Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Hobby Origins - Marc van Holst

Greetings all! Once again real life has been intruding on my time to dedicate to the blog, but here's the second article in my hobby origins series - the legendary Mr Marc van Holst!

Checkout his own blog at Old School Gaming, and enjoy!

If you'd like to take part in the series, drop me a line at

Monday, 3 June 2019

Hobby Origins - Colin Goodman

Hi all, well here's the first Hobby Origins post, somewhat later than I'd originally planned and thank you to Colin for taking the time to put his thoughts on paper (well, fingers to keyboard at least) for me.

Without further ado therefore, I yield the floor to Mr Colin Goodman!

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Swords of Dawn vs Grey Knights

Hi all,

Well, last night I had one of the best games of 40k I’ve had in a very long time, possibly my best 8th edition game of all! 7 full turns and two armies slugging it out, tactical choices on both sides that affected the outcome of the game and played in a great spirit too. Thank you to my opponent James, I thought I’d do a quick report on how the game went (though I didn’t take detailed notes or photos). This game used the list from my last Primaris list evolution post.

Friday, 26 April 2019

The Primaris Project - latest list and progress.

Greetings all, welcome to my little corner of the digital world and the fevered ramblings of an Astartes obsessed Dad.

Well, I’m writing this post having reflected somewhat on my last game of 40k, which didn’t quite go as well as I’d hoped. I faced off against a Black Legion army (with Vigilus Ablaze and the updated codex released what else would it be!) and got schooled. My opponent’s list was (of course) led by Abaddon, supported by a Master of Possession, Dark Apostle and Sorceror, and it also included 2 marine squads and 1 cultist squad, 5 havocs, 5 terminators, a maulerfiend, helbrute and (of course) a Leviathan with the Grav Flux Bombard and a butcher cannon.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Primaris Speculation

Hello all,

Welcome once again to the weird and wonderful workings of my overactive imagination!

I’m still thinking about Primaris Marines a lot, and despite gaping in jealous wonder at the nasty combinations that Chaos Marines appear to be about to receive in the form of new rules, prayers etc to go with their new models, I’ve been thinking in particular about Primaris Infiltrators and what the implications for them might be from previous releases by GW. And then of course the implications of what might follow beyond that!

So, what the hell do I mean by that?

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Primaris Gravis Captain review

Hi all,

Welcome to the first of my detailed unit reviews for the Primaris Marines, the Gravis Captain!

Available in the Dark Imperium Boxed Set, but interestingly, not separately as a clampack, the Gravis Captain is the heaviest class of HQ currently available to the Primaris Marines.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

The Marbo Method

Hi all,

Welcome to my detailed review of the Primaris units within the Space Marine codex. I’m very much hoping for this to be a ‘living’ document for want of a better term, and so as FAQ’s etc are released I’ll update this, and any comments or insight that you guys can provide will most certainly be added to the review.

I’ve tried several times over the years to define a method for assessing units, and my latest iteration of that will take an appropriately legendary 40k approach, which I’m calling the MARBO method.


This section will cover all the mobility stats and options available to a particular unit, assessing whether it’s a strength or weakness of the model, what can be done to mitigate any weaknesses or enhance its strengths.


Kind of self-explanatory, but equally, I’ll try to look a little beyond the obvious to understand how those auras can be stretched, where they are most effective and how best to utilise them on the battlefield. Auras I have found are one of those areas that has far more depth within 8th edition than many people at first thought, and both their wording and their interaction with the rules can have significant consequences in a game situation.


This is probably the simplest, most obvious part of the unit review - a simple assessment of the weapons and wargear the unit has access to. Primaris units tend to have less flexibility in this respect than their mini-marine predecessors so their roles are a bit easier to understand and define, though their utilisation on the battlefield becomes more specialised and tactical as a result.


Some units are able to take different wargear or equipment that buffs them in a variety of ways, particularly characters, and there are items of equipment and wargear for most datasheets that is worth investigating in that regard to better understand its use. I’ll also look at the use of relics in this section as they generally fall within the buffs genre.


Anything that doesn’t fit within any of the other sections (and I needed something beginning with O to make the acronym work) I’ll cover stuff like stratagems in this section too, where they affect the unit in question or can be used by them.

