It’s killin’ time!

Hey everybody!
It’s time for another game day blog, and today it’s time to finally take a look at Warhammer 40k Kill Team, the small-format variant from Games Workshop that got put out a little over three months ago now. I’ve been fiddling around with it all, and a couple of weeks ago I came up with some ideas for a couple of teams, which prompted the first half of this blog.

Before getting into the game rules etc, I just wanted to say a little about the new box for this variant. In addition to the 32-page rules booklet that details the various tweaks to regular 40k, the box contains two forces, Space Marines and Tau. The rules booklet features the dataslate rules for each force, but while the Marines form 190 points, the Tau Fire Warriors only come to 134 – though that doesn’t seem to account for the drones or the gun turret the Tau can set up. All of the special rules for these two armies (that are required to play a game with them) are included in the booklet, but the regular 40k rulebook is also included in miniature form. The value this box presents is remarkable – the miniatures alone cost £55 to buy as separate kits, but you also get the regular 40k rules and what looks like a really great mini-game, as well!

So let’s take a look at the game itself.

Kill Team is played with teams of no more than 200 points each side. Teams can only consist of troops, elites or fast attack, with some additional restrictions on vehicles and stuff. It’s all designed to have small bands of miniatures going against each other, rather than introducing any kind of ridiculous things in there like powerful characters and stuff.

Players buy their squad in the usual size, but each miniature acts independently on the battlefield. In addition, one is designated the “leader”, who has a table similar to the usual Warlord Traits thing in usual 40k. Three miniatures are then nominated as specialists, from a sort of menu of five different types – combat, weapon, dirty fighter, indomitable and guerilla – each of which has a set of rules that affect the game.

But apart from that, it’s pretty much the same as regular 40k with the rules for shooting and assault.

So what have I been doing with it recently?

200 points isn’t a great deal, of course, especially for someone like me who loves the Elite choices of most Codices out there! The further restraints on not including stuff like Terminators (no 2+ saves here) and Dreadnoughts (vehicles can’t have an armour value of more than 33) made me initially sad that I couldn’t field my Deathwing! However, my first thoughts for this project were still for Space Marines!

Space Marine squad: 
5-man Tactical Squad, one upgrade to veteran sergeant with power sword, one man equipped with a flamer, and
5-man Assault Squad, one upgrade to veteran sergeant with power sword and combat shield

So I’ve got 200 points here. I was going through all manner of iterations, leaving off the swords in case I could fit in more troops, thinking more bodies might be more useful than better-equipped ones. While the choice of vehicles is restricted, land speeders and rhinos are allowed, and at varying points I’d also considered putting each in my team!

My leader is the Tactical squad’s veteran sergeant, Dantoris. In addition the Assault squad’s veteran sergeant, Ottavius, is going to be my Combat specialist; the Flamer marine is my Guerilla specialist, and there’s a particularly dynamic assault marine (you can see him over the assault sergeant’s right shoulder in the picture above) who will be my Indomitable specialist. This may change, of course, but for now, that’s how I’m going to be rolling with these guys for the first game, at least!

As it says in the instagram post, I’ve decided to seriously build a Space Marines army now as a second army for regular 40k. For about 18 months I’ve been somewhat half-heartedly building an Ultramarines force, but have regularly been distracted by painting marines as White Scars and Novamarines, to say nothing of my ponderously-building Deathwing army! So I’ve finally decided to do it, and I’m starting out with Kill Team, because it’s an ideal way to start an army – as long as you have the correct models, you can still play games when your army is still tiny. I have been playing 40k more of late, using my Necrons, but I think this is a decent way to get some variety in my gaming. Once I have these two units painted, I can add to them while still using the smaller core for Kill Team.

So that’s where I’m currently at! I’m going to be painting these up as Novamarines as well, having started with the scheme earlier in the year but never really getting anywhere because I wasn’t 100% happy with it. I’ve had some ideas on how I can paint it differently, so that it looks more like the pictures and whatnot from the official lore, so I hope that I can start emulating that in the coming weeks!

Once I’ve played a few games, I’ll be doing a follow-up blog to this one with impressions on the gameplay itself. For now, I think it’s a really cool idea, and I’m really looking forward to moving ahead!

As a PS, don’t forget to keep an eye on my hobby progress blogs, published every Sunday, to see how my army is coming along!!

Hobby Progress, week 47

Hey everybody!
Well, I’m closing that full circle of hobby updates this week, I feel, having put the Christmas tree up yesterday. In a few short weeks, it’ll be the 52nd update, and I guess I’ll be doing some massive retrospective, along with lots of statistics. I mean, I work as a performance analyst, so it’s only natural…

This week has actually seen very little in terms of progress, but I still want to talk about a few things, so sit back and take a look at what I have done!

