Kill Team!

Well, it’s almost upon us, so I thought it about time to come here and waffle for a bit more about how much I’m looking forward to this Kill Team malarcky!

After the launch article earlier this month, I was left somewhere between hoping this would be better than Shadow War: Armageddon, and wanting all of the accessories, no matter how painful it would be for my wallet. Since then, we’ve seen a series of articles on the Warhammer Community site that talks about each of the factions eligible to play in the game, and some of the special rules those factions have. While I have often found myself feeling a little saddened at the narrow focus on models that can be taken in specific armies, I’m nevertheless trying to be hopeful that the game system itself will have enough redeeming features that it will still be a lot of fun to play.

Enter, the latest video!

It seems really interesting to me to see just how similar the rules are to regular 40k, although with a few subtle tweaks that will likely make it difficult to keep a track of. Charging in the movement phase? Interesting. The whole business of fighting on while wounded does feel a little bit weird as well, though a similar situation exists in Shadow War, and I suppose it could be just too devastating for the small model count forces to be picked off. Kill Team should, rightly, be more than regular 40k in 10 minutes…

Skitarii killteam

The datasheets look remarkably similar to those for the regular game of 40k, also!

Overall, I am very excited for the new Kill Team, though I have the usual feeling of not wanting to write on the cards that come with the game to mark things like level-ups, so can see myself getting some sort of alternative solution for that! I like my stuff to be as clean as possible! As to what faction I want to try out first, while I’ll likely be playing something like Necrons, Dark Eldar or Tau, simply because I already have painted models for them, I’m looking forward to trying out some of the smaller forces that I’ve been working on (or planning) for a while now, foremost among them being my Thousand Sons!

Yes, I started building these handsome folk back in November, and have so far managed to get just five of the blighters built up. While I’m still not sure how things like points work for the models in a Kill Team (I have heard that there’s a system similar to power points, where each model is costed, regardless of its wargear), I’m slightly hoping that just five models might be enough, though I might well build up the entire box of ten before I move on to painting them.

Paint scheme is something I’m not 100% sure of just yet, but I’m either going to go for the classic blue and gold, or else a scheme that involves purple. We shall see, I suppose!!

I’m also thinking that this could be the excuse I need to get moving with some Genestealer Cults at last, as well – progress really halted around February time, as I felt it had been too long since I’d painted detailed models properly, and consequently felt my skills had lapsed somewhat. In fact, it was the stumbling block of not getting very far with these guys that led to me picking up the Tau force. I do have a number of minis that have been painted almost to completion, however, so I’m thinking I might possibly try to finish those off in time for the new game. We shall see I guess!

Of course, while I do like the sound of it, and I’m looking forward a great deal to the new style of gameplay and micro-level squad-building, I don’t think this is going to take away from regular 40k for me. I’ve been having the best time playing in 8th edition so far, and so don’t really see myself moving away from that in favour of a smaller-scale game. While it’s nice for the change of pace, and it seems to allow for a whole host of different flavour to come out, ultimately, I want to play with big battlesuits, tanks, and all that cool stuff that doesn’t have a place in a smaller game.

Ashes of Prospero

I’ve recently finished reading the second book in the Space Marine Conquests series, Ashes of Prospero, so thought I’d ramble on here for a bit about some of my thoughts!

Similarly to the first volume in the series, this one takes its focus on a single Space Marine chapter, the Space Wolves, and tells the story of why it’s acceptable to include Primaris Marines in your army if you were on the fence. Well, it’s a little more than just that, but anyway. The story follows Njal Stormcaller as he attempts to relieve himself of a psychic stowaway in his brain, a Thousand Sons sorcerer who was stuck inside the Portal Maze during the razing of Prospero back when Leman Russ was sent to censure Magnus. Njal hopes that he can also liberate members of the 13th Company of Space Wolves who were likewise trapped, and so leads an expedition to the Thousand Sons’ homeworld.

