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


  • 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 (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.


  • 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 2) – Fighting #HobbyADD

I have, as yet, not even primed my chosen model for my painting entry, and #HobbyADD has already begun to cause problems.  I started looking at resin bases for my entry…. and then the problems started.

“Ohh, they look nice.  I could rebase all my Celestians and Canoness to match”

“Ohh, I use my Celestians as a command squad sometimes.  Perhaps I should get a dedicated command squad together?  I could enter the whole squad”.

“What if I got a new immolator for the command squad too?  It could looks amazing as an entry!”

“I could get some casualty models and a large resin base as a little diorama!”

No.  I have limited hobby time, and this is exactly why my projects fail so often – I get overexcited, expand the scope too much, then get overwhelmed and unsuccessful.   One model, painted to the best of my ability – stick to the plan!

On the progress side, I’m between either using a Sisters of Battle appropriate base – with a fleur de lys somewhere about, or going more generic with a nice battlefield one.

Warmill are supposed to reopen today with a nice Felur De Lys base pack here

Gladius Game Arts have a nice line in Sci-Fi lab bases, which I think could double up nicely for a hospital vibe – appropriate for the Sisters Hospitallar.

Or if I just go more to match existing bases and my games table, I could go for a raised rock approach.

#WAACPainting – Time to up my painting game!

Well, as you can see from @docbungle‘s post here:

#WAAC update 2

A new phase of #WAAC (Wargamers All Against Cancer) has begun – #WAACPainting.  A £5 donation to Macmillan Nurses is the cost of entry, and there will be some nifty prizes to be won.  Of course, there are some fantastic painters out there, so while I don’t expect to win, I’d rather not embarrass myself.

My normal style of painting is very much aimed at the tabletop.  I spray a base colour from Army Painter, priming at the same time.  I then do a basic set of details, depending on the complexity of the model, often chuck a quick dry brush over a few block colours, then add any decals, then to an Army Painter quickshade, varnishing and shading all in one.  That just isn’t going to cut the mustard here!

The deadline is August 22nd, so I thought I’d post up my adventures in painting techniques here as I experiment (and relearn old techniques!)  The only vague guideline is that the Macmillan Nurses green will be looked upon favourably.

Where is that sisters hospitallar I need to paint for my green Adepta Sororitas – the Order of the Verdant garden? 🙂

7th Edition – Looks like fun!

OK, I received my new edition of 40K in iBooks format this weekend!  Time for my first impressions!

The Format

Well, though not relevant to playing the game, I really like the iBooks presentation.  Good cross linking, great zoom into images, search functionality…. my word!  It really makes the rulebook very useable, and lets me lug around the fluff and model sections too.  I haven’t seen mobi or epub formats, but the interactive iBooks format is top notch.

In terms of the physical books?  Well, though I won’t be buying due to space issues, the fact that the rules are split from the model gallery and the fluff makes it a heck of a lot more practical, and despite the added costs of 3 hardback books, the costs haven’t jumped that much compared to the last edition.

The Rules

Well, I’d have to say that generally there aren’t too many major changes.  Vehicle damage charts make tanks a little tougher, with less chance of random explosions taking you out.  Wound allocation makes more sense (I actually realised I’d been doing it wrong in 6th …. the method in 7th is how we’d already been playing it).  Little optimisations make sense – immobilised walkers?  You attack the rear armour in close combat, not the front.

Better still, the illustrations and examples are clearer than previous editions.  Squad coherency in buildings for close combat finally makes sense!  Overall, the core mechanisms have been pretty well tuned to run that bit more smoothly.

However, there are some new mechanisms, and these feel a little rough.  The psychic phase seems great, and I’ll actually be able to take psykers and not constantly forget to use their powers now!  However, some of the more extreme builds can lead to outrageous situations for psykers (a daemons army can end up with 20+ warp charges a turn, and can summon more demons, who can then summon more …. and so on).  It doesn’t feel as slick as the rest of the 7th rules.  The same seems true of the new tactical objectives – there seem to be too many situations where the tactical objective is impossible, and you can’t dispose of more than one impossible objective a turn – potentially turning the whole game into a case of who gets dealt the good cards at the start.  Again, a few tweaks, a little polish, and this should be a fantastic addition to the game, but there are a few glitches right now.