I’ve been thinking about assembling a Kill Team for months now, and it’s actually the subject of this upcoming week’s game day blog. After going through a few ideas, anyway, I’ve settled on space marines, and have thus spent the week building up a five-man Tactical Squad, and a five-man Assault Squad. It’s a total of 200 points exactly, and I’ve done some judicious swapping-out of parts to get them looking as I want them. The Assault Squad is fairly standard stuff – it’s got the laurel-wreath head on the veteran sergeant, but otherwise they’ve all got the standard bolt pistols and chainswords. I’d bought a selection of bits earlier in the week, including four torsos with the aquila on them, so that I don’t have the usual odd mix of fronts.

The Tactical Squad is also standard fare, using all five aquila torsos (but leaving out the high-gorget of the Mk 8 armour) from the kit. The veteran sergeant has had the most work done to him here – he’s got the power sword from the Devastator kit, and the head from the Ultramarines upgrade pack. Finally, I’m building them as Novamarines (more shortly), and having bought as many shoulder pads as I could find reasonably-priced on ebay, as well as those I already had, I used the shoulder pad from the Sternguard kit for the Tactical sergeant, as it has a bit more texture to it and looks overall a bit grander.

I’ve painted them all with Rakarth Flesh as a base coat, and will be going over this with Flayed One Flesh. I think it should be a very light cream colour (may highlight with Pallid Wych Flesh), then I just need to find the right blue. I’m sure I used Altdorf Guard Blue last time, but it’s still not pastel-enough for me, so I may go for something else this time. I’m hoping that having them creamier will make them more interesting than that stark white colour, anyway!

I’ve tried painting Novamarines before of course, but was never particularly happy with how white they looked. Undercoating them with Corax White and doing nothing with that beyond shading the panels is to blame there, of course, but anyway. Because I had decided to go for a Kill Team, I thought it would be fine to just do ten Novamarines in their quartered blue and white livery and that would be it, but now I’ve been having different ideas…

I’ve been dallying with Space Marines for about 18 months now, if you measure it from when I bought the first kit, and aside from all of the Alpha Legion stuff I’ve been doing, I’ve only actually finished one ten-man Tactical Squad! So it’s about time I settled in for the long haul and really make an effort in this stuff, so I’ve decided that I’m going to actually build a proper army of Space Marines, starting out with the Kill Team thing, and build it out from there. So, exciting times are to be had there, I feel!

I’m going to start a blog series, I think, that chronicles the growth of my marines, so stay tuned for that soon!

I think this change has been brought about following the game of 40k I played the other week at my local GW. I’d not played there before, but it was a really good atmosphere and stuff, and I’d like to get up there more often for gaming, which has prompted me to start looking more critically at what I have to play games with. I’ve gone through all of my Necron stuff, working out points costs and stuff, and while I have 2200 points fully painted (however badly!) and ready to go, it is by no means a legal, or effective force! So I need to focus on what I want to add there, and then finish it all off. I think the Wraiths are top of my list there, so want to get moving with those soon. I also want to build more Tesla Immortals, and I’ve got ten Triarch Praetorians built and primed ready to take their place in a Judicator Battalion. So there is a bit of a plan there, I just need to get moving with it!

I seem to have become a little obsessed with calculating the points of what I have recently, having gone through all of my Necron stuff (I actually have over 7000 points in various stages of completion!) and, most recently, all of the Deathwatch kits that I’ve been building! I really like these guys, of course, but I’m a bit surprised at just how whacky the builds are – overall I have 1620 points built and primed, but of those, only one unit of veterans and the chaplain are actually fully painted, so 300 points. Hm! Time to get a move on there, I feel! I’m planning to get the upcoming deluxe start collecting box, though, so there will be plenty of kits for me to enjoy and add to the team from there.

While I’m doing Novamarines as my main force, I’m also going to keep going with the Deathwatch, mainly because I enjoy them so much, but there are perfectly valid fluff reasons for fielding Novamarines and Deathwatch together, of course! (Especially when going up against a xenos army!) I’ve also got my Dark Angels Deathwing project going on, but the more I think about that, the more I want to have it as a single army than any kind of allied detachment. I’ve currently got 1285 points of this on the painting table, some of it more complete than others, but a serious effort needs to be made there to get everything finished off, I feel, also! Very much looking forward to getting the cream terminators into battle!

So while this week hasn’t seen much in the way of painting, I have been doing an awful lot of planning for the future and, while I’m fairly positive things will go by the wayside as I come across new units that I want to add to my existing forces or go off on tangents with, I think having this core idea in place will be a good thing from here on out!


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And now, this! #TheBeastArises

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Hot on the heels of the last one, I’ve lurched onto the fifth book in The Beast Arises series, getting through it in a long weekend and, I have to say, it was a really great read!

