Friday, September 5, 2014

Grey Knights, Rumors, Warhammer Fantasy, and New Armies in the Cabal

Recently I've spent a lot of time preparing models for my traditional pre-winter priming, meaning that this blog and my general interest blog have been thoroughly neglected. Fortunately, there's nothing like a post of miscellanea for keeping the blog current:

Grey Knights
GW's release of the Grey Knights codex certainly took the community by surprise. After months of whispering about Dark Eldar, Space Wolves, etc., the rumormongers somehow completely missed that Codex: Grey Knights was to be the next release.

It was also a bit surprising that the Grey Knights received no new models or units. I supposed it made some sense; Grey Knights already had a lot of beautiful plastic models from 5th Edition whereas many of the new models that other armies got with their 6th or 7th Edition codexes were actually just plastic replacements for Finecast or pewter models rather than new units. Still, I half expected Grey Knights to get a pre-existing kit like the Stalker.

I still haven't played against Carl's Grey Knights under the new codex, so I don't know how much of a challenge they'll be. From what I've seen of the rules, though, I'd hate to play Daemons against them.

And speaking of unexpected releases, it seems like the accuracy of rumors has become extremely poor in recent months. With Space Marines, we knew the entirety of the Space Marine codex a month in advance. The rumors nailed several details of the Tau and Eldar codexes early on. And the general idea of Imperial Knights was circulating almost a year before their release. Several rumors even predicted that we'd see a 7th Edition well before it was expected, and they even got some of the details right. However, certain rumors about 7th were aggressively wrong. Remember when a "reliable source" insisted that 7th Edition was moving towards a percentage-based force organization with "sideboards" catering to the tournament crowd? Fortunately, it didn't take long for White Dwarf leaks to show us that the truth was the exact opposite and we were going to get a ruleset that gave us extremely permissive "Battle-forged" armies and even more permissive "Unbound" armies.

I'd seen plenty of inaccurate rumors in the past, but it seems like they've been particularly bad recently. Rumormongers have been completely missing huge releases while giving us outrageously incorrect information and downright fantasies.

Where's my plastic Thunderhawk? Oh, right, GW
is still trying to get it to fit on six sprues.

How often did we hear that Guard would finally get those artillery kits that were previously available only from Forge World? It was only on the eve of the codex's release that we heard that, instead of new models, those artillery units had simply been removed from the codex. In their place, Guard ended up with the Wyvern. The Tyranid release was similar; units that were rumored to be getting models instead disappeared from the codex.

Were any of the long-standing Ork rumors true? (Grot-based armies? Choppas that had an AP value on the charge?) Did any rumors predict the Gorkanaut or the drastic changes to Mob Rule before the White Dwarf leaks? How often did we hear of a Dark Eldar/Blood Angels starter set before the Ork/Space Wolves collection and the Sanctus Reach Campaign took us by surprise?

Until the White Dwarf images leaked, how many rumors anticipated Logan Grimnar's chariot or the Stormwolf? Even while GW was rolling out new Space Wolves products, rumors incorrectly predicted that certain HQs would be getting plastic models.

And then Codex: Grey Knights, enormous Warhammer Fantasy kits, and the Nagash book simply dropped out of the sky while those with "inside information" were yammering about Dark Eldar, Necrons, Blood Angels, and Brettonians.

I've reached the point where, unless a rumor is  accompanied by photos, I simply don't believe it.

And Speaking of Fantasy...
The models of Nagash and his Mortarchs are absolutely amazing. I love my Space Marines' model line, but the Fantasy players seem to get some of the best toys. If I weren't already overwhelmed with piles of unfinished Ultramarines, these new releases (and earlier releases like the Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon or the Coven Throne) would almost certainly convince me to start an Undead army.

They almost tempt me to play Fantasy

Several of the Cabal members are seriously considering starting Fantasy armies. Interestingly, as was the case with 40K, none of us are interested in the same armies. Bryce would do a Goblin-dominated Orcs & Goblins army, Jon would do Dwarves, Jake would field Lizardmen, and (if I were a faster modeler) I would want a Vampire Counts army led by Nagash.

Army Changes In the 40K Cabal
In the right column of this blog is a brief introduction to the members of our gaming group and the armies they play. After staying nearly constant for a while, I've had to update it recently (and learned this week that I'm going to have to revise it again) due to shuffling in some of our members' armies.

A few months ago, Bryce sold his Tau army to Jake, who is now trying to sell his Dark Angels to fund the Greater Good. Jake had really wanted to field a Ravenwing bike army but found that the Dark Angels' 2nd Company isn't particularly competitive on its own. When he played one or two games with Bryce's Tau and finally got to look through their codex (where he realized that he loved the fluff), Jake knew that the army was for him. It's always sad to see a friend fall into heresy.

In the meantime, always eager to try a new army, Bryce has since started a Raven Guard Space Marine army led by Shadow Captain Shrike. Although he hasn't actively played Space Marines in years, Bryce has loved the Raven Guard's fluff for quite some time. After playing Tau and Imperial Guard for so long, it's entertaining to watch him try to get used to an assault-oriented army again.

I've considered starting a second army for at least a couple years, but I've finally conceded that I'm rather fond of my Ultramarines and that I should actually put a dent in my pile of unfinished models before I start a new army. However, I do have a couple of unbuilt Imperial Knight models, which are eager to join the Ultramarines as an Imperial Knight Detachment.

Finally, to the great surprise of the rest of the Cabal, our Ork player bought the last Stormclaw box from Jake's HobbyTown this week. No, it wasn't for the Ork models (except for Face-rippa, he wasn't really impressed with the selection of greenskin units); it was for the Space Wolves. He even picked up the Space Wolves codex while he was there. That's right, one of our most diehard Xenos players will be bringing another loyalist Space Marine army to our tables, conveniently replacing the soon-to-be departed Dark Angels.

Although Jon claims it could be a year before he actually plays them, he's so excited about his new models that I predict that we'll be seeing Space Wolves a lot earlier than that.

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