Tuesday, December 1, 2009

GENERAL: Bi-monthly book update

You may notice below that I have rearranged my books wanted list. It was getting so long that I decided to split it into several sub-lists. I was also struggling to remember when to add books to the list; previously I would add then when the book was released but now I'm adding them as I hear about them - even if they are not published yet. This should ensure I don't forget about a book.

I have three books to tell you about.

The first is
The Killing Ground. This is the fourth book in Graham McNeill's Ultramarines series. I'm afraid to say that this book creaks under the weight of the bonkers plot of the previous book.


I praised Dead Sky, Black Sun for it's ambition but I felt it had bitten off more than it could chew.
The Killing Ground is also quite ambitious, dealing with terrorism and ruthless planetary governors. It has a very different feel from many other Black Library books which go for the cardboard cut-out stereotypes and clich├ęd plots. The basic premise of TKG does not allow the characters to have simple black and white moralities - here everyone is compromised to a greater or lesser degree. Like DSBS, I support Graham's aim and ambition but not it's execution.

The Unfleshed sub-plot was absolutely unbelievable - in a bad way.
It was obvious they had to be dealt with somehow as Graham had written himself into a corner with them, but I just didn't buy into their journey. His Space Marine characters are also still too human. The whole book just didn't click or flow for me.

I'm afraid to say I want a more 'back to basics' kick ass Space Marine battle book from Graham next time around. Maybe Courage and Honour will get the Ultramarines back on track?

The second book I eagerly devoured was
Imperial Armour VII: The Siege of Vraks part three. (Un)fortunately it's the same old stuff from Forge World - excellent art (I loved the maps of the Citadel in particular), great models, terrible writing. It's the very definition of a well polished turd.

If Forge World can hire professional artists to illustrate the books why can't they hire a professional writer to write the text? Imagine what Dan Abnett could have done with this source material? It's so frustrating. All the elements of a good story are there but they are frittered away in meaningless detail, or even ignored altogether.

The 'plot' is poor, with the named greater daemons in particular getting very short shrift. The final assault on the citadel had so much potential but was a damp squib.

I'd still buy it again, though. The inclusion of campaign rules, albeit brief, was a very welcome addition. All those lovely maps and models really make me want to develop my own campaign based upon the assault on the citadel. The IA books are an inspiration but they could still be improved upon.

The third book I've finished in time for this update is my Warriors of Chaos army book. I'm not used to reading Warhammer Fantasy battle army books - in fact when I last played the game there was no such thing! I found it had a good background section but it wasn't comprehensive - how could it be given the range and depth of Chaos history that has preceded it?

The art and maps were excellent. I personally don't mind black and white paintings and illustrations. They can be very evocative and moody, and I don't automatically think colour is best. The colour painting section is big and very inspirational. There is a big variation in models though - some desperately need updating (eg Dragon Ogres, Ogres, Trolls).

Things rapidly go downhill at this point in the book. The army list dreadful. Woeful. Awful.

It is very limited in tactical options which I hate. You can run up quickly and bash your opponent or you can run up slowly and bash your opponent. There is virtually no shooting in the whole army anyway, then there are no skirmishers or affordable flyers.

That means WoC players can be easily manipulated by opponents with cheap redirecters and other chaff. Magic can help negate this but it means you end up with Wizards of Chaos trying to get off Infernal Gateway. All roads lead to Tzeentch spellcasters on Discs to give you mobility, using spells to give you a shooting phase.

It is not helped by the fact that the character wargear is poor, especially the lack of ward saves. You have to challenge other characters in combat but you will often be beaten by 'weaker' characters with superior wargear. There is absolutely no reason not to buy level four wizard to lead your army.

Ranked infantry is already not great in this edition of the game and elite ranked infantry terrible. I think (and I think Games Workshop thinks) that a fluffy Chaos list includes lots of ranked infantry. However a competitive Chaos list includes cavalry units supported by wizards on discs or dragons.

I'm not happy with the book at all but I will stick with it, as I don't want to get involved with lots of other Warhammer armies. I just hope that 8th edition helps rebalance the rules in 2010.

Books read
  • The Killing Ground
  • Imperial Armour VII: The Siege of Vraks part three
  • Warriors of Chaos army book

Books bought

  • Space Wolves codex

The reading pile

  • Liber Chaotica
  • Imperial Infantryman's Primer (Damocles Gulf edition)
  • Faith and Fire
  • Cardinal Crimson
  • Kill Team
  • Annihilation Squad
  • Space Wolf
  • Ragnar's Claw
  • Grey Hunter
  • Soul Drinker
  • The Bleeding Chalice
  • Crimson Tears
  • Codex: Space Marines
  • Disciples of the Dark Gods, Dark Heresy RPG
  • Courage and Honour
  • Imperial Armour IV: The Anphelion Project

