Games Workshop launched the latest model of Warhammer 40,000, its flagship tabletop miniatures recreation, into the enamel of a world pandemic. Even within the face of a well being and financial catastrophe that briefly shut down its entire operation — manufacturing, retail shops, even on-line gross sales — gross sales are off the charts, with many primary kits at the moment bought out on-line.
Polygon obtained an early copy of Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus, the brand new limited-run ninth version boxed set, which incorporates greater than 60 all-new miniatures and the Warhammer 40,000 Core Book — the expanded guidelines wanted to play the sport.
After spending a number of weeks with the Indomitus set, right here’s what it’s been like getting began.
The foundational ingredient of ninth version is the Core Book. Even although the fundamental core guidelines arrived at no cost on June 2, the Core Book contains the extra detailed data wanted to truly play the sport. Stand-alone copies promote for $65, and can present up in passion shops by late July.
The lavish quantity is bursting with glorious artwork and images, and it does an amazing job of setting the stage for the 41st millennium’s “grim darkness of the far future.” The fundamental character is the Emperor of Mankind, an undead husk toiling away psychically within the ethereal airplane whereas his armies wage warfare all throughout the identified and unknown galaxy. It’s a paper-thin premise enriched by a thick, velvety layer of lore.
How a lot lore? The Core Book is greater than 367 pages lengthy. Backstory and desk setting accounts for 191 of these pages — greater than half the e-book. Meanwhile, the expanded core guidelines themselves are available at a modest 75 pages.
That’s a fairly large fluff-to-rules ratio, and loads of that fluff feels redundant. But, for individuals who are steeped within the lore of the 41st millennium, it’s good to have it multi function espresso table-style e-book. The greatest bits — particularly the double-page foldout galaxy map — serve to raise the Core Book to extra of an in-fiction artifact than a recreation handbook.
The guidelines themselves are very finely wrought this time round, particularly when in comparison with earlier editions of the sport. They learn much less like the principles of a fiddly tabletop wargame and extra like a extremely accessible, easy-to-understand textbook. Key options embrace useful bullet-point summaries, so you’ll be able to scan a web page and rapidly discover your bearings. There are loads of useful sidebars, simplified graphics, and informative diagrams as nicely. The editors have even gone as far as to maintain matters collectively on going through pages, so you’ll be able to lay the hardback quantity open on the desk and survey at a look all the things that you must know in every part of the flip.
Compared to different tabletop wargames — Infinity or Warmachine, as an example — it’s all very elegant. Games Workshop nonetheless has a methods to go earlier than it has the identical sort of structure and graphic design as Dungeons & Dragons and even Pathfinder, however the hole is nearer than ever earlier than. My solely actual criticism concerning the Core Book is that the font dimension is just too small, leaving loads of empty room on the margins.
Of course, the Core Book isn’t the one doc you’ll want to begin taking part in. While Indomitus itself comes with a slim pamphlet known as The Silent War, which incorporates information sheets wanted to subject the all-new models contained in the field, with the intention to construct a correct military you’ll want a Codex. That’s the place issues get a bit complicated.
Say that you simply need to play because the Space Marines. Codex: Space Marines ($40) was revealed final yr, throughout eighth version. So you’ll want that e-book, in addition to a set of errata to carry it as much as the present version. The similar goes for each different military within the recreation.
So, even with out fashions, you’re nonetheless trying greater than $100 for a single participant to get began.
After a number of lengthy nights of trimming plastic, I’m about three-quarters of the best way by way of the Indomitus miniatures. That features a small Space Marine and Necron power. What’s outstanding is how straightforward all of it is to place collectively.
The sculpts themselves are notably superb, with little or no in the best way of mould traces that must be eliminated previous to meeting. That’s excellent news if you happen to’ve spent the previous few years practising drybrushing, like I’ve.
Indomitus contains solely “push-fit” miniatures, which Games Workshop says don’t require any glue to assemble. I’d say that’s about 95% true. While nearly all the things went collectively very simply, some fashions have wobbly heads or spindly midsections that require some plastic cement to carry them collectively. They’re additionally extremely delicate. I didn’t break any in meeting, however I did bang a number of up shifting them round the home.
