Archives For Warhammer 40 000

Force Requisition Screenshot

Just a small Public Service Announcement for this morning: last night Games Workshop released an updated version of Codex: Space Marines that included the missing audio and Force Requisition feature, the recent FAQ/Errata, plus some additional content by way of an apology.

First impressions of Force Requisition are that it’ll be handy, but it’s not yet complete, and it’s a little fiddly in places. The data for the Elites and Fast Attack slots is missing (it states this before launching), and the “View Collection” button doesn’t do anything. So not exactly ideal! I can only hope this gets addressed ASAP, and that the partial upload is only to get something released quickly while further problems are being fixed.

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2013-09-01 14.07.56

This weekend was the official announcement of the 6th edition update to Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000; White Dwarf was released yesterday, to show off all the new stuff hitting the shelves next week. Pre-orders also went up on the Games Workshop site, and internet retailers across the web (although the popularity and anticipation of the release meant I couldn’t get onto the GW website until 9pm!). This is a big release: Space Marines are the most iconic of Games Workshop’s lines, and by far their biggest selling. The Codex is larger than any they’ve done before, and we got a heap of miniature releases. It’s mostly these releases I’ll be giving my thoughts on, but I might drop one or two others in there!

It gets quite long, so I’ve taken the unusual step of putting it all behind a “read more” link

Continue Reading…

It’s taken around 15 years or so, but thanks to Forge World, there’s finally a Space Marine bike miniature that I like! Continue Reading…

Flesh Tearers

I didn’t manage to post to the blog nearly as much as I wanted to in January, but if you were following along on Twitter, you will have seen plenty of work-in-progress shots. Many of these have been added to the gallery at the bottom of this post. Sadly, I didn’t have time to get “proper” photos of the completed squad before delivering them to my local Games Workshop store for display/entry into the contest.

So, where did I get to?

I finished my goal of completing an Assault Squad. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, to some, it’s quite good for me… especially as January turned out to be a lot busier than I expected! It was also my first time using my airbrush for a whole squad, and also my first time using many new tools and techniques. To say I learned a lot on this squad would be a big understatement!

So what did I learn?

Number 1, was my original choice of base colour for the red wasn’t quite as effective as I’d hoped, and that my pre-shading skills suck. I’d planned to use Vallejo Model Air: Hull Red as the main colour, using some pre-shading with the same colour to provide a deeper colour in the shadows and some white highlights over the grey primer to provide natural highlights to the red. It didn’t work… the shadows got lost when the next layer went on, and once the paint “cured” it went more towards a brown than I was looking for. In the end I sprayed a thin layer of VMA: Fire Red over everything, which brought it closer to what I want. In future I will pre-shade with Hull Red, then base coat with Fire Red.

Secondly, MicroSol and MicroSet make decals not suck!

  1. Prepare your surface with gloss varnish
  2. apply some MicroSet to the target area
  3. apply the decal in the normal manner, carefully dabbing away excess water
  4. apply a little more MicroSet
  5. carefully dab down the decal with a cotton bud, to shape it to the surface, and remove excess liquid
  6. allow to dry, then apply MicroSol over the decal – do not touch after this, for 24h!
  7. (optional) seal with your varnish of choice

I used this process on my squad’s pauldrons, and it turned out looking like the decal was printed directly on the surface.

Anything else?

I tried oil washes for the first time. while they’re pretty good at “lining” details on a model, they can make a hell of a mess if not careful when preparing/cleaning up after you paint session. The ability to erase mistakes using a cotton bud and thinner is really nice.

Cork is awesome as a basing material.

Pigment powders are pretty hard to get right. At first, I mixed some with isopropanol, and applied to the model like paint. It didn’t turn out correct, so I used a cotton bud to apply some powder directly. That looked awesome, but when I applied a final coat of matte varnish, to seal/protect the model, all of the pigment virtually disappeared – even the sealed on stuff.

What’s Next?

February should be interesting… It’s a shorter month, but I have a week off for my birthday, and will (hopefully) be less busy. As a pie-in-the-sky, I’m going to try for an Assault Squad, and 2 Land Speeders. It probably won’t happen, but it’ll be fun to try!

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The sky is not falling. Unless you count the incoming Ravenwing fliers – in a narrative sense – that is. Reaction to the new Dark Angels kits has been… polarising to say the least. Love or hate the new models (personally I like them all except Asmodai – yes, even the Landspeeder, but that’s a rant for another day).

