Space Wolves Codex 2014: a first impressions review

Well, the new Space Wolves codex came out on Saturday and I quite like it. I was scared for a little bit that my WYSIWYG Grey Hunters were now WYSIWYUTG (What You See Is What You Used To Get) but I think that the way that they are now is only fair.

rune_priest_front

Rune priests have been downgraded slightly but are cheap enough that it doesn’t matter any more. We’ve lost the chance for 4 HQs in a standard detachment but I think that we’ll still see a lot of pyskers coming from Fenris. The new Tempestus discipline looks fun and I’ve got my Living Lighting back (as the Primaris power too) so I think I’ll be using it. The way that the Rune Priest has been changed means that you can build him up to being something like the old Rune Priest if you wanted to although I’m sure some of the more competitive players will still be bemoaning the changes to Jaws. He’s lost the Chooser of the Slain which is a pity as it was fairly colourful

crozius

Moving on to the other HQ that I regularly use, I find that the Wolf Priest is slightly more expensive, although the combination that I use (on a bike) is slightly cheaper. I’m not sure why it got an increase while other HQs got a decrease but for me, he seems perfectly ok and I will carry on using him. My boyfriend commented that Oath of War was rather good until I pointed out that the Wolf Priest has always had it- I just keep forgetting to use it.

The Wolf Lord has also gone up by a mighty 5 points, although he now comes with the previously 25 point Belt of Russ as standard, so compared to the old equivalent Wolf Lord he’s cheaper, as are the Fenrisian Wolf escorts that he can take. The real bargain of the month though is the Wolf Guard Battle Leader who has dropped a whole twenty points without losing anything. I reckon that he’d make a good HQ for a cheap allied detachment if you want say, drop pods or the benefits of the new Wolf Standard, although the Rune Priest is only ten points more.

??????????I’m not going to go into the special characters, I tend to forget that they’re there most of the time and so I haven’t paid them as much attention as I have to the rest of the book, so having looked at HQs I’m going back to troops as they’re next in the book. My main thought so far is that I need to build some more Blood Claws, the much needed drop is points cost means that I can use a small squad or two in my back field to keep an eye on objectives and the loss of Headstrong (yesss!!!) means that I won’t have to worry about them having to charge any enemy that comes near. What I really think I’ll do with them, when I’m ready, is load a large squad into a Stormwolf, giving me a flyer as a dedicated transport (freeing up a fast attack slot) and a whole blob of 3+ saves to harass the enemy in their own territory. Actually, it’s the loss of headstrong more than the drop in points that really make Bloodclaw’s a more desirable option. It wasn’t worth the risk before.

standard bearer faceGrey Hunters were the core of my army in the old ‘dex and I see no reason why they won’t remain so now. The basic Grey Hunter has dropped a point but lost his extra weapon. However, he can get it back for 2 points and this little points increase is only fair, considering that Grey Hunters were most definitely under-costed before. It seems that they’ve given up trying to make everything a nice round number in this book, which is a relief, as I’d rather use a calculator than have a points imbalance (either way). The Wolf Standard has gone up a lot which at first glance seems rather steep. However its role has changed considerably. It used to allow rerolls of a 1 for one unit in one assault phase, however it now gives re-rolls on pinning and morale checks with 12” as well as +1 attack within 6”- all game and for any member of the Space Wolves faction in that area, which I think is possibly more useful if less tactical. I may drag it out for my next game against the other half’s Orks to see how it does as I wouldn’t mind Grey Hunters with four attacks each in melee against Orks (sorry sweetie).

Wolf scout frontThen I’m onto Elites, I’ve never used an Iron Priest as my army is currently very vehicle light, so I’ll skip both them and the servitors and go on to Wolf Scouts. I’ve just started playing with these again having realised that infiltrating a bunch of guys with sniper rifles to a point where they can harass the enemy the most, is very good. They’ve gone down a point (which is good) and they can now get camo cloaks, so those natty bits of fashion sported by all the most discerning sniper scouts, now have a use. They’ve lost “Behind Enemy Lines” but that wasn’t really much use after 5th. They can also take Flakk. I can really see these guys staying in my new lists.

