Friday, 30 March 2012

Deep Thought - A Sense Of Dread

In the song Hey Ya by Outkast, Andre 3000 asks the question, "What's cooler than being cool?" To which the answer is, "Ice cold" Well, what's cooler than 8 foot tall genetically enginered super men? Well, 8 foot tall genetically enginered super men on giant wolves obviously. But what's nearly as cool as that? Genetically enginered super men who kick so much arse when they're alive that when they get badly injured they get put into a metalic shell so that they can keep killing in the name of the Emperor, that's what!

Deep Thought is our ironically titled series of "Wouldn't it be cool" army lists (although, I'm not sure if it's a series yet, since there has only been one previously) Anyway, today we are going to look at a list mainly made up of Dreadnoughts. Now, there are a couple of codexes that you can do this from. The Space Marine 'dex and the Grey Knight one both allow you to take up to 6 of the things. the Space Wolf codex lets you take one as HQ but you can only take 4 maximum. However, there is a codex that lets you take Dreadnoughts in the Elites, Troops and Heavy Support sections of the Force Org Chart - the Blood Angels...

The only thing  you have to do is take 5 Death Company before you can take any Death Company Dreads. Now, I reckon that you could fit in about 8 Dreads at 1750 but you'd probably have no scoring units. However, you'd have 8 Dreads! This leaves a questions about what types of Dreadnought to take, shooty? Assaulty? Physchic? As much as I love dual Autocannon Dreadnoughts, I love the idea of 8 Dreads running amok and smashing stuff up even more. With that in mind, we need a way for the Dreads to get into postition so I've gone for Drop Pods...

Heavy Support

Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod
Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod
Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod

These are the heavy lifters, drop in, blow up something and then wade into combat if you survive the retaliation.


Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod 
Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod
Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod

Jazz hand Dreads. The enemy need to take care of these guys before they get into combat or they can be leathal.


5 Death Company, Infernus Pistol, Drop Pod
5 Death Company Infernus Pistol, Drop Pod
Death Company Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod
Death Company Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod

These guys would be part of the second wave. Ideally, you'll have killed all of the enemy vehicles so that these guys can drop down and not be led around, raging, after vehicles that they can never quite catch. Not 100% sure of whether the DCDs would be better keeping their Blood Fists or not...

That leaves 225 points left and we still need a HQ. A Librarian is cheap and can add to our anti-vehicle with Blood Lance and can give some of our Dreads 5+ saves with Shield of Sanguinious. Then 125 points is just enough to get us an Assault Squad in another Drop Pod, which is ideal as it gives us an odd number of Pods. So the list in full...

Librarian, Blood Lance, Shield of Sanguinious


Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod 
Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod
Furioso Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod

5 Death Company, Infernus Pistol, Drop Pod
5 Death Company Infernus Pistol, Drop Pod
Death Company Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod
Death Company Dreadnought, Blood Talons, Drop Pod
5 Assault Marines, Meltagun, Infernus Pistol, Drop Pod

Heavy Support
Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod
Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod
Dreadnought, Multimelta, Blood Fist, Drop Pod

Optimised? No. Rock/Scissors/Paper list? Yes. Fun? It's 8 giant robots of death falling from the sky to destroy everything in their path, of course it's fun!

What do you think? Is it viable at all or do you think that there are too many Meltaguns out there for this kind of list? I know that John has been keen to try some different ideas in these final days of 5th edition but would you try the Dread Drop List of Doom?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Thursday Thoughts

(think of it as a late Monday Musings)

Rumour Control - Percentages

I know this much is... True

We don't do rumours on this site, mainly because other people do it much better. However, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the rumours regarding 6th edition that are circulating around and to see how they might affect us. A lot of them seem to be wishing for a return to 2nd ed. Ah, 2nd ed where a 2000 point army was about 4 squads of Marines and it still took about 6 hours to play a game. It's true, nostalgia ain't what it used to be.