Throneworld has one of the most dynamic – and dramatic – openings of any Warhammer 40k novel I’ve yet read. As we learnt in the closing paragraphs of The Last Wall, the Eldar have arrived on Terra while the Ork battlemoon hangs menacingly in orbit, and while I’m no fan of space elves, I was really intrigued as to what’s going on with them. Throneworld picks up a tiny bit before the end of The Last Wall, and we see the Eldar Harlequins moving through the webway and into the Imperial palace, on a mission to deliver an important message to the Emperor. The shadowseer Lhaerial Rey moves through the palace and makes it to the doors of the throneroom itself, and is about to be dispatched by the Custodes when Vangorich and Veritus step in. She is taken to the Inquisitorial fortress and interrogated by Veritus and Wienand, and reveals the Eldar have calmed the Warp in order to allow the Space Marines to return to Terra and aid them against the Orks.

We then follow Koorland and his Last Wall of Imperial Fists successors as they storm the Ork moon, liberating prisoners and attempting to destroy the teleportation device within the moon the Orks have been using to provide their infinite supply of troops up to this point. Their efforts are supplemented by the Mechanicum, who have their own agenda for getting inside the moon while they’re working on their “grand experiment” of teleportation – are they really trying to teleport Mars out of the Sol System?

Meanwhile, the Iron Warriors under Kalkator land on Dzelenic IV to take on supplies from a secret store, and find it has been breached by Orks. While they’re fighting their way out, they’re assailed by the Black Templars under their zealous dreadnought-marshal, Magneric. The situation becomes untenable for both armies in the face of the Ork fleets on the world, and both traitor and loyalist marines join forces to slay the greenskins under a flag of truce.

This book was great! As I said at the start, I don’t remember the last time I’ve read such a dynamic opening, and was propelled through the first half of the book as we follow the Eldar sneaking onto Terra. The action was really great, but unfortunately, the rest of the book kinda tapered off for me after that. Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of action going on in this book – the assault on the moon, the Iron Warriors stuff – but none of it comes close to that first sequence.

I was a bit dismayed at the fact that we don’t actually know what Lhaerial Rey wants to tell the Emperor, either – something important, but we don’t hear it here, and it makes me a bit sad because the overall effect does cheapen the earlier scenes. But I’m really nit-picking with this.

The stuff with the astartes assaulting the moon above Terra kinda made me think it should have been in the last book. I mean, the last book was called The Last Wall – it should have been about those marines! Instead, we get the bulk of that story here, and it feels a bit weird. But anyway.

The Iron Warriors stuff is deeply interesting to me, I have to say. It was really neat to see the two opposing sides come together to fight the Orks, especially in the face of Magneric’s fanatic hatred of Kalkator. I especially liked the fact it was addressed here that the Black Templars, in their veneration of the Emperor, go against his Imperial Truth of the Great Crusade – and so, the question is posed, who’s the greater heretic? Some interesting debate about the nature of religious hypocrisy was cut short by fighting waves of Orks, but it’s always good to see these sorts of things talked about.

Overall, this was probably the best book in the series, even in the face of those points I mentioned about the niggling details. I’m certainly glad I’ve stuck with this series after the second book, however!!

Fulfil your Destiny

Hey everybody!
For today’s game day blog, I wanted to take a look at the upcoming collectible dice game from FFG, Star Wars: Destiny. I got my Rogue One ticket booked yesterday, so it seemed appropriate! FFG have now put out a full tutorial for Destiny, and I’ve been getting pretty excited while watching it, so thought I’d share some of that here!

This game looks like it should be a lot of fun. When it was originally announced, I wasn’t quite convinced, but was going to pick up a starter or two and see what it’s all about. Having seen the official gameplay video, however, I’m feeling much better predisposed towards it. Sure, I’m still a bit sceptical due to the collectible nature of the game, but it seems like a really fun game, with just enough going on to make it interesting while remaining fairly straightforward. It looks like it should be possible to play a couple of games in a fairly short period of time, anyway!

The mechanics of building your deck, which in turn determine your dice pool, look pretty good as well. Looks like the different colours of characters available – blue, red and yellow – offer very distinct types of gameplay, which lead to some very interesting deck-building choices. I really like the fact you have your hero team, which determines your starting dice pool, but the cards you play can upgrade those heroes to add more dice to the mix, but also you can bring additional characters to have more of an army feel going on there!

Oh, and I really like the feel of mashing up the Star Wars eras!

Star Wars Destiny

Being usually a very thematic gamer, there is nevertheless something really fun about doing this with Star Wars – it reminds me very strongly of the old Star Wars Miniatures game from Wizards of the Coast. Sure, there’s a way you can play with characters all from Phantom Menace, or Return of the Jedi, but you can also do stuff like Qui-Gon and Rey, or whatever the hell you like! Awesome fun!

I said that it looks fairly straightforward, but with enough interesting stuff going on to keep a level of depth to the game, and this seems especially true because of the interaction of your deck on the game. You’re not just rolling dice to whittle your opponent down, but in addition to the aforementioned additional people and upgrades, you’ve got the events to buff your folks and interrupt your enemies. There’s a level of card game mechanics here that is really drawing me – I like the odd dice game, don’t get me wrong, but I definitely prefer card games, so the fact this level exists in Star Wars: Destiny is really helping to pull me in!

