Kill Team Expansions

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

Hey everybody!
So the Kill Team train has been going pretty much full speed since the game dropped over the summer, and in addition to the main box and the first major expansion, we’ve seen a whole ton of re-packaged models alongside this, comprising, to date, four waves of models. I’ve picked up a couple of these things now, so thought I’d come here today and ramble for a bit about my thoughts on the way Kill Team is moving so far.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

As you can see, I’ve picked up some of these boxes that most fit along with existing armies that I have – I’m going to get the Necrons box at some point as well, for sure! I suppose I’ve been looking at KT almost in the opposite way to perhaps how GW wants me to look at it, and building teams out of existing armies that I own, rather than going for models that I’ve always wanted to paint just a couple of, and then sliding into a full-blown army. But I suppose I’ll get to that point a bit more shortly…

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

Each of these boxes includes a plastic infantry squad, a plastic terrain piece (or pieces), and the necessary rules bumph that allows you to use the plastic in your games. So in the above photo, we have a Drukhari infantry squad, which happens to be Wyches, alongside some Deathworld Forest terrain, and all of the tactics cards, squad cards, and tokens that we’d need to use these folks. There are also two mission cards included that make use of the terrain – notably, they tend to include a requirement for more terrain than comes in the box – and a little booklet that has some fluff and a few photos of the fully built and painted kill team.

Interestingly, the Drukhari kill team that they suggest you build – The Slicing Noose – is only 86 points in matched play. The T’au team is 94 points, and the Scions team 58 points. I find this interesting that the suggested teams don’t aim to maximise the 100-points available, though I suppose something like a five-man Scions team could never be very points-effective, given the costs of the units you can make with just one box of Scions. And it’s something that has been there since the core box, where the Ad Mech and Genestealer Cultist teams were not exactly points-efficient.

This brings me on to a minor tangent that I’ve mentioned before, of course,  but I’m still bemused to see mentioned around the internets. A lot of people seem to be genuinely baffled as to why GW are releasing the kill teams that they are – why not include more variety in the models? It’s been very clear since the core rules box came out that the “official” Kill Teams are comprised from single kits that are already available for 40k, so we won’t see a proper mix of units if you can’t make that unit from the whole kit supplied – I suppose in the case of the Necrons box, it got a bit confusing because there were Deathmarks and Immortals in the team. But enough of this rant!

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

The boxes are, I think, pretty decent in terms of value for money. At MSRP, you’re getting a five or ten-man squad, all of their rules, plus some terrain, for a lot less than it would cost to get these things separately. The above Tempestus Scions box costs £30, and you get roughly £51-worth of models (I say roughly, because the Munitorum Containers box contains three sprues of containers, while you only get two of them here). There is a lot of value to be had by getting these things, and I’m really excited to see these sorts of products being made.

There have been a few issues of course, notably the coloured plastic they use for the infantry feels somehow softer than the plastic of the regular kits, and the Scions in particular have some really terrible mould lines.

Warhammer 40,000 Kill Team

Re-packaged kits aren’t the only expansions to come for the game, of course – Rogue Trader landed last month while I was on honeymoon, and I managed to finally pick it up a couple of weeks ago. The set contains a whole load of new models – 33 of them, to be precise, along with some small-scale terrain that is mainly in the form of bulkhead doors and the odd treasure chest. I suppose the biggest thing about this is the fact that it happened at all, and brought the Rogue Trader, an iconic character class from the very earliest days of 40k, into the game with new models.

The expansion is pretty much what I think a lot of us were expecting from the off for Kill Team expansions, if I’m honest. The main rule book includes the rules for fielding regular troops that we can already purchase, whereas this box is full of all-new stuff that we’ve never seen before. I suppose I was hoping for something a bit like Shadespire, where we get new bands of miniatures that come with everything we need to play them – whereas we get everything we need to play with pre-existing sculpts. It’s a weird situation because, for the most part, we’re buying these expansion boxes in order to get the tactics cards and (perhaps) the scenarios to try. There are doubtless people who will benefit from these boxes who have not got the models either, for sure, but it does feel a bit weird when it comes to established players. I guess there’s an assumption that established players will be invested enough that buying five or ten more guys for an existing army is no big deal if they also want the tactics cards and scenarios. But I’m no business expert!

