Kill Team Elites & Sector Sanctoris

Hey everybody!
So I’ve picked up some of the new shiny stuff for Kill Team, and thought I’d come along here to ramble about these expansions, and just how much I’m actually quite excited for what they bring to the game!

Kill Team Sector Sanctorum

First of all, let’s take a look at the new book, Kill Team: Elites.

This is quite an incredible book, with the rules for using Elite model choices in the game only half the story. There are 67 datasheets in the book, but 30 of them are new Commanders, some of which are actual named characters from the lore such as Sly Marbo, Darkstrider and Illic Nightspear. That was really quite the surprise to me, if I’m honest, as I was expecting a similar situation to the core book, where we’d just get a progression of Elite choices and that would be it.

Not only do we get these, but we also get the sub-faction rules that now permeate regular Warhammer 40k, such as Chapter Tactics, Cult Creeds and T’au Septs, etc. This was something I really hadn’t thought to see in Kill Team, but it is quite nice to see this game closely mirroring the regular tabletop game. Sure, there are people who are no doubt calling this 40k by another name at this point, and I think the more rules that get bolted on to Kill Team, the closer it is going to become. But there are now a myriad of different ways that this game can be played and enjoyed, so I don’t think we need to be calling it anything just yet.

I do find myself wondering just where this game can go, if I’m being perfectly honest, as it is already running the risk of getting silly. What I mean is, what will the next expansion be? We now have troops, HQ choices, and elites playable in the game. We’re left with fast attack and heavy support, and while I can see a couple of these porting over quite well into the game, I’m starting to feel like the cynics are correct, and this could well just be re-named 40k lite. There are fundamental differences of course, and I do quite like those, but so far as expandability goes, I’m not sure where the game can go.

Within the elites book, we get pretty much all of the contents of Shadowspear as playable units, which may well provide a hint as to what is next in store for Kill Team. Rather than going down the route of allowing us to use Space Marine Devastators or Drukhari Reavers in the game, maybe we’ll just get updates for it every so often when new box sets come out. I know we’ve had the free pdf for the units in Blackstone Fortress, and maybe we’ll get that sort of thing rather than hard-copy books to buy. But that does feel like the main support for the game is going to just die off.

The other way for the game to continue, as far as I can see, is tied into the long-rumoured Inquisition vs Daemons expansion. Along the lines of last year’s Rogue Trader expansion, maybe we’ll get a book that provides a system for making up even more bespoke kill teams, which will look similar in style to those found in the Rogue Trader expansion. I’ve talked about this before, of course, and as I think about it, it’s something that I keep coming back to as being a potential for keeping the game alive.

I don’t want to come across as being down on Kill Team, of course, just a little intrigued, maybe confused, by where they could be taking this thing next! Of course, one way that has worked out really well for them so far is the Killzone environment expansions, and while the most recent release in this line hasn’t had quite as much good press paid to it so far, I do find myself actually really enjoying it – indeed, whereas with others in the line I’ve just bought the boards and cards off ebay, this is the first environment that I’ve actually sunk my teeth into in its entirety!

Sector Sanctoris combines some quite disparate scenery pieces into one box, and currently retails for £50 like the others. Within the box, you get the two Imperial statues that were formerly available in the Basilicanum terrain set; the walls from the Sector Imperialis set, and the scatter terrain that came out in Urban Conquest earlier this year. There is also a short pamphlet with some background/fiction set around Imperial shrines, a short construction booklet showing how to build the scenery, and the environment card, mission cards, and tactics cards. People have been decrying this online for not being as good value for money as other sets, but I think this is such a subjective argument that I find it difficult to agree with. I really wanted that scatter scenery, and it would have set me back £60 to buy Urban Conquest. So I’m already up on the deal buying it this way.

