Warcry

My love of Chaos is no secret. if you’re looking for someone to take up an axe and lead his barbarian tribe against the Empire of the Old World, to stand at Abaddon’s right hand as Cadia burns, or conduct dark rituals on some grim and bitter moor to conjure daemons into the Mortal Realms, then I like to think I’m the man for the job.

Likewise I’m drawn to skirmish games, to small bands of warriors packed with character and personality. Thus, if Games Workshop’s developers had reached into my head by some arcane means – and who’s to say they didn’t? – and tried to craft the perfect game based to what they found there, then the result would have been something a lot like Warcry. Given the hype that’s been generated recently it seems I’m not the only one who feels this way – indeed the concept of small groups of Chaos-loving warriors beating merry hell out of each another is starting to feel like the most obviously popular, yet previous unexplored idea, since Games Workshop invented dogs.

For those who’ve managed to avoid that overenthusiastic juggernaut that is GW’s promotional engines, Warcry is the latest of their skirmish games, the tale of small bands of Chaos worshippers drawn from all corners of Age of Sigmar’s Mortal Realms to gather at a place called the Eightpoints. Once there they attempt to inveigle themselves into Chaos overlord Archaon’s  good books through committing heinous acts of violence to each other, armed with everything from swords to whips to meat tenderizers, bones, even live snakes. Don’t try this at home kids!

Warcry

Rather than the armies of the gods which we are familiar with these are people born and raised to the cultures abandoned by Sigmar when he hid himself away in Azyr and ceded control of the Mortal Realms to Chaos at the end of the Age of Myth. Rather than the all-encompassing top-down view enjoyed by fans of the game or the blinkered fanaticism of an acolyte bound to a single god, like a blood warrior or a blight king, these are in the main just people to whom Chaos is an ever-present elemental force which must be appeased, for whom being mauled by a spawn is an occupational hazard and who cannot rely on the Stormcast Eternals to come and rescue them, but are otherwise attempting to get on with their lives. Or at least they were until, for one reason or another, Archaon called them to the Eightpoints. That’s not to say that they’re just misunderstood, that they are a top bunch of lads if you just get to know them or that they’re all nice to their mums. Indeed I think it’s fair to assume that they’re a bunch of right bastards, as evidenced by their love of gritty violence and their willingness to throw in their lot with Archaon rather than let millennia old bygones be bygones and give Sigmar another chance. In the main however these are not professional warriors – indeed much like Necromunda these are armed civilians – the man on the street in the Mortal Realms.

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Untamed Beasts

Walking adverts for steroid abuse and guaranteed to give every man they encounter body image issues, the Untamed Beasts hail – perhaps unsurprisingly – from the Realm of Beasts. These are your classic barbarians, caked in ’80s charm down to the last loin cloth, oiled muscle and cod-Austrian accent. They’re comfortable enough to at least indulge the trappings of civilisation with the odd metal helmet and so on but for the most part they like to keep things as primal as possible, using bones for weapons and wearing enough fur to turn a Space Wolf green with envy.

Seriously, if you can look at their leader and not hear a shredding guitar solo ringing in your head then you have no soul!

Untamed Beast 1

If you hadn’t already gathered from the above, I’ll admit I’m a sucker for an old-fashioned, cheesy barbarian so this warband was always going to appeal to me. Nor are they solely devoted to the art of masculine power posing. Indeed the best model in the group is this dynamic young lady. Note also the tail she’s wearing (or at least we presume she’s wearing it – you know Chaos!) – a nice visual reference to the Beasts and the predatory animals with which they are intrinsically linked.

Untamed Beast 2

And who doesn’t love a part-goat part-lion?

Goat Lion

However it’s not all perfection. Part of the knack of pulling off over the top cheese is not taking it so far that it ends up looking like a pastiche of itself. Making the weapons of some of these warriors a little smaller (something I’m told happens as a side effect of taking steroids anyway…) would have made a big difference. Take a look at this chap for example and see if you agree that the huge bone in their hand (chortle chortle) throws out the proportions of the whole model.

Untamed Beast 4

Another offender is the First Fang. Overall there’s a lot to like here but his pose makes him look awkward and undecided, as though he’s torn between throwing his spear and hitting someone with his axe. I suspect that the intention was to have his sweeping someone aside with the axe, blocking a low blow perhaps or knowing their feet from under them whilst the spear jabs in to make the kill, but it doesn’t quite come across. Personally I’d have preferred to see the axe strapped to his back whilst he goes all in with impaling someone on that spear.

