Warcry DLC

Hey everybody,
Earlier in the week, the Warhammer Community website put out an article for Warcry, covering new rules for the miniatures released as part of the Dominion box set for Age of Sigmar. It was the last of these “Call of the Everchosen” articles, which has prompted me to look back at what they’ve actually covered in this series since it began in February. By my count, there have only been five, more’s the pity, but that’s a good number to allow for us to take a dive through and see what is on offer!

1. The Purge of Anvilgard

Relive the fall of Anvilgard in this free Warcry campaign – Warhammer Community (warhammer-community.com)

Stormcast Eternals vs the Blackscale Coil, a shadowy criminal enterprise in Anvilgard, around the events in Broken Realms: Morathi. There are a series of linked narrative battles where the Stormcast leader, Keiser Ven Brecht, is gathering clues on the activities of the criminals before the final showdown. The Blackscale Coil player musters different warbands throughout the campaign, finally playing with the Coil (made up from Dark Elf units, including a chariot and Hydra/Kharibdyss!) Ven Brecht is searching for clues, and will automatically lose the campaign if he fails to uncover 10 over the course of the linked battles. It’s a really cool concept, narratively, and I think it harkens back a lot to the anthology of short stories that I read a while back, where the cities of the Eightpoints are alive with criminal elements and not just bloodthirsty chaos cults vying for dominance – I know this particular campaign is set in Anvilgard, of course, but it’s very interesting to see how these types of stories can be told through the game system, and it’s not all just warbands fighting for the sake of it.

2. The Forlorn Hope

Bring the Lumineth to Warcry with Free Fighter Cards and a New Campaign – Warhammer Community (warhammer-community.com)

This is an interesting one, adding 21 Lumineth fighters to the roster, and gives us a narrative campaign of the Lumineth Realm-Lords vs Ossiarch Bonereapers. The campaign allows for the Lumineth to be led by the Light of Eltharion model, which is itself quite something, while the Bonereapers are able to use Mortisan Boneshapers, Soulmasons or Soulreapers, they can attempt to summon a Nightmare Predator. Much like the previous campaign, this one follows along the Broken Realms: Teclis book, and is fought over three games. The rules are much for flexible for the first two, but the third has a specific battleplan that brings none other than Arkhan the Black into the fray for the Bonereapers’ leader! A very cool aspect of this narrative campaign is the sense of travel given during the Aftermath sequence – the Lumineth player is trying to get to the Gates of Paradox to prevent the Bonereapers from enacting a ritual to corrupt this realmgate. During the Aftermath, the Lumineth player rolls a d6 and consults the relevant chart, adding 1 to the roll if they won the previous battle, and subtracting one if they lost; on a 1-3 they suffer a setback, and on a 4-6 they gain a reward. These tables have different effects depending on whether the warband “errs to the east” or “errs to the west”, which is a really nice idea that I like a great deal!

3. The Depths of Sylontum

Unleash the Soulblight Gravelords in Your Games of Warcry With These Free Fighter Cards – Warhammer Community (warhammer-community.com)

The Depths of Sylontum narrative campaign features Chaos Daemons vs Undead (Nighthaunt and/or Soulblight Gravelords), making for an excellent introduction to the new warband while also tying into the third Broken Realms instalment, Be’lakor. This is a 4-6 player campaign, where the players form a team to play each other individually (no grand melee). Each team gets to select tactics that determine deployment etc, before the final battle where the teams join together in grand melee style. The Agents of Be’lakor are trying to complete a ritual, represented by controlling objectives, while the Emerald Host of Lady Olynder is trying to stop them; at the end of each battle round, Chaos get D3 ritual points for each objective, but they subtract D3 points for each objective controlled by the Host. If Chaos get 10 ritual points, they win! It’s a very interesting game idea – I’ve not got a lot of experience with big multi-player games like this, but I can imagine there would be a lot of back-and-forth as there are only three objectives out on the table. It’s also a very interesting match-up, purely Daemons vs zombies and ghosts, I can imagine that would lead for some very interesting interactions.

