Spartan & Leviathan

My attack on the resin mountain (no one should have a resin mountain…) continues, this time with the addition of two heavy units for the Heresy-Era Space Woofs – the Leviathan Dreadnought and the Mighty Spartan.

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I picked up the Leviathan earlier this year, but the Spartan has been lying around for more than three years, so tackling it was well overdue!

Painting-wise, both of these are an absolute doddle (any Heresy-era Space Woof vehicle will be, just adapting the instructions from the Prospero Painting Guide). Putting them together…

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The Leviathan was okay, even though I had managed to misplace the instructions. The legs are always a slight challenge on both this and resin Contemptors as you need at least three hands if you are trying to go for a specific pose. Just go slowly and let everything dry properly before moving onto the next bit, and you will be fine.

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The Spartan veered towards bitch territory during construction. Putting on the tracks was ‘okay’, though I hear Forge World now have a newer version where the tracks are more integrated into the side pieces, but the centre hull was challenging. The use of (many) rubber bands helped immensely getting this beast together and, while it is still not perfect, the Spartan certainly looks the part!

On my painting table now are a bunch of rats I have been meaning to get round to for nearly a couple of years, and I am hoping to finish off the Kharadron Overlords and do some more Thousand Sons before the Christmas break – already a few days behind schedule, so I don’t know if that is actually possible, but that is the plan!

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Last of the Maggoth Lords

Here is a miniature that has been sitting around for a long time (a couple of years maybe!), but I finally got round to him this weekend – Orghotts Daemonspew.

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As usual, I used Duncan’s guide on Warhammer TV, and Orghott is actually the only Maggoth Lord he demonstrates, so I had to wing it with the others. However, they were relatively straight forward, whereas Orghott’s beastie has that graduation of colour from belly to topside.

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As it turned out, this was not really difficult or time-consuming at all, if you follow Duncan’s teachings, though mine ended up a little more subdued than his – it might have looked better if I had increased the surface area of the lighter bits.

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Still, I think it turned out alright, and the whole model was really not very time-consuming.

And now he can join the rest of the Maggoth Lords to form a mighty trio!

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Next up, some heavy metal for the Space Woofs…

Death & Destruction in Shadespire

I have two quite swanky models almost finished that I will be showcasing soon but, before we get to those, here are the two latest warbands for Shadespire done and dusted:

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Not too much to talk about in terms of painting these because, as with the first two warbands, I merely followed Duncan’s instructions on Warhammer TV.

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If you want a really easy warband to paint up for Shadespire but don’t want to join the Stormcast crowd, then the Orruks have to be the way to go. There are only four of them, they are 90% armour, and Duncan’s guidance will even get you past the ‘yellow problem’ (in days gone by, yellow used to be a sod to paint properly).

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The Sepulchral Guard are a little more numerous and some parts seem thin almost to the point of being brittle, but they stood up to my sausage fingers, so you should not have any issues with them. Again, Duncan will get you painting these to a decent standard, if not perfection, making them another reasonable choice for the lazy gamer.

Next up, some heavy metal for the Space Woofs

Chapter Approved 2017

I wasn’t going to do a review on the new Chapter Approved book, but I have had some time to digest it now and it is an important publication for Warhammer 40,000, so here goes…

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The idea is, like the General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar, that the game gets shaken up every year with a book like this, giving points tweaks for Matched Play (which, I fear, is why most people will buy this book, and they are so missing the point) plus a bunch of ‘cool things to do’ in your games.

Like Age of Sigmar, it does this by following the three lines of Open Play, Narrative Play, and Matched Play.

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Open Play has two sections, the first of which brings Apocalypse games ‘back’ to 40k. This is less about rules (as is proper for Apocalypse, too much stuff getting in the way does not make for an easy-to-approach mega-game) and more about how to organise things – basically, if you have not tried doing something like this before it might be easier than you think, so give it a go.

However, there are three Apocalypse missions, plus some ‘cool things’ to try out once you have got a few games under your belt, such as multi-table games (we have tried that, a lot of fun!) and using referees to keep players on their toes.

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The second part of Open Play is all about Kustom Land Raiders – actually building your own with your own choice of weapon fits.

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If you were expecting something like the old vehicle design system in the White Dwarf-that-was, it ain’t that. Basically, you choose one of the standard sponsons (Godhammer, Hurricane Bolters, or Flamestorm, of which Chaos Land Raiders only get the Lascannon), add secondary sponsons (from Predator choices), and then the Hull-mounted weapons (twin Lascannon, Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannon, Helfrost Cannon – Space Woofs only – and Reaper Autocannon for Chaos). Work out what your transport capacity is from all that, and you are good to go.

