The Grey Knights (again!)

Hey everybody!
Remember this post from last year, when I started with my plans for a Grey Knight army? Well, surprisingly, I haven’t managed to get very far with them over the last twelve months but, as it is clearly that time of year again, I’m now poring over the codex, and planning once more to get round to the massed psykers of Chapter 666!

Almost a year to the day (it was a year yesterday), I’m once more planning how to bring this army to the tabletop. Since I wrote up the original blog, I’ve not really done a great deal of work on them, truth be told. It was always my intention to build it as a sort of slow-grow thing, where I would build a unit, and paint it, then move on. So often in the past, I’ve fallen into the trap of building up a whole truck load of models, and then found myself almost overwhelmed and just shelving everything. Not wanting to fall into that trap again, I’ve therefore decided to pace myself, and go at things on a much smaller scale.

Last winter, I built up the contents of a Strike Force box, as well as adding two HQ units to the mix: a Grand Master built from the Paladins kit, and a Brotherhood Champion built from bits. It’s only a patrol detachment currently, and weighs in around the 450 points mark (pre Chapter Approved 2019, of course!) so I will need to get my act together here if I want to get in some games with it!

I’ve bought the almost-obsolete Doomglaive Dreadnought, an awesome model from Forge World that is now, inexplicably, discontinued. However, since I had built it up at the weekend, I think it has come to pass that I’ve been sold a recast, with some fairly toxic smells coming from it when I was cleaning it up! I’ve decided to plough on regardless, but the more I think about it, the more I’m probably going to go for the regular Venerable Dreadnought in my list, as time goes on.

Anyway, enough of that, where do I stand with the army right now?

So far, though, this is the entirety of what I have built. Yes, I know, I’ve built a lot more without getting it all painted, but that’s just a fact of life where my hobby is concerned! I’ve got a game planned in for Monday, my first since becoming a daddy, so we’ve agreed to have a small 1000-point battle. My buddy JP has got more daemons for his Heretic Astartes list, so I think it might be an ideal opportunity to bring out the Grey Knights and see what I’ve been missing for the last twelve months!

In order to bring the total up nearer 1000, I’m hoping to get a Purgation Squad built, with three psycannons for some heavier support, but I don’t know whether that will be a thing, so I’m erring on the side of caution for the time being and not including them in the list.

Grey Knights, perhaps more than any other army that I’ve played so far, appear to rely a lot on overlapping buffs. There aren’t many aura effects – the Grand Master allows for re-rolls and the Brother-Captain extends the Smite range, but that’s about it. Instead, they seem to rely on psychic powers going off that will buff each other as they progress through the battle. Reading tactica generally confuses me, anyway, but I’d been so hung up on the idea of units needing to know a power to benefit from it, I’d not really thought about it in terms of one unit using the power on another unit. So, for instance, it doesn’t matter if I give Hammerhand to the Strike Squad, when the Paladin Squad might be the best target for it – the Strike Squad can simply target the Paladins when they use it. Thus, the mental image of some crazy psychic shenanigans has been born, with eight psychic powers going off per turn!

It should be glorious!

It is important to me, however, that I don’t go too crazy with this army when I get going with it. I want to try, as much as possible, to stay true to the initial plan of painting up the units that I build as I go, and not end up in the situation where I’m looking at a whole desk full of unpainted models! The game on Monday will certainly be using grey plastic (but they are Grey Knights…chortle…) and, while I do hope to build up that Purgation squad, that will then be the limit, and I’ll set to work on painting what I have. The Purifiers are so close to being finished, it’s almost tangible, so I have no excuse to still be in this position in another twelve months’ time!

Looking ahead, I think Grey Knights could be a really fun project to use alongside the Sisters of Battle, as they’re both chambers militant of the Inquisition that work very well together: Sisters pursuing the Heretic, and Grey Knights pursuing the Daemon. Heretic Astartes are known for summoning daemons, after all, so it’s always a possibility that both elements will have stuff to do. Indeed, it could well be the sort of army that the old Imperial Agents codex inspired! Might even slip in an inquisitor!

