More Drukhari thoughts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drukhari Scourges Solarite

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


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

Deathwatch vs Drukhari: a postmortem

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

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

Firstly, then, my list:

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

Deathwatch vs Drukhari, round one

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

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

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

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

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

Deathwatch vs Drukhari, round two

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Falling to Chaos, part three

…it was inevitable, really!

While I’ve always been a xenos player at heart, I’ve nevertheless enjoyed building and painting the odd space marine in my time, and often have thought about wanting an Ultramarines or successor company to play on the tabletop. I never really thought I’d sell my soul to Chaos, but now that Shadowspear is out in the wild, and there is so much more Chaotic goodness coming out way, I thought it might be time to look again at my thoughts on the heretic astartes and all of their diabolical instruments of war…

First of all, I just want to say that I really do still want to get that army of Chaos cultists off the ground sometime soon. I’m not entirely sure when, because this year is shaping up to be pretty seismic with another house move hopefully on the cards, but I would like to get a few more of these fanatics painted up before we see another Sanguinalia.

A little over a month ago, I was rambling about my plans for a Chaos army, and was pretty determined to fit in a lot of the Blackstone Fortress stuff, as that had been the catalyst for my desire for this army. Now that we have at least some decent Chaos stuff out here courtesy of Shadowspear, I think it’s time to start looking at how to fit all of this stuff into my army!

And so…

I’m intending to add more to this as we see the full range of New Chaos unfold. I’m very likely going to get more Marines, and I do really want some Havocs for heavy fire support. Furthermore, I want to get the new Dark Apostle miniature, which I’m feeling fairly certain will have a points increase when we can add in his two mates as well, so this 1009 points list is very likely going to be changing in the coming weeks!

I’m still trying to go with the Cultist vibe, but I really want to add to that the idea of cultists who have gone a bit too far, and have managed to actually take things to the next level by summoning daemons and the unholy powers of the Warp. I’m not entirely sure how I want to play this just yet, but I’m thinking of getting some Daemonettes into the fray, and possibly some Bloodletters, though the important thing here is that I’m going Word Bearers for my Heretic Astartes forces, so I don’t want too much red on the table!

Vigilus Ablaze looks like it’s going to be a must-buy for playing Chaos Space Marines, as it has all of the specialist detachments for the Ruinous Powers that really let you go deep on the army theme. It’s definitely sounding quite exciting, and really plays into the whole Daemonkin thing we’ve had from Shadowspear, so I’m looking forward to getting hold of my copy at the weekend and really delving into this whole thing!

I’ve been quite the fan of the Word Bearers since reading the closing pages of Horus Rising, and seeing just how diabolical the machinations of Erebus truly were. The First Heretic was another high point on that journey of course, but I think it might be time to read the Word Bearers Omnibus soon, and see what they’re up to in the 41st millennium, as well!

We’ve seen a few more new models for Chaos coming, such as the Master of Execution pictured above, and that weird Lord Discordant riding atop his scuttling helstalker:

I’m not really that keen on either, though I did entertain some ideas of buying the latter simply because he looks so silly! There’s a bit of an Age of Sigmar vibe coming from the naming conventions of these chaps, which is kinda putting me off if I’m honest, so I don’t think I’ll be rushing to get either of them when they’re released.

Amid all of the fanfare and pageantry of the new releases so far, we’ve not heard anything about the forces from Blackstone Fortress coming in their own packages, and I’m feeling a bit like they’ve been forgotten now. Sure, they are part of that game and, I suppose, there is an argument there to keep them as their own thing. But I would so like a 10-man unit of Traitor Guard to add to this list, especially since we’ve seen the heretic Commissar previewed for an expansion further down the line! I hope we can get these guys in their own release, as I’ve said before, but in the meantime I’ll probably just add yet more Cultists to the force when I look to round it out to 1500 points…

So far, then, I’ve managed to produce this test mini for my Word Bearers force, and I’m really pleased with the result. I’d started the armour by going along with Pete the Wargamer’s tutorial for it, but then just started doing my own thing – all of the weapon casings are Mechanicus Standard Grey and shaded with Nuln Oil, and the eye glow is Straken Green shaded with Biel-Tan Green. All of the cloth is Zandri Dust, and the leather is Gorthor Brown, both of which are then shaded with Agrax Earthshade. I think it works quite well, though, and I’m looking forward to getting the whole army painted up like this!