Untamed Beast

These are minor gripes though, things that I’ll either kitbash my way around or learn to live with. They may not be my favourite warband but they still look like they’ll be a lot of fun to paint and frankly it would be a sin not to be listening to Manowar whilst I’m about it!

Iron Golem

Speaking of heavy metal the Untamed Beasts share the Warcry starter set with the Iron Golem, a group of blacksmiths from the Realm of Metal. As someone who enjoys painting bare flesh and battered iron and who’s been feeling the itch to paint some more Goliath gangers lately, these are pretty much perfect for me. They don’t look particularly subtle but who needs cunning when blunt force trauma will do?

Iron Golem

You could see these as being somewhat simplistic, there’s no cloth, nothing soft, no blades or sharp edges, just heavy armour and heavier hammers, the very epitome of Warhammer. It’s a straightforward concept but it’s kept interesting by the style with which it is pulled off and the variety of models to which it is applied. Whilst traditionally such thuggish brutality would have been exclusively the domain of the male, the Golems continue the diversity demonstrated by the Beasts, including amongst the ranks what I can only describe as iron maidens.

Iron Maiden

As though the humans weren’t enough to emphasise their raw power and aggression of this warband they’ve also recruited an ogre (I still refuse to write Ogor) who looks more than capable of taking on anything life throws at them all by himself. We seem to be having a good run of Chaos Ogres at the moment, and I’m already wondering about getting my hands on a second one to turn into a Goliath ‘zerker. Many people have asked how he eats without the use of his hands, which is a fair question although I suspect that the answer is implied by the horrifying, lamprey-like aperture in the front of his helmet. After all it only takes a quick glance at him to confirm that he hasn’t been missing many meals.

Ogre Dammit

Of course if you’re going to have an ogre, why stop there? Who better to join up with a band of craftsmen and metal workers than a dwarf? Fans have been muttering about the absence of Chaos Dwarves for many a year and so it’s nice to see that they’re still around in the Mortal Realms. (I must admit I thought their next official appearance would be for Blood Bowl – I’m sure a team will be along sooner or later). Like the Squats that have been popping up in Necromunda, skirmish games like this are a golden opportunity to keep these concepts current, even if they don’t have an army of their own in the main games at the moment. The dwarf himself obviously feels glad to have been included – rarely has a worshipper of the dark gods looked so delighted!

Iron Dwarf

Cypher Lords

Whilst the Iron Golem may be cloth-phobic and brutally simple, and the Untamed Beasts wild and, well, bestial, the Cypher Lords sit at the other end of the spectrum; civilised, subtle, some might even say downright sneaky. There’s something unearthly about these denizens of the Realm of Light and with their masks and crests many people have suggested something Tzeentchian about them. Personally I’d go so far as to say these are everything that the Kairic Acolytes should have been – I wonder how they’d look wearing those wonderful masks, far and away the best thing about the Kairics? That said there is something rather Slaaneshi about them too, a product of the dancing poses and air of sophistication.

Cypher Lord 2

I’ll admit I’m still in two minds about these. When I first saw them I loved them but the more I looked the more uncertain I became. However the past couple of weeks, and particularly looking at them again as I write this review, has reignited some of my enthusiasm. Part of a problem is their top heavy appearance, a side effect of those wonderfully ornate helmets combined with their trailing hair-do’s. I did consider whether building them without the hair would improve matters but I’ll wait to pass judgement until I’ve explored that option further. That said, I really love those sinister helms and beautiful crests, so my fall to the embrace of madness is surely assured.

Cypher Lord 3

These models are very much defined by their grace, leaping and lunging more like dancers than fighters, and a world away from the straightforward brutality encapsulated by the Iron Golem. With many of us starting our path to darkness in the Old World of Warhammer Fantasy, or amongst the hulking power-armoured marines of Warhammer 40k, our mental image of Chaos is often tied up with muscular barbarians in heavy armour, bludgeoning their way to daemonhood. It’s exciting to get a fresh look at Chaos, and once again explore the creative options opened up by the Mortal Realms. After all, why shouldn’t a servant of the Dark Gods be light on their feet?

Cypher Lord 1

Of course even whilst I took the time to make up my mind about the rank and file of the warband the leader grabbed me from the start. It hardly needs to be said that this Thrallmaster is the epitome of style and a truly outstanding miniature, or at least it will be once I snip off that silly looking smoke effect!

Cypher Lord

In their stylish costume, and with a third arm hidden beneath their robes, one could even convert them into a Locus for a Genestealer Cult that’s infiltrating the very highest echelons of Imperial society.

