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…

#New40k

Well folks, here we are – the prophesied coming of the new age… 9th Edition. I’d heard rumours a few months ago, though a lot of that sounded like speculation. However, today’s the day that we’ve had it confirmed!

What a way to launch a new edition!

From how I understand things, this isn’t strictly a new edition in the sense of 8th Edition, however. More like Age of Sigmar 2.0, this will be a sort of improvement on 8th, streamlining the rules and amalgamating a lot of the new content from Psychic Awakening with the existing codexes, and giving us a new narrative system called Crusade. This last seems like the new thing, providing a way for armies to grow over a campaign, where previous battles matter. That sounds really cool, I must say!

New models are of course a given, and it seems that we’re going to be getting Space Marines vs Necrons in what is likely to be a starter box for the new edition. However, this little beauty is, well… something else…

I honestly never thought we’d get a Silent King, and even with the teaser from a couple of days ago, I was still thinking of the ways in which we might see something else besides a model. But no!

Oh my…

It looks like we’re possibly in for another of these centrepiece models like Katakros for the Ossiarch Bonereapers, or the Triumph of St Katherine. Despite having read a few complaints about these types of diorama-models from the more competitive crowd, who mainly seem to dislike them for transport, they’re clearly quite popular as eye-catching focal points for a collection. I really hope it’s going to be magnificent, and I can’t wait to get one for my collection!

So, this is very interesting. 8th Edition was the first edition I was there for the launch of, having gotten into 40k a couple of months slightly after 7th Edition had landed. There were a lot of promises for the rules to be streamlined in 8th, and by and large that held true for a while, but obviously the additions of the Vigilus campaign, and now Psychic Awakening, have caused a lot of bloat. So we’re definitely in need of some fat-trimming. The video talks about more command points for all, though the stream seemed to imply that you’ll have to use CP to pay for out-of-army allies, which is fine with me because I’d still like to try to play allied armies. We’ll see how that plays out though.

There are definitely some interesting ideas in this preview, though I’m not entirely sure just yet how I feel about the new edition. I mean, I don’t plan on getting out of the hobby, so it’s not like I’m mad about it or anything. But I’m feeling a curious sense of relief, or a sense of having a fresh start… I mean, it seems like the perfect time to thin out the ranks of some of my models, and focus down on those armies that I want to keep…

Necrons are, of course, top of my list, as they always will be, and I’m excited that we’re getting new stuff at last. Grey Knights and Dark Eldar will also be staying with me, and I think I might keep those Primaris Marines after all. But the Tyranids, the AdMech, even the Scions that I’d recently been building a list for – they’re all fair game…

It’s like I’ve got the perfect excuse to have a really good clear-out!

How about everybody else? Excited? Mad? Indifferent?

Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good

Hey everybody,
So it’s been a while since the fourth book in the Psychic Awakening series was released, but I’m only now trying to catch up with these things, so hopefully there will be something of a flurry of blog posts in the next few weeks as I make every effort to see what’s been going on over the last few months! As it happens, the global lockdown has meant this catch-up is a lot easier, as the releases coming out of Nottingham have stopped – otherwise, I’m sure it would be months before I could have properly caught up with things!

Psychic Awakening The Greater Good

The Greater Good focuses on three factions – the T’au, the Astra Militarum, and the Genestealer Cults. Let’s first of all take a look at the crunch in this book, which is a little bit disappointing if I’m being perfectly honest…

The T’au get the lion’s share here. While previous books in the series came with a single model release, The Greater Good technically had quite a few. We saw a Start Collecting box for the Genestealers, as well as the new Kelermorph model that was previously only available via a Kill Team set, and we had Shadowsun released in a new plastic sculpt. I’ve moved away from the T’au Empire, having sold all of my models off last year, but I still think this new model looks amazing, and would have for sure picked her up if I had been collecting those models still.

The new T’au rules therefore have an entire page devoted to the new Shadowsun’s datasheet – she is clearly a busy girl these days! They also have the standard name generator, and new Sept Tenets that you can use in place of those provided in the Codex. There are also new relics and stratagems rounding out the mix, which follow the now-established routine for these books by providing more model-specific stratagems – for instance, there are quite a few Kroot-specific stratagems, as well as one for the Firesight Marksman, etc. Interestingly, we then get the supplement for The Eight, Commander Farsight and his buddies that was originally printed back in Chapter Approved 2018. I guess they wanted this supplement to remain viable, much like that for the Ynnari that had appeared previously in a White Dwarf. I don’t recall if the CA2018 supplement had full rules for the Enclaves, including warlord traits and stratagems, but we get the full mini-dex treatment here, which is nice!

