Warcry content in White Dwarf

Hey everybody,
I’ve been going through the archives, so to speak, and taking a look at all of the stuff published for Warcry through White Dwarf since the game was launched in 2019. If I’m honest, there’s not as much new content in there as, say, for Necromunda, but even so, I thought it might be useful for others like me, who are curious as to what else is out there for this great game!

While there hasn’t been a great deal of content in the way of new rules and so on, I think it’s interesting that White Dwarf has been giving us new cards for fighters, particularly recently with these pull-out sections they’ve been doing. This really goes back to the Jakkob Bugmansson fighter card that came in with a slew of other game “expansions” within the magazines, as an actual printed card for use in the game.

Back when Warcry was released, we had a Designer’s Diary in the September 2019 issue that showcased the initial six warbands, and talked through the influences and such for the miniatures. We also had two battle reports. A couple of months later, the December 2019 issue had a Realm Focus article on the Eightpoints, and included a two-page painting guide for the ruins showing four different colour schemes using Contrast paints. I think this is quite useful, as I still don’t know how I want to paint my scenery from the original core set!!

The first new rules for Warcry came in the February 2020 issue, Issue 451 in the new numbering system, when we had the rules for Fyreslayers. At this time, GW had already released a bunch of card packs for some of the various Age of Sigmar factions, but Fyreslayers weren’t one of them. While they would release further waves of packs, it felt like a lot of people saw the White Dwarf release as “righting a wrong” or something, but anyway.

The Spire Tyrants were the seventh original warband released for Warcry, and in Issue 452 (March 2020) they got their own campaign rules, Lord of the Pits. The very next issue began the Tale of Four Warbands, which was a great way to raise the profile of the game, in my view, showcasing four warbands and some amazing colour schemes, as well as featuring battle reports to show just how awesome the game is!

In Issue 454 (May 2020), we had rules and a campaign for the Lumineth Realmlords, who were a new army when the Sentinels of Order expansion book had been released, so weren’t included. The Lumineth were also expanded in the article on the Warhammer Community site, of course, which was partly later folded into Tome of Champions 2021. The Lumineth were treated to a box much like the Slaanesh Sybarites that I picked up last month, though, giving all the fighter cards for the faction.

We had another warband release with Issue 456 (September 2020), with Cities of Sigmar getting cards and a campaign. I say “cards”, of course, but they’re just printed in the magazine – you know what I mean, though! This was followed with the Jakkob Bugmansson card in Issue 458 (November 2020) as I mentioned above, which was a physical card, as well as a challenge battle for using him in games.

Things went very quiet on the Warcry front for the whole of 2021 though. It wasn’t until Issue 473 (February 2022) arrived that we got our next Warcry fix, with rules for gaming in Thondia, within the Realm of Beasts. Everything Age of Sigmar seems to be focusing on Ghur right now, so it’s no surprise really. There are a bunch of charts in this update, which allow us to generate new Victory Conditions and new Twists, as well as new charts for gaining artifacts and command traits when playing a campaign in Thondia. In addition, all beasts in the battle get +1 toughness, which is a nice thematic bit.

Issue 474 (March 22) gave us the first of many tie-ins to Age of Sigmar releases, when we had updated rules for Idoneth Deepkin and Fyreslayers, which accompany the two new characters that came out in the boxset. These characters also have cards in the magazine. Campaigns for each warband are also included here, all battles of which make use of the Red Harvest terrain, something I thought was interesting as it seems to suggest that this will be the new starter. At least the box is still available to buy, which is a nice change!

The next issue, Issue 475 (April 22) gave us Oath of Ascension – four linked games for Chaos warbands, each one fighting to become a Daemon Prince. It’s a really interesting mini-campaign idea, I think – you each have an Annointed fighter, who is trying to become a Daemon Prince, but whoever fares the best over the first three games then finds that Chaos has turned on them, and that Annointed fighter becomes a Possessed fighter under their opponent’s control. The “winner” needs to take down their former champion, but each time the Possessed fighter takes out another member of their former warband, they gain 10 wounds. Very nice!

Finally (for now!), in Issue 476 (May 22) we had updated rules for Nighthaunt and Daughters of Khaine, which goes alongside the recent boxset much like the Fyreslayers and Idoneth. We get new campaigns for each as well, once more using the Red Harvest terrain. The rules are more substantial for Nighthaunt, as they had more new models, but even so, it’s nice to see that GW are keen to keep the Age of Sigmar model range relevant in Warcry as well. Interesting, too, because the more models you have available to your warband, the bigger your collection becomes, until you might as well invest in Age of Sigmar as well…


At any rate, that brings us up to date with the stuff White Dwarf has made available for Warcry so far. I’ll be keeping this page updated as time moves on, so that it provides (hopefully) as complete a picture for what is out there. While a lot of stuff, like the early Fyreslayers and Lumineth stuff has of course been superseded and replaced, it would be nice if we had this collected in one of the annual books. Looking through my little Warcry library so far, I don’t think the Spire Tyrants campaign was ever reprinted, for instance, and as we seem to be getting much more stuff coming out this year, I would hope that it doesn’t disappear into the mists of time as things move on.

9th edition Maelstrom

Maelstrom of War is one of my favourite ways to play 40k, using tactical objectives that are achieved over the course of the battle. The sort of things you hear in battle reports like “monster slayer” and “defend objective three” and such, it’s sadly not something that a lot of people around me like to play. I think the idea of changing, random objectives throughout the battle doesn’t appeal to a lot of tactically-minded players, who want a straight run at victory.

