Last Updated on Juli 31, 2023 by VoltorRWH
#AdWIP #New40k #Leviathan #WarhammerCommunity
Right then, here we go. Are you ready? We’re ready. Here’s our Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan Review for Miniature Painters.
Let’s do this.
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Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan is, without doubt, the most impressive Warhammer release of the last few years.
Indomitus and Herrschaft were, indeed, impressive in their own rights – but Leviathan surpasses both with its deluge of brand-new, masterfully-designed miniatures and other special edition content. Games-Workshop remind us that they are still at the top of the miniature making market – and that their IPs are still capable of producing world-class and original content for everyone’s enjoyment.
If you’ve grown tired of the formulaic (perhaps even predictable) manner of Games-Workshop release that we’ve seen over the last few months with Warcry and Kill Team boxes, Leviathan will come as a breath of fresh air. This grandiose box feels every bit as important as it is for the future of Warhammer 40,000, and opens the door to an extremely bright future for the grim darkness of the 41st millennium.
This is it. The most important release of 2023 is here.
No matter what you’re into – D&D, Pathfinder, Bolt Action, Kings of War, Age of Sigmar, any other board game or TTRPG – stop whatever it is you’re doing, put your dice and cards down, and pay attention. The gold standard for the next few years is likely about to be set.
Announced on the first day of Warhammer Fest 2023 (though we all had a fairly good idea of what was coming thanks to all sorts of rumours and other releases), Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan marks the birth of a new era for the world’s most popular tabletop wargame. We’re leaving 2021’s Ninth Edition behind and moving towards another future – one that looks to take the grimdark setting so synonymous with Games-Workshop’s flagship IP and make is even darker.
Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan is set against the backdrop of incomprehensible galactic conflict. With the return of a really, Ja wirklich grumpy Traitor Primarch (who could only be temporarily sent to his room with a slap on the wrist by his near demi-god brother), and the forces of Chaos on the constant rise thanks to the partnership of Abaddon the Despoiler and Vashtorr the Arkifane, it would seem that things can’t really get much worse for the universe.
But, dear reader, of course they can. And the vanguard of that fresh nightmare arrives in this very box!
With the return of the Tyranids – the flesh-devouring, hive mind-driven monsters from far beyond the fringes of known space – the Warhammer 40,000 setting does indeed find itself in a bit of a pickle. With the Imperium of man caught between the whirling daemonic engines of several absurdly powerful scions of the Chaos Gods and now a few trillion hungry Tyranid mouths, things do indeed look rather bleak.
It’s a good job, then, that the brains in the Imperium have found a way to stuff the swoler-than-usual Primaris Space Marines we first saw debut in Eighth Edition all the way back in 2017 (and who unashamedly hogged the limelight throughout Ninth Edition) into some fancy new Terminator Armour. After all, when it comes to power in the Imperium of Man, bigger always means better.
We would like to say thanks to Games-Workshop for furnishing us with this review copy of Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan.
With the latest slew of boxed releases once again selling out in literal seconds, and with FLGS stores having limited Games-Workshop stock allocations, what should we expect from Leviathan? Could it truly be that those recent boxes have been limited because GW has been focussed on making so many copies of Leviathan? Or are they having significant distribution issues, and these will sell out just as fast?
If you’re completely new here and have no idea what I’m talking about, over the last couple of months a large number of very desirable GW releases have sold out within minutes of being made available for pre-order at 10AM on a Saturday. In conjunction with this, fewer and fewer sets have been made available for independent retailers to purchase and stock in their own stores. This has made obtaining new releases extremely difficult, and has led to a lot of people missing out on products they were after – which sucks.
Whilst the latter seems to be being done in order to get people to purchase directly from GW, just exactly why so few products seem to be available to purchase in the first place is a little more unclear. We’ve seen a lot of theories about why recent boxes keep selling out so fast on release days – everything from GW scaling back production in order to continue to whip up a frenzy of FOMO amongst fans and thus boost revenue on future releases, to ideas that Games-Workshop’s manufacturing plant in Lenton is simply not able to keep up with the insane amount of demand for these products. Warhammer is more popular now than it has ever been, and whilst certain aspects of boxed releases seem to be being produced overseas, a lot is still done at the Warhammer World site in Nottingham.
With Indomitus, Games-Workshop birthed “Made to Order”, promising that anyone who bought a copy would be guaranteed to get one. Whilst we don’t know for certain whether or not Leviathan will be Made to Order (release is a few weeks off yet, after all), us here at FauxHammer.com can’t imagine a future in which GW don’t try and maximise the impact of this massive release. 40K is, after all, far more popular than Age of Sigmar (which is not to suggest AoS is not popular, but this is like comparing the relative wealth of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk – no matter how you look at it, the number is still insanely high), and the simple opportunity to make cash money here is surely too good to pass up.
…And Starter Sets?
Off the back of that, then, do we expect to see new edition starter sets for Tenth Edition?
