[Archive] The Legion of Astragoth

Thommy H:

The Legion of Astragoth

The Temple of Hashut, Zharr-Naggrund, IY 2511

Astragoth Ironhand, High Priest of Hashut, studied the missive in his hand from beneath his heavy, furrowed brow. The skin of his hands was already turning greyish and, as he unconsciously flexed the free one that rested on the arm of his obsidian throne, the other Sorcerer Lords present could see the fissures opening in his flesh. The message was written in blood upon leather made from the hide of a slave �?" the faded impression of a tattoo to the honour of one of the four Chaos Gods of the Northmen was still visible �?" and Ghorth, the Sorcerer who had delivered it, watched carefully from one side of the throne. He was amongst the most powerful of those present, and all knew the depth of his ambition, but as yet he wielded no great influence.

“Is this information accurate, Ghorth?” Astragoth asked, his voice thick and rasping. It was said he found it difficult even to breathe now, so advanced were the effects of the Sorcerers’ Curse.

“Of course, lord,” Ghorth answered with a slight bow of his head, “my scouts are reliable.”

“Drazhoath was exiled for a reason,” the High Priest growled, so quietly only Ghorth did not have to strain to hear him, “and the Legion of Azgorh’s charge is to guard the eastern route into the Desolation against incursion by Ogres. Now Drazhoath has allied his forces with some Northman and his horde and they have marched upon the Old World? Upon whose authority? For what reason? Who now defends the Black Fortress?”

“The Black Fortress lies open to assault, lord,” Ghorth said, “and he acted upon his own authority. Drazhoath the Ashen was ever arrogant and prideful. The reason for this insult is known to you too, I think, lord �?” he vies for pre-eminence amongst this Conclave.“

Astragoth’s voice became a roar now. “Pre-eminence?!” He smashed one blunt fist down on the arm of his throne with a sound like a smith’s hammer hitting an anvil. Even before the Curse began to take effect, his epithet was well-earned. “He is in exile! He has no standing! And yet now he goes to the weakling Empire of the Men to forge a legacy. Soon, the name of the Dawi’Zharr will be synonymous with the Legion of Azgorh, and he will return here at the head of a host of Northmen and slaves!”

“Exactly, lord,” Ghorth said, a dark glint in his dull red eyes, “but he is now vulnerable…”

“Yes,” Astragoth murmured, “Black Fortress is undefended, you say?”


“And his supply lines strung out across half the world…”


“Then let Drazhoath the Ashen and the Legion of Azgorh know the wrath of Astragoth Ironhand, High Priest of Hashut and the undisputed lord of Zharr-Naggrund!“

His warcry was taken up by the other Sorcerer Lords present, for few had mourned when Drazhoath was exiled originally. Ghorth however remained silent: he had just laid the foundations of his own rise to power, and he would surpass all of Drazhoath’s attempts to usurp Astragoth. With the High Priest away from Zharr-Naggrund, Ghorth could cement his own influence, for soon he would win the Immortals to his side. Either Astragoth or Drazhoath �?” his two greatest rivals - would be destroyed in this ill-advised conflict and the other would return made even more immobile by the Sorcerers’ Curse, having recklessly abused his arcane power to defeat the other. If it was Astragoth, as it probably would be, he would be almost entirely turned to stone when next he set foot inside the Temple. That is if they didn’t simply annihilate one another…

Yes, let the Legion of Astragoth go to war. It would be Ghorth the Cruel who would be the victor when the dust had settled though.

Eventually, you reach a point where you’re no longer satisfied with some of your models. I started my Chaos Dwarf army over five years ago now, and I’ve learned a lot in all that time. Some of my more recent units I’m quite happy with, but the old stuff doesn’t look great any more, so what I wanted to do was rejuvenate them, by taking the best units and adding new ones. Some of these I’ve showcased before, some are new, and I have a couple of other bits and pieces in the pipeline. I enjoy fitting my collections into army lists, even if I don’t really play Warhammer very often, and an army that can fit into the two different lists that I might conceivably use �?” i.e. the Legion of Azgorh and my own Warhammer: Chaos Dwarfs �?” appeals to me. So this army is compatible with the rules in Tamurkhan and it’s backstory ties into that, with it being a force contemporary with that issued from the Black Fortress in 2510.

Astragoth Ironhand, High Priest of Hashut

Astragoth Ironhand is the oldest and most powerful of the Chaos Dwarf Sorcerer Lords, and a long-time rival of the renegade Drazhoath the Ashen. Still relatively mobile, he nonetheless has found it useful to develop a mechanical harness for moving around the Temple. This campaign will be the first time he has used it in battle.

