[Been Painting] Night Lords Kill Team (1/2)

Because the weekend before a WFB tournament is the BEST moment to get the 40K brain worms.

It started innocently enough. Wrapping up my entry to the Old World Army Challenge got me thinking about Orks. That got me writing a retrospective on my previous attempts at an Ork army. That got me thinking about all the Ork conversions for which I’ve had ideas for years and years, and maybe doing a little army to host them all…

… except, of course, that it’s Orks, and all the cool tank conversions and economical “stick the spare arms on Kromlech bodies” scams in the world can’t disguise that it’s mobs of thirty walking wound counters who think vets and bovva boots are enough to keep their entrails from becoming extrails when boltguns are on the line. (And anyway, the Ork Boyz whose spare arms would have been the keystone of my Kromlech-based economy drive are about to be booted from the range anyway.)

Thus frustrated, I loaded up Dawn Of War II: Retribution in an attempt to excise the Orkoid impulse from my brain. Which reminded me how great Chaos Rising had been. Which reminded me that I had a whole Chaos Space Marine army hanging around, stalled out for the best part of four years, three squads and a Sorcerer primed and ready to paint.

Then things started to escalate. In chatterings with Mr. Ængle and Mr. Steven it became clear that actual games of third and second edition 40K could be in the offing. A look at the available fixed-pose modern plastic Chaos Space Marines suggested that judicious eBaying would build me a bigger pool of bodies. Enough for a ten man squad, a five man squad and a four man retinue, as well as a Chaos Lieutenant if I repurposed Obsidian Mallet McBovril or whatever his name is from Black Crusade. And there’s a version of the infamous 3.5 edition Codex on Battlescribe.

And, er, now I have a 1000 point Chaos Space Marine army in various stages of done. The above are the first “new” models to be completed. The full story of their acquisition isn’t really germane here, but you can find out more there. I’m doing a “five in, five out” thing where I have to get the primed models done before I can build any new ones, and likewise have to paint up my Sorcerer before I start on my Lieutenant.

For the sake of reference, I’m going to document the method I use on my Night Lords here as well as adding it to the army summary:

  • primer: grey gesso
  • trim and cloth and skin: wash: thinned down Dark Flesh (Vallejo)
  • trim: drybrush: Solid Gold (P3)
  • guns and pipes and worky bits: drybrush: Cold Steel (P3)
  • trim: wash: Seraphim Sepia (Citadel)
  • guns and pipes and worky bits: wash: Nuln Oil (Citadel)
  • plate: tWo ThIn cOAtS: Stormy Blue (Vallejo)
  • cloth: highlight: Sanguine Base (P3)
  • skin: thin coat: Ryn Flesh (P3)
  • bone / plasma / spooky Chaos bits: thin coat: White Scar (Citadel)
  • skin and plate and bone: wash: Drakenhof Nightshade (Citadel)
  • spooky Chaos bits: wash: Nighthaunt Gloom (Citadel)
  • bone: second thin coat: White Scar (Citadel)
  • flesh: second thin coat: Ryn Flesh (P3)
  • base: Astrogranite Debris (Citadel)
  • base: Drakenhof Nightshade (Citadel)
  • base: Valhallan Blizzard (Citadel)

I find the gesso primer much easier to work with than any amount of spray paint, because I can’t aim for shite and also live in a tiny house with no real outside space. A nice mid grey with plenty of tooth is dark enough for the metallics to settle well on, but doesn’t render the other colours too drab.

I generally use Vallejo paints for anything that needs a thin coat or a bit of finesse, P3 when I want a nice strong colour for little effort, and Citadel for anything technical (they still make the best washes and effects on the market, for my money). I would use Citadel Shining Gold for the trim, but after 25 years my pot is almost out and I’m saving it for Vampire Counts where I want to colour match.

They will get transfers eventually, but I’m not prepared to mess around with those in hot weather when my skin is greasy and my temper short. Transfers are not something I’ve historically messed with and I only have so many on this single Horus Heresy sheet what I own – I’m not taking risks with them.

All of this is about as much effort as I’m prepared to make on a miniature. I can do five of these in two days and I tend to get the shakes somewhere in the middle of the plate stage. I am, however, quite pleased with the results. These models don’t all have as much obnoxious trim as the later Chaos range (probably because a lot of the bits are from Iron Hands or Heresy era kits) and have come out looking a little plainer, but I think that works for a team of operatives who’ve been out fighting the Long War forever and a day – hence designating them a go-to Kill Team who may eventually be rotated out of the lines as new models join the army.

I’m also working on the Eye of the Warmaster, my Sorcerer, although I’m not entirely pleased with him yet. That black undercoat has really done the drabs on him and I suspect I’ll need to give the gold a nice strong highlight to put some pop back into him. I may also flip the base colours around so there’s something nice and pale directly under his feet: at the moment he’s one big dark-n-boring blob. The final option is giving up on the “token member of the Black Legion” conceit I originally had in mind, and just painting him up as a goddamn Night Lord. Or Thousand Son. He does look quite… Tzeentchy.

I’m open to suggestions, if you have any.

