Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Battle of Heffengen - Part 2

This post is part 2 of the report on the Battle of Heffengen. You can read part 1 here.

Before we continue, I should mention that there are a great many characters involved in this game, however most of them are moving as part of larger units, and so I didn't note them down. There was also a Tzeentch sorcerer kicking about on a flying disc who I didn’t bother to track (because, you know, priorities). You’ll just have to bear with me and accept that some of the detail didn’t make it onto the maps.

Chaos Turn 2
Chaos Turn 2
Time to engage

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Scratch-built Soul Grinder of Slaanesh and Cancon preparations

Cancon is almost upon us, and I suspect a lot of us are scrambling a bit to make sure we're ready. I delayed writing an army list as long as possible for this event, as the Swedish comp pack, whilst a necessary evil for an event like this (120+ players), completely kills what joy I find in making armies. I considered a few things that I might like to try running, but most of them wouldn't work properly under Swedish, largely due to their hating on unit sizes beyond about 40 infantry.

In the end I tried something a bit different and wrote a Daemons of Chaos list. I have Ben's Daemons kicking around my house, and I figured I might as well look at using them. A few of the sillier people who know me started referring to me as "Greg of Slaanesh" for reasons that aren't really worth explaining (nothing exciting or kinky), so I decided to embrace the tag and take a Slaanesh-heavy army. This has the added benefit that I actually painted all of Ben's Slaaneshi Daemons some years ago, so despite the army not belonging to me, most of it would still be my handiwork.

I didn't think too hard about the composition of the army. I knew what stuff was available, knew I wanted lots of Slaanesh stuff, and went from there. They I checked my Swedish score, decided it was acceptable (despite it being pointed out to me after I submitted it that I had calculated it wrong), and it was a done deal. Here is what I will be using:

  • Keeper of Secrets (Level 4, Lore of Shadow) with 2 Greater Gifts
  • Herald of Slaanesh with Battle Standard; Greater Locus of Swiftness, Lesser Gift
  • 23 Daemonettes of Slaanesh with Full Command
  • 18 Bloodletters of Khorne with Full Command, Banner of Swiftness
  • 10 Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (Level 1, Lore of Tzeentch)
  • 5 Seekers of Slaanesh
  • 6 Fiends of Slaanesh
  • 2 Beasts of Nurgle (in 1 unit)
  • Soul Grinder of Slaanesh with Daemonbone Claw, Phlegm Bombardment

The list is a 14.7 in Swedish, where Cancon is using a range from 10-16. Most people have aimed for high comp, because you look at the difference between the comp scores of the 2 lists and multiple it by 150 for a VP bonus to the higher score. That could add up quickly. I could find myself giving up nearly 200 VPs to a maximum comp list, but that's acceptable.

Anyway, with the list dealt with, I just had to make sure the army was ready to go. This meant rebasing some of the monstrous beasts that were on incorrect base sizes according to the Swedish FAQ, finishing 5 half-painted Horrors, and doing something about the Herald BSB (hopefully making use of an existing painted model). Oh, and Ben doesn't have a Soul Grinder.

This last one promised to be a bit of a hurdle, since I had no intention of going out and buying a Soul Grinder for over $100 for a single tournament. I decided I could make one, and thankfully Pete stepped in with his 3D printer to help out. Using my descriptions, my mock-ups in Sketch Up and some slightly dreadful-sounding software where he draws everything by inputting coordinates and dimensions using code (apparently only noobs need to see the picture they're drawing), he was able to produce all the bits for the lower part of the model for me, include all of the mechanical bits.
That there is totally a Soul Grinder. Or part of one. Or it will be...
I then set about pinning and gluing it all together, making a base out of MDF, and sculpting the upper part of the model using green stuff. It took a couple of sessions, but eventually I came up with something that more or less matched the image I had in my head.
Here is the WIP model, before she got some final attention to try to clean up some details.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Battle of Heffengen - Part 1

Welcome to the first part of our battle report recreating the Battle of Heffengen from the End Times: Nagash source book. This was a 40,000 point per side game, with 8 players. We had 2 photographers, 2 scribes fighting over the same Google Doc on separate computers, and several others on hand to help and distract as needed.

