After the announcement in November 2019, the time has finally come: Classic Warhammer Fantasy returns as Warhammer: The Old World. Leading the charge are two massive army boxes. In this review, we’ll take a look at the Core Set in the Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition. Read this post quickly before the box sells out!

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The Old World Core Set – Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition review
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The Warhammer: The Old World Core Set – Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition can be preordered from Saturday, January 6, 2024. It goes on sale two weeks later, following a two-week preorder window. I heard that only limited stock will be available at launch, so I expect it to sell out quickly. I’m not completely sure if this box will become a permanent addition to the range or have just a single print run.

With a depth of 6 inches / 15.3 cm, the Tomb Kings core set is one of the biggest boxes from Games Workshop that I have ever reviewed. Included in the box are:

  • Tomb King on Bone Dragon (which can additionally build Liche Priest on Necrolith Bone Dragon, which also allows building a Tomb King on foot)
  • 40 Skeleton Warriors
  • 32 Skeleton Archers
  • 16 Skeleton Horsemen
  • 3 Skeleton Chariots
  • Warhammer: The Old World rulebook
  • 4-page reference sheet
  • 20 D6 dice plus a scatter dice
  • 3 transparent plastic templates and two red measuring sticks
  • an assembly guide that also has an army list for the models in this box
The Old World Core Set – Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition contents review
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission

This adds up to 92 (or 93 depending on the Bone Dragon build) miniatures, roughly 1.250 points. Note that this box contains only the rules for the models in this box, for the complete Tomb Kings army list you require the Ravening Hordes expansion book.

Necrolith Bone Dragon review

The only new model in this box is the Necrolith Bone Dragon, which can be built as either a mounted Tomb King or a Liche Priest plus a Monarch of Nehekhara on foot. The model comes on two large sprues, and the base size is 100x150mm square.

The Bone Dragon itself has no posing or assembly options. The mounted Tomb King can either have a spear, a hand weapon, or a halberd. When assembling the model on foot, there is also a flail and a shield arm option. Last but not least, there is the optional undead cat.

The Liche Priest’s throne has a different front piece that houses a mighty tome. There is also the summoned vulture and a canopy. The Liche Priest doesn’t have any options, and as he has a seated pose, he is not designed to be placed on foot.

The Necrolith Bone Giant maintains the level of detail and sharpness you would expect from a modern Warhammer kit. The model’s designer has since left Games Workshop and admitted on social media that he is not entirely satisfied with the model. I believe you need to see the model in 3D to appreciate the pose and design fully. On the tabletop, the Bone Dragon certainly has an impressive presence. However, I also think that the Liche Priest’s throne is a bit overloaded with detail.

Skeletons review

In addition to the dragon, the box includes 40 Skeleton Warriors (25mm square bases), 32 Skeleton Archers (25mm square bases), 16 Skeleton Horsemen (25x50mm square bases), and 3 Skeleton Chariots (47x100mm square bases). This breaks down as follows:

  • 18 sprues of Skeletons, each containing 4 models with hand weapons, spears, and shield arms
  • 6 infantry accessory sprues (each containing 10 shields, 6 heads, 1 standard bearer arm with two banner tips, 1 arm with trumpet, a left and right arm with hand weapon, 8 right arms with bows, 8 quivers, and four left arms drawing the bow, and 6 heads with Tomb Kings design)
  • 4 Skeleton Rider sprues, each with 4 models with spears; plus 8 sprues of horses, each containing 2 Skeleton Horses
  • 3 Chariot sprues
Garfy's Tomb Kings Skeleton Warriors WIP
Garfy already churned out his first regiment of Skeleton Warriors, more to come soon here on Tale of Painters

By the way, the Skeleton Warriors come from the first modular Warhammer Fantasy regiment box, originally released in 1998 for Vampire Counts. In 2002, the Tomb Kings accessory sprue was introduced to make the skeletons usable for Khemri as well. Since the box contains 6 of these frames, totaling 60 shields and 48 bows, you have a certain amount of leeway when arming the Skeleton Warriors and Horsemen.

The Old World Core Set – Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition casting quality review
Skeleton Warriors sprue close-up

The casting quality of the old models is surprisingly good and sharp for their age. It seems that Games Workshop made an effort to refurbish the old moulds. The mould lines are slightly more pronounced than with current models, but they could be worse. However, I notice minimal mould slips / misalignments on certain pieces.

Warhammer: The Old World rulebook

We’ll take a closer look at the contents of the new rulebook next week here on Tale of Painters, but here’s a brief summary: Of the 352 coloured pages of the hardcover book, approximately 90 pages cover lore, nearly 40 pages are dedicated to the miniature showcase, and the rest are rules. Apart from a few pieces like the box art and the new map of the Old World, there is only old artwork. A tutorial or beginner campaign is conspicuously absent, and there is no special game mode for low point sizes. The book is clearly aimed at experienced wargamers and Warhammer Fantasy Battle veterans.

Value

With an RRP of £175 / 230 € / $290, the Warhammer: The Old World Core Set – Tomb Kings of Khemri Edition is slightly more expensive than its Bretonnian counterpart. Determining the real value of the box is hard. The box is packed with content, and judging from other boxes of this kind, you’ll likely save around 30 to 40% compared to the individual prices of the miniatures and the book. However, this assumption is based on today’s prices, but the included models are ancient, diminishing the perceived value.

Nevertheless, with approximately 1,250 points, this box serves as a good starting point for a new Tomb Kings army, and it will undoubtedly sell out quickly. I’ve heard from our partner Taschengelddieb that there is limited stock for independent retailers during the launch weekend. So, don’t wait too long and check here to see if the Core Sets and the other Bretonnia and Tomb Kings models are still available:

You can find the latest hobby products at our 🇬🇧/🇪🇺 partner stores Wayland GamesElement Games, and Firestorm Games, at 🇩🇪 Taschengelddieb and PK-Pro, and at 🇺🇸 Noble Knight Games with a welcome discount of up to 10% to 15% over RRP. Using our links helps to support Tale of Painters at no additional cost to you, so thank you very much for using them!

I hope you found this review helpful, feel free to leave a reaction or comment below, or post your questions here or discuss on our Discord channel.

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Pros

  • One of the boxes with the highest model count GW has ever released
  • Imposing new Bone Dragon centrepiece
  • Also comes with The Old World rulebook

Cons

  • High price tag
  • Contains only ancient models apart from the dragon
  • Doesn't have the complete army list

Final Verdict

The Tomb Kings of Khemri Core Set is a massive box with nearly 100 models, something rarely seen from Games Workshop these days. Additionally, it includes the new rulebook. However, aside from the new Bone Dragon, the miniatures included are ancient. I am genuinely disappointed that the box only contains the very old core units and not the newer sought-after Tomb Kings models like Tomb Guard or the Necrosphinx. I think the Bone Dragon could have been skipped, and the skeletons could have been revamped instead. Nevertheless, due to the likely significant savings, there's probably no way to bypass this box if you want to start a new Tomb Kings army.