Age of Sigmar, week 9

Nine weeks of shiny awesome! It’s certainly been one hell of a ride so far, and while I am a bit fraught about how much is being added to my pile of plastic (more later), at least this week has only seen one new model released for the Stormcast Eternals range. But oh, what a model…

Age of Sigmar Celestant-Prime

The Celestant-Prime is the first Stormcast Eternal made by Sigmar, but has only been reanimated following the successful recovery of Ghal Maraz. Consequently, he is only now able to lead the Stormhosts into battle. Something of a Warhammer Frankenstein, then, among a whole legion of similar, the model is a little bit goofy, I can’t help but say. I love the actual body of the guy, his armour looks immense. The wings I can kinda live with, as I love my Prosecutors, even if the Celestant-Prime makes them pale by comparison. The celestial orrery thing that swirls around his feet looks interesting, though could turn into a nightmare to paint. But the whole ensemble just looks faintly silly.

Fortunately, the sprues look like this model should be fairly straightforward to assemble. I’m not yet sure when assembly will begin, though I have some time off work coming up at the end of the month, so may save myself for that. We’ll see. Of course, the weapon options are the most exciting thing here, as we finally have a Ghal Maraz that looks as kickass as we’ve been repeatedly told it is – plus, the fact that both it and the comestrike sceptre come in two¬†poses means we can, potentially, have another warrior wield Sigmar’s famous hammer.¬† I think I mentioned last week that I bought this model principally for the hilarity factor, but having now seen the upcoming releases, I really wish I’d saved my money…

Upcoming Stuff

Next weekend finally sees the release I’ve been waiting for, along with so many other exciting bits and pieces, I was eagerly refreshing the webstore this morning in a manner I haven’t seen since the End Times hardcover releases. First up, we’re finally getting the Prosecutor kits I’ve been dying to get my hands on! Only two different weapon options – paired warhammers as in the starter box, or javelin-and-shield combos that look super-awesome!

Age of Sigmar Prosecutors

I think I love these shields most because they remind me of Ancient Greece so much. Longtime readers may recall I’m currently doing a part-time degree in Classics, and the round shield is strongly reminiscent of the hoplite shield – indeed, while it is meant to be a lighter version specifically designed for the winged Prosecutors to carry, I’m actually considering using them on a new squad of Liberators, just to get that Ancient Greek vibe for a unit…

Something else that I really, really love about these guys is that Trident guy. Let’s just take another look at this guy from the video:

Age of Sigmar Prosecutors

I mean, how amazing is this guy?! Aside from the fact that the Sons of Mallus black paintscheme looks incredible, that weapon just looks like too much awesome! I’m definitely doing this. I’ve already pre-ordered two boxes of these guys in order to do a whole host of wonderful things, but this is definitely going to happen at least once in my unit…

The Prosecutor kit has a real good selection of other weapon choices, and it doesn’t take an eagle-eye to realise that most of them are recycled from earlier kits. The paired warhammers, okay those are the options in the starter set. We’ve also got something called a Stormcall Javelin, which is basically a shorter blade than the Stormstrike Glaive from the Paladin kit. The special weapons are the Grandblade from the Liberator kit; the Grandaxe that is a Thunderaxe in the Paladin kit, and a Grandhammer that looks like that from the Liberator kit without the scroll hanging from it. There are also two separately-available character models with wings releasing (more shortly), one of which has a Judicator Skybolt Bow. I’m expecting all of this to lead to some disparaging remarks about design-laziness and the like, but it is actually addressed in this week’s White Dwarf as a fantastic way to swap out weapons among your units. See, the Prosecutors, Judicators and Liberators all have the same torso, so you can do all manner of customising on your guys to get a really interesting strike force going on. I’ve already mentioned the possibility of arming Liberators with the round shields; I’m also thinking I might give some Prosecutors a Liberator Warblade combo, and see where that takes me. It also means the army will have some really nice uniformity as it begins to come together. I think Prosecutors, with their massive wings going on there, are potentially the most weird unit released, and as such could look the most out-of-place in your army, but by adding this layer of uniformity, it helps to pull everyone together. So I’m a big fan!

