The Black Host of Lord Zhurduz
Well, for various reasons, it�?Ts been some time since I�?Tve posted here. I�?Tve been keeping up with things though, and my Chaos Dwarf army has been expanding steadily since I first showed it off here. So, I decided I wanted to share it with you guys here since it�?Ts �?ofinished�?� �?" I put that in inverted commas because we all know that a Warhammer army is never finished but, as you can see in the first image below, I�?Tm out of shelf space so until I move to a bigger place later this year it�?Ts as big as it�?Ts going to get.
For the first time in a hundred years, an independent Chaos Dwarf warband has been sighted making the arduous trek into the Old World. Thus far they have only penetrated the eastern foothills of the World�?Ts Edge Mountains, clashing with their uncorrupted kin in the high passes of that region, but their intent is clear. Storm clouds gather on the eastern horizon and thunder rumbles in the distance. The Empire still reels from the devastation of the Storm of Chaos and the battles for the Nemesis Crown, and now the Father of Darkness has come calling at long last: Hashut bays for blood and fire and it is Lord Zhurduz, his self-appointed prophet, who plans to lead the charge.
Lord Zhurduz, riding Storm
The insane Lord Zhruduz is known by many disparaging names by his peers. He is that rarest of Dawi�?TZharr: an independent Lord, who has broken ties with Zharr-Naggrund. Considered an unstable element, it is precisely his independent nature that has caused Dharkhaz Blackheart to seek him out and procure his services. With a hammer that bears the bound essence of a Storm Daemon, armour forged from meteoric iron and his mighty Great Taurus, Storm, Zhurduz enjoys nothing more than slaughtering the foes of Hashut and taking slaves to serve in his armies.
Lord Zhurduz is a Chaos Dwarf Lord riding a Great Taurus with the Black Hammer of Hashut and the Armour of the Furnace. He is still yet to see combat, since my largest game so far has been 1,500 pts.
Dharkhaz is a young, but powerful, Sorcerer. Sadly, his power is limited to magic and he wields little influence in the Temple of Hashut through a simple accident of birth: he is descended from a line of politically inept Sorcerers who squandered their power in the past, leaving him with a tiny household guard and little territory. Dharkhaz is ambitious though, and has sought out Zhurduz as the only man who can give him the power he needs. Zhurduz benefits from the patronage of Dharkhaz too, but the alliance is one of convenience. Away from the Dark Lands, where success is less assured, how long before the fragile union falls apart?
In the �?~official�?T army list, Dharkhaz is a 4th level Sorcerer Lord, but he mostly serves as a 2nd level Sorcerer in the games I�?Tve played so far. Since Chaos Dwarf magic is totally average, I equip all my Sorcerers for anti-magic roles, so Dharkhaz has two dispel scrolls and the Chalice of Darkness.
Hzarkh is the head of Dharkhaz�?Ts household guard, and a veteran of many wars. He served with the Immortals in his youth and still wears his Immortal Plate. Hzarkh is very much a traditional Chaos Dwarf, serving Dharkhaz with unflinching loyalty. He despises Lord Zhurduz, but will continue to serve him as long as he is ordered to do so. In battle, he commands a detachment of Immortals.
Hzarkh is a Chaos Dwarf Hero with the Armour of Gazrakh, the Gauntlets of Bazhrakk the Cruel and a great weapon. As you can see, he is a slightly converted Dwarf Thane model with a (fairly crude) big hat atop his usual helmet. The lava looks better in real life �?" I think I may have had the flash on for this photo which caused the highlights to go a bit crazy.
Karrthak is a skilled Daemon Binder. Originally from Uzkulak (hence his characteristic armour), he learned his dark craft in Daemon�?Ts Stump. Like all Daemon Binders, Karrthak considers himself independent from Zharr-Naggrund, and this causes no small amount of tension between himself and Dharkhaz. Karrthak is a personal friend of Lord Zhurduz and it was he who crafted his fearsome weapon.