The Maelstrom format was new for 7th edition, with a whole bunch of tactical objectives that were generated on a D66 roll. When new codexes came out, you could also get datacards that provided a deck themed to your army, with predominantly the same cards in each one, save for the first six that were unique for your guys. Notably in 9th, Maelstrom of War disappeared from the rulebook, and the packs of cards that you buy alongside the codex is principally the stratagem suite, with psychic powers and whatnot filling them out. White Dwarf 461, from all the way back in February 2021, gave us beta rules for Maelstrom in 9th edition, a series of twelve pages of rules that allow you to play in this manner.

There are six categories of Tactical Objectives, which are a bit more prescriptive than we’ve seen before, as they tie in much more strongly to the mission you’re playing. In short, when you pick one from the six missions included in this rules pack, it tells you to select three categories, then you roll a D3 to determine from which category that you generate your objectives. So if you chose your first category to be from the Holding the Line category, you would need to roll a 1 or 2 to ensure you can generate an objective from that category. There is one mission where all six objective categories are on offer, though.

The missions are otherwise really quite bland, with just one specific rule for each, such as keeping objectives secret until scored, or players preventing their opponent from scoring one of the objectives that round, etc. Not that they necessarily need a great deal of rules etc, but still.

It’s quite random, for sure, and you could pick three categories but end up generating all three from the same category. When you come to actually generate your objectives from the category, you roll a D6 and see what you’ve got (with rules for changing this if the objective is unachievable for any reason). There are four specific stratagems for use with this way of playing, and all interact with the tactical objectives in some manner. The first objective is worth more victory points than any other in each chart, and there is a stratagem to change the roll to a 1 to give you a chance at that objective during the round (but you can only use it once per round, of course).

The format appears to have morphed into Tempest of War, a pack of cards that recently came out that sounds very similar to the old Open War playstyle, but here you select the mission (from a set of 6) and deployment (from a further 6 cards), then a mission rule (from a set of 12 cards) and away you go. Each player gets a deck of 20 secondary objectives, and this is where the ebb and flow of the game comes in, basically replicating Maelstrom of War but without the massive deck of cards that could sometimes make the older format a bit too random.

Notably, Open War does still exist for 9th edition, with the pre-existing format adapted and changed up. With the way that 9th edition works, with secondary objectives and all the rest of it, Open War is a bit of an odd duck, though, as a lot of armies are being engineered in a different direction. They’re great for playing the odd game, but I think we’ve all come to expect something a lot more from 9th edition now, and Open War feels like a bit of a relic at this point.

I’m a big Maelstrom fan, but I realise that part of that is down to nostalgia for how I learnt to play 40k from battle reports. Tempest of War sounds like just the sort of thing that I’ve been looking for since 9th edition launched, striking a balance between the old Open War and my beloved Maelstrom of War. I’m still thinking that I might try to play with those beta rules at some point, but ultimately, I think this Tempest of War sounds like it could well be a whole lot of fun!

Giving Kill Team a go

It’s long overdue, I think you’ll all agree! The new edition of Kill Team has almost been out for a year at this point, and I’m only now getting around to trying it out. Now, I should say, I was playing against myself with this game, as I wanted to see how it all works in practice before trying to convince some people to try it with me.

I have to say, first impressions are pretty favourable!

Now, it is very dense to try to crack on a first play. There is a lot of back-and-forth in the rule book, and I wouldn’t say the rules are as transparent as, say, Warcry. In the game I played, I went in without really doing my research, so perhaps inevitably I was a bit lost for a while.

One of the big questions we ask when we sit down to a game like this is, what can I do? Now, it’s not always clear (to my mind) what operatives can do on the turn. One of my biggest bugbears with the rules is how badly laid out things are – so the book tells me to give each operative either an Engage or a Conceal order, but it doesn’t tell me what that means until about a dozen pages later. It’s like you need to have read the whole book and understood it before you play.

There is definitely a tactical depth required from the game, which really precludes you from just throwing some miniatures on the table and hoping for the best. There are twelve different types of Veteran Guardsmen, and there are eleven types of Corsair Voidscarred, and they all have some fairly distinct roles to play. Not having a game plan was quite startlingly obvious as soon as things got underway, if I’m honest, and I actually think that it hampered my enjoyment of the game. I mean, there are a lot of tricks that you can do with a lot of these guys, but I didn’t know half the stuff that was on offer to me (that question again), and as a result I knew I was missing out. At least I know what the problem is, so can address it for next time.

I was using the Veteran Guardsmen, because they’re wonderful models, but I wanted to use the Corsairs as I had a good idea for a colour scheme that I want to try out soon. They are also beautiful models, of course, but I think that both teams have suffered from the way that I’ve built them. I had said last year that I’ll definitely be getting a second box of Guard, but I also think I need to get more Corsairs. Not only had I brought the wrong mix, but they were positioned badly as well – it’s all coming back to the planning, isn’t it?

There is a whole host of additional rules that I was studiously ignoring for the battle, because I didn’t want to over-complicate things. All the Tac-Ops, Strategic Ploys and so on just felt like it would be a step too far, really! But the narrative depth that these things give is really quite astonishing, and I love the fact that we have this kind of game, even if it is quite the beast!!

