Why I’m Keeping My Old Codices

Tomorrow poor Mister Postie will be lugging an awful lot of very heavy boxes to the front doors of a lot very over excited geeks.

I am, of course, referring to the release of the much-anticipated and much debated 8th edition of Warhammer 40,000.

In addition to crippling postal workers across the globe (Dark Imperium weighs a stonking 2.5kg), the new edition of 40k is about to change the game and the background in some very dramatic ways.

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Anyone who follows the Warhammer Community page on the Facebooks will no doubt have seen the rule changes, the new – erection inducing – Primaris Space Marines and the galaxy map showing how royally fucked the Imperium is.

In the same way that Age of Sigmar rewrote (read erased) the Warhammer Fantasy universe, 8th edition Warhammer 40,000 is about to do something similar to the canon we know and love.

For new gamers this is no big deal. Total novices will enter Warhammer 40,000 with the galaxy already looking like someone spilt ink on a picture from Hubble. Or they’re new enough that the universe doesn’t mean as much to them as it does to more experienced gamers.

For us venerable old war dogs who have invested countless hours learning about the background – and 7 previous rule sets – we’re about to feel more like old dogs given new tricks.

That’s not to the say that the changes aren’t exciting (I actually knew about a lot of this for some time but more on that another day). I’m really pleased that the story is finally moving on and the freedom that can bring for narrative game play as well as future novels.

However, the background that I’ve spent the last 28 years learning is amazing and really rather precious to me so it seems a shame to cast out my old codices and supplements just because the rules aren’t relevant any more.

For me the background serves as a prologue for everything that comes next. Games Workshop have already stated that the previous books are still relevant from a background perspective.

The Gathering Storm books are especially worth hanging on to as they detail a lot of what’s referenced in the new book. Reading those before diving into the new edition will no doubt answer a lot of questions for the veterans gamers taking the leap from 7th to 8th.

I’m a little late to that party if I’m honest so let’s just acknowledge the fact that I turned up at all.

But there’s a few really simple reasons why the old codices and other books are worth keeping:

The Background is (in most cases) Really Good

The background has always been what made 40k and so walking away from that just seems crazy to me.

Change is good (you may as well embrace it because you’ve got no choice) but so is the journey so keeping a record is well worth it.

They give 8th Edition Context

The old source materials – particularly books like The Wrath of Magnus of the Gathering Storm trilogy – help to ground the new fluff so being able to refer back to that will be helpful.

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Plus according to a few sources there’s some easter eggs in the background that allude to all the mental shit that goes down. Finding them is proper nerdy fun.

The Books were Expensive

Let’s not kid ourselves, the rules, codices and supplements represent a significant investment.

I don’t begrudge that investment because a codex, per use, works out as one of the best value books you can own but that doesn’t mean you should just bin them every 5 years.

7th Edition isn’t Dead

As far as I can tell, the Horus Heresy will still be using the 7th Edition mechanic so there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t throw in some Orks or Eldar into your HH games.

We know the Imperium tussles with the other races of the galaxy before everything goes tits. To be honest, I’d love to see some games along those lines but I appreciate it would rather dilute the concept.

 

I cannot wait for my copy of 8th edition, or for the new Indexes or the new models. I’m excited to see where this is all headed and how many Primarchs will be returning to the fold.

But I’m also going to be looking back and marvelling at how far it’s all come and just how much fun it was getting there.

X-Wing Starship Expansions

“Inform the commander that Lord Vader’s shuttle has arrived.”
–Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Fantasy Flight Games have announced a new wave of models for X-Wing Miniatures Games which will, in their words, forever redefine the game. These four – apparently – game changing vessels include the Lambda-class Shuttle, HWK-290 (made famous by the Dark Forces games), the B-Wing bomber, and the TIE Bomber.

It’s such a cool game, albeit an expensive one, and the new models churning out of FFG is only make it more so. First a Correllian Corvette, and now the HWK-290. So. Much. Want.

