I would like some help to attempt to answer the question of what units from Codex: Chaos Space Marines would be suitable for use in a Sons of Malice themed army in today's post.
As with many other people in the hobby, I recognise the Sons of Malice as Malal's own chapter. In brief, Malal is the renegade chaos entity who opposes the other big four. Hence immediately, to build a Sons of Malal themed army, I reckon it is safe to rule out all those models who possess the mark of the big four. Explicitly: that immediately rules out plague marines, rubric marines, bezerkers, and noise marines. But what of the other entries in Codex: Chaos Space Marines?
Although we wouldn't be able to take any named characters as is, there may be the potential to use some of them in a different guise based on effects. For instance, Abaddon could be a cool one to use with his daemon blade (i.e. a trapped daemon of a different god) and his combat ability. Indeed, I plan to use my earlier conversion as a Sons of Malice character. But would any other be good? Fabius Bile could potentially be used as as I'm fairly certain that he didn't fall to Slaanesh like the rest of the Emperor's Children.
In terms of other units, dreadnoughts seem okay, as do the vehicle entries in general, alongside the usual marines, terminators and havocs.
What do other people think should be in a Sons of Malice themed army?
Inspired by a posting from Adam over at Space Wolves, I decided to put together a conversion for a World Eaters character to lead a squad of Khorne Berzerkers. Although I've already got Kharn and a neat looking possessee who could step in to the roles, I really wanted something that looked intimidating, could fit in with the other berzerkers and, frankly, old school looking.
Following Adam's post, I've used a chaos warrior body from warhammer fantasy which I chopped at just below the belt. To that, I glued a pair of standard space marine legs. The arms are from a bloodletter (the hellblade will count as a power weapon for this character!) and a bolt pistol. The only issue are the elbows: all four of them. This can be disguised by some careful posing of the miniature though. The head is a standard berzerker, whilst the backpack is taken from an old (and broken) warp hornets marine. To attach the backpack, the cloak needed a small file-down so that the pack could sit flush against the shoulders.
In the next post, I'll show the final painted version of this fellow.
Following on from my review of the Battlefield in a Box: Crystals, a few people asked me about their relative scale. Below is an image of a selection of the crystals next to some standard necrons that I have in my collection. As can be seen, some of the crystals are tall enough to block the line of sight through them, but others don't reach such great heights and simply make for dangerous terrain that can readily be seen over.
Congratulations to Suneokun whose tally of 53% of the popular vote means that he's taken out another Army List Challenge and has now become the leading challenge winner (overtaking SandWyrm's record with this win).
The final percentages were:
The GraveMind: 13%
Gale Force 9 has produced a series of products under the "Battlefield in a Box" series, ranging from rivers and hills to gothic ruins and tank traps.
I purchased the set of crystals from a local retailer to give variety to my scenery. The crystals are very reminiscant of necron worlds -- the crystals are a great idea for such battlefield themes.
In the picture, I've opened up the crystals box. They come packaged in protective styrene for transport and are easy to remove. The crystals themselves are made of semi-transparent green resin that gives them a nice glow. A few of them had a little flash of resin remaining on them (much in the same way there are mold lines on other models). They were very simple to clean up to be honest and not a real problem.
The beauty of this range is that it does what it says: it really is a battle field in a box, ready to be deployed at a moment's notice. There's nothing negative to be said here: the crystals are eminently suitable for use in warhammer, and other 28mm game systems.
A simple tile from the Planetary and Mighty Empires range that has been painted up in a brooding mixture of dark browns and foreboding blacks.
With multiple layers of dark brown and black washes and subtle grey highlights, the tile gives an uneasy feeling for any who try to conquer it. Perhaps this was the site of an ancient chaos temple whose influence still stains the lands. Or perhaps orbital bombardment destroyed millions of acres and split the crust of the planet before the attackers fled.
In the alternative Universe Dornian Heresy published by Bolter and Chainsword, the Blood Angels are the chosen of Nurgle. But they have not totally succumbed to Nurgle. Rather, they are cursed by the chaos god and must seek fresh body parts and blood to replace those afflicted by Nurgle's phage. In doing so, they spread Nurgle's diseases along the way and serve his purpose regardless.
