Nighthaunt Progress!

Hey everybody!
I had my third game of Age of Sigmar last Monday, again playing against Jak and his Maggotkin list, but this time we’d scaled up to 1500 points, so could go a lot wider with our choices. I think Age of Sigmar definitely lends itself better to larger-scale games, as I could see a lot of the synergies come further to the fore this time around.

I’ve used Lady Olynder twice now, and I do really like her both as a model and what she can do. I think I still play her slightly cautiously, as she is a model that really needs to be in the thick of things for a lot of her abilities to work, but she needs to choose her targets carefully. I’d also taken a Tomb Banshee (using the Briar Queen model as a proxy, as the aesthetics are much nicer on her, I feel), but I was unimpressed with her performance so doubt I’ll be using her again. I also used Dreadscythe Harridans for the first time, and purposefully sent them in against the Blightkings thinking their -1 to Hit would negate the exploding 6s, but forgot all about the rule for 2 turns and nearly got decimated.

I’d wanted to try out some Spirit Hosts, after having enjoyed the models back when they were first released, but unfortunately found they were really quite poor, being on 5s to Hit. Even with 6 attacks each, they barely did anything all game except die off slowly and painfully! I’d sent them against a horde of Plague Monks, thinking 18 attacks in the first round would be quite decent, but they probably hit no more than three or four times in the entire game. It hasn’t stopped me from buying a second box of them, of course – I’m thinking I’ll just try something else with them next time!

Finally for the “new” units, I was using ten Grimghast Reapers, which were a little uninspiring at first, despite buffs from the Knight of Shrouds and Spirit Torment, but I was really pleased when both the Torment and the Guardian of Souls came through for me, and basically resurrected the entire unit in round 4, allowing me to clinch a victory at the last minute! Very nice.

So I’ve been enjoying the Nighthaunt so far this year, and definitely want to continue on with these ghostly folks as I continue in my Age of Sigmar journey. While I had been branching out a bit with the Idoneth Deepkin and the Beastmen army ideas, I’m now paring everything back, and instead focusing solely on the ghosts. I’ve already sold off the elves, and I will soon be listing the Beastmen on ebay, so that I can instead just focus my energies on building, painting, and then playing games with these to try and really optimise my list and playstyle. Well, that’s the theory, at least!

I think the last time I checked in with you all on this, I was considering branching out into Legions of Nagash, and allying-in the Nighthaunt separately. Well, I’ve switched things around now, so that it’s the other way round. While it would be cool to have a bunch of skeletons in the mix as well, I’m mainly playing Nighthaunt, and allying-in Deathlords in order to bring in one of my all-time favourite models, Arkhan the Black!

The list is 2000 points, and so is very much a sort of version one of the final destination for me. It makes use of the core army that I have been playing so far this year, but adds in a couple of extra bits and pieces, so that I can get a couple of warscroll battalions in there for the additional command points. I’ve previously talked about feeling a little bit forced into shouldering some battalions into the list in order to generate additional CPs, but honestly, I think it might be the best idea to actually play with these things first and see what sort of things I can do, rather than just dismiss them as a trap on paper alone.

So let’s take a look at this list!

I like it, which I suppose is the first main point! The core of what I was looking to build up to back in January is still there, with the Chainguard and the Shroudguard, but I’ve also tweaked some points to both bring in Arkhan and to allow for more interesting (dare I say, competitive) units to be included. I’ve been able to see how several units have performed already, and I can see that things like the Chainrasp Hordes need to be bigger units to properly bog down the opponent in the mire of close combat. Having an army-wide unrendable save is a huge bonus, and big units like this should survive a lot longer, after all! The Chainghasts and Spirit Torments are going to be handy support units for allowing re-rolls of Hit rolls of 1, while the Spirit Torment’s ability to heal units is a nice fall-back if the Guardian of Souls is off elsewhere. I’m also super excited that I managed to get Thorns of the Briar Queen in here, as I was hoping to field them in an actual Age of Sigmar game back when I first started painting them. So that’s exciting!

