The 2016 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 2: The Industry

Awards

Okay everyone, forgive me for dropping off the radar for a bit there, but work has been pretty crazy for the last couple of weeks, and my free time has mostly been dedicated to the wonderful world of digital entertainment for quite a while (as an aside, if you like this blog, you should probably check out Dishonored 2 and Last Guardian, if you haven’t already).

Anyway, if you’ll indulge me, I would still like to get the Eternal Hunt Awards gig done and dusted before properly starting into a new hobby year — and it’ not as though I already have a whole lot of new stuff to show, either, so it’s finally time to continue this year’s…erm or rather: last year’s Eternal Hunt Awards.

For today’s installment, let’s take a look at the stuff GW released in 2016: I am going to outline the best and worst parts of the 2016 catalogue of releases. What were the highest and lowest points? And what else was cool …or curiously missing from the releases? Read on to find out!

 

I. Best releases

After a pretty strong 2015, 2016 was yet another spectacular year when it comes to GW’s releases — and if there’s one thing that was extremely surprising to me, it’s how many of GW’s 2017 releases seemed to bring to life stuff many hobbyists, myself included, have been dreaming of for years (often to the amusement of others, who dubbed things like updated Genestealer Cults or models for Daemon-Primarchs completely unlikely). So there 😉

This, along with a massive change in GW’s outward communication, might just be a hint at something bigger, a bit of a policy change, if you will. And whether or not you agree with all of the stuff GW has been doing over the last twelve months, I think we can all agree that it’s been a rather fascinating ride 😉

But even in a spectacular year, there were some things that stood out, so allow me to share my favourite 2016 kits and models:

 

1. The Burning of Prospero

burning-of-prospero-release-1Betrayal at Calth (the game, not the unfortunate event) was one of the great unexpected surprises of 2015, and another HH era boxed set in 2016 serves as clear proof that plastic Horus Heresy is very much a thing now!

And what a boxed set it is: The Burning of Prospero contains a somewhat more eclectic collection of models than Betrayal at Calth, but it arguably refines some of the latter’s contents: Regarding the vanilla angle, we got pretty excellent plastic Mk. III Tactical Marines, making my favourite Heresy era armour mark available in a material I am much more comfortable with. Excellent!

burning-of-prospero-release-11
The real surprise, however, was the inclusion of a squad of plastic Custodian Guard and plastic Sisters of Silence, respectively — for those models to have been revealed would certainly have made enough of a splash, but for them to be included in a boxed set, and in plastic, no less —  frankly, my mind was blown!

burning-of-prospero-release-13
It helps that the models are mostly excellent, of course.

If you want to start a plastic Horus Heresy army, you’ll probably find Betrayal at Calth a bit more flexible and useful than The Burning of Prospero. But Prospero is like a slightly strange distant cousin: A bit less dependable, certainly, yet also rather eclectic and eccentric — and all the more fascinating for it!

See my detailed review of the boxed set here.

 

2. Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower

Silver Tower Release (1)

I have gone on record saying that, while I don’t actively dislike the Age of Sigmar setting, I still have a hard time getting a feeling for the new world and its idiosyncrasies. Much of this might have something to do with trying to see WFB in Age of Sigmar, which is probably the wrong approach altogether, as the new setting strieves to be very much its own thing.

So it was a good thing when yet another excellent boxed set tried to present a different, more intimate, look at the world of Age of Sigmar, and I have to say that Silver Tower pushed all of my HeroQuest nostalgia buttons:

The idea to create this as a self-contained boardgame in the vein of the classic HeroQuest was a brilliant approach, because it makes you care about little snippets of the world before trying to make you care about the entire (still rather vaguely defined) setting. We also get a look at the different “good” factions (The Golden Dudes (TM), Duardim, Aelf and what have you), and presenting them condensed into a single hero character each works great to give us an idea of the respective faction’s identity. To wit, the Stormcast Eternal hero included in the set is probably one of the best Sigmarine models so far:

Silver Tower Release (15)He also defines the look and feel of the faction more concisely than the entire slew of golden dudes we have been getting.

And, once again, I am getting such a HeroQuest vibe from the Sigmarite Priest and Darkoath Chieftain:

Silver Tower Release (22)

Silver Tower Release (25)
The bad guys are no slouches either, with an excellent new version of the Gaunt Summoner and a warlock ogre — or should that be ogre warlock? Anyway, characters like the Ogroid Thaumaturge are the kind of thing that differentiates the new setting from the old, and it’s great to finally get to know them!

