Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bloody Thank-yous

Hi all,

First, I need to say a big "thank you" to my Blogger Secret Santa, who appears to be disconcertingly organized.  I received a package in the mail a few days back, and so far, have resisted the urge to peek, despite the fact that I haven't the foggiest idea what might be inside.

In other news, I finished (for now, might tinker a little later) with my Khorne Lord on Juggernaught for my growing AoS Bad Guys army.

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Vahkos, Lord of Khorne.



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I was thinking about adding some flock or static grass, but don't know whether to go with muted tones, or some green for contrast.


I've been quite chuffed with this guy on the table-top, and have liked the model since I first saw it years ago.  I put some topcoat on it, as it's Finecast and a bit fragile, but that seems to have washed out some of the shading.  Hence the potential revisit in a bit.

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I love the little goat beard effect.


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His axe isn't quite as scary as the foot Lord, but it does the job.

Not sure what I'll paint next.  I've had a hankering to revisit the Hanoverians, so maybe some infantry there.  A change of pace will be nice.

FMB

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Learning. For the Lady.

Hi all,

I took the opportunity this weekend to bring my Bretonnians to a 2000 point AoS "narrative" day held at the local G-Dub.  We'd been warned in advance that the scenarios would be from the narrative campaign sections of the various books, rather than the matched play scenarios (which presumably are designed to be a little more balanced).  I had to scramble a bit, as the Brets have changed a little since the release of the General's compendium, but ended up running the following list:

Allegiance:  ORDER
Battle Trait:  Defiant Avengers
Hero:  Louen de Leoncour 
-          General
Hero:  Damsel on Pegasus 
Hero: Bretonnian Lord on Steed
-          Arcane Relic:  Obstinate Blade (+1 Rend stat)
Hero:  Damsel on Steed
Hero:  Paladin Standard Bearer 
Battleline:  16 Knights of the Realm (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter) 
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman) 
Battleline: 10 Freeguild Archers (Marksman) 
Artillery:  1 Field Trebuchet 
5 Mounted Yeomen (Warden, Trumpeter) 

3 Pegasus Knights (Gallant, Banner, Trumpeter) 

Both Louen and the big unit of KotR were a bit of an experiment.  I'd never taken Louen before (never bothered in Oldhammer, and in AoS haven't played big enough games).  He's hitty, and has a terrific passive ability (makes Free People immune to Battleshock), but a bit fragile at 10 wounds.  Having the knights in a big unit turns them from fairly mediocre into decent hitters (doubles their attacks), but they still rely heavily on charging, something that I would struggle with a bit in the games.  We ended up playing three games, each with fairly entertaining scenarios rules, and I went 1-2 for the day.

Game one was against Stormcast, using a battlescroll that I think the Cub used in our most recent game.  It basically allows the army (or at least most of it) to deepstrike.  He had a mix of Liberators, Judicators, Prosecuters, Retributers, and the Paladins with the big swords (which I think look cool, but of which I never remember the name. For heros he had the Knight Azyros (super-sniper / assassin), the other winged hero with the lantern (which lets him control the deepstrike to a greater degree), a Lord Celestant on foot, one other that I can't recall, and a Hurricanum.

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Had to borrow Puddin's camera for the day, but couldn't figure out how to make it focus.


The scenario had us struggling to move a boundary back and forth.  It moved randomly once a turn, and if you damaged or killed the opposing general.  It also offered benefits if you were fighting in your territory, but as we both forgot to use them, it was moot.  Having learned about the potential awfulness of a Stormcast unit (or army, in this case) showing up in your backyard, I bubbled up, with a ring of scruffy peasants around my shiny knights.

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It was a good thing, too, as turn one, my opponent dropped a metric crapton of stormcast in my rear.  The peasant bubble meant that he'd have to charge my chaff units, hopefully giving my harder-hitting knights time to regroup, and get in a charge.

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Initially, the plan worked fairly well, especially as my opponent couldn't seem to roll to save his life.  Never seen so many bad rolls in one place at one time.

I manged to break away, but sent the regular Lord back on a suicide run to hold up the stormies until I could regroup.  Ordinarily, he's pretty choppy, but evidently the bad roll disease was catching, and rather than laying waste to a unit of stormcast (which he's done pretty reliably in the past), he ended up whiffing.

