General’s Handbook 2017 & Open War Cards

When the last General’s Handbook hit the shelves it marked a true shift in Age of Sigmar and how the game was played – will the dual release of the General’s Handbook 2017 and the Open War card deck have the same effect again?

It is time for us to see…

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I’ll say one thing before kicking off… this book is packed with cool things to do in the Age of Sigmar and if it is any indication of how GW will shake things up on a yearly basis for the game (and for 40k, with their similar Chapter Approved book), then the future is looking very bright for Warhammer players of any ilk.

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As expected, the book is divided into the three styles of play; Open, Narrative, and Matched Play. It starts off with Open Play, which most players are just going to skip over – but wait! As well as the general mash-up most players seem to think Open Play is (it really does not need to be that way!), the new GHB introduces some variants that are, in the very least, interesting.

For example, using the Open War cards (scroll down for the review on them), you can construct an Open War campaign with the winner of each battle able to influence the direction the campaign goes in. That might be worth a real look.

There is also ideas for Open War Tournaments – I am less enamoured with that as I am not sure Open Play and tournaments really mix. Still, it is there if you want a swing at it.

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Open Play also embraces Triumph & Treachery which, having played at the T&T event at GW HQ, I can thoroughly recommend. More than just a multiplayer game, T&T actively encourages you to make alliances, bribe opponents, and then treacherously turn against them throughout a battle. Get four or five people all doing that round the same table, and you have a real battle on your hands!

This is done through the use of Treachery Points that are accrued through the game and then spent to nobble your opponents through acts like bribing enemy wizards not to cast spells, placing a turncoat in an enemy unit, or placing a booby trap in front of a unit about to charge…

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GW then go one step further… Triumph & Treachery campaigns. This plays just like the map campaign of the first GHB but with more treachery. That kind of campaign is going to be chaotic in the extreme, but it has to be a lot of fun, and will suit less serious (more fun!) players nicely.

That concludes the Open War section and then we launch into Narrative Play – and I am all about the Narrative Play, as regular readers will know. There are a few pages on forging a narrative and building themed armies… which is okay, but the first real meat comes in the form of new Time of War sheets that now cover each of the Mortal Realms.

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This is useful (I could certainly have used it during the Realmgate Wars), though there is a lot that will be familiar when playing in Aqshy or Ghyran – if you have used Time of War sheets, you have seen many of the rules presented here before. That said, we have our first real look at rules for Shyish, Hysh and Ulgu, which I will certainly be pulling out in forthcoming games.

We then get six Battleplans intended for Narrative Play… and they are all pulled from the Realmgate Wars books. That was disappointing, and I am trying hard not to use the word ‘filler’.  However, we then get a definite plus in the form of siege battles.

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Now, don’t expect anything too complicated here – this is Age of Sigmar, and counting up ‘tunnelling points’ as you try to undermine an enemy wall would not have been the way to go. Instead, GW have adopted a system based upon the siege in the Realmgate Wars – however, rather than just lifting the simple matrix system, they have built upon it. You still focus on starving, battering or tunnelling (if you are the attacker), but the effects of each are now more varied, so even if you concentrate you starving your enemy out, you may till have some success on battering down their walls.

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Two Battleplans are provided so you can start your siege immediately.

By this time, we are less than half way through the book, and now it turns to Matched Play, the bulk of the General’s Handbook.

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There do not seem to be too many changes to the actual core of Matched Play, though there are two new Rules of One (you cannot re-roll or modify the dice roll to determine who starts each battle round – bad news for Seraphon – and no Artefact can be taken twice in an army).

You also have the rules for Allies in your force, which basically allow you to bypass Battlefield roles to take a small detachment within your army – so, if you have always wanted to add a couple of Gargants to your otherwise ‘pure’ Ironjawz, it is now a simple matter. A great move to inject some variety and get new models on the table without having to build a full force around them.