I haven’t used a Lone Wolf very often, they’re fun but I’d rather take other things. However, they have their nice points (just look at all their special rules) and you can take advantage of being able to take one for each troop or Wolf Guard type unit without taking up a force org. slot.

Next up are Dreadnoughts which I currently don’t use, I was given a kit for my birthday a couple of years back but haven’t dared build it because I love the idea but can’t settle on a loadout. I’m going to pick up the new Space Wolves Venerable Dreadnought and combine two kits to get the most out of all the new stuff. I like new Bjorn and I thibk I quite like the idea of Murderfang. If Blood Angels Dreadnoughts can fall to the Black Rage then it makes sense for Space Wolf Dreadnoughts to fall to the curse of the Wulfen.

What are you looking at?Then we come to Wolf Guard who have been split into two units, standard WG and Terminators. The basic Wolf Guard costs the same as before and has the same stat line and loadout. The nice thing here is that jump packs and bikes are now ridiculously cheap! They’ve dropped from 25 and 35 points to 3 and 7 points respectively. I like my Swiftclaws but they may get promoted!Terminators seem about the same, except that they can now deep strike. I know that Russ liked to fight on his own two feet but his elite warriors can’t seem to wait to get stuck into the action. I like a mobile list and I really should think about building more Wolf Guard! It’s only a pity that splitting the unit in two means that its harder to mix and match armour. You have to have a full squad of both (or attach guys to units) if you do.

Olaf Fafnirsbane frontOn to fast attack and Swiftclaws. I liked these guys before and I like them even better now that they’re five points cheaper, and with both Siftclaws and Skyclaws losing Headstrong, they’re far more versatile (I don’t have to babysit them).

Then there are a bunch of vehicles. In my last game I felt that I needed more mobility for my Grey Hunters so I’ll have to pay some attention to this section in future (but not yet, not unless I’m planning to write another very late post). One curious thing is that the drop pod is now a fast attack choice not just a dedicated transport which I imagine will lead to some interesting shenanigans among more competitive players. The Stormwolf is also here and I’m probably going to invest in one of these in future (see Bloodclaws).

My old bugbear Thunderwolf cavalry are cheaper (there’s a theme here). They’re nice looking models with good rules but I think that they’re a wee bit silly (sorry). I do use Fenrisian Wolves occasionally and they’re the same as last time except that Supernumerary seems to have gone so they can potentially claim objectives, at least until the next FAQ. Yes, I am planning to take advantage of this, why wouldn’t I? I like my plastic puppies and I regret that I leave them in their case most of the time.

Land Speeders are well, Land Speeders, the same as always, there are more exciting things to spend points on.

curved fang frontHaving gone through the fairly busy Fast Attack section, we come to the Heavy Support. I mentioned the Stormfang in my last post and, obviously, nothing’s changed since then and I haven’t really had time to consider it properly yet. Long Fangs are more interesting to me right now (as I have quite a few of them) and they’ve got Flakk at last! Save for that, the only real difference is that they take Split Fire instead of the old book special rule. In 6th this might have been annoying but Split Fire is slightly better in 7th and it means that the Long Fang Ancient can now do something beyond direct traffic and catch bullets!

I’m afraid I’m not going to go into the rest of the Heavy Support section as they’re all tanks and I’m not so interested in them (again sorry). The last thing to look at is Logan Grimnar who is now a Lord of War in his shiny new sledge (which I actually quite like). Lords of War are here to stay though I’m curious why Grimnar was “promoted” and I wonder what this means for Dante, Draigo and Marneus Calgar in future books.

