New Year Open Day 2019!

Ohmygod you guys! Ohmygod! There’s so much good stuff in this latest round of reveals from the New Year Open Day, I just don’t know where to begin! Well, I’ll start at the top, I guess, and go from there…

Genestealer Cults are getting a slew of new and interesting figures, and I just don’t know how to explain how excited I am for these guys! Well, the female magos seems to be a little pandering – I mean, the Magos from Overkill is a classic sculpt, I’m not entirely convinced by this one as she seems a little too… 1950s sci-fi? I don’t know. I really like the mysterious chap with his pimp-cane (seems like GW are really pimping it up after the Delaque chaps arrived) and the vox-hacker chap is also really cool. Not sure about the assassin-type model, either, but anyway.

Someone on the GSC facebook page suggested these might come as something akin to the Court of the Archon for the Dark Eldar, which would make more sense than having a massive selection of different HQs to deal with, but I suspect we might have a similar situation to Space Marine Command Squads, where they’re now separated out into a number of elites slots rather than being fielded as a unit. But I would also like to see them packaged together and come as one, so hope springs eternal on that one.

As well as the bikers, we’re also getting a new terrain piece, which I do like – hopefully we’ll be getting a lot more custom terrain for each force as time goes on. Necrons could do with having something interesting, I feel! It’s certainly an exciting time to be a 40k fan, that’s for sure!

But 40k isn’t the only system getting the love, as we see a new Battle Box for Age of Sigmar coming out, featuring Flesh Eater Courts and Skaven! I’ve recently been thinking about investigating the little rats, as several of their models remind me of the Mechanicus minis, and I think that’s cool. I’ve been thinking about, but ultimately passing over, several of these boxes since we initially had Forgebane, but I think I might well pick this one up and sell off the zombie portion, instead getting a decent start on some Skaven models!

Looks like we’re getting Stormfiends, a Warp Lightning Cannon, a Doomwheel, and the new character model, the Warlock Bombadier. I find it a little bit odd that there’s no infantry for the box set, but then the Skaven models included come to £79.50 without the new character, so I suppose the set is going to retail around £90, and still provide a massive saving. Definitely one for the list, anyway!

I’m also looking forward to some Grots, though given the sheer amount of new stuff being announced here, I think I’m going to not only be planning out very carefully what I end up buying, but also downsizing my collection of existing miniatures in order to make room!

Back to 40k and Kill Team now, with a look at the next batch of good stuff. I’m not honestly all that sure about Kill Team: Arena, as it looks a lot like a rehashing of the Rogue Trader box. Maybe it’ll be worth it for the additional rules content, but the box size initially made me interested, then I saw that the terrain was mainly doors and barrels, with rules for fighting in close quarters. Well, I suppose it might be a cheaper price point than the Rogue Trader box, which might make it worth getting for some, but I might be holding off for the time being, until we see some more.

Interestingly, however, there are two new expansions for the two Kill Teams that came in the original box – an AdMech team that features Sicarians, and a Genestealer Cults team that includes Acolyte Hybrids. Both of them come with a Commander model, though, and the usual sheet of tokens and terrain and whatnot, but I find it interesting how we’re seeing the evolution of the different Team expansions from last year. Commanders is presumably a more integrated part of the game than we’d originally expected, and they’re using this game as a delivery method for new models for the regular 40k game, with the Cult Eastwood gunslinger Primus, alongside a new sort of Tech-Priest, the Manipulus. I’m not 100% sold on the latter, if I’m honest, as he does look a little too much like he was originally intended as a Nurgle model. But maybe he’ll be better in the flesh, or else with a little converting.

I’m glad to see more for Kill Team, for sure, and I hope this new type of expansion could herald my idea for “famous teams” to come further down the line. I especially like the idea that they’re expanding the original two teams from the core set, as that is a fantastic way to build on last year’s box for people new to the game, as well as to get them hooked into buying more for regular 40k in true gateway-drug style!

While that’s all for the stuff that grabbed my attention over on the Community site, there are a few other choice morsels doing the rounds of the internets, including an expansion for the Blackstone Fortress game!

Blackstone Fortress Dreaded Ambull

I’m not that old in the hobby to remember the Ambull from back in the Rogue Trader days, but this has got a lot of people excited! Looking at the additional contents in this picture has got me wondering, though – if we’re having a new ship tile, will we be getting a new Hero to go along with it? And there’s another mystery envelope in this one, as well! How exciting!