I think it’s surprised me, just how tactical this game is. Rule of cool doesn’t apply – this isn’t a casual game. You need to have a very specific game plan in mind, and you need to exercise that plan as far as possible.

None of this is to say that Kill Team is a bad game. I think it’s just a definite level up for me in terms of how I usually like to enjoy my games!! I’m definitely going to give it another try, of course, but I’m going to make sure that I’ve done my homework first!!

The Dark Prince

Hey everybody,
I’m definitely on an Age of Sigmar kick at the minute. I’ve been working on the Khorne Bloodbound units, of course, but now I’ve turned to another of the four. It was inevitable really, wasn’t it?

Of all the four Chaos gods, Slaanesh is the one that I keep coming back to, time and again. It weirdly plays into the whole thing about the allure of the Dark Prince that I talked about a fair few years ago now; he’s very definitely got his crab-claws into me!

I’ve currently got five Khorne Bloodreavers finished, and have not only begun work on the next batch of five, I’ve also got the Wrathmongers out as well! However, getting my head once more into Age of Sigmar has got me thinking again about Slaanesh, and I’ve started to paint up the Shardspeaker as well.

Thing is, I love the idea of a Slaanesh army. I love the lore, I love playing Chaos in Warhammer Invasion principally because I love the Slaanesh cards, and I really love the models. I think the fact they have had such a huge overhaul into almost entirely plastic is just wonderful, and we’ve got such delights now as to be truly spoilt.

Here’s the thing. I’ve bought and sold a Slaanesh army twice so far in my hobby life, and am currently sitting on my third iteration. I’ve kept this the longest, as I’ve had these guys with me for about four years now. I think having such beautiful models as that glorious Keeper of Secrets probably helps, of course.

I really want to make a go of it this time, though, so intend to get this project underway at some point in 2022. I’m particularly keen to make an effort with the Exalted Chariot, which is my biggest hobby mistake so far, in that I built the whole thing before trying to paint it.

To date, however, I have only painted a single Daemonette, and she isn’t really finished, if you count the base. But she was painted up slightly over 3 years ago now, so I do think it’s time that I made more of an effort to get some more models finished. Especially as I seem to recall the paint scheme I came up with for them isn’t particularly onerous.

I’ve been Instagram-stalking myself, and June 2016 is the earliest mention of Slaanesh (above), so I’ve had this idea for 6 years now, almost! I think it’s time I made it come to fruition, though getting a good balance is going to be key of course. I know that I have too many projects on the go, and I know I made the decision this very month to focus on the Black Legion, but within days of doing so I’ve had this massive swerve. However, I do find all that trim a bit exhausting, and unfortunately I’m now in the position where I need a new brush for all of that. Bah! I don’t want to fall into that trap again, but I think in more general terms, 2022 will be something of a year of Chaos for me!

I think I just enjoy painting up models for Age of Sigmar, almost more than I do for 40k. So I’m looking forward to getting underway with this!

Building an Army in Age of Sigmar (3rd edition)

The Age of Sigmar exploration continues!

After looking at the core rules themselves on Saturday, today I’m looking into the other half of that, army building. It’s a part of the game that can sometimes sound a bit too straightforward – you muster an army, then start throwing dice around as per the rules, which is where most of your focus ends up. However, there are some fairly stringent rules as to how you build your army, so let’s take a look!

I’m hoping to get my first game in on Friday, too, so this will be a useful exercise as I build my list for that!

It was first edition AoS that gave us the three ways to play that have become the norm for Games Workshop now; open, narrative and matched play. That’s still true here, and as with 9th edition 40k before it, a lot of the development has gone into narrative play this time around, as we get a new and improved Path to Glory system. Narrative play, as I remember it, used to be “historical” missions that would often stipulate how the game should run, even sometimes which armies should be used for each mission. Path to Glory has existed for the whole lifetime of the game too, first as an expansion book in first edition, then as a part of each battletome. Now, it’s very much like 40k’s new Crusade system, albeit simplified.

Open Play used to be a case of “bring whatever you want, and go smash!” – with correspondingly little time given to it. In third edition, open play uses points and features a battle plan generation system straight out of Warcry, which is interesting!

Matched Play is pretty much the standard though, I would say, with strict rules around points and how many of which unit types you can bring for each level. Third edition goes a bit further and suggests table sizes and number of scenery pieces for each size of game, as well. It’s interesting to see this development, and along with the player code and other bits and pieces, I feel like GW are more than ever trying to tell people how they should be playing the game. Which is a good thing, but being the eternal optimist, I just wish it didn’t have to be such a thing, you know?

For my first game on Friday, we’re playing at around the 600 points mark, because that’s how many points James can muster from his Slaves to Darkness. I’m still back-and-forth a bit, but I’m currently planning a list of Ossiarch Bonereapers. I had been thinking I would try the Khorne guys, but I don’t have their book, and I don’t really want to buy it when it could well be replaced in a year or less! Last year, I did a lot of work in a short space of time to get a lot of these guys painted up, as well, so I think it’ll be nice to get them on the table and see what they can do!

The points limits start at 750, and within this bracket I need 1 battleline unit, and can have 1-2 leaders. Everything else is 0-1 of, so I’ve decided to bring the following:

Mortisan Boneshaper (135 points), two units of Mortek Guard (140 points each), and one unit of Immortis Guard (190 points).

