The Apocalypse is here!

Hey everybody,
So, Apocalypse is coming on the horizon for Warhammer 40k. While I’m not really all that into playing such massive games, I’ve actually surprised myself at how interested I’ve become in this latest format for the game, after watching the brief run-down video from Becca Scott over on the  Warhammer TV channel. In case you haven’t taken a look, I’ll link it here:

My very first impressions after watching this were of just how similar it sounds to card-based combat games like Battlelore. I find this interesting, as I had originally had the impression this scale of game was literally just for people who wanted to spend an entire day playing a single game of 40k, or else wanted to play with all of their massive Forge World stuff that required remortgaging in order to buy, or possibly both. The video, in fact, makes the game seem a whole lot less complicated than that, and I can actually see me giving it a go sometime in the near future!

Right off, something I really like about this system is the way the army building works. Building a force using detachments is nothing new for 40k, but here we see that the detachment functions as a singular entity, activating at the same time, and relying on its commander for in-game leadership. In regular games of 40k, I find myself (and see plenty of others) building armies where the HQ which goes into a Vanguard detachment never has any in-game link to the Elites within, and is almost seen as a tax. Here, it sounds like it might be a lot different, and I like that!

Here’s something huge: movement trays! Apocalypse isn’t Epic, and so troops units still have a vital role to play. However, moving about dozens of units model-by-model will be arduous for anybody to watch, so we’re seeing movement trays coming back, and the internet rejoices!

We’ve got an Index of faction focus articles that show pretty much all of the regular factions will be making an appearance – and it’s nice to see the Sisters of Battle included here, ready for their big plastic release that is hopefully coming later this year!

It’s probably the fact that it feels like such a new and interesting way to play the game, but I’m really quite keen to pick this one up! I’m also a bit of a sucker for this style of box set, with all the fancy dice and tokens and cards. It sounds like it should make large-scale 40k games much more bearable than some of the horror stories of playing Apocalypse from back in the day, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of that is true. I never played Apocalypse back in the day, of course, but still…

It goes up for pre-order on Saturday, along with a bunch of other stuff (including, naturally, a bunch of battalion boxes to help you flesh out an existing army ready for the new system, or maybe to start off a new one). If I do find my way to playing, I will pretty much certainly be playing with either Necrons or Dark Eldar, depending on how the army composition works. I mean, I’ve got loads of painted Dark Eldar ready to go, so hopefully they’ll turn out to do me well!

Apparently, it’s summer now…

Hey everybody,
It’s been raining something terrible here in the UK for the last week or so, which has left me with a lot of indoor pursuits to take my mind off the fact we’ve had more than a month’s rainfall within hours. I’ve already talked about getting back into Magic, which has been very exciting as I’ve been rediscovering that classic. I’ve got quite a bit more to discuss on that, of course, so those blogs will be peppering my site over the coming weeks and months. I’ve already got some lined up, to keep things going while I move house (though when, exactly, that will be, remains to be seen!) so I thought I’d check in with everything else that has been going on!

First of all, I’ve really gotten back into painting, and have been really getting somewhere with my Skitarii army ideas from days gone by. I’ve been toying around with quite a number of list ideas, though for now I’m trying to focus on painting up what I’ve got built, and ensuring I can bring down the pile of shame into something more akin to a proper army.

I’ve managed to get two lots of five troops, along with one HQ and one elite slot finished. Once I’ve finished up the Tech Priest Enginseer and the next ten Vanguard painted up, I want to move back to making the two lots of five troops into two lots of ten, which I’ll probably do alongside another character model. I’ve also built up five Sicarian Infiltrators, which I really like – especially that Princeps model! I love the insane technical details on these models, and I’ve really enjoyed painting the abundance of clips and plugs and screens on the Enginseer, so I’m expecting to enjoy him as well!

It’s my plan to get 500 points of AdMech painted up soon, so that I can start to play games with them. I don’t have an Imperium army that I can play with, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they work. Once I’ve got those 500 points finished, I can keep painting and adding to the collection, but at least it will be an army that is seeing some action, at last!

Skitarii list 500 points

My thought process here is to keep adding units that interest me, or that I feel that I need, once I’ve been able to try the army out and see what it’s all about. I’m guessing that heavier artillery will be a requirement, and I’ve already started to put some paint on the first Dunecrawler twelve months ago, so hopefully that will be making an appearance before too long!

On the subject of painting models, I’ve also been fidding with some Necromunda miniatures, the Delaque gangers that I’d built back in December. I want to get into this game so badly, but finding people to play with has been proving a bit more difficult than I’d thought – hopefully soon, though, I’ll be able to get either the Delaque or Van Saar models to the table and try it out! I just hope I actually enjoy it!

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I’ve also been reading Warhammer 40k novels quite voraciously, as I try to work my way through quite the backlog that I have! The Space Marines Legends series was a short-lived set of hardbacks that focused on a single Space Marine hero from one of the popular first-founding chapters. I’d read the first book in the series, Cassius, back in 2017, and was quite impressed overall. Lemartes takes us to the Blood Angels, and discusses the cursed sons of Sanguinius with the dual flaws of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. We follow a Chaos incursion on the planet Phlegethon, which the Blood Angels are sent to put down. The Death Company are unleashed on the cultists, along with those brothers from the Fourth Company who are particularly susceptible to the Red Thirst. When the cultists bring down the wrath of Khorne on the planet, these brothers almost lose themselves, but fortunately the unbridled fury of the Death Company is able to bring down the greater daemon Skarbrand.

