The Wraithbone Phoenix

I should have written a review of this book ages ago, but somehow kept getting distracted!

The story involves Baggit, a Ratling, and Clodde, an Ogryn, who are working at a breakers yard on Varangantua. The two are former Imperial Guard auxiliaries, and escape their jobs to try and discover a hidden treasure that has arrived within the hulk of an old Imperial Navy ship destined for the breakers. Their overseer is unhappy that they have left, and engages in a vengeful pursuit of the two of them, however he inadvertently informs half the planet of the treasure hunt, so we get all sorts of additional parties, including a washed-out Navy captain, a group of religious zealots, and an Indiana Jones-type archaeologist.

The chase is on, although Baggit is convinced he has the edge because the artefact, the Wraithbone Phoenix of the title, was hidden on board the ship by a fellow Ratling. After twists and turns aplenty, the artefact is discovered, changes hands multiple times, and ends up with an Eldar outcast, who perhaps inadvertently opens himself up to the psychic potential of the Phoenix and disappears, dropping it into the rubbish heap on the street far below.

I’d not really registered Baggit & Clodde before, but they were in an audio drama also published under the Warhammer Crime imprint. At any rate, I was quite excited to get hold of this book as I have previously enjoyed Warhammer Crime books. This one, however, was very different, and somehow I couldn’t seem to bring myself to like it quite so much.

In all honesty, it’s not a bad book. I think perhaps it went on a bit too long at times, though that could have been due to the sheer volume of cast members that were being covered. I suppose the fact that I wasn’t particularly that interested in the protagonists also didn’t help me, but I wonder if I had listened to the audio drama first, that could have changed my view?

The atmosphere of Varangantua is as palpable here as it has been in every other book I’ve read in this setting, though, and the set pieces as the two auxiliaries ran through a market place, or through the breakers yard etc, were particularly cinematic. In fact, a lot of this book, perhaps more than any other, put me in mind of Necromunda. I’ve often felt that Varangantua is almost written like a Necromunda 2.0, so those aspects were really very nicely done.

The story does flip-flop between the original Ratling on board the ship and the “present day”, which I hadn’t realised until maybe a third of the way through the novel are actually separated by hundreds of years. So I did find it a bit jarring at that point! But I have to say, I didn’t really care about the Ratling, Clodde was a kinda cool character in the gentle-giant mould. It did make reading the book difficult at times, though, because I was reading this more for the atmosphere than anything else – I mean, I didn’t care who got to the Phoenix first, or how, but towards the end as the thing went through almost every major player’s hands, it did become quite entertaining! I especially liked the end, where the Phoenix just drops into the street rubbish and is lost once more.

Also, the archaeologist-lady seems to use a Dark Eldar agoniser whip, which was really nice to read about!

Overall, though, not my favourite book so far. I actually gave this a 2/5 rating, which now I reflect on it some more does seem a bit harsh! There’s still plenty of Warhammer Crime to catch up on (unfortunately, though, a lot of anthologies too), so I really ought to make an effort to read these things.

February Plans

Hey everybody,
After a pretty productive January, I am determined to try and keep going with this throughout February as well, so thought it might be good to get some ideas laid out in advance. I probably won’t be doing this every month, but it’ll hopefully be useful to me during these winter months to keep the motivation!

To begin, I have the fairly hefty project of the Promethium Forge that I want to get started. This is by no means intended to be finished this month, but after getting it all primed up and ready, I think it would be good to get started on it. I’ve also been thinking about playing some Sector Mechanicus scenarios in Necromunda, so it’ll be good to have a decent portion of terrain painted, and with two big structures already done, it makes sense to try and get the third finished as well!

In my head, I think it would look amazing to have a SM table put together with at least two levels above the board, and to this end I’ve been thinking about getting some of the Transterranic Gantries to further fill things out. These could be used, in my mind, to link the bigger structures that I have but up a level, so standing these on the bigger things to form a kind of bridge. It might not be all that good, but they could be an interesting investment. I do also have the Ferratonic Furnace that came in the Kill Team Nachmund set, so it could be used alongside that to create something wonderful, as well. We shall see!

At any rate, the Promethium Forge was one of the first terrain kits that I bought and put together, back in June 2017, and I would really like to get this one painted up after all these years!

This will, of course, be a fairly big project, although I’m kinda hoping I might not end up taking the seven months it took me last year to paint up the Galvanic Magnavent!

In addition to that, I want to try and finish the Escher gang that has been taking me a lot longer than I’d initially expected! I think I mentioned this before, but I’m really not enjoying this project as much as I did the Goliaths – a combination of the miniatures not being assembled well, not being primed well, and also not being equipped well has kinda put me off a bit. However, they’re nearly finished now so I hope I can make a final push and just get them done! That’ll then give me, what, four fully-painted Necromunda gangs (along with Delaque, Ash Wastes Nomads and Goliath). My Orlocks and Van Saar are probably the next ones waiting for the paint treatment, but I might take a short break from the tiny people and see about getting something different painted. Well, I suppose that Promethium Forge is something different, but still!

