Thursday, 30 November 2017

Codex: Blood Angels - Chapter Focus

Hello again. You find me in a heightened state of excitement. As you probably know, Codex: Blood Angels is up for pre-order on Saturday, and as you also know if you have been with me for any amount of time, Blood Angels are my guys. Games Workshop have released a few snippets of the new rules for the Baal badasses and I am going to review them here. Strap in folks, this will be a bit of a long one. Get ready for some serious positivity!

The Red Thirst

This is better than I had hoped it would be. When a unit with The Red Thirst charges, is charged, or makes a heroic intervention, they get +1 to wound in the Fight Phase. So in effect the BAs benefit from what they do best, assault, but they also benefit if the opponent charges and if a character joins the fight. Basically when they get into combat, they get pumped.

I expected this to be +1 Strength when they charge but this is far better. For regular BAs with chainswords against T3, 4 and 5, this is the same as it would have been for charging in 7th, wounding on 2s, 3s and 4s respectively. Against T6 and 7, they are still wounding on 4s which is going to prove pretty strong against medium to heavy vehicles and monsters. Against T8 they are wounding on 5s! With enough attacks, this will at least prove a headache for the toughest units, and could potentially provide a nasty reduction in wounds and therefore power.

But that's just regular strength weapons. Powerfists and Thunderhammers are wounding T8 on 3s and everything lower on 2s. Even better, if the Sanguinary Priests keep their +1 Strength aura, that's 2s on absolutely everything! Those fisticuffs Dreadnoughts are wounding absolutely everything on 2s regardless!

All this hinges on being in combat, but as you'll see below, we already have some fun toys to use to make that happen!


Death Visions of Sanguinius - 1 Command Point

This is going to prove a useful stratagem, if you have enough to spare. Gives a BA Captain, Chaplain or Lieutenant the Death Company keyword and the Black Rage ability for the battle. We don't know the full details of what Black Rage will mean in the codex, but it currently gives +1 Attack on the charge and a 6+ damage ignore. There is a warlord trait that will synergise well with this as you will see below. Cannot be used on Primaris models (weirdly, as Lieutenants are Primaris as far as I am aware) or named characters, which makes sense. Terminator Captain with this? Scary.

Strike of the Archangels - 2 Command Points

Gives a BA Terminator unit re-rolls to hit until the start of the next turn from when they are deployed. This is clearly more useful, and aimed at, deep striking termies. Drop those termies in 9" away, rapid fire all of the Storm bolters, re-rolling *all* of the misses, then charge and re-roll all of those misses as well. Okay so the 9" charge is a rare beast, but if you pull it off, it's going to cause havoc the turn they arrive. We're getting access to Tartaros and Cataphractii termies as well. I'll just leave that there.

Upon Wings of Fire - 1 Command Point

In your movement phase, remove a BA Jump Pack unit and redeploy it at the end of the phase 9" or more from enemy units. Easy objective grabber and a way to clear out of a hot area of the table or target a more suitable unit for a possible charge. Immensely useful in many situations I think you'll agree. Best of all, this will apply to JP Characters as well, so use it to get Dante or that Sanguinary Priest out of danger, or close to another unit for buffing or repositioning that Librarian for precision smiting!. You can also use this on a unit in combat (although I assume the same rules for charging afterward would apply). I love this one.

Psychic Powers

Wings of Sanguinius - Warp Charge 5

The Wings are back! Immediately move the Librarian upto 12" and gains Fly. On top of that, you get to re-roll failed charge rolls that turn. Just think about it for a minute. Librarian Dreadnought with a a 30" maximum range in a turn, moving over terrain and units and being able to charge Flyers, with a re-roll to charge. It's deliciously horrific. Now think of Mephiston with a 31" max range with that Sanguine Sword. As you immediately move the Librarian, this could be a handy way to position for a Smite. I can't wait to see how the other powers turn out.

Warlord Traits

Artisan of War

One of your Warlord's weapons adds 1 to it's Damage (not relics). Upto 8 damage with a Storm bolter? 4 damage Thunder hammer? Not a bad trait to take if you plan on getting your Warlord dishing out the hurts (which you should, they're Blood Angels!).

Gift of Foresight

Your Warlord ignores lost wounds on a 6, re-rolling ones. Pretty decent at that. If your Warlord has the Black Rage ability (see? Synergy!) this becomes a 5+ but they can't use the Black Rage ability as well, so just one, albeit improved over BR alone. Cataphractii Terminator Captain (we're getting the termies, so we'll probably get the captain) will be looking at a 2+/3++/5+ re-rolling 1s and an extra attack on the charge in that situation. That is a tough captain.


