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Bolt Action – Part Two (First Blood)

It is August 1941, and only a few weeks after Finland declares war on the Soviet Union. with the assistance of its ally Germany, Finnish and German troops have invaded the Soviet Union in what would become known as the Continuation War.

At the edge of a farm in northern Russia, two enemy patrols meet while scouting enemy defences.

The Finns (Dave)
– NCO* with SMG** – Mika Hakkinen
– LMG*** team (2 men)
– 1 SMG armed infantryman
– 5 rifle armed infantrymen

The Soviets (Peter)
– NCO with SMG – Marias Sharipova
– LMG team (2 men)
– 3 SMG armed infantrymen
– 4 rifle armed infantrymen

*NCO – Non-commissioned Officer
**SMG – Submachine Gun
***LMG – Light Machine Gun

Game 1

We had a simple setup, starting the units 24″ apart with some scenery for cover.

Sergeant Sharipova ordered their men to advance and fire upon the Finns, hoping to Finn their numbers out before they returned fire. As it was, the LMG hefted by private Rasputin had its line of sight blocked by an inconvenient hedgerow, while only three of the Soviets with rifles could see the Finns clearly enough to fire upon them. “Fire!” Yelled Sharipova. The gunfire rattled out across the wheat field, but with the distance and the Soviets having to fire on the move, all the gunfire did was scare a flock of birds from the hedgerow. The score was tied at love-all.

Sergeant Hakkinen cursed as his men briefly ducked in reaction to the Soviet gunfire. “Return fire!” he shouted, the rifles and the LMG of Mika Salo unleashed in response. A cheer went up from the Finns as they saw one of the distant Soviets fall to the ground.

Sharipova and their squad rushed to the hedgerow and opened up once more on the Finnish troops. Two of the Finns fell to the ground, and Hakkinen urged his troops into the trees on their right flank, trying to find cover where they could. The Soviets sensed an advantage pushed forward over the hedgerow hoping to flush the Finns from the trees with gunfire. However, no sooner had Sharipova and their unit crossed the hedgerow than the Finns rushed from the trees and met them in combat. Hakkinen and his Finns were Finn-ished however, and despite having the charge failed to inflict any casualties on the Soviet unit, and it wasn’t long before Sharipova, Rasputin and others were lying injured on the ground with the others in full retreat

Victory to the Soviets.

The Finns charge into the Russian Airborne.

Game 2

Changing the table setup slightly, we decided the objective would be to hold a farmhouse in the centre of the table.

Dave managed to get first and ran his riflemen up to the walls of the farmhouse. Dave really wanted to try out the Molotov cocktails, and so I decided to mirror his manoeuvre.

Dave got to go next in turn 2 and so flanked around my men so that more than 50% of his unit could see the airborne squad. As a result, his 9 molotov cocktails from his men only suffered a -1 to hit. With each man placing a 1″ template over the Russians, Dave’s Finns were able to automatically hit 25 times! His damage roll resulted in a lot of fried troops!

Victory to the Finns!

What Next?

Dave and I decided that we’d play Bolt Action via escalation. So we’ll both start with two infantry units and a command. Then, after each time we meet, we’ll roll on a table to see what we collect next.

To get that 2nd unit of troops and command, I decided to buy a £28 box of Siberian veterans. This comes with 34 miniatures, enough to make 3 squads and some HQ units.

Till next time.

Soviet Airborne Squad – Warlord Games

Credit: Warlord Games

You may have seen our post last week where I mentioned that Dave and I had bought a box of toy soldiers each for use in Warlord Games’ Bolt Action.

For those who haven’t heard of Bolt Action, it’s a tabletop wargame aimed at skirmish level games set during World War 2. It has a unique turn sequence where a blind draw is used to determine who acts with their unit.

Our aim was to build and paint the squad over the course of a week and then have a couple of very small games to see if we liked the ruleset.

Background to Soviet Airborne Squads

The Soviets were visionaries in the development of airborne troops and tactics, first forming a brigade-sized airborne unit after successful trials in December 1932. More units followed and by June 1941 five Airborne Corps existed in the Soviet order of battle, undoubtedly the strongest airborne force in the world. However in the desperate fighting of the early campaign these formations were pressed into service as regular infantry and virtually consumed.

Airborne troops were finally dropped in battalion strength during the defence of Moscow during December 1941 and January 1942. An entire corps (the 4th) was dropped operationally in February 1942 but while it survived for six months in the German rear, it failed to achieve its objectives. The crisis at Stalingrad then pulled in all available airborne troops to fight as regular infantry again.

Soviet airborne troops always fought with tremendous courage and elan, but lacked heavy anti-tank weapons and were badly supported in every operation they attempted.

Warlord Games

How Much?

If you’re buying this set through Warlord Games, then it’ll set you back £25. Which works out as £2.50 per metal model.

However, you can get them cheaper through our affiliate link with Element Games, where they’ll cost you £22.50.

What’s in the Box?