It’s an enjoyable enough novel, though it felt a little bit like a non-event in the grand scheme of things. I also read Azrael recently, by the king of the Dark Angels, Gav Thorpe, but I was particularly unimpressed with this one. It just felt interminable, and the plot was particularly uninspiring overall. Also dealing with a Chaos uprising, and showing Azrael’s ascent to Supreme Grand Master of the Chapter, I was hoping we’d get to see a lot more of the inner circle, but instead it all just fell a bit too flat for me. Ah well!

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A bit more recently, we have Cadia Stands, which is something of a tie-in to the Gathering Storm series that brought 7th Edition to a close. The novel deals with, well, the Fall of Cadia, as the forces of Chaos emerge from the Eye of Terror for Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade. Yes, he’s had a Thirteenth Black Crusade before, but this is a different Thirteenth Black Crusade. I really found myself enjoying this book, as we followed groups of Cadians around the planet. I thought it was really quite interesting to see how the soldiers reacted to the increasingly Chaotic events on-world, as some struggled to evacuate from the warzone.

The book has been followed up by Cadian Honour, which seems to follow up on one of the soldiers featured in Cadia Stands, Minka Lesk. I’m not normally one for Cadian stories, as I’m not a fan of the army in-game, but I enjoyed this one enough that I’m thinking I’ll probably give it a try soon!

Arkham Horror LCG

From 40k to Lovecraft, and it’s been quite an adventure this afternoon, as I’ve finally started playing the Dunwich Legacy!

I’ve been playing this game for what feels like a long time now, but have never made it past the Core Set. Back last October, I finished the core set campaign, Night of the Zealot, and so built up some decks with the new cards and thought about starting up the Dunwich Legacy, but other things seemed to get in the way. Well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally made it to Dunwich!

I’ve played the first scenario, Extracurricular Activity, using my Jenny Barnes and Ursula Marsh decks. I know Ursula is a more recent investigator, but the deck was built, so there we are! I really enjoyed it, seeing how the game has evolved from the core set already was quite interesting. There is a strong discard theme in the first scenario, at least, which I wasn’t expecting – I didn’t quite see my decks completely discarded, but even so, it was something I wasn’t really prepared for, and the hate leveled at investigators by the Agenda for having a large discard pile was really something!

Arkham Horror LCG Dunwich Legacy

Overall, I’m really enjoying this game. I’ve been buying everything for it as it has been coming out up until the current cycle which, due to real life intrusions, I hadn’t been aware had been released! When I popped by the games shop recently, it turns out pretty much the entire cycle has been released now, though I’m fairly sure I’ve only picked up the deluxe cycle.

FFG have recently announced a fifth deluxe expansion, The Dream-Eaters, which has also taken me unawares! The way the campaign works for this expansion is quite unique, as it features scenarios set in the real world and in the Dreamlands, and you choose one of the two for your investigators to follow. There is still talk of a cohesive eight-part campaign, though, so it sounds as though it will still be a traditional cycle. I may even have caught up with it all by then, and be able to play this one as it happens!

While I am loving this return to the Arkham Horror LCG, and finally getting round to seeing what I’ve been missing all this time, I’m also excitedly awaiting A Shadow in the East, the next deluxe expansion for Lord of the Rings. I haven’t played that game for a long time now, I know, but it is still up there for me, and I look forward to getting my grubby little hands on it!

GW at the UK Games Expo 2019

Hey everybody!
There were a slew of previews coming from GW yesterday, as they showed off more stuff for upcoming games at the UK Games Expo. In a way, I was more excited for this one than the previews we got last year, though I suppose we were in the middle of getting the 40k codexes we wanted, and the new edition of Age of Sigmar was underway, so it was certainly a different time, with different priorities. This year, we’re definitely in more of a boxed-game mood, with all of the previews for the specialist games, rather than anything specifically for 40k or AoS (though, of course, the use of these models in the big games is not exactly impossible…)

I want to start with the Palanite Enforcers for Necromunda, as these are models that I’ve been eagerly awaiting for a long time now.

So they don’t have the classic Arbites look that I had been hoping for, but I guess Necromunda Enforcers were never true Judge Dredd-style Arbites, so it’s difficult to argue that point. We basically have ten chaps in carapace armour, who would look fantastic as Guardsmen allies for a Primaris Marines force because their helmets are so damn similar! I feel like that is something of a let-down, though it’s something I’m sure I could get used to. A lot has also been made already of the fact that the shoulder armour actually seems to be restrictive of movement, but hopefully they can be posed without that being too obvious – the two “gangers” who have that look may just need to wait for the Forge World additional weapons options, to see if there’s some way I can use the bodies with different arms and avoid the narrow, squat-y look. Hopefully.

However, on the whole they do look pretty good, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I could potentially do with them, given a different paint job (I’m thinking of a deeper navy, and then red for the yellow…) Shame about the lack of cyber-mastiff, though!

Whether Adeptus Arbites will ever make an appearance for, well, anything, will remain to be seen, then. I do entertain some hopes that we’ll get actual Arbites if they ever decide to do something properly in plastic for the Inquisition, so that we could use them in a retinue or something. I know that they’re the police, so can’t really be expected to act within the context of the tabletop game, but even so, stranger things have happened!