The Guns of Tanith

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The Guns of Tanith is the fifth novel in the Gaunt’s Ghosts series, and sees the Ghosts executing an aerial assault on the promethium-rich world of Phantine, commencing with the domed city of Cirenholm. The planet has been overtaken by the forces of Chaos, the Blood Pact, so Gaunt is tasked with retaking the Imperial supply lines. Successfully retaking the city, the army is further tasked with retaking Ouranberg, which has significant promethium stocks. Several of the Ghosts are hand-picked to form kill teams to infiltrate Ouranberg and assassinate the Blood Pact’s leader, Sagittar Slaith. The hope is to demoralize the Chaos forces and their loxatl allies, and break the back of the invasion.

I really enjoyed this book, I have to say!

There was a lot to enjoy here, particularly as we see the ongoing clashes between the original Ghosts and the Verghastite recruits that filled in the ranks following the third book. The court-marshal of Caffran was really interesting as a part of that, and was a really intriguing part of the story. We also get a quite heart-rending subplot for Gol Kolea as we find out the lengths he has been going to with regards his children. It really helps to feel like the story of a real bunch of fighting men and women.

It had been a long time since I’d last read a Gaunt’s Ghosts book, and I’m hoping that it won’t be quite so long before the next one!

Necromunda: Dark Uprising

Wow!

So there have been quite a few exciting things shown off by GW at this year’s Spiel, but the only thing that I’ve got eyes for is, of course, Necromunda! After the tease a few weeks ago, we finally get to see what it’s all about!

What looks to be a new starter set, Dark Uprising pits the Palanite Enforcers against the Corpse Cult, which was a bit of a surprise to me. I mean, was it only August when we had the Enforcers, anyway? But it’s taken me almost the whole day to realise that, actually, these are new models – or at least, there’s an upgrade sprue in there for the riot shields. Wonderful!

The Corpse Cult are delightfully weird, and I think they could well replace my love of the Dark Vengeance Chaos Cultists! There is something really creepy at work with these dudes, and I love them! I also think it’s really interesting to see the numbers here – I’m guessing they’ll be really cheap and flimsy guys, with a strength in numbers thing going on.

However. Can we just stop for a moment to appreciate this:

Rather than coming with just a few barricades, this box is giving us our first taste of the long-rumoured plastic Zone Mortalis terrain! The structures in the front look a bit weird to me, I must admit, but I love that centrepiece thing in the background, with all the stairs and walkways… oh my! It’s terrain features like these that really fire my imagination for tabletop gaming, and this piece in particular has really gotten me hooked for this box!

So, I had been saving for the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Then I’d decided to keep my pennies for Sisters of Battle. But with pre-orders coming next month, I need to start saving with real zeal for Necromunda: Dark Uprising!!

Still alive!

Hey everybody!
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?! I don’t think there has ever been such a long break here on the blog as has just been experienced – nearly two months! Shameful. The reason, of course, is that the baby bomb went off, and my firstborn has now, well, been born. Phoebe is an utter delight – though she’d be even more delightful if she slept during the night, instead of the day! She’s only three weeks old, though, so I suppose there is plenty of time to get her into a routine that will restore sanity to both my wife and myself. It’s all been a bit of a blur, however, and what has only felt like a couple of weeks at most, has been over seven weeks’ absence from the blog here!

Having a baby has been an incredible experience, as every parent will doubtless agree, but along with all of the loveliness comes the sleep-deprivation, the sudden need to learn to do everything one-handed while supporting a growing baby, and an endless cycle of feeding and pooping. Consequently, I’ve had very little time for anything else, but as the little one seems to be remarkably settled this evening (it can’t last!) I thought I’d come here and catch up with the world.

During September, I started playing with Tyranids, which was really quite an experience, as it was the first time I was ever experiencing the Psychic phase during my own turn! Having a fairly big game (I think we were around 1250 points) for my introduction to the army was perhaps a little unwise, as there was a lot to get to grips with. In addition to having four Psykers on the table, I also had a whole boat-load of close combat bugs, so my Shooting phases were disproportionately short compared with what I was used to!

I’ve had a couple of games with them now, and I do think they’re a lot of fun. I’ve gone for Hive Fleet Gorgon, so a green skin and cream carapace, and so far I’m quite pleased with my limited results!

There is still a very long way to go, though – a couple of years ago, I was thinking about getting into Tyranids with a Big Bugs list, but that seems to have gone by the wayside somewhat!

