August 2022 retrospective

Hey everybody,
Here we are at the end of August, and I’m surprised at how productive a month it has been for me in the hobby! I have spent a lot of time this month looking through my backlog of course, having started the month with a massive audit of all of my outstanding projects! I suppose that has been a major contributing factor for me being focused on getting some projects finished, as I was able to see just what, exactly, I have hanging about. I’ve also been playing a lot more than usual, too, with weekly games of 40k prompting me to really get painting these things up!

During the month, then, I was able to fully paint five full units of models, I was able to finish off an additional four units that were at a point, but not quite there. I have painted up a terrain piece, and finished off two further pieces of terrain. All in all, then, it was quite a successful month!

For the most part, I’ve been painting Sisters of Battle, getting five Celestians, five Retributors, plus the cherubs and Repentia Superior finished. That army has gone from zero to wonderful in the space of, what, two months? I think I have a total of seven full units painted up, which is kind of bonkers when you think up until the beginning of July, there was barely anything done for this army. I still have a couple more units that need finishing off, but hopefully I can get to them soon enough!

Having played a couple of games with the Sisters, and being utterly smashed in the face, I had shelved them while I continued to paint, but I think I would like to get back to learning that army. It’s true, I have devoted many words on the blog to how disappointed I was with their performance, but I do feel it’s something that I need to keep up and try to improve, so hopefully I’ll be able to get them back to the table soon.

Necrons have had some more love lavished upon them, also, and I’ve had two games with this army – successes, both! I still have a lot of work to do with actually getting the models how I’d like them, as a lot of them seem to have been painted up to a point, but they definitely need some more work to make the blue really shine. So far, I’ve gone back over 20 Immortals and 9 scarab bases to make them more vivid, and in a complete shock I was actually able to get 10 further Immortals painted up in just a weekend! So that was quite something!

My Necrons are, of course, my first love in 40k, and even if I hadn’t won both games, I think I would have still been excited to be playing them once more. I’ve got a fair bit of work ahead of me, of course, but I’m feeling positive that I can bring the rest of the army up to scratch in short order!

In the last few days, as well, I’ve been working on some Wyches for my Drukhari. If Necrons are my first love, then the dark kin are definitely second on the list. I have got so much for this army, it’s kinda scary, really. However, while I have plenty of Kabalite and Coven stuff, the Wych Cults have always been somehow lacking. I suppose I never really knew what I wanted to do with them, so far as paint schemes go, but after giving some thought to it all, I’ve been able to paint the first batch of 10 Wyches and get them finished off. Of course, I had painted up a squad back when I was starting the army in 2017, but I wasn’t hugely enamoured of the colour scheme – and indeed, a lot of the models in that unit have got the bare minimum of paint on them. So I’m going back over those, trying to make them look the part. I’ve also been working on the Succubus, because after checking her over the other day, she wasn’t finished, either! The Wych Cult models have definitely been the poor relations in this force so far.

As we move towards September, we get to one of my favourite times of the year. I’ve talked about this many times now, of course, but it was in the autumn that I first really got myself involved in this hobby, and I have an immense fondness for hobbying at this time of year. The nostalgia is strong, especially as I have been doing a lot with my Necrons again, and the Dark Eldar making a reappearance on the painting table!

There are a few Necrons units that need finishing off, really, and a lot of my Dark Eldar could do with a bit more work on them, as well. The bases in particular for the latter force are really very boring, predominantly just heaped with technical paint and nothing else. In painting the Wyches, I’ve been paying a bit more attention, and trying to make them look a bit more presentable, so I want to try and, slowly but surely, get the rest of my army done to that standard. I’ll probably just pick one unit at a time though, as I don’t want to get the whole lot out and be confronted with all of that!!

All of this threatens to overwhelm me a little bit, so I’m definitely trying to take things slowly and not get too much going on. It’s been great to play with my Necrons once more, of course, and it’s kinda nice right now that I seem to be getting some decent success with them. It’s never purely about winning, of course, but when a game goes well, even if I lose, I enjoy it so much more. Being able to see things play out and happen as close to as they should, it’s just a delight.

I said earlier in the month that I didn’t want to formally plan out what I intend to paint going forward, but looking at where we are now, and stuff, I think it won’t hurt to put a couple of things in place as sort of mini-goals for the rest of the year.

So let’s get some loose plans in place, and see where we get to, shall we?

Sisters:
10 Sisters Novitiates
4 Sisters Repentia
Penitent Engine

Necrons:
10 Lychguard (warscythes)
5 Lychguard (swords)
5 Tomb Blades
5 Immortals (gauss blasters)

Dark Eldar:
10 Wyches

That’s not too bad in terms of what I would like to see finished by the end of December. Of course, it assumes that I don’t get too distracted by anything, but I’m hopefully going to do well on this front, as I feel like I have been able to stay really focused so far, and able to finish a lot of stuff!

It really does help that I’ve not been buying many models – indeed, I don’t think I’ve picked anything up for a few months now. It’s actually been really great to work on the backlog of models, and see these things come to life, after having had them for a while. I’m not likely to have as much success as Dave over on Scent of a Gamer with getting everything finished anytime soon, of course! But it’s good to see things finally come together, all the same!

40k success at last!

Hey everybody,
I am pleased to report that I have had some 40k success, at last! I played my Necrons against JP and his Imperial Fists, using the list that I mentioned in this blog, and despite again not getting the first turn, I was able to survive long enough to deal out a lot of damage across the three rounds that the game lasted. Reanimation Protocols are quite hilarious, aren’t they?

For the first round, my Necrons proved to be remarkably resilient in the face of the Primaris firepower coming my way, and early on JP seemed to realise that he wasn’t going to be able to get away with simply wiping units from the board. I had one unit of Immortals that he must have effectively killed at least twice, but because he wasn’t able to clear the unit each time he shot at them, they just kept coming back. In the first round, I had only lost four models – even by the end of the battle, I think I had only lost one full unit.

