Bank Holiday Painting Extravaganza!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a Bank Holiday painting extravaganza for me this weekend! Having two days pretty much to myself, as the other half was in work, I’ve managed to make some amazing progress with clearing the backlog!

Necron Immortals

First up, I’ve added five more Immortals to my new Thokt Dynasty that I was talking about the other day, giving me now two troops choices, an HQ and an Elites slot, along with a dedicated transport. Hooray! I’ve bitten the bullet and listed a lot of my older Necrons on ebay this weekend, in the hope that it prompts me to really make the effort and paint my current batch of unpainted models. If nothing else, I really want to get the Catacomb Command Barge and a third squad of Immortals painted (tesla this time), and then I’ll have the first Battalion ready! That’s also going to be well on the way to my first list finished, so we’ll see how far I can get with that… It only took me five months to get round to painting these, after all!

Dark Eldar Ravager

Much like last weekend, I’ve been painting a mixture of Necrons and Dark Eldar, my true 40k loves! This weekend, I’ve managed to get the second Ravager finished – something that, annoyingly, I’d been very close to for a long time anyway, as I’d done the main hull back in April. The crew are finished, though, along with the crew for the next Raider that I’ll be working on, so that’s a very positive step!

Dark Eldar Kabalites

I’ve also finished off four infantry chaps, in the main because I had a game today and wanted to try out some different things! I’d built up all of these guys back in January, when I was building a lot of Dark Eldar as I was waiting for the Codex to drop, but have finally gotten round to painting them up. I’d picked the two blaster-wielding chaps to finish as I was painting the Ravager crew anyway, but now I need to get moving with another batch of Kabalite Warriors. I have a lot of these guys, as it happens, as I’d originally build up enough to get myself two full Battalions of pure Kabal. Then the Rule of Three came out, and without Drazhar, there aren’t enough HQs to now do this and keep the Kabal Obsession. So I lost interest in the idea, but have now started instead to think of either a Brigade with just three Archons (not even sure if that’s possible?), or else sticking with one Kabal Battalion but having a massive unit of Warriors on foot. I’m not entirely sure what I want to do yet, so we’ll see. I definitely want to get more of the special weapons peppered into my squads, so I’ll probably be working on some of those soon.

It may be nearly five months since I first picked this book up, but I have today had my first game with Codex Drukhari, and it was an absolute blast!

A chap at my local store was looking to try out an army list he’d come up with, but only at 550 points. So I set about building up a basic Patrol detachment, an HQ and two troops (ah, the old FOC!) all in vehicles: two squads of 10 Kabalite Warriors in Raiders, including a splinter cannon in one, and a blaster/agoniser in the other; in a Venom, the Archon (splinter pistol/huskblade) along with a Court of Lhamaean, Ur-ghul and Medusae. Obviously, I was playing Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, so had some pretty decent range on all my weapons.

On the Deathwatch side, there was a squad of Veterans, a squad of Terminators, and a Captain in Gravis Armour. As it happened, my opponent was as great at throwing dice as I was, so it all went quite well! Having nothing much to do against my army, as they were all in vehicles, it felt a bit one-sided, as I was able to shoot up the table from within my Raiders. I charged everybody out of the Venom just for something to do, though was quite impressed with some of the Court characters. I think I’ll look at using them more often!

While I don’t think there’s been much change between the Index and the Codex, the addition of Obsessions is definitely something that I enjoyed. I’ve been playing about with some list ideas off and on for a while, and having been initially very keen to start a Wych Cult this year, I’m leaning more towards the Kabal/Coven lists I used to play during the Index days. So I’m busily planning to paint more stuff to make it what I hope will be a decent enough list to play, so stay tuned there!

Summer Painting Update
So, since my last update on the three armies that I’d wanted to get a move along with, I’ve done very little of any of them! Earlier this month, I had started work in earnest on the Tempestus Scions, though that was primarily for Kill Team rather than the 500-point list I’d outlined here.

The Scions haven’t advanced much at all since I took that photo, but I’m currently keeping them close on the painting table as I’m not going to write them off just yet. The Skitarii haven’t seen much of anything since I started vaguely working on the blue of the Dunecrawler back in June, either:

I blame the arrival of Kill Team and wanting to finish painting the Genestealer Cultists that I’d had one the table since way back when. Having finished a Neophyte Squad, I shouldn’t really complain, of course, but I’d really like to be further forward with a lot of these projects!

While summer may be almost over, I’m not going to be entirely writing off these goals just yet. I feel like I’ve stalled with the Tau, but I always get quite nostalgic for Necrons at this time of year, so I want to use that to get moving finally with my Great Reanimation. I also feel nostalgia for the Skitarii, so we’ll see how far I can get with those, as well! And I definitely want to paint up some more units for the Dark Eldar list I’m working on…

Painting Weekend!

