Tag Archives: Nurgle

The Death Guard At 50 (Power)

After painting the Noxious Blightbringer I found myself wondering just how many points worth of Death Guard I now have at my command. As someone who really isn’t a gamer by any stretch of the imagination I tend not to keep track of these things too closely and I’ve no idea what points costs are current having not seen the most recent codex, but I put the models I have into the “Combat Roster” tool on the Warhammer Community website and was surprised to discover that I now have exactly 50 power. I know the more passionate gamers out there have strong feelings as to how well “power” compares to “points” as a means of totalling up the value of the models from a gaming point of view, and I’m sure that competitive players would be concerned about tallying up exactly how many extras they could squeeze into a list, but I don’t really give a damn about any of that. I am however familiar with the idea that 50 power roughly (very roughly) equates to 1000 points, or half an army. You see back in the days of yore when I was more interested and involved in the gaming side of Warhammer 40k we usually aimed for armies of 2000 points, so when you got to 1000 you were halfway there.

I know I’m probably loosing half my audience with this boring, technical talk about gaming, and loosing the other half of my audience through my general ignorance of said gaming side of the hobby. Suffice to say, although an army is never finished (there’s always room on the shelf for another unit after all) in my mind it’s “done” when it reaches 2000 points, and anything that’s added after that is a bonus. Ergo, if I have 50 power I have roughly 1000 points, and the project is roughly half way along the trajectory that takes it from being “a few Death Guard models” to being “a Death Guard army”. And yes, I know the word “roughly” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence!

Anyway, let’s take a look at what my half-army looks like (as usual clicking on the pictures will let you see them full size).

Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)

For a while, in the wake of the release of Warhammer 40k’s Eighth Edition, and all the nice new Nurgle-worshipping, plague-infested horrors that came with it, I was quite excited about the Death Guard and the army grew quite nicely. To shoehorn in a disease-related metaphor for these disease-loving scoundrels, this was the first wave! However by the time I’d converted and painted 40 poxwalkers I was getting a little burned out and in need of a break. Then along came Covid-19 in the real world and suddenly you couldn’t hold a conversation or look at the news without plague taking centre stage. In the end I decided I wasn’t enjoying the outbreak spreading into my hobby time as well and put the army on hold for a while to concentrate on other things. As a result I never did manage to get much done with the actual plague marines themselves, which should really make up the meat of a Death Guard army. I do however have plenty of them waiting for paint so expect to see them appearing as part of the inevitable second wave.

In the meantime let’s remind ourselves of what I have managed to paint. The core of the army is built around a swarm of 40 poxwalkers (or plague zombies as they used to be known). Each one has been converted to be entirely unique and if you don’t mind risking infection you can take a look at them all here.

The other major part of the army are these 20 plaguebearers – the lesser daemons of Nurgle. These were mostly painted years ago but I finally got around to painting the last two back in August.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (7)

Now some people might say “Well actually…” because apparently you can’t take Nurgle daemons as part of a Death Guard army in 9th edition 40k (even though back in 8th edition this was fine). To which I would respond that I don’t really give a toss. For one thing I’m not trying to get to the top tables at a Grand Tournament, in fact I’d be surprised if this army sees the tabletop at all before 10th, 11th or 110th edition rolls around, by which time Games Workshop will have changed things again. If and when some dice do get rolled however I can’t imagine I’ll be playing against someone who’s going to be finicky about these things either. Armies that mix daemons, mortals, power armour and beastmen – all worshipping a single god – look cool. Mixed daemon armies on the other hand look, to my eye at least, like “soup” (which is hip modern young person slag for “a big old mix of models that don’t really belong together or look consistent, usually to take advantage of some rule or other” – which makes you wonder what kind of soup they’re eating). The Chaos gods hate each other, Nurgle daemons fighting alongside Slaaneshi daemons, without a Word Bearers diabolist physically restraining them from turning on each other, has never looked good to me. Nurgle daemons belong in a Nurgle army with Nurgle-worshipping mortals and that’s my last word on the matter! 

The remainder of the army is made up of the Daemon Prince who leads them, the aforementioned Noxious Blightbringer, a Foetid Bloat-drone and a Hellbrute. Oh, and some Nurglings which I forgot to take a group shot of, and which are also apparently not allowed in a 9th Edition Death Guard army.

Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

To be honest I don’t know how soon I’ll get around to painting the second half of this army – that being the half with most of the actual members of the Death Guard in it! – at the moment there are a lot of other projects which are demanding my attention. However it’s safe to say that no treatment protocol has yet been invented which would put me off from painting Plague Marines forever so expect to see plenty of filthy power-armour showing up around here sooner or later!


For Whom The Bell Tolls – Part 2

Following on from the grubby Nurgle worshippers I painted for Warcry earlier in the week, I’m now turning my attention to their power-armoured cousins over in Warhammer 40k – the Death Guard. Nurgle and his worshippers seem to have a real obsession with bells, something which reaches it’s apex with the Noxious Blightbringer (really Games Workshop, the Blightb-Ringer?!). I started working on a pair of these, one built as standard and one converted, back in 2017, but then life happened and the models sat untouched until now. Carried along by the infectious wave spread by getting the Blightkings painted I decided it was high time I got one of the Blightbringers done as well.

Noxious Blightbringer Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Noxious Blightbringer Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (5)Noxious Blightbringer Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)Noxious Blightbringer Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Noxious Blightbringer Death Guard Nurgle Warhammer 40k Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)

For now I don’t think I’ll be pursuing Nurgle any further, mostly because I really ought to be concentrating on the Adeptus Mechanicus, but at least this filthy swine is finished at last.  


Rotbringers For Warcry

A couple of months ago I put together a warband of Nurgle Daemons for Warcry. Since then I’ve had it in mind to make a warband of Nurgle worshipping mortals as well and now the moment has arrived. 

I took a look at the models I had available and decided that two more Blightkings were just what I needed to complete the group. Of course I didn’t actually have any Blightking models to use so it was time to do some kitbashing. 

Plague has made this chap thin and warped rather than bloated like so many of his peers, but he’s more than capable of carrying the banner on behalf of the group. 