Silver Tower Release (3)Possibly the biggest achievement of Silver Tower is how it makes me like the Tzeentchian aesthetic – something that’s usually not exactly my cup of tea – by simply applying it to fantastic models, such as the aforementioned sorcerers, the Kairic Acolytes or the simply stunning Tzaangors — and the latter are even a shout out to the golden Oldhammer days!

Silver Tower Release (10)You know what? In a perfect world GW would have used a self-contained boardgame like Silver Tower to introduce us to the setting in the first place! A tighter, more focused experience might have made us care far more about the new setting. There are many reasons why such an approach would probably have been madness (they needed to replace a wargame, after all). But the fact still stands: I find myself caring more about Silver Tower than about almost the entire Age of Sigmar catalogue so far (Khornate models notwithstanding, for obvious reasons).

Plus you get a model of a fish on legs. That is all.

Silver Tower Release (14)Anyway, the boxed set stands as a rather charming introduction to the setting, and like I said, it manages to pull at my HeroQuest heartstrings, plus the models are pretty amazing as well. Which makes Silver Tower one of my favourite releases of 2016. ‘Nuff said.

 

3. Genestealer Cults

genestealer-cults-release-19

Genestealer Cults are easily one of my favourite parts of the 40k setting — and arguably the one thing that not only makes Tyranids interesting, but also removes them a bit from their very obvious main inspiration. And over the years, I’ve gone back time and time again to that one page from the 2nd edition rulebook showing some genestealer hybrids, wondering why GW had left this fascinating little part of the lore fall by the wayside. At the same time, it seemed very unlikely that we would ever see a new version of the Genestealer Cults.

And yet here we are, with the Genestealer Cults now an official sub-faction of their own — and with some seriously brilliant models, no less! Everything started with yet another fantastic boxed set – Deathwatch: Overkill – and the absolutely brilliant new hybrid models contained within it.

Deathwatch Overkill release (31)

So GW actually revisited one of the favourite retro-factions of my youth, but they also managed to bring it into the modern age with some cutting edge kits: The hybrids stand tall, with both the excellent snap fit models from the boxed set and with a dedicated multipart plastic kit of their own, providing us with a tool to not only build an excellent Genestealer Cult, but to also use the new parts in all kinds of INQ28 and Necromunda-related shenanigans:

genestealer-cults-release-21There’s just so much about those models that hints at the more “civilian”, for lack of a better word, side of 40k, the side we keep seeing in Dan Abnett’s Inquisitor novels: These guys are creepy Xenos soldiers, yes, but they are wearing miner’s garb and wielding repurposed tools and rather pedestrian weapons, making for a wonderfully workmanlike, low-level look that provides something visually new and appealing (and, again, also makes for exquisite INQ28 kitbashing).

genestealer-cults-release-23
There are also some rather beautifully subtle touches about the whole design: Call me crazy, but the ribbed structure of the miner’s armour reminds me not only of the actual Xenomorph in Alien, but also of the industrial design defining the look and feel of Ridley Scott’s classic series.

And we even get a more civilian 40k vehicle in the Goliath Truck/Rock Grinder, a wonderfully utilitarian looking workhorse that should be right up your alley, whether you’re trying to provide a sweet ride for your cult or searching for a vehicle for your pitslave gang:

genestealer-cults-release-28
With the Genestealer Cults, GW has revisited one of the most interesting ideas from the vintage 40k lore and brought it into the 21st century with a bang — what a wonderful surprise!

My first observations about the cool hybrid models that were released as part of the Deathwatch:Overkill set can be found here.

 

4. Thousand Sons

thousand-sons-release-18

The new Thousand Sons, arriving at the tail end of 2016, were great for a number of reasons: For me as a chaos player, seeing these guys being given a proper modern age plastic treatment was really a bit of a dream come true — and it’s all even better if you consider the new Thousand Sons as a possible precedent for what could be a full new set of cult legion models! I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed on this account.

But even beyond the forces dedicated to a single chaos god, the new Thousand Sons also serve as a bit of a template for a new, modernised CSM design, showing us some tweaked proportions and definitely a much improved level of detail — nowhere is that more obvious than when looking at the new Rubric Marines:

thousand-sons-release-19

And frankly, that would already have been enough to turn the Thousand Sons into one of my favourite 2016 released, but there were two more bombshells buried within this particular release.

