Conquest: Sorcerer Kings Model Review – Waves 1 & 2

Special thanks to Para Bellum for providing a significant amount of review material for this release. If you want to get 10% off and support Goonhammer, make your Conquest purchase by clicking here for US/Canada or here for EU/rest of world and enter code “goonhammer” at checkout.

Since the original release of Conquest: The Last Argument of Kings, Para Bellum have maintained a steady pace of new faction releases, sometimes even polling the game’s community for their preferences on which of Eä’s inhabitants get fleshed out next. The result of one such poll, most recently the Sorcerer Kings have jumped out of the lore and been given form on the tabletop.

With visual style drawn from Arabic and Indian/central Asian influences, the Sorcerer Kings provide a welcome change from the most commonly seen inspirations on the tabletop, and in game they unleash a blistering array of magic and powerful units to command the battlefield. For a more in-depth first look at the army’s themes and rules, check out our faction hot take here.

In this article, we’re going to be taking a more in-depth look at the models from the faction launch, as well as the more recently released second wave of kits. In the future, you can expect some How To Paint Everything content on getting your elite elemental forces looking fantastic for the tabletop!

Maharajah

Sorcerer Kings Maharajah. Credit: Musterkrux

Musterkrux: You have to respect a man with the cojones to wear a hat made mostly from fire. I love this sculpt. The pose isn’t super dynamic but it doesn’t need to be, the Maharajah doesn’t fight, he has minions for that (either summoned or salaried). His job is to look magnificent and imperious while conjuring djinn from the ether. Love it.

There’s a good level of detail to this model, enough to communicate that he’s Warlord-material, bedecked in an eminently tasteful amount of jewellery (enough detail to be visually interesting but not so much as to make the model too busy).

I have two minor, but entirely understandable, gripes with this model and both involve the staff. First, it came with a lot of flash on it and took some careful cleaning to remove, and second, the staff came bent and required a little bit of time in some moderately warm water to try and bend it straight. I reckon I got it about 90% sorted but you can still see the tilt in my assembled model. This is all fine, though. These are resin models and that’s just par for the course. Nobody else has a better resin production method yet, so it might not be fair to single out PB for this common observation.

Sorcerer Kings Maharajah, preshaded. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: I’d echo pretty much everything already said here. I had similar issues cleaning up and straightening the staff, which is just so narrow compared to the rest of the mini. I don’t want to focus on the minor negatives too much though, because just look at this sculpt! Everything is layered so beautifully, he feels ornate without being ostentatious, and overall really conveys the idea of a leader who is powerful not only magically, but politically. I’m looking forward to really trying to sell the idea of expensive, luxurious materials when I paint him up.

Raj

Sorcerer Kings Raj. Credit: Musterkrux

Musterkrux: Just look at those curves, those flowing robes. Wow. That’s not even a 3D render of the sculpt, that’s a straight up photo of the review model I received. Yum. I like a lot of elements of this model: The chainmail-veil, the over-head chopping motion of the scimitar (kilij?), as well as the direction/angle of the flames cradled in his hand.

As with the other models in the range, particularly the characters, I’m enjoying the complementary textures of flowing fabric and metal jewellery/armour on the model. One down-side to the sculpt is that the unique posing will make painting some of the details in the chest and face quite hard but I think it’ll be fine. Anything that’s hard to reach is hard to see, so people won’t likely notice any mistakes in that area.

It’s interesting to note how his posture is much more ‘closed up’ and menacing compared to, say, the Maharajah, who appears positively magnanimous in his open-armed gesture. It’s a cute juxtaposition that I only noticed sitting the models next to each other. All in all, a great model that departs from the standard heroic posing you see in many fantasy armies.

Sorcerer Kings Raj, preshaded. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: I adore the Raj’s piercing eyes, glaring out from behind that veil of mail. It’s entirely clear that he is singularly focused on vanquishing the Sorcerer Kings’ battlefield foes, whether through martial prowess or magical dominance.

Sardar

Sorcerer Kings Sardar. Credit: Musterkrux

Musterkrux: The Sardar is really just a little guy. There’s only so much you can do to sell a mortal leader of men in a faction that has djinn, sorcerers wielding the powers of the elementals, as well as the Asura themselves. His pose is nice, between him leaning into an imminent swing of the scimitar and the flow of his cape the Sardar has a nice flow of motion.

Easy to assemble, no obvious faults in the mould and the right balance of detail that’ll make him pleasant to paint without it turning into a chore. The Sardar’s chief limitation as a model is that he shares the company of more fantastic characters.