So are the tactics cards worth shelling out £37.50 for? Let’s take a look at the Drukhari box again. In the core book, there are four tactics available, which play into the theme of the army being lightning-fast, as well as being vicious reavers from outer space. The box gives us six more tactics that can be used by Drukhari teams in any warzone, and one that is specific to there being an Eldritch Ruin on the game board. More on this in a bit.

The six new tactics are a surprising bunch – two of them are specifically for Wyches (only one actually says it, Bloodied Grace, though there is the Hyperstimm tactic that affects any unit with the Combat Drugs ability – so, only Wyches). There are three more tactics that play into that lightning-fast theme of the force, and one that buffs Power from Pain, which both Wyches and Kabalite Warriors have access to. They’re a good mix, for sure, and they definitely give you some nice options that could potentially keep your guys alive, but I’m not sure if I would pay a premium to get them. Of course, the argument has already been made that you’re basically getting most of the terrain and all of the accompanying paper stuff for free when you buy these boxes, but that isn’t the only way we should be looking at these things, after all.

I think a lot of the Kill Team experience boils down to just that – the experience. We’ve seen GW selling us this sort of thing before when they have major new army releases, where we have to get the exclusive codex and the dice and all the fancy stuff. The fact that Kill Team comes with so much more gubbins than we’re used to in regular 40k is perhaps making this more obvious, as we have the faction-specific cards and tokens as well in these boxes. It’s in this respect, I think, that Kill Team comes very close to Shadespire, as we have the opportunity to make that sort of statement with our collections – we want to play Kill Team using our faction-specific cards and dice and tokens and all the rest of it, because we are that faction. It’s a really interesting way of selling these sorts of games, to me, because I am so often sucked-in to this whole experience! I’ve been collecting everything for Necromunda since day one, so have all of the gang-specific stuff even for those gangs I have no interest in playing! I just want that experience (and of course, I am a completionist).

Something I’ve talked about previously on my blog is the possibility that GW will do another round of these sort of repackaged kill team expansion boxes, where they give us more of our chosen faction’s options – for instance, I could totally see another Drukhari box with Kabalite Warriors, or T’au box with Pathfinders, and because I’m heavily-invested in both of these armies at this point, I would most likely buy them as well. It’s a really quite effective way they have of making money off something that basically already exists – that is, the miniatures. Not to discount the length of time that goes into designing a ruleset here, of course…

This post has been really long and quite rambling, so I’m going to draw it to a close now. Suffice it to say, I feel both excited about how much we’re seeing to support Kill Team, while at the same maintaining a decent cynicism about the whole repackaged theme that GW have got going on here. I really hope that we can see more unique products for Kill Team in the future, once the initial flurry of releases is over and each faction has had their kill team specific box. They don’t have to be particularly huge expansions like the Rogue Trader box, either, but just unique sculpts for existing bands of minis. Maybe that’s how we’ll eventually get new models such as new Chaos Space Marines, or plastic Flayed Ones. I’m really hopeful that Kill Team: Inquisitor will turn out to be a thing, and I would love to see similar styles of releases in the future, with specific warbands pitted against one another.

Kill Team Commanders

Before I do close this blog, however, I feel that I have to mention this bad boy. Up for pre-order this weekend, there’s a significant part of me that feels like this is getting a bit out of control. Gone is the idea of having a small team of five or ten models – games are now running to 200 points, and being led by such luminaries as a Genestealer Patriarch, or a Necron Overlord. What, now?! What happened to the small-scale skirmish?! I mean, for sure, it’s entirely plausible that kill teams can be led by these HQ choices – you can come up with all manner of fluff such as the big guy is out with his elite bodyguard cadre, or whatever, but as many people have already said, where is this going to end? Is the next thing going to be vehicles? Will I end up being able to bring an Annihilation Barge?

