The Warhammer Preview! and some rumours

Hey everybody!
So across both last weekend and this one, Games Workshop have treated us to some previews for upcoming miniatures across all of their main lines!

Warhammer Online Preview

I must admit, I thought we’d get some more interesting stuff than this in the first Preview, but I fully understand that a lot of these miniatures are coming out for lines or systems that I have no interest in. There are some interesting behemoth models for the new High Elves faction in Age of Sigmar, which look like massive Hindu-style deities, that do look pretty great if I were going to be collecting those models!

Lion el’Jonson is coming – but it’s for Horus Heresy, which felt like a bit of a let-down. We still need more loyalist Primarchs in 40k! The Scions of the Flame warband for Warcry don’t really float my boat as much as I was hoping they would, either!

There is an interesting bit of news in the next (seventh) Psychic Awakening book, War of the Spider, which features Talons of the Emperor, Assassins, Death Guard, and a new Heretic Astartes faction that centres around Fabius Bile, who is getting a new mini (at last!)

This one should be interesting, though we still don’t have Necrons!

Fabius Bile looks pretty amazing though – I’m probably not going to branch out any further into Chaos, but I do love that model!

The second Preview took place yesterday, and if I’m being totally honest, I was pretty unimpressed with this one, as well! There was some more info on the upcoming High Elves – they’re getting a similar release to that for the new Sisters back in November, only with full multi-part kits and fancy dice. I’m expecting another sell-out situation, if I’m honest! Blood Bowl is getting some Treemen, and there have been a couple of new Praetors shown off for the Word Bearers – very sexy, they look, as well!

 

 

The biggest thing, as far as I’m concerned, though, was the VIII Psychic Awakening book, Pariah, which will involve Ephrael Stern of Daemonifuge fame! I should get round to featuring that graphic novel here on the blog at some point! The miniature looks lovely, and the fact that the book is called Pariah has set the Necron community alight with speculation!

However, I am pretty disappointed to see that Deathwatch and Harlequins are getting their particular updates via White Dwarf, and not a campaign book…

Psychic Awakening has been fairly uneven, to me, at this point. While we’ve had some wonderful updates models for Drahzar, Mephiston and Shadowsun, and the boxset for the Mechanicus that we’re expecting soon is just fabulous! But I feel a little like the boxsets have maybe overshadowed the other releases. I think getting new, plastic Aspect Warriors and Incubi almost set us up for subsequent disappointments, as the following books had a massiv focus on marines above all else, and gave us just one new model. Will we see plastic Pariahs for the Necrons? Who knows. But I wouldn’t bet on it…

I’ve been disappointed, overall, with both of these previews, but all hope isn’t entirely lost, as we have a third one coming along in two weeks’ time! I guess we’ll see if that one will bring more exciting stuff!


I’ve been meaning to talk about the 9th Edition rumours that have been circling for some time, though have never seemed to have the time to get round to it! Back in December, this was published on Faeit 212, which talked about the new edition coming in the summer, and is a “polish / clean-up” of 8th edition, reworking some keywords as well as the Psychic phase. Psychic Awakening was seen as the lead-up to the new edition, much as The Gathering Storm served as the bridge between 7th and 8th editions, but there isn’t a great deal more to go on here. That said – fluff-wise, the Emperor apparently wakes up, though is still bound to the Golden Throne. Interesting…

The rumours have re-appeared in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, in terms of how the pushed-back release schedule from GW will impact that summer 2020 release date, and the general consensus from the comments is that it probably wouldn’t – something this huge will already be produced, and the subsequent releases further in the year will depend on the summer date being adhered to as far as possible. It makes sense, right?

That said, I find myself feeling a little jaded by the whole thing. I am fairly sure that 8th edition was touted as being as close to a living edition as is possible, kept alive through Chapter Approved each year. Part of me doesn’t want it to be true, for sure, as I’m already fairly heavily invested in the current edition, and I think it would be a kick to the figurative balls if I had to buy a bunch more books for the armies that I collect. (In reality, I’d use this as the excuse that I need to actively thin out most of those armies, and just keep a core handful from there on out).