Up next, we’ve got the fourth new warband for the upcoming Warcry, the Corvus Cabal, a bunch of bird-worshipping cultists who wouldn’t be out of place in a Tzeentch-themed army!

This fourth warband is, admittedly, quite weird, although beautifully realised, so I can’t honestly complain much there. We’ve seen some really unique Chaos cults come out for this product line already, and it has been fascinating to see them take shape. With two further warbands due for reveal, I’m intrigued to see what else we could possibly be in store for here!

That said, I’m finding myself a little bit bored with Warcry now. We’ve been having previews like this for months, but we don’t know a great deal about what the game actually is. Back in February, when it was first announced at the LVO, it was described as a mix of Warhammer Underworlds and Kill Team, so everybody has been assuming that it is AoS Skirmish, re-imagined with bespoke Chaos warbands. At the Adepticon preview, GW confirmed that nine non-Chaos warbands would also be playable when the game launches, making this sound a lot like Kill Team, and I suppose that’s the analogy people have been using since. We also know it is coming with fancy new terrain, so the comparison is a good one, right?

Well, who knows. I don’t know what the game is going to look like yet, whether we’re getting a big, expensive core set with all the terrain and new warbands, or whether it’s going to be a whole product line similar to Adeptus Titanicus, with everything sold separately. Are all these new Chaos warbands going to be available in one big release, or are we seeing the next six months of releases with these previews, and the game will more likely remind us of Necromunda in that respect? I suppose at this point, I just want to know more details about how I need to plan my purchases, but all we’re getting is “hey, look at these new miniatures!” rather than anything more solid as regards what we can do with those miniatures. Time for details, GW, if you please!

In the interests of saving the best til last, we’ve got another expansion for Blackstone Fortress, this time something more along the lines of what I would have been expecting for this game all along: Escalation. I say that, because I’ve been expecting GW to put out this sort of hero-and-enemy pack as the first expansion, rather than the third. Getting the Ambull was nice, although a little unexpected, and the Traitor Command stuff should be another interesting addition, though both of those are more akin to the sort of thing I would have thought we’d have seen much further down the line. I’m not really explaining this well at all, but never mind!

We’re getting four new explorers, the characters from the Combat Arena game that was first previewed a whiles back, with the suggestion here that the Servitor is somehow either not a playable character, or else is linked with (presumably) the Tech Priest in-game. I thought it was interesting to learn that Combat Arena isn’t going to be available outside of the US and Germany – something they’ve kept to themselves up to this point. I do find it a bit disappointing that GW have these country-exclusive games, as with Labyrinth of the Necrons last year. It just boggles my mind that they’d go to the trouble of creating a game just for release in one country – why not get as much money as you can off the back of it, and release it worldwide? Bah! Anyway. We’re also getting enemy miniatures, to change up the battlefield from the original game:

These models do look quite beautiful. Six cultists, plus two villain-style minis, with a rag-tag feel that does seem to complement the heroes from this set quite nicely. There’s a parallel between the Rogue Trader and the pirate-queen-style cultist, to my eyes.

There is almost something AoS-y about these new Cultist models, as well, maybe it’s the tusks on flame-pole guy there, or the Daughters of Khaine-style face mask on the other one. It’s always really good to get new Chaos implementations like this, for sure, and I think it’s a good sign for things to come if we’re seeing updates for the Cultists as well (though, a cultist with a grenade launcher? Interesting…)

Blackstone Fortress has definitely been kind to Chaos!

I’m going to assume this will be the big box expansion that we can expect to get around about the 1 year anniversary date, so in the shops in time for Christmas. Hopefully Traitor Command will come out sometime between now and then, to keep us going with more content, and then I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if next year brings us plastic flayed ones, or plastic mandrakes, or some other weird and wonderful corner of the 40k universe! Certainly, I think GW will be using this game to put out miniatures that capitalize on the fact there is a lot of weird out there!

Kill Team Elites & Sector Sanctoris

Hey everybody!
So I’ve picked up some of the new shiny stuff for Kill Team, and thought I’d come along here to ramble about these expansions, and just how much I’m actually quite excited for what they bring to the game!

Kill Team Sector Sanctorum

First of all, let’s take a look at the new book, Kill Team: Elites.

This is quite an incredible book, with the rules for using Elite model choices in the game only half the story. There are 67 datasheets in the book, but 30 of them are new Commanders, some of which are actual named characters from the lore such as Sly Marbo, Darkstrider and Illic Nightspear. That was really quite the surprise to me, if I’m honest, as I was expecting a similar situation to the core book, where we’d just get a progression of Elite choices and that would be it.

Not only do we get these, but we also get the sub-faction rules that now permeate regular Warhammer 40k, such as Chapter Tactics, Cult Creeds and T’au Septs, etc. This was something I really hadn’t thought to see in Kill Team, but it is quite nice to see this game closely mirroring the regular tabletop game. Sure, there are people who are no doubt calling this 40k by another name at this point, and I think the more rules that get bolted on to Kill Team, the closer it is going to become. But there are now a myriad of different ways that this game can be played and enjoyed, so I don’t think we need to be calling it anything just yet.