The Boneshaper is a wizard, and can natively cast an offensive spell but I’ve given him a second that improves the combat effectiveness of my other units. He also has the ability to heal units, which may be very handy! My two battleline units are the Mortek Guard (both sword and spear varieties). They strike me as pretty tough for basic troops, making two attacks per model, and with a 4+ save that their sergeant can allow them to reroll with his command ability. They also have exploding 6s that the Boneshaper’s extra spell changes to exploding 5s to hit. Nice! The Immortis Guard have a similar ability, whereby they can attack with their massive shields and dish out mortal wounds on 6s. Their command ability is to pile in and attack again with shields only once combat is finished, which seems kinda bonkers but I do love it!!

I’m going with the Petrifex Elite, which is the colour scheme for my army. Interestingly, their army-wide special ability used to be +1 to save across the board, but I seem to recall that was deemed too powerful so it is now worsen the rend of attacking units that target a Petrifex Elite unit. Could be handy, I suppose!

The big thing with Ossiarch Bonereapers is that they don’t get to use command points or command abilities, but instead generate relentless discipline points which can only be spent on their own command abilities. A recent Tome Celestial in White Dwarf has helped out with this a bit, by giving more options, but it definitely feels like the Bonereapers are getting a rough deal at the moment!

Now, there are a lot of other bits and pieces that go along with list building in Age of Sigmar 3rd edition which I’ll go over now, but which I’m not sure I’m using in this list.

First up, all of the old warscroll battalions are gone, instead we have new core battalions which grant you specific bonuses based on how you build your army. The only one I could use in this force is the Vanguard, which allows me to issue a command ability without using a command point, but both of those things don’t apply to my army, sad face. They’re interesting ways to organise your force, and while I don’t know much about the game yet, I don’t think they’re too broken…

Enhancements are the catch-all term for relics, command traits and all those lovely bits and pieces that I enjoy from list building in the past. Something completely new, though, are Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics. It seems like an effort to incorporate the Objectives stuff from 40k, but as I’m not a huge fan of that, I do find myself a bit lost here. I’ve chosen Vendetta as my Grand Strategy, which is basically Slay the Warlord.

Overall, it seems like list building in third edition is a bit tighter than last time around. I seem to recall it was a little bit faffy in second edition to find all of the rules that you need, but while there is more to it this time around, I feel like it’s getting better. I suppose I need to wait for my actual battletome before I can fully judge it though, to see what I can do these days!

Learning to play Age of Sigmar (3rd Edition)

Welcome to my first musings on learning 3rd edition Age of Sigmar!

I’m sure there will be quite a few of these posts going up in the coming weeks, as I attempt to figure out what I’m doing with AoS. They’re probably more for my own benefit than anything else, but hopefully by publishing my thoughts here, experienced folks can tell me where I’m going wrong!

Very briefly, I think the game system is really interesting. While the free pdf has been called out as coming across as litigious because of the way each rule is numbered, I think this is perfect and in line with a few other games that I’m familiar with, so it’s not unexpected. Especially with a ruleset that can get cumbersome. It’s quite clear, and I think better than the 40k layout. The fact that the sidebar has useful clarifications is nice, too.

The game seems to broadly follow the same basic premise as 40k, which I think started when Warhammer Fantasy became Age of Sigmar with the famous four-page rules sheet, but has evolved and expanded into a much more filled-out game. It starts out with a player code, which basically amounts to “be nice”, and I like that a lot. While attempts are made to summarise basic rules concepts, I was surprised (like many players, I think) that engagement range wasn’t made a thing here – instead, “within 3” of an enemy unit” is used throughout.

There are six phases to the game. We start with the Hero Phase, which is basically the Command Phase and Psychic Phase from 40k. Generals get a command point for the army, and one hero can perform a heroic action. Wizards can cast spells, and Priests can cast invocations.

Next comes the Movement Phase, where units move up to their move characteristic, they can retreat from combat, and they can run (+d6 to their move). The Shooting Phase is next, where units armed with missile weapons can shoot them. Shooting seems to be very much an exception though, unlike in 40k, and within the rule book, actual combat rules are put into the combat phase. After any missiles have been shot, the Charge Phase allows units within 12” of an enemy to charge at them.

The meat seems to be in the Combat Phase, though. Both players alternate fighting with a unit, and there doesn’t seem to be a rule for all charging units to fight first. Interesting. At any rate, after a 3” pile-in move, fights are resolved with the normal roll to hit, roll to wound, roll to save. A big thing here is that it seems wounds spill over within the unit, so one attack doling out 3 damage can kill 3 one-wound models. Interesting. A unit’s saving throw can be modified by rend (AP) on the attacking weapon, and by cover if relevant. A unit can potentially get a Ward save once a wound has been allocated, which sounds a bit like magical protection or something, and can save against Mortal Wounds as well.

I find the development of Mortal Wounds kinda fascinating, as a mechanic that initially represented such devastating damage that you couldn’t possibly defend against it, to the sort of damage that was coming from everywhere, to suddenly being able to defend against it with special stuff, etc. I don’t know anything about the AoS meta, of course, but hopefully it’ll be a bit more sensible here, and mortal wounds will be a bit more circumspect. We’ll see.

At any rate, we finally have the Battleshock Phase. Here, you roll a d6 for a unit that has lost models, and add the number of models slain that phase; for every point by which the result exceeds the Bravery of that unit, another model flees. Coherency needs to be maintained, and if a unit of 6+ models has any that aren’t within 1” of two other models you must remove models until unit coherency is restored, same as 40k.

