Exciting times are inbound, as I’m sure anyone looking forward to the new edition of Warhammer 40k will agree! I’m particularly excited as my degree course finally came to a close on Friday – I’ve been doing a part time course through the Open University since February 2012, and it’s with a huge sigh of relief that I had my final exam on the 2nd! With no more essays or revision to take up my time, then, I’ve been applying myself with gusto to the task of completing the 1000-point list of Dark Eldar that I’d started work on earlier this year!
At the weekend, however, I thought it’d be interesting to see how my list holds up in the new 8th Edition ruleset. The first thing that I can see is just how cheap it is for the same list this time around!
I think the biggest factor here is the Talos, which has dropped by 32 points alone. Not having to pay for sergeant upgrades is also not insignificant! So these things have absorbed the increase in points that the vehicles represent, meaning that I’m overall 50 points cheaper!
In my original list, I hadn’t upgraded the Trueborn beyond giving them a Dracon, but since I’ve now built them with 50 points-worth of upgrades, I’ve adjusted the Warriors accordingly. So I was a little over the 1000 points limit agreed by my local GW, but in 8th Edition, Trueborn can’t take haywire blasters, so having modeled them with these things, I’m feeling a bit bummed right now! I’m still in something of a planning stage with them, but I might make them counts-as dark lances, which they can take. Or just build two more with regular blasters and wait for 9th Edition!
I was actually surprised to find that they’d made these changes, though – while obviously it’s a new edition, and things change, I somehow wasn’t expecting to see wargear options diminish like this. I’ve never been around for a change of edition, however – getting into 40k shortly after 7th Edition landed – so I suppose I don’t know what to have expected!
Anyway, I’ve been making decent progress with my army lately, I think, so it’s time for a showcase!
I’m really pleased with how this project has been going so far! Considering I wasn’t really sure what I was doing when I painted up my first Kabalite squad, I think it’s really gathered some steam over the last month or so, as I’ve managed to finish off the first batch of Wyches, churn out another batch of Kabalite Warriors, some Kabalite Trueborn, an Archon, a handful of more Kabalite Warriors, and most recently, two horrors from the Coven! My Wracks just need their bases finishing off, and they’ll be done as well! I’ve already started work on a Succubus and Lhamaean, while also trying to get started with the vehicles!
I’ve not been entirely sure what I’m doing with these things – they’re probably the biggest miniatures I’ve tackled so far, with some very flat surfaces! I’ve been doing some drybrushing on them, the same scheme as with the Kabalite Warriors, though so far it’s only looking decent on the Venoms… Still, got to start somewhere!
So, all in all, I’m really very pleased with these guys!!
It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to do any kind of serious hobby update on my blog, principally as my degree has been taking over the world since January. My final essay was in last week, and while I still have an exam on 2 June, I’m otherwise done now! So there shall be revising going on for the next few weeks, but I feel like I have a lot more time back, and so I’m obviously spending that time painting little people!
Dark Eldar are obviously still high on my list to get done, mainly I’m planning to get a force ready in time for playing some 8th Edition from as soon as possible. I’ve still only gotten one actual unit of Kabalite Warriors finished, but these guys are well on the way, so I’m hoping I can turn them around quickly enough. Something that I’m finding to be quite the chore right now is getting round to doing the vehicles for these guys, as well. Of all the miniatures involved in the game, I think I prefer doing infantry the most, and vehicles are just too much like hard work. I’ve currently got three venoms and a raider just hanging about waiting for me to do stuff with, but I find it very difficult to want to do stuff with them. If Dark Eldar retain their flavour of a vehicle-heavy army in the new edition, I might have to up my game here – or at least, find an easier way of doing them!!
I’ve also been painting Genestealer Cultists! These guys were done around Easter, as it happens, and while they still aren’t finished, I think they look pretty great as a start to my forces there. While I definitely enjoyed doing all of these little chaps, I think they were too much like a distraction for me, as I’d been wanting to get back into painting something since struggling to get anywhere with my Wracks earlier in the month, so now that I’m better-predisposed to it, I’m moving back towards the armies that I actually want to play with, rather than those I want to paint. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to eventually getting the cultists out there as well, but for now, I’m all about the Dark Eldar and the Necrons!