Sorcerer

Sorcerer Kings Sorcerer, straight out of the box. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: I treated myself to this Sorcerer at the recent UK Games Expo, knowing that I’d likely want to run two of them in at least some army builds. I haven’t had the chance to clean her up and put her together yet, but again I’m really struck by the overall quality of the casting and sculpt. The robes flow beautifully, and she conveys a similar sense of power to the Maharajah, albeit in a different form. If I do have one concern, it’s once again that staff – it’s so thin, and I really worry that in resin it’s going to be perpetually out of shape. Still, it’ll probably be fine, and the main haft of the staff is plain and unadorned so could be replaced by a brass rod if one were so inclined.

Sorcerer Kings limited-edition Sorcerer. Credit: Para Bellum Games.

The alternate-sculpt Sorcerer released with the faction launch (and included with the first handful of the latest two-player starter set) is also excellent, and a good alternate for running multiples in the same army.

Ghols

Rich: The Ghols are superb and in my opinion really communicate their lore, that they’re base creatures from the Domain of Fire spawned by some of mankind’s less noble attributes, such as pride and greed. The sculpts really lean into the magical, with the fire-wielding arms and cracked rather than rotting bodies helping to lean them just the right amount away from “zombies, but Turkish” and towards “subjugated magical spirits”. The kit went together really well, and they look like they’ll paint up quickly but with lots of texture to keep them interesting.

Preshaded Ghols. Credit: Rich Nutter

Musterkrux: I love my little flamin’ zombies. They’re angry and they’re on fire. Are they angry because they’re on fire? I mean, probably? This kit is just fun all around. Easy to assemble, with enough variety in heads and arms that your block of zombies won’t look too same-same when arrayed on the table. There’s a lot of character in the heads and poses of these models, my absolute favourite is the little guy with the gaping hole in his chest.

Crew about to drop the hottest album you ever heard (photo credit: Musterkrux)

I didn’t find matching limbs to torsos terribly hard, the instructions are clear and the joints are all relatively unique so you can’t really mess it up except through sheer determination to do it wrong on purpose. Ghouls rank up nicely, no sweeping stances or outstretched limbs/weapons, so you don’t need to spend huge amounts of effort here.

Rajakur

Preshaded Rajakur. Credit: Rich Nutter

Musterkrux: Overall I like the Rajakur design: great detail and visual interest, with different textures and materials to paint (chainmail, big honking shields, flowing cloth and whatnot. Their posing works, portraying them as the Sorcerer Kings unit that advances onto an objective, forms a shield wall and waits for the enemy to come to them. The filigree and detail on the metal/armour helps sell them as the personal guard of an opulent ruling class, which is a nice departure from the usual muddied and bloodied human infantry you can get in fantasy games.

Assembly-wise, they go together pretty well. As usual, PB number-codes the pieces you get on a sprue so it’s pretty hard to make a mistake. The only flaw I have with this kit is that there are very limited fixture/contact points for those shields. It might have been the glue I was using but I ended up drilling low-deth pins into the shields and arms to try and give them a bit more stability as I found that the shields just kept coming off if the model was bumped. Adding in some pins or tabs to the inside of the shields might have the downside of forcing the hobbyist into particular orientations but I think that’s worth the trade-off against the frustration of the models falling to pieces over and over again.

Rajakur (Photo Credit: Musterkrux)

The Rajakur rank up pretty nicely. Though, you do have to be careful about 1-2 arm options that have models swinging wild with their maces and potentially fouling up a rank.

If you mix up your metallics a bit when painting them (like I have) I think you’ll arrive at a quick and effective painting technique that’ll get these fellows onto the table in no time.

Efreet Flamecasters/Sword Dancers

Preshaded Efreet Flamecasters. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: I adore this kit, and I think it would be the one I pointed at if I wanted to quickly communicate the Sorcerer Kings’ whole deal as a faction. I opted for the Flamecasters as I just couldn’t turn down that classic djinn look, but I will definitely be getting hold of some more to build as Sword Dancers. Then probably another unit of Flamecasters, because who wouldn’t want as many of these as possible?

These are going to be an interesting painting challenge. I’m thinking of doing all of my Djinns’ (and Ghols’) skin in a blue-black to really communicate their otherworldliness, contrasting that with bright red-orange fire and using that to tie in the characters and regular troops too. The challenge will be in blending the flaming bases into the rest of the model without creating a muddy mess in the middle!

Musterkrux: I assembled Sword Dancers because I think Djinn with swords (Scimitars? Kilij? Tulwar?) are pretty neat, though the Flamecasters are a brilliant unit, as well. The models rank up nicely, resting on pillars of flame that are centred on their base they sit pretty solidly within the bounds of their respective bases with limited overlap. Assembly was easy, with the most complex aspect of the build being matching the lower-torso flames with their respective upper-torsos.