The set comes with the standard set of tactics cards that can be used by players using this killzone, as well as four mission cards (two for matched play, two for narrative play) and a killzone environment card that can add some extra effects to the game. As can probably be expected from a set focused around Imperial ruins, these effects tend to bolster factions under the IMPERIUM keyword. Even if you aren’t running Imperium factions, though, I do feel that the terrain is just so cool and so iconic – and blends in so well with that from the core set – that it’s really going to be worthwhile getting this one for the collection. Indeed, of all the killzone environment expansions released so far, this is probably the best one to pick up to complement the core set for the fact that they both use the new style Sector Imperialis terrain.

Kill Team Sector Sanctorum

I’ve only built up the scatter terrain so far, and even just having that on the board, it’s quite wonderful. I say “built up” like it was a complicated job – only two of these pieces actually have to be assembled, the rest is just clipped off the sprue and away we go! The terrain pieces are quite huge, as you can see in the photo above, and are really quite detailed. It’s definitely a chunkier plastic than the usual stuff, very similar to the other terrain we’ve had now, but that doesn’t really detract from the overall effect. I’m definitely looking forward to getting this lot painted up, probably with the new contrast paints when they come out, so I can give some colour to my games. I think I should finally be able to paint all of that Sector Mechanicus scenery that has been hanging about unpainted all these years once I get those new paints, as well!

I am definitely a terrain fan, though, and I think it’s a very important component of the hobby for me. It’s something that really brings the setting and the game to life, and so I might place a little too much import on actually getting terrain, collecting it and (hoping to one day start) painting it. Boxes like this are just wonderful, and while I could have picked up one of the army boxes like the Scarab Occult Terminators and gotten that scatter terrain that way, I already have those chaps, so it was either a case of buying more or else getting this and having all of the additional scenic bits, the cool add-ons like the cards, and of course the board to play on.

While I have no real clue how GW are going to set about expanding their line of Kill Team to keep the game alive and fresh, I think environment boxes like these, and then perhaps campaign books that might give us some rules for prescribed Teams, are likely going to be the way forward. I could well be wrong, but I’m very interested to find out, regardless.

Playing catch-up!

Hey everybody!
It feels like it’s been a while, due to real life intruding quite rudely once again! But I’ve now sold and bought a house, and while playing the waiting game, I thought I’d catch up with some of the new (and not-so-new!) stuff from recent weeks and months!

new stuff!

There has been a lot going on, it seems, with stuff like the Kill Team expansions coming out the other week. Kill Team Elites and the new killzone will be featured in their own blog coming soon, as there is quite a bit to go through there, but suffice it to say, I like this tranche quite a lot! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to pick up the Vigilus Ablaze book, though I suppose I have stalled a bit with my Chaos Space Marines project due to the impending house move, so that does at least kind of explain that. And the Ambull has been out for a while already, but I’ve still only played Blackstone Fortress the once, so I hadn’t really been feeling the need to expand that game quite so soon. In the end, though, my natural curiosity won out and I’ve picked up the big monster to see what I’ve been missing.

I’m actually keen to try out the Fortress again soon – it’s something that I’ve thought about a couple of times since Christmas, as I’m sure I hadn’t been playing it properly when I had that first game! Should definitely make more of an effort there! I don’t feel quite so bad, though, as I had heard that a couple of people in my local group had only just finished the base set campaign and opened the mystery envelope a week or two ago, so that feels like it might have a lot of game in the base set alone!

Of course, we’ve got Traitor Command coming out soon, so that’ll be even more stuff to look forward to! I was recently reading a thread over on boardgamegeek where someone had been decrying the state of expansions with this game, which I thought quite funny as I suppose I just hadn’t been expecting expansions to come out for this game with anywhere near the regularity other people had been expecting! Personally, I was expecting we’d see another expansion, along the lines of a big-box thing with new models and a new campaign, around November this year, and that would be it. We’re already getting different enemies to try with missions of their own, and Combat Arena coming at some time will apparently give us new heroes as well. Warhammer Quest isn’t, to my mind, the sort of game system that will come with multiple expansions month on month. Remember when games like Runebound and Arkham Horror had one small box and one big box every year or so, and otherwise all was quiet? Seems like we’re getting a lot more support for this one already, and we’ve not yet reached the one year anniversary!

