Chaos in the Northwest Gaming Centre

Having epicked it out to the max at Britcon this weekend we took a break from our regular Tuesday night six-millimetring and sat down with a copy of Fantasy Flight‘s Chaos in the Old World.

Chaos in the Old World

Each player plays on of the four major Chaos Gods, and attempts to corrupt the Old World before the other Gods do, or the Old World itself defeats you. I bagsied Tzeentch (of course).

Let’s start with the plus sides.

All the players are constantly involved, fighting each other, ravaging the various Warhammer territories and marshalling their followers. There’s no downtime, and there’s a lot of infighting and bickering between players as they try to spoil each other’s plans and chew up their rivals’ cultists and daemons. Additionally, there is room to collaborate with the other players, so it feels very much like you’re part of the Chaos pantheon.

Secondly, the four gods play very differently.

Now the downsides. Downsides that led us to drink and despair.

Chaos in the Old World

The rules language is awful. What you’re meant to do seems to be implied rather than clearly stated. The rules pamphlet is best likened to a tax return form you only seem to have half the required sections for. By way of example one of the six phases is the “Corruption Phase” which is subdivided into the “Domination Step” and the “Corruption Step” – so there’s confusion between the similarly-named “Corruption Phase” and the “Corruption Step”. We were really struggling to remember the affects of all twelve different types of card counters.  I suppose you could argue the game’s an accurate representation of Chaos as a confusing jumbled mess of ever-shifting concepts and terms.

And the four Gods each play very differently.  They each operate with a different set of rules, making it difficult to figure out what’s actually going on strategy-wise.  There’re so many oddball cards and effects it’s hard to play tactically let alone strategically without having played all four Gods (or at least having a familiarity with all the 149 cards).

Overall, characterful on account of its complexity. We were left frustrated that it wasn’t easier to pick up.  It’ll be another few months before we wheel it out again for a second session.

Chaos in the Old World

First Thousand Son – Project Change XXII

I’m continuing my focus on the Thousand Sons with the classic 1990 Jes Goodwin Thousand Son.

Jes Goodwin's first Thousand Son

I’ve got ten of them! It’s taken months and months of trawling through eBay, buying one here and one there and now I finally got enough for a complete squad without paying more than a couple of quid each. They’ve stripped back beautifully too. In fact, I have one too many (the last auction I won was for a group of four) so I can test a second scheme out before deciding how the squad’ll be done.

As I’ve just started reading A Thousand Sons, I thought I’d try implementing the colour scheme on the excellent Neil Roberts cover artwork.

A Thousand Sons

As you can see, Neil’s interpretation of the Heresy-era Thousand Sons features quite understated headpieces, leaving plenty of scope for them to get corrupted by the time the Battle of Terra comes.

This is an awesome model. The early 1980s Chaos Renegades were sculpted by the Michael and Alan Perry and Kev Adams. This was at a time when Chaos had a yet undeveloped visual identity, and so most models were unique mindfracks with crazy bespoke armour. They involved a lot of cross-over from the design of the 1980s Chaos Warrior, with elements or H. R. Giger thrown in. Though the sculpting quality was a tad primitive, they were full of a vibrant creativity. Here are two. (Hell, I’ve been whining about doing red without it looking Khornate too long now so I just went and painted a World Eater.)

Retro Renegades

Then, in 1990 a young Jes Goodwin came along and produced a renegade model for each major Chaos God. At about the same time Jes was working on the then-new mk7 Space Marine armour (which endures through to this day), and he took a lot of the design elements through into these Renegades. So much so they’d not look out of place in modern 40K armies, despite being 20 years old.

Jes Goodwin's cult marines

Interestingly, this is the first type the Egyptian motif appears for Tzeentch. Prior to this, Thousand Sons were just gribbly fungus bird marines.

