Category Archives: Declan Walters

Book Review – The End and the Death (Vol 1)

Book 8, volume 1, of Siege of Terra by Dan Abnett

Dan Abnett returns for the Epic conclusion to the Horus Heresy and the Siege of Terra… well sort of, this is volume 1 of that epic ending…!

Black Library

From the book:

The arch-traitor Horus Lupercal’s forces have bombarded Terra and the Imperial Palace lies in ruins. With the Emperor’s dream in tatters, he seeks only to rob Chaos of its ultimate victory…
It’s the beginning of the ultimate conclusion to the Horus Heresy, and hope still remains for the Loyalists! The Emperor plans a gambit that could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat – but at what cost?

There is no way out. The walls have fallen, the gates are breached, and the defenders are slain. It is the end and the death. After seven brutal years of civil war, the Warmaster stands on the verge of victory. Horus Lupercal, once beloved son, has come to murder his father. The Emperor, a shining beacon of hope to many, an unscrupulous tyrant to others, must die. The lives of uncountable numbers have been extinguished and even primarchs, once thought immortal, have been laid low. The Emperor’s dream lies in tatters, but there remains a sliver of hope. Now, at the final hour of the final day, the Emperor rises. With him come his Angel, his Praetorian, and his Captain, all determined to enact terrible vengeance. Yet the hope is slim, for the Warmaster sees all and knows all, and the ultimate victory of Chaos is at hand.


The book starts much as the rest of the Siege with vignettes from the fighting on Terra which is a great way to demonstrate the global nature of the conflict. Abnett interspersed these stories with discussions from Horus on his father and brothers a Malcador talking about the Emperor. Both include great further snippets from the past and how the Emperor got to where he finds himself. Sure, it doesn’t all make sense especially when they discuss pre 21st century history, but its fun watching Malcador and Horus separately talk of the weaving of the fates!

As the battle on the surface continues Ol and John Gramiticus work their own plans with the mysterious help of Alpharius and the Sons of Horus eventually call on their father to lead them in the final battle… but he’s not the man he was… he has fallen! Meanwhile the White Scars have control of the ground batteries and are targeting the fleet and a force from the 1st Legion – The Dark Angels – have taken over the Astronomican – but with the edict of Nikaea in place can they do anything to bring it back?

The Primarchs are starting to prepare for the final battle as well. Sanguinius and Dorn approach the Emperor whilst the Khan is at death’s door and Vulkan makes his way back through the webway after dealing with Magnus.

It’s fair to say there is a lot going on, and this wouldn’t be the book you would start with, but it’s got some great things to recommend it. I really like the way that Malcador is in the first person – and Horus Lupercal in the second… with all other stories being in the third person. It takes a bit of time to get used to, but its a great way of telling the reader which protagonist is currently centre stage.

As mentioned above the vignettes or ‘fragments’ also aid the reader in understanding the scale of the war with some fragments being returned to and others ending in death or defeat. Many of them are outside the eternity gate where Sanguinius has locked out loyalist and traitor alike and there are individual battles and heroism and evil!

The End and the Death also continues the Horus Heresy series in not have too much action from the point of view of the Primarchs or the Emperor. It is not possible to have nothing from them, but the reader is firmly given the impression that the Siege of Terra is being won (and lost) by the unnumbered masses; and not by the Primarchs. It’s a great way to make the book easier to ‘get into’ and emphasise with the protagonists.


It is difficult to recommend this book to anyone who hasn’t read the rest of the Siege of Terra but it is a great start to the final series in the Horus Heresy / Siege of Terra series and – whilst we don’t know how many volumes it is – I eagerly look forward to the next installment.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Protector

A story of Athens by Conn Iggulden

I love historical fiction, and have read many of the ‘big’ series released over the years including Sharpe, Hornblower, and Master & Commander. So, I was very happy to receive Protector as a Christmas present as I was in the middle of Gates of Athens at the time and thoroughly enjoying it.

Protector by Conn Iggulden

From the book:

Themistocles stands as the battle-scarred leader of Athens. Yet he is no nobleman and is distrusted by many. But those who stand against him cannot argue with two things: his victories as a warrior, and the vast Persian army heading their way . . .

And so Themistocles must fight. Fight the invaders. Fight the allies who despise him. Fight for his city. As the Persians draw close, he must prove himself again and again in battle. Because history belongs to the courageous . .