OK, having spent far too long rambling about units I should talk about the book itself which is up to the standard of all the hardback codices that I’ve read so far. It’s nice seeing everything in full colour and some of the old pictures are now clearer. The guy on the cover is just plain awesome! He’s far too good looking to be a Space Marine! Its a lovely looking book with both old favourites and some stunning new artwork. Its clearly set out and written well enough to keep the fluff bunny in me happy. I find the new layouts used for the entries much easier to manage than in the older books as there is far less flicking back and forth looking for rules and points and fluff. As someone who loses and forgets things far, far too frequently, it’s a good thing. Some of the photography could be a little clearer, I’m not too sure about the “artistic” styling, when I’m figuring out a new model I like nice clear photos for inspiration and these well, aren’t!

Anyhow, overall I like the new book. I viewed a new Space Wolves codex with some trepidation as the old book was good and had aged well but it looks like this new one is up to scratch and is likely to remain a strong  ‘dex for some time to come. The core units are still solid (if not more so) and there is enough flexibility for players to be able to adapt to new situations with as much (or as little) fluff as they wish to add. It’s a pity to lose a few little flavourful things such as the talismans, sagas (although they’re not gone entirely) and Mark of the Wulfen but the army as a whole has kept its flavour and I like it.

Anyhow, that’s enough of this first, not too serious review. Next up for me is to build a few lists. I’ll let you know how I get on!

L.o.F.

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Paint Stripping: A comparison

So I came back from the UK with these:

Blood Angels in box

They’re my boyfriend’s old Blood Angels from when he was a teenager along with a couple of other interesting bits (Eversor Assassin and Rogue Trader era Inquisitor). I need to strip them of any old paint and undercoat and tidy them up before I can repaint them for him. They’re not an urgent job, just something to potter along with when I need a break from my Wolves but I’d like to do it well, which is why I need to figure out the best way to strip them. Now metal is fairly easy to strip but there are quite a lot of old plastic arms and banner poles mixed in with the metal so I decided to do an experiment to compare different ways of stripping miniatures.

I’ve tried to keep this experiment as fair as possible, but my bathroom is not a chemistry lab and I don’t have things like ultrasonic baths or a collection of measuring beakers and “stripped” is not a definite term. I’m also conscious that not all brands are equal and not everything that I use is available everywhere else. Conversely, I cannot get the classic stripping media Dettol and Simple Green (well, not without travelling to a specialist shop in another city) so I’ve had to miss them off my list. Therefore this experiment is far from comprehensive. I am also going to put up a couple of warnings and disclaimers before I go any further:

 Disclaimer!

The data given below are for the brands/varieties of products that I have used. I cannot guarantee that every brand will work the same way. This article is just a guide. Before using any medium to strip your miniatures please, please do a test piece first! I do not take any responsibility for any damage or destruction of models due to use of the information on this page or for the use of any products in a way not intended by the manufacturer.

 Warning!

Read the instructions on the bottle before use! Some of the products used below are irritants and/or produce fumes. Always work in a well ventilated environment and keep any solvents out of the reach of children and animals. Protective clothing such as gloves and goggles may also be advisable.

For this experiment I decided to test the effect of the following five solvents on plastic, Finecast resin and Forgeworld resin:

  1.  Control: water
  2. Acetone-free nail polish: I used Etos Nagellak Remover zonder aceton
  3. Brush Cleaner: Revell Aqua Color Clean
  4. Brush Cleaner: 4Art Penseelreiniger: Sunflower oil based brush cleaner for oil paints
  5. Foaming Kitchen Spray: C1000 Keuken Powerreiniger Lemon: I know that traditionally Fairy Power Spray is used but having discovered that normal kitchen spray is good at cleaning paint residue from the sink I wanted to see if it worked to clean models. There are lots and lots of generic degreasers out there so I recommend shopping around to see what’s best for you.

I prepared the test samples by spraying with Chaos Black undercoat and coating with a layer of Citadel Layer paint.

To run the experiment I simply soaked the test pieces in the solvent and periodically tested them by scrubbing gently with an old toothbrush.