I do find myself wondering just where this game can go, if I’m being perfectly honest, as it is already running the risk of getting silly. What I mean is, what will the next expansion be? We now have troops, HQ choices, and elites playable in the game. We’re left with fast attack and heavy support, and while I can see a couple of these porting over quite well into the game, I’m starting to feel like the cynics are correct, and this could well just be re-named 40k lite. There are fundamental differences of course, and I do quite like those, but so far as expandability goes, I’m not sure where the game can go.

Within the elites book, we get pretty much all of the contents of Shadowspear as playable units, which may well provide a hint as to what is next in store for Kill Team. Rather than going down the route of allowing us to use Space Marine Devastators or Drukhari Reavers in the game, maybe we’ll just get updates for it every so often when new box sets come out. I know we’ve had the free pdf for the units in Blackstone Fortress, and maybe we’ll get that sort of thing rather than hard-copy books to buy. But that does feel like the main support for the game is going to just die off.

The other way for the game to continue, as far as I can see, is tied into the long-rumoured Inquisition vs Daemons expansion. Along the lines of last year’s Rogue Trader expansion, maybe we’ll get a book that provides a system for making up even more bespoke kill teams, which will look similar in style to those found in the Rogue Trader expansion. I’ve talked about this before, of course, and as I think about it, it’s something that I keep coming back to as being a potential for keeping the game alive.

I don’t want to come across as being down on Kill Team, of course, just a little intrigued, maybe confused, by where they could be taking this thing next! Of course, one way that has worked out really well for them so far is the Killzone environment expansions, and while the most recent release in this line hasn’t had quite as much good press paid to it so far, I do find myself actually really enjoying it – indeed, whereas with others in the line I’ve just bought the boards and cards off ebay, this is the first environment that I’ve actually sunk my teeth into in its entirety!

Sector Sanctoris combines some quite disparate scenery pieces into one box, and currently retails for £50 like the others. Within the box, you get the two Imperial statues that were formerly available in the Basilicanum terrain set; the walls from the Sector Imperialis set, and the scatter terrain that came out in Urban Conquest earlier this year. There is also a short pamphlet with some background/fiction set around Imperial shrines, a short construction booklet showing how to build the scenery, and the environment card, mission cards, and tactics cards. People have been decrying this online for not being as good value for money as other sets, but I think this is such a subjective argument that I find it difficult to agree with. I really wanted that scatter scenery, and it would have set me back £60 to buy Urban Conquest. So I’m already up on the deal buying it this way.

The set comes with the standard set of tactics cards that can be used by players using this killzone, as well as four mission cards (two for matched play, two for narrative play) and a killzone environment card that can add some extra effects to the game. As can probably be expected from a set focused around Imperial ruins, these effects tend to bolster factions under the IMPERIUM keyword. Even if you aren’t running Imperium factions, though, I do feel that the terrain is just so cool and so iconic – and blends in so well with that from the core set – that it’s really going to be worthwhile getting this one for the collection. Indeed, of all the killzone environment expansions released so far, this is probably the best one to pick up to complement the core set for the fact that they both use the new style Sector Imperialis terrain.

Kill Team Sector Sanctorum

I’ve only built up the scatter terrain so far, and even just having that on the board, it’s quite wonderful. I say “built up” like it was a complicated job – only two of these pieces actually have to be assembled, the rest is just clipped off the sprue and away we go! The terrain pieces are quite huge, as you can see in the photo above, and are really quite detailed. It’s definitely a chunkier plastic than the usual stuff, very similar to the other terrain we’ve had now, but that doesn’t really detract from the overall effect. I’m definitely looking forward to getting this lot painted up, probably with the new contrast paints when they come out, so I can give some colour to my games. I think I should finally be able to paint all of that Sector Mechanicus scenery that has been hanging about unpainted all these years once I get those new paints, as well!

I am definitely a terrain fan, though, and I think it’s a very important component of the hobby for me. It’s something that really brings the setting and the game to life, and so I might place a little too much import on actually getting terrain, collecting it and (hoping to one day start) painting it. Boxes like this are just wonderful, and while I could have picked up one of the army boxes like the Scarab Occult Terminators and gotten that scatter terrain that way, I already have those chaps, so it was either a case of buying more or else getting this and having all of the additional scenic bits, the cool add-ons like the cards, and of course the board to play on.

While I have no real clue how GW are going to set about expanding their line of Kill Team to keep the game alive and fresh, I think environment boxes like these, and then perhaps campaign books that might give us some rules for prescribed Teams, are likely going to be the way forward. I could well be wrong, but I’m very interested to find out, regardless.

Warhammer Fest catch-up

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, as real life has once more taken over. I’ve been buying a house, which has been all manner of joy! But it’s a bigger place, and hopefully it will all be sorted by the time our firstborn arrives in October! I’ve found I’ve had barely any time to keep up with the world around me, as hobby stuff has been pushed a bit to the back burner while we were selling ours. But I’ve had a week off, down on the south coast of England, so it’s been nice to get away from it all!

