More Tau ramblings!

Hey everybody!
Yes, that’s right, I thought I’d write another blog post here, rambling about my newfound love for the space communists of the 41st millennium, the T’au! I’ve been busy building up the Start Collecting box, along with a few other bits and pieces on the side, so have been thinking a lot about what it is that has drawn me to them after all these years of having no interest.

Well, let me start with this:

It’s a marketing video for the new T’au range that came out in 2013, so sixth edition, and showcases a host of models that are, to be frank, rather sexy. They’re also virtually all plastic, as well. Within that six minutes of Greater Good, only two of the miniatures shown are finecast – the two named characters – which is always a huge plus to me when looking at an army range.

While I do have some for my other armies, flyers are something that I tend to avoid in game terms, as they don’t really fit with my overall playstyle of wanting to command waves of infantry. However, there is something quite sumptuous in the T’au range of (actual) vehicles, and I find them quite alluring. Okay, that sounds weird, but all of the sweeping lines and rounded corners do feel quite aesthetically pleasing – as much as the Dark Eldar are quite spikey, there are also a lot of sweeping lines in that range, and it’s one of the reasons why I like them so much. While it’s true that all armies share a common design principle overall, some of them just look a great deal better when you assemble them all together than others do. Bravo to the army painting team for coming up with this truly awesome panorama:

I can only hope that I can get my own force looking this good when the time comes! True, I’m not going for the desert camo of T’au ochre, but even so!

Something that I always look for in an army is the cross-compatibility of bits, be they just weapons and heads or anything else. Dark Eldar have this in spades, and it’s one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed building my force of them so much. While I’m still new to the whole T’au thing, it does seem like the infantry has the potential to have something similar, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can get out of them all as time moves on – I’m still quite excited by the fact the new Fire Warriors kit has three extra legs that I can do something with, I’m sure!!

Battlesuits are probably what most people think of when they think of T’au, and while the idea of a Riptide or two does strike me as rather fun for the centre of my force, I’m more looking forward to getting some Hammerheads in the middle of it all, much like the picture above. That looks like it should be an amazing-looking army!

Speaking of which, I’ve settled on my first 1000-point list to build! Naturally, with the Codex out at the weekend, many of you may wonder why I’ve even bothered to write this up, but I thought it might be interesting to see how the army compares from Index to Codex. So without further ado, here’s what I’m building:

It has the infantry base that I enjoy so much, as well as some vehicles to fly around and do what they do. I’m anticipating being confused by having so many drones zipping about as well, though it does seem to be the thing to pack in as many as possible, and they could be a useful screen, so why not?

I’ll be back next week with an updated look at this list, to see how it fares in the transition from the Index, and whether I can bulk up that Breacher Squad to a full ten-man unit.

Stay tuned!

It’s the GAMA Trade Show 2018!

Hey everybody!
So the GAMA trade show has happened, and there is a lot of exciting stuff going on that has, well, gotten me quite excited! I thought I’d do a quick round-up as per usual, and see what’s caught my eye this year!

It’s really cool to see something that isn’t kickstarter-related coming from Flying Frog right now, and while you do have to kinda squint to see them, there are two expansions coming for Fortune and Glory – Lair of the Spider Queen (much like the Crimson Hand expansion, adding in a new vile organization) and Temples and Treasures, which apparently has more generic villains as well as, unsurprisingly, rules specific to the Temples. Should be good!

Still waiting for more expansions for A Touch of Evil, of course, though I do still enjoy that game regardless, so…

There’s some news that the next big box expansion for Marvel Legendary will be Hulk-based, which I have to say doesn’t really inspire me with any great interest, as he’s not what I’d call a favourite…

I’ve not seen anything from Fantasy Flight this year, which is weird, but the big news for me right now is, you guessed it, from Games Workshop!

Yes! Kill Team is coming back! I do enjoy skirmish games, and so having this updated for 8th Edition is great! I’m guessing that there will be a starter-style box similar to that for 7th, with Genestealer Cults vs AdMech! And of course, the exciting thing here is the new terrain that will be accompanying the release. As if Sector Mechanicus wasn’t glorious enough! Very excited for this…

… as I’m also very excited for House Van Saar! While I do love the Orlock aesthetic the most out of the now-four gangs we’ve seen, I think there’s something quite creepy about these guys, and I will definitely be picking up a box. Well, I’ve already told myself I’m committed to picking up all of the Necromunda releases, anyway, but even so! These guys look really interesting, and I’m looking forward to adding them to my roster.

