Wednesday 21 October 2015

Skulzinschitte: The Harvesters of Chaos

In our last post, we considered the glorious throng of the Doomlord himself, Dieter Helsnicht. In this next (but hardly final) instalment of our exploration of 4th edition, we cast our eyes to his hated enemy: Luther Vangross, Champion of Nurgle.

But then I realised something.

The name is a pun.

And 4th edition, as you may recall, is not about puns. Or wit. Or subtlety of any variety.

No. 4th edition is about SKULLS! And BLOOD! Oh, and SKULLS! No longer do our words stem from the subtle satire that can be generated from the world around us. Instead, they stem from the basic, banal, almost primal grunting of fantasy as told by thirteen year olds. Our words express intent, whilst still attempting to convey the sheer awesomeness and undiluted fantastical... well, fantasy. Thus, we append the names of monsters, or weapons and the verbs that describe their application: Axel Daemonpuncher, or Sir Chopfest von Deathcrunch.

Visceral. Unmistakable.


So let's revisit that:

In this next (but hardly final) instalment of our exploration of 4th edition, we cast our eyes to his hated enemy: Irongrind Dragonhacker, Champion of Nurgle.

The Harvesters of Chaos


Irongrind Dragonhacker, Champion of Nurgle (Chaos Lord)

Equipment: Nurgle's Cloud of Flies, Chaos Armour, Mark of Nurgle

345 Points

Count Mordrek the Damned (Chaos Lord)

Equipment: Sword of Change, Chaos Armour, Living Damnation, Shield, Chaos Steed, Barding

424 Points

Hornlust Sinbiter (Master Sorcerer of Slaanesh)

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Chaos Familiar, Mark of Slaanesh

Spells: Acquiescence, Slicing Shards of Slaanesh, Chaos Spawn

300 Points
Skullscreamer the Sly (Sorcerer Champion of Nurgle)

Equipment: The Chalice of Chaos, Chaos Armour, Mark of Nurgle

Spells: Shrivelling Pox, Miasma of Pestilence

211 Points


6 Chaos Knights

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Shield, Chaos Steed, Barding, Standard

546 Points

8 Chaos Warriors

Equipment: Chaos Armour, Two Handed Weapons, Standard

288 Points
3 Trolls

Equipment: None

195 Points

4 Chaos Hounds

Equipment: None

64 Points

Note: Yes, the picture is from a different photo 'shoot' and there is no beastmaster for the unit. I, uh, forgot to take a picture of the hounds



6 Plaguebearers

Equipment: Plague Swords

Spells: Stream of Corruption, Fly Swarm


Grom the Paunch of Misty Mountain (Goblin Warlord)

Equipment: Axe of Grom, Light Armour, Chariot, Niblit

257 Points
Goblin Chariot

Equipment: Scythes, Shields, Short Bows

87 Points
16 Goblins

Equipment: Short Bows, Shields

56 Points
16 Goblins

Equipment: Short Bows, Shields

56 Points
20 Goblins

Equipment: Light Armour, Shields, Standard, Musician

85 Points
Broggin Thicke (A Stone Troll, courtesy of that fine figure of a man, Airbornegrove)

Equipment: None

65 Points

Army Totals:

Characters: 1280 Points (41%)
Rank and File: 1093 Points (35%)
Daemons: 150 Points (5%)
Allies: 606 Points (19%)

A brief note on the selection of special characters:

Special characters. Surely one of the most important concepts introduced into the later editions of Warhammer. Whilst in 3rd edition, the thing that made your characters special was you, in 4th edition, the thing that made them special was Games Workshop. In some cases (say, Dieter Helsnicht), there was nothing special about them at all. You could recreate the character from the army list with exactly the same capabilities for exactly the same cost - they were only special because they had a name.

But in the list above, we see not just one special character, but two! Characters who have something that is not otherwise available in the army list.

One of a kind, one might say.

Apart from one or two (Grom and Eltharion, specifically), I must be honest: I don't like special characters. I really struggle to relate to the super hero like problem of all these one-in-a-bajillion type of characters all being alive and in the same place at the same time, with nothing to do with their amazing super powers than harass and frustrate each other over immature and frankly pointless schemes. I just can't see Nagash waking up to escort 120 skeletons on a patrol to see what Emperor Karl Franz is up to whilst on his morning stroll with his 130 strong body guard.

And I don't like Grom and Eltharion because they're special characters. I like Grom and Eltharion because they come with a narrative which creates an excellent backdrop for gaming a story.

