Saturday, January 26, 2008

REVIEW: Chaos Warrior Regiment

  • Made by Games Workshop
  • Designed by Brian Nelson, Jes Goodwin, Alex Hedstrom, Colin Grayson
  • Cost £18 (approximately $35)

The Regiment boxed set contains twelve plastic Warriors of Chaos, including enough parts to equip them with hand weapons and shields, or two hand weapons. You can also build a champion, standard bearer and musician.

The new Chaos Warrior Regiment boxed set is a replacement for the ancient 'hunchback' Chaos plastics. That old plastic kit was revolutionary at the time because it launched the multi-pose models which now dominate the core units for most of the Warhammer range. Unfortunately it aged rather badly, while the new Chaos range developed around it. The old Warriors also had two major weaknesses; they took an age to assemble (because there were so many pieces to each individual model) and they were virtually impossible to rank up once constructed.

Games Workshop have addressed both of these issues on the new sprues. The main body of each Warrior is constructed from just two pieces, the legs and chest form one, and the back and cloak form the other. Each arm can then be added at the elbow, with a choice between two hand weapons, or a hand weapon and shield. The Warrior can then be completed with the addition of a head. Due to the uniformity of the body plastics, the unit now ranks up very easily.

Although these changes are largely welcome, they do introduce some problems. A completed unit will look very 'samey' as all of the models have an identical posture. This can be mitigated against to a certain degree by placing the champion, standard bearer and musician in the front rank (they have their own command sprue) but the unit will still look very uniform. I think this is especially problematic because the Warriors are, or should be, Chaotic. If any army should be a collection of disparate individuals, then Chaos should be it.

Converting the new kit will also be more difficult. The pose is stiff and rigid for every model, and impossible to alter because the legs and body are moulded together. The fur and cloaks are mandatory to complete the back section of the Warrior, leaving no wriggle room. Even the arms are difficult to convert as they only go up to the elbow, the upper arm being part of the body sprue. Again, this is especially relevant to the Chaos army, because it offers the most scope to individualise the army with the choice of patron God, mutations and gifts of the gods.

Converters needn't despair just yet though. The sprues contain lots of extra bits and pieces, beyond the basic necessities. Once I had completed my twelve man unit I had loads of heads, weapons, shields and other stuff left over. They will all go into my bits box for later.

The Warriors do look fantastic, though. Aesthetically, they take their cue from the Knights of Chaos, and they are light years ahead of the old kit in terms of looks. The posture is noticeably more upright and imposing than the previous models and I think most players won't keep the older models around for too long once they examine the new plastics. I'm sure no-one will mix the two sets of models in the same army.

With the new kit being simplified, I had assumed there would be less detail on the models. This isn't the case. There are a surprising amount of features and textures on the plastics, ranging from plate mail, to chainmail, to fur, to cloth, to bone, and many others. I found that it was best to leave the shield arms off the model and paint them separately, so that it was easier to get to the main body of the Warrior with my paint brush.

I think the Chaos Warrior Regiment boxed set is very good. It is visually stunning and straightforward to construct. It does not offer much opportunity for converting, however, and all of the models have a very similar pose. Nevertheless, I recommend this kit.

Score 8/10

All of my reviews end in a score out of ten for the product. The table below explains what that score means.

  • 10/10 Perfect, absolutely nothing better
  • 9/10 Excellent, highly recommended
  • 8/10 Very good, recommended
  • 7/10 Good
  • 6/10 Above average, some problems
  • 5/10 Average, some good points some bad points
  • 4/10 Below average, some redeeming features
  • 3/10 Poor, major flaws
  • 2/10 Very poor, avoid if possible
  • 1/10 Absolutely appalling

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