And, of course, Codex Fish-People looks like it should be amazing!

Tau investigations, part one

Hey everybody!
Following my previous blog, where I very excitedly talked about the decision to start a Tau army, I’ve been reading up a few things about the space communists as I try to get to grips with the units. As with starting any new project like this, the thing that always baffles me most is just what the army is trying to do. I’m not a fantastic strategist, and so don’t always immediately see the synergies among units. It takes a while of reading around things for me to form a plan, and then that becomes the basis of which I can change and adapt as required. Waffle aside, though, I’ve been reading the article series on the Community website that talks about each of the Sept specific traits from the upcoming codex, as well as talking about specific units and what they do now. So I thought I’d talk about that here, and give some vague preliminary thoughts on what I’m going to be doing!

Coming first, of course, we have the T’au Sept itself. I should start talking about T’au, but as with my Dark Eldar, I think I’m too used to the older names. I’ll try, anyway!

I think everybody is referring to these things as Chapter Tactics, basically you pick a theme for your army – be it Space Marine Chapters, Necron Dynasties, or T’au Septs – and you receive an army-wide effect. The tenet of the T’au Sept allows all models from the T’au Sept to fire Overwatch on 5+. I think this is possibly the only thing that affects Overwatch in the game, and it sounds fabulous – just the thing Tau models need, given that they’re primarily a stand-and-shoot army, so end up being charged a lot.

Meanwhile, Bork’an Sept get to add 6″ to the maximum range of any rapid fire and heavy weapons they’re armed with. Pulse Rifles, Rail Rifles, Plasma Rifles – all of these things are rapid fire weapons. Oh, and Markerlights are heavy weapons. Markerlights at 42″? Well, why not! Furthermore, Bork’an have a specific stratagem that allows them to re-roll one dice when determining a random number of attacks, such as the heavy D6 of a Railgun with submunitions. Very nice when you manage to roll a 1!

While most T’au armies don’t want to find themselves fighting in close quarters, the Farsight Enclaves aren’t quite so bothered. I mean, sure, they’re still mainly a ranged force, Farsight himself quite likes getting up-close and personal with his Dawn Blade. Their tenet allows you to re-roll wound rolls of 1 against enemies within 6″, so either during Overwatch or else from Pistol weapons in close combat. Oh, and what was that about the Dawn Blade, it has increased from a mere Strength 5 to Strength 8! Crikey!

Dal’yth Sept is all about being sneaky, and they have the hilarious tenet of being able to claim the benefit of cover, even if they’re out in the open, provided they did not move in any way during their turn. Considering you’ll likely rarely be moving when going for the T’au gunline strategy, this could be very useful – as the article says, it gives Fire Warriors a 3+ save out in the open, which is nothing but useful! Perhaps not something to plan the army around, of course, but a Strike Team that wants to get within rapid fire range is going to be getting perhaps a little too close to the enemy anyway.

Vior’la Sept, the white one you see on the new box art, can treat rapid fire weapons as assault weapons, and do not suffer the -1 penalty for advancing and firing assault weapons. Now, most of the T’au arsenal is assault weaponry, it seems, so this can be incredibly useful for getting away from a steadily advancing force. Fantastic stuff!

As well as all the Sept Tenets, we have had a look at some of the changes from Index to Codex, and while I have no experience of using the Index, it does seem that the Codex has made everything so much better, overall.

Let’s get things straight from the top: a lot of folks are pretty miffed about the change to Commanders. Basically, you can now take only one Commander per detachment, and I think that’s absolutely fine. There was a thing called Commander Spam (ingenious, I know), about which this blog post goes into detail for the Index. While I love the toolbox-HQ, I don’t think I would ever want to take more than one, anyway. I plan on sticking a Cadre Fireblade in there for a second HQ slot if I want that Battalion detachment, or a pair of Fireblades for the Brigade (if I ever get there!) They have some interesting options available, these Commanders, and I think the limit is sensible if GW doesn’t want things getting too out-of-hand.

