Behold the Hordes of Tzeentch

As we thunder towards the climactic end of the Quest for Ghal Maraz, I am just putting the finishing touches to the Tzeentch forces that will be needed – especially for the Daemongale rules in the Time of War sheet that the last Battleplan will be using (not entirely sure the Stormcasts can win that one!

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These are mainly a mixture of daemon types, though one Mortal follower of Tzeentch was necessary…

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This will be King Thrond. As Lord Maerac (and his Manticore) met a rather sticky end at the hands of a unit of Protectors, the mortal Tzeentch followers need a new leader and, riding on the back of his Gorebeast Chariot, King Thrond should do just the trick.

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Flamers of Tzeentch followed, though from experience I know these guys should be used in moderation – a unit of ten can nuke just about anything that gets put on the table.

I used my new method of painting fire (using washes, covered in the Fyreslayers post yesterday) on these daemons, making them very quick and easy to do.

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Even daemons need some direction, and this Herald on a Disc will do just the trick.

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The Changeling was thrown in too, as it is possible he can be randomly generated on the Daemongale table. I stuck to a nice easy paint job on this one – I took one look at the glyphs the model has on the GW site and just thought ‘nope!’

There are very definite limits to my talent after all.

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Finally, my first Everchosen model, the Gaunt Summoner!

Now, this guy has nothing to do with the battles for Ghal Maraz, but he is a Tzeentch follower so I lumped him in with other Tzeentch models for speed. This is a model that can use a serious amount of more talent than I possess, making mine merely ‘agreeable’ in quality.

Still, aiming to have fun with him nonetheless!

On the painting table right now is a Burning Chariot, Herald of Tzeentch on foot, the Blue Scribes and a Slaughterbrute (the latter needed for a battle in Balance of Power, so I have started the prep work for the next part of the campaign!). I might add a couple of Magmadroths to that as well, just to ‘finish’ off my Fyreslayers.

After that, I’ll have to have a look around and see what the next big project should be…

Fyreslayers

We had a long (four day) weekend in the UK, and (despite coming into work on Friday – pity me) I took the opportunity to polish off an almost complete new army…

Enter the Fyreslayers!

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I have a couple of Magmadroths built and undercoated, but I am in no great rush to get them done. This weekend was all about getting the infantry polished off. That came to 36 models in all – four units, and six characters.

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When the Fyreslayers came out, I picked up two each of the infantry box sets, allowing me to cover pretty much all the variations possible, as well as all the characters.

Painting-wise, I pretty much followed the painting guide in the various White Dwarfs released at the time, with one big, obvious difference…

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Someone on the Dakka forums (I am sorry, but I forget who) suggested a while back that the Fyreslayers could have dark skin. That idea went right up my flag pole and got saluted. I thought the contrast between dark skin and orange hair/beards would work superbly – and I think it did!

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For the skin, I used the same guide White Dwarf released for their original Exalted Deathbringer, while the hair went with the suggestions they made for the Fyreslayers proper – and, incidentally, I have had some issues with GW’s Dry range of paints in the past but, this time round, the Kindleflame dry paint is what really set the hair off for me. Don’t miss that step, it makes all the difference.

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After the skin, metal and hair, it was really just a case of doing the gold (using Retributor Gold as a base for extra shininess) and, overall, these models were very quick to do – the entire army took perhaps a day and a half, and very slow-paced ones at that  (painting has been interspersed with World of Tanks as I am ‘this’ close to getting the German Maus!).

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Three of the characters came from the Magmadroth sets, and it is quite cool that you can make perhaps two extra foot models from that kit. I started with the Forgefather and his really impractical looking key/axe (looks cool though).

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I also needed a Runeson, as I was not going to be putting one on the back of a Magmadroth (at least, not yet).

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Then a Runesmiter. This is quite a static model, but I do like the detail around his helmet and beard, as well as the pipe he is smoking!

Incidentally, following White Dwarf again, I have completely changed the way I do fire, not just on Fyreslayers but all models (as you will see later this week).

I now start with a Ceramite White base (which is the most time-consuming aspect, and really not much of a bear to live with), and then use a succession of ewashes, working gradually towards the tip of the flames – Cassandora Yellow, Fuegan Orange and Carroburg Crimson. The finishing touch is, of all things, Nuln Oil. Sounds weird to use black on fire, I know, but it really sets it off.

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Onto the clampack Heroes, I did a Battlesmith, who is probably my least favourite model though that is more down to my own painting than the sculpting.