In my first turn, I was shockingly able to just obliterate his warlord with my Tomb Blades, which was slightly upsetting because it meant I had jumped my warlord plus 5 Lychguard into his backline for no reason. However, being able to turn off some of the many, many buffs the army was receiving as a result of that was very useful. The Canoptek Wraiths were a good unit for close combat, but I was very impressed with the sword-and-board Lychguard in that they were able to clean up both the Aggressors and the ten-man Intercessors. The actual amount of damage coming from the big blobs of troops wasn’t as impressive as perhaps it could have been, but I think part of that may have been the fact I was losing track of some rules that would have allowed for additional AP and the like.

Having the card deck for Necrons was definitely a help for me, as it meant I was able to just go through and lay out each one that I thought I could use next to the units as my turn went on, making sure I didn’t forget my stratagems (which is often a sticking point). I think I actually ran through pretty much all of my command points during the game, which is definitely new! However, I forgot to prepare my turn like that on the second and third rounds, so there were definitely some things I could have done, but forgot. I think I might make a list next time, and try to organise the key stratagems I know I will use by phase or something.

All in all, I think we ended at round three with the score a firm 39-10 to me, so that was very good. I never like to be smug with friends, or anything, but I think my Reanimation Protocols were really offending JP and causing him to mis-play at times, but using the Veil of Darkness to jump my Catacomb Command Barge to the opposite side of the board to his Redemptor Dreadnought, perhaps the only model that has the massive gun that could deal it some crippling damage, really helped me. As it turned out, he was having to fire that ridiculous plasma thing at my Immortals, which is an incredible waste of such firepower, but on my part it becomes a very useful strategy to place units like that. Frustrate the enemy, and so on!

I wouldn’t say that my list interlocked perfectly the way the Imperial Fists does, but there are some very definite good effects taking place where I was able to feel quite pleased with how things were going!

For our next game, I’m planning to swap out the sword-and-board Lychguard in exchange for making one big ten-man warscythe unit. Those Lychguard didn’t do anything during the battle, unfortunately, and I just know they are able to do well (at least, on paper they are!) so I’m hoping to see what they can do! Having used the Veil this time, I think I might change things up a little, because he might be expecting that again. I could either keep it, but not use it on my first turn, or else go for something else. The Voltaic Staff has a nice tesla-like ability, and I have actually been considering using a Resurrection Orb for the first time ever – one-use things like that, especially for the points, have never really appealed to me, but given how Reanimation Protocols work now, it could prove to be really powerful where there is only one model left. Especially if I’m keeping the Lychguard close to the Command Barge – granted, they are 2-wound models, so not necessarily the best targets, but being able to try to bring back the entire squad rather than just the one or two who had been destroyed that round would potentially make the points back no problem.

I’m still kinda fighting the fact that there are new models from the updated range, which I’m just not that interested in using for the time being. I have plenty of stuff from my army that needs some attention, though, so don’t want to start going too crazy just yet and adding to my painting load.

However, speaking of adding to the painting load, I have started to paint some of the massive amounts of terrain that I’ve had hanging about in that box forever! Realising that I still have some primer sprays from GW, I’ve primed the munitorum armoured containers, and the Haemotrope Reactors, one of which I then painted up over the course of my children’s naptime yesterday afternoon! I’m actually really pleased with how it has come out, and I’m planning to get the other one painted up as soon as possible, as well. Of course, I am mindful that I should be painting models for my armies, but I suppose it makes sense to strike while the inspiration is there!

Hopefully the containers will be a quick case of drybrushing the whole thing, then picking out some skulls, and leave it at that. I don’t really want to go to town on them, as terrain should blend into the background of course. The Reactors are a bit different, as I’d like them to stand out on a game board and look pretty impressive!

More hobby updates

Hey everybody,
Following on from my blog yesterday, which involved a lot of ranting about Sisters of Battle and a lot of general rambling, I thought I’d come back here and ramble some more, because it’s my blog and it’s what I do! I’m actually extremely enthusiastic about the hobby life once more, and I think it’s exciting to try to take advantage of that and see how far I can get before the inevitable burn-out kicks in once again.

Following a couple of defeats with my Sisters, I’ve kinda put them on ice while I go back to playing with my Necrons, which were my first army and will forever be my first hobby love. Even if the army is moving a little bit away from how I like to play it. I talked a bit about this in a previous post, but I think the range update for 9th edition moved away from how I think of the Necrons, as we now have pitted and scarred models rather than these pristine automata with self-repair routines far outside of the scope of the Imperium. I’m not going to have this rant again though!

I haven’t played with my Necrons for almost a year, though, so it’s getting me excited to bring them back to the table.

My list is trying to be varied, while fitting into the constraints of a 1250 point game.

To start with, I’ve gone for three HQs, I’m not entirely sure why. I think I kinda see the army being split naturally into three, so it felt right at the time to have each phalanx with a leader. The Command Barge will obviously be centre-stage, and is both the warlord (with the trait that reduces damage by 1) and the relic to jump across the table once per battle with another unit. I am toying with giving that to a different HQ though, but I’m not sure who.

In my mind, the Barge will jump somewhere useful and bring a squad of Lychguard with warscythes with it, and then proceed to just blend up the enemy with all of their attacks. The Barge is no slouch in shooting, of course, with three shots from the cannon and three shots from the Overlord’s staff of light; in the following combat phase, there will be 15 attacks at S7 AP-4 D2 coming as well, which I think should be quite deadly (even if I still lament the fact they used to be S8). Sticking close to the HQ will allow them to use the stratagem to get +1 attack, as well. The Barge, of course, has My Will Be Done, which gives +1 to hit, and while that would be very useful for the Immortals pumping out the gauss weapons, I think making Lychguard hit on 2s instead is very nice.

