If there's one Fantasy Character, within the Fantasy Realms of 40K - that is itself akin to the Eye of Terror, as it pulls you into the Swirling Mists of Intense Debate, than there is no finer model to collect, than a Chaos Champion's Juggernaut of Khorne:
I remember once, hearing a fellow gamer's voice - what have you got that for? Well ... It's my Juggernaut, and he's part of my Chaos Army! Needless to say, my friend and I, were soon at loggerheads :) His basic point was, that there is no point to the Juggernaut of Khorne - as it's too expensive a model (in terms of points). Well now ... Did my Chaos Lord decide, that he would be having none of this! As I quite like, the Juggernaut of Khorne :) First: in terms of collecting and painting ... I decided to assemble this model, in two parts - the Juggernaut, and the Chaos Space Marine. With the Juggernaut, I filed the metal pieces, then glued them together (but not onto the base - simply resting his feet, for the correct position). I then under-coated in Chaos Black, flipping the Juggernaut (to paint the underneath), followed by two coats of (brushed) Chaos Black. I then dry-brushed in Weapon Bronze, and glued the Juggernaut onto his base (as I found myself becoming concerned, about paint chips!). The hardest part of the Juggernaut, was painting his raised armoured edges - which I first under-coated in white, then painted in Shining Gold. As for the rivets, did I again make use of my trusty cocktail stick (with a dab of white, Dragon Red and Magenta Ink). It is here that I found it hard, to paint the inside edges of the Juggernaut's feet (as when glued to the base, is it difficult to reach the armour). I then painted the Juggernaut's skulls and teeth (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I turned my attention, to the Juggernaut's armoured back plates, and his power conduits. I decided to under-coat both in white, with Dragon Red over the top, and Magenta Ink (to finish). I loved the effect that this created, especially on the power conduits - as it's as though my Juggernaut, has a pulsing Daemon's heart/stomach! Which I feel, is a decent modelling effect, for this part Daemon, part Machine - Juggernaut of Khorne :) As for the Chaos Space Marine rider, I decided to paint his Power Armour plates, in a fifty-fifty fashion: with some in Chaos Black (dry-brushed Weapon Bronze over the top), and other's Dragon Red (with a Magenta Ink finish). I then painted his hair and power conduits in Angel Green (dry-brushed in Mithril Silver). Then was it time, for my eye-catching Plasma Pistol (in Golden Yellow), so the enemy knows, just whose shooting at them! In any case, I glued the Space Marine rider, onto the Juggernaut last :) Second: in terms of gameplay ... Being an Independent Character, I like to attach my Juggernaut of Khorne, to a squad of at least 9, Khorne Berzerkers - that are armed with Bolt Pistols and Khornate Chain Axes (limiting enemy armour saves, to 4 plus). What of my Champion's/Juggernaut's gameplay profile? Well ... There's the Mark of Khorne (must charge closest enemy), a Khornate Chain Axe, and the Rage of Khorne (plus D3 Attacks whilst charging) - giving him Strength 5, Toughness 5 (from the Juggernaut), Wounds 3 and Attacks 5 (up to 8, when charging). In total, it cost me 118 points for my Chaos Champion, and his Juggernaut of Khorne :) In actual gameplay, are there three types of encounter - that I have seen (thus far) ... Battle One: verses 9 Space Wolves Blood Claws (Jump Packs, 4 Power Fists, 1 Power Axe, 1 Power Sword and 1 Plasma Pistol). I know! I know! A very close battle, as the Space Wolves initially benefited from Berserk Charge (plus 2 Attacks). Despite this, on the opening round of combat, did the Blood Claws lose 3 Space Marines (to the Juggernaut's Initiative of 5 with 5 Attacks!). It was then the Initiative 4 Attacks, which saw the Blood Claw's Power Weapons, carve through 2 Khorne Berzerkers - followed by the Khorne Berzerkers attacks, who with some terrible dice roles, only managed to drag down 1 Blood Claw! Unfortunately for the Juggernaut, did the Blood Claws Power Fists, then tear into him (at Initiative 1), and it was left to the Khorne Berzerkers - to win the fight! Battle Two: verses the same Space Wolves Blood Claws, but this time, did the Juggernaut and the Berzerkers - charge first :) This made a considerable difference! The Juggernaut's 5 plus D3 Attacks (in this case 8!), added to the Khorne Berzerkers 4 attacks each (on the charge), meant that the Blood Claws were simply - dragged down in a Blood Bath! The Blood Claws Power Fists (at Initiative 1), never