New Stuff from Games Workshop!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while since I’ve had time to catch up with what’s coming over the hill, but with the news coming from the Nuremberg Toy Fair today, I thought I’d better make some time to wax lyrical!

There are three big names in the offing here, let’s start with Aeronautica Imperialis and the new box, Imperial Guard vs T’au!

I’ve not played IA, and if I’m honest, it doesn’t really interest me a whole lot. But I am really quite intrigued by seeing the xenos races coming to the game. I wonder if we’ll see this explored further, with Necrons maybe? Is this how they’re going to re-implement Battlefleet Gothic? Hm!

Adeptus Titanicus has got a new box, too. Another game that I’ve not had any interest in, if I’m being honest, though I have had a game of this at least! At any rate, it’s good to see more for the game, as I’ve seen a lot of folks getting a bit antsy for more! Notably, battlefield structures!

Wonderful stuff, even if it isn’t a game that I’m going to be rushing to buy!

Something that I will be rushing to get, however, is new Necromunda!

Now, then. Of all the House gangs, Goliath are the ones that I’ve not yet been tempted enough to build. Well, I take that back – I’m interested in them, but I think they’d look better with some of the Forge World upgrades on them, such as the massive hammer and heavy flamer:

The other thing, of course, is that the other gangs just interest me more!

However, we’re seeing a new book, House of Chains, along with an upgrade pack for the gang, featuring massive hulks, or Stimmers, and some juves seeking to prove their worth in the gang.

As with a lot of Forge World paint jobs, I’m not entirely sure about these models when we see them like this – indeed, a lot of recent Necromunda publicity photos don’t really do the models justice.

The preview article tells us that several of the core gangs will be getting reinforcements along the way, so I’m really excited to see what else is going to be on the horizon in 2020. Particularly with regards to Van Saar, Delaque and Orlock.

Speaking of which…

I’ve been feeling a bit down of late about my own painting, as I was trying to get the Orlocks finished but feeling really unhappy with them. After the above photo, I ended up stripping these models and starting again – I’ve finished building up the full gang, finishing them off with a heavy bolter from the Forge World kit, so I’ve primed all ten of them black (rather than the grey recommended by Duncan). So far, I’ve not done a great deal with them, but I’m hoping that I can get them painted up before I start browbeating people into playing games with me!

Nuremberg isn’t the only set of reveals though, as we’ve recently had the excitement of the LVO last week, as well!

Oh, wow. AdMech flyers, and AdMech cavalry. This, I did not foresee! I’m not sure right now what I want to do with my AdMech, truth be told, but I’m considering getting some of the mechanical horses because I like the idea of all of these weird things, and they remind me of the Genestealer Cult bikers. Might be interesting to have as a sort of mirror for those guys, anyway.

The next Psychic Awakening book has also been revealed to be all about Knights, AdMech and Daemons! Engine War does sound intriguing, I have to say, though I’ve got no plans to go for Knights anytime soon!

Age of Sigmar is finally seeing High Elves return, the Lumineth Realm-lords. Alongside new units that have a distinct feel of the Old World about them – perhaps more than any of the new Age of Sigmar stuff yet – we’re getting a new Teclis, though I’m not a big fan of it.

It’s been out there for almost a week now, and I just can’t get round the fact that he’s just floating there, really lop-sided on the wing of this flying tiger-thing. It’s just weird, in a way that I can’t quite get my head around. The flying tiger bit is glorious, don’t get me wrong, but why is Teclis just floating there like a weird pin-badge…

What else is there…?

New warbands for Warhammer Underworlds, and most excitingly of all, Zoats are coming back to 40k in the next expansion for Blackstone Fortress!

Well, it’s just one zoat, it seems, which is a bit of a disappointment, as the Ambull at least had those borewyrm models as well. Unless it’s huge, in which case I can understand! The article talks about how they were the vanguards for the Tyranid Hive Fleets back in the day, so I’m guessing that connection will stay. In which case, I wonder whether they’ll have some special affinity with the bugs in their 40k rules (assuming they get some!)


There is a lot of good stuff coming out of Nottingham right now, it must be said! Of course, the new-style High Elves are interesting, though I’m more interested in the Slaves to Darkness release that I still hope is coming. There must be more to it than just the Start Collecting box, right? Also, what’s next for Warcry? Scions of the Flame still haven’t even been teased, outside of their name, while the Spire Tyrants are getting released this coming weekend.