Yes, that’s right, I’ve resumed painting my undead space robots! I’ve actually made hardly any progress with these guys yet, of course, but I stripped a bunch of Lychguard at the beginning of the year and had them just hanging about since, so I’ve been wanting to get going with them – again, mainly because I want to have some dudes ready to go with 8th. My Necrons are easily the most numerous force I have, so if I can get a few more done between now and then, I’ll be happy. If 8th Edition gives back the rule to allow the dispersion shield to bounce hits back at the shooters, then I’ll be even more happy!
While I’ve been really quiet as regards the painting side of things, I most certainly haven’t been as far as building minis goes!
First of all, I built up a Dark Artisan formation, getting it built scant weeks before the announcement came that formations are a thing of the past! I do hold out hope there will be several thematic formations like this, of course, but it’s a little sad that something fairly iconic that I was looking at has now gone. I’ll still be fielding them though!
In the midst of all the angst over 8th, Shadow War really seems to have hit it off – it’s almost like GW planned to have an awesome alternative to play while the new edition was being prepped for launch! My local store was running an Armageddathon on 1 May (Mayday! Mayday!), which I eventually couldn’t be a part of as I went on a date, but I had prepared a force of Harlequins in the meantime! So it’s 1000 points in Shadow War terms, and I still plan to do something with them soon. I’m definitely not going to do Masque of the Midnight Sorrow diamonds, as that way lies madness, but instead I’m planning to do them themed as DC villains. This instagram post explains it a bit more, but basically they’re being led by Deathstroke. Stay tuned to see how that turns out!
And finally, there has been a lot of Dark Eldar building taking place! I’m still building my force according to the points system and organisation of 7th edition for my 40k Oath down at the local GW store (the oath was detailed in this post, where I also showed off my Wracks!). While the Scourges weren’t a part of that list, I’d built five Kabalite Trueborn that used haywire blasters from the Scourges kit, which had got me thinking about them generally, and so I eventually built five of them up. I’ve since also used the dark lance from the Scourges kit to build another group of six Kabalite Warriors (it was supposed to be five, but I’d snipped off enough bits that I decided to just build another). That Scourges kit is a bit of a goldmine for Dark Eldar bitz, I have to say! It’s almost an auto-buy, even if you never plan to field the winged postmen themselves! I actually dislike the bat-wings that come in the kit, however, so built them all with the feather-wings, and have since bought some more in bitz from ebay, where I plan to sell the bat ones. I’ve only recently built these guys, so have primed them but that’s it for now, however I’m planning to do them with brown wings – they have Kabalite armour, so the colour scheme will be the usual browns I’ve been going for, and I wanted something that would complement that rather than anything else. So I’m thinking about doing them in a sort of dark tan. Not sure how to get there yet, but we’ll see…
So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to so far this year! I have this week off work, so I’m hoping that I can at least get all of the Kabalites finished, and maybe I can also do some work on getting my Wyches finished alongside this. I’ll then have at least some things that I can do stuff with! Though I do need to make a more serious effort with those venoms…
Well today has been pretty awesome, I have to say! One of those days where I’ve just mooched through, and enjoyed myself immensely!
To start with, I’ve been painting again, for the first time in a long time! I mentioned last week that I’ve been listening to a lot of the Command Zone podcasts, and I think having a lot of fairly long podcasts to listen to allowed me to get on with this stuff! I’d already painted the skin on these Wracks last weekend, following the GW quick tip video, so I spent the bulk of the day painting up the rest of the models – I’m fairly happy with how they look right now, though I might do a few extra tweaks to them in the coming days. In the main, I want to get them based, though, and then at least they’ll look just so much more, well, finished!
At my local store, we’ve all been pledging “Oaths” as part of a sort of painting campaign to get 1000 points of miniatures done by mid-July, after which there will be a fortnight of gaming that I’m guessing more and more will coincide with 8th edition. Anyway, my Dark Eldar “Oath” consists of:
Archon, with just a Lhamaean in his Court, both in a Venom;
10 Kabalite Warriors, in a Raider
10 Kabalite Warriors, in a Raider
5 Kabalite Trueborn, one upgraded to Dracon
5 Wracks, in a Venom
Haemonculus, Talos and Cronos (Dark Artisan formation)
It’s going to be tough! 36 models shouldn’t be so difficult to get done in three and a half months, but this oath was made six weeks ago, and so far I’ve not had the motivation to do a great deal of it! I need to get back into painting with a bit more regularity, anyway, and see how far I can get!
