Sin of Damnation

Hey everybody!
I recently finished reading the novella Sin of Damnation, also known as Space Hulk: the novel, so thought I’d turn this week into some kind of Warhammer 40k nostalgia week and talk about it here for a bit!

The novella runs to just under 100 pages, and reads a lot like a disaster movie. It’s basically a novelisation of the events of the classic board game, and takes us though the Blood Angels first company boarding the space hulk Sin of Damnation. I thought it was quite funny how it felt a little like a RPG storyline, with the terminators fulfilling objectives aboard the space hulk at the direction of the off-screen Captain Raphael, who seemed to be some kind of weird GM.

Of course, there is a lot of space marine vs genestealer action in the book, with some really nicely written parts from the point-of-view of the Broodlord. While the story lacks the scope of something like Shield of Baal: Deathstorm, there is nevertheless the sense that this is the antecedent of the Shield of Baal storyline.

As the story went on, I thought it was interesting to note that there were multiple Broodlords within the hulk, something I guess I hadn’t thought about previously. Just assumed that there’d be one overall leader that directed the hive mind. But there we go!

The book also includes a second short story that was published in the 2014 edition, Sanguis Irae, which follows the librarian Calistarius on another hulk, as he delves into the mind of a long-comatose Blood Angel who has managed to preserve his life despite being in the grip of the Black Rage, enough to allow his battle brothers to defeat a Navigator-Broodlord aboard the vessel. That was weird, I have to say, and I found myself trying to work out how such a creature would come to be – presumably a member of the Navis Nobilite was infected by a genestealer, so the child was both purestrain and a navigator? Who knows. The story was quite intriguing in the way it blended the recollections of the Black Rage guy, along with the fact that the Black Rage basically makes a Blood Angel believe he is Sanguinius in his final moments aboard the Vengeful Spirit. The three timelines of the story worked quite well, at any rate, and it wasn’t as confusing as perhaps it could have been!


Anyway, all this talk of genestealers has me wanting to share with you all some progress with my own brood!

As you know, I’ve been struggling for years now to get my Genestealer Cult models painted – I love the army, and love the models, but find it extremely difficult to actually make any headway with the force, due to the models being so insanely detailed. I recently managed to finish 11 Neophyte Hybrids, which I think has helped a great deal to see how I can get the colour scheme painted in bulk, and have therefore been ploughing ahead with some Acolyte Hybrids this time around – as well as the first of my Purestrains!

The minis are definitely coming along nicely, I think! I’m a little concerned that they look a bit too blue in comparison with the Neophytes, but they are more hunched, so it is slightly more difficult to make out the points of similarity between the two troops choices. But they’re painted with the same fatigues, armour and such – it’s just that the Acolytes have more carapace on show!

I’m quite pleased that I’ve managed to get these painted in a little less than a month, however – especially considering there has been a lot of Necron activity going on in the month, also!

I’m pretty much committed to playing the Cult in Kill Team for now, anyway, so I’ve got a few more models I want to paint up for that, then I’ll have my main force finished. My local GW has a campaign starting on the 15th, though I’m currently away on honeymoon so won’t be able to join in with that quite yet! Once I have my Cult sorted though, I’ll be able to focus once more on getting the Necrons reanimated in the Thokt Dynasty colour scheme, and that will likely take me up to the end of the year! Splendid!

Space Hulk!

Hey everybody!
It’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another game day blog here at spalanz.com! To celebrate the return of the classic boardgame Space Hulk to stores this weekend, I thought I’d get all topical-like, and look at the game that I picked up back in September 2014 – let’s go purge some xenos!

