Sisters of Battle – Finishing an Era

Well, with two Sisters of Battle armies, and the ranges due for an update, it’s time to finish off the armies for good before starting anew.

Order of the Argent Shroud

I need to paint up:

2 Geminae to guard Celestine for the Order of the Argent Shroud.   I have some Seraphim, but they need to be converted with power swords and bolt pistols.

An Immolator – this needs to be bought, assembled and painted.

An Exorcist – this needs to be bought, assembled and painted.

3 Rhinos – these need to be bought, assembled and painted (or resprayed from previous projects)

Order of the Verdant Garden

2 Geminae to guard Celestine for the Order of the Verdant Garden.   I have some Seraphim, but they need to be converted with power swords and bolt pistols.

1 Canoness – I’d messed up one of the 2 metal canonesses, and its been stripped for repainting.

1 Seraphim – I lost one of my 10 woman squad some time ago, and need to replace her.

3 Repentia – I’ve generally been fielding them in a squad of 6, and never finished the last 3.  I need to finish these off.

1 Meltagun sister – I need this to finish off my white battle sisters squad.

1 Exorcist – I have a silver FW exorcist that I want to repaint for the green sisters, and replace it with a GW exorcist for the more classic Argent Shroud contingent.

1 Sisters Rhino – I have 2 rhinos and 2 immolators, but the last battle sisters squad could do with a transport. 

2 Immolator turret fixes – the two immolators I have were broken in an accident and sort of patched in the turrets.  With the Rhinos needed for the sisters, buying Immolators and using the turrets to fix these and then being able to use the rhinos with sisters icons rather than plain seems to make sense.  This is a bonus extra, though – the patch job isn’t terrible.

Bonus extras

With the range as a whole likely to be taken off the market, it’d be nice to add one or two of the missing models as well.  I think they’d be fantastic with Rogue Trader or Inquistorial warbands too.

Death Cult Assassins – at least 2, maybe a unit of 6

Crusaders – at least 2, maybe a unit of 6

Preacher with Chainsword

Missionary with Chainsword

Penitent Engines – at least 1, maybe a unit of 3.

As a final bonus extra, I could paint up a Canoness Veridyan in Silver and Green to add to each force.  I don’t need to, but I have the models and it’d be a nice touch.

Preparing for the Future

I need to paint up the new Celestine and Geminae for the new army, and Canoness Veridyan

Hobby Plans for 2019

Well, as we’re two weeks into 2019, I suppose I really should start doing some kind of planning!

First, I really want to track my work, as though I lost track towards the end of 2018, logging my painting made a big difference in getting things done.  I’m going to take part in #painthammer2019 – you can find loads of details over on JewelKnightJess‘s blog Silent Dream.

Second, as a rough target for the year, I’m going to aim for 100 painted minis.  I think thats achievable, and should keep me pushing and painting hard enough to get it done.

Third, I want to “finish off” my Sisters of Battle armies, which are coming up for a major relaunch.  I have two armies, one in green (the Order of the Verdant Garden) and one in silver (the Order of the Argent Shroud).  Both need some reworking for the 8th edition beta codex, and both need some key models painted for a “complete” force of around 2000pts.  Things like a couple of Gemina Superior to protect Celestine, finish off any odd or missing people from complete units, do extra Rhinos for the various squads, add an Exorcist to the Silver Sisters, and so on.  It’s not trivial amounts, but not impossible amounts either.

Fourth, I want to start a new Sisters of Battle army in the traditional Black and Red when the new army is released in plastic.  I can make a start on this with Celestine and the Geminae from the Triumvirate set, and a Canoness Veridyan.  Fingers are crossed for an all plastic exorcist and a Sisters flyer of some kind.

Fifth, I want to try and keep on top of Warhammer Conquest.  I’ve done a rubbish job so far, and its rather starting to build up, especially as I’ve built my Dark Imperium set alongside it and picked up a few extra copies of some of the issues, as well as kitbashed some primaris, and added a chaplain and a box each of intercessors, reivers and plague marines to the mix too.

Sixth, 2019 is going to be the year of the terrain for me!  With RubbleCity and a Suluco (think space hulk tiles in Resin) due from Fenris Games this year, and with terrain coming in from Warhammer Conquest and from my Shadow War and Kill Team starter sets, plus a _lot_ of old Sector Imperialis buildings that need gluing back together after a move, I should have enough terrain to run my own club!

Seventh, I want to paint up one or two Blood Bowl teams, like the new Dark Elves and my cracking Iron Golems set of Halflings.

Eighth, I want to cherry pick the odd fantasy mini to paint for fun, so I don’t get stuck grinding on tasks for the hell of it, so I’m staying subscribed to my monthly bones pack.  I won’t get them all painted, but it’ll be fun.

Ninth, and this is unlikely, but I would like to also pick one of my board games like Zombicide, Dungeon Saga, Imperial Assault, Blackstone Fortress or Star Saga, and get at least the basic starter minis (or alternatives done).  Completing all the minis I have for one game would just be amazing.

Tenth, I want to make it to at least 2 Parent Players events this year, as they are just mind-blowing fun.

Eleventh, I’m in a Blood Bowl league online!  Hopefully it’ll be really fun, and I can make time for it!  Some cracking people in the league.

There are many more possibilities and projects on hold if I blow through these like some kind of hobby demon, but it’s pretty unlikely.  Time just isn’t going to permit it, I think.

Supercharging Primaris 101 – Understand your units

Now, some people may well disagree with this, but I think the best place to start when looking at maxing out your army effectiveness is the core units.  Forget the shenanigans for now – there’s no point looking at the best ways to interact units and powers unless you understand the units and abilities to begin with!

We also want to look at their battlefield role and how you might like to use them.  There are certainly some surprises in there.

Before we get onto specifics, lets discuss some of the common points that will affect most of the army.

First, we are looking at a proper Primaris based force, not a full Astartes force. We aren’t going to look at vehicles or units that don’t have the Primaris keyword.  That’s quite a handicap – cheap troops units like scouts are really useful in the current edition, and the range of vehicles and artillery are effectively restricted to the Repulsor – a fantastic but expensive tank.  Without any real dedicated transports, troops will be exposed out of cover – minimising battleshock and maximising armour saves are going to be pretty important.  It also restricts the usefulness of many of the stratagems that tie to specific units, like the classic whirlwind/land speeder pairing.