To realize this image of the corrupt and mutated blood angels, I've used a resin torso and shoulder from the Forge World plague marine conversion set. For the helmet, I've clipped off the spike on the top and filed it down, but otherwise, no other special work was undertaken.
For the other body parts, I've used standard space marine bits. To make them feel more Nurgle-like, I've applied damage across them (see the left shoulder for instance which is drilled to resemble having taken bolter fire).
Painting consisted of a standard Blood Angels pattern, but with liberal amounts of Devlan Mud washing, combined with green Nurgle-like emissions from various parts of the armour. The helmet is intended to be an assault marine pattern. The usual iconography has been replaced with a triple blood drop -- mixing the typical blood angels and Nurgle tripartite icons together.
What better army to defeat the weakling followers of Slaanesh than the Daemons of Khorne? This army is especially well protected given that there are 8 times 8 models arranged in 8 units and 2 characters in the army and every model that can have it was given the Blessings of the Blood God. Hacksaw the Maimer: Bloodthirster with Blessings of the Blood God, Unholy Might: 275 points Goreblade the Crimson: Herald with Chariot of Khorne, Unholy Might and Blessings of the Blood God: 105 points Deathriders: 6 Bloodcrushers of Khorne: 240 points The Brotherhood of Murder: 8 Bloodletters: 128 points The Gorerenders: 8 Bloodletters: 128 points The Lifetakers: 8 Bloodletters: 128 points The Fell Swords: 8 Bloodletters: 128 points Hacksaw's Hounds: 8 Flesh Hounds: 120 points The Chase: 8 Flesh Hounds: 120 points The Foerenders: 8 Flesh Hounds: 120 points The Bloodletters and Crushers will cut their way through any worshipper of the Pleasure God stupid enough to stand in their way while those who flee will be run down by the Hounds whose Collars of Khorne will protect them from any feeble temptation.
The Gravemind (Tyranids)
They shall be cleansed, for they are Biomass!
Their "marine melting" shots mean nothing to those without armor. We shall carpet their planet with Chitin. Let them try and fly! Our wings shall block out the stars.
Termagaunts sit tight and hold ground while hormagaunts rage and gargoyles press the advance, keeping them busy till the genestealers and ymgarl can hit.
Slaanesh is known for Rending and Initiative...Ha! We'll show them how it's done.
FOR ALL ARE PREY!
suneokun (Imperial Guard)
They are beasts, with high initiative, strength, rending and low AP weaponry ... hmmm. They would be quite tricky to fight...
But no tanks?!?
Imperial Guard Artillery Company
Command HQ, Powerfist, 2 grenade launchers and a Heavy bolter.
Platoon HQ, 2 GL and a Heavy Bolter.
Squad #1, 2 GL and a HB.
Squad #2, 2 GL and a HB.
5 Mortar teams.
Yep, all these heroics is nice and beating high initiative with even higher initiative takes ... well, initiative.
I propose simply barraging them back into the stone age. With 30 mortars and 6 Griffons, that plenty of holes in the lines and I can hit anything anywhere. Add into that the 'gunline' of 7 heavy bolters backed by 10 grenade launchers and I hate you SOOOO much.
I don't want to close combat you, I don't want to speak to you, I'm marginally interested in even seeing you.
Heinz (Blood Angels)
Half snake aerial, land & aquatic abominations.
Ocean world with floating atolls filled with tunnels, narrow streets and towering spires.
Energy Beams capable of melting space marine battle armour... with ease
Bladed weapons that could slice though power armour.
Worshiper of Slaanesh - and if memory serves me right from the novel, they were faster that the Emperor's Children.
From memory again, I don't think they were heavily armoured - at least not AP3!
So... Can't land heavy armour - and even if you could, you couldn't extract it fast enough if the atoll sinks.
Low AP Melee and Ranged weapons so FnP is useless.
