Kill Team!

Well, it’s almost upon us, so I thought it about time to come here and waffle for a bit more about how much I’m looking forward to this Kill Team malarcky!

After the launch article earlier this month, I was left somewhere between hoping this would be better than Shadow War: Armageddon, and wanting all of the accessories, no matter how painful it would be for my wallet. Since then, we’ve seen a series of articles on the Warhammer Community site that talks about each of the factions eligible to play in the game, and some of the special rules those factions have. While I have often found myself feeling a little saddened at the narrow focus on models that can be taken in specific armies, I’m nevertheless trying to be hopeful that the game system itself will have enough redeeming features that it will still be a lot of fun to play.

Enter, the latest video!

It seems really interesting to me to see just how similar the rules are to regular 40k, although with a few subtle tweaks that will likely make it difficult to keep a track of. Charging in the movement phase? Interesting. The whole business of fighting on while wounded does feel a little bit weird as well, though a similar situation exists in Shadow War, and I suppose it could be just too devastating for the small model count forces to be picked off. Kill Team should, rightly, be more than regular 40k in 10 minutes…

Skitarii killteam

The datasheets look remarkably similar to those for the regular game of 40k, also!

Overall, I am very excited for the new Kill Team, though I have the usual feeling of not wanting to write on the cards that come with the game to mark things like level-ups, so can see myself getting some sort of alternative solution for that! I like my stuff to be as clean as possible! As to what faction I want to try out first, while I’ll likely be playing something like Necrons, Dark Eldar or Tau, simply because I already have painted models for them, I’m looking forward to trying out some of the smaller forces that I’ve been working on (or planning) for a while now, foremost among them being my Thousand Sons!

Yes, I started building these handsome folk back in November, and have so far managed to get just five of the blighters built up. While I’m still not sure how things like points work for the models in a Kill Team (I have heard that there’s a system similar to power points, where each model is costed, regardless of its wargear), I’m slightly hoping that just five models might be enough, though I might well build up the entire box of ten before I move on to painting them.

Paint scheme is something I’m not 100% sure of just yet, but I’m either going to go for the classic blue and gold, or else a scheme that involves purple. We shall see, I suppose!!

Blocking in some more colours on the #GenestealerCults minis this evening! #Warhammer40k

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I’m also thinking that this could be the excuse I need to get moving with some Genestealer Cults at last, as well – progress really halted around February time, as I felt it had been too long since I’d painted detailed models properly, and consequently felt my skills had lapsed somewhat. In fact, it was the stumbling block of not getting very far with these guys that led to me picking up the Tau force. I do have a number of minis that have been painted almost to completion, however, so I’m thinking I might possibly try to finish those off in time for the new game. We shall see I guess!

Of course, while I do like the sound of it, and I’m looking forward a great deal to the new style of gameplay and micro-level squad-building, I don’t think this is going to take away from regular 40k for me. I’ve been having the best time playing in 8th edition so far, and so don’t really see myself moving away from that in favour of a smaller-scale game. While it’s nice for the change of pace, and it seems to allow for a whole host of different flavour to come out, ultimately, I want to play with big battlesuits, tanks, and all that cool stuff that doesn’t have a place in a smaller game.

Summer Painting Updates!

Hey everybody!
Just thought I’d share with you all some Summer Painting Updates, after having a fairly productive weekend with the minis! Unfortunately, I’ve yet to lift a brush to my Militarum Tempestus force, and the Skitarii have only vaguely been looked at, so this update will be purely based on the T’au part of my painting goals.

Let’s take a look!

After exactly four months, I have finally managed to finish painting my first Fire Warrior squad! It feels like it shouldn’t have taken this long, but I guess it was a long slog trying to figure out the scheme, and then trying to work it so that I could paint things quicker than usual. I’d say that, once I got going with it, it wasn’t too long to get everybody done.

The drones are fairly quick to do also, I’m not trying to go in for a stunning standard with anything here, but very much trying to get them ready for the tabletop. So no glowing lens-effects, or anything! Though I have tried to get some vague glow-like effects on the ends of the plasma weapons.

Anyway, let’s talk about the scheme!

The armour is basecoated with Caliban Green, then drybrushed with Kabalite Green, Warpstone Glow, and a final highlight of Niblet Green. The fatigues are basecoated with Mechanicus Standard Grey, then shaded with Nuln Oil. I had been toying with drybrushing them with Dawnstone, but have decided against that.