Splintered Fang

So I there was, sitting on the hillside, eating my sandwich and about to start writing about the Splintered Fang when along came this awesome little dude, sliding right past my boots. It’s a sign I tell ye!

Adder

As it turns out it was a sign that I should really take a second look at the Splintered Fang before giving them the slagging I intended to. The fact is they’re actually quite a nice-looking gang, let down by their leader, the Trueblood. The gladiatorial rank-and-file in their scaled armour are excellent models. Like the Cypher Lords there’s nothing overtly chaotic here, file off the odd blasphemous symbol and these would fit in nicely amongst the loyal Cities of Sigmar, indeed these are closer to my mental image of what the common man of the Realms might look like than the old citizenry of the Empire.

Splintered Fang 1

Continuing at the racially inclusive trend started in the box set they’ve even managed to recruit an elf.

Splintered Elf

Furthermore, as denizens of the Realm of Life, they can bring along a bunch of snakes, reminiscent of the old jungle swarms that used to accompany the Lizardmen.

Snakes Alive

Indeed, despite my initial uncertainty about this warband, the more closely I look at them, and the more I get over the Trueblood and the Serpent Caller and turn my attention to the rest of their colleagues, the more I grow to like them. Indeed, leaving aside those two, the rest of the gang may be amongst my favourites of the whole range.

Splintered Fang

The Serpent Caller however is, in my opinion, simultaneously the best and worst model in the warband. On the one hand the dynamic pose is pulled off in style, the fanged mask beneath the hood is wonderfully sinister and there’s a nice sense of danger and motion. On the other hand I feel like he’s about to hit the floor face first after getting tangled up in all those snakes  whilst the dart in his hand appears to be being flicked away to the side with no suggestion that it might actually hurt anyone, apart from possibly one of the poor snakes. For these reasons I want to dislike it but it’s still a charming model with a lot of appealing qualities, and I suspect once I learn to stop taking it seriously I’ll grow to like it.

Hello I'd Like To Speak To A Serpent

The Trueblood on the other hand is another matter. There are so many other poses that could have been used here to greater effect; casting the net, stabbing with the trident, posing ominously. Instead they’re neither one thing nor the other, stepping forward whilst wafting the net to the side in a manner that leaves them looking awkward and ineffectual. It’s not a terrible pose but it’s a long way from being the powerful, attention capturing stance one expects from a leader. Something with a bit more punch would have made a world of difference. Whether anything can be done about it remains to be seen, without pictures of the sprue available online – we’ll have to wait and see what can be done once I have the model in front of me.

Trueblood 2

That said, when viewed from the side the model has a lot more power, and the tail is a nice touch. There may be hope for it yet!

Trueblood

Corvus Cabal

I’ve mentioned dynamic poses a few times in this review so let’s turn our attention to the gold standard, the warband that consistently gets that (and pretty much everything else) right. Hailing from the realm of Shadows this crow loving tribe are strong contenders to be my favourite of the six warbands we’ve seen so far.

Far more so than the Splintered Fang or the Untamed Beasts they wear their totem animal on their metaphorical sleeves. The crow theme is stamped across all of the models in the warband down to the lowliest Cabalist and the result is a strikingly cohesive, yet wonderfully diverse and original, group of characters.

Corvus Cabal

The dynamic poses are pulled off with universal aplomb, there are loads of details for a painter to get their teeth into and every last one feels like a unique character. Meanwhile the prize for the most spectacularly creative model in the entire war cry range has to go to the wonderful Shrike Talon. Channelling all of the weirdness that’s made the Inq28 scene great, and bound to be the basis of some gloriously strange conversions, this birdman is proof positive that GW are at the top of their game when it comes to creativity. Speaking of crazy conversions I’m very curious to see if I can kitbash these with some Space Marines to create a suitably strange Raven Guard squad. Watch this space!

Corvus Cabal 2

Overall then these are the best of the bunch for me although there is one other warband left to discuss and they’re so mad  that they almost snatched the Cabal’s crown.

The Unmade

What does one do when all of one’s learning and sophistication has come to naught and a hoard of the undead is kicking down the door? Why cut off your own face and swear yourself to the Dark Gods of course! Bringing a whole new meaning to the expression “where will I put my face” it’s the grimmest of the bunch, the hideous masters of body-horror that are the Unmade.

Unmade 1

You could be mistaken at times for thinking that life amongst the Slaves to Darkness might not be so bad. Everyone is welcome regardless of race or gender, there is little sign of hideous mutation or daemon worship here and if you’re lucky you even get a pet. What’s not to like? Luckily the Unmade are here to set the record straight chopping off their own appendages and replacing them with instruments of torture.

