Games Workshp have released images of the first Death Guard vehicle for 8th edition - the Plagueburst Crawler. The design makes sense for the Death Guard as a mortar is perfect for spreading contageon over walls and amongst avdvancing enemy. You would think a less mutated version would also work for the Iron Warriors who equally like a bit of siege warfare!
The design is very different from anything we've seen so far though, with a rounded, stunted shape and side sponsons. But when we first saw the Plagueburst Crawler the thing we thought of was the GIJoe Mabile Battle Bunker. It's not the first time GIJoe vehilces have been used by GW for 40K vehicles after all...
In the recent video released with Jervis (ALL PRAISE THE MASTER) and Robin, they start mentioning "Keywords" that will be found on teh new Datasheets. These are words like "Imperium" or "Ork" - they basically tie your unit and it's allies together. Interestingly there are also other Keywords that will identify your Chapter (if you use Space Marines), which will allow you to make sure the right characters are leading the right troops. Now this got us thinking...
This doesn't seem like it would be that important if you were using pen and paper and designing your forces to play your friends - but what if you were using an App. Now when you added a character to your force, or even a Wish List, you could make sure the right character was leading the right army. or maybe you were trying to add Librarians to a Chapter that doesn't have Librarians (World Eaters for example). Having these Keywords work like metadata or Tags would allow you, as the App User to easily make sure the unit you were building was (a) legal and (b) fluff-worthy.
This seems like a logical idea and frankly how soemthing like an App using metatdata would be ableo to easily identify units and groupings - they certainly couldn't purely by the name! What do you think?
Now lets take a flight of fancy and expand this a bit more and imagine this was then somehow integrated with the online store. The App User could build their force in the App, then click on the miniature they wanted to add and they would be directed to the store to buy it. Games Workshop could then see what people are buying, wanting to field and the cater to that.
If we were GW, this is something we might be looking at!
Chain Axes - is there anything more brutal that the idea of a super human warrior armed with one effectively a chainsaw embedded in an axe?
It's an amazingly evocative image and one that has been part of the 40k universe for a very long time, so much so that the fluff surrounding it has seemed to change somewhat! Things do change over time, but when they change in the same book, then I think it's a bit of a worry.
Today we're going to look at the Chain Axe, it's background and also the conflicting background stories, especially in the Horus Heresy - Betrayal book.
The first time we really saw Chain Axes was on the Khorne Bezerker models back in the early 90s - very evocative considering their love of close combat gore. Once this was introduced though, the Imperial force wanted to use them too, so a little retroactive fluff was invented. We then learnt that the Chain Axe was a favourite weapon of the techno-barbarian tribes of Terra pre-Imperium and during the Great Crusade it was favoured by the very same techno-barbarians (or their descendants) who made their way into the ranks of the Space Marines.
Okay, fair call - that all seems pretty straight forward and kind of cool.
It does however get a little messed up when the 30K rules start to kick in and Forge World decide to start running the fluff - fluff that's really only been touched on before in passing.
So here's the rub; on page 89 of Horus Heresy Book 1 - Betrayal it clearly states that the XIIth L:egion had taken the broad-bladed chain-axe as a primary close combat weapon. This was before the XIIth were the War Hounds, and way before they were the World Eaters who would later become the Khorne Bezerkers. There's a pretty clear link there showing the way this weapon ended up where it is in the 40K universe.
Now this is where it gets a bit murky... on page 234 of Horus Heresy Book 1 - Betrayal, we get two changes to the original story on the same page - all contradicting this initial piece of fluff.
" A savage weapon that had it's origins within the World Eaters Space Marine Legion, and the black-humoured whims of it's master, the Primarch Angron".
Right, so we learn from this that the World Eaters and their Primarch developed the Chain Axe, to bring more gore and a bit of a chuckle to the battlefield. This would mean that the War Hounds would not have been armed with the Chain Axe as it was introduced into the Legion much later.
It would also mean that the background of the Chain Axe going back to the techno-barbarian tribes of the Unification Wars was also wrong, a piece of fluff that transcends the Forge World era.
en on page 251 of Horus Heresy Book 1 - Betrayal it lists Caedre Weapons - weapons based on the "cyber-augmentic gladiators of the savage world on which their bloody-handed Primarch was once cast. It was Angron himself who revived the use of the Caedre among his Legions ranks...".
Among the Caedre weapons... the Chain Axe used by close combat World Eater units like the Rampagers. Further evidence that the Forge World fluff says the Chain Axe did not come from Terra, but actually came from the gladiators of Nuceria, the brutal home world of Angron.
It's at this point that it's important to make a differentiation between fluff and the rules of the game.
Fluff makes the universe go around. Fluff brings the rules to life - but the fluff shouldn't contradict the rules and vice versa.
As War Hounds hobbyist I have decided to not have Chain Axes prominently in my Legion - the fluff isn't stable enough in Forge World's hands to equip a squad or two with Chain Axes just to find out it isn't something they could have been armed with in terms of fluff.
In fact this opens it up a bit wider - Forge World could now be saying that including Chain Axes as an option in early Great Crusade forces (as War Hounds were) is wrong - and that kind of blows the doors off a fair few people's minis... unless you do exclusively Horus Heresy or World Eaters... you can just have at it!
So what do you think? Do you agree? Do you see a hole in this thought process?
