Saturday, 31 December 2016

Painting review of 2016

2016 hasn't been too bad for me from a painting point of view. I've got a reasonable amount of stuff done.

What doesn't show up on the blog so much is that I've managed to get a whole ton of models assembled and undercoated ready for paint on top of painting about as many models as last year. I was aiming to do that at the start of the year, so that's pretty reassuring.

I didn't set myself strict goals this year, and that's gone pretty well. Some projects, I perhaps thought I'd get further along this year, but these things happen.

I was particularly pleased with how all three of my familiars from Heresy Miniatures came out. They're tabletop quality, but I feel a pretty good one.

Of course, I've not managed to get to a tournament with them all painted before Malifaux managed to release the proper models for the Changelings I was using them as proxies for...

I also won this adorable renegade Inquisitor from Whiskey Priest. The plan was to debut him in a game at Warhammer World against my wife, but then I forgot to pack him, because I'm a moron.

He doesn't really count as a model I finished, as all I did was base him, but I seem to have forgotten to photograph a random mutie I'm going to be using in Inquisitorial Warbands I finished off, so he's here as a much prettier and better painted stand in.

I got my D&D hero Myth painted up.

The last of the Heresy familiars. That robe blending!

Ajjatahr, from the Circle of Chaos Kickstarter.

My first painted goblins. Only a hundred or so to go.

The John Pickford barbarians are the only models I've finished so far for the Tale of Gamers challenge I was doing with Gonzo History Gaming. It was meant to finish today... Still, I've got 30 infantry assembled, and 5 Forsaken are nearly done (they will probably be done today, if not photographed and posted).

And finally, my Oldhammer Forum model for the Chaos Villager challenge project. This is a project where everyone paints a model and then there's a draw held for who wins all the figures. This year - I won! The box arrived today, so another future post will be me going through the assorted miscreants and oddball figures I've received...

Monday, 19 December 2016

A Review of Codex: Imperial Agents

One of our focus group gets to work
The new Imperial Agents Codex came out at the weekend, and as a massive nerd when it comes to obscure little detachments and the weird corners of the Imperium, I was super excited. I've inhaled the entire thing through my eyes, so will now regurgitate some excellent and useful facts and opinions for my dedicated readers.

TLDR Version

This book is quite good and has plenty of cool stuff in it. Narrative gamers will have plenty of awesome ideas to plunder. More competitive gamers will find several old favourites thoroughly nerfed, and only a few 'good' options amid some really weird stuff. Some of the rules stuff is a bit unclear and needs a little clarification.

Cult Mechanicus

Broadly, this gives the Astra Militarum Tech Priest the Cult Mechanicus faction, a few more equipment options, and lets them have "Canticles of the Omnissiah" rule from the Cult Mechanicus Codex.

It doesn't help with Guard formations that have to include a Tech Priest, which is where most of them are likely to turn up in an army, but if you are not putting them in a Astra Militarum formation, use this to buy them, as you get some nice free rules.

Law of Unintended Forge World
Trojan Support Vehicles are a Dedicated Transport for Tech Priest Enginseers. If they are allowed for Cult Mechanicus Enginseers, that adds an extra unit with Canticles for cheap.

Aeronautica Imperialis

I want to like this so much, but it's really not very good at all.

So, you get a Fast Attack slot with an optional HQ, with the Aeronautica Imperialis faction. The only options available are Valkyries and an Officer of the Fleet as an Independent Character. The latter is amazing, the former is rubbish.

The problem is Death from the Skies. That supplement has a detachment for Valkyries that grants them Objective Secured in hover mode, which is spectacularly better than getting to reroll some reserve roles. Getting to hide away your Officer of the Fleet as an Independent Character rather than part of a Command Squad is great - but not at the cost of your flight wings losing Objective Secured.

Law of Unintended Forge World
This will be where this detachment could shine. If Forge World put out a PDF listing any number of it's fighters or bombers as Fast Attack options for the Aeronautica Imperialis faction, then they gain nothing from the Death from the Skies detachment and something nice from the Imperial Agents detachment, and you can take your improved Officer of the Fleet.

Adeptus Astra Telepathica

This is where good stuff happens. Primaris Psyker is more or less the same. The Astropath from the Astra Militarum Codex gets a nice tasty upgrade, getting an option of a second psychic level, and becoming an Independent Character. As cherry on the cake, the HQ option then gets bonuses if near a unit of Wyrdvane Psykers.
From a competitive standpoint, this leaves you with an excellent source of Telepathy Psykers for cheap. From a narrative gamer stand point, I really want more Astropath figures...

Adepta Sororitas

Most of the most recent Sisters of Battle Codex, with tweaks. Mostly, it has an impact on how Inquisitorial Warbands work later. The Ministorum Delegation is a fun little unit that lets you have a Priest, with a pick of optional miscreants to accompany them.
Arco-Flagellants, Crusaders and Death Cult Assassins are all now Adepta Sororitas units with tiny minimum unit sizes (the size, incidentally, of a blister from GW). You can then package them up with a Priest or Uriah Jacobus to form an Ecclesiarchy Battle Conclave, like the old unit.