The Veritas Vitae

Quite different from 7th this one. Used to give an extra Warlord Trait back then, now returns a Command Point on a 5+ while the bearer is on the battlefield, giving the average Battalion 8 Command points for single CP stratagems. Not too bad but possibly better options for an army with expensive units and generally not as many CP.

Standard of Sacrifice

Gives an Ancient their normal banner buff, plus a 6" 5+ wound ignore bubble. Doesn't affect any unit with Black Rage (I am intrigued to see what they have done with Death Company as they seem to be avoiding giving them an extra 'Feel No Pain'). This is so powerful it's unreal. Keep it in the vicinity of your Sanguinary Guard in the hands of an SG Aincient and keep them very much alive to make use of that Red Thirst, as well as being immune to morale and re-rolling 1s to wound. So much power.

That's all we have for now, officially. I am very impressed with all of this; GW seem to be getting our BAs back to how they should be, killing things in combat. I can't wait to see what else comes out of the new Codex. Drop a comment below and let me know what you think of these snippets! Come back on Friday and read my thoughts on the Twitch live stream, where GW will be talking more about the new book.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review - Citadel Painting Handle

Hello again! Today I will be running through a quick review of the new Citadel Painting Handle.

Those of you who follow my Instagram will know I have been using the new painting handle this week to paint Mephiston. First thing's first, this is comfortable to hold. I don't have particularly small hands so holding miniatures by their base to paint them can get a bit uncomfortable. With the rounded handle it's a hell of a lot easier to paint smaller minis for longer. This means I will paint faster and get my whole collection done!

Ha. Not really. But it is easier to do with this.

One of the gripes people have had so far with the handle is that it can only do smaller based miniatures. It can take 40mm bases such as Wolf Guard Terminators,

32mm bases such as Mephiston here,

and, crucially for me, it can do 25mm bases like this Strike Team Fire Warrior.

At this small bases size I really struggle to hold them for long periods with them being so small. Stick them on the painting handle and it's far better.

The grip is spring-loaded plastic and is strong enough that I think even metal models would be held firm, but not so strong that you feel like it might buckle the plastic bases or anything. You can comfortably spin this thing around to get the right angles and not worry about the mini.

One interesting feature is that the handle is removable from the model grip by way of a standard camera mount screw. This means you could attach the grip to a tripod or other such items. Creating painting tutorials for Youtube? Why not attach the model grip to a mini tripod so you can display the work-in-progress easily? This is about the only use I can think of for this feature. What it may mean is that GW intend to release either different sizes of handles or different grip sizes (for those who want to hold Archaon on a grip when they paint it!)

So, in summary, I am finding the handle incredibly useful. The ability to hold the three common smaller base sizes makes painting more comfortable for me, especially for 25mm bases. Some are a bit annoyed you can't go bigger than 40mm, but you can put some Blu Tack on the top and attach the model that way. For a mere £5/$8/6,50€, this is an excellent addition to my painting set up.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

I'm Back! (Again)

Hey folks! Here I am, back again. It's been nearly 7 months since my last post, and what a 7 months it's been! We've had the release of 8th, along with several codices and new models. I've played a fair few games of 8th now and I am having a real love/hate relationship with it; more on this below.

I've just got back last night from taking part in Never Mind The Blog Wars, Alex Brown's (From The Fang) latest event and it has left me feeling torn. Last night I knew I had had three fun games, won one of them and generally had a great day of gaming. I predicted being in the lower end of the table but I knew I was neither last or second last (those people had had their 'rewards'). I was happy yesterday, and that was that. This morning I saw the rankings. 28/30. I really didn't think I had done that badly. It really left me feeling a bit flat and torn because I had basically enjoyed being terrible at 40K.

I think this is a general indicator of how I feel about 8th so far. I love the rule set. It plays well. It's simple to pick up and yet complicated enough still with unit rules, and the new mechanics and way things work are great. I just seem to hate actually playing. I think it's because I still want to be able to mix it up and take any units I like (as opposed to the "best units") and this doesn't seem to be the case, at least for the armies I play. I am still on mostly Index armies (Blood Angels, T'au, Harlequins, Imperial Knights) and maybe this is why I am struggling. The released codices seem to allow more flexibility for their armies. Case in point is Astra Militarum who seem to be able to take just about anything and still be brutally effective (I may do a post soon about why I think the new system has turned them into a murder machine).

So I have two things I am going to do at this moment. First, I am going to carry on anxiously waiting to see how the Blood Angels codex treats us when it is released in the next weeks, while continuing to paint them up, just in case they are decent this time. Second, I am going to start trying lists that include everything that other people classify as the good units/loadouts to take.

Just to clarify, Never Mind The Blog Wars was a great event, as all of Alex' events have been. It was my own shocking performance that has disappointed me!