Horus Heresy – The next steps

The Horus Heresy is around for about a month. And a lot of people are #HardForHeresy. Games Workshop has published additional content in the four weeks since the official launch, like a very extensive document with Legacies of the Age of Darkness covering a lot more units in addition to the Traitor and Loyalists books, along with a free Horus Heresy mission.

But that's not all, to keep the players interested, we had previews on the full Contemptor Dreadnought kit, because as it seems the Contemptor from the Age of Darkness box is not the final release. As well as teasers on the new plastic Predator based upon the Deimos Rhino (full plastic kit as well) and even a first peak on the Leviathan Dreadnought - coming as a plastic kit as well.

Warhammer - The Horus Heresy

Beyond that, Games Workshop did not draw away the attention that period that much. The releases and novelties were rather supporting, for example adding the rulebook as a stand-alone or giving the Contrast Paints an update. Quite a clever move, especially as you want to have your customers paint loads and loads of Space Marines, so things like the new Imperial Fists yellow comes in handy.

The status quo

We did our coverage on the Age of Darkness / Horus Heresy, quite extensively for our conditions. We even did our first interview (with an active member of the 30k community, Broncofish) and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it having the chance to cover something like this. Unfortunately speech to text didn't work as assumed, making this kind of an article incredibly labour intensive at this point. I was asked multiple times if I wasn't interested in doing something like a podcast. There are multiple smaller barriers here. The biggest is - I'm doing this bilingual and I want to keep it that way and yes, doing something like a podcast in English would be possible, but I'd like to provide for my German speaking audience as I do now. And the next thing is, sound quality. I can ensure that on my end with a moderate investment in something like a Rode, but I'd need something for my guests, as it is rather likely that were not in the same room while taping these.

On my end, I noticed that the people Games Workshop invited for the Horus Heresy event were mostly "influencers" and painters, as it became rather silent after the event on their side. You've partially seen the tutorials on the miniatures they painted and that's mostly it. With the release of the updated Contrast range and events like World Model Expo their focus went elsewhere and to be honest, would painters / content creators really go for the Heresy? It's a rather large project and if you're more about things like painting large miniatures, they would probably be done after painting the primarch and maybe a praetor, but not 2,5k points of Heresy. Zorpazorp is probably the loudest of the content creators, but to be honest a bit of handful to watch, and even OmegonEdge didn't progress much further than mostly painting his Kratos tank.

Something like a four generals series (wasn't even part in the current White Dwarf) would have been more interesting, in my opinion. Having a few players, gladly some people from the studio, beginning with the Age of Darkness box, and talking about the idea behind their project, their progress, making the generic plastic kits theirs, some neat kitbashes and first games. They do that with Age of Sigmar quite prominently in the White Dwarf and I was a bit surprised, that they didn't start that with 30k - at least not yet. Maybe we will see that with the content creators over the next few months towards autumn. But I liked the Battle Report they did on WarhammerTV, with the starter boxes fighting eachother (at 1.750 points) and the larger battle (at 3.000 points, adding a few more options and the primarchs) - yet weird decision to put that behind a paywall.

Yet, I've already seen the first trade posts not just splitting the starter kit, but people realizing they might be in over their heads with this, offering sealed bundles of 300-500 EUR retail value. Barely 4 weeks after the release.

What's next (for me)?

Well, I'm certainly hooked about the topic of the Horus Heresy. I love the lore, I enjoy the audio books (just started Alpha Legion) and I'm honest, it would be difficult for me to decide for one army in 28mm, as the amount of creative input the existing 30k community provides is amazing. Like Anvils of Konor, Raptor Imperialis, Grooby.G, Poom and many others. But as you can see from the blogs / channels, they focus on a single project or "narrower" bandwidth (and I don't mean that in a negative way). That is just something, I can not do. There is just too much of interest for me on the market. Maybe, with a local club or different setup of players here, I'd dedicate myself to fewer systems.

So beside the fact, that the Age of Darkness box is incredibly good value, and the monetary entry level is reduced by a lot. If I would join the 30k in "full scale", I'd want to do it in a proper way. And I'm honest, I would want that legion specific contemptor talon or one of the super heavy tanks for my project. But I'm far from paying 275 EUR for a single tank kit, or around 240 EUR for three resin contemptors. That's the amount I spend on two other mid sized army projects (for example my Chindits for Bolt Action were 115 GBP). I like to spread out my investments and don't go overboard in individual projects / kits, so that is something that would keep my straight from the budget point of view from going for it. Don't get me wrong, I don't say a Fellblade isn't worth it. It depends what you do with it. If that is your long time project, you build it, paint it, take your time and do that over let's say 3 months, it is still an investment but something that kept you entertained for a long time just doing your hobby it's cool. You can compare it to the hourly price of a visit to the movies or so, like 12 EUR for ~2h hours, if in this case painting / working on your fellblade keeps you entertained for more then 46 hours, it is cheaper than cinema.

And that is the next thing, painting two full tactical squads of Space Marines for Horus Heresy, that's 40 marines is about 80% of miniatures I cover in my 2nd edition 40k Imperial Fists project. So it is a lot more work / time consuming. Something that is a rare commodity. I'd like to spend my time on a broader scale in my backlog / pile of lead. Combined with the fact, that this means a much bigger space consumption, I decided for myself, that I won't do Horus Heresy / 30k in 28mm scale - but on Epic / 8mm scale. And to give you an idea, this is the space the whole Age of Darkness starter kit, takes up in that scale. Neat, isn't it? And I think I can handle that one from a paint backlog point of view much better as well.

Age of Darkness in 8mm

This creates the additional benefit of multiple use for other existing miniatures in my collection. For example the Adeptus Titanicus miniatures that I own are playable in epic, partially as allies, partially as lists of their own, either Titan legions or Knight Household. And same goes for Aeronautica Imperialis. These are often support detachments for Epic as well. I have already prepared a few miniatures via 3d printing for this project and I'll cover this in more depth (the rules, the designers and the ideas behind the project) in the upcoming weeks.

Epic 30.000 - Self Printed

But you don't need to go for Epic, especially if you enjoy the rules of the larger scale, but don't have the room, I've seen people playing "mini-hammer", going for a 15mm scale on single bases, with vehicles etc. using the regular rules of the 2nd Edition of Horus Heresy / 9th Edition of Warhammer 40k. Valid option from my point of view as well. Varus Miniatures for example covers the new Mark VI marines as a clean, digital design that can be printed in either 6mm, 8mm or 15mm.

Space Marines in Epic, MiniHammer and Warhammer Scale Space Marines in Epic, MiniHammer and Warhammer Scale

This doesn't mean that I'll avoid the new Horus Heresy range - and neither should you. They are lovely miniatures, especially the new plastic kits, and I really enjoyed building these. The Spartan was a delight, and I'm eager to get my hands on an updated Land Raider kit, as I'd like to include that one in my retro project. As well as I'm eyeing with some of the models from the Horus Heresy character series, as well as the new Sons of Horus Cataphractii Praetor (such a beautiful miniature). Maybe I'm going to treat myself for my birthday with some of these. If I spend more than 20 hours painting Horus, he's cheaper than going to the movies 😉

Beyond that, if you have the dedication and space for the Heresy and a few gaming buddies that will join you, have fun! I hope you have a good time and let me know of your expedition forces, praetors and decisive battles.

Posted by Dennis B.

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