Eldritch Omens Unboxing and Review – Warhammer 40k Battlebox
Within the Nacumund Gauntlet, the Aeldari forces led by the Autarch Ghaelyn fight a desperate battle against the Chaos Space Marines of the Warpsmith D’Vok the Unmakeron the Exodite World of Daethe. In order to gain the favour of his master, Abaddon the Despoiler, Warpsmith D’Vok has pledged to drain the world of the psychic energy of the World Spirit in order to fuel his Daemon Engines. As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, a small force of Eldar Rangers come to protect the essence of their Exodite brethren in the latest Warhammer 40,000 Battlebox!
Eldritch Omens, up for pre order today, tells the story of this battle and contains awesome new models for both the Eldar and the Chaos Space Marines heralding the arrival of both forces future releases for 40k!
Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us an early review copy to unbox, paint up and review for you guys!
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Eldritch Omens Unboxing and Review
Inside the box we get 16 miniatures split between the Chaos Space Marines and the Eldar, with 15 of the models being brand new ones! Very often these Battleboxes contain older models, however here with have a set that outside of the Forgefiend this is brand new stuff that is currently exclusive to the box! Obviously this will be a big draw to players of both of these forces, especially to the Aeldari who have a codex arriving very soon! Likewise for the Chaos side of the box it is very likely that a new Codex is coming later in the year, so this set gives you a great opportunity to paint up some of these new models early before they are released seperatly
As you can see above, the sprues are jam packed full of options with the Chaos Chosen in particular having a load of different load outs you can arm them with. We’ll be taking a look at the finished assembled and painted models a little later in this review along with the updated rules (if they have them) for those units!
As with all recent GW kits there are very clear and easy to follow instructions included along with full transfer sheets for each side. The Chaos Space Marine sheet is the old one dated 2018 from their previous wave, however the Eldar sheet (Titled Aeldari Craftworlds to match the new Codex) is brand new and covers the 5 main Craftworlds along with a range of runes and symbols to use across your force!
Also included in the box is a 32 page book that contains the narrative of the battles that this box is based on, along with some narrative scenarios, Crusade content and rules for all the miniatures in the box. It’s worth noting that like with Shadow Throne there are no points values for any of the units, just power ratings. Arguably the content in the book is built around Crusade, and as so Power works well for drawing together two armies to play through the content with.
As for the story, I wont go to far into spoilers as I know people will want to read it for themselves but essentially the Chaos Space Marines plan to harvest the World Spirit of an Exodite World in order to fuel a new generation of Daemon Engines powered by Aeldari souls – I’m sure Slaanesh would approve! It’s interesting that this planet is explicitly an Exodite world and we even get passages talking about dinosaur riding Aeldari! I really hope this is a tease that one day we might see an Exodite book, as let’s face it space elves on dinosaurs is something that absolutely needs to happen!
From a gaming point of view we get a new Theatre of War “Goliath Down” to represent battles between a side with monsters and vehicles against a sneaky force utilising traps and specialist equipment. This allows you to recreate the events of the narrative with a Daemon Engine heavy army facing off against Rangers with bombs and civert gear to take them down. You can easily scale up the forces in the box with more units and have some interesting games using these rules that will have a different vibe to a normal matched play game. Each side gets access to a Tactical Ruse or Equipment Ruse which add additional effects for the battle, for example the ability to gain special ammunition that corrodes the save characteristic of a vehicle or the ability to plant mines that can be set off when enemy models get near them!
The book also contains 2 narrative scenarios to use these rules with that again follow the storyline of the narrative – in the first the Eldar player is trying to send a transmission and communicate with the spirits of the Exodites, while in the second mission the Chaos player strikes back against the Aeldari and tries to get the upper hand in order to end their plans of destroying the Noctolith Crowns. These missions are designed around the models in the box and are well suited for Crusade play!
Speaking of Crusade, the book also contains some new Crusade content for both armies in the box!
Both sides get some unique battle traits that can be selected instead of ones in the core rule book – For example Eldar Rangers can earn an upgrade to have the range of their weapons increased by 18″ making them able to shott from pretty much anywhere they like! A total of 3 Ranger upgrades and 3 Shroud Runner upgrades are listed giving you a nice selection of things to do. For the Chaos Space Marines they get 3 Forgefiend traits and 3 Warpsmith ones – including the ability for a Warpsmith to make any Chaos Vehicle pass any Out of Action tests after a battle!
Each side also gets 2 unique relics, with the Eldar getting access to a cloak that makes unmodified hits and wounds against them fail on a 1-3 and a rather tasty x3 S AP-3 D2 glaive for the Autarch!