[WFB] Of Angharad the Aghol and the Trouble with Chaos Lists

Ever since I acquired a Middlehammer Giant (the rather feral looking metal one who arrived with the sixth edition Greenskins book) I’ve had this fantasy of doing a Marauder tribe, led by that new female chieftain they’ve done for Age of Sigmar and with perhaps a lone Exalted Daemon fluttering around as her patron spirit. The Giant, of course, is her overgrown and perpetually drunk “big brother”, the heart and soul of the clan even if he was at the back when the brain cells were being handed out.

Angharad the Aghol begins her career as an Aspiring Champion, lowest of the low pointed, Unmarked and barely equipped. She remains as such in Warbands and Border Patrol games, acquiring either a Sorcerer pal or an Exalted Daemon patron and maybe a magic item or two during the move into 1000 pointers. At 1500 she levels up to Exalted Champion, at 2000 to Chaos Lord: perhaps a Daemon Prince beyond, or perhaps that fate will be reserved for her pal (actually, yes, he can reveal his true colours as the army grows, shucking off his mortal shell, or perhaps the Familiar is a possessing spirit that finally takes over: that works for me).

It’s very compelling and yet for some reason I can’t settle into an army list for it. I think it keeps getting tangled up with all the other thoughts I have on Chaos – that “Knights of Ashteth” concept I have knocking around that I originally came up with for some fanfiction I wrote when I was about fourteen a Black Legion force for Rogue Trader, and my longing to get a Greater Daemon onto the battlefield and “flip the script” by having the object of worship turn up to lead its followers. That might actually work better in a Beastman context, with a tribe worshipping Ashteth the Keeper of Secrets as the ultimate expression of the Gor form, and the Knights joining up alongside the Daemon itself as additional troop types. (And that’s a 2000 point army to sit alongside this now apparently discrete 3000 points of Marauders… to which I could add those Dragon Ogres I am apparently half crazed with.)

The thing is, Chaos lists are quite hard to build even if you’re sticking to one troop type. I find myself flirting and fiddling with Chaos armies and I can never quite get the sense of scale I want for them: there’s no redundancy. Everything has to be corners-and-costs-cut to fit into 2000 points and I end up with no extra units, no redundancy, no feeling of horde.

To be clear, I’d only do this if I were suddenly taken wealthy, and I’d be painting it forever and a day. BUT.

SMALL WARBAND                           188/200

Angharad the Aghol                      92
Aspiring Champion with shield

Men of the Aghol Tribe                  96        
4x4 Chaos Marauders with flails
LARGE WARBAND/BORDER PATROL                             492/500

Angharad the Aghol                                      120
Aspiring Champion with Mark of Slaanesh
> Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                  90 
10 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                  90 
10 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Aghol Outriders                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Aghol Outriders                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician
SMALL ARMY                                                  997/1000

Angharad the Aghol                                          140
Exalted Champion with Mark of Slaanesh
> Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield

Aesmar the Pale                                             145
Sorcerer
> magic level 2
> Spell Familiar
> Dispel Scroll

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                      150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                      150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Aghol Outriders                                             96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Aghol Outriders                                             96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Oglaf the Giant                                             205
GROWING ARMY                                                1497/1500

Angharad the Aghol                                          170
Exalted Champion with Mark of Slaanesh
> Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield, Gaze of the Gods

Aesmar the Pale                                             165
Sorcerer with Mark of Slaanesh
> magic level 2
> Spell Familiar
> Dispel Scroll

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                      150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                      150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Aghol Outriders                                             96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Aghol Outriders                                             96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Hounds of Aesmar                                            30
5 Warhounds

Knights of Aesmar                                           285
5 Chaos Knights with Mark of Slaanesh
> Champion, musician and standard
> Rapturous Standard

Fiends of Aesmar                                            150
10 Furies

Oglaf the Giant                                             205
ARMY                                                             1997/2000

Angharad the Aghol                                                     285
Chaos Lord with Mark of Slaanesh
> Biting Blade, Enchanted Shield, Gaze of the Gods

Aesmar the Pale                                                        370
Exalted Daemon of Slaanesh
> magic level 2
> Spell Breaker, Diabolic Splendour

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                                 150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                                 150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Aghol Outriders                                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Aghol Outriders                                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Hounds of Aghol                                                         60
10 Warhounds

Knights of Aesmar                                                      285
5 Chaos Knights with Mark of Slaanesh
> Champion, musician and standard
> Rapturous Standard

Fiends of Aesmar                                                       300
20 Furies

Oglaf the Giant                                                        205
HORDE                                                            3000/3000

Angharad the Aghol                                                     335
Chaos Lord with Mark of Slaanesh
> Biting Blade, Armour of Damnation, Enchanted Shield, Gaze of the Gods, Pendant of Slaanesh

Baalmung                                                               346
Shaggoth Champion with Mark of Slaanesh
> great weapon, light armour

Grishnov the Pale                                                      370
Exalted Daemon of Slaanesh
> magic level 2
> Spell Breaker, Diabolic Splendour

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                                 150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Men of the Aghol Tribe                                                 150 
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician and standard

