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Warhammer Fest: 40K Ork refresh, Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts in plastic, and more

Warhammer Fest still has one day left, but already there’s tons of news

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An Ork Warboss in armor. Note the wee li’l rot up on his shoulders with a stubber. He’s so CUTE! Image: Games Workshop

Early May for Games Workshop traditionally means Warhammer Fest, the miniature wargaming company’s biggest in-person event, which is packed full of new product reveals. Like many events this year, Warhammer Fest is online. But that does not seem to have slowed the British publisher down in the slightest. The event is restricted mainly to video reveals that have been spread over a few days in half-hour segments.

If you were not able to sit in on the hours of content, here are the biggest announcements for Warhammer 40,000, Age of Sigmar, Necromunda, and more.

A few dozen new Orks for 40K, including some beast riders below. Image: Games Workshop

After a handful of teases for the Beast Snagga Orkz — including a new Painboss — a wide range of new Orkz were announced. The release will be accompanied by a new Ork Codex and an Army Box which contains 20 Beast Snagga boyz, three boyz on Squigs Hoppas and Nobs on Smasha Squigs, and a refresh of second edition character Zodgrod Wortsnagga. Red paint is extra.

There was a quick mention during the stream that this reveal represents just about half of the new orks being added to the range. As proof, Games Workshop (GW) showed off a more traditional looking Warboss in Mega-Armour. Seems like there’s a bit of a waaagh on the way.

An Ork in a bastardized set of terminator armor with a rot on his shoulders firing away. Image: Games Workshop

One of the big surprises was the reveal of a set of models honoring Dan Abnett’s long-running Gaunt’s Ghost series. Led by Commissar Ibram Gaunt, the titular Ghosts are an elite team of Astra Militarum soldiers from the regiment known as the Tanith First. Modeled after Bernard Cromwell’s Sharpe’s Rifles, First and Only is the best place to start, while Ghostmaker is a selection of short stories intertwined with a longer narrative.

Guaunt’s Ghosts in plastic, striking a pose amidst some Imperial ruins. Image: Games Workshop

These are stellar plastic models, brimming with character and begging for pride of place in your collection or to be kitbashed into something extraordinary. The announcement coincided with another note that bodes well for future Astra Militarum releases, but more on those in a moment. All I can say is that the 41st millenium’s pan-galactic cannon fodder has never looked better, and these new models easily give them the personality to stand alongside modern Space Marines.

Gaunt’s Ghosts are slated to release alongside a new Abnett prequel novel, The Vincula Insurgency, which will go up for preorder soon as a limited edition collector’s set featuring pins, art, maps, and an all important datasheet for playing Gaunt’s Ghost in full-fat 40K.

Following on from Gaunt and the Tanith First, GW announced an upgrade for the Astra Militarum’s Cadian Shock Troops. Rather than a whole new kit, the models will be reboxed with a brand new set of parts to give them a bit more personality, which comes with a selection of new heads and special weapon arms. There are 25 new heads in total, including a bunch of expressive sculpts of female faces. Like the recent ‘Eavy Metal studio work on the Ultramarines, they’re been painted in a mix of tones highlighting the POC in the universe’s fiction. It’s a long overdue step forward for the rank and file of the Imperial Guard.

An 8mm Thunderhawk gunship in plastic. Painted for Salamanders Adeptus Astartes. Image: Games Workshop

GW has knocked it out of the park with its boxed games in recent years with bona fide hits like Warcry, Necromunda, Warhammer Underworlds, Aeronautical Imperialis, and more. They’re all great ways to enjoy the hobby without the need to collect a whole army. For Warhammer Fest, they doubled down on some new expansions and refreshes.

Aeronautica Imperlalis is getting a new boxed set that pits the Adeptus Astartes against the Aeldari, which GW teased by cruelly announcing their most awaited kit: a plastic Thunderhawk gunship, but at 8 mm scale rather than 28 mm. Still, it’s a lovely rendition of the iconic Space Marine gunship, bristling with detail, and painted up in the livery of the Salamanders by the GW team. The Aeldari aircraft look impressively slick too, and their high speed will surely mix up the game.

A high-ranking member of the Sisters of Battle in a novel set of mechanized armor. She’s wielding a sword. Image: Games Workshop

Adepta Sororitas (Sisters of Battle) also had their 9th edition codex announced, but the showstopper piece was the battlesuit wearing High Lord of Terra Morvenn Vahl. It’s always fun to see big, important characters step onto the battlefield, and Vahl’s battlesuit — an upgrade on previously announced nun in a gundam — is the perfect blend of gothic excess and high tech future weaponry. She even has shoulder mounted missile launchers decorated with statues: that’s peak 40K.

The House of Shadow book for Necroumnda was also announced, which sees the gangs of House Delaque get a whole host of new rules and models. These gang expansions for Necromunda,such as House of Chains (Goliaths), House of Iron (Orloc), and House of Blades (Escher) among others, have been a wonderful edition to the brand. Each one is brimming with characters that build on the original setting, and this Delaque book should be no different. The mysterious gang is to be reinforced by a whole range of psychic fiends, biomechanical combat drones, and skillful assassins, adding some much-welcome personality to their roster.

Not every day you get a new god. Kragnos has four legs, two arms, and a bad attitude on a 120 mm base. Image: Games Workshop

Attention was lavished on Warhammer: Age of Sigmar, which is about to see its third edition release as the Broken Realms narrative campaign series draws to a close. Kragnos, the new destruction god and headliner for the final book was revealed, looks to be a huge centerpiece for any destruction army.

The final book will also see GW release a host of new models, including a revamped Lord Kroak, and the new Twins Newborns of Slaanesh, setting the scene for a titanic clash in Age of Sigmar’s next edition.

They followed Kragnos up with a range bestial vampires, introducing the draconic Avengorii dynasty and the lycanthropic Vyrkos dynasty which saw the surprise return of Cursed City’s Radukar. New leaders and direwolves are an excellent addition to Soulblight, but the center piece here is Lakua Vai the Mother of Nightmares — a chimeric horror that’s part dragon, part bat, part vampire, and all attitude. Finally, Elathain’s Soulraid saw the Idoneth Deepkin make their debut in Warhammer Underworlds fourth season, Direchasm, with a warband that includes a fish and a crab, much to the delight of Warhammer’s online community.

There’s still one day left in Warhammer Fest, and fans can tune in this weekend to check it out. The details will go up live on Twitch and be archived there as well as on YouTube. Best guess is a new boxed game or, if we’re very lucky, the first in what should be a promising line of new in-house animations productions.