While we’re on the subject of Warhammer 40k, this was a huge disappointment this morning. I checked in just after 11am, mainly to see how much it was going to be, though apparently it had sold out within twenty minutes of going up for pre-order. Reminds me of the insanity of the End Times hardcovers. I mean, hopefully this is just a temporary setback, and they’ll be making more of them – I can’t imagine they didn’t think a new Necromunda wouldn’t be popular, surely! My local GW is having a midnight launch on next Saturday morning, so I guess that’s where I’ll be headed…
On a better note, I’ve decided to try and play more games, as I’ve not done a great deal of anything so far this year! My degree course is partly to blame for this, of course, but even so! I’ve started with my favourite, Lord of the Rings LCG, and will have a blog coming out on that this coming Tuesday…
Finally, I’ve been watching some more Studio Ghibli this evening, the classic Princess Mononoke. It was an ex-girlfriend who got me into these movies, and the first time I watched this particular one, I remember being particularly ill, and didn’t really take a lot of it in. Consequently, I’d always thought it was a little bit odd and disjointed, but that’s mainly my own perception of it than any real reflection on the film.
Like a lot of Studio Ghibli films, Princess Mononoke deals with the consequences of industrialisation on the landscape, though here it’s quite a visceral message that Miyazaki is putting across. We follow Ashitaka as he saves his village from a demonically-possessed boar spirit, but falls foul of the curse himself in doing so. He travels into the west in order to find the forest spirit, and thus cure this curse. He arrives at Irontown, and discovers that that the the townspeople, led by Lady Eboshi, are clearing the nearby forest in order to dig for iron. This has brought them into conflict with the many forest gods, including the wolf-goddess Moro and her human daughter San, dubbed Princess Mononoke.
Eboshi and the townsfolk wage their war against the forest gods, and manage to decapitate the forest spirit, which proves almost fatal for the surrounding countryside as he transforms from a life-giving spirit into one that causes death to all he touches. Ashitaka and San manage to restore his head, and thus peace to the area, though the film ends with a distinct tension still between the natural world and humanity.
The story is actually a lot more complex than this, of course, but hopefully you get the picture. It’s actually a really dark movie, and I think if you approach it with the same mindset as Spirited Away or My Neighbour Totoro, you’re in for quite a surprise. It’s certainly nuanced, with no clear good-and-evil to root for. Sure, you may hate Eboshi and her ruthless drive to eliminate the forest spirits in the name of progress, but she is also shown in a more benevolent light as the leader of her people, and she does appear to learn some lessons over the course of the movie. While I think overall the film had a profound message against the continual drive of industrialisation at the expense of the natural world, under the immediate surface I think there is more to be said for a give-and-take relationship between nature and mankind, that we should attempt to live in harmony with each other as opposed to standing still. It’s a very complex film, and if you haven’t watched it already, I can highly recommend you do so!
Tuesday is game day here at spalanz.com, and today I wanted to share some of my attempts to get to grips with my new army for Warhammer 40k: the Dark Eldar! I’ve been building and painting up these guys since New Year now, and have been trying to get together my 200-point kill-team sorted, which has involved a bit of a learning curve on what I need to do with these space pirates.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll probably know how much I love my Necrons, and while I’ve hardly been prolific with them, they are the only army that I’ve played the game with. Having a 4+ armour save, and a 5+ Reanimation Protocols save, means I’ve never been too fussed about being out in the open with my regular troops or even my warlord and so on. Not having a Night Scythe, I’m usually walking about the board, soaking up hits and losing comparatively few models (as much as I’m bad at rolling dice, for some reason I’m usually very good at making Reanimation Protocols rolls) before I make it into close combat with my Lychguard, where they tend to tear up the battlefield really effectively.
All of this has now changed, of course, as I read through the Codex and listen to the various tactics advice blogs and videos online. Indeed, having spent the best part of January watching a whole host of Dark Eldar tactics videos on youtube, I keep hearing the same things repeated: they’re one of the fastest armies in the game, but they’re riding around in wet paper bag-armoured vehicles; they’re a finesse army, etc etc. There’s also some contradictory advice out there, as some folks refer to them as the close-combat version of Eldar, while others advise against getting any closer than rapid-fire range.
