The Vanguard Chamber Opens!

This weekend, the Vanguard Auxiliary Chamber was opened (as it turns out, it was open all along, we had just not noticed until now), with the arrival of the Stormcast Vanguards – Hunters, Raptors, and a few beasties.

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The Original Plan was to get all of these done, with Aquilor and six Palladors, last weekend but, as it turned out, that was a Big Ask and didn’t pan out – a second weekend was needed to get through these 50-odd miniatures, and the Palladors are about halfway done.

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Part of the problem was that I had assumed that Vanguard = Stormcasts = Quick and Easy. After all, Vanguard are pretty much the same as Liberators… except they are not. They are a fair bit more fiddly to put together, and those crossbows and cloaks, while not a massive pain, all add to the workload.

So, Vanguard are a bit slower than Liberators to do.

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I had hummed and harred about putting these guys into units of 10 but, in the end, I stuck to the units of 5, as with the rest of the Stormcast – it did not make much sense for these sneaky/scouty guys to be in larger groups than the main battle line. So, I went with two each of swords and axes (the way the Vanguard break down)

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The Raptors just had to be added as well, as these guys look positively lethal. I did three units of them, two with the Longstrike Crossbows (which look to be just plain rude on the battlefield) and one of the Hurricane Crossbows.

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I think these guys have the potential to really ruin someone’s day.

The Stormcast Vanguard seem to like their animals, so nine Aetherwings went into the mix, each sporting a different colour scheme.

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I used the Battletome as a guide, mostly, for their colourations, and now I have nine angry pigeons to harass the enemy with. Because of their different colours, these birds actually take a bit longer than you might think, and care has to be taken with their tresses around the branch they are based on.

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Also, they tend to ‘waggle’ a lot on their mounts, which is probably good during gameplay, as there is a lot of give if they are accidentally knocked, but makes painting a bit more ‘interesting’!

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And, finally, some Gryph-Hounds – a couple of box sets worth, plus the odd doggie from other packs, such as the Lord-Castellant from the Hammerhal set. A decent pack by anyone’s measurement!

As I said, I have the Palladors and Aquilor about half done on the painting table right now, and I have also added a couple of things that have been sitting on the shelf for a while now, waiting to get done. Might be a bit much expecting them to get done this week, but by the end of next weekend certainly – leaving the way clear for the Kharadron Overlords!

Battle Report – Clash of Heroes

It has not just been the Bonesplitterz roused to fight after the Realmgate Wars, as our previous battles might indicate – the Gutbuster Ogors are raging as well (some might say because the weather is about to turn for the colder…).

 

The Story So Far

Lord Baudrax the Hunter, leader of the Red Butchers, had carved a swath through Aqshy, pledging to lead his warhorde on a great hunt in Khorne’s honour, piling skulls as they went. In answer, Khorne sent Baudrax a powerful vision of a mighty huntsman named Skargut, the prophet of another god known as the Ravenous One.

Baudrax swore a furious oath that he would slay this false prophet and take his skull.

Plunging through a Realmgate known as the Ragged Maw, the Red Butchers voyaged to the Realm of Beasts to seek this Skargut out. For days, they battled the Spiderfang tribes of the ancient Kraggengorst ruins, then ranged out onto the Savage Steppes, matching themselves against screaming dust-wraiths, sudden squalls of amber hail, and baking, brutal heat. After many weeks slaughtering every monstrous beast and primitive tribe they came across, the Red Butchers finally came to a place of gargantuan onyx crags, many carved in the likeness of a titanic club-wielding Ogor.

As they approached, vast horns sounded from the largest of the crags and from caves surged Gutbuster Ogors, led by a Beastclaw Hunter atop a gigantic Stonehorn.

Baudrax was pleased. Now there would be blood by the gallon!

 

The Forces

This is the first time we are using the Gutbuster Ogors, so their force is relatively small – however, the Bloodbound will have to bring a fairly decent-sized army just to keep pace!

Bloodbound
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Bloodsecrator
Slaughterpriest
Skullgrinder
Wrathmongers x 5
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Khorgorath
Blood Warriors x 20 (two units of 10)
Skullreapers x 5

This is a solid Bloodbound force, built around a Brass Stampede. The Skullreapers and Wrathmongers are both hard-hitting units, and with a score of Blood Warriors to soak up damage, Khorne stands a good chance of victory on this day!

Gutbuster Ogors
Huskard on Stonehorn (Skargut)
Ogors x 13 (one unit of 7, one unit of 6)
Leadbelchers x 8
Ironguts x 8
Ironblaster

Whether it is up close and personal or by blasting huge chunks of metal at the enemy, this force has things covered. The combination of Leadbelchers and an Ironblaster will have the potential to seriously tear up the Bloodbound, while a charge of Ironguts, led by the Stonehorn, could give even their Brass Stampede pause.

 

The Battleplan

To claim victory in this battle, a player must slay the enemy general – a mighty victory is awarded if at least half of their starting models are still alive, a minor victory otherwise. If neither player has done this by the end of the sixth battle round, a player can claim a minor victory if he has at least half his starting models still on the battlefield and his opponent does not. Otherwise, it will be a draw (though you have to think it is still a win for Khorne, with that many dead…).

Baudrax has a new command ability for this battle, Irrefutable Challenge, which stops lesser models charging either general. Skargut has Righteous Fury, which allows him to re-roll missed hits against enemy Heroes (ouch!).

In addition, the gods are watching this battle, and will be mightily displeased if their champion tries to avoid battle. If a general ends up further away from the enemy in their move phase, fissures may open up to swallow his army as punishment. Priests may also be able to take advantage of their god’s interest, subtly influencing the outcome of the battle.

Finally, a general slain by any model other than the enemy general is likely to be saved by his god and returned to the battle, fully healed!

 

Deployment

The Ogors flooded out of their caves and took to the battlefield, their Huskard overseeing their advance.

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Baudrax was well pleased by their appearance, and he ordered his own warband to push forward in a broad line, his Skullcrushers to the flanks. His own eyes, however, were fixed firmly upon Skargut, sitting high atop a Stonehorn. Khorne would indeed be pleased by the Ogor’s skull.

 

Battle Round One

Content to let the Khorne invaders come to him, Skargut bellowed an order that halted his Ogors. Baudrax roared as he held his axe high in the air, and his Brass Stampede led the charge forward.

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Ogors trotted across their battleline, as much to get out of the way of Skargut’s Stonehorn as give their Leadbelchers some cover from charging Blood Warriors. Skargut released his Blood Vulture, which immediately spied Baudrax and dived down to scratch at the Lord of Khorne with its cruel talons. On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, the Ironblaster thundered and hurled a dozen heavy projectiles into a group of Blood Warriors, tearing apart two of them.