As they say in the preview, the Coldstar Commander has been much improved by being able to take a wider array of weapons than in the Index. Previously, you’d get a missile pod and burst cannon, and you’d like it. Now, he can take up to four weapons like his Enforcer counterpart, which is quite exciting as he retains the 20″ movement and 20″ advance. Given that the Vior’la tenet can allow him to advance without penalty, he’ll be zipping all over the battlefield with impunity! Hopefully…

I really like the sound of what Riptides can do. Weight of fire seems to be quite important so far in 8th, and adding 4 shots to the heavy burst cannon feels like a nice improvement. Taking a mortal wound from the Nova Reactor in order to add a further six shots feels really nice – and for one command point, you can use the Branched Nova Charge strategem to charge 2D6″ as well, either lining your Riptide up perfectly for the next turn, or else getting him out of harm’s way when you need it most! Oh, but don’t forget, a Bork’an Riptide will be firing that heavy burst cannon at 42″ anyway…

Longstrike, the tank commander of the T’au, is really quite useful in that the Hammerhead Gunship he is poking out of treats enemy models as having +1 Markerlights on them than they actually have. Markerlights are quite the T’au thing, I suppose, in that a model equipped with them can choose to shoot them instead of any other weapon for its turn, allowing another friendly unit to gain some sort of bonus depending on how many Markerlights are on that unit. Markerlight effects are cumulative, and I think the magic number is 5, so only having to shoot 4 times and freeing up another model for another task is quite useful!

The Wall of Mirrors stratagem is an interesting addition that allows you to redeploy Stealth Battlesuits from near a Ghostkeel Suit anywhere else on the board. I can’t quite decide if it would be good to get the Stealth Suits close to the enemy, drop their homing beacon down (which is only destroyed if the enemy moves within 9″ of it, not if it is placed within 9″), then getting something out of a manta hold much closer to the enemy. Everything that goes in a manta hold to begin with (Crisis Suits and Commanders) doesn’t really want to be in melee… I suppose if your Stealth Suits have taken Markerlights, then it would allow you to move them into a better position to fire them? Hm.

All in all, I’m very excited for the new T’au codex, and have been busily building up my army ready to try it out as soon as I can. I’ll be back soon enough with my thoughts on my first army list and, hopefully, reports of how they have fared on the tabletop!

Another New Army!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been struggling with hobby motivation a lot over the last couple of months. I’ve had a lot going on with getting my house sorted and whatnot, which has undoubtedly not helped, but even so, I don’t think I’ve managed to properly finish any single miniature so far in 2018. Which is, itself, disheartening. I’ve had several projects going on, as well, which also aren’t really helping with my motivation: Tyranids, Genestealer Cults, Dark Eldar Wych Cults, and then re-starting with my Necrons – it’s all been rather a lot, I feel!

Aside from the difficulty I’ve experienced with trying to decide what to focus on, I’ve found that I’ve lost a bit of skill with painting, having not really done a great deal for so long. This was abundantly obvious when trying to paint the Neophyte Hybrids for my Genestealer Cult,  where the amount of detail on the regular troops was just insane. So I began to cast around for other things to paint, while I built myself back up to all that.

And then I decided to jump on board with Tau.

Tau Empire Fire Warriors

Now, I’m not about to launch into some grand tale about how I’ve always wanted a Tau force. I’ve never really considered them before, as I’ve always just been drawn to other xenos races. I know very little of their lore, beyond the usual stuff about space communists, and I only know that they’re a sit-back-and-shoot style of army.

But I think that new-ness, for me, is what has ultimately led to me getting into them as a force. Back in 2015, I painted up a single Tau miniature for a painting competition at my local GW, and I remember it being just so arduous due to the fact that the models were so small. Well, I’d not been painting for a very long time back then, so I suppose I’m more “into it” these days. Despite what I said earlier about feeling out of practice with painting minis, I feel like I’m up for the challenge, at any rate!

Let the adventure begin! #Warhammer40k #TauEmpire #Tau #newarmy

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So I’ve gone pretty extensively in on Tau, ready for the new Codex to drop in a week or so’s time. I suppose that can also be a factor here, having something new to look forward to and all the rest of it. While part of me wants to rebel at the notion of jumping on any bandwagon, I think sometimes it’s fine to see something new, like the look of it, and get on board with it, you know? Anyway… enough trying to justify my decision, I think!