There are some interesting mechanics going on, as well. As I said, there are interesting interactions with the cards and the dice, and it looks like there is a lot you can do to alter the flow of the game from just throwing dice around. I like the idea of the stronger damage results on dice being conditional on things like paying a resource, or having another result of the same damage type. Seems like there’s a lot going on, and it should be grand!

So I’m looking forward to this game, and I’m looking forward to having some fun mash-ups with unlikely allies and the like. I’m not going to go chasing after pieces just to have a complete set, or anything, but I think I’ll get a few key bits and see how it all fits together.

I already know my first line-up: Count Dooku (15) and Captain Phasma (15) – it should be hilarious!

Hobby Progress, week 46

Hey everybody!
It’s week 46 of my hobby progress update, and this week has been a bit… disparate, I suppose you could say. Having finished up the current batch of Alpha Legion folks, I was a bit torn as to where to go next with my hobbying, and I think that shows in what I’ve been up to! So sit back with a cuppa, and let me ramble on for a bit about what I’ve been doing this week!

First of all, I started to do more Deathwatch people. The two on the left there were kinda started back in the summer when I was all-in on these guys, but I moved my focus to just finishing a small core than all of the models I’d had built at that time. I’ve resumed, anyway, trying to focus on marines with bare faces, as I still want to try and improve, and essentially conquer that fear of painting skin!

But thinking about painting marines with skin got me to move over to another, even more long-standing project that I had lying around:

Yes, the Deathwing Knights I built up on Christmas Eve last year!

These guys are really quite wonderful – much like the regular Deathwing Terminators, they are incredibly detailed, but I’m really looking forward to moving along with these chaps and getting them finished. Painting them this week has actually made me feel incredibly festive, too!

As you can see in the back there, I’ve also built one Deathwatch Terminator out of Deathwing Knight bits – this was inspired by flicking through the Codex last weekend, and the Purgatus Kill Team formation.

Having used a lot of the terminator bits from the Dark Angels Company Veterans kit that I bought last year (the most expensive bits box I have bought to date!), I essentially had one Terminator left over. So why not?! The only thing that caused an issue is the back of the torso, which was plundered from the regular Terminators kit. Having looked briefly online, it seems the regular Terminator back bits are more readily available than the Deathwing backs, with their gothic arches. But anyway! I do like the look of this chap, anyway, so I think I’ll continue to work on him alongside both the Deathwing Knights and the Deathwatch chaps that were started this week, too!

I’ve also built up two more Deathwing Terminators, so that I now have three full squads of five, one of which can be fielded as the Command Squad, so I’m pleased with that! Unfortunately, I thought I’d save some time by using the spray of Zandri Dust that I had left over from doing the Armies on Parade board, and it went on far too thickly, obscuring much of the detail. So I used Biostrip 20 to clean them up, and I’m happy to report that it worked a treat! I painted the stuff on with an old wash brush, rather than soaking them, but it worked fine like that! I also stripped the primer from the three Necropolis Knights that I’d also built up earlier in the year, but had left languishing after the primer went on powdery, and it worked fine for them, also! So they have been primed white – smoothly, this time – and the Terminators have been re-primed and base coated by brush, so all is well with the world once again!

Last week, I mentioned the 160mm ‘Armies on a Plate’ thing my local GW is doing in December (still don’t know if that’s the official name they’re going with yet). Well I picked up said plate on Friday, and it was both larger and smaller than I’d been expecting, so I’ve been reconsidering my options for this thing – cue instagram montage!

So I’m not entirely sure yet, but I’m thinking about using the Deathwing Knights among the Daemonettes, as the Knights have become a bit of a project for me once more, and I do like how that could look! On a side note, I’m kinda surprised at how many things I still have hanging about unfinished, like the Bloodletters, so I think I’d like to try to get a few more of these models done and dusted by the end of the year. Though top of the list is the Deathwing Knights…

But I’ve also made a return to painting the Slaaneshi hosts! First off, I’d actually put basecoats and washes on four of them – which seems a bit weird considering I had twelve built up over the summer – so got the rest of them painted. I also put some basecoats onto the Seekers from the chariot, as well! And finally, I’ve built up and now based/washed the finecast Herald of Slaanesh, despite having made up the Herald from the chariot kit as well – I suppose they’re just desperate to bring the Dark Prince back!

I’m really enjoying these girls – not in a pervy way, I hasten to add! I mentioned it back in the day, of course, but I’ve always been a fan of the Slaaneshi aesthetic of purples with all the opulence and stuff, so it’s really good to finally be getting these guys looking more like the army I want! With the recent made to order thing going up for the older Daemonettes, I was momentarily concerned they might pull these or something, but while I’ve managed to calm my fears there (family friendly GW surely won’t want to replace the plastics with the boobs-out version, surely!) I do still think I might well invest in a second box of Daemonettes sometime soon. And also, a second chariot. And an exalted chariot. Basically, I see my Slaanesh army as being built around the three chariots, with the Daemonettes, Seekers and Hellstriders converging all around!

