What am I doing with Warcry?

Hey everybody,
In keeping with my current Warcry obsession, I thought I’d update you all today with what I’ve been doing with the game since my last post about it, which turned into a bit of a rant, really! Sorry about that. Hopefully, from here on in, we’ll be able to stay a lot more positive!

I’ve been busily working on my Darkoath Savagers, which were one of the two warbands that came in the Red Harvest box set. These are wonderful-looking models, and I really have enjoyed the painting so far. It’s perhaps going to be a bit difficult to distinguish them from some of the other warbands, such as the Untamed Beasts or the Spire Tyrants, who also have a generic kind of Chaos Marauder look about them. At least with some of the warbands, there is a very clear distinction between them – you wouldn’t mistake an Iron Golem for an Unmade, for instance! 

Speaking of these two, last week I played a game using the Iron Golem and the Unmade as my warbands, in an attempt to get a handle on the rules once more. It was a lot of fun, as well – the Unmade had to keep all fighters in the dagger alive by round 4, and even though the dagger included the Blissful One, the Iron Golem were able to take that model out by concentrated fire, however a lone Awakened One was able to escape the melee and hide in the ruins, allowing for an Unmade victory in the end.

I wasn’t playing with the new Reactions, however it’s interesting to see what has been given out to some of these warbands. The Unmade have the opportunity to inflict wounds back at an attacker, whereas the Iron Golem can turn critical hits into hits, which might be crucial. Looking further out, the Darkoath Savagers also have a similar Reaction ability to turn critical hits into normal hits, and I like the Tarantulos Brood ability to turn hit rolls of 1 or 2 into 2 points of damage back to the attacker! I think some of these will definitely bear more investigation as time goes on, because it adds an extra level of strategy to the game that I really like. Games are already quick and brutal, of course, and the back-and-forth activation means that you’re never really stuck just waiting for long, but adding these Reactions in does seem to be a good way to keep the focus tight for the whole battle.

My game has really shown me how I need to get painting, though, because it’s just no fun playing with black-primed models. I had initially thought to play Iron Golem vs Untamed Beasts, but that would have been silly as both warbands have been primed black and left. I also have the Cypher Lords which have been half-painted for ages now, so I might try to get those finished next, and keep the momentum up across the summer to get more painted so that I have more to play with.

I’m also really interested in getting some different sorts of warbands going. In the past, I had tried as much as possible to stick to the Warcry exclusive warbands, although I have used my Khorne Bloodbound in the past. I’ve got a lot of cards for other stuff, though, and with the compendium available for free on the WarCom website, it has got me thinking about other kinds of warbands. Sylvaneth have always been on my radar, of course, and as a longtime Lizardmen fan, the new Seraphon models could make for another interesting addition! Part of it is trying to find something new to paint, and part of it is scratching that itch for longtime favourite models to add to the mix.

However, Age of Sigmar and Warhammer Fantasy are so big, in my mind, with my love of Warhammer that I can’t really help myself, truth be told. I came to Games Workshop through a love of the Fantasy setting, and so whenever I move from 40k to the fantasy side of the house, it always seems to bring about the nostalgia-feels. I think it would be awesome to get some Sylvaneth and Seraphon warbands, even without knowing what exactly I can do with them, but just for the sake of having these miniatures. Now that the Compendium, from what I’ve heard, has sought to balance things across the whole game, and the Warcry-specific warbands aren’t left behind, it might be the time to get some Lizardmen and Tree-spirits in my life once more!

Musings on Warcry…

Hey everybody,
I am really enjoying Warcry once again, diving into the setting and the lore in particular, but also getting more miniatures painted for the game. It’s been quite some time since I last played the game, but I suppose lockdowns didn’t help back when I was last feeling in the mood for this one. I’m working on my buddy James to see if he would want to try it out, as we’ve played Age of Sigmar and he was a fan of that, having a Slaves to Darkness army already. So the infection vector is there. I think JP has already had his interest piqued, as well, so hopefully I can convince him to try it out again as well.

I have a lot of stuff for this game, almost all of the Warcry-specific stuff from the “first edition” of the game (the red-topped version). There is just something undeniably awesome about this game, from the aesthetics to the actual gameplay itself. It’s fast and brutal, and I absolutely love it. The original setting of the Eightpoints, with Chaos warbands fighting each other for glory and recognition by Archaon, was an absolute triumph in my opinion, and initially, the move out of the realm of Chaos and into the realm of beasts had slightly cooled me to the whole thing. Indeed, GW seemed to be trying to push the game in a very different direction, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go that way.