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There are also six new Battleplans intended for Matched Play. This I like, having a new set of Battleplans for tournaments every year (that is how they are going to get used, after all), meaning even competitive play will not be static. There are already well over 100 Battleplans for Age of Sigmar and in a few years time, that number will increase to a truly ungodly amount!

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The Pitched Battle profiles (the points for units) have all been updated – it looks like just the current range is included (I hear rumours that the old ‘compendium’ forces will still be ‘legal, just removed to a download – which is great, as that leaves more room for everything else in this book), but older ‘direct only’ models are still there, such as the Orruk Warboss on Wyvern.

One brilliant little touch on these pages are those stars next to certain (many!) units. This denotes something has changed since the last GHB and that, frankly, is a mark of genius on the part of the designers (really simple things can be genius because the rest of us miss them…). If you want to know if anything has changed for your favourite unit, there is no need to sit down with both books and cross-reference everything, it has all been done for you.

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There is also just one Warscroll update, for the Grundstok Thunderers. This is nice as it goes, but I cannot help thinking that the GHB is not the place for this – think a few years ahead, and these Warscrolls could really start crowding out other material, when they would be far better placed as downloads… like every other Warscroll.

Finally, we get into the new Allegiance stuff. Every Grand Alliance is represented, as before, though there have been some small tweaks (don’t worry, Destruction players, Battle Brew is still there). What is new is that the small alliances are now represented – not all of them (perhaps more will appear in GHB 2018?), but enough to get you going and you do, of course, still have the Grand Alliance to build upon.

For example, Clans Pestilens and Skryre now have their own Allegiance abilities, but Verminus does not.

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There is always going to be someone who gets missed out with this approach, but I don’t think there will be too many glum faces, especially as a force like the Free Peoples get attention…

One of my favourites, the Seraphon, have this treatment, and all you lizard guys will not be disappointed – you can now teleport any unit across the table and unbind spells regardless of range… This is on top of Commmand traits, which are specific to Slann, Saurus and Skink, and new Artefacts (the Coronal Shield, which blinds enemy units, has potential, but I think a lot of people will lock firmly on the Prism of Amyntok and take advantage of the D3 mortals it kicks out during movement phases…).

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Not enough for you lizard players? Well, have a couple of new Warscroll Battalions as well. Not every allegiance gets these, but there are enough scattered about to keep things interesting. The personalities in the Battalions will be familiar to anyone following the Realmgate Wars storylines and though they take the form of the ‘mega-battalions’ that have appeared in past Battletomes, the required models are not too onerous at all. The Fangs of Sotek is a nice addition to boost a Carnosaur, especially when added to the abilities of the other Starhosts within the Battalion, but the Dracothion’s Tail might be worth a look – if someone can ‘figure’ this Battalion out for tournaments, summoning might be a real thing.

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As I said earlier, if GW can keep reinvigorating their games by these yearly books, I think they are onto a winner. Even if they release a ‘bum’ year book, you will only have a few months for things to change again rather than waiting years for a whole new edition. What is even better is that, points aside, this GHB does not really replace the old one, so they can build into a full library of ‘cool things to do in Warhammer’ over the years (that does not apply to Matched Play so much but if you chose to be a competitive only player, well, that is your look out – you are missing out on a lot!).

When GW talk about ‘game changing, again’, they actually mean it. This book is more of an evolution than the last GHB, but it is building on solid foundations and is all the better for it. At £20 for 160 pages, the GHB 2017 gets a big thumbs up.

 

Open War

The Open War card deck comes in GW’s new style ‘cigarette packet, like those of the recent 40k card decks.

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The rules to use them come, predictably, on the first card, but the rules take up four sides – now, it would have been very easy (and, indeed, lazy) for GW to simply print them on two cards but, instead, they made a little ‘gatefold’ card instead. A tiny touch, but a nice one.

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When using the cards, you divide them up into five decks; Deployment, Objectives, Twist, Ruses and Sudden Death. Draw a card from the first three decks, and you have a Battleplan all set and ready to go!

