Painting Progress! November 2018

Hey everybody!
Well it’s day five of my 800-blogs celebration week, and to close with a bang, I thought I’d update you all with some of my recent hobby progress! As always, I’ve been building a lot, but more excitingly, I’ve also been managing to not only paint a lot of things, but to get some of those things finished! Win-win!

Let’s start with some Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault.

I’ve not yet played this game, but seeing these minis really inspired me to look again into fantasy and the Nighthaunt range for Age of Sigmar, and we all know where that has led me! These were some quite challenging models to paint, the Briar Queen herself in particular, because I’m not really used to having such light colours, and having to mix shades with medium to lighten them has been quite a learning curve for me. The models have so much character though, I really enjoyed getting them finished and seeing the whole band come together.

I enjoyed them so much, in fact, that I’ve already built my second warband!

I’m hoping to get a game of Shadespire in soon, so will be featuring that on the blog here at some point in the near future – stay tuned for that!

Next up are my Electro-Priests! They’re a unit that I’ve had some trouble with in the past, as I’d wanted to paint them for a long time but initially sprayed some white and it didn’t end well for me. I’d previously had the idea of painting their skin a charred black, with the robes a light pink. Well, that no longer fits with the look of my Skitarii, so I went back to the drawing board and have painted them with the blue robes of the rest of my army (which currently numbers five models, but whatever) There are a few callbacks to the Skitarii such as the grey tabards in front, which echo the pressure suits, and of course the various dangling bits and pieces are a strong resemblance between both squads. You can definitely see on three of them there is a chalkier finish, where the stripping hasn’t quite worked out for me, but overall I think they look great, and they’re a really nice addition.

Really chuffed to have finally painted them, after nearly three years since they were originally built!

Of course, I was wanting to paint something weird while I was waiting for the Blackstone Fortress stuff to land, so now that I’ve done these, I feel at a bit of a loss as to where to go next! Fortunately, however, I have found some of the Chaos Cultists from Dark Vengeance, so have been busy building up those gentlemen!

Not only have I got the Cultists being built up, I’m also building some House Cawdor gangers for Necromunda. They both kinda fit the bill of weird 40k stuff, after all, so I think they’ll keep me going nicely for the next week, until we get to Blackstone Friday! The Cultists are nice models, for early push-fit stuff, and I have previously painted up some of them at least, so I’m excited to try my hand once more at these guys. While building them, I was thinking that I’d like to try, so far as possible, to make a really nice job of them – partly because they’re comparatively rare models nowadays, but also because they’ve got so much lovely detail on them, and I don’t always try my hardest to really make an effort with the regular line troops. So I’m thinking that I’ll just do a few at a time, and try to make them really special.

The Cawdor stuff is really kinda weird, isn’t it? Such fiddly models, as well. But while I initially wasn’t thinking much of them, I think I would like to try some of these in a game at some future date, so it would be good to have them painted up and whatnot. While I’m definitely going to do more than ten Van Saar gangers, and will probably do more Orlocks as well, I think I will probably just build up the ten as per the box, and leave them at that.

Speaking of the weirder elements of 40k, all that talk about the Kill Team Rogue Trader expansion the other day has gotten me into painting the minis, finally! I really, really like these guys, so while the going has been quite slow so far, it has also been a lot of fun. The models are so wonderfully detailed, they really show just how good GW is at sculpting their models right now – it’s stuff like this that really puts the argument that Citadel minis are the best in the business out there. I’m not really used to painting regular human skin and whatnot, so I have been finding it a little tough at times, but they are so enjoyable to paint that I can’t help but want to plough ahead with the project!

Something that I’m really pleased with is getting this squad of Necron Immortals finally painted up, having stalled with them a few weeks ago and not really having gotten the inspiration to finish them off. I’m a big fan of gauss Immortals, but I think the tesla carbines have really come through here, and the soft drybrushing from Kantor Blue, through Alaitoc Blue and up to Teclis Blue has really come through quite well, I think – rather than looking messy, it actually feels more like a glowing effect, to my eye, so I’m really chuffed!

While I’m still a long way off from my projected list from September, I think I’m feeling more in the mood to get moving with the Great Reanimation now, so hopefully my Necron army will be getting back to the tabletop soon!


