When Archaon’s main henchmen, the Varanguard, appeared, people went fairly dippy over their price. Three cavalry models for £60? Was GW on the crack pipe?
Then the other side kicked in on the forums – the models are larger than they appear, they are specials and you won’t need many, compare the price to three character models, they are actually really detailed…
I was pretty much on the side of the latter, as I felt we had been down this road before. The Chaos Dreadhold looked fairly whacked on the pricing front – until you sat down and actually built on. Even the Skull Keep, the smallest piece, towered over an Imperial Knight. Surely the Varanguard would be the same? I mean, they had to be noticeably larger than the old Chaos Knights, right? Something more approaching the Lord-Celestant on the Dracoth, right?
Well, I put a unit together, and…
Well, I guess it is comparable to the Dracoth in a use-your-imagination-can-kinda-get-there sort of way. Neither beast nor rider really have the bulk of their Stormcast equivalents, but it is not a million miles away. Let’s have a look at other comparisons.
This is probably more the Varanguard’s speed, in terms of people he likes to butcher – a little Clanrat. This is a bit more convincing but, of course, a Clanrat is not exactly huge. Still, he towers over the Bloodreaver too.
But now for the real test. How do the Varanguard match up against the old Chaos Knights?
Well, if you look, the Tzeentch Knight looks like he is going to comfortably get his head taken off with the low sweep from the Varanguard on his right. He is definitely going to have horse-envy too.
Conclusion? Well, the Varanguard are bigger, noticeably bigger, no doubt. However, are they £60 larger?
That is going to be down to the conscience of the individual gamer. Now, I should say that I don’t pay anything like retail for these boys and I think… they are okay. Put it this way, I am glad I have a unit to help Archaon out now and again, but I am not rushing to get a second unit as I have with, say, most of my Bloodbound units.
I will say this though. Whatever the size these models end up as when constructed, if you pay the £60, you will double take when you open the box and see the three very regular-sized sprues.
Anyway, I am glad I got them, and they are bigger than you think. But maybe not as big as you hope.