An Even Angrier Guy

A Bloodthirster is pretty angry, but if you want absolute fury, it has to be Skarbrand…

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I used pretty much the same painting techniques as the original Bloodthirster for this guy, from skin to armour to wings. He has a bit more armour than the other and his axes are a bit more complicated but that is compensated for by not having a fragile twirly whip.

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Skarbrand is fairly battered overall, with shredded wings held together by chains, broken horns and half his face worn down to the skull. He also looks a little smaller overall than the Bloodthirster, but this is more down to a different pose and wings that are not outstretched. You won’t be disappointed with Skarbrand, and I think he wil only improve once he gets onto the table…

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Anyway, just a quickie today, as I am currently working on the Big Project…

Herald Can Haz Wheelz?

I picked up a Herald of Khorne a little while ago, and very nice he is too. He has already popped up in a few battles and makes for a good ‘mid-level’ Hero for Khornate forces that have a daemonic twist. But, I thought to myself, suppose he doesn’t want to walk everywhere?

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The answer had to be a Blood Throne!

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When I picked this kit up, I hummed and harred about whether to do it as a Blood Throne or Skull Cannon, as you can make either from the box. IN the end, I shied away from the Skull Cannon, as ranged attacks are not really Khorne’s thing and as they come in units, I might have put myself on a path where I was trying to justify having three of them – and still be after a Blood Throne. So, this was better.

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Two things become quickly apparent with this model. First off, it is bigger than it looks. In a small force, it is going to be a serious centrepiece and in larger armies, it will still be holding its head up alongside the big monsters.

Second, it is really quick to paint.

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The main body is Balthasar Gold, with the same Agrax shade and Necron Compound drybrush that the Skull Keep used. That does about 70% of the model. After that, it is just a matter of painting the Bloodletters (never a long job), the red bits on the chariot (Khorne Red base) and a few of the other metal parts (Leadbelcher) such as the chains, suspension and exhausts.

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Simples!

This chap came about a week late for our big Khorne daemon battle in the campaign, but I am sure he will pop up at some point.

The only thing left on my painting table at the moment is Skarbrand, who is half finished but I am not sure he will be completed before the weekend. I have a very special project lined up for the weekend (taking advantage of group painting day), and I have also been spending time putting together some Chaos Warriors and Beastmen for the next few projects after that…

Letting Slip the Dogs of War

I wasn’t going to post these, but I quite liked the way they turned out – just a unit of Chaos Warhounds, not really on my painting list and were just done because I knew they would be quick and easy. As it turns out, that doesn’t mean they cannot be quite acceptable.

There is a video on Youtube showing another fast way of doing these Warhounds but they are done a deep red – looks really good, but it is overall a little too suggestive of khorne (to be fair to the painter, that was exactly what he was aiming for), whereas I wanted mine more generic so they would fit into any Chaos force. Having a separate unit of Warhounds for each Chaos force would, frankly, be madness (going to be taking the same approach to my beastmen, keeping them all fairly neutral, as I will be wanting to use them for at least Nurgle and Tzeentch, if not Khorne).

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So, I wanted to keep them fairly, well, doggy-coloured, and let the various mutations mark them out as something a bit different. For this, I took inspiration from the painting guide GW supplied with White Dwarf way back when. On that chart, you can do the traditional base/shade/layer approach, or take an alternate method, that of doing base/highlight/shade. I didn’t have the colours I needed for the former, but had just the ticket for the latter!

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These really are super-quick to do and, honestly, you could do 20 or 30 at a time and it would not take much longer. Just depends on how many doggies you want (and they go for peanuts on eBay).

Start with a Mournfang Brown base colour all over (and, to speed things up, I have a feeling GW do a spray can of this), then drybrush with Tyrant Skull – feels a bit weird, and it will look like the highlights are too sharp, but that is taken care of with the next stage, an all over Agrax Earthshade wash.

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This blends the highlights into the brown and pretty much completes the bodies of the dogs! Next stage, Abaddon Black on that big shaggy bit of hair in the middle. Dryb rush with first Skavenblight Dirge then (very lightly) Celestial Grey, and you are done!

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Horns and spines next, and for this I did the standard bone thing – Zandri Dust, Agrax wash (if you planned ahead you could do that alongside the wash you did on the body, and do the hair afterwards, might save you a bit of time), then drybrush Ushabti Bone and white/Tyrant Skull.

That just leaves the various mutations such as tentacles and scorpion tails, which can be done to taste – I used relatively bright colours to make them stand out and highlight the fact these are Chaos Warhounds.

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Job done!

