Hobby Progress 2017

Hey everybody!
Well, it’s the end of another year, and I thought I’d come along here to ramble for a bit about my hobby successes during the course of the year. You know you love it!

2017 has been really quite remarkable in a number of ways. Despite the inherent problems when moving house, I have managed to paint up an entire Dark Eldar army that currently numbers something like 2000 points, as well as building and painting a variety of Imperium stuff, including the beginnings of my AdMech/Tempestus Scions army. So let’s sit back and take a look at some of my hobby highlights!

First of all, let’s talk about Necrons. My very first army, I started the year determined to re-do most of my miniatures, as I’d been feeling that I could do a much better job with them. Then over the summer I decided that no, I would actually build a whole new Necron army with a different paint scheme, and went for the Thokt Dynasty and its cool blue weaponry. To date, I’ve only got five Immortals (above) and five Lychguard painted in this scheme, so I do have quite a ways to go with them! But I have plenty of kits for the army just waiting in the wings, so I should be able to do something with them in the new year.

I mentioned it earlier, but I’ve also been planning a combined AdMech/Tempestus Scions army for a number of months, and spent rather a lot of time building up waves of Skitarii over the autumn months. I think I have just over 1000 points built, but to date, I only have five Skitarii and two Scions actually painted…

The army is one that I’m really excited for, however, so I’m looking forward to properly getting to grips with them all. A platoon of Scions working alongside waves of cyborgs and their various battle automata should look really good on the tabletop, I’m thinking!

I went for some wildly different paint schemes for these chaps, and have somehow managed to basically invert the usual schemes for each, having my Scions red and my Skitarii blue… At any rate, I’m pleased with the guys that I’ve painted so far, and I’m looking forward to getting more of them painted so that I can start having games with them!

2017 will forever go down in the annals as the year of the Dark Eldar, however. After a short period of casting about for something new to really get my teeth into, I knew from building my very first Kabalite Warrior (that guy with the agoniser, above, in case you were interested), this was going to be an army I would enjoy building and painting.

2017 has also seen me play more games of 40k than ever before, and the majority of those have been with the dark kin. While they are still somewhat new to me, of course, I have never enjoyed playing this game so much as I have when commanding the Haemonculus Covens and the Kabalite Warriors of my collection.

There isn’t really a lot more that I could say, if I’m honest. Dark Eldar are, for me, my favourite army, and I’ve loved getting them all built and painted, and then playing games with them since the release of 8th Edition. They’re an amazing force, and I’ve got no plans to stop adding to the ranks anytime soon!


However, I’d also like to look forwards in this blog, and see what I’d like to accomplish in 2018. These things never go according to plan, of course, but I think it’s good all the same to get some idea of where I’d like to be headed as the new year begins!

If you follow my on instagram, you’re not only a very discerning individual, but you’ll also no doubt be aware that I’ve spent some time building up quite a sizable Tyranid force already. This has developed out of a desire to have a small detachment of big bugs alongside my nascent Genestealer Cult, which has seen barely any work go into it over 2017 – at the most, I’ve managed to get three miniatures painted for them!

Genestealer Cult

In 2018, therefore, I’m planning to get this off the ground in style. I’ve talked somewhat already about my desire to have this kind of force, with Cultists forming a central point around which is built an army including elements of Guard and Tyranids, so I’m hoping that I can very much get this going in the new year! I’m going to start with the Tyranids properly, and may even do a sort of Tale of Four Warlords-style series for it, so we’ll see how that goes!

Alongside this, I want to keep playing my Dark Eldar, and have been planning to start adding Wych Cult units with gusto. I’m also going to get myself a Tantalus in March, so that will be cool! In addition to this, I want to continue to tinker away with the AdMech/Scions list, and see how far I can get with that – probably going to start small and build up. For some light relief, I’m also planning to throw the odd Necron squad in there as well, as I continue to build up my new dynasty. The rumour mill seems to be pointing to Necrons as being one of the next codices after Daemons, so I may find myself with the impetus to finally get going there!

