Next week's pre-orders are somewhat of a mixed bag for hobbyists. On one hand, the ongoing Nurgle get a new vehicle, the Plagueburst Crawler, the Foetid Bloat-drone from the Dark Imperium boxed set, plus two new characters, Scribbus Wretch and Nauseous Rotbone. The Plagueburst Crawler has been on the radar for a while, and not only has a very distinct look, but fluff-wise was invented by Mortarian himself. Unlike the Foetid Bloat-drone - which has three alternate configurations and lots of extra detail bits to make it look interesting - the Crawler does not! Unlike the Crawler, it's also not a bad price! Scribbus Wretch (the Tallyman to his friends) is a priest/ scribe/ quartermaster fusion. Nauseous Rotbone is the Death Guard version of an Apothecary -which makes you wonder if the other Chaos Space Marine Legions will have similar incarnations.
The other big release for next week is the Astra Militarum. They get a Codex - both normal and Collector's Edition (left), some Datacards BUT no new minis! Games Workshop are missing out on a huge opportunity here - the mood for a new tank and a new Imperial Guard unit is very high, but instead we get re-releases; the Vostroyan Lascannon Team, and Cadian and Catachan Command vehicle units.
There's also the new Moon Base Klasius Realm of Battle out - and this one comes with some very cool plastic wall sections! The board itself is also very thick card and not the roll out mats that have been previously released. In books, Lorgar gets a back story and Calgar goes all double-fist action!
So far the Grey Knights Codex has been a full reprint with some rules changes, the Mechanicus has had some great additions to completely spruce up the units and some new rules and extra fluff to add layers of character to them. Now we come to the Astra Militarum who when their last Codex was released was such a huge disappointment in terms of fluff. It was crap - boring, soul destroying mindless, repetitive, depressing and made any interest in collecting Astra Militarum completely null and void. The Codex portrayed them as nothing more than cannon fodder - no bravery, just a hopeless band of flesh walls to pave the way for Space Marines and tanks. The decades of stories of heroism and character were all thrown away in what was a poorly written torrent of drivel.
One can only hope that this Codex is not just a reprint, but a relaunch, a way forward for the brave fighting men and women of the armies of humanity, cast across a thousand battlefields.