Tag Archives: Warcry

June 2022 Progress Report 

Early in 2022 I found myself thinking a lot about the way I’ve been going about this hobby, and the things I have and haven’t been painting. I think I’m a fairly prolific painter, admittedly not as much as some but I churn out a lot of models and on the whole I’m happy with the quantity and quality of what I produce. Despite this however there are a lot of projects that I’d like to see completed but which, for whatever reason, never seem to get done. By “projects” I mean sets of miniatures; an army, a Necromunda gang, a Warcry warband, a Blood Bowl team, the contents of a board game – you get the idea. By “completed” I generally mean; painted to a stage where we can get a game with it or where I’ve painted all the models in a particular set. So for example my Daughters of Khaine for Warcry is a completed project, even though I have some “bonus” models like a Medusa that I’d like to add to it. Blackstone Fortress on the other hand I’d call partially completed; I’ve painted enough models to play a game with it but I’d still like to paint up the rest of the box so we have plenty of options when we decide to get a game in. I know this criteria is a little vague but the key thing is, it works for me. If you’re thinking of attempting something similar with your own backlog then work out what works best for you and go from there.

Over the years my approach to the hobby has very much been a case of “this is for fun, paint whatever appeals in the moment, follow the hobby butterfly wherever it leads”. This has given me a lot of pleasure and has seen me paint a lot of models but whenever I look back at everything I’ve done I’m struck by the things I’ve still never finished and the models which I’ve been going to tackle “soon” for a very long time. So, over the last few months, I’ve been trying to do something about that. 

Partly this is about changing the way I look at the “pile of shame” (or as I now call it, the “Mountain of Madness”) and my efforts to tackle it. In the past I’ve tended to view the backlog as a single entity which could be wrestled into completion through a combination of time and Herculean effort. All my projects would be completed as a side effect of this (that is to say, if all the models I want to paint are contained within the pile then by painting everything in the pile I automatically complete all of my projects). 

Hercules

This bias in my outlook cosied up neatly to the tally of models purchased and painted that I’ve been keeping in recent years. New models excite me and so I buy them – but the growing number in the “bought” column doesn’t look so bad if there’s a large number in the “painted” column too. Thus if I had the choice between painting 100 models and completing 2 projects or painting 10 models and completing 10 projects I’d have chosen the former – up until recently that is. The interesting thing is, by changing tack to this more “project focused” approach I’ve actually ended up painting more models than I have in previous years. My current tally stands at 191 miniatures painted so far this year – that’s more than a model a day and vastly outnumbers the 83 I’d painted by this time last year. In fact it’s more than my total output for the entirety of 2020.

In trying to overcome the backlog in this way I had to work out an inventory of how much I’m up against and compare this against how many models I can reasonably expect to paint (I know many of my readers are also fond of spreadsheets – really is there such a thing as a problem that can’t be solved by a spreadsheet? I think not). This gave me a reasonably accurate idea of the scale of the task and unfortunately it’s a biggie. If my goal is to just paint everything I have, I don’t buy anything else (some hope!) and I continue to paint at the current rate (doubtful – for various reasons) it’ll still take me several years to get it all done. Realistically though the more time passes the more likely it becomes that any given project will never be finished at all. And even if things do turn out exactly as the spreadsheet predicts do I really want to wait that long to get around to my Delaque gang, painting up Cursed City or whatever other projects find themselves falling to the bottom of the list? 

Cursed City Cover

Since I first wrote about this back in February I’ve put together a list of projects and started trying to focus on them. From there I worked out how many models were needed to complete each project and how close to being fully painted said models were, and then started with the ‘easy wins’.

So how did I decide what to paint? After all, any way I slice it there’s still a lot of stuff in the heap to be tackled. The journey of a million miles may well start with a single step, but which step should it be when there are so many to choose from? To answer this I applied three key criteria.

  • 1. Inspiration and enthusiasm. At the end of the day I’m still very much a believer in the idea that this is for fun, it’s a hobby not a job. I’m here to enjoy myself, not to saddle myself with extra chores. Plus I’ve always found that if I’m excited about painting something I get in the zone and power through it, and if I’m not then I really am better off leaving it for another day – the process will be dull and the end results uninspired.
  • 2. How many models did I need to paint? I made a list of all my projects and worked out how many models each one needed to be called complete. The fewer models needed, the further up the list it went. If a model counted for multiple projects so much the better. My Khorne warband for Warcry needed just two models so I decided to tackle it ASAP. My Orc and Black Orc teams for Blood Bowl both needed just one troll (and better yet it was the same troll!) – they too got fast tracked. My WHFB Dwarf army needs around 130 models – needless to say it’s not currently a priority (another insult to be written down in the great book of grudges..!).
  • 3. For my third criteria I used a little mental exercise. Imagine that I discover that I’m going to live a very long, healthy and happy life (hopefully this part is true!) but that I’ll never be able to paint a miniature ever again (hopefully this part is not true!). What models will I look back regretfully and wish I’d painted for my collection? In some ways this covers similar territory to criteria 1 but the fact is there are quite a few models I’ve been really wanting to paint for ages – and yet every time I look at them I think “Not today, there’s something else I ought to paint first”. Well why not today? It’s my hobby and I’ll do what I want damn it! Time to stop putting off fun and get them done. And don’t worry; it really is just a mental exercise – I’m not going anywhere!

Up to now I’ve not really talked about what specifically I’m planning to tackle so the aim of the second half of this post is to lay that out and look at what I’ve managed to complete so far. It’s a living list, things will undoubtedly be added as and when inspiration strikes, but I’ll be aiming to look at it and talk about how I’m getting on every quarter or so – and as we’re now at the end of June this is a perfect moment to take a look back and see what I’ve managed so far. 

Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (16)

Warcry

Let’s start with somewhere that significant progress has actually been achieved already. I find Warcry is a great excuse to work on little skirmish warbands from all over the Age of Sigmar setting, putting together small groups of models that appeal without bogging myself down in painting large armies. Warcry is one of the few games I actually play on a semi-regular basis and I really like the idea of having a range of factions to call upon. This is an area where I’ve already made great strides and even before I started on this challenge I had warbands from 13 different factions in my collection. The forces of Order were represented by the Daughters of Khaine, Death by the Nighthaunt and the Flesh-eater Courts, and Chaos by the Daemons and Mortals of Nurgle, as well as Skaven borrowed from my WHFB army, and the Iron Golems and Untamed Beasts which were released specially for the game. The forces of Destruction have been particularly busy, unleashing three types of Orc (the Bonesplitters, Ironjaws and Kruelboys) alongside mighty Ogres and scheming Gloomspite Gits. Over the last few months I’ve added Soulblight Gravelords…

Vampire Counts Warcry Warband Wudugast

…Stormcast Eternals in Thunderstrike Armour…

Stormcast Eternal Group Wudugast Warhammer

…Sylvaneth…

Sylvaneth Wudugast AoS Warhammer (2)

…Warriors of Chaos…

Warriors of Chaos Group Wudugast Warhammer

…and Khorne Bloodbound.

