Leviathan is finally here! Join us in an epic XXL review of the 10th Edition Warhammer 40k launch box, covering each kit in detail with high-res sprue pics and a comprehensive walkthrough of all assembly options available. My honest thoughts about Leviathan – find them out in this review.

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Leviathan box on a concrete background
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

Leviathan, the thrilling #New40k launch box for the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40,000, is available for pre-order starting Saturday, 10th June 2023, with the official sale kicking off two weeks later on 24th June. The recommended retail price (RRP) is set at £150 / 200 € / $245. Like all new edition launch boxes, Leviathan is available while stocks last.

Leviathan review box contents
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited

Inside the thick cardboard box, you’ll find a treasure trove of goodies: 25 Space Marine models, 47 Tyranid models, a brand-new transfer sheet, an exclusive Leviathan book featuring lore, core rules, and the Tyrannic War Crusade supplement, plus the Chapter Approved Leviathan mission cards.

Leviathan Space Marines review

All 25 Space Marine models are easy-to-build push-fit designs, offering glueless assembly. With the exception of the Infernus Squad and Terminators Sergeant, there are no assembly options. These models don’t feature sculpted chapter iconography, allowing you to represent any chapter you desire. Let’s explore the individual kits!

Terminator Captain

Leviathan Terminator Captain and Winged Tyranid Prime sprues
Leviathan Terminator Captain and Winged Tyranid Prime sprues

Similar to the Primaris Lieutenant and Necron Royal Warden of Indomitus, the Terminator Captain shares a sprue with the Winged Tyranid Prime. Standing tall on a 40mm base, this imposing centrepiece character model commands attention atop a Tyranid carcass. Though lacking weapon options and a helmet, the three-dimensional pose captures the Captain’s prowess nicely.

Terminator Librarian

Leviathan Terminator Librarian sprue

On a single small sprue and accompanied by a 40mm base, the new Terminator Librarian takes the stage. This model offers no weapon or posing alternatives and seems to have garnered a loyal fanbase online, though personally, I feel his engraved runes add a touch of overload to the design.

Terminators

Leviathan Space Marine Terminators sprues
Leviathan Space Marine Terminators sprues

Probably the most buzz around this box has come from the revamped Terminators. Now grown to Primaris size, these stunning models come on a medium sprue along with a small one, all mounted on 40mm bases. Just like the other models, they are easy-to-build push-fit creations with no weapon options (so assault cannon only), and there are no optional pieces with the exception of an alternate bare head for the Sergeant and a teleport homer.

In my video, you can find scale comparisons with various older Terminator models from 2nd Edition to today, as well as Firstborn, Primaris, and a few human-sized models. I think the new Terminators are spectacular and hope for a proper multipart kit with weapon options soon!

Sternguard, Apothecary Biologis, and Phobos Lieutenant review

Leviathan Gravis Apothecary, Phobos Lieutenant, and Primaris Sternguard sprue

The Sternguard Veterans, Apothecary Biologis, and Phobos Lieutenant share a single large sprue.

The 5 Sternguard Veterans, standing on 32mm bases, come without weapon or assembly options. Among them is a Sergeant wielding a combi-melter, accompanied by four Marines armed with a combi-plasma, two boltguns, and a heavy bolter. Judging from the new datasheets, these models effectively replace the old Sternguard box, blurring the distinction between Firstborn and Primaris Sternguard.

The Apothecary Biologis, an intriguing new Apothecary sub-type in Gravis armour, carries out the task of collecting biospecimens on the battlefield. A really cool model that stands on a 40mm base like the Phobos Lieutenant.

The Lieutenant in Phobos armour is… another Lieutenant. He is, similar to the old Tyrannic War Veterans of the Ultramarines, covered with Tyranid trophies, but has no Ultramarines-typical details otherwise. He is armed with a combi-flamer and two blades.