Overall, I like these rules. It’s interesting to me, that 9th Edition 40k has been somehow clouded for me, while 3rd Edition AoS feels much clearer and better, but it’s very similar. True, the Hero Phase is very different, but it strikes me that games of AoS would be much faster than 40k, and much more enjoyable, dare I say?!

I remember having this chat with the manager of my local GW back when first edition AoS was out, whereby the rules are quite straightforward but the bulk of the mechanics are within the warscrolls, and I think that holds true more than ever in third edition. With all of the allegiance abilities (roughly analogous to chapter tactics), and the command traits etc, it can become quite a task to work things out! But this comes from practice, I suppose, as you become more familiar with your chosen army.

Of course, I haven’t yet played it, so I could be barking up the wrong tree here. I think I played a couple of games with my Nighthaunt at the start of the last edition, and that was pretty good! I think there’s a huge attraction to fantasy for me, because it’s how I got started and all. Each time I find myself in this situation, it somehow feels like coming home for me, and I feel really positive about it all. So hopefully it’ll be a good time for all!

Converting miniatures (an opinion)

This is something that I’ve had bubbling around in the back of my brain for quite a few years now, and seeing as how I’m churning out all manner of blog posts right now, I thought I might as well try to get this idea on the virtual paper, as well.

The hobby of building, collecting, painting and playing with miniatures is diverse, and we’re all in it for our own reasons. There may be many overlapping reasons, but ultimately, what you do with your money and your time is entirely your own business (so long as it’s not illegal). In more broad terms, everybody has a right to be happy, so long as what makes you happy doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s right to be happy.

Hopefully you’re still with me, so far…

Something that I see and hear a lot, especially around new releases of miniatures, is “I would get one of those to convert up”, or words to that effect. That’s fine, converting models to make them more personal to you is a big part of the hobby, and for a fair number of folks, it’s almost the whole reason they’re in the hobby. I have no problem with people who convert miniatures, indeed some of that stuff is incredible to see. We see conversion guides in the pages of White Dwarf quite regularly as well, where alums of the Warhammer studio show off their efforts (always using 100% Citadel parts, naturally).

I think what bothers me is when people adopt a sort of hipster attitude to it, though, and try to make out that they would improve the original model because they have a better design vision than professional miniatures designers working in the studio. I remember it being a big thing particularly with Lauka Vai, Mother of Nightmares, above. She’s a very weird model, for sure, but that’s kind of the point. When it was shown off, I loved the fact that it’s literal nightmare fuel, but was told off by a fair few people because it needed converting up.

It’s the sort of attitude that is prevalent to a wide degree, with the half-joking “is this an Archon?” and “every new model is a Necromunda model”, which are both somewhat jokingly meant. I don’t watch his stuff much anymore, but I remember Kirioth would enthuse a great deal over new model releases with an immediate “I’d convert that”.

And I would always think, why?

What’s wrong with getting a model because you like how it looks? Well, apparently it means I’ve drunk the GW kool aid, or something, but I happen to like the look of a lot of the models that I own. It’s actually the reason why I bought them

I think it really bothers me when people make the announcement in that way, like they’re expecting praise for seeing the possibility for making it into something else. Sure, if you’re wanting to build a model to represent something, and then GW produce something else that would get you maybe 30% of the way there, then I get it. But the knee-jerk attitude of “I will get this and make something better from it” really bothers me.

Now, there’s I think a legitimate argument to be made about the lack of poseability in a lot of the new miniatures, which I do find rather baffling. I used to love the fact that Tactical Marines could be posed, and that they came with a variety of extra bits and bobs that you can you to further customise your force. But this is more about customisation, not conversion. At its most basic, a different paint job is customising your minis, but whether it’s adding bits and pieces, or hacking a model apart to make it look like it’s running, that’s all fine. When people complain that monopose miniatures make it harder to convert them, I just tune all that nonsense out. There are some great looking monopose miniatures out there – why would you want to convert the Master of Possession? Are you saying you’re better than Jes Goodwin?!

You might retort, but I don’t want my Master of Possession to look like all the rest. Well, that’s a very valid point, and I don’t really have a rebuttal for you. But then, this rambling post isn’t really aimed at that aspect of it. Wanting a miniature to look different in the scheme of your army is one thing – and if you want to include two of a miniature, but don’t want clones, then I get that too – but if you’re going to tell me that you have a fully-converted 2000-point Guard army that uses parts from 6-billion other kits to make something that doesn’t look like a Guard army, I’m not going to be impressed. Cue RDJ rolling his eyes so damn hard it hurts.

I think I resent the fact that I’m apparently not supposed to enjoy a model for its own sake, and can only like it for the opportunity it presents to make something completely different. That’s really what bothers me, and I think I’d the crux of this whole post. It’s like you’re being told off for having a lack of imagination, or something. I don’t buy a car because I think it would make a great spice rack.

You’re allowed to like what you like!

I would actually go one step further, and say that people are allowed to paint their Space Marines as Ultramarines, but I know that might be a step too far for many! (Ultramarines are great, remember!)

