Tag Archives: Warhammer

Amid The Ruins – Part 7

I do try not to use this blog as a platform to moan about how busy work and “real life” is at the moment, especially because I’m lucky enough to really enjoy my job and generally have a good life. That said it is bloody busy right now! Anyway I’ve been struggling to find the time to tackle the number of miniature’s projects that I’d like to and when I have found time to paint over the last couple of months I’ve often lacked the focus or energy for anything complicated. Terrain, of course, is the perfect antidote for this – being suitably quick and dirty to do with the big brushes, lots of washes and copious drybrushing.

As it happens I also have a number of odds and ends from the Warcry starter set kicking around so these were the obvious target for my efforts. To begin with I had three barricades, one small…

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (3)

…one medium….

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (8)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (9)

…and one large.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (10)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (11)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (12)

Then we have a wooden bridge for those gaps even a blood-maddened Chaos warrior isn’t prepared to jump.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)

I also found a chunk of rubble which I painted up at the same time.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (1)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (2)

Then there are these two wells. Given that this is the Eightpoints, a war torn Chaos infested landscape, I decided to make these as unappealing to drink out of as possible. Even if Nurgle hasn’t been spreading his influence you’d have to be pretty desperate to try this water – then again desperate is exactly what most people in the Eightpoints are.

Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (5)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (6)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (7)Warcry AoS Wudugast ConvertOrDie Warhammer (4)

Hopefully by the time we’re into August things will be a bit quieter and more relaxed and I’ll have more time to break out the brushes. In the meantime I have found a bit of time for kitbashing some new models so I’ll try to get some pictures of those up soon.


Shambling Bones

A couple of months ago when the Soulblight Vampires range was released I toyed with the idea of using the new skeleton warriors to kitbash grave guard. For those unfamiliar with the various ranks of undead soldiers in Games Workshop’s ranges the skeleton warriors are the rank and file, the grave guard are the elite wights – yet although the old grave guard models have held up very well to the passage of time, scale creep means they are now a lot shorter and less imposing than the newly released skeletons. Here’s a quick reminder of how the old grave guard look alongside one of the new skeletons (taken from the Cursed City box).

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (1)

Hardly the imposing undead champions they claim to be are they, not when the new boys tower over them in every respect. Keep in mind also that the hunched pose of the Grave Guard actually emphasises his size here, bringing his face closer to the lens of the camera and making him look bigger than he is. In the flesh the size difference is even more noticeable. Could I, I found myself wondering, mix parts from the two kits to make bigger grave guard?

Well the answer, it turns out, is yes. I wouldn’t call these an entirely unqualified success, I think on a second attempt I could make improvements, but overall I’m pretty pleased with these. For the first one I went for a straightforward sword and shield arrangement.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (2)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (3)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (4)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (5)

Pleased, and perhaps overconfident, following this success, I went on to try making one with a great weapon. Games Workshop’s two-handed weapons are always a horrible nightmare to assemble even if you’re using the right parts in the right places, going off-piste tends to turn into an exercise in which the entire lexicon of swear words gets worked through at least twice. Still, I persisted, and here’s the result.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (6)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (7)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (8)Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (9)

The first thing that struck me here is that his proportions are very odd and his stance somewhat awkward. The same can be said of the first one, and indeed the stock Games Workshop skeletons – indeed the very awkwardness of the new models is one of their great strengths, placing them neatly in the uncanny valley and emphasising their inhuman nature. That said it’s always easier to appreciate these things when someone else does them, and criticise them as failings in your own work – and that’s exactly what I did with him at first. My solution in end was to steer into it and give him a tall, bat-winged helmet to really labour the point, and on the whole I think it works. Standing next to a skeleton warrior they certainly look a lot more businesslike and imposing than their predecessors did.

Grave Guard Warhammer ConvertOrDie Wudugast Soulblight AoS (10)

Now we’ll have to see how they look with paint on them. In the meantime any comments, suggestions or feedback is very welcome.


Kruel and the Gang

Another weekend, another Warhammer preview – this time devoted to the Stormcast Eternals and their latest adversaries, the scheming orc Kruelboyz. Now the Stormcasts do look nice, it’s a range that’s come on in leaps and bounds over recent years, but being essentially a filthy orc myself my attention has been squarely focussed on this new breed of swamp-lurking greenskins.

