to finish). I loved the effect that this created, especially on the power conduits - as it's as though my Juggernaut, has a pulsing Daemon's heart/stomach! Which I feel, is a decent modelling effect, for this part Daemon, part Machine - Juggernaut of Khorne :) As for the Chaos Space Marine rider, I decided to paint his Power Armour plates, in a fifty-fifty fashion: with some in Chaos Black (dry-brushed Weapon Bronze over the top), and other's Dragon Red (with a Magenta Ink finish). I then painted his hair and power conduits in Angel Green (dry-brushed in Mithril Silver). Then was it time, for my eye-catching Plasma Pistol (in Golden Yellow), so the enemy knows, just whose shooting at them! In any case, I glued the Space Marine rider, onto the Juggernaut last :) Second: in terms of gameplay ... Being an Independent Character, I like to attach my Juggernaut of Khorne, to a squad of at least 9, Khorne Berzerkers - that are armed with Bolt Pistols and Khornate Chain Axes (limiting enemy armour saves, to 4 plus). What of my Champion's/Juggernaut's gameplay profile? Well ... There's the Mark of Khorne (must charge closest enemy), a Khornate Chain Axe, and the Rage of Khorne (plus D3 Attacks whilst charging) - giving him Strength 5, Toughness 5 (from the Juggernaut), Wounds 3 and Attacks 5 (up to 8, when charging). In total, it cost me 118 points for my Chaos Champion, and his Juggernaut of Khorne :) In actual gameplay, are there three types of encounter - that I have seen (thus far) ... Battle One: verses 9 Space Wolves Blood Claws (Jump Packs, 4 Power Fists, 1 Power Axe, 1 Power Sword and 1 Plasma Pistol). I know! I know! A very close battle, as the Space Wolves initially benefited from Berserk Charge (plus 2 Attacks). Despite this, on the opening round of combat, did the Blood Claws lose 3 Space Marines (to the Juggernaut's Initiative of 5 with 5 Attacks!). It was then the Initiative 4 Attacks, which saw the Blood Claw's Power Weapons, carve through 2 Khorne Berzerkers - followed by the Khorne Berzerkers attacks, who with some terrible dice roles, only managed to drag down 1 Blood Claw! Unfortunately for the Juggernaut, did the Blood Claws Power Fists, then tear into him (at Initiative 1), and it was left to the Khorne Berzerkers - to win the fight! Battle Two: verses the same Space Wolves Blood Claws, but this time, did the Juggernaut and the Berzerkers - charge first :) This made a considerable difference! The Juggernaut's 5 plus D3 Attacks (in this case 8!), added to the Khorne Berzerkers 4 attacks each (on the charge), meant that the Blood Claws were simply - dragged down in a Blood Bath! The Blood Claws Power Fists (at Initiative 1), never got a chance to hit back (which could have made - all the difference). Battle Three: I don't like fighting Orks - and there's a very good reason for this! As verses 26 Slugga Boyz, and 30 Gretchin, did my Juggernaut (and his Khorne Berzerkers) - have mixed results ... I was lured into a false sense of security - as my Juggernaut and Berzerkers, managed to down 4 Gretchin (from Bolt Pistol shooting) and 20 Gretchin (from charging into hand-to-hand). At this point, I started to feel, that my Juggernaut was unstoppable :) As I was rolling 36 Attacks, with 23 hits (for my entire Khorne squad). Unfortunately, then did I realise, one of the draw backs of the Mark of Khorne: as having to charge the closest enemy (the Gretchen had been in range), meant that the Slugga Boyz were initially - unengaged. Thus, when they charged, was my Juggernaut and his Khorne Berzerkers, on the wrong side of the Blood God! The Slugga Boyz, had 63 attacks on their first turn, which with the Ork Choppas (4 plus enemy armour saves), meant that I did not have enough Khorne Berzerkers, to soak up that kind of damage, meaning that my Juggernaut - got dragged down to! Then, to top it all off, did my Berzerkers fail their Leadership test (rolling an 11 on 2D6), and the Orks simply over-ran them - in a Massacre result! Overall: For me, the Juggernaut is a worthwhile addition to your Chaos Army and it's troops, as long as your squad - has enough Chaos Space Marines in it, to soak up the damage :) At 35 points, your Chaos Champion gains Daemonic Strength (plus 1 Strength), Daemonic Essence (plus 1 Wound), Daemonic Mutation (plus 1 Attack) and being classified as a Daemon Steed, does he also gain Daemonic Resilience (plus 1 Toughness). If you added these individually, then this would cost you 65 points - so the 35 points (for a Juggernaut) seems worth it to me! And besides, do you really want your Chaos Champion, just walking into battle? Or do you want him riding a Chaos Beast, of the Blood God himself - who can trample your opponents, under his claws! Unless their Orks of course :)
Of all the Chaos Dragons, there is none more spoken of - than Galrauch. What once was Elven Dragon, Golden Drake. Became twisted and deformed, as with the Powers of Chaos! For it was upon the battlefield that Elven triumphed, but just for the smallest Twist of Time ... Having consumed a Seed of Chaos, did Tzeentch (Chaos Sorcerer), work his Magic. Thy Lord of Change, changed this Dragon - from Spire of Light, to Blade of Dark:
