I’m not one for New Years resolutions, but I wanted to set out a few hobby-related goals for 2019. The main driver for these is to clear some of my backlog, and also to let me play some games of Warhammer 40,000 for the first time since near the end of 7th Edition.
Finish Knight Household
Finish Adeptus Custodes Battalion
3x Guard squads
2x Vertus Praetor squads
1x Terminator squad
Finish Adepta Sororitas Battalion
3x battle squads
<stretch> Celestine + Geminae
To achieve this, I think I’m going to have to cut down on the number of one-off miniatures and competition entries I paint.
The first batch of Primaris Space Marines are just about finished, with just a few details and the decals to finish before basing.
One of the choices I had to make was what secondary colours to use for contrasting and spot colours. The main armour is fairly monochromatic, being essentially black and bone-white. The main contrast would come from the gun casing, for which I chose a fairly bright orange. Orange isn’t a colour often seen on Space Marines, so this in itself helps the models stand out. To offset this, purple was added as a spot colour, used on lenses and purity seals.
I decided these marines would be from the 3rd Company, so red was also added to the palette. Each marine will get a red trim added to one knee (still to do), and the shield of the Ancient was painted red to match this.
The Lieutenant was given some basic freehand on his tilt-shield, also integrating the red of the company. I’m not happy with the blade of the scythe, so I plan to repaint it.
The Intercessors finally received their helmets. Once the shoulder pads are added, I think these will look quite intimidating on the tabletop!
With the first batch nearing completion, I needed to start preparing the next wave! Needing a break from Intercessors, I decided to build something fun – a Redemptor Dreadnought. This kit was a joy to build, going together in just a few hours. Many of the parts are designed to remain unglued, so they can be reposed. I didn’t bother with this, as it would make things more difficult to paint. A couple of parts are unglued for now so I can paint them seperately.
With the Dreadnought assembled quicker than I thought it would be, I moved on to some Hellblasters. I have to admit I think I prefer this kit to the Intercessors. I might swap some of the bodies around between the two kits.
With these built, I just need to build five more Intercessors and I’ll have everything for Armies on Parade assembled. I might make these from the models found in the 40K starter sets, to add some variety. My plan for the wider army is for each ten-man Intercessor Squad to be half multi-part kit, half “easy to build,” so there is a better mix of poses throughout.
I finally managed to get hold of a can of Zandri Dust spray, so I was able to finish the base colour of the board. Everything was sprayed lightly from above, leaving the grey showing in recessed and in random areas of the walls and roads. The important thing was to make sure it wasn’t uniform, for a more natural appearance.
As luck would have it, the sun was setting as I took a picture of my progress, giving me this shot of the building glowing in the sunlight:
From the other side, things looked a lot more washed out:
The marines started to get their base coats and initial airbrush highlights.
At first I wasn’t too happy with how things were looking, but after sleeping on things, and adding in a few more highlights to the characters, and spots of other colours, I’ve come around to how they look.
I’ll be giving them an all over wash of black ink, to give more shading, contrast, and richness to the colour. That should help a lot, even before I add the remaining “main” colours.
Over the weekend I plan to build the remaining marines (5 Intercessors, plus 5 Hellblasters), and the Dreadnought. If I can get the black armour finished on everything in the next few days, it frees me up to concentrate on other details and finishing the board.
An important milestone has been reached in my Armies on Parade entry – the majority of board construction is finished, and painting has begun! It’s still only a few layers of paint, but every bit counts when there’s only 39 days to go!
I primed the main building separate from the rest of the board, so I could reach tricky areas easier. I then glued it to the board.
As the Sector Imperialis boards have a tonne of moulded detail, I had to find a way of hiding gaps between the walls and the ground. This was done using a combination of Polyfilla, textured paste, and various grits of sand and gravel. I managed to enlist a couple of small helpers with this, asking them to take some of the grit and (literally) throw it around the building — something which they quite enjoyed!
Once this initial layer was dry, I added some larger dollops of filler, and pressed a variety of objects into them: leftover floor sections, pieces clipped from spare wall sections, plastic H-beams, and a number of skulls. These then received the same shower of grits. These represent piles of larger rubble which have been pushed out of the way to make the building somewhat usable as shelter or storage.
The next morning, once the filler had dried overnight, all of the grit was covered in Terrain Fixer and left to dry for a couple of hours. Then, it was on to priming! The pictures below show the board from all sides, so you can see the details.
Yes, I intend to fix that gap…
Priming the rest of the board finished off the can of Chaos Black I’d started with the main building. With the undercoat dry, I started the first layer, based on Peachy’s Kill Team board recipe, by spraying everything Mechanicus Standard Grey. Oddly, this only took about a third of a can.
With the main board making progress, it was time to move on to the other elements. the barrels, crates, and barricades all received a coat of Mechanicus Standard Grey, apart from two of the barrels which were sprayed Corax White.