The weapons are basecoated with Dark Reaper, then shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, before a light drybrush of Thunderhawk Blue – not too much, just enough to help bring out the details.

The blue badges are all painted with Caledor Sky, shaded with Drakenhof Nightshade, and a light drybrush of Teclis Blue just to help brighten the details back up. I also then drybrush the ends of the plasma weapons with Teclis Blue, to give the effect of an active weapon.

Speaking of weapons, the Tactical Support Turret there is equipped with a smart missile system (at least, I think it is – I had thought at first it was the missile pod variant that had the bank of six, but given the missile pod for the Commander is just three warheads, I’m switching round!) When I was painting my Riptide over the May Bank Holiday, I’d decided to paint those with yellow noses, to both add some visual interest and differentiate from the missile pod, which I had painted red on the Commander. These are done with a base of Averland Sunset, a shade of Agrax Earthshade, then a light drybrush of Yriel Yellow. It’s almost maddening to try to paint these as neatly as possible, especially because the yellow will show up horrendously on the dark grey should I make a mistake, but they do look quite good, I feel! Such a shame that the smart missile system is the better weapon than the missile pod…

The skin of both the Shas’ui and the Ethereal is done using the classic T’au skin scheme:

The bases are then done with Armageddon Dust, with some Agrellan Earth dabbed on here and there. Once all that is dry, I shade the whole lot with Agrax Earthshade, then when that is dry, drybrush it with Terminatus Stone. I’ve still got some of the Burnt Grass basing flock from back in the day, so I then add a bit of that with PVA glue – Tau armour is meant to be camouflaged against the environment they’re in, so if I were painting a desertscape for the base, it should by rights be a more tan/ochre colour. Adding the grass helps to justify the green of the armour, but the red bits in the flock do help to add interest to the base overall.

So there’s my T’au army to date! I do need more drone support, and I do need to get moving with more troops as well, but I’ve actually started basecoating every battlesuit that is on my painting table with Caliban Green at the minute, so I should probably get a grip and stick to the plan! I’ve previously made a fairly decent start on some Pathfinders, so I think next on the list will be trying to get a squad of those finished, along with their accompanying drones.

Stay tuned for more!

New Kill Team!

Well folks, the news has dropped, and so has my jaw! This release looks huge, and makes the 7th edition ruleset look particularly awful by comparison!

I mean, right off the bat there’s just so much stuff!

I’ve not played Shadespire, but from all accounts it’s pretty good. Using the same rules designer to come up with this game seems like it’s a sure bet for success, at any rate. The article linked above talks about what will make the game so good, such as the squad customisation stuff, and from the sounds of it, we should be in for a really great addition to the 40k universe.

The way that the game is going to be supported, with individual Kill Teams available with their own bits of terrain, as well as terrain bundles that come with the game mats to play on, sounds like it’s almost akin to a boardgame than anything else, and I guess that is the overriding impression I get from the launch article, that they’re heavily targeting the boardgame audience rather than making just a different way to play with your existing 40k collection.

When I read the article, my first impulse was to buy everything so that I could have it all, but upon reflection, I have a great deal of this stuff already, so will likely only be getting the manual at first. I’ll probably be getting one or two of the “environment expansions” as well, mainly for the terrain but also because they come with the game mats. I’m really hoping that they will produce some way of selling the datacards for the kill teams separately for those of us who already have the models – I’d be really interested in playing a Genestealer Cults kill team, but I don’t want to buy another set of Neophyte Hybrids just to get the cards. (Or maybe I will, anyway…!)

The scenery does look incredible, and I really want to get that Basilicanum right now, even though my painting backlog is insane!

It’s just beautiful!

The accessories are as exciting as the game, almost – with unique dice sets giving this the greatest resemblance to the Shadespire model that is giving me the hope they’ll sell the cards separately. But I digress…

It’s not all fantastic though, as there is something giving me a little pause here. The game is described as the successor to Shadow War: Armageddon, and the article ends with a look at the different factions that will receive rules support, saying that “each of these factions uses a specially chosen pool of units, designed to represent the kind of forces you’d find in a kill team”. While I realise that balance is important for these sorts of small scale games, one of the things I really hated about SWA was the fact that I was so severely forced into playing with a narrow pool of units if I wanted to play the game – sure, I want to play Tau, so I have to play with Pathfinders and cannot make a team out of Fire Warriors or just two/three Crisis Suits. I might want to try out Dark Eldar, but cannot make a Coven team, or a Kabalite team, but instead must use only Wyches for the core of the squad. It just feels so incredibly cramped that I found myself without a whole lot of interest in playing it as time went on.