Well, it was Warhammer Fest at the weekend, and while it probably wasn’t as exciting as last year’s event, there were a few things of interest to come out of it. Let’s talk first about the new paint range, which is probably the biggest thing to come from Coventry, despite my liking for more model announcements…

From what I’ve been able to understand, from reading the myriad posts on facebook groups since the weekend, they’re pretty much like the Nighthaunt technical paints that came out with the new ghosts last year. I’ve painted a fair number of my Chainrasps with Nighthaunt Gloom, and found it to be quite a decent way to paint them up quickly, though of course I can’t see how I’d do an entire miniature in these colours, but rather use them to do the heavy lifting and then fill in some details later. Of course, it’s best for horde armies, which would have been ideal for my Slaanesh plans, but I’ve now got a colour scheme for these that wouldn’t really help things, so I’m likely to pass over these for the most part until I have a use for them. Probably once I get my Khorne plans underway…

I’ve been quite surprised to see a number of Space Marines painted with these colours, and looking quite well for it, too. Unfortunately, though, I’ve set my heart on painting my Space Marines as Novamarines, which I’m not sure would work. But maybe – I suppose it might work for the cream quarters, but I feel like these paints might be best used on the many scenery pieces that I have waiting in the wings!

I’ve been looking forward to seeing the new Sisters of Battle coming along, though I have to say, now that we’ve seen the first painted one, I’ve begun to wonder whether I’ll actually pick any up. Don’t get me wrong, they look great, and I think it’ll be exciting to see the army come out fully-formed later this year, but I reckon I’ve got enough to be getting on with. Maybe if they come out for Kill Team…

Speaking of Kill Team, the new Elites book is due out tomorrow, and I’m cautiously excited about getting it. I’ve been playing a fair bit of Kill Team recently, and have been enjoying it, so I think it’d be cool to add some different units to the mix. I’ve been playing my Necrons, using four Immortals and two Deathmarks, so I think it might be nice to add some Lychguard or Praetorians to the mix. Maybe both?!

I’m also quite excited about the new killzone, Sector Sanctoris:

There has been quite a lot of annoyance online with this one, given that it only seems to have odd bits of terrain rather than the more full kits we’ve seen coming with the other battlefield expansion sets. I suppose part of the issue might also be the fact only the walls are available separately so far, so it isn’t immediately apparent how big of a saving it might be. Personally, it has all of the terrain that I would want – those two massive statues from the Basilicanum set, as well as the scatter terrain from Urban Conquest. With some low walls to boot, I think it’s a great set and I’m looking forward to picking it up – I’d otherwise been thinking of getting the Scarab Occult terminators set in order to get that scatter terrain, so this has worked out well for me!

I think I might branch out a bit soon with Kill Team, and have been considering either Space Marines or Militarum Tempestus. I’ve got plenty of models for both of course, but it might be nice to have an Imperium force. I’ve thought this about regular 40k before, and had wanted to get moving with the Adeptus Mechanicus army that I’ve been wanting to do things with for what feels like forever (though in actual fact, it’s only been two years!)

While we’re on the subject of the Mechanicus…

Yes, there are Chaos Knights coming, complete with their own Codex – but I’m not interested in that. I’m much more interested in this:

The Skitarii are finally getting a transport! Cool beans, for sure. I’m hoping it’s open-topped, as well, so I can be throwing out a butt-load of galvanic rifle shots (or better, radium carbine shots!) in a binharic drive-by! While there have been plenty of people unhappy with the look of it, thinking it belongs more appropriately as a Cadian transport, I think it looks really on-point for the faction. Doubtless that is helped by the design cues such as the top hatch and all the vents, but it looks exactly like something you’d expect to see floating across the radium wastes.

I also like the tank variant. Up to this point, we’ve only had the walker vehicles for the army, which I think have helped to establish the faction as being, well, weird. Seeing this version as well really just reinforces this weirdness, and I love it!

The AdMech aren’t the only folks getting vehicles though, as the Primaris Marines are due for a variant on the Repulsor tank. The new Repulsor Executioner looks, well, hilarious, but also like it would likely fit in perfectly with a Primaris force.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve been thinking a lot about perhaps finally painting up all the Primaris marines that I have hanging about, from Dark Imperium and the like. I split the Shadowspear box and only got the Heretic side of things, but I’ve since picked up some phobos-armoured bits, and feel like trying my hand at a small marines force, maybe to go alongside my Skitarii or Tempestus Scions… I’ve previously thought about an all-Primaris list, headed up by Marneus Calgar, though I’ve more recently been thinking about making a list around the Vanguard marines.

I’ve painted a small number of Primaris chaps in the colours of Genesis Chapter before now, but I can’t currently decide if I want to continue like that, or else do Primaris Novamarines… 🤔

I’ve never even considered playing Apocalypse games, as I’ve previously given over an entire day to playing just regular 40k back when I was first getting into playing it, and I can’t say as though I really enjoyed it. In all honesty, it’s just a bit draining! But it’s exciting for those people who do enjoy the game that much, so I’m glad to see folks getting what they like!

There’s been some further news for Necromunda expansions, with the alternate heads and weapons for the Delaque gang, and some more hive scum and a champion for the Cawdor gang. While of course, that dude looks cool and all, I think it has made me more excited to think about how the Delaque hero will look! Aside from all of this, however, I think the more exciting thing here is the prospect of Palatine Enforcers coming for the game! Of course, I think it would have been amazing to have actually seen models for these guys, and given the rumours that these things are due in Q3, I find it a bit of a let-down that we’ve not seen anything. I’m therefore assuming that the rumours are false, or else I think it would be a bit of a shame that Warhammer Fest didn’t have anything more for us…

I think this is a very exciting development, seeing yet more warbands for the upcoming Age of Sigmar skirmish game. I’m still going for the Iron Golems, as I find them wonderfully creepy (and almost perfect fodder for Dark Eldar Grotesques), but the snake folks are pretty exciting, I won’t deny:

I mean, look at this chap! With such a proud beast of a cobra at his feet there!