I could see this as being almost some kind of 8.5 edition, as GW releases a consolidated, revised rulebook that takes account all of the changes that have happened since 2017, and uses that event as the chance to tinker with the Psychic phase, perhaps. We’ve already seen second editions of some codexes now – I think it’s entirely possible that they will put out a bunch of new codexes for the other armies, updating their rules with the Psychic Awakening stuff, and then continue on with the practice of using Chapter Approved to then give out more missions and the like, and address any issues thereafter.

In fact, I could see this as being some kind of major release and them giving all of the armies updated codexes over, say, a two week or maybe month-long release window. Kind of like how 8th edition launched with the Indexes for all factions on day one.

The Indexes do bring me to a sort of interesting point, though. Chapter Approved 2019 came in two parts – the scenarios and missions and new rules, and a pamphlet of all the points changes. I wonder if the Codexes could adopt this approach, and come with a pamphlet that presents all of the datasheets, Index-style, that could be dealt with independently of the codex? So that we have the fluff and the crunch separately? I’m honestly not sure whether I would go for that, as I do like having all of my stuff in just one book, but who knows where we could be going?

I’ve read some fairly intriguing comments about the possible new edition, and I think a lot of people make the valid point that the majority of sales upon launch of a new edition are from the books. People (like myself) who have an army already will only want the rules with which to play that army, and possibly supplement out from there. A great example could be Tomb Blades for the Necrons, which turned into something of a bestseller when the Necron Codex dropped in 7th edition. People already have all the troops they could possibly want – although 8th edition was quite sneaky in how it updated the old force org chart from 2 troops and 1 HQ to 3 troops and 2 HQs to make the staple Battalion formation. While the launch of a new Codex might well bring in a few people who decide they want to start that army – such as myself with Tau a couple of years ago – in the main, the people buying that book already have the models to go along with it.

So I don’t think that Codexes will be going away – and while there are plenty of vocal folks out there who insist on getting digital rules by default, there are plenty of us who also like to have a physical hardback book to use.

I think a new edition is probably inevitable at some point, and it is true that – especially with Psychic Awakening – the rules have gotten too bloated when you’re trying to play the game. However, I would much prefer to see a consolidation of the rules, rather than some kind of overhaul just for the sake of a new edition coming out. I hope that common sense is maintained, though, whatever happens!

Marines!

Hey everybody!

So the world is currently in lockdown, as we all try to stop the spread of coronavirus, and the hobby community has really embraced this enforced isolation as the perfect time to get some of that old backlog painted. Personally, I’m classed as a key worker, so I’m still going into work every day, but I’m trying to stay inspired by the posts I’m seeing on social media, and I think it’s safe to say that I’m quite firmly over the hobby slump of a few weeks ago!

Space Marines are possibly the most iconic part of the Warhammer 40k setting, and even having had multiple redesigns over the years, there are design elements in there that effortlessly evoke the grim darkness of the far future. The most recent, Primaris iteration, has seen them almost with a meaner face, and they’re certainly much bigger now than they used to be. But for me, I think there will always be something about Mk VII armour that calls to mind the “classic” space marine.

A few years ago, I decided I was going to paint up a force of Space Marines in the quartered scheme of the Novamarines, a successor chapter to the Ultramarines. However, with barely two squads painted, I had to call a break, and I’ve not returned to them since. It’s a shame, because it’s a lovely scheme, and I was really very pleased with myself, with the units that I had painted. For this project, I had decided I would only use Mk VII tactical armour, and bought a host of bits for the occasion. However, I’ve since called a halt, and I’m now planning a wholly different project.

When I made the move from Fantasy to 40k, Space Hulk was a big deal, and there was a lot of hullabaloo around tyranids and Blood Angels. Now, I love the faux-Catholic vibe of the Imperium, and really appreciate that aspect of both the Dark Angels and the new Sisters of Battle. However, as far as marines go, the Blood Angels have always grabbed my attention for the sheer number of Chapter-specific units that they have. Along with Space Hulk, one of the cornerstones of my early days and weeks with 40k was the Shield of Baal series, and I picked up that box of good stuff that included the demented greatness that is the Death Company. However, as time went on, I sold all of that stuff off, but back in September last year, I began to reminisce about the Shield of Baal – in part, thanks to having finally started playing games with the fairly substantial tyranid army that I had by then amassed.


