Tag Archives: Genestealers

Beyond Chalnath: Kill Team Dreams

Last week Games Workshop previewed Chalnath, the next expansion to be released for Kill Team. Kill Team, for those who’re unfamiliar, is the skirmish answer to Warhammer 40k and often seems to have been regarded by its parent company as very much the junior sibling, making do with hand-me-downs in the form of repackaged models, rather than dedicated releases of its own. With the release of the new edition a month or so ago however the company appears to have finally taken the bull by the horns and started giving the game the kind of attention that it deserves. Releases have been promised for every quarter year for the foreseeable future, with new warbands likely to be a regular occurrence. Already we have seen Ork Kommandos and Death Korps of Kreig, and now Chalnath brings us T’au Pathfinders fighting Sisters of Battle Novitiates.

Sisters of Battle

These, however, are known quantities and I’m not here to talk about them. Instead join me as I speculate wildly, and entirely without basis, about what might over the horizon in the unknowable mists of the future! 

The Emperor’s Finest

The process of turning a male adolescent into a fully fledged space marine doesn’t take place over night. As well as all the surgery and genetic tinkering involved the subject also requires a great deal of training. Youngsters who are undergoing this process are known as scouts and tend to be given the kinds of missions that call for a bit more stealth and a bit less brutal shock and awe than those undertaken by their elders. Missions, in other words, that are perfect for games of Kill Team. Indeed this isn’t a million miles away from the Sisters of Battle Novitiates already announced for the game.

Wargamers are an argumentative and opinionated bunch but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who regards the current space marine scouts as anything other than dreadful. Squat, ugly and unlovable the dustbin of history has been calling out to them from the very moment they were released. 

Ugly Scout

Lately the old fashioned, oddly short and ill-proportioned space marines of yesteryear have been pushed aside in the release schedule by a new breed of space marines, the bigger and better looking primaris. Amongst these newcomers the scout’s battlefield role – sneaking around performing ambushes and acts of sabotage ahead of their fully initiated brothers storming in all guns blazing – has been given over to fully trained and developed specialist space marines like the Eliminators, Infiltrators (below) and Incursors. I must admit I’m not a big fan of these latter two, although I do see a lot of potential in them as the basis for converting decent looking Scouts. That said I’ve not got around to it yet so if Games Workshop wanted to save me the bother by just releasing some decent looking Scout models in the meantime they should feel entirely free.

Infiltraitor

The Eldar

One of the most iconic factions in Games Workshop’s stable, the haughty space-elves of the Eldar also have one of the oldest ranges of models, and one of the most deserving of an injection of new kits and miniatures. The obvious choice for Kill Team has to be the Rangers…

Eldar Rangers

Far from the craftworlds of their people the Rangers act as scouts, seeking out potential threats, spying out danger and reporting back to the Farseers and Autarchs. They’re cool looking models and I’ve long had an affection for them, but really they deserve to see the benefits of modern miniatures design lavished upon them. Plus their role in sneaking around, ensuring that fate favours their race by assassinating anyone liable to prove a menace them in the future, makes them perfect for a game like Kill Team.

However this is my wishlist and I’ll dream big if I want to! How about taking the things even further along the path of the outcast and creating a kit that makes both Rangers and Corsairs? Whilst some young Eldar find life aboard the Craftworlds too restrictive and leave to become Rangers others slip even further from their society, becoming pirates and raiders. These Corsairs live much as Eldar did thousands of years ago, neither embracing the asceticism of the Craftworlders nor the sheer cruelty and decadence of the Dark Kin. There were even models for them produced by Forgeworld until comparatively recently.

Eldar Corsair

Imagine a pirate crew of Eldar (peglegs and xeno-parrots optional) made up of specialists and hardened veterans and doing the jobs too dirty for their Craftworlder kin to touch – or working for whoever will pay them to keep their ships in void and continue their lives of adventure. Perfect for Kill Team I’d say!  

Genestealers

Lurking in the darkness of rusting space hulks, gloomy underhives and tangled jungles, the predatory genestealers are every honest Imperial citizen’s worst nightmare and never to be confused with a man who sells Levi’s. These terrifying alien monsters have been leaping out at unsuspecting gangers and space marine terminators alike for decades. The current crop of models may be old but they’re not bad so much as simply less than they could be.