I’m really looking forward to 2018 in terms of the hobby, as I’m feeling like GW are going to be doing some amazing things, and I can’t wait to see what’s coming!!

Another Drukhari catch-up!

Hey everybody!

Following on from my last major Dark Eldar update, I thought it would be good to take a look at the rest of those units that I’ve been painting up for the tabletop. That last update only covered the miniatures that I’d been painting specifically for my 1000-point Oath challenge at my local store, so I thought it would be nice to collect together all of the other Dark Eldar miniatures that I’ve managed to finish painting this year. There are actually more than I’d thought…

The Ravager is a model that I had looked forward to getting my hands on, but proved a bit more tricky to get finished than I’d initially expected. However, the finished article looks, to me, great, so I’m really pleased! Disintegrator cannons are perhaps not the best choice of load-out in-game, and I have since built up a second Ravager with dark lances, but I’m very pleased by the look of the model, all the same. Style over substance, every time!

This was actually the first Venom that I’d built back in January, but had somehow just left it while painting the others. Of course, the other two were needed for my original Oath list, as I was using one for the Wracks and another for the Archon and Court, so having a third with Wyches in just seemed a bit of a waste while focusing on the core of the army. It’s finished, however, along with a Succubus, who was an absolute beast in close combat the first time I used her! I think she’d work better with different weapons to those with which she’s modeled, but there’s no denying how incredible that pose is, after all!

I think I mentioned it before, but 8th Edition really hampered my build when it came to the Trueborn, as they could no longer take haywire blasters. I therefore set to work giving the original squad dark lances, and have now added two blasters to the line-up, given how Blasterborn seems to be the new way to go with this unit. I’ve not yet managed to try them, but my next game will likely see them jumping out of a Venom…

Again, 8th Edition caused some problems when I had one Kabalite Warrior wielding a heat lance – now no longer legal for the unit. I find it quite odd to think that my original plans for the army involved a massive core of Kabalite Warriors and associated vehicles, with only small add-ons from the Wych Cults and Covens units. Now, however, I have more Covens units than anything, and only just the three squads of Warriors! I think I’m going to work on building and painting more during next year, as I’d like to see just what a legion of Warriors can bring to a game…

Finally for the July update, I painted up some “Mandrakes”! Of course, these are the Sylvaneth Tree-Revenants that look so cool. I’m no fan of finecast, so had no desire to get myself some actual Mandrake models. Instead, I’ve got these guys, and I think they go really well with the aesthetic of Dark Eldar. The bark bodies are painted along roughly the same lines as the Kabalite armour, meaning that they slip into the overall army quite well. The hair has been shaded blue, which also helps to integrate them, though their weapons have a weird purple glow, which I think goes quite well overall!

Of course, I then moved house in August, and painting opportunities were few and far between as I got settled in and all the rest of it. However, I’ve still managed to get some more units fully painted:

I love Wracks! A lot of DE players will tell you they’re no good in this edition, but I  really enjoy fielding my Covens units with these guys running around. My current tally of them is now at 20, along with a Raider and Venom specific to them, and they just look awesome! Notably, this is the first time I’ve actually used the Blood for the Blood God paint on any miniatures, and I think it really helps add to the slaughterhouse feel of these miniatures.

I really enjoy the fact that Dark Eldar kits have these bits that can be interchanged and whatnot to create a very distinctive army. Having the vehicles crewed by the specific type of unit – be it Kabalite, Wych or Wrack – is something I think is very important, and I love the fact that this model came together so well in the end. Definitely one of my favourites of the whole force, I have to say!

Five more Wracks, which I just absolutely love! I think these are possibly the only kit I’ve built that I enjoy building and painting the regular troops…

Finally, I’ve finished a third regular Raider for the Kabalite Warriors that I have now, but more importantly, I’ve finally gotten round to painting the conversion of my actual kabal’s Archon, Aestra Khromys! I built her in July, before I moved house, so I’m really pleased to finally have her done!