Yesterday, I finally got myself organised and have glued together a bunch of the barrels and crates that come with the armoured containers. Having initially bought a box of these years ago, then getting more via stuff like the weekly magazine and the older Kill Team killzones, I have quite a lot of these things that were never seeing the light of day because every one of them was an individual piece. Setting up the terrain for a table meant stacking individual crates and barrels together, which always ran the risk of being knocked over during the game. However, I have now made “clumps”, for want of a better word, with mostly crates or barrels, although one piece uses both elements, to use as modular scatter terrain. They’re all pretty low, but can be stacked up nicely to create proper barricades and line-of-sight blockers. I think this stuff will be very useful in both 40k and Necromunda, so I’m very pleased now to have it in a much more workable place! Of course, I had already painted a bunch of crates back in the day, so it’s nice to have them a part of this as well. It seems like everything fits together really well, so I plan to chip away at these in the coming months as well. With all of this, plus the containers themselves that I primed up last summer, I should have quite the munitions dump available for games soon enough!

I’m definitely feeling in the mood for painting right now, though, so I think that’s definitely something I want to keep up. I do also want to try to play more games, of course, though interestingly I caught myself thinking earlier today about “having to get x out sometime this month” (I think it was Runebound). It was never the intention to regiment my gaming, of course, and I don’t want to fall into the trap of playing a game “because I have to” for the whole 10×10 thing. I have the evening to myself later though, and I think it would be good to have a game of something…

January 2023 retrospective

Hey everybody,
Just like that, January is over and we’re already one-twelfth of the way through the year. While I know for many people January is a long, long month, it somehow doesn’t seem to have been all that bad for me. I think I’m putting this down to the fact that I’ve tried my best to be organised about what I’m doing with my time, so that I have clear things to look forward to, and so on.

On a personal level, while I have lost the Christmas weight that I’d put on, I’ve not continued the downward trend yet. However, I’ve downloaded the Fantasy Hike app which tracks how far you walk and overlays this on Frodo’s journey to Mordor. So you get updates like Black Riders on the road, camping with the elves, and staying overnight with a farmer. It’s all pretty hilarious, and while I’m not yet projected to arrive at Mount Doom until Q3 2024, I have actually walked 70 miles in January, so I think that’s pretty impressive, actually! I want to take some time soon to try and plan more meals and stuff that would help me to lose weight while eating well, and then as the weather begins to improve (or at least, get more consistent), I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get out and about more, and with a bit of luck, I’ll keep going down from there!

Marvel Champions

Around the middle of the month, I had a day off to basically have a games day, something very indulgent I know. But that was one of the best things that I had going on, because it meant not only that I had that goal in my sights, but also I got to play with the Marvel Champions stuff that I got for my birthday and Christmas. It also prompted last week’s theme week, where I posted about the game every day of the week. It was really great to play some of the newer stuff, and it was a lot of fun to then have a blog go out at the same time each day with my rambling musings on it all. It’s definitely fired my interest in the game once more, which had somewhat waned during the Autumn last year, so that’s definitely a good thing now that I have almost the entire product line…

It’s also helped to really bump up my numbers for played games this year, as I’ve already played almost 20 games this year. That’s a fifth of my goal checked off already. I’ve also started on my third play-through with The Dunwich Legacy campaign for Arkham Horror LCG, which will of course go a long way to helping further with those numbers as a campaign is eight games. I’d spent part of my New Year’s Eve building up new decks, for Mandy Thompson and Tony Morgan, but couldn’t really decide in which campaign to play them. After vacillating over Dunwich and Innsmouth, Dunwich has now won out. However, I’ve also been finding myself thinking up which investigators I want to deckbuild for next, and so I don’t think it’ll be too long before I make it back to Innsmouth, after all!

January has seen 19 games being played, with Marvel Champions being the runaway leader here by far. I think there have been a few great games being played, though the real stand-out happened just yesterday, as I went back to Mutant Genesis and tackled the Project Wideawake scenario with Cyclops and Shadowcat. I love the X-Men, primarily from the Bryan Singer movies of the early 2000s, but I think in terms of overall superhero appeal, X-Men are very close to my heart. Which is probably why I was so disappointed after my first game with the new box. However, Cyclops and Shadowcat was a pretty good pairing, with only maybe a couple of cards swapped into both decks.

