When I was but a slip of a lad (the lad being my Father, and the slip being me), my Dad read me a story – the Hobbit. I’m sure many other lucky boys and girls had a similar experience growing up, and there are a lot of people who still love Tolkien’s work today because of experiences like that. My Dad (and mum – she was better at story telling, but my dad did the voices better) read me a few pages every night for a few weeks until I dropped off and fell asleep. I was a very lucky boy indeed.
It is now many (many… many many… many many many…) years later and my Dad’s birthday is coming up. He’s notoriously hard to buy gifts for as he doesn’t really cling on to too many material possessions and his preferred ways to pass his time are free or cost little (walking, drinking coffee, more walking…) and his typical response to “What would you like for your birthday?” Is “Peace and quiet”. Well, it was his typical response until the year when I bought him a can of peas and a blank cassette tape. We both have a silly sense of humour so this was appreciated.
So when I asked him this year, his response surprised me, somewhat. “Why don’t you paint me one of those little monsters you paint?” was the newest answer to the gift question and it was definitely not one that I was expecting.
Now don’t get me wrong, my dad has always been at least vaguely supportive of my hobby, but it’s never really been something he’s had a great interest in. He bought me some Airfix kits when I was wee, and he and I used to play chess a fair bit together when I was younger (we stopped after I started to defeat him), but Toy Soldiers were something he quietly admired but cared not much for. He liked the history of toy soldiers, but has never really cared for the things himself.
So what was I going to paint for him? I toyed with the idea of a Space Marine – a Space Wolf specifically as my father’s thick strawberry blond hair and beard (which he still has at 72 – please let me have that part of his genes!) would fit the look of that chapter. Then I toyed with the idea of Monster of some sort – that had been part of his response, but I think he just generally refers to minis as “monsters” so there was no need to go and pick up a massive dragon kit to knock out.
And then, as I have been rewatching the Hobbit films recently, I had the idea to work on Gandalf and Bilbo, the stars of that book. I still have the copy of the book that my dad bought to read to me over 30 years ago too, and that sat with me on the workbench as I got to work creating a little bit of Middle Earth for this gift.
I’ll do a full post on how I created the base because I have some photos and I’m really happy with it, but that was the first thing. I got out one of my larger plinths, and created a stone staircase, perhaps somewhere in the foothills of the Misty Mountains, or on the road to Rivendell, to be my setting. It’s maybe a little bigger than I needed it to be – I’ve never worked on any Middle Earth minis, so their slightly reduced scale wasn’t fixed firmly in my mind yet. But I think it works nicely enough.
So it turns out, I love painting Middle Earth minis! They’re so teeny! And I’m not just talking about the hobbits either. That slightly smaller scale just seems to work really well with how I like to paint in blends and glazes, and not having to worry too much about the eyes is a blessing too. Gandalf was a symphony of greys with a dirty finish, while I used the films as a loose basis for Bilbo, and I’m particularly happy with the coat, but really, all of it was enjoyable to paint. There was a bit where Bilbo really started to look like Martin Freeman which was cool, but a little “uncanny valley” too, but I got over that pretty fast.
It’s safe to say that after this experience, I will definitely be painting some more Middle Earth minis. Not sure what yet, but I’ve got a bunch of elves in the to-do pile that should be pretty fun to paint, and I’m hoping I’ve got some time to work on a few of these projects soon. Fingers crossed!
Anyway, that’s the story of why I have painted Gandalf and Bilbo, and I hope you enjoyed that. I hope my Dad does too – they’ll be in his hands very soon (don’t worry – he doesn’t really do the internet so I won’t be spoiling it for him here). Until the next post, I hope you get to do a lovely bit of hobbying as well, and that you get to work on some fun projects that mean something to you. Onwards!
Hello fellow Heresy fans! If you’re anything like me, you’re positively giddy about the new incarnation of Space-Marine-Fight sorry, I mean Horus Heresy and Games Workshop were good enough to send me the new Liber Hereticus and Liber Astartes books to review and that’s what I’m going to do right here, right now.
First off, no, I’m not going to go through every single rule and points change – there are plenty of other people out there far better suited to that sort of thing than I. No, instead, I’m going to give you a general overview of these books, and tell you about my experiences building an army with them. I’ll start with the very first thing that I noticed…
8 pounds. No, not pounds sterling (£), but instead, lbs (mass). Both of these books together weigh more than the average baby born in the UK (which is around 7.4 to 7.8 pounds). That’s 3.6kg for those of you using the new-fangled (and far more sensible) metric system, or 2,048 drams for the obtuse amongst you. That’s massive! However you want to measure it, this pair of books will put a bow in your bookcase and will likely be the cause of several slipped discs among delivery drivers.
Technically, this isn’t anything new in the Heresy – the old Black books and Red books weighed a lot too, but as I’ve not rolled a scatter dice in anger for a couple of years now, these hefty tomes had me taken aback. However, one is unlikely to be hauling these books about to tournaments, but instead, one gets the impression that they’re going to be used more as reference material for people to build lists and cheat sheets from at home. If you’re in a gaming group that meets regularly and you want to play some Heresy, it’s probably only the book collector of the group that need pick these up, while the rest of you borrow them for brief spells to concoct your armies.
That being said, they are very nice books. They serve a similar purpose to the Indexes that arrived with 8th Edition 40k, in that they contain a vast amount that will be relevant to more than just one army. If GW had tried to put out 18 different codex-like books (something that the HH game has never had), we’d be waiting until 2032 for this game. But along with all of the “vanilla” unit types that all armies can take, and their associated rules and points costs, there is some lovely model photography, illustration, and lore available here, along side rules for all of the legion-specific units in their own legion-specific sections in the second half of the book.
These books also make it clear that rules will also be released in White Dwarf, via PDFS from the GW website, and “other sources” in the future, so hopefully this means that the Horus Heresy will not be belaboured by the constant battletome/codex-release schedule which some feel is starting to hamper AoS and 40k. If all is as it seems, you can bag these books, and any new rules will come at a minimum of expense – welcome news indeed in this more-pricy-than-most game.
Now, I have a Heresy army, my Blood Angels, and I wanted to see how easy it was to use these books to put together a list for my force. So I made myself a strong coffee, did some stretching exercises, and hauled one of these books onto the table.
Firstly, it is so much nicer having the points costs written on the page with the unit entry. You forget how much you miss things like this. I know the data cards in 40k look nice, and they have the “power level” value on them, but us old fogeys of the game like points and gosh-darnit, it’s just nice to not have to flick backwards and forwards between the unit-build rules and an index of point costs. If I could bring one thing back from old 40k to new 40k, it might well be this.