One, a redesigned Ahriman:

thousand-sons-release-8

Out of all the four or so classic, archetypal characters GW decided to revisit in 2016, Ahriman is arguably the best by far: He keeps pretty much everything that was awesome about the original model and adds an amount of three-dimensionality and dynamism that are hallmarks of GW’s modern plastic design. He’s also actually closer to Jes Goodwin’s original design sketch than the vintage model, and that is certainly saying something! While the original Ahriman is still a classic, the new version is a worthy successor. Well played, GW!

And of course, there’s the pink elephant in the room: Magnus the Red, the first (discounting those rather embarrassing Epic 40k versions) Daemon-Primarch model released by GW:

thousand-sons-release-3

And while the model itself is certainly nice enough, I cannot help actually feeling more excited by what Magnus actually represents: That GW is now willing to explore Daemon-Primarchs in model form. Now this might yet all go horribly wrong, with ulta-cheesy fluff and a WFB End Times-level brouhaha for the entire setting. But right here and now, having a plastic model of a Daemon-Primarch that so excellently draws from all the depictions of the character in the classic artwork certainly feels like a rather exciting moment!

I know that chaos players carry a – not entirely undeserved – reputation for constantly bitching about getting the short end of the stick. But at the same time, it’s also true that GW has fumbled the ball more than once when adding to the Chaos Space Marine faction. But the new Thousand Sons show that GW still knows how do to chaos right, and just imagining that we could be getting more of this at some point in the future gives me goosebumps — just imagine the possibilities…

You can find my thoughts on the entire release here.

 

 

5. Canoness Veryidian

veryidian

This last item on the list is particularly close to my heart, as the Canoness Veryidian model was an even bigger surprise to me than Daemon-Primarch Magnus!

You see, if somebody asked me what 40k was all about, I would point them to two particular pieces of artwork by the venerable John Blance. And one of those two pieces of art would be this, invariably:

Adepta_Sororitas_by_John_Blanche

It’s really all there: 40k’s particular blend of religious iconography, grimdark dystopian sci-fi and medieval madness. The glitzy, 80s fantasy style warrior woman with the crazy hairdo. And the influences from classic painters like Bosch, Breughel, Rembrandt et. al. It’s 40k in a perfectly formed nutshell.

And to get an almost picture perfect model representing that character, courtesy of Martin Footit, was a very particular delight, and one I wouldn’t have expected in a million years.

A sizeable chunk of my Christmas holiday was spent trying to get my hands on one of the elusive Canoness Veryidian models, and when I finally succeeded, it felt like a true triumph indeed! What a wonderful surprise! I hope I’ll be able to do the model justice with my paintjob!

 

6. Honorary mention: Seeing Artemis again…

For the sake of the comparison, both models are displayed at the same size, when they are really anything but...

Featured in a boxed set that was somewhat more pedestrian than some of the more spectacular sets released this year, but even so: Seeing Artemis released in a 28mm version was definitely a nice surprise!

 

II. Worst releases/biggest disappointment

The quality of GW’s 2016 output was pretty astounding, overall, but there were some kits that somehow fell short of the mark. Don’t ge me wrong, none of the following models were completely terrible. But in the light of so many great releases, some designs were a bit of a letdown for me, and they arguably feel all the more disappointing for all the brilliant stuff released by GW last year — so here’s what I didn’t like:

1. Wulfen

plastic-wulfen-1
Out of all the new kits released in 2016, there is really only one kit that came dangerously close to actually qualify as “bad” in my personal opinion — the new plastic Wulfen models.

Now to cut GW’s designers some slack, designing Space Marine werevolves that actually look cool and suitably believable cannot be a simple task. And to be fair, the kit definitely looks like they gave it their all, trying to incorporate as many cool touches as possible.

But in the end, it all just collapses in on itself, because the groundwork was never sound to begin with. Much of this has something to do with the Wulfen anatomy: Now the original Wulfen models certainly had their own share of problems, but one thing the classic models did really well was to convey a sense of chaotic devolution, their armour being cracked and broken away in different places by the terrible changes in their physiology:

classic-wulfen-models

At the same time, they certainly didn’t take any big chances with the overall anatomy, basically keeping a standard human setup.