The next group will be the Cryptek with the Wraiths. It was a bit of a difficult decision, but I have changed up the usual choice of the canoptek cloak for the control node; this gives Canoptek units within 6” +1 to hit. Coupled with the piece of cryptek arcana that gives a Canoptek unit within 9” +d1 attack, this means the Wraiths will be making 15 attacks of their own at S6 AP-2 D2 each, with +1 to hit so that they hit on 3s instead of 4s. In addition, the Wraiths have particle casters, which are 2 shots each at S6 AP0 D1, so they should be fairly deadly. Wraiths are now core units as well, thanks to the balance dataslate, meaning they are eligible for the stratagem that gives them +1S, although the difference between S6 and S7 would be irrelevant against power armour, as they’re still wounding on 3s.

The third wave is made up of the Lord with as many Immortals as he can have within range. Any core units get +1M, which is useful given how slow Necrons are, and he can also nominate one unit within 9” to re-roll 1s to hit, which is very useful. I haven’t really used Lords in my lists before, tending instead for the Barge and Cryptek double-act, so it should be interesting. I’ve already talked about the stratagems available for the Immortals with tesla and gauss, of course, so there’s no need to go over that again!

That does leave the Tomb Blades, and sword-and-board Lychguard. I think the former are basically a harassment unit, with a 14” movement and a built-in -1 to hit, I’ve given them nebuloscopes instead of shieldvanes this time, because models don’t get cover against ranged attacks from the jetbikes. Delightful – I’m sure you’ll agree! The second group of Lychguard is a kind of flexible unit, either for objective-sitting or bodyguard duty for the Lord. They get +1Sv and a 4++ thanks to the shield, though somewhat upsettingly they no longer have the stratagem to bounce shots back at the enemy.

I’m very much looking forward to playing this force when the time comes. I think it should be fairly effective, though still fun to play and not getting into the realms of oppressive. I’m really hoping that my Lychguard can shine, and I think they should be able to hold their own much better than the Sisters have been doing so far – though it still requires me to roll dice, and we all know I’m not very good at that! The balance dataslate has been kind to the Necrons, allowing for a change to Command Protocols so that you always have one on each turn, and then the others cycle through as the game goes on. These Protocols have two effects, and each time one becomes active you get to choose which one you have; your Dynasty lets you have both effects from one of them, and the new rules from the dataslate specify that the “always on” Protocol can be your Dynasty-specific one, which is really quite something! For me, playing Mephrit, the Protocol is that of the Vengeful Stars, whose effects are to improve the AP by 1 for unmodified 6s to hit, and target units within half range of my shooting don’t get the benefit of cover. To have that for the whole battle is just a delight, and means that I don’t necessarily need to worry about the others, because that’s really going to be helpful having those effects for the whole battle.

We’re currently planning to have a game on Monday, so hopefully this time next week I’ll be reporting back on my unbridled success!! Stay tuned!!

Some hobby updates

Hey everybody,
It seems to be going really well at the minute, and I’m riding a bit of a hobby progress wave, so thought I’d come here to ramble about it, as I usually do! I’m feeling really positive about the hobby and stuff, so I think it’s good to celebrate this (and, hopefully, keep that wave going!)

I had a second game with the Sisters at the start of the week, again against JP and his Imperial Fists. This was a much better game for me, though I still lost – I had tweaked the list to bring the unit of Celestians that I talked about last time, and while my game plan didn’t entirely go according to plan, I was nevertheless able to play with more of the rules than last time, getting enough buffs that I was able to actually be a part of the game, rather than providing target practice. So that was nice!

Of course, it was an uphill struggle even without having a lot of units shot off the field before I have a chance to play. I was able to hide the bulk of my army in dense cover, so the Imperial Fists thing of ignoring light cover didn’t come into play, yet there were a few units left out in the open. However, giving him a tank as the main target did mean that I was able to survive enough to be able to do stuff when my turn came. Being S3 T3 is a distinct disadvantage, though, and I found myself shooting meltaguns at infantry, which is always just a waste. A few of the tricks that I was trying to pull off depended on dice rolls, such as the Dialogus hymns of battle, and so naturally I failed every time. The addition of improving AP on weapons became key, though, as we had decided to play with the Armour of Contempt rule from the balance dataslate, meaning that we were both benefiting from the rule that worsens the AP by 1. Being able to keep my melta shots at AP-4 helped a lot, and the flamers benefited too.

However, while I tried to focus on the mission rather than getting distracted by killing stuff, I was only able to score 24 victory points, while JP had picked better secondary objectives for 37 points by the end of round 3, at which point we decided to call it a day. It was also 1am, and I had work the next day, so…

I’m really enjoying learning the army, but the way Primaris Marines are able to build a better army list that just interlocks so well, whereas I’m fighting to try to do half of that stuff the same, just makes it such a battle to play well. I think that Sisters are really not the army to take against this kind of army. Even though I was able to kill the Redemptor Dreadnought, the Impulsor, the Assault Intercessor squad and the Aggressors, I lost almost my entire army doing so because it took so much effort to bring stuff down. I’m stopping short of saying it was oppressive, but in general I don’t think the game is fun when it is skewed so well in favour of Space Marines. Something I really disagreed with, and yet it is clearly the right rule, was how a squad of five Intercessors was able to destroy my unit of Seraphim by shooting through a building. The rules are clear, that building is light cover, and Imperial Fists ignore light cover, so as they could see through the windows they shot, and they killed. It’s like shooting through an office block, basically – they are just allowed to do it. Meh.

I’m not going to abandon them, but for our next game, I’m switching back to Necrons, as I have been thinking a lot about getting them back to the table, and JP is keen to see how well the Fists fare against 60+ tesla carbines. So that should be fun.