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Of course, they couldn't kill me either ;)

Things were looking pretty good, until I managed a turn where two key charges (Louen into his backfield and my knight block into his flank) both flubbed, despite a reroll.  This left my Banner Paladin high and dry (and quickly dead), and gave him the chance to fly in his Prosecutors, tying up my knights (who again, couldn't roll to save their lives).  He bought enough time to swing his army up, concentrated his shooting on Louen, and ground me down.  First loss.

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Game two was against Seraphon / Lizardmen.  The scenario had my opponent start with only a third of his army on the table, with the rest to come on turn 2 from a predetermined (but secret to me) table edge.  My goal was to eliminate his starting units, his was to stop me.  He began with a unit of Temple guard, some kind of Saurus hero, and a Dread Saurian (super-giant dino beasty) on the table.

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I ringed him, with my peasants as a screen, in case he took the first turn (which he did).  Turns out, his Saurian moved quicker than I had expected, and he managed to move out past my archer screen, then charge in behind it at my knights.

He tore them up some, but in the meantime, I sat my two damsels about 17 inches from his Temple Guard, and poured Arcane Bolts (and my horse Lord) into the unit.  The Guard are able to get pretty ridiculous armour saves (basically 1+ with a couple of buffs in effect), and ignore lower levels of rend.  The Mortal Wounds inflicted by Arcane Bolt get around this, and my Lord habitually carries a magic sword that boosts his rend stat to 2.  In the meantime, the rest of my army poured damage into the Dread Saurian.  Over two turns, it was enough to eliminate both before his reserves poured on to the table.

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His reserves consisted of a mass of Sauraus and Skinks, along with a hero on a carnosaur, but at that point, I just needed to kill the hero left from his original forces, which I did at the top of turn 3.  My game.

Game 4 was against a monster-heavy Sylvaneth list.  I flat out played this wrong.  The scenario was a variation on the ritual - one of my models was being sacrifices, and I had essentially as many turns as that model had wounds to stop them (by killing the model running the sacrifice - in this case, Alarielle).  I gave my opponent a peg knight, as otherwise I'd be losing a hero, and figured I'd need them all.  What I should have done in this game is used the treb and my damsels to pound Alarielle from turn 1.  Instead, I let myself get drawn into a broader tactical fight, using the aforementioned units to try and clear a road for the rest of my army.

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My army swoops in to save their fellow knight.


This was a bit of a mistake, as in addition to two fairly big units of treekin, he had two of the big treemen (including the special character Durthu), and Alarielle herself, who's a top-tier SC and a complete bad-ass.  The big treemen ended up posing a real problem, as they operated under armour saves comparable to the Templeguard, and healed to boot.

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Against  the woodsy castle.


This turned into an attrition fight between me and a bunch of stuff I didn't have the tools to kill.  That would have been okay if I'd concentrated my ranged ability on the target, but I was distracted.  This one I was just straight up outplayed.

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Turns out, he has a thing that kills my guys and turns them into a forest that kills me.  Yikes!


On the plus side, his paintjobs, and especially his basing, were fantastic.  The bigger models had pools, moss, flowers, little spiders, all kinds of crazy details.  Just lovely stuff.

Overall it was a fun day.  I found gauging the charge distance trickier than I'd expected, although the basic plan worked pretty well.  The use of chaff screens, in the first game especially, was key, but I found myself a little underwhelmed by how the knights worked.  My Lords seemed to underperform, my knights, while decent, never really got off the mass charge that would make them shine.  Part of the issue was that they need to be a large unit to get the extra attack, but getting a large unit completely stuck in turns out to be fairly difficult.  They are decent, but they aren't chaos knights, and the relative lack of buffing synergy is an issue.

On the other hand, it was great to get my Brets on the table.  I might bit the bullet and try out some lists that go all-in on knights.  There's a formation that costs something like 1300 points, but it leaves room for some wizards and trebs, so maybe we'll give it a shot.

FMB


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Kn-iggits

Hi all,

I've managed to get a few things finished over the last couple weeks.  First up is another "updated" Bret knight, with the old metal riders on a modified new-style plastic horse.