So I’ve been painting and building a lot, but I think the Necrons bring me on to the next part of this blog, and my plans for the immediate future, and where I would like to be by the end of the year (just six weeks away!)

Obviously, I’d like to get more Necrons painted in my Thokt Dynasty scheme, so I think somewhere near the top of the list will be more space skeletons. I think I’d like to get more troops, with more fancy units, so I’m thinking I’ll probably aim to do five more Immortals (gauss most likely!) and either five Deathmarks, or an Annihilation Barge. I’ll stop short of saying both, but I’ll decide which I’d rather do soon. I’ve got both units built, at least!

I talked about Skitarii before, and I think I’d like to get at least five more Rangers or Vanguard painted – possibly Vanguard, as I’ve been thinking about some effects I could try on the radium carbines. Not sure if I’d do anything else, though the Tech Priest Dominus is a strong contender. I had one built up, but I think it broke; I do have a total of four further Tech Priest kits (between all the Start Collecting, Forgebanes and now the Kill Team Commander that I picked up the other day!) so I could build up another and see if I can get anywhere with him. I started painting the Tech Priest Enginseer, but he’s currently on my painting table broken, so I’ve been thinking about trying to finish him, as a part of which I’ll try to fix him.

The Chaos Cultists are a project, but while there are a load of them, I’m going to paint them in fives, so as to not overwhelm myself. Whether I get to them before the end of the year or not, I don’t know, so I’ll leave them off this list for the time being. I also don’t know if I’ll manage to get the Elucidian Starstriders finished before new year, but I’d like to see how far I can get. So far, anyway, I’ve almost been painting them while I had a certain paint on the palette for another unit, so I might just keep them there and see where I get to.

Three years ago, I started to build a Deathwing army, and I am really feeling in the mood to do some more with that this year. I have a lot of models that are basecoated and such, so I might see if I can get the details finished on them, as they are a wonderful-looking force, and I’m really proud of those models that I’ve so far managed to finish. So I think I might like to add in the Deathwing Knights to this list, as I think I’d like to get those done in particular.

So what’s on this list? Necrons, Skitarii and Deathwing, with perhaps some odds and ends mixed in to keep things moving and interesting. Necrons are possibly my priority because I want to try and get the army up to a level where I can start having games with it. I need to make sure I don’t get distracted by Lychguard or Praetorians, and instead focus on the troops that I need, and some of the good support stuff that will make a core of the army. Skitarii will be my Kill Team project – I’ll be writing a blog on that sometime soon – so they’re again something that I will be painting up to play, with a view to finally getting the army going, but I think that’s more of a long-term goal. And the Deathwing thing is almost something of a passion project at this point, but I would really like to do some more work to them: as December is traditionally my time to do stuff with the First Legion, hopefully we’ll see at least some movement on that front!

I have the feeling, though, that Blackstone Fortress may be taking up a lot of my time, once I get it in my hot little hands!!


So there we are, my painting and hobby progress to date! I think this focus on just finishing one unit is definitely the way forward for me, so you can expect to see more updates where I have complete units in the future. And what a week it’s been! 800 posts, huh? I certainly didn’t think I’d last longer than a year, but next April it’ll be my five-year anniversary! Amazing stuff!

Warhammer World!

Hey everybody!
That’s right, I went to Warhammer World today! I’ve been before, but I don’t think I’ve really written up much about the tabletop Mecca on this here blog before, so I thought I’d share some of the photos I took while I was wandering around the exhibition area!

Warhammer World

The exhibition hall is a bit smaller than it was when I first went, back in 2015, partly due to the extension of the shopping areas. It’s broadly divided into two, of course – Age of Sigmar and 40k – with some of the smaller games like Blood Bowl and Necromunda having some floorspace along the way. The exhibition is partly a museum of Citadel miniatures, featuring cabinet after cabinet of all the minis that we know and love (those shown on the box-fronts and within Codices), and partly a display to fire the imagination, with set-piece exhibits that show you what can be done with the models – as well as providing a little bit of imaginative realisation, showing to us all what we see in our heads every time we play a game!