Following on from my August Audit blog at the start of the month, I’ve been thinking a little bit about how I could potentially plan for the rest of the year and aim to get things finished. I don’t want to go crazy of course, as I find when I spread myself too thinly I end up doing very little of anything. The time around Easter this year, when I stalled with my Tau and promptly spent about three months in a bit of a hobby wilderness, moving from odd project to odd project without any kind of focus. Sure, I finished painting 10 Chaos Marines and 10 Khorne Bloodreavers, but I wasn’t able to sustain either into any kind of proper project.

At the minute, I’m finding myself incredibly focused on the Sisters, and have been amazed at how easy and quick my paint scheme is to work with. I’ve painted a ten-woman squad in a single week, whereas with other projects ten-model units have taken easily twice that length of time! The Celestians have taken just a handful of days, too. I think, having a very clear idea of what each model needs, coupled with the drive to get them painted for games, has meant I’m able to push through and get a lot done quite quickly.

I find myself comparing this current hobby streak with my painting progress for the Genestealer Cultists last autumn/winter. In the period of four months from September to December, I ended up painting almost a full army, eleven units at something well over 1000 points in total. While five of those units were single-model characters, I still painted 30 Neophytes and 5 Metamorphs, so I was no slouch! Currently, my Sisters tally is looking a whole lot better – it hasn’t even been a month, and already I’ve painted up 17 models, with another five almost done. If I can keep this going, I should really outstrip my Genestealer Cults record by the time Christmas rolls around!

I’m trying to stop short of actually planning anything, as I find that generally means I fail at the first hurdle and move on to something else entirely, but I think my main goals for the foreseeable future are to finish painting the Repentia and the Penitent Engine, then to paint the 10 Novitiates and the 5 Retributors. That still leaves a bit of a chunk to paint, but it’s all I want to focus on for the time being. For all that I said the colour scheme has been easy to do, I still need to give some thought to that for the Novitiates, as I’m not sure if I should paint them a little differently…

I’m still fully intending to ride this wave of getting the Sisters painted, of course, as it would be lovely to have a fully painted army, but I do find myself also wanting to get some Necrons units finished off, as I was quite horrified to discover they weren’t entirely completed. And it would be great to get a few more Tau models done, considering that was going to be a big push for me this year, with a new army and all!

Back to the Tomb Worlds

Hey everybody,
After all of this auditing lark that I’ve been doing lately, I’ve been struck once more by just how much I enjoy my Necrons, and while I always think of them as my first love and my first army etc, it’s interesting to me how they’re actually not really a finished army yet.

Long term readers of my blog are not only a fabulous bunch, but will no doubt remember that I began my love affair with Necrons in 2014 and set about painting a batch of Lychguard. Over the autumn of that year, I produced something resembling an army, with my take on the classic gold and green Sautekh colour scheme. It wasn’t very good, I have to say, and when GW discontinued the Mourn Mountain Snow texture paint that I had been using to base them all, I seized on this as the excuse I needed to start afresh. And so, in the summer of 2017 I began anew with my take on the Thokt Dynasty, the black and grey with blue weapons scheme that you used to get on the back of the old boxes, before they decided to change them all again.

Necrons Thoky Dynasty

Anyway.

For 9th edition, Necrons became the main antagonist, and had a range makeover. Lots of new models came along, and we only really lost the heavy destroyer upgrade kit, but these new models haven’t really appealed to me. Don’t get me wrong, stuff like the Psychomancer is an incredible looking figure, and I’m really quite pleased with how he turned out in my scheme, but I hate the fact that they have now sculpted battle damage into the models. Necrons are meant to be a vastly superior race, technologically, to the Imperium, and their necrodermis is a living metal capable of self-repair. While it makes some vague sense for the warriors to be a bit dinged up, if their self-repair protocols are wearing out, the fact that the Lords also have this damage does annoy me more than it should! I’ve painted some of the new models, but in the main I find myself sticking to my older models, where I can get a more pristine look. Plenty of people like to have their Necrons looking like they really are thousands of years old, but I prefer to think of them as better than that!

So I’ve been taking a look at what I’ve got, and I must admit to being really surprised at just how many models I have, both in physical number and in points! In terms of units, I have 33 in total (assuming minimum squad sizes), and in terms of points, I have 3479 points of the old-wave kits. This is both fully painted and not (but does not count the unassembled – of which there are at least a further 7 units / 1080 points). For those of you who may be interested, my collection of new-wave kits totals 12 units and 950 points, though I do also fancy getting the Chronomancer model, as he does look really nice. Anyway. This does beg a very interesting question now, of course – what am I ever going to do with all of these miniatures? Do I really need this many models for an army, when I normally play games around the 1000 point mark?

As always, the answer is complicated.

See, in terms of function within the army, I have 4 HQ options and five big units of troops. I then have a little bit of everything that the Codex has to offer, which allows me to mix things up if I feel like fielding a different type of army. So I can bring some Tomb Blades and Wraiths if I want some fast options, I can pepper in some Triarch Praetorians if I feel the urge; I can field a big phalanx of Lychguard for some heavy hitting, with some Triarch Stalkers to shoot the battlefield up. All the while backed up by the immense gunline of 40 Immortals and 10 Warriors.

So I suppose, even though I’m never going to play a game with everything on the table at once (well, at least I think I won’t!) it’s good to be able to switch up the way the army will run for a bit of variety.

With that variety in mind, I think it’s time I once again looked for a game with my beloved Necrons, and I’m thinking of the following build.

With all of the recent points adjustments, a big chunk of my army will fit quite nicely into a 1500-point battalion, it seems! I do have a lot of guns in here as well, even if they aren’t particularly heavy. The Triarch Stalker is there almost for distraction purposes – it costs a lot considering it only has the one weapon (making 6 shots, admittedly!)

This army idea is able to combine two of my greatest loves about the Necrons, though – the gunline, and the Lychguard. I may yet swap out that Stalker for a group of Lychguard with swords, although doing so would mean the Spyder almost becomes obsolete, as he only has one target for his repair ability, admittedly a fairly important one! But by dropping those two units, I could include more Lychguard and some Deathmarks, so it’s swings and roundabouts, really.

