And now my attention falls to the Chaos Marauders. I actually had dozens of these when I last had a Chaos army. I forget how I acquired them. I suspect they were part of the army box or some such. But I didn’t build any of them. When the Chaos army went – about 8 years ago now – they went right along with it, apart from some sprues I found about two years ago at the bottom of a huge plastic storage box full of sprues whilst having a clear out. I shortly after gave them to Lee for his Slanneshi army. Because I’m nice like that.
So, up to now, Marauders have not had much, read any, love from me at all. As Lee and I had opted for the battalion boxes to kick off A Tale of Two Armies it did mean that I’d be taking at least one unit of the bare topped bastards in my army. Gaming wise this didn’t bother me as they’re more than a match for the average human but as a rule I resent paying points for anything that doesn’t come with Chaos Armour.
So what do you get in the kit? Well, lots and lots of space. The Marauders are a few years old now so haven’t benefited from the advancements the Games Workshop has made in cramming sprues with lots of stuff. But you do get parts enough to make your barbarian horde with hand weapon and shield or flails. Flail equipped marauders are obviously proper badass but the point of save the shield gives makes it an even toss up over what to arm them with.
As with many of the older regiment kits the Marauders come in many parts. Many many parts. So many parts that they took longer to build than the rest of the battalion. This does rather beg the question; are they worth the bother considering they will get carved up. Yes and no but more on that later.
Despite the woeful amount of clipping, filing and gluing it’s a pretty good kit. Although some of the poses are on the rigid side, a couple of the heads are a bit shit, and the detail is a little light compared to newer kits. But considering there’s twenty of them that’s no bad thing from a painting perspective. Doubly so from a gaming one considering the rate at which they’ll die. Despite those things they still look cool and there’s enough nice touches (and the shields are way cool) on the models that you’ll manage to batch paint them without blowing your brains out.
That said there is a lot of skin on those models which, again, means will boil down to the technique you use to paint them. Otherwise I can see it being the one unit in your army that doesn’t get past base coating. And that would be a shame because the Marauders do have a lot going for them and when they’re all ranked up they look brilliant and I totally get the appeal of hordes.
Which brings me to whether or not Marauders are worth the bother and the yes/no answer. The no they’ll take fooking ages to paint. On top of the time it takes to build them you can be left feeling like you’ve climbed a hobby mountain. And as they’re really at their best in units of two or three it could make one groan somewhat. I certainly did as I worked on my army lists and concluded a second battalion would probably be the way to go to get a solid core to my army.
However, the Marauders in the game are extremely useful. They’re cheap enough that you can use them to screen your harder hitting, and therefore more expensive, units. You can use them to protect your flanks when your warhounds inevitably get munched by knights. Or you can just send them right up the middle to kick face. Which they will do quite comfortably.
It’s certainly a bonus having an expendable unit on hand that will give a good account of itself. Or against a softer target, punch a hole or hold a flank long enough for the rest of the army to respond. It being a largely elite – and therefore high points – force, Marauders represent a real boon thanks to their low-cost and above average combat performance. The big minus is their lack of armour but that’s fine too. If the enemy is shooting them or hacking them into bleeding chunks of meat then they’re not threatening the flank of another more vital unit.
Point for point and penny for penny I don’t like them as much as Warhounds but there is no denying they have a genuine use on the field. And there’s no denying the damage they can do given half a chance plus the added bonus of forcing opponents into choosing the lesser or two evils to tussle with. Either way it presents a marked advantage.
The Marauders of Chaos box is available from Firestorm Games priced £18.