October 2022 retrospective

Hey everybody,
October has been and gone, and I can’t believe that we’re nearly at the end of the year already. Doesn’t seem like there’s much of 2022 left, so I think I need to get a bit of a move on if I’m going to complete the hobby goals that I had set for myself at the start of the year!

The month started really well, I thought, when I was able to finish off two projects that had been dragging on perhaps longer than intended – the Raider and the Tomb Blades. The Raider was really nice to work on, I have to say, and I have been thinking about getting to work on another one, though for now I’m working on a bunch of other stuff, but I could see myself getting back to the Dark Eldar soon enough!

The Tomb Blades were becoming very annoying, as they are quite difficult to paint when they’re fully-built, but thankfully they’re now done, so I just have the gauss blaster set to paint at some future date, then I’ll have all the Necron jetbikes I could ever want!

In a surprise move, though, I also painted two kill teams during the month, the Death Korps of Krieg and the Traitor Guard!

These models are all just wonderful, and I really enjoyed getting them finished during a week off. I think the success there was in picking fairly easy paint schemes. The objective, after all, was to get models painted so that I could play with them. I still haven’t actually played the game, of course, but it was really nice to actually get them finished!

The rest of the month was spent painting more Sisters – a Dominion Squad, a Palatine, an Imagifier, and the Penitent Engine. I think I have now finished painting the models from the launch box, which came out three years ago, so that’s good going, right?!

My painted Sisters army is now looking pretty impressive, even if I say so myself! I think that by painting it in stages as I have been doing, I’ve managed to do really well – hopefully I can keep chipping away at 5-10 models at a time, and I’ll get it all done in fairly short order!!

Going back to kill team, though, this month has been quite expensive for me as I have once more been buying models. I picked up the big Into the Dark box after going back and forth on it for a number of weeks – I think the desire for the terrain got me, especially when I realised that it can soon be used in regular 40k as well – but the lack of availability of the second space hulk-themed box has somewhat cooled me on that once again. I am very much in love with the Breacher models, I think they look tremendous, and I am looking forward to getting those painted up as well soon enough. I have also been digging into the backlog, and I’m vaguely thinking about getting the Elucidian Starstriders painted soon as well.

However, I also bought the big Ash Wastes box for Necromunda, and have been busy putting all of the new terrain together. We were quite lucky, and had some good weather during that week off that I mentioned, so I have been able to prime it all up as well. While I did initially think that I’d make a bit of a project of it, and try to get the stuff painted too, that has fallen somewhat by the wayside, as I’ve been working on all the other stuff this month. But still, it’s been great to actually get a good amount of stuff built and primed, so that I can then spend the winter working on actually painting it all up!

Necromunda Ash Wastes

It hasn’t all been about the Warhammer, though!

After sharing my #shelfie a couple of weeks back, I’ve really been in the mood for more games, and have been enjoying something of a board game renaissance right now! I’ve really been into Lord of the Rings again, after playing the miniatures game with JP last week, so have been enjoying a return to the card game, getting two new decks built up to tackle some of that once more. I have a Silvan themed deck, and a sort-of Gondor themed deck, although both utilise elements that I’ve not really looked at before. The Gondor deck in particular is using Hobbits for the first time! I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I do like these sort of Fellowship type of decks – having played Dwarves and Rohan so much, I like playing decks where we can see more of the breadth of Middle Earth.

Lord of the Rings

I am becoming a little obsessed with Middle Earth SBG though, so I need to watch myself there – I don’t think I have room in my house for many more models!

Runebound has been looming large in my mind for a couple of weeks now, as well, so I want to try to get that to the table soon. I haven’t played the game in years, so I feel almost like I need to plan it out so that I have enough time to actually devote to it!

It’s definitely good to get back into these other games though, as I do enjoy them a great deal. Hopefully there will be an influx of game posts here on the blog before the end of the year!

Middle Earth!

Hey everybody,
Today is quite an exciting game day for me, as I wanted to tell you all about my first game of Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game (Lord of the Rings) that took place yesterday! This may well be a very rambling blog, as I attempt to recall what happened and how it all works, so apologies in advance for that! My buddy JP is a huge fan, and has been collecting the miniatures ever since the magazine that came out in, what, 2001? Back when the movies were being made and all of that excitement was going on. A couple of times now, he’s mentioned it to me and we’ve tried to arrange a game but never seemed to get round to it, but locally to us there is quite the tournament scene, and I think after he attended such an event at the weekend, it has whetted his appetite once more.

