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Marauders of Chaos

Grade: 1c
Source: Border Town Burning (PDF)
Setting: Border Town Burning

The primitive men who dwell in the Northern lands on the border of the Chaos Wastes are called Marauders of Chaos. They live in tribes and worship strange gods long forgotten by the civilised world. These Northmen are great warriors and they endlessly strive to win the attention of their patron gods by proving themselves in many battles. Some of the more ambitious chieftains lead their warbands south to the Cathayan Borderlands, leaving burned villages and bloody trails in their wake, seeking greater and greater challenges all for the glory of their dark gods.

To the east of Norsca lies the southern arm of the Frozen Sea and, east of that, the Northern Wastes, stretching many thousands of miles to the distant ocean. This cold and barren extension of the great northern steppes is home to fierce nomad peoples, of whom the greatest and most feared are the Kurgan to the west and the Hung to the east. These races are themselves divided into many inter-warring tribes, some more barbarous and bloodthirsty than others.

special rules

Eye of the Gods: An aspiring chaos follower is always Eye of the Gods: watched by the vigilant eyes of the dark gods, who reward the successful generously but punish failures harshly. Roll 2D6 after every battle.

Spawn of Chaos: If you lost the preceding battle, add +1 to the roll for each of your Heroes that was taken out of action during the battle. On a total of 12 or more the warband’s leader turns into a Chaos spawn. His experience, skills, injuries and equipment are lost.

Mark of Chaos: If you won the battle, add +1 for every enemy model the leader took out of action. On a total of 12 or more you may choose a Mark of Chaos for the winning leader (see Marks of the Dark Gods below).

As soon as the leader receives a Mark of Chaos through the Eye of the Gods special rule this test is no longer taken – until the leader leaves the warband in which case the new leader must prove himself to the Dark Gods the same way his predecessor did.

If the warband already includes a Spawn of Chaos the doomed leader is simply erased from the roster. There may never be more than one Spawn of Chaos in a single warband. The Eye of the Dark Gods rule is not in effect if the warband leader did not take part in the previous battle

Hired Swords: Marauders of Chaos may only hire the following Hired Swords: Pit Fighters, Ogres, Norse Shamans and Imperial Assassins plus any other Hired Swords which specify they may be hired by Marauders of Chaos. Witches and Warlocks may be hired except by warbands that include warriors with the Mark of Arkhar.

Follow the Darkest tribe

When starting a Marauders of Chaos warband you may decide which of the following three major Chaos tribes your warriors belongs to. All warbands follow the same rules for Choice of Warriors, Skills and Equipment. Any exceptions are described below.

The Norse

To the north of the Old World live the Norse tribes: fierce barbarians, fur-clad and warlike - the very epitome of the warriors of Chaos. Their mountainous sea-bound land is haunted by all manner of twisted monstrous creatures, notably mutant Trolls and Giants, and by nameless things that live deep under the mountains. They are warriors at sea as well as on land – building longships in which they harass the southern lands and undertake journeys far to the west. The Norse have pale skin after the manner of men of the Empire. They are generally held to be especially tall and strong, and many have red or fair hair. Those that live the greatest distance from the Realm of Chaos are the least favoured of their gods – and the most likely to be seen openly in more civilised lands as a result.

Special Rules

Reavers: Due to their proximity to the Empire and the frequency of their raiding, the Norse excel at finding the best equipment and supplies quickly. As such, they gain a +1 to their rarity rolls when searching during the post-game sequence.

Pantheon: The Norse worship a myriad of gods, spirits and ancestors. As a result of their wide pantheon the Eye of the Gods special rule's effect (of becoming a Chaos Spawn or receiving a Mark) happens on a result of 13+ instead of 12+.

The Kurgan

The Kurgan are a raven haired, dark-skinned and powerfully built race, quite unlike Old Worldlers in appearance. They are said to be equally at home on foot or on horseback. When the armies of Chaos gather to invade the Old World, it is the Kurgan that come most eagerly and in the greatest numbers, for they are a numerous people compared to the other tribes of Chaos. It is the warriors of the northernmost tribes who are the fiercest and most likely to be chosen by their gods.

Special Rules

Pedigree: Some Kurgan tribes delight in the spectacle of trained pit hounds fighting against bears, trolls and other creatures. A Kurgan warband may include any number of Warhounds of Chaos – not only up to five.

