Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review

The very heart of the Dark Angels chapter is under siege in Workshop sui giochi’s latest battlebox. Two brand-new character models clash within the hallowed halls of The Rock as Azrael and Vashtorr the Arkifane battle for thousands of years’ worth of secrets. Find out more in our Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King review!

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Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Summary

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King is a solid – albeit at times somewhat varied – release. It is indubitably carried by its brand-new and currently exclusive models, as Vashtorr the Arkifane and Grand Master Azrael are phenomenal miniatures that will leave any Warhammer fan wide-eyed with wonder. However, some of the other 29 other models in the box do feel a bit bland by comparison.

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Introduction

Wrath of the Soul Forge King heralds a new era for Warhammer 40,000. With wheels turning behind the scenes to move the ever-developing Warhammer 40,000 narrative towards new destinations – as we’ve seen with Abaddon’s Arks of Omen and his palling-up with mechano-daemon Vashtorr the Arkifane – Workshop sui giochi’s latest battlebox plunges us into the first pages of this new chapter.

The Rock, the Dark Angels’ citadel which is built around a surviving fragment of their obliterated homeworld, is under siege. Vashtorr has taken his first appearance as a physical miniature in the 40K universe as an opportunity to go big or go home, launching an assault on the hallowed halls of the First Legion’s most heavily-defended bastion with a couple of his warpforged pals and a whole bunch of woefully undergeared cultists. Perhaps the whole mission is just a front for Vashtorr to collect some spare parts for his next semi-organic, semi-mechanical building project?

As a Dark Angels collector, I have to admit I’ve been looking forward to this one. Over the years, the Dark Angels have been blessed with some awesome chapter-specific units, but these are starting to show their age now. That we’ve got a new Azrael model will get hopes up for Dark Angels fans everywhere: perhaps we’ll see some new Deathwing units, or an update to the now-dated character models, such as Ezekiel, Asmodai, e Sammael.

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Unboxing

So, here’s the box.

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Unboxing 1

The artwork on this one is gorgeous and depicts the forces of Chaos going toe-to-toe with Azrael and his warriors.

Cracking the box open, we have our sprues and bases:

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Unboxing 2

There are 11 sprues in the box for all the miniatures – two of which are Dark Angels Primaris Upgrade Sprues.

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Unboxing 3

Beneath the sprues, we have the ever-popular divider-… wait, what’s this?

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Unboxing 4

That’s it?

No Wrath of the Soul Forge King box artwork? No opportunity for me to say “this’d make a great poster provided yours has survived transit without any perforations or gouges from the plastic it sits beneath”?

Well, that’s a bit of a disappointment.

Lastly, we have the larger bases, transfers and the book.

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Unboxing 5

We’ll take a closer look at all this now.

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Contents

Here’s everything you get in the Wrath of the Soul Forge King box, straight from Games Workshop’s webstore listing for this product:

In tutto, questo è:

  • 31 x Miniatures
    • 14 x Chaos miniatures
    • 17 x Dark Angels Space Marine Miniatures
  • 1 x sheet of Dark Angels transfers (not pictured above)
  • 1 x Wrath of the Soul Forge King Campaign Book

So, let’s get stuck in!


The Wrath of the Soul Forge King set, like just about every battlebox before it, comes with a campaign book.

For those not familiar with battleboxes, these aren’t intended to be starter sets for Warhammer 40,000. They’re more equitable to expansions, containing new figures and additional rules for existing players to bolster their collections with. Of course, this only really applies if you’re interested in playing the game, not just picking up some new models to paint (which, to be fair, these boxes are great for).

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Book

The WotSFK Campaign Book is pretty standard as far as these releases go. It’s bursting with lore to set the scene for the conflict that has been immortalised in the box, explaining who and what both factions are and who’s who in the box. There are also loads of fabulous pictures – both illustrations and photos of painted models – to further whet your appetite for the Warhammer 40,000 universe and hopefully inspire you to get painting.

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Book 1

Of course, there are also rules, datasheets, and missions in the second half of the book, designed to get you going as soon as possible. If you aren’t already au fa with the rules of Warhammer 40,000 Ninth Edition, the latter half of this book will not really mean anything to you as it doesn’t explain how to play. If you’re hoping to jump-start your career as a Warhammer gamer by learning to play with this box, you’ll be disappointed as you’ll need to track yourself down a copy of the Core Rules at the very least.

