The Troggoth Hag is definitely a piece I believe every Troggoth army needs. It's amazing as a model and amazing on the table.
I rarely do such detailed eyes and faces but when working on a model that is the centrepiece of your army you want to spend some extra time just to make it special. This is surely the best work I have ever done on a models face and I think there is just a lot of character and emotion on the model.
My smaller Troggoths are just green and blue but for this model I felt like it really needed another color to make it pop more so I asked some people what would be best and after many recommendations I decided to go for a nice bright orange and I think it really fits nicely. This picture also shows well the addition of mushrooms all over the model. Even though my Troggoth army is based on swamp themed bases with lots of water effects the mushrooms really tie it to my Grots and Squigs that are based on more rocky bases but with lots of mushrooms. The base on this model was definitely one of the most fun parts of the process of creating it.
Here we see a detail shot of the base with the small Free Guild soldier hiding from the lumbering Hag. I love the base I did here. The water effects came out nicely and the base that comes with the Hag looks really nice after I added all kinds of fun stuff like mushrooms and skulls to it.
I bought this one in our small local store. I literally bought every human mini in this store.
So this gunmaster was one of my more early Miniatures. But I managed to paint this guy in the course of one weekend. Had the idea for the basing at work and was immediatly hyped. Started building/painting right after coming home.
It`s the first mini I started to put much effort into the head.
I really like the thought of him, sitting for a while behind this pile of rocks. Checking wind conditions and such. Just wating for his target to appear and make this important single shoot. It`s a pity that my dice hate me and i never had this shoot in a game. I think he turned out quit nice. Unfortunatly their is a GW base chart now and he should be on a 1" round
Making a gif from the process was even an idea from work. I like making gifs. Have made some for other non hobby stuff too. I hope you folks like it too
I had been considering ways to augment my Stormcast Eternals army (which consists of the Starter Box, Steelheart's Champions from Shadespire, and the models from Storm Strike), and so I began digging through Order factions to see what moved me. One of my friends has a lot of Freeguild, and they seemed fun; but, as I browsed the model ranges on GW, something clicked with the Dispossessed. Neither the Fyreslayers nor the Kharadron Overlords had interested me, but these fellows, with their ornate heavy armor and shields, their grudges, and their guns--well I liked them very much. Nevertheless this was all theoretical until Black Friday, when one of my local game shops had its dwindling supply of Warhammer models 50% off. I went there hoping that maybe the box of Ironbreakers that I'd seen just sitting there for months would still be available, and it was! So away with me they went, and thus begins a new allied force, and the seed of a new army!
So in the last entry, we threw out some provocative statements and introduced a lot of terms in a way that seemed counter-intuitive to some people. This time around, I want to do a bit of house-keeping and tidy things up by unfolding these concepts a bit more fully and hopefully bring them into sharper focus. These concepts are important for what we are going to be doing, and if we ever do end up “doubling-back” (as one commentor cautioned me), then it will be less a regression and more a synthesis.
So let’s revisit our six essential elements form last time: Space, Time, Variability, Presence, Pressure and Projection.
Age of Sigmar is played on a Battle-field (usually 6’x4’ but not necessarily so). Take the meaning of the word field literally, and we can understand that the game plays out over a set of discrete, contiguous points of Space and Time. An individual point of Space is called a place and is understood by its relative position to all other places. An individual point of Time is called a moment and is understood by its relative change from all other moments (e.g. if I elect to “pass” during my shooting phase, for example, nothing has changed, no new moment has been created, no time has elapsed. David Byrne understood this when he wrote “Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens”). An individual point of battle-field (space-time) is called a game-state.
Points (not points of the field, but points in the GHB… see how tricky words can get?) represent the currency I spend to assemble the resources with which I will play the game. For purposes of simplicity, let’s imagine an economy where 1 point = 1 degree of magnitude of a resource. There are, as we mentioned last time, three resources available to us.
The first is Presence, which represents an investment in scalar Space. Investing in space means claiming a place, occupying it, asserting control of it and dominance over it. The degree of investment made represents the grip-strength with which I control that place. The size of place that my investment claims is determined by the base size of the model used to represent that investment. My control of that place is inviolate; no other model may occupy any part of that place. It is mine and mine alone. The most basic expression of Presence is Wounds. Imagine if a warscroll had only one stat, and that stat was Wounds. We could say of my purchase of a Witch Aelf, for example, that I invested 1 point to buy 1” of place at Presence 1. If I bought a unit of 10 Witch Aelves, we could say that I invested 10 points to buy 10 1” places of Presence 1, with a further qualification that the position of each of those 10 places relative to each other is constrained by the rules for unit coherency; or we could say for simplicity, that the 10 Witch Aelves form a unit and therefore represent an investment of 10 points for a Place with 10 Presence. If I add a second stat to the warscroll and give the Witch Aelves a Save of 6, I can now say of the unit that it represents an investment of 12 points for a Place with 12 Presence. If I add a third stat to the warscroll and assign the Witch Aelves a Bravery of 7, I can say that I have now invested 7.2 points for a Place with 7.2 Presence. Note that both the second and third values for Presence are subject to our third essential element of AoS, Variability. We can ignore Variability for now, but it will become relevant later.
