Moar Genestealer Cult!

It’s wave two of the Genestealer Cult release, and we’re not seeing as much after the initial splurge last weekend, but there are still some really cool kits coming out way, so it’s definitely an exciting time for those of us who have decided to build a new army!

Genestealer Cult

First of all, we’re getting the new Goliath truck, which can be built as above, or with a massive dozer blade and rock grinders on the sides. I think I’m going for the latter, because it looks hilarious and over-the-top, but I may eventually (or sooner) get a second to have as the basic truck. At any rate, I think it looks really great, and a nice change from the tanks that we normally get for troop transports in the 41st millennium.

Genestealer Cult

In addition to a new standard bearer character and a re-release for the Overkill characters, there’s a box set of Neophyte Hybrids coming out that have infiltrated the Astra Militarum! I have previously entertained the idea of getting a box of Cadians to use alongside my Space Marine army (whenever that will get off the ground), but seeing these Neophyte chaps here has really made my mind up for what I want to do with these folks! I’ll definitely be picking this box up soon, also!

It was my store anniversary this weekend, so the stars have clearly combined for awesome, and I dropped a fair bit of cash on picking up all the Genestealer Cult goodness, as well as a second Death Watch Kill Team box (more later), and a few other bits. I got a bunch of badges for my trouble, and will be getting a free messenger bag when their stock appears, so that’s nice! People were spending a lot more than me, though – the guy in front of me actually spent over £300, which kinda shocks me, if only for the fact he didn’t have as much stuff as I had! Of course, we all know we could easily drop hundreds in a GW in any one purchase, but while part of me was in palpitations, it’s also good to see folks support the store and all the rest of it.

I’ve been leafing through the How to Paint book this morning, and I’ve found my colour scheme now:

I love these How to Paint books, because I find them so damn inspirational! I’ve bought quite a few now, and always manage to get my hobby motivation back when I pore over the pages there. So I’m going with the Cult of the Bladed Cog, because I find the contrast between the blue-green fatigues and the red armour to be really quite striking – and I usually dislike painting red, so in the interests of levelling-up my painting skills, this will be a great project!

I also got a second Kill Team box because last month’s White Dwarf had rules for using the Strike Team Excis (the original kill team that Cassius was sent to extract) in Deathwatch: Overkill, so I thought it would be great to have those actual models built to act as an expansion for the boardgame, but also to use in my Deathwatch army, should that ever become a thing, as well! So keep an eye on my Hobby Progress blogs for more of those chaps soon!

So all in all, this Genestealer Cult release is shaping up to be really fantastic! I don’t actually remember the last time I was as excited for a release of models, possibly because I really wasn’t expecting to be that into the Genestealers! But then, as I’ve always said, if I hadn’t gone with Necrons as my 40k army, I would have picked Tyranids, so there has always been that interest there… GW has really been excelling themselves with this release, however, and I really hope they continue to go with this route in the future, from the facebook marketing of the previous week, the designer notes video, to these kind of retrospectives on their blog. It’s all just really, really great!

Will we be running into a third week for the cultists? The only unit not yet separately released from the Codex is the Aberrants, though whereas the other models photographed include the new guys, these models are just those from Overkill, so I’m wondering whether GW will actually release them at all. I’m kinda intrigued as to what will happen there…

Very exciting times right now, anyway!

More Star Wars musings!

I feel like this could become a theme soon, as I’m spending a lot of time with fiction from the Star Wars universe, particularly surrounding the new movie. Having recently finished the excellent Bloodline last week, I watched The Force Awakens on DVD at the weekend and was mightily impressed with it second-time around.

Let’s be honest, the film rocks! I caught a lot of things that I think I’d missed first time around, and found myself focusing more on stuff like Rey’s flashback/hallucination/whatever it might be, because I was expecting it this time. A lot of stuff really interests me about the movie, but I think the overriding thing that piqued my interest this time around was Lor San Tekka, Max von Sydow’s character who appears for, what, a whole five minutes of the film’s opening scene? The Visual Dictionary has described him as belonging to something called “the Church of the Force”, which itself is really intriguing, and I suppose goes some way to explaining why he thinks of Leia as “family”, but I hope we get to see a lot more of this explained in the future comics and novels.

