Knights Excelsior Skirmish Warband

I did some work on updating my Skirmish warband of the Knights Excelsior, making the bases more lively to tie into the realm of Ghur. I would to add a few more units to add more range and Hero options, just to diversify my options.

I haven’t done much to this project since I did a post on starting this and the Skullfiend Tribe project. But I’d like to add some more units as I really like the colour scheme. It reminds me of the Pre-Heresy World Eaters colour scheme.

Until next time,


Improving and planning on Bjorn the Stormborn

Improving and planning on Bjorn the Stormborn

This summer has been busier than past summer holidays for me, but nonetheless a great summer holiday.  Blogging has been a great time to share project works I’ve been doing each week.

Today, I want to share my thoughts on what the process of deadline posts have been like for me, and the changes I’ll be doing going forward with the blog.

Blogging schedule deadline

My blogging schedule for the most part has been an interesting and engaging time for me to be motivated to get my models painted. From my continuing 40k collection series on the Black Templars, Harbinger Legion, Axes of Skarbrand and Liverbone Court.

However, the deadlines were at times very stressful to achive, having to spare some time to paint models to an exceptional standard for weekend posts. It got to the point where I had to stall my blog with hombrew lore posts to give me time to create a backlog of posts for drafts. Since I’ll be back at college in a matter of weeks, I’ll be needing these backlogs to keep my blog alive to keep me motivated to paint.

My reasons for making weekend deadlines is down to my motivation to paint and improve my hobby skills, as well as getting unpainted backlog models done. From my announcement of doing weekend posts to now, I’ve been able to paint more models now that I’ve planned deadlines to push myself to improve my skills towards completing each task.


Recently, I’ve seen my process on posts gradually become more of a chore than a passion for the hobby, having to take photographs and typing about the subject post before deadline. It became less about being passionate for the hobby, and more about getting posts done on schedule.

Posts like the Harbinger Legion and Black Templars series are getting a lot of attention (mainly because of 40k 8th edition being released this year), making me more enthusiastic to produce more content on these posts. I feel like the reception I get from the posts gives me more motivation to continue these projects to push myself on, as I know my hard work has not been wasted.

However, on the other end of the blog, posts like Lore of the Grey-manes and some AoS posts don’t get the same amount as the 40k posts. Sadly, motivation to do more of these is mixed at times. I’m hoping now that the new GHB 2017 is released, I’ll be able to push on continuing my AoS related posts.

New blog name and changes

I’ve decided to rename my blog as ‘Bjorn the Stormborn’, a fitting title for a make over to the blog. As you’ll notice, the name and image is heavily AoS inspired, this is because I want the blog site to be more AoS focused than Warhammer 40k and my art work. However, this doesn’t mean that the lesser two aren’t going to be featured regularly on the site.

I’ve also come to the conclusion that I’m going to be going back to my old ways of blogging, where I’ll be posting one or two posts on any day of the week. While I still have a deadline to fulfil, at least I’ll be able to have free reign to not be as stressed for time as well as the task not being a chore.

Finally, I’m going to change a few things for AoS posts and the 40k posts. I feel that it’s about time to change the way I present the blog posts, and make them more appealing to read and see. Rather than making hundreds of series posts on different collections, I want to condense them into three blog post titles including: Art, AoS, and 40k (not including Silence of the Shroud series). 

So here’s a shortened list of what changes will be coming soon:

  • More focus on Warhammer AoS with painting guides, (novice) gaming advice, hombrew lore, faction related subjects and (uncommon) battle reports.
  • Warhammer 40k posts will still be around, but will be less frequent than AoS and art posts. The Bkack Templars, Harbinger Legion and Silence of the Shroud collection series will still be ongoing.
  • Art posts will be returning to the blog very soon now that I’m back doing my art projects. There will be process stage works, techniques, final evaluation and advice on each project.
  • Blog posting will be once or twice a week now, as well as making changes to the way I present my blog posts, 

While I can understand that some of these changes might sound weird and confusing (my wording can confuse even the ‘Changer of Ways’ itself), it’ll make sense through the coming weeks. If you have any suggestions of constructive criticism to share, post a comment below, and I’ll reply back as soon as I can.
That’s all from me for now, I hope this post was helpful enough to explain the changes that I’m planning for the blog. The next post to come out will either be next Wednesday or the week after. Watch this Space!


