March Plans

Hey everybody,

I seem to be in a bit of a hobby wilderness at the minute, in fact I haven’t really done much of anything all week so far, so I thought it might be a good idea to draw up a plan of attack for the month, before things get too out of hand, and I end up with a March retrospective blog that is devoid of anything!

Let’s start with Necrons. I’ve got these two guys looking pretty good, in fact the Royal Warden has been almost finished for quite some time, already! I’ve got a few finishing touches planned for him, then I’ll hopefully be able to get the Plasmancer finished off in short order for another fairly quick win – just the plasmic lance really that needs work doing to it. I’m particularly pleased with myself for this one, because work only actually started on the model on Sunday. 

I’ve recently decided to sell off a bunch of models, including all of the Primaris stuff that I’ve kept but not had any kind of plan for. As such, I spent some time at the end of February building up the rest of the Necrons from Indomitus so that I could sell the Primaris half including the instructions! In addition, I’d seen Garfy’s Chronomancer painted up and looking fantastic, which really prompted me to get back to painting these guys.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL_tPNYHy97/?igshid=mxtw37lr3xka

Along with the Plasmancer, I’ve now received the Psychomancer model so need to get moving with that! I’ve heard that it’s a difficult build, with the digital skull face thing that he’s summoning and all, and looking at the sprue I can well believe it! It does feel a little fiddly, but I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with that!

As you can see, I’ve also been stocking up with Fantasy stuff, getting the new Shardspeaker model for the new Hedonites of Slaanesh, as well as the Agents of Chaos “battletome” for Warcry. I’d like to get that Shardspeaker built, if not fully painted too, I’ve got some interesting ideas floating about for my Slaanesh models, which will be nice to explore further. I also want to get at least another game in with Warcry, because it kinda haunts me that I’ve only played that single game! So that’s going to be something else to aim for!

Talking about playing games though, I also want to get more Arkham Horror LCG played! I’ve now started to put up some blogs on my Circle Undone campaign, which has been a long time coming as I think I did start to play this one early in January! I’d not been wanting to play too far into the campaign without getting round to the write-ups, but now that I’m pretty much up to date, I think it’s time to continue on with the witches!

I’ve used this segue before, but speaking of witches, I really need to make more of an effort to catch up with WandaVision. I mentioned briefly the first episode in my January catch-up blog, but have now watched I think up to episode 6, and I’ve been really impressed with how the series has just gone from strength to strength. I think the second episode, where the beekeeper comes through a manhole only to be “re-wound” by Wanda, is truly where this series lit up for me. On the surface, it’s quite a nice retro-feeling show, but there is so much going on beneath the surface that it really sucks you in! I’m toying with the idea about writing more about it, but I don’t really have that much more to offer than has already been shared around the internet! 

I think the last episode is out tomorrow, so maybe it’ll be a weekend of binge-watching to the finale!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CL464FLn2q1/?igshid=1ggklhl0oq12n

I started to read Fallen Angels earlier this week, the eleventh book in the Horus Heresy series. I’ve basically gone back in time, then, as I’ve actually read up to book 29 at this point – but I couldn’t get into the sixth novel, Descent of Angels, so put this one aside as it is something of a direct sequel. After reading Dave’s review of Nemesis over on wordaholicsanonymous, though, I’ve gone back to see what I’ve missed – I’m only about 100 pages in, so it’s still early days, but I’m hesitantly thinking that it is better than the earlier book! The review will of course be coming once I’m done!

Feels like this might be a busy month for me after all…

February Retrospective

Hey everybody,
Another month has been and gone, and it’s once more time for another retrospective blog! I’m quite enjoying this idea, so hopefully that’ll continue for the year ahead! It’s been a pretty productive month as well, with a lot more hobby and stuff to report!

Since last month, I’ve been making terrific progress with the Ossiarch Bonereapers, which was most recently chronicled in my update blog, here. I’ve now got 590 points-worth of the bone-boys painted up in the colours of the Petrifex Elite. It’s been a lot of fun painting these chaps, although for now I’ve taken a small break as I look at what else I have that needs attention.

The next part of my plan for the Bonereapers is to have the Necropolis Stalkers painted, although I’m not sure whether to build them as the Stalkers or the Immortis Guard. It is on my radar to get more troops, although I’m kinda waiting for the inevitable Start Collecting box, which will likely have these guys in there. Unless they go for a cavalry box? That said, with 40k moving to these combat patrol boxes, I don’t know if they’re planning to continue to do these for much longer. At any rate, for now I’m continuing to build and paint what I have, rather than branching out and buying yet more miniature men.

Quite the sea-change for me, really!

At some point in the near future, though, it’ll be the turn of this magnificent specimen, and I cannot wait to get this one built!

In the middle of getting this small army of mine assembled, I did a little work on the nascent Black Legion that I’ve been wanting to get off the starting block for quite some time now! I’ve been inspired by Martin Sivertsen on Instagram and his own burgeoning Black Legion force! It’s a beautiful force, and I think it’s about time that I got somewhere with my own. In addition, I’ve also been hard at work building up the remaining models from the Necron side of the Indomitus box (I’ve decided to sell the Space Marine portion, more money for the stuff I do want!)

