The second edition of Age of Sigmar had me rather excited earlier this year. The game renowned for its accessibility got slightly more depth without becoming too cumbersome. With a sizeable Nurgle Maggotkin army under my belt, I figured that my time with Age of Sigmar would see little else. Then Games Workshop bestowed upon me the Gloomspite Gitz battletome and that all changed.
I’ve always been mildly amused by goblins within the Warhammer fantasy realms. Even the 40K equivalent Gretchins have tickled me the right way. In fact, I have about twelve of them painted for Kill Team and role-playing needs. However, with the reveal of the Gloomspite Gitz battletome for Age of Sigmar and the plethora of new models, my mild amusement shifted into a fervent, feverish fascination.
Hordes of Gitz
The Moonclan Grots line of models were certainly starting to show their age, especially the Squigs. It seems that after Orktober not being quite the hit Games Workshop had hoped for, they came swinging back with the smaller, wilier greenskins. The new models as they appear in the battletome all look grotesquely brilliant and truly emit an aura of dark fantasy. Grot characters, Mangler Squigs, Squig Herds, Boingrot Bounderz and even some new Troggoths are crawling out of the woodwork.
Accompanying these new models are new rules within the Gloomspite Gitz battletome itself. The updated and new warscrolls within the book provide an astonishing level of options for anyone keen to grab and try some new Grots. It’s almost intimidating, even. But the new host of rules and abilities thrust these small, feral critters into the limelight and up to speed with more recent armies.
Bad Moon Rising
As is their obsession, the Battle Trait is “the Bad Moon rises”. Throughout the game this ferocious celestial body can crest over quarters of the battlefield or over the centre. It can thus bestow gifts upon any Grots within its light. It’s very apt for the army but strikes me as something that might be easily forgotten or overlooked. Although, it’s import will necessitate players to truly keep on top of it. It can provide extra command points, improve casting rolls and even sling mortal wounds around to the enemy.
One of the other fun inclusions is the “Gobbapalooza”, a conglomerate of wild and scheming Grot characters. These act as a twisted form of war council for Gloomspite Gitz leaders and have a whole host of abilities. Again, I cannot deny the models are gruesomely detailed and freakishly creepy. This will surely aid Grots in their efforts not to be underestimated within the mortal realms.
Some of the new warscrolls and updated entries almost beggar belief. Although it’s hard to determine their viability without some tabletop carnage to try things out. Most Squigs seem to have the Fly rule, permitting untold leaping and bounding across the table and out of combat. Most Gloomspite Gitz characters are so sneaky that they are harder to hit when close to other Grots. They’re also so whacked-out on hallucinogenic fungus that they’re able to shrug off some wounds early in the game.
Yet again, the wording and feel of these warscrolls and the rules within feel particularly well-tailored for these Grots. They typically sound daft and silly, but they can achieve some fairly horrendous things. I’ve personally felt that the Moonclan Grots were a humorous army rarely taken seriously. However, some of these new rules and models may well change them. If you are deceived by their stunted appearance, you’ll miss the dagger being unsheathed.
Some of my favourite things within this battletome include the new battalions. The Gloomspite Gitz see Grots of all sub-factions potentially rising under a single banner. Moonclan Grots, Spiderfang Grots, along with Grot Shamans and Troggoths. The battalions allow you options and benefits to either combine these forces, or focus on a specific element. The option to take the “Squigalanche” battalion leaves me cackling like a true Loonboss. Should you wish to take just Spiderfang Grots or just Troggoths, the options are there, too.
Sneaky and Cunning
Admittedly, after perusing this book for days on end it’s very hard to find anything to be unhappy with. Like a skulking goblin it has crept out from a dank cave and taken me by surprise. New models and rules aside, this book feels like a particularly strong addition to Age of Sigmar as a whole. With Grots rarely being perceived as a threat, I’d imagine it’s hard to strike the balance of comic relief and creepy perturbence. This book, especially after reading some of the rules and some lore entries early on, seems to have achieved just that.
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