It was a bit of a weird decision, in my mind, to make Warcry into a season-based game like Kill Team. I do get why they did it for the latter – the new Kill Team was already pumping out quarterly boxes, but the Gallowdark stuff allowed them to provide a homogenous setting while simultaneously supporting and expanding Kill Team, and the Boarding Actions sub-rules for regular 40k. Some noise was initially made that following all four boxes for Warcry would allow players to get an Age of Sigmar size table of terrain at the end of it, but the fact that Warcry warbands only ever filter into Slaves to Darkness armies means that it doesn’t have the same reach into its “parent game” the same way that Kill Team could. Warcry boxes have, thankfully, not sold out anywhere near as badly as those for Kill Team, meaning that it’s still quite possible to pick some up whereas I have only ever seen physical copies of Into the Dark, with no shop I know getting copies of the others. There are definite scalping problems with Kill Team, and I hope that never finds its way into Warcry.

However, there’s no denying that the game is still incredible, with the “second edition” rules being more of a tidy-up than a re-write. It is still the same game, from what I can see, with just the stat-block changes being the most significant change, but also the addition of Reactions to the game. These work when an enemy fighter activates against one of your ready fighters. That ready fighter can make a Reaction by spending one of their two actions to do something, either one of the Universal Reactions, of a faction-specific one. I think Reactions first became a thing in the Horus Heresy revamp, and is slowly starting to bleed over into more games, starting here.

Last week, I wrote a blog pondering what could be next for Warcry, given that we’re now at the end of the season and things over in Nottingham are pausing for breath (slightly) before the launch of 10th edition. I wonder if August will see a new season announcement, or if we’ll have something different? The Ghur lineup was interesting, from what I’ve heard, because Heart of Ghur (the first box) is no longer in production, meaning there is currently no Warcry starter set. You can get some of the subsequent big boxes, but they function as expansions for the first box, so you only get miniatures, board and a campaign book – no dice or tokens, and no rulebook. Whether they will do something to consolidate what we had during this season by bringing out a new starter, or whether the terrain will be reboxed as with many of the Savage Lands boxes from first edition, who knows. Unlike what happened with Kill Team, Warcry never saw a release of the new terrain elements when one box was replaced by another during the season.

At least all of the warbands can still currently be bought quite freely. I understand Kasrkin and the Arbites are still pretty much gold-dust.

I would love to get a proper starter box though, even if it is re-releasing Heart of Ghur or a reboxing of elements from across the season, just so that there’s a way to get that stuff. But it will probably have to wait for 10th edition’s dust to settle first, so there will doubtless be time to save up the pennies. Going forward, I do hope they kinda scrap the seasonality, and instead produce a starter, then maybe 6 months down the line give an expansion to that with some new or different terrain. During the first season, it was fine to have that starter box, then boxes of warbands which you could pick up if they interested you. The terrain boxes weren’t always actually available (I’m still upset about the mausoleum terrain box being sold out everywhere), but it didn’t seem to be quite so frenetic and exhausting as it has been to keep up with the pace lately. Even though I wasn’t following the season myself, just looking on, it’s been a terrible environment for people trying to keep up with everything.

Let’s be honest, if you have the money to keep up with the pace of Games Workshop’s release schedule, you probably don’t have the time to play anything because you’re busy working seventeen jobs to pay for it all.

I don’t want this post to become any more of a rant, though, so now that I’ve got all of that out of my system, let’s move on!

I’m hopefully going to get round to writing some more about Warcry as the rest of the year goes on, as it is such a good game, I feel like it deserves more recognition here on the blog. Stay tuned!

May 2023 retrospective

Hey everybody,
May seems to have been a pretty long month, in some respects. It’s been very productive, though, so I’m not complaining or anything, but wow! It seems like an age since I was writing my April retrospective!

I’ve been fairly busy with painting miniatures, which is of course to be expected, although somewhere in the middle of the month I think my attention began to wane a bit, and I was more focused on other games than the miniatures stuff. Surprising really, because I have had two games of 40k in May! I’ve really gotten back into the Tyranids, with both of the games I played being with the bugs, and I must say, it was great. Tyranids have been an army that I have definitely waxed and waned on like no other, but there’s always something that has kept me from just selling them all off. I’ve talked about this ages ago, though, where Tyranids were almost my first 40k army, so I suppose there’s always going to be that side of things going on as well.

I’ve started to get more of my Sisters of Battle painted as well, getting the Exorcist tank finished, and also finally getting the last few minis from the launch box painted up as well. That felt really nice, I have to say, getting them finished more than 3 years after they first came out! In my defence, I have had two children in this timeframe… Sisters have been the biggest focus, I suppose, despite playing games with Tyranids. I’ve still got some work to do on the Novitiates that have been started, of course, but these were very much casualties of my attention shifting more towards boardgames in the middle of the month.

I’m doing pretty well to clear out the backlog, though. Last August, I undertook a bit of a hobby audit to see how much stuff I still had to contend with, so I think I’ll try to do something similar this summer as well, to try to get to grips with what I am working with/towards. While I am actively trying to reduce the backlog, there’s no denying that there have been some additions since I last did that stock-take.

