Kragnos

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the forces of Destruction in Age of Sigmar. Hulking barbarians in crude armour and the diminutive rascals that scurry alongside them, seeking only to tear civilisation apart and stamp up and down on the ruins for the sheer fun of it, you may not want to see them charging towards your village but it’s hard not to love their devil-may-care, joyous approach to life. If you want to bring nations to their knees and enjoy yourself whilst you do it then Destruction are the lads for you. Formed primarily of orcs, goblins, ogres, trolls and giants these are the villains of many a fantasy novel – yet mostly these are the thugs and goons who provide a bit of muscle, whilst the evil masterminding is done by someone else. Thus whilst Chaos and Death (and even Order to an extent) can come across as distinctly evil at times Destruction just seem to be having a good time – even if it’s at the expense of your army, settlement or nation.

Over the past few years, since WHFB gave way to the Age of Sigmar, the various factions that the new setting inherited from the old have evolved, often in innovative and surprising ways. Death has armies of ghosts and elite bone golems, Order has fish-elves, tree-elves, snake-elves (they do love their elves!) and flying dwarves. Destruction has much the same bunch of meatheads that went around kicking over fortresses back in the days of Karl Franz. Whilst other races have grown into the new setting Destruction has stayed stuck in the past – albeit with some very impressive new models. An Orruk Brute is just an Orc Big ‘un with a new name, the giants have grown a little taller and… that’s about it.

For some time now I’ve felt that Destruction was being left behind and although I’ve had no complaints about the models they’ve received I’ve harboured a suspicion that this couldn’t last and that sooner or later something new would come their way. Back in October of 2019 I ever tried to predict what it would look like, and claimed rather erroneously that new even-bigger giants was hardly something that was likely to occur…and then a year later that’s exactly what they did.

What I wouldn’t have guessed at though was anything like Kragnos, the truly massive, living demi-god of destruction who was showcased for the first time at the 2021 Online WarhammerFest this week.   

Kragnos

There’s no two ways about it, he’s a pretty damn awesome model in my view, a towering champion of testosterone who more than deserves the respect he’s gained both from the orcs, goblins and ogres that serve in his armies and from the painters already gathering their brushes in preparation for his release. He’s an unashamedly macho figure who speaks to the barbarian in all of us, the part of every man who’d love to wield a hammer made from the heart of the land itself and fight dragons because nothing else presents a challenge.

Kragnos 5

And if you hadn’t already guessed he’s a big lad, towering over even the meatiest orc or ogre.

Kragnos 6

Sadly for him, despite having risen to godhood by roughing up absolutely everyone he could get his hands, Kragnos has spent the last few ages ensnared and now he’s loose once more he discovers that his people are gone. “Gone” however is not exactly the same as extinct. Perhaps the people who Kragnos once led have been swept into the grave by the march of time, or perhaps he’s just been too busy hitting things to take the time to look for them – and perhaps the return of their ancient king might just be enough to lure them out of hiding. After all, entire peoples are rarely eradicated entirely, at least in fantasy stories. Their settlements may be ruined and their tribes scattered but there are always a few embittered survivors hiding in the wilderness, growing strong and praying to their lost god to bring them vengeance. Because cool though Kragnos is, he’s no orc. He may look the business right now leading an army of orcs or ogres or whatever it takes for people to get him onto their tabletops, but in a year or two’s time, when we’ve overcome our excitement at seeing him and familiarity has bred, if not contempt then at least a dulling of the hype, then Kragnos is going to seem a little odd rocking round at the head of a mix of greenskins.

Kragnos 2

Right now there’s not much in terms of visual cues to tie him into the wider Destruction range. He has very little in common with the ogres beyond being primeval and muscular, even less to connect him to the green-skinned orcs and next to nothing with the diminutive goblins. As a shaggy, brown centaur he has more in common with the beasts of Chaos range, particularly the dragon ogres, and anyone looking for a model to convert into Kholek Suneater for a WHFB army could do a lot worse than using him as a starting point. Likewise his technological trappings speak of a greater degree of sophistication than that shown by his peers who tend to start and stop with how effective something is at hitting people with and leave decoration, beyond a few spiky glyphs of course, to wusses. Kragnos on the other hand has dressed to impress, by barbarian standards, with torcs, earspools and a rather meta shield depicting Kragnos himself, holding his shield. 