I think having an element of the Astartes is going to be quite important for the overall army here – I want the Cultists to look like a rag-tag mob, so they’re not in any kind of uniform. Having a bunch of models who are in uniform will then help to make it feel more like a fighting force, and I suppose I can always add in some links such as red robes for the Cultists, or whatever.

It’s a really exciting project, for me, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to getting ahead with it! Quite how far I’m going to get with this one, I have no idea, as I’m likely moving house at some point, but even so, it’ll be good to maybe get a Kill Team out of them!

It’s the GAMA Trade Show 2019!

Hey everybody!
It’s the GAMA Trade Show, and as I have done in the past, I’ll be keeping an eye on the proceedings to see what we’ve got to look forward to in the coming weeks and months!

First up, it’s none other than Games Workshop, who have just updated their community site with a first look at the next expansion for Kill Team – Elites. I mean, of course they have – not to be too proud of myself, or whatever, but I saw this coming a good while ago

We’re getting all manner of delights here, from terminators (as we can see on the cover) to Drukhari Grotesques! It was almost prescient of me, then, to have just bought a pair of these delights!

For all my cynicism of expanding the game like this, I am actually looking forward to seeing how it continues to grow – the danger, of course, being that it will soon turn into just low-point 40k if it isn’t careful. But so long as we continue to get intelligent choices with reasonable rules behind them, why not, right? Just let me take Lychguard now!

I suppose this also answers the question, where has the Thousand Sons faction box been?

Along with a Kal Jerico model for Necromunda, we’re also getting a Halfling team for Blood Bowl, with promises of more announcements to come in the next couple of days!

…let’s see what else is on offer!!

Next generation of the DC Deck Building Game, with the Rebirth branding? Very cool. Not sure about the more board-gamey aspect with moving cardboard chits around – it is supposed to be a deck building game, after all – but linked campaign scenarios and character progression do sound like they should be a lot of fun. Gonna keep my eye on this one!

You know, I’d forgotten about the two Fortune & Glory expansions until reviewing last year’s GAMA blog, but now that I’ve had my memory jogged, I really feel the need to have them in my life! It feels like Shadows of Brimstone has taken over Flying Frog, and with the third kickstarter for this game currently ongoing, I have to wonder if they have their sights set anywhere near the more traditional games manufacturing route. Not that I’m trying to be bitter or anything, but I do miss their games like Fortune & Glory, and A Touch of Evil. Last year, they were in the middle of making sure the Forbidden Fortress SOBS game was shipped in time, pushing the FANG expansions back to the first quarter of 2019. Well, we’ll just have to wait patiently for something not weird-west related to arrive, I guess!


GAMA day two has arrived, and my goodness, how exciting is this:

Traitor Command, the next Blackstone Fortress expansion, gives us a Traitor Commissar and a Chaos Ogryn, both of whom look delightful gentlemen – and will have 40k rules, to boot! Awesome! Forging alliances with unlikely friends sounds interesting, too…

I’ve said it before, of course, but I really love how GW are using Blackstone Fortress to explore these weird and wonderful bits of the 40k universe. The Commissar in particular looks like a stunning chap, I’m really looking forward to snapping these up when they’re out!

Warcry, the skirmish game set in the AoS universe and first teased a few months back now, has finally been shown off to be really quite the interesting game! Pitting different Chaos warbands against one another, at first it sounded like it might be a bit too exclusive – I mean, what about us Death players, right? But whether Chaos is just the first wave or not, it’s difficult to not be enamoured with at least one of these factions, particularly the cute looking devil-bats! I like it, which I’m a bit sorry about, as I feel like it might well become another juggernaut like Kill Team, and I’m not sure my bank balance can cope with that!