The second resource available to us in Pressure, which represents an investment in scalar Time. Investing in time means investing in the capacity to cause change. If I take my unit of 10 Witch Aelves and eliminate everything from their warscroll except the stats Attacks 2 and Damage 1, I can say that I’ve invested 20 points for the capacity of 20 Pressure. If I now add To Hit 3+, I can say that I’ve invested 12 points for the capacity of 12 Pressure. If I further add To Wound 4+, I can say that I’ve invested 6 points for the capacity of 6 Pressure.
The third resource available to us is Projection, which is the introduction of the missing element (Time or Space) to the present element in both Presence and Pressure in order to create a vector of the two and by means of which we can mobilize these resources to interact with and effect the game-state. The Projection of Presence is movement. I change my place. The Projection of Pressure is range. I change your place. Projection is a dimension added to Presence and Pressure such that they can be expressed as a vector and has no independent value on its own. Projection increases the unit cost of the resource to which it applies. I pay a premium for each degree of Presence or Pressure I buy for each degree of Projection through which I can apply it in-game. 1 point of Presence costs less in a vector with movement 4 than it does in a vector with movement 8.
All other elements of a unit’s warscroll can be seen as variables in these resource equations. Indeed all other elements that can interact with units in any way like artefacts, spells and abilities can also be thought of in the same way. When we flush out the complete warscroll for the unit of 10 witch aelves, we can say that the cost of the unit is the cost of the total investment in a particular bundled allocation of magnitude Presence and magnitude Pressure modified by magnitude Projection. Or: it represents a specifically allocated investment in space and in time proportional to their respective magnitude and vector speeds.
Age of Sigmar is an objectives-based game. The win-conditions for AoS are outlined in various battle-plans, themselves subject to the principle of variance. Underlying the differences between battle-plans, however, is a common theme. There is specific space (places) capable of generating changes to the game-state (attribution of Victory Points) that advantage the player. A provisional and imperfect formulation would be to say that the point of the game is to have more Presence, persisting through more Time, in more of the places that matter, than your opponent.
Which brings us to the most contentious part of the previous entry: the claim that units cost points but have no value. This claim is deeply problematic, and I remain conflicted about it. Someone I respect on the forums recently noted that my insistence on this point is frustrating. I will abandon it if it proves itself a useless notion, but until that happens I remain committed to playing it out and seeing what I has to offer. To do that well requires some reframing.
How in game terms do we define value? It is a critical question, because strategy is quite literally the art of evaluation, the art of identifying one possible way forward as being more valuable than the others. It should be clear that we cannot simply calculate value in the same way we calculate points: differences in degrees of magnitude of Presence or Pressure or Projection do not necessarily yield differences in value the way they yield differences in cost. Further, the value of a game-state wherein a unit is screening or tagging a key threat, or occupying the critical space in a bottle-neck of terrain, or claiming an objective, is different than one wherein the exact same unit is not as relevant, even though there is no difference in that unit as unit (as a bundled allocation of resources of specific magnitude and vector). We can perhaps say of a unit that it is “valuable” in the same way that we can say of a Lego block that it is “buildable,” although that is still somewhat insufficient.
I’ve been coached to try and keep these blog entries shorter. I’ve obviously failed, but will stop here so at least I can at least fail less. Please comment if you have thoughts. Your interactions definitely have “value.” Until next time!
"Even if they hide in the darkness and the mists of Ulgu, the enemies of the God-King will not escape me."
— Elinor Borealis, Knight Zephyros.
While chaos worshippers and traitors inside the city of Port Stellis regularly get assassinated by Nocturne, the enemies outside the walls of the free city aren't safe from being murdered by the forces of Order either. Sometimes, when his vanguard rangers identify a threatening character looming around in the Coast of Fleeting Hopes, the Lord Aquilor Andras Silverblade sends one of his best agents on a hunt, a female Knight Zephyros known as Elinor Borealis, the huntress of shadows.
Elinor usually work along with her vanguard ranger comrades, patrolling and exploring the region, but when she when she receives an assassination mission, she ventures alone in the wilderness. While all Knight Zephyros are blessed with superhuman senses, Elinor has to face a peculiar challenge that the others usually don't: the landscape of Ulgu is treacherous and full of misleading illusions. The darkness murmurs lies made credible by faint hints of truth. Paths are never fixed and always change, so it is no use memorizing them. And shadowy creatures prey upon the confused and the lost who have been led astray. Many travellers and warriors have disappeared in the mists.
However Elinor possesses an advantage: in her mortal life, she belonged to a clan of humans hunters in Ulgu. She is a native of the Realm of Shadows, therefore she understands the land better than most and she knows how to thwart the illusions and how to navigate in the mist and the dark. She can even use them at her advantage against her foes, slaying them with greater ease.
Lately, Elinor has been ordered to monitor the movements of a chaotic army gathered in the north: the Court of all Sins.
So some people (the best kind of people, ones who look at this mess of a blog) will have seen my post about wanting to do an hour of painting each day in December. Something I totally intended to do.
Then I got ill. And I'm still ill. And it's pretty crappy. Hoping to be better soon but yeah I've been mostly out of action this entire week so alas no painting. Which is sucky So instead I'll show you guys some stuff from an hour I did late November as an attempt to start getting me ready for the December challenge.
