In the world of 40k, things are moving a quite a pace and there have been quite a few developments over the last few weeks. There have been 2 new factions released, in the form of Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus, although both are really part of the Adeptus Mechanicus, plus we now have 3 new Knights, and 4 new Imperial Assassins, and then there is the new Craftworld; Eldar Codex.
In the days of old, we would have had to wait several months to get all of this lot, but these days, things are moving a little quicker. This is good, it means we don't have to wait all year to get some new models and updates, but its bad as codexii are being updated a lot more frequently. It also means that I struggle to keep up with everything that's going on, mostly as I don't always get masses of time to write, so I try to get a few posts sorted at a time, which doesn't really work with the pace of releases!
I'll start with the new factions, The Skitarii and Cult Mechanicus are both mini codex type armies at the moment, although there seems to be a strong suggestion that they will be rolled in to a full Adeptus Mechanicus Codex at some future point. This makes sense, but we will see. I am not really a fan of the new units, although the two factions are different in appearance I don't like either. The Skitarii are just to robotic, especially the legs. Now I get that they are supposed to be enhanced humans with masses of techno implants, but I just cant get it. If I had the money and the inclination, I would try and graft a unit of Cadian legs to the bodies of the Skitarii, but alas I don't have the inclination or the money, so for the moment I will pass. As for the Cult Mechanicus, what can I say, proper 60's robots, namely Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet. Not a fan either way, I haven't seen the rules for them, but I defiantly don't like the ascetics.
Rules wise, the Skitarii and what's been leaked for the Cult Mechanicus, the are very powerful armis. I read a recent tournament report for a Skitarii with BA allies using a drop pod list and they placed second overall, in one game almost taking out 3 knights in one turn. They are not really a glass hammer like Quins, as they have shooting and combat units, plus with all the haywire and the rules for close combat they are going to be a very hard army to play. The same seems to apply to Cult Mechanicus units, which, if the rumours are accurate, then they will be very powerful with lots of ap3 shooting, but will be expensive. Personally, its just another couple of armies that I will struggle to fight against.
As for the Knights, what can I say, aesthetically they are pretty much the same as the previous two, so no big changes. The main extras are the top weapon, giving some skyfire or extra punch, and the introduction of a CC variant, the Gallant and a proper full on ranged variant, the Crusader. I like the Knights, I always have, and now that the Crusader is here, I am defiantly putting it on my wish list, as I can sit back and dakka stuff, always good. The addition of the extra knights gives the faction a full range of options, with battle cannons, Gatling cannons, and melta, along side a full on CC variant. I'm not sure how many you can get in a 2000pt list, at a guess probably 4, so you couldn't get all the variants in. But I think that it would be a mistake to take and all knight list anyway, personally, I would run a lot of guard, mostly as cannon fodder and screening units.
One release that has got me excited is the release of the new Assassin game. Although I wont be buying the game, I will be looking at the assassin models when they are released, specifically the anti psyker Culexus. I still plan on making my own Vindicar and possibly a Eversor. The actual game does look good, but I don't think I would really ever play it, and I don't think its worth buying just to get the new assassins, unless it turns out that you cant buy them without getting the game, but hopefully that wont happen. Hopefully, someone I know will buy the game and I can have a go.
Well, we are not at the big one, Codex Craftworld Eldar. This was a big one, and it seems that far from nerfing the Eldar, they just shifted things around a little. The serpent shield was nerfed to one use only, not my choice, I would have massively reduced the range, to about 12", which would have given the choice of firing the shield to destroy the enemy, but if you don't destroy the enemy it would leave you naked to retaliation. I would also have made it so that it would affect any unit within the arc that you fired it, not just enemy units, if that makes sense to everyone? Along side the obvious other nerfs, the main issues as the massive amount of D weapons that are now available to the Eldar, and as we all know D weapons are the spawn of the devil. Oh, and I forgot about all the scatter bikes as well. Well, D weapons are not to much of a problem for me, with all the inf that I run in my main guard list, D weapons are no more dangerous that many other weapons, against armour heavy lists it could be a major problem, but no more so than some of the Gravspam marine lists are. The scatter bikes are more of an issue, lots of fast moving high strength shots on fairly resilient and manoeuvrable platforms. If the points were reasonable or the amounts limited then I would say that this was not a problem, but they are cheap and you can take a whole host of them.
Having said all this my main issue with all the new codices is the way the detachments work, although this is less so with the BA codex. With both Eldar and Necron codices the overall detachment gets some buffs, yet each individual part of the detachment also gets buffs, such as the Guardian Host getting +1 WS or BS. It all adds up to a very powerful couple of armies. BA's didn't get this at all, although they did get some good stand alone formations, and many of the old codices, even the likes of the MT and IG ones, which were the first of the 7th ed codices are being left behind. Hopefully with the new release schedule and the talk of more campaigns there will be some updates to the older books. The next big one is the updated SM book, so I'll be waiting to see what happens to the FoC there!