Hot on the heels of the thoroughly uninspiring leaked images of the new Chaos models we have a blurry snap of the Codex cover. Which actually looks quite cool.
I, whilst waiting for a file to process for work this evening, dipped into Wobbly Model Syndrome, an absolutely superb web comic that pokes fun at all things GW. If you haven’t visited the site I highly recommend you do, it’s very funny.
Although I have some Christmas posts planned, the latest issue was rather festive so I thought I’d share it. And the image below is just ace. Merry Christmas y’all.
The path to damnation moves on a pace with a review of the all new Raptors/Warp Talons box. There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding this kit, and rightly so, as it’s the first ever plastic Raptor kit finally making the unit financially viable. It’s also the first Raptor unit that doesn’t look shit.
Once again, as with all the other new Chaos models, you get two sprues for your £20.50 retail but credit where credit’s due; the Games Workshop did a remarkable job of cramming a lot of components on to those two sprues.
Aside from their being components up the arse they’re sensibly placed so cutting them out is easy and avoids hacking lumps out of them by accident. This is a good thing. The other good thing is that, for a change, all the spare parts from the kit, regardless of which option you choose to build, are genuinely useful. Except the spare feet you get. They’re not useful at all. The chainswords are awesome looking and would work on an Aspiring Champion or even in a unit of Bezerkers and you even get a couple of special weapons including a plasmagun that rather appears to be eating itself. Which is nice.
By far my favourite part is the jump packs. Aside from being intelligently designed so join lines are minimal, they are reminiscent of the original jump packs from Rogue Trader days which have been co-opted into the Horus Heresy lore. On top of this the thrusters actually look the part and have integrated directional fins so overall they actually look like they could propel its wearer.
I opted to build the Warp Talons because they tie in with my Dark Knights and as I clipped out all the various bits and pieces I was really impressed by not only the level of detail but the quality of the casting. There were few, if any, mould lines so cleaning was very quick. Overall all the parts are awesome. The leg poses are dynamic which gives a fantastic sense of movement and the torsos strike the right balance between uniformity and individuality. Variations in the paint job will go far in helping to make the bodies, at least, look different at first glance if you take a unit of 10.
However, the lightning claws are a bit of a mixed bag. They come in paired sets. Three of them are cool. Two of them are not (although one is arguably borderline). And because you only get five that’s going to lead to disappointment as well as severely limit variation. It’s something Games Workshop have always struggled with. You just need to look at the Space Wolves Grey Hunter box to know what I’m talking about. They’ve never managed to capture the sense of movement for claws that are supposed to be ‘attacking’ without them looking clumsy and the two attacking/punching sets that come with the box are no exception and it boils down to careful positioning on the model and the right set of legs to get the best out of them.
Sadly the same is true of the Warp Talon helmets. The majority are look ace but one looks like it belongs in an episode of Samurai Jack and the other looks like a Palaeotherium’s head from Ice Age. If you don’t know what one of them is I have kindly provided you with an illustration…
It’s either that or a creepy jester type cowl. Regardless, it’s pap and no it’s not the paint job, it’s just a poor sculpt. Happily the box comes with 10 heads in all so you can actually mix things up a bit but the big problem is that because they’re so individual looking repetition is disappointing and that’s the issue with Chaos Marines over their loyalist brothers. Space Marines are supposed to look the same, with slight variations but unity is the key. In a unit like Warp Talons, or even Raptors, because of the superb detail the similarities actually count against them.
So there’s quite a few negatives and there’s little point in me pretending they aren’t there. There are disappointments the main one being the lack of variety the individuality of each component, or pair of component, causes. However, what the Games Workshop get right, they really get right. The shoulder pads are inspired. The mutations showing the synthetic muscle fibres beneath the ceramite. The subtle mutations in the armour allow for convincing units whichever way you build them. Making the feet multipart is another brilliant idea as it clearly separates the two units and emphasises the differences between them clarifying how far down the path of heresy they have taken.
