Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review for Miniature Painters

Last Updated on junio 24, 2024 by VoltorRWH

The biggest Warhammer release of 2024 is here. Strap yourselves in and get ready to be thrown face-first into the cavernous Gnawhole of Warhammer Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition. Get the scoop on everything in this set in our Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Skaventide Review for Miniature Painters.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review – Summary

It is impossible to deny that the quality of the miniatures available in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Skaventide set aren’t of the utmost quality. Hailing an exciting future for miniature painters and collectors everywhere – and a particularly exciting era for long-forsaken Skaven collectors – the future of Age of Sigmar looks brighter than ever.

But Skaventide’s hefty price-tag acts as a saddening sign of the times and a reminder that Warhammer is an exclusive and luxury hobby that the links of many would-be fans will simply not be able to afford in 2024.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review – Introduction

The sound of skittering claws have long been pitter-pattering through the recesses of the internet: we’ve all had a hunch for a while (well, more or less since they weren’t in the Dominio box back in 2021) that the Skaven would be appearing as the non-Stormcast Eternal alternate faction in the next edition – it has, after all, been years since they’ve had anything in the way of a refresh.

So, sure enough, when the “Sigmar Lied” artwork and cover photos (and rather suspicious teaser photos featuring manhole  covers edged with luminous glowing green) started appearing on Taller de juegos’s social media pages, no one was really all that surprised.

It’s safe to say there’s been a fair bit of hype around this release: a range refresh for the iconic Skaven is long overdue, but this is set against the backdrop of an enormous host of Stormcast Eternals miniatures being delisted from Games Workshops’ webstore and being made illegal in games because they too were receiving new models – in spite of not being all that old. I for one lost close to 6,000 points of an 11,000 point Stormcast Eternals collection in the Great Purges.

But Skaventide heralds a new era for Age of Sigmar – one characterised by green-tinged warpstone magic and the griming up of Sigmar’s personal golden-armoured poster-people. It certainly looks impressive in the photos, but how does the box measure up in reality?

A big thanks to Taller de juegos for supplying us with the new box for the purpose of this review.

What About Starter Sets?

As with every new edition we’ve seen over the last few years, we anticipate seeing three different “tiers” of starter set for the new edition of Age of Sigmar: a small set, probably between £40-£50; a medium-sized set, likely around £70, and a larger, all-inclusive set containing plastic scenery, probably in excess of £120.

However, the face of Warhammer is changing. With the advent of the new edition of Age of Sigmar, we’ve seen Taller de juegos rebranding a lot of their start collecting-style sets as “Spearheads”. Spearheads are the Age of Sigmar version of Warhammer 40,000’s Combat Patrols: straight-out-of-the-box armies that can be used to play against other boxes under the same name. Designed to give people a kick-start into playing the competitive miniatures wargame, whilst these sets don’t contain rules guidance, they do contain pre-packaged and legal armies.

These serve as reasonable alternatives for people who are already familiar with wargaming and Warhammer. Whilst they won’t teach you how to play the game, they will give you a leg-up collecting, and will help you get started in the world of Age of Sigmar.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review – Contents

As you’d suspect, there’s an absolute mountain of stuff in the new Skaventide box. Worry not, dear reader – we shall have a good look at all of it below. Here’s the almighty crate in all its glory.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Box

One thing that caught me by surprise from the get-go is that the Skaventide box deviates from its ancestors quite sharply in that it is not one of the more collectible, hard-sided boxes (see Leviathan, Indomitus, Dominio, Kill Team: Octario, Warhammer: The Old World and so on). The box is made from softer, less-durable cardstock, so it won’t look quite as impressive on your shelf so some of its predecessors might have.

