On Saturday Games workshop held a preview show as part of their Warhammer Day celebration. Specifically, the 35th anniversary of Warhammer 40,000. To celebrate, they had some 40k reveals and had specifically badged it as that, though it’s very likely that some reveals (Angron, some World Eaters, some Guard) that were likely meant to be revealed here were leaked some time ago, so it’s possible we had fewer reveals than was initially intended.
In today’s roundtable we’re talking about everything revealed and our thoughts on the upcoming releases.
- Rocco Gest
- Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
The New Astra Militarum Range
GW revealed new Cadian kits, a new Commissar, the new Sentinel kit and the new artillery piece kits, and talked a little about what you can do with the codex.
Thundercloud: We’re seeing even more of the Guard range refresh now, with the splash army box previewed This looks great, with updated Cadians for infantry, command and heavy weapons (while also confirming that any new Guard regiment really just needs those kits and the rest of the range doesn’t really change). It also reminded me of the futility of rumours and the long tail from Studio to something in your hands, because I first heard about a Guard refresh during 8th and have been expecting it since then. It’s why rumours are a bit of a wash
The Guard range refresh will kick off with a splash box with a limited edition Codex and a Guard platoon, with everything available separately later (same as Votann and Orks and various other releases). These splash boxes are basically a lot of the new stuff bundled together with a discount, but everything is available later anyway.
Summer: When I started 40K in 2014, I already started saying my motto: I play Space Marines for the up-to-date model range, but the Imperial Guard will always be the army of my heart. I was coming out of high school at the tail end of Kasrkin availability and saw the transition into awkwardly proportioned, but usable Tempestus Scions. The day is coming. I made it. The wait was worth it.
Look at those proportions. They stand tall, laden down in webbing. Kasrkin demolitions specialists and designated marksmen. Towed field guns firing point-blank into melees 40m away. Women in my Guard. They even went all-in on and gave us WWII-style spatterdashes. This is my Imperial Guard. This is it. It’s a good day to be a Guard Commander, and we haven’t even seen the main battle tank.
Keewa: On the one hand: No none-Cadian regiment reveals (yet). On the other hand: Cadians are cool, you could scarcely find more horrifying and inspiring heroes for humanity than these brave, grim-faced men and women. It’s fantastic that in the past few years GW has really pushed forward against the “all white all male” problem that has dogged the Imperial Guard models basically forever. More and more people will be able to build and paint regular baseline human models that look just like them, and it’s hard to overstate how important that representation is in terms of including people in the hobby. In the far future of the 41st millennium, anyone can be ground into paste by the war machine.
The new Commissar model is fantastic. I always thought that the old one was a bit goofy and out of step with the current Guard aesthetic, the new one, on the other hand, is a perfect depiction of the kind of understated, calculating menace the lore imbues them with. If you were a trooper on the line, facing untold horrors spewed forth from hell itself, one look at that face would certainly make you think twice about legging it.
Perhaps it’s a forlorn hope, but I would love it if some of the more colourful older regiments were revived (Mordians and Valhallans please!) and a retooling of the now-venerable Catachan Jungle Fighters kit. At the wildest edge of my wishes, some Plastic Ratlings would be a cherry on top of this fantastic ice cream sundae!
TheChirurgeon: These are just absolutely great. I love the details on them and I love that they’ve basically hit the entire range of on-foot models for Guard. That these apparently have some interchangeability with the older kit is great, as I have one of the newer ones lying around with the extra heads and that’ll make for some great variety when I build this.
The World Eaters Reveal the Lord Invocatus
GW revealed Lord Invocatus, a World Eater Champion on Juggernaut of Khorne, and an update of the old World Eater Champion on Juggernaut from 2nd edition (there was a Rogue Trader era one as well, but the 2nd ed one was much beefier).
TheChirurgeon: The old metal berzerker on juggernaut was my actual first Warhammer 40,000 model and I’m hype as hell for the new one. And don’t think I didn’t notice the blurrey outlines of other berzerkers on juggernauts behind this guy in the reveal – if they aren’t gonna give us new bike models, then I’ll gladly take mounted cavalry instead.
hundercloud: A very nice update to a model that I remember the initial release of. It’s good to see that the World Eater release is going to be bigger than the Thousand Sons one and hopefully more like the Death Guard one, with a variety of units and other things.
The stream mentioned leading Bloodcrushers into battle, but I’d also bet on World Eaters on Juggernauts making an appearance as the bike equivalent in the list and being super horrible.