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I always like to see beastmen as part of Chaos collections so I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to add a filthy pestigor to the ranks as well. Like the chap with the banner he’s converted from the Nurgle Blood Bowl team.

Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (5)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (6)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (7)

For the rest of the Warband I’ve used Fecula Flyblown as a Nurgle Sorceress, the two Blightkings I’d already painted and my Death Guard Daemon Prince who once again finds himself moonlighting in a Warcry warband, this time as a Pusgoyle Blightlord.

Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (1)

Speaking of the Death Guard I have one of those filthy power-armoured and plague-infested swines lurking on the desk too so I’ll aim to get him painted shortly. 


From Warhawks to Warcry: Warhammer Day 2021

Another weekend, another big Games Workshop preview, another chance for me to get up on my soap box and harangue the crowds of internet users as they shuffle past before me. Yes it was Warhammer Day 2021, the chance for us mere mortals to find out exactly what it is that Games Workshop expects us to buy next. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that I will end up waxing lyrical about all the projects I may or may not actually end up painting and enthusing rabidly to my unfortunate readers about models which, after the passage of time and the opportunity for more sober thought, I may not buy in the end after all. Things like budgeting my money, time and energy, or examining the pile of unpainted sprues already waiting for attention, are problems for the future however. Today it’s time to look at new stuff and indulge in some childish overexcitement!

Shadow Throne – Genestealer Cults vs Adeptus Custodes

The first thing to be announced was a new boxset for Warhammer 40k. Titled “Shadow Throne” it focuses on the battles being fought between the guardians of the Emperor’s throne – the Adeptus Custodes – and those sneaky, xenos-loving rebels, the Genestealer Cults. It also gives us our first opportunity to get our hands on two new models, one for each faction. The servants of the Emperor are joined by a stylish-looking Blade Champion.

Blade Champion

Even amongst the elite ranks of the Custodes these are favoured warriors of exceptional skill and the model certainly looks the part. My reaction to the Custodes so far has been fairly mixed, some of the models are outstanding whilst others don’t really do much for me. This guy falls entirely into the former camp and if I ever started a Custodes collection he would undoubtedly be front and centre. However I’m far more interested in his rival, the Reductus Saboteur of the Genestealer Cults.

Genestealer Cultist

I’m a big fan of the Genestealer Cults, even if I’ve not painted quite as many of them recently as I’d have liked to. This miniature brings them another excellent character model, and one which fits nicely into their theme as the ultimate schemers and guerrilla warriors. Whilst other armies enjoy overwhelming invasions the Genestealer Cultists fight defensively, knowing ever inch of their territory and seeding it with bombs and booby traps ready to repel invasion. This lady clearly knows a thing or two about planting bombs, as evidenced by the alternative head with serious burns which suggests her on-the-job training may not have gone entirely without a hitch.

One thing the Genestealer Cultists are not short on however is characters. The range is already packed with individual specialists of every sort you can imagine. Much as I like this model it would have been nice to see something else, a new kind of troops for example or some kind of repurposed industrial warmachine. I’d love to see Cultists stomping around in heavy-lifting exo-suits, partly because it would fit the range nicely and partly for the nod to the suit Ripley wore to fight the alien queen in the film Aliens (although this time the humans would be fighting for the aliens not against them!).

Ripley vs Alien Queen

Or how about just some new models for the Genestealers themselves, the cultists might be even more enthusiastic about laying down their lives for the true children of the star gods if the miniatures didn’t predate the invention of the wheel. 

In some ways the Custodes and the Genestealer Cults aren’t the most obvious adversaries. The Custodes, after all – and despite what the Space Marines will tell you – really are the Emperor’s Finest. Each one has been rebuilt on a cellular level, given the best training and armour available and made capable of truly superhuman feats. Whereas the Genestealer Cultists are very definitely enthusiastic amateurs, armed with equipment borrowed from their day jobs. So far we’ve mostly seen Cultists from mining and industrial worlds but I’m sure somewhere out there is a Genestealer Cultist from Admin, trying to beat a Space Marine to death with a stapler. 

On the other hand these differences, with a highly elite force in pristine golden armour on one side and a rabble of balding miners on the other, make for a striking visual distinction. The set-up for the conflict is also based around this particularly ominous snippet from the Eighth Edition Codex: Custodes…

A Genestealer Cult calling themselves the Wyrms of the Ur-tendril are discovered by Ordo Xenos agents, entrenched amongst the Nordafrik under-archives on Terra. Captain-General Valoris refuses a request by the Deathwatch to send Kill Teams against this threat, instead leading the purge in person at the head of a huge Adeptus Custodes shield host. The Cult put up a brutal fight, their sheer numbers and fanaticism allowing them to drag down one Custodian after another and tear them limb from limb. Yet for every one of the Custodians that falls, hundreds upon hundreds of malformed cultists and Aberrants are slaughtered. At last, Valoris himself beheads the monstrous Broodlord that ruled over the cult. He orders the creature’s disturbing inner sanctum burned despite the protests from the Ordo Xenos investigators – Valoris refuses to let anyone other than his comrades witness the foul mural that decorates the sanctum’s back wall, of a nest of fanged tendrils emerging from the heart of Sol itself to devour Terra whole…

I really liked this when I first read it and so it’s nice to see it brought back into the light as it were. Whilst more obviously powerful adversaries like Abaddon the Despoiler, the Tyranid hive fleets or the mighty Ork invasions unleashed by Ghazghkull Thraka himself might rampage through the outer parts of the Imperium it is the Genestealer Cultists, reliant on guts and guile and armed only with what they can scavenge that have come to threaten the Throne World itself.

Shadow Throne

The boxset itself I’ll skip, I’m not short of Genestealer Cultists to paint and I’m not particularly interested in starting a collection of Custodes. It also looks rather light on content to my eye. I expected the Custodes side to have a fairly low model count, these are a highly elite force, but the Genestealer Cultists are looking sparse as well. I’ve bought a few of these kinds of boxes over the years and in the past they’ve proved to be a great source of lots and lots of models at a bargain price. This one however doesn’t seem to have much too it and even if I was planning to start collections of both armies I think I’d be more tempted to see what bargains I could get elsewhere.