I suppose I just find it amusing how expectations have changed, perhaps with the rise of Kickstarters and the ability to get a game and multiple expansions all in one sitting. I realise that I do tend to demonise Kickstarter a lot, but part of me feels like it has spoiled us for how game releases used to be!

Ultimately, though, Blackstone Fortress is a third-tier game for GW, after the big wargames and the skirmish variants of those games, so I think we should all just calm down a bit.

As well as all of this Warhammer goodness, I’ve also decided the time is possibly right to try and get back into Magic! I do this every so often, it seems, dipping out for a couple of sets then coming back and trying to play catch-up. I picked up some boosters for Ravnica Allegiance when I was collecting my Warhammer purchases the other day, and have also ordered some more online, for both Ravnica Allegiance and War of the Spark. Seems like all hell has broken loose since I was last properly in the game, around a year ago! I did pick up a Guilds of Ravnica bundle, but didn’t really spend any time properly looking through the cards due to the set not having many of my favourite Guilds within. Orzhov and Rakdos have returned in Ravnica Allegiance, however, so I thought it might be fun to get back into the swing of things now, and see what’s been going on.

Turns out, a lot! Just looking through the cards in the set for War of the Spark, it seems like that has broken with a lot of tradition by giving us 36 Planeswalker cards, something previously unheard of! It is, however, an “event set”, and shows the culmination of the story from, as far as I can make out, Battle for Zendikar block, when the Gatewatch was first formed. Wow! So there’s a hell of a lot to catch up on, and I think it might be about time to jump in with the new novel, as it feels like there is a lot of story going on here, and I’ve heard rumours that a lot of the Planeswalkers that we’ve seen and enjoyed over the years might actually be dying… The novel is out in August here in the UK, from what I’ve been able to see, so I’m looking forward to picking it up and seeing what I’ve missed! As the first novel set in the multiverse for, I believe, 8 years, it will hopefully be an event!

Planeswalkers, powerful mages from many disparate realities, must unite against the elder dragon Nicol Bolas, who has claimed dominion over Ravnica and is perilously close to completing the spell that will grant him godhood. Now, as dozens of Planeswalkers fight alongside the Gatewatch – led by Chandra Nalaar, Jace Beleren, and Gideon Jura – against Bolas and his relentless army of Eternals, nothing less than the fate of the multiverse is at stake.

Exciting stuff!

MTG Modern Horizons

I’m weirdly also really looking forward to the Modern Horizons set, the first time a set is going to be released directly into Modern (and other non-rotating formats, such as Commander!) I’ve had a brief look through some of the spoilers that have made it into the wild so far, and it was actually these cropping up on instagram that got me looking into the game once again! I’m not into the whole competitive Modern scene, or anything, but I was really enjoying building some decks just with the cards that I have, regardless of Standard, and seeing the interactions etc. So I could see myself picking up some of these in the future!

I do miss my days playing Magic, I have to say. I enjoy the Warhammer stuff, of course, but playing a card game is so much cleaner than fiddling with glues and knives, after all! While I think this pattern of drifting in and out of the game will likely continue for quite some time to come, I can certainly see myself always being around the game, even if it’s just collecting some cards for a nebulous possible future use. I mean, the artwork is just beautiful, and so incredibly evocative. It’s cool that Wizards are making efforts to have a properly-contained story now, as well, so maybe we’ll have more of these event sets in years to come…

Warhammer Fest catch-up

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, as real life has once more taken over. I’ve been buying a house, which has been all manner of joy! But it’s a bigger place, and hopefully it will all be sorted by the time our firstborn arrives in October! I’ve found I’ve had barely any time to keep up with the world around me, as hobby stuff has been pushed a bit to the back burner while we were selling ours. But I’ve had a week off, down on the south coast of England, so it’s been nice to get away from it all!

