Tau Empire XV104 Riptide Battlesuit review

The XV104 Riptide is the latest Battlesuit to have been developed by the Earth caste. It stands twice as tall as the XV8 Crisis Suit but retains the fluidity of movement typical of all Tau Battlesuits.

The Riptide Battlesuit box contains a multi-part plastic kit featuring 108 components which provides parts to make all of the weapon and support system options from the new Codex, two Shielded Missile Drones and a Tau transfer sheet

It is always nice to tackle a larger kit from time to time as there is often much less fiddling with smaller pieces involved in the build. Construction of this kit should be a lot easier than many kits, especially for those of us who are not blessed with slender fingers.

Tau Empire XV104 Riptide Battlesuit Sprue 1
Riptide Battlesuit Sprue 1
Tau Empire XV104 Riptide Battlesuit Sprue 2
Riptide Battlesuit Sprue 2

In fact it turns out that the Riptide kit is so simple to build that there is little to mention in the construction part of this review, certainly there is little to criticise. The instructions are clear and parts fit together with little fuss.

Tau XV104 Riptide Battlesuit
Tau XV104 Riptide Battlesuit

One feature of the build to note however, the Riptide has “location pins” on the hip joint of the legs which hold the legs in the default pose, but these can be snipped off, freeing the ball joint and making a greater range of poses possible. This is a great idea – for a quick and easy build use the pins – to build something a little more unique, snip them off. The knees and ankles also have some movement complementing this flexibility at the hip. The arms are basically ball sockets also allowing a wide range of positioning.

The Smart Missile System, Fusion Blasters & Plasma Rifles, the additional weapon systems, could be easily magnetised to allow weapon swapping. The main weapon, either Heavy Burst Cannon or Ion Accelerator, also looks magnetisable as they attach underneath the arm, but there is a small pipe that runs between the weapon and arm that might make this slightly tricky. However this can either be left off or could potentially be pinned or magnetised separately if desired.

Tau XV104 Riptide Battlesuit size comparison
Tau XV104 Riptide Battlesuit size comparison

Visually, I have to say I’m undecided on the Riptide. Some of the weapon options look like after thoughts rather than parts of the kit – specifically the Fusion Blasters / Plasma Rifles than can replace the default Smart Missile System. Also the head is out of proportion with the rest of the Battlesuit – I know what the designers were doing here, they were thinking “It is simply a group of sensors so why should it be bigger on a bigger suit” and this is only a personal gripe, but it does look odd / unbalanced.

I want to just quickly discuss the fluff (background) for a moment. From a personal perspective I’m not happy about a few things in the new Tau Codex and the Nova Reactor fielded by the Riptide is one of them. In previous Tau Codexes I have always had the feeling that the Tau were cautious in battle (not cowardly but cautious), for example they do not sacrifice Tau lives without reason and more to the point their plasma technology has always specifically been low Strength but stable. We now have numerous entries in the Codex for items, like the Nova Reactor, that can be overcharged or used with a risk to the Tau that uses it. To me this seems to go against what we have been told of the Tau in the past. With that said, if putting your life on the line is for the “greater good” who am I to argue?…

Lastly, value for money, at £50 RRP the Riptide represents reasonable value for money, for a Games Workshop kit. Looking at it compared to the Slaughterbrute we reviewed a couple of months ago it is a much more substantial model at the same price point, whilst compared to the Broadside we reviewed yesterday it is at least double the size for less than double the price.

Summary

The Tau XV104 Riptide kit is a pleasure to build and contains parts for all of the various options that are included in the Tau codex.

The kit is highly pose-able and lends itself to magnetisation/weapon swapping, so you are not stuck with only a single build.

Visually it is not my favourite model from the new release but that is just down to person taste.

All in all a very nice kit indeed!

Overall score: 8/10

Warhammer 40,000 Blood Angels Death Company Review: 8 out of 10

Big Orbit Games was up at Games Day this year and we took a few pics to share with those that couldn’t make it.

Forge World Angron Model (WIP?!).
Forge World Angron Model
Forge World Show Model 2012 - Skin Wolf
Forge World Show Model 2012 – Skin Wolf
Warhammer 40,000 Dark Vengeance Three Ups
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Vengeance Three Ups
Talisman Computer Game
Talisman Computer Game
Full Sized Ultramarines Rhino
Full Sized Ultramarines Rhino
Warhammer 40,000 Orks: Banzai Bommers
Warhammer 40,000 Orks: Banzai Bommers
Armies on Parade: Nurgle Army with Reaver Titan
Armies on Parade: Nurgle Army with Reaver Titan
Warhammer 40,000 Asteroid Fortress
Warhammer 40,000 Asteroid Fortress
Forge World Imperial Fortress
Forge World Imperial Fortress
Games Day 2012 - Victory
Games Day 2012 – Victory
Games Day 2012 - Club & Store Banners
Games Day 2012 – Club & Store Banners
Games Day 2012 - Mail Hall
Games Day 2012 – Mail Hall

Anything we missed may have been caught by Neil Challis who was also taking pics at Games Day: Tykens Rift

Also just seen Steve Yates’ pics of Game Day – Check them out on the Toyz n the Hood blog

Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition (2012) review

Well, the long awaited Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook has landed at Big Orbit Games and we’ve spent the day pouring over it.