In my book, Astragoth (albeit a slightly older version) is already a special character. For LoA lists, Astragoth will be a Sorcerer-Prophet with the Dark Mace and the Stone Mantle.

Baggronor the Mighty

Baggronor the Mighty is a vicious Despot hailing from the macabre basalt halls of Uzkulak, the Place of the Skull. Of Astragoth’s clan, he is unswervingly loyal to the High Priest.

A Despot with the Black Iron Deathmask in my list; an Infernal Castellan with Biting Blade and the Mask of the Furnace in LoA.

Cinneron Dhum and Hazzad Flamebeard

Two of Astragoth’s loyal Pyrophants, these lesser Sorcerers do the bidding of the High Priest, assisting him with some of his more complex rituals and providing support of a suitably pyrotechnic nature in battle.

Two Pyrophants in my list, the character type that was built around these exact models, and in LoA they’re Daemonsmiths that use the Lore of Fire.

Azhan Khan

The Scourge of the Steppes, the Green Death, Azhan Khan is a particularly ruthless example of the Hobgoblin race. A mercenary from the east, he has long been in the pay of Astragoth. He serves as a scout and assassin.

In my book, Azhan must count as Gorduz Backstabber, and he’s just a plain old Khan in LoA. Eventually he’ll ride at the head of a unit of Wolf Riders, but I’m still debating whether this will be a brand new unit (made with the Fenrisian Wolves) or my old one repainted.

The Hellforge Guard

All Hellforges are watched over by an elite cadre of Hellforge Guard, particularly hard-bitten Chaos Dwarf Warriors, scarred and often mutated by the demonic forces with which they must regularly contend. These ones are drawn from the Hellforges owned by Astragoth himself, and are of his clan. They hide their mutilated faces behind scorched bronze masks. Their leader, Marrog Blackhand, is a young Hellsmith who aspires to greatness.

Fifteen Chaos Dwarf Warriors with the Embersworn Banner in my list. For the LoA, these will of course be a unit of Infernal Guard with the Banner of Eternal Flame if I have the points for it. Marrog has a pistol. If I use my book, he could also conceivably count as a Daemonsmith with a Hellfire Pistol.

Blackguard of Uzkulak

From Uzkulak come the deadly Blackguard, heartless slaughterers and slavers, blooded in countless sea battles with the Chaos Marauders of the Sea of Chaos. Their dark armour is matched only by their grim countenances, hidden beneath sepulchral masks. They are led by Grulka, the second-most ruthless female Chaos Dwarf pirate in the known world.

Twenty-three of Baggronor’s Dwarf Heavy Infantry, led by the man himself. I received these in exchange for the writing I’ve done for Titan Wargames and finally got around to painting them. Originally I was going to do them all in dark metal like their armour, but it looked too dull and I wanted the possibility of fielding a horde of Warriors with the Hellforge Guard. They’re Warriors in my book and more Infernal Guard in LoA. Grulka, the champion, has a blunderbuss, which counts as a pistol. I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out who the first-most ruthless female Chaos Dwarf pirate in the known world is.

The Thunderspawn

As the High Priest of Hashut, Astragoth commands the absolute loyalty of the Bull Centaurs. A small detachment of these most deadly of Hashut’s servants have accompanied him on his campaign.

In my list, these six Bull Centaurs are amongst the most powerful shock cavalry in the game �?" with Flaming Attacks, Immune to Psychology, their unique Temple Blades as well as Impact Hits, they pack and incredible punch. In LoA…yeah, they’re okay there too.

The Doomcannon

Astragoth’s talent has never been with the crafting of daemonic war machines, but he has many Daemonsmiths in his household, and they have built a great arsenal of Doomcannon and Infernal Engines for his wars. This is but one meagre example of their deadly and gruesome work, a hulking, shuddering half-sentient beast of iron, gromril and pure hellfire.

The classic metal Hellcannon, slightly stripped down (because I originally used it as an Earthshaker). In my book it would be a Doomcannon with Colossal, Ironclad, Ferocious and Warpfire, making it mechanically almost identical to the Hellcannon it would be in LoA.

The army as it stands. Still to come: my Death Rocket is on the painting table, and I mentioned the Wolf Riders I’m planning. I also want some Hobgoblin Warriors, but I’m debating how to do them (I may still just buy a unit of Heresy Goblins…). I also have a funny feeling we may be seeing some of the Titan Wargames Royal Guard at some point, who will be Immortals or Infernal Guard with Hugely Overpriced Great Weapons.