So, here’s a complete list of everything in the Skaventide box:

  • 1 x 272-page Age of Sigmar Core Book
  • 1 x 144-page Spearhead: Fire and Jade book
  • 1 x double-sided game board
  • 36 x Spearhead cards
  • 17 x General’s Handbook cards
  • 78 Miniatures and models:
    • 1 x Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-Stalker
    • 1 x Lord-Terminos
    • 1 x Lord-Veritant (and 1 x Gryph-crow)
    • 1 x Knight-Questor
    • 3 x Reclusians
    • 3 x Memorians
    • 3 x fiscales
    • 10 x Liberators
    • 1 x Clawlord on Gnaw-beast
    • 1 x Grey Seer
    • 1 x Warlock Engineer
    • 1 x Ratling Warpblaster
    • 3 x Rat Ogors
    • 3 x Warplock Jezzails
    • 40 x Clanrats
    • 4 x Terrain features

That’s a lot to get through. Let’s crack on.

Books, Cards, and Gaming Gear

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a steady increase in the amount of printed goods appearing in Warhammer new edition boxes. Decks of cards are becoming ever-more commonplace in boxed games, as are gaming boards and all kinds of different rules and lore literature. Unsurprisingly, then, Skaventide comes packed with all sorts of goodies to get you gaming.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Gaming Gear 1

They also come in some of their own packaging: the cards and boards (as well as your construction guide) on the left in their own illustrated folder, the books on the right in a sealed, envelope-like case.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Gaming Gear 2

Nice touches like this help give the box a really premium feel.

Age of Sigmar Core Book

No new edition box is complete without a thorough and complete rulebook explaining all the changes and laying out how the game is going to look for the next few years.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Core Book 1

Age of Sigmar has had a fairly significant rebuild from Third Edition – much to the chagrin of many fans. Many gamers feel that Taller de juegos have tried to make Age of Sigmar 4.0 more like Warhammer 40,000 Tenth Ed. Tenth Ed, for the unaware or uninitiated, was a bit of a misfire for many: armed with the strapline “simplified, not simple”, 40K’s most recent edition tried to slim down a game saturated with decades of rules bloat, whilst keeping that fundamental wargaming “crunch” still there for the most die-hard of fans, but in doing so somehow missed the mark entirely, creating a game that was neither simplified, and definitely not simple.

The general fear with Age of Sigmar 4.0 is that it is about to fall victim of the same issues 40K did. Certain new rules – such as the “Underdog” mechanic – work similarly to rules introduced in the latest edition of 40K, and the general feeling that Age of Sigmar is being trimmed down to make it more accessible has reminded many gamers of the language that surrounded 40K’s latest iteration.

We already know there have been some big changes, too. For one, Warscrolls have been entirely revamped. Every unit’s Warscroll – that is, the thing that contains all their statistics and abilities – have been redesigned to fit onto a smaller, more slimline card for ease of use. That’s not all: on the tabletop, players will now have the ability to react during their opponent’s turn – both casting spells and charging, for example – which has already rocked the proverbial rules boat. At first glance, these seem like positive changes: gone are the days of sitting around for however-long whilst you wait for your opponent to finish moving their 50 Clanrats forwards one at a time.

A lot has changed, and this ultimately goes beyond the scope of this article – and against the point of this section. Ultimately, time will tell. It’s only once the new edition is out and in the hands of Age of Sigmar’s competitive playerbase that we’ll know for certain whether or not people’s fear have been realised, or if they can be fully allayed.

But the rulebook included in the Skaventide box is a rather lovely thing – that’s something everyone can agree on, no matter how jaded you may or may not be by whatever rules lie within. It’s an impressive, 272-page tome, but the book is more than just page upon page of rules.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Core Book 2

Don’t be put off by that number: more than half of this book has nothing to do with the rules. The first 193 pages are dedicated to Age of Sigmar’s expansive lore – pertaining to its realms, its people, factions, and more. There are pages upon pages of army showcases and cinematic miniatures shots to inspire you to get painting.

The art direction in the boom is phenomenal. Every page is drizzled in gorgeous artwork and imagery. Even the rules pages are laid out in a pleasing, easy-to-follow manner, and are broken down into four distinct sections: the Core Rules, the Advanced Rules, the Glossary, and the Battlepacks section.

