Necromunda thoughts

Hey everybody,

I’m fresh from reading the anthology Uprising, so thought today that I’d come along and talk a bit about things in the Underhive!

The book is a little uneven, as with any anthology really, and is mainly built around the novella Low Lives, which is a tale of a conman in the ash wastes. The various short stories that make up the collection often feature the gangs from the miniatures line, and three of them actually involve some of the named characters that you can buy in glorious Forge World resin! I thought that was pretty neat. There are a lot of Orlock stories, with one Escher, one Cawdor, one Van Saar, and one Corpse Grinder Cult. Although the Escher story is more about the Palanite Enforcers and Servalen.

On the whole, I did enjoy the book, although I did only give it three stars on goodreads, mainly because where the stories weren’t so engaging, it became a chore to get through them.

I was also disappointed there were no Delaque short stories (though they are in the Van Saar tale, as the faceless pursuit).

I mean, it was okay, and I do enjoy getting to experience the Underhive in print, as well as plastic! I was very disappointed, though, by the fact that none of the stories really dealt with the idea of the Uprising as detailed in the Dark Uprising boxed set. Having the Enforcer on the cover also felt a bit like a red herring…

But never mind!

I’ve been fairly productive on the Necromunda front as regards the actual game, I must say!

I’ve been chipping away at the Delaque gang for a while now, and they’re definitely coming on, at last! Still got quite a bit to do around the weapons and bionics, but in the main I think it’s going fairly well!

I’ve built up a few more Van Saar, too! I’ve made good use of the weapons upgrades, but I have yet to actually start painting them. One step (or gang!) at a time, I guess!

I’ve also been working on building the Gang Stronghold up since Christmas, of course, and I’m very pleased with how it’s taking shape so far! Everything is fully modular, so each section of wall can be moved about to fit any kind of configuration, which is something that is nice! I’m not sure if I should try to glue things to make it a little more solid, particularly the corner piece at the 90-degree turn, but I think I’ll wait for now, and maybe play about with it all a bit more. The floor platform at the corner I mentioned can be supported with one of the many struts included in the set, so it doesn’t seem too bad.

I’m really excited to see how it fits together with the zone mortalis stuff from Dark Uprising, as I have a lot of the platforms left over, somehow, but they are all fully compatible, so it’ll be really interesting! I recently picked up another box of the stairs and platforms, so I’ve got a lot of plastic available to me now, for sure! It does look really good, I think, with the corner stairwell I’ve attached in the above photo, but I’m sure I could combine things to come up with yet more permutations!

I don’t think I’m about to create something quite as wonderful as the stuff being put out by Owen Patten, or Leonard Dime (Rapid Tabletop), however, but it should be nice, and allow me to create some very cool looking battlegrounds!

Excitingly, I’ve also managed to get another game of Necromunda in shortly after Christmas! I built up a Sector Mechanicus board, using the Kill Team boards and a bunch of terrain that I’ve had for years, and once more pitted my Van Saar against my Delaque! (We’re still locked down here, and my wife has no interest in 40k games, sadly!)

It was an absolute joy, I must say! I didn’t play with the additional rules for Sector Mechanicus boards that were published in the Book of Peril, mainly because I am still trying to keep the core rules clear in my head! I think I need to work on making a sort of ‘rules primer’ that will help in these situations, because I spent far too long flipping back and forth in the rule book.

During the game, I was controlling both sides equally, but wanted the Van Saar to come out victorious, as I still think of them as my first gang, and all. Well, it seemed like that dream would come to nought as the Delaque gangers were picking them off with ease. I rolled so many Out of Action results this game compared with last time, it was untrue!

Things looked really grim for Van Saar, despite constantly winning the roll off to act first each round. In the fifth or sixth round, they failed a Bottle Test and barely managed to make it through, passing the subsequent Cool check to act normally. And that was really the clincher, as the Leader was able to dispatch the remaining trench coats from his lofty perch with ease, but it absolutely came down to the last man standing!

Such an epic game!

And it’s such a great game, too! Playing solo like this is fine to scratch the itch, of course – if gets me rolling dice and playing with my plastic – but this kind of game had so many epic, cinematic moments in it that could easily form part of campaign legends, this is really where I miss being able to play with friends! Hopefully we’ll begin to see an end to the restrictions by the time my gangs are painted, though, and I can be bringing news of my campaigns in the Underhive to the blog!!

Hobby Goals 2021!

Here we go again, folks! It’s a new year, and the time is right to go through some of my goals for 2021, so we can see what I can accomplish in the next twelve months. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have on the books, and thought I would go through the inventory and see what I have to work through. So let’s get to it!

 https://www.instagram.com/p/CJb-xStHHRc/?igshid=11u1wvjkf55x4

I would like one of my main focuses for 2021 to be getting the Sisters into some form of playable shape. I’ve had the box since November 2019, of course, and was adding to it with some of the additional releases to come out at the top of 2020, but I’ve barely made any kind of dent in actually painting these models, so I really want to change that for 2021!

I’d drawn up a 500-point list back before the edition change, and everything has sneaked up to the point where I’m now quite a way over that! But rather than cut things, I’m planning to keep working to this until it’s done. 23 models shouldn’t be so insurmountable, I keep telling myself!

From here, I’m planning to expand outwards with Retributors and more Battle Sisters, as a start. I also want to get the rest of the contents of the box set finished up, although some of those feel like they’re a strange mix and I’m not all that sure how to integrate them into the rest of the army, but if nothing else, it will be good to have the whole thing finished off!

I’m very tempted to get the new Drukhari vs Sisters box coming out, but I’m holding back a little simply because I don’t really need all of the Drukhari side of it, having a massive amount of models for that army already. But another Immolator, and more Retributors, would be very nice – and I really want that Palantine model! I suppose that’s what is giving me pause, really; I’m sort of expecting it to be in the £80-£90 range from my FLGS, which would be about as much as the individual Sororitas kits would cost if you factor in the Palantine, so I’d essentially be getting the Drukhari half for free anyway. I guess we’ll see what happens in a few weeks when it’s released!

Speaking of Drukhari, though…

I recently took inventory of the dark kin that I have still to do things with, and was quite surprised at how many kits I still have! Top of the list for actually completing this year are Incubi and Drahzar, 5 more Wracks and the pair of Grotesques. I do actually need to treat myself to a third Grotesque soon, as that is the minimum unit size. Not a massive amount of models, this time! Other than this, then, I think I’d like to get some more models finished, like odd Kabalite Warriors that I have here, and perhaps another Venom or Raider. I’m not sure where I got to with the Scourges, either, so could do with taking a look there.

