Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 11

Last weekend saw the long-awaited release of new plastic squigs from Games Workshop. Formerly part of the Orcs and Goblins range these crazy little beasts have now found a home amongst the Gloomspite Gits, a re-imagining of the old night gobbos in the Mortal Realms. As a long-standing fan of greenskins in general and squigs in particular it’s fair to say that I’ve been looking forward to this release since long before the models were even sculpted, let alone announced. Having got my hands on them* I wanted to take the opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding my early impressions – illustrated with a few moody and atmospheric black and white images to compensate for the fact that I haven’t painted anything yet.

*I know I have plenty of other things to paint at the moment, and I know buying new models when I haven’t painted what I have is profligate, but how could I resist after dreaming of them for at least a decade?

The new Gloomspite Gits are an interesting proposition. Despite it being three years since the arrival of Age of Sigmar this release would have fitted quite comfortably into the Old World of Warhammer. Previously Age of Sigmar releases have either been entirely new races, such as the Stormcast Eternals or the Idoneth Deepkin, or have evolved old races into new forms, such as the Daughters of Khaine or the Sylvaneth. Sometimes models for this latter group would have fitted in well in the Old World, and some might even be effective proxies for older units – like Ironjaw Brutes as Orc Big ‘uns, but never have we seen such comprehensive coverage of models widely desired for an old Warhammer army as part of an Age of Sigmar release. Long before the End Times, before Nagash returned and with the Stormcasts no more than a games developer’s fevered imaginings, people were crying out for new squigs.

Having waited all these years for a nice plastic kit for the squigs (surely always a glaring gap in the Games Workshop roster) I found myself giving in to temptation and snapping them up as soon as I could. Acquiring them however has led to considerable food for thought. Many old school players will be rejoicing at the opportunity to add this iconic creature to their Orcs and Goblins armies but with the scale of many GW models creeping larger every year will these newcomers even fit on an old 20mm square base? They, at least, can relax, the answer is a firm “yes”.

squigs convert or die wudugast (1)squigs convert or die wudugast (2)

Indeed although many things have become bigger over the years the boisterous squig remains roughly the same.

squigs convert or die wudugast (3)

For myself I’m still debating exactly what to do with my newly acquired squigs. Long ago I started to build a Night Goblin army for WHFB and last year I actually got a sizeable chunk of it painted. When I painted the army last year I threw in a handful of squigs but left the squad incomplete in the hope that sooner or later more would come bouncing along. All too often such manoeuvring proves to be wishful thinking but this time it seems I guessed right.

Night Goblins Convert Or Die

As squigs were always intended to be a part of that army surely I should just pop the little beasts onto square bases and get painting. On the other hand however the style of base very much directs the game for which the model is intended. As it stands I’m unlikely to actually play with these, so the point is probably entirely academic. Nonetheless the idea of some AoS skirmish has a distinct appeal. In the unlikely event that I do ever decide to play some old fashioned Warhammer it’ll be my Skaven that hit the tabletop.

It’s also worth considering that despite the aesthetic punch which an old Warhammer army with its ranks of troops neatly defined possesses, a quality which no AoS army can quite capture, some models just don’t look as good in ranks. By putting them on round bases I’d be able to really enjoy and show off everything these dynamic models can do, rather than struggling to make the best of things and force them into ranks which they were never intended to form. After all “ranking up” was a rightly cursed aspect of old Warhammer, a chore which impeded miniatures design and made hobbyist’s lives a misery in equal measure, so burdening myself with it unnecessarily seems like foolishness.

Convert Or Die Squigs

A release as long awaited as this was always going to be of key importance to GW. This was a chance to win over lingering WHFB sounds to the new world of AoS. Furthermore there must have been a temptation to indulge the freedom of the new realms to push the Night Goblins in new and crazy directions, an urge they have wisely resisted. The Night Goblins and Squigs have always been amongst the company’s most classic and iconic races and as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Look no further than the wailing and gnashing of teeth that accompanied the upscaling of the space marines, a range who’s undersized proportions meant it certainly was broke and did need fixed.

