When allies fled left Chaos to roam,
and evil pillages farm and home.
When cries of aid met deafened ears,
our people suffered dire years.
'Twas then when our need was most,
when hounded by the endless host.
Our forebears sought to hide below,
Through paths they could not truly know.
'Neath darkest hold and hidden forts,
through halls of stone that came to naught.
Past seams of golds and jewels of wonder,
lies the darkness of the Under.
Vast halls echo empty across the Realms, a mere relic of times long since passed where stories are still told of vast carriages of gold that left the mountains to flourishing civilisations of Man and Aelf. The oldest still remember the days of the Duardin might across every realm, vast bastions of strength and wealth that formed the bulwark against the tides of Chaos in the early days of invasion that Sigmar might pull back all those unable to defend themselves behind the walls of Azyr. These mighty halls became islands of civilisation in a sea of chaos and death, and for a time their great stone walls repelled all who sought to pillage those that lay within. Yet as months dragged on to years the duardin within began to realise their part in Sigmars great plan, with his gates now sealed they had simply been discarded, a neccessary loss in a war that was only in its opening days.
In Ghyran the besieged Duardin of the Mender Conformation turned to their ancient crafts to tunnel beyond their isolation, with chaos on all sides they began to dig deep through the realmplate. So dire was their need that vast seams of gold and jewels were ignored, every man woman and child wielding pick for every moment of their waking life. As supplies began to run low, the hope of ever emerging from the great work began to dwindle, yet seemingly failure encroached on their task the mountains rewarded the perseverance. The Menders emerged in the darkness beneath the realmplate, a vast and empty madness that even the stars dare not stare upon shielded from the light of Hysh by the vast realm of Ghyran above this desolate landscape stretched seemingly endlessly onwards as little reward for a lifetime of labour.
The only life that flourished in this deep and unrelenting emptiness came at the Hub, a massive mountainous spire jutting down from the Realmplate above, here seems of the Realm stones that invigorated the lands above allowed some small trace of green and life by way of a nourishing fungus to perservere even in the Under. The Menders set to task building their new home here hidden from the realm above, the Hub becoming a network of vast new holds as they sought to cultivate the fungus to feed what remained of their populace and for a time they were sated.
In time the Menders sought to revisit the vast network that has lead them from their holds above, finding that years spent staring into the vast emptiness of the Under has robbed them of any joys the gold and jewels once bestowed. Yet deep within their heart the Duardin greed still lingered, hungering for something they could as of yet not truly understand, they turned their hands to task and made the seams of metal into a vast array of tunnelling machinery to widen the chasms through which they had made their escape. It was only as they emerged, the searing sun now offensive to their very eyes and bleached skin, turning their gaze to the changed world around them that they truly understood that which they craved. In a world where wealth was in an abundance it had lost all value, the only thing of true value was life itself, it was a currency without comparison and valued beyond even the rarest of jewels.
The Menders looked upon the realms abandoned by Sigmar, upon those who had been felled on the field of battle and tried to save the wounded that were not beyond their talents. Those who could not be saved on the field of battle were instead taken to the vast depths below that they might be worked on hidden from the eyes of the Hosts of Chaos.
Axes for amputation instead of Mining Picks
Mechanical Arachnid mining constructs
"We tended to you when no God heeded your call nor sought your bended knee, we lifted your wounded high above the clouds that they might look upon heaven eternally, It was we who waged war on death long before any of you had looked upon his face. We elevated you then, and we do so now." Mender Envoy
Since I currently lack the funds to build or convert I spend my downtime musing on factional concepts for the Age of Sigmar, some good some... probably best not to dwell on Anyway for the last few days the latest concept rattling around in my head is the Menders Conformation, a strange and sinister looking faction that cares for life above all else (though what form that life takes is of little consequence). The Menders have been around since time long forgotten, before gods set to seizing up souls like jealous children seizing away their toys, before the tide of chaos began to swarm across the realms, in times of dire need whilst never sought or called for the Menders descended from the Peaks of Ghyran with their unsettling machinery, setting to task over the fallen soldiers of the field. Those who could be repaired on the field suffer the attentions of the Mender attendants (also known as stitchers), their wounds sewn up crudely, broken or wounded limbs cleaved from flesh, damaged organs ripped from flesh and replaced by unknowable concoctions before being sealed over by crude leather stitching. The fatally wounded were instead gathered up by the mechanical harvesters, dropped into glass sphereical biospheres amidsts a bubbling concoction to preserve them before disappearing once more to the peaks of Ghyran, those who have been taken are never seen from again.
"By the decree of the High Marshall the conclave of the Menders are hence for barred from the boundries of Hammerhal under the crimes of interference with the divine plan of Sigmar, interference with the burial rituals of the Cult of Azyr, Kidnapping, Necromancy and refusing the summons of the Azyrian High Courts." Hammerhal Herald
Who are they:
Menders are humanoid looking creatures clad in tattered robes and sinister masks that hide their true nature, many believe them to be men and women who escaped high to the peaks of Ghyran and found new purpose in the Realm of Life Abundant. The Menders are philisophically opposed to Death in all forms, they have been known to mutilate those injured on the field of battle beyond recognition if it means depriving nagash of a single soul or body to raise. Unusually for those native to Ghyran they have escaped Alarielles opposition to technology by residing high up in the peaks of the floating mountains beyond her gaze, descending upon bizarre arachnic looking metal constructs to harvest upon the field of battle and employ their perculiar talents.