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The Auric Runemaster turned out much better, his brazier and revealed face lending a lot of character.

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Finally, the Grimwrath Berzerker who, I think, will be getting a lot of time on the battlefield!

So, there you go, a complete ready-to-go Fyreslayer force done in a weekend! I have the two Magmadroths to go, but I want to get some other bits and pieces done first for the Realmgate Wars campaign. I also haven’t yet settled on the colour scheme for them.

What will be next for this force? Well, maybe nothing!

It would be very quick and easy to add another unit here and there (individually, these guys are quite quick to do), but I do not feel compelled to do so right now – if this was Fantasy Battle, I would naturally be looking at pumping up the core units and adding more Hearthguard with Magmapikes, but the joy of Age of Sigmar is that you really don’t need to do any models unless you really want to. So, another unit or two may get added in the future but, for now, I am content with my little force of Fyreslayers and am looking forward to tackling something else!

Battle Report – Death at the Dais

So, the search for the Eldritch Fortress and the hammer Ghal Maraz continues. The Bleak Horde have been kicked out of the ruined city of Elixia, but the Stormcasts are really no closer to their goal and have to move on. However, they now have some help…

 

The Story So Far

After the battle in Elixia, the Stormcasts managed to placate Celemnis, the Silver Maiden turned Banshee, and for eight days she stayed with them, leading their army out of the ruined city to the Argent Falls, a massive waterfall that ran with liquid silver, dropping down from the Great Crucible, a massive floating island/country/continent in the sky of Chamon. Here, they found a shattered hamlet, in the centre of which was a Dragonfate Dais.

Celemnis pointed at the dais meaningfully, then disappeared, leaving the Stormcasts to stand around scratching their heads, figuring out what they should do next.

Unfortunately for them, their progress had been monitored, and the daemonic Lord of Change Kairos Fateweaver saw that Sigmar’s soldiers were getting a bit too close to his ultimate plans for Ghal Maraz. The greater daemon therefore made a deal with a Skaven Warlord who had a reasonable force at his disposal but was a little down on his luck. If the Warlord stopped the Stormcasts, Kairos would make him leader of all Skaven in the territory.

So, as the Stormcasts started to investigate the dais, they noted that rips in reality were opening up all around them, disgorging a veritable horde of rats…

 

The Forces

This battle sees the first appearance in the Realmgate Wars campaign of the Skaven from Clans Verminus and Skryre. And, it has to be said, they are not messing about…

Skaven
Warlord
Warlock Engineer
Stormfiends x 6 (two units of 3)
Jezzails x 5
Clanrats x 40 (two units of 20)
Stormvermin x 20
Doomwheel

As an army, Skaven do not have a great survival rate and, all else being equal, the Clanrats and Stormvermin would be having a seriously bad time on the battlefield. However, this force has some heavy support that will likely cause the Stormcasts all sorts of nightmares. The Jezzails are long-ranged and just plain nasty and the Doomwheel is a potent war machine in and of itself, but it is likely the actions of the Stormfiends that will dictate the course of the battle…

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Dracoth (Vandus Hammerhand)
Lord-Celestant (Thostos Bladestorm)
Lord-Relictor (Ionus Cryptborn)
Lord-Castellant
Gryph-hound
Retributors x 5
Decimators x 5
Liberators x 20 (four units of 5)
Judicators x 10 (two units of 5)
Prosecutors x 6 (two units of 3)

The Stormcasts have pretty much the same force as in the Cursed City battle, reflecting this is pretty much the same force that has been travelling through Chamon. They have been reinforced a little, to counter some of the really nasty stuff the Skaven are fielding here!

This battle is a straight fight to the death (wiping out the enemy army), but it has some twists. Thostos Bladestrom has a touch of destiny about him, and should prove tough to kill, while the Skaven are literally appearing out of nowhere, and will very much have the initiative at the start.

 

Deployment

The Stormcasts approached the dais warily, and turned to rapidly create a battle formation as reality split around them and the Skaven force began to appear.

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The leaders of the force clustered around the Dragonfate Dais, flanked by Liberators and Judicators to form a front line. The Prosecutors, Retributors and Decimators, led by Vandus Hammerhand, kept back to form  floating reserve that could move to plug any gap.

Celemnis had granted Thostos Bladestorm a Quicksilver Potion, and he downed it now, feeling his reflex increase to more than super-human levels.

