Falling to Chaos, part three

…it was inevitable, really!

While I’ve always been a xenos player at heart, I’ve nevertheless enjoyed building and painting the odd space marine in my time, and often have thought about wanting an Ultramarines or successor company to play on the tabletop. I never really thought I’d sell my soul to Chaos, but now that Shadowspear is out in the wild, and there is so much more Chaotic goodness coming out way, I thought it might be time to look again at my thoughts on the heretic astartes and all of their diabolical instruments of war…

First of all, I just want to say that I really do still want to get that army of Chaos cultists off the ground sometime soon. I’m not entirely sure when, because this year is shaping up to be pretty seismic with another house move hopefully on the cards, but I would like to get a few more of these fanatics painted up before we see another Sanguinalia.

A little over a month ago, I was rambling about my plans for a Chaos army, and was pretty determined to fit in a lot of the Blackstone Fortress stuff, as that had been the catalyst for my desire for this army. Now that we have at least some decent Chaos stuff out here courtesy of Shadowspear, I think it’s time to start looking at how to fit all of this stuff into my army!

And so…

I’m intending to add more to this as we see the full range of New Chaos unfold. I’m very likely going to get more Marines, and I do really want some Havocs for heavy fire support. Furthermore, I want to get the new Dark Apostle miniature, which I’m feeling fairly certain will have a points increase when we can add in his two mates as well, so this 1009 points list is very likely going to be changing in the coming weeks!

I’m still trying to go with the Cultist vibe, but I really want to add to that the idea of cultists who have gone a bit too far, and have managed to actually take things to the next level by summoning daemons and the unholy powers of the Warp. I’m not entirely sure how I want to play this just yet, but I’m thinking of getting some Daemonettes into the fray, and possibly some Bloodletters, though the important thing here is that I’m going Word Bearers for my Heretic Astartes forces, so I don’t want too much red on the table!

Vigilus Ablaze looks like it’s going to be a must-buy for playing Chaos Space Marines, as it has all of the specialist detachments for the Ruinous Powers that really let you go deep on the army theme. It’s definitely sounding quite exciting, and really plays into the whole Daemonkin thing we’ve had from Shadowspear, so I’m looking forward to getting hold of my copy at the weekend and really delving into this whole thing!

I’ve been quite the fan of the Word Bearers since reading the closing pages of Horus Rising, and seeing just how diabolical the machinations of Erebus truly were. The First Heretic was another high point on that journey of course, but I think it might be time to read the Word Bearers Omnibus soon, and see what they’re up to in the 41st millennium, as well!

We’ve seen a few more new models for Chaos coming, such as the Master of Execution pictured above, and that weird Lord Discordant riding atop his scuttling helstalker:

I’m not really that keen on either, though I did entertain some ideas of buying the latter simply because he looks so silly! There’s a bit of an Age of Sigmar vibe coming from the naming conventions of these chaps, which is kinda putting me off if I’m honest, so I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get either of them when they’re released.

Amid all of the fanfare and pageantry of the new releases so far, we’ve not heard anything about the forces from Blackstone Fortress coming in their own packages, and I’m feeling a bit like they’ve been forgotten now. Sure, they are part of that game and, I suppose, there is an argument there to keep them as their own thing. But I would so like a 10-man unit of Traitor Guard to add to this list, especially since we’ve seen the heretic Commissar previewed for an expansion further down the line! I hope we can get these guys in their own release, as I’ve said before, but in the meantime I’ll probably just add yet more Cultists to the force when I look to round it out to 1500 points…

So far, then, I’ve managed to produce this test mini for my Word Bearers force, and I’m really pleased with the result. I’d started the armour by going along with Pete the Wargamer’s tutorial for it, but then just started doing my own thing – all of the weapon casings are Mechanicus Standard Grey and shaded with Nuln Oil, and the eye glow is Straken Green shaded with Biel-Tan Green. All of the cloth is Zandri Dust, and the leather is Gorthor Brown, both of which are then shaded with Agrax Earthshade. I think it works quite well, though, and I’m looking forward to getting the whole army painted up like this!

I think having an element of the Astartes is going to be quite important for the overall army here – I want the Cultists to look like a rag-tag mob, so they’re not in any kind of uniform. Having a bunch of models who are in uniform will then help to make it feel more like a fighting force, and I suppose I can always add in some links such as red robes for the Cultists, or whatever.

It’s a really exciting project, for me, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to getting ahead with it! Quite how far I’m going to get with this one, I have no idea, as I’m likely moving house at some point, but even so, it’ll be good to maybe get a Kill Team out of them!

Shadowspear and more!

Well folks, it’s taken me a few days to digest all of the amazing stuff that we’ve currently got coming our way from GW with the second phase of the Vigilus campaign – and just when I thought I was over it, we get the preview for the big man himself! I mean, what a time to be alive!

First of all, the Shadowspear box itself looks really good. I was initially a huge fan, but my enthusiasm had waned a little bit, but now that we’ve seen these new miniatures in all of their glory, I feel very much like I need them in my life. Most of them. Well, probably all of them. I’m currently planning to split a set, and get myself the Chaos half as a decent start to a Heretic Astartes army and beef up my Cultist force idea from back in December, but then I also want that Primaris Vanguard Librarian. And possibly the ten man squad, whatever they’re called. Infiltrators? They look like beefier Reivers, somehow, and I like them!