Nothing too amazing unfortunately but hopefully it could be kinda cool to get a following of the progress on these three guys in pic form And hope they finish as much more interesting
Nothing like a provocative title to kick things off. But sometimes the most important theoretical tool is the sledge-hammer. Sometimes old ideas have to be dismantled in order to create space for new points of view.
Part of what I’m going to say grew out from the soil of discussions like this one. At stake in that conversation (which turned surprisingly passionate; so much so, that the mods had to intervene and yellow card the group) is the question of the relationship between a unit’s point cost and its value, and the relationship of that relationship to notions of fairness and balance. I was sympathetic to some of the assertions being made by both sides, but also deeply unconvinced by their conclusions. Resolving the problem, I think, requires looking beneath the surface and seeing the flaws in the foundational assumptions upon which the whole thing rests. The results have relevance to this blog and our efforts here to create a theoretical framework for Age of Sigmar.
"We might say, the colour of the ghost is that which I must mix on the palatte in order to paint it accurately. But how do we determine what the accurate picture is?"--Wittgenstein
One thing that everyone in the conversation agreed on was the fact that value (i.e. “tabletop value”) is contingent. Where people disagreed was on the claim that because of the fact that value is contingent, points, which are generalized, can never be “accurate” or “balanced.”
A good example used in the discussion was the Bloodsecrator. How does one correctly cost Bloodsecrator given the “overwhelming” number of possible variables that could affect the computation of an ability like Portal of Skulls? The value of its +1 attacks component would not be the same if used to buff 10 Bloodreavers than if used to buff 80 Bloodreavers, etc., etc. Taken as is, problems like these seem unsolvable. But push the contingency of value to its extremes, and the assumptions underlying the problem become untenable.
What is the difference in the value of the buff if the 10 Bloodreavers and the 80 Bloodreavers are both used successfully to take out a unit of 10 Skinks in a single combat phase?
Even more to the point, let’s crystalize as many variables as possible to really flush out the contingency of value. The game is in the second turn of the fifth round and both players are tied on victory points. Player A has a unit of Skinks remaining. Player B has a unit of Bloodreavers and a Bloodsecrator remaining. The Skinks and Reavers are engaged in combat at the start of the turn.
If the Skinks are holding an objective and the buff from Portal of Skulls is needed to ensure that the Reavers will inflict enough damage to outnumber the Skinks and take control of the objective, then its value is absolute since it is a decisive element for winning the game.
If the Skinks and Reavers are locked in combat 9” away from the objective, then the value of the buff is zero since the Reavers need to retreat from combat past the Skinks and onto the objective in order to win. The combat itself is irrelevant.
If the Bloodscrator is equipped with an artefact and starts the turn 7” away from the objective and the scenario is, say, Places of Arcane Power, then the value of the buff is absolutely negative, since activating it will prevent the hero from moving to claim the objective and win the game.
There is nothing specifically unique about the Bloodsecrator in this example. The notion of the contignecy of value applies to any unit in the same way, and to the same possible extremes. The issue is not that abilities like Portal of Thrones are “complicated” and produce computational challenges; it is rather that questions of value are theoretical in nature, not computational, and that the domain of value is composed of actions and their consequences, not the units themselves. It is very often the case that nominal differences in calculated output yield no difference in theoretical value at all.
Unlike value, points represent the investment required to obtain the capacity to do things; they represent a currency used to purchase resources. Points strive to create balance not through high-fidelity prediction of in-game value, but by creating an economy where access to key resources is restricted by a budget and a rational pricing scheme. I use points to invest in the capacity to create value in-game through intelligent play, but that capacity is not itself the value. Value and points are different things and are expressed in different languages. I consider it a design mistake whenever a battle-plan or a tournament ladder uses kill points as a scoring mechanism. Not because it isn’t “fair” (i.e. some armies will be better predisposed to offensive tactics than others), but more importantly because it serves as a poor heuristic for good gameplay. A strategy focused on forcing favorable exchanges of points is better than no strategy at all, but it is nonetheless a flawed strategy.
Once we decouple the concept of value from the concept of points, we are free to rethink the game in a more theoretical way. My approach here will be to strip away everything down to its absolute foundational principles, and then proceed to slowly rebuild it, bit by bit, blog by blog, using only what flows naturally from these roots.
So here comes my second provocative statement of the day:
Age of Sigmar can be reduced to just three essential components. Everything else (everything!) is derivative.
The first two essential elements are Time and Space. All notions of what we call Value derive from these two elements. The third essential element is Variability, which is an irreducible characteristic that governs the nature of play in the game.
Derivative from Time and Space are the three essential capacities available to players as a means of generating value. The first is Presence, which represents a scalar investment in Space. The second is Pressure, which represents a scalar investment in Time. The third, Projection, is really a component dimension of Presence and Pressure by virtue of which these capabilities can be mobilized to contest an opponent’s Time (in the instance of Presence) or Space (in the instance of Pressure). We can say in purely abstract terms that Pressure attacks Presence, and Presence attacks Projection. In practice, our access to these capabilities is mediated through units (and the abilities, spells, effects that these units can mobilize), and all units necessarily contain some magnitude of Presence, Pressure and Projection. There is no such thing in actual game terms as “pure” presence, pressure or projection, although theoretically it is sometimes useful to think of them in pure terms in order to better understand their nature.