I’m a huge hypocrite, for I’ve already pre-ordered the book anyway, but there is a part of me that is just bemused by how this game line is progressing, cannibalising regular 40k as it goes…

Catching up with the world

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while since I’ve caught up with the wider goings-on of the world, it seems, having been focused almost exclusively on the world of Warhammer for quite some time here on this blog, so I thought I’d take some time today to have a look at what else has been going on, and share some musings with you all here! You know you love it.

My mate Tony sent me the trailer for Dark Phoenix last week, which was a total shock as I hadn’t been aware that Fox were continuing their X-Men reboot past Apocalypse. I really like those movies, even if the third one fell a little flat, and the trailer here looks to be along similar lines as the existing trilogy, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Hopefully it’ll continue the theme and be a really classy film, overall. I suppose it can’t be any worse than the last time they tried to do the Dark Phoenix storyline, though…

Looking at some of the info online around the film, it seems like the cosmic elements of the original Dark Phoenix comic book are being introduced in this film, which is an interesting slant. Previous X-Men films have always tried to take a very grounded, real-world approach to things, so it’ll be interesting to see if that can be maintained while also including the Shi’ar. I guess we’ll see in February! While it seems the reception of this trailer hasn’t been particularly stellar, though, I am looking forward to seeing the movie.

I don’t get to read a great deal of comic books these days, though have always been more a DC boy when it comes to the original source material. I think I might try and get into that again once I’ve finished reading the current tome I’m enjoying, the fourth CJ Sansom historical novel Revelation. I’ve been reading those books since Christmas, and they’re really quite enjoyable! If a little weighty…

Anyway!

My wife is a huge Harry Potter fan (I do enjoy the franchise as well, though have always preferred the novels to any attempt at visual media), and has been excitedly talking about the upcoming second Fantastic Beasts film. I did enjoy the first one, I thought it was really interesting to explore the magical world in another locale from a British boarding school, and 1920s New York was a lot of fun. The surprise link to the Gellert Grindelwald storyline was nicely done, and I was somewhat excited at the idea of seeing a series of these films – while I wasn’t a fan of the Harry Potter films themselves, I think that was due to the fact I vastly preferred the books. We watched the trailer for the second film the other day, and it does look like it should be another exciting installment, at any rate!

Of course, there is the whole Nagini casting controversy, and I’m not about to get into that, but suffice it to say, I do feel sometimes that these things get blown too much out of proportion. If the actress cast in the role is happy with the ethnic choices made, then I think she’s better qualified than me to make that sort of judgment. So let’s see how the film turns out when it’s released in November…

The Wilds of Rhovanion

Let’s turn to games now – and I want to start with Lord of the Rings LCG. I’ve often mentioned this game on my blog here as my all-time favourite, and while that accolade hasn’t changed, I haven’t played this game for the longest time. Indeed, I haven’t even caught up with the latest deluxe/cycle yet, still having not properly played the game past The Lost Realm. I really, really love this game though, and the latest preview for the fourth adventure pack in the new cycle has gotten me really keen to get back into it.

I have previously played this game with the other half, and she didn’t mind it too much due to the co-op nature of things, so I’m wondering if I might try and re-introduce it at some point soon. Though it would be no big deal if it didn’t go down too well – I absolutely love the original Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, and am fairly chomping at the bit to try my hand at some of those quests once again! I do need to try and catch up with the releases though, and see what I have waiting for me to discover. I feel like the Ered Mithrin cycle may well be the game’s last, in light of how much the e-version of the game is being pushed, so I think it’s something of a priority to get everything before it’s too late!