The Bladegheist Revenants are a new unit for me, as I only actually picked them up last week and have so far built up five of them. Well, I also picked up the 500th Store Anniversary model back in October, which was also a named Bladegheist Revenant, sadly with no rules, but still! They are a bit like a more elite version of the Grimghast Reapers, I think, having similar abilities but a slightly better to Hit stat. Being able to fall back and charge is always a handy thing, of course, and its an ability they share with the Glaivewraith Stalkers, which will be those from the Easy-to-Build line rather than the Soul Wars box – they get the drummer, who grants them the ability. I’ve not used these chaps yet either, so this will be a little bit of a learning curve, but the only reason I included the Stalkers in the list was due to having the points left over!

Artefacts and Command Traits are things I’ve never really bothered with, outside of having the Nightmare Lantern buff for the Guardian of Souls. However, it’s a fun part of the list building that I think I miss from 40k list building, where working out all of the synergies and stuff is part of the enjoyment. It really helped me building this list through the Warscroll Builder on the Community site – other apps are available, of course, but I just wanted to try and get my head around the various moving parts, and this one was really straightforward to use. Having the two battalions in there gives me access to three artefacts, so I could use the Lantern buff while also giving out stuff to the Spirit Torment (dishing out mortal wounds to units within 8″ if a 2D6 roll exceeds the target’s bravery) and Knight of Shrouds (D3 mortal wounds on a target within 3″ if a wound was inflicted through his melee weapon). As the Knight of Shrouds is my General, and isn’t a named character, he can also be given a Command Trait – in this case, I’ve chosen Hatred of the Living, which allows him to re-roll failed Hit rolls with his melee weapons. Hopefully it should be a nice combo with his relic!

Spell lores are interesting things, and the Nighthaunt have a couple of pretty decent ones, I think. I’ve given the Briar Queen a spell that can dish out additional mortal wounds – it’s a similar spell to her unique offering, but for a different situation, so hopefully it should make her a flexible caster. The Guardian of Souls will most likely be doing his thing to revive other units, but the addition of an offensive spell should allow him to do more than just sit around being a waste of points if he never has a target for his unique spell.

But what about the big cheese himself?

Arkhan the Black is just a super cool model, and one that I really can’t wait to include within my army. He should be an amazing centrepiece, as well as having that hilarious Curse of Years spell, which deals out mortal wounds like nobody’s business, he can increase the range of other wizards’ spells by 6″ while they’re within 18″ of him – he also knows all of the spells of other Death wizards within the same range, so he too can attempt to cast Lifestealer or Spirit Drain, or Howling Vortex or Spectral Lure. He also has the Deathly Invocation ability that can hopefully heal a bunch of units if he’s positioned right, so he really goes in nicely with the overall theme of the army, perhaps more so than the other original Mortarchs.

So yeah, overall I’m really excited to be getting closer to this 2000 point build!

A Workshop of Games!

Hey everybody!
So I’m a little late to this party as well, but given the amazing line-up of new stuff that we’ve seen previewed at the New York Toy Fair from GW. I’ve come across quite a bit of negativity towards some of these things while looking around at the online reaction, which is a bit of a surprise to me in some respects, but I suppose you can’t please everybody! At any rate, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the upcoming goodness:

I want to start with Storm Vault, a co-operative dungeon-delving game that looks like it only includes Stormcast Eternals as the playable heroes, from the look of the box. I originally wasn’t even sure if it was a miniatures game, as I couldn’t see any in the promotional shot of the game board, but I think they’re up there in the top right corner:

This does look kinda neat, and reminds me a lot of Talisman, for some reason. They’re both GW IP games, I suppose, but it has the feel, from the scant info we had revealed, of that kind of adventure game. It looks like the four Chaos gods play a part in the proceedings, too, which is interesting…

I’ve still not played Warhammer Underworlds yet, shame on my, but this seems like an interesting take on things. Aimed at new players for the game (so, me) it features what looks like two of the Easy-to-Build kits for Age of Sigmar made into warbands that can be used here with training wheels, and then taken further into the main game. I do love the Nighthaunt, after all, and I am looking to get into Shadespire/Nightvault, so I think this could well be a good buy.

