This one surprised me a little, I must be honest, but GenCon is being held in September this year? I always thought it was an August thing, but what do I know? The best four days in gaming must be a bit strange this year, although the main thing is that it’s back!
Let’s start with Fantasy Flight, whose In-Flight Report used to be the highlight of the weekend for me. Remember the days when they’d announce something spectacular, like Android Netrunner, and then they’d have limited stock to purchase during the convention? Here in 2021, it feels distinctly lacklustre, somehow, like there isn’t a great deal to be excited about. For sure, we have the long-awaited expansion for Outer Rim, which I know fans of that game will be excited by (I can’t believe I haven’t yet looked into that one, but then I guess my priorities have shifted lately!) There are a few games, like Keyforge and Marvel Champions, which I don’t play, so the only thing for me to come out of this announcement was the revised/consolidated Lord of the Rings LCG core set that is due, which will support 4 players out of the gate, and the promise of re-packaging complete cycles in a similar fashion to Arkham Horror LCG. And speaking of that game, they’ve also announced that they’ll be re-packaging earlier cycles to support collectors who have only now got into the game, starting with The Dunwich Legacy.
I thought it was interesting, though, reading some of the comments on FFG’s own facebook post about this, and seeing my own thoughts echoed. I used to be such a fanboy for FFG, but it seems that since they sold to Asmodee (well, for me I think the death-knell was the loss of the Warhammer licence) they’ve lost a lot of the creativity that I used to love. I mean, I used to go through their catalogue and just buy stuff to try it, on the basis that the company was top-notch. Now, I’m pretty much only buying Arkham games, and even then I’m not buying them all… But anyway, enough introspection!
Games Workshop are also at GenCon, and have announced a lot of interesting Kill Team stuff! The new warzone box, Chalnath, is due for release at some point, and does indeed feature T’au vs Sisters of Battle. The T’au Pathfinders kit will have an upgrade sprue, while the Sisters are a new unit, designed specifically for Kill Team. This is pretty much what has been speculated, and the fact that a new Sisters kit is coming out that looks so varied and stuff I think is proof that they want the Kill Team range to be its own thing. Of course, I imagine there will be 40k rules to follow, but it’s exciting. Pathfinders are a pretty full kit anyway, so adding in an upgrade sprue is a move that I can entirely understand – there are maybe only a handful of kits they can do this with, but it does make sense, rather than producing new kits all the time. The scenery is that from the first Kill Team box in 2018, so I’m thinking I might forego this one, in the hope that I can get the campaign book as well as the new miniatures separately. Otherwise, I could see myself with a second set of Sector Imperialis terrain!!
The new Sisters models do look very interesting though, and I like the idea of having a very customisable, essentially Sisters Scouts squad.
An actual Kill Team starter set is also due for release, as well as the Kommandos and Death Korps models coming out separately. This box won’t have the big buildings, just the barricades etc, but I think that’s a great idea because launching a new system with a limited edition box really does irritate me. At least now it looks like something that people can be excited for, rather than disappointed by.
We’ve also got our first look at Season Five of Warhammer Underworlds: Harrowdeep. This one sounds pretty good, and comes with the expected Stormcast vs Kruleboyz, so I’m excited for this one. I’m also wondering at what kinds of warbands we’ll see as the season gets underway – though I still haven’t picked up a couple of the s4 warbands that I’ve had my eye on… I need to get on that…
GW have said they’ll have Warcry and Necromunda announcements, as well, so I’m sure I’ll be back with more exciting stuff as the weekend progresses. Plus I’ll have my ear to the Twitters to see if anything else catches my eye. Stay tuned!
Hey everybody, I have finally got my hands on the Drukhari Codex for 9th edition! It feels like it’s been an age, though I suppose not playing games has meant there has been very little need for it. But with potential games on the horizon, I think it is time to start looking at my largest model collection to see how I can work things in the new edition. (I keep saying “new”, even though it’s been out well over twelve months now, simply because I haven’t had a chance to play properly yet!)
Oh my goodness, this book is complex!
I mean, when you sit down to properly read through, it’s fine, but when you first pick it up and take a look at the battle-forged rules, my goodness it’s wordy! I think this is really symptomatic of the new edition, because they have tried to make a rule set that is clear for organised play, it becomes very litigious, rather than reading like the rules to a game. True, that game is complex, but I thought 8th edition was a great big sigh of relief after the overly-fussy 7th edition, and while we haven’t gone back that far, it does need you to sit down and get your head around it to properly take it all in!
The Drukhari Codex is still split into three separate factions – Kabal, Coven and Cult – but when I first came to read up on how the army works now, it felt like some drastic changes had occurred! Not so, just a tidying-up of the rules, I suppose. Upon reflection, the way these rules are presented is actually quite neat, as well. The relics, stratagems and warlord traits unique to specific Obsessions are now grouped together on a single page each, rather than having a page of traits, a page of stratagems, etc. It does help to make things feel somehow more cohesive, once you realise that’s what they’ve done in the book.
To start with, you can still do the three Patrol detachment thing, and the cost for doing so is 0CP. There is a new Realspace Raid detachment rule, which gives a new keyword to the units that allows for a greater cohesion across the army, even though you’ve mixed in all three factions. The only stipulation is that the Archon must be the Warlord, but that’s a flavour win so I can’t see why you wouldn’t.
Something I really like is that you can upgrade each of the faction HQs to a Master – Master Archon, Master Succubus, Master Haemonculus – for a few extra points. This unlocks relics and warlord traits for them, as well as giving a new ability, and excitingly, it also unlocks “favoured retinues”, which allows you to upgrade Kabalite Warriors to Trueborn (for the Archon), Wyches to Hekatrix Bloodbrides (for the Succubus), and Wracks to Haemoxytes (for the Haemonculus). These retinue units have better stat lines and a special ability, but they don’t get access to more special weapons as was the case in 7th edition, so no Blasterborn or any similar shenanigans! I’m kinda fascinated by the Haemoxytes though, as they’re a new idea to me!
So the exciting thing now is that you can make a mixed force and call it a Realspace Raid, provided that you have the three separate HQs and a unit each of the basic troops, and the Archon is your Warlord. They even give you a two-page spread example of how a Battalion detachment might look in this instance, to further hammer the point home. A minimum-sized points investment for doing this would be 335 points, after which you’re free to fill up the army however you want. Doing this means that all the Kabal units still gain Kabal Obsessions, and so on, so it’s really quite a useful way of building an army, so long as you’re playing a points limit that can accommodate that initial outlay.