I’ve said it before: everyone probably has a Space Marines army. For me, I’ve hovered around the Dark Angels and Ultramarines for years, but last autumn, in the weeks and days leading up to my wife going into labour with our firstborn, I’d settled on Blood Angels for mine. As such, I feel almost a special place in my heart for this force. It was this Codex that I was reading while we were waiting to go down to the labour ward, and these were the models that I was building when, once our baby was here, the hospital staff had sent me home but I couldn’t sleep through sheer nervous excitement.

So far, then, I’ve got a few units of the older mini marines that I’ve had hanging around for years – a Devastator Squad, and an Assault Squad, and something that I’m really excited about, a Sternguard Veteran Squad. On top of that, there are a couple of HQs – a Captain and a Lieutenant. It’s really interesting how Lieutenants aren’t exclusively a Primaris thing, but have been reverse-engineered for the older marines, as well. 

One of the things that really attracts me to the Blood Angels is the Chapter-specific units, as I find all of those fancy gubbins that make them unique really exciting! I’ve got a couple of squads of the Blood Angels tactical squad waiting in the wings, but I do want to add in some Sanguinary Guard as a sort of focal point for the army. I mean, there’s a lot of red, and with some Death Company bits in there, I’ll also have some black on the sides. Having a massive blob of golden warriors in the middle will really stand out, I feel, so hopefully I’ll be able to get them once lockdown is over, and things return to normal!

Death Company were a significant feature of the Shield of Baal box, with one squad alongside the dreadnought. Almost four years ago, I built up these chaps, although I have sadly since sold them off when I was trying to concentrate on just a couple of xenos armies…

Alongside the tacticals and the devastator gunline element, I do want a massive sledgehammer of a force to really just assault the enemy – the assault squad will be part of that, of course, but I think this is what is really exciting me about the Blood Angels, the fact that we have so many heavy-hitters like the Death Company and the Sanguinary Guard. With the right buffs, as well as the plethora of new rules from Blood of Baal (review coming soon, I haven’t forgotten about the Psychic Awakening!) it seems like the army really ought to hit like a brick to the face. 

Of course, that isn’t forgetting the guns, and another reason for wanting to start on this project was the simple fact that I liked the look of red marines with blue helmets! So I’ve started out painting the Devastators, and so far I think they’ve been turning out pretty nicely! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not good at painting the red, but they don’t look too terrible, I think!

I hope you’re all coping reasonably well under the pressures and the strains of the current crisis, and that you’re all managing to stay safe. I’m going to try not to comment too much about this, as I do want my blog to remain a fairly decent escape from the world. While things have been quite quiet here in recent weeks, I’d like to pick up the pace once more as we head into the second quarter of 2020, so there will be plenty more of the usual fare coming up – book reviews, random musings and waffling is all just par for the course, now, after all! 

The Talon of Horus, and an update!

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About a week ago, I finally finished reading this book, the first of the Black Legion series of novels by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. It took me what felt like an age to get through, and that was mainly because it felt like such a slog! I’m a fan of ADB’s work, with The First Heretic being right up there in my favourite 40k fiction, but there was something about this book that meant I just couldn’t get into it.

It is told in the first person, through the eyes of Iskandar Khayon, a sorcerer formerly of the Thousand Sons Legion, now of the Kha’Sherhan warband. He has been captured by the Inquisition, and the story unfolds as a narrative where Khayon is telling them how the Black Legion came to be formed. As a narrative device, the interrogation comes back every so often, though principally we’re treated to the account in the past tense. However, it is the interrogation scenes that reveal, I think, my main gripe about reading this novel.

Being told through the eyes of a sorcerer, ADB has taken a leisurely, almost archaic frame of speech that meanders through the tale as you would expect one to recount it around a camp fire, or something. It’s not like he goes off on tangents, or anything, but if you can imagine someone kinda waffling their way through a story, then this is it.