4. A Fool’s Trove in Ulfenkarn

Hunt Treasure in the Cursed City With This Free 4-Player Warcry Campaign – Warhammer Community (warhammer-community.com)

Within the forsaken city of Ulfenkarn lies the Ven Silveren estate, and its lure of riches untold has led many to seek it out for plunder. Tying into the Warhammer Quest: Cursed City boxed game (that came and went in a heartbeat – but I’m not bitter), this narrative campaign features a strong theme of horror, with warbands unable to add reinforcements between battles, and potentially turned into zombies, meaning it is that much more brutal and grim! Rather than the team game that we saw in the Be’lakor tie-in, this is a free-for-all campaign where players are competing with each other to find the estate’s riches. To further the horror-story feeling, there is the Nightfall mechanic, which acts as the Twist for every game in the campaign. A d3 roll at the start of the game determines how many rounds of daylight are left, before night descends, and the Restless Undead come out – basically roving monsters like the chaotic beasts from the starter set. Another interesting mechanic happens during the Aftermath section, where you can choose to send out a fighter into the night, and roll on a d6 table to see what happens – maybe they’re slain, or perhaps they will be able to add to your progress? Progress determines the level of bonuses your warband will get during the final battle, where the warbands all converge on the crypt of Ven Silveren – entrances to which are denoted by objective markers, which are removed one by one at the end of each battle round, until the player controlling both the final objective marker and the key token wins! Sounds very atmospheric, I have to say!

5. War of the Morruk Hills

The Warriors From Dominion Arrive in Warcry With Free Fighter Cards and a New Campaign – Warhammer Community (warhammer-community.com)

The most recent campaign is based around the Dominion starter set for Age of Sigmar, and has a decidedly different feel to it than the others we’ve seen. It feels very much like a war, fittingly! One player controls the Thunderstrike Stormcast, while the other takes the Kruleboyz, and each side is led by three heroes, who each surround themselves with a warband of varying size. There are a number of locations being fought over, and each hero is sent with their warband to one of those locations. When the location of the battle is revealed, the warbands are then deployed, and battle is joined! There are either three or four battles in the campaign – once a player has one two battles, the final battle begins. In this battle, all of the leaders are involved in warbands of 1300 points, and the objective is to take out all of the enemy fighters. Quite straightforward, in all honesty, though there is the unique mechanic of Victory at All Costs, which you can declare once in the battle and gain two wild dice, which you must declare how they are to be used (and then receive no further wild dice for the game). There’s a definite pitched-battle feel, as opposed to the normal skirmish-feel of the game, but it’s quite nice to have that sort of thing as an option for the game, really!

Overall, there are some really good ideas here – as well as some great expansions for warbands such as the Lumineth and the Soulblight. It’s an interesting take on narrative campaigns, to have them so prescribed and such. The Tome of Champions 2020 has the excellent narrative campaign that is based on the silent city of Soroth Kor, though obviously any warband can take part there. So I suppose a lot of people who play Warcry may not be set up to use this content – but perhaps GW are treating these campaigns as a way to lure AoS players into the Warcry camp?

Of course, it’s usually the other way round, and I think the Anvilgard campaign is a case in point, where you can use the Start Collecting contents for the Blackscale Coil warband. But I suppose it goes both ways, as the Soulblight, Lumineth and Dominion campaigns are all designed to let existing AoS players use their minis in Warcry. Hm.

It’s a shame about the way that Cursed City was handled, because the campaign using that game’s contents is pretty good, I feel! The nightfall mechanic is very interesting, and lends a definite air of dread to the game – if only the board game hadn’t disappeared so quickly, it would have been a perfect excuse, as a Warcry player already, to pick it up! I retain some level of hope that they’re planning to re-try when the world has returned to normal, though as some people have speculated already, some of those Soulblight characters do look very much like the sort of thing that you’d expect to see in an expansion, like the Ambull or Zoat expansions for Blackstone Fortress. Perhaps the design studio is already hard at work picking another locale for the next iteration of WHQ though, and we’ll see something in a couple more years.

Before I finish rambling though, I thought it might be interesting to speculate on what’s next for the game, given the little tease in the Dominion article about the “exciting things in store” for the game. Looking at how things have been shown with the new Kill Team, and the focus on warzones and seasons of the game, with the promise of bespoke teams and the like, I think we could see a move away from the purely Chaos-driven theme and blow it up to include more AoS factions. In a similar manner to how the Dominion narrative campaign had the feel of a small scale war, rather than the skirmishes between rag-tag warbands, I think we could be seeing this as the next stage. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that, because the appeal, to me, of this game has been in the fact that it’s almost purely Chaos vs Chaos, with the other warbands very much bolt-ons to the existing game system. Going forward, I think we could expect to see seasons of the game, with a couple of warbands specific for this game, though from any faction in the Realms, and maybe a campaign book or something that deals with the background and stuff, a bit like Soroth Kor in TOC20.

