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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"Your Curiosity Will Cost You Dear, Human."

"The creature's tongue drills a tiny hole in Johnny's skull. Then it feeds upon his brain."

These additional four 31mm tall plastic pre-painted Dire Wraiths by "Wizkids" are all number 010a from the "Marvel" Guardians Of The Galaxy "Heroclix" range, and are based upon "the main opponents of Rom the Spaceknight." Created by Bill Mantlo and Al Milgrom for the December 1979 issue of "Rom", the extraterrestrial species "are Skrullian Deviants engineered by the starfaring Celestials.

Having removed the "stocky and troll-like" aliens from their clicky-bases and super-glued onto "Citadel" 40mm circular bases, they were all primed with two coats of "Vallejo" Heavy Red, and enthusiastically washed with "Citadel" Agrax Earthshade. In the past when I've painted these villainous shape-shifters I've actually undercoated them using a layer of "Vallejo" Squid Pink first, but with hindsight don't believe the vibrant Game Colour ever had any effect on the model's subsequent hue so missed this additional step out completely.

Instead these particular "demons from distant space driven in defeat to our shimmering planet" were simply dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Heavy Red, before having their tiny heartless eyes 'picked out' with a spot of Heavy Ochre. As I wanted these sorcerers' merciless pupils to especially stand out, I didn't bother washing them either, and instead just tidied their edges up with some additional "Citadel" Abaddon Black.

The Intercessors start out well, taking control of an objective and slaying the Bloodletter's Warlord

Alongside my painting, I have also managed to host a 'skirmish' game of "Warhammer 40K", with my Bloodletters taking on a 159 points of Intercessor Ultrmarines, including a Primaris Lieutenant (and using the "Chapter Approved" 2018 costs). As you can imagine with such a low costing confrontation, a couple of home rules were employed to allow the individual models plenty of independence from one another, yet we were still able to follow the vast majority of the miniature wargame's principles as found within the "First Strike" core instruction booklet.

Settling upon the "Slay and Secure" victory conditions, both forces fought over four primary objectives dotted about a ruined Imperial city, with my Khorne warriors suffering an immediate set-back by having their warlord, a Bloodreaper, gunned down during the first phase of shooting without even yelling out a command in anger. Fortunately, my startled Slaughter-kin survived the necessary Morale check, but the Primaris space marines had already snatched D3 Victory Points by slaying my leader during the battle's opening salvo.

A pair of Bloodletters continue to tie-up the majority of the Imperium's forces

Luckily for the Blood God, his foot soldiers "Daemonic" ability to roll a 5+ invulnerability save subsequently proved invaluable time and again during the ebb and flow of the conflict, even surprisingly deflecting three simultaneous wounds on more than one occasion. This incredible run of fortune saw just a couple of meagre Bloodletters tie-up half the Primaris party, including their Lieutenant, for most of the game, allowing me to overwhelm the rest of the scattered space marines through sheer weight of numbers.

Equally as impressive was the daemons' Hellblade, which as a melee weapon with -3 Armour Piercing allowed my Khorne combatants to consistently carve through the Adeptus Astartes irrespective of their impressive 3+ saving throw. Add the fact that "any attacks with a wound roll of 6+... have a Damage characteristic of 2 instead of 1" and you have a mighty melee weapon which not even the Intercessor Sergeant could resist for too long.

The Primaris Lieutenant charges another Bloodletter, as the remaining Intercessor captures an objective

Of course, even though the Ultramarines' number slowly fell to the point where they could no longer hope to contest all four primary objectives, the day could still have partially belonged to the Emperor if their Lieutenant, capable of a whopping 4 attacks in close combat, had actually managed to hit anything during the fight. A couple of Bloodletters did finally begrudgingly fall beneath his Power sword towards the end, but by then time was badly against the officer and his remaining men.

A few Khorne charges later, tapping into the daemons' "Unstoppable Ferocity" which provides the heartless creatures with +1 Strength and Attacks until the end of the turn, all except the Primaris Lieutenant and a single Intercessor were left alive, with the Imperium only holding one primary objective to the Bloodletters' three. This resulted in a 6-4 victory to the forces of Chaos, and the promise of an escalated re-match to come in the near future...


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