The Victorian Hawk Dragon has currently reviewed the following:
Ork Killer Kan
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!
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 :)
At first glance, Chaos Space Marines can appear to be somewhat similar to their Imperial Brothers - especially in terms of their weapon options. Yet, as we shall see, this is not always so ... For within the Eye of Terror, dwell those for which no equivalent exists (within the arsenals of the Emperors Space Marines). Having lived for Endless years, these former Space Marine Terminators have become Twisted by the Warp - being both man and Daemon, these Chaos Terminators mutated ... Whilst stopping short of Daemonhost, these Terminators preferred instead, to retain some sense of their former selves. For within a Torrent of Fire, did their Lust for Heavy Weapons take hold - an unmovable mountain, a Chaos Obliterator:
Who can say where their allegiance once laid? Perhaps it was within the confined spaces of the alien-infested Space Hulks? Perhaps it was within the massed Naval Guns of the Imperial Fleet? Only the Emperor would know for sure ... Yet it was Chaos that took this fascination for Heavy Weapons, and turned it into something else - as a Chaos Obliterator is almost-unconstrained in it's choice of fire-power, being able to fire with: Lascannon, Autocannon, Missile Launcher, Heavy Bolter, twin-linked Plasma Gun, twin-linked Meltagun or Flamer. Indeed, this was the main deciding factor for my dilemma over which Chaos Army to collect - as Iron Warriors are able to field an unlimited amount of Obliterators (with grins), and hence an unlimited amount of Lascannons (or other appropriate weapons!). This decision was first vindicated when my Iron Warriors fought against a Black Legion army, that featured a Chaos Warhound Titan. I still remember the battle well - as the dice were on my side (at least in the beginning). With my Obliterators, I fired nine Lascannons at the Titans left leg - and almost blew it off during the first round of combat! Whilst I was somewhat surprised, it was nothing as compared to the Titans Commander (Princeps), who spent the next couple of turns recharging his Void Shields. Unfortunately, the roll-to-hit dice then seemed to desert my Chaos Lord, and my Obliterators spent the rest of the battle being shot at - by the Titans Vulcan Mega Bolter (which had a hard time dealing with my Obliterators toughness of 5, and 2 wounds each). Mind you, in Iron Sight, did my Chaos Lord learn an important lesson: field more Obliterators! What about assembly? As I have now built several, I have devised a technique for assembling these (metal) models: glue the body into the base, glue the head into the body, assemble the left plus right arms, then paint. This allows me to paint every part of the model (only glueing the arms on towards the end). I have found this approach to work well, especially when having fun with the various weapon options (as they can be awkward to glue on - unless you use a pair of magic claws). I then follow a standard approach to the Paths of Painting: under-coat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry-brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges (a white under-coat, with either shining gold or burnished gold over the top). It's then onto the Daemon skin, for which I: under-coat in white, paint in warlock purple, then dry-brush in magenta ink. When it comes to the Paths of Battle, just how powerful are these Chaos Obliterators? Well ... Sometimes I have to pinch myself! I shall consider three recent encounters. First: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines (armed only with Boltguns). The Obliterators won easily! Their toughness 5 ability to shrug off Rapid Fire Boltguns (over thirty shots in two turns) was simply amazing. This meant that they could advance whilst firing their guns in increasing orders of power (e.g. Autocannons followed by Lascannons), whilst finishing off in hand-to-hand (with Power Fists). Second: Four Obliterators verses ten Legion of the Damned Space Marines and a Devastator Squad (with the Obliterators Deep Striking). Once the Space Marines had recovered from their initial shock, they all turned to fire at the Obliterators. The Boltguns caused one wound (from twenty shots!). The Devastators had more luck - causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators (one to a Multi-Melta, the other to a Lascannon). My Chaos Lord baulked at this, and ordered the two remaining Obliterators to advance (firing Plasma Guns) and engage the remaining Boltgun armed Space Marines in hand-to-hand (where again their Power Fists reigned supreme). Being unable to fire into hand-to-hand combat, the Devastators elected to hang-back (especially as they were ill-equipped to charge the Obliterators). Once the Boltgun armed Space Marines had been destroyed, the Devastators fired again - less successfully this time (all missed or failed to wound), and it turned to the Obliterators, who managed to devastate them (with two Meltagun shots, followed by two Power Fists in hand-to-hand). An eye-brow did my Chaos Lord raise! Third: Four Obliterators verses a Legion of the Damned Dreadnought and Land Raider (my Chaos Lord does enjoy a challenge!). The Land Raider opened fire with it's twin-linked Lascannons and twin-linked Heavy Bolter (causing one Instant Death among my Obliterators). The Dreadnought opened fire with it's Assault Cannon (causing three wounds - resulting in three armour saves of 2 plus), then charged into hand-to-hand: with three Dreadnought Power Fist attacks (causing the Instant Death of two Obliterators), and six Obliterator Power Fist attacks (causing the destruction of the Dreadnought). It was then down to the one remaining Obliterator - to defeat the Land Raider. Fortunately, it