I can’t really comment on any of these tactics, as I’ve yet to play a game with them. However, something that is overwhelmingly said of the army is to bring everything in vehicles for the speed, and to hug cover like there’s no tomorrow. That’s really going to change up my playstyle, as I’ve mentioned with the Necrons, and I think it’s going to be interesting to be fielding an army that is potentially deployed entirely as vehicles at the start of the game, rather than having units on foot.
Aside from the aesthetics of the army, something that has really drawn me to Dark Eldar is how they seem quite straightforward in terms of the mechanics. Their standard weaponry is Splinter guns, which all seem to cause poisoned shots, most often 4+. What this means is, they wound on 4+ regardless of the model’s Toughness, which I think is a very welcome change from trying to remember – or having to ask – what I wound on whenever I shoot at a target. The Kabalite Warriors have BS4, so hit on 3s and wound on 4s – that, I can remember! Splinter rifles are only AP5 though, so pretty much everything I’m likely to be shooting at will be making armour saves. But I suppose you can’t have it all!
Furthermore, a lot of people in my local area seem to play Guard, which involves a lot of tanks. Even Marines players have a lot of tanks. And poison weapons have no effect against vehicles, which does leave me at something of a disadvantage. The best anti-vehicle units in the Codex seem to be Scourges, though I have to admit that I find the models a bit silly. Nevertheless, I’ve got two boxes of them to start my anti-tank offensive!
I’m starting with kill-team, as I mentioned above, and my army list for this looks as follows:
– 1 unit Kabalite Warriors, with a Sybarite equipped with an agoniser;
– 1 unit Wyches, with a Hekatrix, inside
– 1 Venom, upgraded with a splinter cannon.
This comes to 200 points exactly, though I have been debating a lot about whether to include those troop upgrades, or instead just keep them as basic units and spend the points on adding more bodies. I don’t think it would be particularly the best idea for kill-team, as every model acts independently, but if I were playing something like a more regular game of 40k, I would most likely not bother with, say, the Hekatrix upgrade, and the same for the Sybarite. It does slightly bother me that I’ve modeled both within the units, and I feel a strong attachment to WYSIWYG armies, but I suppose that’s a ways off yet.
For the kill-team, my Leader is the Sybarite, because he’s such a grand-looking model. I’ve made one of the warriors a Weapon Specialist (Expert Shot), and another an Indomitable Specialist (Feel no Pain), and one of the Wyches is a Combat Specialist (Killer Instinct). My thoughts for all of this are that the Sybarite might hang back and wait for folks to come for him, while the warriors act as something of a loose bodyguard. The venom will fly about and drop off the Wyches so that they can deal with anything as it comes up, hopefully their Dodge ability can keep them alive in close combat, anyway!
That’s my vague plan, so I suppose we’ll just have to see whether it works out! Kill-team seems to be quite popular at my local GW, and I’m hoping to get up there one Friday night soon for a game, so will be reporting back once that happens!
Looking ahead, I think the next logical step, for me, is to expand into Combat Patrol. 400 points, and you can take an HQ choice for this one, I think I’d like to see what I can do with more warriors at first, maybe have an Archon and lots of Raiders. Initially, I’d sworn off moving into Covens, but I’ve recently had a bit of a splurge and gotten myself all manner of good stuff for the force, including the supplement, a haemonculus and a pain engine. That’s still going to be a long way off, as I want to continue building along the Kabalite/Cults route for the time being. While I did build the contents of the Start Collecting box in short order, and have been focusing on painting the kill-team, I’ve since been building some Hellions from Gangs of Commorragh to try out that game, so I can start to branch in that direction, as well.
I’ve heard a lot about providing a bodyguard for the Archon based on Incubi, though I try to stay away from finecast as much as possible. That said, I’ve since started to invest in building a Court of the Archon, starting with a Lhamaean – she has poison 2+ and can cause Instant Death, which is certainly attractive! Of course, getting her into close combat is going to be the problem, and I think a Venom with the Archon and his Court inside would be too much of a distraction and attract all the shots, which is a bit of a concern!
