Psychic Awakening: Ritual of the Damned

Hey everybody,
I’d like to get back to looking through the Psychic Awakening books today, as I work my way backwards from the last installment. Let’s take a look at the Ritual of the Damned!

Psychic Awakening Ritual of the Damned

This fourth book showcases the Dark Angels, with the Grey Knights and Thousand Sons taking something of a second fiddle. As we’ll see when I get to the third book, these Psychic Awakenings have served to provide the Space Marines with access to all of the Shadowspear stuff, the phobos-armoured goodness that was missing from the Dark Angels codex because it hadn’t been released at that point. There are a lot of pages of this stuff, providing the lion’s share (pun intended) of the new stuff really.

I suppose this is only in keeping with the fact that the sole new miniature to come out alongside this book was the new Lazarus mini:

While I have previously attempted to produce a Dark Angels army, mainly centred around the Deathwing, I’ve recently decided to move my focus from the first legion as I’m trying to thin out the collections into something a lot more manageable – so, while this is almost certainly a Dark Angels book, I don’t really have a great deal to add on this point!

By contrast, the Grey Knights have just one new datasheet, for the Chaplain. However, they have a lot of new rules! For almost the entirety of 8th edition up to this point, Grey Knights had suffered from being a distinctly bottom-tier army from a competitive point of view. Mainly this was to do with the cost of units, which successive Chapter Approveds sought to remedy, but the lack of real fancy rules has proved to be their detriment. However, no more!

Space Marines these days have access to new Doctrines that give them bonuses from round to round. Well, Grey Knights now have their own version of this – Masters of the Warp. You can choose one of four effects (“Tides”) to be in place at the start of the first battle round, and then in subsequent turns you can attempt to change it through the use of the Warp Shaping psychic power, which is part of the new Dominus discipline. In addition to the Sanctic discipline from the Codex, Grey Knight character models have the option to pick their psychic powers from this discipline – they must choose either the Sanctic or Dominus disciplines, they cannot mix and match. However, there are some really nice powers here, and I do appreciate having more options for my units. Previously, I’ve found myself fielding 12-13 units, meaning the powers were doubled up in an almost random manner. At least now we have more to think about, and I like it!

Especially as one of these new Psychic Powers gives the Grey Knights the chance to replenish command points!

But that’s not all that we have! There is another page of relics to choose from, one of which allows for re-rolls on Psychic Tests and seems to be all the rage in the competitive scene, from what I’ve seen. But that’s not all!

Two more pages of Stratagems, following the pattern that we’ve seen in other books where specific unit types have specific stratagems. Every one of the Grey Knights specific units has their own stratagem, for better or worse – while there are plenty of stratagems that can target across the army. There are quite a few that look really nice, and I’m excited to try some out, like Empyric Surge that seems like it might take some setting-up, but could be good to try!

But wait, there’s more!

Are you getting the impression this book is a must-have for the Grey Knights? Yeah…

The sole datasheet for the Chaplain is here because of the new Litanies of Purity – similar to the Prayers of the Dark Apostle that we’ve seen. The Chaplain knows three Litanies – the Litany of Hate that he had from the codex, plus two from the new list of six in the book. Litanies are “recited” at the start of the battle round on a d6 roll of 3+. Some of them are a bit meh, which is a shame as I’d initially felt like Chaplains were getting a wonderful boost in this series of books, but there a couple there to add range to some weapons, or increase the AP of some weapons which, when combined with certain of the Tides, could give some great effects.

Oh, and we get the now classic name generator that, I’m sure you’ll all agree, is the most important part of any of these books.

The Thousand Sons have the least number of pages devoted to them, with just a couple of pages devoted to the different Cults within the Legion. Each Cult has specific warlord traits and assorted other special rules, which is quite nice but, not being a Thousand Sons player, I can’t really speak to how good these are. But even with only a few pages, it’s still nice to see that GW are giving attention to everybody in these books.


I am really excited to see the addition that the Grey Knights have had from this book. It does leave me with the distinct impression that the Codex is now an incomplete book, though, as there is just so much new stuff in here for them, you can’t really have one without the other. Especially when it comes to the Chaplain, which has perhaps the most benefit here.

