Skaventide is finally here, heralding the looming Vermindoom that will shape the narrative of the 4th Edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. In this review, we’re unboxing what might be the “most complete” launch box of all time and taking a closer look at the models of the Stormcast Eternals and Skaven. What options can be found on the sprues? Which models share sprues and are likely exclusive to Skaventide? How do the Clanrats and Liberators compare to their older incarnations? All this and much more in part 1 of our unboxing.

This site contains affiliate links you can use to support Tale of Painters. As Amazon Associates, eBay partners, and partners of our partner shops we earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks :)

The new Skaventide box can be preordered from Saturday, June 29, 2024. It is in stores July 13, following a two-week preorder window. Please note that there will be only one production run, so it’s available only while stocks last. With the recent 40k and Age of Sigmar launch boxes, however, Games Workshop was able to provide sufficient stock, so the boxes didn’t sell out immediately.

Skaventide box contents
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited, used without permission.

Included in the box are 24 models for the Stormcast:

  • a Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker
  • a Lord-Terminos with Memorian
  • a Lord-Veritant with Gryph-crow
  • a Knight-Questor
  • 3 Reclusians with 2 Memorians
  • 3 Prosecutors
  • 10 Liberators

On the Skaven side we have 50 models:

  • a Clawlord on Gnaw-beast
  • a Grey Seer
  • a Warlock Engineer
  • 40 Clanrats
  • 3 Warplock Jezzails teams
  • 3 Rat Ogors
  • a Ratling Warpblaster

You also get:

  • 4 terrain pieces and a 2-part range ruler
  • a double-sided cardboard gameboard
  • the new Age of Sigmar Core book
  • the General’s Handbook card deck
  • the Spearhead Fire & Jade book
  • the Spearhead card deck

With the models from both factions, you can not only form two Spearhead forces, but you even have models left over. Together with the game board, the terrain, and the Fire & Jade book, you have everything you need to play the new Spearhead game mode with the contents of the box. This makes Skaventide the “most complete” starter box ever, as it offers a full gaming experience and not just introductory scenarios. Ironically, the only thing missing is a few dice.

In this first part of our two-part Skaventide review, we take a detailed look at the models. Part 2 will follow next week, in which we will look into the Core Book and the new Spearhead game mode with the Fire & Jade expansion book.

Skaventide’s Stormcast Eternals models reviewed

The release of the 4th Edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar was overshadowed by the announcement that Games Workshop is retiring large parts of the Stormcast Eternals range. It was announced that models from the 1st and 2nd Editions, including almost the entire Sacrosanct Chamber, will be discontinued. The model range for the Stormcast Eternals had probably become too large and thus economically unfeasible. Aside from introducing the Ruination Chamber, Skaventide now brings back the Liberators and Prosecutors in newly forged forms. Clad in Thunderstrike armour in the style of the Vindictors, but with fewer weapon options than the old kits.

Skaventide Stormcast Eternals scale comparison with Liberators, Sequitors, and Vindictors
Skaventide Stormcast Eternals scale comparison with old and new Liberators, Sequitors, and Vindictors

In fact, the new Liberators are almost identical to the Vindictors, which were introduced with the 3rd Edition launch box, Dominion (review here). I would have preferred longer weapon skirts and pteruges as a callback to the old models to further distinguish Liberators from Vindicators. The new models conform to the leaner proportions of the previously released Stormcast in Thunderstrike armour, as seen in the scale comparison above. The new Liberators look less blocky than the old ones.

Despite this nit-picking, the Stormcast Eternals models in Skaventide are spectacular, especially the character models and the redesigned Prosecutors’ wings. Let’s take a detailed look at the kits before we move on to the Skaven and the terrain.

Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker

The Lord-Vigilant comes with his own medium-sized sprue and, along with his mount, is placed on a 90mm oval base. The model is “easy to build”, and there is a choice between a helmeted or bare head. Apart from that are no other assembly options for the Stormcast’s centrepiece model.

Skaventide Stormcast Eternals Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker sprue
Stormcast Eternals Lord-Vigilant on Gryph-stalker sprue

The Lord-Terminos, Knight-Questor & Reclusians

All of these three models are combined on a single large sprue. The Lord Terminos with his Memorian, the Knight-Questor, and the three Reclusians with their two Memorians are all push-fit “easy to build” models without any assembly or posing options. The base size is 40mm for the Stormcast Eternals and 25mm for the Memorians.

Skaventide Stormcast Reclusians, Lord-Terminos and Knight-Questor sprue
Stormcast Reclusians, Lord-Terminos and Knight-Questor sprue

Based on previous launch boxes, this sprue is likely to remain exclusive to Skaventide. So if you want these models, you should either grab the Skaventide box or check eBay while people are still parting out their boxes. Similar sprues, like the Thunderstrike Command from the Dominion box or the Horrors of the Hive from Leviathan, tend to be exorbitantly expensive when they become available on their own on warhammer.com.

Lord-Veritant and Gryph-crow

The Lord-Veritant stands proud on a 40mm base, while his Gryph-crow is on a 25mm base. Both models come on a small sprue that is connected to the Skaven Grey Seer and Warplock Engineer sprue. They are “easy to build”, and unfortunately do not have any assembly or head alternatives.