Primaris are tough, generally with 2 wounds, but still only normally have the 3+ save, and are particularly vulnerable to heavier weapons like plasma weaponry, or mass fire if caught in the open.  With a move of 6″, they aren’t going to break any records in advancing, so options for deep striking or repositioning will add a lot of value.

As troops excel at taking and holding objectives for battle forged armies, we need to weigh up the additional advantage taking troops.  If you generally play annihilation games, where the goal is defeating your enemy rather than by objective, troops are less important and may not be as good value for the points.

With “And They Shall Know No Fear” allowing morale rerolls, battleshock isn’t a major concern like it can be for other armies .  Larger units of 10 are quite practical, especially with the option to split fire in 8th, and can significantly help in close combat.  Mind you, smaller units let you take more of the special options like sergeants and grenade launchers, and can all get into the same tanks, so its tricky!  Hopefully we’ll get more of a grip on unit size later on.

Just one note – this is my take from a  quick study of the codex.  Is it right?  No idea for sure!  There may be codex approved changes I’ve missed, or seemingly unimportant upgrades that revolutionise a unit.  Do tell me in the comments and I’ll update this!

This particular review is only covering Games Workshop units, not FW ones, though there are some key Primaris associated units found there, like a superheavy tank.  I may cover those later!

HQ

Captain (standard Mk 10 armour)

The Primaris Captain is a mid tier Primaris hero, and its easy to spend points on wargear.   They are excellent close combat fighters – at range they are great shots but don’t really have any more long range firepower than an intercessor.

They let nearby units reroll hit rolls of 1 – that’s fantastic, as it affects the most possible rolls, and ensure a second chance to over overcharged plasma weapons exploding.

They can swap their bolt rifle for stalker bolt rifle, which is well worth it if lurking in the backfield to strengthen a gun line.  They can also take an optional power sword to max out their excellent close combat skills.  Taking both probably isn’t worth it, as if you have gone for long range maximisation, you won’t get full value of a power sword over the battle.

Their iron halo, giving them a solid 4+ invulnerable save, combined with 6 wounds makes them a durable bet.

Captain (Gravis armour)

This Primaris Captain is all in for assault. With a Pistol 3 weapon, they get 3 shots a turn even when locked up, and get the choice between a clumsier gauntlet or a power sword for their hits.  All their other abilities are pretty much the same as a normal Captain, but with offence limited to short range and maximised for pure close combat, you really need to commit to an aggressive play style.   With the pistol, all the ranged weaponry is focused on killing infantry – you need to kill anything tougher up close and personal.

Captain (Power fist)

This captain is awesomely optimised for damage at short range.  A plasma pistol combined with their ability to reroll 1s is fantastic, and the power fist and their 2+ to hit in close combat is also brilliant.  While still focussed on close range, this particular option is maximised for those who love plasma, or are fighting mechanised or high toughness elite troops.

Lieutenant

The lieutenant is the cheapest Primaris hero, though only just shy of the standard Captain, and its easy to spend points on wargear.  If you are tight on points and need HQ to fill out detachments, this may be a useful choice.  They are excellent close combat fighters – at range, like the captain, they are great shots but don’t really have any more long range firepower than an intercessor.

They let nearby units reroll wound rolls of 1 – that’s not as good as rerolling 1s to hit, like the captain, as it doesn’t help with plasma explosions, and it also affects less rolls on average, as any missed rolls to hit obviously reduce the dice pool that might come up as 1s.

They can swap their bolt rifle for stalker bolt rifle, which is well worth it if lurking in the backfield to strengthen a gun line, or for a powersword to max out their excellent close combat skills.

The only solid reason I can see (beyond needing cheap HQ) to pick a lieutenant is to pair him with a captain, giving nearby units and themselves rerolls on 1s for both hit and wound.  The lack of an iron halo makes them quite vulnerable to enemy headhunters otherwise.

Librarian

The librarian is an excellent close up fighter with a force weapon, provides psychic defence by denying the witch with their psychic hood, and also allows all sorts of psychic shenanigans to be layered in with other abilities.

You need to be careful due to their lack of invulnerable saving throws, but at least one librarian seems to be a solid bet, regardless of your play style.  Unless you go all in with Black Templar philosophy, of course!

With the short range of many psychic powers, the lack of ranged weaponry, and their close combat abilities, you really need to embrace the assault phase to really get the best of librarians.  If you want to play a more measured gun line approach, you may not find they add as much value.

Chaplain

Between boosting morale, a 4+ invulnerable save, amazing close combat skills and allowing nearby units to reroll all failed hit rolls in close combat, this guy is fantastic if you want someone to lead a charge.  Clocking in at 5 points under a  basic captain, they are at least as useful on the advance in combat with the crozius arcanum giving them +1S, -1AP and 2 damage.

On the flip side, these guys are almost useless on the defense with no firepower greater than a pistol, no bonuses to nearby units (except morale, which isn’t that important to Primaris) outside of combat.  If you take a chaplain, you need an aggressive play style to get value out of them.

Troops

Intercessors

Intercessors are the only troop option available to a Primaris force.  If you are playing an objective game, or looking at building battalions aiming at the +5cp to fuel stratagems, you’ll need some of these.

They have 3 choice of weapons – standard bolt rifles, which aren’t bad rapid fire weapons with a 30″ range, Auto bolt rifles, which as 24″ assault 2 weapons are fantastic for fire and move work, or stalker bolt rifles, which are heavy 1 weapons, but give you -2 ap and a 36″ range.  Honestly, unless you want a cheap filler unit (and if that’s the case, why are you looking at elite Primaris), it feels like you want stalkers for a gun line or backfield objective holding, and auto bolt rifles for a mobile unit hurtling around the battlefield.

One interesting upgrade is the auxiliary grenade launcher – you can take 2 of these per unit, which is only useful if you combat squad it.  It effectively gives you a mini missile launcher, with a 30″ range frag or krak grenade for 1pt – 2pts to take one in both combat squads.  This seems a no brainer!

