A long post & a day late (I recieved it yesterday), but here's a review of the "Codex" Silver Templars, which was exclusive to Conquest subscribers but is not on sale through Hatchette.
Clocking in at 48 pages the book covers a new Ultima Founding primaris chapter, the eponymous Silver Templars.
First off, there is a lot of nice new art in this book, obviously covering the new chapter, from character shots to full battle art. The illustrations are on form with the current GW stuff; nice but expected at this point.
Secondly, this is NOT a Codex. It has not a single datasheet, chapter tactic, warlord trait, psychic power or command strategy within its pages. The promotional material is deeply misleading in this regard as it was advertised that way. If you like the concept of the Silver Templars understand that they have zero official rules.
The next section gives an overview of chapter organisation. Essentially a Codex chapter, it's relatively sparse regarding new background , giving the wholly recognisable chapter command/company breakdown with some snippets of information on individual marines in the heraldry double page spread. It's here where a mistake creeps in, albeit a small one. Company is denoted by knee pad colour as opposed to the more frequent shoulder pad. However there are two fifth company characters (Lieutenant Xenon & brother Skorpios, for those following along) who have completely different knee pads. Rank is denoted by symbol & I've double checked the colours. A tiny mistake but the book isn't cheap & I'm a nitpicker.
Following from that, a two page spread on the Imperius Dominatus. A map we've all seen many times now, with the addition of the Templar's homeworld of Novaris & a brief write up on said planet's location near the Maelstrom. Not much more to say there.
We then get the customary timeline, the Annals of War. It features two pages (sensing a theme?) of what should be the chapter's most important moments. The problem is, a whole page is devoted to recounting the birth of the Imperium, the Horus Heresy, & the awakening of Guilliman after the thirteenth Black Crusade. Of the Templars themselves we are given quick glimpses into their part in the Plague Wars, bringing down a Speedwaaagh!, toppling a corrupt prophet with the Adeptus Sororitas &, most interesting (in my opinion), the liberation of what would become their home planet, Novaris. This little paragraph offers so much potential as it hints to their rivalry with renegades of the Flawless Host, a sorely underused group of heretics. Sadly this is about as much as we get on the matter.
Next up are a pair of, you guessed it, two page descriptions of the chapter's most prominent battles: the Siege of Talasa Secundus (which admittedly bends the two page rule by having an extra one & a half page illustration) & the Assault on Necthis. The battles being fought against Deathguard & Orks respectively, these are reasonably interesting little write ups. Specific named characters are introduced, a potential conflict with the Novamarines is set up & a greater exploration of the "oath-keeping" aspect of the chapter given. What I do not understand is the decision to put a couple of pages, the majority of which is art, on the chapter's homeworld between these two battle descriptions. It would surely have been more at home in the "Focus & Fury" section, instead it finds a rather awkard home breaking up these two war stories. Novaris is also basically sixteenth century Earth, so there's that.
After this we are given four pages dedicated to the chapter command & its characters. A captain, ancient & sergeant are given a paragraph each with a small but effective "bust" style bit of art, while the high chaplain (Grand Oathkeeper here), chapter master & chief librarian are treated to larger pieces with around the same amount of text (bizarrely, the chapter master's illustration makes him look like an ordinary Intercessor, whether by design or a mistake, it's a bit odd). To round out the background a single page each is given to the Battleline, Close Support, Fire Support, & vehicles of the Silver Templars. Nothing new here apart from a new illustration for each & a sentence or two on some squads of note within the chapter.
We then have ten pages of photographs featuring all the primaris range in Silver Templars livery. Nearly a quarter of the whole book (including photos dotted throughout other sections) purely for photos of the army that was, presumably, painted for this publication. Yes, we have a sentence here or there with squad names & descriptions but not at all inspiring & it smacks heavily of advertising the primaris range outside the scope of the weekly magazine. The paint jobs are pretty nice though.
Finally, a narrative piece called "Duel". Not particularly well written, the dialogue being especially clumsy but it serves its purpose to round out a background book, which is all this is. I seriously cannot state that enough, it is NOT a Codex. It is a very long White Dwarf article, or an extremely condensed Codex baxkground section. Is it nice to have? Sure, for what it is, it's a nice addition to the list of Astartes chapters that have more than a few brief references but it is not worth the price (Ã‚Â£20, if I recall, it was paid for a while ago). What with the misleading description & the automatic purchase, it has made me wary of what Hachette has coming down the road. I don't know if they tried to petition GW for some crunch to make this chapter distinctive & to fulfill the promise of the book, but with it missing, I cannot, in good faith, recommend buying this.
The Elder among us may remember a certain, strange time in the hobby. A time when the stars aligned in the correct formation (a celestial sign known as The Beard), and eldritch items of maligned power found themselves in places where such things had never existed before, or since, or had any right to be. This ancient place was named Woolworths, and the items were Board Games.
This is the tale of Space Fleet!
The ancestor of Battlefleet Gothic, Space Fleet is a space battle game ostensibly set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It uses a variety of collectable spaceship miniatures; unlike Battlefleet Gothic, movement is more Blue Max style than miniatures style, each player simultaneously programming from any of 13 possible moves. Before the game starts, the players also allocate their shields around the ship's periphery. Combat is a simple affair, and the rules are very skimpy.
Battlefleet Gothic was actually still called Space Fleet Gothic in 1998, one year before its release
Bryan Ansell is a British role-playing and war game designer. In 1985, he became Managing Director of Games Workshop, and bought Games Workshop from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone.
Bryan Ansell began his career by founding, and designing for Asgard Miniatures (originally Bryan Ansell Miniatures Limited), as well as running the fanzine "Trollcrusher".
Games Workshop formed a partnership with Ansell in 1979 to found a new company called Citadel Miniatures to produce and manufacture 25mm scale historical and fantasy miniatures and games to be sold by Games Workshop., which led to Ansell designing the now legendary first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 1983, alongside Rick Priestley and Richard Halliwell. In 1985, Ansell was appointed the Managing Director of Games Workshop. Along with Rick Priestley, Alan and Michael Perry, Richard Halliwell, John Blanche, Jervis Johnson, and Alan Merrett, Ansell was responsible for the Warhammer (later Warhammer Fantasy Battle) boom of the mid-to-late 1980s. By 1982-83 Games Workshop was depending on sales of Citadel miniatures and games to survive. Around this time Bryan bought out all of Steve Jackson's and Ian Livingstone's shares in Games Workshop and absorbed Games Workshop into Citadel. All the Games Workshop operations (including White Dwarf) were moved from London to the Newark / Nottingham area to become part of Citadel with very few of the original Games Workshop staff staying on. Steve and Ian went off to live in Spain for a while. The company expanded rapidly and in 1991 Bryan Ansell sold his shares to Tom Kirby to concentrate on building houses and having children, but retained the entire Games Workshop collection of painted miniatures and artwork as well as rights and moulds for many of the ranges of miniatures which he now sells through his company Wargames Foundry.
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The Fluffenhammer is a archive of joy for the worlds of Games Workshop (and beyond)