Saturday catch-up!

Hey everybody!
I’m feeling the need to have a bit of a catch up here on the last day of August, as we start to look down the barrel of Autumn and all of the attendant loveliness that can bring! I usually like to spend my time painting miniatures at this time of year, and often look into playing more board games now that the nights are drawing out, and whatnot!

Yesterday, I had a wonderful game of 40k round at my buddy JP’s house. We’ve played at the local GW a handful of times, and it’s been a blast, so it was nice to have a more relaxed game in the domestic setting, and all! We’ve been incrementally increasing the size of our games, as well, and had gotten to 1250 points by this latest bout, though obviously with the various upgrades he’d gone up to 1300ish, so I added in an additional scarab swarm to bring mine up a bit more.

Maelstrom of War is a format that not a lot of people seem to enjoy at my local store, but is something that I just intrinsically associate with 40k due to the amount of battle reports I’d listen to while painting miniatures back in the early days of my hobby – I think I had the idea that I’d listen to batreps and hope to absorb the rules that way! As such, phrases like “defend objective 3”, “big game hunter” and “priority orders received” are deep-rooted in my association with the hobby, so playing these games is almost like some kind of nostalgia trip for me!

I’ve been playing the core of this list now for what feels like forever, but with the ability to go bigger, it has seen some quite interesting additions made! To start with, Illuminor Szeras is a great support character, though one that really needs to be deployed well to get maximum benefit. We only played two rounds, but I didn’t have a target for Mechanical Augmentation at the start of round two, so couldn’t do anything with him again.

For the first time ever, I was playing Necron Warriors in my list, and while I wasn’t exactly impressed with their performance, I think I can see some real advantages to having big blobs of cheaper troops hanging about the place. At the start of turn one, I used Veil of Darkness to redeploy the CCB and the Warriors, which both helped me secure one of my tactical objective cards, and also bring the Warriors closer to the enemy lines and get some shooting in right there and then.

I had used Wraiths in my last game, but had fallen into the trap of camping an objective and therefore lost a lot of the point of the unit. This time around, with the help of the stratagem that allows them to advance and charge, I managed to get right up to the enemy backline by the end of my second turn, and the fact those guys are just so damn deadly in close combat meant that, despite losing one in Overwatch, I was still able to Slay the Warlord, and secure another of my tactical objectives!

I think I’ll be using Wraiths a lot more, and I think I’ll stop paying the points for those guns…

Definitely time I got some more paint on these guys! Between the Wraiths making that impressive cross-the-board sweep, and those Scarabs sweeping from Objective to Objective, they were incredibly useful.

Less useful were the Tomb Blades, I’m sad to say! They’re wonderful models, but they just didn’t seem to be of much use to me, if I’m honest. I’m not going to give up on them, for sure, as I’m positive that I can figure something out for them, but I had expected more from the unit…

JP’s army consisted of a Daemon Prince, Dark Apostle, three units of ten Chaos Marines, a Predator, a Rhino, five Terminators and ten Bloodletters. I think there was some hope to get some Havocs into play as well, but sadly not enough time to build them. It’s a list that felt quite familiar to me, as it is similar to mine in that we’re building up from a core battalion, but it really felt a little bit off this time in that I seemed to have so many more units on the table. I suppose that’s the simple beauty of the Necron army – you don’t get the opportunity, by and large, to upgrade your units with fancy weaponry, so instead just have quite basic squads, but the points are somewhat proportionate, and so I could afford to throw in an additional Outrider Detachment here, and get the additional CP as a result.

We played Disruptive Signals, one of the missions in Chapter Approved 2018 that removes six of your tactical objectives from the deck, then gives both players the chance for 1CP to prevent their opponent from achieving one of their objectives that turn. Neither of us used that, I think mainly due to forgetting about it, and while I suppose removing the six is meant to be some sort of hampering mechanism, it only really served me well in that I was able to remove those cards that I had no hope of achieving!


I’d had to make notes on the front of my list print-out, as I was determined to not forget any of my special rules and get the sequencing right. As it happened, I didn’t miss any Reanimation Protocols, which was handy! Although I lost very few models with the rule, which was also handy! I only got to use Wave of Command once, as I then jumped the CCB up the field with Veil of Darkness, only to then see the model (my Warlord, no less!) promptly annihilated in JP’s first turn! Oh, hubris…

However, the cards were with me, the dice were with me for the first time in what feels like a long time, and I was even getting an average of 3 rolls of 6 on my tesla shots, which was just unprecedented! I managed to score two of my tactical objectives in my first turn (secure objective 3, secure objective 6), and then three more in my second turn (secure objective 2, kingslayer, and behind enemy lines), plus getting Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker and First Strike.

We ended the game at the end of the second round, because it was 0:20 and we’d both been in work all day, but it was already 9-3 to me, so while Maelstrom of War games can be quite swing-y, we called it with a victory for me. Four hours of playing a game definitely feels long enough when it’s this tactically intense, anyway!

It was definitely a fun game, though, and I’m really enjoying getting to grips with the Necron army in a really serious way like this. I’ve got a couple of ideas for some tweaks I’d like to make to the list, including adding some Triarch Praetorians with particle casters and voidblades into the mix, so stay tuned for that!!