Inside you’ll get 10 metal miniatures consisting of:

  • NCO with SMG
  • 4 Paratroopers with SMG
  • 3 Paratroopers with rifles
  • 2-man LMG team
  • Plastic bases

Model Quality and Ease of Build

These couldn’t be easier to build. All the models are single piece metal models. There are no additional parts to glue on, such as heads, arms, or legs

They are metal, so you’ll find quite a bit of flashing that you’ll need to remove, and there were some heavy mould lines that I had to file down.

Other than that, it was just glueing them to their bases and priming.


I tried to follow the box art as closely as I could with Citadel paints and used the below recipes.

To save a little time I used Geek Gaming Scenics Base Ready Patchy Plains.

Overall, the unit took roughly 5 hours to build and paint.

Vanguard: Orruk Warclans (Kruleboyz) – Beginners 1,000pt Army

Why play Kruleboyz?

Kruleboyz are one of the few armies which enjoy dishing out mortal wounds in buckets. It’s also the one Orruk army which enjoys a tonne of shooting attacks. They are a glass cannon however, and suffer from the odd breeze. They lack any serious screening but enjoy a surfeit of monsters that both dish out the damage and buff your troops attacks.

What’s in the Vanguard Box?

In the box you get:

  • Killaboss on Great-Gnashtoof
  • Murknob with Belcha-Banna
  • 10 Gutrippaz
  • 3 Man-Skewer Boltboys
  • 1 Beast-Skewer Killbow

All for £85 at Games Workshop. Unless you wanted to buy it through our affiliate Element Games, in which case it would cost you £72.25.

The total points of these units under the current battlescroll comes to just 540 points, so we’ll need to buy a fair few more units to get up to the 1,000 point mark.

Next go and pick up the Age of Sigmar Harbringer Set, it’s great value and you’ll get the difficult to source Swampcalla Shaman as well as 10 more Gutrippaz and 10 Hobgrots to act as a screen. This brings us up to 870 points. For the final spend, pick up another set of 3 Man-Skewer bolt boys.

Your total spend through Games Workshop will be £215 (if you include the Orruk Battletome which you’ll need for the rules). But as mentioned, if you use our affiliate link with Element Games, you’ll get all of this for just £176.25 (including the Battletome).

Don’t forget though, you can probably get at least £20 back for selling the Stormcast half of the Harbringer box. So consider this 1k army as £150ish with the Tome.

The List

Faction: Kruleboyz
Subfaction: Grinnin’ Blades
Grand Strategy: Defend What’s Ours
Triumph: Inspired

Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof (120)*
– Command Trait: Slippery Skumbag
– Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
– Artefact: Mork’s Eye Pebble
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (100)*
Nasty Hex
Murknob with Belcha-Banna (70)*

10x Gutrippaz (150)*
Wicked Stikka
10x Gutippaz (150)*
Wicked Stikka
10x Hobgrots (80)*

Beast-Skewer Killbow (80)*

3x Man-Skewer Boltboyz (120)*
3x Man-Skewer Boltboyz (120)*

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 990/1,000
Wounds: 89
Drops: 1

First off, we’ve chosen Grinnin’ Blades to nullify your squishy army from getting popped outside of 12″.

We’re then wrapping them all up into a single drop Battle Regiment. In theory this should give you control of the first turn. If you’re facing another ranged army like Kharadron Overlords or Lumineth Realm-Lords this can mean you actually opt to give them the first turn, force them to move closer but stay outside of their ranged attacks, then on your first turn have your Man-Skewers and Killbow take down some fools. If you’re lucky you may even get th priority into the second turn…

The Units

Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof

Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof Painted By Woehammer Peter

This fella is great, and it’s a model I personally love. With a 10″ move, he’s not particularly fast, so we’ve given him the mount trait Fast ‘Un to get that one extra hero phase move. Meaning, in theory you could potentially pull a move and charge off against an enemy 27″ away.

Rather than the traditional Supa Sneaky you often see on a Kruleboyz warboss, we’ve gone for Slippery Skumbag. This is to maxmise the Savage Hound ability which gives the unit +1 to its hit rolls if it made a charge in the same turn. This means if you’re locked in combat, you’ll be able to retreat out, and then charge once more in the same turn.

Swampcall Shaman and Pot Grot

Painted by Woehammer Peter

This guy is going to be key to maximising the amount of damage your units can kick out during the battle. Using his Poison ability means that the unit you buff will cause mortal wounds from their venom-encrusted weapons on a 5+ instead of the usual 6+. During the early stages of a game, you’ll want him giving poison to your ranged Man-Skewer Boltboyz. Follow this up late game with the Gutrippaz when they make combat and watch the colour drain from your opponent’s face.

We’ve also given him the spell Nasty Hex, so if you do come up against any armies with ward saves, he’ll have a chance of turning them off before your Poison enhanced units pick them apart.