The Talon of Horus

The story begins with a kind of update of the situation since the end of the Heresy, with a lot of internecine conflict between the Legions since they have taken refuge in the Eye of Terror. It seems that the Emperor’s Children have been systematically attacking the Sons of Horus, and scored a particularly decisive victory when they defeated them at Lupercalios and stolen the body of the primarch Horus, which was being kept their in state.

The main impetus then for the book is to follow the disparate bands of legionaries, seeing a small group of World Eaters, Thousand Sons and Sons of Horus band together to defeat the Emperor’s Children (specifically, Fabius Bile). Along the way, we get glimpses into life for the traitor legionaries in the Eye, and it’s really quite fascinating to see what has been happening since the Siege of Terra.

However, the book tends to limp along – it’s not, I think, due to ADB’s writing, but more like a stylistic choice for the narration. While I feel as though this should be a book that grabbed my attention and never let go, instead the first 2/3 of the novel felt like a bit of a chore to get through…

That is, until Ezekyle Abaddon made his appearance.

One of the plot threads, much like it is some kind of RPG adventure, is for the legionaries to recover the Vengeful Spirit, the Gloriana-class cruiser that was Horus’ flagship during the Great Crusade and the Heresy. They gain intelligence from the Word Bearer Sargon Eregesh, and it all turns out to have been a plot from the mind of Abaddon, to help wage his war against Fabius Bile. The legionaries join with Abaddon, and destroy the Emperor’s Children stronghold at the Canticle City. There, they not only find Fabius Bile, but also his clone of Horus – and it takes Abaddon showing up in his terminator armour of the Justaerin, and kills him using the legendary lightning claw, the Talon of Horus.

As I say, it’s the sort of book that should have grabbed me while all the way, but it wasn’t until Abaddon showed up that I really began to enjoy it. Abaddon is every inch the commander his gene-father was, and this really comes through when we see him engage the troops that Khayon and the others bring to his banner. There is a real sense of charisma that comes out from him, in the same way that we see Horus Lupercal in Horus Rising.


So yeah, even if I didn’t enjoy the whole book as much as I perhaps wanted to, it did have one benefit…

After experiencing quite the hobby slump earlier this year, as I got towards the end of the novel, I found myself wanting more and more to start painting my Chaos Marines as Black Legion. And then I started work on the Helbrute!

It’s the model from the Dark Vengeance set which, in my opinion, has a lot more movement to it than the regular model – which is strongly modeled after the Space Marines Dreadnought. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a Dreadnought model, but there’s something a bit more animalistic about the Helbrute, which I would have thought warrants a bit more verve to its pose. Ah well.

It’s been quite fun getting this guy painted, even though he’s still a work in progress right now! I’ve really enjoyed getting the skin to look so… sore, and think it really helps to set the armour off. All that trim, though… crikey! There are parts that still need touching up, for sure, but it’s coming along nicely.

I’d had some time off last week, and had been hoping to get him finished by then, but sadly I didn’t manage to get round to it. That said, who knows what’s round the corner? The UK has been ramping up efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus, of course, and as I’m writing this blog, we may be on the cusp of a nationwide lockdown, so maybe I’ll get a lot more time for hobbying! I guess we’ll have to see, though!

Whateer you’re up to, please stay safe out there, folks!

February Hobby Retrospective

Hey everybody!
It feels like the last couple of months have just flown by in a haze, and I hadn’t found much time to either hobby or come here and ramble about all manner of junk – I’m sure you’ve all missed that! I’ve been in a bit of a hobby slump of late, though, and haven’t been much in the mood to do anything. Feels like I’ve lost my hobby spark, and was struggling to get it back. Well, I recently took a major shift and decided to work on some Age of Sigmar stuff, as fantasy miniatures always feel like something of a breath of fresh air when I’ve been painting 40k for a long while, and I think my work on some Warcry stuff lately has begun to get me back in the saddle!

I mean, who couldn’t love that face, right?!