By comparison, the new Wulfen look far animalistic, but also like a strangely stable – if hairy – genotype, with every model sharing the same general build. But shouldn’t the transformation into a Wulfen be somewhat more haphazard and unstable? In fact, the longer I think about it, the more this drives me up the wall: They are even wearing contoured armour that seems to have been carefully adapted to their new build. Who in the world is making that stuff for the heavily muated Wulfen, along with the backpack-mounted pistols and custom wargear? Another Wulfen? A Wulfen scientist, if you will? Or are they fortunate enough to have kept a few sane fellows around?

Instead of looking like feral, yet tragic, creatures tortured by the changes wrought upon their bodies by unstable genetics, the new Wulfen look more like a World of Warcraft character class. And there’s also the fact that the faces remind me of the Wolf Man, for the most part:

the-wolf-man

And let’s not even get in the squad leader’s awkward, overdesigned jumping pose…

What we end up with is a collection of pretty amazing conversion parts — but the completed models somehow become less than the sum of their parts. And what really amazes me that I have yet to see the new Wulfen assembled or painted in a way that makes them work. So even while the designers probably had their cards stacked against them from the beginning – SciFi werewolves seems like just about the most thankless imaginable archetype – I am sad to say that the Wulfen are my personal GW low point from last year.

2. GW basing sets

40k-basing-set-2

The idea itself was brilliant: GW putting out some bases and bitz-based basing sets on their own is long overdue. So I was really happy when the new bases for 40k were announced.

I picked up the Sector Imperialis Large Base Kit, because it seemed like the most immediately useful addition to my bitzbox, and I was really looking forward to having some dedicated basing bitz at my disposal.

The problem was that the quality of the cast was absolutely abysmal, with very soft detail and a general clunkiness to the cast that would have been slightly embarrassing in the mid-90s, but simply seems baffling from a modern standpoint. Here’s a company that can put out the most delicate plastic models imaginable to man, and the cast of their basing kits seems more appropriate for a cheap aftermarket knock-off?

I’ve heard rumours that the first batch of those basing kits was produced in China — but seriously, that excuse doesn’t cut it for me: They were still on sale at a GW store, for the same premium price as the rest of their kits.

To make a long story short, will I be able to still put those bitz to good use? You bet. But seeing a kit I had really been looking forward to deliver such a poor experience was still one of the low points of my hobby year.

3. Ulrik the Slayer…Unmasked!

ulrik-the-slayer
In his original incarnation, Ulrik was a rather iconic model, sinister and somewhat mysterious with his wolf skull helmet. Now, more than two decades later, he has finally decided to show us his face, and wouldn’t you know it: He looks just like generic bearded Space Wolf guy no. 101′ — what a letdown!

Now I couldn’t even tell you what it was I expected — maybe the helmet should just have stayed on, is all I am saying. It’s even more of a shame when the rest of the model is really pretty awesome!

4. New Eldrad Ulthran

Eldrad comparison

GW released new plastic versions of several of the most iconic 40k characters last year, and in my opinion, Eldrad was the one to get the short end of the stick. Now the new versions definitely isn’t a terrible model — far from it. But where, say, the aforementioned new Ahriman basically takes all that was great about the original model and tweaks the formula to perfection, the new Eldrad loses (or, at the very least, seriously waters down) the iconic composition that made the original such a classic. Face it guys: This isn’t Elrad. It’s just some warlock guy trying his darnedest to seem as cool as the big man 😉

III. Still on the fence about…

  • Losing Warhammer: Visions: Now don’t get me wrong: I really rather like the new monthly White Dwarf format. In fact, the weekly White Dwarf was a travesty: far too expensive and far too thin on content. And the new mag, at least judging by the first couple of issues, seems to be a return for form in som many ways. Can I be perfectly honest with you, though: I was one of the few people to actually like Warhammer: Visions. I loved looking at pages after pages of glorious armies and models, especially if those were the creations of fellow hobbyisty and featured many personal touches and conversions. Now the new White Dwarf might be a great overall hobby magazine yet again, but the army features, for instance, just cannot compare to the ones in Warhammer: Visions.
    I realise that most people saw visions as a redundant coffee table book, but I find myself kinda missing the format. Is that weird…?
  • No plastic Sisters yet agai….WAIT! Whoa, does this mean we might be getting new Sisters of Battle? In plastic? Oh, pretty please…? Seriously, though: It’s. About. Damn. Time!