As a last little gift, this guy will sticking close to either your Man-Skewer Boltboyz or your Gutrippaz, so we’ve given him the artefact Mork’s Eye Pebble. Meaning once per game in a single phase, the Swampcalla Shaman and all units within 12″ will have a 5+ ward save. Not bad for a bit of extra survivability.

Murknob with Belcha-banna

Credit: Games Workshop

Under the current General’s Handbook (Season 23/24), this model has improved in value. With the amount of Wizards now able to cast various spells without too much difficulty, it helps to have a source of ward saves against them. Make sure you keep him near your key damage dealers like the Gutrippaz and Man-Skewers so they benefit from that 5+ ward save against spells.

On top of that he can dish out some mortal wounds alongside the Gutrippaz with the Breath of the Mire-drakes ability. Just don’t rely on it too much.


Painted by Woehammer Peter

I hope your woman loves you like Woehammer Pete loves Gutrippaz

– Pete Atkinson (PlasticCraic)

It’s true, I love these guys. I’ve found so many times that people underestimate the amount of damage that they can kick out (that’s why I have a list with 60 of them…).

With Poison from the SwampcallaShaman a unit of 10 of these boys they dish out the following damage on average:

v SaveGutrippaz (Wicked Stikka + Poison)

At only 150 points a unit, they’re great. Their downside is their lack of bravery, but this can be compensated for by the Killaboss on Great Gnashtoof‘s ability All Part of Da Plan.


Painted by Woehammer Peter

These are here as a simple screen, but to be honest they’re not even too great at that. They won’t stick around and they won’t do too much damage. They’re not bad for protecting your Man-Skewer Boltboyz and Beast-Skewer Killbow, or for claiming home deployment area objectives. But otherwise don’t expect a great deal from them.

Beast-Skewer Killbow

Painted by Woehammer Peter

It’s a lot cheaper than it used to be, but don’t expect great things from it. Really, it’s only use is against multi wound monsters and even then you have to pray that it hits. IF it hits, and IF you roll a 6 on that to hit roll, you’ll be laughing though as every wound caused will be mortal…

Man-Skewer Boltboyz

Painted by Woehammer Peter

These are your early game damage dealers while the enemy struggles to get to grips with you. Get the Poison on them from the Swampcalla Shaman and fire at long range at first. If you have your target within 12″ though, make sure you shuffle them to ensure you’re using the hasty shot. Doubling the amount of shots means you’re fishing for those all important 6’s for the mortal wounds (5’s if you’ve given them Poison from the Swampcall Shaman).

As an idea as to what just 3 can do in terms of damage:

v SaveAimed Shot (+Poison)Hasty Shot (+Poison)

What Next?

When you’ve had a few games and you’re looking to expand your list up to 2k, I would seriously consider purchasing Gobsprakk. In the current meta with his Mork Sez No abilty and Primal Dice being able to enhance this he’s an absolute menace to enemy casters.

You may also want to look at getting a Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker, they’re beasts in combat and their Sludgeraker Venom means that the venom-encrustd weapons of any units nearby will be causing one additional damage each. That means your Gutrippaz could be causing 2 damage and your Man-Skewer Boltboyz 3 damage.

Most lists also run 2 Swampcalla Shamans to maximise the Poison output. If you also like running lots of Gutrippaz, I’d consider buying a Killaboss with Stab Grot or two for the bravery benefits.

Painted by Warhatter

Adventures in 10mm – Mordheim

I recently had a hankering to play Mordheim once more, but due to limited space, I didn’t think I’d be able to start a massive terrain project to actually be able to play the game.

After all, traditionally, Mordheim was played on a 4×4 foot area! That’s not easy to populate with terrain and then store.

It was while browsing Etsy for some Warmaster bits that I stumbled across some lovely looking ruined buildings for 10mm.

Then it hit me! What if I played Mordheim at 10mm? It would be easy enough. Just change all measurements to centimetres instead of inches, and hey presto!

But what about the playing area? Instead of a massive 4 foot square area, the conversion downwards meant that it could be played on an area only 20 inches by 20 inches! To set about making and planning my playing area, I purchased a number of 5-inch square mdf boards. These would be built up with foam board and the terrain I had found on Etsy to create Mordheim in miniature.

The total playing area required is shown by the mdf boards. As a comparison, conveniently, this table is 4 feet long.

As you can see, this is a massive reduction in the space required. I also ordered some of the ruined buildings, and these are shown below on some of the tiles.

The buildings are fantastic, and each floor can be magnetised to the one below so that they are able to have models move around inside them.

For the models, I purchased some Forest Dragon Undead miniatures in 10mm. Forest Dragon are great as you can buy them either ranked up on a single base for Warmaster or on individual bases for Minihammer.

These are the first 10 models I painted up, and they took me about an hour and a half to paint all ten. I’ve purchased some magnetic sheeting, which I plan to cut and stick to the bases, and then these can be magnetised to movement trays like the one shown for Minihammer if required.

You’re probably wondering how these compare in scale to the terrain and boards, right?