This leads me to something of my favourite tactic for playing games like this, the Distraction Carnifex. Basically, the idea is to have something that looks threatening and will absorb all of your opponent’s attention, allowing the rest of your army to take care of business. Initially, I’d been struggling to find anything sufficient to form such a massive distraction, but I’m now weighing up the options of either just going for a Ravager (unfortunately, this model is out of stock at the moment), or else the Dark Artisan formation from the Covens book (which will require an additional pain engine). I basically want something big and dangerous to distract from the fact that the rest of my army is actually running around in really weak armour, and that will cause serious damage if it is ignored!
At some point, I also want to invest in the Tantalus from Forge World – which is a huge model that is just as weak as the rest of the army – now there is a distraction!!
It’s a tactic that I’ve used fairly well in the past with both a unit of Canoptek Wraiths and, oddly, a Catacomb Command Barge. Oddly, because the barge was ignored in favour of killing the rest of my army, so it just flew around the battlefield popping tanks all over the place…
Another tactic that I like the sound of is using the Dark Eldar as a bit of a swarm army. Of course, they won’t be anywhere near swarming like Tyranids or Orks, but at just 40 points for a unit of five Warriors, I think there’s potential to really spam the board with bodies, and present as many threats as possible. It’s a bit of a nascent tactic, but it’s something I’m thinking about.
However, a lot of this is going to be quite a ways off yet, as I’m a really slow hobbyist in general! Getting things built and painted is forever a challenge, which is why I’m looking more towards the small-scale games first, while I build up my force to a more sizable battle.
If you’ve got any Dark Eldar tips you’d like to share, please do so in the comments! I’m always keen to hear opinions on how to play with these guys!
What a week! Between suffering with a cold, trying to get an essay written for my OU degree, and computer problems from hell, last week was quite the week… But the essay’s in, the cold is gradually leaving me, and so far my laptop has been behaving after a bit of help from a chap called Jeffrey at Microsoft. So there we go!
So, what have I missed?
Well, first things first, my planned game day blog didn’t go out, which is weird. I usually write these things a day or two in advance and schedule them for Tuesday, but something has obviously foiled me on that one! As such, my Dark Eldar learning blog will be coming out this Tuesday, which I suppose is fitting, given my current love affair with the space pirates!
While we’re getting some wonderful new Eldar miniatures this weekend, it seems like the Stormcasts are back in town, with the new battletome coming out to support the Vanguard Hunters. I was initially planning to get some of the new models when they were first previewed, but now that I’ve seen them – to say nothing of seeing the price! – I’m having second thoughts… £37.50 seems a bit steep for 10 miniatures, and I’m just confused as to why this is happening to the hobby. There’s an excellent theory I subscribe to from Adam at Tabletop Minions about how GW work out their pricing, based on how many boxes of the models they think you’re likely to need for your army. Basic troops are the bulk of the models you’ll be fielding, so they cost less than the fancy troops, of which you might only buy one box. That makes sense to me, but we’re now seeing the Liberators, the tactical marines of the Stormcast line, at £37.50 for a box of ten. You can get tactical marines for £25 on their site, just for comparison’s sake. They were never exactly cheap, at £30 for five, so I suppose this new pricing structure is actually a saving (while a bit of a slap in the face for folks like myself, who spent £60 when they bought two boxes of Liberators in the past). Whereas I was planning to get some of these new dudes to sprinkle some diversity throughout my army, I’m now having serious misgivings about the whole endeavour…
But speaking of Age of Sigmar, I have read the new City of Secrets novella. It took me long enough, considering how short it is! The story is actually quite interesting, if a little join-the-dots Warhammer Fantasy style. We have a conspiracy among the ranks of the city guard of Excelsis, and the plot really kinda weaves through some very standard beats as a lone guardsman teams up with a Witch Hunter, they go to his powerful friend only to discover he has turned traitor, and escape with the help of a flamboyant pirate, before looking to the defense of the city against the hordes of gribblies. It’s pretty standard fayre, but I did find myself enjoying it all the same. Mainly because it feels so much like an old Warhammer Fantasy novel, I suppose. That sort of story has been lacking from GW for far too long, now, and while it was a bit predictable, I think it’s nevertheless an important development for the setting, and I hope we get more stories like these in the future!
