Friday, October 29, 2010

The Cost of the Army

Time to count pennies.

When I start to collect any army, I like to have an idea of how much it's going to cost to get to the point total I want. This is my hobby after all, if shouldn't bankrupt me. :) If it's too much, I can either tweak the armylist to remove the more expensive choices (which I can bring in later once the initial army is built), or lower my expectations of how fast I can pull it together.

This army is resonably expensive as I'm going the extra mile to bring in conversion bitz from Forgeworld and The War Store to give the army that extra bit of bling. I've tried to limit the cost somewhat by keeping the number of transports to a minimum.

Here's the break down of all the boxes and bitz I'm going to need, and where they're going to be sourced.

     Cost  Number Conversion           Total
Games Workshop

Bloodcrushers $64.50 1 1 $64.50
Berzerkers $39.50 3 1 $118.50
CSM $44.75 2 1 $89.50
Kharn the Betrayer $25.00 1 1 $25.00
CSM Rhino $39.50 2 1 $79.00
CSM Possessed $35.75 1 1 $35.75



Blood Slaughterer £42.00 1 1.61291 $67.74
Lord Zhufor £18.00 1 1.61291 $29.03
World Eaters Conversion Set £20.00 2 1.61291 $64.52
World Eaters Rhino Doors £10.00 2 1.61291 $32.26
Etched Brass Khorne Symbols £9.00 1 1.61291 $14.52
Renegade Militia Enforcers £12.00 1 1.61291 $19.35
Renegade Militia Weapon Arms £12.00 1 1.61291 $19.35


Dragon Forge (Parched Earth Set)

80 mm Large Round Base $7.50 1 1.03134 $7.74
60mm Large Round Base $5.00 3 1.03134 $5.16
40 mm Round Base (5) $7.50 1 1.03134 $7.74
25 mm Round Base (10) $10.00 6 1.03134 $61.88


The War Store

Chaos Knight Mace Rarm Bit $1.99 1 1.03134 $2.05
Chaos Terminator Trophy Racks (10) $2.99 1 1.03134 $3.08
Chaos Knight Shield w/Arms (5) $5.99 1 1.03134 $6.18
Chaos Knight Chamption Shield $0.99 1 1.03134 $1.02
Khorne Berzerker Shoulder Pads $6.99 2 1.03134 $14.42
Chaos Knight R CCW Blades (3) $2.49 1 1.03134 $2.57
Chaos Marines Power Sword Bit $1.29 3 1.03134 $3.99
Chaos Marines Pointy Power Fist $5.99 2 1.03134 $12.36



Chaos Champion Bits $8.50 4 1.03134 $35.07


Total: $822.27 

There'll be a little bit extra in there for shipping fees, and I might be able to trim some off the top by using an online retailer for the GW boxes, but this is the initial estimate. Like I said, fairly expensive... but I think the extra cost will be worth it for their amazing look!

Based on a budget of about $100/month, it'll take me about 8 months to get all the components of the army assembled. If I'm smart about the way I order everything, I should be able to start construction and painting early on and have the army constructed (if not completely painted) shortly thereafter. So... that means I should have all the parts by the end of June, and have the army painted in time for the fall tournament season next year.

Time to start purchasing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Target Army List

I've been doing a lot of futzing in Army Builder recently in an attempt to come up with a fun, characterful and yet competative army list. A tall order, I know! My self-imposed limit on long range weapons is going to hurt the competitive side of this army, but I've tried to compensate by making the units I do take as nasty as possible.

After many revisions, here's the 2000pt list I've settled on:

Wolf Lord (Runic Armour; Wolf Tail Talisman; Wolftooth Necklace; Thunderwolf Mount; Frost Weapon; Storm Shield; Rending in CC only; Saga of the Warrior Born)
Wolf Priest (Melta Bombs; Wolftooth Necklace)
Lone Wolf (Mark of the Wulfen; Storm Shield; Thunder Hammer)
15 Blood Claws Pack (Meltagun x2; Power Fist)
15 Blood Claws Pack (Meltagun x2; Power Fist)
10-Man Grey Hunters Pack (Mark of the Wulfen; Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Fist; Rhino)
10-Man Grey Hunters Pack (Mark of the Wulfen; Wolf Standard; Meltagun; Power Fist; Rhino)
3-Man Wolf Guard Pack (Power Weapon x3)
1-Man Thunderwolf Cavalry (Storm Shield; Frost Weapon)
1-Man Thunderwolf Cavalry (Storm Shield; Frost Weapon)
1-Man Thunderwolf Cavalry (Storm Shield; Frost Weapon)
5-Man Wolf Scouts (Mark of the Wulfen; Melta Bombs; Power Weapon x2; Meltagun)

I'm planning to run this army a little like Tyranids - freak people out with the crazy large monsters so they leave the foot troops alone until it is too late. All of my solo scary guys have storm shields, which will really help them weather the initial rounds of shooting. They also have high-strength weapons which should make them a threat to anything (vehicles and monsterous creatures included).