I was listening to the latest episode of Vox Cast last night, with the legend that is Jes Goodwin talking about the contents of the box as a whole, and now I feel like I want to seriously make a Primaris Space Marines army! Gah!

So the new box looks amazing, and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on some of these models and getting them painted up. I’ve not really had any kind of thoughts as to a specific legion just yet, though I had entertained the idea of going “generic Renegade” and coming up with my own fluff, maybe, so I think that might be an interesting way to do it. We’ll see. I can’t wait to get that Master of Possession, at any rate!

I will likely pick up some Vanguard Primaris as well, maybe getting the Librarian off ebay and then seeing what else I can get in the fullness of time.

As if the new stuff in this box wasn’t enough, we also have the delights of the Warmaster himself coming in glorious plastic very soon, as well!

The model is insanely good, and I really like how they have clearly taken the original model as a jumping-off point. The amount of detail is just right, I think – so many of the new minis coming from Nottingham have been a little too busy, and it can make it difficult to really know where to begin with such things. But Abbadon looks just right, in my view – the baroque armour is definitely there, but it has enough breathing room that it can be interesting to look at, but not overwhelming. It should look fantastic as a centrepiece for my Chaos army idea, anyway, and definitely will form a nice counterpart to the Space Marine army idea I had way back in December, with Marneus Calgar forming a lynchpin of Ultramarines successors.

It looks like Abbadon will come at the head of the second wave of Vigilus storyline, as the second book in the campaign has also been previewed, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well! I was very impressed with the first book, so I hope we see a similar sort of tome in the second one, with a lot of interesting rules and stuff to enjoy. We’re promised new rules, detachments and data sheets, alongside more new models, including what looks like a possible new Dark Apostle (just when I’ve gone and bought the finecast one!) and a new Havocs kit, which should be good if this chap is anything to go by:

I can’t really say I’ve always wanted a Chaos army, though whenever I’ve played Warhammer card games, I have invariably gravitated towards the Ruinous Powers, so I suppose it was inevitable! It should be good to get a small force of these guys, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else we’ll be getting in this release window (Traitor Guard, please!)

All in all, there are some extremely exciting times ahead!

LVO Previews 2019

Okay, so I’m a bit late to this party, as the LVO previews slid online in the early hours of Friday morning for me here in the UK, but my goodness, it’s taken some time to digest these things!

Starting with what I’m looking forward to the most, the new boxed set Shadowspear. Full to the brim with new sculpts of Primaris and Chaos Space Marines, this has got to be the thing that is top of my list! I mean, we’ve got new Black Legion models for the first time since the showdown between Horus and the Emperor, including some very sexy beasts and horrifically mutated dudes. What’s not to like?!

If that wasn’t enough, we’re also getting sniper-Primaris, alongside perhaps the best Primaris sculpt that has been released for the range:

I don’t know what it is about this boy, but this is the first time I have been actually excited for the Primaris as a range. Sure, PriMarneus Calgar was a nice surprise, and those Hellblasters sure look good, but there’s something about this Librarian with his camo cloak and leather gloves that speaks to me. Not sure about the actual snipers- they look like they’re trying too hard to replicate the original sniper scout marines, but in power armour they look a bit silly. Still, there are more, as-yet-to-be-revealed minis in this box, which I’m guessing will be coming out to coincide with the end of this 80-day countdown we’re still on. Exciting times ahead!

As an aside, a lot of people seem to be assuming that this box is going to be push-fit models like Dark Imperium, but the article does actually compare it with the line of battle boxes from Forgebane, which I think everybody is forgetting came with the actual multi-part kits. So I’m assuming instead that we’ll be getting the actual new CSM kits, etc, and that is an exciting assumption, indeed!

While the Black Legionaries are indeed very exciting minis, I’m particularly looking forward to the new Abaddon that has now been teased:

This could be along the lines of Roboute Guilliman big, which I suppose just further tips the balance towards Chaos (still only one loyalist Primarch out here in the wilds of 8th edition?) but it’s still a very exciting prospect. Of course, Abaddon can’t be expected to have Primarch-like stats, but given that he has the favour of all four Chaos gods, and is basically the rallying point for the majority of the Chaos Space Marine warbands in the galaxy, I’d hope he would be better than, say, new Calgar.

We’ll have to see! At any rate, all of this is making me want to get a CSM force off the ground like there’s no tomorrow!

We’ve seen more CGI-renders of the new Sisters of Battle, which is all very exciting and good and whatnot, but I feel a bit like this is just being drawn out a bit too much now, and I think I’d prefer to just have the models already! It has been very much a drip-feed that I’ve found a bit more irritating than interesting, but I suppose that’s just me being a grumpy old git! Hopefully the announcement of a more regular bulletin means that they’re closer to the release of these models than we knew.