One criticism a lot of people have been most vocal about are the new prices. The Dark Angel kits are generally several pounds more expensive than their “vanilla” conterparts. I guess people are worried this is a sign of an incoming price rise. It’s not. Yes, there will be a price rise in the future, but the Dark Angels are not the harbingers of it. They represent something different. Something I think is a logical and sensible move for Games Workshop.

What the new Dark Angel kits represent is a final end to the “Chapter Upgrade kit”.

Until now, if you wanted to make your Dark Angels look like… well… Dark Angels, you likely would have bought the Dark Angels Veterans set and likely some of the upgrade sprue’s from GW Direct. Ravenwing players would have bought the Ravenwing upgrade sprue’s  This is on top of the cost of the standard kits you were customising.

With the new Dark Angels kits you no longer have to do this. Instead, you buy some of the key units for your army – which you’re likely to buy anyway if you’re actually a collector of the army – and you’ll get enough spare bits to spread through several other units. Lets break it down from the perspective of the new Ravenwing Black Knights/Command dual purpose kit:

Ravenwing Command/Black Knights:

  • 3x Space Marine Bikes
  • Biker Command Squad Parts
  • Black Knight Squad Parts
  • Ravenwing iconography
  • multitudes of extra DA parts (shoulders, icons, weapons, helmets…)

Total: £30 (OMGWTFBBQ!!1!!)

Now lets build as close as we can with the “cheaper” vanilla sets:

  • 3x Space Marine Bikes – £24
  • Ravenwing Upgrade kit – £9 (we could just stop here as a minimum, and still be more expensive)
  • Space Marine Command Squad – £15.50
  • Dark Angels Upgrade kit – £12

Total: £60.50

Your honour, the defence rests.

I’m surprised more people don’t recognise this move towards including Chapter upgrade parts in key kits. It started a long time ago, at least as far back as the Blood Angels. Ask your nearest BA player how many extra Death Company kits he’s bought to give his army a more “flavourful” feel. But no, instead we got a knee-jerk reaction, that frankly, was embarrassing to watch.

Maybe it’s my old-timer/non-competitive gamer view of things clouding my judgement, but I just don’t get it. If you stop and think about it logically, these kits are great value to a Dark Angels collector and/or hobbyist. I can only assume those complaining the loudest were looking to jump on Dark Angels as the latest flavour of the month but have been put off by “sticker shock”. If that’s the case then my advice would be to follow the alternative option you always had: don’t buy the new kits.

 

So I’ve got my inspiration, and I’ve got my list – time to get cracking on these Flesh Tearers then!

There’s going to be a lot of kit-bashing going on, to give me a unique, visually interesting army, so I pick up some Death Company, and 2 Assault Squad boxes to begin with. I’ll also raid my bitz-box for more parts. This brings me over the £50 budget we’re supposed to have, but somehow I don’t think the store will mind someone spending extra…

After diving into my bitz-box I have the following pile of sprues stacked on my desk:

SPRUES!

That’s for one Assault Squad…

I decided I’d make the Melta Assault Squad first, as I found a Combi-Melta for the Sanguinary Priest. I started with the priest, building him from a set of Death Company legs, and salvaged parts from the Command Squad kit, Sanguinary Guard, and Grey Knight Terminators.

Sanguinary Priest Parts

I wanted the squad to look like they were charging into the thick of it, so nearly every model is posed to look like he’s running forward. The exceptions are the two Meltagunners, who are laying down supporting fire.

Flesh Tearers Batch 1

I’ve liberally sprinkled Death Company parts throughout – legs and arms mainly.

Flesh Tearers Batch 2

As everything is going to be at least base-coated using my airbrush, I’ve kept the heads, jump packs, and shoulder pads off of the miniatures for now (truth be told, at this point I haven’t assembled the jump packs).

Here’s the main parts ready for priming:

IMG_0120

 

For my “A Call to Arms” army I had many many ideas floating around in my head, all of them with at least some merit to them. They would all have been something I could have enjoyed collecting and painting. More often than not, it’s a story from Black Library (or another suitable bit of narrative) which provides the catalyst for an army.

Just before Christmas I went on a bit of a reading splurge, which gave me plenty of inspiration. At one point I was leaning towards a Pre-Heresy Salamanders or Pre-Heresy Alpha Legion army. My heart was never truly in it though. My mind kept coming back to Blood Angels, who were always my “first love” in Warhammer 40000. They were the first army I collected, and I’ve always held an attachment to the Sons of Baal.