At the start of the year, I’d been thinking that I’d like to get a Slaves to Darkness army at last, and so had some vague ideas following my purchase of the battletome, mainly involving at least one Warcry warband, possibly two – the Cypher Lords, and maybe the Unmade. I had the idea of using a lot of rag-tag cultist-types, so also threw in the Godsworn Hunt, but the actual Chaos Marauders kit does put me off a little bit, so I had thought I might pick up some of the Bloodreavers as stand-ins, but I think that’ll be a long way off. I then thought about picking up some Wrathmongers to use as Chaos Chosen, as while I love the look of the kit, it is finecast, and so I doubt will stand up to the rest of the army now that the Warriors have been re-done. With that, though, I had begun to think that this could be the first time I look at creating a Chaos army with a distinctly Khorne feel! Normally I go Undivided or Slaanesh, but this could be interesting!

It definitely helps, having something I’m not normally into!

I’m still playing around with the Slaves to Darkness idea, as I’m not entirely sure how I want the army to look. I’ve got vaguely 900 points (or thereabouts) plotted out, with the units I’ve mentioned plus a Chaos Warshrine (because that model is just so iconic!)

But yeah, I’ve started now to really go heavy into Warcry, and I’m interested in getting a warband finished so that I can play a game. The Cypher Lords are probably the models I’m furthest along with, having done some experimentation with Contrast paints back in January, so that could be a plan. I think I have all of the monsters released so far, too, so could see myself adding in a Mindstealer Sphyranx at some point (more for the theme, than anything!) So it’s all definitely quite exciting!

I suppose I just need to look into the rules now, and see if I can get a game sorted!

However, it’s not been all fantasy-related this month!

I’ve been slowly chipping away at this gent for a week or so now, having gotten some of the silver done, as well as thinking about the overall scheme that I’d like to have for it. When I first painted a Triarch Stalker, the results were decidedly different!

I’m hoping to get the two of them painted up for the army soon (the older model has been stripped, and is ready for re-painting as soon as I get my act together!) I might even get a third, not sure yet. That targeting relay rule is just so good, I feel as though they should be staples of the army!

I think the Necrons are possibly going to be my 40k focus for a while, as I’d really like to get my army up to scratch now. They are my first love, and I definitely enjoy playing them when I get them to the table, so it makes sense that I should have more toys to field than just waves of infantry! As fun as waves of infantry can be, of course!

The old bête-noir of the Doomsday Ark has also been at the back of my mind, and I think I’d like to get that painted up sometime soon, too. Though that’s probably going to be a long project, as well, so I suppose we’ll have to see how I go with that one!

As much as I do still enjoy the hobby and the game, I think I’d like to break out of the Warhammer thing more, though, and play more of a variety of games. I’ve sold off so many of the old favourites that it’s a little bit scary to think about, but I do still have plenty to enjoy. Stuff like the Ghostbusters kickstarters, all of that Hellboy goodness, and the classics like Eldritch Horror and Lord of the Rings LCG – I’m hopeful that this year will see a resurgence in my non-Games Workshop gaming, anyway!

It’s always good to have a variety, after all!

Serious Hobby Slump

Hey everybody,
I’m in a serious hobby slump right now. I mean, I’ve been in a similar position before, where I’ve not really been feeling in the mood to paint. But I’ve usually kept up with some other aspect of it – building for instance, always kept me going with stuff. However, everything seems to have fallen by the wayside a bit, and I’m not even enjoying reading the Black Library novels…

I’ve previously found Pete’s videos to be really inspirational in getting me back into the feel for things, and while it might be a bit odd, the above video for painting Watch Captain Artemis has done the job sensationally. But no more!

I think it’s probably because I’m so out of practice that I’m feeling like this. When I tried to get going with House Orlock last month, I just didn’t feel it and stripped them to start again. I’ve not painted, really, since moving house last summer, though for at least the last year I’ve not done a great deal of it, consistently. As such, I’m thinking whatever skills I had have just atrophied, and I constantly seem to be starting again.

Urgh!

I suppose I’ve not really picked the best miniatures to get back into things, of course – both the Orlock gangers and the new Sisters of Battle are insanely detailed, so I could probably try to do something a bit more straightforward… Hm…

I have painted some more Necrons so far this year, though, in an effort to try and get back into the swing of things.