As far as army-wide rules go, Power from Pain and Combat Drugs are still a thing, Insensible to Pain is there, and Poisoned Weapons haven’t changed since the last edition, either. A new rule, Blade Artists, seems to be pretty much across the whole force, and improves AP by 1 for melee weapons on an unmodified 6, which is quite nice! Especially as there are a lot of weapons with AP in the melee list, from the start!
So let’s get down to business, and see what kind of list I have put together…
I’m currently just aiming for 1500 points, and the main theme behind this list is getting to grips with 9th Edition! I know that I should be thinking a bit more critically about some things, and protecting stuff like the Incubi and the Wyches more with transports, but I think that will come with 2000 points. I still like to have a core Kabal in there, which is why I’ve gone for two lots of Kabalite Warriors with Raiders. A hugely exciting development is that the transport capacity for Raiders and Venoms has been upped to 11 and 6, respectively, meaning that HQs can travel with their troops now! So the Archon and Haemonculus will each be in a Raider and Venom, respectively, with a bodyguard type of unit, leaving the poor Incubi, Wyches and Succubus to foot-slog up the board. But I’m thinking that the melee units could potentially be kept back for objective-sitting, with the flying stuff causing chaos elsewhere.
Splinter racks have changed now, so they no longer give exploding 6s but instead allow rapid fire weapons to treat the target as being within half-range, so I’m not 100% sure on keeping them as an auto-include now, but I think – as with a lot of this list – I want to play with these things, to see how it works out. I’ve also put grisly trophies on all my vehicles, as they give -2 leadership to enemy models within 3″, and I’m thinking about using the No Mercy, No Respite secondary objective, which gives VPs for each model that flees the battle each round. I’ve not previously leaned into the fear aspect of the Drukhari, but it’s something I think might be nice to look into, now that there is such a tasty objective on offer there!
Of all the Cult units, I think Reavers are the ones I’ve used most often, and have enjoyed most consistently. I think I can see them being quite deadly in the game, as well, with 10 attacks from the unit, the grav-talon to dish out mortal wounds on the charge, but also the firepower they can boast before close combat. They all have pistols to shoot while in combat as well, and I’ve given them the +1 Toughness drug, so any retaliation will come at T5, which can be quite difficult!
Scourges are a unit that I only really started to appreciate towards the end of 8th edition, mainly because of the possibility of having 4 splinter cannons dropping down from the sky on top of people. Splinter cannons have changed now, from Rapid Fire 3 to Heavy 3, so they aren’t necessarily as good as they once were. That said, again I would like to play with them first, and get a feel for how things work in the new edition before dropping them. I do feel like I might be going for fewer specialised weapons in my lists, going forward!
So there we have it, anyway, my first Drukhari list of 9th edition. I’m hoping that I can actually get to play in another couple of weeks, albeit I’m not sure if a 1500 point game would be on the cards quite yet! But you never know. Hopefully soon, I’ll be talking about how this list performed on the tabletop, anyway!
After my rambling talk about the Tyranids last month, I have naturally veered off into the Genestealer Cults once again! Typical, huh? However, I’m hoping that this is going to be something a little bit different. I know, I’ve been here before, talking about projects and never getting anywhere with any of them! But hear me out, it’s not about to be another blog where I over-commit to stuff and end up with virtual egg on my face.
I love the Genestealer Cults – the lore is fantastic, and some of my favourite in the whole 40k universe. The models are amazing, and I’ve talked many times about how the Neophyte Hybrids are the best-looking troops in the entire line.
I want to take it slow, though. All too often, I’ve had thoughts about building an army, starting with just a small force, then adding on from there, but then before I even put brush to plastic, I’m planning the next stage, and the next one, and it becomes a nonsense! I’ve done this with Chaos and, to a lesser extent, Sisters. I know that life is different for me now, but I do sometimes think back to the glory days of 7th edition, when I just bought a Dark Eldar army and, pretty much in 6-7 months had the majority of it fully painted! I’ve churned out many a list for the Cult, but still haven’t really gotten anywhere with the army – so it’s time for that to change!
I’ve got so many models for this army, and have been faffing about with them for what feels like centuries now, after all. So after some rumination for a while, I’ve decided that I need to get my finger out and actually finish off some of these miniatures. I have given it all some thought, anyway, and have come up with a 500-point list (of 9th edition points) using the miniatures that I already have built and ready – and in some cases, almost finished. It’s not the first time I’ve tried to start things off with 500 points, but I’m a lot more hopeful this time! In theory, at least, it should be a fully-functioning list for Combat Patrol, the 500-point format, while also providing a useful core from which to build out further. Because of course I’m going to be going huge with these guys!
The thing with this army, of course, is how cheap some of the stuff is, which turns things into a bit of a horde feel, hence why I’ve amassed so many of them! But with such detailed models, it does end up scaring me a little. I mean, 60 Neophytes must be a delight to see finished on the tabletop, but getting there – jeez!
The Primus is my current warlord, the trait giving the enemy -1 to hit on shooting attacks against him, and the relic allowing him to do mortal wounds at the end of the charge (plus a 4+ invuln!) I say ‘current’ because I really want to have a Patriarch at the heart of this army and, under the current rules at least, the Patriarch must be the warlord when he’s included.
I’ve talked before about my dreams of having a Hybrid Metamorph bomb go off, and I’ve got the beginnings of this here, with the five guys plus the Primus. I’m giving them the Goliath Truck, rather than including the Magus for psychic stuff, to help deliver them into combat. My one and only game with the army, back between lockdowns in July 2020, saw me mess up the sequencing with them and it really didn’t come to pass, because they were shot off the board before anything could really happen. Not this time, though! Of course, I’m still largely working with models that I built before I really knew what I wanted from them, back when 7th edition was still a thing, so I might yet revisit them and change things up. But that could well be a task for when the Codex drops.
My main preoccupation here is going to be the Neophytes, I think. They’re just such good looking models, I really want to try and nail these troops so that I have a nice workable backbone for the army. I’m actually considering massive units of 20 models when the time comes for some big games, but I suppose we’ll see. They’re one of my favourite units though, visually, and so I definitely want to use them in the force.
