What’s New?!

Hey everybody!
Well, it feels like a long time since I’ve had the time for some rambling here on the old blog, but there seems to be so much going on right now, even considering the ongoing global pandemic, that I feel I just have to try and catch up with it all!

Of course, it was the Warhammer Preview again today, and we’ve seen a bunch new boxed games coming from the vaults of Nottingham, such as the new Blood Bowl, and the next season of Warhammer Underworlds:

Forget about the Lumineth – we’re getting Slaanesh cultists, even a Slaangor!

Look at these guys! They look amazing, so perfect and stuff. Exactly what I would want to see from Slaaneshi cultist models. Have we got all the flavours of Chaos cultists now? I really hope that this signifies the release of actual Slaanesh mortal cultist models – for years, all that we’ve had are the Hellstriders, we definitely need more. With these, and the upcoming boxset with Daughters of Khaine, it seems like Slaanesh is firmly back in the frame!

I still haven’t even tried Warhammer Underworlds, but I won’t let that stop me grabbing this for the Slaaneshi chaps!

So, I wasn’t expecting this. In truth, I don’t know what to make of it, either. Warcry is fast becoming Age of Sigmar: Skirmish, and it feels a bit wrong. I mean, one of the best things about the game is how much it is focused on the Chaos warbands in the Varanspire, vying for the attention of Archaon. Hm. At any rate, Warcry is getting battletomes, which seems to be an effort to combine what happened with the Tome of Champions and peppering in stuff like the Monsters and Mercenaries book, and the White Dwarf articles. Interesting.

View this post on Instagram

Is your Kill Team ready to enter the Pariah Nexus?

A post shared by Warhammer Community (@warhammerofficial) on

And what’s more, there’s this! It seems there’s been a lot of talk about what is in store for Kill Team with the new edition of 40k out in the wild. Well, it hasn’t been forgotten, at least! But while we’re seemingly getting Marines vs Necrons, I’m hoping that we’re going to get something similar to the Rogue Trader box of yesteryear, with the Inquisition getting some amazing new plastics! Well, hope springs eternal…

What else?

The last adventure pack for Lord of the Rings LCG has been released, and I’m a bit sad by that fact! I mean, let’s talk about this for a moment; I haven’t played it for quite some time, and I certainly haven’t played some of the later cycles, so I certainly have a lot still to get through, regardless of the fact that it’s finished! I think the latest pack that I’ve played up to is the Haradrim cycle, although it’s all very patchy following the Ringmaker cycle… I’ve got plenty more years of this game left to me, anyway!

I’m really feeling in the mood to get into the Arkham Horror LCG again though, as it’s been well over twelve months since I had the run through the Dunwich Legacy cycle, and Innsmouth is of course a classic location for the mythos. I really need to get to grips with this game, as it’s such a great way to get my Lovecraft fix!

However, for the time being, I’ve been thinking about trying to actually accomplish something as we’re heading into Lockdown number two, and I’ve been thinking about finally getting some of the Ossiarch Bonereapers models that I was so excited about last year. I mean, sure, I’ve got plenty to be getting on with, but I thought it might be nice to get a bit of a special project going on – and it’ll give me something to focus my Arkhan the Black around! So stay tuned for that!

Ravenor

Well, this review is well overdue, but I’m finally getting my act together now that the nights are drawing in!

View this post on Instagram

#nowReading

A post shared by Mark (@marrrkusss) on

A kind of tie-in to Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn series, Ravenor is the first book in the eponymous trilogy, following the Inquisitor Gideon Ravenor. As you may know, Ravenor appeared for a brief time at the start of Malleus, the second novel in the earlier trilogy, where an attack left him at the brink of death. It’s actually been a fair few years since I read that book, though I feel like the novel left it a bit open as to whether Ravenor had in fact been killed.

Ravenor begins with a prologue that shows Ravenor and his crew pursuing the heretic leader Zygmunt Molotch as he investigates the Enuncia carvings (this isn’t very important to the novel in question, but comes to prominence later in the series). The main meat of the novel begins with the squad on the hive world of Eustis Majoris, the subcapital of the Angelus subsector. Ravenor and his team, comprising Carl Thonius, Patience Kys, Kara Swole, and Harlon Nayl. They are investigating the illegal Flect trade, a kind of narcotic glass that seems to be rife throughout the hive. During the course of their investigations, Nayl comes across the young Zael, an addict with psychic potential, while Patience and Carl attempt to inveigle themselves into the confidences of a local dignitary – both lines of inquiry leading to different dealer names, however during the course of their investigation the dignitary overdoses. The official Magistratum investigation into this death is observed psychically by Ravenor, but he is attacked on the astral plane by the Magistratum psyker Kinsky.

Ravenor himself makes planetfall, now confined to a life-preserving suspension chair, along with further members of his team, Mathuin and Frauka, the latter a psychic blank along the lines of Bequin. The trail leads to the Carnivora (CAR-CAR-CARNIVORA!) and the team infiltrate the spectacle in an effort to find Duboe, the man implicated in the Flect trade. They apprehend Duboe, but then are themselves taken to Lord Govenor Barazan’s palace, where they meet with Jader Trice, head of the Ministry for Subsector Trade. He offers them the information that has been officially gathered on Duboe and the Flect trade, which seems to lead into Lucky Space – so-named because you’d be lucky to survive a trip into the area. They are also given Magistratum liaisons, including Kinsky.

