Painting Updates!

Hey everybody,
I feel like 2022 has started out in a really positive way for me and the hobby! I’ve been painting every evening, which always makes me feel better about things as I can see my progress with stuff.

To start with, I’ve been having a lot of fun painting up the unit of Tau Pathfinders. Initially, there were some hurdles to overcome as I was trying to devise my paint scheme for them, working from the old Citadel pdf guide, and even once that was sorted, I was somehow finding it easier to paint models one at a time. Urgh! However, since the weekend I’ve gone for more of a traditional batch paint style, and have gotten them to a decent point so far.

The cloth is drybrushed with Mechanicus Standard Grey and then Dawnstone, only lightly. I’m toying with the idea of then shading with Nuln Oil, but for now have left it as it is. The armour is then painted with Russ Grey – the original mini I painted up then had an all-over layer of Fenrisian Grey, but I’m thinking I may go for an edge highlight of that instead. I’m also going to try and line shade them with Drakenhof Nightshade. The skin is a light drybrush of Mournfang Brown and Squig Orange – a departure from the normal Tau skin tone, which would otherwise have been too close to the armour colour.

For the weapons, I’ve gone for a layer of Dawnstone and then Administratum Grey, then a shade of Drakenhof Nightshade, aiming for a slightly patchy look to simulate camo. This is largely the scheme – there are some metallic areas that I will paint accordingly, and some of the special kit is painted with Sotek Green and highlighted with Temple Guard Blue, but in the main the basic scheme is quite straightforward. The scheme is also replicated across the drones, and I was initially a bit concerned that they might look a little flat, having no highlights, but really that’s kinda the point – I want a sort of plasticky look to them, if you know what I mean?

I’ve bought a Start Collecting set for the army as well, as I thought it would be good to get the Crisis Suits and Fire Warriors for such a good price, as well as a bonus Ethereal. They have recently announced the Combat Patrol box, which switches up Crisis Suits for a Ghostkeel and Stealth Suit team, and includes a Cadre Fireblade as well as Ethereal and Fire Warriors. So that’s very impressive, though the price will be adjusted as well, no doubt! However, I paid £54 for the SC box, and CP boxes are £65.50 at my local shop, so it’s not much of a hike – and I have been thinking about a Ghostkeel recently, more for the model than any kind of desire for a stealth aspect to the force! I really think the Stealth team looks goofy, so I don’t know if I’d want those guys as well. But anyway!

I’ve also been painting some more terrain, which is just wonderful! Back in 2020 I painted up a Ferratonic Incinerator but didn’t make any notes on the scheme, more fool me. Interestingly, though, it is fairly close to my Tau – the actual vats are drybrushed with Russ Grey and Fenrisian Grey, and then Administratum Grey, in a crosswise pattern to try to simulate paint. The walkways are Macragge Blue, which has been heavily drybrushed on, then further drybrushes of Fenrisian Grey and Screaming Skull have been added to lighten it up a little. The support struts are just drybrushed with Administratum Grey. I’m then picking out pipes and associated bits and pieces with metallics, trying not to go too overboard.

I’m painting up a Galvanic Magnavent this time around – it’s one of two that I have built, though neither of them is built according to the instructions! I think I’ve always been a bit like that – as a child with Lego, I would always enjoy more the alternative builds from the back of the box, you know? So I have the current build, and I have this one, which was the first one I had built.

I love this scenery, and I really want to do something fancy with it all. I mean, certainly do something fancy to link up some of the kits that I have! In addition to the big pieces, I’ve got the Haemotrope Reactors and Alchomite Stack stuff that would possibly look fantastic with something to link it all together. I’m not sure what, though, and I’m not sure how, but I think it would be marvellous! I guess we’ll just have to see.

Hobby Goals 2022

Hey everybody,
It’s January 1st, a day so full of promise, so it can only mean one thing: time to come up with a list of hopes and dreams for the coming year, probably none of which will actually come to fruition by this time in 2023! This year, I’m planning to try something a little different, though, in the hope that it might actually lead to something more achievable! Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Terrain
I always find myself a little… not bored, per se, but I find terrain a lot more difficult to approach. I think wanting the scenery to look good without going to town and picking out all of the detailing on it has me at war with myself over how to actually paint the stuff! That said, I have painted up a few bits and pieces now, and I am quite pleased with how it has turned out, by and large, so I think if I can keep chugging on with the odd bits and bobs in the next twelve months, I might get into something of a rhythm with it.

It has definitely been a good idea to paint the zone mortalis stuff on a slow and steady basis, just doing two sections at a time. It helps, of course, having a colour scheme nailed down in advance! But I will definitely be getting more of this stuff painted up in the coming year – whether I get the entire Dark Uprising set finished by the end of the year, who can say! But you never know…

Hobby Goal: paint some more terrain!

Adepta Sororitas
I love these models, I think they look superb, and I really want to make sure I do a good job on them – which is probably why it has been taking me so long to get them painted! In 2021 I did come up with a colour scheme that I was pleased with, and which I wanted to paint, but it wasn’t that long before my youngest daughter was born, and everything kinda went out the window until I settled on the Genestealer Cults models for the rest of the year. For 2022, I’m thinking that I will try to take things a bit slowly, and just work on one unit per month. My thinking is, if I tell myself “I want to get this squad of Sisters painted by the end of the month” and no pressure to get more done, but equally I still have a bit of a time limit on there, it should provide enough motivation and, once I’ve finished the first unit, I’d like to think that will inspire me to keep going!

Hobby Goal: get more models painted! But only on a month-by-month basis.

