One of the most masquerading Fantasy Characters, that can be found within the Fantasy Realms, of my Warhammer 40,000 Ork army - is no other than my Ork Killer Kan(s):
For in the Heat of Battle, is it all too-easy for me to forget, that an Ork Killer Kan - is no Dreadnought! So if not a Dreadnought, what exactly is an Ork Killer Kan then? Well ... I shall answer in two parts. First: in terms of assembly and painting ... The hardest part for me, was ensuring that the Killer Kan, sat reasonably upright - when glued into it's base. I found achieving this, to be harder than you'd think - as my Killer Kan, is leaning backwards slightly! It also took me a while, to find the ideal pose for the Power Claw - eventually deciding upon, aiming for above head height (aka take that you bigger Dreadnought!). As far as the painting was concerned, I decided to under-coat in Chaos Black, dry-brush in Gun Metal, and work in some contrasting Ork'y colours: Dragon Red (for the Power Claw, Ork Lip/Banner and View Slit), Angel Green (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Bolts), Golden Yellow (for Power Conduits and Ork Teeth/Banner) and Ushabti Bone (for the Horns on the front). I then mixed in a twist, with some Tuskgor Fur, upon various belts and wraps (being dry-brushed in Ushabti Bone), together with a dab or two, of Shining Gold - upon each rivet. This was followed by a dry-brushing everywhere, in Shining Gold (the really old one), to complete the masquerading look, of this particular Ork Killer Kan :) Second: in terms of game-play ... Battle One ... Being a fan of using new models, in smaller Skirmishes at first (so I learn how to use them), I took a single Ork Killer Kan, and included it with 26 Slugga Boyz, and a Gretchin Mobz of 30. Against this, a friend wielded 18 Khorne Berzerkers - both armies totalling around 360 points. Now each army, was itself split into two main flanks - with my Ork Killer Kan, joining 13 Slugga Boyz, and 15 Gretchin fodder (in Da Front!). This was just as well, as I was soon on the receiving end, of 18 Khorne Berzerker Bolt Pistol shots - slaying 12 Gretchin. WWAAUUGGHH! My Orks replied in kind: with 18 Grot Blasta shots, 26 Slugga shots, and six Big Shoota shots from my Ork Killer Kan (split over two turns). The result of all this? Two Khorne Berzerkers fell - to the Kan's Big Shoota :) My Gretchin then bore the brunt again, as they were charged by the Khorne Berzerkers - slaying 18 Gretchin. Unfortunately, my Slugga Boyz had lost their charge advantage (the Khorne Berzerkers having used, their 3 inch consolidation move to engage them). Fortunately, this made little difference - as my remaining 24 Ork Choppas, were soon cutting down Khorne Berzerkers! And in the back? Did my Ork Killer Kan, bring his Power Claw into play - with a charge, and 3 dead Berzerkers (from instant death). The Khorne Berzerkers, were now loosing rapidly: 5 dead, 4 dead, 3 dead, 2 dead - leaving just 1 Khorne Berzerker (as 3 had been lost earlier due to Ork shooting). It felt as though, my Ork Killer Kan, had never really been challenged (which indeed he hadn't!) - though he still grinned at the end, as his Slugga Boyz, dragged down the last remaining Khorne Berzerker :) Battle Two ... Having compared the statistics/profile of an Ork Killer Kan, against a Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought (Bjorn the Fell-Handed) - did I start to think: their very similar! A battle against Space Wolves, would cause pause-for-thought on this :( Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon, which amazingly bounced off (with some bad shooting) from the Killer Kan's front armour. My Killer Kan then opened fire, with his Big Shoota (which also bounced off - as Bjorn's front armour, is just too thick). My Killer Kan then charged Bjorn - but as he prepared to raise his Power Claw (he missed!), did Bjorn simply smash him, with his Lightning Claw (causing a Crew Stunned result). Having lost his charge advantage (and the ability to move/fight), was my Ork Killer Kan, then ripped to bits (on the next turn). In my Battle Lust, had I made one mistake - I'd forgotten about the points difference, between an Ork Killer Kan, and a Venerable Dreadnought (125 minus 45 equals 80 points less!). But, was it really a disadvantage? A Power Claw for 45 points? A masquerade or not? Battle Three ... Was against Space Wolves again :) Yet this time, did I wield a more sensible unit of Ork Killer Kans - three of them :) It was whilst they were fighting against Bjorn, that I feel that I learned so much more, about the weaknesses, and the advantages of Ork Killer Kans. As this time, it was my friend that was under a masquerade - as he believed that Bjorn had the upper hand. Bjorn opened fire with his Assault Cannon (tearing a Killer Kan to bits), then charged into the second Killer Kan (also tearing this Killer Kan to bits). Unfortunately (for Bjorn), whilst this was going on, did my third Killer Kan, sneak around the back of Bjorn - and tear Bjorn apart, using his Power Claw!! Overall: for some time, did I find myself wondering at the difference, between the Ork Killer Kan's failure in the second battle, and their success in the third battle. After looking at their profiles, comparing against a Space Marine Dreadnought's - did I eventually realise, that they are in-fact very similar (and hence a bargain in terms of points). But the difference lies, in whether you get a chance to bring their Power Claws into play! The more Killer Kans you have, the greater the chance that you can :) Thus, one on one, fairly even - as both the Killer Kan and Bjorn, strike at the same time (Power Claws and Power Fists both strike at Initiative 1). But three on one, confers all sorts of advantages to the Killer Kans (as they have potentially 6 to 9 Power Claw attacks, compared to a Dreadnoughts 2 to 3, or 3 to 4 for a Venerable). WWAAUUGGHH!
| Victorian Hawk | Web: Newer Version - UK, US, CA
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 :)
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!