The game plan:
- The wolf guard will get assigned to the grey hunters and the wolf scouts
- The blood claws on foot will likely move up together, with one unit stretched out to provide cover for the other. The front unit will initially have the wolf priest attached so that it won't break and run (and thus expose the unit behind). Once they get close to the enemy, the priest will switch to the larger rear unit for the assault.
- The grey hunters will move around to take objectives and provide mobile LOS blocking for my big guys (if neccessary)
- The wolf scounts will (hopefully) come in from the far table edge to supress any firing bases/artillery
- The big guys will walk into the teeth of the enemy and pound them into submission!
A simple plan for now, but these guys are devoted to Khorne, after all. :) 

There are plenty of alternatives that I've been considering, and I may experiment with them after I've had a couple of games to get familiar with how this list plays. One simplest modification would be to swap out one unit of blood claws for a land raider crusader to transport the remaining unit of blood claws and the wolf priest. While it would drop my model count significantly, it might be worth it to improve the survivability and time-to-target for the blood claws. A big change would be to replace the blood claws with a large squad (or two) of wolf guard to really bring the close combat pain.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bitz Budgeting

I've been busy generating a lot of armylists the last little while - I'm having a hard time nailing down exactly how I think a Khorne army should be constructed. I've also never run an infantry-heavy marine list, so there's a lot of uncertainty there as far as what would actually be effective. The problem with this list-flux is that I'm trying to get an estimated budget in place for the final armylist, and each change to the list (especially the unit upgrades) changes the shopping list. Bah.

Games Workshop does a pretty good job of supplying a range of weapon upgrades with its plastic kits, but it can get really irritating when they do not provide enough of a given upgrade. For example, meltaguns are very popular (and quite effective) right now, but they often come only one to a box. If you want two per squad, you're either out of luck or have to hit eBay or the bitz sellers.

The bulk of my foot forces are going to be constructed from the Knorne Berzerker and Chaos Space Marine box sets. Unfortunately, the Berzerker kit does not have weapon upgrades of any kind. The Chaos Space Marine set has some upgrades, but only one each of meltagun, plasmagun, flamer, powerfist, power weapon and banner. I don't think any of the other box sets I'm getting will have anything appropriate, so I'll definitely be short what I need. The question is: how short?

Let's use my most recent (and rough) armylist as a starting point:
15-man Blood Claw, meltagun, flamer, powerfist
15-man Blood Claw, meltagun, flamer, powerfist
9-man Grey Hunter, meltagun, powerfist, wolf standard
9-man Grey Hunter, meltagun, powerfist, wolf standard
3-man Wolf Guard, 3xpower weapon
Thunderwolf Cav, frost blade, storm shield
Thunderwolf Cav, frost blade, storm shield
Thunderwolf Cav, frost blade, storm shield
Lone Wolf, thunder hammer, storm shield

Here's the list of bitz I'll need, based on the above. I'll assume, for now, that I'll be constructing the majority of this list from 3 boxes of Berzerkers and 2 boxes of CSM.

Meltagun: 5 (Blood Clawsx2, Grey Huntersx2, Wolf Scoutsx1)
- only 2 from the CSMs so 3 short
Flamer: 2 (Blood Clawsx2)
- 2 from the CSM so got enough
Power Fist: 4 (Blood Clawsx2, Grey Huntersx2)
- 2 from the CSM so 2 short
Power Weapons: 5 (Wolf Guardx3, Wolf Scoutsx2)
- 2 from the CSM so 3 short
Frost Weapons: 3 (Thuderwolf Cavalryx3)
- nothing spplicable, so 3 short
Storm Shield: 4 (Thunderwolf Cavalryx3, Lone Wolfx1)
- the current CSM range doesn't include storm shields so I don't have any of these
Thunder Hammer: 1 (Lone Wolfx1)
- nothing applicable in the box sets so 1 short
Wolf Standard: 2 (Grey Huntersx2)
- 2 from the CSM so got enough

A bit of a mixed bag, really - I've got enough for a couple of the items, but I'm definitely short on the rest. The War Store is my bitz supplier of choice, so let's see what they've got available that can fill in the blanks.