Space Hulk

The original game dates from 1989, and was instrumental in launching terminators and genestealers into the Warhammer 40,000 universe as the icons that they remain today. Over the years, there have been a number of re-iterations of the game, as detailed in a recent article on the Warhammer Community pages, with third edition coming in 2009, and the current, fourth edition, coming five years later. Common to all iterations, of course, is the cast of twelve Blood Angels terminators, and the horde of genestealers:

Space Hulk

Space Hulk is played in Missions, and there are sixteen missions included in the Mission Book. Each mission will tell you how many models you start with – how many marines, and what they’re equipped with, and how many ‘blips’ the Genestealer player starts with. There are a number of entry pointed marked on the set-up map, from where the blips can enter the board on the Genestealer player’s turn. I’ll talk more about this in the Reinforcement Phase, below.

Command Phase
At the start of the turn, the Space Marines player randomly selects a command points counter, each numbered from 1-6, to indicate how many command points he has for that turn. Space Marines can take a number of set actions, however these points indicate the number of additional actions the marines can take. If the marines use more command actions than is printed on the token, they automatically lose!

Once the command points counter has been placed, the Genestealer player starts the timer, which gives the marines a defined window of 2’43 to take actions for the entire team.

Action Phase
Each Space Marine has 4 action points he can use to take a number of actions, from a menu of 11 total actions. Each of these actions takes up a number of action points, such as opening a door for one point, or firing a heavy flamer for two points. You need to completely finish the activation of each marine before moving on to the next – the only exception being if you then come back to that marine to spend a command point. While firing their storm bolters at the genestealers itself costs a point, marines can also fire at the end of some movements for no additional cost.

When moving, models move in the direction they are facing, and to turn 90° costs the marines an action point. These marines are clad in tactical dreadnought armour (terminators, to you and me!) and so are fairly bulky; the narrow confines of the space hulk therefore impede their movement, whereas the Genestealers are much more lithe and nimble.

Genestealers have a total of 6 action points in their turn, and can spin about to change their facing at no extra cost once they have spent each of those points.

Space Hulk

Shooting stuff
Space Marine Terminators are equipped with a panoply of wargear that will help them to purge the xenos aboard the space hulk, most commonly the storm bolter, but also larger stuff like the heavy flamer or assault cannon, and combat stuff like power fists and lightning claws. Each of these weapons has various rules associated with it, as detailed in the rulebook. Storm bolters and assault cannons have no maximum range, you just need to see the model you’re trying to hit. The flamer is an area-effect weapon that can only hit up to twelve squares away. When rolling to hit, you roll two dice for storm bolters, three for assault cannons, and as many as there are models in the area for flamers, and if you roll a 6+, a 5+ or a 2+ for each respective weapon, you hit the model and it is destroyed.

Normally, you can only do stuff on your own turn, but the marines can take an Overwatch action which effectively readies them to fire at genestealers on their turn, instead. Only assault cannons and storm bolters can do this. Overwatch shooting takes place at the end of each genestealer’s action within 12 squares and line of sight of the marine on Overwatch. It can be a useful tactic to put a marine on Overwatch, to force the Genestealer player to re-think their strategy if they don’t want to lose that model.

Unfortunately, Overwatch does come with a price for the marines and, if he rolls doubles on the shooting roll, the weapon jams and he will need to spend an action point on his own turn to clear that jam. So he might be valiantly placed to cause the genestealers to pause in their advance but, on the first roll his weapon jams, and they’ll be all over him like a rash!

Space Hulk

Close Assault
As well as shooting storm bolters and stuff, marines come equipped with power swords and chainfists to use in melee fights with the genestealers. However, close assault is really where the xenos menace excels, so you probably don’t want to end up there!

Space Hulk

In close assault, genestealers get to roll three dice, while marines only roll one; whoever rolls the highest result on a single die wins the assault, and the other models is removed as a casualty. Space Marine Sergeants get to add +1 to their roll, which gives them a bit of an edge, while a marine with lightning claws rolls two dice in close assault. Additionally, marines can spend two action points to go on Guard, meaning they’re ready for the assault and can re-roll their die in combat. So they’re not entirely squishy!

Reinforcement Phase
After the Action Phase comes the Genestealer’s turn, starting with placing a number of ‘starting blips’ at the entry points on the space hulk as mentioned earlier. These blips are numbered from 1-3, and show how many models they will turn into – however, in keeping with the suspense of the game, the marines won’t know how many genestealers are out there until they’re converted into actual models.

