Trying to get into 9th ed 40K: Step 3 – Background Study to Understand the Codex

Well, having slammed straight into a rather confusing jumble of rules and options, picking a list straight from the codex just wasn’t happening.

I think if I’d been more actively playing in 8th ed, and just updating an existing 2000pt army list for , rather than starting with a core chunk of minis and trying to work out what I should be adding, it’d prove much easier.

But I’m doing it the hard way.  Luckily I have enough background with Sisters to understand how the 8th ed codex did work, so I had enough of a background to read through the “9th ed changes” articles on various blog sites to get a feel for what I was seeing.  

These articles are in the order I read them – I would recommend you start with the wargamer.com link first as a brilliant starting point.

Goonhammer’s Adepta Sororitas Codex review isn’t billed as a 8th -> 9th ed update viewpoint, but it felt very much that way to me.  I’m not sure how I’d have found it if I was starting Adepta Sororitas from scratch, but given my familiarity with past codexes, I found it an absolutely invaluable starting point.  I genuinely understood the point of the various rules, and got a much better grip of how they interrelate.

Codex Adepta Sororitas – 9th Edition: The Goonhammer Review

I went on to read Sprues and Brews Codex review too.  This didn’t go into the detail as much as Goonhammer, but was a fantastic quick overview, and will work well as a reminder when I go back into the main codex to try and pick things again.

Warhammer 40,000 Codex Adepta Sororitas Review | 9th Edition

Continuing my reading, I went on to the ArtOfWar40K’s review of the codex.  This was less useful than the others for getting an overall feel for the faction, but the in depth run through of stratagems and how/why the various HQ characters might tie in with upgrades and options was fantastically usefully to genuinely understanding those areas.  I don’t think I’d have understood it at all without reading the Goonhammer and Sprues and Brews articles first, though.

What made it less useful was a really big focus on Bloody Rose armies – I have a load of painted Sisters from the Order of the Martyred Lady!  However, the descriptions of just how the rules interacted was still very useful!!

Adepta Sororitas Breakdown

Next, I went on to read the article here, at Wargamer.com.  And damn.  Its really light on the rules, but gives a brilliant overview of how the Sisters army is likely to play on the battlefield, how the army ties to the lore, and some quick gotchas and highlights.  Honestly – this is the article I wish I’d read first.  Not in depth at all, but enough to give me a feel for the army, and with the bits I pieces I remember from 8th ed, enough to put everything else I’ve read so far into context.

https://www.wargamer.com/warhammer-40k/sisters-of-battle

Now I’m ready to start jotting down everything I’ve learnt so far in one article to help me build my Order of the Martyred Lady list!  One thing already springing out at me is that I’m going to need a clear, step by step, phase by phase checklist to play properly if I’m not playing weekly.

Wow, this is a lot of work.

Trying to get into 9th Ed 40K: Step 2 – Building a list from the Codex!

Huzzah!  Codex arrived!  Reasonable numbers of painted Sisters of Battle in Metal – large numbers of unpainted plastics and characters to add in.  Its all looking good!

Read through the fluff, and continued to get more and more excited!  Sisters of battle aren’t being described as tiny numbers any more.  They are the arm of the Ecclesiarchy!  While still functioning with 2 main planetary HQs, they have outposts and smaller abbeys all over the galaxy.  While not rivalling the size of the Imperial Guard, we’re probably looking at about on par with the size of the Tempestus Scions.  Brilliant!  Taking the ladies seriously!

Lovely pictures of models old and new.  Lots of exciting hobby possibilities.  Its all grand!

And then …. I hit the rules.   And the hobby enthusiasm crawls away to die.

No example army lists.  Densely packed pages of rules that massively interact with each other, and none but the most trivial examples.  Bam.  Mind totally blown and unable to put any of it together.