Maybe with Daemon Primarch Fulgrim somewhere in the midst, too…?

Finally, I’ve managed to get this bad boy built up!

It’s taken me nearly two months – though ironically, it only took three building sessions. This is going to be one complex kit, though, due to having to make sure I paint the ribs and cannon separately, and the “cockpit” part is so detailed that it’ll also need to be done separately… Yikes! But I did a kind of dry-fit last night when all the parts had finally been cleaned up and whatnot, and it does look pretty great, so I’m hoping I can do a good job of it!

I had my third game of 40k last Thursday, at my local GW this time, and it was a whole lot of fun, I have to say! I only played 1000 points, but it was good to get to grips with the rules, and all the rest of it, but it’s also shown me that I need to get that Night Scythe painted! And I probably need another! I’ve been thinking much more critically about what I want to do with the army, however, so I want to get moving now and see if I can put together something that actually works well, with some kind of game plan. As such, I suspect I’ll be doing a lot more Necron things in the coming weeks and months, alongside whatever else I’m painting!

Falling to Chaos…

I feel like I might be falling to Chaos this winter. Well, more so than usual, anyway…

I’m pretty sure that everyone has by now seen this bad boy, showing some wonderfully greyscale images of new Thousand Sons marines with massive cannons and all kinds of stuff… Well, this morning, the folks at the new Warhammer Community page have dropped this on us all:

Yes, that’s a lot of blue and golden goodness, right there!

They teased this back last month, of course, but seeing these bad boys now has really taken my breath away, and I’ve found myself thinking, I want me some of that…

Sure, I have plenty of models waiting for me to do things with, and I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate turning my Necrons into a viable fighting force for more than just daft and casual games, but yeah…

In all seriousness, I doubt I’ll be throwing away too much money on these guys when they’re released. At most, I’m planning to pick up the Wrath of Magnus book and some Rubric Marines, as I love the look of those guys, but will definitely have to see how the land lies before going deeper.

Having seen the boxes last night, of course, I’ve been mulling things over and, in the shower this morning, began to rationalise my purchasing them by building a Kill Team – I foresee this as being a rationalisation for pretty much every and any release for 40k from this point forward, actually. So, depending on points costs, I might also get some of the Exalted Sorcerers, but the terminators will presumably be precluded from being used.

The important thing, anyway, is that they look lovely, and I want some Tzeentchy goodness for Christmas!

The Last Wall

The twelfth and final book in The Beast Arises series is available on Saturday, but I’m only now a third of the way through, having this morning finished reading the fourth in the series, The Last Wall!

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The Beast is back! #TheBeastArises #Warhammer40k

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Like previous installments, this book picks up directly after the last one, with the Ork battle moon in orbit over Terra. Initially in panic, the High Lords of Terra unite behind the plan put forth by Juskina Tull, speaker for the Chartist Captains, to basically throw as many bodies at the Orks as possible. The Proletarian Crusade is born, and amid a smattering of Astra Militarum platoons, millions of civilians enlist to go up against the greenskins. Meanwhile, the Inquisition intrigue continues, as Wienand reaches the polar fortress of her order and, despite Veritus having effectively replaced her on the Council, seemingly manages to convince her colleagues that she hasn’t lost sight of the threat of Chaos, merely that the Ork threat is more immediate and must be tackled now. Some disturbing news reaches her there, however, that Ork activity around the Eye of Terror may be causing a Chaos incursion.

The Crusade doesn’t end well at all, which is somewhat to be expected, and three Ork “ambassadors” arrive at the Imperial Palace, demanding humanity’s surrender. When the High Lords refuse this, the Orks leave, condemning the population of Terra, however a massive detonation signals the arrival of yet another xenos threat: from the Eldar!

This book was actually pretty great! I enjoyed seeing the continued intrigue among the Inquisition, and while the overall politics among the High Lords still doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, it was nevertheless interesting to read and immerse myself in. Something that I particularly enjoyed was seeing actual Ork characters finally in the series – we’ve been three (and a half!) books now with the story only being told from one side, and while I don’t think we’re really any further forward in knowing why the Orks are suddenly attacking humanity on all fronts, the intrigue has been dialed up a notch in that the Ork ambassadors appear unlike any greenskin yet seen in the Imperium. Coupled with the ongoing investigations of the Mechanicum that keep getting hinted at, this is slowly proving to be an interesting aspect of the series.

I felt a bit cheated that the story didn’t involve the astartes more heavily – the book is called The Last Wall, which we know is the failsafe from Rogal Dorn to reunite the various chapters back into the Imperial Fists Legion should the need arise. Yet we only get (I think) one chapter that dealt with this! It seems like maybe a wrong choice for a novel title, though I admit that the Proletarian Crusade was referred to as a last wall also. Hm.