Space Hulk

Before conversion, blips can move around the map like regular models, spending up to six action points per blip as described. If the blip hasn’t activated, the player can choose to convert it into a number of models shown on the token, placing one on the square the blip had been occupying and the remainder adjacent to it. If the space marines can ever draw a line of sight to the blip, then it is “involuntarily converted”, and the Space Marines player gets to place the genestealer models.

It’s worth noting that the number of genestealer models is limited to the number of them included in the game, though there are 22 models plus the Broodlord, so you probably won’t be needing a lot more than that!

Mission Status Phase
At the end of all of this, each player checks for his victory condition, before then removing all Overwatch/Guard counters from the game (and revealing that Command Points token to show the marines didn’t overspend!) and a new round begins.

The mission I’ve been using to demonstrate throughout this game day blog is Beachhead, which runs to 12 turns and allows the marines to win if they still have at least seven men standing, and have eradicated the genestealer threat. The Genestealer player wins if there are less than five space marines alive, however, so the game could potentially last fewer turns if the genestealers have been super aggressive!

Space Hulk

There are, of course, multiple other rules for things like objects that are specific to the mission, and there are two ‘special’ characters in the game, the Librarian and the Broodlord, who have abilities that can impact on the game in different ways. The Librarian is a psyker, and has three Psychic Powers he can use. Each costs a Psi point, and he starts out with 20 such points. There is a whole section of the Mission Status Display board devoted to tracking his use of these points. His psychic powers can be used to move the command point tracker back one, gaining additional command actions on a turn, as well as blocking access to squares with a powerful Force Barrier. Finally, his Psychic Storm power can empty a board section of genestealers or blips on a 4+ (or destroy individual targets on a 2+). However, the Broodlord is a powerful genestealer, and has the ability to increase his close assault rolls and requires two hits to kill in shooting attacks – and is immune to Psychic Storm!

Space Hulk

Back in the first edition of Space Hulk, there were a couple of expansions that increased the options of play: Genestealer, which brought in new rules for psychic combat as well as five Grey Knights terminators and genestealer hybrids, and Deathwing, which introduced both the elite Dark Angels terminators and options for solo play. Subsequent editions haven’t seen as much love, with the last two being limited, one-time releases only. However, there are some electronic rules for adding in Space Wolves, Ultramarines and Deathwing terminators to the current ruleset, and given the current mood at GW for producing board games like these once again, maybe we’ll see full-fledged expansions for the game once more – outside of the odd White Dwarf mission, and the like…

Space Hulk

Space Hulk is, of course, a classic of board games, and beloved by many since its initial release back in 1989. It’s currently in its 4th edition, which Games Workshop is trotting out for the second time now (though I picked it up the first time around in 2014). While I am struggling a little to make it out, I do believe this is an actual “return”, and not another limited-release thing where they have it on the shelves for a couple of weeks, then you’re having to sell organs to get a copy on ebay as the only viable alternative. So this – if it is indeed true – is yet another positive move on GW’s part in really becoming a workshop of games, and bringing back an absolute classic from the genre!

For my battle brothers! – revisited

Hey everybody!
It’s game day Tuesday, and in the spirit of trying something different, today I’m doing a sort of twelve-months-on thing for a blog I wrote last September, around the very excellent Space Hulk: Death Angel from Fantasy Flight!

Space Hulk Death Angel

I have no idea if this will become a regular thing, though I think it might be nice to look back on some of the games that were featured here as a first look rather than because I have a lot of experience with the game. So I’ll take a look at the initial blog, see if I’ve changed my mind on some things, and just generally waffle in my own inimitable way! You’re probably used to that, by now, anyway!

So!

I suppose the main thing from my previous blog was that the game was super-difficult, super-thematic, and super-fun, with some print-on-demand expansions that really add to that all around. Having played a fair few games with this now, some with the expansions thrown in, I can definitely say that my initial assessment still stands!