As expected, the book is absolutely huge and a single day isn’t anywhere near enough time to read it cover to cover, but if we waited to write a review until we’d finished going through the thing you wouldn’t be reading this until well after release.

The Book

The 6th edition rule book is 40% thicker than the previous edition, running to 432 pages, all rendered in glorious techni-colour, with loads of new artwork.

The book comprises of:

  • 130 pages of rules
  • 101 pages of background information
  • 63 page miniatures showcase
  • 29 page hobby section
  • 45 pages of example missions, details of the various expansions and information on running campaigns
  • The book is capped off by a comprehensive reference section

The book has a black ribbon bookmark to help you keep your place.

There  seems to be increased use of headings and bold text which makes flicking through to find those all important rules mid-game significantly easier, it certainly helped with the writing of this review.

The Rules

Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook Rules
6th Edition Rules Pages

The core game rules (before special rules) only comprise 30 pages – which is nice and concise and will help new players ease themselves into the game.

Below is a run down of some of the main changes to the rules in Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition.

Though core principles such as unit statistics and the basic turn sequence remain the same, there are some significant changes; fortunately the game remains recognisably Warhammer 40,000.

Rules – Core Game

On page 4 is one of the main differences to the core game “You can always check any distance at any time”, basically introducing pre-measuring like in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th Edition.

Rules – Army Selection

The Force Organization Chart (FoC) is still in use, but with the addition of new sections Fortification & Allied Detachment (a reduced FoC for a secondary army attached to the primary one).

Fortifications are static defences / weapons that are not included in current Codexes but some are presented in the 6th Edition book and more are promised for White Dwarf later.

Allied Detachments must be from a different codex from the  primary army, so no using this rule to double the number of a particular unit in your army. There is a complex grid that shows which armies can ally – it is too complex to summarise here.

Rules – Movement Phase

Movement is pretty much the same as in 5th edition with infantry able to move 6″, Jump Infantry 12″ and so on. Unit coherency rules also remain the same.

Rules – Shooting Phase

The basic rules for ballistic skill and rolling to hit remains unchanged, as does rolling to wound and using AP to either ignore a save or leaving it unmodified.

That said, there are substantial changes to shooting in 6th ed.  Saving throws are now taken before wound allocation, wounds are then allocated to the target unit member closest to the unit that it shooting at it. Additionally only models within range and visible to the shooting unit can be removed as casualties. These rules must inevitably result in a screen of standard troopers being used to protect special weapon troopers and unit leaders.

A completely new rule is “Snap Fire”, primarily allowing some heavy weapons to shoot on the move and units being charged can also get off shots before they are assaulted, in both these case firing is resolved with a Ballistic Skill of 1, meaning a roll of 6 is required to hit.

Other rule changes affecting the shooting phase:

  • Rapid Fire weapons can now fire at their maximum range whether they move or not – that said they can still only fire twice at targets up to 12″ away.
  • When shooting at a unit that is only partially in cover a player may choose to “Focus Fire”, targeting only those models that benefit from a lower (or no) cover save.
  • Most grenades can now be thrown up to 8″ in the shooting phase, this is limited to one grenade per unit per turn.
  • There is also a new weapon type “Salvo”, these can  fire at maximum range with a full number of shots if the model carrying it doesn’t move, or at half range and with half the number of shots if the model moves.
Rules – Assault Phase

Although many of the core tables, to hit, to wound etc are the same as 5th edition, the assault phase is significantly changed.

The core rule changes affecting the assault phase are:

  • As in Warhammer Fantasy Battle 8th ed, charge distance is now slightly random, in this case 2D6 inches.
  • A unit can shoot in “Overwatch” if being assaulted, this is a passive ability, basically “Stand and Shoot” for Warhammer 40,000 using the snap fire rules, discussed previously.
  • Units declaring multiple assaults are now deemed to have performed a  “Disoriented Charge” and do not get the bonus attack for charging.
  • Individual close-combat weapons now have AP values.
  • Models that are in base-to-base contact with the enemy are removed as casualties before those that are not in base-to-base contact.

Rules – Vehicles

One of the main changes to the vehicles rules is the introduction of hull points as the vehicle equivalent to wounds – a vehicle reduced to zero hull points is considered wrecked. Consequently the wrecked result has been removed from the vehicle damage table, to be replaced by an increased chance of a crew shaken result ( now on a roll of a 1-2) with all other results shuffling up the table i.e. 3 =  Crew Stunned, 4 = Weapon Destroyed, 5  = Immobilised & 6 = Explodes. Most vehicles have 3 hull points but light vehicles, Space Marine Lander Speeders, Eldar War Walkers etc with just 2 hull points and the likes of Space Marine Land Raiders & Necron Monoliths with 4.