Speaking of astartes, there was a very interesting chapter that showed some Iron Warriors fighting against the Ork tide, and I was convinced at first that it was a typo for Iron Hands. But no! I don’t know much about the Iron Warriors, and haven’t really met them yet in my Horus Heresy readings, but I thought it was really interesting to see these apparently loyalist space marines from a Traitor Legion so long after the Horus Heresy. I wonder where their story is going…

I get the impression, from a lot of these vignettes, that the authors are trying to develop the setting for perhaps some more stories later on – whether around the same timeframe, or else in subsequent years. So we’re seeing a lot of things just for the sake of establishing that setting, rather than having any meaningful part of the actual story. I could be wrong, of course, but it’s just the sense of having things sketched in and whatnot.

Maybe the much-anticipated 8th edition Warhammer 40k will have options for historical narrative play or something? Who knows!

At any rate, I thought this was a really enjoyable book, and one that I found myself engaged with more so than some of the previous books. With the threat of the Eldar poised to further complicate the issue, I’m going to move on directly to Throneworld now, anyway, so watch out for the next book shortly!

40k rumourmill!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a glorious day off for me today, and while I was ostensibly working on my degree, I’ve unsurprisingly found the time to go trawling the internet for the usual round of gaming news and the like! (I have actually been working on the degree, so there is that!) There seems to be a lot of 40k rumours doing the rounds right now, though, and I’ve been getting very excited reading some of these things on the usual sites, so thought I’d ramble here for a bit!

Magnus the Red

While we all know about Magnus coming back as a demon primarch, it hasn’t been particularly clear as to when he will be coming out. Well, it turns out that the upcoming (and much-anticipated) part two of Warzone Fenris will be showcasing the demon prince Magnus, alongside his psyker sons at the end of November. Seems like there was possibly an element of irony in having this year’s Horus Heresy boxed game having the Burning of Prospero storyline, then?

(As a side note, I really hope I can say “this year’s Horus Heresy boxed game” for a long time to come!)

I didn’t actually get the first Fenris supplement, as I really have no interest in the Space Wolves. I’m now feeling a bit gutted by that error, of course, but not enough to attempt to scour ebay for a copy yet, anyway!

I’m not particularly excited for the demon primarchs coming out, insofar as I’m not chomping at the bit to get any of them. Except maybe Fulgrim, depending on how that one turns out…

Abaddon the Despoiler

It looks like it might not be just the demon primarchs who are on their way, however, as Traitor’s Hate is just the tip of the iceberg for what is to come with the Warhammer 40k storyline! In the run-up to the much-reported 8th edition, currently rumoured for release April-June next year, the 13th Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler will be cutting a bloody swath towards Terra, presumably resplendent in new miniature format. His current mini, while suitably imposing, is nevertheless going to be left behind really quickly in these new developments…

Alongside the demons, loyalist primarchs will also be turning up, which will be an interesting development, I’m sure! I’ll look forward to Roboute Guilliman healing himself, of course, and I may even pick up Lion el’Johnson once he wakes up, but I don’t know about any of the others yet. Of course, this talk of returning primarchs doesn’t make everyone entirely happy, as some of the primogenitors are well and truly dead. No Sanguinius, no Horus, no Ferrus Manus… I wonder if they have plans to get around that somehow…

The other big news coming in the run-up to 8th edition is that there will be more Imperial sub-factions, which is exciting to hear as it should be spear-headed by the plastic Sisters of Battle that everybody is so keen to have in the game! Well, nearly everybody… I’ve read other ideas that include the Adeptus Arbites, which could be really exciting if we get the Judge Dredd vibe on the tabletop! Of course, the Arbites are more like the police than the army, so their place in a formal battleground seems a bit wonky to me.

However, if 8th edition puts more emphasis on narrative games, then I can totally see a purpose to creating this army. I’d also like to hope it might mean a focus on small-scale games that could develop on from Kill Team, but I suppose that could be more of a wishlist-type thing. I’m all for diversity in the game, though, and would love to have a group of Arbites allies for my space marines!

Imperial sub-factions are great, but how about seeing more non-Imperial stuff? Small-scale xenos releases would no doubt be more difficult to pull off, of course – unless in a manner of an extension to things like the Kroot, making them allies to pre-existing races. Will we ever see a huge explosion of a new race like the Tau into the game? Only time will tell, I suppose.

In the middle of all of this, of course, I’m quietly waiting for an update to the Necron Warriors sculpt, which is just awfully dated in comparison with the rest of the line…

So anyway, it looks like a lot of exciting things are happening in the 40k universe, and I can’t wait to see what happens in 2017! In the meantime, however, I’m going to head over to the new Warhammer Community website, which has gone live today and, at first glance, looks totally great!