Things begin to unravel in Lucky Space, and the team learns that the Flects are brought in by a cartel of Rogue Traders (calling themselves Contract Thirteen) from the interdicted Mergent Worlds, planets that had disappeared in a Warp Storm, but have since recently reappeared with the irrevocable taint of Chaos. The Flects are basically Warp-soaked shards of glass that shattered from the windows of the hive world of Spica Maximal. Kinsky inevitably turns on Ravenor and his retinue, but the Inquisitor is able to overpower the Magistratum officials and the team defeats the Rogue Trader Kizary Thekla, who had been operating under the Magisterum’s authority to recover logic engines and cogitators from the Mergent Worlds, revealing a level of corruption that leads back to Trice. While the authorities believe Ravenor and his team to have been killed out in Lucky Space, the Inquisitor arranges for passage back to Eustis Majoris. In secret, Carl Thonius tries a Flect…


Ravenor is excellent. It’s one of those books that just screams to me with everything that I love about the Warhammer 40k universe. The first part of the novel takes place on the hive world, where the claustrophobic feel of the place comes across just so well, it really feels like a grey and miserable, heavy place, from the acid rain to the hive scum. In very short order, we really feel the oppression of the place, it’s really quite remarkable. I suppose around the same time that I was reading this in July, I was deep into Necromunda again, trying to get my head around the rules, and so on, so that was a real bonus for me as I was really in the mood for that kind of story. As the story moves on, it doesn’t give much opportunity for rest, as the conspiracy continues and the mystery deepens. Things are a bit cramped on the journey to Lucky Space, but the action never lets up, and things get pretty explosive at the end.

I just can’t recommend this book enough. It definitely ticks the boxes for me as a fan of the wider lore of the 40k universe and, while there may not be a space marine in sight, it’s just fascinating to see the story of an Inquisitor and his retinue unfold with the “little people” of 40k along for the ride. It certainly has that Necromunda feel to it, although of course that’s not really the point of the book, but it will definitely appeal to those sensibilities. I’ve recently started to read the second in the trilogy, Ravenor Returned, and it’s interesting to see how, only a short way into the novel, some of the things that were set up earlier are being developed, in a much more tight-knit manner than the earlier Eisenhorn trilogy. I feel like the Ravenor books might prove to be more akin to the one-long-story type of trilogy, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

New Necrons!

Wow. The amount of new stuff Necrons are getting right now is crazy. It’s taken me a while to get round to this blog because it has felt a bit like the landscape has been changing continually over the last few weeks (and I’ve also been on holiday, and life has been taken up with real stuff). But here we are! With the exciting new world of Necrons for 9th Edition coming our way!

Yes, Reanimation Protocols are changed, and it’s quite the lengthy wall of text there! There are some good bits and some bad bits, so let’s take a look at this step by step. First of all, Reanimation Protocols are rolls immediately after an attack ends. So that is a hell of a buff, right there – your opponent is going to have to really double down and hope that their shooting or melee attacks will take out the unit in one single attack. No more getting two or three units to each have a shot at eliminating a unit! Excellent! Next, you roll a number of dice equal to the number of wounds each model lost has. So if three Lychguard die, you’re rolling six dice. The sad thing here is that you’re only rolling dice for the models lost there and then. I guess Necrons probably needed some kind of cap or limit here, because being able to still attempt to bring a unit back in turn four or five when the models were lost in turn one is a bit too much – I only hope that the new points we’re expecting will reflect the fact that we’re now only buying a model potentially once, rather than assuming you’ll at least be able to use each model twice in the army, as was the case for most of 8th edition.

There has been a lot of bile and vitriol in the Necrons Facebook group, but I think this is based on the idea of still having units costed as expensively as they are right now. There are also elements of the fact we’re looking at character models or others with multiple wounds that won’t all successfully reanimate each time, and so on, but I think we need to be serious here: Necrons could play really powerfully well if your opponent is unlucky. I’ve had some games where my destroyed models are maybe 2-3 by the game’s end, because units keep coming back. I may have started the game with three units of Immortals, but over the course of that game, I’ve probably used the equivalent of five units of Immortals, compared with how many were destroyed and have come back.

I’ll get off the soapbox now, but suffice it to say, a lot of people are upset at the wording of the new RP rules, but personally I think that we just need to look at different build options for the new edition.

The preview that went up earlier this week with the new RP rules also confirmed that we’ll be getting our own version of combat doctrines, called command protocols. These sound like they might be good – assign one to each of the five rounds of combat, and each one has two effects. When that round begins, pick an effect to use. (There is at least one way that I’ve seen for us to use both effects, as well, so that’s pretty good!) A lot of folks were a bit disappointed with the Psychic Awakening book for Necrons, as it didn’t actually have anything for us in beyond the rules for the new Illuminor Szeras model, but at least it’s not been too long to wait for the new book (although that is probably a whole other story!)

It seems that everything that had come with those green rods – so every unit released before the 2011 re-design of Necrons – is being re-jigged to some extent, and I think the one people are perhaps overlooking the most (given the sheer amount of new stuff coming out!) is the Monolith. This is a pretty nice new model, let’s be honest, and I think I’ll definitely be getting one as a nice centrepiece for the force (until I eventually cave and buy the Silent King!) I just hope they still have the rules to allow them to work as a transport, as well!

Speaking of new models, we’ve got so many more of them on the way!