Time, Space, Variability, Presence, Pressure and Projection. Six essential building blocks from which we hope to construct concepts useful for better understanding the game, and from which we hope to derive strategies to help better evaluate between the different choices that present themselves to us in game.
My local gaming store was hosting a painting competition, you had to either enter a Kill Team or a Shadespire Warband.
A few night later and I had finished my Garreks Reavers. I might not win a prize, but now I can start playing Warhammer Underwold!
So if you should visit Aarhus, Denmark please feel free to swing by Dragons Lair and take a look at all the great looking models on displayed there.
My second unit to paint were the 20 guards with sword and shield i had already assembled. On the 12th of march they looked like this:
Obviously i removed the shields before painting. Subassembly is a thing now.
Ten days later i had 20 of them nearly finished:
For this 10 man units with champion, muscian and standardbearer i went with red clothbands. The other 10 got kinda purple ones.
It took a my a while to bolster the ranks of each of the 2 units to 20 men. But here they are.
...and the third swords of the Nordheim army.
I really like how they turned out and at the moment they are the back of my army being present in every game. You can see the development in painting in this units. I often came back to these and added more detail. Someday i will redo these banners with something real fancy
Here is one special dude of the 5th swords which i like the most:
These 40 men are the only guards for now. And they have seen many battles. I hope i can add a lot of them soon. A block of 40 halberdiers sounds pretty promising
The first unit to be finished were the 10 handgunners i bought the first day. I looked around in the old warhammer fantasy lore for a good colorsheme a long time. An decision wasn`t easy to made but at the end I took to the blue and yellow of Nordland and never regreted since. I really like the colorful look which most armys kinda lack in my opinion. I also decided to color those clothstrips they have attached in varoius manners to symbolize the regiment they belong to. Greenish tones for missle units.
When i called them done on the 8th of march, they looked like this:
Nothing too fancy, but i liked them from the start. Nethertheless i came back to extend the painting later. But these 10 guys are only half of the unit. I went for some other minis in between but by the 3th of april i finished the other half of this unit.
They already have some green on their bases and the second layer on the uniforms is more bright. Which i like really much. Someday later I added another layer to them and finished the banner.
Today the 10th rifles of the Nordheim army look like this:
The champion with the long rifle is called Jonny. jonny is a real marksman and even shot Nagash right into the face.
Until now these are my only handgunners. I still have another unit of 20 assembled and primed but they`re still waiting for some paint.
It was the 23th of february in 2018 when a colleague of mine started a get-to-know-warhammer-event in our company. Thanks Pete! 😀 I was hobbying some years before with a tiny force of some chaos warriors in 8th edition, but never got them to the table. So i was eager to play my first game. Due to Age of Sigmar the rules where easy to understand und we all had a really nice evening. During the whole event i told everbody that i don`t have the time to hobby again.
The next evening i sad at my desk which looked like this:
I went to the local store right after work and bought the only Free People kit they got. Handgunners! The old painting station was banned to the cellar for years. But the colors and primer were still in good shape so i was able to start directly. I won`t explain the decision for the free people because it`s clearly the only sensable one. For everyone
I tend to exaggerate a little some times. And Warhammering was no exception in this case. 3 days and an express postal service later my desk looked like this:
20 Guards with sword and shield, 10 Handgunner, a General on horse to lead them into battle and the cannon for boom! The first army around 500 points ready to go.
Unfortunately the painting took far longer than the assembling.
In this blog i want to documentate the evolution of my free people army. It`s planned as a kind of timeline which i can read from time to time to bring back the good memories. Also i`d like to get some feedback and opinions for the painting, conversions, listbuilding and general hobby mischief I`m doing all day. An improvement in my english skills will come naturely, hopefully.
Thanks Pete for bringing me back into the hobby!
So CrimBOBO is done and it was out of this world amazing, it was my first ever AoS event and I've never felt so welcome. Gnarlroot did me well but I learned I need more bodies on the table, so going forward to the Sheffield Slaughter I'm going to give Harvestboon a go with a more Dryad focus. That said, it's time to carry on with the hobby and for CrimBOBO I rushed my Wyldwoods as I forgot I had to do them. Now I have the time I'm going to go back over them so they're more cohesive and look nicer. I finished the first one and I'm pleased with the result, I think it looks cohesive with the army and is pleasing to look at. I hope you guys agree, let me know what you think
There is a surprising dearth of theory regarding Age of Sigmar. I’m not sure why that is exactly. There’s certainly a lot of effort spent on list building. There’s a lot of effort spent on finding combos and unlocking synergies. There’s time spent on “creating a plan.” There’s time invested on computation aimed at solving very specific problems (aka math-hammer). There’s even a good amount of discussion about actual tactics and tactical play. But there’s next to nothing about theory. I suspect that’s one of the reasons that some people think that AoS is a game without any strategic depth. I disagree. I think the depth is there. What’s missing is the theory (the concepts and the framework) that makes thinking and talking about it easier, more accessible and more fruitful.
I’m going to use this blog to try and build some momentum on this topic.
I don’t know right now how it will turn out. It could be that the naysayers are correct and the game lacks substance. Or it could be that this will help map out some uncharted conceptual space “beneath the surface” from which we players can engage each other and the game in productive new ways.
