There is only war!

Hey everybody!
Well, after the exciting launch of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 at the weekend, there really could only be one game that would be featured on my game day blog today! This isn’t going to be any kind of exhaustive account of the game, but more some of my initial thoughts after getting the new starter set and having had a flick through the rules. So let’s take a look inside the Dark Imperium!

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Imperium

Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition is amazing. While I haven’t yet had a chance to field any of my armies in the new rules, I can still say that this is the most excited that I have ever been for this game in the last three years, and I’ve been fiddling with army lists and devouring rules, building and painting more miniatures, and generally basking in the glow of the new for a while now. 7th Edition confused and scared me, and given the fact that this is supposed to be a game that you’re supposed to play for fun, that’s just weird. By contrast, 8th Edition seems much more straightforward, while retaining a degree of depth.

I had a total of three games played during 7th, so I’m not about to launch into a comparison of the two editions, but I may still make the odd comment. To begin, though, I think it’ll help to go over the phases of the game and see how the whole thing is structured.

So, once you’ve chosen armies and missions, and have gone through the various stages of setting up your miniatures on the table, the game begins with the Movement phase. Models all have a Movement characteristic, which is now representative of the individual models rather than a stock number for a particular unit type, no matter that unit’s biology. I do like this, as it makes things much easier because everything is right there on the datasheet for that unit, rather than having to remember stuff all the time. (I’ve ranted about this before, though!)

Next comes the Psychic Phase. Something that I usually don’t bother with, having my main army as Necrons and my second army as Dark Eldar, the Psychic Phase is nevertheless something that I really like the look of, and has been one of the reasons I’m so keen to get moving on my Genestealer Cults army! Things have been simplified, so that you now attempt to manifest a psychic power by rolling 2D6, and Deny the Witch just means roll 2D6 and beat the test result. Seems very straightforward, rather than gaining all those warp charge dice, and using some to do things with and all the rest of it.

The Shooting Phase has changed insofar as units can split fire, and the roll to hit is now a target in the unit’s profile, for example 3+ for the Genestealer Primus, rather than having a Ballistics Skill value that is subtracted from 7 in order to find out what you need to roll. BS, indeed. There is still the nonsense about rolling again to see if you wound the target, comparing the strength value of the weapon to the toughness value of the model you’re shooting. It seems unnecessary to have to roll twice to see if a shot was fired at a unit, but at least there’s no longer the need to memorise a massive table of what you need to roll to actually wound somebody – now, there’s a very simple chart that does simplify this element a great deal. My main issue though is that this element is still in the game, to begin with! In real life, if I shoot you in the head, the odds are it will cause a wound, you know? Anyway… There are still Saves to be made, either armour saves or cover saves, and this involves another change, as weapons have modifiers to these saves on them now. I like this, as it makes a lot more sense to me. For example, going back to our Primus example, he has a Save of 5+. However, if you’re shooting at him with a Necron Immortal wielding a gauss blaster, those weapons have -2 Armour Penetration, meaning that the saving throw is made worse by 2. So that Primus needs to roll a 7 or more to avoid that wound, on a single D6. I don’t know if you’d ever use Immortals for that sort of attack, but the Primus does have five wounds, and could be the Genestealer Cults’ warlord, so it could be useful!

After shooting comes the Charge Phase, where you can charge an enemy unit within 12″ by rolling 2D6 and moving, before which the enemy has the chance to fire Overwatch at you. This is an out-of-sequence shooting attack, where all shots hit on 6+ regardless of the previous Ballistics Skill business, to reflect the panic I suppose. Whereas previously this could be detrimental to your charge, as you had to remove casualties from the front, meaning you might not have enough models to get within melee distance, now the controlling player chooses where his casualties come from, so you can remove models from the back if you want.