Marvel Champions

There is a lot going on in that scenario, and I think I had to play really slowly at times to make sure I was doing everything correctly. But it was incredibly enjoyable, as I was able to really experience the game, and it felt very much like the Sentinels were coming for my guys, especially with the Mk V Sentinel attaching that “marked for extermination” card to Cyclops. There was a lot of stuff going on with both heroes as well, and I think after the initial play with Cyclops, and then looking through his deck to try to make sense of what it is doing, I was a lot more prepared for this game. Shadowcat has some interesting things too, though without knowing a lot about both her deck and the scenario, it was difficult at times to know if I should be bothered by Patrol minions, for instance. Of course, all hell broke loose when her nemesis came into play, which I think is only the second time ever I’ve had that happen in a game, and towards the end I was almost drowning in side schemes! But I was able to get Cyclops’ Optical Blast off with the card that deals +8 damage to bring the Sentinels right down to 3 health, at which point it was almost trivial for Shadowcat to deal the final 3 damage for the win. It was by no means easy, but it was a lot of fun as the game went on! 

Even though I’ve almost completed my Marvel Champions goal of 10 games this year, I think this is well on track for becoming my most-played game of all time, the way I’m going with it!

In terms of the hobby, I have been really pretty productive here, too. I’ve painted up my Goliath gang for Necromunda, which involves seven gangers and two vehicles, so it works in both the regular game but also Ash Wastes. That was a really great result, especially as I’m still quite surprised that I’ve gone all-in for these guys. Since the game came out in 2017, Goliaths have definitely been at the bottom of the list for me, and with each subsequent gang to come out, they only went further down. But after building up the big lads and especially their ridiculously over-the-top bikes, I’ve really become quite the fan! My first time painting yellow hasn’t been all that bad, either, so all in all, I am very pleased!

Even more pleasing is the fact that we’ve been able to have a game of Necromunda, as well! My Goliaths vs James’ Orlocks, using the Prison Break scenario from Gang War 3. We were intending to use this as the start of a campaign, but James has decided to switch from Orlocks to Enforcers, but we’re still hoping to use that opening game as a bit of a scene-setter for the upcoming Law & Misrule campaign. So stay tuned for more on that one!

I am definitely fired up for more Necromunda though, and have not only also started to paint the Escher gang that I have had built since 2017, but also more Zone Mortalis scenery! The Eschers have got a bright red armour thing going on, although with all their hair and feathers etc, the colours are tending towards quite bright right now. I suppose that makes sense, but I do worry a little bit that they’re not Underhive-y enough… I’m also finding it quite difficult in general because of both the way they were built, in terms of actual gluing of parts and also the weapon choices, and additionally the grey primer which is quite thick and chalky in places. I had a similar issue with my Orlocks when I first tried to paint them, but stripped the paint and it all seemed to be okay, however with the Escher I don’t think they’re robust enough to withstand stripping! However, I do have another Escher gang sprue from the Hive War box I picked up ages ago for the Delaque and terrain, so I can always build the Escher gang I want that way.

In terms of Zone Mortalis painting, I have managed to get more walls and columns painted up in about a weekend, which has been amazing really! My total ZM painting now stands at eight wall sections and seven columns, with one platform so far. This is great, of course, though I would say I’ve still got easily half the Dark Uprising box still to paint! My colour scheme requires an undercoat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, of which I have currently run out, so I suppose for the time being I am stalled on this one, but hopefully I’ll be able to get some more of that soon and make more headway.

Something that I’ve been thinking about for some time is how literally all of my ZM terrain is modular, which causes some problems because it can all move during play, etc. So I’ve recently glued together two pieces to create a bit of an anchor in games. I’ve got a corner tower, which has been glued to that height with ladders to provide access up the top, and then I’ve glued a small wall section to a small door section, both of which are then attached to a column. I find that the doors in particular can be problematic because you are actually moving the door piece in-game, which sometimes knocks the wall a bit. So it’s good to have that kind of anchor to keep stuff in-line. As it stands, both of these pieces should be easy enough to fit into a larger landscape on the table, and they shouldn’t be too difficult to work into the other pieces that I have which involve the staircases. But I suppose we shall see!

Speaking of stairs, though, I find myself wanting to get another set of those, as I want to try and make a few more accessways to upper levels. Something that I have found with our games so far in the Underhive has been that they’re mostly one-level. It was nice in the Prison Break scenario to have the Orlocks starting up in a second-storey area, because it meant that we could interact with height a bit more, although as the objective was to flee the board, they were coming down the stairs very early. I’ve been thinking more about finally buying some of the plastic tiles as well, but with only a 2×2 area rather than 2×3 that we’ve been used to, it had always been my thought that it wouldn’t be as interesting. But without two full tiles, the only way is up, really! So maybe doing this could mean that we would naturally play on more levels as a result? We shall see. Obviously, the plastic terrain fits better on those tiles than on the cardboard ones, but I always find myself wanting to spend my limited hobby funds on miniatures, and not tiles! 

Anyway, that’s a lot of rambling about Zone Mortalis, but it has definitely been at the forefront of my mind this month, with the game and all, so I suppose it was inevitable, really!

