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!

New Army update two

Hey everybody,
My new Ossiarch Bonereapers army is coming along really nicely so far! I’ve managed to paint well over 500 points of stuff, which is quite exciting for the time I’ve been doing this! Contrast paints have definitely proven to be a big help here. I don’t think I’d be anywhere near to what I’ve got if I were painting these entirely the traditional way.

I’d talked about the first unit of Mortek Guard, on the left there, in my first update. Since painting these guys almost as testers, I’ve been able to see where I can speed things up, and make sure I’m not spending forever getting bogged-down in detail. As such, the second unit of Mortek Guard, on the right, were painted up pretty quickly, alongside the Mortisan Boneshaper, my first hero miniature!

Now, all of these models are done up to a tabletop standard, and I’m not going to be winning any Golden Daemons for my efforts, but I think they look good enough, so that I can have a painted force that is ready to play, whenever the restrictions are lifted and we’re able to meet up with other folks again! And I can always come back to these guys and add in extra detail, if I need to, in times to come. The Boneshaper in particular, I had no idea what to do with that stream of magic, or whatever it is, forming the skeleton in front of him – the box art has it as a sort of pale blue-green, but with me using teal for the cloth I don’t think that would have worked. In the end, I went for pale blue to provide a bit of a contrast, but I know I want to come back to this at some point.

Even so, I’m really pleased with how the army has turned out up to this point. I’ve been following the guide for Petrifex Elite in the battletome, and it’s working well for me so far. The skeletons are done with Basilicanum Grey, the cloth with Terradon Turquoise followed by a drybrush of Kabalite / Sybarite Green, and the armour is Flesh Tearers Red followed by edge highlights of Wazdakka / Wild Rider Red. I think this is the first time I’ve actually been edge highlighting for real, and it does produce a nice effect, given the sharpness of the armour plates.

The weapons have been a particular success, I think! It’s just Terradon Turquoise again, this time with a drybrush of Temple Guard Blue to help give a different feel to the cloth, taking the turquoise colour more towards blue than green. I think the drybrush technique helps to give the weapons a magical feel, as it’s much less precise than edge highlighting.

For any weapon hilts, I’ve gone with Skeleton Horde to help break up the model a bit. For the spears, I’ve used Snakebite Leather for the hafts, which has a beautiful coverage, by the way. The light grey armour, as different from the bone, I’ve washed with Nuln Oil so that it stands out as different.

The last detail, really, is the jewel. In the lore, I think this is a bit like an Eldar spirit-stone, it contains the essence of the warrior spirits used to recreate the construct. They’re usually black, but given the dark nature of the bone, I went for green – Warpstone Glow and Moot Green, with a Biel-Tan Green wash to help bring out a certain vibrancy. It seems to look okay, anyway, and I think the green fits in well with the teal while providing a nice contrast with the red.

For the big lad, I basically ramped this scheme up, and I’m pleased to say that it seems to work fine on the bigger models. I tried to give some visual interest by drybrushing some parts of the skeleton with Administratum Grey, while others around the cage on his back I gave a heavier wash of the contrast paint. Any bone that he’s collecting I have left as Skeleton Horde, because otherwise it could have just been a mass of grey!

So there we have it! The first steps in collecting the bone-tithe for Nagash have begun!

I’m thinking that I might have a break from these chaps, and paint either some Warcry or Necromunda. Or maybe something totally different. But it won’t be too long before I’m going to tackle the next unit, the Necropolis Stalkers!!

New Slaanesh 2021!

Wow!
I know we’ve had previews for these things doing the rounds for a while now, but the new Slaanesh units up for preorder this weekend really are quite something!! I think, more than anything else, I’m surprised the range has expanded so much because it has only been, what, two years since the last batch of Slaanesh releases. But now that the daemons have had their overhaul, with a new Fiend model and a new plastic greater daemon, we’ve got a new suite of mortals to accompany them, including the mortal avatar Sigvald the Magnificent!

I love this guy. Sigvald was the first Warhammer novel that I read, back before I really knew what all this hobby was all about, and as weird as that book was, it’s given me an eternal soft spot for the character.

The new model is wonderful, and certainly an improvement on the older one, showing the strides that we’re seeing with new Games Workshop plastic stuff when compared with the models of yesteryear.