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The plan with these guys was to do them in Space Marine colours.  The last one was Dark Angels, this one Blood Angels, though I'm not happy with how the heraldry turned out.  The idea seemed funny when I first considered it, but it's starting to pale a little.  I told the Cub I'd do one in Salamanders' colours, so I'll do that much, but after that, we'll see.

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I also had the chance to finish up one of the Khorne Chaos knights.

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While the effort to get things done for Armies on Parade did motivate me, and I get through a fair whack of painting, I also found myself rushing, and cutting corners.  With the pressure of the deadline off, I've slowed down, and am taking my time - which also means I'm enjoying the process more, and doing better work.

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They're not the best I can do, but they're pretty solid table top, and I'm much happier with this outcome than what I crammed in before the deadline.

Next weekend there's an event at the G-Dub I'm hoping to attend - points-based, but narrative play.  I put together a few more of the Bret modified knights, and will be taking a mostly-painted 2000 point force - pics on that to come.

FMB

Saturday, October 22, 2016

First of a new (old) breed.

Hi,

All the AoS stuff of late has had me going back to my Bretonnians.  I rebased them on to rounds / ovals over the last week, and got around to finishing another knight - one that's been sitting on my shelf half done for quite some time.

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Old school meets new school.


There's actually a fair bit of conversion going on here.  I have, through a variety of trades / eBay purchases, a reasonable stock of some of the older metal Bretonnian models.  The trouble is, those figs are all on the 5th edition horses, which are notably smaller than the current models (take a look at my Prophetess compared the to knights in the picture below).

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Dainty horse for the damsel.


The difference is enough that I wouldn't want to use the different horses in the same unit.  The downside is that the older models came with alternate heads for the horse, often with funky decorations that matched the helm crests of the riders.  So I dug out my razor saw and files, and got to work.

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An angelic presence?


The overall effect is pretty subtle - unless you know the Bret model range, you're unlikely to pick up on it, but I know what's been done, and I'm chuffed to be able to use the old models (which I love) in a way that's compatible with the more recent stuff.

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But maybe a little dark, and broody.


Keen-eyed observers may recognize where the colours and heraldry come from.  I had a cheeky idea to do up a unit of these converted models with strangely familiar iconography, to those suitably initiated into the G-Dub mysteries ;)  As it turns out, I need to get a bunch more of these painted anyways.  The points provided for Brets in the General's Handbook, while welcome (since GW no longer supports the line, bothering to do this at all is appreciated), are clunky - units are bought in atypically large chunks.  Taking more knights is hardly a big problem, however, and it's an excuse to paint more knights.

FMB

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Army on Parade. Well, squad, anyway.

Hi all,

So, Armies on Parade has come and gone at the G-Dub, and sadly, I didn't get the Khorne force finished in time.  The 6 or 7 weeks I've had to paint (since finding out about the date and deciding to paint up the Khorne starter) just wasn't enough time.  That said, they're a heck of a lot closer to finished than they've been for most of the last year, at least some of them are done, I've played with them in two tournaments and against the Cub, and ended up picking up some more stuff to add to the list.

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Bloodsecrator.  Pretty much auto-include in a Khorne mortals force.


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Bloodsecrator backside.  Baby got back.


What's done so far is pretty fair as table-top goes, but I did find myself burning out a little on batch painting, and wanting to slow down and do better work - I'm going to want to go back at some point and pick things out a little better, especially on the metals.  GW's new gloss washes are killer for getting things to the church on time, but they're not a replacement for focused painting.

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Bloodwarriors.


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Rear view.  Flash has taken the shine off the brass a little.


The Bloodwarrior unit, slightly expanded from the starter box, is complete.  These fellas have been growing on me as I've gotten a little more practiced with the Bloodbound.  They're a pretty solid counter-punch unit, benefit from all the buffs the force can bring to bear, and have a few nasty surprises for anyone that takes them out.

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More Warriors.


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As I was working exclusively from the starterbox sculpts, there's a few minor conversions in here - mostly arm and weapon swaps.  The bannerman is a kitbash with bitz from the Chaos knight sprue.  Still deciding what to do as a symbol on the flag - a Khorne mark may be enough, but who knows, I might get ambitious.

We did at least go to the Armies on Parade event, and both Cub and I brought a few models - enough for him to qualify for the participation pin ;)  There were some standout forces on display, including a killer table sporting a Seraphon stepped pyramid, and one of the best weathering paintjobs I've ever seen in person.

