It’s the GAMA Trade Show 2019!

Hey everybody!
It’s the GAMA Trade Show, and as I have done in the past, I’ll be keeping an eye on the proceedings to see what we’ve got to look forward to in the coming weeks and months!

First up, it’s none other than Games Workshop, who have just updated their community site with a first look at the next expansion for Kill Team – Elites. I mean, of course they have – not to be too proud of myself, or whatever, but I saw this coming a good while ago

We’re getting all manner of delights here, from terminators (as we can see on the cover) to Drukhari Grotesques! It was almost prescient of me, then, to have just bought a pair of these delights!

For all my cynicism of expanding the game like this, I am actually looking forward to seeing how it continues to grow – the danger, of course, being that it will soon turn into just low-point 40k if it isn’t careful. But so long as we continue to get intelligent choices with reasonable rules behind them, why not, right? Just let me take Lychguard now!

I suppose this also answers the question, where has the Thousand Sons faction box been?

Along with a Kal Jerico model for Necromunda, we’re also getting a Halfling team for Blood Bowl, with promises of more announcements to come in the next couple of days!

…let’s see what else is on offer!!

Next generation of the DC Deck Building Game, with the Rebirth branding? Very cool. Not sure about the more board-gamey aspect with moving cardboard chits around – it is supposed to be a deck building game, after all – but linked campaign scenarios and character progression do sound like they should be a lot of fun. Gonna keep my eye on this one!

You know, I’d forgotten about the two Fortune & Glory expansions until reviewing last year’s GAMA blog, but now that I’ve had my memory jogged, I really feel the need to have them in my life! It feels like Shadows of Brimstone has taken over Flying Frog, and with the third kickstarter for this game currently ongoing, I have to wonder if they have their sights set anywhere near the more traditional games manufacturing route. Not that I’m trying to be bitter or anything, but I do miss their games like Fortune & Glory, and A Touch of Evil. Last year, they were in the middle of making sure the Forbidden Fortress SOBS game was shipped in time, pushing the FANG expansions back to the first quarter of 2019. Well, we’ll just have to wait patiently for something not weird-west related to arrive, I guess!


GAMA day two has arrived, and my goodness, how exciting is this:

Traitor Command, the next Blackstone Fortress expansion, gives us a Traitor Commissar and a Chaos Ogryn, both of whom look delightful gentlemen – and will have 40k rules, to boot! Awesome! Forging alliances with unlikely friends sounds interesting, too…

I’ve said it before, of course, but I really love how GW are using Blackstone Fortress to explore these weird and wonderful bits of the 40k universe. The Commissar in particular looks like a stunning chap, I’m really looking forward to snapping these up when they’re out!

Warcry, the skirmish game set in the AoS universe and first teased a few months back now, has finally been shown off to be really quite the interesting game! Pitting different Chaos warbands against one another, at first it sounded like it might be a bit too exclusive – I mean, what about us Death players, right? But whether Chaos is just the first wave or not, it’s difficult to not be enamoured with at least one of these factions, particularly the cute looking devil-bats! I like it, which I’m a bit sorry about, as I feel like it might well become another juggernaut like Kill Team, and I’m not sure my bank balance can cope with that!

I really like the look of those pit-fighters with the welding masks, they remind me of Haemonculus Covens creations among the Drukhari, and I’m sure plenty of us will be using them for Grotesque conversions as these things move along. The scenery looks pretty amazing, too!

Not sure, of course, but this could tie in with the rumours of Warriors of Chaos/Slaves to Darkness getting an overhaul soon. I suppose we’ll see!


At any rate, that appears to be that! Plenty to look forward to from Games Workshop, who appear to have taken over with their exciting announcements of new stuff! Nothing from FFG, though the distributor Asmodee has announced a deal with Cool Mini Or Not, which may bring those incredible games to the masses (personally I try to avoid CMON as I find it difficult to resist them!)

It almost feels like the landscape of boardgame news has changed, and the big trade shows are no longer that important for getting a picture of what’s coming up next. Even the big daddy of them all, GenCon, hasn’t been that explosive for the last year or two. Is it a result of Kickstarter seemingly taking over the world of boardgame production? Speaking from an entirely personal perspective, it seems like the companies I used to watch – FFG in particular here – just aren’t knocking it out of the park anymore, with nothing really overwhelming me with its excitement. Meanwhile, established companies like Cryptozoic and Flying Frog Productions seem to be using Kickstarter more like their business model than not, and it’s leading to an over-saturation of stuff. Shadows of Brimstone has been a case in point here – when that stuff eventually found its way to me, it was like receiving 5+ years’ worth of expansion material in one hit, and I’m not sure I want that from a board game. Has our modern sense of impatience and always wanting the next thing caught up with us, to the point where we suddenly need everything for a game right now? All of these companies using Kickstarter to distribute games, and somewhat by necessity producing almost an entire game’s run in one go just to ensure the crowdfunding, seems to have led to a point where they just don’t have anything new to announce, because we had it all in one hit a year or two ago.

Makes me wonder what GAMA 2020 will have in store for us…

New Year Open Day 2019!

