February Retrospective

Hey everybody,
Another month has been and gone, and it’s once more time for another retrospective blog! I’m quite enjoying this idea, so hopefully that’ll continue for the year ahead! It’s been a pretty productive month as well, with a lot more hobby and stuff to report!

Since last month, I’ve been making terrific progress with the Ossiarch Bonereapers, which was most recently chronicled in my update blog, here. I’ve now got 590 points-worth of the bone-boys painted up in the colours of the Petrifex Elite. It’s been a lot of fun painting these chaps, although for now I’ve taken a small break as I look at what else I have that needs attention.

The next part of my plan for the Bonereapers is to have the Necropolis Stalkers painted, although I’m not sure whether to build them as the Stalkers or the Immortis Guard. It is on my radar to get more troops, although I’m kinda waiting for the inevitable Start Collecting box, which will likely have these guys in there. Unless they go for a cavalry box? That said, with 40k moving to these combat patrol boxes, I don’t know if they’re planning to continue to do these for much longer. At any rate, for now I’m continuing to build and paint what I have, rather than branching out and buying yet more miniature men.

Quite the sea-change for me, really!

At some point in the near future, though, it’ll be the turn of this magnificent specimen, and I cannot wait to get this one built!

In the middle of getting this small army of mine assembled, I did a little work on the nascent Black Legion that I’ve been wanting to get off the starting block for quite some time now! I’ve been inspired by Martin Sivertsen on Instagram and his own burgeoning Black Legion force! It’s a beautiful force, and I think it’s about time that I got somewhere with my own. In addition, I’ve also been hard at work building up the remaining models from the Necron side of the Indomitus box (I’ve decided to sell the Space Marine portion, more money for the stuff I do want!)

I’m still not a huge fan of the new Necron aesthetic of shambling robot zombies, but the army is of course my first love, and I do find myself enjoying the look of the new Crypteks, so have picked up a Psychomancer for the list that I talked about a while back, and I’m planning to start work on painting the Plasmancer pretty soon. That juggernaut of GW painting, Garfy, posted yesterday showing the new Chronomancer mini and it’s absolutely beautiful. Probably going to be a while before this one is released separately, but I suppose it’s at least four more months before we will see the lockdown restrictions removed here in the UK, so I’ve got the time! I’ve got a lot of disparate ideas for 40k floating around, but it seems as though I’m much more likely to focus myself on Age of Sigmar right now.

Slaanesh has been on my mind of course, now that we’ve had the new range of mortals released. I’ve picked up the Shardspeaker, such a fantastic model, but have otherwise reined myself in here. In all honesty, this is a force that is a long way off just now, and I’d rather keep focusing my efforts on the bone boys to get a decent sized force finished.

In addition to the Bonereapers and Slaanesh, I’ve had my eye on the Lumineth Realm-lords, following the latest Warhammer Preview this month. There are some very beautiful miniatures in this range, to be sure, and I’m trying my hardest to resist buying anything just now! There’s definitely something Old World about these minis, that makes me nostalgic for the old days. I keep thinking I might just pick up a box of the basic infantry, just to have a go…

Lumineth Realm-lords

So far, though, I have been a good boy!

Something that I haven’t been able to resist, though, is this:

The “latest” expansion for Warcry is a few months old now of course, but I’ve been thinking on it for quite some time, vacillating over whether to get it or whether it was a bit steep for the content involved.

However, I am glad to have it, despite all the negatives floating around online! Warcry is absolutely one of the things near the top of my list right now. I’ve been wanting to get further into that game recently, although I’ve still not played it after that game back in September. I’ve got the Iron Golem models from the original core set primed and waiting, and I’ve been thinking that may well be the next project to get underway with. Of course, Warcry could be the perfect way to start with Slaanesh when the time comes, and I’m sure I’ll be exploring more of that here!

Arkham Horror LCG The Circle Undone

At least I’ve been playing Arkham Horror LCG, and have managed to get started with recording my endeavours on the blog here! With working from home more regularly during the current lockdown, I’ve found that I have the time while on my lunchbreak to get a game in, which has been quite good for getting to explore the game some more.

Taking a sharp left turn now, I watched The Phantom Menace last weekend, for the first time in what feels like an age. It’s hardly the best film in the series, of course, but it did feel quite wonderful to be watching Star Wars once again, and I did feel really quite nostalgic for the whole saga. I used to watch the prequels almost every Christmas, while reading a selection of the novels and comics set around there – to the point where I had almost developed a set scheme for “my prequel Christmas”. I do quite miss the days when I had nothing much going on, and could read a 400 page book in a day, happy times! I’d like to try and get back into that maybe someday here, revisit the old days and chronicle some of those classic tales here – though much like with the Legacy series I re-read last December, it’ll be interesting to see if these things hold up.