got a chance to hit back (which could have made - all the difference). Battle Three: I don't like fighting Orks - and there's a very good reason for this! As verses 26 Slugga Boyz, and 30 Gretchin, did my Juggernaut (and his Khorne Berzerkers) - have mixed results ... I was lured into a false sense of security - as my Juggernaut and Berzerkers, managed to down 4 Gretchin (from Bolt Pistol shooting) and 20 Gretchin (from charging into hand-to-hand). At this point, I started to feel, that my Juggernaut was unstoppable :) As I was rolling 36 Attacks, with 23 hits (for my entire Khorne squad). Unfortunately, then did I realise, one of the draw backs of the Mark of Khorne: as having to charge the closest enemy (the Gretchen had been in range), meant that the Slugga Boyz were initially - unengaged. Thus, when they charged, was my Juggernaut and his Khorne Berzerkers, on the wrong side of the Blood God! The Slugga Boyz, had 63 attacks on their first turn, which with the Ork Choppas (4 plus enemy armour saves), meant that I did not have enough Khorne Berzerkers, to soak up that kind of damage, meaning that my Juggernaut - got dragged down to! Then, to top it all off, did my Berzerkers fail their Leadership test (rolling an 11 on 2D6), and the Orks simply over-ran them - in a Massacre result! Overall: For me, the Juggernaut is a worthwhile addition to your Chaos Army and it's troops, as long as your squad - has enough Chaos Space Marines in it, to soak up the damage :) At 35 points, your Chaos Champion gains Daemonic Strength (plus 1 Strength), Daemonic Essence (plus 1 Wound), Daemonic Mutation (plus 1 Attack) and being classified as a Daemon Steed, does he also gain Daemonic Resilience (plus 1 Toughness). If you added these individually, then this would cost you 65 points - so the 35 points (for a Juggernaut) seems worth it to me! And besides, do you really want your Chaos Champion, just walking into battle? Or do you want him riding a Chaos Beast, of the Blood God himself - who can trample your opponents, under his claws! Unless their Orks of course :)
Of all the Chaos Dragons, there is none more spoken of - than Galrauch. What once was Elven Dragon, Golden Drake. Became twisted and deformed, as with the Powers of Chaos! For it was upon the battlefield that Elven triumphed, but just for the smallest Twist of Time ... Having consumed a Seed of Chaos, did Tzeentch (Chaos Sorcerer), work his Magic. Thy Lord of Change, changed this Dragon - from Spire of Light, to Blade of Dark:
This is the first such Fantasy Character/Model, that I have ever constructed - which took me a little over eight years to complete! Well ... Not eight years exactly - more like, I just started to assemble and paint, this Warhammer Figure, at the start of this year :) Whys that you say? Perhaps I to, had become Lost in the Realms of Chaos? Or perhaps instead, it was just that I remembered, where the box was! But then again, perhaps it was only now, that I felt just capable - of assembling this model :) Yes, I think that was it ... For I knew from day one, that this model would be difficult to assemble. Whilst I forget when it was, that I first cleaned/filed the metal edges of this Dragon. I know for-well when it was, that I found myself in the Realms of Superglue! Lost in Time, Lost in Glue, did I reach for - my Dremel Multitool :) For it was indeed, that I pinned this Dragon's Wings, to this Dragon's Body ... And here did I learn a lesson: drill the hole in the Dragon's Body first, insert a cocktail stick, trim it (so it's just poking out), add a dab of paint to the end of the cocktail stick (I used red), press each Dragon's Wing to the Dragon's Body, and with a Rune of Tzeentch - do you know just where to drill the matching hole! And what of the cocktail stick? Well ... Just drill it out :) It was then to the Dragon's Heads (which glued on fine), and the Dragon's Tail (which I lost several evenings to - eventually having to pin). Yet, with both the Dragon's Heads and the Dragon's Tail, together with the Dragon's Body - did I have to use Modellers Putty, to fill the gaps :) Thus, do I feel, that it took me about a month (in the evenings), to assemble this model. It was then onto the Realms of Painting ... I started with a white undercoat, then changed to black (both undercoat and base). I then dry-brushed the Dragon in Dragon Red (Army Painter), and highlighted/refined in Magenta Ink (I really loved that part!). I then found myself painting in Warlock Purple (Citadel Colour), along both the edges, and the folds of Daemon flesh - which I again dry-brushed in Magenta Ink. It was here that I decided