Boarding Actions

Hey everybody,
After resisting this for a couple of months, I’ve finally begun to look into the new way to play games of 40k as laid out in the Arks of Omen: Abaddon book – Boarding Actions. This is a bit of a hybrid between Kill Team and regular 40k, as we have small teams (up to 500 points) going up against one another on the sprawling space hulks, fighting room-to-room to achieve their objectives. Whereas the Psychic Awakening event that brought 8th edition to a close was a pretty comprehensive overhaul of all the armies in the game, Arks of Omen isn’t intended to add to the rules bloat but rather seems to be going the opposite way of paring back the rules, providing a new way of playing games that makes use of the Kill Team scenery from the current cycle of boxes, which started with Into the Dark.

Boarding Actions

Boarding Actions require a bigger board, so you need two sets of this terrain to fill out a game board. It’s actually the news of this coming last autumn that prompted me to pick up Into the Dark, as I thought I would get it and one other box, then I’d have enough terrain to see me through. However, both of the subsequent boxes have proven to be extremely popular and have sold out before I could pick either up. As such, I was a bit dejected about the whole thing until I started to put the terrain together last week, and found myself enjoying the configurations I was making at random.

So you need two sets of terrain – just the walls with the columns and hatchways, none of the extra gribblies. GW have rather helpfully put out a box of this, which will set you back £130 to pick up. Next, you need the rules, which are in Arks of Omen: Abaddon. If you can find it, that’ll set you back £35 – it’s currently out of stock everywhere I look, however. It’s worth remembering that this is an adaptation of 40k, and not its own game like Kill Team, so you’ll also need your army, codex and the 40k rulebook. All of this is to say that for a small-scale skirmish game, Boarding Actions is actually extremely expensive to get into, unless you’re already into both 40k and Kill Team.

Boarding Actions

Once you’re in, you get 500 points to build a list from the fairly restrictive FOC of 0-1 HQ, 0-3 Troops, and 0-3 Elites. No Monsters, no Vehicles, not Jump, Cavalry or Biker units, and nothing that can fly. You can also only take one Character. I love this idea, because it is pretty much based on how I view a lot of my army builds: troops, their leader, and maybe one fancy group. GW have released a free pdf that runs through how each army can tweak these rules, for example Tau can take a unit of Pathfinders even though they’re Fast Attack, and can take drones even though they can Fly. It’s a great way to bring balance to the game at a small scale, while also allowing for some very narrative-focused squads.

Interestingly, there are no stratagems. Well, there are the core three (command re-roll, etc), but that’s it. There are no warlord traits or relics, instead we get Boarding Enhancements for a warlord. There is a part of me that wonders whether this might be testing the waters a little for the anticipated 10th edition, although I don’t suppose the timing is right, given that this was probably in development for some time. Even so, it’s interesting to see how they have changed the game up to make quite a thematic experience for the cramped confines of a space hulk or orbital station.

Boarding Actions

Everything that I’ve read about Boarding Actions has been pretty positive so far, which is quite nice to see in this day and age! The one negative is, of course, the investment. For a 40k player, you need to stump up £165 for the terrain and book; for someone looking to get into the hobby, they’ll also need models and codex, so it isn’t a cheap way to play the game. I’d principally bought the Kill Team box for this, as I said, but have swung back to thinking of it as a Necromunda thing instead (not playing Kill Team), but now that I’ve read up a bit more, and having built up the stuff, I think I would like to try to realise my goals of getting the second set of terrain to try out some of these missions. Future Arks of Omen books look like they’re going to provide Boarding Actions-specific stuff so that the game mode is somewhat supported, although it will be interesting to see how it translates with 10th edition on the way. I highly suspect that this will be forgotten about in the wake of the new edition, but I do hope I’m wrong on that.

The fact that the rulebook for this is out of stock does bother me, though. With the Kill Team boxes being snapped up so damn quickly, I was initially miffed but it seemed that the second box was at least being bought up by people for the Kasrkin team, and very little thought was being given to the rest of it. The Arbites are also a great looking team, and I think people have potentially done the same with that. However, there are also the persistent and loud rumours that these boxes are not being made in any great quantities, which is very strange. I get that content we’re seeing released now was in development during the pandemic, and so there might be issues as a result of that, but it seems that there are supply chain problems and warehousing issues that mean we’ve got these ridiculously small releases. How true any of this is, I don’t know, but at least my wallet can breathe a sigh of relief while these things aren’t available to buy!!

Boarding Actions

As much as I’d like an Arbites kill team, I think I’m just going to have to wait for now, until everything settles down. I might pick up the box of extra terrain bits though, as that looks really nice. And it should still go in with my current batch of terrain!

Warhammer 40k is 35!

Well, well, well… we’ve had another preview day for Warhammer 40k, as the game turns 35 soon, and it was actually pretty exciting, I have to say! A lot of the time, I’ve found these sorts of previews to be more miss than hit, but today was really very interesting, indeed!

Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models

I missed the start of the event, unfortunately, so didn’t get to hear all about the new Imperial Guard stuff until about ten minutes into the presentation. But I have to say, these new models are really very nice! It seems that the Guard are getting a range refresh, with possibly all of the old kits being re-done. To launch this, we’re getting an army box as GW like to make big boxes of plastic, it seems, with a command squad, a sentinel, two squads and two ‘field ordinance batteries’, which are a bit like upgraded heavy weapons teams.

Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models
Warhammer 40k new Astra Militarum models

This stuff is just beautiful, and the field ordinance batteries in particular have really captured my attention. It reminds me of the Wyvern model, which had a couple of guys out the back in almost a mini diorama. I do love this stuff, and it has pretty much tipped me over the edge into wanting a Guard army now!!

They said in the preview that this is about half of the new stuff coming for the army, and they wouldn’t show the cover of the codex because it would give yet more away. So all of that is quite interesting, I feel! Something I do like the idea of is being able to mix regiments within an army now, so the fact I have those Krieg lads from the Kill Team box, as well as a bunch of Tempestus Scions waiting in the wings, might not be a bad thing after all!!

40k reveals

Arks of Omen is the next narrative expansion for 40k, and sees the action move to ships and space hulks, so brings a new way to play rather than just adding more rules on top of rules to contend with. Of course, this requires more terrain, so…

40k reveals
40k reveals
40k reveals

The box features the equivalent of two of the Kill Team boxes, apparently! I have to say, this sounds really cool, and I love the idea of being able to almost play Space Hulk but in regular 40k, but I honestly don’t think I have room in my life for this. I’ve spoken before about how 40k almost demands to be a way of life for you, and I think I’m set back a bit from that nowadays. If it was the only game I played, then sure, but things are just moving too fast for me to keep up, I barely get to play regular 40k let alone all this additional stuff they’ve been pumping out!

New Kill Team

I’ve still not properly played the new Kill Team, and here we are, now on the sixth big box, and the second box of space hulk themed games. It’s Necrons vs Kasrkin, too, which is actually making me wonder if I should be looking to pick this one up!

New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team
New Kill Team

The Necrons are very weird in this one, and it seems like we may actually be getting a brand new group of models, even if those Deathmarks look very familiar. It’s a Cryptek and his merry band, and I am very interested, so let’s ponder this one some more.

40k reveals

New model for the World Eaters codex coming out whenever. Looks lovely, I think they said it’s an updated sculpt of a very old model, too? Interesting, although I am not going to be getting these guys, that’s a promise!!

40k reveals

The whole presentation ended with this little tease. Arks of Omen seemed to be suggesting that Abaddon has made a pact with a daemon of some kind, and it is being suggested that this daemon will be coming out in model form – delightful, I’m sure you agree! However, there’s talk of daemon + metal, which is making the internet lose its collective mind because Dark Mechanicum has been a very real hope since Blackstone Fortress gave us those crazy cultist guys.

Could it be? I mean, it would be incredible, for sure!

Between this, the kill team stuff, and the fact I think I’m starting a Guard army now, I’m going to be very poor for the rest of my days, I think…

Could be time to get the Scions back out!!

Rumours and Reveals

Well then! We had a fairly exciting set of reveals from Games Workshop at the weekend, though as seems to be the standard for them these days, it ended with more teases…

To start with, we’ve now seen the new Warcry box in its full glory, and my goodness it looks good. It’s very different from what we’ve had up to now, which has been very firmly set in civilisation (albeit a ruined one, for the most part). We’re heading into the swamp, and they have really managed to get the kind of jungle theme of rope bridges and bamboo platforms down well. There are also weird statues, which I like, but it could probably do with more levels to it – it feels very much like the recent Ash Wastes box for Necromunda, actually, with a lot of platforms connecting to two treehouses.

The warbands do look good, even if the online community seems to be less than enthusiastic. However, I feel a bit sad to be saying it, but I think I’m going to pass on this box, as I have done on the Necromunda box. I have far more Warcry stuff than I have time to play it, so as the game moves forwards into the realm of beasts, I think I’m going to stick behind at the Eightpoints. Though I’m thinking I’ll pick up some Horns of Hashut when they release separately…

Speaking of Necromunda, the other houses will be getting their vehicles it seems, starting with the Goliath. They look suitably over the top with roid rage, so that makes perfect sense! I wonder what Delaque will have…

The next warband for Underworlds has been revealed as a Witch Hunter and his crew, and Blood Bowl are getting an Amazons team. The preview ended with this, however:

The Space Hulk preview from the other day has been shown as a bit of a red herring – we’re getting close-confines games, of course, but it’s Kroot vs Imperial Navy, of all things!! I’m really quite excited for this one, as I feel the Navy guys will be similar to the Elucidian Starstriders from the last Kill Team close quarters box, and show us another side of the Imperium that we rarely otherwise see. I’m glad it’s not Space Hulk with Primaris marines, because like many people, Space Hulk means something very specific and very precise to me.


