The Burning of Prospero!

Oh my goodness, this thing sounds fabulous!

We’ve been hearing the rumours of this coming out for a good few weeks now, with the leaked cover of November’s White Dwarf showing us what we can expect from the much-wanted follow-up to last year’s Betrayal at Calth. But now, it’s here! Well, it’s at least in our sights! And it looks amazing!

Well, first of all we have thirty Mk III Space Marines, which I’m not entirely as excited by as the Mk IV, but they do still kinda look cool. In fact, they are kinda growing on me. Of course, it’s not the main draw here!

Burning of Prospero

I think these chaps look fantastic, and definitely one of the major draws for me. Being a Stormcast Eternals fan, of course, I suppose it’s no surprise, but these guys do look great. Looking forward to seeing the sprues for these guys, as I hope they can be posed into some really cool-looking miniatures!

Burning of Prospero

Of course, the Sisters of Silence do look pretty awesome, though I’m hoping they can all be outfitted with helmets, as I do prefer that look to them…

Burning of Prospero

Finally, I love that Ahriman model, and kinda wish the two special characters from Betrayal at Calth could have been more Legion-specific. But I suppose maybe this is to support the forthcoming Thousand Sons line we’re hopefully getting

Indeed, hopefully this box will be a portent of some awesome things to come – a full Adeptus Custodes line, the Sisters of Silence leading into the much hoped-for plastic Adepta Sororitas! Well… who the hell knows…

All I can say is, I’m getting at least one of these bad boys!

Tomb Kings extravaganza!

Tomb Kings

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:

Warhammer Invasion

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!

New Year, New Sigmar!

Hey everybody!
Things have gotten very exciting today, with the first look at the new faction for Age of Sigmar: Fyreslayers! Essentially the same as the Dwarf Slayers from the original Warhammer Fantasy line, I thought these models looked a little bit silly when the spoilers were being leaked last week, but having now read through this week’s White Dwarf, I think I’m coming round to the idea.

Age of Sigmar Fyreslayers

Of all the changes that were made to the Old World when Age of Sigmar was launched back last summer, it seems the Slayers have survived almost intact. New sculpts they may be, but they’re still basically near-naked, muscly little men with big beards and mohawks. It’s an iconic look, and while a lot has been said of Games Workshop wishing to branch away from their 80s look into something much more unique, I nevertheless like the fact that we’ve still got this style of dwarf in the game.

Age of Sigmar Fyreslayers

So there are three new kits on pre-order this week: Vulkite Berzerkers, Hearthguard Berzerkers, and  the Auric Runemaster. The first of these appears to be something of a generic troop-choice style of kit, with ten miniatures that can be assembled with a choice of three different weapons options. Reminds me a little of the Liberators kit. They do look a little silly with their twin axes, leaping into battle, but again, it’s an iconic image that I feel Age of Sigmar is all the better for having. One of the weapons options is for a throwing-shield and war pick, which seems like a hilarious combination! I was initially hesitant about getting more models, but after reflecting, I think these could be a lot of fun to do, despite my lack of experience in painting skin, so I’m considering getting a box and kitting them out with that combo.

The Hearthguard appears more like an elite choice, with two distinct ways to build them – either with axes that trail some kind of magical, flaming flail (the Hearthguard Berzerkers), or with some kind of dragon-headed bazooka (Auric Hearthguard). I’m not yet convinced to get this kit, though the latter option does hold some appeal for me. As for the Runemaster, well he looks fine, but again, I don’t really feel all that enamoured of paying £18 for a character model.

Something that feels really exciting is that this week’s White Dwarf features a foldout panorama of the entire Fireslayer range. We still don’t know what gloriously silly names some of these chaps will have, but it’s kinda cool to see everything at once like this. Makes me wonder if the Battletome will be out sooner rather than later, as happened with the Stormcast Eternals. So in addition to all of these axe-wielding chaps, there’s also some kind of standard bearer, and of course the Chinese Dragon-style creatures. Maybe more – it’s difficult to distinguish new kits from alternate builds en masse like this. For the record, I’m almost certainly buying one of those dragon-type monsters!