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

It’s a game that has been around since the movies came out, but recently has gone through a bit of a refresh, it seems, as GW is finally devoting more time to it as a proper game, rather than letting it languish somewhere on the website. Back in December, the game celebrated 20 years and, in some respects, has made it through three editions (although not in the way we know them from 40k). When the Hobbit movies came out, GW actually improved their miniature casting processes to be able to recreate the Dwarf characters, which is quite astounding really. Indeed, the consolidation of The Hobbit line, and The Lord of the Rings line, into Middle Earth as a whole in 2018 seems to have precipitated this change, and from what I can tell, it’s turning out to be a really nice game!

I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan, of course, and have long called the LCG my favourite game of all time, even if it is bloody hard to play at times! It was the movies that got me into this position though, and while I have read the books, at the risk of being blasted as a heathen, I do prefer the film trilogy. In that respect, this game seems like it is a perfect fit, really!

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

There are the three ways to play that we’re all familiar with from regular GW games – open, narrative, and matched play – and I’ve heard good things about all three, if I’m honest. Narrative play allows you to recreate scenes from the movies, and we played a game that was the Balin’s Tomb scene where the Fellowship are overrun with Moria Orcs before fleeing to face something even more terrible. Matched play sounds like it should be really good as well, though, as you can take an army that is organised somewhat like warbands surrounding a leader, so you pick a hero (and there are so many, you’re kinda spoilt for choice) and then pluck a band of fighters to go with them. Hopefully next time we play, we’re going to try that out.

The game is quite straightforward, really. There is something of an alternating activation, where one player moves all his guys, then the other player moves; then one player shoots, then the other player; then one player fights, and then the other player does. So there’s very little downtime between turns. Fighting is even more dynamic still, as you essentially roll off to see who actually gets to fight, so you might not be able to attack with each of your people as the flow of battle becomes so fluid.

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

It’s this fight mechanic that I find really interesting. A model will have an attacks characteristic, which determines how many dice you roll. Aragorn is rolling three dice, for instance. Opponents roll together, and whoever wins the roll off then gets to “strike blows”, as they are the aggressor. So they roll to wound, comparing their strength against the opposing fighter’s defence value in a table that initially gave me palpitations as I remembered 7th edition 40k! In the case of a tie for this roll off, each model has a fight value which is used to determine the winner. In the event of a further tie, you simply roll off and on a 1-3 the evil player wins, 4-6 the good player wins.

It’s good, because while you do run the risk of not actually killing stuff on your turn, it keeps you engaged throughout the whole game, and you generally aren’t spending a whole bunch of time sat back watching stuff happening to you.

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

There is a lot to like about the ruleset in general, though. It somehow feels a lot cleaner than games like 40k, which seems to favour a byzantine array of moving parts. Having magic happen in the movement phase is interesting, but it does mean that it cleans up things like having to sit out a psychic phase if you don’t have anything you can do. There isn’t a great variety of weapons, which means you aren’t forever making thousands of micro-decisions about what you’re trying to do, but instead the game is kept moving along at quite a pace. It’s good, because it means that you can focus on enjoying yourself, and not trying to remember the difference between an elf bow and a normal bow.

While everybody has the basic sort of movement and fight attributes, heroes also have three others – Might, Will and Fate. These are used a little bit like command points in 40k, where you can use Might points to perform specific “heroic” actions; Will points are used to cast or resist magical powers, and Fate points are used to dodge wounds. Generally, heroes have a set amount and, once they’re gone, they’re gone. However, Aragorn generates a point of Might each turn, and Gandalf generates a point of Will each turn, which is a nice way of showing their “special” status within the narrative. As I was playing with the Fellowship, I had a lot of options available to me, which I think was quite good as a new player, because it allowed me to play with the toybox as it were. I believe in matched play, where you have fewer heroes, things are a lot more different and you really need to think about what you’re trying to do on your turn.

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

Something that I really enjoy is the cinematic rules that have been incorporated. For example, Boromir has the Horn of Gondor, which he can blow whenever he is outnumbered in a fight, and it forces the enemy to take a courage test. Courage is a little bit like morale, but only comes up in specific circumstances and isn’t a whole industry with its own phase – you have a courage value, and to make the test you roll 2D6 and add your value, trying to equal or exceed 10. Simple, but nice and effective! If that courage test is failed, Boromir basically wins the fight and can strike blows without needing to roll off when he is surrounded by enemies!