L:et us know!
Games Workshop have confirmed it this morning (along with a giant Primarch and a Grey Knights Lord) that Cypher (right) and the Fallen will be back Gathering Storm III - Rise Of The Primarch.
This is awesome, (a) because The Fallen need a break - they got a raw deal from Lion-El Douchbag and (b) because we predicted it!
++ "Secondly for this line: "...The Emperor's angels have returned, recast from shame and shadow, reborn in black and gold..."! There's a few ways to take this - black and gold you would think refers to the Black Legion, so does that mean that the Black Legion are coming back, OR when he refers to "Emperor's angels" does he mean The Fallen (previously Terran-born Dark Angels, the Emperor's first legion) have joined the Black Legion and now return to avenge their exile?
We're running on a theory here that the Dark Angels will be playing a part in the upcoming Wrath of Magnus story arc, having recently been infultrated by Tzeentch, so The Fallen turning up in some capacity works into that pretty well. Our hope is that The Fallen will infact find their way back into the ranks of the Dark Angels in some way (if they aren't already as the Consecrators Space Marine Chapter) especially since one of the themes of Magnus' return is reuniting his detractors." ++
This one group shot from Games Workshop may end up just being a squad of Cypher's bodyguard or something, but here's hoping it The Fallen portrayed are in a light that doesn't see them grouped with Chaos... because they're not Heretics!
Painting up those Fallen models may come in handy after all!
The Fall Of Cadia is upon us, or soon will be and Games Workshop have released one of their excellent teaser videos to make all of us ponder upon every word.
The video is interesting for a few reasons; first namely that like the Wrath of Magnus video it is told in the first person (one can only assume it's Abaddon at this stage).
Secondly for this line: "...The Emperor's angels have returned, recast from shame and shadow, reborn in black and gold..."! There's a few ways to take this - black and gold you would think refers to the Black Legion, so does that mean that the Black Legion are coming back, OR when he refers to "Emperor's angels" does he mean The Fallen (previously Terran-born Dark Angels, the Emperor's first legion) have joined the Black Legion and now return to avenge their exile?
We're running on a theory here that the Dark Angels will be playing a part in the upcoming Wrath of Magnus story arc, having recently been infultrated by Tzeentch, so The Fallen turning up in some capacity works into that pretty well. Our hope is that The Fallen will infact find their way back into the ranks of the Dark Angels in some way (if they aren't already as the Consecrators Space Marine Chapter) especially since one of the themes of Magnus' return is reuniting his detractors.
So what are your thoughts? Cadia is the next battlefield, so who are the players??
... and lasty - who's the cool dude in red (below)??
Okay, so we've been working on a theory here which could be very very cool, so we're going to put it out there and see what you think - it's a doozy!
As you know, Magnus the Red and his Tzeentch followers are currently attacking Fenris, homeworld of the Space Wolves Space Marine Chapter.
Part of his attack is to send some of his demons through the magma that runs under the surface of Fenris and then breech the Space Wolves fortress, The Fang, which is built in a dormant volcano. Supposedly Magnus' most powerful sorcerers will be among the demons, taking the fight to the very heart of The Fang.
On the surface this is all very straight forward, but we were reading through some old material last week and found this from William King's Space Wolf novel...
"In the mythology of the primitive inhabitants of Fenris, "Sla Nahesh" is an evil deity, described as the offspring of the dark god Horus and the dragon goddess Skrinneir, and is imprisoned within one of the planet's volcanic islands after being defeated by Leman Russ.
So - the Beardy Hammer theory is this:
Is Magnus' plan not vengeance (as Phil Kelly did say in the Developers' video) but actually to raise Slaanesh from the largest volcanic island (now dormant) The Fang by sending his Sorcerers in underneath?
If Slaanesh is then raised, he/she would call their forces from the Warp and all Hell would descend on Fenris. Considering the Developers themselves said this wasn't about revenge per se, maybe there is a grander plan - and was this all pointed to earlier in the year when the Harlequins and Eldrad were released? It was back in August, but it rings with all kinds of event happening right now!
I'm not an expert on Eldar prophecies or even all the Chaos Lore, but just a read over this says a few things:
"The Stolen Seers, Amassed, Gather unto them the Dead.
Legion, they drift within the sands, Their voices raised as one."
++ Could this be the Thousand Sons - Seers/ drifting sands++
"Their Voices Raised As One"
++ their voices raised as one could be Magnus' call to even those who betrayed him to come to his call ++
"One shall walk the forked path, a threefold truth to weave the skein
Nemesis of She Who Thirsts, Opener of the Seventh Way."
++ Tzeethc AND Slaanesh!!++
"Long Dead souls gather behind"
++ Thousand Sons??++
"The rebirth of Ancient Days, Drinking, but not consuming
Taking in, but giving new life."
++ Slaanesh drinking souls but not consuming - the Legions of Slaanesh? ++
"Like Ghouls in the Dark, the wicked ones gather, drawn to a Tragedy Unfolding."
++ Could this be other Chaos powers joining in or maybe Dark Eldar? ++
Is this the beginning of the 14th Black Crusade? Is it The End Times?
It certainly seems like more than a few things could be pointing to it. Slaanesh held in the bowels of The Fang this whole time and now Magnus knows and sees an opening to bring fire to the whole Imperium!
So what do you think? Are we onto something??