Warhammer Age of Sigmar – Soul Wars: Wrath of the Everchosen Review
The Soul Wars have been raging since Nagash enacted his master plan, and the Necroquake engulfed the Mortal Realms. But what has Archaon the Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse been up to in that time, and why did Nagash go to such lengths to release Katakros from his Storm Vault prison? We find all that and more in Wrath of the Everchosen!
Wrath of the Everchosen is a new source book that continues the story of the Soul Wars and tells the tale of the great Siege of the Eightpoints, the mighty campaign in which Karakros the Undefeated invades the Eightpoints in order to claim Nagash’s ultimate prize, the claiming of the Varanspire and it’s unparalleled access to realm gates.
This alone would be pretty cool, but Wrath of the Everchosen is also packed full of additional content for games of Age of Sigmar including rules for battles in the Eightpoints, a collection of 8 Battleplans chronicling the battles during this campaign, roaming spells and monsters, expanded rules for sieges and allegiance rules for mixed daemon army along with a further 13 new allegiances to expand on existing chaos Battletomes!
Just look at that contents page! I love the fact that we have managed to get a book dedicated to all this new stuff without the confines of a Battletome, and have to say I think this is done much better than the Psychic Awakening books we have seen so far for 40k! So shall we have a look at what we get inside?
Lore for the Lore God
Almost half of the book is filled with brand new lore, and lore that almost exclusively deals with the Chaos and Death Grand Alliances. Archaon has always been the big bad of the Age of Sigmar, but he has of late been slightly overshadowed by the God of Death. In Wrath of the Everchosen we see Archaon returned to the limelight in absolutely awesome style! We also see a moment that I have been waiting to see for a long time – Archaon being reunited with Slaanesh! Archaon has been hunting the lost Chaos God since Teclis and Tyrion imprisoned it in a sub-realm between Ulgu and Hysh, While rumours and visions have led him closer, it is only now that The Gaunt Summoners have been able to divine the location, and Archaon wastes no time in trying to release Slaanesh from it’s bindings. Without too many spoilers we get to see the Aelves of Hysh (Yes, those ones!) attemtping to protect their prize, before a fantastic exchange between Archaon and the Dark Prince.
The rest of the lore deals with Katakros and his campaign to claim the Eightpoints, fighting his way to the very Varanspire itself, and features some brilliant moments such as the inevitable duel between Archaon and Katakros while Be’lakor faces down Lady Olynder – Who wins? Well, that would be telling, and death isnt always the set back it used to be…
I loved reading through the story told here and hope we see more books of this type expanding and continuing the threads set up here.
Two Thin Coats (But also some thick ones!)
As is usual for Games Workshop publications, we get a nice colour section in the centre with painting guides, detailing how to paint Be’lakor and his legion. We also get colour schemes for each of the sub-allegiances detailed in the book. What is great to see is the use of both classic paints and Contrast. The Contrast paints have been very popular, and encouraged those who may have been too intimidated before to pick up a brush! I think it’s a welcome move to include both ways of paitning, as all these techniques are great tools in any painter’s arsenal regardless of your level of experience. It’s not just the forces of Chaos that get love in this section however, as there’s also a detailed painting guide for the Bone-Tithe Nexus!
Rule of Cool
The next section of the book covers the rules, and what is nice to see is a mixture of stuff for different ways of playing! The new Realm of Battle, roaming monster and wandering Endless Spell rules may not turn up in every matched play game, but look brilliant fun to use if you want something a little different from your games of Age of Sigmar. I really want to paint up a collection of monsters to try out in these games, and this does give a great excuse to pick up the beautiful new monsters released for Warcry! This is the kind of thing we only really see in The General’s Handbook, so it’s good to see this type of content get released in other books.
What really interested me about this book are the siege warfare rules. Massive sieges have always been something that appeals about games of Warhammer, and this is a great way to put together some custom scenery and create some awesome games! It’s a shame the Varanspire scenery sets didn’t get a re-release here, or that the Ossiarch fortress seen throughout the pages didn’t get it’s own kit, as think sales of either would have been great alongside these new rules. Alas, we didn’t get either, but the rules do stress that a stronghold can take many forms and the defender is free to put together theirs using whatever scenery they have.Siege battles are expanded with the siege phase, which is essentially a rock/paper/scissors with the outcome affecting various pre game events such as starving out the defenders, or tunnelling attacking units into the stronghold. Alongside this are some new generic Command Abilities for use in sieges, and siege abilities for pretty much every current army!
We also get a range of new Battleplans (Including two designed for sieges) that reenact the battles seen in the earlier lore section, These look great, and I can’t wait to try them out, One of my favourite things is playing new scenarios, and there’s some really fun stuff in here, including one that looks inspired by the Magnus VS Russ showdown scenario in the Horus Heresy game!
Allegiance to The Everchosen
The final section of the book gives us a load of new allegiance abilities to play with for all flavours of Chaos. We get two alliegences based on Mixed Daemons and Varanguard, plus sub-allegiances for armies dedicated to each of the four gods. Finally we get a specialist mixed daemon faction build around Be’lakor himself!
These are really cool and give you lots of new ways to use your models. Back in Warhammer Fantasy I played mixed daemons, so I’m happy to see this return – they get a summoning mechanic and a 6+ ignore wounds which is pretty tasty (Especially for Nurgle units who will get this on top of Disgustingly Resilient!) I’d love to do a big fame featuring one of each of Exhaulted Greater Daemons, with a horde of lesser deamons flowing past them. And don’t forget Archaon also has the Daemon keyword so can be taken in this force too!
As for the other sub-alliegences, some of my favourites are The Baleful Lords who can take 5 Bloodthirsters (Who can also run and charge, and get +1 to charge with the command trait!), and the Munificent Wanderers who reduce rend from attacks hitting them and splash back mortal wounds if anyone hits them on an unmodified 6!
So is this book worth picking up? If you are a Chaos player then this absolutely needs to be in your collection for all the cool new allegiances to play with! But what if you don’t play Chaos? Well, I think this book contains some amazing lore – it’s been worth it for me just to read the tale contained within. The supplemental; material is also a great resource of information and ideas for your games of Age of Sigmar, and I think everyone should try some games that stray away from the standard Matched Play scenarios at least once. The siege rules look great fun, and you can never go wrong with new Battleplans! I hope that this book has been successful, as I would love to see more of this kind of thing between Battletome releases.
Soul Wars: Wrath of the Everchosen is out now and costs £30 – if you would like to help support the site then please order from Element Games where it is currently £24!