Over the last bank holiday weekend, I’ve cleared out a load of room in the attic, and have consolidated all of my hobby stuff there. This has allowed me to see exactly what I have still do deal with, which in turn has prompted me to get a few bits and pieces onto ebay in an attempt to clear out once more. However, getting everything together has turned my attention to Warcry, which is a great skirmish game that I had taken my eye from during it’s second iteration in the realm of beasts. I have so much stuff that I haven’t yet painted (or even built, actually) that I don’t suppose I need to be supplementing my collection with any of that stuff, but after looking into it all a bit more closely, I have had the imagination fired up! I’m currently working on painting up the Darkoath warband from Red Harvest, anyway, and hopefully will continue to paint up models for the game as the year plods on.

Elder Sign

However, like I said, boardgames seem to have taken centre stage for me for a while now, and I’ve surprised myself by playing quite a lot over the course of May! Part of the reason for this is how much Arkham Horror LCG has been played, as I have almost played through two full campaigns this month. Innsmouth in particular was quick, with half of the scenarios being played in a single day. I have well and truly hit my 10 plays for Arkham Horror LCG, at any rate, and have really bumped up my Elder Sign stats, too! I’ve really enjoyed that one, in particular getting to spend more time with the Gates of Arkham expansion, as it has allowed me to experience more of the box in a way that, up to this point, I just haven’t been doing. This is really the point of the 10×10 challenge, I suppose, to play a game more often. While a game like Elder Sign has seen a lot of play in total, the expansions have barely been touched overall – same is true for a lot of other stuff, though I’m thinking in particular about Eldritch Horror as well. I suppose it makes sense, the base game would get the most play because it’s out first, plus you play it more while learning the game, etc. However, Gates of Arkham had only been played twice since it came out in 2015, so this month alone has seen me exceed my all-time record by playing it 3 times, but these numbers are still surprisingly low. I think, if I were to do another 10×10 challenge next year, I would potentially tweak things to include expansions. It’s not just a numbers game, though, as I really enjoy seeing what stuff like Gates of Arkham has to offer. I can remember playing a lot of Eldritch Horror at the tail end of 2022, and while the base game has seen numerous games, the expansions have only hit the table 2 or 3 times, each. It would be good, I think, to try and play with those some more. It has been a bit like discovering these games all over again, and I’m really enjoying myself!


Of the 10×10 challenge, I have crossed the halfway point already, with 54 of the total 100 games being played. Three of the ten chosen games have also had all ten of their iterations played. Of course, it’s not all about trying to play games to bump the numbers up. I’ve still playing a fair bit of Marvel Champions, but I definitely seem to be on a bit of an Arkham Files kick at the minute, with all the Elder Sign and Arkham Horror LCG being played. Surprisingly, though, I haven’t played Eldritch Horror once in 2023, so I think it might be time to right that particular wrong soon enough!

That’s pretty much it, though, I think! A busy month for painting and for gaming, but otherwise quite sedate. I’ve been reading Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain for the most part, which has been pretty dull at times – while I was on leave last week, I’d put it aside in favour of starting on the third Shira Calpurnia book, Blind, along with Dave from wordaholicsanonymous. That book has been great, and I’m hoping to finish soon enough so that I can get some thoughts written up here, before returning to the Swiss sanatorium…

What’s next for Warcry?

I wonder what’s coming next for Warcry? I have kinda checked out of this recent “season” with the revamped setting in the realm of beasts, mainly because it was too many big boxes that GW wanted me to buy. However, I’ve been looking at the minis when they did get released, and I am very, very impressed with it all. In terms of the overall look of the game, Warcry really vies with Necromunda for me as the best-looking game GW puts out.

There have been four box sets in the new Warcry 2.0, starting with the Heart of Ghur last summer. This box came with the Horns of Hashut, who were almost mistaken at first for Chaos Dawrves, and the Rotmire Creed, a sect of Nurgle-worshippers from the swamps.

We also got the fantastic jungle-swamp terrain that continued to form a continuous theme throughout the season of boxes.

The next box was Sundered Fate, released in the autumn and included the delightful Jade Obelisk, Tzeentch-flavoured cultists, going up against Skinks. Again, there was a backbone of terrain with some new bits thrown in to keep things fresh.

Box three, Bloodhunt, came out at the start of this year, and gave us Vampire Counts vs Khorne cultists, with yet more new terrain pieces…

By now, the similarities with the Kill Team model should be immediately apparent. There is a certain amount of terrain that is recycled from box to box, with new bits alongside two new warbands. The difference from Kill Team, however, is that both of these warbands are brand new, there’s no upgrade sprue for an older force.

Nightmare Quest, the final box in the season, has been a slight let-down in some respects, because rather than continuing the trend of having a god-aligned warband to give us a new take on Slaanesh, we’ve got Stormcast vs Flesh-Eater Courts. In addition, the “new” terrain for this box is the realmshaper engine that has been released previously as Seraphon faction terrain.