Of course, I’m not trying to tell people off if they also want to buy a model to make it into something else – as I said, conversion is a great part of the hobby. I just dislike that snobby tone where people seem to think they’re Truly Special (TM) for doing it, and the rest of us plebs can build our models according to the instructions, and presumably eat mud for dinner as well. I bought that Keeper of Secrets because I loved its pose, its insinuated deadliness, and not because I thought I could make it look better by using an Onager Dunecrawler for its legs, and a Treeman’s sword, and parts from a pewter model that was initially released at Game Day in 1995 (because I’m that cool).

Yeah, I know, I’m kinda ranting, but it’s all tongue in cheek. The main point that I want to make is that converting a miniature isn’t always some kind of brilliant move that ought to result in everybody bowing down before you.

If you start talking about “looting”, though, I’m going to have to walk away entirely…

The Black Legion update 2

Hey everybody,
It’s been a long, long road with the Black Legion, as I’ve been doing little bits and then leaving them for ages, but I have finally finished the first group of five marines, and the Sorcerer!

Maybe I’m just a masochist, but I eventually really got into painting these guys, even with all the trim! They are incredibly detailed miniatures, of course, regardless of the fact that the trim takes forever to paint. But I did get into it, by the end! I think it helps being in a more relaxed mindset when tackling them – I’m not trying to rush things to get them finished for the sake of having finished models, I’m just painting each model and enjoying the ride, you know? While I’m not going to win any awards of course, it is great to see them finished, as well, which is spurring me on to do more! I think I am definitely over my hobby slump of recent weeks, then!

Currently, then, my painted Chaos forces consist of seven models – the Sorcerer, the Master of Possession, and these five marines. I’ve got some Cultists that are kinda sorta on the way, too, but for the time being I’ve started work on the next batch of five marines so that I have the full squad painted. I think I’ll then turn my attention to finishing the Cultists to get a 10-man squad of those, too, before doing anything further.

Of course, I have also been building a second marine squad, using the fancy models from the Nachmund box, but currently I don’t know how that squad is going to turn out, rules-wise, because there are three “odd” models who currently don’t have rules. However, with all of the codex talk now starting to take place, it seems like they will become an option for the squad, which I’m quite excited for.

It’s quite nice in general to have the new book to look forward to, with of course the promise of new kits coming at some point. The live stream from the WarhammerFest event the other day has shown some very exciting things, and of course we already have the new Chosen and Warpsmith out in the wild after that box set that came out recently. Seems like they’re really leaning heavily into the Cultist side of things this time, with a new 10-man set, plus the Cultist Command Squad (for want of a better term), plus the possessed Cultists and the abominable possessed Cultists – disgusting yet beautiful, all of them! New Possessed models, as well – wonderful stuff! Part of me wonders where the separate Greater Possessed and the separate Obliterators are, to say nothing of the plastic Mutilators, but I suppose we can’t have it all just yet.

But we are getting a new Daemon Prince…

I did talk about this when I last mentioned the heretics here on the blog, and at the time I wasn’t sure whether I was going to keep going with the army. Well, I am now sure, having enjoyed my time with the models that I’ve painted up to now, so I’m looking forward to seeing where things will be going from here! That said, of course, I’m not going to go mad with this project, because I’m actually trying to thin down the various models that I have once more, but I realise that I always say this, and follow it shortly after with “look what army I’m going to start next!”

I enjoy the Master of Possession though, and the daemonic side of the army, so I think I will likely be getting myself some of the new Possessed when they’re out. I’ve talked about having a Cultist-centric army in the past as well, of course, though I think I’m somewhat shying away from that for the moment. Maybe I’ll reconsider in due course. The new Cultists do look good, and I’ll be interested to see whether the older Cultist models remain viable with these new guys coming along as well (I think I have about 35 of these guys, after all!)

I’ve been trying to organise my miniatures into some kind of cohesive army, and have come up with a 1000-point list (well, it’s actually 999 points) to use next week against my buddy JP, who has played exclusively Word Bearers since I’ve known him, so it’ll be interesting to throw my guys against whatever he decides to bring to the table, as he has been starting an Imperial Fists army, as well.

At any rate, I’ll be keeping my stuff confined to just marines, with the legionaries and Havocs, plus two Greater Possessed and an Obliterator. Nothing too fancy. Without having the second edition of the codex, though, it’s going to be a hilarious game where I will have the old codex, one of the Vigilus books, the Daemonkin mini-codex, and one of the Psychic Awakening books on hand!

That new book can’t come out quickly enough!

However, I’m trying to keep myself under control, which isn’t easy with the amount of Chaotic good stuff coming out soon! I absolutely don’t want this army to get out of control, though, so I will be trying, as much as possible, to stay focused on just the models that I have, for the time being.

But then they go and announce this, and I’m all “oooooooh! Traitor Guard!” 🫠

Warhammer Fest 2022

Oh man, this was an exciting one! Four days of previews that are really pretty great, for so many in the hobby. Let’s try to break down some of the new stuff and see what’s coming our way in the next few months!

To start with, Chaos is back on the menu! We’re getting a lot of new Cultist varieties, including a ten-man squad, a sort of command squad, and mutant cultists of various stripes. Delightful! There’s also going to be new Possessed, which will presumably be accompanied by the Chosen and the Warpsmith when the big release comes.

Oh yeah, and there’s also gonna be a new Daemon Prince!

Points values will be made available for free, but the upcoming Chapter Approved will be tinkering with the rules, specifically around command points, and giving everyone new secondary objectives. There has been some outcry about why CA is coming out when armies like the Guard still don’t have their Codex, which I think is pretty valid, but 9th edition has been so strange to me, I suppose I’m not really surprised.