 

Battle Round One

As the Skaven poured out of the warp-ground holes in reality, they came out fighting. A crescent Alchemist’s Moon hung above the battlefield, sharpening everyone’s senses (granting a +1 bonus to all hit rolls).

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The first to appear was a Warlock Engineer. As he took up station within the Ophidian Archway, he chittered to himself as he fired up his Warp Lightning Condenser as he prepared to unleash a hideous spell at the Stormcast commanders. However, he misjudged the power needed and a small mushroom cloud rose up out of the archway as the condenser exploded, killing the Engineer immediately.

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Some of the Skaven seemed reluctant to dive straight into battle, notably the Warlord himself, who hung back. However, two units of Clanrats and one unit of Stormfiends provided a healthy enemy for the Stormcasts to face.

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The Stormfiends opened up at the first things they saw, their Gatling Gun killing one Judicator while the Poison Wind Mortar killed a nearby Liberator.

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Meanwhile, in the centre, the Clanrats charged the line of Liberators, losing four of their number (with a fifth running for home) but at a cost of one Liberator.

Having heard tales of the Skaven and their armour-cracking weaponry, the Lord-Castellant shone his lantern upon Thostos Bladestorm (something he would do throughout the battle, paranoid as he was that the Lord-Celestant could be taken out by a single volley from Jezzails…). Across the battlefield, Liberators marched to engage the Skaven while everyone else held their ground.

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On the right flank, the crossbow-armed Judicators peppered the Stormfiends for little effect, but the javelin-carrying Prosecutors behind them hurled their weapons to bring down the Stormfiend with the mortar.

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Under covering fire from the Judicators within the Numinous Occulum, a unit of Liberators charged forward to hit the second unit of Clanrats. Two Liberators fall and another was forced to retreat, but the Clanrats were utterly smashed, with the few survivors racing to find cover deeper within the ruins.

The news was not so good in the centre, with the other unit of Clanrats surging forward to bring down all but one of the Liberators they faced – the Liberator-Prime now faced a veritable horde of rats by himself!

A lot of units were less than confident in this battle, with many Battleshock tests being failed. The biggest surprise came from the Stormfiends, with the Warpfire throwing rat turning and fleeing from the fight, leaving just one Stormfiend on the right flank.

 

Battle Round Two

The Alchemist’s Moon continued to turn in the sky, becoming half full – however, this only affected spellcasters and after the Warlock Engineer had detonated himself, there were none left on the battlefield.

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However, the Skaven now arrived in force, with more Stormfiends, a Doomwheel, the Warlord and the dreaded Stormvermin turning up – in fact, only the Jezzails had not appeared.

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The Doomwheel had managed to materialise in a completely unexpected quarter, right behind the Stormcast lines. However, this new wave of Skaven seemed a bit disorientated by their rapid appearance in the ruins and none were able to charge the Stormcasts.

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This was of little comfort to the lone Liberator-Prime in the centre whgo was now fighting for his life as Clanrats swarmed round him. Despite being wounded, he fought on, felling two rats and convincing another to flee.

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Seeing the Liberator-Prime’s plight, the Lord-Relictor called upon the power of the God-king, and a lightning bolt descended from the skies to fry three more of the Clanrats, even as the Decimators moved forward to also lend aid to the Liberator-Prime.

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Meanwhile, Vandus Hammerhand coaxed his Dracoth through the ruins to counter the Doomwheel. The Dracoth breathed a bolt of lightning at it, then charged. Vandus’ hammer was on fine form, and the war machine was quickly reduced to splinters.

As the Retributors moved to counter the newly appeared Stormfiends toolled up for close combat, the Decimators started their plodding charge to bring the Stormvermin into range. Along the way, they dove into the remaining Clanrats fighting the Liberator-Prime, and finished them off, to a rat.

 

Battle Round Three

The Stormvermin advanced towards the Dragonfate Dais at the behest of their Warlord, though they were a little cautious about so many Stormcast commanders being concentrated in one place.

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The Stormfiends had few such issues and they charged the Judicators within the Numinous Occulum, tearing one apart and forcing the others to keep their heads down in the ruin.

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Not to be outdone, the remaining Stormfiend on the right flank also charged, this time targeting the other unit of Judicators.

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Seeing the Judicators were completely outmatched, the Retributors advanced.

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However, while their armour shrugged off the worst attacks the Stormfiends could dish out, the ruins seemed to hamper their hammers, and did little more than annoy the huge rats.