There are a couple more Crypteks coming out, the Chronomancer and the Pscychomancer – which, together with the Plasmancer from the Indomitus box means we’re still two short of the full suite of five from the hallowed book from 5th edition! Geomancers and Ethermancers would complete the set, but those don’t seem to have been previewed yet – they’re either a surprise, or have been forgotten about.

With so many new HQs coming our way, people have been postulating whether we’ll be seeing a return of the Royal Court, where you can take a group of HQs in the configuration of 0-5 Crypteks, and 0-5 Lords. It’s an interesting idea, given that we’ve already seen the return of the different style of Crypteks, so I guess we’ll see what the Codex brings. (I’m thinking, though, that if it were possible we’d have seen it previewed already).

Now, something very interesting is happening with Necrons in 9th edition, and that’s the fact the lore is somewhat being reimagined to incorporate more of these ideas of a failing in the technology that has kept the Necrons going for so long. No longer is their tech beyond the understanding of many of us, but rather we’re seeing warriors that look more like metallic zombies, with parts of their armour falling off and failing following the aeons of slumber, and the Destroyer cults are being more fully explored, as we see various types of these crazed killers realised in plastic. The regular Destroyers that we’ve previously enjoyed are potentially having a rebrand as Lokhurst Destroyers, using the floating platforms of doom to get about, while we have the Skorpekh models that were seen in Indomitus, and now these Ophydian monsters who are taking as a design cue the original Wraiths models. It’s kinda funky to see this sort of design return to the army after so long!

For me, however, the absolute crowning glory of these new releases has got to be the plastic Flayed Ones!

So, okay, they’re not dragging along flayed corpses, or wearing them like crowns anymore, but we’ve got actual plastic Flayed Ones now, and I can’t wait to get myself a set! Lychguard are great, but they’re 150 points for a unit of 5. Flayed Ones clock in around half that amount, so we’re already on to a winner! We definitely need more melee potential, given the shorter range of auras and smaller playing field of 9th edition, so I’m really pleased we’re getting these models – although I had literally just resigned myself to wanting to use the finecast models after all when the announcement came! Typical!

I was really quite disappointed with the Necron stratagems we had to play with during 8th edition, but we’ve had a preview of the new ones that are coming, and it looks like we shall be seeing some very nice effects and abilities taking shape across the table in 9th – if I can remember to use them, of course! I really like the idea of tesla shots arcing across units in battle – hopefully that’ll allow for those units screening important HQs to become vectors for damage!

I’m quite excited to see what’s in store for the new Necrons as the Codex is imminently on the horizon, so hopefully the pandemic won’t get in the way of some exciting games once I have the book in hand!

Warcry!

Hey everybody!
It’s been more than a year, but I’ve not only finished building up the 2019 starter set of Warcry, but also I’ve had my first trial game of it at the bank holiday weekend! I’ve become really quite obsessed with this game of late, hence my push to build up the terrain etc, so I’m pleased to report that the game is actually quite a tactical one – brutal, swift, but really enjoyable!

Warcry

It’s quite straightforward to play, once the warbands have been built according to the 1000-point limit and any campaigns decided upon, etc. There are four decks of cards from which players choose the battle they’re about to play – these cards give you the map you deploy the terrain to, show where each warband is going to be deployed, what the victory condition of the game will be, and then any twist that will provide additional rules. The players the roll six dice, and count up any singles rolled – these determine who has the initiative for the battle round.

Warcry

Any multiples rolled then count as the ability dice that you can use during the round – the warband card will show these abilities and their cost, either doubles, triples or quads. In order to improve your chances, you get one wild die, which you can use either to seize the initiative or to add to make your singles into doubles, etc. So in the above example for the Unmade, there was a triple (the 2s), a double (5s) and a single rolled; the red wild die then made that single into another double, giving greater scope for the round to come. Wild dice are extremely useful, and can be kept from round to round if you decide not to use them.

Warcry

The battle itself is quite brutal, with almost all of the “genuine” Chaos warbands having predominantly melee attacks, meaning that a lot of the first battle round is about moving and positioning. However, there are quite a few warbands ported-over from Age of Sigmar who have more ranged attacks that can mix things up. At any rate, once things get down to it, the combination of attacks and abilities that the warbands can bring to bear mean that models can be taken out almost in one hit.

Of course, there are tiers of fighters, with the regular grunts, along with champions and the leader. The basic principle follows that of Games Workshop’s other games, with a strength vs toughness mechanic, albeit adding in critical hits that deal bonus damage. It keeps the game moving at quite the pace, to the point where I was able to play my first game, with all of the false-starts and rules-checking that entails, in the time it took my 11-month old to have her morning nap. Really good going, there, I have to say!

Where the game really comes alive is through the campaign system, however. Warcry is primarily a narrative game, with each of the Chaos warbands striving to earn the attention of Archaon, and thus the honour of joining his army. The campaign system formulates this as a series of games that are organised around three “convergences”, with victory in these allowing you to level-up your warband, of sorts. Each warband, including those non-Chaos ones, has specific campaigns that they can play through, which allows you to personalise your own narrative through the game.

I’m only one game in, but I’m hooked already!

Warcry

There is still a lot of tactical play involved here, though. I think it’s a classic example of those games that are simple to learn, but difficult to master. The flexible set up afforded by the terrain cards, victory conditions and twists means that it is the sort of game that will never really get old, as well, despite the core rules being fairly straightforward. It’s also interesting that fighters basically all have hand-to-hand combat and that’s it. The abilities mechanic is intriguing, and Jervis Johnson recently wrote a column in White Dwarf talking about how that all came to be that is well worth a read. I suppose it lends that streamlined approach to the whole thing, where you aren’t cluttering up the game with tons of different abilities depending on the fighters you bring in your warband.

