Strike Forge Agastus adds two-and-a-half new units to the armoury of the Adeptus Astartes. In this review, I unbox the new Primaris Space Marines army set and take a closer look at the design of the new models, their sprues and what assembly options they have to offer.
Strike Force Agastus will be available for preorder starting Saturday, February 25, 2023, and go on sale one week after.
In the box, you’ll find:
- 1 brand-new multipart Primaris Lieutenant
- 1 brand-new Primaris Brutalis Dreadnought
- 10 brand-new Desolation Marines
- 5 Primaris Heavy Intercessors
- a 16-page rules booklet with all the new datasheets
- two sheets of Ultramarines infantry decals
Brutals Dreadnought review
To be honest, I’m very surprised at how long it has taken for a new variant of the Primaris Redemptor chassis to appear. The Brutalis Dreadnought is practically the equivalent of the old Furioso Dreadnought of the Blood Angels, a close combat beast with more short-ranged chassis weapons.
Just as the original Redemptor Dreadnought, this kit is made of three medium size sprues and comes on an 80mm round base. Note that this kit doesn’t share any sprues with the Redemptor, so no upgrade sprue, it’s an all new kit. The Brutalis has the the following assembly options:
- A new Sarcophagus cover (with a different design than the Redemptor’s)
- A choice of two chest armour plates (again new designs)
- A choice of chassis-mounted heavy bolters or multi-meltas
- A choice of either a pair of Brutalis powerfists with twin bolt rifles or a pair of Brutalis talons
- 5 optional purity seals
Although the Brutalis Dreadnought doesn’t share parts with the Redemptor, the assembly is pretty much the same. Arms can be rotated and positioned, hips can be rotated, the breastplate can be opened. The left and right legs each have a pre-set pose and can be swapped, but you can also remove the small nubs and try to position the legs and knee joint freely.
Of course, the design is almost identical to the Redemptor, but I like the symmetry that the melee arms bring, and the additional armour on the thighs and knees. I’m still not a fan of the bulbous shape of the “torso”, and the way the chassis weapons’ barrels extrude, but Primaris fans will certainly get their money’s worth here. Close combat oriented chapters will get a nice new toy to play with.
Desolation Marines review
These are probably the most controversial models you’ll find in Strike Force Agastus. If you know the Intercessor or Hellblasters kit you know what to expect here. This kit has two identical copies of two medium size sprues that build five models each, and ten 32mm bases. Each set of sprues features:
- 5 Desolation Marine bodies (one of which can be built as a Sergeant)
- 5 helmets plus 1 bare head for the Sergeant and 1 Sergeant helmet with a small skull icon
- 5 hip-held weapon arm pairs, 1 raised right weapon arm, a left arm with an ammo pack, and a left arm with a heavy boltpistol
- 5 superkrak (with 3 open and 2 closed hatches), 5 superfrag (with 3 open and 2 closed hatches), and 1 Vengor launcher weapon attachments (with open and closed hatch)
- 5 backpack sensor arrays for superkrak launchers, 5 for superfrag launchers, and 1 for Vengor launchers
- 3 boltpistol holsters and 5 purity seals
Unfortunately, the assembly options are somewhat limited, as each pair of arms is intended for a specific body – the ammo belts of the weapons lock into the hips of the models in a specific way. Only the heads can be moved freely, and as each sprue is repeated twice, there is little variety in a unit of ten models. The attachment points on the arms are flat, however, so with a little experimentation you might be able to generate more poses.
There has been a lot of ranting online about the design of the Desolation Marines. Personally, I don’t think it’s all that bad, but I do think that the more bulky Gravis armour would have been better suited to the oversized (and honestly over-designed) weapons. The models stay true to the Primaris design ethos of turning everything up to 11. Who needs good old frag and krak missiles when you can have SUPERfrag and SUPERkrak.
Primaris Lieutenant review
The multipart-Primaris Lieutenant comes on two small clampack-size sprues and a 40mm base. This is kit has the following options:
- a bare head with bionic eye or plain helmeted head
- a choice of a loincloth or pteruges
- a right-handed powerfist, a right arm with powersword, or a pointing right arm
- a left arm with heavy boltpistol, a left bionic arm with plasma pistol, or a left arm with bolt rifle (with options for standard rifle, assault rifle, or executor bolt rifle)
- an optional tilting shield for the shoulder pad
I have to say that I think that the design of this new Lieutenant a bit plain. I was also disappointed by the few cosmetic options, compared to fantastic recent kits like the Cadian Castellan and Aeldari Autarch. There are only two generic shoulder pads and only one bare head, even the icon on the backpack could have been made modular. At least all the basic weapon options are covered (missing is the shield and pistol loadout from the Indomitus Lieutenant), and there’ll be plenty of arms left to customize other Primaris models. I just hope that this is the Primaris Lieutenant to end all Primaris Lieutenants models, so that the design team can invest their resources in other models in the future.
The other components
Besides the three new kits, you will also find the ever popular Heavy Intercessors in the rather thin box, two sheets of Ultramarines transfers, as well as a new 16-page booklet with a bit of lore and new/updated datasheets for the new models.
Strike Force Agastus has an RRP of £120 / 160€ / $200, which corresponds to the prices of previous army sets, but then Agastus doesn’t include a codex book! What the exact individual prices of the models will look like is unclear, and we have to keep in mind the general price increase in March. Normally you save 20 to 25% from buying the models individually with these army sets.
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