Astra Militarum are next up, and while they don’t have as many pages devoted to them, they still get the usual name generator, new stratagems, new Regimental Doctrines, and a couple of pages of Tank Aces which are a little like warlord traits but for tanks – you can choose one of them instead of a warlord trait, and there is a stratagem that can give you access to them if you choose to keep the warlord trait (or want a second Ace in the army!)

There is then something that I didn’t see coming – a mini-dex for the Militarum Tempestus! Back in 6th edition, these guys had their own book, but obviously they have since been enveloped into the wider Astra Militarum, with the result that the rules can sometimes be a bit clunky. Well, they’re still a bit clunky now, but at least we get more rules for this small sub-set of the army, which I think it really pretty cool! There are six different Militarum Tempestus Regimental Doctrines that you can choose, instead of the Storm Troopers doctrine from the main book, as well as relics and warlord traits, and two pages of Tempestus-specific stratagems! It’s a really nice addition, and I’m really pleased to see them doing this!

Finally, though, we come to the Genestealer Cults, who have the least new stuff. Sure, we get the expanded rules for Cult Creeds, allowing for us to pick our own rather than stick with those from the Codex, and we get more Stratagems and Creed-specific psychic powers (not forgetting, of course, the name generator!) But there are almost two pages devoted to errata for the Cult Ambush and Brood Brothers rules, and that’s that. I suppose it’s kinda nice to have this in a book, and not have to also carry around a printed FAQ, but even so. It definitely feels like Genestealer Cults get the short end of the stick on this one. But I suppose the Codex is fairly new in comparison to the other factions in the book, so they have the least to be added… maybe…

The lore is an interesting update to that presented in the T’au Codex, as we learn more about the ill-fated Fourth Sphere expansion. There are some interesting details about battles with the Death Guard, and we get some info on a Cult uprising led by the Pauper Princes. The atmosphere of some of these stories is quite claustrophobic, which is echoed in the mission included in the book, which includes Theatres of War rules, aptly named “Cavern Warfare”.

All in all, it’s a nice book, and I do enjoy seeing the various updates that they’re providing for the various factions throughout this series. I guess, being a Cult collector, I’d have liked to have seen more for them!

However, I thought I’d take the opportunity in today’s blog to talk more about the project I mentioned briefly in my last blog – the resurrection of my Tempestus Scions army! This is a project that goes back years, and I had started to make some progress with it at the start of 8th edition, where I planned an army split roughly 50/50 with Scions and Skitarii. Well, things have moved on a little now, and I’m thinking of something a little different.

This list has a core of Tempestus Scions, but adds on a bit of the more weird and wonderful aspects of the Imperium, without (I think) breaking the battle-forged rules. I’ve decided to use the plastic Commissar as just the regular elite choice, and have the finecast Lord Commissar for the HQ choice. Doing so, along with the Bullgryns and Command Squad, I’ve got a separate Vanguard detachment for the additional command points. I do plan to build out the Scion squads to 10-man squads each, which may involve reducing them from 4 to 3 squads in total. Not decided yet. I also need to buy the parts for the second Tempestor Prime, though that might be dropped anyway.

My plans for the list had always been to see wave after wave of orders being transmitted across the table, though I’m not 100% sure it will work as I see it in my mind! I guess time will tell on that one!

As well as using the psyker model from Blackstone Fortress, the list will allow me to resurrect another long-dormant project in the shape of these girls – looking forward to getting them painted up at last!

The Third Warhammer Preview

Hey everybody,
Today has seen the third online preview from Games Workshop, these online previews taking place instead of the usual seminars that would have taken place at the various events and tournaments if we weren’t in these crazy times. The previous two such previews didn’t honestly excite me all that much, though in the intervening days since we saw all that stuff, I have come to realise that there are some really cool things in there.

This preview, however, has been pretty good, if I’m honest, and I’m fairly excited about a lot of this stuff!

