Summon your foul courtiers, for there’s a feast of flesh to be had! The new Flesh-eater Courts Army Set from Games-Workshop is here, and what thoroughly maleficent delights await within? Find out in our Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review!
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Summary
Whilst it doesn’t have quite as much bang for its buck as the Cities of Sigmar Army Set, there’s absolutely no denying that there’s a lot to sink your fangs into in the new Flesh-eater Courts Army Set. A deluge of new miniatures injects precious new (un)life into Nagash’s cannibal hordes, and the overall quality of both the miniatures as well as the book and cards in this set will leave any buyer satisfied with this purchase.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Introduction
I’ve always been quite the fan of Age of Sigmar’s Grand Alliance Death. I think it comes from when I first started painting and very quickly worked out my own super-easy recipe for doing old bone, which I then used very liberally on a heap of Ossiarch Bonereapers miniatures my partner brought for me one birthday. This really took off when Warhammer Quest: Verfluchte Stadt landed (and promptly disappeared for a bit), and once all my zombies from this box were painted, I dug into the deluge of Nighthaunt I’d got via the Mortal Realms partworks magazine.
More recently, I had a real blast painting the Royal Beastflayers from the Warcry: Nightmare Quest box, so when rumours of a brand-new Flesh-eater Courts set began to circulate – complete with images of some undead chap wearing someone’s guts on his head as a wig (who unfortunately isn’t in this box – boo!) – I began to get quite excited.
The Flesh-eater Courts – a faction of insane ghouls convinced they are, in fact, noble knights a la Warhammer’s Old World Bretonnians loyal to Nagash, the Supreme Lord of Undeath – have been in need of some love for a while. Having not received any major releases for a few years, some of the models in their range have begun to look a touch dated recently – especially given just how good some of the most recent Age of Sigmar miniatures have been (here’s looking at you, Tahlia Vedra and a big chunk of the recent Cities of Sigmar minis).
It’s high time, then, that they receive this box. Packed with a host of exciting new figures, there’s a lot to be excited about here. Let’s dive in.
As ever, a huge thanks has to the good folks at Games-Workshop for supplying us with this set so we could write this review.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Contents
So, here’s the new box. You might recognise the Abhorrant Gorewarden from this Warhammer Community article from a few weeks ago. He certainly seems very proud of his ruff – though I think they might cause a bit of a stir at any reasonable courtly gathering.
Inside the box, you’ll find a pile of sprues for your new miniatures (which we’ll have a much closer look at in a moment), as well as the special edition Death Battletome: Flesh-eater Courts (left in the image below), a box containing 27 warscroll cards (top right in the image below), another box containing 33 enhancement cards and a couple of token sheets (bottom right in the image below).
All of these items also feature that Abhorrant Gorewarden on their obverse. There is, however, a rather interesting stylistic choice on the reverse – that of a human figure in armour. This is likely to give people an idea of how the Flesh-eater Courts view themselves – a peek into their grand, shared madness and delusion (the yellow eyes on both are a dead giveaway).
The difficulty that this set is that it is always going to be measured against the absolutely spectacular Cities of Sigmar Army Set that was released earlier this year. This was a magnificent box – and one that a great deal was riding on: the Cities of Sigmar range doesn’t have the history of the Flesh-eater Courts, and no extensive pre-existing range to fall back on.
That said, at this stage it certainly doesn’t look like any expense has been spared in its creation. Things are thus far of magnificent quality – though how will they fare when we take a closer look?
The Battletome shares a great deal of the same stylistic features as that in the Cities of Sigmar Army Set.
The cover is printed with that familiar (albeit fantastic) artwork of the Abhorrant Gorewarden, and the pages are edged with gold – which is a superb touch that really gives the book the impression of being something rather special.
Inside,a lot of the same stylistic choices have been made regarding the layout and contents of the book that were made in the Cities of Sigmar Army Set special edition battletome. There’s not too much of a focus on the nitty-gritty Warhammer rules (though there is all the info you need to kick off with a Flesh-eater Courts army in the back of the book). The book instead has a focus on introducing you to the setting and the background of the faction, with plenty of well-written and interesting lore pertaining to the various histories and sub-factions that exist within the courts.
With the FauxHammer.com goggles firmly on, however, I must admit the best part of this book is the painting guide at the back. This provides simple but effective guidance in how to paint the miniatures in the set – as well as more from the wider Flesh-eater Courts range – in clear, easy-to-follow steps. There are lots of examples of variant schemes, as well as decent pictures to help with the guides.
