Lords of the Mortal Realms Roundtable

Last Saturday, Games Workshop dedicated a preview solely to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and it’s spinoff games, called Lords of the Mortal Realms and it was jam packed with new stuff! In this round table we’re going to be discussing the newest additions to the Mortal Realms including Aelves, Skeletons and Vampires!

In this Roundtable:

  • Alice “RagnarokAngel” Lirette
  • Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones
  • Neon
  • Eifert Posting
  • Thundercloud
  • SRM
  • Silks
  • Raf “captainraffi” Cordero
  • Joe Krier

First off, which announcements are you most excited about?

TheChirurgeon: B E ‘ L A K O R

Neon: B E ‘ L A K O R

Thundercloud: Cursed City and the Wight King. Real Oldhammer vibes. 

SRM: B’e’l’a’l’k’o’r’ is neat but Cursed City is where it’s at.

Raf: Absolutely Cursed City 

RagnarokAngel: Breaking ranks to say the Lumineth releases. I love the elf boys and girls, but the initial release was so sparse, even by Age of Sigmar standards it didn’t have a ton of options.

Joe: Be’lakor & Lumineth Kuruma.. The floaty fox god boii

The Lumineth releases took up a huge chunk of the preview, despite being less than a year old. How do we feel about that?

Neon: It’s weird for sure. While the initial Lumineth release had the distinct odor of waiting for a second wave of releases like many of the brand new AoS factions did, they’ve not only gotten that second wave way sooner than others have but a larger one than their contemporaries at that. I want to chalk it up to Covid throwing a spanner in the pipeline and GW pushing it out ahead of schedule for whatever internal reason, but it’s not something I feel I want them to make a habit of even if that is the case.

RagnarokAngel: Much agreed. I bought the Lumineth box set because I knew it’d be a limited run, but haven’t bought much else since COVID made play basically impossible where I live anyway. I’m glad I didn’t because I’m sure this string of releases is going to drastically change list building and I would hate to have bought a ton of duplicate units that I no longer need to fill a 2k list.

The new battletome feels egregious but Games Workshop has been insistent you won’t need it, because the new stuff will also be in Broken Realms: Teclis. Guess people are buying a book either way, but at least it’s not 2 books.

Thundercloud: High Elves got Admeched. In the original release schedule maybe they would have been further apart, but now Lumineth get Swordmasters and Repeater Bolt Throwers back and Kangaroo cavalry. It’s great that they’ve got a bigger range now (like twice the size) but it would probably be better to have just had a Lumineth month when the Lumineth kits came out.

Seeing the breakdown of factions people are collecting from some surveys Lumineth are already one of the most popular armies with what they’ve already got as options, so having more hero options than some armies have warscrolls in total is going to pay off in terms of sales. 

SRM: Time has been extremely hard to keep track of for the last 12 months, so I was second guessing how old the Lumineth book really was. However since they’re dropping the new stuff in the Broken Realms book and the battletome sounds more like it’s just an update including the new stuff, I’m not quite as put off. I’m just happy that you can field the classic High Elf army of spearmen, swordmasters, bolt throwers, archers, and cavalry again. 

Silks: I’m both excited and a bit disappointed in the Lumineth release. I bought the army in the first place because it had a limited range and I could paint it all and move on. Then I took a commission to paint someone else’s Lumineth army. So when these come out I’m probably going to have to paint them all twice! But… they are really gorgeous and I’m glad GW is giving support to a new army when often new ranges get a release and then get ignored (poor Idoneth).

Raf: Yeah what gives! Give me more Deepkin GW! A Crab Mount or at least some endless spells. 

Joe: Like… Im glad theyre getting the rest of the range… now though, I am not sure if it IS the rest of range? Will we get even more later this Year? Next year? After the daughters of khaine update being -not the same- as the Morathi update to daughters, do I have any faith the original book will actually be equivalent to the new book rules wise? No.. I have actually zero faith. As someone who got 1 LE book for myself, and 2 more in a trade + 2 more Light of sword boi.. And now they are a…. Not worth what they were 2 months ago… and not even really worth while as gifts? I can totally understand why anyone who plays the army would be upset.

Lots of new characters for various factions, Nighthaunts, Soulblight and Stormcast. What sticks out?

Neon: Soulblight for sure. While it’s disappointing we didn’t get anything more concrete on them, that they A) seem to be more than just a Vampire only faction and B) that they’re distinctly going for a more traditional Warhammer Undead look for them compared to the Nighthaunt and some of the weirdos in Cursed City is definitely an interesting direction.

TheChirurgeon: That Wight King. Classic Old World vibes and an amazing model. It makes me very interested to see where they go with Soulblights and whether those are going to be Vampire Counts v.2.0.

Thundercloud: Wight King. I can just about remember the original art piece it’s based on from back in (possibly) pre 4th edition fantasy battle, and it’s an awesome take on it that I’ll be buying and painting straight away.
It looks like we’re getting another Dire Portents style campaign with some new hero models for some factions (hopefully teasing range updates in the future). 