I’m really looking forward to this game, though obviously I’m not sure about whether I’ll be able to pick it up at release! I think we’re probably in for a similar situation as Kill Team last year, with the core set selling out quickly.

On the wider subject of Age of Sigmar though, we’ve got more releases to look forward to in just over a week, with the arrival of the new scenery pieces that form the Dominion of Sigmar stuff. Much like the new Sector Imperialis terrain that came out of Kill Team, I think it’ll be really exciting to see these things come out and what people do with them.

I would have liked to get hold of some of this stuff myself, but while I do enjoy playing AoS, I think I’m still more of a 40k player when it comes to this sort of thing.

Forbidden Power has finally be revealed to have been basically Malign Portents volume 2, bringing more generic endless spells and a book for their use. The spells look cool, but I’m hoping that we’ll get the book released separately so that I can take a look at what the whole thing is all about.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, that while I started my AoS journey with the Nighthaunt and have been branching out almost expansively with ideas for Legions of Nagash as well as Chaos Daemons, I’m still more interested in the wider world of 40k than AoS, and stop myself short when it comes to getting this sort of stuff as well.

I suppose last year was a hard act to follow, bringing the new edition of Age of Sigmar, as well as Malign Sorcery and Adeptus Titanicus. But there are definitely some exciting things on the horizon to look forward to!

More Drukhari thoughts

Hey everybody!
Following on from Tuesday’s very rambling post, where I dissected my match against Deathwatch, I thought I’d come back here with some more thoughts on the dark kin. I mentioned in that post how I was thinking about moving away from the now-established Codex army builds, separating my Cult, Coven and Kabal forces, and instead going back to the blended approach from the Index days. Well, I’ve given this some more thought, and I’ve come up with an army list that I’m surprisingly really excited to try out!

The list is at its core a battalion, with five troops choices and two HQs – it’s just that the second HQ is a Haemonculus rather than a second Archon, breaking the Obsessions. I could technically get away with having it as two Patrol detachments, one for the Coven and one for the Kabal, but then I still have the Wych Cult elements to account for and, having no HQ or troop choice in there, this becomes a bit more difficult. So I’ve not bothered.

I’m still getting 8 command points here, and still have the basic Warlord Traits and Relics to choose from, along with a suite of 22 stratagems that I can use, based on the units in the list. When I was thinking about this idea, I mooted it on the Drukhari facebook group, and was kinda shot down for the very notion of even trying it. Some folks did seem a little more open to the idea, but the initial response seemed to be a hearty “no”. I think this is primarily because of people not willing to give up on Agents of Vect, but having never played Black Heart in my life, I think this is hardly a selling point for me to stay within the standard builds.

Between Gangs of Commorragh and all the older Start Collecting boxes I bought, I have a lot of Reaver Jetbikes, which was kinda the starting point for me wanting to do this idea in the first place. A lot of my Index Drukhari lists were primarily Kabal and Coven with some bikers along for the ride, and I found they provided an interesting bit of combat difference for the rest of the army. Especially tooling them up with their specialist wargear, allowing them to dish out mortal wounds when they charge into a unit, or fall back from that unit. So I definitely wanted to include some of these mad biker gangs in there, and thus decided to just break with the whole Obsessions thing and see what happened.

Interestingly, when I mentioned this on the facebook group, someone suggested trying a unit of Kabalites with a blaster inside a Venom – but we’d be looking at well over 100 points for this, whereas the Reavers clock-in around 70ish points.

Having broken this spell, I started looking around a bit more freely at what I would like to include in the list, and struck upon the Beasts. I’d had a Beastmaster and Clawed Fiend hanging about since last year, and had also picked up a Razorwing Flock recently, so decided to go down that route, which proved to be quite easy on the points, as it happens! Much like the Court of the Archon stuff, there is a lot of weird stuff in the Drukhari Codex that I just love, and so decided to go for a real carnival of weird feel to this army list!

The Beasts are a bit of a weird situation in Matched Play games, because you’re basically forced to take them all as one unit, not being able to take Beasts without a Beastmaster, and when you do so, the Beasts don’t take up a force org slot. I suppose it’s there to prevent spamming a lot of the cheap stuff to fill a brigade detachment, but we’re not quite there yet…!

The idea behind my army, then, is to have a Drukhari drive-by style of army, with the Archon and Medusae flying around inside their command Venom, followed closely by the Venom containing a Sybarite with blast pistol and agoniser, sort of acting as the bodyguard. If the threat level requires it, there is the second Venom with a blaster inside to act as a secondary bodyguard, while the main force flies about in Raiders.

I’ve got Haemonculus Coven stuff and the Beasts to work in melee, hopefully destroying a fair few things once the targets have all been softened up by the shooting attacks. Then there are the Reavers to just flit about the field and shoot anything they like, charging into close combat with the rest.

Where Next?
It’s always a little difficult to think about the next steps for these things, when I’ve not even played with this army yet, but I do quite fancy seeing how I could perhaps get some Scourges into the list. I’ve already got a squad of five built up since 7th edition, so I think that’d be good to actually get on and finish these chaps for the table.