Elites

Apothecaries

Damn, the apothecary is awesome.  Between resurrecting troops or healing heroes, he also totally beats face in close combat, with some awesome close range pistols and a great stat line.  I can see the apothecary being awesome to bolster a close combat captain/lieutenant pair.  Bonuses to hit and wound combined with healing?  Primaris smash!  Is he worth the points?  I’ not sure.  I think kept near a key unit or playing aggressively to get a return in close combat would pay off, but he isn’t cheap and not throwing out anything at range.

Ancient

An ancient (or standard bearer) basically increases the leadership of nearby units, which improves their chances of not losing any models to battle shock.  With “And They Shall Know No Fear” already in effect for Primaris, its not really all that helpful, unless taking big old units.  The 50% chance of getting a last shot or attack in for fallen models is pretty good, but only when the ancient is surrounded by casualties!  

Its a great concept and very cinematic – from a narrative perspective I’d always want to take one.  Effectiveness wise, though?  Maybe if combined with hell blasters in a gun line?  Honestly, I think you can probably do better for the points just by taking small units or going for an apothecary to get models back into action long term.

Reivers

Reivers feel like a fantastic concept, but the various options they offer just don’t seem to tie together very well.  Shock grenades stopping overwatch?  That’s fantastic – except with a 6″ move and 6″ range, you have to start within 12″ of the enemy to be able to actually pull this off.  Which generally means you’ve just been shot to hell (or maybe, if lucky, had an enemy fail a charge).  Reducing enemy leadership in 3″ is fantastic for causing morale issues, but its too short a range to help for anything beyond a heaving melee, and people are quite savvy at minimising battleshock effects.  Grapnel launchers let you ignore vertical components of movement and spiderman up to the top of buildings.  That could really add value on specific levelled terrain, but at lot of the time won’t be any use.  They also let you come in 9″ away from the enemy at deployment from any table edge, but they aren’t that scary a unit to derail an advance.  Grav chutes let you deep strike from turn 2 – but again that 9″ range and the 6″ range on shock grenades doesn’t quite gel.

If you are a great player, you can probably maximise these brilliantly.  Otherwise I feel you’ll have a unit that will have a monster game if things break for them, but generally won’t perform at all.  Play on a table with grapnel launchers and lots of buildings, and have a couple of charges against you fail, and they will be AMAZING.  Play on a flat table with a canny enemy and I think you’ll struggle a bit.

Redemptor Dreadnaught

Dreadnaughts!  This is the new dreadnaught introduced with the Primaris marines, and generally accepted as part of the Primaris line.  Dreadnoughts are much tougher in 8th edition than they used to be, and the range of fire power you can load them up with is pretty huge.  Up close, at range, they are monsters.  I might be wrong, but I feel maximising their load out for anti horde firepower is probably your best bet, with the onslaught gatling cannons chucking out silly amounts of reasonable firepower that will just clear out any big tarpit units.  

However, they will draw fire like mad, and performance will degrade as they take hits.  They aren’t cheap in terms of points, and as fire magnets, you have to accept you might not get your points back from them – but other, more vulnerable units are going to get away with much lighter fire.

Aggressors

Holy hell, these guys are awesome.  While they could really do with the ability to absorb more firepower, like a 2+ save or something, they are pretty resilient with the +1T from the gravis armour,  and laden down with firepower.  With two main load outs of either multiple 8″ flamers, or frag launchers and boltstorm gauntlets, you have a really nasty array of firepower in a not too expensive package.  I’ve heard more than one primaris player suggest building your army around these and hellblasters for really nasty doses of firepower.  Are they resilient enough to get up close to use their firepower?  I think you really need to weigh up your play style with aggressors, as though they look like excellent fun, they are something of a glass hammer, and I think you need to commit to an aggressive approach to get the most out of them.  Between close range firepower, no penalty on advancing and shooting their assault weapons,  and power fist smashing in close combat, they are fast, lethal and deadly.  But leave them exposed and they’ll go down just as fast as any other Primaris.

Heavy Support

Hellblasters

Oh, yeah!  Hellblasters!  An entire unit loaded down with Plasma Weaponry.  Now, I have to admit, I tend to overcharge EVERYTHING, so this may be my achilles heel, but keep a captain nearby to reroll ones, and these bad boys might just decimate everything!

5-10 plasma guns with rapid fire? Yes!  Oh Yes!  I’m tempted to look at spearhead detachments and just load up with these.  They won’t be quite as good as troops at taking objectives, but in terms of dishing out firepower they’ll be just awesome!

Fast Attack

Inceptors

A lot of people struggle with these, but I think they could work for me.  Why?  Because most people see them as the Primaris equivalent to Assault Marines, but they really aren’t.  My read on them is that they are a fast moving weapons platform, much closer in play style to Sisters of Battle Seraphim … which I love and play well.  The key is to use them for ambush strategies, hit and run techniques, while avoiding actual close combat where you can.  If you get stuck up close, the lack of proper close combat equipment will cost you dearly, I think.  My experience with Seraphim will help, but I think these could be a lot more effective if people just didn’t play them like assault marines.  Got higher hopes than expected from studying the data sheet.

Dedicated Transport

Repulsor

Repulsors are the only vehicle currently able to transport Primaris marines, and have a variety of load outs.  Its a big scary tank.  Its going to draw fire, so you have to accept it’s going to take some hits.  One obvious thought is that will spare others, even a Redemptor dreadnaught.   It can carry a fair chunk of weaponry, or maybe carry a brutal setup of aggressors with a couple of HQ for a lethal close range boost.

I think with so many points tied up in the one model, you have to have a solid plan for using it.  Maybe its delivering a brutal CC detachment right into enemy lines, allowing your Redemptor to get a turn or two untargeted, or simply as a turn 1 tank killer, but you really need to work out how to play around it.  One oddity is that a lot of the heavy weapon options are much more short ranged, like lastalons are much shorter ranged than equivalent las-cannons.  Again, I think it lends itself to the feel of Primaris as an aggressive short range army.

Lord of War

Roboute Guilleman

Roboute is frankly amazing, optimising nearby troops to perform like absolute monsters, while having the equipment and statistics to smash some serious opposition himself.  He optimises Imperium troops, not just Astartes, so its extra value in an Imperium soup force … though we’re staying clear of those.  He’s a heck of a lot of points, but will massive optimise your army.  The bigger the game, the easier it is to fit this monster in.  I think the only fault I’d have with including him is that I’m not 100% sure he counts as Primaris being a Primarch 🙂  It seems only fair as he had them invented, and the Death Guard that I’m also looking at get Morty though!