In terms of expansion, the game has already seen seven Chaos-themed warbands, each having their own set of rules, as well as different environments that you can play in, much like the Kill Team model. There have also been card packs that have given the various Age of Sigmar armies their own deck of cards that you can use to play with your Nighthaunt, Stormcast or Flesh Eater Courts, etc. At the most recent reveal, it has also been shown that a new “starter set” is coming, which will feature two new warbands and a dungeon-style of fighting, which is a curious way to expand the game, but I’m all for it, all the same!

I do find myself wondering, though, what the future could hold for the game, long-term. All of the different warbands and environments etc are just basically more of the same, which is fine, but there will undoubtedly come a point where the game will have to find some new ground.

We’ve had some new ways to play come from the Monsters and Mercenaries book – something that, again, seemed to be following the Kill Team model, whereby we could add other, pre-existing units to our warbands, albeit we had to first fight the monster we wanted to add in, to best it in combat. That’s a neat idea, and super thematic for the game as a whole. The Tome of Champions, which seems to be very much a Chapter Approved-style book for the game, brought us new quests to play, and gave the rules for all of those armies where the card packs that were published had sold out within moments.

But what could be next? What should be next? I’m always happy with more of the same, although I think I would like them to create more new content for the game, rather than just giving us the rules to add a Terrorgheist into our warbands, and calling it a day. The way that fighters work, with the system of runemarks and so on, makes me think that they can go down the route of Necromunda, and give us a new box of fighters for existing warbands like the Cypher Lords or the Unmade, and increase the options there. I don’t really know what else could be done, but I’m finding myself hoping that they don’t let the game lapse into a sort of forgotten cousin, much like Kill Team seems to have become. I don’t want them to turn it into something competitive like Kill Team saw with the Arena expansion, because I think the immense emphasis on the narrative is one of this game’s strongest selling points, but I do hope they find a way to provide more exciting content for Warcry for years to come, because it has fast become one of the most exciting games I’ve played in a long time!

The Warhammer Preview!

Hey everybody!
Another weekend, another Warhammer Preview! I suppose it’s been a while since the last one, of course – though those last few Previews did feel a little bit lacklustre when compared with what we’ve seen today!

Let’s start with Necromunda, which has seen the House of Blades for the Eschers go up for pre-order today. The next book in the series, House of Iron, has now been previewed, and is coming out along with some wonderful models! The Orlock Arms Masters and Wreckers box looks amazing, and I’m excited to see the variety of stuff that we’ve seen in the Escher and Orlock boxes – we’re getting juves, which seems to have been the main draw for this second round of releases, but also these champion types, and now crazy animals as well! Makes me excited to see what’s in store for Houses Delaque and Van Saar!

We’ve already got more new Necrons coming out, it’s just crazy how many new things are on the way for this faction these days! Now, I’ve actually been really disappointed with the new Necron models so far, having seen the sculpted battle-damage on those from the Indomitus box that makes even the HQ models look like they’re falling apart. I mean, I get that they’re supposed to be kind of space zombies in an everlasting horde now, but I’ve always tried to have my own army as a kind of pristine force, due to them having that sort of incredible tech and stuff. Anyway! I’m sure, in time, I’ll give them a go and include the new stuff in my army, but for now I’m kinda giving things a wide birth.

Now, this is interesting. Mission Packs for the new Crusade narrative system, which makes it all feel almost like a role-playing game. It all sounds pretty great, although I do wonder how long they’ll continue to support these things for. It’s all shiny and new for the moment, of course, and they’re pushing the Crusade stuff real hard, but we’ll see if it’s still a thing in a year or two, I guess.

Now, I was not prepared for this! Of course, we knew that the Scions of the Flame were still on the way, and while I’d forgotten about them, the Khainite warband had been previewed a whiles back too. The interesting thing about this expansion is that it looks an awful lot like Kill Team: Rogue Trader, with it being very much more a dungeon-crawl type of game rather than the multi-level skirmish we’ve had so far.

The terrain this time around is mainly doors, with the odd bridge and a bunch of scatter terrain – and just the two warbands, no Chaotic Beasts. Whether that means it’ll be a lower price point than the original starter set, which had an MSRP of £100, who knows – I certainly hope so! That said, the Kill Team: Rogue Trader box was £80 MSRP, and would perhaps be a closer analogue, so it might not be that much lower…

I am so obsessed with Warcry right now, I can’t wait for this box, regardless!

I mean, look at it! I think this photo hits the nail on the head, with that “Warhammer Quest charm”, having a bunch of doors and that’s it! Looks like a lot of duplication as well, though, but the scatter terrain is always something I enjoy seeing, so if nothing else, I’m looking forward to it for that. Available in the not-too-distant future, too – I need to start raising some funds!! Though hopefully this might stay in stock for longer than previous boxes have – I’m still sore over having missed out on the Corpsewrack Mausoleum!

The fourth season of Warhammer Underworlds is almost upon us! I’ve still never played a single game, though I do always like seeing the warbands coming out for this game. Hedonites of Slaanesh and the new Lumineth Realm-Lords go head to head, and the promise of a Seraphon warband coming out as well – splendid stuff! Who knows, maybe I’ll actually get to play this game one day soon. Shame my only fully-painted band is the Nighthaunt one from Nightvault! Anyway…

Speaking of Hedonites of Slaanesh – I’m very excited for this box! In the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking again about starting a Daughters of Khaine army, and of course I’ve always wanted a Slaanesh force, so it’s kind of ideal really!