Genestealers

In recent times their peers, models released at around the same time and representing similar roles in the rank and file of their respective ranges – the ork boys and necron warriors for instance – have been updated and look much the better for it. Genestealers, I would argue, deserve the same treatment. Around a decade ago they actually received a rather nice suite of new models (below) via the limited edition re-release of Space Hulk (another game from years gone by that GW really ought to look at bringing back). However when said limited edition was sold out (and then sold out again after Games Workshop “found some in a warehouse that they’d overlooked… honest…”) we were back to being stuck with the old models.

Space Hulk Genestealers

They might not be the most traditional kill team but small packs of genestealers leaping out of the shadows to slaughter your elite operatives is the stuff that the very best action movies are made of. In fact why not go all in and package them in a boxset with some nice jungle terrain and an updated squad of Catachans? Failure to quote all the best lines from Predator whilst playing will be deemed a criminal offence!

Nobody Expects the Emperor’s Inquisition…

One of the best things about a skirmish game like Kill Team is the opportunity to break out of the restrictive structures of traditional armies and build unique bands of unusual operatives. Enter the strange world of the Inquisition. Granted near limitless authority to act in defence of the Imperium, Inquisitors can – and frequently do – take command of entire armies when they need some serious muscle on a project. Traditionally however we tend to picture Inquisitors working in the shadows, aided by small groups of carefully selected agents – many of whom are amongst the weirdest characters the strange world of 40k has to offer. I’ve often dreamed of seeing the Inquisition developed further in 40k and given a suite of new models, but realistically 40k is a game of armies and Inquisitors don’t have armies, they just borrow other people’s (and heaven help the Imperial Guard commander who even thinks about saying “no”). Kill Team however is exactly the kind of set-up that favours the Inquisition and gives Games Workshop a golden opportunity to give them their due at last. 

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus

The Less Well-known Players

Until now I’ve been thinking in terms of kill teams acting on behalf of the 41st Millennium’s big players. Each of the factions I’ve described so far would operate behind enemy lines on behalf of a faction which already commands entire armies on the tabletop in 40k. However that’s still falling into the trap of seeing Kill Team as 40k in miniature, rather than as a game in its own right. The galaxy is a strange and multifarious place full of wonders – many of whom are keen to strike the big players where it hurts but lack the manpower to do it in a straightforward military engagement. Mustering a few elite operatives however is much more within their remit – and gives Games Workshop the chance to play around with concepts that might otherwise be left to gather dust on the drawing board. How about the weird and unsettling Hrud for instance? Just look at this beastie – it’ll give you nightmares!

Hrud

Or what about the hyper-violent Barghesi, the secretive Eldar Exodites, the various races of beastmen, murderous mandrakes, the ancient constructs from the Blackstone Fortresses, or even the much-missed Squats? Dig a little deeper into the lore of 40k and the possibilities are almost endless. 

Anyway, that’s my current Kill Team wishlist, but I’m all ears to hear what you think. Is there a squad that would be perfect for Kill Team, something that’s crying out to be made but which I’ve not included? Get your crazy ideas in the comments box below then!


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 7

Remember Kutter, the outlander Goliath who joined up with the Irondogs after his old crew were wiped out to a man by the rise of the genestealer cults? For those who don’t, here’s a quick reminder of what he looks like.

The model for Kutter originated as an attempt to convert a leader for my Goliath gang (a project which, on the third attempt, turned into the mighty Korak Kingbreaker). The first version knocked around the bitsbox for a little while before being rescued and reused as the basis for Kutter. However between the dismissal of the Kutter version and the eventual success of the Korak version a second model was attempted, butchered, sworn at, and hurled back into the box from when it came in a fit of disgust. There it lay, biding its time, until I came up with the back-story behind Kutter and his old gang’s ill-fated encounter with the Cult of the Abyssal Gaze. Did all the Goliaths die in those rusting, ash-choked tunnels, I found myself wondering. Were some taken prisoner, or fell willingly or unwillingly under the sway of the cult, coming in time to worship new masters, take on new forms and bear the mark of the alien…

Meet Brother Narlek, former Goliath ganger and now the “muscle” behind many a raid by the cultists. Of course, if you find him too fearsome looking you can always imagine that he’s shouting “Taxi!”

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As one of Kutter’s former gangmates his transformation represents a profound and personal insult to the Goliath and a vicious rivalry is bound to follow.

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Whilst I was working on Narlek I decided to focus my bolstered enthusiasm for the cult to get a couple more recruits finished. After all, you can always use another rank and file cultist with a shotgun…

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…meanwhile a webber brings a bit of tactical versatility to the cult (and should be handy for keeping those rampaging Goliaths tied up – both figuratively and literally).