Necrons

You know, while I am loving the time I’ve been spending with my Necrons, and getting to grips with them as an army after all this time, I am finding myself beginning to think wider once again – maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m considering finally getting round to painting some Tyranids… For now, in case this is just the need for a change from painting the same scheme, I’m painting some terrain for use in future games, but you never know – there may be some big bugs coming to the blog as the winter months approach us!!

40k Catch-Up time

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while since I’ve properly caught up with all of the goings-on in 40k here on the blog, and it definitely feels like there has been a lot to catch up on, to say the least! At the start of the month, we had GenCon, and some early looks at stuff like Aeronautica Imperialis, which I don’t think is for me, but certainly seems to have a lot of people excited, nevertheless. Of course, while we were enjoying the boxed game goodness such as these previews, as well as the eventual landing of Warcry, things quickly became all about the Space Marines, as GW began to reveal the next wave of power armoured good stuff on the way.

I think it’s been pretty much expected since Heretic Astartes had their second edition of the Codex earlier in the year, but the second edition of the Space Marines Codex seems to have both surprised and angered several folks here on the internet, who keep clamouring for more Xenos and so on. Sure, Space Marines are everywhere these days, and it might feel a little bit like Astartes Overload, but the simple fact remains that these guys are the brand icon for GW, and they’re clearly going to put their main efforts into producing stuff for them.

Despite all of the negativity, however, it’s been really interesting to see how GW are going about the release this time around, with these Codex Supplements that focus on a single Chapter. It does feel a little bit like a money grab, how you need to pick up the main Codex to get the rules for all the generic stuff, then your Ultramarines-specific supplement to get the rules for Ultramarines characters and whatnot. They’re a business, of course, but this is perhaps the first serious time I’ve felt like people may well be priced out of the hobby. It’s cool to get an Ultramarines codex, don’t get me wrong, but not if you need to still buy the main book. Wasn’t 8th edition meant to be doing away with the bloat of 7th? Why are we once again faced with the prospect of carting around most of a library to play this game?

However, there are some very pretty models coming out this time – and by pretty, I mean badass, such as Chief Librarian Tigurius in his post-Rubicon Primaris iteration! White Scars are the first non-blue Chapter to get the Codex Supplement treatment as well, without any kind of biker emphasis which seems decidedly strange, but never mind… Maybe Primaris bikers will be a thing sometime? Who knows…

We are set to get all of the Shadowspear stuff though, which is exciting, along with some more units to more fully flesh-out the Phobos-armour section of the force. Not only that, but Space Marines are now building battle suits! I do quite like this chap, and I’m thinking I might treat myself to one at some point in the future – when I eventually decide what I want to do with the various Space Marines that I’ve picked up over the years!

Kill Team is well over 12 months old now, and is getting a new starter set in celebration. Well, I’m not sure if that was the actual motivation, but anyway! T’au Fire Warriors vs Space Wolf Primaris Marines, battling it out among the ruins of the Sector Mechanicus. Cool beans, though I’m not sure if that is going to prove to be as popular a box as the initial one, simply because of the terrain on offer. But it’s good that they’re recognising the game is popular enough to need the starter box as a range item.

I can’t do a 40k update blog without mentioning the latest reveals from the Battle Sister Bulletin, starting with the incredible new Canoness model. What a sculpture! I suppose the centrepiece model of the army will still be Saint Celestine, but to have a really ornate character model like this to stand out is a real treat, for me. Several people have pointed out the fact that it’s nice for GW to be portraying a more mature lady for the role as well, which I suppose is a good thing, though I wish it was something that didn’t have to be made an issue of. I’m sure she’ll be the subject for many painting competition entries for years to come, anyway!

I was a bit sceptical when I did my Bulletin round-up blog last month that we’d see the Sisters Repentia, but in the very next bulletin, we got the first look at these girls, and they are pretty good, I have to say! The half-naked look has been replaced with one that is vaguely unsettling, but which echoes the purpose of these miniatures really well.

If the canoness miniature is going to form the subject of so many competition entries for years to come, I think the latest reveal is going to be adorning display cabinets across the globe for decades!

The Hospitaller model is stunning. There’s no other word for her, really. She’s got a similar sort of scenic base to the Primaris Apothecary, I suppose, but what an incredible model to include in the army! The rules for the Hospitaller in the beta-Codex are actually quite bland, albeit fairly powerful when used at the right time. I guess the miniature itself seems to suggest a much more grand position than just returning D3 lost wounds / a single miniature to a squad per turn. She costs less points than a swarm of Canoptek Scarabs, but the model is just insane!

Sisters of Battle should be a very cool army once they start to be released, and I’m sure there will be forces cropping up all over the place! My inner-hipster wants to wait out the initial flurry, and see how the land lies and the Codex fares before I go all-out, though. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of stuff going on, after all!

I’ve talked about my Necrons project, the Great Reanimation, plenty of times now – most recently, after the flurry of games that I’ve managed to get in with the army. It’s definitely a work-in-progress, as I try to get to grips with the force and experiment with new army builds and the like. I’ve recently passed about 5 years of being in the hobby, and in sort of a celebration of this, I’ve been trying to rescue my Tomb Stalker, the first Forge World model that I’d picked up in the Autumn of 2014. I wrote up a blog about this gentleman that you can read here, but it’s time to try to bring him up to date with the rest of the force (and, sadly, to repair all of the various breaks he’s experienced over the years!) So far, so good, though there’s probably a lot more to be done before he’s ready for the tabletop once again!

