It has been a while since I made a 40K post but that doesn't mean I have not been active so I thought I would share some updates.
We have played a few more games since my march post and the focus has been on Crusade. I played Orks and blaster played his Ultramarines primaris force but I expect we will branch out soon. With no ork codex I was just using the core book options and I thought it was still a lot of fun. More on that to come later.
The majority of the effort this year has been on "finishing". I have armies that have been sitting around half-done and maybe not even in a playable state for years. It's stupid at this point in my 40K "career" to have this much unfinished so I wanted to make an effort to clean things up this year. I have way too many armies but with a little focus I should be able to put a dent in things. Blood Angels, Crimson Fists, Dark Angels, and my Iyanden Eldar have all received a fair amount of attention. My method here is to pick one army and for the next month spend most of my workbench time working on them - building the unbuilt or half-built units, finishing the half-painted or 90% painted units, and then making sure some things get finished - decal-ed, clear-coated, and based. Done.
Now to aid this plan I also made a vow in December: "No new armies this year". Well for 40K anyway. With a wave of codexes coming for the new edition I knew I would be spending money on new books, new cards, possibly a new unit if one was released for a particular army - I really do not need to be building up a new force to leave half-finished for the next few years. That said I bought heavily into Flames of War around that time and it remains, uh, "very low mileage" let's say. Those starter sets are still a great deal.
I did manage to hold onto the vow for a month or three. Then I realized this was probably the best time in the history of 40k to pick up some Necrons as they had a major refresh to the models and are in 4 different starter set boxes right now. I looked around online and, well, the prices were right. So I have a Necron army now. In a concession to my plan for the year it remains unassembled. It's roughly 2000 points so I did not go completely nuts. I know how I want to paint them too so when it's time I should be able to get going easily.
- Iyanden :Lots of painting and base work to get a bunch of stuff to "finished". I added more wraithblades, more wraithguard, a second hemlock, two more wraithknits to complete the set - let's just say wraithknights are pretty reasonable right now if you are patient - some wraithlords with different mixes of weapons, a pair of Falcons to get me to the magic "3" if I want to go tank-heavy. Once I decided a few years ago to keep all of my Craftworld stuff Iyanden and avoid the mistakes of my marine forces it made for a pretty comprehensive force. I'm pushing 10,000 points now and around 8,000 of that is completely finished. It can be done!
- Dark Eldar: I built a drukhari force a few years back but I haven't played it much and it's never been in a really "finished" state. I've loved the models ever since the 5th edition revamp and then once we knew they were getting a new codex early this year I picked up a fair amount of stuff to fill in what I thought were the gaps in the army - mainly Venoms, Raiders, Talos/Chronos, and Mandrakes. Most of that remains unbuilt but they will get a month and I will put them all together and get them on the table. I'm thinking they would be good for a Crusade run where I could build up over time.
- Harlequins: Blaster mentioned trying them out and I have plenty of clown trooper infantry and characters but I have zero of the transports and bikes that seem to be part of their typical armies these days. At some point I will pick some up and we will make that a real, modern army.
- Howling Griffons - nothing new here. I do toy with the idea of expanding them at times but that would probably be best as a "when everything else is finished" goal.
- Imperial Fists - my army of big yellow terminators has no recent additions. It's still all terminators with a few bikes and a land raider being built originally as a Deathwing force. I looked it over recently and it would probably be a dammed strong force if I put it back on the table. I need to clean it up and unify the basing, put some decals on some squads, but it's totally painted and playable now at 50 or so terminators. The only possible addition might be a some dreadnoughts since it has zero right now and they are kind of a Deathwing thing.
- Crimson Fists - more dreadnoughts! I added a bunch last year and I just added a pair of contemptors this week, with another redemptor waiting. I would consider them my main "normal marine" army so they do tend to get more attention than a lot of mine. A primaris expansion is coming soon for them.
- Black Templars - for some reason I decided last year I needed yet another marine army so I built up a ridiculous Black Templars force which I have yet to play. Triple land raider crusaders, triple rhinos, triple crusader squads, all of their special HQs ... it's a stupid thing to do and I thought about selling some of it and using the generic stuff to reinforce my other armies - a lot of it is base coated but not painted - but with rumors of new BT units and a codex supplement coming later this year I just can't - I want to get them finished and play some games.