The Autumn is a time redolent with 40k for me, though, as it was around September time that I fell hard into the grim darkness of the far future, at a time when Tyranids were getting new models during the early months of 7th edition. As such, it felt really on-point to be getting the bugs on the table. This is definitely an army that I will be exploring further!

Blood Angels

I’ve not had a fantastic amount of time to do anything in terms of my hobby, except read through old campaign books and codexes, in particular the old Shield of Baal and the last Black Crusade books. I’ve already talked about Tyranids being a big part of my September, and all of my most recent games have been against my buddy JP’s Chaos Space Marines, which has almost inevitably led me to looking at my own journey down the dark path.

However, the common theme that runs through both of those campaigns from 7th edition is, of course, Blood Angels, and after having had a (very) abortive start to that army a number of years ago now, I’ve decided to make the Sons of Sanguinius my choice for a Marines army.

Everybody should have a Space Marines force, don’t you think? I’ve been through a number of ideas, mainly thinking about them in terms of the colour scheme, but after thinking about it for a number of weeks, and having done some investigations online, I’ve finally settled on building up some Blood Angels, giving me an outlet for some of the old “mini marines” models that I still have hanging about – Assault Squads, and Devastator Squads, among others. I like the fact that the Blood Angels have so many unique units – Death Company being top of the list here, but also the fact they have their own unique Tactical Squad kit. It made sense to me, therefore, to stay away from the Primaris for the time being, and take the opportunity to go old school, to some degree!

This is a very slow project though, as I have so little time now for the hobby. I’ve built up the Devastator and Assault Squads, and also a Sternguard Veterans squad, and have kinda kitbashed a Lieutenant using a Vanguard Veteran as the base. So it’s just going to be a matter of time for me to keep going here!

Saturday catch-up!

Hey everybody!
I’m feeling the need to have a bit of a catch up here on the last day of August, as we start to look down the barrel of Autumn and all of the attendant loveliness that can bring! I usually like to spend my time painting miniatures at this time of year, and often look into playing more board games now that the nights are drawing out, and whatnot!

Yesterday, I had a wonderful game of 40k round at my buddy JP’s house. We’ve played at the local GW a handful of times, and it’s been a blast, so it was nice to have a more relaxed game in the domestic setting, and all! We’ve been incrementally increasing the size of our games, as well, and had gotten to 1250 points by this latest bout, though obviously with the various upgrades he’d gone up to 1300ish, so I added in an additional scarab swarm to bring mine up a bit more.

Maelstrom of War is a format that not a lot of people seem to enjoy at my local store, but is something that I just intrinsically associate with 40k due to the amount of battle reports I’d listen to while painting miniatures back in the early days of my hobby – I think I had the idea that I’d listen to batreps and hope to absorb the rules that way! As such, phrases like “defend objective 3”, “big game hunter” and “priority orders received” are deep-rooted in my association with the hobby, so playing these games is almost like some kind of nostalgia trip for me!

I’ve been playing the core of this list now for what feels like forever, but with the ability to go bigger, it has seen some quite interesting additions made! To start with, Illuminor Szeras is a great support character, though one that really needs to be deployed well to get maximum benefit. We only played two rounds, but I didn’t have a target for Mechanical Augmentation at the start of round two, so couldn’t do anything with him again.

For the first time ever, I was playing Necron Warriors in my list, and while I wasn’t exactly impressed with their performance, I think I can see some real advantages to having big blobs of cheaper troops hanging about the place. At the start of turn one, I used Veil of Darkness to redeploy the CCB and the Warriors, which both helped me secure one of my tactical objective cards, and also bring the Warriors closer to the enemy lines and get some shooting in right there and then.

I had used Wraiths in my last game, but had fallen into the trap of camping an objective and therefore lost a lot of the point of the unit. This time around, with the help of the stratagem that allows them to advance and charge, I managed to get right up to the enemy backline by the end of my second turn, and the fact those guys are just so damn deadly in close combat meant that, despite losing one in Overwatch, I was still able to Slay the Warlord, and secure another of my tactical objectives!

I think I’ll be using Wraiths a lot more, and I think I’ll stop paying the points for those guns…

Definitely time I got some more paint on these guys! Between the Wraiths making that impressive cross-the-board sweep, and those Scarabs sweeping from Objective to Objective, they were incredibly useful.