Lychguard have been my favourite Necron models almost from the start, and they were definitely the ones that got me interested in the army to begin with. A melee-dedicated bodyguard unit, it’s often difficult to make them work, I find. Each model makes 3 attacks, and equipped with warscythes, a single five-man squad is making 15 attacks, hitting on 3s, at S7 AP-4 D2 apiece. There is also a stratagem to give them +1 attack when within 3” of a friendly Noble model, so if they’re close to the Command Barge, that’s 20 attacks. They’ll be wounding power armour on 3s as well, although another stratagem will give them +1 strength, so wounding power armour on 2s. Delightful. With ten, I should be causing absolute carnage with them, but that 5” movement is often the death of me. In the past, however, I’ve used the Veil of Darkness to move the Command Barge and a massive blob of Immortals into the backline of my opponent to attempt to destroy him, but even given the fact that you can now only move one additional unit with it (it used to be D3), I think moving a blob of Lychguard is the best play.

Whenever I play my Necrons, my buddy JP has nightmares over how brutal tesla can be, even though I generally don’t roll that well! But this army configuration does have effectively thirty tesla carbines, between the Immortals and the Tomb Blades. Each carbine is making 2 shots, so that’s 60 tesla shots that are hitting on 3s, most likely wounding on 3s too as they are S5 AP0 D1, but of course each hit roll of 6 causes 2 additional hits. Even with all of those odds for getting additional hits in there, if the target unit is still alive, there’s a stratagem to dish out mortal wounds to nearby units, causing yet more mayhem!

It should be a nice, fairly robust army. But it does have me at the helm, rolling the dice, so anything could happen…

November Retrospective

Hey everybody,
The end of the year is fast approaching, and it’s been really great to have these monthly retrospective blogs to look back on the progress that I’ve made with all manner of projects – hopefully they’ve been as interesting to read as they have been to write!

For November, the pace seems to have been a bit slow, as we slide towards the festive season. I’ve been reading a lot of weird fiction this month, which has shown itself in two blogs covering a variety of stories from contemporaries and followers of HP Lovecraft, before then the man himself popping up last week with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. I do love a bit of cosmic horror, and I think it’s been good to read some of the more extended mythos stuff this time around. It’s all very uneven, of course, and a lot of these stories could hardly be called masterpieces, though they are fun, which for me is the main thing. I am planning to read more of Lovecraft’s own horror stories over Christmas, of course, so do stay tuned for the traditional Mythos Delvings blog!

Reading so much weird fiction has, of course, gotten me back into playing the LCG. Having kinda planned out a series of games with Trish and Agnes, playing through some of the standalone scenarios, I’ve since pushed this idea to the side in favour of an actual campaign once again: The Innsmouth Conspiracy has well and truly started! I’ve built new decks, for Stella and Zoey, and hope to finish that in the coming week or so. I’ve got next week off work, so fingers crossed I can have more games then, if nothing else!

I have been trying to get somewhere with my painting though, and after a month off in October, I’ve been back to the Genestealer Cults, getting more Neophyte Hybrids painted up alongside an Acolyte Iconward and a Clamavus. These characters weren’t part of my original scheme, so it may mean that I end up not completing the 500-point list by the end of the year – that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it! I’m hoping to move onto the truck next, and still have the 5 Hybrid Metamorphs to do something with. So, we’ll see how far we get. But hopefully it’ll be a nice-looking little force, so I’m excited for that!

The Genestealer Cult hasn’t really been languishing for it, but I have moved on a little bit to another little project. After starting to read the third novel in the Grey Knights series, Hammer of Daemons, I’ve obviously moved on to these fellas once again, as it’s now a bit of a tradition for me to see how far I can get with them! I’ve got another 5-man Strike Squad on the table currently, along with a Brother-Captain. My painted Grey Knights are currently somewhere on a par with my painted Genestealer Cultists, in terms of size, so I suppose there’s a nice symmetry there in terms of building up both of the smaller forces. While I did initially think 9th edition might mean a slimming-down of my backlog, both of these armies are quite beautiful, and I really feel that I want to keep them.

My big news for November is that I’ve actually played my first game of Warhammer 40k this year, at last! Lockdowns do get in the way of these things, don’t they? JP and I took the tried-and-tested Chaos Space Marines vs Necrons out for a spin, but as ever, we spent most of the evening talking about all manner of junk and didn’t get much gaming actually done! I’m still not wholly sure about 9th edition, if I’m honest – I think it might be the subject for another blog, but I’m still not entirely in love with it. Which is slightly concerning, because if the recent pattern still holds true, we’ve only got about 18 months left before 10th edition rolls around…

It hasn’t even changed a great deal from 8th edition, really, it’s just the additional stuff in the rules have made it feel like it’s an overly complicated game now. When I sat down with the core rules a while back to try to make sense of them, it really surprised me just how little has actually changed. It certainly isn’t the seismic change from 7th to 8th that I experienced as my first edition change, but there’s something just stopping me from really enjoying it. I think this is probably something to explore in another blog, though. I might have a smaller-scale game with the Genestealer Cult and my mate James’ Black Templars soon, though, so maybe playing with a smaller model count might make things a bit better to understand, etc! Of course, that has its own problems when playing with an older Codex for the Genestealer Cult. Hm.

At any rate, I have been thinking that I would like to get more of my Necrons painted – I do have a lot of Necrons painted, for sure, but I need another ten Immortals, 5 Lychguard and 5 Tomb Blades to be finished before I can say that I’m happy with the force as it is. I’ll then be turning my attention to the stuff that I currently have painted, but which could be done better – some stuff like the Annihilation Barge could do with a bit of work to make it a bit more visually appealing, I think. So, I’d like to try and get the models that I think of as “finished” up to a better standard. Then there’s all manner of other units I need to turn my attention to.

