Anyone with a social media account in the hobby will no doubt have seen the bombardment of news and previews this week for all things Games Workshop. Usually an in person event, this year Warhammer Fest was online and this meant I got to see the reveals myself first hand. As we are now a day after the final preview, I thought it would be a good time to briefly talk about what we saw and share my thoughts for what is coming.
Day 1- Warhammer Age of Sigmar
Getting off to a fantastic start, we saw a few big reveals for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. This included more information on the Vampire counts range refresh and a new “God tier” character for the Destruction faction, “Kragnos, the End of Empires”. so starting with the new Vampire count range I can only say things are looking fantastic and while I don’t really like the half vampire/half beast HQs which where shown, (they just seem a bit too disjointed for me,) every other release teased was a home run. If you follow this blog you will no doubt already know I’ve been working on a vampire counts army for my girlfriend who wants to get into A.O.S. The new sculpts for the blood knights and Wight king are on her “to buy” list, but It would be fair to say the new dire wolves went straight to the top. Expect to see some posts on here focusing on those undead good boys once the kit is released.
Kragnos, though not really my thing, looks like a real labour of love from the Warhammer design team and is suitably imposing for a character who is supposedly on a similar power level to Morathi. He may not be for me, but I look forward to seeing him across the table from me. A suitably large target for say an Ironclad loaded with Kharadron Thunderers?
See all all the reveals at: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/05/03/warhammer-fest-online-day-1-warhammer-age-of-sigmar/
Day 2- Warhammer 40k Preview 1
Day 2 of Warhammer fest was the first day of 40k announcements and after the standard set by the first day, it’s fair to say expectations where high. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see a whole lot of new things, with the event mainly focusing on the new sisters of battle which the majority of has already been teased by Warhammer Community. I’ll admit, I went in expecting to see something new for the Xenos factions but came away feeling a bit let down. Though a little dissapointing we did get one new key character introduced to the 40k lore. “Morvenn Vahl, Abbess Sanctorum of the Adepta Sororitas” and one of the High lords of Terra. An absolutely stunning miniature and one which would be a welcome addition to my Adeptus Custodes force with a couple sister bodyguards. It feels like Games Workshop have finally figured out how to make the “babycarrier” mech suit cool.
See all all the reveals at: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/05/04/warhammer-fest-online-day-2-warhammer-40000/
Day 3- Black Library
Day 3 was Black Library and I expected this to be just a new books preview event. While we did see a range of new books coming soon, we also saw the announcement of the new Gaunt’s Ghosts miniatures. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve not read the Gaunt’s Ghosts novels, but they are a staple of the Warhammer 40k lore and a must read for anyone with an interest in the Imperial Guard faction. Though another release that is not for me, these are some really characterful miniatures and I would like to read up about them once my “to-read” pile is smaller. Top work GW! They look straight out of a classic action movie and I love it.
An interesting release was a new novel focusing on the Necron faction. “The Twice-Dead King – Ruin”. I feel this is a really important book as most of the 40k lore seems to come from the perspective of Imperial factions. While this does make sense as humans are the easiest to relate to, seeing a Xenos faction starting to get their own book series gives me hope that more armies will be given their chance to shine in the fluff.
See all all the reveals at: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/05/05/warhammer-fest-online-day-3-black-library/
Day 4- Boxed Games
Day 4 was the previews for boxed games. Starting with the new Warhammer Underworlds warband “Elathain’s Soulraid”, we see the fishel..I mean the Idoneth Deepkin getting their representation in game. Since painting my Thundrik’s Profiteers, I’ve been getting more into Warhammer Underworlds so this was a cool little release. What’s more there is a deepkin player at my Games club so chances are high I may be facing this warband in the not too distant future. I’m sure I would be flogged in the street by the community if I did not also mention the crab which was an instant meme and has since become the object of cult worship. Abandon Sigmar, Praise Crab!
We also saw some releases for Necromunda with new miniatures for the House Delaque gang. I don’t play Necromunda so can’t really comment on these though the aesthetic isn’t really my thing.