Hopefully by taking a consistent approach to a review of each unit within the book, I can make sure that rather than just telling you what each unit does, I’m giving you more of an idea of how to use the unit and how it plugs into a wider Primaris force.

In the future if the posts are well received I may even look to expand the series into other codices as well, but let’s not get too far ahead of myself just yet!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Shadowspear unit review

Hi all,

Like many of us I suspect, I’ve been eagerly devouring any information I can find on the Shadowspear boxed set recently, watching YouTube reviews from my favoured channels and trawling the interwebs for more in-depth stuff that doesn’t really seem to be available.

I’m working on an in-depth review of all the Primaris units for this very blog, but the nature of such an analysis means that the posts will take time to prepare. Much as I hate to admit it therefore, this will be a very broad-brush look at the new vanguard units, bear with me please as I play-test them and gain more insight into how they can be best employed.

Monday, 11 March 2019

Hobby Origins and the enduring appeal of 40k

Hi all,

I read a fascinating piece on the Old School Gaming blog today (ok, a while ago now by the time this gets published) about High Fantasy and whether or not it is dying a death. Whilst this post isn’t a response to that, it is most certainly inspired by it, and I’d love for it to become a series of guest posts where my readers (yes, that means you, even if you’ve never commented on my blog) set out their hobby origins and why they are involved in the hobby. It’s intended to be a similar type of post to Mike Corr’s Better Know a Blogger series, though specifically related to the 40k universe and less Q&A, more exploration of the different facets of the hobby that hook people in.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Hobby update - Part 3

Greetings all,
it's about time I posted another hobby progress update I think, I've been conscious for a few weeks now I've not done one for a while but with the pace of real life and the teases from GW I've had other things to do.

With that in mind, let's have a look back then at what I've been up to over the last month and a bit!

 Chapter Master Lox Kaitana completed. I say completed, I think I'm going to go back and re-paint the Dark Eldar corpse on his base, it was done in a bit of a hurry, and I think the red detracts somewhat from the colours of the Marine himself.

 The Repulsor hasn't moved on much from this point, I figured it was probably just a little too big to be the first model I completed, it should be more of a treat than a standard unit, and it's also obvious it's going to take a big chunk of time and focus to finish it, that at the moment would be better spent focusing on getting the basics of a battalion up and finished.
I did find time to get the vast majority of the cupola done however - I'm really pleased with the way it's come out too, the generally subdued tones complemented and set off against the yellow power coils of the las talon.
 I've started working on the Inceptors too, I'm really pleased with how the posing has come out on them - I can't stand the current flying bases but actually some of the poses work quite well standing on the ground.

I particularly like this one, it's got a great sense of movement to it without needing to be in the air.
This one however is a much more static pose, but equally menacing and pretty atmospheric I think. 

A few of the Command Staff of the Chapter and Sabre Company, I really like this picture, though there are plenty more Sergeants to add to it just as soon as I've finished them off.
 Next up I finished off Kill Team Sabre, half a dozen hand picked members of the Company to represent Captain Darke in missions of a more covert or elite nature.
Then I started work on some Aggressors. They're 'big' models, not in terms of their overall scale, but they've got a lot of detail to them and they play a significant role on the battlefield. Plus I was hoping they'd buck the usual trend since they've tended to die early whenever I've used them before now, and since I put some paint on them they've performed much better. 
 A cracking deal, I picked up the Easy to build Redemptor Dreadnought from the Warhammer 40k Conquest magazine. There's a couple more things that I'm looking forward to becoming available, not least of which the Repulsor, the Chaplain and the Apothecary, but for the near future at least there's not much for me to grab.
This last week I've been focusing more on the Ancient. I know, hopping around painting most of a model without actually finishing any of them - I'm the epitome of a hobby butterfly, not only jumping from one army to another, but between units of the same army too!

He's very much getting there though, and I'm really pleased with how well the banner has come out of it all, plus the white on the helmet has come out really smooth too.
Today however I jumped again, and did some work on the not so easy to build  Redemptor. It took a good long hour, but it's almost complete, just the skull/scroll to do and some weathering once the rest of the model is complete.

Well there you go, that's a quick run down of the last month or so since my last post. Doesn't seem like much? Well that's because there's 27 Tzaangors been progressed as well, but they're for a commission and I'm only going to show pics of that once they're completely finished.