These guys are very much making their way into my Slaves to Darkness force – there’ll be a blog on this soon, no doubt, but I want an army of Chaos renegades and rabble, and they fit the bill perfectly!

The first of the big beasts for Warcry is being released at the weekend also, and I’m quite excited for this! Again, it’s for the Slaves to Darkness that I’m most thinking for this guy, but even so! I think I’d like to get in at least one game of Warcry in 2020. I’ve got several warbands now, of course, and have recently made a start on painting the Cypher Lords… Hopefully I’ll get to try them out soon, anyway!

Blackstone Fortress is looking exciting right now, as it continues to be supported with the Zoats, though I find myself wanting more – as ever! I think I’d like to see a bigger box expansion, much like last year’s Escalation, though maybe even bigger still. More of the same is always fun, more explorers and more gribblies, of course, though I’d like to see something different – like a new big baddie rather than continuing the story of Obsidius Mallex. Whether we’ll see something like this, who knows, but it’s definitely something I’ll be keeping an eye on!

Necromunda The Eightfold Harvest Lord

Necromunda, though, is looking really rosy for the time being! The Corpse Grinder Cult is getting their standalone box this coming weekend, as well as the expanded terrain from the Dark Uprising box. I’ve not made great progress getting that box built up – I had a loose timeline in my head, where I’d get it all built in January, then painted in February into March, in time to start getting games in. Well, maybe half the terrain has been built, so I’m getting there. I do like the look of these Cultists, and have been building up a few with a look to getting at least some of them painted, if not yet the full gang. Though apparently they don’t work well for a starting gang, so it might be better off sticking with the main six gangs for the time being.

The possibility of new models for these gangs is really exciting me, though, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the year goes on.

What with getting into Sisters of Battle, too, I feel like it’s going to be a busy year!!

January catch-up!

Hey everybody,
It’s been a while since my last blog post on here – in fact, I hadn’t realised just how long ago it was! Time to catch up, methinks!

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Should see me through the festive season! #nowReading

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First of all, I read the very wonderful Grey Knights, the first novel in the Grey Knights omnibus, shortly before Christmas. It follows Justicar Alaric as he works alongside Inquisitor Briseis Ligeia to prevent the rogue Inquisitor Valinov from bringing the daemon Ghargatuloth into the universe. There is so much to enjoy in this novel, even though I found it difficult at times to get the time to actually read it! Having recently made a commitment to getting back into my Grey Knights project, I think this made me enjoy it even more, seeing the way the Grey Knights do battle. We get some really great descriptions of the Fortress-Monastery on Titan, and there is the real sense that Space Marines are, at their heart, warrior monks.

I very rarely read an omnibus as a single book, but rather treat it as the collected individual titles, and come back to it each time I want to read a particular book collected within. However, this is probably the first time I’ve wanted to carry on with the books, and I’m definitely planning to read the second book very soon.

Sadly, painting has not been something that I’ve been enjoying of late. I think I’ve been really out of practice since not having the time after the firstborn came along. Painting is, of course, something that improves over time and, after having a significant break, I’ve found that my brush control has really fallen by the wayside, and as a result I’ve become really frustrated with myself for not producing the sort of miniatures that I want.

I’d been wanting to paint up the House Orlock gangers that I’d started to paint almost two years ago, but a combination of the loss of confidence with a brush, as well as the fact the primer on some of these is a little thick in parts (it’s a grey primer, too, and I hate painting over grey!) has made me give up and strip them.

I’ve been watching Duncan’s video on painting the Sump Dogs, though, and as always, he has inspired me to give them a proper go. I mean, none of the lazy “just give it a drybrush and call it quits!” – I’m going to (try!) and follow this guide to the letter. We shall see how I get on!

Incidentally! How sad is the painting world now that Duncan has left GW?! I was gutted when the news was leaked shortly before Christmas – Duncan’s videos were basically how I learnt to paint!

This classic was, probably, the first miniatures-painting video I ever watched, and the massive collection of videos have been some of my favourites over the years – always come back to them, and I always look for a Duncan video when I’m going to paint something to see what he has to say about it. Hopefully they’re going to keep the archive up there, at any rate!


Model of the Year was announced the other week, and it was none other than the new Abaddon the Despoiler! I’m not sure if that was a shoe-in, though, as my personal choice was the new Keeper of Secrets, which is just such a phenomenal creation, it’s almost unlike anything else they have!