Ossiarch Bonereapers
I spent a lot of time last year painting up this army, and I love it dearly. Unfortunately, I don’t know anybody who plays AoS nearby, or even who has an interest in it, so I’m not really sure where I stand with this right now! I’m probably going to paint up the cavalry and the catapult, as I already have those ready to build up. I would also like to have another box of the Mortek Guard, but I think I might actually hold off on any further purchases until I’m sure I’m going to actually get anything out of them on the table!

Genestealer Cults
I’ve painted up a lot of these guys in the last four months, but I still have a lot to get through! I might slow down a little and paint one unit per month, as with the Sisters, though equally it might be an idea to keep up the pace in the hope that I can steam through everything! I don’t think I’ll be buying anything else for the army just yet, but I suppose you never know once the codex arrives! My current sights are set on getting some more Acolyte Hybrids painted up next, as I think I only have one squad of these painted, and also the Nexos, as that is a great model! We’ll see, anyway.

Hobby Goal: continue the good work!

Tyranids
Speaking of the Cults, I do also want to make some in-roads with their four-armed masters. I really felt like I was on the cusp of making a proper go of things with the Tyranids in 2021, but it seems like that wasn’t to be as I switched my focus to the Cult instead. I am in danger of casting my net too wide at this point, I know, but I think it would be nice to have a solid force of Tyranids to play games with as well. I think I only played 2-3 games with them back in 8th edition, but I remember feeling like it was a really good experience, as the army is one that has a great variety of units at its disposal – there are good psykers, good melee units and some good shooting. It’s like a decent all-rounder army, with so much character from the variety of bug models on offer! Back in September, I primed three Tyranid Warriors, and I believe I’ve got a few other models also primed and ready. So I would like to get everything that is in this state painted by the end of the year, if nothing else!

Hobby Goal: paint up all of those units that are currently primed; finish off any part-painted models.

Other things
This is a fairly broad category, I know, but I don’t really know where else to lump them all! I have a number of other projects that are percolating away in the background, and I would like to see some sense of completion. The Delaque expansion box (to say nothing of all the other Necromunda stuff that is hanging about!), Warcry stuff, Drukhari stuff, AdMech stuff… it’s all mounting up!

I still haven’t decided what to do about the Tempestus Scions, the Deathwatch, or the Blood Angels that are predominantly unpainted and languishing in the loft. While I’m undecided, though, I’m not touching them in case I end up selling them and then regretting it. I have (somewhat) decided that I want to keep the AdMech force that I have roughly where it is – there’s possibly a third squad of Skitarii that I need to paint, and some Sicarians. I might get the Skitarii Marshal, not sure, but I am thinking to just keep those chaps where they are, and it’s not going to be a serious army project for me, per se. It’ll be something I can throw in alongside the Sisters perhaps, or else just keep for small games. I love the models so I don’t want to get rid of them, but similarly I don’t want to expand beyond my means any more!

I have a lot of Drukhari models that haven’t been looked at for quite some time now, and I think I need to have a clear out, if for no other reason than to clear some headspace. There are a lot of Wych Cult models that I’ve got partly painted (or worse) that I’ve never used, and I would like to have more of these ready to go, but I know I also have a lot of Kabalite Warriors that I probably don’t really need, so should try to thin out some more.

There are also a lot of Necron models that I need to paint, but I am pretty sure I do want to actually keep all of these, having thinned the ranks a few years ago. I have some Lychguard and some Wraiths that I really want to get painted, so I should probably make an effort with those. I also have some more Immortals that need paint. But the Necrons force isn’t as in need of attention as some of the others I have!

I also find myself in a bit of a quandary now with my Chaos Marines, because I have a lot of these models but so few painted, I’m unsure as to whether I should just cut my losses and call it a day with them, as it’s just yet one more army that I have to do stuff with (plus I play a lot of games against Heretic Astartes, so it could be a bit boring). But the models are so beautiful, I find myself thinking I might just keep what I already have, and not get anything else. But then, there are new plastic Chosen coming out, and I’m kinda in love… I suppose we shall see, but I do feel there might be a sort-out on the cards for these!

Hobby Goal: try to get my life sorted!

Tau Empire
So I’ve left the biggest one til last, but I have plans to re-do a Tau army in 2022. The codex is coming out soon, I believe, so I think it’s as good a time as any to make an effort with this project. However, having previously bought an entire army in one hit, and building it but then being kinda scared off and selling it all, I think I need to have a much more measured approach this time around. I currently have built the Pathfinders unit that was included with Kill Team Chalnath, and I think that’s fine, I’m going to get these guys painted up in January and that will be it. Then in February, I’ll get something else (probably Fire Warriors), build and paint them, then that’ll be it. And so on, and so on. By the end of the year, I think I should have a nice army, but I’m currently planning to have a small game (perhaps!) at Easter, as in four months I am hoping that I will have painted enough units to make this happen. I want to reiterate, though, that this is not going to turn into a monster for me – I am (for once!) going to take my time, and build this slowly. I suppose time will tell, but I have enough projects going on now that I don’t think I can afford to go off the rails in any way, really!

Hobby Goal: start a new Tau army, painting up just one unit per month.

In conclusion, I think I need to try my hardest to focus on what I still have left to paint, and just get on with it. If I can take this measured approach of just one unit per month, I think I could definitely see results – and if it inspires me to maybe to more than one, then all the better! I’m being purposefully hesitant, as I don’t want to over-commit myself and end up feeling bad for not getting anywhere, but also I know that when a project inspires me, as I saw with the Genestealer Cults in 2021, I can definitely do more than one unit fairly quickly, and so will see my progress ratchet up. Here’s hoping for a very successful 2022!