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Meanwhile, the Ironguts rushed forward, having sighted what was probably the most powerful unit in the Khorne force – an over-sized unit of Skullcrushers.

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Taking full advantage of their massive inertia, they crashed into the Skullcrushers before the Juggernauts could reach a full gallop. Their mighty clubs and swords easily smashed through the armour of the Skullcrushers, knocking three of them sprawling and out of action for the loss of only two Ogors.

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Battle Round Two

The Slaughterpriest offered a prayer of Resanguination to Khorne, and Baudrax was healed of his minor wounds caused by the Blood Vulture. However, he then pushed his luck, as he tried to Blood Bind the Ogors near the woods, and Khorne punished the Slaughterpriest for his temerity, forcing him to double over in pain as his own blood burned.

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Climbing to the top of the Arcane Ruins, the Bloodsecrator found he had a commanding view of the battlefield, and planted his Portal of Skulls, causing a dull red light to shine around him as a gate was opened directly to the Realm of Chaos.

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Baudrax decided the Ironblaster could present a problem to his war band, and his Juggernaut thundered out of the Sylvaneth Wood in an effort to cut it off. However, it proved to be just a little too far out of reach.

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Spurred on by the Portal of Skulls and driven to rabid levels of frenzy, the Khorne warband rapidly closed the remaining distance to the Ogors.

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One unit of Skullcrushers swept far along the Ogor’s left flank, and fearlessly dove into the woods, ignoring the threat of the Sylvaneth spirits within. Trees swayed violently as Ogor and Juggernaut thundered within them, and blood was soon raining into their roots as one Skullcrusher and two Ogors fell. This kind of close quarters fighting was not to the liking of one Skullcrusher, and he turned his Juggernaut around to flee the battlefield, the jeers of another unit of Skullcrushers following him as he galloped away.

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Another arboreal fight erupted close by as Blood Warriors, Skullreapers and the Khorgorath engaged more Ogors and the Leadbelchers.

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The Leadbelchers held their ground and crushed one Blood Warrior, even as Sylvaneth spirits impaled another on their branches. However, the Ogors, caught outside the wood, suffered greatly, with the Blood Warriors and Skullreapers bringing three of the beasts down between them. As the Khorgorath waded into the melee, it tore the head off another, a sight that convinced the survivors that they would be far better off if they fled from the battlefield.

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Skargut cajoled his Stonehorn forward, not wanting to leave all the slaughter to his minions. He released the Blood Vulture once more, and it dove down onto the Skullgrinder, who was forced to fend it off with his anvil.

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The Ironblaster roared again, killing another Blood Warrior and convincing another to flee, softening the unit up nicely for Skargut, his Stonehorn lumbering forward.

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However, the Blood Warriors were eager to get to grips with such a powerful foe and while one was gouged by the horns of Skargut’s beast, the others managed to inflict a series of savage wounds upon the Stonehorn.

A fierce battle was well underway in the Sylvaneth woods. On one side, the Leadbelchers continued to hold their position against Blood Warriors and Skullreapers, but at a terrible cost. Three were quickly slain and another four fled the fury of Khorne’s soldiers, leaving a single Leadbelcher fighting.

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The Ogors in the other wood fared better, and their clubs battered the last Skullcrusher they faced, leaving them triumphant under the cover of the trees.

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Battle Round Three

Seeing yet another unit of Skullcrushers approaching, the Ogors retreated further into the Sylvaneth Wood, knowing the spirits around them would exact a heavy price upon any Chaos invaders who tried to enter their domain. The Ironguts, meanwhile, entered one of the Sylvaneth Woods themselves, hoping to skirt past Baudrax the Hunter and keep Skargut free of Khorne minions so he could focus his attention on the Lord of Khorne.

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However, Skargut was already bogged down by Blood Warriors, and he waved his Ironblaster forward, knowing he needed more time before he could face Baudrax on terms he was happy with. The Ironblaster roared, but the shot was hurried and it went wide. The Ogor on the back of the Ironblaster goaded his Rhinox on, and together they smashed into Baudrax.

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This was exactly what Baudrax had been waiting for. His Juggernaut danced to one side with an agility belied by its massive, powerful frame, and Baudrax’s axe hammered into the Rhinox, leaving it badly wounded. Skargut’s Stonehorn crushed three more Blood Warriors, but one still remained, completely undaunted by the monster he was fighting. The Ironblaster had indeed bought the Huskard time, but still he needed more before he could face Baudrax.

In the Sylvaneth Woods, the battle was beginning to go the way of Khorne, as the last of the Leadbelchers was killed and the Blood Warriors began to close in upon the last Ogors.

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Baudrax raised his axe to the sky and bellowed praise to his Lord Khorne. The sky darkened as clouds swept over the battlefield, and a Blood Rain fell upon every combatant, healing every devotee to Khorne as it fell.

Spurred by this manifestation of his god’s power, the Slaughterpriest offered his own praise as he tried to Blood Boil Skargut’s Stonehorn, but Khorne took offence at such a weak offering from a puny servant and once more the Slaughterpriest was crippled by pain.

Baudrax’s warband began to sense blood and, led by the staggering Slaughterpriest, they began to run to the Ironguts.

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However, the Slaughterpriest was in too much pain to engage them in combat, and his reticence confused the Wrathmongers, who stayed in place as their continued to whirl their chains. Baudrax saw this happen, and he swore to the Blood God that Skargut’s skull would not be the only one offered that day.

Blood Warriors and Skullcrushers rushed the Ogors within the Sylvaneth Woods from two sides, trapping they prey between the trees. However, the Sylvaneth spirits had been biding their time, and two Skullcrushers disappeared as the trees swarmed and crushed them.

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The Ogors fought all the harder as they saw the advantage swing back to them, wounding the last Skullcrusher and smashing a Blood Warrior to a sticky pulp.

Unable to reach the Ironguts, the Skullreapers and Khorgorath instead threw themselves into the flank of Skargut’s Stonehorn.

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Driven into a truly psychotic rage by the combined effects of the Bloodsecrator’;s Portal of Skulls and the nearby Wrathmongers, they unleashed a devastating series of blows that brought the Stonehorn to its knees. Skargut tumbled from his saddle and was gutted by the Khorgorath.

However, Gorkamorka was watching, and his favoured champion would not be brought so low, so easily.

A giant, spectral green hand reached down through the blood-laden clouds to scoop Skargut up and place him back in the saddle of a completely restored Stonehorn. Skargut grinned down at the warriors of Khorne who had attacked him, and prepared to strike back, even as Baudrax casually dispatched the Ironblaster.

 

Battle Round Four

Now filled with a Righteous Fury, Skargut bellowed at his Ironguts, and they lumbered forward, once again building momentum as they crashed into the Wrathmongers and Slaughterpriest.

