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.
Hello, hobby pals! It’s time for another Lazy Painter’s Army List and this time we’re taking a look at those blue fish folk that are the T’au and their frankly mental guns. GW were good enough to send me the new book for this review and I would also like to thank them for making the T’au’s arsenal ungodly and amazing. I think it’s only right that Rail Guns and Missile Pods do a huge amount of damage – that’s the T’au’s whole schtick – but, well, wow. These guns are extra spicy now.
Overall, it’s an excellent book, and having spoken to some T’au players over the last couple of years who have been lamenting their lot in the game of late, I’m pretty certain they’ll be grinning with some of the options they get in this book. I also like that the book designers at GW really seem to have fun when it comes to the T’au and they get to use all these cool fonts, textures and graphics. You can really sense the enjoyment when you read this one. But that’s enough of all that – let’s make a lazy painter’s list (minimum models, fun to play with, and with a bit of tactical fun in there too).
We’re starting out with Shadowsun because she’s points pricy, she’s super spicy and she’s one of the coolest looking miniatures in the T’au ranks and that’s saying something. She’s also got some fun rules we’ll get back to later, though she also has the ‘Commander’ keyword, and so we’re only allowed one of those in this single detachment list. Thankfully, Longstrike does not have that keyword and so we’re taking him in his Ion Cannon-equipped Hammerhead Gunship. He’s particularly good at taking on enemy monsters and vehicles too, getting +1 to his wound rolls when targeting these big’uns, but that Ion Cannon will help deal with anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.
Yes, you guessed it, we’re making this a Spearhead detachment as we want as many of this army’s massive guns as possible. Let’s start with a couple of Rail Gun wielding Hammerheads. I don’t think I need to say any more about this weapon as Warhammer Community have already done this, but combined with the 12″ move, you have a monster of a weapon that is very manoeuvrable. And speaking of Manoeuvrable, we’re going to be taking a pair of Riptides too. Rocking a pair of Smart Missile Systems, Heavy Burst Cannon and a pair of Shielded Missile Drones, this is a huge amount of firepower to deal with almost anything really. Our last pick in the Heavy Support section are a couple more Broadsides with loads of extras, and, of course, two more Rail Guns.
To help distract our enemies and capture some objectives, we’re going to take a pair of 3 person Stealth Suit Teams, who are going to bring some Marker Light drones to the party. Their Infiltrators rule can help them deploy on objectives or in cover where they can frustrate your enemy, while their Camo Fields rule will keep them alive a little longer.
Don’t laugh at this – there is a reason. We are taking 5 Vespid Stingwings. I know this may seem like a weird choice but, well, they cost 60 points, their guns aren’t bad, and once your big guns have cleared an objective, you can just drop these guys down on it to keep it for a turn or two. If they’re in cover, they might even last long enough to take some enemies with them.
Lord of War
Ok, so I lied. As well as our Spearhead, we are taking a Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment, because once you see what sort of Damage a Stormsurge can do, well, if you’re anything like me, your jaw will drop. It is the shootiest monster ever in 40k and while it’s very, very pricy, its 2+/4++ saves, its huge number of wounds, and the sheer number of shots it can put out, it’s almost a must have for me, and anyone who likes to cackle maniacally as this thing just deletes multiple enemies from the table every turn.
Models: 20 (plus 18 drones but they don’t count towards our total)
Name: The Greater Good of Massive Guns
This is one of those “If everything goes well, I’ll have won by the end of turn 2” sort of lists. With these guns, you can deploy wherever you want because your opponent would have to be nuts to put anything decent from their army out in the open – you can just delete it if you get 1st turn. But if you are worried, you can use Shadowsun’s Exemplar of Kauyon warlord Trait, in conjunction with the Kauyon Tactical Philosophy to redeploy 3 units before the first turn.
You’re also going to be playing as the T’au Sept because you brought Shadowsun along, and that comes with some fun rules too.
And yeah, just shoot stuff. If you hit, you’ll probably delete it, if you miss, you have lots of other options. Use those Stealth Suits to capture objectives and drop the Stingwings down later in the game to capture another one. Also, if you beat someone while taking Stingwings in your army, that will be especially funny.