Hobby Update 2021!

Hey everybody,
It’s New Year’s Eve, which can mean only one thing – let’s evaluate the past twelve months, and tot up all the places where I succeeded and where I missed out on my hobby goals that were projected a year ago! Spoiler alert: I don’t think I did very well…

Paint up the Sisters of Battle 500-point list (well, it’s a little more than 500 points, but the point stands!)
Hm. I did make some efforts with the Sisters during the year, and I think I have a colour scheme that I like now, but I have not made massive in-roads here, as the project was fairly quickly abandoned, if I’m honest! I don’t want to get rid of these models though, so I think I might give it some more thought in 2022 and see whether I can make more of an effort to get some models finished.

Finish up the Drukhari models – 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar.
I did actually paint up 5 Incubi, and I’ve done the skin on both the Wracks and the Grotesques. But that’s pretty much as far as it goes. I don’t know if it’s been the lack of games, or something else, but I just haven’t really been feeling the Dark Eldar in 2021.

Paint up at least 2 Tyranid units, at least one of which is a big bug!
Well, this one failed pretty badly! I have sort of painted five Genestealers, but I don’t think that’s even a minimum-sized squad. Tyranids have been big on my radar during this year, but for whatever reason, I’ve just not really found the inclination to actually make this one come through, either.

Continue rescuing Necron models – Triarch Praetorians, Canoptek Spyder, etc
Okay, so I have painted some Necron models, but I haven’t really rescued all that many. They’re on my list – heck, some of them have been on my painting station for a long time! – and while I still have a lot of affection for the undead space robots, I haven’t managed to get all that many models painted this year. I did paint the five Triarch Praetorians that were a rescue job around two years in the making, and I have painted up a couple of the character models from Indomitus and the Psychomancer, so it’s not a complete failure on this one.

Paint more Grey Knights! At least three more units, maybe a vehicle too.
Well. I’ve not actually finished any further Grey Knights units just yet, but my goodness, I’ve been playing with them, and it has been great! I’ve started work on my second Strike Squad, but I really want to do these models justice, so I’m just slowly taking my time and working through them, and I hope that eventually I’ll have a good force fully painted up. As ever, stay tuned for this one!

Also paint more Chaos Marines! At least three units, and perhaps a bigger thing, as well.
I haven’t painted anything for the Heretic Astartes this year – shocking, I know! I believe there is a huge new release due for them in the new year, however, so I imagine there might be some more movement on this one soon…

Make a decision about the Scions, Deathwatch and AdMech models! Do I want to keep all of those Space Marines kits?
I don’t know! I really don’t know if I want to keep all of these extraneous models. I just want to have them, but I can’t really imagine myself ever playing games with them, really. AdMech I can possibly see myself playing as allies for maybe the Grey Knights or something, though I just don’t know yet… These are mostly just kept in the loft still, though. Shame!

Paint more terrain – mainly for Necromunda, but also general 40k stuff.
While I haven’t painted any more terrain (certainly not to completion), I have built up plenty. The Gang Stronghold from last Christmas, the new Kill Team box, the Sanctum and the associated ruins… There is a lot of terrain that has been constructed in 2021, and I think I need to be better at chipping away at this sort of thing, though without a real plan for it I do find myself floundering at times! All that said, I have done myself proud with the Zone Mortalis stuff, getting a few walls and columns painted up there. So it hasn’t been a complete waste, at least!

Okay, so if that’s all of the stuff that I had planned to do – what have I actually been doing with my time?!

To start with, I painted up a fairly significant chunk of Ossiarch Bonereapers, I think the final count has it around 1500 points of models there, not quite sure. I do love those models, and I’m thinking I might come back to them in 2022 if there are more models promised for release – archers, maybe?! I also painted up some of the Sigmarite ruins scatter terrain, a fairly quick job across some small pieces, and finally finished the Unmade warband for Warcry. That game has informed a lot of my time in 2021, I feel – and a surprise discovery of Underworlds meant that I spent a good chunk of the early part of the year in the Mortal Realms – which, of course, I hadn’t planned for!

Back in September, though, all of my hobby plans were slightly de-railed when I decided to throw everything out the window and focus almost exclusively on my Genestealer Cultists, having had the models since their initial release in 7th edition, but never really making any serious effort to paint them. Well, I’m currently around the 1200 points mark with these guys, which is just great, so I’m looking forward to getting their codex in the new year, and hopefully getting some games in with them!

Speaking of games, I’m surprised at how many times I was able to play GW games this year. True, a lot of these were solo affairs while we were stuck in one of the many lockdowns, but I’ve still managed to play Necromunda, Warhammer Underworlds, Warcry and Warhammer 40k during the year! Underworlds, as I mentioned, was a surprise at how much I enjoyed it, and while I might not necessarily be following it in the new Harrowdeep season, I do like the fact that I have a good collection of stuff to have (hopefully!) many fun and enjoyable games in the future. Warcry is a firm favourite, and the recent Red Harvest set has just bowled me over once again at how much they put into these releases. I’m still in the process of building this up, so I haven’t yet been able to try out the new mine terrain etc, but I am very excited to get it all finished, etc!