As it happens, I’ve recently painted up my special collector’s edition plastic Chaplain in Terminator Armour that is available to new stores when they open. Having set me back around £35 on ebay last December, I knew I wanted to give him to the Grey Knights but had only now gotten round to painting the little devil. I’m quite pleased with the result, anyway – my local GW has got an HQ/Hero painting competition for next Saturday, and I’ll be entering him to see how he gets on!

I’m still working on drawing up a new Grey Knights list, one that might provide me with something interesting to play, so stay tuned for news on that one soon! For sure, I’ll be including another Purgation Squad since they can Overwatch on a 4+ thanks to their new stratagem!

Psychic Awakening: The Greater Good

Hey everybody,
So it’s been a while since the fourth book in the Psychic Awakening series was released, but I’m only now trying to catch up with these things, so hopefully there will be something of a flurry of blog posts in the next few weeks as I make every effort to see what’s been going on over the last few months! As it happens, the global lockdown has meant this catch-up is a lot easier, as the releases coming out of Nottingham have stopped – otherwise, I’m sure it would be months before I could have properly caught up with things!

Psychic Awakening The Greater Good

The Greater Good focuses on three factions – the T’au, the Astra Militarum, and the Genestealer Cults. Let’s first of all take a look at the crunch in this book, which is a little bit disappointing if I’m being perfectly honest…

The T’au get the lion’s share here. While previous books in the series came with a single model release, The Greater Good technically had quite a few. We saw a Start Collecting box for the Genestealers, as well as the new Kelermorph model that was previously only available via a Kill Team set, and we had Shadowsun released in a new plastic sculpt. I’ve moved away from the T’au Empire, having sold all of my models off last year, but I still think this new model looks amazing, and would have for sure picked her up if I had been collecting those models still.

The new T’au rules therefore have an entire page devoted to the new Shadowsun’s datasheet – she is clearly a busy girl these days! They also have the standard name generator, and new Sept Tenets that you can use in place of those provided in the Codex. There are also new relics and stratagems rounding out the mix, which follow the now-established routine for these books by providing more model-specific stratagems – for instance, there are quite a few Kroot-specific stratagems, as well as one for the Firesight Marksman, etc. Interestingly, we then get the supplement for The Eight, Commander Farsight and his buddies that was originally printed back in Chapter Approved 2018. I guess they wanted this supplement to remain viable, much like that for the Ynnari that had appeared previously in a White Dwarf. I don’t recall if the CA2018 supplement had full rules for the Enclaves, including warlord traits and stratagems, but we get the full mini-dex treatment here, which is nice!

Astra Militarum are next up, and while they don’t have as many pages devoted to them, they still get the usual name generator, new stratagems, new Regimental Doctrines, and a couple of pages of Tank Aces which are a little like warlord traits but for tanks – you can choose one of them instead of a warlord trait, and there is a stratagem that can give you access to them if you choose to keep the warlord trait (or want a second Ace in the army!)

There is then something that I didn’t see coming – a mini-dex for the Militarum Tempestus! Back in 6th edition, these guys had their own book, but obviously they have since been enveloped into the wider Astra Militarum, with the result that the rules can sometimes be a bit clunky. Well, they’re still a bit clunky now, but at least we get more rules for this small sub-set of the army, which I think it really pretty cool! There are six different Militarum Tempestus Regimental Doctrines that you can choose, instead of the Storm Troopers doctrine from the main book, as well as relics and warlord traits, and two pages of Tempestus-specific stratagems! It’s a really nice addition, and I’m really pleased to see them doing this!

Finally, though, we come to the Genestealer Cults, who have the least new stuff. Sure, we get the expanded rules for Cult Creeds, allowing for us to pick our own rather than stick with those from the Codex, and we get more Stratagems and Creed-specific psychic powers (not forgetting, of course, the name generator!) But there are almost two pages devoted to errata for the Cult Ambush and Brood Brothers rules, and that’s that. I suppose it’s kinda nice to have this in a book, and not have to also carry around a printed FAQ, but even so. It definitely feels like Genestealer Cults get the short end of the stick on this one. But I suppose the Codex is fairly new in comparison to the other factions in the book, so they have the least to be added… maybe…

The lore is an interesting update to that presented in the T’au Codex, as we learn more about the ill-fated Fourth Sphere expansion. There are some interesting details about battles with the Death Guard, and we get some info on a Cult uprising led by the Pauper Princes. The atmosphere of some of these stories is quite claustrophobic, which is echoed in the mission included in the book, which includes Theatres of War rules, aptly named “Cavern Warfare”.