Core Rules – spread across a not-too-shabby 22 pages – covers everything you need to get started with the new edition of Age of Sigmar. Don’t mistake this as a how to play guide, however: this is primarily a rules document, not a tutorial (we anticipate seeing this sort of thing in starter sets). The various sequences are explained – often with clear and full-colour examples, and in adequate detail – and are in-depth, though not necessarily easy for wargaming newcomers to understand. A great deal of effort has been expended on ensuring things are clear and easy to understand, but there is no gentle rules drip-feed here: it’s in at the deep end, minutiae and all.

Well, that’s not bastante true. Some of the more complicated parts of the new ruleset for Age of Sigmar 4.0 have been separated out into the Advanced Rules section. These include Commands, Terrain, Magic, Army Composition, Command Models and Battle Tactics.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Core Book 4
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Core Book 5

The separation of these rules from the Core Rules is confusing. Ultimately, whilst they might be classed as “Advanced Rules”, and are designed to be modular and plugged in to the Battlepacks (more on these in a moment) that use them. But, in truth, a great deal of what’s been cut out and labelled as “modular” has, in the past, very much been core to the Age of Sigmar experience. It might make the system more accessible for abject newcomers, but things like Commands and Command Points have been fairly integral to the Warhammer experience, certainly for as long as I’ve been back in the hobby.

But what is a Battlepack? This is a word we’ve mentioned a few times in this review already, and one you might’ve seen bounced around Taller de juegos’s social media. Whilst the Core and Advanced Rules are designed to guide players on building an army, moving and fighting, Battlepacks provide the framework in which the action takes place (it’s basically a formalisation of when you and your opponent agree on objectives, points and so-on).

These are currently broken into three types: “Spearhead”, the Age of Sigmar’s answer to 40K’s Combat Patrol; “Path to Glory”, linked, narrative-style battles; and “Matched Play”, which is, as far as I can tell, just sitting down and playing Age of Sigmar with your army.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Core Book 3

Battlepacks, then, are ready-made collections of rules to designed to take some of the faffing out of setup. You can simply choose a Battlepack and get started instead of doing all the prep yourself (which is still an option if you want it to be).

That some ready-made examples are included in the back of the Rulebook is a nice inclusion – it gives people itching to throw themselves right into AoS 4.0 the option to get started instantly. Again, however, whilst these function as complete sets of rules to get you going, it’ll likely take some decent study for anyone who isn’t already to a degree au-fait with wargames to get their heads around as . To reemphasise – its’ not a tutorial.

In all, though, the Age of Sigmar rulebook is a beautiful, hard-cover tome that will have hardcore collectors’ mouths watering and even the uninitiated hobbyist fawning over its beautiful illustrations and artwork. It is a triumphant document – even if the rules content may or may not turn out to be somewhat divisive.

Fire & Jade Spearhead Book

In stark contrast to just about every other new edition release we’ve had in recent years, Skaventide comes with a second hardback book.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Fire & Jade Book 1

The Fire & Jade book is all about Spearhead. Straight out of the blocks with AoS 4.0, quicker, smaller, easier-to-pick-up games are becoming a priority. The rulebook itself contains everything you need to play Spearhead – down to all the Spearhead Warscrolls for the currently-available Spearhead boxes (though, um, as an Ironjawz fan, I couldn’t help but notice Ironjawz are nowhere to be seen). It also includes a re-print of the Core Rules, exactly as they are in the Core Rulebook.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Fire & Jade Book 3

Aside from the Spearhead-specific stuff, such as the Warscrolls and Battleplan, there’s nothing new here. The book very much looks like it was probablemente supposed to be included as part of the Age of Sigmar Core Book, but that the decision was made to cut the Spearhead-specific parts out and put them in their own book with a re-print of the core rules.

It’s probably for the best, to be honest. Including this in the Core Book would bump the page count up to the region of 400 pages, and the whole point of Spearhead is to try and make Warhammer quicker and more playable for people.

It’s a useful thing to have – especially if you only plan on playing Spearhead. But I’m not sure it belongs in this box. Given that there’s so much more in this box than just the miniatures you need for Skaven or Stormcast Spearheads, the likelihood is that you aren’t buying Skaventide to play Spearhead: you’re either a hardcore Warhammer gamer looking to get a head-start in AoS 4.0, or you’re a committed painter after the latest miniatures. I’m not sure if you’re going to get much use out of the Fire & Jade book.