Khorne Warcry Warband Wudugast Warhammer

Speaking of Khorne I also painted this Bloodmaster (that’s a herald of Khorne if you’re an oldster like me). The range of Khorne deamons for Warcry isn’t all that extensive (just bloodletters, flesh hounds and juggernaughts) so I had planned to just take a relaxed outlook on the rules and include a few daemons alongside my mortals rather than putting together a warband that might feel a bit “samey”. However now I’ve got the Bloodmaster painted up I’ve got options, so once I’ve retrieved my bloodletters and flesh hounds from storage I can unleash an entire band of Khornate daemons should I feel the need to do things strictly by the book.

Khorne Daemon Bloodmaster Herald Wudugast Warhammer (1)

As well as all these factions borrowed from the wider Age of Sigmar setting there are a number of warbands which have been created specifically for the Warcry game. In many ways I think of these as the real Warcry warbands and I’d love to paint all of them, each one is weird, exciting and unique. As things stand however I’ve only managed the aforementioned Untamed Beasts and Iron Golems, both painted back in 2020. I’d very much like to add to that list before the year is out.

Terrain

Another major project has been to complete all the terrain from the original Warcry starter set and with the completion of this building that’s done at last. 

Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (5)

By adding it to all the other terrain I’ve finished we now have a small ruined town to fight over should we so wish. 

Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (3)

Of course this is just the beginning, I’m still planning to work on all the terrain from the Catacombs and Red Harvest sets as well. On top of that I’d like to expand my collection for Warhammer 40k and Necromunda, and with a solid start made to the fantasy side I’m hoping this will take the drivers seat over the next few months. In the meantime I’m calling this goal achieved – although there’s still plenty of room for bonus “stretch goals” yet to come.

Kill Team/Warhammer 40k

I’ve lumped these two together for now as they essentially cover the same territory – one at the skirmish level and one at the army level. As a whole the 41st Millennium is a setting that I love and for which I have a whole heap of models, both painted and unpainted. As games however these two leave me cold, for a range of reasons that would take a blog’s worth of text to elucidate. Thus when I first sat down to address the clear out back at the start of the year I thought I would probably give them only the minimum of attention. To begin with my only set goal was to complete this Death Guard kill team, something that required only a minimum of effort. 

Death Guard Wudugast Plague Marine Warhammer 40k (1)

Now I’ve heard that a plague marine fire team now runs to 3 models which, if true, only serves to illustrate one of my key objections to these games – GW’s constant tinkering with the rules which means that nothing stays the same for more than 2 minutes before an errata is released for the FAQ of the designer’s notes that explain the latest changes in the codex that’s just arrived for the game’s 170th edition. 

However, rules be damned, I love the models and I have a lot of them that I’d like to get painted – many of which are already half-done and lurking in boxes. This situation is nothing new, I’ve not played 40k in any serious way since the early days of 5th Edition and it’s not stopped me painting plenty of them in the years since. However without a rules framework it’s harder to describe exactly what I’m planning to do here. Looking through the pile I find plenty of Orks, Chaos Marines, Death Guard, Thousand Sons, Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Necrons, Adeptus Mechanicus, Genestealer Cultists and Eldar, plus a few Sisters of Battle. Plenty to be getting on with in other words. Of these some command large numbers of fully painted miniatures, and others are a little more sparse… I’m aiming to at least get together some small armies for most, or if possible, all of them – think something akin to a “combat patrol” (i.e. a couple of squads, a vehicle, a hero or two and a dreadnaught) but as goals go it’s deliberately ill-defined. Obviously some of these factions have already exceeded this goal, in some cases by a considerable margin, but I’ll still be adding recruits to them here and there because I want to, damn it, and all work and no play makes Wudu a dull boy (see also Criteria 1 and 3 above). So far my attention has been focussed on the Necrons and I’m pleased to say I’ve shaken a few of them out of their dusty tombs – enough that I could probably call this goal achieved in their case if I was feeling generous (and I am). Plenty more androids to come in the next few months though!

Wudugast Warhammer 40k Necrons (1)

Blood Bowl 

This feels a bit like cheating (but that’s Blood Bowl right?) because I’m counting one model towards two projects, but I’m going to call it efficiency. I’ve been promising to paint this sporting troll for absolute donkey’s and so when I started this project I fast-tracked him to the front of the queue. 

Blood Bowl Troll Warhammer Wudugast (6)

This completes both my Orc team…

Blood Bowl Orc Team Complete Wudugast

…and their even tougher cousins on my Black Orc team. 

Blood Bowl Black Orc Team Complete Wudugast

Since then I’ve been been chipping away at a team of Necromantic Horrors and a heap of Snotlings, neither of which have achieved full-team status as yet.

Blood Bowl Zombie Warhammer Wudugast (5)Blood Bowl Snotling Team Wudugast

I also have a number of other teams I’d like to paint up so hopefully we’ll be looking at a whole load more Blood Bowl by the time we get to September’s round up. 

Necromunda

Ah, my beloved Necromunda – my home away from home amid the overcrowded hives, the stinking sumps and toxic ash-dunes! I have so many projects I’d like to tackle here but alas the last six months have seen bugger all done. I shall mend my ways by the September round up I promise – and if I don’t you can sell me to the Guilders.

Aeronautica Imperialis

This one is nice and straightforward to describe; my goal is to paint everything in the Wings of Vengeance box and so far I’ve completed none of it. Just to prove I’ve not been entirely idle though here’s my first assembled Ork Dakkajet. Who knows, I might look to complete the whole Ork half of the set in Orktober. 

AI Ork Aircraft

Adeptus Titanicus

Picture it – two armies of tiny titans, one sworn to the God Emperor, the other to the Warmaster, beating seven bells out of each other as the Imperium burns. What have I done to make it happen, aside from snapping up a few models when they were going cheap a few years ago? Not a thing!

Blackstone Fortress 

We played a fair bit of this a while ago and it’s one we’d like to get back into, so completing all the unpainted models is one of the key projects on my list. Previously I managed to complete most of the miniatures from the core set, minus one or two of the heroes, as well as both models from the Traitor Command expansion and all the heroes from the Escalation expansion. My next goal is to finish up all of the other expansions and the heroes from the original set that I never got around to. 

Cursed City 

Sticking with Warhammer Quest we move from the far future to the grim darkness of a city overrun by the undead. My aim with Cursed City is nice and straightforward; paint everything in the box. So far this year I’ve been working my way through the various baddies that roam the haunted streets and crumbling thoroughfares,  starting with ten zombies (borrowed from the wider Age of Sigmar range)…

Zombies Warhammer AoS Wudugast Vampire Counts Group

… and two mighty ogres of the Kosargi Nightguard.

Cursed City Kosargi Nightguard Undead Wudugast Warhammer (5)

I had hoped to get a few more heroes done by now (so far only Emelda Braskov is complete) and finish off at least one more squad of baddies but it was not to be. I’ll see what I can do about that over the next few months.

Cursed City Emelda Braskov Warhammer AoS Wudugast (3)

A Song of Ice and Fire 

At the moment I have two projects on the go here; a House Stark army and their rivals from House Lannister. My aim is to get each of them up to 30 points (enough for a small game) and then keep expanding in 10 point increments until I get to at least 50 points each – enough for a large game or to mix things up in smaller games. Beyond that I’m tempted by some of the other factions in the game but that can wait until I have these first two armies up and running. 