As with the previous large battle reports of Hel Fenn and Finuval Plain, I will present the game in a narrative style, covering the important events of the game in the story. Hopefully it won’t be too hard to follow (or take too long to read).

This time I have also included the bullet point notes taken during the game, down the bottom of the page. So if you don't want to read the story, you can go down there and get confused. Good luck.


The situation was desperate. The great Auric Bastion to the north had been breached, and a Chaos horde now rampaged through the Empire. The Emperor was scrambling to muster a defence. The hastily assembled force was mighty indeed, however it was by no means guaranteed to be enough to halt the enemy’s advance. Karl Franz knew  this, but he also knew that he was out of time. They could wait for no more reinforcements; they had to make their stand. The battle would take place a mile north of the city of Heffengen, on the banks of the river Revesnacht.

The Empire army had been in position for less than a day when the Chaos tide was upon them. Rain had been descending in a constant drizzle, dampening spirits and turning the fields to mud. There was little grass to be seen now, with the damp weather and oppressive lack of sunlight becoming a regular feature in these generally dark times.

The Empire forces were already arrayed for battle as the enemy approached. A stream of scouts and refugees had given them ample warning of what was coming. The Emperor stood upon a low hill behind the centre of the line, his hand idly stroking Deathclaw’s feathered head. The mighty griffon rested next to him, glaring toward the horizon as the Chaos legions advanced. Doubtless his keen eyesight could make out far more than the humans waiting anxiously around him.

Kurt Helborg, Grand Master of the Reiksguard and Marshall of the Empire’s armies, strode up the hill toward Karl Franz. “My lord, the army stands ready.” He hesitated slightly before contining hurriedly, “I would ask you again my lord, please reconsider your position. It’s not safe to fight from the back of a beast such as this,” he gestured toward Deathclaw, who finally turned his gaze from the distance to glare at the presumptuous, outrageously moustached human instead. Helborg pressed on, “It is the duty of the Reiksguard to protect the Emperor. We cannot do this if you are out of our reach.”

“We have had this discussion already, Master Helborg. Nowhere on a battlefield is truly safe, and I prefer the vantage point that Deathclaw provides. He has protected me in countless battles before,” Karl Franz continued to distractedly scratch the griffon’s head, whose expression seemed to Kurt to become somehow smug as he continued to stare at the leader of the Emperor’s bodyguard. Helborg opened his mouth to continue his protest, but Karl Franz finally turned to look directly at him and stifled his protests with a raised hand. “The other commanders are ready to report,“ he said.

General Gotfrei Talb of Ostermark and Garrat Mecke, Lord General of Talabheim, arrived simultaneously from either direction, dismounting as they approached. Talb was a no-nonsense man who Karl Franz knew would command dutifully and bravely. He bowed briefly before reporting, “My lord, the east flank stands ready. The river anchors our flank, and the Ogre mercenaries are prepared. The priest Luthor Huss assures me that the doom-seeking fanatics in the front lines will give the enemy hell.”

Mecke was slightly less efficient in his presentation, clearly revelling in this opportunity to display his credentials for the vacant position of Elector Count of Talabecland. “My lord, the assembled soldiery of Talabheim stands ready on the western flank. The artillery and ranged troops are arranged to make maximum use of the hills, and my troops stand ready to crush these Chaos upstarts with a series of counter-charges of my devising. I assure you, the west flank is in capable hands.” 

He looked set to continue, but the Emperor cut him off, “Thank you, generals. I’m certain the battle preparations are well in hand. You’d best return to your positions, however,” he said with a quick glance at the enemy lines, which seemed to be approaching at pace.  “I don’t think we will have long to wait.”