I really like the look of those pit-fighters with the welding masks, they remind me of Haemonculus Covens creations among the Drukhari, and I’m sure plenty of us will be using them for Grotesque conversions as these things move along. The scenery looks pretty amazing, too!

Not sure, of course, but this could tie in with the rumours of Warriors of Chaos/Slaves to Darkness getting an overhaul soon. I suppose we’ll see!


At any rate, that appears to be that! Plenty to look forward to from Games Workshop, who appear to have taken over with their exciting announcements of new stuff! Nothing from FFG, though the distributor Asmodee has announced a deal with Cool Mini Or Not, which may bring those incredible games to the masses (personally I try to avoid CMON as I find it difficult to resist them!)

It almost feels like the landscape of boardgame news has changed, and the big trade shows are no longer that important for getting a picture of what’s coming up next. Even the big daddy of them all, GenCon, hasn’t been that explosive for the last year or two. Is it a result of Kickstarter seemingly taking over the world of boardgame production? Speaking from an entirely personal perspective, it seems like the companies I used to watch – FFG in particular here – just aren’t knocking it out of the park anymore, with nothing really overwhelming me with its excitement. Meanwhile, established companies like Cryptozoic and Flying Frog Productions seem to be using Kickstarter more like their business model than not, and it’s leading to an over-saturation of stuff. Shadows of Brimstone has been a case in point here – when that stuff eventually found its way to me, it was like receiving 5+ years’ worth of expansion material in one hit, and I’m not sure I want that from a board game. Has our modern sense of impatience and always wanting the next thing caught up with us, to the point where we suddenly need everything for a game right now? All of these companies using Kickstarter to distribute games, and somewhat by necessity producing almost an entire game’s run in one go just to ensure the crowdfunding, seems to have led to a point where they just don’t have anything new to announce, because we had it all in one hit a year or two ago.

Makes me wonder what GAMA 2020 will have in store for us…

Shadowspear and more!

Well folks, it’s taken me a few days to digest all of the amazing stuff that we’ve currently got coming our way from GW with the second phase of the Vigilus campaign – and just when I thought I was over it, we get the preview for the big man himself! I mean, what a time to be alive!

First of all, the Shadowspear box itself looks really good. I was initially a huge fan, but my enthusiasm had waned a little bit, but now that we’ve seen these new miniatures in all of their glory, I feel very much like I need them in my life. Most of them. Well, probably all of them. I’m currently planning to split a set, and get myself the Chaos half as a decent start to a Heretic Astartes army and beef up my Cultist force idea from back in December, but then I also want that Primaris Vanguard Librarian. And possibly the ten man squad, whatever they’re called. Infiltrators? They look like beefier Reivers, somehow, and I like them!

I was listening to the latest episode of Vox Cast last night, with the legend that is Jes Goodwin talking about the contents of the box as a whole, and now I feel like I want to seriously make a Primaris Space Marines army! Gah!

So the new box looks amazing, and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on some of these models and getting them painted up. I’ve not really had any kind of thoughts as to a specific legion just yet, though I had entertained the idea of going “generic Renegade” and coming up with my own fluff, maybe, so I think that might be an interesting way to do it. We’ll see. I can’t wait to get that Master of Possession, at any rate!

I will likely pick up some Vanguard Primaris as well, maybe getting the Librarian off ebay and then seeing what else I can get in the fullness of time.

As if the new stuff in this box wasn’t enough, we also have the delights of the Warmaster himself coming in glorious plastic very soon, as well!

The model is insanely good, and I really like how they have clearly taken the original model as a jumping-off point. The amount of detail is just right, I think – so many of the new minis coming from Nottingham have been a little too busy, and it can make it difficult to really know where to begin with such things. But Abbadon looks just right, in my view – the baroque armour is definitely there, but it has enough breathing room that it can be interesting to look at, but not overwhelming. It should look fantastic as a centrepiece for my Chaos army idea, anyway, and definitely will form a nice counterpart to the Space Marine army idea I had way back in December, with Marneus Calgar forming a lynchpin of Ultramarines successors.