I’m going to try my best to chronicle my adventures with the Tau on this here blog, and see how things pan out as I build, paint and play with the new army. I’m still not entirely sure on my colour scheme – not knowing any of the lore is both a good and a bad thing here, as I don’t know what to do for the best! But for now, I’m focusing on building up the contents of the Start Collecting box, and trying to get all of that sorted. I want to do this almost as a Tale of Four Warlords style of monthly updates, but as I’m starting from behind I’ve decided for the first goal to have both the Start Collecting box and one other (probably a Commander) built and painted by the end of April. That should give me enough time to not only get the building and painting done, but also to get to grips with the lore and the army on a more cohesive scale.

I’ll probably post semi-regular updates anyway, but the first major one will be done by 30 April, so keep your eyes peeled for that! For now, I thought I’d share with you the fruits of three days’ labour on the Start Collecting box:

Age of Sigmar – Daughters of Khaine

Hey everybody!
A couple of weeks ago now, I mentioned getting a bit intrigued by the upcoming Aelf release for Age of Sigmar that is centred around the return of Morathi to the Mortal Realms. Well, I couldn’t contain my excitement, and picked up a Blood Coven box that I promptly spent a Saturday afternoon building up as a Cauldron of Blood. What an impressive miniature, that is!

However, I’ve been casting about since, building and half-heartedly painting a number of different things, never really getting anywhere. So, as the Daughters of Khaine are the new hotness right now, I thought I’d spend some time going through the various Warhammer Community articles and reading up on these beautiful and impressive new miniatures! Well, why not, right?

Morathi Daughters of Khaine

So then.

The witch aelves of Morathi all serve the elvish god of battle, Khaine, though few are aware that the god did indeed die when the World That Was was destroyed. They are led by Morathi, who was instrumental in the capture of the Chaos god, Slaanesh. With the Dark Prince’s capture, the lost aelven souls were released, and Morathi was rewarded with terrible power, which she has used to re-make the witch aelves in new and interesting forms.

It all sounds rather magnificent, I have to say! I’m quite intrigued by the Slaanesh connection, for sure, but the subterfuge that emerges from Morathi’s story is particularly compelling. It’s also really awesome that she is a single character that comes with two models for two versions of herself – the only other character in Warhammer that I’m aware of with this sort of twin-aspect is Orikan the Diviner, the Necron Cryptek who can attempt to become Orikan Empowered, though with the same model. Not so for Morathi, who has her “regular” look as High Oracle of Khaine, and her demonic-snake look as The Shadow Queen:

And what a look it is, as well! She’s huge, if those Witch Aelves are anything to go by! She transforms from her regal form to that of the big snake if she has taken wounds, which is quite thematic as it shows her rage breaking through her sorcerous concentration. She is reportedly quite the beast in combat, though I think the High Oracle form is to be preferred for the command abilities she possesses. At any rate, it sounds fantastic as a mechanic, and the coolness factor of having a general with two such stunning models is really quite something!

While Morathi might be a stunning pair of models, she’s not the only new miniature coming out with this new release!

The Melusai are borne from the soul-essence released from Slaanesh (which makes me think that Slaanesh really has been finished now), twisted by aeons of hatred into mutant snake-like beings. Perhaps more than anything, it’s these that I love the most from the Daughters of Khaine for their ancient Greek look, something that is only enhanced by their rules of turning people into crystal statues. There’s definitely a gorgon vibe coming from this range, and I love it all!

They aren’t the only mutants, of course, as Scourges Khinerai also support the witch aelves on the battlefield, their wings giving them a deepstrike ability that just makes the unit feel like Dark Eldar (but with fewer clothes on).

I’m really liking the look of these new aelves, and I think this is just the faction that I’ve been waiting for to get me back into Age of Sigmar. Curiously, I’ve been feeling a bit lost when looking at the warscrolls and such, as despite having played this game back in the day, it feels like an entirely different beast these days. Maybe I’ve just had my head in the 41st millennium for too long, but it does feel like it has changed a lot in the last few months/years.

Anyway, I’ve got a couple of things on order for these zealots now, so I suppose it’s time I continued building up those witch aelves from the Blood Coven box!!