Still, it’s interesting to see how the season has progressed. With all four boxes, you get a great set up that should give a lot of interesting opportunities for tree house tables of terrain, and I do like it!! Unfortunately, there is another difference with the Kill Team model here, in that the terrain has not been made available separately from the big box sets. You can still get the warbands, of course, but if you missed out on the big box, then you’re in for a tough time trying to build a massive jungle-swamp table. It’s a real shame, because this stuff is beautiful.

With all this said, though, the point of this blog is me wondering what they’re going to do next with the game. I really enjoyed the Eightpoints setting, and it was looking through my Warcry collection of minis from the “first season” (if we’re going to call it that) that got me writing all this, anyway. I would absolutely love to see a return to more ruined towns and off-the-wall stuff like Red Harvest’s chaos-tinged mine terrain. Hopefully there will continue to be some very cool models coming out, regardless.

The most important thing, though, is to slow down with the release schedule! Releasing big boxes that cost over £100 each, for different game systems, often on the same day, is just forcing a lot of players to pick one game and stick to it. Why they couldn’t space these things out more is beyond me. As it is, there’s just too much coming out to keep up with, and it’s starting to scare me a bit. I wanted to get into Kill Team, but the debacle of the Gallowdark season not being available has soured me on that. I do now kinda wish I’d kept up instead with Warcry, but having a fun skirmish game that saw some releases every so often suddenly ramping up and being aggressively milked in the same way has kinda put me off that, as well.

I’ve not actually played Warcry for some time, and certainly not with the new rule set, but I am now thinking about trying it out again. Obviously I’d only be going at it with my older warbands, although I have been taking a look at some of these newer bands with interest…

I hope that, whatever the future is for Warcry, it will be more under control, and will be available to buy freely when time and funds allow, rather than these heavy pressure sales we’ve had of late!

Tyranids! again


Well folks, after last week’s game with my Tyranids against JP and his Word Bearers, we’ve had a rematch where I have basically brought the same list, and he decided to change things up considerably. After seeing two squads of Havocs staring at me from across the board, I think I was just paralysed with terror and played quite badly for the first couple of turns, especially when I had my units of termagants and genestealers just scythed down in short order. Losing my Warlord in turn two was a significant blow as well, but after an initial feeling like I wanted to just give up, I decided to just try and see what happens, and was quite surprised.

I think this is something that is talked about a fair bit, when playing games and you think there’s no way you can claw something back, you just sort of give up and either don’t try, or just check out from the game and it becomes un-fun for everybody involved. When I lost that key piece, the warlord, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to come back, as he was providing a major source of synapse for the rest of the army. However, I was able to make a few things work, and it did seem to go in my favour as the game went along.


The tooled-up carnifex is quite the beast, equipped as he is with all manner of things that make him an absolute beast. Without command points, he isn’t quite as horrific, but he still hits like a brick, and was able to scythe through the Daemon Prince and the Dark Apostle with ease. The Venomcrawler put up a slight fight due to the fact JP had a stratagem that reduced all incoming damage to 0 once per battle, so my crushing claws doing 12 damage suddenly did nothing, but even so, I was able to kill it before anything too drastic happened. He was then able to charge across the field to take out a squad of Havocs and then a squad of Cultists, so he really was the MVP in that game!

The genestealers were a particular loss, I felt, as I was upset with not getting to use them as I had wanted. Well, I didn’t get to use them at all, unfortunately. That is the effects of having a shooty army vs a melee army. But regardless, through a combination of objective control and the Cranial Feasting objective, I was able to get a lot of victory points. When round 5 came around, I had reduced JP’s army to a single Havoc holding one objective on my turn, and it was 39-43 to me. We shook hands, then thought “let’s play out his turn, to see what would happen”, whereupon we realised that Havoc scored him 5 victory points without doing anything, for a Word Bearers win at 44-43! What an utter reversal!

We’ve agreed that lessons have been learnt, on both sides of the board, and I for one am already planning my next list, as I feel like changing it up a bit. Playing at 1000 points is a little hampering, although it is also good for both the size of the table we’re playing on, and for ensuring games don’t go on into the small hours of the morning. That said, given the points investment that I have made with some of my units, I don’t feel like I’m getting a lot back in terms of table control.

So I’m going to make some changes. 


Let’s start with some Hormagaunts. JP actually gave me a bunch of Tyranid nastiness back in 8th edition, although it was around the time my eldest was born, so I never really got to look at them until recently. Turns out, there are 18 Hormagaunts, alongside a bunch of Termagants, and some other gribbly bits. Taking the melee gaunts as a starting point, let’s do some math-hammer…

I like the Hive Tyrant, I really do. However, he’s a massive points sink for a 1000 point game, and he’s also a massive target. So let’s look at the Broodlord, instead. The Broodlord can improve the AP of a core unit within synaptic link range when that unit rolls a 6 to wound in melee. The Tyranid Prime can allow a core unit within synaptic link range to re-roll a wound roll of 1 when it makes an attack. The best supportive Warlord Trait for our purposes here is Direct Guidance, which allows the warlord to select a core unit within Synaptic Link range and grant them +1 to hit when they make an attack. So we’ll make the Broodlord the new Warlord, and keep the Prime in there for his ability.

