[40K] Battle Report: One Night in Aquae Sulis

40K Fourth Edition | Night Fight | 1000 points | Night Lords vs. Thirteenth Company (Ben S. commanding)

“What would really help, lord, is refreshing the hydroponics bays. The starboard spinal is a wreck, the lower starboard corrupted beyond belief; taint is spreading through the deckhands. I already have armsmen purging and flushing the materiel, but a good third of the ship will be next to uninhabitable unless it’s replaced. I and my crew are sworn to serve the Legion to the last breath, and we do so gladly, but we cannot eat or breathe the void.”

“Starving and suffocating thralls are no use to the Long War.” Garinol turned his bulk around, the armature vents on his back scraping the ceiling of the war room. “In my… condition, captain, it is easy to forget the requirements of mortals. What do you need?”

“Potable water – not recyc, we’re almost at the end of viability in the current supply – and living plant matter. I’ve taken the liberty of consulting the charts Navigator Caius… left behind. Sulis Alpha IV lies just along a navigable warp route, here – not too far out of our way. An ice world, at the lower end of the designate spectrum. Plenty of water, and enough vegetation around the equator to last us sixty years if we’re careful in the harvest.”

A taloned hand reached across Serana’s field of vision; a claw that could have choked her indicated the Tenebrous Overlord’s internal vox. “Inform Mercurio that we have a new destination. Tell him he’ll be joining us on the surface; it’s been too long since he put that armour of his to the test. And bring me some of those corrupted crewmen from the starboard bay. We may as well make use of them…”

Army Lists

Much more photogenic!
  • HQ: Garinol, Daemon Prince with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Personal Icon, Daemonic Aura, Daemonic Essence, Daemonic Stature, Daemonic Rune, Daemonic Speed, Daemonic Visage and great weapon (178 points)
  • HQ: Mercurio, Chaos Lieutenant with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Night Vision, Personal Icon, Sorcerer (Doombolt, Warp Focus, Warp Talisman), Personal Icon and Terminator armour (power weapon) (145 points)
  • Troops: The Invoked, 10 Plaguebearers (160 points)
  • Troops: The Broken, 10 Chaos Space Marines with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Night Vision, frag grenades, two plasma guns and Baradas, a Champion with a master-crafted plasma pistol (223 points)
  • Troops: The Beaten, 5 Chaos Space Marines with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Night Vision, frag and krak grenades, a plasma pistol and Kos Janok, a Champion with a master-crafted plasma pistol (138 points)
  • Elites: The Damned, 5 Possessed Chaos Space Marines with Mark of Chaos Undivided, Daemonic Talons, and Iscend, a Champion (155 points)

Astute eyes will observe that I am not, in fact, using the Night Lords’ Book of Chaos. This is mostly because I want to put a coherent-looking army – that means fully painted models from similar-looking periods in the evolving range – on the table, and that means bringing my Plaguebearers. I don’t lose much by doing this, other than a handful of points spent on Night Vision for my infantry squads. I haven’t bothered taking it on Garinol as he doesn’t have a ranged attack anyway and the Possessed can’t have it, so I’m assuming being all Daemonised and manky overrides being from Nostramo.

I requested the Night Fight scenario to start with, because frankly I wanted to get my money’s worth out of my army’s thing at least once. Tactically, the idea was that my Sorcerer and large infantry squad hold the home quarter, while everything else stacked up and swung left or right depending on what Ben brought along for me, and the Plaguebearers would manifest near either of the HQ models – whoever needed the screen more.

Since I mashed Ben’s list together on Battlescribe before we started, I actually have the full details for once! I’ve also taken the liberty of naming his characters (with a little help), because of who I am as a person. Any complaints from the S division will be taken on board and flung over the side as soon as we leave harbour.