Space Hulk Death Angel

There is a whole load of flavour coming out of this game, as you set up the formation, you lay out the locations, and then fill the blip piles. You can almost hear the tension as the event card is flipped and those genestealers are spawned… Or maybe I play too many solo games. Whatever. There is definitely a moment of dread as you see the bugs spawn behind your marine, and you’re left wondering if that chump with range 1 will be enough to take out the swarm…

Which brings me onto something that I think is slightly unexpected – or at least, I wasn’t expecting it! More than any other game I’ve played, this one has forced me to think much more tactically about how I play. I think I’ve mentioned a few times now how I really only play games for amusement and don’t take them seriously at all – the few times I’ve played against a really tactical player I’ve ended up ruining their day by just going into the middle and blowing stuff up. I can kinda see how that could be irritating, too – maybe I should take things a little more seriously… Anyway, with this game, I’ve suddenly begun to think super tactically about how I set the formation, where the marines are facing and who can cover who, etc. It’s something that has really surprised me, as in the past I would have set this game up completely at random, thinking I’ll react to things once they’ve happened.

This is definitely a new experience for me, anyway!

Space Hulk Death Angel

The expansions to this game are just terrific, as well. I’ll keep the discussion focused on Mission Pack 1 and Marine Pack 1, as they’re the ones I’ve used most often, but all four have so much to commend them!

Mission Pack 1, above, includes a whole new set of rooms to explore, along with an extra room and a new type of enemy, the adrenal genestealer. In the tabletop game, adrenal glands make Tyranid creatures fight into a frenzy, making them tougher to kill. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really come through in the mechanics here, where the big difference about this monster is that he has two movement icons, making them more likely to move when the event card is drawn. It’s kind of a deal, but not really. If he made two attacks, or something, then it could perhaps be more in-keeping with the fluff, but no matter. I do like the fact that, if the attack rolled a 0, the swarm will shift down and attack again, but this never came up in the games I played to really get the effect.

Playing with Mission Pack 1 is the only time I have actually won this game, which is something that definitely goes in its favour! I can’t say that the new rooms add anything specifically new to the game, they’re very much in the vein of more of the same, but that doesn’t really matter as it’s different enough that it can still provide some tension if the base game is becoming stale.

Space Marine Pack 1 brings two new teams to the table, and I have to say, I really like both of them! In my blog the first time around, I thought the grey team looked good, but I have to say, they’re both really great – the dark orange team proved to be particularly effective in the games I’ve played with them! In addition to the “target lock” support card that allows you to place a support token on a swarm, and use that to re-roll attack and defense rolls, the “cyclonic volley” attack card proved to be incredibly useful! I lost track of the amount of times I wound up saying, “Brother Adron, you animal!” as he decimated through the swarms!

I’ve only tried the Deathwing marines once, using half the pack essentially, and these guys look like a lot of fun. A lot of the cards seem like they should be incredibly overpowered – cards that let you attack in the support phase, cards that let you just spend support tokens to slay genestealers – but they really aren’t, which I suppose says a lot about the balancing of the game! There’s a card called Secrets of the Brethren that allows a marine to spend tokens to slay genestealers, rather than roll that damn die, but whenever I’d managed to set it up so that he could do some major damage, I would always draw the event card Stalking from the Shadows prior to his attack. And because I’m an incredibly lucky person like that, he would be the only viable target to have all of his support tokens removed. So yeah. Tough.

I’ve mentioned the Tyranid expansion before of course, and I can’t say my feelings there have changed, either! Very brutal, though you can get lucky and only draw generic Tyranids, which are really no different to the genestealers from the main game. I do wish there had been more alternate art used for the generic bugs, though I suppose with four other types of Tyranid creatures in the deck, overall there is enough variety.

Space Hulk Death Angel

Overall, I love this game. I love how it makes me think about what I’m doing, and how difficult it can be to overcome. When you lose, it makes you want to try again, and when you win, it still makes you want to try again! Due to the amazingly modular nature of the components, it never feels like a solved game, so you keep trying no matter what. If you can get past the weird nature of the rulebook (or just check out youtube!) then you’re in for a really great experience. This is definitely a game that I am glad to have in my collection!