With that being said, T’au have almost certainly just leapt into tier 1, so maybe this is one of those lists you don’t take against new players. I’m no master tactician – far, far from it – but even I can see the amount of hurt you can unleash with this one. Veterans can laugh off demoralising experiences when among friends, but remember that new players won’t be able to have as much fun. I don’t try to make these lists like this, but with the T’au book, it’s honestly hard to do anything else. It’s fun, but this book is almost certainly going to get a wee tap from the nerf-hammer in a couple of weeks. If not, T’au players could be nearly impossible to take off the table.
In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at the brand new Kill Team Starter Set box – the slimmed down version of Kill Team: Octarius – that Games Workshop were kind enough to send over to me for review, and it reminded me of something rather special. And if I’m right, it could be the best advert for the hobby since the 1990s. Let’s discuss.
Now, that might be a bit of a bold call, but I genuinely think there’s something about this box that could encourage a lot of people to join the hobby. For a start, just look at that box art. That is human soldiers fighting monsters in a very cinematic way. The font is all militaristic, the colours are bright and bold, and it has that ever wonderful name “Warhammer” in the title there. Were I a 9 year old boy again, I’d see that and just think “Wow. I want that” and a lot of credit has to go to the people who laid out that box cover.
Back when I was a 9 year old boy (and this is going to show my age a bit), Christmas wish-listing involved looking through big catalogues that were delivered to our house. I’d flick through the back section where all the kids toys were, and between the Sega Game Gears, Thundercat Playsets, and Lego Pirate stuff, I would see this:
Now, you might be about to criticise me for the resolution of image I’ve used there, but I’ve done that for a very good reason – that was often what you saw in the catalogue. I didn’t know what it was, but it had loads of toy soldiers, terrain, amazing pictures and bright colours – and loads of cardboard explosions too! For me, it would be a boxed set that would kick off a lifetime obsession, but that was back in the very early 1990s. I genuinely think that this Kill Team box could well perform a similar function in the early 2020s. And boy am I feeling old right now.
The Octarius box that came out recently is big and overwhelming – it’s a hefty hit of the hobby drug that we who are already all in on the plastic crack wagon, love to devour. But it’s hefty and pricy and it requires a fair bit of pre-existing knowledge to be truly exciting. This box is slimmer, and lighter. You don’t feel too precious about the cover of the box because it’s not quite as shiny. This isn’t something to be savoured by well-worn hobbyists, but instead it’s a shiny lure to fresher eyes. This is the box you should put into catalogues today, not that those are really a thing anymore (thanks, internet).
I spoke about this recently too – have the plastic as the first thing people see when they open the box. It’s the most exciting bit of the product, and I’m glad GW are continuing to do this after those years of extra boxes and cardboard inserts. Get to the good stuff early.
You get a little less terrain in this box, but in terms of actual minis, you still have the Orks and the Guardsmen and they continue to look amazing. These miniatures are some of the best examples of the sculpting craft and they’ll appeal to those new hobbyists who like to play as humans (because they can imagine themselves fighting monsters in the future) and those who like to be aliens (because they like new and interesting things). And the humour of the Orks in particular is a real win in this box – definitely better than 40 monopose boys and gretchin and a cardboard dreadnought for sure! Furthermore, the small numbers of miniatures involved in Kill Team are a lot less intimidating than the vast armies needed to play big 40k.
This makes me very happy too. Once you get past the sprues and a single cardboard insert, this is all that’s left, and while we seasoned gamers demand vast quantities of bits, bells and whistles, if you’re coming into this as a newbie, it’s nicer to have a small set of rules and the basics to get you going. This looks genuinely friendly and hopefully the rules are easy enough for new players to digest. I remain unconvinced about the whole “move two triangles and a hexagon” when you could just say however many inches it is, but that’s a minor gripe really.
