Monday 23 November 2020

9th edition missions


Since 9th edition has dropped, I have managed 13 games between lockdown and social distancing. I think if I am honest that I preferred 8th edition although 9th has some nice additions. One thing that bugs me a little is the new mission format and that is what I am going to discuss here both the good and the bad.

Table Sizes.

With the exception of patrol missions, where I can fully understand scaling down the table size, it feels unnecessary to do it for other game sizes. The new table sizes are there just to contain armies more and force them into a kill zone due to the mission requirements. No more gunlines. Everyone goes forwards. Because I have three boards that make up a 6' by 4' table we have played our games as the new table length but for ease we have kept the 4' depth and it doesn't make any real difference. I'm going to start seeing if my fellow gamers will be willing to just stick to 6' by 4' tables. The new scales are a minimum after all.


Objective placement is my biggest grumble about the new missions. There are certain rules for them that bug me. 

Having them be a fixed placement means that a fixed table layout (something that I want to build) is impossible because each mission placement is different and they cannot be in terrain. Sure, you can move ruins and the like around but that defies the point of a fixed table. It also means that if you are playing a pick up game, you have to waste valuable playing time measuring out where they go before you even set up table terrain and start the game. When your club or local gaming store has limited play time of an evening (for example) that's not helpful.

It would be so much better, in my opinion, to have stuck with what we had previously, where players alternated setting up objectives so that they were X inches from a table edge and from other objectives. That worked so much better.

Also, why can they not be in terrain? Doesn't make sense to me. You don't send troops to occupy an open street or an open patch of ground. You occupy a defensible position or somewhere containing supplies you need or something like that.

I know that sounds like me grumbling about table layout and so on, but it just bugs me a little.

Secondary Objectives.

Every mission is now a objective holding mission. In a way I don't mind this as I was never a fan of the kill point missions as they tend to favour certain armies over others. It just lacks flavour. However, the addition of secondary objectives is what adds that flavour. Initially I didn't like them as they smack of the ITC format missions - something 9th seems to have unfortunately emulated. The problem is that many of them aren't worth taking. I tend to find that some are suited better to specific armies while many of the mission specific secondaries just are not worth taking.


What I really miss are the tactical objective missions where we used cards to determine the goals for battle. Sure, they were random are sometimes you didn't get a good draw but they gave you a mission with fluid goals which felt both more realistic and also meant that you wouldn't win just going for the kill. You actually had to play for the cards you were given. I seriously hope that they bring this format back at some point.

Ultimately the 9th edition missions aren't bad. I've had fun playing them but at the same time they could be better. The new mission format just doesn't feel as enjoyable as the old missions did. They are something that just needs adapting to but like nearly everything Games Workshop releases it could have been done better.

Saturday 15 August 2020

9th ed Battle Report #1


Rift Wardens vs Grey Knights.

Points: 2000.

Scenario: Retrieval Mission.

Finally the 9th ed rules had come out and I had my copy of the Indomitus box in hand. Once the models were all built I challenged my friend Gary to a 2000 point game. Try out a higher points limit and see how well it played. The mission rolled was Retrieval Mission so I set awkward objective placements and then built the terrain layout around them to ensure that we had decent initial cover from one another. I picked the table edge that was to be mine but as was pointed out afterwards it may have served me better to claim the opposite side. I was thinking of ease of moving the models around but Gary was probably right.

Gary chose Psychic Ritual, Assassinate and Thin Their Ranks but I went with Slay the Warlord, Thin Their Ranks and Raise the Banners High. I did take a look at the scenario specific objective - Minimise Loses - but it didn't look like something that was going to be in my favour. A problem I see in most scenario specific objectives. 

First turn I focused on shooting as much as I could. I took down one squad and I think inflicted a handful of injuries elsewhere. I specifically moved my units to claim three objectives and to start raising those banners. The problem I had against Gary's Grey Knights was that he had brought a storm talon and a land raider - two units I would be hard pressed to deal with. I presently have no transports for my army so the marines had to advance forward on foot which meant Gary was able to start inflicting a lot casualties. 

As the game progressed the Grey Knights took control of their own three objectives and his shooting was a lot more effective than was mine. Although I expected to suffer at the hands of smite spam Gary didn't do much with it and it was in assault that he turned the tables. I don't know if it was a mixture of bad dice rolls or just bad luck, but I was barely able to do anything in assault and he was smashing my poor assault intercessors and my chapter master into fine red mist. Even my poor chapter master with his invulnerable save and 6+ ignore wounds died all to easily. 

The Grey Knights were soon pushing me back and once his grand master in dreadknight armour teleporting onto the table I knew I was in real trouble. My primaris lieutenant charged into him with the idea of using hi storm shield to keep his warlord in check and maybe if the dice were with me I might be able to take him down but I couldn't even make a 3+ invulnerable save more than once. 

Turn 5 came and my poor space marines were tabled and the Grey Knights had completed their Psychic Ritual. When we counted up the victory points Gary beat me 75 to 53. For a first game of this edition I thought I didn't do too badly as each new rules set is a learning experience. Gary won fair and sqaure but I can't help but feel that my dice let me down a lot of the game. He was always going to win I think but the scores might have been a bit closer. I really need to get myself a couple of Impulsor's so I can get my troops about the table more safely.

The Rift Wardens move to grab the objectives.

Kaldor Draigo emerges from the Warp to guide his brothers in battle.

The battlefield before us.

Friday 14 August 2020


 Apologies for lack of updates. I lost my internet connection for a couple of weeks due to the uselessness of my provider. But I'm back now and in the next couple days I hope to post up my thoughts on 9th edition and a new 9th ed battle report. Stay tuned.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Objective Markers part 1

While have a bit of a post lockdown clear out recently I found a sealed box of booby traps from the release of 4th edition's Cities of Death supplement. With 9th edition not needing numerical objectives I figure they would do well. Just needed something to mount them on and I found that at work. Where I work we sell child proof plastic caps for electrical sockets. Tonight I glued on the appropriate "booby traps". Now I just need to paint them.

