Allure of the New

I had a bit of a personal victory today, and I thought I’d share it with you all!

As you no doubt know, a couple of weeks ago, the Gloomspite Gitz were released, and seemed to take the world by storm. The kits look amazing, and it felt a bit like everybody was suddenly playing grots. I got quite excited as well, mainly being attracted by the large scenery piece that reminded me so much of a Lego set from back in the day, and I did indeed consider starting to collect little green goblins. Then I spent some time watching the painting tutorial for the Dankhold Troggoth, and I thought I was sold:

As an aside here, how good are the Warhammer TV tutorials? The full ones, I mean – I like the little tips and stuff, don’t get me wrong, but I still enjoy sitting down with a cuppa and watching how they produce the various effects and whatnot. I don’t know if it’s because of the fact they’re the “official” paint guides, or what, but I do like these longer tutorials. Anyway!

I was on the cusp of buying my own, but I managed to resist. For possibly the first time ever, I’d been on the cusp of buying something, but had a moment of clarity where I just couldn’t see the need for this model among the rest of my collection, so left it there on the shelf.

This is perhaps particularly important as we approach the release weekend for the new Genestealer Cults stuff, and I feel my wallet already having little tremors of uncertainty at how much of this stuff I want to buy! As it happens, I’ve only pre-ordered the Codex, and two of the character models: the Nexos, and the Clamavus. I really fancy that Locus model, too, but I really want to see how the army looks once I have the book in my hands before I go down the route of buying new stuff. I want to think about my list, to think about the models that I already have, and how the new stuff might fit alongside that. Of course, I’ve been aware of the youtube reviews already doing the rounds, and spent a couple of hours the other day listening to my usual go-to Striking Scorpion 82 and his review, but nothing quite beats having the book to look through yourself, I feel!

I mean, I’m sure I’ll get some bikers, and I do want to get the new Ridgerunner, but I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm, because all too often in the past, I’ve found myself throwing money at a project to then get burnt out by it.

Most recently, this has happened with the Deepkin stuff. While hardly new, it was still a new project for me, and I’d thrown quite a bit of money at it over the last couple of months, but ultimately I’ve just found it really difficult to put together an actual army list that I would want to play, after spending a long time looking through the battletome. I’ve never really experienced something quite as disappointing as that in the hobby before – the miniatures are incredible, and I really wanted to get painting up some wet elves, but when it came to it, my lack of enthusiasm for the army’s rules really just put me off painting them.

I suppose actually having played some Age of Sigmar has helped, as I can appreciate that, actually, I enjoy playing Nighthaunt now, and I’m looking forward to building more on that side of things. Unlike with 40k, where I’m finding the variety of armies quite refreshing, and often find myself spurred on by having so many varied projects on the go, with AoS it’s a different matter, and I only really want one army.

Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true, as the arrival of the Skaven on the scene has prompted me to return to a plan from a long time ago, and actually get round to painting some of the little rat-men. For a long time now, I’ve been thinking about getting myself an “old world” army that I could use in AoS. Back in September, I thought that would be the Beastmen, but in the five months since that initial flurry, I’ve only built up ten Bestigors and have failed to anything with them. Time for a change? I think so. There’s just something about the Skaven, though, that I quite like. While I did find them a little annoying in Rise of the Horned Rat – the only Warhammer novel that I’ve read that featured them – I do actually think of that book as one of the most enjoyable that I’ve read, and have been thinking a lot about re-reading it. While I don’t particularly relish the thought of painting a horde army, I do have Thanquol and Boneripper somewhere, having picked them up during the End Times, and I could see myself building up an army of these chaps centred around the larger behemoth models. I think that could be a good starting point, at least!

So I’m trying my best to reduce my piles of plastic, as I’m currently selling off a bunch of Tau and Idoneth Deepkin models, and thinking more tactically about my purchases, and trying to plan those that I really want to get. Of course, there’s bound to be the odd mis-step in the future, but I’m hopeful that these will be fewer and fewer…

New Year Open Day 2019!

Ohmygod you guys! Ohmygod! There’s so much good stuff in this latest round of reveals from the New Year Open Day, I just don’t know where to begin! Well, I’ll start at the top, I guess, and go from there…

Genestealer Cults are getting a slew of new and interesting figures, and I just don’t know how to explain how excited I am for these guys! Well, the female magos seems to be a little pandering – I mean, the Magos from Overkill is a classic sculpt, I’m not entirely convinced by this one as she seems a little too… 1950s sci-fi? I don’t know. I really like the mysterious chap with his pimp-cane (seems like GW are really pimping it up after the Delaque chaps arrived) and the vox-hacker chap is also really cool. Not sure about the assassin-type model, either, but anyway.