Tarjetas

To get you started playing, Skaventide also comes with a couple of decks of cards. The first is the 36-card Spearhead deck; the second is the 17 General’s Handbook cards.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Cards 1

Both of these serve very different functions. If you’ve read the entirety of the review up to this point, you’ll recognise that “Spearhead” word. The Spearhead deck (which is, technically, two decks: one for the realm of Aqshy, the other for Ghyran) contains the details of the Twists and Battle Tactics that you need to play a game of Age of Sigmar Spearhead. Easy enough.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Cards 3

The General’s Handbook cards are a bit different. As those people familiar with General’s Handbook releases from the past however-so-many years will recognise, these cards are, well, just that.

They contain a lot of the other, top-level rules you need for your games of Age of Sigmar: information about battlefield set up depending on army point sizes, battle tactics for the different Grand Alliances, and a number of battleplans for your games.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Cards 2

Whilst these cards will likely never be unpacked by miniature painters or anyone not so interested in actually playing the new edition of Age of Sigmar, these cards will be a useful thing for people looking to throw themselves into the new edition right away. A handy resource to have at your side on the tabletop, there also aren’t too many cards, so you’re not grappling with dozens and dozens of different plans, missions, and whatever else. A handy tool to have.

Well, until they’re all outdated in a year’s time.

Gaming Board

The double-sided gaming board that comes in the Skaventide box feature five ready-printed objectives (each representing a different Godbeast), and each is styled after a different realm – Ghyran (the green, lush, verdant side) and Aqshy (the burning, altogether less-hospitable side).

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Board Side 1
Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Board Side 2

The card and print quality is great. Both visually pleasing to look at but not detractive from any models that might be placed on top of them, gamers will get a lot of use out of these boards before they begin to fall apart – as long as they look after them.

Miniatures and Models

So, this is likely what you’re De Verdad after: an up-close and personal look at all the new miniatures in the Skaventide box. Whether you’re a gamer, collector, or hobby painter, it’s the little plastic models that come in these boxes where we find our common ground.

Stormcast Eternal Units

The first of the two factions included in the Skaventide box set, the Stormcast Eternals are Age of Sigmar’s answer to the Space Marines. In fact, when they first made their debut back in 2015, their similarities to the iconic space-dudes of the 41S t Millennium and the distinct visual departure from the aesthetic of the Old World received enormous backlash from would-be buyers.

Over the last few years, however, we have seen a shift in the aesthetic direction of the Stormcast Eternal – and this very much comes to a head in Skaventide. Whilst we saw many of the Stormcast Eternals shed their clunky Sigmarine-esque gear with AoS 3.0 when Dominio was released, and the steady slew of Stormcast releases since has ascribed to this new, slimmed-down Stormcast variant, things really came to a head earlier this year.

Not but a few months ago, the near-entirety of the original Stormcast Eternal models were delisted from Taller de juegos’s webstore, and in one fell swoop they were all branded “illegal” in games. It was a move that received mixed reception: collectors and fans of the range who had invested their hard-earned cash in the old models were less than happy to have swathes of their collections confined to the annals of competitive history. Others, however, were quietly hopeful: reading between the lines, many fans suggested that this might, in fact, be the dawning of a new, less Space Marine-like Stormcast Eternal.

And, if the models below are anything to go by, they are indeed correct.

Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker

The leading hero on the Stormcast Eternal’s side of the Skaventide box is the Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker – and, boy, does he kick things off to a good start.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker

This impressive miniature – a triumph of sculpting and a gorgeous centrepiece model – is absolutely dripping in details. From the magnificent cloak to the astral fire burning on his axe, he makes a seriously impressive figure.

And, in spite of its size and relative sculpting complexity, the Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker isn’t all that difficult to build, either. Made of a surprisingly small number of parts, you won’t need to be a pro builder in order to get this guy together.

