Planning! part one

Hey everybody,
It’s time for more rambling thoughts to start your week! After thinking about it a couple of weeks ago, I have now started in earnest on my 9th Edition Black Legion army – and yes, it’s turning out to be quite the army, at that! What has initially started life as a 500-point (ish) Combat Patrol force has now become something far bigger than I’d been expecting!!

To start with, though, let’s talk briefly about how army building works in 9th edition. Rather than receiving a number of command points based on the number of detachments that you’re bringing, instead you get the CP based on the game size, somewhat balancing things in comparison with 8th edition, where one army could be starting the game with something like 17, and another might only have 4. For games of up to 500 points-a-side, such as we’ll be discussing today, you each get 3CP to start the game with. After that, at the start of each round, you get an extra one in your Command Phase, a new phase of the game that seems to have been borrowed from AoS.

Now. Each detachment that you bring costs command points, but if your warlord is in that detachment, you get those points refunded. So the humble patrol detachment costs 2CP, but you then gain 2CP if your warlord is in there. Interestingly, this only counts for the patrol, battalion and brigade detachments – the vanguard, spearhead and outrider detachments cost 3CP each, and don’t refund you even if your warlord is in that detachment instead. So no elite-only armies, for you! Even more interestingly, the Supreme Command detachment doesn’t cost anything, but you get additional command points if your army also includes a patrol (+2), battalion (+3) or brigade (+4), but that Supreme Command must include either a Primarch, Daemon Primarch, or Supreme Commander unit. Interesting to see how they’re sort of pushing those big commander type of units – and even more interesting, considering there is only one Primarch currently in the game. I’m guessing that characters like Abbadon and the Silent King will be getting Supreme Commander keywords in time?

Anyway, I digress.

I’m talking about my Combat Patrol plans for the Black Legion!

I’ve literally only just planned out my starting force for these guys, and then the points changed quite dramatically and I couldn’t fit everything into the same force! Marines in particular were hard-hit, meaning that I’ve had to take out the Exalted Champion and a second Greater Possessed! But anyway.

For this list, then, I get 3 CP to start the game, which isn’t so bad I guess! The Master of Possession is literally only there as the headliner because of the fact that I’ve finished painting him; I think in the fullness of time I’ll be swapping him out for a Sorcerer or maybe even simply a Lord, although I have just today primed the Dark Apostle ready for action!

The Master of Possession is heavily geared towards daemon-support, so the Greater Possessed has stayed in the list simply to give him targets for his abilities! I do want to ally in some daemons, though, and I’m thinking the whole Dark Ritual stuff could be quite fun as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what he gets up to in due course! For the marines, I’ve got the 10-man unit from Shadowspear, and I’m currently working my way through all that trim on those guys… what a detailed task that is!

I’m enjoying my foray into these guys though, even if I haven’t yet been able to come up with an easier way of painting the basic troops! Of course, I’ll be using Cultists when the army grows, so that may prove to be an easier task, although I still haven’t finished painting that batch of Cultists from back in the day…

The Havocs are hopefully going to be great. Again, when I get the army fully off the ground, I’m hoping to get at least one more squad of them, kitted out slightly differently so that I have more heavy bolters for volume of shots. Given that they’re almost as expensive as double the number of regular marines, though, I’m curious to see what else could possibly fit into the list!

I think this is really indicative of how 9th edition is changing things, with fairly big points increases, which in turn are seeing smaller armies. In looking at how I could increase this force to 1000 points, I was looking at some Terminators, though kitted out as I’d like (combi weapons and power fists, with a reaper autocannon in there just because) brings a five man unit to almost 200 points! Added in a second marines squad at 175 and a second Havocs squad at 150, and I basically have no room to manoeuvre! It surprises me, I think, because during 8th edition I was almost always pleasantly surprised as just how many models I could fit into a list. Now, however, I’m finding that my lists are becoming almost elitist given how few bodies I can squeeze in!