Why do they fight:
Menders are seemingly harvesting to a plan, the swathes of wounded they take back to the peaks has raised dramatically in the modern age, whats more they have begun to reap even healthy organs from the wounded on the field of battle so long as doing so doesnt damage the host beyond repair. This all lends credence to the belief that they are picking to a very specific order, building beyond the sight of even gods in the peaks of Ghyran, if true what horrors could await are as of yet unknown,
How do they fight:
Menders employ crude hordes of "Repaired" soliders to reap upon the field of battle as Stitchers alongside rapidly striking cavalry and crude mechanical constructs, whilst many of the outriders move beyond the bulk of the host they are slow encroaching force that reaps from their enemies to restore their numbers. Their attendants seek out the wounded in order to bolster their own abilities
So today I finally put together a fun little mortis engine / coven throne / blood palanquin for my death army in the theme of the wraith fleet! Pretty happy with how it came out and is a nice extra step in my little conversion project. Hopefully will get more stuff done and painted soon
Hans Sturm was an armsman in the service of House Reike-Woerlitz, long before the present day- back when the Horse and Rivers still flew proudly over Ghyran, more than five centuries ago. He struggled long and hard in the service of his patrons, rising to be second-in-command of the Household Guard, the elite musketeers tasked with the family's defense. These were the waning years of a time of peace, though there was always a brushfire conflict flaring up somewhere- be it a nest of bandits that needed to be cleared out or feral raiders from the deeper, darker corners of the Realm. Thus when the end came neither Hans nor the Household Guard were caught entirely unprepared. It wasn't enough, though. It was never enough.
Hordes of invaders smashed the towns and keeps of the Horse and Rivers, and themselves, bloody, sending waves of refugees fleeing somewhere, anywhere, looking for safety. By and large, these desperate souls collected at the fortress of Eisenstulpe, ancient refuge of the Woerlitz clan and one of the few points with an intact port capable of transporting the desperate fleeing masses to Azyr. Hot on their heels came the legions of the enemy- marauders, cultists, demons, and a vast, choking wave of those who'd fallen before.
Marching at the invaders' head was Fritz Grauber, formerly first in command of the Household Guard, fallen in the opening battles of the war and raised again as Nurgle's pestilential servant. They encircled the fortress, trapping thousands inside its iron chambers with a rapidly dwindling supply of food. Among those trapped were Hans, the Household Guard, and their lord, Frederick Reike-Woerlitz. Fortunately, there was good news- a relief flotilla was sailing its way up towards Eisenstulpe, one capable of transporting all the refugees to safety.
The fortress was carved into a mountain, with the majority buried underground. Only two ways in or out existed- one, the River Gate, which had been sealed and flooded at the beginning of the war. Even if Nurgle's servants could swim, they couldn't pierce through and enter. Two, the High Gate, which was set halfway up the mountain, at the top of a winding road, defended by a bastion. It was here that the armies of the Plague God directed their scabrous attentions first.
Again and again, the defenders beat them back with ranged-in artillery, until they ran out of shells to fire. When that happened, they lobbed barrels of flaming oil in a crude catapult, until it was destroyed by vile Nurglish sorcery. Then the Household Guard proved their worth, standing their ground for three whole days and defending themselves nearly constantly with nothing but powder, shot and faith in Sigmar. Finally, though, their supplies of ammunition began to run low. Worse, in the final attack, Lord Frederick was badly wounded. Hans ordered him withdrawn inside the fortress, and took on the burden of keeping up the men's morale himself.
Traveling constantly up and down the lines, never stopping to rest, he encouraged them to stand just a little longer, saying that the relief fleet couldn't be more than a few hours or a day away. In the last attack, when the Guard finally ran out of bullets, he was at the front and had to be dragged by his men back inside the High Gate proper when the walls of the bastion were breached. Even there, he could be found in the thick of the hand-to-hand fighting, turning the tide wherever it seemed that the elite soldiers might be giving ground. At last, the poxy swarms fell back, giving the Guard a moment to breathe.
It was not to be enough, he realized. Faith and valor had carried the Guard this far, but only at the expense of two-thirds of their number and all of their bullets. And there were still legions upon legions of the enemy massing for their next strike. There was one more barrel of powder left, and Hans knew what must be done. Ordering the rest of the Guard to retreat inside the fortress itself and to hold until death, he sat down at the narrowest point of the High Gate passage and played his fife. It was not long before the awful clatter of the demon-horde approaching reached his ears, and his old commander came walking up at the head of a parade of plaguebearers.
"So confident?" Fritz's face had mostly sloughed away, and his remaining flesh was riddled with decay. "Or have you finally known what despair is? No matter. You will know the Plaguefather's touch when he crushes your people beneath him."
"I did not come here to despair, nor to be defeated." Hans drew a pistol from his belt. "Today I will show you what it means to be a true Freisoldat."
At that moment Fritz saw the barrel of explosive powder set up against a support column, but before he could do or say anything Hans had fired. The explosion shook the chamber, but not so much as the tons of rock that fell from the collapsing ceiling. The dull Nurglish daemons barely had time to comprehend their doom before it was upon them, and they were buried under the vengeful mountain.
It was not long afterwards that the Reike-Woerlitz flotilla reached the River Gate, and by means of secret signs made itself known to the defenders. The refugees were saved, snatched out of the claws of the Poxed God by the bravery of one man. Today, there is a statue of him standing in front of the Reike-Woerlitz estate in Azyr. More than this, though, he has been reforged and reborn- a truly noble spirit, an iron warrior of Sigmar.
The storytellers call Brother Hans the Iron Warrior, the Unflinching, the Defiant, the Hero of Eisenstulpe, the Venerated, the Resolute, the Exemplar.
Three friends and I played a 2V2 8k mega battle which pitted Stormcast & Legions of Nagash against Khorne & BCR
We played for 9 hours, managing to get in 3 battle rounds with Chaos/Destruction winning 8-5 on victory points. Although we also worked out who had killed more and the Order/Death alliance won that one.
It was great to get so much on to the table but one regret is not using the gathering of might rules for melee as it ended up with the 'cannon fodder' lasting too long and the big names like Nagash and Archaon not getting in to the fight.
Building a Skaven List
The only Skaven clan with a “battletome” (it doesn’t feature any of the stuff modern tomes do, only warscrolls and a small handful of battalions, you need the General’s Handbook for the rest), Clan Pestilens were one of the first armies in the game to receive a book and their line repackaged into the new boxes with round bases and so on. Pestilens takes the existing theme of Skaven being mostly high damage, low durability and escalates it severely. Everything in the book is a melee powerhouse but lacks any form of self-defence.
