Goonhammer Holiday Guide: Mortal Realms Edition

An article by , , and    Age of Sigmar Gaming        0

With the 2020 holidays nearly upon us, it’s time to talk about gifts. Whether you’re shopping for a loved one or a Secret Santa recipient, trying to keep things lowkey or looking to splurge, or just grabbing something for yourself, Goonhammer’s got you covered with our handy gift guide. In this guide, we’re looking at Warhammer: Age of Sigmar-related products, including Underworlds and WarCry.

Stocking Stuffers

Kenji: Even if someone isn’t an Underworlds player, the Underworlds Warbands are a neat pick up of 3-5 models (or more!) that feature unique sculpts and a 25-30 dollar price tag. For some ranges, this can be a really welcome refresh, such as Flesh Eater Courts and Daughters of Khaine. While the Warbands themselves are useless in AOS, using the models as little accent pieces to larger units or as HQ models is an affordable way to give people some new toys to play with, with the added bonus of being usable in Underworlds too. For people dipping their toes into AoS, these are also great one off painting projects due to their easy to build nature and unique sculpts. 

RagnarokAngel: I recommend a Painting Handle as nobody can have too many of those, and is a nice subtle hint to your buddy who maybe needs to paint some of his plastic before buying more. I also highly recommend the Gaming Book, which functions as a pocket sized version of the core rulebook. It also has the Malign Sorcery, General’s Handbook 2018 and 2019 rules which are sadly no longer valid but it’s still a discount version of the core book in a mini softback. Finally, one don’t miss model is Jakkob Bugmansson XI: Brewmaster-General. This limited edition model through December has no rules but looks great and can make an excellent proxy in a Khadaron Overlords army. Any self respecting Sigmar player will thank you for grabbing it for them!

Ellarr: I think a nice little inclusion that most AOS players would love is some kind of colorful basing material. A lot of hobby places now sell a range of flower scatter, crystals, mushrooms, rocks etc. that someone might hesitate to buy for themselves, but will always be useful in any Age of Sigmar project.

 

Entry Level

Silks: The Getting Started with Age of Sigmar magazine is brilliant value as it comes with an excellent Stormcast model. I buy these all the time to practise NMM on so for a new painter it’s an excellent starting place.

The Paint and Tools Set is a good starting place as it includes everything you’d need for a basic paint job on both Nighthaunt and Stormcast, or you can pick either smaller box of paint & models.

Kenji: Battletomes, maybe less for the kiddos (at least those for whom the reading level is a bit higher), but for newer players or people interested in AoS, a Battletome of their faction is a pretty good bet. The AoS battletomes contain a lot of fun and interesting lore, and really ooze the feel and tone of the armies. While some are getting a little dated as we head into Broken Realms, they’re required pick-ups to play the game with, so that’s obviously helpful too!

The Battleforce Boxes

Every Holiday season Games Workshop releases Battleforce boxes, collections of models for roughly $200 USD/£150 that are much cheaper than they would cost separately. The question is if the models inside are worth the price or if you can shave enough off of it to buy them separately for a better deal. RagnarokAngel and Kenji give their analysis on the contents of the boxes and whether you should fork over the cash for them.

Ogor Mawtribes Meatgrinder Warglutt

  • 1 Ogor Mawtribes Tyrant 
  • 1 Mancrusher Gargant
  • Ironblaster
  • 16 Ogor Gluttons
  • 4 Ironguts
  • 4 Leadbelchers

Kenji: Solid Buy. This is maybe the best box in the bunch, especially for someone who is interested in starting an Ogor collection, or adding to one. The Aleguzzler is a little odd of an inclusion, but overall this box approaches somewhere in the range of 1300~ points, which is staggeringly good value for a battlebox offering. You get 2 boxes of Ogor Gluttons, 1 unit of Ironguts and Leadbelchers, an Ironblaster, and the new Tyrant model from the Feast of Bones box last year. If you’re helping someone get into Gutbusters as an army, this box is a great place to start; if you remember Bryce Martin’s list from our Start Competing article, 2 of these Battleforces gives you his entire army, minus a Butcher, Slaughtermaster, and Goremand.

