2021 Hobby Goals check-in

Hey everybody,

We’re a little way over halfway through the year now, so I thought it would be good to check in on where I’m up to, as regards fulfilling those goals that were set out back in January!

To start with, I’ve been trying to do more with my Sisters, working on the original Battle Sister squad from the launch box, which I had previously tried to paint in a couple of different schemes, but haven’t yet managed to get very far! I have been doing a great deal of research into the faction, which had been inspiring me to get them painted, but the project stalled when Necromunda came heavily back onto my radar!

So far, then, not much has been done.

Next up we’re the Drukhari, and I had planned to paint up 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar. So far, I’ve painted 5 Incubi, which is delightful, and I’ve also made some progress with the Coven models as well. I’m hopeful that I might actually achieve this one by the end of the year, anyway!

I need to think about what I want to do with those armies for which I have so many unpainted or partially painted things. AdMech, Deathwatch, Tempestus Scions and Blood Angels, specifically. I’m pretty much set on keeping my Genestealer Cults and my Tyranids, though at this point I don’t really have them on my radar. The same is true of my Grey Knights – I think the winter time is when I tend to go down that road, anyway – though with the new Castellan Crowe model on the horizon, that could well change. I still have Heretic Astartes on the radar as well, though not far enough up the list where I want to start working on them. Similar story with my Necrons really, I had wanted to try to rescue some more of the older models that I have hanging about, but so far all I’ve done is finish a couple of the newer models.

I’m always in a bit of a quandary over the Imperium armies, because on the one hand I think it’s really cool to have the sort of classic 40k army, with tanks and such – I just find it so inspirational! But on the other hand, I feel as though I’m forever taking on too much, and I do feel that need to trim back my projects!!

Lastly, I wanted to paint more terrain. Well, I’ve not managed to do anything with that one yet, either!! I really want to try and get some Sector Mechanicus stuff finished, in particular the Alchomite Stack that has been partially painted for a couple of years now. I have quite a lot of stuff though, but having finally figured out a colour scheme when painting up the Ferratonic Incinerator at the end of last year, I’m hopeful that I could get another terrain piece finished by the end of the year!

So, if I’m doing this badly at keeping to my goals, what the hell have I been doing?!

Despite all of my goals being centred around 40k, I’ve actually spent the year painting up a near-complete army for Age of Sigmar! I’ve painted up loads of Ossiarch Bonereapers, which makes me happy! I’ve even done some terrain for the fantasy game! Definitely unexpected, that one!

At the minute, I’m not really able to paint anything, as I’m in full-on baby-care mode. But hopefully as the year moves on, I’ll be able to get somewhere as life returns to something like normal. Fingers crossed!! It’ll be interesting to see how far I get with all this!!

New Kill Team!

We have another new edition of Kill Team coming soon, and it does look kinda tasty, I have to say!

It looks quite wonderful, for sure – Death Corps of Krieg vs Orks, and we have a box load of Ork shanty-town style terrain, too!

Now, I’m not an Ork fan, not really. They’re possibly the only faction in 40k that I’ve never really shown any interest in collecting, but these models have got so much character that I have been finding myself wondering if the time has come! I mean, look at them!

What has really piqued my interest though, is the plastic Death Corps models that are coming!

These really are some of the most beautiful, characterful models that I’ve seen for 40k in some time. Multipart plastic models that have the options to make regular guardsmen, but which come with a Veterans sprue that allow for all of the specialist models for Kill Team – I mean, this all sounds so perfect!

The thing is, my buddy James already has a Krieg army, and I have no interest in stepping on anyone’s toes. I also have no genuine interest in Orks, so this set – while initially full of excitement for me, has actually fallen off the wayside now, and I think I’ll most likely pass. Even when the separate boxes come out, I don’t really know if I’d buy the guard, as it would only really be for a painting project.

However, I’m really torn because this, perhaps more than any other box that GW has produced, is giving me strong board-game vibes, and I think it looks like an excellent game to keep for its own merits. The previous iteration of Kill Team had that to some extent, though I think that box was always seen as a launch set for the Sector Imperialis terrain, and recycled some Skitarii and Neophytes. This box feels much more like the miniatures are designed for the box, and not designed for 40k. But that’s probably just me!

I find it interesting that these models have almost been specifically designed for KT, though are perfectly usable in 40k – rather than the other way round. It’s led to some discussion on the Facebook group over whether we’re seeing something akin to Warcry. Intriguing, if we are – I’ve previously thought the future of Kill Team could have been in putting out “legendary teams” much like the Rogue Trader box, rather than continually drafting in different units from regular 40k.

