Welcome to the May edition of the Month In Miniatures, all the news that’s fit to print in the world of Warhammer, from your friends at Tiny Plastic People. This month’s news is a bit of an odd one, since the most major event has gone from “not officially announced” to “everything to know is available” within the last thirty days, so bear with me as some of this will seem much faster in retrospect than it was as it was released.
I refer of course to
those radical Imperial Fist models that are exactly what I’ve been waiting for, holy shit look at them the third edition of Age of Sigmar.
The Third Edition of Age of Sigmar
It’s the third edition of Age of Sigmar! Hell yeah! This had been rumored for a little while but was finally announced at Warhammer Fest, followed by a dedicated release stream. That started with a very cool trailer, which I will embed below, and I would recommend you watch.
The first harbinger of the new edition will be a mega boxed set called Dominion, which will pit a selection of new Stormcast Eternals models against a new range of Orruks, the Kruleboyz.
Dominion includes sixty models, an exclusive rulebook for the new edition, warscroll cards and a “start playing” book. It’s up for preorder in June – probably a two-week preorder window – and will probably sit somewhere between £125 and £175, based on how much similar boxes have cost previously, though if I were a bit more pessimistic I might be putting £200 aside. GW have confirmed that Dominion is limited edition, and although they’ve promised to make plenty… if I really wanted it, I’d make sure to be ready to pre-order it as soon as it goes live (10am your time, maybe not a minute later). That said, if it follows the same pattern as Indomitus (from Warhammer 40k’s latest edition, this time last year), all the models will be available separately in some form or another sooner or later. Personally, I’m very excited about the Kruleboyz but will probably not try and fight my way through the potential pre-order feeding frenzy.
Shortly after the release of Dominion, the new edition will be coming out separately. The preview stream included a segment on the new rules in the edition. I’ll embed that below as well, but here’s a quick summary of the eight points they raised.
- Best Edition Ever. Really? I’d assumed they were going to take a step back. Try and make something worse this time. More seriously, they refer to the rules being “cleaner, clearer, and more elegant than before” which sounds good, although personally I’m not a fan of the extreme wordiness required to make Warhammer 40,000’s rules sufficiently “clear” so… we’ll see.
- Heroes Are More Heroic. “Heroes have more to do than ever before” – More command points, more abilities.
- Deal Monstrous Damage. Monsters are also getting empowered, with special abilities in the charge phase. “Stomping, roaring, smashing… monster stuff!”
- Second Is The New First. You get more command points if you go second. Seems straightforward enough, although I wonder if this will take into account that some armies usually prefer to go second anyway.
- No More Down Time. There will be more abilities you can use during your opponent’s turn – reactive command abilities etc.
- Do More With Magic. Endless spells are apparently “more vicious than ever”, moving in both player’s hero phases. I wonder if that means the basic rules for them – that the player who goes second chooses which spells to move first – will be changing too? Or if there’s one spell on the board, can one player just reverse it repeatedly over the same unit?
- New Ways To Build Your Army. A set of generic battalions is coming, presumably acting as templates on which to build a variety of forces. This is good – having good battalions can make or break an army, and it’ll be comforting to know there’s always generic ones to fall back on.
- The Ultimate Narrative Campaign. Path to Glory – otherwise known as “those pages in the rulebook between the rules you actually use” – is apparently getting significantly revamped, possibly to look more like Warhammer 40k’s Crusade system. “Take territory, earn spells, artefacts, and other shiny trinkets.”
The first two armies to be released for the new edition are likely to be the aforementioned Stormcast and Kruleboys. The Stormcast seem to be additions to the existing Chambers, rather than a new, distinctly-themed subset (e.g. Warrior Chamber, Vanguard Chamber), but are all pretty cool, with a sort of greek Hoplite look and more slimline “thunderstrike” armour. The Dominion box includes some more basic troops and heroes, but also announced was a hero with a longbow considerably taller than himself, more gryph-hounds, and a chariot! I love chariots.
Kruleboyz seem to fit between Orruks and goblins, sizewise and presumably taxonomically, and appear to be inspired by the gribbly look of the orcs from the Lord Of The Rings films, with a dash of classic goblin – beaten iron plates, red-face leering shields, and some great big crossbows. Apparently they’ll fit into the existing Orruk Warclan rules – although the current rules setup is flexible enough that this doesn’t necessarily mean a new Warclans rulebook.
The majority of releases this month were the lead-up to Age Of Sigmar 3: Age Of Sigmar With A Vengeance. Firstly, we had two waves of models and a new book for the Soulblight Gravelords (that’s vampires to you and me), including new models for several staples of the army, such as Skellingtons, Zombos, Dire Wolves, and Vampire Lords, plus several new characters and wilder concepts – several named heroes from the Vyrkos dynasty (made famous by last month’s cursed Cursed City board game), and the Avengorii lord, a sort of giant bestial vampire creature.
This was followed up by preorders for the final instalment in the Broken Realms narrative series, Broken Realms: Kragnos, revealing Kragnos as the centauroid God Of Earthquakes. He acts as the overall leader of the Destruction faction, and is accompanied by a bunch of heroes that were previewed last month, including a remake of the classic character Lord Kroak, new Slaanesh daemons, and a pair of witch hunters.