RagnarokAngel: It’s certainly a good starter force. It’s a nice sampler platter of different models for Ogors, most of them good. The Aleguzzler is pretty nice if someone is looking at building up a Sons of Behemat force as well. It’s not very far of course, but combined with a Mancrusher box, there’s your battleline sorted.

Gloomspite Gitz Fungal Loonhorde

  • 1 Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig
  • 1 Dankhold Troggoth
  • 6 Rockgut Troggoths
  • 15 Squig Hoppers (Don’t believe GW’s lies…)

Kenji: Mediocre If you like Gloomspite Gitz but don’t really know what to do with them as an army, or realize that they’re, well, not great, this Battleforce Box seems built around the Warscroll Batallions from earlier issues of White Dwarf. There’s an argument to be made here that you could work towards a Jaws of Mork and Troggherd battalions here, but the value may only lie in buying multiples of this box. The issue is that these aren’t exactly great options, and you need a lot more in those lists than this box provides, even on multiple purchases. It also lacks a lot of the zany charm of other Gloomspite models and is frankly just not as enticing as the last Battleforce box that they were in. I do think this is a better pick up than a Star Collecting box, though, personally. 

RagnarokAngel: I’m not the one to ask, the way of Gitz players elude me. People seem to love Squigs though so if they’re that kind of player they may enjoy that. The thing that raises an eyebrow for me is how theres 14 Squighoppers when they come in a box of 10. Likely to drive many players mad, having an incorrect number of squigs.

Ellarr: Pretty sure GW came out and said it was going to be 15 Squighoppers after joking around with the community somewhat, likely just a flub with marketing…

Anyway, I’ll actually be a dissenting opinion here as I think this box is fantastic, just not in the way you might expect. While yes it is somewhat of a scattered box as it’s spread across two subfactions in the battletome meaning it’s almost like starting two armies in one, this problem is easily remedied by finding someone to split the box with. Viewed as a battleforce it’s a bit strange, but I just look at it as a two player battlebox and eye it with a mind to split with someone else. Let’s face it, if you’re in an Age of Sigmar playgroup chances are someone wants to start a Squig or Trogg army and is looking for the perfect opportunity. Seize the moment! The squig side is all going to see use for a Jaws of Mork army, and the Troggs side is great as a starting force (though it’s value diminishes in multiples as you generally only want one Dankhold Troggoth). 

Kharadron Overlords Barak-Nar Skyfleet

Contains:

  • 1 Brokk Grungsson, Lord-Magnate of Barak-Nar
  • 1 Arkanaut Frigate
  • 2 Grundstok Gunhaulers
  • 3 Skywardens
  • 3 Endrinriggers

Kenji: Mediocre  This box has some fringe possibilities, but isn’t really a great value overall, especially for someone who is just getting into Kharadron Overlords. There’s also an argument that this box is kind of underwhelming from a visual gift factor, as the “wow” factory isn’t really there either–you get 10 models, 3 of which are boats, and none of which are the BIG boat. The biggest issue with this box is that it is lopsided in what you’re getting: you don’t really get bodies for battleline, and you don’t really get the boats most people take. If you were looking to help get someone into the army itself, 2 start collecting boxes and a pack of Arkanauts is probably a better purchase than this Battleforce, and the lack of bodies is pretty annoying. 

RagnarokAngel: It’s a really bad box. As Kenji said, 2 start collecting boxes costs around the same but gets you a much better army to start with. Even experienced players don’t want this box. It hits that ugly middle ground where it’s not enough “must have” models to be a good jumping off point nor a decent way to bolster an already existing force.

