Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Greater Possessed

On my "to buy" list for a while was the Greater Possessed model that came out quite a while ago now. I really liked the sculpt and wondered whether it would be of comparable size and detail level as the Val Gorbak from 30k Word Bearers legion.

Overall, I like the sculpt and the size of the miniature is indeed rather comparable to the Val Gorbak resin models. However, the sculpt is done in a different way and the detail is simply different to what is found on the Forge World models. I don't think this matters at all for the table top, and they would fit right in with the Word Bearers legion for any 30k game.

For my model, I wanted some red Word Bearers colours on the armour, and to have blue "flesh" coloured bits at the extremities. The images show what I came up with.

They have come out reasonably well overall, and I'm pleased with the contrast of the blues and reds -- particularly against the resin base. I think this would be a fine addition to 30k Val Gorbak squads, and I might just use it as such. 

Monday, August 3, 2020

The End of the Road (To Thramas)

It is the end of the road -- to Thramas. 

The Games Workshop Community today declared that the new book for the Horus Heresy -- Book 9 -- will be released in September along with the new model for the Lion. I'm personally very much looking forward to this release and thought I'd jot some thoughts down before they elude me.

First up is the page count of the new black book. At just over two hundred pages, it looks like being a smaller volume. I was optimistic that it might include some dark mecanicum force details, but from the contents page, pictured above, this seems to not be the case. Perhaps that will be ported across to volume 10. Equally, we are going to have to see some movement towards Holy Terra shortly for the final battles. I hope that Forge World have started to plan ahead for that and are actively considering what to do for those battles soon. At least, that is my hope as I am starting to feel that with the Dark Angels detailed, and the repetition of the Night Lords here that the series is starting to feel like it is drawing to a close. And those closure has to be the battle for Terra. If by some miracle Forge World reads my articles, I want this to be the case! Pretty please? 

In terms of what I'm excited about, clearly the rules for the First Legion is right up there at the top of my list. There are also a bunch of new units that look and sounds very exciting including the Iron Wing battle automata -- will we be seeing some "illegal" robots here perchance? The Night Lords repetition reminds me of the Word Bearers when then faced the Ultramarines in one of the earlier volumes. Sort of welcome, but not really advancing the field too much. 

The Thramas campaign looks enticing too. I'm wondering how narrative it will be in nature, at least in comparison to what we already have seen in the series. I hope it adds something new rather than being too generic. I guess I'll return to this point eventually.

The only question for me realistically is what the price tag will be. I hope it will not creep up too much for a lower page count volume. 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Random Thoughts on Warhammer 40k 9th Edition

Good afternoon. I have been wanting to jot down a post for a few weeks about my thoughts on 9th edition for Warhammer 40,000, and only just got around to it. The basis for this is the question of what has really changed?

To my mind, 9th edition is a tidy-up job of 8th, with many things clarified very nicely, and some new rules placed on top to try to make the gameplay better, or at least feel better. I think the changes that we are seeing range from nice, to those that seem to have been play-tested a whole lot and make sense. Call me an old timer, but I also adore the Narrative play / Crusade we are seeing as well. 

I think one of the most under-discussed changes is to the board sizes. I already see that certain manufacturers are tilting their production lines to be able to accommodate the new board sizes. In a nut-shell - they're going to be smaller in general. At first glance, this might mean that close combat armies might be favoured due to the increased probability of getting in to multiple combats -- but the changes to heavy weapon shooting more than offset this. Of course, this is terrain dependent entirely. However, I'm going to be brave (crazy?) (because you will all shout me down!) and make a prediction. I think movement is going to be the lynchpin of this new edition. 

Consider this: the long and thin deployment of lines of troops are no longer going to be available thanks to the new unit coherency rules (this in itself is a huge change). Therefore the area denial is going to be lower in some ways (screening harder), and players will need to carefully consider how to optimise their board placements. This will lead to better tactics being played out. And it may also lead to multiple small (maybe expensive? but absolutely tough) units being crowned king of the new edition (another opinion that I expect to be challenged). 

The entertaining changes to full strength and half strength (that 20 man infantry unit must be 9 or less to be below half strength remember!) also signifies another interesting change. It is one that players will have to carefully account for and combine with the new morale testing to ensure units don't get wiped immediately. Maybe the new command phase will help a lot here.