Well, it was Warhammer Fest at the weekend, and while it probably wasn’t as exciting as last year’s event, there were a few things of interest to come out of it. Let’s talk first about the new paint range, which is probably the biggest thing to come from Coventry, despite my liking for more model announcements…

From what I’ve been able to understand, from reading the myriad posts on facebook groups since the weekend, they’re pretty much like the Nighthaunt technical paints that came out with the new ghosts last year. I’ve painted a fair number of my Chainrasps with Nighthaunt Gloom, and found it to be quite a decent way to paint them up quickly, though of course I can’t see how I’d do an entire miniature in these colours, but rather use them to do the heavy lifting and then fill in some details later. Of course, it’s best for horde armies, which would have been ideal for my Slaanesh plans, but I’ve now got a colour scheme for these that wouldn’t really help things, so I’m likely to pass over these for the most part until I have a use for them. Probably once I get my Khorne plans underway…

I’ve been quite surprised to see a number of Space Marines painted with these colours, and looking quite well for it, too. Unfortunately, though, I’ve set my heart on painting my Space Marines as Novamarines, which I’m not sure would work. But maybe – I suppose it might work for the cream quarters, but I feel like these paints might be best used on the many scenery pieces that I have waiting in the wings!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the new Sisters of Battle coming along, though I have to say, now that we’ve seen the first painted one, I’ve begun to wonder whether I’ll actually pick any up. Don’t get me wrong, they look great, and I think it’ll be exciting to see the army come out fully-formed later this year, but I reckon I’ve got enough to be getting on with. Maybe if they come out for Kill Team…

Speaking of Kill Team, the new Elites book is due out tomorrow, and I’m cautiously excited about getting it. I’ve been playing a fair bit of Kill Team recently, and have been enjoying it, so I think it’d be cool to add some different units to the mix. I’ve been playing my Necrons, using four Immortals and two Deathmarks, so I think it might be nice to add some Lychguard or Praetorians to the mix. Maybe both?!

I’m also quite excited about the new killzone, Sector Sanctoris:

There has been quite a lot of annoyance online with this one, given that it only seems to have odd bits of terrain rather than the more full kits we’ve seen coming with the other battlefield expansion sets. I suppose part of the issue might also be the fact only the walls are available separately so far, so it isn’t immediately apparent how big of a saving it might be. Personally, it has all of the terrain that I would want – those two massive statues from the Basilicanum set, as well as the scatter terrain from Urban Conquest. With some low walls to boot, I think it’s a great set and I’m looking forward to picking it up – I’d otherwise been thinking of getting the Scarab Occult terminators set in order to get that scatter terrain, so this has worked out well for me!

I think I might branch out a bit soon with Kill Team, and have been considering either Space Marines or Militarum Tempestus. I’ve got plenty of models for both of course, but it might be nice to have an Imperium force. I’ve thought this about regular 40k before, and had wanted to get moving with the Adeptus Mechanicus army that I’ve been wanting to do things with for what feels like forever (though in actual fact, it’s only been two years!)

While we’re on the subject of the Mechanicus…

Yes, there are Chaos Knights coming, complete with their own Codex – but I’m not interested in that. I’m much more interested in this:

The Skitarii are finally getting a transport! Cool beans, for sure. I’m hoping it’s open-topped, as well, so I can be throwing out a butt-load of galvanic rifle shots (or better, radium carbine shots!) in a binharic drive-by! While there have been plenty of people unhappy with the look of it, thinking it belongs more appropriately as a Cadian transport, I think it looks really on-point for the faction. Doubtless that is helped by the design cues such as the top hatch and all the vents, but it looks exactly like something you’d expect to see floating across the radium wastes.

I also like the tank variant. Up to this point, we’ve only had the walker vehicles for the army, which I think have helped to establish the faction as being, well, weird. Seeing this version as well really just reinforces this weirdness, and I love it!

The AdMech aren’t the only folks getting vehicles though, as the Primaris Marines are due for a variant on the Repulsor tank. The new Repulsor Executioner looks, well, hilarious, but also like it would likely fit in perfectly with a Primaris force.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve been thinking a lot about perhaps finally painting up all the Primaris marines that I have hanging about, from Dark Imperium and the like. I split the Shadowspear box and only got the Heretic side of things, but I’ve since picked up some phobos-armoured bits, and feel like trying my hand at a small marines force, maybe to go alongside my Skitarii or Tempestus Scions… I’ve previously thought about an all-Primaris list, headed up by Marneus Calgar, though I’ve more recently been thinking about making a list around the Vanguard marines.