Karrthak is a level 2 Sorcerer with a dispel scroll and the Talisman of Protection (to represent his armour to some extent). This is, as I hope is readily apparent, a rather unusual figure. I wanted a second wizard and was racking my brains when I realised I had 2,000-odd points of unpainted old Chaos Warriors just lying around doing nothing, and that these could easily represent a 3rd-edition style Chaos Dwarf. Much hacking later (mostly around the knee area) and Karrthak was born. He�?Ts pure Chaos Warrior, except his right arm which is taken from the old mounted Chaos Lord (it used to have an axe on the end), the beard which is made from bits of a Goblin standard (I assume they�?Tre supposed to be Dwarf beards that have been cut off) and the skull which I believe may actually be from Hero Quest of all things.
Thraz is Karrthak�?Ts brother. A hulking warrior, he has no formal standing in Chaos Dwarf society, but his prowess so impressed Zhurduz that he granted him the honour of bearing his personal standard. Thraz uses no weapons, instead smashing his foes apart with his huge mailed fist. Rumour has it that Karrthak has bound a minor daemon into the gauntlet.
Thraz is a Chaos Dwarf Hero with the army�?Ts battle standard. He has heavy armour and the Sword of Might, with the conceit being that the Strength bonus is his �?~natural�?T strength, and the fact that it�?Ts a magic weapon is explained by the bound daemon. Thraz is the latest addition to the Black Host, and made in an almost identical way to Karrthak. The freehand on the banner is so-so �?" I was never very good at drawing animals (thank goodness Hashut isn�?Tt a horse, is all I have to say).
Hzarkh�?Ts influence in the Temple led to him procuring a small detachment of Immortals to act as a personal bodyguard. Their leader is Captain Krazth.
Well…actually they�?Tre just Chaos Dwarf Warriors with hand weapons and shields, but there�?Ts not much I can do about that. These are built from Iron Breakers, with the addition of blank shields for the rank and file and Chaos Warrior shields for the command group. All the hammers were chopped off and replaced with axes, so they match the description in Grudge Bearer.
The Stormbrothers are Dharkhaz�?Ts loyal household guard. They wear the distinctive tall hats of Zharr-Naggrund and bear the traditional two-handed axes of City Guard. Their leader is Sergeant Ghzar.
My erstwhile big hats. The models are a lot bigger than any other Dwarfs in the current range, but no matter. The banner is one of my �?~marker�?T standards because I didn�?Tt have a standard bearer model to carry it. The Champion is a Blood Bowl model with an axe stuck on.
Hailing from Gorgoth, where Lord Zhurduz is based, these Dawi�?TZharr wear the more practical attire of the colony and sport fewer of the mutations and affectations that are associated with Zharr-Naggrund. They are led by Sergeant Thregha, Lord Zhurduz�?Ts niece. While Chaos Dwarf women are usually forbidden to serve in the army, Thregha has the fortune to have been born so stunningly beautiful (so much so that she�?Ts even attractive by human standards!) that she can do pretty much anything she wants.
These are blunderbusses built from Dwarf Thunderers with bucklers stuck on the end of their guns. Thregha herself is a model from hasslefree miniatures and named after a roleplaying game character invented by and resembling my fiancée (or, rather, a Chaos Dwarf-ized version of the name) since we decided the figure looked like a Dwarf version of her.
The Stormcallers are the second detachment of blunderbusses from Gorgoth.
Same as the above, but now with the addition of a few Battle for Skull Pass plastics in there too. The idea of the large Blunderbuss units is that experience has taught me they need a good Strength 5 blast to really ruin my opponent�?Ts day and for that they need to be numerous enough to take a pounding on their way to their targets. I haven�?Tt yet ruled out fielding a massive unit of 40 one day…
Lord Zhurduz has no compunctions about putting his trust in slaves, and Zagsnagga�?Ts Riderz have proved their worth on more than one occasion.