I probably need to inventory the actual force that I have! Back in the day, I had well over 3000 points fully painted, which should really get more outings! I think 8th edition put me off, to some extent, because I disliked having to force my list into Kabal, Coven or Cult. During the Index days, I enjoyed playing a mixed force, and I think 9th edition will be bringing that back, to some degree, so it’ll be interesting to see the sort of lists that can be done once the new codex drops!

What else?

I think I need to properly work out what I want to keep, from my Deathwatch, Tempestus Scions, Adeptus Mechanicus and Blood Angels forces (I know I’ve barely even started the latter!) I said back when 9th edition was landing, that I wanted to thin out a lot of the collection, and while I have taken some strides in that regard, I do need to try and be better! I’m thinking about wiping the slate clear with a lot of these small projects that have never really gotten off the ground, and just focusing myself where it matters! I keep getting suckered back in with the AdMech though, as I keep thinking how wonderful some of those models are! I might, therefore, just keep a token force to ally in with something like the Sisters, or the Grey Knights. While I’ve not really known what I want to do with everything, I’ve held off, but now I think it’s becoming quite clear that I ought to just cut down and focus on a few armies, rather than spreading myself so thin…

Larger collections of models include the Tyranids and Genestealer Cults, and I want to try and sort myself out here, as well. I’ve recently decided to thin out some of the Cult, as I was looking at far too many models there, but I am fairly certain that I’m not going to get rid of them as an army, as I love them as models so much. Of course, they were going to be my big army project for 9th edition, but that never really got off the ground, did it? I’m such a fan though, that they’ll no doubt be worked upon as time progresses!

The Tyranids were looking quite precarious at one point, but I enjoy those models a bit too much, also, so I think I’ll be keeping hold of those too – I want to try and play more with them, when that kind of thing is possible, as the couple of games that I have played with them were very interesting. Of course, I have the Grey Knights as a pure psyker army, but I do love the fact that the bugs have got a good mix, allowing for a nice balance during the game. Definitely need more time spent with the bugs, I think!

I also think that I had a fairly decent paint scheme for the Tyranids, easy to replicate across vast swathes of the things, but I did sort of stall back when my daughter was born, for obvious reasons! I think it would be good to get back into these guys, though, so hopefully I can make a bit more headway with these, too! It’s been nearly two years since my “Going Big With Tyranids” blog, but I think that will most likely form the jumping-off point.

I am in danger of making things a bit unbearable now, though – getting the Sisters army off the ground might turn into quite the task, after all, and I’ve not even mentioned the Necrons in this blog! At least the Sisters are the only project that has an actual list attached to them – Drukhari and Tyranids are just “paint up some random miniatures” for the time being!

Anyway, it’s probably time to enshrine some actual hobby goals for the year ahead!

Paint up the Sisters of Battle 500-point list (well, it’s a little more than 500 points, but the point stands!)

Finish up the Drukhari models – 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar.

Paint up at least 2 Tyranid units, at least one of which is a big bug!

Continue rescuing Necron models – Triarch Praetorians, Canoptek Spyder, etc

Paint more Grey Knights! At least three more units, maybe a vehicle too.

Also paint more Chaos Marines! At least three units, and perhaps a bigger thing, as well.

Make a decision about the Scions, Deathwatch and AdMech models! Do I want to keep all of those Space Marines kits?

Paint more terrain – mainly for Necromunda, but also general 40k stuff.

In addition to all of this, I’d like to be less impulsive with buying stuff, and see if I can stick to only buying things that I want to actually use, etc. I’d also like to improve my painting, so I think I need to be better at doing it more often – not necessarily for the whole day, but try to do an hour more often in the week, than only one or two times in that week. I’m almost afraid to say this last one, given that we’ve just moved into full lockdown again, but I would like to play more often, and have more of a plan for when I do! I still tend to go in with the idea of “let’s see how this turns out”, so I think it could be good to get more of a game plan in place for when we are able to meet up with people once more!

So there we go! Let’s see where I stand this time next year!

Hobby Update 2020!

Hey everybody,
It’s that time of the year once again! Let’s dig into the progress that has been made over the last 12 months with my hobby, comparing it with my hobby goals from the start of the year – although I’ll warn you now, it’s not as extensive as I’d like!!

Paint up those Grey Knights!
This hasn’t actually been too bad, although of course I’m nowhere near to having even half of an army!

I’ve got the first Strike Squad painted up, which is quite exciting, as I’m sure you’ll agree! I also painted up the Chaplain model, and finally finished the first unit I started for the army, the Purifiers!

So at this point, I have two units of infantry painted up, and two characters. I’d like to do more as 2021 grinds on, as well, so hopefully I’ll keep churning out the psykers!

Finish off the odd Drukhari stuff that I have hanging about
I’ve not painted any Drukhari in 2020. I have, however, sold off some of the Kabalite Warriors in an attempt to clear the decks a bit. So I can hopefully get some of the backlog cleared as the next year approaches!

Necromunda, generally!
Okay, so this one has been quite successful of late, if I do say so myself!

I have played the game twice, solo, and loved it! I think I prefer Zone Mortalis to Sector Mechanicus, although it’s still early days and all that! I’ve been making pretty decent progress with painting my Delaque fighters as well, but I think I’ve been a bit all over the place in my excitement, and need to try to focus my efforts and get some stuff actually finished!

Blackstone Fortress – play a full campaign
Well, this didn’t happen. I did get the box down at one point, but didn’t get very far. Never mind!

Try to thin out the unpainted / unwanted models
This has actually worked out quite well for me, so far! As I said, I’ve got rid of some Drukhari bits, and have thinned out some others as well. There’s still a long way to go of course, but I’m considering my options with a lot of different bits and bobs… we’ll see how 2021 goes!

Finally – try to work on what I have had lying around for ages!
Yes, this hasn’t really worked out very well for me, either! I’ve splashed a bit of paint on some Genestealer Cult models, a few Necrons, and a few skirmish game bits and pieces such as Warcry and Necromunda. But not a great deal of models have been finished, I’m ashamed to say!

Looking through my instagram, I have fully painted five Necron Immortals, two Necron Overlords (including the new Indomitus model), five Blood Angels Devastator Marines, the Grey Knights Chaplain, Grey Knights Strike Squad, and a couple of things that I’m very pleased with:

The Ferratonic Incinerator has been hanging about for years, and I think back in 2019 one of my hobby goals was to paint a piece of terrain, so I feel pleased that I’ve finally made good on that point! I’m hoping that I can get more done, now that I’ve developed more of an idea of how I can get stuff like this painted, so we shall see on that one!