In the table below I have put the results of the experiment along with the cost per litre, whether the cleaner is reusable and any notes.

stripper results table

* Cost per litre in euros calculated 19/05/13 for the products used.

† Converted from cost in Pounds Sterling

Discussion

The cleaners used above were all suitable for plastic, Finecast and Forgeworld resin. Surprisingly, the two resins were far easier to clean than plastic, possibly because they do not hold the primer so well. From the results I recommend picking the cleaner for the job. The nail polish remover and the Revell Aqua Color Clean brush cleaner worked the fastest of the cleaners used, however they do produce a lot of fumes. They also evaporate quickly. Indeed, the Aqua Color Clean is so volatile that it evaporates faster than it can be used, particularly in a shallow dish. For this reason, as well as the cost issue, I prefer to use nail polish remover out of these two solvents. For single models or situations when quick cleaning is required I would say that nail polish remover is probably the most effective. However, I would recommend testing it out first as not all nail polish removers can be used on plastic models (as I know from experience).

The only cleaner to not produce fumes is the oil based brush cleaner, which is also the most reusable of the cleaners used. Its performance is similar to that of the cleaning spray. For cleaning large numbers of models or regular stripping of miniatures, these two cleaners are probably most effective, especially as, since the cleaners are non volatile, the models can be left to soak quite happily. Cleaning Spray is also the cheapest option, particularly as it’s an everyday household product that you may already have at home.

Conclusions

So, hopefully this article gives a few different ways to strip plastic, Finecast and Forgeworld resin. There are several things to consider:

How much are you going to strip? If you only have one model to strip, I’d recommend the nail polish remover as it’s quick and relatively cheap (you need 20ml rather than a litre of the stuff). For a lot of models, the kitchen spray or the oil based brush cleaner are probably more economical, while for somebody who regularly buys things off Ebay or Bring and Buy stalls, a tub of the reusable oil based brush cleaner might be most practical.

Where are you going to work? The nail polish remover and the Aqua Color Clean require well ventilated areas. If you don’t have a well ventilated space to work in, I’d steer clear from working with these.

How fast do you need it done? 24 hours before you need the model painted, based and sitting on the gaming table is far, far too late to worry about using kitchen spray.

What can you get? I was trying hard to get Dettol for this experiment but I wasn’t prepared to travel to the next city to get it. Kitchen sprays are fairly easy to get from the supermarket, and, in the UK and The Netherlands at least, you should be able to get nail polish remover there too. If you can’t get hold of a product easily, you’re probably better off looking at one of the many alternatives.

This article doesn’t show every method for stripping miniatures but hopefully it gives you an idea about how to choose your stripping medium. Whatever you use, do try a test model first and good luck!

L.o.F.

Burden of Duty by James Swallow: A Review

I have to say that I am quite fond of the character of Nathaniel Garro. He first appears in The Flight of the Eisenstein, which is one of my favourite books from the Horus Heresy series, and then stars in his own series of audio books produced by Black Library and Big Finish.

Burden of Duty also features another of my favourite characters, that of Rogal Dorn. It’s odd but I find it very easy to feel sympathy for Dorn. Yes, he is a bit stiff and formal, he is after all a Primarch, but while he hasn’t the easy likeability of Sanguinius or Horus he is very easy to feel sympathy for. He is loyal, and, no matter what he might like to do, he will do his duty.

Duty is the theme of this audiobook, Garro’s duty to Malcador the Sigillite, Dorn’s duty to the Emperor, a Librarian’s duty to his Primarch and all of their duties to the Imperium. These audiobooks, like the short stories in the anthologies, offer little vignettes into the thoughts of characters both large and small, beyond those offered in the books. They offer a really good way of both getting under the skin of a character and exploring what’s going on away from the main plot.