Allies and Unbound armies are another odd area – no Traitor Guard???? Necrons, Eldar and Tyranids on the same side?   Wah!  It does allow freedom – but its possibly a little ripe for abuse.  Basically, with good players, not a problem, but it is a fault in a game when you need to rely on people not exploiting the rules to win – good rules can’t be exploited that easily, and games like Infinity and Malifaux certainly seem to come down to player skill more than army choices.

However, the general rules make sense, with an excellent layout, and playability is really solid.  I’d certainly recommend you try a game or two with someone enthusiastic enough to have bought the rules before you back out of the 40K side of the hobby.

The Problem

Basically,  7th edition seems to (overall), be the best edition of 40K out of the tin.   Why are so many people complaining?

Essentially, the major complaint is simply the time since the last edition was released.  2 years isn’t that long a time when you’re talking £50 for a book to allow you to play with hundreds of pounds of models …. especially when that change also means different models become more necessary (psykers and tanks, for example).  If you were starting in the hobby, its a great ruleset.  For longer term fans, especially those not in a club or tournament environment, it can be hard to justify.  I think I played about 3-4 games of 6th edition with the arrival of my baby girl 14 months ago – thats about £11 a game for just the rules.  If there felt like there was a solid commitment to the new ruleset for 4-6 years, I think a lot of the complaints would vanish, but people just don’t want to invest time and effort into this to have to learn another ruleset in 18 months.

My Summary

It looks terrific, despite a glitch or two in the big changes.  I’m going to enjoy playing it a heck of lot – I love the thought of fielding my Harlequin army, on an Ordos Xenos Inquisitorial war band luring a tyranid horde to attack the forces of chaos through the deployment of pheromones!  On the other hand, if you are stuck with power gamer types, 8 heldrakes in the face might not be fun.  More than any other edition it relies on the opposition being fun, and not power gaming.

As long as we don’t see the next edition in 18 months, I’ll be sticking with 40K for some time.

Warhammer Visions – what I don’t see!

Well, the change to White Dwarf has happened!  White Dwarf has become a weekly pamphlet – I don’t think 30 pages qualifies for anything else.

Warhammer Visions is the big one.  It replaces the monthly White Dwarf, and is supposed to be the inspirational magazine, with almost double the page count (although at a hefty jump in price).  It also replaces the iPad subscription if that’s what you’ve got.

Its also, unfortunately, a really badly implemented move.  Although the page count has doubled, the size of the pages has roughly halved, so if anything, you are getting less for your money.   The print quality seems significantly worse in my copy than the previous White Dwarfs, which have been gorgeously printed whether you liked the content or not.

In terms of the content … well, the phrase damp squib truly springs to mind.  It is purely images of models … from Golden Demons, a show case of tyranids, Blanchitsu, and a “battle report”.  All of the minimal labels on the images are in three languages to maximise international sales.  Now, that’s not entirely a bad thing, of course – some people will find the images inspirational.  I don’t, at this point.  Why?

Well, Blanchitsu, while once my favourite article, now just seems to be pictures of his mates’ models, rather than anything actually from John Blanche, and there’s certainly no text saying why he likes them or what is special about the art.

The “Battle Report”  is a atrocious – a few snaps aren’t a battle report.  The setup, the army lists, the full board level illustrations highlighting the armies moves – these are pretty much vital to get a feel for an actual game.  Some photos?  Well, I see that on twitter as mates play with more information than here.

There isn’t any return of Heavy Metal – it still uses paint splatter and fairly simple colour guides to illustrate a few of the themed models (tyranids in this month’s case).

The photos themselves are reasonably well taken (if viewed on the iPad edition), but a lot have been seen elsewhere.  It doesn’t feel fresh.

I didn’t think it’d be a big deal for me, but I hate the multiple language labels.  It feels like we’re losing out on actual information about the models and paint choices for basic labels that work in three languages … its a sales move, and it shows.

I feel its a real shame, because I like the core concept behind Visions.  If we had a monthly magazine focussing on the cinematic and aspirational side of the hobby, that could be good!  What would need to change to keep me subscribing?

Well, some actual artwork, and short stories, would help too!  When I visualise the various worlds, I don’t just think of the models – I want to see the universe.  I want to paint an army of Crimson Fists because of the Rogue Trader cover, not because of someone else’s models.   With a bold title like visions, I wanted to see a new view of the fantasy and 40K worlds.