I could be entirely wrong, of course, and a big part of me does hope so! Catacombs was something that I had not expected, so it could also be the case here! I guess we’ll have to just wait and see what GW has to offer us next!

Musings on Warcry

I’m really into Warcry right now. I think the fast-paced gameplay is a real big factor, because time is definitely at a premium for me at the minute. Having a game that can be played during a lunch break is a huge draw, and it helps that the whole thing is actually really enjoyable, of course! GW models are mostly amazing, after all, so the whole thing is quite a feast for the visual senses, and with that fantastic scenery you can get some incredible cinematic moments. Of course, it would help if I’d actually got round to painting mine up!

I’m very slow at painting, not helped by the fact I’m definitely a hobby butterfly, but also of course I don’t have time for much of anything right now! I’ve managed to grab a couple of moments – possibly an hour and a half in total, spread across a few days – where I’ve been able to do some painting as well, so I’ve been really excitably working on The Unmade, who have always performed pretty well amazing in my games of Warcry, so definitely deserve to have some love. They’re so weird, and that Blissful One is possibly the most disturbing model GW has ever produced, but I love just how disturbing they are. I’m still very much early days with them all, but I think things are coming together now, and once the basing has been done, I think I’ll likely be daubing liberal amounts of blood all over the place.

For a while now, I’ve had just the four warbands built – Iron Golem, Untamed Beasts, Cypher Lords, and Unmade – with only two of those in varying stages of painted. While I really don’t want to go off the deep end with having so much stuff, I also feel a bit like I want some more variety, and have been thinking about building up some more minis, as time allows. I have all of the Warcry warbands, and for a while have been considering either the Corvus Cabal or the Spire Tyrants, just for a bit of variety in games. However, after playing two games recently where the minis have been primed black, I realise how drab that can make the game feel. It’s difficult to make out any level of detail, and so you feel very much like you’re playing with a lump of plastic – it’s like the Chaos Black spray sucks all definition out from a distance! The Iron Golem look like they should be very nice to paint, too, so I’m thinking I might give them my attention once I’m done with the freaky Unmade.

Of course, there is all this terrain, as well.

I have the Defiled Ruins terrain set as well, and I’d like to get cracking and build some of that so that I can try out different environments, but again, I’m very mindful of the fact that I have a ton of the stuff from the original core set to get a grip with! Then there’s the Catacombs box, which I suppose I could try out at some point because the terrain there is mainly doors and bridges, and I am quite curious about giving that a try. But I guess we’ll see. I need to rein myself in, generally, so for now I think I’ll plod on with painting the Unmade.

Playing Warcry, and painting the models, has naturally got me thinking more about the game in general, and I’m curious as to where this is headed. It’s obviously not meant to expand like Necromunda, where we have codex-like books for each gang. Though I suppose the case could be made that the Grand Alliance books effectively are the House Of equivalents). With the advent of a new gang for Necromunda, though, I do wonder if we’ll get more new Warcry warbands, as I feel that would be a natural way to go.

For a while now, I’ve been wondering how it could look if we had a warband that is properly dedicated to each of the Chaos gods. I know we have the AOS stuff to use for this, of course, but I would really like to have a proper, bespoke band that maybe comprises a couple of cultists, a wizard (or priest, for Khorne), and a daemon. I think it could be interesting, seeing as how the original bands were all pretty much Chaos Undivided, fighting for the attention of Archaon. Getting God-specific, Warcry-specific warbands could be an interesting way to take things?

I think it would be good, as well, to have a sort of narrative book, a bit like how Tome of Champions 2020 focused on the narrative with Soroth Kor and built up a real sense of the locale etc. Incidentally, Tome of Champions 2020 has got some really good stuff in it, I’m just gearing myself up for a proper look through that sometime soon.

Maybe we can see this kind of thing really expanded upon? New terrain, maybe a new warband, and a new narrative campaign focus? A bit like the 40k campaign books, with lots of fluff in there, and then new narrative rules that would support the wider release? I don’t know – I’m sure, whatever I do think might happen, we’ll have something totally different!