Ohmygod you guys! Ohmygod! There’s so much good stuff in this latest round of reveals from the New Year Open Day, I just don’t know where to begin! Well, I’ll start at the top, I guess, and go from there…

Genestealer Cults are getting a slew of new and interesting figures, and I just don’t know how to explain how excited I am for these guys! Well, the female magos seems to be a little pandering – I mean, the Magos from Overkill is a classic sculpt, I’m not entirely convinced by this one as she seems a little too… 1950s sci-fi? I don’t know. I really like the mysterious chap with his pimp-cane (seems like GW are really pimping it up after the Delaque chaps arrived) and the vox-hacker chap is also really cool. Not sure about the assassin-type model, either, but anyway.

Someone on the GSC facebook page suggested these might come as something akin to the Court of the Archon for the Dark Eldar, which would make more sense than having a massive selection of different HQs to deal with, but I suspect we might have a similar situation to Space Marine Command Squads, where they’re now separated out into a number of elites slots rather than being fielded as a unit. But I would also like to see them packaged together and come as one, so hope springs eternal on that one.

As well as the bikers, we’re also getting a new terrain piece, which I do like – hopefully we’ll be getting a lot more custom terrain for each force as time goes on. Necrons could do with having something interesting, I feel! It’s certainly an exciting time to be a 40k fan, that’s for sure!

But 40k isn’t the only system getting the love, as we see a new Battle Box for Age of Sigmar coming out, featuring Flesh Eater Courts and Skaven! I’ve recently been thinking about investigating the little rats, as several of their models remind me of the Mechanicus minis, and I think that’s cool. I’ve been thinking about, but ultimately passing over, several of these boxes since we initially had Forgebane, but I think I might well pick this one up and sell off the zombie portion, instead getting a decent start on some Skaven models!

Looks like we’re getting Stormfiends, a Warp Lightning Cannon, a Doomwheel, and the new character model, the Warlock Bombadier. I find it a little bit odd that there’s no infantry for the box set, but then the Skaven models included come to £79.50 without the new character, so I suppose the set is going to retail around £90, and still provide a massive saving. Definitely one for the list, anyway!

I’m also looking forward to some Grots, though given the sheer amount of new stuff being announced here, I think I’m going to not only be planning out very carefully what I end up buying, but also downsizing my collection of existing miniatures in order to make room!

Back to 40k and Kill Team now, with a look at the next batch of good stuff. I’m not honestly all that sure about Kill Team: Arena, as it looks a lot like a rehashing of the Rogue Trader box. Maybe it’ll be worth it for the additional rules content, but the box size initially made me interested, then I saw that the terrain was mainly doors and barrels, with rules for fighting in close quarters. Well, I suppose it might be a cheaper price point than the Rogue Trader box, which might make it worth getting for some, but I might be holding off for the time being, until we see some more.

Interestingly, however, there are two new expansions for the two Kill Teams that came in the original box – an AdMech team that features Sicarians, and a Genestealer Cults team that includes Acolyte Hybrids. Both of them come with a Commander model, though, and the usual sheet of tokens and terrain and whatnot, but I find it interesting how we’re seeing the evolution of the different Team expansions from last year. Commanders is presumably a more integrated part of the game than we’d originally expected, and they’re using this game as a delivery method for new models for the regular 40k game, with the Cult Eastwood gunslinger Primus, alongside a new sort of Tech-Priest, the Manipulus. I’m not 100% sold on the latter, if I’m honest, as he does look a little too much like he was originally intended as a Nurgle model. But maybe he’ll be better in the flesh, or else with a little converting.

I’m glad to see more for Kill Team, for sure, and I hope this new type of expansion could herald my idea for “famous teams” to come further down the line. I especially like the idea that they’re expanding the original two teams from the core set, as that is a fantastic way to build on last year’s box for people new to the game, as well as to get them hooked into buying more for regular 40k in true gateway-drug style!

While that’s all for the stuff that grabbed my attention over on the Community site, there are a few other choice morsels doing the rounds of the internets, including an expansion for the Blackstone Fortress game!

Blackstone Fortress Dreaded Ambull

I’m not that old in the hobby to remember the Ambull from back in the Rogue Trader days, but this has got a lot of people excited! Looking at the additional contents in this picture has got me wondering, though – if we’re having a new ship tile, will we be getting a new Hero to go along with it? And there’s another mystery envelope in this one, as well! How exciting!

I really like the idea of this expansion, and it once again puts me in mind of Shadows of Brimstone, only done correctly. I mean, FFP have definitely worked their socks off for that game, and I don’t mean to be too harsh, but it just didn’t feel anywhere near as polished as it perhaps could have been, possibly due to the amount of stuff they had to do to fulfill peoples’ pledges. But that’s a topic for another blog!

Finally (for now!) we’re getting two plastic Am-bots for Necromunda! Not the Adeptus Arbites, but it’ll do!

And finally, we have what looks like a new kind of Chaos Sorcerer for the Black Legion, presumably coming out when the whole Vigilus 80-day countdown thing comes to a conclusion:

I don’t know if this would happen or not, but I do quite like the idea that he might be a part of a wider Servants of the Abyss release, alongside the Blackstone Fortress goodness that is reputedly coming out in March. I think he certainly looks cool, and I’m thinking I might actually get myself a small Chaos Space Marines force soon! (Who am I kidding, small…!)

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Vigilus will burn. #PaintingWarhammer

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Overall, it’s been incredibly exciting so far this New Year Open Day. I’m really excited to see what’s next from Nottingham, anyway!