The event closed with a preview for the new Aeronautica Imperialis box set which adds Space Marines and Eldar to the Aeronautica game. Another one I don’t know much about or know how to play, however I did appreciate the trailer which teased a plastic Thunderhawk gunship. Though some people seemed to take this the wrong way and be quite salty, (the Thunderhawk being an expensive forge world resin model many would like a cheaper plastic kit of,) I thought it was hilarious. Well worth a look if you have not already seen it.
Day 5 – Warhammer 40k Preview 2
After the 1st day of 40k previews, expectations where very low for this one. This soon changed however with the previews of new orks. The ork faction, like all Xenos factions in 40k have been long overdue some love and attention and seeing them get this was excellent.
What really did surprise me however was the announcement of a new upgrade sprue for the Imperial Guard faction which includes a wide range of options and finally female heads. Once more, it was great to see a faction which has been largely starved of releases get something it sorely needed and while I’d like to see them get more love, this was great.
The stream closed on a teaser for upcoming 40k releases and showed Thousand Sons Vs Grey Knights. Seeing as they showed off a gorgeous “babycarrier” mech for the sisters of battle, I’m hopeful they are redesigning the Nemesis Dreadknight. I won’t hold my breath of course, but it would be fantastic to see!
See all all the reveals at: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/05/07/warhammer-fest-online-day-5-even-more-warhammer-40000/
Day 6- Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition announcement
The final day of Previews saw the announcement of Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition. I’ll admit I was a bit gutted about this as being quite new to A.O.S and waiting for lockdown to end so I can play, I’ve not yet been able to use my 2nd edition rulebook or army books. These things happen though and despite the books being outdated, they are still nice to have for their lore and as collection pieces.
A new edition means further advances in the story. Seeing more god tier miniatures take to the battlefield, I’m excited to see where the fluff goes and what happens to my factions. I’m also excited to see what Cities of Sigmar and Kharadron Overlords get in this new edition. Any new miniatures? This is further enhanced by the closing teaser trailer for the new, 3rd edition 2 player starter set wehich seemed to hint at Cities of Sigmar V.S. Vampire Counts. If true, I’ll definitely be trying to get this box set as it would be perfect for myself and my Girlfriend. Have a look for the teaser on the below link and let me know if you agree with this prediction.
See all all the reveals at: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/05/08/warhammer-fest-online-day-6-warhammer-age-of-sigmars-new-edition/
Ok so the Lion didn’t come back this time… Maybe in the next one?
Jokes aside, there wasn’t an awful lot in this event for factions I collect apart from the hints of new Cities of Sigmar in the 3rd edition AOS starter set. (If I interpreted that correctly.) It was however fantastic to see Orks and Imperial guard get some love and there are a few members of my gaming group who are VERY excited to see their factions recieving some new miniatures after so long.
Of the stuff we mostly already new about, the Sisters of Battle and Vampire Counts ranges do look great and it was nice to see a couple of previously unannounced miniatures for these ranges. I do however hold the opinion that we had been pre-spoiled by the Warhammer Community website leaks for these new armies, and that the livestreams would have been received with more positivity where the models previously unannounced. Marketing aside, the models are fantastic and I look forward to shooting them from the other side of the table in both 40k and A.O.S.
I would of course liked to have seen even more, but considering we are still in a global pandemic and work/ shipping has been disrupted, I’d say the event was a success. We got to see some really cool stuff and the Warhammer Community team did a fantastic job. (As always!)
If I was to be critical, one point for myself was that the previews did feel overly padded out at times. This was particularly noticeable for the 1st 40k preview which could have been trimmed down and added to the contents of the 2nd 40k presentation. I just think this would have flowed better, seemingly giving us more releases in one go and drumming up the hype.
As a side note, I found it Interesting that we did not hear anything of Cursed City. After the months of hype from the Warhammer Community team, for them to be ghosting it now leads me to think something has gone horribly wrong and the higher ups are telling everyone to keep silent for now. From a fans perspective, the shift in tone is quite jarring. Especially so, since there was so much buzz and excitement surrounding it from fellow fans and the community at large. Games Workshop would definitely have won some good faith with me if they had released some sort of statement addressing their sudden seeming abandonment of the game. Sadly this didn’t happen and we are left to ponder our own thoughts.