Fantasy Flight has this to say:

New Dimensions of Play

The game’s flexible squad building rules ensure that every X-Wing expansion introduces a wealth of tactical options, but these four new starship expansions take your squad building options to a new, all-time high!

When the X-Wing Core Set was released in tandem with the first four starfighter expansions, competitive players quickly learned how to optimize their strategies by partnering ships and pilots that gained power as they flew together in close formation. The next four starship expansions, which included the Millennium Falcon™ and Slave I™, blasted the larger metagame wide open. These large, powerful ships functioned just as well flying on their own as they did while flying in formation, and they promoted a versatility and diversity within the game that was reflected at every level, from casual play to the game’s Regional Championship season to the recent North American Championship tournament at Gen Con Indy 2013.

Now, the Lambda-class shuttle, HWK-290, B-wing, and TIE bomber bolster the game with powerful support strategies, control tactics, and highly customizable weapons platforms.

The Expanding Universe

These four new expansions not only include the first starship from the Star Wars expanded universe (the HWK-290), but they strengthen one of the greatest and fastest-growing miniatures games currently available.

The game’s increasing diversity is one of its greatest strengths, and we saw it grow by leaps and bounds as the first two waves of expansions added fantastic squad-building options. Each new starship expansion enhances the game’s flexibility with new miniatures, ship cards, and upgrades, meaning that you gain a wide range of options to build the squad that best suits your personality and play style.


System upgrades like the Advanced Sensors greatly enhance your starship’s utility in combat.

Accordingly, we saw more than eighty X-Wing players show up for the sold-out North American Championship tournament at Gen Con Indy 2013, fielding dozens of distinct squad and competitive archetypes, and we expect to see even more players and even more diversity at the FFG World Championship Weekend in November.

Make the Jump to Hyperspeed

The Lambda-class Shuttle, HWK-290, B-Wing, and TIE Bomber Expansion Packs have just dropped out of lightspeed, so the best time to get your hands on these hot X-Wing expansions is right now.

X-Wing New Releases

It’s been quite a while since I reviewed the X-Wing game. And one of the things I wanted to see was bigger ships as I wasn’t sure how much replay value there would be in just dog fights. Well ask and thou shall receive. Fantasy Flight Games have announced that bigger vessels will be added starting with the Rebel Transport and the Corellian Corvette.

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This short video from Team Covenant shows off exactly how gorgeous these models are. Why do I get the feeling I’m about to start playing another game system…

Forge World Space Marine Glaive

Snapped a while back at the Forge World Open Day, the Space Marine Glaive is now available to pre-order and due for release on the 28th June. Interestingly it was originally called the Fellglaive but the ‘fell’ part of the name has been dropped.

Anyway, here’s the blurb from the Forge World website and some jazzy snaps. The Glaive retails at £155.

The Glaive Super-heavy Special Weapons Tank is a variant of the Fellblade. Armed with a Volkite Carronade, it is designed to destroy xenos beasts and incinerate enemy light vehicles at a single sweep.

While the Glaive has been issued to all eighteen Legiones Astartes in limited quantities, the Salamanders and Dark Angels have long been noted to field Glaives as a matter of course; the XVIIIth Legion’s artifice is more than sufficient to maintain and replicate the arcane Volkite technology, while the provenance and honour of the Ist Legion means that their war matériel and weaponry are ancient indeed.

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New Firestorm Armada Fleets

It’s been a long time since I had anything to say about Spartan Games. I almost put fingers to keyboard when I saw them releasing a range of HDF scenery for 28mm sci-fi games when they don’t have a 28mm sci-fi game. It’s yet another knee-jerk, ‘hey wouldn’t it be cool if’ idea from a company that is becoming increasingly scattergun and increasingly expensive. That’s not to say it isn’t cool, but sets for Dystopian Legions is perhaps a more logical way to go, I would have thought.