to paint the Bones, Talons and Barbs of this Dragon ... Undercoat in white first, then Ushabti Bone (Citadel Layer) over the top. This proved to be a challenge - as there was a lot of Bones, Talons and Barbs! I especially found it awkward, along the Finer Bones of this Dragon's Wings. It was then that I consorted with Tzeentch ... For I was lured into a whole multi-coloured spectrum, for the highlights/details of my Chaos Dragon: Angel Green (Army Painter), Amethyst Purple, Emerald Green, Enchanted Blue, Golden Yellow and Tuskgor Fur (all Citadel). I used these colours for the patches of cracked Dragon Skin, and the various Snaking Cords/Veins. It was then that Tzeentch, spoke to me again ... Before I knew what I was doing, had I picked up a paint brush, and started painting shapes over my Dragon's Wings (where the small faces showed through the webbed skin/folds). Then did I battle, for I realised that these were Patches of Contagion - that looked too disjoint to the Dragon's base colours. I eventually resolved this issue, through the use of Tuskgor Fur - painted around the outside, of these Patches of Contagion. It was then, that I remembered my Dragon's Eyes ... I based in white, then painted over with Dragon Red. I was initially concerned about their shape (as some of the red paint ran), but in the end - this worked out fine :) As for the finishing of my Dragon, did I decide to dry-brush in Shining Gold (Citadel Metallic - the really old one). It was as though, I was Tzeentch himself! For my Chaos Dragon, simply snapped into focus - and I found myself in total awe, at the detail, that I'd managed to work in :) Overall: An amazing Western Dragon, Fantasy Model - that I know is Pride of Place, within my collection of Fantasy Characters. It's a model, that I rushed to collect (several years back), but then managed to forget about (for the most part). But recently, I suspect that Tzeentch started to whisper to me (from the Warp), as I found myself dreaming of Galrauch - especially the Desire to both assemble, and paint him! For me, Galrauch is more a Collector's Dragon :) I spent so long painting him (enjoyably), that the thought of fielding him in battle, just scares me! Indeed, was it here that I knew just when my Galrauch was complete - as I started to obsess too much, about dropping him (whilst painting!). Finally: a unique Warhammer Character/Model, that seems to have disappeared largely, from the Ranks of Chaos these days. Whilst we may never know why that is - perhaps Galrauch sleeps? I do know of one Tale, that this Dragon still Reigns in ... Galrauch roars upon thy Field of Battle - knowing not Now, what he Once was. Galrauch roars upon thy Collector's shelf - knowing just Is, what he Became. For Galrauch is a Chaos Dragon :) Writhed in Power. Writhed in Chaos. Off to War, and Hunt the Elven!
Where as a Chaos Lord desires to keep something of their former selves, there are those within the Traitor Legions who have no need for such concerns! These are the Aspiring Champions of the Chaos Space Marines - who willingly allow the Greater Daemons (of Chaos) to possess their bodies ... Upon the battlefield, such Aspiring Champions, often appear, as a standard Chaos Space Marine - who has (perhaps) just fallen foul of a Boltgun round, or been run-through by a Power Sword. Yet, in the Aspiring Champions dying throws, do the Powers of the Warp take over, his body revealing its true purpose - that of a Daemonhost, a Bloodthirster of Khorne:
The first time I encountered such a Daemon, was when my Space Wolves were battling against my 40k opponents Black Legion (Chaos Space Marines army). To say Ragnar Blackmane was shocked, was something of an understatement! Regaining his composure, Ragnar quickly gathered his remaining Wolf Guard Terminators, and charged the Bloodthirster! What followed next, can still cause me nightmares - each turn my Wolf Guard dwindled, and each turn the Bloodthirster racked up the kills (under rules version two). Fortunately (for me), after three to four turns of hand-to-hand, the Emperor intervened - I suddenly remembered that we were playing Take and Hold (so destroying the Bloodthirster was not a primary objective!). Indeed, the Black Legion Commander had forgotten this point himself - and whilst he was intent on utterly destroying Ragnar (together with his Wolf Guard bodyguard), my Space Wolves Iron Priest made a Fleet of Foot dash for the Imperial Primarch Statue (that we'd selected as the primary Take and Hold objective). Hence, at the end of the game, my Space Wolves were victorious - the Black Legion were not! Even so, the Bloodthirster