You then count up Wounds in your armies. If one player has more, his opponent draws a Ruses card. If he has more than twice the Wounds, his opponent also draws a Sudden Death card.

There is a great deal of variety here – the Objectives cards create the victory conditions, and they can be as obvious as placing objective markers, to King Slayer, which gets players to count out the Wounds they dish out, doubling their score if they nobble the enemy general.

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Twists create adverse conditions players must either get around or find someway to use to their benefit. Dead of Night, for example, limits the range of all spells and attacks, while Battle Frenzy boosts all melee attacks.

Ruses are used to boost weaker armies, and basically represent inspired tactics like Outflanking an army or bringing in Reinforcements (recycling a dead unit). If an army is really outclassed, it can used Sudden Death cards to focus all their efforts on a single objective to immediately win the battle – Assassinate allows you to destroy the highest Wound Hero or Monster in order to win, while Endure simply means you need just one model on the table at the end of the fifth round.

Assuming you can avoid the real twits in your group (five Bloodthirster man) who just want to win at all costs, I think this is a great little system for pick up games. There is plenty of variety in this card deck, and there is no reason why any two games should repeat themselves, a hallmark of Age of Sigmar.

GW have avoided printing the text too small (unlike their recent Warscroll cards – grrrr!) and, at just a tenner, I don’t think you can go wrong…

Coming Soon to Prospero

I was going to do a quick review of all the new goodies in the latest White Dwarf – but stuff that, you’ll see them for yourself on Saturday, and I don’t think it is really anything that you haven’t really seen before.

No, what we will do instead is have a look at the new Forge World miniatures that have just been previewed on Warhammer TV that are going to be destined for my Prospero forces!

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First up… Custodes Terminators – as Mr Cottrell himself said on Warhammer TV, they are bigger and golder than normal Termies!

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Forge World being what it is, they are going to force the more wallet-conscious to make a choice – Custodes Terminators can also have Firepikes (did I get that right?).

But the model I am really after…

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A Thousand Sons Praetor!

I was going to try to swing the Warhammer World exclusive Praetor for my Thousand Sons but sod that, the Space Woofs can have him – this one is going to be my new general!

Speaking of Space Woofs, they also had a quick leak for their Terminators..

What was that? You still want to know what is in White Dwarf? Well, the new Hellblasters, Intercessors, and Inceptors are arriving this month (I want the latter especially, tooled up with plasma!), and the Grey Knights and Chaos Space Marines have the odd Codex coming (typically, I have recently sold my Grey Knights, and I went Death Guard for Chaos, so the generalised Codex is less interesting right now – though I have had a hankering to do Kharn and his warband in the past…).

The Hobbit gets a blind troll and a large budgie, and the new Forge World Thunderhawk looks a bit tasty.

Oh, and apparently the XBox Blood Bowl 2 is going to be getting an update soon that adds a bunch more teams, including Amazons – now that I am interested.

But I think that is a decent enough round up of White Dwarf. I am now going back to gazing at that Thousand Sons Praetor…

Review – Codex: Space Marines & Datacards

I’ve got the new Codex: Space Marines and you haven’t!

Ahem.

So, the 8th edition Codex: Space Marines has plopped onto my desk and, as we have done so many times before, we must ask ourselves the deep, moral question – is it any good?

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First things first – this book is jam-packed full of stuff. Jam-packed. Rules, datasheets, background… you name it, they probably squeezed it in.

Second, the artwork is continuing in GW’s current rise in quality and is fairly fantastic.

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So, this Codex: Space Marines covers all the ‘general’ chapters (Ultramarines and their successors), along with some of the more esoteric ones, including the White Scars, Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists, Black Templars, Salamanders, Raven Guard, and Iron Hands – and their successors. If you are a die-hard Dark Angels Blood Angels, or Space Woofs player, I am afraid you are going to have to wait your turn, but there is still plenty of new things to get your teeth into (which we will get to soon enough!

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This book assumes only base-level knowledge, so you have an introduction to the Space Marines themselves, how they are built (with differences for the new Primaris guys),  chapter organisation, and the Indomitus Crusade.