2018 in review

Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s time to go all traditional, and all, and look back at my hobby year for 2018!

It’s been quite the year, I have to say! Despite some monumental events, including getting married in September, I’m glad to have been able to keep going with hobby stuff. I’ve definitely built more than I’ve painted, but of course that is always the case, really! Starting really quite early, I built this beautiful beast 12 months ago, though he sadly still languishes in the same state after all this time!

I really need to get a move on and make some decisions as regards my Tyranids.

I’ve done quite well with the Great Reanimation of my Necrons, getting a good number of units painted up, including the beautiful new Cryptek model. I’ve still got a way to go with the army, for sure, but having only had one unit of Immortals painted in the new Thokt dynasty scheme back in 2017, this year has seen a real surge! Splendid stuff.

2018 saw me start a couple of armies, most notably the Tau. I’m in a bit of a weird position with this army now, as I feel like it was a bit of a distraction for me while I was waiting for the Dark Eldar codex. I did enjoy building up the models, for sure, and I think there is still a place for them in my collection, but probably nowhere near as many models as I have ended up with! So I’m going to be looking through both the Tau and Tyranid collections in an effort to thin out some of the dead wood, so to speak, and make sure I only keep enough models for small forces of each that I want to actually play with. Famous last words, probably, but still!

I’ve made significant strides with yet another xenos force, the Genestealer Cults!

I was really quite surprised that I even managed to finish these guys, as I’ve been working at them for a long time now, but always seemed to be putting them off for one reason or another. Kill Team, in that respect, was a good thing for me, as it made me finish painting them up, and indeed to get moving with more models for the force:

Being a horde army, though, I’m still nowhere near to having the required number of models for the force, but I think I’m suitably inspired to keep going. Slow and steady, and all that!

I’ve been steadily progressing with my Dark Eldar, though having painted up pretty much the entire army in 2017, 2018 has definitely been a slower year for the dark kin. I’ve got plenty built up, for sure, mainly due to having formed the plans for the army during 7th edition, but we’ll see how many models get painted during 2019…

In terms of smaller scale games, I’ve painted up some Van Saar gangers for Necromunda, and have started work on the Elucidian Starstriders, but this is where things get interesting, as I started looking back into fantasy after all these years, with the new iteration of Warhammer Underworlds.

It was a lot of fun, and it has led to getting myself into a very ghostly mess!

The Nighthaunt models are beautiful, but I’m also vacillating between Idoneth Deepkin and Chaos Beastmen in creating my first army for the new Age of Sigmar. It’s definitely going to be one of them, though I’ll most likely also be picking up some of these new grots models in time. I do enjoy squigs!

Finally, I’ve been working on some of the Chaos Cultists that I’ve had hanging about for years, inspired by the weird and wonderful underbelly of 40k that we got to glimpse in Blackstone Fortress!

This game was quite the boon to me, as it inspired not only the Cultists but also work on the Electro-Priests that had similarly been hanging about for years – all in all, then, it was very much well-received!

I wonder what 2019 will see for my hobby! Hopefully some of those models that I’ve built up over the last year will see themselves finished!!


I’ve definitely enjoyed my hobby time this year, but in order to make sure I stay focused during the coming year, I’ve drawn up a list of hobby resolutions as a lot of folks have been doing over on instagram:

There is a nice mix, I feel, between some of the more wide-ranging stuff with the Grey Knights and the Nighthaunt, and more focused goals for things like the Neophytes and Doomsday Ark. There is bound to be more that distracts me as the year goes on, of course – I’m looking forward to the Genestealer Cults getting their bikers, for sure! Whether Inquisitors come out for Kill Team is anyone’s guess, though I’m fairly positive I’ll go heavily into this one!

I’m going to be writing up my Hobby Progress blogs on the last day of each month as 2019 goes on, so it should keep me motivated to stay on track. Exciting times ahead, at any rate!!

Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress – first impressions

Hey everybody,
Had my first game with Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress at the weekend, so thought I’d re-institute the Game Day blogs while we run up to the festive period by looking at this beast!

Blackstone Fortress

At its heart, Blackstone Fortress has a lot in common with the earlier Silver Tower game. We have a co-operative adventure for four heroes delving into the labyrinth, with the mechanics of destiny dice and activation dice being common to both iterations. There have been some tweaks, which has led to many people calling Age of Sigmar in general something of a test-bed for 40k and its related games.

I’m not going to call Blackstone Fortress a re-skin, as there is more to it than that. But there are enough similarities between the two so that, if you’re familiar with one, then you’ll be able to get cracking with the other quickly enough. Once I got going with this, I certainly had no problems running the adventure along.

Blackstone Fortress

The biggest draw, for me, was definitely the miniatures. I try not to buy these games purely for the minis, as I want to enjoy the game aspect of the box. I am extremely guilty of having been suckered into this game purely for the fact that the minis look amazing, and so very different to anything we’ve had so far. Negavolt Cultists and Traitor Guard are just fabulous, while plastic Ministorum Priests and Navigators are just phenomenal! One of my driving reasons for picking up the game was that I have a concept for Armies on Parade that a lot of these miniatures really fit into, so in a way I dropped a lot of cash on picking up some minis that look fantastic.

However, the game itself is actually really quite good!