But moving on to something more positive. Coming out at the end of July are two new factions for Firestorm Armada. The Hawker Industries fleet and Works Raptor fleet. Both say Alliance on them but I’m not sure whether that means Terran Alliance, Alliance of Kurak or the Zenian League, although Hawker Industries definitely fall into one of the first two. But I tell you what; I don’t care because they look amazing. It’s the first time since I got my Terran Alliance fleet at Christmas that I’ve really felt drawn to anything from Spartan. The £45 price tag is a little steep mind considering 18 months ago starter fleets were £33. Although, providing they don’t go up any more, I’ll not rant too much about it.

Anyway, feast your eyes on these…

Hawker Industries Alliance Fleet

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As conflict in the Storm Zone intensifies, Hawker Industries readies its famously reliable vessels for front-line service once again. From the mighty Excelsior to the hardy Endeavour, these tenacious hulls are now outfitted with new shielding technology, state-of-the-art sensor arrays and devastating weapons systems. Emerging from space-docks across the galaxy, they stand ready to remind the Zenian foe that Hawker is still a name to be feared.

Works Raptor Alliance Fleet

FAZR16-2The name Works Raptor has long been synonymous with arms design and manufacture. Single-minded in their pursuit of the science of war, the vessels of the Works Raptor fleet are uncompromisingly lethal. Utilising unmatched stealth systems and powerful drive engines the Attrition Class Assault Carrier will always deliver its payload of Space Craft Wings, deadly torpedoes and elite, genetically engineered boarding marines into the enemy’s heart. In turn the Interdictor Cruisers and Tyranny Corvettes sow chaos through their fleet, dissecting their prey whilst evading retaliation with ease.

New Dreadball Teams Revealed

Two of the teams for Dreadball Season 2 have finally been put up on the Mantic website.

First up we have the Corporation Void Sirens…

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The Void Sirens are one of the better-known all-female teams with a long and illustrious history. They have, at one time or another, beaten most of the top teams, and they are always worth watching on the tri-vid. The roster relies on their Jacks and their training focus on Running Interference. This, together with an extensive additional coaching schedule, enables them to react swiftly to opposing plays, and makes the Sirens very tricky to predict. Any offensive drive needs to punch a much bigger hole than usual to guarantee a way past the Siren’s nimble Jacks.

Next the Judwan Pelgar Mystics…

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The Judwan are a placid, calm and peaceful race and the tiny number of Judwanese teams play an odd game of DreadBall. They have neither Guards nor Jacks and never try to damage their opponents; they simply outplay them. A Judwan Striker needs no glove to catch or throw the ball, instead using his long, lithe arms and slender fingers to launch the ball with as much or more speed as other races. Their games are fast and often surprising, with a tendency to end suddenly in a 7-point landslide.

More Tau Images Leaked

Yep, more White Dwarf snaps of the new Tau stuff. Dribble, drool, or, like me, roll your eyes at the clunkiness of Farsight and go back to your Space Marines.

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Tau Images Leaked

Well another new release and another set of shoddy photos taken by someone who got their hands on a White Dwarf before anyone else.

I did actually spot these at around 3am whilst trying to get the baby to settle but I didn’t think the wife would appreciate me pausing to blog about it…

This time it’s the Tau and huzzah, some new models. However, my worst fears have been realised; the Crisis Suits and Fire Warriors have not been replaced. So the two main units of the army remain dated and uninspiring which is an absolute crime. The Pathfinders and the Broadsides have had an update though.

The Riptide, yes it does say £50, is a fucking great mech, so that’s a win. A big one. With big guns.

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More Dark Angel Image Leaks

As 2012 draws to a close some cheeky bugger has chucked a whole load of Dark Angel snaps onto the internet including a few close-ups of rules, unit details, the new Asmodai model (about fooking time) and a few other choice bits and bobs including the Dark Talon/Nephilim kit. Be warned, the images are blurry.

Enjoy…

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