SRM: The Wight King is absolutely the standout here. The Stormcast dude doing the three-point superhero landing is cool and all but a big bad skeleton man riding a big bad skeleton horse is the business. The rank and file skellies have been left behind in AoS for so long, so I’m excited to see what that classic Vampire Counts aesthetic delivers on. 

Silks: The Wight King wins on a model standpoint, whilst I really dislike the Stormcast model. From a rules perspective the one thing we remarked on when they came out was how short on heroes, especially melee based ones they were so I think this will have a really big impact on how they play. 

RagnarokAngel: Also chiming in with my love for the Wight King. I appreciate when GW takes a classic model and makes it look better in every way (especially when standing shoulder to shoulder with other models in the army) while maintaining the spirit of the original.

Joe: The fact we still haven’t seen more of the leaked vampire stuff is actually quite amazing. The new “Vargulf” model is stellar tho. As well as the Wight King. The new Stormcast hero doin the “Super Hero Landing” is actually pretty cool looking, as well as the new Nighthaunt. I wish they would have redone Nighthaunt instead of redoing Daughters, Slaanesh, and Lumineth all back to back to back.

Warhammer Underworlds getting a couple new releases, including a new 2-player starter set with two new warbands. What does that mean for the game?

TheChirurgeon: I feel like they could have said more about the new warbands in the two-player starter set. I legit thought they were re-packs until Raf pointed out they’re all new. We were wondering if all we were going to see was a new Savage Orruks model (they’d already shown a few during the lead-up to the preview stream), and instead there are two new warbands, but we don’t get to see either. Weird.

Thundercloud: It looks like a slightly easier starter set with no magic and preconstructed decks for both sides making use of the EZbuild infantry not in use already.
It might be better for people only wanting to get one thing but play a more varied game than the starter set while at the same time giving players a 4th Stormcast and 3rd Nighthaunt Warband. I think how much play they see in events will depend on a) The Covid situation getting better before the meta moves on and we’re all talking about Bone Reapers and b) How good they are in the current meta where there is a lot of magic flying around. 

SRM: They’re just the easy to build starter groups of Castigators and Glave Wraiths; it’s basically Dreadfane 2.0. I feel like it confuses the issue of actually starting with Underworlds, as you already have a really great starter set with Direchasm. 

The Savage Orruks have never been my aesthetic, but I’m glad they’re being represented. The shaman and archer means they should be able to stand apart from the other Greenskin warbands, who are extremely bashy and tanky. 

Silks: Underworlds is the perfect pub / coffee shop game and sadly those aren’t available at the moment. I’m glad they’re supporting it still rather than deciding not to bother anymore cough Killteam cough. I’ve played it and it’s not for me but the Warbands are excellent cheap painting projects so I’m always happy to see new ones of those. 

Raf: I honestly have no idea what is going on here. Either one of Beastgrave or Direchasm are already perfectly functional Starter Sets with pre-built decks. Presumably the ones in the new Starter Set are easier to pilot? We’re talking marginally though.

If this is an eternal Starter Set that will be available outside of Barnes & Noble then I suppose this makes more sense, and maybe is a portent of a future where we don’t see “Core Set” release with every season. I dunno. More Underworlds is undeniably good but without seeing the full plan for what product will exist where, I’m worried about consumer/FLGS confusion.

Notably, this shows that GW has no plans to stop the Underworlds line which is great. The 200,000 units sold is an incredible number for a board game, so clearly it’s a success.

As for the Savage Orruks, the models look great. I love the Warchanter and the Orkverine leader of course. Their Inspiration seems to play big with Primacy which implies it’ll always be around; can’t wait to see their cards. 2 of them get an immediate free push at the start of the game which is huge!

Joe: I defer all Underworlds questions to my co-writers here or CanYouRollACrit.com blog. He’s a legend.

The full reveal of Warhammer Quest is here, and boy it looks spooky. How excited are we?

TheChirurgeon: I really liked what they did with the Blackstone Fortress models and releases and these are clearly a continuation in that vein, with some extremely lovely models. I didn’t play as much Blackstone as I wanted to, and that may be true for the new Warhammer Quest, but I’ll buy it just for the models. I like the party they’ve laid out for this game as well – it looks like there may be some cool dynamics there and the witch hunter is dope.

Neon: While chances are I’ll end up buying this and then letting the models rot away in the box after I’ve built them, like I have every other Warhammer Quest release, I’m very hype for this.The implications the models in the box have for other armies are quite the thing in themselves. Between the slighter, more explicitly Steppe themed Ogr… I mean Ogors, the lady knight that people thought was a Stormcast from the glimpses we got before this and just the general aesthetic shift compared to the earlier AoS offerings. It’s an exciting time for speculation for sure.

Eifert Posting: I am not a fantasy guy, but Cursed City is basically a comprehensive offering of everything I’ve been jonesing to paint while working on my Marines.  I have to say, the Central Asian/Steppes aesthetic they worked in meshes so well with the more traditional undead models.  The Villians do a lot more for me than the heroes, but I love the tall dude with the man bun and I’ve always had a soft spot for Ogres.  The mage has a great subtle, creepy look with that mask, I’m thinking a really pale verdigris will make that mask pop.  I genuinely don’t care what it costs, day one purchase for me.  Looking forward to trying my hand at more texture and effects.  When?