Infernus Squad

Leviathan Primaris Infernus Squad sprue (included twice)

The Infernus Squad comes on two identical medium-size sprues, featuring five models each. With a base size of 32mm, these Intercessor-type models offer the option to assemble one model as a Sergeant brandishing a combat blade, or a grenade-lobbing regular Marine. I wonder if this unit will get a multipart version later on (like Assault Intercessors from Indomitus got), maybe with more weapon options, or not (like Outriders from Indomitus). Only time will tell.

Ballistus Dreadnought

Leviathan Ballistus Dreadnought sprue
Leviathan Ballistus Dreadnought sprue

The Ballistus Dreadnought is yet another Redemptor chassis variant with the classic twin-linked lascannon and missile launcher loadout. Garfy painted this model already so make sure to check it out. While the legs maintain a straighter and more upright pose, the overall chassis and 90mm base remain familiar. Though impressive, I must admit that a heavily armored Redemptor version, taking inspiration from the Leviathan Dreadnought, would have been even more captivating to me.

Conclusion

Leviathan presents an eclectic mix of units, featuring Intercessor, Phobos, Gravis, and Terminator armor – both old and new. While it caters to diverse tastes, I find myself longing for a more cohesive visual theme akin to all the robed crusader models found in Indomitus. Only the Phobos Lieutenant, for example, wears visible Tyranid trophies. Perhaps a focus on only Terminators and Dreadnoughts would have been a stronger direction to explore?

Warhammer 40k new Leviathan transfer sheet
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission.

The box also boasts a brand-new transfer sheet, introducing a variety of new 1st company chapter icon designs. In addition to the renowned Ultramarines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Space Wolves, the Imperial Fists make their debut appearance.

Leviathan Tyranids review

All Tyranids are push-fit monopose models as well, with no weapon options or alternate bitz. Seam lines are usually well hidden, which is not an easy challenge with organic models. There are a few exceptions, which I will discuss below.

Winged Tyranid Prime

Leviathan Terminator Captain and Winged Tyranid Prime sprues
Leviathan Terminator Captain and Winged Tyranid Prime sprues

As noted above, the Winged Tyranid Prime is linked to the Terminator Captain’s sprue. The base size is 50mm. Though initially appearing clunky in photos, this model’s pose can be appreciated better in three-dimensional glory. Let’s hope it paves the way for the arrival of winged Tyranid Warriors in the near future.

Neurotyrant & Screamer-Killer

Leviathan Tyranids Neurotyrant and Screamer-Killer sprue
Leviathan Tyranids Neurotyrant and Screamer-Killer sprue

My personal favourite within the entire box, the Neurotyrant, is accompanied by two small Neuroloids. Standing on a 50mm base, with the Neuroloids on 25mm bases, this presumed evolution of the Zoanthrope genus serves as a catalyst for the Shadow of the Warp, extending the influence of the Hive Mind. Inspired by the design of 2nd edition Zoanthrope models, the intricate crown around the head adds a touch of nostalgia, while the scenic base holding this model aloft is also very well rendered.

Another centrepiece model in the box is the Screamer-Killer, a new/old Carnifex type based on the 2nd Edition Carnifex model. Like the Dreadnought, this creature stands on a 90mm base and is quite an eye-catcher with its sprawling pose, and a good deal larger than the current Carnifex model. Siege Studios have some comparison pictures:

I would like to appreciate this model more, but for me, the combination of design elements from both the old Screamer-Killer and the current Carnifex doesn’t do justice to either of the references. I would have preferred longer talons instead of long arms, and an even more elongated head, more similat to the one that the old 2nd Edition Screamer-Killer had. Additionally, there is a very noticeable seam line running right across the forehead.

Psychophage

Leviathan Tyranids Psychophage sprue
Leviathan Tyranids Psychophage sprue

The Psychophage is a new arachnoid creature specifically bred to devour psykers. The model comes on a single medium sprue and stands on a 120 mm oval base. The overall shape is reminiscent of the Venomcrawler of the Chaos Space Marines, but what works for a Daemon Engine works for a Tyranid as well. It is noteworthy that this is the first Tyranid model where sculpted steam is coming out of the vents. Unfortunately, there is also a very noticeable seam line at the vents, where the two halves of the model meet, but otherwise, it is a beautifully designed model.