I’ve also finished my first unit of Dark Eldar Kabalite Warriors, which has excited me immensely! I say “finished” – the bases still need a little work, but in the main, I’m excited! Back around New Year, I decided that I wanted to set myself the goal of painting one unit per month, as a minimum, and while January didn’t really feel like I’d succeeded – I mean, sure, I painted the Alpha Legion Apothecary, though he was just one dude – I’m now well on the track to success, I feel! Let’s see how many more of these folks I can get painted by the time I write up my February progress blog!!
All that said, I am kinda hoping to take a little step away from Warhammer for the next few weeks. After finishing The Beast Arises, and all the Dark Eldar stuff going on, I do feel a bit like saturation point has been reached. I’m still going to paint and whatnot, of course, but I think I’m going to once more look outwards among my various hobby bits, and see if I can broaden out the content on the blog here.
First of all, I absolutely love the fact that I can say something like “the latest board game” in conjunction with GW. I picked this bad boy up on Friday, along with a few other reinforcements for my growing Dark Eldar army, and while I don’t think anybody is going to be picking this box up for the actual game, I nevertheless wanted to take a look at it from this perspective to see if it’s actually worthwhile getting even if you aren’t a Dark Eldar player.
Some obligatory background: I started collecting a Dark Eldar army just before New Year, and when this game was announced I was quite impressed. The box costs £35 retail, but comes with £79-worth of miniatures alone. That in itself is cause to really celebrate, I would say! However, while the main selling point for this game is undoubtedly going to be based on that saving, GW has been quite committed to marketing this as an actual boardgame for folks to play independently of the main 40k tabletop war game. I caught the last half hour or so of their live stream last week, where they were demonstrating the game, and I have to say, it did seem like it should be a pretty interesting experience!
So, first of all, you get the miniatures. Six reaver jetbikes and ten hellions. As I’ve said, it’s a better-than 50% saving, so you could get this box to bulk out a Dark Eldar force, albeit with miniatures that are regarded as sub-par on the tabletop, and we could stop there. However, Gangs of Commorragh is a pretty interesting game, from my read-through of the rules, and I think it’s actually worth your time to look into playing it for its own sake…
The game is for two players, who each control a “murder-pack” of Hellions and Reavers. The rulebook suggests that you start with a pack of either six Hellions or five Reavers, but it also includes rules to allow you to create your own pack that can actually be mixed model types. Packs are created and upgraded using a points system not unlike actual 40k (more on this later).
The game is played on a 3′ x 3′ battlefield, with cardboard terrain that signifies the sky-scraping towers of Commorragh. After deploying your murder-pack, the game begins with the players selecting hunters and quarry. Basically, a model can hunt another if it has that model in its front arc of 90º, and the hunted model has that hunter in its rear arc of 90º, and both are within 18″. Markers are used – much like the target lock markers in X-Wing – to denote those models which are Hunters and their respective Quarry. These models are then moved, the Quarry moving first, and the Hunter chasing after it.
The models have specific distances they can travel, and can choose to turn by using the semi-circular template either before or after they have moved. Once the Hunters and Quarry have moved, any remaining models can then also move, before it’s time for everybody to attack, with the first attacker determined through a roll-off.
The attacking player rolls 2D6 and compares the result to the agility value of the model he is attacking. If the roll equals or exceeds the agility value, then he scores a hit. He then looks on the reference chart against the weapon used, and rolls 2D6 again – the “kill roll” – and if he equals or exceeds the weapon’s kill value, the target is destroyed and removed from the board.
For example, let’s say I’m attacking a Hellion. The agility value is 8, so I need to roll 8+ in order to hit it. I roll a 10, so I score a hit! I then check the weapon I used – let’s say I was firing a Splinter rifle. I need to roll 10+ in order to kill that Hellion, but I get +1 to that roll because I’m targeting a Hellion (they’re more vulnerable), and I’d get another +1 if I were within 12″ thanks to the Splinter rifle’s special rule. I roll 11, modified to 12, so the Hellion is destroyed. Hooray!
It’s worth pointing out that a natural 2 is always a miss, and a natural 12 is always a hit.
