Wednesday, 31 March 2010

A Thousand Sons - wow.

In a previous post, I bemoaned how I was getting completely bored by the whole BL Horus Heresy series. Well, after reading A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeil, I may have to re-evaluate.

A Thousand Sons is easily the best book for me in the entire series, if not the best BL book that I've read. To recap, it covers the downfall of the Thousand Sons; how they come to earn the ire of the Imperium for their use of magic, how they are censured by the Emperor and ultimately come to lose his favour and, ultimately, how both their legion and their planet of Prospero is decimated by the Space Wolves. What I particularly liked about the book was, in many ways, what I have found lacking in the previous books in the series, namely:

*I felt for the characters. One of the bad things about the series so far as was I couldn't really feel for the characters and found them a bit (well, a lot) one-dimensional: Horus is good (albeit a bit bland) -> Horus gets injured -> Horus sells the Imperium down the river (after falling for some pretty weak persuasion) -> Horus goes bad. Even in the Fulgrim book (also by McNeil), you never really got a sense of struggle with him and his whole descent into Slaanesh-iness, while tragic and more powerful than Horus' descent, felt a bit lacking. With ATS, I really got a sense of the tragedy of the Legion's fall from grace. More than this, I really felt sorry for the noble Magnus and the way in which, while trying to do good, he ultimately sowed the seeds for his (and his Legion's destruction)

*I loved the references. McNeil's writing was full of nice little nods and references to philosophical and occult ideas that - while possibly lost on much of the BL readership - made me smile. References to Plato's Cave, Alhazred from the Cthulhu Mythos, egyptology, ranks in magical orders abound, and certainly add spice to the plot.

*I loved the measured use of bolter-porn. There had to be battles, but it was really kept to just 2 places in the book - a short skirmish at the start and then the big battle at the end. Even here (in the latter example) the whole battle was tempered with pathos, though, rather than just being 'big guy shoots stuff up and then some more and then some more)

Let's hope that the rest of the series lives up to where ATS has taken it...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Orks: Third Time Lucky

Over the last couple of years (since Black Reach to be precise), I've begun painting and then flogged two 1.5k Space Ork armies. I always start with the best of intentions, but somewhere during the process of painting up 180 boyz, I give up and then flog the lot on ebay.
On recent trip to the wargame store, I saw that they were flogging the Ork Megaforce at a 20% discount, and was thereby lured back into all thinks green.

Learning from past mistakes, though, this army will differ from past attempts in several ways, I am:

*only going to paint up 1k.

*going for a fast attack-based army, with only 40 or so boyz.

*going to go for a brighter colour-scheme than in the past, when I would literally douse them in badab black wash. This time I'm going for a lighter skin tone with a thraka green wash, lots of browns, and, pushing the boat out, lots of reds and yellows (for speed freaks).

(I'm also going to try and sell the stuff I don't want from the Megaforce - 9 of the bikes and the lootas - and reinvest the cash in the minis that I do want)

I've painted up one troop choice and a trukk and am happy with how they have turned out:

The first troop choice (11 Slugga Boyz with a power klaw-wielding Nob in a Trukk) and the now-infamous patio

My plan for the initial list is going to be:

Warboss (cybork body, bosspole, 'eavy armour, power klaw)
Big Mek (Kustom Force Field)

11 Slugga Boyz (& Nob w power klaw & bosspole)
Trukk (red paintjob)

11 Slugga Boyz (& Nob w power klaw & bosspole)
Trukk (red paintjob)

18 Slugga Boyz

Fast Attack
3 warbikers (plus Nob w power klaw & red paintjob)
3 warbuggies (w T/L rokkit launcher)

Heavy Support
Battlewagon (big shoota, armour plating, deff rolla, grot riggers, red paintjob)

Meanwhile my Guard army is still in progress - only 1 more troop choice, a PCS, Vendetta, & a Chimera to go and then I reach the 1.2k milestone.