Drukhari vs Imperial Fists

I also had a game of 40k this month, with my Dark Eldar against JP’s Imperial Fists, and once again, Toughness 3 proved to be the lesser match to marines. The amount of stuff that space marines can do is just ridiculous, and I am quite envious of the way the army almost runs itself, as opposed to having to actually fight to make things work for the xenos armies that I otherwise love! Of course, mistakes were definitely made on my part, but I think I can definitely play smarter in games, so I really want to try to develop my game plan in games going forward. So that will be a work in progress for however longer we have 9th edition 40k.

It has definitely been a productive time in the hobby so far this month, and already I have been able to check off one of my hobby goals for the year, by getting more ZM scenery painted! I don’t know if I will actually be able to get the whole box painted, of course, but it would be just lovely if I did end up getting the whole lot finished. I imagine that games would look so much nicer, if nothing else! I am very aware that 2022 started out really productive too, of course, with lots of Tau units being painted, only for me to falter around Easter time and stuff, so I’m hoping that by taking a much more measured approach to all this, I will actually be able to get somewhere this time. Well, time will tell I suppose!

As far as the hobby stuff goes, then, it’s a little difficult to quantify at the minute because I’ve not really painted up a proper squad per se, but I suppose you could call it one unit (Goliaths) and some terrain (the ZM stuff). That’s against the box of Escher bikes that I bought, so I’m definitely up on the whole bought vs painted thing so far!

This is getting extremely long now though, so I’ll call it a day here. Let’s hope that February is just as productive!!

A catch up (mainly Necromunda)

Hey everybody,
It’s been a bit of a quiet week here on the blog, as life gets back to normal in 2023 and the post-festive blues begin to settle a little. My wife has been struck down with some kind of flu that’s been doing the rounds as well, so I’ve been in full-on dad mode for the little folk. They’re both at a different cheeky stage, so neither wants to do what I tell them to – the eldest just ignores me, but the youngest is actually smiling at me as she ignores me and continues to do what she shouldn’t. Hopefully it’s all just a phase, and things get easier soon! It’s been nice to have them both to myself, though, and there have been fun times as well!

Since I launched the plan of 10×10 games for 2023, I’ve had some pretty amazing success with actually playing games, which has been really nice! I am currently around 5 or 6 games played this year, with a good breadth of stuff hitting the table, so I’ve been quite pleased about that. Look out for a blog coming out in the coming days where I catch up with the Angmar Awakened cycle for Lord of the Rings LCG, at the very least!

Necromunda

The biggest success so far this year has been the Goliath gang for Necromunda, however. I’ve just been slowly chipping away at these big lads for about an hour or two most nights, and have had a real sense of achievement as I see them coming together. It’s only seven gangers plus the two mauler vehicles, so it’s hardly a massive task of course, but even so, I’ve been pleased with my progress!

Necromunda is currently hovering near the top of my list as well, when it comes to games that I am excited for – despite the huge intake over Christmas, it has actually displaced Marvel Champions as the game that I’ve been most looking forward to playing! I have been really excited by the Ash Wastes box, of course, especially given the fact that I have got the terrain fully painted up now, so it’s on my list to try and get to grips with everything over the coming week, and see what is new and how these vehicles work. I’ve got a game day booked in for Tuesday, so I’m super excited for that!

Necromunda

Being firmly in a Necromunda frame of mind, I picked up the new Escher bikes yesterday (sadly no cards were to be had). I’d actually forgotten that these came out last month, but seeing the tutorial from Mediocre Hobbies on youtube made me want to pick up a box for my growing vehicle pool! I don’t think it’s likely to happen anytime soon, but I was also watching Andy’s Cargo-8 tutorial, and found myself wanting that behemoth to paint up! I don’t honestly know that it would really get used, though, so I’m much preferring these smaller buggy-like vehicles, or the bikes, for now. It’s one of the reasons I was looking at my outstanding Genestealer Cult models last week, as I have been thinking it’d be good to get the bikers painted up to try them in the Wastes, too.

Picking up the Escher bikes has got me thinking, though. We’ve seen the Cawdor vehicles previewed back in November as shambling walkers, though I’ve seen a few criticisms of these online as walkers would be inherently more difficult to maintain, so why does the scummiest of the gangs get them? I’m not an engineer, but I suppose it does make a bit of sense that they are more complex machines than a wheeled vehicle. At any rate, they’re presumably going to come next. But what about Van Saar and Delaque vehicles? What will they look like?

Necromunda

Van Saar have already had their hover boards in with the Prospects box, of course, so it’ll be interesting to see how their vehicles turn out. Skimmer bikes would have made sense, but that’s what Escher has – maybe they’ll be sleeker? Who knows! As for my beloved Delaque, my first thought was for some kind of ground car that could be made entirely anonymous with blacked-out windows or something sinister, but I’ve now been thinking: wheel bikes. Like General Grievous. Maybe?

