Warhammer Reflections – 4 years on

Hey everybody,
It’s approaching the time of year where I generally get quite nostalgic for my “career” within the Warhammer hobby, so I thought I’d ramble a bit here about some of the good times I’ve had with little plastic men over the last four years. In a manner of speaking…

Can you believe it’s been four years since I started this little adventure? Well, if you’re a long-time reader of this blog, you’re not only extremely classy, but you probably can… It all started because of Shadows of Brimstone, that kickstarter from Flying Frog Productions that I backed massively, only to find out in the months following the end of the campaign that the miniatures would require assembly. To practice, I therefore bought a Beast of Nurgle from Games Workshop, having been aware of their products for a number of years thanks to the card game Warhammer: Invasion, and the rest, as they say, is history.

As a side note, I should really look at doing a blog devoted to that game. I know it’s long-dead, but it was one of my all-time favourites, so definitely deserves some love here on the blog!

While I was initially really heavily into the Old World, due in part to the fact that I was so familiar with the card game, I think the negative reactions I was exposed to following the End Times series really started me moving away from the fantasy setting, and instead looking into the 40k stuff. While I felt like I had a decent grounding, between the card game and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, I was really flying blind when it came to the grim dark of the far future, but threw myself into the lore of the Necrons, having discovered the Lychguard kit (as has been mentioned on this blog before, of course!) I suppose, to some extent, it was only natural that I would gravitate towards those chaps, seeing as how I was a huge Tomb Kings fan. It was a real heartache when I recently decided to sell my stock of TKs, having been so assiduous in gathering up as many of the kits as I could when they went Last Chance to Buy. But that’s beside the point.

I really enjoyed the look of metallic skeletons, and as has been well chronicled on the blog now, I really fell for those Lychguard like there was no tomorrow. While they weren’t the only contenders for my first 40k army – it was a toss-up between Necrons, Tyranids and Dark Eldar as to who I was going to pursue as a first army choice – the undead space robots won out! Tyranids were an extremely close second, due in part to the awesome Shield of Baal series that started very soon after I’d made the decision, but I think I’ll always love those undead space robots…

Of course, since then I’ve managed to build up an extremely large Dark Eldar army, as well as having started to build a number of big bugs, too! Recently, I’ve embarked on repainting my Necron force, as it was my first army (and you can tell), though I’ve not yet managed to get very far. Always something to distract me!

It’s really been 40k that has been a driving force behind my passion and enthusiasm for this hobby, despite dipping my toe into fantasy every once in a while. I have very fond memories of the launch of Age of Sigmar, and while I’ve bought and sold more fantasy armies than I care to remember, I think I’m definitely keeping hold of my Stormcast Eternals for the fact that I enjoyed assembling that force so much.

Age of Sigmar

40k has been huge for me since then, and I honestly can’t ever see myself moving away from it. Whether it’s through the tabletop game itself, or any of the specialist games like Deathwatch Overkill or Necromunda – or even keeping some of the FFG games alive such as Conquest or, the classic, Space Hulk Death Angel – I can see myself forever staying with the grim dark of the far future, and look forward to sharing that with as many people as possible.

It’s definitely been an exciting four years, and there has been so much that I’ve enjoyed. While this blog started life as a sort of general nerdy thing with a lot of variety (at least, I think it did!), I’ve been very conscious of the fact that it has now become very focused on Warhammer, with Magic and Star Wars being a bit of a sideline.

And this is because I basically love the Warhammer 40k universe now!

I had a bit of a realisation a week or so ago, as I was laboriously reading through the latest new canon Star Wars novel Last Shot, that I don’t actually enjoy the new Star Wars as much as I enjoyed the franchise back before 2015. I don’t mean to turn this into some kind of Warhammer 40k vs Star Wars debate, but let’s leave it at I’m enjoying the former an awful lot more than the latter, right now!

And I suppose that’s partly due to the interactive nature of Warhammer 40k for me. There hasn’t really been a stand-out Star Wars game since WotC produced Star Wars miniatures, whereas there’s a whole hobby-gaming side to 40k that makes it a great deal more immersive.