I’m really chuffed to have got my hands on the new set for Warcry, Red Harvest, and have already started to build up some of the models from it. The design team are really knocking it out of the proverbial right now with this stuff, and I am utterly bowled-over by how good this stuff is. I think the terrain is what got me interested in this box, but the actual game content seems to be really great, too. It’s always nice when you get something like this – essentially a box of plastic – and there is a great rule set to go alongside it! My current plans, though, are to build up the new Tarantulos Brood warband, then potentially try them out in some regular games of Warcry with the core set stuff. It might be quite some time before all of that terrain is built, after all!

I have no more plans to attach to any of my hobby things right now, though. I think I just want to concentrate on getting my Genestealer Cultists done, and seeing where I can get to with the Grey Knights and the Necrons. If I can build and/or paint anything else, then that’s a bonus for me! I’m looking forward to making my way fully through the Innsmouth Conspiracy, and will have some more thoughts up here when that is all said and done. Who knows what else the month of December may hold? I do have some time off to look forward to, so there could be many exciting things yet to fill 2021!

What’s Going On?

Hey everybody,
It feels like it’s been a while since I had a catch-up blog here, though it’s not exactly like things have been hectic or anything, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. At any rate, November is quickly slipping away and it won’t be too long before I’m here with my penultimate Retrospective post of the year! That said, I thought it might be nice to just take five minutes and ramble about what’s been going on, almost to move me along with some things so that the Retrospective post will actually be a decent read!

I’ve been very heavily immersed in weird tales the last couple of weeks. I’ve been reading a wide variety of weird fiction by many contemporaries of HP Lovecraft, and have also made an early start on reading more by the man himself, stay tuned for a blog coming next week on The Case of Charles Dexter Ward! It’s always nice to read some of these stories at this time of year, as it seems really cosy and whatnot, now that the days are shorter and colder. Just the ticket for reading about weird and fantastical goings-on!

Perhaps inevitably, then, I have returned my attentions to the LCG, and have built up a couple of decks for tackling The Innsmouth Conspiracy! I finally picked up the first mythos pack for the cycle a good few weeks ago now, after feeling a bit disappointed during its release that I couldn’t play it because of missing that pack. I’ve had the Stella Clark pre-built deck sleeved up for about 12 months now, but after a half-hearted attempt with her and Winifred Habbamock at the Excelsior Hotel, which felt like it was going nowhere fast, I have changed the deck a little bit, including some cards which I think (hope!) will play better with my overall plans for her. I’ve paired her with Zoey Samaras from The Dunwich Legacy, too, as I had read on reddit that she was a decent companion. But I suppose it doesn’t really matter a great deal, as my pair of Daisy and Ashcan Pete for the Carcosa cycle really shouldn’t have been anywhere near as good as it turned out!

I’ve retired my idea of playing Trish and Agnes with the standalone scenarios, as well, favouring instead the idea of playing a proper cycle (I have enough of the unplayed, after all!) and slotting in some of the standalone stuff when I feel like it. We’ll see how that goes, anyway! For now, though, I’m very excited to be getting into another campaign for the winter season!

While I might be poised to start playing the Arkham Horror LCG once more, I have for now turned my attentions back to Warhammer 40k, and to the Grey Knights, no less! It’s another of my winter traditions, it seems, to be thinking about the incorruptible Chapter 666, and for the last couple of years I’ve been reading the novels in the Grey Knights omnibus. Hammer of Daemons is the third in the trilogy, and while I’ve only just started to read it, I am quite excited already to be seeing where this one goes!

I didn’t really get very far at all with my Grey Knights last year, in terms of painting them, so it’ll be interesting to see what progress is made this year, if any! I don’t think I’m going to be getting rid of these chaps anytime soon, though. I haven’t yet picked up the codex, unfortunately, but I’ve been hearing some very interesting things about how they play now in 9th edition, so I am curious to see what I can do with them on the table.

After basically taking October off in terms of painting, I have once more been painting miniatures, both Necrons and Genestealer Cults – my dreams of a 500 point force fully painted by the end of the year are still alive, people! I’m hard at work on another 10-man Neophyte squad, although I have somehow along the way also picked up the Acolyte Iconward, and the Clamavus, both of which I’m also painting as I go. It’s been quite the slog, if I’m honest, but I’m trying to make myself do a little bit each day, and so far, as you can see, they’re not looking totally terrible. I think a few more sessions can see the squad finished, if not the two characters, as well. Fingers crossed!

My biggest, and most exciting news, though, is finally getting in a game of 40k this year! Necrons vs Chaos Space Marines, me and my buddy JP back gaming, even if neither of us was really clear on the rules and spent the first 4 hours of our game day just talking about nonsense and general catching-up. We played one full round, after which I think I was ahead on points, though it was getting pretty late for a school night and we had to call it a day around midnight. A lot of fun was had, a lot of hobby love was rekindled, and we’re intending to play again soon, hopefully with the same armies and terrain set-up! Much to my chagrin, I hadn’t really looked at the models I brought with me, so ended up with a mixed squad of Immortals representing all-tesla chaps. So I’ve been building up five more Immortals, all-tesla, all the time. That will give me a massive blob of 40 Immortals, 20 each of gauss and tesla.

It actually prompted me to look into the possibility of an all-gunline Necron army, using the models that I either have ready or have on the to-build or to-paint pile. I can squeeze almost 2000 points of this stuff out of Immortals and Warriors, Tomb Blades, and the supporting artillery of a Doomsday Ark, an Annihilation Barge and a Triarch Stalker. Interesting… maybe one day I might try it!

I do like the Tomb Blades though, even if they are just horrendous models to build and to paint! I’ve got five tesla bikes, and three gauss bikes, all of which need painting, but I think I might make more of an effort with these at some point, because they have been a tremendous threat on the table – not because they’re particularly amazing, but their speed makes them look like a threat, so they formed a fairly decent distraction while the Praetorians I brought went up the other side of the table and ended up with Slay the Warlord between their pistol attacks and voidblades!