Arkham Horror LCG

I also tried to introduce the Arkham Horror LCG a short while ago, but that one didn’t go down quite as well. I was also surprised at how much more difficult that game becomes with an additional player in the mix – I do enjoy the universe, for sure, but I think, all things considered, I might leave off with this game when the current cycle ends. I’ve not been good at playing this one, sadly, so while I’ve been buying the new packs as they’ve been released, I actually haven’t played anything beyond the core set. Definitely need to get my act together on that front!!

The Autumn is one of my favourite times of year, not only because the countryside looks great with all the leaf-changes going on, but because I have fond memories of gaming – both with regular tabletop games, and getting into Warhammer 40k. I don’t know if I’ll get to explore anything too intense like that old favourite, Runebound, but I think it’s definitely high-time I looked at something beyond the grim darkness of the 41st millennium.

Heroes of Terrinoth

Speaking of Runebound and the Terrinoth universe, there has been a new preview up for the upcoming Heroes of Terrinoth co-op card game, which continues to excite me! It feels like this game is going to be something of an enjoyable fantasy game, and the fact that it’s co-op should mean it’ll be a lot of fun, so I’m cautiously hopeful it will live up to my expectations. It seems like it should be a nice return to those sorts of hero-driven Terrinoth games like Descent and Runebound, rather than the faction-driven Runewars and Rune Age. Not that those games aren’t a lot of fun, of course, but I do prefer the older style, personally!

When it was originally previewed, I thought it was going to be another LCG, which had initially excited me, but now I’m quite glad we’re not going to be getting that particular model for this one. I think the endless demand for more adventure packs could prove to wear quite thin with this sort of game, as the danger of getting bland, generic quests becomes too real. Lord of the Rings has surprised me in some respect by managing to sustain itself to become the juggernaut of an LCG that it is, though I think that is more due to the fact that it is working within an established lore, rather than anything else. Terrinoth is no Middle Earth, and burnout is a real possibility. I’d also be happy to see one small-box expansion per year for such a smaller-scale card game, depending on how interesting the core set turns out to be. FFG have previously expanded their games unto death, of course, but I do like to think that maybe we could get one game that isn’t expanded for the sake of it. In that respect, their Blood Bowl: Team Manager game was actually really well-implemented…

I’m not sure how much mileage this game will have, and part of me does worry it could tank like FFG’s Warhammer Quest game, but I do find myself hoping that in actual fact we get something that is enjoyable and fun, and it’s another of these games I find myself hoping that I can bring to the table with the other half. I’ve previously bemoaned the fact that boardgames have felt a little like they’re trying to appeal too much to the mass-market, following the board game renaissance and whatnot, but in this instance, I think it might actually be a good thing. I suppose we’ll see when it comes out!

The next expansion to Magic: the Gathering is going to be released on Friday, Guilds of Ravnica, and while I haven’t even had much of a chance to explore M19 yet, I am quite intrigued by some of the cards I’d seen during preview season for the upcoming set. While there isn’t any Rakdos in this set, it does have Dimir, another favourite of the Guilds for me, and I was interested by the fact that I found a lot of the Boros cards to look fun this time around. I’ll most likely be picking up some cards and seeing what can be done with them soon, of course, as I do like to stay somewhat current.

It’s a shame that Magic didn’t go down too well with the other half, as it’s a game that I do enjoy to a fairly large degree, but I think co-op games definitely hold more sway when it comes to gaming with the wife. Which is fine, really, as there are definitely more co-op games I enjoy than competitive ones!

Did you guys realise Spellslingers is back for season 5 already?! I sure didn’t expect to see that come round quite so soon! It’s funny, because I don’t know a lot of these people, but the show is so good that it really doesn’t matter all that much. Sure, it felt better in the early days when he played with people like Rob Simpson, but it’s still so much fun due to Sean being such a great person in general. It’ll be interesting to see how well this collection of guests knows the game, as I always feel those are the better episodes for me. Season 4 had some good content in that regard, so here’s hoping!

On the subject of MtG youtube content, I think I also need to catch up with Game Knights. Another show I sometimes find myself harkening back to “the good old days” when they had their friends on playing genuinely interesting decks rather than the more paid-promotion style things, it’s nevertheless a very entertaining show and I can definitely recommend it still!

