New Stormcast Eternals Revealed in Warhammer Age of Sigmar, They Are Really Cool

The Stormcast are the epitome of modern Warhammer, which many fantasy fans begrudge. Warhammer Fantasy didn’t walk gently into the sunset, it wasn’t given a grace period in a Legends section for hardcore players to continue to play, it was systematically destroyed, dismantled, and the pieces burned in the name of Nagash. Personally, I prefer the more skirmish-based system to the complex rank-and-flank style of Fantasy, but those better versed in historical wargaming will likely disagree. I’m glad now that both sets of players have the option to play what, and how, they want, but the loss of decades of lore is also a shame.

The Old World was a rich and vivid fantasy setting, built up over decades by a collaboration of writers passing the torch onto the next generation, presumably leaving a few scrawled, handwritten notes as to what they intended to happen next. Nobody intended the End Times. What used to be relatively generic – but beautiful – high fantasy became unique, easily-copyrightable races. Dwarfs were replaced by Fyreslayers and, later, Kharadron Overlords.

Elves became Aelves, and their factions developed into the likes of the Lumineth Realm-lords (classic High Elves) and Idoneth Deepkin (Sea Elves riding sharks and turtles). Dark Elves and Wood Elves are no more, with the latter going Full Ent in the Sylvaneth. If you want your Dwarfs to be Dwarfs, you’re out of luck. The Stormcast have a part to play in this side of things as well.

They are an entirely invented faction with no basis in classic fantasy lore. Angelic creatures, the souls of dead warriors reforged into stocky, golden armour, they’re the new, copyrightable lore personified. Except, they’ve got the personality of a brick wall and look a bit too much like Space Marines to be really considered fantasy. While the rules have slowly improved, the company has never got the new Stormcast models that accompany each new edition quite right.

First we got the lore: the Stormcast are angry, bitter at the god who revived them. Sigmar promised redemption, but his warriors feel like they’re losing their humanity as their souls are reforged time and time again in the name of a war they didn’t ask to be a part of. The Stormcast finally have some edge. Add to this spicy new lore update the new models, and you’re onto a winner.

They’re now less fantasy Astartes and more an interesting take on Roman legionnaires. The wings, where once they would have been clean and perfect, are ragged with holy fire. He carries a trident – an undeniably cool weapon – and his helmet is domed by a spiked plume. I think it’s also really important that you can see their faces (full face-covering helmet options also available), as this finally gives the Stormcast some personality to go with their grittier new aesthetic.

While characters have been granted faces before, giving regular troops some semblance of the humanity they’re rapidly losing will go far to getting players on board with the army. With the hardcore wargaming fans hopefully sated by Warhammer: The Old World, Age of Sigmar’s poster boys finally feeling cool, and even the fan favourite faction Skaven receiving a much-needed refresh, too, Age of Sigmar 4th Edition is looking bright.

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