Summer: It’s quintessentially Khornate, isn’t it? A lord on a juggernaut. The chainhorn is the level of 40K dumb I aspire to reach in my daily life. Can he even reach people at ground level with that chainaxe? Does it matter? World Eaters are intent on getting into the killing and it only makes sense that they’d ride brass beasts that bring them to the killing faster.
Rocco Gest: As someone who came into the hobby at the tail end of 8th edition I was taunted with the prospect of mounted Chaos Lords in the Legends rules. I probably won’t be playing World Eaters, but I’ll damned if I don’t pick this guy up. The mount rules! The stupid chainsword horn rules! I love the lord’s mish mash of space marine armor (standard infantry armor, NO SLEEVES, and what looks like cataphractii shoulder plates??). This guy rips and I am here for it.
Arks of Omen -is the Next Campaign Book Series
GW announced new campaign books giving new ways to play 40k, but not featuring Armies of Renown style special rules or lists after player complaints about armies split across multiple books.
In these Abaddon has gained control of a number of Space Hulks, and is launching them across the galaxy as part of his plan to destroy the Imperium and seed chaos throughout realspace.
Thundercloud: This seems very reminiscent of the campaign books at the end of 8th, and I fully expect we’ll see a few character models appear to support these books. Armies of Renown seemed like a good idea at the time, but GWs insidious plan to make players get swole by having to carry five hardback books per army to have their complete rules seems to have been dropped. Maybe they’ll bring back metal models in 10th edition to get players those gains.
As a product it seems to be pitched at narrative players rather than competitive, and with the terrain from the Kill Team sets and forthcoming Boarding Actions I think fighting in Space Hulks without vehicles/bikes/artillery/knights/etc will give smaller infantry based games some time in the sun, which I fully agree with and think small game sizes need a bit more love from GW to be made more interesting through scenario and narrative play.
With that I’ve virtually talked myself into getting it.
Summer: I’m a sucker to learn about horrible new places for people to die in the 41st Millennium. I won’t grab the book just because I don’t play as often as I used to, but if I get a peek at the art, I’ll be happy. Look at that three-headed Tzeentchian venomcrawler artwork. It’s perfect.
TheChirurgeon: The campaign books in 9th so far have been pretty bad, with maybe one or two standouts. And even then, one of the biggest problems with them is that they’ve felt like they’re only half the book – each campaign book released with a Crusade book at the same time, which detailed how to actually play the Crusade missions loosely associated with the campaign. I’m interested to see what they do here – removing matched play and army rules from the books buts a lot more pressure on them to deliver narrative content that most players will actually think is worth paying for.
Boarding action previewed a terrain box (with a Combat Patrol sized board of terrain, so two Kill team boxes worth) but the presentation simply said it was a Combat Patrol sized board, whereas the Warcomm article makes it clear that it’s a new Combat Patrol sized game type as well in the first Arks of Omen book.
Thundercloud: 40k having good game types for small games is one of my big asks of the 40k system, this is sounding good. The preview video doesn’t have anything with a base bigger than 50mm (Tyranid Warrior) so this might be a pure infantry game (which is absolutely fine) where the nature of the board means long range firepower doesn’t dominate and assault and short range firepower are very important. Gives me a reason to paint up Blade Guard and Eradicators.
More importantly we’re getting Void War bases, which look to be 25 or 28mm, 32mm and 40mm. It would be great if they were 28mm, as you don’t get Sector Mechanicus bases in that size.
Summer: I’m always in agreement with new ways to play 40K that are narratively-oriented and cater to people with smaller collections. I’m an infantry girl at heart – every non-infantry element in anyone’s armed forces is merely infantry support by another name. Boarding Actions will only reinforce that truth. There’s also much to be said about a ruleset that takes advantage of compact, modular terrain. A couple years ago, I finally completed my dream of a 6 x 4 table of urban-themed 40K terrain (all Sector Imperialis and Sector Mechanicus) and… storage in my apartment has always been a challenge. 40K in 40 Minutes-style formats have a special place in my heart, both for the emphasis on platoon/company-level actions and their accessibility to new players.
Rocco Gest: LET’S GO! Zone Mortalis in 40k? I’m all in. Infantry are my favorite models to build and paint, so giving me a space to mess around with more of them and hopefully a in a greater variety (looking at you Primaris Reivers) is a huge win for me. Zone Mortalis boards are my favorite boards to play on in Necromunda, so if the terrain rules port over similarly I will be a happy camper. You’ll have to force me to play full size games of 40k.