We’ve had mortal Slaanesh models for years, of course, in the Hellstriders, but now the range has been fully fleshed out, following the release of Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, which included the Dread Pageant as one of its warbands. The recent box set with Daughters of Khaine then gave us the Lord of Pain as a main character, which was really telegraphing the fact that Slaanesh mortals would soon be a thing.

The new range is quite splendid, in the end, with not only the Lord of Pain and Sigvald, but also the Shardspeaker sorcerer model, which is an auto-buy for me, as a trio of leaders. We then have a unit of archers, a dual-kit for mortal cavalry, a dual-kit for elites, and the Slaangors.

Oh yeah, and the big centrepiece guy…

I mean, that guy is really quite something. I doubt I’ll be rushing to get one, of course – especially seeing as how I’m in the middle of at least half a dozen other projects right now – but as far as these things go, it really is a beautiful model, in the diorama tradition of Katakros, no less! I’m very tempted to pick up some of the archers though, and I will for sure be getting Sigvald at some point, just to have. My Slaanesh Daemons army is quite hefty already, so I have no shortage of models that I need to do something with – so I don’t want to be adding to the mass of plastic that I already have, as that’ll just bum me out. But a couple of the new things would be nice, and I believe they’re in the Warcry book for Chaos, so I’ll definitely get some mileage out of them!

I really never thought we’d see so much stuff for Slaanesh, especially given the efforts made at first to sideline the Dark Prince in favour of the Horned Rat. It really is a glorious time of excess for the followers of Slaanesh, and I could not be more pleased!

Warcry: Catacombs – first impressions

Hey everybody,

So, it was inevitable really that I’d get this box. I’d been really excited about it when it was first announced, but the initial reports that came in back last November were a bit less than stellar. It seemed to be the price that caused most concern, with much less content provided here than in the original starter set, but it came at an increased cost.

In addition, the production value seemed to be a bit off, with stuff like the box being much less sturdy, no Chaotic beasts, the rule book was the same as the original, taking no account of the faq etc, the Catacombs content was confined to a slim book which felt a bit cheap (the Khainite Shadowstalkers having some content on the back cover, which feels incredibly wrong…) – and so on, and so forth.

So why did I buy it, given all of these complaints?

I suppose, first of all, it’s worth mentioning that this is an expansion for Warcry. Much like other game expansions, it brings additional content in a new and interesting way to play the game, and there is actually a lot of new content here for the Catacombs “system”. It’s not just like Kill Team Arena that pared back the rules to provide a much more balanced system – this isn’t what Catacombs is about.

Instead, we get a rule set that has elements of that competitive side of things, with players placing terrain as opposed to playing on a pre-set table, and there are real choices that can be made to your benefit while doing so. Suddenly, the lack of terrain cards here makes a bit more sense, huh?

The terrain that we get is a little sparse, consisting mainly of doors, with some obstacles of rubble. There is additional terrain, some of the ruins from the original starter set, but nothing new, and nothing that isn’t available separately. However, I do like that rubble terrain. I’m such a sucker for scatter terrain for getting the table looking really nice and atmospheric! It’s almost like I bought the box for this, and everything else is a nice bonus!

I think Catacombs is here to stay as a format, too. Several of the quests included in the Tome of Champions and the Grand Alliance books use it as a layout, with every faction (I think!) receiving at least one. I think it’s a shame that we couldn’t have had the system in a box by itself, though. All of the dungeon terrain, the boards (possibly including the two other boards that were released at the same time), and the book (reformatted with quests for all and a proper back cover) and that’s all we need. I’d probably pay more than the usual environment expansion price, too.

But we do get two more warbands in here, and I suppose at least one of them, the Scions of the Flame, do sort of belong in a dungeon setting.

They do look beautiful, of course, and I suppose it fits that GW wanted to make this something like a celebration box by including them to bump the price up. The Scions are the last of the original eight Chaos factions, and the Khainite Shadowstalkers are the first original non-Chaos warband in the game. A sign of things to come, perhaps? Personally, I hope not, as I love this game for being Chaos all the way, but at the same time, it’s good to have a more mass-appeal, so as to ensure its continued popularity and support!

When all is said and done, I am glad to have picked this one up. There’s still a lot of stuff in here, and I’m excited to at least get it assembled and try out some dungeon battles! I’m glad that I managed to get it from my FLGS at a discount though, because even with the bulk of some of the original terrain, I’m still not really sure I’d want to have paid RRP.

My plan is to continue with getting the first batch of the Ossiarch Bonereapers finished for the next few weeks, but look for more Warcry coming soon!!