World Eaters will be getting a Codex, too, but it’s too soon to show off any new models. And the new Squats are getting a trike, which people seem to be excited for. I’m still underwhelmed with the Squat news – I’m happy for those players who have wanted this to happen, of course! I’m just happy, also, that I don’t feel the need to get any!

Next up, we have Age of Sigmar! Leaks from the Slaves to Darkness book have been on Facebook for about a week already, but it’s great to see these big lads in high definition glory! There’s a new Skaven model coming out, and Sylvaneth are getting a lot more new models!

This has been quite a surprise, to me. Seems like each iteration of the game grows this army, and they’re getting further away from their Wood Elf origins. It’s great to see, and I think I’ll need to exercise some restraint because Sylvaneth are an army that I really would love to try out. I mean, the Treelord mini is one of my absolute favourite sculpts of all time!

Big news from AoS is that Cities of Sigmar will be getting what I suppose we’re now calling “the Battle Sisters treatment”, and there will be updates for the redesign online. Could be interesting…

Big news in Specialist Games comes once more from the Squats, as we’ll be getting them in a new gang of Ironhead Squat Prospectors. Interesting, seems like 2022 is going to be the year of the space dwarf.

The next Kill Team box has been announced, Moroch, and will be Phobos Marines vs Traitor Guard, with the new Sector Frontieris terrain! I’m unsure about this one, as I don’t want the Marines, and I already have the ogryn and commissar models from their release in Blackstone Fortress, so I’m thinking that I might sit this one out. That terrain is, of course, wonderful, but given that they split these boxes up eventually anyway, I think I might just wait.

It does look tempting, though!

New logo and new location for Warcry, as we head into a cursed jungle for what many seem to think will be a soft version two. I’m not sure about the jungle, because I personally love the aesthetic of fighting in these abandoned cities (or mines!) and can’t really see that translating well. I’m prepared to be wrong, of course!

We also have a new warband preview – the Horns of Hashut – which is odd because it feels like they’re half of the suspected new box… We also have the centaur dude who looks pretty great – I hope this is going to mean we get more unique crazy sculpts for these sort of mercenary allies as time goes on!

I have to say, though, I’m disappointed to hear that the new setting is going to bring with it more AoS races “to the fore”. I don’t think Warcry is good when we have just any old fantasy race; I much prefer it as a Chaos vs Chaos game. Don’t get me wrong, I know why they’re doing it, and adding in the whole AoS catalogue has probably kept interest in the game to the point where we’ve been able to have so much amazing content for it. But I really preferred it when we were seeing bespoke, weird Chaos warbands unique for this game…

The final day, yesterday, brought the big news about Horus Heresy 2.0 that has been teased and spoiled and goodness knows what for a long while now. We’re getting a new box set, which is huge, and new MkVI marines. New plastic tanks, and a slew of plastic weapons upgrades to try to muscle in on people who have been 3D printing their own. It’s an interesting move, and I wonder if they’ll start to do these kinds of weapons packs for other armies, giving Kabalite Warriors a second blaster, etc? It’ll be interesting to see whether these Necromunda-style upgrades have any traction into 40k, anyway. Without being a Heresy aficionado, however, the final day was otherwise a bit of a whimper, to me.

But it was definitely an exciting few days, and here’s hoping that I am the lucky one to win everything they’ve previewed here!! 🤣

Games, Games, Games!

Last week, my wife said the words every guy wants to hear: shall we have a regular game night?

Awesome!

For our first game of the new season, as it were, we got Elder Sign to the table, and started against Yog Sothoth – which was just vicious! We started out as Amanda Sharpe and Gloria Goldberg, but the Museum cards were just so brutal that we were pretty much on an uphill slog from the get-go. It wasn’t impossible per se, but even with Amanda’s ability to complete multiple tasks per roll of the dice, I did find it very difficult. Indeed, Gloria was devoured within about two turns! We went through a succession of investigators, each one was pretty much on a conveyor belt as they turned up, stuck around for maybe a turn or two, then was devoured.

Perhaps inevitably, then, Yog Sothoth woke up and for maybe only the second time I was faced with having to defeat an Ancient One by removing doom. To start with, it was going okay – by this point, we’d made it through to Carolyn Fern and Jenny Barnes – and we removed quite a bit of doom. Then of course, we plateaued. Fortunately, we had amassed enough trophies between the two of us that we were able to keep discarding them through all of this, but with still three doom tokens on him, our final couple of trophies were discarded, and we were devoured forever.

It was a really good game, despite the lack of success! I think Elder Sign sometimes has the reputation for being a walk in the park, hence why later expansions deemed it necessary to make things much more difficult. However, it just goes to show that with the wrong combinations of investigators and location cards, we started on the back foot and things only got worse from there. I honestly don’t think any of the location cards we pulled was particularly easy, and many times we found ourselves failing tasks as a result.


But we’re going to be playing more, which is exciting stuff, so I’m looking forward to working through each of the Ancient Ones in the core game, and then Jemma has said we should also work through the expansions, which is really exciting! I’ve played with Unseen Forces a few times now, but I’m fairly sure that stuff like Gates of Arkham and Omens of Ice have only hit the table once each, and Omens of the Pharaoh and Omens of the Deep have never been played with – indeed, the tokens sheet was still shrinkwrapped in each of the boxes!