Of course, all of this useless speculation assumes Warcry should have the kind of aggressive release schedule as Necromunda. The initial box was released in summer 2019, with a small flurry of expansions to give us the new warbands and terrain, with Catacombs released at the end of 2020 with the grand alliance books, although it is believed that the pandemic had pushed that back from the summer. Can we expect anything more in 2021? It seems that we’re all about Kill Team right now, with a rumoured new Horus Heresy box set due in the November slot for the year, which makes me think we don’t have anything big coming out this year. I’d hope for a Tome of Champions of course, as those books are pretty great. I think we’ve had a few Warcry features in White Dwarf now, which might be good to have collected into an Annual of sorts.

I suppose it doesn’t need a slew of releases all the time, though. It would definitely be good to have more Warcry, just because the game has brought us so many incredible miniatures as it explores such a unique aspect of the Mortal Realms. I really hope GW don’t just let this one slide.

New Army update four

Hey everybody,
Today is the day of the long-awaited fourth new army update! While this has pretty much been covered in both my April and May retrospective blogs, I thought I’d keep the tradition going and provide a proper update for the force, mainly so that I can share some fancy pictures!

Since the last update, I’ve painted up the three Endless Spells for the Ossiarch Bonereapers, as well as some more hero models. Vokmortian and the Mortisan Soulreaper are both wizards, something my army was otherwise lacking (considering I’d painted up the spells with only the Mortisan Boneshaper to cast them all).

I really enjoy the Vokmortian mini. He was the original Bonereapers character, of course, coming out in Feast of Bones back in the day, and under the current rules, he has that spell that can outright kill a model. His miniature design is also pretty bonkers, a skeleton clerk holding out a contract and wearing a tombstone strapped to his back. I mean, what’s not to love?! I can probably make him look a lot better, particularly in terms of his staff, but I think I principally wanted to concentrate on getting the model finished.

That’s been a theme across pretty much the whole army, though, I suppose – having a colour scheme that is quick to replicate across all the models, to get them tabletop ready, and then I can come back in as time allows to properly finish off odd details when necessary.

The Mortisan Soulreaper was an interesting model to paint, because of the ghostly stuff going on around that massive scythe he’s got. Again, there’s really nothing new on this model that I haven’t painted before, the ghostly bits being similar to the hafts of the Immortis Guard weapons. I’m quite pleased about the way I’ve been able to get the screaming ghost blending in with the scythe blade.

The main boy in this procession of heroes is Arch-Kavalos Zandtos, who is a named character for the Mortis Praetorians that I’ve painted in the colour scheme of the Petrifex Elite. But I suppose my use for him is as a Liege-Kavalos. I built this model up in its entirety to start with, which didn’t feel like it would be a problem until it came to painting and discovered that it was more difficult than I’d anticipated! The shield is connected to the arm and harness, meaning it can’t really be left off to paint, so led to some issues, but I think I managed to pull it back and get him looking reasonably fancy! I decided to paint the weapon as metallic rather than the usual scheme I’ve been using for the nadirite weaponry, but on reflection I’m thinking I might change it – it’s called the Dark Lance, after all!

I’m trying not to get too much into the rules now that AOS 3 is on the horizon, but Zandtos has some very nice abilities, allowing for re-rolls of wound rolls and the like, plus dishing our mortal wounds to nearby enemies when he finishes a charge, as well as a command ability that adds 1 to the attacks of a unit within 12”. The Liege-Kavalos has these last two abilities as well, and clocks in at 20 points cheaper. What’s 20 points, I hear you cry? Well, it’s the difference between a stock named character and a generic character that you can give additional relics and command abilities to, allowing you to tailor your approach. 20 points is also the cost of the Soulstealer Carrion, the massive bird endless spell.

So this is where I’m up to, anyway! 1380 points (if I’m taking the mounted hero as Arch-Kavalos Zandtos), and I’m very pleased with my efforts to date!

I still have a few models to get moving on, specifically those Kavalos Deathriders, as I’d like to get a mounted contingent started for the army, and give Zandtos some friends! The catapult is an absolutely stunning model, as I’ve said previously, but I’m still a bit wary of it for the time being! One of my principal concerns is that I don’t actually have a proper storage solution for the army sorted yet – so they’re all pretty much stood up in a storage box, which is already full!

Longer term, I’m going to get myself another 20 Mortek Guard, and bulk out both of the squads that I’ve already got going on. Of course, with everything about to be going on in my life, I’m not in any rush, so can probably afford to wait and see if we do get a Start Collecting box when the new battletome comes out!

It’s probably incumbent upon me to mention the faction focus that came out the other day, looking at how Ossiarch Bonereapers are going to play in the new edition. I have to admit, I didn’t really take anything away from it as I’ve not been following the news with gusto, so aside from the fact Nagash is a powerhouse of Arcane Bolts now, the biggest thing for me was the fact that the Gothizzar Harvester counts as more than one model for holding objectives, because it’s a monster. Excellent!