Post #345, or A Catch Up

Hey everybody!
It feels like a long time has passed since I’ve written a non-game-day blog, so thought I’d write something meandering and wonderful today as a sort of catch-up. Like the tradition of Age of Sigmar posts that I wrote over the summer for each release week, I guess!

Getting right into it, then, I’m kinda pleased to see the emphasis on Tau coming from Games Workshop, as it really gives my wallet a rest! Having invested heavily in Age of Sigmar during the summer (as you all know!) I’m glad for the respite here, though the models do look really nice. Something particularly impressive is the Tidewall, a terrain piece that, should I collect Tau, I’d most certainly be drooling over!

Tau Tidewall

Fortunately, I collect Necrons, but I really hope this means we’ll be seeing more diverse scenery kits in the coming months, and perhaps we’ll get something for the undying legions soon! Amazingly, the pre-order for this has already sold out within an hour of going up on the webstore, so it looks like we’re back to End Times/Shield of Baal shenanigans once more… At any rate, they look cool!

Games Workshop have also produced a sort of campaign box set but not, in that they have also put out for preorder two box sets, one for Tau and one for Space Marines. They look like the expansions to the Warhammer 40k starter set, Dark Vengeance. What’s interesting is that these have the “Damocles Warzone” icon on the boxes, which could be suggesting we’ll be seeing a lot more of these mission-orientated boxes in the future. Though the price tag isn’t exactly all that inspirational – I’m assuming they’re priced so high due to having vehicles as well as infantry models, but it’ll be interesting to see what comes next for 40k. Damocles was between Raven Guard and Tau, and the second such warzone supplement, Damnos, was fought by the Ultramarines and Necrons. So we’ll see what turns up next…

While I am still very much excited about pretty much anything that comes out of Nottingham these days, I’ve been feeling that my painting skills have atrophied since the spate of painting Stormcast Eternals over the summer. In an effort to try to revitalise my interest, I bought myself a Tyranid carnifex just over a week ago, thinking that having something completely new to paint would help re-inspire me or whatever, and for a time it did, as I was considering various paint schemes for the guy, but sadly I built the entire model up before painting, meaning that a lot of him is particularly difficult to get to now:

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More #Tyranids progress! Going slow… #Warhammer40k

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So I’ve kinda lost interest there. I’ve been trying out a new scheme for them, and alongside the carnifex I have the broodlord from the Space Hulk game that I’ve been fiddling with. Progress has come to a standstill, anyway, and I’m currently thinking I might just move back to some Necrons and see if I can’t recapture some of the patience and skill from the summer. Stay tuned!

With so much Warhammer going on, it’s perhaps no surprise to anyone that this has made a come back in recent weeks, too:

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#SpaceHulk #gamenight

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Stay tuned for more here, as I will be once again featuring this in a game day blog next week!

On the subject of board games, anyway, I’ve not really been that inspired by some of the latest stuff from Fantasy Flight, sad to say. We’ve had the Tyranid deluxe expansion for Warhammer Conquest (there’s just no escaping those bugs!) and Imperial Entanglements for the Star Wars LCG, along with some previews for the new Runebound and, most recently, Warhammer Quest. Of all of this, I’ve been most intrigued by the latter, which is shaping up to look like a really exciting card game, with elements of both Lord of the Rings LCG and Rune Age coming through (to me, at least). Very excited for this one, I must say!

For the most part, however, I seem to have been ploughing my money into Magic: the Gathering. I mentioned this on a blog back in July, where I’d finally discovered it and it looked like a really great game. Having tried it out a few times with my usual gaming buddy, I can confirm that initial reaction was correct, though I haven’t gotten to play all that much with it, proportionate to my investment in the game to date. While I’ve been buying the odd bits to make up a couple of Standard decks, I’ve also been delving into the recent past, buying cards from the past 9 or 10 years of sets just because they look cool.