In a year when we had all of the Genestealer Cults stuff, the new Chaos Marines, new Drazhar, Ossiarch Bonereapers, new Slaves to Darkness, new Sisters of Battle – and all of that incredible Warcry stuff!

There were so many amazing new models in 2019, it was definitely a hard call. 2020 is already shaping up to be wonderful, now that we’ve had some of the new Sisters released – that Triumph of St Katherine centrepiece model is just astounding – so I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

Hopefully by then, I’ll be more confident with painting once again, and can actually knock out some of these new models!


So yeah, I think I need to get cracking with regaining my confidence when it comes to painting. There are so many miniatures that I have on the back burner of course, so I really need to crack on! I think a lot of this will be helped by going back to basics, to some extent, and trying to re-learn a lot of stuff. It’s definitely going to be worth spending the time to do this, though, as I so many models that could be outright ruined by sloppy (or worse) painting!

I mean, I’m going to be picking up the Triumph of St Katherine, for goodness’ sake! I definitely need to up my game for something so fancy!

Necromunda: Dark Uprising

Wow!

So there have been quite a few exciting things shown off by GW at this year’s Spiel, but the only thing that I’ve got eyes for is, of course, Necromunda! After the tease a few weeks ago, we finally get to see what it’s all about!

What looks to be a new starter set, Dark Uprising pits the Palanite Enforcers against the Corpse Cult, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, was it only August when we had the Enforcers, anyway? But it’s taken me almost the whole day to realise that, actually, these are new models – or at least, there’s an upgrade sprue in there for the riot shields. Wonderful!

The Corpse Cult are delightfully weird, and I think they could well replace my love of the Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists! There is something really creepy at work with these dudes, and I love them! I also think it’s really interesting to see the numbers here – I’m guessing they’ll be really cheap and flimsy guys, with a strength in numbers thing going on.

However. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate this:

Rather than coming with just a few barricades, this box is giving us our first taste of the long-rumoured plastic Zone Mortalis terrain! The structures in the front look a bit weird to me, I must admit, but I love that centrepiece thing in the background, with all the stairs and walkways… oh my! It’s terrain features like these that really fire my imagination for tabletop gaming, and this piece in particular has really gotten me hooked for this box!

So, I had been saving for the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Then I’d decided to keep my pennies for Sisters of Battle. But with pre-orders coming next month, I need to start saving with real zeal for Necromunda: Dark Uprising!!

Nova Open reveals!

Oh my goodness, there were some interesting bits dropped at Nova last night/this morning!! I’m really quite excited about a lot of this stuff, so let’s get into it!

So the Psychic Awakening thing has got a fancy cinematic trailer now, but I’m still a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get a good look at what this is going to look like from a products perspective. We’ve got a new Inquisitor model coming along (presumably), along with new plastics for Howling Banshees and Shrike. So that’s interesting, I reckon! The official site has got this to say about it:

Psychic Awakening is a monumental event that will shape Warhammer 40,000 forever, on a scale unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Across this epic event, every codex will see expanded rules as we explore the front-line war zones of a cataclysmic new conflict that makes the 13th Black Crusade look like a border scuffle.

Now, that sounds exciting as all hell, but I wonder how much of it is going to actually translate true, you know? Vigilus was cool and all, but it somehow didn’t quite live up to what we had been perhaps hoping for in the run up to it last year.

The new Shrike has been pretty divisive, though I do quite like it myself! Of course, I’m not about to start collecting Raven Guard, but even so, it’s really nice to see more models than merely Ultramarines! I hope we’ll see some really interesting, weird stuff – starting with that bald inquisitor, of course! If Howling Banshees are getting the updated treatment, as well, then I hope they’ll use this as an excuse to update a few more kits from finecast to plastic! Speaking of which…

The Sisters of Battle have got an army box coming out in November, which I guess means that we really are going to see plastic Sisters coming out this year! Of course, the army set might be out in time for Christmas, but we might not yet be seeing the range introduced. I mean, they may well use this box to bump up the sales, and keep back the individual kits until later. Personally, I’m not planning to pick them up in one big hit like this, even if it does prove to be a saving. Recent army projects have shown that I do much better if I buy things steadily, rather than splurge on a huge pile of plastic to just then have them sitting around depressing me…

But the range does look fantastic, and that new Penitent Engine looks wonderfully grim-dark that I just can’t wait to get one for my collection, if nothing else! Very exciting times ahead, anyway!

