With some delay after the release of the new Chaos Space Marine Codex, the new Chaos Cultists and their Dark Commune are now released. In this review, we take a look at the contents of these boxes. We hope you like monopose models without build options...

Chaos Cultists and Dark Commune unboxing
These items were provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The new Chaos Cultists and Dark Commune sets will be available for preorder starting Saturday, July 23 2022, and on sale one week after. The Chaos Cultist set has 10 models with autopistols and close combat weapons, while the Dark Commune set has a retinue of five models: a Cult Demagogue, Mindwitch, Iconarch, and two Blessed Blades.

Chaos Cultists review

The new Chaos Cultists set is the third plastic iteration of this classic but for a long time neglected Chaos Space Marine unit choice. 6th and 7th Edition’s starter set Dark Vengeance had the first generation of plastic Cultists, then Warhammer Quest Blackstone Fortress introduced a redesign in the form of the Cultists of the Abyss, which will remain available as an addition to this new set.

Chaos Space Marine Chaos Cultists unboxing and content
Chaos Cultists box contents

The new Chaos Cultists are a continuation of the Cultists of the Abyss design, with dynamic poses and a mix of male and female bodies, all on 25 mm bases. Unfortunately, also like the Cultists of the Abyss set, the 10 included models are monopose and crammed on a single medium-size sprue. Two models can be assembled as unit champions by choosing an optional head. The male version also has the choice between a bolt pistol or autopistol, while the female champion can have a chainsword and tentacle or a basic close combat weapon.

That’s it for assembly options. No additional heads, no interchangeable parts, no autoguns, no special or heavy weapons. Disappointing, especially since we just had the fantastic multipart Traitor Guard kit in Kill Team: Moroch with interchangeable arms, lasguns and close combat weapons for all models, special weapons, various decorations and over 30 heads to choose from. If you want autoguns or special weapons, you have to get multiple copies of the Cultists of the Abyss set for a legal unit, as this set has only eight models.

Here is the front and back of the Chaos Cultists sprue:

Garfy's Get-a-Grip Banner 760px

Dark Commune review

The Dark Commune is a new choice for Chaos Space Marines, and unusual in that it’s a single HQ choice that consists of five models: The Cult Demagogue, which has the Character keyword, the standard bearing Iconarch, the psionic Mind Witch, and the two Blessed Blades bodyguards. The design and level of detail are spectacular, amping up the design language of the Chaos Cultists and Cultists of the Abyss, while also adding a few nods to the classic Oldhammer metal Chaos Cultists like the pointed face masks.

Chaos Space Marine Dark Commune unboxing and content
Dark Commune box contents review

The models come on 32 mm bases, except for the Blessed Blades, which go on the rather new 28 mm bases, and like the Cultists, these are monopose models on a single medium-size sprue. There are no build options or optional parts, which is acceptable for an HQ choice, but a selection of heads or standards for personalization would have been welcome.

Warhammer 40.000 Dark Commune sprues Chaos Space Marines
Dark Commune sprue

Value

The RRP of the Chaos Cultists is £27.50 / 35 €, which is not unexpected for a ten model box these days, but too pricey for a horde unit and single sprue kit with no assembly or posing options apart from the Champions. The Dark Commune is £30 / 40 €, which I think is appropriate for a unit of 5 character models.

These products are available at our partner stores Wayland GamesElement Games, and Taschengelddieb, which offer discounts of up to 20% over RRP:

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6.5
Score

Pros

  • Dynamic poses and spectacular design
  • Multiple options for the Cultist Champions

Cons

  • Cultists are monopose and come only with pistols and close combat weapons
  • The Dark Commune is monopose as well

Final Verdict

Both the new Chaos Cultists and Dark Commune have great designs and are possibly the best Chaos Cultists in plastic so far, but unfortunately, both sets suffer from being monopose with no real assembly options. Especially with the Cultists I'd have wished for more variety, as you want to field large units of cannon fodder. For autoguns and special weapons you have to use the Cultists of the Abyss set from Blackstone Fortress, which only has 8 models with a minimum unit size of 10.