The facebook group seemed to be going crazy about how the Bonereapers are now nerfed into the ground, though, because of the way command abilities work. The army still collects Relentless Discipline points, which are used for using command abilities as normal. I hear things about not being able to use more than one command ability per phase though, but I don’t know if (a) RD points work around that, as we don’t appear to have seen the whole rule yet, or (b) if I’d even find myself trying to use multiple command abilities per phase? It has been on my mind to properly sit down and work out the kind of battle plan I’d like to affect, but now that the game is in flux I don’t really see the need anymore!

Things do seem a little bit up in the air at the moment, but hopefully when the time comes for me to look again at this army, we’ll have a new book and know more about any potential new units coming out – Mortek Archers, I want you!

Warhammer Underworlds

Hey everybody,
Today is game day once more here at spalanz.com, and today I’m going to talk about my latest obsession: Warhammer Underworlds! It’s been out for years, and I’ve had the Nightvault core set hanging about for a couple of years now, but only recently started thinking about it seriously for the game, rather than the miniatures as part of the larger Age of Sigmar game.

I do love the miniatures though, it has to be said they’re some of the best fantasy sculpts out there!

Anyway, Warhammer Underworlds is heavily marketed as the competitive miniatures game, and you can really tell just from reading the rulebook. Everything is quite strict and laid-out, trying really hard to cut out any room for error or misinterpretation. Of course, some rules can come across a bit thickly, if that makes sense, though subsequent “seasons” have sought to refine the rules to the point where, I believe, they’re in the best shape yet.

Seasons, I hear you ask?
There have been four seasons, as the time I’m writing this. Shadespire, Nightvault, Beastgrave, and Direchasm. To remain competitive, while keeping the bar for entry somewhat low, a system of rotation was introduced to keep only the two most recent core boxes current – something akin to Standard for Magic the Gathering, I guess. Whether additional formats will come in time, along the lines of Modern say, I suppose time will tell. At any rate, the cardpool is kept small enough that it doesn’t become too arduous to build a deck for the game.

A deck, you say? But GW are a miniatures company!
Ah yes, Games Workshop is mainly all about the minis, for sure. But Warhammer Underworlds is a curious mix of miniatures and deckbuilding. When assembling your warband, you build two decks; an objective deck and a power deck. At the start of the game, you draw three objective cards, and five power cards; the objective cards are exactly that, objectives that you can aim to score throughout the game. These can be scored immediately or at the end of the game, and upon achievement they give you “glory” – at the end of the game, the player with the most glory wins.

Power cards are a more immediate benefit, which come in two flavours – upgrades and gambits. Upgrades can, well, upgrade fighters for the cost of the glory that you have earned (this doesn’t remove that glory from your final pool, though), whereas gambits can be more one-time effects. With Nightvault, the game had the addition of Magic, and several gambits come in the form of spells, which can be used only by wizards in your band.

There are of course many rules for deckbuilding, which is pretty much true of any such game of course. You can only have 12 objectives, only six of which can be “surge” objectives (the type you can score immediately once the conditions are met). The power deck must have at least 20 cards, no more than half of which can be gambit cards. Additionally, you cannot use multiple copies of the same card.

So how do you play?
The game lasts for three rounds, which are split into four activations for each player. Perhaps the best thing about this game is that it follows an I go/You go principle of alternating activations, so you don’t have to sit through one person working out their strategy for the whole turn. Warbands come in many sizes, from three to nine fighters, though you only have four activations to work through each round, causing a lot of decisions as to who you use and who you leave back.

Each fighter can move, attack, charge or go on-guard. In addition, there are player activations that you can take, such as discarding and drawing cards. Interestingly, fighters can be activated more than once per round, however once a fighter moves he receives a token which means he can’t perform the same action again. In addition, if the fighter charges, he receives a token which means he can’t be activated again. But in theory, you can move the fighter in the first activation, and then attack with the same fighter in each subsequent activation. Very useful if your warband is reduced to one fighter!

The game uses special dice, which can be a little confusing at first of course, as with any game that uses such dice. The white dice are used for attacks; black for defence, and blue for magic. Each fighter’s card uses a fairly elegant system to show how they move, attack and defend, as well as their wounds characteristic.