 

IV. Also pretty cool

  • New plastic Blood Bowl: I really love how GW has given the classic game more than just a new coat of paint, and if this is any precedent for the new Specialist Games, I am really optimistic about the future!
  • The new attitude: I also really love GW’s new approach to communicating with their cuctomers and with hobbyist: That they are back to actively using social media. That they are actually acting proactively in the whole rumours business instead of merely reacting to all those leaked materials online. That they are posting supremely helpful (looking at you again Duncan Rhodes) as well as genuinely funny video material. Now all of this seems like common sense, really, but let’s not forget that some of us hobbyists can be a fanbase that not even a mother could love. Anyway, good work, guys and girls! Do carry on! 🙂

 

All in all, it’s been a teriffic year for GW, and I am certainly looking forward to the next batch of releases? So much for 2016, then, at least where the industry is concerned. Next up is the third and final installment of the 2016 Eternal Hunt Awards, taking a look at my favourite models from fellow hobbyists all over the blogosphere — arriving soon, hopefully, here on the blog.

Until then, feel free to let me know your feedback: Do you agree (or disagree) with my assessment of last year’s releases? What were your favourite parts, and which models did you hate? Did I forget anything important? I am looking forward to your comments!

And, as always, thanks for looking and stay tuned for more!

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22 Responses to “The 2016 Eternal Hunt Awards, pt. 2: The Industry”

  1. Great post as usual mate. Gw have been knocking it out of the park this past few years , i cant keep abreast of new releases .

    • Cheers, Neil! And yeah you can say that again: Actually putting together writeups about the respective releases in a timely fashion has become almost impossible at this point, at least unless you’re blogging full-time 😉

      • And just to add , ithink your design crits are well justified , i know aesthetics are personal , but those are thoughtful and well made points . My favorite release was the hybrids ._.Soo good._i loved the original artwork for them ,and to see a contemporary take made me squeel..Haha

      • Thanks again, Neil. I always feel bad for pointing out things I don’t like about models, because I couldn’t sculpt a model to save my life. That being said, I try my best to actually stay fair, and I am glad to hear that it seems to show in my posts!

  2. Wise words mate, and I agree, the biggest miss for me was also the Wulfen… they could’ve been so good, but no. Just no. Sad thing is I could probably put up with them if it wasn’t for the feet… no matter how hard I try, I just can’t deal with them!

    • Cheers, Alex! What surprises me above all else on those Wulfen is how the pretty cool parts just don’t come together to form something coherent — I’ve rarely seen that problem in a modern GW kit, to be honest…

  3. Alexander Says:

    Hey you’re back! Great write up as usual. I agree with your decisions, except that I hate Magnus. He just looks awful and silly, nipple horns, terrible face and hair. Just bad.

    But other than that it’s been a good year.

    Btw, why are the wulfen wearing shorts?

    • Thanks, Alexander! I’ll have to agree about Magus, though: Now I may not be crazy about him, but I can appreciate how closely the model follows the classic artwork, big hair, nipple horns and all. Plus I mentioned in a comment on my original review of the release how I felt those horns on his breastplate make him look like some babylonian priest-king or something of the sort, which really fits the Thousand Sons’ lore, if you ask me.

    • Gordon Shumway Says:

      Because they are on howliday.

  4. Great write up buddy! Glad to see you come up for air from the WorkOcean! I’m almost completely in agreement with you. The Wulfen take the cake as the biggest disappointment for sure. Burning of Prospero sort of went over my head, since I’m kind of done with Space Marines for the while. Maybe one day…
    I’m also not so much on board with the Canoness Veryidian model. While I love the original artwork (I used to have a poster of it, a cat destroyed it, now I need to order another one), the model has too many little things that irk me that pile up. I’ll ran’t about it to you in our next email.

    …see what I did there? 😉

    • Cheers, Dexter! Feel free to rant away, because I am really in love with the model, hokey pose and everything, and would love to hear your thoughts on it! Oh, and before I forget: You’ve got one unread e-mail 😉

  5. Great write-up. No arguements from me. It’s the faces of the Wulfen that take those models down a few notches. Genestealer Cults are fantastic and I am looking forward to expanding this army. Sadly my Canoness Veryidan is behind a few other projects but that release sure was a treat.