I’d like to think that I’ve improved a great deal as a painter in the last four years – certainly, I’m more willing to show off my Drukhari, my Genestealer Cult, or my Thokt Necrons before bringing out that Beast of Nurgle – though there is always room for improvement. I’m still quite a lazy painter, something I’ve noticed when painting some Van Saar gangers recently. I rely a lot on drybrushing, while not always taking the time to drybrush properly. More models than I care to remember are quite streaky as a result! But I do feel a lot happier with my miniatures that I’m painting now, than I have done with the older lot. One of the reasons why I’m intending to re-do my entire Necron army, actually!

I don’t really have any sort of hobby goals in mind right now, except maybe to paint more than I buy, and get smarter with just what I’m buying in the first place, though who doesn’t have those sorts of goals in this hobby, right?! I’ve got a number of projects on the go that feel like they’re overwhelming me, particularly since Kill Team came along and I’m finding myself with plans for several small bands of infantry! Since delving back into my Genestealer Cults for that, however, I’ve been feeling in the mood to try some Tyranids, having bought quite a lot of kits for that army back at the start of the year. I find myself forever floating around from one project to another, without really getting anywhere with one (a notable exception being the Drukhari last year, that was amazing how I managed to apply myself and get over 2000 points painted up in a few months!)

I definitely want to plan my purchases more, and really try to work out just what I need before wandering into the store and picking up all manner of pretty looking kits just because they look nice. I also want to try to paint more, as has been shown by the variety of ‘painting goals’ style blogs that I’ve written so far this year. Having added Tau to my army rosters back in March, I really do feel a bit overwhelmed with everything, so definitely want to start scaling things back on that front. Going forward, I want to try (as much as I can) to pick a unit of, say, five guys, and just do what I need to do to get them finished. I think that’s how I eventually got going with the Drukhari, just five or ten at a time, and as whole units were added to the force, things really just snowballed…

I also want to play more games! Who doesn’t, I guess? But with Kill Team a thing now, the ability to have a lot of small games should make things easier. I’m keen to try my hand at Necromunda, having kitted out the Van Saars to be a proper gang and ready for the skirmish there, though I’m not sure if it’s that popular at my store… Skirmish games are fine, of course, but I also want to try and be a bit more serious with my efforts in mainstream 40k. I’ve got three big armies now as far as my Drukhari, Necrons (if I include the old ones that need re-doing), and T’au, along with a lot of smaller forces (with a lot of unbuilt kits that will one day make them bigger forces), so it would be a shame to not make the most of that and actually do something with them!

All this talk of Necromunda and Genestealer Cults brings me to something that I find a bit odd, but let’s talk about it anyway. I’ve not been in the hobby that long, and I’ve especially not been within the 40k universe that long, but there’s a weird kind of borrowed-nostalgia that I get from these re-imagining of classic aspects of the 40k universe. I suppose I get swept up in the moment, and find it all quite wonderful, though it could just be down to the fact that the miniatures are obviously designed with such care and attention to detail that I find myself really enamoured with them, despite not having a basis for any kind of nostalgia-response. It also helps that Necromunda, in particular, just looks like such a cool, immersive game that I can’t help but be swept up within the tidal wave of awesome that it is!

Rogue Trader is obviously coming out at Christmastime, and also promises to be every fanboy’s dream – including mine! I’m going to have to do some serious negotiation to get that under the tree for Christmas, but it looks like it will be so damn worth it!

The Rogue Trader release in 3-4 months’ time makes me wonder just when we can be expecting the last three Codexes for Warhammer 40k, though. There has been a hell of a lot of talk about a big campaign box for Space Wolves vs Orks, but as we’re now getting closer to the end of the year, I just don’t see this coming out anytime soon. It’s been two months since the announcement, on 1 June, about these books – looking at the last such announcement, when those for Imperial Knights, Harlequins and Deathwatch were talked about, it’s roughly two-to-three months between the announcement and the books being released. So I’m guessing that September will see the start of these things. It’s kinda unheard of for a big box game to have not been spoiled if it is, in fact, only a month or so away…

But that said, the Warhammer 40k facebook page did just unveil this…

Space Wolves vs Genestealer Cult? Who saw that one coming?!

Just another little tangent there! I did say this would be rambling!