Kragnos Sheild

I’ve long argued that human barbarians need not always be worshippers of Chaos. Some tribes could fit in nicely to the Order alliance, worshipping Sigmar as a god of war and thunder. It’s taken me until now however to realise that Destruction also has space for a few human(ish) tribes of their own. In my mind’s eye I’m envisioning something akin to the Sessairs from Confrontation, wildmen, warriors and centaurs who turned to the wilderness, abandoning their settlements with the coming of Chaos. 

Warstaff Kelts

I’m not saying that Kragnos will be given a race to lead by GW’s sculptors, and I’m certainly not saying that they’ll look anything like this. What I am saying is that Kragnos deserves some followers of his own, and that Destruction is overdue for the kind of treatment that Order, Chaos and Death have enjoyed. With Kragnos they’ve taken a bold step out of the Old World’s shadow, now let’s see where they go next. After all, GW have given us a broad hint that the little icon on Kragnos’ base is an allusion to things to come. Someone out there amongst the mountains and forests is excited about Kragnos’ arrival and it’s not just me!

Kragnos 4

Now despite all this I don’t think I’ll be painting Kragnos myself, he’s a bit big for my current painting plans (I have a whole lot of other monstrous figures I’d like to tackle first) but I’m itching to see what followers he may or may not have, and what direction GW decide to take this side of their range. In the meantime I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for more barbarian wrath on the way!


15 responses to “Kragnos

  • Alex

    Wow, well it certainly is a whomping model – not sure if I’m excited about it, but yeah, hoping for some cool additions to the range… My money is on Centaurs (but with a suitably IP-tastic spin)

    • Wudugast

      I’d say it’s one of those models where I’m excited about the idea of other people painting it if that makes sense. The new Be’lakor was the same actually – it’s a really cool model but it won’t be in my collection any time soon. Think you could be right about the IP-tweaked centaurs, with a suitably double-barrelled name of course – something like Horsebum Gymkhanalords I’m guessing.

  • Túbal Villar - Virakotxa

    Wow… That is.. Huge! I agree on the excitement about what others do with the thing! I foresee this mixed with 40K knight/titan “mega”-bits for some off-the-wall Khorne conversions! Even a Gork incarnation… Or possibly Mork. 😛

    • Wudugast

      He’s a big lad isn’t he? That’s an excellent suggestion, I wonder how he’d look with a few Bloodthirster bits mixed in as well? I can definitely see him being the basis of some amazing daemonic conversions!

  • Gavroche

    Nice model, but waaaay too big. I wish larger monsters would top of at 80-90mm max (or maybe just even double the size of a regular human as upper limit) and didn’t stand on complete miniature landscapes. Would make them more versatile for gameplay.

    • Wudugast

      I tend to agree, I like that there are some big beasts out there but not everything needs to be massive, and it serves to diminish the impact of the really big models when there’s loads of them kicking around. I think I’d be more interested in painting Kragnos myself if he was a bit smaller, I’ve only got so much space (and so much money!) and I’d like to get some greater daemons and daemon primarchs instead.

  • Kuribo

    Kragnos would be a good candidate to lead the Beastmen (or whatever they’re called these days) but they’re aligned with Chaos so that won’t do. I’m with you on liking the sculpt but not wanting to paint it. That one would be an exercise in tedium with all of that fur that and even the huge rock would take some time to paint well. GW have demonstrated once again that they are the masters of producing huge models and in fact, many of their coolest models seem to be of that variety, in my opinion. I hope we get to see some more cool stuff before the previews have concluded this week!

    • Wudugast

      Aye, there’s a very obvious “beastman” look with Kragnos isn’t there? That might well be something they do more with if/when they do followers for him I think, making some kind of “neutral” beastmen and making the chaos aligned beastmen stranger, more mutated and Chaotic. For a long time the beastmen have been getting less and less chaotic in appearance and turning into a stable race of goatmen, thankfully the Tzaangors and Slaangors have pushed things back into stranger territory again. Personally I’d like to see that divide widened into two distinct factions – if you want centaurs and hirsute barbarians then you’ve got Kragnos, if you want gibbering madness come crawling out of the forest depths you’ve got chaos beastmen.