  • HQ: Aesgyr, Hunter of the Bloody Wyrm: Wolf Lord with Belt of Russ, Lightning Claw, Mark of the Wulfen, Wolf Tooth Necklace
  • HQ: Horthvik Penderhame: Wolf Priest with plasma pistol & healing balms
  • Elites: The Abominable Dolkborn: 6 Wulfen
  • Elites: Vengeful Custodians: 6 Storm Claws: one power fist
  • Troops: Snarling Vigil: 7 Grey Slayers: one meltagun: Wolf Guard Battle Leader Kruga Long-Hand with Terminator armour (power fist, storm bolter) and Mark of the Wulfen
  • Troops: Winter Hunt: 7 Grey Slayers: one meltagun, Wolf Guard Battle Leader Leifnir Brotintann with Terminator armour (power fist, storm bolter) and Mark of the Wulfen

While his brothers feasted, quieting the hunger of the warp-jump in the shadow of an artificial monolith of carven ice, Aesgyr turned over one of the bodies with his boot. The mortal wore something like a naval serf’s uniform, with crude rebreather and gauntlets over the tattered indigo cloth. Its heraldry was known to him; the winged skull of damned-and-burned Nostramo. The Eighth, not the Fifteenth. Traitors, nonetheless. Quarry. Prey. Aesgyr tuned the vox.

+ Leifnir. Kruga. Gather your packs. Brother Horthvik – rein in the Dolkborn if you can. These are but slaves; their masters will doubtless come calling for them soon. +

+ We’ll be waiting, + Kruga the Long-Hand voxed back.

Deployment

B.I.G. had laid out a rather spiffy ice table to which I rapidly laid claim (it matches the bases and suits the match-up, bags it!). Only the area terrain (the ruins and woods) and the central pillar of ice (impassable, LOS blocking) would really matter, though. Both of us had stacked for a push into the same quarter, but the order of placement left my Prince somewhat blocked out.

The Action

Night Fighting and the limited capacity of boltguns to be fired from the hip led to a quiet start – Fenrisian tracking and Nostraman preysight both suggesting there was something out there in the dark. Although the Wolves took first blood, shooting down one of the Broken CSM, battle wasn’t truly joined until the Wulfen surged out and engaged the Possessed. Those things hit hard – I wasn’t expecting them to be as strong as Possessed and faster to boot – and by the time they were done only the Champion was left standing, although he’d do sterling work in continuing to survive and picking them off with his Daemonic Talons over the next few rounds.

On the other flank, my Sorcerer did sterling work, picking off a couple of Wolves with his Doombolt before charging in and absolutely messing up the Battle Leader (the rest of the squad had received a slightly too generous hail of plasma to the face, as I’d overlooked that pistols require the wielder to stand still if they wish to fire twice: we played this correctly in subsequent rounds).

Ensuing combat revealed my Daemon Prince wasn’t enormously well designed. I’d so overinvested in “resilience tech” that he’d ended up bereft of attacks; he could very efficiently cleave the Wolf Priest in twain on his charge, but was only throwing three dice a round after that, and taking a wound or two every round from the sheer volume of attacks the Wulfen were putting into him, as he just couldn’t kill them fast enough.

To keep him screened I’d been forced to have the Beaten CSM fan out between him and the two packs escorting Ben’s Wolf Lord; they didn’t survive the ensuing hail of short ranged bolts from the Grey Slayers, while the Storm Claws went off to see what had happened to their mates and dogpiled my Sorcerer.

He accounted for himself very well, but not well enough. The last Storm Claw had a power fist and proceeded to uppercut my Sorcerer out of action with a single mighty blow! Cold comfort though; the Broken CSM absolutely annihilated him with another volley of close range plasma shots (although they did lose one of their gunners doing it).

Just as the Wolf Lord and his pack were sizing up my Daemon Prince, reality rent asunder and the Plaguebearers arrived right on time! I sent them out to chaff up the Wolves, not really caring if they died so long as they bought me a turn to finish off the Wulfen. Nurgle’s Rot didn’t kill anyone and the Daemons took their lumps from the Wolf Lord’s deluge of attacks, but they did manage to kill all but two of the Grey Slayers over two rounds.

