Gary Kwan - Khorne

The Brotherhood of the Pit

by Gary Kwan

I'm weak. Soooo weak. It didn't even take Matt one whole Thursday gaming night to convince me to join the Cults of Chaos project. Of course, it didn't take him all that much arm-bending to bring me over to the dark side. I think the exact words he used were: "Yeah, themed army project," and "there's an extra spot if you want in."

So with my all Goblin Wolfrider army taking a backseat once again (I've been talking about it at the club since I first joined up about three years ago. I've got half of it assembled at least, eep...), I hopped aboard. I plan to use this army as my springboard into the Fantasy side of the GW gaming-verse. Luckily, the extra spot called for a Khorne cult army, so for the total newbie that I am, I can skip learning about spellcasting for the time being. Of course, being me I can't do anything simple, so I went and came up with an army list of 69 miniatures, which I'm told could work and possibly win with but after some convincing I scrapped it for one that had a much more forgiving learning curve.

The plan for the Cults group project is to use those troops, like Marauders, that are regularly passed up by most Chaos players in favor of more sexier, game-winning choices. So I decided to use the one choice that's even more avoided than the Marauder, the mighty but over-priced infantry Chaos Warrior. My first list was built around two big units of these guys hence the low body count. With not much points for anything else, the other half of my army consisted of Warhounds and Flesh Hounds and my general, which was great because it all neatly tied into the theme I had in mind at the time and with only three months until Baltimore, 69 models was something I could pull off (I promised myself that I wouldn't be frantically painting the night before the first game as I had done for my last two GTs).

But my Warrior and Hound army didn't fit well with the other group armies that were comprised of hordes and hordes of Marauders, so I went back to the drawing board. Out went my old theme and my Warrior units were slimmed down dramatically, the saved points re-spent on some more durable Marauder meat-screens and two much needed multi-wound units. And a new and better theme came out of it and thus, the Brotherhood of the Pit was born.

Somehow I can't see a cult devoted to Khorne remaining undiscovered or able to keep their bloodthirtsy nature in check for years and years inside a fantasy city setting. John Bianchi, the other Khorne general of the group, came up with a great background for his army, the Cult of the Mamertines, to explain how his army fits in and from that I got a good idea of how I could start with my army's background.

Enter the movie "Gladiator". A beloved general robbed of his command, sold into the slavery and forced to battle in the Coliseum of Rome for the perverse entertainment of the general populace. While I didn't adopted the Russell Crowe character, the idea of gladiators and their bloody sport more than adequately explained for me how a Khorne cult can exist and survive in a Fantasy city setting.

The Brotherhood of the Pit is made up of the most vicious and victorious gladiators, pit fighters, and 'tamed' monster attractions all fighting for the favor of or maybe even a title shot at the Blood God Khorne, in his incarnation of my daemon prince, an once legendary, undefeated master champion of the Coliseum and shadowy pit-fight underworld. Simple, huh?

My Chaos Warriors will be modelled as the heavy fighters of the arena and the Marauders as the unarmored gladiator fodder. An unit of Chaos Ogres and another of Minotaurs will serve as some of the arena's more exotic crowd pulls. And what's a Coliseum without chariots? Gotta have 'em. Throw in some hounds for those dogfight afficinandos, and viola, a Khorne cult army.

Here's my working list:

Lord & Heroes
Daemon Prince
Master of Mortals, Soul Hunger, Blade of the Ether, Mark of Khorne, Armor of Khorne

I plan to hack up the Wood Elf special character Orion miniature with my trusty mini-saw and reassemble it as my 'general'. By cutting away the flowing lioncloth and any vestige of Wood Elf affiliation, repositioning the legs, adding taloned feet and thin plasticard armor plates, and more appropriate Khorney bits, this will be the centerpiece of my army. Though I'm not quite sure on how to represent the wings yet, when I'm done with this piece, I don't think anyone will recognize its origin.
Core Units
2 units of 10 Chaos Warriors with musicians and standards,
one with halberds, the either with axes and shields

Sadly the new Chaos Warrior plastic kit won't be available in time for the Baltimore GT next year, so I'm left with the current and very old plastic set which is universally despised by nearly every GW player I know. Initially I passed on using these models and tried to come up with my own recipe for assembling a credible Warrior with bits from both the 40K and Fantasy genres. But nothing worked out too well, so I came back to the Warrior kit and resigned myself to using the sprues. Luckily though, Matt Birdoff had the same problem about a year ago and he developed his own unique style of working with the kit and making the Warriors look a hundred times better. So I'm adopting his ideas and I think everything will turn out okay, despite the fact that not only are the parts a bit too comical for my tastes but getting all of the models to 'rank up' is an absolute nightmare. One has to wonder why GW hasn't redesigned these guys sooner... oh yeah, nobody uses them, hmmmmmm...

2 Chariots with the Mark of Khorne
I haven't quite figured how how to tie these models in visually with the army theme yet.

2 units of Marauders, one with shields, the other with flails, musician, standard (why oh why, can't they have 2 hand weapons???)
These guys will be the stock Marauders straight out of the box, but with some more variety in weaponry and flails with no wooden hafts.

4 units of 5 Chaos Warhounds
Though I absolutely love the new models for the Warhounds, I refuse to shell out $80+ dollars for 20 models worth only 120 points, especially when there's a much cheaper alternative: the 40K Tyranid Gaunt plastic kit! With some converting and creative putty work, two boxes of Gaunts will give me the same amount of models with more than enough left over to also fill out my Flesh Hounds units (see below).
Special Units
2 units of 5 Flesh Hounds
The new Flesh Hounds, in my opinion, are one of the few disappointments to an otherwise great redesign of the Chaos miniatures range. Besides the prohibitive dollar cost of the models, I just can't see how I can field units of daemons that can't even bite you without dislocating their jaws first. No wonder these sabertoothed puppies look so emaciated. Nope, converted Gaunts is the way to go for me.

3 Chaos Ogres with great weapons
Oh yeah! The revised Empire army book may have ditched these bad boys but you can't keep a badass Ogre down. Using some of the older GW Ogre models, I'll add some more musculature with putty and some nasty spiky armor and big bladed weapons as befitting the kings of the ring.

3 Minotaurs with great weapons and the Mark of Khorne
The new Minotaurs are just too good to pass up, so three will be added with a few bits thrown in to meld them into the army theme.

As for my display base, I'm planning on most of it being dominated by an abandoned and crumbling section of a gladiator coliseum and my miniatures arranged in mock battles with each other, all presided over by the daemon prince.

As to the just announced 2004 GT rule of modelling three additional messenger models, I'll have to think about that. There's really not much of a need for communicating when the only message you've got is: "Blood for the Blood God!" followed by a swift decapitation. So all I've got to do now is get down to some serious converting and painting. See you all next month!

Created by: system. Last Modification: Monday 26 of January, 2009 12:44:02 AM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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