Thundercloud: This is what I’m really looking forward to. I think a board game that you can play on your own or with one or two other people and which is self contained and a manageable painting project is pretty much guaranteed to sell really well in the current situation. Add in that there are some of the best fantasy models (not the high fantasy of Stormcast and Lumineth and whatever, but the dirty fantasy of Mordheim and 2nd/3rd edition Warhammer) we’ve seen in a long time. Humans! Literally five of them! Making a total of six human models released in AoS. 

But like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves the star of the show here is the bad guys. Cool looking armoured skeletons. Big piles of rats. Undead Ogres dressed like Cossacks. A big Vampire monster. Bat swarms. The game has gone back to the roots of Vampire stories and come out swinging with some incredibly good models. I think the strongest are the skeletons, swarms and some of the Vampires.

I’m eager to see how they expand the game considering there’s a haunted wood and all sorts of other stuff they can put in. Like maybe a very tall Vampire lady. I’m also happy to see humans coming to the fore for the first time in a long time. 

This is a great box for people wanting a more Mordheim feel to their game, and the box art seems to call back to that. 

SRM: Blackstone Fortress has sat unbuilt in a variety of closets of mine for the past few years, and I imagine this will do the same. Big RPG boardgames like this are extremely compelling and inspiring but when the time finally comes to paint them, I always end up painting more dudes for my actual tabletop armies. However, the aesthetic here absolutely whips ass. The steppe aesthetic hasn’t really been touched on since the initial Ogre Kingdoms release and some of the old Kislev models, and there’s some genuinely inventive takes on the classic undead baddies here. I’d normally be worried that, like Blackstone Fortress, this was going to be a dumping ground of great ideas they seemingly don’t explore again (traitor guard, 40k beastmen, dark mechanicus, etc.) but with the bevvy of Death releases coming up for AoS, I don’t think I have to worry.

Silks: Loads of cool models I’ll never get to play with because my gaming group is 2000 point matched play only. I might see if I can talk my wife into playing it because it is stunningly good looking and I’m always getting nostalgic for HeroQuest.

TheChirurgeon: If you’re nostalgic for HeroQuest, that’s getting a new release from Hasbro. I can totally relate to the feeling, btw – HeroQuest is what got me into Warhammer to begin with.

SRM: I really do think this is a good gateway drug for non-hams, especially if you’re podding with other nerds. 

Raf: Inject this game straight into my veins, along with a COVID vaccine please. Blackstone Fortress has been a lot of fun. It isn’t the deepest dungeon crawl on the market but it is so much easier to set up and get going that we’ve played more BSF than any other crawler on my shelf. The Cursed City reveals have lit the fire for us to kill the Ambull and finish our main quest so we can be ready to head to the Mortal Realms.

RagnarokAngel: I’m more stoked for this than I have for a GW product in a while. As a Death player a lot of those models are likely going to see play for me and I enjoyed the campaign of Blackstone Fortress. Putting that into AoS is basically an auto-sell for me and I will be buying it day 1.

Joe: Are your vargulf and “mouth of Sauron”s are belong to me. Also, if you’re someone who wants this set, I imagine it will sell out immediately. So.. be warned.

Finally, how about that teaser at the end there?

TheChirurgeon: Hell yeah, Be’lakor rules. I am excited to see the new model in its entirety, see the new rules it inevitably gets for 40k, and also buy several to chop them up to make Daemon Princes because the current plastic Daemon Prince suuuuucks.

Neon: Be’lakor owns despite being a complete chump every time he shows up in the lore. Even just the glimpses that we got of him (even with the giant gaping seem in his tiddy, lol) have me buzzing hard. Have been meaning to get dinky resin Belly for a while, but might just hold on for now.

TheChirurgeon: Yeah Be’lakor is a chumpass in every setting he’s in. His only successful move is messing up some other, better, champion’s plans.

Neon: Archeon/Abaddon has a mild headache and in swoops Be’lakor with “NOW I STARSCREAM SHALL RULE THE DECEPTICHAOS”.

TheChirugeon: That’s an appropriate analogy since like Starsream, he’ll just get chumped by Imperial Fists/some random Celestant like 20 minutes later.

SRM: It took until 2021 for there to be a decent plastic Daemon Prince model, and I’m here for it. I also hate that I might buy it once for my Iron Warriors and once for my Daves to Darkness, but I’m not in this hobby because I make sound financial decisions.

Thundercloud: Model does look great. 

Silks: I was mostly staring at the paint job and thinking how they’re really pushing the boundaries of the Eavy Metal style these days. As someone who’s wheelhouse is painting giant monsters I am sure to paint a few of this model!

RagnarokAngel: Really hoping it’s a dual kit with a new DP, as the current kit has not aged well at all and I’d love a new one, outside of the obvious conversions coming.

Joe: grabby hands

And that’s a wrap for the Lords of the Mortal Realms preview! What are you most excited about? Any disappointments? Let us know at contact@goonhammer.com or on social media!