Less useful were the Tomb Blades, I’m sad to say! They’re wonderful models, but they just didn’t seem to be of much use to me, if I’m honest. I’m not going to give up on them, for sure, as I’m positive that I can figure something out for them, but I had expected more from the unit…

JP’s army consisted of a Daemon Prince, Dark Apostle, three units of ten Chaos Marines, a Predator, a Rhino, five Terminators and ten Bloodletters. I think there was some hope to get some Havocs into play as well, but sadly not enough time to build them. It’s a list that felt quite familiar to me, as it is similar to mine in that we’re building up from a core battalion, but it really felt a little bit off this time in that I seemed to have so many more units on the table. I suppose that’s the simple beauty of the Necron army – you don’t get the opportunity, by and large, to upgrade your units with fancy weaponry, so instead just have quite basic squads, but the points are somewhat proportionate, and so I could afford to throw in an additional Outrider Detachment here, and get the additional CP as a result.

We played Disruptive Signals, one of the missions in Chapter Approved 2018 that removes six of your tactical objectives from the deck, then gives both players the chance for 1CP to prevent their opponent from achieving one of their objectives that turn. Neither of us used that, I think mainly due to forgetting about it, and while I suppose removing the six is meant to be some sort of hampering mechanism, it only really served me well in that I was able to remove those cards that I had no hope of achieving!


I’d had to make notes on the front of my list print-out, as I was determined to not forget any of my special rules and get the sequencing right. As it happened, I didn’t miss any Reanimation Protocols, which was handy! Although I lost very few models with the rule, which was also handy! I only got to use Wave of Command once, as I then jumped the CCB up the field with Veil of Darkness, only to then see the model (my Warlord, no less!) promptly annihilated in JP’s first turn! Oh, hubris…

However, the cards were with me, the dice were with me for the first time in what feels like a long time, and I was even getting an average of 3 rolls of 6 on my tesla shots, which was just unprecedented! I managed to score two of my tactical objectives in my first turn (secure objective 3, secure objective 6), and then three more in my second turn (secure objective 2, kingslayer, and behind enemy lines), plus getting Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker and First Strike.

We ended the game at the end of the second round, because it was 0:20 and we’d both been in work all day, but it was already 9-3 to me, so while Maelstrom of War games can be quite swing-y, we called it with a victory for me. Four hours of playing a game definitely feels long enough when it’s this tactically intense, anyway!

It was definitely a fun game, though, and I’m really enjoying getting to grips with the Necron army in a really serious way like this. I’ve got a couple of ideas for some tweaks I’d like to make to the list, including adding some Triarch Praetorians with particle casters and voidblades into the mix, so stay tuned for that!!

Necrons

You know, while I am loving the time I’ve been spending with my Necrons, and getting to grips with them as an army after all this time, I am finding myself beginning to think wider once again – maybe it’s the time of year, but I’m considering finally getting round to painting some Tyranids… For now, in case this is just the need for a change from painting the same scheme, I’m painting some terrain for use in future games, but you never know – there may be some big bugs coming to the blog as the winter months approach us!!

Nova Open reveals!

Oh my goodness, there were some interesting bits dropped at Nova last night/this morning!! I’m really quite excited about a lot of this stuff, so let’s get into it!

So the Psychic Awakening thing has got a fancy cinematic trailer now, but I’m still a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get a good look at what this is going to look like from a products perspective. We’ve got a new Inquisitor model coming along (presumably), along with new plastics for Howling Banshees and Shrike. So that’s interesting, I reckon! The official site has got this to say about it:

Psychic Awakening is a monumental event that will shape Warhammer 40,000 forever, on a scale unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Across this epic event, every codex will see expanded rules as we explore the front-line war zones of a cataclysmic new conflict that makes the 13th Black Crusade look like a border scuffle.

Now, that sounds exciting as all hell, but I wonder how much of it is going to actually translate true, you know? Vigilus was cool and all, but it somehow didn’t quite live up to what we had been perhaps hoping for in the run up to it last year.