I’d scrap paint splatter in the monthly, and go back to the really advanced heavy metal guides.  Could I use them all?  Probably not now – but the techniques show that with practise I can get there.  Paint splatter is for the battlefield if I lack any inspiration – heavy metal is for dreamers.

I’m not sure visions is the right field for battle reports at all, but imagine if you used a short story from the heresy with shots of the battle deployed with models?  That might get me excited to get me playing.

At the moment, I’m afraid its a damp, expensive squib, rather than a visionary firework.  The best thing GW did was deliver it on a saturday, when their lines were closed so I couldn’t cancel right away.

What’s GW doing right, and how can they improve?

You probably already know that GW posted lower profits and revenue this half year, and as a result lost 24% off their share prices.  There are lots of rumoured and confirmed changes too:

  • White Dwarf is changing significantly -going to a weekly release, and monthly Warhammer Visions is going to be more models. #confirmed
  • WFB is losing about 4 army lines #rumoured
  • GW are hiring a 2 year consultant to reinvent the customer experience #confirmed
  • Lots of stores and HQs are changing or closing #confirmed
  • Imperial Guard Catachan and Vostroyan lines are to be axed #rumoured
  • Finecast is being axed #rumoured

Before we start jumping up and down, lets look at the facts.  Last year GW released 6th Edition of their flagship product, and the year before was their 25th anniversary of the same.  This year?  Well, its business as usual.  Sales were always going to drop, especially on the back of a tight economy and increasing competition.

They are still pretty profitable, and for the first time seem to be shaking out of their complacency, changing their legal counsel after some embarrassing moves and hiring someone to improve the experience in their stores.  The strength in their value tends to have been more in solid dividends than their growth in value, so I don’t think this drop will see any major changes in who holds their stock (I think – don’t quote me on this!).

In terms of model lines, they have some difficult decisions to make.  As a company, you don’t produce goods that lose money and stay in business …. unless that actually gains you more money elsewhere.  In addition, current model sales of a line don’t necessarily reflect future sales – new rules and new models can totally invigorate an army.   Having said that, the current vogue in fantasy fiction is a fairly good indicator of the popularity of a line – and heroic knights and wood elves aren’t that popular right now.  Its gritty fantasy which suits most of the Warhammer world down to the ground.  Brettonians and Wood Elves don’t quite fit, especially with the LotR/Hobbit lines sucking away anyone interested in more heroic fantasy.

In terms of 40K, Cadians sell by the bucket load.  Catachans have a dedicated, but small fan base.  Vostroyans?  Even smaller.  I have a load of Valhallans and they’ve been largely ditched despite a very popular series of books (Ciaphas Cain) featuring them.  Only keeping Cadians, and possibly selling a few conversion kits would make sense, even if its not popular.  Its not good for people with those armies … but its possibly a very smart move for GW.

Axing Finecast is a bit of a U-turn, but actually a very good move.  Individual plastics have been very successful, while problems with Finecast models must cost them a lot – I know people who have had 3 or 4 of the same model before receiving an adequate one.  I feel they though they had resin casting resolved for a larger scale … but they discovered they hadn’t!

The main strength of GW is in their rich intellectual property, which is pretty ironic in many ways, given the way they grabbed so much from so many sources when they first created Warhammer and 40K, especially from authors like Heinlein, Moorcock, the 2000AD lines and so on.  Years of evolution have led to a solid and pretty unique mythos, and their work with the Black Library breaking into bestseller lists has improved it further.

Other areas are the sheer quality of their miniatures, particularly plastics, and the range of hobbyist options, particularly Forge World – which seems to have become the bastion of the dedicated adult hobbyist.  Their paint range is fantastic, and their people generally are some of the most enthusiastic gamers around.   In addition, their electronic line is doing fantastically well, with seriously reduced production costs.

Thats a pretty strong base to start from, so why the doom and gloom?