Someone on the GSC facebook page suggested these might come as something akin to the Court of the Archon for the Dark Eldar, which would make more sense than having a massive selection of different HQs to deal with, but I suspect we might have a similar situation to Space Marine Command Squads, where they’re now separated out into a number of elites slots rather than being fielded as a unit. But I would also like to see them packaged together and come as one, so hope springs eternal on that one.

As well as the bikers, we’re also getting a new terrain piece, which I do like – hopefully we’ll be getting a lot more custom terrain for each force as time goes on. Necrons could do with having something interesting, I feel! It’s certainly an exciting time to be a 40k fan, that’s for sure!

But 40k isn’t the only system getting the love, as we see a new Battle Box for Age of Sigmar coming out, featuring Flesh Eater Courts and Skaven! I’ve recently been thinking about investigating the little rats, as several of their models remind me of the Mechanicus minis, and I think that’s cool. I’ve been thinking about, but ultimately passing over, several of these boxes since we initially had Forgebane, but I think I might well pick this one up and sell off the zombie portion, instead getting a decent start on some Skaven models!

Looks like we’re getting Stormfiends, a Warp Lightning Cannon, a Doomwheel, and the new character model, the Warlock Bombadier. I find it a little bit odd that there’s no infantry for the box set, but then the Skaven models included come to £79.50 without the new character, so I suppose the set is going to retail around £90, and still provide a massive saving. Definitely one for the list, anyway!

I’m also looking forward to some Grots, though given the sheer amount of new stuff being announced here, I think I’m going to not only be planning out very carefully what I end up buying, but also downsizing my collection of existing miniatures in order to make room!

Back to 40k and Kill Team now, with a look at the next batch of good stuff. I’m not honestly all that sure about Kill Team: Arena, as it looks a lot like a rehashing of the Rogue Trader box. Maybe it’ll be worth it for the additional rules content, but the box size initially made me interested, then I saw that the terrain was mainly doors and barrels, with rules for fighting in close quarters. Well, I suppose it might be a cheaper price point than the Rogue Trader box, which might make it worth getting for some, but I might be holding off for the time being, until we see some more.

Interestingly, however, there are two new expansions for the two Kill Teams that came in the original box – an AdMech team that features Sicarians, and a Genestealer Cults team that includes Acolyte Hybrids. Both of them come with a Commander model, though, and the usual sheet of tokens and terrain and whatnot, but I find it interesting how we’re seeing the evolution of the different Team expansions from last year. Commanders is presumably a more integrated part of the game than we’d originally expected, and they’re using this game as a delivery method for new models for the regular 40k game, with the Cult Eastwood gunslinger Primus, alongside a new sort of Tech-Priest, the Manipulus. I’m not 100% sold on the latter, if I’m honest, as he does look a little too much like he was originally intended as a Nurgle model. But maybe he’ll be better in the flesh, or else with a little converting.

I’m glad to see more for Kill Team, for sure, and I hope this new type of expansion could herald my idea for “famous teams” to come further down the line. I especially like the idea that they’re expanding the original two teams from the core set, as that is a fantastic way to build on last year’s box for people new to the game, as well as to get them hooked into buying more for regular 40k in true gateway-drug style!

While that’s all for the stuff that grabbed my attention over on the Community site, there are a few other choice morsels doing the rounds of the internets, including an expansion for the Blackstone Fortress game!

Blackstone Fortress Dreaded Ambull

I’m not that old in the hobby to remember the Ambull from back in the Rogue Trader days, but this has got a lot of people excited! Looking at the additional contents in this picture has got me wondering, though – if we’re having a new ship tile, will we be getting a new Hero to go along with it? And there’s another mystery envelope in this one, as well! How exciting!

I really like the idea of this expansion, and it once again puts me in mind of Shadows of Brimstone, only done correctly. I mean, FFP have definitely worked their socks off for that game, and I don’t mean to be too harsh, but it just didn’t feel anywhere near as polished as it perhaps could have been, possibly due to the amount of stuff they had to do to fulfill peoples’ pledges. But that’s a topic for another blog!

Finally (for now!) we’re getting two plastic Am-bots for Necromunda! Not the Adeptus Arbites, but it’ll do!

And finally, we have what looks like a new kind of Chaos Sorcerer for the Black Legion, presumably coming out when the whole Vigilus 80-day countdown thing comes to a conclusion:

I don’t know if this would happen or not, but I do quite like the idea that he might be a part of a wider Servants of the Abyss release, alongside the Blackstone Fortress goodness that is reputedly coming out in March. I think he certainly looks cool, and I’m thinking I might actually get myself a small Chaos Space Marines force soon! (Who am I kidding, small…!)