Hey everybody!
Well it’s been a very exciting weekend for me, as I’ve been painting a whole load of miniatures with something close to abandon! I’ve not painted so much for a long time, and it feels great!

First of all, at the back end of last week I had hoped to get a game of 40k in at the local store, with a guy who I know has about 2k points of Deathwatch. So I’d been looking at my Dark Eldar army, which I know is well over 2k, and trying to organise myself into the usual double-battalion of Kabal and Coven. In turn, that got me looking at the box of Dark Eldar that I’ve had primed/partially painted, and pulled out a few bits to start working on. One of which, as it happens, is the glorious Razorwing Jetfighter!

I think this has been built for well over a year now, and has just been gathering dust while primed with Rhinox Hide and ready. Over the course of the weekend, I’ve managed to get the brown armour highlighted, and just need to paint the metallics on the wings to give it that razor-edged look. I’m really pleased to have it in the army, anyway, and I’m already looking forward to when I can get in a game and see how well it does!

I’ve also been working on some Court of the Archon minis – the Ur-ghul and the Medusae, both finecast minis that I’d put together a while back but hadn’t really done a great deal with. I already have a Lhamaean, and have used her a couple of times (though never managed to do anything with her, I think I’m a bit scared about getting my HQs too close into combat, though my Archon has once used a Huskblade to destroy an Ork Boss. Anyway!) I like the idea of having a Court in a Venom and just throwing it at the enemy, and seeing how well they do… Last up, then, I’ll need to get that Sslyth sorted!

I’ve not painted any Drukhari for what feels like an age – I last finished some models for the army in February – though I have got a second Ravager almost finished. I think it was probably the fact I only have one crew member left for the Ravager that prompted me to get some of these models out and start painting them again, actually.

I’ve only ever painted three Reaver jetbikes for the army, but have an absolute ton of them built from last winter, when I wanted to get moving with a Wych Cult force. I’ve used the bikes once or twice in games, and I seem to remember they did really well, so it makes sense to try some more! However, in keeping with the lore, I like the idea of having mine as small tripartite gangs of bikers joining the raiding party for a lark, and so wanted the chassis to be different colours to denote this. Having tried to get red last time, this time I thought I’d go for yellow, as it’s a colour I tend not to bother with (aside from the warheads on my smart missile systems!) So far, I think they’ve turned out really well, anyway!

The last Reavers, I managed to paint in a single session. This time around, however, I evidently have more going on, and so they’re still waiting for a few details to be finished…

Finally, this!

It’s a bit of an odd one, given I’ve been painting so much Dark Eldar, but I suppose the return of my Dark Eldar has got me thinking about even older armies, and the Necrons are a force that takes me right back to the very start of my 40k life.

I built this Night Scythe in 2015, and managed to get some of it painted in that time, but I think it was possibly the biggest model I’d painted up to that point (it was certainly the one with the most flat areas), and I was a little nervy about getting it to look good. I was also hopeless at working out a scheme for my Necron vehicles that wasn’t just basically Caliban Green, so it was consigned to oblivion all these years.

Well, last night I had trouble sleeping so, in between painting more on the Reavers, I went through my bag of unfinished Necron models to see what I had. (Yes, they were in a bag – the shame!) In addition to finding the Doomsday Ark I had built, I’ve also got an Annihilation Barge and at least one Tomb Blade that I think I can salvage for the Great Reanimation, but everything else I think will likely need to be stripped before I can go about getting it painted in my new Thokt dynasty colours. If indeed I can be bothered to do that – I’ve often been thinking it might be easier to just sell them off and then start afresh, but I’ve so far only sold off the character models that I’d painted (badly!)

All of this stuff seems to date from 2015, which is quite shocking really. I know one of the things that always keeps me going with Necrons is the idea of the implacable tide of infantry, I thought I’d done more of the war machines than this! It’s definitely time to change that, though I’m still really finding it difficult to come up with a Codex list that I actually like the look of, so I’m not yet sure how I want to play my Newcrons in 8th edition.

I came up with the above back in March when the Codex was fresh, but that is a hell of a lot of infantry, with just the Command Barge as a big thing. It’s definitely time to do more with the Necrons than just Immortals and Lychguard, but the cost of these units is kinda prohibitive, and seems to lend itself much better to large-point games. Having the flyer will, I think, be a huge thing for my force, as it acts as a transport as well, though obviously I wouldn’t want to go filling it to capacity as the way the rules work for the Night Scythe mean that any models that haven’t entered play when the Scythe is destroyed are also destroyed. But I think it could be a very useful delivery system for Lychguard while the Immortals hang back as a bit of a gun-line.

Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here!

So I need to get my act together and write up a Necrons list that I actually like the look of; I’ve got a Drukhari list that I do like the look of, so just need to finish off the couple of models that aren’t yet fully painted so that I can actually field it, and then I should be good to go!

Honestly, I’ve never been as excited for the hobby as I am right now!!

Warhammer Reflections – 4 years on

Hey everybody,
It’s approaching the time of year where I generally get quite nostalgic for my “career” within the Warhammer hobby, so I thought I’d ramble a bit here about some of the good times I’ve had with little plastic men over the last four years. In a manner of speaking…

Can you believe it’s been four years since I started this little adventure? Well, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’re not only extremely classy, but you probably can… It all started because of Shadows of Brimstone, that kickstarter from Flying Frog Productions that I backed massively, only to find out in the months following the end of the campaign that the miniatures would require assembly. To practice, I therefore bought a Beast of Nurgle from Games Workshop, having been aware of their products for a number of years thanks to the card game Warhammer: Invasion, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As a side note, I should really look at doing a blog devoted to that game. I know it’s long-dead, but it was one of my all-time favourites, so definitely deserves some love here on the blog!

While I was initially really heavily into the Old World, due in part to the fact that I was so familiar with the card game, I think the negative reactions I was exposed to following the End Times series really started me moving away from the fantasy setting, and instead looking into the 40k stuff. While I felt like I had a decent grounding, between the card game and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, I was really flying blind when it came to the grim dark of the far future, but threw myself into the lore of the Necrons, having discovered the Lychguard kit (as has been mentioned on this blog before, of course!) I suppose, to some extent, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards those chaps, seeing as how I was a huge Tomb Kings fan. It was a real heartache when I recently decided to sell my stock of TKs, having been so assiduous in gathering up as many of the kits as I could when they went Last Chance to Buy. But that’s beside the point.

I really enjoyed the look of metallic skeletons, and as has been well chronicled on the blog now, I really fell for those Lychguard like there was no tomorrow.¬†While they weren’t the only contenders for my first 40k army – it was a toss-up between Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar as to who I was going to pursue as a first army choice – the undead space robots won out! Tyranids were an extremely close second, due in part to the awesome Shield of Baal series that started very soon after I’d made the decision, but I think I’ll always love those undead space robots…

Of course, since then I’ve managed to build up an extremely large Dark Eldar army, as well as having started to build a number of big bugs, too! Recently, I’ve embarked on repainting my Necron force, as it was my first army (and you can tell), though I’ve not yet managed to get very far. Always something to distract me!

It’s really been 40k that has been a driving force behind my passion and enthusiasm for this hobby, despite dipping my toe into fantasy every once in a while. I have very fond memories of the launch of Age of Sigmar, and while I’ve bought and sold more fantasy armies than I care to remember, I think I’m definitely keeping hold of my Stormcast Eternals for the fact that I enjoyed assembling that force so much.

Age of Sigmar

40k has been huge for me since then, and I honestly can’t ever see myself moving away from it. Whether it’s through the tabletop game itself, or any of the specialist games like Deathwatch Overkill or Necromunda – or even keeping some of the FFG games alive such as Conquest or, the classic, Space Hulk Death Angel – I can see myself forever staying with the grim dark of the far future, and look forward to sharing that with as many people as possible.

It’s definitely been an exciting four years, and there has been so much that I’ve enjoyed. While this blog started life as a sort of general nerdy thing with a lot of variety (at least, I think it did!), I’ve been very conscious of the fact that it has now become very focused on Warhammer, with Magic and Star Wars being a bit of a sideline.

And this is because I basically love the Warhammer 40k universe now!

I had a bit of a realisation a week or so ago, as I was laboriously reading through the latest new canon Star Wars novel Last Shot, that I don’t actually enjoy the new Star Wars as much as I enjoyed the franchise back before 2015. I don’t mean to turn this into some kind of Warhammer 40k vs Star Wars debate, but let’s leave it at I’m enjoying the former an awful lot more than the latter, right now!