The single greatest problem they have is customer engagement.  I think we can summarise the major complaints here as:

  • Staff in store are too aggressive for sales, pushing new stuff, especially expensive options.
  • Prices are too high, and don’t reflect the manufacturing costs. It feels greedy, especially international costs in the USA and Australia.
  • Costs of a standard starter army are so high its very difficult to enter the hobby.
  • Lack of long term support for models and armies – models are axed to increase sales or remove competing models from other manufacturers, which is very frustrating.
  • The games system is “broken”, especially the points system.
  • White Dwarf is just a sales catalogue

I hear very few complaints about the experience of playing the games, the quality of the models (with the already discussed fine cast exception), or support from GW with any issues with the models or internet orders.

It still seems a pretty strong position – I’m curious about Dropzone Commnder, Infinity and Malifaux … but I love 40K enough that I’m not likely to drop it.  Can they improve?  Obviously.  I think the fact they are altering White Dwarf is potentially very positive!  Hiring someone to improve the Customer Experience, reporting to the CEO?  Well, thats potentially brilliant and in a position to enact some real changes to many of those gripes.  Having WD available weekly in your FLGS?  If they start reaching out to third party sellers more, instead of forcing people purely to their own stores, well, thats good too!

From my perspective, the GW world isn’t ending.  They’ve had a wakeup call, are actively working to make changes, and its a strong position.  Some of the moves might be unpopular with lines that don’t make money in the short term.

I’d like to see:

  • Cheap starter sets and gateway games.
  • A way of supporting lines that aren’t making money – reducing the lines into a “mercenaries” or combined “old world” book, supporting them through WD or electronic only formats or even (shock/horror) formally licensing “wood elves” out to someone like mantic to produce and accepting them at GW events.
  • Restructuring points to focus on unit effectiveness, not box shifting
  • Rewarding staff enthusiasm – perhaps include online sales from an area around stores towards a stores profit/loss, for example, and reward positive feedback outside of sales figures … which in turn would lead to a less aggressive focus on box shifting (probably leading to more long term sales!)
  • More working with third parties, instead of treating them like a necessary evil at best!

I think its actually a very positive time for GW – they’ve had a wakeup call, they’ve shown they’ll make changes, and they have a fantastic line.  I think they can still throw it all away if they go on with  just business as usual … but it very much feels like its down to them to throw more opportunities away rather than a desperate last stand.

Warhammer 40K – Is it fun, competitive, or both?

Someone on twitter (The Eternal Wargamer) asked a fantastic question:

Here's a question: why do some players want to try and play 40K & Fantasy competitively when even GW say they're not designed that way?

Well, I’m not a particularly competitive player – still no flyers in any army, for example (though thats more down do smallbabyitis interfering with hobby time!), but it did make me think quite seriously  about the hobby.  I haven’t played fantasy in over a decade, so this really refers to 40K!

40K is, in many ways, a broken game.  I find it fun and entertaining, absolutely love the models, and really enjoy playing it if I get the chance with friends or at the Overlords gaming club.  It’s still pretty flawed though!  It relies on a point system to match up armies as standard, and the point system is a nonsense, really.  If I pick 1500pts of close combat Tyranids, and my opponent picks three flying heldrakes with flame weaponry for anti-infantry work in their army, the two lists are not equivalent.  I can’t hurt some of his troops at all!  1500pts will not give an equal match against 1500pts, unless both lists are pretty much identical.  Some armies, particularly marines, end up with identical units costing different amounts.  There’s an argument that the synergies within an army are taken into account when costing individual units to explain this, but a large part of this is down to the lists simply favouring newer models so GW can sell more!  Its solid business practise, even if it doesn’t help the game in the longer term.

Now, for a friendly game down the club (or in my case, with Leonidas or Saint Aidan), thats not a problem.  You can take that into account and work out good match ups, or build custom scenarios that are supposed to be unbalanced (like a small force of marines holding a pass against a Nid horde, which was fun after watching 300!).  But competitively, that can’t work particularly well.  If someones out to win, they won’t give up an advantage to make it a more fun game.  One problem is that all it takes is one person in a group being a little more competitive, buying the latest models for advantage rather than just liking them, and you end up with anyone who plays him losing … unless they buy the latest models and work out a competitive list too!

Its not even as cut and dried as that – as an example, Saint Aidan loves heldrakes.  Not for advantage – he loves the model, loves assembling them, loves it soaring over the battlefield.  I don’t have flyers – so I’m playing at a bit of a disadvantage.  Asking him not to use his favourite models is taking the fun out of the game for him!

