Decadence & Decay: The Warhammer Preview!

Decadence and Decay

This weekend, we’ve had another Warhammer Preview from the Community team, looking at a whole bunch of stuff from across a multitude of game systems. Let’s take a look!

We’ve got a new campaign coming, which looks like it might be the start of bringing out these lieutenant models that were teased a while ago: Death Guard vs AdMech (with Imperial Knights, and my favourite Drukhari!), which should be fun! I’m a bit curious about the title for the book, “Act One”, which seems to imply there’ll be more where this came from, which sounds a lot like another Vigilus. Remember when we had Shield of Baal, which was a Blood Angels vs Tyranids, with some Necrons and Sisters action on the side? When we had Warzone Fenris that was just Dark Angels, Space Wolves and Thousand Sons? 7th Edition had a lot that needed to be fixed, but at the same time, it was nice when a campaign had a much tighter focus. To me, it doesn’t matter if my Necrons aren’t featured in the current campaign – if I have a different campaign coming up that might have them front and centre instead. By trying to have all of the factions involved, it seems to dilute something from it, and can make a lot of it seem forced. But I guess we’ll see!

Getting back to the Drukhari, though…

Oh man, we’re going to be the first xenos codex of 2021! Hopefully we’ll be able to play actual games with it soon after, too! I’m very excited to see what is on offer, as I’ve heard we’re going to lose that penalty for mixing Kabal, Cult and Coven. I mean, I’d been experimenting with a mixed force that went back to the Index days towards the end of 8th edition anyway, so this will be good to find out more!

We’ve been promised “lethal combat damage across the board” – I hope that transpires to making a lot of the Cult units truly horrible. Whenever I’ve taken Wyches to games, they have rarely (if ever) made up their points in terms of the damage output. I mean, they should be truly terrifying to come up against, but end up just being a bit… meh…

The Dark Angels are also getting their Codex, with promise of more stratagems to hunt the Fallen. I mean… they’re really pushing the theme on this, fair play, but it’s very niche, don’t you think? I’m sure if you’re a Dark Angels player, and have regular matches against Chaos Marines, you’d benefit, but so many of these rules specifically mention the Fallen. I don’t really know what you’re going to expect from the new book, but I’ve definitely moved away from the army (despite loving the aesthetic!)

Okay, let’s get to something that I’m really excited for now! House of Artifice is coming to update House Van Saar in Necromunda, guys!

I am very excited about this! As we’ve seen for three gangs already now, we’ll be getting new leader-types and new juve-types – but my goodness, we’ve got juves on hover boards! I mean, Christ! This looks fantastic!

I’m looking forward to seeing what the rules are around these leaders as well, with their spider-arm weaponry up top there. They look great, and while I do love the main gang box, I do like their posture!

I’ve been somewhat on the fence about the new Direchasm set, although the fact that it has Slaanesh mortal units in there, I will most likely be picking it up in due course! However, these Slaves to Darkness do look really wonderful, and not just for the board game – that sorcerer character looks great, and I think I’ll definitely be picking up a box!

Speaking of Slaanesh, though…

Oh my good god, YES!

Sigvald the Magnificent was the first Warhammer novel I ever read, and I’m probably always going to have a soft spot for him (steady!) This miniature looks utterly amazing, and I absolutely love it. Some of these re-imaginings of Old World characters have been a bit… off… but I really love this new Sigvald – he’s definitely looking magnificent, don’t you think? It’s got just everything, and I really want to get this model…

In case you aren’t sure – I like it!

And this isn’t all for Slaanesh…

We’re getting Slaanesh mortal units! The Myrmidesh Painbringers look like the kind of perfect warriors that I’ve been expecting from the Prince of Pleasure, and I think they personify that excess that the god is all about. Looks like a dual kit, as well, with these Symbaresh Twinsouls:

Where the Painbringers are perfect soldiers, the Twinsouls are just weird. Slaanesh isn’t just about sex and drugs, of course, and there is so much more to explore when it comes to the Dark Prince, I’m so glad we’re now getting to see this.

I thought we were being spoiled when we had all of that good stuff last year, with the new Keeper of Secrets at the head of the range of plastics. Now, we’re finally getting to explore the mortal side of things, and we’re seeing Sigvald at the head of his own Decadent Host! It’s a glorious time to be alive – dare I say, it’s magnificent!!

Grey Knights: let’s talk Paladins

Hey everybody,
Following on from last week’s post about the Grey Knights, as I get ready for something of a major push towards finishing as many of these minis as I can by the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about the list that I have and what I can do with it to field an army at the 1500-points mark, and have come up with something that I am quite excited for, so thought I’d talk about it here today!

There was quite a bit of talk in last week’s blog about the idea of the Paladin bomb, and while I have expanded the list a little with a second box of these chaps, this isn’t actually something that I’m going to be focusing on too much – principally because of the points cost for these guys! However, I have taken the opportunity of a second box to fill out the squad to five men, and have used the other bits to create a Paladin Ancient, the banner-bearer that gives nearby models +1 attack. 