The Age of Sigmar stuff feels like it’s a lot smaller, confined to just one hall but with about five major exhibits. The older, Fantasy models have been pushed away, in favour of the new Age of Sigmar stuff, which has the majority of the display space. I remember my first visit there, in July 2015, when Age of Sigmar had just come out – pretty much everything was still on square bases, and things like the Tomb Kings still had a place. Well, not anymore, but when you look at the models on display here, today, it’s hard to feel like that’s a bad thing…

40k is what I always enjoy seeing when I come to Warhammer World, and there have been a couple of new exhibits added since my last visit.

There is something really quite amazing about seeing all of the war machines and ranks of soldiers among the variety of battle-scapes here. The amount of models is stunning, of course, but the finished products are well worth seeing. My personal favourite, probably because it is so close to my long-held idea for an Armies on Parade board, is this Sector Mechanicus-inspired piece:

It’s quite the showcase for just what can be achieved with these terrain kits, and I had to stop myself really quite hard from buying any of them when I emerged!

There are a lot of Tyranids on show as the adversaries in many of the display boards – we see them going up against the Space Wolves and the Eldar, as well as the Genestealer Cults in the Mechanicus display I mentioned earlier. However, centre-stage has got to be the two-storey diorama of Ultramarines vs Daemons of Khorne, in the Battle for Angelus Prime:

There are all manner of lighting-effects on this board, making getting a photo of it really tough. It really needs to be seen to be believed!

There are sadly no displays that feature my beloved Dark Eldar, but there are some Necrons and some Tau, so it’s nice to see my other xenos armies getting some love!

Finally, there are a couple of display cabinets in the main foyer, the 40k one of which again captures that essence of what I want for an Armies on Parade board, with all the Mechanicum scenery on it:

All in all, it’s a fantastic place. Tickets for the Exhibition Area are £7.50, as of this writing, and while I think I was only there for an hour, this place is tremendous and well worth it for any hobby enthusiast to come and get lost among the models for a while. I live about 2 hours’ drive away, so I’m hardly local, and when I do go I tend not to want to hang about there, but it’s always been so worthwhile going to have a look at all of the stuff on display.

While I’m not currently in anything like a hobby slump, I have been feeling a bit all over the place lately with my painting, so I think today’s trip has really helped to focus me on getting down to finishing some models off now. There are a lot of things I want to get done, and quite a few things that I can probably try to offload, so I’m definitely feeling more focused now!

As for the swag… well…

Warhammer World swag

Falling to Chaos…

It wouldn’t be the first time

Since the whole Blackstone Fortress thing has gotten me in a froth about playing with miniatures that are more esoteric, and yet somehow a lot more close to what, for me, Warhammer 40k is all about, I’ve been thinking about getting myself a small Chaos force. Well, it might not be that small, after all, as I’m thinking principally about using Chaos Cultists.

The Dark Vengeance cultists are no longer available, sadly, because the box has been replaced with Dark Imperium, and the goodness that is available there. Which is a shame, because the generic cultists that you can get now are a bit sad if you’re trying to build up a huge Chaos-worshipping cult. The Dark Vengeance lot only include a couple more variants, but between squad Anarkus (on the left) and squad Tetchvar (on the right), you get some really nice-looking sculpts that, with a decent-enough paint job, could be made to look quite varied and rag-tag. Which I suppose is what you want out of a Chaos cult in the Underhive…

What’s even sadder is that I’ve currently lost my Dark Vengeance bits in moving house! They’re bound to be somewhere, so hopefully I can get them sniffed out soon. As a side note, there’s a bunch of Necrons stuff hiding from me as well, so it might be high time to have a sort-out and see where everything has gotten to…

Anyway!

I spent a huge chunk of my time on Friday planning out my Cult for Necromunda games, as I thought it would be a simply splendid idea to build some of these chaps up for the skirmish game as well. That I was basically devouring the rule set like some sort of fanatical zealot was entirely on point, as well! The fact that the rules for these guys are free online is even better! As another side note, how amazing are GW for doing this? Free rules for stuff is amazing! I know they do it for Age of Sigmar, but the fact they also do it for other stuff is really good. Anyway!

So I worked out a starting gang list that includes a Demagogue (Tetchvar) and a Witch (Anarkus), along with two Disciples (the special weapons chaps) and then five Helot Cultists (the basic five-man box that is still available) for a grand total of 960 points. I’m currently not 100% sure on the Witch, as I could replace him with two further Helots, but I’ll see on that one for now.