Age of Sigmar Fyreslayers

Seeing all of these chaps has gotten me thinking, this more than any other time really, just how exciting the Age of Sigmar universe actually is. It’s a criticism I see leveled at the setting more and more by embittered 8th-edition players and fans, who are clearly sad to have seen the Old World end as it did, and see nothing of the richness in the new setting. Obvious rebuttals about the years that the previous iteration of Warhammer had to bed-in aside, it’s actually incredibly untrue. Sure, on the face of it, the idea of warrior souls being magically transferred into metal suits to go fight for Sigmar by using magical gates to move between worlds can seem a little goofy and all the rest of it, and if you’re not prepared to look any further then it’s no wonder you don’t see that depth. But the ‘New Old World’ still has a lot of depth and vibrancy to it, and as we see this new incarnation of Dwarf Slayers added to the world, a whole load of mythology is added on to provide that. Agreed, most of this mythology is pretty much grafted from the “world-that-was”, but it opens up so many more worlds and avenues for exploration that I am utterly confounded to see dismissed as often as it is.

I’m going to stop this rant before it becomes something else, anyway!

Suffice it to say, there’s some interesting new stuff on the way next week, and for a few weeks hence as well, it seems!

Age of Sigmar Fyreslayers

Games Workshop in 2015

Hey everybody,
It’s a two-for-one here at spalanz.com today, as I present another retrospective over 2015, this time looking at the beautiful plastic pumped out by Games Workshop! A controversial year, some might say, but we’ll get to that all in good time. Inspired by the article in last week’s White Dwarf, I thought I’d present my top five favourite miniatures here (as well as sending them in to Nottingham), so without further ado, let’s get started!

5. Age of Sigmar – pretty much everything, but specifically – Liberators
So let’s get this out there right away – Age of Sigmar made a lot of people upset and angry, as it wiped the Old World from existence with the End Times, and replaced it with a setting that still feels a little muddled. While I mourn the loss of the original Fantasy setting, I absolutely love the new Stormcast Eternal models, having been excited by them like I have been for nothing else I can think of in a long time. The Liberators are essentially tactical marines in a fantasy setting, but the kit is just a wonderful collection of bits that you can assemble into some really cool-looking stuff. Even those from the starter set were amazing, specifically the Liberator-prime, swinging his warhammer high above his head… Seriously epic stuff!

And here he is, finished! #Warhammer #AgeOfSigmar

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4. Adeptus Mechanicus – Fulgurite Electro Priests
2015 was a crazy year for Warhammer 40k, with some pretty unexpected releases, including a plastic Mechanicus range. While I haven’t yet sampled any of these guys, I’m continually drawn to the box of Electro Priests when at my local store. While the consensus seems to be that they’re not particularly great in-game, they nevertheless look fantastic – I’m particularly drawn to the bandaged-eyes look, for some strange reason. No doubt soon I’ll cave and buy a box, and somehow attempt to ally them with my Space Marines, for no better reason than they look so intriguing. But definitely a great-looking model, right there!

3. Khorne Bloodthirster
Oddly, this third slot was the most difficult of the five to fill. There are so many great releases that I’d wanted to put here, but somehow none of them managed to match the sheer awesome presence of this guy. Sure, the new Archaon model is pretty spectacular, but seems too much somehow. The Bloodthirster has just the right amount of daemonic presence, in my book, to make it a worthy third-place. I don’t have one, and doubt I will get one, but I can’t help admiring the model as a truly great piece of crafting. My personal favourite of the three options has to be that of Insensate Rage, with the massive double-handed axe.

2. Horus Heresy – Betrayal at Calth – specifically, Kurtha Sedd
Another huge release for the year, plastic Horus Heresy had people in a froth pretty much since the year began. The rumours appeared quashed when the Mechanicus range arrived earlier in the year, but November finally brought us the boxed game, Betrayal at Calth. Pitting the Word Bearers against the Ultramarines, I was trying to resist until I saw a series of unboxing videos, and specifically, the chaplain figure of Kurtha Sedd. There’s just something about that look that has me really enamoured of the whole thing, and sure enough, when I got round to assembling the first minis from the box, it was this chap I put together first.

Plastic Heresy seems to be here to stay, and I find myself hoping that we get a lot more top-quality miniatures along these lines over the coming months and years!

1. Age of Sigmar – Prosecutors
If you followed my Summer of Sigmar over, well, the summer, you’ll no doubt remember I was a huge fan of the Prosecutor models. The models are just fantastic – the starter set models were amazing (the Prosecutor-prime being a truly beautiful piece), while the multi-part kits blew me away with the awesome array of bits and whatnot. There’s a distinct majesty here with the unfolded wings that models like the Celestant-prime, and even the Knight-Azyros can’t quite match. My personal favourite of the build-options is that with stormcall javelins and sigmarite shields, the latter in particular evoking ancient Greece, always a favourite.