One of the things we used to have back then and is rumoured to be making a return is percentages instead of the FOC. Now, Warhammer Fantasy Battle already uses this system but what would it mean to 40K? Well, frankly for Space Wolves it would be awesome. Assuming that missions remain broadly similar and you need troops to capture objectives, it would do away with one of the main drawbacks of the Wolves, namely that you can only take 6 scoring units. The other thing that we'd see would be more Long Fangs (and to think, Graham already calls them Cheese Fangs) Let's look at the numbers - in a 1750 point list, 3 units of 6 Long Fangs with 5 Rocket Launchers comes to 24%. So, we can fire 15 Rockets at 6 targets. Or we could have 4 units of 4 Long Fangs with 3 Rocket Launchers and a unit of 3 Long Fangs with 2 Rocket Launchers. This comes to just over 24%. Okay, so we've lost 1 Rocket shot but we can now fire at 10 targets!

I'm not a huge fan of returning to percentages to be honest, I think the FOC works pretty well especially with the characters that swap around slots. It would be interesting if they built on this in 6th edition and had characters that allowed a bit more development with regard to the FOC. Rumours are the Chaos Legion codex may have something like this where you can take an Iron Warriors Captain and get an extra Heavy Support choice for the loss of a Fast Attack one for example.

We can rebuild him

So, as you might have noticed, still no pictures of completed Thunderwolves. Turns out my finger was slightly more broken that initially thought. It is getting better though, so hopefully some more modelling pics next week...

94 Not Out

I'm sure all bloggers have been through this before - slowly watching your Followers total move towards the magical three digits. Then you realise that BoLS has more than 2,000 and you realise that world domination is still a long way away...

Anyone else starting to get excited about the impending 6th Ed? Or is anyone worried that GW will balls it up? Has anyone seen any beautiful new TWC anywhere? And is there anything specific that our 94 loyal followers would like to see? Let us know below the line...

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


This man doesn't need a jump pack
So, I actually managed to play a game four weeks ago but I haven't actually written about it until now. To give you an idea of how long ago it was, Andy subsequently changed his list and then dropped out of playing last weekend's Indy GT altogether. No pictures unfortunately but here are some hazy recollections. First up, let's look at the two armies...

Space Wolves

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane
10 Wolf Guard, 8 Combi-Meltas, Wolf Claw, 2x Cyclone Missile Launcher, Drop Pod
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers

This seems to have evolved into my preferred 1750 point list now for Wolves.

Blood Angels

5 Sanguinary Guard
3 Sanguinary Priests, 1 Jump Pack
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltaguns
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltaguns
2 Multimelta Attack Bikes
2 Multimelta Attack Bikes
5 Devastators, 3 Missile Launchers, Lascannon
5 Devastators, 3 Missile Launchers, Lascannon

Looking at this army as Andy unpacks it from the case, there are a couple of things I'm really worried about - Mephy and the Nipple Guard. They are just going to shrug off all of my long range AP3 firepower and while that's happening, 20 Assault Marines are getting in my face.

The Game

So, we roll up Kill Points with Spearhead deployment and Andy wins the roll off to go first. Not good; that's  going to give me a turn less of shooting to deal with everything coming at me. Then he announces that the Assault Marines are going to Deep Strike in. Suddenly things are looking up. Then both Devastator squads get put into cover with their attached Priests. However, both of these pieces of terrain are a long way away from my deployment zone. In fact I can place two of my Long Fang packs out of range of the Devs, allowing me to shoot away at everything else without taking any long range reprisals.

As for my deployment, I decide that the 8 Wolf Guard with Combi-Meltas are going to sacrifice their lives to take out Mephiston. Some people will say that using two Kill Points to take out one is a quick route to defeat. However, I knew that if Mephy got into my lines then he'd carve his way through my 5 man squads and there would be very little that I could do to stop him. The two Scout packs went Behind Enemy Lines in an attempt to team up and mug one of the Devastator squads. I also reserved 5/6 of the Rhinos, reasoning that they and their squads would be more useful later on, once the Blood Angels were a bit closer.