Chaos Cultists

The Necromunda plans are all well and good, and I’m looking forward to trying them out soon, but the main point of today’s blog is to talk about my plans for 40k, and combining the Cultists with the contents of the Blackstone Fortress box…

There is, of course, a lot to be excited about with the upcoming Blackstone Fortress release. I just can’t seem to express how much this stuff speaks to me! For the most part, I’ve been ignoring the heroes, but even there we have such amazing ideas as Ministorum Priests and Navigators – yes, Navigators! I’m still trying to figure out the best way to include these in my Imperium army without seeming too cheesy…

But I’m thinking about Chaos today, and so I’m thinking about running a Servants of the Abyss patrol detachment alongside a second patrol detachment of Cultists, which would bring me to 496 points in total. If I can somehow work out 1000 points of Thousand Sons (ha!) then I would have a pretty great starting Chaos army, I reckon!

For informational purposes, then, the Servants of the Abyss detachment contains the following units:

This little band of wonderfulness comes to a grand total of 327 points. Not bad really, though as a lot of folks have pointed out online, the fact that they’re so prescriptive – especially the Traitor Guard – means that it’s unlikely many people will want to field them very much. Personally, I have no problem with fielding weird and wonderful stuff, and the flavour of this warband is just too irresistible for me to do anything else!

As an aside, I’m really hopeful that we’ll see these things realised as full plastic kits sometime in the future. My fervent hope is for some kind of Agents of Darkness Codex that would allow us to field weird off-shoots like the Negavolt Cultists and Chaos Beastmen without having to go fully into the Dark Mechanicus or whatever. I suppose this is what this army list is all about, for me; having a weird collection of Chaos and mutants that is more fluffy than anything else, but could still offer some really nice and flexible support to a Chaos army.

Anyway!

The second patrol detachment in the list contains two groups of ten Cultists – the aforementioned squads Tetchvar and Anarkus – headed up by a Dark Apostle. I have toyed with the idea of creating some kind of kitbash instead of going with the finecast model, but on reflection, he doesn’t look entirely too marine-y so I hope he can fill in quite nicely for me in the role of heading up the bands of Cultists.

While I’m not about to start drawing up massive lists already, I have been giving a little vague thought to eventually expanding this force out a bit more along the thematic lines and, while I hope to have more random Chaos stuff like the Blackstone Fortress miniatures coming out soon to bolster the list, I’m thinking about including a couple more Dark Apostles and Cultists just to keep the flavour going. I might eventually include some Black Legion marines, but that’s a long way off.

I want the army to feel more like a Chaos Cult rather than an army, so I think having actual marines in there would take away from that a bit. The Traitor Guard are perhaps a bit of an exception, as they are supposed to be an army force, of course, but I think they look weird enough with the furs and whatnot that they don’t appear overly regimented.

Anyway!

So those are my thoughts on building up a small 500-point Chaos list! It’ll help me a lot with both small games of 40k and also Necromunda and Blackstone Fortress, which is always a delight, so I think it should be a decent project to keep me going through the winter!

Games Workshop previews and reveals!

Oh my good god, I’ve finally been able to take a look at the new previews from GW that came out yesterday, and I feel like I just can’t even begin to explain my sensory overload, you guys!!

Let’s start with, for me, the one I’ve been waiting for the longest:

House Delaque for Necromunda – I’ve been waiting for these pretty much since I bought the base game a year ago. The trenchcoat-wearing spies have always sounded just so damn cool, I think I’d been latching onto the others (and then, finally, settling on Van Saar) while I was waiting to see what would happen to these chaps. The long wait has not been a disappointment, and I am absolutely thrilled by these miniatures!

They look so damn weird and just so very, very 40k that I am utterly enraptured with them! More so, perhaps, than any of the other gangs, these guys have got such a bizarre, grim-dark look to them that I’m in too much of a froth to make much coherent sense right now! I’ve still yet to play this game, sadly, though have tried a couple of times but plans keep not working out, but I think I will finally be making the move into the Underhive in time for these to be my new gang! Cannot wait!