In addition, though, I’m also intending to ally in some Chaos Daemons, principally of Slaanesh, given that I have those models already, although I can’t deny that I’d like to get a few more interesting gribblies in as time goes on! I think I might start with a small patrol detachment of these things, rather than relying on Summoning them on, as I feel that tactic might be vulnerable to having the characters removed before they can attempt the Ritual. But who knows? Maybe I’ll try to get my Dark Apostle to summon a Keeper of Secrets, and see what havoc can be caused!

So far, then, I’ve got a small force underway. I’ve recently picked up a couple of Rhinos and a Forgefiend, as I’d like to go bigger with this army as time goes on, but I’m trying my hardest not to go picking up tons of kits and finding myself drowning in plastic! In addition to the Marines, I’d like to get a nice selection of Cultists painted up, and who knows? Maybe 9th edition will answer my dreams, and we’ll get that Renegades & Heretics Codex that I’ve been after since Blackstone Fortress first showed what could be possible with such wonderful miniatures!

Catching Up

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Seems like life has been passing me by recently, as I have been focused a bit on work – I’ve got an interview this coming Tuesday for a promotion, so we’ll see what comes from that. More money for plastic crack, maybe?! We shall see!

Speaking of plastic, let’s start with the main topic of the day…

I’m not a big fan of the new Necrons, having now seen them in the flesh, as I wasn’t keen on the sculpted battle damage. For my Necrons, I’ve tried to paint them more like a pristine sort of warrior race, with the advanced tech that means they don’t retain battle damage like that. While I’m not entirely fussed yet on the Necrons, I have been admiring those Space Marines…

However, Chaos has become a major thing for me, considering I’d planned for Genestealer Cults to be my 9th Edition army! I’ve long wanted a force of Heretic Astartes, and having started with the idea of a Cultist rabble, I’ve now moved more into the realms of actual marines in the list. Today has been quite exciting though, as I’ve finished painting the Master of Possession from the Shadowspear box set! Finally!

I’m really pleased with this chap, and have followed the tutorial for the fire in particular from The Brush & Boltgun, which was a godsend! I’ve not had a chance yet to look at the other stuff on the channel, but it looks like a lot of the stuff that I have on the list, anyway, so it might be worth mining that stuff!

Speaking of which, I’ve finally picked up a Chaos Rhino for the nascent force, which I’ve wanted to get a hold of since seeing this wonderful piece of art from another of my favourite instagram’ers, Martin Sivertsen:

I mean, look at it! It’s absolutely beautiful, and I hope mine will come out a mere tenth as good! I’ve actually made an order for a second Rhino, as well as a Forgefiend (which I’ve wanted for a long time, as well) and a Dialogus for the nascent Sisters army!

Have I posted a picture of the Sisters here yet? Can’t remember, so here you go:

Looking forward to getting these painted up, however long they might take!

Moving on to a different game now, though…

My wife and I have been enjoying a few games of Elder Sign in recent weeks, as we’ve re-established Friday nights as gaming nights, and it’s been an absolute blast to be playing once more!

We’ve played a few times with the core set, as we get back into it all, and so last night we played with the first expansion, Unseen Forces, which I thought might be the best one to start with, as pretty much every other expansion has the Gates of Arkham rules and ramps up the difficulty! We had a couple of games with Unseen Forces, and while we managed to save the world from Shudde M’ell with just three locations left to explore per turn, we came under attack from Abhoth and it all went wrong.

It’s great to be back playing games from Fantasy Flight, I’m feeling really quite nostalgic for the whole thing! Of course, we’re slap bang in the middle of GenCon 2020 right now, but it all feels a bit weird with the global pandemic ongoing. FFG have shown off a few Star Wars bits, such as more Clone Wars era stuff for Armada, X-Wing and Legion, and that’s about all that I’ve managed to glean from the internets right now! Of course, it’s always an online event for me, but it feels particularly odd right now, regardless!

What else has been going on?