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Book 2
Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Book 3

That said, there’s very little to criticise here. The book is perfectly nice and will be familiar to anyone who has purchased one of these boxes before.

Foglio di trasferimento

There’s not much to say about the Dark Angels Transfer Sheet that comes with Wrath of the Soul Forge King – but I thought I’d stick a picture of it in the review as there will be a cadre of Dark Angels fans out there who will be really interested to see what the sheet looks like. So, here it is:

Warhammer 40,000 Wrath of the Soul Forge King Transfer Sheet

As far as quality goes, they’re very standard GW transfers and will break or tear if overworked. However, in terms of the icons available, this is a really good spread and easily rivals the Ultramarines set that appears in each Space Marines box.


Wrath of the Soul Forge King has grabbed the attention of many hobbyists, wargamers, and other collectors the world over for two very distinct reasons. Those reasons are called Azrael and Vashtorr.

Yes, folks: WotSFK is the first place you’ll be able to get your hands on Primais-ified Azrael, Grand Master of the Dark Angels Chapter, and the new big bad of Warhammer 40,000, Vashtorr the Arkifane.

We’ll have a look at both of these figures, along with all the others in the set, right now!


After many, many years, Azrael, Grand Master of the Dark Angels Chapter, has crossed the Rubicon Primaris.

This is just a lore-y way of saying “got a new model”. And what a model it is.

The Azrael miniature is a masterclass in showing why Workshop sui giochi are so frequently credited with creating the best miniatures in the world. The detail on the figure’s sculpt is sublime – and the face, in particular, is incredible. Warhammer 40,000 uncovered Space Marine heads often tend to look a little similar: you know what I mean, that over-exaggerated underbite, the anvil-like jaw, the shaved head. Azrael, however, is a distinct character: there are age lines around his eyes, a drawn, grim mouth, close-cropped hair. A very conscious effort has been made to make Azrael look older, and thus he is shows to be a character that oozes experience and is resolute in spite of his age.

There are lots of references to his old miniature, too. The banner is the big one: this is a near carbon-copy of the banner worn by the old Azrael miniature. His pose is similar too, albeit more refined, and even the belt he is wearing is a nod to the one worn by the original model.

There are a couple of variant builds. The Watcher in the Dark (the little guy with whom Azrael shares his base) can either be carrying his sword hilt or helmet, which in turn means Azrael can either be built either helmeted or bare-headed

If Azrael sets the standard for Workshop sui giochi miniatures going forward, we have a lot to be very excited about.

Space Marine Intercessors

The obvious choice, you can’t really go wrong with a bunch of Intercessors.

There’s not much to really say here. The Primaris Intercessor has very provided the design framework for every other Primaris unit we’ve seen over the last few years. They each have a satisfying, likeable sculpt that’s easy for new painters to understand and practice their skills on, yet have just enough texture and variation to allow more experienced brushsmiths to really create something special.

Wrath of the Soul Forge King Intercessors

The inclusion of the Dark Angels Primaris Upgrade Sprue also allows for a few more individualised touches and flourishes across the models, from sculpted shoulderpads (which you can see in the image above) to additional trinkets and weapons on a few. It’s not something you avere to include, but if you’re really committing to the Dark Angels side of things (which you kinda have to if you’re buying this box!), you’ll probably want to.

The only thing we would say about these is that they feel a like a little bit of a safe choice. The likelihood is that people looking to buy this box for the Dark Angels miniatures will already have a few Intercessors, so might not want any more. With Wrath of the Soul Forge King, they also happen to make up the majority of the Dark Angels side of the box. Sure, they are an easy unit to apply the upgrade sprue to, so make sense from that perspective, but part of me is left wondering whether or not this will potentially be a turn-off for a lot of collectors.

Deathwing Terminators

When I started writing an early draft of this review, I did so expecting to have to be quite negative about the Deathwing Terminators. Why? Because it’s the oldest kit in the box, and I was pretty certain it was going to crumble when set side-by-side with the much more recent releases in Wrath of the Soul Forge King.

However, I’m actually pleasantly surprised.

In spite of the fact these models have been kicking around since Sixth Edition (which was first released in 2012), and are showing their age a bit, there’s still a lot to love here. Sure, the models are definitely a bit dated compared to everything else, but they’re actually really nice – and there are so many option for building them. You can either build a Deathwing Terminators squad, a Deathwing Command Squad, or a squad of Deathwing Knights. I built mine as Knights because I thought they looked to coolest and, you know what, I love ’em.