40k has been good, as well. I’ve played a lot of games with Grey Knights, both small and large, and I think I’m getting to grips with the way these guys play now. It’s been a lot of fun to play the smaller scale games with James and his Black Templars, as we’re both learning these armies, but by extension we’re finally getting to cement the small rules tweaks of 9th edition in our minds, as we’re not playing particularly rushed or competitive, but instead taking the time to ensure we’re doing things properly. James is a great thinker about the game, too, and he watches more battle reports than me, so I enjoy the post-mortem afterwards as we go through what had happened.

Come back tomorrow, though, as I run through some of my hopes and dreams for the hobby in 2022!

Genestealer Cult uprising is real!

Back in September, I decided that I really wanted to make the dream of a Genestealer Cults army come alive, and wrote this blog detailing my plans to just paint 500 points – some of which had already been painted to some degree. Well, people, this week I have not only surpassed that initial list, but I’m knocking on the door to 1000 points of Genestealer Cultists fully painted!!

I’m so excited, I can’t begin to tell you!

From having what I now feel to have been a fairly modest list of just 500 points, I actually have 900 points of Cultists fully painted, and it’s only the beginning of December! There’s still time to get to 1000 points before the year is out, I feel!!

The most recent additions to the army have been the Hybrid Metamorphs and the Goliath Truck, the two units that brought my initial 500 points to a close. The Metamorphs had been further along than I’d realised, and when I got them to the table to paint, I was quite pleased that I wouldn’t have so much work to do as I’d initially thought! The truck has been red for years, but it has taken a lot of work and I’m still not convinced by it – somehow, the Red feels far too flat! But I’ve both shaded and highlighted the panels, so I’m not sure what else I can do!!

In addition to these models, I’ve been working on the Patriarch, a beautiful sculpt and another model that was further along than I’d realised. There were just the odd details of his talons and the whole basing thing left to do. I’ve also touched up the Magus a little, trying to make his robes a little nicer and repainting the ribbed collar to match the dirty grey of the miners (it was originally brown, for some reason!)

All of this means I have a lot of great options in terms of the characters. I think the Primus might be next on my list for some further attention like the Magus, but for now this is a fine-looking bunch of totally normal guys from a mining community!

The Neophyte troops are wonderful models, and some of my all-time favourites, even if they can be heavy-going to paint! Seeing them like this, however, has really inspired me to keep going with the Cult – as I really want to create that sort of horde feel with lots of bodies swarming up! Sure, T3 models aren’t particularly scary, but 60 T3 models will take a hell of a lot of shifting!

I also have the initial batch of Neophytes, armed with autoguns from the initial Deathwatch Overkill box set. I have two of these squads, of course, bulked out to 10 with the addition of the crew from the Goliath kit – but they don’t really have a squad leader model. So I might be doing some jiggery pokery there, soon.

Moving forward, I think I’m going to try and tackle one more Neophyte squad this month, as well as the two familiar models. I don’t want to try to bite off too much, of course, and it’ll no doubt need some thinking to make a halfway decent army out of all these disparate elements, but regardless, I think it would be really good to have a solid basis for my Cult, in advance of the new Codex that we’re expecting to come out next month!

Im getting through them, slowly…

November Retrospective

Hey everybody,
The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s been really great to have these monthly retrospective blogs to look back on the progress that I’ve made with all manner of projects – hopefully they’ve been as interesting to read as they have been to write!

For November, the pace seems to have been a bit slow, as we slide towards the festive season. I’ve been reading a lot of weird fiction this month, which has shown itself in two blogs covering a variety of stories from contemporaries and followers of HP Lovecraft, before then the man himself popping up last week with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. I do love a bit of cosmic horror, and I think it’s been good to read some of the more extended mythos stuff this time around. It’s all very uneven, of course, and a lot of these stories could hardly be called masterpieces, though they are fun, which for me is the main thing. I am planning to read more of Lovecraft’s own horror stories over Christmas, of course, so do stay tuned for the traditional Mythos Delvings blog!

Reading so much weird fiction has, of course, gotten me back into playing the LCG. Having kinda planned out a series of games with Trish and Agnes, playing through some of the standalone scenarios, I’ve since pushed this idea to the side in favour of an actual campaign once again: The Innsmouth Conspiracy has well and truly started! I’ve built new decks, for Stella and Zoey, and hope to finish that in the coming week or so. I’ve got next week off work, so fingers crossed I can have more games then, if nothing else!

I have been trying to get somewhere with my painting though, and after a month off in October, I’ve been back to the Genestealer Cults, getting more Neophyte Hybrids painted up alongside an Acolyte Iconward and a Clamavus. These characters weren’t part of my original scheme, so it may mean that I end up not completing the 500-point list by the end of the year – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! I’m hoping to move onto the truck next, and still have the 5 Hybrid Metamorphs to do something with. So, we’ll see how far we get. But hopefully it’ll be a nice-looking little force, so I’m excited for that!

The Genestealer Cult hasn’t really been languishing for it, but I have moved on a little bit to another little project. After starting to read the third novel in the Grey Knights series, Hammer of Daemons, I’ve obviously moved on to these fellas once again, as it’s now a bit of a tradition for me to see how far I can get with them! I’ve got another 5-man Strike Squad on the table currently, along with a Brother-Captain. My painted Grey Knights are currently somewhere on a par with my painted Genestealer Cultists, in terms of size, so I suppose there’s a nice symmetry there in terms of building up both of the smaller forces. While I did initially think 9th edition might mean a slimming-down of my backlog, both of these armies are quite beautiful, and I really feel that I want to keep them.