Maggotkin of Nurgle

For Age of Sigmar meanwhile we got the news that the Maggotkin of Nurgle are the next army due for an update. As well as a new battletome there’s also a new miniature (something that’s much more important in my book!) a ghastly and baleful sorcerer.

Nurgle Sorcerer

He’s a wonderfully evil and twisted looking model, and best of all he’s not fat. Now before you decide to “cancel” me for being “fatphobic” (although hopefully you’re not that kind of person anyway) hear me out. I do like the bloated, swollen appearance of Nurgle’s favoured but variety is the spice of life, and absolutely intrinsic to those factions sworn to Chaos. With the vast majority of Nurgle’s followers being rather on the tubby side therefore it’s nice to see one who has been left withered in the arms, if still a little potbellied, by his afflictions. This suits a magic user, who doesn’t need to rely on raw bulk to crush his enemies, and is an aesthetic already associated with the Plaguebearer daemons –  allowing the sorcerer to form a neat visual link between the mortal and daemonic sides of the army.

All in all I like him and I’ve been feeling the temptation to paint a little more Nurgle lately so I might treat myself to him when he’s released. Equally I reckon he could make a cool looking underhive shaman for Necromunda with a few tweaks.

Dungeon Bowl

I’ll admit I’ve been surprised by the lack of attention that Blood Bowl has received over the past year. Having seen a new team released every quarter for the last few years, and with the new Second Season boxset launched at the tail end of 2020 I expected to more teams rolled out as we made our way through 2021. Instead it’s been pretty quiet, not crickets entirely but hardly the roaring bustle of activity of a packed stadium either. Mind you I’ve been unconvinced by the woe, woe and thrice woe wails coming from some commentors who, perhaps unaware that we’re going through a global crisis and that everything from food to fuel is getting harder to buy, believe that Blood Bowl is being uniquely targeted and the game will soon be done away with entirely. Fans of the Specialist Games, and I know I suffer from this myself, do tend to be twitchy and expect our beloved games to face the executioner’s axe at any moment, but I’m confident that when it comes to Blood Bowl there’s life in the old dog yet. 

DungeonBowl

Now, as if to prove my point, along comes Dungeon Bowl – exploding back from the distant past and onto our gaming tables once again. This, from what I remember, is Blood Bowl at its silliest, as Orcs, Elves and others race around a cramped dungeon – stepping through portals, avoiding the lava pits and battling each other for control of the ball (assuming they can find where the damn thing has been hidden!).

DungeonBowl Box

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Dungeon Bowl over the years and I’m pleased to see it back, but to be honest I’m not that excited yet. After all, I’ve still not really got to grips with the rules for normal Blood Bowl – although I have heard that Dungeon Bowl is a good way to start learning the game. In the meantime this is something that will undoubtedly be discussed much more knowledgeably elsewhere. As someone who’s much more interested in new models than new rules I would have loved to see a new team – but then again I still need to paint most of the ones I’ve already got. For now I’m watching this space with an open mind.

Jaghatai Khan

For a while there the Horus Heresy game seemed to be everywhere. Like Lord of the Rings before it the releases seemed to pour out of the Games Workshop studio in an unending tide, a great tsunami of miniatures that grew larger by the second. And then, again much like LotR, the wave broke and rolled back, perhaps never to rise again. Following the death of the extremely talented Alan Bligh the Horus Heresy, as a game, seemed to vanish from the release schedule almost overnight. 

Not that it’s been entirely abandoned of course, there has been the odd release here and there. The entertainingly named Ultramarine hero Remus Ventanus for example is available to pre-order as we speak. However this is but a trickle in comparison to the flood that came before it. Now however we finally have the last of the Primarch models, Jaghatai Khan of the White Scars.

Warhawk

I’m sure every Horus Heresy fan has a favourite primarch and for me, on the loyalist side of things anyway, Jaghatai Khan is the guy. Unlike many of the other primarchs he seems like the kind of person I could actually get along with, and throughout the stories he proves to be a dynamic, free-thinking hero. I’m currently reading the latest Siege of Terra novel, Warhawk by Chris Wraight, (no spoilers please!) in which the Khan is once again proving himself to be downright awesome dude.

Warhawk

This also brings the series of primarch models released by Forge World to a close. Beginning with Angron in 2012 the studio has released a miniature for each of the Emperor’s sons (apart from the clone Omegon of course, but I’m sure you could always buy the Alpharius miniature twice). This leaves me wondering what they might have planned next. Already we’ve seen various other heroes and villains from the series released as miniatures and I’m sure there will be plenty more in the future. Meanwhile two of the traitor Primarchs who ascended to daemonhood during the Heresy – Magnus and Mortarion – have already had plastic models released for them and it seems more likely that the others will enjoy the same treatment rather than having daemonic versions released in Forge World resin. In many ways it depends a lot on what Games Workshop decides to do next with the Heresy series. Despite the decline in the number of releases which the game has suffered in recent years persistent and believable rumours continue to circulate that a new boxset is soon to appear to inject fresh blood to the system. With the series of novels hurtling towards their cataclysmic conclusion I’d say it’s now or never.

Warhammer Underworlds – Blackpowder’s Buccaneers

Warhammer Underworlds continues to play host to some truly outstanding models and the latest warband to be revealed is no exception. Blackpowder’s Buccaneers are a bunch of pirates, lead by an ogre, his gnobblar crew and his various pets. Gyaaar!

Ogre Pirate

I don’t follow the Underworlds fanbase that closely, but judging from the comments of those friends that do, people seem to have been asking for a pirate warband – specifically an undead pirate warband – for ages.  Clearly these lads are not in any way undead but they do have a sinister looking monkey.