There are just tons of these scattered throughout the rules, and it really makes the game something quite special. It’s based on the movies, and so does take a lot of its cues from there – if you’re a Tolkien purist, you might well dislike some aspects of it, but it isn’t meant to be using the books as a reference. There are some non-movie elements like the scouring of the Shire, however, though they’re few and far between.

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

Now, the miniatures range seems to be undergoing a bit of a refresh at the minute, as we’re seeing a lot of characters being released in plastic, and GW seem to be giving a lot more thought to the game in general, with battle boxes and battlehost boxes available to let you quickly start an army. From what I can tell, these battlehost boxes are actually incredibly good, because you don’t need to have a lot of models to be able to play a decently-sized game, which means the investment is much better. The main issue that I can see when perusing the Middle Earth section of the website, though, is just how old some of these models are. A lot of the heroes are old metal models that have not aged well at all, and kinda put me off wanting to buy any of them, if truth be told! It could just be the paint job, of course, but some of them do look a little bit cringe-worthy. Even so, I am very tempted to get one of these battlehost boxes!

Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

For now, though, I’ve got my own plastic Fellowship that JP got me for Christmas last year. It may have taken ten months for me to take the bait, but he’s finally hooked me into this game, that’s for sure!


Hey everybody,
I just wanted to share this with you all today. It’s a shelfie that I took of the current selection of games, after a bit of reorganisation at the weekend.

It’s by no means all the games I own, as there are plenty more up in the loft, or under the bed, but I have been trying to get a bit of a wider selection here so that they can be accessed and enjoyed! It’s now that time of year when I am really partial to a sit down with a big game, like Runebound or A Touch of Evil, so I’m looking forward to potentially getting more games with these in soon!

I’m one of the crazy folks who logs all my board game plays over on boardgamegeek, and looking at those stats, I’m quite horrified to see that it’s been almost 8 years since I played Runebound, and 6 years since I last played A Touch of Evil! These are two of my absolute favourites, so I definitely want to try and get a couple of games with each of them before the end of the year. I’ve had a lot of fun getting stuff like the new Arkham Horror to the table lately, and while I have definitely morphed into more of a card gamer than a board gamer over the years, I do still have a soft spot for these big games that take over the table!

I actually had a surprise game of Eldritch Horror the other day, just using the base game, and that was a lot of fun as well. So I’m fully intending to try to get more games to the table as time goes on, anyway. It’s great having game nights when the nights are drawing in. It’s only coincidental that I have a fair few horror-themed games and we’re approaching Halloween, as I’m not really into all of that myself, but I suppose it does help to bring those games to the table!

I’m really looking forward to Runebound though. It’s one of the classics of the genre, for me, and I really can’t believe it’s been so long since I had a game with it. I suppose my obsession with Games Workshop has overtaken me though, and I’ve moved away from a lot of the more regular gaming.

For now, though, I have about a dozen games that I can get to without foraging in boxes in the loft, or furtling under the bed, so I’m looking forward to more game nights as the autumn turns into winter!

Horus Heresy: Deathfire

Deathfire is the 32nd novel in the Horus Heresy series, and follows on directly from both Vulkan Lives and The Unremembered Empire as we begin on Macragge, where Vulkan is lying in state with the fulgurite jutting from his chest. Numeon is being held captive by the Word Bearers but refuses to give in to their torture, instead being sustained by his overwhelming faith that his primarch does indeed live. When a team of Ultramarines rescues him and brings him back to Macragge, however, he is forced to confront the fact that maybe Vulkan isn’t alive, after all – until the corpse goes walkabout, and ends up in a monumental garden. Numeon decides that he needs to take Vulkan back to Nocturne, where the primarch will be reborn in the lava and fires of the legion homeworld.

Thus begins some kind of weird Odyssey rehash, as the Salamanders make an attempt to navigate the Ruinstorm, though first diverting to crush a Death Guard assault on a space station near to the Ultramarines’ homeworld. There, they are joined by the Knight Errant Kaspian Hecht, who refuses to divulge his mission other than telling Numeon that he has been tasked by Malcador himself. The Salamanders, Hecht and some survivors from the station brave the Warp, and are attacked during their flight by a group of Word Bearers, who have come in an attempt to retrieve the fulgurite, which they now know is capable of killing a primarch. Along the way, Hecht is revealed to be none other than Barthusa Narek of the Word Bearers, although he tries to remain loyal to the throne and keep hold of his sanity.