The Fight Phase has changed insofar as the charging unit will go first, now that Initiative has gone. I’ve talked about this before as well, how I liked Initiative and stuff, so I’m a bit gutted about that. Apart from that, though, it does still feel mechanically like 7th Edition. You charge, you pile in, then you slug it out with hand-to-hand weapons. This is pretty much the same as shooting before, though you use the Weapons Skill value to determine hits. I’m looking forward to seeing how my Necron Lychguard fare this time around, as the warscythes do look to be quite beastly in close combat – hitting on 3+, then wounding most often on 3+ also with a -4 AP and 2 wounds per hit, that looks awesome! As an example, a unit of five Lychguard would make ten attack rolls that hit a Genestealer Cults Chimera on 3+, they’d wound on 4+ because the strength and toughness are both 7, but due to the AP, the Chimera’s save would be 7+. It’s too early in the day to work out probability, but I’m sure it would be glorious!

Interestingly, you don’t get the additional dice for charging – I guess getting to go first in combat is bonus enough!

Finally, the Morale Phase checks to see how many models from a unit died that turn, and adds that number to a D6 roll. If the result is higher than the Leadership value of the unit, you remove models from that unit equal to the number of points higher you rolled. So if you roll a 5 and 4 models were slain from a unit of Neophyte Hybrids, their Leadership is 7 so you remove two more models from that unit.


These are the core rules of the game now, so a lot of it has indeed been simplified. However, there is a strong element of Age of Sigmar in this game insofar as each datasheet for each unit contains unit-specific rules. While the core rules are therefore just 8 pages long, there are tons more rules in the place of the universal special rules that took up a chunk of the core rulebook previously. Sure, things like the unit types rules have been drastically simplified, and these changes are definitely for the better, as it makes it so much more straightforward to seeing just how a unit works. I’ve rambled about my difficulties in trying to find the rules for Triarch Praetorians previously, needing two different books and about four separate pages within those books just to figure out how the models work. None of that exists now, really. If you know the 8 pages of rules, all you need in front of you is your own datasheet for that unit, and away you go.

(Of course, there are army-wide rules that still exist, such as the Reanimation Protocols rule for Necrons, which aren’t detailed on each and every datasheet. So you may still have a little flicking around to start with.)

I love the fact that the datasheets have everything you need to know, even down to the most common weapon loadout profiles. True, I’d have preferred to have seen every weapon on there for even greater ease, but I imagine some units might get quickly over-loaded. But these things are few and far between. In the main, if you want to know what a weapon on your model does, the rules are there on the same page as that model.

The three ways to play thing, ported pretty much directly from Age of Sigmar, is also really cool as it allows the game to be more things to more people. If you like picking out an awesome element from the narrative and re-creating that, you can do that. If you want to have an equal points-level, you can do that as well. Points have been taken one step further, by having an overall “power” level for a unit, based on roughly 25-3o power for every 500 points. While initially it seemed that power levels were being decried as worthless, over the launch weekend it seems that pretty much everyone at my local stores were talking in terms of power rather than points. It seems to be a great way to quickly build a list and start playing, rather than spending an evening working out the exact cost of your army. Of course, if that’s your thing, then you can still do that.

What’s even more interesting to me is the fact that there are 8 pages of core rules, the majority of this blog so far having gone over them, but there’s an additional Appendix that adds in a bunch more rules that you can add in to however you choose to play, meaning you really can make 8th Edition as complicated as you like.

I think the rules overall are a great way to invest a lot of narrative into the game, and I’m really looking forward to getting some games in soon!


As always with a new edition, we also get a new Starter Set for the game, which has previously come with all of the dice and templates that you need, in addition to a rulebook and lots of fantastic miniatures. Well, this edition doesn’t use templates or special dice, but we do get the full hardback rulebook, along with some truly spectacular miniatures in the new Dark Imperium box!

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Imperium

The factions included here are the Primaris Space Marines, and the Death Guard. So it’s a bit similar to the last box, Dark Vengeance, which featured loyalist vs Chaos space marines, but the miniatures here are really quite spectacular. I think the painting video where Duncan paints the Lord of Contagion really shows how incredible these new guys are!