Something that I have finished reading this month is the Warhammer Crime anthology No Good Men. I really enjoyed the first novel in the series, so had been looking forward to reading more. Anthologies can always be a bit ropey, and I think this one is no different. Seven short stories from Black Library alums (including Chris Wraight, author of the inaugural Bloodlines), all set on the world of Alecto and around the hive city of Varanganthua. The thing is, after Bloodlines, and after a couple of stories here, things begin to sound all the same. Probators going about their investigations, etc. There are a lot of missing persons, it seems, in the hive city, and I found myself wanting a bit more variety. I’m not really that down on the book, of course, but things just tend to blur into one at the end. Individually, the stories are pretty good, and very enjoyable with that noir feeling. Some are better than others, of course, but I definitely like the change from space marines and the like.

I’ve got Flesh and Steel, the next Warhammer Crime novel, ready and waiting. But I’m also hearing such good things about the first Star Wars High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi, that I’m thinking I might have to pick that one up sooner than later.

Lords of the Mortal Realms

Another weekend, another Warhammer Preview! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m quite enjoying how these things have been going throughout the lockdown period, and I kinda hope they continue when everything else returns to normal!

The latest event was all about the Mortal Realms, and seems to have been centred around two massive reveals, with some other bits peppered in.

To begin, we’re getting MOAR Lumineth Realmlords!

We’ve only just had the first wave of these things, and already we’re seeing a massive raft of reinforcements for them! At least Slaanesh had a couple of years between releases!

I have to say, though, that I’m finding it very difficult to resist collecting these guys now. I think it won’t be too much of a surprise to anybody here if I’ve bought a box of something before the end of spring, if not sooner!! Doesn’t help that I’m on such a fantasy kick right now with the Bonereapers… and they’re in the Dreadfane box that I’ve been eyeing up for the Slaanesh warband…

So yeah… I guess we shall see!! But I do love the new scenery piece…

Looks like we’re getting a trio of heroes for Nighthaunt, Stormcast and Soulblight that will be accompanying the next Broken Realms release, which is interesting! I suppose the Soulblight release can’t be too far off, then, as we’ve been seeing a lot of scattered previews already. Interesting times are on their way, for sure!

A part of me is enjoying seeing the new releases for armies like this, because it gives us more flavour of what the old Warhammer was all about. High Elves and Vampire Counts by another name, but it does feel good to be getting back to that feel, if nothing else!

I’m glossing over the Underworlds stuff because I’m not too sure what it’s all about and find things confusing on that front, but it seems there’s a new core set (this is in addition to Direchasm?) for folks to get some of the older cards, I suppose!

The other big reveal this weekend is the full box for the next Warhammer Quest game, Cursed City!

This thing is packed with minis!

I really feel like we’re being spoiled with these boxed games. Blackstone Fortress was incredible for a starter set, and while in retrospect the expansions were somewhat hit and miss by comparison, it was still incredible when you think about it. I mean, we had plastic Traitor Guard, for Throne’s sake!! Including a plastic Traitor Commissar! Incredible stuff.

This box has got all manner of weird stuff, and I absolutely love it. Whether it forms the basis for the impending Soulblight faction or not, I really don’t care. I’ve given up on getting a full Traitor Guard army in my lifetime, but instead have learnt to enjoy the box for what it is. As a board game, Blackstone Fortress might not be setting the world alight with its mechanics, but my god, those miniatures are excellent and give a really enjoyable experience for being so weird and wonderful. Similarly, then, I’m looking at this as a board game first, and not as allies for an existing army. And it’s great!

New Army update two

Hey everybody,
My new Ossiarch Bonereapers army is coming along really nicely so far! I’ve managed to paint well over 500 points of stuff, which is quite exciting for the time I’ve been doing this! Contrast paints have definitely proven to be a big help here. I don’t think I’d be anywhere near to what I’ve got if I were painting these entirely the traditional way.

I’d talked about the first unit of Mortek Guard, on the left there, in my first update. Since painting these guys almost as testers, I’ve been able to see where I can speed things up, and make sure I’m not spending forever getting bogged-down in detail. As such, the second unit of Mortek Guard, on the right, were painted up pretty quickly, alongside the Mortisan Boneshaper, my first hero miniature!

Now, all of these models are done up to a tabletop standard, and I’m not going to be winning any Golden Daemons for my efforts, but I think they look good enough, so that I can have a painted force that is ready to play, whenever the restrictions are lifted and we’re able to meet up with other folks again! And I can always come back to these guys and add in extra detail, if I need to, in times to come. The Boneshaper in particular, I had no idea what to do with that stream of magic, or whatever it is, forming the skeleton in front of him – the box art has it as a sort of pale blue-green, but with me using teal for the cloth I don’t think that would have worked. In the end, I went for pale blue to provide a bit of a contrast, but I know I want to come back to this at some point.

Even so, I’m really pleased with how the army has turned out up to this point. I’ve been following the guide for Petrifex Elite in the battletome, and it’s working well for me so far. The skeletons are done with Basilicanum Grey, the cloth with Terradon Turquoise followed by a drybrush of Kabalite / Sybarite Green, and the armour is Flesh Tearers Red followed by edge highlights of Wazdakka / Wild Rider Red. I think this is the first time I’ve actually been edge highlighting for real, and it does produce a nice effect, given the sharpness of the armour plates.