Got my Indomitus box this week as well so it looks like I may have a bit of hobby painting and building to do over the next couple weeks.

Saturday 18 July 2020

First Thoughts part 1

The other night myself and my friend Gary played a pre-9th edition game using the free download rules. My space marines vs his chaos daemons and instead of the basic Only War scenario that comes with that download we decided to tryout the Four Pillars scenario that appeared in one of the recent Warhammer Community pages. Without having access to the new points we stuck to the current 8th edition points and unit rules. We also don't have the new secondary objectives so we could only use the one from the mission itself.

At the end of that game I thought about the changes and here are a few of my initial thoughts. I'll do a part two once I get my hands on the actual rules and have played a couple more games fully under the new edition.

1. Table Size.
I prefer the idea of playing the traditional 6x4 foot table but for this game we played the reduce 44x60 and it shows during play. The reduced table width meant that we were fairly packed closer together during the game but it in a good way it also meant that my opponent's ability to deep strike was less likely to be dropped into my lines or behind them unless I moved forwards. It forced Gary to drop his bloodletters later in the game and on the edge of his own deployment zone. It doesn't seem like a huge difference but it could make a difference on the game play.

2. Command Points.
This was huge! Having a large pool of command points plus regenerating 1 a turn meant that we could both use stratagems that might never have seen the light of day under 8th edition. I could still use the re-roll, the regular stratagems but I was also able to drop an orbital bombardment and on two occasions the stratagem (I forget the name) that lets me rapid fire 2 the bolt rifles of my troops. This was a big improvement.

3. No Overwatch.
This was my only negative that came from the game and even then it didn't play a big part. Under 9th edition you can only fire one Overwatch (unless you play Tau of course). On a tactical level it means you have to choose where you want to use it, just like if you can deny a psychic power and you have to choose which power to risk the deny on. However, I think that against a aggressive hoard type army... daemons, tyranids and orks mainly, that only getting to overwatch once is not enough. If they really want to reduce overwatch then it should be a +1 cost to the stratagem for each time it has been previously used that round.

4. Actions.
Within the mission we only had the secondary that comes with the mission itself. To start with we got actions wrong. We had not properly read it and assumed that when using an action it meant that you couldn't do a psychic power, shoot or charge, and if you were charged then the action was wasted. If other secondary objectives are going to be like that, then I think they are going to be largely awkward to achieve once the game really gets underway. I can't say much more until we get our hands on the full rules and we can read them fully.

5. Morale.
The morale phase has changed and I don't understand why. The 8th edition way worked so much better and made more sense. Now, you roll as you did but if the morale test is failed one model dies or runs away. You then have to roll for each remaining model and on a 1 one more model dies or runs away. While it might reduce unit casualties from morale but it also adds a small amount of time to the game that really wants to be a bit more fast paced.

Otherwise the game played the same as 8th always has. These five points just stood out to me a lot more, both good and bad. Other than some initial kneejerk reactions, I think this will be a good edition. We just need to see how it actually plays out once we get the rules in our hands. Once I get mine next weekend I'll do a part 2.

Have you had an opportunity to try the new rules yet? What did you think?

Thursday 2 July 2020

9th edition rules available

Today Games Workshop have released the free rules download for the new 9th edition of the game. You can find them here: 9th edition rules.

Winter's SEO has released a rules review video as well. It's a goof view if like me you were getting a bit wound up by the dribs and drabs of rules we were getting.

What are your thoughts on this rules now we have a better idea of them?

Sunday 21 June 2020

Battle Report - Salamanders vs Rift Wardens

Salamanders vs Rift Wardens.
1500 points.
Dawn of War.
The Scouring.

First 40K game post-lockdown and most likely my last 40K game of 8th edition. My friend Gary messaged me to ask if I fancied a social-distancing game in his purpose built gaming shed. Of course I was going to say yes! And so on a cold, windy and rainy evening in June, we convened to get our gaming fix sated. I still only have my fixed space marine list and Gary put together a collection of less played models from his collections to simulate a Salamanders army.

Gary has a nice selection of solid LOS blocking terrain and we set those up to provide both a nice table layout as well as some places to hide. Deployment and mission were then determined, with the six objectives being fairly evenly spaced out across the board. I ended up with both the superior and inferior objectives pretty much in my deployment zone or close to. I completed my deployment first and I decided that since it was an objective holding mission that it made more sense to go second, so that if needs be I could try and steal them away on a potential last turn of the game.

For a seemingly random collection of units, Gary's army started dealing a fair bit of damage straight away. He had two artillery pieces, Quad-launchers I think, that started killing my models in the first volley while his other units slowly moved up to grab some objectives. It meant that I was forced to play fairly static to start with, try to keep the objectives I had and get some massed firepower into his lines. His first casualties were his scouts who were proving annoying to me and to my poor aggressors. I had placed a dreadnought with lascannons and missile launcher on my right flank in hopes that I could remove those annoying quad-launchers and although it took me a couple turns, the dreadnought did his job. 

With those artillery pieces gone I was not losing so many models and I was able to try and consolidate my positions a bit more. The ensuing fire fight was wearing us both down and when we were close enoughto assault one another things got interesting. My chapter master tore through his cataphractii terminators and a few marines before being brought down. He will be remembered with honour in the annals of the chapter. This is where the game started to go all too well in Gary's favour as my army isn't really built to handle too many assault right now. My central objective was fairly open and that is where the bulk of the fighting took place with us both sending fire and blade in to try and get that objective.