Wrath of the Soul Forge King Deathwing Knights

We can’t hide from the fact that their scale is a bit off. In the olden pre-Primaris days of Warhammer 40,000, Terminators were always meant to be the big, frightening swole dudes of the Space Marines chapters. Whilst each Space Marine was a super-human, nigh-unstoppable killing machine, Terminators were intended to be walking fortresses. But side-by-side with the Primaris-scale Space marines, the effect is a gone.

However, I find myself overawed by the details on these models. There are so many Dark Angels-specific motifs across all the miniatures, and the variation in heraldry across all the figures means no single one is similar to another. These guys have bags of character, and I think they’re brilliant. They also come with heaps of leftover parts – including banners, heads, and trinkets – which could easily find their way onto other models.

Old(ish) but gold.

Vashtorr the Arkifane

Any set that contains a character with the reputation and grandiosity of Grand Master Azrael needs a suitable counterpart for them to square off against. Wrath of the Soul Forge King provides this in spectacular fashion with the brand-new Big Bad Evil Guy of the Warhammer 40,000 universe: Vashtorr.

Wrath of the Soul Forge King Venomcrawler and Vashtorr (2)

Caught somewhere between a daemon price miniature and an overgrown mechanical spider. Vashtorr the Arkifane is a blend of mechanical body horror and hellish nighmare. A lumbering monstrosity of bladed wing-like appendages and sinewy flesh, Vashtorr has been making his mark on the Warhammer universe over the last few months via the ongoing Arks of Omen and associated tarot releases. A completely original (and much-hyped) release, Vashtorr’s appearance certainly lives up to a great deal of the excitement.

He is a striking monstrosity, resplendent in all kinds of details. His ghastly, mutated and augmented appearance stands in contrast with the the orthodox quasi-religious motifs found across the Dark Angels in the box. He is a towering horror, and another sublime sculpt. That Vashtorr is that much more spindly than the daemon princes with which he will no doubt be compared gives him a totally different energy. This is a cold, calculating creature, not a mountain of muscle, magic, and fury. His character is immediately evident from the way he looks, which helps establish him as a presence on any tabletop battlefield or collection shelf.

Azrael was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Vashtorr easily matches him – and will, for many people, surpass him entirely.


No Chaos force can be considered truly complete without the inclusion of some nutters willing to go face-to face with a detachment of power-armoured Space Marines and their Chapter Master armed only with some basic firepower and clad largely in rags.

Happily, Wrath of the Soul Forge King provides.

Wrath of the Soul Forge King Cultists (3)

The Chaos Cultists are another fairly new kit, so for the most part hold their own against the other recent releases in the box. Not only are they’re a fun kit that creates a range of satisfyingly simple yet quite pleasing models, they are well-sculpted with plenty of variation from figure to figure. Each Cultist is also only made of a few parts, so they’re very straightforward to assemble which is always a blessing.

They are, however, a bit humdrum in comparison to some of the other figures in the box. There’s a bit of a lack of detail across each figure, and whilst they are varied within and of themselves, with different poses and clothing, there’s not much going on with them. In this set, where there’s so much to look at on all the other figures, they do come up a bit dull.

Venomcrawler and Obliterators

Clearly recognising that a bunch of underdressed cultists might not make for the best battle-siblings when attacking one of the most heavily-guarded sites in the Imperium of Man, Vashtorr had brought some of his warpforged buddies with him to The Rock.

Wrath of the Soul Forge King Venomcrawler and Obliterators (3)

The Venomcrawler and Obliterators are a trio of impressive miniatures that serve an important function in this box. Alone, Vashtorr, a towering monstrosity of warpforged machine and daemonic muscle, would stand out. He would be an odd inclusion alongside a bunch of Chaos Space Marines or similar. However, side-by-side with the Venomcrawler and Obliterators, where he sits within the wider Chaosphere makes a lot more sense. This guy helps make these things – he’s one of the twisted minds behind all he disturbing meat-machines that the Forces of Chaos field in the 41st Millennium. Maybe he’s even the O.G. designer.

Vashtorr aside, these remain impressive models. Clearly intended to be the counterpart to the Terminators, the Venomcrawler and Obliteraors bring to the Chaos side of the box the detail and that core, grim, Chaos-ness the Cultists’ lack of detail falls short providing. These are hulking, gargantuan figures that loom over the over models on the field. They add real presence to an army – and look magnificently disturbingly.