The weapons have been a particular success, I think! It’s just Terradon Turquoise again, this time with a drybrush of Temple Guard Blue to help give a different feel to the cloth, taking the turquoise colour more towards blue than green. I think the drybrush technique helps to give the weapons a magical feel, as it’s much less precise than edge highlighting.

For any weapon hilts, I’ve gone with Skeleton Horde to help break up the model a bit. For the spears, I’ve used Snakebite Leather for the hafts, which has a beautiful coverage, by the way. The light grey armour, as different from the bone, I’ve washed with Nuln Oil so that it stands out as different.

The last detail, really, is the jewel. In the lore, I think this is a bit like an Eldar spirit-stone, it contains the essence of the warrior spirits used to recreate the construct. They’re usually black, but given the dark nature of the bone, I went for green – Warpstone Glow and Moot Green, with a Biel-Tan Green wash to help bring out a certain vibrancy. It seems to look okay, anyway, and I think the green fits in well with the teal while providing a nice contrast with the red.

For the big lad, I basically ramped this scheme up, and I’m pleased to say that it seems to work fine on the bigger models. I tried to give some visual interest by drybrushing some parts of the skeleton with Administratum Grey, while others around the cage on his back I gave a heavier wash of the contrast paint. Any bone that he’s collecting I have left as Skeleton Horde, because otherwise it could have just been a mass of grey!

So there we have it! The first steps in collecting the bone-tithe for Nagash have begun!

I’m thinking that I might have a break from these chaps, and paint either some Warcry or Necromunda. Or maybe something totally different. But it won’t be too long before I’m going to tackle the next unit, the Necropolis Stalkers!!

New Slaanesh 2021!

Wow!
I know we’ve had previews for these things doing the rounds for a while now, but the new Slaanesh units up for preorder this weekend really are quite something!! I think, more than anything else, I’m surprised the range has expanded so much because it has only been, what, two years since the last batch of Slaanesh releases. But now that the daemons have had their overhaul, with a new Fiend model and a new plastic greater daemon, we’ve got a new suite of mortals to accompany them, including the mortal avatar Sigvald the Magnificent!

I love this guy. Sigvald was the first Warhammer novel that I read, back before I really knew what all this hobby was all about, and as weird as that book was, it’s given me an eternal soft spot for the character.

The new model is wonderful, and certainly an improvement on the older one, showing the strides that we’re seeing with new Games Workshop plastic stuff when compared with the models of yesteryear.

We’ve had mortal Slaanesh models for years, of course, in the Hellstriders, but now the range has been fully fleshed out, following the release of Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, which included the Dread Pageant as one of its warbands. The recent box set with Daughters of Khaine then gave us the Lord of Pain as a main character, which was really telegraphing the fact that Slaanesh mortals would soon be a thing.

The new range is quite splendid, in the end, with not only the Lord of Pain and Sigvald, but also the Shardspeaker sorcerer model, which is an auto-buy for me, as a trio of leaders. We then have a unit of archers, a dual-kit for mortal cavalry, a dual-kit for elites, and the Slaangors.

Oh yeah, and the big centrepiece guy…

I mean, that guy is really quite something. I doubt I’ll be rushing to get one, of course – especially seeing as how I’m in the middle of at least half a dozen other projects right now – but as far as these things go, it really is a beautiful model, in the diorama tradition of Katakros, no less! I’m very tempted to pick up some of the archers though, and I will for sure be getting Sigvald at some point, just to have. My Slaanesh Daemons army is quite hefty already, so I have no shortage of models that I need to do something with – so I don’t want to be adding to the mass of plastic that I already have, as that’ll just bum me out. But a couple of the new things would be nice, and I believe they’re in the Warcry book for Chaos, so I’ll definitely get some mileage out of them!

I really never thought we’d see so much stuff for Slaanesh, especially given the efforts made at first to sideline the Dark Prince in favour of the Horned Rat. It really is a glorious time of excess for the followers of Slaanesh, and I could not be more pleased!

Warcry: Catacombs – first impressions

Hey everybody,

So, it was inevitable really that I’d get this box. I’d been really excited about it when it was first announced, but the initial reports that came in back last November were a bit less than stellar. It seemed to be the price that caused most concern, with much less content provided here than in the original starter set, but it came at an increased cost.

In addition, the production value seemed to be a bit off, with stuff like the box being much less sturdy, no Chaotic beasts, the rule book was the same as the original, taking no account of the faq etc, the Catacombs content was confined to a slim book which felt a bit cheap (the Khainite Shadowstalkers having some content on the back cover, which feels incredibly wrong…) – and so on, and so forth.

So why did I buy it, given all of these complaints?

I suppose, first of all, it’s worth mentioning that this is an expansion for Warcry. Much like other game expansions, it brings additional content in a new and interesting way to play the game, and there is actually a lot of new content here for the Catacombs “system”. It’s not just like Kill Team Arena that pared back the rules to provide a much more balanced system – this isn’t what Catacombs is about.

Instead, we get a rule set that has elements of that competitive side of things, with players placing terrain as opposed to playing on a pre-set table, and there are real choices that can be made to your benefit while doing so. Suddenly, the lack of terrain cards here makes a bit more sense, huh?