Torment and cruelty are the order of the day here – just look at this flail for instance and imagine the fate of someone unfortunate enough to be snagged by it.

Awakened One Flail

Unlike some of the other warbands which star all kinds of characters the Unmade are actually quite uniform, although the rank and file are still a long way from being faceless drones (boom boom). However the real star of the show has to be the terrifying scarecrow like figure of the Blissful One. One almost suspect that this figure was approved simply to put to bed once and for all the claims that GW had dumbed down and become family friendly.

Blissful One

Of course that’s still not all. The starter box set also contains a selection of chaotic beasts; the weird looking but oddly endearing Raptoryx…

Chaos Duck 2

… And a reimagined version of the old furies.

Fury

In the latter case this was something desperately overdue, these unaligned chaos daemons being amongst the oldest and least attractive models in GWs entire catalogue.

Ugly Old Furies

What’s more the box also comes with a range of handy train perfect for recreating the three-dimensional environments in which the warbands battle it out. Here we see the ruins of an ancient civilisation long eroded by time and war and now build over by barbaric newcomers.

Warcry City

Amongst the details of these ruins we see a fallen statue of Sigmar and this skeleton which appears to have been queuing for the toilet for quite some time…

Warcry Scenery

Looking at the selection of terrain in the box one wonders if Necromunda had any influence here. When the new edition of the classic game was released many people moaned about the lack of terrain in the box set. Personally I felt that including enough terrain for a game of Necromunda would have made the box too heavy to lift and too expensive to buy, that the terrain of yesteryear which so many people praised may not have been quite as perfect as nostalgia suggests and that the use of tiles was an elegant solution, but the carping was certainly pervasive. Warcry meanwhile follows in the footsteps of Kill Team with a smaller footprint and enough terrain to create a densely packed, immersive environment. Of course I’m still miles behind with my Necromunda terrain collection let alone adding anything else…

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So there we have it, plenty for us fans of the Dark Gods to get our claws into regardless of which faction takes our fancy. Much like Necromunda and Blood Bowl I can easily see myself trying out all of these in time – part of the joy of skirmish games for me being that each faction is relatively inexpensive, I’d never have the time or money to apply such a broad brush interest to one of the main games for instance.

Those who refuse to bow before the True Gods can always indulge their craven weakness with one of the other available factions, with everything from Stormcast Eternals to Gloomspite Gits (on a quest to collect glass bottles – I kid you not!) having rules for the game. Indeed I may well take the excuse to paint up a few warbands for these other factions just for the fun of it, regardless of whether I ever actually play the game.

Speaking of playing though, I tend to avoid mentioning the rules in these reviews – I rarely if ever play, preferring to focus on painting, and my rules insights are likely to be less than engaging. However from what I’ve seen so far this does look like a lot of fun, and fairly straightforward to get the hang of, so I may well give it a bash in the near future.

Meanwhile GW have been keen to remind us that this isn’t intended as a flash in the pan, but that plenty more lies ahead for the game. What that might be remains to be seen, although we do know that there are two more Chaos warbands which we’re yet to see revealed. The Scions of the Flame originate from the Realm of Fire and like to catch and eat fire elementals to prove their strength – much like some lads on a night out encountering a particularly vicious vindaloo. They worship Chaos as the Ever-Raging Flame which they believe will someday consume all life, with a little encouragement of course. Turns out some men really do want to watch the world burn!

Having seen warbands from seven of the eight realms I must admit I assumed that the final set, the Spire Tyrants, would be coming from Azyr itself, as hints have been dropped in the background fiction that even amongst Sigmar’s great bastion a few scurrilous rogues have hidden away, plotting the downfall of the God King and the final victory of the Dark Gods. The Tyrants however turn out to be natives of the Eightpoints, champions of the arenas and fighting pits of the Varanspire who have cut their way to freedom and now seek even greater excesses of violence and glory by joining Archaon’s elite. Angron would be so proud!

As for what comes next your guess is as good as mine, although personally I’d love to someday see a Destruction themed spin off. Rather than questing all the way to the Eightpoints it could instead features tribes of Orcs, Gobbos and Orgres knocking seven-shades out of one another down their local cave.

Having got this far I’ll confess that I mostly started writing this whilst waiting for my copy of the boxset to arrive and, having watched the poor postman struggle to the door with it, I’m off to delve into it properly. As usual though I’m interested to hear any thoughts or comments you may have. Will you be starting a warband of your own, and if so which has you tempted? Have you, or a loved one, ever been called to the Varanspire for a life of unremitting violence, or been affected by any of the other issues discussed in this blog? If so, the comments box is as ever, the place to speak your mind.