I hope that Kill Team is much broader, and uses a similar sort of idea to the last iteration, and instead of really prescribing the models we can and can’t use, it will allow for much more cherry-picking of favourite unit types.

While not mentioned in the article, the FAQ they have posted alongside all of this news does specifically state that the recently-leaked Rogue Trader game is actually an expansion to this game system, which sounds like it should be a fantastic new games line for the company. Delving into corners of the 40k universe that the main tabletop wargame doesn’t otherwise allow for conjures up all manner of goodness to me – principally, Arbites! Who knows what awesome stuff they could bring out?!

It’s very exciting, and really cool to see something done to this extent with the skirmish game. I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on the book (maybe the box set itself), and maybe getting some games in with a couple of the other skirmish fans at my local store!

New Genestealer Cult minis inbound?!?!

So I’ve just seen this video from Chapter Master Valrak, showcasing some new models for the Genestealer Cults in advance of their hotly-anticipated codex, and it looks like they’re going to be deviating from the mining aesthetic that characterizes the rest of the range, although it’s still grim-dark in its own way…

new genestealer primus

Along with the possibility of an actual Aberrants kit, it looks like the final Codex release for 8th edition will actually be coming with some new models that aren’t Imperium-related! Interesting stuff, for sure!

You never know, it might actually prompt me to continue painting my own Cultist army… maybe…!

Summer Painting Goals: T’au Empire

Hey everybody,
The other day, I published a blog detailing my summer painting goals for two 500-point Imperium armies, which you can take a look at here. I mentioned having a third plan, for my T’au Empire army, so today I wanted to talk a little bit about what my plans are for this curious beast!

Bork'an Sept Tau Empire

The list for my T’au is actually a 1000-point list, as I had written it with the miniatures I’ve already painted in mind. I’m still sticking with Bork’an, but I’m going for a 1000-point list that will provide a strong basis for future army builds. Anyway, enough rambling, let’s take a look at the list itself:

So this is a Battalion list with some added extra bits, mainly because I wanted to include the two models that I have fully painted, as well as some Pathfinders for the more accurate markerlights. Let’s talk about some of these units in turn.

Pathfinders are something that I talked about in my last blog devoted to the T’au, as I think the more accurate markerlights are a definite boon. I’ve since played a six-player game where I brought two squads of five Pathfinders, and they actually did some useful work. The biggest boon for bringing them, of course, comes from the Pulse Accelerator Drone, which I used in that game to fly back to support the main Fire Warrior gun line, rather than anything else, and between it and the Cadre Fireblade, it was a really beautiful thing! I have yet to try Pathfinders with any of their exotic weaponry, but I think when I look at building this list up to 1500-points, I’ll start adding in some of that.

Drones have so far been pretty hit and miss for me, so I’ve cut back significantly in this list. I like the fact that Gun Drones are buffed by the Fireblade, so have included a couple of them for good measure, but I’m sticking the shield drones along with the high-priority stuff like the Commanders.

The Enforcer Commander is something that I’ve only tried once, and the results were also mixed, so I think I should probably try him a bit more before talking about the joys of fusion blasters. The Coldstar Commander is still pretty great though, and as the first model I painted for the army, he does have a special place in my heart!

The Riptide is a glorious miniature, and one that I’ve been really happy with since getting him finished. It seems that a lot of advice I’m seeing for building T’au armies is recommending the heavy burst cannon, so I’m pleased to have included that in the build. I don’t really have a big plan for him beyond distraction at the minute, but I’m sure once I’ve played a game with the guy, I should have a better idea.

Which brings me to the bête-noir of my T’au painting right now, the Fire Warriors! I don’t quite know how to go about painting these guys quickly enough that I can get a unit finished, but still to a decent tabletop standard. As such, they’ve been languishing in the partly-basecoated stage for a number of weeks now! Hopefully, I can get moving with them soon enough and get the production line sorted.

