With 27 brand new miniatures, the Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set finally brings an update to the outdated Chaos Marauders. Join us as we explore the details and build options of each model, from their menacing weaponry to their striking hairstyles. Get ready to embrace the power of Chaos and reclaim the Mortal Realms from the forces of order.

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Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set review and unboxing
This item was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

The Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set can be preordered from Saturday, April 20, 2024. It goes on sale two weeks later, following a two-week preorder window. Please note that with all army sets, there will be only one production run, so it’s available only until stocks last.

Included in the box are 27 brand-new models:

  • a Darkoath Chieftain on Warsteed
  • 5 Darkoath Fellriders
  • 2x 10 Darkoath Marauders
  • a Wilderfiend
  • a 28 pages softcover battletome supplement
  • a set of warscroll cards and tokens
Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set contents
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission

Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set models review

In The-world-that-was we had Chaos Marauders, whose age was evident as one of the oldest plastic regiments in Warhammer Fantasy. Then, in 2008, the Marauder Horsemen appeared, representing a leap in design quality, yet the infantry was never updated in the same style. It wasn’t until 2016, in the Age of Sigmar, that a new Barbarian archetype emerged for the first time with the Darkoath Chieftain, more “Conan” with fewer obvious marks of Chaos. Since then, several character models, Warhammer Underworlds, and Warcry warbands have been released, but it has taken until now for the old WHFB kits to be replaced by a new generation of infantry and cavalry. In this unboxing, let’s take a look at the reinforcements Slaves to Darkness collectors can look forward to.

Darkoath Chieftain on Warsteed in detail

The Chieftain comes on two small sprues and has a 75mm oval base. He stands high on an optional large slab of rock, his gaze fixed on the battlefield. In terms of options, the Chieftain can either be built with an axe or sword, and has a choice of 3 heads: masked, half-masked, and bare. The horse can have one of two masks.

Darkoath Chieftain on Warsteed sprues review

The Darkoath Chieftain is a solid centrepiece model that is a dark mirror image of the Free-guild Cavalier Captain (review here). However, I would have preferred a more dynamic pose to better suit the charging Fellriders.

Darkoath Marauders kit review

The Darkoath Marauders are the evolution of the age-old Warhammer Fantasy Marauders kit. Three medium-sized sprues contain 10 different models and are included twice (so the box builds 20 models in total).

Each of the 10 different models has a predetermined pose. The hands are separate, and you can choose between raider weapons or Darkiron spears for each model. The shields are freely interchangeable, but the heads are not (without conversion work). However, two to four variant heads are included for each model. The base size is 28mm.

Patreon bonus content: Uncompressed versions of these sprue pics (and backsides) in extra high resolution can be found here.

Each set of 10 models has the following options:

  • Marauder 1 can be built as a Champion or regular warrior. For the champion, a special pair of legs, a hand with a special axe, a hand with a special spear, and a special shield are included. The regular warrior has the choice between sword and spear, and there are two heads (so no special head for the Champion).
  • Marauder 2 can be built as an Icon Bearer or regular warrior. For the right hand, there is either an axe or a spear, and the left arm can carry either a standard or a shield (the standard itself has only one design). There is also a choice of three heads.
  • Marauder 3 can be built as a Doombeater (musician) or as a regular warrior. For the right hand, there is either an axe, a spear or a drumstick, for the left arm, there is a choice between a drum or a shield. There is also a choice of four heads.
  • Marauders 4 to 10 can each choose between swords/axes or spears, as well as three different heads each. One model also has the choice of two shoulder pads.
  • There are also 13 different, freely interchangeable shields (plus the special one for the champion).

The Darkoath Marauders are an excellent kit with dynamic poses and a sheer abundance of heads. However, if you want to field a squad of 20 models carrying the same weapon option, the duplicate poses will be very noticeable. To counter this to some extent, you can exchange the hands between models since they all have the same connection points. The instructions do not suggest this as each hand position was designed for a specific body, but it is possible. Additionally, the connection points of the heads at the neck are very similar, allowing for other combinations with minimal conversation skulls. However, I would have preferred it if, for example, the number of heads had been slightly reduced, and a few alternative arm positions had been provided instead.

Darkoath Fellriders review

The Darkoath Fellriders are a new take on the classic Marauder Horseman. You’ll find five models on three medium-sized sprues, including 60mm oval bases. Unlike the Marauders, they are more interchangeable by design. Essentially, you’ll build the horse and rider (which are not interchangeable), then choose from 5 horse masks, 5 different chest armours for the mount, as well as 5 shields and 9 male and 4 female heads for the Fellrider. For weaponry, you can choose between broadswords and javelins. Despite the different name these are actually identical to the hand weapons and spears of the Darkoath Marauders.

You can build the following:

  • Fellrider 1 can either be a Champion or a regular Warrior. The Champion has a special right arm and additional torso armour, with the choice between a special axe and a special spear, as well as a unique head. The regular Warrior can choose between a broadsword or a javelin.
  • Fellrider 2 can either be an Icon Bearer or a regular Warrior. The Standard Bearer has a right arm with a standard (only one design included here), while the regular Warrior can choose between an axe and a spear.
  • Fellrider 3 can either be a Hornblower (musician) or a regular Warrior. For the Hornblower, there’s a left torso/arm piece with a horn and a head blowing into the horn, along with a sword slung over the shoulder. The regular Warrior can choose between an axe and a spear.
  • Fellriders 4 and 5 each have the choice between a sword and a spear.

Patreon bonus content: Uncompressed versions of these sprue pics (and backsides) in extra high resolution can be found here.

The old Marauder Horsemen were far from bad, especially for their time, but the new Darkoath Fellriders boast much more dynamic poses. The modularity is also quite pleasing.

A look at the Wilderfiend

Wilderfiends are basically the Darkoath’s version of a Chaos Spawn, former champions who broke one of their oaths to their dark patrons. The model comes on three small sprues. Placed on top of a scenic base (60mm diameter), the Wilderfiend is monopose but has a few cosmetic options. You can choose between two necklaces, and the multipart head has a choice of two faces and two lower jaws, one closed and one open. You can also choose between two pairs of tusks and two pairs of horns.

Darkoath Wilderfiend sprues review

Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath battletome expansion

The included softcover booklet contains 28 colour pages. In addition to the 5 new or updated warscrolls, there is new lore including a short story. The Battletome expansion can also be downloaded for free from Warhammer Community. We already know that this summer will see the release of the 4th edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, which, due to the completely revised rules, will render all old battletomes obsolete. To bridge the gap, a softcover booklet or download is entirely sufficient, and some Slaves to Darkness fans may still want to keep the supplement in their collection for the lore it contains.

Value

The Slaves to Darkness: Darkoath army set is priced at £120 / 155 € / $200, aligning with previous army sets and slightly cheaper than recent releases such as the Kroot Hunting Pack (review here) or Deathwing Assault. However, it’s worth noting that the Darkoath set only includes a thin softcover booklet and not a full-fledged battletome. Nevertheless, there won’t be a better way to get hold of the new miniatures, as the expected savings will be over 30%.

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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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3
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8.0
Score

Pros

Cons

Darkoath Chieftain on War Steed
8
Darkoath Marauders
8
Darkoath Fellriders
8
Wilderfiend
8

Final Verdict

After years of drip-fed Darkoath releases, the outdated Chaos Marauders have finally evolved into a fully-fledged subfaction. The models are all dynamic and well-executed, giving the rather generic barbarians a unique identity drawn from the Mortal Realms.