Early Turns

On Andy's first turn, his Bikes Turbo-Boosted forward, Mephiston failed to cast "Wings" so he had to walk while the Sanguinary Guard made haste towards my lines. The Devastator squads opened fire on the only Long Fang pack in range and managed to take out a couple of them despite them being in cover.

The Wolf Guard did their job by killing Mephiston while their Drop Pod managed to block off the shooting of one of the Devastator squads following a fortuitous scatter. My Long Fangs also took out three of the four Attack Bikes.

The Sanguinary Guard turned round to deal with the Wolf Guard which they did with aplomb. The Drop Pod was also wrecked. On the other side of the board the two Assault Squads arrived.

Frag Missiles and Murderous Hurricane thinned out the Assault Marines while a Wolf Scout Pack kept one unit of Devastators tied up.

Middle & End Turns

The Assault Marines got held up in combat by the Long Fangs which stopped them getting shot but it did mean that they could be assaulted by my Rune Priest and a couple of units of Grey Hunters. By the time that the Sanguinary Guard arrived the battle was pretty much over and even they were finally put down (although 2+ save and FNP does require a lot of firepower!)

We totted up the Kill Points and I'd won by two. Let's have a quick look at what I did well and badly:


Reserving half my army worked out amazingly well. I knew that I couldn't deploy the Rhinos too far forward because they'd get charged early in the game. I also knew that if I deployed them too far back in my quarter then I would be cutting down on LOS for the Long Fang Packs. I also did something else I never normally do - deployed two Long Fang Packs out of cover. After seeing where Andy has placed his Devastators I knew that I could put them out in the open and not face any long range reprisals. It also meant I had great firelanes over the areas that I thought Andy would be attacking from.

Actually, my overall play was pretty good and I managed to make the most of a couple of mistakes that Andy made (see below) However, I too made a couple of silly mistakes (yet again!)

Play The Mission

Behind Enemy Lines is a brilliant rule. It allows your Wolf Scouts to sneak up on your opponent's heavy weapons and wither keep them tied up for a couple of turns or wipe them out altogether. However, a 5-man unit with no special close combat weapons is really going to struggle against a Devastator squad with attached Sanguinary Priest. Yes, I managed to keep them locked in combat for a couple of turns but I was never going to be able to wipe them out due to that FNP. In a war of attrition I was onto a loser. Now, in a normal game this wouldn't be a problem. However, in this game it cost me a Kill Point and nearly cost me a second one in order to tie up a unit that didn't really have anything to shoot at anyway.

Split Fire

I hate to waste shots. It really annoys me when I fire five guns at two guys and do five wounds because I feel I've "wasted" three wounds. It caused me some issues last month against Graham and I went and did the same thing here. In turn 1, the only really viable target for my Long Fangs were the Attack Bikes. Instead of firing one Pack at one unit and a second Pack at the other, I tried to do some fancy fire splitting in the hope of firing some shots at a third target. Net result? One Bike still left alive. Of course I managed to finish it off later in the game but that could easily have cost me a Kill Point.

Turning my attention to the other side of the table, Andy made a big mistake in deployment and a smaller one in turn 2 that exacerbated it:


As I said near the start of the article I was really worried by the thought of 20 Assault Marines, 5 Sanguinary Guard and Mephiston jumping towards my lines. Keeping the Assault Marines off the board limited my targets and hence limited the chances of me picking the wrong one. With the Guard and the Attack Bikes out front at least one of the units would have had cover from any long range shooting I sent there way. The Assault Marines could also have used the Sanguinary Priest that was attached to the Sanguinary Guard. As it was, most of the fire that went into the Guard would have ignored the FNP anyway while the Marines needed both that and Furious Charge to be more effective.