was the Chaos Lords turn (next), so he ordered the Obliterator to fire a Lascannon (causing a glancing hit - crew shaken result), then to attack in hand-to-hand using his Power Fist (causing one glancing hit and one penetrating hit). It then seemed that the dice were on my Chaos Lords side - as I rolled a 6 on the glancing damage table (meaning that the Land Raider was utterly destroyed). My Chaos Lord chose not to grin too much - although my 40k opponent, would probably have disagreed! Overall: Chaos Obliterators have to be one of my most favourite models to collect (from the point of view of game play), yet they are not amongst my favourites for assembly (owing to lots of fun when glueing their weapons on). In 40k terms, I have found their weapon flexibility to be unsurpassed (e.g. I can shoot tanks with massed Lascannons, whilst in my next (or same) turn, shoot infantry with massed Plasma Guns). The toughness of 5 makes a considerable difference (especially when their being shot at - by non Instant Death weapons), and their strength 5 means that their Power Fist attacks are at strength 10 (being akin to a Dreadnoughts). Such exploits seem to be truly befitting, for my Iron Warriors Chaos Lord, and his army!
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!
Within the Forge Worlds of Ancient Terra, are the mightiest War Machines constructed. Within the Forge Worlds of the Eye of Terror, are the mightiest War Machines defiled. What once was pure adamantium, now becomes twisted and deformed. The Servo-Arm of a Techmarine, it's purpose now distorted. From deep within the Foundries, a Chaos Dreadnought is born - anew. From head to toe, it's armoured form now serves the Chaos Powers:
When it comes to customising your models for 40K, I feel that there is no better army than that of Chaos and it's Chaos Space Marines - as within reason (or not!), anything goes ... As such, this is my first outing into those Dreadnoughts of the Forge World range. At first, I was concerned about constructing this Dreadnought model (because it's made of resin). I initially found the resin somewhat stranger to work with - as I'd only assembled both plastic and metal kits (before). After worrying about resins health and safety (e.g. your not supposed to breath it in), I decided to assemble the kit outdoors (e.g. to reduce the chance of that). I remember that the parts required considerably more cleaning than a typical plastic model kit - with a set of modelling files being the order of the day. Now, I started to paint this model in my old Iron Warriors paint scheme: pure bolt-gun over Chaos black undercoat (with no dry brushing). It was then to the burnished gold (for the raised armour edges) - followed by a brake, for several years! I was simply unconvinced by my old Iron Warriors paint scheme (at least it's ability to make a Dreadnought look good). Three weeks ago did my repaint start - but this time I dry-brushed the bolt-gun over Chaos black. I'm so glad that I did! I immediately had a new goal - to finish my Forge World Chaos Dreadnought to the highest quality, that I could. One of the hardest parts of the repaint was the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). Whilst I used my usual technique for painting these (i.e. painting them straight on), I found it somewhat harder. The two markings on the top were restricted by the non-square burnished gold borders, together with two sunken-slots (in the top face) that made it easier for the yellow paint to run. The lone marking on the bottom, was complicated by the curved surface and awkwardness of brush angle (as was required to clear the sarcophagus). It was then onto the skulls - which required more attention (especially the large skull where the twin-linked Lascannon emerges). This required a slight modification to my usual approach to skull painting. Whilst I still used an ushabti bone base, together with a watery mix of tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold (applied to the top), I decided to add some dry-brushed burnished gold as an extra step (as I found that this helped to bring the details out). I also felt that I was akin to an Iron Warrior myself - with the addition of an extra painting step! Once the standard painting had been finished (such as the Dark Angels green, power chords/hoses) - it was onto the rivets. At this point did I dilemma: Should I paint each individual rivet? My reason for the dilemma? There's quite a few rivets on this Dreadnought model ... Fortunately, I decided that I would - and have found myself extremely pleased with the results! In particular, I love the way that the red rivets contrast with the burnished gold. Are you afraid of painting rivets? Well, dip the end of a cocktail stick into your paint, then dab the end onto a rivet! As for the Dreadnoughts weapons? Well, Forge World tends to offer you quite a selection for a Chaos Dreadnought (such as Plasma Cannon, Lascannon, Multi-Melta, Autocannons, Heavy Bolters, etc.). Whilst it took a while to decide (e.g. you have to pick the right ones for your Dreadnought body), I eventually opted for a twin-linked Lascannon (for powerful hits against enemy vehicles), together with a Chainfist (for it's ability to cut through the armour of enemy tanks). Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with assembling this model - which, for the most part, came from the fact that it's made of resin. With the Will of the Emperor, did I overcome these challenges - and I was soon within the familiar Realms of Chaos black undercoat, and burnished gold raised armour edges! This is my favourite Iron Warriors Dreadnought (to date) - and I know that it is Pride of Place within my Iron Warriors army. If I could name one thing to make my Chaos Dreadnought better? It's that I could have placed the model on a Dreadnought scenic base.