But what is one of my blogs if I didn’t talk about Warhammer 40k at least a little bit?! You’ll be pleased to know that I’m progressing fairly well with my Van Saar gang for Necromunda, having been inspired to get going with it following my local GW announcing a specialist games night once more. For a while, none of the specialist games were allowed to be played in-store, for a very odd reason, so I’m glad to see that come back as it means I’ll be able to finally get round to trying the game out! I’ve been buying everything for this game so far, so I’m looking forward to seeing if my purchases have been worthwhile!

While I’ve not been painting a great deal of late, I have been slowly moving back towards my Tau army ideas, primarily following the Kill Team stuff. I’ll be picking up the Tau expansion soon after next weekend, I’m sure, as I’ve been excitedly putting together a Tau list that I want to try out soon. It does include a few Pathfinders, so I want to get round to painting up some of those so that I have the fully-painted team sorted and ready to go, of course!

I’ll probably come back here sometime soon for a proper painting progress catch-up though, so stay tuned for that!!

More Kill Team expansions!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a couple of days now since we’d seen the reveals of the next wave for Kill Team, so I thought I’d pop along here and take a look at what we can look forward to coming in the next few releases for the increasingly-popular skirmish game!

First of all, of course, it’s Kill Team: Commander. Already hinted at in the Rogue Trader expansion, Commander brings HQ choices to the game in what is, for me at least, quite a surprise move. If I’m honest, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about this new development, though for sure I’ll be picking it up in due course! From what we’ve seen at the Kill Team Open last weekend, we’re getting a wave of HQ choices that, crucially, are all available in plastic already, in named-hero boxes that will be packaged along with command cards or whatever they’re going to be called, in a similar fashion to the expansion boxes we’ve already seen.

We’re getting a Succubus for Dark Eldar, a Fireblade for Tau, an Overlord for Necrons, etc etc. It’s all a bit weird, somehow – when I first heard about the Fireblade, I thought sure, that sounds okay. He’s a tier-two sort of HQ choice, not the sort of flashy thing that a lot of armies can get. But the Overlord for the Necrons is pretty much the pinnacle of HQs for them. So it seems much more driven by what is available in plastic already for the faction, rather than what would fit the bill of a small-scale HQ choice who could be used in specific missions.

It feels weird to me, I think, because I like the idea of a Kill Team being led by the Leader that you choose when you’re making your initial list. It’s a mechanic that I had somewhat hoped wouldn’t be a huge deal when reading through the Rogue Trader book, but instead, I’m guessing these guys will be used a great deal more to build the team around, rather than only being taken in specific instances.

But what do I know – the expansion hasn’t even been released, yet!

For more information, be sure to head over to Chapter Master Valrak’s video on youtube, where he also mentions Kill Team: Inquisitor, which is basically a no-brainer, and will hopefully be a thing before too long!

Also on the radar, the more immediate radar this time, are the next Kill Teams to be released: Necrons and Tau! Having already picked up the Militarum Tempestus box, and having the Dark Eldar one waiting for me at the store to collect, I feel like I’m going to be very busy as I try to keep up with releases for my armies!

More so than with Dark Eldar, these boxes are definitely ones that I can get behind. It’s always useful to have more Fire Warriors, and I use Immortals as my basic troops, so I’m happy to see those instead of Warriors for the Necrons! I’ve not yet been happy with any of the Necron builds I’ve tried, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Tau kill teams lately, so have got a couple of things that I’m hoping to try out soon enough!

The Wall of Martyrs killzone is something I don’t think anybody imagined would be up next, though I guess it does fit with GW repackaging all of their scenery into these things, and I have toyed with getting the Imperial Bunker as something to just have to paint, so I’m thinking that this will be the first Killzone I will be getting – the Mechanicus and Munitorum zones I just bought the cards and board, not wanting to add to my scenery backlog!