On the left we have the weapons, showing the range (in hexes), number of attack dice rolled, as well as what you need to roll for a success, and then how much damage the attack deals. Attack dice have two hammer symbols, one crossed swords symbol, and a critical success symbol. When attacking, a critical success symbol has the potential to cancel out any successful defence roll, and the other way round.

Rather than trying to cover the whole gameplay thing, it might be easier if I just link to the GW video where Becca Scott explains it all:

While you can attempt to destroy your opponent’s warband, the game is all about playing the objectives, of course, and at the end of the game, the player with the most glory is the winner – even if they have no fighters left standing.

I’ve recently picked up the Direchasm box, which I’ve been eyeing up for a while because of the Slaanesh warband, but decided it was high time I actually see what I’ve been missing out on all these years. The short answer, of course, is a lot of fun! Sadly, due to the ongoing coronavirus restrictions, I’ve been unable to play real games, so have been checking things out by playing against myself, but already I’m pretty hooked!

I’ve played one game with each core game so far – although I think I may have sold off the Stormcast that came in the Nightvault box, so instead I used the Godsworn Hunt warband, which I have hanging about because I love the aesthetic so much. As shown up at the top, the Thorns of the Briar Queen warband is the only one that I have fully painted up, though, so it was a pleasure to get those guys out at last!

It’s definitely the sort of game that I can see myself really immersing into. I’m not about to go ahead and plough a lot of money into all the various warbands, of course, but I would like to pick up a few (probably ones that I have already earmarked for their miniatures) so that I can get a wider cardpool to use, and of course having different warbands to try is always going to be a nice bonus!

The rotation thing that I mentioned before does give me pause, though. The Nightvault game that I had yesterday was played using cards and warbands from that season – kinda like Block Constructed for MtG, I suppose! The way that rotation works, all the Warbands currently out there are still legal, including any warband-specific cards they have. But each warband is sold in a pack that includes 60 cards, roughly half of which are “universal” – when a season rotates out, those universal cards go with it. If a card is then featured in a new, current season after being printed in the older one, you can use the old printing if you like. I’m not sure how many cards that affects – there are probably sites out there that crunch these sorts of numbers! – but it’s something I find interesting insofar as longevity of the product. I’m not trying to say that I’m against rotation per se, especially when you think I’m trying to get into the game during its fourth season, so would otherwise have quite the task ahead of me to do so! But while I like the look of the Beastmen warband from Beastgrave, I’m probably not going to buy that set because it’s going to be rotating out this year…

Obviously, rotation only affects tournament play and I don’t think I’m likely to be playing in any such events with a baby due in two months’ time, but I’d like to get as much play out of my stuff as possible. Luckily, Direchasm seems to have the greatest number yet of warbands that I’m actually interested in – along with the Slaanesh Hedonite warband from the core box, there are Slaves to Darkness and Ossiarch Bonereapers, Idoneth Deepkin and even Seraphon.

I’m two games in, and already I can feel myself getting sucked in to the whole thing. I’m finding myself pondering deckbuilds, and wanting to read up on all of the Glory Points articles in White Dwarf that I have, up to this point, been ignoring. The rule book covers all kinds of different scenarios and has rules to cover supporting other fighters during activations etc. There is a lot of depth to the otherwise basic gameplay that I tried to summarise earlier! I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m going to be talking about this game again, and most likely soon!

New Army update three

Hey everybody,
I thought it might be a nice time for a look at what I’ve been doing with the Ossiarch Bonereapers since my last update more than a month ago. The short answer to that question is, not a lot, but I wanted to take a bit of time today to show off the few efforts that I have made, regardless!

I’ve got three Immortis Guard painted up, which was quite wonderful really. Considering they’re much bigger than the Mortek Guard, there are very few real differences between the two models which allows for an easy scaling-up of the scheme. The only real difference here is the hafts of the dread halberds, which I painted with Drakenhof Nightshade and then lightly drybrushed with Teclis Blue. It gives enough of a contrast to the blades and other elements, but keeps the ethereal theme of them being mystical ghostly things.

I’m looking forward to trying these out, more than perhaps any other unit that I’ve painted so far – they look great, in my opinion, and I think they should be quite hard-hitting. Each model has 2 attacks with the halberd, and 2 with the shield; then they can attack again with the shield for 2 more attacks. The halberds hit on 3s and the shields on 4s, so fairly decent, and the halberds have -2 rend and do 2 damage on each successful hit. Finally, the shields do a mortal wound on the attack roll of a 6 in addition to any further damage. I know there are a lot of variables here, but there is still a lot of damage potential, for sure!