If I had hit the Hellion, but missed on the Kill Roll, the Hellion takes one point of damage. While there are no hit/hull points in this game, damage reduces a models agility value by 1 and provides a +1 bonus to subsequent Kill Rolls made against it, so you effectively wear the model down over time. Damage is denoted by placing a marker next to the model, which I imagine would clutter up the board quickly unless the model is quickly killed off!
Battles continue until one side Breaks – either voluntarily, or by failing a Break Test at the end of the fight round. If a murder-pack has lost one third of its models during a fight round, roll a D6 – if the result is less than or equal to the number of models removed, then the murder-pack breaks.
Gangs of Commorragh features campaign rules to provide a really customised feel to the game, starting with the models that make up your murder-pack. You get 750 points to spend on your gang, with each model and weapon option having a points cost (which has no bearing on that weapon/model’s points cost in 40k, I might add!)
Campaigns are basically linked games of Gangs of Commorragh, with some rolls made on pre-fight and post-fight tables in the rulebook to determine things like what level of income or victory points you’re fighting for, and any special effects that take place during the fight. Income can be used to recruit new models into your gang, though you will only be able to fight with a murder-pack of between 3 and 10 models at any time. There are also rules for a campaign game where the rival gangs come together in one massive Skywar, though!
Gangs of Commorragh looks like it should be a really fun game!
It feels very much like it is intended to bring new gamers into 40k, with a lot of the basic concepts such as movement and line of sight, and even list-building involved. While the points costs have no bearing – if only an agoniser was +5 points to equip in 40k – things like cover saves, jinking and weapon ranges are all things that will prepare new players for making the move into 40k. While one copy of Gangs of Commorragh isn’t going to get them started with a decent army (the models represent just 226 points of models, unupgraded), I can see people getting their toes wet with this, before moving on with a Start Collecting box and maybe a Kabalite Skysplinter to get the basic combined arms detachment. Sure, that’s an additional £82.50 at retail, and you still need the Codex and rulebook, but there are definitely more expensive ways to build an army. (These sorts of hypotheticals always come down to what your meta is like, though; I would be perfectly fine with playing a game with someone who had the contents of this game and the above-mentioned add-ons, even if it’s nowhere near a competitive list. It’s small scale, and should be a great way to get used to the game, so why not?!)
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with how straightforward yet tactical the gameplay appears at first glance. It does actually seem like a really good game, not just worth getting for the models alone – in fact, in many ways it reminds me of X-Wing. And at this price, I don’t think anyone could really complain too loudly! Look out for more blogs once I’ve managed to both build my models, and hopefully start a campaign!
Hobby Progress is back! That’s right – after last year’s weekly update blogs, I’ve decided to go for a monthly update throughout 2017, as I had been feeling a bit pressured at times to get something done, and a lot of things were rushed as a result. I still think I managed to turn out some pretty nice miniatures, compared with my previous standards, but I really want to level up my painting and try to really improve my skills this year, so I thought I’d go for the monthly check-ins rather than the more relentless stuff.
That all said, January has been a tough month for getting anywhere with painting models! I’ve had several different kits on the tabletop that I’ve really struggled to get very far with, and I do believe it has something to do with the lack of any real incentive to get them progressed. But for now, I want to stick to the monthly thing. Without any further ado, though, let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to!
First of all, I’ve well and truly started on my Dark Eldar. I bought the Start Collecting box and a Venom on New Year’s Eve, and after giving the Codex a once-over, added a box of Wyches to the roster in order to start out by making a kill-team. Over the course of the long New Year weekend, I actually built everything up, but have been struggling to get the models painted ever since! To start with, I chose the Kabal of the Obsidian Rose for my colour scheme, a wonderful rich brown colour. Brown is something that I’ve had no recourse to paint before, of course, so I thought it’d be a nice way to increase the breadth of my painting.
The scheme I’ve used has a basecoat of Rhinox Hide, followed by a very light drybrush of Doombull Brown. I then lightly drybrush Skrag Brown and Squig Orange, increasingly focused onto the raised details of the armour, before a very thin wash of Agrax Earthshade across the whole lot. You can see in the above photo that it has worked better on some than others, but I think that’s more due to the fact I’ve been testing it with my actual miniatures – never a bright idea, I know! The splinter rifles, where they’ve been painted, have just got Leadbelcher shaded with Nuln Oil, with those weird bulbous bits painted Balthasar Gold. It’s very straightforward, which I want it to be for the line troops, but I think it has come out really well, by and large!