Somehow, at this point, there were only three Space Wolves left, but they could still achieve a draw if they managed to off the Daemon Prince and stay out of sight of the Broken CSM. Since Garinol was on one wound, I decided to back him up – if they wanted the kill, they’d have to come out and get into rapid fire range of the Broken to do it, or trust to their Pack Leader’s storm bolter.

Since their meltagun whiffed, it was in fact that storm bolter that took the kill. The Broken took them out with the subsequent volley, and were left undisputed masters of an otherwise deserted battlefield.

VICTORY TO THE NIGHT LORDS | DEATH TO THE FALSE EMPEROR!

Reflections

I don’t have a great deal to say about my plan; it was simple, effective, and it worked, although I took rather more in the way of losses than I’d like, mostly because those Wulfen hit so fast and so hard, and because I stuffed up the Beaten’s deployment and movement (maybe they should have piled into the ruins and had a go with their pistols, but I was worried about Garinol eating a charge before he’d had a chance to clear out the Wulfen). Mercurio did the work but was left out of position and didn’t quite have enough attacks to save himself.

I’d like to trick out my characters a little bit more, adding some Spiky Bits and Daemonic Mutations to smooth out their performance in combat a bit more. A better version of Garinol might well end up with Daemonic Talons and Strength instead of his Rune, gaining an attack and the opportunity to Rend a vehicle apart on 2d6-pick-highest-then-another-d6 if the dice are with me. I could claw back a few points by adopting the Night Lords rule set properly and acquiring some Furies to replace the Plaguebearers – sadly, I sold my Furies to Alex S a while back and I don’t know what he’s done with them.

Returning to 40K 4.0 was like putting on an old favourite shirt I’d not worn for a while. I had to look up more than I thought I’d have to, but less as things went on; it’s definitely coming back to me. The biggest snags were persnickety little things like “this guy moved and has a pistol, he only gets one shot, but the rapid fire plasma gun in the same squad gets two?”

I’m looking forward to a) popping a vehicle on the board in the next game and b) the Gothic War narrative event next year, which was among the spurs for renewed effort on the Chaos front in the first place. The release of a new Heretic Astartes Codex for the modern game is another – my pre order copy arrived while I was writing this report, and I’ll be exploring that over this long weekend off work that I’ve taken. I’d like to at least give the new game the old college try, although I won’t lie – thanks to Ben and also to Brother Brutus, a new contender for “system of choice for round based follies” has entered the arena. More on this in the next post!

Holstering his pistol, and gesturing with his twisted right arm for his Claw to fan out, Baradas surveyed the scene. A few stray rounds had impacted the stack of ice their serfs had carved and carried to this place, but not too many – it would be salvageable. So would the armour of the VI Legion – and it looked as though these had been reduced to something of the sort themselves.

Six of them lay in a ring of gnarled, befouled earth, and in the centre of the ring knelt Iscend. The twice-born fiend was still alive, then – indeed, he was pulling himself upwards with the haft of his glaive, wheezing and groaning wetly over the vox. Whatever daemon held the Damned in pact wasn’t about to let them go just yet, it seemed.

Were any of the others still standing? Lord Garinol seemed absent, and Baradas had seen Mercurio felled by an uppercut from the Rout veteran. Iscend wouldn’t challenge him for leadership…

+ Stop posturing and help me up, damn your eyes! +

Mercurio’s armour was rocking where it had fallen. Stunned, then, and laid out, but not dispatched; merely trapped in the heavy, clumsy mass of toppled Terminator armour. It was so, so tempting to put a few plasma bursts into the sorcerer – but then, who would steer the ship? Who would hold them in contact with the Legions of the Long War?

Sighing, Baradas made his way over, and with two of his brothers levered Mercurio’s bulk half upright. His staff found purchase, and he was able to drag himself the rest of the way.