My Sisters are painted as the Order of Our Martyred Lady (or the ones I’ve chosen to use – I do have sisters in green as an Order Minoris and an Order of the Argent Shroud force too!), so that takes care of that choice.  But then we have pages of Stratagems, Blessings of the Faithful, Warlord Traits, Hymns of Battle, Relics, Chapter Approved Rules (skipping past the crusade rules as I’m looking for a few one off games), Acts of Faith, Sacred Rites and then individual data slates with the points tucked at the back of the book, so just a very loose power level rating to get a feel for what you can probably pick.

Honestly – trying to to build an actual list without BattleScribe or the GW 40K list builder is feeling like an absurd challenge.  And trying to get a feel for what any of these rules actually means or how it ties together or what you might actually pick when you haven’t played 9th ed yet?  Its feeling beyond me.

I think its on to step 3.  Giving up on the codex for now, and reading up on the army on the Internet to get enough context to be able to understand the rules enough to actually build a list with the help of a list builder tool.

This is 9th edition.  It’s also the 9th edition of the game that I’ve actually played.  And I am still very much struggling getting my head around it.  It must be a total bloody nightmare for a new player to engage with this.

Attack of #HobbyADD – Infinity, Malifaux and 40k in between…

Well, as always, I am suffering from #HobbyADD, but at the moment I think its a particularly advanced case! I’ve almost completed my #WAACPainting entry – the models are done – I just need some decent photos for an entry.  I’m looking a knocking up a quick display board to take the photos on. So, current projects (in no particular order)!

1)  Infinity Nomads!  I’m very excited about Infinity!  It looks like an amazing system, and the skirmish nature means I don’t need to assemble and paint huge numbers.  Plus nuns with guns – my battle sisters can stride onto a new battlefield.  I think I can hold off until Ice Storm though!

2)  Malifaux I have a Lady Justice crew half assembled (I still need to put the Death Marshalls together.  Interesting system with the card deck, and fascinating fluff and gorgeous models.  Only problem is that I keep eying up Viktoria’s crew and Gremlins….. Hopefully I can stick to my guns (of justice!)

3) 40K – Sisters of Battle I need to paint about 2 models to “finish” my Order of the Argent Shroud, and about 6 models to “finish” my Order of the Verdant Garden.  So close….

4) 40K – Imperial Fists This is my current “Churn em out army”.  I do like the Sons of Dorn, and these will probably be my standard go to 40k army for a while.  Assault terminators and forge world pads on the way to bolster a Lysander charge 🙂

5) 40K – Pirate Orks Pirate orks.   What more can I say?  I have a fair few Orks from Assault on Black Reach, and Stormclaw may be lurking for an upcoming birthday.  I’ve also got RTB02 ready to be repainted and take the field.  Add some Flash Gitz, and Cap’n Kipp’s Freebootaz could be ready to go!  Its a heck of a lot of models though, so I may end up holding off here.

6) 40K – Dark Craftworld Dark Eldar I have a reasonably DE force in need of some TLC.  I’m really tempted to reorganise it as a fallen craft world and paint it in aspect colours – Striking Scorpion green for Incubi, blaster wielding kabalites as fire dragons, kabalites as Dire Avenger blues, Wyches in howling banshee bone and so on.

7) Ax Faction minis for fun I’m looking at using some of these as Inquisition forces too, so not purely just for fun.  Cracking sculpts on these.

8) 40K – Fallen Angels This army has been lurking for ages and been bolstered by the DV set.  Totally unpainted for over 7 years….. I really should at least prime them!!!

9) 40K – RTB01 Crimson Fists Army Ah, my beloved Crimson Fists!  Painstakingly gathered from eBay to replace an army that got lost on a train years ago.  The plan is to recreate the classic Rogue Trader front cover.  Navy primer is ready to go!

10) 40K – Ultramarines More marines!  I actually have a fairly decent collection of ultramarines, some primed, some badly painted.  I’m just missing a HQ force here really!  Ironclad dreadnoughts and bikers recently added to the increasing forces.   I now have a complete enough force not to worry about these!  Counting Ultramarines as done!

11) 40K – Crimson Slaughter I have a reasonably solid force of CSMs in red and gold, perfect for the role of Crimson Slaughter.  With the addition of the Crimson Slaughter specific models from the DV set, this would be a great little force (possibly in need of a bastion or helturkey for anti air).  Just the CSMs from DV to paint here, though a fair few khorne beserkers need some finishing too.