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35 responses to “Warcry

  • Jon

    My interest was piqued by the terrain, which I imagine will provide some much-needed height to my home table when slapped behind my existing collection of mausoleums and graveyard walls. But those new Furies are rather boss (and yes, it’s about time they had a revamp), and I am OF COURSE very taken with the Corvus Cabal…

    … now, upon looking again at those, and remembering that it is of course the twentieth anniversary of Mordheim (no doubt part of the plan behind this particular release at this particular time) I’m also thinking about the Cult of the Possessed, and the Doomsayers from the PC/PS4 Mordheim game. Far be it from me to suggest that the spirit of Mordheim is fully alive and well here, but it certainly haunts this release even as the cosmic-not-pseudohistorical fantasy aesthetic of AOS takes the stage. Those Unbound, and the Corvus lads, definitely seem to have wandered out of a Mordheim sidebar.

    Where am I going with this? I don’t know, but I’ll be painting the terrain and probably some bird lads.

    • Wudugast

      I never played Mordheim but I’ve heard a few fans of the game say that Warcry fills a similar niche, or attracts them for similar reasons. Certainly there was a feeling of twisted insanity to all of the Warhammer games (both fantasy, 40k and – since 2nd edition, AoS) but which really came to the fore most of all with Mordheim and Warcry. Plus both games are set within ruined cities, which is quite unusual for fantasy settings where all the action tends to be distinctly rural.

      I’ve often wondered if we could ever see Mordheim making a comeback but I wonder if they feel it’s still too soon to unearth the Old World and so they’ll want to keep their focus on AoS for a while yet. Plus, from what I’ve heard, if Mordheim was to be resurrected it would be under the auspices of the Specialist Games studio and they’ve said that doing that would eat up development time and resources which could otherwise be spent on Necromunda, Blood Bowl and Titanicus (and cool though it would be to see Mordheim again I’m not sure I could go without my Necromunda/Blood Bowl fix!). From that point of I think Warcry steps into the breach nicely.

  • Pete S/ SP

    Looks like a great game. My wallet is telling me to resist though… I will wait till I play my mate’s copy before I decide whether to take the plunge.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    • Wudugast

      Aye, that’s wise. However, from the point of view of all of the wargamers I know, I’m the mate who’s copy they get to play 😀 Not that I needed much encouragement this time…

  • castigatoruk

    I’m really trying to resist Warcry but my fondness for skirmish games has slowly turned into an obsession. I keep reminding myself that I haven’t touched Blackstone Fortress or Kill Team Rogue Trader. I know nothing about AoS and I detest the Stormcast model range but I sold my soul to the dark gods many moons ago (I’m pretty sure GW knows this) and even as I type this out I can feel my resolve slowly slipping away…..must resist….and then 7 of 9 seductively whispers in my ear “resistance is futile!”

    Necromunda is my main focus these days and I’ve purposely stayed away from creating a Chaos Cultist gang (because I thought it would make a refreshing change to do something unchaos) but the call of the dark gods has grown in intensity and as soon as I saw the Unmade I knew I had to have them as a Chaos Cultist gang. I’m also keen to explore the Ash Wastes (I already have the bikers and a Ridge Runner for this) and the Corvus Cabal are just screaming (or squawking) to be used as an Ash Waste vulture scavenger gang, so I’ll be getting a box of them as well.

    The Splintered Fang Serpent Caller would make an ideal Witch Doctor for my Voodoo Dolls Escher gang but I’m loathe to buy a box just for one model and a few sump snakes so hopefully I can pick the model up from somewhere.

    I keep thinking the Untamed Beasts would make excellent corrupted Ratskins and the Iron Golems would be great as deep sea sump divers. The Gargoyles and Raptoryx would make great Ash Waste Critters and….no stop….I’m talking myself into buying the damned box set again….curse you GW….I will resist……oh shut up 7 of 9…. 😉

    • Wudugast

      It’s taken me a while to get into AoS, I really knew my way around the Old World and then I played Warhammer Total War quite obsessively for a while (was a huge fan of the Total War series years ago so when I found out they were making a Warhammer version it got me hook, line and sinker). However since second edition was released AoS has become a lot more engaging, less about the heroics of the Stormcasts and more complex and grubby so it’s winning me back. That said Warcry is set out with the wider AoS world, the Eightpoints being heavily fortified and full of Chaos warriors (the Stormcasts, at the height of their untouchably heroic phase, still couldn’t get in) so it feels almost like a world of its own. You could even set it in the Chaos Wastes of the Old World if you felt so inclined, change a couple of names and you’d be good to go.

