Monday, 17 September 2012

The Lure

I feel the warp overtaking me. 
It is a good pain!

You owe me royalties for that quote.

My natural choice in any given Warhammer game, I felt bad that the proper baddies (Warriors of Chaos) were under-represented in WoffBoot VI. I've got some money coming in from the advert I did earlier in the year (which is probably going to air fairly soon, one of the many reasons I left Britain).

And you know, tiny paintable men and stuff. Always a sound investment, right?

So I've been reading up on the Warriors of Chaos list, and trying to pick out an affordable selection that I can slowly build up over the coming years. By the time it's Woffboot VIII or so, I may even have

a) completed it,
b) painted it and
c) enough time to field it.

Or not. Either way, I'm sure it'll be a grand heirloom for my offspring.

1000 points doesn't give you much leeway. No Daemon Princes, for a start. And if you're going to field any Warriors or Knights, which frankly you ought to, they'll be small and attractive to missile fire.
Ha haaargh! I have a 4+ armour save without needing extra gear... oh, my arm's off. Bloody crossbows.

Having whet my bloody whistle* on the fields of Woffboot VI, I feel like I have a vague handle on what a small army needs. A couple of reasonably-sized melee units, with decent leadership either from banners or characters, a little magical support from some wizardly types, maybe a bit of missile, maybe a monstrous flanker of some kind, and everyone's star players - the light cavalry.

So let's consider my options.


I could go all out on a Lord. I've got the models pre-bought, and it has crossed my mind. At 210 points before equipment, it's definitely all my eggs in one spiked basket case if I do. I might even go as far as a Sorceror Lord - I'd probably be ahead of the pack in terms of magical power, and he's no slouch in combat either. But it feels top heavy, and if I've ever learnt a tactical lesson in Warhammer games, it's not to invest too heavily in single models.
685 points? Sod off. Even if you have got the only decent base I ever did, you can still sod off. 
Back in the day when you could buy a Chaos Weapon and give it one random property per 50 points, and before you were saddled with percentage spends that limited your options, I fielded a Chaos Lord with a weapon bearing no less than 25 abilities. It could breath fire, rendered him immune to most damage and gave him an extra ten attacks. He never got to use it, because nobody went near him and he couldn't afford a horse. Lesson learnt.

That's him on the far right. He's a conversion of very early ilk (Heroquest retinue shown for period value) - he used to have a third arm and a huge axe. The arm was from a Tyranid warrior, the Advanced Space Crusade ones, and the axe was from Medieval Castle Lego. I don't know what I was thinking either. 
So I'm probably thinking of an Exalted Hero with a few magical items (110+ points), and a lonely chaos sorceror, probably on a horse (101 points). The other option would be a lone Hero with a battle standard, and I know exactly which banner he'd bear. Look up the Doom Totem sometime, I think you'll enjoy it. But that would require a new model, ergo money.
Either of these two are decent options for a leader.
I mean, a bell counts as a standard, right? I could change the flavour text to 'Everyone within earshot' if that helps? 

If I want access to the appallingly horrible chaos spellbooks, which I'd be mad not to, that sorceror will also need a mark of chaos. Slaanesh is cheap, but offensive to my way of thinking. Tzeentch or Nurgle are 20 points each. Yuck. I may yet think on here. Two sorcerors? Discs? Maybe. Maybe.

Chaos Horseror
When 80s Perms Go Wrong

A final, crazier option might be to go for a special character. Wulfrik the Wanderer and Festus the Leechlord are both great choices with some excellent abilities. I'd probably go 'counts as' and rename them appropriately, as I'm not forking out another tenner for single models when I've got some perfectly good ones I could use already (see above and below). Equally, though, special characters feel wrong for a Woffboot somehow. If we're even allowed them, I never thought to check.


Marauder Horsemen are very high on my shopping list. Two boxes, weighing in at an already heart-sinking £32 (or whatever that is in Kronor). People speak highly of their heads in the forums, and I'll be thinking of having a unit of ten, probably with a few upgrades. Throwing axes, maybe shields too. That's round about 160 points right there, more if I fancy command. Or two units of five, one for each flank.

But I'm a cheapskate, and I'm already hunting about for options. Something I like about the Warriors of Chaos army is their slightly hairy Norse look, so I've been considering a Viking look. This also helps me sell the whole idea to my wife, who is ferociously proud of her Scandi origins.

Dwarf Wars is a good website for decent and cheap models (check out their elementals and magician ranges, great stuff), and here's a publicity shot of their Viking-style horsemen: -

Not great shots, but they look horsey and they're a bit cheaper. Maybe, maybe - hard to commit to pewter models without seeing them in the flesh first. And let's not question our flesh for wanting to remain flesh while we're at it.

Look how he glares at me... If he wasn't fathered by the black ram in the full of the moon my name is not Ragnar. 
The Chaos Warrior box set is pretty much a cert, partly for the modelling options and spare parts, but partly because they're iconic. The box builds twelve, making a unit that can easily cost 250 points with command and marks and so on, so I don't think I'd need more.