There are some very specific set-up instructions that I don’t remember from Silver Tower, which help to balance the game somewhat and introduce you to things slowly as you begin with the prospect of lower-level adversaries to fight. The game features an in-built levelling system whereby, each time you end an adventure, you add in a Legacy card that either gives you more enemies to fight, or increases the difficulty of the current selection. Combat is not always a given, either – during set-up, you create an encounter deck, which are split into combat and challenges, and it just so happened that I drew a combat to start things off. Challenges are almost out-of-game things where you need to build a tower of dice in 20 seconds, or whatnot. I suppose this is what GW meant when it came to the RPG aspect of things.

Blackstone Fortress

Something else that has an RPG element is the cleanup step at the end of the encounter, called the Precipice step as it involves returning to the main space station where all the adventurers’ ships are docked. There, you get to trade the strange archaeotech you discover for some upgrades – there are six ships included in the core set, and each of them has a distinct flavour, such as bizarre xenos tech on the Rogue Trader’s vessel, military hardware on the Kroot Mercenary’s ship, Prayers and such on the Priest’s vessel, etc. It’s all quite thematic, but I wasn’t entirely sure of the value of a lot of the upgrades – possibly due to the fact it was my first game…

I’d been hoping this game would be something akin to Shadows of Brimstone, though with a better quality of miniature and a much slicker implementation. The gameplay itself is actually really straightforward, and like I said earlier, it wasn’t a huge concern for me once I got going. The structure of the turn is fairly straightforward, if a little packed with stages, and there are some bits that I found myself forgetting at first, such as the Event phase at the end. The main problem, I found, was that the rulebook feels very much like it has been separated into three separate booklets for no good reason. There is the actual Rulebook, which only includes the rules for set-up, and then some advanced rule stuff; the Combat book actually includes most of the rules you’ll need to reference during the main body of the game, and the Precipice book has all of the after-game stuff like buying stuff and whatnot. It felt clunky for the amount of booklets I was leafing through each time, and I do believe it could have been organised much better, with just one big book that also includes the Background material included within a fourth booklet.

Blackstone Fortress

This isn’t a dungeon-crawl in the sense that Silver Tower is, as the Combat cards re-invent the board each time you draw one, and place adversaries for you to overcome. The AI that drives these adversaries is, if I’m honest, fairly basic – being a hex-based map, there are often a lot of decisions to make as to where best to move the adversary, and I can imagine a lot of players would position them in such a way as makes it easier on the explorers. I did like the Reinforcements idea, though, whereby enemy models can potentially always come back, even if you’ve gotten rid of the entire group. I was seconds from getting all of my explorers clear of the maze near the end, when a group of six Traitor Guard reappeared and blocked Thaddeus from joining the others, causing the game to continue another couple of turns. Talk about dramatic!

Blackstone Fortress

I think this is where the game is really going to shine, though, in terms of the storytelling and the drama that it can create when getting these moments in-game. There are a lot of moving parts to this game, and a lot of things to keep track of. While it does work fine as a pure co-op adventure, the rules state that for five players, one will take on the role of a GM almost, and control the adversary groups as well as the additional stuff like Initiative. Doing that, I can see the game being a lot more involved and, dare I say, enjoyable as you feel more like you’re actually fighting against the fortress. But these are my initial thoughts, and increased familiarity with the game might see me change that idea.

Blackstone Fortress

Overall, I think the game is a really good implementation of the Warhammer Quest core ideas. It doesn’t really feel that much like a simple re-skin of Silver Tower, but instead there is so much going on that you really feel in the 40k universe. If you’re already familiar with the setting, then there’s a lot to enjoy as you work your way through the adventure.

I think a lot of people may be a little bit confused, or misled into thinking this is a Legacy-type game, with a lot of mileage out of your actions in one game spilling over into the next. This isn’t a Legacy game in the sense that Pandemic has made us understand it. There is the opportunity to not so much level up your character, but certainly to create a narrative around them in the spirit of an RPG, and you can buy upgrades to add to their abilities.

The confusing aspect, I think, is that there is a Legacy card deck, and GW have made a big thing about the sealed envelope that signifies the hidden heart of the fortress, to be opened only after you’ve defeated four strongholds (basically a more narrative, drawn-out Combat step). Once you’ve done that, you get to open the envelope and find what was waiting for you all that time. I’ve notheard of anybody who has opened one without completing the adventure yet, so at least it has captured some people’s imagination, but this is really where any similarity to the Legacy genre ends.

It’s definitely an enjoyable game, and there are a lot of storytelling possibilities within the game, but the main roadblock for it is the same as that for Silver Tower: you’re paying £95 for a type of game that you can get for probably half that price elsewhere – and where the miniatures come pre-assembled! Unless, like me, you’re invested in the lore, and you love the look of these new miniatures, then I can imagine you’d be better off going elsewhere for your space-faring co-op adventure.

Games Workshop have recently come out to say that there will be expansions, more news of which will be coming in the new year. This is an exciting prospect, as they’re using this game as a way to explore the dark corners of the 40k universe, and based on what they’ve done with this already, I cannot wait to see where they go next with it. I hope we will see some rules to add selected pre-existing miniatures as adversary groups to the game – possibly through card expansion packs, as we only really need the Legacy cards, the Adversary stat cards, and maybe a themed mission or something to bind it all together. I’ve talked in the past how they could use this to introduce something like plastic Flayed Ones, but I don’t know if this could actually happen. However, I also hope we won’t have to wait 12 months before we see another big box for the game. I’d like to see something that basically expands the game with a smaller-scale version of the core set: a couple more explorers, with a couple more adversaries, and maybe a mission or two with the appropriate tiles, etc. It’s certainly going to be interesting to see just how much love they give this game, though!