Finally, I’m really happy with this guy! So far, it’s the only model for the Black Legion that I have painted, and this is yet another army project that I’ve not yet gotten off the ground. However, it’s a project that I am rather excited to do, and Chaos is something that I keep coming back to, so I will no doubt have some updates on this development soon!

So there we have it – not the best of years, but not the worst!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Hope you’re all having a splendid Yuletide – and if you don’t go in for all that, hope it’s been a tremendous Friday!

I’ve had a pretty decent haul this year, mainly focusing on the recent upsurge in Arkham Horror that I’ve had! In addition to getting fully up to date with the card game, I’m quite pleased to have the new edition of the board game, which is a curious beast that I hope to find the time to explore soon!

In addition, I’ve kept a few of my recent purchases back for the festive season, as a bit of a present to myself! Looking forward to getting round to these soon!

In a pretty surprising move, GW has announced some new models coming out soon, starting with Drukhari vs Sisters of Battle, which will serve as a vehicle to show off two new plastic character models, Lelith Hesperax, and the new Lieutenant model for the Sisters, the Palatine:

I think that’s a great looking box and, depending on the price, I’m probably going to get it. I’m feeling a distinct need to get back to my beloved Dark Eldar, so it’s the perfect product! However, some of these things have been priced quite… ambitiously, and I’m not going to go too crazy for it…

We’ve also seen more for the new Slaanesh release, and I’m bowled over at the attention being lavished upon the Prince of Pleasure! New mortal archers, ranged and melee Seeker-riding mortals… and Slaangors!! My goodness, I need a lie down…

What a Christmas!!

Happy Solstice

Hey everybody,
Christmas is approaching, for those of you with the inclination, but the recent announcements over lockdowns in the UK has seemingly put a damper on things. This is as much as I’ll talk about with politics, of course, as I try to make this blog more of a haven from such things, but I think I’ll probably be posting a lot over the coming days as I try to take my mind off things – and, hopefully, yours, too!

It was my birthday on Friday, and I had a decent haul of Arkham Horror LCG stuff, which was great! I mean, a couple of those bits I’d kept back from recent purchases, such as the Dexter Drake novella and Guardians of the Abyss. I think the birthday haul is pretty indicative of what is on my radar right now, though – between the card game and Necromunda! I haven’t had a proper chance to do more than flick through House of Artifice, but I’m looking forward to digesting that over the coming days! I do want to get another game of Necromunda in at some point, even if it is by myself, because I’m really hooked right now!

I have started to play Lord of the Rings again, though, thinking that I’d start off with Passage Through Mirkwood, the introductory scenario. And it absolutely brutalised me! I had a very bad series of draws from the encounter deck, and playing two-handed was obviously increasing the cards seen over the course of the game, but jeez!

There are a couple of things that I want to mention here, of course. First of all, playing two-handed is actually a real joy. I had the odd moment of “where am I up to?” of course, but those tended to be in the late game where a lot was going on, already. I think perhaps playing two investigators in Arkham Horror has prepared me well for this one, and I think in part that, in comparison, Lord of the Rings is definitely a much simpler game. It surprised me because there is a much more linear plan for the game: you do the same thing round after round, and the variety of it all comes from the different cards being revealed from the encounter deck. Having played a lot of Arkham Horror lately, which has got that element of a board game from having investigators moving around different locations, and the RPG feel of leveling-up cards etc, it gives for a much more complex game. While there are those elements in common, such as effectively playing against the encounter deck and such, it really surprised me that I had that feeling!

Of course, the decks that I was playing were not really built for this way of playing – each one was effectively a solo deck, so they could have dealt with the majority of the game by themselves. As such, I think I could tweak the decks back to dual-sphere and have each one cover the other better.

Interestingly, I went back to basics on this one as well, and read through the instruction manual, as well as watching the tutorial stuff again, and tried to get it right. Back when I first started playing this game, in 2011, I had incorporated a couple of house rules I suppose, to make it more manageable for actual solo play, and I just kept playing it that way. The ‘Basic Game’ as explained in the rulebook does suggest not revealing shadow cards while you get into it, and I’ve played that way pretty much ever since! I was also playing the game whereby if I had optionally engaged an enemy, I would attack it first rather than allowing for all enemies to attack me first, regardless of who engaged who. In my mind, it made sense that I would be able to do this, because otherwise it’s the equivalent of going up to someone for a fight, and letting them hit you first? Of course, there are player cards that allow you to dodge attacks and the like, but it always struck me as really odd that I couldn’t natively attack first when it was my choice to engage with that enemy!

Anyhow, playing the game correct, I thought, would be a lot of work, but as it happened the first game was over in 5 rounds, as I was just unable to overcome the threats in the staging area, due to bad draws from both the encounter and player decks! Any allies that I had were dying to enemy attacks as I threw them under the bus to just try to deal damage to the enemies engaged with me, but as time went on, I had to throw my heroes at them as defenders, meaning I was in a holding pattern of doom until round 5, when four of my six heroes were killed off. It was shocking!

I did later that same day play again, after briefly considering trying out the official Easy Mode of removing some of the encounter cards, but in the end went for a straightforward shuffle-up-and-reset, and I managed to prevail. The game was a lot longer than I’d expected, though I think that was in part because of the two-handed thing, but also simply because I was trying to defeat Ungoliant’s Spawn, which was the fourth card from the bottom of the deck. Still playing without shadow cards, I wasn’t drawing as many encounter cards as perhaps I could have been!

It’s interesting though, to me, that playing without shadow cards can be such a dual-edged sword; on the one hand, you’re potentially buffing enemies when they can already be a bit unwieldy, but almost in return you get to cycle through the encounter deck quicker, and can potentially avoid having so many locations or so many enemies coming into play. I suppose this is something to think about when we’re talking about implementing house rules or whatever – the game has been tested to play in a certain way, and is as balanced as possible based on its own rules. Adding to these, or changing things, can tip that balance and sometimes lead to a less-than-optimum experience. Certainly something I need to bear in mind when I’m complaining about “how tough is this game?!”

Lord of the Rings LCG

I’m still going to be playing through one of these cycles over the Christmas period – at least one, maybe more! – so look forward to hearing more of my musings as I properly get back into what I have always been calling my favourite game!

I picked up the latest White Dwarf this morning and, as I have the day off (yay!) I had a fairly leisurely breakfast while flicking through its pages. There’s a lot of Age of Sigmar stuff in there, which I kinda glossed over because I’m not big into Spiderfang Grots, but I was reading Robin Cruddace’s column on the new 40k rules, and it was quite interesting to see why they changed some of the rules from 8th to 9th edition.