Another significant change is that most weapons can now be fired most of the time. The classification of vehicle weapons as defensive or primary weapons has been removed, players can now fire all weapons on a vehicle at any time. Moving over 6″ in a turn (i.e. at combat speed) means that only one weapon may be fired at normal ballistic skill, the remainder using the snap fire rule, that keeps cropping up in 6th ed rules, so shooting on these is resolved at ballistic skill 1.

There are many changes to the vehicles rules in 6th edition – here are a few highlights:

  • Full, and comprehensive rules, for flyers are now in the main rulebook.
  • To accompany the new vehicle damage table (mentioned above), modifiers are also changed on AP2 weapons adding a +1 modifier to rolls on the table, AP1 weapons add +2, AP- no longer results in a -1 modifier.
  • The full strength of blast weapons is now used even if the central hole is not over the vehicle.
  • Disembarking infantry can now be placed up to 6″ from the vehicle access point.
  • There is a new vehicle type, Chariot – the rider may fight any model in base to base contact with the chariot.

Rules – Other Rules

Psykers now have a Master Level, the level can be either one or two, for each level the psyker gets one warp charge counter, the number of warp charge counters a model has dictates how many psychic abilities a model may use per turn.

Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook Space Marines
6th Edition Space Marine Artwork

Another significant change to psychic abilities in 6th edition is the introduction of 5 new psychic disciplines, each has 7 powers and each army has access to different disciplines, if it has access to psychic powers at all.

In 6th edition, the HQ model in your army with the highest leadership becomes your Warlord. Warlords get a roll on a one of three tables, there is a choice of Command Traits, Personal Traits or Strategic Traits – these abilities can significantly change the outcome of a battle. For example, the Warlord and his unit may gain the outflank special rule or enemy units may have to use the lowest leadership in a unit within 12″ of the Warlord rather than the highest.

The 41st Millennium – Background

There are nearly 30 pages of history and 2-7 pages of background per army.

The history section has a 10 page illustrated time-line covering the age of the Imperium.

Warhammer 40,000 Miniatures Showcase

This section is pretty self explanatory, we have a brief introduction followed by 61 pages crammed full of beautifully painted miniatures.

Warhammer 40,000 Hobby

This section comprises 29 pages of hobby advice, giving useful advice on building Citadel miniatures to those new to the hobby.

I use the word Citadel intentionally here as a couple of the pages are essentially adverts for Games Workshops products, shops, Warhammer World and events, such as Golden Demon.

Warhammer 40,000 Battles

Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook Missions
6th Edition Scour the Starfort Mission

This is section provides details of 5 example missions illustrated with some beautifully produced battlefields – this section contains some real eye candy as well as ideas for novel games, the highlight for me being “Scour the Starfort” (The Bane of Daemons). Following these is a list of more mission ideas and 11 War Zone Traits, special rules that can be applied within games to add variety.

This is then followed by a series of entries detailing various Warhammer 40,000 expansions including Apocalypse, Planet Strike and Cities of Death.

Finally, in Iconoclasm, there is detailed information on the battles that were fought for the cathedral world of Eydolim – Lots of resources that would allow players to create a rich setting for their games.

Our Opinion

As with most Games Workshop books, the Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook is great to look at and well presented. There seems to be increased use of headings and bold text, which makes flicking through to find those all important rules mid-game significantly easier than the previous edition.

All in all, you definitely get your £45 worth here. Calling this simply a rulebook does it a disservice – as detailed above the rules only take up the first 130 pages. The remaining 300 pages contain more background, hobby and gaming ideas than a whole series of source books. However, this is potentially a problem, as many would be happy with just a copy of the rules, which could retail at say £20, as they have all the details of the game background in their previous rulebooks / codexes.

I do feel that Games Workshop do need to start thinking about breaking away from this case of tome-creep they seem to be suffering from – maybe selling rulebooks and sources books separately. However, I feel certain they won’t as I’m sure they see the rulebook as a great way of selling everything Warhammer 40,000 to their target audience – expect 7th Ed to be at least equally weighty… These books just aren’t of a size that you want to lug around from game to game, many players may want to wait until the  6th edition boxed games has been released to get a pocket sized rule book (assuming one is included) along with a whole host of models – details on what these might be are unknown right now.

As with the recent Warhammer 8th Edition Rulebook it could be said that a couple of dozen of these pages are simply advertisements for other Games Workshops products but, at the end of the day, Games Workshop are a business and they are hardly going to recommend that you use a different companies range of paints, for example.

With regard to the rules, there have been some very significant changes and the way people play the game will change significantly. There will be winners and losers, but all in all I like the sound of most of the new rules concepts, hull points & warlords particularly – as with any rules changes,  individual opinion is likely to hinge on how they impact your particular army.