The next warband for Shadespire is Sylvaneth, and definitely makes me wish I hadn’t sold off those models that I’d been building up – take note, kids: it’s not always a good idea to get rid of stuff you may later want!

Not quite sure about this one – a distillation of the best bits of 40k Kill Team and Shadespire? Sounds like it could be good, for sure! Details are a bit too sketchy for me to actually have much more of an opinion, though, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens with this one…

More vague promises of stuff that could be interesting: Forbidden Power is an expansion for AoS that continues the story of the Soul Wars, as something ancient and terrible awakens. What on earth is this about, then? Is Slaanesh the ancient and terrible force? This could be interesting, at any rate…

Staying with Age of Sigmar – new armies are coming, as well as new battletomes for existing armies, so that’s all quite interesting! After Skaven and Flesh-Eater Courts get their books, we’ve got a new book for Khorne, which I can’t decide if I want to get or not. I am, however, interested in the new Skulltaker model (even if it does look remarkably like the old one)

There are also “Khornate phenomena” – because the Lord of Skulls cares not for your magic, peasant!

I mean, they’re just what we’d expect, aren’t they? Delightful pieces of death and destruction from the Blood God.

I feel like this year has been on a par with the last LVO reveals, at any rate!


Coming so soon after my recent post about the Allure of the New, I probably sound a little hypocritical talking about how much I like the new stuff coming in that Shadowspear box. I suppose I’m just Games Workshop’s target market – always wanting the next new thing, never really halting to do anything with the stuff that I already have. I definitely want to start getting better with my purchasing strategy, and I’m trying to not get carried away by all of this stuff. I’ve found it interesting to think about my responses to the way that GW have been revealing stuff on the community site, with previews of next week’s preorders coming pretty much two weeks prior to their actual availability, and how this has made me almost too wary of committing myself to anything new because I want to see what’s coming the week after. If that makes sense.

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks, as the whole Gloomspite Gitz preorder window got me really enthused for starting up with those guys, but because I knew that the Genestealer Cults would be coming out at some point around the end of January – an army that I already own a considerable number of models for already – I have been wary of over-spending anymore. Knowing that there was something else coming over the horizon has kept me from going too deep into any of the very new stuff, and it makes me wonder if there are any others out there who have been the same. I definitely don’t get caught up in the release excitement in the same way that I used to, that’s for sure! And now that I know I have Shadowspear that will likely cost £95, I’m going to be very cautious with anything that comes out between now and then. Interesting times, that’s for sure…

The Vigilus Weekender!

Oh my goodness, this thing is just phenomenal. I’m trying to look at this with a lot more objectivity than my usual fanboy garglings, but let’s be honest, the reveals that we’ve seen so far coming from Nottingham are really blowing the world wide open as regards what’s next for 40k!

So first of all, Marneus Calgar is getting a new model, Primaris-style, and he looks quite sensational. I’ve been really quite up-and-down with the Primaris marines taking over the regular chaps, given that I’ve invested so much already into that line, and while my initial thought was that this does indeed signal the end for the classic space marines, as Calgar is “the first to be reborn as a Primaris Space Marine”. Hm.

But, you know what? I’m pretty fine with this now. The Primaris range feels quite bland, given the fact that we can’t customize a squad as we could with the classic Tactical Marine Squad, but they really do look good, so I’m fine with peppering my army with some more of these guys. I’ve been wanting to paint up my marines as various successor chapters to the Ultramarines, and now I think I have the perfect character model around which to do so!

Bring on the Primaris!

So not only do we have Ultramarines, but we’re also getting Black Legion, in the form of “the sinister herald”, Haarken Worldclaimer. Weird name, but whatever. I like the fact that we’re getting a character model for these guys as well, and the fact that Vigilus has been declared to fall to the Warmaster in 80 days could possibly mean that we will indeed be getting a new Abaddon model, when he turns up to claim the world!

I think Calgar coming in Primaris form does mean we’ll be getting more characters, rather than merely generic Lieutenant #48, so I’m hopeful that GW will see their game and their world does benefit from having more named characters that we as gamers and general lore enthusiasts can get behind. So it’ll be exciting to see what comes next!

The main feature, for me, is the new campaign book, Vigilus Defiant, which is going to include the rules for these new minis (and more, apparently…) This is what I’ve been waiting for now that the Codexes are almost done, and this is what has got me most excited for the world of 40k to come!

Towards the end of 7th edition, we saw a number of these things come out, starting with Shield of Baal, and taking in the Tau expansions and the War of the Fang. These books featured campaigns with lore, missions and new rules, so I would totally love to see them return to this model to further expand the game.

And look! Marneus Calgar comes with his Honour Guard once more! This is all just excellent stuff!

But it’s cool, because it means we won’t be getting second editions of Codexes in order to update them with a new unit or two. And we won’t have to wait for Chapter Approved once a year to get new stuff. Campaign books really do open up so many design opportunities that I cannot wait to see where this model takes us in 2019!!

Looks like we’re also getting a boxed campaign next year around city fighting, which I’m not all that fussed about, but the teaser video looks like there may be some new terrain involved, which might be nice to have… Urgh, I am a sucker for the shiny new toys!