What Makes the Perfect Virus
Plague Monks. Everything about this army hinges on and builds around it’s most numerous battleline option. The army features a whole SEVEN warscrolls (people with other armies will think this is a joke, but only Clan Skryre has more options than Pestilens), and all of these bar one are either Plague Monks, or something that makes Plague Monks more useful. It’s unsurprising that the exception, the Plagueclaw, is awful and almost never sees use. Plague Furnace and Plague Priests have access to prayers that buff Pestilens units, or debuff the enemy to make your army more effective at harming them. These prayers are also integrated into the army’s allegiance abilities in a key way.
Allegiance to the Great Corruptor
Pestilens have 2 allegiance abilities, one is extraordinarily simple and the other is somewhat more complex. Strength in Numbers gives 2 bravery for every 10 models in a unit instead of 1, which makes I far more viable to take 40 stacks of Plague Monks. Echoes of the Great Plagues is where the thinking comes in. Every natural roll of a 6 when praying allows a once per turn use of one of a selection of super plagues. Bar one, all of the Great Plagues hit the nearest target within 13 inches and have devastating effects like body blows of mortal wounds or even making enemies pile into each other. As your army will usually feature a stack of priests who will all be praying their maximum amount every turn, the odds of receiving these are good.
MC Corruptor, Straight outta Ulgu
Malign Sorcery gave us new artefact tables to draw from, and these come in handy as only 2 of the Pestilens artefacts (Liber Bubonicus and Vexler’s Shroud) are useful. My personal favourite is the Sword of Judgement from Ulgu, which causes d6 mortal wounds on every hit roll of a 6 or more, which single-handedly makes the Verminlord Corruptor the best Hero/Behemoth hunter in the game. Play around with these tables and find what suits you best. Ghur and Ghyran have some gems as well.
Unfurling the Plague Scroll
Given I’ve actually played well over 100 games with Clan Pestilens and started playing AoS with them, I feel somewhat confident in writing an example list. Over the course of my time in the NZ scene, I meant from 5 Major Defeats with this army to maintaining a win-rate of 3/5 games or better. While most wouldn’t consider this an impressive brag by any stretch, I feel it’s pretty good in a meta that mostly only features the battletome armies.
Allegiance: Pestilens Mortal Realm: Ulgu
Leaders Verminlord Corruptor (220) - General - Trait: Master of Rot and Ruin - Artefact: Sword of Judgement Plaguesmog Furnace (180) Plague Furnace - Artefact: Liber Bubonicus Congregation Furnace (180) Plague Furnace - Artefact: Doppelganger Cloak Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80) Plague Priest with Plague Censer (80)
Battleline 5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60) 5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60) 40 x Plague Monks (240) - Foetid Blades 10 x Plague Monks (70) - Foetid Blades 10 x Plague Monks (70) - Foetid Blades 10 x Plague Monks (70) - Foetid Blades 10 x Plague Monks (70) - Foetid Blades 10 x Plague Monks (70) - Foetid Blades
Units 10 x Gutter Runners (120) - Allies 10 x Gutter Runners (120) - Allies
Battalions Congregation of Filth (170) Plaguesmog Congregation (140)
Plan here is simple. Charge the enemy with the 40-man unit of Plague Monks with both the Bless with Filth and Rabid Fever buffs active. This unit will likely die to counter charges, but the active buffs will ensure it takes well over its own point cost with it. This is followed up in the next turn by both Furnaces hitting the enemy. Both will get full chance to fight as the one activated second has Doppelganger’s Cloak and so can’t be fought till it’s activated. The small units of Plague Monks and the Censer Bearers are there to follow up aggression and take objectives, and the Gutter Runners coming on behind the enemy force them to split their deployment, so they can’t present 100% of their defence against the front charge.
I myself have ran this list several times and can confirm it will have no trouble taking down combat armies, but has trouble against heavy magic lists. To counteract this, utilize Gutter Runners to harass backfield mages and split the enemy’s focus. Don’t forget to remember the Plague Monk’s once per game activations and the radiant mortal wounds on the censers and furnaces. Go forth, and embrace the 3/2 glory that only an army getting absolutely murdered by Tzeentch can know.
Building a Skaven List
Rats on rats. Moudler is the Skaven clan characterised by two things; the massive weight of monsters and numbers it can bring to the table, and the staple reliance it’s players have on Forgeworld. A cursory look at the Moulder GW line will give you an entire Online Order Only army, most of which has lacklustre rules. Fortunately, daddy Forgeworld has our back. Brood Horrors and Wolf Rats are massively underutilized Skaven units but are both absolutely fantastic units, and very strong in the current meta.
Building a Better Rat
Moulder have no battalions since the gutting of the clawpacks, and no allegiance abilities either. This means we’re going high drop counts, and we’re going in with one artefact. A Moulder list hinges on it’s Packmasters, a specialized hero who provides a swathe of buffs to nearby Moulder monsters. He can whip a nearby unit to make it charge further and hit harder, and Moulder units near him double their bravery during the battleshock phase. Their battleline options are the cheap swarms of Giant Rats that get better the more there are, and the hard hitting Rat Ogors.
Go Big or Go Home
You have 4 behemoth slots at 2k games, and we need to fill all 4. The best unit for the job is the Brood Horror, a Forgeworld warscroll who boasts an impressive combat profile and the ability to heal itself for d3 wounds every turn. The Hellpit Abomination is also a contender for this slot, but their higher points cost, lack of durability and random modifiers tend to make them subpar compared to the Brood Horror. You’ll need speedy units for objectives, and again Forgeworld provides with the Wolf Rats. These fast moving units hit hard on the charge and are great targets for Packmaster buffs. The final piece of the puzzle is something that can tie the enemy up and keep them from counter-charging your Horrors and Wolves, and what better for this than massive units of Giant Rats. Their stats decline horrifically as they lose models, but at their best these things will slam hard into enemy infantry.
The army’s weaknesses lie in it’s vulnerability to battleshock and bravery shenanigans, it’s lack of wizards and absence of reliable shooting. Strong units to ally can be the Verminlord Corruptor, who’s command ability will aid your army while also providing a valuable wizard, and the Gutter Runners of Eshin who flank behind your horde and harass support heroes. Pestilens Plague Priests can buff the army’s wound rolls and allow rerolls to wound, making Giant Rats and Wolf Rats even more lethal on impact.