For those of you that have been kicking around the past few years, you might remember that with each new edition Games-Workshop have released recently, there have been a number of starter sets released a couple of months after. For Indomitus, we had the Rekrutieren, Elite, und Command Edition sets. For Herrschaft, we had the Krieger, Vorbote und Extremis starter sets. Even the new edition of Kill Team got its own Starterset.
The thing that really drew people to these starter sets was that they contained some of the models from the special edition release box for each edition, sometimes at a lower price depending on what tier you purchased. These were also a lot more beginner friendly, including walkthroughs to get complete novices started and things like scenery and terrain to encourage you to play. Perhaps most importantly, however, is that they were/are also much more readily available than the initial launch sets, which whilst available on a made to order basis were still only limited runs.
If they tun make new starter sets for Tenth Edition (and we think it’s fairly safe to say that they probably will), it’s worth noting that if the previous editions are anything to go by, these won’t include all of the miniatures. With both Indomitus and Herrschaft, their starter sets didn’t contain all the more impressive single or elite miniatures – such as the Primaris Chaplain and the Judiciar in Indomitus, and Yndrasta the Celestial Spear and the Knight-Vexillor with Banner of Apotheosis in Herrschaft. These were later released as part of the Space Marines: Honoured of the Chapter und Thunderstrike Command sets, but the astronomical price tag of these kits (which were eye-wateringly close to the retail prices of the big boxes they were originally from) left jaws across the world very much dropped, and the #WarhammerCommunity hashtag overflowing with anger.
So, the important thing to consider is what you want from the Tenth Edition releases, and how much are you willing to spend. If you like the look of Leviathan but aren’t sure you can justify the cost, or don’t know how to play Warhammer 40,000, perhaps consider waiting to see if Games-Workshop do some Tenth Edition Starter Sets (which, as we said, the odds suggest they probably will).
Because this review is going to be massive, we’ve decided to skip over the unboxing section that we’d normally do in favour of ensuring we can give due attention to all the various components within the Leviathan box.
The Leviathan box has all the pomp and bluster you’d want from a new edition release. Featuring the now-iconic half-and-half artwork of an Ultramarines Terminator and a fang-toothed Tyranid, the box very much sets the scene for the rest of the release.
And the back of the box will have you desperate to get painting.
The cinematic shot, featuring the ‘Eavy Metal Studio’s work on all the brand-new miniatures, shows off the Leviathan box at its absolute best. A horde of biomass-hungry Tyranids from Hive Fleet Leviathan descend upon a defensive line of Ultramarines led by the impressive new Captain in Terminator Armour.
Oh boy, this set is something special.
The Special Edition Rulebook
No new edition Warhammer box set would be complete without a glossy-paged tome that weighs about as much as a collapsing star.
The book is massive. A hardback tome hundreds of pages in length, the Leviathan Core Rules has all the gravitas fans will want from any collectors edition rulebook. It is gorgeous, of unsurpassable quality, with high-resolution pictures and gorgeous artwork drizzled all over its hundreds of pages.
Fear not, though, as it’s not all rules you’ll need to memorise – in fact, the majority of the book is dedicated to the lore and Warhammer 40,000 setting, and is designed to get you up-to-date on the current narrative. There’s heaps of information about all the factions in the 41st Millennium – Imperium, Chaos and Xenos alike – though there is an unsurprising skew in favour of the Forces of Humanity, who occupy a bit more of the book than the other factions. Even if you’re not a fan of the Imperium’s factions, there’s still plenty in here you can get stuck into.
If the box art didn’t already have you drooling for the miniatures, the art within the book will.
There are pages upon pages of pictures of painted miniatures, of cinematic shots featuring world-class figures, and a veritable tidal wave of gorgeous grimdark artwork. I’m no illustrator and can’t draw for toffee, but every time I find myself face-to-face with some official GW IP art, I desperately with I could.
It is worth making clear here, however, that whilst this book contains all the rules you need to play the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, unless you’re already pretty comfortable with playing wargames and have a decent knowledge of Warhammer 40,000 up to this point, you’re probably going to struggle to get your head around this book. There is a lot of info in here, and whilst you can play a game based off the info here (provided, of course, you have the stats for your armies), it’s not exactly beginner friendly.
Don’t get this book confused with a how to play guide – that it is most certainly not. If you’re a newcomer to the world of Warhammer 40,000 and are hoping to learn how to play your first few games from the contents of this set, whilst this is wahrscheinlich possible, I’d advocate waiting to see if there are any Tenth Edition Starter Sets due to be released further down the line as these’ll be much easier to get to grips with.
Also, this has been bounced around on the internet since the free PDF of the Core Rules went live on Warhammer Community’s Website on Friday the 2nd June:
This is not anywhere near as complicated as it sounds. Basically, the 60 pages of Core Rules included in the Leviathan Special Edition Rulebook are numbered separately from the rest of the book. They are essentially a separate insert bound into the rest of the book between the “The Xenos Threat” and “Combat Patrol” sections of the book. Their page numbering restarts at 1 and runs through to page 60, whilst these pages themselves have actually been inserted between pages 201-202 of the Leviathan’s Special Edition Rulebook.