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Doesn't show, but this was a stellar paint job.


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Seraphon table.


Cub and I are thinking about doing a joint display for next year - either orks vs. marines, or Khorne vs. Stormcast.  With a little more lead-time, we might even get things done in time ;)

FMB

Saturday, October 8, 2016

(Almost) Flawless Victory!

Hi all,

First, for those other Canucks out there in the aethertubes, happy Thanksgiving!

You're going to do what to me?

I managed (at the last minute, thanks to the Beloved) to get down to the G-Dub this morning to participate in a 1500 point tournament for Age of Sigmar.  It wasn't huge, with only 8 of us playing, but it was an excuse to get out, and get in some games with my developing force. I ran the same list as last time, with the minor addition of actually taking a couple abilities for which I was eligible, but hadn't know about, last time.  One of them, the Command Trait "Cunning Deceiver" (which imposes a -1 penalty to hit on opponents in the first turn), made a huge difference, and has joined my list of new favorite things.

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Battle one.  Khorne vs. Slaanesh.


I went in the the tournament with the main goal of actually remembering everything my army does.  The list I've been building / running depends heavily on synergy around a couple of keywords (Khorne, and Mortal).  It means I have the potential to get a lot of little buffs, that in the aggregate, turn my decent-for-the-points, but not outstanding models into powerhouses.  By and large, I managed to do this (barring a couple of slips), and it paid off.  As it worked out, I ended up with best overall.  In a field of 8, it's not like I'll be tearing up the international tournament circuit, but I'll admit, I was pretty chuffed.

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The battlefield from Lord Vahkos' point of view.


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Seekers crash into the line.  Bloodreavers die well.


Game one was against a Slannesh Demons list.  It's the first time I've played against this, and while I'd been warned about the speed it brought to the table, seeing it in person was a different thing altogether.  My opponent ran a large unit of Seekers, one of the really big chariots, several Daemonette clouds, and assorted heroes (including a Forgeworld Keeper of Secrets).  Turn one was a revelation, when the Seeker unit moved a total of 25" across the board to charge my front line (Slaanesh demons start with high Move, can run and charge in the same turn, and she was running a formation that added move bonuses).  This was the first point where the Cunning Deceiver ability kicked in, blunting my opponent's ability to damage me before I had a chance to fight back.

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The hard part was they kept coming back.


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On the other hand, my knights are in a good position to flank and sweep.  Which they did.


This was actually why I'd taken it in the first place.  My list thrives when I get to choose the conditions for combat, and on the attack.  First turn alpha strikes make for a bad time (which I learned the hard way last time I played in a tourney).  Having a little insurance went a long way.
It mattered, as it turns out, a bunch of demonic cavalry up in my grill turned out to be something of a handful (especially after rolling a "1" for morale twice, which allowed them to restore lost models).  I eventually ground them down, and was able to pick my fights pretty effectively, using my knights (hands down the killiest part of my force) to good effect, and even took out the Keeper of Secrets.

We spent most of the game operating under a misunderstanding about how the victory conditions would be determined (we thought the Major victory was an all or nothing proposition, and that our game would be settled by kill points, but this proved incorrect.   It was possible to win a partial, Minor victory on scenario, and when our game was called for time, my opponent was ahead on Objectives.  This game me a minor loss in the opening round.

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This doesn't end well for the chariot.


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Or the Keeper of Secrets.


We broke for lunch, after which I set up for game two.  This was against another Chaos opponent, who ran a bit of a mixed bag - some Slaanesh, a couple of chaos Dwarf cannon, and notably, a War Mammoth (using Forge World rules, but subbing in a Mumak from the LotR range).  This was probably the game where I played best, remembered most of my rules (even remembered to have the Chaos knights' mounts get in their attacks, something I somehow manage to forget, despite playing Bretonnians).

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Against mixed Chaos.  Note the Chaos War Mumak.


This was a game notable for the sportsmanship shown by my opponent.  He went ahead on objective points early, using his speed (again, the Slaanesh elements) to seize objectives and rack up some early points.  The scenario had a premium, however, for controlling objectives in the opposing deployment zone - and by turn 4 or five, I was in a dominant position, and rapidly catching up.  My opponent could have very easily stalled the game, but instead, made a point of playing efficiently, so that we got in a full five turns (the only game I played where this occurred).  As a result, I not only caught up, but won a major victory on scenario.