I really like the idea of this expansion, and it once again puts me in mind of Shadows of Brimstone, only done correctly. I mean, FFP have definitely worked their socks off for that game, and I don’t mean to be too harsh, but it just didn’t feel anywhere near as polished as it perhaps could have been, possibly due to the amount of stuff they had to do to fulfill peoples’ pledges. But that’s a topic for another blog!

Finally (for now!) we’re getting two plastic Am-bots for Necromunda! Not the Adeptus Arbites, but it’ll do!

And finally, we have what looks like a new kind of Chaos Sorcerer for the Black Legion, presumably coming out when the whole Vigilus 80-day countdown thing comes to a conclusion:

I don’t know if this would happen or not, but I do quite like the idea that he might be a part of a wider Servants of the Abyss release, alongside the Blackstone Fortress goodness that is reputedly coming out in March. I think he certainly looks cool, and I’m thinking I might actually get myself a small Chaos Space Marines force soon! (Who am I kidding, small…!)

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Vigilus will burn. #PaintingWarhammer

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Overall, it’s been incredibly exciting so far this New Year Open Day. I’m really excited to see what’s next from Nottingham, anyway!

War Zone Vigilus: Setting the Stage

Vigilus 0

I’ve been reading up on the current campaign in Warhammer 40k-land, which has been quite an interesting way to spend the run-up to the festive season, so thought it a great time to share some of my thoughts with you all as we see the 40k storyline gearing up for something quite spectacular!

Some background
Vigilus has been looming large in the lore since the dawn of the Great Rift that split the galaxy in two at the onset of 8th edition. For the uninitiated, as 7th edition drew to a close, we saw the three Gathering Storm books at the start of 2017, each focusing on some fairly cataclysmic events in the lore such as the Fall of Cadia, and the rebirth of Roboute Guilliman. At the fall of Cadia, a massive warp rift opened across the entire galaxy – the Cicatrix Maledictum – engulfing many systems entirely, and splitting the Imperium in two. To the galactic north lies the Imperium Nihilus, where the Blood Angels are almost cut off from the rest of the galaxy, left to hold back the darkness while beset by Hive Fleet Leviathan.

Crossing the great rift are a small number of small corridors, the most stable of which is the Nachmund Gauntlet. At the key point along this corridor is the world of Vigilus, a world that has been beset by internecine squabbling between the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Adeptus Ministorum, the governing bodies of the planet who cannot agree who is more important. When the great rift opened, both sought aid from the Imperium, and the Ministorum’s insistence on any military aid being deployed to the cathedrum districts has further deepened this division.

From out of the warp rift has emerged the ramshackle fleet of an Ork Speedwaaagh, which crash landed on the planet and has since claimed the desert spaces between the hive cities of the Imperium presence on the world. Water is scarce on the planet, and with nothing else for them to fight out in the desert wastes, the Orks have taken to high-speed racing out there – you know, as you would.

Control of the scant water reservoirs on the planet has been taken by the Genestealer Cultists of the Pauper Princes, who have emerged earlier than planned in response to the Ork presence on-world. When the Space Wolves arrived thanks to being thrown off-course by the warp storms, they sought to eradicate the xenos taint from the world and began attacking the Cultists with vigour.

Tooth and Claw is the first official product to be released for the Vigilus storyline, pitting Space Wolves against Genestealer Cultists and seeing the release of a Space Wolves-specific Lieutenant, alongside the long-awaited Aberrant multi-part plastic kit, and the new Abominant HQ to lead them. The box was a really excellent release, saving a great deal for collectors of either army – it even had the full Redemptor Dreadnought kit!

The booklet included in the box was also top-notch, including a lot of the background on Vigilus that read, for the most part, like the sourcebook for a Role-Playing Game. While we can usually expect to see some element of background for the armies in these sorts of releases, we also get a really in-depth look at the logistical structure of Vigilus – primarily because the militarised reservoirs are a major plot-point for the Genestealer Cultists in the box.

The booklet also included all of the datasheets (including points values) for the models, and some missions that allow you to play along with the narrative included in there, and in true 8th edition style, there are unique stratagems included that help along the way. It all adds up to a really great bundle, and a worthy first step on the road to war-zone Vigilus!