All in all, it’s a nice book, and I do enjoy seeing the various updates that they’re providing for the various factions throughout this series. I guess, being a Cult collector, I’d have liked to have seen more for them!

However, I thought I’d take the opportunity in today’s blog to talk more about the project I mentioned briefly in my last blog – the resurrection of my Tempestus Scions army! This is a project that goes back years, and I had started to make some progress with it at the start of 8th edition, where I planned an army split roughly 50/50 with Scions and Skitarii. Well, things have moved on a little now, and I’m thinking of something a little different.

This list has a core of Tempestus Scions, but adds on a bit of the more weird and wonderful aspects of the Imperium, without (I think) breaking the battle-forged rules. I’ve decided to use the plastic Commissar as just the regular elite choice, and have the finecast Lord Commissar for the HQ choice. Doing so, along with the Bullgryns and Command Squad, I’ve got a separate Vanguard detachment for the additional command points. I do plan to build out the Scion squads to 10-man squads each, which may involve reducing them from 4 to 3 squads in total. Not decided yet. I also need to buy the parts for the second Tempestor Prime, though that might be dropped anyway.

My plans for the list had always been to see wave after wave of orders being transmitted across the table, though I’m not 100% sure it will work as I see it in my mind! I guess time will tell on that one!

As well as using the psyker model from Blackstone Fortress, the list will allow me to resurrect another long-dormant project in the shape of these girls – looking forward to getting them painted up at last!

The Warhammer Preview! and some rumours

Hey everybody!
So across both last weekend and this one, Games Workshop have treated us to some previews for upcoming miniatures across all of their main lines!

Warhammer Online Preview

I must admit, I thought we’d get some more interesting stuff than this in the first Preview, but I fully understand that a lot of these miniatures are coming out for lines or systems that I have no interest in. There are some interesting behemoth models for the new High Elves faction in Age of Sigmar, which look like massive Hindu-style deities, that do look pretty great if I were going to be collecting those models!

Lion el’Jonson is coming – but it’s for Horus Heresy, which felt like a bit of a let-down. We still need more loyalist Primarchs in 40k! The Scions of the Flame warband for Warcry don’t really float my boat as much as I was hoping they would, either!

There is an interesting bit of news in the next (seventh) Psychic Awakening book, War of the Spider, which features Talons of the Emperor, Assassins, Death Guard, and a new Heretic Astartes faction that centres around Fabius Bile, who is getting a new mini (at last!)

This one should be interesting, though we still don’t have Necrons!

Fabius Bile looks pretty amazing though – I’m probably not going to branch out any further into Chaos, but I do love that model!

The second Preview took place yesterday, and if I’m being totally honest, I was pretty unimpressed with this one, as well! There was some more info on the upcoming High Elves – they’re getting a similar release to that for the new Sisters back in November, only with full multi-part kits and fancy dice. I’m expecting another sell-out situation, if I’m honest! Blood Bowl is getting some Treemen, and there have been a couple of new Praetors shown off for the Word Bearers – very sexy, they look, as well!

 

 

The biggest thing, as far as I’m concerned, though, was the VIII Psychic Awakening book, Pariah, which will involve Ephrael Stern of Daemonifuge fame! I should get round to featuring that graphic novel here on the blog at some point! The miniature looks lovely, and the fact that the book is called Pariah has set the Necron community alight with speculation!

However, I am pretty disappointed to see that Deathwatch and Harlequins are getting their particular updates via White Dwarf, and not a campaign book…

Psychic Awakening has been fairly uneven, to me, at this point. While we’ve had some wonderful updates models for Drahzar, Mephiston and Shadowsun, and the boxset for the Mechanicus that we’re expecting soon is just fabulous! But I feel a little like the boxsets have maybe overshadowed the other releases. I think getting new, plastic Aspect Warriors and Incubi almost set us up for subsequent disappointments, as the following books had a massiv focus on marines above all else, and gave us just one new model. Will we see plastic Pariahs for the Necrons? Who knows. But I wouldn’t bet on it…

I’ve been disappointed, overall, with both of these previews, but all hope isn’t entirely lost, as we have a third one coming along in two weeks’ time! I guess we’ll see if that one will bring more exciting stuff!