To get the most out of Roboute, you need him to tackle hotspots while he abilities optimise the troops in you lines most in need of success.  having them get full Rerolls to hit and wound and buying you additional CPs for stratagems really should help with some nasty shenanigans.

Parent Players 3: Return of the Parent

If you’ve found this page, you may have come across the term #parentplayers on twitter, and want to know a little more!

What is #ParentPlayers?

Parent Players is an event every few months at Warhammer World, where parents who love war-games can book in a date with a significant other well in advance, get some time cleared in the calendar, and head off to Nottingham for some relaxed gaming with a group of fellow parents who understand why you look so tired, get why the game has to go on hold for ten mins when a significant other calls with an update on the little ones, and generally just enjoy hanging out, maybe sneaking in a few beers and burgers in the bar, and trying not to spend too much money in Forgeworld.  

What will we be playing?

The main game played is 40K, though lots of Shadespire and Bloodbowl goes on in Bugman’s Bar, and if you end up in the same hotel as a fellow attendee, expect silly light games and drinks in the hotel bar!  It’s not an official event, though obviously as it takes place at Warhammer World you will need GW manufactured forces.  If you want to try a game of something, though, there are plenty of people who can help you try – I played Shadespire at #ParentPlayers 2 thanks to @grimdarkness04 on twitter, and now am something of a convert…. though I do want a elf warband!  Most of us have spare blood bowl teams and the like, so don’t stress too much about the models if you’d like to come along.

This time, we’re also expecting to be playing a fair bit of Kill Team to maximise limited space on the Saturday, and also to be able to try out a bigger range of minis and opponents.

When and where is it held?

Currently, #ParentPlayers 3 is planned for October 19/20th at Warhammer World – All day Friday, stay over in a Hotel, then all day Saturday.  

You are more than welcome to come along for one or both days – if you can’t make Friday, do join us for 40k, Bloodbowl and Shadespire on the Saturday.

There is a nearby Holiday Inn that several of us have stayed in and really enjoyed over the first two incarnations of the event, and they were really tolerant of the silly gaming in the bar, and happily kept us in beer.  We’ve confirmed tables now, so if you are coming, you can start looking for bargains.

Don’t feel you have to stay in the hotel if you want to find a cheaper option or live locally.  We tend to play up until 9 or 10 at WHW!  But if you are there, silly games and maybe a few more drinks will go down until the wee hours.

There may be some cheaper options with AirBnB but nothing’s been finalised on that front yet.

What are the costs?

Well, there are no direct costs for Parent Players!  We’re a group of parents who love GW gaming, don’t get time to play much, so schedule in a meet up every few months.  It can get a bit expensive though!

First, we all meet up at Warhammer World in Nottingham, so you may incur travel costs to get there.  If you don’t live locally, you’ll need somewhere to stay, which probably means a hotel room – the holiday inn we tend to use is around £65 for the Friday night.

Next, food!  Bugmans is a fantastic bar and does cracking food, but it’s easy to clock up £10-15 a meal, and drinks do tend to clock up, if only soft drinks for refreshment.  If you do enjoy a few beers and silly games, that can carry on until the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, it’s Warhammer World.  If it’s your first trip, you’ll probably want to pay for the exhibition hall, and almost everyone gets a Forgeworld or unusual model from the massive GW and FW stores.  If you want something specific from Forgeworld, I’d suggest ordering online and going for store pickup to make sure you don’t miss out on the day.

It’s possible to do the event quite cheaply, especially if you just come down on one day and don’t incur accommodation and all the food costs.  But it is a cracking two days!

Bonus extra – sometimes odd themes come up in the twitter chat to inspire people to do special models or unique gifts for the attendees.  Please don’t feel obligated to do anything – if you want to paint up Tom Bombadil in a redox top for @thefirstautarch, feel free, but you don’t have to.  Lots of silly ideas do float around in the twitter chat group. 

Who will be there?

Well, there are several regular attendees you can approach on Twitter if you are interested in attending – 

@thefirstautarch

@evilkipper

@xacheriel

@grimdarkness40 – he won’t be coming along to 3, unfortunately!

@bigbadbirch

The whole event was actually the brainchild of the absolute top man, @wilsongrahams – thanks to the vagaries of life as a parent, ironically he hasn’t been able to go as yet, though we’ve got fingers crossed he’ll make it this time.

Reserved tables

On Friday 19th, we have the J’Migan Bridge 6×12 table for multiple small games, or combined megagames of 40k, the Ruins of Aphelion III for 40k (which is the scenery from the photography studio, so some cracking pics!), and… yes, we have the Death of Imperus Terrum warlord table too.  As a bonus, we have a 3×3 Sector Mechanicus Necromunda table to sneak in a little kill team.

On Saturday 20th, we have the Tau Research Station 6×12 table for multiple small games or combined megagames of 40k, the Death of Imperius Terrum again, and the 3×3 Zone Mortals  Necromunda table for some kill team too.

T-Shirts

I get my own event t-shirts made up at streetshirts.co.uk – I try to colour code a t-shirt and logo around my chosen army or blood bowl team, put my preferred name, twitter handle and #parentplayers on the front, with a big #parentplayers and an appropriate slogan on the back.  Feel free to make your own – its by no means compulsory, but makes it a lot easier to spot you if its your first time!

Other Notes

This page will be fairly regularly updated with an idea of the attendees, tables and other details as the time gets nearer, but say hi to any of us on twitter – we have a discussion group that is pretty crazy where we chat about the forces we might bring, alternative games to play and just staying in touch!

We’re parents – lets get playing, even if its only a few times a year!

Projects list

Well, as part of cataloguing up all my stuff, I thought I’d better start listing my projects too that need assembly or painting to finish off.  Ouch.

I feel I may have to actually finish or give up on some of these!