And I suppose that’s partly due to the interactive nature of Warhammer 40k for me. There hasn’t really been a stand-out Star Wars game since WotC produced Star Wars miniatures, whereas there’s a whole hobby-gaming side to 40k that makes it a great deal more immersive.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved a great deal as a painter in the last four years – certainly, I’m more willing to show off my Drukhari, my Genestealer Cult, or my Thokt Necrons before bringing out that Beast of Nurgle – though there is always room for improvement. I’m still quite a lazy painter, something I’ve noticed when painting some Van Saar gangers recently. I rely a lot on drybrushing, while not always taking the time to drybrush properly. More models than I care to remember are quite streaky as a result! But I do feel a lot happier with my miniatures that I’m painting now, than I have done with the older lot. One of the reasons why I’m intending to re-do my entire Necron army, actually!

I don’t really have any sort of hobby goals in mind right now, except maybe to paint more than I buy, and get smarter with just what I’m buying in the first place, though who doesn’t have those sorts of goals in this hobby, right?! I’ve got a number of projects on the go that feel like they’re overwhelming me, particularly since Kill Team came along and I’m finding myself with plans for several small bands of infantry! Since delving back into my Genestealer Cults for that, however, I’ve been feeling in the mood to try some Tyranids, having bought quite a lot of kits for that army back at the start of the year. I find myself forever floating around from one project to another, without really getting anywhere with one (a notable exception being the Drukhari last year, that was amazing how I managed to apply myself and get over 2000 points painted up in a few months!)

I definitely want to plan my purchases more, and really try to work out just what I need before wandering into the store and picking up all manner of pretty looking kits just because they look nice. I also want to try to paint more, as has been shown by the variety of ‘painting goals’ style blogs that I’ve written so far this year. Having added Tau to my army rosters back in March, I really do feel a bit overwhelmed with everything, so definitely want to start scaling things back on that front. Going forward, I want to try (as much as I can) to pick a unit of, say, five guys, and just do what I need to do to get them finished. I think that’s how I eventually got going with the Drukhari, just five or ten at a time, and as whole units were added to the force, things really just snowballed…

I also want to play more games! Who doesn’t, I guess? But with Kill Team a thing now, the ability to have a lot of small games should make things easier. I’m keen to try my hand at Necromunda, having kitted out the Van Saars to be a proper gang and ready for the skirmish there, though I’m not sure if it’s that popular at my store… Skirmish games are fine, of course, but I also want to try and be a bit more serious with my efforts in mainstream 40k. I’ve got three big armies now as far as my Drukhari, Necrons (if I include the old ones that need re-doing), and T’au, along with a lot of smaller forces (with a lot of unbuilt kits that will one day make them bigger forces), so it would be a shame to not make the most of that and actually do something with them!

All this talk of Necromunda and Genestealer Cults brings me to something that I find a bit odd, but let’s talk about it anyway. I’ve not been in the hobby that long, and I’ve especially not been within the 40k universe that long, but there’s a weird kind of borrowed-nostalgia that I get from these re-imagining of classic aspects of the 40k universe. I suppose I get swept up in the moment, and find it all quite wonderful, though it could just be down to the fact that the miniatures are obviously designed with such care and attention to detail that I find myself really enamoured with them, despite not having a basis for any kind of nostalgia-response. It also helps that Necromunda, in particular, just looks like such a cool, immersive game that I can’t help but be swept up within the tidal wave of awesome that it is!

Rogue Trader is obviously coming out at Christmastime, and also promises to be every fanboy’s dream – including mine! I’m going to have to do some serious negotiation to get that under the tree for Christmas, but it looks like it will be so damn worth it!

The Rogue Trader release in 3-4 months’ time makes me wonder just when we can be expecting the last three Codexes for Warhammer 40k, though. There has been a hell of a lot of talk about a big campaign box for Space Wolves vs Orks, but as we’re now getting closer to the end of the year, I just don’t see this coming out anytime soon. It’s been two months since the announcement, on 1 June, about these books – looking at the last such announcement, when those for Imperial Knights, Harlequins and Deathwatch were talked about, it’s roughly two-to-three months between the announcement and the books being released. So I’m guessing that September will see the start of these things. It’s kinda unheard of for a big box game to have not been spoiled if it is, in fact, only a month or so away…

But that said, the Warhammer 40k facebook page did just unveil this…

Space Wolves vs Genestealer Cult? Who saw that one coming?!

Just another little tangent there! I did say this would be rambling!

Where was I? Ah yes, how much I need to be more careful with my purchases, rather than simply throwing my money at all the new shiny releases. Erm…

At any rate, after almost a year where I moved house and have since struggled to find a place to paint properly, I’m finding myself sliding closer to that point where I’m happily applying acrylic to plastic, so I’m hoping that I can at least make good on one of the many, many painting promises I’ve talked about on this blog before the end of the year…

While I like the thought of Tyranids and having a big bugs army, I’m also moving back towards my Drukhari, having lost interest a little when I felt the Codex had tried to force me to play a mixed list. However, I think I’m most excited right now for the Militarum Tempestus army that I’ve been wanting to build for a number of years now.

