Falling to Chaos, part three

…it was inevitable, really!

While I’ve always been a xenos player at heart, I’ve nevertheless enjoyed building and painting the odd space marine in my time, and often have thought about wanting an Ultramarines or successor company to play on the tabletop. I never really thought I’d sell my soul to Chaos, but now that Shadowspear is out in the wild, and there is so much more Chaotic goodness coming out way, I thought it might be time to look again at my thoughts on the heretic astartes and all of their diabolical instruments of war…

First of all, I just want to say that I really do still want to get that army of Chaos cultists off the ground sometime soon. I’m not entirely sure when, because this year is shaping up to be pretty seismic with another house move hopefully on the cards, but I would like to get a few more of these fanatics painted up before we see another Sanguinalia.

A little over a month ago, I was rambling about my plans for a Chaos army, and was pretty determined to fit in a lot of the Blackstone Fortress stuff, as that had been the catalyst for my desire for this army. Now that we have at least some decent Chaos stuff out here courtesy of Shadowspear, I think it’s time to start looking at how to fit all of this stuff into my army!

And so…

I’m intending to add more to this as we see the full range of New Chaos unfold. I’m very likely going to get more Marines, and I do really want some Havocs for heavy fire support. Furthermore, I want to get the new Dark Apostle miniature, which I’m feeling fairly certain will have a points increase when we can add in his two mates as well, so this 1009 points list is very likely going to be changing in the coming weeks!

I’m still trying to go with the Cultist vibe, but I really want to add to that the idea of cultists who have gone a bit too far, and have managed to actually take things to the next level by summoning daemons and the unholy powers of the Warp. I’m not entirely sure how I want to play this just yet, but I’m thinking of getting some Daemonettes into the fray, and possibly some Bloodletters, though the important thing here is that I’m going Word Bearers for my Heretic Astartes forces, so I don’t want too much red on the table!

Vigilus Ablaze looks like it’s going to be a must-buy for playing Chaos Space Marines, as it has all of the specialist detachments for the Ruinous Powers that really let you go deep on the army theme. It’s definitely sounding quite exciting, and really plays into the whole Daemonkin thing we’ve had from Shadowspear, so I’m looking forward to getting hold of my copy at the weekend and really delving into this whole thing!

I’ve been quite the fan of the Word Bearers since reading the closing pages of Horus Rising, and seeing just how diabolical the machinations of Erebus truly were. The First Heretic was another high point on that journey of course, but I think it might be time to read the Word Bearers Omnibus soon, and see what they’re up to in the 41st millennium, as well!

We’ve seen a few more new models for Chaos coming, such as the Master of Execution pictured above, and that weird Lord Discordant riding atop his scuttling helstalker:

I’m not really that keen on either, though I did entertain some ideas of buying the latter simply because he looks so silly! There’s a bit of an Age of Sigmar vibe coming from the naming conventions of these chaps, which is kinda putting me off if I’m honest, so I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get either of them when they’re released.

Amid all of the fanfare and pageantry of the new releases so far, we’ve not heard anything about the forces from Blackstone Fortress coming in their own packages, and I’m feeling a bit like they’ve been forgotten now. Sure, they are part of that game and, I suppose, there is an argument there to keep them as their own thing. But I would so like a 10-man unit of Traitor Guard to add to this list, especially since we’ve seen the heretic Commissar previewed for an expansion further down the line! I hope we can get these guys in their own release, as I’ve said before, but in the meantime I’ll probably just add yet more Cultists to the force when I look to round it out to 1500 points…

So far, then, I’ve managed to produce this test mini for my Word Bearers force, and I’m really pleased with the result. I’d started the armour by going along with Pete the Wargamer’s tutorial for it, but then just started doing my own thing – all of the weapon casings are Mechanicus Standard Grey and shaded with Nuln Oil, and the eye glow is Straken Green shaded with Biel-Tan Green. All of the cloth is Zandri Dust, and the leather is Gorthor Brown, both of which are then shaded with Agrax Earthshade. I think it works quite well, though, and I’m looking forward to getting the whole army painted up like this!

I think having an element of the Astartes is going to be quite important for the overall army here – I want the Cultists to look like a rag-tag mob, so they’re not in any kind of uniform. Having a bunch of models who are in uniform will then help to make it feel more like a fighting force, and I suppose I can always add in some links such as red robes for the Cultists, or whatever.

