The Slaves to Darkness and Darkoath Marauders are being treated to a second wave of releases. In this comprehensive review, we’ll take a closer look at Abraxia’s Varanspear, the Brand’s Oathbound from the Hammer & Bolter series, and the brand new Nexus Chaotica terrain piece.

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The new Slaves to Darkness and Darkoath releases can be preordered from Saturday, May 25, 2024. They go on sale two weeks later, following a two-week preorder window.

Slaves to Darkness Abraxia’s Varanspear review

Abraxia’s Varanspear is another Dawnbringers box, a warband featuring 3 Varanguard and a brand-new model, Abraxia, Spear of the Everchosen.

Abraxia, Spear of the Everchosen sprues review
Abraxia’s sprues

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

Abraxia is a brilliant new centrepiece for the Slaves to Darkness range, with a strong and powerful silhouette. She rides her monstrous steed, Thanatorg, which occupies a 100mm base due to its size, and wields the accursed spear Gorbolga. The kit includes two medium-sized sprues and offers two head options for Abraxia: one with a helmet and one bare head. Aside from these, the model has no other build options or alternative poses. The steed and scenic base are separate components.

The Varanguard are the existing models. Although I find them somewhat busy, the kit offers quite a few build options with 6 interchangeable heads, 6 hand weapons, and 3 interchangeable steed heads, despite the rider-steed combinations being monopose.

The rules for Abraxia can be found in Book VI of the Dawnbringers series, Hounds of Chaos. It appears that the Armies of Renown rules will be compatible with the upcoming 4th edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, set to release later this year.

Brand’s Oathbound review

Gunnar Brand and his Oathbound, known from the Hammer & Bolter episode “Monsters” and the Darkoath novel by Chris Thursten, are now available as models. Gunnar is a Darkoath leader that deeply distrusts the gods, believing mortals should live free from divine interference. He leads his tribe, the Brands, to conquest through carefully sworn oaths, resisting Chaos’s temptations. Also included is his rival and ally, Warqueen Tanari, as well as Dendrel Direbrand, a strong warrior from noble Aqshian lineage. The hunched figure is Broken Nadja, who aids Gunnar with their accurate divinations. Despite his mistrust of Chaos, Gunnar relies on Broken Nadja’s accurate divinations. Last but not least we have Gunnar’s daughter Singri, mounted on a Darkoath warsteed as she is knocking her bow.

Darkoath Brand's Oathbound sprues
Darkoath Brand’s Oathbound sprues

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

The five models are distributed across three small sprues and include sculpted scenic bases. The warriors on foot are on 32mm bases, while Singri’s mount has a 60mm oval base. There are no build options or alternative parts; you essentially get five character level sculpts in one box.

Nexus Chaotica unboxed

In addition to the new Darkoath models, the Slaves to Darkness also receive a new faction-specific terrain piece, which has been a rare occurrence lately. Nexus Chaoticas are shrines to ruin, housing bound captive daemons whose infernal energies blend with the magical nexus points where they are constructed.

Slaves to Darkness Nexus Chaotica sprue
The Nexus Chaotica sprue

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

The kit includes a single large sprue. The casting quality isn’t quite as sharp as regular Games Workshop models, indicating that production, as is common with terrain pieces, has likely been outsourced to China. However, the detail level is entirely sufficient for a piece of terrain.

Measuring approximately 20 cm in width, the model appears smaller in person than in photos. The sprue includes four optional runes, one each for the symbols of Khorne, Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch, which can replace the right daemon face on the ring of the jagged Chaos star. I think the Nexus Chaotica is pretty cool, but I would have paid a bit more and wished for a second sprue with smaller boulders as scatter terrain to fill a larger area of the board.

Abraxia's Varanspear, Brand's Oathbound, Nexus Chaotica review & unboxing
These items were kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

Value

Abraxia’s Varanspear is attractively priced at £95 / 125 € / $160, especially considering that the three Varanguard models alone cost £65 these days. However, Brand’s Oathbound, with its five models, seems quite expensive at £47.50 / 62.50 € / $79, given that the 10-model box of Darkoath Marauders and the five-model Fellriders box are priced at £34 and £40, respectively. The Brand’s Oathbound box is comparable to The Blacktalons box, which also included five models based on a Warhammer+ animation series but was £2.50 cheaper and featured larger models. The Nexus Chaotica is priced at £37 / 47.50 € / $60, which is about the same as the recently released Mawpit for Warcry, which also contains a single large sprue.

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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.

6
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0
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4
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8.0
Score

Pros

  • Abraxia's Varanspear includes a cool new centrepiece and offers good savings
  • Brand's Oathbound contains five character-level sculpts in one box
  • The Nexus Chaotica is an eye-catcher and can be personalised for each Chaos god

Cons

  • Both the Oathbound and the Nexus are quite expensive for the amount of plastic included
Abraxia's Varanspear
9
Brand's Oathbound
8
Nexus Chaotica
7

Final Verdict

With the latest updates, the Slaves to Darkness have become one of the best miniature ranges in Age of Sigmar. Many Fantasy and The Old World players have also been pleased with the new Marauders. Abraxia's Varanspear, the Oathbound, and the new terrain piece continue this trend and complete the range. However, the prices, which already include the price increase coming in June, are once again somewhat high.