I’ve read quite a few books since I last came here to provide a review, so will doubtless have some thoughts on them to share with you all! I’ve also been reading the rest of The Flash’s run through the New 52, so will sometime soon get a round-up blog sorted for that! I’ve also been catching up with the DC movies that I’ve not seen, after watching Man of Steel a few weeks ago. So there will be plenty of blogs incoming once I have the time to properly sit down once again!

Okay, so it’s been pushed back, but there’s a Mandalorian novel due next year?! This news has excited me far more than I’d expected! Still very excited to see what season two has got in store for us, even though I’ve been really disappointed how it seems to be heavily leaning into the Clone Wars cartoons with the casting news that we’ve seen. Still, maybe live-action Ahsoka won’t be so damn annoying as to make me want to tear my own face off… time will tell! I think The Mandalorian is about the only thing Star Wars that I’m looking forward to right now, though, so I hope it won’t be disappointing!

Anyway, time to cease my ramblings, I think! Hope you’re all having an amazing Saturday, and stay tuned for more blogs coming as the summer progresses!

Warhammer 40k 9th Edition is here! Nearly…

Welcome to 9th Edition!

Or not…

What a way to start the new edition. Since, what, 3rd edition, there has been a starter box to help people get into the whole thing – if someone walks into a GW and asks how they can get started with this crazy thing, this is what they get pointed to. The boxes have been a varied mix of greatness that, recently at least, have always included miniatures that were exclusively available through that box. Sure, a lot of them were push-fit models, the sort of things that go together one way only as they’re designed for those folks new (or fairly new) to the hobby. Somewhat paradoxically, I’ve always enjoyed these kind of sets because of the variety they offer – you get static poses, for sure, but somehow the miniatures have different detail to the inevitable multi-part models.

Anyhow, the point being that previous editions have a starter set with which to get into the game. Indomitus has been sold as a limited release “launch set”, much like we saw with the Sisters of Battle set back in November, and the recent Lumineth Realmlords set. They’re a set of models with which to launch a model line, or in this case, a game edition. Much like the Sisters set, the box sold out within minutes – the GW site crashed six times during my attempt to buy it, after my LGS site simply failed to load due to the traffic.

It feels as though GW has decided this kind of limited-release run is, once again, a good idea to get a load of quick sales. Remember the End Times nonsense? I thought we’d put all of this behind us, but clearly not! Why do they keep doing this? For the money, clearly, but seeing the boxes up on ebay today for well over triple the original asking price (and higher still!) must make them thing, if they made just more of their product, people would be giving them the money… Of course, people have been talking about this topic for so long now, and there are plenty of people who have crunched the numbers better than I could, but once the initial design and moulds have been paid for, producing the actual plastic kit costs just pennies. With a set this good, they could keep it as a line item and I’m sure it’d fly off the shelves.

Launching 9th Edition with a box that sold out in quarter of an hour has left a weird aftertaste – you can still join in the fun of the new edition from July 25th, albeit only with the rulebook. No box full of fancy miniatures for you to enjoy, just the book.

It feels weird, and has robbed it of any sense of excitement for me.

Did you manage to get a copy of Indomitus? What are your thoughts on this latest GW limited release?

Genestealer Cults: A New Army for 9th Edition

Hey everybody!
So with the news of the new edition coming out this summer, I’ve been going through my vast collection of 40k miniatures, and seeing what I can get rid of, trying to thin out the ranks as we start anew. In doing so, however, I’ve decided to finally make a proper go of things with my Genestealer Cult! I’ve been here before, of course, but I’m currently feeling really positive about this new project, so decided to announce things here, and go through it with regular updates as I proceed!

Genestealer Cults Hybrid Metamorphs

As always with these things, I’m building a list by starting with a unit from the codex, and seeing what I can do to build out from there. I’m starting with the Hybrid Metamorphs, a unit that I’ve always liked the sound of, and had originally built up two years ago for Kill Team. The Hybrids are those cultists who have begun to mutate with more Tyranid bioforms than the usual Acolytes and Neophytes, and are seen as particularly blessed by their fellows. These saint-like creatures are usually deployed very near to the day of ascension, in time to wreak havoc among the planet that has been chosen for the Tyranid invasion.