I’ve painted a small number of Primaris chaps in the colours of Genesis Chapter before now, but I can’t currently decide if I want to continue like that, or else do Primaris Novamarines… 🤔

I’ve never even considered playing Apocalypse games, as I’ve previously given over an entire day to playing just regular 40k back when I was first getting into playing it, and I can’t say as though I really enjoyed it. In all honesty, it’s just a bit draining! But it’s exciting for those people who do enjoy the game that much, so I’m glad to see folks getting what they like!

There’s been some further news for Necromunda expansions, with the alternate heads and weapons for the Delaque gang, and some more hive scum and a champion for the Cawdor gang. While of course, that dude looks cool and all, I think it has made me more excited to think about how the Delaque hero will look! Aside from all of this, however, I think the more exciting thing here is the prospect of Palatine Enforcers coming for the game! Of course, I think it would have been amazing to have actually seen models for these guys, and given the rumours that these things are due in Q3, I find it a bit of a let-down that we’ve not seen anything. I’m therefore assuming that the rumours are false, or else I think it would be a bit of a shame that Warhammer Fest didn’t have anything more for us…

I think this is a very exciting development, seeing yet more warbands for the upcoming Age of Sigmar skirmish game. I’m still going for the Iron Golems, as I find them wonderfully creepy (and almost perfect fodder for Dark Eldar Grotesques), but the snake folks are pretty exciting, I won’t deny:

I mean, look at this chap! With such a proud beast of a cobra at his feet there!

I’m really looking forward to this game, though obviously I’m not sure about whether I’ll be able to pick it up at release! I think we’re probably in for a similar situation as Kill Team last year, with the core set selling out quickly.

On the wider subject of Age of Sigmar though, we’ve got more releases to look forward to in just over a week, with the arrival of the new scenery pieces that form the Dominion of Sigmar stuff. Much like the new Sector Imperialis terrain that came out of Kill Team, I think it’ll be really exciting to see these things come out and what people do with them.

I would have liked to get hold of some of this stuff myself, but while I do enjoy playing AoS, I think I’m still more of a 40k player when it comes to this sort of thing.

Forbidden Power has finally be revealed to have been basically Malign Portents volume 2, bringing more generic endless spells and a book for their use. The spells look cool, but I’m hoping that we’ll get the book released separately so that I can take a look at what the whole thing is all about.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that while I started my AoS journey with the Nighthaunt and have been branching out almost expansively with ideas for Legions of Nagash as well as Chaos Daemons, I’m still more interested in the wider world of 40k than AoS, and stop myself short when it comes to getting this sort of stuff as well.

I suppose last year was a hard act to follow, bringing the new edition of Age of Sigmar, as well as Malign Sorcery and Adeptus Titanicus. But there are definitely some exciting things on the horizon to look forward to!

The New Slaanesh!

The New Slaanesh is here, folks! I’ve been a bit lax with covering this stuff here on the blog, in the main because it came slap-bang in the middle of the birthday celebrations here.

There are some really fabulous new miniatures coming out for the youngest of the Chaos gods, although part of me feels like we could have done with some more models to properly round the release out. No mortal followers is a subject that has been done to death, of course, but it does feel a lot like the new Keeper of Secrets model has overtaken pretty much all of the other new goodness. While the new model is pretty damned amazing, there is a part of me that wonders whether we could have had anything more…

I suppose that having seen some of these new models already – the Infernal Enrapturess and the new Fiends – makes me wonder if that has perhaps spoiled the release a little. We’ve got the new daemon prince, the weird mirror-on-tentacles, and the new Masque model, along with the first ever Slaanesh Battletome, and the terrain piece and endless spells, which are now part of the expected schedule for Age of Sigmar.