The Word Bearers are ultimately expelled from their vessel when the Salamanders unexpectedly arrive in the Solar System, and despite the general joy to realise that Terra has not yet fallen to Horus, Numeon now realises more than ever that his mission is to return Vulkan to Nocturne, so they once more brave the Warp, and this time are pursued by both Word Bearers and Death Guard. They arrive above their homeworld only to be attacked immediately by the Death Guard, the captain of whom is intent on taking Vulkan’s head. Numeon and what remains of his brothers land on the planet and find there are still many Salamanders on-world, so they are able to defend against the Death Guard incursion with the help of the native drakes as well as their brother legionaries. The Death Guard are repelled, and Vulkan is returned to the fires of Deathfire, an active volcano. However, Vulkan is not reborn, leading to a crisis of faith for Numeon. He wanders out alone into the ash desert, however when a team of Salamanders is sent to find him, instead they find none other than Vulkan himself.

Well, what a wild ride this book was. It earned just two stars from me, in the end, as I just couldn’t bring myself to enjoy it all that much. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fairly okay, if you can see past the bland way in which it is told. The Salamanders have almost always appeared to me to be one of the most boring legions, and this book does nothing to change that for me. It’s a huge book, clocking in at over 500 pages, but there is so much fat in here that should be trimmed, it’s untrue. The central portion of the book, where the ship is in the Ruinstorm and the Warp is making itself felt is actually pretty exciting, and there is a real horror-story vibe coming from it. That’s really what made me give the extra star though, because otherwise I just couldn’t enjoy this one.

There were two major inconsistencies for me that I really struggled to wrap my head around. One of them was how, in the middle of the narrative, Word Bearers just suddenly appear on the Salamanders’ vessel with no break, and it’s almost like an editing error where I had to go back a couple of times to try to see whether I’d missed something. The second one is much earlier though, and concerns Barthusa Narek. Now, I know it’s been a while since I’ve read a Horus Heresy novel, but this guy’s story is just confusing to me. He’s a Word Bearer who disagrees with the daemonic road his legion is on, but somehow manages to survive a few culls of disloyal legionaries. He begins the story imprisoned on Macragge, and the Word Bearers actually have a plan to infiltrate the Ultramarines’ dungeon in order to get him killed. But somehow he just manages to escape, and then he shows up in a shipping crate with different armour and a new personality. The bulk of the story is then how Kaspian Hecht is on a mission for Malcador, but we don’t know what that is, and I struggled to decide whether he was lying or not. Turns out he wasn’t, because Malcador genuinely has had him in his grasp, because he put up a bunch of psychic wards within Narek’s mind. There’s a story there that, I feel, needs to be told – but from what I can tell, it hasn’t. A big bugbear for me is when a novel like this knowingly misses out a chunk of story to specifically have that told as a separate thing. The New Jedi Order did this a couple of times, and it feels like we’re being cheated. However, to just leave that story untold is really glaring! I know I said that some fat could have been trimmed here, but to my mind, that part of things should have been included!


As I said, I liked the crazy parts during the Warp voyage, the sense of foreboding came across quite well, but otherwise, there wasn’t a lot for me to enjoy about this book. It has Word Bearers being creepy and weird, which is a good point, but otherwise, I don’t care about Vulkan, I don’t care about the Salamanders, so I wasn’t really coming at this one from a good place!

We’ve got another anthology next, then I believe the story finally begins to pick up again in Guy Haley’s Pharos, so I’m looking forward to that. I’m going to try my best to make my way through a few more Heresy books before the year is out, anyway, so stay tuned for more ramblings!!

A week of hobby!

Hey everybody,
I was off work last week, and it’s been a very exciting week off, as I’ve gotten through quite a bit of painting, as well as being able to get a whole raft of stuff primed up when we had some nice weather at the end of the week.

To start with, I have now finished the Tomb Blades that were begun way back in the mists of time. Some of these models are from my very first Necrons army, and indeed at least one of them I have directly painted over the green and silver/gold, rather than trying to strip the paint from such fiddly models. I know these aren’t going to win any awards, and if I’m being truthful, I could probably spend some more time with them and actually make them a lot better, but I think these are the type of models where I would just never be finished tinkering with them, so needed to call it a day now. They look fine, I think, anyway, so I’m happy to play with them as they are, and that’s basically the whole point – to get my miniatures painted ready for games!

