Tuesday, October 20, 2020

New Soulblight Vampires? My Predictions

There has been a lot of speculation about some of GW's recent rumor engine images that appear to be undead-themed. GW's "Gridiron and Glory" reveal show didn't have anything about those rumor images, so the speculation continues. I'll throw my hat into the ring with my predictions: 

The general consensus is that this these leaks herald the release of a new Soulblight battletome for Age of Sigmar. First off, I'll just say that Warhammer Underworlds and Warcry have all but ruined new army speculation for me– Even the largest collection of previewed imagery may end up being nothing more than four or five models in a single Underworlds warband.

Case in point, this rumor image is CLEARLY an Ossiarch Bonereaper model, but GW isn't in the habit of making add-on models for existing battletomes; they usually add new heroes to upcoming battletomes. So this is likely going to be for an Underworlds warband. Certainly not part of a Soulblight release.



This image has been part of the Death speculation because it's a model playing a bone flute. But it looks like it has three fingers, same as a Nurgling, something that might accompany the Sloppity Bilepiper, who also has bone-instruments. The arms appear to be sculpted as a single piece, common for small bits like Nurglings. So, I'm discounting this image from the Death pantheon as well.



Now, we're getting to the good stuff. This looks like a Flesh-eater Court model. A ghoul character or something of that nature. The old, notched sword, the black fingernails make it a Death model. None of the models in the Flesh-eater Courts army are equipped with proper "weapons" however– they mostly wield bones and rocks, but models in the Underworlds warband do use metal weapons. (There's even a ghoul with meat hooks!) 



This hand with the hook is probably another Death model. Maybe a ghoul, but the wrinkly skin could be a zombie. There's even what looks like it might be a hole in the skin at the top of the image. (God, please make new zombies, GW. And don't make them $40 for one sprue of 10 single-pose push-fit models.)



This halberd also has the hallmarks of an undead weapon– pitted, dark metal and a wicked shape.



Then, we have this pair of images– Ornate swords with what appear to be blood-drop iconography in the top image. Good candidates for Soulblight.



So, I began to think that if these aren't just Underworlds or Warcry warbands, we might get a new battletome that combines Flesh-eater Courts and Soulblight the same way that the Orruk Warclans book let you field an army of Ironjawz or Bonesplitterz, or combine the two as "Da Big Waaagh!" How cool would that be? A new "Vampire Counts" battletome (maybe call it "Vampire Courts") incorporating the Flesh-eaters and the Soulblight Courts, able to be fielded as separate armies or together as they once were.

But these aren't the only Death-themed rumors– Crows and keys are often used in Death imagery:



And there's this hand with the skull. The flames(?) coming off of the skull would mean that this is a wizard of some kind, maybe a dedicated ghoul sorcerer? The hands are a little long and spindly to be a necromancer. This could also be a Tzeentch daemon; they have long, clawed fingers like that. The flesh coloring is a little dark to be a ghostly Nighthaunt model. The cloak of stitched-together skins could likewise fit with Death or Chaos. (It would be a good candidate for an updated Heinrich Kemmler, but is GW really going to resurrect a character that hasn't had a new model in over 20 years and was left behind in the Old World? "He's dead, time to move on, brah.")


Edit: The skin was already confirmed as the cloak of a Chaos Warrior.  Thanks, Warboss Kurgan!



This brings me to my next point of speculation: We need an update to the Legions of Nagash battletome. Even though it was written for the 2nd edition of Age of Sigmar, it was actually released prior to it, and has a lot of information that's out of date. The further we get, however, the more I fear that the Legions of Nagash might get dropped altogether as an army.

A lot of its content is already in other battletomes– Nighthaunt and Ossiarch Bonereapers. If we get a new Soulblight battletome that includes the vampire units, Deathmages, Deadwalkers, and maybe Deathrattle units, Legions of Nagash will be mostly redundant. In that case, I'd also expect to see units like the fell bats and bat swarms eliminated. Unit options like the winged vampire and mounted wight king would also be cut so GW could finally retire those decades-old models. (I've been saying it for a couple years: If you haven't already made them, don't get carried away converting wight kings on skeletal steeds or vampires with bat-wings; once GW stops selling those old models, those options will no longer be included in future battletomes.) They might even tout the Anvil of Apotheosis rules as being the "perfect way to include those [now-obsolete] models in your narrative armies."

We've also got these tidbits, including today's rumor engine image of a wing with some chains and a skull. This leg might be some kind of cool werewolf, but it feels a little too clean for something that's undead. The architecture that it's standing on does resemble the bit that the crow is perched on, though...



That wing strikes me as more of a Chaos item. The chain has "pointy" links, and most of the Death models have oval chain links. The wing could also be part of the same model as these teeth. That doesn't quite look like bone, however, which further convinces me that it's not undead.



But in the end, I think my official answer to the question of whether we will be getting a new Soulblight battletome or an updated Legions of Nagash battletome is... "Neither." No Soulblight book, no new Legions of Nagash book (and no Vampire Pirates either, sorry).

I think all of these previews are just leading to models that will feature in one of the Broken Realms books that focuses on Nagash or another Death character. The Broken Realms book will serve as a patch for the Legions of Nagash battletome, and will include some new Soulblight and Flesh-eater Courts units and characters. Or who knows? Maybe those previews will turn out to be just another Underworlds warband...

