Enter the Sylvaneth!

Looks like a super exciting weekend of Age of Sigmar goodness is coming!

The Everqueen herself, Alarielle, has finally awoken to the abuses of Nurgle, and has brought the forests alive to battle the plaguefather. Something that has kinda been in the background for what feels like an age, but is in fact only a year or so, is now brought to the fore as the Realmgate Wars conclude in explosive style!

Okay, so enough with the hyperbole, this weekend’s pre-orders look ridiculously good. So good, in fact, I may have to start selling organs to fund it all. First of all, it’s Sylvaneth week. We’ve seen releases for these guys back in the day, though it was only a case of re-packing existing kits for sale. Now, we get new kits, with a new Battletome, and all of the usual pomp that comes from these things. I’m really excited by all of this!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

The kits themselves, first of all, look amazing. Starting with the woman of the hour, Alarielle looks fabulous. At £80, of course, she should look pretty amazing! Riding into battle atop a wardroth beetle, that part kinda looks goofy, but it’s the kind of goofiness that we’ve come to know from Age of Sigmar and, I feel, it’s the kind that we now love. She’d look distinctly underwhelming just as an elven lady when put among kits like Archaon and the Maw-krusha, so I guess we knew she’d be riding something, but yeah, I think this one is fine!

Next up is “Drycha Hamadreth“, something that looks like a wooden dreadnought, and follows the main theme for this release, namely of spirits trapped inside trees. Drycha has come a long way since her original model, and while I think this looks the silliest of all the releases we’ve gotten this weekend, I may well end up picking up a box at some point over the summer. I very much want to bulk out my existing Dryad forces (and get round to actually painting my Treeman!) so it’ll be nice to have at least one of everything.

The last single model we have in this release is the Branchwych, which looks very much like a Dryad champion, wielding some kind of scythe. Looks okay, though seems a little weird to see trees wielding weapons.

However, the two army kits from this release also follow this trend, so maybe it isn’t so weird, after all! First up are the Tree Revenants, spirit/trees who have a lot in common with Prince Nuada from Hellboy 2. Part tree and part spirit, they seem to be the new style of infantry soldier for the Sylvaneth army, though hopefully the Dryads will continue to form the backbone of such armies for a long while yet. I do like the look of these guys, though I think I prefer the alternate build of Spite Revenants, who are more malevolent-looking, and merely use their claws rather than actual weapons. Might be nice to have a band of five, just to add a bit of spice to the look of them!

Finally, we have the Kurnoth Hunters, who look to be the elite choice for the army. These guys can be built with swords, bows or with sickle-scythes, but they’re nonetheless trees wielding weapons. As silly as that sounds, I still really like the idea, and have pre-ordered a box as I think it might be nice to get some archers – I’m looking to do an alliance of trees and Stormcast, so I think it could look great to have these guys supporting my Judicators! That said, the sword-wielding option also looks good, so might be worth getting some more for those. We’ll see.

In addition to all of this wooden goodness, we have the Battletome, which features a whole host of army customization options – something I’m particularly excited for is the relics and the “historical battalion”, special rules for a Stormcast/Sylvaneth army. Should be really exciting, that one!

I’m surprised that All-Gates is published as the final tome in the Realmgate Wars series, as I thought they would be just going on forever like this. However, it makes me think Games Workshop is planning to launch a new campaign for the second year of the hobby, which should be really exciting to see!

We also have a new Sylvaneth collection of short stories, and a painting guide, but perhaps the most eagerly-anticipated release of the entire Age of Sigmar line is also up for pre-order this week, the General’s Handbook! Yes, points are coming to the game, which I really don’t find that interesting at all, but it seems that’s going to be the only way that you’ll be able to get a fair game in at your local store. I’m a bit sad, because I really liked the social contract of arranging a game, but obviously most people either can’t or won’t play fairly, so need a framework to constrain themselves. But I do see its value for fair tournaments, so I guess there is that. I’ve volunteered to take part in a local tournament, actually, so I’ll hopefully get some battle reports or whatever written up here in the coming weeks and months…

That looks to be it for the new releases for Age of Sigmar this week, though I think you’ll agree, it’s a pretty bonkers weekend of stuff! I’m really excited for pretty much the whole lot, anyway!

Before I close up this blog, though, I just want to point out that the new Gorechosen boxed game is also up for pre-order this weekend, not due for release until September. I find this really interesting, as they did a similar thing with Lost Patrol. Makes me wonder if the releases of previous games have made them a bit more wary, and they’re testing the waters rather than going for big-splash releases. Execution Force seemed to do extremely poorly, while Betrayal at Calth and Deathwatch Overkill seemed to fare much better overall. Rather than risk holding excess stock, maybe they want to see how popular it would be beforehand? At any rate, I’ll probably get it, though at least this way I can plan ahead somewhat!

Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth

Age of Sigmar, week 6 – and more!