Spoiler Alert: Njal succeeds in battling through the Maze and ridding himself of the psychic presence of Izzakar, and manages to pick up about 200 space marines of the Heresy era, along with all of their attendant tech. Interesting. I’ve read of people speculating this means the Space Wolf codex will include rules for Spartans and Mastodons, but I highly doubt that.

Anyway!

The book felt unnecessarily long, and as with pretty much anything that involves the Space Wolves, includes so many over-the-top Viking references that it feels more like a parody of Space Vikings than an actual serious space marine fighting force. Everything is wolf-this and wolf-that, with faux-Norwegian peppered throughout to give it that rime of hoarfrost that we’ve come to expect. It’s not a long book, but because the action feels so drawn-out, it does feel like a chore to get through.

But that could just be because I’m not a Space Wolves fan!

The good parts were few and far between, but I did like the in-depth look at the launch of the taskforce, as we see the efforts the Navigators go through to enter the Warp. It’s also been a nice sequence so far, with the novels focusing on chapters and their classic enemies: Blood Angels vs Tyranids, and now Space Wolves vs Thousand Sons. The third book has apparently been recently released, and sees the Dark Angels go up against the T’au, so that was a bit of a novelty for me, but even so, it all feels quite thematic.

While I don’t feel that this novel did much to advance the timeline as the first book did, it’s probably worth picking up just to see the little bits and pieces of the 8th edition story come together. Then you can probably pass it along to a charity shop or something…

Warhammer 40,000 news!

Hey everybody!
It’s the Warhammer 40,000 open day today in Nottingham, but I’m at home moving furniture about so couldn’t make it. However, catching up with the news over on the GW Community site, it looks like a tremendous time ahead for the game! Let’s take a look, and then I’ll catch you all up with what I’ve been doing of late, as well! (Spoiler: it isn’t what you might think…)

First of all, following its release yesterday, Necromunda has already got the next gang expansion lined up: House Orlock!

House Orlock is made up of miners and engineers who use ingenuity and grit to solve the various problems of the underhive, whether they’re making sure mining quotas are met or are just working out the best way to neutralise a charging Goliath ganger.

Exciting stuff, I have to say! I think this is actually the best-looking gang so far, and I can definitely see myself going for them – I was planning to go for Escher because I thought the Goliaths look slightly too over-the-top, but these chaps look like they could be exactly what I want in a gang! If nothing else, they are sporting some truly amazing facial hair…

In addition to a new gang, there’s a new book coming out with their rules, and new terrain tiles to further help expand the game! Looks like GW are truly making this a wonderful gaming experience! However, the new Hive Scum are being released in resin, which is not something that I’m looking forward to experiencing. Might have to pass on them.

I’ve not actually had the time to pick up my preorder copy of the game, so need to try harder and get my stuff soon…

While we’re on the subject of Necromunda, have you guys seen this video from Warhammer TV? 3D combat is, of course, what Necromunda was famous for, and while the new boxed game doesn’t have any multi-level terrain, the Gang War book apparently does. Anyway, I got on a real scenery kick earlier this year, building loads of stuff for an Armies on Parade board that never really got off the ground, given that I ended up moving house and all the rest of it, but I do still have a few kits lying around, and have recently managed to consolidate all of the stuff I had built up, following the move. Now that GW are releasing new terrain, and this has cropped up, I’m hoping that we’ll continue to see stuff like this into the future – and, indeed, more videos to inspire all manner of build options!

Back to main-line 40k, now, and the mythical Myphitic Blight Hauler is finally coming out in time for Christmas – and it’s just £15! Having decided to build a Chaos force that is predominantly these lovely chaps, I’m definitely going to pick up this demon engine for the army, and it just looks so cute!