I do see the perspective of those players who already have been playing the game, and perhaps begrudge having to get this if there are unique cards that they will no doubt need for more competitive deck builds, but I think all too often we’re bound up with the loud voices here online who decry such enterprises by game companies – all the while, without realising that they just aren’t the majority target audience for this sort of product.

While there was also talk of the new Funko Pop range, and this Space Marines Heroes thing, by far the most interesting and exciting announcement to come from the event was, of course, this:

Combat Arena appears to take the principle of Gorechosen and supplants it to the 41st millennium, with generic hero-types being thrust into a pit-fight set aboard a space ship. All of them are Imperium heroes, and so a lot of people seem to be a bit confused as to why such folk would be fighting one another, but there we have it.

The game might well be a complete dud, but I’m definitely willing to give it a try. Most importantly, though, the game is bringing to us five new plastic miniatures of iconic figures from Warhammer 40k, from the Primaris Psyker to a third Rogue Trader mini!

Apparently, this is a prequel to the Blackstone Fortress game, and these minis will feature in an upcoming adventure pack. What on earth does that even mean? They’re going to be coming out in a Blackstone Fortress-branded box, so we shouldn’t buy this game if we want the minis? Or will they start to release rules for existing minis to be used in Blackstone Fortress, simply as card packs or whatever? The basing for all of the minis previewed at the event has the same scheme as the other game, so it very much looks like it’s a tie-in, but I’m not sure I quite get it at the moment.

Anyway, the minis look fantastic, and I really can’t wait to get them in my collection. I really appreciate how interesting GW is making their universe through the introduction of new models or re-imagined sculpts for classic models within these sorts of boardgames. I hope we see more stuff like this come out for a long time to come, as we see all manner of weird and wonderful creations for the game. And yes, of course I would like to have rules for 40k included, and maybe even crossover rules for Blackstone Fortress and Kill Team as well. I’ve already been working on building a Chaos force that uses all of the weird stuff from Blackstone Fortress, and I’m still thinking about how to fit the Elucidian Starstriders into an Imperium list – I don’t care if they aren’t competitive, I just love the fact that the lore is being fleshed out on the tabletop, and the more esoteric corners of the 40k universe are being explored in this manner!


You know what else I’m really enjoying about this announcement? The fact that we’re seeing Games Workshop actually beginning to realise the promise of their own company name, and produce a whole smorgasbord of games for us to feast upon. When the FFG licence ended, I was a bit disappointed because I have enjoyed their offerings in the board game, card game and RPG formats for a long while. Thinking that GW might only want to concentrate on their big three tabletop wargames, I was anticipating a lack of anything further. But here we are, with a whole slew of new games as well as new takes on the existing games stable, and I think it’s just glorious! Combat Arena or Storm Vault may well be throwaway games that people only buy for the minis and never once look at the game itself – heck, I pretty much did that with Gangs of Commorragh when that came out, though I have still got all of the game material for that one waiting for me to one day take a better look at it. But there are so many games being produced now with incredible new miniatures that they can probably afford to have a couple of duds on the shelf. If Combat Arena is only remembered as the place where that sweet new peg-leg Rogue Trader first came out, then that’s fine, because we still have stuff like Warhammer Underworlds, Necromunda, Blackstone Fortress and the like that have been, from all accounts, runaway success stories. But if people are still enjoying Combat Arena years from now, and either clamouring for official rules for Sly Marbo to be written, or playing with fan-made rules for using a Genestealer Patriarch, then that is awesome, too. The important thing to take from this, I feel, is that Games Workshop are trying, and I love them for it!

LVO Previews 2019

Okay, so I’m a bit late to this party, as the LVO previews slid online in the early hours of Friday morning for me here in the UK, but my goodness, it’s taken some time to digest these things!

Starting with what I’m looking forward to the most, the new boxed set Shadowspear. Full to the brim with new sculpts of Primaris and Chaos Space Marines, this has got to be the thing that is top of my list! I mean, we’ve got new Black Legion models for the first time since the showdown between Horus and the Emperor, including some very sexy beasts and horrifically mutated dudes. What’s not to like?!