In the game, these chaps are quite the blender, pretty wholly close combat-orientated, with three attacks base (and four for the Leader). I’ve always found their upgrades quite confusing, as they are swapped out in pairs – talons and claws for whips and claws, or talons and claws for bigger claws… The Metamorph talon gives the bearer one additional attack, which is always nice, as keeping the squad at their basic load-out gives them 21 attacks. However, two of mine have traded their talons for Metamorph claws, so I’m doing myself out of 2 attacks. Sad face.

Genestealer Cults

But things can get really interesting when you start pairing these guys up with stratagems, psychic powers, and the like. Let’s start with the Primus. This guy has got four attacks of his own, but gives +1 to the hit rolls of friendly <cult> models within 6″ in the fight phase. Now, the Metamorph talon allows you to add 1 to hit rolls as well, but a natural 1 will always fail, so let’s put this to the side for now. So my Metamorphs are making 19 attacks, and they’re hitting on 2s. I’ve got a cult icon with my squad, as well, which allows me to re-roll any hit rolls of 1. Nice!

Now, they’re only S4, for sure, but there are two guys in the squad with Metamorph claws, those massive crab things which are S+2. So there are 19 attacks, six of which are S6. Nice!

Without trying to get too far ahead of myself here, I want to include a Patriarch in my list, so he will have to be the warlord. However, I’m planning to spend a command point before the battle for the Broodcoven stratagem, allowing me to pick warlord traits for the Magus and Primus in the list as well. For my Primus, I’m taking the Biomorph Adaptation for +1 strength and +1 attacks. So the Primus is making 5 attacks of his own, hitting on 2s, and his attacks are at S5. Handy!

Let’s leave the Primus for a moment, and turn to the Magus. His sole use here is as a Psychic powerhouse – he knows 2 powers from the Broodmind discipline, but can only attempt to cast one per turn. I’m giving him Might from Beyond, which gives +1 to strength and attacks of units within 18″, and then Psychic Stimulus, which allows units to charge even if they have advanced, and also fight first in the fight phase. For one command point, I can use the Cult’s Psyche stratagem to attempt a second psychic power in my turn. I’m up to 2 CP used now, but my Hybrid Metamorphs are now making 24 attacks, eight at S7 with sixteen at S5.

But I’m not done yet!

In The Greater Good, there is a Hybrid Metamorph-specific stratagem for 1 command point, Violence Unleashed, which gives the unit +1 attack. What’s that, 29 attacks? I’ll take that, thank you very much!

I’m running my army as Cult of the Bladed Cog, whose unique strategem (1 command point) gives exploding hits on 6s. How nice! So that’s a total of four command points used, and I’m sort of banking on two psychic powers going off – the two powers have a warp charge value of 7 and 6, respectively, so I’d hope that it would work out, but I could potentially take a Familiar with the Magus to allow me a third bite at the (psychic) cherry.

I have no real head for probability calculations, so have used a dice roller to give it a try, and rolled an average of six 6s. Now, if you remember that I’m hitting on 2s and re-rolling 1s, so I’m going to be hitting on a lot of these attacks! Assuming that 32 attacks will hit, against T4 models, I’m going to be getting roughly 20 wounds in. My favourite tactic of drowning a unit in saving throws might well work out here!

On top of this, of course, we’ll have the Primus in close proximity, probably making his own five attacks. Interesting…

Of course, this is all fairly theoretical stuff, but it’s always nice to see what sort of things you can do with a unit like this. For info, my Metamorph – Primus – Magus combo costs 209 points (I did think about throwing in a Clamavus for an extra 55 points, to give +1 to advance and charge rolls, helping them get closer, but I’m thinking now that I’d prefer to throw them into a transport to ensure they get to combat unscathed), but I’m now considering making a max-unit of 10 Metamorphs, which would be purely with talons to get that 20 attacks base (30 attacks with all the buffs, which generated an average of three 6s for a potential +33 attacks in the unit, hitting on 2s and wounding MEQ on 3s).