Tunnels and Narrow streets sound like an ambushers dream.
Also means it'll be difficult to re-deploy if required.
The Laer will be able to effectively untilise guerrilla tactics.
Low AP tempts lots of bodies but being spread out with lots of numbers will just get us whittled down.
To counter that, we require good mobility and overwhelming locational superiority.
Sounds like a good match for the Sons of Sanguinius!
Storm Raven w. Extra Armour, Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolters, Hurricane Bolters
Dreadnought w. Extra Armour, Multi Melta, Heavy Flamer
Tactical Squad w. Flamer, Multi Melta
Librarian w. Hand Flamer, Shield & Unleash Rage
Storm Raven w. Extra Armour, Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolters, Hurricane Bolters
Furioso Dreadnought w. Extra Armour, Melta Gun, Heavy Flamer
Tactical Squad w. Flamer, Multi Melta
Librarian w. Shield & Unleash Rage
Landspeeders provide aerial cover
Storm Ravens should be heavy enough to weather any Laer firepower to drop the ground forces.
Plenty enough firepower to provide close support against ground and aerial forces.
Able to redeploy ground forces quickly.
Each ground force has a Dreadnought to block off streets and support in melee.
Plenty of Flamer action for the narrow streets and tunnels.
Plenty of Melta action for blowing through coral walls as required.
Librarians have Shield to provide cover from Laer Fire even if caught exposed in a narrow street
Librarians have unleash rage to bolster the marines if they end up engaging in Melee.
This fellow was assembled a little while ago with a bayonet attachment to the bolter, to give a feeling of the older Rogue Trader era marines (and also inspire by the then recently released Forge World Mk.III attachments.
I followed my regular approach to plague marines -- splotches of greens, browns and leathery colours, highlighted in bleached bone with a red bolter frame and rusted attachments. In particular, I'm especially pleased with the rusted appearance that has been achieved on the bayonet attachment. This was created by using a black undercoat followed by a drybrush of boltgun metal. This was over-painted with snakebite leather and drybrushed with bronze mixed with a tint of yellow. Nicely aged and certainly Nurglesque!
Dungeonquest is a classic Games Workshop board game that has been re-released under licence by Fantasy Flight Games. The design of the game attempts to capture all of the elements of the original, plus the catacombs expansion in one novel re-interpretation.
For the main part, the re-interpretation is very true to the original in my opinion. I like the tiles and the board layout, combined with the Sun "timer" (you have until the Sun goes down to enter the dungeon, collect treasure and escape again -- the doors get locked at sundown and all players are automatically trapped / killed if they remain after that!). The Sun counter can be seen on the bottom part of the image below.
I liked many features about the game. The faithfulness to the original concept is obvious (particularly for my old-time readers) and the sturdiness of the tiles and the board is plain to see. This, combined with the quality playing pieces that Fantasy Flight Games are becoming known for makes playing the game a visual feast. The gameplay is also straight forward: each player starts in one of the corners and draws a tile every turn. If the tile is a corridor, they get to draw another one. If it is a room, they have to deal with the aspect of the room (a gaping chasm for instance, see the upper right player who has leapt over one such obstacle; a cob-web filled room can also be seen in the lower right player's pathway so far), and / or draw a card to determine the contents of the room (monsters, treasure, crypts, etc.). In the centre of the board is the dragon's lair -- this contains the more expensive treasure. But raiding the lair risks waking the dragon up and you dropping all the treasure that you've collected so far ... which is bas since the winner is determined by the player with the greatest amount of treasure (measured in gold pieces) who gets out alive.
One issue I had with the game is the large number of decks (see the upper portion of the game board). These range from not only room contents cards, but also trap cards, corpse investigation cards, treasure cards, etc. I believe that the game could be simplified by having far fewer decks: one for the room contents and one for dragon treasure. The combat system is reminiscent of the Horus Heresy card based system. I didn't really care much for the system personally: something more approaching the Steve Jackson / Ian Livingstone "Fighting Fantasy" system might have been superior? But that's just an opinion. The game could readily be mixed with something like "Munchkin" for added fun I feel.