So…

This is something that I was a bit wary of, but I knew I’d messed up with Kabalite Warriors along the way because of building Trueborn and the Archon, so wanted to check exactly what I have.

As it turns out, I have 2,395 points of Dark Eldar fully painted right now, which actually blows my mind right now!

Of course, this doesn’t take account of the amount of stuff I have unpainted/partially painted…

Merry Christmas!

Happy Christmas everybody!

Whether you’re celebrating the festive season, or just having a relaxing Monday, I hope you’re all having a fantastic day!

Me, I’m trying to build an Escher gang, with which I can hopefully learn the rules for Necromunda soon!!

Know No Fear

Hey everybody!
I’ve been busily reading my way through a few excellent novels of late, so thought it might be time to come here and share my thoughts with you all! First up, it’s time once again to return to the Horus Heresy, and finally get to meet the Ultramarines properly at book 19: Know No Fear!

This novel is basically the start of the famous Battle of Calth. Famous, I suppose in the main, due to the boxed game from Games Workshop back in 2015, which brought plastic Mk IV Space Marines to gaming tables the world over. The battle between the Ultramarines and the Word Bearers has gone down in Warhammer 40k history as one of the most personal, the enmity between the two legions running so deep as to be utterly irreparable. Let’s take a look…

The book reads rather like a disaster movie, as we see the Ultramarines massing at the Calth shipyards for what they think is a joint crusade with the Word Bearers. It has been more than 40 years since the Emperor sent Guilliman’s legion to chastise the sons of Lorgar on Monarchia, and as with everything he does, Guilliman just thinks he was doing his duty and took nothing personally. Lorgar, however, has never forgotten the humiliation he received at the hands of the Ultramarines, and in some respects it can be seen as having caused the entire Horus Heresy. At any rate, the Word Bearers are definitely not about to join forces and fight alongside the Ultramarines…

The book builds tension until about a third of the way through, where a ship crashes into one of the orbital platforms above Calth, and all hell breaks loose as the Word Bearers open fire on their fellow Astartes. Guilliman first thinks it a mistake, that the Word Bearers had thought themselves under attack and, paranoid after Monarchia, have immediately opened-fire on the Ultramarines in self-defence. But no, it doesn’t take long for the Ultramarines to realise that the Word Bearers are hell-bent on the destruction of their legion. Unfortunately, the noosphere has been knocked out by the attack, so vox traffic is halted. With no way to coordinate their defence, thousands of Ultramarines are killed.

However, the Mechanicum and the Ultramarines resistance soon manage to turn the tide, and Guilliman himself just about manages to thwart Kor Phaeron’s plan to annihilate his legion, but the Word Bearers have already unleashed several bombs on Calth’s star, causing terrible radiation poisoning of the planet, and driving the war into the catacombs and arcologies.

know no fear

I really wanted to like this book. Dan Abnett is, of course, a fan favourite, and I had been looking forward to seeing the Ultramarines properly in the Horus Heresy. However, I felt it was a little bit drawn out in terms of the initial impact of the Word Bearers attacking the orbital platforms, then it seemed to end quite abruptly, with an epilogue set long after the subterranean battle had ended. It was a bit of an odd one, and I can’t quite bring myself to say it was that great a book. I mean, Horus Rising was wonderful, and Legion is one of my all-time favourites, so I suppose I was expecting more. I don’t know.

I did enjoy the disaster-movie-feel that a lot of the novel had, and I think it was done really well to sustain that over the course of almost the whole novel. The initial cataclysm and subsequent scattered resistance was really good, though I think I would have liked to have seen more from the Word Bearers’ perspective.

It’s also worth noting that the novel is told in the present tense, which I always feel makes me read it faster than I would otherwise. Instead of chapter sub-headings, we have the “mark of Calth”, the time-stamp of each action described within said chapter, in relation to the initial attack of the Word Bearers. It gave the novel an added sense of urgency, which I think works really well alongside the disaster-movie approach.

