As we’re well into the second month of A Tale of Two Armies I thought it was about time I wrote about one of the units that would make up the next 500 points of my army. The rest being made up of the Chaos Knights that I reviewed at the start of the month. I refer, of course, to the Skullcrushers of Khorne.
There may be those that ask why, in a 1,000 point game of Warhammer would I opt for a unit of Skullcrushers of Khorne. And it’s a perfectly legitimate question. And my response? Because they’re fucking cool. And really, in a hobby like ours, what better reason is there?
The simple fact of the matter is that Skullcrushers are the models that made me want to collect a Khorne army. Bear in mind that I didn’t have the army book – hell, I didn’t have the rule book at that point – so I didn’t know any of the rules. I just, whilst piecing together A Tale of Two Armies as a project, came across those models and uttered the word that millions of wargamers the world over say to themselves on a regular basis: want. And I did. I mean I really did. Over the last couple of years writing/running/editing this site I’ve seen and reviewed a lot of cool models but reviewing a model as an object and looking at a model as something to own, build, paint and use is very different. And these I wanted to own, build, and paint and use. Well, I’ve got the first two done…
I must be honest, the name is stupid. Considering the God they worship is partial to his home furnishings to be made from people’s bonces, I’d say he’d be pretty pissed off with the Skullcrushers on account of the fact they keep crushing the skulls rather than handing them over. Perhaps in a gift bag with a little hand written note.
But that aside, the Skullcrushers kit is way cool. Juggernauts have come a long way from the boxy metal model I owned when the first Codex Chaos was released back in 1996. The new ones are also a flobbidy-gillion times more dynamic and detailed than that one too. They strike the perfect balance between a creature that has been forged and one born into existence. The iconography is also a cross between savage and ornate and I love how they tie in with the shield designs. The collars for the juggernauts are also a fantastic touch. Because they’re a separate piece they feel far more ‘real’ and every bit like they are there to restrain the creatures than for decoration or symbolism. And they look it too. They’re big, mean, spiky, and look every bit as savage as one would expect and it all rather points towards their masters barely being able to contain them. And considering who their masters are that’s saying quite a bit.
The riders themselves are equally cool. There’s one too many skulls on a couple of the heads but otherwise they look as brutal as they should and the weapons are fantastic. And because they’re designed the same way as the Chaos Knights the weapons are interchangeable. Which is great news for giving knights a bit of variety. It does mean the legs are bit irritating to stick together but it’s a minor grumble. You also get a couple of extra bodies and heads too so if you’re planning to have a few units of Khorne knights in your army you could do some pretty awesome unit champions.
The kit though is very well thought out and it all goes together seamlessly. The casting is nice and tidy too so the clean up won’t take too long which is just as well as there’s a lot of components. And I mean a lot. And some of the nooks and crannies can be a bit fiddly to get a knife-edge or file into. But otherwise it’s a good kit that you’ll smash out in an evening. Okay, a long evening.
In the game Skullcrushers are as nasty as one would expect. The riders are little more than Chaos Warriors. I say little more, they’ll still kick in just about any other unit type they’ll come across. Chuck in the Mark of Khorne and Ensorcelled weapons (or lances if you think you can guarantee the charge) and they pack quite a wallop. Oh, and like knights, they cause Fear. Although that’s somewhat of a given considering the big bastards between their legs. Wait, did that sound gay…
The Juggernauts are combat monsters with murderous charge, daemonic attacks, and three attacks at strength 5 basic. The initiative of two is their only downside but thanks to the overall durability of the unit it shouldn’t prove too much of a problem. And as they’re weapons skill 5 as well they’re going to kick, bite and generally mangle much face.
The only downside is that Skullcrushers weigh in at 75 points each plus upgrades which means units are expensive. And annoyingly at their best in units of 4. So it’s a big commitment of points and a big target for cannons. You’d also have to buy two boxes. And as you’re buying two you may as well buy three and take two units and use the spare bod for a battle standard-bearer. Chuck in a Lord on Juggernaut and you’ve got two units of 5 running about the place. Which is incredibly nasty.
The Skullcrushers are a great kit, a fantastic centre piece to a small army and lethal en masse. They epitomise the Khorne army and I’m so pleased the kit lived up to my expectations (the aforementioned skull on helmet issue aside). I can’t wait to get them on to the battlefield and see how they perform. Let’s just hope Lee’s cannon misfires again…
The Skullcrushers of Khorne are available from Firestorm Games priced £31.50.