I’ve talked briefly about this recently, but in some ways I think 9th edition coming out in the middle of a global pandemic, when there are so many restrictions in place that the GW stores themselves can’t even run demos of the game or have people in there for any longer than absolutely necessary, does seem to be a bit of a swing and a miss. Any sort of excitement around the new edition has been, for me, tempered by the fact that I couldn’t immediately play it, and the few games that I have managed to play since it arrived were a weird sort of hodge-podge of rules, in part because I was playing an 8th edition codex in a new game. Granted, it wasn’t massively different, though for something like Necrons, trying to play with the army when Reanimation Protocols had changed, but we didn’t have the rest of the rules yet, was such a weird experience. Now, I know plenty of other folks will have been through the pain barrier between editions where they’re using a book from an edition or two ago, but it’s difficult to get my head around!

It’s curious, although perhaps not totally unexpected, to see how I’ve almost gone off 40k in recent weeks. I think the lack of any outlet to play has a lot to do with this, as I’ve got no real motivation to paint anything up while there’s no end in sight to these lockdowns! I’ve moved into solo-able games so much that 40k has almost been left behind, but I do think it’s about time I used some of the down-time to get some projects finished, so that I can play with fully painted models when this is all over! I’m sure there’ll be more on this to come in the next couple of weeks – if only from the now-inevitable Hobby Resolutions blog! Now is not the time for a retrospective on that one, of course, but it’s definitely been a mixed bag in 2020, with some successes as well as some that have fallen by the wayside. Stay tuned for that blog, coming up sometime next week, no doubt!

Warhammer: Invasion

Hey everybody!
It’s time for a celebration here at spalanz.com, as this post marks my 1000th post on my blog! Whoever would have thought? It’s also my birthday, so it’s a double celebration, and I thought that I’d mark it in style. Today, I thought I’d talk about one of my all-time favourite games. It’s one that I have mentioned rather a lot over the years, but have never gotten round to actually featuring on the blog until now. It’s time to delve into the Old World, with Warhammer: Invasion, from Fantasy Flight Games!

Warhammer: Invasion

This was one of FFG’s original line-up of living card games, and as such features the older distribution model of having one full cycle of card packs (called ‘battle packs’ here) where they didn’t print an entire playset of each card; rather, the first cycle has 40-card packs where 10 cards have the full set of three copies, and 10 cards are one-of. The game was designed by Eric Lang, who has worked a lot with FFG over the years (and, due to his design of this game, has earned the glorious reputation of being my favourite game designer!) and was published between 2009 and 2013. This is really why I have never gotten round to featuring it on my blog, as I didn’t start writing it until the year after it had received its final expansion.

It is a competitive game for two players, where each player takes control of one of the six great factions of the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy: The Empire, Dwarves, High Elves, Chaos, Orcs or Dark Elves. This is before Age of Sigmar shook things up, remember, so we’ve got the delightful Holy Roman Empire-inspired battlegrounds replete with legends such as Karl Franz and Sigvald the Magnificent.

I’ve played this game a lot, and while I have played as every faction, I have the most experience as playing Chaos, and so all of the photos I’ve taken to show this great game are from the Ruinous Powers’ perspective.

Warhammer: Invasion

Each player has a Capital board, which has three zones: a Kingdom zone, a Battlefield zone, and a Quest zone. These zones determine how you play the game. Each has a number of axe symbols there: you gain resources equal to the number of axes in your Kingdom zone; you can attack your opponent for a number of damage equal to those in your Battlefield zone, and you draw cards equal to the number of axes in your Quest zone.

There are a number of different card types in the game: mainly Units, such as fighters and wizards, but also Support cards, Tactics cards, and Quest cards. Support cards are a bit like locations or objects that you can deploy to increase your influence in the game. Tactics cards are basically Event cards, with a one-time effect. Quest cards are only ever played into the Quest zone, and represent a longer-term investment in your strategy – they have effects that will trigger if a unit is played onto the quest, and you can gain bonuses thereafter.

Warhammer: Invasion

The object of the game is simple: you must burn two of your opponent’s zones by dealing at least 8 damage to that zone.

So, on your turn you get three resources because your Capital board has got three axes in your Kingdom zone from the off. You can use those resources to play cards into your Kingdom zone to increase the axes you have there, which will net you more resources next turn, or you can play cards into your Quest zone to draw more cards on your next turn.

Resources are a bit funny in this game, in that there are two costs for playing a card: the actual printed cost (in the top left corner) and its Loyalty cost, displayed in symbols down the left hand side of the card. Each Capital board provides one loyalty symbol, and other cards, once played, will provide a similar cost. If you only have two symbols among cards under your control and the Capital board, and the card you want to play has three loyalty symbols on it, then the difference increases the cost of that card. It’s a good way to balance cards where players might want to combine races (though that isn’t such an easy thing to do anyway, so I’m not sure you’d want to do this very often).

The Kingdom zone gives you buying power, as we’ve seen, and the Quest zone increases your card draw as well as giving you useful options through Quest cards, which can grant useful effects when units are placed there on the quest. The Battlefield zone is, normally, the only way to actually fight your opponent and deal damage to them. During the Battlefield phase, the active player can declare attackers against his opponent’s zone, totting up the combined axes between all of the cards declared as such. The defending player then declares which if his units, if any, will defend from that zone, and the damage is assigned simultaneously. Once this has been done, it is actually applied so the attacker and defender can both lose units at this point. Any excess damage dealt by the attacker is placed onto the defender’s Capital board, and as mentioned earlier, 8 points of damage is enough to burn that zone. (Importantly, if the defender has the possibility to over-assign damage in their defense, that damage is not dealt back to the attacker’s Capital.)

Warhammer: Invasion

So in the above example, I’ve got six axes in my Kingdom zone, so I’ll be getting six resources per turn, and I get to draw three cards per turn, also. The Battlefield zone is quite impressive, having a Bloodthirster out that deals a massive 5 damage, as well as forces the discard of a unit from my opponent’s Battlefield zone before I attack. The Bloodletter also doubles all damage being dealt to units, which could potentially allow me to one-shot a zone in my attack phase. Nasty!

It’s a very straightforward game when explained like this, but there is a depth that comes from different card effects as well as the strategy of where you’re going to attack. For example, a player might be tempted to place a lot of his heavy-hitting units in his Battlefield in the expectation of using them to deal a lot of damage, but if his opponent attacks his Quest or Kingdom zone, there may be much weaker units there that cannot absorb the amount of damage coming through. Similarly, it sometimes doesn’t pay to double-down on attacking your opponent’s Quest or Battlefield zone if they’re building up a vast amount of resources in their Kingdom zone, which allows them to easily bring out something like a Bloodthirster!