Pretty darn good, I’d say!

All in all, this project will be much, much cheaper than playing at 28mm. Each building costs roughly £6 depending on its size. I think possibly 2 or 3 buildings would fit on each MDF square. This should allow me to create a truly immersive modular board.

As for the minis, I purchased all I needed for the first Undead warband from Wargamerminis. I bought;

  • 10 Ghouls
  • 5 Dire Wolves
  • 1 Vampire Lord
  • 1 Necromancer
  • 10 Zombies
  • 10 Peasants

All for €18. Not bad! For those in the UK, shipping can be a little pricey, so it’s probably best to put in a larger order if you want to do something similar.

But all in all, I’m really pleased and excited to get started planning out the terrain boards. Yes MiniHammer is also the logical next step…

Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

Following on from Danny and Phil’s excellent chat about the new Slaves to Darkness Battletome, we thought it would be great to give you an option for a beginners army based on the new Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness.

Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness

This new boxed set priced at £85 through Games Workshop comes with 17 models in total to give you an (almost) complete beginners army. I say almost, the total points in this set amounts to 680 points.

Included in the box you have:

  • 1x Chaos Lord (115 points)
  • 10x Chaos Warriors (220 points)
  • 5x Chaos Knights (230 points)
  • 1x Gorebeast Chariot (115 points)

But we want a full 1,000 point army that we can start playing with, so to add to the above I’d possibly look at buying a Chaos Sorcerer Lord, a Darkoath Warqueen and a set of Darkoath Savagers.

What will it all cost?

  • Battletome: Slaves to Darkness £32.50
  • Vanguard: Slaves to Darkness £85
  • Darkoath Warqueen £21
  • Darkoath Savagers £35

That’s total of £173.50 at Games Workshop prices for everything you need to play at 1,000 points with Slaves to Darkness.

You can of course get these cheaper through your local retailers. Element Games in the UK offer between 15-25% off on these prices. Why not use our affiliate link below to start your army today?


The List

Army Faction: Slaves to Darkness
Subfaction: Host of the Everchosen

Chaos Lord (115)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Reaperblade and Daemonbound Steel
– Command Trait: Death Dealer
– Artefact: Hellfire Sword (Reaperblade)
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (120)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Lore of the Damned: Daemonic Speed
Darkoath Warqueen (100)

10x Chaos Warriors (220)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Murderous Weapons
– Retinue
5x Chaos Knights (230)
– Mark of Nurgle
– Cursed Flail
– Ensorcelled Banner: The Eroding Icon
10x Darkoath Savagers (100)

1x Gorebeast Chariot (115)
– Mark of Khorne
– Lashing Whip & Chaos War-Flail

TOTAL POINTS: 1000/1000

This army is tough! and it has fast elements which can also pin units in place while you bring your Chaos Warriors and Darkoath Savagers to bear. We’ve gone for Host of the Everchosen as our subfaction, this will allow us to bring back slain models on 5+ instead of 6+ with our rally ability. This only applies to the Chaos Warriors and Chaos Knights, but these two units with the Mark of Nurgle are already going to be blighters to shift anyway, this will just make it even harder for our oppposition!

How it could play

Chaos Lord

Our general for this particular list. He’s tough and hits like a hammer. Giving him the Mark of Nurgle means the enemy have to subtract 1 from their wound rolls that target him when using melee weapons. It also gives him the ability to use the Command Ability: Bestow Contagion. This will allow our other Nurgle Marked units (Chaos Warriors and Knights) a chance to cause D3 mortal wounds to enemy units within 3″ on a 3+.

We’ve got Death Dealer as our Command Trait, and this will allow our General to fight for a second time in the fight phase once per battle. Admittedly it’s with the Strike-last effect, but even so, well worth having.

With Chaos Lords you’re also allowed to choose a retinue which you can pass wounds off to on a 3+ (the reasons for this shown in the Chaos Warriors section), for this I’ve chosen the Chaos Warriors, as really he should be sticking to them like glue throughout the game. The other benefit from being retinue is they can fight immediately after our Chaos Lord if they haven’t fought yet. Essentially giving you two fight activations for the price of one!

As an artefact, I’ve gone for Hellfire Sword, which will allow our Reaperblade to cause two mortal wounds for each hit roll of 6.

Giving him the Reaperblade and Daemonbound Steel does mean that the damage output is slightly better than that of the Daemonbound Flail when you also take into account the mortal wounds caused by Hellfire Sword:

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Daemonbound Steel111110
Daemonbound War-Flail222222
Average Damage after Saves

Chaos Sorcerer Lord

This lovely fellow is a good buff to your forces. He’s a single cast and single unbind wizard which isn’t anything to write home about, but what he does provide is his spell Daemonic Power. With a casting value of 6 and a range of 18″ it should be fairly easy to cast each turn, and when you do you’ll be able to give ANY of your other units in this list +1 to hit and +1 to wound for their melee attacks. That’s nothing to be sniffed at!