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As one Wrathmonger has hammered flat into the ground, a powerful rage descended upon one of the Ironguts, and he lashed out at one of his comrades, only to be frustrated by the thick armour they all wore. This armour also defeated the efforts of the Wrathmongers themselves, but they soon parted as the Skullgrinder piled into the fight, killing two Ironguts with wide, fast swings of his anvil, even as the Slaughterpriest hacked down another.

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This was too much for the two surviving Ironguts, and they turned and ran from Khorne’s fury.

Within the Sylvaneth Woods, battle still raged, with four Blood Warriors smashed apart by the clubs of the Ogors and thrust of their Ironfists. However, they were few in number, and the Blood Warriors rallied alongside the last Skullcrusher, finally finishing the Ogors off.

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Khorne has won the Battle of the Woods, but only a single Blood Warrior and lone wounded Skullcrusher emerged from the trees. Much blood had been spilled under their branches.

All eyes were now drawn to Skargut – he stood alone before Baudrax’s warband, but Gorkamorka was with him and his Stonehorn lashed out left and right, crushing a Skullreaper and impaling the Khorgorath on its great horns.

A dreadful Murderlust descended upon the Skullgrinder, and the weaponsmith raced forward, determined to take Skargut’s skull and thus be elevated past Baudrax in the eyes of Khorne.

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However, Baudrax reached Skargut first, barrelling into the Stonehorn at full tilt.

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Skargut stood high in his saddle, raining down blows on the forces surrounding him as Skullreapers, Wrathmongers and a Blood Warrior delivered a dozen small cuts that began to split the hide of the Stonehorn.

Baudrax the Hunter roared, getting the attention of the Ogor, and Skargut swung his Stonehorn around to face his enemy. However, the Lord of Khorne was quicker. A flurry of blows from his mighty axe took out the knees of the Stonehorn, causing the beast to pitch forward into the hard earth, tumbling Skargut onto the ground. Baudrax’s Juggernaut reared up and ploughed a hoof straight through the Ogor’s chest, silencing him immediately.

Smiling savagely to himself, Baudrax leaned over Skargut’s corpse and grabbed his long beard before swinging his axe, severing the Ogor’s head from his body in one blow.

The Blood God would indeed be satisfied by this offered skull…

 

Conclusion

Now, that was a suitably bloody battle.

Baudrax the Hunter managed to get his worthy skull, though only with a minor victory as he lost too many units in the process – not that I think either he or Khorne minds. After all, it matters not whence the blood flows…

This was the first appearance of the Ogors for us, and there is certainly much to be impressed about. Certainly, there are few units in the game that could comfortably take down three Skullcrushers in a single round, then finish off the others in the next. #

That said, Ogors are few in number and weak of armour, and if an enemy can overwhelm them while weathering the (pretty nasty) hits, then they remain eminently defeatable.

Frankly, we can’t wait to see what full-blown Beastclaw Raiders will be like!

 

The Story Continues…

The Everwinter is coming – in the next battle, Baudrax the Hunter takes on the full might of the Beastclaw Raiders, along with a few of their allies, in an arena created by the gods.

Review – Battletome: Kharadron Overlords

Okay, we have a big one today… The new Battletome covering the Kharadron Overlords has arrived, on the back of a new miniatures line that has got a great many people taking another look at Age of Sigmar. This book has all the makings of being the best Battletome so far. So, does it live up to the hype?

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If you have been spending your time under a rock of late, you will not know that the Kharadron Overlords are a new race of Dwarfs (Duardin) that have been added to Age of Sigmar. They spend their time floating in clouds and sky cities, have some seriously advanced technology for a fantasy setting… oh, and they have flying ships, three versions of which Games Workshop have done miniatures for.

They made quite an impact when they were first revealed.

This is the book that properly introduces them to the game and, to begin with, just deal with this artwork for a moment…

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And this…

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Those are just on the first few pages, and there is much, much, much more throughout the book. GW have really spared no expense on making this book pretty and introducing the Kharadron Overlords as a new power in the game.

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Though they are Duardin, and we all know what a Dwarf is, there is a lot of new ground to cover as they are very different to what has come before. Still Warhammer Dwarfs you understand, but with a huge dollop of X factor that will separate them from your Pappy’s Dwarfs, if you take my meaning.

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In a nutshell, the Kharadron Overlords break down like this:

The Duardin were getting smacked around during the Age of Chaos. Some, like the Fyreslayers, doubled down and fortified their holds, with mixed results. The Kharadron Overlords already had ‘sky ship’ technology, and they escaped upwards, living in Sky-ports that were effectively cloaked even from the gods. When Sigmar’s forces returned to give Chaos a right smacking, the Overlords watched and, at the end of the Realmgate Wars when it was clear that the Stormcasts were making progress, they decided it was time to return. After all, there was money to be made.

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There are six main Sky-ports (which effectively create six main armies for the Overlords, though there is plenty of room for you to make your own minor Sky-port), and all of them place the acquisition of wealth very high on their agenda. They are both militaristic and mercantile, sticking rigidly to the Code, which gives the the framework not only for their business dealings but their entire society. If it is not in the Code, it does not get done (though the Sky-port of Barak-Mhornar is none for seriously twisting the intent of the Code, and they are not best trusted).

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The Overlords are headed by the Geldraad, which is a kind of council that binds all the Sky-ports together under the Code, while each Sky-port itself is ruled by a Council of Admirals.

Beneath them, you get the Fleets (basically anything with the word Arkanaut in front of it), the Guilds (covering the Endrineers, Aether-khemists, and Aethric Navigators), and the Grundcorps – another guild, but a privately owned group of mercenaries who are hired out to various expeditions.

All of them work to locate, mine, horde and sell aether-gold, a type of gas that has many useful properties, not least enabling their ships to fly. It is called the Breath of Grugni but, unlike the Fyreslayers, there is no real religious aspect to this material – the Kharadron Overlords really are only interested in it for what it can do, and how much it is worth.

There, that is your two minute introduction to the Kharadron Overlords. There is a lot of background material for them in this book and while there are some very obvious hooks for future developments (advancing technology, other ships, etc), you are not going to be walking away from these sections feeling like you don’t know who these guys are or what they want.

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Fourteen pages have been given over to ‘atmospheric action shots’ of the miniatures range, with the Kharadron Overlords fighting a variety of enemies, and GW has really pushed the boat out on these to emphasise the flying units in this army.

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And, of course, there are plenty of pictures of stand alone pretty painted miniatures. Here is the biggest vessel the Overlords have as a miniature right now, the Ironclad. I want one.

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One brand new addition to this Battletome over the previous books is a proper modelling/painting section. It goes through each of the main Sky-ports and tells you exactly which colours to use. Granted, it uses the ‘do all basecoats, do all shading, do all layers’ method, which I do not really like (it goes against the Teachings of Duncan), but just listing all the colours will make a big difference for those of you who, like me, have definite Limits of Talent.