Who knows how 9th Edition will change this up? Genestealer Cults were one of the last codexes published for 8th Edition, of course, so my guess is that they will be hanging around in this form for some time to come.

I’m going to be looking at using some Aberrants, and I am for sure going to be investigating the new Atalan Jackals, as they are some very cool models. I have two boxes of them, so it’ll be fun to see what I can come up with there! I think I’m going to do these sort of update-style blogs as I decide on the pieces of the list, rather than going through a massive run-down once I’ve got the whole thing decided (as I have done for Necrons before!)

So Genestealer Cults will be my 9th Edition army, although Necrons and Drukhari will definitely see play, and I hope that I can continue to paint my Grey Knights, and get started properly with the Sisters. Those are my current plans, but who knows if the AdMech or Black Legion, or any other project will get in the way?!

Thanks for reading, and check back soon for more musings on our four-armed saviours!

#New40k

Well folks, here we are – the prophesied coming of the new age… 9th Edition. I’d heard rumours a few months ago, though a lot of that sounded like speculation. However, today’s the day that we’ve had it confirmed!

What a way to launch a new edition!

From how I understand things, this isn’t strictly a new edition in the sense of 8th Edition, however. More like Age of Sigmar 2.0, this will be a sort of improvement on 8th, streamlining the rules and amalgamating a lot of the new content from Psychic Awakening with the existing codexes, and giving us a new narrative system called Crusade. This last seems like the new thing, providing a way for armies to grow over a campaign, where previous battles matter. That sounds really cool, I must say!

New models are of course a given, and it seems that we’re going to be getting Space Marines vs Necrons in what is likely to be a starter box for the new edition. However, this little beauty is, well… something else…

I honestly never thought we’d get a Silent King, and even with the teaser from a couple of days ago, I was still thinking of the ways in which we might see something else besides a model. But no!

Oh my…

It looks like we’re possibly in for another of these centrepiece models like Katakros for the Ossiarch Bonereapers, or the Triumph of St Katherine. Despite having read a few complaints about these types of diorama-models from the more competitive crowd, who mainly seem to dislike them for transport, they’re clearly quite popular as eye-catching focal points for a collection. I really hope it’s going to be magnificent, and I can’t wait to get one for my collection!

So, this is very interesting. 8th Edition was the first edition I was there for the launch of, having gotten into 40k a couple of months slightly after 7th Edition had landed. There were a lot of promises for the rules to be streamlined in 8th, and by and large that held true for a while, but obviously the additions of the Vigilus campaign, and now Psychic Awakening, have caused a lot of bloat. So we’re definitely in need of some fat-trimming. The video talks about more command points for all, though the stream seemed to imply that you’ll have to use CP to pay for out-of-army allies, which is fine with me because I’d still like to try to play allied armies. We’ll see how that plays out though.

There are definitely some interesting ideas in this preview, though I’m not entirely sure just yet how I feel about the new edition. I mean, I don’t plan on getting out of the hobby, so it’s not like I’m mad about it or anything. But I’m feeling a curious sense of relief, or a sense of having a fresh start… I mean, it seems like the perfect time to thin out the ranks of some of my models, and focus down on those armies that I want to keep…

Necrons are, of course, top of my list, as they always will be, and I’m excited that we’re getting new stuff at last. Grey Knights and Dark Eldar will also be staying with me, and I think I might keep those Primaris Marines after all. But the Tyranids, the AdMech, even the Scions that I’d recently been building a list for – they’re all fair game…

It’s like I’ve got the perfect excuse to have a really good clear-out!

How about everybody else? Excited? Mad? Indifferent?