Thank you for reading this post. If  you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorn Stormborn

The Stagrot Gladiators (AoS Skirmish faction spotlight) [part 2 of 2]

The Stagrot Gladiators (AoS Skirmish faction spotlight) [part 2 of 2]

After playing my first game of AoS Skirmish, I found the game to be really engaging to play. This inspired me to create warbands that are inspired by real world history, lore for Warhammer fantasy and Age of Sigmar. Each faction will have its own unique story and culture based on inspiration that best suited to that faction.

Today, I’ll be continuing the Stagrot Gladiators skirmish force, presenting my planned skirmish list and backstory. If you haven’t seen part 1 yet, check out [..] to learn how I came about building up more warbands from influenced research.

Preparing my skirmish force

With my research completed, I wanted to have a skirmish force costing around 100 renown to use for games of AoS Skirmish. My plan was to build the force using Nurgle factions from Nurgle Rotbringers and Slaves to darkness with marks of Nurgle.

From my collection, I’ve found these following units that are eligible for AoS skirmish, including Chaos warriors, Blightkings, Chaos Knights and Lord of Plagues. Whilst the Chaos Knight might not seem fitting for gladiators, I can argue that the unit in question are gladiators that have mastered the art of cavalry combat. 

At first it was a hard choice of deciding what I would use for my 100 renown list. I took some time to decide on what I could mix into the list, but eventually I was able to finish my list.

The Stagrot Gladiators (100R) 

1x Lord of Plagues (Hero)
8xChaos Warriors

5x Blightkings

2x Chaos Knights

Total Renown= 99 renown

With the completion of the skirmish list, I can now go on to creating the backstory for my warband, based on the research and information I’ve gathered. I’ve decided to name locations and names in Greek, since I find using English to be out of place for gladiator period. However, I’ve translated Greek to English onward to make the backstory less of a hassle to translate for readers.

(If anyone reading this is from Greece, I hope I haven’t butchered your translation from English. If the translations are terrible, I’ll take full responsibility for being lazy, since I relied on google translate).

Backstory lore for the Stagrot Gladiators 

The Stagrot Gladiators

During the Age of Chaos, soldiers of order who were caught by warriors of the dark gods, from decimated battles, cowardice attempts that failed, or even civilian guards who failed to defend their post. Once captured by chaos slavers, the strongest that are still barely alive were subjected to a life as gladiators known as ‘weak meats’, which meant that they are viewed only as animals, rather than sentient individuals.

One particular Chaos warband captured a group of soldiers from the realm of Ghur, these mismatch group of soldiers were trying to out run a northern tribe. The tribe came by the name of Αρσενικό ελάφι-σαπίλα φυλή, which translates to ‘Stagrot tribe’. The unfortunates that were alive were sent in prison carts up north to a city called Ο τάφος των κοριών (translated to The crows grave).

A civilisation of demagogs and immoral practices 

The city was once a highly civilised and structured from advanced architecture, reflecting on the society’s progressiveness. However, it was eventually overtaken by the fell tribe of the Stagrot, a grinding and bloody war that lasted for nearly fourteen years since the start of the Age of Chaos. 