The fins on the side of the jump packs intended for the Warp Talons I really wasn’t sure about. In the photos they look kinda daft and spoil the feel of dynamism but having built them for myself I can see them properly and at the angle they actually sit. It’s a simple touch but further highlights the cyber-organic nature of specialist/veteran Chaos units and how the mutations overtake them.
Warp Talons in the game is something I’ve talked about elsewhere so I’ll not bore you with it again but suffice to say that deep striking Daemonic nutters with lightning claws is horrid.
Overall I am actually very impressed with the Raptors/Warp Talons box although you may not know it. There are things about the box I don’t like but that’s probably true of everything I review. The fact is that the kit is well thought out albeit more so for the Raptors than the Warp Talons. The detail is excellent on every single piece, even down to the belt feeds on the bolt pistols and the crab claw tip on one of the chainswords. The helmets, for the most part, are cool, sleek and deep-fried in menace (Mr Floppy-nose aside). To get the best out of a unit of 10 Warp Talons or, heaven for fend, two units of 10, there’s going to be some serious conversion work involved but fortunately they’re plastic and one marine part fits another so chopping and changing shouldn’t be too bad.
I do wish there had been slightly more choice with the head and weapon options for the Warp Talons as, considering the emphasis put on them by Games Workshop, they are rather starved of options and variation, which is a crying shame. But, all in all an awesome kit.
The Raptors/Warp Talons box is available from Firestorm Games priced £18.45
Part 4 of my Chaos Space Marine run down is the ‘Fiends box. I’ll be honest, when I first saw the pictures I wasn’t convinced. Yes the Forgefiend had fooking huge guns and yes the Maulerfiend looked like it could…maul something but neither one particularly spoke to me.
The funny thing about this kit, more than any thing else I’ve seen of the new Chaos stuff, Dark Vengeance included, is that you need to understand the rules to understand the model. I think this is partly because the model, on its own, is a tad disappointing. At least from the product shots. Considering it’s supposed to be a daemon caged within a machine it’s surprisingly okay about it. It lacks the dynamism of the Heldrake and of their Juggernaught cousins.
That said, when you crack the seal open and get a look at the box what you’re presented with is a superbly designed kit. I mean genius. I’ve always had misgivings about the mutli-kits that GW started punting out because basically you’re paying a premium for a load of plastic you can’t do anything with other than stick in your bits box and desperately think of something to do with it all. And, honestly, that’s exactly what you’ll end up with the ‘Fiend box. Especially if you opt for the Maulerfiend over the Forgefiend.
However, the intelligence of the design is quite striking. It uses the body well so simple limb swamps have a striking result. Granted all the pictures of the Maulerfiend are with the Lasher Tendrils, which is an upgrade, rather than with the standard Magma Cutters it comes with but the parts well designed, actually fit together and go a long way to making the Maulerfiend look the beast it’s supposed to be.
The Forgefiend doesn’t fare so well, being incredibly static which is a shame because it’s component parts are actually awesome. Both the Ectoplasma cannons and the Hades autocannons look impressive with some really nice details, especially the Ectoplasma head which completely changes the feel of the model from that of a beast to a monster. But all it does is, essentially stand there.
And speaking of heads I’m actually surprising myself by going out to bat for the standard head. Because generally speaking I thought it looks stupid. It’s actually completely awesome but let down by being glued on the studio model in a pose that makes it look dopey and painted in such a way that made the fangs look comic rather than menacing. Yes the tongue is a bit much but you can’t win them all.
Whichever model you opt for you’re getting a chunky toy for your efforts. The two sprues (yes only two for £40 full retail) have a lot of bit. Big bits. Big bits with lots of detail. Big bits with lots of detail that actually feel Chaotic rather than spiky. And it’s about damn time.
The model feels crude yet ornamental. Artifice was at the heart of the Fiends before crudity and barbarity intervened. It’s the principle behind servitors taken to a horrid, violent, extreme. There’s subtle details on the model that make you wonder if the Fiends are just driven insane with pain and merely lashing out mindlessly. But perhaps I’m over thinking it. The massive limbs and the tremendously big, savage, animalistic looking weapons certainly do the job of creating menace.