Underworld's Pirates

They’re not due out until early 2022 so I’ll keep my powder dry – a vital skill for a pirate – but they do look like they’d be fun to paint, I guess I’ll decide if they still tempt me nearer the time. In the meantime it’s interesting to see where Games Workshop decides to go with the warbands for the game as they move beyond the existing Age of Sigmar factions. Until now almost every warband in Underworld’s has been based on one of the AoS armies, albeit sometimes putting quite a unique spin on them. Every faction in AoS now has a warband to represent them in Underworlds however and so the studio have announced that they will be exploring  new and creative ideas, something the format is perfect for. Needless to say I’m extremely curious as to what they come up with in the months ahead. And speaking of warbands that showcase creative ideas…

Red Harvest

Regular readers will know that Warcry is one of my favourite GW games, and the only one that I play on a semi-regular basis. So far I’ve painted up 11 warbands, and it’s safe to say that more are in the pipeline. Only two of these however are what I think of as “official” Warcry warbands. Let me explain. In my mind Warcry is really two different games, one in which various gangs of Chaos worshipping maniacs battle each other in the ruins of the Eightpoints and one which serves as a skirmish game for any of the Mortal Realms various races. Just as I’m not interested in seeing Eldar or Orks in Necromunda I don’t tend to imagine the Eightpoints as busy with anyone and everyone from the wider Mortal Realms. Yes there will be times when the big players attempt to invade, and yes there will be small bands of brave and foolish treasure hunters attempting to loot the lost cities and fallen temples. However in the main this is supposed to be the Chaos Wastes re-imagined, a place twisted by the madness of the Gods, the crumbling streets haunted by dark magic and mutant beasts,  populated only by the degenerate and the insane and dominated by the dark citadel of the Everchosen himself. 

Now Warcry in its guise as “Age of Sigmar Skirmish” has been fairly well served. Warcry the game of scrapping Chaos gangs on the other hand has been fairly quiet in terms of releases. We had an initial wave of warbands, each of which was striking and original, and a few monsters and then it all tailed off. I couldn’t help but find myself wondering; was that it? Was Games Workshop just waiting for an opportunity to slot Warcry back into their frantic release schedule or had the game lived and died, abandoned on the road as the company marched onwards, to lie beside Mordhiem, Cursed City and all the rest, mourned by cultish followers who gnash their teeth in lonely darkness every time a space marine is released? 

Long story short I was pretty excited to see what they had to show us and Red Harvest did not disappoint.

Red Harvest

A new boxset for Warcry Red Harvest pits two new gangs against one another in the ruins of a Chaos mining facility. On one side we have the Darkoath Savagers, a brutal bunch who fight partly in the hopes of one day standing at the Everchosen’s side and partly because they’re trying to seize control of a reliable supply of shirts.

Darkoath 3

Boys and girls are represented in the warband, with the ladies looking just as brutal as the gents.

Darkoath 6

You really can’t put together a mob of under-dressed barbarians without a nod to Conan, although in this case GW are really making a nod to the barbarian from Heroquest – who was himself a nod to Conan.

Darkoath 1

Meanwhile the tribe’s shaman is this old woman who, like the Graeae from Greek mythology, has only one eye – and it’s not in her head.

Darkoath 2

Facing up against them we have Tarantulos Brood, spider men who do whatever a spider can. Having spotted that the Chaos star has 8-points and that spiders have eight legs these arachnophiles have put two and two together and made eight.

Spider Man

These are another of the strikingly original warbands that Warcry does so well, pushing the creative boundaries of the setting and exploring all the weird and wonderful cultures that arise in a land riven by the dark power of Chaos.

Tarantulos Brood 1

Needless to say I’m hard-pressed to say which of these warbands is my favourite and this is a boxset I will undoubtedly be buying. The set also provides loads of new terrain with which to expand the twisted landscape of the Eightpoints. Apparently this is what a Chaos-run mine looks like. What next, a Chaos market, farm or arena?

Chaos Mine

So far we’ve no way of knowing what, if anything, might lie beyond the horizon for Warcry. Will this boxset be a one off, or is it the start of another wave of regular releases? Looking on the bright side we know that there’s plenty of potential in the setting (one of the developers mentioned in an early interview that at least 50 warbands were considered at the concept design stage) and it’s proved to be popular. If we assume that they were testing the waters with the initial wave of warbands and the moneymen were pleased with the results and immediately order more to be made then, accounting for Covid and the delays associated with it, we should be due for a second wave of warbands to appear round about…now. Could Red Harvest be just the beginning? Might we see a new warband for Warcry appearing every quarter for the foreseeable future, alongside a new Blood Bowl team and a new gang for Necromunda? We would if I was running the world anyway!

Anyway, these are my thoughts, now I want to hear yours. Will you be joining me in the Eightpoints, preparing to overthrow Holy Terra or heading down to your local dungeon for a bit of Blood Bowl? As ever the comments box is all yours.


A Plague On All Their Houses

Long, long ago, when I first started this blog, I painted up a squad of Plaguebearers. For anyone who doesn’t want to dig that far back into the archives – and who could blame you? – here’s a reminder of how they look.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (1)

I like to think my painting skills have developed a bit since then but on the whole I reckon they hold up fairly well. However for some reason I stopped working on them after completing 18 models, rather than rounding them up to a squad of 20. The other day however I spotted the remaining pair looking lonesome and dejected in a box of odds and ends and decided that it was well past time I did something about them.

For the first one I tried to keep it fairly close to the style of the originals, albeit with a few new flourishes. This turned out to be harder than I expected, recreating the old style from memory taxing my brains and memory to the extent that the whole thing turned into a bit of a chore.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (2)Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (3)

For the second one I decided to say “stuff it, let’s just get it done” and abandoned the old style in favour of painting it entirely in various styles of disease-ridden, bruised and tortured flesh.

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He looks a little different to the older models but he ties in fairly well with some of my newer servants of Nurgle.

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With these two done the whole squad is ready to get out there and spread some diseases.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (7)

This also brings me another squad closer to getting my Death Guard army up and running so at some point I’ll have to dig everything out of their boxes, tally it all up and have a think about what else I want to paint up. In the meantime however I thought this was a good moment to turn my attention away from 40k to look at a game I actually play instead, and put together a little Warcry warband of Nurgle daemons.