Necromunda is getting something that looks pretty interesting – Helot Gangs seems to be the main thought here, from what I’ve seen online, though I’d always thought that to mean the Chaos Cultist rules they released in White Dwarf and on the official site? Who knows. Looks cool, and as per usual I’d definitely be all over this like a rash!

Heading to the Mortal Realms, Warcry is getting an expansion for Monsters and Mercenaries, which looks like it will indeed be following the release pattern of Kill Team – though I don’t know of course if they’re planning to re-pack the monsters and mercenary units in the same way as, say, Kill Team: Commanders. Interesting to see how this one pans out. I had been hoping we’d see the remaining two warbands that were discussed in the main Warcry rulebook, but no such luck! Maybe they’re being held back for the Christmas sales, too?

The biggest thing, for me, to come out of these reveals has got to be the next army for Age of Sigmar, however:

Now, I was excited by Cities of Sigmar, as it represented something of a re-theme of classic Old World models that I do want to get my hands on. I’m a huge Tomb Kings fan, of course, but I’m also a huge fan of Nagash and the whole undead thing in Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar, so I am incredibly excited for this range to come out, apparently as early as October!

An army of bone constructs, led by the new mortarch, Orpheon Katakros, this army looks incredibly exciting and really cool, and should go well with the current Nagash, Mortarch and Morghast range!

There have been some fairly vocal detractors online since the reveals dropped, but I don’t really care what people have to say about it: I think the range looks awesome, and I think it’s going to be difficult not to pick up the whole damn lot when it arrives!

It’s true, accusations of Tyranid Warriors rip-offs here are difficult to argue against. But I just don’t see the similarities with Necrons, which a lot of other folks are calling out. True, they’re armies of undead skeletal warriors, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Necrons are far more sleek and futuristic, for all that they’re an ancient species, whereas these guys have got too many design cues in common with Nagash and his ilk to be said to be the same!

I do still feel like the Tomb Kings had something special in Fantasy, but these guys just fit the whole AoS aesthetic much better.

It’s really a wonderful re-imagining of the idea of Tomb Kings, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full range of plastic goodness!

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are going to land probably square in the middle of the birth of my first child, so I don’t anticipate having much in the way of updates here on the blog during October, but I will be chronicling my hobby progress with certain Undead models here whenever I can, starting much sooner than anticipated with the delightful model that is Arkhan the Black!!

Getting started with Necromunda

Hey everybody!
It’s my 900th post, and I wanted to do something kinda special to mark the occasion. As it turns out, Blood Bowl isn’t the only game I’m finally getting into! I’ve talked about Necromunda a few times on this blog already, so I think it’s about time to take a look at the game in more detail. Think of this as something of a sequel to last year’s brief overview blog!

The Basics
Necromunda Underhive is a skirmish game where players control the members of a gang, vying for supremacy in the Underhive. At its most basic, the game is quite straightforward, consisting of three phases in each round. To begin, players roll off to see who gets Priority for that round, then all the fighters are readied.

The Action phase sees each gang member activated, alternating between each player. Each fighter can take two actions. There are a number of different actions available to players, grouped into basic actions (which can only be taken once in each activation), simple actions (which can be taken more than once), and double actions (which take up both action slots for the fighter). So for instance, moving is a simple action and so can be taken twice, while shooting or fighting is a basic action that can only be taken once, and charging is a double action (though it does allow for a fighter to make a free fight action if he or she ends that charge in base-to-base contact with an enemy gang member).

Resolving both shooting and close combat attacks works exactly the same as regular 40k, whereby fighters make a ballistic skill / weapon skill check, and if it is successful, make a roll comparing the weapon strength to the target’s toughness and referring to the usual to-wound chart. The target gets the chance to save against the attack (unless the weapon’s AP value negates that), and damage is inflicted. If a fighter is reduced to 0 wounds, they are taken out of action. There is an end phase which, in the basic rules, is only there to mark the end of the round.

Advanced Rules
At its most basic, that’s it! There are a number of scenarios in the main rulebook that add a few special rules to the game, but overall victory is still attained by taking gangers out of action. However, there are a number of Advanced Rules that feature in the book as well, which really add a layer of depth to the game that can be somewhat confusing at first, though seem to be well worth adding in to give the game that all-important depth.