The city would slowly degrade with savage totems and eldritch paintings of the tribes culture. Establishing many changes of indoctrinations to the citizens of the Crows Grave, included slave trading markets, ritualistic study’s for shaman philosophers to debate, delving into many forbidden fields that are considered too violent and immoral.
One such immoral concept that the tribal leaders have incorporated into the Crows Grave is gladiator combat for entertainment. Held in a coliseum built from slavery, this structure would hold many gladiatorial events for weak meats to fight each other to the death.
However, one particular gladiator by the name of Αλέξανδρος (translates to Alexandros) a Laquerius class gladiator. He was a strong combatant who wanted to be free from this prison that he’s forced to fight in. He would soon be free from the Crows Grave with his fellow gladiator away to lands that still have innocents left. But fate is never kind for mortals, especially to Alexandros’s naive and stubborn understanding of what’s to come…

Omens of punishment 

On a cold rainy day, as Alexandros was preparing himself for his next death dual, he noticed something was oddly different. He noticed that the rain pouring down from the sky wasn’t water droplets, but millions upon millions of dead flies. 

The day became even more stranger when the sky changed from a dark gloomy sky to a sickly green smog. Alexandros took this as a sign of a bad omen, for he had never seen the signs like this in all his six year time as a slave.

During the death match, Alexandros fought against his opponent, by the name of Corvo. He used his dual hand weapons with precise strikes, using his adrenaline strikes to defeat his foe quickly. But tragically, he underestimated his foe, as Corvo dodged his strikes and sliced his stomach open using his Gladius. As Alexandros fell to the ground, Corvo roared with righteousness at his victory.

Soon after, the sky grew more sinister as two sickly pus like orbs glowing in the sky, like diseased eyes. The clouds formed a grotesque grin, which silhouetted a monstrous face above the coliseum. The Stagrot tribe started to fear the changes, taking this as punishment by their gods. But the gods weren’t listening to their cries, they left their pawns behind as if they were none existent. Very much an irony for the tribe, for they themselves viewed the weak meats as nothing.

The Stagrot reborn
As the coliseum crowd feared in terror from the growing omen, the sky grew darker as a swarm of flies came out of the grotesque mouth of the beast in the sky. Swarming around the city like a black smog, they covered the city until unnatural night covered the Crows Grave. They chocked the tribes people from their mouths, ears and nostrils by the hundreds. People became bloated by the flies, until their stomachs bursted into gory intestines and wriggling maggots. 

But not all flies are the same, as some were larger, and more repulsive than the lesser ones. These bigger ones blessed the living or dead with Nurgles gift, and the fresh corpse of Alexandros was one such host to bless. As the unique fly bit the cold corps of the Laquerius gladiator, the body starts to return to life slowly from the dead.

Alexandros was once a noble warrior who made many terrible decision in his life, but now, he’s nothing more than a bloated monster who has been blessed as a Blightking. As he came around, many gladiators like himself were blessed with the same ascension, becoming Blightkings themselves, including Corvo. As the bloated gladiators formed around Alexandros, he ordered them to charge at the crowd with a sore laugh like a jester with a raspy laugh. The crows didn’t even stand a chance as the Blightkings and other fell warriors charged at their once ‘slavers’, reaping the carnage to slay any that stand in their way.

After the decimation of all the tribal slavers of Crows Grave, the Stagrot was reborn as a nation of disease and unnatural life. Having rebuilt the city into a haven garden to grow and nurture new plagues for the army. The Stagrot Gladiators now set their sites for pillaging villages, treasures and fresh hosts to build their ever growing force. Building their reputation to become a threat not only to the allies of Sigmar, but also to the other four pantheons of the Chaos gods.

Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!


The Stagrot Gladiators (AoS Skirmish faction spotlight) [part 1 of 2]

After playing my first game of AoS Skirmish, I found the game to be really engaging to play. This inspired me to create warbands that are inspired by real world history, lore for Warhammer fantasy and Age of Sigmar. Each faction will have its own unique story and culture based on inspiration that best suited to that faction.

Today’s skirmish faction is the Stagrot Gladiators (mixed Nurgle units), a warband that is inspired by a very famous historical revolutionary gladiator by the name of Spartacus.