The list, then, consists of 32 models (32 models in a 500-point match sounds like a lot, but they’re really quite poor in terms of survivability, remember, everything has a 5+ save and toughness 3, so it’s not like I’m going with an elite force here! My plan is simply to make sure I get this list finished before the New Year. I’m not saying I need to focus solely on these guys, particularly as I have a few other bits and pieces that I’m currently working on, but I’m kinda throwing everything else out the window now, so long as I finish these models I’m gonna be happy. I can still paint some Necrons, some terrain etc, but I want to get these guys done. Then I might look at painting up the next chunk by Easter, and on it goes!
At several points, I’ve mentioned expanding the force. Now, I think my problem in the past has always been to write out a full 1500 point list, or whatever, and because everything is so cheap, I end up looking down the barrel of about 100 models to paint, and it just turns me off. If ever there was an army designed for the slow-grow, this was surely it! But I hope that by taking it in slow chunks, I can actually stand a chance of getting it finished! But I’m not going to focus on them to the exclusion of all else, either, in the hope of keeping the project fresh for me – because even taking it in chunks, there’s a lot of models to paint!!
I’m not abandoning my Tyranids either, and fully intend to carry on painting those chaps along the way! I think, at the minute, I’m happy to just bumble along and paint up what I can, I’m not trying to rush and get my bugs finished as well. The Cultists have been languishing for so long though, they really do need some love.
And the lore is just so damn good, too, you know? I might have to do another blog about that soon…
August has been and gone, and it’s time to look forward to an autumn with the hobby, usually! Hopefully there won’t be anymore lockdowns happening of course, though with a 10-week old baby to look after, I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll get to do! She’s been quite poorly of late, as well, which hasn’t been much fun for anyone. Fingers crossed for a much more exciting September, anyway!
I’ve found myself in a curious place, lately, where I’ve not really been in the mood to read. Part of this is, I’m sure, because I find it awkward to hold the smaller person and also a book, so have spent a lot of the summer just not reading anything. However, this month I picked up The Rising Storm, the second book in the High Republic series. Well, it’s the second book in the ‘adult’ series; there are YA and junior books in the mix, as well as comics and now audio dramas, but I don’t have the energy to keep up with it all, if I’m honest. The Rising Storm has, so far, been pretty good – there’s definitely the feeling that I’m in the middle of a series (I believe this is only a trilogy, though I could be mistaken), but even so, I’m about 150pp in, and I’m enjoying it!
I’m in a Facebook group for Star Wars novels, and I kinda feel like I should just come out of it, as the opinions in there seem to be wild and I don’t know that I really get all that much out of it. I mean, a lot of the time, if I’ve spoken of my distaste for anything (the Darth Bane trilogy, in particular, sticks out here), it’s almost like a red flag to be lynched, or something. I dunno, anyway, but the latest High Republic book seems to be getting panned in the group, and I’m just a bit down on them all!
I haven’t mentioned the Arkham Horror LCG for a while, as I haven’t been able to play it since I ran through the Return to Night of the Zealot a few months ago, but after trundling on down to my local game store last week, I’ve been able to order a copy of In Too Deep, and have also discovered that the first part of the Edge of the Earth expansion is due imminently, giving us the investigator cards. So that’s all exciting stuff, especially as I’ll finally have the Innsmouth campaign in its entirety!
I think I’m going to save the box for later in the year, anyway. I’m in no rush to play with the new cards, as I have a ton of cards I’ve still never used, after all, so it would make a nice birthday/Christmas present!
This month seems to have been about Warcry in a big way, though. I wrote up a long and rambling post earlier in the month, talking about what I like about it, and where it could be going etc, as well as another post commenting on the downloadable content GW have put out, with a dash of speculation on the future of the game, after the hints of there being exciting news on the horizon. In the middle of these, I also took a look at the Tome of Champions 2020, which had an awesome narrative campaign included. The more that I’ve dived in to Warcry, the more impressed I am with the breadth of content available. I mean, all that free stuff on the Warhammer Community site looks fantastic, and the work that must go into those Tomes is phenomenal. If Necromunda wasn’t a thing, this could be the best!
I’m very pleased to say that I’m almost finished painting the Unmade now – I was hoping to have finished the whole warband, but there are maybe 2 models still to paint the metals. I think I’ve managed to do quite well with the tasteful blood spatter and so on, and I’m very pleased with how the bases are a good match for the main board in Warcry – the old Lustrian Undergrowth texture paint, which I bought a load of back in the day, drybrushed with Administratum Grey. Very effective, in my opinion!
Oh, and I’ve also been building up the Catacombs stuff! I’ve built up the dungeon terrain, and the Scions of the Flame warband, and have had an abortive game with it. I wasn’t entirely excited by it all, if I’m honest, but I want to have a full game with it before I form a proper opinion of it all. Stay tuned for that, of course!
In addition to Warcry though, it’s also been all about the new Kill Team!
This is especially true of the bank holiday weekend, when I finally picked the box up and had the opportunity to get some of it built. Who knows when I’ll be able to actually do anything more with it, of course! I’m going to try and take the opportunity to keep building it up though, and see how far I can get with actually painting it all up, as well. So far, 10 Death Korps of Krieg models have been built, and they look beautiful!
For a long time during the month, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get it – the price, more than anything, had me wondering if I wouldn’t be better-off using my money on stuff I already play and enjoy etc, rather than buying into yet another game from GW. In the event, my initial thoughts of it being pretty much a board game have won out and I took the plunge, as I have no plans to start an Imperial Guard or Ork army! I am going to keep this as a boxed game, I think, though of course I’ll probably end up buying some add-ons as and when!