The Horde Unleashed
Here I’ve constructed a list designed to capitalize on the impact of the army. Given the enemy will be deciding who goes first more than likely, the best case scenario is going second and setting up a double turn. Praying for Wither on the enemy and then hitting them with the Giant Rats, as well as flashing the same enemy with the Plague Tome, will ensure the Giant Rats annihilate the front row. This leaves the Brood Horrors free to advance and take hit buffs from the Packmasters.
This is one hell of a lot of bodies. Hit up your local Pestilens player for their spare decorative rats to get a lot of Giant Rats quickly. Purchase a can of Mournfang Brown and a small bucket of Agrax Earthshade. And finally, develop both an intimate understanding of the British Pound exchange rate and the virtue of patience as you deal with our Forgeworld Overlords.
Building a Skaven List
Gautfyre Skorch. Done. Go away.
Ok fine, I’ll do this properly. First up in my series on building Skaven armies to a specific allegiance will be Clan Skryre. I chose Skryre because so far, they’re the most popular Skaven clan and actually see a lot of exposure in the percentages of tournaments. They’re also a relatively easy army to build, given most of the thinking is done for you with the Clan Skryre Enginecoven system.
Allegiance to the Skryre Clans
The Skryre ability gives you a bunch of tokens you can use to either reroll casting rolls, reroll hit and wound rolls, or add 1 to the damage characteristic of an attack. Essentially, they let you reroll casting rolls. The other two options are almost entirely pointless. As for traits and artefacts, the Cunning Creature trait will keep the Arch Warlock alive and Vigordust Injector will let you buff the Stormfiends, who by now you will understand are the army’s poster child.
Start Your Enginecovens
Clan Skryre features a battalion that is unique amongst the battalions of the game. It’s composed of one battalion, Clan Skryre, and 2 “Enginecovens”, which are sub battalions. A Clan Skryre battalion must be composed of at least 2 of these.
As we can see from the image, the battalion requires at the very least an Arch Warlock and two Warlock Engineers. You’ll also need some Stormfiends and probably a Warp Lightning Cannon. From there you decide what kind of army you want to go with.
The Arch Warlock gets to reroll any one dice for himself each turn. He can however pass on this to give it to a Warlock Engineer on the table, who can in turn use it on any model in his Enginecoven. Handy for Arkhspark and Gautfyre who can hurt themselves with bad rolls.
Pick a Doomwheel or one of the Doomflayers and roll 2 dice, it moves that distance. If it’s a double, it also takes D3 wounds. Meh.
Popular because it’s the cheapest Enginecoven. You shoot the Warp Lightning Cannon in the hero phase and roll a dice, on a 4+ it hurts itself. Pretty decent as you get more uses out of the cannon and its stats don’t decline with damage. It probably won’t die the first or second time, so you can get 4 shots out of 2 turns easily.
The acolytes / wind-mortar battalion. This lets you throw a warpstone nuke at the enemy each hero phase, dealing D6 mortal wounds with a chance to fail and deal D3 wounds to the thrower.
The dakka battalion. Lets a unit in the battalion fire during the hero phase, then take D3 wounds which can’t be avoided. Good on the Stormfiends as they won’t die to D3 mortal wounds.
Hooooh boy, it’s the big bad wolf of Skaven competitive lists. This is the battalion that takes the concept of winning or losing the game on a single cheese strategy and just runs with it. The Warp Grinder can be set up anywhere on the table and then everything else gets to come up within 8 inches, with everything within 3 inches of the enemy taking wounds. Basically, this lets you drop a full unit of Warpfire Thrower Stormfiends right in front of the enemy, hose whatever you want with 18d3 mortal wounds, and then leave whatever happens to even survive boxed in with fiends. You can use this to kill every single hero in the enemy army. You can use this to obliterate everything in the enemy army via shooting, charging then the battleshock phase. Essentially, this gives your opponent cancer.
Clan Skryre is the Skaven clan that doesn’t need to ally wizards, already having the best wizards in the Skaven line-up. Usually what Skryre needs is objective holders as the most effective Skryre build is the Gautfyre + Arkhspark build. Consider Clanrats, Gutter Runners and Plague Monks. A melee focused Stormfiend army will roll around on the enemy if you ally in Packmasters (Stormfiends have both the Skryre and Moudler keywords).
Assemble the Doom Machine
Here’s my take on Clan Skryre. I’ve gone for the most meta build, but have swapped out the usual 20 Clanrats for 2 units of 5 Gutter Runners. Their mobility and the fact they appear in the movement phase means they’re deployed after the Gautfyre comes down enabling you to better position them for taking objectives. The Acolytes are only there to take backfield objectives.
This was a really long way of typing out Gautfyre Skorch is da best. Seriously, it’s super flexible and good in a meta where you don’t need to roll to hit with the Warpflame (get rekt look out sir). You will win or lose the game depending on how your hotdrop on top of the enemy goes. If they’re a static elite army like Stormcast or Sylvaneth, GGEZ. If they’re a bubblewrapping horde army like Moonclan or any chaos horde army with Crown of Conquest, touch luck buddy. Go with the Horned Rat and cheese in his name.
Premier Troops of the Skaven Clans
Across the 5 Great Clans of the Skaven, there are a variety of powerful and varied units that when combined allow a Skaven army to manage itself against various threats. Among these units, each clan has an “elite unit”, a costly and specialized warscroll that best represents the strength of the clan they hail from.
Specialization: Damage Focused Support Infantry
Starting with the most recognizable, Stormvermin are the clenched fist of the Verminus Clans, forming the centre of their sizable infantry force. They come with a respectable attack profile that features both rend and decent range, and their 5+ save that grows stronger against attacks that are only 1 damage.
· A powerful attack profile that heavily rewards being buffed by command abilities like Gnash Gnaw Their Bones and Tyrants of Battle.
· 2 Inch range allows large clusters of Stormvermin to all fight or even fight over the top of lines of Clanrats.