Playing The Mission

At the top of Turn 2, Andy turned around the scary Sanguinary Guard to go and deal with the Wolf Guard. They comfortably wiped them out but this meant that they were seriously delayed in getting to the business end of the game. When they got stuck in they did some serious damage but by then they were the only target that was left to deal with. If they'd turned up earlier, while there were some Assault Marines around, I would have had some serious problems. Yes, my Wolf Guard would probably have taken out a Devastator squad but I think the Sanguinary Guard  could have covered that spread.

I really like Andy's list and think he could have done pretty well with it at the Indy GT. The only change Id make would be maybe trying to get another Jump Pack for one of the Priests since I think it would be more useful having Priests with both Assault squads rather than both Devastator squads. As for my list, I was really happy with the way it played. I'm pretty tempted to stick with it through the dogs days of 5th edition but now I've got some Thunderwolves I'm going to damn well use them!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Indy GT ticket to sell

Unfortunately I can't make it to the Indy GT this weekend at Maelstrom (Mansfield), I would be willing to accept half price (15 quid) for my ticket if you want it you can contact the claws and fists email and I will get back to you

Arena Of Death - Draigo vs Dante

If he dies, he dies - Dra(i)go

Welcome back to the Arena of Death; it's been a while! Since it's been so long we'll have a quick re-cap of the concept. Two 40K characters enter the Arena of Death and only one leaves. We roll real life dice to determine the winner rather than mathammering it. We have three rounds so each character gets the chance to charge with the deciding round conferring no charge bonus. We also don't deal with petty things like combat resolution. So, without further ado, let's head off to the Arena...

Round 1 - Draigo on the charge

Kaldor raised the Titansword to acknowledge the crowd before levelling his Storm Bolter and beginning his charge. Two hits would have caused a Wound if not for Dante's Artificer Armour. As they clashed, it was Dante who swung first. However, even after a Master-Crafted re-roll he could only hit once and even then he failed to wound his tougher opponent. Striking back Draigo cast Hammerhand successfully. However, Draigo's response was equally poor, again only hitting once. Then, needing only 2s to wound, he failed. Dante then manged to hit but still couldn't wound. Draigo saw his chance. He hit with two of his three attacks and wounded with both. One was saved by Dante's Iron Halo but the other got through. The Grey Knight closed his eyes and muster his concentration. The power of the warp flowed down his Force Weapon and claimed Dante's life.

Round 2 - Dante on the Charge

Dante's Infernus Pistol spoke death but, despite hitting and wounding, it bounced off Draigo's Storm Shield. Hitting with four of his six attacks, Dante caused two wounds, one of which got past Draigo's Storm Shield. Striking back Draigo cast Hammerhand successfully and managed to ignore Dante's Death Mask (although it had already reduced him by 1 in terms of WS, W, I & A) He needed his Master-Crafting to manage even a single hit although it did would until deflected by Dante's Iron Halo. Dante caused three more hits but again couldn't wound. Draigo could see another opening. Two hits caused two wounds and neither could be stopped. Lord Kaldor Draigo again used the Emperor's Gift and put down Dante permanently.


Okay, first an admission. I assumed that Dante has Eternal Warrior when I picked the combatants for the Arena. If he had then his Deathmask of Sanguinius would have been a real equaliser here. As it was, we saw how poor Strength 4 Power Weapons can be (especially against T5) Having said that, Dante is probably going to make mincemeat of most regular squads and a lot of Independent Characters with his magic mask. Similarly, Draigo with easily obtainable S6 is going to do a lot of damage and WS7, T5, 2+, 3++ means he's not going to take much in return. The other thing about these characters is the army builds that they unlock - Paladin troops and Sanguinary Guard troops.

Anybody used either of these guys much? We'd love to hear your stories below the line...

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Paint Teaser trailer from GW

Games Workshop have just released a new teaser trailer on their home page simply titled 145. Given the recent link reported on various blogs I suspect this relates to their new range of paints.

You can see the vid here

And here's a link to Faeit212's original leak of the new range.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Monday Musings

Get your motor running...