The new Shrike has been pretty divisive, though I do quite like it myself! Of course, I’m not about to start collecting Raven Guard, but even so, it’s really nice to see more models than merely Ultramarines! I hope we’ll see some really interesting, weird stuff – starting with that bald inquisitor, of course! If Howling Banshees are getting the updated treatment, as well, then I hope they’ll use this as an excuse to update a few more kits from finecast to plastic! Speaking of which…

The Sisters of Battle have got an army box coming out in November, which I guess means that we really are going to see plastic Sisters coming out this year! Of course, the army set might be out in time for Christmas, but we might not yet be seeing the range introduced. I mean, they may well use this box to bump up the sales, and keep back the individual kits until later. Personally, I’m not planning to pick them up in one big hit like this, even if it does prove to be a saving. Recent army projects have shown that I do much better if I buy things steadily, rather than splurge on a huge pile of plastic to just then have them sitting around depressing me…

But the range does look fantastic, and that new Penitent Engine looks wonderfully grim-dark that I just can’t wait to get one for my collection, if nothing else! Very exciting times ahead, anyway!

Necromunda is getting something that looks pretty interesting – Helot Gangs seems to be the main thought here, from what I’ve seen online, though I’d always thought that to mean the Chaos Cultist rules they released in White Dwarf and on the official site? Who knows. Looks cool, and as per usual I’d definitely be all over this like a rash!

Heading to the Mortal Realms, Warcry is getting an expansion for Monsters and Mercenaries, which looks like it will indeed be following the release pattern of Kill Team – though I don’t know of course if they’re planning to re-pack the monsters and mercenary units in the same way as, say, Kill Team: Commanders. Interesting to see how this one pans out. I had been hoping we’d see the remaining two warbands that were discussed in the main Warcry rulebook, but no such luck! Maybe they’re being held back for the Christmas sales, too?

The biggest thing, for me, to come out of these reveals has got to be the next army for Age of Sigmar, however:

Now, I was excited by Cities of Sigmar, as it represented something of a re-theme of classic Old World models that I do want to get my hands on. I’m a huge Tomb Kings fan, of course, but I’m also a huge fan of Nagash and the whole undead thing in Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar, so I am incredibly excited for this range to come out, apparently as early as October!

An army of bone constructs, led by the new mortarch, Orpheon Katakros, this army looks incredibly exciting and really cool, and should go well with the current Nagash, Mortarch and Morghast range!

There have been some fairly vocal detractors online since the reveals dropped, but I don’t really care what people have to say about it: I think the range looks awesome, and I think it’s going to be difficult not to pick up the whole damn lot when it arrives!

It’s true, accusations of Tyranid Warriors rip-offs here are difficult to argue against. But I just don’t see the similarities with Necrons, which a lot of other folks are calling out. True, they’re armies of undead skeletal warriors, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end. Necrons are far more sleek and futuristic, for all that they’re an ancient species, whereas these guys have got too many design cues in common with Nagash and his ilk to be said to be the same!

I do still feel like the Tomb Kings had something special in Fantasy, but these guys just fit the whole AoS aesthetic much better.

It’s really a wonderful re-imagining of the idea of Tomb Kings, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the full range of plastic goodness!

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are going to land probably square in the middle of the birth of my first child, so I don’t anticipate having much in the way of updates here on the blog during October, but I will be chronicling my hobby progress with certain Undead models here whenever I can, starting much sooner than anticipated with the delightful model that is Arkhan the Black!!

Hobby Reflections – 5 years on

Hey everybody,
August is my hobby anniversary month, and I have been quite reflective over the last couple of weeks, thinking on how far I’ve come with the hobby, and celebrating the fact that I’m really enjoying myself at the moment. I’ve probably said this on several occasions now, which almost makes it null and void, but I don’t think I’ve ever been enjoying myself in the hobby as much as I am right now, playing more regularly than I have ever managed previously, and dabbling in many different projects within the ranges Games Workshop has to offer.

It’s that dabbling that I want to ramble about today, though. I read Tyler Mengel’s ‘Hobby Discipline’ post at the end of last week, where he talks about the variety of projects he has planned out, and bemoaning the fact there are so many minis, but such little time. It really got me thinking about my own myriad plans, and how I have over the years tried to thin out the hobby backlog, only to then find myself in exactly the same position after a few scant months.