There are a number of moving parts to a game like this, of course, with keywords that allow for some evil shenanigans on both sides. Toughness appears on some cards and acts as damage-negation, while Counterstrike allows a defender to immediately deal its damage to the attacker, reducing the overall damage being dealt. I said earlier that each zone will burn if it is dealt 8 points of damage; one way you can protect it is by playing cards face-down into that zone as Developments. Developments add 1 hit point to the zone that they’re in, and a player may only play one Development per turn. One aspect of the game that is particularly associated with Chaos is Corruption, which turns a card 90-degrees and removes its ability to act as an attacker or defender. You only get to restore one Corrupt card per turn, so if your opponent has Corrupted a number of your cards, then you’ll be facing an uphill struggle, from the off!

Warhammer: Invasion

With a generous life-cycle, Warhammer: Invasion had a lot of expansions. In addition to the initial Assault on Ulthuan box that brought High Elves and Dark Elves into the game (the core set only included four full factions, with just a couple of cards for the Elven races), March of the Damned brought us Lizardmen and Vampire Counts. The artwork on March of the Damned, as I have mentioned many times before, is what initially drew me to this game!

There were six full cycles each of six Battle Packs for the game:
The Corruption Cycle
The Enemy Cycle
The Morrslieb Cycle
The Capital Cycle
The Bloodquest Cycle
The Eternal War Cycle
Each of these worked on developing a specific aspect of the game, such as the Bloodquest cycle giving greater emphasis to Quests in the game. The Morrslieb cycle gave greater interaction with Developments, while introducing the Wood Elves to the game as a neutral faction, similar to how the Skaven had been introduced in the Corruption cycle. Hidden Kingdoms was the final deluxe expansion that then brought the four neutral factions to the fore, making each one a fully playable faction by giving small-scale Capital cards to allow you to play, for instance, all-Lizardmen:

Warhammer: Invasion

Perhaps one of the most important expansions was the Legends deluxe box, which brought a new card type to the game: Legends (surprising, that!)

Warhammer: Invasion

These cards are played into the centre of your Capital, and grant additional axes to each of your zones. Legends can be attacked instead of attacking a particular zone, and some of the more powerful ones might need to be dealt with before they can run away with the game for your opponent, so it can sometimes be worthwhile doing this! The deluxe expansion brought ways to interact with these Legends, however, and subsequent expansions even brought out new Legends, making them as close to a fully-supported type as possible. Hidden Kingdoms, in fact, brought us neutral Legend cards for each of the four factions.

Finally, the Cataclysm expansion gave us the option for multiplayer games.

Warhammer: Invasion

Cataclysm changed up the gameplay quite a bit, by adding these Fulcrum cards – sites of incredible magical power that can be channeled by a player during his turn to gain the effect on them. Cataclysm brings 3-4 players into the mix, and there are always 1 less Fulcrum cards than the number of players in play. In a four player game, three Fulcrums are in play – a player can declare an attack against a Fulcrum card from the common play area, and gain control of it, putting it into his Battlefield zone. During the end phase of the round, a player gains Dominance equal to the number of Fulcrums under his control: if a player has 8 Dominance at the end of the round, he will win.

Warhammer: Invasion

Cataclysm also changed the rules so that all three zones of a player’s Capital board must be burning for them to be eliminated. As such, the player cards included with the expansion all held a greater significance for burning zones, although these could obviously also be used in regular games, though given the fact fewer zones need to be burning, they would have a correspondingly lower impact.


Warhammer: Invasion is just a magnificent game. Before I discovered Magic the Gathering, it was my most-played competitive card game by a long shot. Something changed for me back in 2015, though, and the fact that Magic can be played purely with a deck of cards, and no need for all the tokens and Capital boards, it sort of struck a chord for me, and Warhammer: Invasion slipped down the ranks. However, I think with the End Times and then Age of Sigmar obliterating the Old World, there is something incredibly comforting about this game – I don’t mean that from the point of view of someone who rages against AoS, of course! I just love the low fantasy setting of the Old World, and I find it akin to coming home whenever I think about playing this game.

I mentioned the depth of gameplay that Warhammer: Invasion holds earlier, and I think there is something to be said about having a game where you begin with a deck of 100 cards! Games can be brutal, for sure, but they can also be quite long, as each side builds up their forces in the manner of true warfare. Sorties are sent to test the enemy, in case of any Tactics cards that might be played, before committing to an all-out assault in the typical carnage of Warhammer!

I haven’t played it for four years, though, which I suppose speaks a lot about my gaming habits in this day and age! Solo and cooperative games are a much better bet for me now, of course, but I’m hopeful that, when the world has returned to normal and we can see friends once more, I can convince my long-time gaming buddy Tony to break out his High Elf deck and once more demolish my attempts to Corrupt the world!

Post 999!

Hey everybody!
It’s my 999th post on this blog! What an incredible milestone! I honestly didn’t give things much thought back when I started this endeavour back in 2014, but I suppose as time has gone on, I suppose it’s been quite exciting to see the blog growing – even if it is with my inane babble! As we gear up for post number 1000, which is already written and scheduled to go live tomorrow, I thought I’d have a bit of a catch-up blog with you all, and dip into some of the stuff that has been going on in recent weeks!

Curtain Call

Recently, I’ve been playing a lot of Arkham Horror LCG, and enjoying myself immensely. Back when I first played the game upon release, I definitely knew that I enjoyed the game, but always seemed to struggle to get round to actually playing it. It wasn’t until last year, almost three years after the initial release, that I got round to actually trying out a full campaign.

Now, however, I’m firmly entrenched in the whole thing, having really revitalized my enjoyment of the game and throwing myself in whole-heartedly! I’ve made my way through two full campaigns now, and I’m poised to start on a third over the festive season, tackling The Circle Undone with Diana Stanley and Joe Diamond. Having sleeved the cards for this cycle, it’s been exciting to see that this one focuses more on the classic trope of regular cultists trying to bring about the end of the world, rather than fantastical creatures and the like. I’ve been recording my games here on the blog, and I’ve set up a page specifically to collect these posts together. I’m sure I’ll be trying out some campaigns multiple times, too, but I want to try out all the game has to offer me, and make up for lost time!

