Tyranids Sighted

toxicreneOkay, it’s not much but this gribbly sod makes it pretty clear that the Tyranids are about to have another reboot. Most Tyranid players will be delighted after the last two codices were pretty sucky. Let’s hope this edition bucks the trend. Having had a couple of Tyranid armies over the years I, for one, would like them to return to their place as the horror movie close combat nightmares rather than an obviously commercially written army list.

Anyway, I’ll post more pictures as I find them.

Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition – White Dwarf Leaks

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Following some mysterious trailers and the promise of the 24th of May being a significant release date in the Warhammer 40,000 schedule there are now some leaked White Dwarf images for us to pore over and, judging by the state of Twitter, get in a bit of a tizzy over.

You’ve no doubt seen them already, but just in case you haven’t, here they are:

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Prometheus unbound?

Much of the furore has been around the comments surrounding the Force Organisation Chart which, apparently, can FOC off in the new edition (it’s called ‘Battle-forged now anyway), if you want it to with the introduction of what are described as ‘unbound’ armies. Of course lots of ‘jumping to conclusions’ has inevitably ensued. We do like to have a good cathartic rage out about these things don’t we? I remember when flyers were the death of 40K, then it was lord of war choices, etc. etc. – judging by the sales of Imperial Knights and Imperial Guard Astra Militarum models, there are plenty of people out there still enjoying playing the game… Still I digress, battle-forged/unbound is the point under discussion here.

For me, whatever the end result of armies appearing on the tabletop, most of the internet is missing the big picture here, Games Workshop has just handed all 40K players and tournament organisers a ridiculously easy way to restrict some of the crazier combinations that the unbound choices may allow (it’s important to note that unlike some people have been suggesting, this will not lead to armies of 20 riptides rushing at you and all you get is some poxy ‘bonus’ for being battle-forged – unit count restrictions and NEW allies restrictions will still need to be considered). How so, I hear you ask. Well, it goes like this. You are arranging a game with a friend and you say “are we playing battle-forged or unbound armies?”, your friend replies “I fancy battle-forged this time”, you say “OK”. Job done. Tournament organisers can follow the same approach, simply stating “Battle-forged lists only”, if they wish. That’s all I’ve got to say on it before I actually see some proper rules from the actual rule book, but it feels to me as though Games Workshop might have handed us an easy way to choose whether we want to play normal or crazy-ass 40K and to state that clearly before any game we play.

BFFs?

There’s a new allies matrix promised as well, which I think could be one of the more interesting additions in this edition, as it gives GW a chance to tidy up some of the mismatched advantages that some allied forces obtained in 6th, and which were the bane of many a tournament player in recent times. Obviously we don’t have any details yet, but I’m hoping that allied forces as a whole will be less beneficial to both sides of the ally relationship, especially with the new psychics phase in play (I can see a shift towards Warhammer Fantasy ally rules coming), but we shall see.

New Magic Psychic phase

It also appears that we’ve got a brand new (or not so new, depending on how long you’ve played 40K for) dedicated psychics phase, utilising the tried and trusted approach found in Warhammer. The more astute amongst have already suggested that this is an example of ‘rules alignment’ to encourage, in the same vein as Privateer Press do with their Warmachine/Hordes formats, cross fertilisation between Games Workshop’s two main games. There’s also the promise of two new disciplines available to all (except Tyranids, who as we all know don’t mess around with the warp for their psychics): Daemonology. It sounds as though the two flavours it has ‘Santic’ and ‘Malefic’ may have a banishment/summoning mechanic within them and the side bar that you can’t quite read in the second image tells the tale of a Space Marine Librarian, reduced to his final wound and desperate to turn back the Tyranid tide, summons forth a Bloodthirster to do his bidding… Now I know to many this is anathema to the way of the Space Marine, but (and it’s a big but), don’t forget that the current trend in 40K is about the narrative, and there are plenty of novels and bits of fluff around that describe desperate times being the downfall of many a Space Marine on their fall to chaos.

Millions of tictacs!