I am a bit surprised at the pace of new releases for this game, as it has only been out for, what, two months now? We’ve already had so many things released, with the promise of yet more to come, that I find it difficult to see how GW will be supporting the line “for a long time to come”. I would assume, though, that the model will turn into something along the lines of the Rogue Trader box every once in a while, because I’m not sure how often people are going to be wanting to buy repackaged miniatures just in order to pick up a few tactics cards or whatever. The current model cannot be sustained for the long-term, and I think it would be particularly foolish if, for instance, once they’ve released the last Kill Team box in this current run, they then start over with alternative models for existing factions – so the next Tau box will come with Pathfinders, the next Dark Eldar box will be Kabalite Warriors, etc.

Someone mentioned expanding beyond the core manual, though, and having Fast Attack or Elite choices being introduced in a measured manner. I would love to be able to have a Crisis Battlesuit team – provided it was done intelligently, and allowed for some awesome narrative gameplay. Whether we get that sort of thing through something like Kill Team: Heavy Hitters, I don’t know. But it would probably be more of a headache to try.

Something that is very clear, though, is that GW have every intention of keeping the expansion releases as finecast-free as possible, so everybody complaining about the Necron box not having Flayed Ones is a little bit misinformed if they genuinely thought it would happen. Heck, every box released so far has been simply one plastic squad of either five or ten models that comes in its own box anyway, and a piece of terrain. Why people would think you’d get two Immortals and three Flayed Ones is just beyond me!

However, this does open up the very intriguing prospect that GW may use Kill Team as a way of releasing new models in the future. Rogue Trader might just be the tip of the iceberg, and maybe plastic Flayed Ones will be in the next Necron faction expansion…

Rogue Trader

Hey everybody!
It’s a bit of a retro-40k week here on spalanz.com, after my look at Necromunda (albeit in its latest incarnation) earlier in the week. So I thought I’d stay on theme for this post and look at the original rules for Warhammer 40,000 from way back in 1987!

Rogue Trader

Last year, 40k turned 30, and there were of course a number of celebrations of that fact, including the new 8th edition, and of course a facsimile reproduction of the original 40k rulebook, Rogue Trader. Sold exclusively at Warhammer World, the reproduction is pretty much entirely faithful to the original book, albeit with a revised publication history, and shows us latecomers to the game just where it all began.

I’m not going to go over the rules in great detail here, but I just wanted to share some of my initial thoughts and reactions having been leafing through the book of late.

First of all, the book feels entirely too much like a Role Playing Game, rather than a tabletop wargame. The black-and-white illustrations are highly evocative of the old Star Wars RPG from West End Games, and there are pages and pages of table of weapon stats that read a great deal like they’re for use in a RPG setting, in my view.

Rogue Trader

There is a lot of lore in this book, as well, which again adds to the RPG feel. Unlike with the recent editions of the game, where the lore comes first, the book is organised with all the rules in the opening chapters. The Age of the Imperium chapter then goes into great detail over all manner of things, such as the Imperium’s organisation and structure, before travelling over other alien races such as the Tyranids, Eldar and Orks. Notably, Genestealers are a separate race to Tyranids, and of course, we get the classic Squats as basically Space Dwarves, and Slann as Space Lizardmen. We also get a whole bunch of rules for different plant and animal life with which we can pepper the game.

There is a recommendation that games use a GM to keep track of all these myriad rules, which crops up in several parts of the book. There’s a nice little section on collecting miniatures, where the book recommends you plan your purchases before just buying lots and lots of shiny new toys – itself such a different tack from the current way of doing things! – and there is the suggestion that the GM will buy or convert all of the weird and wonderful NPC-like monsters and aliens that your armies can fight.

Conversions seem to be actively encouraged, with whole sections talking about suitable materials with which you can scratch-build terrain and the like. Whereas one person may just see leftover plastic yoghurt cartons, Rick Priestley sees a control tower just needing assembly! It’s all pretty fantastic, and feels just incredibly geared towards giving us the tools we need to really immerse ourselves in The Hobby as a whole.