If that wasn’t enough, we’re also getting sniper-Primaris, alongside perhaps the best Primaris sculpt that has been released for the range:

I don’t know what it is about this boy, but this is the first time I have been actually excited for the Primaris as a range. Sure, PriMarneus Calgar was a nice surprise, and those Hellblasters sure look good, but there’s something about this Librarian with his camo cloak and leather gloves that speaks to me. Not sure about the actual snipers- they look like they’re trying too hard to replicate the original sniper scout marines, but in power armour they look a bit silly. Still, there are more, as-yet-to-be-revealed minis in this box, which I’m guessing will be coming out to coincide with the end of this 80-day countdown we’re still on. Exciting times ahead!

As an aside, a lot of people seem to be assuming that this box is going to be push-fit models like Dark Imperium, but the article does actually compare it with the line of battle boxes from Forgebane, which I think everybody is forgetting came with the actual multi-part kits. So I’m assuming instead that we’ll be getting the actual new CSM kits, etc, and that is an exciting assumption, indeed!

While the Black Legionaries are indeed very exciting minis, I’m particularly looking forward to the new Abaddon that has now been teased:

This could be along the lines of Roboute Guilliman big, which I suppose just further tips the balance towards Chaos (still only one loyalist Primarch out here in the wilds of 8th edition?) but it’s still a very exciting prospect. Of course, Abaddon can’t be expected to have Primarch-like stats, but given that he has the favour of all four Chaos gods, and is basically the rallying point for the majority of the Chaos Space Marine warbands in the galaxy, I’d hope he would be better than, say, new Calgar.

We’ll have to see! At any rate, all of this is making me want to get a CSM force off the ground like there’s no tomorrow!

We’ve seen more CGI-renders of the new Sisters of Battle, which is all very exciting and good and whatnot, but I feel a bit like this is just being drawn out a bit too much now, and I think I’d prefer to just have the models already! It has been very much a drip-feed that I’ve found a bit more irritating than interesting, but I suppose that’s just me being a grumpy old git! Hopefully the announcement of a more regular bulletin means that they’re closer to the release of these models than we knew.

The next warband for Shadespire is Sylvaneth, and definitely makes me wish I hadn’t sold off those models that I’d been building up – take note, kids: it’s not always a good idea to get rid of stuff you may later want!

Not quite sure about this one – a distillation of the best bits of 40k Kill Team and Shadespire? Sounds like it could be good, for sure! Details are a bit too sketchy for me to actually have much more of an opinion, though, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one…

More vague promises of stuff that could be interesting: Forbidden Power is an expansion for AoS that continues the story of the Soul Wars, as something ancient and terrible awakens. What on earth is this about, then? Is Slaanesh the ancient and terrible force? This could be interesting, at any rate…

Staying with Age of Sigmar – new armies are coming, as well as new battletomes for existing armies, so that’s all quite interesting! After Skaven and Flesh-Eater Courts get their books, we’ve got a new book for Khorne, which I can’t decide if I want to get or not. I am, however, interested in the new Skulltaker model (even if it does look remarkably like the old one)

There are also “Khornate phenomena” – because the Lord of Skulls cares not for your magic, peasant!

I mean, they’re just what we’d expect, aren’t they? Delightful pieces of death and destruction from the Blood God.

I feel like this year has been on a par with the last LVO reveals, at any rate!


Coming so soon after my recent post about the Allure of the New, I probably sound a little hypocritical talking about how much I like the new stuff coming in that Shadowspear box. I suppose I’m just Games Workshop’s target market – always wanting the next new thing, never really halting to do anything with the stuff that I already have. I definitely want to start getting better with my purchasing strategy, and I’m trying to not get carried away by all of this stuff. I’ve found it interesting to think about my responses to the way that GW have been revealing stuff on the community site, with previews of next week’s preorders coming pretty much two weeks prior to their actual availability, and how this has made me almost too wary of committing myself to anything new because I want to see what’s coming the week after. If that makes sense.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, as the whole Gloomspite Gitz preorder window got me really enthused for starting up with those guys, but because I knew that the Genestealer Cults would be coming out at some point around the end of January – an army that I already own a considerable number of models for already – I have been wary of over-spending anymore. Knowing that there was something else coming over the horizon has kept me from going too deep into any of the very new stuff, and it makes me wonder if there are any others out there who have been the same. I definitely don’t get caught up in the release excitement in the same way that I used to, that’s for sure! And now that I know I have Shadowspear that will likely cost £95, I’m going to be very cautious with anything that comes out between now and then. Interesting times, that’s for sure…

Star Wars thoughts

Oh my word, have you guys seen this?!