Where was I? Ah yes, how much I need to be more careful with my purchases, rather than simply throwing my money at all the new shiny releases. Erm…

At any rate, after almost a year where I moved house and have since struggled to find a place to paint properly, I’m finding myself sliding closer to that point where I’m happily applying acrylic to plastic, so I’m hoping that I can at least make good on one of the many, many painting promises I’ve talked about on this blog before the end of the year…

While I like the thought of Tyranids and having a big bugs army, I’m also moving back towards my Drukhari, having lost interest a little when I felt the Codex had tried to force me to play a mixed list. However, I think I’m most excited right now for the Militarum Tempestus army that I’ve been wanting to build for a number of years now.

To date, I’ve still only painted two models for them. However, this is where the joy of Kill Team comes in, as I’ve excitedly been writing up a list that I think will make it relatively easy to get done, at which point I might as well just carry on and paint up a platoon! Oh, I make it sound so easy. But I think, if I can get some of these done, and some more Skitarii painted by the end of the year, I’ll be a very happy bunny, indeed.

So, thanks for reading all the way through this extremely rambling blog post about my jumbled thoughts on 40k right now, as well as something of a potted history of my life with the game, and stay tuned to the blog as I begin to delve more seriously into Kill Team campaigns – and, of course, Necromunda!

Cult Uprising!

Hey everybody!
I’ve been back and forth on this subject for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve finally found the time to sit down and work out just what I’m doing with my Tyranid/Genestealer Cult army. Remember this?

Tyranids are an army that has appealed to me almost from the start, but I’ve always had something else going on. For 2018, however, I decided to throw my lot in with the bugs, and finally set about creating a Tyranid army. However, I’ve already found myself losing interest in such an enterprise, despite having bought so many of the blighters! I’ve had some bad experiences in assembling a carnifex and a tyrannocite, so thought it might be better to start where this really all began for me, with the Genestealer Cult.

Genestealer Cult

Cultist models have really caught my imagination since their release in the Deathwatch: Overkill boxed game a couple of years back. I picked up the game, of course, and when the range was introduced I did get myself a couple of extra bits, though I’ve been really slow at building them up. Well, no more! I’ve worked out a small, 500-point list to start with, and will be working on that for the next month or so as a foundation to a larger Cult force.

Genestealer Cults list

 

It’s probably not going to be the most competitive list out there, but who cares – I’m excited to put it together and get it painted, which I think, in this specific instance, is the most important thing right now! It uses the models from the Overkill box as a basis, though the Acolyte Hybrids are from the separate squad box released afterwards. In my Ambush! blog, I talked about how good a basis Overkill is for a Cultist army, though I’ve since gone through all of the models in there and notice that the squad sizes are a bit weird: two squads of six Acolytes (which are a minimum of 5 per squad in 8th Edition), and two squads of eight Neophytes (which are a minimum of 10 per squad). I’ll probably be raiding the bitz websites to see if I can bulk these out soon!

The Neophytes are probably my favourite kit in the whole range, and I think I’ll likely be looking at doing more of these in time. For now, I’m mainly using the Overkill miniatures as I already have them built, and eight of them have actually been painted to some degree. However, this list may well change soon as I decide to add in models from the Neophyte kit in due course.

Genestealer Cult

So there we are, 500 points of Genestealer Cult, which forms the bare bones of a Battalion Detachment! In time, I can probably stretch this to 1000 points by incorporating some Tyranid models – I’ve got both Warriors and a Hive Tyrant armed with lashwhips and boneswords, and I think it might be cool to have them in the same army to tie in with the Acolyte leader (and, to a lesser degree, the Primus). Of course, I could equally go the other way and build up the Astra Militarum alliance, having already got some guardsmen and a Leman Russ built and primed…

The important thing, though, is that I start getting this army on the road. So, by the end of February, I intend to have all 531 points fully painted – I may even have gotten in a couple of games with them by then, as well…!

Make sure you come back to check on my progress! And remember, I usually post up what I’m doing over on instagram as well, feel free to check me out there in the meantime!

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!

Ambush!

Hey everybody!
It’s my 700th blog post! Crikey!