This, believe it or not, is actually a good thing – the explanation screenshotted above is just poorly written and makes it sound a lot more complicated than it actually is. In practice, this makes playing games a lot quicker and easier: if you and your buddy both turn up to play a game of Tenth Edition, you with your Leviathan Special Edition Rulebook and them with their online PDF (or whatever other form the Core Rules will inevitably come to take), and you both want to look up the rules for Making Attacks, these will be found on page 21 of both versions of the Core Rules – not page 21 of the PDF and page, for example, 231 of the Leviathan Special Edition Rulebook. You’ll need to turn to the Core Rules section in your Leviathan book and you will be able to find the rules you need just as quickly, easily, and with as little fuss as your PDF-wielding counterpart because they will be numbered the same.
This also means that any references to rules made in future publications – codexes, errata, updates, and so on – will all also follow the same numbering pattern. Your new Space Marines Codex may make a reference to “page 45 in the Core Rules”, and you’ll know exactly where to look in your publication – no matter which form you have it in.
The Construction Guide
We don’t usually look at construction guides, but with a release of this size we felt it might be worth a mention. After all, there are no fewer than 72 figures in the box, and if the guide is rubbish you’re not going to have a good time building them.
Happily, however, we didn’t find any mistakes or issues with the Leviathan construction guide. If there were, they were so minor we didn’t notice enough to commit them to memory.
The guide is also very well-formatted. Sure, the fact the minis are very easy to build (more on this later) means that the guide itself is easier to follow as there are fewer steps – and more space on a page for larger, clearer pictures.
The stat lines for each figure and unit are also included in the construction guide. The guide first takes you through the new Space Marines before providing you with their statistics, then moves on to the Tyranid builds and finally finishes off with their stats too.
The display and formatting of the stats is fairly clear, if a little uninteresting. They’re fairly spartan and aren’t exactly eye-catching or exciting in this form, but we suspect there’ll be datacard-style packets released at a later date (apparently there were things like this kicking around at Warhammer Fest that haven’t materialised anywhere else just yet) .
The Space Marine Transfer Sheet
Now, this is a nice surprise.
As with Indomitus, Leviathan comes with an extra-large transfer sheet for some possible Space Marine armies. Indomitus buyers found themselves the owners of a transfer sheet containing chapter-specific marking for Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Dark Angels. This list has been extended even further this time, however, as Leviathan buyers will gain transfers for Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Raven Guard, Imperial Fists and a selection of more generic marking that can be used across all chapters.
However, what is really nice about this transfer sheet is the diversity. As you can see from the image above, there are lots of non-standard markings, including transfers with metallic elements, with additional adornments, and other unique features. Personally, I’m itching for an opportunity to get some of the more unique Dark Angels transfers on my minis.
There’s also a reasonable selection of larger, vehicle-specific transfers for each chapter as well. These’d look great on that new Ballistus Dreadnought!
The Chapter Approved Leviathan Mission Deck
This is something the gamers out there will be particularly interested in. Unlike Indomitus, Leviathan comes with a Chapter Approved Mission Deck.
Now, that sentence will mean absolutely nothing to non-gamers, but to put it simply: this is the deck of cards used to determine missions during competitive play. There are a few tokens in there for good measure, too.
Here at FauxHammer.com, we’re painters and modelers before we’re gamers – but this is an excellent inclusion. This deck of cards allows more serious gamers and tournament-minded collectors to begin honing their skills within the new edition from the word go. As you’d expect, the cards are good quality, and there’s a nice spread of scenarios, missions, and all the other stuff you need to set up your game included in the box. There will be a hundred other commentaries on these cards, all of which will be better than what we painting dweebs can provide you with, so we’ll leave it there.
It seems Games-Workshop is really keen to get people playing, however. See, the other thing in the box is the…
Battle for Oghram Flyer
The Tyranids have descended upon the world of Oghram and it’s up to you as a buyer of the Leviathan box to save it – or destroy it.
GW has run events like this in the past, where players of games of Warhammer have a real chance to shape the ongoing narrative of their chosen system. With the chance to win every new Tyranids or Space Marines miniature for the rest of the year up for grabs, it might be worth cracking out these models and going a few rounds with a friend.
It’s the bit you’ve all been waiting for.
(Or the bit you’ve skipped to using the contents menu at the top of the page).
We arrive at the miniatures. With no fewer than 72 in the box – split 25 Space Marines and 47 Tyranids – there’s an absolute mountain of stuff to get through here. It can be a bit intimidating at first, particularly for newcomers, so we’ve put together our popular coloured sprue pictures for those of you who use them.
Huge shout-out to Ross for snapping these pictures and doing the wonderful coloured sprue photos.