When Gary sent his bikes up I was forced to put a lot of firepower into them. I think my hellblasters did the most and left only a couple bikes. I brought my inceptors and had to ponder whether to finish a small group of scouts or the bikes. Gary offered his advice and I agreed. The scouts went down and he was left with a single bike. I assaulted the bike and failed to finish it. The bike pulled back and his marines gunned down my inceptors. If that had gone my way I think it might have turned the tables in my favour but with them gone, I was looking at a total loss here.

By turn 5 I had lost nearly my entire army and was holding just the superior objective as I recall. I conceded at this point. Victory for the Salamanders.

It was a good game after nearly three months of not playing. I didn't forget much but there were a few things I had to check the rules and codex for. Fun game with some nice cinematic moments and definitely worth the wait. 

My chapter master leads his marines into battle at the start of the battle.

Vulkan, centurians and the quad launchers.

The battlefield at start of play.

My chapter master laying the smack down on those Salamander terminators.

Friday 12 June 2020

Happy Days!

With Lockdown coming to an end here in the UK, it looks like I might get my first Warhammer game since it all started. Can't wait. Hopefully it'll all come back to me and it'll be a good match.

Keep an eye out as I'll write up the battle report soon.

Thursday 11 June 2020

9th ed Terrain

We're being hit hard and fast with new 9th edition teasers, and today we have received a look at the new terrain rules. You can see the full article here.

Well... knee jerk reactions aside... I do and I do not like them. 8th edition had the problem that terrain was pretty much pointless in the game when it needed a more dedicated set of rules for their use. That seems to be what we are getting here so why do I have a sense of being not happy with what Games Workshop have showcased here? I think because in one example of rules changes, which I will come to below, they seem to have listened to the nonsense that comes out of the ITC format.

Let's take a look.

Terrain Traits
When setting up a battlefield, you and your opponent(s) decide which terrain traits will be applied to each piece of scenery. The traits are designed to be stackable, so a single terrain piece can actually be given as many different traits as you wish. For example, you may decide to count a bunker as both Light Cover AND Heavy Cover, offering the benefits of cover at every range.

I'm sorry... what? We have to agree on what each piece of terrain counts as? That will end well outside of tournaments. TO's will set that up themselves but in friendly games there are already rules arguments and this will probably generate more. Why not just assign specific rules to specific terrain types? That would solve this issue. I'm on the fence with this one.

This is nice and I like that the two types can be stacked. Ruins should always be both though rather than something you should be picking. About time that melee allows cover saves in ruins though. Why did it take nine editions to add that?

This is where I start to have issues and call BS! This is what they have copied from the ITC tournaments where complaints were made about being to shoot through ruins with windows or doors, so they made it so that doors and windows are effectively walls. I hate this concept. If you don't want players to shoot through such gaps, don't build them into your terrain pieces. Simples! I really hope this is one of those optional traits so that you don't have to have to use it.

Secondly, what happened to Aircraft that they need that second bit? Last I knew aircraft were not hiding behind walls on a regular basis and were not overpowered (well, maybe one or two Aeldari ones... *Ahem*). Models that are Titanic I get. Those things are towering over the terrain anyway realistically. I just don't see why aircraft are being singled out. But hey, I guess it won't be too much of an issue.

Oh look... ruins should be obscuring.

Yes, I am having a knee jerk reaction but I've walked away from the computer, painted some models and watched some Youtube to chill before I made this post. I've thought about it and chilled but some of this just is not sitting well with me. It seems like they have gone from minimal rules under 8th edition to the opposite extreme under 9th.

We shall see. While I'm not keen on the idea of 9th yet, and they are messing with my game, you do have to accept that editions change.

What do you think about what has been showcased today?

Monday 8 June 2020

40K through my years

First edition, aka Rogue Trader, was where I started with the game. One cold and windy October Saturday my best friend at school and I went down to London, to Games Day 1987 for this release. That was my first and arguably best gaming convention I had ever been to. Nothing I have been to since ever came close to how awesome that day was. I still have the little pamphlet flyer thing they gave me at the door as we went in. On that day I bought my copy of Rogue Trader, the old plastic space marine box set and the metal space orks box set.

Sadly, my friend Chris and I only ever played a handful of games. About five or six I would say. I have always loved space marines ever since that time and is why I go back to them time and time again, even when they fail me so much. I ended up ditching them though when the Realms of Chaos books came out and I bought a sizeable Black Legion army. Once we left school though, Chris went off to university and with no one else to play against, I ditched them and continued with my main love of table top role-playing games.

There was always something cool about the universe of the game back then. It didn't take itself seriously and there was so much room for individual interpretation of both the universe and one's own army. Back then the game wasn't so up it's own backside as it is now. Random mission scenario generators could have your ork mercenaries paid by an Imperial governor to rescue his daughter  who had been kidnapped by squats. Or space marines could be sent in to break up a mining dispute. While silly really, the universe was more fluid and less set in stone like it is today.

The rules were... well, let's be honest in light of modern game design, were awful. I wouldn't even want to try and play that system again. Too complex and awkward. Warhammer Fantasy Battles 3rd edition, which used basically the same system, suffered by this as well. I don't know what it is about war gamers that they want massively over complicated rules systems.

I no longer have my original copy as that fell apart in about 1989 due to the amount of reading and rereading I gave the poor thing. I do still have a well worn second hand copy though which I keep for the nostalgia of those days.

Thankfully I avoided the horror that was 2nd edition. It was many many years before I saw a copy of these rules and from my personal opinion this was just terrible. An overly complicated system yet again and a universe setting that had all the life in it just bleached. Bland and dull. I know there are many players out there who fondly remember this edition and it's probably for the same reason that I fondly remember Rogue Trader but for me, 2nd edition was a big no no.

And what was with all the bright colours? The grimdark had turned the lights on. I was told a story by a Games Workshop manager back in the mid 90's of which I do not know the full truth about. He told me that it was due to someone on the old 'Evey Metal team leaving the company but it was in their contract that all models painted by them belonged to them, so when they left, they took so many models with them that Games Workshop had to rush out new fully painted armies for the photos. As I say, I take that with a grain of salt but it makes me wonder just how much truth there is in that.