40K

  • Imperial Fists
  • Silver Skulls
  • Grey Knights
  • Blood Angels
  • Space Wolves
  • Fallen Angels
  • Ultramarines Primaris + Primarch
  • Imperial Guard Core Army
  • Imperial Guard Classics
  • Dark Eldar all female army
  • Dark Eldar black and green
  • Harlequins
  • Inquisition kill teams – mix of GW and third party concept stuff.
  • Death Watch
  • Tyranids
  • Orks
  • Rogue Trader Orks
  • Rogue Trader Crimson Fists
  • Eldar Wraithguard army
  • Eldar Mymeara
  • Eldar Ynnari
  • Death Guard
  • Unassigned Chaos (a classic metallic green look?)
  • Sisters of Silence
  • Sisters of Battle (Black and Red)
  • Shadow War Armageddon kill teams & terrain

Fantasy/Age of Sigmar

  • Dark Elf army
  • High Elf army
  • Wood Elf allies
  • Skaven army
  • Dwarf allies
  • Orc and Gobbo allies
  • Empire allies
  • Undead allies

Others

  • Dungeon Saga ( and lots of mixed fantasy models for RPG)
  • Zombicide Black Plague
  • Bloodbowl teams (Human, Human, Human, Human, Elf, Dark Elf, Dark Elf, Ork, Ork, Dwarf)
  • Warmachine – Cygnar
  • Infinity – Nomads
  • Infinity – PanO
  • Frostgrave warband
  • Star Wars Armada fighters
  • Star Wars Imperial Assault
  • Malifaux Lady J crew
  • Malifaux Gremlins
  • Malifaux Ressers
  • Mailfaux Vics crew
  • Dropzone commander starter set
  • Terrain – GW Tower, ruined tower, loads of sector imperialism ruined buildings, LotR terrain, Chaos Temple, 2 imperial base resin battle board tiles

 Mymeara Eldar!

In an effort to at least pretend to practice what I’m preaching, I thought I’d start posting up some details of current hobby plans for 8th Edition 40K, and take a look of ways of approaching it under both the Cheap Gamer and Lazy Mini Painter philosophies.

I managed to snag a whole batch of Eldar from Doc Bungle which were partially painted in Mymeara colours, and I had already decided that Eldar (or at least Aeldari across the factions) would be my choice for 8th edition, so I’m going to start with these, and build up to a chosen list.  I’m looking to start for a trial game around 50-65PL (probably the upper end of that, as my opponent will be fielding thousand sons and under 65PL is very hard to actually get anything like a test army in!).

I’ll then build to a 100PL list.  At that point … Well, I might go higher, or I might start on a diffferent faction.

We have painted realistic 71 power level:

HQ

Avatar of Khaine (13PL)

Fast Attack

6 Warp Spiders for 10PL (or a unit of 5 for 5PL)

Hornet (9PL)

Troops

10 Dire Avengers (6PL) 

Elites

6 Shadow Spectres (19PL or 5 for 10PL)

Flyer

Hemlock Wraithfighter (10PL)

Heavy Support

Fire Prism (9PL)

Dedicated Transport

Wave Serpent (9PL)

 It makes sense to extend the army and expand out up the detachments to gain a few extra CP!  The next stage is to add another HQ, 2 more troops unit and move up to a Battalion detachment.  We might then look at another HQ, and go for a second detachment if the battalion doesn’t give enough flexibility.

Asurmen (9PL) and 2 squads of 5 Dire Avengers (6PL) would get us into Battalion territory without needing to buy any more troops, and take us to 86PL.

An Autarch (5PL), and 3 warlocks (9PL) would take us all the way to 100PL, and finishing off the remaining 2 warlocks and a farseer would give us some options (up to 112PL).  And a unit of Guardian Defenders (4PL) would take it to 116PL 

Lazy Mini Painter

With our targets in mind, how can we get there the easy way!  Well, a simple spray blue would give us a great undercoat for all those models.  Some artic blue on the plates with a little lighter highlighting, some yellow soulstones, white helmets and gun metal weapons, a simple wash, some quick basing!  We’re going to try to turn them out as fast as possible!

 Cheap Gamer

Well, from a cheap gamer perspective:

  • I’m using all models I already have.  I don’t need to buy any more for this project yet
  • I’m using a macragge blue spray I already have.  It’s the easy option, but I don’t need to spend any more either. Win win!
  • I will need some paints, but I’ve identified a particular range of paints.  I know exactly what I need to get – basically the mymeara arctic and turquoise colours.  I’m also using lazy options to paint them, so reducing numbers of layer paints and things I  biggest expense is I may need to buy GW brand paints for some colours if I want to paint some in store.

And so, it begins!
 

Alternative Models for Eldar in 2017!

Well, unfortunately Space Elves or Eldar are still struggling for models in 2017, though there are rumours of new troops from GW later this year!  There are a few great third party alternatives for a few units though!

Iona Starkiller – Farseer alternative

From HF Minis

Space Elves Bikes Unit – Jet bikes alternative

From Spellcrow

Spellcrow also offer conversion Eldar heads, biker torsos, and defence line parts

 

Warp Stalkers Unit – Howling Banshees alternative

From Chapter House Studios

Chapter House also do conversion kits for Farseer and Warlock jetbikes from GW standard jet bikes.

Light Side Arahnide – Warp Spiders alternative

From Wargame Exclusive

 

New 40K – whats the fuss?

I thought in light of the preorder going live tomorrow for 40K, I’d put up a blog post to hopefully foster some common understanding of why the reactions to the new edition of 40K vary so much.  The Warhammer Community has been fantastic, but their posts are focussed around nothing but the positives, can’t take into account the unofficial leaks, and don’t address some of the feelings around the news.

I’m going to look at some of the positions people have taken, and honestly, there is no 100% right or wrong.  A tiny change for one person can entirely break the game for someone else!

Although I don’t like generalising too much, there are a few main positions:

  1. New 40K is going to be the BEST 40K EVAHHHHH!
  2. I like the rules stuff I hear, but some of the leaked lists really worry me.
  3. I like the rules stuff I hear, but some of the fluff changes really worry me.
  4. I really don’t like some of the rule changes, but I’ll give it a go.
  5. I hate it all!  I will burn my models!
  6. Why the hell are we talking about 8th edition and not playing the best version, the original Rogue Trader?

Your gaming situation

Before I get into each of the positions, and why maybe we should be a bit more patient with people taking them, I think its worth a quick talk about what edition changes in general do mean to some people.  The type of gaming you do really scales the level of impact an edition change has.