Join me next week for another Game Day blog, where I’ll be shining the spotlight of awesome on another game from my collection!

Rampant Speculation, and more!

Hey everybody!
It probably hasn’t escaped anybody’s notice that tomorrow is the start of the Vigilus Weekender, a two day event at Warhammer World, where GW are going to announce “something big” for us all. Intrigued? Well, I am!

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Vigilus Calls. The Imperium will answer…

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This “something big” could, of course, be anything. I’ve been reading a lot online where people have suggested it could be the return of Abaddon, or it could be Marneus Calgar as a dreadnought, based on the teaser video GW posted yesterday. Frankly, both of those things could well be true, as it wouldn’t be a massive stretch of the imagination to learn that the Black Legion has shown up on the hotly-contested battleground, and given how sidelined Marneus Calgar was during the Dark Imperium novel, I think it would be so cool to see him come back as a relic dreadnought to really kick some ass.

I suppose the problem with that last could be that it feels like such a huge event, it should be in a novel. Calgar’s last stand, his heroic death and eventual reincarnation in the sarcophagus of a dreadnought – it’s too much to just bring out the model and say, “oh yeah, he’s in there now”. Maybe they’ll announce the tie-in book, though something just feels a little off about that. Sure, there has been a build-up for months now, with all the box sets coming out! But who knows?!

Abaddon and the Black Legion are a very safe bet, as it feels like the Blackstone Fortress stuff is going to be heralding a new age for Chaos. If we don’t get more Chaos Space Marines in the mould of those chaps from the boxed game, then I don’t know anything, anymore! I’ve talked about this extensively in the past, but I would love to see GW come out with a full Black Legion release, making use of the new minis as well as the Chaos Renegades such as Traitor Guard and Beastmen, with maybe some sort of campaign book rather than a full Codex. A Black Legion Codex just seems like a silly thing, to me. I am really excited to see how GW progress with the new models from Blackstone Fortress, however, so I’m probably talking about them a great deal because I’m just so interested!!

Personally, I would love to see the announcement of the Genestealer Cults Codex come out of this weekend. We know that they’re an active force on Vigilus, and while they have only recently had Tooth and Claw devoted to them, I would like to see this be a major thing to come out of the weekend. Preferably with a pre-order to boot! But between a Codex, the new Aberrant models, maybe the new Abominant, and of course the gunslinger Primus, this is a Codex release that would actually feel like a new army release once more. It’s the last of the regular Codexes from 7th edition to have the 8th edition treatment, so why not go out with a bang? We could even be seeing more new releases for the army that we hadn’t been expecting – I mean, who was expecting that Abominant?

Equally, I would love it to be something entirely out of left field, that comes as a complete surprise to us all. Codex: Dark Mechanicum, with a whole new line of models after the Negavolt Cultists!

But it’s most likely to involve Primaris Marines, so there is that…

Anyway! Whatever is involved this weekend, I’m just rubbing my hands with anticipation!

In other news, I’ve picked up my copy of Blackstone Fortress today, and have put together a little unboxing video in the way that I used to for these things! I haven’t made a youtube video for a while now, though that is at least partly due to the fact I was moving house so didn’t get a chance to keep going there. Might get back into it all sometime, once things calm down again! Of course, it feels like there are enough miniatures in the Blackstone Fortress box to keep me busy until Christmas, so I may have other things to occupy my time!

I’ve been busy building some units for the Ravenwing portion of my Dark Angels army that I talked about in some depth the other day, so I currently have the bikers from Dark Vengeance (that I eventually bought from ebay, as I couldn’t find my own – they were a nightmare to fix up, but got there in the end!) and a Talonmaster that was built out of a landspeeder and the Ravenwing upgrade sprue. I’ve also put together this little beauty:

I’ve had this kit for years, and have been recently on the fence as to whether to keep it or not, but having now built it up, I’m really chuffed that I did! It looks amazing, and I can’t wait to get it painted!

I’ve also been building AdMech stuff, which is exciting – I’d previously built a Tech Priest Dominus, but the model broke, so it’s nice to have another one to get painted.

While building both the Tech Priest and the Darkshroud, I was thinking about how amazingly detailed these models are, and how I really want to do them justice. So I’m really looking forward to getting started on them, as a little winter painting project. This hopefully won’t impact too much on the plans I talked about the other day, of course!!

Anyway, it’s been a busy time for building, and with the arrival of Blackstone Fortress, it’s going to be even busier! But I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes next from this weekend’s event!!

Nobody expects the Inquisition!

Hey everybody,
My recent return to the light of the Emperor with the Deathwing army that I currently have on the go has got me thinking more about the Imperium as a whole, and looking at the other armies on offer to us outside of the Dark Angels. From Deathwing, I started looking at the Deathwatch army that I had started to paint up over the summer of 2016, and there will be a blog coming shortly with some of my thoughts on those chaps, don’t you worry!