This has, in turn, made me reconsider how I actually store my games in general. Having looked into the Magic community only a little, something has nevertheless come through very clearly, and that’s the time and effort that goes into protecting the cards as an investment. I’ve always thought of games as just games, and something to pass the time rather than anything more serious, but having spent a fair bit of money now on individual cards, my whole paradigm has shifted! I’ve not only been double-sleeving my Magic decks to ensure they remain as pristine and neat as possible, but I’ve also bought some pro-binders to keep my Lord of the Rings LCG cards in, as that’s certainly the game I’ve played with the most, and the cards – while I take good care of all my games – are in danger of seeing wear soon.

I never thought I’d spend so much money on gaming accessories…

So anyhow, that’s that! My latest degree module has now begun, Myth in Greece and Rome (I think it’s called), with the first essay due next week. In the final year now, so that’s getting real. Nevertheless, I’m hoping I’ll still be posting here with more frequency than of late – it’s always quite upsetting to see just one post a week in my history, whether anyone reads them or not…!

Week off, last day

Ah, this happened far too quickly! Doesn’t seem like five minutes since I was looking at the grand vista of a whole nine days off work!

This last weekend has been pretty quiet and uneventful as things go, at any rate. Yesterday I had the very exciting game with the new co-op scenario for Descent, Nature’s Ire, which I mentioned yesterday anyway, but just wanted to re-iterate how much fun these co-op scenarios are! Highly recommended, to all!

This afternoon/evening, I actually did a spot of miniatures painting, too!

Last September, Games Workshop brought out a fourth edition of the classic Space Hulk boardgame, which I initially resisted, but decided to just throw caution to the winds and snap up, as I fell entirely for the whole limited-availability thing. While I did build up the miniatures towards the end of that month, but it’s just been languishing in my spare room ever since. However, I had a small problem with one of the genestealers coming in the box broken, and GW replaced the entire sprue – awesome customer service, right there! It was the sprue with the Broodlord on, though I didn’t do anything with the extras – until today!

I’m actually really excited to be painting these chaps, as I felt like the whole Space Hulk thing was a bit of an event, back in the day, so it’s nice to kinda get a bit more of that. I’ve so far only painted one base coat onto them, just the decking bits, but it’s good to be finally doing something with these miniatures, I have to say!

So now I’m in a bit of a quandary over the colour scheme I want to use. Part of me wants a traditional-looking game, with the purple and navy genestealers as per normal:

genestealers

However, there are so many interesting-looking colour schemes out there for Tyranids in general, I’m really not sure what I want to do! I bought a Maleceptor at the beginning of the year that I’m still planning to paint in Hive Fleet Eumenides colours, but we’ll see what happens. Crazy times, people – anything could happen!!

Speaking of painting stuff, I didn’t win the painting competition at my local store – though seriously, I never had any illusions of victory! More than anything, it got me somewhat out of my painting funk, but check out the winner:

Amazing stuff, I have to say. You can just about see my Saurus Oldblood under his wing, too!

So yeah, anyway, it’s been a fantastic week, over all-too-quickly, but at least next weekend is Easter, so at least there’re a couple of short weeks coming up! Marvellous!

Ah, Spirits! and other sundries

Hey everybody!
I’ve just been taking a look around at some of the excellent blogs you good people are writing here on wordpress this fine evening, and would like to draw your collective attention to a wonderful pair, both of which sport a Warhammer theme, so prepare yourselves!

First is this from Roemer’s Workshop, showing his work on some Spirit Hosts. These guys accompanied the first round of End Times releases last Autumn, which centred on the megalithic release that was Nagash. I bought all of the wave one End Times kits, and actually built and painted the Spirits that release weekend – because I took the sprues out of the box to look at, and couldn’t fit them back in…

Part One
Part Two

They’re actually among my favourite models that I’ve painted to date, I suppose partially due to the fact they were pretty much entirely done with washes rather than complex paint jobs!