Drukhari Scourges Solarite

The jump infantry of the Dark Eldar, Scourges are an interesting choice to me for the sheer amount of fancy weaponry they can take. Coming stock with a shardcarbine, up to four of them can trade that in for a choice of dark lance, heat lance, splinter cannon, haywire blaster, blaster or shredder. The Solarite is also the only model in the army who can take a power lance, which is mainly taken because it looks cool, from what I can gather! I built mine with a dark lance and a splinter cannon, along with two shardcarbines, and the Solarite wielding a splinter pistol and a piece of wargear with no codex entry, the weighted flail. I’m using it as a venom blade, so my squad of five comes in at 92 points. I think I’d probably look at swapping these bird-men in for the Kabalites with a blaster and their venom before I look at increasing the points of the overall list.


Drukhari are very likely going to be a big focus for me as 2019 moves along. It’s an army that I’ve loved since the very first game I had against Blood Angels, and I knew it was something I wanted to pursue and try to improve with. This year, I’ve got quite a few momentous events happening, between hoping to move house at some point over the summer, then the birth of my firstborn due in October – I doubt I’ll have much time to go as wide with the hobby as I have been up to this point!!!!!

Deathwatch vs Drukhari: a postmortem

Hey everybody!
Had a very disappointing game against Deathwatch yesterday, so thought I’d come along here and ramble about it for a bit. Because, y’know, why not?

I was playing at my local store against a guy I’ve played before, albeit with different lists. While in our previous match I’d been Necrons, he’d also included a different line-up and it was a smaller-scale game (1250 points, I think). We’d upped things to 1750, and I thought it was about time I brought out the Drukhari, given that I’ve not been playing them nearly as much since the Codex came out, and it’s really time to get my head around all the stuff they can do!

Firstly, then, my list:

It’s a list that I’ve used in similar configuration before, when I had a game back in December against Orks. I’d initially considered using Wych Cult models alongside the Kabal portion, similar to what I was talking about last month, but in the event I wasn’t going to get all of the models that needed painting finished in time. We both went over a bit, mainly because he was bringing Knights to the party, so I felt no shame in squeezing in a second haemonculus to make it two battalions for 13 command points. I made one of the haemonculi the warlord, putting both in their own Venom, then used the Kabal as the main thrust of my army.  The plan was to use the Kabal as a main threat and keep everything at range, while the Coven portion went up the sides and attempted to create a melee charnel house.

Deathwatch vs Drukhari, round one

This plan did not last nearly as well as I thought it might, given that I went second, losing a lot of my firepower and mobility thanks to both Ravagers being blown off the table, as well as two of the Raiders being brought down to extreme low health. Urgh! We were playing Supplies from Above, one of the new missions from Chapter Approved 2018, and one that I’ve played previously in a smaller-scale Necrons vs Tempestus Scions game, and can be a lot of fun in the smaller setting. With a lot of table to cover, though, it proved to be a different experience.

I’d initially placed my objectives near the centre thinking I’d create a bit of a killzone for my Raiders to just deliver massive broadsides each turn. Unfortunately, that didn’t really come to pass! My first shooting phase, I managed to kill one guy – just one guy! Really poor rolls made it quite difficult to get much further. I did use the Fire and Fade stratagem to then move one of the Raiders out of the way of the Knight that was breathing down my neck (which is how it came to be neatly wedged between the scenery pieces in the centre of the picture, above).

With my Ravagers gone so quickly, though, I decided to just not even bother with the Knights, and tried instead to focus on keeping to cover as much as I could, and go for the troops. The mission requires you to control objective markers at the start of your turn, but they move at the start of each battle round, so I shifted my focus to that in the hope that I’d be able to weather the storm coming my way!

My opponent had switched up his list from last time as well, and rather than having everybody carry storm bolters, instead went for a mostly-Primaris build. Which was, as I’m sure you can imagine, a sheer delight. Everything having two wounds suddenly made what heavy artillery I had left become more viable against troops, as shameful as that may be to fire a dark lance at an infantry blob! As an aside, I’d built the majority of this army during the changeover from 7th to 8th edition, when the dark lance was king. However, I’m really thinking that the remaining Raiders I have to build and paint will all be disintegrator cannons, instead – 5 points cheaper, and two more shots. Sure, the strength and AP aren’t as good, but the chances of hitting with the cannons are so much better than with the lances. Somehow, whiffing with three shots at 15 points feels better than whiffing with one shot for 20 points. But anyway!

The one bright spot for me was having taken the risk and walked up the Wrack squad carrying the Hexrifle along the flank to shoot directly into the face of the Watch Master – I wasn’t sure I’d be any good suffering the penalty for moving and firing a heavy weapon, but there’s something wonderful to be said for actually making the Hexrifle shot work: 6 to wound and an unsaved wound at that meant two wounds came off the Watch Master. Delightful.

Deathwatch vs Drukhari, round two

Turn two was utterly appalling for me. I lost everything except the Coven Raider and Venom, and just kept rolling poorly for all of my Kabalites. The fact that two squads of ten veterans deep-struck in, one of which came down into my deployment zone for a two-pronged attack, really saw the pain. I’d deployed an Archon on foot, which you can see just to the centre-right of the above photo, and intended him to be quite the distraction. As it happened, he managed to pull most of the fire from that back-field deep strike, and his shadowfield broke on the third roll. Nobody can really withstand 12 shots to the face, can they? But it meant my Warlord had that much less coming for him, while somehow I managed to shave another two wounds off the Watch Master by again rolling perfectly for the Hexrifle!