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Battle Round Four

The Skaven Warlord screamed at his Storvermin to find a backbone (probably while wondering where the supporting fire from the Jezzails was, as they had still not turned up), and they charged both the Decimators and the two Liberators who had taken up defensive positions in front of Lord-Celestant Bladestorm.

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The battle was short but brutal. The Decimators started to heft their axes but the Stormvermin were far too fast, and both the Paladins and the Liberators were torn apart in seconds.

Meanwhile, in the ruins of the Numinous Occulum, the Retributors managed to bring down the Warpgrinder-armed Strormfiend, but the one with the Doomflayer Gauntlets went berserk, killing every Retributor it could reach.

The Stormcasts had just lost three units in very rapid succession, and the Skaven looked to be seizing the initiative.

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The battle had suddenly become about containment for the Stormcasts, as while the single remaining Stormfiend could potentially be brought down with some effort, the Stormvermin were at full strength and had just proved they could take on Stormcast elites… and win.

With this in mind, the Lord-Relictor called upon Sigmar once more and a lightning bolt blasted two Stormvermin into pieces, while the Prosecutors hurled javelins and hammers into them. A few Stormvermin fell and a few more ran, but they were still a potent threat.

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However, the Judicators in the Numinous Occulum, at least, managed to finish off the last Stormfiend with their Skybolt arrows, freeing Vandus Hammerhand to engage a more worthwhile enemy.

 

Battle Round Five

The battlefield turned a little darker for just a moment, as the Alchemist’s Moon went through its new phase. The armour of everyone on the battlefield momentarily became stronger and glittered with magical energies.

The Skaven Warlord sniffed cautiously around the Ophidian Archway, and noted the spirits present that seemed to accept his mastery – he directed them to attack the Gryph-hound that was trying to creep around behind him. With a shriek, the spirits descended, scaring the hound to death.

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Though their numbers had been whittled down, the Stormvermin knew how to stay mobile, and they flowed around the Prosecutors to attack the Judicators who had moved up to bring the rats into range of their crossbows.

They tore the wings off one Prosecutor, while the Warlord himself had spotted a vulnerable target – seeing the lone Liberator-Prime, he charged, taking the Stormcast’s head with one sweep of his halberd.

 

Battle Round Six

The Alchemist’s Moon continued to wax into a crescent, just as the Jezzails turned up! Setting up their weapons in ruins just across from the Dragonfate Dais, they immediately put their sights on Thostos Bladestorm, quickly wounding him.

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Seeing the Skaven Warlord was now free to rampage as he wished, the Lord-Castellant descended from the dais to charge the rat.

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A few blows were exchanged, and it became clear that Lord-Castellant and Skaven Warlord were both well-matched.

The Judicators in the Numinous Occulum began to put down withering fire upon the Jezzails, killing the crew of one, while the Prosecutors threw their hammers and javelins at the Warlord, felling him as he concentrated on the Lord-Castellant.

 

Battle Round Seven

The Jezzails were the only Skaven unit left on the battlefield, but they were dug in deep within the ruins.

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The Stormcasts raced to finish them off, led by Vandus Hammerhand. However, despite hammers, javelins and arrows raining down on them, the Skaven hunkered down behind their shields and weathered the attacks and lined their weapons up on Vandus.

Their shots rang out, striking the Dracoth and sending it sprawling into the dust.

 

Battle Round Eight

Finally able to concentrate their firepower, the Stormcasts rained Sigmar’s own wrath down upon the ruins. When the lightning and smoke cleared, not a single Skaven was left moving…

 

Conclusion

Now that was a good fight!

This was our first time using Skaven that were not Pestilens and, well… wow!

They had their issues, to be sure – their reinforcements came in rather piecemeal (they should really have expected to see another unit or two in the first turn, which would have allowed them to put a lot more pressure on the Stormcasts), and the Jezzails may as well not have bothered – it should be noted that those Jezzails took even Vandus down in a single salvo and if they had appeared earlier, they could have wreaked havoc on the Stormcasts.

The Stormfiends had their share of bad luck (they should really never be failing a Battleshock test), but just one round of good luck with just one Stormfiend wiped out an entire unit of Retributors in the blink of an eye.

However, full kudos has to go to the Stormfiends. With a Warlord close by, they are chucking out three attacks a piece – with the unit we were using, that is a total of 60 attacks, hitting on 3+, wounding on 3+, with Rend -1 to boot (and with long halberds, they are going to get most of those attacks each round). That is enough to crush any Stormcast unit you would care to name.