I’m really enjoying the Necrons, I have to say – they’ve been enjoying a lot of air time with me recently, and I think I’m getting more and more ideas as to what I can do with them, and so on. They were, of course, my first army, and the attention that they’re finally getting from me is, I think, befitting that status! I’ve got a few more games lined up, where I’m planning to change up my army build to include some (for me) really exotic units, so stay tuned for my further adventures!

Finally, let’s talk about this Psychic Awakening trailer that dropped at the start of the month!

40k Endless Spells seem to be the forerunner for what it means, and while at first I thought the same, I’m no longer so sure. Endless Spells feel a little bit like GW’s attempt to make AoS different to 40k. The fact that they’ve been quite successful, by all accounts, doesn’t make me think they’re suddenly going to port over the idea into 40k just to make more money. I feel like we’re going to be in for another campaign idea along the lines of Vigilus from last winter.

The sigil that forms the main visual interest in the trailer is that for the Adeptus Astra Telepathica, the organisation responsible for finding psykers out in the galaxy and, where appropriate, training them. Such psykers often become sanctioned for use by the Astra Militarum, become astropaths, or sometimes join the ranks of the Inquisition. So far, in the game we’ve got the old Primaris Psykers and Wyrdvane Psykers models for the Imperial Guard, and the Sisters of Silence.

This is where we are, but the announcement that went alongside the trailer promised “a new, galaxy-spanning event that’s going to have a significant impact on every Warhammer 40,000 faction“. The fact that it’s called an event is probably what is causing the Endless Spells speculation, as Malign Portents that introduced them for AoS came with the same tagline. But I’d much rather see something much like the Gathering Storm that came at the very end of 7th edition, which brought out Triumvirate boxes of major characters for a few factions.

I don’t see how every faction can have something linked to a Psyker event, as so many of them are anti-psychic, such as Necrons, Dark Eldar, Adeptus Mechanicus and T’au Empire. So I wonder what we’re going to be getting? Plastic C’tan Shards would be cool, and maybe plastic Grostesques for the Haemonculus Covens that act as Psyker-hunters? I suppose we don’t have too long to wait, if it’s coming this Autumn! At least the Ultramarines got to have a Primaris Tigurius to help them!!

To finish, I thought it worth mentioning the next expansion for Blackstone Fortress that is coming up for pre-order this weekend. Escalation is a sort of traditional big-box expansion for the game, and one that I hadn’t honestly expected to see until much nearer Christmas, if I’m honest!

It’s exciting to see more esoteric corners of the 40k universe being explored in miniatures with stuff like the Primaris Psyker and a third Rogue Trader model. I do wonder if we aren’t in for a full Rogue Trader army soon, given the amount of stuff we’ve seen for this faction since Kill Team Rogue Trader came out last year. There are a lot of possibilities for them, after all!

The next few months are going to be pretty exciting for 40k players, I feel!

Necrons progress

Hey everybody!
So I’ve been playing quite a bit of 40k over the last four weeks – at least, a lot of 40k for me! – as I attempt to get better at the game, though more importantly, getting better with my Necrons!

I’ve talked about this at length on the blog already, of course, but Necrons are my first army, and I always have such affection for them as a result. It’s always around late August/early September when I really feel that nostalgia flooding back, and so I’ve launched myself on something of an offensive to try to play with my beloved first army more, and try to get the proper feel for them in 8th edition. I’d played them three times during the Index days, and then just twice in very small-point games earlier this year, benefiting from the Codex.

All of these games used a basic build of Catacomb Command Barge, Cryptek, two units of gauss Immortals and one unit of tesla Immortals (in varying numbers) as the basis of my battalion. I also chose the Mephrit dynastic code that has been my standard way of thinking about Necron builds since earlier this year, but mainly forgot about its effectiveness – as well as forgetting about my warlord traits and relics. Because that’s what I do!

Game One
So back at the end of July, having moved to the Wirral, I went to check out the local store here with a longtime gaming buddy Kev from my local Games Workshop, and we ended up with a 2 vs 2 game, 500 points each. It was me and my Necrons alongside my buddy’s Harlequins, against the unlikely pairing of Ultramarines and Death Guard.

Outcome: Draw (victory points)
Notable moment: Tesla Immortals taking out a Daemon Prince of Nurgle
Learning points: Keeping Immortals close to the Cryptek to aid with Reanimation Protocols! Also – Wave of Command is too useful to forget!

A four-player game is inevitably a bit of a mess, as everybody has got all of their bits going on. Given the slow speed of the Necrons, compared with the Harlequins, I didn’t have a great deal to do for a lot of the game. My attempt to move my Triarch Praetorians up the field saw them draw all the firepower the enemy could muster at them, which was interesting to me, as I kept hearing the news that they are actually amazing, and need to be taken out as soon as possible. As a result, they didn’t do anything, but it’s useful to hear these sorts of things!

Game Two
At the start of August, I played a game against a relative newbie JP, who was running Word Bearers. 750 points this time, so in addition to my tried-and-tested battalion of Catacomb Command Barge and Cryptek, and three units of Immortals (two gauss, one tesla), I had the Praetorians and an Annihilation Barge, so that was fun!