All Land Raiders created under this system are Power Level 30, and there are no points for Matched Play (if anyone has their nose put out of joint on that, they are not only missing the point but also two-thirds of the entire game…).

Some sample Land Raiders are provided, one of which makes the Terminus Ultra available to all chapters (no longer just for the Ultramarines, which is how things stood in the Index) and, a nice surprise for me, a dedicated Dark Angels Land Raider, the Solemnus Aggressor:

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Stick a Storm Bolter on that, and it is chucking out 44 dice at short ranges – that is Repulsor territory!

Narrative Play also gets two sections, adding Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault games to the mix – and, you know, I really think they have got these games right this time.

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The basic ideas behind these modes of play are simple (again, as they should be). There are a handful of core rules that get added to the game, such as Firestorm attacks that bombard the enemy before the game or Deadly Defence rules that add +1 to hit rolls from Buildings (which is great for Plasma Obliterators…). You then build armies to specific defender and attacker detachments, and gain access to specific Warlord traits and Stratagems, again both divided between attacker and defender.

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And that is it. That is all you need. Just jump into one of the 12 new Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault missions and you are good to go!

However, they did not stop there. A two page introduction to linear campaigns puts together all the Planetstrike and Stronghold Assault missions into a simple but effective storyline that could keep you going for a month or three and link your games into, well, a narrative – if you have not tried this type of gaming, I would encourage you to give these two pages a try. You can even use Matched Play Points for the missions!

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And then we get to Matched Play.

First up are 12 new missions, split between Eternal War and Maelstrom of War which, it is possible, will become the new ‘tournament standard’ missions for the next 12 months, before they are replaced with new missions in Chapter Approved 2018 – which is a really nice way of keeping the game fresh for those who refuse to go beyond the standard missions (don’t take that personally, I used to be one of you…).

A small section on making your Objective Markers does not actually add anything to the game per se, but is presented more as a ‘this is cool, try it’ kind of thing. Which is the whole angle of this book, not just the 8 pages of points updates at the back.

Please, please, please do not buy this book just for those points updates. You really would be missingĀ  out on so much.

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Those factions (well, most of them) that do not have a Codex yet each get a page granting them a Warlord trait, Relic and a Stratagem or two (Thousand Sons also get a Psychic Power).

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I have already seen some criticism for these on the various forums, most of which seems to amount to not getting all the toys right now but, you know what? I like these rules.

It will be the Space Woofs that I face more often than not, and they get a Warlord trait that allows him to fight first, the Krakenbone Sword which is no slouch in close combat, and two Stratagems, one of which allows Space Woof units to use rapid firing Bolters in close combat.

Nothing to sniff at there.

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An Appendix section adds a few more bits and pieces – specific terrain from the Death World and Sector Mechanicus sub-lines get updated for 8th edition, and there are Battlezone rules that can be added to games to help create specific environments.

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They have been quite clever in the way these Stratagems can be used – for example, the Supercharged Obliteration allows you to doublefire a Plasma Obliterator (ouch!) if it is close to a Haemotrope Reactor. Very characterful but, because it is tied to a Stratagem, never overpowering.

Nicely done.

There are some pages on tweaked points for Matched Play, which will be done to death elsewhere, and then the book ends on some notes for Battle-Forged Armies. This is mostly some reiteration on the use of under-strength units and reinforcements (likely nothing you did not already know), but it also adds a Detachment Roster for your forces:

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Now, is it me, or is there just not enough room on that sheet for anything other than a small Patrol. Sure, you can print out more copies, but even mid-sized Battalions are going to need more than a few sheets.

Can’t help thinking that could have been done a bit more efficiently…

And that is the book. Like the General’s Handbook, the regular publication of this book every year provides a good way to shake up the game and keep it current, with few downsides. Even if you get a bum year where something is, shall we say, less than optimum, you may only have to wait a year for it to be properly reversed (rather than just FAQ’d) as opposed to waiting several years for an entirely new edition.

And for those of us who have embraced the Open/Narrative Plays, the material in these books will always be current and, over the years, will form a nice little library of ‘cool things to do in 40k’ that we can pull out again and play down the road.

I applaud this approach.

 

The Blightlords Arrive

Just a quickie update today, but I did manage to finish another two units for the Death Guard (getting to be quite a’healthy’ force now), the Blightlord Terminators…

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I just went for two units as I did not want to go too overboard, and I think ten chaps will do the job. Nothing really to note in the painting of them, as they are really just large Plague Marines – though, funnily enough, I would say they have more detail (and so take a little longer to do) than the larger Deathshroud Terminators.

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Speaking of the Deathshroud, I tried them out for the first time last week – and they are brutal! Three teleported in with a Lord of Contagion, and charged a Land Raider. They smashed that in one turn, weathered fire from a Venerable dreadnought, charged that and trashed it, then reaped a heavy weapons squad. No losses on their part, just a Deathshroud with a slight limp.