So far I’ve been quite focused on the Starks and, as well as various characters and the beginnings of several squads, I’ve got a whole unit of Sworn Swords fully painted. I had hoped to have at least one more squad done by now and put together a nice group shot of the army but alas it was not to be – I promise to do better before the September round up rolls around.

Stark Sworn Swords ASOIAF Group Wudugast

My Lannisters meanwhile are a little further behind, but the Mountain is well on his way to summoning all of his men so I’ll aim to get this squad completed in the near-ish future.

The Mountains Men Wudugast ASOIAF

Hate

At the moment I don’t have any set goals that I’m working towards here, I just really like the models so I’ll keep chipping away at them whenever I feel like it. Expect to see the odd one pop up whenever I fancy painting some crazy barbarians. 

Hate Barbarian Wudugast Chaos CMON collection

Summing Up

I’m feeling pretty chuffed with everything I’ve got done this year, especially as the past few months are always the busiest at work (and this year has been no exception on that score). By the end of July work will be getting a little calmer but other commitments look set to take over so how much time I have for painting as the year progresses remains to be seen. That said I’m going to list a few key targets that I’d like to achieve by the time we get to the end of September and the next quarterly progress report.

  • Necromunda – get another gang up and running, most likely the Orlocks. More if possible.
  • Warcry – get at least one of the “core” warbands painted, the Spire Tyrants look like a good option here.
  • Blood Bowl – get the Necromantic Horrors team finished. As that only needs 2 ghouls I’m going to aim for getting another team up and running as well.
  • Blackstone Fortress – complete at least one expansion.
  • Cursed City – make significant progress. Hard to quantify on this one, I’d love to get it finished of course but I’m not going to try to bite off more than I can chew. A squad or two of mooks and/or some of the heroes would count here, whereas a single corpse rat just isn’t going to cut it!
  • ASOIAF – make significant progress. Again I’m not going to put an exact figure on it here, just that I want to get something done and again one model isn’t enough!

Really though this is the bare minimum I’d like to achieve. More would without doubt be merrier. Keep an eye out over the next few months and let’s see how I get on.


Amid The Ruins – Part 9

I showed a load of scatter terrain recently and commented that I also had a large ruin from the original Warcry starter that I’d been intending to get painted for quite some time. Time to get it finished then eh! 

Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (1)Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (2)Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (3)Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (4)Ruin Warhammer Warcry Wudugast AoS Terrain (5)

Of course just because it’s done at last doesn’t mean I can rest on my laurels, there’s still all the terrain from the Catacombs and Red Harvest sets to tackle. I’ll see about attacking one or other of those soon, although I also have various bits of 40k terrain that I’d like to work on too. However before I get onto any of that I took the opportunity to set out all of the fantasy terrain I’ve completed. As it turns out I’ve got enough for a little town – albeit one that seems to have fallen on hard times! As ever clicking on the pictures will let you see them full size.

Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (1)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (6)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (7)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (2)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (3)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (4)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (5)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (9)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (10)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (12)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (13)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (14)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (8)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (16)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (15)Warhammer Terrain Wudugast (17)

So there we have it, a whole ruined township ready for my various tribes, gangs and warbands of the Mortal Realms to beat each other up over. I must admit it was a real thrill seeing all the terrain assembled properly (not to mention finding a few models to decorate it with), I really recommend mustering everything you’ve got completed as a way of boosting your enthusiasm for a project. More will undoubtedly follow but for now I’ve removed one of the biggest unfinished models from the desk – and of course immediately filled the space with lots of other things which are already clamouring for attention…


Amid The Ruins – Part 8

More scatter terrain is always useful so once again I’m working away at adding more odds and ends to populate any fantasy landscapes I end up playing games in. This time we have the entrance to some kind of underground vault or sewer, from which some dread beast will undoubtedly emerge to wreak havoc!

Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (1)Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (2)

Meanwhile a couple of bits of fallen rubble provides something for heroes and villains alike to scramble over or lurk behind.

Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (3)

Rubble Warhammer Wudugast AoS

Hang on a moment, this is just a base with no model on it! What are you about Wudugast?!

Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (6)

Well you see, I’ve had this base sitting around for ages. I think it came with a Stormcast Eternal, probably one from Warhammer Underworlds (I’m sure I could check but let’s not get sidetracked). I thought the big chunk of fallen statue looked cool, but also that it was too big and so drew the eye away from the miniature so I kept it aside. I had planned to use it in a piece of terrain but again I never found anything quite right. Then it occurred to me to just paint it up “as is” and use it as an objective marker – defend/defile the fallen statue of the long dead hero – and so that’s what I did. 

Another quick and straightforward one, and another fallen statue, is this Dwarven hero, taken from the Stone Trolls (or whatever they’re called these days). 

Dwarven Statue 1Dwarven Statue 2

Another handy bridge for those averse to death defying leaps. 

Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (7)

Every heroic adventurer likes to talk tall about the nobility of his quests but really most of them are just looking to rescue a damsel with an impressive chest. In this case the damsel is absent but hopefully the chance to get their hands on these two large chests will make up for it. 

Big Chests Wudugast Warhammer

Lastly we have a small ruin to add to my collection. I should have enough for a small ruined town by now! 

Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (5)Warhammer Scatter Terrain Wudugast (4)

I do have another, much larger ruin, which has been waiting for paint for far longer than it should have so I’ll aim to make that my next terrain project. 


Khainite Shadowstalkers – Part 1

Most of the warbands which have been made specifically for Warcry are made up of various sorts of barbarians who like to spend their days beating seven shades of shit out of each other for the glory of the Chaos gods. Most, but not quite all. Alongside these violent and generally underdressed loons we have the Khainite Shadowstalkers, elves who serve Morathi the Shadow Queen as spies and assassins. Branded with the magical shademark they can pass almost any barrier, and slip with ease into the wartorn Eightpoints to do a bit of murdering on their queen’s behalf.

I’ve been fancying the idea of painting up a warband of these shady characters lately, and have been experimenting with ways of creating the effect of shadows on their robes and cloaks. These two were painted very much as an experiment but I’m pleased with how they’ve turned out so expect to see their colleagues emerging from the gloom in the near(-ish!) future.

Shadow Elves Warhammer Warcry Wudugast (1)Shadow Elves Warhammer Warcry Wudugast (2)Shadow Elves Warhammer Warcry Wudugast (3)Shadow Elves Warhammer Warcry Wudugast (4)Shadow Elves Warhammer Warcry Wudugast (5)

This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped working on my Spire Tyrants of course – as regular readers will know by now I can’t have too many Warcry warbands!


Spire Tyrants – Part 2 (Movember)

Time to add another model to my Spire Tyrants warband, this time in the form of a very angry, chaos worshipping dwarven gladiator.