Plaguebearers Nurgle ConvertOrDie Wudugast 40k AoS (8)

Lead by a Sloppity Bilepiper (still the most fun thing to say in Games Workshop’s catalogue) the warband also includes four Plaguebearers, two swarms of Nurglings, a Beast of Nurgle (the converted tree creature) and the Daemon Prince of Nurgle who normally leads my Death Guard, currently moonlighting as a Plague Drone.


Scum’s Thoughts – Part 6

Us Necromunda fans have a fairly good idea of what’s coming our way over the next few months. Gang warfare on the polluted planet has traditionally centred around the six great houses, each of which received a set of plastic models in the wake of the game’s 2017 relaunch. In January 2020 the Goliaths were bolstered by the addition of new gang champions and prospects and this pattern has continued ever since at a rate of roughly one house per quarter (Covid related delays notwithstanding). Now the reinforcements for House Cawdor are almost upon us and the shadowy agents of House Delaque are only a few months behind. I’ll confess my love for the new Redemptionists has waned somewhat since they were first revealed but that’s just left me wanting to kitbash and improve them until they look the way they ought to.

Redemptionists

However what I’m wanting to talk about today is the final section of the “road map” revealed by Games Workshop, the part which covers the last quarter of 2021 (and beyond). Now that we’ve seen the key releases from the “House of…” series it’s time to turn our attention to the further future. Care to join me for some baseless speculation and wild guessing? 

Roadmap

Despite their significance there’s a lot more to Necromunda than just the big six houses. In this edition we already have rules and models for Enforcers, Genestealer Cults, Helot Cults, Corpse-Grinder Cults, Slave Ogryns and Venators.  The possibilities don’t end there either. If they want to Games Workshop have a host of possibilities and potential new factions to explore. Indeed I would argue that this is exactly what they intend to do. It’s understandable for fans to fear that support for Necromunda may be inconsistent, or even nonexistent, in the future. GW have already dropped the game entirely from their catalogue once back in the 2000’s and even now support for some of the other “specialist games” like Adeptus Titanicus and Aeronautica Imperialis remains patchy and even Blood Bowl hasn’t seen much attention since last autumn. When the going gets tough, as it has in the wake of the Covid outbreak and Brexit for instance, the specialist games suffer so that the big cash cows like 40k can continue to thrive. Still, I don’t think it’s wishful thinking to suggest that Necromunda is well placed to remain an established part of the GW catalogue for a long time yet. At least, let’s hope so. Anyway, let’s leave those worries for another day and indulge in some guesswork instead! Here are a few of the gangs I think might be tearing up the underhive near you over the next few years – I’m sure we can all look forward to having a good laugh at how wrong I turned out to be!

Ash Waste Nomads

It may be grim in the hive but it’s even worse outside. The whole planet is a hellish, polluted wasteland, the only water is the toxic run-off from the great factories, storms of scouring wind and acid rain sweep over the tortured landscape and the people you encounter are as wild and dangerous as any underhive scummer. You wouldn’t think anyone would be mad enough to live out there but the Ash Waste Nomads have been getting the odd mention in recent books – with the Orlock book in particular offering some choice titbits on these outlanders. A couple of years ago we even saw some concept art, albeit fairly vague, for these road warriors…

Ash Waste NomadsAsh Wasters

… not to mention their dangerous looking steeds…

Ash Waste Riding Beasts

Dust Striders 2

The (un)Dead

Somewhere else which has been getting a lot of mentions in the recent Necromunda books is Hive Mortis, enough to have caught my eye and got me thinking.  A terrible plague has run rampant through the hive, leaving the entire population dead and their possessions unguarded. If you’re a ganger who wants to get rich quick and isn’t frightened of a little thing like plague then this is the place to go. However not all of the locals have taken death lying down. Plague zombies have been a part of Necromunda for a long time and Hive Mortis is apparently crawling with them. 

The Corpse-Grinder Cults have already brought us a Necromundan spin on Khorne which leaves me wondering how long before the other Chaos gods try to get in on the act. Could the pudgy hand of Nurgle and his ghastly, disease-ridden cultists be reaching out from the fallen hive even as we speak? 

The Immortal Cult

The Necromunda core rulebook also contains a brief description of the Immortal Cult, a cabal of rogue psykers who seek to bring about a psychic awakening in all of mankind. The cult first appears around the 34th Millennium and is still active in the setting’s “present day”, gathering outlaw wyrds who would otherwise be taken to the Black Ships to their banner. Just as the Corpse Grinder Cults put a new, and distinctly Necromundan, spin on Khorne and Hive Mortis could well be the start of a Nurgly invasion, so these sound to me like the Tzeentchian equivalent. House Delaque may think they’ve cornered the market in unsanctioned psykers but there are plenty more witches lurking in the depths of the hives…  

Pitslaves

If you’re looking for entertainment in Hive City and getting cheated and shot in a Delaque gambling den, or drinking until your innards explode with a bunch of down-and-out scummers in an Escher bar doesn’t sound like sufficient fun then you need to head to the fighting pits! Here you can enjoy the sight of cybernetically-enhanced, stimmed-up gladiators beating the hell out of each other or fighting against monstrous wild animals.

Of course, when it comes to finding people to actually get in the ring and fight demand tends to exceed supply and although Goliaths are known to enjoy getting stuck in most fans prefer to watch from the sidelines. Fall foul of the Guilds, fail to pay your debts or otherwise end up on the wrong side of the law however and you might just find yourself sold into a life as a pitslave, and rewarded with a few “enhancements” to make your life of vicious, crowd-pleasing violence and mayhem a little more interesting for the spectators. However it turns out that taking a bunch of hardened criminals, throwing in a few honest citizens who’ve suffered one punishment too many, arming them to the teeth and giving the best combat training available by making them fight each other until only the strong survive, might not be a good move in the long run. Pitslaves are known to revolt, butcher their way to freedom and enjoy a life on the run down in the underhive – where things are no less violent but at least they get to keep the profits.

Pitslaves have been a part of Necromunda for many years but back in the old days the models were, to be frank, less than inspiring. Imagine how good they could look now though…

Pitslaves

Spyrers

Whilst most people in the underhive are just trying to stay alive and avoid catching too many bullets, the Spyrers are there for a little fun. Rich arseholes from the upper part of the hive these spoiled young nobles have spent daddy’s money on the best guns around and have headed down into the very worst part of town to live like common people and do whatever common people do – which on Necromunda means “shoot each other”.