Summary

In terms of content and book quality the new Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook cannot be faulted – it is an excellent tome.

There have been some very significant rules changes and the way people play the game will change significantly, as with any rules changes, individual opinion is likely to hinge on how they impact your particular army.

The only downside is the price, the book is well worth what Games Workshop are asking for it but the question remains should all this content form part of a single book or should a cheaper “rules only” book be made available. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means, as any fan will lap up the new full colour art and gaming ideas, even if they are now reading the background for the 6th time. That said it does stop us being able to award a full 10 stars, therefore the Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook gets…

Overall score: 9/10

Warhammer Ogre Kingdoms army book review

The new edition of the Ogre Kingdoms army book comes in hardback with a very friendly looking blood-splattered ogre on the front cover.

Typically the book is split into different sections with suitably orgrish names; Big and Brutish, The Lumbering Hordes, Gathering of Might and The Ogre Kingdoms Army List.

Big and Brutish

This is the background story section, filled with the history of the Great Maw and notable events and characters.

The first thing you notice is the artwork – the new Stonehorn and Thundertusk lumbering into battle. Much of the artwork looks great even if some of it is recycled from the either the old book or the old unit packaging.

Just like the artwork, much of the content of this section has been lifted from the previous army book albeit mostly rewritten but really you can’t blame GW for that – you can’t just rewrite the history of a whole army so it fits into a new rule set…

Also in the section there’s a very nice double page full colour map of the Mountains of Mourn with the different ogre tribes and historic battles labelled up. This is a definite upgrade over the map in the previous book which was single page, black and white and not too detailed.

More background material follows, the various ogre tribes and their symbols, a timeline of the ogres and great battles of the ogres.

Overall there’s a lot of good info in this section to help you get a feel for the army, or to give you pointers on creating your own tribe.

The Lumbering Hordes

A scary looking ogre army accompanies the intro pages to this section which focuses on detailed unit descriptions and special rules.

We open with a page of army special rules and there are quite a few changes here over the old book. The big one for me is actually the first up.

Ogre charge: Previously Bull Charge (Ogres are just Ogres now, not Ogre Bulls) This is still all about impact hits but now they’re even scarier. No longer ‘any unit of ogres charging more than 6″‘ it now works on any charge… nasty. brand new addition to this rule is that if you roll 10 or more on your charge roll the ogres cause D3 impact hits instead of the normal 1, that’s potentially a lot of free hits.

One of the new special weapons is the Chaintrap: This is essentially a bear trap on a chain. SNAP!

Next we move to specific character and unit descriptions and predictably start with the biggest and meanest ogres, the Tyrants and other Lord and Hero choices.

Many of the stats are the same and it’s only until we get to the Firebellies that we get something new.

Firebellies: The new hero choice in the army. A level 1 wizard that uses the lore of fire (duh). Same stats as butchers with a couple of additional special rules including a breath attack.

Now onto unit choices, lots of fun new stuff here although Ogres, Ironguts, Leadbelchers, Gorgers, Yhetees and Gnoblars are much the same as before. Some of the new stuff includes Sabretusk Packs – Yes they now come in packs, Mournfang Cavalry who have D3 impact hits on the charge and the mighty Ironblaster – Booooom. Who can say no to a cannon that can move and fire.

Big creatures now, and they look fun. Stonehorns and Thundertusks – both are good choices and bring something different to the battlefield. Stonehorns with their Earth-shattering Charge and the fact Hunters can use them as mounts making them a mobile bolt thrower and Thundertusks with their Numbing chill and their own shooting attack – a mobile stone thrower – Sphere of Frost-wreathed Ice.

Next up are the famous characters, some old, some new. Bragg the Gutsman is a newbie with a nice looking model and some chilling acompanying artwork. His weapon gives him Heroic Killing Blow in any challenge meaning he can take down any sized opponent on a 6 to wound not just man-sized.

Ogre gut magic is next although most of it is the same as before but reworded to work with the 8th edition rules.

Big Names: No major changes other than Giantbreaker has changed with the lack of Slavegiants in the army.

Magic Items: Only 2 pages as they’ve cut down the number of items drastically and upped the points cost of the ones that remain, although they have combined some of the weapons together so they’re quite nasty.

Gathering of Might

This section is a showcase of various figures painted to the usual high standards. Gnoblars finally make an appearance in a photo (yaaay) and theres a double paged spread of Mournfang Cavalry showing off the way the Ogres are perched precariously on the mount as they bounce into battle. The highlights of this section are the Thundertusks and Ironblaster. The Thundertusk looks awesome if only because of the fact the ogres on top look ridiculous throwing bear traps on chains. The Ironblaster looks very nice painted up, maybe not as nice as the Scraplauncher but then again I guess a mobile cannon will appeal to more people in gaming terms than a mobile stone thrower.