The endeavor will kick off in earnest with the next post. For now, I’ll just lay down some definitions for anyone who might not be completely comfortable with what we mean when we talk about theory, and how theory relates with strategy, tactics and having a plan.
Theory is about the creation of concepts that have explanatory power. These theoretical concepts provide a clarifying lens through which we can look at the game in a way that helps us to understand it better.
Strategy is about deciding on the best use of the resources available to us in order to win.
Tactics are about how we specifically do each action we make in order to maximize the benefit of each decision made.
Or simply, we can say: theory explains, strategy evaluates, and tactics execute. Or even simpler: Why, what, how.
Considered this way, it’s perhaps a bit easier to understand why theory is a neglected part of AoS discourse, and to understand the implication of this neglect.
Imagine your typical newcomer to the game. They are drawn in by a specific faction, by its lore or its look. They have some fun painting and modeling, but don’t have much success on the table-top. So they plug into the community and ask for help. Here’s my current list, help me make it better. Lots of people chime in with advice that helps the newcomer solidify a better plan. Drop this unit, add that unit, take this artefact, combo this thing with that thing and you will be able to do this really cool thing. The newcomer gets a few more models, makes these changes, and enjoys a bit more success on the table. Soon they are back asking for more help: I can’t beat army X, help! Again the community jumps in, and now their advice is more tactical. Make sure you screen like this and deploy like that, etc. And again, the newcomer takes the advice and applies it and enjoys a bit more success. And then the meta shifts, new armies are released, and the process starts all over.
The point here is that the player is getting better with each step. They are learning what to do, and how to do it. And the rate of change across the surface of the game has sufficient velocity that the sense of learning and improvement can seem to go on indefinitely. If we can keep iterating on what to do (through list design), and how to do it (through improving tactical play), why do would we ever need to step back and think about why we’re doing it?
The hope with this blog is that by exploring the why we allow for less imitating and more innovating. We flush out a strategic depth that persists across armies, and battleplans, and other superficial game changes. We improve our gameplay by expanding from just learning how to make a good plan better, to being able to ascertain, at any point, whether a given plan is still optimal, or even viable, and to successfully pivot to a new plan, to make different choices, in the moment, in the context of what’s most important right now. That’s the strategic depth that lies below the surface. That’s what I’d like us to explore.
So I'm going to publically say that I am going to attempt to do something I've never managed before and may very well fail.
I am going to try and do 1 hour of painting every day for the whole of december...
I know I know... Me? Paint every day? Not just once a month? It's absolute madness! But it's important that I try because I want to get into the habit of painting for an hour every day. And it might help me catch up on the tale of warlords that I have fallen rediculously behind on. I shall try and post each day of my progress somewhere and anytime I miss days (whether due to my own forgetfulness or not being around my paints) I shall endeavour to catch up on the lost hours.
Here's to dreaming of a corax white christmas
Arygyl was a Sheppard, an ancient tradition of the old gargants. Herding and maintaining the food beasts his tribe depended on, but they never gave him and respect or thanks.
Until he heard a voice, at the edge of the Deepwood, both a whisper and a scream it called to him. All day and all night he heard the voice, calling him into the dark. He gave in and went searching for the voice, determined to give it a good thumping.
What he found changed him, more than he could have ever known. The great entity he calls the Many Eyed began to bargain with him, promising him greatness in the forms of physical strength and dark magics. Never being one of station the opportunity to rule over his own kingdom was too much to pass up and he accepted.
As herald of the Many Eyed he began his reign of terror, those first victims were his former tribe, all perished in a night of darkness and slaughter.
Arygyl the Sheppard is a Grot shaman for my spiderfang army
Paint job still needs some work but he's getting there
The first part of this project I am going to work towards is the Slaughterborn Batallion.
Each battalion sub-project will consist of four stages. The first stage is the minimum size battalion, which is the minimum number of units/models required to take the battalion warscroll. The second stage is a 1k list built around the battalion, this will have two variations the first using the battalion warscroll and the other adding extra models from and running without the battalion rules, to allow some gaming into the project as a reward for getting a few units completed. The third stage is the maximum number of units at minimum size, meeting this requirement adds bonus rules for a few of the battalions. The fourth and final stage is the battalion at my full size, this isn’t maxed out it’s just taking units above min sized in a way that I picture suiting the battalions function In the narrative.
Between each stage I plan to have a short break and work on a unit for a different army or game.
Stage One - Minimum Size Battalion
The components required for this section are one unit of five Blood Warriors with gorefists , two units of five Skullreapers and an Exalted Deathbringer. This stage has a starting bonus for me as I have already painted up the required Exalted Deathbringer as my initial test model.
Stage Two - 1k point lists
To expand the minimum battalion to be playable I added will add a second unit of ten blood Warriors, with axes this time, and increase the size of the original unit to ten as well. I find that this battalion does not work very well in isolation, without a stronger general to support. My non-battalion list adds in a Slaughterpriest and Bloodstoker who help strenghen the list by filling in some holes, these extra hero’s should also help to give a short head start on the Dark Feast battalion later on.
Stage Three - Maximum number of units
Adding two additional Skullreaper units, one of each weapon option, and one more unit of blood warriors with gorefists, bringing the total number to three. This battalion does not get a bonus for maximum unit numbers, but as the personal guard of the Warhordes leader they need the to be numerous for their lords survival.