Sprues & Models – Command Units
Up first we have the new command units – the Tyranid Prime and the Space Marine Captain in Terminator Armour. You’ve seen these chaps in the awesome cinematic trailer; you’ve seen their models teased at Warhammer Fest. Now, you can get a close-up, no-holds-barred look at them.
These guys come on the same sprue, so here they are for you:
Now, as for the minis themselves – are you sitting down? Well…
Captain in Terminator Armour
I don’t want to be that person who goes “Ooooh, Space Marines are the best!” because Xenos and Chaos collectors hate it. But GW make it extremely hard to nicht be that person with the Captain in Terminator Armour.
This model is spectacular. Drenched in all manner of details – from their turning shields, their purity seals, the heraldic elements of their armour and their masterfully-sculpted face – there is literally nothing to not like about this miniature. Mounted on an impressive scenic base, too, this models is commmanding no matter where it is – safely stored in pride-of-place on a hobby shelf or leading your Space Marines to glorious victory on the tabletop.
People have been desperate for new Terminators for a while, and expectations will be absolutely smashed with this phenomenal miniature. Expect to see a lot of these at Golden Demons over the next few years!
The model is also very easy to assemble. Whilst this will come to the chagrin of many builders and painters, all the models in the Leviathan set are push-fit. This does mean that they won’t be quite as modular as some converters and kitbashers would like, as larger, more wholly-sculpted areas will be more difficult to chop and change.
Note that with this model – as with all firearms-wielding models in this set bar a few of the Sternguard – you will need to drill out their gun barrels (if that’s a thing you do).
What a start!
…And what a tough act to follow.
I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Tyranids, and the Tyranid Prime isn’t one of the models in the set that gets me excited for the biomass-devouring aliens.
That is not to say this is a bad model, however. Compared to *checks notes* literally every Tyranid released before the Parasit von Mortrex which was released in the first half of 2022, the Tyranid Prime is a work of art. Boasting significantly more detail, more poise, and more menace than just about any Tyranid model in the history of the recent Tyranid range (not that there ist a recent Tyranid range, but, you know, whatever).
It is, however, surprisingly small and a little bit fiddly to build. I had some issues lining mine up with the space and making the pose look right – it had a tendency to err towards looking like it was about to fall over backwards rather than mid-charge. I’m also not sure how easy this mini will be to paint, as so much of its body is obscured by its folded wings.
Can we take a moment to mention the wings? I don’t think I like them. Folded as they are, they make the model’s silhouette a bit confusing and unbalanced – it likely would have been far more impressive a figure (and easier to paint) were they either spread out – or not there at all.
I imagine this will be a marmite figure. Some people will love it for the reasons I’m not so keen on it, and there will also be plenty of people who feel this mini lacks a bit of wallop. The difficulty with the Prime is the associated Space Marine model. This thing is the counterpart to the masterful Captain in Terminator Armour, and whilst this is a good figure, it doesn’t hit the spot the same way the Captain does – for me, at least.
Sprues & Models – Space Marines
As of this point, all Space Marines and Tyranids miniatures are on their own sprues and aren’t attached to any of the other faction. We’ll look at each faction in turn and go sprue-by-sprue. This does mean that some sections will be for more than one unit, but we’ll still comment on each model or unit of models individually.
Librarian in Terminator Armour
First up, we have the new Librarian in Terminator Armour – or as you may know him, the chap getting brained by a giant floating snot globule in the Cinematic Trailer. More on the snot globule later.
Here’s his sprue.
Not too many parts, and those that do exist are big and chunky. Heck, you could probably put this guy together without instructions.
Once assembled, here’s how he looks:
Yet again, another stunning miniature. The librarian looks amazing in his new Primaris Terminator armour, now complete with appropriate spooky runic etchings in order to make it clear that, yes, he is a space wizard.
With so many details – such as the intricate grooves on his armour and all the aforementioned runes and wizard-y bits, this guy will be a real delight for painters – a challenge, sure, but get this one right and he’ll look spectacular.
Apothecary Biologis, Lieutenant in Phobos Armour and Sternguard Veteran Squad
The new swole Apothecary (who fares very poorly in the Cinematic Trailer), the Lieutenant in Phobos Armour (who fares significantly better ) and the Sternguard Veteran Squad all arrive on the same sprue. If you’re struggling to tell the components apart, do take a look at the image below. The Apothecary is in red, the Lieutenant is in purple, and the Sternguard are in green and blue.
First up, the Leutnant in Phobos-Rüstung. The Primaris Lieutenant memes will run wild with this guy – who has reinforced his own armour with the chitins of slain Tyranids. Similar to several other Primaris Lieutenants in Phobos Armour, but appropriately updated to the new edition with his extra Tyranid-y bits, this guy cuts an impressive figure.
What really makes him stand out, though, are the liberties he’s taken with his armour. Typically, Space Marine commanders, heroes and elites are clean, uniformed, and covered in all sorts of pseudo-orthodox Catholic-style drip. This guy, however, criss-crossed with scars, with bits of his armour missing, sporting all sorts of kill trophies, and dual wielding two particularly nasty-looking daggers, cuts an altogether different figure.