Ogres Army List

The most important bit now (apart from maybe special rules) with points values and additional options for each unit. I was quite surprised and very happy as an Ogre player after flicking through this section. Many of the old units have had their points cost reduced to bring them more in line with other armies. This means rather than changing the stats to benefit ogres more in combat (still initiative 2 so usually strike last) they’re giving ogre players the ability to field bigger units to make up for it.

Notable mentions of points reductions would be Ogres (previously bulls) are now 5 points less that before, or 8 points less with the Ironfist upgrade. Leadbelchers are down to 7pts less and Maneaters – now a special unit rather than rare – have been reduced by a whopping 30 points whilst retaining the same stats. The last big change is for Yhetees which are now 21 points cheaper, making them much more viable.

The last page is reserved for the stats summary page as always and comes with a photocopyable fallen giant template for those shaky moments.

Summary

Overall the new Warhammer Ogre Kingdoms book is a nice addition to the existing line. It has built on the previous release, adding in some cool new units and accompanying artwork. However the older units aren’t given much love and the artwork for them is mostly recycled from the unit packaging rather than the awesome artwork from the old book.

The background content is well written to really inspire you to get into the ogres story and the showcase really highlights how great they can look on the table. The main aim of the book is to obviously confer the rules of the army and any Ogre Kingdoms player will be happy with the new set as it offers a larger variety of units that can fulfil roles the army was previously lacking in and the lower points value of the old units is great for fielding bigger armies, or just to fit the new stuff in. A must have for any Ogre players but a nice read for non-player and a good inspirational point if you’re thinking of starting up your own mighty tribe.

Overall score 9/10

Magnetizing Guide – Dark Eldar Talos/Cronos

This is a modelling guide explaining how I converted the Games Workshop, Dark Eldar Talos/Cronos, so it can be  also used as both a TalosPain Engine and a Cronos Parasite Engine.

In this guide I’ll be using a lot of magnets, using magnets is probably the easiest way of making interchangeable components. Blue Demon  magnets are a great range

First you need to divide the model into several components, I’ll go through each one individually explaining where the magnets go. I’ll assume you stick the magnets in place, in the right orientation (relative to adjacent components)

1 – HIPS – Heres the first component, it will be glued to the rest of the body, but i’m describing it as a separate component as the magnets have to be attached before it is fully assembled. Cut away at the “bottom” and “back” attachment areas creating holes, insert a piece of greenstuff for the magnets to rest against, I used a large magnet for the tail as this is quite a large piece.

2 – WEAPONS – The left weapon hand can be interchangeable, there are a few option, but only 2 arm plates. Chose the 2 weapons you want to change between, and construct them. Drill a hole where the piece meets the upper arm, and insert a magnet.

3 – BODY – Build the body, and attach the hip piece, before fixing on the carapace, cut away the top piece of the neck, and glue in one magnet, this will allow the helmet to be attached. Drill into each arm socket and glue in a magnet.

4 – HELMET – Nice easy one, put a small magnet into each helmet. Its best to use the helmets without holes in, as i found out when i super-glued one to my finger.

5 – TAIL – A simple magnet on each end will do, you may need to cut a little plastic away to make a flat surface.

6 – GUNS – Glue in a magnet into the back of the gun, leave off the cover on the top of the gun as this is interchangeable. it just slots in so no magnet is required.

7 – CRONOS ARMS – Attach a magnet at the shoulder joint of each arm.

8 – LEFT ARM – This is a piece that must join two other components, so a magnet at each end is required.

9 – SOUL THING – Quite a small surface to attach the magnet here, so a small strong magnet is needed.

10 – OTHER THING – A weird little component here, I worked out the magnets either side need to be attached so their repelling each other so glue one on, wait for it to dry, then carefully attach the second.

11 – TENTACLES – You need quite a strong magnet here.

12 – RIGHT ARM – Another easy one, a single magnet at the shoulder joint.

And there we are, your Talos, can now also be a Cronos!

Pick up the Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine from Big Orbit Games at 22% off*.

*Accurate as of 27th June 2011.

Citadel Finecast review

The introduction of resin miniatures by the World’s largest tabletop wargames manufacturer is arguably the most significant event in the hobby this year, with over 100 resin miniatures released in a single day, it is certainly the biggest event of the year.

What is fine cast?

Finecast is the name Games Workshop has given it’s new range of resin miniatures.

Many miniatures that were previously produced in metal are now being produced in resin.

Why move to resin?

The reason given by Games Workshop is that resin is easy to work with. Being softer than metal it is easier to cut, and being lighter resin makes the need to pin parts together a thing of the past.

The other reason given by Games Workshop is improved miniature quality.

So what are the new miniatures like?

Citadel Finecast compared with metal
Left: Finecast – Right: Metal

Resin miniatures are most definitely easier to work with and the detail on the new Finecast miniatures looks very sharp indeed.