It’s nice to see Guilliman in the Heresy at last, and I enjoyed seeing the Ultramarines at war en masse. A lot of people write Guilliman off as boring, but I’m always fascinated to read about him and his incredibly tactical brain. He’s written as being the tactical genius of all the Primarchs, and that comes out here when we see him digest dozens of battle reports at once, to form a plan of attack within minutes, while everybody is stood around him looking vaguely dumb. Some personality quirks – such as his preference for using a stylus – are carried over by the Dark Imperium novel, which I also enjoyed. He’s definitely a more interesting character than people give him credit for, and I think anybody who is bashing on the Ultramarines should take the time to read something like Know No Fear, to see how effective and badass they can actually be!

All in all, I think I was expecting more from the novel, so felt a little let-down, but still enjoyed a lot of things about this book. Probably not one of the stand-out books from the series, but definitely not one to pass over!

The Last Jedi! (spoilers within)

Hey everybody!
I went to see The Last Jedi last night, and I have to say, I was really blown away. Considering, at its core, it’s a very straightforward movie, there was a hell of a lot going on! This blog post will contain spoilers, so please turn back unless you’re willing to take the risk – but suffice it to say, I really liked it!

The Last Jedi

The movie picks up almost immediately where The Force Awakens left off, with Rey meeting Luke on Ahch-To and returning his lightsaber. Luke is initially very reluctant to teach Rey anything, but eventually offers her three lessons. During their time together, Rey learns that Luke almost killed Ben Solo during their training, as he had seen the corruption Snoke had managed to inveigle into his student, but stopped himself. However, Ben turned on Luke alongside a handful of students at the Jedi temple, killing the others and leaving to join the First Order.

The Resistance is on the defensive against the First Order fleet, being hounded across the galaxy due to the First Order’s ability to track their ships through lightspeed. Realising this, Finn and a mechanic named Rose decide to infiltrate the First Order star destroyer tracking them, and disable the device in order to allow the Resistance the chance to flee. In order to do so, they travel to the casino city of Canto Bight on Cantonica, but are apprehended by the police and imprisoned. There, they meet the slicer DJ who offers to help them, and after a hectic breakout, manage to flee the world. DJ gets Finn and Rose to the First Order flagship, but betrays them and they are once again captured.

During a First Order attack on the Resistance, however, General Leia was seriously wounded, leaving command of the fleet with Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She and Poe clash over the vice admiral’s apparent lack of determination, and when Poe discovers she is seemingly intent on abandoning ship, he leads a mutiny against her, as he is desperate for Finn and Rose to get through and disable the tracking device. However, Leia stuns him and the extent of Holdo’s plan becomes clear: she intends to allow cloaked transports to flee the Resistance flagship, providing a decoy for the First Order to continue to follow.

Rey, communicating through the Force with Kylo Ren, decides to leave Luke and return to known space, intent on turning Ren from the dark side. She allows herself to be captured by the First Order, and Ren takes her to Snoke, who chides her foolishness for thinking she can turn him. As Snoke laughs in triumph, seeing Ren using a lightsaber to destroy “his true enemy”, Ren uses the Force to bisect Snoke with Luke’s lightsaber. The two kill Snoke’s guards, then Ren offers Rey the chance to join him in ruling the galaxy. A Force struggle ensues, and Rey leaves to rejoin the resistance.

The main Resistance forces are making their way to the old Rebellion outpost of Crait, but are discovered by the First Order and largely destroyed. However, Holdo sets a course directly for the First Order flagship and jumps to lightspeed, destroying her own ship and tearing a chunk out of that of the First Order in the process. In the confusion, Finn and Captain Phasma duel, with Finn managing to best his former boss before he and Rose escape the ship.