Outcome: Draw (though it came close to a Necron victory)
Notable moment: Triarch Praetorians wiping out ten marines in one round.
Learning points: Wave of Command is too good to forget about – shame I forgot about it for the entire game! Also, ending the battle with 6 CP is a waste!

This game was a lot of fun! It helped that my opponent and I really got on from the off, so that made for a really good game. I have a (very) nascent Word Bearers army of my own planned, so it was interesting to see what was going on with them! As a relative newbie, though, I quite the fact that the game wasn’t particularly fast-paced, as we had the time to think through the rules and whatnot. Of course, I still forgot Wave of Command, much to my chagrin, but you can’t have everything, I guess!

It was interesting, to me, to think about how I hadn’t appreciated aspects of the rules such as tesla weapons being assault weapons, so I can freely advance my Immortals up the board for the additional range with merely a -1 to hit penalty, (which would have been negated, of course, by Wave of Command!) Time to think about some better tactics…

Game Three
Last week, we upped the points value to 1000, which allowed for a few more interesting units to be included in the list. Well – I basically swapped out the Praetorians for two squads of Lychguard (one of each configuration) and some Deathmarks, which were a bit of a meta-choice as I knew JP included terminators in his list. I was hoping to make use of some of the special rules for these “new” units, to see how they work and so on!

Outcome: loss
Notable moment: Lychguard grouping up to destroy some Chaos Marines – it didn’t quite go to plan, though it was a hell of a moment!
Learning points: Still only used Wave of Command once! Can’t believe it. I still need to remember my CPs and stratagems!

We were playing a Maelstrom of War game this time around, which is something I really enjoy as it hearkens back to my formative days of learning how to play 40k via battle reports. I’ve only been able to convince people to play MoW games twice previously, so it’s always fun to get them in! My cards were just dreadful though, and I think that’s probably why people tend to not play them very often at my store.

The Lychguard sadly got taken out a little in overwatch, so they didn’t get to hit with their full force, but it was as gratifying as it ever has been to see the warscythes make mincemeat of the enemy. I think the sword-and-board Lychguard need to be used more defensively, though, as I wasn’t as impressed with their prowess as I have been with the warscythes. I’m thinking it might be more interesting to have a squad of ten with scythes going out into the wild, while keeping the five with shields back with a high-value HQ or something.

Game Four
My fourth game took place yesterday, and I was playing against Kev’s Harlequins this time. I’ve played Kev often to know that he is a very good player, with armies that run really synergistically. I’d hesitate to call him a power gamer, but nevertheless, his lists tend to be tuned and optimised, so I was a bit hesitant! But he’s also into Necrons, so I found it quite formative to play against him as he knows the army well.

Outcome: total loss (tabled turn 4)
Notable moments: Canoptek Wraiths are amazing!
Learning points: Canoptek Wraiths are too amazing to leave camping objectives. Also, I’m still forgetting Wave of Command. And – OH MY GOD! – I forgot Reanimation Protocols!

My list has changed again, this time bringing scarab swarms and Wraiths in place of the Lychguard and Deathmarks.

Canoptek Wraiths are a unit that I haven’t used since 7th edition, and I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was going to do with them at first. But they were fairly impressive, I have to say! Even if the Wraith Form ability has been nerfed to prevent them from charging through buildings, it is still a hell of an ability, and well worth the inclusion of these gribblies in my list! They are quite a hefty chunk of points, as I had kitted them out with the guns because I was originally planning to go Sautekh with my dynasty. I see a lot of advice with regard to ditching the guns, of course, but it’s always handy to have a particle caster in melee, as it’s just an extra attack if needed, and I think there should be a case made for just one transdimensional beamer, simply because it’s important (I feel) to have the ability to dish out mortal wounds.

I am so annoyed with myself for forgetting about Reanimation Protocols in this game – I mean, it’s like the defining trait of the army! I think I need to think of myself as a total newbie when it comes to playing Necrons, and try to forget about my history with them. Kev suggested making notes on my army list with the sequencing, starting with Reanimation Procols, Wave of Command (or My Will Be Done), and then into the movement phase, etc.

I had two big units of Immortals, both of which were tied up in combat in fairly short order as it happens, nullifying their effectiveness. So annoying! There were a lot of learning points in this game, but I think when playing a melee-orientated army, I need to think about my own melee capability, and not assume that I’ll be able to weather the storm simply through staying true to my nature (massed firepower).


The Future
So where do I go from here? First of all, the crib-sheet idea of getting my sequencing down through note-taking is gold, and I will definitely be employing that in future games. Both of my opponents in these games have armies that have some significant melee presence, but I can’t rely on the fact that I might be able to dodge out of combat and stick to shooting people. Praetorians and Wraiths are a decent start – I think Lychguard might be too specialist at lower points levels – but I’m thinking about points efficiencies here, and I might be making some radical changes to my general list soon enough!

Also on Friday, I bought a box of Necron Warriors. Shocking, I know! Well, for my entire 40k career, I’ve written these guys off as being horrible-looking models, and have stuck to Immortals as my troops of choice. However, if I’m going to be playing in the big leagues, or at least if I’m gonna be building out from my core list, I really need to think about these. 110 points for 10, as opposed to 75 points for 5 Immortals, is pretty decent, and there are some intriguing possibilities that I’ve been mulling over for my next couple of games, that might see some decent stabs at a win!

