As a bit of fun, we decided to rank the eight Shadespire warbands strictly based on what we think of the models. This has nothing to do with how these warbands have performed in tournaments or how much we like playing any of them. It’s strictly superficial. Although it is a known fact that painted models play better. True story.
Sorry for the clickbait headline, list articles are the original form of clickbait, so I had to go with it. Tongue in cheek of course.
Casey: Steelheart’s Champions – Same, nice models but don’t stand out all that much from SCE range. I forgot this was the first time we saw a female stormcast, which was really quite monumental. But the other two models don’t do much for me.
Jeff: Farstriders – *Yawn* Maybe I just don’t like the idea of heavily armoured ‘ranger’-type characters, but these Eternals do nothing for me. I guess having tree roots and branches on the base means they’re scouts? Their poses sure don’t suggest it. Technically nice sculpts, just not at all dynamic for scouting the ruins of Shadespire.
James: Farstriders – The design of the models is okay. Stormcasts with range weapons have just never done it for for me. They are such large and bulky warriors that it just seems weird when they are holding a bow. This crew is appears to be just be hanging out in the woods. Their poses could easily be mid conversion. I kind of imagine them standing around talking about the large bird on their leaders arm.
Casey: Farstriders – They’ve got a pet, which almost made me rank them higher. Nice models but don’t really stand out from the Stormcast collection as a whole.
Jeff: Magore’s Fiends – After the red-hot Blood Reavers that came in the base box, I was eager to see what the Blood Warriors would look like. Pretty pedestrian. The Warhammer Underworlds line should be an opportunity to go all out on character, but these don’t look that much better than the Blood Warriors in the AoS 1e starter. It’s nice to have a warband with mixed species models, but even old Ripotooth looks a bit lethargic and tame. More Cringer than Battlecat. 😦
James: Chosen Axes. I’ve not read up on the lore of these guys as I have no interest in their design. They beat out the Farstriders because of the sculpting is more interesting but it is still not one that I like. The leaders axe is interesting but I picture myself easily breaking it off.
Casey: Spiteclaw’s Swarm – There are cooler skaven sculpts out there, but these guys look like they mean business and like they just crawled out of the gutter.
Jeff: Chosen Axes – Fyreslayers: Individually I like all of these models, as a whole though…eh. I guess it’s like the old Troll Slayers to me…one of them is badass, but a group looks a bit silly. That’s sort of how I feel about Fyreslayers. These aren’t bad sculpts at all, just not a warband that I like the look of on the whole.
James: Steelheart’s Champions – These guys are low on my list but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the design. While the supporting cast is certainly the better part of the design I still think all three models are good and I look forward to painting up my set some day. I won’t be using the Ssteelheart model though as I plan on putting together an actual liberator wielding the sword instead of his hero pose.
Jeff: Sepulchral Guard – Like the Skaven this is a good looking group. I have to rate them just a bit lower though because they just seem so much smaller than I feel they should be. The 25mm bases don’t help, but they don’t even appear as if they would be large enough to be the skeletal frame for Garrek’s Reavers. Are the Blood Reavers that much larger than standard humanoids too? I was hoping these skeletons would be on 32mm as well. Still, I like the Warden a lot.
James: Ironskullz Boys – All these models are well sculpted and have some great poses. Each of the characters good with the exception of the helmeted fellow who is just kind of hanging around. They look fun to paint up and the fur and cloak on the boss is nice.
Casey: Magore’s Fiends – This was a touch choice between the two Khorne warbands because I think the models both depict that blood rage madness of Khorne.
Jeff: Ironskullz Boys – Like Casey said, these are hard models to mess up. They simply nail the orruk ‘ardboy look. In fact, I like these models better than the Age of Sigmar Brutes. Love the Bane-like mask on Bonekutta.
James: Magore’s Fiends – So I’m rather partial to the new Khorne models and I think their push to fit models are some the nicest that GW has ever made. These guys aren’t top tier design, but I still think they make a menacing group and the Flesh Hound scores them some bonus points.
Casey: Sepulchral Guard – I think these are the coolest skeleton models GW has ever made. And it’s been a while since GW made a proper skeleton. The Warden’s cloak is a bit over the top and so is the sickle on the Harvester of Souls, but I really like this group.
James: Garrek’s Reavers – Hands down the best of the bunch. The push to fit Khorne models have been fantastic and this group is by far the best I’ve seen so far. Each member is well designed and sculpted and they are all fantastic. Each one of the crew looks like a screaming lunatic which is perfect!
As Jeff and James’ last pick and Casey’s second-to-last pick, the Farstriders come in last. We know this is an extension of their design in Age of Sigmar, but they really look too bulky and well-armored to be a bunch of scouts snooping around the mirrored city. They do get bonus points for having a pet though.
Casey ranked them last, James ranked them #6 and Jeff ranked them #2, it’s fair to say we were all over the board on Steelheart’s Champions. This warband gets props for introducing the first lady stormcast (which has become a lot more prevalent in AoS 2.0) but the dorky do-gooder pose of Steelheart is what has us all over the map on with these guys.
With Jeff and James both ranking them #1, and Casey ranking them #2, the Best Overall award goes to Garrek’s Reavers. Already based on the fantastic bloodreaver models, the Reavers add some awesome poses and a lot of character. Garrek’s crew really represent the psychopathic bloodlust of Khorne.