I’m still not a huge fan of the new Necron aesthetic of shambling robot zombies, but the army is of course my first love, and I do find myself enjoying the look of the new Crypteks, so have picked up a Psychomancer for the list that I talked about a while back, and I’m planning to start work on painting the Plasmancer pretty soon. That juggernaut of GW painting, Garfy, posted yesterday showing the new Chronomancer mini and it’s absolutely beautiful. Probably going to be a while before this one is released separately, but I suppose it’s at least four more months before we will see the lockdown restrictions removed here in the UK, so I’ve got the time! I’ve got a lot of disparate ideas for 40k floating around, but it seems as though I’m much more likely to focus myself on Age of Sigmar right now.

Slaanesh has been on my mind of course, now that we’ve had the new range of mortals released. I’ve picked up the Shardspeaker, such a fantastic model, but have otherwise reined myself in here. In all honesty, this is a force that is a long way off just now, and I’d rather keep focusing my efforts on the bone boys to get a decent sized force finished.

In addition to the Bonereapers and Slaanesh, I’ve had my eye on the Lumineth Realm-lords, following the latest Warhammer Preview this month. There are some very beautiful miniatures in this range, to be sure, and I’m trying my hardest to resist buying anything just now! There’s definitely something Old World about these minis, that makes me nostalgic for the old days. I keep thinking I might just pick up a box of the basic infantry, just to have a go…

Lumineth Realm-lords

So far, though, I have been a good boy!

Something that I haven’t been able to resist, though, is this:

The “latest” expansion for Warcry is a few months old now of course, but I’ve been thinking on it for quite some time, vacillating over whether to get it or whether it was a bit steep for the content involved.

However, I am glad to have it, despite all the negatives floating around online! Warcry is absolutely one of the things near the top of my list right now. I’ve been wanting to get further into that game recently, although I’ve still not played it after that game back in September. I’ve got the Iron Golem models from the original core set primed and waiting, and I’ve been thinking that may well be the next project to get underway with. Of course, Warcry could be the perfect way to start with Slaanesh when the time comes, and I’m sure I’ll be exploring more of that here!

Arkham Horror LCG The Circle Undone

At least I’ve been playing Arkham Horror LCG, and have managed to get started with recording my endeavours on the blog here! With working from home more regularly during the current lockdown, I’ve found that I have the time while on my lunchbreak to get a game in, which has been quite good for getting to explore the game some more.

Taking a sharp left turn now, I watched The Phantom Menace last weekend, for the first time in what feels like an age. It’s hardly the best film in the series, of course, but it did feel quite wonderful to be watching Star Wars once again, and I did feel really quite nostalgic for the whole saga. I used to watch the prequels almost every Christmas, while reading a selection of the novels and comics set around there – to the point where I had almost developed a set scheme for “my prequel Christmas”. I do quite miss the days when I had nothing much going on, and could read a 400 page book in a day, happy times! I’d like to try and get back into that maybe someday here, revisit the old days and chronicle some of those classic tales here – though much like with the Legacy series I re-read last December, it’ll be interesting to see if these things hold up.

Something that I have finished reading this month is the Warhammer Crime anthology No Good Men. I really enjoyed the first novel in the series, so had been looking forward to reading more. Anthologies can always be a bit ropey, and I think this one is no different. Seven short stories from Black Library alums (including Chris Wraight, author of the inaugural Bloodlines), all set on the world of Alecto and around the hive city of Varanganthua. The thing is, after Bloodlines, and after a couple of stories here, things begin to sound all the same. Probators going about their investigations, etc. There are a lot of missing persons, it seems, in the hive city, and I found myself wanting a bit more variety. I’m not really that down on the book, of course, but things just tend to blur into one at the end. Individually, the stories are pretty good, and very enjoyable with that noir feeling. Some are better than others, of course, but I definitely like the change from space marines and the like.

I’ve got Flesh and Steel, the next Warhammer Crime novel, ready and waiting. But I’m also hearing such good things about the first Star Wars High Republic novel, Light of the Jedi, that I’m thinking I might have to pick that one up sooner than later.

Warhammer Crime: Bloodlines

Hey everybody,
It’s been more than a week since I finished this bad boy, so it’s definitely time that I got down my thoughts on the blog here! Warhammer Crime is the second subset of Warhammer novels, following the Horror imprint that made its debut in 2018. Warhammer Crime came along in 2020 with Bloodlines by Chris Wraight, which was a huge draw for me, for a number of reasons. First of all, of course, Chris Wraight is one of my all-time favourite Black Library authors, and while I do love a bit of the crime (stories, not actual crime), I thought this could be a great vector to introduce my wife into the world of 40k, as she reads almost exclusively crime fiction.