I’ve been meaning to talk about the 9th Edition rumours that have been circling for some time, though have never seemed to have the time to get round to it! Back in December, this was published on Faeit 212, which talked about the new edition coming in the summer, and is a “polish / clean-up” of 8th edition, reworking some keywords as well as the Psychic phase. Psychic Awakening was seen as the lead-up to the new edition, much as The Gathering Storm served as the bridge between 7th and 8th editions, but there isn’t a great deal more to go on here. That said – fluff-wise, the Emperor apparently wakes up, though is still bound to the Golden Throne. Interesting…

The rumours have re-appeared in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, in terms of how the pushed-back release schedule from GW will impact that summer 2020 release date, and the general consensus from the comments is that it probably wouldn’t – something this huge will already be produced, and the subsequent releases further in the year will depend on the summer date being adhered to as far as possible. It makes sense, right?

That said, I find myself feeling a little jaded by the whole thing. I am fairly sure that 8th edition was touted as being as close to a living edition as is possible, kept alive through Chapter Approved each year. Part of me doesn’t want it to be true, for sure, as I’m already fairly heavily invested in the current edition, and I think it would be a kick to the figurative balls if I had to buy a bunch more books for the armies that I collect. (In reality, I’d use this as the excuse that I need to actively thin out most of those armies, and just keep a core handful from there on out).

I could see this as being almost some kind of 8.5 edition, as GW releases a consolidated, revised rulebook that takes account all of the changes that have happened since 2017, and uses that event as the chance to tinker with the Psychic phase, perhaps. We’ve already seen second editions of some codexes now – I think it’s entirely possible that they will put out a bunch of new codexes for the other armies, updating their rules with the Psychic Awakening stuff, and then continue on with the practice of using Chapter Approved to then give out more missions and the like, and address any issues thereafter.

In fact, I could see this as being some kind of major release and them giving all of the armies updated codexes over, say, a two week or maybe month-long release window. Kind of like how 8th edition launched with the Indexes for all factions on day one.

The Indexes do bring me to a sort of interesting point, though. Chapter Approved 2019 came in two parts – the scenarios and missions and new rules, and a pamphlet of all the points changes. I wonder if the Codexes could adopt this approach, and come with a pamphlet that presents all of the datasheets, Index-style, that could be dealt with independently of the codex? So that we have the fluff and the crunch separately? I’m honestly not sure whether I would go for that, as I do like having all of my stuff in just one book, but who knows where we could be going?

I’ve read some fairly intriguing comments about the possible new edition, and I think a lot of people make the valid point that the majority of sales upon launch of a new edition are from the books. People (like myself) who have an army already will only want the rules with which to play that army, and possibly supplement out from there. A great example could be Tomb Blades for the Necrons, which turned into something of a bestseller when the Necron Codex dropped in 7th edition. People already have all the troops they could possibly want – although 8th edition was quite sneaky in how it updated the old force org chart from 2 troops and 1 HQ to 3 troops and 2 HQs to make the staple Battalion formation. While the launch of a new Codex might well bring in a few people who decide they want to start that army – such as myself with Tau a couple of years ago – in the main, the people buying that book already have the models to go along with it.

So I don’t think that Codexes will be going away – and while there are plenty of vocal folks out there who insist on getting digital rules by default, there are plenty of us who also like to have a physical hardback book to use.

I think a new edition is probably inevitable at some point, and it is true that – especially with Psychic Awakening – the rules have gotten too bloated when you’re trying to play the game. However, I would much prefer to see a consolidation of the rules, rather than some kind of overhaul just for the sake of a new edition coming out. I hope that common sense is maintained, though, whatever happens!

Psychic Awakening: Phoenix Rising

Hey everybody,
It’s been out for a while now, but I’ve been wanting to talk about the new Psychic Awakening series of books for Warhammer 40k since the event kicked off a couple of weeks ago, so what better time to start than now?! The series is meant to have massive ramifications for the 40k universe as a whole, and back when it was initially announced, we were promised something new for every faction. I’m sure we’ve had such promises before, but so far, we’re three books in at the time I’m writing this, with a fourth on the way, and it looks like they are actually looking to deliver on this!