This is the first such Fantasy Character/Model, that I have ever constructed - which took me a little over eight years to complete! Well ... Not eight years exactly - more like, I just started to assemble and paint, this Warhammer Figure, at the start of this year :) Whys that you say? Perhaps I to, had become Lost in the Realms of Chaos? Or perhaps instead, it was just that I remembered, where the box was! But then again, perhaps it was only now, that I felt just capable - of assembling this model :) Yes, I think that was it ... For I knew from day one, that this model would be difficult to assemble. Whilst I forget when it was, that I first cleaned/filed the metal edges of this Dragon. I know for-well when it was, that I found myself in the Realms of Superglue! Lost in Time, Lost in Glue, did I reach for - my Dremel Multitool :) For it was indeed, that I pinned this Dragon's Wings, to this Dragon's Body ... And here did I learn a lesson: drill the hole in the Dragon's Body first, insert a cocktail stick, trim it (so it's just poking out), add a dab of paint to the end of the cocktail stick (I used red), press each Dragon's Wing to the Dragon's Body, and with a Rune of Tzeentch - do you know just where to drill the matching hole! And what of the cocktail stick? Well ... Just drill it out :) It was then to the Dragon's Heads (which glued on fine), and the Dragon's Tail (which I lost several evenings to - eventually having to pin). Yet, with both the Dragon's Heads and the Dragon's Tail, together with the Dragon's Body - did I have to use Modellers Putty, to fill the gaps :) Thus, do I feel, that it took me about a month (in the evenings), to assemble this model. It was then onto the Realms of Painting ... I started with a white undercoat, then changed to black (both undercoat and base). I then dry-brushed the Dragon in Dragon Red (Army Painter), and highlighted/refined in Magenta Ink (I really loved that part!). I then found myself painting in Warlock Purple (Citadel Colour), along both the edges, and the folds of Daemon flesh - which I again dry-brushed in Magenta Ink. It was here that I decided to paint the Bones, Talons and Barbs of this Dragon ... Undercoat in white first, then Ushabti Bone (Citadel Layer) over the top. This proved to be a challenge - as there was a lot of Bones, Talons and Barbs! I especially found it awkward, along the Finer Bones of this Dragon's Wings. It was then that I consorted with Tzeentch ... For I was lured into a whole multi-coloured spectrum, for the highlights/details of my Chaos Dragon: Angel Green (Army Painter), Amethyst Purple, Emerald Green, Enchanted Blue, Golden Yellow and Tuskgor Fur (all Citadel). I used these colours for the patches of cracked Dragon Skin, and the various Snaking Cords/Veins. It was then that Tzeentch, spoke to me again ... Before I knew what I was doing, had I picked up a paint brush, and started painting shapes over my Dragon's Wings (where the small faces showed through the webbed skin/folds). Then did I battle, for I realised that these were Patches of Contagion - that looked too disjoint to the Dragon's base colours. I eventually resolved this issue, through the use of Tuskgor Fur - painted around the outside, of these Patches of Contagion. It was then, that I remembered my Dragon's Eyes ... I based in white, then painted over with Dragon Red. I was initially concerned about their shape (as some of the red paint ran), but in the end - this worked out fine :) As for the finishing of my Dragon, did I decide to dry-brush in Shining Gold (Citadel Metallic - the really old one). It was as though, I was Tzeentch himself! For my Chaos Dragon, simply snapped into focus - and I found myself in total awe, at the detail, that I'd managed to work in :) Overall: An amazing Western Dragon, Fantasy Model - that I know is Pride of Place, within my collection of Fantasy Characters. It's a model, that I rushed to collect (several years back), but then managed to forget about (for the most part). But recently, I suspect that Tzeentch started to whisper to me (from the Warp), as I found myself dreaming of Galrauch - especially the Desire to both assemble, and paint him! For me, Galrauch is more a Collector's Dragon :) I spent so long painting him (enjoyably), that the thought of fielding him in battle, just scares me! Indeed, was it here that I knew just when my Galrauch was complete - as I started to obsess too much, about dropping him (whilst painting!). Finally: a unique Warhammer Character/Model, that seems to have disappeared largely, from the Ranks of Chaos these days. Whilst we may never know why that is - perhaps Galrauch sleeps? I do know of one Tale, that this Dragon still Reigns in ... Galrauch roars upon thy Field of Battle - knowing not Now, what he Once was. Galrauch roars upon thy Collector's shelf - knowing just Is, what he Became. For Galrauch is a Chaos Dragon :) Writhed in Power. Writhed in Chaos. Off to War, and Hunt the Elven!