For the Wych Cult, I’ve gone for something that is different, yet still tied into the general scheme of things. Where they have kabalite armour, such as the left knee and arm, I’ve done the same scheme as the warriors. The wychsuit, however, is just Khorne Red shaded with Agrax Earthshade, then lighly drybrushed with Wazdakka Red.
For the longest time, I was trying to figure out what to do with the skin, as I wanted to try for that pale skin tone, but when I tried it, it just didn’t work out for me. I used Celestra Grey, washed with Druchii Violet, and then layered with Pallid Wych Flesh on the Wyches (urgh!) and Ulthuan Grey on the warriors (yikes!) It just wasn’t happening for me, and I couldn’t work out a way forward. Then, I was pointed in the direction of The War Gamer on youtube, specifically his Captain Artemis tutorial, and that put me in mind of painting the skin with the wash last. After talking about it at my local GW on Friday, I went back in with Kislev Flesh and Reikland Fleshshade, and it really came out looking nice, I think! I’ve subsequently painted the rest of the Wyches that I had hanging about with Celestra Grey/Kislev Flesh/Reikland Fleshshade, and I think they look okay. I do think part of my reticence comes from the fact that the hair is still making the models look a bit weird, so that’s my next port of call, and hopefully I’ll feel a lot better about them once that has been done.
The Venom has so far only been painted with Rhinox Hide. I wanted to get some kind of gradient going along it, but I’m kinda intimidated at the large surface area, so I think I’m going to practice my skills there a bit first…
Moving away from xenos now, the “Strokes of Heresy” painting competition continues at my local Games Workshop store, with the January challenge being an elite choice. Many people have gone for cataphractii terminators or contemptor dreadnoughts, but I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get anything major done, what with the Dark Eldar going on, so had bought the apothecary there specifically for the event. Even that one model has taken it out of me this month, though! I’ve eventually managed to get him finished with my usual Alpha Legion scheme, painting all of those vials and canisters all over him with a variety of washes. We’re in pre-Codex Astartes times, of course, so there’s no actual requirement for a white scheme – hence the black shoulder pad, I suppose! The narthecium has been painted with Stormvermin Fur and shaded with Nuln Oil, as per the usual scheme for bolter cases, to help tie him in with the rest of the army. I don’t yet know what the challenge is going to be for February, but I’m hoping that I can get the five terminators I’ve had built for over a year painted, if nothing else!!
Finally, let me share with you a true labour of love: the conclusion of phase one of my Novamarines army build! I started to build a kill-team a little over two months ago, now, and managed to get the assault squad and the veteran sergeant of the tactical squad painted up back in December. The four remaining tactical marines, however, have been waiting around patiently until the last week or so, when I’ve really scrabbled around to get them finished (however, I’ve since noticed that the purity seal on the rightmost marine’s leg hasn’t been painted – gah!)
I’ve also added the Chapter Master to the ranks. He was a miniature that I’ve really enjoyed kitbashing together – the legs are from the Sternguard kit, as is the power fist and backpack; the body is from the Commander kit that I had as part of the Demi Company box set I’ve had hanging about for a while now; the sword is from the Vanguard Veterans, and I’m honestly not sure where the head is from! Possibly the Sternguard kit as well. That kit is actually a treasure-trove for kit-bashing fancy marines like this, I have to say!
While I’m pleased to have them now finished, I do feel unfortunately that the Chapter Master is a little beyond the realms of my skills to complete to a properly high standard. I’d have liked him to look a little better, but I think for now, he’s as good as I can absolutely get him!
I do still have a dreadnought that is in the throes of almost being completed, and I’m in the process of rescuing the marines from my initial attempt at painting Novamarines from last April, so I’ll hopefully be able to add them to the force soon enough (though unfortunately, they won’t have the fancy shoulder pads). I want to try to get these guys built up into a fighting force soon enough, but obviously it’s not the sort of scheme that lends itself to fast painting!
So that’s been my progress this month! Check back in with me next month to see how far I get with the Dark Eldar, and whether I manage to complete any other miniatures… I’m aiming to paint one unit per month, so we’ll see how well I can manage that!