The Clanrats ran but, with Bravery 4, that is just what they will do. However, while they hang around, they are solid enough and you really cannot knock them.

The Doomwheel did not distinguish itself, true enough, but that is what happens when you pop up right next to Vandus Hammerhand!

Anyway, the Stormcasts were fairly cut down to size in this battle, but managed to pull out a win. However, with a little difference in reinforcements (and perhaps a little more accuracy from the Stormfiends), this would have looked a lot different.

So, fans of all things Ratkind… you have a sweet force in Age of Sigmar!

 

The Story Continues…

With the Dragonfate Dais in their hands, Vandus Hammerhand was able to use his Dracoth to call upon Dracothion, the Great Drake of the stars, who told the Stormcasts they should hike on up to the floating Great Crucible where they would find the Eldritch Fortress and Ghal Maraz. However, the Tzeentch forces laying in wait knew well the Stormcasts were coming, and had prepared their defences in depth…

Of Skinks and Salamanders

Just a quickie post, to showcase some new additions to the Seraphon…

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While I announced a while ago that the Seraphon had been ‘finished’ and that I was ‘done’ with them… we all know that an army is never really complete. There is always something else you can add, right?

However, the Seraphon, having quite a sizeable force already, are no longer any sort of priority. However, I do have the technique for painting them down to a T, which means it is really no effort to do the odd model here and there.

My Seraphon had been lacking in Salamanders, but I had managed to filch one off eBay some time ago. A couple of weeks ago, I managed to snag another and, figuring I could do two about as quick as one, I lumped these guys in alongside the recent Skaven I have been working on – I sometimes do this, having small units of simple models on the side as I work on a ‘main’ project. They provide a nice distraction/break and it means you get more models done overall!

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As I said, I have this technique for Seraphon down now, I could probably do it while nodding. I went with the purple ‘big dinosaur’ colours with the Salamanders, to separate them from the Skinks/Saurus, and tie them in with the likes of the Carnosaur.

The only thing I really have left for the Seraphon is a Troglodon. I am really not in any rush to do him… but it does occur to me that he could be quite quick to do. Perhaps something else I can do alongside other models?

The Stormfiends Come Stormin’

I’ve had a bit of a slow down on the painting side of late. Part of that has been down to a little illness (sniffles), but also down to models that I thought might only take a week to do, but ended up getting stretched out to two or three weeks.

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Enter the Stormfiends!

These guys were a pain to put together, and a bigger pain to paint. I had originally planned to do them alongside the Doomwheel and Stormvermin, as I figured they shared broadly the same paint scheme. Which is true.

However, the Stormfiends are way more ‘fiddly’, from their construction to all the little details plastered all over the models. And you want to take your time and make a decent job of them, as they are really nice models. Just marred by the knowledge of how much hassle I went through ti get them done.

I am so not doing more of these!

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I picked up two box sets, which allowed me to cover all weapon options – three of them become the heavy fire support unit…

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… while the others become the close combat/tunnelling unit.

A word about the poseability of these models – there really isn’t any. I think you may have a choice of the odd head here and there, but those poses are completely fixed, which would be another reason not to go for a third unit. You want another Wargrinder Stormfiend, he is going to look exactly like the chap above…

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So, why would you go through all that pain just to have some really big rats on your table? Well, they look awesome. Second, they have some seriously nasty rules (honestly, once you get beyond Clanrats, Skaven are seriously born-again-hard in Age of Sigmar, with Rend -2 and multi-damage all over the place).

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Their technology has also been refined to the extent where it actually works – the Ratling Gun-armed Stormfiend, for example, won’t be going out of control as he chugs out massive amounts of fire.

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And with 6 or 7 Wounds, depending on how they have been tooled up (not that you get many options, remember), they are going to stick around a far bit.

Oh, quick note on this one: I used the same gloss varnish trick on the globes he fires as I did with the Globadiers and Poison Wind Mortar I did earlier, tying everything together.

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Just about everything else on these models uses the same colour scheme as my other rats, which are all based on the Clanrat painting guide on Warhammer TV (a quick search on Youtube will turn that up for you). I just use a lighter grey for their cloth rather than black.

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The Warpstone is the only real addition, and I used the same system for that as I did with the Plagueclaw Catapult: Caliban Green base, then drybrush through Warpstone Glow, Moot Green and finally Ceramite White, before dropping a Waywatcher Green glaze over the whole lot.