It’s a really exciting project, for me, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to getting ahead with it! Quite how far I’m going to get with this one, I have no idea, as I’m likely moving house at some point, but even so, it’ll be good to maybe get a Kill Team out of them!

The Adepticon Reveal 2019

What a way to wake up! Games Workshop has announced a whole slew of new stuff coming out while they’re at Adepticon 2019, and it looks just fantastic! I don’t even know where to begin…

Well, here is as good a place as any. Forbidden Power is very much a Malign Sorcery 2.0, a box of new Endless Spells to use in games of Age of Sigmar. Some of these spells do look incredible, but while I’m firmly back into playing the game, I’m unsure about getting a copy of this. Mainly because I don’t tend to use a lot of these things, and it feels like too much of an extravagance to get it. Even if they are amazing looking models:

We also know the next battletome will be for Fyreslayers, and there is something called Looncurse coming, which I’m guessing will be a battle box of Sylvaneth vs Gloomspite Gitz. Flowers vs Fungus? Not sure what else it could mean. But anyway, we’ll see what’s in store there!

The next warband for Warhammer Underworlds has been shown off as the Kharadron Overlords, at which point I’m not sure if there are any more to be seen in this season of the game? After all, that teaser from a while back which seemed to show off the line-up for the year, the sky-dwarves were the last on the list, but there could be more surprises, of course! Between these and the Sylvaneth warband we’ve also seen now, though, I suppose that could well take us to a third box coming out for the autumn period?

The first big bit of news for me in the announcement was more info on Warcry. I’m really looking forward to this game, even if my bank balance isn’t, because I love the look of the new Chaos models we’ve been seeing!

The Iron Golems are a fascinating look at Chaos in all its myriad forms, with some truly awesome looking miniatures that I can’t wait to get my hands on and start painting! I mean, this huge dude with the weapon-arms looks splendid! And I love the guy slinging the chain-thing in the trailer above!

There will be 9 non-Chaos warbands to play in the game, which will hopefully alleviate some of the naysayers online who have been making their opinions known. I’m really looking forward to this, because it looks like we’ll be able to play some really eclectic forces from the looks of these new minis alone. Looking forward to the summer for this one, definitely!

40k now, and we’re going huge with a new rules system for Apocalypse games. Looks like GW have come a long way since they included the rules for this back in Chapter Approved 2017! I’ve only ever been tangentially interested in games that take an entire day (takes me back to playing during 7th edition, when 1000-point games took me several hours). However, if it’s what people want, then it should be great to see huge battles once again!

There wasn’t a great deal of 40k news, though under the alarming heading “the future of 40k” we have an idea of where we’re going next – basically, it looks like campaign systems like the current Vigilus one will become the norm, moving to different planets and seeing what’s going on there. Seems like new model releases like Marneus Calgar and Abaddon will be made in the context of this new campaign system, and I think it’s not only a bit obvious, but also could lead to some really great stuff, so I can’t wait to see what’s next in store for us here!

Glossing over the 50 Shades of Grey skit and event-exclusive models (the latter makes me sad, because I can never seem to get to events), the next big community survey will take place from 15 April and we can potentially win a new Sisters of Battle army. But then, at the end of the article, there’s this:

Yes, that’s right – Slaanesh is not buried and forgotten by GW! It may seem inevitable now, but there were some dark days during 2015/16 when we thought Slaanesh might be quietly removed from the Chaos pantheon in an effort to make the model range more PG13 friendly. Well, forget about that, and feast your eyes on this new Keeper of Secrets, baby!

This thing looks incredible, and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. I must be honest here, I’ve recently been waning again with my ideas of a multifarious Chaos army, and instead going down the Khorne route. However, I think a part of me will always be devoted to the Dark Prince, and I will most assuredly be getting my act together with painting some of these things when the time comes!

I mean, this thing looks amazing! Naturally, it’s a new Battletome for the Prince of Pleasure, and so we’re also getting a new terrain piece and new Endless Spells, which looks suitably weird and wonderful!

But that’s not all, as we’re also getting two new Leader units – a new (plastic!) Masque of Slaanesh, and a new named character, Syll’Esske, something that has a lot in common with Fabius Bile, if you ask me…

I’m also hoping we’ll be getting the Slaanesh side of Wrath and Rapture released separately as well, as I want that harpist herald!

What a glorious time to be alive!