I was tripped up on my first try though. I have a Praetor in Cataphractii armour who is armed with a combi-melta and when I looked down the list, I saw that we now have “magna-combi” and “minor-combi” weapons. Hmmm. One could guess by the name that the old combi-melta would fit in the “magna” section, but it did take me a little while to find the answer to this. Now, some will have no issue at all, but with so much packed into these books, and with the big rulebook as well, it did take some searching to find the weapon profiles. Once found, I think this makes sense and helps to declutter the page a bit – the stronger combi-weapons now cost a few more points than the softer ones, and that’s all fair and dandy.
It was a breeze going through the rest really. When I got to my Company Champion, I was able to flick over to the Blood Angels section of the book and equip him with a Blade of Perdition with very little fuss. I did get slightly confused when I reached the Javelin Speeder as it makes no mention of its Cyclone Missile Launcher in the wargear section, but it does say you can replace said weapon with others further down the page. In books this size, if that’s the only editorial snafu that I could find, I think GW have done very well there indeed.
I was able to easily find the Rite of War I wanted to take, and a warlord trait too. Maybe it’s because this is so close to the Warhammer that I’ve played for most of my life, but it really was a lot easier to put an army together here than it has been using the most recent Codexes for 40k. In no time at all, I had put a 1997 point army together, and I had a keenness to get it ready for the battlefield too. There was a great sense of fun about putting the list together, and it just made me want to get gaming again.
After working on my Blood Angel list, I then tried to create a Thousand Sons army with units I’m far less familiar with and it was still a breeze. I really want to emphasise how well put together these books are – as long as you know of the old ways, they’re novice friendly, and a treat for veterans too. It’s nice having all these rules and units in the same place.
So, Ich liber the libers and I must confess that days after receiving them, I’m still enjoying flicking through them and putting lists together. I hope the Ad Mech, Auxillia and Daemon fans get their rules soon so we can all play together on these new battlefields. These are great books, but as mentioned, they feel like they’re more designed for list building at home than hauling them to games. Just make sure you get all the special rules you need written down on your cheat sheets! More Heresy content will be coming soon to Heresy & Heroes so stay tuned for that. Onwards!
Hello friends! It’s the exciting day when the brand new boxed set of the Horus Heresy game goes up for pre-order, and Games Workshop were good enough to send me a copy of this incredible box for review. As many seasoned readers will know, I have been a fan of this game since its inception, and I have over 2000 points of IXth legion to show it. That being said, because of that pesky pandemic and all of my other commitments, I haven’t been able to play a game of it in quite some time. Therefore, if you want an in-depth review of this game from a seasoned and hardcore HH player, there will be better places for you to go. With that being said though, I am going to do an unboxing here, and I’ll take you through some highlights from the book, followed by 10 observations that I have made based on my first impressions of this release. So join me in this personal look through this summer’s must-have hobby box.
And what a box it is. It’s a chonky one which I dare say will come with a hefty price-tag (if you weren’t expecting to have to fork out for this one, you’re living in dreamland), but it certainly has plenty of allure to it. The artwork is thrilling, the cardboard glossy, and while this offers a shiny new toy to those venturing into “30k” for the first time, seasoned gamers will very much enjoy the “Army in a box” plus rules combo that this set provides. Now let’s get stuck in.
…huh-hmm. Straight to the plastic! I’ll stop making that comment in these reviews one day, but it’s worth reiterating here that I love this approach. No extra boxes or sheets of card to remove – you open the box, and get straight to the good stuff. There is a huge amount of plastic here, and all of it looks fantastic, including the whippy sticks, which are a real blast from the past that’s very much welcome here. But here’s how much plastic is in the box:
Now that’s a pretty good haul, and there’s a lot of cool things in there that I’ll cover in my observations later on, but that really is an army in a box – very easily over 1000 points. Very nice.
Below that we have a nice bit of card (that has an advert for some other plastic heresy kits on the other side of it. And beyond that…
We have the big book. This is really the biggest win for this release. Just having the core rules for this game has been a pain for a while now, and the fact that I can finally put my 7th Edition 40k rulebook away, is a great relief. It’s a mighty tome at around 330 pages, and it’s all sorts of pretty too. Again, we’ll look at this a little more later on.
Tucked away beneath the cardboard inserts that hold the book in place, we have a bunch of bases, some transfers, dice and construction guides – all the useful stuff that rarely gets any press.
Lastly, bound up with the book, are some very useful cheat sheets, and another advert to convince you to read the Horus Heresy books.
And I’m spent. It’s a glorious box full of gorgeous things that really get the hobby centre of the brain whirring away. 10/10 – well done, GW. Unboxing this one is glorious, and those whippy sticks really are the cherry on top. Now, let’s take a look through that massive book…
As much as you may be looking to pick this up for the toy soldiers, the book really makes it for me. As mentioned, my 7th Ed rulebook can now spend time gathering dust, as finally the Horus Heresy has its own rulebook. That really is a big deal. For all of those beautiful black books, and those useful red books of yesteryear, as lovely as they were, not having an actual basic rulebook really was a barrier for entry into the game. This solves that problem, and it solves it in style. As we might expect in this golden age of GW publications, this is one heck of a book.
Here’s the contents page and it’s a familiar running order of what we’ve got to look forward to. There’s a bucket load of lore, as one might expect for a setting that easily rivals the other big games in GW’s stable in terms of how much has been written about it. Then there’s a decently sized core rules section, some example armies, some campaigns, and the ever-handy appendixes. I always thought 6th edition 40k was one of the best rulebooks ever put together, but this book may take that crown because it’s concise (yes, it can be concise at 330 pages) and yet lavish (it is 330 pages after all). Here are some of my personal highlights…
Thanks to the ever-popular and extensive Horus Heresy books series from Black Library, there’s already plenty of artwork to draw on for this publication, and it has been used well, but there’s plenty of new art, cartography and model shots too. The look of this book is stunning and there are so many pretty pictures to enjoy within these pages. Every Primarch gets a portrait, the galaxy is comprehensively mapped, models are made to look marvellous, and even the incidental illustrations are illuminating. This book is very much a looker.
One particularly enjoyable illustration is the “Vitruvian Space Marine” which highlights all the augmentations of the Astartes, and yet is censored enough to leave us continuing to wonder if the average Space Marine hangs dong or not. Seriously though, this is a fun one, and I appreciate the nod to Leonardo’s many legged man. But this is of course indicative of something else that this book does wonderfully – tell you about Space Marines. This is a game of Space Marines of course (I know there are others, but come on, it’s about Space Marines) and if this is your favoured faction, then you will want to own this book. You’ve got well over a hundred pages telling you all you need to know of their origins and changes through the years.
