Tuesday 29 November 2022

The new guard, definitely not the same as the old!

So the new guard codex is sort of here, I mean it is here, it's just not here for everyone yet. I'm not going to go off on a rant about how I don't like the format of special boxsets and early issue codices, as that's a whole post in itself. What I am going to write a out is my first impressions of the codex on to my own forces and how it's going to impact them in general terms and then I'll go into more details over the next few post on each individual army list and talk about how they are each going to have to change and evolve. 

Now, a quick recap, I have three main army lists, my Hjaltland Light Infantry, Hrossey Mechanised Yeomanry and Dagr Ormr Militarum Tempestus strike force. All these forces are formed differently and have a different method of waging war, however, there are a number of units that are shared across the forces. 

The main unit that can be found in all three are the veterans. With the disappearance of this unit from the codex there is a whole in all the lists, although they for filled different roles in each list, from specialist tank and monster hunting units through to basic protection and blocking troops. For two of the lists, the yeomanry and scions, these forces can be switched across to one of the various new infantry options, the Hjaltland LI are a little harder to deal with as they had a very specific roll that can no longer be done by any squad apart from a full 10 man Scion squad maybe.

This issue with the veterans in compounded, especially for the Hjaltland LI, by the changes to the command squads. Previously these had been either fully fluffy units with all the options or very specialised units with special weapons. Now, with the restrictions to the special weapons, a lot of these units are now out the window. For the Hjaltland LI the melta armed vets were supposed by a plasma armed command squad, forming a potent strike force dropping out of Valkyries. Now I'm really going to have to have a retying about how to form a tank and monster hunting party in the Hjaltland force but also how to form counter punch and specialist units in the others as well.

The third biggest challenge is the loss of conscripts, although this really only affects the Dagr Ormr scions, as I was planning of running several squads to act as an screen and base line to support the scions when they dropped in. I will now have to look at what options I have available from the four infantry options instead, although this is likely to drop the overall number of troops by half. The change to scions, from troops to elite is actually not much of a problem, as they were being run in a separate detachment anyway and so will be able to stay as they are, which is helpful. 

One other change that is going to affect me but in a lesser sense, is the loss of special weapons squads. Now, I have several of these built but I rarely use them, usually defaulting to command squads, due to bs3+ and having 4 weapons. The fact that I have about 7 or 8 of these squads spread across my three armies means that I now have a significant amount 9f special weapons that will need a home. 

There are a couple of other issues that I will need to work around, such as commanders without command squads and the scions special weapons loadouts but these should be solvable. I'll go in to more details with the Hjaltland light Infantry and the issues and possible solutions.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

New guardsmen scale

 So the new guard are here and as lovely as they are, there are a few problems with them. The biggest problem for me.is that there are no new Catachan! If any kit could do with an upgrade it was the Catachan models and this shows in their rules, which quite frankly, are rubbish. Anyway, the new Cadian sculpts are here, as well as the new Kasrkins. I had a quick look around the net for comparison photos and found a few around, some of which I've copied across to here.

First up is a look at the new Kasrkins, which are huge! A standard Cadian guardsman is about a head shorter than the new Kasrkins. This was the first comparison shot that I saw, before the models had been released and I was slightly worried that all the new Cadian were going to get the Primaries treatment. The proportions of the new Kasrkins look good and it looks like a very nice model overall but I do time how tall it is compared to the Cadian. That said, it doesn't look as bad next to the Krieger. I don't actually recognise the other model, maybe a GSC model?

The next two photos are of the new Cadians and when I finally got a look at these pictures I was pleasantly surprised. The new Cadians, while different in proportion are very similar in size. They are more "true scale" and less of the old Heroic scale, which is just going to make the Catachans look even more comical! In the picture above you can see that they match up in height quite nicely to all the similar human models, with various examples of guard, a heretic and AdMech skitarii, with a Primaries marine for scale. 

I do like these models, I think they are very nicely done, they match nicely with the old models but are updated to take advantage of new technologies in plastic molding and modelling.