Within the armies of the Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Honour for the body of a shattered Space Marine to be interned within the armoured hide of a Dreadnought. Yet, within the armies of the Chaos Space Marines, it is seen as a Great Damnation for the mind of a former Space Marine - an armoured sarcophagus from which there is no escape for their Tormented Soul. Where as a Space Marine Dreadnought can live for several thousand years, it is nothing compared to the lifespan of a Chaos Dreadnought:
Within the Warp, Chaos Dreadnoughts were changed, and it is now known that many of them have lived for well over ten thousand years. Whilst long lived - these changes came at a price: as most of their minds have turned to insanity - often attacking their own troops (in the heat of battle). Indeed, this is one of those 40K rules that has often caused me pause-for-thought: for I would love to wield an army of Chaos Dreadnoughts (within my Iron Warriors) - but would I really want the potential for that many uncontrollable Dreadnoughts on the battlefield? I'm tempted to say yes, as it would make for an entertaining game - especially for my opponents, who may be creased up in hysterics (e.g. as my Fire Frenzied Dreadnoughts shot at my Chaos Lord). This model is important to me - as it's the first Chaos Dreadnought that I ever painted. Being an older model, I decided that it was time for a repaint, and believed that it was the ideal test bed for my new Iron Warriors colour scheme: undercoat in Chaos black, base in Chaos black, dry brush in bolt-gun, then hit the raised armour edges. For these, it's undercoat in white, then burnished gold on-top. I shall now share a secret ... Burnished gold and I share a love-hate relationship. I love the finished effect of burnished gold, but I hate painting it on - it seems too runny, and I have to use (usually) three to four coats before I'm happy! It's then onto the Iron Warriors markings (the black and yellow bands). I prefer to paint these straight on - as opposed to drawing them out first. I have found that this approach works quite well - with some alterations being made (e.g.) if the spacing between the bands seems too different. I undercoat the yellow bands in white, applying several coats of sunburst yellow on-top. The black bands use a coat of Chaos black (to cover up the dry-brushed bolt-gun). The coat of Chaos black (at most two) helps to create an interesting effect - as the yellow bands then appear to be raised over the black bands. It's then onto the standard painting - such as the ribbed power chords/hoses (which I paint in Dark Angels green, with dry-brushed burnished gold over the top) and the skulls (which are ushabti bone with a runny tuskgor fur and gehenna's gold mix-wash applied to the top). It was then that I noticed something about my Dreadnought model - most of the burnished gold raised armour edges featured rivets on them. In the past I would have left these as burnished gold (but not this time) - I decided that a contrasting red was the order of the day! Thus, I made use of my handy cocktail stick (per rivet): two dabs of white, two dabs of ruby red, two dabs of magenta ink (allowing each dab to dry first). When it came to the weapons of my Dreadnought - I decided to choose a Plasma Cannon (for punching through armour) and a Power Claw (for powerful hand-to-hand). I decided to angle the Power Claw slightly - as the models pose seemed much more dynamic (like this). The Plasma Cannon was kept horizontal - as it doesn't make much sense for a line of sight weapon to be pointing at the floor. Overall: I enjoyed the challenges involved with painting this model - which, for the most part, came from the burnished gold raised armour edges. In painting these, I learned an important lesson - let the burnished gold dry first (otherwise you end up with paint on your fingers and have to repaint the armour edge). This was an issue that I feel was only attenuated, by the weight of the model (i.e. being made of lead - I needed a decent grip). It's also a model where I found myself painting new-unusual parts. For example, I would normally avoid painting a Space Marine Dreadnoughts feet - but decided that the addition of burnished gold (to the toes), actually helped my Chaos Dreadnought to look more balanced.
