As 2015 shuffles towards its grave like a lone plague zombie sloping towards a Tau gun line, 2016 awaits impatiently to step into the light of the Emperor’s radiance. In this post, I would like to take the opportunity to reflect, over a slowly cooling coffee and perhaps a chocolate biscuit or two, about the last year, and the year to come. Let us take a look at what has been in 2015, and what is likely to be in the approaching 365.
How 40k Evolved In 2015
2015 was possibly the busiest year ever in Warhammer 40,000, and we didn’t even see a new edition released! We had new codices for *takes deep breath*, Necrons, Harlequins, Khorne Daemonkin, Skitarii, Cult Mechanicus, Craftworld Eldar, Imperial Knights, Space Marines, Dark Angels and Tau! I mean, Wow. Did I miss any of them? Applause goes to GW for pushing out all of that in the same year that they released Age of Sigmar. That is seriously impressive.
Through many of these we were also introduced into the ‘Decurian type’ detachment that has come to prominence in much of the meta out there. Though introduced by the Necorns who remain strong, Eldar are probably still the dominant book around despite having their serpent shield nerfed to an appropriate/not-broken level, though the Tau now have plenty of clout too and could claim that top spot for themselves.
The addition of the Ad Mech in the form of its two codices was probably the exciting highlight of the year for many, and the sculpts have backed up the books by looking exceptional (even if they play like a bit of a glass hammer). Khorne Daemonkin has also been a big hit, allowing the Blood God’s followers to mix the best of both worlds in their armies, including the impressive new Bloodthirster.
We also saw rules for both miniatures and formations appear in campaign expansions with Blood Angels, Raven Guard, White Scars and others getting bits and pieces in the likes of the Kauyon and Mont’ka.
All of this (and more – much more that I didn’t have space for here) has made 2015 a revolutionary year for 40k, with huge amounts of new releases and models for us to enjoy, and an unprecidented amount of output from GW themselves. If all of this carries on into 2016 (and it shows no sign of slowing down), we have a lot to look forward to come the new year.
My Favourite 40k Miniatures of 2015
There have been plenty of exceptional miniatures produced by GW this year (leaving Forge World out of this one because it would be kind of like bringing a volcano cannon to a knife fight), so I thought I’d do a quick Top 5. There were lots of contenders, and I’m sure you will have their own ideas (do stick them in the comments below if the urge takes you), but here are my faves from ’15:
5. Storm Surge
Yes, the Ghostkeel is a better looking model, but this, to me, is the epitome of how the Tau like to fight. As Xzibit might comment “we heard you like guns, so we put a big gun on your guns with some extra guns and then put some missiles on your guns too, dawg!”. I really do like the way it looks and though it doesn’t have the smooth lines and stealthy stance of the Ghostkeel, it is a monster of a machine with, well, lots of guns.
4. Skitarii Rangers
It’s like GW reached into my head, pulled out exactly what I thought these guys should look like, and then made them. From the crazy guns to the long red robes and more, these fellas are spot on perfect. Maybe not the most impressive unit in the Ad Mech ranks, but in terms of them getting everything about them completely and utterly correct, these guys take it.
3. Space marine Devastators
Having worked on the old Devestators kit that I hated with a vengeance, these guys brought the entire Space Marine line up to date and they look storming. So many little touches, from their big boy boots to that creepy little ammo-carrying baby, make these a real favourite of mine. I can’t wait to work on them one day, just so they can erase my memories of that awful kit that came before them.
2. Harlequin Skyweavers
I was tempted to put in the whole Harlequin range as they are some of the prettiest models in 40k, but eventually I decided to just go with the Skyweavers. This is what Jetbikes should look like. With hints of the ancient lead harlequin jetbike, and modern day styling, they made something awesome here.
This is what a greater daemon should look like, GW! Yes. Well done. Finally! As much as I’m not a fan of the Blood God myself, I am extremely envious that Khorne players get this guy to play with now. If they could just update the Keeper of Secrets and the Great Unclean One to a similar standard next year, I will be extremely happy. After years of lumpy metal monsters, this Bloodthirster shows us what GW are truly capable of when it comes to the Greater Daemons. More please!!
BONUS: The Warlord Titan
Ok, I said I wasn’t going to bring up Forge World, but how could I leave this colossus out? It is a beast of a thing with a billion details all over it, but more importantly, it represents where we are at the moment with the sculpting and production level of miniatures. The fact that this can even be created is incredible when you look back to the days when such a thing would ‘only ever be possible in epic’. It truly is an awesome thing.
All in all, this has been a golden year for miniatures and Nottingham has been leading the way. There are so many other things I could have added in here, from the new Assassins to the Blood Angels Chaplain and more. What a great year!