On the other hand as a species so intrinsically associated with the Old World there was always a real danger that these little dudes would seem glaringly out of place amid the Mortal Realms. Luckily good models save the day. Just as the sudden availability of truescale marines made it easier for many of us to swallow the new landscape of 40k so too do Night Goblins in the Mortal Realms seem much more palatable when accompanied by these glorious new squigs.

This is not to say that everything is just a rehash of the “good old days” however. New ideas have been brought in but they’ve done so in a way that sympathetic to the old. Take the new Boingrot Bounderz for instance. Again old school WHFB fans could use them as alternative squig hoppers (which the kit also makes) but there’s something irresistible entertaining about goblin knights. Picture, if you will, a whole court of them in full heraldic pageantry, with the squig hoppers as squires and a suitably deranged-looking king bouncing in the lead. Of course, in a process which will be familiar to all hobbyists, now I’ve thought of it I can’t stop thinking about it. Bretonnia may be gone but there is still room for a green knight or two.

squigs convert or die wudugast (6)squigs convert or die wudugast (7)

The only thing I’m not entirely happy out regarding these is the way they are held aloft on heaps of mushrooms. It’s just a little over the top for my tastes, although I stress that’s just a personal opinion, but it’s also rather tricky to do very much about it. The fungi are sculpted directly to the legs of the squigs, probably a sensible move when it comes to supporting the weight of the model but making it distinctly tricky to separate them. I did manage it with this one but, given what a faff it was, I don’t think I’ll be losing too much sleep over the others.

squigs convert or die wudugast (8)

The Night Goblins were always a race which combined spite and silliness with aplomb. there was an element of slapstick comedy about them that brought something uniquely enjoyable to their murderous ways. Whilst still clearly evil creatures this cheeky, quirky element put them in a class of their own, a long way from straightforward baddies like Chaos or the Vampire Counts, whilst their status as weak yet cunning distinguished them from the loutish Orcs. Again it’s pleasing to see that this trait lives on in their new iteration. Goblins of all kinds have always enjoyed seeing their mates suffering misfortune and goblin fans are no better. Can you imagine Stormcast fans universally applauding a model of a liberator being swallowed by a dracoline, as this poor little grot is gobbled up by a squig?

squigs convert or die wudugast

Amidst all this praise for the new models it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to mourn the passing of the Doom Diver from the range. It was a true icon of the old Orcs and Goblins army which seems not to have made the cut for a new model and has been quietly shuffled into retirement. Luckily for me I was given one a few years ago which will be joining my Night Goblins sooner or later.

Likewise goblin wolf riders, a staple of many childhoods thanks to The Hobbit, have been shuffled off into the great dank cave in the sky. These days if you want to go riding into battle on a big bad wolf you need to be a power-armoured futuristic Viking with a questionable hair-do’s.

squigs convert or die wudugast (5)

Few things are as evocative of GW’s stable as Night Goblins and Blood Bowl, so I’ve also found myself pondering how the two could be combined, a subject I’ve found myself returning to lately following conversations with fellow blogger and blood bowl enthusiast Faust. So far I’ve only dipped my toe into it but as this combination of Blood Bowl player and the (now retired) Night Goblin Fanatics shows, there’s certainly room to create some alternative members for a diverse looking team.

squigs convert or die wudugast (4)

Once again though I’d like to emphasise that I have plenty of other projects I ought to be concentrating on so although these squigs and gobbos will definitely get a turn on the painting table it won’t be straight away. In many ways however this is a blessing. I’ve been thinking about what to do with a release like this for a number of years so I won’t be rushing into anything, but instead will be taking the chance to explore the models, see what other hobbyists do with them, and bounce a few ideas around before I commit to anything. At this point I often say watch this space but this time I’ll add don’t hold your breath as well. However if you have any suggestions, ideas or words of wisdom, I’m all ears.

