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!
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.