My big news for November is that I’ve actually played my first game of Warhammer 40k this year, at last! Lockdowns do get in the way of these things, don’t they? JP and I took the tried-and-tested Chaos Space Marines vs Necrons out for a spin, but as ever, we spent most of the evening talking about all manner of junk and didn’t get much gaming actually done! I’m still not wholly sure about 9th edition, if I’m honest – I think it might be the subject for another blog, but I’m still not entirely in love with it. Which is slightly concerning, because if the recent pattern still holds true, we’ve only got about 18 months left before 10th edition rolls around…

It hasn’t even changed a great deal from 8th edition, really, it’s just the additional stuff in the rules have made it feel like it’s an overly complicated game now. When I sat down with the core rules a while back to try to make sense of them, it really surprised me just how little has actually changed. It certainly isn’t the seismic change from 7th to 8th that I experienced as my first edition change, but there’s something just stopping me from really enjoying it. I think this is probably something to explore in another blog, though. I might have a smaller-scale game with the Genestealer Cult and my mate James’ Black Templars soon, though, so maybe playing with a smaller model count might make things a bit better to understand, etc! Of course, that has its own problems when playing with an older Codex for the Genestealer Cult. Hm.

At any rate, I have been thinking that I would like to get more of my Necrons painted – I do have a lot of Necrons painted, for sure, but I need another ten Immortals, 5 Lychguard and 5 Tomb Blades to be finished before I can say that I’m happy with the force as it is. I’ll then be turning my attention to the stuff that I currently have painted, but which could be done better – some stuff like the Annihilation Barge could do with a bit of work to make it a bit more visually appealing, I think. So, I’d like to try and get the models that I think of as “finished” up to a better standard. Then there’s all manner of other units I need to turn my attention to.

I’m really chuffed to have got my hands on the new set for Warcry, Red Harvest, and have already started to build up some of the models from it. The design team are really knocking it out of the proverbial right now with this stuff, and I am utterly bowled-over by how good this stuff is. I think the terrain is what got me interested in this box, but the actual game content seems to be really great, too. It’s always nice when you get something like this – essentially a box of plastic – and there is a great rule set to go alongside it! My current plans, though, are to build up the new Tarantulos Brood warband, then potentially try them out in some regular games of Warcry with the core set stuff. It might be quite some time before all of that terrain is built, after all!

I have no more plans to attach to any of my hobby things right now, though. I think I just want to concentrate on getting my Genestealer Cultists done, and seeing where I can get to with the Grey Knights and the Necrons. If I can build and/or paint anything else, then that’s a bonus for me! I’m looking forward to making my way fully through the Innsmouth Conspiracy, and will have some more thoughts up here when that is all said and done. Who knows what else the month of December may hold? I do have some time off to look forward to, so there could be many exciting things yet to fill 2021!

Warcry: Red Harvest (first look)

Hey everybody,
So I am a very lucky boy, it seems, and have been able to snag myself a copy of the new Warcry: Red Harvest set, which came out a couple of weeks ago and looks an absolute delight so far, I have to say! I’ve not been able to get a game with it yet, because much like the original core set, there is just so much stuff in there to build, but I thought I’d come along here for something of a first look, and general geek-out over the new plastic!

And what new plastic it is. We get two honking big Chaos-infused industrial machines, two substantial, multi-storey platforms, a whole bunch of sluices to create all manner of layouts, and the barricades from the original Warcry set.

This stuff does look really nice, and I think it was certainly the thing that initially attracted me to the set. It’s the sort of thing that just really captures my imagination, and I know I’m definitely a sucker for these sorts of releases, but it definitely excites me for these types of games!

The story of this box is the pursuit of varanite, a type of realmstone particularly attuned to the power of Chaos, with which warbands can become super powerful. Enter the two forces clashing in this set, the Darkoath Savagers and the Tarantulos Brood. It’s always great to get more Darkoath models, as it brings me closer and closer to that dream of reworked Chaos Marauders. There are a total of ten Savagers in the box, which makes them one of the biggest Warcry specific warbands, I think? At first, I did think they might just be a close repeat of the Spire Tyrants, who were almost the generic Chaos Marauder style band, but these do have a very nice aesthetic that is noticeably different to the other band, not just with a different paintscheme.

The Tarantulous Brood is unlike anything we’ve seen before, a Chaos cult devoted to Chaos Undivided in the guise of an eight-legged spider. They are specifically seeking varanite to enact foul mutations, bringing them closer to eight-limbed perfection, and it is just utterly bizarre – I love it! I think they’re going to be the first warband to get my attention, when I finally get round to building these things up!

The new rules are particularly exciting, I feel. Of course, most of this is the basic Warcry stuff, but the new terrain comes with new rules for the Varanite Delve machinery – as the expansion is set in the cursed mine of Krath, there are rules for using the machinery against your foes, such as turning it on to flood any sluices with molten ore, or using the moving parts to crush foes who are dealt damage when next to the machinery. I really liked the look of this machinery when we first saw the set shown off, but with all of these additional rules it is really giving me Temple of Doom vibes, and I absolutely love it!

As ever, each warband has got two bespoke quests, each of which uses the new terrain, and we have a new type of quest, Branching Quests, which are aligned to each of the four grand alliances. These are really quite something, and remind me almost of a Choose Your Own Adventure style thing – after the first convergence, there is some fluff to read, and you’ll choose which path you want to follow, which will give you additional options to complete your quest, with spoils of war appropriate to the final choice you made.

It’s a very nice addition to the game. We also get the core rules, along with stuff about narrative campaign play (no open or matched play rules though, curiously). So it’s a strange one, especially if this is your first taste of Warcry as you’ll also need to get the core book. I do like the fact that GW has listened after the Catacombs thing, and we have battleplan cards for this box. That’s always a nice touch, even though it doesn’t look like we have the boxes for them this time? Unless I’ve not found them in my box, of course!