It looks like Abbadon will come at the head of the second wave of Vigilus storyline, as the second book in the campaign has also been previewed, and it doesn’t sound like it’s going to end well! I was very impressed with the first book, so I hope we see a similar sort of tome in the second one, with a lot of interesting rules and stuff to enjoy. We’re promised new rules, detachments and data sheets, alongside more new models, including what looks like a possible new Dark Apostle (just when I’ve gone and bought the finecast one!) and a new Havocs kit, which should be good if this chap is anything to go by:

I can’t really say I’ve always wanted a Chaos army, though whenever I’ve played Warhammer card games, I have invariably gravitated towards the Ruinous Powers, so I suppose it was inevitable! It should be good to get a small force of these guys, at any rate, so I’m looking forward to seeing what else we’ll be getting in this release window (Traitor Guard, please!)

All in all, there are some extremely exciting times ahead!

Going even bigger with Drukhari!

Hey everybody!
Following my post about the eldar Corsairs at the weekend, I thought it about time to get the main event posted up here on the blog: let’s take a look at my latest list development, the 2000-point Drukhari army!

This is quite exciting for me, as I feel like it’s been an army list in the making for a good number of months now! I’ve not played with my Dark Eldar nearly as much as I would have liked by this point in 8th edition, mainly because I’ve been struggling to come up with a way of organising my forces that I feel is right for me. I’m not interested in the competitive builds, but rather want something that I would actually like to play on the table. So late last week I spent some time cataloging all of the painted (and unpainted) miniatures that I currently have, before sorting them into an army that I can see myself playing.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I have 2545 points of painted Dark Eldar, with an additional 1000 points built and, in most cases, primed! I still have 14 kits waiting to be built, which is just mind-boggling, but then I suppose I was really into the dark kin back in 2017, and had grand ideas about fielding a massive force of them. Anyway! I’ve managed to distill all of this into a 2000-point list that takes in all three arms of the army; Kabal, Cult and Coven. Let’s take a look at this list now:

It’s quite a standard list of Kabal battalion, Cult outrider, and Coven patrol, netting me a total of 9 command points. I’ve still not really embraced the whole stratagems thing, feeling the need to maximise my pool of points wherever I can. Rather, I have been preferring to build lists that I want to play, and seeing if they can be organised after the fact for CP benefits.

I am, of course, playing Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, as that is how I’ve been painting my army since I started it back in 7th edition. I’ve got the classic combination of Kabalites in Raiders, and my Archons in Venoms – the Warlord being attended by his Court. I’ve also slipped a Ravager in there, because of course. So there are just six drops there to start with, and I should have some pretty decent mobile firepower to start chewing through the enemy from the off.

In contrast to most of my 8th edition lists, I’ve gone for just a patrol detachment of Coven, having 10 Wracks in a Raider and a Haemonculus in a Venom. This detachment, being so greatly reduced as it is, really feels a bit pointless on some levels, as I don’t have the mass threat of my big creatures or large blobs of Wracks to beat down in close combat. I’m seeing these guys primarily as a supporting unit for the Cult.

Wych Cults are an aspect of the army with which I have very little experience, and so the main focus for me in writing up this list has been to produce something that will allow me to change that. I’ve got an Outrider detachment because I principally have fast attack options painted, but there are also the squad of Wyches, and the Razorwing (which can fit into a Cult or Kabal detachment). I’d initially wanted to include a Venom in here also, but ended up without the points. However, the Coven really is a very mutable portion of the list, and so I could very quickly see myself expand on the Cult part to eclipse their Coven counterparts.