Looking at their Warscroll, these doggies are not particularly hard but they are very fast and have two attacks each – used in a block of ten, they will cause some consternation to the enemy and will force him to take action against them. They will probably make their first appearance when the campaign switches to the Realm of Life.

 

Festus the Leechlord

This model has been sitting on the painting table for a while now, getting the odd bit done to it in-between other things. However, last night, I made the final push and finished him – Festus the Leechlord is ready to take to the field!

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This is the kind of model that is absolutely loaded with detail, and just as you think you have finished one section, something else pops up to demand your attention. There is probably more detail on this model than there is on, say, a Maggoth Lord!

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Festus himself is quite an easy model to tackle – the bulk of him is the same pallid flesh I did for the Blightkings (nicely linking him to the rest of the Rotbringers), then there is just his apron and tentacles, really.

The issues start with the massive wooden backpack, its grisly contents, the bottles on his belt, and his staff. There are all sorts of little things to get your brush round on these, from the Nurgling on the platform holding a foot, to the skulls, scrolls and fungi on the staff.

Then there is the poor guy getting force-fed Festus’ latest brew…

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This is kinda of the centrepiece of the model, after Festus himself, and GW’s painters do a far better job than me! However, I think it was just within the limits of my own talent to get the point across – he is getting fed the concoction and literally falling apart, so there is a mixture of skin and bone, all wrapped up in gooey green stuff that is dissolving his robes. I was going to add a touch of the gunky Nurgle’s Rot paint to him, but felt that would have probably gone too far.

The bottle Festus is holding could well have been a chore in itself, and GW’s painters have gone as far as painting in the surface tension of the liquid! I went for a simpler route – the whole bottle was painted Celestial Grey and highlighted with white, with Moot Green used for the liquid and two lots of Biel-Tan Green laid on top and allowed to settle towards the bottom rather than giving a blanket cover. A dot of Caliban Green was added to the very bottom to give the appearance of depth.

Seems to work well enough.

This week, I am hoping to finish off a bunch of Chaos Warhounds (just about finished already), a Blood Throne of Khorne and, if I can avoid being distracted, Skarbrand himself. Fingers crossed that this can all get done, as I have a BIG project planned for the weekend…

Battle Report – The Watchtower

In our continuing Age of Sigmar campaign, we have a really big battle coming up on the Brimstone Peninsula but, first, we have a battle at one of Lord Khul’s towers to deal with.

The Story So Far

The Stormcasts have hit the Realm of Fire like, well, a hammer and have created a beach head around the Realmgate. The Goretide has been repulsed and more Stormcasts are arriving. However, the Goretide are regrouping and the Stormcasts need to target their main stronghold.

Now, the Bloodbound have their own issues. Bloodsecrator Threx Skullbrand led a force to recover Lord Khul when he fell to Vandus Hammerhand but failed. Lord Khul eventually recovered and marched back to his stronghold, very angry. Threx was too old and too wise to go back there himself, and so decided to take command of one of the eight Skull Keeps surrounding Lord Khul’s centre of power. Unbeknownst to him, this was to be the Stormcasts very next target.

However, when Lord Khul got back to his headquarters, he started killing everyone. Heads were literally rolling, but there was a method in his madness. At the centre of his stronghold, and powered by the eight Skull Keeps round it, was another Realmgate, the Gate of Wrath, that led directly to Khorne’s own kingdom in the Realm of Chaos. Lord Khul’s blood-shedding allowed him to enact a ritual that allowed hordes of daemons to pour through the gate. Now the fight could be taken to the Stormcasts in a huge blood-letting that would surely gain the notice of Khorne.

The Stormcasts were beginning to have issues of their own. They had been instructed by Sigmar to hit the Skull Keeps deep in the Goretide’s domain. However, Lord-Celestant Vandus Hammerhand had started having visions of another Realmgate that was spewing out daemons (correct, as it happens, but he did not know that). Vandus felt it was his duty to strike directly at the Gate of Wrath lest the gains of the Stormcasts be lost. His mate, the Lord-Relictor Cryptborn disagreed strongly and suggested it might be altogether better if they stuck to Sigmar’s plan. Vandus instead managed to convince himself that the vision probably came from Sigmar (the Stormcast do not have communicators) and that he would lead a major attack on the Gate of Wrath and delegate the nearest Skull Keep to his Lord-Relictor (other Stormhosts would already be going after the other towers). What he does not know is that all the daemons Lord Khul is summoning are about to hit the Stormcast lines.