Finally, let’s talk some Genestealer Cults. I don’t think anybody could have seen Cultist bikers coming out, which is just spectacular if you ask me! Not only are we getting these chaps, but some of the photos making their way online from people at these events show a quad-bike will be coming, too! Part of me wonders if they’ll be usable in Speed Freeks, though not having that game, I wouldn’t be too disappointed if they weren’t. It is, however, an excellent way to capitalise on an existing game etc, while also expanding the galaxy in general.

I love this new GW!

These models are just tremendous, and I think the dirt-bike look really fits in with the mining aesthetic so it looks like a natural extension. So good!

But the bikes aren’t all that’s coming, as we’re also getting another new character model, the Nexos!

I love the idea of having a sort of spymaster, co-ordinator-type chap as an army HQ (assuming he is, of course!) It really nicely plays to the dual-aspect of the Genestealer Cults, having him wearing the regular mining gear, yet looking so much like the army commander (planning to infiltrate Warhammer World, no less!) – it’s definitely a model that I’m looking forward to adding to my collection, whatever his rules! We also know that the gunslinger Primus was on show at the event, so I’m hopeful we’ll get all of these new things in the Codex. Whenever that shows up!

Ah yes, Noise Marines might be back! The Christmas exclusive model is no less a re-imagining of a classic, and while I don’t know if this is supposed to herald a new Emperor’s Children release (Sly Marbo was never the start of anything last year…) it’s exciting to think we might just be getting the third Legion coming out soon in plastic!

We’ve also got some wonderful new Slaanesh models (and Khorne, as well) from the Wrath & Rapture box, including a new Herald playing the harp. Because who doesn’t want some lilting melodies in the middle of battle?

I’m really trying hard not to get suckered into starting a Slaanesh army again, but these models definitely hold an allure for me, I might just have to get that Harpist on ebay to paint. So wonderfully sinister!


So, along with yet another Knight, that was the Vigilus Open Day! What do you think? I’m impressed overall, if the campaign book structure becomes the new delivery method for models to make it into the game – especially for re-worked models like Marneus Calgar and Abaddon (when he eventually arrives), then I think this is the start of something tremendous, and should really help to free up some creative spirit for the designers over there in Nottingham. The Genestealer stuff was just wonderful, and really excited me, as it took me back to those heady days when they had their initial release for 7th edition, and I was excited to start a Cultist army of my own! So I’m really looking forward to those models coming out – given the fact that the campaign book and the models for Marneus and Haarkon are set to come out in December, I’m guessing that we’ll have to wait until January at least for the Genestealer Cults Codex, but I have so much to get built and painted, it’s hardly like I have an army waiting to be played! Might add some more Cultists to the painting roster then, methinks!

However…

They promised us that “something big” was coming. Do you think any of this could count as that? The campaign thing is big, for sure, and while I’m excited for the models, I would have thought, if they were treating the Genestealer Cults announcements as the “something big”, it would have been the full Codex release, and not just some new model teases. The new Knight is, of course, enormous, and mocks the concept of a miniatures game, but I don’t know…

It’s got to be the re-imagining of Marneus Calgar, but I feel like they have somehow missed the mark, and it could have been more. Or bigger. Or both. Or maybe I’m just expecting too much these days! I love the Genestealer Cultist models, and I love the campaign system – I just thought we’d have something different, I guess.

What do you guys think?

Let’s talk about the Primarchs…

Hey everybody!
Wordpress tells me that this is my 800th post, which is quite phenomenal when you think I started this blog back in 2014 as a way to pass the time! Anyway, to do something monumental to mark the occasion, I’m trying to get posts out every day this week, starting with yesterday’s visit to Warhammer World. Will each of these posts be confined to the realms of the grim dark of the 41st millennium? Well, it’s entirely likely, but you’ll just have to keep checking back to see for yourself!

This blog stems back to last December (which is actually when I started writing it, but had left it as a draft for eleven months…) when the Blood Angels and Dark Angels Codexes came out. At the time, there was a lot of chatter about more Primarchs coming back in Warhammer 40k, and back then I couldn’t quite decide whether this would be a good thing or not – probably explaining why I never got round to finishing the post!

I might as well catch up with what’s been going on, along with weighing in with an opinion of my own about the whole situation. It’s certainly been an exciting time in the 8th edition story landscape, don’t get me wrong, but let’s try to make some sense of what’s happening here…

 

While people have been talking about Primarchs coming back for a while already, I think it was the announcement of these two that moved that talk into another realm, as people began to furiously debate whether or not Lion el’Jonson would be included in the Dark Angels book. The fact that the loyalists are currently outmatched by heretic Primarchs by two to one seemed to be a powerful indicator that the next new plastic Primarch would be a loyalist, and so that narrowed the list appreciatively, before the very fact that Dark Angels were getting a book seemed to be proof enough that the Lion would be the one.

Of course, the book arrived, and there was a distinct lack of Lion el’Jonson. For a time, it seemed, the talk of returning Primarchs died away as the much vaunted (yet almost entirely fan-made-up) year of the xenos got underway.

