Forward thinking

//Forward thinking

My West German’s for Team Yankee still have some finishing touches to do, so rather than chuck up a partial post I decided to use the time tonight instead to talk about future hobby plans and where the rest of the year will probably be heading. Taking stock of the games we play in my group and where things are it’s actually a positive picture. Frostgrave is ready to go as far as I’m concerned as the henchmen are done, a good selection of monsters wrapped up for the bestiary, scenery ready, gaming table (mat) on site and my first wizard plus apprentice ready to rock. Kev’s even invested in some treasure tokens and a deck of the spell cards so it’s actually in that nice position of being able to leisurely add further encounters, characters and henchmen as we progress. Sticking with the Fantasy trail all of the Dungeon Saga miniatures are painted and we’ve played a few games already. If i’m honest I have to say I’ve found Mantic’s latest game to be tragically similar to Deadzone in that it feels like a rushed product and not as engaging as I’d hoped. The problem with both of these games is although they are really solid value packages overall they are just outshined when compared against Imperial Assault both in terms of quality and re-playability. It’s not that either are bad games, just simply not as good as Fantasy Flight’s offering in my opinion. So what does that mean as far as either are concerned? With gaming time at such a premium I’m unlikely to do much in the way of future articles on either Dungeon Saga or Deadzone and will focus instead back on the Star Wars heroes and villains. The figures won’t go to waste as they can be utilised in Frostgrave and generic Sci-Fi skirmish respectively, but I’m going to shelve both Dungeon Saga and Deadzone for the forseable.

Team Yankee is also surprisingly (for me) in a good place as I’ve all but finished two forces to date already; the Soviets and Bundeswehr. Again, pretty much ready to go gaming wise so there will be a handful of further posts on the final West German unit and a brief look at some selective British formations which are in the process of coming out between now and the end of the year. Another big tick in the completed box which is always a result. Plans are already afoot in the group for a World War III dust up over the winter.

In the list of ready to go are also Dropzone Commander, Infinity, Dreadball, Imperial Assault, X-Wing and Armada. To be fair the latter two are pre-painted but still, I did spend brush-time on most of the fighters. The list of ‘on hold’ has also grown unfortunately and now includes Spartan Games Halo series of Fleet Battles and Ground Command. They are both solid games but neither have shown much in the way of ambition since launch which makes them easy pickings for other fleet or 15mm games like Armada, Dropfleet or Team Yankee. Dropfleet (when it turns up) is another game that I’m actually looking forward to assembling and painting so that can definately be included in the likely projects list for the back end of this year alongside Imperial Assault.

Rationalising the games into those my group actively likes and plays, and those that they don’t so much has actually freed up my painting schedule somewhat. That’s in part also from having progressed so quickly through the Team Yankee, Frostgrave and Dungeon Saga painting. Far quicker than I anticipated to be honest. There are games coming up that I know will be a big pull for me, most notably the re-launch of Adeptus Titanicus. That goes without saying. Bloodbowl not so much as to be honest I really like Dreadball and that’s enough to scratch my fantasy sports itch. But until Epic hits the scene again what’s the next thing on my radar?

Funnily enough 30K. I’m a big Horus Heresy fan from a background point of view, it’s what got me into the Warhammer universe in the 80’s via Adeptus Titanicus/Space Marine 1st Edition and Rogue Trader. As you probably know from my posts over the past several years I grew increasingly disenfranchised where Games Workshop was heading both as a business, aesthetically with the designs and definately with the 40K ruleset overall. Simply put there were (and still are) better designed games out there. But the 40K universe is without doubt also the richest, deepest and most rewarding. I’ve not touched grimdark in at least a decade, probably far longer from a gaming perspective even though I have enjoyed painting the odd miniature from time to time. That’s the upside of being in the hobby over thirty years, one or two models in the hill of shame that I’ve never been able to part with. When Betrayal at Calth came out I was tempted but had other things to be getting on with, so it passed me by. Two things recently happened however that have made me re-consider (other than finding myself at a painting loose end obviously). Firstly the forthcoming Burning of Prospero boxed set with those rather nice plastic MkIII sprues plus Tartarus pattern Terminators and secondly the emergence of a lively 30K scene locally. Unfortunately I know absolutely sod all about getting into 30K rules or force eligibility wise and a quick search of the interwebs exposed a somewhat mixed and confused message as to what’s needed with regards to books et al. Not wanting to drop a ton of coinage on starting afresh when I have a decent legacy bitz box of Astartes parts and at least a fledgeling Ultramarines force there are three options that appeal.

  1. Augment the existing Ultramarines with further Heresy Era armour marks either via Calth or Prospero sets which are decent value bundles. As I already have a Proteus, Contemptor and Deimos that seems as good a place to start as any.
  2. Reboot my Fenris. It’s a collection I’ve been building for years so have stockpiled an interesting array of figures from previous Space Wolf themed plastic boxed sets, limited edition characters, Forgeworld Dreadnoughts and Terminator add-ons. There’s also a MkIIb Land Raider in the bitz box with their name on it. Again, the Prospero set could augment this nicely. There’s also that Russ chap coming out.
  3. Something completely new. The traitor Legions have some fantastic palettes, especially Sons of Horus, Death Guard or World Eaters. Tempting to start with a blank canvas.

If you have any experience with 30K or advice where to begin please drop me a comment below as it will help at least point me in the right direction. I’ve plenty to be cracking on with throughout this month but it’s definately the seed of an idea that’s gestating, so all input warmly welcomed.

Until then I shall be finishing off a few more transports for the Germans. Have a great week!