The Gates of Athens was led by Xanthippus, and – whilst Xanthippus is still a main character – the lead here is Themistocles. The Persians have burned Athens and , and this time they aim to burn Athens to the ground under the leadership of Xerxes. The Athenians have retreated to the island of Salamis and there is a huge naval battle, where the Persians outnumber the Greeks (including Spartans, Corinthians and others). It is a battle that would make the western civilization possible.

Conn Iggulden brings the events and people to life from both the Greek and Persian sides. It is a book written from the views of the Greeks with the the Persian’s being the ‘others’ in the stories – as the ancient sources from Greek did so before him. His descriptions of the battles are as good as in his other books, but it is the building of the era and the atmosphere that makes the book so good. Iggulden has clearly visited the modern Greek locations and describes them in vivid detail… including those aspects no longer there such as the Spartan wall across the Peloponnese behind which they hid.

It’s definitely different from the Warhammer and Warhammer 40k universes that we normally inhabit here on Woehammer, but if you fancy a bit of a change or inspiration for an historic era to get involved in… you can do a lot worse than reading Iggulden’s books.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Prophet of the Waaagh!

A Warhammer 40k tale from Nate Crowley

Ghazghkull Thraka has been part of the Warhammer 40k world for (almost) ever and is the epitome of Orks. He may be occasionally defeated but he’s always come back, bigger badder and angrier.

Published by Black Library

From the book:

Of the billions of greenskins who swarm the galaxy, only the name of one strikes fear into the hearts of human and xenos alike: Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka.
The Warlord of Warlords.
The Beast of Armageddon.
The Prophet of the Waaagh!
With his tusks, fists, and power claw, he does the holy work of Gork and Mork – and soon all worlds will burn in his bootprints.

Mystery shrouds how such a beast came to exist, and rumours abound that the mighty warlord was once just like any other ork. But if that is the case, how did his ascendance come to be? Many have lost their minds trying to unravel the mystery. Lord Inquisitor Tytonida Falx has headed into the murky depths of heresy to find the answer, only this time, something is different. She possesses something the others did not. Custody of the one creature in the universe who claims to know the truth of it all. Ghazghkull’s banner bearer: Makari the Grot.

Ghazghkull has always had the Grot, Makari, at his side since the beginning and so it is no understatement to say that the diminutive little greenskin knows Ghazghkull better than any other living creature in the Warhammer 40k galaxy. When he is captured by the Imperium the Inquisition want to use Makari to find out about the biggest and badest Ork there ever was.

This is more a long novella than a full book, but it is great fun none-the-less with short stories from the history of the Prophet of the Waaagh! As I’ve missed a few of the latest Ork Codexes this was a great way to catch-up with his story and hear from the Imperium of Man about the impact of this unique Ork (and his Grot/Gretchin side-kick). Their unbeliveable survival despite defeats, and their climb to the very top of a huge Waaagh is well told and great fun.

If you’re a fan of Orks you’ve probably already read it, but as one of few Xenos books, with Xenos victories its a great addition to the Black Library and I’m happy to recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Krieg

A Death Korps of Krieg Astra Militarum Story by Steve Lyons

After the Christmas break, I find myself getting back to work, but it does have an advantage – time to listen to great audio books. And who doesn’t love a bit of Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard. These tend to be the books that are most commonly released by Black Library and it was Gaunt’s Ghosts that relaunched Black Library!

Krieg by Steve Lyons (Black Library)

From the book:

Krieg is a dead world.

Fifteen hundred years ago, it declared its independence from the Imperium of Man, and paid the price. One loyal soul defied its treacherous rulers, and laid the world to waste. From these ashes emerged a unique fighting force, forged and tempered in nuclear fire…

Today, the Death Korps of Krieg lay siege to a captured hive city on the outskirts of the system-spanning Octarius War, in a desperate attempt to secure the cordon that stops untold masses of Orks and Tyranids from spilling out into the Imperium at large. The Korpsmen are relentless, ruthless, implacable, and unstoppable, even in the face of a war that seems unwinnable. How far will they go to achieve victory, and is history doomed to repeat itself?