But I’ve also started to think a lot about the smaller-scale stuff, and in particular, the Inquisition. This is a range that is quite woefully under-represented in 40k miniatures terms, which is odd considering the success of Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn and Ravenor novel series. Most of the Inquisition line is made up of old finecast miniatures, with only the new finecast Eisenhorn mini and the plastic Greyfax that show any real attention for it over the past few years.

It got me thinking about what GW have been up to, what they are up to, and what I think I’d like to see them be up to, based on the first two.

First of all, though, let’s talk about some history
The Inquisition dates right back to the original Rogue Trader years, where they would combat the myriad threats to the Imperium, most often rogue psykers (more on this in a bit). Further lore expanded on this, introducing secretive sub-factions, and produced the little nugget of information that one of their secret tasks is to discover the sensei. For those who aren’t familiar, the sensei are the offspring of the Emperor of Mankind, who possess the ability to hide from the warp and are something of a perfect weapon to use against Chaos. While I don’t know whether the current GW will want to pursue this storyline, I think it has some potential to advance the story of 40k, which does seem to be a current objective for the company, so whether we will see them reimagined for this, I don’t know.

The popularity of the Inquisition has always seemingly stemmed from the specialist game Inquisitor, released in 2001 as a skirmish game roughly double the scale of “normal” 40k. It was this game that spawned Dan Abnett’s Eisenhorn trilogy, of course, and alongside several of Fantasy Flight’s RPGs, the popularity of the faction has bubbled along away from the wargame. In terms of the regular tabletop 40k, the expansion of the Grey Knights in 2011 to have their own Codex seemingly overshadowed the rest of the Inquisition, though it does seem that 2016’s Deathwatch Codex may have helped to balance that somewhat.

Power Armour connections
The Inquisition is made up of three major Orders: the Ordo Malleus (which deals with daemons), the Ordo Xenos (which deals with aliens) and the Ordo Hereticus (which deals with cultists). Each of these three has its own Chamber Militant: the Grey Knights, the Deathwatch, and the Adepta Sororitas, respectively. Now then, the Grey Knights have a decent plastic range of models, and the Deathwatch saw a new release of miniatures back in 2016. As has been well-documented by now, we’re expecting the plastic Sororitas range to arrive in 2019, with the current rumours pointing to sometime around October. With each of the Chambers Militant getting plastic releases, it’s gotten me thinking about when we’d be likely to see the Inquisition released in plastic sculpts to go alongside them.

Deathwatch: Overkill

Deathwatch have been something of a surprise, to my mind, as far as the new releases go. We saw a glorious release back in 2016, starting with the boxed game Deathwatch: Overkill, and it just went from there in terms of the amazing things we’ve been seeing. Genestealer Cults are such a fantastic example of this, and now again with the Rogue Trader releases, that it makes me thing GW is, to some extent, committed to bringing out some of the more weird and wonderful aspects of the 40k universe, not necessarily always via the mainstream tabletop game.

Within the space of months, we’ve seen two flamboyant Rogue Traders come out, surely it will only be a matter of time before we get the equally flamboyant Inquisitors in plastic?!

The Kill Team factor
Kill Team has already brought out so many fascinating sculpts with the Rogue Trader box back in September, and it doesn’t take a genius to see the possibility for a Kill Team: Inquisitor box to be quite the thematic expansion to that line. The fact that we have now got a plastic Death Cult Assassin in the Elucidian Starstriders makes me wonder if this is showing the possibility of further miniatures down the line. I know we’re wishlisting here once again, and most likely reading far too much into this, but I do like the idea that GW are perhaps testing the waters with these boxed games before going more down certain routes and creating miniatures on the back of those found in their specialist / board games.

It’s not just limited to the Kill Team game, though. Blackstone Fortress is set to be a major source of new, previously-unseen miniatures that might not be expected to have a full-army release. The fact that the Inquisition has been said to predominantly tackle rogue psykers in the past (Eisenhorn does it quite often, as we know), and there are rogue psyker models in the core set, makes me fanboy-dream that we might see a new “team” of heroes to choose from – the Inquisitor team. It would be so straightforward to give us a new plastic Inquisitor model, with some warrior acolytes and crusaders, maybe some sort of arco-flagellant or death-cult assassin, and a preacher of a lesser rank than Thaddeus from the core set. Throw in an Interrogator or Null Maiden as secondary leader-types (yes, I just want Ravenor and Bequin!) Heck, I’m sure people would like to play the Jokaero if they could, as well! It would be straightforward as anything to reinvent the current finecast/pewter range as a plastic warband here.

But I fully admit to leaping to this conclusion due to the tenuous link with rogue psykers, don’t you worry!

What does it all mean?
I don’t claim to have any kind of special insight into the future for GW. I’m just a nerd with a laptop typing all this junk up as I think of it. But given the popularity of the Inquisitors as a faction, it seems just wrong that they have one plastic mini, one (hard-to-find) resin mini, and the rest of the army is dated as all hell. Most of the line is made up of finecast versions of the old metal miniatures from back in the 90s, which admittedly is something of an improvement on the current Sisters line, which is all metal (but we know they’re changing that).