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Vigilus will burn. #PaintingWarhammer

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Overall, it’s been incredibly exciting so far this New Year Open Day. I’m really excited to see what’s next from Nottingham, anyway!

Age of Sigmar, week 8

Wow – it’s happening, folks! Even though I’d heard about this at my local store last week, I’m still a bit surprised that this is really a thing! The Celestant-Prime is coming out next weekend, and it looks hilarious. A massive Lord-Celestant with enormous wings, and of course – Ghal Maraz!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

The Lord-Celestant part of the model looks just fantastic – the armour looks superb, with all those details like the comet on the shoulder pads, the lightning-bolt buckle, it all just looks amazing. The wings are a little too goofy for my liking, I think the attempt to make them more imposing than a Prosecutor but not having them out wide has left it looking a little, well, weird.

It’s really fun to see Ghal Maraz finally in a Warhammer figure – I mean, it really is the iconic weapon of Games Workshop. I mean, it’s a subjective thing, but the hammer in the Valten kit just doesn’t look as badass as this chap. The cometstrike sceptre is another awesome-looking weapon, which has a pretty amazing mechanic – allowing you to pull a comet from the heavens and hurl it onto the battlefield.

All that swirling stuff at his feet is perhaps what seems most, well, goofy to me. All that gunk actually provides the model with the ability to change one roll to the result of your choice. Jeez! There’s no Paint Splatter in this week’s White Dwarf, though we do get a short piece on how to paint this mystical swirling energy.

This week’s White Dwarf has a great look at the Hallowed Knights – which is the silver colourscheme you can see on the chap in the forefront here:

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I’ve been enjoying these little bits of lore they feature in the magazine, it’s really nice to see that narrative sort of thing being pushed in line with the narrative focus of the game.

The week in review

This week I’ve been mainly finishing off the Judicator models I started the previous weekend.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I’m really quite pleased with how these guys have come out, I must say! Very much worthy additions to my Lions of Sigmar, at any rate! I’ve been wanting to use my second box to get some more done with the crossbows, but instead I’ve started to work on yet more Liberators!

I’ve built these guys up with the warblades, as I’d wanted to get these done since getting the box. They look pretty badass, and that chap with the grandblade looks particularly nice. As we have a long weekend, I’m thinking I might build up a couple more – those guys with paired warhammers could also be fun. We’ll see what happens.

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On with the #EndTimes! #Warhammer #skaven

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I also finished reading The Rise of the Horned Rat this week, the fourth novel in the End Times series. At first, I didn’t really like this – Skaven just annoy me. But as the novel wore on – actually, within just a couple of chapters – I really came to like it. The novel features the battle between the Skaven, the Goblins and the Dwarves at Karak Eight Peaks, and it was a whole lot of fun. Something I particularly liked was the way each race feels different through not just the manner of speech and such, but the very narrative itself. So the Dwarves are very stoic and so on, the Skaven are pretty chaotic, and the Goblins are just mad. It created a nice effect!

I’ve found Goblins hilarious for a long time, and it was a lot of fun to read those parts of the novel that featured Skarsnik, the Goblin King. As with the established tradition here, the author, Guy Healey, is also the man responsible for a previous novel featuring a protagonist, having already penned the Warhammer Legends novel Skarsnik, along with novellas set in the same region. Anyway, it was a good read – perhaps not quite on a par with Fall of Altdorf, but still well worth reading.

From what I can tell, the actual story of the End Times is now resumed: following the Return of Nagash, we have the Fall of Altdorf while, simultaneously, the Curse of Khaine and Rise of the Horned Rat take place in other parts of the Old World, so are almost branching-off from the timeline. But we’re back on track with the fifth and final novel, The Lord of the End Times!

I’ve since started reading the climactic book, but haven’t really gotten very far. Hopefully next weekend will get there!

Looking ahead

The tease at the end of White Dwarf mentions “Death from the Skies”, which I’m really hoping means we’re finally going to be seeing the Prosecutors, but at this late stage of the game, who really knows! Every rumour I’ve been reading seems to be pointing to the Age of Sigmar releases winding down now, and (possibly) Tau coming up next. In a way, I’m looking forward to this, as I really need to take a break from buying models! I’ve ordered a Celestant-Prime purely for the hilarity factor, though I am kinda looking forward to having a real centrepiece model – of all the stuff I’ve been painting, I don’t actually have anything that’s really big. But I do want to get ahead with those kits I already have – I mean, I haven’t even touched the two Paladins boxes I have yet…

So let’s see what happens next week! Fingers crossed for Prosecutors…

Warhammer Age of Sigmar