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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Zombie Champion Challenge

Hey there, my fellow denizens of the Warp-Hell that we call the Internet! Welcome to yet another edition of Chaos Corner. Old Man Chaos is here to entertain you and hopefully inspire some conversion creativity in my readers. All the time, I look at other blogs, Facebook pages, etc. and get inspired by the great work I see there. I am not saying my work is "great", but I enjoy my hobby and if somebody sees my blog and says "Hey- that's not bad, but I could make that even better" and they do it- well, that's what this is all about folks.

I have been fascinated by zombies for quite some time. When I was a little kid (growing up in the 80s and 90s) my parents got me interested in sci-fi. I watched Alien at an early age for sure, as well as Star Trek, Star Wars. I was also exposed to horror films like Halloween, the Howling, Tales From The Darkside, etc. though my parents were more into the classics like the Universal Horror movies.

However, there were some movies that my parents refused to let me see. The Exorcist for one. Night of the Living Dead was another. I remember seeing part of it on TV till my mother changed the channel. She said that movie was "bad"- not bad as in poorly made- rather, bad as in evil. Wrong. Just too scary for all the wrong and evil reasons. I was forbidden to watch that film.

But, in 1996, I was a senior in high school when the situation changed. I bought a PSOne in 1995 when it first came out, and in 1996 a game came out for it that would alter the video game industry and my own movie/game interests forever- Resident Evil. In that game, you are a elite cop trapped in a mansion that has become a nightmare of experimentation gone wrong- mutants, viruses, and of course... zombies. My world was changed forever by that experience. I did get a copy of Night of the Living Dead on VHS and that was it. I was a zombie fan for life. I quickly discovered Dawn and Day, as well as Zombie! and a host of others (both good and lame).

Naturally, my enjoyment of the undead eventually found an outlet when I got into 40K. At first I played Dark Eldar, but soon the Plague Marines beckoned and that was it. It was so easy to make bloated, decayed Plague Marines. However, I soon got another zombie jolt for 40K with the Eye of Terror book (a hollowed classic that they have never been able to recapture), which featured Plague Zombies. With that little impetus and inspiration, I made 75 Plague Zombies. I used fantasy zombies, but I also used plastic Cadians and Catachans too- Imperial soldiers that fell to the zombie plague. I had a vast horde of Plague Marines and their victims- arisen to aid those that brought the plague in the first place (If you read Wright's Space Wolf series he describes this incredibly well, as does ADB in Cadian Blood). Great times as a Nurgle player.

However, subsequent editions came out, and there were no equivalent rules for Plague Zombies, and I was afraid they would be consigned to oblivion (or friendly, rules-loose games). But, then 6th edition came out- though the new Chaos Codex had issues, they allowed you to take Plague Zombies once more, by having Typhus as your warlord. My undead would walk again in the name of Nurgle!

It took me a while to "get it" that zombies had to have champions just like cultists. At first I thought that was an "upgrade", but really no- its required. So, when I fielded them I usually just said "this one" is the champion. But, I didn't like that... it felt like a cop out. Problem is, I didn't have an alternative. That changed this past summer, when inspiration hit me like a plague-ridden slap in the face.

The new Space Marine kit is a great one- lots of weapons, armor varieties, etc. Then Nurgle told me that such could be brought more in line with his ways of entropy... yes, I could convert them into Plague Zombie Champions! I took up my cutters, knife, and glue and... bam! Plague Zombie Champions!

Just imagine- an Ultramarine is fighting the forces of Nurgle when he is bitten by the zombies- now, he is in agony as his geneseed-enhanced body tries to fight off the infection. He fights on in the streets of a hive city, trying to save the uninfected as his own body begins to succumb to this virulent strain of Nurgle's Rot. Finally, even his superhuman body falls to the plague, and when it does he mindlessly attacks those he was trying to save.

When the end came, most of the planet's inhabitants had died and returned as plague zombies of Nurgle. As the Plague Marines stalked the streets of the dead, admiring their work and praising Nurgle, they stumbled upon the heroic Ultramarine- his armor corroded, his body wasted and oozing, and his mouth wet with the blood of human flesh recently feasted upon. The Death Guard captain laughs grimly, and orders his troops to bring the Ultramarine to their lander. The captain smiles with rotten teeth, knowing that on the next world they "visit", this Ultramarine will help spread the plague far and wide before he is lain low by his uninfected brethren. Imagine their horror to see a fellow Ultramarine with the taint of Nurgle... that would be foul. That would be glorious.

And that's what I did. I made Space Marines of several chapters into Zombie Champions. I put them in various stages of decay, and put the appropriate blood, slime, corrosion, and mutations (I figured that the enhanced geneseed of the Marines would make the Plague react in other ways, causing more advanced mutations- the more enhanced, the more mutation). Now, there can be no mistaking which zombies are the champions. I can't wait to use them in battle alongside my regular zombies.

So I hope you liked this look into the workings of a mad devotee of Nurgle. So, I ask my fellow Nurgle players out there- how do you handle your Plague Zombie Champions?

Until next time...

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