The next box to be released came pretty much out of nowhere – I certainly wasn’t expecting to see something like it released so soon after the first, at any rate! Pitting Ultramarines against Eldar, I have to say that this one felt a little more like a cash-grab, following the same formula but including only a new Eldar Spiritseer and yet another Primaris Lieutenant, alongside a bundle of existing miniatures that didn’t really feel like anything special. Wake the Dead did not, therefore, bode well.

That Spiritseer is a lovely model, though!

The lore for Wake the Dead, however, was another matter!

The Eldar have long had their eye on Vigilus, as their Seers have discerned the skeins of fate converging around the planet, beset as it is by Chaos warp-storms and raiding parties of Dark Eldar. When they see the Chaos Cult demagogue Vannadan the Firebrand inciting the populace to turn to the Dark Gods, the Craftworld of Saim-Hann sent a delegation to eradicate this threat. While they are successful in their objective, the 47th Antrell Lions squad of Tempestus Scions proceeded to slaughter almost the entire Eldar force, mistaking them for their Dark kin.

Meanwhile, Chief Librarian Tigurius has seen the world of Vigilus at the start of a swathe of bloodshed that will reach Terra itself, and so an Ultramarines task force is dispatched to the beleaguered world, headed up by none other than Marneus Calgar himself. Calgar dissolves the ruling council of Vigilus, and installs his own Senate to rule the world during this time of crisis, with himself at its head.

One of the survivors of the Scions’ purge was Spiritseer Qelnaris, who promptly returned with a strike force to avenge his fallen warriors on the blinkered Imperium. Qelnaris’ attack is answered by Calgar and the Ultramarines, who at first attempt a diplomatic resolution to the conflict following the Space Wolves identification of the Saim-Hann warhost as fomer allies. The overtures are rebuffed by the Spiritseer, however, who has sworn a blood vendetta against the fools of the Imperium.

The box set may have been underwhelming in comparison to its predecessor, but the lore is incredible and really helps to paint the picture of a fiercely-contested battleground that is rightly at the forefront of the current campaign storyline. The storyline is rich without being convoluted, helped in part by the decision to only include those factions that feel most relevant. Tau and Necrons are notably absent, and I think this is fine (despite these being two armies I collect). Previous campaigns from 7th edition have really benefited from being on something of a smaller scale – Shield of Baal only involving Blood Angels and the various Imperium factions, Tyranids and Necrons felt fine because it wasn’t too cluttered, for example. Of course, the Imperium side of things can lead to all manner of bits and pieces going on, and on Vigilus we already have several Chapters of Space Marines making a name for themselves alongside the Ministorum and Mechanicus, with a very definite presence from the Scions. The Imperium side of any conflict is always going to feel a bit full, due to the nature of the beast.

With Marneus Calgar on the world, we’re now poised on the brink of the new campaign book, Vigilus Defiant, which is the first in a two-part series that will chart the war-zone as the Imperium clashes with the Orks, the Genestealer Cults and the Craftworlds. While there are Dark Eldar raiding parties mentioned multiple times in the lore so far, we’ve not got anything further on that yet, and I’m really pleased that Vigilus hasn’t turned into a Tomb World for Anrakyr or someone to come along and re-claim, or the Tau to attempt to expand into this particular area of space.

There’s plenty of time for the other armies to be catered to, after all!

Make sure to check back later in the week, when I’ll be looking through the new campaign book, and seeing what it has to offer us!

The Grey Knights, and more!

Hey everybody!
It’s been an interesting couple of days for me, as I’ve been trying to implement my plans to get stuff painted – so far, so good, but I have been noticing the fact that I’m actually feeling in the mood to try different things all the time, and I’m finding it difficult to stay focused. It’s always the trouble, I guess, when trying to do something like this, as you risk not being productive because you’re instead in the mood for something else.

For me, right now that something else is Grey Knights!

I’ve talked about my Deathwatch plans here not too long ago, of course, and I’ve been thinking a lot about that army and maybe making some addition to it, trying to incorporate the more weird and wonderful elements of the Imperium. Something that always attracts me to 40k is the gothic grimdark look of it all, and the smaller factions of the Imperium such as the Adeptus Ministorum and the Inquisition really pull me in for their weird and wonderful aesthetic. We’re probably another year away from getting anything associated with the Adepta Sororitas, which I would imagine to include all manner of Priests and other wonderful bits, but the 40k-adjacent stuff like Blackstone Fortress has provided us already with some of the more obscure stuff, with the promise of more to come, and I love it! But today, after about a week of turning it over in my mind, I went and bought the Codex and a Strike Squad.