      I’ve got to say I’ve been very impressed with the previews we’ve seen this week. The new vampires are amazing, I can definitely feel myself getting pulled in that direction. Sisters of Battle aren’t really my thing – I like them but I prefer the Arco-flagellants and Penitent Engines part of the range (although I could see myself painting the odd Sister in the future for fun). I think they got some cool models coming though, if I was a Sisters collector I’d be ecstatic right now. Morvenn Vahl is a cracking miniature and I really like the Celestian Sacresants, if I was to stumble down the slippery slope into a war of faith I’d be starting with them! The Gaunt’s Ghosts models are great – believe it or not I’ve never read the books but I’ve been meaning to for ages so I might get around to them next. Obviously the highlight for me has been the Delaque though, I wasn’t expecting to see them so soon (thought the Redemptionists would be out first) but I love them! Very curious to see what else they have up their sleeves, more Orks would be nice – I’ve been blown away by the Orks they’ve previewed so far. Would have liked to see something new for Blood Bowl, Warcry and Adeptus Titanicus (Chaos titans please!) but you can’t have everything at once I guess.

      • Kuribo

        I think those ideas for beastmen sound great. I remember them as being kind of malignant defenders of the forest back in the day so I think a barbarian version of them (or even just centaurs) sounds pretty cool to me.

        I’m glad to hear you like the previews! I must be getting hard to please because almost nothing has caught my eye so far. To be fair, most of it comes from factions I don’t care for or at the very least don’t gravitate towards painting. I’m scared because one of the sea elves for Underworld is my favorite sculpt I’ve seen and I can’t stand those bloody sea elves! I think they’re one of GW’s worst ideas and this probably further proof that I’m becoming more crotchety by the second haha! 🙂

      • Wudugast

        Yeah, I’m no fan of the Idoneth myself. I don’t hate them but they’re not really my cup of tea. I’m kind of the opposite of yourself though, in that I was really wanting to like the new set but ended up a bit disappointed in them. I have a little group of thralls and reavers that I picked up somewhere along the line (I’m a sucker for a bargain…) and I thought maybe if the Underworld’s warband looked good I could combine them into a Warcry warband. Alas I think I’ll have to come up with something else instead.

        Those new Orks are bloody gorgeous though. It’s been far, far too long since I did anything with my Ork army too – probably time to get the lads geared up for another Waaagh! I’m liking the look of AoS 3 as well – I never thought I’d say this but those Stormcast are pretty tasty aren’t they? I’ve not had the chance to look at what other people are saying about this yet, and so wiser minds than mine may have already guessed at whatever the villain of the new boxset might be and I’m the only one stabbing wildly in the dark, but I’m wanting to call it as Fimir. I’m just hoping that the new boxset is made available properly, none of this limited edition nonsense that they did with Indomitus.

      • Kuribo

        That is a shame that the new box doesn’t fit in with your ideas. Always annoying when that happens. My only issue with the Underworld sets is that I usually only like a single sculpt in the box and so I can’t justify buying them even when they are fairly affordably priced.

        And its funny you say that about the Orks as I don’t care for the new Orks. I don’t think they’re bad at all, they just don’t do anything for me for some reason though I’ve never been a massive Greenskinz fan in fairness. Its funny how GW manages to keep so many demanding fans like us happy! I do think the new winged Stormcast is a good sculpt. Probably the one I’d be most likely to paint of everything GW previewed. I was hoping in vain for something from The Old World and as we now know, the wait for it goes on….

  • Mikko

    That’s a really cool model, with my only minor gripe being that the face looks a bit small. Really looking forward to seeing whether they introduce some sort of micro faction around him, as you made a good point about him not really fitting in with the rest of the Destruction lot. Thanks for another thoughtful write-up!

    • Wudugast

      Thank you! I know what you mean about the head, it’s a little small isn’t it? GW do seem to struggle with heads on miniatures for some reason, they often seem to be a little too big or too small. Apparently he has an alternative head (which I’m assuming is the version with the mouth open rather than closed – top most picture in this post) – to my eye that looks a bit better.

  • Tavendale

    Having embarked on a large Gloomspite Army, and having realised I actually have 4 Giants in my collection (2 that I bought for my Gitz before realising I had one still boxed up from Warhammer Fantasy days and one that I had cut up a bit for an undead army) that could be the basis of a Sons of Behemat army, I’m delighted to find that Kragnos is coming to cement my allegiance to the forces of Destruction.

    What a cracking model!

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