As well as this he can give a 6+ ward to one of your other units in this list until the next hero phase. Hopefully you’re starting to see the tankiness of those Chaos Warriors now with their Mark of Nurgle (-1 to wound them) and a 5+ Ward Save against mortals and 6+ Ward against everything else.

Darkoath Warqueen

I absolutely love this model, which is mainly why I’ve chosen it (never discount rule of cool!). Like the Chaos Lord, this unit can allow the Darkoath Savagers to fight immediately after herself (as long as they haven’t already fought), another twofer!

She has an ability where if issuing the inspiring presence command while inside the enemy territory she can give it up to 2 Darkoath or Cultist units. We only have one for this list, but perhaps consider buying one of those awesome Warcry warbands when you look to expand to 2k?

Chaos Warriors

The first of our three battleline units. Keep these near your Chaos Lord so that they can benefit from the Retinue rule and fight immediately after the Chaos Lord in the fight phase.

With a 3+ save, a 5+ ward against mortals and a 6+ ward against everything else using the Chaos Sorcerer Lords Oracular Visions, AND the ability to have slain models return from the rally command on 5+, this unit is going to take A LOT of punishment before it goes away! In fact they would need an average of 72 damage from zero rend weapons to be allocated to them before saves, for the enemy to have a chance of destroying them.

By getting the Chaos Sorcerer Lord to cast Daemonic Power on them as well you’ll soon see their average damage output after saves is not to be ignored:

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Murderous Weapons1414121075
Murderous Weapons (Enemy Territory)*21211814117
*Chaos Warriors gain +1 attack while wholly within enemy territory

Darkoath Savagers

Another unit I absolutely love. These guys have an added benefit of causing mortal wounds on hit rolls of 6 when in combat. This is the perfect unit to try and take objectives with, because if you manage to claim one previously held by the enemy then this unit will get a 5+ ward save until the end of the game. They won’t stand up to much punishment though, so if you’re going to commit them make sure you can win!

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Darkoath Weapons874411
Average Damage Output after Saves

Chaos Knights

Another tanky unit. They also benefit from the 5+ ward save against mortal wounds. We’re also giving them Mark of Nurgle (who is Mark anyway?) so the enemy is at -1 on their to wound rolls.

These guys are quick as well, we’ve given our Chaos Sorcerer Lord the spell Daemonic Speed. This will allow to roll 3D6 for their charge rolls when within 18″.

We’ve also chosen to give these chaps The Eroding Icon Ensorcelled Banner, this will worsen the rend of melee weapons used against them by 1, making them even harder to kill!

You’ll want these guys quickly claiming objectives and tying up units you want to hold in place ready for your Chaos Warriors to pummel.

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Cursed Land (Charging)888664
Cursed Lane*443321
Cursed Flail*322110
Trampling Hooves*322110
Average Damage Output

Gorebeast Chariot

Another flanker unit for our army. We’ve given this the Mark of Khorne which allows us to add 1 to the attacks of its melee weapons when it charges.

Don’t forget that at the end of the combat phase it can make a normal move even if still within 3″ of the enemy. If it does so, it can cross across models with wound characteristics of 4 or less as though it can fly. If you do so, pick a unit that this model passed over and roll a dice, on 3+ that enemy suffers D6 mortal wounds! You’ll probably do an average of 3 or 4 mortal wounds… And it only costs 115 points! Bargain!

Weapon– Save6+ Save5+ Save4+ Save3+ Save2+ Save
Lashing Whip100000
Chaos War-Flail322110
Crushing Fists222200
Average Damage Output

Where to go next?

Everything in this book looks cool and you certainly couldn’t go wrong by possibly buying a second Vanguard box! If not, have a look at the Varanguard and Chosen, both heavy hitting units if that’s what you like. There’s also a certain bloke named Archaon…

Lore Introduction – The Path to Glory (Slaves to Darkness)

Whispers in the dark

Pinpointing precisely when the first Slave to Darkness was born is difficult to achieve. Since the dawn of time within the mortal realms the Chaos Gods’ tendrils would reach through and warp reality, whispering dark thoughts to anyone who would listen. Khorne would urge Generals to strive for evermore glory, Tzeentch would encourage further study into the arcane, Slaanesh would speak of pleasure to aristocrats and artists alike, and father Nurgle would call out to those who lived off the land. It is when the first of these individuals gave in to the dark voices which lurked within and pledged themselves to these mysterious forces that the first Slave to Darkness came into the Mortal Realms.

A crippling defeat

Sigmar and his Pantheon were the all-powerful Gods who sought to shepherd all the races within the mortal realms. Aware of the existence of Chaos, they prepared for the eventual day that the Ruinous Powers would invade the mortal realms. As the age of Chaos began, the daemons poured in, slaughtering all who did not join them. At the battle of the Burning Skies Sigmar was betrayed by Nagash, and in turn was decisively defeated, retreating into Azyr. Those few who remained would either be forced to concede and accept the Chaos gods as their own or be slaughtered in the wake of their victory.