What else?

I’ve built up the Endless Spells for the faction, which are an exciting set of models – much bigger than I’d first thought they would be! I only actually have one wizard in the army so far, the Boneshaper, so I would need to get a few more for maximum effect, I suppose! The Ossiarch Bonereapers spells are “soul-linked” to the caster, meaning that only that player can move the spells that are predatory (all of them!) which gives some degree of control over them that other armies don’t get with their own.

I particularly like the Bone-tithe Shrieker (the one in the middle there), as it adds 1 to the hit rolls for units which target a unit within 12″ of this spell. All of them are pretty good though, which gives me the additional incentive to get more wizards in the force!

I’ve also built up Arch-Kavalos Zandtos, who will be the second hero for my army. I am a little hesitant, having built him entirely, and I hope that it won’t be too cumbersome to actually paint him. As usual, of course, I’ll be using the Contrast paints for the most part, which should help things along well enough. Fingers crossed that I can do it justice, anyway! He comes with two command abilities, one of which gives re-rolls to units wholly within 24″ of him, the other adds 1 to attacks for units wholly within 12″ of him. There are also a couple of nice abilities that he has to help with his offensive capability, which I think would make him a real force to be reckoned with!

What does all of this look like, then?

I think this is a great start to the army. Of course, I have no idea if it would work really well on the table, but I’m looking forward to getting it there. Just two more models to go before this list is finished, of course, though I’ll probably paint up all three of the spells so that they’re done and dusted.

So, all in all, things are going really well right now! We had some good weather earlier in the week, so I’ve been able to prime them with Grey Seer already, so I’m hoping to get these things painted up soon enough! With the arrival of the secondborn expected in mid-to-late June, I do feel a little like I’m on the clock with getting these things finished! I am definitely excited to have gotten so far with the army in such a short time.

What’s Next?
Once these models are finished, I recently picked up some Kavalos Deathriders to add in to the mix, and I still have both Vokmortian and the Mortek Crawler to build and paint up. However, I do also find myself wanting to get a second box of Mortek Guard, as I think it could be handy to have more troops. It will also get me to my first battalion, Mortek Shield-Corps, which will be good. I suppose I’ve been hanging fire on that because of the potential for a Start Collecting box to come out at some point, and I would naturally be getting one in due course!

I’m also wondering if we aren’t going to see some more units in due course, maybe archers or mace-wielding Mortek Guard. I’m very excited to get hold of this warband when it comes out, though, so that’ll be another few models to add in to the army!

With the current additions, I’ll push the army just over the one thousand points that I was initially aiming for, though with the Deathriders et al, I’ll be at 1640 points – and of course, if I were to add in Arkhan the Black, that will bring me to exactly 2000 points! Would it be a good force, with those Leaders involved? No idea… but I’m sure it’d look good on the table!

The Secret Army Project

I have a secret army project that I’ve decided to start working on in April. Yesterday’s retrospective post has a clue, but I’m hoping to be able to burst upon the scene with at least some completed units by the end of Lockdown here in the UK, so stay tuned!

Two and a half months (hopefully!) to work on getting something together…

Exciting times ahead!!

New Warhammer incoming!

My goodness, what a day!

There are some very interesting models coming our way in the next few months! The Faith & Damnation preview came out of nowhere, at least to me, and has shown off quite a few models that I’m excited for! Let’s take a look…

Of course, a lot of the stuff is Soulblight Gravelords, who must be coming pretty soon given that we’ve seen so many new units already. The Blood Knights have been redesigned, and look very fancy! Whether they’ll be an extortionate £61.50 for a box of five though, who can say? We’re also getting more Skeletons and Zombies, who fit in nicely with the stuff that we’ve seen from the upcoming Warhammer Quest: Cursed City. I’ve been back and forth on the new stuff, but right now I’m holding off getting into the new Vampires: I think I have enough on my plate without adding yet another army into the mix!!

The Ossiarch Bonereapers are getting their Underworlds warband and I WANT THIS NOW! May isn’t too long to wait, I guess, but still… I’m very excited for this! I also hope that it means we’ll be getting some more Bonereapers units in the future – archers would be lovely, and how about some mace-wielding chaps as well? But how nice would it also be to have some executioner-types as well? Massive axes and all!

I still haven’t played Underworlds, of course, and I don’t know if I will anytime soon, but I am very excited for this band!