Lord-Terminos

The already iconic Lord-Terminos (you’ve seen his ilk in several pieces of Taller de juegos media, and on the front of the Core Book) is, perhaps, my favourite miniature in this set.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Lord-Terminos

Brooding and stoic, this model captures the ever-darkening attitude of the Stormcast Eternals perfectly. This miniature says, more clearly than ever before, that whilst they might have been destinado to be the good guys, there’s a lot more going on under the hood of the Stormcast Eternals than first meets the eye.

Note that the Lord-Terminos shares a sprue with the Knight-Questor, the Reclusians y the Memorians. This has some interesting implications for the future releases of these miniatures. We assume they’ll likely be in some sort of “Sigmar’s Chosen Elite” bundle in a few months’ time, demanding a hefty price tag (just like the Necron Royal Court in Indomitus and Yndrasta’s pals in Dominio).

Señor Veritante

The Lord-Veritant, here accompanied by a Gryph-crow, captures the stoic and brooding essence of the Lord-Terminos and puts a new spin on it. With a shaved, scarred head, eyes covered by a blindfold, and their burning brazier-like stave and sword, there’s a dark, deeply religious feel to this miniature, echoing some of the old zealous preacher miniatures that inhabited the Old World. It is another gorgeous figure – and another one that’s super easy to assemble.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Lord-Veritant

It’s worth mentioning here that the Lord-Veritant is on a sprue with the Skaven Grey Seer – so, for those of you with an eye on what might feature in future Hachette partworks subscriptions, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that your first, cheap issue might contain these two.

Knight-Questor

The new Knight-Questor miniature makes the old one look, well, a bit sad. Which is a real shame, as I like my old Knight-Questor.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Knight-Questor

But this is an undeniable upgrade. With their long hair flowing wildly in an unseen wind, their heavy cloak cast about their shoulders, their foot raised on a tactical rock, and a burning brand thrust before this, this miniature says “quest” more than the old model ever did – their pose alone suggests they are half-way through some dark and cursed dungeon, moving ever forward.

Note that, as mentioned above, the Knight-Questor shares a sprue with the Lord-Terminos, the Reclusians y the Memorians.

Reclusians and Memorians

It feels odd to call the three Reclusians a bit dull to look at – because they aren’t, not really – but next to the Lord-Terminos and the Lord-Vigilant, they’re basically just these two but with slightly different weapons.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Reclusians & Memorians

(Editor’s note: apparently one of these Memorians is supposed to accompany the Lord-Terminos, but this isn’t clear in the construction guide.)

Don’t get me wrong, they still look great (as do their super easy-to-build Memorian disciples), but there’s just not as much visual distinction between these chaps and some of the other units in the box as I’d like there to be.

But, then again, I have a sizeable Space Marine army, so I’ll shut up.

Prosecutors

Here’s a fun one. The Prosecutors have had one heck of a facelift. Previously suspended on pointed, art deco wings, Sigmar’s angels now plunge from the sky upon wings of astral fire.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Prosecutors

Whilst these guys are basically just Vindictors with wings, what wings they are! The sculpts are absolutely stunning, and that they are no longer attached to their bases by spring-like trails of sculpted parchment make them significantly sturdier, too.

Really nice.

Libertadores

Remember those little golden chaps who made everyone so angry back in 2015? Sorry, they can’t come to the phone right now. Why? They’re dead.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Liberators 2

The Liberators are both the least interesting and yet most significant glow-up on the Stormcast Eternal side of the Skaventide box. When they were first released with AoS 1.0, it was the humble Liberators that got everyone in an uproar about AoS models becoming too 40K (and the sheer number of Liberator to Custodes conversions and kitbashes I’ve seen adds significant weight to this).

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Liberators 1

But now, they’re gone. In their place are some brand-new versions, much more visually similar to the Vindictors that appeared for the first time back in the Dominio caja.

They’re a diverse bunch – with both men and women in their rank – but not, by any means, the most visually impressive bunch in the box, but that’s fine. They have a couple of build options – hammer and shield or two hammers – but it is their facelift that remains the most significant part of the Stormcast Eternal overhaul in this box.