Which is rather the point of using the Fiends. They’re shit scary and can potentially do some real damage on the board. Having thought long and hard about the options and considering my Dark Knights are a Night Lords splinter I have opted for the Forgefiend because it represents mobile heavy fire power. He’s a little pricy though, 200 points if you take the Ectoplasma head but it’s three weapon systems that are, as far as I can tell, not twin linked. This is somewhat of a two-edged sword because lobbing out 8 strength 8, AP4, shots from the Hades autocannon followed by a strenght 8, AP2, plasma shot is just sick. However the BS of 3 can, potentially, limit its effectiveness. The obvious choice would be to take 3 Ectoplasma cannons but then you run the risk of blowing yourself up.
The Maulerfiend on the other hand gets two power fists, can move through cover, leap tall buildings in a single bound and then fuck them over for 125 points. But it’s still only WS3 and initiative 3 which means against a Space Marine Dreadnought or a Wraithlord it’s going to get hurt. Not might, will. It’s absolutely at its best manging soft and squishy units and vehicles, thanks the its Magma Cutters getting Armourbane. Considering GW has made such a big deal out of the Lasher Tendrils they have rather limited use, only really benefiting you against units with high attacks. My advice; as you can build both options, do so and use magnets or pins to swap them over depending on who you’re fighting against.
Both are daemonic, obviously, and both get Fleet which even made me say ‘fuck you’ and I’m collecting the army. Maybe it’s just GW admitting that the only way for walkers to survive a game is to get into combat…
On top of those rules, the Fiends get Daemonforge which allows you to, once per game, re-roll any failed to wound rolls in a single shooting or assault phase. Which is horrid and potentially decisive. Although as it’s a one hit wonder it’s one of those rules that you may never use because you’re ‘saving it for the right moment’. And were Fleet not enough to help get your Fiends kicking people in the face, they also get It Will Not Die which allows it to recover a Hull Point on a 5+. Which actually makes them quite tough. Granted there is a huge array of weapons that are now a threat to armour 12 vehicles but still, it’s a huge boon and still for relatively low points. Particularly in the case of the Maulerfiend.
The Fiend kit is actually pretty impressive. The Forgefiend is a little static but the overall look is still imposing and the guns are huge. The Maulerfiend is slightly more dynamic but not much but it’s obvious menace makes up for it. There’s some real conversion value in the kits as well and the rules are actually pretty awesome as walkers are superb in 6th Edition.
The Forgefiend/Mailerfiend kit is available from Firestorm Games priced £36.00
Sources within the Games Workshop revealed to me yesterday (and since been all but confirmed by Bell of Lost Souls) that the standard edition of Dark Vengeance will be delayed.
There’s some speculation about why but my source tells me that it’s a combination of the Limited Edition box not being as limited as was originally implied and the sales of said box not being as strong because customers are holding off for the cheaper box.
It’s a rare thing for me to feel sorry for the Games Workshop as the limited edition box was a nice idea. Personally I’d like them to pay a bit more attention to the video games market to understand what a limited edition box should be. One extra bloke a special box does not make. But that aside, they attempted to garner some excitement with the release and it all seems to have fallen a bit flat. Although the whole thing was compounded by the retail division not getting their copy until the day before release which meant they couldn’t ramp it up.
I remember the days of preview nights, the odd cheeky peek at the book or WIP models both as a staff member and as a customer. It built hype and the life blood of the hobby – enthusiasm. This new ‘strategy’ of not telling anyone anything until it’s about to happen just doesn’t work because the world is on a budget. Plus all that happens is pages of White Dwarf get leaked on the internet by a disgruntled employee.
This is bad for three reasons.
1. Crappy photos taken on someone’s iPhone (other smartphones with crappy cameras are available) don’t do the models justice
2. It garners ill feeling from the community because the Games Workshop should be, perhaps, a little more willing to share in lines they’re expecting us to buy
3. Customers don’t necessarily have £65 handy at a week’s notice. I certainly didn’t.
Marketing aside, perhaps the answer to lacklustre sales would have been a limited model for each side making it worth while for gamers of both factions to spend that extra little bit of money.