We’re all getting minty fresh breath! Oh, wait, no I got that wrong again. Tactics. They’re changing through the introduction of Tactical Objective cards alongside the standard missions we know and love and it looks like we’ll about to get about a billion (or so) options based on the myriad of combinations that they offer. This feels like a bit of a gift to tournament organisers to me (yes, I said it, GW helping out tournaments!) as tournaments often use secret objectives and so on to spice up the standard missions and this way they can draw those from a pool of well-established and universally understood options, rather than thinking up their own, trying to word them in an easy to understand way and explain them to players, etc. It will also mean that people will be less resentful of the in-game effect that secret missions or tournament objectives can have, as they’ll be standard fare and everyone will be used to playing with them in hand and being on the look out for the ones their opponent might be attempting to achieve.

Lucky number 7?

Anyway, those are my ramblings on what’s now known about what is (almost certainly) definitely Warhammer 40,000 7th edition. I’m enthused for it all (I’m a fairly enthusiastic chap in general when it comes to hobby, to be honest!) and I’m looking forward to the 24th to get my sticky mits on the latest edition of 40K. There’s obviously change afoot, but my impression thus far is that it’s change to allow narrative gamers to play even more narratively (I’m sure that’s a real word) and tournament players to have more established ways to standardise their games. Of course we don’t actually know anything yet, and that’s important to bear in mind, but there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful!

– rob

White Dwarf “Wood Elves” – A Review

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From the mists of Athel Loren emerge the warriors of the Wood Elves to repel the encroachment of man and daemon alike…

Today we get our first official look at the new Wood Elves as they return with a vengeance to the world of Warhammer. Anyone who’s been involved in the fantasy tabletop Games Workshop scene will know that Wood Elves have been long overdue an update (to put it mildly) and there’s no doubt now, that despite many of the rumours regarding scrapping them, combining them into a dual or multiple army book with Bretonnians, Games Workshop have given them a full army book makeover and the results look pretty special!

Thematic shifts

One of the most interesting shifts in the Wood Elf army is the emphasis that Mat Ward seems to have placed on the duality of the Wood Elves and their alignment to nature as both a creative and destructive force. This is borne out in what little we know of their rules (through things like access to both Dark and High magic lores, with the suspicion of more like this to come) and in the way that they are described, as walking a dual path, embracing the unpredictability of their choices and revelling in the somewhat chaotic environment that they reside within.

New Models

The most obvious changes with the release of an army book refresh prior to anyone actually having seen the inside of it (not available until next Saturday), is the model range. This week’s White Dwarf (issue number 13, not unlucky for Wood Elf players) contains new models across the range, including characters, monsters and new infantry in the form of what could be a new Eternal Guard kit.

Treeman!

Model

The biggest release, in both change of style and size of model has to be the new treeman model. Available as a ‘triple kit’ and capable of being assembled either as a Treeman, a Treeman Ancient, and the special character Ancient ‘Durthu’ (that’s him with the giant sword on the front cover) it’s a stunningly detailed kit with a myriad of options available to the hobbyist putting it together. The leaked pics available earlier in the week have already proved that it’s something of a marmite kit on first impressions, but I predict that few will be unswayed once they see it in the plastic, as it were. It’s obviously a break from the traditional Tolkien-esque versions available for the Wood Elves previously and I suspect that’s in no small part due to the Lord of the Rings line that Games Workshop have been selling since the Wood Elves were last re-done. The new Treeman kit certainly will make it clear to everyone whether you’re using a model that is what Games Workshop call a “Warhammer Wood ElfTreeman” as opposed to a “Lord of the Rings Ent”.

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Rules

The rules for Durthu, included in full in White Dwarf, are interesting and he looks like he’ll be a very cool option for anyone’s army. Your standard Treeman probably hasn’t changed that much but the Ancient Treeman certainly has – they are now all spellcasters (as is Durthu, as the oldest of all Treeman Ancients) and though it remains to be seen what lore choices standard Ancients get (Durthu is a Level 1 in Beasts) it will certainly give Wood Elves an interesting new dimension – especially given that standard spellweavers now have access to Dark and High magic alongside the 8 standard schools, albeit with their own special lore attributes. Durthu is also listed as having the “Blessings of the Ancients” special rule, which isn’t articulated anywhere. I presume that’s what makes him a Treeman Ancient, or possibly the big cheese of all Treeman Ancients, but that’ll take the army book to work out. Durhtu also has the rather nasty Tree Whack option in melee, which allows him to sacrifice his 5 standard attacks (at WS7, S6!) for one big bertha, that requires your target to fail an initiative test for you to deal d6 wounds with no armour save – ouch!