· Their ability to retreat and still charge, as well as the +2 to run and retreat rolls make them insanely manoeuvrable for elite horde infantry.
· Murderous Ferocity gives them a bonus if they outnumber their victim, which they almost always do.
· 140pts for 10 rats is a very hefty price tag. They receive a discount for a full-size regiment but that weighs in at 500pts.
· Other elite infantry will smash them aside with their poor save and single wound each if they don’t fight them first.
· No protection from being shot at and no resistance to battleshock built in.
Plague Censer Bearers
Specialization: Objective Holding and Harassment
The glass cannon version of Stormvermin, they pack the same attack profile but also receive bonus attacks for charging and rerolls for being near Plague Monks. Their presence is deadly, radiating mortal wounds on nearby opponents.
· 2 Inch range weapons on a 32mm base unit makes for a very large footprint capable of tying up multiple units.
· One of the few sources Clan Pestilens has of guaranteed, unconditional rend.
· Can be taken in a Plaguesmog Congregation, further boosting their damage output with their radiant damage and giving them a protection against being shot at.
· 60pts for 5 is a very affordable cost, especially for their purpose as harassers and objective holders.
· No armor save means any successful attack against them, no matter how lowly, will kill them.
· No mobility steroids means a very slow, expensive unit.
· Must be selected first in combat or they won’t likely fight at all.
Specialization: Wound Output and Game Closing
The big baddies of the Skaven roster. People who know nothing about the Clans know what Stormfiends are and what they do. The centrepiece of many comp lists, nothing about this unit is subtle. They’re big, they’re nasty and they put out one hell of a beating.
· The most powerful weaponry in all the Skaven Clans. Warpfire Throwers that fountain mortal wounds on the enemy, Ratling Guns that mow down infantry and a range of brutal and horrific melee weapons are just mere options for the Stormfiends.
· Massive durability, packing both a 4+ save and 6 wounds as well as decent bravery.
· Synergy with Clan Moulder Packmasters to further enhance their damage capabilities.
· 290pts for 3. Maximum firepower isn’t cheap, and every loss will be severely felt.
· Large unit footprint but slow moving, it is easy for the enemy to tie these up with cheap chaff.
· Poor choice for allying from other clans due to their prohibitive cost and lack of utility. This is a luxury unit, not a support one.
Specialization: Flanking and Harassment
Ninja rats that emerge from the board edge and drown the enemy in a storm of throwing stars and poisoned knives. Mobility, speed, shooting and utility are just the order of business for the lethal foot soldiers of Clan Eshin.
· Emerging from any board edge on turn 1 is massive for an army that has no flying or high movement units.
· A powerful combat profile that benefits well from being allied into other armies, synergizing well with Pestilens to-wound buffs and Verminus command abilities.
· Running and shooting makes them a very fast and mobile harassment unit.
· 60ps for 5 is very cheap. 200pts for 20 is even better.
· Not the most survivable, the armor save won’t save them from much and low bravery means large unit sizes are easily punished.
· Requires buff assistance from units like Plague Priests or Skaven Warlords to be effective.
· Little to no synergy with their own heroes, Skaven Assassins don’t help them, and they will often be out of range of the Verminlord Deciever’s command ability.
Specialization: Line Breakers
The hulking masterworks of Clan Moulder throw themselves savagely at the enemy, using their superior durability and destructive strength to bat aside enemy chaff. Synergizing strongly with both their own clan and others, Rat Ogors are a force to be feared.
· Benefitting from Packmasters, Plague Priests, Skaven Warlords and more, their basic stats are a solid foundation to buff and build on.
· Under the effects of buffs, their ability to gain bonus attacks will see them laying the pain.
· Chaff will have trouble chipping them down due to multiple wounds, and won’t stand up to their 2 damage attacks.
· Too expensive and bought in lots of 2. Not good enough to warrant allying.
· Awful bravery means if a Packmaster isn’t near, one casualty will see them buckle.
· Shooting attack looks good on paper but will rarely come into play.
Yorn and his men were not used to doing things gently. That's how the old man had ended down on his knees in the mud. These folk were reluctant to serve aboard the Iron Fist. While it offered relative safety, compared to their village, their conscription did not include passage for their families. And with the strongest of them gone, they stood even less of a chance against raiders than before. The old man knew that and had resisted Lucius's guard pulling his son forward.
And now here they were. A mob of villagers, who ire was quickly rising, shouting and spitting at Yorn's men. He didn't want it to come to blades. If that happened, the conscripts would be relegated to cog pits, scarcely better than slaver laborers. Suddenly, a handful of rotten vegetables hit on of Yorn's men square in the breastplate. The infantry man dropped the torch he was carrying and drew his sword.
Have the first 5 of the heavy infantry mostly done. Still waiting on power swords. I also found out that Marauder Horsemen shields and Ironbreaker shields are the same size in diameter and circumference. Marauder Horsemen shields are a little thicker and I felt that their detail matched these gus better than Ironbreaker shields. Not totally pleased with the stance of these guys, turns out Scion legs and arms are a little static. Looking back, I probably would use Gor arms instead and leave them unarmored, since I have those laying around. Oh well, too late now!
The next five will include the banner and musician. The damn champion may look like more of a general than the converted commissar in the last blog post.
"Witness now Sigmar's Power and reflect on your deeds". It was what he told the survivors and the foes, the rescued and the persecutors, all the same. It was what had been said to him at his forging and he dwelt uneasily on the words now, centuries later. What had been his deeds, and were they worthy, he couldn't remember or reconcile all of them, and it was getting worse. He meditated on the tattoo on his face, that the tribe he had once drawn together had inked permanently onto to his features to symbolise the stubborn resistance fighters against the Blue Devils called Tzaangor that terrorized their brutally short lives. He knew they meant a resiliance, a brotherhood of fighters, a defiance, a purpose, but they did not represent victory. He could feel the guilt and disenfranchisement the tattoo seemed to represent too now. He kept struggling to fix what his purpose was again? He had witnessed the power of Sigmar but had not witnessed the end of the battle and now he was the power in a new war. A long war he couldn't quite remember all the pieces of. Hios deeds in this war, what were they? His great power what was its purpose? A tug on his robes broke him from his trance, a tribesman of sort, in bright colours with sleeves that ballooned ridiculously was desperately trying to impart something.
