Monday, March 1, 2010

Warhammer: The Seduction. (Beasts of Chaos)

It may seem like it's been a while since I've posted anything about painting up that massive Skaven army. That's likely because it's been a while since I've actually put any work in toward actually painting up that massive Skaven army. Why's that, you ask?

It's because I've been seduced.

It started simply enough, as most seductions do: While idly surfing the internet looking for painting ideas and tutorials, I happened upon a particularly cool looking minuature: a Skorne Bronzeback Titan.

I decided that I needed wanted to have one.

I wanted to see if I could capture the same amazingly well-painted tones and textures and to see if I could do what this other painter had done.

But having a beast so beautiful with no reason to field it would seem wasteful.  If I were to buy one, I would need an army with which to play him ...

So, I began reasearching it to see if there were, perhaps, rules that fit a beast of such magnitude. Clearly, it would need to be the centerpiece of the army. A general of some sort. Or, perhaps, a giant. Or some other massive beast, capable of instilling great fear by its propensity to rend flesh.

In the Beasts of Chaos book, I found what I was looking for ...

This beast, I decided, would become a Dragon Ogre Shaggoth.  But, not just any Shaggoth. He has a smaller cousin that I could would use for the regular, garden-variety Shaggoth.  This would be a Shaggoth Champion.

And, suddenly, I had two beasts -- a General (the Shaggoth Champion) and both of my rare choices (the Champion and plain Shaggoth) -- and, arguably, a decent start points-wise on a 2,000pt. army.

The problem was that the rest of the Beasts of Chaos didn't particularly appeal to me. I don't find much interesting in their models. Nothing that I would look at and think, "Boy, I can't wait to paint that!"

Reading through the book, though, what I did find particularly appealing was the idea of beasts from somewhere other than the Old World.  Armed with that basic idea, a quick trip to wikipedia for information about other areas already established in the Warhammer world gave me the setting for my beasts' home: the Kingdom of Ind.

These two beasts were, after all, particularly elephantine and elephants are native to India (upon which the Kingdom of Ind is loosely based).  India features, also, an elephant-headed god that could -- when blended with some choice lore from H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard's Conan stories -- provide a minor Chaos deity, unique to this particular warband.

These Shaggoths, I decided, would be the ancient guardians of the temples of Yag'ganesh.

In small cities in the ruins around the temples of Yag'ganesh would live the beastmen that would form the bulk of the army.  Not goat-headed beasts like those of the old world, but cat-headed ones.  Tigers (or, rather Ti'gors).  In armor reminiscent of the Far East rather than plain loincloths.

Having learned the enlightenment and traditions of the Celestial Dragon Monks, they'd be more civilized than their Old World brethren, if only slightly, but every bit as ferocious.  Bestial Kings living in relative peace with the human tribes and human Kings of Ind.

The rivers of Ind would produce large, crocodilian beasts:  Crocogres or, perhaps, Crocotaurs (standing in for either Chaos Ogres or Minotaurs, I haven't determined, yet, which).  Their chariots -- if they had them, after all living within the deep, dark jungles doesn't really lend itself to much charioteering -- could be pulled by vicious, singled-horned Rhinogors, smaller cousins of the Ogre Kingdom's Rhinoxen.

Within a few hours, I'd managed to develop a complete background on them: where their god had come from, where they came from, how they lived, their relationships with the peoples surrounding them, their society and traditions.

Actually creating them as a playable army would take a bit of modification, sure -- a tiny bit of sculpting on each and every miniature to produce a more cat-like face and the sashes and padding of their armors -- but, regardless, I found that idea far more appealing than slathering brown paint on a couple hundred Skaven.

And, just like that, I had been lured into Chaos.

I had been seduced.

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