Special Mention goes to the Mace of Valaan, which gains Fleshbane and Armourbane when wielded near a model with the Daemon special rule. Over in Inquisition-land, a Daemonhost can be put in a unit with a Priest, who can take said Mace... Do not take this combination when playing with people you want to stay friends with.


Simple squad of Deathwatch, included as relevant for future options. Mini Kill Team detachment for the casual buyer who doesn't have the Deathwatch Codex - which has much better synergies. This stripped back approach may be worthwhile for people wanting a small Deathwatch investment though...

Grey Knights

See Deathwatch. Just a little bigger - you get a Troops or Fast Attack unit as Compulsory with an Optional Heavy Support. The key thing here is that you're not restricted to the units included in the book. They just have to have the Grey Knight faction. So, you can still have Purgation Squads, Stormravens and so on if you want (although I've not looked at which ones get good synergies with the detachment itself).

Legion of the Damned

Those whacky invulnerable saving, deep striking, cover ignoring ghostly Space Marines are back again. They don't have the Relics from the LotD book, but do get a command ability in their detachment to choose to automatically pass or fail reserve rolls. I'm not sure if that was there before or not.

They remain the Legion of the Damned. They're pretty good. They do a job. I kind of want some.

Officio Assassinorum

See Deathwatch, except it's basically every rule from the Assassins Codex. Including the formation.

The Inquisition

... what a show!

So, this is where it all gets a bit weird. There's quite a big overhaul, and this removes almost all the broken "competitive" combos people were using the Inquisition for before. Servo Skulls are gone, warbands are no longer a Codex entry, and you can get Acolytes, Jokaero and Daemonhosts.

You now get a Detachment with one Inquisitor and 3 Elites choices, and a Formation called an Inquisitorial Henchmen Warband.
And this is where it gets really weird.

Acolytes get Dedicated Transports from the Sororitas (Rhino), Aeronautica (Valkyrie) and Grey Knights (Land Raider variants). This is fine, despite people's panicking (p120, main rulebook - Dedicated Transports gain the faction of the unit they are picked with).

What is confusing is whether the non faction Dedicated Transports can use the vehicle upgrades from the Inquisition list (psybolt ammunition, etc) - current strict reading is "no", but that may not have been intent.

There's a light upgrade to Inquisitorial Rhinos as they theoretically gain Shield of Faith. I'm also not sure if it's intentional that Ordo Malleus Inquisitors can use Malefic Daemonology as well as Sanctic, as the other Inquisitors can't, and the wording for each is "Inquisitors".

The Henchmen Warband has some changes. You can't go all Death Cult Assassins in a Land Raider - but you can still have quite a lot of Death Cult Assassins in a Land Raider, with a few ablative acolyte wounds, a guy who can repair the Land Raider, and an Astropath to try for Invisibility. This is on top of the light comedy of the Priest with Mace of Valaan and a Daemonhost.

There's also a side option that you can take of a unit of Sisters, Deathwatch or Grey Knights to be a buddy for your Inquisitor. I already have some plans for this from a narrative point of view.

Final Thoughts

I really like this book - the updates clear out some old tired combos and give us new ones from a competitive standpoint. From a narrative stand point, we can achieve more or less the same thing as we could before with Inquisitors. We just have to go about it in slightly different ways.

I've actually found that I was stalling on inspiration for a lot of my Inquisition stuff because there was so much choice. With the formation structure a little more ordered, I'm finding myself thinking up an assortment of ideas I really want to try out. I'm really pleased with this, and am looking forward to using it!

Monday, 12 December 2016

Tale of Gamers - Forsaken - a little bit a night

With Christmas Party season drawing to a close as people start to go off on holiday, I'm starting to get the odd evening back. As such, I was pretty pleased to get in, sort some food, then settle down for forty-five minutes or so of painting and faffing with the Forsaken unit that caused me so much trouble back in August.

It's not a huge amount - tidying up some overpaint here, getting a wash on there - but they're slowly creeping towards getting done now, and that makes me pretty happy.

The latest challenge was finding a rather large and annoying gap I'd missed at the assembly stage, so some liquid green stuff was deployed to fill in the hole. I'm leaving it to cure overnight before painting over it, meaning I couldn't quite push a second Forsaken through to being finished this evening.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Tale of Gamers - Chaos Warriors Assembled


The Tale of Gamers challenge I'm doing with Gonzo History Gaming is still plugging along. The Chaos Warriors are assembled and undercoated now - so there's 30 miniatures assembled at various stages of painting now.

This is Adira the Dark Champion, from Bad Squiddo Games. You can get her here if you like her. And yes, I spotted the mould line on the cloak - I'll get it when I paint her!

Meanwhile, here are some Harlequin "Templars". These are the ones I found on a shelf in Foundry, but they've been out of production for a while...

I also dug out the "finished" Forsaken and started redoing the base to match the finished barbarians.