    For me a top five of the year is Alareille of the Sylvaneth. That was the model that inspired me to collect Sigmar and to dive into the fantasy realm. I’ve stayed exclusively 40K for 13 years up until this summer when Alareille was released.

    • Cheers, man! As for the Sylvaneth, hmm, maybe I should have given them more credit: Now as you mention Alarielle, it occurs to me that the Sylvaneth are the first AoS faction to really step beyond the confines of the old setting, in a way, becoming something (mostly) new. Alas, by the same token, they also become less interesting to my personal, mostly 40k-focused, sensibilities — but they seem like a more interesting showcase for the new setting than the Generic Golden Dudes (TM)

  6. A great read and I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said here.

    The wulfen just look silly to me, but then so do all the other Space Wolves. What should on paper, be one of the most interesting space marine chapters, is actually the worst in terms of miniatures and fluff.

    In complete contrast, the genestealer cults are amazing beyond words. They highlight the incredible technical skill which GW has now. I hope that one day soon, GW update the Astra Militarum with infantry up to the standard of the genestealer neophytes or the Skitarii (another personal favourite).

    The Thousand Sons aren’t my cup of tea, but look exactly like they should. I have to agree with Alexander though, Magnus does look silly. I don’t mind the horns (nipple or otherwise), but the hair looks far too glam rock and I just think he’s far too big. He’s also guilty of my pet peeve of being a giant who doesn’t look like a giant. There’s no weight to him, he’s not looking down on the puny mortals. He just ends up looking like he’s made to a different scale.

    Overall though, the Thousand Sons is a solid release. I hope we see the Emperors Children getting the same treatment.

    The thing that remains my biggest disappointment with regard to GW is the poor quality of the art in their books. There are the occasional gems, but most of it looks like hastily done concept art from a video game and utterly falls to capture the ‘grim darkness of the far future’. This, couples with the colour scheme line drawing which look like a child could have done them, has left me feeling like the money I’ve spent on the two books I bought this year (Imperial Agents and Fall of Cadia) could have been better spent. What makes it doubly frustrating is that Forgeworld get it so absolutely, perfect when it comes to presentation. It’s my eternal struggle as a hobbyist, the feeling that 40k is more interesting than the Horus Heresy, but that FW does a much better job with the Heresy than GW does with 40k

    On the plus side 2017 has been an incredible few weeks so far for releases. If it carries on like this, it could be GW’s best year yet.

    • Cheers, mate! I definitely agree that the forces of Slaanesh finally deserve some love — of the entirely non-physical kind, mind you 😉 Seriously, though: It seems as though they’ve been getting the short end of the stick for decades now, and I, too, would like to see them done well!

      As for the artwork, there is a marked videogamey influence, isn’t there? I miss some of the standout art direction that used to turn the old books into such excellent collector’s items. That said, I have to admit I am not a huge fan of Forgeworld’s art: It just seems too drab to me for the most part. But in any case, the art isn’t as evocative as it used to be, some standout exceptions notwithstanding.

    • Good point about giants..

      • Jeff Vader Says:

        Great write-up as usual Kraut!
        I gotta agree with Monkey here – it really does seem the better the miniatures get, the worse the writing and artwork gets. Don’t think I’ve bought a GW book since last summer when the mechanicus and AoS came out.

  7. Boba Slim Says:

    Thanks for the second part Herr Kraut!
    Artwork is a lowpoint to me as well and keeps me from buying books (As well as the german “translation” – wheres that asshole who’s responsable for this?)
    Not only the quality of most of the artwork (there are exeptions of course) but also the fact that they only show characters there is a miniature for, in the same official colour scheme and even the same pose in some examples. Illustrations aren’t that source of inspiration anymore, only box art.
    GWs new way to me is a little like these new Star Wars films they make. It’s well done and respects the classic look and feel, but theres no anarchistic energy to it.
    Happy 2017 to you!