But whatever the reasons and whatever Games Workshop should or should not have done, the message is clear; if you’re holding off for the standard box set, give in and pay the extra two or three quid because you’ll be waiting a while.
I shall be reviewing 6th edition 40k and the Dark Vengeance box set very soon.
Games Workshop have posted a Dark Vengeance reveal trailer showing all the models painted and close. If nothing else the close-ups of plastic soldiers with the dramatic backing soundtrack will make you giggle.
The limited edition 40k boxset has been put up for advance order today which means we (finally) get to have a proper look at the toys. It’s £65 which is roughly what I expected. Although as the standard edition will be without the Chaplain bod the question remains; will it be cheaper? Probably not…
Any take a squizz at the plastic crack and I’ve also included the fluff about the boxset. Overall I think the standard of the boxset is pretty good. The character models are all ace, I especially like the Librarian model. The bikes are a tad disappointing because there was an opportunity to tart up the design and, well, they haven’t which means that White Scars players are doomed to keep using the same old boring plastic bikes for the rest of time. Chaos players might feel a tad cheated to hear that of the 6 Chosen, 2 are the same. Very disappointing seeing as the emphasis is on individuality. And the curse of the Dark Angel sergeant model continues. Because it looks crap. And I’m not entirely sure what the Deathwing terminator with assault cannon is doing, but someone should probably tell him he’d be far more useful if he pointed it towards the enemy.
Interrogator-Chaplain Seraphicus comes with a staggering array of features from the Crux Terminatus detailing and his censer, to the smoke unfurling from the ornamentation at the top of his backpack. Standing on a sculpted base, he wears studded robes and embossed text on the inside of his cloak, as well as an enormous Dark Angels emblem on the back. In addition to this he carries a Crozius Arcanum, plasma pistol, and frag and krak grenades.
Alongside Interrogator-Chaplain Seraphicus, this box contains enough miniatures to start a Dark Angels army, including: a Company Master armed with bolt pistol, power sword and combi-weapon; Librarian Turmiel, who carries a bolt pistol and force sword; Veteran Sergeant Raphael and his Tactical Squad; Deathwing Terminator Squad Barachiel; Sergeant Arion and a Ravenwing Bike Squadron that comes equipped with twin-linked boltguns. All are resplendent in the iconography of the Dark Angels. From the finely crafted purity seals to studded power fists, to the Librarian with codex, keys and ornate sword, through to the Bikes with angel-wing panels, they are among the most sublime Space Marines ever sculpted.
Ranged against the Dark Angels is the Crimson Slaughter. These Chaos Space Marine models contain attributes that will leave you slack-jawed in awe. Warp distress shows through on every detail of armour on the models. Horrific maws can be seen on swords, armour and guns. Faces emerge from flesh, as bones jut outward. Dozens of miniature eyes of Chaos peer outwards; jagged or ribbed horns curl in all manner of directions. There are macabre brain-like surfaces, grills, chains and skulls, and even more textures. The full Crimson Slaughter line-up includes: Kranon the Relentless, Chaos Lord – armed with power sword and plasma pistol; Mortis Metalikus: Helbrute – armed with multi-melta and power fist; and Draznicht’s Ravagers: Chosen. They stand alongside Chaos Cultists made up of Sect Anarkus, which carries close combat weapons, and Sect Tetchvar, which carries ranged weapons such as autoguns. Both units are garbed in sinister-looking cloaks, masks and hoods.
With the release mere days away, fan boys everywhere will be scrabbling around for the cash to get their sweaty non-boob-touching hands on the Dark Vengeance box set, another teaser trailer has hit the interwebs which shows fragments of what is undoubtedly the cover art.
And yet still nothing on the advanced order page…
A teaser trailer for the Warhammer 40,000 boxset – Dark Vengeance has hit the interwebs. The trailer doesn’t really show anything or tell us anything other than the release date – the 25th August – giving gamers a whopping 8 days to set aside an unknown amount of money to buy a set. Genius.