Both Swallow and John French, who wrote The Crimson Fist, have really brought Dorn to life. He is a pivotal character in the Horus Heresy despite and because of his role as the defender, the guy at home providing the last line of defence in a war that he knows is coming and is powerless to stop. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I like Rogal Dorn as a character. He’s not showy or impulsive, he doesn’t run off and get revenge or carve empires for himself or any number of other equally justifiable but incredibly short-sighted things that he’s doubtless tempted to do. He’s been told to stay put and prepare Terra for war and that’s what he’ll do.

Burden of Duty is, while short, a very good story. It’s not a fast paced story, it’s not about bolters and bloodshed, it’s about duty and understanding what that means for the three main characters. For Garro, it’s about doing the Sigillite’s duty, to build up the Knights Errant in order to protect the Imperiun. For Dorn it is about building a fortress, about protecting Terra itself, and for the Librarians of the Seventh Legion, ah, well that’s the whole point of the story and I’m not going to give away the plot twist.

Burden of Duty is well written and it’s also well acted. Toby Longworth has a very strange way of saying “aquilla” but the acting is on the whole very good. Big Finish appear to have dug into their box of Doctor Who sound effects for the servitor’s voice, but that was kind of cute (and if you haven’t heard any of Big Finish’s Doctor Who audio dramas you really should do) and the sound effects don’t intrude too much into the story.

To conclude, Burden of Duty is excellent. I really hope that James Swallow gets to write some more about Rogal Dorn. It’s kind of unfortunate that he’s so good at both Rogal Dorn and Sanguinius as I’d love to see his take on both characters whenever Black Library get round to the Siege of Terra. One other thing that I’d like is to have these stories in print form. I know that I was complaining about this very same thing a few weeks back, but as long as I knew that that was what I was getting, I’d be very happy to actually read these stories as the language is so good. I’d even buy a special edition if I had to!

L.o.F.

Shadows of Treachery: A review

I don’t know how I missed the release of this one (actually I do- it’s the announcement of a special limited edition at around the same time as this was released) but the local GW had it on the shelves on Saturday when my boyfriend and I went to pick up this month’s White Dwarf so we bought it then.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this book, the stories are all very good but I could have told you that about three of them months ago as the book includes three stories that have previously been released as audiobooks: The Dark King, The Lightning Tower and Raven’s Flight. All three are excellent stories and I really enjoyed reading them but I have to admit feeling more than a little bit cheated when I realised that they were re-releases of existing material.

The Crimson Fist by John French is the first story in the anthology and is one of two novellas included. It is the story of the fleet that Rogal Dorn sends to Isstvan and its leader Alexis Polux. The fleet does not reach Isstvan, instead it is trapped in an abandoned star system, Phall, following a Warp storm, the escaping of which destroys a large part of the fleet, leaving the injured Polux the  Master of the Fleet. The marooned Imperial Fists cannot get any message out or receive any in turn.

The story switches between the fleet and interactions between Rogal Dorn and Sigismund back on Terra.

I really, really enjoyed this story. The doubt of Polux is very well written, the arm motif throughout the story is present but not jarring and weaves together Polux’s past and present (and I guess future). Meanwhile the tension that grows between Dorn and Sigismund is believable and understandable and is a microcosm of the general sense of tension and betrayal that the Horus Heresy has brought. The Crimson Fist is an excellent start to the anthology and a brilliant story in its own right.

Despite The Dark King and The Lightning Tower being disappointing in that they were previously available as audiobooks, they are both good stories and I enjoyed reading rather than listening to them. They don’t lose anything from the translation to paper and are gripping reads.

The next story is The Kaban Project by Graham McNeill and it is a prologue of sorts to Mechanicum. It involves some of the same characters and a certain artificial intelligence. It’s an interesting story, nicely written and adds to the lore surrounding the Mechanicum. It reminded me a little of the classic robot stories by Asimov in tone although the conclusion is considerably darker.

This is followed by another former audiobook story, Raven’s Flight by Gav Thorpe. I really like this story as an audiobook and it holds up very well as a printed story. It doesn’t quite fit in with the other stories character wise but tonally it does work well with the other stories in this anthology.