The terrain that we get is a little sparse, consisting mainly of doors, with some obstacles of rubble. There is additional terrain, some of the ruins from the original starter set, but nothing new, and nothing that isn’t available separately. However, I do like that rubble terrain. I’m such a sucker for scatter terrain for getting the table looking really nice and atmospheric! It’s almost like I bought the box for this, and everything else is a nice bonus!

I think Catacombs is here to stay as a format, too. Several of the quests included in the Tome of Champions and the Grand Alliance books use it as a layout, with every faction (I think!) receiving at least one. I think it’s a shame that we couldn’t have had the system in a box by itself, though. All of the dungeon terrain, the boards (possibly including the two other boards that were released at the same time), and the book (reformatted with quests for all and a proper back cover) and that’s all we need. I’d probably pay more than the usual environment expansion price, too.

But we do get two more warbands in here, and I suppose at least one of them, the Scions of the Flame, do sort of belong in a dungeon setting.

They do look beautiful, of course, and I suppose it fits that GW wanted to make this something like a celebration box by including them to bump the price up. The Scions are the last of the original eight Chaos factions, and the Khainite Shadowstalkers are the first original non-Chaos warband in the game. A sign of things to come, perhaps? Personally, I hope not, as I love this game for being Chaos all the way, but at the same time, it’s good to have a more mass-appeal, so as to ensure its continued popularity and support!

When all is said and done, I am glad to have picked this one up. There’s still a lot of stuff in here, and I’m excited to at least get it assembled and try out some dungeon battles! I’m glad that I managed to get it from my FLGS at a discount though, because even with the bulk of some of the original terrain, I’m still not really sure I’d want to have paid RRP.

My plan is to continue with getting the first batch of the Ossiarch Bonereapers finished for the next few weeks, but look for more Warcry coming soon!!

Warhammer Crime: Bloodlines

Hey everybody,
It’s been more than a week since I finished this bad boy, so it’s definitely time that I got down my thoughts on the blog here! Warhammer Crime is the second subset of Warhammer novels, following the Horror imprint that made its debut in 2018. Warhammer Crime came along in 2020 with Bloodlines by Chris Wraight, which was a huge draw for me, for a number of reasons. First of all, of course, Chris Wraight is one of my all-time favourite Black Library authors, and while I do love a bit of the crime (stories, not actual crime), I thought this could be a great vector to introduce my wife into the world of 40k, as she reads almost exclusively crime fiction.

Bloodlines is, at its most straightforward, a missing persons story, following the Probator Agusto Zidarov as he follows the trail of a wealthy industrialist’s son. The search takes him into the underground pharmaceutical trade, and includes a fairly hefty dose of industrial espionage and politics along the way. That’s how I kept selling it to Jemma, but to date she hasn’t taken the bait. But you never know!

The novel is set on the world of Alecto, mainly in the hive city of Varangantua. There is a very strong Necromunda vibe here, for sure, and I had a lot of serious call-backs to the Ravenor books, which is probably the closest we’ve had to Warhammer Crime up to this point. Zidarov is basically the Warhammer version of a detective, so he’s a bit of a different breed to the Enforcers that we’ve also seen in novels. I found it interesting to see the emphasis placed on this being pretty much a police procedural, and the aspects that make this 40k were almost down-played, which makes me think this could be to allow the book to appeal to the widest possible audience. For sure, the references are there if we want to notice them – I mean, the major plot point of the pharmaceutical trade involves rejuvenat treatments, which we know of course from so many 40k novels (including those Ravenor novels), and of course we see folks armed with laspistols and autoguns. But you don’t need to know what any of these things are to enjoy the book – interestingly, I’d say we actually learn more about the rejuvenat process here than we’ve ever learnt in mainstream 40k.

There is some wonderful world-building here – this is one of those sci-fi books where none of the food or drink is familiar, you know? It weirdly helps to ground the book in the realms of the more mundane, though, and made me realise that we’ve never actually had a 40k book like this before. I suppose the emphasis has always been on the battles and the insane stuff, even with Ravenor we get those glimpses into the downtime that folks have, but here there is almost a family drama playing itself out for us in the middle of the investigation, with Zidarov and his wife worrying about their daughter’s desire to join the Astra Militarum. It was interesting, to me, because again, we don’t need to know what this means in the context of the 40k universe for it to have an impact – it was very much two parents worrying about their child getting shipped off to die on some distant battlefield.

It was very well written, with a fantastic feel of the classic noir detective story throughout. You could almost imagine Zidarov sat behind the frosted-glass door with his name on it, smoking a cigar while brooding on the case. No femme fatale here, but maybe that’s being kept for a later book, you know? Interestingly, the book is described as “An Agusto Zidarov Novel” as if we’ll be getting more, so hopefully there is something in the works for that, anyway!

Warhammer Crime

Varangantua is apparently the setting for at least a few more books in the subset, though, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the next one, Flesh and Steel, by Guy Haley. Another Black Library veteran, it sounds like this one might be a bit more 40k-y, as it features a probator working alongside the Adeptus Mechanicus. It’s on order, anyway, so I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back here with my thoughts on that one, too!