The Resistance reconvenes on the salt mining world of Crait, but so few remain and soon the First Order arrives in force. After an initial bombardment, Luke seems to appear within the base, and heads out to confront the enemy. Ren, now Supreme Leader of the First Order, orders every gun to blast him to pieces, but he emerges unscathed, at which point he goes out to duel his uncle. However, it soon appears to be nothing more than a Force projection, Luke allowing the remaining Resistance leaders time to flee from the mine with Rey and Chewie aboard the Falcon. Exhausted by the effort of projecting his consciousness across the galaxy, Luke dies.

The film ends with the confirmation that the Resistance is more than the surviving band of freedom fighters, but the idea that you can fight the First Order.


Like I said, there is a lot going on in this movie, for what is essentially a two-story arc of the Resistance’s flight from the First Order, and Rey’s search for training. That isn’t meant to do the film a disservice, as I thought it was actually really very good. There was so much happening, though, I feel that I need to go watch it again to really take it all in.

Much like my initial thoughts on The Force Awakens, I didn’t really feel like this movie fits with the others, either. Though I’m sure that will change in time! It feels like a really good film, don’t get me wrong, and I really did like it, but it definitely felt like a world apart from the others.

In common with the last movie, it also has a lot of throwbacks to the original movie trilogy, this time to Empire. The Resistance base on Crait felt exactly like Hoth, and there were at least a couple of shots that directly reference similar shots to the Battle of Hoth. It seemed quite silly that a random soldier dude has to make reference to the fact that the white stuff is salt, not snow, as if just to differentiate. Later on, there is a sequence where Chewie flies the Falcon through the salt mine, which is almost entirely lifted from the Death Star attack during the Battle of Endor – right down to the same music playing. The Canto Bight casino feels like the Cloud City shots we never got to see, etc etc. It’s not as obvious as episode VII, don’t get me wrong, but it still feels a little like this sequel trilogy is being propped up by the original three, and I would prefer to see more entirely new stuff, if I’m honest.

The Last Jedi

Now, let’s address the elephant in the room here. Leia survives the film, while Luke becomes one with the Force. I was really perplexed by this, and I don’t really know where we’re going from here. Of course, we knew earlier in the year that Leia had a larger part to play in IX, but with Carrie Fisher’s death almost a year ago now, and Kathleen Kennedy stating that she will not be brought back for episode nine, I can’t really see how they’re going to get round this. Leia is too pivotal a character to be killed off-screen, but the only thing I can think of here is that the opening crawl for the next movie will start with something like “General Leia is dead.” I suppose it’s too early to be speculating with what could happen, but I was fully expecting them to give her a similar death to Oliver Reed’s Gladiator demise.

On a related note, though, I was quite pleased to see Luke dying to save his friends, but not being killed in battle. I mean, Luke is my favourite character, so I’m biased here, but I’d always thought he wouldn’t just go out like a chump, as he’s too powerful with the Force. That he managed to project himself across the galaxy to provide the distraction for Leia and co to flee, then just goes into the Force, it really was the best way for him to go.

There’s so much to talk about with this movie, I’m really looking forward to seeing it again and just becoming more familiar with it as part of the ongoing saga. There is definitely a lot going on – it’s possibly the most action-packed of the films so far – so I’m sure I’ll be devoting many more blog posts to it in the months to come!!

New LotR deluxe expansion announced!

Hey everybody!
Well, it was with some trepidation that I’d been waiting for the big announcement for Lord of the Rings this weekend, as I was beginning to feel like the sky was about to fall, and the game would be announced as ending. The whole Harad cycle seems to have been really stalled, and I’m sure it’s taken almost the whole year to get not very far with it (pack five has just been released, more than a year since the deluxe came out). While the big announcement has yet to be made (at the time of this writing), I’m so glad that I was wrong, and that another announcement was made yesterday for a brand new deluxe expansion for the game!

The Wilds of Rhovanion sounds just wonderful. In many ways, it feels like something of a return to the Lord of the Rings of the early days. Accompanying a band of refugees north from Harad to Dale, we go along the Anduin and through Mirkwood once again, before being given a quest by King Brand that leads us deep into the Iron Hills. The feel of the Shadows of Mirkwood and Dwarrowdelf cycles is definitely there for me as I read through the description, and I am hugely looking forward to getting my hot little hands on this expansion in the new year!