Some damn nice work there

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Very nice looking army already Thommy. I’m looking forward to what you’re going to add to it.


Great looking army so far, well painted and classic lava bases!

Looking forward for the wolfriders!


Nice work Thommy.

I especially like the lava that flows over multiple bases.

I see you’ve done a bit of source lighting on the doomcannon wheel. Are you limiting this just to places where it’s lots of metal near to lava?

Thommy H:

Not exactly - the light from the lava does actually overlap onto the base texture anyway, but normally I don’t do any OSL on the actual models from it, as it becomes a bit too involved! However, there is some OSL on both Pyrophants, and you might be able to see some on the Hellforge Guards’ standard. The Hellcannon was just an early experiment - I painted it about five years ago!


Looks awesome! Don’t make me want to redo all my CDs, again… :wink:


Baggranor the Mighty is a vicious Despot
/approve. Apart from the spelling.

I should really get around to painting a whole unit of my own Dwarves.

Love the lava that crosses over the trooper's bases, nice touch.

Thommy H:

Whoops! You should have a more intuitive username. I meant to ask you where that came from the other night, actually…


I always liked your army. I like the NMM on the Infernal Guards actually. They look very neat. Not that sure about the Hellcannon wheel though…

Are you leaving the centaurs like this or you want to rebase them?

Oh, one last thing: You should do something on your movement trays. Like this the units look like… Incomplete.

Thommy H:

Actually it’s only semi-NMM on the Warriors - metallics, but painted like normal matte colours. I’m nowhere near good enough to do NMM! The Hellcannon, as I said, was done some years ago and was a very early experiment with OSL. I might repaint the whole thing yet.

And no, I won’t be rebasing the Bull Centaurs. They look best on cavalry bases and I’m not really concerned with anything else!


And no, I won't be rebasing the Bull Centaurs. They look best on cavalry bases and I'm not really concerned with anything else!
He means the trays. They look ok as plain, but they could be made awesome.
I meant to ask you where that came from the other night, actually...
No idea. I snatch most names out of the ether. The Pyromancers are all obvious fire-based silliness, Marrog and Grulka were made up on the spot.


Very cool army!

lovely to see so many of baggronor’s models all painted up.


I agree with the praise. Building a better force by adding new units also allow you to field a hell lot of Dawi Zharr for big battles by reinforcing with your older, discarded units. Listening to “Gladiator: The battle” music on Youtube as I read through the background was surprisingly thrilling, because not only does the nice amount of Titan wargames CDs look superb in massed ranks and beside your GW stuff, but the army’s backstory of a Chaos Dwarf civil war truly brings the grim, evil Chaos Dwarfs to life. The stuff chosen for this army from your old collection fit the image perfectly. Now I only hope the rest of the army (including blunderbussers) will tie in as well.

I too think you should make the unit trays as good as the miniatures’ bases. If I were in your position, I’d make an entirely new unit of Hobgoblin wolf riders with the new Fenrisian wolves. The army deserves 'em.


Stunning work Thommy, love it! :slight_smile:

Might I ask how you did those magnificent bases?

Thommy H:

I did a basing tutorial for the second issue of Word of Hashut, but I’ll summarise it here anyway:

  • If you’re doing a while unit, the first thing to do is plan out how the lava is going to fit together. I mark the bare bases out with Mechrite Red (Mephiston Red) because it’s a strong colour and covers well. Obviously it’s important to make sure they all connect up or it won’t look as cool.

  • Paint watered-down PVA glue over the parts of the base you haven’t marked out, then dip them into a shallow tub of grey modelling gravel. The stuff that comes in the 40K basing kit is what I currently use, but you can get similar stuff much cheaper on eBay or wherever. It’s quite coarse - much more so than sand or flock.

  • Once this is dry (leaving it overnight is ideal) tap off any excess (there’ll be quite a bit) and paint more watered-down PVA over it. This will seal it to the base. Leave to dry again - you should be able to tell when it’s ready. I currently have some really cheap kids’ PVA I bought from a supermarket that seems to dry very quickly, but I have no idea what the current Citadel stuff is like.

  • Wash over the whole base with black. I simply use watered-down Chaos Black (Abbadon Black), but using Badab Black/Nuln Oil would of course be easier. You don’t need to do any more highlighting on it at all - the wash and the colour of the gravel does all the work for you.