Spire Tyrants Chaos Dwarf Wudugast Warcry ConvertOrDie (1)Spire Tyrants Chaos Dwarf Wudugast Warcry ConvertOrDie (2)Spire Tyrants Chaos Dwarf Wudugast Warcry ConvertOrDie (3)

This little dude glories in the title of “frenzied rager”. Note; that’s “Rager” not to be confused with “Roger”, the man who’s hosting a Mo’vember painting challenge at Rantings From Under The Wargames Table (and who may or may not be frenzied – you’d have to ask him yourself).

Movember is an annual event in which men grow (often terrible) moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues. I’ve never joined in until now because my beard is just excellent I’ll have you know and I’m not shaving it off just to grow it again. Plus people who knew me before I grew it might start to recognise me and that’ll never do. However, if I can show some support to my brothers the world over by painting some hairy miniatures then I certainly will and thanks to Roger coming up with a miniatures themed spin on the event now I can. I’ve got a few more dwarves I’d like to tackle before the month is out, so watch this face!


Rotbringers For Warcry

A couple of months ago I put together a warband of Nurgle Daemons for Warcry. Since then I’ve had it in mind to make a warband of Nurgle worshipping mortals as well and now the moment has arrived. 

I took a look at the models I had available and decided that two more Blightkings were just what I needed to complete the group. Of course I didn’t actually have any Blightking models to use so it was time to do some kitbashing. 

Plague has made this chap thin and warped rather than bloated like so many of his peers, but he’s more than capable of carrying the banner on behalf of the group. 

Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (2)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (3)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (4)

I always like to see beastmen as part of Chaos collections so I wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity to add a filthy pestigor to the ranks as well. Like the chap with the banner he’s converted from the Nurgle Blood Bowl team.

Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (5)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (6)Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (7)

For the rest of the Warband I’ve used Fecula Flyblown as a Nurgle Sorceress, the two Blightkings I’d already painted and my Death Guard Daemon Prince who once again finds himself moonlighting in a Warcry warband, this time as a Pusgoyle Blightlord.

Nurgle Blightkings Converted ConvertOrDie AoS Wudugast (1)

Speaking of the Death Guard I have one of those filthy power-armoured and plague-infested swines lurking on the desk too so I’ll aim to get him painted shortly. 


From Warhawks to Warcry: Warhammer Day 2021

Another weekend, another big Games Workshop preview, another chance for me to get up on my soap box and harangue the crowds of internet users as they shuffle past before me. Yes it was Warhammer Day 2021, the chance for us mere mortals to find out exactly what it is that Games Workshop expects us to buy next. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that I will end up waxing lyrical about all the projects I may or may not actually end up painting and enthusing rabidly to my unfortunate readers about models which, after the passage of time and the opportunity for more sober thought, I may not buy in the end after all. Things like budgeting my money, time and energy, or examining the pile of unpainted sprues already waiting for attention, are problems for the future however. Today it’s time to look at new stuff and indulge in some childish overexcitement!

Shadow Throne – Genestealer Cults vs Adeptus Custodes

The first thing to be announced was a new boxset for Warhammer 40k. Titled “Shadow Throne” it focuses on the battles being fought between the guardians of the Emperor’s throne – the Adeptus Custodes – and those sneaky, xenos-loving rebels, the Genestealer Cults. It also gives us our first opportunity to get our hands on two new models, one for each faction. The servants of the Emperor are joined by a stylish-looking Blade Champion.

Blade Champion

Even amongst the elite ranks of the Custodes these are favoured warriors of exceptional skill and the model certainly looks the part. My reaction to the Custodes so far has been fairly mixed, some of the models are outstanding whilst others don’t really do much for me. This guy falls entirely into the former camp and if I ever started a Custodes collection he would undoubtedly be front and centre. However I’m far more interested in his rival, the Reductus Saboteur of the Genestealer Cults.

Genestealer Cultist

I’m a big fan of the Genestealer Cults, even if I’ve not painted quite as many of them recently as I’d have liked to. This miniature brings them another excellent character model, and one which fits nicely into their theme as the ultimate schemers and guerrilla warriors. Whilst other armies enjoy overwhelming invasions the Genestealer Cultists fight defensively, knowing ever inch of their territory and seeding it with bombs and booby traps ready to repel invasion. This lady clearly knows a thing or two about planting bombs, as evidenced by the alternative head with serious burns which suggests her on-the-job training may not have gone entirely without a hitch.

One thing the Genestealer Cultists are not short on however is characters. The range is already packed with individual specialists of every sort you can imagine. Much as I like this model it would have been nice to see something else, a new kind of troops for example or some kind of repurposed industrial warmachine. I’d love to see Cultists stomping around in heavy-lifting exo-suits, partly because it would fit the range nicely and partly for the nod to the suit Ripley wore to fight the alien queen in the film Aliens (although this time the humans would be fighting for the aliens not against them!).

Ripley vs Alien Queen

Or how about just some new models for the Genestealers themselves, the cultists might be even more enthusiastic about laying down their lives for the true children of the star gods if the miniatures didn’t predate the invention of the wheel. 

In some ways the Custodes and the Genestealer Cults aren’t the most obvious adversaries. The Custodes, after all – and despite what the Space Marines will tell you – really are the Emperor’s Finest. Each one has been rebuilt on a cellular level, given the best training and armour available and made capable of truly superhuman feats. Whereas the Genestealer Cultists are very definitely enthusiastic amateurs, armed with equipment borrowed from their day jobs. So far we’ve mostly seen Cultists from mining and industrial worlds but I’m sure somewhere out there is a Genestealer Cultist from Admin, trying to beat a Space Marine to death with a stapler. 

On the other hand these differences, with a highly elite force in pristine golden armour on one side and a rabble of balding miners on the other, make for a striking visual distinction. The set-up for the conflict is also based around this particularly ominous snippet from the Eighth Edition Codex: Custodes…

A Genestealer Cult calling themselves the Wyrms of the Ur-tendril are discovered by Ordo Xenos agents, entrenched amongst the Nordafrik under-archives on Terra. Captain-General Valoris refuses a request by the Deathwatch to send Kill Teams against this threat, instead leading the purge in person at the head of a huge Adeptus Custodes shield host. The Cult put up a brutal fight, their sheer numbers and fanaticism allowing them to drag down one Custodian after another and tear them limb from limb. Yet for every one of the Custodians that falls, hundreds upon hundreds of malformed cultists and Aberrants are slaughtered. At last, Valoris himself beheads the monstrous Broodlord that ruled over the cult. He orders the creature’s disturbing inner sanctum burned despite the protests from the Ordo Xenos investigators – Valoris refuses to let anyone other than his comrades witness the foul mural that decorates the sanctum’s back wall, of a nest of fanged tendrils emerging from the heart of Sol itself to devour Terra whole…

I really liked this when I first read it and so it’s nice to see it brought back into the light as it were. Whilst more obviously powerful adversaries like Abaddon the Despoiler, the Tyranid hive fleets or the mighty Ork invasions unleashed by Ghazghkull Thraka himself might rampage through the outer parts of the Imperium it is the Genestealer Cultists, reliant on guts and guile and armed only with what they can scavenge that have come to threaten the Throne World itself.