Having five Paladins does give me the option to equip two of them with special weapons – the wording on the datasheet in the current Codex does actually say “two”, and not “up to two”, which means that you can’t just put one in there, unfortunately. Paladins are 50 points each, and the weapons just add to that, so given that the current build of daemon hammer and two with pairs of falchions just screams melee-orientated unit, I didn’t then want to spend points on giving them ranged weapons that they wouldn’t be able to use when the unit got into combat. True, the special weapon only replaces the storm bolter, so they are still able to be equipped with melee weapons, but it’s all additional points that I’d rather spend elsewhere. I’ve gone for two additional guys with halberds, as the +1 attack for paired falchions is nice, but really, the +1 strength from the halberd should be very nice as well, so it’s a decent blend of attacks in there (especially with the daemon hammer hitting at S8!).

The choice of psychic powers for each unit is also really offensive. The Paladins have Purge Soul, which is almost like a leadership contest between the squad and their target. The Paragon, the sergeant for the Paladins, is Ld9, which is only one point above a marines’ sergeant, however, the important note here is that the Paladins will be running around with the Ancient in tow, giving them +1 to their Leadership value. There is potential for a couple of mortal wounds on a decent roll, here, I feel! Speaking of the Ancient, he has Inner Fire, one of the powers from the new Dominus discipline, which lets him roll a number of dice equal to the value of the psychic test for the power, and deal a mortal wound for each 3+ rolled. 

Having units that can take part in every phase is a big draw for the Grey Knights, and is why I think they are so expensive as models. If all of those psychic powers come to pass, they could be doing upwards of 6 mortal wounds to a unit before they even shoot anything! Everyone has a storm bolter, of course, so within 12″ of an enemy unit that’ll be 10 shots from the Paladins and another 2 from the Ancient, hitting on 3s and likely wounding on 4s, then the juicy stuff happens when they’re in combat. Each Paladin has got 3 attacks, but the banner from the Ancient gives them +1 attack if the model is within 6″ of it – so best-case scenario, we’re looking at 20 attacks. There are two models equipped with falchions, so we’re now up to 22 attacks. The Paragon will be using his four attacks to hit on 2s with a S8 AP-4 D6 weapon (with 3 damage, minimum), which should be nice! The falchion-guys will be using their 10 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding on 4s (most likely), while the halberds will be making 8 attacks wounding (potentially) on 3s. Both the halberds and falchions are AP-2, as well, and D3 damage each. 

Stratagems for the Grey Knights are not particularly fantastic, if I’m being wholly honest, but there are some useful things hidden away that can bolster the knights of Titan, and thinking about the Paladins in particular, there is help to keep them alive by reducing damage dealt from ranged attacks (for 1CP), once they’re in combat there’s a stratagem to give them +1 to hit rolls (for 1CP), you can keep any Paladins on the battlefield until they have had a chance to fight back (for 2CP), and the classic Honour the Chapter will allow the unit to fight again (for 3CP). 

Some really interesting options in there, I feel – and all of this is just through the use of those six models. The Chaplain’s litanies, and the Grand Master’s Rites of Battle ability, can allow them to re-roll hit rolls, should those characters be nearby as well. It is difficult to get the kind of crazy aura shenanigans of some armies with the Grey Knights, for sure, but I do like the fact that you can still get some really interesting stuff going on for them.

As a bit of a footnote for this, Paladin squads have the Combat Squads ability, meaning that you can take a unit of 10 models and, before the battle, split them up into two units of five models. Given the fact that you can take two special weapons for every five models, this allows you to break up a squad into melee-orientated and shooting-orientated. However, the points investment for this kind of squad is ridiculous – almost 600 points for the ten-man unit. It’s definitely cheaper to take a Purgation squad if you want ranged firepower in the list, as the weapons alone cost cheaper when equipped to a non-terminator model. Sure, you get the terminator stat-line on the Paladins, but the weapons aren’t any more accurate when equipped to the bigger guys, so while this option did at first intrigue me, I don’t think I’m going to be rushing to build four psilencer-wielding Paladins anytime soon! 

Hobby Goals: 2 months left!

Hey everyone,

So following on from my hobby goals blog at the start of the year, I thought it would be good to take a look at how things have gone, with just two months left! Seems a bit weird, I know, but I thought it’s as good a time as any to check in, and see if I have any chance of actually accomplishing these things between now and New Year.

1. Paint up those Grey Knights!
Well, I’ve not got a massive force of the Knights of Titan painted up, but I have actually spent some time this year painting up these guys! Autumn-into-winter is usually the time when I start looking at the army once again, of course, so it’s entirely possible that I will, in fact, paint up some of these gentlemen by the end of 2020.

I’m really pleased to have gotten the first Strike Squad painted up, and I think I’ve actually done a pretty decent job of things, even if I say so myself! True, the Nemesis weapon effect isn’t as good as some peoples’, but it’s bright enough that I think it makes a statement! The mixture of silver, gold and red is a really nice combo, I feel, and like I say, I’m just chuffed that I managed to get them done! 

I’ve also done this chap! The special edition chaplain in terminator armour has come out really nicely, I feel – again, another one where I think I’ve done a really good job, though I don’t mean to sound arrogant! I just think it’s at the top end of my painted miniatures, so I’m really pleased with the result!

However, that is all that I have done for the army so far. I’d like to think I might be able to paint up those Purifiers before the end of the year, as they have been almost-done for nearly two years now. 