Unfortunately Death of a Silversmith fits in less well. It feels like it would have fitted in better in one of the earlier anthologies, or even as just a stand alone download from Black Library. It’s not a bad story per se, it’s just missing something. As a stand alone story it may have shone, but in this book it just fades away in comparison to the other offerings.

The anthology finishes with another novella, Death of Crows by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. You can pretty much guarantee that any story by Dembski-Bowden will be good and that any Night Lords story will be excellent and this one does not disappoint. The story follows Sevatar, the aforementioned Prince of Crows just after Curze has been wounded, apparently fatally by the Lion.  Dembski-Bowden has made the Night Lords his own and the portrayal of the legion as a band of dysfunctional, antisocial, sociopathic killers is in sharp contrast to portrayals of other legions elsewhere. The only slight niggle with the novella is the Dark Knight like portrayal of Curze. It is inevitable though, given the back story and the similarity is not always unwelcome as it gives an anchoring point when trying to understand the Primarch. I could have happily read a novel length retelling of this story but I also can see that it is the right length as it is so I’m not going to sulk. This novella alone makes Shadows of Treachery worth buying.

In the end, despite my disappointment with the inclusion of three previously published stories (I’m not counting Crimson Fist here as although it was available as an e-book a few weeks back, it’s not been available as easily as the others), I honestly enjoyed this anthology. I feel that Death of a Silversmith really did not fit with the other stories, although it does technically fill the brief as a shadow of treachery. However it isn’t a bad story. What bothered me more was a slight lack of variety in the choice of stories. McNeill wrote three of the stories: The Dark King, The Kaban Project and Death of a Silversmith, and while they were all well written, it may have been nice to have had a story written by somebody else. Black Library has a large pool of really good authors and their anthology collections are a perfect way of showcasing their talents. It’s a pity that Shadows of Treachery does not do this. However nearly all the issues that I have with this collection are editorial, the stories themselves are all very much worth reading and for that reason I can strongly recommend this book.

Citadel Texture Paints review

I have to be honest, the Citadel Texture paints didn’t really interest me when the new line of Citadel paints came out earlier this year. My boyfriend on the other hand thought that he might find them useful for basing his models, so I ordered a pot of Astrogranite for him. Then I was recommended the Mourn Mountain Snow and thought that I’d give it a go. I wasn’t overly impressed by it the first time round to be honest, it looked a bit, well, odd.

I thought that I should give it a bit of a chance though, so I decided to run a test. I’ve not gone much out of my way for this review, I’m afraid, as I’m just testing the two Texture paints we have: Mourn Mountain Snow and Astrogranite.

I prepared the square base by priming it with two coats of Imperial Primer. I then divided it into four quarters. On one half I used Mourn Mountain Snow, on the other I used Astrogranite. I used a both a brush and the scoop part of the Citadel modelling tool to apply both paints.

The paints themselves consist of some sort of grit or sand suspended in thick paint. The paints are largely odourless and washed off the brush easily. They have a jelly-like texture, unlike the normal Base and Layer paints, and this makes them a little difficult to apply by brush.

 

A= Mourn Mountain Snow + brush

B= Mourn Mountain Snow + scoop

C= Astrogranite + brush

D= Astrogranite + scoop.

 I have to confess that I think that Astrogranite looks a bit better than Mourn Mountain Snow. It would work either as a layer across the whole base, or in blobs to add features to a base. It would be quite good for a gravelly urban base or combined with some green flock to resemble the verge of some country road.

I think that Mourn Mountain Snow would be most effective on scenery, particularly scenery that might get bashed around, when flock is less suitable. It might look good used in conjunction with either Astrogranite or Stirland Mud to make a snowy urban- or battlefield- style scene, where the snow and the gravel and mud all combine to make a slushy mess. I don’t suggest mixing the paints, rather using splodges of several different Texture paints on the same base.