But I’m serious about how appealing I think this box will be to new players. It’s a great gateway option, and while of course there are starter sets available for 40k and AoS, I think this Kill Team box presents a better option. The rules are simpler, the models represent complete units, and those colours and that artwork – I really think GW are onto a winner here. Especially if they can get into toy stores and, well, whatever pass for catalogues now in the 2020s. This box gets two thumbs up from me, and I hope it brings lots of new blood into the hobby. Onwards!
Hello again friends and happy new year to you all. Today I bring you a brand new lazy painters army list after Games Workshop were kind enough to send me the brand new Genestealer Cults codex.
And what a codex it is. Let’s start with the cover – that might just be the best looking Codex cover art I’ve seen in years. It has such a striking look to it that really captures the grimdarkness of the game, and the strange cultish behaviour of the faction. I love it – great work by the artist for bringing this faction to life even before opening the book.
What’s more, I’m reminded that, by and large, the Genestealer Cults range is the finest range of miniatures in any system over all, in my opinion. So many characterful pieces and when the old genestealer models are perhaps bottom of that tree in terms of looks, almost entirely due to their age, and they still look pretty decent, that’s a pretty fine range. From the sneaky Sanctus to the Jackal Alphus, there are a lot of wins here.
I have to remind myself of all of this because, well, this list threw up a couple of issues, chief amongst them being, that I have failed in my usual quest. Every time I put together one of these lists, the objective is to take the codex, and make an army that can be fun to use but doesn’t contain too many models and tries to avoid repetition too much in the units you take. And I couldn’t do that with this book. At all. Let me explain.
When I did this with the Ork book, I was worried that I’d have problems with a horde army, but in the ork book you have big HQs like Ghazghkull, elite units like Mega Nobz, and huge things like Bonebreakers, Morkanauts, Gorkanauts and even Stompas to eat up those points. The most expensive thing in this book that I got into my list? A unit of 2 ridgerunners – light vehicles that come to only just over 150 points for the pair. That’s it. Without leaning too hard on repetition, there was no way to make a low model count army that was still fun to play with. So while I don’t think you’ll find too many GSC lists with fewer models than this, I’ve instead opted to focus more on having a fun, thematic list this time. Because the model count is… well, it ain’t low (not by my own standards anyway). But I reckon this could be a fun force to build and play with, so let’s take a look at its make up.
I’m taking two detachments in this army, one that is brutal and footslogging, and the other that is fast and full of firepower. Leading the footsloggers, I will be taking a Patriarch and a Magus, along with their little familiar buddies. This gives me one brutal melee specialist (who’s also psychic), and a psyker to buff and support the rest of the units, while also blighting my enemies. Leading the faster detachment, I have two Jackal Alphus models – while this breaks the repetition rule a little, this is one of the best looking minis in the range and it does fit with what we’re doing here to have two of them. Also, the chance to do a little converting/kitbashing with the second one is very enticing.
Skipping troop choices entirely (because they involve a lot of minis for very few points in this army), we’re packing out the Elite slots to make our Footsloggers as deadly as possible. Two units of 10 purestrain genestealers gives us a lot of AP-3 claws and talons for not much money, and with movement 8, they’ve got a good chance of getting into the thick of it in early turns. Then we’re going to pack a unit of 5 Aberrants into a Goliath Truck to bring some more muscle to the party, and they’ll have back up from a Biophagus and there’ll be an Abominant skulking around too because he is hard as nails with his 5+ FNP and his Strength x2 Power Sledgehammer. Lastly in the Elites spot, we’re taking a Sanctus who’ll probably be armed with a sniper rifle to really capitalise on his Soulsight rules.
Accompanying those Jackal Alphus dudes into battle will be plenty of speedy stuff. We have a unit of six Atalan Jackals that includes one quad and a lot of demolition charges that tear around the enemy’s flanks. Then we have three units of the aforementioned 2x Ridgerunners to provide a very mobile fire support team. While 6 Ridgerunners feels like too many to me, they will at least be a lot of fun on the battlefield, and they have a range of fun weapon options too.
We’re rounding out our speedy detachment with two Goliath Rockgrinders because they do look pretty cool, they’re pretty hardcore, and they eat up plenty of points too.