Playing Magic: The Boros Legion

Hey everybody!
It’s another game day blog here at, and this week I wanted to return to looking at some of the weird and wonderful decks I’ve been building for Magic the Gathering. Earlier this year, I started to write some blogs about the decks I’ve been playing, starting with the blue/black delights of House Dimir, and this is very much a continuation of that theme as I look at another of the guilds of Ravnica: the Boros Legion!

Boros Legion

Boros is red/white, and is centred around the idea of lots of attacking creatures with lots of buffs. While I like both colours, I usually prefer to have them each paired with black (though I have also experimented with blue/red in more recent times).

Boros is a complicated entity on Ravnica, as it is an army led by angels. In the original Ravnica block, the Boros Legion was led by Razia, Archangel of the Boros Legion. There are distinct factions of the Boros and the Wojek, with complicated relationships and a power banding that stretches from the angels through to the general officers. As with all guilds from Ravnica, Boros have had two keywords in each block: Radiance in the original set, and Battalion in Return to Ravnica. We’ll get to Battalion shortly, but as I don’t have any cards from original Ravnica in this deck, I’ll just briefly mention Radiance now: it provides an effect on a target card and all cards that share a colour with it. There are a number of spells that buff your own chaps, but also spells that destroy cards. Not having played with any of these cards, I think I prefer the later keyword for the theme of the guild…

It feels almost deceptively simple to play red/white, however. The basic premise for the deck is to have a lot of creatures out attacking, and play spells to buff them during combat. That’s pretty much it. Playing specific Boros cards, however, grants even more buffs thanks to their keyword, Battalion. This is an ability word that provides an effect whenever the creature with Battalion attacks alongside two or more creatures. There aren’t actually that many creatures in this deck with Battalion – I wanted just a couple, with enough generic chaps to keep the deck interesting.

Boros Legion

Indeed, I think building this Boros deck really helped to demonstrate to myself some of my key tenets of deckbuilding. I don’t like to have a strategy that hinges on just a couple of cards, but rather have a fairly wide strategy for the deck overall. This Boros deck really demonstrates that insofar as pretty much everything does the same thing, so no card or cards are more crucial than the rest, the deck will still work no matter what is removed. There are some things I’d like to swap out, as I’d really like to give all my creatures Haste, but I think I’d be too concerned with relying on a small number of cards.

Boros Legion

There are also a number of cards from Theros block that feature the Inspired keyword, granting effects whenever the card is untapped. I really like these sorts of things, where the effect will trigger almost automatically (hence why I love Landfall so much!) God-Favored General is probably the best example of this, with the very Boros-like ability of creating soldier tokens whenever he becomes untapped. I’ve talked about this before of course, but I love to see how the colour combinations have consistency even when on different planes.

I have two god-cards in the deck, but the overall strategy doesn’t truly depend on them. Sure, if I can keep Iroas out and give my creatures menace as well as preventing all combat damage to them on my turn, then that’s pretty great, but it’s not going to end my day if Iroas is killed off or continually bounced, or whatever. As usual, the gods serve as a distraction while I try to overwhelm them with other dudes.

Boros Legion

While legendary creatures do most often serve as distractions in my deck, I do like Tajic, Blade of the Legion, and am most sad when he dies quickly. It’s something of a shame for me that I’ve not yet found a good way to consistently get Haste for all my creatures, because I want to attack with him the minute he hits the battlefield – obviously, when I’ve got two other guys attacking with him. 7/7 for four mana is just too good to pass up!

I’ve also tried to get a lot of anthem-effects, which I always think are important in creature-heavy decks – the type of decks I like to play the most! Paragon of New Dawns is perhaps my favourite to play here, giving other white creatures +1/+1. There are more white than red creatures in the deck, and the muticoloured creatures count for this effect as well. Righteous Charge and Spear of Heliod are good for all creatures, though, and the combination has been quite effective when I’ve got a big board going all-in!

Creatures (23)
Heliod, God of the Sun
Daring Skyjek
God-Favored General (x2)
Paragon of New Dawns (x2)
Akroan Phalanx
Akroan Skyguard (x2)
Precinct Captain
Soldier of the Pantheon
Priest of Iroas (x2)
Towering Thunderfist
Akroan Hoplite (x2)
Iroas’s Champion (x2)
Tajic, Blade of the Legion
Iroas, God of Victory
Truefire Paladin (x2)
Wojek Halberdiers

Instants & Sorceries (8)
Martial Glory (x2)
Mortal’s Ardor (x2)
Boros Charm
Crowd’s Favor
Righteous Charge
Bolt of Keranos

Enchantments & Artifacts (6)
Spear of Heliod
Assemble the Legion
Gleam of Battle
Armory of Iroas
Boros Keyrune (x2)

Land (23)
Plains (x9)
Mountains (x9)
Temple of Triumph
Ancient Amphitheater
Boros Guildgate (x2)
Cathedral of War

This is a fairly basic red/white attack deck, with a fairly hefty landbase to accommodate those enchantments. It still needs a little bit of playing around with, to be sure, but it has been a lot of fun to play, especially when the board is just right and I can swing for 23 in a single turn!