Shadow Throne

The boxset itself I’ll skip, I’m not short of Genestealer Cultists to paint and I’m not particularly interested in starting a collection of Custodes. It also looks rather light on content to my eye. I expected the Custodes side to have a fairly low model count, these are a highly elite force, but the Genestealer Cultists are looking sparse as well. I’ve bought a few of these kinds of boxes over the years and in the past they’ve proved to be a great source of lots and lots of models at a bargain price. This one however doesn’t seem to have much too it and even if I was planning to start collections of both armies I think I’d be more tempted to see what bargains I could get elsewhere.

Maggotkin of Nurgle

For Age of Sigmar meanwhile we got the news that the Maggotkin of Nurgle are the next army due for an update. As well as a new battletome there’s also a new miniature (something that’s much more important in my book!) a ghastly and baleful sorcerer.

Nurgle Sorcerer

He’s a wonderfully evil and twisted looking model, and best of all he’s not fat. Now before you decide to “cancel” me for being “fatphobic” (although hopefully you’re not that kind of person anyway) hear me out. I do like the bloated, swollen appearance of Nurgle’s favoured but variety is the spice of life, and absolutely intrinsic to those factions sworn to Chaos. With the vast majority of Nurgle’s followers being rather on the tubby side therefore it’s nice to see one who has been left withered in the arms, if still a little potbellied, by his afflictions. This suits a magic user, who doesn’t need to rely on raw bulk to crush his enemies, and is an aesthetic already associated with the Plaguebearer daemons –  allowing the sorcerer to form a neat visual link between the mortal and daemonic sides of the army.

All in all I like him and I’ve been feeling the temptation to paint a little more Nurgle lately so I might treat myself to him when he’s released. Equally I reckon he could make a cool looking underhive shaman for Necromunda with a few tweaks.

Dungeon Bowl

I’ll admit I’ve been surprised by the lack of attention that Blood Bowl has received over the past year. Having seen a new team released every quarter for the last few years, and with the new Second Season boxset launched at the tail end of 2020 I expected to more teams rolled out as we made our way through 2021. Instead it’s been pretty quiet, not crickets entirely but hardly the roaring bustle of activity of a packed stadium either. Mind you I’ve been unconvinced by the woe, woe and thrice woe wails coming from some commentors who, perhaps unaware that we’re going through a global crisis and that everything from food to fuel is getting harder to buy, believe that Blood Bowl is being uniquely targeted and the game will soon be done away with entirely. Fans of the Specialist Games, and I know I suffer from this myself, do tend to be twitchy and expect our beloved games to face the executioner’s axe at any moment, but I’m confident that when it comes to Blood Bowl there’s life in the old dog yet. 

DungeonBowl

Now, as if to prove my point, along comes Dungeon Bowl – exploding back from the distant past and onto our gaming tables once again. This, from what I remember, is Blood Bowl at its silliest, as Orcs, Elves and others race around a cramped dungeon – stepping through portals, avoiding the lava pits and battling each other for control of the ball (assuming they can find where the damn thing has been hidden!).

DungeonBowl Box

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Dungeon Bowl over the years and I’m pleased to see it back, but to be honest I’m not that excited yet. After all, I’ve still not really got to grips with the rules for normal Blood Bowl – although I have heard that Dungeon Bowl is a good way to start learning the game. In the meantime this is something that will undoubtedly be discussed much more knowledgeably elsewhere. As someone who’s much more interested in new models than new rules I would have loved to see a new team – but then again I still need to paint most of the ones I’ve already got. For now I’m watching this space with an open mind.

Jaghatai Khan

For a while there the Horus Heresy game seemed to be everywhere. Like Lord of the Rings before it the releases seemed to pour out of the Games Workshop studio in an unending tide, a great tsunami of miniatures that grew larger by the second. And then, again much like LotR, the wave broke and rolled back, perhaps never to rise again. Following the death of the extremely talented Alan Bligh the Horus Heresy, as a game, seemed to vanish from the release schedule almost overnight. 

Not that it’s been entirely abandoned of course, there has been the odd release here and there. The entertainingly named Ultramarine hero Remus Ventanus for example is available to pre-order as we speak. However this is but a trickle in comparison to the flood that came before it. Now however we finally have the last of the Primarch models, Jaghatai Khan of the White Scars.

Warhawk

I’m sure every Horus Heresy fan has a favourite primarch and for me, on the loyalist side of things anyway, Jaghatai Khan is the guy. Unlike many of the other primarchs he seems like the kind of person I could actually get along with, and throughout the stories he proves to be a dynamic, free-thinking hero. I’m currently reading the latest Siege of Terra novel, Warhawk by Chris Wraight, (no spoilers please!) in which the Khan is once again proving himself to be downright awesome dude.

Warhawk

This also brings the series of primarch models released by Forge World to a close. Beginning with Angron in 2012 the studio has released a miniature for each of the Emperor’s sons (apart from the clone Omegon of course, but I’m sure you could always buy the Alpharius miniature twice). This leaves me wondering what they might have planned next. Already we’ve seen various other heroes and villains from the series released as miniatures and I’m sure there will be plenty more in the future. Meanwhile two of the traitor Primarchs who ascended to daemonhood during the Heresy – Magnus and Mortarion – have already had plastic models released for them and it seems more likely that the others will enjoy the same treatment rather than having daemonic versions released in Forge World resin. In many ways it depends a lot on what Games Workshop decides to do next with the Heresy series. Despite the decline in the number of releases which the game has suffered in recent years persistent and believable rumours continue to circulate that a new boxset is soon to appear to inject fresh blood to the system. With the series of novels hurtling towards their cataclysmic conclusion I’d say it’s now or never.

Warhammer Underworlds – Blackpowder’s Buccaneers

Warhammer Underworlds continues to play host to some truly outstanding models and the latest warband to be revealed is no exception. Blackpowder’s Buccaneers are a bunch of pirates, lead by an ogre, his gnobblar crew and his various pets. Gyaaar!

Ogre Pirate

I don’t follow the Underworlds fanbase that closely, but judging from the comments of those friends that do, people seem to have been asking for a pirate warband – specifically an undead pirate warband – for ages.  Clearly these lads are not in any way undead but they do have a sinister looking monkey.

Underworld's Pirates

They’re not due out until early 2022 so I’ll keep my powder dry – a vital skill for a pirate – but they do look like they’d be fun to paint, I guess I’ll decide if they still tempt me nearer the time. In the meantime it’s interesting to see where Games Workshop decides to go with the warbands for the game as they move beyond the existing Age of Sigmar factions. Until now almost every warband in Underworld’s has been based on one of the AoS armies, albeit sometimes putting quite a unique spin on them. Every faction in AoS now has a warband to represent them in Underworlds however and so the studio have announced that they will be exploring  new and creative ideas, something the format is perfect for. Needless to say I’m extremely curious as to what they come up with in the months ahead. And speaking of warbands that showcase creative ideas…

Red Harvest

Regular readers will know that Warcry is one of my favourite GW games, and the only one that I play on a semi-regular basis. So far I’ve painted up 11 warbands, and it’s safe to say that more are in the pipeline. Only two of these however are what I think of as “official” Warcry warbands. Let me explain. In my mind Warcry is really two different games, one in which various gangs of Chaos worshipping maniacs battle each other in the ruins of the Eightpoints and one which serves as a skirmish game for any of the Mortal Realms various races. Just as I’m not interested in seeing Eldar or Orks in Necromunda I don’t tend to imagine the Eightpoints as busy with anyone and everyone from the wider Mortal Realms. Yes there will be times when the big players attempt to invade, and yes there will be small bands of brave and foolish treasure hunters attempting to loot the lost cities and fallen temples. However in the main this is supposed to be the Chaos Wastes re-imagined, a place twisted by the madness of the Gods, the crumbling streets haunted by dark magic and mutant beasts,  populated only by the degenerate and the insane and dominated by the dark citadel of the Everchosen himself. 