The last week or so has seen the beginnings of what I suppose is much more serious speculation about 10th Edition 40k, rather than idiots like me jokingly talking about it in terms of “aren’t we due a new edition soon?” and so on. If these rumours are to be believed, then the new edition is coming out next summer, and will be launched with a Tyranids vs Space Marines box, with the bugs getting a range refresh much like the Necrons had for 9th. There are all manner of rumours about plastic Dante and Primaris Furioso Dreadnought, as the poster boys will be the Blood Angels this time around.

Tyranids will get new Genestealer sculpts, and a bunch of other bugs, with what I guess will be a Silent King equivalent.

Now, the rumours have already proven to be false, because they were prefaced with the news of a new Kill Team box set on a space hulk featuring the new Kasrkin models vs new-sculpt Genestealers. Which obviously isn’t happening. In the past, though, rumour mongers have claimed to be talking from pictures rather than text, and the Navy sculpts do bear a similarity to the Guard models, so maybe the spiky crests of the Kroot were mistaken for scything talons? Who knows.

Personally, I hope we can get some more mileage out of 9th edition before they go shifting things around again. There’s no real need to do this, as we lost certainly one full year to the pandemic, so I would imagine that very few people were actually able to play this game for its entirety. I’ve spent quite a bit of money on this edition, codexes and the like, but it’s continually baffling to me when GW had been releasing actual gaming supplements when the majority of the world couldn’t get together to use them, and then promptly outdated them with yet more supplements. 9th edition has been such a weird time, hasn’t it?

However, the fact remains that 9th Edition is two years old this month, and recent editions of 40k have only lasted three years, so it’s possible…

Primaris terminators and Primaris devastators? Primaris Death Company? Primaris Dante? Who knows… but it’s going to be an interesting time seeing if there is any substance to these rumours…

Giving Kill Team a go

It’s long overdue, I think you’ll all agree! The new edition of Kill Team has almost been out for a year at this point, and I’m only now getting around to trying it out. Now, I should say, I was playing against myself with this game, as I wanted to see how it all works in practice before trying to convince some people to try it with me.

I have to say, first impressions are pretty favourable!

Now, it is very dense to try to crack on a first play. There is a lot of back-and-forth in the rule book, and I wouldn’t say the rules are as transparent as, say, Warcry. In the game I played, I went in without really doing my research, so perhaps inevitably I was a bit lost for a while.

One of the big questions we ask when we sit down to a game like this is, what can I do? Now, it’s not always clear (to my mind) what operatives can do on the turn. One of my biggest bugbears with the rules is how badly laid out things are – so the book tells me to give each operative either an Engage or a Conceal order, but it doesn’t tell me what that means until about a dozen pages later. It’s like you need to have read the whole book and understood it before you play.

There is definitely a tactical depth required from the game, which really precludes you from just throwing some miniatures on the table and hoping for the best. There are twelve different types of Veteran Guardsmen, and there are eleven types of Corsair Voidscarred, and they all have some fairly distinct roles to play. Not having a game plan was quite startlingly obvious as soon as things got underway, if I’m honest, and I actually think that it hampered my enjoyment of the game. I mean, there are a lot of tricks that you can do with a lot of these guys, but I didn’t know half the stuff that was on offer to me (that question again), and as a result I knew I was missing out. At least I know what the problem is, so can address it for next time.

I was using the Veteran Guardsmen, because they’re wonderful models, but I wanted to use the Corsairs as I had a good idea for a colour scheme that I want to try out soon. They are also beautiful models, of course, but I think that both teams have suffered from the way that I’ve built them. I had said last year that I’ll definitely be getting a second box of Guard, but I also think I need to get more Corsairs. Not only had I brought the wrong mix, but they were positioned badly as well – it’s all coming back to the planning, isn’t it?

There is a whole host of additional rules that I was studiously ignoring for the battle, because I didn’t want to over-complicate things. All the Tac-Ops, Strategic Ploys and so on just felt like it would be a step too far, really! But the narrative depth that these things give is really quite astonishing, and I love the fact that we have this kind of game, even if it is quite the beast!!

I think it’s surprised me, just how tactical this game is. Rule of cool doesn’t apply – this isn’t a casual game. You need to have a very specific game plan in mind, and you need to exercise that plan as far as possible.

None of this is to say that Kill Team is a bad game. I think it’s just a definite level up for me in terms of how I usually like to enjoy my games!! I’m definitely going to give it another try, of course, but I’m going to make sure that I’ve done my homework first!!

May Plans

Somehow, I’m on quite the blog-writing streak here at the minute, I think this is day 16 now, which is quite exciting! Amid all of the rambles, though, I feel like I need to get a bit more focused. I’m very much in a Star Wars mood at the moment, and combined with a return to board gaming, I seem to be moving away from what has been my main hobby for the last eight years now, miniature war games. I did touch on this on Friday, but I think I need to try to strike more of a balance, and see if I can keep up the games while also enjoying a bit more of the plastic hobby. I have the coming week off work (which is just as well, really, because I’m in the middle of some pretty intense training at the moment!) so thought it would perhaps be a good time to recalibrate, and whatnot.