We ain’t ever goin’ back, y’all.

Skaven Units

With Sigmar’s finest (but only sort of, these days – the Mortal Realms are a dark place, after all) safely squared away for the moment, we can get stuck into the other part of the box: the Skaven.

A fan favourite, the Skaven are synonymous with Warhammer fantasy: be it the Old World or Age of Sigmar. Unfortunately, they’ve received little to no attention over the last decade: the only Skaven release I remember in the last four years were Skitterhsank’s Clawpack and Underworlds’ Skabbik’s Plaguepack – both of which were superb, and left everyone wanting more.

Well, happily, more has finally arrived. And in supreme style.

Clawlord on Gnaw-beast

The antithesis to the Lord-Veritant on Gryph-stalker, the insurmountably creepy Skaven Clawlord on Gnaw-beast is absolutely everything release-starved Skaven fans want in new miniatures.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Clawlord on Gnaw-beast

Seriously impressive, and mounted on a partially-sculpted base, whilst the Clawlord and Gnaw-beast are a little bit more complex to build than some of the miniatures in the Skaventide box, I’m certain we’re all in agreement that it’s totally worth the effort. This spectacular figure takes everything about its Stormcast Eternal opposite, chews it up, covers it in warpstone, and emerges as a magnificent blend of chaotic character horror and masterful miniature design.

If this sets the new standard for Skaven, I am so in.

Vidente gris

No Skaven unit is as iconic as the Grey Seer. Constant and daunting foes in Warhammer literature and videogames, the Grey Seer has always been a much-loved model.

Its latest iteration, however, punts it into the modern era of miniature sculpting.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Grey Seer

After the Lord-Terminos, the Grey Seer is certainly one of the most impressive miniatures in the box. This iconic Skaven hero has been re-designed to perfection, atop a shattered bell out of which pours a whole host of rats.

What’s more, he’s also extremely easy to put together. Made of only six (yes, six!) components, this miniature will certainly inspire new and old Warhammer fans alike for many years to come.

Warlock Engineer

The Warlock Engineer is another Skaven model that has had a significant glow-up. One a roughly rat-shaped thing with some fairly rudimentary tech attached to it, the new sculpt takes the core of that classic design and brings it hissing and spitting into modernity.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Warlock Engineer

What’s even more impressive than the makeover it’s received is the fact that the Warlock Engineer is made up of only four parts., which is truly quite impressive when you look at the amount of detail on this miniature.

Ratling Warpblaster

Now, as impressive as it is once it’s together, the Ratling Warpblaster is probably the most complicated miniature to build in the Skaventide box. The bar isn’t exactly high, given how easy just about everything else is to build, but there are a few snagging points you might encounter on your way to putting this thing together.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Ratling Warpblaster

Mainly, ensure you pay very close attention to the build guide when constructing the wheels and chassis of the Warpblaster. There are several components that look quite similar to each other used, and the flat floor-piece to which the gun is attached later in the guide isn’t very clearly displayed on the guide itself, so you run the risk of putting it on the wrong way up (look very closely at the printed image of the component – you’ll see some additional mounting-like detail that differentiates between the component’s top and bottom).

Once together, however, this is a wickedly cool model. Featuring four Skaven pushing a fifth, who sits triumphantly astride an enormous gun, this miniature is every bit horrifying and ridiculous – quintessentially Skaven.

Rat Ogors

Perhaps coming in as my third-favourite model (or, in this case, models) in this box are the formidable Rat Ogors. Not only are they a breeze to assemble, once together they look absolutely stunning.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Rat Ogors

They are amongst the models with the highest component counts in the box, but don’t let this put you off: they are, in fact, very easy to put together. There are a number of different head options available across these monstrous models. 