It probably won’t come as a surprise to any of my regular readers but I like these a lot. They’re nasty, spiky gits, much more in keeping with the wicked hordes of older fantasy fiction than the “misunderstood” tribal barbarians popularised by World of Warcraft and other modern sources. They look exactly like the kind of evil scum that might be found lurking in a wild and overgrown swamp, ready to carry off their unfortunate victims to a terrible fate. It may say nothing good about me at all but that’s exactly the kind of qualities that draw me to a faction and so of course I’ve been watching this release develop with interest, my fingers hovering expectantly over my sadly over-worked wallet whilst my pots of green paint shove their way to the front of the desk ready to be liberally applied.

Beyond this rabid enthusiasm however two things have struck me whilst looking at these models; where are the normal orcs and why are these ones looking so damn serious all the time?

Kruelboss

In Praise of Normal Orcs

Over in the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium the greenskins are also gearing up for war. This time around the new models will be bring a range of new hunters and beast-wranglers to the faction – the so-called Beast Snaggas, some of whom even ride into battle on giant squigs.

New Orc

In the world of Warhammer 40k all orks belong to a tribe (that’s your personal collection – my army, Da Murdaboyz, being one example). Most orks are also part of one of six major clans (the Goffs, Evil Sunz, Snakebites, Bad Moons, Blood Axes and Deathskulls). A tribe may be made up exclusively of orks from one of these clans or it may contain members of several or all. Each clan has its own idiosyncrasies and defining traits, Bad Moons are wealthy show-offs for instance whilst the Deathskulls combine a superstitious obsession with the colour blue with a hunger for stealing everyone else’s property as soon as they can get their hands on it. Adding a third layer of complexity are the various ork “kultures” – the Kult of Speed for example, or the new Beast Snaggas. Some of these kultures tie themselves in well with certain clans but, and this is the clever thing, it’s not an exclusive arrangement. Take the Kult of Speed. These orks take their species’ love of hurtling around at a breakneck pace, something every ork enjoys to some extent, and turn it into a lifelong fixation. As a result they find a natural home amongst the nomadic petrol-heads of the Evil Sunz clan. The Goffs meanwhile are the meanest and most brutish orks of all, serious and ill-tempered they like the simple things in life – straightforward fighting with muscles and fists doing all the real work and none of that fancy nonsense getting in the way. They may take a dim view of the Speed Freeks and their time wasting antics, tinkering around with motorbikes or having silly races in the dusty wastes outside the camp when they should be concentrating on proper things like fighting. However that doesn’t mean that a few buggies or bikes will be out of place in a Goff army. After all it stands to reason that a Goff who races his way into combat atop a speeding bike will be able to enjoy a lot more fighting than his mates who have to walk all the way, and probably won’t reach the site of battle until the best killin’ has already been done. Meanwhile a Bad Moon might find himself tempted by a vehicle of his very own, and if he is he’ll buy one that’s fancier than anyone else’s – at least until the local Deathskulls steal it and paint it blue…

In practical terms this means you can make your army your own, choosing the parts of the Ork background that you find most appealing without finding yourself “locked out” of adding particular models to your collection. This works because, stripped back to the bare lead, plastic or resin, all these orks look relatively similar. There’s not much to distinguish a Bad Moon from a Goff until you’ve decided whether to paint him in garish yellow or cover him in black and white checks. These clans and kultures which have brought excitement and pleasure to so many hobbyists over the decades are rarely more than a coat of paint deep.

Over in Age of Sigmar however the differences are rather more intrinsic. A Kruelboy is a lean, spiky creature…

Gutrippa

… quite different to a hulking brute like an Ironjaw.

Ironjaw Brute

They’re both orcs, and they can certainly look good mixed together in a large army, but what they really need is something to tie them together – a missing link as it were. Where are the ordinary orcs?

Back in the old days of Warhammer Fantasy Battle the Orcs and Goblins range had at its heart mobs of Orc Boyz. The kit, when it was retired with the coming of Age of Sigmar, was well past its best but it continued to serve a key function – tying all the other orcs together thematically.