To date, I’ve still only painted two models for them. However, this is where the joy of Kill Team comes in, as I’ve excitedly been writing up a list that I think will make it relatively easy to get done, at which point I might as well just carry on and paint up a platoon! Oh, I make it sound so easy. But I think, if I can get some of these done, and some more Skitarii painted by the end of the year, I’ll be a very happy bunny, indeed.

So, thanks for reading all the way through this extremely rambling blog post about my jumbled thoughts on 40k right now, as well as something of a potted history of my life with the game, and stay tuned to the blog as I begin to delve more seriously into Kill Team campaigns – and, of course, Necromunda!

Enter the clowns!

Harlequins

I mentioned last year that I’d built some Harlequins, and have finally decided to do something with them, thanks in part to the announcement that they’ll soon be getting a Codex! I’ve had some kits hanging about for an age, as I’d initially thought about adding in some of these chaps to my Dark Eldar force when I was originally building it, but haven’t really done much of anything. Well, until now! So let’s catch up with what I’m up to at the minute…

The idea I’m having is to slip them into the 2000-point list that I set out back in this post, shuffling about some of the Wych Cult portion of the list to accommodate a small Patrol detachment. So I’m getting fewer command points for this build, but I think it might be worth it to start experimenting with the Murder Clowns, and see how they play etc…

I’ve not given a tremendous amount of thought to the actual viability of having these guys join the fray, it’s more about seeing what they can do. The Troupe build is basically from the original six clowns that I built for Shadow War, so hasn’t really been thought of in terms of 8th Edition. I’ve added in a Starweaver for transport, and the good thing about building it that way is you get an additional miniature in the shape of the Voidweaver gunner, so I’ve built him as a separate Troupe Master to avoid having to use one of the regular Players. Finally, I’ve added in a Shadowseer, because I have pretty much never played in the Psychic Phase, and wanted to see what all the fun was about. Adding in a second HQ allowed me to bring the list to 2000 points, exactly, rather than using the leftover points to add more Wyches or else buy a Skyweaver kit. So I need to get myself a Shadowseer, then I can look at actually painting these minis up!

Something that I do like about the Harlequins is the fact they seem to encourage a loud colour scheme, so while I’d started to do muted purples/blues/greens, I’m thinking about making them a lot more, well, loud and vibrant. I’m going to try to resist the pink and orange that popped in my head earlier this weekend, for now anyway…

I’m probably going to revert back to my initial 2000 point Drukhari build once the Harlequin codex comes out, and I can think about a bigger build (or leaving them off, altogether), so it doesn’t replace my thoughts there…

Drukhari thoughts…

Hey everybody!
I’m still massively enjoying the new Drukhari codex at the minute, and have been excitedly planning out the list that I want to really concentrate on for the next while. After giving it some thought, I’ve decided to go in something of a different direction to my usual builds, thinking it might be good to break out of the established pattern and go for something new. So I thought I’d write up some of my thoughts for you all, along with presenting the list itself! Grab a cuppa, and let’s take a look!

So it’s a 2000-point list that is staying away from the Raiding Force idea of multiple patrol detachments, primarily because, after having given it some thought, I’ve decided against falling into that trap of The New and The Shiny. Sure, it’s nice that we get a really unique and flavourful rule like this, but I think it has an allure that is distracting from the main focus of what this army needs. I don’t believe we need to go for a whole mass of Command Points, as the army is going to work quite well with the basic stuff you get from a couple of Battalions. The list above will still net me ten CPs, only one off the list I presented at the weekend that was trying to go for all of that Raiding Force stuff. I do believe that we need to stick to a much more focused build when assembling a Drukhari army.

But that’s not to say that we can’t mix it up a bit and have some fun…

The Kabalite part of this that makes up the first Battalion is almost unchanged from the weekend’s list, merely juggling the Warriors about a little in order to make better use of having the Raiders now equipped with Splinter Racks. I don’t throw an awful lot of 6s, but I think the sheer weight of fire that the Raiders will be throwing out should allow for at least a couple of exploding dice here… I’m otherwise keeping things as they were, with the Court and Archons in a Venom, all three squads of Kabalites in Raiders, and a Ravager in the back to punch out some (hopefully!) decent firepower.

Dark Eldar Wyches

Where things get different, however, is that I’ve foregone the Coven builds of my usual lists in favour of Wych Cult stuff! I’ve said it before, I’ve not played a lot of Cult stuff to know what I’m doing or, well, anything, really, so this is going to be quite the learning curve. Let’s get down to some particulars.