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There is even a guide showing you how to create scenic bases for a variety of battlefields.

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Here is something else that is new – a guide to making a (minor) conversion of one of the Heroes, the Arkanaut Admiral. Granted, it is just a (half) weapon swap, taking a standard from the Thunderers and giving the Admiral’s hammer a new head, but it is a nice enough way to make the Admiral look like he is carrying an artefact (Hammer of Aethermatic Might). A truly minor conversion, and one that will not stretch most hobbyists, but I’ll probably give it a swing in the near future.

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As always, I suspect many of you have skipped the previous parts of the review to get to this bit – the rules!

Each of the six Sky-ports has its own page of rules dedicated to it, which tells you what aspects of the Code they adhere most to, abilities certain units have, alterations they can make to the Battalion Warscrolls, and additional artefacts or command traits available to them.

For example, Barak-Zon (the guys who really like their fleets) have Heroes who re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1 against Monsters and other Heroes, have a ‘save’ against fleeing models and, once per game, can charge straight after disembarking from a Skyvessel. In addition, every unit can re-roll wound rolls of 1 after charging, and Heroes get access to the Aethersped Hammer, which lets them attack before anyone else. Finally, they can add Skywardens to their Frigate Squadrons.

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I think I will be going for Barak-Nar myself – as well as being the biggest and best of the Sky-ports, its Heroes have a sick amount of unbinding available to them (it almost seems they are built to take on Tzeentch!).

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On top of all that, you also get your normal Command Traits and Artefacts (The Kharadron Code is effectively the Battle Traits list for the Overlords). While there is a wide enough choice you won’t find any of the ‘special’ artefacts that have been popping up for the Stormcasts and Khorne, such as the banners or priestly prayers. Frankly, the Overlords will not need them.

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The next section introduces new Battleplans and here, I can report on two things.

Good News: There are five of them, enough to link into your own mini-campaign (which is exactly what I am intending to do).

Bad News: They are still not putting the old-style stories alongside these Battleplans. Please, GW, go back to the way you used to present Battleplans, it added a great deal to the background and feel of an army!

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The Kharadron Overlords get their own Path to Glory tables, of course (and I really must set up a Path to Glory campaign sometime soon), and there does not appear to be anything too worrying here. Even if a player was to go heavy on the Skyvessel table, half of the time they will be receiving the smaller Gunhaulers, and I cannot think a Kharadron force will get out of hand too quickly.

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There is another section brand new to this Battletome – four pages dedicated to theming your Kharadron force and some suggested tactics. Now, there are no grand words of wisdom here, nothing that will win every battle for you – think of it more as a further insight into the army rather than actual tactics, and you won’t be disappointed.

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However, it does have a nice write up of specific ploys to try for four of the Sky-ports – again, nothing you might not have worked out for yourself after thumbing through the rules, but it might help point you in the direction of choosing which Sky-port you are going to tackle.

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I have to confess, this was one of the first Battletomes that had me going to the Warscroll Battalions almost immediately after opening the book – I wanted to know how many ships I would likely need for a decent force!

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It is worth pointing out that all of these Battalions are all eminently doable, even if you are not Lord Moneybags. If you were to collect:

1 Ironclad
3 Frigates (this is the only requirement that might get you thinking twice)
3 Gunhaulers
3 boxes of Arkanaut Companies
1 box of Arkanaut Thunderers
2 boxes of Skywardens/Endrinriggers
1 of each Hero

You would be able to do all the main Battalions, including the combined Grand Armada. And if you already have a decent force of Stormcasts, just adding another Gunhauler and a box of Skywardens will allow you to field the Aetherstrike Force (you probably already have the Stormcast component). Speaking of which…

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There is an interesting ‘combined’ Battalion, featuring a smattering of Kharadron (just one Gunhauler and three flying infantry units) who have joined up with three retinues of Prosecutors and a Knight-Venator. The Knight-Venator can guide the rest of the Battalion to fire upon an enemy (so, that will be useless – does everyone else have the same problem with Knight-Venators as I do?), while a unit that sticks close to others can shoot faster.

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I am not going to go into a complete break down of every Warscroll for these units – you can download them for free from GW’s website and make your own judgement. However, two things become very apparent when looking through them.

  1. The Kharadron Overlords are a very characterful army that you can have a lot of fun with.
  2. They absolutely suck in close combat!

A lot is made of the Overlords mobility on the battlefield, but I am not so sure. Ironclads have a Move of just 8″, with Gunhaulers topping out at 12″, and with Saves floating around the 4-5+ area, you are going to need the high Wounds scores (the smallest ship, the Gunhauler, has 10 wounds).

It seems clear that an effective Kharadron Overlord army will be one that takes advantage of all the synergies it has – which is just what you want in Age of Sigmar. It has been said that the Overlords are not ‘competitive’ and that they will not appear in tournaments. I am not so sure. There are some really funky things you can do with this force, you just have to be more… careful, I suppose.

There do not appear to be any game-busting units or combinations which, allegedly, is what will drive tournament players away from them. However, the really good players do not generally go looking for the game-breaking stuff and can perform well with most mid to high tier armies.

So, we shall see how they do in action with the next round of tournaments! I would just not write them off just yet…

 

Warscroll Cards

As with the last two Battletomes, GW has also released Warscroll Cards for the Kharadron Overlords.

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Also as before, these come with some thick cardstock counters (decently thick, you won’t be damaging these in a hurry) as game aids.

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Regular readers will will know of my issues with the last two sets of cards, that being extremely small font sizes used for the rules text. So, have GW fixed this problem?

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No!

You can see that the font size is necessary for rules-heavy units like the Ironclad, but for the basic troops?

Now, I could understand that the font size was a simple misjudgement on the Stormcast cards, and that the Khorne and Kharadron Overlords sets were already done, dusted and sent to print before the Stormcast cards went on release and we gamers saw them.

So, I am going to give GW a little bit of a pass on these. But get your act together, guys, if the next set of cards also have this issue, I am going to have to start deducting points.

 

Conclusion

I think I would go as far to say GW have knocked the ball out of the park on this one. In fact, if only they had included the story elements behind the Battleplans, as they did on many of the early Battletomes, I would have said that this is a near perfect gaming book.

As it stands, this is a Battletome you will go back to time and again, for the background, the rules, and the modelling aspects. The Kharadron Overlords themselves are a great and worthy addition to the high/mythic fantasy of Age of Sigmar, and are going to make an impact down your local store when you start popping ships into the table.

This book gets a definite A Rating from me.

Battle Report – Horns of the Beast

We have been having some fun with the Bonesplitterz, but now they have drawn their entire Warclan together, as they are hunting that most difficult of prey – Stardrakes within a full formation of Stormcast Eternals!