It’s an easy-build kit, and we’re getting more for both Primaris Space Marines and the Death Guard – I actually think it’s a really great way of continuing the Dark Imperium box by having these things available as well. I’ve often thought it’s a bit weird how there are starter boxes with the push-fit models, then if you want anything more added to your force you need to level up your modelling game. Plenty of people are put off by the assembly of these things, and instead have picked up the likes of X-Wing, so having almost a complete range of easy-to-build kits can allow someone to assemble quite a decent army even when they’re an absolute beginner. Sure, it might not look as great to experienced gamers, but I think this is a problem that a lot of commentators seem to forget – experienced gamers are not GW’s intended audience for these kits. Of course, such folks will no doubt buy them anyway, but I don’t think these kits are intended for anybody other than those people who want to spend as little time at the hobby table as possible, and more time at the gaming table. A lot of people are complaining about the Redemptor Dreadnought coming out, due to its mono-pose look – well, luckily for you, you can actually buy a fully-customisable version already! So leave the easy-to-build one alone and move along!

Urgh. Rant over, anyway.

Speaking of Primaris Marines, however, we’re getting two new Lieutenants, one each for the Blood Angels and the Dark Angels, that have all the usual regalia of each chapter, to accompany their respective codex releases in December. Wonderful! I don’t actually have a Blood Angels force, but I have been trying to build a Deathwing army since GW made their first and only foray into the whole Black Friday thing a couple of years ago, and this is the first thing I wanted to talk about when catching you all up with my hobby progress of late!

My Deathwing force has been in a state of partial completion for about two years now, although to date I’ve only got about seven terminators and the venerable dreadnought actually finished. I had some time off work not too long ago, and spent a day building a land raider crusader for them. I love the Deathwing photo spread from the old Dark Angels codex, and have been vaguely modelling my force on that, so definitely wanted to get the big tank for my force.

When I spent some time trying to work out all of the points costs for this force, I think it came in somewhere around 1500 without the land raider, which initially surprised me for such a small force. However, I’m guessing that these chaps will do a lot more damage than otherwise expected… I have got two Vanguard Detachments, due to 3/5 of the old Command Squad now being deemed as characters in their own right, but I am wondering if I really need Belial in the force anymore. He used to negate scattering after you deep strike in, but scattering isn’t in 8th edition, so he’s mainly there for fluff. I suppose we’ll just see how the army evolves!

I’ve already mentioned my Chaos force that I’ve been assembling, of course and wanted to point out the other half of the army – Thousand Sons! I was very taken by these chaps when they were released about a year ago, and had thought about getting some for a Kill Team, but only recently pulled the trigger and picked up a box. Well, I enjoyed putting the Aspiring Sorcerer together so much last weekend that I’ve since bought a second box, as I think I’m going to have at least one Patrol Detachment in my Chaos army of Thousand Sons!

I just hope we get some plastic Noise Marines at some point…!

Finally, we have this handsome fella. I’ve been flirting with Tyranids for so long now, they were almost my first army (but lost out to Necrons), and a couple of times over the years I’ve found myself buying bugs without any real thought to making a force, but just having something utterly alien to paint. Very much like Lizardmen from Warhammer Fantasy, I think I’ve been drawn to Tyranids because they were part of my first exposure to 40k (Space Hulk, of course), and the fact that you can paint them with some really outlandish, almost venomous colour schemes.

More so than that, however, I feel that there is just something so utterly 40k-ish about Tyranids: while Chaos is probably the most over-arching enemy across the majority of 40k literature, I always find myself enjoying far more the books that throw space marines against the big bugs. Shield of Baal is definitely one of the best settings I’ve come across, and books like Warriors of Ultramar and Space Marines Legends: Cassius have proven just how much I enjoy these things.

Since the codex has been released, I’ve been scrabbling about, sorting out my Genestealer Cult models, as well as looking for the other Tyranid models that I’ve bought – I have a Maleceptor kit somewhere, and need to find those Zoanthropes that I built up a while back, too.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on building up the Tyranid Warriors from the Shield of Baal: Deathstorm box, as well as purchasing more reinforcements in the shape of the old Start Collecting box (I do want a Trygon as well, but that Hive Tyrant model looks so damn good!)