I’m still taking Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, allowing me to gain those 6 extra inches on my weapons, which will hopefully allow me to keep things at bay while I move my Cult models into position, maybe allowing for some extra time to properly threat-assess the situation. For my Cult, I’m going with Cult of the Cursed Blade, which gives me +1 strength and ensures I only lose one model to failed morale tests. Cursed Blade also have the nice Concealed Booby Traps stratagem that dishes out mortal wounds to charging enemies. It’s a little situational, as it requires the Cursed Blade unit to be in terrain, but it’s so thematic that I just love it! They also have the relic that allows your Succubus to blow up, which is another wonderfully thematic idea!

Now, I’m actually thinking of not using the Alliance of Agony stratagem to dish out an additional Warlord Trait to a Succubus, as much as I do enjoy the Treacherous Deceiver trait. There are a lot of flying Wych Cult units in this list, and so I can see myself wanting to use Eviscerating Fly-by as often as possible; it only costs one CP, but I also think Hyperstimm Backlash is going to be another popular one for me, and so having these Wych Cult units in my force is opening up more doors!

I’m excited to use Hellions in a big way, as I’ve only used them once previously, and I don’t think I really did well with them. In particular, I think the hit and run ability should be something that is pretty much abused for all its worth, falling back to allow the unit tangled up with them to be shot at, then charging back into any survivors. I’ve had some success with Reavers in the past, although again, I think I’m not using them particularly well. For the moment, I’m not bothering with either cluster caltrops or a grav talon, although I have lots of the jetbikes modeled with both. I think I might be tweaking this list for some time once I get playing it, so there’s always more opportunity to add in specific bits. Each of those only costs 3 points, as well, so it’s not going to be exceptionally difficult to fiddle.

I’m most excited to be including Incubi, however! Now, it’s true, these aren’t the official Incubi models, but rather Wildwood Rangers that I’ve barely done any work to make them into Incubi. I’ve still got five more to build, though, so I’m thinking I might do a bit more to incorporate them into the Drukhari feel. At 160 points for ten, they are quite expensive, but then they’re a big blob of elite warriors, so it’s probably to be expected. I’m incorporating them into the Wych Cult side of the army simply because they too are melee-orientated, but as Blades for Hire, it doesn’t really matter where they go, I suppose.

As an aside, I’m also weighing up the option of swapping out the Incubi for Mandrakes – I’ve been giving it some vague thought, and I’m currently planning to convert up some Namarti Thralls once they’re released in a little under two weeks’ time, having not been entirely satisfied with my use of Sylvaneth Tree-Revenants. I think these blind chaps might prove to be very atmospheric, and I’m sure I can paint them to blend in to the rest of my force quite nicely! And both Mandrakes and Incubi weigh in at the same points cost for ten, so it’s easy to swap them around as required!

So there you have it, my current plans for my Dark Eldar / Drukhari army post-Codex. While I have the Kabalite side painted up and ready as it stands, I think I’m still quite a way off having the Wych Cult side ready. I know for sure I still have some “Incubi” to build, and likely some Wyches, too. At least I have a bit of a focus now, however, so I’m hoping that will help me to get moving with painting up some units ready to have some games!

Next week, I’ll be moving back to the Tau, and updating you all with my progress there – stay tuned!

Oh my goodness!

Well, this has arrived! I’ve been faffing about this afternoon with points costs and my new list, but prepare for some more in-depth thoughts on this book by the weekend!!

I’m so excited right now!!

Saying goodbye to the Index…

Hey everybody,
With less than a week until the Drukhari codex is here, I thought I’d take a look back at my time with the Index during 8th edition, and have a sort of general ramble about what I like about the army. Without a doubt, Drukhari are my favourite 40k army to play, from that very first game against Blood Angels, even through playing against a horde of Orks. They’re just fun. Necrons will always be my first love, of course, but Drukhari are my favourite!

The overwhelming thing that I like most about the Drukhari has got to be the variety of flavours you get when you pick this force. Natively, you get three very distinct factions within the overall army: Kabals, Wych Cults, and Haemonculus Covens, which service your need for speed and bullets, up-close murder, and genetic experimentation, respectively. In addition, there are various strands of mercenaries available, such as Scourges and Incubi. Due to the way keywords work in 8th, however, we also share the Aeldari keyword with Craftworlds and Harlequins, allowing for a blend of different stuff in the same list, as well as Ynnari being a similar, though more stringent mix of the same.