I do like the dice that have come in the box though – they are much more square than the rounded-corner dice from previous sets, so they land better!

In general, as a Warcry fan, I really like this set. I think it is glorious, unlike anything GW has put out previously with the mining terrain and the Chaos spider stuff. I’m really looking forward to having more toys in the toybox when it comes to this game, so it’s definitely time I started building this stuff!

On a somewhat-related note, I wonder if we’re getting a Tome of Champions 2021? With the Branching Quests for all four alliances in this book, I don’t really know what else we could expect to see in the annual round-up book. Of course, that’s probably why I don’t work as a game developer, and they could have all manner of good stuff up their sleeve, but I think I would have expected to have seen it by now, if it was indeed in the works? Didn’t the last one come out with Catacombs?

Well, anyway. Red Harvest is a very welcome addition to the line up. I’ll doubtless be coming back here in the coming weeks, as I build up some of this stuff – maybe even paint it! You never know…

Kill Team: Octarius (some thoughts)

I finally finished building all of the new Kill Team box up recently, so I thought I’d just come here and write a short bit of bumph about the new edition! I still haven’t played it yet, because children, but I’m rather excitedly planning for some dummy walk-throughs at some point, just to see how the things work in the new edition.

It’s been a couple of months now, of course – and we’ve got the next box set currently on pre-order, so things have definitely moved on! – but I think it’s useful sometimes to revisit these things at a remove, and see if the new and shiny was blinding me in any way to the actual value or worth here.

In terms of the actual plastic, there is a hell of a lot in here. I bought this from my local game store, so for £100, I’ve had ten guardsmen, twelve Orks, five substantial structures, and a bunch of scrapyard scatter terrain and barricades. It’s really quite brilliant value, when you think the two kill teams alone probably account for around £50-£60 of that. The terrain is nice and chunky, full of great little details, and given the size of the board we’re talking about, it really fills the playing field out well. It can combine to create an Ork fortress, or be used to make that kind of shanty town thing, plus combines excellently with the workshop terrain that came out a couple of years back, the scatter elements of which are reused here.

All in all, there is a tremendous amount of awesome plastic in here. The Death Korps of Krieg miniatures are simply beautiful, with an amazing level of detail that I really like and appreciate. They’re everything I suppose we can expect from models these days. The Ork models are similarly full of character, even the sprue is as crazy as the xenos themselves! Whereas the guardsmen can be built from parts clustered together on the sprue, the Orks have their bits scattered all over the place. Very Orky.

Of course, a lot of people seem to value these things in terms of the plastic content, and forget that Games Workshop have had to pay people to come up with a game that uses this stuff. The rules for the new Kill Team do take a little bit of reading to make sense, at least to me, but this is largely because it’s now a clear departure from the regular 40k ruleset.

There are three phases per round – Initiative, Strategy, and Firefight. The round is called a Turning Point, and each game takes place over 4 Turning Points. During the Initiative Phase, models are readied and given either Conceal or Engage orders. Conceal means your operatives are being stealthy, so can’t be targeted by the enemy, but it also means they can’t take certain actions. Engage has no limitations on what actions they can take, but it does mean they’re viable targets for the enemy.

In the Strategy Phase, you generate a command point, which can be used to pay for Strategic Ploys or Tactical Ploys. These Ploys are much like Stratagems in 40k, with Strategic Ploys being the kind of set-up type, use them beforehand when you expect something to happen (such as Overcharge Lasguns for the Veteran Guardsmen, which improves the gun profile for that weapon for all operatives before they shoot with it), while Tactical Ploys are played when that specific situation arises (such as Combined Arms, again for the Veteran Guardsmen, which allows for rerolls on an attack against an enemy that has already been targeted that round). I find it helpful to think of it in Magic terms – Strategic Ploys are like Sorceries, and Tactical Ploys more like Instants.

There is then the target reveal step, where you can reveal (if you want/are instructed to) any Tac Ops that you are trying to achieve. These are basically secondary objectives, and you usually pick around 3 per mission. The kill team you’re playing comes with an archetype, and you choose Tac Ops based upon that – again, sticking with the Veteran Guard, their archetype is Security, so they’d pick from there. Veteran Guard and Ork Kommandos have faction-specific Tac Ops, and the newer teams featured in White Dwarf, allowing for further customisation. In fact, getting rules like this is one of the reasons why I’m so attracted to the new Chalnath release, as I don’t know if the model for releases includes the actual rules you need for these teams outside of the big boxes.

The Firefight Phase is the main action, where operatives alternate activating, starting with whoever has the initiative. Each operative has an action point limit, for the Veteran Guard that’s 2 each, and they can do the usual stuff like move, shoot, charge, etc.

Shooting and Fighting is completely different from the regular 40k stuff. To start, you roll a number of dice equal to the attack value of the weapon, and compare it to the BS/WS of the model wielding that weapon. 6s are critical hits. Defence works interestingly, where the defender can negate hits with successful defence rolls (using 2 normal saves to negate a critical hit). Fighting follows a similar route, where you each select a melee weapon and roll dice at the same time – for each successful hit, you then choose if you are going to strike or parry. If you parry, you discard the dice and one of your opponent’s successes. If you strike, you can deal damage – whether as attacker or defender. It’s a very dynamic way to play, and sounds like it’s what melee combat should be! I suppose implementing this in a game the scale of regular 40k could be a nightmare of course, but who knows what 10th edition might have in store?