Finally we have this guy and WTF? If I was worried about the Kasrkins, what the hell is going on with this guy? He looks to be a clear head and shoulders about the guy standing next to him and yes, I see he's on his tactical rock but still this guy is huge! The models looks very nice but the size difference just doesn't do it for me. 

Overall I am really impressed with the new guard models, even if I have no plans on getting any of them. I am hopeful that we will get some new Catachans soon and when we do they will look every  bit as good as the Cadians.

Friday 18 November 2022

Evolution of an army - Deathwatch

This is a wander through the process of building my Deathwatch army, as despite putting all my first born marines in to hibernation, I seem to have ended up with a 2000 point army of first born Deathwatch.
The story starts where many good stories start, the "for sale" section. Someone at the club was selling half of the Deathwatch Death Masque boxset, the Deathwatch half obviously. The original intent was to just build a kill team with some spare options, however, things kind of got out of hand! 

Although there is only 5 models here, I think I actually built 6 models. The Death Masque box came with 5 marines and Artemis. I'm pretty sure the other guy I built was a infurnus heavy bolter. I built these to fill out the requirement of a kill team from the 2018 rules.

I added the psyker next, I don't remember where I got this model but it came fully painted and based, ready to play. 

Next up I added the dread, mostly at the insistence of my little one. I've painted up all three options for his weapon arm, with plasma, lascannon and assault cannon. Luckily there was no need to magnetise anything as there is a peg that sticks out that the arm just push fits on to. 

Three marines missing, infurnus heavy bolter, bolter marine and a blackshield with storm shield

Once I had done all that I was left with loads of parts, which seemed a waste to me, so I decided to use up a bunch of bodies that I had lying around from the Betrayal of Calth box. Using these bodies and adding in all the various bits and pieces I managed to make up a number of extra bodies, for a total of 21 (including the Libby). An at this point I thought I was done.

And then came the Kill Team: Elites expansion and so I dug back in to the bits box and pulled out the vanguard vets that also came with the Death Masque box and put together 5 vanguard vets to fill out the elite slots that were now available in the game. And then i was certain i was done.

a couple of guys missing here, another heavy bolter and a marine

The thing is when you have little ones (or not so little ones at this point!), they sometimes want to join in the hobby. So I had a few spare bits lying around and my eldest wanted to build some models, so I game him the bits he wanted and let him get on with it. Later he decides he actually want Tau and so the marines he build are now surplus to requirements, and with no where else for them to go, they get folded in to the Deathwatch, adding half a dozen of so extra guys.

It's at this point that I looked at the force and thought, I've quite a little force here and I could probably put together a nice little 500 point force or so for 40k but I've only one real HQ. So a rummage though the bits box and 8 bash together a Lieutenant and Captain with jump packs.  

Then you remember you  had a reshuffle of your kill Teams a while back and there's a bunch of models without a home at the moment, so you fold them in as well. This however means a little bit of a reshuffle is needed within the Deathwatch and you realise that there are a couple of extra models that are missing from the collection and could be useful, so you raid the bits box again and build an ancient and champion to fill out a full command squad. 

So that brings you up to 48 models total and 1988 points. Bu wait! When reading the codex you realise that you can take a squad of terminators with mixed assault and ranged weapons and you have 5 termies laying around from an old kill team. Now technically these are actually part of the old Dark Guardians army and so are only on loan until I get around to digging that army out of storage and finishing it off, but that might be a while at this rate!

So there it is, going from a small 6 man kill team force to a fully fledged 2000 plus points (2170points) army, with out any real plan. Now some.may have noticed that there are some non black models in the pictures and these will remain painted in their original colours and I will fudge together some form of lore to allow them to be there, something like them being there at the direct request of the inquisitor.


Friday 11 November 2022

Catachan characters finished

 A couple of weeks ago I posted up about my Chatachan characters, two of which came from my Warhammer+ subscription and one I got for my birthday. I have since cancelled my Warhammer+ subscription, mostly as I don't think there is enough content on there to justify it. But anyway, the characters. 

I spent a lot more time on these three guys than I would normally spend on models, even characters, and used a number techniques that I don't normally bother with, as I really wanted them to be the centre piece models they should be. 