2. Finish off the odd Drukhari stuff that I have hanging about
I’ve done nothing for this. Well, I’ve sold off a bunch of kits that I don’t think I need to keep hold of, and I’ve finally bought some plastic Incubi. But otherwise, I’ve not touched Drukhari all year…

3. Necromunda, generally!
Okay, so I’ve inched further along the road on this one, trying to paint up the Orlocks (again) and the Delaque, as well as starting on the Corpse Grinder Cults, but in some really big news, a guy I know locally has decided to get into it as well, so I’m finally looking at the possibility of playing some games! He’s gone for the Orlocks, so I’m toying with either Van Saar, for which I have at least six painted gangers, or else going with the Delaque guys. In preparation though, I’ve been planning scenery builds and I’m intending soon to try out the solo scenario that was published by GW during the first lockdown. Watch this space!

4. Blackstone Fortress – play a full campaign!
I’ve still only played the game once. Hm. Earlier in the year, I fully intended to have a game, but it took so long to set up, I just didn’t have it in me to then start moving the pieces around. However, I really enjoy it as a fairly simple game engine, exploring all of the wonderful side-factions of the 40k universe, from the Traitor Guard to all manner of weird and wonderful aspects of the Imperium. It’s definitely not going away for me, especially now that I’ve been hunting down almost all of the expansions (still not managed to get No Respite, though I’m not going to beat myself up over it). I think, where this particular goal is concerned, the massive nature of the game has seen it lose out to other board games when I’ve been in the mood to play something different. 

5. Try to thin out the unpainted/unwanted models
This one has been quite the success! I have already mentioned clearing out some Drukhari models, but I’ve also been clearing the decks of the Deathwing, and the Novamarines. True, I’ve then turned that cash into more plastic, but I’ve got so much more to clear out, there is always a chance that I’ll actually be able to keep hold of the money for when I actually want something… 

I’ve not quite been able to bring myself to make a decision about the AdMech that I mentioned in January, although I think some of the other stuff might yet be put up on ebay, such as the Tempestus Scions. 

6. Finally – try to work on what I have had lying around for ages!
This one has been a bit lacklustre – the Grey Knights success aside. In truth, I haven’t painted up a great deal of models this year. I’ve made some major headway, though, with my Necrons – possibly in part due to the new edition! 

So far, this year, I have fully painted:
– Necron Overlord and five Immortals
– Blood Angels Devastator Squad
– Grey Knights Terminator Chaplain
– Grey Knights Strike Squad
– Black Legion Master of Possession

And that is it! Terrible. Of course, some of these things are really quite good, even if I say so myself, so I am quite pleased with what I have done… I just wish I had done more! I’ve had some problems with motivation though, which I talked about earlier in the year, and which have returned in recent weeks, where I’ve almost been moving away from GW stuff – so I’m quite pleased that I seem to be getting some of that motivation back after writing this blog!

At any rate, there are still two more months of the year left, and there are plenty of models that I have made a start with, so maybe by the end of the year I’ll have a couple more to add to this list!

New Necrons!

Wow. The amount of new stuff Necrons are getting right now is crazy. It’s taken me a while to get round to this blog because it has felt a bit like the landscape has been changing continually over the last few weeks (and I’ve also been on holiday, and life has been taken up with real stuff). But here we are! With the exciting new world of Necrons for 9th Edition coming our way!

Yes, Reanimation Protocols are changed, and it’s quite the lengthy wall of text there! There are some good bits and some bad bits, so let’s take a look at this step by step. First of all, Reanimation Protocols are rolls immediately after an attack ends. So that is a hell of a buff, right there – your opponent is going to have to really double down and hope that their shooting or melee attacks will take out the unit in one single attack. No more getting two or three units to each have a shot at eliminating a unit! Excellent! Next, you roll a number of dice equal to the number of wounds each model lost has. So if three Lychguard die, you’re rolling six dice. The sad thing here is that you’re only rolling dice for the models lost there and then. I guess Necrons probably needed some kind of cap or limit here, because being able to still attempt to bring a unit back in turn four or five when the models were lost in turn one is a bit too much – I only hope that the new points we’re expecting will reflect the fact that we’re now only buying a model potentially once, rather than assuming you’ll at least be able to use each model twice in the army, as was the case for most of 8th edition.

There has been a lot of bile and vitriol in the Necrons Facebook group, but I think this is based on the idea of still having units costed as expensively as they are right now. There are also elements of the fact we’re looking at character models or others with multiple wounds that won’t all successfully reanimate each time, and so on, but I think we need to be serious here: Necrons could play really powerfully well if your opponent is unlucky. I’ve had some games where my destroyed models are maybe 2-3 by the game’s end, because units keep coming back. I may have started the game with three units of Immortals, but over the course of that game, I’ve probably used the equivalent of five units of Immortals, compared with how many were destroyed and have come back.

I’ll get off the soapbox now, but suffice it to say, a lot of people are upset at the wording of the new RP rules, but personally I think that we just need to look at different build options for the new edition.

The preview that went up earlier this week with the new RP rules also confirmed that we’ll be getting our own version of combat doctrines, called command protocols. These sound like they might be good – assign one to each of the five rounds of combat, and each one has two effects. When that round begins, pick an effect to use. (There is at least one way that I’ve seen for us to use both effects, as well, so that’s pretty good!) A lot of folks were a bit disappointed with the Psychic Awakening book for Necrons, as it didn’t actually have anything for us in beyond the rules for the new Illuminor Szeras model, but at least it’s not been too long to wait for the new book (although that is probably a whole other story!)