There is a lot for Age of Sigmar here, isn’t there? I suppose the new Chaos Space Marines release, and all the shenanigans around Vigilus we’ve been experiencing since well before Christmas have perhaps taken a toll, and it’s high time we did return to the Mortal Realms for a bit. Of course, the Slaanesh stuff will be equally usable on both sides of the fence, but there was a part of me that was a little bit concerned as to whether we’d be seeing a drop-off of 40k stuff this year until the Sisters release. Well, I suppose I could stand to save up a little bit, after all, so I can’t really complain!

Between the new miniatures for Warcry, and the new plastic Slaanesh stuff, we’re really living in a fantastic time for model design and implementation, and it just gets better year after year.

Star Wars: Thrawn – Alliances (a review)

After reading a lot of Black Library novels of late, I’m back in the GFFA with Thrawn – Alliances! And I made a video too!

This book picks up a number of years after the first, and we find Thrawn and Vader tasked by the Emperor to undertake a mission on the edge of Wild Space, starting on the planet Batuu. As it turns out, Thrawn has previously undertaken a mission on the very same planet back during the Clone Wars, when he partnered up with Anakin Skywalker while the Jedi General was trying to rescue his wife from the hands of the Separatists, and the novel is told as much in flashbacks as it is in the “present” time.

The second Thrawn book is a lot better than the first, in my humble view. Whether it’s just down to the fact that it isn’t really showing Thrawn as a military cadet, or whether because the story is a lot more established this time around, it’s just a lot better.

Thrawn is pretty much Thrawn during both storylines, although I thought it was interesting seeing how he plays along with the subservient role to Vader despite almost always pushing his luck there. As it turns out, Thrawn is well aware of who Vader is, something that I have always been quite fascinated about in the lore, as not many people really make the connection in-universe. It’s almost a bargaining chip that he has, and just when Vader is beginning to perhaps throw his weight around a bit too much, Thrawn just reminisces about the time he met Anakin Skywalker. Even though Thrawn has to play along with being intimidated by him, even if it is only up to a point, you get the impression that Thrawn is really the one in charge, and Vader is at his best when he’s just an intimidating thug.

Which, of course, is a shame, because Vader has been portrayed in this manner a number of times now in the new canon, yet he is just so much more than that – or, at least, he should be. While I’m not about to go into a massive critique of this here, I do feel a bit that Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side in Revenge of the Sith was just so very poorly executed, and ever since he has come across a bit like a gullible idiot.

But anyway!

In the Clone Wars-era timeline, Thrawn is a little more self-assured, as he teams up with Anakin in an attempt to gather information about the Clone Wars as a whole. This was perhaps my favourite part of the book, as it turned out, despite being laden with the reason why Jedi should never marry. Indeed, Anakin being trained as a whole was just a big mistake, as we can see quite glaringly from how impetuous he is. That he was even made a Knight, let alone a General, is quite beyond me. It’s frustrating, because at times he does come across with some military nous. But I suppose that is a product, in part, of having multiple authors write him.

There is much more a sense of mystery to the earlier storyline, however, which is why I think I prefer it. It’s also interesting to see Padme in action, however flimsy the premise, so I appreciate that as well. I did like the fact that the storyline almost had a damsel-in-distress feel to it but, very much like Luke Skywalker’s rescue of Princess Leia from the Death Star, we see the damsel is actually a lot more capable of looking after herself than anybody gives her credit for.

The book is notable for taking place on Batuu, specifically at Black Spire Outpost – remember L3 making the comment in Solo about Lando needing her to fly there? This is going to be the next huge thing for Star Wars and Disney (not counting episode ix, I guess, though the lack of any info on that is getting me a little concerned now!) A “Star Wars Land” within the resorts at Anaheim and Orlando, I believe, Black Spire is the setting not only for theme park rides, but also a comic book series and at least one novel. For a while now, we’ve been seeing a tendency for Disney’s new canon to look more at the Unknown Regions than perhaps we’re used to from the old EU, most blatantly at the end of the Aftermath trilogy with the relocation of the Imperial Remnant there, and it makes me wonder whether there’s something afoot to maybe re-establish some of the old EU stuff but then move the action to the Unknown Regions so they can continue telling their own tales. Who knows. The exciting thing about all of this, though, is that the galaxy is feeling fresh once more – rather than feeling a bit lost in the wilderness, with new books attempting to establish new planets for the sake of it, or else rehashing the movie stuff as if there is no wider galaxy to acknowledge, we’ve got a genuinely unknown area of space to explore here, with some significant stories to tell if the Imperial Remnant is in fact still out there. I think it’s this aspect of it all that has got me the most excited, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming from this! I just hope it’s good Star Wars storytelling, you know?