      Necromunda is still my first love though, I really need to get back to painting those Eschers soon (once I’ve cleared a bit more of the Blackstone Fortress stuff though, mustn’t get distracted…). I actually wondered about using some Corvus Cabal bits for some Eschers. In the background I came up with for my gang they originated in another hive but smuggled themselves into an ore-hauling convoy and fled after double-crossing another Escher gang, which I named the Crow-Skull Girls. It was always intended as a bit of background, nothing more, but now I keep looking at the Cabal and wondering about making a few Crow-Skull hunters who’ve crossed the ash wastes in search of revenge.

      It was as I was reading this that the penny dropped. “…the Iron Golems would be great as deep sea sump divers”. Or, to quote from the description of the Nautican Syphoning Delegation on page 34 of the Book of Peril “…hulking Subnautican Behemoths in armoured diving suits…”. Not that I’m trying to lead you astray (7 of 9 already has that covered!).

      Speaking of Necromunda are you excited about the Enforcers? I think all my well laid painting plans might get shaken up as soon as they arrive! 😀

      • castigatoruk

        Oh I like the idea of the Crow-Skulls, you know you just have to do it!
        When the enforcers were first revealed I wasn’t too sure about them but like all of the ‘Munda stuff they’ve inveigled their way into my thoughts and I now feel like I must have them….if only to keep all the other gangs company in my room of shame (yes, a box will no longer hold them all).
        I’ll be placing my order shortly and I’m slowly resigning myself to the fact that it is going to be a larger order than I originally anticipated 😉 …..bloody 7 of 9 and her augmetic eyebrow!

  • imperialrebelork

    Wow wow and WOW!!! Great write up man and if I wasn’t in love with the new models before reading this I’m bloody obsessed now. Even the Cypher Lords have started to appeal now I’ve seen some closer shots of them. I’m the same, it’s the heavy tops to them that kind of puts me off but lose the hair or do a head swap and maybe, just maybe. The poses are very dynamic. The untamed are so cool and yes Man-O-War would be a must as background music haha. I agreed on the spear and axe dude. Even lowering the axe arm could make all the difference. The gang dudes are a little plain but there’s something very cool about them plus, well snakes. Love snakes. The unmade are incredibly macabre and the scarecrow is phenomenal. The Cabal are the clear winners for me though!! A murder of crows = a slaughter of Cabal. I didn’t even notice, before your post, that the main birdman has talons strapped to his legs. There is so much awesomeness in these new models and this post that I am about to explode with excitement haha. I need to calm the hell down and take the dogs for a walk but I think I’ll come back for a second read and another look at these models. FYI I’ve ordered the starter set plus all new warbands apart from the cypher lords BUT I’m thinking I’ll get them too now haha. Crazy.

    • Wudugast

      Oh mate – I do enjoy your enthusiasm for these things! 😀 Not that I’m trying to act as GW’s salesman or anything but I’d actually be really curious to see what you did with the Cypher Lords, I think you could make something really twisted out of them. Speaking of which I presume you’re going to go kitbashing mad with these, or are they sufficiently crazy that you’ll be happy to paint them as is? And most importantly of all, will any of them be making their way into your genestealer cults?

      • imperialrebelork

        Geeeeeezzzzz I don’t know?? The possibilities are endless really. Usually I like to get two boxes of each kit I love. Eg Cawdor. So I can make one the way it’s supposed to be made and the other to make how my twisted imagination dictate. These, especially cabal and unmade, are kind twisted enough really hehe but who knows? Sometimes I don’t know what going to happen until it’s happened. I’m kind of thinking a lot of the kits could work for my techno barbarian/wasteland/mad max project. I don’t think any will make it into the GSC project as I’m almost done building that already.

      • Wudugast

        Ah, see I quite admire that kind of freeform converting. I tend to start with a plan, even if I end up deviating from it, but I love the idea of just sitting down and kitbashing – something – and not knowing quite what’s going to happen. Might try it at some point as a bit of an exercise. You could definitely get some cool ash-waste mad-max types out of these. I’ll keep an eye out for what you come up with.

      • imperialrebelork

        Sometimes I have a loose plan or concept then I sort of imagine what I want to achieve.

  • Alexis West

    Mine will take a while longer to arrive, but I’m also really looking forward to it. If I’d had my choice, the Starter box would have had the Splintered Fang and the Corvus Cabal because those are my faves, but I like all six of the Warbands we’ve seen so far.