So, to start with, I want to try to press on with the Black Legion bits that I’m in the middle of painting. I may have said this before, but I find it difficult to come back to projects when they’re halfway finished, so I do need to keep on with these guys before it’s another couple of years before they’re fully painted. I’m not going to go any further than this for the time being: I wouldn’t say that I’m in a hobby slump per se, but I’m definitely in that realm of feeling a bit overwhelmed with just how much I’ve got going on, so don’t want to plan ahead beyond the one immediate project for now!!

It’s no secret that I have a lot of armies on my plate, but in the last week I’ve started to take some action here, and have listed my Blood Angels on eBay to try and trim down. As it stands, I’m hoping to get around £100 for the lot, which would be nice, and traditionally I would almost immediately plough that back into Games Workshop’s coffers, but I’m hoping that I can be more circumspect this time around, and resist the allure of new shiny stuff. I still want to off-load more models, including my Nighthaunt, so hopefully I’ll be feeling a bit better about the hobby and stuff once I’ve cleared away some of the chaff. It’s amazing how much noise is in my head from the variety of projects that I have at the moment.

I’m very keen to give the new Kill Team a try – well, especially seeing as how it isn’t really “new” any more. This would kinda play into the Black Legion that I’ve been painting up as well, as I could start painting those models that were built up from the Nachmund set, though at this point I have quite a few sets of miniatures from which to draw – including AdMech and Genestealer Cults from the White Dwarf rules.

Unfortunately, nobody around here appears to be that into Kill Team right now, I think in part as a result of a general downer on 9th Edition 40k that seems to be led by the main group from my local GW. So it may be a bit of an uphill struggle on that one!

I do need to finish building the terrain from Nachmund though, at which point I may just try it out with me taking on both sides, just to see how the ruleset works. I may have a better chance of convincing people if I’ve got a better grasp of the rules!

So far, then, I don’t think my plans for the month are particularly onerous! Finish painting five/six models, build up some terrain, and maybe read over some campaign books!

Of course, I’m still really keen to play lots of other games that I own, and have been enjoying quite a variety of them in recent weeks. I’m still trying to convince Jemma that the Star Wars LCG is worth playing, and I’m still in the middle of the jungle in the Forgotten Age campaign, but I’ve recently also been thinking a lot about Lord of the Rings LCG. It’s widely been referred to on my blog here as my favourite game, and I think that holds true for the first couple of cycles of the game. But somewhere around the Voice of Isengard, I just lost interest due to the game becoming so incredibly difficult to play solo.

There are about six full cycles that I have not yet played, and last year I made an effort to change that, playing my way through The Lost Realm before once again getting distracted. Now, I have a vague memory of playing through the first three scenarios in the Angmar Awakened cycle as well, and even mentioned it here on the blog, but I didn’t record it on my BGG stats, and I don’t actually remember the scenarios themselves, either, so in confusion I’ve somewhat given up for the time being.

I still want to play this game, though, so I’m thinking that I’m going to go straight in for the final cycle of the game, the Vengeance of Mordor! This should be interesting, as from what I remember of it from promotional stuff at the time, we get to explore some fairly interesting aspects of Middle Earth, and we get something of a unique look at the world. So that’s pretty exciting! Although I may not be saying that when I’ve been beaten into submission by the scenario!

I’m hoping to get started with it while I’m off, anyway, so stay tuned for more updates there!!

Warhammer Fest 2022

Oh man, this was an exciting one! Four days of previews that are really pretty great, for so many in the hobby. Let’s try to break down some of the new stuff and see what’s coming our way in the next few months!

To start with, Chaos is back on the menu! We’re getting a lot of new Cultist varieties, including a ten-man squad, a sort of command squad, and mutant cultists of various stripes. Delightful! There’s also going to be new Possessed, which will presumably be accompanied by the Chosen and the Warpsmith when the big release comes.

Oh yeah, and there’s also gonna be a new Daemon Prince!

Points values will be made available for free, but the upcoming Chapter Approved will be tinkering with the rules, specifically around command points, and giving everyone new secondary objectives. There has been some outcry about why CA is coming out when armies like the Guard still don’t have their Codex, which I think is pretty valid, but 9th edition has been so strange to me, I suppose I’m not really surprised.

World Eaters will be getting a Codex, too, but it’s too soon to show off any new models. And the new Squats are getting a trike, which people seem to be excited for. I’m still underwhelmed with the Squat news – I’m happy for those players who have wanted this to happen, of course! I’m just happy, also, that I don’t feel the need to get any!

Next up, we have Age of Sigmar! Leaks from the Slaves to Darkness book have been on Facebook for about a week already, but it’s great to see these big lads in high definition glory! There’s a new Skaven model coming out, and Sylvaneth are getting a lot more new models!