The difficulty of the game is well-known: the survival rate of the absent-minded adventurer is low. You've got to carefully plan whether you can get to the dragon's lair and out again. Some players venture only a few tiles in to the dungeon before deciding they've got enough treasure, and leap back to the exit. Often that strategy can pay off as the player survives and could win the game with only a few gold pieces of loot, whilst the other players get slowly killed off.
Overall, its a good game, but I'll be mixing in the room cards with, e.g., the corpse cards (etc.) for future plays.
In converting Abaddon using a plastic chaos lord body, the head is a problem: not only does it feel like it is incorrectly proportioned, but it also extends very high with the top knot. To alleviate this, I've leaned the body of the terminator slightly and had the head protrude over the edge of the upper torso -- giving the impression that the big guy is leaning forward in his armour. With a little bit of milliput to fill in and raise the head in the head alcove of the armour, the effect is completed.
The other metal parts have been pinned to the upper arms and elbows of other terminator bits. The body is a standard plastic chaos lord body, with a chain mail tabard hanging from the groin, much like the original metal body of Abaddon.
The base is standard for the chaos terminator lord, and I've added a couple of smaller protrusions scattered around the base for added detail. I'll eventually add a bit of static grass and grit as well. Am looking forward to painting this one up in a little while.
Many folks tend to use a proxy for Abaddon, typically building him from the chaos terminator lord and associated parts / bits, perhaps using some of the metal components from the blister pack. My intent is to do the same, motivated by the desire to have a suitibly intimidating looking commander for my Sons of Malice marines.
To create the conversion, we need to use the metal bits from Abaddon and attach them to suitible upper arm substitutes. The simplest way of getting these is to carve up either a plastic chaos lord, or a terminator. I chose to use the upper arms of the bits I don't tend to use: e.g. the mutated tentacle arm. I intend to pin the upper and lower sections of the arms together and then glue the plastic upper arms on to a plastic choas lord body.
The head of Abaddon is a problem though. As pictured (lower left), the hair piece / top knot extends for a long way up and the head is not fantastically proportioned in relation to the standard terminator. I'll look at how I worked around this problem in the next post.
This is a simple and easy conversion that I know many chaos players like to make. Perhaps it is so obvious that it doesn't need posting, but I probably wouldn't have thought of it when I was a newbie to the hobby.
Ingredients: one marine backpack (chaos or loyalist) and two gargoyle heads from the chaos tank sprue.
Method: chop off the exhaust vents from the backpack and ensure that the remains are filed down to a flat-ish surface (likewise for the back of the gargoyle heads). Then simply glue the heads on to where the vents where previously located. [The image shows a plague marine with a gargoyle headed backpack].
A simple, easy and effective way to create variety in your squads. (Note that some loyalist chapters come with similar designs for free -- see the space wolves marine sprue for instance).
The Laer are xenos and therefore must be cleansed. Moving on a snake like lower body, their weaponry is deadly: easily able to melt even space marine armour. They're also very much in to body modification and enhancement (e.g. some are modified to be able to fly, etc.). And they're Slaaneshi worshippers.
In the Horus Heresy, the Emperor's Children cleanse the Laer, but Fulgrim gives in to temptation and recovers one of their Slaaneshi artifacts along the way. Can you assemble a better army than Fulgrim to take on the Laer and cleanse their world ... without falling to Slaanesh along the way?
(1) Design a 1500 points army list from any codex to take on this mission.
(2) Post your army lists as a comment to this posting and suggest why they're well suited to this mission.
(3) Entries close at 01:00 GMT on March14th.
(4) On that same day, I'll open a poll for Warpstone Flux readers to judge which army list they consider to be the "most effective army list that also best articulates the theme" (whatever readers interpret that to mean) out of all entrants.
(5) Winner will be tallied and announced on March 21st (and entered in to thehall of fame!).
(6) One entry per person please.
Remember that there are no prizes for these contests, beyond kudos, honour and entry in to the hall of fame.