"Incursion! They are amongst us! Deamons! Deamons! From their mouths! They ate her, we only asked for food" The human cried in alarm
"Thank you good citizen! Which way?" The stormcast replied, eyes tightening in determination.
A spray of colour and limbs smashed through a wooden window shutter and onto the street, it corrected its form into a squat , toothy, mass of tendrils and immediately got split in two by a great cleaving blow from the Stormcast.
"Sentinels! On Me!" the Stormcast roared as he set about his violence with practiced precision.
I have decided on a background and name for my Stormcast Eternals army. The Thunderhead Sentinels. Sentinel is the local news paper and i like the implied violent anticipation of a Thunderhead.
I envisage them as a tribe in the first founding of the Realms that carved out an existance in a land dominated by Chaos and in particular the worshippers of Tzeentch. In will-power and resiliance of this tribe to bloody mindedly make a life in this hell drew the attention of Sigmar who over a thousand years of generations of this tribe would pluck the great warriors from it to ascend to Azyr. The tribe is long lost. Maybe it was wiped out, maybe it fell to chaos worship and dissolved, maybe it evolved into civilization and new prospects. It is no more however.
The tattoo's serve to help with the flaw in Re-casting after each death as it gives an anchor to their soul and their personality but to a deep past and not the present events. This gives a reason for more faces on my models, they retain a bit of humanity but they fear becoming the faceless mask and are trapped with a sense of failure of a former life.
Aqyshy flowed strong in the mortal realms as an inferno globe hung over the my chamber when the package arrived. A metoeric payload landed in the City of Six Towns and I approached with growing excitement to claim the heavenly contents for myself. With two outstretched hands I went to grip the Soul Wars.
Mock Heroic aside, I took delivery from Element Games quite happily. Its a great box set. The slip sleeve art work is sensational, very evocative, and of course production value is high. Once that had been slid to one side i unlatched the box, and exposed the sprues inside. The quality of the sculpt and the ease of the snapfit was brilliant. The best I have ever dealt with , plus a good colour instruction booklet for how to fit the Griff-Chargers tricky head. I did wanto personalize the Stormcast units though, its a desire i have with every army I have ever collected, i want to make my models mine in even the smallest unique way. That is one of the joys of the hobby for me. The creativity and personalisation of kit bashing or converting.
I wanted a few more faces than is usual in a Stormcast Chamber, inspired by the Core Rule book art. A figure who oozes charisma and depth and character. So I wanted a few faces to put tribal tattoos on and be more expressive. I had some Space Wolf pieces lying about so repurposed some of these.
The new heads had Futuristic space marine details on the though so i shaved down any technology to the bare skin level. This meant one head had no ear. I am not very practised at green stuff so rather than sculpt a new ear i clipped off a bobble on the blank sprue, shaved it down with a knife, and glued it wear i thought an ear should be. In the centre of his forehead between the eyes. No.
So I gave the Lord-Aquillor, three Evocators and a Prime Sequitor the bare heads. These were from, the Old Empire Knights sprue, the Eldar Guardians sprue, the first Space Wolf upgrade sprue, and the current Space wolf sprue. But they fit me aesthetic well I think. I had completed building the whole Stormcast army in just over one hour with only seven dabs of glue the entire time, due to my kit chopping. I also gave the Prime Sequitor the decapitated Tzaangor head left unused from the excellent Darkoath Chieftan model (one of my favourite sculpts in the current era....or ever!)
The main area of concern for me was the gaps on the shoulder pads, otherwise mouldlines and gapping were minimal and expertly hidden, i tried to fill these with liquid greenstuff but looking at them it doesn't seem to have been effective, must learn harder the skills of green stuff.
I don't have a great camera on my phone or a competant light source so i apologise for that, also I apologise profusely for my chubby sausage fingers.
Last weekend I played in New Zealand's AOS tournament Call to Arms, one of the biggest of its kind since the AOS Scene began. I had a great time, and the TO Fraser B did a fantastic job keeping things on time and running smoothly. Would happily attend another event if he was the TO. That being said, let’s do it.
Allegiance: Chaos Mortal Realm: Ulgu
Leaders Screaming Bell (200) - General - Trait: Malicious Conqueror - Artefact: Crown of Conquest Lord Skreech Verminking (300) Plague Furnace (180) Verminlord Corruptor (220) - Artefact: Sword of Judgement
Battleline 20 x Clanrats (120) - Rusty Spear 20 x Clanrats (120) - Rusty Spear 20 x Clanrats (120) - Rusty Spear
Units 5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60) 5 x Plague Censer Bearers (60) 30 x Plague Monks (210) - Foetid Blades 30 x Plague Monks (210) - Foetid Blades
Battalions Plaguesmog Congregation (140)
Endless Spells Chronomantic Cogs (60)
Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 1 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 178
For the people that read my blogs, you'll notice this ISN'T the list I said I planned to use. After the FAQ dropped the TO allowed people to submit different lists, and I took this opportunity to take an army that uses magic with the nerf to Lens of Refraction. The list also was designed to perform strongly against Death and Nurgle, the two most popular lists in the meta. While almost half of players at the tournament ran Death or Nurgle, this didn't play in my favour. I didn't match a single one.
Game 1: Disciples of Tzeentch
Scenario: Duality of Death
Outcome: Major Loss
This was the closest game of the tournament by far. The scores were close all game and the game came down to a single victory point of difference. My opponent is a highly skilled player who played Tzeentch all through their changes and does consistently well, so I went into the game expecting some seriously tactical plays. I was not disappointed, Matt consistently pre-empted my moves and was rarely caught by surprise. He sacrificed control of half the table once he had gained a majority of points and focused on heavily protecting the initial victory point from me. His Lord of Change was running the -2 to melee against it which prevented the corruptor assassinating him off the point, as well as Verminking being unable to reach him past a line of Horrors. The game continued to turn 5, with me unable to remove the Lord of Change. Solid, close game was had.