I came back near the end of the 90's when a friend at the time wanted to get back into the game. We went over to our nearest Games Workshop store and pooled our dosh for a single shared copy of the rules. He went with Chaos Space marines, Black Legion specifically and I decided to try out a new army that didn't exist in my day, the Tau. After reading their codex, and deciding that this was not to my liking, I went back to my trusty space marines. I created a homebrew chapter called the Sons of Osirion which were painted this lovely colour that Games Workshop used to do called Fire Dragon Crimson. We built and painted a few models before he lost interest and we dropped it. Somewhere I think I still have that copy of third edition.

Rules wise, it was the first edition I think where the game was more like how we have the game these days. A far cry from those Rogue Trader days. Rules were simpler and easier to understand. A lot of the unnecessary elements had gone. Although I never actually got to play it, I think I would have enjoyed this rule set quite a bit.

By the time of third edition the universe of the game was much more set in stone than it was under my day. You could still see some of that whimsy in the lore and even the models, but you could see them cementing more and more together.

The fourth edition of the game was really where I came back into it. By this time we had our own local gaming store where we went to for board games, card games and role-playing stuff, and the owner was interested in stocking Games Workshop. A few members of our gaming fraternity said that yes they were interested. As I had been running tournaments and such for a few other games, I said that if there was enough interest then I would put a club together and that is how our current club came to be - all because of Warhammer 40K 4th edition. I decided on space marines once again and bounced between Silver Skulls and Ultramarines during this edition.

Unlike third edition, fourth had become a little more rules heavy but nothing too unwieldy. The only real issues I had with fourth edition was just how overpowered it made certain assault based armies. Khorne Berzerkers got three or four times as many attacks in melee than the equivalent shooting army could put out. Genestealers could outflank coming in from the sides of the board, assaulting your units and cutting them down before they could ever do anything about it. It really used to get on my nerves, and I'm being polite in the way I am saying that. The rules were fun to play but certain aspects were OTT.

By this time the universe was pretty much what we know now. Gone was the openness and in it's place was a huge stone with everyone chiselled on it. It took some of the enjoyment away but I think that was the nostalgia talking.

Fifth edition was an edition that I loved. A lot of mechanical issues seemed to be fixed and in general the game flowed better. It carried a much more narrative feel although I probably can't tell you why I feel that. Games just worked better under fifth edition. It still experienced certain issues like the psychic phase being overpowered, especially by the Eldar and to a lesser extent Chaos Space Marines. 

At this time I came up with a new space marine chapter, again, called the Knights of the Void. Ice Blue in colour and with the concept of them being knights in space. Had fun with those but by the end of the edition I had lost interest and swapped chapters.

When sixth edition was launched I got a half six in the morning bus over to our nearest Games Workshop for the release day and I was rather disappointed. I was there during the last days of Rogue Trader for the Games Workshop stores' grand opening and I had to get there for the same time to be ready as I helped out in store from time to time. The crowds were huge even at seven in the morning. I expected the same for the sixth edition release but there was no one. Disappointing. No one else turned up for like two hours! Oh well. At got my copy though.

Sixth edition was good but it started to ramp the power level. Units started to become slightly too overpowered. The psychic phase was again too strong for certain armies and underpowered for others. One thing I really did enjoy about this edition was the addition of what we would consider now to be war zones. Sixth edition introduced basic rules for different planetary types and the club used these in a lot of their games.

During this edition I read the Salamander trilogy of books by changed my chapter yet again to Salamanders. I enjoyed playing them but I started into a spiral of not winning matches and losing interest in the game.

Seventh edition. I had an issue when this edition dropped. I have the opinion that an edition needs several years to mature before it should get replaced. Sixth was only out for two years before it was replaced. This put me in a bad place for some reason and I stopped playing for nearly six months. I still run the club for the guys though. It took my friend Jon to bring me back into the fold. He showed me the new tactical objectives deck and we played a game of seventh using them. That one new mechanic reversed my opinion and I jumped back into the game.

I had sold my Salamanders by this point and so I decided to start something new. Watching my friend Joel with his chaos daemons I decided that I wanted to play an army that could summon. I started a Death Guard army with some summoned plague bearers as support. Through this edition I had a really good time with that army and especially when they released the Traitor Legions sourcebook which made them so much better.

Then along came eighth edition and this has been without doubt my favourite edition thus far. At first I was a little sceptical after all the changes to this edition were major. It became a whole new game in my eyes. You had to forget everything you knew about the previous incarnations and start a fresh. Some of our gaming club didn't like it. They felt that the game had lost it's way. No strategy and no tactics but they were so wrong. Things just changed and we have to change with them.

I don't know what happened about my Death Guard under this edition. They went from being a really good army under seventh edition to losing something once they received the new books. Gone were bikes, raptors and heldrakes and in their place they got some cool new toys but nothing that compensated for the lose of those units. In the end I lost interest and sold them, and bought a Genestealer Cult army. I wanted something different and unfortunately they just didn't play the way I wanted them to. I returned to my old reliable, the space marines. Since the release of eighth edition I had been curious about an all Primaris army so I decided that they would be my next choice. The Rift Wardens were born... a crusading Imperial Fists successor.

I haven't done amazing with my Rift Wardens chapter but I have enjoyed every game I've played. Eighth edition certainly does seem to play better when you let go of the mechanical aspect and just focus on the fun.

I'm not sure what to make of what we have seen of 9th edition yet. It seems as though for the most part the game system will remain the same but with some small changes here and there. We shall see when the game comes out.

Thursday 4 June 2020

Command Points

Today we have another 9th edition from Games Workshop and this time it deals with command points. You can find this article here.

The number of command points is now based on the point size of your game with both players receiving the same initial number. This then get's modified by the detachments you take. The standard Battalion detachment is effectively free as it appears to give you it's points back. Other detachments will now cost command points.