The Chaos Marines get a power axe with Sx2 AP-2 and D2 which increases to D3 if the target has a 3+ save or better, which is especially nice with all the damage reducing abilities we see recently. Their other relic is a tasty 2D3 hit flamer with S5 Ap-1 and 2 damage!
We also get rules for all the models in the box, some new, some not so new…
The new Autarch profile in the book contains both the Battle Focus and Strands of Faith abilities as recently discussed on Warhammer Community (Though sadly the full details of these abilities are not listed, just a reference to se Codex Aeldari) along with a new rule that allows the Re-Roll Stratagem to be used twice a phase rather than just once! the profile contains all of the various weapon options available on the new kit with some tweaks such as a flat 2 damage on the Star Glaive and it is no longer -1 to hit when using it!
As for the model, it is absolutely gorgeous and when combined with the current winged Autarch kit contains every weapon option available for the unit. It’s worth pointing out here that weapons and parts are fully compatible across the two allowing you to mix and match! A real throw back to some of the many options seen of HQ models of old!
Rangers are now 4 power rather than 3, however with that they also now get a BS of 2+ and the ranger long rifles are now Ap-1. Appear Unbidden is replaced with a new ability Advanced Positions – I suspect this will be very similar, but again sadly the rule points you to the new Aeldari Codex rather than listing them here! They also get an option of 1 of 2 wargear upgrades – Gloom Fields treat the unit as being in dense cover when they are shot from more than 18″ away, and Wireweave nets reduce the the charge charges against then by 2 and cause D3 mortal wounds to the charger on a 2+! They are also Core.
Again, we get brand new models in the box for these and they capture a similar aesthetic to the Eldar character seen in Blackstone Fortress, with some really nice details and a massive upgrade over the old models!
The new unit for the Aeldari makes it debut in this book! These are 4 power for 3 models and are essentially mounted rangers with 3 wounds each and a 4+ save riding a jetbike! Equipment wise they are pretty much faster rangers, each packing a Ranger Long Rifle and a cloak increasing saving throws in cover by 1. they automatically move an extra 6 inches when they advance, sport a movement of 16 and make a free move at the start of the game making them super manuverable!
Again from a model point of view these are stunning with both a driver and a sniper on the back of each bike capturing both elements of the Ranger design and modern updated jetbikes!
Chaos Space Marines
So bad news Chaos Space Marine players – we don’t get any new rules here, simply the existing profiles! This is a shame, as I imagine all of these will be changing in the new Chaos Space Marines Codex – but this is perhaps a sign that the Codex is a little further away, towards the summer perhaps!
The Warpsmith model is absolutely gorgeous with some nice echoes of his former Astartes standing with it being a corrupted mirror of the loyalist version! You get a couple of head options and weapon options in the kit to give you some variety
Initially I worried that the Chosen would have fixed loadouts on the sprue, but thankfully that is not the case! There are over 10 head options, enough bits to give everyone close combat weapons, 2 combi-weapons on the sprue (With parts to make each weapon variant) and 2 plasma pistols. You also get a power fist, lightning claws and a variety of weapons for the champion! Easily enough parts to make a unit of 10 look different too, which is a great plus!
This is an older kit, but surprisingly still stands up today with a nice bit of a profile difference between the two builds and a variety of weapon options! Going to have to build another one now as a Forgefiend as really enjoyed painting this one!!
So whats the value breakdown of this box? Well the RRP is £125 which is on the pricier side of Battleboxes, however this does contain mostly new models – let’s see if we can work out the approximate value based on similar kits
Warpsmith: £22.50 (Based on other recent CSM hero models such as Haarken)
Chosen: £32.50 (Based on Chaos Havocs)
Autarch: £17.50 (Based on the more recent plastic Spiritseer)
Shroud Runners £30 (Based on Windrunners, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they are in the £32.50 price bracket)
Rangers £32.50 (Based on Howling Banshees)
Total Value: £180 – Saving £55 based on RRP
From many 3rd party sellers you’ll be able to get 20% off this too saving you a little more! So while its a little more expensive than other battleboxes, you do indeed save a chunk of money and get the models a little before general release too!
So what do I think of Eldritch Omens? Well we’re a little biased here as I’m a massive Chaos fan and fellow Spruer Jay is counting down the days till the New Aeldari Codex – so this box had our names all over it! The models are great and are both massive improvements to the previous kits while still being faithful to the original designs, and there’s a nice mis of different types of units throughout the box. Combined with a Start Collecting! box or Combat Patrol you have a nice start of an army here with each of the forces just some Crusade content to use with them!
If you are planning on working on Chaos or Eldar this year then this box is certainly a great buy to keep you going until all the new models an Codexes come along for them!
Eldritch Omens is up for pre order today and is released 12th February 2022
Games Workshop provided Sprues and Brews a free copy for review purposes