Inspiration for the Stagrot Gladiators, historical research

My research source for choosing a historical background base my warband on is from a magazine called ‘All about History’, a monthly magazine that has a variety of historical information throughout human history. 

Originally I wanted to make my Nurgle warband a group of plague ridden pirates, based on historical information on pirates. However, I decided not to continue down this path, due to the fact that I felt that the warband would be very small to be a part of a privateer crew, even for a skirmish party. Also, I thought that all of the models wouldn’t fit into the pirate background, beacuse they wear heavy rusted knight armour, which wouldn’t be helpful for naval battle.

Later on, when I was looking through one of the magazine issues, I came across an article about Spartacus. It not only explains about the story of the slaves freedom led by Spartacus, but also some brief information on Gladiator classes, uprisings of slavery revolts and consequences for slave revolutions. It was this article that inspired me to base my Nurgle faction on gladiators such as Spartacus’s gladiator life.

I’m also considering naming each unit as a gladiator class, based on their equipment and weapon of choice. For example, the Blightkings I’ve built are equipped with two handed weapons, so the closest class I can name them as are Dimachaerus. The Dimachaerus class are equipped with dual swords (although my unit has a mixture of dual weapons). 

I think that naming my units based on gladiator classes will tie more force more closely to historical connections to my skirmish force. I prefer this as making up names can be dull at times, but having hints to history and culture can make a faction more appealing.

Now some will criticise that gladiator based concepts should be more for Khorne’s legion, because factions like the Bloodbound do gladiatorial combat against each other for survival and bloodlust. However, I felt it was more appropriate for a Nurgle faction to have inspired historical gladiator concept, due to the fact that the purpose of  being a gladiator is to entertain crowds. Whilst this could easily fight into Slannesh’s dominion, as the God feeds on pleasure and joyful emotions, it can also apply to Nurgle (not pleasure, joy).

You see, Nurgle is a joyful god, a generous god who is know to be a jolly entity who represents life and death. A notable aspect of those who serve Nurgle don’t feel pain like any mortal would. In fact, they take joy in the knowledge that they can no longer feel pain because of the immunity that Nurgle blesses them with. 

So for the gladiator concept to work, I need to base it on joy, life and death in order to have this story relate to the followers of Nurgle. From the information I’ve gathered, I’ve found historical information in three points that can relate into my Nurgle army.

  • Joy– as I’ve mentioned before, a gladiators job is to entertain the crowd, and slay his opponent in combat. The crowd take joy in the fact that they are entertained by the bloody sport that takes place in the coliseum. Applying this to a narrative story, Nurgle would be attracted to the emotions of joy from the crowd, which will  give a reason as to why Nurgle will want to infest the arena with Plagues and diseases.
  • Life– this one will be a difficult one, as a gladiators life is constantly threatened when they enter the arena. I might be stretching this idea very far, but I think it would just about fit into context for life. Since a lot of fighters die in the arena, I can imagine fly’s would be attracted to the dead, laying eggs on the dead for maggots to be born and swarm. Growing with nutrients to become fully grown fly’s. I think you guys will get the picture why this will fit nicely for Nurgle, who has a fond use for fly’s in his dominion.
  • Death– probably one of the easiest concepts that can be related from historical to fantasy. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a galadiators life is short, if he fails to defend himself, he will die. Many who cannot adapt due to their preferred gladiator class will be slain for their weaknesses. I can imagine that this can apply to a fantasy setting very similar to our history. Nurgle could corrupt the unworthy, reborning the fallen warriors as bloated mad men who spread the blessings of Nurgle around the colesium. 

Inspiration for the Stagrot Gladiators, further inspiration from Warhammer lore

From the information I had, I wanted to reference it as a concept to develop into the Stagrot Gladiators, although I didn’t want to make it a straight up copy of Spartacus’s revolution. Before I could go into developing my concept story for the warband, I needed to research any lore background from Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar, to see if there were anything I can be inspired by.