I’ve had the C’tan Shard of the Deceiver built for over four years now, it seems, and in that time I think I’ve managed to prime him and nothing more! I’ve never seriously looked at the C’tan Shards, mainly because the cost is almost prohibitive, but now really is the time to be looking at pretty much the entire book, and see what I can do with all of my little plastic people. The Deceiver has a special ability called The Grand Illusion, which allows me to re-jig my deployment with him and/or D3 other units, so long as they end up more than 12″ away from the enemy. How interesting, given that Necron Warriors are armed with rapid fire weapons: a blob of 10 can be dishing out 20 shots, hitting on 3s and wounding – most likely – on 4s, with -1 AP. Not bad for the basic troop choice! D3 other units guarantees at least one unit of Warriors can be re-positioned for optimum rapid-fire goodness, but the option to also bring some gauss Immortals is also really interesting. The trade-off, of course, is do you move them out of the range of Wave of Command, which could have had them hitting on 2s?

Certainly something to think about!

Rerolls are hard to come by for the Necrons, it seems, but the Triarch Stalker is a model that I’ve talked about before on my blog as being useful for this, as a unit only has to be targeted by the Stalker for other units to then get rerolls of 1 in that shooting phase when they target the same unit. I have two, one of them is having the paint stripped so I can start again, but I think I need to get a move on there!

I’m still really keen to get on with painting my Doomsday Ark as well, a model that I keep hearing so much good stuff about online. Given that this is almost three years in pieces for me now, I think it’s probably the time to get moving at long last and finish this thing off!

I think the only casualty of moving house was the Tomb Stalker, my first Forge World experience and still one of my all-time favourite models. I do have a second one waiting to be built, but I think it would be remiss of me to not attempt to revive this guy and see if I can perhaps bring him up to date with the rest of my army. I’m hoping that I could maybe use lots of thin layers of paint just on the top of the carapace, to bring him into the dark grey and blue scheme I have now, rather than the gold and green of my last attempt at a Necron army!

I’ve only used the model once, and he did precisely nothing but draw fire, so I’m thinking it might be time to try again with this guy on the tabletop.

Necrons

I have a lot of plans for the future for my army, including all of the above but also moving into Destroyers, and even Flayed Ones! I’m actually thinking, much the same as my Drukhari, I’d like to have at least one of every model in the range. So I’ll doubtless be picking up all of the named characters once again! So that’s exciting.

In fact, my entire future with the army is exciting me – I don’t think I’ve felt this way about Necrons since those heady days of 2014! Stay tuned for some serious thoughts on my list building once again, as I delve into the pages of the codex! You know you love my rambling thoughts blogs!

A New Direction for Necrons

Hey everybody!
Last week was a lot of fun, looking at how I can build up some really iconic armies for larger-scale games of Warhammer 40k, and I think I’d like to continue that with looking at some of my more established armies, and how I’d like to take them in a similar direction.

Necrons were my first army, and while I’ve come to love so much more about the 40k universe, I think they will always remain my first love in this game. I’ve played the army at 1500 points before, back in 7th edition, but things have changed so much in 8th that I feel like I’m starting again, really. Which is kind of the point of this blog, really. Last Thursday, I had a small, 500-point game at my local GW against this guy Nick, who was getting back into the game with some Tempestus Scions. I quite liked the sound of that, as I also have some Scions and I’d like to see what they can do. So I decided to bring along my Necrons, as I could muster about 500 points of them in my new Thokt-dynasty scheme, so made up a battalion of a Catacomb Command Barge, Cryptek, and three squads of Immortals: one squad of five with tesla carbines, and two squads of six with gauss blasters. It was my first game with the undead space robots since the Codex had arrived, almost eleven months ago, so I was keen to see what they could do!

Necrons Thoky Dynasty

It was a lot of fun. I was playing as Sautekh dynasty, which has been my plan since I wrote up one of my favourite blogs in recent memory as it happens, The Necron Codex – tactical thoughts. In that blog, I wrote up a 2000-point list, and went through the thought processes behind all of the unit selections as they occurred to me. I’m probably not going to write as much in this blog, but you may well be wondering what the purpose of this particular post is, seeing as how it was only back in September that I’d already had a 2000-point list worked out.

That list has changed quite a bit following the release of Chapter Approved – but as I discovered in the linked blog here, my 2000-point list had just over 220 points shaved off it following the points decreases, and so I’ve been considering some changes since Christmas, really. However, following my game last week, I’ve decided to change up the dynastic code to Mephrit, which has really caused me to re-think the entire process.

My 500-point game was a lot of fun, but having finally played a game with the army, I’m hungry for more, and so I’ve already drawn up a mid-point 1000-point list, and have also taken it up to 1500-points, so I have it pretty well mapped-out how I want this list to grow in the near future!

So this is the list at 1000-points. At this moment I’m focusing on using units that I really enjoy, and that I feel will be useful to me. So I’m not too concerned with how I can organise them for the best command benefits. I still only have the same bare-bones battalion, but I don’t mind at this point. The important thing, for me, is that there are units in here that I feel excited about playing, and I think I should be able to do some real work with.

I’m playing Mephrit Dynasty, which improves the AP of all shooting attacks made at half range by 1, so those gauss blasters on the Immortals are spitting out 12 S5 shots at AP-3 when they’re in rapid fire range! The tesla carbines are also really good, should I actually manage to roll some 6s, so I’m really keen to see how I can develop this with the army at large. It sounds like it should be really good, and my local GW manager was recommending it to me while we were playing, so I think it might be worth looking into!