Spyrers

I know a lot of people really want to see these making a comeback but frankly I’m not entirely convinced. By my memory they always seemed disastrously powerful in game back in the old days, not to mention a little out of place amongst the rag-tag gangs, and as a result I never really liked the spoilt gits. That said I’m not going to lie to you, if GW produces some models my addiction to Necromunda will probably see me starting a small army of them. Plus I’d not be averse to seeing how the braying oiks enjoy a kicking from an ambot! I’d still rather see something else though. Speaking of which…  

Scavies and Muties

At the very opposite end of the Necromundan social hierarchy from the Spyrers we have the scavies, muties and their ilk. Hive City being the polluted pit that it is the odd minor mutation like an extra finger is given a bit more leeway than it might be elsewhere in the Imperium but any more than that and it’s only a matter of time before either the Redemptionists or the Enforcers turn up to “have words” (and by “have words” we mean, kill everyone and burn the settlement down to make sure). If it turns out that the reason your friend, family-member or neighbour never takes off their hood or ragged robe is because they’re hiding a couple of tentacles then the best thing to do is to drive them off into the underhive as fast as possible. There they can do what muties do best, sneaking around in the dark and gobbling up unwarey hivers.

Only those who’ve fallen on the very hardest times, houseless scummers without the common decency to drink themselves to death, would sink so low as to fight alongside these muties or join scavie gangs.

Scavies Art

Needless to say I have a real love for the muties and scavies. Back in the old days they would drive herds of mindless plague zombies into town to spread mayhem, employed hulking mutants known as “scalies” as enforcers and even had their own mutant dogs. I’d absolutely love to see them making a comeback and in the meantime I’ve even made a few of my own.

I already have my eye on turning a few of the new Kruleboyz Gutrippaz into scalies. A nice new kit for these dregs of the hive would be a dream come true though – and undoubtedly well received by anyone looking to spice up their collection of chaos cultists for 40k as well.

Gutrippaz

Ratskins

For some strange reason that’s never been made entirely clear, the overpopulated, polluted, industrial hell of Necromunda gave rise to a race of carbon copy Native Americans (as envisioned by spaghetti westerns at least). I’m sure people can and do enjoy many a happy hour debating (read: yelling at each other on social media) over whether they actually were racist or just seemed racist, but one thing that can’t be denied is they were woefully out of place and extremely lazily designed.

Ratskin Art

Something you could never accuse the writing for modern Necromunda of is laziness however. A vast amount of love and attention to detail has been poured into the world in recent years and it’s paid off with some wonderfully well developed factions. It can be hard to overlook the rather heavy handed Native American aesthetic of models for the Redskins – sorry, that should be Ratskins! – and the use of terms like “chief” instead of leader and “brave” instead of ganger (and yes, that is a bit racist). However if you strip away these trappings, at their heart this is a tribal people, trying to live a peaceful, spiritual life away from the rest of Necromundan society, but who keep being bothered by local thugs shooting up the place until they have nowhere left to run to – and that’s a concept with a lot of potential. Cut away the “cultural appropriation” before the online activist brigade work themselves up into a collective aneurism, get back to the core concept behind the Ratskins and have the current writers rebuild them from the ground up and I reckon they still have a lot of potential.  

Ratskins

Beastmen and Squats

No, not all together in the same gang. However something that Necromunda has done very cleverly has been to dig back, not just into the game’s own history in the late ’90s and early 2000s but even further back, to the very earliest days of Warhammer 40k itself. Until recently the vast majority of us didn’t really expect to see Squats stamping around the landscapes of the far future ever again, and then Grendl Grendlsen showed up in the underhive and proved us all wrong.

Grendl Grendlsen

Whether or not we ever see Squats taking to the battlefields of the Warhammer 40k in force, and taking their well deserved revenge on those Tyranids at last, remains to be seen. Likewise I’m not holding my breath for regiments of beastmen to be pressed into the Imperial Guard (nice new models for ordinary humans in the Guard seems like a big ask at the moment so let’s not set our sights too high!). However there are still plenty of us who love these old factions, and though Games Workshop’s moneymen may not, in their infinite wisdom, be willing to invest in whole armies of them, a Necromunda gang might be a fine place to give them a home and keep them alive. Or perhaps I’ll have to finally make good on my promises and pick up a box of Gors and a box of Kharadron Overlords and make my own.

These are just my thoughts however – now it’s your turn. Was there something obvious I missed from my list that you’re just itching to see unleashed in the hive? As ever the comment’s box below is the place for you to get it all off your chest!


Poxy Lady

Back in January of 2018 when I reviewed the newly released wave of models for the Nurgle Maggotkin I bemoaned the lack of originality of the Lord of Blights and listed a few alternatives that I thought they could have produced, rather than just rehashing the concept of the well-loved Nurgle Lord. I concluded by suggesting that;

“We could even have had a woman. Of course Nurgle isn’t all that interested in high heels and boob-armour but this is an age of equal opportunities and girls can worship an unglamorous god of disease and putrefaction just as well as boys.”

Well it seems that for once I was ahead of my time rather than wildly off target. A sorceress of Nurgle did indeed appear some time later, the hideous Fecula Flyblown, and Fembruary is the perfect time to paint her myself. 

Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)Fecula Flyblown Nurgle AoS Warhammer Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

The keen-eyed will have noticed that the cat which usually accompanies them model is missing but fear not, it’s not wandered far. I just felt it was too cool to be left as a base decoration so I moved it to a base of its own and when time allows I’ll get it painted up as well. 


What Next Dark Gods?