had left its mark on me - as I knew that it was a model, that I just had to have (even though my Iron Warriors are incapable of wielding it directly). Whilst much of the model was easy to assemble - I had considerable trouble with the Daemonic Wings (as they refused to glue on). Eventually, I decided to make use of a modelling file, and (in effect) file my own pins from the attachment points (which worked like a treat). Whilst I originally painted this model several years back - I decided recently, that it was time for a repaint ... I regard the Bloodthirster as a dry-brush paint model (meaning that I primarily dry-brush various colours over a Chaos black undercoat, plus base). I enhanced the (existing) shining gold brass armour, with some dry-brushed burnished gold (which helped to refine it's colour). I then dry-brushed magenta ink over the (existing) dry-brushed blood red daemon skin. I then (totally) overhauled the close combat Axe to feature a decent contrast between dry-brushed bolt-gun (over Chaos black), and dry-brushed burnished gold (over Chaos black). The Axe's Chaos Icons were (of course) repainted in burnished gold. The bony areas (such as tusks, teeth and finger nails) were enhanced by a runny tuskgor fur, gehenna's gold and snakebite leather mix-wash applied to the top (i.e. over ushabti bone). I then dry-brushed some burnished gold over the new bony areas (to help finish them off). As you can see, the results speak for themselves! What about the performance of my Bloodthirster in recent 40k encounters? Well, I shall consider a memorable three ... First: Bloodthirster verses Bjorn The Fell-Handed (Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought). The Bloodthirster won easily! By the time several strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests had ravaged Bjorn, there just wasn't enough left ... Second: Bloodthirster verses Logan Grimnar and his seven Wolf Guard Terminators bodyguard (equipped for hand-to-hand with two Power Fists, two Chainfists, one Thunder Hammer, one Power Sword and one regular strength - as a Cyclone Missile Launcher). After ten Storm Bolter shots had bounced off, and an Assault Cannon had caused one wound - it was down to hand-to-hand ... The Wolf Guard sergeant (with a Power Sword) attacked at the same time as the Bloodthirster. Yet, the dice were on the Chaos side, and the Bloodthirster killed three Wolf Guards. It was then onto the remaining Wolf Guards (plus Logan), who all struck last (as Power Fists, Chainfists and Thunder Hammers all strike at Initiative 1). This was much more like it - with four attacks each (as the Wolf Guard charged), the Bloodthirster had plenty of invulnerable saves to make! Third: Bloodthirster verses two Legion of the Damned Space Marine Dreadnoughts (one Venerable - both armed with Power Fists for close combat). Eight Assault Cannon shots, and two wounds later (against the Bloodthirster), it was again into hand-to-hand. Unfortunately, the two Legion of the Damned Dreadnoughts were soon in bits - as the Bloodthirster's strength 8 plus 2d6 armour penetration tests again reigned supreme! It was these three memorable encounters that helped me devise a strategy for dealing with Bloodthirster's (and other Greater Daemons): shoot it (e.g. with powerful Lascannons from afar), and if that doesn't work (or you don't get the opportunity), engage such Daemons in hand-to-hand with so many Power Fists (or equivalent), that you should have enough models left (after the Bloodthirster's first attack), that you can force it, to have to take, a considerable amount of invulnerable saves! What happens if you don't have any Power Fists (or equivalent) left on the battlefield? Well, you could always run away (although would a Space Marine really do that?), or perhaps the Emperor shall intervene for you to (and remind you of your mission objectives!). Of course, if the objective of your 40k game is to kill as many of the enemy as possible, then why not run straight at the Greater Daemon? Imagine the satisfaction from slaying it in hand-to-hand, or at least, returning it to the Warp! Overall: This is one of the best stand out 40k models that I have collected (to date) - especially in terms of it's painting, character profile and game play. I like the fact that the Bloodthirster's character profile is easy to understand (it's pure strength 8, toughness 6, wounds 4), leaving little room for confusion over Instant Death. One drawback ... You have to test for Daemonic Instability on 3d6 (at the end of each Chaos turn) - which if you fail, may just constrain your Chaos Lords ambitions somewhat!