Normal Orcs

With these green lads at the heart of your army you could add in some Black Orcs (disciplined orcs in heavy armour), Big ‘uns (orcs but even bigger and tougher) or Savage Orcs (orcs who distain clothes and other trappings of civilisation and go into battle with nothing but bone clubs and loincloths). Standing side by side the Black Orcs looked very different to their Savage cousins (they were wearing a bit more for starters) but a mob of Orc Boys created a visual link that brought them together. As the greenskins have migrated across to Age of Sigmar the various specialised “types” have lived on – the Savage Orcs rebranded as Bonesplitterz, the Black Orcs as ‘Ardboyz and the Big ‘uns getting a swanky new range of models and becoming the Ironjaws. Now there are swamp themed orcs as well. What we don’t have however is the missing link, the ordinary boys who may not be fancy or particularly original, but who bring everything together – who take the disparate mobs of Kruelboyz, Ardboyz, Bonesplitterz and Ironjaws and forge them into an army.

Why So Serious?

For the most part the various settings and games under the Warhammer umbrella are on the one hand very serious, and on the other very silly. Take Blood Bowl for instance, a game which the players can – if they so wish – take very, very seriously indeed, developing for themselves the mindsets of chess grandmasters, whilst at the same time playing with undead footballers, drunken dwarves, pogo-ing goblins, chainsaw-wielding loonies and orc cheerleaders. Warhammer 40k paints itself as a very serious business (look no further than the 700 novels that make up the Horus Heresy series) but it also includes space vampires, space werewolves, all kinds of demons and other craziness that more sober sci-fi would never abide. Orks of course are the ultimate expression of that silly side. Even when 40k is trying to be sensible and grown-up, picturing the grand narrative of a declining and stagnating empire brought low by the flaws within our all too human souls, the orks just fart around at the back enjoying themselves. Collectively, they are the whoopee cushion on Roboute Guilliman’s chair.

Orc Cheerleader

Warhammer works well when it can be taken very seriously – look no further than the reams of historical and cultural background in the “House of…” books for Necromunda for example. However it needs that spark of silliness to bring out the flavour. All that Necromundan nitty-gritty is wonderful but it’s still a game of punks vs. aliens, and it still includes the character Smartacus, an ogre who leads an uprising after an accident turns him into a genius.

If the Kruelboyz have a flaw then it’s that they’re not very silly. Indeed for the most part they look serious and scary. Now there’s nothing wrong with that – as I said I really like that aspect of them – but really the Ironjaws aren’t particularly silly either, the Black Orcs/Ardboyz were always grim and dour and that only leaves the Savage Orcs doing their best to keep things daft and looking ever more out of place. But if the orcs aren’t silly then who is?

Gutrippa 2

To me that’s the one remaining problem with Age of Sigmar. The setting has grown from its challenging birth into something genuinely interesting and impressive. When it first launched six years ago it felt unfinished; the backstory little better than fan fiction, the models borrowed from WHFB with confusing new names and the rules leaning as much on players yelling at each other as on rolling dice. Nowadays it’s grown into an engaging, complex world in which even cynical old hands like me look forward to discovering the next chapter of the ever developing story. However these days it’s a sensible world for grown-up people. The goblins – in the form of the Gloomspite Gits – are as silly as ever but the Orcs have their serious faces on, and much as I love the look of the Kruelboyz I miss those daft old orcs. Perhaps in time though we’ll have both – serious orcs for serious battles and silly old orcs farting under the noses of those snooty Stormcasts.


Ghost Stories – Part 8

Were you thinking that, upon your untimely demise, you might escape the pitiless and spiteful judgement of Age of Sigmar’s death god Nagash? Well just don’t bother! Callous jailers in life, the Spirit Torment are employed in undeath to imprison souls in the dank oubliettes and dungeons of the underworld. Rogue souls which escape this fate are hunted down without mercy – and pointing out that you are, in fact, still alive and feeling healthier than ever is considered no excuse. The huge padlocks carried by these malevolent wardens do double duty, as a cold iron shackle with which to imprison wayward ghosts and as a bludgeon by which those still enjoying the benefits of their mortal flesh can be “encouraged” to join the undead legions a little earlier than they intended.