+ Excellent work! Is Lord Garinol – +

+ Shot down, + Iscend rasped, with a flex of his too-long tongue inside his helm. + Saw it happen. After he cleared the mutant ones off me. +

+ What a pity, + voxed Mercurio. + In that case, Sixty-Fourth, as your new leader, I – +

+ Speak not so soon. +

The presence was overwhelming. It spoke on every channel of the company’s vox, flipping them all open at once and booming in buzzing, distorted discord with itself. Mercurio dropped to a knee again, the spikes on his helm dipping as he bowed his head in agony.

+ Speak not so soon, little legionaries. I still have work for Garinol, and for you… +

[Been Painting] Night Lords Kill Team (3/2)

Your eyes, they do not deceive you: additional 2002 smolbois have been hastened through the painting queue.

One of these little rascals will slide into the bolter collection and form a Large Legionary Squad, the others will retrieve the Barnett pose Champion and form an experimental Small Legionary Squad.

Now. These models were definitely fixer-uppers; these were the bodies that had been basecoated with orange craft paint, as far as I could tell, and I compounded the error by priming straight over the top because I can’t really be arsed buying a solvent just to save a few random plastic figures. As a result, they are… very blobby, in many places. A great deal of detail was lost. The arms and heads are fresh though, and do a fair bit to redeem the overall look. They’re good enough, albeit not at the standard I intended to set with my Last Army Ever.

Speaking of which: I think I’ve mostly exorcised the craving to Bear the Word now. I did paint up a handful of test figures; the Blackstone Fortress Chaos Lord, and a couple of his mates. They’re mostly done, though the paints I used to use for parchment have disappeared and I might acquire some Menoth White to address this.

I wanted to call back to Zymran, the Chaos Lord and chief antagonist of the original Chaos Gate game; he came this close to having a huge garish green daemon sword, but I’d have had to redo the priming to account for the glowing light coming from below and that was marginally too much of a faff.

Did I not mention that? I gave the ol’ zenith priming a go on these, largely because I had some spray cans to start using up, and I quite like the outcome. It’s made a subtle difference that’s most apparent in the trim on the two bolter bois: they are visibly more bold up top. It’s also done favours for the Orgoth Bronze pipes and gnarls on the Lord, which have a more vibrant, visceral sheen to them than the flatwork I’ve done on the Wood Elves.

Given that I now have an outdoors in which to prime, and that the Ork Land Raider last year taught me the folly of hand priming vehicles, and the aforementioned arthritis being ever more embuggerant, I think this is a useful technique to keep in the pocket. It would probably have helped a great deal on the Terminator Sorcerer I showed off last time, too.

I’m happy with the job I’ve been doing on the Night Lords, but breaking them all out for a glamour shot together does show how much my painting style has drifted over even the six years since project “Eighth for Eighth” sputtered over the starting blocks.

Some of this can be attributed to all the “drip” on the Chosen, of course: there’s more not!midnight blue on them so they’re going to look livelier. I do think m I’m becoming dependent on Drakenhof Nightshade, though. It really did the “liquid talent” work on these latest five figures but left them looking, well, Dark and Boring. I’ll eliminate it from the process going forward, I think, and see what comes about. This army’s inconsistent already so a bit more Muckin Abaht won’t kill it.

[40K] Been Painting: Night Lords Possessed Squad

I have been working on some Night Lords. First off, the Possessed squad, longest in the queue and needing the love most. Building these had me gnawing the furniture a bit towards the end, commentators have suggested that painting them would see a return to frustration, but honestly they weren’t that bad. The only real troubles were 1) breaking a cardinal rule of the hobby by reaching past something already painted to get at something further “inside” the sculpt and 2) executing the steps of my process in completely the wrong order because I wanted to basecoat everything and check the composition.

Despite the suspicions of Kakapo, M., this squad has stayed together very well. Apart from this fuckin guy down the front whose chainglaive has snapped and won’t take the hint. I’ve repaired him four times in the three days it took to paint ’em all.