Well there you go, hope you enjoyed!

If you want to follow along with more 'timely' updates, you can catch me on twitter and instagram using the above details, or you can also search and follow my personal blog page on facebook - just search for The Burning Eye and you should find it (or you could just click the link below)

The Burning Eye on Facebook

Till next time,

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Shadowspear psychic discipline - obscuration

Honestly, you analyse one set of leaks and before you know it there’s another landed in your lap!

We know the Vanguard Primaris releases are coming soon with the Shadowspear box and contained within it is a new Librarian who accesses the ‘Obscuration’ discipline but what we didn’t know was what those powers looked like. Well now I do (assuming the pic I’ve seen is not an elaborate hoax of course).

I’m not going to post the pic and I won’t leak warp charge levels, but I will talk in general terms about the powers. Speculation was rife about the discipline, and GW described the Psykers who access it as “masters of shrouding and stealth, allowing their battle-brothers to strike at enemy forces when they’re least expected…”

Monday, 4 March 2019

Shadowspear Vanguard Space Marines

Hi all,

So after last night’s big reveals, I thought I’d better put my thoughts down on what they mean for the Primaris as a stand alone force, where the significant benefits are and how this will change Primaris armies going forwards. I’ll also put down my own thoughts on the physical side of the reveals too, the new units, what I like and don’t like about them etc.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Path to Glory - part 2

Hi all,

Welcome to part 2 of my path to glory series. It’s actually the third game since I started the idea, but since the second game was so very one-sided I decided not to dedicate a whole article to it as there was little to learn. I’ll do a very brief run-down of it first. The third game, which took place last night, was in our club’s knock-out tournament, and was set for 2000 points and pitched the Swords of Dawn against the Blood Angels.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Messing with Primaris Lists

Hi all,

As you may have noticed, the blog has been very Primaris-focused recently, for which I make absolutely no apology! I dropped a fair whack of money on new models at Christmas and I’m keen to get them painted up and working for me on the tabletop.

That means that I need to figure out how best to use them, and part of that is experimenting with lists and combinations against a variety of foes. All this experimentation will most definitely feed into my reviews of the Primaris units that I’m working on for the blog. All this focus has also resulted in something else quite significant happening. I’ve sold the Dusk Knights. That’s right, they’re all gone (ok, except for a couple of models that weren’t painted etc). Still, onwards and upwards eh? The only downside I’m feeling at the moment is that I now don’t have a painted army in my ownership (oops!) but then since it’s not something we get too fussed about at my club and I rarely tournament I’m not getting too worried. If it’s still all unpainted in 6 months time I may change that view!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Shadowspear reveals - part 2

Hi all,

So last week we had some huge news drop in the 40k universe, the release of a new boxed set containing Black Legion and the new Primaris Vanguard Space Marines.

I posted up a few initial thoughts based on the release photos but like most of us I imagine, I’ve been thinking over the weekend about what the released info means for us all and what might be coming. It’s no secret that I love the Primaris range of models, but having played them a fair few times now they certainly lack...something. Specifically in my games that has tended to be any significant capability to deal with armoured opponents (knights in particular ripped me a new one when I played them). Now yes, you can counter that by saying I just need to take more hellblasters, but I like to think of myself as a bit of a purist and I can’t imagine Roboute Guilliman being happy with just relying on Hellblasters to provide the heavy punch to whole chapters of marines created during the Ultima Founding. So it’s with this in mind that I get excited by the thought of new Primaris models (and, you know, more plastic crack!).

With that in mind, I took another look at the released pictures and picked up a few extra little things I’d missed (including some blindingly obvious that I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit to!).

This post therefore is a logical extension of my previous comments on the matter, but extend beyond simple looking at the photos to try and figure out where the release is taking the faction in the future.

Box art photo:

There are a few other telling parts of this artwork that I’m afraid I missed in my last post (apologies, I was sleep deprived and hadn’t had much time to think on things before cobbling the post together to release on Friday).

What’s in the picture?