Of course, people are a bit twitchy about the new Primaris marines spelling the end of the current Space Marine line, but I’ve got to be honest, I think these guys look amazing. I’d been back and forth over whether I liked them, before finally settling on a yes a day or two before the release. Having now had the opportunity to actually build and paint some, I think this is what Space Marines should have always been. The Mk VII armoured chaps will always hold a special place for me, and I plan to continue building and painting them for my Novamarines, but I think the Primaris are certainly a worthy addition to the universe, and I can’t wait to see what we get in the multipart kits that will inevitably follow later in the summer…

You get the full hardback core rules, which alone cost £35 and accounts for most of the weight of this thing, as well as short “codexes” for each of the factions that have some paint schemes, some fluff, and the datasheets (they even include the points values for them, if that’s something that interests you!) And of course, you get 53 beautiful (if disgusting, in the case of the Nurgle stuff) miniatures. £95 seems like a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but it also feels about right for what you get. Burning of Prospero came with 47 miniatures, and a separate game, for the same price. So it does seem to be fairly standard – and of course, if you manage to get it for less, then go for it!


With three ways to play the game, straightforward rules for the game, and an increasingly phenomenal miniatures catalogue with which to populate the game, Warhammer 40k has never seemed more exciting! Locally, 8th Edition seems to have garnered a lot of interest among the “never playing 40k” crowd, and while I’ve long been interested in the game, I’ve never been more keen to finally get some regular games in!

Exciting times!

Hey everybody!
It’s finally here! 8th Edition release weekend for Warhammer 40,000 is upon us, and I’m far too excited for words! I’d preordered stuff from a variety of places, so was waiting to have it all before I posted about this, but well, I think the photo speaks for itself…

Warhammer 40,000 Dark Imperium

I’m going to start building some Primaris marines soon enough, though I’m still not 100% sure which chapter I want to build. Since hearing about the new fluff, I’ve been thinking about building them for a new chapter, but I might do some Novamarines just because! I’m also thinking that I want to get the Triumvirate of the Primarch, and so it’d be nice to have them being led by Guilliman himself, which has made me think once again about painting Ultramarines…

Gah!

It’s far too hot in my little corner of the UK right now to do anything more, so I might perch in front of the fan and catch up with the new book… or an Index or two…

All about the Primaris!

Hey everybody!
While I realise I’m a bit late to the party on this, I thought I’d finally get round to putting some of my thoughts down on the new space marines coming in the new box set for Warhammer 40k 8th Edition. We’ve had the images doing the rounds for a number of weeks now, of course, with a bit of the lore coming out that talks about their backstory in the new edition. Understandably, people seem to be losing it over all of this, with the prevailing thought being that these kits will be replacing the current range of marines at some later date, although currently GW are denying it.

Primaris Space Marines

I’ve been going back and forth over whether I actually like the look of these chaps. When they first landed, I think I got caught up in the thrill of the new, but that quickly seemed to wane and I felt a bit sad to see the loss of the older models, which I actually really like! I don’t really have a huge number of marines finished of course, but even so!

When the Deathwatch models came out last year, the new MkVIII armour was somewhat larger than we’d previously seen, and I quickly came to love these guys. I’ve since been feeling the same about these MkX armoured-guys as well.

So I’ve pre-ordered the new Dark Imperium box, which will include fifteen of the regular marines, from the look of it, along with some HQs and those three flying guys. It looks like the perfect start to a Primaris army, and as we’re getting closer to the release weekend, I’m finding myself getting quite excited about trying something new. Which brings me on to the lore.

Belisarius Cawl

Primaris Marines were the brainchild of Roboute Guilliman and the Tech Priest Belisarius Cawl, both of whom have recently had models as part of the Gathering Storm series. I’ve still not yet invested in these minis, but I’ve been considering making the leap soon enough as I like the idea in particular of having my Primaris Marines being led by Guilliman!