This isn’t really going to be a very long post, but it’s going to be an exciting one, all the same! See, I’ve been doing a bit of an inventory of my Warhamer kits that are waiting to be built, and while I’m continually shocked at just how much plastic I have waiting for me to get round to it, I think that everything I have is fairly necessary. I mean, of course, that I don’t really have an odd kit for an army that I don’t really collect. I have a lot of things that I’ve not really managed to properly do much of anything with yet, like Space Marines, and I have a lot of stuff for well-established armies such as Necrons and Dark Eldar. And I have bits and pieces for the combined Militarum Tempestus/Adeptus Mechanicus list that I’m working on, along with some pieces for a Genestealer Cults army that has been on my mind for about a year now…

Genestealer Cults progress

It’s this last army that I want to talk about briefly today. I’ve got a bunch of kits, along with the stuff from Deathwatch Overkill, that has been in varying stages of completion for quite some time now. I know the colour scheme that I want to use, both on the mining Cultists and the guardsmen Cultists, and I have a vague idea for including a detachment of Tyranids in with them now that I’ve been delving into Index: Xenos 2, but it’s finding the time to work out a proper army list that is proving to be difficult right now!

So far, I’ve decided that I want to have a core of actual Genestealer Cultists for the army, and I’m probably looking at a Battalion detachment, given the number of HQ units that I’ll be doing for these chaps. My big plan is to then have waves of Neophyte Hybrids much like in the picture above, though on a much larger scale. I think I want to get at least two more boxes of these guys – to add to the one box I bought last year, and the contents of Overkill.

Incidentally – how good are the contents of Overkill for starting a GSC army?! According to my calculations, the total points cost for the models you get in the box, for 8th Edition, is 809 points. Now, that does assume a squad of 5 purestrain genestealers, and not the four that are supplied, but it’s otherwise a very good start to the army. I was initially a bit bummed that GSC don’t yet have a Start Collecting box for the faction, but I actually feel that Overkill is such a good place to start, it’s a lot better than a Start Collecting box will be. Though, you don’t get any transports in the boxed game, of course.

Anyway!

I then have a sort of secondary plan to use the Acolyte Hybrids probably in a separate detachment with an Acolyte Iconward. However, I found it quite interesting when working out the points values for the squad of Acolytes that I had built up last year:

The squad that I built up just over 12 months ago now works out at 106 points, by my reckoning – with the weapons forming almost half of that cost. Now, I have 5-man troop squads that have quite a high cost, and something I’ve been thinking about when building my Imperium army has been keeping the cost down in order to get more bodies on the ground, so I’m surprised at just how expensive these things can turn out to be.

The modular flavour of building a 40k army is something that I really enjoy, and drilling down to that level of precisely what I can kit out my guys with is always a lot of fun for me. Especially given how restrictive my first army, Necrons, can be! So I don’t think I’m ever going to go for a boring, basic squad, but I do feel somewhat bad about including such expensive wargear in just one squad!

(I’ve lost some of my miniatures in moving house, and currently can’t find the Neophytes that I had built prior to the move. Once I do, I’m planning to write up a proper “My First Genestealer Cult Army” style blog, so stay tuned for that!)

The Tyranid detachment is something that I’m very much looking forward to adding, as it’ll finally give me the impetus I need to get painting these chaps! I love the look of the Zoanthropes, and have been looking forward to getting them done for a while now. I’ve been thinking about adding these in a Vanguard detachment, just because there are more Elite units of Tyranids that I want to add to the army than anything else. I definitely want to build up my Maleceptor for the list, and add some Venomthropes (along with a Toxicrene in the heavy support slot). It would be more thematic, however, to build the list around a Broodlord and Genestealers, which are troops in the Index, so I suppose the idea of concentrating on a Vanguard because of the Elites really isn’t quite so limiting.

Genestealer Cult

Anyway, I thought this blog would be a short one, but clearly not! Tyranids and Genestealer Cultists always intrigue me greatly around this time of year, so I expect to be talking about them more as the autumn goes on. Thanks for making it this far through the post, and here’s to the next 700!

Hobby Progress, week 45

Hey everybody!
Week 45 has seen some more productive efforts with my hobbying, some more projects finished and some others in the planning stages. Let’s start with the finished stuff:

Hobby Progress 45

My ten-man tactical squad for my Horus Heresy Alpha Legion is now complete! I have to be honest, I’ve really given these a bit of a rush job – which isn’t all that bad, as the scheme isn’t exactly complicated. But I could probably have taken some more time on these things than I ended up doing. That said, there are also some elements where I’ve taken the time for some details, such as the plasma pistol, adding a hint of the pale blue in the muzzle as well as on the coils. Overall, they’re a serviceable tactical squad, and I’m glad to have them done. Especially as I’ve met the pledge of getting them finished in two weeks!