The Great Game

Tzeentch, Nurgle, Khorne, Slaanesh, and the Great Horned Rat though allied against Sigmar and the forces of order, are only allies of convenience when it suits them best. Otherwise, they forever compete within The Great Game, in which each god seeks to dominate the others within the realm of Chaos. This Game of course extends well within the mortal realms, where they constantly vie for control of land, resources, and followers.

Archaon the Everchosen

Perhaps the greatest encapsulation of the Great Game is no other than Archaon. The mortal champion of Chaos, accepting gifts from all gods, but pledging himself to none. Archaon is a mortal, who is speculated to have lived for eons, having ushered in the end of the world that was, and potentially having destroyed other realities since then. His ultimate goal is to pierce into the realm of Azyr, and destroy the last bastion of Order and Sigmar along with it.

The Dark Master

Belakor, the first Daemon Prince to have ever existed, as Archaeon, has existed since the formation of the world that was. Indeed prior to the existence of any Everchosen having been crowned, the ruinous powers would compete over his soul as they now do for Archaon. Belakor would go on to betray the Gods, in an attempt to serve his own purposes, and would in turn fall right into their trap. Cursed to forever crown the Everchosen, but never become him, Belakor lives in a state of pure envy. Envy of the great Archaon, to whom so many swear their loyalty. Belakor, seeks to usurp Archaon’s place within the eyes of the Chaos Gods, and return himself to the glory of his past.

Lore Introduction – Raiders from the Deep (Idoneth Deepkin)

Welcome to the first in a new series of articles where we run through the lore of the Age of Sigmar factions.

These are intended to give you a little flavour into the faction, and hopefully give you an understanding on what drives them.

The World That Was

The story of the Idoneth begins way back in the world that was, right after the forces of chaos forced their way in, and right before they ultimately conquered it. During this time there was a sect of Aelves who worshipped the god known as Mathlann. God of both sea and storm and known as the lord of the Deep, Mathlann was primarily worshipped by sea fairing Aelves, and explorers. When the Chaos gods began to consume the souls of all living creatures, Mathlann sought to protect the few he could from them, and so he took a contingent of his followers and hid them at the deepest depths of the oceans. Despite this, Slaanesh could sense more souls still, and would root out each remote enclave one by one until every single aelvan soul was devoured.

The Age of Myth

During the age of Myth, what remained of the Aelvan pantheon awoke, and sadly Mathlann was not amongst those who survived. Teclis, Tyrion, and Malerion awoke in a world which lacked any Aelves to rule over, and as such devised a plan to capture Slaanesh and pry the souls from his gullet. Each of the three main gods would receive a share of the souls, and Teclis would be the first to receive them. Those souls which were first pulled from Slaanesh, turned out to be those of the idoneth. Those original souls would come to be known as the Cythai.

No Rest for the Wicked

After escaping both from Teclis and Slaanesh, the Cythai found themselves within the throes of a new horror. The combination of Corruption from Slaanesh, Purification ritual from Teclis, and the lack of a God to draw from led the majority of Idoneth to be born with Waning souls. Many of their offspring fail to live past infancy, and those that do (the Namarti) , have drastically shortened life spans. Some would be born with proper souls (Akhelians) and this disparity between the two would go on to form the basic structure of Idoneth society. To ensure their survival something would need to be done. Adapting the magic that Teclis had taught them they would form a new school of magic revolving around the removal of and transmutation of souls. Unfortunately, the souls of Sea life would not be enough to sustain that of an Idoneth body for any more than a couple of days, the only alternative was to seek out greater prey. The Idoneth would form raiding parties that would ascend from the depths raid coastal settlements taking with them the souls of the fallen back to their enclaves. To ensure secrecy, the Idoneth would weave spells to erase the memories of survivors.

How to Play: Black Powder 2nd Edition (Part 1: Introduction)

An Introduction to Black Powder

Black Powder is a game system produced by Warlord Games and written by Rick Priestley and Jervis Johnson. As the introduction to the rules says:

Black Powder is a game for militarily inclined gentlemen with straight backs, bristling beards and rheumy eyes that have seen a thing or two. If tales of battle and glory in days-gone-by stir nothing in your breast, if the roar of cannon does not quicken the pulse and set a fire in the belly, then stop reading forthwith. Ours is not an adventure to be embarked upon by the faint hearted. Put down this book and be glad that you have spared yourself the discomforting spectacle of grown men attempting to relive the great conflicts of history with armies of toy soldiers.

So heft your muskets and prepare for battle. The library or billiard room will serve as our battlefield, or else some similarly spacious and secluded refuge. Ensure that children are put to bed and lie safely beyond earshot. Secure the doors against the intrusion of womenfolk as yet unfamiliar with the conventions of war. Ready your armies for the long march to glory.

