I have been getting a fair bit of gaming in recently (Bolt Action and, this weekend, my Grey Knights – ably assisted by Gerantius – scored a noble victory against the Dark Eldar), but I have neglected to take any photos during the games. Must sort that out and get you some battle reports!
Anyway, over the past week I have made substantial progress on my Fish Pile – miniatures that are half done but just sit on the painting table while other models zip past them and get completed. The longer they sit there, the more they stink, hence Fish Pile (a term that comes from publishing, regarding unsolicited manuscripts).
For me, the big ones were Belial (Master of the Deathwing) and his Deathwing Knights. I already had a custom model of Belial (with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield) but I never really liked it as he stood at least two heads taller than all other Terminators – I’ll see if I can get a photo of that model before I sell it on. When I got hold of the official model, I was excited to replace him, but the enthusiasm waned as I moved onto other projects.
Finally, this weekend, I polished off both him and my first squad of Deathwing Knights.
As for the Knights themselves…
Not desperately excited to do more of these, mostly because of the length of time it took me to do this lot – though I could probably use at least five more. I am also less than happy with the way their shields turned out, which is why they are difficult to see in the photo! However, the shields are kinda a focal point so I should take another look at them.
Changing of the Guard
Never used Deathwing Knights before and so I made a momentous decision this weekend – the armies I play at any given time are normally dictated by what I have in the office at any given moment (as the armies are stored in the cabinets here). However, there is limited shelf space, so I tend to keep some armies at home. For quite some time, my Dark Angels have been on ‘garrison’ duty in my home cabinets, but I am going to quietly retire my (somewhat large) Ork army for a while and bring my Dark Angels in – a process that may take a few days of box carrying as my Dark Angels force is much, much larger than any other force I have (about 4-5 companies worth!).
I was also somewhat inspired by this thread on Dakkadakka, where people were having a discussion to try to form a consensus on which was the most powerful Codex (and which were at the bottom). Their rankings go something like this;
1. Craftworld Eldar (no surprises there)
2. Tau, Space Marines, Space Wolves, Necrons, Inquisition
3. Astra Militarum, Dark Eldar, Grey Knights, Blood Angels
4. Dark Angels, Orks, Tyranids, Sisters of Battle, Chaos Space Marines
Now, I do have some issues with ranking Codexes this way – at least when you are not in a top tier competitive environment (by which I mean US tournaments – UK tournaments always used to be a lot lighter in approach, though that may have changed in the 15-odd years since I was on ‘the circuit’). Player ability counts for a great deal in this game, no matter what people may say on forums, and I always despair a little when someone puts up a post about how they are getting beaten consistently by X, Y and Z, and ask for suggestions about what new army to try. Honestly, if you are having consistent issues with any army, it may just be that the fault is not with the Codex!
Note: Certain army builds create exceptions to this, sure, but in friendly games it really should not be much of an issue – the error of margin within each Codex is wide enough to be able to handle most opponents.
Now, this is all opinion to some degree, but I have tried to get the consensus of the thread in this list. And I am sure my regular Dark Eldar opponent, Alan, will be hooting with laughter about the Orks on the bottom tier when he reads this. Also, the Necrons are based on the older Codex not the one just released, though I hear tell that it remains quite sexy when it comes to combos and options.
For my part, I don’t believe the Inquisition ranks that highly as a stand alone force, though there is some sickness present. However, my main issue is with the Dark Angels at the bottom of the pile.
Sure, they lack some options from the main Space Marine Codex (items like the Centurions and Stalkers that they should, perhaps, have access to, given the volume of old tech deep within the tunnels of the Rock). And the main argument with the Ravenwing is that the White Scars are better – but that hardly makes them poor.
My view is that the Dark Angels are basically a Codex Space Marines chapter – with a few bits left to the side and a few other bits added. Nothing earth-shattering on either side of that equation (well, except maybe the Nephilliam, quite possibly the worst flyer in the entire game), but also nothing to bring them right down.
And, granted, I am not playing in top tier tournaments!
Anyway, the plan is to gradually build up my Eldar (and a Catachan force, though that is a longer term project) while playing the hell out of the Dark Angels. It will also give me a chance to take some photos of this force and show some aspects off, like the radio-controlled Land Raider (really!).
I’ll leave you with the first of the Dark Angels to arrive in the office – suitably enough, Belial and his Deathwing Knights on Alpha Strike!