My warlord is the Catacomb Command Barge, to which I’ve given the warlord trait Merciless Tyrant, adding 6″ to all assault weapons (that is, the staff of light) that he has as well as being able to shoot at enemy characters regardless of whether they’re the closest model. Being Mephrit, there is a big argument for changing up the configuration of my Barge to have a tesla cannon on there, rather than the gauss cannon, as the tesla is an assault weapon while the gauss is just a heavy weapon. But I’ve built it with gauss, so for now it’ll have to stay that way. Finally, I’ve actually replaced his staff of light with the Voltaic Staff artefact, which is a slightly improved stat line but with the added benefit of dishing out additional mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6+ in the shooting phase. Great stuff!

I really enjoy the Triarch Stalker’s targeting relay ability, so that is being kept in the list at this stage, and the Annihilation Barge is in there for the sheer firepower – 8 shots at S7, and three at S6, now with AP-1 because Mephrit, and the hope that I get at least a couple of 6s to cause three hits instead of one for each 6 rolled. Should be a wonderful thing. Finally, I’ve got a unit of five Lychguard in there, because what is a Necron army list without them, right? I’ve gone for sword-and-board simply because of the stratagem that allows me to bounce back the shots fired at me. Lovely!

I did actually enjoy being able to use some of the stratagems during my game, though I hadn’t taken enough of the right units to allow me to benefit from them as much as I would otherwise have liked. Unlike a lot of armies, there are a lot in the Necron book that require specific units, almost as if every unit has their own stratagem. If you don’t take those units, then about half the stratagems will be unusable for you in-game – 12 of the 22 non-dynastic-specific stratagems specify what unit they work on, which feels inordinately high in my view, but it could just be that I’ve always taken a much wider spread of models in my other armies, so haven’t really noticed the narrow focus too much! I certainly like the ability to use My Will Be Done / Wave Of Command on a second unit in a turn, and the Sautekh-specific stratagem that gives +1 to hit for units attacking a unit already shot at that phase also came in quite useful during my game.

The Mephrit-specific stratagem, however, is actually really nice for allowing exploding 6s to hit on a unit in the shooting phase. I mean, it’s not quite in the same league of tesla, which just gives you additional hits – the stratagem gives you additional rolls, but I think played on a high-output unit like massed Immortals or maybe the Annihilation Barge, and paired with the Triarch Stalker’s targeting relay that will allow you to re-roll 1s to hit anyway, it could be really juicy! I can imagine a full unit of 10 Immortals with gauss blasters that have closed to rapid fire range, shooting off a volley of 20 shots at S5 AP-3, re-rolling 1s and any 6s causing additional dice to be rolled. I’m terrible at the odds, but I reckon there should be a few 6s in that roll, it should be pretty nice!

But that brings me on to the second part of this blog, taking the army up to 1500 points.

At 1500 points, I’ve got a spearhead detachment in here as well for +1 command points. I’m still staying away from having almost-redundant HQ choices in here just to allow me to get additional command benefits – while we’re playing at a comparatively middling range, I want to keep things as tight as I can. I’ve bumped up the troops so that I have two full squads here, and I think when I decide to take this to 2000 points, I’ll probably max them all out. I’ll most likely include either more Lychguard or some Deathmarks, at which point I’ll also bring along a Lord so that I can have a vanguard detachment and pull in ten command points. (I also want to get more Tomb Blades on the horizon, but I’m in real danger of getting ahead of myself now!)

Between the Command Barge and the Overlord (and the stratagem), I can issue the +1 to advance, charge and hit rolls to three units, so the dream of both ten-man infantry squads having a ridiculous damage output should be quite attainable, if I’m honest! Obviously I can’t use the Mephrit stratagem to go too crazy with them all, but there are a good number of ways to make this army really quite formidable, I think. Army-wide Leadership 10 is also a benefit, and of course, Reanimation Protocols are key to making sure I don’t get blown away!

At 1500 points, I feel it’s really time to bring in the big guns, as other armies will be having all manner of tanks and such. The Doomsday Ark is an iconic unit, and for me personally it’s going to be a real boon the day that I finally get that painted and assembled (it’s still in sub-assemblies in a bag somewhere in my pile of shame). I’ve gone for a second Annihilation Barge because I have fond memories of the Annihilation Nexus from 7th edition, which granted a sort of overlapping quantum shielding for the units in the formation. Obviously, that doesn’t exist here, but still!

So I’m well on the way to bringing the army up to the sort of place where I’m going to be very happy to start playing it more regularly. I have been in a similar position with my Dark Eldar for a while of course, where I have a very good supply of units from which I can draw to make a lot of the sort of lists that I want to play, so I’m hoping I can get there with my undead space skeletons soon, as well. It hasn’t felt right to me for a long time, my very first army being in this state of limbo as I try to re-paint them in a more exciting scheme (and hopefully, do a better job with them as well!) During 2018, I managed to get somewhere quite decent with the amount of Thokt dynasty units I churned out, so I’m hoping 2019 continues that trend, and I get the army that I want to play to the table for some games!

As ever, stay tuned to the blog for more updates!