'Til next time!


  1. The Broken Realms prediction is quite possible. Maybe LoN (or Soulblight) will get Aeldari/Mechanicus treatment and instead of single hero GW will release few units (plastic Blood Knights would be the best).Oh, and slight correction: both winged Vampire Lord and mounted Wight King are still available on GW's site.

    1. I meant that in the sense that GW would use the new battletome as an opportunity to finally stop selling those older models. I'll edit to read a little clearer. Thanks! :)

  2. This sort of speculation is really delicious... but as you mentioned, WarCry and Underworlds really makes it 100% harder to guess what these might be... AOS looking stuff now has three games that it could fit into (and possibly Bloodbowl too!)

    Plastic vamps and zombies and some sort of big battalion box of skellies would be amazing... so contemporary GW will do something else instead :(

    1. Yep. The real reason that I know we won't be getting a decent model range and army book update is... It's an army that I play. :/

      No new Skaven models since the End Times; no new Black Templar models in even longer, and their codex rules were in a *campaign book*; and Necrons are are FINALLY getting an overhaul, just in time for me to not care about the new edition of 40K (and not be able to play it due to Covid).

      But Undead has been a series of disappointments for the entire lifespan of AoS:

      -Tomb Kings got axed right out of the gate.

      -3 years with no new Death models.

      -Nighthaunt was a bright spot, but the models lack in variety and have no big non-unique centerpiece characters, and can't use the Mortis Engine which looks like it was MADE for Nighthaunt. They also got an awesome new Black Coach that's not a Hero and also technically isn't usable as the Black Coach in a LoN army, despite being completely modeled as carrying a vampire's coffin & equipment. (That warscroll will also be dropped from any Soulblight battletome, mark my words.)

      -New Flesh-eater Batletome with only 1 new model that was unavailable for like a year. (And again, an army of all identical model types and only 3 kits (plus Archregeant and resin Varghulf.)

      -Ossiarch Bonereapers look terrible.

      -And throughout the entire process, the Legions of Nagash FAQ seems to be the most neglected, half-assed or non-answered one in the bunch.

      I'd almost think that they aren't bothering with the LoN FAQ because there might be new book coming and it's not worth spending the effort, but it's been going on for literally years.

    2. Other than new armies, AOS has been mostly a disappointment (and even then the Ossiarchs look terrible and the Sigmarines are soooo derivative).

      Night gobbos are a rare bright spot.

      I think that splitting every section of an army into its own army was a mistake, and introducing so many new factions took up most of the creative energy. (and particularly when most of those are pretty lame too)

      Then again, I just really liked WHFB and the old world, so what do I know?

    3. I think the arrangement of armies is mostly fine, but the subdivisions have, however, resulted in armies of all one thing.

      As far as models, I've liked the aesthetic of everything they've put out except for the Bonereapers. And even though I don't prefer armies like Tzeentch or Slaanesh, I still think the models LOOK nice.

      And that's not to say there aren't nice models within the OBR range– Katakros and most of the characters look nice, as does the Crawler. There are just more "misses" than "hits."

  3. That smoking skull looks like it has only one eye socket, making it a Plaguebearer. Thus, I think your guess of it belonging to a Tzeentch model might be accurate, them being old enemies and all.

    1. I think we're seeing the skull from the side, so we can only see one eye socket, and the smoke is obscuring the other. That eye doesn't look like it's centered enough to be a Plaguebearer skull.

      (And take a look at the Plaguebearer skull on the GW skull sprue– The eye socket is much bigger, and the whole thing has a different shape.)

  4. Realy Funny, I have not read anything on those rumors before, but just by looking at those pictures I was thinking of vampire pirates myself, cause I thought GW might introduce different types of see-themed armies after those elves. For me it didn't seem logical to just have one faction focusing on that theme (same with the overlords) and I would have loved to see different factions fighting along different "terrain types". But Im just a converter and painter (focusing entirely on GW) and thanks to your evaluation, especially your focus on the game itself, I'm quite sure I was wrong.

    I really like the creativity GW is putting into AOS, but the death factions just seems somehow uncomplete without new vampires, as its somehow intellectual and especially somehow human center.

    And as I'm ad it right now: I miss the humans in AOS so much. A world without human fighters and there perspective seems somehow redundant, if everything is over the top, super scary or super amazing, somehow nothing really is anymore and without the humans I m somehow missing something to identify with.

    I know, GW still produces most of the old world empire line, but isn't it a bit silly, that some many years have passed and they did not evolve, or even change there culture, clothes and weapons in some way?

    With all that amazing stuff coming for Necromunda and Warcry, really centering about human existence and perspective, I'm hoping someday GW will find a way to give them a new life in AOS, a new vampire faction could have been a starting point for that.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! There are humans in Cities of Sigmar and the Chaos factions, which is pretty much how it was in the Old World (plus Bretonnia). There has never really been much in the way of "civilians" represented in the game.

      In the beginning, AoS lore was lacking the bits about "where people actually live and work," but they've expanded upon that and there is now a sense of the kinds of settlements and cities in the different realms and how they interact with the various "army factions."

      We definitely need to get new vampire models. But I hope they don't evolve too radically, because the "classic undead" look of them is why I like them in the first place. Ossiarch Bonereapers was too much of a departure, and that's why they don't work for me.


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