Bloodlines is, at its most straightforward, a missing persons story, following the Probator Agusto Zidarov as he follows the trail of a wealthy industrialist’s son. The search takes him into the underground pharmaceutical trade, and includes a fairly hefty dose of industrial espionage and politics along the way. That’s how I kept selling it to Jemma, but to date she hasn’t taken the bait. But you never know!

The novel is set on the world of Alecto, mainly in the hive city of Varangantua. There is a very strong Necromunda vibe here, for sure, and I had a lot of serious call-backs to the Ravenor books, which is probably the closest we’ve had to Warhammer Crime up to this point. Zidarov is basically the Warhammer version of a detective, so he’s a bit of a different breed to the Enforcers that we’ve also seen in novels. I found it interesting to see the emphasis placed on this being pretty much a police procedural, and the aspects that make this 40k were almost down-played, which makes me think this could be to allow the book to appeal to the widest possible audience. For sure, the references are there if we want to notice them – I mean, the major plot point of the pharmaceutical trade involves rejuvenat treatments, which we know of course from so many 40k novels (including those Ravenor novels), and of course we see folks armed with laspistols and autoguns. But you don’t need to know what any of these things are to enjoy the book – interestingly, I’d say we actually learn more about the rejuvenat process here than we’ve ever learnt in mainstream 40k.

There is some wonderful world-building here – this is one of those sci-fi books where none of the food or drink is familiar, you know? It weirdly helps to ground the book in the realms of the more mundane, though, and made me realise that we’ve never actually had a 40k book like this before. I suppose the emphasis has always been on the battles and the insane stuff, even with Ravenor we get those glimpses into the downtime that folks have, but here there is almost a family drama playing itself out for us in the middle of the investigation, with Zidarov and his wife worrying about their daughter’s desire to join the Astra Militarum. It was interesting, to me, because again, we don’t need to know what this means in the context of the 40k universe for it to have an impact – it was very much two parents worrying about their child getting shipped off to die on some distant battlefield.

It was very well written, with a fantastic feel of the classic noir detective story throughout. You could almost imagine Zidarov sat behind the frosted-glass door with his name on it, smoking a cigar while brooding on the case. No femme fatale here, but maybe that’s being kept for a later book, you know? Interestingly, the book is described as “An Agusto Zidarov Novel” as if we’ll be getting more, so hopefully there is something in the works for that, anyway!

Warhammer Crime

Varangantua is apparently the setting for at least a few more books in the subset, though, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the next one, Flesh and Steel, by Guy Haley. Another Black Library veteran, it sounds like this one might be a bit more 40k-y, as it features a probator working alongside the Adeptus Mechanicus. It’s on order, anyway, so I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back here with my thoughts on that one, too!

More New Warhammer!

Hey everybody,

At the weekend, we had the latest Warhammer preview, showing off some of the new stuff that’s coming up in 2021, and some of it is very exciting, to say the least! I really hope this year brings us some awesome new toys, because let’s be fair, it’s been pretty grim these last few months, and we currently don’t have any sort of end in sight…

First off, we have the Sisters of Battle version of the Nemesis Dreadknight. It’s a little silly looking, in particular when you try to imagine the dimensions of the pilot and imagine how long her neck must be. But new models are always cool, even when they’re not necessarily the new models you’d have hoped for. No Biker Sisters? Hm. I’m curious as to whether, between this and the Palatine model, we have enough to warrant a new Codex already? Will we be seeing even more new kits? Hm.

Next up for 40k is a new expansion for Kill Team, showing that skirmish 40k hasn’t entirely been abandoned. I believe that this set is in addition to the re-vamp promised for the system later in the year? I’m a little sad that it seems we may need to wait longer still before getting the Chronomancer and Flayed Ones as separate kits, though I guess it’s possible people might be splitting these sets on eBay.

On a separate note, I’m really pleased to see the Psychomancer up for preorder soon! It seems like ages since I wrote my Necrons list with that guy in there!

The new Kill Team box is likely going to be a pass from me, price depending, but it’s interesting to note that this bundle gives new players who picked up Indomitus, or any of the new starter sets, a nice little expansion to those armies while also getting a different sort of game. Nice one!

We’re off to the Mortal Realms now, however…

I am categorically not about to start an army of High Elves, but I think it’s really neat to see how GW have taken the old classic elf fantasy trope and combined it with something a bit more eastern/otherworldly, with these huge animal-spirit-type forces-of-nature thing they have going on. Very Studio Ghibli. The Teclis model is strange as all hell, for sure, but I do like these big mountain spirit things!

We’ve seen some of the Vampire previews doing the rounds, but finally the new Soulblight Gravelords are making an entrance into the game with a new warband for Warhammer Underworlds, and they do look very nice! Just to reiterate, I’m not about to start yet another new army, but I could see me picking up this warband, to actually try out this game!

We’ve recently seen the update for Warhammer Underworlds, with the Slaves to Darkness warband going up for preorder soon, and what looks like an Ossiarch Bonereapers warband coming up in May. Direchasm is shaping up to have a lot of nice warband options, that’s for sure! It’s definitely time that I tried this one out, I’m thinking!