12)  X-Wing Not started here, but a good guy locally loves it, and wants to play.  I love Star Wars, so I suspect mistakes will be made here 😉

13)  Armada If I like Star Wars star fighters, running a fleet as an admiral????  Yeah, this is happening.

14) DnD 5e Absolutely love everything I’ve seen for this so far!  Just wish digital versions of the core books were coming out as space is an issue.

15) 40K – Space Wolves My first 40K force back in the 80s!  The storm claw set has sucked me back in.  I’m not a huge fan of a lot of the recent vehicles, but the current character modelling is amazing.  Definitely to be painted in grey instead of the rubbish modern light blue though.  Will probably just be an allies force rather than a full blown 1850pts army.

16)  40K – Blood Angels Really struggling for enthusiasm here!  I have some really quite nice chapter leaders painted up, and some gorgeous terminators from Space Hulk to paint.  I have primed basic troops, and unbuilt death company and sanguinary guard.  Just not feeling too enthused, particularly without a current codex.

17) 40K – Silver Skulls Loads of unbuilt models for this, and they fit with my long term plans of having a range of silver armies sharing some vehicles with magnetised logos with my Order of the Argent Shroud and Grey Knights.  Need to work out the skulls for the shoulders and a quick effective paint scheme here!

18)  40K – Eldar Loads of unpainted Eldar, and loads of painted ones! Recently bolsters by  Eldrad, a new Avatar and some warlocks.  I need to sort out some effective fighting forces here – I think painting the remaining ones is quite low down the list.  Really tempted to add more wraith warriors at all levels though ….

19)  40K – Tau My Tau are pretty much done with a reasonable force.  There are a couple of options half painted that I’d like to finish off, and perhaps add some broadsides and riptides, but generally these are pretty low on the list as they have a fully painted force!  Ticking these off the list as have a sorted out painted playable army matching all my main criteria.  Not ideal, as could do with slightly different options, but cool.

20)  40K – Grey Knights! New codex due out, decent force already, and only a couple of things needed to be finished or assembled to finish them off!  Also awesome with the new psychic phase.  These guys may well be seeing the table again soon.  Dreadknight is tempting me!

21) 40K – Imperial Guard Valhallans Pretty much sorted out and ready to go!  Not great paint jobs, but OK enough to get by.  some basing of heavy weapons needed here.

22) 40K – Imperial Guard Cadians Ouch.  Loads of men, not much paint, and pretty much every heavy weapons squad needs to be rebased.  Lots and lots of work, not much enthusiasm at present 🙁

23) 40K – Legion of the Damned I have 15 Legion to be painted to use as an allied force to other Imperial types.  Struggling to get enthused though.

24) 40K – Deathwatch I have a 10 man squad with custom pads (both DW and a range of chapters), heads, guns, all ready to be assembled!  Must get around to building and painting these.  Very excited with my Inquistions types.

25) 40K – Inquisition I have a load of models from a range of manufacturers to put together as my Inquistion force.  Female paladins as crusaders, floating psykers, daemonhosts, the lot!  Very cool and good allies for almost all the other Imperial forces.  Quite excited, but as I haven’t started they are quite low down the list.

26)  40K – Tyranids I’d love to get this army finished to at least 1850 points!  They look gorgeous, and are easy to do.  I’m struggling motivation wise here as I basically need to buy a fresh army to make them playable with tervigons, more termagants and flying MCs.  I have genestealers aplenty to paint.  Hmm.

27) 40K – Necrons I have a fully painted army of these bad boys – rubbish in the current game, but fully painted and ready to go.  w00t!!!!  Could do with some newer models, but not loving the new fluff anyway. Counting these as done for now!  I have a complete playable and painted army all sorted out.  Not great, but done!

28) 40K – Militarum Tempestus I have a reasonable number of Karskrin Stormtrooper squads here.  No new stormtroopers, but enough to work well with inquisition or guard voices quite effectively!  None really painted, boo hiss!