Back to the point about board size. Smaller, plus more compact and tough units, I think, might favour fast moving small units. So, my prediction (and it is only a prediction based on an old-timer's feeling for many editions of the game) is that we will see a resurgence of bike and small flyer armies start to dominate. The archetype for this is the Saim Haan army of yesteryear's Elder. It plays something like this: tie up anything that needs to be so, kill enemies on objectives, feed some minor units to the enemy to shoot and hack at, and hide the rest until the last possible moment at which point you swoop on the available objectives to win the game. This used to work superlatively well (at least until leaf-blower and other archetypes took over). This, combined with generally smaller army sizes could work well in 9th. I will return to this prediction within 12 months I hope. Your thoughts are welcome, but remember: don't flame me, I'm just making a prediction and I reserve the right to be wrong! :)

[Gratuitous Picture: Dominion of Convergence - the new Necron terrain that also I really like!]

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hammerfall Bunker

At the risk of putting myself out there a little bit, I'm going to confess that I actually LIKE the Hammerfall Bunker. No really - I do.

I think this building has been getting a bit of heat on the internet of late, so I thought I'd jot down a few words of support. My first line of support is that this building (terrain piece) is highly in line with Space Marines. Consider the quintessential space marine deployment method: orbital striking, usually via drop pods. This building goes along with that though and can easily be seen as deploying an asset from orbit to aid with establishing a beachhead in enemy territory. This even applies to 30k as well: I could readily imagine the Iron Warriors at Isstvan 5 deploying these upon arrival. They just click with the whole theme and way of warfare.

Alright, they do look like a crossbreed of a drop pod and a bunker. I get that. However, that's also what it is supposed to be. And I don't mind in the slightest. I like the rules too -- for an old timer like me, they really click nicely in place.

What I didn't like about the new space marine range that has been revealed is the Invader ATV. This one seems a little out of place for space marines to me -- best left for genestealer cults and similar in my opinion. Sure, marines can use anything at their disposal, but which chapters would focus on this I'm not sure (White Scars, yeah, but they have their bikes!). Go back to jet bikes, attack bikes, and so on. Not dune buggies. Especially ones which has the main weapon about to overload the sensors of the driver. To me, it is the ATV that isn't much of a fit with space marine armies, as opposed to the Hammerfall bunker.

Okay, I might get some heat for saying these things, but remember: its just an aesthetic and artistic opinion. No more.

For now, I await the rules for the Convergence of Dominion too -- that model looks gorgeous and will fit with many battlefield terrain pieces.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Eradicator Squad Thoughts

I wanted to talk very briefly today about the new Eradicator unit in 40k. Now, I will freely confess that at this stage in my gaming life that 30k is my primary game. 40k has, very oddly, become second place to 30k. This doesn't mean that it has fallen from favour, its just I like 30k better right now and feel much more at home there. I could probably write more about this, but will save it for another time perhaps.

On to Eradictaors. On the recent Twitch stream, the data slate for this new unit was revealed.

I wanted to simply point out a few things about this squad in relation to an old 40k favourite: the devastator squad. With devastators, one can get 5 men in the squad armed with 4 multi meltas. This seems to be a reasonable comparison given the power cost. At a basic level, that is 5 wounds with 4 heavy shots containing the Melta special rule.

Now check out the new eradicator squad. This is 9 wounds that pumps out 6 shots (assault shots at that as well) with the self-same special rule. Let's not even talk about the total obliteration rule (and just shrug to say even devastators might get their old doctrine and the sergeant might still have his tricks in 9th edition).

Focus for the moment on the power of this unit. And the creep of it. To me, the power creep present is incredible. No really. There is (arguably) now zero point in taking traditional devastator squads with the new eradicators available. Only old timers like me would play such dedicated Melta squads any longer. New entrants to the game may feel they have no need to purchase the devastator squad any more. [Even if they play Salamanders.]

Primaris marines are replacing "core" marines in the game. Period. I foresee the day that all 40k marine players might be using Primaris marines in their chapters and the regular marines that I use in 30k will be no more. This is a bit concerning given the history of the parts, and the future availability of (e.g.) plastic mark 4 armour boxed sets. I'm not sure if I'm alone in thinking this, but your thoughts are welcome.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Shattered Legion Tactical Squad (Raven Guard)

The Shattered Legion tactical squad from the Raven Guard legion is complete and ready for some tabletop action (post lockdown or in the household). My personal favourite part is how the bases really offset and complement the otherwise mostly black armour. Further, the variation in painting between squad members also suggests a plurality of origins for each member: they are individually survivors of Isstvan 5, have been re-forged in to a new squad, and are being hunting by the traitors. Will they make it off the planet alive and intact?

Hope you've liked this series of Raven Guard painting - there will be more from the Shattered Legions in the coming months. 
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