Now Warcry in its guise as “Age of Sigmar Skirmish” has been fairly well served. Warcry the game of scrapping Chaos gangs on the other hand has been fairly quiet in terms of releases. We had an initial wave of warbands, each of which was striking and original, and a few monsters and then it all tailed off. I couldn’t help but find myself wondering; was that it? Was Games Workshop just waiting for an opportunity to slot Warcry back into their frantic release schedule or had the game lived and died, abandoned on the road as the company marched onwards, to lie beside Mordhiem, Cursed City and all the rest, mourned by cultish followers who gnash their teeth in lonely darkness every time a space marine is released? 

Long story short I was pretty excited to see what they had to show us and Red Harvest did not disappoint.

Red Harvest

A new boxset for Warcry Red Harvest pits two new gangs against one another in the ruins of a Chaos mining facility. On one side we have the Darkoath Savagers, a brutal bunch who fight partly in the hopes of one day standing at the Everchosen’s side and partly because they’re trying to seize control of a reliable supply of shirts.

Darkoath 3

Boys and girls are represented in the warband, with the ladies looking just as brutal as the gents.

Darkoath 6

You really can’t put together a mob of under-dressed barbarians without a nod to Conan, although in this case GW are really making a nod to the barbarian from Heroquest – who was himself a nod to Conan.

Darkoath 1

Meanwhile the tribe’s shaman is this old woman who, like the Graeae from Greek mythology, has only one eye – and it’s not in her head.

Darkoath 2

Facing up against them we have Tarantulos Brood, spider men who do whatever a spider can. Having spotted that the Chaos star has 8-points and that spiders have eight legs these arachnophiles have put two and two together and made eight.

Spider Man

These are another of the strikingly original warbands that Warcry does so well, pushing the creative boundaries of the setting and exploring all the weird and wonderful cultures that arise in a land riven by the dark power of Chaos.

Tarantulos Brood 1

Needless to say I’m hard-pressed to say which of these warbands is my favourite and this is a boxset I will undoubtedly be buying. The set also provides loads of new terrain with which to expand the twisted landscape of the Eightpoints. Apparently this is what a Chaos-run mine looks like. What next, a Chaos market, farm or arena?

Chaos Mine

So far we’ve no way of knowing what, if anything, might lie beyond the horizon for Warcry. Will this boxset be a one off, or is it the start of another wave of regular releases? Looking on the bright side we know that there’s plenty of potential in the setting (one of the developers mentioned in an early interview that at least 50 warbands were considered at the concept design stage) and it’s proved to be popular. If we assume that they were testing the waters with the initial wave of warbands and the moneymen were pleased with the results and immediately order more to be made then, accounting for Covid and the delays associated with it, we should be due for a second wave of warbands to appear round about…now. Could Red Harvest be just the beginning? Might we see a new warband for Warcry appearing every quarter for the foreseeable future, alongside a new Blood Bowl team and a new gang for Necromunda? We would if I was running the world anyway!

Anyway, these are my thoughts, now I want to hear yours. Will you be joining me in the Eightpoints, preparing to overthrow Holy Terra or heading down to your local dungeon for a bit of Blood Bowl? As ever the comments box is all yours.


Back To The Primitive – Part 4

One of the main things I wanted to do this Orctober was paint up a warband of Savage Orcs to use in games of Warcry. Now the warband is pretty much done – and the final thing I needed to add was someone to take charge of these gits. For that I decided to call upon the talents of a Wurrgog Prophet. These are the leaders of the Bonesplitter clans, and it is through their demented gibbering that the will of the Orc gods is interpreted. Each one is a powerful shaman in his own right, just the kind of guy I want to lead my mob of maddened primitive greenskins.

However, just like the Savage Orcs themselves, I’m something of a traditionalist. To me this model will always represent Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu – the Great Green Prophet who roamed the lands of the Old World, raising up tribes of Savage Orcs, seeking out worthy warbosses and spreading the word that the Green Gods were coming and it was time for some propa’ fightin’!

Wurrzag Ud Ura Zahubu

When WHFB met it’s untimely end I expected that would be the end of old Wurrzag too, but although the character died the model lived on, rebranded as the Wurrgog Prophet just as the Savage Orcs were rebranded as Bonesplitter Orruks. When it became obvious that the axe was about to fall on WHFB I picked up old Wurrzag because I really liked the model, and the character, and I firmly expected the miniature to be discontinued. At the time I had a scheme to put together good old fashioned Orcs and Goblins army, something I’ve often considered over the years but never quite got around to. As it turned out I didn’t need to rush, and the model remains available even now. Anyway, old Wurrzag ended up tucked away safely for a rainy day and there he remained… until now…

Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (1)Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (2)Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (3)

With the Wurrgog Prophet painted up I now have everything I need to unleash a frenzied pack of underdressed loons in games of Warcry. Not burdened by frivolous things like armour, clothes or sanity these boys are spoiling for a fight and with wintry weather drawing in I reckon I’ll soon get the chance to roll some dice and let them unleash their crazed barbarism on the tabletop. Don’t strain your eyes, click on the picture below for a proper look!

Wurrgog Prophet Wurrzag Bonesplitter Orc Wudugast ConvertOrDie (4)

These aren’t nearly all the Savage Orcs I have tucked away however, although I think it’s a safe bet that they’re all the ones I’ll be painting this month. Still, Orctober isn’t over yet and I still have a few more greenskins I’d like to get done if I can…


Spire Tyrants – Part 1

Despite how much I like the various chaos warbands made specifically for Warcry I seem to have ended up painting lots of warbands from other factions instead. I don’t see any reason to stop doing that of course but I do intend to tackle a few of what I still think of as the “core warbands” as well. I even got as far as assembling the gladiators of the Spire Tyrants but never got any further until I spotted this Headtaker the other day. He was the first model I worked on for the warband but for some reason progress stalled when he was within about half-an-hour of completion and for several months he just sat there until I picked him up again and finished him at last.

Spire Tyrants Headtaker Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)Spire Tyrants Headtaker Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)Spire Tyrants Headtaker Warcry Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (3)

As previously mentioned I intend to use Orktober to encourage myself to paint a load of greenskins so the rest of the gladiators may end up waiting a little longer but I’ll aim to crack on with them soonish.