A unit of 10 Hormagaunts with adrenal glands and toxin sacs costs 110 points, and will move 11”, will hit on 4s and will wound power armour on 4s thanks to the glands. The toxin sacs will make any 6s to hit auto-wound, which is very handy indeed. 

The Bounding Advance stratagem allows them to advance a flat 6” and they can still charge in a turn in which they advanced, all for 1CP. So they are moving up 17” in the move phase, and can still potentially move a further 12” during the charge phase. They have the Bounding Leap ability which allows them to pile-in an additional 3” as well, so once they’re in base contact, they can really swarm a prey unit. This works well with the Swarming Masses rule, which extends engagement range to 2.5”.

When in close combat, they have 3 attacks each and the Adrenal Surge stratagem gives them +1 attack for 1CP.

Synaptic Imperatives are the new thing for Tyranids, and give Synapse creatures additional benefits that are chosen at the start of the turn. The Broodlord allows an infantry unit within 6” to receive the benefits of light cover against an attack. Tyranid Warriors have possibly the best one for them, though, as 6s to hit in melee score one additional hit. With the amount of dice being thrown here, odds are there will be a few 6s coming out!

In terms of psychic support, there is Onslaught to allow them to advance and charge, which is fine if you don’t need that extra 6” and/or don’t have the CP to spend on Bounding Advance. There is also Paroxysm, which prevents a unit firing Overwatch, and that unit is -1 to wound when it fights back, which gives them some help if they’re going to be stuck in melee.

Once the combat is over, there is the Overrun stratagem for 1CP which allows a core unit to make a normal move after the fight phase, provided they are no longer engaged with an enemy. There is also Endless Swarm, which allows you to return D3+3 destroyed models to the unit in your command phase, to bring back the swarm to go through it all again.

I’ve been playing my Tyranids as Behemoth so far, even though they’re painted in the colours of Hive Fleet Gorgon. Behemoth, though, has got some very good utility for an aggressive bug build. To start with, they are all +1 strength on the charge. They get +1” move and can consolidate an additional 3” so they are quite vicious there. The psychic power grants a unit within Synaptic Link range +1 to wound in melee. So that group of 10 Hormagaunts is making 40 attacks at S5 and +1 to wound, with all the additional shenanigans going on. 

Gorgon makes any wound roll of 4+ a success, which is very nice to have, and can reroll one wound roll either to shoot or to fight. I really like the Gorgon psychic power, which allows unmodified 6s to wound to cause one mortal wound in addition to normal damage (to a max of 6 mortal wounds). Their unique stratagem improves toxin sacs to a 5+ auto-wound in melee.

Leviathan grants a decent camouflage for units by making it slightly more difficult to wound these models. They can re-roll one hit roll either in the fight or shooting phase, which is nice. However, I particularly like the Leviathan psychic power that allows two synaptic imperatives to be active for the army, which can be really useful. The Leviathan unique stratagem allows you to improve the AP for a melee attack for a unit, if there is another Leviathan unit also in the combat.

I think out of these three, I prefer Behemoth for the brutality of it all, although Leviathan certainly has its place!


This is all well and good, of course, but I’m fighting with the idea that actually, Genestealers might be a much better investment for all of these bits and pieces! Of course, a unit of 10 Genestealers will cost 160 points, so we’re already starting from behind, and adding in toxin sacs will bring that up to 190 points. However, the additional 80 points does buy you a more accurate, and more resilient, bug. They’re hitting on 3s and would wound normal marines on 4s without any kind of investment of command points or outside influences, plus they have the Vanguard Predator rule that allows you to set them up anywhere more than 9” away from enemy models or the enemy deployment zone.

Let’s take a look and see what can be brought over from all those buffs. The Broodlord’s aura will be very useful here, especially as he can also be set up the same as the Genestealers. The Warlord Trait of +1 to hit makes them effectively hitting on 2s, which is very useful. 

For 1CP, Vanguard Onslaught allows them to re-roll the wound roll if they charged or were charged. They also get access to the Overrun stratagem for 1CP, which lets them move normally if they finish the fight and have killed everybody. Now, their normal move is 8”, and they don’t have the myriad ways of increasing that like Hormagaunts, because you can’t give Genestealers adrenal glands.

However, when they’re in the fight, their claws and talons are S4, AP-3 and D1, with 4 attacks base meaning that is a lot of saving rolls to make for the opponent – if indeed, they get a save with that AP. Remember, the Broodlord can allow any 6s to wound to be AP-4 as well. If they gain the Tyranid Warrior synaptic imperative ability of 6s to hit causing one additional hit, that could be devastating when they’re hitting on 2s already from the Warlord Trait.