I’d originally bought a Purifier Squad in 2016, but only got as far as this bad boy before selling it off as another abandoned project (though I did use the swords for some Alpha Legion Chosen back when I was building an army of those sneaky chaps). I had some serious painting issues in 2016, as I kept going wider and wider with my projects, and ended up selling off a whole load of things I’d partially finished or finished entirely. It wasn’t really until I wrote that blog about the Inquisition the other week that I began to think about doing anything remotely linked to Chapter 666.

I’ve played against Grey Knights in Kill Team, and it was shocking (though I was playing as Genestealer Cults, so there is that…) I’m definitely looking forward to making up a small detachment of daemon-hunters to add to my xenos-hunting Deathwatch, anyway!

Mention of Genestealer Cults brings me on to today’s preview of the new Vigilus Defiant campaign book over on the Community site. The book is bringing out some specialist detachments for armies in all three branches of play, and it sounds amazing. Rather than having the crazy special rules of 7th edition, or merely having points attached to them like Age of Sigmar, detachments in 8th edition are bought using Command Points, and merely unlock further Stratagems, Relics and Warlord Traits that you can give to your units within that specialist detachment. It’s a bit early to say, for sure, but it sounds like it should be a really nice addition to the game and, so long as they don’t use this as an excuse to drive sales of miniatures that aren’t doing so well at retail, or try to balance the meta by bringing out more and more insane detachments, I think it should be good.

Giving a select few units access to some cool new stuff sounds like a fun idea, anyway, and from the look of the preview article, it sounds like they’re definitely aiming for theme more than anything else. Of course, that can always go one of two ways, so I suppose it will just be a case of waiting to see how all of this pans out…

That’s not all on the Community site today though – we also got a pdf with Kill Team rules for the miniatures within Blackstone Fortress, which is really nice! While there have been no firm promises to provide Blackstone Fortress rules for the Kill Team Rogue Trader stuff, it’s still good to see the level of crossover within these games, and I like the fact they’re available for free.

While the explorers all have specific armies they slot into (mainly Imperium ones, though obviously Tau and Eldar feature), the adversaries all slot into their own Servants of the Abyss faction, and I’m definitely going to be looking at building a list with these guys soon enough!! I’m thinking a Rogue Psyker, some Negavolt Cultists, maybe a Black Legionnaire, and a few Traitor Guard to round it out to 100 points. Should be interesting – I’ve played against psykers in Kill Team of course, but the psychic phase in general is one that I tend to avoid!

Finally, I started to read the Enforcer omnibus the other day – so far, it’s been excellent, so I hope that the quality continues! I’m probably only going to read the first book in the trilogy for now, as I’m also itching to get back to the Horus Heresy, but had been reading far too much about the Iron Warriors lately, so felt the need for a palette cleanse before I get back to it with Angel Exterminatus!

Look out for my review soon, anyway, along with progress with the Grey Knights!

The Vigilus Weekender!

Oh my goodness, this thing is just phenomenal. I’m trying to look at this with a lot more objectivity than my usual fanboy garglings, but let’s be honest, the reveals that we’ve seen so far coming from Nottingham are really blowing the world wide open as regards what’s next for 40k!

So first of all, Marneus Calgar is getting a new model, Primaris-style, and he looks quite sensational. I’ve been really quite up-and-down with the Primaris marines taking over the regular chaps, given that I’ve invested so much already into that line, and while my initial thought was that this does indeed signal the end for the classic space marines, as Calgar is “the first to be reborn as a Primaris Space Marine”. Hm.

But, you know what? I’m pretty fine with this now. The Primaris range feels quite bland, given the fact that we can’t customize a squad as we could with the classic Tactical Marine Squad, but they really do look good, so I’m fine with peppering my army with some more of these guys. I’ve been wanting to paint up my marines as various successor chapters to the Ultramarines, and now I think I have the perfect character model around which to do so!

Bring on the Primaris!