Templars, Sisters and Scum: GenCon 2021 Previews

GenCon, which likes to remind us all that it is “the biggest four days in gaming” happened this weekend. Despite the fact that some American acquaintances of mine seemed to believe that it is the only four days in gaming it might well have passed those of us who live outside Indianapolis by, were it not for the various companies which attended and used it as a platform to show-off the next big things to be assaulting our wallets.

Games Workshop were there of course, and although they’re far from being the only company who’s miniatures I buy I’ll admit to being enough of a fan that I was watching with keen interest. Plus they announced that they would be previewing forthcoming goodies for Necromunda, Warcry, Blood Bowl and Kill Team – and you know they had me at Necromunda. Now that the dust has settled I’ll take the opportunity to cast my eye back over the announcements and share a few of my thoughts. Needless to say there’s a lot we still don’t know about all this, we really only have Games Workshop’s own promotional bumph to go on and I’m sure much of what I have to say will look laughably out of date in a few months time. Is that going to stop me bumping my gums and rattling my keyboard? Of course not!

Harrowdeep

Before we got to the good stuff (and I’m sure I’ll be shot at dawn for saying that!) the first thing to be revealed was the forthcoming fifth season of Warhammer Underworlds. As a game Underworlds doesn’t really attract me, the emphasis on collecting cards and competitive gaming is a bit of a turn off I’m afraid. The models however have been generally outstanding, with rarely a duff miniature in the game’s entire stable. Given its popularity a new edition (sorry – “season”) seemed pretty much inevitable and GW had already announced that this was on the way. Now we got to find out a little more about it – this time it’s set underwater – and features a new game mode that other reviewers will undoubtedly be able to share far more educated opinions on than me. I just like looking at the miniatures! And as for those miniatures – well, they’re a little bit of a mixed bag for me I’m afraid. Underworlds warbands tend to attract me either as models to paint for the sheer pleasure of painting them – and again let me emphasise that the vast majority of them have been outstanding – or because I can use them for something else (normally Warcry). This time the set features Kruelboy Orcs fighting it out against Stormcast Eternals which is very much the match-up of the moment in Age of Sigmar as these two posterboys for good and evil slug it out across the Realms.

So far I’ve yet to buy one of the core sets for the game and I’m pretty certain that this latest – Harrowdeep – will go the same way. The models are nice, and I might be tempted by the Kruelboys if they were available separately, but they come packaged – and priced – with a lot of extraneous cardboard that just isn’t for me.

Kruelboy 1

Stormcast Eternals aren’t generally a faction that appeals to me that much and although the latest models added to the range have been amongst the best so far the crew from Harrowdeep fall short of that. Take this guy for instance – it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what I don’t like about him but there’s something off there. The boar carved into his armour is pretty cool though – I’m enjoying seeing all the animal motifs popping up on Stormcast armour. We’ve seen hawks, lions, bears and now a boar and (on one of the others in this set) what appears to be an owl. What next I wonder? My money is on a hamster.

Stormcast

Games Workshop have invested a lot of effort and attention in Underworlds and it seems to have paid off, I may not be that excited about it – although as I say I’m very much looking forward to seeing what other new warbands will be arriving this season – but I know I’m in something of a minority there. Kill Team – the skirmish-scale sidekick of Warhammer 40k – on the other hand has suffered from a lack of love, all too often making do with repackaged kits and “trickle down” attention from it’s much more lucrative big brother. With this latest relaunch however GW claim to have finally got the message and have promised us something new for Kill Team ever quarter year for the foreseeable. This is a big improvement, previous editions having barely seemed to stay on GW’s radar for three months before vanishing into the murky depths – outcompeted for their parent company’s limited attention by the plethora of other games the studio produces. Already – mere weeks after the game was launched – the first new expansion has been revealed. First we had Orks fighting the Death Korps of Kreig, now the Sisters of Battle are taking on the Tau in a new box entitled Kill Team: Chalnath.

Chalanath Kill Team Box

Now I’ll acknowledge that neither the Sisters nor the Tau particularly interest me – in fact I wouldn’t have realised that the Tau half of the box was made up of models already available, supplemented with a new sprue of upgrades, if I hadn’t been told. Similarly, whilst I’m pleased to see GW investing properly in the Sisters of Battle for the first time in decades and I can barely think of another faction that deserves attention to the same degree (cough-Skaven-cough) they’re still not really my bag. That said these particular Sisters are pretty interesting. Whilst the majority of Sisters of Battle go around in power armour (thus answering the question of what a female space marine would look like and saving anyone the trouble of getting on their high horse…) these ladies are still just initiates and so go into battle defended only a corset, a wimple and what looks like reinforced jodhpurs. Mixing the futuristic with the medieval in true 40k style these girls will be great for Inq28 conversions and even though I probably won’t get a full set myself I’ll have my eye on get some spares to use in converting downhive fanatics and witch hunters for Necromunda. The matriarchal agents of House Ko’iron, with their close ties to both House Cawdor and the Sisters of Battle spring immediately to mind.

Sisters of Battle 1

Given the quality of these models, and the preceding Death Korps and Ork Kommandos also released for Kill Team I’m feeling genuinely positive about the future of the game and very keen to see what might be coming in the quarter after next. Oh and speaking of the Death Korps and Kommandos these will also be getting separate releases soon, not entirely surprising but nice to have it confirmed – especially given how odd GW’s releases can sometimes be.

Death Korps

For a while there Blood Bowl was riding high with new teams emerging roughly every three months. Things got a little bumpy during the height of the covid epidemic but that was true of everything, and as 2020 drew to a close we even got a new edition of the game. As we stepped bravely in 2021 you could almost hear the baying of the crowd around every corner, see the discarded McMurty’s burger wrappers blowing in the breeze, taste the Bloodweiser and feel the crunch of fragile flesh hitting unyielding astrogranite. Then everything went suddenly and strangely quiet. Yes we got things like new pitches, and dice and so on but we’re fans of miniatures – we want new teams! Some people might argue that we already have 21 teams available to play in the game and I should have used this lull in activity as an opportunity to paint some of the models I already own and learning how to play the game properly but I won’t tolerate nonsense like that!

Anyway, at last our prayers have been answered and a bunch of very angry men have stormed the pitch – and for once it’s not just the fans. Blood Bowl has long had a Chaos Undivided team and a Nurgle Team and now the developers turn their attention to one of the other Chaos Gods; Khorne. If ever there was a Chaos faction likely to be drawn to Blood Bowl it must be the followers of the Blood God (the clue is in the name). Somehow I can’t imagine that these guys will be tactically challenging to play, or rely on a subtle passing game over good old-fashioned brutality.

Khorne Blood Bowl 3

The team contains three types of players, the Bloodborn Marauder Linemen (above), Bloodseekers and bestial Khorngors. The Bloodborn Marauders and Bloodseekers are roughly analogous to the Bloodreavers and Blood Warriors from the Blades of Khorne faction from Age of Sigmar.