Vanguard Detachment –
HQ – Patriarch with Familiar
HQ – Magus with Familiar
Elites – 10x Purestrain Genestealers
Elites – 10x Purestrain Genestealers
Elites – 5x Aberrants
Elites – Abominant
Elites – Biophagus with Familliar
Elites – Sanctus
Dedicated Transport – Goliath Truck
Outrider Detachment –
HQ – Jackal Alphus
HQ – Jackal Alphus
Fast Attack – 6x Atalan Jackals
Fast Attack – 2x Achilles Ridgerunners
Fast Attack – 2x Achilles Ridgerunners
Fast Attack – 2x Achilles Ridgerunners
Heavy Support – Goliath Rockgrinder
Heavy Support – Goliath Rockgrinder
Points: 1977 (but you can spend 20 points on the “Excavate” Proficient Planning upgrade for one unit)
Model Count: 50. Yep, 50. Best I could do to keep this interesting and fun.
Army Name: Too Many Extra Arms
In terms of how this plays, you certainly have speed on your side. You have a lot of fast moving heavy guns, a few sniper rifles and plenty of demolition charges to offer fire support, and you have a big core of claws that will tear even power armour to shreds in close combat. To boost said core of claws, I would take the Twisted Helix as your Cult alignment because everything will get +1 to move, +1 strength, and your Abominant and Aberrants become even more of a threat.
Now, I know what some of you will be thinking of my failure – why didn’t I take advantage of the Brood Brothers rules and pack in some Leman Russ tanks? Well, I could have done that in theory because those rules do of course still exist:
But the rules and points for the available units aren’t in this book, I don’t have an Astra Militarum book to hand, and in my mind, I’m highlighting the fun things to do with this book, and this book alone. I could have added allies to any armies I’ve done for this if I’d really wanted to, but that’s not the point. Nor would it have been the point to give Proficient Planning abilities to every possible unit – where’s the fun in that (well, there are a lot of fun rules in there actually)? I stuck to this book, and the models included therein, because that’s what we as players, typically, want to enjoy.
And that brings me on to the real pain of this book – I will never be able to take a Genestealer Cults 2000 army. Not because I couldn’t write a list with a low enough model count to accommodate my inability to paint hordes, because as mentioned, I think this is one of the best looking ranges in the game and painting six Ridgerunners actually sounds quite fun. When the 40k survey came out recently, my major bit of feedback was that the game has a problem with having too many rules, especially when compared to AoS which feels quick and streamlined by comparison. Well, the GSC are among the worst offenders and while all the rules are thematic and in keeping with the army’s values, there are simply too many of them. What other army comes with a token sheet (albeit a very useful token sheet) attached to the codex?
And take the Biophagus – a unit that has pretty much an entire A4 page of rules, and costs just 50 points. That just feels a bit too much to me. So is the basic troop choice in the book having access to 16 different wargear options. That’s right, if you’re running Neophite Hybrids (another unit with a full A4 of rules) you can take everything from a an Autopistol to a Webber and almost anything else in between. Options and versatility are great, but I almost gave myself a headache trying to work this list out. Add onto this the Brood Brothers rules, warlord traits, relics, 4 pages of stratagems, psychic powers, a page of cult-specific rules, Proficient Planning abilities, Army-wide rules like Crossfire and… it’s too much (and I’m sure I’m forgetting some things there). It’s far far too much to make running this army fun for someone like me. Happily though, not everyone is like me, and I will say that the rules are certainly thematic.
But I love the miniatures – they’re fantastic. If I use them though, they’ll be in games of Kill Team or Necromunda. This codex has some wonderful art, fascinating lore, lavish model photography, but if you’re a lazy painter like me, it’s probably not the army for you. But if you do love rules, and lots of them, maybe this army will be ideal for you. I didn’t want to rant about all this but as someone who likes casual-competitive games, this is a bit of a barrier to me enjoying this army. I’ll still be enjoying the miniatures though – this faction is full of winners where miniatures are concerned.
Until next time, have a wonderful time painting and playing. Onwards!