The image to the right shows a comparison between the axe handle of the new resin (on the left) and the old metal (on the right) Chaos Exalted Hero. The wrapping on the handle of the resin axe certainly seems significantly  crisper.

Is there any thing else I need to know about resin?

As mentioned, resin is easy to work with, but it is also much more delicate than metal and care needs to be taken during building and gaming to ensure that thinner parts aren’t broken.

There are also differences in the manufacturing process. Metal moulds come in two parts whereas resin moulds can come in may parts, this means more dynamic components can be created in resin but that there are often more tabs and mould lines on resin models. This means more preparation work is required.

Are there any problems with Finecast?

Finecast resin can suffer from bubbles
Detail lost to air bibble circled

Bubbles sometimes occur in resin models, these may be buried deep in the model but, if on the surface, they can result in loss of detail or small areas of the model.

The Chaos Exalted Hero we used in the previous example has suffered from this in a few areas, most significantly on his armour just near his head, see pic to the right.

Anything else I should know?

The price of these miniatures is going up. Many have voiced disbelief over this but while resin is cheaper than metal, resin moulds have a shorter life than metal ones, meaning they need to be replaced more often, pushing costs up.

Can I see a pic of the metal and resin side by side?

Yes.

Finecast Resin: Left - Metal: Right
Left:Resin – Right: Metal

Conclusion

Detail on the new Finecast range is certainly superior to metal equivalents, it is also easier to work with, although more delicate.

There are general issues with resin that impact these miniatures. More model preparation is required and the models are prone to suffering from air bubbles.

The miniatures are significantly more expensive, some up to 30% more so, but many have gone up by much less than this headline grabbing figure, and 2 haven’t gone up at all. The price rise is unfortunate as Citadel miniatures were already the most expensive in the tabletop wargaming marketplace. This rise can potentially be justified if the cost of replacing moulds outweighs savings in material costs. However, it does raise the question of whether consumers will pay this premium price and therefore whether the change to resin will work….

Giving a score to something as general as a whole new range of miniatures is very difficult and we were tempted not to do so. But, what the heck…

Overall, the move to resin is positive. Resin is easier to work with and has great levels of detail. Issues with bubbles etc are found in all resin models and results in the loss of a star as does the increase in price, so, all in all, Citadel Finecast scores….

7/10

7 out of 10

You can pick-up Citadel Finecast now from Big Orbit Cards at up to 20% off*:

Warhammer: Citadel Finecast
Warhammer 40,000: Citadel Finecast
Lord of the Rings: Citadel Finecast

*Price correct as of 28th May 2011.

Post update – 3rd June 2011

As requested, here is a photo of the undercoated metal Exalted  Hero. Note: graininess on model was caused by undercoat.

Metal Exalted Hero Undercoated
Metal Exalted Hero Undercoated

New Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar

New plastic kits for Warhammer 40,000 Dark Eldar have now been unveiled by Games Workshop – here are our first impressions.

Dark Eldar Scourges

The new Dark Eldar Scourges multi-part plastic kit replaces the old metal miniatures that haven’t been available for a while.

These new miniatures are as big an improvement on the old metals as the new Kabalite Warriors and Wyches were on their previous incarnations,  when they were released last year. The wings look awesome and the number of weapon options is impressive. A big thumbs up from all at Big Orbit games. Click here for pics.

Pre-order the new Dark Eldar Scourges at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Scourges

Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine

Games Workshop have listed these in two seperate entries on their website but they are in fact a single kit. I’m loving the Talos Pain Engine, especially the arms. I’m really not liking the Cronos at all however, the tentacles are just too much. I feel that if they were just at the front it would work, but front and back is overkill.
Click here for Talos pics & here for Cronos pics.

The Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine has been available before and is a big improvement on the old metal model, the Cronos Parasite Engine is an all new model.

Pre-order the Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine here at 20% off*: Dark Eldar Talos Pain Engine / Cronos Parasite Engine

Dark Eldar Venom

Personally I’ve been waiting for the Venom since the new Dark Eldar Codex was released and the kit looks as good as I’d hoped. The Wyches should hopefully be easily swappable with the Kabalite miniatures that come with the Raider, allowing the option of representing the troop type being carried in either vehicle. Click here for pics.

Pre-order the new Dark Eldar Venom at 20% off* here: Dark Eldar Venom

*Prices correct as of 11th May 2011.

This is a modelling guide for the Warhammer fantasy Tomb Kings, Khemri Warsphinx/Necrosphinx. We will go through some of the things they don’t show you in the GW instructions, I’ll explain how to magnetize the model so you can switch between all the options available in the kit!

You will need :

This is an excellent model, and seems like its built to make the parts swappable, there’s only 2 small pieces that are hard to magnetize, two small decorative wings that attach either side of the warsphinx’s waist and the necrosphinx’s neck. I just stuck these to the warsphinx as you dont notice their absence from the necrosphinx.