Psychic Awakening Phoenix Rising

Book One, Phoenix Rising, deals with all things Aeldari, and the book is actually really quite interesting to delve into. The first thing that you notice about it is that it isn’t anywhere near as weighty a tome as the Vigilus campaign books from last Christmas. That is probably because the book functions more like a mini Codex, than a true campaign book, and there is correspondingly less in the way of lore.

It’s still there, for sure – I read somewhere that this series is meant to bring the Imperium as a whole up to the same point in time as the Vigilus stuff, which sort of functions as the “current” timeframe. That would seem to be correct, as the fluff here goes right back to the Gathering Storm in places, chronicling the rise of the Ynnari and putting that into the wider context of the Aeldari races as a whole. That does sort of make sense, as that earlier series was a 7th edition thing, so it’s good for new fans to have the same sort of context as the rest of us.

The fluff is followed then by a series of narrative missions to play, three Echoes of War missions that recreate some of the storyline in the fluff section, such as the Drukhari attack on the Ynnari, using manipulated forces of the Astra Militarum. Each of these missions has its own suite of stratagems that can be used, and there are also a couple of additional rules for Theatres of War, giving ongoing effects for the whole battle. Theatres of War is something that I don’t see used a great deal, but could be fun to play with if you wanted a really intense game of 40k!

This first book in the series was released alongside a box set, Blood of the Phoenix, which repacked several Craftworld and Dark Eldar kits, as well as providing plastic miniatures for Jain Zar, Howling Banshees, Drazhar and the Incubi. I’m not a Craftworld expert, but the Drazhar model went all the way back to 1992, I believe, and so was really quite desperately in need of an update. I’d been hoping for plastic Incubi for almost as long as I’ve been a Dark Eldar player, so this box was highly anticipated! I mean, look at a comparison with their older models:

Jain Zar and Drazhar old models

Unfortunately, the box set was really quite overpriced – I think it was something like £150 retail, which is fine when you think the characters will probably be £25 each when released separately, and the new units will be around £30 or maybe £35, if the Chaos Marines release is anything to go by; it means you’re getting a whole bunch of the older stuff for about £30, which is a big saving. A lot of people weren’t too impressed, though, as the older stuff it was packed alongside has been out for years now, and people tend not to want that stuff. It was the sort of box that might be great for new folks getting into the hobby or wanting to start these armies, but for those of us who have been waiting for these plastics, it was a hard pass. As it stands, I picked up Drazhar on a bits site, and would be fine to wait for the plastic Incubi kit to hit retail, having already bought and painted up the finecast models if I wanted to use them in a battle before then.

New Drazhar is an incredible model though, I really liked him a lot!

Anyway, following the missions, the book sort of splits into three, as we get the new rules sections. First up are the Craftworld lot, which have the rules for Jain Zar and the Howling Banshees, as well as three pages of additional rules for other aspect warriors such as Dire Avengers and Striking Scorpions. It’s really quite an interesting little rules update in this respect, although I’m no Craftworld expert to know whether they’d be of any use!

The Drukhari section is a little smaller, having new rules just for Drazhar and the Incubi – I say new rules, they’re more like tweaks, really. Drazhar gets a bit beefier and now has the Lethal Precision rule the Incubi had, and the Klaivex can take demi klaives like Drazhar.

Both flavours of Eldar get new ways to create their own brand of chapter tactics with new Obsessions and Attributes. From a list of different abilities and effects, you get to choose two (unless otherwise stated) which give you your own custom rules for your chosen army type. I suppose it compensates for not having your own Stratagems and Warlord Traits by getting to pick two. There are four pages of Craftworld Attributes, while the Drukhari get a page of Obsessions for each of Kabal, Cult and Coven. Some of them are quite decent, as it happens, and I’ll talk about them a bit more shortly.

Finally, the book closes out with a reprinting of the Ynnari “Codex” that was featured back in a White Dwarf earlier this year. There is all of the lore, the rules, stratagems, psychic powers and warlord traits, so it’s nice to have that reproduced again here for convenience, and to ensure that Ynnari players can have those rules without resorting to trying to find the White Dwarf on ebay, or something.

All in all, it’s a pretty nice book, with a lot of different parts that you can pick and choose from. Obviously, Eldar players are the demographic for this, as Space Marines players will find nothing of interest here. But I do like these sort of books, which have a bit of story/background to them, some new rules, and then some missions and stuff to choose from, as well.


