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!

The Drukhari Codex

Hey everybody!
It’s time I shared some ramblings with you all about my first impressions of the new Drukhari Codex that came out this weekend, after taking delivery of it a couple of days early…

*breathing intensifies* #Warhammer40k #Drukhari #DarkEldar #newcodex

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The excitement is still real, I must say!

I’ve talked about some of the initial thoughts I’ve had about the new rules back when the previews were coming out from the community site, but I must say, when confronted with a book full of the blighters, it does make army building somewhat convoluted to try and make the most of it all. There are, of course, three distinct traits within the book, for Kabal, Cult and Coven. There are ten distinct “chapter tactics” on offer, each with their attendant warlord traits and stratagems, and trying to get everything to work the way that you want can be something of a nightmare, to say the least.

One of the goofiest things that the new Codex gives us is the opportunity to gain a ridiculous amount of command points for fielding a ridiculous number of Patrol detachments – 1 HQ, 1 troop choice mandatory. The idea, of course, is to represent a number of different raiding parties joining together to invade realspace and get some slaves, and while part of me likes the idea of having a table full of troops to just spam, I’m not entirely sure it’s the way I want to build my army.

Of course, it hasn’t stopped me from going with a trio of Patrols in my debut list from the Codex! This build gives me 11 command points, and I’ve been toying with the thought of scrapping it to get a Brigade going on for 12. But the way that the Obsessions work, it’s going to be really difficult to get an interesting and diverse list running. Which is one of the interesting things with this book – it gives us so much choice, but what kind of choice is it, really? If you want to get the benefit of command points to use on the plethora of stratagems (and there are some really interesting ones across four pages of the book), you’re almost forced into using the Raiding Force rule and getting multiple patrols. Which I suppose is fine, if you don’t mind only having a maximum of two elites, fast attack, etc.

I’ve not given it a tremendous amount of thought yet, but I’m currently thinking it might do just as well to run two battalions, one for the kabal and one for the coven, either leaving the cult out of it totally, or perhaps using the outrider detachment for some reavers… Well, anyway!

Obviously, I’m going for Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, as it’s the colour scheme I’ve been using since I started this army last year. The archon I built as Aestra Khromys is now technically illegal, as Archons can no longer take phantasm grenade launchers, but never mind! It’s her I plan to have riding around in a Venom with her Court as part of the Battalion. Obsidian Rose gets to add 6″ range to all Assault, Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons, which is so very handy for Drukhari, who want to keep everybody at range after all!

For the Coven, I’m using Coven of Twelve, who gain +1 AP to all melee weapons. I’ve decided to go with the Alliance of Agony stratagem for a start, and give the Haemonculus from the spearhead detachment the Scarlet Epicurean warlord trait. I kind of want all of my haemonculi in melee, so giving him something that reduces damage dealt to him should be useful. The warlord of the actual army, Aestra up there, gets Deathly Perfectionist, which increases the damage dealt by her weapons. For the relic, well it’s nothing less than the Armour of Misery!

While I said earlier that there are a lot of stratagems in this book, but part of that is due to the amount of distinct flavours of Drukhari you can have. The actual number of stratagems that I feel I will definitely be using is surprisingly low, just 4, all of them costing just 1CP each. Which is another reason for wondering whether I need to straightjacket my build into the Raiding Force in order to gain all the additional points!

I’ve only scratched the surface of this book, it’s really blown me away with how immersive in Dark Eldar lore it goes. I’m not lamenting the loss of Trueborn or Archons with blasters, and will certainly not be delving back into the Index for those datasheets, as I think we have plenty of exciting material to be going along with right here. I’m eagerly awaiting my first game with the new Codex, after which I’m sure I’ll be coming back here with more practical thoughts on how it plays.

For now, though, suffice it to say that I’m super excited at the fact my main army finally has its book!!

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!

Drukhari Codex Previews: Wyches and more!

Hey everybody!
Let’s continue with a look at the final previews of the Drukhari codex prior to tomorrow’s pre-order, starting with yesterday’s article on the Wyches!

This article kinda blew me away, I won’t deny. I’d been hoping for Wyches to have something that would make them worth investigating, having only tried out cult units once or twice so far in 8th and not having been too impressed. Well, it looks like I’m finally going to be revising my opinion!

Three distinct Wych Cults get the Obsession treatment, meaning this Codex is giving us a total of ten distinct possibilities for armies, which I like!

Cult of the Cursed Blade increase their strength by 1, and only lose one model when failing morale, no matter what. I like this a lot, as one of the things I disliked about fielding Wyches was the fact they only have human-style strength. The article goes on to mention Hellions having strength 5, which sounds like they could be fantastic (depending on points!) as well as showing off a Cursed Blade relic that just sounds wonderfully fluffy, potentially taking out the model that kills it in the fight phase!

Lelith Hesperax’s Cult of Strife get an additional attack if they charge, were charged, or perform a heroic intervention. Also nice! It’s kinda nuts to think, as they say, 20 Wyches can make 81 attacks – and, with the “No Method of Death Beyond Our Grasp” stratagem, you can immediately attack again if you destroy an enemy unit – so give out an additional 81 attacks! Jeez. That’s, like, Ork style dice throwing!

Dark Eldar Wyches

Finally, the Cult of Red Grief gets to charge even if they advanced, and can re-roll failed charge rolls. Wow! Splendid stuff. While I like the increased strength, and I really like the increased attacks, I think I’m going to go with this one. Not only are Cult of Red Grief most similar to my own colour scheme for Wyches (above), I like the idea of being so damn fast!!

Another cool stratagem for the Wych Cults is Hyperstimm Backlash, which doubles the combat drugs ability for the unit chosen until the end of the round, at which point each model suffers a mortal wound on the D6 roll of a 1. Again, super fluffy, allowing us to overdose during a battle!

Dark Eldar

Today‘s article is all about new Stratagems for the Dark Kin, and I must admit to feeling a bit disappointed by it. I think because Crucible of Malediction is now a once-per-battle stratagem. I only used the Crucible once, but it did some serious work, so I was quite impressed! The fact that Soul Trap is also now a Stratagem makes me think they’re trying to eradicate the memory of the finecast versions of the Haemonculus and Archon, respectively. But that’s probably very unlikely!

Lightning-Fast Reactions is interesting, as it allows you to subtract one from the hit rolls that target vehicles. It’s interesting, because I wonder if vehicles will still have Night Shields or Flickerfields. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

If nothing else, though, I think I’m going to make a serious effort to look into Incubi, as they’re another unit that I’ve never been that bothered with before. I recently picked up some Wildwood Rangers to proxy as Incubi, but haven’t actually started painting them yet. Now might be the time to start!

So there we have it! The Codex pre-orders go live tomorrow, so I’ll be making sure to get mine in and then spend an impatient week waiting for it to land in my hot little hands!!