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Take a closer look at the Ultramarines 2nd company above – at first glance, it is the same organisation as we have seen before, but on closer inspection, you can see the Primaris Marines are riddling the company, and there are now 12 squads.

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The Ultramarines get a fair few pages to themselves (of course), but the other chapters get a whack at the Grot too, with squad markings, banners, major battles, and successors.

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There is even a section for ‘other’. It is good to see the Mentor Legion back and representing (yes, I am old enough to remember when they first appeared in White Dwarf), though there is no mention of their special gear (I have a feeling GW does not really know what to do with them yet – there were discussions about revisiting them during the Paul Sawyer-era of White Dwarf, but nothing came of it then either).

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As is usual for Codexes (and Battletomes, for that matter), each unit gets its own write up to place it within the context of the army, starting with heroes, and going through to squads and vehicles. You will notice that squads are now grouped together, such as with the Close Support squads above – Inceptors, Reivers, Assault, Centurion Assault, Bikers, Attack Bikes, Land Speeders, and Land Speeder Storms… all Close Support now. Other squads are divided into Battleline, Fire Support, and Veteran.

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All the special characters are also covered, from Mr Guillman himself to Chaplain Grimaldus, who proceeds the Black Templars specific Emperor’s Champion and Crusader Squads.

IMG_9180There are plenty of photographs of Space Marines in the ‘hobby’ section, as you would expect and while I have not yet gone over all of them with a magnifying glass to spot new models, there are some that leap to the eye, such as the Primaris Chaplain and Apothecary.

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You will also notice some new equipment fits as you flick… OMG, Inceptors with Plasma Exterminators, Inceptors with frigging plasma weapons!!!

Ahem. Do excuse me. But I think I have spotted a new favourite unit for some people…

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All those goodies aside, it is the rules you want to know about, eh? Just what does the army list have that is new and exciting?

Well, for a start, little has changed in the ‘core’ army rules. And They Shall Know No Fear is the same as the Index, and Black Templars don’t get psykers. Of course.

Once again, I have not gone through the Datasheets yet with a fine toothcomb but, oh my, some things have already leapt out at me.

Aggressors and Reivers get lots of new options. Of course they do, the three-pack of Reivers was only ever going to be representative of the unit. The Flamestorm option on the Aggressors could be a lot of fun, though I suspect the Auto Boltsorm Gauntlets and Fragstorm Grenade Launcher (sorry, they are not Krak Missiles!) combo will be the preferred option. Unless you play Salamanders.

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The Redemptor Dreadnought is looking sweet, with the Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon (Heavy 12) or the Macro Plasma Incinerator (Heavy D6 and can be supercharged) leading the way for me at the moment.

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Inceptors, as we saw earlier, can be equipped with dual (two of ’em!) Plasma Exterminators, each Assault D3 with normal plasma damage which can, naturally, be supercharged.

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And the Hellblasters are not forgotten either, and they very much retain the plasma theme – you have seen the Plasma Incinerator already, but has Sir considered the merits of the Assault Plasma Incinerator? Not enough oomph for Sir? Then might I suggest the Heavy Plasma Incinerator? For the entire squad?

Suits you.

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And there is what may soon become everyone’s favourite new tank, the Repulsor, which is… just bedecked with weapons. It is a fairly short-ranged attack and, once you move beyond the twin-Lascannon, the longest ranged weapon is only 36″ and that is a heavy stubber designed to take down flyers. You’ll be closer and more personal with this tank which, considering it deducts from enemy charge rolls against it, may not be a huge issue (it has the same Wounds as a Land Raider anyway).

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Beyond the Datasheets, we have the reference section, which includes all weapon stats, and Stratagems unique to Space Marines and a few for specific chapters. White Scars, for example, can spend 1 CP for Born in the Saddle, which lets a Biker unit shoot and charge in the turn. Minor things, but very characterful, and way better than formation rules hat kick in all the time.