But an Armies on Parade board needs an army, doesn’t it? I finished assembling the first Inceptor squad, before priming them along with the Lieutenant and Ancient I’d previously made. The shoulder pads and helmets are separate for now, as they’ll be primed a lighter colour.
I laid out the rest of the scatter terrain I envisioned, and used some stand-in miniatures to approximate how I wanted the army itself to be displayed. All in all, I’m pretty pleased with how things are looking. Now I’ve just got to finish everything! But at least I have a plan to work to…
I’ve finally filled in the missing corner. Everything has been cut, glued, clamped, and filled… I’ve just got to sand everything down to size.
Last, but not least, the main building feature is 99% complete. I might add a couple more bits of broken columns, and there’ll be some rubble added to the floor on the board, but otherwise its ready for the next stage.
It’s bigger than I realised during assembly, running nearly the full width of the board, even when set at a diagonal. It’s almost amazing how the scale seems to change as soon as it’s placed on the board. Suddenly it becomes this huge, looming, monster towering over the battlefield.
I’ll be adding rubble and scatter terrain to break up the rest of the board, and make it look more “lived in”. Everything will be integrated using texture paint and extra grit and sand for variation. That’s the next task.
Basic construction of the base has been finished, apart from that one empty corner. I’ve got a couple of ideas of how to fill it, I just haven’t settled on an option yet.
I started off by gluing the section cut from the Realm of Battle board to the plywood, and clamping everything together. Once the glue dried, I covered the sides and holes in the board with a hefty amount of Polyfilla.
After leaving everything overnight to cure, I used an electric sander to smooth everything off and trim off the excess plastic. A new floor for the main building area was created out of textured plasticard.
Time to check everything would fit into the case, and to see how tall I could make the buildings. It turned out I had 11.5 inches in height I could use, which was plenty. The new Sector Imperialis buildings are ~5 inches per level, so I could comfortably fit a two-story building into the case.
Now it’s on to the fun stuff – the buildings! I started by laying out a rough floor-plan, to see how many sections I needed per side. I ended up not using all of the sections on the left side.
With two sides built, things are starting to take shape. I removed the door built into one of the wall sections, to give another “access point” to the building.
Here I’m test fitting the upper floor, to make sure everything is square. As I’d been using a spare floor section to try line-up the wall sections throughout, things were pretty good.
By this point I was starting to think about the walls on the upper floor, but it was time to pack everything away for the night. Shortly after taking this picture, I realised I had to rip the column tops from the right-side wall as I remembered I was going to extend the floor out that way.
This is the mess from just from scraping off mould-lines in one sitting. Time to get the vacuum out…
My plan is to finish construction of the buildings and ruins this evening. Providing I get the missing corner filled with something, I might manage to get the first layers of paint on the board by the start of next week. I really need to get the board finished soon, so I can move on to painting the army. There are only 45 days to go until Parade Day!
Obviously, this is the Internet, and specifically, this is the online 40K community. Where previously we had people saying we needed a revision/new edition to “fix the imbalance,” “add clarity [about what is/isn’t official],” “make the game fun again,” etc, etc, etc… we now have much wailing and gnashing of teeth. The sky is falling! This is the “death” of 40K! It’s a “money grab.” Insert your favourite Games Workshop hate here!
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Ask for a new edition; get a new edition; complain there’s a new edition.
So what do we know about what’s coming? Two main things:
There’s a “new” psychic phase, just like the magic phase in Warhammer Fantasy.
You now have the option of building your army in one of two ways: “Bound” (which uses the Force Organisation Chart), or “Unbound” which is a free-for-all, take whatever you want affair.
That’s pretty much all of the interesting details we know. If you want my opinion (and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t) these are awesome changes to 40K. Why?
I hate the current implementation of psychic powers in the game. Having to remember to use different powers at different times in different phases is a massive pain in the hoop. Not using psychics right can lose you a game, yet at the moment they’re so fiddly that it’s all too easy to forget them until it’s too late.
I put “new” in quotes above because a dedicated psychic phase is not unheard of in 40K. We had one in 2nd Edition, and while it added an extra phase to the game, it was beautifully straightforward and it worked. I realise that at least half the player base isn’t old enough to have played with a dedicated phase, and so it’s a big, scary change… but trust me on this: the game will have one less potential point of frustration.
The FOC (or lack of it)
For years and years and years, players have been complaining they can’t field certain “fluffy” armies on the table because the force-org restrictions wouldn’t let them (think Space Marine “Reserve Companies” and the like). Guess what? You just got your wish. Got the points for it? By the sounds of things now you can take it in an “Unbound” list. What was the first complaint about this change? That it would be the death of fluffy armies. Seriously.
If you’ve been paying attention to Jervis Johnson’s column in White Dwarf, he’s been telegraphing such a change for months.
The one fair criticism which could be levelled at this change is that it opens the door for all sorts of spam-list abuses. Is that a game issue, or a player issue? Has everyone lost sight of “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”?