Initial, maybe knee jerk reaction, to this is a little disappointing from my narrative perspective. If, for random example, I played a Dark Angels Ravenwing or White Scars army with everything on bikes then thematically I want my default detachment to be the Outrider (I think that is the name) where Fast Attack choices are dominant. You can't do that now without it costing you command points. Also, and I am assuming this is covered, what about Imperial and Chaos Knights? As I recall they don't use the default battalion detachment. At initial glance, they are getting screwed over by just being the army that they are. As I say though, I hope this gets covered either in the new rules or the 9th edition temporary FAQ.

I was correct when I said that the new command phase would be the same as Age of Sigmar's. Also, you get a bonus Command Point at the start of this phase so you always have ways to access your stratagems. I like this a lot because one thing that never quite seemed right under 8th was how few of your stratagem's you actually got to use during a game.

So far with the new edition there are some things I like and a few things I need to wait and see how they actually play out. 

Wednesday 3 June 2020

Crusade Mode

Yesterday Games Workshop revealed to us the first look at the new Crusade mode of the game. You can find it here.  At first glance it appears quite interesting although I'm not sure exactly how it will work long term.

If you like the idea of building an army up from scratch, then developing and adding to it over the course of multiple linked battles, you’re gonna love playing Crusade campaigns. From humble beginnings, your army will grow in size and strength as you spend resources you’ve earned on adding reinforcements while your units unlock new skills from their hard-won experience in battle.

Over the course of a campaign, your Crusade force will forge its own narrative, winning glory and earning enmities with each fresh victory and defeat. Heroes will rise from among your ranks, earning great renown or the honour of bearing mighty relics – maybe even ancient archeotech wargear – into battle…Meanwhile, others may succumb to their grievous injuries, becoming pale shadows of their former selves as ill fate takes its toll on their war-ravaged bodies. 

What’s more, you’re not even limited to your local gaming group – you can use your Crusade force in any games you choose to play, be they friendlies against your regular opponents or competitive matches against hardened tournament veterans. In essence, provided you’re using the Crusade rules and your opponent is happy to have a game, every battle counts!

This all sounds quite cool. I love the narrative concept behind it where your force suffers injuries or gains access to something over time. That is great. However, it goes on to say that you can play your crusade game against any opponent if they agree. That's cool but let's say you play a game at home against someone, rather than at your club with other players. Does this mean that we are expected to take the honour system and trust the player with whatever happens to their army? Hopefully this will be covered in the new rules.

To take part in a Crusade campaign, you first need to create an Order of Battle – a list of units drawn from one of seven factions (Imperium, Chaos, Aeldari, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, T’au Empire) with a maximum Power Rating of 50.* This is your Crusade force’s initial Supply Limit, from which you can choose an army list to field in each battle. Your Supply Limit can grow in size as you gain resources over the course of the campaign, enabling you to gradually recruit new units to strengthen the existing pool at your disposal.

Each unit has its own Crusade card to keep track of its progress, experience, upgrades and bonuses, as well as any Battle Scars they’ve picked up along the way. As the campaign continues, your Characters and units will become increasingly defined by the battles they’ve fought in and the narrative you’ve created for them, making it an entirely different gaming experience. As if that wasn’t already awesome enough, each new codex released in the future will include a wealth of additional, thematic options for that army specifically for Crusade campaigns for even more narrative-driven punch. We’re as excited as a Tech-Priest who’s just discovered a long-lost STC!

I find it odd that it will use power level over points but I guess that is for ease. Or maybe they are looking at making power level style games more desirable with this?

Crusade sounds fun but it makes me wonder how many groups will actually play with this. People seem to prefer points over power level, for understandable reasons, and I guess these updates/changes to units through the crusade might affect an army so that points wouldn't be so good a choice. I'm hoping that my local club members will be willing to try it at least.

What are your thoughts on this new format?

Monday 1 June 2020

New Game Phase

It looks like we have a new phase in the 9th edition game turn, the Command Phase. We don't know what this means but I'm putting imaginary money down to say it will be like Age of Sigmar where characters have a command ability. Not a bad idea I guess but depends how it works out.

Saturday 23 May 2020

9th Edition Announced

It has been debated many times in recent years on many many forums but today the truth was revealed and it is that we are getting a new edition of Warhammer 40,000. How do I feel about this? Well, I'm in parts excited but also more than a little pissed off if the truth be known. In my opinion 40K does not need a new edition. The rules, bar those for terrain, are perfectly fine. The game play works fantastically well. Sure there is some power creep but that is a codex issue and nothing new for Games Workshop. At launch we were told, briefly, that this was to be a living system that would be updated with Chapter Approved and online FAQs/errata. There would not be a need for a new edition. So forgive me for saying this, but 9th edition smacks to me of a money grab rather than a necessary update.

So with that rant over...

That trailer is just amazing! It's 40K all wrapped up in a lovely bundle. And people say GW can't do good videos. That take animation and make a two hour film of tv series please!! Yes, I know Angels of Death is coming but we'll see.

The new models look great too. I did notice the primaris with what appears to be a volkite pistol and my army will enjoy some assault primaris. Those have been too long in coming. The nicest but hidden reveal is the model for the Silent King. The necron walker looks tops too. Can't wait to destroy one of those on the battlefield.

All in all, I'm happy and I'm not, but what I am hoping will happen is that 9th edition will bring people back to our gaming club and playing some 40K again. We have seen a lacking in 40K games over the last year I think. We shall see but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

So, what are your thoughts on this new edition from what we have seen today?

Friday 15 May 2020

Thoughts from the Lockdown

With the UK lockdown going into effect you would think that us gamers would have more time to devote to our hobbies. For many that has been the case but not so much for myself.