Bone Bows: The Kurgans are renowned for making scary bows, using the bones of their fallen enemies. Heroes and Chaos Marauder Henchmen may use bows (cost: 10 gold crowns, availability: common).

Difficult Customers: While some of the less bloodthirsty of the Norse and Hung tribes even trade with merchants from the south, the Kurgan live far away from civilisation and when they come to raid the southern farmsteads and villages they are certainly not welcomed. Therefore a Kurgan warband suffers –1 when rolling to find Rare items except for Great Axes and Barbed Whips.

The Hung

The Hung are an oriental race – perhaps shorter and more squat than the people of Cathay but otherwise resembling them. They are reckoned the greatest of all horsemen and are said to learn to ride before they learn even to walk. Northwards, the land is too poor and mountainous to support their horses, and the steeds of the Hung are typically small, tough beasts that can survive where larger warhorses would quickly starve. Here the tribes hunt mutant monsters in the shadow of the snow-capped mountains, gathering their strength to raid the soft lands of Cathay to the south.

Special Rules

Disloyalty: The treachery of the Hung is infamous. As one horseman is no more trustworthy than the next, these nomads tribal allegiance is flimsy at best. The maximum number of warriors in the warband is 12 (instead of 15).

Affinity with Horses: Warhorses always cost 40 gold crowns to the warband – not only to starting warbands. In addition, all Heroes (including Henchmen that advance to Heroes) automatically have the Ride Warhorse skill. Note that the number of mounts per warband is not restricted in the Border Town Burning setting.

Choice of warriors

A Marauders of Chaos warband must include a minimum of three models. You have 500 gold crowns which you can use to recruit and equip your warband. The maximum number of warriors in the warband is 15 (except for Hung warbands).

Chieftain: Each Marauder warband must have one Chieftain: no more, no less!

Seer: Your warband may include one Seer.

Condemned: Your warband may include one Condemned.

Champions: Your warband may include up to two Champions.

Marauders: Your warband may include any number of Marauders.

Warhounds of Chaos: Your warband may include up to five Warhounds.

Spawn of Chaos: Your warband may include one Spawn of Chaos.

Starting experience

A Chieftain starts with 20 Experience.

A Seer starts with 8 Experience.

Champions start with 8 Experience.

A Condemned starts with 8 Experience.

All Henchmen start with 0 Experience.

Characteristic increase


Marauders with the Chosen of Chaos skill use the maximum profile for Warriors of Chaos:


Marauder Skill Table


Marauder special skills

The Marauders of Chaos may use the following skill list instead of any of the standard skill lists.

chosen of chaos

The Hero has been found worthy of his god’s service and entered the rank of a Chaos Warrior. He uses the maximum profile for Warriors of Chaos and the Hero equipment list (if he does not already).

tattooed body

Only the warband's leader may have this skill. The Hero's body is covered with unholy Chaos signs to attract his patron's attention. The Eye of the Gods special rule's effect (of becoming a Chaos Spawn or receiving a Mark) happens on a result of 10+ instead of 12+ only. Note that for the less favoured Norse leaders this is 11+.

sweeping blow

Whenever the Hero takes an enemy model out of action using a double-handed weapon he may immediately make an additional attack against another model in base contact. Requires the Strongman skill.


The Hero may buy one mutation. See the Mutations section of the Possessed on special rules. Heroes with the Mark of Onogal may choose a Blessing of Nurgle instead except the Mark of Nurgle. Note that unlike other skills Marauder Heroes may take this skill more than once.

heart of the warrior

Only the warband’s leader may have this skill. He may re-roll any failed Rout test and is immune to fear and all alone tests.

Marauder equipment lists

The following list is used by Marauder warbands to pick their equipment:

Hero equipment list

Hand-to-hand Combat Weapons

Dagger1st free/2 gc
Hammer3 gc
Axe5 gc
Sword10 gc
Halberd10 gc
Morning Star15 gc
Double-handed weapon15 gc
Flail15 gc
Barbed Whip15 gc
Great Axe25 gc

Missile Weapons



Shield5 gc
Helmet10 gc
Light armour20 gc
Heavy armour50 gc

Henchmen equipment list

Hand-to-hand Combat Weapons

Dagger1st free/2 gc
Hammer3 gc
Axe5 gc
Sword10 gc
Spear10 gc
Morning Star15 gc
Flail15 gc

Missile Weapons

Throwing Axes (same as Throwing Knives)15 gc


Shield5 gc
Helmet10 gc
Light armour20 gc


1 Marauder Chieftain

95 gold crowns to hire

The Chieftain is the brutish head of the warband. He leads his tribe in their constant warfare and bloodshed in an attempt to win the approval of their fickle gods.