I have been in a bit of a Star Wars flunk lately, after having been burned by mediocre (or less) Star Wars novels and comics coming out from Disney. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the new films, it just feels a bit like everything else on offer has been just stale, somehow, and uninteresting at best.

Well, I think I’ve just stumbled across the thing that will get me back among the stars, with the announcement of Star Wars: Outer Rim, from Fantasy Flight Games! It’s not a co-op game, but looks like it can be played solo, which is always an interesting point for me these days.

There’s no mention in the article of any kind of AI or beating a game engine, but rather just trying to become the best scoundrel in the galaxy. Of course, I imagine there would be some kind of way to make it enjoyable solo, though I do feel it might end up a bit like playing a deck-building game without any opponents. Certainly sounds like a fun time with more players, as you each race across the galaxy trying to gain influence and the like! Sounds a bit like the much-vaunted Firefly game, which I’ve never played but hear pretty much nothing but good things about!

It looks like an encounter-based system that should be a lot of fun, and being designed by Corey Konieczka – the man behind Eldritch Horror and Rune Age among others – I have high hopes that it will be an immersive experience as well.

My love of Star Wars has been on a definite decline recently, though, so I’m really glad there has been something like this come along to kick-start it once again. The upcoming release of the ninth installment of the main Saga hasn’t even got me this interested, though I think this has a lot to do with internet-fatigue. You know, I kinda liked how different The Last Jedi was from all the other movies, in the same way that I’ve come to appreciate the Prequels more and more for being different to the Original Trilogy. The Sequel Trilogy (are we calling it that, now?) has been markedly different, for me, and while there have been some hiccups for me along the way, nevertheless I think they’re telling an interesting story in their own way. If all of my frustrations with these sequels could be boiled down to one thing, it would be that we still haven’t really yet gone wider in the universe. I guess that’s my own problem, because the OT wasn’t particularly wide, but the EU we had for years did a very good job of filling the rest in, so it still felt like a whole universe. I suppose once we’ve had all of the plot holes filled in with Episode IX, we’ll hopefully get some novels that can go back and tell us more about Snoke, the First Order, how the Rebellion became the New Republic which became the Resistance (though I believe that is starting already). I suppose I just need to try and give it some more time.

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And now, this! #StarWars #Solo #nowReading

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I started to read Last Shot back in July last year, and had to give it up as a bad job roughly halfway through. I read a few more books, got married, and then came back to finish it in, I think, October – mainly because I hate to leave a book unfinished, even if it’s a bad book. And this, in my opinion, was a bad book. It suffered, for me, from having an author who seems determined to only use the movies as reference material, and begins to incorporate all manner of ridiculous, annoying things in here, because he doesn’t know anything else. The Ewok slicer just got on my nerves, and the Gungan prison warden in Kessel made me want to punch the book multiple times. I mean, there was just so much wrong about this book that it just annoyed me to pick it up and try to read it.

I’m not going to attempt to do a full review of it on my blog, because I’ve been trying to cast all memory of it from my mind, but suffice it to say, I did not enjoy this one, and as it happens, I’ve been pretty much away from Star Wars since. I suppose it’s just part of this burn-out, where I’ve still not really read an enjoyable SW novel since the excellent Bloodline, and the comics are so bad I’ve actually stopped buying them month after month, as I’ve only marginally found one or two interesting, at best. I’ll probably do another catch up with them at some point, but otherwise, I’ve just been feeling decidedly unimpressed with the new stuff.