At any rate, I thought Thrawn: Alliances was a great deal better than the earlier novel, and while I still mourn for the loss of the original Thrawn trilogy, I still have high hopes for the third book in the series, Thrawn: Treason.

Angel Exterminatus

It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished reading Angel Exterminatus, so I thought it about time I came here and wrote up some of my usual rambling thoughts about it!!

I feel very much like I’m in the land of filler novels at the minute, with the last full-length novel in the series I read, Fear to Tread, being the same. It seems like there is just so much to cover, having such an extensive cast already, that the stories are becoming, not necessarily the same, but alike enough that it’s growing old already. And Angel Exterminatus is only book 23 of what we now know to be a 50-book series!

This book is the first to properly feature Perturabo and the Iron Warriors, as we follow the legion during an action on the planet Hydra Cortadus (later seen in the novel Storm of Iron, of course!) The Iron Warriors are joined by the Emperor’s Children, who have all gone a bit weird since Perturabo last saw them, and Fulgrim stokes his brothers curiosity around gaining control of a fabled eldar super-weapon known as the Angel Exterminatus, from a planet deep within the galactic phenomenon known as the Eye of Terror. Perturabo is essentially duped by Fulgrim, who is attempting to rise to daemonhood through a ritual on this eldar croneworld – in order to get there, he needs Perturabo’s knowledge of labyrinths to navigate the hidden ways.

Perturabo, for his part, is well aware that he is being used, but is nevertheless curious as to what is going on, so goes along with the charade but manages to stop Fulgrim’s ascendancy at the last minute. Both parties are in turn being stalked by a ragged band of Iron Hands, who also show up on the croneworld and all hell breaks loose. A lot of the Iron Hands shenanigans did feel a little bit like they were getting in the way of the main story, partly because it felt like these sections were lifted from another book entirely, so I’m not sure they were exactly needed for this one. But I suppose it does add to the confusion at the end. Overall, though, while a lot of work has gone into the character-building for Perturabo, I think there was a lot of chaff that could have been trimmed from this one.

I’ve read of so many people claiming that this book is just so amazing, that I found myself initially let down by it. I usually enjoy Graham McNeill’s work, as well, which kinda compounded the problem. It’s not a bad book, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s just the issue of coming on the back of so much filler, because nothing really happens in this book it just also lapses into that category. We have a really intriguing character portrait of the Primarch of the IV Legion, as well as a continuation of the depravities of the III Legion, and it actually fits really well with McNeill’s earlier novel, Fulgrim. While Perturabo is definitely front and centre of the cover, the book is as much about the ongoing issues with the Emperor’s Children, and we see more of Lucius, Fabius and the Kakophoni. Julius Kaesoron also returns, which I thought was a nice touch, as it feels like he’s sometimes sidelined in favour of the other Emperor’s Children legionaries.

At this point in the story, I feel like more needs to be happening to drive the overall narrative forward, and we’re just not getting that right now. What’s going on with Horus? He hasn’t properly appeared since the opening trilogy, and the odd cameo where he just glowers and rages isn’t really cutting it for me.

I realize, however, that I’ve not been very good at keeping going with the Horus Heresy series, so I’m hoping that this year I can make some decent progress here. I’m going to aim to read up to The Damnation of Pythos, at least, and hopefully get to grips with the ongoing narrative. It’s a total of seven more novels (well, six and an anthology) so it’s not exactly impossible! From reading the backs of some of these novels, it sounds like there is a definite return to the story of the Word Bearers as architects of the Heresy, and – hopefully – we see a return to something like an ongoing storyline. Character studies are all fine and good, of course, but there is a significant part of me that is expecting more out of this series at this point!

Blood for the Blood God!

Well folks, putting aside the Shadowspear hype, this weekend sees a slew of models on pre-order for Khorne, and I’m finding it really hard to resist selling my soul to the Blood God – though I suppose he’d more prefer my skull than my soul, but anyway.