At first glance, Chaos Space Marines can appear to be somewhat similar to their Imperial Brothers - especially in terms of their weapon options. Yet, as we shall see, this is not always so ... For within the Eye of Terror, dwell those for which no equivalent exists (within the arsenals of the Emperors Space Marines). Having lived for Endless years, these former Space Marine Terminators have become Twisted by the Warp - being both man and Daemon, these Chaos Terminators mutated ... Whilst stopping short of Daemonhost, these Terminators preferred instead, to retain some sense of their former selves. For within a Torrent of Fire, did their Lust for Heavy Weapons take hold - an unmovable mountain, a Chaos Obliterator:
Who can say where their allegiance once laid? Perhaps it was within the confined spaces of the alien-infested Space Hulks? Perhaps it was within the massed Naval Guns of the Imperial Fleet? Only the Emperor would know for sure ... Yet it was Chaos that took this fascination for Heavy Weapons, and turned it into something else - as a Chaos Obliterator is almost-unconstrained in it's choice of fire-power, being able to fire with: Lascannon, Autocannon, Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter, twin-linked Plasma Gun, twin-linked Meltagun or Flamer. Indeed, this was the main deciding factor for my dilemma over which Chaos Army to collect - as Iron Warriors are able to field an unlimited amount of Obliterators (with grins), and hence an unlimited amount of Lascannons (or other appropriate weapons!). This decision was first vindicated when my Iron Warriors fought against a Black Legion army, that featured a Chaos Warhound Titan. I still remember the battle well - as the dice were on my side (at least in the beginning). With my Obliterators, I fired nine Lascannons at the Titans left leg - and almost blew it off during the first round of combat! Whilst I was somewhat surprised, it was nothing as compared to the Titans Commander (Princeps), who spent the next couple of turns recharging his Void Shields. Unfortunately, the roll-to-hit dice then seemed to desert my Chaos Lord, and my Obliterators spent the rest of the battle being shot at - by the Titans Vulcan Mega Bolter (which had a hard time dealing with my Obliterators toughness of 5, and 2 wounds each). Mind you, in Iron Sight, did my Chaos Lord learn an important lesson: field more Obliterators! What about assembly? As I have now built several, I have devised a technique for assembling these (metal) models: glue the body into the base, glue the head into the body, assemble the left plus right arms, then paint. This allows me to paint every part of the model (only glueing the arms on towards the end). I have found this approach to work well, especially when having fun with the various weapon options (as they can be awkward to glue on - unless you use a pair of magic claws). I then follow a standard approach to the Paths of Painting: under-coat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry-brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges (a white under-coat, with either shining gold or burnished gold over the top). It's then onto the Daemon skin, for which I: under-coat in white, paint in warlock purple, then dry-brush in magenta ink. When it comes to the Paths of Battle, just how powerful are these Chaos Obliterators? Well ... Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I shall consider three recent encounters. First: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed only with Boltguns). The Obliterators won easily! Their toughness 5 ability to shrug off Rapid Fire Boltguns (over thirty shots in two turns) was simply amazing. This meant that they could advance whilst firing their guns in increasing orders of power (e.g. Autocannons followed by Lascannons), whilst finishing off in hand-to-hand (with Power Fists). Second: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines and a Devastator Squad (with the Obliterators Deep Striking). Once the Space Marines had recovered from their initial shock, they all turned to fire at the Obliterators. The Boltguns caused one wound (from twenty shots!). The Devastators had more luck - causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators (one to a Multi-Melta, the other to a Lascannon). My Chaos Lord baulked at this, and ordered the two remaining Obliterators to advance (firing Plasma Guns) and engage the remaining Boltgun armed Space Marines in hand-to-hand (where again their Power Fists reigned supreme). Being unable to fire into hand-to-hand combat, the Devastators elected to hang-back (especially as they were ill-equipped to charge the Obliterators). Once the Boltgun armed Space Marines had been destroyed, the Devastators fired again - less successfully this time (all missed or failed to