As it stands, we’re seeing a very slow drip-release of new miniatures that could potentially be used in an Inquisitorial retinue. Knosso Prond from the Elucidian Starstriders is a great example of this. Thaddeus the Purifier and Pious Vorne from Blackstone Fortress are also fantastic for making Preachers. Due to their heavy Redemptionist aesthetic, the new House Cawdor gangers could make excellent Warrior Acolytes. Without trying to read too much into these things, I do think it’s only a matter of time before we see the Inquisition brought back to life as a modern force on the tabletop.

Sisters?
Again, without trying to read too much into anything, I’ve been flicking through the old Codex: Imperial Agents from seventh edition, and I find it interesting that a Sisters army back then wasn’t all-female. Ministorum Priests, Arco-Flagellants, Crusaders and Assassins all featured in the army list, which gives it a strong crossover to the Inquisition army list in the same book. Could we be seeing new models for these coming as part of the plastic Sisters army next year?

Army releases for Games Workshop nowadays tend to be smaller affairs, with less of the more obscure elements like this. Since the announcement of plastic Sisters, I’ve been expecting a character or two, maybe two troops choices (multi-part kits?) and an elites choice. With maybe a heavy support/vehicle option. I’d not been expecting any of the, for want of a better term, “hangers-on” like the Priests. However, GW do seem to be treating this army project very much as an Event, and so it would perhaps be in keeping with that for them to go ahead and basically re-imagine the entire list, maybe even go crazy and give us entirely new units if they’re going to advance the fluff as well, and so in time we’ll be getting a whole host of new plastic goodness. The rumoured release of October 2019 does also make me think that maybe, by then, they will have released a lot of the Blackstone Fortress stuff separately, so could potentially be tying-in with that. I wouldn’t have thought they’d attempt to cash-in with Sisters and give the option for a Priest that basically means players need to buy a Blackstone Fortress set for £95, but maybe we’ll be seeing multi-part plastic clampack releases for the heroes by then?

On a side note, given the strong ties to both Grey Knights and Deathwatch, I’ve also been wondering if there will be rules to include special detachments of those forces, which won’t break your Battleforged army. Only time will tell!

It’s definitely an exciting prospect, and one that I hadn’t really given much thought to until now!

But what about Kill Team?
Ah yes, Kill Team. It feels a little like Kill Team is being dampened-down of late, with all the hype for Blackstone Fortress coming out this week and all. We’ve got two new Commanders being released, but there aren’t any tremendous rumours on the horizon for more expansions, or even to finish off the Kill Team faction boxes as they have been doing. (Probably because they’ve run out of terrain to include within those boxes?)

However, the rumour of Kill Team: Inquisition is still floating around, with nobody confirming or denying this, but also no further information beyond the idea that it will be a thing. I do think that Rogue Trader and, by necessity, Commanders were both rushed out somewhat due to the leaks that predated the core set for Kill Team itself, so perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into this gap. I do hope that we’ll see an Inquisitor expansion, and that we’ll see it in the first quarter of 2019.

If we do get such a box, then, I’m really hoping for a similar look to the Rogue Trader line-up, with the Inquisitor and his retinue forming maybe a dozen models, facing off against perhaps 20 Cultists. While this would be a perfect opportunity to bring back those push-fit Cultist models from Dark Vengeance, I think that rant is for another blog. At any rate, we’ve had Chaos mutants in the Rogue Trader box – an Inquisitor expansion would be better served with some Cultists (I’d also like some form of xenos race, preferably a new race that we haven’t seen yet, but that would likely take too much time). Indeed, the crossover between Rogue Trader and Blackstone Fortress was enough that I think it could be a nice touch to continue the Traitor Guard aesthetic and provide more of that, with a varied band of generic Cultists, peppered in with a Rogue Psyker or two – it would be on-theme, after all!

Blackstone Fortress

 

I am in danger of running away with myself on this (well, I’ve been running away with ideas for this entire blog!) But I do feel like there is the potential here for significant crossovers with actual Kill Team expansions like Rogue Trader and the Blackstone Fortress stuff. It would probably be too much to hope for some kind of expansion for the Starstriders and Gellerpox mutants in Blackstone Fortress, but I suppose you can never say what GW are going to do these days, as they have been coming up with some phenomenal releases of late, and I don’t think a lot of us could have predicted any of them, if we’re being honest. Who would have thought plastic Rogue Traders would ever see the light of the tabletop? At least we’re getting Kill Team profiles for the Blackstone Fortress minis, so we can (presumably) field a Kill Team of Traitor Guard and Rogue Psykers – which is quite an exciting prospect, given my desire to make a 40k army out of these guys!

But so much of this blog has been me just wishlisting and fanboy-dreaming, I’m not entirely sure if any of it has been worthwhile reading! If you’ve made it through this far, thank you! There’s not a lot to take away from this, really, beyond the fact that I absolutely love the weird and esoteric corners of the 40k universe, and the arrival of first Kill Team: Rogue Trader, and now Blackstone Fortress has got my imagination doing so many somersaults and backflips with the amazing potential such boxed games hold for the expansion of the universe in plastic!

I’ve been enjoying thinking about the possibilities for these things, though, and I really hope at least one or two of my ramblings might come true in the fullness of time!

Falling to Chaos…

It wouldn’t be the first time

Since the whole Blackstone Fortress thing has gotten me in a froth about playing with miniatures that are more esoteric, and yet somehow a lot more close to what, for me, Warhammer 40k is all about, I’ve been thinking about getting myself a small Chaos force. Well, it might not be that small, after all, as I’m thinking principally about using Chaos Cultists.

