Friday, October 02, 2015

Stormcast Eternals

I am somewhat tangentially involved in the Warhammer hobby.  My brother played it for quite some time, although I'm given to understand that he recently sold most of his stuff and is bailing on the hobby somewhat.  I've got some of the End Times novels, although I haven't yet read them (it starts with Nagash, and I want to read the Nagash "historical" trilogy first) and I've got a pretty big collection of old White Dwarfs because I used to follow the hobby more closely by buying White Dwarfs.

Honestly, though—the notion of buying and painting an entire army was always fairly daunting, to say nothing of finding players to oppose, setting up, and going through an entire game.  I was drawn to many aspects of the setting (still am, as should be obvious, since I often link to artwork from the setting, or make reference to characters from the setting, like the aforementioned Nagash, for example).  So, I lingered on the sidelines of the hobby, basically reading White Dwarfs and buying the occasional miniature that I liked.  Which back then, wasn't as many as it is now—I came into Warhammer during their very cartoonish phase, which lasted most of the 90s, I think—but the minis were cheaper and didn't require nearly as much assembly as they do now, so I'd still do it on occasion.  I also got a bit interested in their less intimidating smaller scale squad type games like Necromunda, Mordheim or most especially Blood Bowl, a game that I still love, by the way.  And since there's a really quite good Blood Bowl game on Steam, I can still get after it.  I dislike the inability to customize the models rendered in the game (my own actual pewter and plastic orc team is made up almost entirely of customized Warhammer, Warhammer 40k and Gorkamorka models customized for the Blood Bowl pitch) but the sequel, which was just released and is desperately awaiting updates with more teams before I'll buy it, seems to offer much of that, actually.

So, I'm a little late to the party, since my fringe involvement has faded even more outer limit fringe involvement in recent years.  But I'm a bit surprised to see that they "blew up" the setting so that they could reboot it into a Warhammer Settting 2.0 (for context, although there have been many editions of the game over the years, the setting has generally remained unchanged since the early 80s, except for minor tweaks.  To my surprise, this year it was, as I said, completely blown up, advanced many generations, and now it's a totally different setting.

One of the new additions to the game as part of this is the Stormcast Eternals, which look suspiciously like fantasy Space Marines.  Their backstory is that they are essentially pseudo-angelic, not too unlike the High Men and Archons of Age of Wonders, although I doubt Warhammer specifically stole the concept, since it's a relatively universal one in many fantasy settings.  Here's a picture of one:

Of course, one of the more interesting things that I've seen, which was inevitable given that these guys are already sporting the nickname "Sigmarines" is conversions using them with Space Marines to give unique characters, librarians, Adeptus Custodes troops, and other weird stuff like that.

Fun stuff.  Although the Citadel plastics are ridiculously overpriced for what they are, they are really easy to work with and really easy to convert.

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