I suppose it’s somewhat inevitable, given the fact that I’ve been recently thinking about my Cult models as well, that I would have moved towards building a force – however small – of the bugs those cultists worship. I’ve not properly worked out a list just yet, but I think it’s going to involve a Hive Tyrant surrounded by Warriors, a Broodlord surrounded by Genestealers, and a psychic contingent of Zoanthropes and at least one Maleceptor. I can start thinking about Carnifexes and Trygons further down the line, I think…

I’m really happy to have started in earnest with building some Tyranids to go alongside my Cult. While it has previously always felt a little like a distraction from my main force of Necrons, I think I have enough on the go nowadays that adding one more faction isn’t really going to harm anything!

And who knows? Maybe if plastic Sisters of Battle ever happen, I’ll be adding yet another faction to the never-ending roster!

Games Workshop in 2016

Hey everybody,
I thought it’d be fun to do a little retrospective of all the Warhammer stuff that has been coming out this year, much like my 2015 blog. Games Workshop has really been taking their product to the next level this year, from the Fyreslayers and Sylvaneth released for Age of Sigmar, to the Deathwatch and Genestealer Cults, and latterly the Thousand Sons for Warhammer 40,000. Things that we never thought we’d see got models releases, not to mention the community engagement we’ve seen on social media.

This has been an amazing year for Games Workshop miniatures, and it becomes really difficult to choose the top five…

5. Orruk Maw-Krusha
I really like a lot of the Ironjawz release, and did in fact invest in a Brutes kit to try my hand with. I love the look of the maw-krusha as a big grumpy beast, even if the wings do look odd. It’s a wonderfully compact kit, there’s a boxiness to it that I really like. This big boy is a wonderful miniature, and while I haven’t gotten my hands on one yet, I do keep thinking that maybe one day I’ll invest!

Orruks Ironjawz Age of Sigmar

4. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower
Back in May, the second of two of the best boxed games put out this year by GW hit, and it was glorious. The game comes with 51 miniatures and, while a lot of GW games are usually bought for the miniatures and not the game itself, this time the game was definitely an attraction. Of course, my opinion of the game in the blog I’ve linked to wasn’t particularly glowing in comparison with other dungeon-crawl games but, when it comes to the miniatures, no other game on the market really compares. There are plenty of amazing sculpts in this game, but I have to really single out the elf characters and pink horrors for particular praise. But the Ogroid Thurmaturge… what a spectacular piece of plastic!!

Warhammer Quest Silver Tower Ogroid Thaumaturge

3. Sylvaneth – specifically, the Spite Revenants
There was a beautiful release of Sylvaneth this summer, to support the small force of tree-folk that had branched off (ho-ho-ho!) from the Wood Elves. So many beautiful models, including the Everqueen herself, but I have to single out the Spite Revenants. A dual kit, I love the fact that we have a new look to the tree people, and these part-spirit-part-wood chaps in particular are just amazing. There’s something delightfully malevolent about them, even within an Order faction, and even though I have yet to build up my box of them, I can’t wait to add them to my collection!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

2. Thousand Sons – Rubric Marines
The Thousand Sons release from late this year was something of a surprise, as I hadn’t really thought we’d see God-specific plastic marines, well, ever. Clearly GW are moving in the right direction, though, with the year’s releases as a whole! Traitor Legions has some very exciting rules for all of the traitor legions (no surprises there), which gives me some hope that we’ll be seeing plastic marines for all of the demon primarch releases as time moves along! There are plenty of beautiful miniatures in the Thousand Sons release, but I really have to single out the Rubric Marines for special attention, as they’re by far my favourites. They’re so ornate, as is the rest of the release, but seeing ten of these guys on the front of the box is really stunning.

1. Deathwatch
The Deathwatch has been my absolute favourite of all of this year’s offerings from Nottingham, and while it has been difficult to pin it down to one single model, I think I’ll have to settle for Chaplain Cassius for my all-time favourite miniature of the year. The Chaplain is available from both the Overkill game and his own kill-team box, and is a stunning miniature that I absolutely love! Of course, I also love the MkVIII armour of the Kill Team kit, and have had tremendous fun converting all manner of space marines into Deathwatch battle brothers over the summer! I debated loading Genestealer Cults into this slot also, as they have had some truly amazing kits as well, but I think overall, I prefer the marines of the long watch!