Within the Advanced Rules, there are rules for activating groups of fighters at a time – activating up to two additional fighters when you activate a Leader or Champion – as well as a host of additional tidbits that make combat so much more interesting (and deadly!) Rules for running out of ammo, firing two pistols at the same time (flying through the air is optional), stray shots, as well as assisting and interfering in close combat attacks all add to the tactical nuances that make the game so appealing. There are also detailed rules for suffering injury at the hands of rival gangs.

The End Phase comes into its own with the Advanced Rules. If any gang member is seriously injured, the gang will need to make a Bottle Test, which functions similarly to the Morale phase of regular 40k, with the exception that you’re looking to compare the dice roll + number of gang members injured or out of action with the number of gang members who started the game. You then get to make a Recovery Test to see if those fighters can recover or succumb to their wounds. When a fighter is initially wounded, others close by need to make a Nerve Test to see if their bottle goes. In the end phase, those fighters who Broke have the chance of Rallying.

Gang Composition
The main Necromunda Underhive base game comes with two gangs, Escher and Goliath, each of which came with pre-populated fighter cards that dictate how to build the models to make a named gang. When founding a gang of your own, each gang has options for how many of each type of gang member you can include as a start: Leader (usually one), Champion (usually two), Ganger (usually no more than the combined total of other gang members) and Juves (usually unlimited). Each type of fighter costs a number of credits to purchase, and of course their wargear and weapons also cost credits. The main rulebook gives 1500 credits as the limit for a starting gang, though 1000 credits seems to be more normal in the few brief conversations I’ve had about the game.

Fighters can sometimes have access to skills that give them additional options during the fight. Weapons have traits that can give even more options. It all begins to feel a little bit confusing (and not a little unlike 7th edition 40k!) In this respect, then, I think it’s a really great thing that GW have given us the basic rules to use as something of a primer, to get used to things before adding in all of the more complex stuff. Of course, Necromunda has had so much released for it up to this point that it begins to feel much like a sandbox game, but I’ll get to that in a bit!

There are also Tactics cards available for each gang. These cards are split between generic gang tactics, and gang-specific cards. You create a deck of them at the start of the battle, shuffling the generic ones with those of your chosen gang, then the scenario you’re playing will dictate how many you can use, as well as whether you get to choose your cards or have to choose them at random.

Of course, I say these cards are available for use – GW has not been able to keep them in stock, and most of them are no longer available for purchase. While sometimes the card packs and dice sets they put out with a new release are somewhat bonuses to the main event, these cards actually have new and additional rules to them that make it quite difficult to get into the game if you haven’t been there for each release. I suppose it’s always possible that there are just supply problems and GW are trying to put these right, but for now at least, it’s going to be difficult for newcomers.

Necromunda makes great use of terrain, and while the base game does involve some scatter terrain placed onto a tiled board, with all the rules needed for encountering it in a variety of ways, there are rules for multi-level gang skirmishes that take place among the gantries and chains of environments such as the Sector Mechanicus terrain.

With the release of the Palanite Enforcers last weekend, there are now seven gangs available to use in the Underhive. GW have also given us rules for Genestealer Cults and Chaos Cults in the game, two of the more convincing factions from regular 40k that make the most sense for use here! I’ve talked at length in previous blogs about just how much I love the more regular factions like these, which consist of just average folks (if Genestealer Cultists can be called “average”!) that have that indescribable grim-dark feel to them. I mean, it’s arguable that these factions are more 40k than Space Marines or Tyranids! All of which just adds up to yet more reasons to love this game!

While each gang was being released across 2018, they were accompanied with a Gang War book. The first Gang War featured advanced terrain rules to allow for the famous 3D-style games, while subsequent books included the rules for the new gang as well as a Trading Post featuring new and exotic weapons that your gang can come across during campaigns. These books formed something of a treasure trove of ideas and really bring out the RPG-style element of the game that so many people love it for.

These supplements were combined into the Gangs of the Underhive hardback book that came out last Christmas, and the updated hardback Rulebook, much to the annoyance of players who had been buying these products as they came out. Personally, I was of the opinion that these softcovers did at least allow for players to, you know, actually play with their miniatures for a year or so, which can only be a good thing.

