Return to The Ravenspire – New Kayvaan Shrike

It has been…a long time since I played a game of 40k. Too long. 8th Edition may be the simplest and most fun ruleset the game has ever had, dispensing with the over-complicated rules that bloated 6th and 7th Editions and replacing them with simplified versions that allow each army/unit’s own specific rules to be published in their own Codices and errata-ed in a much cleaner way.

So why haven’t I played in a while? Well, I made the mistake of going to the first 8th Edition Throne of Skulls something like a month after the game was released, and had an overall “meh” time – when one pays £60 for a ticket, however much for a hotel, and travels over 100 miles to play in an event, something more than “meh” is what I expected. So my Raven Guard went back into the box to gather dust and reminisce about the good old days of 5th Edition, the Heresy-specific models that weren’t Corax went on eBay, and I focused on my Wanderers army for Age of Sigmar – the models were more fun to paint (they weren’t all black), I’d found some OoP models on eBay that made my army 100% female, and I just enjoyed the way the game played more.

Then I moved to the USA, and finding a game of either is a pain in the behind! Fortunately there’s a large X-Wing community, and several of those players also play Kill Team, so I’m not totally devoid of GW-based interaction, even if my local Warhammer store is in the next State over.

So what brought me back to 40k? Well, truthfully, it was the new Phobos-armoured Primaris Marines – they just feel like they’d be a good fit in a Raven Guard army. Infiltrators? Good. Reivers? Good. Eliminators? Also Good! Suppressors not so much, but I can work with those models when the time comes. I’d considered purchasing some of each primarily to engage better with the local Kill Team crowd, and to practice my painting (which has atrophied somewhat in recent months – X-Wing ships aren’t particularly labour-intensive to repaint), but it was the announcement from NOVA that dragged me back towards 40k as a whole; even though it’ll be a slow process given how expensive the models are in this country!

There’s a new Shrike coming!

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Old (3rd Ed? 4th?) Shrike. Still have mine, somewhere!

Old Shrike was a serviceable model; he had the Lightning Claws, he had the Jump Pack and the Grenade Launcher, and he fit nicely with any converted models that made up Shrike’s Wing (I miss that unit!). Unfortunately as things progressed, he started to look his age; the change to Finecast did him no favours, and Games Workshop did him a disservice when, after promoting him to Chapter Master in the Damocles Campaign, he retained his Captain’s statline. Early 8th Edition was a bad time to be Shrike.

Now, however, our overlords at Games Workshop have given him the Primaris Treatment alongside good old Marneus Calgar and Shrike’s White Scar Battle Buddy Kor’sarro Khan. The bandages come off, the mirrors come out, and we are given:

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Shrike 2.0!

I have conflicting thoughts about this model. First, why is he helmetless? Ignoring the emo combover entirely (though I guess that’s now officially the Raven Guard’s “thing”); this is the man who once dove head-first into a Valkyrie’s engine to stop it taking off, why on earth is he not wearing his helmet? He’s just asking for that head to be liberated from those shoulders! Second, he’s very…busy. While I love the ammunition pouches and bandoliers across his chest, I’m not 100% sold on the massive Jump Pack with all of those extra manoeuvring jets and steering vanes. On the other hand, this isn’t the best angle to show him off from, and seeing the model in person is always the only accurate way to judge – as we know from the Storm Raven waaaay back when.

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Looking at the other images posted, I start to feel better about the model as a whole; there’s a lot of detail here, the designer has really put the effort in and made excellent use of the larger model; the helmet dangling from the belt is the first Primaris Beakie we’ve seen, though I imagine it’s no larger than a standard Mk VI helm; the empty holster and feather talismans are both nice touches, as are the extra ammunition pouches on the back of the belt. The poster on the wall I can take or leave, I’m not a good enough painter to make that work properly, but I’m glad it’s there for expert painters who want to really show off their skills.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how the new model looks; there are changes that I’m going to be making; he’ll have a helmet, for one, and I’m not sure I’ll keep the claws on the back of his legs as they look a little odd.

I’ll be getting one, my only hope is that he’s reasonably costed both in points and in $$, that his rules aren’t hidden in some prohibitively expensive expansion book, and that his new Primaris abilities don’t suck.