I started by building the model into several large pieces, then attaching magnets etc.

Part 1 – The Body

Build each leg, also make the tail as shown in the instructions but leave off the end of the tail. To magnetize it simply drill a small hole into the end of the tail, you may need to widen it with a sharp craft knife. Then using superglue, insert a magnet, you will need a small magnet, maybe 3mm diameter.

I then continued to build the whole body, although you might find it easier to build it in two half’s while putting in the next magnet.

Now drill a hole just above the notch in the back of the model and widen it with a craft knife so it’s a little larger than your magnet, I used 6mm diameter magnets, they need to be quite large here to keep the wings attached.

Press a lump of greenstuff inside the body so that it covers the hole you just made.

Now using super glue press a magnet into the hole, push it well in, meaning it is a few mm below the level of the back. You need to do this as the magnet on the adjoining piece will be connect slightly inside the body.

Part 2 – The Neck

This is a really important piece, make sure you attach the magnet before gluing this piece to the body.

Simply drill a small hole in the centre of the depression, widen this with a craft knife.

Attach some greenstuff to the other side for support, then using superglue fix the magnet into the hole.

Part 3 – The Tail

There are two tail options, these will attach to the end of the tail. Make sure to get the magnets the correct way round!

Again drill small holes into each piece, widening with a craft knife, and glue in small magnets.

Again, I used 3mm diameter this time.

Part 4 – The Howdah

Completely build the Howdah, I’ll go through attaching the crew later.

Turn it upsidown, attach a lump of green stuff to support the next magnet, glue a magnet to this green stuff and then rest the howdah onto the body so the magnets line up.

Part 5 – Necrosphinx Head

You can make this in two pieces, as shown; the neck cover doesn’t need any magnets.

Cut a small hole into the base of the neck, push in some more greenstuff and glue in another magnet.

Part 6 – Warsphinx Wings

I thought this part would be difficult to magnetize when I first saw it, but luckily it was really easy. The wings are connected by a large plate, simply glue a magnet on the underside of the plate and line this up with the magnet on the body.

Part 7 – Warsphinx Torso

Another easy piece, build it exactly as in the instructions.

Press a lump of greenstuff inside the torso, and glue in a magnet, make sure it lines up with the magnet in the neck piece.

Other Components

Lich Priest: Drill a small hole into the priest’s foot, glue in a small piece of paperclip. Put the base together, and drill a small hole into it, and the howdah. Now you can swap him from base to howdah!

Banner – I pinned this piece too, its pretty fragile, and its handy to remove it during transport.

Crew – Finally Glue pins into each of the crew’s feet, and drill holes into the base of the howdah.

The model is now fully customizable, you can swap all the pieces to use it as whatever you need for each battle!

This guide was written by Owen from Painted Legions, visit his blog for more great guides: Painted Legions

 

Warhammer Tomb Kings Khemrian Warsphinx / Necrosphinx review

The Warsphinx/Necroshinx kit (hereafter referred to as the ‘sphinx’) was the worst kept secret of the recent Tomb Kings overhaul. To bring the TK’s up to standard they were always going to get a ‘big guy’ and the sphinx was the logical choice. The fact that they were never mentioned in any previous literature didn’t mean a thing! This review will deal mostly with the sphinx’s aesthetics and how it will play in games rather than its build (dealt with better here).

On opening the box it was immediately apparent that this was not a complex kit. All of the components were contained on just two, albeit dense, sprues. This was accompanied by a much clearer instruction sheet than many of those of late, which included a number of well thought out, logically progressive graphics.

When looking at the preview pictures, it was clear to see that, regardless of your choice of build, the model was replete with beautiful detailing that kept its flavour distinctly ‘Tomb King’. Looking at the pictures when the kit was first announced I felt that it would not be possible to build both a Necrosphinx and a Warsphinx  from one box, in this I was thankfully proved wrong,  see our guide here: Magnetising the Tomb Kings Warphinx/Necrosphinx. An (un)intentional masterstroke on the part of GW?

Tomb Kings Khemrian Warsphinx / Necrosphinx Painted

I also freely admit that looking at the images of this kit I was initially disappointed. I don’t know why, or what I had been expecting, but it wasn’t what I was looking at! I have since changed my opinion. Both sphinxs are elegant in their simplicity (but, then as a stone statue, shouldn’t it be?). The model enhances every TK army it graces, not just with enviable battlefield performance, but with its towering stature fitting in amongst the armies’ low profile masses. If they had to have their ‘big guy’ then, better this than the grotesque Carmen Miranda Bone Giant?…… Every time!

Regarding in game performance: this is where the Sphinx really comes into its own. With the highest toughness of anything available (8) this fella is not to be trifled with! It has three uses within any TK list.