29)  Scenary! I have a huge amount of scenery to assemble and/or paint.  From an Imperial City to Altars of Chaos, it’d look amazing on my battle board.  As it doesn’t affect my actual games too much though, difficult to find the time!

Sooo, 29 reasonably sized projects, and possibly a few more kickstarter bits to go too.  Ouch!  #HobbyADD indeed!

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 9)

Welcome to the continuing adventure of #WAACPainting, as I try to master new techniques to paint the best models I can!   Please do check out WAAC – its a fantastic campaign organised by @DocBungle to raise money for McMillan.

This is the 9th update, and pretty much the last for the core models themselves.  I need to do a banner and rebase them, but the painting?  Done … and I’m pretty happy.

BtC-NPtCMAAxEKQ.jpg-largeBtC-NSsCYAAqXFE.jpg-large

Here we have the finished shots.  The hair has been done in matt black, with a 3 part black, one part bone dry brush highlight for the hair effect.  The weapons and metal are done in gun metal, with a black wash and a light sliver drybrush.  The robes highlighted up to Ork green look great.  A devlan mud wash over the gold and parchment has worked really well.

I may still add a little technical paint blood to the hospitallars surgery tools though 🙂

Next come the bases, banner, and then the joys of rebasing.  Totally messed up in terms of prep – I should have prepared the models for rebasing before painting!  Silly Kipper!  I also need to work out how to take some really nice photos.  Use the battle board?  Downloaded and printed backdrops?  Simple white or grey?  Its all new 🙂

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 8)

Well, the glacially slow progress continues!

SistersUpdate8

Really starting to come together now – the whites are starting to get close to a white colour coming up from blue – that last highlight was 4 parts white to 1 wolf grey.    Almost all the base colours are blocked in now (except the hair on some of the other members of the squad).  Of course, made a rookie mistake!  I need to remove the tab on the base to add them to their resin bases…. so that means sawing bits off!  Should have done that before painting, so I hope I don’t damage them too much in the process.  I rarely do models with resin bases, so this is a step I often miss!0

I’ve also been working on a banner for the ladies for the entry, though I’ll change this for a Sisters of Battle banner afterwards.  What do you think?  Matches the #WAACwear quite well 🙂

WAACBanner

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 6!)

Well, my glacially slow progress continues!  The cloaks have been painted black, then green, and faces have been highlighted with a light bone colour (and parchment on the Dialogus filled in bone colour too!).  Here’s a group shot.

2014-06-22 11.34.26Here’s a close up of the Sister Hospitaller:

2014-06-22 11.36.39

And I really like how the faces have come together for my other Celestians.  I’m not great at faces normally, but I’m reasonably happy with this!

2014-06-22 11.36.04Next steps are to block out gun metal generally, start moving the blue towards white, and start layering the dark green.  Still not onto much detail work bar the faces yet, but it feels like its coming together!

 

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 5)

Well, its time for another update on my painting progress!  As always, it isn’t much!

I have an Adepta Sororitas command squad picked out:

2014-06-08 19.56.08

They have been primed white:

2014-06-14 20.49.19

And then I started on the eyes using the technique here.  They haven’t come out nearly as good …. but they are leaps and bound better than my previous efforts.

First, I used 2 white:1 bone mix for an off-white for the eyes.

2014-06-15 10.53.48

Its pretty close to the white primer, so can be a little difficult to make out.  I’m happy with it though – it avoids the brilliant white look thats too shocking from previous attempts of mine.  I then dotted the eye using a dark green.  I tried a smaller dot of black in the centre, but its not too noticeable.

2014-06-15 11.04.21

Nothing too exceptional so far – its the next step that I feel really helps – painting brown around the eyes to give a smooth underline.

2014-06-15 11.15.43

We then paint flesh colour over the brown, leaving an underline under the eye.  This was tricky with the hospitallar – I hadn’t realised how much of the face is taken by the respirator.