Stage Four - Final battalion
Exalted Deathbringer, with Impaling Spear
10 Blood Warriors with paired goreaxes
10 Blood Warriors with gorefists
30 Bloodwarriors with gorefists
5 Skullreapers with gore slick blades
20 Skullreapers with gore slick blades
5 Skullreapers with daemon blades
10 Skullreapers with daemon blades
My idea for the end battalion is that it will provide units of varied sizes to cover a variety of centre field roles, smaller units to throw away and larger units to die down threats for a few turns or mow down weak hordes.
Thats the outline of the plan, now it’s time to get paining.
The Soul Wars started with a surprise attack by the Nighthaunt on a gathering of Order dignitaries who were meeting with the mysterious Idoneth Deepkin. Zeraphina Heldensdotter, Knight-Incantor of the Hammers of Sigmar and Bael-Grimnir, Runefather of the Vorstarg lodge were had been granted an audience with Valenturnous, Akhelian King of the Ionrach enclave with the intention of discussing the recent emergence of the sea elves and their part in the Necroquake.
It was then that Lady Olynder, Nagash's latest Mortarch, surprised the gathering as they attacked from within the seemingly unbreachable fortress walls. Although they took many losses, including the Duardin Runefather, the forces of Order managed to hold their ground and eventually the undead had to make their retreat. The battle ended in a stalemate but the Soul Wars had just begun.
When I play a game on the tabletop a minor issue that always gets to me is when two identical units end up in a combat and then everyone has to try to work out which models are part of unit A and which are part of unit B. My way to work around this at unit level is to add a distinct variation to each units models such as having a shoulder pad, plume or hilt a specific colour. This works well for a quick head count.
In the bigger picture I find the same issue reoccurs at a larger scale where battalions give different units bonus rules. Where the question arises “were these blood warrriors part or the Slaughterborn or Red Headsmen?”, ok it’s Khorne so the question probably should have Gore Pilgrims In it. I thought that as this project is going to be running 8 different battalions within a super-battalion it would be best to add a layer of distinction from the outset. Ideally this should make it clear to both me and my opponent which unit is in which battalion. and, should I ever get all ~10k points done, look epic on the tabletop.
i have tired to base the model variation around the wording and description on the description from the battletome
As personal bodyguard to the Mighty Lord of Khorne the Slaughterborn will have a ‘clean’ scheme, matching the lord, without any variation. These will be the first battalion that I put together, as I will be helpful to have reference models painted for other aspects of the project
The Brass Stampede is the only faction source of juggernauts so does not need any scheme variation, if it’s on a juggernaut then it’s in the battalion. Saying that I will still look to add a brass trim to the model, either on the hover or as an edging line to the armour.
These guys will have armour in a clean scheme but their weapons will have a red hot glow effect to them. I plan to do this with a white metal base and then use glaze red and yellow to represent the glow.
This warband are dedicated to the collection of heads. To represent this I will build all models with the Skullreapers skull trophies, blood reavers etc. I will also leave them off other skull reapers in other battalions.
Add tattoos to all the models in this battalion, most the models are pretty much topless so skin based distinction seems logical. This one is not so much based on description but just a means of distinction as nothing stood out in the fluff paragraph. Hopefully I will improve my freehand by the time I get to these guys, as currently I struggle with edge highlights.
These guys are the killers of the army so they will have Blades of a different colour/metal to represent their access to the best weapons. They will also have skull stacks on their bases representing how many heads they have taken,
These will have blood effect on the models and bases, representing blood rain. Use Matt red/brown blood for more or a drying blood.
Blood rags, made of greenstuff, will be this units unique factor. The idea is for them to represent the scrolls and blood paths taken for the pilgrimage.
This mob will also be covered in blood/gore with Blood for the Blood God technical paint. I am hopeful theses guys will be far enough from the Bloodbound warband to maintain a clear distinction
Drusala's Blood Coven
This is the story of my force and the first of its two leaders, Drusala.
Drusala, Dark-Talon was the Khailebron adjunct to Selendti Llyr Xiss, Morathi’s Ambassador to Hammerhal. Drusala and her warhost, the Blood Coven, were secreted beneath Hammerhal Aqsha. Along with Drusala’s personal guard of Blood Sisters her Coven comprised the Cauldron Guard of the Hag Queen, Maka Khelt.
During the early years of the Daughters reintegration into the Mortal Realms, Drusala's coven hid under Cinderfall’s Rift Market quater. Their numbers were split between Maka’s Blood Sisters who performed feats of gladiatorial combat in makeshift arenas and Drusala’s Scáthborn who patrolled the under-city scouring its depths for the Slanneshi sorcerer, Lord Redomir, and his minions.
During the Time of Tribulations while Drusala and her Blood Coven were deployed to Shyish, and after the necroquake rocked the Realms. Drusala and her war coven told the Stormcast and Freeguild commanders that their orders were to pursue a band of Nighthaunt raiders, into the Land of Living Bone but their true mission was far darker.
Legend has reached Morathi’s ears that a forgotten temple to Khaine has been unearthed on a blighted isle in the Shyishian sea known as the Gullet. She has sent Drusala and Maka there to investigate it and to eliminate anyone else with knowledge of it.