Once all six of the House gangs have vehicles, what’s next? Will Enforcers get vehicles? Probably not, the lore has said that Enforcers don’t really go out into the Wastes. The motor pool is basically built on the Genestealer Cults range, so they’re okay. Chaos cults probably won’t have bespoke vehicles. What about the Corpse Grinders? They’re likely to stay in the Underhive too. That leaves us with the Ironhead Prospectors as a specific gang that doesn’t have their own vehicles, though – it’s possible that you could use some of the Votann vehicles in Necromunda, I’m specifically thinking of the Sagitaur buggy rather than the hover trikes or the land fortress, although the latter could well come into things.

I think Necromunda, more than any other game right now, is firing my imagination in so many different ways, and I just cannot wait to play it some more!

Some hobby updates (already)

Hey everybody,
We’re barely into the new year, and I’m already feeling productive when it comes to my hobby time. At the risk of repeating myself from last year, though, I’ve also been taking a bit of an inventory of my Genestealer Cultist models. I’ve been thinking about them a lot in the last week or so, as I was mainly wondering if I should try to commit to doing anything with the army in my hobby goals for the year. However, after spending a bit of time with the codex and all of my models earlier in the week, I have to say that I’m feeling a bit underwhelmed.

The 8th edition book had a lot of exciting things going on, which I have talked about before, and I thought it was really interesting to go through and see how I could construct my army around some of the units in there. However, this time around, it all just feels really flat, somehow. Like, GW are trying to really push you to use the army in a specific way. I don’t know if this is real, or if it’s just my imagined perception of things, but there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of stuff that you can do as Genestealer Cultists anymore. There were stratagems that could provide some wonderful buffs, as I’ve rambled on about endlessly, which have all been stripped away in favour of – well, I don’t really know what this is. True, some of the units have had buffs to their stat lines, from what I can tell, so you do actually get some good stuff going on there. But whereas a lot of the armies I play have got a lot of fun interactions and nice synergies, I don’t really see a lot of use for command points in this army besides the command re-roll. There’s very little that I would want to spend my points on, and it’s quite surprising, really.

At first, it had disappointed me and I was considering just shelving the cult until 10th edition came around. However, I think that’s a bit hasty, and just because the army wasn’t what I had thought it could be doesn’t mean that’s reason to ignore them. So I am currently in the process of drawing up another army list for my existing cultists, which will no doubt be the topic of a rambling blog in due course!

In the meantime, I’ve started to look at Necromunda vehicles rules, after building up the Goliath Maulers over the New Year weekend, and being thoroughly impressed with them. It’s difficult to not be impressed with the new Necromunda stuff, I find, so I suppose this was never really in doubt! The vehicle rules have so far been pretty spread-out, with rules in the main Ash Wastes rulebook, rules for creating your own vehicles (plus some standard templates) in Book of the Outlands, and then the Goliath and Escher vehicles in Cinderak Burning. I’m assuming that the next book in the Aranthian Succession campaign will have the rules for the Cawdor vehicles that we have seen previewed, as well, though things seem to have gone quiet on that front lately. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we have more news!

The vehicle rules in the Book of the Outlands are extremely impressive, and I must say they’re very comprehensive. Pretty much anything you would think you can do with a vehicle is represented across the 24 pages of rules. There is the usual stuff around actions that vehicles can take, conditions that vehicles can be subject to, how to attack, what happens if fighters are stood on top of vehicles, what happens if the crew loses control of the vehicle, collisions, and so much more. It’s the sort of thing that makes me want to just take a day to go through it all and work out how it all works.

Interestingly, I’ve also been looking at Genestealer Cultists for the Ash Wastes, as my basing scheme for those models is pretty much a desert wasteland, anyway. Excitingly, a lot of the Genestealer Cults vehicles have got templates in the Book of the Outlands, like the Wolfquad and the Goliath. I’ve had a brief look and my Ridgerunner for the Cult would set me back 365 credits with no upgrades, so it’s well within the 400 credit uplift that you get for spending on vehicles. Unfortunately, it seems that you can’t immediately populate it with Genestealer Cultists, as each vehicle needs crew, and we’ve not seen crew profiles for every gang yet. There are generic profiles for Scum Racers which means that someone can pop behind the wheel, but it does feel a bit of a shame that we haven’t got more yet, especially when we’re talking about the non-House gangs. Of course, everybody can use a “Waster’s Dirtbike”, which is basically the Atalan Jackal, so we’re good for that side of things, at least!

I’ve said this a lot, I know, but I am very excited by the Ash Wastes stuff. I think getting the Book of the Outlands for Christmas has really fired me up for more Necromunda, anyway, so hopefully I’ll get to play it soon and see if it lives up to the hype!

Hobby Goals 2023

Hey everybody,
Happy New Year! I like nothing more than a fresh new year, just full of promise and waiting to be exploited! Well, that’s what I tell myself. 2022 wasn’t really all that bad here on the blog, had some great times overall among those 181 posts, so let’s hope that 2023 will continue the theme! On a personal note, after deciding to eat better in June I’ve managed to lose 1st 5lb in total, just through eating better, so that has been amazing and I’m hoping to continue that into the new year. As is now traditional for this day, I am going to outline some of the hobby things I have every intention of doing, but most likely won’t end up getting round to for one reason or another, so let’s get to it!