A thorough, interesting, and well-thought-out book, the battletome certainly has that exclusive feel – and it once again exemplifies a stylistic shift in how Games-Workshop are marketing their lines. There’s more for everyone in here – lore-nuts, painters, and gamers alike.
The Warscroll and Enhancement Cards
Warscroll cards are certainly one of the best things Age of Sigmar does, and their reinvention as index cards in the 40K universe has helped make the system all the more accessible and wieldy on the tabletop. And the Flesh-eater Courts cards look cool, too – information is clearly displayed and easy to read in an at-a-glance manner, which makes these excellent resources to have on the tabletop.
There are a couple of token boards also included in the pack, which can be used during play. These are for command points, other rules, and battle tactics, so you can keep track of your armies as they vanquish and devour their foes.
Finally, we have the Enhancement Cards. Whilst this is a simple deck containing some additional rules information for your new Courts army, they are nonetheless delivered in quite a nice manner.
Again, information is clear and concise, and this deck of cards is adequately pocket-sized so they won’t take up too much room on the tabletop during a battle. What I do like about these, however, is the playing card-style reverse, which shows that deluded lord and the Abhorrant Gorewarden side-by side (as if the implication that they’re one and the same wasn’t clear enough for you already).
In all, the book and cards are super. They’re really nice items to have, useful for gamers, and really help add value to the overall set.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Miniatures
There are loads and loads of brand-new miniatures in the Flesh-eater Courts Army Set – and we’ll have a close-up look at them all now. Read on for our opinions and impressions of these new miniatures, as well as what to look out for when building them.
The Abhorrant Gorewarden is, in a word, spectacular.
In spite of being a relatively small model on a 40mm base, his elevated stance and outstretched wings mark him as an absolute centrepiece miniature, lording over your units of maddened warriors, all craving blood. He is wonderfully detailed, too: everything from his sinewy, half-desiccated form to his tactical rock are covered in gorgeous (and suitably repugnant) details, like his bone collar, the corpse on his base,
There are one or two bits to watch out for during his build: because he is a smaller model covered in spines and pointy bits, there are some breakable parts on him. Take care when fitting things together or else you may risk snapping off a detail.
Her he is painted:
Certainly a pleasure, this one. Lots of interesting textures and details – especially the keys and his bone collar.
The Varghulf Courtier is a slightly easier model to assemble than the Gorewarden (not that the Gorewarden was all that difficult) on account of its size. A slightly larger model like this makes for larger components.
Elongated, broken-looking limbs help add to the overall horror of this miniature. Its gloriously gross, unnatural and warped – a strange, mutated monster and an excellent addition to the range.
There are a few things that you need to be aware of when building this guy, however: like all larger models in Games-Workshop’s range, the various limbs and torso of the Varghulf Courtier are made up of separate parts that need to sit flush with each other. Often, these contact points are also where the component is joined to the sprue, so you’ll need to make sure these are fully removed before you try to stick the model together or else you’ll find pieces won’t line up.
And here this thing is all painted.
Surprisingly, the Varghulf Courtier is quite easy to pain. His sculpt lends itself to lots of big, easy techniques like shade washes and drybrushing, and because it’s quite a big model, there aren’t too many itty-bitty details to drive you up the wall.
Coming to the Cryptguard after the Varghulf Courtier is tricky. These models are really, Ja wirklich diddy, with lots of small parts and contact points. They are a bit of a faff to build, but once they’re all done I think you’ll agree that they’re worth the stress.
There’s plenty of build options for them all too, with variant heads and different bits of gear. Even with two of the same sprue in the box, you’ll be hard-pressed to build two of the same model – and you won’t want to, either. These figures look superb, and with so many different options you’ll wollen to explore them all.
There is, however, a repeat error throughout the construction guide for these guys. The heads that can be affixed to these miniatures are split into two groups: 3a and 3b. 3a’s heads fit on necks with a more triangular contact point, whilst 3b’s sit on rounded necks. Infuriatingly, however, these are almost all mislabelled throughout the construction guide. Lots of the models are labelled as requiring the opposite type of head to what they actually need. To save yourself a headache, ignore the head suggestions in the book altogether, instead, when you come to attaching a head, look at the shape of the neck: if the top of it is pointed, you need a head from list 3a; if it is round and smooth, you need one from list 3b.
