February 6, 2011 by dracs
The war gaming community has long mourned the loss of the Chaos Dwarves, since Games Workshop discontinued them. Many have feared that they would end up sharing the fate of their 40K brethren, the Squats and I know I’m not the only one who welcomed their return in the Warhammer Forge display case last games day. But now there is good news for all us fans of things small and evil (enter appropriate jokes about my height here if you wish). Mantic Games have picked up the torch, with the Abyssal Dwarves due for release towards the end of this month.
Soon after the release of their Dwarf army for Kings of War, the announcement that the next army to be released would be their evil cousins generated a lot of excitement amongst wargamers. We were then drip fed concept art, sculpts and rules until our anticipation rose to fever pitch, but now our waiting has paid off. Gorgoth’s Legion of Terror, as well as individual units of Black Souls, Decimators, and the Katsuchan Rocket Launcher now up for pre-order, and with a full release set for the 25th February.
The models are pretty good themselves. There is a good level of detail, but without being too daunting for someone new to modelling to paint. Mantic also seem to be taking a road which is rather reminiscent of the “big hats” of the old GW Chaos Dwarfs. Big hats is a risky move, get it wrong and your sadistic dwarves could end up just looking silly, but somehow Mantic has pulled it off. Probably because the hats themselves look so menacing. The one real problem I have with them is the same one I have with their main Dwarf range, they just look so top heavy. Is it just me or do they kind of have the same build as Joe from Family Guy?
Pride of place in the miniature range must go to the Katsuchan Rocket Launcher. This fantastic looking piece of kit has a really nice daemonic look to it, and I don’t think it would look out of place fielded alongside the GW Hell canons. It is hard to tell if the rocket itself is sorcerous or technological in its design, and I think the model in general, successfully captures the sense of them mixing the two.
Although the final rules aren’t out yet, the Beta is still available, and has been a point of some debate among those keeping an eye on the range, the main point being that they are too strong. I have to say that I think I agree with this. The Abyssal Dwarves seem to have been given everything, from fast cavalry in the form of its centaurs, to good magic. Even the ability to heal their war machines. This has left the normal Dwarves flagging behind. One rule I do like though is the Yellow Bellied rule, which is given to the Ork Slaves. This basically means that when they are given an order to charge you must take a roll. If failed the slaves have “misheard” you and halt instead of charging.
All in all I think this army is definitely looking promising. Its about time that there were some more evil dwarves around again. What are your views? Are the models good? Are there any changes that you’d like to see? Or do you think they are perfect the way they are and should be mounted on a small plinth to be marvelled at by future generations? Let us know your thoughts.
If you want to have a look at the beta test rules… here they are…
If you want to preorder yourself a few nasty Dwarves then Wayland Games is offering a smashing discount… check these out!