Excitement level for House Delaque: 11

The Blackstone Fortress has been opened! After that dodgy picture showed up again the other day, we’ve now seen behind the curtain, and it looks pretty glorious! Of course, there is that kinda weird mash-up vibe coming from it, similar of course to the Silver Tower game, with the disparate band of heroes and then the Chaos gribblies – at least the adversaries here look reasonably cohesive. I love that we’re getting new Chaos cultists, if only they’d also bring out those Cultists from the Dark Vengeance box so that we have a vast array of them to choose from! I do have several thoughts for using these chaps in games, so I’d like to be able to get a hold of a decent rag-tag band, rather than just having the same five models repeated over and over…

The heroes are definitely intriguing to me – the space pope being hilarious, of course! But I do feel a little bit like they may have missed a trick and given us yet more Rogue Trader models. Maybe they’re going to be bringing out a more fully-realised Rogue Trader line soon, so we’re getting a lot of odd miniatures that could be thrown into that army once it lands… Who knows!

Excitement level for Blackstone Fortress: 8

Looks like the battle boxes they’ve recently been putting out for 40k are coming to Age of Sigmar as well, with the Wrath and Rapture being a mix of new Khorne and new Slaanesh along with some of the models from the existing line. I’m not going to be buying this, as I’ve already bought and sold a Slaanesh daemons army twice now, but it does look really neat, and I’m really happy to see that Slaanesh hasn’t disappeared.

Excitement level for Wrath and Rapture: 6

There’s a new ShadeVault warband on the horizon, the Darkoath barbarian models are getting expanded beyond the two models they currently have! Is this going to be the start of a Slaves to Darkness reboot? Who knows! I’m not sure why I always think things like this will be heralding new full-on armies for either system, but there we are!

The minis look great, though I’m still holding out hope for a Deepkin warband, or else a Lizardmen band. That would be really cool. I’ve tried before to start with Lizardmen, as I feel like they were the faction that kinda got me interested in Warhammer in the beginning, but we’ll have to see on that.

Excitement level for the Godsworn Hunt: 6

Right now, I’m most excited for Mollog’s Mob, which looks hilarious:

Excitement level for Mollog’s Mob: 9

Chapter Approved 2018 is coming, of course, with the Sisters of Battle beta codex, as well as rules for looting vehicles for the Orks. I’m interested in the Sisters, for sure, but I can take or leave the Ork stuff. What is interesting, to me, is the Farsight Enclaves rules for fielding The Eight – as we all know, T’au Empire armies can only field one Commander per detachment, and the Rule of Three has now further hampered the previous Commander Spam lists, so how would players be able to field an iconic, fluffy list of Eight Commanders? Well, it looks like we’re going to find out – and they’re coming for Matched Play, too, it seems!

Something that I had been thinking a lot about over the summer was just how much content could they put into Chapter Approved this year, given that last year’s book was mainly given over to all of the armies who hadn’t yet received a Codex. Assuming that Genestealer Cults will be getting one before the end of the year (crosses fingers), I was hoping there would be more for us all to enjoy rather than giving over the book mainly to the Sisters stuff. I guess we’ll see, though!

Excitement level for Chapter Approved 2018: 7

There’s also another new Battletome coming for the Destruction Grand Alliance, seems to be Moonclan? I have no idea, though I’m sure it will be cool enough.

Something is going on with Vigilus again, though we know not what. Hopefully it’s linked to the Genestealer Cults Codex, though I’m guessing we won’t hear more about that until the Vigilus event at the end of the month.

There will be some Beasts of Chaos made to order miniatures coming out, and I feel like I may need to invest in some of these, as the chariot they have previewed looks incredible! Since I took off with the Nighthaunt last month, I feel a little like I’ve lost track of the army that has gotten me back into Age of Sigmar, and I should probably try to give them a little love soon!

Overall, there is just too much good stuff coming out soon, I’m not sure I can cope with it all!! Might be time to start using ebay more aggressively to see how much I can get rid of, to make room for so much more good stuff coming our way over the next few weeks and months!!

Catching up with the world

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with the wider goings-on of the world, it seems, having been focused almost exclusively on the world of Warhammer for quite some time here on this blog, so I thought I’d take some time today to have a look at what else has been going on, and share some musings with you all here! You know you love it.