Although his first line, “This will begin to make things right”, does feel a little too much like a dig at the Prequels, which I still kinda like…

Of course, fanboy nerds like me will always find something to poke at, and there were one or two things that I found myself thinking, ‘I wish they’d done it like that’, or whatever. I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it in the cinema, but in the ensuing days and weeks I kinda felt a bit down on it, largely because it felt like such a blatant rehash of what had gone before. However, I think a lot of my initial complaints about the lack of a sense of history have begun to be addressed, primarily by the aforementioned Bloodline, and I do think that it’s as a result of that novel in particular that I was so interested in watching the film again, if not in my subsequent enjoyment!

But anyway, that’s getting really rambling.

Following the movie, I then turned to a recently-released short story anthology, Tales From a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Aliens:

I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting with this one, if I’m honest, but I suppose the ‘Tales‘ prefix there put me in mind of the Bantam anthologies from back in the day.

The book is a collection of six stories released as part of the Journey to The Force Awakens, and deals with some of the background characters we see in the film. Of all six, only one of them actually has a speaking role – Unkar Plutt, the garrulous junker. The rest are the set-dressing characters that, in true Star Wars style, become fully fleshed-out characters here.

This book is weird! The chapters are super-tiny – just one page in some instances – and the overall feeling is that this is a weird collection of tales. We have a Star Wars version of Masterchef meets CSI; we have a weird kind of Frankenstein-esque story; there’s a cautionary tale about internet dating – it’s all just decidedly, well, not Star Wars-like, to me! By about halfway through the book (the Masterchef/CSI crossover, in case you were wondering), I’d decided to just take these as really throwaway stories that happen to make reference to stuff like Maz Kanata and the like, because I found it really hard to take them seriously. The final tale, The Crimson Corsair and the Lost Treasure of Count Dooku, has almost an interesting storyline to it, as we follow the guy in the red helmet from Maz Kanata’s castle in a treasure hunt to recover a crashed Separatist cruiser. Turns out the treasure is a cryogenically-frozen clone trooper who had discovered Order 66 had been hardwired into the clone troopers’ minds, and tried to warn the Jedi.

Overall, they felt a bit silly, and a part of me is a bit annoyed by the entire Journey to The Force Awakens marketing ploy in retrospect. I’ve not read absolutely everything from this campaign, don’t get me wrong, but I’m surprised at how little information we actually get from any of these stories that are sold on the basis they provided the lead-in to the movie. Shattered Empire, for instance, was a story about Poe Dameron’s mother flying errands for Luke and Leia, while Aftermath was just such a huge let-down given the fanfare it received on release, I can’t bring myself to go back over that.

That said, I am feeling excited about the new lore that we’re getting for Star Wars right now. I know I’ve talked a lot about this, but Bloodline was a really excellent novel, and has put me in a much more positive frame of mind for seeing what comes next. I’m even looking forward to seeing the next installment in the Aftermath trilogy, despite my feelings on the first book! Though that is possibly because the second book, Life Debt, hasn’t had anywhere near the same hype…

The Vader series has recently been announced as cancelled, which has also gotten me thinking about the comics that we can look forward to soon. We’ve got a few more miniseries to go through yet, though, including a Han Solo series starting next month, so maybe Marvel will just continue providing one-shot series like this. I hope not, as I like my comics to have more of an ongoing feel to them, though as the Vader article says, it’s always a concern that such a series can get to a point where issues are published for the sake of it, with a few major storylines peppered through. At least it’ll be going out on top!

The Rogue One comic tie-in was also announced as cancelled yesterday, which seems slightly concerning the Vader cancellation, but hopefully this is merely pushed back rather than outright off the agenda. Given that Rogue One is taking place in a much more stable continuity, I’d have thought this would be a much safer place to set a comic. But what do I know?!

At any rate, I’m really excited to see what’s coming next for Star Wars!