1) Using the Warsphinx as a mount for any Tomb King or Prince. At additional cost to the character and adding a whopping 210 points to the Heroes/Lords allocation I can’t see this as the optimal choice, even though it would make either rider extremely hard to take out!

2) As a rare choice in the ‘Necro’ build mode. This is a ‘toughie’ as the ability to kill absolutely ANYTHING in the game with a lucky dice roll (decapitating strike) and flight, are hard to balance with the fact it’s up against four other very good rare options (I still luuurve those catapults at only 90 points each!) and the fact you might want to keep more points for your ‘special’ choices. This brings us on nicely on to our third and final option…..

3) As a plain, common or garden, Warsphinx. With a howdah full of very ‘killy’ Tomb Guard, Terror, toughness 8, the options for a fiery roar or envenomed sting upgrade and weighing in at a very ‘compact and bijou’ 210 points. At this rate why not take 2 or 3? They come in at well under 50% of your allocation (assuming your playing 2000pts or more) and your opponent will be laying enough bricks to build his own pyramid just thinking of how to deal with them!

So, all in all, an overdue but most welcome addition to the Tomb Kings list. Simple, elegant, hard as nails.

The sphinx gets a ripping 8/10!

8-10

Also checkout out other Warsphinx/Necrosphinx articles:

*Price correct as of 3rd May 2011.

Warhammer Tomb Kings Army Book review

Entombed beneath the sands, awaiting resurrection as the sun-bronzed warrior kings they were promised to be and subsequently resurfacing as withered, undead abominations has left the Tomb Kings vengeful and jealous of all living beings. Driven by vengeance & the unending need to conquer new territory, they along with legions of their loyal former troops and towering enchanted constructs have one goal……to defeat all who stand in their way!

Personally, this was of huge importance to me. Having been, without doubt, my most eagerly awaited wargames release of perhaps the last decade! Since GW first mooted the concept of an undead army based upon Ancient Egypt it has had me gripped.

First Impressions

The new Tomb Kings army book is 96 pages of fantastic imagery that continues the new hardback format. The entire publication is presented in glorious full colour, although, in keeping with the new format, it has a much darker feel. As one has come to expect from GW the book is replete with many beautiful, new works of art. All of the information is presented in an updated and easily understandable way.

On Closer Inspection

What was really important to me was what changes the near nine-year-wait for a second book would bring? Again, a book review coming on the basis of not having ‘field tested’ the army under 8th edition rules, one could not hope to unlock all of the subtle nuances that will no doubt arise given the sands of time (pun intended!). I could not help but feel that this time they had got it right.

As with any change of army book, there are winners & losers, ups & downs or comings and goings.

Biggest Positive Changes:

Too many to mention!

The addition of the much-needed Necro/War sphinx (reviewed separately) adds the, now mandatory, ‘Big Guy’. This direction was almost inevitable to keep the army ‘in pace’ with all the rest, while the iconic sphinx made the choice almost obvious.

But the addition of the Necropolis Knights/Sepulchral Stalkers, the as yet unseen Heirotitan (wave 2 anyone?), and the Ushabti with strength 6 bows were all a little less obvious (but all very welcome indeed!) as was the ability of the Tomb Prince/King to bestow his WS on all in his unit. Reduction in points for the basic skeletons was a must along with the introduction of Arkhan and the Necrotect character.

Bringing the previously unique magic phase into line with 8th Ed rules was a move, which to my mind, was both inevitable and necessary. Removing the ‘stumbling around’ created by the lack of knowledge on the part of any opponent (or, indeed, the player himself) of a magic system which was anathema to the newer, faster rules was a sure sign that this was an army to be taken much more seriously this time around.

Biggest Negative Changes:

The removal of the ‘uniqueness’ of the Tomb Kings magic is a two-edged sword.

I could whine about my favourite models (the Ushabti) taking a hit from strength 6 changing to 4 and the lack of reinstatement of any Mummies being a chance left wanting.

However, these issues are all cosmetic. Otherwise, everything is much better.

On the Tabletop

A somewhat unknown quantity due to the timing of this review, however, I sincerely believe the Tomb Kings time is at hand and many seasoned players will underestimate them at their peril! My initial gut feeling, is that this new army book will put the Tomb Kings much higher up in the rankings. Definite tourney winners in the near future me thinks!

Rating

The production values, quality, appearance etc. are all unequalled in the hobby. An essential purchase for any serious Warhammer Fantasy Battle player. 8/10.

Robin Cruddace, step on up! A surefire hit certainly not a hint of disappointment, at least, not on my part. as a time-served apprentice in the Khemrian way! What has been so long in the making has been worth the wait.

Having been of the opinion that the Tomb Kings concept was brilliant in 2002, the preceding army book had a feel of having been ‘rushed out’. This book by comparison shows much greater consideration and understanding for the subject matter. 8/10.

Still, that’s an average of 8/10 overall & my Mummy gives a big, bandaged thumbs up!

8-10

 

*Accurate as of 28th April 2011.