This has been quite a surprise, to me. Seems like each iteration of the game grows this army, and they’re getting further away from their Wood Elf origins. It’s great to see, and I think I’ll need to exercise some restraint because Sylvaneth are an army that I really would love to try out. I mean, the Treelord mini is one of my absolute favourite sculpts of all time!

Big news from AoS is that Cities of Sigmar will be getting what I suppose we’re now calling “the Battle Sisters treatment”, and there will be updates for the redesign online. Could be interesting…

Big news in Specialist Games comes once more from the Squats, as we’ll be getting them in a new gang of Ironhead Squat Prospectors. Interesting, seems like 2022 is going to be the year of the space dwarf.

The next Kill Team box has been announced, Moroch, and will be Phobos Marines vs Traitor Guard, with the new Sector Frontieris terrain! I’m unsure about this one, as I don’t want the Marines, and I already have the ogryn and commissar models from their release in Blackstone Fortress, so I’m thinking that I might sit this one out. That terrain is, of course, wonderful, but given that they split these boxes up eventually anyway, I think I might just wait.

It does look tempting, though!

New logo and new location for Warcry, as we head into a cursed jungle for what many seem to think will be a soft version two. I’m not sure about the jungle, because I personally love the aesthetic of fighting in these abandoned cities (or mines!) and can’t really see that translating well. I’m prepared to be wrong, of course!

We also have a new warband preview – the Horns of Hashut – which is odd because it feels like they’re half of the suspected new box… We also have the centaur dude who looks pretty great – I hope this is going to mean we get more unique crazy sculpts for these sort of mercenary allies as time goes on!

I have to say, though, I’m disappointed to hear that the new setting is going to bring with it more AoS races “to the fore”. I don’t think Warcry is good when we have just any old fantasy race; I much prefer it as a Chaos vs Chaos game. Don’t get me wrong, I know why they’re doing it, and adding in the whole AoS catalogue has probably kept interest in the game to the point where we’ve been able to have so much amazing content for it. But I really preferred it when we were seeing bespoke, weird Chaos warbands unique for this game…

The final day, yesterday, brought the big news about Horus Heresy 2.0 that has been teased and spoiled and goodness knows what for a long while now. We’re getting a new box set, which is huge, and new MkVI marines. New plastic tanks, and a slew of plastic weapons upgrades to try to muscle in on people who have been 3D printing their own. It’s an interesting move, and I wonder if they’ll start to do these kinds of weapons packs for other armies, giving Kabalite Warriors a second blaster, etc? It’ll be interesting to see whether these Necromunda-style upgrades have any traction into 40k, anyway. Without being a Heresy aficionado, however, the final day was otherwise a bit of a whimper, to me.

But it was definitely an exciting few days, and here’s hoping that I am the lucky one to win everything they’ve previewed here!! 🤣

Kill Team: Nachmund

Following the opening of the Great Rift, when the galaxy was split in two, passage across the massive Warp Storm was only possible in a handful of routes. The most stable of these was named the Nachmund Gauntlet, and saw much fighting during the Indomitus Crusade, as the Imperium fought to control the area and ensure communications remained open with the Imperium Nihilus on the other side. The fighting centred on the hive world of Vigilus, but was by no means confined there.

Kill Team Nachmund is the third box in the new edition of the skirmish game, and features Heretic Astartes going up against Aeldari Corsairs. Of the three boxes released so far, it has been the most exciting for me, as I have wanted everything within, not just a small fraction of the models. We get the beautiful new Corsair models, which skirt the lines between Craftworld and Dark Kin, coming with design elements from both but uniting into their own distinct range. I was very excited to learn that they could be used by Drukhari as well, although slightly less excited when I found out their rules were only in the Aeldari Codex. I know I have said previously that I like how the game is its own thing, I still like to multi-purpose some things!

The Heretic Astartes are the somewhat-new 10-man legionary kit, with an upgrade sprue that comes in a similar vein to the Tau Pathfinders that we had in the Chalnath box. Who knows whether we’ll get all of these options available when the CSM Codex hits, as we did for the Pathfinders – I mean, one of the upgrades is to make a regular legionary a psyker… Again, though, it’ll be nice to have a unit that is just for Kill Team, but with this box I do now have 30 marines for my Black Legion (more on this later).

The terrain is all Sector Mechanicus stuff, and I have read that the cost of this alone is equivalent to the box. So I am pleased to have that level of value here. More Sector Mechanicus stuff is always welcome, even if I have decided to just build it as the manual wants me to. Even so, I like it, and between 40k and Necromunda already, I’ll have definite uses for it all!

I’ve built the Corsairs very much with this game in mind. In 40k, they fulfil either troops or elites – with the former, you can’t mix rifles and pistols, whereas the latter has a greater flexibility. However, the 40k rules seem to want you to build all of the specialists available to the squad, but I have only gone for a couple, instead choosing to have more bodies rather than a particularly elite squad. For the Heretics, I think I might go for some of the fancy options too, but I haven’t entirely decided what I want to do with them, so have only built the sorcerer so far.