I had another go at the Chaos Sorcerer, too. A couple of layers of Stormy Blue and a crude but good faith attempt at the lightning have brought him out of the doldrums a bit. He still doesn’t look like the others, but he looks a bit less Dark and Boring (TM). I won’t be doing lightning on everyone, because a) I don’t have the patience and b) I think it looks silly, but I’m willing to make the exception for a literal space wizard who’s collecting it up to throw at people.

I don’t like what Jess did with the trophy rack on this one, but I am quite pleased with the Hawk Lords helmet on there
– thanks for the recipe Ben!

Taking the time to sort out my bits box let me reflect on whether Noise Marines were really a feature of the world I wanted to live in. I concluded that they are not, and after snapping their guns back off and raiding the pile, I now have an additional bolter billy (enabling me to merge my plasma gun squads into one larger unit) and four bodies with close combat weapons (who are getting grenades, and the spare Champion, to bring them up to five members and a tactical use).

I also have a metal Night Lords Hero who’s been rescued from Blastmaster duty and re-equipped with his original power glove and combi-flamer, a bizarre combination of weaponry that nobody on this or any other planet could accuse of being “optimal.” He also has the batwings on his helmet and, you know, now that they’re in situ I don’t hate them as much as I do the gawky one-piece jobs from the squad box. I suppose one Legion brother can be wearing his parade helmet, as befits an officer, and as a treat.

With a Lord and a Sorcerer on foot, five Possessed and three units of five Marines, I actually have… quite a few 2002/2006 releases. I found a lone Biker in the spares box, and enough bits left to deck him out as an Aspiring Champion and pick up a few mates for him. And I wanted some Terminators to accompany the Sorcerer. Aaand since there’s a new Chaos Codex coming up, the older elements of the model range are at risk of replacement. Choices were made.

One of these Bikers has been done up as an Aspiring Champion, with the now-tradtional Possessed head/backpack and the sword from the upgrade kit. The others… I’ve done my best. These are 1999 kits, with all the huge empty sprue and paucity of variation that implies. The last of my resin bodies and heads plus some spare backpacks at least ensure that different bodies are crammed into the single pose. A couple of combi-flamer bits from the Terminator kit have gone onto the back of a couple of bikes – I’ve never been sure if the special weapons replace one of the bolters, with Chaos bikes, or if the riders grab them and fire them one handed like the Imperial ones that came out the very month I started the hobby. Hedging my bets like this seems to be a way forward.

By contrast, these Terminators are a first step toward the modern kits, with a densely packed sprue full of options, but strict associations to get the bodies together. Their dynamic posing comes at a cost too: lugs and notches guide their arms into set positions and, because some are left handed and some not, the weapon loadouts are actually halfway locked (especially if you’re building for one of the editions where it actually matters if they have a sword, axe or maul as their power weapon).

Fortunately, I had the Chaos Lord bits from the Sorcerer kit kicking around, and one of the bodies didn’t have lugs on its shoulders, so with a bit of judicious part swapping I was able to build two lads with combi-meltas and power axes, and a de facto champion with a chainfist. This basic three man squad is the classic “Termicide” teleport configuration, intended to Deep Strike near a vehicle, blast it from close range with melta fire, and then wreck it with the chainfist if it’s still alive when they’re done. The other two members join in for larger engagements, and realign the squad to a more flexible role, with a combi-plasma gun and Reaper autocannon. No more power weapons though: not to be undone by restrictive kit options, I had cunningly saved the Terminator-sized chainglaives from at least one of my Night Lord sprues (one of them broke, but it looks OK on the power maul hilt), and glommed myself an extra couple of chainaxes.

Plasma boy is deliberately cheap because he’s likely to blow himself up when he shoots, and if he lives he’s a member of the Ablative Brotherhood, i.e. the first to die so his better equipped colleagues might live. Reaper chap already has the biggest and most expensive gun so he’s not getting a fancy weapon too, and to be honest I quite like his buckler and chainglaive combination (it’s the power fist from the kit with the Terminator chainglaive hand tucked in behind the guard). If I had more glaives I’d be tempted to do that across a whole squad. I can picture him planting the butt in the ground as he lines up a shot with the cannon, and that’s marvellous if you ask me.