Leviathan Tyranids Van Ryan's Leapers sprue
Leviathan Tyranids Van Ryan’s Leapers sprue


The Van Ryan’s Leapers can best be described as “definitely-not-Lictors” that hunt in packs instead of being lone wolves. The sprue is of medium size and builds three models without any options, standing on 40mm bases. I wonder about the purpose of these models. In terms of size (and base size), they are pretty much identical to the old Lictor Finecast model, except they feature scything talons instead of rending claws. Aside from that, they are essentially Lictors. Will we see a multipart kit in the future that allows for the construction of both unit types? Or will Lictors be released individually, possibly with an increased scale? Or, will they just be overlooked like the old Necron Destroyer models when Necrons got a range refresh for 9th Edition? I don’t have the answer to these questions.

Barbgaunts & Neurogaunts

Leviathan Tyranids Barbgaunts and Neurogaunts sprue
Leviathan Tyranids Barbgaunts and Neurogaunts sprue

The new Barbgaunts and Neurogaunts come on a combined sprue with two medium-sized halves. You get 5 Barbgaunts, on 40mm bases, and 9 Neurogaunts on 25mm bases plus a Node-Beast on a 28mm base.

Garfy's Get a Grip banner 760x100 px

I think Barbgaunts are pretty cool and a real addition to the range, even though the models are somewhat 2D. Essentially, they are a fusion of Termagants and Biovores. As for the Neurogaunts, I’m not entirely convinced. They are slightly smaller than Termagants, but not by much, and they add yet another horde unit to an already horde army. They are basically weaker Hormagaunts acting as mindless bodyguards for Neurotyrants. Maybe a new critter that bridges the gap between Rippers and Termagants would have been more novel?

Termagants

The new Termagants come on three small sprues included twice, each containing 10 models plus a Ripper swarm. The proportions have been modernized, so the heads have become slightly smaller, but overall they are hardly larger than the old models. However, they have been increased in size from 25 to 28mm bases. I think the new models are a real glow-up, the new proportions and increased degree of detail look fantastic.

Leviathan Tyranids Termagants sprue (included twice)

The sprues contain only Fleshborers. I’m very curious to see if Termagants get another multipart kit with more weapon options, or perhaps an add-on frame with more weapons, similar to the Slaves to Darkness Chaos Knights when they were made available outside of the army box? After all, the arms are all separate. Or maybe we’ll have to live with the limited selection, as with the new Ork Boyz from the current Combat Patrol box, which also didn’t get an expanded kit.

Conclusion

Despite some nitpicking, I think these are probably the best Tyranid models ever released. The design team has managed to increase the level of detail without overloading the models with superfluous details. Instead, the chitinous musculature has become more defined and sharp, and the carapaces are more ragged, so now you don’t have to paint on texture like on previous models.

I’ve started painting the first Termagants, and I’ve noticed that the new models take techniques like drybrushing, contrast, and washes extremely well. However, if you want to highlight everything by hand, you now have a lot more to do than with previous Tyranid sculpts. I’m eagerly anticipating the unveiling of other exciting Tyranid models in the upcoming weeks.

Leviathan – the book & cards review

The Leviathan book is different from previous Warhammer 40,000 core books as it will be only included in the Leviathan box set. Following the pattern of previous rule books, it contains an introduction to the hobby, a “Dark Imperium” dubbed lore section with an introduction to the setting, as well as an introduction to all the factions. There are the core rules and Combat Patrol rules, but exclusive to Leviathan is the Tyrannic War Crusade expansion, which will be released later on as a stand-alone book.

Warhammer 40.000 Leviathan core book cover

The Dark Imperium section spans 55 pages and covers the history of the Imperium of Mankind in great detail (but with mostly old artwork from what I’ve seen). It reaches up to the events of Arks of Omen. The following 123 pages provide an introduction to each faction with a short lore section, some artwork and miniature showcases, each topped up with the presentation of the corresponding Combat Patrol set (Space Marine and Tyranids will get new Combat Patrols based on the contents of Leviathan, with brand-new Combat Patrols for Death Guard and Necrons as well).