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Relics are back, again with some chapter-specific choices, to be given to any Space Marine Warlord.

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A nice surprise was an expanded Librarius Discipline, now bumped up to six powers. You get the three from the Index, plus Psychic Scourge (roll off against an enemy unit to deal mortal wounds), Fury of the Ancients (mortals wounds to every enemy unit in a straight line), and Psychic Fortress (auto pass Morale tests, and save against mortal wounds from psychic sources).

 

Conclusion

At the start of this review, I asked whether the book was any good. In a sense, that is irrelevant, because if you play 40k and have Space Marines, you are going to buy this book anyway (I presume you are only here to get a peek at it before it appears on shop shelves proper). This is one of the easiest sells GW has on their hands.

However, ignoring any rules issues that will need some games on the table to unearth, my opinion is a good one. The art and layout is top notch, the background comprehensive, and there were enough surprise ‘goodies’ to get the attention of even a hoary old veteran like myself.

If I absolutely had to level a criticism or two… well, all the points values are separated from the unit entries as they are in the Index. However, a) this is not an issue for me as I am one of those freaks using Power Levels (!) and b) I would be amazed if GW did not change this format in Codexes down the road – they have been very responsive to this kind of thing with the Age of Sigmar Battletomes, which now look very different from their first appearance, though I think the four already-announced Codexes will all follow the current pattern.

Second, there is no real hobby section, which is a shame. They have gradually been adding hobbiest bits and pieces to the Battletomes, and the latest (Kharadron Overlords) had full painting guides and even a little conversion section. It would have been nice to see that here but, on the other hand, they did have a lot of ground to cover with this book.

 

Datacards

So, I picked up the new Datacards as well.

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First impressions – this is a very ‘deep’ box, meaning it has a lot of cards inside. Second, while the box itself is not as durable as the (frankly bullet-proof) sets we had in the last edition, the ‘cigarette packet’ format somehow feels a bit more upmarket. Your mileage may vary on that one.

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Inside, there are three types of cards – the Tactical Objectives (which I never use – never really got round to that style of play), Stratagems (useful, because they are just the thing that can be forgotten during a game), and all six of the new psychic powers, plus Smite.

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Overall assessment – there is nothing wrong with these cards which, for a game accessory like this, is going to be all you can ask for. They are not going to shake your games to their foundations, just make playing a little bit easier.

Job accomplished on that one.

Now… where is my Codex: Death Guard, eh?

 

Horus Heresy: Space Woofs

So, here is me, a Dark Angel player through and through… and I have just painted my first Space Wolves in over 30 years of gaming.

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And I think they have turned out rather nicely!

I really wasn’t going to touch the Horus Heresy (it is not as if I don’t have enough projects clicking along right now) but I started reading the novels, ‘acquired’ the Calth and Prospero box sets, and ‘accidentally’ put the Calth models together. It might have stopped there but I started reading up on Prospero, and thought that a campaign based on that might be fun.

So, expect some Thousands Sons to appear in the new future too…

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I picked up the Prospero Painting Guide, which also incidentally includes painting guides for every legion, and was a little dismayed, as every scheme used lining and edging – which I hate. However, I decided to do these Wolves as suggested… and it was not as bad as I had thought! In fact, they were positively speedy to do.

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In a nutshell, these models started with a Mechanicus Standard Grey undercoat, and got an all over Dawnstone. Balthasar Gold did all the goldy bits, and then Agrax was used over the gold and in the cracks of the grey. Runefang Silver highlighted the gold, and then a little Dawnstone tided up all the mistakes. A light drybrushing/edging of Administratum Grey more or less completes a Space Wolf.

After that, metal bits (Leadbelcher), gun casing and the odd detail – and done!

For the bases, I tried something new, moving onto the Armageddon Dust texture paint. Agrax goes over the top of this, and then drybrushing with Screaming Skull. Add the odd tuft of Mordheim Turf, do the base rim in Steel Legion Drab, place transfers, and the models are finished.