Be Careful What You Wish For

For years, I was moaning about the lack of official models for Thunderwolf Cavalry. Now that they're finally out, I can't stop looking at the cost. 235 points for three TWC. For slightly less points I can get 4 Swiftclaws, a Meltagun, a Multimelta Attack Bike and a Wolf Guard to lead them on a Bike with a Combi-Melta and a Power Fist.

So, what do the bikes bring that the TWC can't?

Shooting - With the bikes you get to take part in the shooting phase of the game as well as the assault phase. Being Relentless, you get to Rapid Fire the Bolters before you charge and with them being Twin-Linked you're compensating for the Swiftclaws main deficiency (don't forget that statistically, Twin-Linked BS3 is better than BS4!) Also, with the Melta weapons in the squad, they have the chance to destroy vehicles and then charge the passengers rather than relying on help from other anti-vehicle units.

Speed - Yes a potential 24" charge range is enormous. However, it is only potential. In the movement phase TWC are actually only as fast as regular infantry. Bikes can travel 12" in every movement phase and can Turbo-Boost 18"-24" for a 3+ cover save.

Let's look at the Thunderwolves' plus points...

Fleet - the ability to charge between 13" and 18" is huge and one of the biggest advantages is the element of surprise. There aren't that many units with the ability to charge that far in the game and most people are used to playing against units that can only charge 6".

Assault - All of the TWC attacks are at S5 and are Rending. On the charge the bikes do put out more attacks (21 regular, 3 PF vs 11 regular and 5 PF) but this levels out a bit after the first round of combat (11 & 2 vs 9 & 4) The TWC are also going to take less damage back due to their higher WS.

Actually, let's take a minute to talk about Swiftclaws (and Blood Claws in general) with regards to Weapon Skill. A lot of people see WS3 and think that they need to attach a Wolf Priest to give the unit re-rolls to hit. This is a fallacy. Weapon Skill is a defensive mechanism. Against most of the units you're going up against, you're still hitting on 4s. Yes, you lose out a bit to things like Scouts and Imperial Guardsmen. However, the big loss is that most things will be hitting you on 3s. To an extent, the bike giving you T5 makes up for this.

Wounds - Having 2 Wounds each means that the TWCs have to lose 4 Wounds before they lose a model. Hence they are still as effective having lost 3 Wounds as they are at the start of the game. Every wound the Swiftclaws lose reduces their effectiveness.

Now, I'm not sure that either of these units is "better", they're clearly jsut different. I did try out Swiftclaws when the codex first came out but I really struggled to make them work. Looking back, I think this is because I was far too aggressive with them. I'll probably make the same mistake with the TWC when they first find themselves on the tabletop!

So, Giant Wolves or youngsters on Bikes? Any thoughts?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

(think of it as a late Monday Musings)


As you can see, I've put together my first Thunderwolf. Before I add the rider I think it's wise to do some thinking about the actual use for the unit. Now, I've seen Thunderwolves used in many different guises since the codex came out - there's the super rock unit of Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf accompanied by 5 of his buddies down to the solo Thunderwolf as a counter-attacking threat. I think that the first option suffers from the same problems as any rock - it's a lot of eggs in one basket. As Mick found out, in some games they'll kick arse and take names and in others they will do very little. I'm also not totally convinced by the solo T-Wolves. Yes, they can easily claim cover behind a Rhino and there are definitely going to be handy against MSU armies in combat.

So, where now for me? I'm thinking of a unit of 3 initially. This feels like a good balance between the two options above and also because there are 3 in the box. It should be easy enough to claim cover with 3 but they are also going to pack a bit of a punch in combat. Thunderwolf units can get very expensive very quickly and I want a unit that on one hand I won't want to throwaway but on the other hand one that I can afford to lose without it making a huge dent in my battleplan...