I’ve only ever been tempted by Harlequins, as they seem to share some traits with their dark cousins. There’s something about the Craftworlds that puts me off, and Ynnari just feels far too cheesy to even start thinking about them. That said, plenty of people like to mix and match their detachments in order to plug holes that the Drukhari inherently have (mainly psyker support) and there’s nothing wrong with having your fun as you like it. For me, I tend to prefer to try and work around things like this within the scope of the force, relishing the handicaps as part of the theme. Throughout 8th edition, I’ve stuck quite closely to the same mix of Kabals and Covens, with varying degrees of Wych Cults peppered through. It’s done me quite well up to now, and is what I’m going to be rambling about here today!

My armies have always been Kabal-centric, as I started this journey with the Start Collecting box back in the day, but the core of Kabalite Warriors can provide a really cheap start for your force. My first squad of ten Warriors was armed pretty basic, just using a splinter pistol/agoniser for the Sybarite, and a splinter cannon for one of my dudes – and that comes to just 89 points for a ten-man squad. Of course, throwing in a Raider to move them about is where things tend to get expensive, but even so, Drukhari armies can tend to be full of people if you go for quite a bare-bones approach, allowing for ablative wounds aplenty.

Warriors with Dark Lances are something I’ve tended to shy away from. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve built some for the hell of it, but it makes me itch having a 20-point weapon on a 1 wound, 7-point model. I’ve always found it more expedient to mount dark lances on Raiders, to make them Assault weapons as opposed to Heavy weapons, and be done with.

Furthermore, 8th edition has seen a great need for weight of fire, and dark lances are Heavy 1. Splinter cannons, the other heavy weapon in the Warrior build, are Rapid Fire 3, giving you 6 shots when in rapid fire range, rather than 1 shot total. Sure, the dark lance feels like a proper heavy weapon, but I think the chance of whiffing with a dark lance is just too much for its cost.

Trueborn aren’t something I’ve taken often, though I do like the loadout of a five man squad in a Venom, with two splinter cannons and two blasters. Arming all four with blasters, and giving the Dracon a blast pistol, was quickly decided as “the best” strategy for these guys, and Blasterborn was quite the thing in the early days. I even built some myself, feeling the pressure get to me! But the rumours have pretty much confirmed that Kabalite Trueborn are no longer a thing, instead providing more upgrade options for basic Warriors. I find that interesting, as it was always a facet of the army that I quite enjoyed – while they don’t technically have a kit, I don’t really see it as that different to the fact that Lychguard are technically built out of the Triarch Praetorian kit; the only difference here is that the Kabalite Warriors box doesn’t tell you it can also be built as Trueborn. (The basic squad loadout for Trueborn is with splinter rifles, so I don’t see why they should be penalised for not including four blasters in there).

Vehicles are quite the necessary part of this army, and Raiders don’t really come too cheaply for the Warriors. The cheapest Raider is 115 points, and only has one weapon (though it is open-topped, so all ten of its occupants can also fire out of it during the shooting phase, so there is that…) The heavy support option is the Ravager, which I always enjoy the look of, but sadly have never had a great deal of luck with. A mobile gun platform that will set you back 155 points at its cheapest load-out, the greatest successes I’ve had with Ravagers have been using them as a distraction, which isn’t entirely what they should be used for! Three dark lances are not to be sniffed at, though I prefer the more expensive option of three disintegrator cannons, so that I can fire 9 shots rather than 3 – it does hike the cost up to 185, however…

For me, I think I’ll always be a fan of the Venom. It can only transport 5 models rather than 10, but I love the sleek little craft with their splinter cannons, zipping around the field and shrugging off a lot of fire due to their Flickerfields. A Venom with two splinter cannons is as expensive as a Raider before the weapons, however, but as a transport for my Archon and selected members of his Court, I do like it.

Speaking of the Archons, I’ve forever been unimpressed with this model, and indeed have often seen it as a tax for taking a battleforged army. The one time I had him do anything, he did kill an Ork warboss, so I suppose he’s not all bad, but mainly I tend to just forget about him and concentrate on the main event, the Warriors and other bits… The Court is something that I have rarely used, and can’t really offer too much of an opinion on. I only have the Lhamaean painted, and have included her more as ablative wounds for the Archon, should it ever come to that. I think I’d like to try and play the Archon more as a melee option, generally, and so surrounding him with a Court might be an interesting possibility. Stay tuned for that one, then!

Let’s move on to Wych Cults, though!

I’ve not really had a great deal of use for these, as I have been playing a lot of melee-heavy armies so far in 8th, and Wyches are just not a good option for that. For sure, they’re touted as the close combat specialists of the Drukhari, but they’re a unit that you want to use to tie up other units that don’t want to be in close combat with you. Necron Immortals, for example, are pretty useless in melee, and want to be out shooting you with tesla. Charge them with Wyches, and they’re pretty much taken out of the fight, no matter what else happens. Against a unit that also wants to be in melee, however, they’re really quite bad at T3.