It looks like it’s in the same mould as stuff like Looncurse, with having two opposing armies led by a brand new hero model. Hopefully it won’t sell out in seconds, as I’d like to get my hands on both forces here!

I think it’s especially exciting to see more of the mortal side of the followers of Slaanesh. The new Lord of Pain is a fitting HQ choice for the Hellstriders, although I wish we’d seen an updated Lord on Steed, but hopefully we’ll be getting some more stuff like this in the future!

The finale to this Preview was Broken Realms, what seems to be the AoS equivalent of Psychic Awakening. Does this telegraph AoS third edition next summer? Well, who knows. I’d like to think the world will return to normal soon enough so that I can actually play some more AoS before we lose everything that I’ve been building up so far, though I suppose that could be a little hyperbolic! I’ve only actually played AoS twice, after all, so it would be good to get some more games in!


This Preview was definitely full of some exciting stuff! I’m really looking forward to the new Warcry box, even though it doesn’t seem to compare terrain-wise with the original starter. The AoS battle-box is also going to be an exciting one, as I hope to get started with a new army and all. More Necromunda is always a delight, as well, and I’m really excited to see how this line of miniatures and books continues through all of the House gangs!

Definitely an exciting time to be in the hobby – and definitely time to start thinning out the ranks of the unwanted miniatures!!

Planning! part one

Hey everybody,
It’s time for more rambling thoughts to start your week! After thinking about it a couple of weeks ago, I have now started in earnest on my 9th Edition Black Legion army – and yes, it’s turning out to be quite the army, at that! What has initially started life as a 500-point (ish) Combat Patrol force has now become something far bigger than I’d been expecting!!

To start with, though, let’s talk briefly about how army building works in 9th edition. Rather than receiving a number of command points based on the number of detachments that you’re bringing, instead you get the CP based on the game size, somewhat balancing things in comparison with 8th edition, where one army could be starting the game with something like 17, and another might only have 4. For games of up to 500 points-a-side, such as we’ll be discussing today, you each get 3CP to start the game with. After that, at the start of each round, you get an extra one in your Command Phase, a new phase of the game that seems to have been borrowed from AoS.

Now. Each detachment that you bring costs command points, but if your warlord is in that detachment, you get those points refunded. So the humble patrol detachment costs 2CP, but you then gain 2CP if your warlord is in there. Interestingly, this only counts for the patrol, battalion and brigade detachments – the vanguard, spearhead and outrider detachments cost 3CP each, and don’t refund you even if your warlord is in that detachment instead. So no elite-only armies, for you! Even more interestingly, the Supreme Command detachment doesn’t cost anything, but you get additional command points if your army also includes a patrol (+2), battalion (+3) or brigade (+4), but that Supreme Command must include either a Primarch, Daemon Primarch, or Supreme Commander unit. Interesting to see how they’re sort of pushing those big commander type of units – and even more interesting, considering there is only one Primarch currently in the game. I’m guessing that characters like Abbadon and the Silent King will be getting Supreme Commander keywords in time?

Anyway, I digress.

I’m talking about my Combat Patrol plans for the Black Legion!

I’ve literally only just planned out my starting force for these guys, and then the points changed quite dramatically and I couldn’t fit everything into the same force! Marines in particular were hard-hit, meaning that I’ve had to take out the Exalted Champion and a second Greater Possessed! But anyway.

For this list, then, I get 3 CP to start the game, which isn’t so bad I guess! The Master of Possession is literally only there as the headliner because of the fact that I’ve finished painting him; I think in the fullness of time I’ll be swapping him out for a Sorcerer or maybe even simply a Lord, although I have just today primed the Dark Apostle ready for action!

The Master of Possession is heavily geared towards daemon-support, so the Greater Possessed has stayed in the list simply to give him targets for his abilities! I do want to ally in some daemons, though, and I’m thinking the whole Dark Ritual stuff could be quite fun as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what he gets up to in due course! For the marines, I’ve got the 10-man unit from Shadowspear, and I’m currently working my way through all that trim on those guys… what a detailed task that is!

I’m enjoying my foray into these guys though, even if I haven’t yet been able to come up with an easier way of painting the basic troops! Of course, I’ll be using Cultists when the army grows, so that may prove to be an easier task, although I still haven’t finished painting that batch of Cultists from back in the day…

The Havocs are hopefully going to be great. Again, when I get the army fully off the ground, I’m hoping to get at least one more squad of them, kitted out slightly differently so that I have more heavy bolters for volume of shots. Given that they’re almost as expensive as double the number of regular marines, though, I’m curious to see what else could possibly fit into the list!

I think this is really indicative of how 9th edition is changing things, with fairly big points increases, which in turn are seeing smaller armies. In looking at how I could increase this force to 1000 points, I was looking at some Terminators, though kitted out as I’d like (combi weapons and power fists, with a reaper autocannon in there just because) brings a five man unit to almost 200 points! Added in a second marines squad at 175 and a second Havocs squad at 150, and I basically have no room to manoeuvre! It surprises me, I think, because during 8th edition I was almost always pleasantly surprised as just how many models I could fit into a list. Now, however, I’m finding that my lists are becoming almost elitist given how few bodies I can squeeze in!