There are more rules for supporting fighters, and the like, rules for injured fighters where the stat line is worsened, etc. Objectives are controlled by whoever has the most number of APL on their models near an objective – that’s an interesting take on things, and works in the favour of some teams like Custodes, where each operative has 4APL. Aside from some pistols, ranged weapons have infinite range, which I find a bit baffling… but I suppose the board is small enough that it probably makes sense…

All of this is the core rules for Kill Team. Which is great – it’s an interesting new system with a very nice implementation of melee combat, and I feel like games will actually be pretty quick to play, and you could potentially play a couple of matches over an evening, which is a nice touch. The second big attraction of the Octarius box, after the shiny new terrain, is the narrative book. This has the missions that are themed to the Octarius storyline, as well as the rules for the specific Death Korps and Kommandos kill teams, which are much more extensive than the rules for generic teams found in the Compendium book. I know why GW released the latter, but in retrospect it seems like a move that soured a lot of the online community against the game at first – “why do the Death Korps get fancy rules when my Space Marines are boring?” etc. I suppose the answer to that is simply to wait, as the release model appears to be going through the factions slowly, with currently six fully-fledged factions now with rules (including the two White Dwarf articles and the upcoming Chalnath box).

It all just serves to heighten the fact that Kill Team is not intended as the same gateway to 40k that it was previously. Whereas before people could build a team from existing models, and then you might buy a box or two to create a new team and then perhaps consider a smaller army of those and so forth, now it seems very much that you’re supposed to just buy one box of models and that is your team. Well, maybe two of the same box. The Fire Team structure of the new style of teams means that you don’t have the same freedom that you had in the last edition, so you won’t necessarily need to buy a box of 5 or 10 models to get the parts for one operative. Having had a while to think about it now, I think it’s a really good move, and has already allowed for some pretty cool models – the upcoming Sisters Novitiates is a prime example of this, such an eclectic bunch and really full of character. I really love the fact Kill Team is getting its own releases, which remain compatible with 40k but aren’t ‘40k and also Kill Team’, if that makes sense? They’re primarily designed for this game, and much like the Underworlds warbands, will have rules for the main game system alongside.

That actually begs the question as to whether we’ll see increasingly wild Kill Teams? It’s all very well and good seeing a 10-man unit boxed up with a sprue of Fancy Bits to use in Kill Team, but what about having some more weird and wonderful ones? The upcoming Sisters team seems to be starting to break the mould a little with having a character-style model on the sprue, so they aren’t just ten of the same type of infantry, but whether we’d ever see a Haemonculus Covens team, for instance, which has two Wracks, two Grotesques, and some weird experimental part-mutant type thing, only time will tell! A lot of people are clamouring for Gaunt’s Ghosts to be released with Kill Team rules, which would be awesome but would give us a Commissar as well as some pretty specific Guard models (sniper, scout etc).

It very much speaks to something I talked about during the last edition, having Kill Teams of Renown or something, where you get a very specific bunch of models, not necessarily a team of ten of the same type of model. I suppose this is kinda what the Elucidian Starstriders were, a Rogue Trader crew with a variety of model types. I really hope they give us rules for those miniatures, heck I hope they find a way to make all the random Imperium models from this and Blackstone Fortress playable going forward! I also have fervent hopes that we’re going to see an Inquisitor and retinue!!

At any rate, it seems to be a very interesting rule set, and one that I’m looking forward to giving a whirl. The future definitely looks bright for the system, as well, although I’m not sure how many £100 boxes I’m going to want/be able to afford!!

Another Warhammer Preview!

It’s been quite an exciting preview this time around, hasn’t it? Not perhaps choc-full of surprises in some respects, but even so, it’s been really good to see what’s coming over the hill!

To start with, 40k has had the next couple of codexes shown off, Custodes and Genestealer Cults! They’re also getting a new battle box that is showing off a new character model apiece. The GSC Saboteur model is very nice, I must say – I’m not planning to get the box, but I will pick up that model when she’s released separately!

There’s just so much character there!

Age of Sigmar has had the next battletome shown off, the Maggotkin, and the next season of Warhammer Underworlds has got its next warband in the shape of a pirate ogre – including a pirate monkey with a knife!

I think it’s a really nice callback to the variety of Ogre Maneaters of the Old World. Similar to the other ogre warband that was just the one guy and a bunch of creatures, I guess that’s the template here. Interestingly, they have said this is the way forward now, kinda weird warbands that go a bit more into the corners of the mortal realms. Very intrigued as to what that could mean, I must say!

So, this wasn’t something I was expecting. I’m not an aficionado of Blood Bowl, though I have heard of Dungeon Bowl. It does kinda intrigue me how this works, playing American football in the dungeon? Not sure if I’d be intrigued enough to pick it up, though, because let’s be honest, there is rather a great deal of awesome stuff coming out right now, and my gaming budget is being hammered!!

Yes, that’s right – a new starter set for Warcry, and this one is so much more up my alley than the Catacombs set. I mean, dungeon battles are an interesting take for the game, but I think this looks much more like the sort of box that launched the game. I’m getting a lot of Temple of Doom vibes from the mining terrain – though many people have likened it to Goblin Town, too. There is some incredible looking terrain, and the warbands are a very nice inclusion – the spider guys are really quite original, and it’s lovely to have some more Darkoath warriors. A prelude to seeing the Chaos marauders getting a refresh? 🤔

It looks like it’s going to be a really good set, and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it!

Oh yeah, and there was this!