While the engineering of the push-fit minis alone is outstanding, it’s the sheer quantity of element in these figures that received me over. I’ve been accumulating Space Marines for many years now, and these are simply essentially the most visually attention-grabbing fashions I’ve ever owned. My absolute favourite is the Bladeguard Ancient (pictured beneath), which is holding aloft an enormous, skeletal icon. Another spotlight for me — as a Dark Angels collector — is the all-new Space Marine Raider-pattern combat bike. It’s beefier and extra futuristic than the previous incarnation. It’s additionally the primary refresh of that individual sculpt in near 30 years.
The enhancements to the Warhammer 40,000 miniatures stem from a transfer to all-plastic elements. There’s no resin or steel to talk of, which makes meeting that a lot simpler. But the refinements of all the product line have loads to do with the choice to introduce Primaris Space Marines in 2017. These new warriors stand a lot taller than earlier iterations, with way more slender limbs and extra streamlined weapons. It all provides as much as figures able to extra dynamic poses.
That taller, extra slender design has additionally given Games Workshop modelers extra freedom to brighten these figures. I particularly just like the tiny cranium motif etched into the left gauntlet of each Assault Intercessor. It implies that even run-of-the-mill grunts can carry a bit of glitz with them onto the battlefield. It may even make them tons of enjoyable to color.
Taller, extra detailed Space Marines imply taller, extra detailed aliens, in fact. The all-new Necron sculpts in Indomitus don’t disappoint. The largest — the Canoptek Reanimator (seen above) — is sort of 3 times bigger than the biggest Space Marine. These models really feel like a cross between the tripods from War of the Worlds and an historical Egyptian loss of life cult. They’re a far cry from the squat, hunched-over figures of years previous.
The Warhammer Community
Supporting the launch of ninth version Warhammer 40,000 is a reinvigorated Warhammer Community staff. Even with the lack of Duncan “two thin coats” Rhodes, a well-recognized face who taught followers learn how to construct and paint Warhammer minis for the higher a part of a decade, the employees at Games Workshop is rising to the event.
There are tons of official videos already accessible to help the Indomitus launch, together with detailed portray guides for each Space Marine and Necron armies. I particularly recognize the prolonged information to portray alternative color schemes and so-called “parade ready” miniatures.
Games Workshop is displaying off a unique type of portray with ninth version. It’s closely reliant on the brand new Citadel Contrast line of paints along with conventional washes. Minis painted on this method look way more like toy motion figures, with out the refined highlights and tonal variations seen in years previous. The tutorials additionally appear to require much more colours and sorts of paint than I really feel is de facto obligatory. I’ll personally be sticking with the outdated, drybrush-heavy style of portray that I’ve been practising for the reason that launch of eighth version.
Games Workshop is beefing up its traditionally anemic social media presence as nicely. The firm launched its first Twitter account in May, and has already stepped out in support of diversity and equality in the hobby. The writer can also be filling the void on-line with a new behind-the-scenes podcast series. The sixth episode went up on July 14, and can also be accessible on YouTube. There’s additionally a Warhammer 40,000 cell app on the best way, to go together with the superb Citadel Colour painting app (additionally accessible on Android).
It all provides as much as a fully fabulous product launch. The solely downside I’m having proper now could be discovering sufficient paint to get began. Due to the pandemic, my native passion store is having bother merely maintaining sufficient Citadel paints in inventory.
Games Workshop itself is having some inventory points on-line as nicely, it appears, with dozens of Warhammer 40,000 units bought out in the mean time. At $199, the Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus boxed set represents an amazing worth. The first wave ought to begin transport out by the tip of the month. Additional copies are being made-to-order for a restricted time, and characterize one of the vital economical methods to get began with ninth version.
Warhammer 40,000 Indomitus has a road date of July 25. The package was reviewed utilizing a pre-release copy offered by Games Workshop. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media could earn commissions for merchandise bought by way of affiliate hyperlinks. You can discover extra details about Polygon’s ethics coverage right here.
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These don’t affect editorial content material, although Vox Media could earn commissions for merchandise bought by way of affiliate hyperlinks. For extra data, see our ethics coverage.