3 Thunderwolf Cavalry, 2 Storm Shields, Power Fist

comes to 235 points. That seems really expensive when you consider that 5 Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield Terminators are only 200 points. However, the T-Wolves are a lot more mobile. So, the plan is that these guys will be replacing some of my Wolf Guard. Unfortunately, I have a badly bruised finger from being landed on by a Running Back at the weekend so I don't think I'll be able to finish the models this week...

Whaddya Need?

I've been thinking a lot about some of the rumours that are flying around the internets regarding rumours for the next 40K Codex and I started thinking, who would I like to see done next. Yes, we'd all like to see a better Tyranid codex but that isn't going to happen any time soon so what would we like to see? The rumours seem to point to Dark Angels or Chaos Legions, although Tau and Eldar are mentioned as outside possibilities. Following the last errata, Dark Angels are actually a pretty good army and while it would be nice to see an update I don't really think they need one right now. Personally, I think there are already too many shooty armies out there so that sees Tau off my radar. Eldar are an interesting one. I would quite like to see them being redone as their unit speciality makes them a pretty unique army on the tabletop. However, I have to admit that I'd much rather see a "big book of Chaos" The good guys have had it their way too long, it's time for the bad guys to shine.

Now, when I say "big book of Chaos", I mean, Chaos Legions, Renegades and Daemons all in the same book so that you can pick and choose. This means that you can run your all Daemon list, your all Bezerker army or anything inbetween. I had an idea of a recently renegade army that was in collusion with Daemons because they thought that they were visions of the God Emperor. So, they wouldn't fight with Cult units because they don't realise that they're actually turning evil yet.

Unfortunately, this book won't happen as there is no way that GW would release one book when they can release three and because it would be almost impossible to balance properly.

So, does anybody have any tips for using Thunderwolves? And if you could have any codex released next, which one would it be and why?

Slow News Day?

I noticed a magazine article on the BBC web site today which featured GW and specifically 40K.

Seems to be a nice lite article with some background info, trying to inform people, highlighting how well GW is doing at the moment despite the tough economic conditions and referring to the relatively high price of entry to the hobby.

These are only passing referrences and the article is mostly just a piece giving readers some information about the game interviewing a few players who tell you what interests them about it and perhaps highlighting the fact that this is not just for kids.

Take a look and let us know what you think.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Completely Illogical!

hothothothothothot ...
With my plans for domination at the UK40K GT put on hold for another year by an unexpected visit from my Uncle (who currently lives in Russia), my attention has turned towards Open War which is scheduled for April 14th at Maelstrom. As you are probably aware by now I find it hard to take the same list to successive tournaments and even though I'm not going to be able to take the “horde BA” list to the GT my mind is already wandering elsewhere. Specifically back to my first love, Vanilla Marines and the staple that is Vulkan!

Here's the list:

Vulkan He'stan
Librarian: TDA, Storm Shield; Null Zone, Gate of Infinity

Assault Terminators: 5x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield
Dreadnought: 2x TL Autocannon
Dreadnought: 2x TL Autocannon

Tactical Squad: 5-man; Razorback w. TL Lascannon
Tactical Squad: 5-man; Razorback w. TL Lascannon
Tactical Squad: 10-man, Meltagun, Multimelta, Power Fist & Combi-Melta; Drop Pod

Attack Bikes: 2-bikes 2x Multimelta
Attack Bikes: 2-bikes 2x Multimelta
Scout Bikes: 3-bikes, Cluster Mines, Combi-Melta & Meltabombs

Thunderfire Cannon

Total 1750pts

I feel pretty good about the amount, variety and reliability of the firepower in this list. Scoring-wise I'd call it adequate with 3-4 scoring units with reasonable mobility and a little extra hitting power in the Drop Tac Squad, Vulkan can join that unit to make it a little more threatening. My main concern is that the Librarian THSS Terminator unit is my main deterrent and it's mobility is some what unreliable and limited by the deep strike rules (GoI). Ideally they'd be in a Land Raider but I'm not sure I really want to drop anything from the list to accommodate one.