 

The Story So Far

High above the Clawspine Expanse in the Realm of Beasts, the Stormcasts of the Hallowed Knights Extremis Chamber marched along a magical path of stardust created by the wizards of Azyrheim, a feat that required no little bargaining with the Collegiate Arcane. The Orruks below were completely unaware of the Stormcasts crossing the sky – all except the Wurrgog Prophet. He wanted to slay their starbeasts and, puzzling how to get to the Stormcasts, the Prophet finally settled on a plan.

He would ask Gorkamorka to blow up the sky.

As the Stormcasts began passing over a huge volcano within the Clawspine Expanse, the Wurrgog Prophet called out a mighty ‘waaagh!’ to the spirit of the mountain. The volcano erupted violently, hurling lurid emerald flames and burning boulders into the heavens. The star road was bombarded, and began to drift to the ground.

Masses of bellowing Orruks were waiting for the Stormcasts as they descended, all eager to claim a starbeast for themselves.

 

The Forces

As far as the Bonesplitterz are concerned, we are (literally) putting everything on the table for this one – every Bonesplitterz Orruk in the collection, using every Battalion they qualify for.

Bonesplitterz
Wurgog Prophet
Big Boss x 2
Wardokk x 2
Maniak Weirdnobs x 4
Boarboys x 10
Savage Orruks x 40 (two units of 20)
Arrowboys x 20
Big Stabbas x 2
Morboys x 20
Boarboy Maniaks x 20 (two units of 10)

The Warclan has truly come out in force, with no less than six Battalions being fielded! The Extremis Chamber is always a very, very powerful enemy to face, but the Bonesplitterz are massing in force, and have just the right tools to deal with the Stradrakes. Could this be the first defeat of the Stormcast Extremis?

Stormcast Eternals
Lord-Celestant on Stardrake
Drakesworn Templar
Fulminators x 4 (two units of 2)
Tempestors x 4 (two units of 2)
Concussors x 4 (two units of 2)
Desolators x 4 (two units of 2)

The full Lightning and Thunder Echelons are being used in this force, making it mightily potent. However, the actual unit sizes are small, and if the Bonesplitterz can isolate units and finish them off quickly, they stand a good chance of claiming a Stardrake! However, if things go a little pear-shaped for the Stormcasts, they can take advantage of Sigmar’s Aid, and bring some Liberators, Judicators and Paladins down in the latter stage of the battle.

 

The Battleplan

This is a huge mash up, with the Orruks wanting to bag themselves every Stardrake and Dracoth they can see, and the Stormcasts having no choice but to defend themselves. So, this will be a fight to the death, ending with the total destruction of one army or the other (or until it becomes obvious that one cannot win).

As always, there are issues.

The Bonesplitterz Snaga Rukk does not have to be set up at the start of the battle, and can march round the left or right side of the battlefield to arrive in the second round.

In addition, the Bonesplitterz are trying to hold the Stormcasts in place, and so those near the Wurrgog Prophet do not have to take battleshock tests and can re-roll charges in the first round, while the Stormcasts can re-roll charges and hit rolls close to their general, again in the first round.

 

Deployment

The Bonesplitterz deployed in a long line, stretching across almost the entire battlefield. For their part, the Stormcasts deployed in a much tighter formation, the better to concentrate their attacks on a single point, though the Drakesworn Templar led half of the Thunder Echelon in a diversionary attack that the Lord-Celestant would hope stop the Orruks from simply closing around his much smaller force.

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He was also very much aware that the Snaga Rukk had already departed the battlefield and was already making great strides across his right flank.

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Battle Round One

The Wardokks capered around the rear lines of the Bonesplitterz, their dances greatly accelerating the magic flowing around the Weirdnob Maniaks and Wurrgog Prophet. At the bidding of the Prophet, a spectral image of Gorkamorka shimmered into existence over the Bonesplitterz, drawing gasps of awe from the Orruks. He reached down with one hand and scooped up the Boarboys, depositing them within striking distance of the diversionary component of the Thunder Echelon.

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Then with his other hand, Gorkamorka picked up a unit of Savage Orruks and carried them over the Sylvaneth Woods, to drop them in front of the rest of the Stormcasts.

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The rest of the Bonesplitterz ran as fast as they could, dismayed that Gorkamorka had not chosen them to lead the attack.

At the urging of the Wurrgog Prophet, the Arrow Boys skipped forward and showered the Tempestors with a volley of arrows that temporarily blocked the sunlight. However, the ever vigilant Fulminators of the Lightning Echelon were close by, and their glaives spun in bright circles that deflected all but a single arrow.

With a bellow, the Savage Orruks and Boarboys ploughed into the closest Stormcasts, determined to forge a path to the Stradrakes in a single gutsy attack.

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The Boarboys managed to land a few light blows on the scales of the Dracoths, but otherwise proved a poor match for the Stormcasts.

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A little further away, the Savage Orruks leapt into battle against the Lightning Echelon and fared even worse. No Dracoths, nor their riders, were killed, and over a dozen Orruks lay dead within seconds. This proved too much for some of them, and five more ran from the battlefield, desperate to find safety.

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Satisfied that the Bonesplitterz initial attack was now held in check, the Lord-Celestant ordered the rest of his forces forwards, hoping to deliver a crippling blow before the maddened Snaga Rukk arrived in the battlefield. Meteors rained down upon the Orruks from the heavens, crushing one careless Wardokk.

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As Concussors finished off the Boarboys and Fulminators skewered the Savage Orruks who had engaged them, the Drakesworn Templar goaded his Stardrake on towards the Bonesplitterz main line. However, despite many attempts, he could not persuade the Stardrake to charge into their ranks. It took him a few seconds to spot what had spooked his mount – the Bonesplitterz had positioned Big Stabbas behind Savage Orruks, and they had already marked the Stardrake as their first target.

 

Battle Round Two

The initiative the Bonesplitterz had gained earlier on had been completely robbed by their stalled assault, and the Stormcasts quickly took advantage of it. As the Dracoths advanced, they opened their maws to release a crackling wave of lightning that fried some of the Arrow Boys, even as meteors continued to rain down from the sky, this time badly wounding a Big Boss.

Then, as one, the Dracothian Guard advanced at a trot, aiming to ride down every Orruk they could reach.

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Though the Big Stabbas still lurked behind the Savage Orruks, the Drakesworn Templar was too close and too committed to retreat. Ordering Concussors to follow him, he ploughed into the Savage Orruks, hoping to finish them off and reach the Big Stabbas before the Bonesplitterz could react.

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Seeing the danger, the Lord-Celestant cursed his Drakesworn Templar, and dove in, pushing the other Stardrake to one side. This caused the Templar to miss with his Stormlance, and the Lord-Celestant only clobbered two Orruks with his Celestine Hammer. However, the Stardrakes and Dracoths were decidedly hungry, and they swallowed or simply tore apart nine Orruks between them, gouging a huge hole in the Bonesplitterz line.