wound), and it turned to the Obliterators, who managed to devastate them (with two Meltagun shots, followed by two Power Fists in hand-to-hand). An eye-brow did my Chaos Lord raise! Third: Four Obliterators verses a Legion of the Damned Dreadnought and Land Raider (my Chaos Lord does enjoy a challenge!). The Land Raider opened fire with it's twin-linked Lascannons and twin-linked Heavy Bolter (causing one Instant Death among my Obliterators). The Dreadnought opened fire with it's Assault Cannon (causing three wounds - resulting in three armour saves of 2 plus), then charged into hand-to-hand: with three Dreadnought Power Fist attacks (causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators), and six Obliterator Power Fist attacks (causing the destruction of the Dreadnought). It was then down to the one remaining Obliterator - to defeat the Land Raider. Fortunately, it was the Chaos Lords turn (next), so he ordered the Obliterator to fire a Lascannon (causing a glancing hit - crew shaken result), then to attack in hand-to-hand using his Power Fist (causing one glancing hit and one penetrating hit). It then seemed that the dice were on my Chaos Lords side - as I rolled a 6 on the glancing damage table (meaning that the Land Raider was utterly destroyed). My Chaos Lord chose not to grin too much - although my 40k opponent, would probably have disagreed! Overall: Chaos Obliterators have to be one of my most favourite models to collect (from the point of view of game play), yet they are not amongst my favourites for assembly (owing to lots of fun when glueing their weapons on). In 40k terms, I have found their weapon flexibility to be unsurpassed (e.g. I can shoot tanks with massed Lascannons, whilst in my next (or same) turn, shoot infantry with massed Plasma Guns). The toughness of 5 makes a considerable difference (especially when their being shot at - by non Instant Death weapons), and their strength 5 means that their Power Fist attacks are at strength 10 (being akin to a Dreadnoughts). Such exploits seem to be truly befitting, for my Iron Warriors Chaos Lord, and his army!
Where as a Chaos Lord desires to keep something of their former selves, there are those within the Traitor Legions who have no need for such concerns! These are the Aspiring Champions of the Chaos Space Marines - who willingly allow the Greater Daemons (of Chaos) to possess their bodies ... Upon the battlefield, such Aspiring Champions, often appear, as a standard Chaos Space Marine - who has (perhaps) just fallen foul of a Boltgun round, or been run-through by a Power Sword. Yet, in the Aspiring Champions dying throws, do the Powers of the Warp take over, his body revealing its true purpose - that of a Daemonhost, a Bloodthirster of Khorne:
The first time I encountered such a Daemon, was when my Space Wolves were battling against my 40k opponents Black Legion (Chaos Space Marines army). To say Ragnar Blackmane was shocked, was something of an understatement! Regaining his composure, Ragnar quickly gathered his remaining Wolf Guard Terminators, and charged the Bloodthirster! What followed next, can still cause me nightmares - each turn my Wolf Guard dwindled, and each turn the Bloodthirster racked up the kills (under rules version two). Fortunately (for me), after three to four turns of hand-to-hand, the Emperor intervened - I suddenly remembered that we were playing Take and Hold (so destroying the Bloodthirster was not a primary objective!). Indeed, the Black Legion Commander had forgotten this point himself - and whilst he was intent on utterly destroying Ragnar (together with his Wolf Guard bodyguard), my Space Wolves Iron Priest made a Fleet of Foot dash for the Imperial Primarch Statue (that we'd selected as the primary Take and Hold objective). Hence, at the end of the game, my Space Wolves were victorious - the Black Legion were not! Even so, the Bloodthirster had left its mark on me - as I knew that it was a model, that I just had to have (even though my Iron Warriors are incapable of wielding it directly). Whilst much of the model was easy to assemble - I had considerable trouble with the Daemonic Wings (as they refused to glue on). Eventually, I decided to make use of a modelling file, and (in effect) file my own pins from the attachment points (which worked like a treat). Whilst I originally painted this model several years back - I decided recently, that it was time for a repaint ... I regard the Bloodthirster as a dry-brush paint model (meaning that I primarily dry-brush various colours over a Chaos black undercoat, plus base). I enhanced the (existing) shining gold brass armour, with some dry-brushed burnished gold (which helped to refine it's colour). I then dry-brushed magenta ink over the (existing) dry-brushed blood red daemon skin. I then (totally) overhauled