Deathwatch: Overkill - Space Marines

2016 was an absolutely tremendous year for Warhammer miniatures, and I can’t wait to see what amazing stuff is coming our way over the next twelve months…

Weekend reflections

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these weekend reflections types of blogs, but I thought I’d just ramble for a bit about what’s been going on and what I’ve been up to of late, so sit back and enjoy some rambles!

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Forging ahead with #TheBeastArises

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First off, I finished book six in The Beast Arises series, Echoes of the Long War. This was a really good book, showing the Fists Exemplar and the renegade Iron Warriors working together to destroy the Ork menace infesting the world of Prax. The world is a fortress world of the Iron Warriors, but the marines discover the Orks are using it to provide food for their war effort (in the form of human chattel) and so initiate a hidden mechanism in the core of the planet to basically destroy it. Exterminatus is but a mere wipe down with a damp cloth compared with what the Iron Warriors are prepared to do to wipe out the xenos!

In addition, we have some pretty turbulent events taking place on Terra, as Chapter Master Koorland basically takes command of the High Council of Terra, which gives me tremendous hope for the next steps in the war against the greenskins! We also get more on the intrigue on Mars, as the net closes on the assassins placed there back in book two…

I have to say, I’m really impressed with how the series has been progressing, especially over the last couple of books. I was surprised by the inclusion of the Iron Warriors storyline, but as the books have progressed I’ve been finding myself interested in them more and more! In fact, I’ve since moved on to reading the Iron Warriors novel, Storm of Iron, by Graham McNeill! Back last year, I read the first two novels in the Ultramarines series, Nightbringer and Warriors of Ultramar. I know that the next novels have strong ties to the Iron Warriors stories, but hadn’t really looked into the reading order until recently. So wait for that review, coming soon!

Thousand Sons

On the subject of Warhammer 40k stuff, it’s been an exciting weekend for Chaos folks as we see the new releases of Tzeentchy goodness, including these rather magnificent Rubric Marines. I single these out, as I would like to get myself a box soon enough! I mentioned it a while ago that I wanted to build some up, perhaps for a kill team type of thing, but having many projects on the go right now, I’ve managed to resist… for now!

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Let's see what this is all about! #StarWars #games

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That hasn’t stopped me buying other games of course, including the new Star Wars Destiny dice game, and The Sands of Harad for Lord of the Rings! Destiny looks great – I bought both starter boxes and three boosters with the idea that I could try the game out with my buddy Tony, and maybe change up the starter decks if required. I’m disappointed I didn’t get Count Dooku, but from all accounts there appears to be a very small distribution of characters in the game, so I suppose I’m not overly surprised. My usual Magic singles webstore, Magic Madhouse, is selling stuff for the game singly, and I’m a bit surprised at the £6 cost for single cards with dice – but having paid £14 for a single Magic card in the past, I suppose I shouldn’t really be all that surprised… At any rate, I want to actually play the game a bit and get an opinion of it before I go too nuts…

The Sands of Harad looks fantastic, I must say. I talked about this a while ago, where I thought it might be the expansion that really gets me back into the game and, on first glance through, I think that assertion is correct! The artwork is beautiful as always, and has gotten me excited to get back into playing the game. Christmas is only around the corner, of course, and it’s a time of year that I do associate with both the game and the setting, so I’m very excited for this! I’m still featuring the various cycles in game day blogs in the order of their release, but I might be talking about this one more in the near future, so stay tuned for that!

I’ve still got the Arkham Horror LCG waiting to be investigated (pun intended, I think) though I’m not yet in the mood for that one… think it might have to be one of these games where you devote an afternoon to the whole experience of it, you know? Between the deckbuilding and learning the game itself, I’m actually looking forward to it! But, much like my painting, it seems whenever I spend more than an hour doing things these days, I feel like I’m wasting time! Not sure what that’s all about… But at any rate, I plan to set aside some time when I’m next off work (and have no essays due!) so that I can go through it all – and will no doubt be reporting back here in a game day blog soon enough, so stay tuned for that, as well!

