WarhammerFest Day One: Kragnos and Soulblight Gravelords
Updated: May 6
The Sound of Fury, Signifying Nothing
So let's get one thing out of the way right from the start: these are some incredible looking models, and the videos that accompany them are equally impressive. I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people who are completely peeing their pants over these new sculpts but... I am not one of them.
Of all the stuff presented in WarhammerFest Day One: Age of Sigmar, the thing I was most interested in was Kragnos, the End of Empires. I think this is because the forces of destruction have been quiet for far too long, and I like any model that can be seen commanding orks and ogres alike (and looking an awful lot like an uber beastman).
I love everything about the sculpt. His horns are absolutely killer, with their jagged and erratic appearance. The jewelry/armor/ornamentation that he wears is great (and I love the green paint scheme on it). I love the shield, and the dangly bits coming off of it. And that mace is to die over (or die from).
My problem with him is that I personally have no use for him. If I was to buy an entirely new Age of Sigmar army, Destruction would not be top of my list. In fact, if I was going to pour money into Age of Sigmar right now, it would probably go in the order of Nighthaunt, Ossiarch Bonereapers, Skaven, and then finally Ogor Mawtribes. Don't get me wrong: I would love some Ogor Mawtribes. I just have no plans of getting into them anytime soon. So the release of a grand lord of Destruction just doesn't do a whole lot for me.
That isn't to say I wouldn't buy the model just to paint it, though. (Though that amount of flesh is intimidating.)
The same kind of goes for the Soulblight Gravelords, which kind of disappoints me because I've been looking forward to this army. I was just so put off by the Crimson Court that I really don't know what to think about these vampires.
The sculpts are insane. Lauka Vai, the Mother of Nightmares, with her four arms (or two arms and two wings) seems to be a cross between a centaur and a bat, but in the very best way possible. She looks incredible, the wings are particularly creepy and tattered, and I even love the base of crumbling stone.
The Vengorian Lord is the same kind of half-bat half-vampire animal that Lauka Vai is (they're both built from the same kit). The Vengorian Lord isn't as creepy--but he is definitely creepy.
The one model I am very happy with is Radukar the Beast, because I was so annoyed with Radukar in Cursed City (I thought he was the weakest sculpt in the box). But this model is properly evil and wretched. The blood dripping from his claws and being caught in the cup is morbid, and the two acolytes crouching around him in what looks like subservient terror are a great touch.
And it may be small thing, but in a model line that is notorious for the base consisting of standing with one foot up on a rock, it's nice to see that Radukar is on a log (and a well-sculpted log).
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos is a little too much like the Cursed City Radukar, with the big fur coat and the massive wolves. I don't like these wolf sculpts. The fur could do with being so much better realized. Still, a good model.
The DIRE WOLVES, however, are awesome. Half-decayed and with proper fur, they look vicious and perfect for a vampire army.
What this reveal lacks are troop choices for the Soulblight Gravelords. We get a lot of HQs, but other than the wolves we have no soldiers. Is it just going to be zombies and skeletons? That would be a good way to repurpose some of the great Cursed City models, but I wish there was something less generically undead and more specifically vampiric.
I don't have much to say about Soul Arena. I don't play a lot of Warhammer video games (except Total War) and Soul Arena doesn't look like anything special to me.
Wrapping this up, I know it sounds like I didn't like the reveals today, and I don't mean to give that impression. I loved all of the models, and considering that I'm only in this hobby to paint and build, and hardly ever game, I don't think that awesome models alone are anything to cry over. I just was expecting something bigger. Kragnos is cool, but he's one guy. And we were all expecting the Soulblight Gravelords, so they're no surprise.
Awesome models, but not a lot of "wow" moments.