I’ve been considering what I actually want to do about my Chaos Daemons army idea for a few weeks now, alongside how I want to play it with the Chaos stuff coming from Shadowspear. I must admit to be leaning really quite heavily towards the Khornate aspect of Chaos a lot more, recently, and now that we have these beautiful Judgements of Khorne on the way, I think they could very well be enough to seal the deal for me!

I mean, floating skulls weeping rivers of blood! These Hexgorger Skulls are what has really attracted me to the army, and got me thinking about getting some brutal violence and slaughter in my life!

While I did actually sell off the Khorne side of the starter set back when Age of Sigmar first unleashed itself upon us, I have since been thinking about getting some of the models to build and paint, almost simply because I want to just have them as a painting project. However, since playing (and enjoying) Age of Sigmar, I think this could be the second army that I’ve been looking for!

I really shouldn’t be looking at branching out so often with my army choices, I know. There are so many unpainted models in my pile of shame, it’s just unreal, but I think it’s good to keep the variety to ensure things don’t go stale. I’ve talked before about being a follower of Chaos in games such as Warhammer Invasion, and I think this project could well scratch that itch for wanting an army that harkens back to the old Fantasy, while also being a force where I can use a lot of the models in 40k as well.

There is a lot to enjoy about Chaos at the minute, between these new models for the Blades of Khorne, and the upcoming Warcry skirmish game, which seems to have a very Khorne-y feel to some of those fighters. I think it could be a good time to get started with some daemonic forces of Chaos, after all!

Can’t wait to get started with all this stuff!

It’s the GAMA Trade Show 2019!

Hey everybody!
It’s the GAMA Trade Show, and as I have done in the past, I’ll be keeping an eye on the proceedings to see what we’ve got to look forward to in the coming weeks and months!

First up, it’s none other than Games Workshop, who have just updated their community site with a first look at the next expansion for Kill Team – Elites. I mean, of course they have – not to be too proud of myself, or whatever, but I saw this coming a good while ago

We’re getting all manner of delights here, from terminators (as we can see on the cover) to Drukhari Grotesques! It was almost prescient of me, then, to have just bought a pair of these delights!

For all my cynicism of expanding the game like this, I am actually looking forward to seeing how it continues to grow – the danger, of course, being that it will soon turn into just low-point 40k if it isn’t careful. But so long as we continue to get intelligent choices with reasonable rules behind them, why not, right? Just let me take Lychguard now!

I suppose this also answers the question, where has the Thousand Sons faction box been?

Along with a Kal Jerico model for Necromunda, we’re also getting a Halfling team for Blood Bowl, with promises of more announcements to come in the next couple of days!

…let’s see what else is on offer!!

Next generation of the DC Deck Building Game, with the Rebirth branding? Very cool. Not sure about the more board-gamey aspect with moving cardboard chits around – it is supposed to be a deck building game, after all – but linked campaign scenarios and character progression do sound like they should be a lot of fun. Gonna keep my eye on this one!

You know, I’d forgotten about the two Fortune & Glory expansions until reviewing last year’s GAMA blog, but now that I’ve had my memory jogged, I really feel the need to have them in my life! It feels like Shadows of Brimstone has taken over Flying Frog, and with the third kickstarter for this game currently ongoing, I have to wonder if they have their sights set anywhere near the more traditional games manufacturing route. Not that I’m trying to be bitter or anything, but I do miss their games like Fortune & Glory, and A Touch of Evil. Last year, they were in the middle of making sure the Forbidden Fortress SOBS game was shipped in time, pushing the FANG expansions back to the first quarter of 2019. Well, we’ll just have to wait patiently for something not weird-west related to arrive, I guess!


GAMA day two has arrived, and my goodness, how exciting is this:

Traitor Command, the next Blackstone Fortress expansion, gives us a Traitor Commissar and a Chaos Ogryn, both of whom look delightful gentlemen – and will have 40k rules, to boot! Awesome! Forging alliances with unlikely friends sounds interesting, too…

I’ve said it before, of course, but I really love how GW are using Blackstone Fortress to explore these weird and wonderful bits of the 40k universe. The Commissar in particular looks like a stunning chap, I’m really looking forward to snapping these up when they’re out!