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Even something like the big Contemptor was done in exactly the same way, and I availed myself of the Forge World transfer sheet for the Space Wolves.

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With those two squads and some serious support done, I just needed to add a leader – the Captain from the Calth set.

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Before doing more Space Wolves, I am going to be doing some Thousand Sons, using the remainder of models in the Calth set. This is breaking down as a Chaplain, a Tactical Squad, and two support squads – one with Meltaguns and the other with Missile Launchers. Then the Prospero box set will get opened and the models split between the two legions with a bias to the Thousand Sons, as the Space Woofs will be getting help from the Sisters and Custodes.

I am also trying the ‘cherry red’ approach to the Thousands Sons, though I am not sure how that will turn out as I am not using an airbrush (I might be forced to when I move onto vehicles).

Lots of experiments happening with these models!

Skirmish Warbands

After reviewing Age of Sigmar: Skirmish yesterday, I thought it might be fun to explore some starting 25 Renown point warbands for campaigns, to see what is possible…

 

Stormcast Eternals

Lord-Relictor (Merciless Killer, Blessed Amulet)
2 Liberators (Warblade and Shield)

At this level, you basically have a choice between a Lord-Relictor and a Knight-Azyros to lead your Stormcasts but while the Azyros certainly has a great deal of mobility (objectives are a thing in the Battleplans), the Lord-Relictor can heal himself and others, which is a rare enough trait in Age of Sigmar.

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The Merciless Killer command ability will mean, so long as the Liberators stay close, their Warblades not only hit on 3+, but they wound on 3+, removing the absolute bane of the weapon (Stormcast players will know what I am talking about). The Blessed Amulet gives the Lord-Relictor another wound, which will buy him a little time to heal himself.

 

Sylvaneth

Branchwych (Masque of Horror)
3 Tree-Revenants (Waypipes)

Overall, this warband is a trifle fragile for my liking (Mystic Shield and cover will offset that a little), but the Branchwych is actually not bad in close combat once removed from the full-on battlefields of Age of Sigmar – so long as she does not get hit too much (getting hit a little actually helps her in a fight)…

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For a command ability, I might select either Tenacious Defender, to keep her alive just a little bit longer (maybe) or Indomitable Will, to properly shut down any enemy wizardry. The Masque of Horror is hardly reliable, but it will be very funny when it kicks off and may keep the Branchwych alive for a round longer.

Instead of three Tree-Revenants, we could instead have four Dryads, but if we assume there will be an absence of Wyldwoods in a desert city, they become less attractive. Waypipes can also lead to various shenanigans involving Tree-Revenants bouncing around the table, which is always useful in a Battleplan.

 

Phoenix Temple

Anointed (Tenacious Defender, Soulsever Blade)
3 Phoenix Guard

I haven’t got the models for this warband but I spied it in the book and it might just have to be done!

The Anointed does not have the strongest attacks (Rend -1 is useful, but Damage 1 will mean he has to work at things), but he has four of them (and the Soulsever Blade re-rolls failed wounds), and a 4+ save combined with a 4+ ward means he is survivable enough. He may also be able to stay out of trouble altogether, with his 2″ reach, though that may be more difficult to pull off in Skirmish.

The Phoenix Guard themselves have the same 4+/4+ armour, though their attacks are a little weaker. That said, the Anointed’s command ability means they get to re-roll wounds and, with two attacks, that could make a difference. However, they are mainly about survivability.

 

Scourge Privateers

Black Ark Fleetmaster (Merciless Killer, Soulsever Blade)
8 Black Ark Corsairs

Fun fact – the Fleetmaster is the cheapest Hero in Skirmish! This means you can have a bigger warband than other people at the start of a campaign…

As befits a low cost, the Fleetmaster is… average. However, he does have some nice abilities to bring him back up to speed. Re-rolling hits with his cutlass is nice as he has three attacks (make it a Soulsever Blade, and he gets to re-roll wounds too), and his Murder Hook at least gives him Rend. His cloak means he already effectively has Tenacious Defender, so Merciless Killer seems fitting, as he is bound to be close to at least some…

… of the real heroes of this warband, the eight (eight!) Corsairs. Their close combat attacks are nothing special, but if they all have Repeater Handbows, kicking out a total of 16 shots every shooting phase (albeit at 9″ and with a 5+ to hit), they are going to worry the 3-model warbands at least a little!