Every legion gets a look in too, with several pages devoted to where they come from, their Primarch, how they wage war and what they look like. I of course have been very much enjoying the Blood Angels section, but whatever flavour of legion you favour, you’ll have something to enjoy.
The rules section is well rounded and sensible, and I’ve not the brain to over-analyse all of that, but I’ll touch on it later. The example armies (about 50% of which seem to have been painted by the machine that is Mark Bedford) are great fun to look at, and the campaign section is full of fun scenarios to play around with. Honestly, this is a cracker of a book, and even if you’ve not the budget or inclination to pick up the big box, the rulebook alone is well worth your time and money.
1 – Split Shoulder pads – why?
Given that this review has been overtly positive so far, let’s kick my observations off with a bit of an annoyance (and also because it’s one of the first things I noticed). The studded shoulder pads, so much a part of the mark of armour represented in this box, each one come in two pieces with a split running right down the middle. Why? I appreciate that this likely had something to do with how the sprue frame worked in the mould, but if this was the best fix the designer of this sprue could figure out, it’s lazy. We’ve had all manner of things on shoulder pads, so if it was the studs that caused this design quirk, I call laziness. Each one will require a touch up for the perfectionists out there.
2 – The Plastic Spartan
I own a Spartan (well, now I suppose I own 2), but that was one of the old resin ones, which effectively came in three hefty (and pricy) chunks. The new plastic one is almost unnerving in that it fits on a few sprues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan, but it’s just kind of odd seeing like this. Great work to the team who split that into its plastic components – this’ll save a lot of fans from a lot of resin mould lines and gap filling!
3 – The Contemptor – what a stunner
I’ve built more than a few Contemptors in my time, and it’s a model I’ve always adored, but the old plastic version was, well, static and dull. This new one though looks like it will be a delight to work with. The flexibility and possibility has been made part of the kit and lots of different weapon options being included is a real treat. I may well be picking up a few more of these in the future!
4 – Details mean fiddly bits?
The two new character minis are both delightful. They look splended, but the kits look overly fiddly to me. Both of them have tiny folds of cloth – part of their cloaks – that come separate from the rest of the cloaks. Again, this is almost certainly down to fitting the cloak on the sprue, but again, especially because they’re such small slithers of cloak, it just seems lazy. But like I said, both characters look amazing – excellent praetors the pair of them, but boy am I not looking forward to all those mould lines. Not to mention my fat fingers snapping or bending some of those tiny pieces. Surely there must be a way to get the details in there without the needlessly flimsy and fiddly bits?
5 – Incidental art, or actual clues?
As I was leafing through this lavish tome, one piece of incidental art caught my eye and I wonder if it hints at something coming in the future – a new Terminator kit? The classic 40k Terminators are really starting to show their age, especially next to the newer plastic Horus Heresy alternatives, and this little illustration made me think of much older Terminators and how this game may well be the best way to introduce a classical design in modern plastic. Only Tyberos sports a similarly studded aesthetic these days, and were I a betting man, I think this might be something we get soon. It would certainly be more welcome than bloody Saturnine armour.
6 – Example images
As I was reading through the rules section, it just struck me that something GW has always done really well, and that they never seem to get credit for, are the example images when illustrating how movement, line of sight, squad coherency and other things like this work. As I stared at the images of these new marines from a top down angle with various arrows and measurements illustrated beside them, it took me back to 2nd Ed 40k, all those years ago. These shots are as useful now as they were then, and I just think they’re neat. Well done to the team who included these.
7 – The sneaky Spartan
I just think this pair of images look really funny. It’s like the Spartan has coyly sidestepped over to hide a little more. Perhaps it’s feeling a little bashful.
8 – Universal Special Rules
Oh how I have missed these. I know they’ve always been part of HH, but I miss them in 40k, and to a lesser extent in AoS. I’d rather a model just had “5+ Invulnerable Save” than “Special Helmet of Shininess” that, when you read the description, tells you it confers a 5+ Invulnerable Save. It’s just also nice that my years learning about Blind, Move Through Cover, Slow And Purposeful, It Will Not Die and others, have not been wasted. It’s nice to see them printed again here and I understand and remember them all with fondness in an age of “Spiky cloak of redness”, “FT1084 Drone” and “Laser field” which all mean the same thing but they have different names (and invariably they’ll all confer a 5+ Invulnerable Save.
9 – Reactionary Opinion!
Reactions look really fun, and I’m looking forward to trying them out. Some of them seem familiar, but others look new to me, and I’m interested in seeing how the mechanic works out. It’s nice to see a game so grounded in tradition still find the scope to evolve and improve. Nice one, rules team.
10 – Whippy sticks still hurt
Yep, I had to test them out, and they do indeed still sting like they did when I was a lad. Many a friend or sibling will get the occasional thrashing with these and that’s exactly how it should be. Having these lethal weapons back in play makes the world seem right again.
So there you have it. A bit of a monster post from me, and I hope it has in some way helped to keep you informed, though I imagine there will likely be a thousand other reports and insightful write ups or videos that are probably better than mine. But if you still come here to Heresy and Heroes, you come, in part, for the expulsions from my brain, and this has certainly been one of those.
It’s a cracking box, full of wonderful things, and I think it’s a great entry point to Heresy for newbies, and for us fogeys, it’s a great excuse to start a new army or add to our existing forces. Top tier release with very little to gripe about, and it’s damn good to put the Heresy back into Heresy and Heroes again. Onwards!
Well, there you have it. The reason why my hobby has been a bit quiet of late. A dual between a noble dwarf, and a warpstone-crazed skaven. This one has been long in the making, and while I’m relieved it’s done, I’m not as happy with it as I hoped I would be. Not unhappy, but a long way from giddy. Let me explain…
So, a long time ago now, I had the idea for this piece. A dwarf vs a rat, with the former looking prepared and poised, and the latter leaping maniacally into the fight. I thought it would be a fun exercise in contrasting warriors, but it took a lot of work to get there. When it began, it was a stream of lava, and I had a Fyreslayer, big axe raised, charging in, but I switched the stuntier warrior for a couple of reasons. First off, I couldn’t get on with painting the slayer. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get his hair or skin to blend smoothly, and the runes on his body were getting lost. So I ditched him in favour of a more classical dwarf. This meant doing away with the lava, which also made me a bit happier as I was being rather indecisive about whether or not that would produce a glow, and what that would mean for my painting. When I switched that to a swamp, the whole piece started to roll forward. I started this about a year ago, and it was only 3 months back that I started working on this iteration of the miniatures.
