Friday, March 28, 2014

Back where I started

Back in 2009 I decided that I wanted to get back in to 40k, and shortly after started this blog. Going back through the archives I noticed an odd coincidence, my major blog updates always seem to happen just before a new codex release, in this case its the new 'Astra Militarum' let's just call it the new guard codex. The reason I find this both a coincidence, and slightly odd is that on both occasions I was completely oblivious to anything 40k related news wise, so when I look back and find that my second post on the blog was about the coming of the new guard codex, I thought it was only fitting that I follow up my return post with more of the same.

Before I really dig into this one, yes I am aware that's a pic from the "scions" book, its a pre release post, didn't feel like going through the mountain of leaked posts on BolS to dig up the astra book cover. More to the point in perfectly illustrates my mixed feelings about the new guard. At first blush and assuming that the( leaked stat line is correct it really feels like scions are basically SM scouts but take up a whole FoC  (4 up armor save not withstanding) I don't really want to get to bogged down in the 'this and that's' of stats, what I really care bout is why GW chose to go a very different route with this new design. The phrase 'like rogue trader' seems to be popping up quite frequently, and after the recent retcon on the chaos books, and the rise of 30k I can say that I am not all to surprised that GW's design style seems to be going back to the primitive. This doesn't mean that the models are necessarily bad, far from it actually, the new sculpts and models that I have seen so far look incredibly detailed, but are they 40k? Without actually having the models in my hands and based off of what I have seen with scions and ogryn I would have to say no. Again this is not a negative slant on the new models, I see a lot of potential in some of the new kits, but it feels decidedly not grim dark. The new Scion stuff looks decidedly cleaner, newer, and I would dare say a bit on the cartoon'ish side as is the case with the new Ogryn (to be fair they have always had that kind of disjointed caricature quality to them) this new batch from Nottingham looks to be based on a more classic design language then the newer 2000's kits.

I was quite keen to use this guy in an example, good sculpt, defined features, loads of detail, totally confusing design wise. To expand on that a bit further. Games Workshop has done a good job of reinforcing its visual tropes in 40k, smooth and articulated means elder, rounded plates and hard clean edges mean marines, garbage pile covered in corrugated roofing material means orks. To me baroque interlocking gothic plates has always = chaos, granted this guy is supposedly a special character but again I am not sure this kind of styling syncs up with my idea of how units in the army should look. That being said, I can see a lot of new players (read: younger players) getting more into this style.

Don't ask me why, but the new Scion's kit reminds me a lot of some of the Empire kits from fantasy(greatswords pictured above) Those rounded chest plates with the gothic metalwork just smack of fantasy, and I think that's what chafes me a bit about the design, everything else about them is spot on, the heads, the legs and arms, they all sync up and flow, but I look at those torsos and it becomes a 'you got your peanut butter in my chocolate' scenario. There's not to clear a distinction there either though, because they throw in a bit of scifi to liven it up, but at the end of the day it all just seems a bit forced rather than organic, I foresee a lot of kit bashing and jewelers files in this sets future.
What about the Taurox?
Indeed what about the Ork battle wagon with all treads and a Russ turret that they are trying to sell me as a 'new' kit.
There's still a few questions on the table that have yet to be answered, but I think a lot of those will get cleared up after tomorrows White Dwarf release. The big one for me is what's happening with the basic Cadian's, are we getting new sprues, veteran upgrades, new battle box's? Just IG in general is still a bit of a mystery, there have been practically no rules leaked on the meat and potatoes of the Imperium of man, so color me curious as to what GW has in store for the grunt wall. With GW's latest barrage of supplements and data slates, its not to hard to imagine all of our favorite fluffy forces like Catachans and Vostroyans or Steel Legion getting their own mini dex's in the near future.
As I just finished painting my fourth imperial guard army, I can say I am sufficiently pumped for next weeks release. While I don't know if I am really into the new storm troopers I think that the new dex will no doubt be full of updates and goodies for us to all pour over for the next couple of weeks.
See you on the battlefield
BH Senior Editor

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