Skaventide Stormcast Eternals Lord-Veritant and Skaven Grey Seer and Warplock Engineer sprue
Stormcast Eternals Lord-Veritant sprue, connected to the Skaven Grey Seer and Warplock Engineer sprue

The new Liberators

The new Liberators sprue has three small segments, building 5 different models, and is included twice, so 10 models in total. Base size is 40mm. Each sprue features 3 male and 2 female bodies, all “easy to build”, push-fit models. In terms of options, each Liberator can be equipped with either a hammer and shield or dual hammers. Each body comes with a helmeted and unhelmeted head option, and if you cut off the connecting bars, you can interchange the heads. Also, there are four little rock pieces to fill open slots in the push-fit bases.

Skaventide Stormcast Eternals 2024 Liberators sprues
Stormcast Eternals Liberators (2024) sprues, these are included twice

Out of 5 models, 1 specific body can be assembled as a Champion, which has an extra pair of heads (helmeted and bare) to choose from, and an extra pair of arms with hammers or a special shield. Another model out of 5, one of the female bodies, can be built with a two-handed hammer.

The updated Prosecutors

The three spectacular new Prosecutors are distributed across three small sprues and come with 40mm bases. Unlike the old Prosecutors, the new ones only come with shields and spears. Unfortunately, the models are monopose and, apart from the heads, do not have any additional options. There are three closed helmets and three heads with half-open helmets. In addition, one specific model can be built as a Champion. The Champion has a unique head (with closed or half-open helmet), a trident-wielding arm, and a unique left arm with shield. Also, this kit contains three extra rock pieces that can be used to cover the push-fit holes in the bases.

Skaventide Stormcast Eternals 2024 Prosecutors sprues
Stormcast Eternals Prosecutors (2024) sprues

Patreon bonus content: Ultra high-res, uncompressed versions of these sprue images (and backsides of the sprues) can be downloaded here.

A look at the Skaven side of Skaventide

On the Skaven side, the designers at Games Workshop have largely remained true to the classic troop types from Warhammer Fantasy. Apart from the Gnaw-beast and the Ratling Warpblaster, the models are reinterpretations of existing models. This means we finally get new plastic Rat Ogors and Jezzails.

Skaventide Skaven scale comparison with old and new Clanrats and Rat Ogres
Skaventide Skaven scale comparison with old and new Clanrats and Rat Ogres/Ogors

In terms of size and proportion, the new Skaven closely resemble the old models. The Clanrats have more dynamic poses and are not as hunched over, which might make them appear about 1 mm taller than the old versions. The Rat Ogors have bulked up compared to the Island of Blood model. Similar to the new Tyranid Termagants and Hormagaunts, the level of detail has been increased without overwhelming the models with additional elements. The heads became slightly smaller with smaller eyes. The faces have more expressive snarls, and remind me of Jes Goodwin’s original Skaven metal sculpts. The folds of the clothing are more finely sculpted. It feels like a jump from 720p to 4K. Nevertheless, old and new models still fit well together if you can see past the different facial structures.

Clawlord on Gnaw-beast

My favourite model from the box comes on a separate small sprue and a 65 mm oval base. The Gnaw-beast is a brand-new mount for a Claw-lord, even though a similar model was once available from Forge World. Unfortunately, the push-fit model has no assembly or weapon options. For easier painting, the Clawlord and mount are separate assembly groups.

Skaventide Skaven Clawlord on Gnaw-beast sprues
Skaven Clawlord on Gnaw-beast sprue

Warplock Engineer and Grey Seer

The Warplock Engineer and the Grey Seer come on a combined medium-sized sprue (that is connected to the Lord-Veritant sprue, see above in the Stormcast section) and have 32mm bases. These are monopose, “easy to build” models without any options, I start to repeat myself here.

New Clanrats

Skaventide contains a total of 40 Clanrats, which are divided into two identical sprues with two segments each. Apart from some of the command models, the Clanrats consist of only two push-fit parts and are monopose without build options. From a technical perspective, this is impressive given the dynamic poses, but it also means that noticeable seam lines run through a lot of the models. The base size remains the same at 25mm.

Skaventide Skaven Clanrats 2024 sprues
Skaven Clanrats (2024) sprues, these are included twice

For every set of 20 models, you can build up to 2 different Champions, 2 Standard Bearers, and 2 Musicians, or just assemble 20 regular ratmen. This allows you to potentially field the 40 Clanrats in four units of 10 models each. Additionally, the first Champion build comes with three head variants: a crested helmet for Clan Verminus (component 3), a bandaged head for Eshin (comp. 4, which, however, reminds me more of Clan Moulder), and a hooded head with cartilaginous growths for Clan Pestilens (comp. 5). The second model that can be assembled as a Champion has two alternative pieces for that, one torso with a Clan Verminus helmet (component 15), and another with a gas mask for a Clan Skryre Champion that also has a slightly different blade (comp. 16).