The Story of Drusala Dark Talon
Although the Blood Cult's leadership was shared between Maka and Drusala, neither of the she-aelves trusted or even liked the other. Maka Khelt was a great Warrior Princess of the Witch Aelves of Ulgu, renowned amongst her sisters for her beauty and her bloodlust. A highborn daughter of one of the many Aelven Princes of Druciroth. Maka had always lived a pampered and privelaged life, and for that Drusala hated her.
The story of Drusala's life was a litany of suffering. Before becoming a Khainite she had been a Courtesan in the pleasure quarter aboard the Eternity of Torment, a Black Ark under the command of the nefarious and notorious Fleetmaster Zarkland Zenthe. Captured and forced to labour for the flesh masters there she had been born to Azyrite Wanders in the wilds of Ghur. For years she and her parents lived as nomads moving between the human, duardin and aelf settlements in Ghur. They were outcasts even within the Wanderers tribes. Her father’s people were followers of Araloth, a little known divinity outside the Aelven community but his worship was considered taboo even within it. He was a lost god and his followers a lost people.
For their faith Drusala’s parents had made many sacrifices, foremost among them was a pledge to live in poverty. As Drusala grew-up she came to resent this impoverishment and useless faith. She had no home, no belongings and as she matured she realized the depth of her parent's sacrifices. It was custom amongst the aelves of Ghur for the father of the bride to pay a dowry for marriage, but Drusala had none. And therefore no respectable lover would ever court her despite her beauty, intelligence and talents.
One night the family arrived in a settlement not far from Izalend. There a dashing Aelf caught Drusala eye. He was handsome and strong and bore the tattoos of a Privateer, his name was Lokhir. For three days and three nights they became locked in a star-crossed tryst, and on the dawn of the fourth day she awoke to find a knife at her throat. They had been attacked by pirates and Lokhir was dead. Assassins hired by Zarkland Zenthe had murdered him and stole Drusala away into servitude on the Black Ark. There she was given to the flesh masters who made her into a Courtesan for their seedy business. Until one day the Khainite Priestess Vhorskaya came looking for sacrifices to Khaine. The Priestess noticed something ferocious in Drusala eyes and decided to take her, but to train her as a Witch Elf rather than an offering to the Bloody-handed God.
The years passed and Drusala grew more beautiful and more paranoid. Her innate skills as warrior bought her fame and glory. Eventually she was sent as part of a warrior tithe back to Ulgu. There she was inducted into the Khailebron sect. And her abilities as a mistress of espionage and deceit were honed.
As her fame and prowess in battle grew Drusala was set to rise to power as a Slaughter Queen but one day at a conclave of Priestesses she questioned a decision of the Demigoddess herself. It was a fleeting moment, little more than a quip, but Morathi knows no forgiveness. Inviting the young Witch Aelf to her side Morathi drew a blade across her own chest and pulled Drusala close, pushing the she-aelf's lips to the wound. As she did the tainted blood of the Shadow Queen fell into Drusala's moth. It coursed through her body, warping her, changing her, transforming her, until serpentine features burst from her body. Flesh, cloth and bone gave way to her new shape, simultaneously both exquisite and loathsome. With a terrible hiss Drusala called out in disgust and pain at her new shape. But Morathi wrapped her arms around her daughter and whispered a glamour spell into her ear. In the blink of an eye Drusala became more beautiful than she had ever been before. Taller, lither and stronger. But she knew this was merely an illusion. Every shadow she cast was serpentine, and her reflection monstrous. This was her reward for questioning the High Oracle of Khaine and forever after she would remember that.
It's been a while since I've been able to take any decent photos but in the last few months the Blood Cult has really come together. Apologies for the shoddy photos.
1 Cauldron with magnetized Avatar and Mirror. Cauldron designed to fit 1 of 3 models, a Slaughter Queen, Hag Queen or Medusa
30 Witch Aelves with paired daggers
15 out of 20 Witch Aelves with shields and daggers
2 of 3 Medusae, one converted using an old metal Morathi head to represent Drusala Dark-talon the Gorgon Sorceress, she has her own converted 40mm base too.
3 of 4 Death Hags
1 of 3 Slaughter Queens with a converted 25mm cauldron base.
the Ynnari model Yvrainne who will proxy as either a Hag Queen or Slaughter Queen on a to be converted Cauldron
5 out of 15 Blood Sisters
10 out of 15 Khinerai (5 Lifetakers, 5 Heart Renders)
1 of 5 Doomfire Maidens (converted warlocks)
Other items on the painting-converting table are:
Darkling Covens Sorceress
A converted Morathi, using a Bloodwrack Medusa body and hand with Heart from Bloodbowl Witch Elf. This is early days and some sanding and pairing of the GS needs to be done.
Heaps of Sequitors
1 Tzeetnch Sorcerer/Fatemaster
1 Chaos Sorceror on daemonic mount
And a few Underworld's warbands' bases
That's about it for the moment. Will post up some lore for the DOK force soon and try to get some decent photos next month
Recently I found myself in a bit of a predicament, a pirate themed predicament. I have an abiding love for dark elf corsairs and found my dedication to Slaanesh wavering as I read through the Idoneth battletome and Scourge Privateer rules. I wanted pirates, coastlines, ships, and ports. The advice given to me was “just make your Slaanesh army pirate themed.” And that’s what I did, but it took me a day or two to reconcile the two together. Admittedly, it’s not too far off from the original pleasure cult concept, but breaking down the original material did take some mental effort, like breaking cement to pour a new foundation.