Of course, the lore is a bit different then to how it is now. Of course, we have the Space Marines as the defenders of mankind, all bedecked in (MkVI) beaky helmets, but no mention of the Horus Heresy or Chaos in general. The basic backbone is there, for sure, but there is a lot that is missing from the established storyline in this book.

Rogue Trader

I said I wasn’t going to talk about the rules, but it is worth mentioning that the game otherwise feels quite similar to how it remains. The turn sequence is still move-shoot-melee, though there is a separate Reserves phase that follows melee combat, and the Psychic phase follows that, with the Rallying phase coming last (analogous to the Morale phase).

There are, of course, the whole host of byzantine charts that explain how to wound in close combat, etc, and vehicle firing arcs are gloriously a thing in this edition. I do miss that – it feels a bit weird that a vehicle, whose guns are modeled pointing away from the action, can still be a part of things. But I guess it does allow for speedier gameplay.

Rogue Trader

Anyway!

Overall, I love the look of this book. It reminds me so much of the old Star Wars RPG, as I’ve said, but on closer inspection, it has so much in common with British comics of the era such as 2000AD. I’m not 100% sure, but I think my brother may have actually had this book when we were growing up. If he didn’t, then it was certainly something very much like it. It harkens back to a time when gaming like this was very much the province of the nerd squad, and so they could be as complicated as you liked, because nothing had to have mass-market appeal. Does that sound elitist? Probably. But I do find myself resenting, at times, how simplistic some games have become nowadays, and how generic fantasy and sci-fi often gets, in order to appeal to the larger market. But I guess that’s a discussion for another time.

Did you used to play with 40k in the Rogue Trader era? Have any fond memories of those days? Leave a comment, and let’s talk about it!!

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!

Necromunda!

Hey everybody!
For a good while now, I’ve been posting the odd thing here that has been excitedly talking about the latest boxed game from Games Workshop, Necromunda. Well, I thought it was probably time that I actually took some time to look into this game and check out the rules etc, as I’ve been faffing about with painting some gangers from House Orlock and, more recently, House Van Saar. So I’d like to present to you all now a bit of an insight into my experiences as I try to get to grips with the rules, and my initial thoughts prior to getting any kind of game in.

Let’s begin!

First off, let’s talk about the setting of this game. Like a lot of Games Workshop games, the setting is really very well realised. It takes place on the hive world of Necromunda, where industry has taken over and the population ekes out a living in the ash wastes of the planet. In this harsh environment, gang warfare is rife, and several factions regularly clash in the Underhive. The gangs conform to several Houses within Hive Primus on Necromunda, the most notable are: Escher (all-women), Goliath (hulking brutes), Orlock (bikers), Cawdor (masked fanatics), Van Saar (technologically superior) and Delaque (spies and assassins).

There are other factions within the Hive, notably the Enforcers (Adeptus Arbites), but also bounty hunters, hired guns, generic hive scum and the like.

The game evolved from a skirmish game originally published through White Dwarf, with the original Necromunda itself arriving in 1995. A defining trait of this original game was its multi-level terrain, linked together with walkways and ladders. The game went out of print as the years wore on, until specialist games made a reappearance in the new Games Workshop of recent years. Necromunda was almost something of a golden goose for many fans, who were just chomping at the bit waiting for its announcement. When Shadow War: Armageddon was released early in 2017, this was seen as a bit of a disappointment – not only because the boxed game had such a limited release, but because it just wasn’t Necromunda. Fortunately, an announcement over the summer put those fears to rest, and Necromunda: Underhive was released in November 2017 with House Escher vs House Goliath. While tile-based, Necromunda was back.

The game lends itself really well to campaign play, with gangers leveling up as they gain control of more territory. This aspect of the game is something I hadn’t first realised, but have come to find really fascinating. In so many ways, Necromunda feels like an actual RPG, with some exciting opportunities for telling stories through the gameplay. There’s the chance for your gang to kidnap a member of a rival gang, gain the affiliation of bounty hunters and other hired guns through reputation, etc etc. It’s all pretty marvellous, I have to say!

