So this went up over the weekend, and it seems all hell broke lose across the internet, between long-time Tomb King players feeling like Games Workshop had given them the hard end of the stick, and folks pretty much like myself, who had always wanted to start a Tomb Kings army but had never quite gotten round to it. Within hours, things started selling out completely on the website, and at the time of this writing, there are just a few bulk-type things left for sale.
As I said, I’ve always wanted to start a Tomb Kings army, but a combination of being distracted by other models, and a little nervousness over so many fragile-looking skeletons has always put me off. Seeing them go has prompted a bit of nostalgia in me, so I thought I’d take some time today to write a bit of a rambling blog about all of this.
A Warhammer Story
I’m not sure if I’ve talked much about this on my blog in the past, but I still think of myself as pretty new to this Warhammer lark. It’s an IP that I’ve always had some sort of awareness of, but have always been a bit reluctant to delve into properly – having always been a huge Star Wars fan, I have felt there isn’t enough room in my head for two big IPs! So for a long time, I was on the outside looking in, always fleetingly.
Then in 2010 or 2011 I bought into a card game called Warhammer: Invasion. It’s a Fantasy Flight LCG that was discontinued back in 2014, set in the Old World and featuring the usual dwarves, orcs and elves. I’d recently gotten heavily into the Lord of the Rings game, and bought this as a bit of light relief, but enjoyed it so much that I snapped everything up, and started devouring everything I could get for it.
The reason why my eye had been drawn to it was this artwork:
There was something about that Slann Mage Priest that really intrigued me! This art adorns the box for a deluxe expansion called March of the Damned, which introduced new factions to the game, Vampire Counts and Lizardmen. Around this time, there was a thread on the official forums asking what other factions people would like to see, and Tomb Kings really stood out to me as an intriguing name. I mean, I knew what to expect from Ogres and the like, but was interested to see what these things could be.
I’ve long been interested in Ancient Egypt, and Tomb Kings draw heavily on that aesthetic. Or, more the kind of Hammer Horror-esque The Mummy and that ilk. While there are of course legions of skeletons that wield weapons, the characters were all bandage-wrapped horrors, though the overall look is really very appealing to me. I think the idea of the undead with all that gold on them is what really drew me in!
But I never bought them.
As a kid, I remember one Christmas having a model spitfire as a present, and my older brother had a model messerschmitt. While he managed to put it together, and I seem to remember him painting it and adding transfers and all sorts, I was deeply dissatisfied because it wouldn’t go together like a Lego set. I was about 5 at the time, I should add! But I always remember the failure with this airplane, so when I was one those fringes of Warhammer, I was forever thinking of my lack of modelling skills.
When I eventually got into Warhammer models themselves, back in the summer of 2014, I moved almost instantly to 40k, a game I never thought I’d play, and went through a series of Necron kits – Necrons being space Tomb Kings in all but name, of course. When it came to collecting models for Fantasy (as it was still called then), I actually bought Ogres (and Lizardmen, but we won’t talk about them…) Tomb Kings were still not on my radar.
Throughout all this time, which saw me collecting space skeletons, Tomb Kings still somehow scared me. In writing this blog, I think I’ve finally realised why: rank and file. Looking at the pictures on the website of all those models ranked up with their bows and their spears and their goodness-knows what else, I think a little bit of 5-year-old me resurfaced, and I lacked the patience to put something together that looked just far too fiddly.
Age of Sigmar came out and I was bowled over by the Sigmarines, and it’s taken the withdrawal of the entire range to finally get me to invest in the models!
So I’ve finally taken the leap and have bought a decent amount of models – by my rough estimate, 202 wounds of the buggers – that I really can’t wait to turn into my next army! I’m still hoping I can get myself a Battalion box, another, what, 61 wounds right there! I guess we’ll see how the rest of the month progresses.
As a postscript, this is my 399th post on this here blog, and the 400th is right around the corner! It’s a little something that I’m looking forward to starting, anyway, so stay tuned!