The subject of add-ons is an interesting one, of course, because I do find myself idly wondering where they’re going to go from here, specifically. We know we’re getting new Kill Zones per quarter, but does each quarter simply have a new big box and then some articles in White Dwarf? Or can we expect an expansion-type deal in a month or so, where we get Elites or Commanders? Death Korps Commissar, be still my heart! I firmly believe that we’ll see an expansion with more regular 40k models from here on out, and while initially I’d thought we could be seeing new units for existing armies, as the initial rumours seemed to suggest we’d be getting a new Sisters unit for the rumoured Sisters vs Tau box, I’m now thinking that we will most likely be getting re-packs with, perhaps, an upgrade frame. This is basically how the Krieg models work – the two main A sprues are the 10 infantrymen, with the B upgrade sprue having specific fancy parts. There are still fancy parts on A, but stuff like the medic on B is a lot more involved than the medic on A, if you see what I mean. So I could see a box of 10 Sisters being packed along with an upgrade frame to give access to more weapons (though the Sisters, being dual-purpose with Dominions and Celestians, already have a good breadth of bits available to them). There are quite a few kits that exist in the 40k range that would very easily port over, and if they were to just throw in some Sector Imperialis sprues as well, you’d quite easily have the bulk of a new box, right there.
It’s not all been about skirmish games though! I’ve started to think about my Tyranids again, and have been planning up my next steps to getting that army up to scratch. I’ve mainly been trying to recapture my paint scheme, because I didn’t make a note of it anywhere (like a fool!) I think I’ve been able to deduce that I used Death World Forest for the green, and I think Straken Green might be involved as a highlight; the carapace is definitely Rakarth Flesh, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and highlighted with Ushabti Bone (and possibly Screaming Skull). I’m working on some genestealers while I recover the scheme, anyway, though I’ve seen online a potentially easier way of doing this with Contrasts, which might work for the gaunts, so I want to try that at some point.
I’ve been painting some of the walls from the Dark Uprising set for Necromunda, as well, and I’m really pleased with the results! This is a fairly quick scheme that I’ve seen on a facebook group a couple of months ago. Spray the model with Mechanicus Standard Grey, then paint the inner arch bits with Tallarn Sand. Shade the whole thing with Agrax Earthshade, then drybrush Dawnstone and Deepkin Flesh, and that’s basically it! The details will obviously vary, but for the metalwork I’ve been painting the silver Leadbelcher, and the copper Castellax Bronze, all shaded with both Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade. It’s intentionally patchy and crappy, because I’m trying to make it look gross! I’ve then gone in and dabbed some Dryad Bark along the bottom as kicked-up dirt, and in places (though it isn’t always apparent) I’ve put some Athonian Camoshade to simulate moss/mould. It does work better on a lighter stone, but never mind. As a base, I’m quite pleased, but there’s always room for improvement and adding in some details, but for now it’s definitely good to see the walls coming together! I’m looking forward to getting more of the zone mortalis structures painted, the stairs and things, and seeing the whole hive come together!
As I said up at the top, September is very much a hobby-focused month for me, as I harken back to the good old days when I was first discovering 40k in a big way, so I’m excited to see what I could possibly accomplish on that front – here’s hoping next month’s retrospective blog will be choc full of good stuff!
After a weekend devoted to attempting to understand the rules for the new version of Warhammer 40k: Kill Team that just came out, I thought I’d ramble for a bit on the blog here, with some thoughts and first impressions. I haven’t played any games yet – hell, I’ve barely had time to start building models – so all of this is just my rambling conjecture, really!
I think it’s important to note, first of all, that this game is a completely different and new iteration of Kill Team, and one that does not form a low bar of entry into regular 40k. It is its own game system, and I think it’s much better for it. Sure, I got confused as much as anyone when I first picked this up, but I’m getting my head wrapped around it now, and I’m cautiously optimistic.
I think one of the biggest changes comes from how you build your team. Points have all gone, and instead your faction choice dictates pretty much your roster. It’s not as straightforward as all that, but it is still very prescriptive. I don’t have the Compendium that has been released, to allow for all the “regular” unit choices from 40k to be played here, but I understand that, broadly speaking, each faction has a set number of “fire teams”, which are built from specific models, and you can’t simply throw together a team based on a whim. For example, it seems to be the case that Necron Warriors and Immortals aren’t on the same fire team anymore, so potentially won’t be in the same game.
That said, the campaign book that was released in the box has the rules for Death Korps and Kommandos – and these rules are both interesting and involved! For Death Korps, you get to build a single team of 10 guys, but can pick from a long list of role types. You get a plethora of additional rules to make use of. Which is a bit overwhelming at first, especially as you’ll need to get to grips with it all before you start. It just serves to illustrate how the Compendium is the Index of this game, and I suppose the promise of lots more boxes as the game develops makes sense, now!
I’ve surprised myself by getting a complete Krieg team built this weekend! I’m going purely for the rule of cool on these chaps, fully in the knowledge that I want to pick up another box when they’re released separately. I’ll probably build a couple more special ones, but I really like the look of these as basic troops, and it kinda fits the narrative in my head of having less of a ‘special’ squad with fancy weapons, rather just having a regular team that has been thrown into this situation of clearing out an Ork infestation.
The rules, as stated earlier, are very different to previous iterations, and from regular 40k, too. There are three parts to each turn (which itself is called a Turning Point), of which there are four per game. The initiative phase is where initiative is decided, oddly enough, then the strategy phase acts much like 40k’s command phase, where you get your command points and can play strategic ploys – one of two types of ploy, the other being tactical ones. These are basically stratagems from 40k, and each team has a suite of them that they can use. During the strategy phase, you also get to reveal TacOps – secondary objectives – which score you additional victory points outside of the scope of the mission being played.
Lastly, there is the firefight phase, where the actual model stuff happens! There are 9 different actions available to models, which have limits on how many actions they can take. The Krieg guys all have 2 action points to spend, and stuff like move, shoot, pick up and fight all costs one action point. Very nice.
Movement is still measured in inches, but there is a symbol-based system that has been the subject of much debate online, so I’m not going to go heavily into it here. I do kinda like the way having this symbol-based thing can be used, as you move in straight-line increments of whatever your move value is – 3⚪️ is 6”, but you move in blocks of 2”. There’s a nuance there that comes from playing, I imagine.
Combat is very interesting, especially hand-to-hand combat. Basically, both fighters roll together, and the defender can try to parry the successful hits from the attacker, simulating real-time combat in a way that I’ve not seen in games before. Very interesting, indeed!!