My mate Tony sent me the trailer for Dark Phoenix last week, which was a total shock as I hadn’t been aware that Fox were continuing their X-Men reboot past Apocalypse. I really like those movies, even if the third one fell a little flat, and the trailer here looks to be along similar lines as the existing trilogy, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Hopefully it’ll continue the theme and be a really classy film, overall. I suppose it can’t be any worse than the last time they tried to do the Dark Phoenix storyline, though…

Looking at some of the info online around the film, it seems like the cosmic elements of the original Dark Phoenix comic book are being introduced in this film, which is an interesting slant. Previous X-Men films have always tried to take a very grounded, real-world approach to things, so it’ll be interesting to see if that can be maintained while also including the Shi’ar. I guess we’ll see in February! While it seems the reception of this trailer hasn’t been particularly stellar, though, I am looking forward to seeing the movie.

I don’t get to read a great deal of comic books these days, though have always been more a DC boy when it comes to the original source material. I think I might try and get into that again once I’ve finished reading the current tome I’m enjoying, the fourth CJ Sansom historical novel Revelation. I’ve been reading those books since Christmas, and they’re really quite enjoyable! If a little weighty…

Anyway!

My wife is a huge Harry Potter fan (I do enjoy the franchise as well, though have always preferred the novels to any attempt at visual media), and has been excitedly talking about the upcoming second Fantastic Beasts film. I did enjoy the first one, I thought it was really interesting to explore the magical world in another locale from a British boarding school, and 1920s New York was a lot of fun. The surprise link to the Gellert Grindelwald storyline was nicely done, and I was somewhat excited at the idea of seeing a series of these films – while I wasn’t a fan of the Harry Potter films themselves, I think that was due to the fact I vastly preferred the books. We watched the trailer for the second film the other day, and it does look like it should be another exciting installment, at any rate!

Of course, there is the whole Nagini casting controversy, and I’m not about to get into that, but suffice it to say, I do feel sometimes that these things get blown too much out of proportion. If the actress cast in the role is happy with the ethnic choices made, then I think she’s better qualified than me to make that sort of judgment. So let’s see how the film turns out when it’s released in November…

The Wilds of Rhovanion

Let’s turn to games now – and I want to start with Lord of the Rings LCG. I’ve often mentioned this game on my blog here as my all-time favourite, and while that accolade hasn’t changed, I haven’t played this game for the longest time. Indeed, I haven’t even caught up with the latest deluxe/cycle yet, still having not properly played the game past The Lost Realm. I really, really love this game though, and the latest preview for the fourth adventure pack in the new cycle has gotten me really keen to get back into it.

I have previously played this game with the other half, and she didn’t mind it too much due to the co-op nature of things, so I’m wondering if I might try and re-introduce it at some point soon. Though it would be no big deal if it didn’t go down too well – I absolutely love the original Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, and am fairly chomping at the bit to try my hand at some of those quests once again! I do need to try and catch up with the releases though, and see what I have waiting for me to discover. I feel like the Ered Mithrin cycle may well be the game’s last, in light of how much the e-version of the game is being pushed, so I think it’s something of a priority to get everything before it’s too late!

Arkham Horror LCG

I also tried to introduce the Arkham Horror LCG a short while ago, but that one didn’t go down quite as well. I was also surprised at how much more difficult that game becomes with an additional player in the mix – I do enjoy the universe, for sure, but I think, all things considered, I might leave off with this game when the current cycle ends. I’ve not been good at playing this one, sadly, so while I’ve been buying the new packs as they’ve been released, I actually haven’t played anything beyond the core set. Definitely need to get my act together on that front!!

The Autumn is one of my favourite times of year, not only because the countryside looks great with all the leaf-changes going on, but because I have fond memories of gaming – both with regular tabletop games, and getting into Warhammer 40k. I don’t know if I’ll get to explore anything too intense like that old favourite, Runebound, but I think it’s definitely high-time I looked at something beyond the grim darkness of the 41st millennium.

Heroes of Terrinoth

Speaking of Runebound and the Terrinoth universe, there has been a new preview up for the upcoming Heroes of Terrinoth co-op card game, which continues to excite me! It feels like this game is going to be something of an enjoyable fantasy game, and the fact that it’s co-op should mean it’ll be a lot of fun, so I’m cautiously hopeful it will live up to my expectations. It seems like it should be a nice return to those sorts of hero-driven Terrinoth games like Descent and Runebound, rather than the faction-driven Runewars and Rune Age. Not that those games aren’t a lot of fun, of course, but I do prefer the older style, personally!