So far this year, we’ve seen a pair of hardback campaign books released alongside the new plastic kits each quarter, The Book of Peril and, most recently, The Book of Judgement. While featuring rules for the new releases, there are also campaign rules and a whole smorgasbord of additional bits and pieces that can colour games of Necromunda in new and interesting ways. The Book of Peril is possibly most noticeable for introducing the idea of the Guilds of Necromunda as factions, something that has been teased for a while now…

Necromunda Underhive is a game that I’m hoping to play soon, having convinced a couple of people at the local club to give it a try. While the base game is decent enough, of course, there are so many additional moving parts and rules that add so much depth to the experience that it becomes something closer to a traditional RPG than a simple boardgame. The game is so customisable that it really boggles my mind, and I find myself just itching to play it whenever I think about it!

So I’m finally going to be playing some games with this very soon. I’m intending to feature the game quite a deal more on my blog hereafter, as it’s a game that has really captured my imagination right from the outset. Look out for more content as the months go on, and hopefully I’ll even get to try a campaign or two! It’s going to be an exciting few months as the year draws to a close, let me tell you!

Apparently, it’s summer now…

Hey everybody,
It’s been raining something terrible here in the UK for the last week or so, which has left me with a lot of indoor pursuits to take my mind off the fact we’ve had more than a month’s rainfall within hours. I’ve already talked about getting back into Magic, which has been very exciting as I’ve been rediscovering that classic. I’ve got quite a bit more to discuss on that, of course, so those blogs will be peppering my site over the coming weeks and months. I’ve already got some lined up, to keep things going while I move house (though when, exactly, that will be, remains to be seen!) so I thought I’d check in with everything else that has been going on!

First of all, I’ve really gotten back into painting, and have been really getting somewhere with my Skitarii army ideas from days gone by. I’ve been toying around with quite a number of list ideas, though for now I’m trying to focus on painting up what I’ve got built, and ensuring I can bring down the pile of shame into something more akin to a proper army.

I’ve managed to get two lots of five troops, along with one HQ and one elite slot finished. Once I’ve finished up the Tech Priest Enginseer and the next ten Vanguard painted up, I want to move back to making the two lots of five troops into two lots of ten, which I’ll probably do alongside another character model. I’ve also built up five Sicarian Infiltrators, which I really like – especially that Princeps model! I love the insane technical details on these models, and I’ve really enjoyed painting the abundance of clips and plugs and screens on the Enginseer, so I’m expecting to enjoy him as well!

It’s my plan to get 500 points of AdMech painted up soon, so that I can start to play games with them. I don’t have an Imperium army that I can play with, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they work. Once I’ve got those 500 points finished, I can keep painting and adding to the collection, but at least it will be an army that is seeing some action, at last!

Skitarii list 500 points

My thought process here is to keep adding units that interest me, or that I feel that I need, once I’ve been able to try the army out and see what it’s all about. I’m guessing that heavier artillery will be a requirement, and I’ve already started to put some paint on the first Dunecrawler twelve months ago, so hopefully that will be making an appearance before too long!

On the subject of painting models, I’ve also been fidding with some Necromunda miniatures, the Delaque gangers that I’d built back in December. I want to get into this game so badly, but finding people to play with has been proving a bit more difficult than I’d thought – hopefully soon, though, I’ll be able to get either the Delaque or Van Saar models to the table and try it out! I just hope I actually enjoy it!

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#nowReading #Warhammer40k #BloodAngels

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I’ve also been reading Warhammer 40k novels quite voraciously, as I try to work my way through quite the backlog that I have! The Space Marines Legends series was a short-lived set of hardbacks that focused on a single Space Marine hero from one of the popular first-founding chapters. I’d read the first book in the series, Cassius, back in 2017, and was quite impressed overall. Lemartes takes us to the Blood Angels, and discusses the cursed sons of Sanguinius with the dual flaws of the Red Thirst and the Black Rage. We follow a Chaos incursion on the planet Phlegethon, which the Blood Angels are sent to put down. The Death Company are unleashed on the cultists, along with those brothers from the Fourth Company who are particularly susceptible to the Red Thirst. When the cultists bring down the wrath of Khorne on the planet, these brothers almost lose themselves, but fortunately the unbridled fury of the Death Company is able to bring down the greater daemon Skarbrand.

It’s an enjoyable enough novel, though it felt a little bit like a non-event in the grand scheme of things. I also read Azrael recently, by the king of the Dark Angels, Gav Thorpe, but I was particularly unimpressed with this one. It just felt interminable, and the plot was particularly uninspiring overall. Also dealing with a Chaos uprising, and showing Azrael’s ascent to Supreme Grand Master of the Chapter, I was hoping we’d get to see a lot more of the inner circle, but instead it all just fell a bit too flat for me. Ah well!