 

Fyreslayers

Grimwrath Berzerker (Inspirational Fighter, Blessed Amulet)
Hearthguard Berzerker
Vulkite Berzerker

At 25 points, you get access to the full range of Fyreslayer Heroes, one of the few forces where this is true in a starting level warband in Skirmish. However, the Grimwrath Berzerker is notoriously funny to use, so we’ll go with that!

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He already starts at 6 Wounds, so we’ll give him the Blessed Amulet (7 Wounds!) to really take the mick, and Inspirational Fighter re-rolls hits of a 1 one all nearby friendlies, which Fyreslayers always need).

Then it is really just a case of wind them up and watch them go. The Grimwrath is just rude in close combat and while the Hearthguard Berzerker only has one attack, at Rend -1 and Damage 2, he can put a Stormcast down with one solid hit. The Vulkite I would give the Bladed Slingshield, for extra mortal wound goodness on the charge.

In building this Warband up, I might be tempted to start bringing in some Kharadron Overlords and maybe even some of the Ironweld Arsenal for some trans-Duardin fun.

 

Ironjawz

Warchanter (Inspirational Fighter, Blessed Amulet)
2 Ardboys

There is not too much variation or subtlety in this warband, but that is an Orruk for you (and if you are sticking to 25 points, this is the only combination you can have as a pure Ironjawz force).

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The two Ardboys are likely to be surprisingly effective (especially if one is a Boss and the Warchanter can get the other excited), while the Warchanter can at least hold his own against low level Heroes.

Being a 6 Wound Hero, my eye immediately goes to the Blessed Amulet for the Warchanter and, again, the re-rolls of 1 on missed hits from Inspirational Fighter will work well so long as the warband can stay close to one another.

 

Nurgle

Lord of Plagues (Tenacious Defender, Blessed Amulet)
2 Plaguebearers

This warband looks more to the future, as it can lead very nicely into both more Daemons of Nurgle or, alternatively, Blightkings – you can even sensibly mess around with Nurgleised Slaves to Darkness.

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This warband is all about the survivability, starting with the automatic healing of the Lord and going on through the Disgustingly Resilient ability of the Plaguebearers. The Lord of Plagues ability and artefact are similarly intended to keep things alive and fighting.

 

Clans Pestilens

Plague Priest (Crusader, Oblivion Charm)
8 Plague Monks (Book of Woes, Doom Gong)

I am not saying this warband will be good – but it is large!

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The lack of a save on the Plague Monks is a big issue, and Bravery 6 on the Plague Priest means that once they start running, they will keep on running! However, the Plague Priest himself has is prayers to keep things interesting, can actually do some damage with his staff (especially if he is charging), and if the Plague Monks can outnumber selected enemies one at a time, you might be surprised as to what they can bring down in combat.

The Plague Priest has the Crusader command ability to ensure his little horde can get into combat and take advantage of their charge bonuses, while the Oblivion Charm (which explodes if he is killed) is suitably vicious enough for a rat.

 

There are, of course may, many different combinations for warbands across the board – the Bloodbound might well have the greatest variety at their hands, but the Herald of Slaanesh and her pet Dragon Ogor could be fun, or maybe the Darkoath Chieftain with his 9 Chaos Warhounds, or the Cairn Wraith who leads 13 Zombies….

You can have a lot of fun building warbands!

 

 

Warshrine of Tzeenth

…and my forces of Tzeentch are complete. For now, at least.

Last night, the Warshrine of Tzeentch got completed.