I play mostly with close friends.  If I don’t like a new version of a game, my friends probably won’t like it either, and we’ll just play the old version.  If its generally good with a glitch or two, we’ll happily house rule stuff.  I can watch a new edition come in and  it doesn’t particularly concern me too much.  I don’t tend to go to tournaments, or play pick up games in store.  I play how I like to play.

Not everyone has this luxury.  If I don’t have any mates nearby who like to play, I have to play in store or at tournaments.  That means, yes, if you want to play at all, you have to play the current version of the game, or you walk away from playing entirely, and the latter options means all the time and money you poured into your hobby may as well have been thrown away.  It also means any recent purchases based on the last version might now be rubbish, and that tends to be more of an issue with strangers in tournaments than rocking up to a fluffy game with someone you’ve known for 20 years.  They genuinely are going to feel they’ve lost something they value, and it makes taking advice like “Just wait and see” a lot harder.

Most people are somewhere in the middle – they play mostly with a group of mates or at a club, but play the odd game in store or with new club members and attend a few tournaments.  They’re more emotionally invested in the new version than someone who just plays with mates, but its not going to be a total nuke to their hobby if they don’t want to play it either.

Your personal situation

Beyond the way you’re involved in a game, people’s personal situations also play a part in how seriously they react to a major change.  If you are moving to a new area, or heading off to uni, dealing with a hobby change at the same time is far harder than it is for someone in a settled job and home.  

If someone sounds like a whiny kid complaining about changes … well, they might be actually be a kid dealing with massive physical changes, trying to keep up with enormous amounts of new information at school, and now trying to absorb huge changes to their hobby as well, without decades of experience in social interaction that buffers the longer term members of the gaming community.  That doesn’t make it right for them to be an arse, but it certainly can explain it.

Others suffer from physical or mental conditions that make dealing with change harder.  The fixed ruleset means that some people with conditions like autism can sometimes use the system as a framework to interact with others, but they are uniquely placed to find this sort of edition change difficult.

On the other side of a social media screen in particular, you don’t necessarily know the person posting their complaints.  Rather than jump to the conclusion it’s someone whining for the sake of it, either respond with positive enthusiasm, or simply don’t engage.  You aren’t obligated to buy into someone else issue.

New 40K will be awesome.  No worries, No doubt.

I’m a bit of a sceptical chap in life generally, so I struggle a bit with this point of view, to be honest.  There’s nothing wrong with being hopeful and positive, of course!    I certainly hope 40K is awesome.  But some people have taken the stance that it definitely is, even before seeing the rules.  

That’s cool.  I think everyone to some degree expected a blend of the older 5-7th era rules with the new AoS model, and people who liked AoS and liked the older 40K are generally in pretty safe territory here!

There’s also the fact that frankly the current models are some of the best ever in many ways (Grognards may argue about the character imbued into the models – I do love rogue trader metals, even if the current plastics are so much easier to convert!), and the plastic materials some of the easiest to work with.  If you like the GW range as is, and love the Gathering Storm triumvirates, you are on pretty safe ground with the direction the model line will take.  Lots of people just paint, and for those people the models will be as good if not better than they are now – the new primaris marines and death guard are pretty damn nice.

If you have doubts, though, its sometimes hard to express them to someone taking a position that the game will be flawless and amazing, and hates whiners who disagree!  I’d ask people who are this enthusiastic about the new version to express the reasons they are looking forward to the new version, not just blanket “Its gonna be great”.  People will go along with specific reasons.  Get people excited for the positives! Blanket statements can polarise things, especially with a game – what people find fun in  a game can be pretty subjective.  I enjoy mathematics.  Reducing the calculations in a game will probably make it more fun for 90% of the people out there – I’ll tend to miss them!

Cool Rules, But whats up with XYZ in the leaked army lists?

Well, until we see the indexes in person and in full, and the main rulebook to fully understand how keywords will tie everything together, I wouldn’t worry too much.  In addition, these are just the holding lists, designed to replicate what you could do in 7th edition.  New codexes will be coming out to really show how the armies will be going forward, and you’ll have to wait for those to really see how armies are going to move forward, not just adapt the models to the new rules.

There do seem to be a few glitches in some of the new model rules, I’m not going to deny that.  My personal favourite is that the only one in an army seems to be missing of the leaked updated celestine, so I may be forced to field all three of mine simultaneously in an outpouring of pure filth 😉

Generally, though, the armies have some more flexible keyword options for taking cross faction armies in detachments, which is cool.  Some depth has been lost with the holding index books – legion customisations for chaos aren’t as deep, and Imperial Agents seem to be a bit screwy unless there is some unlocked or yet to be FAQed updates on how to take you old inquisition war bands in  the modern transports.

Chaos players, though, are likely to feel a bit upset.  They just got a legions book with some real depth, and much of that may have gone until the codexes drop.

I can understand why some people aren’t overjoyed with the leaks, but I think we need to see them in full, in context with the rules, before we can really jump to conclusions … and even then the full codexes are going to reintroduce a lot of the depth that by necessity is going to be skimmed over in the initial lists.

Particularly if you don’t game with friends though, and only game in store or at tournaments, the quirks in the list aren’t something you can overlook or house rule.  If people are in that boat especially, be patient with them – it can mean its going to be months before they can get a fun game again even if they love the general rules!

Rocking Rules, but does it feel 40k?

And by feel 40k, we mean the fluff, the storyline, the overarching narrative.  This is something that causes a lot of confusion when being talked about online.  One person is talking about the story in the universe, while another is talking about narrative play (where you tell more of a story through the battle than a random skirmish).  More narrative play doesn’t necessarily mean that the overall feel of the game universe is better for fluffy players!

A Primarch is back running the Imperium!  A huge rift has opened up, splitting the galaxy!  Orks are heading for Armageddon as their ancestral capital of Ullanor (or because there’s a big fight there.  Hey, they’re Orks!).  Multiple Daemon Primarchs are running around on the Chaos side!  Abbadon has broken Cadia into pieces and unified the forces of Chaos.  Tau are a bit quiet.  Blood Angels and their successors are facing (or will have faced, by the new fluff launch) the Tyranids of Leviathan!  More hive fleets are on the move!  Fenris has been corrupted and pretty much all the potential recruits for the Wolves have gone.  The Iron Hands homeworld was near the now expanded Eye of Terror!  Whole new lines of war machines are launching, tens of thousands of new Primaris marines are running about, Custodes are abandoning Terra and roaming the galaxy on the Primarch’s order, and Sisters of Silence have wandered up from the basements of the Imperial Palace to see what the fuss is about!