Nagh Kython Khyrkanashaith ~ Pale Serpent Cult of Pleasure
Thanharath, the Lord of Slaanesh’s new name, roughly means “subtle/hidden ambition,” something that an “exile” aelf mother might realistically name her child, especially if he was a ****** of nobility. Along that vein, I imagine Thanharath taking to the sea with the scourge privateers to earn gold and glory, and a measure of freedom from his mother’s expectations.
During the course of his voyaging about Ulgu, pillaging the forces opposed to Order and capturing great beasts, Thanharath’s moral character is tested by an encounter with a seeker host on the hunt for Slaanesh. The daemonettes are routed, but he and his crewmates are hard pressed to let the memory of it alone. Sensing an opportunity, a herald within the shattered host tracks the privateers back to their home port, infiltrating the community as aelven refugees lost in Ulgu’s mists.
After a short time, and several ventures upon the shadow sea, the privateers return home to find the port covered in strange fog and eerily silent. A desperate cry from the captain as his head in bound up in the Talunhook of an Idoneth soulrender signals the ambush. The privateers fight desperately against the sea aelves, making bloody progress out of the docks and into the streets. The Slaaneshi herald, under the assumed name of Fiannagh, guides the besieged crew into a fortified house where the last of the port’s populace wait for the next attack. Privately, Fiannagh reveals herself, and his bound mother, to Thanharath, and offers to drive off the Idoneth if he will embrace the worship of Slaanesh and complete the ritual that will summon their salvation.
With a shrug, Thanharath sacrifices his mother to Slaanesh. The Idoneth raiders are ill prepared for the daemonic forces that spill from the fortified house, and their bodies line the streets as the enchanted mist rolls back out to sea.
Thanharath Serpentsworn ~ Lord of Slaanesh on Daemonic Mount
The model will use the mounted Lord of Slaanesh as a base, but replace the torso, arms, and legs with corsair parts, especially the corsair champion head with the serpent motif. The shield will be replaced with a drakespawn knight shield bearing another serpent. I plan to use wood plank basing for this and the rest of the army.
Elthyirah Blisscutter and the Kython Khalirii ~ Hellstriders
Slaanesh mounts, drakespawn rider legs and shields with serpent icons, spears, hellstrider standard, and corsair bodies, arms, heads and trumpet. Elthyirah will be given the hellstrider champion claw spear and a daemonette head to show the extent of her corruption and devotion.
Fiannagh’s Host ~ Herald of Slaanesh and Daemonettes of Slaanesh
Herald mounted on a steed of Slaanesh, using bits from the seeker chariot kit, and daemonette kit. Paint scheme for Slaanesh daemons will reference salt water crabs and other sea creatures to tie in with the corsair theme of the army. Not much conversion needed, they already have claw hands.
That fills out my first 500 points, and allows me to drop the black dragon kit from my earlier plans. I just need to get a box of corsairs, two drakespawn knight boxes, and the mounted Lord of Slaanesh box to finish out (excluding extra bits and bases). To lead into the next 500 points, I may just do a simple doomfire warlock conversion for my mounted chaos sorcerer, and there’s Wrath and Rapture on the horizon.
With AoS 2.0 I really enjoy how the realms are coming to life, with more description and even bonus rules. Because of this with each army I start work on I try to pick a realm and base them accordingly. I put most of the realm representation in the basing of the army.
I have a bigger picture idea working up to ArchAeon and the Everchosen where I want each of the non-daemon chaos allegiance factions based on being from a distinct realm, from each other, and the daemon side to be the same realm as the mortal halves but with a realm of chaos twist. So for example Nurgle Rotbringers May have realm of life bases and the Nurgle Daemons would have the same realm of life base, but with corruption and decay added. Then Archaeons basing would be a circle of transition between the 8 basing designs,4 realms both with and without chaos taint.
I already have allocated Aqushy, realm of fire, to Tzeench Arcanists which ruled out that as an option. I wanted a darkish basing so that the lighter bone elements of the armour contrasted. I eventually chose Chamon, the realm of metal, as I thought this would be a great setting for an army who through known for being crazed have a large dependence on the forging of weapons and armour. It will also, over time, be a good realm to be able to build up a faction narrative beyond drinking blood out of gathered skulls.
For the basing I used cork with texture/grit paint to represent the earth which I dry brushed with metallics and finally applied a gloss black wash to darken it down. Then I mixed metallic paint, in this case Vallejo gold, with gloss varnish to created a flow of molten metal within the cracked earth. I allowed the metal to dry and then reapplied 1-2 more times to create volume.
I've been pretty busy beavering away at all sorts of things. Here's a few new bits for the KO. An Admiral to lead them, the completed Gunhauler and a Knight Incantor in case I wanted to ally one in.
I've also finished off a bunch of my Nighthaunt. The colour scheme I went with is kind of a mix between Peachy's and Mengel's.
And last but not least, a decent pic of my Megaboss.