Monday, March 31, 2014

Militarum Tempestus: Plastic storm troopers finally arrive!

There are no miracles, only men.
Rumors have been circulating on the internet for years that Games Workshop has been working on a unit of plastic Imperial Guard storm troopers. I always looked at these rumors with a cautious optimism. The caution born from many false leads and the disappointment of not getting them when the Imperial Guard rolled into the 5th edition with steel treads and the stomp of standard-issue boots. But it was hard to not get excited about each of the rumors, because more so than for any other army in the 40k universe, the Guard are something that we can all relate to. Flesh and blood of men and women trying to survive the brutal dictatorship of the Imperium and the continual assaults from virtually any imaginable horror. Afterall, there are no miracles, only men (a line that has always stuck with me, from John Bergin’s ambient industrial rock soundtrack for Dan Abnett’s seminal novel Traitor General). But with the release of this week’s White Dwarf magazine, all of that uncertainty is gone. Plastic storm troopers are finally being released next week along with a supplemental codex, Militarum Tempestus, detailing an entire army composed of storm troopers (renamed Scions)! Now seems like as good a time as any to discuss the new plastics and consider them in light of the earlier versions of storm troopers (and to find my 30-40 metal storm troopers and prepare them for battle, he he).

Monday, March 24, 2014

Horus the Warmaster, Primarch of the Sons of Horus

Forge World's release of Horus offers yet another reason for us to open our wallets...
We knew it was coming for a while now, ever since Forge World released Angron of the World Eaters.  We have all tried our best to wait as patiently as we could, but as of last week it finally happened. We are now graced with a model for Horus Lupercal!  To fully appreciate the significance of this, it is necessary to think back to when we all got into this hobby.  Like many of us, I first learned about Warhammer 40,000 because of Space Marines.  Those little colorful armored soldiers captured my imagination, with their iconic Boltguns and bulky power armor.  And while pushing miniature warriors around a table may have been something my capricious teenage mind could have quickly gotten bored with, the rich history Games Workshop crafted around their models kept things from becoming stale.  There was alway some intriguing thread to follow and to set my mind wandering, whether from a short story, codex book, or just an axiom that adorned the border of a page in the rulebook.  But one story stood above the rest and became an integral part of my vision of Warhammer 40,000:  the Horus Heresy.  This vicious civil war set the galaxy to burn as brother Space Marine turned on  brother Space Marine.  And at the center of this conflict were two figures: the Emperor, and his most trusted son, Horus.  At the climax of the Heresy, they met in single combat.  And although the Emperor ultimately prevailed, he was left virtually dead in the process and needed to be entombed within the Golden Throne to survive (although his vitality is still a point of contention).

Monday, March 17, 2014

Imbrian Arts: Beer and D6s

A more unlikely band of adventurers has rarely been seen!
After being thoroughly impressed by Jody Siegel’s work on The King of Ghouls model from his Kickstarter campaign, I decided I needed to purchase a few more of his models. Having vocalized my fondness for the Blacksands Orc in my previous post, I knew that I wanted to add him to my collection. Additionally, I was intrigued by Jody’s take on the Basilisk (bipedal with multiple arms, wielding a sword) and wanted to see him in person. My third purchase was an unexpected and unmediated one: while on the Imbrian Arts website I noticed they had just released a new dwarf model, one holding a tiny shot glass aloft and sporting a drunken and joyful smirk! Looking into it a little deeper, I discovered the model is from a new project Jody has been working on in his free time, a skirmish game focused around drunken brawls, titled Beer and D6s. The concept immediately resurfaced memories of my time in 1998 playing Games Workshop’s Brewhouse Bash (White Dwarf 223), commanding drunken orks in fierce combat! With such fond memories in mind, I had to order the inebriated dwarf, as well!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Imperial Knight Unboxing

Although the lineage is clear, the Knight has come a long way.
It is rare that Games Workshop really surprises anyone with a release, but I admit I was pretty shocked to see that they were releasing a plastic Imperial Knight. I was even more surprised and thrilled with how effectively it captured the image that I had cultivated in my mind of how a Knight should look, maintaining the bulky, hunched look of the related constructs of the Titan Legion. With their release slated to be Saturday, I decided to pay my local hobby shop a visit the Friday of, hoping to at least get a look at the new Imperial Knight. I was not really expecting to buy one because in the past GW has asked stores to only sell their new releases on the the actual Saturday release date. After talking with the store owner, he told me that GW was now letting him sell most of their new releases on Friday, and proceeded to go into the back of the store and bring out all of the Imperial Knights he had ordered for the shop. Interestingly, while the store had only ordered seven of the kits they received nine in total. Furthermore, eight of the nine Knights were packaged in the plain white, “Direct Order” Games Workshop boxes, rather than the proper Imperial Knight ones (likely confirming the rumors that have been in circulation of supply issues).