I’ve also finished painting that Raider that I started on a few weeks ago. I may have mentioned it before, but it’s been so nice to be painting a Drukhari vehicle again. It took me right back to the heady days of 2017 when I was painting up nothing but dark kin, and I really enjoyed it! I do kinda feel like I might have done a slightly better job on this than the rest of my fleet, so I might well find myself trying to make the vehicles look better as well as the regular Kabalites when I eventually get round to that little side project…

I still need to apply the transfer to the sail, however, but I seem to have lost my micro sol and micro set, so don’t want to attempt to do this part without them! But that’s a very minor thing in the scheme of it all. On an adjacent note, I was watching a video from Mediocre Hobbies about this, and I was quite taken with the idea of applying transfers whenever possible. Now, I barely use them at all, so have sheets and sheets of the things up in the loft somewhere, but I think it might well be worth looking over them to see what I have, and to see about maybe using them more. Sisters are a prime candidate for this, I think, but we shall see what else I can do!

Two sort-of surprise projects from the week have turned out to be kill teams. I started to paint the Traitor Guard kill team following all of the excitement about the new Cadians coming out, and decided to try and use a really simple scheme to get them done quickly. The uniform is Baneblade Brown and the gloves are Gorthor Brown; the boots are Rhinox Hide with a messy highlight of Doombull Brown, then all three of these areas are shaded with Agrax Earthshade. The fatigues are Dawnstone, then “shaded” with Basilicanum Grey. The pouches and any wraps are Mournfang Brown, then “shaded” with Snakebite Leather. The armour is Leadbelcher with a coat of Militarum Green to make it seem green metal. The weapons are then Leadbelcher shaded with Nuln Oil, with the top of the lasguns having a coat of Black Legion contrast paint. The photo above also has the Traitor Commissar, Ogryn, and Unsanctioned Psyker models that I had already painted a while ago. I’ve based everything with texture paint (I used Lustrian Undergrowth, because I seem to have a lot of it) and then painted with Skrag Brown, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and briefly drybrushed with Ushabti Bone.

The reason why I’ve gone through everything here is that I have already primed up the 14 additional Traitor Guard models from Blackstone Fortress, and I definitely want to get another box of them – I built the kill team with quite a few fancy weapons, thinking (I think!) that the BF models could fill in for regular troops, but there aren’t that many regular troops in the BF lot! At least I have the Traitor Chieftain, if I were to go into playing these in kill team.

I’ve also primed up some Negavolt Cultists, as I’m quite excited to paint those chaps. Whether we get Dark Mechanicum or not, they’re still really nice-looking models!

Finally, I’ve also painted up the ten Death Korps of Krieg models from the Octarius box, using the scheme from Stahly of Tale of Painters fame. It’s a scheme that really reminds me of some kind of World War II army uniform – I wanted to say Russian, before googling that and finding that I was wrong! The light grey greatcoat with the darker grey trousers and the shiny silver armour is a really nice combo, I think. I did cheat a bit with the scheme, principally because I didn’t have a couple of the paints used in Stahly’s scheme. So the leather is Snakebite Leather rather than Cygor Brown, but a couple of coats of that paint did seem to produce a nice effect, regardless. The gun case was just Black Templar contrast, too, rather than the more traditional scheme. However, I think it’s come out looking really nice, and I think it’ll be good to get some more of these guys painted up in due course! Much as with Traitor Guard, I had built these models with the very definite idea of picking up a second box within short order, but so far I have yet to do so!

I don’t think getting 20 models painted, with a further nine models finished off from previous stages, is an entirely too shabby way to spend a week off – especially when you consider I was in charge of the kids!

I have been able to prime up a whole bunch of stuff when the weather decided to finally be nice and dry at the end of the week. So I have now got the Traitor Guard ready, all of the remaining Sisters models are now primed as well, and the remaining Tau models. I have been able to prime the whole Ash Wastes terrain, after having built it almost a week prior, so I’m hoping to get on with painting that in due course, as well. I’m not sure when I’ll actually get round to painting the other stuff, but the intention with my Prime Day was basically to get as much primed and ready as possible, so that I can then paint over the winter and hopefully get somewhere with the backlog! I have plenty of Grey Knights and Necrons already primed, of course, so they shouldn’t be too much of an issue for me!