 

Warhammer Spirit Hosts

The second blog I’d like to direct you to is from the awesome manofyesterday, a review of the card game Space Hulk: Death Angel. I’ve looked at this myself in the past, of course, but I always enjoy reading other peoples’ opinions of games I have played. I also wrote my entry after only one play (though have subsequently played it more often), so I don’t really think mine constitutes a review proper. It’s good to see that I’m not the only one who finds this game tough yet enjoyable, at any rate! Something that I particularly like about the game is how tactical it is, which is echoed quite strongly in manofyesterday’s review. Definitely check it out!

Anyhow. I’ll be back tomorrow with another game day blog – again in the vein of trying something new, so will see you then!

Ah, Sunday!

Morning everyone!
It’s a sunny day here in the UK so far, which is good for the Remembrance Day services taking place throughout the country. It’s actually quite sedate and quiet in my little corner of the realm, too, which is very pleasant!

So, as you know, there have been some pretty major developments in the LCG world, starting with the introduction of Rotation a la Magic into the tournament scene. Of course, it’s not quite as bad as Magic, where players pretty much need to change their entire card pool to stay current. But still, while it’s a sensible move that should help lower the bar of entry for new folks, there is a part of me that sympathises with folks who are suddenly seeing their cards with finite lifespans now. As a non-tournament player (hell, I barely get to play at all these days!), it doesn’t really affect me, but still.

A Game of Thrones is also moving to a 2nd Edition, which I will in all likelihood not buy into. I’ve spent far too much money on the game already to want to start over, plus for all the time I get to play it, it’s just not worth it. It is, to me, a very good game as it stands, so given how I don’t play in tournaments, I have no real need to buy it all over again.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of other news coming out of Fantasy Flight this past week, however. Lord of the Rings LCG has had two very exciting announcements, but beyond that, it’s largely been taken up with the Worlds hoopla.

So first of all, Heirs of Númenor is getting its Nightmare Mode decks, which look like they’re really great. Something that particularly appeals to me is the new Peril in Pelargir, which sees a situation similar to that introduced in the nightmare Hunt for Gollum. In both cases, the nightmare mode introduces a much more aggressive encounter deck that actively works towards its own win condition, rather than passively waiting for the players to lose. Looking forward to seeing these!

The Treason of Saruman

The next Saga box has also been announced, The Treason of Saruman. Taking us through the first half of The Two Towers, we get a Fellowship version of Aragorn, as well as the possibility of new Hero versions of Gimli and Legolas, characters who haven’t seen an update since the Core Set. Of course, they’re both great cards, so whether they need an update is debatable, but it seems that fans of the game expect one, given how many times other heroes have seen new versions (Fellowship Aragorn will be that character’s fourth incarnation as a hero). It looks like it should be pretty amazing, anyway, with 11 new player cards that will hopefully add some more to the Rohan trait, so I’m really looking forward to this!

The Treason of Saruman

New packs for Warhammer Conquest and Android Netrunner have also been announced, and we’ve seen another preview for Imperial Assault. As far as new releases go, we’ve finally got our hands on some of the new LCG stuff in the UK…

IMAG1251

Ah, wonderful! I’ve not really looked into these cards yet, but take a look here at a very brief overview of the Descent stuff!

Y’know, I talk a lot about upcoming games and new releases here in this blog, but it seems to me that I never go into great detail over playing games, except in my Game Day blogs. Well, this past week I’ve only managed two games, due to one thing or another, but still! The other day I played Space Hulk: Death Angel again, adding the Tyranid expansion for a bit of variety. You may not be aware that Games Workshop are currently releasing more Tyranid monsters, but I’ve found myself somewhat enamoured of these big bugs, and have been thinking about getting myself a second army. I haven’t – heck, my Necrons are still troop-less – but still. Playing Space Hulk: Death Angel was therefore a useful way of getting my fix, I suppose!