- CSM Meltagun for $7.49US each. Ouch.
Power Fist:
- 2 Chaos Terminator Power Fists for $3.99US
Power Weapon:
- Chaos Knights Possessed Daemon Sword for $1.99US each
- Chaos Knights Champion Daemon Sword for $2.99US each
Frost Weapon:
- 3 Chaos Knights CCW Blades for $2.49US
Storm Shield:
- Chaos Knights Champion Shield for $.99US
- 5 Chaos Knights Shield With Arms for $5.99US
Thunder Hammer:
- Chaos Terminator Power Mace for $2.99US

Most of my needs can be filled in at fairly reasonable prices. The total cost for these extra bits comes in at $44US, more than half of which is for the meltaguns alone. For now I'll plan on ordering everything except for the meltaguns, and scour eBay and other bitz sellers for those for the next few months to see if I can swing a deal. For today's budgeting purposes, tho, at least I have an idea of where I stand.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Scouts: Do They Make The Cut?

I've been torn as to whether or not to include wolf scouts in my list. First of all, there are no models for them, so anything I do will have to be converted up. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, I've had a tough time justifying them thematically - are they Khorne-y (Khorne-ish? Khorne-esque?) enough?

I've hemmed and hawed the last couple of days over them, but I've finally decided to include them. I'm already going to be limiting this army a fair bit by so strictly limiting any long range firepower. To leave out scouts as well would remove the only sneaky option I have available. I mean, I want to keep this army fluffy, but I don't exactly want to allow all comers to walk over me either.

Thematic justifications aside, however, the thing that tipped the scales was that I found the base model for the unit: Forgeworld's Renegade Militia Enforcers. The look sort of like scouts, and they have a skull helmet that quite closely matches that worn by the berzerkers. I'll probably pick up the Renegade Weapon Arm set as well, so that I can get the poses and weapon load-out I want.

I'm glad that's sorted out... now I've got to figure out what my army list is going to look like.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Constructing the World Eaters

The challenge for this army is creating something that looks distinctively like World Easters, but has a enough of a variety of models that it's not boring. The only real World Eater units that GW produces is the Khorne Berzerkers, and that's just not enough. The key is going to be bringing in as many bitz and pieces from other sources to make each unit type distintive and interesting.

Blood Claws
These units are going to use the easiest, as they'll be using the GW Berzerker models. They have very dynamic poses, which suits the nature of the unit. I might pick up some extra shoulder pads, as I don't intend to use decals and don't really care for shoulder pads that don't have any detail.

Grey Hunters
These models are going to use the standard Chaos Space Marine model as the base. The poses for these are much more solid and static, which again suits the temperment of a unit that has more control over their blood lust. However, I'll convert them up with the bitz from the Forgeworld World Eater Upgrade kit. These upgrades are fantastic, and will add a LOT of character to the models.

Mark of the Wolfen Models
I'm going to be taking models with Marks of the Wolfen as much as I can, simply because it really suits Khorne-y idea of rampaging marines! These models will be based around the Possessed marine models, and they're appropriately bulked up, don't wield the usual weapons and will really stand out from the other models in the unit.

Thunderwolf Cavalry
The conversion possibilities for these models are what really drew me to this whole army concept in the first place. These guys are going to be mounted on Bloodcrushers, and mounted by marines created from leftover bits from the Berzerker, Chaos Space Marine and World Eater Upgrade packs. I'm going to go over the top as much as possible here, to make these guys really distinctive and freaky-looking.

Lone Wolf Terminator
I've already decided that I'm going to have at least one Lone Wolf Terminator in the list, and that decision was forced on me by my discovery of the Lord Zhufor model from Forgeworld. He's amazing, and loaded with World Eater and Khorne icons as well! I'll use the demonic head, and have to convert up a different weapons load-out (as I'm intending to run him with storm shield and thunder hammer rather than the axe and powerfist he comes with), but the base model is just too good to pass up.