Not bad, I suppose, though it didn’t really inspire me to move ahead and paint more! Last week, I tried to have a week off from doing any hobby at all, in an attempt to see if I would miss it enough to want to get back to it, and sadly I don’t think it did…

However, there are a couple of things I’ve been thinking I could do to get back on the horse, so all isn’t lost. I’ve been considering trying my hand at some sort of monster or a larger model in general, to try and combat the idea of having so many detailed minis. I’m thinking a monster would allow for some interesting techniques that I would like to give a go, as well, as I try to get back into things. Painting skin and the like, might be a good idea. And there are some decent Warcry monsters coming out next weekend that could be decent fodder for that! I guess we’ll see.

I suppose we’ll have to see!

Maybe next week I’ll have something more positive to share here!

The Unremembered Empire

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Last week, I finished reading The Unremembered Empire, the 27th novel in the Horus Heresy series. I’ve not read one of these books since Betrayer back in the summer. In real time, there is the short story anthology Mark of Calth to check out, as well as the Salamanders novel Vulkan Lives, though I’ve decided to leap over some of those novels that don’t really hold any interest for me and keep ploughing through the main storyline. (That said, I might come back to some of the short stories, we’ll see!)

In the weeks and months after the invasion of Ultramar by the Word Bearers, Roboute Guilliman has sought to create something of a haven for the Imperial loyalists in the five hundred worlds. Since the planet of Sotha has seen the mysterious Pharos xenotech that has almost replaced the Astronomican as a light through the Ruinstorm, principally squads of Salamanders and Space Wolves, the latter sent to shadow Guilliman and censor him if he proves to be disloyal.

After an attack on the Ultramarines’ Primarch by shadowy members of the Alpha Legion, Guilliman reveals his plans to provide an Imperium Secundus centred on Macragge, but he is incredibly reluctant to sit on the throne himself. However, when he is about to reluctantly take up the mantle of regent, none other than Lion el’Johnson arrives with near-Legion strength Dark Angels, following the light of the Pharos. Guilliman finds it difficult to trust the Lion, however, due to his almost compulsive keeping of secrets, one of which proves almost disastrous for Macragge, as Konrad Curze is revealed to have hidden on the Lion’s ship.

Curze and the Lion aren’t the only Primarchs to descend upon Macragge, however, as not only Vulkan arrives, insane following his torture at the hands of Curze, but also Sanguinius and his Blood Angels, fresh from their battles in the Signus Cluster.

Curze runs amok in Magna Macragge Civitas, over a night of hell for the combined Ultramarines and Dark Angels forces, though he is sent into the Warp by the Perpetuals John Grammaticus and Damon Prytanis, who have arrived on the planet to fulfill the wishes of the Cabal by killing Vulkan, furthering their plans to allow Horus to win the war and for Chaos to burn itself out: if Vulkan is not present to help defend Terra, this will be easier. Guilliman proclaims Sanguinius as the new Emperor, as the Primarchs agree to immediately forget about this whole episode if it is proven that Terra and the Emperor still stand firm.

The Unremembered Empire

I’d fully expected to really enjoy this book. Dan Abnett is of course a fan favourite, and I really enjoyed Know No Fear, the last time he wrote about the Ultramarines. I don’t know whether it was just something as straightforward as the fact the cover had me expecting Sanguinius to show up for more of the book, but I just couldn’t get into it as much as previous books. There’s a lot going on, for sure, and Abnett covers a lot of ground between following up with Vulkan, bringing the Lion and Curze as well as then Sanguinius into the five hundred worlds.

We actually have a lot of Guilliman and the Lion, which was actually quite interesting for the most part, as we see the pair of them grow to almost-trust each other as potentially the only two Loyalist Primarchs remaining in the galaxy. I find it interesting that the Lion is a consummate secret-keeper in a period of time when we don’t have the whole baggage of Luther and the Fallen yet. It’s just part of his shtick, I guess. I’ve not read much of the Lion yet in the series, having avoided much of him after Descent of Angels, but this was a really welcome return to him.