January Retrospective

Hey everybody,
January has come and gone, and just like that, 2021 is under way. With the world as it is right now, I thought it’d be nice to have a little retrospective blog at the end of each month, highlighting the things that I have been up to, serving to remind myself (if nobody else) that it is still possible to do cool stuff!

To start with, I’ve done quite a bit of painting this month, between the Dark Eldar Incubi (above), and making a fantastic start with the Ossiarch Bonereapers, my new army for 2021! I’m chronicling the army progress separately of course, and will continue to do so as I get deeper into both the lore and the models! I’m currently working to finish off the Mortek Guard, both to get the basic scheme sorted and because troops can sometimes feel like a chore to get through! Contrast paints have been a real boon here, though, so I’m hoping that I can sail through things fairly quickly.

I’ve already been buying reinforcements, which I should probably try to control myself with, but I do find it hard to do so when I’m so excited for a project!

For 40k, I’ve been thinking back to my Dark Eldar days, especially since we have a codex on the horizon, so that will hopefully be good to get hold of! I’m wanting to get more variety in my lists, so I definitely want to get more wych cult models painted up – I’ve been thinking about this for a while of course, but it’s a definite goal for 2021. Fantasy has certainly come back to the fore for me, though, as I talked about last week, although I’m not sure if I could get as many games in with AoS when everything returns to normal. I guess we’ll have to see!

Warcry has come back on my radar, although it had never really left if I’m honest. Still having only played it once, I’m just in love with the aesthetic of the game, and the feel of the whole thing. I’m not all that interested in the plethora of warbands that have come out for it, but I do have my sights set on getting hold of more of the regular Chaos stuff – including, of course, the new Slaanesh stuff that will hopefully be out soon! I’m not going to go crazy with that, but I am looking forward to getting my hands on some of the Slaanesh mortal stuff for use in Warcry.

From games that I’m not playing to games that I have played, now. This month, I’ve managed to get in some games with both Arkham Horror LCG, and the third edition of the board game that I had for Christmas! Blogs on both events are coming, but let me tell you, the new edition of Arkham Horror is quite good. As for the card game, I’ve started The Circle Undone, and I’m really impressed. It leans heavily on witchcraft and the supernatural, something that doesn’t seem to be as associated with Lovecraft as the cosmic horror, but it’s an absolute delight, and while I’m only on the first mythos pack of the cycle, I’m very impressed! Come back this week for more thoughts there, anyway!

Let’s talk about a different type of witch now…

Disney+ has launched their first MCU tv-series this month, WandaVision, featuring of course Scarlet Witch and Vision. I’d almost forgotten about this, but had been getting increasingly intrigued when friends and fellow bloggers started to talk more about it. I do like Scarlet Witch, as well – House of M is still one of my favourite comic lines – so I’m intrigued by it. I’ve only seen the first episode, but it’s definitely got something going on under the surface there to make us think just what on earth is this all about. It’s a delightful Bewitched-style 1950s American sitcom, on the surface, until the dinner party near the end has us asking deeper questions as to what’s going on. I have no real theories yet, as it’s all a bit too early to say for me, but head here to check out a more detailed discussion!

From television to books, finally! In January, I read the first Darth Bane novel, Path of Destruction. The book, now Legends of course, deals with the early years of the Sith Lord, as he moves from a life of hard labour, through his military service on the side of the Sith in their war against the Jedi, to his awakening in the Force and learning to use his power at the academy on Korriban. The novel ends with the climactic battle of Ruusan, which I’m fairly sure is dealt with in the comic miniseries Jedi vs Sith.

I was disappointed with this book. I’m in a Facebook group where people have given high praise to this trilogy, but I can’t see what all the fuss is about. Putting aside the fact that Darth Bane’s birth name is Des, I think the book fell into the same trap as Tim Zahn’s new canon Thrawn trilogy, showing us an evil genius when he’s at school. There were strong echoes of Kevin J Anderson’s Jedi Academy trilogy as well, which felt a bit banal. The whole thing just seemed so silly, somehow. Set against the backdrop of the war, I thought the best parts were definitely those that showed us the fighting there, although even that got a bit ridiculous after a bit.

I also think it’s worth mentioning that the book didn’t seem to take great pains to distance itself, temporally, from the main movie periods. It takes place a thousand years before A New Hope, yet the tech feels, at best, similar to Phantom Menace era. No effort is really made to do anything more, which is quite sad, really. At least the Tales of the Jedi comic books actually felt like they had ancient tech in comparison!

What I did like was the way the book had me guessing throughout. Bane’s relationship with his fellow student Githany led me to wonder if she would become his famous apprentice, Darth Zannah, but suffice it to say – she doesn’t!

Bane is a big part of Star Wars, created by Lucas during production of Phantom Menace, and while I didn’t exactly enjoy the first book in this trilogy, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and carry on with Rule of Two soon, as I’m really intrigued as to where the story is headed next!

For now, however, I’ve moved back to 40k for something completely different:

New Army Update One

Hey everybody,
It’s time for an update on my New Year, New Army project for 2021 – yes, already! Only because I’ve been making some really good progress, so thought I’d come along and share it with you all!