Colonel Iron Hand Straken was first up, as the only HQ choice here. With his arm and flesh to do, he was probably the hardest one to paint up as well. I went for a base coat on all colours, followed by a wash and a dry brush of the base coat. After this it was in to highlights and edge highlighting along side some detailing work. 

Personally I really like the results and am pleased with how well I think I've done with them. There are a few bits I think I could have done better, such as the sword pommel, which looks better in person but not as good as the skull he carrying around. I also think the silver edge highlighting could be improved, especially on his shotgun, but with the wash and dry brush step you can still see all the details. 

Sly Marbo was up next, sort of, as I actually painted all of the in batch until it came to the final bits and pieces, like the Ork head. The first think that has to be mentioned and possibly the most obvious thing on the model is the eyes. Yes they are very, very squiffy. I have still not yet mastered eyes, I tried several times to get the eyes to line up and look normal but this was one of the best I could manage and they are still rubbish, part of the reason I usually don't bother with eyes. Again the main points of improvement are the silver on the gun, as I think I could have done it better and made it pop more. You'll probably notice that all the guns are just bare metal coloured, I did this as I thought that, as jungle fighters, they would just keep there weapon very minimalist, as not bother with anything but basic aesthetics. The other thing I could improve on is the edge highlighting of the packs and webbing. Unfortunately I didn't have that wide a range of colours for it, so I had to do the best I could with what I had and I think I could have done with a brighter brown for the every last highlight. The same could be said with the greens, as I only actually have two different greens and a third one would have been useful, either has a mid colour or a bright highlight.

Gunnery sergeant Harker is the last model. This model has some different challenges to the others, with the mass expanses of flesh and the high gun that dominates the model. The process with this model is exactly the same as the other two and again, I think that I could have done some.more to emphasise various elements. The muscles turned out quite well I think with some good definition, likewise with the trousers. The gun is the weakest point of the model, not including the very wonky eyes, I seriously need to get better at doing eyes. The gun could have been edge highlighted more as it's still quite dark and while the shading on it does give definition, brighter edge highlights would have made it pop a little better. 

All in all I do really like these three models and I'm quite proud of them. They will hopefully be hitting the table top in the not to distant future, once the new codex comes out.
Other models that I've been working on are my Deathwatch and head a little preview;

Yes, I know it's not black but there's a reason for that, which I'll go into in detail in a later post, but this is the standard bearer for the Deathwatch fortress. A veteran of many battles, Scion of Sanguinius, brother of the Eagle Knights, beholden to Inquisitor Sophiana and Ancient of Watch Fortress Abyss.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Lord solar Leontus

 Ok, let’s get this out the ways now, I think the horse is stupid. I like the idea of this model, just not the sculpt. As some one on YouTube (on the Kill Team Casuals podcast) it looks like a rejected AoS hero model, with some bionic legs and I have to agree. While I appreciate it is a very detailed and beautiful looking model, I just don't like it. If I ever get one, I will paint it up very differently, a lot darker with only a hint of gold.

There is no doubt that it looks better in the battle scene below, but most of that is probably due to filters and lighting that you won't get on a tabletop.

As I said the detail is amazing, there are so many fine details throughout the model, from the gloves to the holster and on to the base. It really shows off the level of detail that GW can get in their models these days.

However, I still just don't like it. If I was to make one of these models, I would look to use one of these models as the base;

I really like the stormcast beast, but I suspect it will be to big. Any of there 3 models will add that sci-fi look to the mount far more that a robot horse does. Anyway, I doubt I will bother with this model either way. 

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Rogal Dorn tank

 The new guard tank has had a big reveal recently and as usual I’m a little late to the party. Now I’ll be upfront about this tank from the beginning, I am not a fan of this thing. I think that it is very in keeping with the whole guard aesthetic and will fit in quite nicely with the other tanks, as shown below but I just don’t like certain elements of the design and I really don’t think it was what the guard range really needed. The guard are really lacking in Fast Attack options and there are two very obvious vehicles that could fill the gap nicely, the Taurus ( along side the venator version) and the centaur scout vehicles. Anyway, that’s for another post, let’s have a look at this beast. 