Gurug’ath, Great Unclean One of Nurgle and Baron of the 6th Pestilential Circle, chuckled happily as he hauled his immense, grotesque bulk toward the waiting lines of Empire soldiers. Legions of daemons surrounded him, and his forces stretched almost out of sight to the east and west as they formed a line of battle, even as they advanced. There would be no pause before the opening of hostilities, no calm before the storm. The Chaos forces had spent far too long pent up behind the humans’ bastion to the north, and Gurug’ath himself had spent months trapped within the very fabric of the wall. The frustration had been overwhelming for all of them, and the swathe of destruction they had carved as they rampaged south had done little to assuage their irritation.

The coming battle looked promising, however. Nurgle whispered constantly in Gurug’ath’s rotting ear. The human emperor would command the coming battle, and victory here would leave an open path into the Empire’s undefended interior. Thousands of disgustingly healthy humans awaited the pestilential gifts that Gurug’ath would generously bestow. Whole cities would receive from Nurgle’s wondrous bounty of plague and disease. It would be beautiful.

Gurug’ath could hardly contain his joy at the promise of what lay ahead, but first there needed to be a reckoning. His pride demanded it. He had spent months trapped within the Auric Bastion, and it had been very, very boring. Someone would pay for wasting so much of his time, and the leader of the human Empire would suit well enough.

“The human Emperor is mine to toy with,” he boomed in a deep, reverberating voice. “None shall touch him but me. You can have your fun with his followers instead, my children.” He looked around him at the hundreds of deamons leaping, shambling and crawling towards their human victims. He could tell they were almost as excited as he was.

The Armies

Gurug'ath's Chaos Horde

  • GUO Gurug'ath, Exalted Great Unclean One
  • Blood1 60 Bloodletters
  • PB1 50 Plaguebearers
  • PB2 50 Plaguebearers
  • Gor 60 Gor
  • CWoS 46 Chaos Warriors of Slaanesh
  • Chos1 40 Chosen of Nurgle
  • CWoN1 40 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle
  • Hor1 40 Horrors
  • Mar 40 Marauders
  • CKoN 20 Chaos Knights of Nurgle
  • CKoT 20 Chaos Knights of Tzeentch
  • CWoK1 30 Chaos Warriors of Khorne
  • Chos2 30 Chosen
  • DO 9 Dragon Ogres
  • Troll1 16 Trolls
  • Mino1 14 Minotaurs
  • Mino2 12 Minotaurs
  • Beast1 12 Beasts of Nurgle
  • Crush1 6 Skullcrushers
  • Crush2 6 Skullcrushers
  • OgreK 10 Chaos Ogres of Khorne
  • Ogre 10 Chaos Ogres
  • CWoN2 30 Chaos Warriors of Nurgle
  • Pest 30 Pestigor
  • CW1 30 Chaos Warriors
  • CW2 30 Chaos Warriors
  • CKoK 13 Chaos Knights of Khorne
  • HC1 Hellcannon
  • HC2 Hellcannon
  • HC3 Hellcannon
  • HC4 Hellcannon
  • SG1 Soulgrinder
  • SG2 Soulgrinder
  • MoK 32 Marauders of Khorne
  • MoN 30 Marauders of Nurgle
  • M1 25 Marauders
  • Beast2 8 Beasts of Nurgle
  • Dog1 18 Chaos Hounds
  • Dog2 10 Chaos Hounds
  • Dog3 13 Chaos Hounds
  • Nurg 12 Nurglings
  • Drone 6 Plaguedrones
  • Cm1 through to Cm7 Chimeras
  • C1 through to C16 Chariots
  • G1 through to G4 Giants
  • Shag Shaggoth
  • Raz 3 Razorgor
  • Un 24 Ungor
  • Blood2 4 Bloodcrushers
  • Troll2 6 Trolls
  • MH 5 Marauder Horsemen
  • CKoS 10 Chaos Knights of Slaanesh
  • SC1 Skullcannon
  • SC2 Skullcannon
  • FH 10 Flesh Hounds
  • DPoS Daemon Prince of Slaanesh
  • DPoN1 Daemon Prince of Nurgle
  • DPoN2 BONUS Daemon Prince of Nurgle
  • Blood3 28 Bloodletters
  • D 20 Daemonettes
  • Beast3 5 Beasts of Nurgle
  • Fskn1 20 Forsaken
  • Fskn2 14 Forsaken
  • F 15 Furies
  • CWoK2 24 Chaos Warriors of Khorne
  • CWoT1 25 Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch
  • M2 24 Marauders
  • CWoT2 18 Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch
  • CWoK3 18 Chaos Warriors of Khorne
  • Chos3 18 Chosen of Nurgle
  • Fskn3 21 Forsaken
  • Hor2 20 Horrors
  • PB3 20 Plaguebearers
  • WS Warshrine