The big news, for me, is this. We’ve got a new version of Warhammer Quest coming out, and it’s once again in the Mortal Realms. However, this one miniature has got me completely drawn in – I’ve been trying to calm myself in regards to buying new stuff, but look at that guy! If we think back to Silver Tower, and all of the Tzeentch-y weirdness that we had there, this has the potential for unspeakably good zombie minis along the lines of this gravedigger lad.

Time will tell, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on, as the miniatures design shown off in just this one guy, combined with everything they’ve doubtless learnt from Blackstone Fortress, will surely make for an incredible experience!

It vaguely surprises me how, in recent weeks, I’ve moved back into what I suppose is my first love from Games Workshop, the fantasy stuff. 40k is still up there, don’t worry, but I do find myself increasingly enamoured of the Age of Sigmar miniatures line, and I think going all-in on the Bonereapers army recently testifies to that.

I’ve been worried recently that my drive to hobby has been waning, in part due to lockdown stopping me playing games, but seeing stuff like this coming over the hill has started to fire me up once more!

Necromunda thoughts

Hey everybody,

I’m fresh from reading the anthology Uprising, so thought today that I’d come along and talk a bit about things in the Underhive!

The book is a little uneven, as with any anthology really, and is mainly built around the novella Low Lives, which is a tale of a conman in the ash wastes. The various short stories that make up the collection often feature the gangs from the miniatures line, and three of them actually involve some of the named characters that you can buy in glorious Forge World resin! I thought that was pretty neat. There are a lot of Orlock stories, with one Escher, one Cawdor, one Van Saar, and one Corpse Grinder Cult. Although the Escher story is more about the Palanite Enforcers and Servalen.

On the whole, I did enjoy the book, although I did only give it three stars on goodreads, mainly because where the stories weren’t so engaging, it became a chore to get through them.

I was also disappointed there were no Delaque short stories (though they are in the Van Saar tale, as the faceless pursuit).

I mean, it was okay, and I do enjoy getting to experience the Underhive in print, as well as plastic! I was very disappointed, though, by the fact that none of the stories really dealt with the idea of the Uprising as detailed in the Dark Uprising boxed set. Having the Enforcer on the cover also felt a bit like a red herring…

But never mind!

I’ve been fairly productive on the Necromunda front as regards the actual game, I must say!

I’ve been chipping away at the Delaque gang for a while now, and they’re definitely coming on, at last! Still got quite a bit to do around the weapons and bionics, but in the main I think it’s going fairly well!

I’ve built up a few more Van Saar, too! I’ve made good use of the weapons upgrades, but I have yet to actually start painting them. One step (or gang!) at a time, I guess!

I’ve also been working on building the Gang Stronghold up since Christmas, of course, and I’m very pleased with how it’s taking shape so far! Everything is fully modular, so each section of wall can be moved about to fit any kind of configuration, which is something that is nice! I’m not sure if I should try to glue things to make it a little more solid, particularly the corner piece at the 90-degree turn, but I think I’ll wait for now, and maybe play about with it all a bit more. The floor platform at the corner I mentioned can be supported with one of the many struts included in the set, so it doesn’t seem too bad.

I’m really excited to see how it fits together with the zone mortalis stuff from Dark Uprising, as I have a lot of the platforms left over, somehow, but they are all fully compatible, so it’ll be really interesting! I recently picked up another box of the stairs and platforms, so I’ve got a lot of plastic available to me now, for sure! It does look really good, I think, with the corner stairwell I’ve attached in the above photo, but I’m sure I could combine things to come up with yet more permutations!

I don’t think I’m about to create something quite as wonderful as the stuff being put out by Owen Patten, or Leonard Dime (Rapid Tabletop), however, but it should be nice, and allow me to create some very cool looking battlegrounds!

Excitingly, I’ve also managed to get another game of Necromunda in shortly after Christmas! I built up a Sector Mechanicus board, using the Kill Team boards and a bunch of terrain that I’ve had for years, and once more pitted my Van Saar against my Delaque! (We’re still locked down here, and my wife has no interest in 40k games, sadly!)

It was an absolute joy, I must say! I didn’t play with the additional rules for Sector Mechanicus boards that were published in the Book of Peril, mainly because I am still trying to keep the core rules clear in my head! I think I need to work on making a sort of ‘rules primer’ that will help in these situations, because I spent far too long flipping back and forth in the rule book.

During the game, I was controlling both sides equally, but wanted the Van Saar to come out victorious, as I still think of them as my first gang, and all. Well, it seemed like that dream would come to nought as the Delaque gangers were picking them off with ease. I rolled so many Out of Action results this game compared with last time, it was untrue!

Things looked really grim for Van Saar, despite constantly winning the roll off to act first each round. In the fifth or sixth round, they failed a Bottle Test and barely managed to make it through, passing the subsequent Cool check to act normally. And that was really the clincher, as the Leader was able to dispatch the remaining trench coats from his lofty perch with ease, but it absolutely came down to the last man standing!

Such an epic game!