Where have all my points gone? Cripes. Almost 2/3 done, and I've got around 23 models or so. Bring out the fodder.

Love and Hate are two horns on the same goat.
Both horns are available on this multi-part sprue.
Cue the Hammer of the Gods plastic range. This box set of plastic Vikings, tricked out with a few spare options from whatever Chaos boxes I buy and some GW bases, ought to give me some massive units of Marauder joy. And at $20 for 32 models, it's a steal.

So I ordered two.

Even coming from America, including postage (but possibly not import duty, I'm not sure what Sweden does about that), it's less than £40. And it allows me to consider a unit of 64 marauders, say with shields, light armour, command and the Mark of Tzeentch. For 420 points, fodder with 5+ ward saves. Stuff the chaos warriors, frankly. If I field this, it would be in the style of Clan Slavish, a hoard of screaming loonies coming down the middle with too many ranks to break.

Then Let the Crabs be Cursed by Odin!
I probably won't, though - maybe two smaller units, though. Maybe one with the Khornate mark and flails. Easily enough to upset people expecting a tiny chaos army, and they aren't bad in a scrap either.  WS4, I4 and lots of ranks? Plus rerolls on panic, fear and terror. We'll see. If I'm feeling very cheaty (especially given my previous rants on this topic) I might try and claim they were warriors after all. Only if they're properly converted, though.

I've already got some decent champion types, if not Exalted Heroes, so no need to spend more there: -

Original bearer of the cursed axe 'Woe'.
He's holding it the wrong way up, look.
Bonus points if you remember my name from Firetop!
(without looking at the wiki)

Specially Rare

That's probably going to be it, really. But it's good to have options, which my collection of mewling abberations affords me. What kind of Chaos army would it be without spawn?

I see you
I also see you
I cannot see but it won't help you any

I'm very tempted by a unit of knights, mostly for the models and the options. Those shields alone are amazing. I can't fit them into this army, though, just five without command is 200 points, and despite their savage armour saves and fearsome charges, I think they'd end up full of cannon fire and Thundertusks even if you Nurgle them up a touch.
1+ Armour Saves - less effective than you think
Same goes for the wonderful Hellcannon option, although I'm much more tempted by that - firepower and silly rules in one glorious package. I like the one where it eats all the crew, then pointlessly vomits them up.

If I suddenly become rich (I've got years to build this lot, after all) I'd get the two-pack of GW spawn. Purely for spare parts and conversions, I'm swimming in spawn already. Almost literally, ask Mrs Kraken.
Spare Paaaaaarrrrts
What would I make? Well, a unit of Forsaken for their appalling attacks statistic (d3+1) would be expensive but hilarious. You can't currently buy any. That's a typical low-down GW trick, that, putting stuff with great stats or options in the book, then not releasing models for them (e.g. skaven slaves, or the Chaos Warshrine, something else I'd strongly consider) to force you to make costly conversions.
More on this at a later date, but it would make a good warshrine I think. 'Raging Heroes' is the site.


I did, in all honesty, consider the GW Chaos starter box set. £65 for five knights, 12 Warriors, 20 Marauders and 10 Hounds, that's a solid 1000 points right off.

But 10 hounds? What am I going to do with that garbage? Well, okay, they're nice models. And I'd get all the spare bits I'm after to turn my Vikings extra spiky. But it's a hell of a lot of cash, and that's the major sticking point.

My biggest fear is already that the vikings will be way off-scale with GW products, which will limit conversions. I mean, realistically scaled swords? They already look like bread knives. Plus I'll need to buy proper bases for them all. That's going to add, what, £13000 to the overall total once I've factored in flock and miniature pebbles and magnets and actual scale insects and all the other garbage everyone puts on these days. All right, I admit it, I've been wrong about bases all these years. Time to face up to it and make amends.

But other priorities aplenty first, not least of which is getting more regular work. I'll stick with the Viking Tide for now. Pipe dreams of distant glory await.

He was the happiest Spawn of all.

* Mixed metaphors are allowed in Chaos Armies on account of mutations, etc.


  1. I probably have several bags of spare marauder /warrior parts. We'll have a swapmeet.

  2. Oo! That sounds good to me. I'm already earmarking such things on ebay. Not very sure what I can bring in exchange, though - any suggestions?

  3. Nice structure for an army - I've never seen massed numbers in a Chaos army, but it makes sense points-wise (4p for a Marauder!) and thematically (hoards of screaming Visigoths). Looking forward to how it develops.

    Yes I did look up Doom Totem. No, I did not enjoy it.

    With Kasfunatu's Daemons army, I think that only leaves Beastmen, Dark Elves and Tomb Kings unrepresented - in some way of other - at the WoffBoot.

  4. In terms of a swapmeet, it's probably fair to say that we don't meet up that often. What about putting up images of your swappables as a blog post and tag it 'swapmeet'.