I couldn’t commit to Blood Angels, as although they are near and dear to me, I don’t like painting them. This left me at an impasse. In the end, my mind was made for me once I read the excellent Flesh Tearers stories by Andy Smillie. I could have the best of both worlds – Blood Angels-esque iconography with a colour scheme I can work with.

But what type of list would I choose? Personally, I pick my lists with a mix of fluff and fun in mind first, then add in some elements to make it perform OK on the tabletop. A Flesh Tearers army list should hit hard and fast, leaving little more than a brutalized, bloody smear where the enemy used to stand. Shooting is something a Flesh Tearer does only when they’re not close enough to rip out someone’s throat.

So a fast moving, assault-based army list it is then! The list would be weighted towards getting up close to the enemy as quickly as possible, so jump-pack equipped troops were a must. For fire support, some Land Speeders would fit well. Finally, my sister got me a Stormraven Gunship for Christmas so I had to include that too.

After a bit of jigging around, here’s what I’ve come up with:

Flesh Tearers Army List (1550pts)

HQ

  • Reclusiarch* – 165pts
    • Jump Pack
    • Hand Flamer

Elites

  • 3x Sanguinary Priests** – 245pts
    • Combi-Melta
    • 2x Combi-Flamer
    • Jump Packs

Troops

  • 10-Man Assault Squad – 250pts
    • Sergeant - Inferno Pistol + Storm Shield, Melta Bombs
    • 2x Meltagun
  • 10-Man Assault Squad – 230pts
    • Sergeant – Hand Flamer + Storm Shield
    • 2x Flamer
  • 10-Man Assault Squad*** – 230pts
    • Sergeant – Hand Flamer + Storm Shield
    • 2x Flamer

Fast Attack

  • Land Speeder Squadron (2) – 120pts
    • 2x Heavy Flamer
    • 2x Heavy Flamer
  • Land Speeder Squadron (1) – 80pts
    • 2x Multimelta

Heavy Support

  • Stormraven Gunship – 230pts
    • Hurricane Bolter sponsons

* I could happily swap this guy for a Librarian, but I happened to have a Jump Pack Chaplain model unopened which I could reuse. Plus the CC buffs from the Reclusiarch could make the unit he accompanies quite nasty.

** Each of the Priests accompanies one of the Assault Squads, and is armed to match that squad.

** This squad was originally equipped with all melta’s, like the first squad, but I’m leaning towards taking the extra templates, to try force as many saves as possible before charging in to melee. I could be persuaded otherwise, if someone can make a compelling case in the comments! Alternatively, an all-Plasma squad?

 

If you have an iPad, and have browsed Games Workshop’s digital product line in the iBookstore, then you may have read (or be aware of) the A Call to Arms series. If not, the quick summary is: each month we follow the progress of four gamers as they collect and paint an entirely new Warhammer 40000 army. They each have a fixed monthly budget which they use to expand their forces.

Personally, I’ve always found this sort of article fascinating. I love getting insight into how others go about their hobby – the mental process behind how they choose, model, paint, and game with their collections. I also love seeing “real” armies – not the bog-standard GW Studio armies on display in the Codexes and White Dwarf battle reports. A look at other hobbyist’s collections are always my favourite articles in White Dwarf, and the reason I read many hobbyist forums and blogs.

Call to Arms - Flesh Tearers

One of the Armies we follow in GW’s A Call to Arms book is Stefano Carlini’s Flesh Tearers.

So what has this got to do with me? For one, I think it’s an inspirational and fun way to approach a new army. Secondly, my Local, Friendly, GW Store is running their own version of Call to Arms to kick off the New Year.

Each month until April, participants aim to paint up around £50 worth of miniatures for their new army (any GW game system). Every month the entries will be judged by the store manager, and there will be a prize for the overall winner. The competitive element is a great motivator, and the whole thing should be  sociable and well-spirited. No doubt there will be plenty of games as our armies grow in size, so it will be win-win for me – I’ll get my new army started, and I’ll get to play more games than I’ve managed so far!

I’ve already planned out my army. More details will be posted in the blog over the next few days, so keep an eye out! I’m always looking for feedback, so once I’ve posted the details feel free to give your opinion!

What do you think? Would you take part in a similar challenge? Are you already? Leave a comment below!

2012 was the start of my hobby renaissance, so it’s fitting I should, in its last days, look back over the year and what transpired. This post was inspired by a similar retrospective post over at Blogs of War. Turns out I painted a lot more Warhammer 40000 miniatures than I realised!