But, because this exercise is objective, academic and arguably (semi) archeogaming, I felt compelled to include special characters, because they were so very exciting and new in 4th edition.

And also, I had the figures.

In the next post, I shall craft a reason for these two forces (and their epic super hero special characters!) to come together at the ill-fated hamlet of Skulzinschitte,

As if you needed a reason in 4th edition...

Friday 16 October 2015

Skulzinschitte: The Dread Throng of the Doomlord

So the last time I wrote, I mentioned a battle report.

I know. I know.

It was all very exciting - in August. But now it's October, and your incessant inner monologue is probably voicing an opinion about those who chose to skip September. If it makes you feel any better, I began crafting this blog post on the 4th of September.

Still, in some circles, it is claimed that many things are better late than never. With the exception possibly of bullet proof vests and those little puke bags one gets on planes, I suspect the statement is otherwise true.

Don't mistake anything above for any variety of apology - it is not. But - an apology follows:

What you are about to see are two 'sets' of miniatures. Miniatures I've painted... and miniatures I've not. They are painted (if, indeed, that is how you choose to describe their coat) - we'll have none of that naked lead business here, what with being the respectable outfit that we are! What I mean to say is, I've not painted all the figures you will see.

Equally, I have no idea who has painted the things. I have acquired these over my collecting time and have always promised myself that they will be stripped and repainted one day. The day is coming soon, but has not yet happened, you see.

So, sorry. Some of the figures are rightiously fugly.

Nevertheless I thought it best to proceed with the various mismatched figures - because this is how Warhammer was for me when I was a kid. We could only afford a few figures or units each, so a whole army only came together when we all came together and collected our enamel encrusted blobules together for a game. Of course, none of us encrusted our blobules in quite the same way, so it was a beautifully mismatched affair.

Good times.

So, the army you are about to lay your eyes on (and, indeed, the vast bulk of the report), follows in that glorious heritage thick paint, scratched extremeties, goblin green bases and rudimenatary terrain. I'll say sorry, because it is a bit of an eyesore, but I believe I appeal to your inner child as we join together on this curious road down memory lane into the bizarre interior of Warhammer 4th edition.

Let us begin with the forces. In this post...

The Dread Throng of The Doomlord


The Doomlord himself - Dieter Helsnicht (Necromancer Lord).

Equipment: Chaos Runesword*, Staff of Flaming Death, Manticore

Spells: The Dark Mist, Summon Skeletons, Drain Life, Raise the Dead

725 Points
Dr Darkington-Blackness (Master Necromancer)

Equipment: Skeletal Steed, Barding, Staff of Damnation

Spells: Wind of Death, Gaze of Nagash, Vanhels Danse Macabre

334 Points
Oppa-ra (Tomb King)

Equipment: Blade of Leaping Bronze

150 Points
Ludwig von Bluddenskulls (Vampire Count)

Equipment: Dragonslayer

Spells: Hand of Dust

325 Points



Rank and File

Two Ghosts

Equipment: None

70 Points
8 Mummies

Equipment: Light Armour, Two Handed Weapons

392 Points
6 Wights

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Shield, Wight Blade, Banner, Musician

314 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Light Armour, Shields, Spears, Banner, Musician

256 Points
20 Zombies

Equipment: Banner, Musician

88 Points
20 Skeletons

Equipment: Heavy Armour, Two Handed Weapons, Banner, Musician

276 Points

NOTE: There is a Wraith  in the unit:

Equipment: None

75 Points

20 Zombies

Equipment: None

80 Points


 A Screaming Skull Catapult

Equipment: Screaming Skulls

74 Points
 Army Totals:

Characters: 1609 points (51%) ...This happened because I forgot about the wraith!
Rank and File: 1476 points (47%)
War Machines: 74 Points (2%)

*A brief note on the selection of magic items:

Now I know that there is an entire game that can be made out of just selecting the magic items for characters and units in 4th ed. I know that this is one of the elements that, if not handled in a responsible manner, could make the game absolutely unpalatable for players - I still remember coming across dread combinations that made me quake at the thought of engaging enemy character models.

In this case, I just randomly determined them. I randomised how many the army might have, then which categories they might have and then finally the items themselves. Once I had determined all the items for the army, I then allocated them to the characters and payed the points accordingly.

I found this approach meant that characters had a small choice in their items, but that the opportunity to have a 'killer combo' would therefore only be based on luck. I also reasoned this would be a good way to get some of the more obscure items out onto the field.

Before you ask - yes, I really, really did generate the Staff of Damnation randomly. Yes, I know. That was really, really lucky. It was.