the close combat Axe to feature a decent contrast between dry-brushed bolt-gun (over Chaos black), and dry-brushed burnished gold (over Chaos black). The Axe's Chaos Icons were (of course) repainted in burnished gold. The bony areas (such as tusks, teeth and finger nails) were enhanced by a runny tuskgor fur, gehenna's gold and snakebite leather mix-wash applied to the top (i.e. over ushabti bone). I then dry-brushed some burnished gold over the new bony areas (to help finish them off). As you can see, the results speak for themselves! What about the performance of my Bloodthirster in recent 40k encounters? Well, I shall consider a memorable three ... First: Bloodthirster verses Bjorn The Fell-Handed (Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought). The Bloodthirster won easily! By the time several strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests had ravaged Bjorn, there just wasn't enough left ... Second: Bloodthirster verses Logan Grimnar and his seven Wolf Guard Terminators bodyguard (equipped for hand-to-hand with two Power Fists, two Chainfists, one Thunder Hammer, one Power Sword and one regular strength - as a Cyclone Missile Launcher). After ten Storm Bolter shots had bounced off, and an Assault Cannon had caused one wound - it was down to hand-to-hand ... The Wolf Guard sergeant (with a Power Sword) attacked at the same time as the Bloodthirster. Yet, the dice were on the Chaos side, and the Bloodthirster killed three Wolf Guards. It was then onto the remaining Wolf Guards (plus Logan), who all struck last (as Power Fists, Chainfists and Thunder Hammers all strike at Initiative 1). This was much more like it - with four attacks each (as the Wolf Guard charged), the Bloodthirster had plenty of invulnerable saves to make! Third: Bloodthirster verses two Legion of the Damned Space Marine Dreadnoughts (one Venerable - both armed with Power Fists for close combat). Eight Assault Cannon shots, and two wounds later (against the Bloodthirster), it was again into hand-to-hand. Unfortunately, the two Legion of the Damned Dreadnoughts were soon in bits - as the Bloodthirster's strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests again reigned supreme! It was these three memorable encounters that helped me devise a strategy for dealing with Bloodthirster's (and other Greater Daemons): shoot it (e.g. with powerful Lascannons from afar), and if that doesn't work (or you don't get the opportunity), engage such Daemons in hand-to-hand with so many Power Fists (or equivalent), that you should have enough models left (after the Bloodthirster's first attack), that you can force it, to have to take, a considerable amount of invulnerable saves! What happens if you don't have any Power Fists (or equivalent) left on the battlefield? Well, you could always run away (although would a Space Marine really do that?), or perhaps the Emperor shall intervene for you to (and remind you of your mission objectives!). Of course, if the objective of your 40k game is to kill as many of the enemy as possible, then why not run straight at the Greater Daemon? Imagine the satisfaction from slaying it in hand-to-hand, or at least, returning it to the Warp! Overall: This is one of the best stand out 40k models that I have collected (to date) - especially in terms of it's painting, character profile and game play. I like the fact that the Bloodthirster's character profile is easy to understand (it's pure strength 8, toughness 6, wounds 4), leaving little room for confusion over Instant Death. One drawback ... You have to test for Daemonic Instability on 3d6 (at the end of each Chaos turn) - which if you fail, may just constrain your Chaos Lords ambitions somewhat!
Whilst a Space Marine Master (or Commander) may seek a fairer way to hone his combat skills, the same cannot be said for that of their Fallen Brethren - the Chaos Lords. For within the Chaos Legions, did these former Masters become consumed with Human Greed - seeking only to rise in Power, through whatever means necessary ... For them, it was the Chaos Gods that answered. Betrothed with the Gifts of Chaos, these Lords became more than the Emperor had envisaged. With their feet planted firmly in the Greeds of Power, a Daemon Prince - ascended:
When it comes to customising your armies for 40k, it is not only, the models themselves, that can be customised. Whilst this may be a standard model (as far as construction is concerned), it is certainly not a standard model when it comes to a game of 40k! When I first glanced upon my Chaos Codex, I'd proceeded to equip my Daemon Prince with (pretty much) every Daemonic Gift available! Only then, did I foresee the limits imposed on Daemonic Gifts (i.e. no more than 100 points). With some re-working, I ended up with (what I thought) would be an unstoppable model on the battlefield! A must have was Daemonic Stature (as required by the size of this model). I then went further down the Paths of Harder to Kill: Daemon Armour (2 plus armour save), Daemonic Aura (5 plus invulnerable save), Daemonic Essence (plus 1 wound) and Daemonic Resilience (plus 1 toughness). I then chose to go down the Paths of Better to Fight: Daemonic Strength (plus 1 strength) and a Dark Blade (plus 2 strength in hand-to-hand combat). I then chose to go down the Paths of Chaos Paint: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, I under-coated in white, then burnished gold on-top (as was befitting for my Iron Warriors - Chaos Lord). It was only then, that I observed the Iron Warriors restriction on Daemons! Fortunately, the Warp had Blessed my Daemon Prince - as it turned out that Iron Warriors can have both Daemon Princes and Possessed Chaos Space Marines. Then did I choose to go down the Paths of Combat, where I have learned a lesson or two. First: my Daemon Prince is extremely vulnerable to heavy gun fire. For example: take two Predator Annihilators armed with six Lascannons. That's six shots, and if they all hit plus wound, that's six invulnerable saves your Daemon Prince is going to have to make! Second: my Daemon Prince is best in hand-to-hand combat. A good example: my Daemon Prince engages ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed just with Bolters). This combat was extremely one sided (to the Daemon Prince). Daemon Prince strength 8 (in hand-to-hand). Space Marines toughness 4 (in hand-to-hand). Straight away, any rolls to wound were really rolls to kill (owing to no armour saves from Dark Blade and Daemonic Stature - in effect, double Instant Death!). A more realistic encounter: my Daemon Prince engages Logan Grimnar (supreme Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves). At first glance, this appeared to be a much fairer encounter ... Both had normal armour saves that were negated (Logan's by Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature and Dark Blade, Daemon Princes by Logan's Axe Morkai - aka power weapon). Both had invulnerable saves (Logan's 4 plus owing to his Belt of Russ - aka Iron Halo, Daemon Princes 5 plus - owing to his Daemonic Aura). Unfortunately, for Logan Grimnar, it is my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature, that confers the advantage to the Daemon Prince! Daemonic Stature grants my Daemon Prince a (base) toughness of 5 - which is unaffected by the Instant Death rule (the only exception, as is noted in the Chaos Codex). Thus, when Logan attacks with his Power Fist (strength 8), he is unable to cause Instant Death (against a toughness of 5). Where as, when my Daemon Prince attacks at strength 8, he is able to cause the Instant Death of Logan Grimnar (whose toughness is only 4). The Wizened Commander, would have equipped Logan with an Adamantine Mantle (which counts Instant Death as a single wound instead) - but Logan is prevented from having extra wargear (according to the Space Wolves Codex). Thus, I am most impressed by my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature - with his toughness of 5, being the Bane, of many a Space Marine Commander! I have also been impressed by my Daemon Princes combat ability, in hand-to-hand against vehicles - especially when it comes to the Dark Blade cutting through the armoured hull of a Land Raider! At strength 8 plus 2d6 (armour penetration for Daemonic Stature - aka Monstrous Creature), it means that 14 (armour value) is within easy reach for a maximum dice roll of 20! Overall: I would not be a Chaos Commander if I did not wield a Daemon Prince (what better model is there for you to imagine yourself as !?!). Yet, I have learned (from experience) that they can be shot to bits before you get a chance to get into hand-to-hand. I once gave him Daemon Flight (to help rectify this weakness), but a fellow 40k player pointed out that the Daemonic Wings (or Jump Pack) should have been on the model! What about the model itself? Whilst it took a while to properly clean the model (e.g. filing the ends of all those Spiky Bits), I found the assembly much easier (owing to the bigger parts - when compared to a standard Space Marine model). This also made the painting simpler (although not for the burnished gold raised armour edges). It's a decent model to paint, and I especially like the way that the burnished gold contrasts with the magenta ink fuelled blood and gore! All of this leaves no doubt in my mind, as to what my Daemon Prince shall be doing tonight - haunting the nightmares of standard Space Marines, or perhaps just my next 40k opponent! Of course, this does depend upon one other point - actually remembering the various special rules for my Chaos Daemon Prince, when upon the field of battle!