Krieg is a two interwoven stories about the Death Korp of Krieg. The first is a current siege of a captured hive city, the second is the origin story of the regiments. And – for me at least – the origin story is the most interesting half of the book. Of course, the current day story has Orks, Tryanids, brave (or reckless) Imperial Guard, Cadians fighting alongside Death Korp troops… and an Inquisitor; but the origin story is new (to me at least) and is a great explanation of how Krieg is where it is now.

And where is it now; well it’s a dead world in the middle of nuclear winter but still able to produce regiments of renown to fight for the Emperor in all fields of the eternal war for survival. They have their rebreathers, lasguns, greatcoats, but most importantly their bravery – which could almost be called fanaticism… if that didn’t go against the Emperor.

In the past, Krieg is fighting a vicious civil war against traitors to the Emperor, and Colonel Jurten is fighting them despite being outnumbered and outgunned. The origin story included in Krieg is essential his story as well as the origin story of the regiment. And I loved it – it fits in very well with the Warhammer 40k background – it’s not good (Jurten himself talks about degrees of evil), but it does show the lengths the Imperium will go-to to keep itself alive and reminds the reader that there are no ‘good guys’ in the Warhammer 40k universe – just a lot of bad things happening and being forced on people.

And so it asks the question – ‘could you?’ or ‘could we?’; which was asked so much in 50s and 60s science fiction after the bombs were dropped on Japan in our own world. This is probably why I like Krieg so much.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – Fire Made Flesh

A Necromunda story by Denny Flowers

Before I begin, jus a quick thank you to Peter for designing our new Featured images. I like the simplicity, but also that it brings many of our articles under a common theme. Ta Peter! Do let us know what you think of them on our Discord.

My reading over Christmas was limited with family and time off for a new addition to the family, but I did manage to get Fire Made Flesh by Denny Flowers finished – and I love Necromunda stories.

Black Library

From the book:

The Fallen Dome of Periculus, once a hub of sanctioned commerce and illicit dealings, is lost no more… and the prizes it holds are sought by noble, Guilder, and hive scum alike. For Tempes Sol of the Guild of Light, Periculus is an opportunity to not only prove his superiority over his superstitious peers but also to see the end of Lord Silas Pureburn, Keeper of the God-Emperor’s Eternal Flame, bringer of fire and faith to the rioting masses, and his most hated rival.

But Periculus did not fall by chance. Dark secrets lurk in its shadows – forbidden archeotech, twisted creatures that feast on flesh, and an insidious rage afflicts all who dwell inside its confines. As madness and violence erupt within the fallen dome, the legacy of Periculus threatens not only to consume the underhive, but ultimately Hive Primus itself.

Necromunda (like Imperial Guard books) are amongst my favourite of the Warhammer 40k universe, because they involve (mostly) ordinary humans just trying to survive in the Grim Darkness of the Far Future where there is only war. It makes the characters much more relatable than the super warriors of the Space Marines, or the intrigue of the Eldar. With all that said, what was Fire Made Flesh like?

It begins with Periculus being discovered by a Goliath gang, but unlike the game of Necromunda this is not about the gangs, or a gang war – it is about other denizens of the underhive – from pit fighters to ratskin scouts, from Pureburn to Tempes Sol (from the upper-hive). Lord Silas Pureburn puts all his resources into ensuring any archeotech found in Periculus benefits him. But he’s not the only one in the hive interested in the new location and hivers come from far and wide to make their fortunes.

This is a great little book, with one shortfall – there were just too many characters for me and too many interwoven plots for me to follow all of them. That said it was still a fun read and a must read for those who lie Necromunda – however it probably wouldn’t be a good introduction into the world of Warhammer 40k.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

News – Read the Rules – 22.3.1

I know that there are many hobbyists concerned about the direction of flow of Twitter and that’s because it has been a great source of hobby over the last ten years; a great way to meet new people, discuss the latest releases, and show off models. (Although you will need to regular use the block option if you encounter a gate-keeper).

There are also sometimes gems that people mention or notice and Mike Ellar had a good one yesterday morning!

Mike is a regular contributor on Twitter and after a short attempt to make Big Waaagh! work with Kruleboyz in early 2022, he is now trying the same with Kruleboyz. And it is not an easy task. He can be found regularly writing on Goonhammer. Go and check his articles out – I’ll be waiting for you when you get back!