However, it was not enough and two Big Stabba teams were close enough to rush forward, even as the surviving Savage Orruks streamed passed them in an effort to escape the Stormcasts.

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The Templar’s Stardrake roared in pain as their Big Teef punched through its chestplate with ease, dealing two deep wounds.

On the other side of the Numinous Occulum, Desolators joined Fulminators as they rode into the mass of Arrow Boys in front of them.

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The Arrowboys had been watching the Fulminators since the beginning of the battle, and they were ready to receive the charge. The Fulminators were quickly bogged down in their assault, but the Orruks had not spotted the Desolators also closing in, and their big axes hewed heads from shoulders as Dracoths tore apart what was left. The Arrow Boys could not withstand that assault and they too broke from the battle and ran.

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Casting his eye across the battlefield, the Wurrgog Prophet could see that he had lost four units of his boys, but he did not overly care – he could see the Stardrakes had been pulled into the perfect position and the Big Stabbas were ready to strike.

Organising his Wardokks and Weirdnob Maniaks, the Prophet ordered them to pool their magic. Arcane Bolts flew at the Drakesworn Templar in volleys, each one finding its mark, even as a Weirdnob Maniak began to break the bones of the beast.

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From the corner of his eye, however, the Wurrgog Prophet could see the rest of the Dracothian Guard, and the Hand of Gork appeared once more, this time to scoop up the Prophet and deposit him nearer the Big Stabbas.

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The Teef Rukk was now close enough to hear his commands, and the Prophet ordered them to bring down the Stardrake of the Drakesworn Templar. The first Big Stabba team rushed in, but bounced off its chestplate.

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However, further threats from the Prophet saw the Big Stabbas recover, and they once again hurled themselves at the Stardrake, this time wounding it badly.

A great chorus of bellows shook the battlefield then, as the Snaga Rukk arrived, covering the last portion of their rush forward by the cover of Sylvaneth Woods.

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Heedless of the spirits of the woods, the Snaga Rukk ploughed onwards, quickly finding the Tempestors and Fulminators of the Lightning Echelon. With a maniak fury, they piled in, overwhelming two Fulminators and a Tempestor, for the loss of only a couple of pigs.

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The Big Stabbas rallied once more and rammed their Big Teef home, driving their weapons deep into the heart of the Templar’s Stardrake. The great beast roared in pain, and then burst into starlight that shot up towards the Celestial Realm. Though cheated of their bones, this feat energised the entire Bonesplitterz force, even as it dealt the Stormcasts a terrible blow to their morale.

Invigorated by the escaping spirit of the Stardrake, the Big Boss leapt forward, determined to claim a Dracoth by himself.

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The Concussors were having none of his heroics, however, and a single swing of their hammers knocked the Big Boss to the ground, where he lay still. Seeing the Lord-Celestant would be the next target of the Big Stabbas, the Concussors then performed they well-trained Ruinous Assault, leaping the short distance to the Big Stabbas, braining each Orruk.

However, Bonesplitterz are tougher than the average Orruk and, as they died, they hurled their Big Teef in high arcs to pierce the scales of the Lord-Celestant’s Stardrake.

 

Battle Round Three

The Bonesplitterz could sense weakness now, and they scrambled to claim the advantage. One Stardrake had already been killed, halving the number of monsters the Stormcasts had within their force, and the Stardrake of the Lord-Celestant was already wounded. Further more, the Snaga Rukk had performed well, and was threatening to completely collapse the Stormcast’s right flank.

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The Lord-Celestant reared up in the back of his Stardrake, and once again the Wurrgog Prophet directed his wizards to focus their energies on the beast. A Weirdnob Maniak and Wardokk both hurled Arcane Bolts that struck home, but every other Orruk wizard were too excited at the prospect of felling another monster that they fumbled their castings.

Undaunted, the Prophet bellowed at the nearby Morboys, and they redoubled their efforts against the Fulminators who had helped see off the Arrow Boys, pulling the Stormcasts off their Dracoths.

The Snaga Rukk had built up a huge momentum, and they continued rolling up the Stormcasts’ right flank, hammering the Tempestors before Desolators reigned their Dracoths in and counterattacked, felling four of the Boarboy Maniaks.

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Overcome with giddiness from the slaying of the first Stardrake, a Weirdnob Maniak wove through Orruk and Stormcast to charge into the Lord-Celestant. So unnerved was his Stardrake at this furious attack, it reared up and tried to avoid the staff and boar of the Weirdnob, who repeatedly battered away at the beast.

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The battle stood on a knife edge, and the Lord-Celestant cursed as he was forced to retreat from the Weirdnob Maniak’s frenzied attacks, knowing his battered and bruised Stardrake could not stand much more punishment. However, he yelled orders to his Dracothian Guard, and they manouevred to engage the remaining Bonesplitterz – one last push could break the back of the warclan, so long as they could keep their own formations intact.

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By now, Concussors had reached the Snaga Rukk and, alongside the surviving Tempestors and Desolators, their hammers made short work of the Boarboy Maniaks, smashing aside Orruk and boar alike.

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Meanwhile, the rest of the Thunder Echelon moved on the Morboys, catching them in a well-timed pincer.

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Under the heavy axes and hammers of the Dracothian Guard, the Morboys had few chances, and the small number of survivors ran as fast as they could to get away from the Dracoths.

Their leaders, led by the Wurrgog Prophet himself, had already seen what was happening and they led the retreat from the battlefield.

The Stormcast Eternals had won the battle, but the Bonesplitterz had inflicted heavy losses, with one Stardrake and almost all of the Lightning Echelon sent back to Azyr.

 

Conclusion

That was a hell of a battle, and not one that the Stormcasts could claim was easy. The Bonesplitterz made serious account of themselves – they not only killed the Stardrake of the Drakesworn Templar, but also reduced the Stardrake of the Lord-Celestant to a single wound (which was why he ran so fast from the lone Weirdnob Maniak. Too much to risk!).

However, the Extremis Chamber continues to prove their worth when unleashed. The Bonesplitterz may have diverted them from their mission, but the Orruks certainly paid the price for that.

 

The Story Continues…

We have introduced the Bonesplitterz to the Mortal Realms, and next time we will be showcasing yet another new force – hold onto your boots, for these guys of Destruction have a much heavier footfall than mere Orruks!

Kairos Fateweaver

I don’t normally do posts on a single model but I have made an exception this time because a) the drying time on my Tzeentchian Warshrine meant it won’t be finished for another day, and b) I quite like my Kairos Fateweaver. Think I have done alright with it!

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For this model, unlike the Lord of Change I did a short while ago, I did not avail myself of the Church of Duncan on Warhammer TV, but instead used the guide in White Dwarf. This had the advantage of using slightly different colours which, along with the different pose and staff of Kairos, further serves to separate him from the Lord of Change if both are on the battlefield at the same time (woe betide the enemy they face that day!).