Karl Franz's Empire Defenders

  • KF Karl Franz on Deathclaw
  • WWolf 60 White Wolves
  • ICK1 40 Inner Circle Knights
  • ICK2 40 Inner Circle Knights
  • Hal1 72 Halberdiers
  • Hal2 60 Halberdiers
  • Hal3 60 Halberdiers
  • Great1 60 Greatswords
  • Sword1 50 Swordsmen
  • Flag1 50 Flagellants
  • Flag2 60 Flagellants
  • Reik1 32 Reiksguard
  • Demi1 10 Demigryphs
  • Demi2 9 Demigryphs
  • Ogre 18 Ogres
  • IGut 13 Ironguts
  • MF 4 Mournfangs
  • Flag3 30 Flagellants
  • Flag4 40 Flagellants
  • Demi3 5 Demigryphs
  • Demi4 3 Demigryphs
  • Sp 40 Spearmen
  • Sw1 40 Swordsmen
  • Sw2 40 Swordsmen
  • Great2 35 Greatswords
  • Great3 36 Greatswords
  • Hal4 35 Halberdiers
  • LB1 4 Leadbelchers
  • LB2 3 Leadbelchers
  • Sword2 35 Swordsmen
  • FC 30 Free Company
  • HG1 30 Handgunners
  • HG2 20 Handgunners
  • HG3 20 Handgunners
  • HG4 20 Handgunners
  • XBow1 20 Crossbowmen
  • XBow2 19 Crossbowmen
  • XBow3 16 Crossbowmen
  • Reik2 16 Reiksguard
  • Sword3 19 Swordsmen
  • Great4 20 Greatswords
  • Ar1 21 Archers
  • Ar2 20 Archers
  • Ar3 10 Archers
  • HG5 12 Handgunners
  • HG6 10 Handgunners
  • K1 14 Knights
  • K2 10 Knights
  • Pst1 12 Pistoliers
  • Pst2 5 Pistoliers
  • Pst3 5 Pistoliers
  • Pst4 5 Pistoliers
  • Pst5 5 Pistoliers
  • Out1 5 Outriders
  • Out2 5 Outriders
  • GC1 through to GC8 Great Cannons
  • M1 through to M4 Mortars
  • HRB1 through to HRB3 Hellstorm Rocket Batteries
  • VG1 through to VG6 Volley Guns
  • WA War Altar
  • ST1 through to ST5 Steam Tanks
  • Hur1 through to Hur3 Celestial Hurricanums
  • Lum Luminark
  • Grf1 through to Grf4 Generals on Griffons
  • Peg1 through to Peg5 Captains on Pegasus
  • Ar4 8 Archers

Both sides are deployed. We didn't even bother with a screen. Everyone was so busy placing things that nobody cared what was going on over the other side.
Right there is about 70,000 points of models, another cameraman and an elbow...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Preparing Heffengen

The title here might be a bit misleading, given that the Battle of Heffengen has already happened. However, I had no time to post anything to the blog in the lead-up to it, and the report of the game is still very much a work in progress. So this post kind of serves 2 purposes - covering what was done in the lead-up to the game itself, and the fact that I'm still working on the report.

The end of December was a mad dash to try to prepare for the game. I had committed to getting my regiment of 60 Greatswords ready, and I also needed to paint up Baltasar Gelt. It's possible I was still painting Gelt at midnight on New Years Eve, although in my defence I was doing it at a party. I am wild like that. Party hard, dude. Paintbrushes akimbo.
60 Greatswords, all dressed up and ready to go.