Mortek Guard

I’ve been painting up the Mortek Guard, the basic foot soldiers of the Ossiarch Bonereapers, as I thought I’d try first to get the colour scheme down on the basic guys, before moving on to the more exciting stuff! I’ve gone for the colour scheme of the Petrifex Elite, after seeing them in the battletome and liking the mix of dark bone on the warriors themselves, lighter bone trim, then the more striking bright red armour and jade/turquoise cloth!

I’ve got a long way to go yet, but fortunately there are painting guides included in the Battletomes for Age of Sigmar, so I have some idea of where I need to go with it all! The scheme uses Contrast paints, which is fairly exciting for me, as I’ve not really done a great deal with them before. I must admit, I’m still not 100% sold on them even now, but I think once I start to bring it all together, it could be quite nice!

The Petrifex Elite were the original go-to choice for all the tournament lists once Ossiarch Bonereapers initially came out, due to the army-wide +1 to save. Basic troops with a 3+ save is quite powerful, after all! However, this has now been changed to a re-roll save rolls of 1, which isn’t quite as powerful, though for sure will have its uses! Of course, I’m no power gamer, so I’m fairly oblivious to the vagaries of these things! I also have nowhere near a playable army, with my partially-painted Mortek Guard bringing the grand total of 130 points to my army list!

The other Petrifex Elite abilities are nice, improving the rend of melee weapons as a command ability, and negating the first wound allocated to the relic-bearer etc. Age of Sigmar rules are not my specialism at the moment, however, so I’m going to have to go away and learn all about this stuff before I can talk sensibly about these things!

I have, however, made a start on my list, and have made the decision on which sub-Legion to use now, so that’s positive!

I’m starting out with the unit of 10 Mortek Guard, armed with Nadirite Blades (plus the one-in-ten champion type, who is armed with a Soulcleaver Greatblade which hits on a 3+, rather than a 4+). Nadirite weapons score 2 hits on a natural 6, which is very nice because the unit has 9 of these things, which make 2 attacks each! In 18 dice rolls, there has to be at least a couple of natural 6s, even the way I roll dice!

Mortek Guard are the basic troops, but I’ve ordered some Immortis Guard to give myself some elite options. These guys are armed with halberds that have a slightly improved stat line to the Guard’s blades, but importantly they also attack with their massive shields, which has the same Nadirite weapon ability of causing 2 hits on a natural 6. Fantastic! Furthermore, they have a command ability that lets them attack for a second time with the shields – anything that gives extra attacks is okay in my book!

The Immortis Guard also have the HEKATOS keyword, which is the name of the sergeant-type guys, and triggers off a number of other abilities, including the Legion-specific command abilities. For my Legion choice, I’ve gone with the Mortis Praetorians, which is the Legion on the box art, and the one with the named characters in there. I’m not sure, because I’m thinking like a 40k player, but I imagine that I can’t include those characters in my army if I were playing a different Legion… anyway!

Mortis Praetorians have a fear-like army-wide rule that subtracts 1 from the bravery of any unit within 12″ of them, and the command ability allows you to re-roll hits for units within range of a HERO or a HEKATOS, which is nice!

Speaking of heroes, I have got the Mortisan Boneshaper, a support wizard that can heal units, with a spell that lets them deal mortal wounds to enemy units based on that unit’s model count. It’s a variation on a fairly popular theme, but I think he’ll be quite useful in the back-line (his spell is 18″). I’ve got my eye on one of the named characters, Arch-Kavalos Zandtos, though currently haven’t pulled the trigger on buying him (it was him or the Immortis Guard this month!)

As a bit of heavy support, I have the Gothizzar Harvester to go about healing my chaps in a similar manner to the Boneshaper, though I’m also arming him with Soulcleaver Sickles, which increase the attacks for larger units. I’m not entirely sure how big this guy is, but I’m thinking somewhat Carnifex-sized. Should be a nice sort of centrepiece model while the army is still small-ish, though!

In total, then, we’ve got:

Mortisan Boneshaper: 130 points
10 Mortek Guard: 130 points
3 Immortis Guard: 200 points
Gothizzar Harvester: 200 points

There is a lot to do right now, for sure, but I’m trying to focus myself on building and painting one unit at a time (might do the hero alongside the big guy though). My principal focus for the time being is to get the equivalent of a Start Collecting box painted, so I’m thinking the troops, the hero, and the big guy. I want those finished by the end of February, and given how quickly the Guard have progressed since I started painting them on Saturday, I’m hopeful this is achievable! I may even get the other 10 warriors painted up in that time, actually!

In addition…

Following a flurry of interest back in September, Warcry has somewhat fallen on the back burner once more for me, as 40k and Necromunda took over my life for the remainder of the year. However, I’m really on the fantasy kick once more with this current project, and I’m really enjoying the return to fantasy models and all that entails – it’s always the same for me when I come back after time away, it’s like my world is blown open and I remember why I got into this whole mess in the first place.