I mentioned before having 30 marines for my Black Legion, but I still haven’t really got that project moving, and have been considering a refresh – maybe going for a completely different Legion colour scheme. I have only painted the Master of Possession for the army, after all. But as it stands, I think that particular project might be a long way off, so I’m not giving it a great deal of thought for the time being.

Kill Team seems to be firmly in the release model of big boxes, which was exciting at first, but as time has gone on I’m already a bit wary of this release pattern. In a comparatively short space of time, we’ve had Kill Team Chalnath, Warcry Red Harvest, and Kill Team Nachmund, with Necromunda Ash Wastes seemingly closer than anybody had perhaps realised. It is a lot to take on, when these boxes are around the £115 mark, and I really don’t think it’s sustainable for me to keep buying them. I did think this after the Octarius box, but then I got really swept up by the Sisters Novitiates, and having more Sector Imperialis terrain. This box, as I’ve said, was full of stuff that I really love, so it was pretty easy to throw my money at it.

I’m hoping that I can actually resist the next box, and perhaps only pick up those elements that really interest me when they’re released further down the line. I do wonder what else they could do for the game, of course – whether we start to see a shift away from big boxes and instead just teams with upgrade sprues, when they run out of “new” stuff they can do. Maybe we’ll get the Elucidian Starstriders vs Gellerpox Infected box re-branded? They don’t have a lot of terrain sets that can be used in these boxes, either – so I am very intrigued as to where they could take this product line in the longer term. I think GW have been successful so far in getting a lot of interest and excitement around these releases with producing the new teams, but I can’t help but think that Kill Team is in a very weird place as regards how it is being released. I mean, we have the Compendium, but it seems the more exciting teams are those with the full rules from these boxes and the White Dwarf articles – and there aren’t all that many of them! There haven’t been “full” rules for Space Marines, Eldar, Necrons etc so far, which just seems a bit weird…

At any rate, Nachmund has been a great box to get my hands on, and I’m going to enjoy getting it all painted up and maybe even convincing some folks to play it with me! As for what the future holds, I think it’s going to be a very interesting time…

Kill Team: Octarius (some thoughts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August Retrospective

Hey everybody,

August has been and gone, and it’s time to look forward to an autumn with the hobby, usually! Hopefully there won’t be anymore lockdowns happening of course, though with a 10-week old baby to look after, I’m not exactly sure how much I’ll get to do! She’s been quite poorly of late, as well, which hasn’t been much fun for anyone. Fingers crossed for a much more exciting September, anyway!

I’ve found myself in a curious place, lately, where I’ve not really been in the mood to read. Part of this is, I’m sure, because I find it awkward to hold the smaller person and also a book, so have spent a lot of the summer just not reading anything. However, this month I picked up The Rising Storm, the second book in the High Republic series. Well, it’s the second book in the ‘adult’ series; there are YA and junior books in the mix, as well as comics and now audio dramas, but I don’t have the energy to keep up with it all, if I’m honest. The Rising Storm has, so far, been pretty good – there’s definitely the feeling that I’m in the middle of a series (I believe this is only a trilogy, though I could be mistaken), but even so, I’m about 150pp in, and I’m enjoying it!

I’m in a Facebook group for Star Wars novels, and I kinda feel like I should just come out of it, as the opinions in there seem to be wild and I don’t know that I really get all that much out of it. I mean, a lot of the time, if I’ve spoken of my distaste for anything (the Darth Bane trilogy, in particular, sticks out here), it’s almost like a red flag to be lynched, or something. I dunno, anyway, but the latest High Republic book seems to be getting panned in the group, and I’m just a bit down on them all!

I haven’t mentioned the Arkham Horror LCG for a while, as I haven’t been able to play it since I ran through the Return to Night of the Zealot a few months ago, but after trundling on down to my local game store last week, I’ve been able to order a copy of In Too Deep, and have also discovered that the first part of the Edge of the Earth expansion is due imminently, giving us the investigator cards. So that’s all exciting stuff, especially as I’ll finally have the Innsmouth campaign in its entirety!

I think I’m going to save the box for later in the year, anyway. I’m in no rush to play with the new cards, as I have a ton of cards I’ve still never used, after all, so it would make a nice birthday/Christmas present!

This month seems to have been about Warcry in a big way, though. I wrote up a long and rambling post earlier in the month, talking about what I like about it, and where it could be going etc, as well as another post commenting on the downloadable content GW have put out, with a dash of speculation on the future of the game, after the hints of there being exciting news on the horizon. In the middle of these, I also took a look at the Tome of Champions 2020, which had an awesome narrative campaign included. The more that I’ve dived in to Warcry, the more impressed I am with the breadth of content available. I mean, all that free stuff on the Warhammer Community site looks fantastic, and the work that must go into those Tomes is phenomenal. If Necromunda wasn’t a thing, this could be the best!

