[WFB] If I Played…

It must be something about January. This time last year I was starting the Wood Elves, and this year the brain is gonging along with thoughts and feelings about… basically every Warhammer army under the sun. Not being made of money, nor time, nor the capacity to paint without my thumbs going weird like I’m in the middle of a bloody overdose, I am extremely unlikely to act on any of these impulses, so I share my ideas in the hope of inspiring someone else to do some new hobby this winter.

I don’t think I’d be very good at Bretonnians, but I do have a shaky kind of vision for an army. I’ve always had a soft spot for the scheming, man-eating sorceresses of Arthurian lore – your T. H. White’s Morgause or Camelot Morgana type – and such a high level wizard lady would probably be in charge of affairs. Leaning into Morgause as inspiration I’d probably load up on Paladin Heroes to represent her sons, one with the Virtue of Empathy because there’s always one good hearted friend to the peasantry (your Sir Gareth sort of figure). I see this army as being fairly indifferent to affairs of the Grail, with mostly worldly Knights of the Realm, second sons of petty nobility paying court to my sorceress.

I was very impressed by the Chaos soup armies I faced at Resurrection, and Chaos are always fascinating to play around with thanks to the sheer range of options there. I never really got my teeth into the Beastmen, and it’s the sheer flexibility of aggressive Tzeentch casters combined with game-changing mobility spells from Shadows and Beasts magic that get me here. Lots of dice and lots to do with them! It’s that or the Slaanesh army I posited late in 2019.

I don’t know why I don’t play Dwarfs. They’re infantry focused, they’re reliable, they have a conservative playstyle that generally aims for a draw in their favour as the best possible outcome, and they have no time for Orc mischief or Skaven shenanigans. They give me an excuse to affect my best faux-Lancastrian accent and chomp on an imaginary pipe while complaining about everything that’s happened since the last time I had fun (the late summer of 2006, if anyone’s counting). I have spent some time staring at Mantic (before remembering that I can’t stand them), Avatars of War (before realising they don’t do war engines) and MOM Miniatures (before… actually, I’m still staring at them). Bolt Throwers at either end of the line, Organ Gun in the middle, flanked by solid blocks of hammer and shield Clansmen and some good honest Thunderers (Dwarf handguns have always rather impressed me in the rules). Proper job.

I have, of late, been giving a lot of thought to the south-eastern corner of the Empire once again, largely because of TWW2 placing Drycha and Mannfred in direct conflict down that way and it all being set right across the mountains from the Forest of Gloom where the Resurrection is. If I had the capacity to buy and rush out an army just for this year’s campaign season, the current heart’s desire is a set of Perry historicals repurposed into the Order of the Black Bear (based in Averland, with rules and background in WD310, fractious but intrepid) and their supporting exchange garrison of State Troops from the House of Leitdorf.

I went so far as to work out what I could do with the various boxes (two small Knight units, a huge Greatsword unit, a spear block with Crossbowman or Handgunner detachments, a Halberdier block and a lot of Archers, and two Winged Lancer lines) and consider leaders (the Grand Master Genschler obviously, Father Iovanus the chapter house priest, and Otto von Grenzstadt, the senior sergeant of the state troops who carries the Order’s banner, both as a mark of respect to the County and to show the rabble who they’re really fighting for). I blame Phil A for this as he was the one asking if an army of Knights and Warrior Priests was viable. I also really like the Black Bears’ / Averlanders black and gold colourscheme (you can’t live over the road from the Molineux for three years and not develop an affection there, it’s hi-ho Wolverhampton and all that).

The odds of me buying and painting all that are slim to none with half a Wood Elf army and over 3000 points of Tomb Kings still in the queue, but it’s nice to dream – and that’s what these occasional pipe dream posts are about.

I can’t be the only one, right? Surely some of you have a favourite fantasy Fantasy army that you imagine yourself doing, one day, but never quite get around to…

[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?