Mordheim is 20 years old this year, and in a burst of nostalgia I’ve pulled all my old stuff out, dusted it off, and added some new stuff. So why not make a whole new Chaos warband for it?
Together with the Goblins and Tilean mercenaries I did recently this gives me a ton of different options, and they’ve all been completely different styles to model and paint, so have been a nice diversion from some of my regular hobby antics.
I think I’m done now though. My terrain needs a little bit of a tickle up, but these Cult of the Possessed will be the last new warband.
If you’re familiar with the back story of Mordheim you probably know who The Possessed are. If not: they’re the Chaos bad guys. The city of Mordheim was nuked by a magic comet which left a bloody great smoking hole called The Pit. This is rumoured to be the home of a very nasty entity called The Shadowlord. This Shadowlord quickly attracted ‘orrible cults of Chaos-worshiping mutant weirdoes, collectively known as the Cult of the Possessed.
So mutant Chaos cultists? Righto then, we’ll need some pretty oddball miniatures for that.
Regular readers of this site might have noticed I’m a big fan of Hasslefree Miniatures. In the past I’ve used a lot of their modern agents and special forces, and the odd medieval Japanese sculpt, but they also do a lot of cool fantasy miniatures. Browsing through their human and demon range a Chaos warband pretty much jumps off the page.
The centrepiece models for your warband are going to be the heroes. For the Possessed that means 1-2 demons (known simply as The Possessed) a couple of mutants and the warband’s leader, known as a magister.
Clearly this warband are going on a bit of a Slaaneshi vibe, so my two combat monster Possessed are succubus miniatures. I think these look weird and sexy, while also looking demonic enough to kick some arse. Possessed don’t actually have to have any specific mutations, but I’ve gone for the obvious “cloven hoof”, which gives them a pretty scary 6″ move (12″ charge, compared to most folks 8″). That both fits the fast-moving Slaaneshi vibe and means the two best models in the warband should always be getting the charge in whenever they want and putting those two S4 attacks to best use. On the downside this means they cost an eye-watering 130 gold coins each. So they’re nasty, but they’d better be because you ain’t gonna get a lot of henchmen backing them up.
Their boss is the magister, whose a magic user not a fighter. I went for this sculpt that has horns the same as her demonic minions:
That leaves two slots for mutants on the roster. Obviously you can go a bit mental here, you generally pick your mutations from a list so you buy or convert an appropriate miniature (although the unhealthy environment of the City of the Damned can result in further mutations sprouting…). You can get things like a scorpion tail and lobster claws, but I’ve gone for the more low-key “blackblood” mutation and the tentacle. Because who doesn’t love a tentacly mutant?
Blackblood basically means the model has Alien-like acid for blood. For this mutation you don’t need to start chopping up the miniature, instead I used the paint job to signify there’s something weird about her. So lady with blue skin it is. I’ve actually done two miniatures here, one with armour and one without. No particular reason, I just liked both miniatures.
For the tentacle conversion I was tempted to use Bad Squiddo’s Dark Champion, which comes with a pretty gross tentacle-mouth-arm thing, but felt she’s just a bit heavily armoured for Mordheim. Instead I did something completely left-field and bought some miniatures from Games Workshop. I know, crazy right? Their plastic Witch Elves are ripe ground for conversion, and with the addition of mutation bits from Max Mini you’ve got a nasty lady with a sword and a tentacle who looks like she might just want to eat your face. Job done.
This was the first time I’d bought any of GW’s plastics for a long time, and the quality is really good. They’re great little sculpts, and assemble really nicely. They’ve done a good job of positioning the joins between parts in a way that hides them, and the part count is low enough that you won’t spend forever sticking them together like some plastics. I didn’t want to buy a whole box of these so I picked up a few sprues off eBay, but even there the predictable GW price gouge was in effect. £3 each for plastics is a bit steep but they are nice miniatures and I’ll pay that for a Hasslefree metal mini for a skirmish game, so it’s not too bad.
That pretty much fills out the hero slots, and with two Possessed in there packing mutations there’s little left in the kitty for henchmen. The Possessed have two kinds of cannon fodder: basic human cultists and the meaner, weirder “Dark Souls”. They also have the option of beastmen, but that doesn’t really fit the vibe of my warband.
For the Dark Souls I’m using some more of the GW Witch Elves, wielding twin daggers. You get two head options on the sprue; traditional Witch Elf “big hair” and these much cooler shaved heads and masks. Two daggers is actually a fairly good weapon option in Mordheim, and means these good fighters should be pretty affordable to get that model count up after the early games.
These are pretty much unmodified from what you get on the sprue, but I did cut down the giant rocks they’re all leaping off. I can understand having one or two leaping off a rock, but I’m not sure why they have sculpted them all doing it? It just looks weird IMO.
For the regular henchmen it’s back to the Hasslefree catalogue again, and I’m using a mix of various evil-looking types with two-handed weapons. Why two-handed weapons? Well striking last sucks, but if they do hit they mess people up, and frankly most of the cool evil miniatures out there have got gigantic swords and axes so why not roll with it?
I was originally going to make this warband all-female, but to be honest I started to feel like avoiding male models felt a bit forced and there are a lot of great male chaos models. I still feel like having all female leaders and only a few male minions makes this a very female-dominated cult. I’m not trying to make a statement there, it’s just something a bit different and therefore interesting to me.
One problem I found is that a lot of “chaos” style minis are super heavily armoured. Massive horns on the helmet, spiky bits, you know the drill. In Mordheim armour is really expensive, and nobody would equip lowly henchmen with it. So I’ve stuck with more of the evil barbarian vibe here. Like the GW Witch Elf miniatures there is a bit of a silly armourkini thing going on with a couple of them, but hey, it’s fantasy and they are from an S&M murder cult. Mordheim is a low fantasy aesthetic, but chaos are always going to be the ones that veer more towards the outlandish.
Anyway, I’m happy with the warband and feel like they fit the theme and work with each other while being quite different from the original GW Possessed miniatures. There are other people doing far more creative things though, this really is a warband you can have a lot of fun with and really go wild.