One squad down, one to go. I think my second mandatory troops choice is going to be Assault Marines, which means FW resin, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Hobby Progress 45

The rhino is the second project I’ve been working on this week, and I have to say, I’m not really that sure about a lot of it. First of all, I mentioned last week how the chassis has turned streaky in parts because of the Drakenhof Nightshade – I’ve tried to do some kind of overbrushing with, alternately, Teclis Blue and Sotek Green again, and while it has helped with some of this streakiness on the top, it is still an issue. However, it’s gotten to the point where I’m thinking I’m fine with the overall look – it’s kinda blotchy, but more importantly, it’s pretty much the same as every marine in the army, so I can live with it.

For the headlamps, I’ve painted the bulb with White Scar, then gone over it with Cassandora Yellow to add some depth of shape. I then lightly brushed on some Yriel Yellow, not just on the bulb but also on the surrounding hood and in a cone shape out from the base of the lamp, and finally added some Flash Gitz Yellow as a highlight here. The photo above doesn’t really show it, but I think on the tabletop, the effect is actually pretty cool – even if I do say so myself!

Of course, this is my first ever attempt with weathering a miniature, and I wanted to tie it to the rest of the army by adding some rust-coloured mess to suggest the tank is moving through the same battlefield as the troops. So I’ve stippled on Tuskgor Fur after speaking to the manager of my local GW, and I think, for a first attempt, it is actually pretty decent! I still want to do something more to it, as the Fur doesn’t really look much like Martian Ironearth, but I’m afraid of going too far, so have called a halt for the time being. I’ve also added in some Martian Ironearth to the rear tracks in an effort to make it look like those tracks have clogged up a bit.

Overall, it’s perfectly serviceable I think. I do want to try and get better and improve, and after showing it off to some folks at the store, I’ve been pointed in the direction of weathering powders, so I think I might investigate those next!

So what else has been going on this week?

First of all, my store is also having a bit of a painting competition like an Armies on Parade redux, involving a 160mm base. I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned this already, but it sounds hilarious, so I’m going for it! I’m going to have some of my already-painted Deathwatch marines going up against some Tyranid bugs, so chose the Zoanthrope kit because it looks absolutely hilarious! The initial idea was basically what I posted on instagram: three marines against one Zoanthrope, but I’ve since built up the other two models for the kit, and am thinking I might try to squeeze on the whole brood:

These models are amazing – really easy to build, but those cheesy grins! I love them! I don’t actually know if all three will fit on the base, especially as I’ve also been considering adding more marines, but I’ll certainly paint them up as a threesome. I’ve long nursed ideas for having some kind of Tyranid force, but have never been able to settle on any kind of colour scheme. I love the Behemoth scheme, but have always wanted to try Eumenides. I even bought some cheap Termagaunts to practice on, but that didn’t turn out well at all. Last year, I bought a Carnifex in an effort to break out of a painting funk, and attempted to do my own colour scheme, but having build the monster first, that hasn’t ended well, and he’s still in this condition:

More #Tyranids progress! Going slow… #Warhammer40k

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However, my current plan is to go with my own scheme, though different to the Carnifex above: pale blue body, and shocking pink carapace. I’m still not sure how I’m going to do any of that yet, but the competition isn’t being judged until 18 December (my birthday!) so I should have enough time to get something ready.

 

That’s pretty much been it for progress this week! I’ve done a few odd bits, as always, but certainly nothing to write home about. For a few weeks now, it’s been all about the Alpha Legion – or at least, it’s felt that way! So I’m thinking about doing something different next, maybe turning back to some of the many Necron projects I still have ongoing. My legion currently stands at 1270 points with all the fancy upgrades and stuff, so is certainly getting there and all that! I’ve also been thinking about what to do next for that – I know I should do another tactical squad and get the minimum force org done, but I’m thinking instead of an all-flamer tactical support squad. I guess we’ll see!!

Genestealer Cult!