Warcry, the skirmish game set in the AoS universe and first teased a few months back now, has finally been shown off to be really quite the interesting game! Pitting different Chaos warbands against one another, at first it sounded like it might be a bit too exclusive – I mean, what about us Death players, right? But whether Chaos is just the first wave or not, it’s difficult to not be enamoured with at least one of these factions, particularly the cute looking devil-bats! I like it, which I’m a bit sorry about, as I feel like it might well become another juggernaut like Kill Team, and I’m not sure my bank balance can cope with that!

I really like the look of those pit-fighters with the welding masks, they remind me of Haemonculus Covens creations among the Drukhari, and I’m sure plenty of us will be using them for Grotesque conversions as these things move along. The scenery looks pretty amazing, too!

Not sure, of course, but this could tie in with the rumours of Warriors of Chaos/Slaves to Darkness getting an overhaul soon. I suppose we’ll see!


At any rate, that appears to be that! Plenty to look forward to from Games Workshop, who appear to have taken over with their exciting announcements of new stuff! Nothing from FFG, though the distributor Asmodee has announced a deal with Cool Mini Or Not, which may bring those incredible games to the masses (personally I try to avoid CMON as I find it difficult to resist them!)

It almost feels like the landscape of boardgame news has changed, and the big trade shows are no longer that important for getting a picture of what’s coming up next. Even the big daddy of them all, GenCon, hasn’t been that explosive for the last year or two. Is it a result of Kickstarter seemingly taking over the world of boardgame production? Speaking from an entirely personal perspective, it seems like the companies I used to watch – FFG in particular here – just aren’t knocking it out of the park anymore, with nothing really overwhelming me with its excitement. Meanwhile, established companies like Cryptozoic and Flying Frog Productions seem to be using Kickstarter more like their business model than not, and it’s leading to an over-saturation of stuff. Shadows of Brimstone has been a case in point here – when that stuff eventually found its way to me, it was like receiving 5+ years’ worth of expansion material in one hit, and I’m not sure I want that from a board game. Has our modern sense of impatience and always wanting the next thing caught up with us, to the point where we suddenly need everything for a game right now? All of these companies using Kickstarter to distribute games, and somewhat by necessity producing almost an entire game’s run in one go just to ensure the crowdfunding, seems to have led to a point where they just don’t have anything new to announce, because we had it all in one hit a year or two ago.

Makes me wonder what GAMA 2020 will have in store for us…

Warhammer 40,000 Conquest

Hey everybody!
Last year, amid no little controversy, GW and Hachette Partworks launched the second Warhammer 40k part-work series, Conquest – a weekly magazine that comes with pretty much all of the stuff you’ll need to build and paint two armies, Space Marines and Death Guard. It was a pretty neat idea, and a wonderful starting point for perhaps the more younger crowd of folks who might be wanting to get into the game. For just £7.99 per week, you’d get a magazine with some background, building and painting guides, and tutorial games that build up slowly the rules for 40k.

Warhammer 40k Conquest

The controversy wasn’t just the price, of course, but also the fact that it was such a limited distribution, initially just in the UK. Over the summer of 2018 there were no end of social media posts being made, decrying the fact that the magazine wasn’t available overseas, although Hachette has since been rolling it out into a number of other countries, so I’m guessing it’ll be available like this for a while yet.

At the time, I was torn. Having been quite the enthusiastic part-work collector as a child, I had never managed to actually stick with anything to get a complete collection. Well, I’m an adult now, so thought I might actually try and do it this time, and with something that I am interested in. Well, it was a nice thought, but therein lies a problem: I’m only vaguely interested in marines, and Death Guard are on my absolute periphery. I also picked up Dark Imperium when it came out in 2017, so I have a lot of the models that were being included with the magazine already. Did I really want to get into this collection?

When the publicity shot was released, I decided I’d collect it until the Redemptor Dreadnought came out – reasoning, I wouldn’t begrudge spending £16 to get the model. (I know I’d be spending however much to get to that point, of course, but this made sense to me at the time!) The other day, I took delivery of the Dreadnought, and brought my collection up to issue 26, and so I’ve decided it’s time to stop. I’ve got one ring binder that is quite nicely full of the magazine, and while I’ve actually been selling off pretty much all of the miniatures as they’ve been coming to me, I have kept a few back, thinking I might like to keep small armies of Primaris Marines and Death Guard for the future. Well, with Shadowspear on the horizon, that idea has proven to be quite a good one, I think!

But now that I’ve reached this point, I thought it might be good to come along here and talk a bit about what I think about the magazine, as we’re well over a quarter of the way through the collection at this point.