Ask any fan of Chaos in the Mortal Realms where the biggest gap in the range was and, if they were honest with themselves, most would probably have agreed it was Slaaneshi mortals. Over the last few years times have been good for those like me who worship the Ruinous Powers. We now have well developed ranges with unique models and a distinctive aesthetic for each of the gods (that’s Khorne; god of war and violence, Nurgle; god of plague and decay, Tzeentch; god of magic and change and Slaanesh; god of decadence and excess). Gone are the days when I differentiated my Khornate troops from your followers of Nurgle because I painted mine red and you painted yours green. For a while there only Slaanesh, the longest neglected of the four gods, was left with a limited range but Games Workshop have turned that around in style, first by bolstering the daemons with some fantastic new recruits and now with a soon to be released wave of mortal followers, the first we’ve seen for Slaanesh in a very long time.

Shardspeaker

It’s a huge boost to the range and the miniatures are exquisite, but rather than talk about them I’m here to speculate baselessly instead! Once the Dark Prince has his mortal followers in tow where might Games Workshop turn their attention next? Of course they might come up with something wildly different, the Mortal Realms offers a lot of scope and potential as the Warcry warbands proved, and if they went off to stake out new territory with something a bit more unusual I’d be all in favour. Plus there still gaps to be filled in the current ranges, I’d like to see unique looking daemon princes for each god for instance, light infantry for Nurgle and beastmen for both Nurgle and Khorne.

Indeed, speaking of which I just kitbashed a pestigor to join a little Nurgle warband which has been whispering in the corner of my brain lately. Shall we sneak a peek at him before we begin? Oh go on then!

Pestigor Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle 1Pestigor Wudugast ConvertOrDie Nurgle 2

Beastmen

Ah the beastmen, men who have become beasts and beasts who have devolved into something akin to men. The horned ones, the true children of ruin who lurk in the wild places, driven by a hatred of all that is civilised and orderly. I’ve always had a bit of a soft-spot for these shaggy barbarians, being hairy and uncouth myself. In fact, now I think about it it’s strange that I’ve never really painted many of them – something I’ll have to rectify.

Beastmen 2

This range of models dates back to Warhammer as was, and although there are some excellent models in there it also leans heavily on a lot of older sculpts, bulked out by models borrowed from other ranges like the Tzaangors. Plus there’s the fact that, despite beastmen being traditionally described as an amalgamation of beasts and men, “goatmen” might be a better name for them nowadays. Those of us who are still steeped in the old Realm of Chaos era will recall beastmen which hybridised all kinds of beasts with all kinds of men, but nowadays the braying despoilers of the forests seem to be almost exclusively Pan-like creatures with hooves, horns and long ovine faces. Far be it from me to question their commitment to disorder but a little more chaos in the mix wouldn’t hurt! The birdlike Tzaangors (see below for a couple of them that I’m currently working on) and the lanky, sinuous Slaangors which are soon to be released go to prove that Games Workshop aren’t unwilling to break out of the goat archetype however, and beasts of Khorne and Nurgle don’t seem too much to hope for someday either.

Tzaangors AoS Chaos Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer

Slaves To Darkness

Take a look at the Slaves to Darkness range (that’s humans sworn to serve Chaos undivided rather than dedicated to just one of the gods) and at first glance it looks pretty healthy, packed with lots of kits, many of which were released in the last year or so. Dig a little deeper however and you start to release that most of the range comes either from the Warriors of Chaos from the WHFB era or, in the case of the newer models, are borrowed from Warcry. Now personally I love Warcry, in fact I tend to take things from Age of Sigmar to make Warcry warbands rather than the other way around, but I’m glad to see the Warcry warbands given a home in AoS armies all the same. Likewise I was a big fan of the Warriors of Chaos and that range has some great miniatures that I’m pleased to see are still available.

Warriors of Chaos

However there are some models in there which are undoubtedly past their best, like the Chosen and the Marauders. Plus there’s the fact that, before the End Times, the Warriors of Chaos made use of all kinds of troops dedicated to specific gods, all of which have since been split off to form new factions of their own. With them gone the range has been left looking a little thin. Time to give it a bit of a boost. Thanks to Warcry we know what the warbands seeking to join the Everchosen’s legions look like, but what about those legions themselves. Time to bring the warriors Sigmar abandoned into the modern era – after all we don’t want that weakling thunder god to think he’s getting everything his own way now do we?

Darkoath Tribesmen

In the old days, when the heavily armoured warriors of chaos marched south to attack the Old World they did so surrounded by hordes of barbarian tribesmen, clothes-phobic folk who’s hardiness and bitterness against the weakling southerners may be partially explained by the fact that they lived in a frozen wasteland but nobody seemed to own a shirt. In this regard people from the British Isles will recognise them as being essentially Geordies.

Marauders2

There are a few contenders for the title of “Worst Model in the GW Stable”, the Zombies and Skaven Plague Monks spring to mind, but the Chaos Marauders really have made a spirited attempt to claim that throne. Just a quick glance is enough to tell you that they’re past their best, if indeed there was ever a time when they looked anything other than awful.

Marauders models

 For a while there was a persistent rumour (and we all know how reliable those are eh!) from those who claimed to be “in the know” that Games Workshop were planning a new faction based around a range of new Marauder kits. Nothing has ever come of it, although we have seen a range of new Marauder equivalents in the form of the Warcry warbands, as well as troops dedicated to specific gods like the Bloodreavers of Khorne, the Kairic Acolytes of Tzeentch and the forthcoming Blissbarb Archers of Slaanesh, each of which is close to the Marauder archetype of old, and the Godsworn Hunt from Warhammer Underworlds. The rumour may have proved to be either a case of mistaken identity or wishful thinking but it’s still a good idea so who knows, perhaps someday we shall see the Slaves to Darkness split into two factions, the grim heavily armoured foot soldiers of the gods and the shirtless savages of the tribes?

Skaven

I know I sound like a stuck record here so I’ll keep it brief. The perfidious ratmen were my favourite faction from WHFB and over recent years I’ve painted up quite an army of them. Shall we remind ourselves of how they look? How could I ever pass up the opportunity!

Skaven Army Shot 3

Of course being a fan of the Skaven means being a glutton for punishment. Despite their ongoing popularity the range hasn’t seen much love in a long time and many of them models are so old they came off the Ark, and so rough they look like they were sculpted by the animals therein (and not the ones with opposable thumbs) rather than Noah himself. Get the finger out GW, give my rats some love!