[40K] A Stream of Consciousness

Which Traitor Legion…

  • is associated with the various flavours of “Now With Additional Daemon” units that I tend to gravitate to when I consider Chaos?
  • did I collect and play during the “golden period” c. 2002-2007 when I was “slamming hams” twice a week and had my first disposable income?
  • has a colour scheme which conveniently matches the “classic colourscheme” Battlefleet Gothic ships I own?
  • shares that colourscheme (almost) with a warband from another Traitor Legion I’m vaguely curious about and have been for some time?
  • has been on my mind ever since I stole Militant’s idea of naming ships after album tracks by outstanding metal bands and realised Ghost aren’t a great fit for the Night Lords?
  • is thematically an appropriate opposite number to my despicably criminal spiky sons, united where they are fragmented, devout where they are faithless and so on?
  • appeared in two of the iconic 40K games of my adolescence as well as a still-very-quotable early Black Library outing for Matt Farrer?
  • am I now extremely tempted to start?

If you answered “Word Bearers”, take a bow and have a point.

The short story by Matt Farrer is ‘Snares and Delusions‘. I first read that in Dark Imperium, which I bought the second time I went to Games Day. Overwhelmed by the crowd, I retreated to the gallery, and spent most of the afternoon reading. I’m lousy at conventions. Anyway, it must have been well over a decade since I last read the story, and yet De Haan’s final quotation from the Book of Lorgar still rings in my ears:

Pride and defiant hate, spite and harsh oblivion. Let the great jewelled knot of the cosmos unravel in the dust.

The games, of course, are Dark Crusade, about which much has been said elsewhere, and Chaos Gate, which I gather is having something of a resurgence in new and AA-graphic form. I played the original 40K X-Com knockoff, thank you very much, and still get the chants stuck in my head sometimes. The play less so, but it certainly had me at the time, and I remember dicking around with the level editor a bit. Sometimes I wonder if the conflict between Word Bearers and Ultramarines in the new “lore” is entirely down to that game, and if the Word Bearers were selected purely because their use of Chaplains and red colourscheme led to an easy, direct opposition with the Ultramarines.

(If I recall correctly, they’re also in Fire Warrior, which I mention purely because I know Militant loves it and will take any excuse to go off.)

And the old army is one of those which I didn’t photograph much at the time. (I’m sure I had a picture of the Dark Apostle somewhere, but – kids, never go mad with self loathing and delete ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS ON EVERYTHING!) Which is a pity, because bits of it – including the Forge World Dreadnought, which I won in a creative writing competition on Imperial dash Literature dot Net, the website which taught me to write and encouraged me into my choice of degree – were halfway decent. The Obliterator kitbashes weren’t bad (loyalist Terminators with all the spare weapons from every other squad in the army and most of a packet of Green Stuff). I used a lot of Black Templar bits to get weapons chained to hands and scrolls on everything. I remember repainting it all halfway through to get some more depth on everything.

It was also rather fun to play, and I played it a lot during the Eye of Terror campaign and afterwards. I almost won the Plymouth shop league, only being thrashed out in the final by a Salamanders player who didn’t blink and absolutely deserved it. I think the army had a couple of Apocalypse appearances in Manchester, the summer after I’d finished but before I graduated. Then… then the Gavdex came, and I lost interest very rapidly, and got sick, and flogged the lot to pay rent on a flat I’d move out of a few months later. 2008 was a dogshit year.

Anyway.

While I am still very fond of my Night Lords, to the point where I’ve just bought a box each of Bikers and Terminators to round them out, and am contemplating a Land Raider for them, I am aware of a division in my Chaos collection. A split. Many of the VIII are in fact the older range of models, the third to fifth edition figures of my yoot’, and they look a bit… different… from the Dark Vengeance set with which all this nonsense started out. Similar, of course, a Chaos Space Marine is a Chaos Space Marine, but there’s a clear line between 2007 and 2012.