Let’s get the miniatures out of the way first. They’re an eclectic mix of models, predominantly Dark Imperium Primaris Marines and Death Guard, along with the easy-to-build kits from both factions that have been released so far. There are lots of Poxwalkers, as well as some of the character models, which I was quite impressed to see. We’ve also had one exclusive model so far, Lieutenant Calsius (a Primaris Lieutenant, who knew?) that seems to have been included almost as a stunt to keep people hooked into their subscription past the first three issues.

When Conquest was launched in Spain, the entire collection was leaked online, and you can see the contents of each issue right up to 80 over on bolter and chainsword, here. The only issue that I’m actually considering getting beyond the 26 that I currently have is 54, which comes with Typhus, but I don’t think I’d lose any sleep over missing it, and ultimately, I could always pick him up for cheaper than the cost of continuing the subscription.

Alongside the army miniatures, we’re also getting a lot of terrain. So far, I’ve had the Munitorum Armoured Containers (all three, to add to the set I bought originally, and those that have come in with some of the Kill Team faction boxes – so I could pretty much set up my own shipping company with the amount of crates I have now!) but there are also such gems as the Haemotrope Reactors, the Servohaulers, and plenty more of the Sector Mechanicum stuff. The series also includes fold-out battle maps to play games on, which is quite nice.

From a miniatures standpoint, it does have a great deal to commend it.

As a part-work magazine, it’s a bit of a curious beast. You have four sections: collect, build, paint and play. That’s all fine of course, until you realise that, once you’ve built and painted your models, you have two sections of the magazine that are pointless to keep hold of.

The Play section is really good for people starting out in the hobby, as it guides you through how the rules work without overloading you with the complex terminology from the outset – I think by around issue 20, the little rules pamphlet was included, so up to that point it was all geared towards starting slowly, with battles centred on just the models that you’ve collected up to that point. Pretty good, but that does assume a very specific target audience: children. I don’t mean to be rude here, of course, as I’m sure there are plenty of kids who would be fine to sit down with the hardback core rule book and then give you a decent game thereafter. But there is a very definite feel of this being aimed at the younger audience, with some photos of kids enjoying a game and the like.

This feel spills over into the Collect section, too, which is a history of the 40k universe, and then specific background on the Space Marines and the Death Guard. It’s not written so much as a Codex as more like the sort of hardback annuals you used to get as a kid. Pages are mainly given over to the glossy artwork, with the text pretty much skimming the surface for a lot of the time. Of course, the 40k universe is hardly kid-friendly when you actually look at it, so it’s pretty commendable that they’re able to produce this at a level that will be acceptable and allow folks to enjoy the hobby. I’d certainly be happy allowing my future kids to read through this without worrying too much about the gothic imagery and graphic violence.


I’m very much not the target audience for this collection, and I know a lot of hobbyists who have been buying into this are also not the target audience, but we’ve all been doing so pretty much with the idea of getting heavily-discounted miniatures on a weekly basis. I find this quite interesting, because I’ve really been suckered into this one, without really realising that I’ve been suckered in for two armies that are not armies I collect! Sure, I have an off-again, on-again thing for Space Marines, and have very tangentially considered a Death Guard army following my purchase of Dark Imperium, but on the whole I’m a xenos player, with an interest in the more esoteric Imperium factions. Really, this magazine should have no interest for me! It’s definitely that allure of the new and the shiny, and in this case, the cheap, and so I’m really glad that I’ve managed to curtail myself before spending any more on it.

Of course, if you’re a Space Marines or Death Guard collector, then it’ll be a different story. And if you’re looking to get into the whole hobby thing from scratch, then you couldn’t have picked a finer collection to get going with. The total cost of the 80-issue collection is around £625, with the estimated cost of miniatures you’ll end up with in the realms of £870+. Not bad – especially considering the subscription will be providing you with the paints and the brushes you need!

It has been cool to build up the collection to this point, of course, and I am quite glad to have gotten to this point with it. Weirdly, I feel really very pleased at the fact I was in it for the battlefield scatter terrain, a set of tank traps and ammo crates that I would probably never have otherwise bought!

I’ll leave you with this link to the Tale of Painters blog, and fellow hobbyist Garfy’s journey through the magazine and its models. In the link, he shows off the painted units so far, as well as talking about the magazine in general. Well worth a follow if you’re interested in seeing how this thing progresses!