I’d better get making repairs to my Marines so he actually has an army to lead when he arrives!

New 40k Edition, New Look Blog (Part 2)

Good afternoon! Today we see the second part of my Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition first glance!

We will start off with something I neglected to include last time because I wasn’t 100% on how it worked:

Psychic Phase

In recent editions of 40k, the Psychic Phase was a bit convoluted and, in my opinion, not really worth the hassle. Now everything is a lot simpler: choose a power, roll 2d6 and beat the power level. Double 1 or double 6 is a Perils of the Warp (inflicting a Mortal Wound), and if your Psyker dies the power fails and everything within 6″ takes damage. So much easier!

Charge Phase

The charge phase isn’t all that different; you pick a target to charge with, your opponent overwatches, and with a 2d6 roll you determine whether your unit has successfully charged or not. Unlike older editions, models now have to get within 1″ of enemy models to consider the charge successful, which means some of those iffier distances are more likely to be successful!

Also a part of the charge phase, the new(ish) “Heroic Intervention” rule means that Character models within 3″ of a combat may pile in to it at the beginning of the phase.

Combat Phase

The combat phase sees a few changes, notably the order in which units fight; all charging units fight first, then players alternate picking units to fight with (player whose turn it is picking first). This means that players have to be tactical in picking which units to fight and when, lest they make a bad decision and lose a strategically-placed unit before it gets to strike.

Models with more than one close combat weapon now have the opportunity to divide their attacks rather than having to choose one weapon with which to attack.

Morale Phase

The final phase of the turn is the Morale Phase, where players roll a dice and add the total of models slain in a unit that turn. If the number exceeds the Leadership value, the test fails and a number of models equal to the score the test was failed by are removed from play; exactly like in Age of Sigmar.
So, that’s the basics of 40k 8th Edition! I think we are in for a much easier time, playing a much simpler game, which seems to have shed the fattening rules of previous editions. Love it or hate it, we are in for something special!

The next post will cover the different options for playing games and the methods of army building that go with them. 

Until next time, keep the hobby positivity flowing!

New 40k Edition, New Look Blog (Part 1)

Good morning everyone!

Two months ago, I promised that this blog would be returning from the dead like a phoenix from the ashes. It turns out, however, that this particular phoenix wanted a lie in and continually mashed “snooze” on his alarm, for which I apologise!

Today I wanted to go through a brief overview of the new edition of Warhammer 40,000; the long-awaited and much-debated 8th Edition. Since it isn’t out yet and I haven’t gotten as good a look at the rulebook as would be required for a decent review (which will be coming soon), I’m just going to cover the basics:

Moving: Nothing much has changed here, except models all now have movement values; Humans are slower than Eldar, Bikes are faster than Infantry, etc. Running has been replaced by “Advancing”, which seems to act in much the same way.

Shooting: Models may not fire at enemy units within 1″, but different models in a unit may fire at different units. Models can now fire multiple weapons per turn; this includes both barrels of combi-weapons, which are no longer one-shot only. Heavy Weapons can be fired on the move with a -1 To Hit penalty. Assault Weapons can be fired after Advancing with the same penalty. Pistols cannot be used in conjunction with other weapons (except other pistols) but can be used to fire at targets 1″ away. Gone are the days of the flamer and blast templates; the weapons now roll a set or randomly-determined amount of dice.

This brings me to the To Hit and To Wound rolls: rather than set Weapon or Ballistic skills, models hit specifically on a set dice roll which can be modified by things like cover or moving with a heavy weapon (both incurring a -1 To Hit penalty). To Wound is still based off Strength vs Toughness, but the rolls required have changed: equal Strength and Toughness still require a 4+, higher Strength than Toughness requires a 3+ and lower Strength than Toughness requires a 5+. Only when the Strength is DOUBLE the target’s Toughness do you require a 2+ To Wound, or when HALF the target’s Toughness do you require a 6+. I don’t think needing a 6+ isn’t going to be particularly common, unless you are dealing with vehicles, which I will address later.

That’s it for this initial look at 8th Edition 40k. Tomorrow I will cover the Psychic, Combat and Morale phases, as well as some of the changes made to how units function: namely AP modifiers and the different types of Vehicles.

Thanks for reading!