At first glance, the Space Marine Rhino may appear to be somewhat unimpressive (to most of your 40K opponents). This is hardly surprising, as it's armour is on the lighter side - being considerably more vulnerable, when fired at, by even a slightly more powerful conventional weapon (such as a Chaos Autocannon, a Krak Missile Launcher and a Ork Kustom Mega-Blasta). Whereas the Rhino's intended use is as a troop transporter (within Space Marine armies), it is when the Rhino is combined with the lust of trigger-happy Space Marines, that we see it's first evolution - as a powerful mobile weapons platform (aka Tank). The first such Rhino variant that I have added to my Space Wolves army, is my Predator Annihilator:
Perhaps it was a voice from The Fang, perhaps it was with the foresight of Russ himself, I'm not entirely sure ... Yet it was, that I only ever considered constructing the triple-armed Lascannon version of this tank (two side/sponson mounted Lascannons and one turret mounted twin-linked Lascannon) - ignoring the possibility of two Heavy Bolters (entirely). Upon the first battle, was this decision vindicated: my Predator Annihilator opened fire and destroyed a Space Marine Dreadnought (with three penetrating hits, ripping the armoured sarcophagus apart, immediately slaying an ancient Dark Angels Space Marine). Upon the second battle, was this decision cemented: my Predator Annihilator opened fire and severely wounded a Chaos Daemon Prince (with three direct hits, even Daemonic Stature failed to protect, leaving just one wound, from Daemonic Essence, and pause-for-thought, on behalf of the Chaos commander!). Yet a Space Marine commander should not be so easily convinced! As within, a later battle, did a Blood Angels Dreadnought tear into the armour of my Predator Annihilator: it's front armour failed to hold up to a Power Fist! Then again, within a later battle, did the (same) Chaos Daemon Prince, exact his revenge: 2D6 plus strength (6) and a Dark Blade (plus 2), proved too much for the side armour! Thus did I (the Space Wolves commander) learn some important lessons: a Predator Annihilator is most effective when it's kept out of hand-to-hand combat, is orientated to face the enemy (so any hits are taken on the thickest front armour), which in-turn, allows you to bring all three Lascannons to bear, on a single target - take that Dreadnought! Now, this is the first Space Wolves heavy-tank that I ever painted: it's an older Predator Annihilator (fifteen years or so), yet it still looks great on the battlefield! When constructing: I assembled and glued the main plastic parts (i.e. the chassis), then (when dry), super-glued the metal tank top into place (excluding the turret) and super-glued the side sponsons bottom plus inner-side to the chassis (excluding the Lascannons and side sponsons top/front). This greatly simplified painting - as I could treat this main-part as a simple (all be it heavier) Rhino chassis: under-coating in Chaos Black (spray paint), tank brushing in The Fang, and dry-brushing with Elf Grey. I was then able to use a Fine Detail Brush (with Chaos Black) to paint the tracks, grills, funnels and view-slits. I also made use of a cocktail stick when I painted the (Chaos Black) rivets - by dabbing the end in Chaos Black, and then dabbing onto the rivet. A dry-brush in bolt-gun was then sufficient to complete the core painting of my Predator Annihilator. I then decided to show the lineage/connection to a Space Marine Rhino: I included the same Grey Hunter and Blood Claw Pack Markings (that I have on my Rhino), even though a Predator Annihilator, is unable to transport troops of any kind! I then assembled the three Lascannons, and worked on them separately (with the same approach as the main tank chassis). I then used a modelling file, to file-off a small amount of paint, so that I could glue the remaining parts of the side sponsons on - touching up, where necessary, after the glue had dried. I found the glueing of the turret, into the turret base, extremely challenging! I had to use my rotary kit, to remove both paint and metal, from the inside edge, of the turret base (so that it would fit on). I was eventually successful (none-the-less), and the final results speak for themselves! Overall: the Predator Annihilator is a Space Marine tank that shall add tremendous fire-power to your army. It's capable of destroying vehicles (such as Dreadnoughts and Chaos Defilers). It's also capable of wounding/slaying special characters (such as the Eldar Avatar and a Chaos Daemon Prince). Being equipped with three Lascannons, it's probably not worth shooting at normal squads (unless there's nothing else to shoot at, or you wish to destroy a Devastator Squad). Despite being powerful, it's not a Space Marine Land Raider (nor is it as forgiving): if you expose it's armour to hand-to-hand combat weapons (such as Power Fists, Lightning Claws and Daemon Princes), you are likely to regret it! As such, it's a vehicle that I like to keep away from the enemy (sometimes, even reversing, so that I can increase the distance, between the enemy and my tank/army). Such a tactic may not work though - especially if your up against Imperial Guard or Chaos Iron Warriors (as their big guns shall leave you vulnerable). On the plus side, the Predator Annihilator, costs less than a Land Raider (in terms of points) - which means you may be able to wield two or three (of them) - giving you six to nine Lascannons to fire! I also enjoyed being able to customise my Predator Annihilator - as I decided to opt for a Dozer Blade (great for difficult terrain tests) and Extra Armour (which I feel, is modelled appropriately by the kits metal top/turret base). Perhaps my ultimate customisation is the fact that I glued the rear ramp on upside down (for consistency with my Rhino) - which means (in theory) that your troops may get shot in the ankles! In Conclusion: I found this an enjoyable kit to make, especially as it took me several weeks painting (mostly in the evenings at weekends) - and I am extremely pleased with the finished model!