Over the years, I’ve bought and sold too many forces, both large and small, and I’ve tried with varying degrees of success to limit myself to stick to projects. I think the Tau Empire army that I found myself building up, only to then sell off wholesale, was a fairly significant turning point for me, however, as it brought it home how much time, effort and money that I had sunk into a project, just to wave goodbye to the whole thing within the space of 15 months or so.

I’m fairly certain that I am one of these people who are most easily classified as a “hobby butterfly”, moving from project to project with a whole host of half-finished pieces scattered in my wake. I almost think I’m pathologically incapable of seeing an army project through to completion! My current focus has been with my Necrons once more, which is something of a nostalgia trip for me at this time of year anyway, but is greatly helped by the fact that I’m playing more games at the minute than I have for a long time, and can almost see the holes in my army lists and how I can plug them. It’s almost like the game is designed that way, right?! More than that, however, I’m also enjoying the fact that I’m spending a lot of time with the Codex of my army, poring over the available units and the armoury sections, to see what I could possibly bring to the table, how I could field a different-looking army, etc. It’s really addictive to play a game, see where I went wrong, then want to play again and make changes.

The Necrons project kinda burst onto the scene shortly after I moved house, but up until that point I was working almost feverishly on my Adeptus Mechanicus project, mostly in the attempt to get an Imperium army that I could play on the tabletop. I don’t think I’ve ever fielded an Imperium force, and the idea sort of got hold of me. Having had a whole bunch of Skitarii that were half-built and waiting for paint, I found it really satisfying to finally get round to painting them, and seeing the project that had begun sometime in 2017 coming to fruition. The only other time I have ever been able to paint with such single-mindedness was probably when painting up my Drukhari, earlier in 2017.

I mention all of these projects almost as an attempt to console myself, as I am capable of sustained interest in an army project without the need to have sidelines going on. Many people mention painting up five or ten models for a unit, then moving to something else as a ‘palette’ cleanser. Personally, I’ve taken that idea a step further many times, and have painted up several really disparate models side by side, knowing that they share colours, in an effort to keep myself interested and motivated. Deathwatch, Genestealer Cult and Electro Priests all shared space on my desk at the same time, and it proved to be a fairly decent way to make sure I kept going.

However, whether because I’m playing more, or my painting time has become somewhat limited, I’m finding myself wanting to concentrate on getting a much narrower selection of models painted up these days. My Necrons are a case in point here, as I’ve found myself wanting to get the Lychguard models finished in time for a game, so didn’t want to get distracted by painting up the Van Saar gangers or the Iron Golem warband that I could have also had on the table, because I know they all share some colours in common. Even within the same project, I was in danger of getting sidelined by painting Tomb Blades, Canoptek Scarabs, and the Triarch Stalker, and so put everything away except the models that I wanted to focus on right there and then.

It’s not a bad thing to have a number of projects on the go at the same time, and it can often be quite economical to paint up several different models at the same time if they all share a common colour/colours, like some kind of weird batch-paint session. But I suppose when there are too many projects on the go, and you run the risk of never finishing anything, therein lies the problem. It’s giving me a lot of joy right now to see my Necrons army coming along so well, as they will always be my first love and passion, though my earlier attempt at an army of them was nowhere near the sort of standard that I would like to hold myself to these days!

There is, of course, another side to the coin of playing so many games with a fairly small-scale force, and that is the number of models you end up with, through being able to change your list fairly flexibly. If I had stuck to the 2000-point list that I had outlined almost 12 months ago (even adjusting for Chapter Approved), I probably wouldn’t be staring down the barrel of so many units as I am currently, because I keep changing up the way I build my 1000-point armies. By making small adjustments, swapping one unit for another, then another for yet another, a small-scale list can see me go through at least seven or eight revolving unit types, on top of the basic battalion force that has remained something of a bedrock for the list these past few months. When playing at 1000 points, I might overlook the Doomsday Ark, or the Triarch Stalker, because it is quite a large investment for one model, whereas for almost the same price I could put 5 Triarch Praetorians in my list and see what they have to offer. But I could also swap them out for Lychguard. Or I could make a couple of swaps together, removing the Lychguard and the Cryptek HQ for Illuminor Szeras and some Tomb Blades. All of these units probably wouldn’t find themselves in the same list at 2000 points, but I might want them all ready to go for my various 1000-point lists.

