The first half of this month was hectic on the real life front, meaning I barely had time to pick up a paint brush. I did though have time to keep up with what's going on elsewhere in the Oldhammer community, and think about the next project that I could fail to find time to paint...
With hobgoblins being very much a current theme - mine should even make it to the front of the paint queue next month, just in time for Orctober - Gaj's chaos thurauder post sparked my imagination. A lightweight chaos force would be a good substitute for the human side of the Dolgan Raiders scenario from the second Citadel Journal and tick a couple of boxes for me. Not only could I use the first Warhammer scenario I ever played for my Newhammer project, but I'd also have some extra options for my combined orcs and chaos force.
I'll concede that this isn't exactly original, but to me using lots of chaos thugs - as my ally Leromides did in our chaos and orcs versus undead game at BOYL - is a bit of a revelation. To me the whole point of a chaos force is getting to field these chaps -
The models are cool, and they're excellent fighters, but as an embittered orc commander the best thing about them is the lack of animosity, and rock-solid personal characteristics (in wargame terms, at least...). I also have to admit the high points cost is quite attractive when you're trying to assemble an army in the quickest possible time!
But, before I talk myself out of it, may I present ... Gulgan's Raiders.
Guldan - chaos warrior (double handed weapon, protection rune)*
12 beastmen (light armour, shield)†
Steffen - beastmen champion (light armour, shield)
18 thugs (light armour, bow)
Jurgen - chaos marauder (light armour, shield)
3 chaos hounds
Tarak - beastman minor hero (light armour)
Nikolai - human level 2 wizard (5 spells)
As near as I can make out these come within a point or two of the original forces.
* I'm curious why rune weapons were removed between 2nd and 3rd editions (although you could see the case for ditching the Greater Death Rune!). In 3rd edition terms think of this as a cool but expensive way of equipping Guldan in light armour...
† Perhaps these should be thugs as well, but having played lots of WFRP I just can't have a chaos raiders force without beastmen. Plus I've some that I'm itching to paint...
I'm not sure tactically how good the beastmen will be in a fight, given the loss of Static Combat Resolution so beloved by the theorycrafters in moving from a 20 strong unit to only 12. It's also interesting to me to note that none of the units in the Dolgan Raiders scenario nor the later Blood on the Snow have standards - it makes sense in the context of the scenario especially for the former, but I'd not realised until now how much they only became ubiquitous in 3rd edition.
To represent these chaps on the table I nearly have enough beastmen, but only a couple of genuine thug miniatures plus a couple more good proxies for the archers. Instead I plan a mixture of Foundry's Men at Arms and Viking archers, plus some of Warlord Games' Germanic archers for the slightly wilder look.
I'm not sure what to do about the chaos hounds - at some point in the distant past I acquired some AD&D blink dogs for reasons that now escape me, but I'm a bit reluctant to use them as conversion fodder for some reason. So Warlord's mastiff pack might well be the answer there as well.
But first I must concentrate on my previous paint queue, before growing the lead pile!