Simples!

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They go into action for the first time this Friday, trying to push the Stormcasts off a Dragonfate Dais. I had originally intended to scale back the Stormcast forces because, well, they were only fighting Skaven!

However, after seeing what the Stormfiends can do, never mind the Doomwheel, Jezzails (nasty!) and the Warlord/Stormvermin combo (vicious!), umm… No. Just… no. The Stormcasts are going to have to go in loaded for bear if they just want to survive, never mind actually accomplishing their mission objectives.

Anyway, very glad these Stormfiends are done, very happy they are in the growing Skaven army, but no way am I going to be doing more of them!

On the painting table at the moment are the final Tzeentch-based models needed to complete the Quest for Ghal Maraz portion of the campaign, and I took some time out doing the base coats on a fairly large Fyreslayer force this weekend – so it looks they will be done next!

Battle Report – The Cursed City

After a brief diversion to see what happened when the Seraphon hit the Mortal Realms, it is back onto the Quest for Ghal Maraz! We are on the home straight for this book now, just four battles to go to the end, all set in Chamon, the Realm of Metal.

 

The Story So Far

When we left Chamon before Christmas, the Stormcasts had discovered the hiding place of Sigmar’s own hammer, Ghal Maraz, as they assaulted the Eldritch Fortress. However, the Tzeentch sorcerer Ephryx cast a powerful spell at the end of the battle that repelled the Stormcasts. They tried to gather their forces for another assault but when they returned to the Eldritch Fortress, it had disappeared. Gone! The whole castle!

They knew the sacred hammer must be close but they had to find the Eldritch Fortress again before the powers of Tzeentch could spirit it away forever or, worse, use the power of Ghal Maraz to enact true evil (which was exactly Ephryx’s plan, as we will later see…). Lord-Relictor Cryptborn had an idea of where to start looking, but first the Stormcasts had to cross Elixia, the Shattered City.

Moving through Elixia, the Stormcasts found themselves confined by the narrow streets and bottlenecks, and it was when they were at their most vulnerable that the Bleak Horde surged from their hiding places to attack.

However, Stormcasts and Chaos Warriors were not the only presence in the Shattered City. The carnage between them summoned angry ghosts, led by the Silver Maiden – Celemnis, Swordmaiden of the Argent Sisterhood. The daughter of a Ninemage, Celemnis was a master weaponsmith who was boiled alive in a cauldron of molten silver when the forces of Chaos first invaded her city.

Would she tear apart both armies, or could she be persuaded to focus her attacks on one of them?

 

The Forces

This is a medium-sized battle, but one fought in the streets of a ruined city. The forces are well-matched, but the Stormcasts can attempt to call upon Celemnis to aid them during the fight. Both forces need to hammer the other quickly to gain victory.

The Bleak Horde
Chaos Lord on Manticore (Maerac)
Chaos Warriors x 36 (three units of 12)
Chaos Knights x 10 (two units of 5)

There is nothing particularly outlandish in this force (that is coming later for the Tzeentch-worshippers), but every unit is extremely solid and a match for their Stormcast counterparts.

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Dracoth (Vandus Hammerhand)
Lord-Celestant (Thostos Bladestorm)
Lord-Relictor (Ionus Cryptborn)
Lord-Castellant
Gryph-hound
Retributors x 10 (two units of 5)
Decimators x 5
Protectors x 5
Liberators x 5
Judicators x 5
Prosecutors x 3

The Stormcasts are outnumbered and facing a monster-riding enemy general, but they have more Heroes overall. They may also, if they act quickly, petition Celemnis to aid then against the Bleak Horde. However, if they fail, she will turn her wrath on them as much as Chaos…

 

Deployment

The Stormcasts deployed first, pushing the Retributors and Liberators to the fore to suffer the assault of Chaos Warriors and Knights, while holding the Protectors back in reserve to lie in wait for the Manticore. The Judicators took up residence in the Ophidian Archway, while the Lord-Relictor prepared to make his run to Celemnis’ monument, but just far back enough to avoid getting entangled in the initial assault.

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The Bleak Horde ringed the Stormcasts easily, with Lord Maerac on the back of his Manticore, ready to blast through the Stormcast line, supported by his legion of Knights and Warriors.

