New Eldar! Multipart Autarch! Aeldari Rangers! Shroud Runners! Plastic Chaos Space Marines Chosen! Plastic Warpsmith! 15 all new models, found in the new Eldritch Omens battle box for Warhammer 40.000’s Nachmund season. But do the new kits deliver and is the high price point justified? Find out in our unboxing and review.
Eldritch Omens is the latest entry in a series of Warhammer 40.000 battleboxes, pitting Aeldari Autarch Ghaelyn’s Zephyrbourne Hunt against Warpsmith D’vok the Unmaker’s elite Forgeborn Chaos Space Marines warband as they decide the fate of the Exodite world of Daethe in the Nachmund Gauntlet.
The Eldritch Omens box contains 16 models in total, 15 of which are completely new, plus a 32 page booklet with background, a new theatre of war, two new missions, and Crusade rules for both factions. The box is on preorder now and will be out on February 12th, 2022. Like all battleboxes, this set is only available while stocks last. The RRP is £125 / 155 € / $200.
Compared to other battleboxes the box is quite narrow, which explains the low number of models. But when you open the box, you are greeted with a comforting amount of new plastic sprues, so the “new box smell” is definitely there. We take a look at the new models first and have a peek at the rules booklet at the end of the post.
Aeldari – The Zyphrborne Hunt
The new Autarch comes on a small sprue and, like the Sisters of Battle Canoness, is a very customisable single model character kit. Included are male and female torsos; a bare head, generic helmet, and a plumed helmet with banshee mask; a Star Glaive and Scorpion Chainsword; a Shuriken Pistol, Reaper Missile Launcher, Web Spinner, and Fusion Gun; as well as a back banner and Warp Jump Generator. The pose is static and commanding, reminiscent of the old Autarch models. The “surfboard ruins” might have drawn criticism online, but the feet are not connected to the ruins, so you can easily place the model on a base without the ruins if you prefer so.
Looking at the datasheet it’s disappointing that you can EITHER draw from the options in this kit OR choose the combination of Mandiblasters, Swooping Hawk Wings, Banshee Blade and Fusion Gun (= the configuration of the other plastic Autarch) but NOT mix them. This is annoying because the article on Warhammer Community pointed out the interchangeability between both models, and it makes many of the combinations illegal that were possible with the old metal/Finecast Autarch models.
The new Aeldari Rangers come on three small sprues and include 5 models. The poses are dynamic, there is a good mix of male and female upper bodies. There are two new defensive options, a gloom field and wireweave net (the disc-shaped gadgets), for which you can find the rules in the datasheet included in the Eldritch Omens booklet (unfortunately neither the assembly guide nor the datasheet tell you which part is which). By the way, there are no specific upgrade parts for Pathfinders nor is there a datasheet upgrade (long-time Eldar fans might remember this was once an upgrade for Rangers in older codices).
With four of the bodies, according to the instructions, you can choose between two different pairs of arms, and with the fifth body you can choose between a shuriken pistol and binoculars. Otherwise, the poses are fixed, but the arm connectors are universal, so with a little trial and error, other combinations are certainly possible. The heads can also be freely chosen, there are X pieces in total, including a good mix of helmets, hooded helmets, bare heads, and hooded heads. All in all a really fantastic conversion to plastic.
Here we have a scale comparison with the old Rangers, new Banshees and current Guardians. You can see the updated proportions with smaller helmets than the old Guardians and Rangers, thinner barrels, and taller bodies and more upright stances that match the build of the new plastic Banshees.
Aeldari Shroud Runners
Shroud Runners are a new unit for the Aeldari, two-seater jetbikes manned by Rangers that provide mobile sniper fire. We have two medium sprues with three models, and the sprues are completely new, not upgrade sprues for the existing Windrider Jetbikes.
Only one of the gunners has a choice of two pairs of arms, but the arms have universal connectors and should also be interchangeable with Rangers. One of the drivers has a head socket, the other two have one-piece upper bodies and heads. The heads can be freely distributed, again there is a good mix between helmets, hoods, and bare, and the hair and braids are designed to flap in the wind, which adds to the movement. All jetbikes come with underslung scatter lasers, and the noses are shorter compared to Windrider jetbikes to balance out the extra seat.