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As previously mentioned work and family commitments remain extremely busy at the moment so snatching hobby time is proving a challenge, as it stands I’m not even finding time to keep up with my fellow bloggers let alone paint much of my own. Hopefully things will settle down over the next little while but until then expect updates to remain somewhat sporadic.


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 6

Every section of Imperial society contains a priest class tasked with interpreting the God-Emperor’s will and tending to the spiritual welfare of the masses. Where possible such preachers are dispatched from the monastic shrine-worlds which churn out priests in the same industrial production-line fashion as everything else to which the engines of the Imperium are directed. On a hive world such as Necromunda however the numbers required are too great and so much of the population must rely on locally-born, self-taught mendicants. Although at times this has an unfortunate effect on the degree of spiritual deviation and results in a disturbingly high level of observance of non-standard faiths the fanaticism of these individuals, and the resultant increase in the propagation of religion amongst the masses, is regarded as an acceptable counterbalance.

Amongst the ash-crust miners of Delving Alpha-12 responsibility for spiritual oversight lies with Vyrion the Elder. Born into the insular community Vyrion proved from a young age to be gifted with a grand vision, combined with a natural skill for oratory. Whilst most of his clan preferred to remain amongst their own kind for fear of suffering the judgement and suspicion of outsiders Vyrion undertook pilgrimages to the other delving in the local cluster, from Alpha-7 in the north to the deep warrens of Gamma-9 beneath the slag dunes to the south. There he has won many convert awed by the minor miracles of which he is capable and inspired by his visions of the Void-Emperor who watches over them all and, when the moment is right, will descend in righteous hunger to consume and remake this bitter world.

Having devoted his life to spreading the good word amongst the miners  and championing their rights to the manufactorum lords, Vyrion has now turned his unblinking gaze towards Ironhouse. Leading a small band of the faithful he seeks to establish an outpost within the bastion settlement and make it his gateway to the mills and forges of the hive proper. Even before the pilgrims set out word reaches them that the Goliath brutes who claim it as their turf have been bled almost to extinction. Truly the will of the Void-Emperor is at hand!

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The genestealer magus is just a lovely model and the opportunity to include it in the gang was too good to pass up. At some point I’ll probably add a combat orientated alternative leader for the gang but to begin with we wanted to explore using a psyker in the game as well. Of course this also gave me the excuse to paint up a familiar to accompany him.

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I always found the idea of the familiars as psychic manifestations slightly silly. I know that the Tyranid hive mind is probably the most powerful psychic entity in the galaxy (sorry Tzeentch but you can’t create the Shadow in the Warp now can you?) and so presumably conjuring diminutive beasties is no trouble at all, but surely it makes more sense that these are just tiny Tyranids spawned to serve their master? After all despite it’s psychic prowess the thing the Tyranid race is most famous for is its capacity as generic manipulators, spawning creatures of all shapes and sizes, from warrior beasts, to ripper swarms, to vast living spacecraft, so a mini genestealer would be no bother at all. Am I alone here?

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With these two complete the gang is finished for now so this is a fine opportunity for a group shot.

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I do however have a few more models built (as previewed previously) which I’m aiming to get painted in the early part of 2019. You’ve not seen the last of the cult yet!


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 4

The creature known as The Lurker is a true horror, its name a byword for shapeless dread amongst those who work the dank pipes that run beneath the ash-crust from Ironhouse to Sumpside. To the Cawdor bone pickers it is a devil made manifest a monster risen from the ashes of the God Emperor’s dreams. The Orlock clutch there weapons closer as they pass through the dark reaches of its territory, the cyber-mastiffs brisling and growling as the headlight beams are swallowed by the shadows. None have yet connected the ragged corpses it leaves in its wake with the ash miners attempting to establish an outpost in Ironhouse.
Korak however has seen the fear growing amongst his people and heard the whispers that the Lurker prowls within the walls of his domain. Soon, he knows, the people will fear the beast more than they do him. If he is to nurture his little kingdom through its first cycles he must rid it of this monster. He has broken gang-lords and mutant-kings before, but some amongst the Irondogs fear that they have not yet gathered the strength to deal with with such a monster and when Korak begins his hunt in the darkness of the tunnels, he does so for the final time…
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The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 3