In addition, though, I’m also intending to ally in some Chaos Daemons, principally of Slaanesh, given that I have those models already, although I can’t deny that I’d like to get a few more interesting gribblies in as time goes on! I think I might start with a small patrol detachment of these things, rather than relying on Summoning them on, as I feel that tactic might be vulnerable to having the characters removed before they can attempt the Ritual. But who knows? Maybe I’ll try to get my Dark Apostle to summon a Keeper of Secrets, and see what havoc can be caused!

So far, then, I’ve got a small force underway. I’ve recently picked up a couple of Rhinos and a Forgefiend, as I’d like to go bigger with this army as time goes on, but I’m trying my hardest not to go picking up tons of kits and finding myself drowning in plastic! In addition to the Marines, I’d like to get a nice selection of Cultists painted up, and who knows? Maybe 9th edition will answer my dreams, and we’ll get that Renegades & Heretics Codex that I’ve been after since Blackstone Fortress first showed what could be possible with such wonderful miniatures!

Catching Up

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Seems like life has been passing me by recently, as I have been focused a bit on work – I’ve got an interview this coming Tuesday for a promotion, so we’ll see what comes from that. More money for plastic crack, maybe?! We shall see!

Speaking of plastic, let’s start with the main topic of the day…

I’m not a big fan of the new Necrons, having now seen them in the flesh, as I wasn’t keen on the sculpted battle damage. For my Necrons, I’ve tried to paint them more like a pristine sort of warrior race, with the advanced tech that means they don’t retain battle damage like that. While I’m not entirely fussed yet on the Necrons, I have been admiring those Space Marines…

However, Chaos has become a major thing for me, considering I’d planned for Genestealer Cults to be my 9th Edition army! I’ve long wanted a force of Heretic Astartes, and having started with the idea of a Cultist rabble, I’ve now moved more into the realms of actual marines in the list. Today has been quite exciting though, as I’ve finished painting the Master of Possession from the Shadowspear box set! Finally!

I’m really pleased with this chap, and have followed the tutorial for the fire in particular from The Brush & Boltgun, which was a godsend! I’ve not had a chance yet to look at the other stuff on the channel, but it looks like a lot of the stuff that I have on the list, anyway, so it might be worth mining that stuff!

Speaking of which, I’ve finally picked up a Chaos Rhino for the nascent force, which I’ve wanted to get a hold of since seeing this wonderful piece of art from another of my favourite instagram’ers, Martin Sivertsen:

I mean, look at it! It’s absolutely beautiful, and I hope mine will come out a mere tenth as good! I’ve actually made an order for a second Rhino, as well as a Forgefiend (which I’ve wanted for a long time, as well) and a Dialogus for the nascent Sisters army!

Have I posted a picture of the Sisters here yet? Can’t remember, so here you go:

Looking forward to getting these painted up, however long they might take!

Moving on to a different game now, though…

My wife and I have been enjoying a few games of Elder Sign in recent weeks, as we’ve re-established Friday nights as gaming nights, and it’s been an absolute blast to be playing once more!

We’ve played a few times with the core set, as we get back into it all, and so last night we played with the first expansion, Unseen Forces, which I thought might be the best one to start with, as pretty much every other expansion has the Gates of Arkham rules and ramps up the difficulty! We had a couple of games with Unseen Forces, and while we managed to save the world from Shudde M’ell with just three locations left to explore per turn, we came under attack from Abhoth and it all went wrong.

It’s great to be back playing games from Fantasy Flight, I’m feeling really quite nostalgic for the whole thing! Of course, we’re slap bang in the middle of GenCon 2020 right now, but it all feels a bit weird with the global pandemic ongoing. FFG have shown off a few Star Wars bits, such as more Clone Wars era stuff for Armada, X-Wing and Legion, and that’s about all that I’ve managed to glean from the internets right now! Of course, it’s always an online event for me, but it feels particularly odd right now, regardless!

What else has been going on?

I’ve read quite a few books since I last came here to provide a review, so will doubtless have some thoughts on them to share with you all! I’ve also been reading the rest of The Flash’s run through the New 52, so will sometime soon get a round-up blog sorted for that! I’ve also been catching up with the DC movies that I’ve not seen, after watching Man of Steel a few weeks ago. So there will be plenty of blogs incoming once I have the time to properly sit down once again!

Okay, so it’s been pushed back, but there’s a Mandalorian novel due next year?! This news has excited me far more than I’d expected! Still very excited to see what season two has got in store for us, even though I’ve been really disappointed how it seems to be heavily leaning into the Clone Wars cartoons with the casting news that we’ve seen. Still, maybe live-action Ahsoka won’t be so damn annoying as to make me want to tear my own face off… time will tell! I think The Mandalorian is about the only thing Star Wars that I’m looking forward to right now, though, so I hope it won’t be disappointing!

Anyway, time to cease my ramblings, I think! Hope you’re all having an amazing Saturday, and stay tuned for more blogs coming as the summer progresses!

Getting ready for 9th

Hey everybody!
We’re inching ever closer to 9th edition Warhammer 40k now, and somewhat in spite of myself I’m getting a bit excited for it all. While in some ways we’re almost there already, with the rules and FAQs having been published already and the points leaked this last week, I still thought I’d share these plans now as a sort of preface to playing in the new edition.