So not only do we have Ultramarines, but we’re also getting Black Legion, in the form of “the sinister herald”, Haarken Worldclaimer. Weird name, but whatever. I like the fact that we’re getting a character model for these guys as well, and the fact that Vigilus has been declared to fall to the Warmaster in 80 days could possibly mean that we will indeed be getting a new Abaddon model, when he turns up to claim the world!

I think Calgar coming in Primaris form does mean we’ll be getting more characters, rather than merely generic Lieutenant #48, so I’m hopeful that GW will see their game and their world does benefit from having more named characters that we as gamers and general lore enthusiasts can get behind. So it’ll be exciting to see what comes next!

The main feature, for me, is the new campaign book, Vigilus Defiant, which is going to include the rules for these new minis (and more, apparently…) This is what I’ve been waiting for now that the Codexes are almost done, and this is what has got me most excited for the world of 40k to come!

Towards the end of 7th edition, we saw a number of these things come out, starting with Shield of Baal, and taking in the Tau expansions and the War of the Fang. These books featured campaigns with lore, missions and new rules, so I would totally love to see them return to this model to further expand the game.

And look! Marneus Calgar comes with his Honour Guard once more! This is all just excellent stuff!

But it’s cool, because it means we won’t be getting second editions of Codexes in order to update them with a new unit or two. And we won’t have to wait for Chapter Approved once a year to get new stuff. Campaign books really do open up so many design opportunities that I cannot wait to see where this model takes us in 2019!!

Looks like we’re also getting a boxed campaign next year around city fighting, which I’m not all that fussed about, but the teaser video looks like there may be some new terrain involved, which might be nice to have… Urgh, I am a sucker for the shiny new toys!

Finally, let’s talk some Genestealer Cults. I don’t think anybody could have seen Cultist bikers coming out, which is just spectacular if you ask me! Not only are we getting these chaps, but some of the photos making their way online from people at these events show a quad-bike will be coming, too! Part of me wonders if they’ll be usable in Speed Freeks, though not having that game, I wouldn’t be too disappointed if they weren’t. It is, however, an excellent way to capitalise on an existing game etc, while also expanding the galaxy in general.

I love this new GW!

These models are just tremendous, and I think the dirt-bike look really fits in with the mining aesthetic so it looks like a natural extension. So good!

But the bikes aren’t all that’s coming, as we’re also getting another new character model, the Nexos!

I love the idea of having a sort of spymaster, co-ordinator-type chap as an army HQ (assuming he is, of course!) It really nicely plays to the dual-aspect of the Genestealer Cults, having him wearing the regular mining gear, yet looking so much like the army commander (planning to infiltrate Warhammer World, no less!) – it’s definitely a model that I’m looking forward to adding to my collection, whatever his rules! We also know that the gunslinger Primus was on show at the event, so I’m hopeful we’ll get all of these new things in the Codex. Whenever that shows up!

Ah yes, Noise Marines might be back! The Christmas exclusive model is no less a re-imagining of a classic, and while I don’t know if this is supposed to herald a new Emperor’s Children release (Sly Marbo was never the start of anything last year…) it’s exciting to think we might just be getting the third Legion coming out soon in plastic!

We’ve also got some wonderful new Slaanesh models (and Khorne, as well) from the Wrath & Rapture box, including a new Herald playing the harp. Because who doesn’t want some lilting melodies in the middle of battle?

I’m really trying hard not to get suckered into starting a Slaanesh army again, but these models definitely hold an allure for me, I might just have to get that Harpist on ebay to paint. So wonderfully sinister!


So, along with yet another Knight, that was the Vigilus Open Day! What do you think? I’m impressed overall, if the campaign book structure becomes the new delivery method for models to make it into the game – especially for re-worked models like Marneus Calgar and Abaddon (when he eventually arrives), then I think this is the start of something tremendous, and should really help to free up some creative spirit for the designers over there in Nottingham. The Genestealer stuff was just wonderful, and really excited me, as it took me back to those heady days when they had their initial release for 7th edition, and I was excited to start a Cultist army of my own! So I’m really looking forward to those models coming out – given the fact that the campaign book and the models for Marneus and Haarkon are set to come out in December, I’m guessing that we’ll have to wait until January at least for the Genestealer Cults Codex, but I have so much to get built and painted, it’s hardly like I have an army waiting to be played! Might add some more Cultists to the painting roster then, methinks!