Heck, he even looks evil.
I love it. It shoes a different side to the Space Marines faction: Warhammer 40,000 is satire; there are no good guys, and this battle-maddened lunatic is testament to that. No one in their right mind takes on a horde of Tyranids armed with two daggers (well, three if you count the one embedded in the dead gribbly under his boot).
As you can see from the image above, he’s again made from precious few parts – 8 in all, if you include the sculpted part of his base. He’s another very easy miniature to assemble, and whilst ours arrived with a few mould lines (you can faintly see these above) these are pretty easy to clean up.
Next up, the Apothecary Biologis. I’ve a soft spot for Apothecaries ever since I picked up the regular Primaris Apothecary model from my FLGS a few months ago and entered him in a competition there (he ultimately lost to an Angron in a turn of events that surprised literally no one!).
Predisposition aside, the Biologis takes everything great about the original Primaris Apothecary and encases it in super-heavy armour.
Again, covered in details like his surgical instruments and his pack-mounted cutting equipment, the Apothecary is a fabulous miniature. Standing atop his sculpted base, his pose is in stark contract to many of the other Space Marines in this set. Walking in one direction and almost absent-mindedly pointing his gun in another, with all the self-assurance and arrogance a Space Marine tasked with preserving the precious Gene-Seed of his comrades can muster, his pose says “Shove off, I’m too important for you and I don’t have time for this.”
The Apothecary Biologis is one of the slightly (and we really do mean slightly) more complicated builds, and this is simply because he has a few more fragile parts that you’ll need to be aware of when slotting him together – namely the instruments on his pack.
Finally on this sprue, we have the Sternguard Veterans.
These tougher-than-tough Space Marines have been in dire need of a new kit for several years now, and Leviathan delivers them with a great deal of class. Similar in some ways to the popular Veteranen der Klingenwache, the new Sternguard take everything that was cool about the original Sternguard Veterans and brings them into the 2020s – with a few obvious homages to their original sculpts.
At 6-8 chunky components each, they’re a breeze to build and look spectacular once assembled. Space Marines with extra drip are always welcome, and Dark Angels players will adore these minis for their slight resemblance to the near-archaeological Company Veterans, and those determined enough will easily find a way to make these guys look more like that unit of old.
Next up, the unit that’s got everyone all a-fluster: the brand-new and improved Terminators. Here’s the sprue:
Just because each figure has a couple more components than most of the figures on the Space Marines side of the box doesn’t mean the Terminators are difficult to build. With large, straightforward (and wonderfully tactile) components, these guys slot together like Lego. And once together, they look genial.
Compared to the old-school, pretty much monopause terminators of varying colours, chapters, und role which, with the exception of the Blood Angels Terminator Assault Squad, had all the poise of someone trying to walk having soiled themselves, these Terminators are sublime. Spectacular from every angle and oozing character (and no small amount of menace) these miniatures look every bit as awesome as you could want them to be.
These are awesome. Hopefully we’ll see some chapter-by-chapter variations, such as those linked above.
Second-to-last for the Space Marine side of the box, we arrive at the Infernus squad. Note that you get two of these sprues to make a total of 10 miniatures. There’s a slight build variation on one of the minis, too, so not all of them will look the same.
That is the sticking point with these minis. More-or-less guaranteeing that they’ll be sold in a box of 5 in the future, to have blown through so many diverse, unique, and enjoyable models to arrive at two sprues with so few options for variation between them is a little disappointing.
Arguably, the Infernus Squad are the least impressive of the Space Marines side of the box. The sculpts are still seriously impressive, and those flamethrowers will see people Googling “how to paint burn effects on Warhammer” in their thousands, but these guys are ultimately just space marines holding different guns.
That they go together quickly and easily (though mine did have quite a few mould lines, so be prepared to make ready with whatever tool you have to remove those) is a blessing, and I’d likely be being far harsher on these miniatures were that not the case. But they do pale in comparison to the other Space Marine figures in this box – simply because the models they are packed with are so cool.
If you’re a big fan of Space Marines (like me) then you’ll still probably be pretty happy with these guys. There’s something fun about painting Space Marine armour and getting those highlights looking awesome. If, however, you’re new to Warhammer or aren’t as much of a big Space Marine fan, you may be a touch disappointed with these ones – but not much.
Last but not least, we arrive at the
Tall Dreadnought Ballistus Dreadnought. Here’s the sprue:
Having just built a Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought for Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Delivery 23: Issues 87-90, which is made from approximately ten-thousand parts spread across three good-sized sprues, and which wiped the smile right off my face, I was expecting the Ballistus Dreadnought to put up a similar amount of objection.
Happily, though, as you’ll be able to see from the sprue pictures above, the Ballistus Dreadnought is made up of a very reasonable 21 large and easy-to-handle parts.
