The latest Battletome has arrived for Age of Sigmar, and this one is about the Stormcast Eternals Extremis. The extreme Stormcasts. If you thought the Stormcasts were pretty extreme before, the Extremis Stormcasts are really extreme.
So, is the book any good?
Well, in a nutshell, this Battletome is about the Extremis Chambers, the Dracoth/Star Drake-riding Stormcasts who really kick it. The first photo in the book demonstrates this nicely.
The artwork also gets the point across.
The idea behind the Extremis Chambers is that when Chaos gets a bit too rowdy, when the normal Warrior Chambers cannot handle a situation, the Extremis guys get sent in. So, it is perhaps fitting that they have appeared right after Archaon made his appearance in Balance of Power and gave Sigmar’s boys a right shoeing.
They have the greatest heroes and the hardest reptiles, biut this took time to put together, and not every Stormhost had a ready-to-go Extremis Chamber when Sigmar began his D-Day landings.
There is a short piece depicting Dracoths and Star Drakes ‘in the wild’, and what their possible relationship with one another is. They speak, they have their own language, though they can also understand human, Duardin and Aelf. In the past, they have allied with all three, before returning to their wilderness homes.
And now they have been trotting up to the Celestial Realm to get a brand new saddle, ready to take a Stormcast into battle!
(I might be somewhat paraphrasing the binding process between Stormcast and beast…).
Next the book jumps into the organisation and purpose of the Extremis Chambers. The Dracothian Guard make up the bulk of the Chamber, being split into Lightning Echelons (the Tempestors and Fulminators – and yes, fulminate is a word), and Thunderwave Echelons (Desolators and Concussors). This divides the Dracoths depending on what their breath weapon does (wave or bolt). Above the Dracothian Guard sit the Drakesworn Templars (Star Drake-riding commanders), and above them, the Lord-Celestant, who gets his choice of Drake or Dracoth.
Other, as yet unseen Chambers are mentioned once more – the Sacrosanct and Auxiliary Chambers, for example. No doubt we will be seeing their contents in due course…
Four pages are given over to the painting guide though, frankly, if you have this book you probably already have a Stormcast army and have thus probably already decided how these guys will be painted.
The ‘hobby section’ has plenty of photos demonstrating Extremis Chambers in action, the size of which you will never, ever be able to field yourself (!). These two pictures show more reasonable forces.
And there are plenty of showcase pictures of the Star Drake, perhaps a bit better than the ones you have seen in the various rumour threads that abound.
There is just one Battleplan in this book – sort of. It is one Battleplan, split into two (because the Extremis Chambers are just too extreme for a single Battleplan?).
The Stormcasts and Bloodbound are fighting over Sigmar’s Gate, a Realmgate that leads straight to the Celestial Realm. The Stor,mcasts had already given the Bloodbound a bit of a bash, and Khorne responded by sending a Bloodthirster, leading the Slaughterguard – who are a bunch more Bloodthirsters.
Enter the Extremis Chamber.
The first part sees the Dracothian Guard riding forward to smash the Khorne force apart (victory is done on kills, though the Bloodbound are effectively unlimited in number), while the second sees both sides send relief forces (plus Star Drakes and Bloodthirsters) for a final, titanic clash.
Should be fun, but you will be wanting a lot of Extremis guys plus more than one Bloodthirster to make the most of it. Think of an Apocalypse battle but played only with some really expensive models.
The book ends with Warscrolls, which have been pretty much done to death on the various rumour forums. However, there are four Battalions included…
Drakesworn Temple: Only needs three models, but most people will, I think, have only one Templar in their force… However, they get a powerful damaging/haling Nova Surge and lower the enemy’s Bravery.
Lightning Echelon: 2 units each of Tempestors and Fulminators, who extend their shield ability and can charge twice.
Thunderwave Echelon: 2 units each of Concussors and Desolators, who run down fleeing enemies (there will probably be a lot of those), and can pile in twice.
Extremis Chamber: Add all of the above together, add a Star Drake, and you can Deep Strike these units while causing mortal wounds to anyone else nearby, and force enemies to roll two dice for Battleshock.
We might have been spoiled with the recent Pestilens book – that one was probably better overall. However, the Extremis book is by no means bad, and if you are wanting to get hold of Sigmar’s hardest warriors, you will probably want to know how they fight, which is what this book delivers.
The Battleplan is suitably astronomical in scale, which will put it out of the reach of some. However, if you do manage to amass enough models, it looks like a fight to remember.
I also grabbed this book, released alongside the Battletome.
£6, 32 pages, it does what it says on the cover, really. It has step-by-step guides for several Stormhosts but, again, if you are already into Age of Sigmar, you may have already chosen your Stormhost and got to work.
Then again, if you are a newcomer and have a complete lack of talent (like me), it is only £6, and it contains everything you need to get going.