It’s been a lot of fun, but it has stollen all of my effort and attention. The idea came into my brain probably 2 years back, and once I’d worked out the particulars, I have been very much laser-focussed on the project. Because I just needed it done, but with Golden Demon coming around again this year, I had half a thought that it might be good enough to enter, so I wasn’t rushing anything.
But I don’t think this is good enough for that sort of stage. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t hate it, and while there are some bits of this that I really like, there’s too much I don’t. That being said, it’s only my second ever duel, and I learned much and had a lot of fun, so it’s been a very useful jumping off point. I’ve got another silly idea for the next one, so stay tuned for that!
The plus points? I really like the dwarf’s beard, and the gem stones on him are, by and large, a step up for me. On the rat, the red armour works very nicely, and that green glow on the eyes is something I really like. To be honest, I think 25% of this is top drawer.
There are too many mistakes though. My metallics don’t pop enough, the banner, while a fun addition is all wrong. I had thought about doing something more in keeping with my freehand style but I bottled it when I couldn’t find an image I wanted to transpose. Instead, I borrowed the design from some classic art, and while it’s fine, it’s also lacking. There’s a lot more I’m not happy with, but maybe 25% is enough to be happy about for now.
Other plus points to come out of this include my renewed enjoyment of Skaven – they are a lot of fun and I want more in my life. I enjoyed the duel format – even if I don’t think this story is told we’ll enough, I like the added challenge of trying to tell a story between two minis. And if I’m being honest, I’m so relieved that it’s done and that I get to look at something else now. I’ve got some big things on the horizon, and it’ll be good to pay attention to those for a spell for sure.
Thanks for taking the time to check it out. It was fun, and while I’m a little dissatisfied, I’m more than happy that it’s now done and finished. Oh the joys of being a perfectionist with lacking skills 😉 Onwards we go.
Well, this is like Christmas as far as I’m concerned. Games Workshop are very well aware that I am a huge fan of Necormunda, and I am thrilled to be able to share my review of the Necromunda: Ash Wastes with you, after they graciously sent a copy out to me. This is one hell of a box.
And by “hell”, I mean, of course the Ash Wastes – a blasted, desolate region of Necromunda’s plateaus, deserts and dangerous places. Vast expanses filled with nothing, except for dangers of course. If you thought the Hive cities were lawless places, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Ok, so let’s start at the top. This box is huge, and just like the last big Necromunda box (Dark Uprising), it’s not going to be cheap – you’ll be able to find out how wallet-unfriendly this is by heading over to the GW site. If you wanted a cheap way into this game, this is not going to be for you. It’s a box for the established faithful who have money to burn and the desire to burn rubber. Is this fair on everyone who wants to get involved? Well, probably not, but you get so much in this box, it would have been mad for them to set the price any lower.
The good news for folks who want the models is that these should be released on their own soon enough, and of course you can pick up the Orlock gang set already. If you’re looking to get your nose into Necromunda, buy a gang box, their rules, and the rulebook, and do it that way. If you’re like me, and you already love this game, this box is just fantastic.
The first thing we see are the sprues – I’ve mentioned before how I’m a big fan of getting straight to the plastic, so plus points there. And on a quick side note, the box smells amazing. I know that’s weird, but new boxes from GW always have a “new box smell” and the odour here is delicious. There are 10 big sprues in this box and a big chunk of it is scenery but there are of course the Nomads and the Orlocks too. This is one of the reasons that this is such a heavy box, but it’s not the only reason.
Behind the mountain of plastic, we have the Ash Wastes book, and it’s a cracker. It looks gorgeous for a start, it weighs a tonne, and I like the subtle brownish hue that has crept into the design to set it apart from the scuffles that are settled in hive city. It starts off with a lavish map and a great chunk of lore, but it’s not too long before we get into the meat of the matter – the rules.
I was really interested to see what would inspire the vehicle rules, and while I had my fingers crossed that it would be akin to Gorkamorka (or a straight up copy of that rule set), it is in fact, far more sensibly, akin to older editions of 40k and the Horus Heresy, but with some important quirks to set them apart and make them feel like Necromunda. For a start, Hull Points are back, as are front/side/rear armour values. The Handling stat (HND) is a nice addition though, and that does have a whisper of Gorkamorka flavour to it from what I can tell at first glance. The vehicle actions that you can pick from also lean on Gorkamorka a little for inspiration, and while it’s its own thing, I think these rules look fun, flavourful and tactic-friendly too (always a hard balance to strike). I for one can’t wait to see what vehicles and mounts the other gangs get – hopefully we’ll see some of that on the digital Warhammer Fest that’s soon to happen.
There have been a few changes to how cover works in the Ash Wastes too that make sense. Obscured bases are less of a thing here, and this removes the claustrophobia that the Underhive engenders, replacing it with a sense that cover is scarce, vital, and occasionally booby-trapped. I also really like this picture below – I think it’s both funny, but also a good visual reminder of sensible gameplay.
Other highlights include the “Seasons” mechanic which brings a weather system closely related to Blood Bowl to Necromunda, and official rules for a “Rolling Road” style-game are great to see included here – those games are always a bit silly, very fun and nicely brutal. Also, the scenarios included in this book all look like winners to me. Plenty of familiarity about them, but there’s a newness to them too. All in all, top work from the rules team here.
While reading the book, it did also strike me that Necromunda really isn’t designed as a gateway game like the other skirmish offerings from GW. It’s complex and involved. I’m not saying one doesn’t spend plenty of time planning out a Kill Team or picking out a deck for Underworlds – many people do, but those games both have “out of the box” options to help newer players into the game with minimal fuss. Necromunda remains a game that is absolute fuss. You have to love the fuss to get the most out of this. There is a lot of admin that can’t really be avoided, and the older style of Warhammer rules that the game is based on really gives it a tougher-to-try-out sort of feel. Would I introduce someone to tabletop gaming with this game, or this box? Absolutely not. But would I encourage every experienced veteran to give it a go and have a lot of fun times? You bet I would.
Returning to the box, what’s left is a great assortment to help people get playing straight away (despite my last paragraph, this is in fact a whole game in a box). Dice, measuring rulers (I do miss “whippy-sticks” sometimes), a playing surface, bases, tokens and assembly guides. What a great selection. Seriously, if you want to treat yourself, and you love some Necromunda, I would recommend this. I’d recommend it a lot.
As for me, I will be getting to work on the “mega fleas” and I think the Nomad gang is a must for me. I like the aesthetic and while the Orlock Buggies are tempting, those damn giant fleas – can’t get them out of my head. They’re gorgeous, and they look straight forward enough for me to put together. Also, I’ll just reiterate that the vehicle rules in here really do look like a lot of fun. Tank slapper. Lol.