Despite seeing some really curious comments about Necrons being underpowered online, I thought that the new codex made them perform really well in the partial game we played a fortnight ago. However, I suppose that is against an army that is still using an 8th edition book.

Fingers crossed we can get in that rematch game soon, anyway! Stay tuned for more Genestealer Cults updates, and the exciting start of my Innsmouth Conspiracy campaign!!

September Retrospective

Hey everybody,
Well, we are three-quarters of the way through 2021 now, and it seems pretty crazy to think that I wrote my January retrospective blog as potentially a one-off to cover all the random rubbish I’d been doing at the start of it all. It’s actually been a really great motivator, for me, to have these retrospective blogs now form a part of my monthly pattern, because it makes me want to do stuff to then report on at the end of the month. At any rate, September has been fairly busy for me, as I’ve had a couple of weeks off work that have enabled quite a bit of recreation – if you can call looking after two children under 2 “recreation”!

To start with, September is the month that I traditionally think of as my hobby month, as I have a lot of fond memories of really getting into the 40k thing way back when during this month. As such, I’ve tried to really recapture that essence, as far as the paternal duties would allow, and ended up with a fair few random projects on the go!

Let’s talk about my Zone Mortalis terrain progress first! I’m very pleased with this, and I think it’s all coming together really quite beautifully! I talked about the colour scheme that I’m using last month, so won’t go over that again here, but I’ve now expanded my repertoire into other bits like ladders and water tanks! The ladder was just painted Averland Sunset, shaded Agrax Earthshade, then drybrushed like everything else to give it that worn, lived-in look. The tank I’d wanted to paint orange, as I think it makes sense to have it follow the same pattern as the Water Guild big boy, but in the end it turned out more red. No matter, other tanks I’m thinking about painting different colours, anyway, so it’s not like it’s important to remember their colours. I’m very excited to get more terrain painted up – whether I end up getting more done by the end of the year, who can say, but to have any of it painted so far is, frankly, a miracle!

I’ve been doing odd bits with genestealers and have recently finished the Necron Triarch Praetorians, but my main focus has shifted to the Genestealer Cults, as I have decided that I really want to get some of these things painted up, finally! I’ve been working on ten Neophyte Hybrids this month, and slowly but steadily I have almost got the squad finished – a huge achievement, considering the amount of detail on them! They’re tiny, and the scheme that I’m following doesn’t allow for speed painting when it comes to these chaps – the armour, the fatigues, the cloth, the padding, the weapons, the skin (actual skin, and carapace), the dangly-doodads, it’s all just so time consuming!

But I think I’m really getting somewhere now, having finished the first of my ten-man squad, and I’m ready to move on to my next project in the list! Since writing the linked blog, however, I’ve reorganised all of my Cultist miniatures, and have a different ten-man squad make-up, so there are ten more shotguns coming my way soon! Once all the Neophytes are done, though, I should have a fairly straightforward task of finishing off the Metamorphs and the Truck, so I think I can definitely get this first part of the list painted up and ready by Christmas. Ready for what, precisely, I’m not yet sure, but still – it’ll be ready!

I’ve been generally immersing myself in 40k across the month, anyway, and have been enjoying myself immensely. I finally picked up the Drukhari Codex as well, and have been investigating that to build my first proper list for that army in 9th edition. I think Necrons are still edging out the Dark Eldar in my affections for 9th edition, though I am definitely looking forward to playing both armies when the time comes. I’m at that point in the year where I’m now thinking about what I can accomplish prior to the year-end, and in addition to the GSC, I’ve got 5 Wracks and 3 Grotesques on my radar. Though everything is a time-sink, so we’ll have to see how things pan out!

GenCon surprised me this month by, well, taking place! I always thought it was August, but I guess the pandemic has been causing chaos. There hasn’t been a great deal of anything that is exciting me, if truth be told, but I think that could be symptomatic of my relationship with the whole board game scene right now. I wrote a very long ramble about that yesterday, but basically I feel like Kickstarter games have been taking over somewhat, and I’m increasingly disappointed in how FFG have diminished over the years. GW have put in a decent showing at GenCon, announcing a few exciting projects that has my wallet in palpitations.

I do feel like I have been quite gloomy on the board game front, but it’s not really the case! I’m hoping to get in a game day with my buddy Tony some time in October, and I also have plans to once again check out the Hellboy board game, after thinking on that one quite a bit of late, also. So there should be some interesting bits and pieces coming to the blog in the coming weeks! I’ve also finally been able to pick up In Too Deep for the Arkham Horror LCG, so I am thinking about an Innsmouth campaign for the autumn – assuming that I have the time, of course!

All in all, it hasn’t been that bad a month – fingers crossed that I can keep up the pace into the final quarter!

March Plans

Hey everybody,

I seem to be in a bit of a hobby wilderness at the minute, in fact I haven’t really done much of anything all week so far, so I thought it might be a good idea to draw up a plan of attack for the month, before things get too out of hand, and I end up with a March retrospective blog that is devoid of anything!

Let’s start with Necrons. I’ve got these two guys looking pretty good, in fact the Royal Warden has been almost finished for quite some time, already! I’ve got a few finishing touches planned for him, then I’ll hopefully be able to get the Plasmancer finished off in short order for another fairly quick win – just the plasmic lance really that needs work doing to it. I’m particularly pleased with myself for this one, because work only actually started on the model on Sunday. 

I’ve recently decided to sell off a bunch of models, including all of the Primaris stuff that I’ve kept but not had any kind of plan for. As such, I spent some time at the end of February building up the rest of the Necrons from Indomitus so that I could sell the Primaris half including the instructions! In addition, I’d seen Garfy’s Chronomancer painted up and looking fantastic, which really prompted me to get back to painting these guys.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLzzPtEHJs-/?igshid=1cxnofh59q3zt

Along with the Plasmancer, I’ve now received the Psychomancer model so need to get moving with that! I’ve heard that it’s a difficult build, with the digital skull face thing that he’s summoning and all, and looking at the sprue I can well believe it! It does feel a little fiddly, but I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with that!