I love these new #Prosecutors #StormcastEternals #Warhammer #AgeOfSigmar

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So there are my top five! I’ll shortly be emailing these off to Games Workshop – you’ve got until midnight on Sunday to do the same! What do you all think of my choices? Are you disgusted with my lack of Imperial Knights? Let me know in the comments!

Heresy!

Well, seeing the tsunami of news about the upcoming Horus Heresy game from Games Workshop hitting the internet recently, I thought I’d write some thoughts here to add to the rest of the chatter scattered around the web!

GW seem to be really cagey about the whole thing. Despite all the recent leaks, they’ve otherwise been pretty tight-lipped. A 30k plastic miniatures game was rumoured much earlier in the year, but then we got the Adeptus Mechanicus, and everything seemed to lapse back into the realm of plastic Sisters of Battle – that is to say, “probably never coming”.

I won’t go into the fluff of the Horus Heresy here – instead, I’d recommend this video as a useful primer, also a pretty good game from Fantasy Flight! Suffice it to say, it takes place ten thousand years before the timeline of Warhammer 40k, and deals with a Space Marine civil war where several legions broke away and rebelled against the Emperor. As such, the idea of this game has always appeared to be very claustrophobic, insofar as it only deals with space marines rather than the more vibrant tapestry of xenos battles in the 41st millennium.

I’ve been reading a lot on the rumour site Bell of Lost Souls, which of course traffics in minor tidbits repeated often. However, we’re now seeing lots of pictures from next week’s White Dwarf, showing the upcoming release to be a board game much in the spirit of Space Hulk or Assassinorum: Execution Force. However, the miniatures appear fully intended as tabletop wargaming pieces, and not merely nice components for the boardgame. The current rumours point to a full 30k plastic range coming from Games Workshop in the new year.

Of course, Forge World already have a Horus Heresy range, and this has led to some conflicting reports about compatibility. I think the last thing I’d heard was that the two games would not be compatible, though there has been some talk of the game being almost interchangeable with the current 40k. But that may just have been the minis. Generally, it’s a very confused picture right now! I guess we’ll know more with this weekend’s White Dwarf.

At any rate, I’m currently conflicted by the whole thing. I’m largely intimidated by the price tag, rumoured to be at £95, which makes it one of the most expensive boxed games I’ve ever encountered! The contents have been estimated at much higher than that, of course, so it does actually represent a good saving – and in plastic, too – but I don’t know if I want to get that many marines in one go. I’ve recently begun building a space marine army, but I currently have a whole load of models, which means I don’t currently feel a need to add more. Further down the line, it might be of use, but I don’t know.

Horus Heresy

For now, I’m going to wait and see. I want to get into 40k at my local stores, so I think I’ll see how well it goes down there and base my decision on that as to whether I throw some money in. Not the most exciting response, I have to say, but it’s the best I have right now!

What about you? Are you excited for this release? Planning to buy a couple of these boxes? What are your thoughts?

Age of Sigmar, week 10

Hey everybody,
It’s time for winged fury as we arrive in the tenth week of Age of Sigmar releases!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar

This weekend is the one I’ve been waiting for since that first week of July, when I saw the painting video for the Prosecutors and just fell in love with those models. This weekend is pretty big – in fact, it’s been the most expensive for strictly new models so far, I think! We’ve got the new Prosecutor box, which has so many awesome bits and pieces I feel light headed to think about it, alongside the Knight Azyros kit, which can be built also as a Knight Venator. Got to be honest, I didn’t realise they were the same kit when I made my pre-order, but instead just snapped up both, envisaging a clampack-style character for each. But hey, it means I’ll get a spare phoenix – sorry, star eagle – to do something with…

The upgrade packs are exactly that, upgrade packs, but perhaps the most interesting release this weekend is the battletome for the Stormcast Eternals. Is it a codex/army book? Well, the answer is a resounding “kinda” – it has the warscrolls for the entire range, along with the battalion lists, and some history fluff along with some wonderful artwork and awesome miniatures photography. There are also battle plans, which I feel are recycled but may not be, and the four-page rules that have now made it into every Age of Sigmar book published for the game. However, the feel of it is much less like the codex that we were perhaps expecting, perhaps because we’ve already seen the warscrolls before. Instead, it keeps that feel of being very much like a kids’ annual from back in the day – something I mean in the very best possible way. There are the rules for your game, there are even some scenarios to play through, and there’s all the fluff you could ever want. There are also paint schemes to try, and it comes across more as a sort of toybox of awesome that I’m actually really excited to have, and to read through at my leisure, regardless of whether I’ve had some of it before. It’s by no means super-necessary if you’ve kept up with White Dwarf, but it’s certainly nice to have.