  • Once that’s dry, paint over the edges of the base in whatever black you’re using, as they might have been left a bit dusty from being dipped in the gravel.

  • Now, the fun part: paint over the non-gravelled parts of your base (you’ll probably be able to see the paint you used to mark it out, unless you’ve been very liberal with the black wash) with Mechrite Red (Mephiston Red). You need to brush it over the edges of the gravel too, so it looks like it’s glowing. Put in some “drips” down the edges of the base where the lava touches the sides. These make no sense and serve no purpose, but they look cool.

  • Layer on Blood Red (Evil Sunz Scarlet), again painting over the edges onto the gravel slightly, although not as far as before. You can cover up most of the previous layer with this one.

  • Next layer on some Blazing Orange (Troll Slayer Orange) - this will look too much of a jump and, if you were painting a model normally, you’d be right. The secret with this though is to highlight a shade brighter than your instinct. That’s how you get it to glow. Work either into the centre of the “stream” of lava or towards the edge of the base if it overlaps. Continue to highlight the edges of the gravel by the lava on this step.

  • Now, I normally mix my blazing orange with Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow) for the next layer. Again, you want to go about a shade brighter than you initially feel is correct if you’re mixing it like I do. Looking through the new paints, I think Fire Dragon Bright might be close to the correct shade, but I can’t personally vouch for that. One thing: don’t be tempted to use the bases/foundations for any of these steps. You need the brightness that the layers/colours give you. I’ve tried it myself, and it just doesn’t work. This step is the last one in which you highlight the gravel, and you’re just putting a touch on the edges by this time to pick up the glow.

  • Next comes pure Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow). At this point, you’re really just running quite a narrow streak along the middle of the streams, or just feathering a little away from the edges of the base for pools. If you look at your base now, it probably looks pretty decent and many people would stop here. This would be a mistake though: you need to go a bit further or it just won’t pop like it should.

  • Mix Sunburst Yellow (Flash Gitz Yellow) with Skull White (White Scar) in a roughly 1/3 ratio and add in a tiny blob from the last mix (the light orange from the step before last) to prevent it looking too insipid. I do it by eye every single time and compare it to the marks on my painting surface to make sure it’s right - I can judge it 100% pretty much every time, but you might want to mix up a pot if you plan to do it a lot and can’t rely on that ability! There is nothing close to this in the Citadel range (new or old) as far as I can see. You’re just going for a very pale, light yellow. Just highlight the centre of the streams/edge of the base quite lightly with this shade.

  • The final highlight is pure Skull White (White Scar). Don’t go overboard here: it’s just picking out the very centres/edges as before, but you need it to get the full effect of the glow. It just gives it that extra bit of life.

And that’s it! Easy!

Okay, it sounds pretty involved, but I’ve done it for two armies now and it’s not as arduous as it looks when it’s written down. Each step doesn’t take long, even for whole units (I did the larger of the Warrior units all at once in a production line) and, as with all batch painting, by the time one step is done the first models you did will be dry, so you can really crack on. Once you’ve mastered the technique, it’s really simple.

On the subject of movement trays: if you read that tutorial, you might be able to see why I’ve been reluctant to try the same thing on them. The gravel is so coarse, and painting it relies on using a black wash, so using it on an almost vertical surface would actually be quite difficult! There’s no way I could get the texture to sit nicely around the angles of a tray and all the wash would pool at the bottom which works when it’s flat, but not otherwise…

I might see what the new texture paints are like and try to use a slightly different technique.

Thommy H:

Death Rocket

From Astragoth’s personal Hellforges come the batteries of Death Rockets. The launchers are ordinary constructions of braced iron, but the ammunition is imbued with numerous unquiet spirits which guide their chemical explosives towards the choicest targets to sow incendiary death. The Hellforge Guard operating the machine ensure they are well protected with masks of bronze and scale armour. The two operating this launcher have chosen to don their tall ceremonial helms, as they do not expect to be near the fighting.

In LoA, this is a Deathshrieker Rocket Battery (not pictured: third crewman), while in my list it’s a Mortal Engine with two Chaos Dwarf crew upgraded to Arcane Artillery with the Death Rockets Daemonic Upgrade. This model is my old Death Rocket stripped and repainted and now placed on a scenic base so it’s more in keeping with the rest of the army.


Love the paintjob on the rocket, it looks almost real :hat

Great work, i’m looking forward to see more of this awesome army,




what a great army :o


Epic! Your painting style is much improved. I’d add some more details to the bases though, some rocks, skulls, spikes, Chaos arrows…