It seems that everything that had come with those green rods – so every unit released before the 2011 re-design of Necrons – is being re-jigged to some extent, and I think the one people are perhaps overlooking the most (given the sheer amount of new stuff coming out!) is the Monolith. This is a pretty nice new model, let’s be honest, and I think I’ll definitely be getting one as a nice centrepiece for the force (until I eventually cave and buy the Silent King!) I just hope they still have the rules to allow them to work as a transport, as well!

Speaking of new models, we’ve got so many more of them on the way!

There are a couple more Crypteks coming out, the Chronomancer and the Pscychomancer – which, together with the Plasmancer from the Indomitus box means we’re still two short of the full suite of five from the hallowed book from 5th edition! Geomancers and Ethermancers would complete the set, but those don’t seem to have been previewed yet – they’re either a surprise, or have been forgotten about.

With so many new HQs coming our way, people have been postulating whether we’ll be seeing a return of the Royal Court, where you can take a group of HQs in the configuration of 0-5 Crypteks, and 0-5 Lords. It’s an interesting idea, given that we’ve already seen the return of the different style of Crypteks, so I guess we’ll see what the Codex brings. (I’m thinking, though, that if it were possible we’d have seen it previewed already).

Now, something very interesting is happening with Necrons in 9th edition, and that’s the fact the lore is somewhat being reimagined to incorporate more of these ideas of a failing in the technology that has kept the Necrons going for so long. No longer is their tech beyond the understanding of many of us, but rather we’re seeing warriors that look more like metallic zombies, with parts of their armour falling off and failing following the aeons of slumber, and the Destroyer cults are being more fully explored, as we see various types of these crazed killers realised in plastic. The regular Destroyers that we’ve previously enjoyed are potentially having a rebrand as Lokhurst Destroyers, using the floating platforms of doom to get about, while we have the Skorpekh models that were seen in Indomitus, and now these Ophydian monsters who are taking as a design cue the original Wraiths models. It’s kinda funky to see this sort of design return to the army after so long!

For me, however, the absolute crowning glory of these new releases has got to be the plastic Flayed Ones!

So, okay, they’re not dragging along flayed corpses, or wearing them like crowns anymore, but we’ve got actual plastic Flayed Ones now, and I can’t wait to get myself a set! Lychguard are great, but they’re 150 points for a unit of 5. Flayed Ones clock in around half that amount, so we’re already on to a winner! We definitely need more melee potential, given the shorter range of auras and smaller playing field of 9th edition, so I’m really pleased we’re getting these models – although I had literally just resigned myself to wanting to use the finecast models after all when the announcement came! Typical!

I was really quite disappointed with the Necron stratagems we had to play with during 8th edition, but we’ve had a preview of the new ones that are coming, and it looks like we shall be seeing some very nice effects and abilities taking shape across the table in 9th – if I can remember to use them, of course! I really like the idea of tesla shots arcing across units in battle – hopefully that’ll allow for those units screening important HQs to become vectors for damage!

I’m quite excited to see what’s in store for the new Necrons as the Codex is imminently on the horizon, so hopefully the pandemic won’t get in the way of some exciting games once I have the book in hand!

Warcry!

Hey everybody!
It’s been more than a year, but I’ve not only finished building up the 2019 starter set of Warcry, but also I’ve had my first trial game of it at the bank holiday weekend! I’ve become really quite obsessed with this game of late, hence my push to build up the terrain etc, so I’m pleased to report that the game is actually quite a tactical one – brutal, swift, but really enjoyable!

Warcry

It’s quite straightforward to play, once the warbands have been built according to the 1000-point limit and any campaigns decided upon, etc. There are four decks of cards from which players choose the battle they’re about to play – these cards give you the map you deploy the terrain to, show where each warband is going to be deployed, what the victory condition of the game will be, and then any twist that will provide additional rules. The players the roll six dice, and count up any singles rolled – these determine who has the initiative for the battle round.

Warcry

Any multiples rolled then count as the ability dice that you can use during the round – the warband card will show these abilities and their cost, either doubles, triples or quads. In order to improve your chances, you get one wild die, which you can use either to seize the initiative or to add to make your singles into doubles, etc. So in the above example for the Unmade, there was a triple (the 2s), a double (5s) and a single rolled; the red wild die then made that single into another double, giving greater scope for the round to come. Wild dice are extremely useful, and can be kept from round to round if you decide not to use them.

Warcry

The battle itself is quite brutal, with almost all of the “genuine” Chaos warbands having predominantly melee attacks, meaning that a lot of the first battle round is about moving and positioning. However, there are quite a few warbands ported-over from Age of Sigmar who have more ranged attacks that can mix things up. At any rate, once things get down to it, the combination of attacks and abilities that the warbands can bring to bear mean that models can be taken out almost in one hit.

Of course, there are tiers of fighters, with the regular grunts, along with champions and the leader. The basic principle follows that of Games Workshop’s other games, with a strength vs toughness mechanic, albeit adding in critical hits that deal bonus damage. It keeps the game moving at quite the pace, to the point where I was able to play my first game, with all of the false-starts and rules-checking that entails, in the time it took my 11-month old to have her morning nap. Really good going, there, I have to say!