Hey everybody!
The releases just keep coming for Age of Sigmar! Fortunately, we’ve moved into the realms of Chaos now, and while it’s nothing against the models themselves, I’m perfectly fine to sit these out. That said, there is a new book out today!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

The Quest for Ghal Maraz is a lovely book, let me tell you! As you may know, Ghal Maraz is the name of Sigmar’s warhammer – the weapon that gave its name to the entire game line – was lost during the end of the world-that-was, so the Stormcast Eternals are dispatched to find it once more. I’ve flicked through the tome, and I’ve got to say, it’s really impressive. So many people write off these big hardcover books for being of little value to the game, but the fact of the matter is, these books are beautiful. The artwork is awesome, and the dioramas of miniatures are truly spectacular. The content is also pretty great, meaning the sum is well worth it. Of course, everybody is different, but I’m a fan, and will no doubt keep buying these things as long as Games Workshop keep pumping them out!

This might sound a bit weird, but the book actually feels like one of those Annuals types of books you might have had as a kid, with some sort of overarching story, some fact-file type things with character profiles and whatnot, and some things for you to do – in this case, the battle plans and painting guides. It’s actually a lot of fun when you look at it, anyway! The book ends with a series of warscrolls for you to use in your battles. The majority of these warscrolls are basically those we’ve already seen – the Stormcast Eternals and the Chaos guys from the last book are reproduced in their entirety, alongside which we have those for the new Paladins, and the new Chaos lord that’s up for preorder this week, who you can see on the cover of this week’s White Dwarf.

Indeed, the theme for this week’s Dwarf is very much Chaos, particularly Chaos re-boxings. Continuing last week’s Skaven re-boxings (which are available today, of course), we’re now getting more Nurgle-centric releases, including the fabulously-disgusting Glottkin model from the End Times. Beautiful! All of these re-packaged models have warscrolls in the book, of course, but will henceforth come with them in their box, also. Chaos – and, specifically, Nurgle – is strong in this issue, with an extensive look at the Khorne army that has grown considerably since the Age of Sigmar starter set, and an article exploring the Nurgle/Skaven alliance. This is something that feels completely natural, to the extent that now we see it, I wonder why it hasn’t happened sooner.

So I’m still a little concerned by the fact we’ve not had the Prosecutors box yet, in fact I’m starting to wonder if we’ll even be getting one. Hopefully, of course, we’ll get the winged beauties as part of a second wave of Stormcast Eternals that includes even more wonderful models – time will tell!

Anyway!

What else I’ve been up to this week

As a sort of celebration of a year of painting miniatures, I’ve been slowly working on some Sylvaneth Dryads that were picked up last week. Beautiful models, let me get that out there right now. I was worried they’d be horrendous to put together, but they’re actually pretty straightforward. I’m following the Winter scheme that was put out in the How to Paint Citadel Miniatures ebook, helped immeasurably by the very wonderful Roemer’s Workshop, and I have to say, I’m really impressed with the results!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Sylvaneth Dryads

I’ve actually cheated somewhat here, and drybrushed the highlights rather than layering them, but the effect, I feel, is just as good. I also haven’t gone for the glow effect with the eyes, but I think they look just fine without it. I’m particularly pleased with the frozen-ground effect, as I was worried it wouldn’t look that good, but has turned out pretty much exactly as I’d hoped! So I’m going to get some more of these guys built up soon, though I’m currently involved in getting my Stormcast Eternals finished from the starter box. It is six weeks since this thing came out, after all…!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

And finally…

I’ve been reading The Curse of Khaine, the third novel in the End Times series that came out in November last year. Of course, I’ve read the first two – Nagash and Fall of Altdorf – and thoroughly enjoyed them both, but stalled over Christmas and hadn’t read a Warhammer novel since. It’s really nice to get back into that world, however, even though I now know how the End Times end!

The story is pretty decent, nowhere near as good as Fall of Altforf, which remains one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time. It’s pretty much a character-study of the dark elf Malekith as he pursues his quest to become the Phoenix King, seen as his birthright since his father, Aenarion, held the title. Malekith is now a very old guy – I think 6000 years old is given as his age, though I could be mistaken – and as such, he has periods where he lapses into memories of the past. This is an interesting aside to the pacing of the novel at first, but does get a little annoying as time goes on. Purely a personal thing, but still – pages-long reminiscences can be interesting to build character, but they keep coming throughout the whole book, and it did feel like it threw things off.

End Times Khaine

The novel accompanied the fluff/crunch release of Khaine, a model that the new Age of Sigmar campaign books seem to be streamlining. Breathtaking collections of Citadel miniatures sit alongside fantastic artwork to tell the story of the battles on Ulthuan as Malekith attempts to re-take his birthright. The hardback fluff book is akin to a historical non-fiction book, and tells the full story of the war – as such, it’s almost the perfect companion piece to the novel.

All in all, this has been a pretty decent week!

Now bring me my Prosecutors, dammit!