Terrain
This seems to be on the list every year, and with varying degrees of success. Last year, I did pretty well though, so I hope that I can do the same this time around. I have a Promethium Forge still to paint, one of the big three Sector Mechanicus structures that I bought way back when, and after painting the other two, I think it’s only fair to think I could get this one done this year! There is also stuff like the second Haemotrope Reactor, of course, and I’ve got plenty of bits for Necromunda that could go into this as well, so I think I have enough to be going along with. 

I would really like to get the Promethium Forge done, though.

Drukhari
I have had a lot of success with getting the outstanding Drukhari painted up in 2022, in fact it was probably the best year for the dark kin since I started the army in 2017, and spent the bulk of that year getting everything done. I still have a lot of models that actually need painting, of course, but I would also like to try to get round to doing some of the finishing touches to my models this year, too. Stuff like the basing, or final highlights, or adding some missing detail to some of the models that were painted very much to get them done. 

I would really like to get the 10 Hellions painted up properly this year, though.

Adepta Sororitas
Sisters of Battle were a bit of a surprise triumph for me in 2022, as I went from almost selling them all off to fully painting about half the army in a couple of months. The scheme is really easy to replicate though, so I think that’s a big part of my success here. I still have a lot of models to paint, like the Novitiates and the next squad of Battle Sisters, as well as a lot of stuff still to build. I’m not going to push this, because I don’t want to run the risk of burning out as I have done with other big projects, but I think it’ll be good to add units to the force as time goes on. 

I would really like to get the Exorcist painted this year, though.

Necrons
Ah, my first hobby love. Necrons have been a little sidelined for a few years now, though they did come out in absolute triumph for two games in the summer, where they were particularly impressive. I have a lot of things for this army, and I have a lot that still needs painting for the army, as well. I think it will be best to just keep chipping away with these, and perhaps the more games that I play with them, the more I’ll want to paint up for the army.

I would really like to get the 3 Wraiths painted up this year, though.

Tau Empire
Now, then. The Tau were to have been my big project of 2022, but sadly didn’t really get too far off the ground in the end. In 2023, I’m hoping to get everything that I currently have painted, at which point I can start to look at other bits and pieces that I can add in to the force. I almost got myself a Devilfish the other day, but with five units still unpainted, I don’t want to go adding things to my list that just make the job more difficult. I have plenty to be getting on with, so I will hopefully make good on this project and have a painted playable army in no time! 

I would really like to get the 3 Crisis Suits (and their drones) painted up this year, though.

Necromunda
Having touched upon this in the terrain paragraph above, I think Necromunda deserves its own slot because it is a huge game in its own right, and I am currently on such a high with it that I want to throw the spotlight on it some more. I don’t even know how much stuff I currently have for the game, but it’s a lot, and I am really keen to get moving with all of the half-finished stuff that I have, like the Corpse Grinders and Orlocks. After getting all of the Ash Wastes terrain painted up so quickly, I want to try my hardest to get more stuff finished so that when I play games, it looks amazing as well. I currently have the Delaque and the Ash Wastes Nomads gangs both fully painted, so I think next up I would like to get another gang finished, either the Escher or Orlock gang, and just continue on from there.

I would really like to get more of the Zone Mortalis scenery painted up this year, though.

So that, my friends, is the sum total of my plans for 2023. I was able to get a lot of the backlog painted during 2022, and I was lucky in that my painted output outweighed the newly-bought models. I’m fully intending that I can continue that trend in the new year, and continue to paint the models that I have, rather than just add more stuff to the pile of shame. Of course, it’s silly to suggest that I won’t be buying more stuff, but I hopefully have more than enough models for the majority of my army projects – it’s only the Tau that could feasibly have more models bought for them. In that respect, then, I suppose it’s mainly going to be Necromunda stuff that will be added to over time. Which is fine, because I collect that stuff for the setting, after all.

In terms of other projects, I think it would be nice to get some more Genestealer Cults models painted, particularly the bikes now that I’m looking more and more at the Ash Wastes. Of all the odd stuff that I have going on in the back of my mind, I have been thinking more about getting the Onager Dunecrawler painted for my AdMech. That’s something I hadn’t really thought about, but it’s something that has been part-painted for years now. But I’m not going to worry about these other things too much. 

This year, in a further effort to focus my efforts, I’ve decided that I’m going to do mini check-ins at the end of each month as well, to see just where I’m up to with these projects. Overall, I don’t think it’s a massive amount of stuff that I’ve given myself to do. I’ve picked out six things from each of the headings above that I would like to see finished by the end of the year, so hopefully if I can get those done, everything else is just going to be a big bonus!