Interestingly, all of this Arkham Horror LCG has got me thinking about trying my other great card-game love, Lord of the Rings LCG. It’s been a long time since I have last played this game, I think I tried my hand in one of the early scenarios in the summer-time, but playing this game has really dropped off my radar in recent years. It’s interesting, of course, because I still really love it, and I still call it my all-time favourite card game. I suppose part of the reason for me having stepped back a bit from it resides in the fact there is just so much of it now. The game wound up a few months ago, after the last cycle took an absolute age to actually see all six packs released – in total, we have nine full cycles, eight deluxe Saga expansions, and about a dozen standalone scenarios. It’s quite mind-boggling, really, and the player cards have become quite the beast to wrangle!

Earlier this week, as it happens, I spent a sleepless night looking through my collection once more, and reliving some past memories as well as tinkering a little with my favourite Rohan deck. The whole thing was brought about because I wanted to re-sleeve some of the cards, requiring the transparent sleeves for Arkham Horror as it happens, but it really took me on that journey down memory lane, to the time when I would excitedly play each pack in the Mirkwood cycle as it was released – spending yet another sleepless night back in, what, 2011, playing The Dead Marshes. Ah, memories!

I’ve currently got four decks built up and ready for the game – the Rohan deck, a Dwarf deck, an Elf deck, and more of a generic/mix that uses a number of Dúnedain and Outlands cards. Going over these (and re-sleeving them), and sorting out a lot of the later packs from Harad, Rhovanion and Mordor, has got me thinking how I’ve never really ventured very far into this game, always returning to Mirkwood and the Dwarrowdelf, without really exploring any of the cycles from Ringmaker onwards, really! Looking back, I got as far as The Dunland Trap from that cycle (the game’s fourth, just fyi!) while playing what I would call regularly, back in 2015, and have pretty much given up, since! Sporadic plays of a scenario from Angmar and Harad notwithstanding, I’ve pretty much let the bulk of this game pass me by, whilst still compulsively collecting it!

Well, hopefully that will change soon!

Lord of the Rings LCG

I’ve got my eye on playing some of the newer quests, potentially with that Dúnedain deck, or else with the re-tuned Rohan deck, over the festive period (although probably more like the new year weekend). I’ve even been considering building up an entirely new deck, using the newer player cards to build around the Dale theme. I’ve got my eye on trying maybe The Lost Realm, or else Vengeance of Mordor as that has struck me as a very intriguing cycle. I’ve heard so many good things about the Ered Mithrin cycle, though, so that is also a strong contender. Of course, I playtested on the Angmar Awakened cycle, but I think I came into the game after the playtesting for the deluxe expansion had finished. I have lots of bad memories of never being able to escape from the dungeons, but it’ll be nice to actually play the game in its finished form, with artwork and not the badly-formatted black-and-white printouts that were sleeved on top of other cards!

So that’ll be something good to look forward to!

What else has been going on?

Well, I’m quite excited to say that I’ve pretty much finished my first major terrain piece! I mean, I’ve painted up some ammo crates before, but I’m quite excited for this one! The Sector Mechanicus stuff is really nice, and I have rather a lot of it after all, but I think after the game of Necromunda the other week has got me thinking more about terrain and whatnot, so I think it’ll be nice to have some done. I’ve been working on a Galvanic Magnavent lately, building it up to reflect the back of the box rather than the “standard” build from the front (I’m pretty sure I did that with another piece, too…) so I think when I have these big pieces painted up they’ll look really good out on the table!

Let’s talk about Necromunda though, as it’s something I’m hoping to try out again over the festive break (first Lord of the Rings, more Arkham Horror, and now this?! Where will I find the time…) I’ve been reading up the rules for scenery from the Book of Peril, and I’m quite excited by just how interactive the battlefield can get! So it should be really interesting to see how all of that works (although it might not be something that I get to straight away, as there are a lot of moving parts in this game, after all!)

It’s not all about the scenery though, as I’ve also been building up some more Van Saar folks as the excitement around House of Artifice increases! My current leader comes in at a whopping 310 credits – I know Van Saar are expensive, but that’s a third of the starting gang, so I needed to slim them down a bit. This chap, above, is a much more respectable 245, which means I can actually fit in another body, between trimming down the leader and champion options. I think that game I linked to earlier definitely showed just how much the advantage of numbers can go in your favour – and expensive gangers are of no use to anybody if they’re Prone and Pinned!

Finally…

We need to talk about this. I don’t think I’ve properly recovered yet, of course! But 10 new Star Wars series’ is just phenomenal! The Mandalorian is showing that Star Wars can absolutely have a future on the small screen, and I am so excited to see what they’re going to do with it all. I probably need to confine my thoughts on this to a separate piece, but suffice it to say, I’m really happy with what’s going on there right now!

So, folks, that’s almost a thousand posts finished! Come back tomorrow to celebrate my birthday with Post 1000 itself – I think it’ll be a good one!

Necrons in 9th

Hey everybody,
It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about Necrons on my blog, and I haven’t actually talked about 9th edition, despite having a couple of games before the second lockdown! I really need to catch up. I think 9th has been a strange time for me, as it’s been tough to get into it all with having only played a couple of games and all, but I really need to get to grips with the changes, as I want to be ready for when the world returns to normal!

In 9th edition, there’s a lot of stuff going on for armies – there’s an element of customization that I hadn’t really expected, but I’m really pleased to see for the game. Within the game, objectives have been shuffled around a bit so that we’ve now got the option to choose what we’re attempting to do within the scope of the mission, including taking actions instead of the usual shooting or melee combat. With the codex releases, we’re getting faction-specific objectives as well, which aid with the feel of really playing your guys.

Something that I really like is the addition of Cryptek Arkana, which are a bit like relics but better, on the whole, and come with a points/power cost to add to your Cryptek models. It’s a bit like the old fifth edition stuff we had, where you could make your Cryptek a Harbinger of something, which would open up a suite of effects for the model.

This brings me on to the list. I’ve talked before about building my Necrons list for 8th edition where I built around a couple of units, and with this one I’ve gone for the starting point of a Psychomancer. The model isn’t actually out yet, but does look so wonderfully weird that I’m really looking forward to getting one when they make it available!

It really shows how insane Crypteks can get, removing parts of their bodies because why wouldn’t you? I do like the new plastic model that came out a few years back, and he’s also taking part in the army, but it’s the Psychomancer that I’ve chosen to give a piece of Arkana to – his special ability, Harbinger of Despair, causes negative effects to units close to him, so the Atavindicator seems like a natural choice, causing mortal wounds in a similar manner. I find him a very interesting model, though, with having former relics as his standard wargear – the abyssal lance and the nightmare shroud.

Necrons Thoky Dynasty

The plastic Cryptek has been renamed the Technomancer, interestingly. I think the old finecast model can also form the same role, as his weird bit of tech in his right hand (didn’t it used to be the chronometron?) can be used to represent the Canoptek control node, the alternative piece of wargear which adds 1 to the hit rolls of nearby Canoptek units. But I’ve taken the cloak, which still allows the model to double his movement and fly.