When it was originally previewed, I thought it was going to be another LCG, which had initially excited me, but now I’m quite glad we’re not going to be getting that particular model for this one. I think the endless demand for more adventure packs could prove to wear quite thin with this sort of game, as the danger of getting bland, generic quests becomes too real. Lord of the Rings has surprised me in some respect by managing to sustain itself to become the juggernaut of an LCG that it is, though I think that is more due to the fact that it is working within an established lore, rather than anything else. Terrinoth is no Middle Earth, and burnout is a real possibility. I’d also be happy to see one small-box expansion per year for such a smaller-scale card game, depending on how interesting the core set turns out to be. FFG have previously expanded their games unto death, of course, but I do like to think that maybe we could get one game that isn’t expanded for the sake of it. In that respect, their Blood Bowl: Team Manager game was actually really well-implemented…

I’m not sure how much mileage this game will have, and part of me does worry it could tank like FFG’s Warhammer Quest game, but I do find myself hoping that in actual fact we get something that is enjoyable and fun, and it’s another of these games I find myself hoping that I can bring to the table with the other half. I’ve previously bemoaned the fact that boardgames have felt a little like they’re trying to appeal too much to the mass-market, following the board game renaissance and whatnot, but in this instance, I think it might actually be a good thing. I suppose we’ll see when it comes out!

The next expansion to Magic: the Gathering is going to be released on Friday, Guilds of Ravnica, and while I haven’t even had much of a chance to explore M19 yet, I am quite intrigued by some of the cards I’d seen during preview season for the upcoming set. While there isn’t any Rakdos in this set, it does have Dimir, another favourite of the Guilds for me, and I was interested by the fact that I found a lot of the Boros cards to look fun this time around. I’ll most likely be picking up some cards and seeing what can be done with them soon, of course, as I do like to stay somewhat current.

It’s a shame that Magic didn’t go down too well with the other half, as it’s a game that I do enjoy to a fairly large degree, but I think co-op games definitely hold more sway when it comes to gaming with the wife. Which is fine, really, as there are definitely more co-op games I enjoy than competitive ones!

Did you guys realise Spellslingers is back for season 5 already?! I sure didn’t expect to see that come round quite so soon! It’s funny, because I don’t know a lot of these people, but the show is so good that it really doesn’t matter all that much. Sure, it felt better in the early days when he played with people like Rob Simpson, but it’s still so much fun due to Sean being such a great person in general. It’ll be interesting to see how well this collection of guests knows the game, as I always feel those are the better episodes for me. Season 4 had some good content in that regard, so here’s hoping!

On the subject of MtG youtube content, I think I also need to catch up with Game Knights. Another show I sometimes find myself harkening back to “the good old days” when they had their friends on playing genuinely interesting decks rather than the more paid-promotion style things, it’s nevertheless a very entertaining show and I can definitely recommend it still!

But what is one of my blogs if I didn’t talk about Warhammer 40k at least a little bit?! You’ll be pleased to know that I’m progressing fairly well with my Van Saar gang for Necromunda, having been inspired to get going with it following my local GW announcing a specialist games night once more. For a while, none of the specialist games were allowed to be played in-store, for a very odd reason, so I’m glad to see that come back as it means I’ll be able to finally get round to trying the game out! I’ve been buying everything for this game so far, so I’m looking forward to seeing if my purchases have been worthwhile!

While I’ve not been painting a great deal of late, I have been slowly moving back towards my Tau army ideas, primarily following the Kill Team stuff. I’ll be picking up the Tau expansion soon after next weekend, I’m sure, as I’ve been excitedly putting together a Tau list that I want to try out soon. It does include a few Pathfinders, so I want to get round to painting up some of those so that I have the fully-painted team sorted and ready to go, of course!

I’ll probably come back here sometime soon for a proper painting progress catch-up though, so stay tuned for that!!

Necromunda!

Hey everybody!
For a good while now, I’ve been posting the odd thing here that has been excitedly talking about the latest boxed game from Games Workshop, Necromunda. Well, I thought it was probably time that I actually took some time to look into this game and check out the rules etc, as I’ve been faffing about with painting some gangers from House Orlock and, more recently, House Van Saar. So I’d like to present to you all now a bit of an insight into my experiences as I try to get to grips with the rules, and my initial thoughts prior to getting any kind of game in.