During the height of the Heresy, Guilliman, seeing the flaws of his brothers in falling to Chaos, asked Cawl if he could work on improving the work of the Emperor and create a new breed of marine. Cawl returned to Mars to work on this, and Fulgrim attacked Guilliman, the Ultramarine Primarch being kept in stasis at the point of death for the next 10,000 years. During the Gathering Storm, Cawl finally emerged into the galaxy again and, with the help of the Eldar technology, ‘saved’ Guilliman by interring him in the Armour of Fate. And thus, Guilliman saw the state of the Imperium and finally unleashed his centuries-old plan to save his father’s work from the depredations of Chaos: the Ultima Founding!

A lot of folks have been decrying the fact that Belisarius Cawl was able to improve on the Emperor’s design of the space marines. Why? I have no idea. It took the Emperor a number of years, and apparently a pact with Chaos, to gain the gene technology to create the Primarchs, after which he created the Adeptus Custodes and, finally, the mass-produced space marines. It then took Belisarius Cawl, who is a pretty important Tech Priest remember, ten thousand years to make some small improvements upon the mass-produced – some may even say, the lesser – marines.  It’s not like Cawl has made more Primarchs, after all.

The new marines have been deployed across the Imperium in new Chapters as well as bolstering the dwindling ranks of the other Loyalists. Of course, this sounds like more of a marketing ploy than anything else, giving existing marine players the perfect reason to add some of these to their existing army, or to start a new collection. But within the lore, the whole thing makes perfect sense!

I’ve been starting on a Novamarines army for quite some time now, of course, having already painted some Ultramarines and White Scars in my time (to say nothing of the ongoing Deathwing army!) I was vaguely thinking about doing something hilarious with either orange or pink (or both), but have since been thinking about waiting, and giving it some more thought. At any rate, I’m getting really quite excited about these new marines – just not those goofy-looking flying guys…

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition – one week to go!

There’s only one week left before we get the new edition of Warhammer 40k, and I’m getting so very excited it’s untrue! I’ve been looking forward to the new edition since I knew for sure it was going to be A Thing, and now I think I’m getting into overdrive!

Part of the reason for this is, I think, due to watching the short series of videos put out on Warhammer TV’s youtube channel, specifically this one:

It feels like not only is the game being given a nice, clean facelift, but also we’re getting a lot of story advancement, which is leaving me with the overwhelming sense of the newness of the setting.

While there have been plenty of dissenting voices about some of the new lore, mainly since some of the articles being put up on the Warhammer Community site, but I think splitting the galaxy in two could lead to some wonderful storytelling opportunities. I’ve heard some people compare it to the split of the Roman empire but, personally, I think it feels more akin to the Iron Curtain in postwar Europe, with the Imperium under Guilliman analogous to the west, and the Imperium Nihilus akin to the east. It would be really cool if this is the direction they take it, of course, but who knows what will happen?!

The fact that Phil Kelly says they’re going to expand further on this has also gotten me excited, and I’m left thinking that perhaps we’re in for more Gathering Storm-style events, perhaps with triumvirate boxes to accompany them. I think it’s a fairly safe bet that we’re getting Mortarion within a matter of weeks, so maybe he’ll be coming with some pox-friends?

Ultramar

The 40k universe has always been so rich and vibrant, and flicking through my Deathwatch RPG books this morning has really reminded me of that quite strongly. The idea of being able to explore this in a more focused and story-driven manner is incredibly exciting, and while the Horus Heresy series has been a bit of a lumbering juggernaut at times, at its best the series is just truly phenomenal! If they can capture the best of that and bring it into the 41st millennium, then I think I’ll be an over-excited chap for a long time to come!