Game 2: Ironjawz
Scenario: Better Part of Valour
Outcome: Major Win
Already a difficult matchup for the Ironjawz due to my high numbers and mortal wound output, my already disadvantaged opponent was not able to both hold a line and break my own simultaneously to win. My tide of rats shattered through the Ard Boyz and Brutes easily, shaving wounds off the Maw Krusha and easily tangling up the Gore Gruntas. Verminlord Corruptor ran in and kill-stealed both the Maw Krusha and the Fungoid Shaman with ease. My board domination forced him to burn his points early or lose them to me, meaning all I had to do was keep pushing and burn my own a turn later. Game resulted in both a win and full kill points to me.
Game 3: Stormcast Eternals
Scenario: Focal Points
Outcome: Major Loss
Wow, heavily underestimated the new Sacrosanct Chamber. I deployed along the line, expecting the usual Stormcast tactic of spreading onto objectives and trying to hold them for as long as possible before eventually dying off to numbers and mortal wounds. Shaun promptly told me to go ****** myself, charged across the table as hard and fast as possible on turn 1 and destroyed a third of my army. I constantly got smacked with an Everblaze Comet and any attempts at spellcasting were laughingly deflected by a Knight Incantor. I went for kill points as hard as possible after realizing defeat was inevitable and ended up taking maybe a third of his force. Easy win for Shaun.
Game 4: Legion of Azgorh
Scenario: Gift from the Heavens
Outcome: Major Win
Always a hard game against an army that very few people play. I out deployed my opponent opted to play first, using my clanrats to screen off charges from the Taur'uk and his Bull Centaurs, as well as sending 30 Plague Monks around the side to flank Shar'tor the Executioner and block line of sight from the artillery. The Magma Cannons opened fire on the Screaming Bell, which survived with a single wound. My opponent proceeded to double turn me, easily taking out around half of my army. What remained however were Plague Monks, both the Verminlords, a Plague Furnace and my Censer Bearers. I proceeded to match my opponent's punch with a heavy counterpunch that shattered the Ironsworn's defensive line around the war machines and reached the squishy interior. I then rolled well in priority, receiving a double turn of my own and proceeded to completely table my opponent with the momentum gained in the previous turn. Mess with the Ratto, you get the stabbo.
Game 5: Daughters of Khaine
Scenario: Relocation Orb
Outcome: Major Loss
A much-desired match for my opponent Shaun T, a good friend of mine who I was able to beat in one of the critical games at the NZ Masters. Shaun has wanted a rematch since, and he took the opportunity and RAN with it. Easily zeroing Verminking off the tale with Morathi and a Knight Venator in turn 1, the momentum continued smoothly with him simply creating walls to prevent me taking the objectives before he could reach them, ensuring that even with me slowly marching forward and killing his troops I wasn't able to score points. Shaun knew my strengths and made sure I wasn't able to use them against him and secured himself a very clean victory.
Should have kept my army as it was before changes. I knew the list well but opted to try a counter-list instead and paid the price for it. I made a few critical misplays, namely not walling against Sacrosanct Chamber and playing too defensively initially against Daughters of Khaine.
Censer Bearers severely overperformed in every game, either holding objectives or following up the Plague Furnace to deliver solid, consistent damage.
Screaming Bell did well, the bravery immunity from Crown of Conquest enabled Plague Monks to remain in the fight for far longer than usual and Clanrats to hold the enemy off.
The Chaos Grand Alliance ability went off WAY more than you would expect.
Sword of Judgement is utter filth on the Verminlord Corruptor and effectively ensured the enemy had to deal with him or lose their characters.
Plague Furnace was a super effective line breaker and the Plaguesmog Congregation battalion kept it safe from shooting allowing it to reach the front line of enemy armies with ease.
Clanrats could easily have been replaced with Plague Monks and had the same outcome, units of 20 died too quickly to benefit from their mobility.
Skreech Verminking either died too early to be useful or simply didn't kill enough to warrant his cost, paling severely next to the Verminlord Corruptor.
Chronomantic Cogs either were too risky to use for fear of causing the enemy to come back from defeat or allowed the enemy to out-position me and prevent valuable charges from the Plague Monks and characters.
Changes for Next Time
Revert to Pestilens allegiance, Great Plagues and Strength in Numbers are far more useful than the +1 to hit, as useful as it was on the occasion it happened.
Instead of allying Clanrats, ally in Gutter Runners to force a fight on two fronts.
Swap out Cogs for more bodies.
Take Congregation of Filth for the 6+ ward save and the reroll charges as I found several times that I wished I had them to fall back on like normal.
In summary, the Great Corruptor punished me for my treason against Him and I throw myself upon his mercy. Great tournament, had a great time with my friends, and was stoked to see a good friend of mine with his new Nighthaunt army he hadn't even had a chance to test podium with 2nd. Hopefully some of his skill rubs off on me when we play alongside one another at the coming Doubles Tournament in September.
I started on my first unit of Prosecutors and it occurred to me that they may have a serious issue in the new rules.
"A unit must be set up and finish any sort of move as a single group, with all models within 1" horizontally, and 6" vertically, of at least one other model from their unit."
From Measuring Distances:
"Distances in Warhammer Age of Sigmar are measured in inches ("), between the closest points of the bases of the models you’re measuring to and from. If a model does not have a base, measure to and from the closest point of that model instead."
If I'm reading the two correctly then when measuring the distance between models in a unit then one measures from the bases. Prosecutors, as part of the first wave of AoS design when everything was measured from points on the model have those huge wings. I did some measuring and dry fitting and unless you make a conga line it is very difficult to get them into unit cohesion. Not impossible, but annoying enough to be a hassle and delay play while trying to ensure you don't have an accidental split unit and lose models at the end of the turn as a result.