Other than painting a couple cars for Gaslands and working on my T9A vampire covenants army I haven't really done anything. But I'm not complaining because to be fair, I think it has been good for me. I do normally spend a lot of time reading the rules, my codex and planning what direction I'd like (and probably fail) to take our games club in.

Under lockdown I have just avoided 40K. My books and army remain where they were left several weeks ago. I just haven't bothered to look at them. It has been a break from years of weekly playing, painting, building and focusing on the game perhaps a bit too much. When we can come back to the club, possibly in a couple months, we shall see, I'm hoping having had this time away will help me enjoy the game a bit more than perhaps I have in the last couple years.

How has the lockdown where you are affected your 40K hobbying?

Tuesday 28 April 2020

The Ninth Age (T9A)

Hi all. Hope you are all keeping safe and well. Another "not a 40K post" today but it is wargaming and it might be something that could interest some of you.

I could never get into the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) for a variety of reasons. Primarily it was just how awkward and complex the rules were. I lost many games because my opponent wasn't necessarily better than me or had a better army list, but because they could get their head around certain manoeuvres  and actions in the game. I lost many games because certain characters, options and spells were way overpowered (Purple Sun anyone?). On top of that I never got the love of the Old World setting that so many people did. I just found the whole thing rather bland. I like my fantasy fairly generic so I can decide what everything is.

WFB went the way of all things and Age of Sigmar replaced it. At first I liked AoS as it was different, a skirmish game (and back then I was sick of movement trays) and was open to a lot of interpretation. I even liked how the setting was more prog-rock album cover. But even that wasn't enough. In the end it was far far from being generic.

I let me interest in fantasy wargaming die somewhat because of that. That was until I stumbled upon Kings of War by Mantic. A simple wargaming system that although it had a setting, was nice and generic. You had a run down of the world but nothing was forced on you and you could use it as you wanted. I tried to entice some of the old WFB guys to try it but the general vibe I got back was that it wasn't "Warhammer enough" for their tastes. I did get some games in but no one was interested. It seems at my club that if it isn't Age of Sigmar, you may as well forget it.

This last week however, I have stumbled upon something new. I'm not sure how I even found it. The game is called The Ninth Age- and is basically an attempt at Warhammer Fantasy 9th edition. The design team are all long time WFB players and they have taken what made WFB good and made their own very similar (but obviously different) fantasy war game. They have their own setting and it isn't fleshed out so you can have whatever you want, or even just play it as the Old World if you wanted.

A Vampire Covenant army marches to war!

So what drew me to this if I was not all that much of a fan of the original Warhammer?

Firstly, the rules which by this time are in their well tested 2nd edition. Everything is a free download from their website. The main rule book, the spell book and the army books. The rules are simpler and better worded that WFB ever was. Even I can understand it so it must be. If you liked how WFB played, you won't be disappointed by this game and how it works. Best of all you'll find the game balanced unlike how it used to be. The design team of done a grand job of ensuring that points costs work out and no unit in the game should be considered not worth the effort.

Secondly, all your old WFB armies are here and ready to be played. The army books cover all the original armies, plus the Infernal Dwarfs (Chaos Dwarfs) and there is the addition of three new armies - Asklanders (Vikings), Makhar (Mongols) and Cultists (human cultists with demon allies all wrapped up in one). There is even a supplemental army book that adds giants to the majority of armies.

Names are obviously different so as not to infringe on GW's original IP but that isn't a problem. There are no named characters as yet but I believe that is in the works for a later date, and the Chaos Gods are not included. Instead Warriors of the Dark Gods and the Demon Legions serve seven evil deities each representing one of the seven deadly sins.

Thirdly, you can all use all your old Warhammer models. You can use any models providing they are the same scale and will fit on a suitable movement tray. If I remember right, there is an example of a giant's round base and how it works in combat, so whether you are using old WFB units, AoS models, KoW models... third party... it's your army and you can have it look how you want. I can certainly imagine an Asklander army made up of models from GW's Blades of Khorne army.
Looks like an awesome barbarian raider to me.

The magic system is much more balanced. Warhammer suffered, I think, from the magic spells being massively overpowered. T9A changes that by making magic worthwhile but it won't win you battles. Magic is much more of a support for your army than the means to decimate your foe. This is a big selling point for me.

So far, reading their forums and chatting to a few of the people on there, has reinvigorated me somewhat. Because of this find I am going to kick myself up the backside and get my Lichemaster army started. With what I have I will only be able to field 1000 points (4500 points is the usual default for an evenings play) but if I can get this game a look in at my local club then I'll be focusing a bit more on it.

In the mean time if you are a fan of the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle or you are looking for a good fantasy war game, I suggest taking a look and see what you think.

The Ninth Age main page.

The Downloads. - You only really need the slim volumes as they stick to the rules and are quicker to download.

If you check them out, let me know what you think.

Sunday 12 April 2020

Lockdown Update: Gaslands

Finally starting to get my head back in gear and with an Easter Sunday off I decided to sit down and do some modelling. While I set some AoS skeletons to glue I decided to start work (finally) on some of my Gaslands cars. I know it isn't 40K related but I figured someone might be interested and it gives me something to post about for the moment while I'm stuck in here between work hours.

I've not really tried painting toy cars before let alone make them post apocalyptic so this was a new experience. I figured that I would start with a couple intro teams so that I have something to play but I can also use to introduce new players to the game at some point.

So to start with I decided to go with a wasteland raiders team, sponsored by Slime (basically they are the typical Mad Max wasteland types). I worked out a basic fun two car team and picked two cars from the collection to work on

I wanted two cars that looked like they may have been scavenged from somewhere out there and patched up quick.  Raided my 40K bitz box for a couple bolters and some armour pieces. I wanted to start simple and learn as I go along, so I didn't try to overdo it. Some players like to strip the cars apart and get rid of the original paint jobs, but I like the look of some of the Hot Wheels cars schemes so I decided to keep them and just paint over them. Try to make them down and dirty while keeping a semi-real look.