    Untamed Beasts: Oh come now. There are other things worth listening to than Manowar while working on this lot. Amon Amarth, the Conan soundtrack, any amount of other bombastic fantasy metal. Also, I do kind of wish that the Rocktusk Prowler had been officially named the “awesome goat-lion thing”, as it was referred to when it was first previewed!

    Iron Golems: I want to do these guys up with Tzeentchian vibes, shading all the metalwork with blues and purples.

    Cypher Lords: The head-pieces still kind of bug me, but I do love the poses and sense of motion they have.

    Splintered Fang: For me, these are all about the opportunity to make Thulsa Doom references. I see the Trueblood’s pose as less something in combat, and more of a challenge/entering the arena sort of thing. The Leaders from the Iron Golems and Untamed Beasts are similarly dramatic, but not immediately threatening in their poses.

    Corvus Cabal: Nothing to add. They’re just flat out awesome!

    The Unmade: Another strong contender for my faves. They pretty much out-Hellraiser the actual Hellraiser movies.

    The Terrain was what really convinced me to pre-order this, lest it sell out and take forever to get re-released on its own. A bunch of absolutely fantastic stuff there, and most of my fantasy Terrain is already slanted toward a Realm of Chaos/Daemon World vibe so I can use it in 40K as well, so this should fit in very nicely indeed.

    • Wudugast

      I think I’m actually the only person I know who likes Manowar in a non-ironic way. I’m not laughing at them behind my hand, I genuinely like them. That said your other suggestions are spot on, Amon Amarth are a great shout and I’ve not listened to the Conan soundtrack in ages.

      Iron Golems; that’s a great idea. I really like that none of the warbands are tied to a specific god. I think if I’d had the concept described to me ahead of time I’d have assumed four warbands, one for each of the gods, and then perhaps something undivided, but the way they’ve done things is much better. That said some warbands seem to have been associated with certain gods amongst some of the fan base; the Iron Golem with Khorne, the Cypher Lords with Tzeentch, the Splintered Fang with Slaanesh etc. I’d really like to see people taking those in different directions, after all there’s no reason why an Iron Golem wouldn’t be drawn to Tzeentch, one of the Splintered Fang might become so consumed with brewing lethal poisons that they become a follower of Nurgle, one of the Cypher Lords starts to obsess over perfecting the art of killing that they fall to Khorne or so on.

      I think all of the leaders have perfect poses for challenging their adversaries (and inspiring their followers). The Splintered Fang leader is the exception and I think I’d have preferred something more like the others (or the complete opposite – in full combat mode, ala the Serpent Caller).

      Corvus Cabal: your comment is pretty much the first draft of my review of them. I really struggled to find anything to say beyond “these ones are perfect!”

      Yeah, the terrain is fantastic, and feels like a real bargain. I’ve always dreamed of having enough time and space to make another terrain board, set on a daemon world in the warp. At random points in the game everything would move around as the energies of Chaos wax and wane. Wouldn’t be the most practical thing but as an excuse to go mad on the modelling it would be a real joy.

      • Alexis West

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking Manowar at all, just saying they’re not the only option. I remember being in high school and a friend of mine put on Fighting the World because he thought it was ridiculous, and everyone else was joining in, and I thought it was just flat out awesome.

        Tzeentch had a lot of dominance in Chamon in the Realmgate Wars, so I sort of have that association there. Nurgle is the hardest for me to imagine with the Iron Golems, personally. And now you’ve got me thinking I should do a Nurgle take on the Cypher Lords, with the signs of hideous diseases barely concealed beneath those capes and masks.

      • Wudugast

        That sounds a lot like my first experience of Manowar as well. My mate had got some of their stuff and the two of us sat down expecting to just laugh at it and by the end we were both sitting there going “this is amazing!”. Honestly thought it was just him and me that felt that way in the whole world though, pretty sure even the band are only into it ironically!

        Been thinking about it and I have to suggest Turisas for the Untamed Beasts playlist as well.

        I’d forgotten about Tzeentch’s involvement in Chamon, that makes sense. Funnily enough I can see a Nurgle/Iron Golem crossover more than with any other god, it’s those huge slabs of heavy armour, the blunt weapons and expanses of bare flesh (ripe for bruising and disease!) that gives them a natural aesthetic link for me. In a similar way to seeing Death Guard apothecaries battling to the bitter end against the diseases consuming their charges, only to finally lose hope and throw in their lot with Nurgle I can equally imagine an Iron Golem consumed and destroyed by the need to craft armour that does not immediately crumble to rust. In the end he sells his soul into a daemonic pact and set’s out for the Varanspire, his warriors in unblemished, shining plate, whilst the flesh within is wasted and maggoty.