There are, as mentioned, two character models coming out next weekend: the Knight-Azyros and the Knight-Venator. These guys look amazing, and could be a lot of fun to build a unit of Prosecutors around, rather than just the Prosecutor-Prime. The Knight-Azyros wields a sword and lantern combo, and while the lantern of the Lord-Castellant is closed, this new iteration is open and blazing, with rules that allow you to sear every enemy within 8″ with the light of Sigmar. Nice! The Knight-Venator is something of a sniper model, using his Realmhunter’s Bow (a Judicator bow with some additional detailing) to strike from afar. He comes with a Star-eagle swooping low around his feet, which I feel is a really nice touch, though I have seen the odd comment online dismissing it. I think the model looks like a fantastic centrepiece-style kit, anyway, particularly when you see it in the colourscheme of the Celestial Vindicators, above.

But that’s not all – we’re also getting Upgrade Kits!

Oh my goodness, I’m excited for these out of all proportion. Two separate kits, providing shield options and pauldron variants, I’m thinking I might want to try out some new units with these guys attached. In particular, the Knights Excelsior look pretty fabulous, and while I’ve heard white is a very difficult colour to pull off, I’m really considering giving it a try…

Age of Sigmar Knights Excelsior

But that’s not all – we’re also getting an Army Book Codex Battletome!

This is a very interesting development, as I’m sure I’d heard mention back when Age of Sigmar began that they weren’t going to be producing these kinds of things. Warscrolls have been free in White Dwarf as well as in with the models themselves, of course, and the campaign books that have been coming out have featured all of the scrolls up to date, so it looked like that would be the established format. But now we have this – it looks like more than a Codex, which is pretty exciting, and it also looks like it might be setting the stage for what is to come by having the “Order Battletome” emblazoned on the cover. We’ll see if we get a “Destruction Battletome” that features the Ogres, then…

It’s also pretty exciting as I’m going to assume that it will be featuring all of the range of the Stormcast Eternals among its 17 warscrolls – so the end really must be in sight! A brief count puts the warscrolls we’ve had to date at 15, so paired with this week’s tease in White Dwarf, we can assume we’re getting just two more models and then the range will be complete. And my wallet can breathe a sigh of relief! The tease, incidentally, hints at a musician and a standard-bearer option for the Stormcast Eternals – presumably Liberator models – that has been floating around the internets for a few days or so now.

I’m excited to see the end of the Stormcast Eternal release window, which might sound a bit weird at first glance, but being a collector at heart, I’m excited to have some breathing space where I can finish building up my models, get them painted, and then see the entire war-host without thinking “there’s still x to get…” It’s been a whole shed-load of fun, and I’m excited for future releases down the line (I’m thinking next year, now), but for now, it’s really nice to think that my army will be very nearly done.

What I’ve been up to this week

I had another very productive weekend over the bank holiday, where I got the Liberators I’d started last week pretty much finished:

Age of Sigmar Liberators

I’ve now moved on to five more Judicators, this time with boltstorm crossbows:

No actual undercoat has been applied to these yet, though I am looking forward to trying something darker on the weapons this time. As with any army project I suppose, the more models you add to it, the more the scheme comes together, but the more everyone begins to look the same, so I feel a real need to make some stand-out differences where I can.

Unfortunately I feel a bit like I’ve come up against a brick wall with the painting, having had two very productive weekends recently. Fatally, I tidied up the painting space in order to play a very exciting boardgame that is getting the first-look treatment on Tuesday, and I haven’t really been in the mood to put it all back to continue painting. Maybe in the next couple of days I’ll be inspired once more.

For all of this, anyway, I am actually feeling very pleased with my Stormhost right now. The Lions of Sigmar are steadily coming together, and I’m looking forward to finally trying the actual game out! But more than anything, I feel like all of this concentrated painting activity had really helped to hone my painting skills, and I’m feeling much more confident when I tackle the filigree bits like the raised detail on the pauldrons and shields. Progress with my Ogres hasn’t been as steady as I’d like, having been distracted by the Liberators last weekend, and I still have a sizeable number of Necrons waiting for something to finish them all off, so I definitely have my work cut out for me! Hopefully I’ll get everything finished off and beautiful over the course of the month, before my degree starts up again early in October and I’m back to having hobby-time somewhat curtailed.