Now, trying to make Kruleboyz work isn’t the easiest of tasks and so Mike has been reading the core rules and spotted an interesting one:

What does that mean for the rest of us? Well the big news is that it *could* impact who benefits from the new GHB22 (part 2) rules, although we think the rules-writers may have noticed the risk so either it’ll be covered in the book, or in a quick FAQ.

The main benefit here is the mount traits! And now more units can have them. Obviously look out for core-word locked options (particularly Monster keyword) but there are some mount traits out there without them.

This would be particularly useful for some of my Big Waaagh lists where I leave the Maw Krusha at home (mainly during the Purple Sun crises of July 2022)! But it does mean Fast ‘Un now has some additional options with the Wurgogg and there are bound to be other options in the books.

So, have a look in your Battletomes at any mount traits that are available; and then checkout those units with companions. There might be some Secret Tech hidden away in there that’s been missed.

What is does show is that it’s often worth reading the core rules again when a new Battletome of GHB drops to see if there are any interesting interactions – however if you want to do something you’ve never seen before; just chcek with you friendly neighbourhood TO! And don’t win on a ‘Gotcha’.

— Declan & Eeyore

* okay it’s possible Peter was slightly quicker to post than me… but you get two news articles in two days so its all win-win!!

Book Review – Deathworld

A Science-Fiction classic by Harry Harrison

Before Livingstone and Jackson even had the idea for Games Workshop and before the birth of Warhammer – science fiction in the 60s was having a great time; with speculative fiction, loads of magazines being published and space ships; lots and lots of space ships.

And Harry Harrison was one of the greats, with books spanning 50 years from 1960 to 2010. Famous mostly for the ‘Stainless Steel Rat’, I first found him through the novel Deathworld… which sounded like it could be an Imperial Guard novel – and possibly the basis for the Catachan Regiment.

From Goodreads: “The planet was called Pyrrus…a strange place where all the beasts, plants and natural elements were designed for one specific purpose: to destroy man. The settlers there were supermen…twice as strong as ordinary men and with milli-second reflexes. They had to be. For their business was murder… It was up to Jason dinAlt, interplanetary gambler, to discover why Pyrrus had become so hostile during man’s brief habitation…”

Okay, so I admit it, I may have lured you in a little on false pretences; the main story is indeed about a gambler with luck who is employed by the Ambassador of Pyrrus to win enough money for him to buy guns… lots of guns… a whole world of guns! After Jason dinAlt (the gambler) wins the money, he elects to join the ambassador to see Pyrrus for himself.

And it’s the planet of Pyrrus which is the best part of the story for me. Evocatively described, the planet which is trying to kill every human on it – including Jason dinAlt – with the creatures, plants and possibly the very planet itself trying to wipe humanity from its surface.

It’s a short novel (what would be a novella in modern terms), this is a great read if you want some inspiration for a Catachan themed roleplaying scenario or a narrative campaign. With the added benefit of being a great read as well. And if you like it as much as I did, the great news is that it is a trilogy! (and it’s available on Audible)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

Book Review – The Gates of Athens

A Historical Fiction novel by Conn Iggulden

Do you ever wish that Gaunt’s Ghosts had more Spears and Shields instead of Lasguns or that Sharpe had fewer Frenchmen to fight but more Persians…? Well good news your wait is over and Woehammer’s Elite group of Book Reviewers have the perfect solution to your needs.

The Gates of Athens is the first in a new series of books written by Conn Iggulden. If you’ve not seen his name before he has written a lot of historical fiction in eras as diverse as Rome, Genghis Khan and the War of the Roses. Unlike Gaunts Ghosts and Sharpe he tends to write complete series so characters don’t lice forever, but he is very good at capturing the themes of the historical era in which he is writing.

The Gates of Athens is an interesting story and one that wargamers will likely know something about, and Iggulden starts at Marathon where the army of Darius (the Persian King) is forced from Greece. At this victory we are introduced to five of the main characters used in the book… but don’t worry about keeping up, this is mostly the story about Xanthippus, a Strategos (Division leader) of Athens.

After victory at Marathon and Pheidippides has unfortunately died (again), the reader is introduced to the politics and intrigue of the Agora or Athens. Its not in too much detail though so no preknowledge is require or expected and the book is still mass market paperback so not intended for those who only want to read about the politics of the day! There is intrigue, deals and betrayal! Perfect!

But 10 years after Marathon the Persians are back under the new King – Xerxes – and heading for Athens who will need all her sons to save her!