There are a few fiddly parts to these figures – particularly the Venomcrawler, which has a number of thin spines running along it. Do be careful when clipping these out to construct them, as you might break them.

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Price and Availability

I’ve never been so glad to be wrong about something.

In our initial value breakdown that we did of of this set, we had to juggle various price increase predictions and take a wild guess at how we thought this might affect the overall pricing of this box. We ultimately came to the conclusion that the worst case scenario was that Wrath of the Soul Forge King could cost somewhere in the region of £155, taking into account the price rises and how these boxes tend to offer a saving of around 33% on buying all the sets individually.

Instead, Wrath of the Soul Forge King comes in a little cheaper, instead costing £130. Sure, this is still a lot of money, but it’s not quite as bad. Following the March 6th 2023 price increases across the GW catalogue, this also done some interesting things to the amount of money you can potentially save by buying this box. Have a look at the table below.

Sterlina ingleseDollaro statunitenseCADeuroAUD
Dark Angels Total Value£127.50$205.00$255.00€166.50$314.00
Chaos Total Value£135.00$205.00$251.00€ 165,00$349.00
Valore totale£262.50$410.00$506.00€331.50$663.00
Wrath of the Soul Forge King Price*£ 130,00$210.00$260.00€170.00$360.00
Risparmi totali£ 132,50$200.00$246.00€161.50£303.00
Percentage Savings50%48%49%49%46%

You can see all the details (including our thoughts as to why we thought the value of this box might have turned out to be much higher than any battleboxes we’ve previously seen), in our CONFIRMED: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Price, Value and Savings Breakdown articolo.

Remember: your FLGS may also be able to offer you some cash off this purchase, too. Make sure you check in with them before you buy from anywhere else.

Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King Review – Final Thoughts

Vashtorr and Azrael miniatures are excellent
Good savings following the price rise
Large quantity of miniatures will keep you busy
Deathwing Terminators feel a little bit dated
Some models are a bit dull

Wrath of the Soul Forge King has been a bit of a rollercoaster.

On the whole, the box is good. There are a slew of good-quality miniatures in here, including two very new, very exciting figures in the form of Vashtorr and Azrael. These two models are seriously impressive and very much make up for some of the shortcomings in the box. The rest of the Chaos miniatures are very nice and not too difficult to assemble either, which is always a bonus. I love the Obliterators in particular and really can’t wait to paint these up and add them to the small collection of Chaos figures I already have.

But parts of the box do feel like more of an exercise in quantity over quality. All the models in the box are nice, sure, but by comparison do feel a little like safe choices. The Chaos Cultists – which good-quality models – are dull by immediate comparison. The Dark Angels don’t get off scott-free either.

As I’ve said at a hundred points throughout this review already, the Azrael mini is a work of art – but the sheer standard and ultra-quality of this figure serves in part to draw attention to the fact that the Deathwing Terminators are beginning to show their age. Miniature sculpting has come on exponentially over the last few years, and whilst the quality of miniatures we see GW producing are world-leading in design and quality, some of the older parts of their catalogue are now starting to look a little outdated. That said, whilst the Deathwing Terminators are starting to show their age, I actually found myself adoring the kit for its myriad builds and oodles of details – even if they do look a little out of date.

I’m still umming e aahing about the Intercessors. Part of me likes that I’ve now got a few more proper classic Space Marine-style Space Marines for my army, but part of me also wishes the box had come with something a bit more bespoke. Swapping them out for another Deathwing or other Dark Angels unit likely wouldn’t fly, however, as most of the Dark Angels models are just as old as or even older than the Deathwing Terminators which are on the cusp of turning. The upgrade sprues are very welcome, as they do go some way to scratching that itch (and sculpted shoulderpads are always better than shoulderpads with transfers, in my opinion).

I think we ultimately have to come to the conclusion that Wrath of the Soul Forge King is a decent release, though by far not the most mesmerising GW have ever put out. It’s undeniable that this battlebox is carried by the sheer quality of the two (currently) exclusive minis, and whilst everything else is likely just filler – a vector upon which the two new models can be premiered – what is filler is on average of good quality. Place all this in tandem with the recent price rises and the amount of money this box now potentially saves you, if you’re after either of both of these factions, this is a purchase you should strongly consider.

So, when does the Lion get a new plastic miniature?

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Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King
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Warhammer 40,000: Wrath of the Soul Forge King


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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