Weapons/Armour: The Marauder Chieftain may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Hero Equipment list.


Leader: Any Warrior within 6“ of the Marauder Chieftain may use his Leadership instead of his own when taking Ld tests.

0 – 1 Seer

45 gold crowns to hire

A Seer is the Chieftain’s advisor as their god tells them his will through the Seer's visions and dreams. The other tribesmen see the Seer's attunement to their gods as a great gift that is to be equally respected and feared.


Weapons/Armour: The Seer may be equipped with weapons chosen from the Hero Equipment list.

Special Rules

Wizard: A Seer is a Wizard and may use Chaos Magic as detailed in the Magic section.

Mark of Chaos: The Seer gets a Mark of Chaos when hired to determine the kind of magic he uses. He can have the Mark of the Serpent, the Mark of the Crow, the Mark of the Eagle, the Mark of Arkhar or the Mark of Chaos Undivided.

0 – 2 Champions

45 gold crowns to hire

Champions are the strongest and most battle hardened warriors in the tribe. They fight constantly waiting for the day when they can finally be judged by their god as being worthy of his service.


Weapons/Armour: Champions may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Hero Equipment list.

0 – 1 Condemned

55 gold crowns to hire

A servant of a dark god who was foolish enough to turn away from his patron is forever condemned. If the traitor turns to another god for aid then they are often spared death, but suffer a fate many times worse. The servant suffers constant mutations at the hands of their old god but maintains vestiges of his humanity as his new god compensates for the mutations by restoring or altering the form of the servant. It is all in vain, as the unwitting servant eventually becomes a plaything of both gods who use the servant's body and soul as a contest of wills between themselves, completely uncaring of the condemned servant's fate.


Weapons/Armour: The Condemned uses no equipment (see Fate special rule below) but fights without penalties.

Special Rules

Inconsistency: The body of the Condemned is mutating permanently. The variable attributes WS, S, T and A are determined whenever needed, once every turn.

Fear: The Condemned’s unnatural appearance makes him cause fear in his enemies.

Experience: Whenever the Condemned would increase one of his variable attributes the player rolls an appropriate die instead. If the player is satisfied with the result, he may set the attribute on that number (e.g. roll a D6 instead of increasing Strength, on a roll of 4 the player may choose to give the model S 4). Otherwise the attribute remains variable (and the advance is lost). The maximum attributes of the Marauders may be exceeded due to the special nature of the Condemned, and this carries through to when the player wishes to set an attribute instead of keeping it random.

Fate: Once all variable attributes are set, the Condemned may use weapons, armour and miscellaneous equipment as usual. But, if he has 90 Experience and still variable attributes, his patron could not save him from his former god's wrath and his soul and body are lost. He turns into a terrifying Spawn of Chaos. If the warband already consists of a spawn, the doomed warrior wanders off into the wastes, never to be seen again.


(Bought in groups of 1-5)

Chaos Marauders

35 gold crowns to hire

Marauders are wild uncivilized barbarians who seek battles and bloodshed. They form the majority of the chieftain’s retinue.


Weapons/Armour: Marauders may be equipped with weapons and armour chosen from the Henchman Equipment list.

0 – 5 Warhounds of Chaos

15 gold crowns to hire

Warhounds of Chaos are titanic, mastiff-like creatures which are insanely dangerous in combat.


Weapons/Armour: None! Apart from their fangs and nasty tempers the Warhounds don’t have weapons and can fight without any penalties.

Special Rules

Animals: Warhounds are animals and thus do not gain experience.

0 – 1 Spawn of Chaos

180 gold crowns to hire

Spawns of Chaos are former Chaos Champions who have been too heavily gifted by their gods and become terrifying mutants.