Within the Forge Worlds of Ancient Terra, are the mightiest War Machines constructed. Within the Forge Worlds of the Eye of Terror, are the mightiest War Machines defiled. What once was pure adamantium, now becomes twisted and deformed. The Servo-Arm of a Techmarine, it's purpose now distorted. From deep within the Foundries, a Chaos Dreadnought is born - anew. From head to toe, it's armoured form now serves the Chaos Powers:
When it comes to customising your models for 40K, I feel that there is no better army than that of Chaos and it's Chaos Space Marines - as within reason (or not!), anything goes ... As such, this is my first outing into those Dreadnoughts of the Forge World range. At first, I was concerned about constructing this Dreadnought model (because it's made of resin). I initially found the resin somewhat stranger to work with - as I'd only assembled both plastic and metal kits (before). After worrying about resins health and safety (e.g. your not supposed to breath it in), I decided to assemble the kit outdoors (e.g. to reduce the chance of that). I remember that the parts required considerably more cleaning than a typical plastic model kit - with a set of modelling files being the order of the day. Now, I started to paint this model in my old Iron Warriors paint scheme: pure bolt-gun over Chaos black undercoat (with no dry brushing). It was then to the burnished gold (for the raised armour edges) - followed by a brake, for several years! I was simply unconvinced by my old Iron Warriors paint scheme (at least it's ability to make a Dreadnought look good). Three weeks ago did my repaint start - but this time I dry-brushed the bolt-gun over Chaos black. I'm so glad that I did! I immediately had a new goal - to finish my Forge World Chaos Dreadnought to the highest quality, that I could. One of the hardest parts of the repaint was the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). Whilst I used my usual technique for painting these (i.e. painting them straight on), I found it somewhat harder. The two markings on the top were restricted by the non-square burnished gold borders, together with two sunken-slots (in the top face) that made it easier for the yellow paint to run. The lone marking on the bottom, was complicated by the curved surface and awkwardness of brush angle (as was required to clear the sarcophagus). It was then onto the skulls - which required more attention (especially the large skull where the twin-linked Lascannon emerges). This required a slight modification to my usual approach to skull painting. Whilst I still used an ushabti bone base, together with a watery mix of tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold (applied to the top), I decided to add some dry-brushed burnished gold as an extra step (as I found that this helped to bring the details out). I also felt that I was akin to an Iron Warrior myself - with the addition of an extra painting step! Once the standard painting had been finished (such as the Dark Angels green, power chords/hoses) - it was onto the rivets. At this point did I dilemma: Should I paint each individual rivet? My reason for the dilemma? There's quite a few rivets on this Dreadnought model ... Fortunately, I decided that I would - and have found myself extremely pleased with the results! In particular, I love the way that the red rivets contrast with the burnished gold. Are you afraid of painting rivets? Well, dip the end of a cocktail stick into your paint, then dab the end onto a rivet! As for the Dreadnoughts weapons? Well, Forge World tends to offer you quite a selection for a Chaos Dreadnought (such as Plasma Cannon, Lascannon, Multi-Melta, Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, etc.). Whilst it took a while to decide (e.g. you have to pick the right ones for your Dreadnought body), I eventually opted for a twin-linked Lascannon (for powerful hits against enemy vehicles), together with a Chainfist (for it's ability to cut through the armour of enemy tanks). Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with assembling this model - which, for the most part, came from the fact that it's made of resin. With the Will of the Emperor, did I overcome these challenges - and I was soon within the familiar Realms of Chaos black undercoat, and burnished gold raised armour edges! This is my favourite Iron Warriors Dreadnought (to date) - and I know that it is Pride of Place within my Iron Warriors army. If I could name one thing to make my Chaos Dreadnought better? It's that I could have placed the model on a Dreadnought scenic base.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Honour for the body of a shattered Space Marine to be interned within the armoured hide of a Dreadnought. Yet, within the armies of the Chaos Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Damnation for the mind of a former Space Marine - an armoured sarcophagus from which there is no escape for their Tormented Soul. Where as a Space Marine Dreadnought can live for several thousand years, it is nothing compared to the lifespan of a Chaos Dreadnought:
Within the Warp, Chaos Dreadnoughts were changed, and it is now known that many of them have lived for well over ten thousand years. Whilst long lived - these changes came at a price: as most of their minds have turned to insanity - often attacking their own troops (in the heat of battle). Indeed, this is one of those 40K rules that has often caused me pause-for-thought: for I would love to wield an army of Chaos Dreadnoughts (within my Iron Warriors) - but would I really want the potential for that many uncontrollable Dreadnoughts on the battlefield? I'm tempted to say yes, as it would make for an entertaining game - especially for my opponents, who may be creased up in hysterics (e.g. as my Fire Frenzied Dreadnoughts shot at my Chaos Lord). This model is important to me - as it's the first Chaos Dreadnought that I ever painted. Being an older model, I decided that it was time for a repaint, and believed that it was the ideal test bed for my new Iron Warriors colour scheme: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, it's undercoat in white, then burnished gold on-top. I shall now share a secret ... Burnished gold and I share a love-hate relationship. I love the finished effect of burnished gold, but I hate painting it on - it seems too runny, and I have to use (usually) three to four coats before I'm happy! It's then onto the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). I prefer to paint these straight on - as opposed to drawing them out first. I have found that this approach works quite well - with some alterations being made (e.g.) if the spacing between the bands seems too different. I undercoat the yellow bands in white, applying several coats of sunburst yellow on-top. The black bands use a coat of Chaos black (to cover up the dry-brushed bolt-gun). The coat of Chaos black (at most two) helps to create an interesting effect - as the yellow bands then appear to be raised over the black bands. It's then onto the standard painting - such as the ribbed power chords/hoses (which I paint in Dark Angels green, with dry-brushed burnished gold over the top) and the skulls (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I noticed something about my Dreadnought model - most of the burnished gold raised armour edges featured rivets on them. In the past I would have left these as burnished gold (but not this time) - I decided that a contrasting red was the order of the day! Thus, I made use of my handy cocktail stick (per rivet): two dabs of white, two dabs of ruby red, two dabs of magenta ink (allowing each dab to dry first). When it came to the weapons of my Dreadnought - I decided to choose a Plasma Cannon (for punching through armour) and a Power Claw (for powerful hand-to-hand). I decided to angle the Power Claw slightly - as the models pose seemed much more dynamic (like this). The Plasma Cannon was kept horizontal - as it doesn't make much sense for a line of sight weapon to be pointing at the floor. Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with painting this model - which, for the most part, came from the burnished gold raised armour edges. In painting these, I learned an important lesson - let the burnished gold dry first (otherwise you end up with paint on your fingers and have to repaint the armour edge). This was an issue that I feel was only attenuated, by the weight of the model (i.e. being made of lead - I needed a decent grip). It's also a model where I found myself painting new-unusual parts. For example, I would normally avoid painting a Space Marine Dreadnoughts feet - but decided that the addition of burnished gold (to the toes), actually helped my Chaos Dreadnought to look more balanced.