And it’s such a great game, too! Playing solo like this is fine to scratch the itch, of course – if gets me rolling dice and playing with my plastic – but this kind of game had so many epic, cinematic moments in it that could easily form part of campaign legends, this is really where I miss being able to play with friends! Hopefully we’ll begin to see an end to the restrictions by the time my gangs are painted, though, and I can be bringing news of my campaigns in the Underhive to the blog!!

Hobby Goals 2021!

Here we go again, folks! It’s a new year, and the time is right to go through some of my goals for 2021, so we can see what I can accomplish in the next twelve months. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have on the books, and thought I would go through the inventory and see what I have to work through. So let’s get to it!

 https://www.instagram.com/p/CJb-xStHHRc/?igshid=11u1wvjkf55x4

I would like one of my main focuses for 2021 to be getting the Sisters into some form of playable shape. I’ve had the box since November 2019, of course, and was adding to it with some of the additional releases to come out at the top of 2020, but I’ve barely made any kind of dent in actually painting these models, so I really want to change that for 2021!

I’d drawn up a 500-point list back before the edition change, and everything has sneaked up to the point where I’m now quite a way over that! But rather than cut things, I’m planning to keep working to this until it’s done. 23 models shouldn’t be so insurmountable, I keep telling myself!

From here, I’m planning to expand outwards with Retributors and more Battle Sisters, as a start. I also want to get the rest of the contents of the box set finished up, although some of those feel like they’re a strange mix and I’m not all that sure how to integrate them into the rest of the army, but if nothing else, it will be good to have the whole thing finished off!

I’m very tempted to get the new Drukhari vs Sisters box coming out, but I’m holding back a little simply because I don’t really need all of the Drukhari side of it, having a massive amount of models for that army already. But another Immolator, and more Retributors, would be very nice – and I really want that Palantine model! I suppose that’s what is giving me pause, really; I’m sort of expecting it to be in the £80-£90 range from my FLGS, which would be about as much as the individual Sororitas kits would cost if you factor in the Palantine, so I’d essentially be getting the Drukhari half for free anyway. I guess we’ll see what happens in a few weeks when it’s released!

Speaking of Drukhari, though…

I recently took inventory of the dark kin that I have still to do things with, and was quite surprised at how many kits I still have! Top of the list for actually completing this year are Incubi and Drahzar, 5 more Wracks and the pair of Grotesques. I do actually need to treat myself to a third Grotesque soon, as that is the minimum unit size. Not a massive amount of models, this time! Other than this, then, I think I’d like to get some more models finished, like odd Kabalite Warriors that I have here, and perhaps another Venom or Raider. I’m not sure where I got to with the Scourges, either, so could do with taking a look there.

I probably need to inventory the actual force that I have! Back in the day, I had well over 3000 points fully painted, which should really get more outings! I think 8th edition put me off, to some extent, because I disliked having to force my list into Kabal, Coven or Cult. During the Index days, I enjoyed playing a mixed force, and I think 9th edition will be bringing that back, to some degree, so it’ll be interesting to see the sort of lists that can be done once the new codex drops!

What else?

I think I need to properly work out what I want to keep, from my Deathwatch, Tempestus Scions, Adeptus Mechanicus and Blood Angels forces (I know I’ve barely even started the latter!) I said back when 9th edition was landing, that I wanted to thin out a lot of the collection, and while I have taken some strides in that regard, I do need to try and be better! I’m thinking about wiping the slate clear with a lot of these small projects that have never really gotten off the ground, and just focusing myself where it matters! I keep getting suckered back in with the AdMech though, as I keep thinking how wonderful some of those models are! I might, therefore, just keep a token force to ally in with something like the Sisters, or the Grey Knights. While I’ve not really known what I want to do with everything, I’ve held off, but now I think it’s becoming quite clear that I ought to just cut down and focus on a few armies, rather than spreading myself so thin…

Larger collections of models include the Tyranids and Genestealer Cults, and I want to try and sort myself out here, as well. I’ve recently decided to thin out some of the Cult, as I was looking at far too many models there, but I am fairly certain that I’m not going to get rid of them as an army, as I love them as models so much. Of course, they were going to be my big army project for 9th edition, but that never really got off the ground, did it? I’m such a fan though, that they’ll no doubt be worked upon as time progresses!

The Tyranids were looking quite precarious at one point, but I enjoy those models a bit too much, also, so I think I’ll be keeping hold of those too – I want to try and play more with them, when that kind of thing is possible, as the couple of games that I have played with them were very interesting. Of course, I have the Grey Knights as a pure psyker army, but I do love the fact that the bugs have got a good mix, allowing for a nice balance during the game. Definitely need more time spent with the bugs, I think!

I also think that I had a fairly decent paint scheme for the Tyranids, easy to replicate across vast swathes of the things, but I did sort of stall back when my daughter was born, for obvious reasons! I think it would be good to get back into these guys, though, so hopefully I can make a bit more headway with these, too! It’s been nearly two years since my “Going Big With Tyranids” blog, but I think that will most likely form the jumping-off point.