Now, I don’t collect these chaps, and I’ve moved away somewhat from the Heresy in terms of the game, but it’s always pretty nice to see these event-style miniatures. Very nice!

So there we are, another preview day! New Warcry is definitely exciting me the most, but I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the book for the Cultists.

Warhammer 40,000 (a history)

The point of this page is to try and help to get my head around when all of the editions of 40k came out. People online (and in real life!) often refer to the glory days of fifth edition, for example, and I have no idea what that means – was it 10 years ago? 20? Well, if you’re like me, you can wonder no longer!

Warhammer 40,000

First edition (1987)
The very first edition of Warhammer 40k bore the subtitle of Rogue Trader, and had much more of a RPG feel to things. Throughout this period, the background was being developed, including the Horus Heresy backstory and stuff about the Orks and the Chaos gods.

Second Edition (1993)
Second edition took the lore to a very dark place, really emphasizing the grim dark feel and the hopelessness of the Imperium situation. Special Characters from the setting became a big thing at this time, as well, leading to the popular moniker “Herohammer”.

Third Edition (1998)
The first major rules re-write. While first edition was pretty skirmish-based, things had been moving more towards bigger battles, and third edition introduced many xenos races such as the Necrons and Tau, as well as branching out the codex structure generally, rather than publishing army lists through White Dwarf and other supplements. The biggest thing was how streamlined the game became, with movement standardised and the system becoming based solely on D6.

Fourth Edition (2004)
This edition was backwards-compatible with many of the recently-released codexes. There were some tweaks to line of sight, but on the whole things were kept the same as previously. Two new expansions for the game were produced at this time: Cities of Death, and Apocalypse. Battle for Macragge was the starter set for this edition.

Fifth Edition (2008)
Fifth edition saw the beginning of finecast replacements for metal figures, and while previous editions had sought to streamline the rules, this time around, many rules (and models) were added back in, albeit in a new way. Rules such as Power from Pain (for Dark Eldar) and Imperial Guard Orders were brought back at this time. Also: true line of sight became a thing! Assault on Black Reach was the starter set for this edition.

Sixth Edition (2012)
Psychic Power cards are introduced! Flying vehicles also got a proper subset of rules, and several other aspects were reworked for this edition. Imperial Knights were also introduced as a playable model, and rules for greater interactivity with scenery were also added in. Dark Vengeance was the starter set for this edition.

Seventh Edition (2014)
My edition! The first one I played in, anyway. The actual Psychic Phase was introduced, and Maelstrom of War became a thing. In addition, the Lord of War slot – previously models produced specifically for Apocalypse – became playable in regular 40k.

Eighth Edition (2017)
The most radical redesign since Third Edition, with a complete overhaul of the rules – a slimmed-down version of which was released for free online. The lore was also moved along, with the galaxy torn in half by the cicatrix maledictum. And primaris marines were born! Dark Millennium was the starter set for this edition.

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

Ninth Edition (2020)
Mainly a tweak from Eighth, with most of the rules backwards-compatible. The Psychic Awakening series that came out at the end of the previous edition made for a much more smooth transition. Indomitus was the starter set for this edition.

Lizardmen!

Lizards! Lizards everywhere!

It’s that time again, when I start thinking about another army. Does this happen to anyone else? Just me? Hm, interesting. I’ve almost started a Lizardmen army before, as they’re one of those races from the Old World that really inspires me, though I think back when I was seriously thinking about it, I had that many projects on the go that it got a bit lost in the mire.

That was back in 2014, when I was first getting into the hobby and was a little bit all over the place as regards projects! Following on from the first attempt at building this army, I made a few purchases again a couple of years later. But that never really got off the ground, either! 2016 was a busy time after all.

I’m honestly not that sure why I got rid of these things though, they do take me back to my very early days with the hobby. Back then, it was the artwork from March of the Damned that started it all for me… That huge, calculating Slann on the front of that box – even now, it’s something that I really enjoy.

I can’t really say what it is about the Lizardmen that intrigues me so much. I know very little of their lore – or that of the Seraphon, as they’re now known, but I just like the slightly meso-American vibe they have with their jungle stepped pyramids and whatnot. I do like my fantasy in settings outside of medieval Europe, though.

I didn’t really get very far with the army back in 2014 or 2016 though – just a few skinks and the finecast models at the first attempt, then a single Saurus Knight later on. It’s like it was never meant to be!

From what I’ve heard, the lore of the Seraphon is quite bonkers, something to do with beings from the stars, and you can either play them as being star-stuff or “coalesced”, which gives you access to different rules in-game? I don’t know. Bonkers stuff, but I suppose I just need to get the battletome in my hands. That said, with 3rd edition and whatnot, I’m not sure if it’s going to be worthwhile picking up the book if there could be another one out at some point. There has been a rules update in the current White Dwarf, which I had tried to read through but couldn’t make much sense from. At least it’s allowed me to make a start getting to grips with the new lore, though!

So, what about the army plans?

Well, in short, I’m not sure yet. I’m planning to pick up the Start Collecting set soon, as I think that’s a nice mix of infantry, cavalry, and a big centrepiece model. I would like to get a slann, but I’m not entirely sure about HQ units just yet. As far as colour schemes go, while my first thought is invariably ‘go with the box art’, I’m considering either reds and yellows, or bright greens. Maybe some purple thrown in there as well. That’s one of the big attractions of the army, to me, the bright colours would be a nice change after some of the grim dark 40k stuff. Should be a nice change, I think, anyway!!

At any rate, I’m thinking 2022 might be the year of the lizards – much like 2021 was (for the first few months) the year of the skeletons!