Car 1 - "Pinball".
Somewhere out there, the raiders have located a racing car from before Mars bombed us to Heck, and put it new use. I picked this one because although racing cars are more an Idris team, I could see this being put to good use out on the highways.

From my bitz box I pulled a space marine bolter as use for a machine gun, a couple Orky plates and some points of an old tank ram for starters. The car already had a front spoiler that looked good as a makeshift ram so I figured since Slime teams benefit from bouncing off of opposing cars, that side mounted rams (no build point cost for Slime teams) would be nice and brutal.

The car design was a bit awkward for trying to apply rust. Not something I normally need to apply on my models. I may have overdone it a little bit. Oops. The idea being to use a lighter brown (some websites suggested start with yellow oddly) and then apply a darker brown. It looks alright but I'm not overly keen as it appears like poor camouflage rather than rust.

Car 2 - "Fat Man".
For my second car I wanted something that didn't look out of place among the cars you see in a Mad Max movie and with this little thing I found it. I figure the raiders found this abandoned on the highway somewhere with a little gas left in the tank.

Where "Pinball" is meant to score the hazards tokens, audience votes and demolish the opposition, "Fat Man" is there to streak ahead and win the race while everyone else is kept busy. As a smaller car than "Pinball" I didn't want to add too much to this one. So I with another space marine bolter and a couple of the old weird gold coloured metal additions from Forge World, the windows on this one got protected at least.

This car was much easier to paint. She got a quick dry brush with silver and then a dark wash before I did anything else. Then I started to apply the rust and having learnt from my first attempt I think this time I came away happier with the style. Less is more and all that.

That is my first starter team.Over the next few days I hope to have some time to pick a couple more teams and work on them. Maybe even get some solo practice games in as I haven't had a chance to try out the new rules since Refuelled was released.

Sunday 5 April 2020


I don't know about you all but I was hoping that with reduced hours at work, no club for the foreseeable future and spare time on my hands that I'd be able to focus on some hobby time. Mainly building and painting my space marines, AoS undead army and painting up some cars for Gaslands. Instead I'm just finding that I can't focus on that. Been that way for a couple weeks now and I can't get motivated to do anything.

I'm guessing from what I'm seeing on other blogs that everyone else is having a whale of a time focusing on the game. So, I'm throwing this out as a cry of help. Give me some suggestions for getting motivated back into the hobby side of things right now. How are you managing it?

Hope you are all safe and well though in this difficult time. Stay safe all.

Tuesday 17 March 2020


Unfortunately due to the Coronavirus outbreak our club has been put on hold for the time being and the venue has closed. Just as we started the league as well.

Sunday 8 March 2020

League Details - 2020

Our 40K league starts this week with each round lasting 3 weeks so that everyone has time to fit their games in. Fingers crossed this should be fun and hopefully it might bring people back into the fold.

Our armies are as follows:

Colin :       Space Marines (Rift Wardens - Imperial Fists successor).
Adam :      Thousand Sons.
Ashleigh : Astra Militarum (Regimental Doctrines)
Brian :       Ynnari.
Chris :       Chaos Space Marines (Night Lords / Iron Warriors).
Dan :         Adeptus Custodes.
David :      Astra Militarum (Regimental Doctrines / Militarum Tempestus).
Luke :       Death Guard.
Mark :       Thousand Sons.
Jon :          Necrons (Mephrit Dynasty).

My first match is on the 19th against Luke's Death Guard. We played a practice game a couple weeks ago so this will be a return revenge match as he beat me last time!

Sunday 23 February 2020

A post to get thoughts out

I have had a fair few games with my new space marine army over the last couple months. I just haven't had time nor drive to write up many battle reports. Just another case of real life getting in the way.

I started off doing really well with them and had a higher win-lose rate which was a nice change from playing Genestealer Cults. Lately I've had more losses than wins but I put that down to playing some good players and just relaxing with the game. I have fun, win or lose, and that is the point.

Lately I had a really good battle against the new Sisters of Battle codex. The way my opponent had spoken about them and the things they could do, I was expecting to get steamrolled but it turned out to be one of the better games I have had of late. We both inflicted severe casualties upon one another but I was able to score enough victory points to give me the edge.

Other recent matches against Grey Knights and Necrons have not gone so well. I've enjoyed the games but have come away a little disjointed. Were the dice not in my favour, did my opponent have more tactical skill than me, was there anything I could have done better? I dwell on things like that a little too much when I have a losing streak. My most recent game was against Tau using tactical objectives but on a table where we didn't have a lot of LOS blocking terrain which was just playing into my opponent's favour. Good game but walked away afterwards feeling rather put out. Not by my opponent. He was a good fair player and a good sport. I felt that in some way the game had cheated me. By skill alone, my opponent was someone who I should have beaten fairly easily and it didn't turn out that way.

In other news and something else that may have put me in the current gaming funk... I've been trying to organise a new 40K league. When I set the club up nearly 15 years ago we had several players and we used to run frequent leagues. Some were just play everyone. Some were map/tile control type ones with similar rules to the old Mighty Empires. The thing is everyone enjoyed them and we had a good time. Most of those players have either now given up the game, moved to other games (Horus Heresy for one) or just don't aren't all that interested anymore. The club has grown since those days and we have a host of new members. The issue is that they aren't the same people and some of them don't want to play a league for various reasons.

In 2019 I started up a narrative campaign using the Vigilus books and initially it seemed well received. After a couple months it started to go south. It seemed some didn't want to play the narrative style missions because they weren't 100% fair (bare in mind this was a fun narrative campaign with no reward for which player or faction won at the end) and gave up. Some didn't like the little narrative rules for each round. Others felt that they couldn't commit due to obvious real life issues, which is fair enough but as each round was 4 weeks long I just felt that that response was an excuse. After five months I think I had had enough and just dropped it. That was probably when I stopped posting on here as much.