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Celemnis appeared on top of her monument, curiously wondering who she would direct the spirits of the city to tear apart first…

 

Battle Round One

Springing their ambush, the Bleak Horde rushed in, with every unit charging the hastily formed Stormcast line.

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The Decimators, right at the front of the line, suffered heavily as Lord Maerac led his Chaos Knights against them. Four Decimators were swiftly sent back to Sigmar, but not before the Starsoul Mace landed in the Manticore’s chest, wounding it.

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While the Decimators were all but wiped out the rest of the Stormcast line held, even as the spirits of the city prowled the ruins, snatching a Retributor and a Chaos Knight from each force.

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The Lord-Relictor found his way to Celemnis blocked, but called upon Sigmar’s aid to send a lightning bolt blasting into Lord Maerac. Meanwhile, the Judicators aimed their fire at the Chaos Knights, bringing down two of the riders.

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With a cry to the God-King, the Protectors launched their trap, driving their glaives into Lord Maerac’s Manticore, killing it instantly, and finishing off the Chaos Lord in an ignominious manner.

The Lord-Castellant shone his light on a unit of Retributors who had holed themselves up in ruins as they were assaulted by a large band of Chaos Warriors, then rushed off to the opposite flank to aid the Prosecutors who had been put under pressure by more Chaos Knights. With the Lord-Castellant’s blessing, the Retributors held firm.

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The spirits of the city claimed a single Chaos Warrior…

 

Battle Round Two

Despite the loss of Lord Maerac, the Bleak Horde fought on, with every unit fully locked in close combat with the Stormcasts.

The Lord-Castellant howled as Chaos Knights skewered his Gryph-hound, but served vengeance upon them with his halberd. Meanwhile, the Retributors duelled with the Chaos Warriors, though the Tzeentch-worshippers remained resilient behind their Runeshields (seriously, the Retributors kicked out ten mortal wounds in this turn, and only one Chaos Warrior fell to their hammers…).

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Meanwhile, a tough battle had erupted in an otherwise deserted street, with a unit of Liberators trying to break through a line of Chaos Warriors, to allow the Lord-Relictor to reach the monument of Celemnis.

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Despite Lord-Celestant Thostos Bladestorm aiding them, the Liberators could just not break through.

However, Vandus Hammerhand had dispatched the last of the Chaos Knights who had followed Lord Maerac into battle, clearing a somewhat circuitous path for the Lord-Relictor, who promptly started trying to placate the spirit of Celemnis.

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Vandus then turned his Dracoth around and ploughed into the street where the Liberators had been bravely fighting. A single charge was all it took, shattering both the bodies and the will of the Chaos Warriors who had up to then proved immovable.

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And with that, the battle was done. The few surviving members of the Bleak Horde fled the battle, leaving the Stormcasts to regroup as the Lord-Relictor placated Celemnis and the angry spirits of the ruined city…

 

Conclusion

That battle was short but sweet. However, it did highlight something to us – if you play two turns in 40k, the engagement will only have just started, whereas in Fantasy Battle, almost nothing will have happened (except, perhaps, the odd wizard self-immolating from miscasts…).

However, just two turns in Age of Sigmar tends to be a packed game. From the very start, Lord Maerac was in the thick of things with the Bleak Horde, and if the Protectors had not been so nicely placed, he could have done the Stormcasts a lot of damage…

As it was, the Lord-Relictor managed to reach Celemnis, but not before Vandus Hammerhand broke the back of the Bleak Horde – with his dice rolls, he could literally do no wrong in this battle.

Speaking of dice rolls, a word should be made for the Bleak Horde, who had some horrendous rolling to wound and hit – however, seemed to have no problem making saves against mortal wounds. The example detailed in the battle report was just one of many, frankly freaky, uses of the Runeshields!

 

The Story Continues…

The city of Elixia is now safely in the hands of the Stormcasts, but that brings them no closer to their goal of finding the Eldritch Fortress. However, a Dragonfate Dais lies up ahead, and surely Dracothian will have a message worth hearing…

Review – Battletome: Stormcast Extremis

The latest Battletome has arrived for Age of Sigmar, and this one is about the Stormcast Eternals Extremis. The extreme Stormcasts. If you thought the Stormcasts were pretty extreme before, the Extremis Stormcasts are really extreme.

So, is the book any good?

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Well, in a nutshell, this Battletome is about the Extremis Chambers, the Dracoth/Star Drake-riding Stormcasts who really kick it. The first photo in the book demonstrates this nicely.

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The artwork also gets the point across.