And so that is where we are for this battle – Cyrptborn is leading an attack on a Skull Keep and is about to run smack into his counterpart, Bloodsecrator Threx…

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The Forces

This is a fairly small battle, but a hell of a fight is expected.

The Goretide
Bloodsecrator
Bloodreavers x 20
Bloodcrushers x 6
Bloodletters x 30 (three units of 10)
Herald of Khorne

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Relictor
Lord-Castellant with Gryph-hound
Liberators x 5 (hammers and shields)
Liberators x 5 (dual warblades and Greatblade)
Retributors x 3
Protectors x 5
Prosecutors x 3 (javelins and trident)
Judicators x 5 (bows and Skybolt)

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The Stormcasts have more units, but the Goretide have many more models and start in possession of the Skull Keep. As the battle may only last three turns, however, both forces are going to have to move quickly to take or secure it – this will be fast and bloody!

The battlefield is fairly standard. We are using the Warscroll for the Skull Keep, there is a Numinous Occulum present (no wizards on either side, so will have no effect) and an Ophidian Archway. There are also some lava pits, for which we will be using the rules for Geysers of Blood in the Time of War sheet for the Brimstone Peninsula.

 

Deployment

For once, this was fairly simple! The Bloodreavers and Bloodsecrator were both set up in the Skull Keep to await the arrival of the Stormcasts. The Stormcasts were then all deployed within 12″ of their baseline. The Liberators were placed front and centre to take and hold the Skull Keep alongside the Lords-Relictor and -Castellant, with the Paladins kept on the right flank to lend a hand to the assault and fend off the coming daemonic hordes (I figured they would mostly avoid the left flank because of the lava pits). The Judicators and Prosecutors were kept on the left to rain fire down on the Skull Keep.

The Bloodreavers would be hard to shift, as the Bloodsecrator would keep them steady and for this battle the Skull Keep would add additional bonuses to their Bravery. They would have to be rooted out, hopefully before the daemons could reach them – then the tables would be turned and the Khorne forces would have to root out the Stormcasts. If this went wrong, the Stormcasts would have an uphill battle that they might be unable to win…

 

Battle Round One

The Stormcasts were given the first turn (it was the choice of Chaos as to who went first), and the Eternals surged forward, knowing they did not have a lot of time. Seven Bloodreavers toppled from the battlements of the Skull Keep as the Judicators and Prosecutors started their bombardment, and then the rest charged in – both units of Liberators, the Lords-Relictor and -Castellant, his Gryph-hound, and even the Retributors managed to get a look in, though the surface area of the stronghold greatly limited which Stormcasts could get in across all units.

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The Retributors and Lord-Relictor both targeted the Bloodsecrator, wounding him, but the Chaos counter-attack saw the Lord-Relictor mobbed by Bloodreavers, leaving him seriously hurt. However, the Bloodreavers paid for their temerity as the rest of the Stormcasts mauled them. Just a handful of Chaos defenders were left after the first turn of combat.

In their turn, the Bloodsecrator planted his banner and the power of Khorne flooded the keep as the gargoyles outside unleashed a terrifying scream – the Stormcasts held firm against this, determined not to disgrace themselves while doing the God-King’s work. Just then, a wave of daemons appeared on the horizon, and the Stormcasts resolved to fight harder to clear the keep before they arrived.

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The Bloodreavers were finally wiped out by the Liberators but not before they had managed to bring down the Lord-Relictor. At least he took the Bloodsecrator with him.

At the end of the first battle round, the Skull Keep was empty and ready to accept new Stormcast tenants, but the generals on both sides had been laid low!

Now the fighting would start to get serious.

 

Battle Round Two

As they rode past the lava pits, the Bloodcrushers got splashed by molten rock but ignored the pain as they raced forward ahead of the rest of the daemons who ran, trying to keep pace.

Using the full weight of their mounts, the Bloodcrushers charged one of the Liberator units, immediately killing two (a combination of the mortal wounds caused by the charge and their attacks afterwards).

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The dual-Warblade armed Liberators fought bravely against the Bloodcrushers but things only really started to go their way when the Retributors raced round the front of the Skull Keep and charged the daemonic beasts, bringing down two of them. Unfortunately, reality blinked, and the slain Bloodcrushers reappeared, meaning the Stormcasts would have to start all over again!

Meanwhile, the Prosecutors skirted the lava pits to gain a line of sight to the oncoming Bloodletters, dropping two with their javelins. The Gryph-hound, on the other hand, was caught completely out of position by the Bloodletters and while it bravely charged one of the units, the result was predictable.