  8. Hi KS, glad to hear that at least part of the gap in posting was down to you having fun with video games! 🙂

    Right now, GW seems to be doing a pretty good job of producing brand new content while at the same time referencing a lot of he stuff I loved back in the day. If you’d have told me a year ago that Genestealer Cults would be an army again, or a couple of years ago that we’d be seeing plastic Adeptus Mechanicus, I genuinely don’t think I’d have believed you. Makes me excited to see what the future holds (I think about the only thing that would make me expand my 1st/2nd edition Eldar would be the introduction of plastic Exodites, and yes, I’ve been waiting 7 editions for plastic Sororitas, since I first saw the pic of Sister Sin blasting poor Brother Vermillion in the back of Rogue Trader!).

    As for your lists, I can’t really fault them for the most part. I think my top spot has to go to a Silver Tower – the original Warhammer Quest is probably the single GW game I’ve played the most of, so it’s wonderful to see it brought back in some form.
    The Thousand Sons release was pretty spectacular, and really interesting the way they tied it into the heresy as well – definitely some kits I would love to pick up there, and it gives me very high hopes for the future of the CSM range. Also great seeing Genestealer Cults (“Praise be to the four-armed Emperor!”) and the Deathwatch getting some love too!

    One top spot for me has to be the Traitor Legions supplement – it was the first 40k rules I bought for a while, and although I think it could have been a little clearer in places, I think it did a really good job of providing characterful and full rules for the legions, without the overly prescriptive nature of some of the previous attempts.

    As for missteps, I suspect the main issue most people have with the new Wulfen kit is the legs. Apart from that, I suspect with a little repositioning (particularly the leader, to make it so he’s leaping forward springing forward off something) and careful posing they’d be better (I did a little looking – interesting thread here on the subject
    http://www.bolterandchainsword.com/topic/319139-the-wulfen-thread/page-2 ).
    I’m a little torn on the new Ulric model – I suspect as you say, the wolf helm was so iconic it’s difficult to imagine him without it. It is a very nice model though, I suppose it fits a little better with the mentor and recruiter aspect of him than the warrior who’s fury drew a salute from the Lord of the Twelth on Armageddon, but then it has been over half a millennium since then!
    As for Eldrad, I think the original design looks subtly weird and alien in a way the newer one does not.

    Anyhow, here’s looking forward to seeing what GW will bring to us in 2017 – it’s already kicked off with a bit of a bang so far!

    • Boba Slim Says:

      Don’t want to get too negative here but I don’t see the brand new content really. For a decade or so we all wanted GW to be like in the good old times again. Now they recognised that and give us stuff from the good old times, which is just not the same to me. I guess in twenty years or so, there will be nothing to bring back from 2016, because all of that has been in fact a re-release of stuff another 20 years ago. I like the Knight an Genestealers too, but it shouldn’t be that suprising that the biggest miniature company releases good miniatures here and there.

      • You do make a fair point, which I concede – you could certainly argue that most if not all of the 40k releases this year have been more a case of revisiting old ideas (to good effect in most cases – but that’s beside the point you were making). You could argue that the last completely original thing we saw in 40k was the Mechanicus release in 2015 (there had been a few Mechanicus models in the past, but nothing in that release resembled anything we’d seen before). While I would love to see some more completely fresh models (Hrud, for example, or mercenary Tarellians, or Enslavers, Bharghesti, or something completely different) I suspect that its long history is one of 40k’s biggest strengths, so I’m also happy to see GW mining it for things like Genestealer Cults (which haven’t been playable since 2nd edition) or Deathwatch (which have never been a viable army in themselves until now, and iirc haven’t had rules since 3rd or 4th edition) and giving them a modern facelift while exploring some original concepts and models (the vehicles for both factions, for example) while doing it.
        I suspect, while you could also argue it’s more of an evolution than something completely fresh, the later Age of Sigmar releases (really from Sylvaneth onwards, and including the new Tzeentch releases this year) have actually had a bit more free reign to go in more interesting or unexpected directions (see the Tzanngors, something that was mentioned in passing in the past but the current design is something new).
        I also applaud GW for getting back into the business of board games again (things like Gorechosen, which by all accounts seems to have an elegant and fun ruleset).

  9. Inquisitor Mikhailovich Says:

    To be honest, the Deathwatch are the greatest thing that happened from GW this year. Unlike the other releases mentioned (except the Genestealer Cults), the arrival of the Deathwatch marked Games Workshop releasing a faction that had no representation in the game, which (in my humble opinion) is even worse than the Sisters of Battle metal figures issue.

    Perhaps this is all just because I’m addicted to the idea of the Deathwatch, though. I’m still working on my Kill-Team…

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