2018 in review

Happy New Year, everyone!
It’s time to go all traditional, and all, and look back at my hobby year for 2018!

It’s been quite the year, I have to say! Despite some monumental events, including getting married in September, I’m glad to have been able to keep going with hobby stuff. I’ve definitely built more than I’ve painted, but of course that is always the case, really! Starting really quite early, I built this beautiful beast 12 months ago, though he sadly still languishes in the same state after all this time!

I really need to get a move on and make some decisions as regards my Tyranids.

I’ve done quite well with the Great Reanimation of my Necrons, getting a good number of units painted up, including the beautiful new Cryptek model. I’ve still got a way to go with the army, for sure, but having only had one unit of Immortals painted in the new Thokt dynasty scheme back in 2017, this year has seen a real surge! Splendid stuff.

2018 saw me start a couple of armies, most notably the Tau. I’m in a bit of a weird position with this army now, as I feel like it was a bit of a distraction for me while I was waiting for the Dark Eldar codex. I did enjoy building up the models, for sure, and I think there is still a place for them in my collection, but probably nowhere near as many models as I have ended up with! So I’m going to be looking through both the Tau and Tyranid collections in an effort to thin out some of the dead wood, so to speak, and make sure I only keep enough models for small forces of each that I want to actually play with. Famous last words, probably, but still!

I’ve made significant strides with yet another xenos force, the Genestealer Cults!

I was really quite surprised that I even managed to finish these guys, as I’ve been working at them for a long time now, but always seemed to be putting them off for one reason or another. Kill Team, in that respect, was a good thing for me, as it made me finish painting them up, and indeed to get moving with more models for the force:

Being a horde army, though, I’m still nowhere near to having the required number of models for the force, but I think I’m suitably inspired to keep going. Slow and steady, and all that!

I’ve been steadily progressing with my Dark Eldar, though having painted up pretty much the entire army in 2017, 2018 has definitely been a slower year for the dark kin. I’ve got plenty built up, for sure, mainly due to having formed the plans for the army during 7th edition, but we’ll see how many models get painted during 2019…

In terms of smaller scale games, I’ve painted up some Van Saar gangers for Necromunda, and have started work on the Elucidian Starstriders, but this is where things get interesting, as I started looking back into fantasy after all these years, with the new iteration of Warhammer Underworlds.

It was a lot of fun, and it has led to getting myself into a very ghostly mess!

The Nighthaunt models are beautiful, but I’m also vacillating between Idoneth Deepkin and Chaos Beastmen in creating my first army for the new Age of Sigmar. It’s definitely going to be one of them, though I’ll most likely also be picking up some of these new grots models in time. I do enjoy squigs!

Finally, I’ve been working on some of the Chaos Cultists that I’ve had hanging about for years, inspired by the weird and wonderful underbelly of 40k that we got to glimpse in Blackstone Fortress!

This game was quite the boon to me, as it inspired not only the Cultists but also work on the Electro-Priests that had similarly been hanging about for years – all in all, then, it was very much well-received!

I wonder what 2019 will see for my hobby! Hopefully some of those models that I’ve built up over the last year will see themselves finished!!


I’ve definitely enjoyed my hobby time this year, but in order to make sure I stay focused during the coming year, I’ve drawn up a list of hobby resolutions as a lot of folks have been doing over on instagram:

There is a nice mix, I feel, between some of the more wide-ranging stuff with the Grey Knights and the Nighthaunt, and more focused goals for things like the Neophytes and Doomsday Ark. There is bound to be more that distracts me as the year goes on, of course – I’m looking forward to the Genestealer Cults getting their bikers, for sure! Whether Inquisitors come out for Kill Team is anyone’s guess, though I’m fairly positive I’ll go heavily into this one!

I’m going to be writing up my Hobby Progress blogs on the last day of each month as 2019 goes on, so it should keep me motivated to stay on track. Exciting times ahead, at any rate!!

Hobby Progress, week three!

Hey everybody!
It’s been another quiet week for me, sadly, as I was a bit busy in work in the run-up to the holidays, so didn’t have much time in the week to get much painting in. It was my birthday on Tuesday though, and I had a few hobby-related gifts, including the Project Box from my brilliant wife, so I’ve been trying that out for mobile painting down in the living room, and it hasn’t been too bad so far! I tend to do most of my painting these days in the spare room, where I’ve got my paints and stuff set up ready, but I’d rather spend my evenings with my other half so tend to build on a tray on my lap rather than try to paint there, only getting to wield a brush in the hour or so before bed. Hopefully I can be a bit more mobile now, though, and get more done to the models I’ve been building up consistently for 18 months or more!

So I was due to have a game on Thursday, a final battle royale between six  of us at the store, but sadly that didn’t pan out. However, it did spur me on to actually get my stuff painted for the occasion, and I managed to finish both the squad of Immortals and Annihilation Barge – they’re tabletop standard, for sure, and the Barge definitely needs more work doing to it, but I do feel quite chuffed that they’re now significantly closer to being finished.

The next stage of my Great Reanimation is going to be more tesla Immortals, and then either moving onto something big like the Doomsday Ark, or maybe Tomb Blades. I do want both for the army, and quite soon, but I think the jetbikes might be more palatable in games than the Ark. Though with the way I roll dice, it could go either way!

