Skaventide Preview

Age of Sigmar Skaventide – New Box Contents Opinion

Age of Sigmar Featured Musings

In the early hours of Friday 17th May, we saw the contents of the new boxed set being released for Age of Sigmar 4th Edition.  In this post I give you my take on the set and release.

We’ve all largely resigned ourselves to a new edition for most of Games Workshops major game systems being produced every three years.  This year, it’s Age of Sigmar’s turn and unlike previous editions where we’ve had more rules being added, this time round we’re receiving a complete game reset – that does mean invalidating existing Battletomes, Warscrolls, Supplements and even going so far as to move some miniatures (and entire ranges) over to Legends*.

The Reimagined Stormcast EternalsStormcast Eternals ProsecutorsAs we’ve become accustomed to, one half of the new boxed set contains Stormcast Eternals who have received an amazing reimaging, building upon the taller and more athletic style we first saw with the Dominion boxed set released for Third Edition.  Interestingly this includes a number of resculpts including Liberators and Prosecutors – in the grand scheme of things they’re both quite new, however the updated miniatures are vastly more impressive and look like they’ve done away with the horrible two-part shoulder pad that you could never get the join line looking good on.

Skaven Grey SeerSkaven JezzailsThe counterpart to this as you probably gather from the title is the nefarious Skaven.  As we’ve come to expect all miniatures in the new box are fresh sculpts – I can’t remember the last time we saw this many updated Skaven and I fully expect to see a number of Old World players include some of these miniatures into their armies because they look fantastic!  The plastic Grey Seer is filled with menace and the Jezzails look like they’d do a serious amount of damage to you!


* It’s worth noting that Legends will be competitive play legal until 2025 and continue to receive balance updates until the next edition arrives.

Contents of SkaventideSkaventide Box Contents

Skaventide includes an impressive number of miniatures – 24 Stormcast and 50 Skaven, in addition to this we have a few pieces of terrain and a double sided board, plus a load of cards, including for the new Spearhead game format.  The rulebook is a lavish hardback version again.  Now if the T&C page of the “win a copy” is correct, this box set is coming in at a £160 (so £128 with a third-party 20% discount) – it’s expensive for a starter box, but in fairness there are two 1200 point armies in there from the sound of it.

So the real question comes is if this is going to be a resounding success like we had with Soul Wars (Second Edition) or a bit of a flop like Dominion (Third Edition).  I’ll be honest and say it’s a hard call to make.  Unlike Dominion we have two existing factions, plus a ruleset that feels like it should be a lot more streamlined.  The Kruleboyz in Dominion were a very marmite faction with many people simply not liking the aesthetic and not wanting the Stormcast enough to want to pick the box up.

Stormcast are certainly not as popular as Space Marines and even with their significantly improved sculpts many people are bored of the faction constantly receiving attention when others are being left ignored.  This box does introduce non-Stormcast miniatures in what looks like a squire type roll, which may help break up the monotony of painting yet another armoured model, but we do already have the updated Cities of Sigmar range which has a similar aesthetic.

Where I think the biggest challenge is going to come from is that most people are finding the 3 year release schedule brutally relentless.  That’s been reinforced because due to the pandemic most people only got a couple of years worth of play out of both Second and Third Edition rulesets.  I’ve heard numerous comments where people haven’t finished painting the models from past editions boxed sets, so are reluctant to add yet more to their pile of grey and I fall into this side of things myself.  Certainly with people’s personal finances still being tight and the fairly high price point, there is another sticking point if you didn’t feel you got full value for money out of the last Edition.

I do also have to bring up what’s becoming a fairly regular gripe in that I don’t think Games Workshop have got the level of detail on the miniatures right, with even the most lowly rank and file miniature being festooned with details and different textures.  I believe one of the reasons Soul Wars was so popular was the Nighthaunt were a beautifully straightforward model to paint to a good standard.

I do think the Skaventide launch is going to go OK.  Not to the level of Warhammer 40,000, but much better than Dominion which a lot of people skipped.  The full rule reset should go some way to rebalancing out the game, but I think there will be many people waiting until the rules appear before committing to Forth Edition ruleset and in particular this box.

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