And finally, let us remember that the ideal accompaniment to the journey may be found in good brandy, fine cigars, and the companionship of like-minded enthusiasts.

Black Powder 2nd Edition (2019)

Black Powder covers the Horse and Musket period from 1701 (War of the Spanish Succession) to 1898 (Second Sudan War). Most commonly you’ll find players use the system to refight engagements from the Napoleonic Wars or the American Civil War.

I personally believe that Horse & Musket games come in one of two formats. Either simulation, where the rules will try and accurately represent a battle of that period in minutiae. Or in a more ‘Arcade’ format, where an approximation of the overall battle is given.

The game itself can be played at most miniature scales, with the smaller scales adding to the big battle feel of the game you’re playing.

Black Powder in 6mm – Image from Irregular Wars

Black Powder doesn’t have miniature removal and instead uses markers to show the status of units. Units are usually made up of 4 stands and these will be arranged to shoe what formation a unit is in. Units are usually at a battalion/squadron level, but you can use Units to represent larger formations such as Brigades.

So if this time period interests you and you have a specific war in mind, Black Powder may be the system for you.

To give you more of a taster, we’ve put together a number of articles covering the basics of a turn in Black Powder which, should give you a feel of how the game plays.

News – Final Weekend of 4 for 3 at Warlord Games

Warlord Games have entered the final weekend of their 4 boxes for the price of 3.

This covers many of their game systems, such as Bolt Action, Konflict 47′, Black Powder, Epic Battles, Hail Caesar and a lot more.

If you’re looking to get into and of these gaming system then this is definitely one way to do it that would save you a lot of money!

A Newcomer’s Guide to the Iron Warriors

The Iron Warriors are the unequaled masters of siege warfare. Their pragmatic and bitter approach to combat led them to capture and garrison strategic worlds throughout the galaxy, before descending on Terra with Horus and their Primarch, Perturabo. Perturabo was at the helm of the IVth Legion, and led the spearhead into the solar system, obliterating the Imperial defenses and opening the way for Horus to make his way to the Emperor.

Wrack and Ruin

This approach to siege warfare is present in the Iron Warriors legion trait: Wrack and Ruin. Wrack and Ruin allows for any Iron Warriors model to increase the strength of any ranged or melee attacks by 1 if that attack targets a Dreadnought, Automata, Vehicle, or Building.

This small bonus may seem minor at first glance, but the ability to more easily punch holes in Dreadnoughts slightly reduces the intimidation factor of those units. Dreadnoughts are by far the most powerful units in the game, and allowing your basic infantry to wound them in melee (even if only on 6’s) can be a huge boon. The other item to keep in mind is that the Land Raider Spartan that comes in the Age of Darkness box (meaning that a huge portion of the game’s player base will come sporting one) can only be threatened by weapons with S8 or greater. The ability to punch holes in armor with S7 guns gives the Iron Warriors access to mass-fire weapons that can threaten enemy heavy armor. Weapons with higher strength values, such as Lascannons or Melta weapons, will absolutely melt Rhinos and Predators, leaving your opponents exposed.

The Iron Warriors advanced reactions, Bitter Fury, is essentially a boosted Return Fire. Once per battle in the opposing player’s shooting phase you can fire at an enemy unit that just shot one of your units. When making this reaction you double the number of shots that the unit would normally make. This will make your opponent think about range and target very carefully while you hold this card in your back pocket. No one will want to be on the receiving end of 10 plasmaguns double-firing for 40 shots.

Warlord Traits

There are three Warlord Traits available to Iron Warriors Praetors. The first, Tyrant of the Apolokron, provides your warlord with the Fearless special rule, but enforces a requirement that your warlord and any unit he joins shoot or charge the closest enemy unit in each phase, if possible. Fearless is a strong ability, but the restriction on this rule seems to outweigh the benefit, since you generally want your warlord to be more flexible than what this allows.

The second trait, Tyrant of the Dodekathon, allows your warlord to pre-bomb an area of the battlefield, nominating one area terrain or building. This terrain either becomes difficult and dangerous terrain, or it becomes weakened (in the case of buildings and fortifications), forcing higher rolls on the damage table.

Tyrant of the Lyssatra provides your Warlord and any infantry unit he joins to add extra dice to ranged attacks, but the guns used for the attack gain Gets Hot, potentially backfiring on your squad. Gets Hot is an interesting rule, and generally is worth the risk of taking the hit, but it adds a layer of complexity to the army, forcing you to choose to potentially sacrifice members of your squad to ensure the enemy dies.

Rites of War

There are only two Rites of War for the Iron Warriors. Both of these provide army-wide buffs affecting both tanks and infantry. The first, The Hammer of Olympia, allows your infantry to fire an additional shot with shrapnel weapons (discussed below) following the same restriction as Fury of the Legion. This rite also allows some of your tanks to ignore the effects of Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned. The final item is an accuracy boost in the form of re-rolling 1s to hit for all shrapnel weapons (which you absolutely should be taking as many as possible).