Rat Ogors

The 3 Rat Ogors are also easy-to-build, push-fit models. They come on a medium and small sprue with 50mm bases. Each model has two different head variants, and one Ogor can choose between a right arm with Warpflamer thrower or a punch-dagger. Apart from that, there are no alternative arms, weapons or poses. Unlike the Island of Blood set or the old box, there are no Packmasters or Giant Rats included. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for an additional multi-part Rat Ogors kit with more options, though I don’t think it’s very likely.

Skaventide Skaven Rat Ogres/Ogors 2024 sprues
Skaven Rat Ogors (2024) sprues

Warplock Jezzails

The 3 Warplock Jezzail teams are spread across a medium-sized sprue and are mounted on 60mm oval bases. I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but these models are also push-fit, monopose models. The 3 shield bearers are interchangeable with the gunners, adding some variety. One gunner has an alternate body piece with a different Jezzail design. The assembly guide says this is meant for the Champion, though it looks more like a cosmetic option. It’s fantastic to see this iconic Skaven unit finally in plastic.

Skaventide Skaven Jezzails sprues
Skaven Jezzails sprue

Ratling Blaster

Last but not least, we have the Ratling Blaster, a new artillery piece for the Skaven and essentially a Ratling Gun on steroids. The design showcases how Games Workshop’s miniature design has improved over the past decades; compared to this, the Warp Lightning Cannon kit looks quite crude (and not in a good way). The model comes on a medium-sized sprue with a 105mm oval base. Unfortunately, you won’t find any build options or alternate heads on this push-fit model, which is a shame. With a bit of clever design, the four Skavenslaves pushing the artillery piece could have been made interchangeable for example, and there would have been enough empty space to add a head variant for the operator.

Skaventide Skaven Ratling Warpblaster sprue
Skaven Ratling Warpblaster sprue

Patreon bonus content: Ultra high-res, uncompressed versions of these sprue images (and backsides of the sprues) can be downloaded here.

A look at the Skaventide terrain

In addition to all the Stormcast Eternals and Skaven, there is also a large sprue of terrain with two ruin pieces, two scatter terrain pieces, and a two-part clip-together range ruler. The scenery pieces are based on the Dawnbringer architecture, which we’ve seen first in the 3rd Edition starter sets of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, but now in a battle-worn state and defaced with various Skaven contraptions. The sharpness of the plastic casting is a bit on the softer side, as is typical for terrain pieces, which suggests that Games Workshop has outsourced the production of this sprue to China.

Skaventide terrain sprue
Skaventide terrain sprue

Personally, I’m not a fan of such defaced terrain; I also don’t like Imperial fortifications “decorated” with Ork glyphs. It feels neither here nor there to me. Instead, I prefer terrain that is entirely dedicated to a specific faction. I would have loved a sprue of purely Skaven terrain, such as makeshift palisades or Warplock machinery, since so far we haven’t received much Skaven-specific terrain except for the Gnawholes. However, I understand why, given the theme of this box, they opted for terrain that incorporates elements of both the Stormcast and the Skaven.

Value

Skaventide is the largest and most comprehensive launch box for a new Warhammer edition to date. In addition to two small armies and the Core Book, it includes everything needed for the new Spearhead game mode: a game board, terrain, an additional expansion book (Fire & Jade), and cards. Plus, you also get the General’s Handbook cards for matched play.

While Dominion was priced at £115, and the 10th edition 40k launch box Leviathan had already risen to £150, Skaventide takes it a step further. The RRP is £160 / 264 € / $210. However, you get a truly packed box, which, for the first time in a starter set for the core Warhammer games, includes a truly complete gaming experience for two players (in the form of Spearhead). Additionally, new edition launch boxes are historically the products with the best inherent value that Games Workshop offers. Compared to buying the individual components separately, you usually save over 50% to 60%, making these boxes highly attractive, especially with additional discounts from independent retailers such as our partner stores.

You can find the latest GW releases 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 20% 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!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar Skaventide launch box models unboxing and review
This box was kindly provided by Games Workshop. Thoughts and opinions are our own.

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.

19
8
2
0
0
0

9.5
Score

Pros

  • Spectacular selection of models for both factions
  • Spearhead sized cardboard game board with terrain included
  • Complete, unabridged core rules, plus complete Spearhead expansion and General's Handbook cards

Cons

  • Hefty price tag for a hefty box
  • Very limited assembly options
  • Maybe a bit too much Clanrats
Stormcast Eternals
8
Skaven
9
Terrain
7
Books & additional components
9

Final Verdict

Skaventide is a massive box, weighing several kilograms and filled to the brim with sprues and gaming materials. It is the most comprehensive launch box ever, featuring the new Spearhead mode that offers a full gaming experience with two complete armies and terrain. However, it is also the most expensive launch box to date. To make up for this, the selection of models is spectacular, with both the Stormcast Eternals and the Skaven receiving a varied mix of centrepiece models, heroes, infantry, and support units. If I had to criticise something, it would only be the number of Clanrats. Twenty would have sufficed, and instead, they could have included a few Stormvermin or Packmasters and Giant Rats for even more variety. But that’s nitpicking at a high level.