While I’m planning for Genestealer Cults to become my main new project for the new edition, I’ve got a couple of other projects that I want to get some headway with, which is quite exciting! My aim was to get around 500 points of miniatures painted up, to go alongside this new Crusade idea that we’ve been seeing a lot of this week.

Let’s start with the Heretic Astartes!

I’ve put together this small force based around the Shadowspear box that came out last year, having wanted to get these models painted up initially as Word Bearers.

Since reading ADB’s Black Legion series this year, however, I’ve changed my mind completely, and have gone instead for the Black Legion as my heretics of choice. Of course, I haven’t really gotten all that far, having started with the Helbrute earlier this year (though I still haven’t finished him off yet!)

My aim with this was predominantly just to get started with the Legion, and get a decent force that may well be able to be used with this Crusade format. I’ve got another box of Chaos Marines that I’m planning to move on to following this, using them to fill out the Shadowspear stuff so that I have a full squad of chainsword guys and another with boltguns, and then I’m considering painting up the Cultists that I’ve had on the go for far too long!

I’m not 100% sure anymore how the Blackstone Fortress minis work with the regular stuff, so I’m thinking I might wait for the full 9th reveal before trying to incorporate things like the Rogue Psyker in the above picture. Hopefully there will be a way of getting these interesting bits into the army – although I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for now that we might well get a Renegades and Heretics Codex out of the new edition, so we’ll see what happens there!

I’m determined not to go crazy with Chaos (ha ha), but I’m looking forward to having a proper army painted up here!

Let’s turn our gaze from the empyrean now, however, and focus on the light of the Emperor – it’s time for the Adepta Sororitas!

I was very excited to get my hands on the battle box at Christmas last year, and set about building them all up – though that was pretty much where it ended, really. I think around the same time as the multi-part kits were being released, I’d hit my hobby slump, and 40k took something of a step back for me, as I thought staying away from the hobby for a while might help to reignite the passion! Well, I got there in the end, I suppose!

The core of this list, then, is the battle box stuff, supplemented with a box of Retributors, and five Dominions (built from the same box as the multi-part Sisters themselves). I had originally picked a colour scheme that harkened back to the Deathwing, as Sisters and Dark Angels have something of a similar iconography with all the faux-Catholic stuff going on, and I had begun to move away from wanting a Dark Angel army but still love the colour scheme of bone with greens and pinks.

I was excited for this scheme, but the execution did leave something to be desired! Sisters went firmly on the back burner for me, and it wasn’t until I started to consider selling off chunks of my collection, that I began to re-think keeping them, after all!

I’ve gone for the Order of the Sacred Rose, which is a white-and-black scheme, so that should be difficult! However, I thought I’d try it with the Contrast paints, and so far have been quite unimpressed. As such, I’ve been trying to paint them the more traditional method, so far with minimal results as I haven’t found much time, of course!

Similarly with the Black Legion, I’m not planning to go all that wide with the Sisters, although I have found myself with quite a bundle of plastic since the new year, so maybe that will be inevitable?! As it stands, I don’t think I need to buy anything more for the army for the rest of the year!

With both of these army lists, my intent has been to get a decent start on each of the forces, getting some characters and some troops painted up, along with a few more interesting bits. Basically, I suppose I’m trying to put together an interesting line up that will be fun to paint as time moves on. The armies are never going to be competitive, I’m fairly sure of that, but I’m looking forward to seeing how far I get. Interestingly, both the Chaos and Sisters forces have a squad of troops, a squad of heavy weapons, and at least one hero-character to lead them… though they don’t feel in any way balanced against each other!

I’m always keen to see how far I’ve gone, so I think over the weekend I’ll try to get some photos taken of the models as they stand right now. Then it might be fun to see how far I’ve come at the end of the year, when I get them together once more and see whether, in fact, I’ve made any progress at all! There’s always the risk of something distracting me, after all – especially with the new Necrons on the horizon!!

I’m really quite excited for these two projects, as they should sit quite nicely alongside my Genestealer Cults force. Of course, I’ve found myself with three of the most detailed model ranges out there, so I’m not entirely sure how much progress I’m going to make, but I’m hoping that, by the end of the year, progress will nevertheless have been made!

All of this sort of supersedes the Hobby Resolutions, then, I suppose, though it’ll be interesting to see at my New Year check-in just how far I’ve managed to get with, well, all of this, really! Stay tuned, as ever, for more exciting updates!

Warhammer 40k 9th Edition is here! Nearly…

Welcome to 9th Edition!

Or not…

What a way to start the new edition. Since, what, 3rd edition, there has been a starter box to help people get into the whole thing – if someone walks into a GW and asks how they can get started with this crazy thing, this is what they get pointed to. The boxes have been a varied mix of greatness that, recently at least, have always included miniatures that were exclusively available through that box. Sure, a lot of them were push-fit models, the sort of things that go together one way only as they’re designed for those folks new (or fairly new) to the hobby. Somewhat paradoxically, I’ve always enjoyed these kind of sets because of the variety they offer – you get static poses, for sure, but somehow the miniatures have different detail to the inevitable multi-part models.

Anyhow, the point being that previous editions have a starter set with which to get into the game. Indomitus has been sold as a limited release “launch set”, much like we saw with the Sisters of Battle set back in November, and the recent Lumineth Realmlords set. They’re a set of models with which to launch a model line, or in this case, a game edition. Much like the Sisters set, the box sold out within minutes – the GW site crashed six times during my attempt to buy it, after my LGS site simply failed to load due to the traffic.