Ok so we have a command character with a bionic eye, a seeming combination of Intercessor and Reiver armour types, some kind of bolt rifle (looks similar to the normal cawl pattern bolt rifle, the magazine isn’t right for either stalker pattern or auto pattern). Loads of people including myself made the connection between his appearance and Sergeant Telion, but on further reflection and given the above, I’m inclined to think now that it’s a more generic command figure. We can’t see his shoulder pad that would tell us for sure, but given his position in the artwork I’m inclined to conclude that he’s the force Commander, and that leads me to think on reflection that it’s not Telion, who as far as I know is still a Sergeant. There’s something else that supports my theory there, which is as follows:

The guy in front of him is a Primaris Lieutenant (I know!). I’d previously suggested this might be a combat type Primaris unit, but somehow I’d missed that the rank badge on his right shoulder guard is quite clearly that of a Lieutenant (according to the Ultramarines Transfer Sheet that comes with Intercessor squads anyway). That explains the sword in his hand, though there’s slightly more to this than I’d first thought as well. The bolt weapon in his other hand is of a previously unseen type, it has some kind of scope/designator attached to it but not of a type we’ve seen on the Bolt Rifles carried by intercessors etc. He’s also wearing the Phobos (Reiver) pattern armour, including a Grav Chute! That’s something very new and to my mind, very significant! One of the biggest issues I have with my current Primaris force is dropping in my big unit of Plasma Inceptors but not wanting to overcharge them because they’re rarely anywhere near my Captain. If this Lieutenant is able to deploy via grav chute insertion, then surely it’s a logical step that Vanguard Captains (I’m pretty sure at this point that what we’re seeing is an all-new Vanguard force for Primaris, a distinctly different force to the traditional battle company type army we’ve seen so far, which in fairness GW all but confirmed in their article) will also be able to deploy in this way (I know, we’ve not seen a Vanguard Captain yet and the article noted that Librarians lead such forces, but it also specifically noted that they sometimes lead Vanguard forces, leaving the option open for more typical Commanders to come forward). That would make a huge improvement to the viability of several Primaris options, with mobility being one of their main issues at present.

There’s also a shadowy object concealed up in the upper parts of the image that I can’t make out (just below the Community text), but doesn’t appear to be part of the structure, and several figures in blue that I’m assuming(!) are Exterminators. And finally, sat immediately next to the Librarian’s shoulder pad (on the left as we look at the picture) is a blue shape. Can’t make out too much, except that it’s far more angular than any of the armour pieces we’ve seen on the Vanguard so far, and appears to have a battleline white arrow painted on it. Now it’s a stretch, but could it be the rumoured Primaris Transport/Skimmer?

I also posted up about the unit types revealed so far, postulating that we might be seeing in the box a Primaris Troop unit to give choices other than Intercessors. The other major thing that I missed (sorry!) is that the guy in the foreground of the picture is wearing a very obvious battleline unit marking on his shoulder pad (as are the majority of the units we can make out in the artwork). Reivers wear close support unit designations so regardless of anything else we might have seen, what we are seeing here is a new ‘Troops’ type unit wearing Phobos (Reiver) pattern armour. That then supports my theory about their guns - because the guns we can see in the artwork don’t reflect existing patterns of bolt weapon either.

So, what are the implications?

I’m reaching here, and drawing conclusions from stuff but bear with me.

I think that the Vanguard will be a new type of battle company, possibly replacing one of the reserve companies (formerly the assault company perhaps?) rather than a battle company, so we could be seeing some drastic changes to a chapter’s organisation coming (the logical extension of that being that if we’re seeing essentially a close support company structure, that a fire support structure will also follow). I don’t think the Vanguard replace the Scout Company, because there’s no indication they are not full battle brothers, and they wear full power armour (which scouts aren’t capable of). These Vanguard Companies will all wear the more stealthy Phobos type power armour, and it may also be that Reivers sit more within the Vanguard ranks than the more conventional Intercessor/Aggressor/Hellblaster ranks we’ve seen so far. They certainly fit with that stealthy, fighting dirty image that GW have set out for the Vanguard. So the next question then, is will the Shadowspear box include a close support unit for the conventional Primaris forces? I’d say no, but it’s conceivable that such a unit might follow on soon after, since Reivers were released shortly after the Dark Imperium box.

Looking even further ahead, we have so far seen three types of Mark X power armour released upon the world.

Tacticus Armour
Gravis Armour
Phobos Armour

Tacticus Armour we know is worn by Intercessors (battleline) and Hellblasters (fire support).
Gravis Armour by Aggressors (fire support) and Inceptors (close support).
Phobos Armour by Reivers (close support), and now we know this new Vanguard battleline unit, along with Exterminators (fire support?).