The Devastation of Baal

#nowReading #BloodAngels #Warhammer40k

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Well folks, it took me long enough, but I’ve finally made it to the end of this book! That’s not to say that I wasn’t enjoying my time on the Blood Angels’ homeworld during a Tyranid attack – the book is actually really good, with some tremendous action scenes, as well as being quite thought-provoking.

I think the main reason I found this heavy-going at times was just how arduous those action scenes can be. We get about 200 pages of space marines fighting Tyranids, and it did become a bit much after a while. There is enough peppered throughout to keep interest, don’t get me wrong, but I just found it difficult to want to return to that melee day after day.

Another reason why I found this to be quite heavy-going is the simple fact that I’m not that big of a Blood Angels fan. For sure, I enjoy the sons of Sanguinius as much as any other casual space marine fan, but I’m not overly interested in them to the exclusion of all else. And I think this is a major point for this book – if you’re a Blood Angels fan, you’ll absolutely love it. There’s nothing but wall-to-wall red armour where everything is named something to do with blood. We get a lot of Commander Dante, and learn what it’s like to be the oldest-living space marine of the Imperium.

So, the story is basically the attack on Baal from Hive Fleet Leviathan, in what often feels like a follow-up to the Shield of Baal series from 2014. Oddly, though, while it does feel like a follow-up, a lot of what is referenced comes from the campaign books, and not another novel, which just feels a little disjointed to me! Anyway, after a long preamble where the various successor chapters of the Blood Angels gather to accept Dante’s leadership, the Shadow in the Warp descends and the Tyranids begin their attack. After a gruelling battle, where Baal and its moons is basically devastated (well, it’s in the title…) the xenos are beaten back and Guilliman shows up with loads of new Primaris Space Marines.

A lot of people have already been talking about how Guilliman saves the day yet again, and have voiced their complaints that the novel falls down because of the over-use of this device. However, I have to say that I don’t really share this view. True, the Tyranid attack stops and the Indomitus Crusade shows up, but it doesn’t truly feel like Guilliman actually defeats them. Dante and his combined Blood Angels forces do the vast majority of the fighting, and Guilliman himself actually ascribes the victory to Dante. Instead, Guilliman really only shows up for the clean-up. The main turning point comes when Cadia falls, light-years from Baal, and the Cicatrix Maledictum basically destroys the Hive Mind’s synapse long enough for the Tyranids to actually be beaten back.

Leaving entire chapters-worth of Primaris marines behind does feel a bit like a forced ending, of course, as we essentially have the Blood Angels updated for 8th Edition. Now you too can field countless droves of Primaris marines in your Blood Angels army, because Guy Haley told you it’s what happens! Seriously, it’s not the worst way of bringing this development into canon. There is an interesting scene near the end between Dante and Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers, where Seth calls the Primaris replacements for the marines, and their lack of the genetic flaws of the Blood Angels means that, while they may wear the colours, they will never be true sons of Sanguinius. Which is an interesting way of looking at things, to be sure.

Dante’s reaction is similarly thought-provoking, as he seems to have a bit of an epiphany whereby his attempts to preserve the Chapter almost cause Baal to be lost to the xenos. It makes the reader question whether space marines are too caught-up in their own past glories, and whether they really are willing to lay down their lives in service of preserving the Imperium. It’s a subtle point, but I really found it intriguing.

Of course, fans have been endlessly discussing the scene between Dante and Seth, and whether there will be a civil war between the old marines and the new. While we’ve been seeing fractures already like this, I don’t think GW is going to go down this route too much, as I can see it causing further problems with the integration of the product line. People already hate them, it seems, so why encourage that divide? Doubtless, it would be interesting, but I don’t foresee anything too much just now.

Anyway, overall this was a good book, and fans of the Blood Angels will of course love it more than anyone!

The Necromunda Weekender

Hey everybody!
Well, I’m a little late to this stuff, but I’ve just been taking a bit of extra time to digest all of the news that we’ve been seeing from the guys over in Nottingham!

Horus Heresy Necromunda Weekender

For those who don’t know, last weekend was the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender, something that has been an annual celebration of the Horus Heresy but, this year, has been a joint affair between the Heresy itself and Necromunda, the new smash hit boxed game from GW! For the first time ever, I’ve actually been genuinely gutted that the weekend had sold out, as I would have liked to have popped along and soaked up all of the atmosphere – and pick up some brand new plastic!