Once assembled, here’s how the model looks:
When it was first previewed at Warhammer Fest, its appearance divided fans. Some, who saw it as an obvious homage to the original Dreadnought but Primaris-ified were all for it. Others, who saw it as little more than the chassis for the original Dread but slapped onto a pair of Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought legs were less enthused.
I can see both sides. On the one hand, the obvious nod to that original Dreadnought design is a really nice feature of this modern model. On the other, without the sticky-out arms of the Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought to balance its longer legs, the Ballistus Dreadnought does indeed look a little bit lanky. Then again, given how tall Space Marines are getting these days thanks to the Rubicon Primaris, the old school Dread would struggle to see past the shoulders of just about every figure in this box. The Ballistus Dreadnought, however, has no such issues – take a look at the image below.
Space Marines – Round Up
That’s a lot of Space Marines.
In all, the positives on this side of the box drastically outweigh the negatives. The leggy dreadnought, the duplicate Infernus Squad sprues, and the push-fit models (which won’t be a criticism for some people who aren’t fans of the building process) are tiny niggles that are easily forgotten amidst the spew of exciting, detailed, and unique miniatures.
There is a vast amount to like here. If you’re a Space Marines fan, this is your dream come true. If you aren’t a Space Marines fan, you probbaly will be after seeing these miniatures.
If somehow you still aren’t a fan of Space Marines after this face-meltingly awesome display, it’s a good job there’s a whole other faction for us to get through yet – heck, we’ve only looked at one third of the minis in this box. Read on!
Sprues & Models – Tyranids
Now, we’ll switch over to the other side of the box. It’s Tyranid time!
If Space Marines are too, you know, man-like for you, and don’t have enough sci-fi gribbliness to sate whatever bile-secreting xenos glands you have throbbing in your oesophagus, you’re in luck: whilst Ninth Edition set up the Necrons as the
Big Bad Evil Guys non-Imperium faction of the edition, focus this time lands firmly on everyone’s favourite insectoid space dinosaurs.
Neurotyrant, Neuroloids and Screamer-Killer
The Neurotyrant and its accompanying Neuroloids come on the same sprue, also packaged with the Screamer-Killer miniature. Here’s the sprue. The Neuroloids are in pink, the Neurotyrant is in yellow, and the monstrous Screamer-Killer is in purple.
Das Neurotyrant has all the look of a model that should be difficult to build, but as you’ll be able to see from a cursory glace at the sprue above, this isn’t true. It has a few smaller parts, such as its forelimbs (or whatever they are), but on the whole, this is still a very easy to assemble mini.
And the end effect is seriously striking.
See? Do you understand now why the Tyranid Prime didn’t do it for me? Look at this thing!
Some terrible hybridisation of squid and chitin, this levitating mind-monster is a seriously stunning miniature with enough brain for a whole army. It’s gross – Ja wirklich gross – but it’s also super cool.
The Neurotyrant is accompanied by two Neuroloids – a pair of far less terrifying brain-monsters.
They’re kinda cute in a weird sort of way.
Anyway, moving swiftly on, also on this sprue is the almighty Screamer-Killer. If you’re still mad with me for saying that from an artistic perspective the Tyranid Prime doesn’t have the same level of clout to the Tyranid part of the box as the Terminator Captain does to the Space Marines back at the top of this section, allow me to present my next argument.
This freakin’ thing.
Oh my god. Look at it.
The largest mini in the box by a country mile – heck, likely one of the largest minis available from the Games-Workshop webstore for either faction currently – the Screamer-Killer is absolutely everything a Tyranid fan wants: a H. R. Geiger-inspired behemoth of chitin and talon that will tower over almost everything else on the battlefield.
It is a Herrlich miniature and easily the most impressive thing on the Tyranid side of the box, surpassing even the awesome Neurotyrant. There are, however, a few things to be aware of with this mini, chief amongst which are its gaps and seams.
A miniature of this size, made from so many large components, is bound to have a few gaps. Most of these disappear easily enough, but it is prone to getting a few particularly obvious ones around its head and face. Take care when fitting the mini together. Make sure all contact points are flush and that you haven’t got any sprue gates or errant bits of plastic clogging up the gaps, or they really will show.
Von Ryan’s Leapers
Teased to a great deal of excitement a few months back (Von Ryan’s Leapers existed previously only as a mention in the Tyranid third edition Codex from years ago), Von Ryan’s Leapers are one of the units that die-hard Warhammer 40,000 fans will be really interested in. There are three of them in a box, and they come on a single sprue.
What’s more, there aren’t many parts to them so they’re also pretty easy to assemble. Here are the finished figures:
To my eye – and, to remind you all, this is the eye of a non-Tyranid collector – these look like longer, more whippy, and pointier Tyranids. That’s not to say I don’t like them – these are really nice, exquisitely detailed miniatures, as Ross’ excellent photography captures in the image above.
As the name suggests, Von Ryan’s Leapers are intended to be an agile, nimble unit, and these lithe, sinewy monsters capture the essence of that role with ease. Each is posed as if in mid-strike, natural weapons raised or Cthulhu-esque mouth-limbs reaching for a target. Again, they’re gross, but absolutely gorgeous.