It’s an interesting position to be in, and I can see myself ending up with a much, much larger Necron force than I would perhaps originally have planned because of it!

But this is where the collector in me resurfaces, and I think there was an element of this back when I was first getting into 40k in 2014. I actually had all of the named HQ choices, even though I probably had no plans for fielding them – the only one I actually liked to play was Orikan the Diviner. It’s something that has really informed my Drukhari purchases in the last 12 months, as well – wanting at least one of every model in the range. So what if a particular model looks like ass? I’m in that sort of mindset where I identify quite strongly with the army (armies) that I play, and so want to own at least one of everything.

Where my Necrons are concerned, this is something that I never used to bother with, as very early on in my hobby career I’d made the judgment that I didn’t like the sculpts for Warriors, Destroyers and Flayed Ones, and so would just ignore them in the Codex and build lists that didn’t take account of them as options for the army. I’d then proceed to bemoan the expense of Lychguard as a melee option for the army, without really taking account of the fact that I can get Flayed Ones for about 55 points cheaper. Of course, I could always look into conversions, but that is a subject for another day – suffice it to say, I would always prefer to have an official GW model over one that I had had to make as a stand-in.

I feel that my attitude towards making the most out of a Codex has really helped me to see the potential for the Necrons, but to some degree it has helped with all of the armies that I collect. My Adeptus Mechanicus army had always been centred around the idea of waves and waves of Skitarii, peppered with Onager Dunecrawlers and the like. But having looked at everything they have, I have come to some much more interesting ideas as a result, and the same is true of my other projects.

The somewhat forgotten few – projects that I’ve barely touched in years…

But this does then come back to the idea from the start of the blog, about having too many projects going on at once, and where to draw the line over what we can and cannot accomplish as hobbyists. I shudder to think at just how many projects I actually have going on right now – indeed, it actually gives me a headache trying to grapple with them all. It’s not just army projects, of course, as I also have a good amount of terrain that wants some attention, both in the box and fully built (even primed and ready for paint, in some cases). It was one of my hobby goals for the year to get at least one decent-sized piece of terrain painted, and as we say farewell to the second third of the year, I am still nowhere near realising that aspiration! But then, I’m quite far away from a number of other goals from my list, so I suppose it’s all relative.

It does feel like this might be a good place to talk about those hobby goals, though, and to perhaps re-visit the list and see if I can get rid of a few of these that definitely won’t be realised before the end of the year. I’m pretty confident that I won’t be painting any Deathwatch or Grey Knights in the remaining months of the year, and while I might buy him, Inquisitor Karamazov is probably not going to see my hobby desk, either. An Imperial tank? I was thinking along the lines of a Predator, but I suppose it’s possible that I’ll be picking up one of the new Skitarii vehicles sometime soon, so that might still happen. I do want to put some of my focus back onto the Adeptus Mechanicus, though, as I’d like to get another unit painted up before year-end there. I’m actually thinking I might try to tackle the Onager, which would be very cool! I’d like to have painted up the contents of a Start Collecting box, so that’s something hovering around my brain.

Necrons are at the forefront of my mind right now, though, and while I would really like to get the Doomsday Ark painted, there are several other units vying for my attention there in terms of playing games, so I think I will probably give them some sort of priority: Tomb Blades and the Triarch Stalker being top of the list, but also more Immortals, Canoptek Wraiths, and (a weird one), the C’tan Shard of the Deceiver. I have some vague ideas for using him in my next game, as it happens, so I would like to try and get moving with him. I suppose Necrons generally should be on this list, as I try to flesh out my army there to be something approaching the breadth of my Drukhari. I keep saying that Necrons are my first love, but the amount of models that I can field really does seem to belie that fact! Time to press on.

My Hobby Goals list was written with half a mind to reducing some of the backlog that I’d accumulated over the years, but I think the way that I’ve been approaching that backlog has changed somewhat, as I’ve been tackling things that I am actually going to be getting some use out of. I don’t think it’s going to really be that possible to ever not have a backlog, and as such I don’t think it’s something I should really try to aim for. But I’d like to try to have a couple of weeks, maybe even a month, where I don’t find myself significantly adding to the mountain of plastic that has been accumulating around me – especially seeing as how that mountain is now stored in the loft… those rafters can’t take infinite strain, after all!!