Books wanted
  • Imperial Guard
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1 (Fifteen Hours, Death World, Rebel Winter)
  • Desert Raiders
  • Ice Guard
  • Gunheads
  • Redemption Corps
  • Blood Pact
  • Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (For the Emperor, Caves of Ice, The Traitors Hand)
  • Death and Glory
  • Duty Calls
  • Cain's Last Stand
  • Inquisition
  • The Grey Knights Omnibus (Grey Knights, Dark Adeptus, Hammer of Daemons)
  • Warrior Brood
  • Warrior Coven
  • Scourge the Heretic
  • The Inquisition War (Draco, Harlequin, Chaos Child)
  • Innocence Proves Nothing
  • Space Marines
  • Red Fury
  • Black Tide
  • The Chapter's Due
  • Wolfblade
  • Sons of Fenris
  • Wolf's Honour
  • Thunder From Fenris
  • Chapter War
  • Hellforged
  • Heroes of the Space Marines
  • Legends of the Space Marines
  • Crusade for Armageddon
  • Conquest for Armageddon
  • Sons of Dorn
  • Rynn's World
  • Helsreach
  • The Hunt for Voldorius
  • Horus Heresy
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
  • Prospero Burns
  • A Thousand Sons
  • Raven's Flight
  • Nemesis
  • Others
  • Planetkill
  • Titanicus
  • Rogue Star
  • Star of Damocles
  • Lord of the Night
  • Emperor's Mercy
  • Flesh and Iron
  • Heart of Rage audiobook
  • Dark Disciple
  • Dark Creed
  • Dawn of War (DoW, Ascension, Tempest)
  • Dawn of War 2
  • Shadowpoint
  • Soul Hunter
  • Path of the Warrior
  • RPG
  • Rogue Trader
  • Tattered Fates, Dark Heresy
  • Creatures Anathema, Dark Heresy
  • The Inquisitor's Handbook, Dark Heresy
  • Purge the Unclean, Dark Heresy

2 comments:

  1. I'm with you on the IA books, so much potential.

    You should add the General's Compendium to your list of wants mate, I've had it for 3 years and I'm still rereading it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. * Imperial Guard
    * Imperial Guard Omnibus Volume 1 (Fifteen Hours, Death World, Rebel Winter)
    * Desert Raiders
    * Ice Guard
    * Gunheads (Worth Reading)
    * Redemption Corps
    * Blood Pact ( Dan Abnett and Gaunt's ghost always a good read.)
    * Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (For the Emperor, Caves of Ice, The Traitors Hand)
    * Death and Glory
    * Duty Calls
    * Cain's Last Stand
    Cain's books are the classic larger then life hero with a kick ass and chew bubble gum kind of attitude.

    * Inquisition
    * The Grey Knights Omnibus (Grey Knights, Dark Adeptus, Hammer of Daemons)
    Ben counter is a good writer, and writes the Grey knights well and hammer of daemons is a great read less about the knights then the main protaganist
    * Warrior Brood
    * Warrior Coven
    The warrior coven series is utter poo, the writer writes them like each one is a super hero with magic superhero-y powers and overly dramatic deaths
    * Scourge the Heretic
    * The Inquisition War (Draco, Harlequin, Chaos Child)
    Probably the best series to understand inquisitors and why they do what they do was my first book for the warhammer 40k books and absolutely loved it.

    * Innocence Proves Nothing

    * Space Marines
    * Red Fury
    * Black Tide
    * The Chapter's Due

    * Wolfblade
    * Sons of Fenris
    * Wolf's Honour
    * Thunder From Fenris

    * Chapter War
    * Hellforged(Soul drinkers great series)
    * Heroes of the Space Marines (lots of great stories except the salamanders their story is kinda slow and overly detailed it is a vehicle to set up their own book)
    * Legends of the Space Marines
    * Crusade for Armageddon
    * Conquest for Armageddon
    (black templar series is really good the Crusade book is expensive and hard to find since they aren't reprinting it)
    * Sons of Dorn
    * Rynn's World
    ( these two from the short excerpts look like they are going to be very good)
    * Helsreach
    * The Hunt for Voldorius

    * Horus Heresy
    * The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions
    * Tales of Heresy
    * Fallen Angels
    * Prospero Burns
    * A Thousand Sons
    * Raven's Flight
    * Nemesis

    * Others
    * Planetkill (good)
    * Titanicus (awesome)
    * Rogue Star (okay)
    * Star of Damocles (better then the first)
    * Lord of the Night ( awesome one of the best books from the black library)
    * Emperor's Mercy ( Henry zou may be new but he is a great writer)
    * Flesh and Iron
    * Heart of Rage audiobook
    * Dark Disciple
    * Dark Creed
    ( the dark series is great chaos series)
    * Dawn of War (DoW, Ascension, Tempest)
    * Dawn of War 2
    * Shadowpoint
    * Soul Hunter ( looks to be very good)
    * Path of the Warrior

    ReplyDelete