I’m going to have an absolute blast painting these guys, with all the different textures/materials to work on: Musculature, fabric, flames, as well as metal items like jewellery and swords.

I think my greatest regret with this kit is that they gave us so many characterful heads to choose from and only three bodies to stick them on and, honestly, if that’s the worst part of a model kit you’re doing fine.

Windborne/Steelheart Djinn

Windborne Djinn, Space Marine for scale (Photo courtesy of Musterkrux)

Musterkrux: These models are absolutely gorgeous.They’re a multi-part kit that lets you build the glaive or archer variants with a simple arm-swap. The poses all work both ways. I went with the Windborne Djinn because I have an unhealthy obsession with ranged attacks in rank-n-flank games. Their sculpts evoke an impression of gentle movement, all curves and hair billowing. They’re also extraordinarily tall, about 50% taller than the Efreet Sword Dancers if you compare them side by side.

The models are easy to assemble, with just a few components per model (head, arms, hair, 2-3 torso/waist pieces and a shawl/cape) despite being large models. All the connections fit well and there’s little ambiguity in which arms match which torso. I was mildly unimpressed with one gap along the seam running from armpit to hips that needed greenstuff. Mould lines seemed to be relatively unobtrusive and were easily removed where needed.

They rank up easily (at least, the Windborne do, your mileage may vary with the Steelheart glaives) and look good as a block of giant wind mommies.

Windborne/Steelheart Djinn frames. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: I can’t really add anything intelligent beyond Musterkrux’s excellent summary, but these ROCK. There’s no experience quite like being shot with an arrow the size of a scaffolding pole.

Rakshasa Bakasura/Ravanar

Rakshasa Bakasura/Ravanar frames. Credit: Rich Nutter

Rich: The Rakshasa are a type of Asura, ravenous fire beings bound through the extreme efforts of their handlers to wreak havoc on the battlefield. The Ravanar craves destruction, whilst the Bakasura seeks worthy foes to defeat and consume. These are the first Monsters we’ve seen for the Sorcerer Kings range, and they’re immense!

Shown above, four sprues contain a bunch of parts to customise your Rakshasa as you see fit. The kit includes three different heads, meaning that you’ll probably never need to duplicate them on the battlefield, but let’s be honest, that feline option is going to be hard to turn down when building the kit. Again, this kit really carries the themes of everything that came before it, and serves as a fantastic centrepiece for the army.

Musterkrux: I love how imposing this model is, not just in sheer height but in the posing of it. The aggressive crouch, with the arms coiled back and flames streaming back, makes it look like this monster is either roaring a challenge or about to pounce. Big bully energy and I’m here for it.

I was a little concerned about the mould lines and gaps during the assembly phase but by the end most of the more egregious issues were covered by other elements of the model, so I assume that was by design. Except for the legs/feet, which will need a little greenstuff. The kit ships with two different rear-torso pieces and I think you have to be very careful about ensuring you glue the correct one on for whatever variant you’re aiming for.

Rakshasa with standard space marine for scale. Metric? No, Imperial. (photo courtesy of Musterkrux)

Additionally, while it’s technically not possible to fail a modern IQ test, if you ever want the unique sensation that simulates such an experience, do try to assemble the flame elements of the model without referring to the piece-numbers when clipping them out. Most days I like to think that I’m relatively clever but the evening I assembled the Rakshasa and just clipped out all the flame bits without noting the number ID for each component was what one might describe as a lesson in humility.

Overall, the Rakshasa is my pick for best Sorcerer King model in Waves 1 and 2, they make for an amazing centrepiece to an army. The pieces are so good that I’m planning on integrating the left over components into my next piece of custom scenery.

Rich: I’m going to give my pick jointly to the two Djinn kits. They’re both fantastic dual-kits, really communicate the faction’s vibes, and offer a heavy infantry base that is really different to most of what we’ve seen in the game so far.

In summary, I think it’s clear that we’re really impressed with the design and quality of the first Sorcerer Kings releases, and looking forward to getting them on the table. There are still a pair of monsters and another infantry unit with rules but without model releases so far, and we can’t wait to see how the range expands further!

As always if you want to get 10% off and support Goonhammer you can make your Conquest purchase by clicking here for US/Canada or here for EU/rest of world. You’ll also need to enter code “goonhammer” at checkout.

Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at contact@goonhammer.com. Want articles like this linked in your inbox every Monday morning? Sign up for our newsletter. And don’t forget that you can support us on Patreon for backer rewards like early video content, Administratum access, an ad-free experience on our website and more.