The line-up
For completion’s sake, the loyalist Primarchs we have are:
Lion el’Jonson – he’s said to be “sleeping” somewhere deep within The Rock, recovering from his psychic battle with Luther. However, only the Emperor himself is aware of the Lion’s survival.
Jaghatai Khan – he’s off fighting Dark Eldar in the webway, and it is unclear whether he is still alive or dead.
Leman Russ – he disappeared during a feast, some believe he has journeyed into the Eye of Terror on some quest or other. It’s possible he has succumbed to the Wulfen curse, as some mystery surrounds his disappearance.
Rogal Dorn – confusingly, Dorn was said to have died while repelling the first Black Crusade of Abaddon, though this has since been retconned so that, whereas initially his body was discovered, now all that remained was his fist.
Sanguinius – he’s dead, but more on this in a moment.
Ferrus Manus – he’s also dead, decapitated by Fulgrim on Isstvan V at the opening engagement of the Horus Heresy.
Roboute Guilliman – currently the only loyalist Primarch running around the galaxy in 8th edition.
Vulkan – a curious fish, Vulkan is said to be a perpetual, so he cannot truly die. He’s currently MIA, however, waiting for the last four of his nine artifacts to be recovered by his sons, at which point he will deem them worthy of his return. Hm.
Corvus Corax – deeply disturbed by the events surrounding his attempt to rebuild his Legion following the Isstvan massacre, Corax simply left his sons, plotting a course for the Eye of Terror.

A mixed bag, don’t you think? Some of those Primarchs, such as Leman Russ and Jaghatai Khan, are said to be waiting for their chapter’s time of greatest trouble, at which point they will return to lead them, very much in the manner of King Arthur. But there are also clearly a good number of these chaps who could be brought back into the story with no huge retcon required, as they’re merely “somewhere else” as opposed to, say, decapitated and dead. For these, it may well be more a question of “when” rather than “if”.

Returning from the dead
Last December, there was a mention by one of the writers that Sanguinius may not actually be dead after all, however. I came across this mention by Chapter Master Valrak back in the day, where the suggestion was made that the winged angel is merely in stasis.

Sanguinius, in case you weren’t aware, teleported up to the Vengeful Spirit along with his father, the Emperor, and Rogal Dorn, during the climactic battle of the Horus Heresy. Sanguinius became separated from the others, and was the first to find Horus, whereupon they dueled. Sanguinius knew he was no match for his brother, and had already foreseen his own death at Horus’ hand, but nevertheless knew he had to do what he could to help take down the arch-traitor, and it was the Blood Angels’ Primarch who managed to land a blow on Horus that opened up the chink in his armour for the Emperor to eventually get in and destroy him.

However, during this confrontation, Sanguinius is very definitely killed by Horus. Sanguinius’ death was so painful that his death screams left a psychic imprint upon all Blood Angels through both time and space, the echo of this remaining to this day as the Black Rage. Would the Black Rage exist if Sanguinius hadn’t been slain? Possibly, but to keep Sanguinius alive in the lore does definitely cheapen his sacrifice here, and I wonder – if he were to return – how that would make the Primarch feel… Sanguinius foresaw his own demise at the hands of Horus, and yet still went through with it all, knowing he would die, because he saw the possibility that his sacrifice could help the Emperor to destroy the Arch-Traitor for good. To bring him back after that would be to lessen the events aboard the Vengeful Spirit, and would likely torture the Primarch himself, as he is once again alive while his father the Emperor is entombed on the Golden Throne.

Unless we see the Emperor return as well, but that’s a whole other barrel of monkeys…

The whole Sanguinius thing faded into memory by the time the Space Wolves got their Codex earlier this summer, and once again there was talk of the return of a Primarch. But the book came out, and no Leman Russ came with it, which did indeed seem quite odd, but it happened, and the chatter about Loyalist Primarchs seemed to ebb away. Do GW just not want to bring any Loyalist Primarchs back? What’s going on there in Nottingham? We’re 2-1 in favour of Chaos at this point! Has Duncan made a pact with the Dark Gods?

So we’re currently at the point where, for now at least, it seems like the return of any Primarch has died down somewhat. Of course, no new Primarchs on the horizon isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Though the new Imperial Fists battle force box coming out this Christmas has now got me wondering if that is testing the waters for a second Loyalist Primarch making a return…

See, while I don’t think I’m definitely in that camp, I’m certainly leaning more towards the idea that the Primarchs belong in the 30k age, and especially after having read The Beast Arises series, I think it’s good to have that sort of mythical age of heroes to look back onto. If the story made sense, then I would absolutely back the return of the Lion, or even Russ, but I don’t think we particularly need to see every single possible Primarch come back just because. They belong in 30k, because that was their time; now, I think they should only appear because the story demands it.

But Chaos has got two Primarchs now!

The Traitor Primarchs are a lot easier to bring back, as all of those surviving Primarchs fled into the Eye of Terror following the Horus Heresy. With the Cicatrix Maledictum now tearing the galaxy apart, the storyline does seem to naturally follow that we’d see more of them, and they may think the galaxy is now ripe for another incursion.