2014-06-15 11.28.38

Finally for this batch, I ran a blue ink over all the areas of white armour – the blue will act as the deepest colour on the white that I’ll build up from wolf grey.

2014-06-15 11.47.14

Here’s the squad with eyes and blue armour where appropriate:

2014-06-15 11.48.55

Its only a small start – but its a start.  Painting all the cloth matt black will be the next phase, and perhaps gun metal too to get the basics in place.

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 4) – Finalising some choices

Well, one of the great joys of painting are the ever changing paint names, ranges and options, especially since I haven’t painted my Order of the Verdant Garden in years!  I’m also looking at following various tutorials, which all use paints from different ranges.  Now, I could just go out and buy those exact paints … except even that isn’t possible, as some of them don’t exist anymore!

What I need to do is either adapt to colours that are close enough, or use a tool to match the paints pretty exactly to ones that I actually can go out and buy!

I use a tool on my iPhone called ModelPaint42.  Its great, with a really brilliant range of paints – including Army Painter, my base colour range of choice (I have their mega set, covering their current main range).  However, it will only show direct matches – I might always end up mixing my own too.

We have several core colour areas:

  • Green Robes
  • White Armour
  • Gold Trim
  • Face – Flesh and Eyes
  • Metal weaponry and gadgets

There will probably be a few other highlights here or there, but thats the core!  We also need to prime the model, and identify shadows and highlights.

Priming and Preparing

  • White Primer
  • Army Painter Quickshade Blue Tone Ink

I’m going to spray the model white!  No surprises there, with predominantly white armour!  After the initial spray, I’m going to run a blue wash over the model to highlight details, and also act as a good starting point for the white armour.

Eyes and Face

Eyes:

  • whites of eyes – 4:1 mix Army Painter Warpaint Matt White, Army Painter Painter Warpaint Skeleton Bone
  • iris – Army Painter Warpaint Goblin Green
  • pupil – Army Painter Warpaint Matt Black
  • highlight – Army Painter Warpaint Matt White
  • underline (and eyebrows?) – Army Painter Warpaint Oak Brown

Flesh:

  • Flesh (base) – Army Painter Warpaint Barbarian Flesh
  • Flesh (layer down) – Army Painter Warpaint Tanned Flesh
  • Flesh (layer up) – 1:1 mix Army Painter Warpaint Barbarian Flesh, Army Painter Painter Warpaint Skeleton Bone
  • Flesh (warmth) – I may experiment with a warmer colour on the cheeks by adding some Army Painter Warpaint Alien Purple into the flesh mix.

I’m going to start with the eyes, as that’s what I normally screw up when painting – so I might as well start while the model is pretty much a blank slate!  I will have a go doing very detailed eyes with an iris, though I suspect this will be not good, and revert back to a simpler black on white pattern.  I’m going to use a white/bone mix for an off white – the proportions may need varying here, and if it doesn’t look good in my test, I will go for a Reaper White Leather.  I’ll be following the overall guide here.

The rest of the face will be tricky to do well.  I was looking at some of the techniques here, as the results are fabulous – but possible too feminine (looking at Lyssele).  That sounds silly, but the Adepta Sororitas are more business than make up focussed!  I may experiment with the warmer effects on the cheeks though.  There are surprisingly few guides that don’t focus on male faces, and I don’t think I need to add stubble here 🙂

Green Robes

  • Army Painter Warpaint – Matt Black
  • Army Painter Warpaint – Angel Green (base)
  • Army Painter Warpaint – Greenskin (layer 1)
  • Army Painter Warpaint – Goblin Green (layer 2)
  • Army Painter Quickshade – Green Tone Ink or Strong Tone Ink

I’ll then paint the robes black, and begin to follow the painting tutorial here.

White Armour

  • Army Painter Warpaint Matt White
  • Cold Grey Shade – 2:1:1 mix Army Painter Warpaint Matt White, Army Painter Painter Warpaint Electric Blue, Army Painter Painter Warpaint Uniform Grey
  • Model Air Gloss Varnish

I plan to paint the armour following the guide here!  After the model is matt varnished at the end, I plan to go over the white armour in a gloss varnish to make the white a little shinier, like metal.  That may or may not work for photos though.

