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Is Cursed City “Start Collecting! Soulblight Gravelords” and is a new Zombie Dragon on the way?

We have discussed the Soulblight Gravelords in the past and speculated that they may be a reimagining of the Vampire Counts army books from Warhammer Fantasy. Well, we finally got the good news yesterday as part of the Warhammer Community Faith & Damnation preview show – The Soulblight Gravelords battletome for Warhammer Age of Sigmar is indeed on the way!

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What surprised a lot of people is the fact this looks to be a pretty big refresh of the Death range! Just take a peek at the trailer below and you will see an absolute bonanza of new kits!

New Skeletons, new Zombies, the previously seen new Vampire Lord, Rat Prince and Wight King plus new Blood Knights and Fell Bats. In a single stroke this replaces a lot of the previously available Death range bringing the Soulblight Gravelords a fresh new look in line with the models out of Cursed City…

Warhammer Quest: Cursed City

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In case you have been living under a rock recently, Cursed City is the latest Warhammer Quest game pitting a team of adventurers against the undead minions commanded by a Vampire Lord Radukar the Wolf.

And what a bumper assortment of Soulblight Gravelords models we get in the box too!

In total we get 42 models for the Gravelords in the box, and what is interesting is that they look to be in legal units sizes for Age of Sigmar. One of my pet peeves about Silver Tower was the fact that the units of adversaries were undersized for using in your games of AOS, however here it seems that Games Workshop have been very careful to make sure that the contents of the box will slot into a Soulblight Gravelords army perfectly. This seems to be genius marketing strategy, as it gives all owners of Cursed City a gentle nudge that with the new Battletome you already have the foundation of a legal army! A smattering of characters, 2 battleline and some more elite choices all inside the Cursed City and you are well on your way to your first 1000 points of Gravelords, you can then easily add your favourite units of choice to expand this then.

While for other army refreshes such as the Adepta Sororitas or the Lumineth Realm lords we have seen a launch box containing a starting assortment of miniatures, Cursed City itself acts as a sort of trojan Start Collecting box, hiding inside a stand alone game! Depending on price, I have a feeling this will be a good set to pick up if you are starting Gravelords regardless of if you are playing Cursed City itself too!

This is something that Blackstone Fortress teased with it’s units of Traitor Guard, but sadly didnt become reality during the run of that game, I’m very happy that the Soulblight Gravelords book is more than likely out within the next 3 months to take full advantage of the Vampire hype that will be around Cursed City!

The fact we get some characters and more obscure units in the Cursed City box also frees up more kit opportunity for the rest of the Soulblight Gravelords range. While we would love Games Workshop to be able to redo every old kit every time they put out a new book, the reality is there is a “sprue budget” of sorts deciding just how many kits they are able to put out. The fact that they can put stuff like the bat and rat swarms along with some characters within this box means that then means they don’t necessarily have to do stand alone kits separately. We have seen examples of this in the Phobos and Chaos Space Marine Start Collecting boxes, with kits exclusive to those sets filling gaps in the main range. I do also wonder that when Cursed City is rotated out of the range (Don’t worry, I imagine this will be far in the future when the next Warhammer Quest comes out) if they will bundle the component sprues together as a way of having access to these models in the long term.

I am very excited to get my hands on these models, and feel having this box as a precursor to the full Soulblight Gravelords range is an absolutely genius idea!

More Reveals To Come?

One thing to point out about Games Workshop previews is that they always like to leave us more to get excited about in future, and it is very very rare they will show everything at once. In particular, and big shiny centrepiece model tends to get left until nearer to release – however I do think we have one hidden in plain sight on the front cover of the book…

Computer, Enhance grid-reference B3…

Now, is it just me or is that a new take on a Zombie Dragon? One that looks much more Draconic than the current Terrorgheist based one?

Games Workshop Webstore

Games Workshop tend to only feature imagery on the covers of their books that reflect the miniatures – after all, if you walk into a Warhammer store, look on the cover of a book and see an awesome looking image of something then you are probably going to want to buy a model of it, right?

While the Terrorgheist kit was a nice duel kit at the time, it is certainly something that could do with an update – if only to give some distinction between the Flesh Eater Courts and the Soulblight Gravelords – While Death has been a bit of a hodge podge of different kits from across the years, I have a feeling that Games Workshop are really trying to give the Gravelords their very own identity with a unified look across all the models. By having a new Zombie Dragon kit they can give them their own cool centrepiece model and something more sleek and savage looking as is fitting for the Vampires.

Also note how the head spines and maw on the dragon tie in closer to one of the few other dragons still available in the range, the Dark Elf dragon:

Games Workshop Webstore

The illustration on the cover looks much more like one of these that has been brought back to life, from the long tail to even the silhouette of the creature – One of the reasons why I was never a fan of the current Zombie Dragon was the fact that it didn’t look like any existing dragon we currently have in the range, where this picture could well be the raised mount of an unfortunate Sorceress!

Another sign to the Dragon being a centrepiece of the range is the banner of the Blood Knights:

Again here we see the same long tail and long horns sweeping back behind the head in stark contrast to the stubbier current Zombie Dragon.

Dragons are a big deal after all, as Dracula comes from the Romanian word Dracul meaning Dragon…

So what do you all think? Will we be getting a new Zombie Dragon model? Will you be starting a new Soulblight Gravelords army off the back of the Cursed City box? let us know!

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