We’re off to the 41st millennium next, and there are yet more units coming for the Adepta Sororitas! We’ve already seen the walker and the lieutenant-type, and now we’re getting a Predator-type vehicle as well! This is very nice, I must say – I wonder if this is it, or whether we’ll be seeing more for the Sisters before they inevitably get their 9th edition codex.

This is long overdue, for sure. Another army that has been getting new units that are bursting out of its current book. The Skitarii Marshal is probably the last we’ll be seeing for the army for a while, I’d guess. After the wave of models that came out in the Psychic Awakening release, I can’t see anything more coming over the hill, but I suppose you never know! At any rate, it’s good to see an army that has been spread apart like this come together, so I’m pleased to know that they’ll be getting their book soon.

Of course, I have a small-ish Mechanicus force of my own that I still don’t quite know what to do with. Maybe I’ll keep them, but I do want to try to thin out my plastic addiction!

Third starter set coming for Necromunda – who saw this coming?! Escher vs Delaque with some of the plastic Zone Mortalis stuff, though I’m expecting it to be quite expensive, regardless. Can’t think it would be the same price tag as Dark Uprising, of course! It’s good to see a hopefully more affordable starter set on its way, and Delaque is a nice choice, I must say!

The next House of book is coming up as well, House of Faith, featuring the Cawdor gangers having their update. Do we have a box with prospects and leaders? Not sure, but we will be getting these fine gentlemen:

We’ve already had one spoiled, but it’s lovely to see the whole box. Six miniatures, three times two, but with some very nice options regardless. I’m liking these guys a lot, anyway, I must say! And it’s always wonderful to see what’s coming next for Necromunda!

All in all, this has been a very exciting preview – if the Bonereapers warband is scheduled for May, then I’m guessing that it won’t be long until we see all of these coming out!

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/CLzzPtEHJs-/?igshid=1cxnofh59q3zt

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.

Lords of the Mortal Realms

Another weekend, another Warhammer Preview! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m quite enjoying how these things have been going throughout the lockdown period, and I kinda hope they continue when everything else returns to normal!

The latest event was all about the Mortal Realms, and seems to have been centred around two massive reveals, with some other bits peppered in.

To begin, we’re getting MOAR Lumineth Realmlords!

We’ve only just had the first wave of these things, and already we’re seeing a massive raft of reinforcements for them! At least Slaanesh had a couple of years between releases!

I have to say, though, that I’m finding it very difficult to resist collecting these guys now. I think it won’t be too much of a surprise to anybody here if I’ve bought a box of something before the end of spring, if not sooner!! Doesn’t help that I’m on such a fantasy kick right now with the Bonereapers… and they’re in the Dreadfane box that I’ve been eyeing up for the Slaanesh warband…

So yeah… I guess we shall see!! But I do love the new scenery piece…

Looks like we’re getting a trio of heroes for Nighthaunt, Stormcast and Soulblight that will be accompanying the next Broken Realms release, which is interesting! I suppose the Soulblight release can’t be too far off, then, as we’ve been seeing a lot of scattered previews already. Interesting times are on their way, for sure!

A part of me is enjoying seeing the new releases for armies like this, because it gives us more flavour of what the old Warhammer was all about. High Elves and Vampire Counts by another name, but it does feel good to be getting back to that feel, if nothing else!

I’m glossing over the Underworlds stuff because I’m not too sure what it’s all about and find things confusing on that front, but it seems there’s a new core set (this is in addition to Direchasm?) for folks to get some of the older cards, I suppose!

The other big reveal this weekend is the full box for the next Warhammer Quest game, Cursed City!

This thing is packed with minis!

I really feel like we’re being spoiled with these boxed games. Blackstone Fortress was incredible for a starter set, and while in retrospect the expansions were somewhat hit and miss by comparison, it was still incredible when you think about it. I mean, we had plastic Traitor Guard, for Throne’s sake!! Including a plastic Traitor Commissar! Incredible stuff.

This box has got all manner of weird stuff, and I absolutely love it. Whether it forms the basis for the impending Soulblight faction or not, I really don’t care. I’ve given up on getting a full Traitor Guard army in my lifetime, but instead have learnt to enjoy the box for what it is. As a board game, Blackstone Fortress might not be setting the world alight with its mechanics, but my god, those miniatures are excellent and give a really enjoyable experience for being so weird and wonderful. Similarly, then, I’m looking at this as a board game first, and not as allies for an existing army. And it’s great!