Now, many people reading that will be going “OMG!!! It sounds amazeballs!”  Others will be reading it and thinking “But that’s not the 40K I loved.  How comes a tech priest has done better than the Emperor and Primarch in engineering new marines?  Why would Orks care about a particular world?  Thats not what they do!  I loved the resistance of Cadia and had loads of guard, and they just got blown up!  Why have my Space Wolves been turned into dull Primaris Marines?  If Primaris Marines have been re-engineered so magnificently, why on earth didn’t they increase the pool of recruits and fit them to women too?  And if all these production facilities existed, why weren’t we rolling out loads more older tanks and conquering the galaxy pre Primarch?”

I’m pretty relaxed, myself.  We’ve seen good and bad bits of fluff come and go, and I’m happy to wait and see how the story comes together and what the terrific Black Library authors pull the disparate threads together into.  But I can also understand why people are a bit worried. 

The biggest concern is that its going to turn all the dials up to 11.  Bigger, more awesome!  Spiky haired super saiyans battle titan sized demons.  And in the process, lose the feel of the tragedy of humanity and a galaxy in general collapse.  Its always had a satirical edge … but most fans hope it doesn’t descend into outright parody.

Again, its very personal taste!  One persons awesome is anothers disaster.  I favour Tolkien type levels of magic, and Hobbits and men standing against the dark.  AoS is a bit much for me, filled with demigods and star warriors, a world where vampire troops struggle to even compete against the god warriors of Sigmar and chaos, and Orks have got monstrous and huge.  Even lizard men bleed magical light as star demons.    But loads of people love that level of magic and epic fantasy!  

AoS is a reasonably fun game – I haven’t really got sucked in as the fluff hasn’t grabbed me, so I can understand those who worry that the same epic feel might break 40k for them.  I’m pretty optimistic though, but again, lets try to stay positive and see what happens with the actual released fluff and the first few novels before we declare its all silly.  And remember we’ve let plenty of loopholes and silliness ride in past editions already.

I really don’t like the sound of some of these rules, but I’ll give it a go

Honestly, these are the people I admire the most!  They’ve looked at the announced rules, are a bit worried about x, y or z, but happy to give it go and make a call then.  These are the ones we should be encouraging, helping over the changes, and gushing about how change x will mean a, b and c will improve to compensate.

If they say they are a bit worried though, don’t label them as whiners, as that  will probably flip them over the edge into the next category.  I’m all about encouraging anyone who will give things a fair go.

I hate it all!  I will burn my models!

Now, if you fall in this camp, at least think of eBaying the models off nice and cheap so I can get a bargain rather than burning them!  

I don’t get this group, in the same way I don’t really get the all in on the new edition people, as until we try something properly, I don’t know how you can really feel that strongly one way or another!

If the changes are so big that you feel you have to quit, well, that is a real shame 🙁  I hate it when people drop out of even part of the hobby.  7th edition is hanging around for the Horus Heresy, and you can easily reuse much of any marine forces for HH games if it came down to it.

Please try to explain your specific breaking point, though, and if you are just indulging in hyperbole now, do expect at least some gentle ribbing when we catch you playing 40k in 6 months time.  And try to have an open mind about the bits that have improved!  I get that if you hate the way the game sounds and not taken by a leaked army list, you might be reluctant to update.  Maybe instead of ranting and rage quitting, you think of it as a bit of a sabbatical until we see more of the fluff and the actual codexes.  Keep options open, don’t burn bridges.  And I hope the rest of the community doesn’t burn the bridges behind you, as thats no good either.

Lets all go play Rogue Trader instead

Deffo a good option.  Man, that edition was great for skirmish stuff, and the random equipment lists and chaos war band rules in Realm of Chaos!  Legendary!  Shadow War Armageddon isn’t actually a million miles away 🙂

However you want to deal with the edition upgrade, I hope this helps you understand some of the standpoints and worries others have, and helps us all push forward a bit more positively.  If nothing else, I hope it means I cheap eBay bargains rather than seeing gorgeous minis burned!!!!

And I’m always up for a game of Rogue Trader 😉

Let’s maybe, just maybe, be a little kinder to our fellow gamers

Well, the new edition of 40k is upon us, following the Gathering Storm series of books, which are a close echo of the End Times books from Fantasy Battles.   Some people are excited, some are tentative, and some are worried … and those groups keep shifting as we get more nuggets of information about the new game coming out.

This isn’t a discussion about the new game.  Its a discussion about the levels of vitriol I’ve seen directed at each other by those who are supposed to share a love of the game.  Its really not good!

There are a lot of people who are genuinely upset by the prospect of a major change to the game they love.  Since 3rd edition, the game has gently evolved, rather than radical changes to the game engine.  That’s a long period of stability, and while most people would agree the current rules are overly complex, with so many varied sources for the rules including the main rules, codexes, codex supplements, data sheets, downloads, and errata, it doesn’t mean people are comfortable with change.

Some of the changes being talked about remove core rules that have been in play since the days of Rogue Trader.  Thats 30 years of experience with those rules in my case.  Its not easy to see some of those changes …. even if they bring improvements.  Its something I have to overcome every day when running projects – fear of change.  This article gives a good idea what people are going through.

In addition, lots of people have significant amounts of money tied up in the game.  Its not an investment in any real sense, but there’s certainly a cost associated to walking away from 40K if the new rules don’t appeal.  Trying a new game?  You’ll need to reinvest in new rules, models, time to learn it, and trust that the new game won’t be changed like 40K was.  The more you have “invested”, both financially and psychologically, in a game, the harder it is to see it change.

There’s always an argument when these changes happen that you won’t lose anything.  You don’t have to play the new version.  You and your group of friends can carry on playing the old version.  Except that’s rarely true for most of us.  If you want to play a pickup game at a club or store, you’ll need to play the current version.  If you want to take part in any tournaments, you’ll need to play the current version.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have a small group of friends who will happily play the older version … and even those who are are likely to be a bit torn between people who want to move on and people who want to stay with the older version.