As you can see, I’ve also been stocking up with Fantasy stuff, getting the new Shardspeaker model for the new Hedonites of Slaanesh, as well as the Agents of Chaos “battletome” for Warcry. I’d like to get that Shardspeaker built, if not fully painted too, I’ve got some interesting ideas floating about for my Slaanesh models, which will be nice to explore further. I also want to get at least another game in with Warcry, because it kinda haunts me that I’ve only played that single game! So that’s going to be something else to aim for!

Talking about playing games though, I also want to get more Arkham Horror LCG played! I’ve now started to put up some blogs on my Circle Undone campaign, which has been a long time coming as I think I did start to play this one early in January! I’d not been wanting to play too far into the campaign without getting round to the write-ups, but now that I’m pretty much up to date, I think it’s time to continue on with the witches!

I’ve used this segue before, but speaking of witches, I really need to make more of an effort to catch up with WandaVision. I mentioned briefly the first episode in my January catch-up blog, but have now watched I think up to episode 6, and I’ve been really impressed with how the series has just gone from strength to strength. I think the second episode, where the beekeeper comes through a manhole only to be “re-wound” by Wanda, is truly where this series lit up for me. On the surface, it’s quite a nice retro-feeling show, but there is so much going on beneath the surface that it really sucks you in! I’m toying with the idea about writing more about it, but I don’t really have that much more to offer than has already been shared around the internet! 

I think the last episode is out tomorrow, so maybe it’ll be a weekend of binge-watching to the finale!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL464FLn2q1/?igshid=1ggklhl0oq12n

I started to read Fallen Angels earlier this week, the eleventh book in the Horus Heresy series. I’ve basically gone back in time, then, as I’ve actually read up to book 29 at this point – but I couldn’t get into the sixth novel, Descent of Angels, so put this one aside as it is something of a direct sequel. After reading Dave’s review of Nemesis over on wordaholicsanonymous, though, I’ve gone back to see what I’ve missed – I’m only about 100 pages in, so it’s still early days, but I’m hesitantly thinking that it is better than the earlier book! The review will of course be coming once I’m done!

Feels like this might be a busy month for me after all…

More New Warhammer!

Hey everybody,

At the weekend, we had the latest Warhammer preview, showing off some of the new stuff that’s coming up in 2021, and some of it is very exciting, to say the least! I really hope this year brings us some awesome new toys, because let’s be fair, it’s been pretty grim these last few months, and we currently don’t have any sort of end in sight…

First off, we have the Sisters of Battle version of the Nemesis Dreadknight. It’s a little silly looking, in particular when you try to imagine the dimensions of the pilot and imagine how long her neck must be. But new models are always cool, even when they’re not necessarily the new models you’d have hoped for. No Biker Sisters? Hm. I’m curious as to whether, between this and the Palatine model, we have enough to warrant a new Codex already? Will we be seeing even more new kits? Hm.

Next up for 40k is a new expansion for Kill Team, showing that skirmish 40k hasn’t entirely been abandoned. I believe that this set is in addition to the re-vamp promised for the system later in the year? I’m a little sad that it seems we may need to wait longer still before getting the Chronomancer and Flayed Ones as separate kits, though I guess it’s possible people might be splitting these sets on eBay.

On a separate note, I’m really pleased to see the Psychomancer up for preorder soon! It seems like ages since I wrote my Necrons list with that guy in there!

The new Kill Team box is likely going to be a pass from me, price depending, but it’s interesting to note that this bundle gives new players who picked up Indomitus, or any of the new starter sets, a nice little expansion to those armies while also getting a different sort of game. Nice one!

We’re off to the Mortal Realms now, however…

I am categorically not about to start an army of High Elves, but I think it’s really neat to see how GW have taken the old classic elf fantasy trope and combined it with something a bit more eastern/otherworldly, with these huge animal-spirit-type forces-of-nature thing they have going on. Very Studio Ghibli. The Teclis model is strange as all hell, for sure, but I do like these big mountain spirit things!

We’ve seen some of the Vampire previews doing the rounds, but finally the new Soulblight Gravelords are making an entrance into the game with a new warband for Warhammer Underworlds, and they do look very nice! Just to reiterate, I’m not about to start yet another new army, but I could see me picking up this warband, to actually try out this game!

We’ve recently seen the update for Warhammer Underworlds, with the Slaves to Darkness warband going up for preorder soon, and what looks like an Ossiarch Bonereapers warband coming up in May. Direchasm is shaping up to have a lot of nice warband options, that’s for sure! It’s definitely time that I tried this one out, I’m thinking!

The big news, for me, is this. We’ve got a new version of Warhammer Quest coming out, and it’s once again in the Mortal Realms. However, this one miniature has got me completely drawn in – I’ve been trying to calm myself in regards to buying new stuff, but look at that guy! If we think back to Silver Tower, and all of the Tzeentch-y weirdness that we had there, this has the potential for unspeakably good zombie minis along the lines of this gravedigger lad.

Time will tell, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on, as the miniatures design shown off in just this one guy, combined with everything they’ve doubtless learnt from Blackstone Fortress, will surely make for an incredible experience!

It vaguely surprises me how, in recent weeks, I’ve moved back into what I suppose is my first love from Games Workshop, the fantasy stuff. 40k is still up there, don’t worry, but I do find myself increasingly enamoured of the Age of Sigmar miniatures line, and I think going all-in on the Bonereapers army recently testifies to that.

I’ve been worried recently that my drive to hobby has been waning, in part due to lockdown stopping me playing games, but seeing stuff like this coming over the hill has started to fire me up once more!