I’m no further forward with any of the other projects, sadly, though I’m hoping to get moving on the Cultists as my next project in general, as I’d like to have them finished by the end of the year. I’d also like to have done more with the Skitarii, of course, but aside from the basecoat on the Tech Priest Dominus, I’ve not done anything further to those… Maybe next year!

I’ve been working on army lists in general, particularly for my latest new project, the Grey Knights, and with the arrival of Chapter Approved, I feel like there is a lot to digest with that now. I have primed the five Purifiers that I’d built up recently, so I’m looking forward to moving onto those guys soon, as I think they’ll look really awesome. So hopefully that will get me back into painting and stuff!

I think the time of year might not be helping, but I’ve been finding it difficult to motivate myself into painting. One of my resolutions for 2019 is to try and play more games, so I think that might help with the motivation factor – we’ll have to see! I have been trying to read a lot of Black Library fiction to keep myself immersed in the lore, in general, and I’ve been very active on my blog here in an attempt to further keep myself motivated, so hopefully all of these strands will coalesce, and I’ll see an improvement soon!

Off for the holidays!

Hey everybody!
Well, that’s me done! An exciting week of work is over, and now I have six whole days off! Splendid. While there will naturally be family obligations during this time, as well as some much-needed r&r, I’m hoping to use some of the time to try and get some of my ongoing projects moving apace!

This month, I’ve been really quite excited to get moving with the Grey Knights idea, although I have to admit that since I started leafing through the Codex, I’ve started looking more at the thought of starting up some Chaos Daemons! But that’s a project for the future. Right now I want to try and get moving with these silver warriors! I’ve sat down with the Codex and thought about what I would like for an army of these guys, with half an eye on how many kits I would be buying to achieve this, and I’ve come up with something that is 1001 points in total. So I’m thinking about breaking that down into chunks to then feature on the blog as painting/hobby updates in the new year! I’ve got my eyes set on the Grey Knights Omnibus, as well as planning to read through the whole Codex, lore and all, so I’ll be writing up some of my thoughts on the army as a whole, rather than just updating you fine folk with my painting. But I’d like to start painting the five Purifiers that I have built soon, to get the paint scheme down.

I’m going for the traditional silver/blue paint scheme, anyway, so I suppose it’s really just a case of following along with the best!

So what else is on the agenda?

Chapter Approved has dropped, of course, but rather startlingly, I haven’t yet picked it up! It feels like an age since I’ve made it to my local GW. I’ve been working out a couple of army lists with the help of the leaks that found their way online a few weeks back, but hopefully this weekend I can get myself a copy of the book at last! It’ll certainly make things easier for me to have the actual book to look through – and of course, I’ll be back here with some thoughts on it all, like last year!

I’ll save the bulk of my discussion on points drops for that blog, but I’m surprised to see how many things have fallen in points thanks to the new book – they weren’t lying when they talked about a swathe of reductions! A number of my recent lists have fallen quite considerably, some to the extent that I can probably bulk them out with yet more units now!

One such list is the Necrons 2000-point extravaganza that I first mentioned more than three months ago. I’ve gained more than 200 points thanks to the Chapter Approved alterations, so I’m going to be looking to upgrade that list pretty soon, and see what else I can fit in there that will fit my plans as outlined in that fairly hefty blog! I’m thinking potentially Tomb Blades…

However, I do want to crack on with getting more infantry sorted for the list, having now finished painting the five Immortals that I’d penned in for this month. I want more tesla Immortals, so I think I’ll be building those next, anyway!

I have been enjoying the Thokt Dynasty paint scheme that I came up with back last year, even if it isn’t quite so black-and-white as other folks’ interpretations of it. I do find myself sometimes drawing a blank as to how to paint a certain model, such as the Annihilation Barge I also finished up recently, but I’m enjoying the task, which is the main thing! It makes a nice counterpoint to the Grey Knights project, which will be very much by-the-book as far as the look goes!

Finally, then, I have my Chaos plans. These still centre around the Cultists ideas that I’ve been pondering since prior to Blackstone Fortress, of course, and I’m hoping to actually get the current batch of six painted so that I can move on to some of the new models from the boxed game! I’ve been finding the going to be quite slow with them, mainly due to the fact that I’ve been more focused on getting the Necrons painted, but also I’ve been having some brush issues, and haven’t had anything fine enough to do all of the details like the hanging leather straps real justice. It was my birthday the other day, though, and my wonderful wife has not only bought me a project box (in an effort to get me to tidy up after myself, I feel!) but also some of the brushes that I use most often! So that was a coup. I’m hopeful that I can at least get a few of these chaps finished up soon enough, anyway, so keep your eyes peeled for the next hobby progress blog, due up on Sunday!

Aside from my progress with the hobby, I also picked up the Vigilus campaign book yesterday, which has prompted me to go back and read the booklets that came in both Tooth and Claw, and Wake the Dead. I didn’t buy the box sets for these, but I did pick up the booklets off ebay, so flicked through the first one last night – some interesting stuff in there, I must say! Much like with Chapter Approved, though, I’ll be doing a proper look at the Vigilus book in the coming days, so stay tuned for that one. I’m looking forward to having a read through of it over the festive period, at any rate!

I’m also hoping to play some more games – Lord of the Rings, Arkham Horror LCG and of course, the traditional Boxing Day Eldritch Horror! – and try to avoid eating my body weight in mince pies. Hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish all these things, anyway!