- Dark Angels - years in the making and finally possibly maybe making progress towards finished ... if I set aside a month for them. A ridiculous number of tac marines and bikes and terminators and land speeders ... it's all acquired and almost all built and almost all base coated - I just need to finish them. Latest adds I picked up a stalker and built a strikemaster and a deathwing champion. They are so close ... it's really dumb that they are not in better shape.
- Blood Angels - One of my favorite armies and the one that really started me down the path of "hey one more won't be so bad". A lot of this I picked up painted but even then I had all different bases through the army and it didn't always look like a real coherent force. So this year I spent a big chunk of March working on their bases. I didn't want to do more snow or sand so I went with a gray dusty/rocky look and I am happy with how it came out. There is more work to be done but it's really coming together as an army now. Last year I picked up a bunch of primaris units for them and then completely failed to finish them so that's a goal for this year now too.
- Grey Knights - So once you realize you have a problem with too many armies and you decide you need yet another one the smart move is to buy painted units for it. That way you are at least not adding to the backlog. It also helps if it's an elite army with a fairly small number of units. This was my approach with the Grey Knights and it has worked really well. I have a nice playable army, about 3000 points worth, so I have some options to rotate through. This year though ... I picked up some actual boxes for strike squads and terminators and some unbuilt venerable dreadnoughts in anticipation of tuning up my force. With a new codex coming this summer I'm in a pretty good place with a playable force ready to go and reinforcements waiting to be customized based on how the rules change.
- Imperial Knights - yes I have a set of knights acquired over the last 3 years. Have I played them? No. I have 3 big ones built, 2 more on the sprue, and 2 each of the smaller types awaiting construction as well. So plenty of stuff, just no time spent getting them ready. Another candidate for "focus of the month" sometime this year.
- Imperial Guard - I've always liked the idea of the guard, going back to Rogue Trader and that picture of the Necromundan army marching forth, but I've never really enjoyed playing them all that much. It's one of the few armies I have ever gotten rid of and I've done it twice. Yeah. So why dive in again? Well, I decided it was a good candidate for an all-tank army, a deliberate, consciously chosen all-tank army, with only enough infantry to fill in some formation requirements and maybe hold some objectives. Picked up an extra Manticore, extra officer types, then took it against an expert crafters Eldar army and got shot off the table multiple times. I ahve added some more Demolisher turret options since then and I think some Bullgryn would be a smart addition .. and I also added a Vulture full of lascannons to put another threat on the table. This is another army in the 'tuning up" stage. I need to unify the look and then play some more games with it whether it's "meta" or not.
Beyond adding the killer robots I built up my Nurgle Daemons quite a bit early in the year. I've had the daeon prince and the soulgrinders finished for a long time as an allied force for my Khorne daemons - why not make a usable all-Nurgle force? So theyhave a great unclean one and a bunch of plaguebearers and the big flying bugs and a ton of nurglings. It should be a fun force though a lot of it is at varying stages of unbuilt, built, and painted. This was more of an acquisition effort, but it means my chaos daemons are in really good shape now with a sizable force for all 4 chaos powers. In 2018 I was building Khorne, 2019 was Tzeentch, 2020 was Slaanesh, and this year was Nurgle. This was also sort of laying the groundwork for when their new codex comes along as I will have a decent force with options ready to go and new ones waiting depending on how the updated army works. The daemon bonus is that they are fun in Age of Sigmar as well so you can get double duty out of them if you play both.
Not a lot happened with most of the rest of the Chaos forces:
- I picked up a fighter for my World Eaters and added a squad of possessed and a rhino for them to ride in. Then the Death Guard codex came out and possessed are now treated like terminators - they can only ride in Land Raiders and take up two slots. Great. Why do I suspect we might be getting new models, say "greater possessed" sized models, when the Chaos Marine codex comes out? Anyway no major changes - I just really need to finish these guys.
- The Iron Warriors are one of my most-finished armies (6000 points at least, 90%+ painted/finshed/etc.) but I do have some units in waiting even for them. I did build my 6 newer style big Obliterators. They really look like mini-helbrutes. I just need to paint them and then I am looking forward to trying them out. I also have a bike unit I should finish up and a squad of possessed that I thought would be a good cargo for one of their six rhinos ... of course.
- Death Guard: many changes here - let's talk about that tomorrow!