Ellarr: As a KO player with way too many ships on my hands, I found this box disappointing for the same reasons Kenji and RagnarokAngel have already touched on. What’s painful here is that Brokk Grungsson is a bad hero that’s significantly overcosted and not playable in any competitive army, and then the Gunhaulers and Endrinriggers are stuffed in both of the other boxes you can typically find on hobby shelves at the moment (being the Start Collecting and Aether Wars battlebox). An easy way to boost the value is to swap out one or both of the Gunhaulers for some Arkanauts and Thunderers, which are both units that an Admiral could always use more of. Quite simply, unless you’re leaning hard on a gimmick list there’s a ceiling to the number of Gunhaulers and Riggers you want (and you hit that ceiling quickly!

Disciples of Tzeentch Fatesworn Host

Contains:

  • Lord of Change
  • Gaunt Summoner of Tzeentch
  • 10 Tzaangors
  • 20 Kairic Acolytes
  • Tzaangor Skyfires/Enlightened

Kenji: Wowie Zowie This box is nuts. If you know someone who has expressed interest in getting into Tzeentch, or just enjoys the army, this might be one of the nicest Battleforce Boxes. You get a whopping 35 minis in here, with two boxes of Acolytes, a box of Tzaangors, Tzaangor Enlightened/Skyfires, a Gaunt Summoner, and a Lord of Change. About the only thing this box lacks are Daemons, and a SC Daemons box would give someone more than enough options to start building up an impressive Tzeentch army right away. Oddly I don’t think this box has a lot of repeat value, but it is certainly the most “start an army out of the box” Battleforce other than the Ogor one, and doesn’t come with a somewhat shoehorned model (the Gargant) in the box. 

RagnarokAngel: To me this is probably the best deal of the bunch, definitely the best currency value versus individual purchases. It is a bit of a weird choice to include mortals rather than daemons (especially with a gaunt summoner in play) but while mortals might not be as good competitively as daemons they’re certainly functional and can get you a long way toward a valid Tzeentch mortals army.

Solid Adds

Kenji: Start Collecting Boxes Many of the Start Collecting boxes in AOS are really solid values and make great gifts; perhaps some of the best. Flesh Eater Courts, for example, is an army that can be entirely constructed out of just 3 Start Collecting Boxes, with the wrinkle of the new Arch-Regent being a separate piece. This is pretty true for quite a few armies in AOS; Kharadron Overlords get a great start out of 2 boxes, the Skeleton Horde box is a steal as it is basically any Mortarch (the sprues always give you every option) and some skeletons for 10 dollars more than a Mortarch themselves, and many Cities of Sigmar lists get a lot of fun options out of combining 2 boxes together. Other armies, like Daughters of Khaine, basically have 3 of their necessary HQ models bundled up in this box (a Cauldron, Bloodwrack Medusa, Hag/Slaughter Queen, and the Avatar are all in this box), making it an easy must buy.  The SC boxes are great value for what comes in them, and rarely gives you totally useless junk. 

For the Hobbyist Who Has Everything

Silks: What else could you possibly need other than a giant resin Khorne Dragon?! Vorgaroth the Scarred is an amazing model and actually doesn’t have terrible rules unlike a lot of giant Forgeworld kits. You’ll certainly get kudos (and a bit or fear) when you slam it down on the table.

RagnarokAngel: What else but a Mega-Gargant? These fellows can be built to be allies with absolutely any army in the game, even someone who has one in order to ally with their main force could use another one or two to start building their own standalone army of Sons of Behemat.

Kenji: Sadly AoS just doesn’t have a lot of stellar, world-shaking model choices or products that aren’t in the main line. There are a lot of cool Black Library products, and if you can find them, the 2 audio dramas with Brian Blessed as Gotrek make for some fun, silly listening for 12~ or so hours of dwarf goodness. You can combine this with a Gotrek model, the printed script of Realmslayer, and the novel Ghoulslayer, for a pretty cool little fiction bundle. 

Ellarr: Out of production character models from the world-that-was. There are many old metal minis lurking on ebay, and they make great characterful swapins for many armies. A lot of characters can be had for less than you might expect, and it would make a thoughtful gift.

Looking for more?

If you’re still looking for more, be sure to check out our other holiday shopping guides for different games and categories – we’ll be posting them all week and doing a round-up on Friday. And if you have any questions or feedback, shoot us an email at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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