The other thing we’re missing is any specific veteran units for Primaris forces! We can make Veteran Intercessors through the Indomitus Crusaders detachment in Vigilus Defiant, but how about other veteran units?

What if these three patterns of armour are in fact, Company defining?

Might we see in the future Tacticus Company, Gravis Company and Phobos Company designations? Presumably there would be tactical flexibility between these to incorporate units in other armour types but the companies could be defined by the armour type of their battleline squads - might we see in the future a space marine troops unit in Gravis armour? Perhaps wielding a lighter version of the boltstorm gauntlets worn by aggressors (paired bolt rifles)?

Ok I’m very much into the realm of speculation at this point, but you heard it here first, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised based on what we’ve seen if the range truly does evolve in this fashion!

What do you guys think? Am I in the realms of fantasy or does my logic and reasoning lead you to the same conclusions? And more to the point, what’s that shadowy thing in the picture???

Till next time!

Friday, 8 February 2019

Did Astartes just grow up a little?

Howdy all!

Loads of stuff to update you on, so hopefully I’ll manage to get a few more posts written and scheduled over the weekend, but I just had to write something about the reveals from the LVO in the early hours of this morning first.


GW, I have to say at the moment you really are smashing it out of the park in my view! I’m going to concentrate on the Primaris stuff since that’s where my main interest lies, but let’s be honest, those reveals for Chaos are equally as exciting!

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Path to glory - part 1

Hi guys,

I thought that as I’m taking a fresh start completely in a lot of aspects of the hobby this year, I’d also try and do regular updates of my games, and add in some analysis of them from a tactical point of view. That’s not to say I want to get all competitive over my armies and my unit choices, but more that in order to improve as a player, I think it’s important to take time to look back on your games and what happened, why and how to improve your play going forward.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Hobby update 2019 - Part 2

Greetings all!

It might be a little later than before, but it's time for another hobby update.

This week I've been mainly working on my Swords of Dawn, though I'm going to be switching over to Kairic Acolytes for a commission once I'm finished with the first combat squad, so this weekend hopefully.

I also picked up a citadel painting handle to give it a try - I've got some buddies who swear by them so I thought I'd give one a whirl - see my thoughts on it a little later in the post. First though, some lovely piccies!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Hobby update 2019 - part 1

Hi all, me again! It's high time I resurrected a weekly look at my hobby progress I think, and though I've not done a montage image yet for this year that's no excuse not to get posting up some pics of stuff!

So far this year I've granted myself a little time off from my commission work, and have been putting several hours into my Swords of Dawn. As you may know, I'd got a scheme sorted for these guys and had just about finished all the Dark Imperium stuff when over Christmas I decided that I was going to change it all. Typical me that, I'm a true hobby butterfly after all!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Meta shift in 40k and its impact on you!

We gamers love a technical term don’t we, especially ones that we can use to confuse or befuddle our contemporaries or those not involved in the hobby. Makes us sound clever and makes up for the fact we’re bad at sports!

Today I wanted to turn my attention to the biggest of these terms – Meta.

Monday, 7 January 2019

A Xenos interlude

Hi all,
I’m back again! See, I’m really making an effort with this blogging thing again!

Right, last time round I left you with a promise that I would update on the direction of my Xenos armies, and I certainly will. First though, I just wanted to do a quick round-up of the hobby week.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

A New Year, a New Direction

Hi All,
so, that was 2018 was it? Wow that went quick!

As ever at this time of year, I tend to look at my life (both real life and hobby life) and re-evaluate things, trying to figure out where I want to be at the end of the year, what I want to have changed and done differently, and what I want to improve upon.

2018 was a year of huge change for me, moving to a new job after 16 years at my old place threw a lot of things up in the air and changed a lot of other things about my life, not least of which the 2 hours travelling a day I now do instead of about 10 minutes I did before.

But enough about the real life stuff, this blog is about my hobby and I've neglected it over the last 11 months, something I very much wish I hadn't felt I needed to do. So whilst this post isn't about making 'resolutions' as such for my hobby life, it very much is about trying to reconnect with things I love about the hobby, and blogging is certainly one of those things.