Back when I bought the first few Ossiarch Bonereapers kits, I also picked up the Warcry cards for them, as I think the store had one left in stock, and I thought, why not? The Bonereapers seem to have a fair number of units available to them, made from three boxes: the Mortek Guard, the Necropolis Stakers (the Immortis Guard aren’t allowed, oddly), and the Kavalos Deathriders (the cavalry units). There are two leader choices, one of them mounted, and a whole host of new rules for unit types that I’d not come across when I initially tried the game out, so that’s been exciting!

There is the “bulwark” runemark which grants an ability that can be used by shield-wielding Mortek Guard, giving them +1 toughness, and two units for the “destroyer” runemark, which can be used by the Necropolis Stalkers to grant an additional move on a double, or a bonus to the number of attacks made on a quad. Very nice!

Warcry is definitely something that I’d like to try out some more, as I really do love the look of the game. For a 1000-point warband of Ossiarch Bonereapers, I’ve thrown together the idea of a Hekatos, a Necropolis Stalker, and the Guard champion fella, with six further Mortek Guard to get me nine guys at 985 points. Could be quite interesting, though I suppose there’s only one way to find out!!

More New Warhammer!

Hey everybody,

At the weekend, we had the latest Warhammer preview, showing off some of the new stuff that’s coming up in 2021, and some of it is very exciting, to say the least! I really hope this year brings us some awesome new toys, because let’s be fair, it’s been pretty grim these last few months, and we currently don’t have any sort of end in sight…

First off, we have the Sisters of Battle version of the Nemesis Dreadknight. It’s a little silly looking, in particular when you try to imagine the dimensions of the pilot and imagine how long her neck must be. But new models are always cool, even when they’re not necessarily the new models you’d have hoped for. No Biker Sisters? Hm. I’m curious as to whether, between this and the Palatine model, we have enough to warrant a new Codex already? Will we be seeing even more new kits? Hm.

Next up for 40k is a new expansion for Kill Team, showing that skirmish 40k hasn’t entirely been abandoned. I believe that this set is in addition to the re-vamp promised for the system later in the year? I’m a little sad that it seems we may need to wait longer still before getting the Chronomancer and Flayed Ones as separate kits, though I guess it’s possible people might be splitting these sets on eBay.

On a separate note, I’m really pleased to see the Psychomancer up for preorder soon! It seems like ages since I wrote my Necrons list with that guy in there!

The new Kill Team box is likely going to be a pass from me, price depending, but it’s interesting to note that this bundle gives new players who picked up Indomitus, or any of the new starter sets, a nice little expansion to those armies while also getting a different sort of game. Nice one!

We’re off to the Mortal Realms now, however…

I am categorically not about to start an army of High Elves, but I think it’s really neat to see how GW have taken the old classic elf fantasy trope and combined it with something a bit more eastern/otherworldly, with these huge animal-spirit-type forces-of-nature thing they have going on. Very Studio Ghibli. The Teclis model is strange as all hell, for sure, but I do like these big mountain spirit things!

We’ve seen some of the Vampire previews doing the rounds, but finally the new Soulblight Gravelords are making an entrance into the game with a new warband for Warhammer Underworlds, and they do look very nice! Just to reiterate, I’m not about to start yet another new army, but I could see me picking up this warband, to actually try out this game!

We’ve recently seen the update for Warhammer Underworlds, with the Slaves to Darkness warband going up for preorder soon, and what looks like an Ossiarch Bonereapers warband coming up in May. Direchasm is shaping up to have a lot of nice warband options, that’s for sure! It’s definitely time that I tried this one out, I’m thinking!

The big news, for me, is this. We’ve got a new version of Warhammer Quest coming out, and it’s once again in the Mortal Realms. However, this one miniature has got me completely drawn in – I’ve been trying to calm myself in regards to buying new stuff, but look at that guy! If we think back to Silver Tower, and all of the Tzeentch-y weirdness that we had there, this has the potential for unspeakably good zombie minis along the lines of this gravedigger lad.

Time will tell, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on, as the miniatures design shown off in just this one guy, combined with everything they’ve doubtless learnt from Blackstone Fortress, will surely make for an incredible experience!

It vaguely surprises me how, in recent weeks, I’ve moved back into what I suppose is my first love from Games Workshop, the fantasy stuff. 40k is still up there, don’t worry, but I do find myself increasingly enamoured of the Age of Sigmar miniatures line, and I think going all-in on the Bonereapers army recently testifies to that.

I’ve been worried recently that my drive to hobby has been waning, in part due to lockdown stopping me playing games, but seeing stuff like this coming over the hill has started to fire me up once more!

New Year, New Army 2021!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while in the planning stages, but I’m finally ready to talk about the new project for 2021! New projects are, of course, nothing new for me, although finished projects are much more of a rarity. However, this one is something that I’ve been thinking about for a couple of months now, since picking up some bits late last year, and it’s something that I’m very excited to get moving with, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep some momentum with things, and see some real results when I look back on this point in the future!

The project I’m talking about is nothing less than Ossiarch Bonereapers!