Finally, I’ve been having some funny ideas since yesterday, about potentially painting up some of the Tactical Marines that I still have lying around. After a quick trip up into the loft this morning, I have taken stock and have found that I have about 20 of these things, mostly still on the sprue. I built two marines up about a year ago, with the vague idea of making a small Ultramarines army, but the more I think of it now, the more I’m thinking that I might actually do something different with them. Precisely what, I don’t know, but it might be a fun little project, so stay tuned for more on that!!

Warhammer 40k is 35!

Well, well, well… we’ve had another preview day for Warhammer 40k, as the game turns 35 soon, and it was actually pretty exciting, I have to say! A lot of the time, I’ve found these sorts of previews to be more miss than hit, but today was really very interesting, indeed!

Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models

I missed the start of the event, unfortunately, so didn’t get to hear all about the new Imperial Guard stuff until about ten minutes into the presentation. But I have to say, these new models are really very nice! It seems that the Guard are getting a range refresh, with possibly all of the old kits being re-done. To launch this, we’re getting an army box as GW like to make big boxes of plastic, it seems, with a command squad, a sentinel, two squads and two ‘field ordinance batteries’, which are a bit like upgraded heavy weapons teams.

Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models

This stuff is just beautiful, and the field ordinance batteries in particular have really captured my attention. It reminds me of the Wyvern model, which had a couple of guys out the back in almost a mini diorama. I do love this stuff, and it has pretty much tipped me over the edge into wanting a Guard army now!!

They said in the preview that this is about half of the new stuff coming for the army, and they wouldn’t show the cover of the codex because it would give yet more away. So all of that is quite interesting, I feel! Something I do like the idea of is being able to mix regiments within an army now, so the fact I have those Krieg lads from the Kill Team box, as well as a bunch of Tempestus Scions waiting in the wings, might not be a bad thing after all!!

40k reveals

Arks of Omen is the next narrative expansion for 40k, and sees the action move to ships and space hulks, so brings a new way to play rather than just adding more rules on top of rules to contend with. Of course, this requires more terrain, so…

40k reveals
40k reveals
40k reveals

The box features the equivalent of two of the Kill Team boxes, apparently! I have to say, this sounds really cool, and I love the idea of being able to almost play Space Hulk but in regular 40k, but I honestly don’t think I have room in my life for this. I’ve spoken before about how 40k almost demands to be a way of life for you, and I think I’m set back a bit from that nowadays. If it was the only game I played, then sure, but things are just moving too fast for me to keep up, I barely get to play regular 40k let alone all this additional stuff they’ve been pumping out!

New Kill Team

I’ve still not properly played the new Kill Team, and here we are, now on the sixth big box, and the second box of space hulk themed games. It’s Necrons vs Kasrkin, too, which is actually making me wonder if I should be looking to pick this one up!

New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team

The Necrons are very weird in this one, and it seems like we may actually be getting a brand new group of models, even if those Deathmarks look very familiar. It’s a Cryptek and his merry band, and I am very interested, so let’s ponder this one some more.

40k reveals

New model for the World Eaters codex coming out whenever. Looks lovely, I think they said it’s an updated sculpt of a very old model, too? Interesting, although I am not going to be getting these guys, that’s a promise!!

40k reveals

The whole presentation ended with this little tease. Arks of Omen seemed to be suggesting that Abaddon has made a pact with a daemon of some kind, and it is being suggested that this daemon will be coming out in model form – delightful, I’m sure you agree! However, there’s talk of daemon + metal, which is making the internet lose its collective mind because Dark Mechanicum has been a very real hope since Blackstone Fortress gave us those crazy cultist guys.

Could it be? I mean, it would be incredible, for sure!

Between this, the kill team stuff, and the fact I think I’m starting a Guard army now, I’m going to be very poor for the rest of my days, I think…

Could be time to get the Scions back out!!

A week in the Wastes

Hey everybody,
It’s been a few days since I picked up the big box of goodness that is Necromunda: Ash Wastes, so I wanted to provide a bit of an update as to how it has all been going for me. In short: it’s going very well indeed!