Guilliman was much more of the statesman that we have come to expect from Ultramarines at large, with a surprising lack of the tactical/strategical brilliance we saw in Know No Fear. At least, that was my feeling! He’s still a much more interesting character than a lot of people would have you believe, of course, and his role in the book as the architect of the Imperium Secundus was really fitting overall. Maybe that’s where his strategic thinking comes in, though? Hm.

I think the highlight of this book, though, is probably the night of terror wrought by Curze throughout Magna Macragge Civitas. It’s a study in terror tactics, and I was really impressed at how relentless the pacing was. We do get inside of Curze’s head, and see how he is driven by his visions, and that sense of invincibility that he has, having seen his death already. However, for the majority (the entirety? I can’t remember) of the night, we’re seeing things from the eyes of others, which gives a real sense of the danger going on.

There is almost a Shattered-Legions sense from the book early on, when we see White Scars, an Imperial Fist, Iron Hands and Salamanders all converge on Macragge – only to discover that there is an Iron Warriors warsmith in charge of the Pharos! However, this is quickly pushed into the background as we focus on the Ultramarines and Dark Angels. Rightly so? I don’t know. They do make something of a reappearance later on, of course, but it feels a bit like a lost opportunity. For sure, the ending does feel almost rushed, with the denouement with Sanguinius being proclaimed Emperor coming almost as an afterthought…

I realise that I’m being quite critical of this book, but I suppose that’s only because I was hoping for so much from a Dan Abnett novel, and his previous offerings in the series have been pretty solid. I think it’s a pretty well-known fact by this point, however, that the Horus Heresy series does slacken off a little bit in the middle, as we’ve got so much ground to cover. Having 18 Legions pretty much all as important as each other is a tall order, though, and things do broaden out considerably in order to cover every corner. I think it does begin to tighten back up, though, as we get into the 30s, so hopefully there’s not long to go before we get back into the realms of the good stuff.


I think I said this about a year ago, but I want to get back into reading the series, and see if I can make some decent headway into it all. Two more novels have recently been released in paperback, bringing us up to fifty-one paperbacks now available. Gulp! I’ve definitely got some catching up to do, but at least I’m at the halfway point of the 54-book series!

New Stuff from Games Workshop!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while since I’ve had time to catch up with what’s coming over the hill, but with the news coming from the Nuremberg Toy Fair today, I thought I’d better make some time to wax lyrical!

There are three big names in the offing here, let’s start with Aeronautica Imperialis and the new box, Imperial Guard vs T’au!

I’ve not played IA, and if I’m honest, it doesn’t really interest me a whole lot. But I am really quite intrigued by seeing the xenos races coming to the game. I wonder if we’ll see this explored further, with Necrons maybe? Is this how they’re going to re-implement Battlefleet Gothic? Hm!

Adeptus Titanicus has got a new box, too. Another game that I’ve not had any interest in, if I’m being honest, though I have had a game of this at least! At any rate, it’s good to see more for the game, as I’ve seen a lot of folks getting a bit antsy for more! Notably, battlefield structures!

Wonderful stuff, even if it isn’t a game that I’m going to be rushing to buy!

Something that I will be rushing to get, however, is new Necromunda!

Now, then. Of all the House gangs, Goliath are the ones that I’ve not yet been tempted enough to build. Well, I take that back – I’m interested in them, but I think they’d look better with some of the Forge World upgrades on them, such as the massive hammer and heavy flamer:

The other thing, of course, is that the other gangs just interest me more!

However, we’re seeing a new book, House of Chains, along with an upgrade pack for the gang, featuring massive hulks, or Stimmers, and some juves seeking to prove their worth in the gang.

As with a lot of Forge World paint jobs, I’m not entirely sure about these models when we see them like this – indeed, a lot of recent Necromunda publicity photos don’t really do the models justice.

The preview article tells us that several of the core gangs will be getting reinforcements along the way, so I’m really excited to see what else is going to be on the horizon in 2020. Particularly with regards to Van Saar, Delaque and Orlock.