If you’re lazy about basing, or dislike it, or are very pushed for time, these paints offer a way to get properly based models quickly and without too much fuss.

In conclusion, while I still can’t think of many reasons why I’d personally want to use the Texture paints, they do work quite effectively. Mourn Mountain Snow is slightly less effective than Astrogranite, but both have potential to speed up basing if you’re not so keen on that part of the hobby. A potentially useful product, if limited by the use of the same texture medium in both paints tested.

Grey Angel: A Review

Last week Black Library released a Horus Heresy audio drama called Grey Angel. The blog post announcing it  immediately piqued my interest, so I downloaded it for my trip home (but listened to it straight away instead).

It’s not a long audio drama at 35m 24s, but it’s as long as it needs to be. It’s also very hard to review without giving stuff away. So here’s a big Spoiler warning!

 

Warning, the rest of this review may give away information on previous Horus Heresy books and audio dramas!

 

Grey Angel is written by John French and is part of the Garro sub-series of audio dramas, although Garro himself doesn’t feature at all. If you haven’t listened to the first two Garro dramas already you should do so before listening to Grey Angel or you will be a) very confused and b) hearing an enormous spoiler, a really big, titan sized spoiler. To say much more gives away the plot.

Grey Angel is quite a condensed story, no longer than it needs to be and is a very compelling drama. The main characters should be familiar to anybody who has read most of the Horus Heresy books, and they are well written. The story is character led, which it is why it is impossible to say much without giving away spoilers, and the drama reveals new information, some of which can be inferred from 40K lore, but other parts are a complete surprise and one part opens up a whole new can of worms!

Black Library does good audio dramas and this is one of the best. My one quibble is with the sound balance at the beginning as much changing of volume is required between the introductory music and the start of the drama. I noticed this with Deathwolf too and it really is a pity as it mars an otherwise excellent production.

In conclusion Grey Angel is a well written drama and an interesting side note to the Horus Heresy and I really, really recommend it.

L.o.F.

Deff Skwadron (Graphic Novel) by Gordon Rennie and Paul Jeacock : A review

I saw the advert for Deff Skwadron in June’s White Dwarf and was immediately curious. I mean a graphic novel about Ork pilots, what is there that can go wrong? I’m glad to say that there is indeed little wrong with this book.

This collection is a reprint of stories written by Gordon Rennie and drawn by Paul Jeacock and originally published in Warhammer Monthly. With the release of the new flyers obviously the time was right for a reprint.

The book isn’t the highest quality graphic novel out there but the magazine paper actually really suits the book, making it feel like a comic book. The other Black Library graphic novel that I own, Lone Wolves, is printed on glossier, heavier weight paper, but it’s a darker, heavier story.

Now, I have to confess that I’m a relative newcomer to Graphic Novels, like 40K, they’re something that I’ve only really discovered as a (technically) grown up, so I’ve never read any of the war comics that these stories are largely based on. However my father has had a lifelong obsession with anything mechanical that flies and the ability to watch the same old war films over and over again without getting bored, and so some of that knowledge has rubbed off on me. I therefore spent most of the time spent reading this book giggling to myself. Any book that manages to reference The Sinking of the Bismark, Dr Strangelove and Catch the Pigeon in a few short pages is guaranteed to be great fun (and I want Catch the Squigeon on a t-shirt!)!

The first three stories are a little crowded but the fourth story is drawn in a slightly different style so the pictures are much easier to follow, and they really show off the mad, orky brilliance of the book.

Deff Skwadron is only available to buy directly from Black Library and, apart from their obsession with sending everything out in really big boxes, their service is pretty good, the risk is that, having decided to buy one book, you end up looking at their other Direct Exclusives…

So if you want something to go with all those new Ork flyers, or just something fun to read, I really, really recommend this. It’s a nice relief from all the grim dark stuff and it’s good to see Orks as the heroes for once!