All in all a nice new unit for the Aeldari, maybe the jetbikes seem a bit overloaded with two people and the concept of snipers on jetbikes is of course silly, but if anyone can do it,
Legolas the Aeldari can.
I also noticed the set comes with a new Aeldari transfer sheet that, for some reason, is missing the insignia of the lesser Craftworlds Iybraesil and Lugganath that were part of the transfer sheet introduced with the 2013 Craftworlds releases.
Chaos Space Marines – Forgeborn Warband
Chaos Space Marine Warpsmith
The Warpsmith comes on a small sprue and replaces the old Finecast model. The details are a very successful continuation of the modern Chaos Space Marine style and there is a choice of two heads as well as a power axe or power hammer. Funnily enough, the post mirrors the Primaris Techmarine almost exactly.
Chaos Space Marines Chosen
The Chosen are reminiscent of the new Chaos Space Marine sculpts, but are even more packed with detail. They are adapted to the new proportions and are thus a few millimetres higher than the monopose Chosen from the old Dark Vengeance starter box. I think Chaos fans will love this kit!
As with the normal Chaos Space Marines, the bodies have fixed poses, while the arms, shoulder pads, and heads can be attached as freely as possible. The Champion has a choice of two chest plates ad tabbards, and optional cape, and a large trophy rack for the backpack or an icon of one of the four Chaos Gods. There is also a specific helmet for the Champion that is reminiscent of the Chaos Lord from Dark Vengeance with its long horns, so fully decked out he also makes a nice Chaos Lord in power armour.
There are 11 different heads including the Champion’s helmet, six of which are heavily mutated bare heads. In the promo photos, some of the bare heads might look a bit derpy, but this impression changes quickly when you look at the unpainted sculpts in the sprues.
The weapon selection includes 2 chainswords, 2 chain axes, 1 power axe, 1 power maul, 1 power sword, 1 power fist, 1 pair of lightning claws, 2 bolt pistols, 2 plasma pistols, 2 bolters, an 2 combi-weapons. There are also 2 spare bolters and 2 chainswords that can be attached to the body.
The datasheet in the booklet is the same as the one in the current Chaos Codex, but if the rumour mill is to be believed, the weapon selection in the next codex will certainly be adjusted to the number of weapon options in the kit, similar to many other 9th Edition codices.
Maulerfiend / Forgefiend
Last but not least, we have the Maulerfiend/Forgefiend. It is the only model that is not new, and is thus certainly the least exciting addition. However, it’s still a cool and relatively new sculpt that compliments the Warpsmith theme. Plus, it has only ever been part of a Battleforce once in 2020 and is otherwise only available individually.
Eldritch Omens – booklet
The 32 page booklet is quite nice and comes with a little bit of background for both factions, a map of the Nachmund sub-sector, as well as a model showcase, and new rules. There are additional Crusade rules for narrative play, a new theatre of war with two new missions, as well as datasheets. The Aeldari datasheets are new and likely taken from the new Aeldari codex, while the Chaos Space Marine datasheets remain unchanged.
I won’t lie, but 16 models for £125 is not cheap. However, Eldritch Omens is one of the few battleboxes that contains almost only new models. If we look at comparable models, I come up with £22.50 for the Autarch (like Sisters of Battle Canoness), £32.50 for the Rangers (like Howling Banshees), £36.50 for the Shroud Runners (like Primaris Outriders) = £91,50 for the Eldar, as well as £17.50 – £22.50 for the Warpsmith (like other Chaos characters), £32.50 for the Chosen (like Havocs), and £45 for the Forgefiend/Maulerfiend = £95 – £100, so about £186.50 to £191.50 for everything together. Makes a saving of 60 to 65 pounds, which is decent, but of course not on the same level as say the Fyreslayers vs Idoneth box. However, I feel that Eldar fans in particular definitely get off better than with the last Aeldari themed battlebox.
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