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Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Echoes of Doom Battlebox Review & Unboxing

Echoes of Doom is up for preorder right now! You can save some pennies preordering through one of our Element Games links, such as this one! You’ll also be helping all that we do here at Sprues & Brews!

YES-YES!! The Skaven are facing off against the Sylvaneth in the latest Warhammer Age of Sigmar Battlebox, Echoes of Doom!

Revealed post-Warhammer Fest, this box contains brand new models for both the Skaven and, in particular, the Sylvaneth. For the Skaven a brand new Deathmaster and for the Sylvaneth the Lady of Vines and Gossamid Archers.

Want to see the contents of the box in video form? Check out the video below!

So what’s in the box?

We’ve got a bunch of sprues that will in total build…

Skaven

  • Deathmaster
  • Grey Seer on Screaming Bell
  • 10 Stormvermin
  • 20 Clanrats

Sylvaneth

  • Lady of Vines
  • 5 Gossamid Archers
  • 3 Kurnoth Hunters
  • Spirit of Durthu

You also get a supplement book, complete with plenty of narrative, background on the armies and units, battle plans and copies of the warscrolls for each included unit.

What is nifty, is the small version of the Core Rulebook which is also included! Handy for tournaments and the like.

Finally, we have a a raft of gaming accessories, including tokens, warscroll cards, instructions and bases.

Let’s break down this box…

The Models

Probably one of the main reasons you want to buy this box is the included models.

Sylvaneth players are in particular rewarded with this box, thanks to having two brand new units. This half of the box is perfect for both new, and expanding Sylvaneth players, and in total comes up about 1100 points, which is amazing value. The new minis are fantastic, in particular those archers!

The Skaven half however is less likely to impress current players, as they are probably swimming in rats already, but the new Deathmaster model is really nice. In total there’s about 600 points of Skaven here. For a new player, or someone (like me) who has recently got into the faction the box is a great starting place for an army,

Echoes of Doom Supplement

The included book is really nicely presented, and features a number of pages which focuses on the lore and reasoning behind these two forces clashing. I never like going too much into the lore, but it’s an enjoyable read. I mean, it’s no Black Library novel, but it’s enjoyable, and great for new players too.

This little book also includes its own set of Realm Rules for Aqshy which feel really fun to try out, and a set of 3 battleplans. All feel very narrative and would make a great afternoons gaming.

Warscrolls

Now the bit you may have been waiting for…the Warscrolls!

This is our first peek at what rules could be within the upcoming Battletomes for both of the included armies.

I’m going to open the floor to our resident Sylvaneth player, Jay, on the changes to Sylvaneth rules:

Included in the box are four new Warscrolls for the Sylvaneth which include two updated Warscrolls for the Spirit of Durthu and Kurnoth Hunters with Kurnoth Greatbows. Let’s look at these first.

The Spirit of Durthu has seen some nice changes, a much more forgiving Damage Table now means you need to inflict 7 wounds before that tasty damage 6 on the Guardiam Sword reduces to D6. Even more excting when you take into account the increased 14 wounds on its profile and the plentiful Sylvaneth healing abilities. Damage output overall has been made much more reliable, with both the Verdant Blast and Massive Impaling Talons seeing a much more forgiving damage profile.

There have been a few changes to the rules on the Warscroll as well. Wraithful Guardian now only grants 1 additional attack if the model is within range of an Awakened Wyldwood instead of 2 but what is quite interesting is that this bonus also triggers from overgrown terrain features as well, perhaps hinting at a possible rework of the way the Sylvaneth and Wyldwoods work in the upcoming Battletome.

Impale and Champions of the Everqeen’s Will have been removed, I guess the former is somewhat mitigated by the improved Talons attack profile but it is a shame to see Bravery buff disapear. Spirit Paths remains the same however Groundshaking Stomp has been replaced with a new Monstrous Rampage ability, Groundshaker. The end effect is the same but is now more reliable, triggering on a 3+ rather than 4+. The downside is that you can now only perform this with one model (albeit more reliably) so keep that in mind.

The Kurnoth Hunters with Kurnoth Greatbow now have a much more reliable damage profile on their ranged attacks, 2 damage rather than D3, with the hit and wound stats remaining the same. The Champion’s rules have changed for the worse, rather than granting +1 to hit it now grants +1 melee attack, a bit redundant on a ranged unit but maybe this will be addressed in the new Battletome.

Trample Underfoot remains the same however Envoys of the Everqueen has been reworked and now instead lets a second nearby unit receive an All-out Attack or Defence ability on a 4+. The way the rule is written means that you can potentially stack multiple bonuses on a single unit and relay from multiple Kurnoth Hunter units at the same time – we’ll see if this changes in the FAQ.

The last thing to talk about on this Warscroll is the removal of the Tanglethorn Thicket rule – the unit now has a 3+ save base. Re-rolling armour saves was a strong ability but I guess there is now a way to get your unit to a 2+ save which did not exist before. I’m not sure what the stats say but this seems more of a sideways upgrade rather than a buff or nerf.