I’m really looking forward to seeing what each of these expansions has to offer, and there will doubtless be more reports here on the blog when I do! I’ve also recently bought Ticket to Ride and the Charms & Potions expansion for the Harry Potter deck building game, so that’s very exciting, as well!

Moving on!

Last night, I had my first game of Tau in 9th edition, my first game with Tau since June 2018 and 8th edition, and my first game of 40k in what feels like months! Fortunately, I don’t think I was particularly rusty with the rules. JP was playing Imperial Fists, which was a revelation, as he has only ever played Word Bearers in all the time I’ve known him, so we both didn’t really know what we were doing…

I was playing according to the plans and thoughts laid out in this blog, so was really happy that I had remembered to actually write all of this stuff out beforehand, as I could just reference it when needed! I think that was probably the first big difference, because while I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing, I was still prepared, but JP wasn’t prepared with his Fists. I don’t mean that unkindly, just that there wasn’t really a plan that took into account stratagems and so on.

We were playing the Crossfire mission, albeit on a square table rather than the usual rectangle. I was able to get first turn, which proved to be incredibly powerful as I was able to move my Pathfinders into position securely knowing that I would not be overly exposing them by doing so. As such, they snagged me two additional objectives, and were able to light up a lot of the board with markerlight tokens. Between the first Pathfinder squad and the Breacher squad, I was able to eliminate a squad of Primaris marines (and I forgot about the markerlight buff while doing so – learning point number one!) Then moving on to the Redemptor Dreadnought, my Crisis team was able to get rid of that in combination with the Strike squad. I used the Relentless Fusillade stratagem to double the shots and improve AP by 1, then the Coordinated Engagement stratagem to further improve the AP by 1, on top of having chosen Mont’ka to improve the AP by 1 for all shooting within 18”. I forgot about the Coordinated Engagement on the Crisis team, but my Fire Warriors were making 20 shots at AP-4, which is worth it just for the hilarity factor. As such, the Dreadnought was eliminated in short order.

The second group of Pathfinders then shot the Primaris Eliminators off the board, with some assistance from the Commander, whose final volleys helped to soften up the Impulsor tank. Two hours of my shooting phase later, and I had wiped out three entire units, and controlled three of the four objective markers, meaning I was already up 7 victory points. There wasn’t a great deal that could then be done, though JP was actually able to wipe out that second Pathfinder squad in a single round of close combat, thanks to the Assault Intercessors making a ridiculous number of attacks on the charge.

In the end, I lost the Pathfinder team, two Crisis suits, and a single Fire Warrior. Due to the fact that it was already getting late, and we were only having a learning game anyway, we called it after the first turn, but I think this will definitely bear further exploration as time goes on, as I really enjoyed the army, regardless of the victory.

There were definitely some learning points on my side of the table as well, though. For starters, drones are people too (kinda) – I had been treating them as basically unit upgrades and not thinking of them as actual models. As such, that second Pathfinder squad shouldn’t have been wiped out, as there were still 5 wounds remaining from the drones. Secondly, there is a very tasty stratagem called Pulse Onslaught for Fire Warriors, which makes 6s auto-wound. I think it was the Strike Squad that rolled about seven 6s to hit, which would have been quite wonderful, but no matter. My third learning point is around the Commander, who allows for nearby Core units to re-roll hits of 1, and also for nearby Core units to advance a straight 8”. As it happens, I rolled a 6 for my Breacher squad and was therefore able to advance them enough to claim the objective they were sat on for the game, backing up the Pathfinders there. But it would be handy to remember!

I do quite like the Breacher team, as they were able to play a key part in removing the unit of Primaris marines, thanks to the Breach and Clear stratagem that allows for re-rolls of wound rolls, and also denies cover. However, while this brings me on to where to go next with the army, I think I’m actually going to favour the Strike team instead as my third unit of troops, giving the unit pulse carbines rather than pulse rifles for a more mobile team. I think this could work quite well, having the unit with pulse rifles remaining fairly stationary for the battle, as they still have the stratagem to double the shots so they don’t need to move into rapid fire range to do damage. I can then have the pulse carbines moving into position to set up that Coordinated Engagement, and potentially have both units doling out 20 shots each, AP-3 for the carbines and AP-4 for the rifles. With judicious use of the Commander to allow for them to re-roll hits of 1, that could be very nice indeed.

I’m definitely thinking about swapping out the Ethereal for the Cadre Fireblade, as this guy gives pulse weapons within 6” exploding 6s to hit, and also has the ability to allow for re-roll of 1s to hit, giving the Commander more flexibility to cover the field. He also has a markerlight, which I’m thinking will be key to the battle here, as it basically allows for the troops to hit on 3s as well, which stacks up something dreadful. I mean, what other basic troop choice has the firepower for 20 shots to hit on 3s, re-rolling 1s, and 6s get additional shots and auto-wound; wounding (potentially) on 3s, at AP-4?

I’m still intent on not letting this army get away from me, though, so I don’t want to plan for all manner of horribleness and end up with too much to paint. I already have the Crisis team and Ethereal primed but not painted, and I built the Breacher squad ready for this game, but now have 23 models that need painting because of this! It makes me uneasy, so I’m not about to go building the Ghostkeel or something, just to have more toys to play with at the expense of drastically increasing the painting load!

There’s doubtless more to be said about the Tau, and I definitely think I’m back wanting to get them painted again! So that was very good!