Araloth and other special characters

Model

The main character model featured in White Dwarf is Araloth, again with his rules, a Wood Elf noble who was diverted from his arrogant path by an encounter with an Elven Goddess. Araloth’s model is rather nice, posed giving flight to his hawk Skaryn, who can pluck the eye from any enemy careless enough to leave it unguarded. There also look to be a number of other new special character models appearing, but pictures are rather small so we’ll await confirmation on that front when the army book arrives!

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Rules

Araloth has a number of generic special rules, such as Always Strikes First (does this mean this isn’t a standard rule for all Wood Elves as had been previously rumoured? Or is it simply Games Workshop listing it this way in White Dwarf to avoid revealing more than they want to?) and Stubborn. He is armed with an Asrai Spear, which itself appears to suggest that any ‘Asrai’ weapons will be armour piercing (Asrai arrows, anyone?). A further interesting comment by one of the Games Workshop staff interviewed about using Araloth is the comment that “If you keep him in a wood, he’ll be able to re-roll To Wound rolls of a 1”, which suggests that Wood Elves may gain some benefits from being inside a wood as a general army special rule.

Eternal Guard?

One of the most interesting new models on show (though you have to peer quite hard to see them) are potential new Eternal Guard models. The Eternal Guard are definitely still in the army, as they’re mentioned several times in White Dwarf by those interviewed, and it would seem that they will retain their role as the ‘elite guard’ and ‘hard hitters’ of the Wood Elf army. The new models, if Eternal Guard they are, appear to be armed with a two-handed extended axe type weapon that could either be a halberd or a two-handed weapon. Whatever it turns out to be, I’m assuming it will be an ‘Asrai’ weapon as well, meaning it’ll either be S4 Armour Piercing, or S5 Armour Piercing. If Wood Elves don’t get ASF across the board, it’s probably going to be a halberd, but it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Either way, the new models look pretty damn cool.

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And what models are not there?

No pics of stag rider models in this White Dwarf, though two different art-works featuring them are in there, including those in the leaks earlier in the week. There aren’t any pics of treekin either – which given the way that the Treeman model now fits the theme of the dryad models suggests that there could well be new models forthcoming from them, but that’s a long way from confirmed. There is a very ‘in the background’ picture of a warhawk rider, but it’s impossible to say whether it’s new or old.

And the rest…

There’s also a nice paint splatter section on painting a Treeman, a whole load of interview content with people who’ve used the new Wood Elves in battle and lots of lovely pictures!

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New Wood Elves White Dwarf Leaks

The internets are aglow with many wonderful pictures of the new Wood Elf releases due out in May.

First up we have the teaser video from Games Workshop themselves:

And then there are the lovely, lovely White Dwarf leaks from Saturday’s forthcoming issue, enjoy:

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I don’t think it’s too early to say that Games Workshop have absolutely nailed this one on. The Treemen alone are enough to make me consider picking some Wood Elves up!

 

Leaked White Dwarf Astra Militarum Images

As the new Codex rumbles towards release as unstoppable as the Leman Russ battle tank it’ll no doubt over power, here’s the inevitable last-minute leaked images from the upcoming White Dwarf of the new shit for the freshly renamed Astra Militarum including the Wyvern. The badass twin brother of the equally badass Hydra. I make no bones: I want an army just for this kit. And the Valkyries.

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Leaked 40k Terrain Shots

No sooner is there a leaked cover of White Dwarf showing a Void Shield Generator and my idle speculation that more scenery could be on the way, than these photos have hit the interwebs revealing Quake Cannon craters – which look way cool – and a couple more snaps of the Void Shield Generator.

Whilst I’m excited about the Void Shield Generator, the crater pip it for me simple because they’ll look ace in amongst the dozen or so ruined building kits I already have and will help tell the story of the ruined city I’m playing my games over. You can expect reviews from us on these just as soon as we can get our hands on them.

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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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