Necrons

So, if you have a local gaming store near you, or you’ve been paying attention to the internet lately, you’ve no doubt now had a chance to take a look at these new Indexes and so forth. Last week I talked about the changes between a 1000-point list made in 7th edition and its 8th edition updates, but today I thought I’d share with you a basic 1000-point Newhammer Necron list that I’ve put together. My local store is holding a casual 1000-point tournament on launch day, which I’m not sure about getting to yet, but hope to be able to go along and try out the new edition. I think this is a very “safe” list, not using too many fancy units or any potentially confusing things, so I have no idea how competitive it could be. A lot of people have been bemoaning the fact that Necrons seem to have been nerfed by the new edition, but I think that’s predominantly since the loss of the decurion detachment, which I never ran anyway, so I don’t foresee any tears or tantrums here!

Necron list

It’s a simple thing, as I said, but I think I want to start off simple and build up my game from there! I’ve currently got the Immortals and Lychguard at minimum squad size, but due to the change in Reanimation Protocols (rolling to restore a model to the unit rather than rolling as an additional save), it might be worth bunching them up into bigger squads. I’m actually surprised at how close the points are for Immortals here to their 7th edition versions, which suggests to me that they were pretty balanced before! I’ve built up most of my Immortals with gauss blasters, and I think I only have one unit with tesla carbines, so I need to get a second built shortly. Tesla seems to be the thing for Necrons in 8th, with rolls of 6 causing three hits rather than one. I still like the gauss for AP-2, and the way I roll dice, I don’t think I’ll ever get maximum use out of the tesla. But it is still causing me to want to get that Annihilation Barge finished off!!

I’ve been trying to re-do some of my original Necrons since January, also. They were among the first miniatures I’d ever painted and, while playing a game last November, I felt they were really showing their age. It’s something I’ve talked about before, of course! In January, I stripped ten Lychguard and have been slowly getting paint back on them – hopefully I’ll have a Necrons update blog soon, where I can show off some of the things I’ve been painting here!

Dark Eldar updates!

Hey everybody!
Exciting times are inbound, as I’m sure anyone looking forward to the new edition of Warhammer 40k will agree! I’m particularly excited as my degree course finally came to a close on Friday – I’ve been doing a part time course through the Open University since February 2012, and it’s with a huge sigh of relief that I had my final exam on the 2nd! With no more essays or revision to take up my time, then, I’ve been applying myself with gusto to the task of completing the 1000-point list of Dark Eldar that I’d started work on earlier this year!

At the weekend, however, I thought it’d be interesting to see how my list holds up in the new 8th Edition ruleset. The first thing that I can see is just how cheap it is for the same list this time around!

Dark Eldar oath list

I think the biggest factor here is the Talos, which has dropped by 32 points alone. Not having to pay for sergeant upgrades is also not insignificant! So these things have absorbed the increase in points that the vehicles represent, meaning that I’m overall 50 points cheaper!

In my original list, I hadn’t upgraded the Trueborn beyond giving them a Dracon, but since I’ve now built them with 50 points-worth of upgrades, I’ve adjusted the Warriors accordingly. So I was a little over the 1000 points limit agreed by my local GW, but in 8th Edition, Trueborn can’t take haywire blasters, so having modeled them with these things, I’m feeling a bit bummed right now! I’m still in something of a planning stage with them, but I might make them counts-as dark lances, which they can take. Or just build two more with regular blasters and wait for 9th Edition!

I was actually surprised to find that they’d made these changes, though – while obviously it’s a new edition, and things change, I somehow wasn’t expecting to see wargear options diminish like this. I’ve never been around for a change of edition, however – getting into 40k shortly after 7th Edition landed – so I suppose I don’t know what to have expected!

Anyway, I’ve been making decent progress with my army lately, I think, so it’s time for a showcase!

I’m really pleased with how this project has been going so far! Considering I wasn’t really sure what I was doing when I painted up my first Kabalite squad, I think it’s really gathered some steam over the last month or so, as I’ve managed to finish off the first batch of Wyches, churn out another batch of Kabalite Warriors, some Kabalite Trueborn, an Archon, a handful of more Kabalite Warriors, and most recently, two horrors from the Coven! My Wracks just need their bases finishing off, and they’ll be done as well! I’ve already started work on a Succubus and Lhamaean, while also trying to get started with the vehicles!