Khorne Blood Bowl 1

Now before anyone gets too hot under the collar I don’t think this suggests that the Blood Bowl developers are turning to AoS for inspiration, that the Old World of Warhammer has been mined out of ideas (it most certainly has not) or that we’ll be seeing Stormcast Eternals playing Blood Bowl by the end of the week (Satan will be ice-skating to work before that happens). Rather it’s simply the fact that many of the concepts behind the Blades of Khorne were ported over from WHFB to AoS, and have been imported to Blood Bowl in the same straightforward manner. Keep in mind that the warriors of Khorne revealed in recent previews for the computer game Total War: Warhammer III have also looked a lot like their AoS counterparts – that’s just how fantasy Khornate warriors look.

Khorne Blood Bowl 2

More importantly though via the Blades of Khorne range we have a treasure trove of bits to convert our new Khornate Blood Bowl players – and equally we can always take some bits from Blood Bowl and sneak them into AoS armies. I salute the first person who unleashes a Khornate horde in AoS with a ball carrying Marauder Lineman leading the charge of the Bloodreavers.

Khorne Blood Bowl 4

Now some of you are probably thinking “This is all very nice but how about seeing some Space Marines, there’s an underrepresented faction if ever I heard of one”, in which case fear not – the boys in power armour were covered too. If you feel that the honour of the Emperor has been intolerably besmirched, that the unclean are being allowed to live and witches are going around without anyone to suitably abhor them then good news – the Black Templars are coming to sort things out.

Black Templars Art

Every 40k fan, even the staunchest heretic, has a favourite Space Marine chapter and for me the Black Templars are probably it (the Blood Angels give them a good run for their money though – berserk space vampires are hard to beat). The Templars however bring sheer, uncompromising attitude that I find irresistible, they’re ruthless fanatics and stubborn to the point of self-destruction if they choose to be. These are the guys who chain their weapons to themselves because they’re always ready to purge someone, and whilst the Blood Angels find the time to make beautiful art and think about their feelings these mad bastards have been permanently on crusade for 10,000 years.

Black Templars

They also have more gothic flourishes than you can shake a dead heretic at, which means they look like they’d be a real joy to paint, and to top it off they have arguably the coolest colour-scheme of any Space Marine chapter ever.

Black Templar Martial

If all this sounds a bit fan-boyish then it probably is, but if we’re not allowed to enthuse about things we like then what are we allowed to enthuse about? The Templars will be released later this year, starting with a limited edition “launch box” which will sell out in about 12 seconds. I won’t be trying to snag a copy but I will be keeping an eye out for when the kits get a normal release, and waiting with great anticipation to see what other models are added to the range.

The boxset also contains the codex supplement for the faction, with a limited edition cover, and I must admit I let out a very unmanly squeak when I saw it. This was the piece of artwork that, back when I was a lad, transformed me in an instant from thinking “Space Marines – meh, they’re a bit rubbish” to thinking “Space Marines are fucking awesome!!”

Black Templars Cover

Even now it’s a dangerous thing, I can’t allow myself to look at it for too long because every time I do I find myself planning out the Black Templars army of my dreams and really I ought to be concentrating on all my other projects, especially all those lovely new Orks.  Dammit, I want to start a Black Templar army now though…

Black Templars 3

Anyway, moving swiftly on, and finally we got to the part I was waiting for. Games Workshop really saved the best for last here (or almost last anyway – more on that below). Regular readers will know that Necromunda is where my heart lies these days and so of course I was agog to find out what will be coming next to the dirty streets of the underhive. The last two years have been given over to building up the forces of the “big six” houses, bringing new models and expansions to flesh out the gangs of Goliaths, Eschers, Orlocks, Cawdor, Van Saar and Delaque. The last time an entirely new faction appeared it was the Slave Ogryns back in early 2020 but GW had announced that another new gang would be hitting the streets before the end of the year. There were various things that I was hoping we might see – pit slaves, ash waste nomads and muties being particularly interesting. Instead we got something which on the one hand is quite unexpected, and on the other is exactly what I’ve been hoping to see for the last decade or so.

Necromunda Outcast Gangers 1 (1)

The majority of people on Necromunda belong to one of the great houses in only the loosest sense – that is to say they belong to them as property, not as citizens. Whilst an Escher ganger is fully immersed in Escher culture, the majority of the people working for the house do so only because they are indentured to a factory that the Eschers happen to control. For these ordinary people life is unbelievably harsh and whilst most endure brief lives of cruel drudgery before being worked to death some get out, by accident or design, and find themselves forced to survive on the mean streets without the dubious protection of the Houses. These Outcasts and Hive Scum are what we’re looking at now, down-and-out desperadoes banding together for survival.

Necromunda Outcast Gangers 1 (2)

Now I’ll start by saying that I’ve been thinking of starting a gang of underhive criminals and outcasts for a while now but couldn’t quite decide where to start so I’m over the moon about these. However let’s think a little broader and look for a moment beyond the walls of Necromunda itself, because these guys are a convertor’s gold mine! Do you want Chaos Cultists? Just add a few spikes and mutations! Thinking of starting a penal legion, or other disreputable Imperial Guard army? These are your guys! Want some frateris militia to march alongside your Sisters of Battle? Just add Cawdor and Redemptionist parts and you’re good to go! What about Imperial civilians, Space Marine chapter thralls, Genestealer Cultists, space pirates, Inquisitorial agents, even inhabitants of the more industrial and shabby Cities of Sigmar? The possibilities from a bunch of generic humans are vast and extremely exciting.

Necromunda Outcast Gangers 1 (3)

Alongside these we’ll also be seeing an Underhive Market as a set of terrain. Again this is something I’ve dreamed of having for years and when I finally get around to building a little corner of the hive of my very own this will definitely be included – where else can my gangers go to buy extra guns, a few bottles of Second Best and a rat on a stick?

Underhive Market

Finally, the very last preview came in the form of a little hint at the future of Warcry. Now whilst Necromunda is the setting I’m most excited about Warcry is the game I’m most likely to play – I’ve been enjoying slugging it out against gangs of thugs across the Chaos wastes of the Eightpoints and beyond since the game first appeared back in August of 2019. However despite an initial flurry of attention the game hasn’t had a lot of official support since then, there have been a few rule books, three monsters and various rules to bring factions from Age of Sigmar into Warcry – all of which is great – but we’ve only seen two new warbands made specifically for the game since it launched and it’s been easy to imagine that Games Workshop planned to let it pass into history, as they’ve done with so many other games in the past. I suppose that wouldn’t be the end of the world, we do have a lot of cool models and content for it already, but I’d love to see it given more long term support. The setting is very intriguing, the models have been outstanding and the game is a lot of fun to play; all good reasons to keep it alive and kicking. Now at last we’ve had a definitive answer to whether or not they have more releases up their sleeves; Warcry – Red Harvest is on its way.

Red Harvest

…And that’s all we know. Well that and a lot of hints about spiders being involved somehow. I’d have loved to see a new warband previewed, in fact I’d love to see them give Warcry quarterly updates with four new warbands per year (and the same for Blood Bowl and Necromunda whilst they’re about it!) but I’ll settle for knowing that the game isn’t entirely dead and gone.

Anyway, that’s more than enough enthusiastic wittering from me! What about you – did you enjoy these previews, do you have a particular favourite or would you have preferred something else? As ever the comment’s box is waiting for you to share your thoughts with the world!