Flash forward to a couple months ago and suddenly there are posters on our club Facebook page asking about a league. A discussion started and I started to become hopeful that maybe we could get the good old days of the club back up again. But then it started to go south again. Some people were interested but only if the army lists were fixed. Some don't like the idea of fixed lists because they get bored. Some didn't want to stick to the same codex because they would get bored. Straight away my hopes of getting this off the ground felt like they were being dashed.

Thankfully, the guiding light of the Astronomicon has pulled me through this and we have several of us actually going to try it out. We are going to be playing 1500 points, fixed lists including warlord trait, artefact, psychic powers, relics and pre-spent stratagems. I've got the players giving me their lists at the moment and once I have them, I'll assign an Eternal War mission to each round before I randomly assign opponents for each round. I have hopes that the players involved will stick to it and we can have a league like the good old days of the club.

I suppose the problem is that I feel our club has become somewhat stagnant. We have some great people who I am pleased to call good friends. We just don't get much in the way of fresh blood and if we do, they don't seem to last long. We don't just play 40K. There is some small interest in Age of Sigmar. We have a fair bit of interest in Necromunda, and a few of the guys enjoy Horus Heresy and Adeptus Titanicus. In the past Bolt Action was popular among a few. I sometimes feel that these games get in the way of 40K which was our original focal point but obviously as long as people are playing I'm happy. That's the point.

I want to feel empowered again by this hobby that I love but lately, this past year or so, I'm just not feeling it. I'm sure it isn't just the club or the games, but it feels like it. I think once I set this new league in motion (I am playing in it too) than I'll step back a bit and see if I can't try and find my niche in things again.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. :)

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Battle Report - Space Marines vs Necrons

Rift Wardens (Imperial Fists) vs Necrons (Sautekh).
Points: 1500-ish
Mission: Crusade.
Deployment: Hammer and Anvil.

First game of 2020 and I challenged Marko to a game against his Necrons. Wanting to try out the new Chapter Approved 2019 missions I picked Crusade as it was the first basic mission in the book. We rolled Hammer and Anvil deployment, and I rolled myself as the Attacker. Mark tried to seize the initiative and failed.

I started the game holding two objectives and should have been in advance range of two more. Unfortunately my dice were not great on this and neither of the advance units reached range to control the central objectives. I did walk my Redemptor dreadnought forward and for the first shooting phase of the game, it gunned down and entire unit of 15 necron warriors. Marko only had three warrior squads so this was a good round for me. I also attempted lascannon fire upon one of his annihilation barges but due to their infuriating shielding I failed to do anything to it.

His turn one and he started marching forward. He did kill a couple marines but this night his dice were quite bad. He could have done better had they rolled in his favour more through the night. I think Marko was a little concerned as I play more aggressive with my Rift Wardens than I have previous ones. He isn't used to me pushing forwards and wasn't sure quite what to do.

Turn two and I managed to reach the objectives in the centre. I was able to pour a lot of bolt and plasma fire into his units but didn't manage to bring down as many as I wanted. In return Marko managed to restore some slain warriors and in his shooting phase was able to give back as good as I had dealt him in my first turn. I lost quite a few inceptors during that shooting.

Over the next two turns the game turned in Marko's favour. While I was gunning down a few warriors at a time, and my interceptors did attempt to bring down his warlord, his shooting was more then adequate to reduce my numbers right down. When he brought in his Flayed Ones and Nightbringer in turn 3 that didn't help me either. He had enough of them that once they charged in, they took me out in a couple rounds of combat.

Turn 5 and I conceded the battle. I had a handful of helblasters and my chapter master left while Marko had twice my victory points. I was not in a position from turn 4 on wards to fight back. It was a good game although I was disappointed that I couldn't do better considering how the game started off. At some point in the future we'll have to have a rematch.


++ Brigade Detachment +12CP (Imperium - Space Marines) [81 PL, -4CP, 1,509pts] ++

**Chapter Selection**: Imperial Fists, Imperial Fists Successor, Inheritors of the Primarch

+ HQ [11 PL, -2CP, 206pts] +

Chapter Master in Gravis Armor [6 PL, -2CP, 108pts]: Boltstorm gauntlet [12pts], Iron Resolve, Master-crafted power sword [6pts], Stratagem: Chapter Master [-2CP], The Burning Blade, Warlord

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 98pts]: 2) Might of Heroes, 3) Null Zone, Force sword [8pts]

+ Troops [25 PL, -2CP, 425pts] +

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, -2CP, 170pts]: Bolt rifle, Veteran Intercessors [-2CP]
9x Intercessor [153pts]
Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 170pts]: Bolt rifle
9x Intercessor [153pts]
Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 85pts]: Bolt rifle
4x Intercessor [68pts]
Intercessor Sergeant [17pts]

+ Elites [22 PL, 425pts] +

Aggressor Squad [10 PL, 148pts]: 3x Aggressor [63pts], Aggressor Sergeant [21pts]
Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets/Fragstorm Grenade Launcher [64pts]

Dreadnought [5 PL, 120pts]: Missile launcher [20pts], Twin lascannon [40pts]

Redemptor Dreadnought [7 PL, 157pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers [8pts], Heavy flamer [14pts], Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon [30pts]

+ Fast Attack [7 PL, 123pts] +

Inceptor Squad [7 PL, 123pts]: Assault bolter x2 [48pts], 2x Inceptor [50pts], Inceptor Sergeant [25pts]

+ Heavy Support [16 PL, 330pts] +

Hellblaster Squad [16 PL, 330pts]: Plasma incinerator [150pts]
9x Hellblaster [162pts]
Hellblaster Sergeant [18pts]: Bolt pistol

Crusade Battles catchup

 It's been a few weeks since I last updated and in that time I have played a further three Crusade games. I am really enjoying playing C...