However…

They promised us that “something big” was coming. Do you think any of this could count as that? The campaign thing is big, for sure, and while I’m excited for the models, I would have thought, if they were treating the Genestealer Cults announcements as the “something big”, it would have been the full Codex release, and not just some new model teases. The new Knight is, of course, enormous, and mocks the concept of a miniatures game, but I don’t know…

It’s got to be the re-imagining of Marneus Calgar, but I feel like they have somehow missed the mark, and it could have been more. Or bigger. Or both. Or maybe I’m just expecting too much these days! I love the Genestealer Cultist models, and I love the campaign system – I just thought we’d have something different, I guess.

What do you guys think?

Tooth and Claw

So, this artwork debuted on the 40k facebook page at the weekend, followed by an extremely exciting article that talked about the next “battle box” coming for 40k, Tooth and Claw. Genestealer Cults vs Space Wolves, in bloody battle for the planet Vigilus. Similar to Forgebane from earlier in the year, we’re getting a lot of repackaged models, along with a couple of new bits – this time, we’re heavily weighted to the Genestealer Cults, with the new Aberrant multi-part plastic kit, as well as an Aberrant character, and just one new Space Wolf.

It’s an interesting way to do these kinds of releases, though I have to say I’m a little bit sad that we aren’t just getting the new kits themselves. I do appreciate the fact that we’re having the story advance and whatnot, and ordinarily I love these kinds of narrative-driven boxes, things have changed for me in that I can’t go throwing my money at all the new releases anymore. I’m guessing we’ll see things released separately in time, but that new Cryptek from Forgebane still hasn’t made his clam-pack appearance yet, has he? Hm.

At £90, though, the box is an absolute steal. Assuming the Primaris stuff is not the easy-build kits, the existing models total £148 (though you can’t get the Intercessor combat squad online anymore, so it’s a little bit weird in that regard…) which is just nuts when you think the Aberrants are likely to be around £30 at least, the Abominant will probably be £18, and the Space Puppy around £15… That’s nuts!

Having a Genestealer Cults army already on the go, this box will be a blessing – I’ve been wanting to get some more Metamorphs for a while, and nearly bought some on Friday when I was in the store, so that’s kinda negated now. I already have the Acolyte Iconward, but I’m sure I can either have another or just sell him on. I absolutely love how over-the-top ridiculous the Abominant looks, so can’t wait to add him to the force, as well as having more options for the Aberrants – I think this might finally tip me over the edge into including them in my lists…

It’s the Primaris stuff that’s kinda bothering me, as I’ve recently built a kill-team and decided that I might actually like to have an army of these chaps. I’ll definitely keep the Redemptor, because I’ve been holding off getting one of those for a very long time already. I already have Aggressors, so will probably get rid of those, and will definitely be off-loading the lieutenant chappie as I don’t collect Space Wolves. The Intercessors though… Maybe I’ll keep them, to bulk out the guys from Dark Imperium and the like. I suppose we’ll see.

At any rate, the story sounds like it’s going to be a significant addition to 40k lore, so I’m looking forward to reading up on the developments – indeed, I think 8th edition has done wonders for setting up a more interesting and cohesive narrative for the lore, no matter what people might think of the Primaris stuff. Personally, I like the look of them, so don’t mind it at all, but I know some people are a bit unimpressed, so may not think the same. I’m definitely enjoying the fact that GW are just making efforts with the storyline this time, rather than what seemed to be the case in 7th edition when I jumped on with 40k.

Also, interestingly, there seems to be mention of Orks on the planet, who like to race in the deserts. Gorkamorka it may not be, but I’ve recently been seeing what looks like the next small-box game coming out:

Warhammer Reflections – 4 years on

Hey everybody,
It’s approaching the time of year where I generally get quite nostalgic for my “career” within the Warhammer hobby, so I thought I’d ramble a bit here about some of the good times I’ve had with little plastic men over the last four years. In a manner of speaking…

Can you believe it’s been four years since I started this little adventure? Well, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’re not only extremely classy, but you probably can… It all started because of Shadows of Brimstone, that kickstarter from Flying Frog Productions that I backed massively, only to find out in the months following the end of the campaign that the miniatures would require assembly. To practice, I therefore bought a Beast of Nurgle from Games Workshop, having been aware of their products for a number of years thanks to the card game Warhammer: Invasion, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As a side note, I should really look at doing a blog devoted to that game. I know it’s long-dead, but it was one of my all-time favourites, so definitely deserves some love here on the blog!