        Those Nurgly Cypher Lords you’ve suggested sound amazing. It’s the sort of thing I can’t imagine very many others doing either, which is always cool. Not sure where you’d get the bits from but what about plague doctor masks instead of those big helms?

      • Alexis West

        To me, it’s always felt like Nurglites tend to not care so much for their war-gear, and rely more on their own natural resilience and the fact that they’re so contagious that their mere presence is dangerous. I can see it now that you lay out some detail, tho.

        I think Plague Doctor masks might be a little too blatant for what I’d want to do with the Cypher Lords. They are an awesome vibe, and I do want to do some Nurgle Culties or something with them at some point.

        Forgot to mention: My first IG Army’s fluff was all centered around bits from Manowar songs. The regimental nickname was the Hammer of Hate, their motto was Hail and Kill, all that sort of thing.

      • Alexis West

        The other thing I kind of want to do with the Cypher Lords is to do the rays on their hats in the colours of various Pride flags XD

      • Wudugast

        Brilliant! Yes, that has to be done! 😀

  • Mikko

    I love these long write-ups of yours – I kid you not, they’re my main connection to what’s currently going on GW-wise! I had zero interest in Warcry before this post, but now…

    Thanks for a great, detailed post!

    • Wudugast

      Oh dear, hope I’ve not lead you astray! 😉 You can always blame me when the bank manager wants a word!

      Seriously, I’m glad you enjoyed it. I always start out really excited to be writing these and then the last little bit turns into a drag so it’s always really nice to hear people like them and that it’s been worthwhile. 🙂

  • Thomas

    Great write up, mate!

    For me, it the birdmen all the way. Each model is a knockout.

    • Wudugast

      Those birdmen are just perfect aren’t they. I really found it hard to write anything about them that wasn’t just fanboy gushing about how wonderful they are! 😀

      • Thomas

        I know what you mean. I can’t wait to see what people will do with these and the other warbands. The he opportunities to conversions are endless.

  • Argentbadger

    Terrific review; you have a great writing style. I’m looking forward to seeing a conversion of the leader of the Untamed Beasts with his weapon replaced by an electric guitar.

  • Azazel

    Nice write-up, and I do enjoy these. As for what I’m doing… ALL IN!
    3 copies of the base box, all the gangs, and all the cards. Let loose the Dogs of War!

    • Wudugast

      If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing right? Seriously, with that little lot you could really have a lot of fun. I was sorely tempted to get a second copy of the boxset but in the end I knew it would be a bridge too far for the old bank balance (plus there’s bound to be something else along soon that’s equally tempting!) I did get some of the cards though, it gives me a good excuse to get started on some of those Gloomspite Night Gits and various undead I’ve got kicking around.

      • Azazel

        Something like that – besides, I really like the look of the two packed gangs – a lot of scope to mess with the models there, and I always feel more comfortable doing so with a “spare” one. Not to mention all that delicious terrain…

      • Wudugast

        There’s a couple of alternative builds in there as well and now I’m torn between which to do. Not sufficiently torn to spring for a second box mind you, although I can see the temptation… I know what you mean about chopping up your only copy of a model, I don’t mind doing it with the rank and file but my heart is always in my mouth if it’s a rare or expensive miniature .

    • Alexis West

      I really do envy your hobby budget! 😉

  • Alex

    Great write-up mate, and yeah, this one has got me quite excited too – I’m hoping that finally we might have a GW fantasy skirmish game worthy of the genre!

    • Wudugast

      Usually my interest is in the models first, the background a close second and the rules, if at all, are a long way down the list but I must confess I’m intrigued to see how this plays, everything I’ve seen and read so far looks like it could be a lot of fun. And if they keep supporting it long term, and keep creating warbands as good as these, we could be looking at something really exciting indeed.

  • heresyofus

    Such a joy to read your write ups my friend. I’m holding off on this one for a while as I really don’t need another project at the moment. The Unmade though, oh yes! Right up my deranged ally!! Will be buying them for my Slaanesh Warband for sure.

    • Wudugast

      Thank you – very kind of you to say so 😀 Yeah, that’s very wise not to buy it straight away, I’m just a sucker for a pre-order bargain! I’m going to try to set it aside and finish off some existing projects first though. Good shout on adding the Unmade to your Slaaneshi warband, can’t wait to see what you do with them.

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