Merry Christmas!

Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or just enjoying a quiet Sunday, I hope you find folks are having a great day!

It’s true, I’m obsessed with Marvel Champions! I’d sort of opened Sinister Motives towards the end of last week, but I’ve got a lot of sleeving to do for all these new cards! My 18-month old was particularly taken with Red Skull, which I found hilarious (and promising for future gaming!)

I know I haven’t yet built up all the Necromunda stuff from last year’s haul yet, either, but after I’d gotten into the Ash Wastes, I knew I wanted the Squat gang as well. Hopefully 2023 will see much more Necromunda played than the solitary game of 2022 (though I guess we still have a week to right that wrong!) Stay tuned!!

I knew I wouldn’t actually finish this book in one night, but I’ve barely started in the end! I’ve been gifted this flu that seems to be doing the rounds, so have had a couple of rubbish nights now. Fingers crossed this passes quickly, anyway!

Whatever you’re up to today, I hope that it’s fabulous!!

I am Kroot

Following on from my recent return to the Tau, I’d been thinking of getting a third box of Fire Warriors until I realised that I have the Kroot from the Kill Team box, which can all be built with Kroot rifles if I so wished. And lo, it came to pass, my third troops choice just presented itself for the princely sun of 60 points!

Kroot are perhaps the more plentiful of the Tau auxiliary forces. In the lore, the Tau bring The Greater Good to the aliens that they come across, and many become client species, fighting alongside their Tau commanders in the wars of expansion. Many humans enter the Tau army as auxiliaries, of course, and the codex gives us the avian Vespid, with ancient models that really are on the verge of shocking in this day and age, and of course, the Kroot carnivores.

The carnivores do have a plastic kit, but I’ve been really enamoured of the new Kroot models from the Kill Team box, as they’re really quite characterful. Of course, there are plenty of options for making weird and wonderful operatives for kill team, but I’ve tried to stay as straightforward as I can.

I think they should be quite useful, as they can both shoot and have a reasonable line for melee too. So it might end up as a nice surprise – each model does two attacks hitting on 3s, they’re S4 and each wound is AP-1, which I do enjoy. It’s not Earth-shattering, I know, but they have a stratagem to allow the squad to perform a heroic intervention, getting +1 attack each when they do so. 30 attacks hitting on 3s and wounding likely on 4s at AP-1 is going to do at least some damage.

I think they should be fairly good, especially for the points, so I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Creeping back to Tau

Hey everybody,
Slowly but surely, over the last few weeks I’ve begun once again to think about my Tau army, and have been wanting to make a return to painting more for the army. I didn’t get very far with the project, in retrospect, as I would have liked – I do have a weird kind of patrol detachment painted, with the Commander, 10 Fire Warriors, and then two units of 10 Pathfinders, but that was pretty much it.

I’ve got more built and now primed for the force, which is not really a position that I wanted to be in when I made a start on it back in January, but I suppose it could be a lot worse! It was always my intention to buy a unit, then paint that unit, so I’m a bit behind on that front already!!

As it is, I still have a Cadre Fireblade and Ethereal, 10 Breachers, a full Crisis Suit team, and a Ghostkeel battlesuit primed up and ready to go. In total, the army weighs in at 1270 points, although it isn’t currently a proper army due to the missing third troops slot. I suppose I could field it as a kind of double-patrol thing, but my plan is to get a third fire warrior team and make it into one big happy battalion.

Doing that, however, does make me feel a little bit guilty because I’m just adding to the backlog, whereas I had always planned for the Tau project to be a case of buy a unit, paint a unit. At least if I were to buy the third fire team, that then would be my final addition for quite some time…

Although I’ve recently realised that the Kroot kill team from Into the Dark could potentially function as a squad of Kroot carnivores, which is interesting because I’ve never really been all that interested in using auxiliaries. Kroot are a useful unit for their relative power in melee (relative to a Fire Warrior!) and so I am having some vague ideas on that front…

There’s definitely something that really just excites me about the Tau, though. I think I like the fact they look kinda modern and space-y in comparison with the ultra-gothic Imperium and such. I’m also a big fan of my colour scheme, which I know must make me sound so egotistical, but I’ve been very pleased with how stuff like the drones, and the Commander have turned out. Hopefully when I get round to the next batch of painting, they will continue to be as good-looking!

I had initially planned to move on to the Crisis team next, so I am eyeing them up for paint. However, as it has been a while since I have painted anything for them, I might make my return with the Breacher Team, as painting up ten infantry models (and associated drones) should help, I think, to get me back into the swing of it all. I can then look at trying to do a beautiful job with the Crisis Suits so that they look a bit of a centrepiece unit. True, I have the Ghostkeel (I even have a Riptide waiting in the wings!) but there is something very Tau about the Crisis Suits, and I love the way they look when you have them all set up with their accompanying drones. Very Tau.