The Ironfire also provides some buffs to all units in your army and adds some spicy army-build options. The first point is that this allows you to run Arquitors as non-compulsory Troops (although they don’t get Line). There are some general improvements to scatter when using Barrage (which your Arquitors rely on). This also allows some boosts to infantry to protect them from the inevitable moment that your Arquitor barrages go awry and land on top of your own units.

Either Rite provides some overall positive improvements to standard list building, with The Hammer of Olympia being what I expect to see more often. The pure joy of placing up to 21 Arquitor Bombards on the table would be worth seeing, however (almost 4000pts, all told, so you would have to play some truly massive games to hit that level). If you can afford that many Forgeworld models you should absolutely do this, take pictures, and share on our discord so I can tell you how wonderful you are.

Unique Units and Equipment

Legion-specific Enhancements

The Iron Warriors have limited Legion enhancements. There is only one character upgrade, allowing a foot Praetor to gain a bunch of enhancements allowing him to repair vehicles and gain some extra utility equipment for whatever unit he joins. Depending on how many vehicles, dreadnoughts, and automata you run this upgrade will be well worth the 20pts.

Iron Warriors characters also have the ability to replace select power weapons with Graviton weapons. These weapons aren’t an improvement over their default version unless you expect to be in melee with Vehicles, where the Haywire rule will come into play. As interesting as these weapons are, why would you want to rely on punching a tank when you’re the Iron Warriors and can bring your own tanks to the field?

The final upgrade is stand-out great, and you should absolutely spend the points any time you have the opportunity. For two points per gun, any bolter, bolt pistol, or heavy bolter can be replaced with a Shrapnel weapon. Shrapnel weapons lose some range and AP from their standard versions but gain the Pinning keyword. Any time you are given the opportunity to pin your opponent’s units you should take it, and with so many weapons on the field that can take this you should be forcing multiple pinning tests on your opponents every turn. This bonus also gives the opportunity to shut off a charge with some lucky overwatch rolls, as a Charge is cancelled if the charging unit becomes pinned.

Legion Specific Units

Perturabo, the Primarch of the Iron Warriors is an odd unit. His Battlesmith (2+) makes him one of the best options in the game at keeping tanks alive but requires him to hang out in the back of an army with your predators or sicarans. Master of Automata is only present to allow him to take his Iron Circle retinue. His damage output is nothing to write home about, and without line his inability to be killed (T7 with a 3+ invulnerable save is incredible) makes him better at keeping other units alive by absorbing shots, rather than really dealing any damage himself. Even his cortex controller, which makes an excellent buff for your Tyrant Siege Terminators, can be obtained cheaper from a Forgelord Centurion.

Ultimately, for the points, you’re better off with a few Centurions and a Lord of War. Perturabo can make a great centerpiece, but you could argue that he isn’t completely worth his points. At the end of the day, if your opponent brings a Primarch, Perturabo is going to get tied up for the whole fight, and if your opponent doesn’t bring a primarch they will just play keep-away with their tanks and infantry for the whole fight.

The Iron Circle Maniple is an equally disappointing unit for the points cost. For slightly less than a Contemptor Dreadnought you get an automaton with several 7s in its stat line, a graviton maul, and a shrapnel cannon. What hurts the unit is the low WS and BS, hitting with that cannon on 4s, and with WS4 it can’t fight any better than a basic tacital. These units really shine when attacking tanks in melee with the Haywire rule on their maul, but with only 3 attacks (4 on the charge) you could get pretty similar output from a lascannon-equipped predator. The big draw for this unit is the ability for Perturabo to take them as a retinue, so long as you commit to taking three of them (bringing the cost of Perturabo + the maniple to around 900pts, around 33% of you points in a standard 3000pt game).

The final unique unit for the Iron Warriors are the Tyrant Siege Terminators, a group of 5-10 Cataphractii Terminators with cyclone missile launchers strapped to their backs. These boys are possibly one of the best flexible ranged threats in the game, with the ability o punch holes in tanks, infantry, or aircraft from 48” away. The addition on an Omni-scope on the Siege Master means that they do not suffer from the negative effects of Night Fighting and allows a free use of the Interceptor advanced reaction. While they are expensive (300 pts for the first 5, and 55pts for each additional) they make up that cost by being durable infantry with great damage output. For some additional reliability, you can support them with a Master of Signals to get the additional hit bonus from the cognis-signum.

Final Thoughts

While the unique units and some of the wargear options fall a little flat, the Iron Warriors have some very strong Rites of War to make up for them. Wrack and Ruin makes them one of the best tank-killer legions in the game and the addition of shrapnel bolters forcing pinning checks constantly will help keep your opponent’s infantry in check as well.

What’s Next

As this article is part of a series, I will spend the next few months going into more detail about the rules of the game and the specifics of each legion. I would like to know if there is specific content our readers would like to see, so leave a comment or join us in the Woehammer discord to let us know what points you would like to see discussed.