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Thursday, September 27, 2012

"I Love The Drake" / "I Hate The Drake"

Hey there Chaos fanatics! I've been slowly but surely recuperating from my surgery and hospital stay and all that. I have been painting a bit, reading a bit, surfing the web, etc. I realize that I haven't done a posting in a bit, so here I am, back to the grindstone.

It has been a time of change for us Games Workshop and 40K players people, huh? But, is it a case of "the more things change, the more they stay the same" perhaps? Hehe! It depends on which message boards you read of course. Some say that the changes to the rules, WD, and the upcoming Chaos Codex are all fantastic- the rapture is here! Others fear that these changes are the doom of GW- that the Chaos gods are about to destroy everything we hold dear. I suspect, as with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between. I'll give you my 2 cents, which, in this economy, ain't worth 2 cents, but you get what I mean...

Let's talk 6th for a moment. Since I have been ill, I did not get in nearly as many games as I had intended on, though I did play a few. I love the book- the art, the format, etc. I think the rules are also fairly strong, and that there's going to be a lot of things that come to the fore as I play more. I love some of the randomness- random objective effects, random charge lengths (crazy- but I like how it reflects the chaos of the battlefield). I'm not sure yet if Overwatch completely ruins getting into CC, as I'll need more games to determine this. Overall, I think 6th is a strong book, certainly more complex than the previous few editions, which is a plus. I just need to play a few more games to get the rest of the intricacies (I haven't played with flyers or flying Daemon Princes yet, for example).

Now, how about that White Dwarf...? I like most of the changes here. The overall layout was really good. The inclusion of a hobbying section (I love that huge base), and a painting section harking back to ye olde WD. The battle report was much more sharply written, getting right down to the game play. Yes, the book is still a huge advertisement (natch) but it is moving in a much better direction.  Now, all they have to do is have a few fluff pieces in there, and it will be like the old days. However, they MUST ditch the red backgrounds for the pix- it just clashes way to damn much, and I am convinced it made the models look worse.

Speaking of... what about the new Chaos stuff. First, I am sure that the Codex will be up to snuff, based on the pages that have been seen online, Phil Kelly does good work, and we have nowhere to go but up from the past edition. I like the look of the book (hardcover and color), though that cover makes me laugh- Blood Gorgons was an 'OK' book, but now I'll always think of it when I look at the Codex (its nice art, but couldn't we pick from a better book- say First Heretic or something). I can't wait to play with cultists/zombies in a non-Apoc match, that's all I can say. I have already reserved the book at my local store.

As for the models- well, here's where it gets dicey. First, the red backgrounds did no favors for these models. Look at the 360 online or the battle report pics to get a better idea of these models. They are in no way the "abomination" that some have suggested. On the contrary, I think the Heldrake is a very good- check out the Black Legion paint job to see how cool it is. The Maluer/Forge Fiend is a bit unusual, but a good paint scheme and a bit of conversion will make that model into a solid entry. The Warpsmith is a great model, as is the Dark Apostle (amazing sculpt). The Sorcerer hearkens back to the old metal sorcerers (retro, but more detailed). I love the Warp Talons (Yes! Plastic Raptors at last). However, the Mutalators are just plain ugly- yes, I know they look like the Oblits, but- damn they suck. I sense another "Save Money The Chaos Way" in the future when I do those...

Herein lies the rub. I hate to say it, but most of the new models aren't really "Nurgl-y".  Let's take the Heldrake, for instance. It just doesn't scream "Death Guard" to me. Now, you paint that up in Black Legion or World Eaters (imagine a Red and Bronze dragon- holy shit), it its great. Paint it up in a darker Night Lords scheme (the one in the WD is too bright), good. But... Nurgle... meh. I don't know. It just doesn't scream that to me. It did inspire me to finish my Forgeworld fighter though... Yep, I had it for a while but never finished it. Now, it is done, and I intend to use the Heldrake rules (the 'drake wings are based on this model- look closely).

With some conversion, the Mauler/Forge Fiend will find a home in my Plaguemarine force, no doubt. But again, the aesthetic looks better for some of the other legions. I WILL buy a Dark Apostle, but again, he doesn't look to be easily Nugle-fied. As for the Warpsmith, I can paint him to be all rusty, and he'll fit in, though I still am under the old illusion that nurglings run the inside of tanks, thus the Death Guard would not need a Warpsmith. That's just old fluff though. As for the sorcerer, I already have my one from Forgeworld, whom I also recently finished (and I'm pleased with my work, considering I'm still not at my best).

I am excited for Chaos, and I can't wait to field my Plague Marines alongside my old plague zombies again. I also want to use the allies rules to bring Nurgle daemons with me again. I have the new plastic Plague Bearers, and have been slowly working on them. Those are great models, by the way. Even if you have some of the old metals, these new plastics are very detailed, and will fit in nicely with the old ones.

I am looking forward to playing with the new rules and the new codex. Its just a few days away now. I know that some people are cynical, but I am hopeful. It won't ever match what we have in our heads, as I think that Chaos players tend to love their fluff/characters/army look more than liking to win. Now, that is not an insult to anyone, I just know that many Chaos players are passionate, and would rather have a codex that allows for fluffy lists than anything else. They are committed to Chaos itself- if they can field daemons and cultists and all that but still face a tough time on the battlefield, most Chaos players would take it. Win or lose, they just want to be Chaos fanatics. Why do you think I haven't gone and played the all-powerful Grey Knights? Or ran my Nurgle force with Spacewolf rules? No. Way. I am a Chaos player (and let's face it- I play Dark Eldar too. Dark Eldar are pretty evil, and no one would say I care about only winning if I have played DE since their earliest incarnation. Ouch- talk about punishment). But now, with the new Codex and the 6th allies rule, I can take my Nurgle Daemons and zombies. Iron Warriors can bring in their Basilisks. Word Bearers and Alpha Legion can bring in their Cultists. I know they'll be more goodies in the Codex; even if not every old time fluff idea CAN be done, it is nice to see that most of it is restored. Reason to be hopeful. Then, Chaos can destroy those hopes by tearing down the false throne and desecrate the weakling Emperor and... ahem. You know what I mean.

Until next time, my friends. 


  1. A pretty good piece, however I believe most people are just reeling from the release of the 4th edition codex and how terrible that codex was/is. That is why they are cynical. I know I am, but I am hoping the pieces that are missing on the leaks about each unit, will really surprise us. So I keep some hope and I think you'll see people complaining backing off really fast once they taste the new codex.

  2. Thanks for the comment...

    I know there's bitterness about the last edition. I know people who quit playing Chaos outright because they felt that book ruined playing Chaos (for them, at least).

    I don't want my expectations to be too high, since I don't think the book will be as good as the "glory days" of Chaos, but I am very confident that it will be better than it has been for us Chaos followers than it has been in a very long time.