The Dark Vengeance cultists are no longer available, sadly, because the box has been replaced with Dark Imperium, and the goodness that is available there. Which is a shame, because the generic cultists that you can get now are a bit sad if you’re trying to build up a huge Chaos-worshipping cult. The Dark Vengeance lot only include a couple more variants, but between squad Anarkus (on the left) and squad Tetchvar (on the right), you get some really nice-looking sculpts that, with a decent-enough paint job, could be made to look quite varied and rag-tag. Which I suppose is what you want out of a Chaos cult in the Underhive…

What’s even sadder is that I’ve currently lost my Dark Vengeance bits in moving house! They’re bound to be somewhere, so hopefully I can get them sniffed out soon. As a side note, there’s a bunch of Necrons stuff hiding from me as well, so it might be high time to have a sort-out and see where everything has gotten to…

Anyway!

I spent a huge chunk of my time on Friday planning out my Cult for Necromunda games, as I thought it would be a simply splendid idea to build some of these chaps up for the skirmish game as well. That I was basically devouring the rule set like some sort of fanatical zealot was entirely on point, as well! The fact that the rules for these guys are free online is even better! As another side note, how amazing are GW for doing this? Free rules for stuff is amazing! I know they do it for Age of Sigmar, but the fact they also do it for other stuff is really good. Anyway!

So I worked out a starting gang list that includes a Demagogue (Tetchvar) and a Witch (Anarkus), along with two Disciples (the special weapons chaps) and then five Helot Cultists (the basic five-man box that is still available) for a grand total of 960 points. I’m currently not 100% sure on the Witch, as I could replace him with two further Helots, but I’ll see on that one for now.

Chaos Cultists

The Necromunda plans are all well and good, and I’m looking forward to trying them out soon, but the main point of today’s blog is to talk about my plans for 40k, and combining the Cultists with the contents of the Blackstone Fortress box…

There is, of course, a lot to be excited about with the upcoming Blackstone Fortress release. I just can’t seem to express how much this stuff speaks to me! For the most part, I’ve been ignoring the heroes, but even there we have such amazing ideas as Ministorum Priests and Navigators – yes, Navigators! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to include these in my Imperium army without seeming too cheesy…

But I’m thinking about Chaos today, and so I’m thinking about running a Servants of the Abyss patrol detachment alongside a second patrol detachment of Cultists, which would bring me to 496 points in total. If I can somehow work out 1000 points of Thousand Sons (ha!) then I would have a pretty great starting Chaos army, I reckon!

For informational purposes, then, the Servants of the Abyss detachment contains the following units:

This little band of wonderfulness comes to a grand total of 327 points. Not bad really, though as a lot of folks have pointed out online, the fact that they’re so prescriptive – especially the Traitor Guard – means that it’s unlikely many people will want to field them very much. Personally, I have no problem with fielding weird and wonderful stuff, and the flavour of this warband is just too irresistible for me to do anything else!

As an aside, I’m really hopeful that we’ll see these things realised as full plastic kits sometime in the future. My fervent hope is for some kind of Agents of Darkness Codex that would allow us to field weird off-shoots like the Negavolt Cultists and Chaos Beastmen without having to go fully into the Dark Mechanicus or whatever. I suppose this is what this army list is all about, for me; having a weird collection of Chaos and mutants that is more fluffy than anything else, but could still offer some really nice and flexible support to a Chaos army. But I don’t want to get into just what I’m doing with my other Chaos plans just yet…!

Anyway!

The second patrol detachment in the list contains two groups of ten Cultists – the aforementioned squads Tetchvar and Anarkus – headed up by a Dark Apostle. I have toyed with the idea of creating some kind of kitbash instead of going with the finecast model, but on reflection, he doesn’t look entirely too marine-y so I hope he can fill in quite nicely for me in the role of heading up the bands of Cultists.

While I’m not about to start drawing up massive lists already, I have been giving a little vague thought to eventually expanding this force out a bit more along the thematic lines and, while I hope to have more random Chaos stuff like the Blackstone Fortress miniatures coming out soon to bolster the list, I’m thinking about including a couple more Dark Apostles and Cultists just to keep the flavour going. I might eventually include some Black Legion marines, but that’s a long way off. I would love to get back into painting daemons, for sure, though I’ve never really managed to get very far with those before losing interest to other projects, so I think that might need a bit more thought put into it.

I have always wanted a Slaanesh army though, as I love the purples and the lilacs and just how weird those models actually are!!

I want the army to feel more like a Chaos Cult rather than an army, so I think having actual marines in there would take away from that a bit. The Traitor Guard are perhaps a bit of an exception, as they are supposed to be an army force, of course, but I think they look weird enough with the furs and whatnot that they don’t appear overly regimented. I may well stay clear of the marines, and instead go for Cultists and the Daemons that they have summoned. It might be fun to field an army of these, though as I said earlier, I think I’ll need to give it a bit more thought first…

Anyway!

So those are my thoughts on building up a small 500-point Chaos list! It’ll help me a lot with both small games of 40k and also Necromunda and Blackstone Fortress, which is always a delight, so I think it should be a decent project to keep me going through the winter!