Now then. The army is sort of built with having the Psychomancer doing stuff, but he does need to get pretty close to the enemy to do his thing – 12″ for the Harbingers of Despair effect, 6″ for the nightmare shroud ability. At least the Atavindicator is 18″, and causes mortal wounds, which is quite a powerful.

To help with this, I have some Deathmarks who can pop out of their hyperspace oubliette and make a shooting attack when an enemy unit is set up from reserves (although at the cost of 1 command point now – but the synaptic disintegrator has been beefed up!) If they’re not being used for this, however, they can still pop up and provide support for the Cryptek, and now that they’re shooting with a S5, AP-2 weapon which deals mortal wounds on unmodified 6s can be quite a threat, which I enjoy.

Of course, there are some elements that I would say are “standard” for the Necron army – the Catacomb Command Barge as the warlord, three groups of Immortals (tesla has increased in price between 8th and 9th edition, it seems, so I’m sticking with two groups of gauss and just the one tesla cohort), and something that I’m really enjoying at the moment, the Triarch Stalker. It still has the targeting relay rule that allows for friendly units to re-roll hits of 1 if they shoot the same target, which is very nice. It’s also come down in points – I think the 8th edition cost for the Stalker with twin heavy gauss cannon was over 140 points. So that’s always nice!

However, mine is quite a long way from being a finished mini!

I’m sticking with Mephrit dynasty, though it’s worth pointing out that dynastic codes (much like all such “chapter tactics”) now have several rules built in, and not just one. Mephrit still has their improve AP by 1 when within half range, but now adds 3″ to all ranged weapons (except pistols), and allows you to pick both effects from the Protocol of the Vengeful Stars.

Protocol of what, now?

Adding to the tactical complexity, Necrons also have Command Protocols that function similar to the Space Marines combat doctrines, where you pick an effect to be in play for each battle round. Unlike the dynastic codes, all of the units in my list have the Command Protocols rule, indeed it’s only the C’tan Shards (and Tesseract Vault) that don’t have the rule. Provided that my warlord is a Necrons Noble unit, which the Command Barge is, and provided that all of my units are of the same dynasty, which they are, the rule will affect any unit that is within 6″ of a character. Each Protocol has two parts, and when that Protocol becomes active, I get to choose one of those parts to take effect – except for the Vengeful Stars, which my choice of dynasty allows me to keep both effects. Which is nice, as the effects are to improve the AP of each ranged attack on an unmodified 6, and enemy units within half range do not get the benefit of cover against my ranged attacks.

Very nice!

I was prepared for 9th edition to drive up the cost of a lot of my units, but in a 1500 point list, I’m quite pleased to see that I’ve actually ended up with a list pretty similar in size to my usual army. I have no idea how long it’s going to be until we can play games once more – I’m currently living in Tier 2 restrictions in England, so households cannot mix, but hopefully the new year will see these being lifted and life getting back to something like normal. So I need to be ready with my tiny painted men!

The scope here will be to get the Triarch Praetorians, Triarch Stalker and Canoptek Wraiths painted up, and then the Psychomancer whenever he gets released. Doesn’t sound insurmountable, does it?

Necromunda: at last!

Hey everybody,
Tuesday is of course game day, and this is one that I’ve been looking forward to featuring on my blog it seems like forever! Of course, I’ve talked around it for years, but at last, it’s time for Necromunda!

The Game
There are a ton of rules for this game that make it a really immersive, RPG-style experience, but this is my first game so I’m keeping it simple. It absolutely isn’t going to be my last, however, so I’ll be exploring more of these rules in future blogs! I’ve covered a lot of the basics in my earlier Getting Started with Necromunda blog, but let’s revisit that to begin:

The Basics
Necromunda Underhive is a skirmish game where players control the members of a gang, vying for supremacy in the Underhive. At its most basic, the game is quite straightforward, consisting of three phases in each round. To begin, players roll off to see who gets Priority for that round, then all the fighters are readied.

The Action phase sees each gang member activated, alternating between each player. Each fighter can take two actions. There are a number of different actions available to players, grouped into basic actions (which can only be taken once in each activation), simple actions (which can be taken more than once), and double actions (which take up both action slots for the fighter). So for instance, moving is a simple action and so can be taken twice, while shooting or fighting is a basic action that can only be taken once, and charging is a double action (though it does allow for a fighter to make a free fight action if he or she ends that charge in base-to-base contact with an enemy gang member).

Resolving both shooting and close combat attacks works exactly the same as regular 40k, whereby fighters make a ballistic skill / weapon skill check, and if it is successful, make a roll comparing the weapon strength to the target’s toughness and referring to the usual to-wound chart. The target gets the chance to save against the attack (unless the weapon’s AP value negates that), and damage is inflicted. If a fighter is reduced to 0 wounds, they are taken out of action. There is an end phase which, in the basic rules, is only there to mark the end of the round.

Necromunda Underhive

For this game, I was basically soloing my way through, controlling both Delaque and Van Saar gangs that approach the 1000-credit mark. They’re fairly similar in make-up, with a Leader, a Champion carrying a fancy weapon, and one Ganger with a fancy weapon. Van Saar, as a more expensive gang, unfortunately have one less ganger, but we’ll have to see how each side fared!

My Delaque gang consisted of the following:
Leader (flechette pistol, shock stave, throwing knives) – 185 credits
Champion (grav gun, web gauntlet) – 260 credits
Ganger (long rifle) – 90 credits
Ganger (shotgun, stun grenades) – 100 credits
Ganger (paired autopistols) – 70 credits
Ganger (autogun, stiletto knives, smoke grenades) – 110 credits
Ganger (web pistol, bio scanner) – 170 credits

985 credits in total

In contrast, my Van Saar gang was just:
Leader (combi las/melta, hystrar-pattern energy shield) – 310 credits
Champion (rad cannon, rad grenades) – 265 credits
Ganger (paired plasma pistols, frag grenades) – 205 credits
Ganger (suppression laser) – 115 credits
Ganger (las carbine) – 95 credits

990 credits in total

Necromunda Underhive

Van Saar are known for being very shooty, and very expensive, and this is very clear here – two fewer gangers than the Delaque bunch, although early in the game this didn’t seem to matter. The ganger with paired plasma pistols was able to take advantage of the mistake of the Delaque leader in coming out in the open like we’ve seen above, and was able to get an embarrassingly clear shot at him!