As normal for GW games, there are the three ways to play, with narrative play seeming to get the best deal here. Referred to as Spec Ops, there are rules for specialists that we had in the last version of the game, although the talent tree style has been replaced with a battle honours system that basically nets the operative more rules from a list of six available within that specialism. It’s perfectly serviceable, though does lack that sense of progression the old system had. The exciting thing here, though, is that you have rules to create your own HQ! The meat and potatoes of the narrative style is the Spec Ops themselves, though – ten missions, for want of a better term, that give you a structure to what your kill team is trying to achieve. Each one has two objectives, which must be completed in order – but that’s not to say you only have to play a pair of games! The first one objective of each requires you to play five games and score victory points from accomplishing certain things. It’s similar to Warcry, in that you’re trying to tell your own story through your narrative, and you aren’t tied in to a group or anything.
The Octarius book builds on this by providing a whole bunch of faction-specific rules, including unique Spec Ops for those teams to complete. It seems very much that this edition of Kill Team is aimed at the narrative end, although you can of course play matched play games if you want – I’m just not sure how much fun they’d be.
Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic about this version of Kill Team. It isn’t tied to the main 40k system anymore, which seems like it might outlast 9th edition. I know a lot of people are a little salty that it no longer provides a gateway into 40k, but that’s kinda the point now. Kill Team is its own thing, and will usher in fans via the models and the overall grim dark world and theme, but Combat Patrol is now clearly the way forward for small-scale 40k. Kill Team is its own game, one that looks like it will have its own model range that can almost coincidentally be used in main-line 40k.
Should be really interesting to watch this one as time goes on.
It’s here! It’s pretty fantastic too, I must say! Daddy duties have kept me from immediately tearing into the box, and building up these new models, but from looking through the sprues, this box is just awesome. Both kill teams look utterly stunning, the level of detail on each team really is off the charts. The plastic Death Korps look every bit as detailed as the Forge World resin originals, and out of everything in here, these are the guys that I’m looking forward to the most. But even the Orks look pretty damn good, and that’s coming from me as someone who has never wanted to build or paint an Ork model in my life! The terrain does look a bit chunky, and a bit flat, but it’s still highly detailed and full of character. Very impressive!
I’ve been flicking through the books, and it feels like there’s a lot to take in, probably because it’s such a departure from what I’m used to with 40k, etc. I am a big fan, anyway, and I’m really excited to see how this game is supported, going forward. That sounds like I’m forever looking to the next big thing, and you might wonder just why I don’t take the time to appreciate and explore the current release! Well, I fully intend to, don’t you worry! I suppose it’s more idle curiosity, given that we know GW intend to put out new sets once a quarter. Is there anything else coming for Octarius? Or is it literally just four big boxes like this per year? I am intrigued! 🤔
Quarterly releases feel a bit like the schedule might get rushed. I mean, it could take me three months just to build everything in this box! I think I’d rather a slower pace, but if this box is it, and there’s no expansion for, say, Death Korps Commissars to come out next month, then at least we know what we’re dealing with.
The box has a campaign book, in which we find the rules for the fighters included here. I believe that the sprues included in the box have all of the parts to allow you to assemble a single kill team of each faction, although I could totally see myself buying a second box – indeed, Death Korps teams can consist of a leader and either 9 regular troopers or 9 fancy specialists, or a mix thereof. With a roster having a maximum of 20 operatives from which to draw your team, it kinda makes sense to me to build up two boxes’ worth and get every configuration. Smart move, GW!
The model rules coming in the campaign book is very interesting to me, because I feel like future sets might be smaller, for instance sold without the terrain. I suppose big boxes are a big part of their sales model right now, though, so I am likely to be priced out of this game soon enough! I thought the original Kill Team model of expansion was a brilliant way to sell the game, but this time they definitely seem to be veering more down the notion of bespoke teams, with those ‘compendium kill teams’ appearing almost bland by comparison. Rumours are already swirling about the next box being a new Sisters unit vs Tau Pathfinders, with an upgrade sprue for the latter to, presumably, allow for multiple weapon options. Interesting notion, for sure, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I’m beginning to sound a bit down on the whole thing, though, and that’s really not my intention. I am very much looking forward to getting my teeth stuck in to the new Kill Team, so stay tuned as I hopefully learn the ropes and – who knows? – get to try out the new edition!!
Hey everybody, Earlier in the week, the Warhammer Community website put out an article for Warcry, covering new rules for the miniatures released as part of the Dominion box set for Age of Sigmar. It was the last of these “Call of the Everchosen” articles, which has prompted me to look back at what they’ve actually covered in this series since it began in February. By my count, there have only been five, more’s the pity, but that’s a good number to allow for us to take a dive through and see what is on offer!
Stormcast Eternals vs the Blackscale Coil, a shadowy criminal enterprise in Anvilgard, around the events in Broken Realms: Morathi. There are a series of linked narrative battles where the Stormcast leader, Keiser Ven Brecht, is gathering clues on the activities of the criminals before the final showdown. The Blackscale Coil player musters different warbands throughout the campaign, finally playing with the Coil (made up from Dark Elf units, including a chariot and Hydra/Kharibdyss!) Ven Brecht is searching for clues, and will automatically lose the campaign if he fails to uncover 10 over the course of the linked battles. It’s a really cool concept, narratively, and I think it harkens back a lot to the anthology of short stories that I read a while back, where the cities of the Eightpoints are alive with criminal elements and not just bloodthirsty chaos cults vying for dominance – I know this particular campaign is set in Anvilgard, of course, but it’s very interesting to see how these types of stories can be told through the game system, and it’s not all just warbands fighting for the sake of it.
This is an interesting one, adding 21 Lumineth fighters to the roster, and gives us a narrative campaign of the Lumineth Realm-Lords vs Ossiarch Bonereapers. The campaign allows for the Lumineth to be led by the Light of Eltharion model, which is itself quite something, while the Bonereapers are able to use Mortisan Boneshapers, Soulmasons or Soulreapers, they can attempt to summon a Nightmare Predator. Much like the previous campaign, this one follows along the Broken Realms: Teclis book, and is fought over three games. The rules are much for flexible for the first two, but the third has a specific battleplan that brings none other than Arkhan the Black into the fray for the Bonereapers’ leader! A very cool aspect of this narrative campaign is the sense of travel given during the Aftermath sequence – the Lumineth player is trying to get to the Gates of Paradox to prevent the Bonereapers from enacting a ritual to corrupt this realmgate. During the Aftermath, the Lumineth player rolls a d6 and consults the relevant chart, adding 1 to the roll if they won the previous battle, and subtracting one if they lost; on a 1-3 they suffer a setback, and on a 4-6 they gain a reward. These tables have different effects depending on whether the warband “errs to the east” or “errs to the west”, which is a really nice idea that I like a great deal!
