The Varanspire awaits

From across the Mortal Realms the tribes of chaos are gathering, answering the call of the Varanspire, where Archaon the Everchosen awaits. After years of fudging around with skirmish rulesets for Age of Sigmar that kinda sorta worked but never really took off, Games Workshop is finally releasing a new set of skirmish that are purpose built from the ground up.

The success of Necromunda’s relaunch – approximately two decades after they stopped official support for the previous incarnation – has reminded the powers that be that Mordheim was the Necromunda parallel for Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and that the campaign-based format was a winner from the ground up. Of course, the World-That-War and Mordheim no longer exist, so a new setting had to be defined. Enter Warcry.

With a starter set laden with terrain, much like Mordheim and Necromunda’s original incarnations, Games Workshop is taking advantage of the design tools available with their new terrainsets to make for a three-dimensional, immersive tabletop, enriching the gaming experience from the word go (while also providing a bunch of extra terrain for other tabletop miniature games).

Six tribes make up the core teams of the game, each from a different Realm.

The Untamed Beasts are the closest to your classic Chaos Marauder, covered in pelts (or not covered as the case may be – welcome to the gun show!) and armed weapons fashioned from tooth and claw, hallmarks of the great beasts of Ghur. This is one of the two clans you’ll find in the starter box.

The second starter team is the Iron Golems, hailing from Chamon. Naturally, being from the Realm of Metal, they’re very well armed and armoured, andthey also include a chaos dwarf (the dude with two hammers in the background).

From Hysh, the Cypher Lords are a less savage take on the Chaos Cults, seeking enlightenment through madness in the worship of Tzeentch. Their blurb describes them as duelists, though it’ll be interested to see how that translates into rules.

One of my favourites aesthetically,the Splintered Fang hail from the Realm of Life, Ghyran. The sleek gladiator/hoplite style is super sweet, and it’s a reasonable expectation that those blades are going to be tipped with poison… the Fang also include a elf cultist (the guy on the right).

On dark wings the Corvus Cabal arrive from Ulgu, the realm of shadow. My other favourite aesthetically, the war picks and hooked blades look fantastic, and then there’s the guy with a full set of wings and leg extensions…

From Shyish, the realm of death, come the most disturbing of the lot. The Unmade literally unmake themselves in their devotion to chaos. The main figure in the center there has amputated both forearms and lower legs, in favour of springy things and barbed sickles. Creeeeepy.

Six teams were the hallmark of Necromunda until expansions came along, and the designers have recognized that a lot of people will want to play with their existing armies, to expand on the options. Out of the gate nine factions from Age of Sigmar will also be playable.

Stormcast Eternals, Daughters of Kaine and Idoneth Deepkin represent the forces of Order, the Nighthaunt, Legions of Nagash and Flesh-Eater Courts (YAY!) ride out for Death, and for Destruction we get the Ironjaws, Bonesplitterz, and the wacky Gloomspite Gitz.

We’ll know more about the game in a few weeks, but for now it looks like Games Workshop’s got their heads on straight for the launch, especially if they work out rules for the six chaos tribes that make them playable in Age of Sigmar (or even just officially declare them Chaos Marauders, in which case they can be nicely themed for whichever one of the chaos gods your army is built around).

And of course for me, it’s more impetus to paint Flesh-Eaters…