The Lord-Castellant had led the shield-equipped Liberators into the Skull Keep, claiming it in the name of Sigmar! He bemoaned the loss of pet (it happened right in front of him!), but as his lantern shone down on the Liberators next to him, he knew the Stormcasts would be next to impossible to shift.

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On the far flank, the Protectors knew they were needed to battle the Bloodcrushers but would be forced to wade through a horde of Bloodletters first.

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Battle Round Three

In their eagerness to head off the Bloodletters, the Prosecutors found they had veered too close tot he lava pits and one of them was immolated by molten rock. The Bloodletters continued their advance and two units, led by their Herald, were able to charge the Liberators in the Skull Keep, while the remaining unit raced towards the Protectors.

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Though the Protectors lost one of their number to the Bloodletters and though their weapons were better suited to facing large monsters, they acquitted themselves well, accounting for half of the daemons immediately, and soon finishing the others.

At the Skull Keep, the battle was not going quite as well for the Stormcasts. The Herald charged the Lord-Castellant, badly wounding him, and the Stormcasts’ last leader was brought down by the wave of Bloodletters that followed it. The Liberators, protected by shield, tower, and the the Lord-Castellant’s holy light, faired much better but, without the lantern’s light to protect them, they started to take losses. Soon, only two Liberators remained in the Skull Keep…

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The Bloodcrushers remained a threat, and the remaining Warblade Liberators refused to go down, while the massive hammers of the Retributors continued to erode the great daemonic beasts. The Judicators continued their rain of fire on the Chaos hordes, but could not get a good line of sight to the Bloodletters, and so concentrated on the Bloodcrushers who proved somewhat more resilient to their arrows.

Meanwhile, round the back of the Skull Keep, the Prosecutors threw caution to the wind. Knowing that every body now counted in defence of the tower, they charged the Bloodletters, though their effect was minimal.

Battle Round Four

The Bloodletters and Herald combined to assault the Skull Keep, and finally managed to wipe out the last of the Liberators. Once again, the Skull Keep was empty and ready to receive new owners!

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The last of the Warblade-armed Liberators finally fell beneath the brass-shod hooves of the remaining Bloodcrusher, but the Retributors pulled back from finishing it off, knowing they were needed in the Skull Keep itself. Bloodletters pulled down another Prosecutor but the Prosecutior-Prime spread his wings and boosted himself up onto the battlements – the Skull Keep was in the hands of the Stormcast again!

However, there was no way a lone Prosecutor could hold the tower by himself and though the Protectors raced across the battlefield to support him, smashing into the back of one of the Bloodletter units, the Herald of Khorne grabbed the winged Stormcast and cast him down to the ground. The Skull Keep was vacant once more!

By this time, both armies had suffered enough and  withdrew from the fight. The Stormcasts had made a convincing attempt to take the Skull Keep but while its defenders had been annihilated, the territory remained in the hands of the Goretide.

No one occupied the Skull Keep but the forces of Chaos had just a few more models near it – the Goretide therefore claimed a minor victory!

 

Summary

Well, we thought this battle would be fast and bloody before we started p and we were right! The casualties piled up on both sides, and neither general managed to make it past the first round!

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The fight for the Skull Keep was desperate, and three units ended up occupying it at one time or another – quite a turnover for a battle that only lasted four rounds!

We can only hope that the Stormcast forces tasked with attacking the other Skull Keeps around Lord Khul’s stronghold were successful. We shall find out, likely next week, as Vandus Hammerhand leads a major attack on the Gate of Wrath in the culmination of the campaign (thus far) in the Brimstone Peninsula…

Skullreapers & Wrathmongers

The painting over the weekend left a few bits and bobs to do on these two units, but I cleared them up last night, giving the Bloodbound more elite forces above and beyond the usual Blood Warriors!

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I had been planning to do ten each of the Skullreapers and Wrathmongers but, after having built one set, I decided not to as this kit lacks the variation of, say, the Blightkings and would appear a bit samey.

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I painted the Skullreapers in the same colours as the Blood Warriors and Bloodreavers. I figured that someone would join the Bloodbound as a reaver and, if they were a really good boy, would get to be a Blood Warrior some day. If they proved themselves after that, they could get themselves invited into the Skullreapers, so there is kind of a line running through the army there.

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I quite liked how the standard bearer turned out, with the metal effect on the big icon and his little dog-face.

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The Skullreapers have a choice of weapons and I went for the (very dangerous!) daemon-bound blades. To get this idea across further I painted the actual blades black with a fair bit of highlighting, rather than just doing them the normal metal.

