First off, I want to say thank you to Games Workshop for sending me the Eldritch Omens box to review. When a company like this sees fit to send something your way, you want to do it justice, and write a review that is honest, helpful and insightful. While heaping praise on successes, it is the responsibility of any reviewer to also call out the failures of a product. When one has a professional relationship with any company, it’s always a little hard to be too critical, but you never want to look like you’re towing the party line either. And it’s that dichotomy that makes this particular review so difficult for me.
I love this box.
I don’t throw those words around lightly, and while I strive for some balance in my reviews – even when GW are knocking it out of the park, I try to find a little cloud in their blinding-light-emitting and enormous silver linings. But with Eldritch Omens, I’ve got nothing. Now, I could spend some time waffling about the beautiful box art (and it is pretty), or the wonderfully compact slenderness of the box, but we both know that with this box, none of us really care about that. I’m not selling the designers and artists short – they did an A* job too – but this is all about the miniatures, so let’s just get straight to it.
I am a natural heretic when it comes to 40k. I have worked on three different Emperor’s Children armies over the years and a Death Guard army too back in the day, so while I rarely consider myself an expert in most things, I definitely think of myself as a wise old soul when it comes to Chaos Space Marines. And this is a box that makes my heretical heart sing.
If we’re being honest, the least exciting thing in this box is the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend, but that’s just because it’s the only thing we’ve seen before. While its presence here isn’t getting the gasps that the rest of the box delivers, it’s still a wonderful kit. A massive monster that can either be built to destroy enemies at long range, or bound into the fight and smash up most things that get in its way. I’m a huge Maulerfiend fan myself, so you can probably guess which way I’m leaning, but this is a useful tool for any CSM army to have in its ranks however it’s built. Even with this now relatively old kit, you get options, and the reason this review has the title it has is because everything has options and lots of them, and I love that.
Then there’s the chosen. I remember picking up the last batch of Chosen that came in a big box and I was a little annoyed by their monopose builds and unhelpful loadouts, but in Eldritch Omens, these chaps are almost perfect. There are more options here, allowing you to build a cheaper bolters and chain-blades unit, but if you want to sink a lot of points into your Chosen, you can equip them with power weapons, lightning claws, a combi-weapon and some plasma pistols too. What’s more, it would be very easy to give them more specialised shooting weapons too if you had a CSM sprue to mix in.
Then there’s the Warpsmith, a character who, in the past, never did anything for me. I’ve never built or painted this type of bad-guy-techmarine before, mainly because I wasn’t a massive fan of the old mini. But this one has changed my mind. He looks as dynamic, as his tendrils look demonic, and if you are taking big armoured things (like the aforementioned fiends) he’s helpful too. I’m sold – this box has already sold me on a character I never liked! But even this character is going to be overshadowed by the other half of the box…
Welcome Back Craftworlders!
I won’t go into a long spiel about how it’s been too long since we had a big swathe of new Aeldari models – we’ve all heard quite enough of that. But when you see these sprues, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have a “Where have you been all my life?” moment too. All of it is of course brand new, and I almost don’t know where to start.
Back when I built my Eldar army (around 6th Edition I think) I avoided Guardians (because I’m not their biggest fan and Aspect Warriors are my faves) so alongside some Dire Avengers, Rangers were totally my troop-choice jam. And I didn’t really think the old finecast ones needed a redo as a priority, but when you see these, you realise just how good they are. For a start, those long, thin sniper rifles are no longer made of a material that went bendy and curly as soon as you breathed on it. These weapons are now sleek and sharp, and again, you get so many options here! Honestly, I’ve never gotten so much enjoyment from an assembly manual! That’s why I’ve included a couple of snaps here of said manual – it’s brilliant! If you don’t want the little hover drone thing, you don’t have to take it, or you can build an alternative variant of it. Don’t like the bare heads? Put a helmet on instead. From what I can tell, all five have small options for customisation but each change really alters the character of the mini to give you the rangers you want.
Then there’s the jetbikes which are just lovely. I mean… just lovely. Again you have options, and there’s a small piece right at the back of the assembly guide showing how you can tilt them on their bases, and that just gave me so many ideas for what I’m going to do with mine. I know that’s not a big thing, but combined with how cool these guys look, it just made me think of dioramas and how to use these guys to show pace and movement… just lovely.
Finally, I think we’ve saved the best for last. The Autarch is amazing. You can make it male or female, and there are two close combat weapons, three guns, and a choice of either a Warp Spider jump pack, or a banner. I’m totally going with the banner of course because I can’t help myself, but this is just such a beautifully sculpted miniature, I cannot do it justice with my words. But can I do it justice with my brush? Well, that little display base I made for an article here last week – this is the mini that I’m going to put on there, and I am going to take my time with this one. This one’s special.
So that’s all the miniatures and hopefully I’ve highlighted all of the options too, though there are a lot of them so maybe I missed some. But you get the idea right? The flexibility in this box to build the miniatures you want to build is really great.
For me, and this is only my opinion as someone who loves to paint toy soldiers, this box is fantastic. I have seen some people moaning a little about the price of the box, but for painters, think of this not as your standard “bar of Dairy Milk” toy soldiers. No, these are more like a collection of the finest Belgian chocolate truffles that you might pick up from Fortnums. They are few in number, they might cost a bit more, but each time you sit down to enjoy one, it’s an almost transcendent experience. Bravo, GW. Bravo indeed.
Now, that all felt a bit gushy, but honestly, I do love this box. If you agree or disagree, let me know in the comments below. I’m 100% in love with this box, but if you have a valid point you don’t think I’ve made, I want to hear about it. Until we speak again, Onwards!