Obviously, Onslaught can allow them to advance and charge although, given how far up the field they could potentially start the game, that might not be necessary. Behemoth Genestealers will be hitting at S5 and with the psychic blessing, they’d be +1 to wound, so they’re still wounding marines on 3s but could very easily shred a unit of Cultists by wounding on 2s.

The more I’m looking at this, I think I like the idea of Hormagaunts and Genestealers working together, rather than trying to weigh up one or the other. So that’s that decision made, then. A Broodlord, a Tyranid Prime, a unit of Warriors, then the Hormagaunts and Genestealers. So I’m getting somewhere with the army now.

So with all that said, let’s take a look at the list!


The Broodlord should be a beast with all this going on. I had no idea until this week that subfaction-specific Psychic powers are known, in addition to the powers you select from a faction discipline. I know this is almost useless now because the psychic phase is going in 10th edition, but it has kinda blown my mind that it’s the case! The Broodlord can only cast one power though, so it’s not going to massively change the game. I’ve given him the Maw-Claws of Thyrax, which increase his attacks to 7, lets you re-roll the wound roll in melee, and whenever he defeats a unit in melee, he gets +1 attack until the end of the game (to a max of +3 attacks). I was toying with giving him the Resonance Barb for additional Psyker stuff, but it only allows him to know additional powers, he can’t cast additional powers unless I use the stratagem to allow that. However, 7 attacks hitting on 2s and wounding power armour on 3s with rerolls, he should be an absolute beast and I could definitely see him getting up to 8 or 9 attacks thanks to that relic. 

The Prime and the Warriors will all have some useful Synaptic Imperative abilities as we’ve discussed, so the big focus here is on sending up the Hormagaunts and Genestealers to cover the advance of the Carnifex, who will just wreck the place. Getting the Carnifex into melee is so satisfying, because he’s just so incredibly dangerous once he gets there. I think I often shy away from tooling up models like this – he has 65 points’ worth of weapons and upgrades, which is very much unlike me! But I think his recent performances have shown it is a definite investment. 

Hopefully, of course, I can make all of these plans work when the time comes, and it’ll all be just beautiful!

Sisters of Battle launch box – finally finished!

I finally did it! After its launch in November 2019, I’ve finally finished painting all of the models within. You might think, 3 and a half years, to paint 25 models? Well yes, I am slow, but we’ve been through quite a few colour changes to get here!

I’m quite pleased with the results, anyway – so much so, that I set up that mini diorama above!

The Battle Sisters are some of the best models GW has produced, I feel, and now that I’ve found my colour scheme, I’m really enjoying getting the full army painted. After finishing the Arco Flagellants from the launch box to call the whole thing finished, I’m now ready to launch myself into the 500 points challenge that I talked about the other day. I think I’m going to begin with the Novitiates, because they’re intriguing me as regards the challenges that will come from having to find a different-but-similar scheme for them.

Oh, but wait, there’s more!

The awesome Exorcist is now finished, as well! It’s such a bonkers model, I just love it so much. Very much looking forward to getting all these to the table at some point, though for now, I’m still enjoying playing the Tyranids…

Sisters of Battle: 500 points challenge!

Hey everybody,
Despite a lot of waffle from me the other day about Tyranids, my current project is very definitely centred around the Sisters of Battle, as I’ve been enjoying painting the Exorcist tank, and want to try and get more of those units painted up in time for 10th edition dropping this summer. I already have a pretty decent amount of models painted, however I have an equally decent amount of models unpainted, with a not-insignificant number of models still in boxes on the sprue!

To help tackle this, James and I have started on a bit of a slow-grow type thing, where we have a 500-point list for each of our armies, and we just go from there. He’s doing Imperial Guard, as he has an impressive collection of Forge World Death Korps of Krieg models that need some attention, and I’ve got a small bunch of Sisters to get me moving once the tank is finished.


My list is simply ten Battle Sisters, ten Sisters Novitiates, three Paragon Warsuits, and a Canoness. It actually comes in at 530 points, but as I’ve already painted the Canoness, I think it’s probably fine! The idea is to keep us going by just focusing on this small force (although 500 points of Guard is actually quite a lot!) and then see about playing some games, either as a farewell to Ninth or to learn how to play Tenth!

To some extent, it’s also scratching that itch that I talked about at the start of the week, with having a project to work on. There’s a part of me hoping that I will be able to really focus on these models to the exclusion of all else, and hopefully get them finished by the end of June. I know that I still have some Hobby Goals for 2023 to work on, and I don’t want to be getting too distracted from those, but I would really like to get a full rounded battalion of Sisters painted up, so two HQs and three troops, before the end of the edition.