Weapons/Armour: None! Spawns of Chaos fight with claws, tentacles and other extremities.

Special Rules

Special Attacks: Roll at the beginning of each Close Combat phase to determine the spawn’s number of Attacks for that phase.

Fear: Spawn are disgusting and revolting blasphemies against nature and cause fear.

Special Movement: The Spawn moves 2D6" straight ahead in each of its Movement phases. Before it does so it’s player may turn it to give the direction. It does not double its movement for charging, instead if its movement takes it into contact with a model it counts as charging and engages that model in close combat.

Psychology: Spawns are mindless creatures, knowing no fear of pain or death. Spawns automatically pass any Leadership based test they are required to make.

No Brain: Spawns of Chaos are crazed creatures and therefore gain no experience.

Large: Spawns of Chaos are huge tempting creatures and count as Large Targets as defined in the shooting rules.

Mark of the Dark Gods

The Eye of the Gods special rule may let the warband’s leader choose a Mark of the Dark Gods. With exception to the Mark of Chaos Undivided there may never be two models in the warband with different Marks. Upon being hired Seers choose their Mark when in correspondence with the tribe, granting an audience with their god. A Seer who becomes leader at the same time has to choose the Mark for his associated patron when being rewarded through the Eye of the Gods.

Mark of Chaos Undivided

A Hero with this mark believes in Chaos in its purest form instead of the division into four Chaos Gods.

Leader: All warband members within the leader rule's radius (6" normally and 12" with Battle Tongue) may re-roll all failed Ld tests.

Seer: With the Seer of Chaos Undivided as the tribe's spiritual leader the warband may include 0-3 Gors (see Beastmen Raiders) that count towards the maximum of 15 members. Re-roll all results of ‘The lad’s got talent’ for them.

A Seer of Chaos Undivided uses Chaos Rituals.

Mark of Tchar the Eagle

Tchar the Great Eagle is the Changer of the Ways. He is the Master of the ever-mutating energy known as magic and his followers are skilful practitioners of the arcane arts.

Leader: The Hero is capable of casting spells and immediately learns one random spell from the Tchar Rituals. However, he suffers –1 on all rolls for Difficulty unless he was a wizard before.

Seer: A Seer of Tchar has command of powerful sorcery. The sorcerer starts with two spells from the Tchar Rituals. One can be chosen freely, the second is randomly determined.

Mark of Arkhar the Dog

Arkhar the Dog is the God of War. He is worshipped on the battlefield by his warriors who shed blood in his name, charging their enemies with the battle-cry “Blood for the Blood God!”

Leader: The Hero is subject to frenzy from now on. In addition, any spell that targets the Hero fails on a roll of 4+.

Seer: A Seer with the mark of Arkhar counts as a Bloodfather. A Bloodfather is a war-priest and cannot cast spells. Instead he communes with daemons and his almighty deity through visions.

Take a Leadership test each time a Bloodfather takes an enemy out of action in hand-to-hand combat. If the test is passed add +1 to the Weapons Skill, Strength, Toughness or Initiative of the war-priest until the end of the battle. Each characteristic can be increased only once in this way.

A Bloodfather may take Strength skills in addition to those normally available to a Seer.

Mark of Onogal the Crow

Onogal the Crow is the Lord of Decay who unleashes pestilence upon the world. Therefore his followers are almost completely immune to diseases and serious wounds.

Leader: The Hero gets +1 T and may re-roll on the Serious Injuries table once. In addition, he is immune to poison.

Seer: The Seer uses Onogal Rituals.

A Seer of Onogal is immune to poison.

Mark of Shornaal the Serpent

Shornaal the Serpent is the Dark Prince of Chaos. The Lord of Pleasure is the patron of all things beautiful and seductive.

Leader: Enemy models that are not immune to psychology cannot attack the Hero in close combat unless they pass a Ld test with 3D6, discarding the lowest D6 result. If the roll is failed, these models are hit automatically in close combat. Once they pass, they do not have to test again for the duration of the battle. Note that the Lizardman’s Cold Blooded special rule cannot be applied to this effect.

Seer: A Seer of Shornaal uses the Shornaal Rituals. If the Seer wasn't taken out of action during the battle, instead of searching for rare items he may brew a strong drink for the warband (treat as Bugman's Ale). Note that this item cannot be sold.