In all honesty, I don’t think this has got a lot to do with my nostalgia for the old EU, either, as there was plenty there that was, shall we say, less than inspiring? But it’s a shame, because I think there has been some good stuff to come out since the Disney take-over, and for me, one of these has actually been the Solo movie. I’ve been quite disappointed with the internet reaction to this, as while there were some odd things, and some unnecessary things, overall I thought it was actually a good movie, and definitely worth its place in the movie-verse.

Details seem to be pretty scant as to what new movies we can expect from Disney post-episode 9, which I find to be quite curious. Solo was, apparently, the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made, and that it failed to make that back at the box office seems to have put the nail in the coffin – or at least, the brakes on – any further movies being developed. Maybe they’re just waiting to see how well IX does before they announce anything further? At any rate, while I’ve not been enjoying the new films anywhere near as much as I enjoyed a movie with Lucas at the helm, I’ve still been finding a lot to enjoy in these new offerings, and I think I’m over that initial fear of Star Wars-saturation. It’s been a long slog since The Force Awakens started us on this road, but I’m hopeful that, once we’re out of the communications blackout that always seems to surround making an “episode” movie, we’ll have a lot more to look forward to. And, y’know, I hope they finally go wide and let some really talented and imaginative authors explore this new universe and finally flesh it out for the fans!

Allure of the New

I had a bit of a personal victory today, and I thought I’d share it with you all!

As you no doubt know, a couple of weeks ago, the Gloomspite Gitz were released, and seemed to take the world by storm. The kits look amazing, and it felt a bit like everybody was suddenly playing grots. I got quite excited as well, mainly being attracted by the large scenery piece that reminded me so much of a Lego set from back in the day, and I did indeed consider starting to collect little green goblins. Then I spent some time watching the painting tutorial for the Dankhold Troggoth, and I thought I was sold:

As an aside here, how good are the Warhammer TV tutorials? The full ones, I mean – I like the little tips and stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I still enjoy sitting down with a cuppa and watching how they produce the various effects and whatnot. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact they’re the “official” paint guides, or what, but I do like these longer tutorials. Anyway!

I was on the cusp of buying my own, but I managed to resist. For possibly the first time ever, I’d been on the cusp of buying something, but had a moment of clarity where I just couldn’t see the need for this model among the rest of my collection, so left it there on the shelf.

This is perhaps particularly important as we approach the release weekend for the new Genestealer Cults stuff, and I feel my wallet already having little tremors of uncertainty at how much of this stuff I want to buy! As it happens, I’ve only pre-ordered the Codex, and two of the character models: the Nexos, and the Clamavus. I really fancy that Locus model, too, but I really want to see how the army looks once I have the book in my hands before I go down the route of buying new stuff. I want to think about my list, to think about the models that I already have, and how the new stuff might fit alongside that. Of course, I’ve been aware of the youtube reviews already doing the rounds, and spent a couple of hours the other day listening to my usual go-to Striking Scorpion 82 and his review, but nothing quite beats having the book to look through yourself, I feel!

I mean, I’m sure I’ll get some bikers, and I do want to get the new Ridgerunner, but I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm, because all too often in the past, I’ve found myself throwing money at a project to then get burnt out by it.

Most recently, this has happened with the Deepkin stuff. While hardly new, it was still a new project for me, and I’d thrown quite a bit of money at it over the last couple of months, but ultimately I’ve just found it really difficult to put together an actual army list that I would want to play, after spending a long time looking through the battletome. I’ve never really experienced something quite as disappointing as that in the hobby before – the miniatures are incredible, and I really wanted to get painting up some wet elves, but when it came to it, my lack of enthusiasm for the army’s rules really just put me off painting them.

I suppose actually having played some Age of Sigmar has helped, as I can appreciate that, actually, I enjoy playing Nighthaunt now, and I’m looking forward to building more on that side of things. Unlike with 40k, where I’m finding the variety of armies quite refreshing, and often find myself spurred on by having so many varied projects on the go, with AoS it’s a different matter, and I only really want one army.

Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true, as the arrival of the Skaven on the scene has prompted me to return to a plan from a long time ago, and actually get round to painting some of the little rat-men. For a long time now, I’ve been thinking about getting myself an “old world” army that I could use in AoS. Back in September, I thought that would be the Beastmen, but in the five months since that initial flurry, I’ve only built up ten Bestigors and have failed to anything with them. Time for a change? I think so. There’s just something about the Skaven, though, that I quite like. While I did find them a little annoying in Rise of the Horned Rat – the only Warhammer novel that I’ve read that featured them – I do actually think of that book as one of the most enjoyable that I’ve read, and have been thinking a lot about re-reading it. While I don’t particularly relish the thought of painting a horde army, I do have Thanquol and Boneripper somewhere, having picked them up during the End Times, and I could see myself building up an army of these chaps centred around the larger behemoth models. I think that could be a good starting point, at least!

So I’m trying my best to reduce my piles of plastic, as I’m currently selling off a bunch of Tau and Idoneth Deepkin models, and thinking more tactically about my purchases, and trying to plan those that I really want to get. Of course, there’s bound to be the odd mis-step in the future, but I’m hopeful that these will be fewer and fewer…

Genestealer Cults ascendant!

Hey everybody!
Well, the excitement is real – and about time, too! After patiently waiting in the shadows for all this time, the Genestealer Cult release begins tomorrow with the pre-orders for a decent chunk of this new wave of models. And I cannot wait!

 

These models have been teased for so long now, it almost feels like I own them already!

Back near the end of 7th edition, when the Genestealer Cults first came out of hiding, I can remember being really excited to see something really quite different to the normal stuff we get for 40k. While there’s no doubt these malformed revolutionaries are an army, they just feel different, with their industrial aesthetic – they really are the everyman of the universe. Just with extra limbs, and so on.

I didn’t really foresee there being any actual expansion to the range, though – while it’s always nice to think your army will get new stuff when a codex release happens, I thought the Cult was pretty much what it was. There has always been a very strong foundation on the original Deathwatch: Overkill boxed game, of course, but with odds and ends like the Acolyte Iconward, the Goliath truck, and all of the Astra Militarum stuff that can be wrapped into a list, I thought we had seen what we were always going to get. And then that gunslinger mini showed up, and the internet seemed to catch fire. Well, if the three-armed gunslinger was enough to ignite peoples’ interest, the rest of the releases have almost assuredly burnt the house right down!

Up for pre-order tomorrow, then, we start with the new, female Magus. Personally, I don’t feel the need for a new model, as I really love the commanding presence of the original sculpt. The cynic within me thinks this is just GW cashing in, while appeasing the calls for more female representation within the game. I have no problem with the latter, and I’ve come to expect the former. If there are no new rules for this particular model, then I guess we still need to get the Broodcoven box in order to get the familiars she can take? Or maybe there will be new familiars on the sprue with her – though I doubt it, given that the other stuff with familiar-type minis have all been shown with them now.

This chap is definitely on my list to pick up, however! Aside from being a hilarious model – with a hilarious name – the Clamavus has the very useful ability of denying deep-striking units just a little bit further, with mortal wounds being dished out if anyone comes too close. Can’t think I’ll get as much use of the +1 to charges for friendly units near him, but I think he’ll still make himself useful by providing that extra protection to the very fragile Neophytes I like to bulk out my lists with…

Of all the new models coming though, this grumpy chap has got to be top of my list to get. It’s not just because of the fact he’s plotting the invasion of Warhammer World itself, but he’s providing that very useful ability of re-gaining command points for the army, which I think is really very thematic for what he’s supposed to represent, as well as providing shenanigans with the Cult Ambush markers that will be forming part of the new style of playing Genestealer Cults:

These markers are used to mask how you’re deploying your army, in a similar way to how Battlelore deployment worked I suppose. You place these markers to represent any unit in your list, and once deployment is complete, you then decide what marker represents what unit. There are stratagems that let you place four markers for one unit, to further mess with your opponent’s plans, and also to change the manner of the Ambush – setting up Underground is more like the usual Deep Strike Reserves, popping up 9″ away from the enemy when you need it most!