Where the game really comes alive is through the campaign system, however. Warcry is primarily a narrative game, with each of the Chaos warbands striving to earn the attention of Archaon, and thus the honour of joining his army. The campaign system formulates this as a series of games that are organised around three “convergences”, with victory in these allowing you to level-up your warband, of sorts. Each warband, including those non-Chaos ones, has specific campaigns that they can play through, which allows you to personalise your own narrative through the game.

I’m only one game in, but I’m hooked already!

Warcry

There is still a lot of tactical play involved here, though. I think it’s a classic example of those games that are simple to learn, but difficult to master. The flexible set up afforded by the terrain cards, victory conditions and twists means that it is the sort of game that will never really get old, as well, despite the core rules being fairly straightforward. It’s also interesting that fighters basically all have hand-to-hand combat and that’s it. The abilities mechanic is intriguing, and Jervis Johnson recently wrote a column in White Dwarf talking about how that all came to be that is well worth a read. I suppose it lends that streamlined approach to the whole thing, where you aren’t cluttering up the game with tons of different abilities depending on the fighters you bring in your warband.

In terms of expansion, the game has already seen seven Chaos-themed warbands, each having their own set of rules, as well as different environments that you can play in, much like the Kill Team model. There have also been card packs that have given the various Age of Sigmar armies their own deck of cards that you can use to play with your Nighthaunt, Stormcast or Flesh Eater Courts, etc. At the most recent reveal, it has also been shown that a new “starter set” is coming, which will feature two new warbands and a dungeon-style of fighting, which is a curious way to expand the game, but I’m all for it, all the same!

I do find myself wondering, though, what the future could hold for the game, long-term. All of the different warbands and environments etc are just basically more of the same, which is fine, but there will undoubtedly come a point where the game will have to find some new ground.

We’ve had some new ways to play come from the Monsters and Mercenaries book – something that, again, seemed to be following the Kill Team model, whereby we could add other, pre-existing units to our warbands, albeit we had to first fight the monster we wanted to add in, to best it in combat. That’s a neat idea, and super thematic for the game as a whole. The Tome of Champions, which seems to be very much a Chapter Approved-style book for the game, brought us new quests to play, and gave the rules for all of those armies where the card packs that were published had sold out within moments.

But what could be next? What should be next? I’m always happy with more of the same, although I think I would like them to create more new content for the game, rather than just giving us the rules to add a Terrorgheist into our warbands, and calling it a day. The way that fighters work, with the system of runemarks and so on, makes me think that they can go down the route of Necromunda, and give us a new box of fighters for existing warbands like the Cypher Lords or the Unmade, and increase the options there. I don’t really know what else could be done, but I’m finding myself hoping that they don’t let the game lapse into a sort of forgotten cousin, much like Kill Team seems to have become. I don’t want them to turn it into something competitive like Kill Team saw with the Arena expansion, because I think the immense emphasis on the narrative is one of this game’s strongest selling points, but I do hope they find a way to provide more exciting content for Warcry for years to come, because it has fast become one of the most exciting games I’ve played in a long time!

Planning! part one

Hey everybody,
It’s time for more rambling thoughts to start your week! After thinking about it a couple of weeks ago, I have now started in earnest on my 9th Edition Black Legion army – and yes, it’s turning out to be quite the army, at that! What has initially started life as a 500-point (ish) Combat Patrol force has now become something far bigger than I’d been expecting!!

To start with, though, let’s talk briefly about how army building works in 9th edition. Rather than receiving a number of command points based on the number of detachments that you’re bringing, instead you get the CP based on the game size, somewhat balancing things in comparison with 8th edition, where one army could be starting the game with something like 17, and another might only have 4. For games of up to 500 points-a-side, such as we’ll be discussing today, you each get 3CP to start the game with. After that, at the start of each round, you get an extra one in your Command Phase, a new phase of the game that seems to have been borrowed from AoS.

Now. Each detachment that you bring costs command points, but if your warlord is in that detachment, you get those points refunded. So the humble patrol detachment costs 2CP, but you then gain 2CP if your warlord is in there. Interestingly, this only counts for the patrol, battalion and brigade detachments – the vanguard, spearhead and outrider detachments cost 3CP each, and don’t refund you even if your warlord is in that detachment instead. So no elite-only armies, for you! Even more interestingly, the Supreme Command detachment doesn’t cost anything, but you get additional command points if your army also includes a patrol (+2), battalion (+3) or brigade (+4), but that Supreme Command must include either a Primarch, Daemon Primarch, or Supreme Commander unit. Interesting to see how they’re sort of pushing those big commander type of units – and even more interesting, considering there is only one Primarch currently in the game. I’m guessing that characters like Abbadon and the Silent King will be getting Supreme Commander keywords in time?

Anyway, I digress.

I’m talking about my Combat Patrol plans for the Black Legion!

I’ve literally only just planned out my starting force for these guys, and then the points changed quite dramatically and I couldn’t fit everything into the same force! Marines in particular were hard-hit, meaning that I’ve had to take out the Exalted Champion and a second Greater Possessed! But anyway.

For this list, then, I get 3 CP to start the game, which isn’t so bad I guess! The Master of Possession is literally only there as the headliner because of the fact that I’ve finished painting him; I think in the fullness of time I’ll be swapping him out for a Sorcerer or maybe even simply a Lord, although I have just today primed the Dark Apostle ready for action!