Warhammer 40.000 Leviathan core book contents page

The 60 pages core rules are available to download for free now. As I’ve mentioned in my unboxing, Warhammer 40k 10th Edition is the most well-structured rules set I have ever read from Games Workshop. The new rules are clearly explained, featuring numerous diagrams, icons, and concise summaries. The order and structure of the rules are highly coherent and easily accessible. Surprisingly, I found it even more straightforward to follow than the 3rd Edition Age of Sigmar rulebook, despite the absence of numbered rule sections. The only missing component is a cheat sheet, and I can’t help but wonder why Games Workshop doesn’t provide these anymore.

The Combat Patrol section is quite manageable with 11 pages. Indeed you can only play with the prefabricated contents of a Combat Patrol box, which I find a bit of a pity because that limits the model-building possibilities quite a bit. From what I’ve seen, however, you could agree with your opponent on the house rule to simply put together two 500pt armies instead.

Finally, we have the Tyrannic Wars Crusade supplement, which is exclusive to this tome before it will be released in a separate expansion book later on. It’s a beautifully crafted 114-page narrative expansion filled with lore, captivating stories, new artwork, and tailored specifically to complement the contents of the box.

In addition to the book, matched play players will also receive a new Chapter Approved deck of 66 cards. According to Games Workshop, it contains a collection of the best missions from previous Chapter Approved Mission Packs and is intended for both casual and competitive players.

Please note that Leviathan doesn’t contain rules or points for the models in the box. You can download the datasheets from Warhammer Community, but for point values, we’re still waiting for a new Chapter Approved update. From what I’ve seen from hobby channels producing battle reports with the contents of the new box, it seems that the two armies are not balanced, with the Space Marines being significantly more powerful in terms of points.

Value

Similar to Indomitus before and the Dominion Launch Box for Age of Sigmar, Leviathan is a hefty, jam-packed box. The YouTube channel Auspex Tactics estimates the value of the models when purchased individually to be over £600 / 800 € / $1000. However, it should be noted that many of the models are easy-to-build versions, which will likely be released later as expanded multipart kits. Additionally, parts of the box will also be available as Combat Patrol sets, so the true value will certainly be below this estimation. Nevertheless, despite the high price of £150 / 200 € / $245, launch boxes for a new edition offer the best value for money you can get from Games Workshop.

Painted by Garfy

If you’re currently experiencing FOMO and feeling uncertain due to the quickly sold-out Kill Team boxes in recent months, I can assure you (somewhat). From what I’ve heard from retailers, Games Workshop has produced enough boxes so that everyone who wants one should be able to get it in the first few weeks. However, it seems that independent retailers will only get a single initial allotment, and once that’s sold out, you’ll be stuck with buying directly from Games Workshop.

If you’d like to grab a nice discount of up to 20% over RRP and support Tale of Painters at the same time, please feel free to use the following link to check if the box is still available and place your order:

You can find Leviathan and the latest Warhammer 40k releases at our 🇬🇧/🇪🇺 partner stores Wayland GamesElement Games, and Firestorm Games, at 🇩🇪 Taschengelddieb, and 🇺🇸 Noble Knight Games.

Feel free to leave a reaction or comment below if you found this review helpful, and post your questions here or discuss on our friendly hobby Discord channel.

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Pros

  • Hefty box full of new models and updated rules and lore
  • Beefed up new Terminator models
  • Spectacular new Tyranid bioforms

Cons

  • The number of build options can be counted on one hand
  • The Space Marine force is lacking a theme
  • Rules or points values for the box models are not included

Final Verdict

Leviathan opens the 10th edition of Warhammer 40,000 with a bang. Is it the best launch box ever? That's debatable. The impressive new Terminators and plethora of new Tyranid designs certainly make a compelling case. Moreover, the streamlined core rules bring more accessibility to casual and competitive players alike. Exactly what I've been hoping for in a new edition. Anticipation runs high for the future of the game.