Spirit Torment Nighthaunt Wudugast Warhammer Ghost (1)Spirit Torment Nighthaunt Wudugast Warhammer Ghost (2)Spirit Torment Nighthaunt Wudugast Warhammer Ghost (3)

I really like these spooky looking models and now I’ve got into the swing of painting the tattered robes of the Nighthaunt he was fairly quick and easy to paint. There’s no escaping the will of Nagash!


Ghost Stories – Part 7

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but some of my absolute favourite models in the Nighthaunt range are the Glaivewraith Stalkers, the sinister, animal-headed ghosts that hunt down those who have earned the ire of the death god Nagash. I painted one a while ago for my Nighthaunt Warcry warband but I’ve got a few of them kicking around from the Soul Wars boxset and these two, with the dread inescapability for which they are famed, have drifted slowly across the painting desk until my paint-stained fingers finally succumbed to the inevitable and I got them finished.

Nighthaunt Glaivewraith Stalker Wudugast Warhammer (1)Nighthaunt Glaivewraith Stalker Wudugast Warhammer (2)Nighthaunt Glaivewraith Stalker Wudugast Warhammer (3)Nighthaunt Glaivewraith Stalker Wudugast Warhammer (4)Nighthaunt Glaivewraith Stalker Wudugast Warhammer (5)

I do find these ghosts very relaxing to paint, especially when things are busy as they are just now, so I imagine there will be a few more showing up here sooner or later.


The Littlest Player

After painting that Chaos Blocker the other day I was feeling the itch to work on some more Blood Bowl and dug out all the various part finished models that are in the queue. However rather than tackle any of the obvious ones my hand settled instead on this little dude. Work and other real life stuff has me running around like a mad thing right now so rather than tackling anything too big or complex I instead decided that the smallest and most straightforward model on the desk was definitely the one for me.

I picked up the Snotling Blood Bowl team last year as a pat on the back to myself for completing the Chaos Knight I’d been working on since forever. At the time I joked that buying 18 snotlings (plus 2 pump wagons and various other gubbins) as a reward for painting 1 knight made my numbers look terrible when it comes to clearing my backlog but it couldn’t possibly take me as long to get the team painted as it did the knight. Will time make a liar of me? The jury is still out… Anyway, my plan was to work on the Snotlings in short order because they looked like a lot of fun to paint but then it occurred to me that I might actually like to try playing Blood Bowl and so should work on my (at the time long neglected) Orc team so I had something sensible to learn the game with, as opposed to the famously silly and challenging to play Snotlings. So this test model was left to gather dust until the other day when I took pity on him and decided he deserved to be finished.

Snotling Blood Bowl Warhammer Wudugast (1)Snotling Blood Bowl Warhammer Wudugast (2)Snotling Blood Bowl Warhammer Wudugast (3)

I wouldn’t usually make a post for a single figure that’s as small as this one, preferring to save it and post it alongside a few of its peers, however the truth of the matter is that might well be a long time coming. Once things settle down a bit I want to finish up my various other WIP teams (the Humans, the Elves and finishing up that troll for the Orcs) before this guy gets any more company. Hopefully that won’t take me quite as many years as that Chaos Knight did in the end…


Chosen Blocker

Over the years I’ve painted a lot of bloodthirsty individuals who fight for the Dark Gods, but this is the first time I’ve painted one who plays for the Dark Gods. Work and other “real life” concerns are a bit busy at the moment and I fancied painting something straightforward and uncomplicated – a description that fits this Blood Bowl loving thug perfectly!

Chaos Blood Bowl Chosen Wudugast (1)Chaos Blood Bowl Chosen Wudugast (4)Chaos Blood Bowl Chosen Wudugast (2)Chaos Blood Bowl Chosen Wudugast (3)

Is this a one off or will he someday be the start of a new team? Maybe?!