The Master of Possession is heavily geared towards daemon-support, so the Greater Possessed has stayed in the list simply to give him targets for his abilities! I do want to ally in some daemons, though, and I’m thinking the whole Dark Ritual stuff could be quite fun as well, so it’ll be interesting to see what he gets up to in due course! For the marines, I’ve got the 10-man unit from Shadowspear, and I’m currently working my way through all that trim on those guys… what a detailed task that is!

I’m enjoying my foray into these guys though, even if I haven’t yet been able to come up with an easier way of painting the basic troops! Of course, I’ll be using Cultists when the army grows, so that may prove to be an easier task, although I still haven’t finished painting that batch of Cultists from back in the day…

The Havocs are hopefully going to be great. Again, when I get the army fully off the ground, I’m hoping to get at least one more squad of them, kitted out slightly differently so that I have more heavy bolters for volume of shots. Given that they’re almost as expensive as double the number of regular marines, though, I’m curious to see what else could possibly fit into the list!

I think this is really indicative of how 9th edition is changing things, with fairly big points increases, which in turn are seeing smaller armies. In looking at how I could increase this force to 1000 points, I was looking at some Terminators, though kitted out as I’d like (combi weapons and power fists, with a reaper autocannon in there just because) brings a five man unit to almost 200 points! Added in a second marines squad at 175 and a second Havocs squad at 150, and I basically have no room to manoeuvre! It surprises me, I think, because during 8th edition I was almost always pleasantly surprised as just how many models I could fit into a list. Now, however, I’m finding that my lists are becoming almost elitist given how few bodies I can squeeze in!

In addition, though, I’m also intending to ally in some Chaos Daemons, principally of Slaanesh, given that I have those models already, although I can’t deny that I’d like to get a few more interesting gribblies in as time goes on! I think I might start with a small patrol detachment of these things, rather than relying on Summoning them on, as I feel that tactic might be vulnerable to having the characters removed before they can attempt the Ritual. But who knows? Maybe I’ll try to get my Dark Apostle to summon a Keeper of Secrets, and see what havoc can be caused!

So far, then, I’ve got a small force underway. I’ve recently picked up a couple of Rhinos and a Forgefiend, as I’d like to go bigger with this army as time goes on, but I’m trying my hardest not to go picking up tons of kits and finding myself drowning in plastic! In addition to the Marines, I’d like to get a nice selection of Cultists painted up, and who knows? Maybe 9th edition will answer my dreams, and we’ll get that Renegades & Heretics Codex that I’ve been after since Blackstone Fortress first showed what could be possible with such wonderful miniatures!

Warhammer 40k 9th Edition is here! Nearly…

Welcome to 9th Edition!

Or not…

What a way to start the new edition. Since, what, 3rd edition, there has been a starter box to help people get into the whole thing – if someone walks into a GW and asks how they can get started with this crazy thing, this is what they get pointed to. The boxes have been a varied mix of greatness that, recently at least, have always included miniatures that were exclusively available through that box. Sure, a lot of them were push-fit models, the sort of things that go together one way only as they’re designed for those folks new (or fairly new) to the hobby. Somewhat paradoxically, I’ve always enjoyed these kind of sets because of the variety they offer – you get static poses, for sure, but somehow the miniatures have different detail to the inevitable multi-part models.

Anyhow, the point being that previous editions have a starter set with which to get into the game. Indomitus has been sold as a limited release “launch set”, much like we saw with the Sisters of Battle set back in November, and the recent Lumineth Realmlords set. They’re a set of models with which to launch a model line, or in this case, a game edition. Much like the Sisters set, the box sold out within minutes – the GW site crashed six times during my attempt to buy it, after my LGS site simply failed to load due to the traffic.

It feels as though GW has decided this kind of limited-release run is, once again, a good idea to get a load of quick sales. Remember the End Times nonsense? I thought we’d put all of this behind us, but clearly not! Why do they keep doing this? For the money, clearly, but seeing the boxes up on ebay today for well over triple the original asking price (and higher still!) must make them thing, if they made just more of their product, people would be giving them the money… Of course, people have been talking about this topic for so long now, and there are plenty of people who have crunched the numbers better than I could, but once the initial design and moulds have been paid for, producing the actual plastic kit costs just pennies. With a set this good, they could keep it as a line item and I’m sure it’d fly off the shelves.

Launching 9th Edition with a box that sold out in quarter of an hour has left a weird aftertaste – you can still join in the fun of the new edition from July 25th, albeit only with the rulebook. No box full of fancy miniatures for you to enjoy, just the book.

It feels weird, and has robbed it of any sense of excitement for me.

Did you manage to get a copy of Indomitus? What are your thoughts on this latest GW limited release?

Warhammer 40k 8th Edition retrospective

Hey everybody!
Indomitus goes on pre-order tomorrow – a two week preorder window, which seems a little silly given that the box is likely to sell out in a couple of minutes. Anyway, we’re not too far away from having a new edition, even if it doesn’t seem like five minutes since 8th Edition, and I thought it would be nice to look back on the old edition before it fades into memory!

I think the best thing about 8th Edition was the fact that it launched with these books. Being a completely new style of game from 7th Edition, the Indexes were of course necessary for the game, but they functioned quite like mini-Codexes, with the rules for (I think) pretty much every model made for each faction, and army-specific rules.