While I was initially really heavily into the Old World, due in part to the fact that I was so familiar with the card game, I think the negative reactions I was exposed to following the End Times series really started me moving away from the fantasy setting, and instead looking into the 40k stuff. While I felt like I had a decent grounding, between the card game and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, I was really flying blind when it came to the grim dark of the far future, but threw myself into the lore of the Necrons, having discovered the Lychguard kit (as has been mentioned on this blog before, of course!) I suppose, to some extent, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards those chaps, seeing as how I was a huge Tomb Kings fan. It was a real heartache when I recently decided to sell my stock of TKs, having been so assiduous in gathering up as many of the kits as I could when they went Last Chance to Buy. But that’s beside the point.

I really enjoyed the look of metallic skeletons, and as has been well chronicled on the blog now, I really fell for those Lychguard like there was no tomorrow. While they weren’t the only contenders for my first 40k army – it was a toss-up between Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar as to who I was going to pursue as a first army choice – the undead space robots won out! Tyranids were an extremely close second, due in part to the awesome Shield of Baal series that started very soon after I’d made the decision, but I think I’ll always love those undead space robots…

Of course, since then I’ve managed to build up an extremely large Dark Eldar army, as well as having started to build a number of big bugs, too! Recently, I’ve embarked on repainting my Necron force, as it was my first army (and you can tell), though I’ve not yet managed to get very far. Always something to distract me!

It’s really been 40k that has been a driving force behind my passion and enthusiasm for this hobby, despite dipping my toe into fantasy every once in a while. I have very fond memories of the launch of Age of Sigmar, and while I’ve bought and sold more fantasy armies than I care to remember, I think I’m definitely keeping hold of my Stormcast Eternals for the fact that I enjoyed assembling that force so much.

Age of Sigmar

40k has been huge for me since then, and I honestly can’t ever see myself moving away from it. Whether it’s through the tabletop game itself, or any of the specialist games like Deathwatch Overkill or Necromunda – or even keeping some of the FFG games alive such as Conquest or, the classic, Space Hulk Death Angel – I can see myself forever staying with the grim dark of the far future, and look forward to sharing that with as many people as possible.

It’s definitely been an exciting four years, and there has been so much that I’ve enjoyed. While this blog started life as a sort of general nerdy thing with a lot of variety (at least, I think it did!), I’ve been very conscious of the fact that it has now become very focused on Warhammer, with Magic and Star Wars being a bit of a sideline.

And this is because I basically love the Warhammer 40k universe now!

I had a bit of a realisation a week or so ago, as I was laboriously reading through the latest new canon Star Wars novel Last Shot, that I don’t actually enjoy the new Star Wars as much as I enjoyed the franchise back before 2015. I don’t mean to turn this into some kind of Warhammer 40k vs Star Wars debate, but let’s leave it at I’m enjoying the former an awful lot more than the latter, right now!

And I suppose that’s partly due to the interactive nature of Warhammer 40k for me. There hasn’t really been a stand-out Star Wars game since WotC produced Star Wars miniatures, whereas there’s a whole hobby-gaming side to 40k that makes it a great deal more immersive.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved a great deal as a painter in the last four years – certainly, I’m more willing to show off my Drukhari, my Genestealer Cult, or my Thokt Necrons before bringing out that Beast of Nurgle – though there is always room for improvement. I’m still quite a lazy painter, something I’ve noticed when painting some Van Saar gangers recently. I rely a lot on drybrushing, while not always taking the time to drybrush properly. More models than I care to remember are quite streaky as a result! But I do feel a lot happier with my miniatures that I’m painting now, than I have done with the older lot. One of the reasons why I’m intending to re-do my entire Necron army, actually!

I don’t really have any sort of hobby goals in mind right now, except maybe to paint more than I buy, and get smarter with just what I’m buying in the first place, though who doesn’t have those sorts of goals in this hobby, right?! I’ve got a number of projects on the go that feel like they’re overwhelming me, particularly since Kill Team came along and I’m finding myself with plans for several small bands of infantry! Since delving back into my Genestealer Cults for that, however, I’ve been feeling in the mood to try some Tyranids, having bought quite a lot of kits for that army back at the start of the year. I find myself forever floating around from one project to another, without really getting anywhere with one (a notable exception being the Drukhari last year, that was amazing how I managed to apply myself and get over 2000 points painted up in a few months!)