I am in danger of making things a bit unbearable now, though – getting the Sisters army off the ground might turn into quite the task, after all, and I’ve not even mentioned the Necrons in this blog! At least the Sisters are the only project that has an actual list attached to them – Drukhari and Tyranids are just “paint up some random miniatures” for the time being!

Anyway, it’s probably time to enshrine some actual hobby goals for the year ahead!

Paint up the Sisters of Battle 500-point list (well, it’s a little more than 500 points, but the point stands!)

Finish up the Drukhari models – 5 Wracks, 3 Grotesques, 5 Incubi and Drahzar.

Paint up at least 2 Tyranid units, at least one of which is a big bug!

Continue rescuing Necron models – Triarch Praetorians, Canoptek Spyder, etc

Paint more Grey Knights! At least three more units, maybe a vehicle too.

Also paint more Chaos Marines! At least three units, and perhaps a bigger thing, as well.

Make a decision about the Scions, Deathwatch and AdMech models! Do I want to keep all of those Space Marines kits?

Paint more terrain – mainly for Necromunda, but also general 40k stuff.

In addition to all of this, I’d like to be less impulsive with buying stuff, and see if I can stick to only buying things that I want to actually use, etc. I’d also like to improve my painting, so I think I need to be better at doing it more often – not necessarily for the whole day, but try to do an hour more often in the week, than only one or two times in that week. I’m almost afraid to say this last one, given that we’ve just moved into full lockdown again, but I would like to play more often, and have more of a plan for when I do! I still tend to go in with the idea of “let’s see how this turns out”, so I think it could be good to get more of a game plan in place for when we are able to meet up with people once more!

So there we go! Let’s see where I stand this time next year!

Hobby Update 2020!

Hey everybody,
It’s that time of the year once again! Let’s dig into the progress that has been made over the last 12 months with my hobby, comparing it with my hobby goals from the start of the year – although I’ll warn you now, it’s not as extensive as I’d like!!

Paint up those Grey Knights!
This hasn’t actually been too bad, although of course I’m nowhere near to having even half of an army!

I’ve got the first Strike Squad painted up, which is quite exciting, as I’m sure you’ll agree! I also painted up the Chaplain model, and finally finished the first unit I started for the army, the Purifiers!

So at this point, I have two units of infantry painted up, and two characters. I’d like to do more as 2021 grinds on, as well, so hopefully I’ll keep churning out the psykers!

Finish off the odd Drukhari stuff that I have hanging about
I’ve not painted any Drukhari in 2020. I have, however, sold off some of the Kabalite Warriors in an attempt to clear the decks a bit. So I can hopefully get some of the backlog cleared as the next year approaches!

Necromunda, generally!
Okay, so this one has been quite successful of late, if I do say so myself!

I have played the game twice, solo, and loved it! I think I prefer Zone Mortalis to Sector Mechanicus, although it’s still early days and all that! I’ve been making pretty decent progress with painting my Delaque fighters as well, but I think I’ve been a bit all over the place in my excitement, and need to try to focus my efforts and get some stuff actually finished!

Blackstone Fortress – play a full campaign
Well, this didn’t happen. I did get the box down at one point, but didn’t get very far. Never mind!

Try to thin out the unpainted / unwanted models
This has actually worked out quite well for me, so far! As I said, I’ve got rid of some Drukhari bits, and have thinned out some others as well. There’s still a long way to go of course, but I’m considering my options with a lot of different bits and bobs… we’ll see how 2021 goes!

Finally – try to work on what I have had lying around for ages!
Yes, this hasn’t really worked out very well for me, either! I’ve splashed a bit of paint on some Genestealer Cult models, a few Necrons, and a few skirmish game bits and pieces such as Warcry and Necromunda. But not a great deal of models have been finished, I’m ashamed to say!

Looking through my instagram, I have fully painted five Necron Immortals, two Necron Overlords (including the new Indomitus model), five Blood Angels Devastator Marines, the Grey Knights Chaplain, Grey Knights Strike Squad, and a couple of things that I’m very pleased with:

The Ferratonic Incinerator has been hanging about for years, and I think back in 2019 one of my hobby goals was to paint a piece of terrain, so I feel pleased that I’ve finally made good on that point! I’m hoping that I can get more done, now that I’ve developed more of an idea of how I can get stuff like this painted, so we shall see on that one!

Finally, I’m really happy with this guy! So far, it’s the only model for the Black Legion that I have painted, and this is yet another army project that I’ve not yet gotten off the ground. However, it’s a project that I am rather excited to do, and Chaos is something that I keep coming back to, so I will no doubt have some updates on this development soon!

So there we have it – not the best of years, but not the worst!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Hope you’re all having a splendid Yuletide – and if you don’t go in for all that, hope it’s been a tremendous Friday!

I’ve had a pretty decent haul this year, mainly focusing on the recent upsurge in Arkham Horror that I’ve had! In addition to getting fully up to date with the card game, I’m quite pleased to have the new edition of the board game, which is a curious beast that I hope to find the time to explore soon!

In addition, I’ve kept a few of my recent purchases back for the festive season, as a bit of a present to myself! Looking forward to getting round to these soon!