Genestealer Cult

Well, I’m more excited for this than I first thought I would be, I have to admit! When I first got my hands on the Deathwatch: Overkill game, my attention was mainly drawn to the space marines, and while I did build up a couple of the genestealer cult models, I haven’t done anything with them yet. The Deathwatch were formally launched into 40k in August, and I kinda threw myself behind that release, and while a lot of the internet has been excited for these cult minis, I can’t really say I feel the same way. I think a lot of that excitement is based in the nostalgia for the genestealer cult from back in 2nd edition (early 1990s), replete with cult limousine…

Obviously, I can’t speak for this nostalgia myself, having only become interested in Warhammer 40k in the last couple of years, but I have to say, I really like the mining aesthetic that the models have from the Overkill game, even though I don’t tend to go for that kind of grungy look for my miniatures. I’ve started to assemble a lot of the minis from Overkill, at any rate, partly after being inspired by a post from a Facebook group earlier in the week.

Genestealers are linked to some of my own nostalgia for 40k of course, as one of my first experiences with the setting was the 4th edition Space Hulk boardgame released in the autumn of 2014. Blood Angels vs Genestealers in the narrow confines of a derelict space hulk, the game features a horde of the tyranid vanguard, and if I hadn’t already become so enamoured with my Necrons, I would very likely have bought into the new tyranid bugs that were released around the same time…

So I’m not going to go all-in on genestealer cults, but I am thinking about getting some more models to build up and paint. All of this interest, however, has got me thinking about these cultists, and what the story is all about. So sit back, while I educate myself about all this stuff!

Genestealer Cult

The genestealers are the vanguard for the invading tyranid forces, sent forth in advance of the massive hive ships to subvert a planet to make it ready for conquest. The genestealer infects hosts with its DNA, causing hybrids to be born when that host reproduces. For a generation or two, the offspring will appear vaguely like its parent, though further generations will reveal more of the genestealer look – more arms, tails, bulbous heads and blue/purple skin.

I find this kinda fascinating, possibly due to having enjoyed the Shield of Baal series so much. Genestealers are fairly intelligent for a tyranid lifeform, able to operate away from the hive mind or synapse creatures for extended periods thanks to its own form of brood mind, directed mainly by the Broodlord. With enough genestealers operating under this brood mind, the tyranid hive fleet can sense the planet ready for conquest through the warp. Which brings us to Genestealer Cults!

These cults are formed from the first offspring of infected hosts, and band together into a vague sort of family that has a vague sort of worship of some kind of figurehead – sometimes referred to as the four-armed emperor, I’ve heard? Anyway, by banding together like this, the psychic resonance they create attracts the hive fleet, and the cult attempts to sow dissent against the Imperium to ease the way for the tyranids to then invade and digest the planet.

While a Broodlord is the military leader of a genestealer force, a distinct entity referred to as the Patriarch is the head of a genestealer cult, and provides the psychic link for the rest of the cult members. The Patriarch itself is a powerful psyker that can last for hundreds of years, readying the way for the approaching hive fleet. It sounds like a wonderfully creepy way of leading the little bugs, with more, well, cultish overtones than the Broodlord itself.

The Patriarch is served by the Magus, another psyker though almost human in appearance. Its primary role is to serve as the public face of the cult, and relays the orders of the Patriarch to the members. By the time of the Magus’ birth, the cult will have grown significantly, allowing a more widespread control of the planet. This is achieved by the powers of hypnosis and mind-control possessed by the Magus. The Magus is a fourth-generation hybrid, but any children it has will first be purestrain genestealers once more. A pretty horrendous thought, giving birth to six limbs and chitinous exoskeleton…

Something that I’ve found interesting, in the run-up to the Genestealer Cults release from GW, is how/why they can ally with Imperial Guard, never really seeing the link between the two. Well, as it happens, there is a further element of the cult referred to as Brood Brothers – the original infected hosts that started the spawn cycle. When these folks have their hybrid babies, that hybrid psychically dominates its parents, enslaving it to the cult and the whims of the Patriarch. Being normal humans in any other respect, they are able to operate the machinery of the Guard or any Planetary Defense Force, and so open the door for all these types of ally shenanigans that I find really interesting.

Genestealer Cult

So there you have it, the results of my research into these subterranean cults and why I think they’re so cool! I’m definitely going to be picking up the Codex next week, along with a box of ten more neophyte hybrids!

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:

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:

#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…!