Yesterday, I played my final game of 40k for the year, a three-player game against Chaos and Necrons, for which I brought my own Drukhari – the first time they have had an outing since about May, I think!

It was a pretty casual game, with armies floating around the 1000 points mark. My buddy JP had had the Start Collecting Chaos Marines for Christmas, as well as more Havocs, so was keen to get those out. Matt was playing Necrons, in what was I think his second game of 40k (certainly his second game of 8th edition). We were using the multiplayer rules from the core rule book, so nothing too fancy, but I think it definitely helped that we were all very much into it not being a case of ganging-up on one player, but we were all trying to achieve our own objectives while attacking everybody else.

It was also really nice to finally get all of my terrain out and on the table!

I’ve been thinking a lot about doing away with Obsessions entirely, and playing lists more like I used to in the Index days, but instead decided to try out the new build-your-own with a Raiding Party force. Pretty much everything about the Drukhari army caused raised eyebrows from my opponents, and with good reason – they’re the sort of army where so many things just shouldn’t be the case, and yet they are. I’m particularly fond of the Hexrifle on my Wracks here, because nobody expects a fairly-dedicated close combat unit to include a sniper rifle, after all!

Wracks were possibly the star players here, taking out the Daemon Prince warlord for 1VP, followed closely by the Ravager which, over the course of my turn, finished off the Havocs unit before it could do anything.

However, I was very often forgetting a lot of rules – standard operating procedure, for sure, but I think the sheer number of moving parts to this army when you have all three subfactions present is just bonkers.

So for my Kabal, I took Disdain for Lesser Beings, which allows me to only ever lose one model to Morale (forgot about that, and lost two of my Warriors this way), and Toxin Crafters, which adds one to the damage characteristic of a poisoned weapon on a natural 6 to wound. I don’t honestly know if this would have made a difference (I forgot about the open topped rule for my Raiders for at least one turn), but there you have it. I normally use Kabal of the Obsidian Rose, giving me +6 to the maximum range of weapons, and I think I would usually prefer this to anything else, as I want to keep my Kabal gunline as far away from anybody as possible.

The Kabal rules in Phoenix Rising aren’t particularly game-changing, they are just some interesting alternatives if you don’t want to use those from the Codex.

Wych Cults are still a subfaction that I don’t know enough about, having only used them once previously. I mean, I use Reavers a lot, but the rest of them… I’d gone with Precise Killers, which improves the AP of a weapon on a natural 6 to wound, as well as Slashing Impact, which allows me to inflict 1 mortal wound on a 5+ when I finish a charge move. These are nice bonuses, and there are some interesting things in the book that I think could do with further investigation. I probably need to play more Wych Cults to get the gist of things, though.

I will say, as well, that I had an incredibly lucky roll on my Hekatrix’s blast pistol, and one-shot killed the Master of Executions! Given that the last time JP and I played, his Master of Executions took out my entire Grey Knights Purifier Squad in a single swing, I feel that has given me justice!

Combat Drugs are still a mystery to me, however…

Finally, for my Haemonculus Coven, I went with Experimental Creations, which increases the Strength of everyone in the unit, as well as giving a +1 to wound rolls when attacking units with lower toughness. That didn’t really come into it as much as I thought, but the +1 Strength was very handy! With Wracks being S3 but T4, you want them in combat, but their effective power is quite limited with just basic weapons. Anyway! My second Obsession for them was Masters of Mutagens, which means a natural 6 to hit against anything other than vehicles or titanic units is an auto-wound. That did come up quite a bit, which helped me to get rid of the Chaos Sorcerer, at which point there were no more Psychic shenanigans to endure.

It was a good game, and didn’t feel too much like a 1v1 with a bystander, though the Necrons just kept reanimating while Chaos and Dark Eldar were dying all around, meaning the final round was a bit one-sided. But we got to 5 rounds, so all was well!


I feel like Phoenix Rising is definitely going to be worth getting for Craftworlds players, and Ynnari too, but if you’re a Dark Eldar player looking for new ways to play the army, I think there is limited good stuff here. Possibly not worth it to the more competitive players, as nothing in there seems particularly game-destroying – and I’m guessing the more competitive dark kin won’t want to give up Agents of Vect so easily, anyway!

Nova Open reveals!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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