Whilst a Space Marine Master (or Commander) may seek a fairer way to hone his combat skills, the same cannot be said for that of their Fallen Brethren - the Chaos Lords. For within the Chaos Legions, did these former Masters become consumed with Human Greed - seeking only to rise in Power, through whatever means necessary ... For them, it was the Chaos Gods that answered. Betrothed with the Gifts of Chaos, these Lords became more than the Emperor had envisaged. With their feet planted firmly in the Greeds of Power, a Daemon Prince - ascended:
When it comes to customising your armies for 40k, it is not only, the models themselves, that can be customised. Whilst this may be a standard model (as far as construction is concerned), it is certainly not a standard model when it comes to a game of 40k! When I first glanced upon my Chaos Codex, I'd proceeded to equip my Daemon Prince with (pretty much) every Daemonic Gift available! Only then, did I foresee the limits imposed on Daemonic Gifts (i.e. no more than 100 points). With some re-working, I ended up with (what I thought) would be an unstoppable model on the battlefield! A must have was Daemonic Stature (as required by the size of this model). I then went further down the Paths of Harder to Kill: Daemon Armour (2 plus armour save), Daemonic Aura (5 plus invulnerable save), Daemonic Essence (plus 1 wound) and Daemonic Resilience (plus 1 toughness). I then chose to go down the Paths of Better to Fight: Daemonic Strength (plus 1 strength) and a Dark Blade (plus 2 strength in hand-to-hand combat). I then chose to go down the Paths of Chaos Paint: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, I under-coated in white, then burnished gold on-top (as was befitting for my Iron Warriors - Chaos Lord). It was only then, that I observed the Iron Warriors restriction on Daemons! Fortunately, the Warp had Blessed my Daemon Prince - as it turned out that Iron Warriors can have both Daemon Princes and Possessed Chaos Space Marines. Then did I choose to go down the Paths of Combat, where I have learned a lesson or two. First: my Daemon Prince is extremely vulnerable to heavy gun fire. For example: take two Predator Annihilators armed with six Lascannons. That's six shots, and if they all hit plus wound, that's six invulnerable saves your Daemon Prince is going to have to make! Second: my Daemon Prince is best in hand-to-hand combat. A good example: my Daemon Prince engages ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed just with Bolters). This combat was extremely one sided (to the Daemon Prince). Daemon Prince strength 8 (in hand-to-hand). Space Marines toughness 4 (in hand-to-hand). Straight away, any rolls to wound were really rolls to kill (owing to no armour saves from Dark Blade and Daemonic Stature - in effect, double Instant Death!). A more realistic encounter: my Daemon Prince engages Logan Grimnar (supreme Wolf Lord of the Space Wolves). At first glance, this appeared to be a much fairer encounter ... Both had normal armour saves that were negated (Logan's by Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature and Dark Blade, Daemon Princes by Logan's Axe Morkai - aka power weapon). Both had invulnerable saves (Logan's 4 plus owing to his Belt of Russ - aka Iron Halo, Daemon Princes 5 plus - owing to his Daemonic Aura). Unfortunately, for Logan Grimnar, it is my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature, that confers the advantage to the Daemon Prince! Daemonic Stature grants my Daemon Prince a (base) toughness of 5 - which is unaffected by the Instant Death rule (the only exception, as is noted in the Chaos Codex). Thus, when Logan attacks with his Power Fist (strength 8), he is unable to cause Instant Death (against a toughness of 5). Where as, when my Daemon Prince attacks at strength 8, he is able to cause the Instant Death of Logan Grimnar (whose toughness is only 4). The Wizened Commander, would have equipped Logan with an Adamantine Mantle (which counts Instant Death as a single wound instead) - but Logan is prevented from having extra wargear (according to the Space Wolves Codex). Thus, I am most impressed by my Daemon Princes Daemonic Stature - with his toughness of 5, being the Bane, of many a Space Marine Commander! I have also been impressed by my Daemon Princes combat ability, in hand-to-hand against vehicles - especially when it comes to the Dark Blade cutting through the armoured hull of a Land Raider! At strength 8 plus 2d6 (armour penetration for Daemonic Stature - aka Monstrous Creature), it means that 14 (armour value) is within easy reach for a maximum dice roll of 20! Overall: I would not be a Chaos Commander if I did not wield a Daemon Prince (what better model is there for you to imagine yourself as !?!). Yet, I have learned (from experience) that they can be shot to bits before you get a chance to get into hand-to-hand. I once gave him Daemon Flight (to help rectify this weakness), but a fellow 40k player pointed out that the Daemonic Wings (or Jump Pack) should have been on the model! What about the model itself? Whilst it took a while to properly clean the model (e.g. filing the ends of all those Spiky Bits), I found the assembly much easier (owing to the bigger parts - when compared to a standard Space Marine model). This also made the painting simpler (although not for the burnished gold raised armour edges). It's a decent model to paint, and I especially like the way that the burnished gold contrasts with the magenta ink fuelled blood and gore! All of this leaves no doubt in my mind, as to what my Daemon Prince shall be doing tonight - haunting the nightmares of standard Space Marines, or perhaps just my next 40k opponent! Of course, this does depend upon one other point - actually remembering the various special rules for my Chaos Daemon Prince, when upon the field of battle!