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This is the leader model. I actually made a mistake on the base colour of the skin on these guys, using Pallid Wych Flesh when my Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors actually used Rakarth Flesh. However, a Nuln Oil wash on top of the skin dulled it down nicely so now it looks the same as the rest of the Bloodbound.

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The Wrathmongers are completely different  in terms of painting, partially because I wanted to get across the part-daemonic nature of these guys, and partly because I did not want them looking the same as the Skullreapers – the models are different enough but they use the same base bodies so any other difference can only be a good thing.

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There are a few options to add mutations to these guys and, being part-daemon, I added them all, such as the three arms on this guy and a scorpion tail on another.

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I went with the same colour scheme as I used on Skarr earlier, as I figure if these guys hang out with anyone, it is going to be him. So, red skin (very similar as to how I do Bloodletters, giving another link to part of the Khorne force) with black and gold armour. All Khornate colours but nicely removed from the rest of the Bloodbound.

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I also managed to put together Skarbrand and, along with some Mighty Skullcrushers that I plan to pick up soon, my work with Khorne is coming to a close for the immediate future. Onto Nurgle and Tzeentch!

Time of War: Valkia the Bloody

Just a little something I have been tinkering with for a possible campaign. Need more work on the campaign itself, but this Time of War sheet is good to go…

As always, a PDF of this can be downloaded from here.

 

Time of War: Valkia the Bloody

When Valkia the Bloody enters the Mortal Realms ahead of a raiding host, Khorne’s own wrath comes with her. The following rules recreate the battlefield conditions that prevail during these murderous assaults. They can be used at any time when Valkia the Bloody leads a Bloodbound or Khorne-based daemon army.

 

Brimstone Gale

When Valkia the Bloody leads a raid in the Mortal Realms, her forces are preceded by a brimstone gale that cowers enemies into submission and blasts the flesh from their bones.

While the brimstone gale is blowing, add 2 to the Bravery of all models in Valkia’s army, and subtract 2 from the Bravery of all models not in her army.

At the end of every battle round, roll a dice and add the number of complete battle rounds the game has lasted to the score. If the result is 6 or more, the brimstone gale abates and dies down.

 

Wrathful Revenge

However many times Valkia the Bloody falls, Khorne will always bring her back to his service on the condition she seeks revenge.

If Valkia the Bloody is within 2” any enemy HERO who killed her in a previous battle, she can re-roll all failed to hit and to wound rolls in the combat phase.

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Legions of Khorne

Once per battle, Valkia the Bloody may implore Khorne for daemonic aid in your hero phase, confident that he will grant the request of his favourite servant. When you do so, roll a dice and refer to the table below to see what help (if any) is received. You can set these units up so that all the models in them are within 9” of Valkia the Bloody and more than 9” away from the enemy. This counts as their move in the movement phase of that turn.

If you do not have the correct models for any result rolled, you may select the next lowest result.

D6 Result
1 Ignored: The Blood God’s attention is elsewhere and Valkia the Bloody is ignored. No aid is sent.
2 Bloodletter Warband: Khorne sends 1 unit of Bloodletters.
3 Champion of Khorne: Khorne sends a Herald of Khorne, Herald of Khorne on Juggernaut or a Blood Throne of Khorne.
4 Khorne’s Regiment: Khorne sends 1 unit of Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers or Flesh Hounds of Khorne.
5 Battalion of Khorne: Khorne sends D3 units of Bloodletters, Bloodcrushers, Flesh Hounds of Khorne or Skull Cannon of Khorne.
6 Rage Incarnate: Khorne sends Skulltaker or a Bloodthirster of any type.

 

Valkia the Bloody Triumphs

If you win a major victory in a battle involving Valkia the Bloody, you can roll on the following table instead of the Triumph table on the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar rules sheet in your next battle. No triumph can be given to a HERO who follows ORDER.

D6 Reward
1 Chaos Spawn: Pick a HERO in your army. It is immediately turned into a CHAOS SPAWN! If you picked Valkia the Bloody, re-roll this result.
2 Fury of the Blood God: If any units (from either side) are wiped out, then all your units may re-roll their charge rolls in the next battle round.
3 The Blood Must Flow: If any HERO in your army wipes out an enemy unit, he can add 1 to the Attacks characteristic of all his melee weapons.
4 Flesh Hounds: Roll D3. You may add a unit of this many Flesh Hounds to your army during your next battle.
5 Blood Frenzy: Once per battle a single HERO in your army may double the Attacks characteristics for all his melee weapons in the next combat phase.
6 Collar of Khorne: Pick a HERO in your army. That model has been gifted with a Collar of Khorne and can now unbind spells as if he were a WIZARD.