January

January started, as it always does, with lots of self-made promises about what I would achieve over the year. Lots of ideas buzzed around my head, but one stood out over the others: Grey Knights.

I roughed out a vague list based firstly on what I wanted to paint, with only a cursory nod towards “competitiveness”. I could clearly picture in my mind the conversions I wanted, and the overall theme was quite dark, utilising a dark grey instead of metallic silver.

In January I managed to paint one solitary Grey Knight, spending days building up layer upon layer. It was a forewarning to things were going to go for my Grey Knights, but still full of the optimism of the New Year I was unperturbed.

Grey Knights Terminator

February

In February I carried on with the Grey Knights. By the end of the month I completed my first squad of Terminators, and started on my Librarian. I also bought all the sets needed for the majority of initial list; the only things missing were the items I wanted from Forge World.

Grey Knights Terminator Squad

The Librarian was my first foray into the world of Finecast. I’d heard how terrible people were finding Finecast miniatures to be, but to be honest, I’ve never had much of a problem with it. Yes, there are more bubbles than metal figures, but overall I end up taking more time cleaning up and fixing plastic models than I do cleaning up Finecast.

Grey Knights Librarian

February also saw the Warhammer 40,000 25th Anniversary figure released. I queued up early to get mine, and was lucky… I got one of the last 2 or 3. 10 minutes later to the queue and I would have missed out. Mine is still sitting sealed in its box until I work up the courage to commit paint to resin.

25th Anniversary Figure

March

Here is where it started to go wrong for my Grey Knights. I painted a squad of Interceptors, and by the end of the month was left thoroughly uninspired and unenthusiastic to continue the army. I don’t exactly know what happened… maybe I was just sick of painting grey?

Grey Knight Interceptors

Work started to get a lot busier at this point of the year, so I found my free time far more limited than it had been, restricting the time I could spend working on the hobby.

I did manage to squeeze in a small diorama for a competition at the local GW store. The brief was to represent a duel, fit onto a standard Dreadnought sized base. Mine ended up with a theme of “Angels and Daemons”.

Angels & Daemons Diorama

April

In a bid to get back on track, I started my Grand Master conversion, hoping to re-inspire myself. This was the most involved conversion I had done since returning to the hobby, so it took the majority of my free time during the month.

My Grand Master is based on the Finecast Marneus Calgar miniature, and using a head from the Sanguinary Guard, an arm left over from my Librarian conversion, and a standard Grey Knight arm with a Psycannon. Unfortunately I don’t have any pre-painted pictures, so you’ll have to check out the finished miniature below.

May

Mostly I spent my time finishing my Grand Master. I deliberately went for a lighter grey to the rest of my army, to make him stand out a bit more.

Grey Knights Grand Master

For something different to do, I scratched a particular itch I’d been having since the model was released – I painted up Nemesor Zhandrekh, utilising a purple and bone colour scheme I’d liked when I’d seen it in the How To Paint Citadel Miniatures book, applied to Tomb Kings. If I ever put together a Necron army, then it’s likely I’ll do it in these colours.

Nemesor Zhandrekh

June

I achieved nothing hobby-related in June.

Actually, that’s not quite true, I guess. I assembled the remaining models in my Grey Knights army, and gave them an undercoat. The reason being I finally played my first game of 5th Edition – on the night before the 6th Edition rule book came out! I played 3 games, only vaguely aware of the rules. 2 were fun, one wasn’t. All ended in defeat for my Grey Knights (although a couple were close!)

In the end, my Collector’s Edition of the rule book was delayed in the post for a few days, and didn’t arrive until almost the end of the month.

2012-07-02 17.53.28

July

For the second half of the year I drew a line under the Grey Knights. Time to move on. It was in July that my Iron Fists army was born.

2012-07-08 17.15.52

With that said, in July the plan was still to paint the army as Imperial Fists. As it was, I dithered for a bit, being content to assemble the entire army (as it stood then) in one go. This army would be my return to batch painting – complete things to a table-top standard quickly so I wouldn’t lose momentum.

August

Work stole most of my time, so I contented myself with adding a few more bits to the Iron Fists army – and finally deciding the chapter to be painted! I also ordered some weathering powders, to give them a try.

For a bit of fun, I kitbashed an approximation of the Games Day 2012 model using some spare parts. I’ll probably remake this guy later, and take more time and care over it.

Kit-bashed Games Day 2012 Figure

September

Nothing of note here! Work and “life” stole all my time. Booo!