Champions of the Aghol Tribe                                           250
10 Chosen Warriors with Mark of Slaanesh
Champion, musiican and standard

Aghol Outriders                                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Aghol Outriders                                                         96
5 Marauder Horsemen with spears and throwing spears
> musician

Hounds of Aesmar                                                        60
10 Warhounds

Hounds of Baalmung                                                      60
10 Warhounds

Knights of Aesmar                                                      345
5 Chosen Knights with Mark of Slaanesh
Champion, musician and standard
> Rapturous Standard

Fiends of Aesmar                                                       300
20 Furies

Oglaf the Giant                                                        205

Sons of Baalmung                                                       237
3 Dragon Ogres with great weapons and light armour

There it is. Very magic light, and will approach this deficiency by attempting to brutally murder enemy wizards as early as possible. Probably not very good, but it nails the sense of development, the path to glory that’s crucial to a Chaos warband. If the formatting’s a bit busted I can only apologise, it was three in the morning and I just wanted to get the lists written. I’ll fix it later. In the meantime, what do you think?

[WFB] In Which Mr. E Contemplates a Slaaneshi Past

The other day, a conversation on classichammer.com got me thinking about the army I don’t constantly bang on about on this blog. Before I was a Vampire Counts player, I was a Chaos Warriors player: for all that the Undead were my gateway drug, Chaos was my actual point of entry, largely because I had to get as many points per pound sterling as possible in those days of pocket money budgets.

I had one of those “£50 gets you 2000 points” Chaos armies back in fifth edition: two boxes of Warriors, one of Knights, a Chariot and a couple of characters. All that and a Lord of Change for my birthday. Spray ’em black, drybrush ’em silver, make a complete pig’s ear of the Greater Daemon and job was a good ‘un.

The games were a drudge. I remember six sorry weekends of trudging across a table into the teeth of my friend Mike’s fourth edition box set High Elves. My Chariots were immobilised by an ocean of S3 shots pinging the horses off, my units were kicked in the ‘nards and left for dead by High Magic and I was punished in the afterlife by my complete inability to get my Chaos Lord out of the Black Gem of Gnar, or not turned into a Spawn, or into combat at all after his Daemonic Steed suffered spontaneous existence failure.

Roll around sixth edition and after a disastrous foray into Orc and Goblin land I was determined never to take another terror or panic test again if I could help it. I broke out the purple paint, bought a job lot of Daemonettes and a Warhammer Quest Chaos Warrior (I’d lost the mounted General somewhere), and went to work. Result thus.

Sorcerer Lord: Mark of Slaanesh, Chaos Daemon Sword, Talisman of Protection: 390
Exalted Champion: Mark of Slaanesh, greataxe, Crown of Everlasting Conquest: 174

12 Warriors: Mark of Slaanesh, halberds, Champion, musician and standard: 242
12 Warriors: Mark of Slaanesh, shields, Champion, musician and standard: 230
5 Knights: Mark of Slaanesh, Champion, musician and standard (War Banner): 260
Chariot: Mark of Slaanesh: 130
Chariot: Mark of Slaanesh: 130

12 Daemonettes: 180
12 Daemonettes: 180
5 Furies: 75

On paper it’s certainly a very elite army, and mass Immunity to Panic is certainly a big deal, but even typing it all out and checking the sums has me thinking it could have been tuned up and turned over (especially if I’d found that infernal mounted Lord model).

It has no units with a full rank bonus, bad weapons on at least one Warrior unit, no Chosen at all, mostly middling armour saves, only six Power Dice to insult the intelligence and quite a lot of the models are feeble, Unstable Daemonettes who vanish in a whoosh of lavender if anyone looks at them funny. I don’t even have the Rapturous Standard!

If I had my time over again I’d probably do a 1000 point mostly-Marauder army (as an excuse to use my beloved sixth edition Giant and pick up the rather spiffy female Marauder-esque character from the Age of Sigmar range) and then summon in a Keeper or Prince and his little friends for 2000 point games. There’d probably be one unit of actual Chaos Warriors or Knights along for the ride (although they might be carrying the Rapturous Standard, because I’m only human and it’s very good). Something like this:

Angharad the Aghol: 176
Exalted Champion, Mark of Slaanesh, great weapon, shield, Bindings of Slaanesh

Grishenkov: 156
Sorcerer, extra magic level, Mark of Slaanesh, barded Chaos Steed, Sceptre of Domination

Men of the Aghol Tribe: 145
20 Marauders with flails
Champion, musician, standard

Knights of Ashteth: 285
5 Knights with Mark of Slaanesh
Champion, musician, standard bearer with Rapturous Standard

Oglaf the Giant: 205

992 points

Ashteth
Keeper of Secrets 625

10 Daemonettes 150

10 Daemonettes 150

5 Furies 75

+ 1000 points

Still pretty terrible, to be honest, but it has a lot of the things I think are fun about Slaanesh armies, and takes advantage of the Hordes book’s excessive flexibility to flip the script in bigger games. It’s either this or a delivery system for the Shaggoth, possibly my favourite Chaos model, and the plastic Dragon Ogres which eventually emerged to match him.