Chaos Dwarfs

An industrious race of slavers and daemonsmiths the Chaos Dwarfs were the Old World’s finest bull-appreciators and big hat wearers, famed for putting Nagash to shame when it came to outsized headgear. They were also wearing big cow horns on their hats long before Johnny-come-latelys like the Lumineth Realmlords rocked up.

Chaos Dwarfs

By the later era of WHFB however they were almost extinct, their range of models long out of production and their sole surviving representatives the crew of the Hellcannon.

Chaos Dwarfs 2

With the Hellcannon going the way of all things when AoS was launched the Chaos Dwarves passed into history, in the main Games Workshop range at least. Forge World however have done their bit to keep them alive in the form of the Legion of Azgorh.  

Infernal Guard Command

Fantastic those these models are, a range which leans heavily on large and complicated daemon engines such as the Dreadquake Mortar (below) is going to be tricky in resin, and much easier for the average hobbyist to manage in plastic. Time to bring the bearded ones back I say!

Dreadquake Mortar

Chaos Gargants

From one end of the scale to the other, if we’re going to have Chaos Dwarves then why not Chaos Gargants? It’s not much of a leap really, there are already Chaos Giants and the new Mega Gargant kit contains a variant, the Warstomper, which can be taken by Chaos forces. Already I’ve seen plenty of them converted to be even more chaotic just as when the Imperial Knight kit was released many of us started welding on spikes to turn them into engines of the gods. After a few years of this GW yielded to the inevitable and produced a dedicated Chaos Knight kit, so it doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility that the same thing might happen with the Gargants.

Warstomper

Ogres and Trolls

Back in the old days all kinds of trolls and ogres shambled to war alongside the Warriors of Chaos. These days however such creatures exist almost exclusively under the remit of the Destruction faction (those who are particularly long in the tooth will recall Chaos orcs but let’s not go that far back!). There’s no reason not to bring these brutes back though, perhaps under the banner of the Slaves to Darkness or the Beastmen, or even as a faction of their own. Alternatively there could be versions of each of these incorporated into the four armies of the gods, each tainted and twisted by the favour of their particular patron, just like the Bile Trolls and Plague Ogres that formed part of Tamurkhan’s Horde in the latter days of WHFB. Regardless of which route was taken these brutes have plenty of potential, after all, as the Trogherds of the Gloomspite Gits demonstrated, people love big ugly monsters. 

Those are my picks for the future development of Chaos in the Mortal Realms but what about you? Are there any of the candidates above you think are particularly deserving, or any that you would have preferred to see abandoned to the history books? Is there a faction in waiting that I’ve overlooked? As ever the comments section is all yours. 


The Toxic Waltz

Do you ever find a miniature where as soon as you see it you just have to paint it? It just speaks to you and all your careful planning and budgeting goes out the window in a heartbeat. In a fever of enthusiasm you rush to acquire it, you get it assembled and base-coated and then… everything stalls. Instead of a beautifully painted finished piece it glares at you with undisguised criticism whilst you avoid its gaze and try to paint other things with affected nonchalance. This is the story of the Sloppity Bilepiper.

Is there a dafter name in the entirety of the Games Workshop range, or indeed one more fun to say, than the Sloppity Bilepiper? I loved it as soon as I saw it, recalling as it does the old carnivals of Nurgle of yesteryear, and snapped it up as soon as I could. In my review of the Nurgle Daemons released back in January of 2018 I noted;

“Nurgle loves a party. He’s the god of life and death and though the latter aspect has often been the focus when it comes to the models, with sloughing flesh, weeping sores and spilled guts everywhere, with the Bilepiper we get to see the other side of things. Here is a model which encapsulates the core message of Nurgle’s worshippers – today we celebrate for tomorrow it will be too late. They party like there’s no tomorrow and one glance at the diseases they play host to suggests there probably isn’t. “

Sadly, despite starting out with great intentions and making good progress on the model as soon as I’d purchased it I stalled when it was almost finished and never managed to push it over the final hurdle. I think I’ve planned to paint it for every neglected model challenge I’ve entered in the past three years or so, yet always the challenge has ended and the Bilepiper has remained unchanged. This year it’s been particularly neglected, with Covid-19 wrapping it’s loving arms around the globe I’ve found myself disinclined to tackle any of Nurgle’s servants. I can’t quite put my finger on why, perhaps it’s superstition or just pandemic fatigue, but I find myself feeling as though the plague god is getting more than enough attention at the moment without my involvement. 

Both the Bilepiper and I have tolerated a lack of progress long enough however so back onto the painting desk he goes for a few more rounds against the brush. Here he is, finished at last and proving that these things are never so difficult if you just get on with them. 

Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Sloppity Bilepiper Nurgle Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

I really wanted to play up the appearance of a clownish, playful jester, so gave him bright and motley clothes. By way of contrast I made the flesh fairly realistic and human looking, rather than leaning on the mucky green that GW prefers for their Nurgle models. I still have quite a backlog of Nurgle miniatures, both daemons and mortal – including a number of unfinished Death Guard, so as soon as I overcome my Covid induced squeamishness I’ll crack on with them. 


Chaos Knight – Armed To The Teeth

Just a quick one today as I battle to get to grips with the new WordPress editor. If it ain’t broke WordPress, do be a dear and don’t bloody fix it! Not to worry, I’m sure in time I’ll stop being a dinosaur and discover the joys of the new modern editor that lets me do everything I used to do, only in a much more complicated and round-about way…

Anyway, enough moaning let’s look at a bit of a miniature. I’ve moved onto the second arm of the chaos knight (the weird fleshy limb as opposed to the mechanical arm that I’ve shown previously). It was made by grafting together the upper part of a Great Unclean One’s arm with the lower part of a Maggoth, and then filling in the gaps with loads of greenstuff and milliput.

Chaos Arm Wudugast ConvertOrDie

With this pretty much done I’m mostly looking at tidying up, painting a few of the smaller components and sticking everything together and with just under half the month still to go I’m optimistic. Then again nothing is finished until it’s finished, pride has been known to come before a fall and chickens should not be counted until they’re hatched, fully grown and preferably in the oven. Watch this space!