This is the first computer game that I have played, which allows me to take control of the (totally-alien) Necrons, from the Warhammer 40,000 universe:
Necrons - the word that strikes fear into many a Space Marine Commander ... I like the fact that this game is massive - both in terms of its armies (Blood Ravens Space Marines, Word Bearer Chaos Space Marines, Eldar, Imperial Guard, Orks and Tau) and in terms of its maps (Just one more hour! Just one more hour!). Necrons - their green energies ripple across the battlefield, corrupting, distorting ... I think the graphics are stunning - explosions in green, with lightening of death, and rain from above, grinding the enemy, into the ground! Necrons - the Great Sleep is over, emerge, emerge, from the Crypts of Time. I like the fact that I don't have to wait: an alien race without requisition (power instead) and a fully-featured campaign manager (where I can choose which provinces to attack, defend and/or reinforce). I love the fact that this game has two continuity features - (both of which) allow me to hit-the-floor running, when attacking/defending provinces. The first: I can earn/win units that make up an Honour Guard. These accompany my commander from mission to mission, allowing me to grab a quick foot-hold (on an enemy territory). The second: I can upgrade my commander (by equipping them with war-gear), which helps to improve their fighting capabilities. For example, in the case of the Necron Lord, he may be equipped with items (such as, but not limited to): Reinforced Body (making him harder to kill) and Skinning Blades (making him stronger during attack). Unfortunately (or is that fortunately?), delusions of grandeur are not far off: as I often like to move my Necron Lord around the battlefield, by himself, as he's powerful enough to be off having fun, by himself! My favourite tactic (when attacking with Necrons) is: to build as many Necron Warriors (including Flayed Ones) as possible, teleport my (mobile) Necron Monolith directly into the heart of an enemy city, then summon my Necron Warriors/Flayed Ones to the Monolith, then sit-back and watch the carnage be unleashed! I have found this tactic to work (pretty-much) all of the time on easy (level of difficulty), and about fifty percent of the time on normal (level of difficulty). Don't be fooled though: there's good variation of game-play/tactics (even within the campaign mode). For example: try teleporting your Monolith when your attacking the Imperial Guard Stronghold - there's only one relic (which is required for a teleporting Monolith), and its right in the heart of the Imperial Guard City (which is not going to be easy to get to!). When playing as Necrons, it's possible to exceed the squad limit (that other armies have to adhere to). You do this by using the Resurrection Orb, and grinning at the same time! I have found it hard to return to playing as Space Marines (after having played as Necrons) - because other races have to (basically) walk between locations (as opposed to the Necron Warriors/Flayed Ones, who can be summoned, to another, Necron structure). Even so, I still feel a state of panic ensuing when I encounter both a Chaos Daemon Prince and a Chaos Bloodthirster (Greater Daemon of Khorne) - as both of these units are well known for their hand-to-hand combat abilities! I admit that I have only completed the campaign on easy - which I feel was time-consuming enough (in a good way), and I can only imagine how long it would take on normal (let alone hard!). My favourite unit (for looks) within the entire game has to be to the Imperial Guard Baneblade: a massive armoured tank that (I believe) should be wielded by the Space Marines as well! Overall: This is a game that will take forever to complete (especially if you wish to complete it for all seven armies on a normal/hard difficulty setting). The game plays right into the desires of those that enjoy/lust to conquer and there's only one way to do that (in my opinion): capture every strategic point/relic on the map! This may take longer, but it will allow you to better defend your provinces, if some enemy (such as Chaos), decides to attack it (how dare they!). A very enjoyable game, that could see you disappearing for an evening/weekend (especially when it's cold and dark outside).