Speaking of which…

I’ve been feeling a bit down of late about my own painting, as I was trying to get the Orlocks finished but feeling really unhappy with them. After the above photo, I ended up stripping these models and starting again – I’ve finished building up the full gang, finishing them off with a heavy bolter from the Forge World kit, so I’ve primed all ten of them black (rather than the grey recommended by Duncan). So far, I’ve not done a great deal with them, but I’m hoping that I can get them painted up before I start browbeating people into playing games with me!

Nuremberg isn’t the only set of reveals though, as we’ve recently had the excitement of the LVO last week, as well!

Oh, wow. AdMech flyers, and AdMech cavalry. This, I did not foresee! I’m not sure right now what I want to do with my AdMech, truth be told, but I’m considering getting some of the mechanical horses because I like the idea of all of these weird things, and they remind me of the Genestealer Cult bikers. Might be interesting to have as a sort of mirror for those guys, anyway.

The next Psychic Awakening book has also been revealed to be all about Knights, AdMech and Daemons! Engine War does sound intriguing, I have to say, though I’ve got no plans to go for Knights anytime soon!

Age of Sigmar is finally seeing High Elves return, the Lumineth Realm-lords. Alongside new units that have a distinct feel of the Old World about them – perhaps more than any of the new Age of Sigmar stuff yet – we’re getting a new Teclis, though I’m not a big fan of it.

It’s been out there for almost a week now, and I just can’t get round the fact that he’s just floating there, really lop-sided on the wing of this flying tiger-thing. It’s just weird, in a way that I can’t quite get my head around. The flying tiger bit is glorious, don’t get me wrong, but why is Teclis just floating there like a weird pin-badge…

What else is there…?

New warbands for Warhammer Underworlds, and most excitingly of all, Zoats are coming back to 40k in the next expansion for Blackstone Fortress!

Well, it’s just one zoat, it seems, which is a bit of a disappointment, as the Ambull at least had those borewyrm models as well. Unless it’s huge, in which case I can understand! The article talks about how they were the vanguards for the Tyranid Hive Fleets back in the day, so I’m guessing that connection will stay. In which case, I wonder whether they’ll have some special affinity with the bugs in their 40k rules (assuming they get some!)


There is a lot of good stuff coming out of Nottingham right now, it must be said! Of course, the new-style High Elves are interesting, though I’m more interested in the Slaves to Darkness release that I still hope is coming. There must be more to it than just the Start Collecting box, right? Also, what’s next for Warcry? Scions of the Flame still haven’t even been teased, outside of their name, while the Spire Tyrants are getting released this coming weekend.

These guys are very much making their way into my Slaves to Darkness force – there’ll be a blog on this soon, no doubt, but I want an army of Chaos renegades and rabble, and they fit the bill perfectly!

The first of the big beasts for Warcry is being released at the weekend also, and I’m quite excited for this! Again, it’s for the Slaves to Darkness that I’m most thinking for this guy, but even so! I think I’d like to get in at least one game of Warcry in 2020. I’ve got several warbands now, of course, and have recently made a start on painting the Cypher Lords… Hopefully I’ll get to try them out soon, anyway!

Blackstone Fortress is looking exciting right now, as it continues to be supported with the Zoats, though I find myself wanting more – as ever! I think I’d like to see a bigger box expansion, much like last year’s Escalation, though maybe even bigger still. More of the same is always fun, more explorers and more gribblies, of course, though I’d like to see something different – like a new big baddie rather than continuing the story of Obsidius Mallex. Whether we’ll see something like this, who knows, but it’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on!

Necromunda The Eightfold Harvest Lord

Necromunda, though, is looking really rosy for the time being! The Corpse Grinder Cult is getting their standalone box this coming weekend, as well as the expanded terrain from the Dark Uprising box. I’ve not made great progress getting that box built up – I had a loose timeline in my head, where I’d get it all built in January, then painted in February into March, in time to start getting games in. Well, maybe half the terrain has been built, so I’m getting there. I do like the look of these Cultists, and have been building up a few with a look to getting at least some of them painted, if not yet the full gang. Though apparently they don’t work well for a starting gang, so it might be better off sticking with the main six gangs for the time being.

The possibility of new models for these gangs is really exciting me, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the year goes on.

What with getting into Sisters of Battle, too, I feel like it’s going to be a busy year!!