I’ve not been entirely sure what I’m doing with these things – they’re probably the biggest miniatures I’ve tackled so far, with some very flat surfaces! I’ve been doing some drybrushing on them, the same scheme as with the Kabalite Warriors, though so far it’s only looking decent on the Venoms… Still, got to start somewhere!

So, all in all, I’m really very pleased with these guys!!

It’s here! (Almost…)

Pre-orders for the new edition of Warhammer 40k went up today, and my facebook feed has been showing nothing but Warhammer goodness all day! It’s been quite glorious!

Personally, I went for the new starter box, Dark Imperium, but have otherwise played it safe as I recently bought a house, so funds might be tight for a while! I couldn’t resist the goodness, however – the box just seems crammed full of value!

I feel like I’ve been swinging wildly in my opinion lately of the new Primaris marines, but I’m currently back to wanting to paint up a small force of them. I think this will be more of a long-term project, and not something that I want to leap into quite so quickly, as I have plenty of stuff still on the tabletop waiting for its turn! The assault marines look ridiculous, however, and I’m not planning to keep those guys. My first thought on seeing them was actually, “I guess that’s how they’ll re-do the Seraphim Squad for Sisters”. I just think they look too goofy for me. But the other guys should be alright to build. I’ve particularly come around on the captain in the new Gravis armour. That should be fun.

They do all look chunky, of course, and the new Redemptor Dreadnought is definitely guilty of that. However, I kinda like the look, all the same. The Kastellan Robots always held a certain appeal to me, and I think it’s possible to see some of that design in here. Which I suppose kinda makes sense, given the fluff and all. I’m a huge fan of dreadnoughts in general, and I do like the look of these big guys. I likely won’t be doing them as Ultramarines, but rather a small force of one of the new Chapters that have been founded in the wake of the Fall of Cadia.

The new Repulsor made me chuckle at first. I just thought it was a new kind of tank for the new marines, then noticed the base and burst out laughing – tanks have bases now! Then I took notice of the design and realised it was a speeder-tank, and had to have a further chuckle at the amount of whining going on that it was a flying land raider, or whatever. I’m a huge admirer of the Land Speeder Vengeance for the Dark Angels, so I don’t see anything wrong with this – excepting perhaps the short flying stand that supports it. Hopefully there will be a way to fix that.

The Death Guard models look suitably disgusting, but I’m not a fan generally of Nurgle stuff, so will most probably be looking to off-load these soon enough. I suspect, of course, that ebay will soon be flooded with both halves of the box, so I may wait a while.

I’ve also got plans to pick up at least three of the new Indexes – both Imperium ones, and the Xenos I book – and the Imperial Armour Xenos book when that comes out later in the month. However, I’m also wondering just whether I’ll need those Imperium books, as it’s a fairly safe bet that a Space Marine Codex will be fairly quick out of the gate, whether it still has the Codex appellation or not.

Have you guys seen the news of a Chapter Approved book coming later in the year, as well? It seems like this is the General’s Handbook analogue that we’ve been expecting, and could potentially fix any issues that have crept into the game since release. It’s also going to be a yearly thing, which sounds like an excellent way to provide some fantastic updates in terms of campaigns or new model rules – generally, it could be awesome, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for Warhammer 40k than I am right now!

I’m hoping that I can get back to my local GW in the coming days and see if I can get a demo in for the game. I’m really excited about getting in at the ground level on this edition!!

Nemesis

Started this bad boy today – three chapters in, and loving it! #HorusHeresy #Warhammer40k

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After having read the first ten books of the Horus Heresy series in order, I’ve thus far been a bit more haphazard with my reading of the next batch of them. That said, there isn’t really a great need to read the books in their published order, as the Black Library has already told us!