I definitely want to plan my purchases more, and really try to work out just what I need before wandering into the store and picking up all manner of pretty looking kits just because they look nice. I also want to try to paint more, as has been shown by the variety of ‘painting goals’ style blogs that I’ve written so far this year. Having added Tau to my army rosters back in March, I really do feel a bit overwhelmed with everything, so definitely want to start scaling things back on that front. Going forward, I want to try (as much as I can) to pick a unit of, say, five guys, and just do what I need to do to get them finished. I think that’s how I eventually got going with the Drukhari, just five or ten at a time, and as whole units were added to the force, things really just snowballed…

I also want to play more games! Who doesn’t, I guess? But with Kill Team a thing now, the ability to have a lot of small games should make things easier. I’m keen to try my hand at Necromunda, having kitted out the Van Saars to be a proper gang and ready for the skirmish there, though I’m not sure if it’s that popular at my store… Skirmish games are fine, of course, but I also want to try and be a bit more serious with my efforts in mainstream 40k. I’ve got three big armies now as far as my Drukhari, Necrons (if I include the old ones that need re-doing), and T’au, along with a lot of smaller forces (with a lot of unbuilt kits that will one day make them bigger forces), so it would be a shame to not make the most of that and actually do something with them!

All this talk of Necromunda and Genestealer Cults brings me to something that I find a bit odd, but let’s talk about it anyway. I’ve not been in the hobby that long, and I’ve especially not been within the 40k universe that long, but there’s a weird kind of borrowed-nostalgia that I get from these re-imagining of classic aspects of the 40k universe. I suppose I get swept up in the moment, and find it all quite wonderful, though it could just be down to the fact that the miniatures are obviously designed with such care and attention to detail that I find myself really enamoured with them, despite not having a basis for any kind of nostalgia-response. It also helps that Necromunda, in particular, just looks like such a cool, immersive game that I can’t help but be swept up within the tidal wave of awesome that it is!

Rogue Trader is obviously coming out at Christmastime, and also promises to be every fanboy’s dream – including mine! I’m going to have to do some serious negotiation to get that under the tree for Christmas, but it looks like it will be so damn worth it!

The Rogue Trader release in 3-4 months’ time makes me wonder just when we can be expecting the last three Codexes for Warhammer 40k, though. There has been a hell of a lot of talk about a big campaign box for Space Wolves vs Orks, but as we’re now getting closer to the end of the year, I just don’t see this coming out anytime soon. It’s been two months since the announcement, on 1 June, about these books – looking at the last such announcement, when those for Imperial Knights, Harlequins and Deathwatch were talked about, it’s roughly two-to-three months between the announcement and the books being released. So I’m guessing that September will see the start of these things. It’s kinda unheard of for a big box game to have not been spoiled if it is, in fact, only a month or so away…

But that said, the Warhammer 40k facebook page did just unveil this…

Space Wolves vs Genestealer Cult? Who saw that one coming?!

Just another little tangent there! I did say this would be rambling!

Where was I? Ah yes, how much I need to be more careful with my purchases, rather than simply throwing my money at all the new shiny releases. Erm…

At any rate, after almost a year where I moved house and have since struggled to find a place to paint properly, I’m finding myself sliding closer to that point where I’m happily applying acrylic to plastic, so I’m hoping that I can at least make good on one of the many, many painting promises I’ve talked about on this blog before the end of the year…

While I like the thought of Tyranids and having a big bugs army, I’m also moving back towards my Drukhari, having lost interest a little when I felt the Codex had tried to force me to play a mixed list. However, I think I’m most excited right now for the Militarum Tempestus army that I’ve been wanting to build for a number of years now.

To date, I’ve still only painted two models for them. However, this is where the joy of Kill Team comes in, as I’ve excitedly been writing up a list that I think will make it relatively easy to get done, at which point I might as well just carry on and paint up a platoon! Oh, I make it sound so easy. But I think, if I can get some of these done, and some more Skitarii painted by the end of the year, I’ll be a very happy bunny, indeed.

So, thanks for reading all the way through this extremely rambling blog post about my jumbled thoughts on 40k right now, as well as something of a potted history of my life with the game, and stay tuned to the blog as I begin to delve more seriously into Kill Team campaigns – and, of course, Necromunda!