The Depths of Sylontum narrative campaign features Chaos Daemons vs Undead (Nighthaunt and/or Soulblight Gravelords), making for an excellent introduction to the new warband while also tying into the third Broken Realms instalment, Be’lakor. This is a 4-6 player campaign, where the players form a team to play each other individually (no grand melee). Each team gets to select tactics that determine deployment etc, before the final battle where the teams join together in grand melee style. The Agents of Be’lakor are trying to complete a ritual, represented by controlling objectives, while the Emerald Host of Lady Olynder is trying to stop them; at the end of each battle round, Chaos get D3 ritual points for each objective, but they subtract D3 points for each objective controlled by the Host. If Chaos get 10 ritual points, they win! It’s a very interesting game idea – I’ve not got a lot of experience with big multi-player games like this, but I can imagine there would be a lot of back-and-forth as there are only three objectives out on the table. It’s also a very interesting match-up, purely Daemons vs zombies and ghosts, I can imagine that would lead for some very interesting interactions.
Within the forsaken city of Ulfenkarn lies the Ven Silveren estate, and its lure of riches untold has led many to seek it out for plunder. Tying into the Warhammer Quest: Cursed City boxed game (that came and went in a heartbeat – but I’m not bitter), this narrative campaign features a strong theme of horror, with warbands unable to add reinforcements between battles, and potentially turned into zombies, meaning it is that much more brutal and grim! Rather than the team game that we saw in the Be’lakor tie-in, this is a free-for-all campaign where players are competing with each other to find the estate’s riches. To further the horror-story feeling, there is the Nightfall mechanic, which acts as the Twist for every game in the campaign. A d3 roll at the start of the game determines how many rounds of daylight are left, before night descends, and the Restless Undead come out – basically roving monsters like the chaotic beasts from the starter set. Another interesting mechanic happens during the Aftermath section, where you can choose to send out a fighter into the night, and roll on a d6 table to see what happens – maybe they’re slain, or perhaps they will be able to add to your progress? Progress determines the level of bonuses your warband will get during the final battle, where the warbands all converge on the crypt of Ven Silveren – entrances to which are denoted by objective markers, which are removed one by one at the end of each battle round, until the player controlling both the final objective marker and the key token wins! Sounds very atmospheric, I have to say!
The most recent campaign is based around the Dominion starter set for Age of Sigmar, and has a decidedly different feel to it than the others we’ve seen. It feels very much like a war, fittingly! One player controls the Thunderstrike Stormcast, while the other takes the Kruleboyz, and each side is led by three heroes, who each surround themselves with a warband of varying size. There are a number of locations being fought over, and each hero is sent with their warband to one of those locations. When the location of the battle is revealed, the warbands are then deployed, and battle is joined! There are either three or four battles in the campaign – once a player has one two battles, the final battle begins. In this battle, all of the leaders are involved in warbands of 1300 points, and the objective is to take out all of the enemy fighters. Quite straightforward, in all honesty, though there is the unique mechanic of Victory at All Costs, which you can declare once in the battle and gain two wild dice, which you must declare how they are to be used (and then receive no further wild dice for the game). There’s a definite pitched-battle feel, as opposed to the normal skirmish-feel of the game, but it’s quite nice to have that sort of thing as an option for the game, really!
Overall, there are some really good ideas here – as well as some great expansions for warbands such as the Lumineth and the Soulblight. It’s an interesting take on narrative campaigns, to have them so prescribed and such. The Tome of Champions 2020 has the excellent narrative campaign that is based on the silent city of Soroth Kor, though obviously any warband can take part there. So I suppose a lot of people who play Warcry may not be set up to use this content – but perhaps GW are treating these campaigns as a way to lure AoS players into the Warcry camp?
Of course, it’s usually the other way round, and I think the Anvilgard campaign is a case in point, where you can use the Start Collecting contents for the Blackscale Coil warband. But I suppose it goes both ways, as the Soulblight, Lumineth and Dominion campaigns are all designed to let existing AoS players use their minis in Warcry. Hm.
It’s a shame about the way that Cursed City was handled, because the campaign using that game’s contents is pretty good, I feel! The nightfall mechanic is very interesting, and lends a definite air of dread to the game – if only the board game hadn’t disappeared so quickly, it would have been a perfect excuse, as a Warcry player already, to pick it up! I retain some level of hope that they’re planning to re-try when the world has returned to normal, though as some people have speculated already, some of those Soulblight characters do look very much like the sort of thing that you’d expect to see in an expansion, like the Ambull or Zoat expansions for Blackstone Fortress. Perhaps the design studio is already hard at work picking another locale for the next iteration of WHQ though, and we’ll see something in a couple more years.
Before I finish rambling though, I thought it might be interesting to speculate on what’s next for the game, given the little tease in the Dominion article about the “exciting things in store” for the game. Looking at how things have been shown with the new Kill Team, and the focus on warzones and seasons of the game, with the promise of bespoke teams and the like, I think we could see a move away from the purely Chaos-driven theme and blow it up to include more AoS factions. In a similar manner to how the Dominion narrative campaign had the feel of a small scale war, rather than the skirmishes between rag-tag warbands, I think we could be seeing this as the next stage. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, because the appeal, to me, of this game has been in the fact that it’s almost purely Chaos vs Chaos, with the other warbands very much bolt-ons to the existing game system. Going forward, I think we could expect to see seasons of the game, with a couple of warbands specific for this game, though from any faction in the Realms, and maybe a campaign book or something that deals with the background and stuff, a bit like Soroth Kor in TOC20.
I could be entirely wrong, of course, and a big part of me does hope so! Catacombs was something that I had not expected, so it could also be the case here! I guess we’ll have to just wait and see what GW has to offer us next!
Hey everybody, With the world opening up now, and I’m potentially inching closer towards sanity once more on the parenthood front, I’ve been talking about 40k once again with my buddy JP, and the potential for games maybe this autumn. Possibly. September/October time is forever set in my heart as the time of year, all those moons ago, when I first got into the grim darkness of the far future, and while traditionally it might be more closely associated with the Necrons, I do also have a very strong attraction to the Tyranids, who were getting a fairly substantial plastic update at the time. Ah, memories!