I started playing pretty regularly in 8th with my Necrons, followed quickly by my Dark Eldar, so it was quite good to have all of the rules for these factions in the same book. It was also useful if you were going to play against an army included in the same book, as you basically had their Codex as well, allowing you to see what you could be coming up against.

My Dark Eldar were the the army that I had been building up for this edition, of course, so it was nice to get them to the table.

One of the best aspects of 8th Edition was the addition of “chapter tactics” for each faction, allowing for a great deal of customization for your army. Relics, Warlord Traits and Psychic Powers were all given out with specifics for these sub-divisions within each faction, as well as Stratagems:

Stratagems were, I think, among the biggest game-changers for the edition. Many of the army rules, unit rules, or even weapon rules from the previous edition were re-created via Stratagems, which could be used for a cost that was generated by how you’d built your army. There have been pages and pages written about Stratagems and their use, of course, so I’m not going to labour the point on this one, but there have been quite a few shenanigans though the generation and re-generation of command points.

In the main, I’ve quite liked them, of course, although I do tend to forget about them… and end games with almost as many points as I’d started!

8th Edition 40k was certainly an improvement on 7th Edition, although very quickly we started to get the same kind of bloat as had been seen in the previous edition. Both Space Marines and Chaos Marines had two editions of their codexes, as the factions had seen an influx of new models. Let’s not talk about Primaris Marines here, because even more pages have been written about this topic, but suffice it to say, the range has exploded to take over the older marines. Only a matter of time before the old marines are phased out entirely, I think.

While we saw campaign boxes such as Shadowspear and campaign books such as the Vigilus two-parter, Psychic Awakening has really caused some issues for gamers wanting to play their armies and requiring a couple of books to get all the relevant rules. In three years, we’ve had a load of books to support this edition, which just seems crazy!

However, let’s turn back to the successes of the edition – let’s talk about Kill Team! The skirmish variant of regular 40k was completely re-imagined this time around, and I think it was quite a hit when it launched. It helped, of course, that it came out in a box set that launched an entirely updated terrain range – “updating things” seems to have been quite a theme of 8th edition! I’ve played a few games of Kill Team, and I do quite like it. The game feels, to me, very much like the sort of game you play with friends at your house, and run through a campaign with it. As the sort of game that you play in pick-up games down at the local store, however, I’ve not really had the sort of experience that I’d have liked.

The increased line of support for the game – bringing Elites, Commanders and so on – has turned it into something of a monster, and I think the almost RPG-like quality of things has made for that kind of sandbox feel that would be great with a consistent group. However, the product line did include perhaps one of the most incredible box-sets GW has actually produced:

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

Bringing Rogue Traders to 40k is a ridiculously ballsy move, and I’ve talked about this box at length here. I think this box helped to set the scene for another roaring success for Games Workshop, Blackstone Fortress. While it isn’t really part of 8th Edition, I have really appreciated the fact that a lot of these ancillary products have brought us additional options for 40k. Rogue Traders and Navigators have all come to 40k, as well as Traitor Guard and Dark Mechanicum models. It’s been an absolutely insane time for fans of the lore of this universe, as we see so many wonderful minis for this game coming out. The 40k rules are maybe a bit… strange… and you really have to work to include them in a regular army if you wanted to do so. I suppose it’s perhaps their way of saying these models belong in these side games. Maybe. But it’s nice that the game has been supported with this stuff as well.


8th Edition has definitely been my busiest time for playing 40k – I’ve made some really good friends by being more present at my local store during this edition. I’m not a competitive gamer, so I’ve not has cause to complain too much about things that have been abused over the course of the three years. I’ve come up against some awkward games where I’ve been shut out of actually playing the game, but on the whole, this is not an edition I’m going to think badly about – it’s no 7th edition confuse-fest where you need a scientific calculator in order to work out a damage roll!

I’ve enjoyed 8th a lot, so let’s see what 9th is going to bring!

Goodbye to 8th Edition

Hey everybody!
I had what is most likely going to be my last game of 8th Edition 40k yesterday, though I didn’t let that stop me from trying out yet another new army!

Genestealer Cults 9th edition

I’d drawn up a list of Genestealer Cults, mainly the units that I’d already had built up over the last few years…

Genestealer Cults

A double battalion with 13 command points available, and yet I manage to finish the game with 11 of the buggers left to me! Of course, I was using the Nexos to regain a couple of them over the course of the game, but even so!

Genestealer Cults

I really enjoyed this game, seeing how the Cult works and so forth. I had a blast with the various rules and seeing what I could do with the units that I have on offer!

The Genestealer Cults models are some of the most beautiful models in the game, in my opinion, and while I do like the models that we’ve had out for some time now, I was looking forward to trying out some of the new units as well! The Clamavus-Primus-Nexos trick of gaining command points back seemed like it would be glorious, but it actually didn’t seem to be worth bringing them all along just for that. I think I gained two back over the course of two rounds, so it wasn’t really worth having the Nexos and Clamavus both on the table. The latter did actually help prevent an Obliterator landing square in my backfield (instead, he came in on the corner, and only succeeded in wiping off half a squad of Acolytes).

Genestealer Cults

The Primus was decent though, and he is a serious buff for Cult models, so I think he’ll be staying in the list.