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The idea behind the Extremis Chambers is that when Chaos gets a bit too rowdy, when the normal Warrior Chambers cannot handle a situation, the Extremis guys get sent in. So, it is perhaps fitting that they have appeared right after Archaon made his appearance in Balance of Power and gave Sigmar’s boys a right shoeing.

They have the greatest heroes and the hardest reptiles, biut this took time to put together, and not every Stormhost had a ready-to-go Extremis Chamber when Sigmar began his D-Day landings.

There is a short piece depicting Dracoths and Star Drakes ‘in the wild’, and what their possible relationship with one another is. They speak, they have their own language, though they can also understand human, Duardin and Aelf. In the past, they have allied with all three, before returning to their wilderness homes.

And now they have been trotting up to the Celestial Realm to get a brand new saddle, ready to take a Stormcast into battle!

(I might be somewhat paraphrasing the binding process between Stormcast and beast…).

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Next the book jumps into the organisation and purpose of the Extremis Chambers. The Dracothian Guard make up the bulk of the Chamber, being split into Lightning Echelons (the Tempestors and Fulminators – and yes, fulminate is a word), and Thunderwave Echelons (Desolators and Concussors). This divides the Dracoths depending on what their breath weapon does (wave or bolt). Above the Dracothian Guard sit the Drakesworn Templars (Star Drake-riding commanders), and above them, the Lord-Celestant, who gets his choice of Drake or Dracoth.

Other, as yet unseen Chambers are mentioned once more – the Sacrosanct and Auxiliary Chambers, for example. No doubt we will be seeing their contents in due course…

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Four pages are given over to the painting guide though, frankly, if you have this book you probably already have a Stormcast army and have thus probably already decided how these guys will be painted.

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The ‘hobby section’ has plenty of photos demonstrating Extremis Chambers in action, the size of which you will never, ever be able to field yourself (!). These two pictures show more reasonable forces.

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And there are plenty of showcase pictures of the Star Drake, perhaps a bit better than the ones you have seen in the various rumour threads that abound.

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There is just one Battleplan in this book – sort of. It is one Battleplan, split into two (because the Extremis Chambers are just too extreme for a single Battleplan?).

The Stormcasts and Bloodbound are fighting over Sigmar’s Gate, a Realmgate that leads straight to the Celestial Realm. The Stor,mcasts had already given the Bloodbound a bit of a bash, and Khorne responded by sending a Bloodthirster, leading the Slaughterguard – who are a bunch more Bloodthirsters.

Enter the Extremis Chamber.

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The first part sees the Dracothian Guard riding forward to smash the Khorne force apart (victory is done on kills, though the Bloodbound are effectively unlimited in number), while the second sees both sides send relief forces (plus Star Drakes and Bloodthirsters) for a final, titanic clash.

Should be fun, but you will be wanting a lot of Extremis guys plus more than one Bloodthirster to make the most of it. Think of an Apocalypse battle but played only with some really expensive models.

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The book ends with Warscrolls, which have been pretty much done to death on the various rumour forums. However, there are four Battalions included…

Drakesworn Temple: Only needs three models, but most people will, I think, have only one Templar in their force… However, they get a powerful damaging/haling Nova Surge and lower the enemy’s Bravery.
Lightning Echelon: 2 units each of Tempestors and Fulminators, who extend their shield ability and can charge twice.
Thunderwave Echelon: 2 units each of Concussors and Desolators, who run down fleeing enemies (there will probably be a lot of those), and can pile in twice.
Extremis Chamber: Add all of the above together, add a Star Drake, and you can Deep Strike these units while causing mortal wounds to anyone else nearby, and force enemies to roll two dice for Battleshock.

 

Conclusion

We might have been spoiled with the recent Pestilens book – that one was probably better overall. However, the Extremis book is by no means bad, and if you are wanting to get hold of Sigmar’s hardest warriors, you will probably want to know how they fight, which is what this book delivers.

The Battleplan is suitably astronomical in scale, which will put it out of the reach of some. However, if you do manage to amass enough models, it looks like a fight to remember.

 

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I also grabbed this book, released alongside the Battletome.

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£6, 32 pages, it does what it says on the cover, really. It has step-by-step guides for several Stormhosts but, again, if you are already into Age of Sigmar, you may have already chosen your Stormhost and got to work.

Then again, if you are a newcomer and have a complete lack of talent (like me), it is only £6, and it contains everything you need to get going.