Nagash’s Finest

It may be hard to believe but the Ossiarch Bonereapers were first released back in November of 2019 and not “just a few months ago” as my brain otherwise insists. At the time I dreamed of assembling a mighty army of them, but in the time since I’ve painted precisely zero. On the other hand I haven’t bought very many of them either so at least they aren’t gathering dust in the unpainted pile like some other projects I could name…

However that’s not to say I don’t have any of them at all, so – with Death on the rise amongst Games Workshop’s latest wave of releases – I decided that this was a fine moment to paint up a couple of Mortek Guard, the elite foot soldiers of Nagash’s legions.

Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (1)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (2)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (3)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (4)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (5)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (6)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (7)Ossiarch Bonereapers Wudugast AoS Warhammer (8)

I’m not sure if I ever will build my Bonereapers army, or if this is one of those projects that will remain forever on the wishlist, but I did enjoy working on these two enormously so expect to see the rest of their squad show up sooner or later. Probably later if I’m honest but luckily Nagash is infinitely patient…


The Best of Warhammer Fest 2021

Last week was Warhammer Fest 2021, and this year – thanks to Covid – it was held online and open to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. I had thought I might put together a blog or two as events progressed, mostly so I could indulge myself and froth with excitement over each new model that was revealed, but sadly for me (and to the possible relief of my readership) I just didn’t have the time. However as I was reading the review of the event on No Rerolls (which is entertaining, informative and well worth a look by the way) I realised that I could “borrow” (read: blatantly steal) his idea and pick my favourite reveal from each day.  

So without further ado let’s take a look back through the past week and thrill at the sight of me squirming to pick only one thing per day out of the veritable tidal wave of new models, books and other goodies soon to be available.

WarhammerFestLogo

Monday:

Monday was all about the Age of Sigmar. I’ve already talked a lot about the mighty centaur Kragnos who’s soon to be shaking up the Mortal Realms. However despite being very curious to see where this new addition to the Destruction range might be leading my attention was mostly focussed on the shambling masses of the living dead. I’ve been a fan of the Vampire Counts for a long time so I’ll definitely be spending some of my hard earned pennies here as soon as these are released (and the first few will be going on sale in just under a week). There was a lot of very cool stuff shown here, and you can expect a review of the full range soonish, but for now I’ll have to make the difficult choice and decide on a favourite. I swithered over this for some time, I really like the twisted  creature that is Lauka Vai, the Mother of Nightmares and so I’m going to bend my own rules and give her an honourable mention anyway.

Lauka Vai

However my current favourite has to be Belladamma Volga, the matriarch of the Vyrkos clan of vampires. That’s right – we’ve seen Radukar the Wolf in the game Cursed City, now we get to meet his grandmother!

Belladamma Volga

Tuesday:

Time to switch over to the 41st Millennium for the first of the week’s two 40k themed sessions. This one was focussed around the Sisters of Battle and as a result excited me less than most of the other days. Not that I have anything against the Sisters, and I’ll be the first to tell you that they’ve deserved every single one of their new models after so many years in the wilderness, but they’re not a range I’m particularly thrilled by either. That said there are a few really nice models in the army so perhaps, someday, I could see myself putting together a small crusade. Given my well known appreciation for a phalanx of troops it’s fair to say that should that day dawn a squad of shielded Celestian Sacresants will be marching at the head of my holy warriors.

Celestian Sacresants

Wednesday

Wednesday was all about the books published by Black Library, and as someone who reads even more than he paints I was especially keen to see what was revealed here. Having read almost the entire Horus Heresy series so far (I’m part way through the most recent novel – Mortis by John French) I can’t wait for the next instalment. Sadly wait is exactly what I’ll have to do, Black Library having the irritating habit of releasing special limited editions of their novels then keeping the rest of us hanging around for months before the standard release (I suspect this is because rich people read very slowly and have to be given a head start but I’ve yet to have this confirmed). Warhawk is written by Chris Wraight, to my mind one of the best authors in the Black Library stable, and stars Jaghatai Khan (the eponymous Warhawk of Chogoris), who’s probably my favourite loyalist primarch, as he makes his famous strike for the Lion’s Gate space port in one of the key battles of the war. Needless to say I think it’ll be worth the wait.