My first source for inspiration was the e-book short story series ‘Call of Archaon‘ by Black Libary publication. The series tells three different story’s that are interwoven later on into the series, based on characters that follow Nurgle, Khorne and Tzeentch. The books that I’ve read relating to Nurgle are ‘Beneath the Black Thumb’ by David Guymer, ‘Knight of Corruption’ by David Annandale and finally ‘Blood and Plague’ also by David Annandale. I found the series to be a great source for information on mortals who follow Nurgle, especially from the prospective of the Nurgle Rotbringers. 

Another source of inspiration comes from another Black Library publication called ‘Ghal Maraz’ by Josh Reynolds and Guy Haley. The book is split into two stories, which I’ll be focusing on Josh’s story ‘War in the Hidden Vale‘. Covering the events during the Realmgate wars in Ghyran, the story has Nurgles army as the main antagonists, who are trying to corrupt Ghyran to it’s core to be part of Nurgle garden. Whilst I’m still reading the the story, however, I’m inspired by what I’ve read so far. 

Finally, an old world story in Warhammer Fantasy, ‘The End Times: Fall of Altdorf‘ by Chris Wraight. The story is the second book in the End Times series, covering the events with the Vampires of Sylvania, men of the Empire, and the hordes of the Glottkin under the patron of Nurgles. Whilst the old world is destroyed and very much in the past for AoS, I think it’s still worth looking at the events of fall of Altforf. I’m interested to see how mortals under Nurgles influence acted during the World-that-was, to better understand how the army functioned for combat and tactics.

With the information I’ve gathered, I have a the inspirational source material for developing my skirmish faction backstory. However, I’ll have to leave that until tomorrow, as I don’t want to go on more information than I’ve already have for this post.

I hope you have enjoyed part one of two, and I look forward to seeing your thoughts on this post in the comment section. 


Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!


AoS Skirmish 

AoS Skirmish 

This week I played my first game of AoS Skirmish using my Khorne Bloodbound faction, and I’ve got to say, it was really *fun! I’m really engaged to do more games with Skirmish, as I can see a lot of potential to create more focused narrative stories.

(*-Not because my Aspiring Deathbringer nearly destroyed a Branchwych during the first turn ‘Cough‘. I jest, I lost the match, but I was so close to winning!)

After the first match of Skirmish, I had a discussion with my opponent on our thoughts on the game, and wether it was worth playing into for future gaming. My thoughts on the match were fairly positive, I liked the simplicity of having smaller games that are more at stake with challenges for our factions. 

It opens up more deeper narrative stories that can be explored upon, for example, disrupting trade logistic supply’s, protecting your factions leader whilst traversing dangerous roads, ambushing the enemies camp in the night or even an assassination plot to gain more reputation and power. 

However, I do feel that there are areas in the Skirmish book that aren’t up to scratch, including some questionable choices for faction organisation. For example, for Nurgle Rotbringers, you can have one Gutrot Spume, one Lord of Plagues and up to five Blightkings. My criticism for this list is explained in bullet points below.

  • Gutrot Spume is a unique Hero character, as mentioned in the 2016 GHB. So how come he’s the only unique Hero model from the entire grand alliance for Skirmish? Is he now a leader model that’s not unique?
  • For Nurgle Rotbringers, we have no Sorcerer on the list, even though we have a Rotbringers Sorrcerer. Any particular reason why this character wasn’t included, as well as the Harbinger of Decay?
  • Considering if your sticking to Nurgle Rotbringers as your only faction choice (not including other Nurgle mortal and Daemon factions), wouldn’t it be an option to have ten Blightkings? having them and a Lord of Plagues would total to 90 Renown for a 100pt game would make sense. Whilst many would disagree that the unit in question will be quite powerful, as well as the re-roll difference chart being in the Nurgle players favour (which is a valid criticism). However, the opponent will be better off with their 100pt list against the standard 55pt Nurgle Rotbringers list, and never underestimate your opponent. I think I’ll let you guys debate on this with your own opinions.