Can I fault this box? Only if I’m being picky. Maybe having another new tribe would have been nice, but I guess the Orlocks offer familiarity. And the price is going to cause many an internet grumble, but for what you get in this, it’s not actually as astronomical as you might think for what you get and the price of plastic these days. No, I’m calling this box a win for GW. I’m in love with it a little bit, so if you’ll excuse me, I am going to spend the next few hours dreaming of life in the wastes (it’s quite easy when you live in the midlands). Onwards!
Hello sports fans!The gridiron has grown cold and the Wolf God is prowling the stands as the brand new Blood Bowl Norse team has arrived and GW were sporting enough to send me the new team and some assorted goodies to take a look at and tell you all about. So strap on your big foam finger, get your peanuts ready, and let’s take a proper gander at what might be my new favourite Blood Bowl team.
I will confess that I am a huge fan of this team, and I’ve been waiting for them to get the plastic treatment for a very long time now. I had been planning on converting a Norse team several years back, but I never got round to it, so it’s a real thrill to have these volatile vikings to work on. Why do I like this team so much? Well, as someone who isn’t the best at tackling, having Block on all my linemen is a huge bonus, but I also get some hefty chaps to put some pain down, and a couple of swift Valkyries in case I decide to actually try and score. That fits my play style perfectly so the Norse were always on my radar (and also, I kind of look like one of them).
First and foremost, let’s talk about the minis. They look stunning. They capture that crazy, cold-ignoring, beer-chugging party monsters that definitely worship some gnarly gods vibe that you want from this team. There’s some fierce animal-pelts, beautifully braided beards and bone-breaking muscles, all of which you’d expect, and I think the sculptor(s) behind this kit have done a stellar job. And if any team was going to strap a keg of ale to a pig, it would be these guys. Personal opinion, but I think this is the best looking Blood Bowl team yet.
As with all of these new teams, there’s a Spike! journal to accompany them and it is as full of flavour, rules and ideas as ever in this issue. I love the rules and ideas in the “Icebowl” section in particular, but they’re all good. Ruleswise,they are gloriously thematic, and you’ll be recounting many sagas of your games for sure. But there are some tricky nuances in there too. The beer-pigs are super-fun minis, and they can perform some useful tricks on the pitch, but they are super-squishy, so how many do you want on your roster? I like these fun sort of headaches as they provide some tactical nuances that even ham-fisted players like me can cope with.
And as an extra special treat, GW sent me the new big guy – the Yhetee. He’s got great rules, and honestly, he looks sensational. Easy to put together, buckets of details, and really, really fun. This Blood Bowl “bug guys” really remind me of old Warhammer in a way, when being slightly more than twice the size of normal dudes meant you were massive. I like that, and I thoroughly like this model. I’ve already got a team name, colours, player numbers and names all planned out – I’m going to take some time and enjoy this new team.
So that was kind of a brief review, but what else is there to say? I think this is a stunning set of products with fun, thematic rules, beautiful miniatures, fun art, and well-written words. When it comes to the Norse, pour me a stein, and count me in. This team is great.
Hello hobby friends! It’s been a while, but in an effort to prove that I’m still alive, and to address something that I’m now slightly worried about, I thought I’d pen this quick post as it helps me to work out some stuff in my brain, and it might help to give you some insights as to why I’m worried. Golden Demon is coming back, but will it really be Golden Demon if everyone who wants to enter is unable to do so?
Earlier this week, some tickets went up for sale for the Heresy event at Warhammer World. They were sold out in seconds by all accounts, and this has left some people rather put out. Now, this was bound to happen. The Horus Heresy has a large, dedicated community, and the excitement surrounding a new iteration of the game has exhilarated even more people about this branch of the GW hobby. It was always going to be supremely popular, and due to the uncertainty caused by the economy and the pandemic, holding an event to celebrate this was always going to be held at Warhammer World. The issue here is that Warhammer World, despite being a fun venue (gives us all a chance to get another picture with the Rhino in the carpark), is not a big venue. Not for a global company like GW at any rate. Hobby popularity boomed during lockdown and more people than ever are enjoying toy soldiers, and the converted sports hall in Nottingham is a fine base for smaller events, but it’s just not big enough for these sort of hype events anymore.
So when those Heresy event tickets sold out in a couple of minutes, I was not surprised, but I was a little shocked to see so much anger towards the situation online. I knew it was going to be popular, but the number of complainants surpassed my expectations, and should make those in charge of such things at GW think again.
Holding important and prestigious events in the hobby at Warhammer World in 2022 would be like asking Liverpool FC or Manchester City to play their home games at Oxford United’s ground. There are too many fans, and it just doesn’t work.
But Games Workshop is not often capable of responding quickly to things like this. The coffers are closely guarded, and the manpower and resources are always stretched in areas like this, so they don’t have any other options really. I still know many of the people on the events team and they are among the most hard working and long suffering in the company, but there really aren’t many of them, which seems a little ludicrous considering how big GW’s events could become in the coming months and years. Games Workshop are a company constrained by old habits, an unwillingness to spend, and a fear of over-reaching that perhaps they shouldn’t have anymore.
That fear comes from a couple of times in the company’s past when they almost went to the wall. Their initial movement onto the stock exchange in the 90s nearly ruined the company, and the necessary shifts that brought AoS and Primaris Space Marines into being rocked the boat too, though both of these examples have proven to be great successes in the long run (though the company is not keen to place too many bets like this). GW would still rather be certain than take any risks, even when the potential rewards are huge. This may be sensible, but it can hurt them too in instances like this. Take the recent example of GW to suspend operations in Russia. Many companies did this early, some perhaps throwing caution to the wind, but many (most) will have been confident that their bottom lines wouldn’t suffer too much (and more than a few hopefully acted purely on moral reasons). GW did the right thing, but it took them too long. They were assessing, checking, double checking and making sure for too long, and so the statement they put out was met with little fanfare, and more than a few “better late than never, I guess” comments. I applaud them for the stance they’ve taken there, but I can certainly see why many were irked that it had taken so long for the powers that be to make the call.
This may all seem like I’m digressing a little bit, but with this in mind, you can see why they wouldn’t hire a larger venue to show off the big, shiny, new Horus Heresy. If this is going to be as big a game as we’re all anticipating, GW could have hired a bigger space, and spent a bit more money, but that inherent caution means they never would. Their mistrust of their ability to deliver, their caution over the economy and uncertain futures, combined still with their glacial pace when it comes to making big decisions has bitten them in the bum again and turned good will to bad.