The first of the New Sylvaneth Warscrolls we get access to are the Gossamid Archers, a fast, if somewhat fragile, ranged unit able to inflict a lot of mortal wounds if you’re rolling hot. Their ranged profile is a bit of a mixed bag really, a reliable if somewhat weak set of attacks with the potential to do a large number of mortal wounds. I think the profile itself is a bit too swingy to rely on and I’ve have preferred to see a bit of rend on the attack with perhaps few mortal wounds but I guess there will be moments where you’re able to roll well and deal substantial damage to an enemy unit.

This is yet another unit with a slightly odd set of coherency rules, each model only needing to stay within 2″ rather than 1″ – I’m not sure why this is the case, perhaps the wings get in the way somewhat!

The best thing about this Warscroll however is the Zephyrspites rule, which allows this unit to retreat following an Unleash Hell command on a 2+. This is great and means an opponent will have a hard time pinning such a unit down. It allows you to move onto objectives or just keep your unit safe. That said, with just a 5+ save and 2 wounds, an opponent will not have too hard a time shooting this unit instead. They are great looking models though.

Finally we come to the Lady of Vines herself, who has obviously been well watered since her first appearence as a regular Branchwraith fighting alongside the Stormcast in the first Sylvaneth Battletome. The Lady of Vines has a nice set of melee and ranged attacks and, with 10 wounds and 3+ save, should be able to hold her own against most basic infantry. On top of her decent combat potential she’s also able to cast and unbind 2 spells, one of which will almost certainly be the spell on her Warscroll, Aspect of the Everqueen, which provides a 5+ ward save in a 12″ aura! This will be great when paired with Kurnoth Hunters or Spirits of Durthu!.

That’s not all though as she also has a new version of the Roused to Wrath spell, although now it’s a once per game ability that summons 10 Dryads on a 2+. I wonder whether we’ll see the current Branchwraith updated in the same way new Battletome? Finally we have te Writhing Vines ability which is quite a felxible ability allowing you to either buff her offensive or defensive capabilities whilst enagaged with an enemy unit. With Finest Hour and this in effect the Lady of Vines becomes quite a formidable tank in combat!

Now back to Dave!

I’m going to delve straight into the warscroll for the new model, the Deathmaster, who is now finally in plastic!

He’s had some much needed love. For an assassin, he didn’t live up to the name in the old book. Now he has more attacks and the chance of mortal wounds! The mortal wounds mechanic is key to his rules, and whilst it only activates on a unmodified 6 it does work on both his shooting and melee attacks. He’s now a serious threat to lower level characters sure.

He can still hide in a unit, however the wording has changed from the Skaventide keyword to purely either Clan Rats or Stormvermin.

Clanrats now have a base save of 5+ (4+ with an all out defence don’t forget!) which is better than the previous rule regarding having a shield on the model. You can also return D3 Clanrats during the battleshock phase to your unit (doesn’t state YOUR battleshock either, so works in both players as rules are currently written) which is nifty, especially as with the improved save they may be sticking around that little bit longer!

Stormvermin have also had a couple of changes, a major one being a better save too. They now rock a 4+ save base, again getting rid of any save rule being needed on the warscroll. They hit better too, now hitting on 3s, but for some reason have lost an inch of range which is a shame as they are rocking Halberds! They’ve gained a new Bodyguard rule, allowing them to take hits for your characters which is fun. I hope with the release of the Battletome that in some shape or form you get to give them a ward save to help make this ability even better, but that alas may just be a pipe dream.

Finally we have the Grey Seer on Screaming Bell, who’s abilities have pretty much completely changed. Gone has his battleshock immunity bubble for starters, which I hope is due to a way to negate battleshock in some other way in the upcoming book, perhaps within the armies Battle Traits. He can also only now cast 1 spell, although you do gain a bonus to cast.

The Peals of Doom has been completely reworked and feels more balanced. It is still possible to summon a Verminlord, but it does require you ‘breaking’ your bell to activate. You roll a D6, add the amount of wounds suffered on your bell and so longs as you roll a 13 or higher you get a Verminlord! It’s a little risky as the best chance of summoning one means your bell must be down to 1 or 2 wounds left.

Cracks Call is as deadly as ever when used on the right enemy. He sadly still needs those rats to push him. I’m personally thinking 20 Stormvermin would do the trick!

Summary

This box will split opinions. Whereas the Skaven half of the box will suit those starting out, the Sylvaneth half would appeal to players young or old. It’s a brilliant way to start and expand an army of trees and aelves.

The battleplans look fun, and combined with the running narrative would make a great afternoons of miniature gaming.

The brand new miniatures inside this box will be the main draw, and they don’t disappoint. Highly detailed and fun to build and paint.

Once again, our thanks to Games Workshop for sending us this box to unbox and review. Make sure you check out the website too, for further content!

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