    I can collate these labels into a single page (so you can see everything available in one glance) and just leave it for perusal. Items that have been swapped can be removed from the blog, and we can sort out the exchanges from there.

  5. Sounds like a plan! I'll have a hunt through the Bag of Limitless Minions, as well as the bottoms of my games chest, and see what I can come up with.

    And I've also discovered that the same models range does a box set of twelve horsemen or three chariots, both for the same lo lo price of $20. I might do no heavy armour at all, just the big marauder packs and a lot of fast stuff for the wings.

  6. Do you mean the Celtic chariots? They do look good (although would need to be seriously pimped with with spikes and chaos icons).

    I link the guy 'surfing' on the back of the chariot horses, although the woman representing Boudicca does look like a forerunner of those models who stand around at car events.

    1. Yeah, that's them. I agree, serious pimpage required, but that's pretty much what I'm committing to across the board for this army.

  7. I totally agree:

    1) A virtual swapmeet. I'll start this evening if I can.

    2) The "no armour" marauding horde chaos variant - very interesting indeed. Also, Kraken, I have Knights & Warriors, etc if you ever want to see how they play. Unpainted of course!

    3) I'll do my very best to build 1000pts of either Beastmen, Dark Elves or Tomb Kings in the near future - I'm sure I have the parts somewhere...

    1. Thanks for the offer! I'm hopefully going to include my own warriors and knights at some point, but that's the same 'some point' at which I'll have a mythical amount of free time, money and desire to paint.

  8. Also, Kraken again, let me know if you do indeed just want the leftovers from a spawn sprue - I have a pair of spare bodies so if I bought one box, I could make myself 4 spawn! You could have all the leftovers for a fiver ONO?

    1. I'm after as many conversion options as possible, so I'd be more interested in a much fuller sprue! That's not a no, but I'll wait and see how my ebay bids work out first, ta.

  9. And here's another INSANE idea. We could swapmeet services too! I love converting and, some have said, am rather good at it. Whereas, painting hordes of giant rats / swarms / slaves / etc, I find somewhat less fun. And it hurts my back. :-(

    For example, I'd be very happy to trade (hour for hour is probably the fairest way?) converting a chaotic horde of wild northmen from economy plastic wanabee models, that Kraken sources, into a fantastical, GW-influenced, more-spiky version of themselves. In return for Kraken continuing the sterling job he started on painting my, literally, limitless minions.

    Any takers!?

  10. You mean a 'time bank'! (a govt-sponsored initiative to get people being nice to each other. Like the 'Big Society' but with even less takers). Intriguing possibility...

    I'm not sure I'd make immediate use of it, since I'm all-metal for a while (and handsawing through pewter is such fun, I wouldn't DREAM of letting anyone else have my RSI), and while I could put painting on the table, my plate is going to be full for a wee while.

    (I don't suppose writing flavour text is a tradable commodity? Shame, as I could knock out an hour's worth of writer's block no problem)

  11. Or maybe instead of trading hours, we all work on something communally (you know, like the Amish) - pick one of the remaining armies (say Tomb Kings) and all match the hours into creating/painting it (then keep it as a 'house army', to be kept as an option of WoffBoots).

    And then we drown someone in a silo of grain! (you know, like the Amish).

  12. Working on something communally doesn't dent my enormous painting backlog. My original offer stands! Besides, as I say, I have *plenty* of Dark Elves, and probably enough Beastmen / Tomb Kings for 1000pts already. If we do anything communally, it should be scenery, etc.

    1. I do like the idea of a community army, but I don't think any of us would really commit to making it a brilliant one. Too much backlog on all hands, I reckon. But community scenery sounds good!

    2. In fact, as cheapy scenery goes, have a look at this page -

    3. Or this: -

    4. Or (finally and winner of the 'Best Translation from German' award nine years running): -

    5. Okay, not finally at all. have a very interesting selection of textured roll-up latex scenery mats, available in ruined city, sulphur badlands and other standard fantasy situations. are decent and cheapier, and have a nice 'road of skulls' selection.

      These are very nice but expensive, and the shop is currently closed for some reason -

      And this is interesting - all come cut from sheets of thick stock card, so super cheap but would require a bunch of assembly and paint.

    6. Why, there's almost enough information there to create an informal yet informative post on the types of scenery available...

      For my twopenneth, we have a smashing amount of scenery at Kasfunatu Towers, but what we're really missing is rivers (especially with the new ways rivers can kill you in 8th ed).

      And Leofa - if you've made it this far down the comments, it looks like Zuzzy have that rubber gaming mat you've been dreaming of.

    7. Yeah, you'd think I'd have gone down that route by this point. Watch this space...


  13. I'm afraid I'm rather looking forward to my own converting. That, after all, is the fun bit, whereas dabbing the noses of a zillion rats is less... inherently invigorating. I'm sure I'll be just as slow as you are at painting 60+ near-identical warriors, though, regardless of spiky bits!