Nobody expects a melee-orientated unit like Wracks to have a sniper rifle hidden in their midst, and so pretty much every game I’ve used it, this squad has been woefully misunderstood. Splendid!

If only the rest of the battle was going splendidly, of course. As a point of note, I always forget about Power from Pain. I even had the cards right there in front of me to remember, but I still forget to make the FNP save from the first battle round. Thankfully, my opponent was a good enough sport about it and let me roll after the fact, which did net me two Kabalites back from one of the squads – though I suspect he did so fully aware of the fact they weren’t really a threat to him at this point!

Due to the insane amount of firepower coming at me, when my actual second turn came around, I had very little left to do, so just charged a bunch of Covens units into the backfield deep strikers, and successfully managed to eliminate a Jump Captain and the squad of ten he came down with. There is something to be said for the brutal efficiency of a Talos, Cronos, Haemonculus and Wrack squad working together. Can’t wait to complete the family and add some Grotesques to the roster!


Despite it all – Hellfire rounds to the face, Knights with ridiculous anti-vehicle hatred all around me – we ended in a draw. The Court of the Archon came in really handy having disembarked from their downed Venom in the centre of the table, as each is a separate unit so they all scattered to secure three objectives, with only the Sslyth losing his during the third battle round. We agreed to call it a draw after his turn though, as the store was 20 minutes from closing and I knew it would take at least that long to pack all of my stuff away!

I can’t remember the last time I won a game of 40k. Well, actually I think I can, but it was a long time ago. At any rate, losing games is very often more valuable an experience than winning. My opponent for this game is a self-advertised newbie, and I think our game last night was his fourth, having won one, lost two, and now drawn one. The usual advice for new players is to let them win their first game, but that really is a double-edged sword, for it may lead a person to think the game is easy, or that it will always be like that. Losing, however, makes you re-evaluate your choices, both in the list and in the game. Even though we called this a draw on victory points, I definitely felt like I lost this one.

I ended the battle with 8 command points left. If you end a game with any CPs left, you’ve likely done something wrong, and I very definitely don’t yet know the full potential for the stratagems Drukhari can employ. In a game situation, though, I hate to stand there, flicking through my cards or the Codex, trying to come up with a strategy on the fly, though often I end up doing so regardless. Not making full use of my command points was definitely a mis-step from me, and leaving one of my Raiders out in the open was just asking for trouble when there is so much heavy firepower on the opposite side of the table.

A great excuse for this game was that I was playing at right angles to my deployment zone. Hear me out on this one: we were playing Hammer and Anvil deployment, but the tables in GW Chester are set up as one long line down the centre of the room. So my deployment zone abutted another game going on, and I couldn’t properly get behind my minis to see what they could see, etc. Trying to figure out lines of sight as best I could was, well, difficult at best! I really shouldn’t have been the gentleman and accepted the poorer of the two zones.

I usually have poor dice rolls, and so I try to mitigate that by going for an almost horde feel to the armies I play, and try to have lots of weapons in the hope that the weight of numbers will mean I’ll get at least some hits. But even for me, last night’s game was a shambles. However, there were some successful shots in there that were, unfortunately, saved. Another cardinal sin here – I paid for splinter racks on all three of my Kabal Raiders, 10 points each. I promptly forgot about this, and cannot remember if any of the drive-by attacks rolled 6s. Argh! The agony is real.

People talk about Blasters being amazing, but it’s a similar situation to the dark lance, putting a lot of faith (and points!) into just one shot. I’m starting to think that I might well just keep things real simple in my next game, and have three squads of ten with just splinter rifles, or maybe add in a splinter cannon for each but otherwise strip them back completely. 70 points for a 10-man Kabalite squad isn’t exactly a bad situation to be in, after all. Keeping things cheap in this manner will open the door for adding in more stuff as well, naturally – maybe a 5-man Kabalite squad in a Venom, where I can perhaps get a bit fancier?

The other thing that has been running around my mind for a while is to just forget about the whole Obsessions thing, and run a Drukhari army without trying to straightjacket it into Kabal/Cult/Coven. There are enough options outside of the Obsessions to do this comfortably, though who knows if it would actually be viable? At least I could use my Reavers without having to think about a Succubus or maxing out the Outrider detachment…

All of this talk leads me to the main point I have to make, though: I’m just not that experienced with my Drukhari force yet. I said at the top that it was a very disappointing game, and that was really a disappointment with myself and the tactical choices I made throughout. I love Dark Eldar, not necessarily for the fluff but the playstyle is a massive puzzle that I really enjoy solving each time I bring them to the table (except, perhaps, when that puzzle is being destroyed before I even have a chance to pick up the next piece!) However, my hobby-butterfly mentality often sees me flit from one army to another, and never really getting the hang of anything. As it happens, I’m hoping to move house this summer, so in the spirit of anticipating some upheaval in the next few months, I probably won’t have the time to flit from project to project, and will therefore have to commit to something. If I actually manage to find the time to play any games, it might be worthwhile to stick with the Drukhari and see if I can really refine how I want to play them…