I’m very pleased to say that I’m almost finished painting the Unmade now – I was hoping to have finished the whole warband, but there are maybe 2 models still to paint the metals. I think I’ve managed to do quite well with the tasteful blood spatter and so on, and I’m very pleased with how the bases are a good match for the main board in Warcry – the old Lustrian Undergrowth texture paint, which I bought a load of back in the day, drybrushed with Administratum Grey. Very effective, in my opinion!

Oh, and I’ve also been building up the Catacombs stuff! I’ve built up the dungeon terrain, and the Scions of the Flame warband, and have had an abortive game with it. I wasn’t entirely excited by it all, if I’m honest, but I want to have a full game with it before I form a proper opinion of it all. Stay tuned for that, of course!

In addition to Warcry though, it’s also been all about the new Kill Team!

This is especially true of the bank holiday weekend, when I finally picked the box up and had the opportunity to get some of it built. Who knows when I’ll be able to actually do anything more with it, of course! I’m going to try and take the opportunity to keep building it up though, and see how far I can get with actually painting it all up, as well. So far, 10 Death Korps of Krieg models have been built, and they look beautiful!

For a long time during the month, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get it – the price, more than anything, had me wondering if I wouldn’t be better-off using my money on stuff I already play and enjoy etc, rather than buying into yet another game from GW. In the event, my initial thoughts of it being pretty much a board game have won out and I took the plunge, as I have no plans to start an Imperial Guard or Ork army! I am going to keep this as a boxed game, I think, though of course I’ll probably end up buying some add-ons as and when!

The subject of add-ons is an interesting one, of course, because I do find myself idly wondering where they’re going to go from here, specifically. We know we’re getting new Kill Zones per quarter, but does each quarter simply have a new big box and then some articles in White Dwarf? Or can we expect an expansion-type deal in a month or so, where we get Elites or Commanders? Death Korps Commissar, be still my heart! I firmly believe that we’ll see an expansion with more regular 40k models from here on out, and while initially I’d thought we could be seeing new units for existing armies, as the initial rumours seemed to suggest we’d be getting a new Sisters unit for the rumoured Sisters vs Tau box, I’m now thinking that we will most likely be getting re-packs with, perhaps, an upgrade frame. This is basically how the Krieg models work – the two main A sprues are the 10 infantrymen, with the B upgrade sprue having specific fancy parts. There are still fancy parts on A, but stuff like the medic on B is a lot more involved than the medic on A, if you see what I mean. So I could see a box of 10 Sisters being packed along with an upgrade frame to give access to more weapons (though the Sisters, being dual-purpose with Dominions and Celestians, already have a good breadth of bits available to them). There are quite a few kits that exist in the 40k range that would very easily port over, and if they were to just throw in some Sector Imperialis sprues as well, you’d quite easily have the bulk of a new box, right there.

It’s not all been about skirmish games though! I’ve started to think about my Tyranids again, and have been planning up my next steps to getting that army up to scratch. I’ve mainly been trying to recapture my paint scheme, because I didn’t make a note of it anywhere (like a fool!) I think I’ve been able to deduce that I used Death World Forest for the green, and I think Straken Green might be involved as a highlight; the carapace is definitely Rakarth Flesh, shaded with Agrax Earthshade, and highlighted with Ushabti Bone (and possibly Screaming Skull). I’m working on some genestealers while I recover the scheme, anyway, though I’ve seen online a potentially easier way of doing this with Contrasts, which might work for the gaunts, so I want to try that at some point.

I’ve been painting some of the walls from the Dark Uprising set for Necromunda, as well, and I’m really pleased with the results! This is a fairly quick scheme that I’ve seen on a facebook group a couple of months ago. Spray the model with Mechanicus Standard Grey, then paint the inner arch bits with Tallarn Sand. Shade the whole thing with Agrax Earthshade, then drybrush Dawnstone and Deepkin Flesh, and that’s basically it! The details will obviously vary, but for the metalwork I’ve been painting the silver Leadbelcher, and the copper Castellax Bronze, all shaded with both Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade. It’s intentionally patchy and crappy, because I’m trying to make it look gross! I’ve then gone in and dabbed some Dryad Bark along the bottom as kicked-up dirt, and in places (though it isn’t always apparent) I’ve put some Athonian Camoshade to simulate moss/mould. It does work better on a lighter stone, but never mind. As a base, I’m quite pleased, but there’s always room for improvement and adding in some details, but for now it’s definitely good to see the walls coming together! I’m looking forward to getting more of the zone mortalis structures painted, the stairs and things, and seeing the whole hive come together!

As I said up at the top, September is very much a hobby-focused month for me, as I harken back to the good old days when I was first discovering 40k in a big way, so I’m excited to see what I could possibly accomplish on that front – here’s hoping next month’s retrospective blog will be choc full of good stuff!