To start with, we’ve got the new Giants for Age of Sigmar, the Sons of Behemat, which have been a name for a couple of months now, but we’ve finally seen the new kit in all its massive glory! I’m not about to rush out to start a Giants army, but the multi-part kit does look like a lot of fun. And huge. Very, very huge.

Looking forward to seeing these come out, and I’m intrigued as to whether any more is going to come out for the army…

Now, this next one is a bittersweet one. The “last expansion” for Blackstone Fortress, Ascension. It looks like the expansion is giving us Mummy and Daddy spindle drones, which do look really great! It’s just… the last expansion? It makes me quite sad.

I think that my one main hope is that this is merely the last expansion of this ’round’ of the game, and we’ll see effectively a new core set, or a set much like Escalation, which brought us new explorers as well as new enemies. Blackstone Fortress is a setting that is too good to leave – the possibility of having all manner of weird and wonderful denizens of the 40k universe.

Here’s hoping.

Keeping to the skirmish games, Warcry is getting a new warband, and it isn’t Chaos related. The Dark Elves are coming to the Eightpoints, and they look… cool! When I first saw these, I thought they looked a bit weird, as though there was some kind of spell-effect moulded onto the sculpted, but now I’m not so sure. At any rate, they look great in my opinion, and I’m hoping that we might see some more in the way of these kinds of bespoke warbands for the game, rather than the repurposed stuff that we saw for Nighthaunt and Stormcast.

There is a new team coming for Blood Bowl, and we’re getting another Horus Heresy character in the shape of none other than Saul Tarvitz. He doesn’t quite look as I’d imagined him, but even so, he does look good!

Finally, though – new Necrons!! We had rumours of Illuminor Szeras being a new model way back, but seeing the final rendition is actually really lovely. Sure, he’s a bit busy in the way that many other new models are, but I think it’s really cool to see us getting a new centerpiece kit, and even though I’ve not finished painting the finecast version, I think I’ll be picking this bad boy up as soon as possible!!

Also accompanying Szeras is a new Inquisitor model, which looks really quite wonderful! I’m always intrigued to see these things come out, because the Inquisition seems to be a forgotten faction. But yeah, we get a new Inquisitor model. Cool!

All in all, I’m quite chuffed with the models that we’ve seen here. Looking ahead, it seems as though this might be the way we get these previews for the foreseeable future…

The Warhammer Preview! and some rumours

Hey everybody!
So across both last weekend and this one, Games Workshop have treated us to some previews for upcoming miniatures across all of their main lines!

Warhammer Online Preview

I must admit, I thought we’d get some more interesting stuff than this in the first Preview, but I fully understand that a lot of these miniatures are coming out for lines or systems that I have no interest in. There are some interesting behemoth models for the new High Elves faction in Age of Sigmar, which look like massive Hindu-style deities, that do look pretty great if I were going to be collecting those models!

Lion el’Jonson is coming – but it’s for Horus Heresy, which felt like a bit of a let-down. We still need more loyalist Primarchs in 40k! The Scions of the Flame warband for Warcry don’t really float my boat as much as I was hoping they would, either!

There is an interesting bit of news in the next (seventh) Psychic Awakening book, War of the Spider, which features Talons of the Emperor, Assassins, Death Guard, and a new Heretic Astartes faction that centres around Fabius Bile, who is getting a new mini (at last!)

This one should be interesting, though we still don’t have Necrons!

Fabius Bile looks pretty amazing though – I’m probably not going to branch out any further into Chaos, but I do love that model!

The second Preview took place yesterday, and if I’m being totally honest, I was pretty unimpressed with this one, as well! There was some more info on the upcoming High Elves – they’re getting a similar release to that for the new Sisters back in November, only with full multi-part kits and fancy dice. I’m expecting another sell-out situation, if I’m honest! Blood Bowl is getting some Treemen, and there have been a couple of new Praetors shown off for the Word Bearers – very sexy, they look, as well!

 

 

The biggest thing, as far as I’m concerned, though, was the VIII Psychic Awakening book, Pariah, which will involve Ephrael Stern of Daemonifuge fame! I should get round to featuring that graphic novel here on the blog at some point! The miniature looks lovely, and the fact that the book is called Pariah has set the Necron community alight with speculation!