I’m very curious about this whole turn of events, though, which is one of the reasons for this blog anyway. See, Magnus and Mortarion coming into the game does kinda make sense, because both Primarchs lead traitor legions of models that are both very specific within the lore, and had models in dire need of a proper upgrade. However, I am very curious if we’ll ever see Perturabo, or even Lorgar, because those guys just seem to lead generic Chaos Space Marines. And I really doubt we’ll ever get Alpharius/Omegon (not just because one may or may not be dead). I’ve been kinda interested in Iron Warriors ever since reading The Beast Arises and Storm of Iron, and so would really like to see what they would do with a Daemon Primarch Perturabo – but there wouldn’t really be any Rubric/Plague Marine equivalents for these chaps, instead a bit of a generic CSM kit with hazard markings.

This point does beg the question, though – where are Fulgrim and Angron?

Fulgrim had been thought to be coming out prior to the Morathi model being released, as daemon-Fulgrim is a giant snake. There have been several suggestions online about a Fulgrim release coinciding with the upcoming Slaanesh release in Wrath and Rapture, which pits Khorne against the Dark Prince, and it would be entirely fitting if the daemon models that cross between AoS and 40k then led to plastic Noise Marines and so forth. I do feel that the Noise Marines in particular need an upgrade along the lines of the Rubric Marines we’ve seen, as they’re currently in the same position as the Thousand Sons, having a resin upgrade kit and some sonic blasters that are just embarrassing at this point…

At least you could, at a push, invest in some Kakophoni if you wanted to go for a more civilised look, but even these look poor when you compare them with the glorious plastics for the Sons of Magnus!

But what about Khorne? There had been rumours of an Angron model coming out in some kind of Armageddon-themed box set, World Eaters vs Orks, which would have coincided with the Ork codex. But that book is now out in the world, and we don’t have any Angron. However, Khorne Berzerkers are in nowhere near as bad a shape as Noise Marines – they actually have a plastic box, even if those plastics are really very dated now!

But where’s my Big Bad?
All of this begs the question, of course – do we need the Primarch to come out just to provide an update for the range?

From a business point of view, we absolutely need that. The promise of a huge plastic centrepiece model is what drives a lot of GW releases these days, and that’s for the simple reason that we’ve all been conditioned to want an army that is built around one big bad boy. I say that like it’s a bad thing, of course – it isn’t, at least not always. It looks fabulous on the tabletop, and it’s a bit part of building a collection for a great number of people. It also helps that they tend to have ridiculously strong rules so that, no matter how many points they cost, people still want to use them. Having these kinds of centrepieces is a badge of pride for many, and the way they’ve been designing plastic models of late really helps to draw a collection into a wonderful, cohesive whole.

I’m banging on about this, because it’s an important point to be made for the Chaos Primarchs. Their armies are quite distinct from one another – you’d never mistake a Plague Marine for a Khorne Berzerker, and that’s not just because of the colour scheme. It’s therefore easier to provide Chaos Primarchs, I would think, because they each have a distinctive force to build around them. Even bringing out Perturabo or Lorgar as mentioned earlier would be entirely possible if it meant we got new daemon engines or cultists, respectively. For the Loyalists, however, most of the time they’re just different flavours of the same kit. Dark Angels may look a bit more Catholic, and there may be a few more topknots among the White Scars, but by and large, they don’t really have a great number of differences to really mark them out as unique.

In this respect, then, Loyalist Primarchs coming back are really very much a one-off release, and can pretty much come out in any kind of rag-tag box of miniatures – you only have to look at the one and only Loyalist Primarch’s release to see that… Does this mean GW will be keeping Lion el’Jonson for some random release by himself, rather than putting him in his own Codex? Well, possibly.

They’re probably likely coming anyway, so what’s the deal?
This blog is already getting long and drawn out, so I’ll try not to ramble on much longer. But I do think that GW might be keeping any future Primarch releases more for narrative-style games, rather than keeping them in the main line of the game. Let me explain a bit.

Primarchs can warp the game. There’s no doubt that Guilliman had been a problem, leading to a couple of attempts to correct him with both Chapter Approved and the Big FAQ. He’s now a significant points investment if you want to include him in your army, although at 400 points he’s still the cheapest of the plastic Primarchs to date (Mortarion is the most expensive, in case you were wondering). I feel that there is a balancing act going on with the first three, whereby GW want to make them appealing to both collectors and to gamers, and yet they don’t want to make them so powerful that it’s simply a case of a player putting down Magnus (for example) and their opponent giving up before deployment has ended. Maybe it was too much of a balancing act to really want to bother with anymore, and so the Dark Angels didn’t get Lion el’Jonson, and the Space Wolves didn’t get Leman Russ, because it was too much hassle to bring out such a potentially game-changing unit that would cause headaches for months.