I’ve been sizzling with Chaos thoughts for a few days now, and chief among those thoughts is “what if I just… owned more Chaos?” Specifically, if I had my 1500 or so points of Night Lords, my third-to-fifth edition army, and then… repurposed or duplicated my Dark Vengeance set and went forward into the newer range under a different banner?

I was thinking about Thousand Sons – even went so far as to pitch a list and ask for guidance on the modern game from Reddit! There is such a thing as too many figures painted in cold dark colourschemes based on blues and greys, though. But the Host of Amon are a thing – red and bronze. I fancy using up some of my nice rich Formula P3 colours – maroons and purples and metallics in that set. And also I admit to being a bit excited about Knights. I’m not sure why, it’s not as if I have a group for contemporary 40K or anything, but they look great, and –

– look, 40K and I are entering into a kind of “collector” phase now. It was always my off-game, even though I’ve played it for longer chronologically. And as I approach a sort of hobby twilight, not able to speed paint like I used to, there’s something almost liberating about just… acquiring a bunch of Chaos, and not stressing too hard about it. What if I just let myself have stuff? As a treat?

I don’t know where all this is going. I’ll play some Dark Crusade and see if it works its way out of my system. I’ve started the Possessed for my Night Lords army, and I shall put the Terminators together when they’re done, and leave the (newer) Raptors who are primed black and so throw off the painting methodology –

– oh, sorry, that’s another thing. Part of my frustration with the Night Lords is my Sorcerer. He’s come out very Dark and Boring. No matter what I try and achieve with him, that black primer just eats light and flattens colour, and he’ll need stripping before he’s any use to me again. It’ll give me a chance to scrub down the bright orange bodies on my last five infantry models as well.

Anyway. I just wanted to share a glimpse into what’s happening at the moment. There’s a lot of hobby thought happening, and at times this blog is for thinking aloud, putting the brain sizzles out there so my head clears and I can progress.

[40K] CHAOS RAPTORS, READY TO KILL!

What is wrong with me?

Two weeks before a WFB event and what am I struck with the urge to do, every time? Build Chaos Space Marines.

In my defence, this has been a while coming. I picked up the first fifteen of these second hand at a knock down price last year, and bought myself the box to round out the squads into something game-legal for my birthday. At least… that’s what I thought I was doing.

Turns out that the earlier Chaos books are more generous with Raptor equipment than I remembered, so I didn’t actually have to abandon any special weapons as long as I could divide them up in threes-per-five. So I had another think, decided not to repeat the error with Fourth Claw (who may be visually interesting, but are total photocopy specials in the rules), and promptly sawed some arms off some Warp Talons and used a bunch more special weapons. It’s not like there are Warp Talons in every edition I like anyway.

Three of the original lightning claw lads still remain, acting as unit Champions. This fourth fellow is an alternate champion for the later editions when that weapon option is no longer available, and bigger Raptor squads are more appropriate; the idea being that as many bodies as possible get jammed in behind him.

Two plasma pistols, a plasma gun, three meltaguns and a flamer. This is nobody’s idea of optimised and I’m loving tolerating it. I might even stick a couple more plasma pistols on a couple more bodies just to keep my options open, but the more of those I have the smaller my “modern” squad becomes, so I’m holding off for now. Three meltaguns together, two plasma pistols and a plasma gun together, and the flamer by itself seems like it might be a giggle. Or:

See? Nine perfectly straightforward Raptors and a Champion, as an option.

Goodness knows where Szandor picked up this rabble of a Raptor Cult, but they’re another score of bodies for the Red Right Hand and beggars, as any renegade knows, cannot be choosers.

This throws my painting queue right out of whack, but they’re all in such different states of painted over different primers that they might as well be their own side deal anyway. I’ll paint up the Possessed first and then work out what to do about these.