Warplock Jezzails

Rather like the Ratling Warpblaster, the Warplock Jezzails bring that signature blend of Skaven lunacy and menace together in three utterly unique and very fun – albeit unnerving – miniatures.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Warplock Jezzails

They’re rat snipers. I mean, it’s fun cool horrifying. What’s definitely not frightening, however, is the build on these guys: each model is made of a three- or four-part shield-carrier and a four-part sniper. Once they’re together, you can put whichever gunner with whichever shield-carrier you like, so there are some opportunities for personalisation here as well, which always rocks.

Clanrats

Last, but by no means least (they make up close to two-thirds of the models in this box, after all) come the Clanrats.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Clanrats 2 Recoloured

Boy, there’s a lot of them – 40 in all. It’s a good job each Clanrat is only two components – roughly two halves that can be pushed together. They’re an enormous update on the now very dated Clanrats of Warhammer Fantasy, ascribing to a significantly higher level of detail.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Clanrats 1 Recoloured

Earlier I said that the Liberators feel like the most significant miniatures re-do in the box, but as I arrive at the Clanrats I catch myself second-guessing. The Clanrat is an iconic, decades-old miniature that has seen several iterations across its history. Whilst the Liberator is the most contemporarily-significant do-over, in the grand scheme and long history of Warhammer, it’s the Clanrat that is likely the most important.

They are the basis of the entire Skaven faction, and the care and attention lavished on these miniatures’ sculpts should be a huge green flag for long-starved Skaven collectors. Things will be alright, guys. It’s your time now.

Terreno

Also included in the Skaventide box are four terrain pieces. Styled to look like bits of Sigmarite architecture that have been destroyed by the Skaven, these will add some really nice definition to your AoS 4.0 battlefields.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Terrain

I do note, however, that in one or two places on these models there is a little loss of detail. The skeletons on the walls catch my eye immediately, as these have that “chunky” feel to them where they are partially sculpted onto other parts of the terrain feature. This is no biggie, however, and when you’re spinning dice and making war on your tabletop, you won’t be paying too much attention to these.

Easy to forget, but worth mentioning here, this sprue also comes with a couple of range rulers on it.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Measuring Sticks

Perhaps frustratingly, these aren’t actually numbered – but can be attached and detached from each other, which is useful.

Miniatures Round-Up

Blimey.  That’s a heck of a lot to take in.

There are some radical changes for miniatures fans and painters across the board in Skaventide – but, as a result, it certainly feels like one of the freshest and most original launch edition sets of the last five years (which is funny, given that most of these models have existed in much older forms for quite some time).

Stand-outs are, without doubt, the hero miniatures. The Stormcast Lord-Veritant, Lord-Terminos, and Lord-Vigilant are superb, and the Knight-Questor has graduated from AoS 1.0 gloriously.

But the real triumph in these models lies, undoubtedly, with the Skaven. Every Skaven unit in this set is gorgeous: from the horde of simple Clanrats, each of whom have received lavish attention from their sculptors, right the way up to the Clawlord on Gnaw-beast. The Skaven have arrived in Age of Sigmar – properly, now – and, damn, they are here to stay.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review – Price, Value and Savings

Skaventide is going to cost you £160.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. Four years ago, back in 2020, I got into Warhammer just before Indomitus dropped. Indomitus was £125. A year later, the Age of Sigmar third edition set, Dominio, was released at the same MSRP.

But four years of price rises sees us now face-to-face with a new edition set costing not a million miles off £200.

Remember in 2022, Taller de juegos released Necromunda: Ash Wastes for £180 and everyone lost their collective minds over how expensive this set was? Well, two years later we’re looking at more and more releases getting closer and closer to this price-point. Last year, Warhammer 40,000: Leviathan was £150. Little more than a year later and we’ve gone up another tenner.

It’s a lot of cash, and it’s a sad sign of the times. We can argue the toss all day as to whether or not this is Taller de juegos’s fault, a facet of the world in 2024, or mixture of the two, and where the line of responsibility is drawn, but the simple fact of the matter is that this set is expensive. It’s really expensive.

It’ll still be significantly cheaper than buying everything in the box separately once everything is released in individual kits. We’d anticipate seeing these two factions released in their own slightly stripped-down Spearhead boxes in the near future, are those will likely cost in the region of £87.50 a pop. So, if you’re tempted, weigh that up. It might be worth sitting on your hands for a while.