Let’s start with Necromunda!

Orlock Gang Necromunda

The Orlocks are coming up for pre-order this weekend, which is just so exciting I can’t even begin to tell you! They’re coming alongside their House-specific cards, naturally, with all the rules held in a second Gang War book. This rulebook also holds the rules for some new terrain tiles that are on their way also – it’s going to be quite the weekend, I can tell you!!

Necromunda Hired Guns

Over on the Forge World website, we’ve got the set of three Hired Guns also available for preorder at the weekend. Again, awesome looking models (but not quite so awesome as the Orlocks), and I’m looking forward to getting some. Only trouble, of course, is the fact they’re resin. But I’ll just have to live with that…

In the meantime, I’d built up an Escher gang over the Christmas break, and have slowly started to get moving with them. I mean, I have a colour scheme sorted in my head, so it’s just a matter of time before I get them painted! The Warhammer Community team have put up this handy dandy guide to naming your Necromunda gang, and so I’m quite chuffed to announce that I’ve named my little team the Viridian Venom. That’s got nothing to do with my initials, incidentally, but I took the kinds of conventions listed and went with it. Anyway!

The reason I’m waffling about all of this, anyway, is that there are gang heroes, the Escher Queen and the Goliath King, as well as the Orlocks having a Boss (with dog). If the miniature is anything like this artwork, that Escher character is going to be bloody spectacular!

Escher Queen

I’m looking forward to all of this, having decided that I’m going to collect just everything I can for the game. It’s really fantastic, I have to say! (I’ll try to get a game day review up soon!)

Escher Huntress Necromunda

Heroes aren’t all that we’re getting though, as each House is also getting a sort of faction-specific bounty hunter to go along with the rest of them, and the Eschers have this rather amazing Huntress model. It’s a model strongly reminiscent of some of the artwork that had been doing the rounds while Necromunda was still in its early promotion, so to finally see the miniature is quite amazing. Looking forward to adding her to the roster!

But that’s still not all!

After the beastman bounty hunter that came out shortly after the game’s release, we’re getting more hired gun types, starting with the now-famous Squat bounty hunter. Yes, that’s right – Squats are back! Except they’re not. I mean, one of them is, but he’s hardly enough to build an army with. Anyway, here’s the little guy in all his resin glory:

He looks like a fun model to paint, so I’ll be treating myself to one of these when he arrives. Another bounty hunter on display at the Weekender was Eyros Slagmist (what a name!) who has a very Samurai-esque look about him. In fact, he reminds me of a couple of different Star Wars characters, as well as a hint of Mei from House of Flying Daggers:

Eyros Slagmist Necromunda

I’m sold, at any rate! I’ll be snatching this chap up as soon as possible!

But what of the Heresy, I hear you all type?!

Well, we’ve got the next Primarch for the series they’re doing, Rogal Dorn himself has turned up – much, it seems, to the internet’s dismay. Cries of “he’s a big Custodes?” aside, the model looks quite strident, which I suppose is what we should have expected from Dorn, so I can’t really fault that. I thin it looks decent, and as always with the Primarchs, I love the base!

We’re also getting a new magos dominus for the Dark Mechanicum, some more vehicle doors, and – oh, hello Alpharius!


Jokes aside (seriously, the whole “I am Alpharius” thing is really old and tired now, people!), the model should be amazing, and while I’ve not been interested in picking any of the Primarchs up (price tags notwithstanding), I might find myself getting one of these when he comes out. I do have an Alpha Legion army, somewhere, after all, so it’s only fitting!

Of course, the size they’re going to do this model at does interest me. I’ve talked about this at length in the Alpha Legion blog linked earlier, but Alpharius is consistently referred to as short (for a Primarch), and the fact that anybody in his Legion can feasibly masquerade as him means that he really ought to be regular marine height. Sadly, I can see him coming out as a massive dude like the others, which is a bit sad for my own Legion aesthetic, but even so, it’d be nice to have the daddy…

And that’s all I really wanted to ramble about from the Weekender! Maybe I’ll get to go one day, as it does look like an excellent event. There are a few more models that were shown off during the two days, which I’m sure by now you’ve all managed to devour, so I think I’ll leave it there…

Exciting times to come, though, at any rate!!