I’m not advocating that the game should remain fixed and unchanging.  We need to recognise that our fellow players are human, and many will have issues with any major change.  And that assumes that those changes are good – a game played for fun is highly subjective.  A change you find speeds the game up and makes it easier and more accessible may feel like dumbing down for kids and losing a lot of the individual feel of the troops on the board to someone else.  And the killer?  Both people can be right for them.

I’ve been around the edition wars of 40K, Fantasy Battle and D&D for some time, and major changes don’t work for everyone.  But they certainly won’t work for everyone if we don’t try to support our fellow gamers.  Rejoicing that people are talking about quitting the game because of the change?  That shouldn’t be a celebration, its a tragedy.  And if the people who leave are the ones being driven out by intolerant behaviour, that doesn’t say much for the community that’s left.

Make the game fun for others when it’s released.  Look at alternatives like the mad range of board games reintroduced by GW and keep people in the hobby. Get people excited for troops that have been obsolete for years and will make a comeback as we find out more about the rules (like space marine devastator Elder Dark Reaper and Chaos Marine havoc squads!)  A large part of people overcoming change is down to the community encouraging them to give the system a chance, to try the new system in a welcoming way, and yeah, walk away if they don’t enjoy it and still play blood bowl with them with a smile later.

Just remember that the person on the other end of the screen screaming about the change may be a kid who has just dropped 3 years savings on a FW model and feels that he might have wasted all that money.  It might be someone who has loved 40k for 30 years and is worried the game he loved is going forever.  Or yeah, it might just be a bit of an arse.  But you?  You’re better than that!  Please?

Every time I see someone laughing about the “tears of the haters”, or good riddance to all those whiners, it makes me want to play games that still welcome players, not drive them away.  And that’s got nothing to do with rules.

Political Correctness Gone Mad

There was an interesting conversation on twitter lately, and the whole “Should we have female space marines?” conversation came up again.  My feelings are a little complex on the matter.

Lets face it, the whole thing boils down to a fairly casual choice in the 80’s in the fluff, and I hope the gaming scene has moved on at least a little since then.  People argue that the “science” of space marines wouldn’t work … but the science fiction behind it is quite clearly just that – fiction.  Arguing that its “fact” is just silly.  Another argument is that the background has been consistent for 30 years, so we should keep things as is … except it hasn’t.  The Exorcists were originally ladies in the rogue trader rules.  Zoats and Squats have been written out.  Genestealer cults have been, gone, evolved, come back.  Tau appeared.  Necrons appeared as soulless destroyers of life, then turned into Tomb Kings in space pranksters sending pressies to Inquisitors.  C’tan went from unfettered star gods to enslaved avatars.  Every time a batch of new models appear, the fluff is updated, retconned or altered.  Arguing that this bit of fluff is unalterable just sounds like nonsense.  Even without altering anything that happened historically, it would be fairly easy to have one or both of the 2 missing primarchs be female and their knock on legions full of ladies too.  There are options.

As a chap with two little daughters, I’d quite like to get them interested in playing 40K one day, and to be honest, there just aren’t the same powerful female characters in the game for them to look up to.  While a grim dark universe is hardly the place anyone should be looking to learn lessons from in general, there is a fundamental tone that women are less than men when it comes to the game.  You can read books about amazing female Imperial Guard.  You can’t buy the models.  You can read about amazing female Arbites. You can’t buy the models.  Sisters of Battle are normally raised about now, but an army of people who are weaker, worse equipped, wear corsets (or scanty rags if they are naughty), get special powers only through faith in a chap, and are harder and more expensive to buy than marines don’t really level things up.  I love some of the concepts (and have 2 armies of them!), but it doesn’t really level the playing field.  Eldar are thrown up, but there are very few Eldar women available outside of the troop level.  Lilith, Jain Zar, a Succubus, and the new Triumvirate model. There are more male pheonix lords that that alone, and every spiritseer, farseer, warlock, Eldrad, Yriel, Archon, and autarch just tip the scale further.

In some ways I feel the issue is less having to have female space marines, and more a need to have an equivalent powerful force.   It’d absolutely rock if the Astartes were just half of the Emperor’s plan, with implants to augment them physically, with an army of augmented lady psykers and blanks (sisters of silence?) forming the second part of the concept, both sharing some similarities with black carapace interfaces, for example, but their own set of implants and psychic powers, topping the natural born grey knights.  Both strong armies, both stronger fielded together.  Couldn’t hurt.  Women in the guard?  Its there in the fluff.  Heck, producing resin sprues of ladies heads for conversions so people could do what they liked with guard or marines themselves and still turn up to tournaments with a legal army would be enough to keep a lot of people happy.  It’d be a move in the right direction.

Mind you, there are some practical limitations.  At the end of the day, GW is a business, and has to make sales.  If the sales figures of genuinely comparable female to male lines (and I actually can’t think of many easily comparable minis, so its a bit tricky) just aren’t financially viable to run in plastic, then I can’t expect them to go out of business!  It’d be interesting to look at maybe comparing Sisters of Silence to Custodes sales, except the additional forgeworld support for Custodes does skew things towards them already.  The triumvirates have been pretty strong female leads and seem to be flying off the shelves, and Canoness Viridya kept selling out, but special event models are always more popular.  Given the sales of Wyrd malifaux models (and, anecdotally, a larger player base of women there), it doesn’t seem financially unviable from an external standpoint…. and you know, I’d like to be able to one day get my little girls playing rather than Daddy being a bit embarrassed about the fact I can’t buy them an army with strong ladies like them.

I can understand someone playing a historical recreation of waterloo not really wanting half their army to be ladies, as its historically inaccurate.  If you are playing a fictional game, though, there really isn’t any reason why characters can’t be anything the company making them dictates.

My final thought is that every time I hear “political correctness gone mad”, my first thought these days isn’t “Oh god, whats someone else gone over the top with now?”  My first thought is generally “so what group don’t you give a crap about then?”.  Sometimes people do go over the top – it’d be pushing things a wee bit far to demand the entire 40K universe is rewritten to exclude men entirely, and the recent PETA request to demand that tiny plastic models don’t wear plastic fur, my word!  I don’t see requests like that very often though – I generally see enthusiastic gamers upset that they aren’t represented well.