Some people start to get a bit confused here, talking about fluffy lists, and competitive lists, and how you can have fluffy competitive lists.  A fluffy list, to me, is simply one that follows the rich background that surrounds 40K.  Its a list where an Imperial Fist force is geared towards a siege assault, or an Iyanden force is largely made of ghost warriors, or a Farsight Enclave force that doesn’t include ethereals and limited tanks.   Of course that can be competitive – it often isn’t.     I don’t really care about the fluff in this analysis (I love the fluff in 40K, don’t get me wrong – its the main reason I read so much Black Library and stick with the game!) – I’m just looking at the difference between those who have to create competitive lists, optimising their armies effectiveness, and those who play for fun, with models they particularly like or lists based purely on the background rather than worrying about effectiveness.

Essentially, unless we’re willing to rewrite chunks of the game through custom scenarios, house rules, or are pretty relaxed about losing regularly, the very game system forces us toward newer models and a competitive nature – and most people hate to lose ALL the time.

If the question means why do we play GW at a tournament level, well, I don’t, really!  But I understand why people would – if you are competitive, it gives you an opportunity to show how good you are.  If you aren’t, its an opportunity to meet other gamers, show off your models and painting, and have a fun, hobby based day out.  Either way, you probably don’t want to spend the entire day being thrashed, so a reasonably competitive list is pretty much going to be needed.

Is a little competition bad?  Not if it forces us to excel.  I’m lucky that I can just enjoy my gaming with the models I have .  I don’t think I’d like to play with someone who feels that the real fun is the win, not the game.  Still, without fixing a very broken points system for match ups – Warhammer is never going to be a good vehicle for genuine fair competition.  Fun, yes, but all a competition will show is an element of guessing from rock, paper, scissors style armies (and unit types), and a fair chunk of money to field the latest models, with some tactical skill to use them.  It won’t show the better general.

Hobby Progress for #WargamesWednesday!

Well, its time to catch everyone up with my hobby progress, and anything new I’ve spotted in the world of RPGs, wargames and video games!

I already posted about kicking off an Imperial Fists painting run!  It feels really good to get started.  I’m also working on sorting out my paint station (i’m trimming a cutting mat to cover the base of my big wooden paint station, while setting up my smaller plastic one to get started on the Fists.

I’ve been reading through the new Space Marines codex as well.  It is a really amazing codex on the whole – the history, the background, the chapter variations, it really holds together.  Its not perfect (the centurions are pretty dire), and as usually feels a bit overpowered compared to say Chaos Space Marines, but the level of integration into the whole   universe and depth of history is incredible!  Very excited at prospect of playing marines again, which I didn’t think would happen!

Really enjoying Injustice, on the Xbox 360 – great story, brilliant graphics.  About everything you could want in a beat em up, really!

Fingers crossed for some Stomtalons and sternguard 🙂

Eldar Codex

Well, having got the new Eldar Codex on iOS, what are my thoughts?

I think the Eldar are back, baby, yeah!!!!

There are a lot of small changes but there are a few main improvements –

1)  Some flyers!  The Crimson Hunters and Wraithfighters give a decent air superiority force.  Not a massive fan of the wraithfighter look though – looks too close to DE for me.

2)  The wraithknight – as an old fan of the epic knights, this is just amazing!  I believe the phrase is “wraithknight does what wraithknight wants!”  Very expensive model though!

3) Shoot and run, or run and shoot – letting you close in and fire the shorter range elder weaponry, or popping out of cover, firing, then hiding again.  It given basic eldar the sort of maneuverability the tau only get with crisis suits.

4)  No more wraithsight – all the wraithtypes get to kick ass and take names – their “slow” I4 reflects wraithsight.  No more spending a whole turn noodling about because you rolled a 1.

There are also some disappointments –

1)  I was hoping that a phoenix lord would let you take that aspect as troops – only spirit seers shake up the force org.

2)  a bit formulaic – not much new except the now standard flyers and big monster.

3)  harlequins are still  a bit rubbish for the points!

Generally, though, its made me  a lot more excited about Eldar again – I love the take on the fluff, where the Eldar are gearing up for a final stand against oblivion in these end times.  No flickering out,  but going out like a nova!  Rock.