Warhawk

Thursday

Thursday was boxed games day, which meant it was probably the day I was looking forward to the most. Still I feel I could be excused for being a little disappointed here. Partly that’s because the bar was always going to be set high, the range of things they might possibly cover being much greater than the time they had available. Still it would be nice to see what’s next for Blood Bowl, since the release of the most recent edition things have been very quiet on that front and I felt certain we’d be seeing a new team. Equally Warcry has been kicking along almost entirely on models borrowed from Age of Sigmar since its release back in 2019 and, given its ongoing popularity, it would be nice to know if GW have any more models planned specifically for it. Then there’s Adeptus Titanicus which just received a book dedicated to the loyalist legios who fought in the Horus Heresy – and thus surely deserve a book to cover the traitor legios (and more importantly some warped Chaos Titans to unleash!). Finally, and it was always going to be a long-shot, it would have been nice to see some kind of official comment on what the hell happened to Cursed City. I know they’re not going to stand up and say “Oh, we’re terribly sorry, it was all a big misunderstanding, the game is back in stock and expansions are on their way” but a man can dream eh!

However, enough about what we didn’t see, because what we did see was downright awesome. The Delaque are back in the underhive of Necromunda, bolstered by some wonderfully weird new recruits. Honestly I didn’t expect to see the new Delaque so soon, the Redemptionists haven’t even been released yet – hopefully that means the twisted fire-starters are just around the corner.

The Nacht-Ghul are just fun to say, and stand ready to spring from the shadows and do some murdering on behalf of the House of Secrets.

Nacht-Ghul

Alongside them we have the creepy Psy-Gheists, one of whom appears to be… ahem… wrestling with a snake.

Psy-Gheists

And the box also contains a Piscean Spektor, which looks to be a bigger and weirder version of the Cephalopod Spekter  I was banging on about just a few weeks ago.

Spektors

Oh and there were also some fish elves and a tiny plane but who cares about that when there’s new Necromunda!

Friday

Friday took us back to the 41st Millennium and for me proved to be a lot more exciting than Tuesday had been. I’ve been gathering a mighty horde of Orks for many a long year (over a decade by my counting) but I can never get enough of the big green thugs. Now there’s a whole new wave of them approaching and it goes without saying I’m an overexcited boy already.

Orks

Much as I would like to choose “all of them” as my personal favourite my own rules say I can pick only one so if you put a shoota to my head and made me pick I’d have to choose this guy, Zodgrod Wortsnagga.

Zodgrod Wortsnagga Old

Oh who am I kidding, that’s what he looked like back in the early 90’s (and damn cool he looked back then too). Nowadays however he looks a bit more like this…

Zodgrod Wortsnagga

And because I simply can’t resist I’ll have to give another honourable mention, this time to this enthusiastic little git and his squig buddy. Those Space Marines won’t know what hit them!

Gobbo

Saturday

Rounding out the week we had a surprise reveal (although I’m not sure it was all that surprising) in the form of the new edition of Age of Sigmar.

AoS3

AoS has come a long way since it launched, the once controversial offspring of Warhammer growing into a respectable beast in its own right. With three years having passed since the launch of the second edition many people surmised that the third would soon be upon us. The real surprise however came in the form of Stormcasts that I actually rather like the look of. I know readers, I’m as shocked as you are!

Stormcast Eternal

Who am I kidding, I’ve been known to enjoy a Stormcast Eternal in the past (I’ve even painted one). Still I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was, these are truly fine looking models and if I was a Stormcast collector (something I doubt I’ll ever be in a serious way) I’d be over the moon with these.

Annihilators

However I think I’m most curious about their adversaries in the forthcoming boxset. Games Workshop have already announced that the next edition will be era of Destruction, as the orcs, goblins, ogres and their allies finally get stuck into the fight in a big way. Furthermore the preview revealed that something is lurking in the swamps, ready to fall upon those unfortunate Stormcasts. Could we be about to see a return of the long lost Fimir? Either way something for the Destruction alliance that lurks in a mire is always going to be enough to grab my attention!

So, that was my pick of the week’s previews. Did I miss out your favourite or pick something you thought was rubbish? As ever the comment’s section is all yours.


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!