The onyl criticism I had of these minis was I struggled to line up one or two of their longer forelimbs. Everything else slots together with a great deal of ease, but I had a couple of arms that didn’t really want to sit where they were intended to.
Do you like horde armies? Do you like being able to clog up your painting shelf, hobby desk, or tabletop battlefield with loads and loads of the exact same unit? Well, you’re in luck: Leviathan comes with no fewer than 20 brand-new Termagants.
Scattered across two identical sprues, the Termies themselves – a long-standing favourite amongst Tyranid collectors – are brand-new and improved models compared to their decades-old counterparts. Here are the sprues:
And here are the models.
Gone are the slightly soft, retro aesthetic of the old Termagants. In their place are a devilish deluge of teeth, claws and other spikey bits. What’s more, with every Termagant being around 4 components a piece, these things go together with exceptional speed and ease. They also retain a great deal of detail, so there has been no sacrifice in quality for quantity.
Oh, of course – each sprue comes with a everything you need for a couple of little gribbly swarms.
These are models that Tyranid fans will be over the moon about. Their beloved Termagants have made it into the 2020s, and look absolutely great for doing so.
Neurogaunts and Barbgaunts
“Boss, we can’t think of a new name for this Tyranid unit!”
“Oh yeah? What have you got in the box so far?”
“A Neurotyrant, some Termagants, and-“
“I’ve got this, guys.”
Das Neurogaunts are a new Tyranid unit to the Leviathan box set, and they’re a little bit different to all the other units in the box because for one there are 11 of them (well, 10 Neurogaunts and 1 Nodebeast), and secondly they come in various shapes and sizes. The good news is that they’re very, sehr easy to assemble and are spread across one sprue.
The bad news is that they feel a bit, well, toothless compared to the other Tyranids in the box. They lack a little of the menace. Sure, they’re still creepy little space monsters with fangs and claws and whatever else, but they don’t feel quite as scary as the other units in the box, and just not as interesting. An unfortunate low.
But this isn’t completely true for alle the units on this sprue, however, as the Barbgaunts are a little bit meaner. You ever wondered what an RPG would look like if it was made out of meat and bone? Well, wonder no more!
Again, clocking in at a comparatively puny 4 components per model, the Barbgaunts are exceptionally easy to assemble and can be thrown together in a matter of minutes. Of course, because some of these components are quite large, do keep an eye out for mould lines as these are the kind of models that will have them.
“Can I copy your homework? "
“Yeah, just change it up a bit so it doesn’t look obvious that you copied.”
Thus, the Psycophage was born.
Rather like the Ballistus Dreadnought, the Psychophage has been given a rough time by the Internet since it was first accounced. Within moments of it first appearing on Warhammer Fest livestreams, comparisons were drawn between it and the Chaos Space Marine Venomcrawler. I mean…yeah…
There are some striking similarities (and some even more striking gaps and seams on this model, the worst of which is obvious in the photo above) between the Psychophage and the Venomcrawler, but that isn’t to say the Psychophge is an ugly model (well, no more so than it’s meant to be). It’s one that will require some work filling gaps, but one that will look very impressive once completed. It’s basically a gigantic dino-bug tank, after all.
Personally, my issue with the Psychophage are its teeth. You can’t quite make them out in the image above, but inside its mandibles the unit is sculpted as having a fang-filled maw. However, these fangs are very regular and linear, and don’t look very realistic – though I recognise the irony in describing part of a model of an alien “unrealistic”. This jars with the largely irregular, much more “natural” (again, I get it) aspects of its tentacles, spines and carapace.
In all, though, another great model and one that will keep Tyranid fans very happy.
Tyranids – Round Up
The Tyranids side of the Leviathan box has more highs and lows than the Space Marines side. Whilst the Space Marines are all great, with a few Ja wirklich great miniatures, the Tyranids are, by and large, okay with one or two more disappointing minis, but also a couple of seriously impressive figures too.
Lows are basically limited to the Neurogaunts, the slightly disappointing Prime, and a couple of niggles with the Psychophage – including gaps in the latter figure that are still visible in the picture above. At the other end of the spectrum are the delightful Termagants, the staggering Neurotyrant and the jaw-droppingly awesome Screamer-Killer – a model that will be the highlight of the box for many people.
If we were taking an average score for the Tyranids side of the box, it would likely come out as similar to the Space Marines: whilst the Tyranids minis are a bit more of a rollercoaster, they have significantly more extreme ups and downs (again, Neurogaunts versus Screamer-Killer). There’s still a great deal to love here, and release-starved Tyranids players will be all over these models like a swarm of their favourite space aliens over a pile of biomass.
Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan Review – Price, Value & Savings
As of releasing this review on the 3rd June 2023, you’ve got one week before official pre-orders on this product go live on 10th June at 10AM BST.