This is an army that I was incredibly excited for back when it was first revealed at the 2019 Nova Open. Tomb Kings re-imagined as ancient conquerors with hints of both Roman and Mongolian heritage in the lore and aesthetic, it was wonderful! I’ve been a huge fan of the armies of Death for Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar for such a long time, in part due to the nostalgia of having the Nagash releases happening back when I was properly falling into the whole miniatures side of things. I currently have a fairly sizable Nighthaunt army as well, although I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing with that as it has been languishing in a box for a long time now.

Arkhan the Black is one of my favourite miniatures of all time, and while I had initially thought to include him with the Nighthaunt, it seems like he has found a much more permanent home among the Bonereapers, which makes me love them all the more! I really like the fact that the Arkhan model is, what, 5 years removed from the Bonereapers, and yet they all share certain design cues that makes everything feel really quite homogeneous. Arkhan is still unpainted, I think I recently put him up in the loft as I need the space for something else, but when I’ve got a decent force built and painted, I think I’d like to test my skills with painting the big lad himself, as that should be a real fun project!

The lore on these guys does veer a bit towards the silly at times, though I think in part this is due to the penchant for Games Workshop to give over-the-top names for stuff, which really goes across the board and isn’t unique to the Bonereapers. Here is an army of undead skeletons, and the amount of necro- prefixes, mort- prefixes, and osseo / bone references is just off the charts. Bones, bones, bones.

The idea behind them is that Nagash created a race of warriors from bone, almost as a secret weapon, and hid them underground “in serried ranks”. So, terracotta warriors style. The Necroquake that was (I think) the event that kicked off Soul Wars unleashed the Bonereapers, and they’ve been going about the Mortal Realms ever since, conquering empires in the name of Nagash. They extract a toll of bone from the vanquished populace, which they use to then replenish their ranks to keep the immortal legions strong.

Among the theme of BONES then, there is also a strong undercurrent of contracts and extracting tithes, which no doubt appeals to me as a civil servant, thinking there might somewhere be countless clerks making sure these tithes are met! It’s very weird, to me, for a fantasy army in a game like this, to have such a convoluted backstory that is based around taxation. But that’s pretty immaterial, really, because the miniatures themselves look great!

I’m a big fan of the line soldiers of this faction. It always helps, when you’re looking at having to paint vast hordes, that you’d actually want to do so! The Mortis Guard are the basic troops that come in two flavours: sword and spear. Each box has 20 models, and I’ve already begun to build up my first unit, for which I’m building the sword variety. There isn’t really anything more to say about these guys, they’re just the basic troops, and they’ll doubtless be forming the backbone (ha!) of the army as it evolves.

There are so many good-looking models in this range, but my first hero choice is going to be one of the few named characters in the faction, Vokmortian, Master of the Bone-tithe. He was the central hero of the faction at launch, in the Feast of Bones boxset, and his miniature seems to just drip with that officiousness, holding out the contract there as if to point out the small print. What a guy! In the game, he has the ability to outright kill a model on a 5+, the only downside being that model has to be within 1″ of him. I wonder how many times that has actually been pulled off against some god-like character in the opposing army…

In time, I’m probably going to collect everything, but aside from (probably) more Mortis Guard, I’d really like to get my hands on the Mortek Crawler. A giant, walking catapult, this thing is absolutely absurd, but the more I’ve been looking at it lately, the more I’ve fallen in love with it!

I love the fact that it’s almost a mini-diorama piece in and of itself, with the guys crawling over it and that dude in his little hamster wheel to (presumably) move the thing forwards. In the game, it fires magical skulls, although has two additional once-per-game missiles, including a lump of inscribed stone that looks so amazing I just love it! It’s barmy, but it’s another of these models that I hope to be able to paint up and do justice to as something of a centrepiece model.

Of course, the Bonereapers have perhaps the original centrepiece model, Katakros, the new Mortarch! This guy seems to have attracted more hate than I think he deserves, as the model is definitely an imposing piece, and it is also really quite amazing in the true sense of the word, with all the attendants that he has surrounding him. He’s become almost a blueprint for others, such as the Triumph of St Katherine, with multi-model diorama style miniatures coming out for several armies since.

I won’t be rushing to get this model, mainly because of the price and the fact I don’t think I am good enough to do it any kind of justice! But in time, I think it would be a wonderful crowning piece for the army, and I’d love to have a go at it!

For now, though, my collection of Bone-Boys is really quite modest:

I’ve also got the Gothizzar Harvester on order, the idea being that my local store is doing a New Year New Army thing, where we all paint up the equivalent of a Start Collecting box. In the absence of such a box for the Bonereapers, I thought Vokmortian, some Mortek Guard, and the Harvester would make a very decent start! Now I just need to get a move on and start building and painting these things!

I’m still not 100% set on my colour scheme just yet, but I think I’m leaning towards that of the Petrifex Elite. They used to be almost overpowered, from what I’ve picked up, but have since been nerfed quite considerably. Personally, I just like the combination of colours, and think it could work really nicely across the whole force!

I haven’t looked at the rules properly since I picked up the book last October, so I need to properly read up on everything to see what subfaction I actually choose to go for. I’ll be back sometime soon with some waffle about this, though – probably with an army list that I’m going to be aiming for, and maybe some updates on the actual models, if I’ve managed to get anywhere with them! So stay tuned for that!!