Space Hulk Death Angel

If you haven’t already read my blog linked earlier, you really should take a look! Then come back here and laugh at how badly things are going in the above picture! The Tyranid cards are a lot more brutal than the Genestealers from the base game. Some of them have abilities on them, which can make the game so much more difficult than usual.

Space Hulk Death Angel

As a pretty difficult game anyway, this can be quite torturous! The way the swarms kept leaping around, however, made my best-laid plans crumble right before me. However, this is only my second game, so I’m hopeful that things might get better…

Speaking of Tyranids…

More bugs are on their way! Following last week’s big bug news, we’ll next be seeing some rather beautiful drop pods for the Tyranids – the Tyrannocyte/Sporocyst kit!

These things really are the sort of repulsive monstrosity that would make me fear the Tyranid army more than anything.

I’ve mentioned before how some of these models have the xenomorph look to them, of course, and something that really terrifies me about the Alien films is not the actual alien itself, but the breeding-chamber sequences. This latest kit seems to really draw on that kind of fear as well. A lot of the xenos stuff tries to play on these sorts of primal fears, it seems, including my own Necrons, with kits like the Tomb Stalker and Canoptek Acanthrites.

So yeah. The Tyrannocite is the drop-pod of the Tyranid army, fired at a planet in order to disgorge the Tyranids inside directly into battle. Alternatively, you can make a Sporocyst and Mucolid Spore:

Delightful, no? The Sporocyst is essentially an armoured bunker that spews forth spore mines, and the Mucolid Spore floats around the battlefield until it explodes over its enemies. Ah, bio-warfare!

It’s been mentioned before, of course, but I’m always a little surprised by the GW “web bundles” as being exactly the same price as the individual models. It seems odd because I would have thought almost any other company would have given a small discount for the bulk-buy, but evidently not!

Anyhow, these models do look really good, and should form a wonderful basis for a Tyranid swarm. Still not entirely convinced I want to get a second xenos army though – I bought last week’s White Dwarf thinking it might be handy if I come to get into Tyranids, but I’m not 100% sure. Even so, I love just how much new stuff they’re getting right now, and hope Tyranid players are as excited as I am!

I find myself hoping that my beloved Necrons will see a similarly awesome release when their time comes around. Which will hopefully be sooner rather than later!

The rumours still have more Tyranids on the horizon, however, with wave three consisting of the plastic remake of the Zoanthrope kit. Also, we have yet to see the rumoured new HQ for the Tyranids, so maybe there will be a fourth wave? November appears to be shaping up into quite the Tyranid month! Assuming Blood Angels really are next, then, I won’t likely be getting a Necron codex until the new year.

At least that gives me plenty of time to paint up my models…

Anyway!

Yesterday, I got in a game of Runebound. This game is truly excellent, as I’ve already mentioned here in my blog. It’s currently in something of a limbo, however, while a possible third edition is in the works, making it very difficult to get hold of. It’s one of my all-time favourites, at any rate, and I always enjoy escaping into Terrinoth for a while!

Runebound

Runebound is also one of these games that works well as something of an event. Last year, in the run up to Christmas, I played a series of games on Saturday night as a series of “Big Game Saturdays” – Runebound (Mists of Zanaga), Arkham Horror (Kingsport Horror), Fortune & Glory (with all the expansions), leading up to A Touch of Evil on Christmas eve, and then Eldritch Horror on Christmas day. Fantastic times, I feel! Not sure whether I’ll be doing that again this year, but I had so much fun last night that it’s a distinct possibility! I think one of the big appeals for me was that I used a character I don’t normally play, and a small adventure variant I don’t normally go for, and really just went forth on the adventure!

I really hope FFG haven’t completely abandoned Runebound. At GenCon this year, they made the very cagey reply that yes, they did still have plans for Runebound, before moving very swiftly on, but then they work a couple of years in the future, so we may not be seeing anything for a while. Or we may see something sooner, and that’s one of the reasons why Descent has suddenly slowed down. Who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Unlike A Game of Thrones, however, I’d very likely snap up a third edition of Runebound simply because it’s Runebound!