Nasty!

At the moment, I have two Shadespire warbands and a Space Woof Spartan and Leviathan on my painting table, but I have just seen that Duncan has finally posted has Mortarion video on Warhammer TV, so that might get bumped up the line a tad…

Behold the Death Guard!

A massive expansion for the Death Guard has been completed, adding all the remaining characters and a huge block of 20 Plague Marines!

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I love the idea of this big block of Plague Marines, just relentlessly advancing across the battlefield behind Plaguebearers or Poxwalkers, absorbing massive amounts of damage by their armour (need to get Blight-Haulers!) and Disgustingly Resilient. Maybe have clouds of flies spring up to force the enemy to shoot the screen in front of them. And, once they reach the opposing force, just using weight of numbers to roll over them.

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Typhus can help out, of course, though I will likely mainly use the Lord of Contagion or Daemon Prince as a warlord.

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This guy, the Foul Blightspawn, is going to see a lot of use, I think – he not only stuffs up enemy charges (so they fight in normal order, rather than striking first), but his Plague Sprayer is just downright mean. Hitting automatically, it is Assault D6, AP-3 and Damage 3. However, the icing on the cake is its Strength of 2D6. That is a serious character-killer on Overwatch and, given a decent roll, will boil away a Dreadnought and put a serious spanner even in a Land Raider!

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The Plague Surgeon is not only one of my favourite character models for the Death Guard (he looks so serious!), his Tainted Narthecium means he gets Death Guard infantry to re-roll 1’s on their Resilient checks. That can be brutal enough on that big block of Plague Marines, but it also works on the likes of Poxwalkers and Cultists!

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The Tallyman has to be tried out as well, getting those Plague Marines to re-roll misses in the fight phase, and clawing back Command Points 1/6th of the time – and Command Points are always good for Death Guard…

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The Biologus Putrifier is a fun model, but I have a feeling he will be the least used of the new characters. That said… boosting the Blight Grenades of all 20 Plague Marines to Strength 4 and Damage 2 while using the Blight Bombardment stratagem has to be tried at least once…

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As well as the actual characters, there are a few of the Plague Marines I was really quite enamoured with, starting off with this Champion, who is available separately from the box set. I needed another Power Fist-armed champion like a Plague Marine needs Night Nurse, but this model is a good ‘un, and I just love the Nurgling who has pinched a helmet from one of the Plague Marines!

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The Icon Bearer is also available separately (none included in the Plague Marine box set!) and while he is not completely awesome in battle (-1 to enemy Leadership), he provides a nice focal point for the unit as a whole.

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This one is made up from the components in the box set, and I quite like the fly head – my photography is really not up to the task here, as the greenish tinge of the head is a lot more subtle than the green of the armour in real life!

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And finally a chap with a Plague Spewer. The block of 20 Plague Marines has two of these chaps, just waiting to give an attacker a nasty Overwatch-based surprise. Nicely done model though.

And that marks the last big job for the Death Guard. I actually have enough Plague Marines left over from the block of 20 to make another small 5 man squad, giving me four Troops choices now just from Plague Marines (so I no longer have to rely on Poxwalkers and Cultists to pad things out).

On the painting table right now are two squads of Blightlord Terminators (hoping to get those more or less done this weekend) and I still have Mortarion waiting, though I am going to delay him until Duncan finally gets round to doing a tutorial on Warhammer TV. Because Mortarion is worth it.

GW have just announced the Blight-Haulers, of which I will just have to get three, along with the new Lord of Contagion (which I don’t need, but it would be a shame not to pick him up…), both of which I hope to get done and dusted before Christmas.

However, over the next month or so I am going to be switching between armies quite a bit as I paint what I want rather than what I need. There will be a Void Shield Generator coming up soon, along with Heresy-era Space Woof vehicles, new Shadespire warbands, and the final Maggoth Lord!

Sisters of Silence

Getting miniatures done right now seems to be like getting a stone to bleed – but progress, however small, is being made! I actually have a sizeable number on the painting table right now that are at the ‘almost done’ stage, and I am hoping to finish them off this week (especially as I have a rather large model I want to get done next week) but I did manage to polish off these girls:

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Another squad of Sisters of Silence, this time a Prosecutor Cadre, carrying twin Bolt Pistols from Forge World.

Not sure I am planning to do too much with the Sisters (though the Custodes are getting some major reinforcements soon), but they are characterful and very fast to paint. I do have a couple of their Aquisitor transports on the way, so they will be fleshed out a little more.

Next up… a real bruiser of a unit for the Death Guard…