Wolf Lord in Thunder Wolf
This unit is going to require no conversion at all. The role of my Wolf Lord will be played by... a Blood Slaughterer model from Forgeworld. This model has everything I love about the Chaos: nasty looking, great details, and huge! It's going to make an exceptional centerpiece for the army, and I'm already itching to get him assembled and painted.

I have a confession to make: I hate bases. I just have no use for flock, and I think my attempts at using making bases myself have been dismal failures. So, I'll be purchasing some resin bases from Dragon Forge to use instead. I've used their bases before for my Space Marine army, and they really look fantastic. I'm leaning towards the Parched Earth set at the moment, but that may change. They're simple but would look good, and the range has all of the various sizes I'll need.

There are also going to be a number of miscellaneous bitz and pieces I'll need, so I'll likely be placing an order with The War Store at some point. I don't think I'll need much (eg extra meltaguns, powerfists, shields from Fantasy Chaos Knihts, etc), but I find it much easier to just place the order than try to scavenge off eBay or other gamers.

It'd be possible to pull this army together for a lot less work (and likely a lot less cost) by passing on these conversions, but this army is going to be primarily about getting the look and feel of the army right. I really want to be able to put this army on the table and have someone say 'holy crap, those guys are going to eat my soul!' It'll take time to save up the funds to get this stuff together, but it'll be worth it once it's ready to go!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Let's Talk About Unit Options

When I imagine a Khorne army, I see a mass of blood-soaked madmen charging across the field and hurling themselves at the enemy. Barely any shooting in sight apart from the traditional bolt pistols. More organized and tactical than orcs, but not exactly subtle! So, what units in the Space Wolves codex seems to fit?

Fortunately for me, both troops selections make sense. Blood Claws represent the more rash/blood-lusty marines, charging headlong at the enemy: extra bonuses on the change, the headstrong rule to drive them into combat. Grey Hunters represent the more calculating marines: using tactical advantages to reap the most skulls.

Some of the elite troops work as well. Wolf Guard fit well, allowing me to put very killy Champions of Khorne in other units. A Lone Wolf could be a rabid marine (or even lesser demon) who doesn't even care if he dies so long as he takes lots of enemies with him. Wolf Scouts? Maybe. Another more tactical unit, we'll see if I can justify it fluff-wise.

Thunderwolf Cav is it, as far as fast attack is concerned. Highly specialized, highly customized, highly killy monsters - what's not to love?

Unfortunately, heavy support is a wash... all of the units are fire support rather than close combat oriented. Ah, well.

There are plenty of HQ options, but I'm going to pass on all of the named characters - I'd rather construct my own. Of the non-named options, I think the Wolf Lord and Wolf Priest will fit the bill. One will be the tooled-up unstoppable killing machine, while the other will be an exalted Chamption of Khorne who whips his followers into a mindless frenzy! Sweet. :)

...And So It Begins

Well, look where my hobby activites have finally brought me - creating a hobby-centric blog, just one more voice desperate for the approval of the masses. :)

I'll be using this space to track the progress of my new 40K army. I'll talk about the list I intend to use, how the build is going, paint schemes, etc. I'll post updates whenever progress is made, no matter how often (or rarely). And, eventually, I'll do some battle reports and discuss options as the army is tuned for more competitive play.

And what is this mystery army, you ask? World Eaters. :)

I got into 40K as a regular hobby about 18 months ago, playing vanilla Marines. And the more I played, the more I was dissatisfied with the troop options. Let's face it, tac marines are a joke - they're priced like specialists, but are the ultimate generalist (which means they fail at everything). I got tired of being slapped around in hand-to-hand by every army out there so I jumped ship at the first opportunity and started to run the army as Blood Angels. That army suited me much better, but it still tended to be very shooty for a supposed close combat specialist army. Finally, I just decided to embrace the marine beat-stick and do a full-on Khorne army!

The Chaos Space Marine codex itself really doesn't interest me. Khorne is really just one of the flavours, and since I'm not particularly interested in running a lot of demons  or shooty units there just wasn't enough choice to satisfy. Instead, I'll be running this army as a counts-as Space Wolf army. Now the basic Space Wolf troops aren't perhaps as nasty as CSM berzerkers, but they're plenty assaulty. The army also very flexible and has a lot of variety, which means lots of opportunity for me to convert stuff up and, later on, tune it for effectiveness.

So there you have it - my statement of intent for this blog. Hopefully this whets your appetite enough for you to check back as things develop. Enjoy!