I have previously used Reavers when playing during the Index days, and I think they can be quite fun when used both for harassment and as more dedicated close combat units. During the game pictured above, I seem to recall they did serious work against the Orks! I also like Hellions, and feel like I’m perhaps the only Drukhari player who will make that statement! But I do like the models, and I feel like they should have a decent enough role to play in getting rid of the tougher infantry, while Reavers will likely be used to soak up any overwatch before falling back. I do actually have bikes with both grav-talons and cluster caltrops modelled on them, but haven’t had the points at this level to pay for them. As and when the Coven portion of this list is dropped, I think the Cult part could take on a slightly different look:

For this increased Cult list, I do rather have my work cut out. There are an additional 15 models to paint, which doesn’t sound too bad of course, but still! I do like the addition of the Beasts, as I think that’s an aspect that I’d like to explore a bit more if possible. The Beastmaster himself should be a good addition aesthetically, as he also rides a skyboard like the Hellions. The Clawed Fiend looks really nice on paper, making 5 S5 attacks hitting on 4s, with an additional attack once he’s taken a wound. I do have two of these models, though only one of them built – I think it could be quite fun to have a band of three of them with the Beastmaster (though not forming a single unit), going off to just blend their way through infantry where they’ll hopefully be hitting on 3s. The Beastmaster looks like he’s a decent enough support character in terms of his stat line – he can take drugs which might be useful when distributing them among the band, but his abilities otherwise basically allow for you to include Beasts in the army, and granting re-rolls of 1 to them if they’re within 6″. But he’s got splinter pods for 2 shooting attacks, and then carries an agoniser to make three attacks in the fight phase. It might be useful, I guess we’ll have to see!

I’ve only used a mass Cult once, and apart from the fact the Hellions were a fairly impressive unit for their Hit and Run ability, nothing else stood out. Of course, that could have been due to the fact I was pitting just one unit of Wyches against a mob of Orks! I’ve always thought that Wyches are the close combat unit to throw against a unit that doesn’t want to be in combat – their No Escape rule really speaks to that, after all. Coven units are the close combat units to use against dedicated enemy close combat units, so it does feel a little worrying stripping myself of the Covens!

I’ve also got enough points left over to give my Ravager a shock prow!

This list is a bit different to the one I talked about back in December, as it has more of a focus on the Coven than the Cult – if you haven’t already, I can recommend you taking a look at that to see what my thoughts were a little over three months ago!

Of course, going down the enhanced Cult route isn’t my only option for the army, as I am also considering the Eldar Corsairs option as discussed at the weekend. Should I go for that, I would then be able to fit in two more Reaver jetbikes to make one squad of five, with the addition of cluster caltrops to one squad and a grav-talon on the other.

While I suppose going the other way and enhancing the Covens is a third option for this list, I suppose the list as discussed back in December would be a better fit for that one. My fourth option, of course, is Murder Clowns, so make sure to check back later in the week for some thoughts on including Harlequins in the army!

Going bigger with Chaos

Hey everybody!
Time for the third and final blog of my mini-series, where I’ve been looking at growing my existing armies in the hope of having larger-scale games in the future, and this time it’s the turn of something that I’ve only recently started to plan out, the Chaos force! It was only towards the end of last year that I started thinking about building up a Chaos army, with the inspiration coming primarily from the arrival of Blackstone Fortress and all of the weird and wonderful goodness therein.

This post is also a bit of a cheat, as I’ve not yet finalised how I want the force to look. Rather, I’m waiting patiently for the new boxed set Shadowspear, which should not only bring me some interesting marines for a Primaris force, but also updated Black Legion miniatures that, from the look of the teaser trailer, should be off the charts awesome! So let’s ramble for a bit about the new stuff we know about, as well as what I hope we’ll see coming out alongside it.

The army I like to play tends to have a fairly decent balance, I think, between shooting stuff and beating stuff. From what I know of the forces of Chaos, then, I’ve been able to draw up something that I am really quite excited about playing, but the list remains quite small-scale, formed mainly of Cultists and the odd piece here and there that I like the look of.