Next Week!

Next week looks like it’ll be the final week of the Stormcast Eternals releases, with just two models to finish off the army. The Knight Heraldor, trumpet in hand, and the Knight Vexillor, carrying the banner aloft. I feel like these are nice throwbacks to the Warhammer Fantasy era of battles, where standard bearers and musicians can affect the morale of your unit or an enemy unit. It’s good to see them having a nice effect in-game, although such effects are only once per game. The Knight Heraldor can blow on his sigmarite trumpet to cause buildings to collapse – scenery itself isn’t damaged, but models close to it will potentially be wounded or killed. The Knight Vexillor can call down a comet onto the battlefield to smite the opponents of order in a similar fashion to the Celestant-Prime, although there is the option of building him with a pennant rather than the full-blown banner. which can serve as the eye of a vortex that will transport friendly units anywhere on the battlefield, the wind then causing your foe to take wounds somehow. It all sounds quite nice for add-on effects, and while I was initially surprised that they are separate models – whereas their Fantasy forebears have been options within a unit kit – they do seem to be suitably grand.

The Heraldor looks a bit weird, having the half-mask that enables him to blow the trumpet and all, though I like how he’s been made to fit in with the rest of the line, particularly the Lord-Celestant with the cloak-hammers. The Vexillor has been a bit of a let-down, if I’m honest – the Retributor armour makes him look a bit too bulky, and the standard itself seems a bit odd in comparison. I feel that Khorne has all the good banners! I’m definitely going for the pennant option, as it looks more in-balance with the rest of him.

My week

I haven’t actually done any painting last week, but have moved on to something that I’m pretty excited about – scenery! Yes, I’m not entirely sure what possessed me, but I’ve built both the Ophidian Archway and Numinous Occulum, as well as finally putting the Lord-Relictor together from the starter set.

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I love this #AgeOfSigmar stuff!

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The Lord-Relictor does look vaguely silly, I can’t deny, but I’ve done all of the others, so I might as well put him together as well. The scenery is something that I’m very excited to see, as I’ve never done anything like this before! The archway was actually really easy to assemble, being just an archway and two side-pieces. I think the rules for it are pretty hilarious, though, which could have been part of my motivation there – basically, a hero close to the arch can attempt to bring to life the dragon-beast on the stone, and if he fails, it’ll eat him! The Occulum looks amazing, but was an absolute bear to assemble, unfortunately. It also suffers a lot with gaps, so I’ve tried my hand with greenstuff for the first time ever. I’m not entirely convinced by my results, but it’s better than having those dreadful holes in the model! I actually published a more in-depth review over on tumblr yesterday – check it out here!

You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that I also finished reading the Lord of the End Times! The fifth novel in the series sees the world torn asunder, as Archaon the Everchosen overwhelms Middenheim with the massed forces of Chaos in order to awaken an artifact of destruction. Will the massed Incarnates of Magic be able to stop him? Well – spoiler alert – they won’t. If you were any kind of Warhammer fan, you’ll know that the End Times were exactly that when the storyline finished back in May this year, as the Fantasy world was basically annihilated. I hadn’t realised how literal this was – knowing the ending, I became intrigued as to how the story would actually play out, and the answer was, not how I expected. The artifact under Middenheim was a bit deux-ex-machina-esque, admittedly, and a lot of the novel swung between periods where nobody did much of anything, and what can be described as someone’s attempt to storify their latest tabletop wargame. To some extent, I feel bad for any author saddled with writing the apotheosis to a fantasy world as rich and vibrant as this. A lot of big names were brought back only to be killed off – Sigvald, I’m looking at you – while others were thrown in almost at random – Neferata in the epilogue? Why? However, it was still great to see some of them – even Grombindal made his appearance, which was nice!

The novel ends with more than a glimmer of hope and, knowing what we do now about Age of Sigmar’s lore, it actually makes a whole ton of sense. Hindsight is wonderful, after all. So while I enjoyed the first two entries, the final three were a little too clunky for me, and while I would never dissuade anyone from them, I can’t really say you should expect much.

So, I’ve got some models to build and paint. What do you all think of the Stormcast Eternal range now we’re approaching the final models? Love them? Do you disagree the standard bearer looks weird? How about the fifth End Times novel? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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:

It's boltstorm crossbow time! #Warhammer #AgeOfSigmar #StormcastEternals #Judicators

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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