This time last year, I reviewed the new flagship box for Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop. This year, it’s the turn of their fantasy strand and Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Dominion.
I’ve watched Age of Sigmar grow from its first edition release in 2015, starting from a position of great skepticism. Whilst I rarely get a chance to bring full games to the table, my regular games of Warhammer Underworlds have ensured I’m up to date with developments in this game too. It’s fair to say, that from humble, back of an envelope, beginnings, Age of Sigmar and the Mortal Realms are turning into something very impressive.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar: Dominion – Availability.
The Dominion boxed set will be available for preorder this coming weekend, June 19th. The elephant in the room with Games Workshop at the moment is availability. The Cursed City release earlier this year turned into something of shambles and last year’s Indomitus release sold out extremely quickly, leaving fans disappointed. This prompted the company to run a “made to order” scheme so that customers wouldn’t miss out.
For Dominion, GW is trying to manage expectations. In this post about the release, it mentions that this box won’t be around for long and that, if you want don’t want to miss out, you almost certainly will need to preorder your copy. Reading between the lines, there is not going to be a repeat of last year’s made to order, for those who don’t get their orders in. This week, for preorders, GW trialed a new queuing system on its online shop, presumably in preparation for high demand on the 19th. What will happen if even preorders outstrip demand hasn’t been said.
What Does This Mean for GeekFamily Readers?
As I mentioned in my Cursed City piece, the desperate reliance on having to get your preorder in on time doesn’t still well with me. It isn’t compatible with family life, particularly family life on a budget. You can’t always just drop $200 because a new release demands it.
If you have a child who is interested in dipping their toe into the world of Warhammer, this set represents excellent value. But if you want it, you have to move fast. (The price has been confirmed at £125. I haven’t seen confirmation of the $US price at the time of writing; I would expect it to be about $200. Don’t forget to check local FLGS stockists who usually carry a discount.)
Do not fear, if you’re not quite ready to commit or outlay quite so much money on what might be a passing fancy. Much like the equivalent Warhammer 40K: Indomitus release, this Dominion set is not aimed at beginners. There’s no “getting started” section with a gradual introduction to the rules. There are no dice for players who have yet to realize the joy of rolling fistfuls of D6s.
Shortly after the release of Indomitus, three new Warhammer 40,000 boxes of different sizes arrived. These were perfect introductions to the game, even including scenery. Beginners can afford to hold off, I think, rather than jumping into Dominion. There has been no official announcement of starter sets, but new players are always needed to stay in business, so you can almost certainly guarantee something will be along soon!
What’s in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Dominion Box?
GW has done a huge and detailed unboxing of the set, here. It’s well worth a look. Do check out the video above for my thoughts and first look at the models too.
In the box, you’ll find:
Two armies! One army is for the poster boys of Age of Sigmar, the Stormcast Eternals. The other is for a brand new take on an old enemy; orcs or Orruks, as they are named in the AoS universe. These guys are reminiscent of Peter Jackson’s Uruk-Hai mixed with the classic John Blanche styling of 1980s and ’90s, Evil Sun orcs and goblins. The “Kruleboyz” may be modern orcs, but they know where they came from!
These Stormcast Eternals have been completely remodeled. There’s some new lore that has come out of recent Age of Sigmar storylines, which has allowed GW to shift its design focus, or more likely, the design team have improved the design of the Stormcast models, and the lore writers have made up stories to account for the transition. In the first days of Age of Sigmar, the Stormcast were little more than a fantasy rebrand of GW’s top-selling Space Marine range from 40K. Now the models throwback to a more historical appearance, channeling the look of ancient Greeks or Roman gladiators. I, for one, love this change.
The box also fully displays Age of Sigmar‘s high fantasy aesthetic with some gorgeous and slightly crazy centerpiece models.
All in all there are:
21 Stormcast models.
39 Kruleboyz models.
1 Limited edition rulebook. This edition is an art-only cover with no text to sully the picture. Stand-alone core rule books, for people who don’t wish to buy Dominion, will be available (priced at £40, $65), but they’ll have writing on them. The Warhammer 40K “Command” starter set included a cut down (in size, not content) rulebook, so again, beginners may want to hold on for an AoS equivalent to be released.
Note: Free downloads of the new core rules are available here, in 18 different languages.
Warscroll and ability cards, to use with your new units.
A Getting Started Book. Yes, I know I said there wasn’t one of these, and I’m not quite sure why this is called a getting started book. It contains only the lore (stories) of the units you get in the box. There are no introductory rules, so I’m not sure what this is meant to get you started with!
My First Thoughts on the Box
As expected, this is a premium product that showcases the best of Games Workshop. The production values are second to none. The quality and the aesthetic of the new models are excellent. It is a shame that Dominion won’t be on the shelves for long. I feel like it’s a product that could sell and sell, and bring many new players into the fold. That said, scenery is often the biggest hurdle to making your first tabletop and if new scenery-filled starter boxes are just around the corner, then I’m happy with that.
As somebody who only dabbles in Age of Sigmar, I’ve been increasingly intrigued by the evolving storylines within the Mortal Realms. The blank pages of the book are slowly being filled as meaning and life come to the AoS setting.
More than half the rulebook is given over to the lore of the game (much is the same for the 40K rulebook too). It emphasizes that Warhammer is more than a game. The hobby side (building and painting) and the story (lore) side are two sides to the Warhammer triangle, with the third being playing the game itself. Each person involved in Warhammer decides for themselves which side to be more invested in and the shape of your triangle can change over time. As a game, I can sometimes be a bit sniffy about Warhammer. I don’t think its rules are particularly strong, but as a hobby experience, it’s hard to beat. There’s so much material to choose from, and all of it has had hours spent on it making it look and feel as good as possible. It’s no wonder Age of Sigmar has gone from strength to strength from its inception six years ago.
The Core Rule book is very similar in quality to its Warhammer 40K counterpart with an emphasis on layout, pictures, and fabulous photographs of miniatures. It has everything you need to start playing a game of Age of Sigmar, though newcomers beware: there are countless supplements and add-ons to buy, depending on how seriously you take your game.
In summary, then. This is a great box that marks the next stage in evolution for Age of Sigmar. It’s just a shame it won’t be around for very long. Preorder on June 19th or miss out!
Many thanks to Games Workshop for sending GeekDad a copy of Dominion in order to write this review.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received a copy of this game for review purposes.