When it comes to the armour of the Space Marines, it is Power Armour that the Emperor entrusted. Being akin to the standard Boltgun, it is Power Armour that's widespread, within the Legions of the Space Marines. Power Armour has earned a reputation (upon the battlefield) for being somewhat formidable: easily able to defeat the conventional weapons of the Enemies of Mankind (such as Traitor Legion Boltguns, Eldar Shuriken Catapults and the rampaging Ork Slugga). Yet, when it comes to the Vehicles of the Space Marines, there is one vehicle that is just as abundant (upon the battlefield) - the standard Space Marine Rhino:
There was a time, many years ago, when I saw little point in equipping my Space Wolves (Space Marines) with vehicles of any kind, save for my Dreadnought (Bjorn the Fell-Handed). I trusted to the Space Marines Power Armour, to fully save the day. However, with the events of one 40K battle, I changed my mind! I shall now explain why ... It was a 12000 point battle (6000 points each side). I wielded a combined Space Wolves and Eldar army - with it's main features being Power Armour upon Power Armour, and Phoenix Lord upon Phoenix Lord! My foes: a combined Dark Angels (Space Marines) and Imperial Guard army. The first turn: My Cyclone Missile Launcher Terminator opened fire - wiping out an entire Dark Angels Assault Squad (because in rules version two, each missile fired, increased the blast radius!). Great I thought! But then, on my opponents first turn: the Imperial Guard opened fire with their artillery! Not so great! Then did I realise the length of the table (ten feet or so). I needed to close the distance - but my troops just got shot to pieces (as the distance closed). By the time they were in range (for hand-to-hand), I had few Phoenix Lords left. Fortunately I had Karandras (the Shadow Hunter), who carved a bloody path through the Dark Angels. I still had my Eldar Avatar, but even with an argument over whether a Heavy Flamer could wound him (under rules version two), I couldn't hide one simple fact: I had too few troops left, having lost most of them to the Imperial Guard artillery (as my troops moved forward). My lesson had been learned: I now use vehicles with my Space Wolves army. Specifically: I equip my Grey Hunters and Blood Claws with Rhinos (whenever possible). Now, this is the first Space Wolves Tank I ever painted - and it's taken me twenty years or so to finish it! When painting: I under-coated in Chaos Black (spray paint), then used my tank brush over the entire model (with The Fang) and dry-brushed (with Elf Grey). I then painted the tank tracks, funnels and window slits with Chaos Black (and dry-brushed with bolt-gun). I decided to add Pack Markings for both Grey Hunters and Blood Claws. I wonder - do I have to declare to my opponent which squads/troops are in which Rhinos? (Would it be classed as rules bending - if I did not?). This is another model where I assembled the entire kit, before painting. This caused few issues - other than with the tank tracks, as it took a while to paint these (correctly) especially on the underside of the Rhino chassis (where I wanted the The Fang/Elf Grey to show through). It's also (for me) a model assembled with a minor mistake, that has caused much laughter: I have actually installed the rear ramp upside down - which means the view slit is at the bottom (which means in theory, that my Space Marines could shoot your models in the ankles!). When it comes to vehicle upgrades, I like to equip my Rhinos with both Dozer Blades and Smoke Launchers. I like the Dozer Blade because of its advantage with the difficult terrain test (allowing a re-roll). I like the Smoke Launchers because it allows me to close the range on the enemy, risking perhaps one turn for some extra movement (with just glancing hits possible). When playing with my Space Wolves army, plus Rhinos, I have noticed one immediate affect: your opponent (at least) has something to distract him from shooting directly at your troops. The Rhinos armour is not on the same levels as a Space Marine Land Raiders, but it still serves its purpose: to offer squads a level of protection whilst seeking to engage the enemy at a closer range. Overall: A kit that's simple to assemble, which will start to cause some pause-for-thought within your opponent, and does not cost too much (in terms of points). The Rhino will also move where you want it to, as opposed to risking the scatter dice, that's so often associated with Jump Packs. The inclusion of a Storm Bolter, also allows you to get a few shots off, as you move!