Not to mention, we haven’t got any details of the “bonuses” given to Bound (FOC-using) lists. These could still turn out to be an equaliser.
If you’re playing amongst your good friends then sure, take that ridiculous list as a one-off, for the lolz. But taking it to your FLGS for a pick-up game? That makes you That Guy. What do we always say? Don’t be That Guy.
As for tournaments, I imagine they’ll be Bound-List-only, perhaps without the bonuses, depending how the chips fall on those. That way no one has to get their knickers in a twist any more than they do nowadays. It’ll be the same 40K the Internet Community have been anticipating the death of for more than a decade.
In a nutshell, I like this change because it brings so much freedom to the game. I can have a load of fun playing more-or-less what I want, without having to tick boxes on an FOC that’s grown to sprawl over an A3 page when printed… if I want to. Or I can have fun playing with a “cohesive” army and reap some in-game benefits for doing so. The choice will be mine to play the game how I want. GW have actually written into the rules what they’ve been trying to tell us for years: have fun, playing the game your way. We won’t know for sure until the rulebook hits the shelves, but as I said on twitter yesterday, 7th Edition sounds like it’s going to be a hoot to play.
Addendum: My Wishlist for 7th Edition
If I can wishlist for a moment, here’s some more changes I’m hoping to see in 7th Edition:
Less “Ignores Cover” – at the moment, there are far too many ways to apply IC, which essentially makes cover useless as a game mechanic. No cover makes it harder for assault armies to do their thing. Would need to be an Errata item for existing codexes though.
Less low AP – massed AP3/AP2 is too common, and exacerbates the prevalence of Ignores Cover, making anything without an Invuln save far too squishy.
No more random charge distance – seriously, I hate this bit of 6th. I need no other justification other than it just feels stupid to play.
Special Rules do not affect Allies, unless specifically noted – 80% of shenanigans gone in one fell swoop.
Assault from Deep Strike – would make for some epic moments, and would be a significant boost for assault armies. Definitely of benefit if Ignores Cover remains as-is.
I doubt any of these will happen, but a guy can dream, right?
I have been out of the hobby for a long time. This was made clear to me when I realised the majority of the regular players at the local Games Workshop store weren’t even born (or were still in nappies) when I last rolled the dice in anger.
When I last played properly, Warhammer 40,000: 2nd edition was still the dominant ruleset (3rd had just come out when I put down my heavy flamer template). Dark Eldar were brand new. Necrons only had about 3 models in the entire line. Space Marines consisted of: Ultramarines, Blood/Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and miscellaneous. Sisters of Battle had their own codex, and it was good. Templates were bigger. Wargear came as cards. We needed dice with more than 6 sides. The world – and the game – was a very different place.
Change is inevitable, particularly if anything is to survive as long as Warhammer 40000 has. 25 years is a long stretch for what is realistically a niche game/hobby. Off the top of my head, here are just a few things which are entirely new to Warhammer 40,000, from my perspective:
Grey Knights having a codex entry (with points costs), never mind an entire codex
The Force Organisation Chart
Missions, objectives, warlord traits, etc.
Other notable changes include most special rules (sniper, feel no pain, eternal warrior, and so on), completely revamped movement rules, cover working completely differently, close combat (sorry, “assault”) changes… I could go on all day, to be honest!
Some of this change is good. Assault is generally a lot quicker and more streamlined when compared to 2nd edition. No more (as an example) Space Marine assault squads with 10 different weapon combinations, due to itemisation streamlining. Less rediculous weapon effects – prime example being armour penetration against vehicles (D20 + D4 + D6 + 10 for a chainfist… don’t even get me started on lightning claws!). Many parts of the game are more sensible than those of old. The FOC is a brilliant addition to the game in my view.
Other changes I am on the fence about… generally because it seems at times I’m rolling dice for the sake of rolling dice. Random charge/run lengths are the first thing which comes to mind. The various terrain tests are another. Random missions, random deployment types, randon warlord traits, random psykic powers, random special rules and effects, objectives… on average I find it can take around 20 minutes of faffing about rolling on various tables and setting up stuff (other than my army) before I actually get to play the game. While on the one hand it leads to more varied games, on the other it takes an unnecessary length of time in my view.
One thing I have an impression of – and correct me if I’m wrong – is that overall, points costs are lower than before. This might be why games seem to be a lot bigger than I remember. Time was you’d have ~2 squads, a character, and a cheapish vehicle in an average game (1000-1500 points or so). Now I’m seeing games with scores of infantry, a couple of characters, multiple vehicles and creatures, all at around the same points level as before. The jury is still out on whether I see this as a positive change.
Nightfighting I hate with the heat of a thousand burning suns! But that’s just because I’ve never really wrapped my head around it in a way that doesn’t have me reaching for the rule book every 5 minutes.
Originally this post was a lot longer, and took a look at the cultural changes I’ve seen within the hobby since my return, but I decided it would be best to split this off into its own post, which you can read here: On Returning to Warhammer 40000: The Culture.