In a pretty surprising move, GW has announced some new models coming out soon, starting with Drukhari vs Sisters of Battle, which will serve as a vehicle to show off two new plastic character models, Lelith Hesperax, and the new Lieutenant model for the Sisters, the Palatine:

I think that’s a great looking box and, depending on the price, I’m probably going to get it. I’m feeling a distinct need to get back to my beloved Dark Eldar, so it’s the perfect product! However, some of these things have been priced quite… ambitiously, and I’m not going to go too crazy for it…

We’ve also seen more for the new Slaanesh release, and I’m bowled over at the attention being lavished upon the Prince of Pleasure! New mortal archers, ranged and melee Seeker-riding mortals… and Slaangors!! My goodness, I need a lie down…

What a Christmas!!

Christmas Eve catch-up!

Hey everybody,

The festive season is well and truly upon us, although it’s a stranger one this year because of all the restrictions that are in place. I’ve got five days off work now, so I’m hoping for a bit of a break from things – mainly because there’s so little that we can do!

Of course, being a huge nerd, I feel almost like I’ve been preparing for lockdown my entire life! I’ve got an almost 15 month old baby to keep me occupied during the day, of course, and during naps and the evenings, I’ve got plenty of hobby-backlog to work through!

In an effort to get more models finished before January, today I put the finishing touches to my Necron Overlord from the Indomitus box. It’s a very nice model, even though all the Necrons from that set have got sculpted damage on them, which I’m not a fan of, but I think I’m slowly getting over that now!

I’ve been working most recently on my Delaque gangers, who are finally coming close to being finished! I’m very excited for that of course, though I do think that I’ve taken my time with them, when you think it’s been around 2 years since I first started to build them! I think they’re looking really great, anyway, and as I’m planning another game of Necromunda against myself in the near future, it’ll be nice to have that much more painted up!

Speaking of games, I’ve started to play The Lost Realm for Lord of the Rings, as well, playing the first scenario, Intruders in Chetwood, earlier this week. That was a great game, albeit really quite involved! I’m sure that I played a couple of things incorrectly, as there were a great deal of moving parts to that quest, but I really enjoyed myself – while it definitely provided a challenge, it never felt completely impossible, which was nice to see. So often in the past with this game I’ll have lost due to location lock, where the threat in the staging area is just too high for me to cope with. The encounter deck seemed to be a decent blend of cards, though, which I think is key here. Too many enemies or locations can lead to the game just beating you down hard. I was also playing with Shadow effects, as I feel I’ve been missing out on this aspect for my playing career so far! It probably helped me more than I realised, having that ability to cycle through the encounter deck and effectively discard some locations and enemies without having to deal with them, so I definitely appreciated that!

I think my decks need looking at fairly urgently, though – a lot of the time I felt as though I had too much of a mix of questers, and fighters, meaning that I probably wasn’t dealing with enemies effectively. Of course, I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to this aspect of play, but I do feel like the decks need to have their balance addressed, so that they fall down either as ‘the questing deck’ or ‘the fighting deck’. That’s not to say that they will fulfil that role exclusively, but just have a greater emphasis, rather than trying to do both equally.

I can probably make better use of Sentinel cards, also!

Hopefully I’ll be able to get more games played over the next few days – I’m hoping to get some Arkham Horror played, as well as more Lord of the Rings!

Hope you all have a wonderful festive weekend, whatever you end up doing!

Happy Solstice

Hey everybody,
Christmas is approaching, for those of you with the inclination, but the recent announcements over lockdowns in the UK has seemingly put a damper on things. This is as much as I’ll talk about with politics, of course, as I try to make this blog more of a haven from such things, but I think I’ll probably be posting a lot over the coming days as I try to take my mind off things – and, hopefully, yours, too!

It was my birthday on Friday, and I had a decent haul of Arkham Horror LCG stuff, which was great! I mean, a couple of those bits I’d kept back from recent purchases, such as the Dexter Drake novella and Guardians of the Abyss. I think the birthday haul is pretty indicative of what is on my radar right now, though – between the card game and Necromunda! I haven’t had a proper chance to do more than flick through House of Artifice, but I’m looking forward to digesting that over the coming days! I do want to get another game of Necromunda in at some point, even if it is by myself, because I’m really hooked right now!

I have started to play Lord of the Rings again, though, thinking that I’d start off with Passage Through Mirkwood, the introductory scenario. And it absolutely brutalised me! I had a very bad series of draws from the encounter deck, and playing two-handed was obviously increasing the cards seen over the course of the game, but jeez!

There are a couple of things that I want to mention here, of course. First of all, playing two-handed is actually a real joy. I had the odd moment of “where am I up to?” of course, but those tended to be in the late game where a lot was going on, already. I think perhaps playing two investigators in Arkham Horror has prepared me well for this one, and I think in part that, in comparison, Lord of the Rings is definitely a much simpler game. It surprised me because there is a much more linear plan for the game: you do the same thing round after round, and the variety of it all comes from the different cards being revealed from the encounter deck. Having played a lot of Arkham Horror lately, which has got that element of a board game from having investigators moving around different locations, and the RPG feel of leveling-up cards etc, it gives for a much more complex game. While there are those elements in common, such as effectively playing against the encounter deck and such, it really surprised me that I had that feeling!