Let’s begin!

First off, let’s talk about the setting of this game. Like a lot of Games Workshop games, the setting is really very well realised. It takes place on the hive world of Necromunda, where industry has taken over and the population ekes out a living in the ash wastes of the planet. In this harsh environment, gang warfare is rife, and several factions regularly clash in the Underhive. The gangs conform to several Houses within Hive Primus on Necromunda, the most notable are: Escher (all-women), Goliath (hulking brutes), Orlock (bikers), Cawdor (masked fanatics), Van Saar (technologically superior) and Delaque (spies and assassins).

There are other factions within the Hive, notably the Enforcers (Adeptus Arbites), but also bounty hunters, hired guns, generic hive scum and the like.

The game evolved from a skirmish game originally published through White Dwarf, with the original Necromunda itself arriving in 1995. A defining trait of this original game was its multi-level terrain, linked together with walkways and ladders. The game went out of print as the years wore on, until specialist games made a reappearance in the new Games Workshop of recent years. Necromunda was almost something of a golden goose for many fans, who were just chomping at the bit waiting for its announcement. When Shadow War: Armageddon was released early in 2017, this was seen as a bit of a disappointment – not only because the boxed game had such a limited release, but because it just wasn’t Necromunda. Fortunately, an announcement over the summer put those fears to rest, and Necromunda: Underhive was released in November 2017 with House Escher vs House Goliath. While tile-based, Necromunda was back.

The game lends itself really well to campaign play, with gangers leveling up as they gain control of more territory. This aspect of the game is something I hadn’t first realised, but have come to find really fascinating. In so many ways, Necromunda feels like an actual RPG, with some exciting opportunities for telling stories through the gameplay. There’s the chance for your gang to kidnap a member of a rival gang, gain the affiliation of bounty hunters and other hired guns through reputation, etc etc. It’s all pretty marvellous, I have to say!

Of all the Houses, I think I first liked the sound of House Delaque. Spies in trench coats hold a certain appeal for me, though it soon transpired they would be the last gang released for the game, coming around Christmas 2018 I’m guessing. When the Orlocks were previewed, though, I was enamoured, and immediately bought everything I could for these chaps. Their almost 80s biker aesthetic really caught my eye as being so very different to anything I was used to seeing from GW, and I set to work trying to get some painted.

Sadly, I set to painting these incredibly detailed miniatures – which feel a lot smaller than other minis from GW, as it happens – while I was trying to get over a painting slump, and it really didn’t go well for me. I lost interest, and put them aside in favour of the Tau army I started to build. Then this happened…

House Van Saar is the sort of thing I would never have thought I’d get into so much. I’ve been buying everything that they release for Necromunda as they release it, but hadn’t seriously looked into the game until a fortnight or so ago, when I got all the Gang War books out, and started to actually read the rules for gang creation. It helped that I’d also been working on Genestealer Cults for Kill Team, and remembered that the rules for using these in Necromunda actually came out in White Dwarf earlier in the year.

Looking again at Van Saar, I was enamoured, and have set to work making my actual gang with gusto! The only thing that has so far given me pause is the fact I’m not sure where I’ll be able to play it, as I don’t think my local GW really likes the specialist games being played there. But still, I’ve got six gangers to paint up as my starting force, and I’m loving it!

This past weekend, we’ve had House Cawdor released, the religious fanatics that look vaguely medieval, but still manage to fit the grim dark vibe really well, I think!

I’m still picking up everything for the game, of course, so have picked these dudes up as well, but I’m not sure if/when I’ll get round to building and painting them. Maybe soon I’ll draw up a list? I’ve been thinking a lot about drawing up starting lists for all the gangs that I have – even the Goliaths, who I haven’t so much as looked at the sprues for since I got the game for Christmas last year. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince my fiancée to play, though I might make a suggestion in the near future to see how she’d feel about trying something immersive. Eldritch Horror was a surprising success with her, so who knows!

At any rate, it looks like a really amazing gaming experience, and is one that I’m hoping to explore in depth soon enough!

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!