Necromunda Ash Wastes

To start with, I really like this terrain. I find it interesting because the hab units and walkways combine together to give a not very Necromunda-y feel, in my view. I suppose it’s because we’ve been in the Underhive for so long in this game, that it’s difficult to imagine games on a more open table. It’s interesting, though, because it’s very similar to games with Sector Mechanicus terrain, which is also quite tall but fairly open – all those galvanic magnavents and whatnot are quite imposing, of course, but it’s not the same as Zone Mortalis. So if Sector Mechanicus can still be Necromunda, why can’t Ash Wastes? I suppose the hab blocks and stuff is all quite delicately balanced up on those stilts, though, giving the illusion of a much more open battlefield…

For all that, though, I do like it. The habs themselves are big, chunky terrain pieces, even though they’re open for manoeuvring models through. I was hoping they’d have that kind of nice and chunky feel to them, and that’s definitely the case. It’s also pretty impressive in terms of just how sprawling the whole thing becomes, it definitely has a presence, you know? I’ve only put it all together once, just to check it all fits and I’d been following the instructions correctly, but also to take some fancy photos! It’s big, but I still don’t really feel like it’s enough, somehow.

It wasn’t all that arduous a build, either, to be honest. Things just seemed to go together really well – having so many of those stilt platforms to build was possibly the most tedious part of it, as there are five structures with the same basic base, but it surprised me how quickly things went from sprue to actual building. I did enjoy some parts, as well – the antenna thing that sits on one of the smaller platforms, for some odd reason, really pleased me as I was putting it together. It’s somehow reminiscent of a moisture vaporator from Star Wars, which I suppose might be fitting, given the whole structure has been likened to the Ewok tree village often enough.

Necromunda Ash Wastes

The platform undersides look like they might be compatible with the Sector Mechanicus stuff, having the same type of holes underneath as if you could potentially join gantries to them. I haven’t tested the theory, but I have seen a post on reddit that shows the platforms would line up, as they’re both the same height.

What I’m gearing up to, I suppose, is that I feel like I need more terrain for the board. I know it needs to be reasonably clear for vehicles to move around, but there’s a big part of me that would like to have more variety. I said it on Monday, but I will definitely be adding at least another hab block, and after taking a look at the site today, I think more walkways will definitely be required as well. The way this all goes together, there is definitely room for more to come off from the left, if you’re looking at the settlement in the first photo. I’ve definitely built it by the numbers to start with, but I think as I consider getting more, I’d like to experiment a bit more, and see what else I could do.

From looking at other Ash Wastes boards out there, it seems like most folks are using styrene foam to create rocky mesas and the like, which is very interesting, but something I can’t really say I’ve wanted to do for a long time now. I suppose, in my mind’s eye, I’m seeing the settlement being fought over and just imagining the canyon walls around it, or whatever. It’s a similar thing to the Mechanicus stuff – I suppose it’s implicit that either we’re within a factory, and the walls just aren’t there, or else these hulking big silos and furnaces etc are just out in the open air.

The artwork in the book though does seem to suggest that’s the case for the Wastes, with lots of ferratonic furnaces just out there in the open and stuff, so that’s an interesting aspect to consider!

In searching for a paint scheme, I’ve discovered the Mediocre Hobbies youtube channel, and have been really taken by the whole ethos of speed painting that Andy shows off. It’s something I had come to a few weeks ago now, but I love that attitude of getting stuff painted so that you can play games with fully-painted models (and terrain!) – because it just looks so much better! I really like the look of his hab blocks, so I’m intending to go along with that scheme for my own, though I’m not sure if I’ll be doing the red look, or something else.

I’ve also started to look at the rule book. I haven’t made a point of checking over the revised rules, though from flicking through it does look very much like we’ve just got the standard rules but with the vehicle stuff added in where it makes sense, so I’ll need to take a proper look at the book at some point soon. There’s some very good lore in there, including a section near the front that talks about why all of the various Underhive gangs are also out there in the Wastes – I particularly liked the fact that, when it comes to Delaque, nobody knows why they’re out there – they just are. Brilliant!

I’ve been flicking through the Ash Wastes Campaign stuff, though, and it does sound like a very interesting take on the whole thing. Whereas the Dominion Campaign had gangs fighting over terrain that would generate income, here we’re fighting for control of sections of road, which you can potentially join together to form a trade route. There are rules for using Ash Wastes Nomads as raiders who are disrupting this process, and maps that show to which area of the Wastes each section of road belongs. This becomes important, as when you’re fighting for control of a road, the area in which it is located is tied to the scenario that will be played.