However, I am pretty disappointed to see that Deathwatch and Harlequins are getting their particular updates via White Dwarf, and not a campaign book…

Psychic Awakening has been fairly uneven, to me, at this point. While we’ve had some wonderful updates models for Drahzar, Mephiston and Shadowsun, and the boxset for the Mechanicus that we’re expecting soon is just fabulous! But I feel a little like the boxsets have maybe overshadowed the other releases. I think getting new, plastic Aspect Warriors and Incubi almost set us up for subsequent disappointments, as the following books had a massiv focus on marines above all else, and gave us just one new model. Will we see plastic Pariahs for the Necrons? Who knows. But I wouldn’t bet on it…

I’ve been disappointed, overall, with both of these previews, but all hope isn’t entirely lost, as we have a third one coming along in two weeks’ time! I guess we’ll see if that one will bring more exciting stuff!


I’ve been meaning to talk about the 9th Edition rumours that have been circling for some time, though have never seemed to have the time to get round to it! Back in December, this was published on Faeit 212, which talked about the new edition coming in the summer, and is a “polish / clean-up” of 8th edition, reworking some keywords as well as the Psychic phase. Psychic Awakening was seen as the lead-up to the new edition, much as The Gathering Storm served as the bridge between 7th and 8th editions, but there isn’t a great deal more to go on here. That said – fluff-wise, the Emperor apparently wakes up, though is still bound to the Golden Throne. Interesting…

The rumours have re-appeared in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, in terms of how the pushed-back release schedule from GW will impact that summer 2020 release date, and the general consensus from the comments is that it probably wouldn’t – something this huge will already be produced, and the subsequent releases further in the year will depend on the summer date being adhered to as far as possible. It makes sense, right?

That said, I find myself feeling a little jaded by the whole thing. I am fairly sure that 8th edition was touted as being as close to a living edition as is possible, kept alive through Chapter Approved each year. Part of me doesn’t want it to be true, for sure, as I’m already fairly heavily invested in the current edition, and I think it would be a kick to the figurative balls if I had to buy a bunch more books for the armies that I collect. (In reality, I’d use this as the excuse that I need to actively thin out most of those armies, and just keep a core handful from there on out).

I could see this as being almost some kind of 8.5 edition, as GW releases a consolidated, revised rulebook that takes account all of the changes that have happened since 2017, and uses that event as the chance to tinker with the Psychic phase, perhaps. We’ve already seen second editions of some codexes now – I think it’s entirely possible that they will put out a bunch of new codexes for the other armies, updating their rules with the Psychic Awakening stuff, and then continue on with the practice of using Chapter Approved to then give out more missions and the like, and address any issues thereafter.

In fact, I could see this as being some kind of major release and them giving all of the armies updated codexes over, say, a two week or maybe month-long release window. Kind of like how 8th edition launched with the Indexes for all factions on day one.

The Indexes do bring me to a sort of interesting point, though. Chapter Approved 2019 came in two parts – the scenarios and missions and new rules, and a pamphlet of all the points changes. I wonder if the Codexes could adopt this approach, and come with a pamphlet that presents all of the datasheets, Index-style, that could be dealt with independently of the codex? So that we have the fluff and the crunch separately? I’m honestly not sure whether I would go for that, as I do like having all of my stuff in just one book, but who knows where we could be going?

I’ve read some fairly intriguing comments about the possible new edition, and I think a lot of people make the valid point that the majority of sales upon launch of a new edition are from the books. People (like myself) who have an army already will only want the rules with which to play that army, and possibly supplement out from there. A great example could be Tomb Blades for the Necrons, which turned into something of a bestseller when the Necron Codex dropped in 7th edition. People already have all the troops they could possibly want – although 8th edition was quite sneaky in how it updated the old force org chart from 2 troops and 1 HQ to 3 troops and 2 HQs to make the staple Battalion formation. While the launch of a new Codex might well bring in a few people who decide they want to start that army – such as myself with Tau a couple of years ago – in the main, the people buying that book already have the models to go along with it.

So I don’t think that Codexes will be going away – and while there are plenty of vocal folks out there who insist on getting digital rules by default, there are plenty of us who also like to have a physical hardback book to use.

I think a new edition is probably inevitable at some point, and it is true that – especially with Psychic Awakening – the rules have gotten too bloated when you’re trying to play the game. However, I would much prefer to see a consolidation of the rules, rather than some kind of overhaul just for the sake of a new edition coming out. I hope that common sense is maintained, though, whatever happens!