Of all the Houses, I think I first liked the sound of House Delaque. Spies in trench coats hold a certain appeal for me, though it soon transpired they would be the last gang released for the game, coming around Christmas 2018 I’m guessing. When the Orlocks were previewed, though, I was enamoured, and immediately bought everything I could for these chaps. Their almost 80s biker aesthetic really caught my eye as being so very different to anything I was used to seeing from GW, and I set to work trying to get some painted.

Sadly, I set to painting these incredibly detailed miniatures – which feel a lot smaller than other minis from GW, as it happens – while I was trying to get over a painting slump, and it really didn’t go well for me. I lost interest, and put them aside in favour of the Tau army I started to build. Then this happened…

House Van Saar is the sort of thing I would never have thought I’d get into so much. I’ve been buying everything that they release for Necromunda as they release it, but hadn’t seriously looked into the game until a fortnight or so ago, when I got all the Gang War books out, and started to actually read the rules for gang creation. It helped that I’d also been working on Genestealer Cults for Kill Team, and remembered that the rules for using these in Necromunda actually came out in White Dwarf earlier in the year.

Looking again at Van Saar, I was enamoured, and have set to work making my actual gang with gusto! The only thing that has so far given me pause is the fact I’m not sure where I’ll be able to play it, as I don’t think my local GW really likes the specialist games being played there. But still, I’ve got six gangers to paint up as my starting force, and I’m loving it!

This past weekend, we’ve had House Cawdor released, the religious fanatics that look vaguely medieval, but still manage to fit the grim dark vibe really well, I think!

I’m still picking up everything for the game, of course, so have picked these dudes up as well, but I’m not sure if/when I’ll get round to building and painting them. Maybe soon I’ll draw up a list? I’ve been thinking a lot about drawing up starting lists for all the gangs that I have – even the Goliaths, who I haven’t so much as looked at the sprues for since I got the game for Christmas last year. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince my fiancée to play, though I might make a suggestion in the near future to see how she’d feel about trying something immersive. Eldritch Horror was a surprising success with her, so who knows!

At any rate, it looks like a really amazing gaming experience, and is one that I’m hoping to explore in depth soon enough!

A Service Announcement

Hey everybody!
Have you seen the exciting Rogue Trader Kill Team announcement over on the Community site? I’m so excited, I really can’t wait! It’s definitely out a lot sooner than I’d been expecting, anyway!

In addition to the Kill Teams themselves, we’re getting a bunch of new missions and two new Kill Zones, which seems like a decent way to go about these kinds of big-box expansions. Reminds me of the way regular board games get expanded.

Of course, it’s not so much for the missions and game boards that I’ll be primarily snapping up this box as soon as humanly possible! These models look beautiful, I cannot wait to add them to my collection – which brings me on to the second part of this exciting update, that they’re including mini-Codexes in the box so that they can totally be played in 40k!

Definitely time to get a move on with my Imperium army, as I’m guessing these will be used as some kind of allied detachment… Really wasn’t expecting this development, I have to say! I’m really hoping that the Warhammer Quest: Blackstone Fortress game will do a similar thing, with either a mini-dex or at the very least datacards for the new models. I realise that I’m expecting that box to also have a bunch of Rogue Trader models in it, though a few online peoples have been suggesting we’ll get a more disparate group of heroes to play, rather than having two factions per se. But I hope for the latter, as two boxed games fleshing out the Rogue Traders in advance of, maybe, a true Codex: Imperial Agents would be pretty fabulous. But I’m getting ahead of myself here!

Excellent news, all round!

At any rate, I have yet more exciting news of a non-gaming variety to share: later this week, I’m getting married! So there will be a few scheduled blogs going out during my time away on honeymoon, and then normal service will likely resume towards the end of September. Hope you’ll all be good without me! 🙂