Gold Trim

  • Army Painter Warpaint Weapon Bronze
  • Army Painter Warpaint Greedy Gold

Not a huge amount to say here!  The trim will generally be gold, painted in bronze and highlighted up to gold – possibly with a shining silver top light here or there.  I’ll be using this guide to metals where appropriate.

Weaponry

  • Army Painter Warpaint Gun Metal
  • Army Painter Warpaint Plate Mail
  • Army Painter Warpaint Shining Silver

Again, the primary guide will be the guide to metallics here.  There aren’t any power weapon effects necessary, so it’ll be just straight metals.

Final Touches

Well, I am tempted to try the technical paints a little – particularly the blood effect on the Narthecium.

In terms of bases, I am settling on the MDP ruined chapel bases.  The chapel idea has a strong resonance with the sisters, and the slabs also match the GW battle board I play on extremely well too.

Project scope – creep incoming!

I need test models for much of this, so I am going to expand out to do the rest of a command squad at the same time.  I need to do another three models to finish off a full squad, and that’ll let me experiment a bit with techniques before doing it for real.   Hopefully this won’t slow me down too much!

My #WAACPainting Progress (Update 3) – Planning the paint!

Ok, time to start laying down a few firm plans and guidelines for painting the model.

Here’s the model in question with the default GW paint job:

image

 

Now, its a really nice model in many ways – definitely not one of the very ornate current crop of GW sculpts, but not like some of the very simplistic 2nd edition period ones either, or overly cartoony like much of the Rogue Trader stuff (which I love, BTW!).

The intention is to do the very best job I can, matching my Order of the Verdant Garden elite models like these:

 

So what colours are we looking at?  Mostly white armour – a very difficult colour.  Green robes.  Gold and Green trim.  Steel weapons and piping.

The white armour doesn’t look bad – its plain white with joints picked out in blue.  That looks great on the battlefield, but isn’t going to cut the mustard in a painting competition.  We need to up our game here, so we’re going to try the guide to painting white found here:

http://blog.brushthralls.com/?page_id=1967

The gold trim, and steel weapons and piping, are another challenge for two reasons.  First, metals traditionally don’t photograph well.  The second reason is that I tend to just slap on a metal colour, add a wash, a brief highlight, and considered it done.  Again, thats not going to cut the mustard here.  I don’t want to jump totally into the unknown with NMM, and I would like a metallic colour to match the others on the field, so I’m going to try to follow the ideas found here:

http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/tutorial-painting-true-metallic-metal.html

For the green robes, especially as this model has a hood (in white in the GW shot) that will be this colour, I’m going to try following something like the process here:

http://www.heresy-online.net/forums/showthread.php?t=33420

My Rule #1, though, will be to paint the harder to reach (or hard to get right) bits first.  It sounds really obvious, but I’d say 9 times out of ten I generally don’t do this – I paint the majority colours first.  Looking at an example, take my Imperial Fists.  Bam – yellow on first all over.  I’ll then start adding details …. and often end up having to go back to the yellow to cover over any spread paint.  In terms of the overall model, I’d have been better off doing some of the detail work first, then going back to add the nearby yellow.  Paint by accessibility, not colour prevalence.

As an example of this, I’m going to start with the eyes.  Notoriously difficult to get right, I’m not going to spend a month painting the model then screw it up at the end … not if I can screw it up right away!  Reaper have a terrific tutorial on eyes that look much better than the way I’ve been doing them, so I’m going to follow it here!

https://www.reapermini.com/TheCraft/12

Fundamentally the two differences are the underline around the eye to pick it out, and the use of an off-white rather than white.  I always tended to use a brilliant white, and it always looked too glaring.  A slight off white looks much more effective, and if I can get the eye underline thin enough, it’ll really make the eyes pop.  I’m a little worried with the eye sculpt though – if you look at the picture from GW, even they didn’t bother with trying to pick out the eyes!

Next step – trying to work out the actual colours to use!