Continuing our look at the new units on offer this weekend, we have the Locus, a bodyguard model with the usual bodyguard things that always goes first in the fight phase. I really like this mini, and I’m probably going to get him soon enough as well. The Clamavus and the Nexos are at the top along with the book, but I think other things might have to wait while I work out my plans for global domination.

The Sanctus is an assassin model, which is all well and good, but again, I think he’s going to be much lower down the list for now. I mean, I’m absolutely going to be getting one of everything for my army, but I just don’t feel the need for this guy right now. Though as with many things, I suppose only time will tell!

Interestingly, the rules preview that went up for these chaps is strongly indicating that they are actually all going to be HQ choices – if the Sanctus can never be a warlord it suggests he is in a slot from whence warlords normally come, and the Nexos’ ability to regain CP being something only HQs get. Interesting…

We also have the bikers up for preorder this weekend, and I’m really excited by the possibility of having a wealth of weapon options! Let’s ramble for a moment. I feel like there has been a trend in 40k of late to almost dumb-down the list building. Sure, I’ve recently been complaining of option-paralysis with my Deathwatch army, but I still like the fact that armies are, on the whole, quite customisable. Where this isn’t the case, such as with Necrons or, more recently, Primaris Marines, I find the units to be quite dull. When everybody has the same weapon, it generally bores me. Being able to properly customise a unit is a really nice feature, and I’m pleased that GW are keeping that sort of thing going with this book. Between these and the Neophytes, I think we’re going to have a very exciting book on our hands!

Anyway. The build options for the bikes feel a bit weird to me, with the quad bike being an optional build from the regular box, and the squad sergeant-type being a separate mini, although I suppose this does prevent having to come up with datasheets like we have with some Space Marines units, where they may take a jump pack, or they may ride a bike, etc etc. It feels a little clunky, but it also feels probably the best way of doing it!

It’s also nice that we get so many different head options, so we can definitely get two boxes and not have twins riding the bikes! And who doesn’t love a Cultist wielding a wrench?!

For £32.50, I think it’s actually pretty respectably-priced, as well – I was expecting something nearer the £50-mark, so that’s a nice surprise. Given that I’ll probably be wanting to get a lot of stuff on day one, I think I may well be using my preferred discount retailer, so that should be even better yet!


So this is week one, at least, of a very exciting release window. What else is there still to come?

Top of my list has got to be the delightful new vehicle, the Achilles Ridgerunner, which I think is one of the more hilarious releases due to its timing. We had the cartoon-y teaser trailer for GSC a whiles back, and so many people were polarised by whether this was going to be a new vehicle, or if it was just artistic licence with the Goliath – but now we know it’s something new, and weirdly exciting, to boot!

Let’s ramble again for a bit. Pretty much every army shares a basic blueprint, having HQs with similar buff-abilities, basic troops, some have a bit fancier troops, and there are heavy options and fast options, and the very fancy options in the Elites slot. GSC, to some degree, conformed to this back in the day, but with this, I’m at a bit of a loss for just what the hell it’s supposed to be! The preview describes it as a scout vehicle that seems to want to be paired with the bike squads, though its spotting abilities seem limited to its own weapons, rather than providing some kind of triangulation ability akin to the Necron Triarch Stalker. Hm. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s hilarious and I definitely want one, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what it’s going to do for me! I guess, as always, time will tell!

We’ve also got another mini that was “previewed” during the cartoon trailer, the Biophagus. It seems like this guy is almost specifically designed to work alongside Aberrants as a support character, as his abilities grant permanent buffs to those grotesque hulks. I would guess, then, that it will be during the second wave that we’ll see him alongside the multi-part plastic Aberrants, as well as the Abominant character from Tooth & Claw. Whether we get any more units, who knows? The way this release has been so far, it seems like a Pandora’s box of amazing stuff that is almost never-ending!

So yeah – I’m looking forward to the Day of Ascension when I can get my unspecified-number of hands on this book, and see what I can do with all of the many, many miniatures that I’ve so far collected for my Genestealer Cult – I’ve got a feeling that the last list I wrote up is going to be undergoing quite a number of revisions! It’s going to be quite a voyage, I’m sure!