In the dark depths of the Underhive the xenos invaders gather their strength…

Over the weekend I managed to find some time to crack on with my genestealer cultists gang. With three more neophytes done my goal of getting the gang ready for action by Christmas is starting to look more achievable. To be honest there’s not a whole lot more to say about these beyond reiterating what so many other hobbyists have said previously; that these are amongst the finest models Games Workshop have produced and tie-in brilliantly with the Necromunda setting. Anyway, without further ado allow me to introduce Neophyte Zhu…

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… plus their clanmate Neophyte Xixos…

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…and lastly the sinister Neophyte Castus…

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Next up, a neophyte with a grenade launcher to bring some added punch to the gang, plus the early generation monster with a rock saw which I showed a WIP of previously, then I’ll need to crack on with the cult’s magos and his familiar.


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 2

“And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee”.

Fragment of text attributed to the pre-Imperial Terran Friedrich Nietzsche, believed to be predicting  the coming of the Tyranids

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As you may have gathered from the previous post a xenos invasion of the Underhive is underway. We’re getting into the darkest part of the winter, time to stay indoors in the warm, paint miniatures and perhaps even play some games. My partner has been talking about wanting to try out Genestealer cultists in Necromunda and so, in a fine case of biting off more than you can chew, I’ve decided to try and get a starting gang ready before Christmas. You are welcome to cheer me on or mock me when I fail, whichever floats your boat.

Dipping a toe into the waters with a couple of test models, here’s the first recruit, Neophyte Gaius…

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…accompanied by one of the wonderfully belligerent looking aberrant models, a monstrosity which goes by the name Abomination Omega.

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Having tallied up what looks like a suitable starting list, I’ve still got seven more cultists to paint over the next couple of weeks, not an insurmountable challenge but expect to see a fair number of insidious aliens around here for the next little while.


The Cult of the Abyssal Gaze – Part 1

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

The Ancient Terran playwright Oscar Wilde

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Infested! – Part 12

So, by the time you’re reading this, this model will already be winging it’s way even further north towards Big Boss Redskullz and the rest of the Nestorian Infestation. However due to the weird way time appears to move in the Warp, and the even weirder way it interfaces between my life (currently hectic – blame the start of a new job) and this blog, you’re only just getting to see the finished article now.

Anyway, excuses suitably made, here they are – the finished genestealer corrupted mother and her truly terrifying offspring.

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And here’s the whole group, ready to begin their journey.

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As they prepare to begin their journey north the group of infested civilians are unaware of a shadowy presence observing them from the shadows…

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Off we go!

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Infested! – Part 11

Another corrupted civilian of the Nestorian Infestation, an ecclesiarchical servitor-cherub twisted by the genestealers into a spiteful little imp.

I’ve always loved the little cyber-cherubs that appear in artwork buzzing over the heads of the Imperial forces and I’m hopeful that the recently announced Sisters of Battle re-release, currently due to emerge in 2019, will emphasise the gothic flourishes of the Adeptus Ministorum in the form of more cherubs and servo-skulls with which to decorate our models, rather than just being nuns in corsets. Who would have thought a decade ago that we’d have adeptus mechanicus, genestealer cultists and truescale space marines but the poor old sisters would still be stuck with kits that came off the ark?

Anyway, I digress. Here’s the nasty little guy in all his twisted glory.

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Whilst we’re about it thank you to everyone who gave me feedback on the genestealer mother and baby I showed previously. After some deliberation I’ve stuck with the head I used originally but I have smoothed down and softened her features a little to make her look a little more female, whilst still remaining a filthy xenos. Here’s a quick shot showing her as she is currently, still part painted but well on her way towards completion.

Convert Or Die Genestealer Cultist PIP

There’s just her to finish off now to bring this project to completion, after that there are a few other irons in the fire waiting for attention so watch this space.


Infested! – Part 10

Look to the heavens now brothers and sisters! See the fires which descend upon us! The star children come to bring us deliverance, yet before they raise us into their glory we must complete a final trial. The skies burn with the spite of the failing Imperium! The finest warriors of the dying Emperor are sent amongst us. Take up arms my kin, for the last great struggle has come. Let us show the true gods that we are worthy!

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Work continues apace on the corrupted civilians of the  Nestorian Infestation with just the cherub and the mother and baby left to paint. I’m dimly aware that Tommy (aka Big Boss Redskullz) set a deadline of “preferably prior to Easter” and that’s pretty much now so all being well expect to see those last two models soon(ish).