Monday, September 2, 2019

Best Kept Secrets: Ral Partha Europe, Part 3 - The Chaos Imperium!

Chaos Command Group

Note that these figures are each available separately which is useful if one wants extra drummers, for example. These are part of Ral Partha Europe's Chaos Imperium range. Unlike the Divided Kingdoms range these were Ral Partha's own range and not part of the Crucible Miniatures line.

I'll admit I haven't figured out entirely how I'll incorporate this range, but there are lots of figure variations so it could potentially span many nations and legions, and temples as many I think are useable as Temple Guards or Warrior Priests (and some are sold as such!)

Shock Trooper Pike (b)

There are three Shock Troopers, this one being my favourite. I use this figure as Pijeni from the The Inimitable Forces of Ancient Kai, which I have previously blogged about. I think I would also use him as Temple Guard because the pose is "just right", as Goldilocks would say.

Shock Trooper Pike (a)

This Shock Trooper pose I also quite like. I am using it for a Mu'ugalavyani legion. At least I've started painting a "test" figure red. I haven't quite found a legion for it to proxy, and I might raise an entirely new legion to bolster the Mu'ug forces. 

The third Shock Trooper I like the least:

Shock Trooper Pike (c)

I guess I could see him posed behind a wall of shields like the Persians used to do, perhaps partnered with a crossbowman? Actually, now that is an idea - I'm making this up as I type - I mean, that style of fighting is quite common on Tekumel. Professor Barker was always combining fighting pairs of warriors, particularly for Yan Kor, but not I think exclusively. I like the spear tip as Mu'ugalavyani but could do for other nations as well. I actually just bought some nifty Sassanid pavise shields from Aventine Miniatures:

Sassanid Large Shield/Pavise (Aventine Miniatures)

I had originally thought to use them with either crossbows or in a siege context, or both, really. But this actually works quite well. I can paint them black with a red pattern and they could be part of a combined fighting formation Medium Pikes, paired with crossbows. Now there would typically be a heavy legion also in the mix so maybe that will be the Shock Pikeman (a) figure, or maybe I find something else...)

Chaos Archer (c), with Crossbow 

I've jumped to the Chaos Archers because I just know the crossbowman is the figure to match with the third Shock Trooper pikeman. The other Chaos Archers are shown below:

Chaos Archer (a)

Chaos Archer (b)

I haven't figured out which legion or nation these might belong to yet.

Next up in the Chaos Imperium list are the Chaos Guardsmen. There are four(4) different figures. The same bodies but four different weapon arms. And they can be bought as a set or individually.

Chaos Guardsmen

The weapon choices are two different swords, an axe, and a long-hafted mace. The shields are the weak point for these figures, at least for me. For one, I believe they are moulded on (ugh), and secondly, there are those spikes on the shield. Now Professor Barker does describe some legions as having spiked shields - did he use these figures? 😉 - but personally I would have preferred plain shields - and detached shields, even better!

Chaos Guardsman (a), with sword

Chaos Guardsman (d), with curved sword

Whether a particular unit has a curved sword or scimitar is often mentioned in the legion descriptions so that might help to guide the choice, however, the skull masked helmet is even more prominent a descriptor. Are these Sarku troops? The skull motif isn't exclusively Sarku or Durritlamish though it does feature prominently in their costume.

Chaos Guardsman (b), with axe

Chaos Guardsman (c), with mace

Another thing to consider is that one could cut away the existing weapons, drill out the hand and add a wire pike or spear. The arms are separate so there might be some room to pose them at different angles but, looking closely at the pics, perhaps the axe pose is best as it seems the arm is posed to hold the weapon upright. I haven't splurged on these guys yet and so cannot offer guidance at this time.

Chaos Foot Knights

Sold as a pack of six but also available individually. I haven't considered these figures much before. Perhaps they could be officers if there isn't a legion choice available, or Temple Guards or Warrior Priests. Temple Guard units are mentioned as taking the field, most notably at the Battle of Ry, but I think units of Warrior Priests could also be formed. I think they would be small contingents but I think they could see a place, especially during the Tsolyani Civil War.


Unless one uses these as character figures,  the one with the whip could be a slaver, for example, then one has to invent aridani legions for them to serve. Not that that is a bad idea, of course. Alternatively they could be Temple Guards. As far as nations go, I have been considering Pijena and/or Salarvya. The former is too small - canonically - to field many units, but then in my books, canon is a four letter word. And the latter doesn't have as many aridani warriors as Tsolyanu, for example; it does have some all female units however, so perhaps there is room for more. Again, sold as a pack of six or as singles.

Chaos Berserkers

Berserker (b), with greatsword

Except for figure (b) with the greatsword, I don't really like these figures. Figure (c) is slightly larger than the others. As always, Your Mileage May Vary. (Aside: what expression is used in Europe?) Maybe I haven't devoted enough time to considering the uses for these figures. Berserker (b) with the flame-shaped blade could perhaps be Vimuhla-related, perhaps?

War Monks

A four (4) figure set this time, available separately per usual. I haven't really considered the first figure, the Bishop of Chaos. A priest of some sort perhaps, possibly with the headdress being altered. 

Bishop of Chaos, War Monk (a)

To be fair, you could cut away the crook, replacing it with a spear or maybe a halberd, and perhaps add a shield. Alternately perhaps that crook is actually some sort of exotic halberd-like polearm? Hmm, maybe I have been dismissing this figure out of hand. In any case, I think maybe as a Temple Guard unit is the route I'll take.

War Monk (b)

War Monk (c)

War Monk (d)

The other War monks could be Warrior Priests, or some sort of Temple Guard unit, or from multiple legions and/or nations. I haven't worked that out yet. The shields are a bit too spikey for my tastes, with the exception of figure (c).

This pretty much covers the Chaos Imperium range available from Ral Partha Europe. The rest of the range are not really either for Tekumel or for formed units. There are the Winged War Demons, which might do as Vorodla, perhaps:

Winged War Demons

Winged Arch Demon

Winged War Demon #3

Winged War Demon #4

Winged War Demons in flight (2)

The latter are available singly as well as a set of two. I think maybe they are the strongest candidates as well. I don't have any of these War Demon figures and so can't really comment otherwise. 

They have other figures that are useful for Tekumel gamers, but they are in other ranges, and I will do a separate post for that. One last figure I should mention from the Chaos Imperium range is the Scorpian Man, possibly of interest to Glorantha gamers...

Shock Lord - Scorpianman