Of course, the decks that I was playing were not really built for this way of playing – each one was effectively a solo deck, so they could have dealt with the majority of the game by themselves. As such, I think I could tweak the decks back to dual-sphere and have each one cover the other better.

Interestingly, I went back to basics on this one as well, and read through the instruction manual, as well as watching the tutorial stuff again, and tried to get it right. Back when I first started playing this game, in 2011, I had incorporated a couple of house rules I suppose, to make it more manageable for actual solo play, and I just kept playing it that way. The ‘Basic Game’ as explained in the rulebook does suggest not revealing shadow cards while you get into it, and I’ve played that way pretty much ever since! I was also playing the game whereby if I had optionally engaged an enemy, I would attack it first rather than allowing for all enemies to attack me first, regardless of who engaged who. In my mind, it made sense that I would be able to do this, because otherwise it’s the equivalent of going up to someone for a fight, and letting them hit you first? Of course, there are player cards that allow you to dodge attacks and the like, but it always struck me as really odd that I couldn’t natively attack first when it was my choice to engage with that enemy!

Anyhow, playing the game correct, I thought, would be a lot of work, but as it happened the first game was over in 5 rounds, as I was just unable to overcome the threats in the staging area, due to bad draws from both the encounter and player decks! Any allies that I had were dying to enemy attacks as I threw them under the bus to just try to deal damage to the enemies engaged with me, but as time went on, I had to throw my heroes at them as defenders, meaning I was in a holding pattern of doom until round 5, when four of my six heroes were killed off. It was shocking!

I did later that same day play again, after briefly considering trying out the official Easy Mode of removing some of the encounter cards, but in the end went for a straightforward shuffle-up-and-reset, and I managed to prevail. The game was a lot longer than I’d expected, though I think that was in part because of the two-handed thing, but also simply because I was trying to defeat Ungoliant’s Spawn, which was the fourth card from the bottom of the deck. Still playing without shadow cards, I wasn’t drawing as many encounter cards as perhaps I could have been!

It’s interesting though, to me, that playing without shadow cards can be such a dual-edged sword; on the one hand, you’re potentially buffing enemies when they can already be a bit unwieldy, but almost in return you get to cycle through the encounter deck quicker, and can potentially avoid having so many locations or so many enemies coming into play. I suppose this is something to think about when we’re talking about implementing house rules or whatever – the game has been tested to play in a certain way, and is as balanced as possible based on its own rules. Adding to these, or changing things, can tip that balance and sometimes lead to a less-than-optimum experience. Certainly something I need to bear in mind when I’m complaining about “how tough is this game?!”

Lord of the Rings LCG

I’m still going to be playing through one of these cycles over the Christmas period – at least one, maybe more! – so look forward to hearing more of my musings as I properly get back into what I have always been calling my favourite game!

I picked up the latest White Dwarf this morning and, as I have the day off (yay!) I had a fairly leisurely breakfast while flicking through its pages. There’s a lot of Age of Sigmar stuff in there, which I kinda glossed over because I’m not big into Spiderfang Grots, but I was reading Robin Cruddace’s column on the new 40k rules, and it was quite interesting to see why they changed some of the rules from 8th to 9th edition.

I’ve talked briefly about this recently, but in some ways I think 9th edition coming out in the middle of a global pandemic, when there are so many restrictions in place that the GW stores themselves can’t even run demos of the game or have people in there for any longer than absolutely necessary, does seem to be a bit of a swing and a miss. Any sort of excitement around the new edition has been, for me, tempered by the fact that I couldn’t immediately play it, and the few games that I have managed to play since it arrived were a weird sort of hodge-podge of rules, in part because I was playing an 8th edition codex in a new game. Granted, it wasn’t massively different, though for something like Necrons, trying to play with the army when Reanimation Protocols had changed, but we didn’t have the rest of the rules yet, was such a weird experience. Now, I know plenty of other folks will have been through the pain barrier between editions where they’re using a book from an edition or two ago, but it’s difficult to get my head around!

It’s curious, although perhaps not totally unexpected, to see how I’ve almost gone off 40k in recent weeks. I think the lack of any outlet to play has a lot to do with this, as I’ve got no real motivation to paint anything up while there’s no end in sight to these lockdowns! I’ve moved into solo-able games so much that 40k has almost been left behind, but I do think it’s about time I used some of the down-time to get some projects finished, so that I can play with fully painted models when this is all over! I’m sure there’ll be more on this to come in the next couple of weeks – if only from the now-inevitable Hobby Resolutions blog! Now is not the time for a retrospective on that one, of course, but it’s definitely been a mixed bag in 2020, with some successes as well as some that have fallen by the wayside. Stay tuned for that blog, coming up sometime next week, no doubt!