TheChirurgeon: Hell yeah. Give me a good reason to retire the old custom Zone Mortalis rules I put on Goonhammer forever ago. Those rules are out of date anyways.
But on a more serious note, Zone Mortalis was always great and I look forward to having more fofical rules for it.
Kill Team Shadowvault
The next Kill Team box is revealed, and it’s Kasrkin vs Necrons.
Thundercloud: This seems to have come out very close to the previous box, but that might be because of the sheer amount of stuff to come out in the last quarter of the calendar year.
The Kasrkin look great, and complete the process of covering everything in the Compendium. The Necrons look very specialist, and fairly low model count, but an elite team that is basically all silver is not going to take long to paint.
Cool robots and a sentry turret are great though, and things like that (or a Fire Wasp) are exactly the sort of thing I want hanging around on the table.
So yup, it’s a great little set and Kill Team and small games is exactly what I want to be playing.
TheChirurgeon: The Kasrkin look so good.
Summer: I can’t really give an adequate accounting of the Necrons because I am a Marshal of the Imperial Guard who was just informed about the arrival of my new kasrkin. I love the aggressive tie-in of Kill Team into claustrophobic settings of late, and this is another addition on that theme. I do wonder when they’ll dry the tight corridors and Imperial troops theme up a bit and move onto something new – maybe death worlds?
The models are great. There are kasrkin and some other stuff for the kasrkin to kill. There’s nothing more that I could ask for. I’m already analysing my arctic camo scheme for my guard and mentally reworking it for the new models. The only thing that frustrates me about Kill Team boxes is GW’s desire to push oversized Kill Team boxes when many of us just want one of the fantastic new squads housed within.
Keewa: Perhaps this is a form of heresy by itself, but I’m very underwhelmed by the new legendary Kasrkin. I hope I’m proven wrong, but it just seems like they’re the same as the Krieg guardsmen that opened this new edition of Kill Team, except with hellguns instead of shovels. I know that there are really only so many ways to skin a cat, but it just feels like this latest offering should have been something else, and Karskrin should have been released as a regular unit as part of the AM update. These KT releases are coming so thick and fast that each one is being buried underneath the next one, we’ve only just had Navy Breachers and Kroot and already the next thing is being teased. GW! Let us finish painting and building one set before you throw the next at us!
And Necrons? Snooze.
The Mystery Model
Thundercloud: It’s definitely Chaos, and as long as it isn’t Haarken Worldclaimer levels of evil but also a bit dumb it will make a welcome addition to the forces of Chaos. I’m hoping GW start bringing Dark Mechanicum into 40k, as there’s a lot that could be done with them either as their own force, or as units and characters in a Chaos Space Marine or Chaos Knight list.
Summer: It sure is spikey, and it did solve an earlier rumour engine involving a thwacky, chaos-looking mallet. There’s much talk of an evil Belisarius Cawl with a metal moustache leading a Dark Mechanicus-derived army in 40K, but I guess we’ll see.
Rocco Gest: Good to finally get a glimpse at the model with the crazy chaos melta/flamer claw. Excited to find out what this is and where it’s gonna slot in.
TheChirurgeon: I hope it’s Ceraxia, Abaddon’s master of the forge, but she has a full-on spider body so I doubt it’s her.
Thundercloud: I wasn’t expecting huge amounts that would interest me for 40k, as I’ve been swimming in the low model count world of Kill Team where it’s so much easier to get a force painted (and I still don’t get it done sometimes), but Combat Patrol on Space Hulks with only infantry and no vehicles is low model count enough to drag me in and get me interested.
Low point games have always been poorly served despite being a logical thing to cater for in order to support players starting the hobby, and if we’re getting special game modes that have had some proper design thought put into them then I’m very happy. I’m also hoping the gubbins from Kill Team:Shadowvault (like sentry turrets and robots with circular saws) makes it into 40k and we can have fun with those as well.
Summer: Sound the call! Cadia lives on! Kasrkin, you are at the position of attention!
Rocco Gest: Very cool preview. The Cadians and Kasrkin look great, but I have zero stock in imperial guard models. I’m just super excited for the mystery chaos model and 40k Zone Mortalis rules.
TheChirurgoen: This is all pretty great and I’m looking forward to see the new Astra Militarum on future tables.
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