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31 responses to “Squabblin’ Goblins – Part 11

  • Alex

    They are a cool & long overdue release – looking forward to seeing what people do with them… I love the idea of a pseudo-Brettonian knightly army! 😀

    • Wudugast

      It’s just irresistibly silly isn’t it? I have some Brettonian bits kicking around somewhere I’m supposed to be going out tonight but I’m sure if I put my mind to it I can sneak in a bit of kitbashing after work…

  • FirBhol

    Love seeing your take (both in terms of your thoughts, and your minis) on the new gitz. Definitely some things for the wishlist there, I’m not sure there’s a duff model in the release (I wasn’t entirely convinced by the new stone trolls at first, but they’ve grown on me…). I’ve promised myself that 2019 is the year I actually get some paint on some minis again, though if Night Goblins do win out over Tzeentch, I’ve got about 60 of the little blighters *cough*SkullPass*cough* before I’m going to treat myself to *gasp* plastic squig hoppers… :’D As for basing, I’m pretty sure my original squig herd came on 25mm round bases anyhow, though that doesn’t help with the squigs you’ve already based…
    Love that Blood Bowl player too, such a simple conversion, but he looks like he means business!

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I wasn’t entirely sure about the stone trolls either to begin with, they very heavily reference the old ones which were rather goofy. That said I’ve really come round on them and I do like the idea of all-troll armies becoming a regular occurrence, so now they’re on my wish-list too. It’ll be interesting to see what alternative builds can be made once people have the models in hand. Before I saw them I was worried that any new trolls would look like the one from Shadespire (which is just an ugly lump in my eyes I’m afraid).

      Good luck with getting your own stuff painted, I’m not sure I could pick between Tzeentch and the Gobbos – very fine choices indeed!

      Glad you like the Blood Bowl player too, I think that’s going to be a theme I explore further as I work on the team.

      • FirBholg

        Cheers dude. Regarding the new stone trolls, they seem just referential enough to the previous Kev Adams versions while still being their own thing. As ever, it’s the little things that make them, like the birds nest 🙂 Would have loved a giant centipede as a separate mini, though!
        I look forward to seeing any future sports-goblins (I dare say, it looks a darn-sight better than my own old attempts from back in the day! 😀

      • Wudugast

        Just got the chance to build one of the new trolls and they’re amazing, and surprisingly versatile. The little bird’s nest is a cool detail but my favourite, which they haven’t really shown off in any of the official pics for some strange reason, is the troll holding up a Night Gobbo and obviously trying to work out what it is and if should eat it 🙂

        Agree on the giant centipede, I don’t much care for it as part of the trogboss model but if it was separate from the hand I would definitely find a use for it as some kind of monstrous beast (maybe in Necromunda but it would be pretty versatile). With the hand sculpted to it though it’s a lot harder to find a use for it, oh well – I’ll think of something at some point!

  • Faust

    Nice post and thanks for the shout-out! Looking at the new squigs versus the old, I’m not sure which ones I like entirely. They’ve dropped the goofier looking elements, which in some ways is good. The plastic is definitely a plus, if I needed to do any hacking.

    Wow, you were not kidding about the Night Gobbo heads fitting so nicely on the Blood Bowl goblin minis. Looks like they were made for each other. It would be pretty tempting to do that for all my gobbos, add a few Skaven, and the the minis could front as Underworld or a Goblin team in Blood Bowl. But another part of me, still wants an Underworld team in full Night gobbo garb, separate from any goblins I do. Tough choice. Guess a box of the new night gobbos is going to end up on my to-buy list at some point, just so I can mess around.

    • Faust

      Oops, and I forgot to mention, a Doom Diver is coming. There’s a Doom Diver Goblin Star Player for Blood Bowl. Destined for Forge World this year.