By |2016-10-16T22:29:53+00:00October 16th, 2016|Categories: News|Tags: |5 Comments


  1. Zedmeister October 18, 2016 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    Welcome to 30k! First off, where to start!? Er, I recommend that you start here:

    Those four books are the primary army list books. But, it depends on what you want to play in 30k.

    First, you have the 18 legions. While they all pull from the same army list, with something call Rites of War as well as Legion Special Rules and the Legion Unique Rites of War, you get an awful lot of variety to choose from. Rites generally change the format of the list and options by freeing one aspect while restricting another. Generic rites include Angels of Wrath (aerial lists), orbital assaults (drop pods but no tanks), armour speadheads (lots of tanks but everyone must start inside one) and Pride of the Legion (terminators and veterans as troops but no allied forces). Legion specific rites include the White Scars Chogorian Brotherhood where jetbikes and outriders become troops or the Alpha Legion Coils of the Hydra whereby you have to take extra troops, but can choose (or steal!) a unique unit from another legion.

    In addition to the 18, you have shattered legions (a force made up of multiple legions) and black shields (legionnaires that have renounced their previous affiliation for whatever reason).

    You then have 3 flavours of Mechanicum with more to come (Skitarii are rumoured at some point, probably when they do the Battle for Mars book), the Solar Auxilia List, Imperial Knights, Warp Cults, Imperial Militia and finally Dæmons (to represent the chaos caused during the ruinstorm).

    So, with that in mind, consider what you want to field and choose which of the four books you’d like:

    Age of Darkness Legionnaires Astartes List: This has the main list if you are interested in fielding legions but not their specific legion rules (see below). It has pretty much all rules for all vehicles and troopers released so far. So whether you want a Land Raider Squadron, Destroyer Squad or the like, this book has the rules for it.

    Next up is the Age of Darkness Legions: This contains specific rules for most of the Legions. They concentrate on legion unique units and their special rules. It really needs to be bought with the above book. Note that it is missing Dark Angels, White Scars, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Thousand Sons rules, so you don’t need it if those are your chosen legions.

    Mechanicum Taghmata list: Everything Mechanicum related. Allows you to field full lists with Ordinatus, Thanatars and the like along with variant lists for Legio Cybernetic (stompy robots) and Ordo Reductor (firepower mad tread heads)!

    Finally, there’s the Crusade Imperialis list: This includes the Knight List, Solar Auxilia and Imperial Militia and warp cults.

    The black books I heartily recommend. They’re absolutely stonking, but not essential to get playing. The latest book, book 6, includes additional legion rules (White Scars, Dark Angels and Blood Angels) and variant Space Marine lists (Blackshields and Shattered Legions) that don’t appear above. They all have a wealth of gorgeous imagery, wonderful stories and lots of campaign ideas. Book IV: Conquest is especially good for campaign play and variant battles. Also, each book has a couple of pages on a Titan Legion. So far, we’ve had Legio Mortis (Book 1), Legio Atarus (Firebrands in Book 2), Legio Fureans (Tiger Eyes in Book 3), Legio Tempestus (Storm Lords in Book 4), Legio Praesagius(True Messengers in Book 5 and Legio Suturvora (Firemasters, also Book 5).

    And that’s it really. You have the stunning Forgeworld Models, really excellent books, quite nice internal balance and gorgeous artwork. What more could you need apart from the re-release of Adeptus Titanicus, obviously 😉 ?

    • Carl Woodrow October 18, 2016 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Firstly wow! Thanks man, if I could like this post 10 times I would have 🙂
      The draw of the black books is huge as I am a complete magpie for any coffee table tome and have enjoyed Forgeworld’s previous books. It’s a big investment though as you say, so I will probably go with your advice and focus on two of the red books to start; Astartes and Legions. The Knights and Militia don’t interest me at this stage and Mechanicum is maybe for another day. That puts the cost much more within my reach for a starting point I think. Maybe also time to dig out those classic HH novels again and immerse myself in the lore.
      Thanks again for taking the time to lay out the options and what each book covers, it really is most appreciated. Now to decide on a starting force. I have two ideas so watch this space.

      • Zedmeister October 19, 2016 at 9:16 am - Reply

        No problem. The red books are the best way to start. You can see the shape of the game from them. Some additional bits for you; typical games of 30k are 3,000 points. But you can play smaller and larger games as your whim takes it. Book IV, Conquest is a particular favourite of mine in terms of its story, Knight Household backgrounds, artwork and campaign rules. It’s also good for smaller games with the strategic raid missions (as an aside, you say you don’t fancy Solar Auxilia. Beware Book IV which will tempt you like nothing else!).

        As for the Legions themselves, they’re nothing like Codex forces. A tactical squad, for example, starts at 10 men, can run up to 20 and can’t take any special weapons. Special weapons are reserved for Breacher Squads, Veteran Squads and Tactical Support Squads. The tactical support squads comprise 5-10 Legionnaires all equipped with the same special weapon such as Flamers, Plasma Guns, Volkite Calivers and the like. Most, but not all vehicles can be bought in squadrons. So you can run 3 Land Raiders or Predators as a single entry. The problem I find is that there are too many nice toys that you want and not enough slots for them!

        • Carl Woodrow October 19, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

          … Or space to keep them all! (I’m looking at you Mr Spartan…. Will not succumb to temptation)

        • Iain October 20, 2016 at 9:00 am - Reply

          Tactical Support Squad is a term I have not heard since the original Space Marine. Nice that they are keeping that evolution in tact. Also, thanks for your explanation from casual readers. Now…. Must resist a Salamanders 30K force!

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