October

It begins! During a week-long holiday I started painting the Iron Fists, and ploughed right through them. I got the majority of the army painted to table-top standard, and where the only things left to do were extra details such as weathering and “special effects”.

2012-10-15 22.22.22

November

Continuing work on the Iron Fists, including planning a few expansions to the army (more dreadnoughts, drop pods…). I apply the first of the “special effects” – the battered and beaten boarding shields.

Iron Fists Boarding Shields

The holiday season starts to approach, stealing a bit more of my time… but I do manage to get in my first games of 6th Edition by taking part in a narrative campaign at the local Games Workshop. The campaign is still ongoing, though I have missed a couple of weeks. I’ll be picking up where I left off in the New Year.

After watching a whole lot of BuyPainted videos on YouTube, I invested in an airbrush, so I can add another skill to my repertoire  Early indications are it is going to require a lot of practice.

IMG_1543

December

Weathering powders start to get applied – starting with the Scouts and Devastators. I start to invest in my camera set-up  so I can finally capture images of miniatures I can be as proud of as I am the miniature itself.

Iron Fists Weathering

I start on those Drop Pods – just the one for now, though I have another 2 in my “todo pile”. All of the base coats are applied using my airbrush. Hardly an auspicious use, but it’s all practice on how to control it.

Thoughts inevitably turn to 2013, and the seed of a certain website is planted into my head… leading us to here!

So how was your “Hobby Year”?

This is part 2 in a look at the changes to our hobby I have witnessed since my return at the start of the year. You can find part one, which looks at the changes in game-play here: On Returning to Warhammer 40000 – The Game. This part is a bit more ranty.

By far the biggest change I’ve noticed is in the general attitude and culture surrounding the game. In many senses it feels less like a hobby, and more like a competition. There seems to be a “win at all costs” mentality in a large section of the gaming community. I don’t want to sound like someone espousing about the “good old days”, but I find, particularly amongst the younger players things are a lot less friendly than they used to be.

Everywhere I look I see people asking for advice on building lists to beat their local “meta” (WTF?) – what happened to playing the game for the enjoyment of playing the game? I get that winning is fun, but it’s not everything in Warhammer 40000. Our game is as much about telling stories as it is about playing to win. It’s why I’m so glad to see the focus on “Telling a Narrative” in the new rulebook.

By all means, play to win, but if your opponent hasn’t still enjoyed him/herself while losing, then you’ve both failed in my opinion.

TrollFace

Trolls. Don’t feed them.

Another cultural change I’m not so keen on is the rumour-mill on the Internet, and the general sense of… entitlement that the more vocal side of the community displays. So you don’t like a miniature? That doesn’t necessitate a profanity-riddled screed about how the model sucks, GW sucks, you’re never going to spend another penny on their products again, an you could have done so much better while blindfolded and with both arms cut off… and so on, and so on. Put your toys back in the pram. Don’t buy the miniature – or, if for some reason you are “forced” to – convert it; change it to suit your tastes. Just stop complaining about it. Likewise, when a rumour turns out to be off the mark, don’t get all tetchy. It was just a rumour, after all!

Relatedly, your army (or an opposing army) is not “broken”. It may need a rules update as we’re in a new rule set, but that doesn’t mean it’s unbeatable, or can’t be won with. Every codex has its faults, for sure, but nothing that can stop you enjoying the game if you don’t let it. View any such “brokeness” as challenges to be met, and a test of your skill as a player. If you can overcome a “broken” army then you can take comfort in knowing you are better than any of the faceless complainers out there.

I dislike “mathhammer” as a way of proving something is awesome or that something sucks. If you’re spending your hobby time working out a stream of maths over the chance or likelihood something will win you your next game, then it’s not a hobby any more. Take what you’re drawn to (my armies mainly consist of what I want to paint), and just play it. Leave the maths for professional poker players!

Right, now I’ve got that out of my system, it’s not all bad, I must say. The hobby is bigger than ever. I can get tips and feedback from like minded people all across the world. I have access to a whole raft of information which just wasn’t available before.

The things I’ve noted a dislike for above are merely the dark side of the passion 40K inspires in its fans. It’s the same passion which drives us to spend hard-earned money and countless hours slaving over our miniatures and army lists. Properly channelled, that passion is what leads to amazingly painted armies and miniatures, brilliantly fun games and camaigns, and what ultimately brings players like myself back to the game after so much time away… and that is no bad thing.