It’s a smashing (and bashing) tour de force with Xanthippus in particular being a great character and hero for the story. Despite knowing the story and the sequence of events its written to still bring the reader along for the ride and – if you don’t know the story- there’s definitely enough explanation to stop you becoming confused. Despite the historical requirements and limitations, Iggulden also manages to keep the number of characters to a good level despite all the people involved.

So if you’re in a gap in Gaunts Ghosts or fancy a bit of a change from Orks and Psykers then give this a go. You won’t be disappointed!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the full list of Book Reviews we’ve done on Woehammer here

News – Cursed City Expansions

(cover picture from Games Workshop / Warhammer Community)

I think I can say without much fear of contradiction that scalpers are annoying and frustrating. Whether its for the latest Black Library/Forgeworld limited edition or tickets to watch Northamptonshire v Gloucestershire at the County Championship it’s frustrating to be giving money to someone who was just fortunate enough to buy 14 copies!

But never fear, Games Workshop seem to be noticing the trend and their latest attempt to resolve it is for the Cursed City expansions. The two expansions sold out quickly, and prices on Ebay were increasing – and Games Workshop must have noticed.

So they’ve announced that these two expansions (and the only ones they are releasing) are being made available on make to order.

Games Workhop / Warhammer Community

Check out the Warhammer Community Article here.

If you want either expansion then now is the last chance to pick them up. There’s no models involved but most gamers will have access to suitable alternatives (or buy the models separately). Additionally some FLGSs will have some of these available as well, so support your local store where you can.

— Declan & Eeyore

Tournament Preparation – Warfare – Age of Sigmar

Gloomspite Gitz

My last outing with the Gloomspite Gitz ended with a 2-3 result and me playing against Gitz for game 5… so a good result for Gitz although not for most armies; but when it came to deciding which army to use for Warfare (12th – 13th November, 2022) I was very tempted to go back to Big Waaagh as it can smash (and bash) and win a few more games than the Gitz.

But, with the new Battlescroll and the reduction in points for Squig Herd and the Mangler Squig I couldn’t ignore GW’s attempt to make the Gitz playable – so I’ve gone back to them for a second time.

Games Workshop – Battlescroll

I tend to use a lot of Squig Herd models, and this was a significant cost saving for the lads. (100 points for the herd alone). It also meant I could look at an upgrade of my Grot on Giant Squig… (see below)

The List

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance

Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (270)***

Command Trait: Dodgy Character
Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance
Madcap Shaman (80)***
Artefact: Moonface Mommet
Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Madcap Shaman (80)***
Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork

36 x Squig Herd (420)** Reinforced x 2
12 x Squig Herd (140)*
12 x Squig Herd (140)*
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)**
10 x Squig Hoppers (180)**

5 x Boingrot Bounderz (105)
5 x Boingrot Bounderz (105)
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75)
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)***

Core Battalions
*Expert Conquerors
**Bounty Hunters

Additional Enhancements

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 236
Drops: 13

This is similar to the previous list with a few small changes. The first is a reduction in the Boingrot Bounders from 10 models (reinforced units) to 5 models. This frees up 210 points to spend on more Gitz… I’ve gone for 2 Madcap Shamans with Hand of Gork to threaten the backfield of my opponent’s objectives. One of the little chaps also has the Moonface Mommet – effectively giving my Herd -1 rend against one unit each turn – not bad for a little chap.

My other big change, allowed by the reduction in points on Squig Herd, is to swap out the Loonboss on Giant Squig with a Loonboss on Mangler Squig. This allows me to assist all the Squigs in combat – a thing I struggled with at Warhammer World.

Games Workshop via Wahapedia

This turns the Squig Herd into 3+/2+ (with the Marshcrawler) and I won’t be low on command points whilst he is alive. And to help with that he is a ‘Dodgy Character’

Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Not helpful against spells, but he can mostly stay out of the way, or rely on the dispelling rolls of him and his mates. This does mean I lose two benefits in the last army. +3″ movement from the Giant Squig and re-roll random movements. But I think this more than makes up for that. At Warhammer World I didn’t advance far beyond my lines and doing damage was the main issue.

Having avoided ‘bottom Chump’ last time with 2 wins, I’m aiming for 2 wins again, but will be trying for 3! Let’s see if my last tournament of the year can be a fun one.

— Declan & Eeyore