Simplest solution I could think of was to elevate the Prosecutor-Prime. He's the central figure for the unit so I figured it would stagger the models enough vertically to get them coherent in most orientations. One piece of cork later:
I'll cover the whole thing with crackle paste to make it look like sort of outcrop. I know the "cool" thing to do is give the Stormsurge Trident to the Prosecutor-Prime so I very carefully drilled into the spear handle and the trident head:
I wasn't happy with the Summoning cards I made for Nurgle initially, but was lacking any inspiration.
With AoS 2.0 and the flood rewroked Summoning abilities, I made cards, because getting the abilities updated was time consuming enough.
As I'm reworking the old cards into the new layout (see Realms of Battle, Core Set and Artefacts of the Realms as of right now), and the old cards are still up to date, I can take some time.
So here's the first mockup for the general style and functionality (see attachment for download).
Fix them together with a rivet, a spare X-Wing dial rivet or these clips (no idea how they are called, we use them in Germany for cheap delivery (no glue, post office needs to be able to open the envelopes):
Bring the menfolk forward, boys too. The Lord Commander requires replacement across his ranks. Lucius dismissed his guard captain in one swift motion, turning towards the clutter of wooden buildings that were arranged along the near bank of the river. The Rumbling Fist had seen heavy action on their current patrol from Tempest Eye, first green skins, then those damned spirits of undeath, and most recently those skulking rats. In the Flamebloom, men had be picked off in ones and twos by poison darts. Now, with the cogfort looming behind him, Lucius was out on the plain, sent to collect conscripts for the gear works and rifle battalions, if any showed an ounce of talent with arms.
This guy is complete at least until I get around to painting him. Up next are a unit of 10 heavy infantry. Typically used as a heavy assault force, they serve as Lucius's bodyguard. Lucius will probably end up using a freeguild general warscroll. Below are some WIP pictures of the heavy infantry for the cog-fort. They are waiting on more scion power swords and marauder horsemen shields. You'll see one model has a ironbreaker axe. I was planning on using Ironbreaker axes and shields but they are just too small for these guys, who are supposed to be imposing, hulking enforcers and griselled veterans.
Originally I was going to use freeguild great sword weapons and arms with these guys but the poses and ratios were just off enough to make it look crappy trying to use those bits.
So I finally finished up the remaining cards: the Realms of Battle.
These card packs include the rules from the Core Book and the additional spells from Malign Sorcery.
So you never have to flip through 2 books again while playing.
Oh, and these are the first cards with the new and improved layout! I hope you like them.
As some of you may know I've been at this for a fairly long time now, converting and making news things is the main lure of the hobby for me and I'll fit games in around that. However there are times that I get stuck in the void between projects where I am starved of inspiration and desperately need something to spark off a chain of ideas that can form the basis for my themes. To do this I often start trawling around various blogs and websites in search of something that clicks into place, or wander the exhibit hall at warhammer world searching for a model, component or bit of scenery that I can build my own ideas around. I'm glad to say that this works 99% of the time, and since I have for years been an inspiration leech off of others works I figured its about time to pay some of that back into the community.
Below are most of my conversions for the last two years, I've left off the Suneaters as they can be found in the rest of this blog, and the latest Idoneth because I have a live thread in the painting and modelling section for them. This isnt me saying "I'm so good at this, you must learn from me", its my way of paying back all those who have inspired me throughout the years that hopefully anyone searching for a glimmer of inspiration can see some of my old works and make a newer, better and more cohesive idea based off of them.
I have explored maaaaaany army in the last two years, in part due to the rich tapestry that is the potential of age of sigmar and in part because my partner is overly supportive of my hobbies, I tend to avoid chaos as I like it more as a taint on an otherwise differently inclined faction rather than a thing as a whole but otherwise have explored most races (barring dwarves, cant get behind converting them for some reason).
So thanks for reading, and feel free to browse what is a massive photo dump to follow, feel free to ask any questions and I hope if you're seeking inspiration there's something there to spark it.
I'm one of the few that kept the stormcast from the soul wars box and sold the nighthaunt. I've decided to go with Anvils of the Heldenhammer as I like the black and gold and I tested out the colour schemes on some easy-to-build liberators. Here's the first finished model- the force will be entirely Sacrosanct chamber!
Vanguard-Hunters are done!
I've mostly worked out how I want to approach building up to 1000 points with what I have.
Lord-Aquilor (General) [200 pts]
Lord-Castellant [100 pts]
Liberators [x4+Prime, 100 pts]
Vanguard-Hunters [Axes x4 + Prime, 120 pts]
Vanguard-Raptors [Longstrikes x2 + Prime, 180 pts]
Prosecutors [Javelins x2 + Prime w/Trident, 100 pts]
The question then becomes do I go for a unit of Vanguard-Palladors (for more shenanigan options with the Lord-Aquilor) or a second unit of Prosecutors and a Knight-Azyros?
As AoS 2.0 had a change of art direction, I was thinking about how I could change up the layout and design of the cards to better fit into this new age.
I think the card backsides with the battletome covers are fine, so I left that alone.
I took some elements from the Core Book and took inspiration from the 40k datacards.
So here is the first draft:
I have been piecing together some units whilst playing Path of Glory at my LGS, so far so good, my spare skeletons seem to mesh well with the old Glade Guard models.
I wanted a Necromancer and the Wayfinder just had that look about him, i removed his bow and quiver, fitted him with a spare banner pole that has been trimmed down and i will be adding some skulls and extra fetishes to complete the look.
Blood Knights are being represented by Sisters of the Thorn with Wild Rider weapons and helmets, this gives them a decently armour look without losing the elfness.
i managed to get a lucky bag on ebay which contained about 40 Glade guard and 6 glade riders (but no horses) the riders are perfect for making Black Knights in the same theme as my warriors and thankfully the glade guard had a hand full of swords so i have enough for 20 skeleton warriors with swords and boards.
Lots more chopping to do, but hopefully i will have these put together and base coated soon enough!
When the Nighthaunt legions rises from the graves to wage thier war of souls, the need of protection has risen as well. And where there's need the Kharadron overlords are fast to meet that demand, taking advantage of even these troubled times. To complement the arkanaut companies of Rereksfjiord, gunnery sergant Askgrem Boltbinder and his unit of thunderers has been hired together with a gunhauler.