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Vahkos considers his options.  That's a pretty nice skull for the Skull Throne lumbering towards him.


MVPs this game were the Slaughterpriests.  As well as offering one of the few ways to do damage at a distance in my army, the 'priests can also force enemy models to move towards me.  In this game, I used the ability to taunt the War Mammoth forward, away from its supporting unit.

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We're going to need more BBQ sauce.


This let me pile in most of my really killy stuff into the Mammoth, and get in a couple of good turns on it before the rest of his army piled in to help.  The Mammoth is a crazy piece.  It has Forge World rules (i.e., is ridiculously powerful) and made up about a third of his army points.  Losing it (it was finally dealt the death blow by my Khorne Lord, Vahkos, in a rather cinematic finish), meant he didn't really have much else that could compete for attrition.

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That's pretty much every killy thing in my army packed around one model.


I cleaned up the units he'd piled in, which amounted to most of what he had left, swept up the table, and took the objectives, especially the one in his deployment zone (worth by far the most points).  By turn 5, I'd pretty much tabled him, had all four points well under control, and was ahead on victory points.  Major victory.

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Finally!


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Vahkos turns his attention to mopping up.


Game three was against the same opponent I'd played Game 1 last time.  He, like me, is a GW Oldboy, and I've found our games are both fun in themselves, and offer plenty of opportunity for nostalgia.  He ran much the same list of Beastclaw Raiders (Ogre cavalry, mammoths and mournfangs) as last time, aside from a few little tweaks to items, and had a much better handle on how to deal with my Khorne boys.  In many ways, this was almost a mirror of the first game - I was badly mauled, but was so far ahead on scenario it didn't matter.

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We meet again.


The scenario we played is pretty close to perfect for my list.  I'm running a Khorne Mortal formation that has a rather nifty ability - whenever one of my heroes dies, a non-heroic model in my army can become a hero, splitting off from it's parent unit, and picking up a few bonuses.  Add in the fact that I have 5 heroes to start, including my commander, that objectives in the game can only be scored by heroes, and that heroes remain in control of objectives until an enemy hero claims them, and you start to see why this one was weighted in my favour.

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Run Bloodstoker, run!


This game was pretty tense.  I sent most of my army in again his two strongest units (two other, mammoth-like creatures).  I took them out in the end, but paid a heavy price, losing  most of my infantry, and taking a pretty hard hit to my knights as well.  Even Vahkos went down under the hooves of the Mournfang, but he bought valuable time.  Taking out the Stonehorn (pseudo-mammoth) and rider meant my opponent no longer had any characters, and my lads' heroic last stand gave me time to take control of all three objectives.  The final turns saw the rather un-Khorne-like sight of several Khorne heroes, (including some newly minted ones) running pell-mell from what was left of his mournfangs.  In the end though, I had the objectives, he didn't, and that was another Major Victory.

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Slaughterpriests, about to be slaughtered.


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A newly minted Khorne hero, with eyes on the prize.


Three solid, fun games.  Three great opponents.  Two major wins, one minor loss.  I was feeling pretty good when Puddin' and the Beloved stopped in to pick me up.  Then results were announced.  My turn two opponent won a well-deserved Best Sport, the shop painting guru took Best Appearance, a likable younger fellow with Seraphon (Lizards) won Best General, and yours truly won Best Overall.  Huzzah!

I'm thoroughly stoked to paint these guys some more.  Not sure that I'll make it to finished for Armies on Parade, but on the other hand, I've made waaaay more progress than I would have without the commitment.  I'm going to try and get as much done as I can, and keep getting these on the table.

I've also been toying with the idea of getting a few more models.  One viable option would be the Khorne starter box.  That gives me another 10 Blood Warriors, 3 juggernaught riders, and a hero (another Slaughterpriest, but he's readily convertible).  Another option is either warriors, marauders, or Marauder riders - a little more speed might work.  I'm leaning towards some combo with Juggernaughts, as they're probably my favorite Khorne models, but I'm open to suggestions if people have any good ideas.

FMB