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The Month in Miniatures: April 2021

Welcome to April’s issue of the Month in Miniatures, the Tiny Plastic People news blog. My goal here is to let you keep up with the new and interesting things happening in Games Workshop’s miniatures ranges, and the culture and community around them. One third of the way into the year already! Where does the time go?

Deeply Cursed City

The biggest news this month is Cursed City, and it’s strange news. Cursed City, the latest in Games Workshop’s Warhammer Quest range of cooperative boardgames, went up for pre-order, and sold out worldwide within minutes. This isn’t entirely unusual for GW’s big box releases, but this was unexpectedly fast. The webstore went down under the weight of traffic, and for many people by the time it came back, the stock was entirely gone.

A picture of the Cursed City boardgame, including pieces, boards, dice, and cards
Cursed City, GW’s most ambitious and diaphenous release yet. Source: Warhammer Community

Cursed City was widely expected to be a long-term release (Blackstone Fortress, the previous entry in the range, has been on sale for two years and is still available) but GW has been silent on news of a restock. A few days later, the listing was removed from the webstore entirely, though the promotional website does remain live.

There’s certainly a current of bad feeling in the community about how fast limited edition products go out of stock – often they’re extremely good deals, or the only way to get certain models. It’s entirely understandable that GW are having stock issues at the moment, but removing a product from the store without communication has not engendered much community sympathy. One group that usually benefits from these situations is resellers – taking a quick look at Ebay, there are many boxes of Cursed City listed for well above retail price.

A screenshot of three listings for Cursed City on ebay. Two are 200 pounds, one is 127 pounds with two bids and four days remaining.
Source: eBay

To speculate shamelessly about what’s happening, Cursed City has significant cardboard boards, tokens and cards, that GW usually buys in from printing companies in China. It seems possible that this particular supply chain was disrupted essentially to breaking point by Covid and Brexit, and now GW has no real idea of when or if they’ll get any more. Without any information to pass on, they’ve opted to keep schtum. 

With no information to go on, it’s impossible to guess what will happen in future. It seems unlikely that Cursed City is just gone forever – if the pattern is anything like previous Warhammer Quest games, there are expansion packs that have probably been printed by now. Perhaps the whole game will come back at some point? Or perhaps the models will get a separate release? Watch this space.

Fresh Prince Of Bel Akor

The month’s only other major release was Broken Realms: Be’lakor, the latest in the Broken Realms series of narrative books for Age of Sigmar. Last month’s Broken Realms: Teclis came with a massive expansion of the Lumineth Realm-Lords range, and in comparison this was a bit more low-key, with only a few new hero models, including Gardus Steelsoul (a Stormcast famous from the Hallowed Knights books) and Be’lakor himself, the first and biggest Daemon Prince. 

The book included some pretty cool narrative beats and rules for several factions, including a consolidation of the expansions Nighthaunt received in the White Dwarf magazine, faction rules for Be’Lakor’s personal daemonic apocalypse, and small updates for Fyreslayers, Tzeentch, Kharadron, and Seraphon.

Image of a model of Be'lakor, a daemon prince model with a burning sword and wide wings festooned with chains.
Source: Warhammer Community

The next Broken Realms book will be Kragnos, and aside from a brief preview video there’s not much to go on but rumors. Who or what Kragnos is remains a mystery at the time of writing,as is their place in the narrative – the only image we have is of a vaguely centauroid form. What we have seen is a bunch of models that will apparently be released as part of the Broken Realms narrative – see New Model Army below.

If Kragnos wants to get here before the heavily rumoured AoS 3rd Edition, his window is closing pretty sharply. The other news this month, presumably related to the stocking issues that have plagued Cursed City, is that GW are taking a break from releasing new models or pre-orders for at least a few weeks. If there’s something coming soon that you’re particularly keen on I’m sure this is disappointing, but it’s probably for the best: battening down the hatches and wearing out the current storm rather than plowing on as normal.

Warhammer Fest

There was no preview stream this month, for the first time this year – but that’s probably because Warhammer Fest is coming soon. Warhammer Fest is normally GW’s big yearly convention, and usually comes with a whole bunch of announcements and previews, similar to the preview streams we’ve been seeing for the last few months. This year it’s online-only, – can’t imagine why – and takes place over the course of a week, with a stream at 6pm every day from May 3rd-8th on a schedule as below.

The schedule for Warhammer Quest. Monday Age of Sigmar, Tuesday Warhammer 40000, Wednesday Black Library, Thursday Boxed Games, Friday Warhammer 40000, Saturday Mystery
Source: Warhammer Community

The Warhammer Facebook pages have put out some hints as to things we can expect – Necromunda Delaque, Vampires, and the previously-announced Beast Snagga Orks have all been teased, as well as one image being a Space-Marine themed invitation from Roboute Guilleman himself, so perhaps there’s more of them coming, filling out the release schedule like packing peanuts. 

One day is devoted to boxed games, which is a bit of a vague term, but will presumably include Necromunda and any Cursed City expansions we could expect. The final day is “A Mystery”. AoS 3rd Edition seems most likely, although perhaps something else will come out of left field?

New Model Army

Almost everything else new this month was a cool picture of a new model. There’s a lot of them, but relatively few other items of news, most likely because with new releases on hold and Warhammer Fest coming up soon, the rate of announcements to releases is getting a bit unsustainable.

Theme one was Broken Realms, with new models every monday specifically for the AOS Narrative series. In order we saw a father-daughter pair of witch hunters, a new model for Lord Kroak (the mummified frog leader of the Seraphon), a pair of new Slaaneshi greater daemons , and a new hero for the Sylvaneth, the Warsong Revenant.

Also shown off, a pair of models for the Adepta Sororitas, who seem to be getting a pretty large release soon – a halberd-wielding melee specialist, implied to be one of a unit, and a banner-bearing hero. The new sororitas releases seem to be leaning both more towards the gothic and towards close combat, and I am here for both.

Finally, Warhammer Community is now doing a regular series dedicated to the Horus Heresy. All the previously previewed Heresy models had been released, leading to rumors about either a new edition or the game being quietly cancelled, and so it was a pleasant surprise to get pictures of a model for Maloghurst the Twisted – a character from the Sons of Horus Legion, Horus’s personal Equerry. (Which means “senior fancy assistant”, essentially).

And On A Lighter Note

As I said, very little news in April! A few unconnected things:

  • The Dwarf Heroes for the Middle Earth range that were previewed last month were released.
  • We saw a trailer for Angels of Death, one of the upcoming Warhammer Animations. Lots of cool cultists and I love the visual style, though I can’t help but suspect some of those textures were never intended to be seen quite so close up.
  • We also saw some 3D renders of weapons and characters from Iron Within. They’re very impressive boltguns, but we already know what boltguns look like.
  • One of my favourite snippets of news was another model from the Beast Snagga range – a standard Ork Boy in the Beast Snagga semi-feral style. It seems entirely possible that we’ll see several of the older Ork kits updated in this way, similar to how the Primaris range kinda-sorta-maybe supercedes the old Tactical Marines.

And thus ends our quiet news month! I’m not certain whether this post will go up before or after Warhammer Fest, so let me make some predictions for the week so you can laugh at me when I’m wrong: the next Siege Of Terra book. Nothing about The Old World. Kragnos is from Beasts of Chaos, not the entirely new army some are expecting… and let’s put an outside bet on something for the T’au. I like to play the long shots. Which is why I like T’au. Ba-dum tish.

By Tom

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