I’ve been hoping for a new Keeper of Secrets for what feels like forever, and it really doesn’t disappoint. It has all of the design cues we’d expect for the line, allowing it to blend into the established Daemonette line quite easily and very well. There’s a wonderful sense of presence for the model, and a really menacing feel from the fact it is posed walking forwards quite leisurely – much like the Wracks really, it feels dangerous.

The new daemon prince looks much like any such daemon prince of Slaanesh would – not some horrific daemon, but rather a perfect, honed and muscular specimen that has reached its own level of ascension. It also has the sense of menace from the calmly-striding figure.

The Contorted Epitome is perhaps the weirdest model that we weren’t expecting for the line, and something that I’ve been really interested in getting my hands on. It’s quite an odd beast in that it is basically a wizard, with the native ability to buff models nearby while forcing enemy units to fight last in combat. I’ve heard a lot of talk about Slaanesh units now being better magic casters than Tzeentch, and I suppose these new units do really add a great deal to the force.

I’ve been struggling, so far, to come up with my own list of a Slaanesh army, though I think so far I’m going with three units of ten Daemonettes, a Contorted Epitome, and possibly a Hellflayer, led by a Bladebringer on Exalted Chariot, all for around 1000 points. Not sure if I can yet fit in any of the endless spells, though I’m not sure if I’d even want them, either. I suppose we’ll see how things pan out as I start in earnest to build and paint the force!

Speaking of which…

I’ve almost finished with the test miniature for the army, managing to get the skin pretty much as I’d like it, having a basecoat of celestra grey, then warpfiend grey, before a thinned wash of druchii violet and lahmian medium in a 1:3 mix, finished up with a light drybrush of slaanesh grey (because, obviously). The armour was a slightly difficult prospect, as I wasn’t sure how I wanted it to look, but settled on a basecoat of dawnstone, washed with coelia greenshade and then a light drybrush of sotek green. The hair was done in alaitoc blue and drakenhof nightshade, which looks better than the initial attempt with Daemonette hair that I’d made, simply drakenhof nightshade over celestra grey.

I’m quite pleased with how this one has turned out, anyway, so have a box of them to build up and get started with, though I fear the Start Collecting box that I’d made some headway with before Christmas has been packed away now that we’re in the process of selling the house, so it might be some time before I get round to that!

Path of the Renegade

Path of the Renegade is the first of the Path of the Dark Eldar trilogy, something almost sacred among us denizens of the Dark City, as it is one of the scant novels that actually deals with the Dark Kin in anywhere like detail. I’d not read the book before, but it was getting to the point where it was almost embarrassing for me to have not read it!

The story deals with the plot of three Archons against the tyrant Asdrubael Vect, the current ruler of Commorragh. Central to the story is Archon Nyos Yllithian, whose plan to overthrow Vect involves reviving one of Vect’s early nemeses, El’uriaq, the self-styled emperor of the dark kin. In order to do so, Yllithian conspires with the haemonculus Bellathonis, acquiring a “pure heart” in the form of an Exodite Worldsinger. The plan works too well, El’uriaq being so charismatic that he manages to overtake Yllithian’s plans.

While there is an intriguing storyline of plots and more plots against Vect, the novel mainly seems to serve as a vehicle to showcase Dark Eldar society, with the story strung out across these major points of interest. We get to see life in the twisting catacombs of a haemonculus coven, the thrilling fights in the arenas of the wych cults, and so forth. It almost feels a bit like a parody, as we have these huge set-pieces interposed within the narrative. Even when the story really gets underway, we still seem to slow down as we get to see this sort of showcase, and it can be quite tedious.

I suppose it didn’t help that I read this book in its re-issue as part of the Path of the Dark Eldar omnibus, which was seemingly riven with spelling mistakes and dropped words. My overall feeling is that it was a little bit disappointing, though I suspect that part of that might be due to having seen it hyped on the Drukhari facebook page for so long.

Having now read it, though, I feel that Nightbringer was a much more interesting Dark Eldar novel than this one…