Nemesis is the thirteenth book in the series, and while it does feel almost a side-story to that of the Heresy itself, it is nevertheless notable for being one of the few stories since Fulgrim that actually advances the story.

As the cover might suggest, we move from the Astartes to the Officio Assassinorum for this book, which deals with an attempt to assassinate Horus before his rebellion can get too out of hand. After yet another failed attempt from Clade Venenum to eliminate the Warmaster, the Master of Assassins pools the resources of the Officio to send an Execution Force team to strike the Warmaster at the world of Dagonet, where he is expected to appear in support of the local rebellion there.

Along the way, we also follow the plotline of a series of gruesome murders on the neighbouring planet of Iesta Veracrux. We eventually learn that the murders have been committed by an assassin in the employ of Erebus (who else?!) in a grand plan to eliminate the Emperor. The assassin is the failed attempt by Clade Culexus to create a sort of ultimate psyker-killer, known as the Black Pariah, though Erebus has performed a ritual to create a demonically-infused killer now called Spear. Spear is able to take on the aspect of anyone he has killed, and so assumes a series of roles that allow him to infiltrate a Rogue Trader local to Iesta Veracrux, with the goal of obtaining the Warrant of Trade. The Warrant was sealed with a drop of the Emperor’s own blood, and so Spear is trying to gain the power of the Master of Mankind through that drop.

All of this is going on while the Execution Force is assembled on Terra. I think this is the first Horus Heresy novel proper to truly deal with the homeworld of the Imperium, as we follow the team across the Atalantic and the Yndonesic Bloc. I’ve always been somewhat fascinated by the vision of the future Warhammer 40k presents to us, so really enjoyed these little vignettes – even if there was an element of Blues Brothers-esque putting the band together.

The team assembled, they travel to Dagonet and find the world has already declared for the Warmaster. Falling in with some rebels, they manage to set themselves up to await Horus’ imminent arrival, though when the Sons of Horus teleport down to the planet, the assassins discover they have killed a decoy – none other than Luc Sedirae. In retaliation, Horus orders an orbital bombardment of the planet, while the Execution Force finds themselves on the trail of Spear instead. One by one the assassins are felled by the Black Pariah, leaving the Vindicare assassin Eristede Kell to finish him off.

The mission is a failure, and the novel ends with Erebus sacrificing the remnants of Dagonet’s populace to the Ruinous Powers.

Horus Heresy Nemesis

This is a really good book!

James Swallow has also written the fourth novel in the series, Flight of the Eisenstein, and that earlier entry in the series was also a really great read, enhancing the opening trilogy and also being the first published book of the Horus Heresy to take us to the Sol System. While we’ve been on Terra in the short story Blood Games, I was really intrigued to actually have it as part of a novel here, as I said earlier. It’s just so fascinating to me, especially having gotten so far through the Horus Heresy series without really getting there yet. I suppose in part, it provides a weird sort of grounding-point for the universe as a whole, as it is our own world and all. But anyway, definitely a highlight of the book for me!

I found the individual assassins to be really quite interesting in their own ways, though did find it difficult to keep a track of who was who when they were referred to by their Clade names. I suppose Culexus and Callidus, Vanus and Venenum and Vindicare are all pretty close to each other that it can be difficult to differentiate! The most useful thing, actually, was picturing them as the miniatures from the Assassinorum Execution Force boardgame – another set of miniatures that I have waiting for me to build!! Though I’m definitely more interested in doing so after reading this book…

This was a really great read, and unlike other novels that veer away from the main Astartes storylines, I actually really enjoyed the change of pace here. I’ve already read The First Heretic, of course, but it does kinda bother me that I skipped Fallen Angels – mainly due to not being so impressed by the previous installment in the Dark Angels storyline. I’m also not interested in the Space Wolves, so don’t want to progress to Prospero Burns (even though it is by the illustrious Dan Abnett). I might skip ahead to The Outcast Dead, actually, which is also supposed to be set on Terra…