I’m ashamed to say that I’ve not really been keeping up with a lot of the new games lately – though I haven’t really seen anything that I can say I’m really super-excited for. I’ve not bought any of the Flashpoint cycle for Netrunner, and the next cyle, Red Sand, has already started the announcements! I haven’t played the game in months though, so should probably look to getting back into that. It seems a lot like Warhammer things have taken over my life the last few months – which I’ve been enjoying, don’t get me wrong! I just think that I’ve been missing out on some other really great games, and it might be time to make a return to some of those…

Falling to Chaos…

I feel like I might be falling to Chaos this winter. Well, more so than usual, anyway…

I’m pretty sure that everyone has by now seen this bad boy, showing some wonderfully greyscale images of new Thousand Sons marines with massive cannons and all kinds of stuff… Well, this morning, the folks at the new Warhammer Community page have dropped this on us all:

Yes, that’s a lot of blue and golden goodness, right there!

They teased this back last month, of course, but seeing these bad boys now has really taken my breath away, and I’ve found myself thinking, I want me some of that…

Sure, I have plenty of models waiting for me to do things with, and I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate turning my Necrons into a viable fighting force for more than just daft and casual games, but yeah…

In all seriousness, I doubt I’ll be throwing away too much money on these guys when they’re released. At most, I’m planning to pick up the Wrath of Magnus book and some Rubric Marines, as I love the look of those guys, but will definitely have to see how the land lies before going deeper.

Having seen the boxes last night, of course, I’ve been mulling things over and, in the shower this morning, began to rationalise my purchasing them by building a Kill Team – I foresee this as being a rationalisation for pretty much every and any release for 40k from this point forward, actually. So, depending on points costs, I might also get some of the Exalted Sorcerers, but the terminators will presumably be precluded from being used.

The important thing, anyway, is that they look lovely, and I want some Tzeentchy goodness for Christmas!

A Thousand Sons

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I hear it's thematic… #HorusHeresy #ThousandSons

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I have finally finished A Thousand Sons! It’s taken almost a month, but I’ve gotten there. What a book!

This is the twelfth novel in the Horus Heresy series from Black Library, and the fourth entry from Graham McNeill, which makes him the most prolific HH writer to this point. I think of all the previous novels, this is most like his novel Fulgrim, in that it is every bit the portrait of a whole Legion, and a wonderful document of their fall from grace.

First – let’s talk about the story.

A Thousand Sons is very much in the mould of earlier HH novels, as it shows us the Legion during a mission of compliance, here bringing the Imperial truth to Aghoru, a desert world with something sinister lurking under the surface. The sons of Magnus are interrupted in their work by the Space Wolves, who request the XV Legion’s assistance but are rebuffed by the Crimson King. The Wolves and the Thousand Sons work together to bring to compliance to the world of Shrike, and during the conflict the two Legions almost come to blows due to the Space Wolves’ distrust of their sorcerous brothers.

We then have a bit of an interlude, during which we see the Legion at Ullanor (where obviously all the main Thousand Sons captains know and are best friends with the Sons of Horus captains), before they are summoned to the world of Nikea for a conference with the Emperor. This turns out to be the famous Council of Nikea, during which the psychic Thousand Sons are censored by the Emperor. They return to their home planet of Prospero, yet continue to study the Warp. Turns out Magnus has had psychic insight into Horus’ fall to Chaos, and is attempting to use his power to turn his brother from evil.