As of yet, we don’t know what the arrangements will be for buying Leviathan. We don’t know how many FLGSes will have them, and we also have no idea how many copies they’ll be able to buy. We also don’t know if Games-Workshop are planning on doing a limited run from their webstore, or if these will be on Made to Order (but, for the love of god, we hope it’s Made to Order).
There have been a few tidbits of information leaked onto the internet over the last few weeks. First, is that Leviathan is rumoured to cost £150.00 GBP. Secondly, as per a screenshot of a comment left by Warhammer’s Social Media Team on Facebook, there will be both a queue system (which we’ve seen plenty of times before on pre-order Saturdays) as well as a purchase limit per customer. There’s no word yet on Made to Order or any further restrictions that may be put in place to prevent scalping or instant sell-out.
What we do know, however, is that this box will be saving you a serious amount of cash in the long run. If previous years are anything to go by, certain models in this box may well end up on super-expensive sets a la Space Marines: Honoured of the Chapter und Thunderstrike Command, which themselves were only a few tens of quid off the retail price of their original boxes.
If you haven’t already enquired with your FLGS about them setting aside a copy of Leviathan for you, now is the time to do so.
Warhammer 40,000 Leviathan Review – Final Thoughts
|Fabulous (and loads of) models|
A very welcome Tyranids range refresh
Sehr einfach zu bauen
Superb-quality gaming gear
(We assume) very good savings
(FauxHammer) It’s the closest thing to Space Hulk we’ve had in years
|A few ghastly gaps and seams|
Some models aren’t quite as exciting as others
(FauxHammer) It’s still not Space Hulk
At the time of writing, Games-Workshop are quite securely in the bad books of a lot of their fans. The pre-order debacle of the last few months has left a significant bitter taste in the mouths of many people, and in a perhaps unforeseen twist in circumstance, has served to turn the community on itself. Everyone is cross. Everyone is annoyed. Everyone just wants new plastic to paint, but they can’t get it.
There’s also been a significant amount of outcry for content creators and influencers to do something about this. Whilst we as content creators and influencers can, have, and will continue to feed back the community’s thoughts and feelings as best as we can do to the people we are in contact with, we are not able to affect change at the level some people seem to think we can. If we become too much of a thorn in the side of any company we work with (and we at FauxHammer.com are lucky to work with many wonderful companies), they will simply cease working with us altogether.
It has happened to us before.
It’s ultimately no skin off their nose, whilst losing such arrangements are devastating for us, especially after all the blood, sweat and tears from us that’s gone into getting into these positions in the first place. We are not a hyper-successful brand with millions of followers who companies would sell their souls to work with; we have to choose our battles with exceptional care.
So, in order to provide a good product review of one of the most important releases this year, we have to extrapolate Leviathan from the difficult context in which it was birthed – because if we don’t, we run the risk of allowing the wider goings-on with Games-Workshop, their webstore, their pre-orders, their fulfilment, whatever else is going on, to tarnish the objectivity and impartiality of this review and deny people the opportunity to form their own opinions about this product.
To an extent, then, we have to try and see this box for what it is: a box of miniatures.
However, it is an extremely good box of miniatures.
Admittedly, GW’s new edition launch boxes do follow something of a formula – as do most of their releases – but the sheer quality of what’s in the box, coupled with the fan service delivered across this release, with both new Terminators and a mountain of new Tyranids, will have a significant portion of Warhammer collectors jumping for joy. Tyranid collectors in particular will be over the moon with this set: their range has been singularly starved of new releases for years, though the time has finally come for them to get them to get some well-deserved attention. And what attention it is. That Screamer-Killer. Oh man.
But what would you expect from Games-Workshop? The company is where it is today because of the quality of its product. They are internationally-renowned for owning some of the biggest IPs in tabletop gaming – and their miniatures are second to none (though this is something Ross would likely disagree with me on given the sculpt quality of some miniatures available via STL). Ultimately, however, they still dominate the industry – and for such a household name, you expect the best of the best.
Whilst pessimists and cynics will argue that half of Leviathan is wasted on the “same old Space Marine” kinda stuff, take a closer look. These minis look better than they ever have done before, and the re-birthing of the much-loved Terminators into the modern era will have Space Marine fans the world over desperate to get their hands on these kits. And besides, those same cynics can’t argue that the Tyranid half of the box isn’t new and exciting – because there are some models in there that prove the future is very bright for Warhammer 40,000 – Tyranids in particular.
Leviathan ushers in the next era of Warhammer 40,000 with no small amount of gusto. The heap of new miniatures are all of superb, industry gold-standard-setting quality. The cards and rulebook will allow experienced players to get started with the new edition right away in supreme style, and even the new transfer sheet, covered in unique and individual markings to help bring more and more character to your minis, speaks volumes about personalisation, the embracing of different narrative directions, and multiple ways to play Warhammer. This box is meant to appeal to everyone – and we can’t help but agree that it certainly does.
We love this box, and if you want one, we very sincerely hope you’re able to get one.
Unsere Partner / Hobby Stores
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