As an aside, the eagle-eyed among you will notice there are eight points left over from this list. “Why not throw in an extra Pathfinder?” I hear you cry. Well, because I’m also painting up an Ethereal on Hover Drone, and I’m thinking that I’d like the flexibility to swap out the Fireblade for this guy. Doing so would bring the list to 1000-points exactly, which is what I want!


So there we have it, the three lists for my summer painting goals. While this one is a little large for such a thing – 51 miniatures still to paint, including drones and turrets – I’m hoping that I can get a lot of them done fairly quickly once I have the troops scheme hammered out. Then I can focus on getting some games in with my actually-painted force!

Summer Painting Goals

Hey everybody!
I’ve spent what feels like a really long time so far this year, trying to motivate myself to paint the enormous stack of unpainted miniatures that I have lying around (seriously, it’s enormous). I’ve tried a couple of things to impose a sort of deadline on me, hoping that I can get something painted if I give myself a month, or give myself until the next game, but this never seems to work.

Well, it’s time to introduce the latest in this list of attempts to pick up a brush!

I’ve got a lot of armies on the go right now, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve drawn up 500-point lists for three of them, and so have decided to just paint the models for these lists. My thinking here is, if I only have 20 or so models to paint, that will be so much easier than staring down the barrel of 50 or more. They’re all battalion lists, so they should be vaguely playable, and I’ve gone a step further and chosen warlord traits and relics, so that they are as real as I can get them.

And I have to say, it’s actually working for me in some respects, as I want to field these armies right now, and try them out!

So let’s take a look at the first two lists…

Tempestor Prime

First up, it’s my Militarum Tempestus list.

I’ve talked about this army a number of times over the course of my blog. See, it’s one of those armies that I’ve always liked the look of, ever since I first saw the miniatures, but have somehow never managed to get round to doing anything with. I mean, I’ve had the minis built and primed for well over a year now, but I just can’t seem to get myself into painting them! Well, I’ve painted precisely two models for the force in the last two years…

So I have a while to go yet, but this is definitely a project that I’m finding myself really enthused for!

The big theme across this merry band is getting the most from Voice of Command, relaying orders up to 18″ away thanks to all of the vox casters. I think my eventual plan for the full army will be to have two Tempestor Primes, each with a Command Squad, whose vox caster will act as the fulcrum of that relay. The relic I’ve chosen is the Tactical Auto-Reliquary of Tyberius, perhaps the most hilarious of names for such a thing, which allows the bearer to issue another order on the roll of a 2+.

It’s an army that I’m really looking forward to getting properly off the ground with, at any rate, so stay tuned for further updates there!!

Next up, we have the glories of my Skitarii!

Skitarii

These guys have been on the radar for almost as long as the Tempestus Scions, after I bought the Start Collecting box on a whim. I’ve so far gotten further with these than I have with the Scions, however, having painted up a total of five models, but the list is a little different, with four groups of troops and a heavy support. There remains a fairly nice symmetry between the two armies, however, and I like the fact that I can put the two of them together when I’m finished, for a 1000-point Imperium army that, I feel, is nicely formed.

This list, however, proved to be the most difficult to write, predominantly because I couldn’t settle on a Forge World for it! My own painted efforts so far don’t conform to any “known” Forge World, having blue cloaks rather than the traditional red. (As an aside, I thought it a nice counterpoint, back in the day, that my Skitarii were painted predominantly blue, while my Scions were predominantly red).

In the event, I’ve gone for Forge World Ryza, which allows me to re-roll 1s in the Fight phase. Hopefully, I won’t be getting into any fights, but it is nice to have that kind of back-up, just in case! As far as relics go, I’ve selected the wonderfully-named Weapon XCIX, which replaces the Dominus’ volkite blaster. I’ve therefore opted not to take the Ryza-specific Warlord Trait, which would kind of do the same thing as the relic, though you can’t stack both, so instead have picked Monitor Malevolus, which is the usual one that allows you to re-gain Command Points.

So there we have it, the first part of my summer painting goals! The third list involves Tau, but is a little more involved, so I think I’ll save that for a separate blog post.

Stay tuned for updates as the summer marches on!!

