• Robison Wells

WarhammerFest Day 5: Holy Crap

So if Day 2 was a disappointment with very few new 40k models released and no real surprises of note, Day 5 has turned that on its head. Yes, there were Orks, which we all expected, but the orks are AMAZING, and there are so many of them. So, yes, we all knew they were going to drop, but unlike the Sisters of Battle who dropped models we'd already seen before, the Orks brought the goods.

But the thing I've been complaining about all week is the total lack of surprise. There was no surprises on Day 1: we knew we were getting Soulblight Gravelords and we got Soulblight Gravelords. There was no surprise on Day: just some Sisters of Battle. There was a little surprise on Day 3 with the Gaunt's Ghosts models. But nothing new on Day 4 to get excited about. And then:

Cadian Shock Troops with an upgrade sprue, which gave not only new awesome weapons but a whole host of heads including minorities and women! Finally, they have realized that the Imperial Guard is drawn from a million planets and not just one.

But back to the Orks. Let's look at the big spread first and just soak it in, because these Orks are all-new, all-awesome sculpts.

Beast Snaggas All Day Long

There is so much great stuff going on in this picture. The Boyz look properly ferocious and primal, covered with animal skins and bones, and with faces that are more aggressive and outraged than your standard Ork Boy. Plus I'm ecstatic to see that they seem to come with both Shootas and Choppas, so they can, if you want, replace the standard (and ancient) Ork Boyz kits. I don't think there will be anyone complaining that they have to use Beast Snagga Orks in a Speed Freeks army--even though it's the wrong faction--because these Beast Snaggas just look so good. (And don't look fifteen years old.)

And look at the detail. This dude on the squig is both a terrifying looking Ork on an equally terrifying looking Squig. I love his robotic arm, the animal shroud he's wearing over his shoulders, and I love the helmet bolted onto that Squig's skull. Everything about this model is *chef's kiss*.

And if you love Squigs but you love them little and silly, accompanied by little and silly characters (because there's always an element of whimsy in the Orks. They're a tongue-in-cheek army from start to finish.) Then there's this little Beast Snagga grot riding a little grot-sized Squig.

My favorite Ork model of the day, however, goes to this absolute crazed beast of an Ork, Zodgrod Wortsnagga, who looks like someone that the other Orks would steer clear of, not because he's monstrous, but because he's just so dang creepy. He looks like he's lost his mind, he's angry, he's been living in his own filth (his beard and hair kind of remind me of my COVID hair and beard prior to my haircut last week). The bionic foot is perfect, and the claw is menacing. Whatever tuning fork is sticking out of his back looks like it's not something you want to mess with, and that earring that's half as tall as he is is the perfect finishing touch.

And of course it wouldn't be a proper release without a proper Codex. I do find it interesting that this says Codex: Orks on the spine, and doesn't mention anything specific about the Beast Snaggas. It seems that they're the New Orks.

Oh, and if that wasn't enough, there's the Mega-armored Warboss, complete with shoulder-mounted grot machine gunner. He looks properly ferocious to fit in with the range, but still with the full suit of armor that defines Nobz and Warbosses.

Cadian Shock Troops Upgrade Sprue

This was a surprise. So much of a surprise that when I saw the tweet about it while I was in a meeting I thought that it was a joke. But it's real: an upgrade sprue for Cadian Imperial Guard (Astra Militarum).

It has been (I'm guessing) twenty years since we've seen new Cadians. Now, let's not hyperventilate and look at things fairly. This is not a new kit. These are add-ons to a very old kit: you're still going to be building these Cadian Shock Troops on the chassis of ancient Cadian Guard. So, something needs to be done about that.

After the release of Gaunt's Ghosts and the upgrade sprue, however, it shows that modern, well-sculpted Imperial Guard are at least on Games Workshop's radar.

Let's take a look at the heads. The expressions alone, that are so crisp and well defined--and so not twenty years old--are stunning.

'Things to note in this roster: they're not all white guys. And they're not all white MALES. We finally have female Imperial Guard. (I have to say that when I was looking through the awesome Gaunt''s Ghosts model kit I was thinking "these are all terrific and keeping in line with the book, but couldn't there be at least one woman in there?" We didn't get it with Gaunt, but we got it with this sprue.

Here are some glamour shots of the new Cadians with their upgrades:

As you can see, even though they're building off of a base model that is admittedly very old, the addition of the new weapons, equipment and heads make these models look much more modern.

The big question is how much extra Cadian troops are going to cost now that they have an extra sprue? And the bigger question is: is the entire line going to get a facelift, not just one box?

What do you think? Have either of these reveals convinced you to dive into Imperial Guard or Orks? Leave a comment below.