Sunday 12 November 2017

Skink Culchan Riders

With the release of Total War: Warhammer 2, I've found myself wanting to pick up on an old project - my Lizardman army.

I'd originally started planning to use it as a pure 5th edition army, as that's when I first started playing them, but I'm far more fond of the magic system from 6th onwards and of the rules/flavour from 7th edition. As it is, it's probably going to be a fudged mess of everything from 3rd-8th, with an aim to play it using a post-5th rule set. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Over the years I've collected a wide array of bits and bobs to supplement the scaly horde including a variety of jungle beasties - scorpions, spiders, cotatls, snake/lizard swarms, leeches, snails and even a capybara! The first thing I felt compelled to paint though were some rather esoteric creatures - the Culchans.

Now then, I couldn't just have the birds themselves, I wanted cavalry! Each of these terrifying, beastly birds is topped with a skink rider (from the Cold One Rider kits) armed with a spear and shield. The spears have been replaced with wire ones (thanks Foundry!) in order to avoid droopy-shaft-syndrome.

The birds themselves are rather plain looking as per their historical counterparts, but they are pretty gloriously textured and took drybrushing well. I also wanted to emphasise the colourful riders on top which were painted in an attempt to use coloured washes Overall I'm not thrilled with the result on the skinks and have since moved onto a coat d'arms dark brown wash instead.

The last thing I needed though were some rules. Culchans have been absent in the game since before I started playing, but a friendly Facebook user pointed me in the right direction for some stats - the 2nd edition Battle Bestiary.

Armed with this knowledge, I came up with the profile below for use in my armies. It's aimed at 7th edition, but should be vaguely reasonable for others as well.

Skink Culchan Riders - 35pts - Rare Unit    (3 to 6 models)
Gt. Crest Skink
* Culchan Riders are Monstrous Cavalry and use the better of the T and W values from the mount and rider.
Great Crested Skinks are armed with Spears, Shields and Light Armour. They have Scaly Skin (6+) and are Cold Blooded.
Culchans cause Fear.
Musician (+8pts), Champion (+16pts), Standard (+16pts)

Skink Chiefs may ride a Culchan for +25pts in addition to their normal mount options.

The Culchans use the base stats from Warhammer 2nd edition, but with an extra point of Movement to make them true 'cavalry' with 3d6" movement for pursuing and fleeing.

Both in terms of points and abilities they fill the gap between Skink Cold One Riders and Kroxigors and can be used to grind out units of weaker troops. They are particularly good at hunting down archers as, unlike the Cold Ones, they don't have much to fear from stand-and-shoot responses. In earlier editions they take the same role as Saurus Cold One Riders which would otherwise be absent.

I've got a lot more stuff coming across my painting table now, including a unit of lobotomised human slaves and their priest on palanquin, a big unit of saurus with spears and then maybe a Stegadon. We'll see how it goes. I'm definitely excited to be back on this project!


  1. Fantastic! I've got a skink hero on a culchan that I use in 5th (count as cold one). Its nice to see a unit of them all together, especially with such a nice paint job!

    1. Thank you! Fancy sending a link to your hero? I think the unit could do with a character leading them. :)