And finally, I’m not sure if I’m cheating the terms of Project Change here (i.e. no conversions), but rather than model the first of the Marines with the Chaos Renegade backpack, I chose the mk7 Imperial backpack. Neil Robert’s illustration doesn’t feature the debased stabilser jets of Chaos backpacks (which I’ve written about at length here). Ah well, I’ve got another nine to paint with the correct backpacks.

Magnus the Red – Project Change XXI

A Thousand Sons has just been released by Black Library. So to celebrate I will focus on the Thousand Sons for a little. This is Daemon Primarch Magnus the Red, commanding his legion of Epic-scale Tzeentch minions.

Magnus the Red Daemon Primarch of Tzeentch

Magnus the Red was one of four Daemon Primarchs released by Games Workshop in 1992 in Epic scale. Each of the four major Gods got one – Khorne got Angron, Slaanesh Fulgrim and Nurgle Mortarion. Pertarbo and Lorgar are the only other two Traitor Primarchs surviving in the present game setting, and both have been elevated to Daemon Prince status too, though neither have seen models. (And while I’m on the subject of Primarch models, Leman Russ is the only Imperial Primarch to have had one. Oh, and Lion El’Jonson’s Lion Helm comes with the Azrael model. Oh, and one of Horus’ Lightning Claws now belongs to Abbadon. I digress.)

The classic ‘Eavy Metal Magnus the Red is of course blue. It was painted blue by Jay Tanner presumably because blue is Tzeentch’s singature colour, and Mr. Tanner decided that the Red meant that in fact he was a ginger. Cap’n Facebeard of Warseer beautifully points out the 1992 studio colours “made him look like a 90s cartoon villain. You were always waiting for the Ninja Turtles to foil him.” It is so bizarre that during Games Workshop’s Red Era they decided not to paint Magnus the Red actual red.

Magnus the Red, Daemon Primarch of the Thousand Sons of Mangus

With the Horus Heresy series of books it’s stated that Magnus the Red had red skin. And instead of being a goofy Harryhausen Cyclops he has a one normal eye and an eyeless sockect. I will explain away all these differences by saying Tzeentch changed Magnus’ appearence when he elevated him to daemonhood.

I decided to paint my Magnus with pinky red skin akin to some of my Pink Horrors, as I felt bright red skin would make him look Khornate. And I decided my Magnus would also be a redhead with matching orangey wings. I wanted to do his vambraces copper, but that was too many similar colours on one model.

And, to be honest, goofy as this model is it’s also sculpted in a cockingly awful fashion. See his right leg? It’s just a weird amorphous blob I despaired at painting. The back of the model looks like an afterthought. And what’s going on with his giant head, and gibbon arms? It’s either a Jes Goodwin or Colin Dixon sculpt, and I’m hoping it’s Colin Dixon as he’d just started out at the company. I fancy doing one in the blue scheme at some point.

Alternative Blood Bowl Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaur

One more of my Gaspez Arts Chaos Dwarf Blood Bowlers.

Blood Bowl Chaos Dwarf Bull Centaur

This guy’s had some minor conversion work to him. I didn’t attach the shoulder horns that came as seperate pieces, and filed down their mountings. I figured the model’ll be on its side so often that delicate pieces will quickly snap off. Similarily, I bent the tail around in a u shape and glued it to the side of the leg for added stability. It’s already chipped and come off after just three games. Pinning and epoxy repairs are in order, but it’s hidden in the photo.

Problem with this model is that you can only lie it down sideways. Makes it difficult to work out whether it’s knocked down or stunned in gaming terms. But there’s only one of them on the team at the moment so it’s not something you can forget too easily. I want a second since the team’s composed largely of cheap Hobgoblins. With their high movement, Sprint and Sure Feet these guys can pretty much power their way through the opposition and score if you’re lucky enough to have them get a hold of the ball. Which is difficult thanks to their low agility.

I’m going to treat myself to some support staff models after I’ve finished the team. Gaspez‘ve got a lovely Spaghetti Goblin, and a Pizza Goblin. Dammit, and they’ve ust released some little fantasy football lizards they’ve painted in beautiful bright colours.

Gaspez Arts Camaleonti