The other releases this month include a new rulebook and character for Warhammer 40,000’s Adeptus Mechanicus faction, plus an updated set of Matched Play rules for the game as a whole. These new scenarios and points values should in theory help keep the game balanced when playing in a competitive manner, even though large events have been fairly thin on the ground since early last year. For some reason. As an aside, it also apparently reveals the existence of the next two army updates for 40k: after the already-known Orks and Sisters of Battle, bad magic supermen the Thousand Sons and good magic supermen the Grey Knights will be released. One of the Warhammer Fest reveals was a battle box with the theme (or perhaps name – unconfirmed as yet) “Fire and Magic”, which seems to be a Piety and Pain-style clash between the two factions.
To round out the month’s releases (now that we’re back on a full schedule), Hedkrakka’s Madmob (the Bonesplittaz orruk warband for Warhammer Underworlds) and Hive War (the new starter for Necromunda) were released – both previewed previously.
Warhammer Fest was the biggest upcoming news last month, but has been somewhat left behind this month by how immediately afterwards everything in it was released (or shown more fully.) To quickly rattle through the offerings:
- Day One (Age Of Sigmar) Soulblight and Kragnos (now both released, see above).
- Day Two (Warhammer 40,000) – Confirmation that the next upcoming book is Adepta Sororitas (which as of writing is the very next preorder). Between the models we’ve already seen there’s not much new announced – but the highlight is definitely Morvenn Vahl, a high-level special character in one of the mini-mecha Paragon Warsuits. They also announced a new book in the narrative War Zone Charadon series – this one looks to include the Sororitas and Daemons at least.
- Day Three (Black Library) – Lots of books! Highlights (for me at least) include a Sabbat Worlds anthology series and the announcement of the next Siege of Terra novel, Warhawk, about the battle between two of the primarchs, Mortarion and the Khan. The biggest surprise of the day was a set of models for the main characters from the Gaunt’s Ghosts novels. (Or, at least, the main characters from the first books from twenty years ago, which suggests to me nostalgia might be driving the boat a bit on this one.)
- Day Four (Boxed Games) included the much-anticipated update for Necromunda’s House Delaque, which gives them an incredible bunch of weirdos including taloned assassins, psykers, and an incredible flying mechanical squid-like thing called a Piscean Spektor. Also revealed: the Idoneth Deepkin warband for Warhammer Underworlds (also up for pre-order this week) and the next wave of stuff for Aeronautica Imperialis, with tiny Eldar planes fighting slightly-larger Space Marine planes.
- Day Five (Warhammer 40,000) showed us our first proper look at the Beast Snagga Orks that had previously been teased – it looks like they’ll be getting a Limited Edition early release with a discounted box, including the Boyz and Beast Riders we’ve seen before, plus the classic character Zodgrod Wortsnagga. They also showed off an upgrade kit for the perennial Cadian Shock Troopers kit, which adds some much-needed variety (including women!) to an aging set of models. Finally, they teased that good/bad magic spacemen box I mentioned earlier.
- And then Day 6 was the first look at Age Of Sigmar 3, as discussed before.
Things That Aren’t Tabletop Games
Almost unnoticed in the AOS3 excitement was a special preview for the Warhammer Animation series. It was perhaps less of a big event than the other previews, even if you’re especially looking forward to the animations. The main attraction was the first five minutes of the upcoming Angels Of Death series, as well as the announcement of a handful of other series – in total, there seem to be eleven animated projects in the works, about most of which we know little more than a title and synopsis.
Also of note is the first announcement of how these projects are going to be delivered: something called Warhammer Plus, which seems to be a video on demand subscription service? They’ve made loose hints that it might be Something Else as well, so i’ll reserve judgement – including the suggestion of exclusive models? More information will be available by the end of June, apparently.
Additionally, another trailer has been released for Total War: Warhammer 3. The cinematic trailer includes more detailed looks at the Khorne and Kislev factions, including a Kislevite Ice Queen summoning a giant nature-spirit bear to fight a Bloodthirster. A secondary video showcased the Survival gamemode, a sort of tower defense mini-campaign in which players need to take and hold chaos citadels, building ad hoc defenses and deploying buffs. It looks good for a meatier chunk of battle mode content than either the campaign or individual battles can afford and – hang on, is the Tsarina sliding about on summoned ice like Frozone? That’s pretty cool.
- I believe I mentioned Praetors? Forge World have followed up on their promise of a monthly Horus Heresy model reveal with a pair of Praetors for the Imperial Fists legion, and monsieur with these Praetors you are spoiling us. They’ve been giving each legion a pair of models for these high-level commanders, and they’re reliably some of the raddest models in the entire Heresy range, bringing the detail and individuality of some of the game’s best special characters to generic options.
- Also from Forge World, a new hired gun for Necromunda – Lady Credo, a runaway member of the high lords of the spire. There’s a fun implication that you can either hire her or have her hire you for protection in the article, as well as the excellently Warhammer idea that she’s a higher priority for the police than a skin-wearing cannibal.
- And for two of the other boxed games, there’s a new special character for the Necromantic Blood Bowl teams, and a really big gun for Adeptus Titanicus’s Nemesis-class titan.
- While there’s no news on upcoming official tournaments in the UK, the US Open series has been announced, with competitive events in three locations across the United States – Orlando, New Orleans, and Austin. I’m British so not super clear on US geography, but assume those three cities are spread out across the whole of the states so anyone on either coast could easily get to one. There are also a pair of exclusive models available – a female Chaos champion with the biggest “step on me” energy since Lady Dimitrescu, and some Necron dink.
And there we have it! If the previous big releases have been anything to go by, next month will see a constant drip-feed of minor news about how individual factions and features of Age Of Sigmar will be changing, which as your faithful newshound I will do my best to summarise… somehow.