The player cards coming in this expansion seem to have a focus on Items, denoting the powerful trade links of Dale. It looks like it should be a really interesting box, with cards that allow you to move items among your fellowship and so forth. It’s already got me thinking about my decks, and going back over the Items of the game to see what I’ve been overlooking all these years!

Overall, very cool to see the game continuing like this, and I’m very happy to see we’re off to the north-east of the map, somewhere I’m not overly familiar with. It’s going to be a very exciting time for the game, I’m sure!

As regards the bigger announcement due later today, a lot of people seem to be under the impression we’re getting an app. I’m not entirely sure why, as the previous games from FFG to have such treatment tend to have an app to convert it from competitive to cooperative. Elder Sign has Omens, though, so maybe we will be getting another such thing? I’d prefer it be something for the physical game, if I had a choice, but I guess we’ll just have to see!

Chapter Approved 2017

Hey everybody!
I picked up the new Chapter Approved book for Warhammer 40k the other day, and was so impressed I just had to come here and briefly ramble about how good it is! Choc-full of good stuff, it’s definitely worth picking up for fans of the game, I have to say!

Chapter Approved

The book is divided into sections that follow the three ways to play, with new rules and missions for each of Open Play, Narrative Play, and Matched Play. Under the Open Play section, we have the rules for Apocalypse games of 8th Edition, and three missions specifically for that, along with the now-famous vehicle design rules that allow you to build your own land raider, along with some datasheets for chapter-specific land raiders to inspire you. Want flamers on top of flamers? Then the Angel Infernus might suffice!

Narrative Play holds the rules for both Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault, each with six missions, and each with a host of stratagems warlord traits and force organisation charts. Not content with all of that, however, there are also rules that allow you to link both together in a campaign! Here are also rules for some of the classic battlefield terrain such as the aegis defense line and void shield generator.

The most exciting part of the book, for me, is Matched Play, which features six new Eternal War missions, six new Maelstrom of War missions, a nice little feature on making your own objective markers, and then updated rules for all of the armies that haven’t yet had a Codex release. There are eleven army entries, and each one gets at least one unique warlord trait, relic, and stratagem. Of course, it’s not a perfect solution for going up against a full Codex army with your Index list, but it should be enough to keep going until you do get that Codex.

On a side note, I really hope GW keeps the pace going with the Codexes in 2018…

Finally, the Appendix features Battlezone rules, covering the Sector Mechanicus and Death World Forest, and has four pages of Empyric Storms stratagems that can cause all sorts of twists and turns to your games, giving psykers and daemons buffs as the Warp decrees. There are rules for ladder campaigns, and finally, the updated points values that everybody has been so keen to find (yes, Forge World models are also in here!)

This book is an amazing supplement to the game. When it was announced, I thought it was going to be amazing, but then with the news that it would have updates for various armies etc, I felt that it might make the game too cumbersome, having yet another book to bring along for a game night. While that is partially true – if I want to use the Webway Portal stratagem when playing my Dark Eldar, I probably need to bring this book as well as the Index, and have a rulebook on hand in case weird things crop up, I feel that the benefits to this greatly outweigh the negatives. The sheer amount of choice as to how you play your games that this book provides is just phenomenal, and I can’t thank GW enough for this.

It’s apparently going to be the first of this kind of annual supplement, much like the General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar, which will seek to rebalance points and such where necessary. I find this both good and bad, as I worry a little as regards how much they’re going to tinker with the rules in the 2018 edition. I do appreciate the time that is being taken to re-evaluate the game, of course, but there is a part of me that is concerned about how far this will be taken.

However, if we get more missions, more interesting rules for scenery and stuff, then I’ll be happy!

To sum up, then, if you’re playing 8th Edition right now, you need this book in your life. It’s just a rules book, there’s no real fluff in here, but it’s very much worth getting your hands on!!