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#nowReading #Warhammer40k

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A bit more recently, we have Cadia Stands, which is something of a tie-in to the Gathering Storm series that brought 7th Edition to a close. The novel deals with, well, the Fall of Cadia, as the forces of Chaos emerge from the Eye of Terror for Abaddon’s Thirteenth Black Crusade. Yes, he’s had a Thirteenth Black Crusade before, but this is a different Thirteenth Black Crusade. I really found myself enjoying this book, as we followed groups of Cadians around the planet. I thought it was really quite interesting to see how the soldiers reacted to the increasingly Chaotic events on-world, as some struggled to evacuate from the warzone.

The book has been followed up by Cadian Honour, which seems to follow up on one of the soldiers featured in Cadia Stands, Minka Lesk. I’m not normally one for Cadian stories, as I’m not a fan of the army in-game, but I enjoyed this one enough that I’m thinking I’ll probably give it a try soon!

Arkham Horror LCG

From 40k to Lovecraft, and it’s been quite an adventure this afternoon, as I’ve finally started playing the Dunwich Legacy!

I’ve been playing this game for what feels like a long time now, but have never made it past the Core Set. Back last October, I finished the core set campaign, Night of the Zealot, and so built up some decks with the new cards and thought about starting up the Dunwich Legacy, but other things seemed to get in the way. Well, I’m pleased to report that I’ve finally made it to Dunwich!

I’ve played the first scenario, Extracurricular Activity, using my Jenny Barnes and Ursula Marsh decks. I know Ursula is a more recent investigator, but the deck was built, so there we are! I really enjoyed it, seeing how the game has evolved from the core set already was quite interesting. There is a strong discard theme in the first scenario, at least, which I wasn’t expecting – I didn’t quite see my decks completely discarded, but even so, it was something I wasn’t really prepared for, and the hate leveled at investigators by the Agenda for having a large discard pile was really something!

Arkham Horror LCG Dunwich Legacy

Overall, I’m really enjoying this game. I’ve been buying everything for it as it has been coming out up until the current cycle which, due to real life intrusions, I hadn’t been aware had been released! When I popped by the games shop recently, it turns out pretty much the entire cycle has been released now, though I’m fairly sure I’ve only picked up the deluxe cycle.

FFG have recently announced a fifth deluxe expansion, The Dream-Eaters, which has also taken me unawares! The way the campaign works for this expansion is quite unique, as it features scenarios set in the real world and in the Dreamlands, and you choose one of the two for your investigators to follow. There is still talk of a cohesive eight-part campaign, though, so it sounds as though it will still be a traditional cycle. I may even have caught up with it all by then, and be able to play this one as it happens!

While I am loving this return to the Arkham Horror LCG, and finally getting round to seeing what I’ve been missing all this time, I’m also excitedly awaiting A Shadow in the East, the next deluxe expansion for Lord of the Rings. I haven’t played that game for a long time now, I know, but it is still up there for me, and I look forward to getting my grubby little hands on it!

GW at the UK Games Expo 2019

Hey everybody!
There were a slew of previews coming from GW yesterday, as they showed off more stuff for upcoming games at the UK Games Expo. In a way, I was more excited for this one than the previews we got last year, though I suppose we were in the middle of getting the 40k codexes we wanted, and the new edition of Age of Sigmar was underway, so it was certainly a different time, with different priorities. This year, we’re definitely in more of a boxed-game mood, with all of the previews for the specialist games, rather than anything specifically for 40k or AoS (though, of course, the use of these models in the big games is not exactly impossible…)

I want to start with the Palanite Enforcers for Necromunda, as these are models that I’ve been eagerly awaiting for a long time now.

So they don’t have the classic Arbites look that I had been hoping for, but I guess Necromunda Enforcers were never true Judge Dredd-style Arbites, so it’s difficult to argue that point. We basically have ten chaps in carapace armour, who would look fantastic as Guardsmen allies for a Primaris Marines force because their helmets are so damn similar! I feel like that is something of a let-down, though it’s something I’m sure I could get used to. A lot has also been made already of the fact that the shoulder armour actually seems to be restrictive of movement, but hopefully they can be posed without that being too obvious – the two “gangers” who have that look may just need to wait for the Forge World additional weapons options, to see if there’s some way I can use the bodies with different arms and avoid the narrow, squat-y look. Hopefully.