We also get environment rules, which provide additional rules for things like the battlefield surface, the season that we’re in, and we get rules for “rolling roads”, which are effectively convoy battles. The need for the land train kit just became real!

We have thirteen scenarios in total. I was somewhat fascinated, prior to getting this box, as to how it would integrate with the Underhive stuff. Turns out, you can use zone mortalis set ups to simulate canyon warfare, but the preferred set-up for Ash Wastes boards is similar to the Sector Mechanicus, but try to leave open spaces. So while there have been efforts made to make Ash Wastes its own thing, we definitely have some cross-compatibility between the game boxes.

In short, I love how the Ash Wastes box has really ignited the spark for me to get back into the hobby, after some wilderness weeks back in September. I still have some catching up to do as regards getting my Necromunda collection up to scratch, as I’m one of these people who likes to collect it all. High up there on my list as the Redemptionists and the Van Saar specialist box, though with the promise of all these vehicles coming out, I need to try to sort myself out in painting this stuff! Hopefully I’ll be inspired by Mediocre Hobbies to be able to get myself in shape and paint more miniatures for the rest of the year, anyway.

Necromunda Ash Wastes

Necromunda: Ash Wastes

Well folks, I’ve picked up the big honking box that is the Ash Wastes expansion for Necromunda, and I am very pleased. I can’t quite explain why, but I’m very pleased!

Given that I was into it at first, I don’t really remember what put me off getting it upon its release back in May this year. Possibly big box fatigue, as I was picking up the kill team boxes for a small fortune each at the time. After flip-flopping for most of September though, I am now the proud owner of the box, and I’m quite excited about it – I think it’s just the fact it’s new and shiny that’s making me so excited, if truth be told…

Now then. The point of this post is not to merely jump up and down in glee. I want to see how far I can get with this as a project, starting with the terrain. I’m not currently sure what I want to do about the gangs – Forge World are doing yet more resin upgrades for Ash Wastes-ifying the House gangs, but at £20 a go, that seems kinda expensive. The gangs don’t have zone mortalis bases though, so if I do another ten Orlocks, to some extent they will be specific to this setting.

That said, for years I’ve been considering a Genestealer Cults gang, and my models don’t have zone mortalis bases because they’re a part of my army…

Anyway. I want to start with the terrain, and see how far I can get. I’m intending to build then paint, so we shall see how that goes – especially as I don’t yet have a colour scheme decided on! I do like that kind of rust-red/brown that you see in some of the official artwork, but I have seen some done in a kind of olive drab, which looks good too. Yesterday, I was considering a kind of tan, which might be appropriate to blend in to the Wastes themselves, so who knows!

I am very excited to start building though, as I’m looking forward to seeing how these hab block things look in the flesh!

I feel like it might need a bit of planning, though, to build this stuff. I am fairly sure that I’d want to get at least another hab, perhaps more of the walkways as well, though those things are expensive. I won’t be rushing to get some, especially as I have so much on the go right now! I have some of the sector fronteris terrain that could go in this environment quite well, and I’ve seen folks who have adapted the Octarius Ork shanty town terrain to work as well, which could be worth looking into. Of course, I have plenty of crates and containers to make a storage/ammo dump area, as well, so it should definitely be possible to fill the board!

Getting this box has definitely reignited some hobby love for me, after I had begun to wane a little. Having so many different projects going on did get to me in the end, I think, and I had begun to cast around for more in a weird bid to stay focused! I don’t want to completely abandon my plans for getting more Sisters and more Necrons painted by the end of the year, but I think codifying it into specific units that I want to paint was a bit like the kiss of death for me! So I will try to stay vague, in the hope that I will indeed get more stuff finished. Though I’m definitely going to finish the Raider soon, if nothing else!!

Anyway. Ash Wastes is technically old news now, as we’ve already had more new releases for the game in the shape of the new campaign book, alongside the Goliath vehicles. It’s got me wondering if we’re in for anything more for Necromunda as we approach Christmas. Escher bikes most likely, hopefully alongside a reprint of their tactics cards, as well. And Forge World have some Escher stuff to put out, as well.

However, I wonder if we’ll see more for the Ash Wastes, in the same way that we had the gang stronghold and the market as “expansions” to the zone mortalis stuff? That market kinda came out of nowhere, so I’m excited to see what’s next, anyway!

In the meantime, though, stay tuned for Ash Wastes – and more!