I remain determined to somehow include the Blackstone Fortress models in my list, and have thus far included a patrol detachment of Obsidius Mallex with both companies of Traitor Guard and a Rogue Psyker. I’ve not put the additional Legionaries in there because I don’t yet know how things are going to look once we get the Shadowspear box. Will we get 10-man squads with different rules/options to the generic Heretic Astartes squad? Time will tell, I suppose – and that time might be sooner than we think, with the 80-day countdown for Vigilus to fall drawing ever closer!

We can already get bolt pistols and chainswords in a group of bolter-wielding Chaos marines, which I always find a bit weird somehow, but I suppose they don’t pay much attention to the Codex Astartes, after all! I really hope these chaps are the regular marines and not push-fit, though I suppose even if they aren’t, GW these days are producing a lot of models that will only go together one way, rather than the old style of marines where you have the legs, torso and arms all separate to allow for a variety of poses. Sad face. I suppose they do look amazing with all of the added detail, so it’s a decent enough trade-off.

Releasing a new kit of marines does of course beg the question, will the current finecast Havocs kit be released in glorious multi-part plastic, also?

In addition to regular marines, we’ve been promised new Obliterators, and we’ve already seen two of them between the trailer above and the preview on the Community site. Three Obliterators cost 195 points, which feels quite the investment, so I’m not quite sure how I feel about including these chaps in the list just yet. Though I’m sure I’ll eventually want to have some for a dose of heavy-hitting pain teleport striking in!

I do like the look of the Master of Possessions, who I assume will be an HQ choice with some kind of buff for these sorts of daemonic fleshmetal creatures. So depending on how things go with including the Obliterators in the list, I may well be fitting this chap in, also! Although I love the model so much, I might just use him as a Dark Apostle if I don’t manage to fit him in for his actual role.

I mean, look how sexy this beast is!!

I’m guessing that the rules for these things will be coming in the next Vigilus book, much like Marneus Calgar had updated rules in the last one. Whether we end up with a new Codex Heretic Astartes, who knows. I wouldn’t say Chapter Approved brought about a particularly significant number of points changes in comparison to anybody else, so I would only really expect to see a new book if we got a particularly large change in unit types, as we seem to be in for with Primaris Marines.

But enough of that!

So far, then, I’ve managed to slip in some interesting units, as far as I’m concerned, though I do want to include more of the Blackstone Fortress stuff – specifically, I want to have more than just 7 Traitor Guard. Much like Cultists, I feel like we should be able to field hordes of these guys – which brings me on to my main point, I suppose.

While the Shadowspear box does sound amazing, without even considering the Primaris aspects of the box, I find myself hoping that the rumours are true, and we actually get to have real releases of the Blackstone Fortress stuff in proper multi-part plastic goodness with a regular box release. I’m hoping for 10-man (at the very least!) Traitor Guard, and five-man Negavolt Cultists – we’ll most likely get Beastmen as well, of course, though I’m not so fussed on those guys. I don’t really hold out much hope that we’ll see anything further along these lines, though the Genestealer Cults release has shown that GW are very good at surprising us with a release schedule that just takes over the world, so maybe we’ll see additional stuff to flesh-out the release of these random elements of Chaos.

Should we actually get Traitor Guard released in this manner, then I’ll pretty much give up on any hope of GW bringing back the Dark Vengeance Cultists – I’m really glad that I found my own guys, of course, but I do find myself feeling a bit sorry for those who only know of Cultists through the five-man box available currently. Still, Cawdor gangers do make excellent conversion fodder, so I suppose I shouldn’t get too down on it. But it would be so much better if these kits would see the light of day again!

I am nevertheless very interested in seeing what we get for Chaos in the next month or so. How I eventually build my army is going to be a matter of some thought, for sure, though I do like the idea of having some of the marines alongside the chaff Cultists, backed up with daemon engines like the spider-thing and Forgefiends/Maulerfiends. Should look pretty damn good on the table, I reckon!