Naturally, I’ve already begun to think about what else I could be adding in to this as time goes on, in an effort to get rid of the backlog in the attic. I’ve currently got the box of five Seraphim waiting for me to do something with, as I really enjoyed those models back when I was painting them last year, so I would like to get some more Sisters of flying doom finished. I also have two more Penitent Engines, a box of Repentia, an Immolator, and the Triumph of St Katherine in boxes (that I can recall – there’s possibly still more…) It would be nice to get as much as possible painted though, especially while I’m in this mindset.

Once this is all finished, I’m not really sure where I would go from there. I mean, it’s possible that the army would be pretty much finished, which is quite shocking really! I suppose I wouldn’t mind a third Battle Sisters squad, as the Novitiates are a bit disappointing for what they do. A rhino for transport might also be nice. I’m not really sure what else I would like to get, though – I suppose it would become a question of whether there is a surprise release waiting for us, a bit like the AdMech release that came out during the Psychic Awakening series between 8th and 9th. A Sisters flyer would be nice, as would some kind of biker unit, so I suppose we will see. Their 10th edition codex isn’t due out this year, from what I can tell, so I suppose that could mean more unit entries could be on the way!

I’m definitely pumped for working on these models once more, and even though I don’t really have the best of memories for how they performed on the tabletop, I am still looking forward to having a fully-painted force to push around!



I have finally had a game with my Tyranids in 9th edition, just as we have the new edition coming over the horizon! I’ve been thinking about my big army of bugs quite a lot over the years, but somehow they’ve always lost out to something else. Well, finally they hit the table, as I had a small-scale battle with JP, and it was just glorious.

It helped, of course, that I won!

Tyranids in 9th edition are a little bit confusing, I have to admit. I think this is perhaps symptomatic of the fact GW have tried to make all armies really unique and feel really customised, but it does come at a bit of a cost. There are, of course, the standard things that we know and love about the big bugs, but it all just feels like there are wheels within wheels at times. But let’s go through and see what the Great Devourer can offer.

To start with, we have the classic Synapse rule, which applies to a lot of the units across the army. Synapse creatures allow other models within 6” to auto-pass morale tests. Marvellous! In addition, there’s a thing now called Synaptic Link Range, which is basically a 12” bubble around the Synapse creature, and can come into play with various aura abilities, and psychic powers. The big change for 9th though is that other Synapse creatures will allow that range to extend, so in the codex example, a Broodlord can affect a unit of Genestealers well outside of its own 12” bubble if there is a Hive Tyrant within 12” of it, and a Zoanthrope unit within 12” of the Hive Tyrant, creating that real “hive mind” feel. It actually needed me to play it to see how that would work, but blimey, it was useful in the game!


See, in addition to the rules that each model has, Synapse creatures also have Synaptic Imperative abilities that you can choose to be active at the start of the battle round. For example, a Tyranid Prime has the Guidemind ability which allows friendly units within 6” who are targeting enemies within 24” to get exploding 6s to hit. Trying to get these to line up is a bit of a puzzle, because sometimes you might want more than one to be going on (the Maleceptor allows a unit to make ranged attacks and still perform actions, so coupled with the exploding 6s, could be good!) However, whichever Synaptic Imperative is active for that round, every Synapse creature on the board can grant its effects, so you don’t need to have all of your shooty bugs clustered around the Tyranid Prime, because the Tyranid Warriors, the Zoanthropes, the Hive Tyrant, and all the other Synapse creatures are also granting the same thing.

As we know, each army has its own set of Chapter Tactics, the Tyranids being Hive Fleet Adaptations. These are subset rules that give your army its own feel, and I have really liked seeing how different armies can be made by adopting different ones. For yesterday’s game, I went with Hive Fleet Behemoth, because it’s a pretty aggressive subset, giving +1 strength for units when they charge, were charged, or performed heroic interventions. However, this edition we have a sub-subset of rules, where we can swap out different rules based on our needs. It’s very Tyranids, and is very good at giving that kind of representation of the fact that the army has learnt from previous battles. However, it just feels really confusing!

Each Hive Fleet has an Adaptive rule, which for Behemoth is to re-roll charges, and a Hyper-Adaptation, which allows you to instead change the Adaptive rule to one from the Biomorphologies table. There are three different Biomorphologies to choose from – hunt, lurk, and feed – and each one has a choice of five different rules. Behemoth can swap out its Adaptive rule for a Hunt or Lurk rule, and you can do this after deployment but before the first round begins, so it’s really quite flexible. But it just feels like it’s yet another step to go through, another decision point prior to the battle beginning, and I can see why the rules for 10th talk about being streamlined.

We’ve also got the standard sort of army-wide things, so Shadow in the Warp makes enemy psychic tests more difficult (and makes Perils of the Warp more deadly), there is a rule for the small bugs called Swarming Masses which increases the Engagement Range for these guys to 2.5 inches, which kinda makes sense. 