However, on the whole they do look pretty good, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I could potentially do with them, given a different paint job (I’m thinking of a deeper navy, and then red for the yellow…) Shame about the lack of cyber-mastiff, though!

Whether Adeptus Arbites will ever make an appearance for, well, anything, will remain to be seen, then. I do entertain some hopes that we’ll get actual Arbites if they ever decide to do something properly in plastic for the Inquisition, so that we could use them in a retinue or something. I know that they’re the police, so can’t really be expected to act within the context of the tabletop game, but even so, stranger things have happened!

Up next, we’ve got the fourth new warband for the upcoming Warcry, the Corvus Cabal, a bunch of bird-worshipping cultists who wouldn’t be out of place in a Tzeentch-themed army!

This fourth warband is, admittedly, quite weird, although beautifully realised, so I can’t honestly complain much there. We’ve seen some really unique Chaos cults come out for this product line already, and it has been fascinating to see them take shape. With two further warbands due for reveal, I’m intrigued to see what else we could possibly be in store for here!

That said, I’m finding myself a little bit bored with Warcry now. We’ve been having previews like this for months, but we don’t know a great deal about what the game actually is. Back in February, when it was first announced at the LVO, it was described as a mix of Warhammer Underworlds and Kill Team, so everybody has been assuming that it is AoS Skirmish, re-imagined with bespoke Chaos warbands. At the Adepticon preview, GW confirmed that nine non-Chaos warbands would also be playable when the game launches, making this sound a lot like Kill Team, and I suppose that’s the analogy people have been using since. We also know it is coming with fancy new terrain, so the comparison is a good one, right?

Well, who knows. I don’t know what the game is going to look like yet, whether we’re getting a big, expensive core set with all the terrain and new warbands, or whether it’s going to be a whole product line similar to Adeptus Titanicus, with everything sold separately. Are all these new Chaos warbands going to be available in one big release, or are we seeing the next six months of releases with these previews, and the game will more likely remind us of Necromunda in that respect? I suppose at this point, I just want to know more details about how I need to plan my purchases, but all we’re getting is “hey, look at these new miniatures!” rather than anything more solid as regards what we can do with those miniatures. Time for details, GW, if you please!

In the interests of saving the best til last, we’ve got another expansion for Blackstone Fortress, this time something more along the lines of what I would have been expecting for this game all along: Escalation. I say that, because I’ve been expecting GW to put out this sort of hero-and-enemy pack as the first expansion, rather than the third. Getting the Ambull was nice, although a little unexpected, and the Traitor Command stuff should be another interesting addition, though both of those are more akin to the sort of thing I would have thought we’d have seen much further down the line. I’m not really explaining this well at all, but never mind!

We’re getting four new explorers, the characters from the Combat Arena game that was first previewed a whiles back, with the suggestion here that the Servitor is somehow either not a playable character, or else is linked with (presumably) the Tech Priest in-game. I thought it was interesting to learn that Combat Arena isn’t going to be available outside of the US and Germany – something they’ve kept to themselves up to this point. I do find it a bit disappointing that GW have these country-exclusive games, as with Labyrinth of the Necrons last year. It just boggles my mind that they’d go to the trouble of creating a game just for release in one country – why not get as much money as you can off the back of it, and release it worldwide? Bah! Anyway. We’re also getting enemy miniatures, to change up the battlefield from the original game:

These models do look quite beautiful. Six cultists, plus two villain-style minis, with a rag-tag feel that does seem to complement the heroes from this set quite nicely. There’s a parallel between the Rogue Trader and the pirate-queen-style cultist, to my eyes.

There is almost something AoS-y about these new Cultist models, as well, maybe it’s the tusks on flame-pole guy there, or the Daughters of Khaine-style face mask on the other one. It’s always really good to get new Chaos implementations like this, for sure, and I think it’s a good sign for things to come if we’re seeing updates for the Cultists as well (though, a cultist with a grenade launcher? Interesting…)

Blackstone Fortress has definitely been kind to Chaos!

I’m going to assume this will be the big box expansion that we can expect to get around about the 1 year anniversary date, so in the shops in time for Christmas. Hopefully Traitor Command will come out sometime between now and then, to keep us going with more content, and then I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if next year brings us plastic flayed ones, or plastic mandrakes, or some other weird and wonderful corner of the 40k universe! Certainly, I think GW will be using this game to put out miniatures that capitalize on the fact there is a lot of weird out there!