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I’ve seen that one (he’s very cool isn’t he?). I was thinking of the Doom Diver Catapult though, a huge, ramshackle contraption that fires live goblins wearing wings (of questionable use) at the enemy. It was a big artillery piece available to the goblins back in the old days and they were still selling it until just a week or so ago. It’ll be interesting to see if it ever makes a return.

      • Faust

        Oh yea, I heard of that one. When the Doom Diver Star was mentioned, some people were wondering if it would be one of those, but likely not (and it wasn’t in the end). I love those weird weapons like the Doom Diver Catapult, Dwarf Death Roller, and all those crazy Skaven ones.

    • Wudugast

      I do like that the squigs still a bit goofy, but on the whole I’m glad that they’re slightly more restrained about it. I like that they’ve kept some of the silliness though, goblins ought to be a bit silly!

      That head on the BB player really suits him doesn’t it? I think I’ll play around a bit more with that theme as and when I get around to working on the team. I really like your idea of making an Underworld team that looks more unique and cohesive so I’ll be keeping an eye on what you do with interest.

      • Faust

        So the head you used is only from the Fanatics? I went looking late last night at the sprues online, and it seems like the only way to get those hooded heads, is via a few heads from the Fanatics sprue? If so, guess I would have to be watching Ebay for some bits/singles.

      • Wudugast

        That right – it’s from the old (newly retired) fanatics kit. The heads in the squig hoppers kit are also separate but the join is slightly different, you’d need to do a little trimming and adjusting before they would match up with a BB player. I don’t have the new fanatics kit but looking at the models online I suspect they will be similar. The old fanatics heads just sit straight on though, no tweaking required. Also – you’ve probably noticed this yourself – the new fanatics either have no hoods or huge trailing hoods, whereas the squig hoppers have smaller hoods similar to the one I’ve used here.

      • Faust

        Thanks again, man. You’re a wealth of info!

  • Alexis West

    Every “I won’t buy new minis until I get the current ones painted” pledge has an exception. Some are weaker, some are stronger, but there’s always potentially something that will be enough of a draw to break it. These seem like a pretty reasonable one to me. The Squigs are cool (and, as you mention, long-awaited), and the Squig Knights are flat-out awesome. I look forward to seeing them when you do get them painted.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I gave up on that pledge long ago. Now I just try to be honest with myself and say “Will I paint this sooner or later”. Unless the answer is a categorical yes then I just have to be firm. I do admit that lately I’ve allowed myself a few treats but in a couple of months I’ll probably be fighting to the death for the last tin of beans in a burned out supermarket so I might as well enjoy myself whilst the relatively-good-times last right? 🙂

  • imperialrebelork

    Haha very cool. Very Goblins from labyrinth. Lovely

  • Azazel

    I also quite like this release, my first ones arrived today. No timetable on when they get opened, though. The Doom Divers and Wolf Riders weren’t *Night* Goblins, though – they were the regular ones… though they have rolled the Forest Goblins and their spider-obsession into the new faction – so who knows?
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see the derivative wolfriders stay gone, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Warhammer-Unique Doom Diver return in some form..

    • Wudugast

      Ah but you’ve got to tear them open and gasp in joy at their wonder, and dream – starry eyed – of all the beautiful things you’re planning to make with them, before allowing them to gather dust for a couple of years. It’s just the way things are done!

      Yeah, the wolf riders are no real surprise (sadly – but then GW still seem to struggle to sculpt convincing wolves so maybe it’s no bad thing) but I’m surprised the doom diver hasn’t survived. It could be that they’re planning to bring it back as part of a different greenskins army, the successors to Orcs and Goblins maybe, but with the Night Gobbos and Spider Riders rolled into the Gits it seems most of the gobbos have a home now. Meanwhile the Savage Orcs and Black Orcs have become part of the Bonesplitters and Ironjaws respectively and the remaining Orcs are almost all listed as “Sold Out”. The boar chariot is gone (no surprise, it was showing its age) and the boar boys (which is a shame because it was a very nice kit). The only things still listed under “Greenskins” now are great shaman and the generic orcs and I suspect their days are numbered, and soon all that will be left are those which have the stamp of being uniquely GW creations. That way with all of the old stuff neatly wrapped up they can get on with creating AoS-specific stuff, which seems more likely to me than them going back to do anything more with generic Orcs and Gobbos. Who knows though, perhaps they’ve got some army of gobbo inventors planned that the Doom Diver can slot into. Fingers crossed anyway!