With the current storyline set in the Octarius sector, with Tyranids and Orks going up against each other, it’s got me thinking about my own bug list from years gone by, and how I think the time has come to get some serious effort in with these chaps.
Massive dioramas like these don’t really help the cause, either!
It looks like the upcoming War Zone book, Rising Tide, is set to provide an update for the faction much like Blood of Baal did during the Psychic Awakening series, although I don’t remember hearing much in the way of good things there! The recent article up on the Warhammer Community site seems to be starting strong though, with a look at the synapse ability. In 8th Edition, synapse just allowed models within 12″ of a creature with synapse the ability to auto-pass morale tests, as well as making shooting more accurate for units within 24″ of them. Now, however, synapse creatures are getting their own unique abilities, which sounds quite nice! They’re a bit like these relic abilities that you can give to certain characters as upgrades – my only frame of reference is for Necron Crypteks, but I’m sure there’s a more commonly-used term! So Broodlords give nearby models the benefit of cover, and Neurothropes give nearby models fear-like effects, for the cost of a few points. What’s more interesting is that synapse creatures extend each others’ ranges, so if another synapse unit is within range of a buffed synapse creature, units within range of that unit will also get the benefit, even though they may be outside the range of the original buffed creature.
So what about my list?
I have quite a few Tyranid units built up these days, and some of them are even painted! I know! I think I’ve only played one game with them – possibly two, though it/they happened shortly before my eldest was born, and those pre-children times are quite hazy now!
Initially, I’d intended my Tyranid list to be predominantly big bugs, with just a few bits and pieces that would form something of the bulk. I’d mainly thought about carnifexes, tyrannofexes, hive tyrants and so on, without the need for painting swarms of termagants and so on. Well, once I’d played that first game, I think the need for more bodies quickly became clear! It’s all well and good having some big chaps along, but if they get picked off (my carnifex, I seem to recall, performed admirably in true “distraction” style, and died before doing anything) there’s much less you can do with your guys.
I also have a lot of genestealers, from a variety of sources, so that helps!
Adjusting for 9th edition, the army that I brought with me back in 2019 is somewhere in the region of 1300 points (it wasn’t quite to the level that I’d originally hoped!). It’s gone up quite a lot, mainly I suppose because of the amount of adrenal glands that everyone is using. However, the list was made very much with the multiple detachment style of 8th edition in mind, and of course we’re now free from those restraints, so I’ve been looking at mixing things up a bit!
I’m going for a 1500-point list, but I’m leaving myself a cushion at the moment with which to potentially pay for some of those tasty upgrades that I mentioned. So the core of this is basically the list I used last time. No Termagants, but another bunch of Genestealers (I said I have lots!) as well as the pair of Carnifexes and the Maleceptor as some pretty hefty creatures. I think I had a Trygon in here last time, but the cost is just too much for me at the minute, with all the other increases. I could probably drop some of the adrenal glands, but I do just love the mental picture of a carnifex running up the field and smashing into the enemy, followed up the field by a whole bunch of other warrior organisms. Wonderful stuff, for sure!
I’m playing Hive Fleet Gorgon, so that lets me re-roll wound rolls of 1 in the fight phase. As such, I want to get as many people into close combat as possible, particularly the genestealers and carnifexes. I’m paying for guns on the warriors and feel like they’ll be a waste in combat, but I guess we’ll have to see. As far as psychic abilities go, I’m still not entirely sure how to get the best out of the bugs, but I’m hoping that I have a decent-enough spread to help me out!
Interesting choice, perhaps, but I’m giving the warlord slot to the Broodlord. Of the three HQ options, he’s pretty much the middle of the road slot, and given the warlord trait wants him to be in the thick of the fray, you’d think I’d have instead gone for the Hive Tyrant with that trait, as he’s a much tankier unit. His relic will increase his toughness to 6 after the first fight phase in which he takes a wound, though, and with 6 wounds anyway, with a 5+ invuln, I’m hoping that I can pick my battles well enough that he is either going to do well, or survive enough that he can wreck face. The warlord trait only affects enemy units within 1″, though, so my initial idea of having him screened by genestealers (to which he gives +1 to hit rolls) won’t quite work.
It’s quite exciting, I think, having this little project to return to. I’ve not really painted up a lot of these guys so far, but from having started to paint those few models already, I seem to recall it’s a fairly quick and easy scheme to do. So I’m hoping that, as time allows, I’ll be able to get a fair few more miniatures painted up and ready for the gaming table!
As always, stay tuned for more excited rambling as Project Tyranids gets underway!!
Kill Team: Octarius has gone up for preorder, and it looks pretty sexy, I have to say. I’ve put my order in at my local store, so I’m hoping I won’t be in for any disappointment in a couple of weeks. I do like the look of the box – even though I’m not an Ork fan, I think it looks like a cracking game and I’m very excited to get my hands on it!
It’s also been really interesting to see the news that Kill Team will be supported, going forward, with new ‘seasons’, for want of a better word, every three months. That feels almost too much, if they’re all going to be launched with a big box like this, but maybe the big box route is how GW is modelling their business now. Seems like they’re getting to grips more with the idea of actual pre-orders rather than adding a week on to your delivery time, with how they’re doing this made-to-order thing if they sell out. In my opinion, that’s how they should be producing every “event box” from now on.
However, there’s nothing to say that some of these ‘new season’ boxes won’t be strict repackages of existing stuff. Will they be able to produce so much new stuff to such a schedule? Why not just stick some Sector Imperialis terrain in with some Battle Sisters and some Tau Pathfinders, and job done! No massive design outlay, there!
Word on the street, of course, is that the release model will mimic Warcry and give us fairly unique, new teams that will have normal 40k rules, but will be primarily for Kill Team. Furthermore, the next box is already rumoured to be Sisters vs Tau. Given that Sisters have had a lot of releases recently, something just tells me that the release model just isn’t going to be purely new teams, but there will be those elements ported over from 40k where it makes sense. I guess we’ll see, of course, but yeah, it feels a bit off to say that we’re getting yet more plastic Sisters good stuff.
I would love to get the odd special box every once in a while, though – perhaps along the lines of Pariah Nexus, where the KT box is used to launch a new plastic unit from an existing army? Eldar, maybe your time is coming?