Hobby Progress, week 45

Hey everybody!
Week 45 has seen some more productive efforts with my hobbying, some more projects finished and some others in the planning stages. Let’s start with the finished stuff:

Hobby Progress 45

My ten-man tactical squad for my Horus Heresy Alpha Legion is now complete! I have to be honest, I’ve really given these a bit of a rush job – which isn’t all that bad, as the scheme isn’t exactly complicated. But I could probably have taken some more time on these things than I ended up doing. That said, there are also some elements where I’ve taken the time for some details, such as the plasma pistol, adding a hint of the pale blue in the muzzle as well as on the coils. Overall, they’re a serviceable tactical squad, and I’m glad to have them done. Especially as I’ve met the pledge of getting them finished in two weeks!

One squad down, one to go. I think my second mandatory troops choice is going to be Assault Marines, which means FW resin, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hobby Progress 45

The rhino is the second project I’ve been working on this week, and I have to say, I’m not really that sure about a lot of it. First of all, I mentioned last week how the chassis has turned streaky in parts because of the Drakenhof Nightshade – I’ve tried to do some kind of overbrushing with, alternately, Teclis Blue and Sotek Green again, and while it has helped with some of this streakiness on the top, it is still an issue. However, it’s gotten to the point where I’m thinking I’m fine with the overall look – it’s kinda blotchy, but more importantly, it’s pretty much the same as every marine in the army, so I can live with it.

For the headlamps, I’ve painted the bulb with White Scar, then gone over it with Cassandora Yellow to add some depth of shape. I then lightly brushed on some Yriel Yellow, not just on the bulb but also on the surrounding hood and in a cone shape out from the base of the lamp, and finally added some Flash Gitz Yellow as a highlight here. The photo above doesn’t really show it, but I think on the tabletop, the effect is actually pretty cool – even if I do say so myself!

Of course, this is my first ever attempt with weathering a miniature, and I wanted to tie it to the rest of the army by adding some rust-coloured mess to suggest the tank is moving through the same battlefield as the troops. So I’ve stippled on Tuskgor Fur after speaking to the manager of my local GW, and I think, for a first attempt, it is actually pretty decent! I still want to do something more to it, as the Fur doesn’t really look much like Martian Ironearth, but I’m afraid of going too far, so have called a halt for the time being. I’ve also added in some Martian Ironearth to the rear tracks in an effort to make it look like those tracks have clogged up a bit.

Overall, it’s perfectly serviceable I think. I do want to try and get better and improve, and after showing it off to some folks at the store, I’ve been pointed in the direction of weathering powders, so I think I might investigate those next!

So what else has been going on this week?

First of all, my store is also having a bit of a painting competition like an Armies on Parade redux, involving a 160mm base. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this already, but it sounds hilarious, so I’m going for it! I’m going to have some of my already-painted Deathwatch marines going up against some Tyranid bugs, so chose the Zoanthrope kit because it looks absolutely hilarious! The initial idea was basically what I posted on instagram: three marines against one Zoanthrope, but I’ve since built up the other two models for the kit, and am thinking I might try to squeeze on the whole brood:

These models are amazing – really easy to build, but those cheesy grins! I love them! I don’t actually know if all three will fit on the base, especially as I’ve also been considering adding more marines, but I’ll certainly paint them up as a threesome. I’ve long nursed ideas for having some kind of Tyranid force, but have never been able to settle on any kind of colour scheme. I love the Behemoth scheme, but have always wanted to try Eumenides. I even bought some cheap Termagaunts to practice on, but that didn’t turn out well at all. Last year, I bought a Carnifex in an effort to break out of a painting funk, and attempted to do my own colour scheme, but having build the monster first, that hasn’t ended well, and he’s still in this condition:

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More #Tyranids progress! Going slow… #Warhammer40k

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However, my current plan is to go with my own scheme, though different to the Carnifex above: pale blue body, and shocking pink carapace. I’m still not sure how I’m going to do any of that yet, but the competition isn’t being judged until 18 December (my birthday!) so I should have enough time to get something ready.


That’s pretty much been it for progress this week! I’ve done a few odd bits, as always, but certainly nothing to write home about. For a few weeks now, it’s been all about the Alpha Legion – or at least, it’s felt that way! So I’m thinking about doing something different next, maybe turning back to some of the many Necron projects I still have ongoing. My legion currently stands at 1270 points with all the fancy upgrades and stuff, so is certainly getting there and all that! I’ve also been thinking about what to do next for that – I know I should do another tactical squad and get the minimum force org done, but I’m thinking instead of an all-flamer tactical support squad. I guess we’ll see!!