I may even treat myself to some more of them, in the fullness of time!

However, in the interests of being a grown up about all this, I think I need to limit myself to just getting that core battalion painted up, and then work on adding to the list from there. I know we seem to be on the brink of tenth edition, and who knows how that will affect the force org chart, but it’s as good a place to start as any, so I suppose that’s what I need to go for!

Hobby Goals 2022 – two months left

With just two months left of this year, it’s time to check-in with the hobby goals and see what I can do to get myself back on track before new year. Let’s just take another look at what I had decided to do this year:
1. Paint more terrain
2. Start painting the Adepta Sororitas
3. Finish painting the Ossiarch Bonereapers kits that I have
4. Continue to paint up the Genestealer Cultists
5. Paint up the Tyranid models that are currently primed
6. Try to sort out the AdMech, Drukhari, Necrons and Chaos Marines, and other bits!
7. Start painting the new Tau army

I’ve got a fairly nice start to the sector mechanicus stuff now, with two of the big kits done. I was toying with possibly doing a third, but for now I’ve moved into other stuff, namely the Haemotrope Reactor, and I am thinking I might try to get at least one armoured container before the year is out. But I don’t want to go too crazy, as I seem to have a lot that I want to get through!

Considering when I last looked at the hobby goals, back in July, I hadn’t done anything with the Sisters, I now have a whole bunch of them done! 30+ models painted across the last couple of months is pretty good going, even if I say so myself! I’m really enjoying the colour scheme as well, it’s quite easy to replicate across the various units, and it’s great to see the army coming together – at long last!!

Okay, so I haven’t actually painted any more Bonereaper miniatures, but after playing my first game at the end of July, I did build these cavalry up in short order. They’re primed and ready, but just not on the list for me right now.

Now, I haven’t painted up any more Genestealer Cultists since that great run I had on them twelve months back, but you never know whether I might still pick up the bikers before Christmas! For the last couple of weeks, they have been back on my radar…

Tyranids made a surprise return to my painting queue a while back, and I finished the carnifexes that have been hanging about for a few years. It was a surprise move, but it was nice to have a couple more models painted up for these bugs. I think I mentioned it before, but I do consider the models that I have as a complete force, so in a way it is quite nice to dip in and out every so often to just add to a couple more to the painted pile, as it were! I have a few more primed models now, but as with the Bonereapers, I don’t think I’m going to be adding any more to the list of what to do by the end of the year.

My Chaos Marines have had a bit of love this year, with a few more models added to the painted pile – the first squad of Legionnaires and the Sorcerer are now joining the Master of Possession! I had hoped to start on the Cultists this year, but as is now becoming a theme with this post, it probably isn’t something that I’m going to get round to soon…

My Necrons have actually had a couple of outings this year, and I’ve been trying to spruce some of the models up to get the blue, in particular, looking better. I’m actually really pleased to say that all of the troops have been looked over now. I also recently finished getting the tomb blades painted up, which is very good! Slowly but surely, I’m getting all of these mechanical chaps painted! In a surprise twist, I am intending to get some more Necrons done – hopefully I’ll be able to get some Lychguard done soon, anyway.

The Dark Eldar seem to have been making a bit of a stealth return, after doing the Raider, plus of course the Wych Cult!

It’s one of my favourite armies that I own, and I’m really excited to have been able to get more of these painted recently. The Wych Cult in particular is good to get to the table, as they’ve been languishing for ages now. Unfortunately, I still haven’t been able to get a game with them, though I hope that will change in due course. I’m also hoping that I might get some more Dark Eldar painted soon, too…

The Tau project is a curious one. I started the year really strongly with getting two units of Pathfinders, a unit of Fire Warriors, and the Commander done within the space of about ten weeks. I guess I was a little burnt out though? I started casting around for other projects as a bit of a palette cleanser, and eight months on, I still haven’t picked them back up. I’m not saying that I’m going off them, not at all, but I seem to have a lot of competing projects and the Tau currently aren’t on the agenda, sadly. But I’m hoping that I will be able to get back to the Sa’cea Sept very soon!!

I’ve got a few projects for the winter that I’m looking forward to getting round to. Near to the top of that list is, of course, this beautiful Ash Wastes terrain. The tutorial video that I’ve been keeping in mind, from Mediocre Hobbies, reckons it won’t be long to get painted, but I’m not so sure – it is me, after all!! But you never know.

More Necrons, possibly more Dark Eldar, and likely more Sisters are all on the list for the next two months, though I’m also aware that we’re approaching Grey Knights season! If you’ve not been reading my blog for very long, every winter for the past 4-5 years, I’ve been working on my Grey Knights, and it now feels wrong for me to think about painting or playing with the army at any other time of the year! I think I will very likely be working once more on these models by December, so I am conscious that I don’t want to be over-loading myself with projects being crammed in just for the sake of things.

Join me in two months’ time, to see where I end up!!