But this is only part of the issue, as one of my gaming opponents had pointed out that Skirmish might have been a rushed book due to the success of Shadow of war: Armegeddon. Now it’s debatable on wether this is true or not, but I can see how the point being raised may be closer to the truth, when you can see the limitation on what factions can use for their warbands.

Factions like the Death alligence have hardly anything sustainable to use apart from the Flesh-Eaters Court. Factions like the Soulblight and Deathmages are lacking variety of options for warband creation. For the Greenskin faction, they don’t even have a Warlord or Hero character to use to lead their faction!

Wether the points I’ve raised here are agreeable or disagreeable, I hope they will help to improve AoS Skirmish to become a great expansion supplement, like Path to Glory.

Earlier this week, I’ve found a community site called tga community (The Grand Alliance Community), which has a thread on the unofficial AoS Skirmish points for more choices including FW models. I’d recommend checking out the unofficial expanded faction lists, press/click tga community if your interested to try the lists out.

My Skirmish factions

When deciding on what factions I’ll be using for Skirmish, I did some checklist work on what I can and can’t use for Skirmish (consulting the AoS Skirmish book). Luckily, most of the factions I’ve collected have a variety of options to build on, so I can now plan my army lists for future project works.

Each faction has it’s list combined with the amount of renown cost, that are within the rules guideline. Here are a couple of lists I’ve done so far.

Followers of the lost god (Darkling Covern)

  • 19x Darkspears
  • 20x Darkshards
  • 10x Black Guard
  • 1x Sorceress (Hero)

Total renown= 124 

Those of you who have been following my blog for some time now will know that I rant a lot about my Dark Elves from time to time. Part of me wants to rebuild this faction back to its glory days when I used to play them, however, the other half of me isn’t motivated to work on them after the old world was destroyed during the End Times.

Skirmish might just re-ignite my motivation to get this army onto the AoS world. I’ve based the faction on a group of Dark Aelves who follow the ‘lost god’, who has influenced these Aelves to he/she’s bidding.

Hexter’s Demi-Court hunting pack (Flesh-Eaters Court)

  • 3x Crypt Horrors
  • 18x Crypt Ghouls
  • 1x Abhorrent Ghoul king (Hero)

Total Renown= 95

Originally intended as a 1,000/ 2,000pt army for my Death Alligence, the Liverbone Court is now built just for Skirmish and Path to Glory games. The faction is built more on the fluff rather than gaming, a decision that I’ve not regretted. 

Near to completion, I’ll only need to paint 15 Crypt Ghouls, which will give me enough minions to buff with my Abhorrent Ghoul Kings magic and artefacts.

The Stagrot privateers (mixed Nurgle warband)

  • 1x Lord of Plagues 
  • 5x Blightkings
  • 10x Chaos Warriors

Total Renown= 95

My Nurgle warband is a mixture of mortals, some being disgustingly repulsive, whilst others being beyond mortal comprehension on hygiene. The Stagrot Privateers are part of the naval force that seeks to find treasure for wealth and reputation.

So far, the faction is nearly completed, having purchased a unit of Blightkings to go along with the force. Sadly, I can’t include a Rotbringers Sorcerer because they’re not included in the warband list (which is quite odd).

I’m really looking forward to playing this warband when I play my next game of Skirmish, especially now that I have a couple of tricks up my sleaves ;).
That’s all I’ve got for now for army lists for my AoS Skirmish factions. There’s a lot more to show, including Daemons of Nurgle, Stormcast Eternals, Khorne Bloodbound and much more. Sadly, I’m pressed for time as I needed to get this post done for today. But fear not, I’ll be posting more lists with narrative backgrounds next weekend. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post, if you have a Skirmish warband that you’d like to share, post a comment below with your army list and narrative background (if you have a blog post of your skirmish force, drop a link too!). I can’t wait to see what you guys have crafted for your own warbands. 🙂


Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!