Kill Team 2021

Hey everybody,

After a weekend devoted to attempting to understand the rules for the new version of Warhammer 40k: Kill Team that just came out, I thought I’d ramble for a bit on the blog here, with some thoughts and first impressions. I haven’t played any games yet – hell, I’ve barely had time to start building models – so all of this is just my rambling conjecture, really!

I think it’s important to note, first of all, that this game is a completely different and new iteration of Kill Team, and one that does not form a low bar of entry into regular 40k. It is its own game system, and I think it’s much better for it. Sure, I got confused as much as anyone when I first picked this up, but I’m getting my head wrapped around it now, and I’m cautiously optimistic.

I think one of the biggest changes comes from how you build your team. Points have all gone, and instead your faction choice dictates pretty much your roster. It’s not as straightforward as all that, but it is still very prescriptive. I don’t have the Compendium that has been released, to allow for all the “regular” unit choices from 40k to be played here, but I understand that, broadly speaking, each faction has a set number of “fire teams”, which are built from specific models, and you can’t simply throw together a team based on a whim. For example, it seems to be the case that Necron Warriors and Immortals aren’t on the same fire team anymore, so potentially won’t be in the same game.

That said, the campaign book that was released in the box has the rules for Death Korps and Kommandos – and these rules are both interesting and involved! For Death Korps, you get to build a single team of 10 guys, but can pick from a long list of role types. You get a plethora of additional rules to make use of. Which is a bit overwhelming at first, especially as you’ll need to get to grips with it all before you start. It just serves to illustrate how the Compendium is the Index of this game, and I suppose the promise of lots more boxes as the game develops makes sense, now!

I’ve surprised myself by getting a complete Krieg team built this weekend! I’m going purely for the rule of cool on these chaps, fully in the knowledge that I want to pick up another box when they’re released separately. I’ll probably build a couple more special ones, but I really like the look of these as basic troops, and it kinda fits the narrative in my head of having less of a ‘special’ squad with fancy weapons, rather just having a regular team that has been thrown into this situation of clearing out an Ork infestation.

The rules, as stated earlier, are very different to previous iterations, and from regular 40k, too. There are three parts to each turn (which itself is called a Turning Point), of which there are four per game. The initiative phase is where initiative is decided, oddly enough, then the strategy phase acts much like 40k’s command phase, where you get your command points and can play strategic ploys – one of two types of ploy, the other being tactical ones. These are basically stratagems from 40k, and each team has a suite of them that they can use. During the strategy phase, you also get to reveal TacOps – secondary objectives – which score you additional victory points outside of the scope of the mission being played.

Lastly, there is the firefight phase, where the actual model stuff happens! There are 9 different actions available to models, which have limits on how many actions they can take. The Krieg guys all have 2 action points to spend, and stuff like move, shoot, pick up and fight all costs one action point. Very nice.

Movement is still measured in inches, but there is a symbol-based system that has been the subject of much debate online, so I’m not going to go heavily into it here. I do kinda like the way having this symbol-based thing can be used, as you move in straight-line increments of whatever your move value is – 3⚪️ is 6”, but you move in blocks of 2”. There’s a nuance there that comes from playing, I imagine.

Combat is very interesting, especially hand-to-hand combat. Basically, both fighters roll together, and the defender can try to parry the successful hits from the attacker, simulating real-time combat in a way that I’ve not seen in games before. Very interesting, indeed!!

As normal for GW games, there are the three ways to play, with narrative play seeming to get the best deal here. Referred to as Spec Ops, there are rules for specialists that we had in the last version of the game, although the talent tree style has been replaced with a battle honours system that basically nets the operative more rules from a list of six available within that specialism. It’s perfectly serviceable, though does lack that sense of progression the old system had. The exciting thing here, though, is that you have rules to create your own HQ! The meat and potatoes of the narrative style is the Spec Ops themselves, though – ten missions, for want of a better term, that give you a structure to what your kill team is trying to achieve. Each one has two objectives, which must be completed in order – but that’s not to say you only have to play a pair of games! The first one objective of each requires you to play five games and score victory points from accomplishing certain things. It’s similar to Warcry, in that you’re trying to tell your own story through your narrative, and you aren’t tied in to a group or anything.

The Octarius book builds on this by providing a whole bunch of faction-specific rules, including unique Spec Ops for those teams to complete. It seems very much that this edition of Kill Team is aimed at the narrative end, although you can of course play matched play games if you want – I’m just not sure how much fun they’d be.

Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic about this version of Kill Team. It isn’t tied to the main 40k system anymore, which seems like it might outlast 9th edition. I know a lot of people are a little salty that it no longer provides a gateway into 40k, but that’s kinda the point now. Kill Team is its own thing, and will usher in fans via the models and the overall grim dark world and theme, but Combat Patrol is now clearly the way forward for small-scale 40k. Kill Team is its own game, one that looks like it will have its own model range that can almost coincidentally be used in main-line 40k.

Should be really interesting to watch this one as time goes on.