Any ideas from our always creative readers?

Friday, 9 March 2012

Lone Wolves: Graphic Novel Review

At the Throne of Skulls in January I picked up a copy of the graphic novel, Lone Wolves by Dan Abnett, drawn by Karl Richardson. The main story is 68 pages long featuring a relatively consistent panel lay out of between 3 and 5 art panels per page.

The art is black and white throughout predominantly in close up and for the most part it's is beautiful. There are a couple of panels showing wide shots of a scene which stand out as being comparatively rough and lacking in detail, but they are few and far between and do not detract from the overall quality of the art in this book. The close ups and splash pages are fantastic, really capturing the emotion and action of a scene. There are a few pages at the front and back of the book showing development sketches and giving some background to the Space Wolves but they could have done more here to fill in readers on the IG and the Tyranids both of whom feature more heavily than the Space Wolves.

While the art is detailed and rich, the graphic design is beautifully simple which makes reading easy and there are some neat tricks used to keep you involved in the story while there is narration going on. The typography is not over the top which compliments the relatively simple dialogue, again this helps the flow of the art and makes it easy to read.

The story itself is necessarily basic (given the format) and focusses on an Imperial Guard unit that has been on the sharp end of a Tyranid swarm. They are low on supplies, low on ammo and low on morale as they pick their way through the snowy wastes on foot. The titular “Lone Wolves” do not join the story proper until the last third of the book, a hunting party from Fenris just passing through to hunt some big game. The book also contains a follow on short story but to talk about that would give away the end of the main story.

With regards to characterisation I found the Imperial Guard to be well realised and “believable”, I was not as convinced by the Space Wolves, dare I say they were too bawdy? I'm sure Space Wolf fans would disagree, particularly if the Space Viking thing is what floats your boat. For my taste I felt it was laid on a bit too thick and in the short story at the end it felt like the Wolves were taking orders from the Guard which I'm sure would rankle anyone's sensibilities.

At £15 it's on the expensive side for a trade paperback but I wouldn't say it's bad value, I enjoyed the story and the art is fantastic. If you're a Space Wolf fan it's a must read and if you're a fan of the art of 40K you won't be disappointed either, I think more could have been done to make this appeal to all sci-fi fans with some more background info but perhaps that's just not the intended market.

Has anyone else out there read this, and if so what did you think?

Monday, 5 March 2012

The end of 40K?

And the beginning of Warhammer 41K perhaps?

So we all know, sixth edition is approaching us fast. I am welcoming it because i'm in a bit of a funk when it comes to playing 40K at the moment (Damn you addictive Blood Bowl and your rule system that makes sense)

A lot has been written on the changes with terms of rules that will be arriving but I haven't really read anything about how the fluff is going to move on.

I got thinking about this after reading the last Night lords novel Void Stalker which I picked up at the 40k doubles last weekend. It made me realise that a lot of the more grim dark books that I have been picking up just lately really seem to be propelling the Imperium of Man and the Galaxy as a whole to some sort of end game.

The Despoilers Black Crusade seems to be getting some momentum going. The Necrons are all waking up, the Nids can't be stopped, Daemons are popping up everywhere and the Golden Throne needs the imperial AA to come out and give it a tune up.

I didn't play 40k in the fourth edition and certainly haven't seen the rule book so I don't know how much or if at all the fluff moved forward with the change. GW do seem to have a propensity towards just sticking extra numbers on dates to keep us in the 41st millennium.

Personally I would welcome a change of pace to the fluff of 40k. I would love them to do with the end of times what they are doing with the Horus Heresy. Make it real, reintroduce mighty characters capable of standing up to the horrors. While Logan and Mephy are hardcore I want to see Russ and Dorn on the battle front squaring up to Horus and Magnus.

So what do you think? Do you want to see the story of 40k move into 41k or stay where it is with mankind on the brink of destruction but not quite there yet?


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