What I’ll Take From 2015
My personal hobby has fluctuated a bit over the course of the year. As I’ve pushed myself to be a better painter, I’ve become a slower painter too. What’s more, life has been busier this year so production has dropped. That being said, I’m happy with where I’m going. I’ve been trying a couple of new things recently and I may well have my mojo back.
I achieved a couple of amazing things this year. I appeared in Warhammer Visions for the first (and so far only) time with my Mortifactors Vanguard Vets, and then my Mortifactors Chapter Master appeared in an email from Forge World too after receiving a lot of praise from the fans at the open day and even John Blanche himself! I was absolutely delighted by both instances. If I’d looked at my models only a couple of years ago, I would never have believed I’d achieve either of those things. Brilliant.
Speaking of my Mortifactors project, it has stalled a bit. Well, actually, I’m just not doing anything with it. This is not a permanent cessation of efforts, but rather an extended break. One day I’ll get round to making them some more tanks and fun things to take to war. My titan project has also stalled but to be honest, I’m pretty intimidated by it. And while I’m still in the stages of building bits and doing all the boring stuff, it will take its time. But as soon as I get going with the fun stuff, I’m sure it will race along. But I’m not going to rush it. Oh no. That will be a long term project to enjoy at my leisure.
There have been lots of other highlights on the blog and my personal favourite mini has been my Slaaneshi Tech Priest who will hopefully kick off a longer project in the new year, but more on that later.
The Top H&H Posts Of The Year
A great many of you have visited my little blog this year and I’d like to start by saying thank you all for taking the time to read the drivel and doggerel that I’ve stuck up here. Ta muchly. But what were your favourites? Here are the three top liked or most viewed posts I’ve put up here in 2015.
Forge World Open Day 2015: Happy To Be Your Guide!
I’m glad I could provide a good news service for you this year and apparently you really couldn’t get enough of the rumours and reviews of this always exciting event. Read it yourself here.
Old School Eavy Metal: Glad I’m Not The Only One
It was great to take this trip down memory lane and I discovered some real gems out there. If you want to see what it was all like in the olden days, and why this made me fall in love with 40k, just click here.
How To Paint Skulls: So You Guys Like Tutorials, Right?
Apparently, I have to do more of these, and having only put this one up a couple of weeks back, I wish I had been doing more for you as it has been sensationally received. I will try and make that happen, take another look here.
Where Is 40k Going in 2016?
So, what will we be seeing next year? If this year is anything to go by, a lot. Rumours abound that the Lord Of Change will get the new miniature in keeping with the Bloodthirster and that opens up a couple of other possibilities as well. Tzeentch Daemonkin is one of those possibilities given the success of the Khorne book, but what people are really looking forward to is a new Chaos Space Marine book. It’s the oldest (Sorry, Sisters fans – I’m talking about actual books here) and among the worst of the current codex editions, so it’s bound to be on the cards soon. I even heard a whisper of new mounted Noise Marines which would be amazing. Fingers crossed.
The new specialist games set up is bound to expand the 40k universe in some way, with many touting Necromunda as being the first of the old boxed games to get a revamp. Others have pointed at a renewed Battlefleet Gothic being pushed forward to capitalise on the enthusiasm that people are showing for the X-Wing games. Either way, we win. Not to mention more games like Betrayal at Calth – another big highlight of the year for so many.
Tyranids and Daemons are also being talked about as strong contenders for a release in the first half of next year and given that Tyranid players are perpetually moaning about whatever book they get (you get no sympathy from a CSM player such as myself), they’ll probably be crying for a second update by year’s end (I kid because I love). 😉 But the big question is whether or not we’ll see a new edition. I don’t think 8th Edition will come out in 2016, but these days, who knows.
What Will I Be Working On in 2016?
Last year I made the big mistake of announcing with pride what I’d be doing in the coming months and I’m not going to do that now. I don’t want to say that X or Y will happen and then renege on that in a few months time. There are however a couple of things I can promise you. Firstly, as mentioned, both the Mortifactors and the Titan will continue at varying speeds. I promise (cross my heart, hope to roll a ‘1’ while firing a plasma gun) that the Titan will be done in 2016. But for the rest of it, I’m going to keep it loose. I do want to get a little Slaaneshi ccult going too, mixing it in with Dark Mech, but we’ll see about that.
Secondly, I will be trying to post more on this blog. There have been less than 50 posts from me this year, and that’s not good enough. The year before I averaged more than one a week, and while I doubt I’ll get back to those heady heights, I want to do more, so expect more. That’s more Miniature Focus articles, more tutorials and more than that too.
Lastly, the one thing that I can definitely attest to, but will give no clues to the specifics of, is that a new project has been confirmed for the new year. A little work has started on it but you’ll find out more about that later. Here’s a wee teaser for you though…
And with that, I shall wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, a festive season full of fun, and a fantastic New Year. My 2016 bring you all you could ever want and more. Thank you once again for reading. Onwards!