Genestealer Cults

I’m a big fan of this chap though, the Achilles Ridgerunner. With two heavy stubbers, and that heavy mining laser on top, it was pretty damn useful during the game, killing off the Daemon Prince to net me Slay the Warlord. I was really quite surprised at the punch of the laser! In all honesty, I don’t think I used it to the full potential – I don’t even think that I moved it during the game! – so I’d like to work again on what I would do with that in future games.

Genestealer Cults

Man of the match, though, has got to be the Patriarch. Which I suppose is only fitting, really. When everything seemed to be looking quite dire for me, the Patriarch stepped up to the plate and used Mind Control on the Venomcrawler there to remove the Dark Apostle, before then utterly shredding his way through the Venomcrawler in a single round of close combat. I feel that he certainly helped me go out with a bang, anyway!

However, I did indeed lose, and quite badly, as well – I think the final score was 9-6, but when we’d been looking through the potential third round, it would have only gotten worse, so we called it there.

One of the main downsides for the army is just how squishy they are. With T3 almost across the board, vast swathes of my army were being chewed up. In contrast, I wasn’t really doing a great deal to fight back, despite the massed fire from Neophytes seeing a lot of dice rolled… I think I was averaging 3 successful wound rolls from 14 hits (though of course, several were then saved).

As much as they fold like wet paper bags, I’m thinking about maybe taking bigger blobs of Neophyte Hybrids, to allow for greater sticking power. Of course, their weapons still leave a bit to be desired, but I’m hoping that I can get some results just from the weight of numbers! We shall see. 9th edition seems to be losing the requirement for multiple detachments, so I suppose I could afford to then take my troops in bigger squads rather than the minimum squads that I have at the moment.

Genestealer Cults

I’m very excited for these gribblies, as I really want to get better with the army over time. In particular, I’d like to get a better handle on the stratagems available to me. For sure, a lot of them were to do with playing around with the Cult Ambush rules, which I wasn’t entirely sure about before I began. Having no real plan, I think this showed most with my deployment, as a lot of things ended up in the middle of no-man’s land.

We were playing at 1230 points, although I do think it might have been better to have started with a smaller game to get the feel for it. Again, 9th edition might help me here, as I can potentially try smaller games to start with, as I get to grips with the army.

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to paint the army up but it’s been a slow process due to the level of detail on the models. I’m thinking I’m going to try and focus on getting the equivalent of the Start Collecting box painted up, especially as I want to show some love to the Ridgerunner after such a good performance!

Regardless of the inaugural outing with the Cult being a washout, I am still really excited for the army as my new force for 9th edition! I’ve played a lot of Necrons and a lot of Dark Eldar during my time with 8th, but I think it was nice to say goodbye to the edition with my new army 🙂

New 40k Reveals!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a crazy couple of weeks for seeing more new awesome models coming for Warhammer 40k, as we’ve seen some new terrain features that I’m sure will be gracing Armies on Parade, if not actual battlefields for a while yet! Then yesterday, of course, we had some very exciting bits shown off as part of the inexorable marketing campaign for the upcoming Indomitus boxset. What a time to be alive!

I’m very excited about this new Necron stuff, I have to say! As I’ve said many times already on this blog, Necrons are my first love, and they’ll always have a place in my heart – even if some of these new models that we’re seeing are a little bit… strange. Necron terrain is something that I never thought I’d see, though, even with the promise of faction-specific stuff coming. Just goes to show, doesn’t it?! These “starstele” sound like they’re going to be really useful to the faction, as well, packing a punch in and of themselves while also supporting the army with buffs and movement shenanigans. Excellent stuff! Price dependent, of course, I’ll take a few!

I think we all need to pause for a minute, and realise that the Silent King himself now has a model that can be used in 40k. I mean, I don’t know whether he’ll be usable, as defined by the tournament elite, but he has a model that you can put down as a part of your army, and that is just bonkers!

I never thought I’d see it, and now that I have, I can’t believe I’m seeing it! It’s a beautiful model, and I cannot wait to have it as a part of my army – even if storage and transportation are going to make this thing an absolute nightmare!

Szarekh isn’t the only big dude coming, of course…

If the Silent King looks like a delicate model… this one looks nigh-on impossible! The C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon is stunning, let’s be real here, but he’s also going to be an absolute nightmare, worse even than the likes of Nagash (from whom he seems to have taken a lot of inspiration).

It’s an incredible piece, and in some ways could almost be more striking than Szarekh there, too. Am I going to get one? Probably. But not just yet, methinks…

Of course, it’s not all about the Necrons, as the Space Marines are seeing an extension of the Primaris range, as well. Chaplain on a bike is a nice addition, although that gives us three Primaris Chaplains, as the Indomitus box is coming with a new one, too! Clearly someone in Nottingham has decided that Chaplains need some love and attention, after all! Of course, this has got me wondering if we’re going to be seeing Librarians on bikes… maybe Techmarines on bikes… well – speaking of that last…

So then, we’ve got Primaris bikers, the start of Primaris Devastators, and new Primaris characters coming out, in addition to the assault Primaris marines… I suppose the question now becomes, how long have the mini-marines got left? Their time has got to be limited now. I’m guessing we’ll see more tanks to bring stuff like the Predator up to date, and then that’ll be it! Move them to Legends, their time is done!

It’s been three years since the Primaris line was launched in Dark Imperium, and this expansion for Indomitus has been huge, so I don’t think we can expect the Tactical Squad to last. Which is a shame, really. Though I suppose we can’t really be surprised…