So let’s get down to business. We were playing a 1000-point game, mainly because it has been a long time since either of us played, and so it was much in the sense of keeping things simple. My list was as follows:

Tyranids list

I often try to stay away from heavy investments into models, for fear of them being shot off the table and therefore being a waste of time. However, I think both of the big bugs in this list, the Tyrant and the Carnifex, have had a lot of work put into them, and they really did pay dividends during the game. The Hive Tyrant has the relic Shardgullet, which replaces his heavy venom cannon and has quite the souped-up profile. In the first turn, I one-shot a Maulerfiend off the table by dishing out 15 damage to it, then in turn two I was able to destroy a Venom Crawler which got too close before shooting the Lord Discordant off the table in the third turn.

At first, I was a bit annoyed with myself for poorly positioning the carnifex, but he was able to tear apart a rhino, then due to the adaptive physiology allowing him to always fight first, he killed off the marines inside of it as well. I think the carnifex has had the most investment, though, both in terms of points and command points. I had spent some time in the afternoon before the game working out timings and whatnot, and with all of the buffs going on, he was able to get extra attacks, dish out mortal wounds when charging, spit acid in the face of his enemies, and then crush them unto death with Strength 12 crushing claws – he proved to be so damn deadly that I was actually disappointed to be killing stuff too early!

These big bugs can clearly shred through enemies!


Another shout out has to go to the Genestealers, who were able to kill the Daemon Prince over two rounds of combat (it would have been more, if only I had a full squad going into it). I think I ended up charging with 7 of them, but each of them does 4 attacks, and with all of the Synapse buffs going on they proved to be quite accurate! However, they are the poster-child for my usual tactic of just drowning a model in saving rolls. Making 28 attacks, 12 of which got through the first time, and 15 the second time, it was quite straightforward to take off those 8 wounds in short order.

Even though they were kinda pointless, I also enjoyed the fact that the Termagants proved to be just annoying, and they were able to halt the progress of the Lord Discordant simply by being in the way. A unit of 10 probably isn’t going to do as much as I’d want, though, so I think I might have to get building up some more soon, as it would be nice to have a bigger, more annoying blob to impede progress!

However, I’m under no illusions that, firstly, the smaller board size really worked in my favour, as the units were able to cross distances with ease and get into combat early. I also lost a lot of models – I’m just thankful that I could take out key pieces of JP’s army before he could turn the tide! Genestealers are awesome when they’re shredding through things, but left out in the open, they’re vulnerable with only 1 wound and a 5+ save. Once the Daemon Prince had gone, they were picked off upsettingly quickly! 

But it was a great game, and I’m looking forward to getting them to the table again soon! I’m even thinking I might reward some of them with paint!

Sisters of Battle Exorcist (WIP)

I’m having a lot of fun painting this tank right now. It’s such a ridiculous looking thing, I just love it. In so many ways, it encapsulates that over-the-top feel that 40k has always been about – it’s a tank that has a series of organ pipes that have been converted to launch missiles (because of course). The missiles are seemingly controlled by the driver, who sits front and centre (the Emperor protects, so why should she sit inside the thing?!) Her helmet has been altered to have that ridiculous visor, and she uses a double-manual wraparound keyboard to shoot the missiles behind her. All while blasting out hymns to the glory of the God-Emperor of Mankind, booming across the field of battle from those trumpets mounted just a couple of feet above her head.

It’s just glorious!

On top of all this, the tank is decorated with statuary depicting various Imperial Saints, as well as icons representing the Orders Majoris of the Adepta Sororitas. The tank is attended to by two cherubs, one of whom clings on to the chassis having lost his legs, poor thing.

Spectacular, in every sense of the word!

The new model is a definite improvement on the older one, above, though I do love that classic, ridiculous design too. The new design is of course far superior, but it’s interesting to see how much of that design was carried over to the new model. I do kinda like the older driver, though, who seems to be playing the organ up there with wild abandon!

While I’ve been painting it, I’ve been watching Shetland from the beginning. I seem to remember we watched one of the later series last summer when I was painting the initial portions of the force, so it’s kinda nice to be back with that once more.

I had great fun painting my Sisters of Battle last year, and it seemed that I got a lot of the army painted very quickly. I’m hoping that this tank might herald the start of more models getting finished, as I still have quite a few units to get done.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about giving myself a real project, for want of a better term. You know the feeling that you have when you open a Start Collecting box, or whatever they’re doing these days, and there’s a whole bunch of sprues in there? I have been kinda craving that sort of thing, where you have a defined bunch of stuff to get done… Well, short of buying something for the sake of this idea, I might instead launch myself at the Sisters again and see about getting all of these things painted.

In addition to the Exorcist, then, I’ve still got a unit of 10 battle sisters, a unit of 10 Novitiates, and the three paragon war suits that I recently built. It could well scratch the itch!!

I’m waffling here. In the meantime, enjoy my little diorama that I threw together with some of the finished Sisters and some terrain!

Sisters of Battle
Sisters of Battle
Sisters of Battle