As I’m always one to pander to my readers in the vain hope of boosting my figures, I thought I’d write a little bit about how I came to have all female Witch Hunters in my Morheim warband.
Having established that The Chaps were up for a Mordheim campaign a year or so ago, I immediately set about trying to decide what warband to collect. It didn’t take long to settle on Witch Hunters because the background was awesome, warhounds and mental and they’re the only ‘good guys’ in the game other than the Sisters of Sigmar, and in the original campaign (we’re on the second campaign now) our most senior member already had a fully painted Sisters warband and wanted to use them.
So Witch Hunters it was. The problems I now faced were (A) I didn’t like the Mordheim Witch Hunter box set and (B) the models you got didn’t give you anywhere near enough for a full warband. Now, looking back, had I just bought a couple of boxes it probably would have cost me considerably less than the end result, but I never would have been happy with them and therefore, probably would have lost interest in the campaign.
Having ruled out the box set I needed to figure out how I could get Witch Hunters, a Warrior Priest, Zealots, Flagellants and Warhounds. Needless to say, the Warrior Priest was an easy fix.
I’ve always been a massive fan of this model and it was the perfect excuse I needed to finally get my hands on one. As it goes the model I picked up from my local Hobby Centre was slightly miscast on its head but in such a way that made the model look like he had a horrendous scar running his left cheek, over his eye and across the top of his head. So I left it and Brother Tarsis as he became known was walking into the City of the Damned already a seasoned veteran of many a campaign.
The Witch Hunters were proving really difficult as I was looking at a variety of websites trying to find models that fit the bill and were also the right scale. I’d already decided I wanted a female Witch Hunter as I wanted all 4 of them to be very different in look as the job hardly comes with a uniform. So putting a pin in that part of the project I turned to the zealots and flagellants. Again, this was a no brainer as by this point the multipart plastic kit had been out for a while and, again, it’s a box set I’d had my eye on for a while.
The variety in the kit allowed me to make 4 very distinct models with armaments to reflect their role in the warband so although painted roughly the same, they were visually very different. And of course, the bonus with buying a regiment box over a blister pack is that as my warband develops I have the luxury of building alternative weapon load outs for my merry bunch of mentalists and swapping them out as needed.
The warhounds were slightly more difficult as I couldn’t anything that looked remotely like a Warhound and the Mordheim ones weren’t available singly and were going for a fortune on eBay. During a lunch break I got chatting to the then manager of my Hobby Centre and between us we realised that with a clever bit of converting the Chaos Warhounds would be amazing dogs for a Witch Hunter warband. Massive, slavering, brutal creatures who exist to tear heretics limb from limb.
A strategic bit of clipping and green-stuffing gave me three hulking black beasts ready to bring my own personal brand of retribution on my opponents. Plus the utterly ridiculous size of the models gives me quite the psychological advantage in games. That’s not to say dogs aren’t ferocious opponents but they’re limited in what they can do and need to hunt in packs. A loan Flagellant with a flail will cause you far more pain than a single dog. But anyway…
By this point my intended 12 model warband had already cost me quite a bit so I’d given up worrying money and focussed on finding models that I really liked. And having bought a couple of Freebooter models in the past, it didnt’ take me long to find myself browsing their site. As I said I’d already decided I wanted a female Witch Hunter as I saw them as agents of the Empire, moving through towns and cities their presence unfelt by heretics until it was too late and I always felt that a female ‘agent of th Empire’ made complete sense. It wasn’t long before I had found 4 models that I really liked and sat their trying to decide which one I was going to buy. Then a thought struck me. Just get them all.
4 female Witch Hunters. Now at first, being a bit of a background puritan, it didn’t sit that well with me. One female Witch Hunter I could justify, but 4? Really? But I started to think about how the Witch Hunters would operate, realistically. In any other Imperial city a Witch Hunter could walk through the streets as a symbol of Sigmar’s wrath and be feared. In the City of the Damned? Subterfuge would be their primary weapon and who better than a team of female Witch Hunters. Just to be clear at this point, this isn’t sexism, this a fantasy civilisation with its origins set in a pseudo feudal, pre-industrial Germanic empire. It’s reasonable to assume that ‘the little woman stayed home’.
But more than anything it was the variety of the models. That each Witch Hunter has a different method of waging the unseen war. One is dressed in a floor length dress, another looks like she’s spent her years amongst the docks and warehouses of Marienburg or other coastal settlements and so on. The models tell a story before I’ve even rolled a dice and I love that. The impending purchase of the Comtessa model will move the story on again, giving a whole new persona to Izabella Von Strauss, and in turn to Penelope who will go from being a great sword wielding adventurer to the aforementioned cutlass wielding, grog swilling, pistol toting seadog.
But even before that adjustment to the background, by having female Witch Hunters it brings a new twist to their entourage’s motives. The zealots and flagellants fight all the harder for these Witch Hunters, their righteous zeal caught up and twisted by an unhealthy infatuation with their betters that could consume as readily as Chaos would, with equally disasterous results. And Brother Tarsis who struggles to keep the shattered souls of his flock pure, reluctantly following the instructions of his masters whilst inwardly affording them a grudging and hard-earned respect.
And so I present to you my Witch Hunter warband – Sigmar’s Wrath