It feels as though GW has decided this kind of limited-release run is, once again, a good idea to get a load of quick sales. Remember the End Times nonsense? I thought we’d put all of this behind us, but clearly not! Why do they keep doing this? For the money, clearly, but seeing the boxes up on ebay today for well over triple the original asking price (and higher still!) must make them thing, if they made just more of their product, people would be giving them the money… Of course, people have been talking about this topic for so long now, and there are plenty of people who have crunched the numbers better than I could, but once the initial design and moulds have been paid for, producing the actual plastic kit costs just pennies. With a set this good, they could keep it as a line item and I’m sure it’d fly off the shelves.

Launching 9th Edition with a box that sold out in quarter of an hour has left a weird aftertaste – you can still join in the fun of the new edition from July 25th, albeit only with the rulebook. No box full of fancy miniatures for you to enjoy, just the book.

It feels weird, and has robbed it of any sense of excitement for me.

Did you manage to get a copy of Indomitus? What are your thoughts on this latest GW limited release?

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition retrospective

Hey everybody!
Indomitus goes on pre-order tomorrow – a two week preorder window, which seems a little silly given that the box is likely to sell out in a couple of minutes. Anyway, we’re not too far away from having a new edition, even if it doesn’t seem like five minutes since 8th Edition, and I thought it would be nice to look back on the old edition before it fades into memory!

I think the best thing about 8th Edition was the fact that it launched with these books. Being a completely new style of game from 7th Edition, the Indexes were of course necessary for the game, but they functioned quite like mini-Codexes, with the rules for (I think) pretty much every model made for each faction, and army-specific rules.

I started playing pretty regularly in 8th with my Necrons, followed quickly by my Dark Eldar, so it was quite good to have all of the rules for these factions in the same book. It was also useful if you were going to play against an army included in the same book, as you basically had their Codex as well, allowing you to see what you could be coming up against.

My Dark Eldar were the the army that I had been building up for this edition, of course, so it was nice to get them to the table.

One of the best aspects of 8th Edition was the addition of “chapter tactics” for each faction, allowing for a great deal of customization for your army. Relics, Warlord Traits and Psychic Powers were all given out with specifics for these sub-divisions within each faction, as well as Stratagems:

Stratagems were, I think, among the biggest game-changers for the edition. Many of the army rules, unit rules, or even weapon rules from the previous edition were re-created via Stratagems, which could be used for a cost that was generated by how you’d built your army. There have been pages and pages written about Stratagems and their use, of course, so I’m not going to labour the point on this one, but there have been quite a few shenanigans though the generation and re-generation of command points.

In the main, I’ve quite liked them, of course, although I do tend to forget about them… and end games with almost as many points as I’d started!

8th Edition 40k was certainly an improvement on 7th Edition, although very quickly we started to get the same kind of bloat as had been seen in the previous edition. Both Space Marines and Chaos Marines had two editions of their codexes, as the factions had seen an influx of new models. Let’s not talk about Primaris Marines here, because even more pages have been written about this topic, but suffice it to say, the range has exploded to take over the older marines. Only a matter of time before the old marines are phased out entirely, I think.

While we saw campaign boxes such as Shadowspear and campaign books such as the Vigilus two-parter, Psychic Awakening has really caused some issues for gamers wanting to play their armies and requiring a couple of books to get all the relevant rules. In three years, we’ve had a load of books to support this edition, which just seems crazy!

However, let’s turn back to the successes of the edition – let’s talk about Kill Team! The skirmish variant of regular 40k was completely re-imagined this time around, and I think it was quite a hit when it launched. It helped, of course, that it came out in a box set that launched an entirely updated terrain range – “updating things” seems to have been quite a theme of 8th edition! I’ve played a few games of Kill Team, and I do quite like it. The game feels, to me, very much like the sort of game you play with friends at your house, and run through a campaign with it. As the sort of game that you play in pick-up games down at the local store, however, I’ve not really had the sort of experience that I’d have liked.

The increased line of support for the game – bringing Elites, Commanders and so on – has turned it into something of a monster, and I think the almost RPG-like quality of things has made for that kind of sandbox feel that would be great with a consistent group. However, the product line did include perhaps one of the most incredible box-sets GW has actually produced:

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

Bringing Rogue Traders to 40k is a ridiculously ballsy move, and I’ve talked about this box at length here. I think this box helped to set the scene for another roaring success for Games Workshop, Blackstone Fortress. While it isn’t really part of 8th Edition, I have really appreciated the fact that a lot of these ancillary products have brought us additional options for 40k. Rogue Traders and Navigators have all come to 40k, as well as Traitor Guard and Dark Mechanicum models. It’s been an absolutely insane time for fans of the lore of this universe, as we see so many wonderful minis for this game coming out. The 40k rules are maybe a bit… strange… and you really have to work to include them in a regular army if you wanted to do so. I suppose it’s perhaps their way of saying these models belong in these side games. Maybe. But it’s nice that the game has been supported with this stuff as well.


8th Edition has definitely been my busiest time for playing 40k – I’ve made some really good friends by being more present at my local store during this edition. I’m not a competitive gamer, so I’ve not has cause to complain too much about things that have been abused over the course of the three years. I’ve come up against some awkward games where I’ve been shut out of actually playing the game, but on the whole, this is not an edition I’m going to think badly about – it’s no 7th edition confuse-fest where you need a scientific calculator in order to work out a damage roll!

I’ve enjoyed 8th a lot, so let’s see what 9th is going to bring!