In addition to this, there are a handful of components – and I mean one or two – that really don’t seem to fit onto the miniatures very well. These are limited to the arms on the models, which don’t always seem to want to fit in their slots on the models’ torsos very neatly. Be aware of this as you build these figures – perhaps this was just a me issue, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.
Here are the Cryptguard I painted up – first are the folks with their swords (and their meat flags)…
…and second are the the group with long weapons.
They were fun little figures to paint, albeit a little repetitive (but what do you expect when you paint in a batch of 20?). I kept the paint job fairly simple with these guys, using plenty of washes and drybrushing techniques to achieve a quick, easy effect that give an effective, straightforward scheme that I’m pretty pleased with.
On the whole, the Morbheg Knights are the most complicated build in the box – but when you’re dealing with larger models sporting this much detail, this is what you’d expect.
They look superb, and there are different build options for each – you can build a champion, a banner bearer, or a musician (as I have above), or you can build each as a standard knight. There are loads of different head options too, both for the knights and their mounts as well.
On the third and final knight you’ll be instructed to build, (the one that can be built as a musician), beware that the construction of the mount’s body is a little more complex than the previous two There are a few more plate-style components to line up together, so ensure that these are all appropriately prepared and all sprue gates removed before you try gluing anything down, or you run the risk of ending up with some big gaps.
Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get the Morbheg Knights painted in time for the release of this article. If you head over to my Twitter, I’ll hopefully have a picture of them there in the next few days!
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Price and Availability
Matching the price point for the Cities of Sigmar Army Set, the Flesh-eater Courts Army Set will set you back £120 GBP.
This feels like a reasonable amount of money to ask for a set like this. Were it any more, and I think I’d be a little miffed. By way of comparison to the CoS starter set, there ist less in it: there are no transfer sheets, and there are also fewer miniatures (25 vs 27). However, what there is in the box is of excellent quality: the models are neat, the warscroll and enhancement cards are nice, and the limited edition battletome is really rather gorgeous.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Flesh-eater Courts Army Set Review – Conclusion
|Really nice battletome
Warscroll and enhancement cards are both well-designed and useful
|Not a huge amount of diversity in the miniatures
A handful of minis are a touch fiddly to build.
Towards the top of this interview, I made a comment about how the Flesh-eater Courts Army Set will always be compared to its Cities of Sigmar predecessor. When I originally write this line, I made a promise to myself that throughout this review I would do everything I possibly could to view this box outside of the shadow cast by the Cities box.
I completely, utterly failed to do this.
Part of the reason for this is because the overall formatting of this new box – from its design, the layout of the battletome, the choice of cards, and even the kinds of miniatures included – are a near bang-on reflection of what was in the Cities of Sigmar box. The two are very, very similar, as if the Flesh-eater COurts box is designed to be Grand Alliance Death’s mocking iteration of the Cities’ army.
The other reason for these comparisons is because once the striking similarities between the two boxes have been noted, it’s nearly impossible not to see one in light of the other – and whilst the two are very similar, I do prefer the Cities of Sigmar box from earlier this year to the Flesh-eater Courts box. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the Flesh-eater Courts box, I just don’t love it quite as much as I loved the Cities box – and I really did love the Cities box.
My only real criticism of the Cities of Sigmar Army Set was that I felt there could have been a little more diversity in some of the miniatures included in the set, and unfortunately I feel the same way about the new Flesh-eater Courts Army Box. I find myself wishing there could have been something different in the box to break up the 20 Cryptguard. However, the Flesh-eater Courts box does have a few more issues than the Cities box did. Some of the minis – particularly the Cryptguard – are more difficult to build, and a few of them don’t seem to want to go together properly at all, and there are some frustrating inaccuracies in the build guide that complicate the process.
That isn’t to say this is a bad box by any stretch of the imagination. These are the most obvious criticisms of what is otherwise a seriously solid and very satisfying product. The overall quality of the miniatures is very good – the Abhorrant Gorewarden is a truly magnificent mini – and the book and cards are also of really nice quality. As with the CoS army box, the alternate cover and the gold-edged pages really helps give the book that something-extra quality.
Since receiving the Warcry: Nightmare Quest box, then Dawnbringers: Jerrion’s Delegation, I’ve noticed my interest in the development of the Flesh-eater Courts range piqued. This box – though it has a few flaws – does capture that excitement and catapult the Courts range into the modern-day, with a host of exciting new entries into the Games-Workshop catalogue – and a promising insight into the future of this faction.
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