      • Azazel

        Sounds about right for their plans, though the Boar Boyz were also a Warhammer invention as far as I know – just not as “out there” copyrightable as a lot of the new stuff. They could also well be holding back on some of the stuff like the Doom Diver for a triumphant return when they do a new pass on the Goblins. There’s forever a need for more new releases, after all…

      • Wudugast

        Well, since I wrote that I’ve had a chance to properly look through the Gloomspite army book and I can’t help but notice numerous references to Greenskinz and Gitmob Grotz (including listing them specifically as allies to the Gloomspite in the end of the rules section). It seems like a lot of attention to offer two factions which, at present, have 1 and 0 units respectively available through the GW website. I might be reading more into it than is there but if those races are now purely legacy factions surely GW would just let them slip into the background.

      • Azazel

        I guess a “normal” goblin faction could have Doom Divers, Snotling Pump Wagons and a few other, similar engineered creations. Possibly trolls that aren’t so fungus-infested. Maybe a new take on the LotR-troll that found its way into the Skull Pass starter… That might well be the tack that they take – something like World of Warcraft’s goblins, who are very much the engineer faction of The Horde. Greenskins potentially have all of the Boar stuff, obviously..

  • backtothehammer

    Thanks for posting about the bases. I’ve seen loads showing the hoppers on 20mm but not the normal squigs. Most looked ok from the pictures but there were definitely a few that looked like they only just fitted on a 25mm round (still I had the thought of using them as a unit filler and still might).
    I will be holding off getting any of the new releases for a while as I concentrate on buying up enough of the other older ranges I feel are likely to be discontinued.
    Looking forward to seeing the trolls from you though.

    • Wudugast

      Yeah, I thought there would be others who’d be interested in the base sizes, I know I am. Equally I knew it’s not something that GW themselves would really show (for obvious reasons). Glad it helped.

      Seems like there’s been a bit of a purge of the “destruction” range lately, not sure about the others but I’m very much feeling like now is the time to take a look at getting some of those older models if I want them, or at least accepting that soon they’ll be gone forever.

      • backtothehammer

        Yep I’ve been feeling the same so have been picking up finecast and metal things missing from the collection. There’s also another orc and goblin made to order about to start if any of them interest you.

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I’ve seen them and I’m sorely tempted by some of them, but on the other hand… money and all that… I must try to be strong!

  • Eastern Empire

    Great observations about the new models and I’ve enjoyed spying the great little details throughout. The new Gloomspite tome has some references to plains and sea goblins, plus sky raiders too. GW has left the door open on more goblin models. Wolf riders have always been a model bug bear of mine, I settled in an converted smaller versions using chaos hounds Fenrisan wolf heads – works well, but buck per fang is a bit steep. You can see some on my blog.

    • Wudugast

      Wow, great work on those wolf riders! I agree (costing it out roughly in my head) that the price per model will be pretty steep but top marks to you for doing it, those may well be the best wolf riders I’ve ever seen and neatly combines the strengths (and avoids the flaws) of the Fenrisian wolves and Chaos hounds kits.

      Had a quick look through your other stuff and I’ll need to go back for a proper nosy when I’ve got more time (Patrick the Pack Pig is outstanding!)

      I think the door is undoubtedly open for more gobbos from GW in the future and if they weren’t thinking about it before the popularity and sheer volume of praise that the Gloomspite has stirred up must have them thinking seriously about it now.

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