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar, week 8

Wow – it’s happening, folks! Even though I’d heard about this at my local store last week, I’m still a bit surprised that this is really a thing! The Celestant-Prime is coming out next weekend, and it looks hilarious. A massive Lord-Celestant with enormous wings, and of course – Ghal Maraz!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

The Lord-Celestant part of the model looks just fantastic – the armour looks superb, with all those details like the comet on the shoulder pads, the lightning-bolt buckle, it all just looks amazing. The wings are a little too goofy for my liking, I think the attempt to make them more imposing than a Prosecutor but not having them out wide has left it looking a little, well, weird.

It’s really fun to see Ghal Maraz finally in a Warhammer figure – I mean, it really is the iconic weapon of Games Workshop. I mean, it’s a subjective thing, but the hammer in the Valten kit just doesn’t look as badass as this chap. The cometstrike sceptre is another awesome-looking weapon, which has a pretty amazing mechanic – allowing you to pull a comet from the heavens and hurl it onto the battlefield.

All that swirling stuff at his feet is perhaps what seems most, well, goofy to me. All that gunk actually provides the model with the ability to change one roll to the result of your choice. Jeez! There’s no Paint Splatter in this week’s White Dwarf, though we do get a short piece on how to paint this mystical swirling energy.

This week’s White Dwarf has a great look at the Hallowed Knights – which is the silver colourscheme you can see on the chap in the forefront here:

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I’ve been enjoying these little bits of lore they feature in the magazine, it’s really nice to see that narrative sort of thing being pushed in line with the narrative focus of the game.

The week in review

This week I’ve been mainly finishing off the Judicator models I started the previous weekend.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

I’m really quite pleased with how these guys have come out, I must say! Very much worthy additions to my Lions of Sigmar, at any rate! I’ve been wanting to use my second box to get some more done with the crossbows, but instead I’ve started to work on yet more Liberators!

I’ve built these guys up with the warblades, as I’d wanted to get these done since getting the box. They look pretty badass, and that chap with the grandblade looks particularly nice. As we have a long weekend, I’m thinking I might build up a couple more – those guys with paired warhammers could also be fun. We’ll see what happens.

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On with the #EndTimes! #Warhammer #skaven

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I also finished reading The Rise of the Horned Rat this week, the fourth novel in the End Times series. At first, I didn’t really like this – Skaven just annoy me. But as the novel wore on – actually, within just a couple of chapters – I really came to like it. The novel features the battle between the Skaven, the Goblins and the Dwarves at Karak Eight Peaks, and it was a whole lot of fun. Something I particularly liked was the way each race feels different through not just the manner of speech and such, but the very narrative itself. So the Dwarves are very stoic and so on, the Skaven are pretty chaotic, and the Goblins are just mad. It created a nice effect!

I’ve found Goblins hilarious for a long time, and it was a lot of fun to read those parts of the novel that featured Skarsnik, the Goblin King. As with the established tradition here, the author, Guy Healey, is also the man responsible for a previous novel featuring a protagonist, having already penned the Warhammer Legends novel Skarsnik, along with novellas set in the same region. Anyway, it was a good read – perhaps not quite on a par with Fall of Altdorf, but still well worth reading.

From what I can tell, the actual story of the End Times is now resumed: following the Return of Nagash, we have the Fall of Altdorf while, simultaneously, the Curse of Khaine and Rise of the Horned Rat take place in other parts of the Old World, so are almost branching-off from the timeline. But we’re back on track with the fifth and final novel, The Lord of the End Times!

I’ve since started reading the climactic book, but haven’t really gotten very far. Hopefully next weekend will get there!

Looking ahead

The tease at the end of White Dwarf mentions “Death from the Skies”, which I’m really hoping means we’re finally going to be seeing the Prosecutors, but at this late stage of the game, who really knows! Every rumour I’ve been reading seems to be pointing to the Age of Sigmar releases winding down now, and (possibly) Tau coming up next. In a way, I’m looking forward to this, as I really need to take a break from buying models! I’ve ordered a Celestant-Prime purely for the hilarity factor, though I am kinda looking forward to having a real centrepiece model – of all the stuff I’ve been painting, I don’t actually have anything that’s really big. But I do want to get ahead with those kits I already have – I mean, I haven’t even touched the two Paladins boxes I have yet…

So let’s see what happens next week! Fingers crossed for Prosecutors…

Warhammer Age of Sigmar