[Archive] My ideas for Chaingang


Despite the fact that for about the last year I haven�?Tt seen the need for a slave and/or hobgoblin unit or units in my CD list I�?Tm doing, I may now be coming round to the idea.

My initial reasons for not including them were:

  • Fluffwise my CD went to battle to get slaves, not to have them die.

  • I didn�?Tt see the need for meat shield units if you simply had more guns, or a more elite (hard) army!  

  • A meatshield without a decent fluff reason for being there was not in character.

I was thinking today about my list, and how it was lacking something… I couldn�?Tt quite put a finger on it, but I decided it actually lacked unique character.  Sure it had loads of chaos dwarf character already, but some of the entries were there more for variety and interest than for decent fluff (or even tactical reasons).

So I thought in the end what if you took slaves to battle specifically because you wanted all of them to die?  Where their deaths fluffwise would actually make the CD stronger somehow.

What I came up with was this:


* Core unit �?" doesn�?Tt count towards minimum

* 19 slaves and one Slaver per Chaingang (not a chaos dwarf).

* Unbreakable (as in chains) (edit.  or maybe just stubborn)

* Slaver has Ld 7

* Unit is M 4

Special Rules:

* For every 5 Slaves killed the movement of the unit is reduced by 1�?�.

* Sanctified.  Victory points for any slaves killed go towards the owning player (the CD player).

So ideally you�?Td want your enemy to kill as many as possible!  I�?Td have to write a bit of fluff explaining that by dying they are actually helping Hashut and making the CD stronger etc.  I.e.  they�?Tre not just a meat shield where dying has no overall meaning.  That was my main problem fluffwise before.

The points cost would have to be just high enough that they weren’t easy victory points, but not so low that you had loads of them.  Remembering of course that 10 units of really terrible fighters isn’t going to win battles!

Talk about disruption tactics!  You could throw the slave units straight at an enemy.  They will all die, probably without causing any deaths, but in the mean time you can flank the enemy units. Unlike other meatshield units your enemy might have to think twice about attacking them, as however many they killed you’d still get the points!

Edit #2

An interesting variation on the above would be:

* Sanctified.  Victory points for any slaves killed go to the owning player (the CD player).  Victory points for any slaves left alive go to the enemy (calculated at 4 points per model, including the Slaver).

That would really make things tricky! Take too many units and its easy points for the enemy.

Another idea I had was not based on victory points, but somehow generating a useful battlefield result the more slaves killed.  Maybe +1CR for any CD unit within 10�?� for every 10 slaves killed?  Like the deaths of the slaves nearby was actually making the Chaos Dwarfs physically stronger.


I did some work on these earlier.

If you ignore all the above, what I basically came up with is that if 10 or more slaves are killed in a single shooting, magic or close combat phase they will add +1 Combat resolution to one friendly unit within 10" for the remainder of the battle (unit strength 5+).  These can be stacked on a unit by multiple chaingang units.

The chances of 10+ being killed in a single phase is not that rare, but rare enough I think it would be worth including.  It would certainly make people think differently about the meatshield.

I’ve got loads of other small rules about the slaver not accepting challenges, being in the back rank, not having characters join the unit, maximum charge move being 4" (their normal movement), and them not being able to march.  Also they are all stubborn.

The fluff was basically that they are chained together by a hobgoblin slaver, drugged up so they are paranoid/ frenzied/ terrified etc.  The Slaver looks really scary with a daemon mask so they will do whatever it takes to get away from him.  The idea for that bit came from Batman Begins and the Scarecrow :slight_smile:

 The sanctified bit basically means that the CD put a curse on them so no matter how or when they die their dying emotions will empower Hashut > Chaos Dwarfs.

+1CR isn’t that useful really overall, as your flank/ rear may now by exposed by a weak unit being slaughtered.  So IMo it’s not that unbalanced but potentially worthwhile taking.


Veeeeeery interesting… A little complicated but pretty cool. I would have thought frenzy rather than stubborn, I think drugged nutters would either go mental or just run away.

I would have thought CDs would use broken/spent slaves in battle, ie those too far gone or injured/stupid to be useful in any other way. Or maybe slaves who have already tried to escape once before or something? They could even have a chance to betray you if they stray too far from a CD unit :slight_smile: The 4" charge thing is very fluffy, do you find it is practical?

I would also suggest maybe they shouldn’t be able to capture table quarters as they are not a regiment as such? They could be hideously useful otherwise; you could contest a quarter and if your opponent decides to kill the unit you still get 80 VPs back:cheers

I really like the VP-altering idea. I had something similar with a Samurai army list that I wrote, whereby the generals retinue would become unbreakable if he dies but count as slain for victory point purposes from the shame (seppuku time) :cheers


I dislike this idea for the reasons you’ve already suggested, despite initially having Slave Swarms in my armylist.

* Why would my Chaos Dwarfs go slaving to get slaves… and then throw them onto the enemy’s blades?

* Why would my Chaos Dwarfs use slaves as fighters when they have access to superior expendable fighters in the form of Hobgoblin mercenaries?

* Superior fighters that, I might add, do not cost the Chaos Dwarfs if the die. Given that they want paying, this is in fact quite the opposite.

* Also, this brings Chaos Dwarfs too close to Skaven (who do this because Life is Cheap) and even Dark Elves (who are known to do this because, well, it gets them a bit hot).

However, the Sanctified rule is quite interesting. I’d honestly make them a Special Character dependent unit - a particularly bloodthirsty Sorcerer-Priest of Hashut, marking slaves of all creeds with the runes of sacrifice before drugging them and having them driven toward the enemy.