Skaventide goes on pre-order on Saturday 29th June, and will be out for a full release on Saturday 13th July.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide Review – Final Thoughts

The GoodThe Bad
Stormcast Eternals heroes miniatures are superb
Every Skaven model is (dare I say it) a work of art
Art direction and illustration in both the Core Book and the Fire & Jade book should be lauded
Decent gaming gear comprising of everything you need to get started with the new edition of Age of Sigmar
Some of the Stormcast Eternals models lack originality (see Reclusians compared to Lord-Vigilant and Lord-Terminos)
Fire & Jade book feels a little peripheral Expensive.

This is the fifth or sixth new edition review I’ve written in my career, and I can say without any hesitation that rounding them up and giving them a star-rating never gets any easier.

There’s so much to consider here. Skaventide ticks a heck of a lot of boxes – even going so far as to draw some more boxes of its own and tick those – and, as such, there is an enormous amount to like in this box.

But new editions are always a bit scary. There’s always a lot to consider. Whilst Skaventide is, at its core, a box o’ minis and some books and whatever, its release signals a lot more than just that. It is a statement of intent regarding the future of one the most popular fantasy miniatures games and its associated franchises in the world. Whether you’re a gamer, a painter, or anything in between, Skaventide will have made you sit up and pay attention – like it or not.

As such, Skaventide is massive, and heralds a new age for Age of Sigmar – one that, certainly at this point, looks as if it might be turbulent. From a rules and games perspective, Taller de juegos seem to have not learned from some of the mistakes of Warhammer 40,000 Tenth Edition, and a lot of the changes to Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition mimic those we’ve recently seen in 40K. It has people on the edge of their seats, nervously touching their dice and range rulers. As this review has focussed on the Skaventide box as both a collector’s item and as a potential purchase for miniature painters, an entire breakdown of all the new rules is well beyond the scope of this review – and, to be honest, well beyond my capabilities. But it cannot be fully set aside when considering the magnitude of this product.

But whilst the rules changes will likely prove divisive (they always do – but the devil is in the degree to which they are), we can offer some significant sureties regarding the physical contents of this box.

Firstly, content aside, the books look excellent. Collectors and first-timers alike will fawn over the quality of the illustration and art direction in these books – they are the sort of publications that inspires years of passion in those who turn their glossy, picture and lore-filled pages.

In addition to this, the gaming peripherals – the boards and the cards – are decent too. The cards need to prioritise function over form, which they doubtlessly do, but not to an extent they seem classless or spartan. They have nice sleeves and clear layout, so will be a boon to gamers. The boards are nice too, and will form a brilliant base for games.

But, as always, the weight and value of these sets lies in its miniatures. As mentioned earlier in the review, it is the miniatures that unify gamers, painters, and collectors – it is the commonality in this set and the part that will be seen by most people.

Skaventide’s miniatures, however, are phenomenal.

With a slew of both of brand-new models or momentous updates on old and/or tired models from, in some cases, decades ago, the significance of this box cannot be understated. The miniatures signal both the start of a bright future for the long-forgotten Skaven, as well as a decisive – and very welcome – shift away from the original (is it fair to say “failed”?) aesthetic of the Stormcast Eternals that premiered nearly ten years ago.

Even the less-impressive miniatures (here’s looking at you, Liberators) look great. But the jaw-droppers in this set are just that: those Stormcast Eternal and Skaven heroes – with particular emphasis on the Lord-Terminos, Lord-Veritant, Clawlord, and Grey Seer – are absolutely glorious.

This box is something really quite special and announcers a pivotal directional shift in Age of Sigmar’s ongoing development – which makes it all the more disappointing that its high price-point will keep it out of reach of certain people who would absolutely delight in its contents. A sign of the times: both of the incredible heights to which wargaming is reaching, but also a reminder of the ever-increasing price-tag associated with this hobby.

4.5/5


Autor

  • VoltorRWH

    Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide

VoltorRWH

Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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