Speaking of what’s coming, the new codex road map for the rest of the year has been revealed, showing Black Templars as coming up, with a new Primaris Emperor’s Champion being shown off as well. Tyranids seem to be a strong option for their book coming, with a lot of people expecting Imperial Guard as well, though a persistent rumour of an Imperial Agents book has got me quite intrigued!
I guess time will tell! I’m looking forward to getting some of this good stuff – September seems to have become my traditional time of the year for really reconnecting with 40k, so after a lot of time spent with Warcry and Necromunda, I’m sort of hoping to have the hobby time to devote to maybe getting some Necrons painted!
Oh, and apparently this is a thing! I’ve been tentatively getting interested in Magic for a while now, and this weekend was watching a few of the Professor’s videos when I came across this – Commander decks themed for 40k, apparently coming out with a full set themed around Lord of the Rings. Weird! In his video, the Professor talks about diluting the world of MtG, and I have to say that I agree. I love 40k, of course, and while I don’t really play much these days, I still love Magic. But I love them as separate entities, and have no wish to see them mixed together. I’m sure it might be fun to get Primarchs as Legendary Creatures, or whatever, but ultimately I feel like this is going to be detrimental to the game. Sure, collectors will probably buy them, I may even be tempted myself, but I wouldn’t want to mix them into my collection of Magic cards. Worlds don’t need to collide!
Finally, this arrived today! Very much looking forward to getting my teeth into it!
Hey everybody, Following on from last week’s rambling blog about Warcry, I wanted to ramble today about the game some more, because why not?! I’ve been leafing through the Tome of Champions 2020 recently, and thought it about time I took a thorough look here on the blog!
This book is just incredible. There is so much new stuff in here that, when you start to read it and see just what has been included, it’s actually pretty amazing value for money. I picked it up for £16, and for that you get a bajillion new rules to support so many different ways to play – it’s really quite incredible. Let’s go through it.
So, as normal for these things, the book is divided into the three ways to play, open, narrative and matched play. The open play section is quite short, and introduces a new variant on the Triumph & Treachery multiplayer battles, called Pit Fights. Catacombs is supported as well, as you can also play dungeon pit fights. Nice!
The bulk of this book is devoted to narrative play though, with the Soroth Kor campaign system taking centre stage. This is very similar to the Dominion campaign for Necromunda, which involves the warbands fighting for control of territory in the mausoleum city of Soroth Kor. The idea is to have a group of players (ideally three or more) who are all in it together, and not following their own campaign. There are three convergences that are set as part of the campaign, and after an indeterminate number of battles in the first phase, followed by a convergence as normal, and so on.
The campaign is divided into three phases, as the warbands fight for control first of the outer city, then an industrial complex, and finally a tower at the heart of the city. As each phase progresses, the number of territories available to dominate increases, and each territory grants certain effects and boons. Following convergence battles, players are able to gain control of artefacts of power as usual. It all sounds pretty great, even if it is largely a port-over from Necromunda.
In addition to the campaign, there are six scenarios that you can play under the Narrative Battles heading, which provide some useful fodder for the campaign, as well as for one-off battles. Champion Mode is an additional layer to campaign play that gives you critical injuries for your fighters, you can search your dominated territory in the aftermath sequence of a game to gain additional bonuses, etc. It’s stuff like this that adds additional depth and layers to the game that I just love. I mean, Warcry in its core form is a pretty straightforward game to play, but when you bolt on some of these additional bits and bobs, it becomes wonderful. Like the sort of game that I could quite easily limit myself to playing and never tiring from it.
There are 8 more Fated Quests in the book, some of which use the boards and terrain from Catacombs, and then we have Challenge Battles, which function a bit differently this time around in that they are team-up battles where warbands go up against Wild Fighters. This is effectively solo play rules, as these Wild Fighters have rules that govern their behaviour much like the adversaries in Warhammer Quest, which I find quite interesting! The fact that this book came out during another national lockdown is perhaps fitting! There are five battle plans included, which include battles against the Dead, against the Gloomspite Gitz, against a Mega-Gargant and his chaotic beasts, against a Lord of Change and his Arcanite followers, and against more Chaos cultists. The narrative play section ends with more tables of Lesser Artefacts for each grand alliance to choose from.
Bringing up the rear, gives us six Pitched Battle profiles, alternative hidden agendas, and rules for Escalation tournaments with artefact tables. Last but not least, we have an appendix with fighter profiles for squigs and chainrasps that can be used as roaming beasts, and “open play terrain” rules that basically reprint the rules from Tome of Champions 2019. It’s not essential by any means, but I know lots of people like to actually have it in print that they can do stuff like this.
All in all, Tome of Champions 2020 is pretty amazing. A lot of it does feel like an expansion to the 2019 book, though adding so much more depth. Don’t get me wrong, 2019 was a great book that had some very useful content in the shape of the original fighter cards and the quests etc. But yeah, 2020 is quite the tome, and I can’t recommend it enough!
I’ve also been looking at the Catacombs book, having played regular Warcry a couple of times lately and feeling in the mood for a change! I’ve not done anything with this box since buying it last February, though I suppose that’s not surprising as I’ve been focused elsewhere anyway. Now that I’ve come back to look at it, though, I do have something of that sinking feeling, that the production value in the box isn’t exactly up there, as it was for the first starter set. I mean, the miniatures are still beautiful, but I’m not sure why we had so much of the terrain from the original set re-introduced here. It feels as though it should be properly a box for the Catacombs system, and focus more on these underground/internal battles. More terrain is always nice though, so I can’t really complain too much.
I have assembled the Catacombs terrain features, so far, and have made a start as well on the Scions of the Flame, which look like an interesting warband to play. There are eleven different fighter types, which is quite the surprise really, although a lot of the different options for their basic troops don’t seem to be incredibly different to each other. Their universal ability is a double that allows them to add half the value of that double to their strength characteristic for any attack at range 3 or less. There are some nice abilities in there, some similar to other factions’ for sure, but it’s nice that they can do this stuff, and it’s all very flavourful!
I’m looking forward to trying the Catacombs thing, as it looks to be quite an interesting system. I’m still a bit disappointed in the way it has been sold to us, but I’m not one to allow such things to get in my way!