There is no doubt that this tank is going to be s pretty good model to have on the tabletop. It’s going to be trouble for your opponent and an asset to you, however I just don’t quite see yet how it’s going to be significantly better that having leman Russ’s on the table. I know it’s got more wounds, 19 to 14, and it’s battle cannons are better but I still think at the moment that is rather have three russ’s than two dorns. 

There are also several design elements that I don’t like, the main one being those stupid stunners on the front. They just look silly and pointless and even if I get one, I will not be putting them on there. One of the other bits I don’t like is the stubbier gunner on the back. I know it sort of fits with the WW2 / Vietnam aesthetics but I just think it looks silly. If I do get a tank, I’ll be kit bashing it so that it has 3 stubbers being used from the copolas. Other bits I don’t like are the oversized gunshield and the fact that someone’s put the exhausts on upside down. I know it’s the 41st millennium but I still think gassing your own infantry as they follow your tank is a bad idea. 

On the other side of things, there are parts I do like, the biggest being the fact that the tanks sits nicely within the existing range. Overall it’s a nice looking tank. 

As I mentioned, it fits very nicely in the current range of tanks, both in size and design wise. 

I still think that redoing the Macharius tank from forge world would have been a better idea. Anyway, talking of the baneblade, we got a little bit more information on the new data sheet and it is a nice little buff. 

A few extra wounds, a bit more toughness and the turret weapons rules are going to mean that this monster is getting close to where it should always have been. I have always enjoyed fielding my Hellhammer and I will again with the new stats, especially as the sponsors are now effectively free!

Friday 4 November 2022

Boarding action walls

 Another short post today, catching up with the previews that were shown off several weeks ago now! A lot has happened In these last few weeks it's been difficult to keep.uo.with everything that's been going on. Anyway, this is one of the things I have been most hyped about out of the previews we saw. I have always wanted a Zone Mortalis type of setting and have spent many hours trawling eBay, shapeways and other sites looking for affordable walls to make a board with and now GW have released there own version. 

It's not the cheapest around, it's GW, it never was going to be but its definitely not the most expensive or the worst looking set I've come across. That I also like is the fact that it contains the boards as well, even if they are slightly weird sizes. I don't know what it is with GW and their board sizes but why they just can't stick to one set of sizes and be done with it I don't know. 

I would.love to be able to get two sets of this but I think I can only justify buying a single set, maybe I can pick up some of the kill team stuff going cheap at some point but I doubt it. Even 500 point battles will be good fun I think and be a real change from the normal missions. I don't think I will bother with the book that's supposed to accompany the terrain, I'll either just pinch the rules from somewhere else or just make up the bits I need to to get it to work. Either way I'm excited about getting this set and getting some games it. 

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Kill team shadow vaults

So it's been a while since Shadow vaults came out but I haven't had an opportunity to look at it and give my thoughts as there has been a shed load of guard leaks to look at. We'll start with the overall box and then look at the new Kasrkins. I'm not looking at the necrons, as I don't have any real thoughts on them and no desire to get them.

The box contains the usual board, terrain and models. The board and terrain is apparently mostly the same, with just some scatter terrain having been changed. I think this is a good idea as it means that you don't need to buy multiple boxset to get everything, just one and then any teams you want. Again, I won't be buying this box set. I do like the look of the Kasrkins but I don't want the necrons and I would like more terrain then this provides. Which is where the other terrain box come in, but more on that later. Overall I do think this box is a good set and a good step in the right direction for GW and kill team. I don't like all the individual boxes with different terrain and rules, having the same terrain in every box mean you can choose what you want and just get the bits you actually want. 

As for the teams, the Kasrkins look great, not great enough for me to buy some but I really do like the sculpts.

Again, as with most of the new kits, the detail is amazing, really high quality and it looks like it's a proper multi part kit and not mono pose. 

The options available in the squad is good as well, with all the special weapons available plus some kill team specific as well. The grenadier model is probably the worst model out of the lot, the extra armour that it's wearing just looks a little bit silly. 

These models are a great update to the original models, as with a lot of the new guard models, they are a faithful revision rather that some reimagining or interpretation of the old models. I think GW have really hit the nail on the head with these recent guard releases.