So an event that could draw over 5000 people, is restricted to around 1000 people, but they don’t have to pay rent anywhere, and they can be sure they’ll hit those numbers. It’s like going into an exam and aiming for a C, because you think you might get an F if you aim for an A. Does that make sense to you?
So with all of this in mind, let us consider what happens with Golden Demon in October. It’s wonderful that it’s coming back to the UK after seeing the amazing pieces on display at Adepticon – I for one am very excited, but let’s ponder what happens if this will be as popular as the Heresy weekender. Ok, maybe that’s unrealistic, but I’ve heard from a lot of people inspired by that Adepticon Demon, and they’re now worried they won’t get in. To be honest, so am I.
Now I don’t believe I’m good enough to win anything, but Golden Demon has always been what I’ve cared about the most and I quite like pushing myself to paint to my highest standards for this competition. But if the tickets sell out in seconds, will all my efforts be for nought? Do previous winners get a guaranteed ticket? Would it be Golden demon if previous Slayer Sword winners were barred entry by virtue of them not having a ticket due to limited capacity? For aspiring painters, you want to see your efforts placed against the best of the best, and not just the efforts of whoever won the ticket-queue lottery. But then, would it be fair on all the keen and eager painters to potentially miss out, just because some previous winners get a free (or at least reserved) pass?
Adepticon and Warhammer Fest are typically held in huge venues where most people are able to secure their places, from Golden Demon entrants to those just wishing to play some games or check out the new stuff. Warhammer World cannot offer this sort of setup and some people, whether established Demon-winners, or passionate newcomers, are bound to miss out (and it’s a shame whatever way that cookie crumbles). Unless all aspiring entrants get a chance to enter, someone will be losing at an event that should be all about winning (in that we all win, and the hobby wins, and there are no real losers, just people who didn’t win). All because GW would never pay for a venue that would allow everyone wanting to attend to turn up.
At present, I can’t see myself coming out of this event with much of a smile. Even if (and I really doubt this will happen but go with my hypothetical here) I won a Gold, would the win mean as much (or anything) if some of the best painters in the world were unable to get in? Either that, or I may not even make it into the building because I could have a work meeting or a family event the second the tickets go on sale and so I’d miss the boat. Should I even carry on with the efforts I’m making right now?
All of this angst because GW moves too slowly, is too cautious, and not organised enough to get these sort of things right (and when they do get things right, they are unable to do so in good time). And it’s worth remembering that the first ever Golden Demon was held in the Victoria Leisure Centre in central Nottingham (long before they had Warhammer World to lean on) , so it’s not like this hasn’t been held on its own somewhere else before.
Yes, while these days, in a company driven by profits (which, by the way, does not in any way make them “evil” – they wouldn’t exist if they didn’t chase every penny, and they’re not as ruthless as many), Golden Demon is not seen as a great revenue driver and so it likely won’t get the service it deserves. What it is is a piece of prestige, history and legacy that Games Workshop could not recreate or buy anywhere else, and that is why this unique competition deserves to be open to everyone willing, wanting and able to enter.
To that end, I would like an assurance from Games Workshop that everyone wanting to enter Golden Demon will get the chance to do so. From established winners to newcomers, everyone should have the chance to put their miniatures in front of the judges. Can Games Workshop confirm that this will be the case?
Maybe this is all worrying for nothing, and maybe it will all be fine, but as an advocate, admirer and avid fan of this particular competition, I do worry for it. I know the people who look after it, and I know that regardless of what happens, the judging and organisation of the event itself will be kept at very high standards, so I have no fear there. The most passionate people are involved in these areas. What I worry about is the lumbering behemoth that is GW not doing the right thing by making it available to everyone. That penny-pinching and poor planning will hamper what is, for me, the most special event of any hobby year. I worry that those enthused to enter their first Golden Demon, and those legends of the competition who have numerous statues to call their own, will all be subjected to a cruel lottery that will see many miss out. That isn’t fair, that isn’t on, and if my worst fears and suspicions are proved true, it’s not really going to be Golden Demon.
Buy hey, let’s wait and see. I’ll continue working on a few pieces, and with any luck, I will be one of the many to get a ticket and no-one will have to be disappointed. Fingers crossed, right? And I would be delighted, elated and thoroughly chuffed if GW place it in an appropriately sized venue, or can ensure (and assure) every aspiring entrant has the chance to put their minis forward. Until I next feel the need to unburden myself, onwards!
First off, I want to say thank you to Games Workshop for sending me the Eldritch Omens box to review. When a company like this sees fit to send something your way, you want to do it justice, and write a review that is honest, helpful and insightful. While heaping praise on successes, it is the responsibility of any reviewer to also call out the failures of a product. When one has a professional relationship with any company, it’s always a little hard to be too critical, but you never want to look like you’re towing the party line either. And it’s that dichotomy that makes this particular review so difficult for me.
I love this box.
I don’t throw those words around lightly, and while I strive for some balance in my reviews – even when GW are knocking it out of the park, I try to find a little cloud in their blinding-light-emitting and enormous silver linings. But with Eldritch Omens, I’ve got nothing. Now, I could spend some time waffling about the beautiful box art (and it is pretty), or the wonderfully compact slenderness of the box, but we both know that with this box, none of us really care about that. I’m not selling the designers and artists short – they did an A* job too – but this is all about the miniatures, so let’s just get straight to it.
I am a natural heretic when it comes to 40k. I have worked on three different Emperor’s Children armies over the years and a Death Guard army too back in the day, so while I rarely consider myself an expert in most things, I definitely think of myself as a wise old soul when it comes to Chaos Space Marines. And this is a box that makes my heretical heart sing.
If we’re being honest, the least exciting thing in this box is the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend, but that’s just because it’s the only thing we’ve seen before. While its presence here isn’t getting the gasps that the rest of the box delivers, it’s still a wonderful kit. A massive monster that can either be built to destroy enemies at long range, or bound into the fight and smash up most things that get in its way. I’m a huge Maulerfiend fan myself, so you can probably guess which way I’m leaning, but this is a useful tool for any CSM army to have in its ranks however it’s built. Even with this now relatively old kit, you get options, and the reason this review has the title it has is because everything has options and lots of them, and I love that.
Then there’s the chosen. I remember picking up the last batch of Chosen that came in a big box and I was a little annoyed by their monopose builds and unhelpful loadouts, but in Eldritch Omens, these chaps are almost perfect. There are more options here, allowing you to build a cheaper bolters and chain-blades unit, but if you want to sink a lot of points into your Chosen, you can equip them with power weapons, lightning claws, a combi-weapon and some plasma pistols too. What’s more, it would be very easy to give them more specialised shooting weapons too if you had a CSM sprue to mix in.