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Two notes on the painting guide in White Dwarf – first off, it heavily suggests that the gold work is one of the first things you do after the skin and feathers. However, after having followed Duncan on the Lord of Change, I knew it would be much better if it were left until near the end. Make the gold one of the last things you do on Kairos, and you will be a much happier bunny.

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Second, the painting guide in White Dwarf is not complete. There are a few little details that are not covered, such as the horns on the wing ridges or the cover of the book on the staff that might catch you out – just as you think you are about finished with the model, you will see there are still some things to do. Not a massive problem, but could be a bit demoralising if it catches you unawares!

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I quite like the effect I managed to achieve on the wings, and it is one of the features that really makes Kairos stand out from A N Other Lord of Change. No blending involved here, just stippling with a diluted (very important) wash over the top to bring all the colours together, as shown in White Dwarf. The colours you end up using towards the edges are a lot lighter than you might expect (Kislev Flesh), and despite my normal reticence for using Lahmia Medium to dilute paint (it is a hassle), it is really needed here.

As I said earlier, I also have nearly finished the Warshrine, so expect piccies of that very soon, and my big aim this long weekend is to more or less complete my Stormcast Vanguard. That is about 50 models and, despite them being very easy to paint (Hallowed Knights have a very quick-to-do colour scheme), I am not entirely sure I will get all the cavalry done. However, the main part should be doable, putting my (for once) in a good position to crack straight onto the new army as it is released – the Kharadron Overlords!

Heavy Hitters of Tzeentch

This weekend, I managed to finish all my new Tzeentch models – almost.

The Big Guy is a Lord of Change, and this is a model I really quite like.

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I followed the Duncan Method on this one, following the directions on Warhammer TV, and there is a moment you get to when working through it when you suddenly realise ‘oh, is that it done?’ as a lot of the larger sections are done together right at the end (the armour, gold and sword).

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I mentioned that I had almost finished my Tzeentch force reinforcements – I also have a mostly done Kairos Fateweaver on my painting table, but I did not quite get to completing him. Hopefully a little later this week (as I want to reserve the long weekend for getting the Stormcast Vanguard done, so I can be ready for the new Duardin!).

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Kairos is mostly done, just really need to do the gold bits, gems, and staff.

The Lord of Change was not the only daemonic addition:

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From the initial range of Tzeentch models (before the latest wave of releases), the Herald on Burning Chariot was the only one I did not have, and I was not massively interested in getting one. I am not that bad for having to collect everything…

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However, I snapped one up cheap, and he really is very easy to paint (once I remembered how I had done my other Screamers!).

Finally, on the daemonic side, I also grabbed the new Changeling.

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For this chap, I pretty much used the painting guide that comes with his instructions. The gold work around the hood and tabard can be a bit fiddly but, other than that, he is quite an easy model to do.

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With the daemons done (mostly), it was time to go back to the Arcanites, and I finally got round to adding some Skyfires and Enlightened.

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Nine of them, in fact!

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All the Tzaangors were done in the same way as those on foot – they have a little more ornamentation, but not so much that it makes a big difference to the painting time.

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For the discs, I pretty much followed the painting guide in the instructions and White Dwarf, and then just did variations on those themes to make them all a bit different fom one another.

And finally…

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Slambo!

He has nothing to do with Tzeentch of course, but he was sitting all on his own in his box, and so I threw him into the mix. Again, I just followed the painting guide in the instructions, and he was completed really, really quickly (ignoring drying time, there is probably less than twenty minutes’ work in this one.

I do have one other Tzeentch model on the painting table right now, an almost complete War Shrine. Hoping to get that done this week as well, so I can free up my weekend for other projects…

Battle Report – Slay the Prophet

The Bonesplitterz have well and truly burst into the Mortal Realms. They had a bash at the Seraphon last time, and now they are going to have a go against the Bloodbound…

 

The Story So Far

While chasing herds of Gruntas, Wurrgg Prophet Gurkak Weirdteef and his warclan stormed through the Gnarlgate and into the Realm of Life. However, they had been followed…

Baudrax the Hunter, leader of a Brass Stampede of Khorne, had been chasing the Bonesplitterz, intending to exact vengeance upon them for poaching the lives of beasts that belonged to the Blood God. As the Brass Stampede thundered towards him, Gurkak Weirdteef panicked somewhat and desperately tried to reopen the Gnarlgate so more of his warclan could get through and reinforce those who had followed him. However, the arrival of Baudrax and the blessings of the Blood God ensured the Realmgate remained still.

The Brass Stampede began to ride over the Bonesplitterz, and Baudrax saw his chance. If he could reach the Wurrgog Prophet before more Orruks arrived, he would claim a worthy skull indeed for his master.

 

The Forces

As the Bonesplitterz are still a fairly new army for us, we are keeping things small and tight (don’t worry, that will change in the next battle, and we have some truly stonking Orruk-based battles planned for the near future!) on both sides. Both armies have strong cavalry themes, so expect a lot of movement in this fight!

Bloodbound
Lord of Khorne on Juggernaut (Baudrax the Hunter)
Mighty Skullcrushers x 12 (one unit of 6, two units of 3)
Chaos Knights x 10 (two units of 5)
Chaos Chariot

The Khorne force has a full Brass Stampede in this army, ably assisted by two units of Chaos Knights. Should be fast and fun! On top of that, we have just got hold of the new Blades of Khorne book, so we will be giving those rules a whirl too.

Bonesplitterz
Wurgog Prophet (Gurkak Weirdteef)
Wardokk x 2
Maniak Weirdnobs x 4
Morboys x 20
Boarboy Maniaks x 20 (two units of 10)

We are continuing with using the Bonesplitterz Battalions, with two types we have not yet tried. These are the Kop Rukk (Wardokks and Savage Morboys, who get bonuses to wound rolls and increased chances of casting spells) and two Snaga Rukks (Boarboy Maniaks led by Maniak Weirdnobs, who can charge in the hero phase, and can dish out mortal wounds when they do). Together, these Battalions will be able to kick out a lot of magic against the Bloodbound.

 

The Battleplan

In this Battleplan (Slay the Prophet), the Bonesplitterz are set up first in the centre of the battlefield, with just the Wurrgog Prophet and two units, in a place of power. The Bloodbound then deploy with three of their units.

So long as the Wurrgog Prophet stays in his place of power, he cannot be attacked at a range further than 6″ (not an issue for Bloodbound) and he may also have attacks safely diverted away from him by Gorkamorka.

Both armies will receive reinforcements throughout the battle, the Bloodbound getting three units every round (we will be allowing destroyed units to be recycled), while the the Bonesplitterz receive one unit on their first round, two on their second, and so on.