This attempt fails (as anyone who has read False Gods will be aware), and so Magnus implements his plan B, to send a psychic projection to Terra and the Emperor himself, warning of Horus’ treachery. Unfortunately, that’s probably the last thing he should have done after Nikea, and the Emperor sends the Space Wolves, along with an army of Custodian Guards and Sisters of Silence to effectively destroy the Legion. All hell breaks loose on Prospero, but through his immense psychic ability, Magnus manages to transfer just over 1200 of his marines off the planet and to relative safety…

A Thousand Sons

First of all, the story is epic. A lot of people – myself included – have expressed some level of dismay about the way Black Library appear to be milking the storyline of the Horus Heresy into a 30+ book series, when the story itself is kinda straightforward. However, their tacit rebuttal has always been the fact that the story takes in a lot the side events, and the burning of Prospero is one of these. In fact, calling it a “side event” feels like it’s a detraction. The event is pretty huge, as it sees the clash of two Legions before the Heresy proper breaks out.

We have a lot of lore in this story – not least, we have the famed Council of Nikea. This is pretty huge, because this is the first time the Emperor himself has made a physical appearance – and had lines! – in a Horus Heresy novel. Sure, it’s not much, as Malcador is there, but it’s still a big deal. It’s also really interesting to see this stuff go down, though my biggest issue with this point is that there is no reasonable justification given for the prohibition on the use of psykers in the legiones astartes. Indeed, we get a wonderfully moving scene when a whole bunch of librarians from a variety of Legions make a speech advocating for their use, and they draw in the fact that the Emperor himself is the most powerful psyker in the universe. It just smacks of so much hypocrisy, it makes absolutely no sense. Of course, that could be the point, as this novel is told exclusively from the Thousand Sons’ perspective.

The other big thing we get is the whole deal with the Thousand Sons’ geneseed. As you may be aware, a lot of the space marine legions had flawed geneseed, and the Thousand Sons were particularly susceptible to what was called “the flesh change”, whereby the marines could become horribly mutated into Chaos-spawn. Magnus managed to save his sons through psychic training, but in the end battle, many of the marines succumb to this horrifying mutation and die. The irony of this situation is that the Space Wolves have a similar problem, with their Wulfen issue, and yet they are unchecked. Indeed, their librarian is allowed to carry on about his business post-Nikea, which makes the final battle quite satisfying, if you ask me!

I’m really not a Space Wolves fan, and never have been. I find it comical that they howl like wolves, not intimidating, and I imagine that they smell and are generally unpleasant to be around. Because they seem to have such a huge following in the real world, I feel like a lot of literature just tries to do fan-service to these “real-men” space marines, and it really makes me cringe. The worst part of all of this is knowing there is a companion novel to this, told from the Space Wolves’ point of view. And it’s written by Dan Abnett! I actually don’t want to read it (but you know I will be!)

Whereas Fulgrim painted the Emperor’s Children as flawed from the outset, A Thousand Sons is an altogether more complex story. While Magnus doesn’t come across as a sympathetic character in the way Horus does early on, we nevertheless have a Legion that is not fundamentally evil. As the story progresses, we discover that Magnus fatalistically goes along with the Edict of Nikea because he knows that it is the design of Chaos for the Legions to fight, and he is trying to resist this as much as possible. It becomes so much more tragic when you realise that Chaos is going to get its way, if not with the Thousand Sons then with someone else (obviously, the Sons of Horus). Throughout the battle of Prospero, Magnus is withdrawn while his Legion is cut down, until the climax, when we finally see what a powerful psyker can do – no mention is made of the nipple-horns, but I’m sure they scared off many a Space Wolf! The whole fight between Russ and Magnus had me almost-cheering, and provided a really cinematic climax to the novel – something that Graham McNeill really excels at.

However, unlike Fulgrim, A Thousand Sons doesn’t really end with the Legion actually falling to Chaos. It almost ends with a bit of a whisper, we know they’re going to end up the baddies in the blue armour, but there isn’t really much of a hint there. The only thing we have is that the Chief Librarian Ahzek Ahriman is studying the Book of Magnus for a way to combat the flesh change and save his Legion. The only really bad thing they’re doing right now is contravening the Edict of Nikea by continuing to use their psyker abilities – you know, like how the Emperor and Malcador continue to use theirs, as well…

It’ll certainly be interesting to see what’s next for the sons of Magnus!