Instead, why not go with the Armageddon-themed narrative box style, and release a Primarch as part of some narrative adventure thing, with the rules for that model in a supplemental book rather than in the main Codex. It would mean that they wouldn’t have to keep re-releasing Codexes and angering the player-base with a sixth Space Marines Codex in one edition, but instead having the Drukhari vs White Scars campaign book to bring out Jaghatai Khan, for example (along with plastic Incubi and a Dracon HQ choice for the Dark Kin, which will allow for a double Kabal battalion without having to resort to using Drazhar). Would there really need to be a full-on Emperor’s Children Codex, or could they perhaps just bring out some new plastic Noise Marines, and then plastic Fulgrim, and it’s a supplemental rulebook to be used alongside the Chaos Space Marines Codex proper.

I do strongly feel that, once the Genestealer Cults have their Codex, we’ll be moving into a more campaign-play-focused 40k, with Codices coming out for things like the Sisters whenever the release schedule warrants it. Stuff like the Rogue Trader release for Kill Team, and the upcoming Blackstone Fortress stuff, makes me think that we’re already seeing GW gearing up for this, and the mini-dexes we got in Rogue Trader will become something of the norm as we move forward.

Does this explain why the Lion and Russ were left out of their respective Codexes? No, not really. So let me elaborate further with my crazy ideas.

I think there was some kind of master schedule drawn up for the release of 8th edition, where GW made a list of all the Codexes they wanted to bring out, and all of the releases they wanted to bring out with them, and by necessity some armies were winners while others were, to some degree, losers. Those winners were, of course, the Space Marines and Death Guard – the focal point for the 8th edition storyline – along with the Custodes and, to a lesser degree, Imperial Knights and Orks.

I made a handy table to illustrate this, because that’s the sort of thing I do.

I think that GW had set this all up ready, and had already decided that they were going to bring out the books for Dark Angels and Space Wolves as they were – to a large degree, I think they were driven by the need to get the books out as quickly as possible, as it’s a fairly short window to release this many things in one go, after all.

If we go back to the question above, then, and assume it is a question of “when” the Loyalist Primarchs come along, I think it’s pretty safe to say that GW never had any plans to bring the Primarchs along with their Codex, as their principal driving force was to get the updated 8th edition rules out there. New models could wait for just a small handful of releases, but the majority of armies are just getting a book, and that is it. Which is fine, really, as it means we get to play games and all the rest of it.

I’m almost looking at this period as a trial, a time period that just needs to be gotten through, and once we’ve got all the existing armies with their respective book, we can then start looking at advancing the storyline with narrative campaign boxes that bring us a few new models at a time. We’ve seen this already with the three Vigilus story boxes, and I think we’ve very much been experiencing something of a testing bed for GW as they move into that as being their primary product delivery method. These boxes appear to have done quite well, probably in the main due to the fact the new models were awesome and the actual value was quite good. Moving forward, we may see boxes that are less about a pair of new character models, but also including new units (much like the Aberrants in Tooth & Claw, although they were an existing unit that just had a massive update. Hm, Chaos Space Marines are an existing unit that could do with an update).

So maybe we’ll get one of these narrative boxes that includes some repackaged stuff, for instance Primaris vs Heretics, where we see the 42nd exclusive Primaris Lieutenant model, and maybe a plastic Chaos Lord, new plastic Chaos Space Marines, and then there will be a narrative Codex-length book available separately, and there’ll also be some models like the Marines available separately, and then we’ll get Angron as a separate release. I could easily see them doing this, having almost an army-sized release that covers two or three weekends, but rather than being a single force, we get two distinct factions seeing smaller updates respectively. The Primarch wouldn’t be in that campaign box, but it would form a part of the larger release that would still serve to drive excitement up to new-army-style levels, while not having to release a whole army for the price.

I could see that happening, certainly Jaghatai Khan could be included in the same release window that gives us Primaris bikers. Corax could come out with Primaris Vanguard or Assault Marines. (Are Reivers supposed to be the new Assault Marines? I feel like they’re more like Scouts…)

But what about…
Yes, I’ve managed to write over 3200 words without mentioning the proverbial elephant in the room. When is the new Abaddon model coming out?

As the leader of the Black Legion, he’s not quite the poster boy for Chaos anymore, but he’s certainly still a huge name in those ranks, and he desperately needs a new model. I bang on about a lot of my favourite armies and how I wish they would get new stuff a lot, of course, but I don’t think there’s anything within the realms of 40k right now that so desperately needs a new model like Abaddon does. What makes this worse is that GW have missed quite a few opportunities to do so, significantly when The Gathering Storm storyline came out nearly two years ago. He doesn’t necessarily need new rules, he just needs a new goddamn model! That finecast monstrosity just cannot be allowed to lead forces when you have models like Typhus and Ahriman running around. I would field a generic Chaos Terminator Lord before getting that bloody Abaddon model, it’s an affront to all that is amazing about Citadel miniatures right now.

I’ve talked about the time not being right for new Primarchs when I was rambling about the Codex release schedule, but I think now, as we look beyond the Genestealer Cults to the next phase of 40k releases, Abaddon should be top of the list for some new sculpting to be done. It is a very sincere hope that we will see him with a new release very soon, before we get any sniff of a further Primarch being released. He doesn’t even need to be a huge model; as a Chaos Lord who has always rebuffed the daemonic enhancements of Chaos, he’s just a regular space marine – albeit pretty huge anyway – so we don’t need anything quite so spectacular as Magnus or Mortarion.

