40K: Xenos Terrain – Chaos Daemons Edition
Chaos Daemons step-up to the plate in our series about Xenos Terrain!
When talking about Terrain, Games Workshop has a “Xenos Problem” – We’ve already covered the Orks, the Eldar, the Tyranids, and the Necrons. Now lets talk about the denizens of the warp – It’s Chaos Demons time!
“In this series of articles, we here at BoLS have put together some basic concepts that we think would make killer terrain pieces. Feel free to make these yourself – kit bash’em or scratch build them – but it would be a lot nicer if GW put out some actual kits. We’ve also taken the liberty of mocking up some very high level rules to add some of that ‘narrative flavor’ to the game. We also want to point out that all the kit ideas we’re presenting were ideas taken directly from the fluff.”
First off – I know Chaos Daemons aren’t Xenos – as in an alien. They are Daemons. But that’s not really my point… The real issue is that Games Workshop hasn’t really produced some good generic Chaos Daemon Terrain. They have had kits in the past like the Temple of Skulls. More recently they have also had things like the Baleful Realmgates, the Chaos Dreadhold Helfort and they have even teased the new Chaos Dreadhold Crucible.
The Temple of Skulls wasn’t a very good kit if we’re honest. It was really hard to use in game because the GIANT SKULLS and rough edges made it almost impossible to place miniatures on the terrain kit. Sure it worked better for 40k, but it was terrible for the ranked troops of Warhammer Fantasy. The Chaos Dreadhold stuff is great looking and perfect if you’re a devotee of Khorne…But if you’re not, well you’re out of luck. Now you could always buy those kits and convert them to pretty much whatever you wanted – you still can, but it would be nice if we had some generic Chaos Daemon Terrain kits! That’s where we’re picking up today.
Chaos Altar of the Dark Gods
Everyone remember this kit, right? It’s the Arcane Ruins set. It’s actually still available and this illustrates my first idea. What if they took this idea and instead of making it ruins, they made it in it’s full non-destroyed glory? I’d love to see a multi-part plastic kit that would be modular. It would have 4 sides and bits to make it a dedicated alter to a specific Dark God or you could put one bit of each of the 4 Chaos Gods to make it a generic Dark Altar. It seems like something Games Workshop would be able to knock out of the park, especially considering the advances they’ve made in their injection moulds and sprue cutting techniques.
And because we always like to toss out really high level rules with these terrain ideas this one could do a couple of things. First, the powers it generates are based on the Dark God it’s an altar of – but the base ability it is makes friendly units within 6″-12″ Fearless. For Chaos Daemons it would also allow them to re-roll instability checks. You could dedicate it to a specific Chaos God and it would grant friendly units a bonus based on the same bonuses marks grant. If you really wanted to make it flavorful, you could also bring back some of those old opposing animosities (like Khorne vs Tzeentch) which would cause a negative effect like a -1 to leadership to the opposing followers. That could make this Altar both a defensive and offensive tool.
It would also count as a building so you could, in theory, target and destroy this kit if you’re on the opposite end of it – you’d just have to remember how those building rules worked.
Chaos Daemon Warp Fissure
This is the Baleful Realmgates kit. The Warp Fissure would be similar to this as well – only less of a construct and more of wild Chaos rip in the fabric of reality. Think more Eye of Sauron and less Stone Gateway to the Beyond.
This fissure could either be on the ground or it could be on a vertical plane. This portal to the warp would be oozing with raw energy and the rules should reflect that. It’s going to mess with the Psychic phase for sure. It adds +D6 warp dice to the phase for BOTH players. It also adds +1 to ALL attempts to cast. That would be really nasty for all you players that want to make a summoning army, right? But there is a catch! If you ever roll triples to cast the portal closes and the Psyker who caused the portal to close suffers an immediate Str D AP1 hit! High Reward calls for some High Risk!
And because it’s a Chaos rift, for EACH player turn roll a D6+ a scatter die because it’s going to drift that far. (This thing would be on a base of some type.) On a hit, it stays still. If the Warp Fissure’s final position would place it into contact with an infantry unit, for each model that would touch it make an initiative check. (Basically, treat it like it’s a giant blast template when placing the rift.) Any model that fails is sucked in and removed from play. If the model passes their initiative test them move them the shortest distance possible in such a way that it would no longer be in contact with the Chaos Daemon Warp Fissure.
These two ideas are pretty rough drafts and I’ll be the first to admit the rules need some play testing. They could be really powerful if they come with all the bells and whistles I just went over, but I figure it’s better to overload the ideas and take them away then to start with nothing and pin stuff on later.
Chaos and Chaos Daemons are really the only other faction besides the Imperials to get any thing remotely close to terrain kits. But even those kits tend to be slanted toward one specific Chaos God or they are showing their age. What I want to see are some new kits that are easy to play with/on, have some awesome character to them and have some fun rules that correlate with the army theme. So GW, if you’re reading this: Awesome terrain should just be for those goody-goody Imperials. Chao, Chaos Daemons and filthy heretics need some love, too!
What Chaos or Chaos Daemon Buildings, Fortifications or Terrain would you like to see Game Workshop produce?