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This is a model that has been on my ‘to do’ list for over a year, so it feels quite good to finally get it done. In fact, I had actually picked up five (five!) Warshrines, with the intention of getting one done for each power (plus one unaligned/Everchosen), and this now means I have Tzeentch, Nurgle and the unaligned ones done. I am in no hurry to do Slaanesh, but I now have a hankering to get the Khorne one done, especially as I have a spare Slaughterpriest who would be just perfect as a rider.

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For the Tzeentch Warshrine, I simply used an old metal Chaos Sorcerer, who works quite well with the actual shrine moved forward and the book placed on it rather than the axe.

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For colours, I basically used the same scheme as the rest of my Tzeentchian Slaves to Darkness, but I allowed colours from the Arcanites to appear too, such as the skin of the bearers (same as Tzaangors), the off-white robes of the sorcerer and the green on the Tzeentchian symbol.

And that all means my forces of Tzeentch are (finally) done (we’ll ignore the ten Kairic Acolytes that came with Hammerhal for now, but they are destined to create a third unit for the Arcanites)!

The next week is going to be all about the Stormcast Vanguard Chamber, and I have a fancy that I can get them all done before the Kharadron Overlords land on my desk, meaning I can get cracking with the new models immediately. However, if that is going to happen, I have to start the Vanguard, well, right now, so I’ll bid you farewell…

Legions of the Everchosen

My painting has sloooooowed right down of late, it cannot be denied. There are, however, some legitimate reasons for this – I did have a massive painting spree during the Christmas period, studies have jumped up a level in complexity of late, work is busy, and there is less pressure on me to get things ready for campaign play (all models done for the next 20-odd battles!).

However, I have managed to get another set of models down that have been on the painting list for, well, forever – enough models to round out the Legion of the Everchosen, or unaligned Slaves to Darkness by another name.

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This brings me up to 11 Chaos Knights, 36 Chaos Warriors, plus a few extra characters and gribblies. Which makes for a nice rounded force to add to other Chaos armies when Archaon takes to the field (or sends his minions to do his bidding.

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All these models use the Varanguard paint scheme, as laid out in the Everchosen Painting Guide, linking them all to Archaon’s mob, as well as being a good ‘neutral’ scheme for unaligned warbands.

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However, you will note the Everchosen’s symbol on the standard of the Chaos Knights – taken from the transfer sheet that comes with Battletome: Everchosen. A nice little detail that further puts these guys with Archaon.

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Now we get to the good stuff. One of the Battleplans in the Flesh-Eater Courts book features unaligned Chaos Warriors going to war with a Ghoul King while carrying a Warshrine – so, one had to be added!

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I have a plan to do a Warshrine for each of the Chaos Powers (Nurgle already done), and I wanted to make little changes to each to make them look more like the God they follow, mainly by altering the head on the daemon holding up the icon, the icon itself, and the priest at the front. However, being unaligned, this Warshrine could stay ‘vanilla’.

 

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The Soul Grinder is not needed for any planned campaign battles but, well, how could I not, eh? This was an eBay purchase from quite some time ago but, as I wanted it unaligned, it was waiting until I did the rest of these models, so everything could be done in one hit.

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And finally, a Lord on Daemonic Mount. Because you can never have too many Chaos Lords.

 

So, what is on the painting table right now? Well, as mentioned earlier, there is no real pressure at the moment to get things done for the campaign, but I would like to ‘keep pace’ with all the new stuff getting released for Age of Sigmar so it does not build up (like the Beastclaw Raiders and Boinesplitterz did). This means all the new Tzeentch stuff, the Stormcasts coming next week (not worried about those, Stormcasts are dead quick to paint) and I have a feeling new Duardin will be popping their heads up in the next month or two…

I have started putting the Tzeentch Arcanites together (starting with the Acolytes) and I ant to get the Blue Horrors and Lord of Change done sooner rather than later. However, while they are getting put together, I am starting work on a whole bunch of Plague Toads for Nurgle (they have been lying around in their bags for 18 months now!), plus a little (?) something special for my Destruction forces…