Then there’s the Warpsmith, a character who, in the past, never did anything for me. I’ve never built or painted this type of bad-guy-techmarine before, mainly because I wasn’t a massive fan of the old mini. But this one has changed my mind. He looks as dynamic, as his tendrils look demonic, and if you are taking big armoured things (like the aforementioned fiends) he’s helpful too. I’m sold – this box has already sold me on a character I never liked! But even this character is going to be overshadowed by the other half of the box…
Welcome Back Craftworlders!
I won’t go into a long spiel about how it’s been too long since we had a big swathe of new Aeldari models – we’ve all heard quite enough of that. But when you see these sprues, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a “Where have you been all my life?” moment too. All of it is of course brand new, and I almost don’t know where to start.
Back when I built my Eldar army (around 6th Edition I think) I avoided Guardians (because I’m not their biggest fan and Aspect Warriors are my faves) so alongside some Dire Avengers, Rangers were totally my troop-choice jam. And I didn’t really think the old finecast ones needed a redo as a priority, but when you see these, you realise just how good they are. For a start, those long, thin sniper rifles are no longer made of a material that went bendy and curly as soon as you breathed on it. These weapons are now sleek and sharp, and again, you get so many options here! Honestly, I’ve never gotten so much enjoyment from an assembly manual! That’s why I’ve included a couple of snaps here of said manual – it’s brilliant! If you don’t want the little hover drone thing, you don’t have to take it, or you can build an alternative variant of it. Don’t like the bare heads? Put a helmet on instead. From what I can tell, all five have small options for customisation but each change really alters the character of the mini to give you the rangers you want.
Then there’s the jetbikes which are just lovely. I mean… just lovely. Again you have options, and there’s a small piece right at the back of the assembly guide showing how you can tilt them on their bases, and that just gave me so many ideas for what I’m going to do with mine. I know that’s not a big thing, but combined with how cool these guys look, it just made me think of dioramas and how to use these guys to show pace and movement… just lovely.
Finally, I think we’ve saved the best for last. The Autarch is amazing. You can make it male or female, and there are two close combat weapons, three guns, and a choice of either a Warp Spider jump pack, or a banner. I’m totally going with the banner of course because I can’t help myself, but this is just such a beautifully sculpted miniature, I cannot do it justice with my words. But can I do it justice with my brush? Well, that little display base I made for an article here last week – this is the mini that I’m going to put on there, and I am going to take my time with this one. This one’s special.
So that’s all the miniatures and hopefully I’ve highlighted all of the options too, though there are a lot of them so maybe I missed some. But you get the idea right? The flexibility in this box to build the miniatures you want to build is really great.
For me, and this is only my opinion as someone who loves to paint toy soldiers, this box is fantastic. I have seen some people moaning a little about the price of the box, but for painters, think of this not as your standard “bar of Dairy Milk” toy soldiers. No, these are more like a collection of the finest Belgian chocolate truffles that you might pick up from Fortnums. They are few in number, they might cost a bit more, but each time you sit down to enjoy one, it’s an almost transcendent experience. Bravo, GW. Bravo indeed.
Now, that all felt a bit gushy, but honestly, I do love this box. If you agree or disagree, let me know in the comments below. I’m 100% in love with this box, but if you have a valid point you don’t think I’ve made, I want to hear about it. Until we speak again, Onwards!
Those familiar with this blog will know that I certainly enjoy basing my miniatures, and I’ve had a couple of people over the last few of months ask me about display bases. Now, I am by no means an expert in making very pretty bases, but I can give you some basic ideas as to how you might want to do it simply, and with materials you may well already have in your hobby supplies stash. If you do want to go more with expert-level, check out the work my Matt Cexwish who always inspires me to be better at basing – he even has a Patreon called The Joy Of Basing that I heartily recommend if you want to up your game. Or look at the work of many Golden Demon winners to get ideas – there’s some amazing things out there.
But I can show you how to do something simple, that looks good. Though mentioning Golden Demon, if you do want to do this because of that prestigious competition, it’s worth remembering that the bases aren’t what’s judged – they’re just a nice way to present your mini. I’ve seen miniatures win with almost entirely unbased bases. Display bases are more something nice to have that you, the creator, likes to look at. It’s an enjoyable finishing touch to help frame a mini you’re proud of painting. So with all that being said, let’s take a look at how to create a simple, yet pleasing display base.
I love a nice, plinth, me. I’m actually reusing this plinth as it’s a nice small one (in terms of base area – it’s 32mm actually which is handy), and it’s quite fancy, so why not? Where does one get plinths? Well, you can use websites like Model Display Products to find pieces that have been specifically created for the job, but really, you can use anything you think will work. Offcuts of wood are a popular choice – as long as it gives a bit of elevation, you’re golden.
Once you’ve found your plinth, you need to consider the setting you want to create. I’m going with quite a natural setting – I want my mini to be standing on top of a big rock out in the wilds somewhere, so I don’t want a flat floor. To that end, I took some leftover Green Stuff and just pressed it down to give me some variation. Subtle dips and peaks are your friend here – if you go too mad with lumps and bumps, it will be harder to work on, but it all depends on the look you’re trying to create. And you can also use plastic putty, miliput or even clay to do this. Whatever works for you. I also pressed the rock I want to use into this so that it will be easier to glue that down once the Green Stuff has cured.
So, there’s my rock (glued down with plenty of superglue), and notice that it has a nice flat top for the miniature to stand on. It’s definitely worth thinking about how your mini is going to stand on the base you create – nothing worse than a floating foot! And you’ll notice I’ve also put in a trusty skull. Now, if you’re adding a skull onto your base, you need to consider the skull itself. Is it an old skull, or a new one? If it’s old (like I want the one above to be), you want it to be part of the setting, so I want this to sit below the sand I’m going to use, and I’ll be painting it to look old. But maybe your skull was just used in a sacrifice or a ritual – then you’d want it to sit above the sand, and be painted to look newer.
And there’s the sand. I’ve got a big tub of mixed sized grains and this was affixed using some watered down PVA glue. I sprinkled the sand on, and that means, and this is an important bit, we have to clean the sand off the areas where there should be no sand…
There we go, all cleaned up. Sand gets everywhere though, so be sure to give it a thorough clean. It’s also worth saying, that if you want some more stones on this, you want those to be superglued down before putting the sand on. I don’t because I want this to be really simple, but if you do, it’s rocks first, then sand. You’ll have to clean those too – make up brushes are great for cleaning sand by the way.