Hobgoblin Wolf Riders are not just the best unit available to Chaos Dwarfs; they might actually be the best unit in the game. They have light armour and shields and still count as fast cavalry, they have bows instead of the crappy shortbows of their Goblin cousins as well as +1 WS and they actually work out cheaper. The only disadvantage is that you have to take ten of them, but I don�?Tt care �?" I�?Td have a whole army of these guys if I could. This unit is actually actively feared by my opponents now, who will frequently target them with everything they have, such is their reputation for awesomeness.
These are some hobgoblins with bows. That�?Ts about it.
Yeah. When I have 60 pts spare and nothing I want to take, I throw these guys in. They�?Tve never killed anything and generally spend most of the game arguing amongst themselves anyway. A running joke has started to develop based on their bows being more expensive than they are �?" when they die, I always point out that the Chaos Dwarfs will be quick to retrieve the valuable bows after the battle, but will leave the dead and wounded hobgoblins in the dirt.
A Death Rocket from the forges of Zharr-Naggrund.
I have never killed anything with this. It is included only when I think an extra stone thrower might come in handy.
Some bolt throwers.
These are also relatively new (a Christmas present) and have only seen action in one battle, where they never hit a thing. We�?Tll see if they turn out to be worth it in the future, or they end up just being nice display pieces (since I love the crew models).
Grimskull�?Ts warband, the Skullz, are mercenaries. First encountered in the western Dark Lands, they fight for loot and the sheer joy of slaughter, and Lord Zhurduz respects their impressive combat prowess.
Old Black Orcs with some Goblin shields added and a very slightly converted 40K Ork Nob to be their Boss. I haven�?Tt use these guys in a while, since I�?Tve been trying my newer units and there�?Ts never been room for them in the list.
The Gitz, led by Skabgit, are Sneaky Gitz who recently joined Lord Zhurduz when they got word of his potential future conquests. They have yet to prove their worth in battle.
My newest unit, these are Sneaky Gitz built from Night Goblins. I was impressed with the concept of 20 figures on two sprues, but I didn�?Tt realise how tight the margin of error was with that �?" you simply don�?Tt have enough hand weapons or spears (the heads of which I used to make the second hand weapon) to go around, so the back rank are a little rag tag. I like this unit a lot, but building them was a very trying experience, and I don�?Tt recommend it.
These mighty Bull Centaurs, unfailingly loyal to Dharkhaz, are led by Captain Brathk. They too hate Lord Zhurduz, but are content to serve him as long as he remains victorious.
If that were true they�?Td have left a long time ago… No Chaos Dwarf army is complete without Bull Centaurs, but these guys rarely see action. Scroll down to find out why…
Bound with mighty daemons and tended by the servants of Karrthak, this mighty engine of war belches forth the fury of Hashut and quakes the very earth with the Father of Darkness�?Ts infernal rage.
I never leave home without this. Ever. It�?Ts effect is 90% psychological. Have you seen those rubbish little plastic cannons Dwarfs are using these days? I don�?Tt care if it did blow up my Earthshaker, I had the moral victory the second I deployed this monstrosity. It�?Ts a stripped-down Hellcannon on a regiment base, belying the relatively innocuous effect of the Earthshaker, but has performed admirably on multiple occasions. It misfires only rarely, and I love screwing up gunlines and slowing down Dark Elves with its secondary effect.
So, that�?Ts the lot. 3,000 points in all now. My record is…middling. I�?Tve taken some bad defeats, and a couple of not-so-bad ones, and I have one crushing victory to my name, which served to cement the reputation of the Earthshaker and my Riderz. The cannon stopped the Dark Elves from riding around where they wanted and blew up the general�?Ts chariot despite its crew being engaged in combat for three turns (they actually saw off a unit of Dark Riders!) and the Riderz outmanoeuvred the Elves for the whole game, preventing them from every getting into any useful positions. I�?Tm still struggling against Dwarfs, but the big Blunderbuss units are my current tactic for dealing with them in the future. Against Tomb Kings, my heavy reliance on anti-magic proved pretty handy, stopping them from too much silliness in the magic phase, but I was unaware of the existence of Tomb Scorpions and, after deploying all my war machines on one hill, watched them get eaten in the space of three turns and I could never pull back that victory points deficit. Ho hum.