The Bonesplitterz gain a major victory if they ever have more than twice the number of units on the battlefield than the Bloodbound. The Bloodbound gain a major victory if they managed to slay the Wurrgog Prophet.

In addition, both armies pick one unit in their force for a special rule. The Bonesplitterz have a bodyguard unit for the Wurrgog Prophet, who can take wounds in place of him, while the Bloodbound pick a unit to assassinate the Wurrgog Prophet, gaining +1 to wound rolls made against him.

Both units automatically pass battleshock trests.

 

Deployment

Wurrgg Prophet Gurkak Weirdteef knew he was in trouble immediately. Only a group of Morboys and Boarboy Maniaks were close to hand, and the Skullcrushers of Baudrax the Hunter were already thundering towards him. Sticking close to the Realmgate, he fervently hoped the rest of his boys would arrive soon.

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Battle Round One

It was about to get worse. Baudrax rode forward, the Skullcrushers either side of him causing the ground to shake with their iron hooves and, behind them, more Skullcrushers arrived, flanked by Khornate Chaos Knights.

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Seeing their prey huddled around the Realmgate, the Skullcrushers did not hesitate and, led by Baudrax, they crashed into the Morboys thronging around their Wurrgog Prophet.

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As promised by Gurkak Weirdteef, the warpaint the Morboys had covered themselves with before the battle proved sufficient protection against the Juggernauts, and only two Orruks were mercilessly ridden down by the Skullcrushers. However, the warpaint proved less effective against the glaives of the Skullcrushers and Baudrax’s axe, and more than a dozen were hacked down as they barely scratched the Juggernauts. The few remaining Morboys broke, and ran, leaving their Prophet to his fate.

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Preparing himself for a real fight, Gurkak Weirdteef opened his mouth to unleash a mighty warcry, fuelled by the power of Gorkamorka himself, but something went wrong and nothing more than a pathetic mewling left his lips. With some chagrin, the Prophet instead opted to throw a Mystic Shield over himself.

The Boarboy Maniaks were made of stronger stuff than the Morboys, and they whooped with glee as they urged their mounts onwards, surrounding one of the Skullcrusher units.

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One Skullcrusher went down to their initial attack, and though they managed to slay one Boarboy Maniak and his pig, they were completely unprepared for the boars to surge forward again, wiping the Skullcrushers out.

As more Boarboy Maniaks arrived on the battlefield, Gurkak Weirdteef dared to hope he might yet be saved from the axe of Baudrax the Hunter.

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Battle Round Two

However, Baudrax had not become the leader of a Brass Stampede by being fooled by simple Orruks. He ordered the closest unit of Skullcrushers to loop round the Realmgate, and cut the Prophet off from the newly arrived Boarboy Maniaks.

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By now, the second wave of Brass Stampede had advanced and was now ready to launch itself into the fight.

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As more Skullcrushers and a Gorebeast Chariot arrived, Baudrax turned his Juggernaut around and retreated, to the jeers of Gurkak Weirdteef. However, the Khorne Lord had a plan, and he did not intend to lower himself to the catcalls of a Bonesplitter.

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With a gesture of his axe, Baudrax gave the order to close in around the Bonesplitterz, and his Skullcrushers and Knights obeyed with a precision that would have impressed a Stormcast Eternal. The Bonesplitterz near the Realmgate were now almost completely surrounded and becoming rapidly fewer in number.

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The Boarboy Maniaks bore the brunt of the attack, with three of them crushed by the initial charge of the Skullcrushers alone. The rest put up a brave fight, but were completely outmatched, and were slaughtered by gleeful Chaos Knights. Gurkak Weirdteef survived, with just a scratch from the glaive of a Skullcrusher.

Though he was now alone, Gurkak Weirdteef smiled to himself, for he had seen a way out. The noose Baudrax had thrown around him was not complete, and if he could reach his reinforcements, he could skulk in the nearby Sylvaneth Woods until the rest of his warclan turned up.

However, Baudrax the Hunter was not done.

Calling upon the power of Khorne, Baudrax offered a Blood Tithe, and was rewarded with his Chaos Knights being filled with a Murderlust. Enraged by the power of the Blood God, the Chaos Knights pushed their steeds hard, and closed off the Prophet’s escape route.

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Gurkak Weirdteef was now in real trouble. He tried to unleash another Warcry at the Chaos Knights, but Gorkamorka was not granting that power this day. The Prophet instead hastily threw a Mystic Shield around himself… and ran.

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The Chaos Knights had left the tiniest of gaps in their line, and Gurkak Weirdteef took advantage of it. However, this route took him straight past Baudrax the Hunter, and he desperately hoped the Lord of Khorne had not seen him.

More Boarboy Maniaks arrived, but though they raced as fast as their boars could carry them, they were far from their Prophet.

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Seeing that they could not reach Gurkak Weirdteef, the closest unit of Boarboy Maniaks ploughed into the Chaos Knights, tying up both them and the largest group of Skullcrushers in the hope that they could at least buy their Prophet more time.

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Three Boarboy Maniaks were slain in the swords and axes of the Chaos Knights, but they managed to get one of Khorne’s warriors in return. More importantly, the Chaos Knights were now fixated on them, and not the Prophet.

 

Battle Round Three

Gurkak Weirdteef was now running for his life, and Baudrax the Hunter now revealed himself for the cunning tactician he was. Though all his men were engaged with the Bonesplitterz, his earlier retreat now pout him in the perfect position to chase down the Prophet.

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The Lord of Khorne rode forwards, his Juggernaut knocking the Wurrgog Prophet to the ground.

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Gurkak Weirdteef had just enough time to look upwards as he lay on his back, to see Baudrax’s axe descending upon his neck.

A worthy skull indeed had been claimed in Khorne’s name this day.

 

Conclusion

Now, that was an interesting battle – and, in the end, it all came down to the new Blood Tithe rules in the Blades of Khorne book (this battle was played a week too late for the Bonesplitterz!).

This was always going to be a tough battle for the Orruks, as they have to cede ground while holding up Khorne units (and Juggernauts at that!), making sure the Prophet is safe. And that was exactly what was happening, right up to the point that a Blood Tithe was declared in the Bonesplitterz own hero phase, and Murderlust allowed a unit of Chaos Knights to rush forward and cut the Prophet off from his reinforcements. Had they not done that, the Prophet could have run back towards his Boarboy Maniaks, who would then advance and cut off any approach (they would die, but the Bonesplitterz get more and more reinforcements every round, so they could afford that loss).

There was a second chance for the Prophet to make a break, if only the Bonesplitterz had won first turn in the third round but, again, it was not to be.

However, it was a great battle and a worthy victory for Khorne!

 

The Story Continues…

As we are now up to speed on the Bonesplitterz, we are next going to try a battle that involves the whole warclan – against the best the Stormcasts can muster!