So it’s time to get painting, and I’ve started off with a base of the ever-reliable Chaos Black. You can use whatever colour you want, but I like CB as it does two jobs for me here – bases the model, and paints the plinth for me at the same time. Now, in order to not rub off any of that Chaos Black, I put a few dots of superglue onto the underside of one of the old painting handles from GW and fixed it on there. It snaps off super easy when the glue goes brittle and it means my grubby mits won’t spoil that nice matt finish.
That’s a lot of grey, right! I thought about doing a painting tutorial for these steps but they’re super simple, and the pictures would be bloody boring so I decided to skip that. Grey gives me a nice neutral base to work from so between Eshin Grey, Dawnstone, Administratum Grey, and Celestra Grey (with a little Agrax to help define some shadows), applied delicately, and with plenty of thinning down, I got my rock and floor all sorted out. You should be able to work out how all of that is done, but if you need a hand, let me know in the comments – I’ll be happy to walk you through it.
I bloody love Contrast Paints. I use them as glazes really, and in the above picture, you can see the rock has been covered in a thinned down Aggaros Dunes, and the floor has been covered in a thinned down Militarum Green. In both instances, I used about a 3:1 mix of Contrast Medium to Contrast Paint. It’s starting to look a little more natural now…
And now we have a skull. I do like skulls. To paint old looking skulls like these, I start with a base of Rhinox Hide and work up in diminishing thin layers to Ushabti Bone, and there’s a glaze of Seraphim Sepia over the top for good measure too. We do this now, because we’re going to add some colour, and we want that old skull to be a part of the terrain, so it needs a little bit of that colour too.
Using some thinned Athonian Camoshade, and some thinned Militarum Green, I’ve added some greenery to our base. Maybe this is on a cavern floor and moss, or mould has stained everything green. I also got some of this on the skull, but more significantly, this was used in rough, uneven patches across the floor and the rock.
I felt it needed some foliage, but if this is in a cavern, there won’t be much plant-life. So I soaked a ruined old paint brush down to the ferule in Darkoath Flesh and set that aside to dry. When it was dry, I mixed a little XV-88 into some more Darkoath Flesh, and highlighted the tips, before cutting the bristles off with my craft knife, and using a little PVA glue to fix it behind the skull there. All that’s left, is to clean up the lip of the plinth with some thinned Abaddon Black, and we’re all done!
It feels odd taking a picture of a plinth without a mini on it, but hopefully that shows you a simple way to create a nice looking display plinth for any of the models you’re particularly proud of. And this really is only scratching the surface of what you can do. As I said, there are those out there far better than me, but I hope this has given you a fun place to start, and a few ideas to be getting on with. Now I need to find a mini to put on the top of this! Onwards.
Hellooooo sports fans! This broadcast is brought to you by our fine friends at Games Workshop who were kind enough to send me a brand spanking new copy of the Spike! Almanac for 2021 (even though we’re now in 2022 but that still checks out). Alongside our sponsors, Orcidas and Cabal Vision, we’re going to bring you the top 5 plays from this hard-hitting, hardback tome for true sports fans just like you. So get your foam fingers and foam-domes out, put those team colours on and settle in as we hit the gridiron for the Spike! Alamanac Top 5 plays!!!
Ok, enough of the sports enthusiast spiel – don’t expect much more of that in this post (sometimes I get too into doing things like that, so no promises). Let’s look at the five best bits, in my opinion, from this brutal book.
1 – The Comic Strips
Blood Bowl hits my funny bone so wonderfully with things like this. This is a very entertaining book, with lots to make you smile and giggle, and the handful of comic strips that run through these pages are delightful. They centre around (our heroes) Jim and Bob, and have a Bob Crumb sort of look to them (like a U-rated Fritz The Cat but set in the Blood Bowl universe). These are great at reinforcing the fact/idea that this game and its setting are ridiculous, hilarious and all about having fun. You may have brought this book for the rules (and there are a lot of those to go through), but I’m sure you’ll love the laughs that land on every page.
2 – The Illustrations
We’ll get onto rules in a moment, folks (I promise), but I just want to say that I am now 100% behind the illustrative style of this game’s official products and books. I’ve said it before here, but when I first saw the new look of this game, I hated it, but this book has wiped out the very last shreds of that opinion that has been worn down over time. You will find your eyes hovering over some of the incidental illustrations just because they’re so much fun. The player and star player art is great too, and props have to go to the people who created these images and put the book together. Well done to all involved – it looks smashing.
3 – Four Player Dungeon Bowl
I’ve been quietly enjoying Dungeon Bowl since its release, and boy is that enjoyment about to get loud. The idea of four players sending their teams to charge around a dungeon brings a sort of panicked delight to my heart. It will be pure madness, but is bound to be full of laughs too. There’s a nice section on the rules for this sort of game in the book, and a couple of example dungeons that just look like pain, laughs and smiles to me. My College of Beasts Team will certainly enjoy the madness of this sort of game, though I dare say the laughs will be balanced with a fair amount of tactical stress. This is a great thing to include in this book.
4 – All-Star Games
This is a biggy. If you have been enjoying collecting Star Players for a while now, you may feel slightly aggrieved that you haven’t been able to use them too often in your leagues. I think Varag Ghoulchewer has appeared about three times for my Orcs in the last five years (but then my Orcs suck so I don’t hold it against him). Well, worry no more – you can now take on a friend in a non-league all star game where only Star Players take to the field. You might have Griff Oberwald, Morg n Thorg, Akhorne and The Swift Twins all in the same team, and that might just be your bench! The examples given in the book are frankly mouthwatering in their potential for delivering fun for all involved. Bring it on!
5 – Star Player Profiles
Sticking with the pricy-n-spicy superstar sports-folk that you can hire into your game (or take to one of the aforementioned All-Star games), there are some wonderful Star Player profiles in here, some of which, if you buy Spike! regularly, you’ll already know about, but I think there are a couple of new ones here too (I think – I don’t get Spike! every time it comes out). I really like how they do this, in that there’s a nice big illustration, the rules, and some back ground spread across two sides of A4. It’s concise, yet flavourful and lavish at the same time. And seeing the rules for Grashnak Blackhoof really took me back to my early days in Blood Bowl – that minotaur used to do a lot of heavy lifting in my teams.
Those are my favourite five things, but this is a thick book full of rules, lore, laughs and information about your favourite game of fantasy football. It’s jam-packed and a real treat to dive into. If Blood Bowl is your game, you need this book, and you’ll love flicking through those glossy pages. Onwards!
P.S. – if you want a full, in-depth review of this book, done by true experts, check out the Both Down podcast – those guys are great and they know this game better than me too.