Fear to Tread

Time to return to the Heresy!! #HorusHeresy #BloodAngels #Warhammer40k #nowReading

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This is a Horus Heresy novel that I’ve had on my shelf for a very long time now, back from when I had just gotten into the series and was excited to find out more about it. I honestly don’t know why, but the Blood Angels kinda fascinate me as a space marine chapter – I don’t own an army of them, and have no intention of doing so, but I’m still weirdly drawn to them. Space Marine Legions all seem to have their counterparts between loyalist and traitor, but the Blood Angels, while they’re more commonly compared with the World Eaters for their assault-focus and brutal efficiency in close combat, are also similar in so many ways to the Emperor’s Children in their artistry. I suppose they don’t pursue things to absolute perfection, but there is a strong link between the two… and I do rather enjoy the Emperor’s Children in a lot of ways!

At any rate, Fear to Tread is the 21st novel in the Horus Heresy series, and is the first to truly follow the Blood Angels to the exclusion of all other Legions. While Sanguinius did pop up all the way back in Horus Rising, he’s here very much at the centre of things. We follow the Blood Angels as they battle the weird alien menace known as the Nephilim, before Horus then sends the legion to the Signus system with the report that there have been Nephilim sighted there. Horus has also learnt of Sanguinius’ dark secret, that of the Red Thirst, and hints there may be the answer to that problem held on the planet Signus Prime.

The Blood Angels travel there, but instead find that the system has been truly taken over by the forces of Chaos: there are droves of daemonettes along with bloodletters under the leadership of the bloodthirster, Ka’Bandha. The Blood Angels are joined on this expedition by a small coterie of Word Bearers sent by Horus, and another small band of Space Wolves sent directly from Malcador the Sigillite. As it turns out, Malcador has sent the Wolves out to all Legions, as he suspects that more may have turned from the Emperor in the manner of Horus and Magnus.

The war does not go well, as Sanguinius is seemingly defeated in single combat by the bloodthirster, prompting a shared madness of the Red Thirst to break out among his sons. The fighting is particularly brutal, especially among Amit and the Fifth Company (later the Flesh Tearers), who actually kill the Space Wolves while in the grip of this madness. Sanguinius is revived when a band of former librarians goes against the Edict of Nikea to bring him back psychically, and he manages to defeat the daemons with the help of the apothecary Meros, who sacrifices himself to a Chaos ragefire that had been intended to consume Sanguinius himself.

Fear to Tread

While there is nothing inherently bad about this book, I found it incredibly hard-going, and took over a month to wade my way through. I’ve noticed this with the last Blood Angels novel to pass under my nose, Devastation of Baal, which makes me wonder if it’s something about this particular chapter that I just can’t seem to gel with! I find it odd, though, considering – as I mentioned earlier – I do actually like the idea of and the lore behind the Blood Angels…

There are quite a few nods to other Horus Heresy novels, particularly the opening trilogy (the lone survivor from the planet Murder, brother Targa, was originally part of the ragefire that created the Red Angel, a daemon later presented to Horus by Erebus). Obviously, the use of the Space Wolves as the Emperor’s executioners also harkens back to A Thousand Sons, and the novel ends with Sanguinius arriving at Ultramar, which leads into the plans of Guilliman to set Sanguinius up as the head of the Imperium Secundus. It’s handy reading the novels in publication order, I feel, as things like this are a nice way of tying up the narrative.

Ultimately, I feel that not a lot happened in this book, and that it was essentially filler for what is already becoming a massive series. The whole point of the book is to test the Blood Angels, and attempt to bring the legion over to Chaos. Horus decides to eliminate Sanguinius lest his brother replace him as Warmaster, but none of that works. Yet the novel plods its way across more than 500 pages to do so. A lot of it just felt like padding, somehow, and I think it could have done with a trim.

I also haven’t really been convinced by Horus’ turn from the light of the Emperor in a lot of the novels where he directly appears, but here especially, his readiness to kill his brother seems to come out of nowhere. I think this is made especially glaring in that Horus and Sanguinius appear fighting side-by-side in the prologue; they have a very close relationship anyway, but not enough has been made of the break on Horus’ side, it just seems to be too much of a jolt. I know Horus is meant to be the bad guy, but sometimes (like here) he just comes across as evil for the sake of it.

It was good to have the Blood Angels and Sanguinius centre stage, but I do feel that a lot of the middle novels of the series tend to draw things out a bit too much.