Urgh!

Anyway, I think it’s definitely time I wrapped this thing up now. How are you all doing? Made it this far without skipping to the end? Well, you definitely deserve that biscuit, in that case!

In summary, I’m not a huge fan of bringing back any of the Primarchs just because they sell. If there’s a valid story reason for their return, then all 18 of them can come back, so far as I’m concerned! I do like the fact that they are models that can form the centrepiece of a collection, and so far each of them has been quite staggering in their own way. While I think they belong to the age of mythical heroes that is 30k, I still wouldn’t shout anybody down for wanting to include them in their army. My Marine armies are all Successor Chapters, so I don’t feel a particular need for “my” Primarch to come back (they’re actually Ultramarines Successors, and I still haven’t bought Guilliman yet!) but I do have a not-insignificant Deathwing army, and could see myself picking up Lion el’Jonson if and when he arrives. I suppose the look is a big factor for me, and if he has that Gothic, Catholic vibe to him then he’d fit right in with the First Company.

I did toy with the idea of getting Mortarion for all of the Death Guard marines that I’ve found myself with after the Dark Imperium box, but I’ve since decided not to go down that route and will be selling off my Plague Marines at some point. While I do still love the Rubric Marines, I actually have no desire to pick up Magnus as I just don’t love the model enough. Weird. The only Traitor Primarch I could see myself picking up would be Lorgar, as I think we would fit in well with the ideas I’ve recently been talking about for a Chaos Cultist army. But I suspect he might well be a very long way off…

Anyway, at 4000 words, it’s now time to stop typing, I think!

Falling to Chaos…

I feel like I might be falling to Chaos this winter. Well, more so than usual, anyway…

I’m pretty sure that everyone has by now seen this bad boy, showing some wonderfully greyscale images of new Thousand Sons marines with massive cannons and all kinds of stuff… Well, this morning, the folks at the new Warhammer Community page have dropped this on us all:

Yes, that’s a lot of blue and golden goodness, right there!

They teased this back last month, of course, but seeing these bad boys now has really taken my breath away, and I’ve found myself thinking, I want me some of that…

Sure, I have plenty of models waiting for me to do things with, and I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate turning my Necrons into a viable fighting force for more than just daft and casual games, but yeah…

In all seriousness, I doubt I’ll be throwing away too much money on these guys when they’re released. At most, I’m planning to pick up the Wrath of Magnus book and some Rubric Marines, as I love the look of those guys, but will definitely have to see how the land lies before going deeper.

Having seen the boxes last night, of course, I’ve been mulling things over and, in the shower this morning, began to rationalise my purchasing them by building a Kill Team – I foresee this as being a rationalisation for pretty much every and any release for 40k from this point forward, actually. So, depending on points costs, I might also get some of the Exalted Sorcerers, but the terminators will presumably be precluded from being used.

The important thing, anyway, is that they look lovely, and I want some Tzeentchy goodness for Christmas!

All the plastic!

Hey everybody!
It’s a couple of days old now, but I’ve been mulling over the very exciting short video put out by Games Workshop earlier in the week, and thought I’d share my speculations/over-excited screechings with you all in a short blog on the subject of everything plastic!

The video looked a bit like a rush-job on Monday evening, in response to the photo doing the rounds of a slightly mashed-up box of the daemon primarch, Magnus the Red. As had happened back when they released the new Kharn preview in August, GW have raised the stakes with internet leaks in the best way possible, and I absolutely love them for it!

This time, they’ve seen the bent packaging doing the rounds, and raised us the actual model! More than that, however, there’s also the mention of plastic Thousand Sons marines coming – Rubric Marines! Hurrah!

Thousand Sons Rubric Marines

I’m not particularly excited about the primarch himself, but I do like the look of these chaps. There is currently an upgrade pack available for them, which is mainly heads and shoulder pads, along with a Chaos Marine Sorcerer, but it sounds like this will be going by the wayside soon enough, if we’re getting the plastic marines sprue – and the Ahriman sorcerer from that sprue leaked back in August would be a decent enough replacement for the sorcerer in that pack.

I do like the idea of having more individualised kits for the Chaos Space Marines, and I think it’d be cool to see a different look for these guys beyond the usual spikey people. It’s got me wondering what’s next for Chaos in general in 40k… I mean, is each god getting specific marines? Are they finally about to get that long-awaited Codex update for 7th edition? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see…

I am kinda excited to see what a daemon prince Fulgrim will look like!

But what about that final little tidbit…

Sisters of Battle

Ah, plastic Sisters of Battle! Hopefully GW aren’t playing fast and loose with the fans here – it would be a bit too much, after all! So let’s hope that comes to pass. Since I really got into 40k, the Adepta Sororitas have been a bit like some kind of golden goose, with a lot of vocal fans expressing a desire for the range to be updated.

While it’s been looking really sparse for years, the recent releases of Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults have shown the company looking to populate the universe in all the more unique and interesting ways, so it is looking entirely possible once more… Hopefully! These latest releases have been pretty amazing, and I’m sure I’d end up picking up a few kits!

Let’s see what the future brings…