This is, I suppose, where Combat Drugs come into the mix. Getting to choose your unit’s drug for the game is handy, for sure, but the basic Wyches could definitely use some ability that gives them more than one. But I digress. I’ve had better success with Reavers, giving them Adrenalight for three attacks each. The only problem, however, is that Reavers are massively over-costed for what they can do. At a base 90 points for a squad of three, you want to think carefully about upgrading them in any way, and unfortunately, my own squad of them runs to 120 due to adding in a heat lance and cluster caltrops. They are a much better option for getting into close combat, however, and despite their speed, that’s really where they want to be – I guess the speed is only there to get them into combat so much sooner!

All Wych Cult units want to be in melee to some degree, of course, but the Reavers and the Hellions are probably the two that are best placed to do so. Reavers have a lot of tricks that really point to what they want to do, and to some extent the same is true of Hellions. A base squad of Hellions is 95 points, but if you stick Adrenalight on them, you’re making twelve attacks on a five wound unit, rather than ten attacks on a six wound unit. Weight of fire would suggest the Hellions are the way to go, but people always seem intent on ignoring the skyboard-flying gangers! I’ve only used them once, but their Hit and Run rule, allowing them to fall back and charge in the same turn, is really something to bear in mind when using these guys.

The leader of these Cults is, of course, the Succubus, a model that I really like the look of, but have never found to be all that useful due to (a) not running Wych Cult-heavy lists, and (b) the fact she can’t really keep up with those Wych Cult units I do run, without buying her a Venom. At 72 points, she’s a little on the expensive side for an HQ that I don’t get a lot of use out of, so I tend to treat her quite carefully overall.

Finally, let’s take a look at the Covens!

These chaps are something I’d initially not expected to be adding to my army, as I wanted a Kabal/Cult list, but I quickly changed my mind when I built my first box of Wracks. This kit single-handedly convinced me that I needed some Coven action in my life, and I quickly added a number of the other Haemonculus units to my army. The two pain/parasite engines are beautiful, for all that they’re quite disgusting, and the whole look of these guys is just so alien and other-worldly, I love the effect of seeing them amid the regular Kabalite force as something of a freakish centrepiece!

Coven units want to be in close combat as well, though I feel they provide a much more well-rounded section to the list that they stand on their own much better. All Kabalites want to do is shoot; Wyches try to shoot and punch, but they end up lacking the firepower to do the former, while being too weak at the latter. Covens, on the other hand, have an interesting array of guns for Wracks, as well as the Talos that can act as something of a gun platform, while all the units are also really quite good in melee.

The Haemonculus is a really good choice of HQ, and can be customised to your tastes much better, it feels, than an Archon or Succubus. He is also the only answer to psykers in the entire army, bringing a Crucible of Malediction that allows him to dish out mortal wounds to nearby psykers once per battle. It’s not great, but it’s all we’ve got! As a side note, it’s a shame that the Cronos doesn’t have something similar, but there we are.

Wracks are the melee unit that don’t care if the enemy also wants to be in there with them. With both a Haemonculus and Cronos nearby, they have T5 and are re-rolling wounds in the fight phase, as well as healing lost wounds. It’s handy that both the Haemonculus and Cronos also don’t mind being in close combat, so that they don’t need to hang so far back…

I like fielding big units of Wracks, though it is worth noting that a unit of 10 costs 110 points before you start adding in their fancy guns. The ossefactor has often been thought of as the best, due to the range and mortal wounds it gives out, though I do like the Hexrifle for picking off characters. For 11 points, it has the potential to snipe characters for two wounds, though it is a Heavy weapon on a slow-moving unit, so there is that to consider.

The Talos is a great model to add some potent firepower to your Covens detachment, though he does tend to rack up those points really quickly. Unupgraded, he’s 126 points, but if you start giving him fancy stuff, he can get as high as 172 if you give him two heat lances and the twin liquifier gun. My own, preferred load-out has been for two haywire blasters, as I like the mortal wounds aspect (and I built him during 7th edition, when haywire was all the rage!)

Without a doubt, I’ve had some of the most fun games of 8th edition fielding a blend of Kabal and Coven, and so to close here, I thought I’d share my go-to army list with you all, with the Index points costs while we’re on the eve of the new Codex. I think I’ll revisit this once I have the book in hand, and will doubtless be rambling some more with my thoughts on building an army with the Codex!