It’s definitely exciting me to see the evolution of the game from my first encounter with the system back in 7th edition. Rather than being 40k lite, or some kind of weird tacked-on small scale game of 40k, we appear to be getting a genuine skirmish game that seems to have a real narrative focus. In the stream, it felt like they were placing a lot of emphasis on the narrative of what a kill team actually is, so I think it could be fascinating to see how they’ll handle this sort of thing, going forward. The last iteration of the game was very much centred on recycling existing content, with the very notable exception of the Rogue Trader box, and so we never really got anything that was actually new and exciting for the game – we just got a rules system to overlay onto 40k models, albeit very nicely marketed. The Death Corps, and (surprisingly, to me) the Ork Kommandos both feel very much like an actual Kill Team, something that I suppose has previously only really been seen in the Deathwatch lore.

Aside from seeing some vaguely whacky measuring rules, I don’t know anything about what we can expect so far, but I think having some genuine kill teams in this core box is setting the stage for what could be something special. If we do get expansion boxes along the Warcry mould, rather than the previous Kill Team method of repackaged 40k stuff, I think we could really be getting something good here.

I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this, anyway!

I think this could well be an interesting time for skirmish games in the 41st millennium!!

House of Blades (part two)

Hey everybody,
Over the past few days, I’ve been managing to juggle looking after my now two-week-old daughter while also deep-diving into the House of Blades for Necromunda, I honestly don’t know how this has been achieved, but I’m just going with it and somehow managing to help keep a tiny person alive (full disclosure: my wife does the lion’s share!) and also throw around ideas for a starting gang. Having now picked up the Escher reinforcements, as well as the Escher plastic weapons set, I feel like I’m now poised on the brink of greatness here!

So this is very much my first effort at creating an Escher gang. Back when I first picked up the boxed game, I built up the Escher side of the box pretty much as the instructions told me, without knowing anything about anything. So I already have ten gangers built, but I don’t really want to play that type of gang, as I feel as though it’s a bit boring. As an aside, I can’t believe how non-descript the Escher sprue is – the weapons are all pretty basic things, there are no special weapons beside the chem thrower and combi needler! I’m so glad that GW has finally brought out an affordable upgrade sprue, because these gangs really need it! I just hope they actually produce such things for the other gangs (wouldn’t it be awesome if the reason why the Enforcers and Corpse Grinder Cult hasn’t had any Forge World upgrades is because they’re going to make them in plastic instead?)

Now that I have Hive War, I’ve got ten more Sisters to build, and I definitely want to make sure that I’m building them the way that I want!

In the above list, there are only three more gangers to build: the needle rifle, the autogun, and the Little Sister with autopistol and stub gun. Only the autogun comes in the base gang set, so let’s give another cheer for the plastic upgrade set!

This gang is the first time that I’m including juves – for the Escher, we’re now calling them Little Sisters – and I have to say, I don’t know why I didn’t do this earlier. While the leader is always going to be a touch on the expensive side, having juves does allow you to then include either a couple more special types, or just more bodies in general. As an aside, I’ve gone for the needle rifle on my specialist Sister (ganger), which is only a slight extravagance – I think my very first thought of including a plasma gun in the list meant that one ganger cost 160 credits! Far too extravagant! I have given her flak armour, to at least try to ensure she stays with me, but after talking it over in the Escher facebook group, flak armour (most of the time) is a bit of a waste of credits across the whole gang, because it will work so rarely, but can be the cost of a whole other ganger if you cut it entirely!

I’ve also picked up the reinforcements kit (are we calling them that?) with Death Maidens and Wyld Runners, and the cats. I love the variety that these things give, especially how the earlier kits like that for Escher are basically just more of the same, albeit with much more exotic options. I do feel that stuff like Van Saar and (particularly) Delaque have had some very weird reinforcements, but anyway. I wanted to include one of the Death Maidens because I find them utterly fascinating, and I think it’ll be an interesting sort of game to have an undead Sister running about. The lore on these things is very creepy, and I think it definitely adds depth to the House.

While I’ve mostly been plotting my list and reading up on the lore while giving my wife a break from dealing with Freya, at the weekend I was actually able to grab about an hour’s hobby time during the day, so built up the Death Maiden as well as threw a bit of paint on some gangers! I’m still not 100% sure on the sort of colour scheme that I want to go for – I had been considering a violet and maybe green theme, then I thought maybe about doing something with orange, but now I’m leaning more towards having a grungy sort of look, and only picking out things like the feathers in brighter colours. I mean, this is the Underhive still, and I’m not entirely convinced that the gang would be able to keep their boob armour that pristine yellow on the box art…

I’m also not convinced by that almost-purple skin tone they use for the models, although given the lore of chem-cults and so forth, I suppose it might fit with the notion of some gangers being almost drug-addicts. I’m going to stick with my more “normal” skintones, anyway, and see how far I get.

So there we have it – my starting gang, nine models strong, with some fairly interesting things going on (hopefully!) I still need to think about skills for the champions and leader, but I’m currently dying from a cold (it’s not COVID, honest!) so I don’t really have the wherewithal to make those sorts of decisions yet! I’m hoping that I’ll be able to have some more hobby time before I go back to work in two weeks, and maybe I’ll have some completed gangers to show for it!

But let’s try to keep things real here…