This is the first place where I got a bit lost in the rules. In regular 40k, you’re trying to reduce units or characters to 0 wounds. Here, however, we’re not quite doing the same thing. When a fighter takes enough damage that he is reduced to 0 wounds, you roll an injury dice to see what happens – either a Flesh Wound (which reduces the fighter’s Toughness characteristic), Serious Injury (which knocks the fighter prone, turned face down on the board), or Out of Action (removed from play). At the end of the round, you have a chance to then stand back up or remain prone, by rolling the dice again. Now, any flesh wounds reduce the toughness, and if the fighter is reduced to 0 Toughness, they are then removed from the game. It’s a nice mechanic to ensure that your model isn’t going to be one-shotted into oblivion (although, of course, that is possible by rolling Out of Action!) and once I’d gotten my head around it, it was nice to see that the game will actually let you play with your toys, you know?

Necromunda Underhive

There is a definite need to have plenty of bodies on the table, which put the Van Saar at the disadvantage here, as mentioned. It’s good to have fancy weapons, for sure, but it’s no use if the fighter wielding that weapon cannot get to use it! Which brings me on to learning point number two!

My Van Saar Champion has a rad cannon, and being Van Saar, he’s hitting on 2s. Along with a d6 each time you roll to shoot, you also roll the Firepower dice, which has the ammo symbol on one face that shows the weapon is out of ammo. The first roll with my rad cannon guy, I rolled a 1 and the ammo symbol, so I did the grand sum of nothing on my turn, and was then shot by the Delaque Leader, causing him to be prone and pinned. On each End Phase roll, he remained prone and pinned, meaning he did the grand sum of nothing for the entire game! 265 credits wasted!

Necromunda Underhive

Something that I think is really, really cool about this game is the depth into which the rules go for pretty much everything. Once you get the basic flow down, it feels like a very real game. For example, on your fighter’s activation, you can use one action to Aim (Basic) to add 1 to the hit roll, and then use the second action to Shoot (Basic), where you may find yourself rolling the ammo symbol on the dice. The shot will still be fired, but if you survive to your next activation, you then need to make an ammo check to Reload (Simple) before you can then attempt to Shoot (Basic) once again.

Something that I really like, and hadn’t realised until about halfway through the game, is that a fighter wielding two weapons with the Sidearm trait can shoot with both as part of the same Shoot (Basic) action – normally you can only make one such action on your turn, as you can’t make the same Basic action twice on your activation. Sadly, the Van Saar ganger dual-wielding plasma pistols had run out of ammo on one of these at the time I realised this, but I still had my Delaque ganger with dual autopistols. Fabulous!

Necromunda Underhive

A lot of the game, I feel, will come alive when you play through the scenarios and link everything in a campaign. There are so many rules that involve stuff like opening loot caskets, gaining credits and advancing gangers with different weapons and gaining skills. I’ve not had a chance (or, really, the need) to properly investigate the rules for campaign play, but it seems absolutely like the RPG-feel that I was expecting.

For those of you wondering, the game resulted in a Delaque victory. I was playing a vague sort of scenario whereby the Van Saar gang was trying to re-take some territory from the Delaque. The first round was a lot of positioning, then there were two rounds of shooting and door-opening, before the fourth round resulted in utter carnage! Two Van Saar gangers were reduced to 0 Toughness, and two Delaque gangers took advantage of pinned and prone Van Saar fighters to charge and administer the coup de grace. Seeing his entire cohort killed off, the Van Saar leader conceded.


I’m glad that I’ve finally been able to get the game to the table, even if it was just a solo adventure to see how the whole thing works. Much as with Warcry recently, though, I felt as though it was an entirely fine way to play, getting to grips with the rules interactions and so on. However, I’ve got something lined up hopefully for the day when we can play games with actual living people once again! Delaque vs Orlock, should be a lot of fun!

This game is awesome, and I can’t wait to share more here on the blog as time goes on, and more games are played! Exciting times!

Grey Knights updates!

No, we’re not getting our codex anytime soon!

A few days ago, I finished reading the second novel in the Grey Knights series by Ben Counter, Dark Adeptus.

Dark Adeptus is the second novel in the Grey Knights series, and we’re once again with Justicar Alaric and an even smaller team of Grey Knights, as they investigate the mysterious reappearance of the planet Chaeronia from the Warp. An added complication is that the planet is a Forge World of the Adeptus Mechanicus, and so the Knights are forced to team up with the Tech Priests as they investigate what is happening. Making planetfall, the team discovers that the world has been overtaken by some form of tech heresy, with many of the structures suffused with a biological matter – clearly the Dark Mechanicus has taken root.

It eventually transpires the Tech Priests have been influenced by a daemon that has possessed the artificial intelligence of a Standard Template Construct (STC) for a Titan. The daemon has sent a signal through the Warp to the Warmaster Abaddon, as it feels he is the best recipient for the army of Titans that it has produced. Alaric and his team are able to thwart these plans after a climactic battle, banishing the daemon back to the Warp.

I didn’t think this one was as good as the first book in the series, maybe because it started with such a strange plot device for the Grey Knights to be involved with. The daemon-hunters of the Ordo Malleus, involved in something that has no apparent daemonic link? Hm. As it moved on, though, the story was fine and everything, just seemed to be a bit of a stretch at times as to why the Grey Knights were involved. I think part of me still likes the idea of the chapter operating in absolute secrecy, to the point where they never work with allies without killing them afterwards to preserve that secrecy.

Of course, all of the Adeptus Mechanicus allies end up dead by the end of the novel, so I suppose that’s that taken care of! Interestingly, the foot soldiers of the Mechanicus are referred to as the Tech Guard, as being the almost drone-like meat shields in comparison with the more elite Skitarii troops. The novel pre-dates the current Adeptus Mechanicus line, though, which uses the Skitarii as a similar drone-like foot slogger. Though I do need to stop reading Black Library novels in the mindset of having miniatures for every eventuality!

So while this was a little disappointing after how much I enjoyed the first novel in the series, it is nevertheless good to read about the exploits of the Grey Knights!

My own exploits with the Grey Knights, of course, are less than amazing, although I am quite pleased to announce that I have finally finished painting the Purifier Squad that I had started almost two years ago! I don’t know why it has taken this long, if I’m honest, but it seems to have been the case where I had gotten so far with the models, and couldn’t seem to bring myself to finish them off. It’s the sort of thing that has happened before, of course, but it’s good to have them done.

I still have a long way to go with the army, of course, but I’m looking to get another Strike Squad painted soon, along with a Brother Captain. Maybe the Land Raider will see a coat of silver paint… I might not have the whole army painted by the end of the year, but I’m hoping there will be a lot more painted by the time we get to January 1st!