My copy of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Soul Wars arrived this morning. After rifling through the contents, reading some fluff and building some minis, here’s a balanced look at what you get.
All the miniatures are of the exceptional quality we’ve come to expect from Games Workshop, however the 1990s have returned and they’ve brought slotta bases with them. No doubt this is because the miniatures are all push-fit and adding slotta bases means you don’t need glue. On the plus side, they’re quick to get going. The downside is that you’ll need to fill the gaps if you’re interested in a neat paint job.
On the subject of gaps, you’ll need your liquid green stuff. The designers have done a great job in hiding gaps as best they can but there’s only so much they can do with push-fit kits. They’re most noticeable where the front and back halves of the miniatures.
As for mould lines, the miniatures have been designed to make these as unobtrusive as possible but they’re noticeable. I’ve not tried the Citadel mould line remover tool (drop a comment if you can recommend it or not) and find a craft knife does the job.
Transport will be an issue for both factions but the Nighthaunt in particular. As miniatures get better and more detailed with more dynamic poses, they get more flimsy pieces. Anyone that’s tried to transport spearmen or Stormcast Eternal Prosecutors will appreciate the pain of transporting their miniatures. If one of those small contact points or spikes gets caught on your foam case, chances are it’s going to break. It’s an issue with most new miniatures though so not just those in this set. I’ve had good results in building a case which uses a steel sheet on the bottom and magnets under each miniature’s base.
Books, Rules and Artwork
They’re beautiful. The artwork, while still in a comic-book style, has taken more of a grimdark feel compared to the previous edition.
The rules have expanded from the original 4 pages but mostly to clarify ambiguous situations (another blog on this to come) and there’s a 320-page beast of a hardcover book containing background about the realms and factions, pictures and rules. There’s also the usual guide to assembling the miniatures, a lighter copy of the rules so you don’t have the take the big book everywhere and a background supplement covering the current main conflict in Age of Sigmar: Battle of Glymmsforge.
Printed warscrolls are also included which is a nice touch. Keep these by the table while you play for a quick reference.
Matched play points are provided for everything that’s in the box, though I’ve heard that the minimum unit sizes may not match what’s in the General’s Handbook. Something else that’s going to drive people nuts is that the units included don’t all work with the defined sizes as far as points go. For example, you get 8 Sequitors in the box yet they come in denominations of 3 as far as points are concerned. The separately released easy-to-build Sequitors kit also contains 3 miniatures so you can’t just top the unit up with that without waste. The Nighthaunt unit sizes seem to tally up better.
I was expecting a series of battle plans linked in a campaign like the first Age of Sigmar boxed set which pitched Vandus Hammerhand and his Hammers of Sigmar against the Khorne Bloodbound of Korgos Khul. It’s a great way to get started, especially for new players (which is really who the set is aimed at) as you learn in bite-size chunks and get used to playing without being overwhelmed by options. Unfortunately, Soul Wars didn’t provide this so it looks like you’re just left to your own devices. I assume the new player would just use everything in the First Blood battle plan from the main rules.
On the Whole
It’s a great set at very good value. If you just want the updated rules, well, they’re still free so you technically don’t need to buy anything for the new edition. If you’re interested in the background and want some of the shiny new miniatures, it’s worth checking out.